Tag Archive: Healthy

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Creamy Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Dip

The best way to be a better cook is find recipes you like and learn to make them your own way. Some months I get lazy and never make anything new–I don’t mind the same lunch every day of the week. But reading blogs help me find recipes good enough to break me out of my rut.

This recipe from Mississippi Kitchen looked too good to pass up. I never buy as much spinach and salad mixins as I should so instead I wanted to take the same flavors and put them in a dip. This has a ton of savory, salty flavor and surprisingly healthy ingredients. You could serve this at a party and they’d never know it’s a bean dip!

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Seasoning should be the last step of this recipe. There’s no right amount of salt–you’ll need to taste it and figure out how much to add based on how salty your ingredients are.

Always taste a sauce or dip with whatever you’re using for dipping; if you’re using vegetables you’ll want the dip to be on the saltier side, while if you’re using seasoned crackers keep it on the bland side.   

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 servings):

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • 4oz feta, crumbled

  • Salt to taste

  • Vegetables for dipping 

Method:

  1. Add the beans to a food processor and pulse until smooth.

  2. Add in the tomatoes, sour cream, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and feta and process.

  3. Slowly add more buttermilk to get the dip to the right consistency while processing. Only add as much as you’d like to make it the right thickness.

  4. When done, season to taste with salt.

  5. Serve at room temperature. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator when not enjoying. 

Vegan PB & J Smoothie

Vegan PB & J Smoothie

I somehow have become a morning exerciser. The first day of waking up, rolling out of bed, and putting on gym shorts instead of a pot of coffee was rough. The second was just as rough. But every day since it’s gotten a little easier.

After working out I’ve been more inclined to make a smoothie than bowl of oatmeal or anything else. It’s quick and easy to drink when getting ready for work. I’ve been trying different mixes to keep things interesting every time and this one is a winner.

It has the classic flavor of the inside of a PB & J, just in liquid form. It’s perfectly sweet and even packs some greens in it, too, if you opt in for the spinach(which you won’t be able to see or taste fully blended–I promise). 

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If you’re not a fan of peanut butter or just don’t have any lying around try making this with almond butter or even coconut butter.      

Vegan PB & J Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 meal serving or 2 snack servings):

  • 1 medium banana

  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

  • 1/3 cup frozen spinach

  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup water

Method:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a high-power blender. 

  2. Pulse briefly and then blend until the ingredients make a creamy smoothie. Add water if necessary to make smooth and creamy.

  3. Pour into a tall glass and drink cold. 

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

Now that it’s no longer cold out it’s hard to get excited about a bowl of oatmeal or stove-cooked breakfast in the morning. It’s a lot easier to down a quick smoothie–especially if it’s chocolate. 

You’ll be surprised how much this smoothie tastes like a chocolate covered strawberry, especially since it’s fat-free. There are no chocolate chips in the recipe but I wouldn’t stop you from adding a few on top. 

Personally I think chocolate and raspberries or chocolate and blueberries go together just as well as chocolate and strawberries. I’d recommend trying this one out with any berry you love most. 

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

If you‘re a grown-up and don’t have chocolate milk you can use regular milk and add a little cocoa powder and a tablespoon of sugar or honey. Adding protein powder or chia seeds will help make this more fulling for a complete meal.   

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 serving):

Method:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a high-power blender. 

  2. Pulse briefly and then blend until the ingredients make a creamy smoothie.

  3. Pour into a tall glass and drink cold. 

Raw Chocolate Fudge Pie

Rich raw chocolate fudge pie

If there’s any way to make peace after 2 weeks of not posting it’s this recipe.

Spending the weekend with friends or family is great but usually leads to a week without recipes. Last weekend was the exception. My friend Eury visited and stayed with me and insisted(she’s going to hate that word–”suggested”) we make the raw fudge pie recipe she’s been working on.

Whether you’re gluten-free or gluten-full, vegan or a meat lover, there’s no denying raw desserts are just better than regular ones. They’re always fudgier, creamier, more flavorful, and easy to convince yourself they’re healthy so you can go back for seconds.

Rich raw chocolate fudge pie

With permission I’m sharing Eury’s recipe which’ll easily win over the staunchest crowd. The cashew filling has the same taste and texture as any milk chocolate fudge.  If you do not care about the health benefits of eating raw and only make this because raw desserts have amazing flavors and textures, feel free to substitute the maple syrup for honey, corn syrup, or simple syrup. 

Raw Chocolate Fudge Pie

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 16 servings):

For the crust:

  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Method:

  1. Pulse the almonds and walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Add in the syrup, cocoa powder, and vanilla for the crust and continue processing until it forms a mixed dough.
  3. Press the dough into a 9-inch pan until the bottom’s about 1/4-inch thick.
  4. For the filling, process the cashews into a fine powder. Make sure not to over blend them into cashew butter.
  5. Add in the maple syrup and water and continue blending until smooth.
  6. Add in the rest of the ingredients and process until it forms a smooth liquid filling.
  7. Pour the filling over the crust and spread into an even layer.
  8. Refrigerate for ~4 hours until the center has set. Cut with a sharp knife into servings. Refrigerate when not enjoying.

Peanut Butter Banana Refuel Smoothie

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Marathon Monday is just a week away. Growing up in Massachusetts, it was always a big deal. I was shocked to find out it wasn’t actually a national holiday and most people work on Marathon Monday.

This year Stonyfield Greek is the official yogurt of the 2014 Boston Marathon. They asked their Clean Plate Club members to write how Stonyfield Greek helps us through the marathon of life.

When I was marathon training, there were 4 foods I constantly ate: Peanut butter, bananas, oatmeal, and greek yogurt. After so many weeks you learn the little ways to not make every snack or meal taste like the last.

Even though I haven’t registered for a marathon since 2011, I still make working out and running a routine. Making a smoothie instead of a meal is an easy, tasty way to refuel and move on to the next part of my day.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

I never get tired of this recipe. It’s not too sweet or overly peanuty; it’s just the right balance of ingredients to be healthy and perfectly flavorful.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 big or 2 small servings):

  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 5.oz Stonyfield vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6-8 ice cubes

Method:

  1. Combine the banana, peanut butter, yogurt, and milk in a blender and mix until smooth.
  2. Add in the ice cubes and continue blending until they’re completely crushed and mixed in.
  3. Pour and serve cold.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Packed Lunch: Rice & Bean Bowl

Homemade rice and bean bowls for a healthy and affordable packed lunch

I’m one of those people at the office who brings in lunch every day. The same lunch every single day. The Huffington Post wrote an article about us.

Sure packing a lunch every day can get tiresome, but it’s cheaper and healthier to do it yourself. It’s hard to argue with that.

If you’re on board the lunch-packing train, even just a few days a week, this lunch will definitely keep you satisfied. It’s just as good as a Chipotle bowl but costs about $2 or less. It’s also perfect for packing on a Sunday night to have later in the week since you don’t have to worry about sogging bread or spoiling meat.

For a simple step-by-step photo guide, scroll below the recipe.

Rice & Bean Bowl

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 4 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 lunch):

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 cup(1/2 can) black beans
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen vegetables
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese

Method:

  1. In a microwavable bowl, layer the rice, beans, vegetables, salsa, and cheese in that order.
  2. Cover tight with a lid. Don’t keep at room temperature for more than 6 hours.
  3. When ready, microwave on full power for 3-4 minutes.

An easy, healthy and affordable meal you can pack for lunch every day

Buffalo Cream Cheese Chex Dip + Giveaway

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I love being challenged to make recipes with a few ingredients(a la Chopped). I think it’s easier than starting with a blank canvas. Chex & General Mills challenged me to make something with Chex cereal and Frank’s hot sauce—an odd combination for sure. But immediately I had an idea and I’m happy it turned out so well.

This recipe’s a twist on a savory cheese ball and my vegetarian buffalo chicken dip. The last time I had that dip was for the Super Bowl; I think this one’s going to be the winner for college basketball and any other party I go to this month. It’s just as tasty but a little simpler because there’s no baking involved—perfect for bringing to a party where you won’t be able to heat anything up.

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I debated which Chex cereal to suggest making this with. Using rice or corn makes it gluten-free, but some people might prefer wheat. I would recommend matching it to whatever cracker you’re serving with this. If they’re corn-based, go with corn, wheat-based go with wheat, etc.

Buffalo Cream Cheese Chex Dip

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Serves about 8-10 people):

  • 1 8oz block of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cannellini beans
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s RedHot buffalo wing hot sauce
  • 2/3 cup crushed rice, corn, or wheat Chex cereal
  • Chips and vegetables for dipping

Method:

  1. Combine the cream cheese, cannellini beans, shredded cheese, hot sauce, and 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon crushed Chex cereal in a large bowl.
  2. Using a potato masher, forcefully mix all of the ingredients until it forms a smooth, even-colored dip.
  3. Using your hands and a clean, non-stick surface, form the dip into a ball.
  4. Lightly bread the outside of the cheese ball with with the remaining Chex cereal.
  5. Serve at room temperature with tortilla chips and vegetables to dip.

Chex-Franks

Giveaway:

Want to make your own? You can get the same inspiration I did to make this pictured above. Just do one or multiple entries as listed below and I’ll pick a winner at 11:59pm on Sunday, March 9th.

Good luck!

4 Easy Nutella Recipes

I have two half-eaten jars of Nutella in my kitchen. I think I have a problem. (I need more Nutella.)

There’s a store near me that sells imported European jars for less than $4($3 each if you buy 3). At that price it’s hard not to turn into an addict. Not that Nutella on oatmeal or bagels could ever get old, but using it in recipes helps mix it up from time to time.

Here are 4 recipes that take about as much time to make as it does to eat an entire jar. Also, all of these recipes are 4 ingredients or less, so there’s no reason not to enjoy them all. Maybe even in one day.

Easy Nutella Brownies

Easy Nutella Brownies are exactly what they sound like. You can instantly make any brownie mix into Nutella brownies with just Nutella and eggs. There’s no reason to make any other kind.

Nutella Cheesecake Strawberries

Nutella Cheesecake Strawberries impressed everyone the last time I made them, which isn’t bad for something with just 4 ingredients. The hardest part is slicing and stuffing the strawberries, but it’s fine if you have a little patience.

Nutella Yogurt Dip

Nutella Yogurt Dip will make you feel a little better about eating Nutella by the spoonful. It’s just as tasty but a little more healthy. I like it with fruit and veggies but graham crackers and pretzel sticks work just as well.

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Gluten-Free Nutella Cookies have been my afternoon snack since I made them. Since they’re crispy and chewy when they’re done I like to break them up and add it to yogurt. That practically makes them a health food, right? 

Healthy Mocha Frappe

Healthy Mocha Frappe

As a Clean Plate Club member Stonyfield sent me their 2 newest flavors of Greek yogurt, cafe latte and black cherry, as well as their re-perfected traditional flavors. I was super excited because if there’s one flavor of yogurt I’ve been wanting for the past couple of years it’s coffee(seriously, just check my Twitter archive). You gotta try this #StonyfieldGreek!

The cafe latte won’t be for everyone but it was just what I was hoping for—sweet, slightly bitter from the coffee, and a little tangy. I liked the black cherry, too, but thought the cafe latte was more unique and delicious.

This mocha frappe is just like any fancy Starbucks drink you could get but just a little healthier. Using Greek yogurt instead of whole milk keeps the thick, rich consistency but with added protein and 0% of the fat. Try having it for dessert or as a breakfast drink when the weather starts heating up.

Healthy Mocha Frappe

Getting the right amount of ice to liquid is the hardest part of making a good smoothie. Play around to find what works best for the blender or food processor that you’re using.

Healthy Mocha Frappe

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 serving):

  • 1 container Stonyfield cafe latte Greek
  • 2 Tablespoons black coffee
  • 1 1/2 Tabespoons maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 8 ice cubes

Method:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processer.
  2. Pulse until the ingredients are well-mixed and the ingredients are fluffy.
  3. Pour into a clean glass. Garnish with whipped cream as desired.

4 Healthy New Year’s Recipes

New Year’s resolutions are hard. It’s easy to shoot to high and make resolutions impossible to keep up with; the best kind are little changes you can work into your everyday routine and maintain without even thinking about it.

I didn’t make a food or fitness resolution this year. Mine is to get whiter teeth, so I bought special toothpaste and mouthwash. We’ll see how that goes with the horde of coffee and chocolate I eat.

If you did make a resolution to eat healthier, here are 4 simple recipes you can work into your every week to hit that goal. All of them have common, simple ingredients and are probably foods you already eat, so working them into your diet should be a breeze.

Breakfast:

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Low-Fat Cinnamon Raisin Granola is a great quick and filling alternative to heftier breakfasts like bagels and cream cheese or a donut. You can make a big batch on the weekend and portion out servings for the weekday mornings to grab and go.

Snack:

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Fruity Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip will satisfy your sweet tooth in the afternoon and still be tasty enough to enjoy. It’s a simple mix of yogurt, peanut butter, and sweetener that’s good for kids or grown-ups.

Entree:

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Easy Broccoli Frittata is another recipe you can make in bulk over the weekend and reheat throughout the week whenever you’re less than motivated to make a meal. The eggs and cheese are full of protein while the broccoli adds a boost of healthy nutrients, too. Add a simple side and you’ve got a whole dinner.

Dessert:

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Raw Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cake proves that you can still have dessert even when you’re eating healthy. The bulk of this “cake” is dates and hazelnuts, making for a delicious and nutritious end to a meal.

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? What was it?