Category: Healthy

Frozen Yogurt Bark

The holidays are over and I, like many, have felt the need to stop indulging – all the time at least.  I feel that moderation and a healthy lifestyle are key, however I went wild this holiday season gorging on spritz cookies, sugar cookies, haystacks, fudge, caramel corn – you name the cookie/candy and chances are I took a bite.  Same goes for cheese – brie, cambozola, gouda…yum!  I enjoyed every moment, but I feel gross and my jeans are snug.  In an effort to save money and not have to purchase new pants I am breaking out some of my favorite recipes to curb my appetite.  Which leads me to this little gem I wanted to share, Frozen Yogurt Bark, a favorite treat.

Frozen yogurt bark is one of those items that I will eat and eat and eat, then I will forget about it for a while only to come back to this oh so easy concoction.   OK, so Yogurt Bark is crazy easy – just yogurt that you spread onto a piece of parchment paper, then sprinkle with whatever you want to add and then freeze for a couple of hours.  Once frozen, break the yogurt into pieces and enjoy!  The variations are endless since you can use any kind of yogurt you like as well as the toppings.  You can also add no toppings, tons of toppings, you get the idea.

My personal preference when making yogurt bark and I am trying to get back on track, is to use individual yogurt cups that are high in protein.  This way I am sure of exactly what I am eating in terms of carbs, protein, fat and calories.  For the variation pictured I used a mix of goji berries, chia seeds and cacao nibs.  All of these add-ons play double duty in that they are delicious, add tons of nutrients and add crunch.   Another delicious way to amp up the flavor is to add a teaspoon or two of maple syrup, honey or even some chocolate syrup.  Like I said, moderation is key. 🙂  Try this recipe out.  It takes under five minutes and could not be simpler.  Here’s to healthy eating!

Frozen Yogurt Bark
Ingredients
Yogurt of your choice
Toppings (use anything – be creative)

Directions
Line a pan with parchment paper and spread yogurt onto the parchment paper in a thin layer.   Place desired toppings on top of yogurt and freeze for at least two hours.  Break apart and enjoy!

 

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Creamy Vegetable Lentil Soup


I know that January is the month to detox and get your body back on track after the holidays, however this hasn’t been the case for me.  There is actually a great reason – I haven’t felt like it.  The shock to my system (both body and especially mind – HA!) would just be too much and I wasn’t ready.   But now I have regulated my taste buds and I am ready to get back on track with some delicious and satisfying food.  Yesterday I made this Creamy Vegetable Lentil Soup that is so good you would never guess there is no cream, is low in fat and super simple to make.

The ingredients for the soup are basic and I love that these are items I always have on hand.   The soup starts with a chopped onion and carrots followed with a couple of cloves of garlic and some pantry staples.  Even though there is no cream in the soup, it is made creamy by putting all the softened, caramelized veggies in the blender for a minute or two.  The result is a velvety, delicious base for your soup.  Add the lentils and you have a delicious meal that is protein packed as well.

If you have been having trouble getting back on track after the holidays (or anytime of the year) try this soup.  Oh and I have to add that if your kiddos aren’t a fan of vegetables this is the perfect way to sneak in those healthy goods.  Enjoy!

PCC’s Perfect Protein Salad – Vegan and Delicious

We have been having our home remodeled which has been a massive pain.  Now that it has been completed I am thrilled with the end result, however the process was painful.  Since my ability to cook was sidelined I searched for delicious and healthy options to curb my hunger, which is how I stumbled across a salad at my local PCC store called, the Perfect Protein Salad.  I instantly became addicted and wanted to share my version, which tastes extremely similar to PCC’s Perfect Protein Salad.

One of my favorite parts of cooking is the ability to customize recipes.  In this case the recipe calls for lemon, dill and garlic.  Since I am crazy about these three flavors I upped the amounts to make them more pronounced.   The base for this salad is garbanzo beans and spelt berries which provide both a creamy texture and a chewy texture.  Since I am huge on texture the crunch of numerous veggies, including cucumbers, celery, peppers and onions are also a complete bonus.

In a nutshell, this has become one of my go to salads.  I love enjoying it for a quick lunch, enjoying it at dinner with a grilled piece of chicken or fish and it also makes a great salad to take to a friends house.  In the event you have someone in your life that is vegan, this version is made with vegan mayonnaise* which is an added bonus.   I hope that if you live in the Northwest you stop by PCC and try their Perfect Protein Salad or make it at home for yourself.

Perfect Protein Salad (inspired by PCC’s Perfect Protein Salad)
(serves 2 for a main dish or 4 as a side dish)

Ingredients
1 – 15 ounce can of Garbanzo Beans
2 stalks cucumber, diced
1 cup cooked spelt berries
1/3 c. Vegenaise
2 carrots, diced
1/4 c. green onion, thinly sliced
2 T. red onion, small dice
3 T. lemon juice
3 T. italian parsley, thinly sliced
1 T. cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
2 T. fresh dill weed or 1 t. dried dill weed
2 T. fresh basil or 1 t. dried basil
salt & pepper to taste

Directions
Combine all ingredients.  Put in refrigerator and let flavors meld together for a couple of hours if possible.  More often than not I am rushed and not able to do this, but if you can, definitely do this.  This salad is very easy to make and lasts for a day or two in the fridge so you can make it ahead and enjoy leftovers later.

* Side note, vegenaise tastes great! If you have never tried it, I would recommend doing so. I was extremely hesitant at first, but now I really love it.)

PCC's Perfect Protein Salad Recipe

Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie – Healthy & Dairy Free

It is the New Year and like many people I indulged and enjoyed in glutenous baked goods and enjoyed many, many, many savory appetizers at holiday parties.  I didn’t want to be rude and not eat.  So I am feeling a little bloated and am looking to lighten up my diet up a bit so feel healthier and more energetic.

In an effort to try and feel less bloated I decided to try this smoothie I saw featured on YouTube and wow – it is really, really good.  The original recipe was featured on Miss Glamorazzi’s channel where cookbook author and blogger Claire Thomas shared several recipes that were quick and healthy.  You can see the video featured here that also has other delicious recipes.  In the meantime, here is the recipe for the Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie that is amazing!  Enjoy!

Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie Ingredients
Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie Ingredients

Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie
Ingredients
1 frozen banana
1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp. chia seeds
2 T. agave nectar (I didn’t have this so I used brown sugar – YUM! (perhaps why I have gained some weight…))
1 pinch of salt
1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T. flax meal
1/3 c. gluten free oatmeal
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup crushed ice

Directions
Put all ingredients in your blender for about a minute and enjoy!

Banana smoothie and fresh banana on wooden background.

Emeril Lagasse’s Turkey and White Bean Chili

I have mentioned several times that I love one pot meals and one of my favorite one pot meals is Emeril Lagasse’s Turkey and White Bean Chili.  It is amazing!  I actually can’t believe that it has taken me so long to blog about this dynamite dish since it is my all time favorite chili recipe.  I have made this for football parties, for lunch on a rainy day and when I need a weeknight meal on a busy evening.     The other plus to this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time and the longer it sits the better this chili gets.

So let’s talk about the ingredients.  I love that the main protein in this chili is turkey, you could use ground beef, however I absolutely love the clean, lean taste of turkey.   The addition of white beans is another clean flavor that really makes this chili recipe different from other chili recipes.  Then there are the spices, from chili powder to red pepper and many flavors in between there is some serious flavor going on.   One of the last ingredients I was very surprised to see is the addition of corn meal that acts as a binder to thicken the chili up.  I think this is a genius addition since corn naturally complements chili so well.

I hope I have sold you on making this chili.  It is delicious, healthy and the perfect chili to serve your friends and family.

Ingredients
4 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 tablespoons Emeril’s Southwest Essence, recipe follows
1 2/3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons cornmeal
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 (10-ounce) cans Ro’tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles (original), undrained
2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles, undrained
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro stems
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, for serving
Tortillas (optional)

Emeril’s Southwest Seasoning:
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano

Directions

In a skillet, heat the oil and saute the onion and jalapeno until soft and beginning to caramelize, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the ground turkey, Southwest Essence, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until turkey is browned and cooked through, 6 minutes. Add the cornmeal and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, canned tomatoes, canned chiles, and cilantro stems and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. After it has cooked for 30 minutes, add the cannellini beans. Add the heavy cream and cilantro leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes longer.

Serve the chili in deep bowls, garnished with cheese and cilantro.