Dark Chocolate & Walnut Fudge

Beet
Beet

A fun and tasty way to incorporate beets into your diet is here!!! Beets are no longer just for salad..... and it makes for a great table conversation when your loved ones are eating their fudge! This "fudge" has more a texture of a flourless torte and serves well with coconut whipped cream and fresh raspberries!

Dark Chocolate & Walnut Fudge

Sky Castle Gastro Lounge Review

Looking for a casual restaurant, with an upbeat vibe, and upscale, but affordable food? Look no further than Lakeview’s newest Foodie Haven… Sky Castle Gastro Lounge!  Chef Haller Magee has upgraded Lakeview’s culinary offerings in an innovative way that is guaranteed to be a neighborhood favorite!

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gastro 3

What Did I Sample?

For Snacks our table devoured the Roasted Cauliflower and Radish Toast!  Both are highly recommended!  The snacks added enough flavor to wet my appetite while leaving room for my entrée!

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gastro

As for main dishes, it was all about the red meat!  The Sky Castle Burger could be up for awards in the near future!  And that’s saying a lot since Birmingham is home to some pretty fine burgers!  The homemade bread and butter pickles paired nicely with the tomato jam, caramelized onions, and smoked cheddar cheese! It’s a triple threat guaranteed to give you flavor explosion!

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gastro 2

I can also personally vouch for the Red Wine Braised Short Ribs that were served with a butternut squash puree and charred brussels sprouts! The short ribs were packed with flavor and seasoned with perfection! Well done Sky Castle!!!

What a great environment to watch your favorite sports team, catch up with good friends, and celebrate good food!  Great memories will be had at Sky Castle Gastro Lounge! This establishment adds new personality to the Birmingham food scene!

Chickpea Bolognese

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Ok, so this may not be a typical meal that you would create on a weeknight...

BUT IT SHOULD BE!!!

It is quick, filling, tasty, high fiber, rich in vegetables, EASY, and affordable!

This is a fun twist on an Italian classic that is normally high in cholesterol and saturated fat!!! This will have your entire family reconsidering a MEATLESS MONDAY!!!!

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food processor
ChickpeaBol
ChickpeaBol

Coconut Cream Porridge

Want a tasty alternative to overnight oats?

Today I'm sharing an easy porridge recipe that involves NO COOKING!!! Enjoy!

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Coconut Cream Chia Porridge

Serves 4-5 -- Recipe Inspired By Half Baked Harvest

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • ½ can Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Local Honey
  • 1/3 cup Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • Dash of Sea Salt

Toppings:

  • Sliced Banana
  • Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Pistachios
  • Almond Butter
  • Cherries
  • Cocoa Nibs (optional)

Directions:

In a bowl, stir together almond milk, coconut milk. Honey, chia seeds, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Cover and place in fridge overnight. Scoop porridge mixture into bowl and top with toppings of choice! Toppings shown in picture is sliced bananas, hemp seeds, cherries, almond butter drizzle and coconut flakes! Enjoy!

Maple & Bourbon Sweet Potato Soup

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Thanksgiving is only 11-days away and I'm busting at the seams with joy and excitement! I absolutely LOVE this time of year! I love the anticipation of what each day holds. Yesterday, as I walked with my husband (Mike), I spent the majority of the time rambling about the different possibilities for Thanksgiving and how special this day was going to be. Almost as if I was willing it to be!  Of course I had to confirm that watching the Macy's Day Parade and reading the Black Friday ads were first on the agenda! I love an excuse to make a fuse, to throw a party, to gather with family and friends, the justification to showering others with gifts and the wonderful joy in the air of closing out another year with the hope and expectations of dreams to come in the looming year ahead! Its AMAZING!!!! It feels... HOPEFUL because I find I am more reflective this time of year than any other which allows me the chance to acknowledge the purposeful gifts and mighty ways God has shown up and showed off in my life!

Ok.... so I will stop digressing and get back to my point in writing this post.... THIS SOUP. AHHHHMAZING!  (and full of amazing nutrients as well!) If you really want to get creative this Thanksgiving and take the pressure off of providing a labor intensive meal... join me in my Laid-Back GREATFUL Holiday Extravaganza movement!!! I'm going rogue this year and getting away from traditional, and embracing more free time to enjoy the loved ones in my life!!!

I'll be serving up this amazing Maple & Bourbon Sweet Potato Soup alongside a fresh Cranberry & Spinach Salad with Turkey & Brie Crostini. Nutritious. Delicious. And Easy!!!

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Soup 2

Maple & Bourbon Sweet Potato Soup                                                         (Recipe Inspired by Half Baked Harvest)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 medium Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 1/2 cups Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Apple Cider
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne (to your taste)
  • Salt + Pepper, to your taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Bourbon (optional)
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (I recommend Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream)
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and bake for 1 hour or until soft and tender. When the sweet potatoes are cooked, slice them in half and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, add the maple syrup and cinnamon sticks to a large soup pot, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes. You want the maple syrup to thicken and reduce to a syrup like the consistency of honey.

Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel away the skins and add the orange flesh to the bowl of a food processor or high powered blender. Add 1 cup of broth and puree until smooth. Slowly stir the sweet potato mixture into the thickened maple syrup. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups broth, the apple cider, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne and a pinch of salt + pepper. Cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the bourbon (if using) and cream. Continue to cook another 5 minutes and then add the cheese + butter, cook until the cheese is melted and the soup is silky smooth. If the soup seems too thick, add more broth to thin. Keep over low heat until ready to serve.

Whether you are planning a traditional menu or creating new menu, I would love to hear what you are planning on having for Thanksgiving! Regardless of your main entrée, make sure you serve it up with plenty of gratitude for the beautiful life that you lead!!!!

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes 

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Ingredients * 1 can Pumpkin Purée

* 2 Tbsp Cinnamon

* 1/2 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

* 1 tsp Baking powder

* 3 Eggs + 4 Egg Whites

* 1 cup Oats

* 1 cup Water

Directions:

Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and blend well!

Meanwhile, heat a nonstick griddle (or large nonstick skillet) coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto griddle. Serve warm with dollop of Greek Yogurt, a drizzle of Orange Blossom honey and sprinkled with Two Seed Gingerbread granola or granola of choice.

Salmon Meatballs & Avocado Cream Zucchini Noodles

Meatballs: 

  • 1 lb. skinless salmon, cut into chunks
  • ½ medium onion, grated or chopped 
  • 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp Minced Cilantro
  • 1 Egg White
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • ¾ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Ground Pepper
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • ½ tsp Ground Oregano
  • 8oz Feta Cheese 

Sauce:

  • 1 Avocado, skin & seed removed
  • 3 Tbsp Plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ Lime, juiced
  • 5 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground pepper

Instructions

For Meatballs: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place the salmon in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl.

To the salmon, add onion, panko breadcrumbs, cilantro, egg white, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and oregano. Stir to combine.

Form meatballs by rolling between the palms of your hands. Each meatball is between 2-3 Tbsp of salmon mixture. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly.

Bake until the meatballs are firm to the touch and cooked through, 15 -20 minutes.

Serve the meatballs over zucchini noodles tossed in with the avocado cream sauce and garnish with feta cheese! 

For Sauce: In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the avocado, greek yogurt, garlic, lime juice, water, chile powder, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.

Recipe Originally From: Cookin Canuck

Savory Balsamic Fig & Heirloom Tomato Tart with Prosciutto

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Having company over and need a crowd pleasing recipe?

Want a creative recipe that showcases the beautiful heirloom tomatoes you found at the farmer's market?

Looking for a quick weeknight dinner option that provides flavor and nutrition for your family?

This recipe will be your new best friend!! This recipe is full of flavor, loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals, and is ready with minimal effort in the kitchen!!!

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tart 3

Savory Balsamic Fig & Heirloom Tomato Tart with Prosciutto

Ingredients

  • Prepared Puff Pastry Sheet, thawed (I recommend Dufour’s Puff Pastry)
  • 1/3 cup Fig Preserves
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
  • Pinch of Salt + Pepper
  • 2 Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 ounces Blue Cheese, crumbled
  • 8 ounces Fresh Mozzarella Cheese or Burrata Cheese
  • 8 slices Thinly Sliced Prosciutto
  • 2 -3 Tablespoons Fresh Basil

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stack two pieces of puff pastry one on top of the other and press gently to adhere. Repeat with the other two sheets. Cut each pastry into a large circle or leave as a square. You may also make mini tarts by cutting the pastry into smaller circles or squares. Whatever shape you prefer works fine.

Place the puffed pastry sheet on the prepared baking sheet and spread about 1/3 cup of fig preserves over the puff pastry.

In a bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and oregano. Add the cherry tomatoes to the balsamic mix and toss well. Arrange the sliced heirloom tomatoes over the puff pastry sheet evenly. Add the cherry tomatoes along with any remaining balsamic mixture left in the bowl. Sprinkle the tart with crumbled blue cheese.

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tart 1

Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes or until the crust if puffed and golden and the cherry tomatoes lightly burst. Remove from oven and top with torn mozzarella or burrata cheese and prosciutto. Let tart stand for 5-6 minutes to set. Garnish with basil. This tart makes 6 servings.

This tart is great to serve alongside a simple arugula salad tossed in a lemon vinaigrette for lunch and/or dinner. This tart reheats very well! If you have leftovers, consider topping with a fried egg and serving for breakfast!

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tart 2

Recipe Inspired by Half Baked Harvest

Honey Dijon Pretzel Crusted Chicken

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Honey Dijon Pretzel Crusted Chicken

Recipe Inspired By: Halfbaked Harvest

Ingredients:

Honey Dijon Mustard Pretzel Crusted Chicken

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (butterflied) or chicken cutlets
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 1/4 cups crushed pretzel crisp
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, crushed

Honey Dijon Mustard Dressing

  • ½ cup Dijon Mustard
  • ½ cup Honey
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 2 teaspoon Pepper

Strawberry Avocado Basil Salsa

  • 2 cups fresh Strawberries, diced
  • 1 Avocado, pitted + diced
  • 1 small Jalapeno, seeded+ chopped
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Basil, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime

Preparations:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your baking sheet by lining with foil and spraying with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine the honey, mustard, egg whites and seasoned salt, whisk well. Toss the chicken in the honey mustard wash and set aside. The longer you can allow it to marinate the better. In a shallow bowl, combine the crushed pretzels and walnuts.
  • Remove one piece of chicken at a time from the mustard wash. Place chicken in the pretzels crumbs and then use your fingers to press the pretzels mixture onto the chicken.  Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken.  Bake in the oven for about 20-28 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • While the chicken cooks combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Whisk well and adjust seasoning to taste.
  • For salsa, combine the strawberries, avocado, jalapeno, basil and lime juice in a bowl. Gently toss and season with salt if desired. Store in the fridge.
  • Serve chicken warm with a drizzle of honey Dijon mustard dressing and garnished with strawberry salsa!

Smoked Salmon & Farro Salad 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup uncooked Farro
  • 2 diced Fuji apples
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion 
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • 2 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

PREPARATION

Place farro in a medium saucepan. Cover Farro with water to 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cook, uncovered, 30-35 min or until tender. 

Combine cooked Farro, diced apples, and next 4 ingredients (through celery) in a large bowl. Combine oil and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle dressing over Farro mixture; toss to coat.

3 Ways to Celebrate No Diet Day!! 

Healthy bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. We see it every time we hit the gym, get our hair done, or just walk down the street.  May 6th is International "No Diet Day" - a day where people everywhere can say "I don't need no stinkin' diet." Wouldn't it be great to throw some self-love motivation out to the universe? 

  

Here are three ways anyone can celebrate "No Diet Day"

  1. "I love me some ME!" There’s no point in trying to look like a celeb on a magazine cover. Did you know that those celebs don’t even look like that? Over 95 percent of media images are altered (not real). We can rock our different sizes and unique shapes.  You can do it: Share what you value about your body and why - with yourself, a good friend, or on social media. 
  2. "Because I'm HAPPY..." We often think if we choose to be content, we’ve become complacent. That’s simply not the case. We can find health and happiness along the way. Try to let go of the “if/then” attitude. Being happy in the body you have is possible even while you’re working on making it healthier. You can do it: reflect on what you are grateful for today and why. Can you share three things?
  3. "Can I Live?" Life is happening whether you are there or not. Might as well join the party. Remember that experience trumps appearance. So what happens if you don’t get out on the beach (the dance floor, the doctor’s office, the dinner club)? It’s very likely that you lose what could have been a delightful or enlightening event. Choosing the experience is the first step in making wonderful memories. You can do it: Share a picture of a recent joyful experience - and talk about how it made you feel. 

By Leslie Schilling and Rebecca Scritchfield, Co-Founders of Dietitians for Body Confidence www.RD4BC.com

About: Leslie Schilling and Rebecca Scritchfield are registered dietitian nutritionists and fitness experts and moms of girls. They co-founded "Dietitians for Body Confidence" to establish a dialogue about the valuable role dietitians can play in helping to improve body image. Learn more at www.RD4BC.com

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burrito

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SWEET POTATO & BLACK BEAN BURRITO

Makes 8 Servings

Recipe Inspired by Oh She Glows

Sweet Potatoes:

  • 3 medium Sweet Potatoes, Diced
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • ½ Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • Garlic Power
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Rice & Bean Mixture:

  • 1.5 cups Uncooked Short Grain Brown Rice
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2-3 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper, or to taste
  • 2, 15-oz can Black Beans, drained and rinse
  • 4 Sprouted Grains Tortilla Wrap
  • Baby Spinach Leaves
  • Avocado or Guacamole
  • Sriracha Sauce (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and line a large glass dish with tinfoil. Drizzle olive oil on potatoes and toss with salt, pepper, chili powder & cumin. Roast sweet potatoes for 35-40 mins. or until tender.
  2. Cook brown rice in 3 cups water with sea salt. Boil for 20-25 minutes or until rice has absorbed liquid.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add oil, onion, and minced garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Now add in salt and seasonings and stir well.
  4. Add chopped red pepper, black beans, and cooked rice and sauté for another 10 minutes on low.
  5. When sweet potatoes are tender remove from oven and cool slightly. Slightly mash sweet potatoes with a fork. Add 1.5 cups of the cooked potatoes to the skillet and stir well.
  6. Add rice & bean filling to tortilla along with desired toppings. Wrap and serve.

Leftovers can be reheated and served as topper of spinach salad, stuffed in baked potato, served as tacos, or as a base for grilled flank steak! 

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taco
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JALAPEÑO & BLACK BEAN SPAGHETTI SQUASH BOATS

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JALAPEÑO & BLACK BEAN SPAGHETTI SQUASH BOATS

(Makes 4 Meals)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Spaghetti Squash
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 Yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 5 cups Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chiles
  • 2 cans Black Beans 
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sea Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 ounces Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • Sliced Jalapeño (optional, garnish) 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400F and line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds in the center and discard. Brush sides with EVOO + Sea Salt + Pepper. Place the squash halves face-down on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the light brown spots begin to appear on the skin of the squash. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

While the squash is cooking, pour the 2 cans of roasted tomatoes and green chiles (including the liquid) into a blender and add in the ground cumin and salt. Blend until smooth and set aside.

Melt the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauté the onion until the onion is tender. Add in the garlic and spinach, and stir until the spinach is wilted. Add black beans and stir.

Use a fork to scrape the cooked spaghetti squash flesh into pot and pour the enchilada sauce over the top. Stir well until everything is heated through, season to taste, and then divide the spaghetti squash mixture between the shells of the spaghetti squash arranged cut-side-up on a baking sheet.

Top each serving with crumbled goat cheese, and place in over to heat through for 5-6 minutes. Serve Warm!!

Recipe Inspired by Detoxinista

Moroccan Chickpea, Carrot, and Spiced Quinoa Salad

Tired of packing a boring sandwich for lunch?

Want to boost your antioxidant level by increasing your vegetable intake?

Want to wake up your taste buds with fresh, exotic flavors?

This quick and easy salad is perfect for you!

Don’t settle for a sandwich, when you can re-energize your body mid-day with this nutrient dense, flavorful dish!

You are worth it!

Moroccan Chickpea, Carrot, and Spiced Quinoa Salad

Yields: 4-5 Servings

Recipe Inspired ByHappy Hearted Kitchen

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Spiced Quinoa

  • 1 cup Tri-Colored Quinoa
  • 1 ½ cup Salted water
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander
  •  1 ½ teaspoon Ground Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon

Roasted Chickpeas:

  • 2 cans Organic Chickpeas, drained and rinsed; Pat dry
  • 1/2 Tbsp Coriander
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper

Salad

  • 8 Medium Carrots
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of one Lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Local Honey
  • ¼ cup Raisins or Currants
  • 1/2 cup Raw Almonds, Sliced or Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss chickpeas with spices. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until chickpeas are slightly brown and crunchy. Toss the chickpeas halfway through cooking time to evenly cook.
  2. Rinse the quinoa under cold water. Add rinsed quinoa and water to a pot and season with salt. Add in spices. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit with the lid on for another 5 minutes.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, slice carrots into ribbons.  Drizzle with olive oil, honey and lemon juice and set aside.
  4. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and add to the carrots. Mix well.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.

If you are taking this salad for lunch, go ahead and portion into individual servings so the dish is ready to go when you are!

Spice of Life - Health Benefits of Herbs and Spices

Spices have health benefits!! Spices and herbs have one of the highest antioxidant and polyphenol (a plant compound) level in food particles!! Both polyphenols & antioxidants help fight chronic health problems such as heart disease.

Not only do spices and herbs make our food taste great, but they serve as a substitute for ingredients that do not add value to our health such as salt, saturated fat, and sugar!

My hope is that you enjoy this easy, weeknight chili recipe that Im sharing in this post!! The recipe includes several spices that will benefit your body and satisfy your taste buds!!

Chili Powder - Helps rev metabolism and eases indigestion!

Paprika - potent vitamin A source which promotes immune function, good eyesight, healthy skin, and wound healing

Cumin - aides digestion, relieves constipation, helps with insomnia, and promotes healthy skin

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Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

INGREDIENTS: 2 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil 2 Medium Sweet Potato, Peeled & Diced 1 Large Yellow Onion, Diced 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced 2 Tbsp Pickled Jalapeño, Diced 3 Tbsp Chili Powder 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika 1 teaspoon Sea Salt 3 cups Water 2 15-ounce cans Black Beans, Drained & Rinsed 2 14-ounce cans Diced Tomatoes 3 teaspoons Lime Juice

DIRECTIONS: Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion to the Dutch oven and cook until onion softens.

Add minced garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and sea salt to onion mixture. Stir constantly for 30-seconds.

Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until sweet potato is tender.

Add black beans, diced tomatoes, diced jalapeños, and lime juice and return soup to a simmer for another 5-6 minutes.

Serve warm and garnish with diced avocado, sour cream or French fried onions. Serve alongside cornbread or cold guacamole salad!!!

RECIPE INSPIRED BY EATING WELL

Cookie with Benefits!!

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2015/01/img_5536.jpg This nutrient dense, delicious cookie recipe will actually improve your health!!

Increase your fiber and satisfy your hunger levels. (Thank you Oats)

Sustained Energy levels. (Thank you Oat & Nuts)

Elevate HDL and Reduce LDL Cholesterol (Thank you Oats)

Reduce your blood pressure and increase digestive enzymes in your stomach (Thanks Bananas!)

Fight off infection with Vitamin C (Thanks Applesauce)

Reduce inflammation in the body with magnesium! (Thanks Pecans)

Support Bone & Teeth Formation. (Thanks pecans)

Reduce stomach pains, improve mental performance, reduce hunger pains, relieve stress, and increase antioxidant levels (Thanks Vanilla)

Stabilize blood sugar and protects neurons in your brain!! (Thanks Cinnamon)

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Peanut Butter Banana Cookie Recipe Yields 1 Dozen (Recipe inspired from Amanda's Apron - www.amandasapron.com)

COOKIE:

2 Bananas

1.5 cup Old-Fashion Oats

2/3 cup Homemade Peanut Butter (or a natural store bought with peanuts and/or salt only)

2/3 cup Organic Unsweetened Apple Sauce

1/2 cup Chopped Pecans, Raw Almond, or Cashews

1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 Tbsp Cinnamon

FROSTING:

1/4 cup Natural Peanut Butter

1 Tbsp Organic Coconut Oil

Optional Sweetener Add-ins: Dried Cranberries, Raisins, Cacao nibs, Cocoa powder, Dried Cherries, 2-3 Tbsp Honey or Agave Nectar

Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mash bananas until soft. Add all other ingredients for cookie to bowl and mix well. Place dough in 1-2 inch balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mash to make into cookie shape. Bake for 20-25 minutes. When cookies are done, place on wire cookie rack to cool and too with frosting.

To make frosting microwave 1/4 cup peanut butter with 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil. Drizzle over cookies and let set.

Store cookies in airtight container in a cool place.

Feel good about serving this cookie to your friends, family, or most importantly to YOU!!

Remember, food is our medicine and is meant to be enjoyed!!!

Date & Cranberry Energy Bars (No Bake, Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Tired of paying high prices for processed granola bars?

Tired of snacking on food that taste like cardboard?

Do you have a desire to feed your family foods that are whole, full of nutrients, and life giving?

This energy bar recipe is for you. It does NOT require baking. It only requires a food processor, a baking sheet, and a freezer.  This energy bar has no added sugar, full of fiber, and is a good source of protein to power you through your important daily agenda!  Let's be intentional about our food choices!

Join NutriFocusRD in the movement to
#PLATEYOURINTENTIONS!
Granola Bar Group
Granola Bar Group

No Bake Date & Cranberry Energy Bars

Makes: 8 Bars

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, then drained)
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried cranberries (Can also use dried cherries, dried apricots, or dried blueberries)
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter (I prefer homemade peanut butter or Whole Foods Natural Peanut Butter. No added sugars or oils, ONLY peanuts)
  • ¼ cup whole raw almonds (Can also use macadamia nuts or cashews)
  • ½ cup instant plain oats (gluten free if you need!)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Soak the pitted dates in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain well.
  • Place soaked dates, dried cranberries (or fruit), raw almonds, natural peanut butter, and oats in food processor and blend until combined well. My dough usually forms a ball when its blended.
  • Scoop mixture into a square, 8x8 baking pan.
  • Press the dough firmly into an even layer.
  • Place the baking pan in the freezer for 30 – 45 minutes to allow time to set.
  • Cut into 8 rectangle bars. I like to wrap each bar in parchment paper to reduce sticking and make the bars portable and easy to pack.
  • Store in the freezer or fridge.
Recipe Inspired by Nutritionist in the Kitch

5 Ways to Re-Invent a Homemade Waffle

For Christmas my husband received a waffle maker from my parents. He LOVES waffles and has been eating frozen waffles for the past several months. I'm okay with frozen waffles, but as a dietitian, my hope is that my husband, as well as our family, can enjoy quality "whole foods" with minimal preservatives and without unnecessary additives.  When my husband received a waffle maker for Christmas, so began my search for a waffle batter recipe that would be a perfect for us!

Ree Drummond (better known as The Pioneer Woman) provided a recipe that inspired me to warm up our waffle iron!

Need ideas to warm up your waffle iron?

Below are 5 foodie fun reasons to begin incorporating waffles back into your diet:

  1. Chicken and Smoked Cheddar Waffles (Recipe: MyRecipes)
  2. BLT on Cheddar Rosemary Waffle Bread (Recipe: Baker Bettie)
  3. Strawberry Shortcake Napoleons (Recipe: Feels Like Home)
  4. Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches (Recipe: Martha Stewart)
  5. Breakfast Quesadilla with Waffle Tortilla (Recipe: Waffle Batter Below - Fill with Favorite Breakfast Ingredients and Cook Like Quesadilla on Stovetop! Garnish with Sliced Avocado, Sour Cream, and/or Sriracha!)

Waffle Batter Recipe (Recipe Inspired by Pioneer Woman)

Ingredients: 347

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 teaspons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 ½ cups Organic Fat-Free Milk
  • 2 Organic Whole Egg Yolks
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • 4 Whole Organic Egg Whites

Directions:

  • Pre-heat your waffle iron.
  • Mix together all-purpose flour, baking powder, sea salt, and sugar in a medium mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, blend milk, 2 egg yolks, and vanilla together. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and gently mix until halfway combined. Pour in melted butter and gently continue mixing ingredients until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, use a mixer to beat the egg whites until stiff. Slowly fold them into the batter until slightly combined.
  • Scoop the waffle batter into the waffle iron in batches and cook according to its directions. Serve immediately with butter, warm maple syrup, and mixed berries.