Thursday, February 6, 2014

My healthy addiction


Did you know that Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet?  One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K -- and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.

Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.

Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.





With that said, my favorite thing to eat currently is a Kale & avocado salad.  I take fresh organic red kale, cube some organic avocado and toss in a citrus vinaigrette.  I can't even begin to tell you how tasty this is!  :)

Citrus vinaigrette (4 servings)
4 Tbls Fresh Orange Juice
1/2 tsp honey
2 Tsp Dijon (or yellow) mustard
3 Tbls olive oil

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This is my Brother-in-laws favorite part of Thanksgiving.  I have to say, it is one of my favorites!  I love cranberry sauce.  Years ago I started making it.. and I will never buy canned junk again!


Ingredients
12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
apple (or orange) juice
1 1/2 cup sugar
ground cinnamon
ground cloves
ground ginger



I double my recipe, but a good rule of thumb is for every 12oz bag of cranberries, use 1.5 cups of sugar.

Place fresh (or frozen) berries in a pot.  Pour liquid (water, apple, or orange juice) until it is almost to the top of the berries.  You can always add more if you need it, but can't take it out.  Add sugar and spices.  I change my spices up from year to year.  This year I added about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 3 'dashes' of cloves and 2 pinches of ginger.  Sometimes I only do sugar.  It isn't rocket 'surgery'  :)



Bring berries to boil, they will start to pop.  Stir every few minutes and keep an eye on them.  They will boil over as soon as you look away and wheeeeew- what a mess that is to clean up!


When the berries pop they break down and magically dissolve into a big pot of yummy goodness.  Once the mix is mostly liquid, and the berries have cooked down, turn it off.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.  Take a little taste.  This is where you can play with the flavor.  It is a good point to add more sugar if you'd like, but make sure the mix heats back up so it dissolves.


Place in fridge and Enjoy! I make mine the day before!  :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The yummiest Cheesecake ever.

My gf Ashley and her hubs invited us over for an amazing dinner, and this was my contribution to the meal.  I've been meaning to post this for a while now.  No pics, but I promise it is AMAZING!

*no water bath needed for this recipe*


Crust Ingredients
2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup softened butter
1/3 cup sugar

Blend thoroughly and press firmly against bottom and sides of a 8 or 9 inch spring form pan.  Bake at 350° for 10 min.


Filling Ingredients
4 packages (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Add sugar and mix thoroughly.  Add eggs one at a time, blending completely.  Add lemon juice and vanilla.  Spread mixture into pan and bake in preheated 325° for 45 minutes.  After 45 minutes, turn oven off and let the cheesecake sit in a closed oven for 30 minutes.  Then, cool completely and refrigerate.  Top with pie filling or other topping.  It is fabulous plain as well!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Gluten-Free black-eyed pea cakes

'Meatless Monday' is totally doable with this recipe!  It is a healthy alternative to a hoe cake or hushpuppy, but just as yummy!

Ingredients
1 can black eyed peas, strained
2 tbsp corn meal
2 tbsp egg beaters
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Place strained black-eyed peas in a bowl.  Sprinkle corn meal, sugar, salt and pepper and stir well.  Add egg beaters and mix well.  The batter should be like lumpy cake batter.



Heat olive oil in a skillet and using a small scoop, scoop batter into 8 equal cakes.  Brown on each side, and serve.


And shame on me, I didn't take any after pictures because my children devoured them before I remembered! It is a good problem to have!

Serving size 2 cakes
Calories- 130
Total Fat- 4g
Total Carbs- 21g
Protein-4g


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A healthy alternative

You know what makes tomato soup so yummy?  HEAVY CREAM!  While heavy cream is super tasty... it is also 800 calories per CUP!

My gf Alicia is a part of my Focus T25 challenge group.  When she asked me to give her a tomato soup recipe, I knew it had to be healthy!  My challenge group is working so hard to take care of their bodies and get in shape, I wasn't going to offer a recipe with 800 unnecessary calories.



1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 box of natural chicken stock
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
a couple of fresh thyme sprigs
5 fresh basil leaves
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste.




Saute garlic and onion in olive oil.  Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Add chopped carrot, potato, herbs and tomatoes.  Once the potatoes and carrots are soft, blend with an immersion blender.  I added a splash of soymilk to mine, but it is not necessary.  Enjoy!



Saturday, September 14, 2013

Goodie bags...

When you leave a kids birthday party, there is usually a little something for a take home as a 'thanks for coming.'  A goodie bag.  Well... a few years back I began doing these instead of a candy and trinket filled bag.  What do you think? 


Friday, August 30, 2013

GF Oatmeal Cookies

*My secret to super yummy GF treats is almond flour.  It adds great flavor that you lose with rice flour.  I don't ever use almond by itself because it is quite pricey and we would use a ton of it. Typically, I use about 1/3 of the flour amount in a recipe as almond and then use either rice or buckwheat as the remaining amount.


Enjoy!!

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks Salted Butter
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup GF Buckwheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup Almond Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 3 cups Quick Oats

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand mixer) beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping after each one.
Mix together the buckwheat flour, almond flour, salt, and baking soda. Add it in 2 to 3 batches, mixing it until just combined. Mix in the oats until just combined.

Use a teaspoon scoop to drop dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until dark and chewy. 

Let cool slight on the pan after removing from the oven, then transfer the cookies onto a plate for serving.