My husband and I have been trying to go to a local Vietnamese restaurant pretty much the whole time we've known each other. It finally happened this month and we loved it! The food was fresh, simple and healthy which is perfect for these days when the temperature is in the 80s and 90s (ugh). The spring rolls there were absolutely delicious! I wanted to have them again but couldn't bring myself to pay $2 each just to satisfy a craving. So, with a little digging, I found a recipe online and tried it out thinking it would be oh so complicated, but worth it because I really wanted more. To my surprise it was so SIMPLE! It is as easy as making a salad and rolling burritos, no joke. Try this recipe to feel refreshed on these hot summer days.
I'm not a big white sauce fan. Let's face it, it has all the ingredients for a heart attack and if done improperly tastes like glue. And to be honest, I'm not a big fan of cauliflower. As a child I thought it looked like a brain and after taking anatomy I still think it looks like a brain. But I'm always trying to branch out and trying new things so when I saw this Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo recipe I thought I'd give it a try. I made my own version of it and loved it! I couldn't stop licking it off the spoon after my first skeptical taste! TRY THIS RECIPE! It will change your life. Here is my version:
3-4 servings 100% whole wheat angel hair pasta*
1 head cauliflower**
2 cups chicken broth (you can make your own using bullion)
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon salt***
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup pasta water reserved from making pasta
1 green pepper
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1. Boil chopped cauliflower and zucchini in broth for 15 minutes. While cauliflower and zucchini is boiling sauté garlic and onions in butter in a large skillet.
2. Add garlic, onions, cauliflower, zucchini, broth, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to blender and blend until completely smooth.
3. Once it is completely smooth stream in olive oil. If mixture is too thick to turn through the blender easily add more water or broth. While cauliflower is blending cook pasta according to directions. Save pasta water to use later.
4. Sauté chopped peppers and mushrooms and then add cherry tomatoes sliced in half.
5. Pour the cauliflower mixture into the large skillet with sautéd peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Add the cream and cook over low heat. Add pasta water to thin and keep warm until ready to serve.
*If you are trying to get your family to eat whole wheat pasta start with angel hair. It is so thin that the texture difference isn't as noticeable. My favorite brand is honestly Western Family.
**Boil your cauliflower for at least 15 minutes with the lid off. The longer it boils the smoother the sauce.
***Don't use any salt if you are making your broth from bullion
Over the weekend we made this white chicken chili for an event and it was a hit. Because we had so many requests for the recipe we decided to share it with all of you! If you are looking for a quick and easy recipe to spice up your life, give this a try. We added some red pepper flakes and went a little heavy on the seasonings to give it a kick, but if you aren't into spicy this recipe can easily be toned down. Hope you enjoy this recipe! PS Don't forget to check out the tips section at the bottom!
1 pound chicken breast
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon oil
2 cans of great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can chicken broth
1 can green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili peppers
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
1. Bake chicken breast in oven on 350 F for 30 minutes or until juices come out clear. When done cube and set aside.
2. In medium sauce pan sauté onion and garlic in oil.
3. Add the remaining ingredients except for sour cream and cream. Simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Remove from hear and stir in sour cream, cream and chicken.
*You can cube the chicken raw and sauté it with the garlic and onions until it is cooked. However, if you want your chicken more tender and juicy, cook it in the oven.
*For a less spicy soup omit the red pepper flakes
*For a lower fat soup use low fat sour cream and 1% milk instead of cream
This summer I discovered the amazing transformation that occurs when vegetables are roasted. Brussels sprouts became my favorite food, carrots had new life, I wanted vegetables for every meal! My husband even liked it! Not only does it make your vegetables taste amazing, but it is also extremely easy. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!
1 cup Brussels sprouts
2 small red potatoes, diced (or try sweet potatoes)
1 small onion (red, yellow, or white), diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 carrots, diced
1 pepper, diced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon ground rosemary
1 teaspoon ground thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Wash and dice all vegetables.
2. Place on baking ban and drizzle with olive oil. Toss until everything evenly coated.
3. Sprinkle with seasons and toss until coated.
4. Bake at 350 F for 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.
5. Eat as a side or make it your meal!
I love sweet and sour sauce. David teases me all the time that I put so much sauce on my rice and vegetables I make sweet and sour soup. The one thing I don't like about sweet and sour is all the sugar. If you haven't ever made sweet and sour from scratch before, try it. You will be absolutely shocked by the sugar content (1 cup)! When I got my orange and lemon flavored stevia I immediately thought of trying to recreate a sweet and sour recipe that still tasted amazing but wasn't such a sugary mess. I am pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out! Give this sweet and sour stir fry a try and let me know if it worked for you and what you think could make it even better!
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1-2 tablespoons oil (sesame extra Asian flavor)
1 small red onion
1 large green pepper
1 can pineapple tidbits (20 oz can, save the juice)
1 green onion
2 cups of cooked rice
1-2 teaspoons garlic
1 teaspoon ginger, freshly ground
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 tablespoons white rice vinegar
2 tablespoon ketchup
14 drops lemon stevia
2 tablespoons cornstarch
S & P to taste
1. Wash and chop all your vegetables and set aside in a large bowl.
2. In a sauce pan combine garlic, ginger, lemon, pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, and stevia.
3. Whisk the cornstarch into the sauce mixture and heat over medium high heat while stirring until it begins to boil and thicken.
4. Add the vegetables to the sauce mixture and cook until desired texture (if you don't like your veggies in the sauce just steam them separately).
5. Pour over rice and serve!
Don't Forget Protein
We discovered another winner last night: Tara Stiles' Vegan French Toast Surprise! I don't know about you, but for me seeing vegan in a recipe title is often a turn off. Vegan implies either a lot of work, really expensive, or not very good. However, this french toast recipe was the exact opposite. The natural sugars from the banana in the base, when cooked with a little oil or butter, creates an amazing caramel flavor. I think I may actually like this recipe better than regular French toast! Plus it is so easy to make and clean up; it can't be beat!
2 very ripe bananas
1/2-3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Oil or butter to grease pan
1. Put all the ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a shallow dish
2. Heat pan on stove top over medium heat and add oil or butter.
3. Dip bread in banana mixture until evenly coated and place in warmed pan.
4. Let cook 3-5 minutes on one side before flipping. Let cook on other side for 3-5 minutes.
5. Enjoy with fresh fruit, jam, honey, syrup, whipping cream...the possibilities are endless!
I found this recipe and recently tried it. I'm so impressed I had to share! Full of healthy fats, veggies, and whole grain this is a deluxe dinner that tastes great and pampers you from the inside out. It is warm, creamy, flavorful, and extremely easy to make. Just as easy as opening a can of Ragu and adding a few extras. This is a must try recipe!
12 oz. pasta (I used whole wheat spaghetti)
2 ripe avocados, pitted and scooped
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 handful fresh basil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Set a medium-sized pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta, reduce heat slightly and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes.
2. In a food processor, combine avocado flesh, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, basil and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside in a large bowl.
3. Transfer cooked pasta to the bowl. Toss with avocado mixture and freshly grated parmesan. Serve with additional grated parmesan, if desired.
Original recipe and tips can be found here.
We all know desserts are not the healthiest thing on the planet, yet we continue to eat them with guilt. First of all, stop it! Eating a little dessert is not something to feel guilty about! Second, find healthier desserts! Here is a new family favorite we found here and recently adapted to make it a little healthier using NuStevia.
3/4 C flour
3/4 C sugar or NuNaturals tagatose sugar substitute
7 drops NuStevia lemon liquid sweetener
1/4 t salt
1 stick butter, soft
juice from 1/2 lemon (about 1T)
zest from 1/2 lemon (about 1t)
1. Combine the flour, sugar substitute and salt in a large bowl.
2. Mix in the softened butter.
3. In another bowl whisk the eggs with the lemon juice, liquid stevia, and zest.
4. Add to the larger bowl and mix well.
5. Pour into prepared 8X8 brownie pan.
6. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
7. Remove and let cool, then glaze.
1/2C powdered sugar
1 T lemon juice
additional lemon zest
Mix glaze, and pour over cool lemonies. Enjoy a guilt free sugar free dessert!
Need to add some variety to your breakfast but feel you don't have time for anything more sophisticated that a bowl of cold cereal? Try some yogurt and fruit! Simple, easy and you will be getting protein and carbohydrates (an excellent combination for long lasting energy) and you will be getting calcium which is essential for good bone health. Healthy Tip: Buy plain yogurt and add 5-7 drops of no calorie liquid sweetener. A small 6 ounce container of flavored yogurt can have 25 grams of sugar which is half of the daily recommendation of about 50 grams.
3/4 to 1 cup of yogurt
5-7 drops of vanilla, lemon, or plain sweetener
1/4 cup berries
1. Mix yogurt and sweetener in a small bowl.
2. Top with berries.
3. Quickly eat your breakfast and run out the door!**
**Maybe eaten on the go if necessary
Last night after getting home I found 3 sorry looking limes on my counter. My husband had bought them for me because I love lemons and limes and I'd forgotten to use them! I decided to quickly whip up a batch of limeade to go with dinner using NuNaturals for sweetener. It turned out great and was ready in less than 5 minutes and had no calories!
3 limes, juiced
5 cups water
5-7 drops NuNaturals lemon liquid sweetener
2 NuNaturals dissolveable tablets
1. Squeeze the juice into a pitcher and add 5 cups of cold water.
2. Add the 2 tablets of sweetener and let dissolve and add 5-7 drops of liquid sweetener.
3. Stir and enjoy!
The lime juice adds a healthy dose of vitamin c which will also help you absorb iron. If you are low in iron or fighting anemia have this drink with your spinach, meat, eggs, artichokes, fortified grains and beans to help you absorb even more from these high iron foods.