delicious healthy recipes

Monthly Archives: May 2013

I really enjoyed WIAW last week and I have made it a goal to try to incorporate more of them over the summer. It’s really hard though because I am not used to taking a picture of every meal I eat throughout my day (especially snacks) and I keep missing them! Oh well. . at least you can get the gist of yesterday’s meals 🙂

Not pictured: Coffee and a handful of Kashi Go Lean Honey Almond Crunch earlier in the morning before going to the gym

I woke up craving pancakes. They just sounded so good and warm and fluffy. Since I had some leftover canned pumpkin in the fridge from making the cookie pie again for dessert last Friday night, I decided to incorporate it into my pancakes. So I followed Kath Younger’s recipe for pumpkin oatmeal pancakes. They were delicious. Soft and fluffy! I topped mine with a little greek yogurt, chopped apple and a drizzle of peanut butter.
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The pancakes kept me full until around 2 pm! Even then I wasn’t very hungry so I threw together my usual greek salad with a boca burger. It was the same lunch I had last week so I didn’t bother taking a new picture
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A few hours later I snacked on some of the leftover roasted red pepper feta dip and a few honey whole-wheat pretzels
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Dinner was thrown together from ingredients we had on hand because we hadn’t gone grocery shopping yet. I made salads with shredded carrot, red bell pepper and a homemade carrot ginger dressing. Then I topped them with thai frozen salmon burgers that I threw under the broiler until they got crispy and brown. On the side we had mixed brown rice (not pictured).
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Later in the evening I had a small glass of wine with some snap pea crisps (from TJ’s, not pictured) and a handful of Belly Flops (did you know that you can be malformed jelly beans at Big Lots?). I love Belly Flops because usually they are stuck together so if most of the “beans” are actually three or four jelly beans stuck together.
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If I had to pick a favorite meal of the day it would have to be the pancakes. I was pleasantly surprised at how good and filling they were (though an argument could be made for the Belly Flops as well 🙂 ).

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While browsing the hummus selection at Whole Foods a few weeks ago, I stumbled across a line of feta dips produced by Uniquely Greek. I love anything feta based and the tub was in my cart about a second later when I realized that one of the flavors offered was Creamy Buffalo.

Best decision ever.

This dip was amazing. It was creamy and salty with a spicy note from the addition of jalapenos. I drizzled it over lettuce, cherry tomatoes and chopped cucumber for a quick and easy greek salad (and other salads as well).

Then my dip ran out and I wanted to cry. I made a special trip to Whole Foods just to replace my beloved dip. I decided to try the Red Pepper flavor and I like it just as much. It didn’t have the spice of the creamy buffalo. Instead there was a sweet mellow flavor imparted by the roasted red peppers.

When I finished all the dip in about 3 days, instead of rushing to the store in a panic, I realized that I probably should try to save a little money and make my own at home.

After searching the web I found a similiar looking recipe on The Lean Green Bean.

Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip (adapted from the Lean Green Bean)
Ingredients
1 red bell pepper
1 heaping tbsp of chopped garlic
1/2-3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 can of cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup crumbled feta

Instructions

Chop the bell pepper into large pieces and broil until the edges are blackened.
Place bell pepper in a food processor and add all other ingredients (except feta).
Process to desired consistency.

Add the crumbled feta and pulse several times until mixed well.

Note: This dip starts out with a thin texture but once it chills in the fridge it takes on the texture of a thick hummus.
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It was delicious. Not exactly like the dip I bought from Whole Foods because it is a lot healthier (the cream cheese is replaced with greek yogurt and white beans). That's fine with me though because it means I don't have to feel as guilty when I polish off the container in 3 days 😉


I follow too many healthy living/cooking/fitness blogs to count and one thing I have noticed is a lot of them blog about what workouts they are doing or what they are eating for breakfast/lunch/dinner at the moment etc…

I have also noticed a trend of “What I Ate Wednesdays(informally known as WIAW)” a day on which the blogger will post a picture of every meal they ate that day. I was thinking about it and I thought it would be fun to post something a little different and show you all a “typical Tuesday” in my life (note: I say “typical” because my meals are always changing based on what foods I have on hand or am loving at the moment). So. . .

To begin my day I always have the world’ largest cup of coffee with soy milk and a handful of Kashi’s Go Lean Honey Almond Flax cereal (not pictured). I never eat this cereal for breakfast because it is way to crunchy! My family always says it sounds like I am eating bones :(. Often I will sit and read for an hour or so before going for a jog or to the gym. When I return home I am always hungry for breakfast (possibly my favorite meal of the day).

Today it was greek yogurt topped with frozen blueberries (defrosted) and slice of ezekiel bread toast spread with natural peanut butter and sprinkled with a little kosher salt
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I enjoyed this breakfast but I missed my oatmeal. It keeps me full so much longer! My stomach started growling around 1:00 pm so I threw together my new favorite lunch salad. It is sort of a rift on a greek salad with cherry tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, a boca burger for protein and greek yogurt, hummus and pita on the side for dipping.
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Yum! I like this lunch so much that I have eaten it for three days straight.

I spent the afternoon working on internship stuff, listing my textbooks on Amazon and going for a walk with my sister.
Normally, around 6 pm I will make dinner for the fam. Accept I was all alone tonight (a very rare occasion). So I made another salad (I think they are the perfect meal for one because you can throw a bunch of leftovers on lettuce and call it a meal).
In the mix was tilapia, leftover sweet potato, red onions, romaine, red bell pepper and this awesome buffalo feta greek spread I picked up at Whole Foods. I love it so much that I have been putting it on everything! It makes the best salad dressing ever.
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I watched Dancing with the Stars for a while before wanting something crunchy. My newest snack obsession is popcorn. I put a few tablespoons in a paper bag and microwave for 3 minutes. Then I will spray it with EVOO cooking spray and top with parmesan cheese mixed with spices or PB2 (powdered peanut butter). Tonight it was PB2. Popcorn+Little Penguin Cabernet=my favorite evening snack
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Evening snack part two was a few slices of chipotle glazed flank steak straight from the fridge and a chocolate chip cookie (not pictured because it was eaten in like two seconds)
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Like I said there is no “typical” day of meals at my house. Sometimes I eat more or less depending on how hungry/bored/active I am that day. Eating is highly personal and it really depends on what is right for each person.


Taco Soup
I remember the first time I had tortilla soup. It was in an exhibition hall at the Texas State Fair. My family and I stopped to “watch” a vita mix demonstration (I say “watch” because really we were just waiting for the demonstration to be done so we could get a free sample). The man began by making fresh peanut butter with nothing put peanuts and salt. He then moved on to a simple tortilla soup. I seem to remember him throwing a plethora of veggies into the blender as well as some stock and taco seasoning before blending it all at such a high speed and for so long that it heated the soup up. Then he poured the resulting orange mixture into tiny paper cups and doled them out to the expectant crowd.

Reminiscing aside. . . I found myself craving that particular tortilla soup the other day. However, I don’t have a vita mix so I knew I wouldn’t be able to incorporate whole tomatoes and wedges of cabbage like the demonstrator at the fair. After searching for a while I stumbled upon a super simple tortilla soup recipe.

I chose this recipe because I like the idea of adding a smoky flavor to the soup by first charring the onions and jalapeno. I also thought the idea of thickening the soup with crumbled corn tortillas was unique and sounded delicious.

I was right. This soup is amazing. It tastes very similar to what I remember sampling at the Texas State Fair. It was also super simple to make (and there is no vita mix involved). I served our soup with quesadilla wedges that I layered with a little shredded cheddar cheese and some black beans. I highly recommend serving this soup with something to dip into it because it tastes a little like gourmet taco sauce (in a good way). A healthy way to kick a Taco Bell craving!

Creamy Tortilla Soup(Serves 2-3 large bowls or 4 small bowls)

•1 small white or yellow onion, cut into 6 wedges
•3 cloves of garlic (still in the paper)
•1 jalapeño
•olive oil
•salt & pepper
•1 can (14-oz.) fire roasted diced tomatoes
(or about 4-5 fresh roma tomatoes, roast them with the onions & peel skins)
•1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
•1/4 teaspoon dried cumin
•1/2 teaspoon ancho or chipotle chili powder
•1/2 teaspoon agave syrup (or a pinch of sugar)
•1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
•3 cups veggie or chicken broth
•3-4 corn tortillas*, chopped (plus one extra for crispy topping)
•juice of 1 lime

serve with your choice of:
•crispy tortilla strips (sliced from 1 tortilla, toss in olive oil & salt, bake 10 or so minutes)
•crumbled queso fresco (or feta)
•cilantro
•lime wedges, on the side
•more tortillas on the side (optional)
•avocado slices (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On a large baking sheet, spread out the onion slices, the jalapeno (still whole), garlic cloves and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 20-30 minutes until the edges of the onions blacken, tossing them about halfway through. Remove the garlic after about 5 minutes, so it doesn’t burn. Remove the jalapeno when the skin is blackened and blistering.

Place the roasted jalapeno in a small glass bowl with plastic wrap over it (but not touching it). Let it cool for 15 minutes and carefully peel off the skin and remove the stem and seeds. (use utensils if you can, and don’t touch your eye afterward).

In a medium pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil, add the onions, garlic (remove the paper), jalapeno, tomatoes, oregano, cumin, chile powder, a splash of agave or a pinch of sugar, and some salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the tomatoes start to sizzle.

Add a splash of sherry vinegar and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the broth and chopped tortilla pieces and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Transfer to a high speed blender and puree (I used an immersion blender and it worked just fine). Taste and adjust seasonings, adding in a squeeze of lime.

Serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil and the suggested toppings.
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Today I am participating in a pin it party hosted by the Lindsey over at The Lean Green Bean. Here are the basic rules:

All bloggers are welcome to participate! Here’s what you do:
Round up 5 blog posts you’ve written that you would like to see on Pinterest.
Make sure there is a nice, pinable image or photo included in each post.
Write a short post featuring the posts you chose- ie, put 5 nice images & links to the posts all in one place, along with a short description of each post.
On Thursday, publish your post, then visit The Bean and add your post to the linkup! (If you’re just reading this today and still want to participate, just publish in the next few days…I’ll leave the linkup open for about a week!)

So without further adieu here are my five favorite recipes I have made these past few months. . .
1. Carrot Cake Oatmeal
Carrot Cake Oatmeal
http://candacecraves.com/2012/09/23/another-dessert-inspired-breakfast-except-instead-of-pie-it-is-cake/
So delicious and filling. I actually made a cold version of this oatmeal for breakfast this morning and it really is like eating carrot cake for breakfast!
2. Couscous Salad with Chickpeas
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http://candacecraves.com/2012/06/15/a-light-and-summery-meal-you-wont-have-to-heat-your-stove-for/
I can’t wait to make this summery salad when it gets warmer. Perfect paired with white fish or chicken for a quick and healthy summer dinner (also leftovers pack well for lunch the next day)
3. Homemade English Muffins
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http://candacecraves.com/2013/02/03/homemade-english-muffins-no-oven-required/
So much simpler then I imagined and so much tastier then the store bought version
4. Baked Bean and Cornbread Cupcakes
Baked Beans with Cornbread
http://candacecraves.com/2013/01/24/homemade-baked-beans-with-cornbread-topping/
These “cupcakes” are so good that I could eat them every night for dinner (though I don’t think my family would appreciate that very much)
Last but certainly not least. . .
5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
Cookie Pie
The decadent tasting yet “healthy” cookie pie. Oh so gooey and chock full of chocolate chips. What is not to like?



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