Browsing Category: Health & Wellness

Loaded Baked Sweet Potato

Lunch is a tough one for me.  It’s an important meal in my book because it has the potential to fuel me through that tough afternoon slump if chosen wisely.  The issue is that I never seem to have great ideas and am often last minuting it.  I like this recipe for a Loaded Baked Sweet Potato found on Tracey’s Culinary Adventures! Not only is it healthy but it can be prepped the night before and warmed up in a cinch!

For the detailed recipe please visit Tracey’s Culinary Adventures.

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Ingredients

  • Sweet Potato
  • Greek yogurt
  • Taco seasoning (homemade is best in my opinion as it’s got less sodium & preservatives)
  • Olive oil (although Tracey’s Culinary Adventures calls for canola)
  • Red bell pepper
  • Red onion, diced
  • Mushrooms, diced
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • pinch of salt
  • Canned black beans
  • Salsa
  • Scallions, thinly sliced
  • Cheese (optional, I’ll be omitting this)

Moroccan Orange & Radish Salad

I’m always looking for new fresh ways to enjoy produce.  This salad sounded amazing to me!  In our local market both radishes and oranges have been looking great and fairly inexpensive.  Per my usual, my one tweak would be to omit the sugar and instead maybe just drizzle a bit of honey.

Ingredients – for full instructions & original recipe please visit Kitchen Riffs

  • 1 or 2 bunches of radishes
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (although the real recipe calls for 1-2 tbsp of sugar)
  • juice of one lemon
  • ~1 tablespoon orange blossom water (optional, but read Headnote on Kitchen Riffs for why you should use it)
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional; not traditional in this recipe, but nice; see Notes on Kitchen Riffs)
  • 3 navel oranges
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves or a dusting of cinnamon to garnish

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Frozen Yogurt Dots

When I first saw this idea I thought, wow my kids will love that.  Then I started thinking, how delicious would those be as a late night snack, or a little after dinner sweet treat?  They are so easy to make, and probably can be ready pretty quickly.  I would love to make these with Greek yogurt, so they can be fat free.  I’m thinking mixing the Greek yogurt with honey as the first one I’d like to try.  You could even make flavor combinations, or you could put a dot of this on top of a slice of banana before you freeze.  That would be delicious!  I found this on OneFrugalChick.com, and it looks like all you have to do is put the yogurt into a plastic bag, snip off a corner with a scissor, and squeeze out little puddles of yogurt onto a baking sheet and freeze!

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Mango Cream – A Healthy Vegan Dessert

Two of my favorite foods combined to make this delicious dessert!  Yup, that’s right mango and coconut milk are the main stars in this velvety pudding like sweet.  This is a great way for me to satisfy my sweet tooth without compromising a healthy diet.

Ingredients – for full recipe please visit Veg Recipes of India

  • mangos
  • coconut milk
  • cinnamon
  • coconut sugar (if desired)

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Arugula Pesto

I love pasta but have been trying to come up with some new healthier ways to enjoy it.  With the emergence of nicer weather lighter food is welcome in our household!  This recipe for Arugula Pesto would be great enjoyed with either brown rice pasta or a whole wheat pasta.  The other nice thing about pesto is there’s no cooking involved so it’s a quick and easy weeknight dinner idea!

Full recipe on Slim Palate

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Mother’s Day Citrus & Herb Sea Salt DIY

Homemade gifts are always so special.  Seasoned salts are such a fun addition to any cooks kitchen which is why I loved this idea!  It’s so simple even young children can help out with this project.

Recipe and idea found on Five & One

Citrus + Herb Sea Salt Recipe

1 cup coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon each of sage, thyme, and, rosemary

1 teaspoon each of lemon and orange zest

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Finely chop herbs and zest and mix with the salt.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, just enough to dry the herbs and zest.  When the salt is cooled you or your child may crush together with your fingers or pulse in a food processor to incorporate the flavors of the salt, herbs, and fruit zest.

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Homemade Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Butter

Almond butter is a filling and healthy way to add some protein and nutrients to your diet.  I typically buy almond butter but have always thought making my own would be a fun and delicious process.  I like this recipe found on Cookie Monster Cooking.  The only thing I would omit is the sugar.  In my opinion almonds are naturally sweet enough!

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Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Butter

Yield: about 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw whole almonds
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar or could also use agave or honey (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring halfway through, until fragrant. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the roasted almonds to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the almonds break down into a smooth creamy butter at your desired consistency, about 6 to 8 minutes. The nuts will go through several stages during this process. During the first few minutes, you’ll need to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl fairly frequently. The almonds will break down into a fine almond meal, then will start to clump together, next will start to form a ball and then will break down into a smooth butter.
  3. Add the salt, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, cinnamon and brown sugar to the bowl and process for a few seconds until incorporated.

DIY Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

There are so many things these days that are harmful to your health.  You don’t think of household cleaners as one of them!  I just recently learned that cleaners, especially the ones that come in spray bottles can be very harmful.  The ones in spray bottles are particularly bad because as you spray them, you are aerosolizing all of the chemicals, and breathing them in.  This is especially bad for little kids, and pets who have fragile lungs.  So, here is a recipe (very similar to the laundry soap recipe from last week) for an all natural cleaner that you can make for very cheap, that is very effective, and far better for your health.

  1. 2 cups hot water
  2. 2 tsp borax
  3. 2 tsp white vinegar
  4. 2 tsp baking soda
  5. 5-6 drops essential oil. (any flavor you want, I like lemon)

Just ad all of those ingredients together in a spray bottle, (you can reuse an old spray bottle from the store bought cleaners you used to use) shake it up, and use as you would a normal cleaner, on the stove, counter tops, the floor, etc.

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Photo from amybayliss.com

 

Spring Salad With Honey Lime Dressing

Salads are an absolute staple around our house!  Over the past several years I’ve experimented quite a lot with homemade dressings and love them so much we’ve done away completely with store bought.  This salad combination found on Ruffles and Truffles looks incredibly simple and delicious.  This would make a fantastic weekday lunch and with the addition of some avocado and a few walnuts or almonds could be quite filling I imagine!

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Ingredients for Salad (adapted from Ruffles & Truffles)

  • Spring Mix
  • Apples
  • Feta (optional)
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Walnuts or Almonds (optional)

Toss ingredients together in a bowl

Ingredients for Honey Lime Dressing (adapted from Ruffles & Truffles)

  • 1/4 cup honey (or could use 1/8 c. raw agave nectar)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup lime juice (about 1/2 of a lime)
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest (or other citrus zest)
  • 1/8 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Mix it all together well and then drizzle on salad!

 

Rooibos Latte

For years I’ve been looking to cut back on my coffee habit.  I love it and still believe in moderation it’s fine but the truth is, it’s highly acidic which really isn’t the healthiest way to begin the day.  In my hunt to find some equally delicious alternatives I found this recipe for a Rooibos Latte on Oh How Civilized. Some of the amazing benefits of Rooibos Tea, a native herb of South Africa, include:

  • High in the super-antioxidant compound quercetin.  Quercetin is beneficial to the heart, helping reduce the risk of various cancers, fighting viruses and is significantly anti-inflammatory.
  • Has a unique set of compounds and nutrients
  • Caffeine free which is much healthier for our bodies and makes it a great after dinner or evening treat
  • Very little tannin so no matter how long you steep it, it won’t get bitter

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ROOIBOS LATTE
Makes 2 cups

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup water
4 teaspoons rooibos (or 2-3 tea bags if you don’t have loose)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup almond milk (or whatever type of milk you prefer)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
honey or stevia (optional)

EQUIPMENT
Saucepan
Electric milk frother
A tall container or saucepan to froth the milk

DIRECTIONS
1. Boil water and take off heat. Steep rooibos for about 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract.
2. Heat milk in a saucepan & pour into a tall container. Whisk to create froth.
3. Pour rooibos, then milk into 2 mugs. Add honey or stevia as needed. Top with cinnamon. Enjoy!