Thursday, October 30, 2014

Meatloaf, Beatloaf.

Meatloaf, beatloaf.

I don't think there's much I can tell you about this particular dish that you don't already know.  It's an American staple and takes most of us back to our childhood.

I'm happy I've found a healthier way to make it without detracting from the flavor and nostalgic feeling of the meatloaf.  Take away the ketchup, add some herbs and spices and change the meat from beef to turkey or chicken.  And for the love of God, saute those veggies before you add them to the meat.  Jeez.

I hope you enjoy my take on your moms classic dinner!  And pair with this amazing Whipped Maple Butternut Squash and it's a revelation!

Herbed Chicken Meatloaf

1 lb ground chicken
1 tsp chopped parsley
1 tsp thyme
1 egg white or 2 tbsp greek yogurt
2 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
1 medium onion, minced
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp water

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a pan to medium heat and add the olive oil.  Add the onions to the pan and saute until soft (Add some of the water and steam if they start sticking to the pan).  Allow to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, parsley, time, egg white or greek yogurt, bread crumbs and the onions.  Spray a baking dish with coconut oil spray (or whatever you have) and form the meat mixture into a loaf shape.  Top with a little bit more bread crumbs if you like.

Bake for 30 minutes. Slice and serve!


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Cool Hwhip (Not a typo)

I am so in love with squash right now.  They replace every fattening and delicious starch you can think of!  Sweet potatoes, spaghetti, mashed potatoes...squash can fill any void and satisfy any craving.  That sounds I like it even more.

Roast it, mash it, stuff it, fritter it, grate it, bake it, boil it, just cook it and eat it.

I knew I was making Herbed Chicken Meatloaf  tonight but I just wasn't in the market for heavy mashed potatoes tonight and with my husband working late and a 13 month old attached to my legs I just didn't have the time to peel and chop.

This recipe was PERFECTION.   The satisfaction of mashed potatoes with half the carbs and calories and twice the flavor.  Enjoy it!

Maple Whipped Butternut Squash

1 large butternut squash
Coconut oil spray
Sea salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or whatever you have on hand)
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp pure maple syrup

Preheat your oven to 400. Cut the top and bottom off the squash and cut in half (be careful, they're bastards).  Scoop out the seeds and spray with coconut oil.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet CUT SIDE DOWN.  Bake for an hour.

Place the butter,half the almond milk, thyme and syrup in a large mixing bowl.  When the squash is done, remove from the oven and scoop the flesh from the skin immediately and place into the large bowl with the rest of the ingredients.  Whip with a hand mixer for 1 minute or until smooth.  Add more milk if needed.

Tip- Honey would be a great replacement for the syrup, just don't use as much.  Also, any homey herbs (sage, rosemary) would work.

(21 Day Fixers- Good news!! This counts as GREEN! (And a tsp for the butter)

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Something for the Sweet Tooth!

My tooth is more of a salty one.  I could eat Doritos, chips, pretzels, popcorn, all day.  And french fries.  Especially french fries.

When I do get a sugar craving I have a few recipes in my arsenal to avoid going to the store and grabbing a candy bar.  Besides my Healthy Pumpkin Cookies,  there's also this awesome Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie recipe!

But last night I was dying for a cannoli!  There are a ton of recipes going around for Greek Yogurt cookie dip but I find those too sour from the yogurt.  I started making it with Ricotta instead, and last night I came up with this little gem!  It was AMAZING.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Cannoli Dip with Cinnamon Chips
Serves 2

1 whole wheat pita cut into chips
Coconut oil spray

2 tsp dark chocolate chips
2 tsp honey
3/4 cup (1 red) ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp cocoa powder

Heat the oven to 375.  Spray the pitas with coconut oil and then sprinkle cinnamon. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until crisp.  Keep an eye on them, you don't want them to burn!

While they're cooking, mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl until fully combined.

When the chips are cool, eat with the dip!  YUM!!

Tip- Add a little melted peanut butter in there for something extra!

(21 Day Fixers- I split this with my husband so it came out to 1 yellow, 1 yellow treat replacement, 1 red)

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Don't Tussle with My Brussels.

I don't even know what that means.

I really think that most people don't like these little cabbage heads because they've never had them roasted.  I LOVE brussels sprouts roasted in the oven.  A little olive oil, sea salt and pepper and let it go to town for 45 minutes at 400.  But that takes toooooooo long!

I wanted to make them more quickly and this recipe was the result.  A little bacon for saltiness, some honey for sweetness...Heaven. I'm hoping if you're not a fan of Brussels, you will be after you try this.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Honey

2 slices of turkey bacon
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, stem removed and sliced in half
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup water
2 tsp raw honey

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Start by crisping up the bacon in a pan on medium heat with 1 tsp olive oil  (I cooked it fully, then chopped it up but you can do it the other way too.  Just as long as its crisp, and chopped).

Remove the bacon from the pan and add the other two tsp of olive oil.  Add the sprouts SLICED SIDE DOWN.  This gives them that beautiful caramelized, brown sear and believe me- you don't want to miss that.  Let them sit in the pan without touching them for 3-5 minutes or until brown.  Mix them all up in the pan and add the half cup of water and put a lid on the pan.  Allow to steam until the water has dissolved or until the sprouts are softened.  Take the lid off of the pan and if there is more water, let it reduce out.  When there is NO MORE WATER in the pan, add the honey and bacon and mix to combine.

And enjoy!

Tip- Obviously some good salty pork bacon would be awesome with this too.  Add some toasted pine nuts or walnuts as well for a little bit of a crunch!  And try with this awesome Balsamic Crock Pot Chicken !!

(21 Day Fixers- count 1 green container as 1 green and 1 tsp.  I'm not counting the turkey bacon, there wasn't enough to measure!)

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Crock the Pot.

This recipe is just about the easiest, and yummiest, crock pot chicken recipe.  To be honest, I just dumped a whole bunch of things I had on hand in the crock pot and it came out amazing. (That's usually how these things go.)

I bought the cutest crock pot from Amazon before I moved to FL, and I'm so glad I did.  It was inexpensive, and it's the best option for warm, cozy dinners that you don't have to spend too much time on.  And, it's totes adorbs.

(I'm also going to give you this magical Pulled Pork recipe.  I made it for my husbands birthday, and huge batches for my sons 1st birthday and it went over really well.  OR do I just like imbedding links? Hmm.. )

Anyway, here it is!

Balsamic Crock Pot Chicken

2-3 Chicken breasts (frozen or thawed)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 onion sliced
A few garlic cloves crushed
1 cup chicken stock or water
4 plum tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
Sea salt and pepper

Throw all ingredients except tomatoes in the slow cooker and cook on high for 6 hours, on low for 8. Add tomatoes the last hour.

I served this particular dish with steamed broccoli and parmesan, and quinoa pilaf.  

Tip- I made it again recently, and you have to try it with these Brussels Sprouts

(21 Day Fixers- It's our lucky day, all that flavor with all free ingredients!  Count the onions as a green, and chicken as a red.  Enjoy! ) 

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Friday, October 24, 2014

I always hated when Rachael Ray used to say "Sammy" instead of Sandwich. It really used to drive me crazy.

I guess things always change with age, and now I think it's adorable!  Anyway, I really can't think of anything better on a cool fall (or balmy Florida) day.  When you think of these sandwiches they're toasted in butter, with tons of melty gooey cheese.  As they should be, who doesn't want that?

Luckily, these items in moderation came out to be just as delicious and satisfying.A little low sodium ham and turkey, and a tiny bit of butter or cooking spray gets the job done just as well!   And they were perfectly paired with my Roasted Leek and Potato Soup  but would obviously be just as good with some yummy Chicken Noodle or Roasted Tomato Soup.  Yum, I really need to branch out on my soup recipes.


Toasted Ham and Cheese Sammy

2 slices Ezekiel or whole grain bread
2 slices low sodium ham
2 slices low sodium turkey
1/4 cup (1 blue) shredded mozzarella or cheddar
Dijon mustard

Start by heating a non-stick skillet to medium heat.  Add the butter or spray to the pan, and place the bread in the pan.  Sprinkle half the cheese on top of one slice and then add the other half to the other slice.  Allow the bread to brown, and the cheese to melt.  Remove from the pan and place on a baking sheet.  Place the turkey on one slice and the ham on the other.  Place in the oven under the broiler for about 2 minutes or until the bread is browned on top.  Remove from the oven, drizzle some dijon in there and put the sandwich together!


Tip- Sauerkraut.  Am I right?

(21 Day Fixers- This sandwich counts as 2 yellow, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 tsp)

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

More Stuff.

Get it?  I stuffed some more stuff.  Are you surprised by now?

This was my first attempt at stuffing a pork tenderloin!  I'd never tried it before, honestly because it made me nervous!  But I'm so happy I did it, and I'm even more happy I was moderately successful.
If you're not comfortable handling molesting raw meat, you can ask your butcher to butterfly it for you! Then you stuff it, roll it up and you're done.  If you want to try it like I did, this is the tutorial I used for the method.  I did not, however, wrap it in caul fat.  I didn't even watch that part because it sounded too tempting.

I also decided to stuff this bad boy with Mediterranean flair.  Truthfully, I had a bit of leftover goat cheese to use up and I knew it would taste awesome with the pork and the rest of the flavors.  I also did not use twine to bind it, which left it open to fall apart.  I was lucky it didn't, so I'll definitely be working with the twine next time.

Not the easiest recipe, but not the hardest either!  Enjoy!

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin
2 cups spinach
1 half red onion, sliced thin
4 oz soft goat cheese
2 tomatoes, sliced and seeds removed

Spread goat cheese on the pork loin, then the tomato, red onion and spinach.  Roll the loin up around the ingredients until it is tightly wrapped.  Then tie with twine or wrap tightly in tin foil or saran wrap and refrigerate for an hour (at least).

Heat a pan to medium high heat with 2 tsps olive oil.  Unwrap your pork loin and sear each side until browned.  If your loin is twined, add to a baking dish.  It it isn't, place in tin foil and wrap tightly.  Please in the oven at 375 for 45 minutes (this was a small loin.  Add time if your loin is bigger).

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.  I served this with sauteed Brussels sprouts and a baked potato!

Tip-Some low sodium ham, spinach and provolone would be amazing stuffed in some pork loin.  Try it out!  (I'm going to next time for sure!)

(21 Day Fixers- I used my best judgment on this since I didn't want to destroy the pork trying to measure it.  I counted two slices as 1 red, 1 blue, 1 tsp.  The vegetables wilted down so much inside the pork, I didn't count them)

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Monday, October 20, 2014

I could eat my weight in French Fries.  And yours.

My husband told me this dinner was better then 5 Guys.  I kid you not!  (He may have been lying...but I choose to believe him).

This meal actually reminded me of the days at my Mom's house when I was hungover and needed comfort food but I was too hungover to actually go out and get it.  So I'd make a veggie burger or something and some oven fries.  And I was cured!

A lot of people think ground turkey is boring, but it's only as boring as you make it!  I prefer it over ground beef for sure, it's so versatile and SO much better for you.  The addition of ricotta cheese adds the moisture you need and the Dijon adds a little bit of background flavor.  You will be addicted! My husband had his on a whole grain bagel, I didn't even need the bun (And I love buns.  I'm not going to say that I don't mean butts cause I love those too.)

Good For Your Thighs Burger N Fries

Turkey Burgers-

1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
1 tbsp ricotta cheese
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/8 cup (1/2 blue container) Feta Cheese
1/4 of a small avocado, sliced

Heat a large pan to medium high heat.  Spray a pan with coconut oil spray (or whatever you have). Mix the turkey with ricotta and Dijon until combined.  Form into 4 patties.  When the pan is hot, add the burger to the pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side.  Add feta to the top and a little water to the pan to steam.  Slice avocado and place on top when you're ready to serve and enjoy!


3 small potatoes, sliced into fries and soaked in cold water
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
Sprinkle sea salt and pepper

Remove the potatoes from the cold water and dry thoroughly. Add to a bowl with spices and olive oil.  Toss to coat.  Lay in one layer on a parchment or tin foil lined cookie sheet that has been lightly sprayed with Pam or coconut oil.  Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, flip fries over.  Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until browned.  You can broil for a few minutes at the end if you like them a little more brown.

I served these magical foods with some green beans sauteed with garlic and onions.

I hope you enjoy as much as I do!!

Tip-Some bleu cheese and bacon would be killer on this!! (Not as healthy though...but amazing.)

(21 Day Fixers- I measured my burger out equal 2 red, 1 blue and the Fries are 1 yellow and 1 tsp. )

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

This is gonna sound crazy...

But cauliflower makes the best cheese sauce.  Really, it's true.  Cauliflower is the latest trend vegetable, it does ANYTHING.  It turns into pizza crust, rice, and now...cheese sauce.

I was given a challenge in my Just A Mommy With MS group to post healthy macaroni and cheese. (I do a Healthy Recipe Friday there) and it took me a week or two to figure this one out.  I had seen an alfredo recipe using steamed cauliflower so I decided to try it out with macaroni and cheese!  I'm so happy to say I was successful, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Cauliflower Mac N Cheese

1 cup cauliflower steamed in chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup cottage cheese
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Once the cauliflower is steamed, add it to the blender with a bit of the cooking liquid.  Add cottage cheese, cheddar and a splash of milk with some pepper and a pinch of salt.  Blend until smooth and pour over your favorite pasta (I used whole grain penne).

Tip: You can omit the shredded cheddar, add some Parmesan and a bit of garlic if you'd like.  Alfredo!!

(21 Day Fixers- This serves 2 yellow containers of pasta.  Total-1 green, 2 yellow, 1 red)

Healthy Pumpkin All The Things Part III.

This is also a lesson in my Special Sunday Brunches.  I really just like to treat myself (and my husband) from time to time!  This isn't something you're going to want to make and eat every day (or maybe you do) but it's a wonderful treat!

The catch is that the recipe includes 1 tbsp brown sugar.  I KNOW.  The Devil Sugar.  But seriously, it's 1/2 tbsp per serving on a special occasion!  Are you with me? I knew you would be, you saucy minx.

There's something about Apple and Pumpkin together though.  It's so satisfying!  They truly do belong together!

Pumpkin French Toast with Spiced Apples 
(2 servings)

2 apples (peeled, cored, and chopped)
1 tsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

4 slices of sprouted grain or whole grain bread
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp pumpkin puree

In a saucepan, melt the butter then add the apples, butter, brown sugar, honey and pumpkin pie spice. Let saute together over medium heat until the apples are soft and the sauce has become reduced down and gooey.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin.  Dip the bread into the egg mixture and transfer to a hot non-stick pan at med-high heat.  Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side.

Stack your French toast and pour the apples on top!


Tip-  This recipe would work for just about any fruit. I bet regular french toast with spiced peaches and blueberries would be fantastic!

(21 Day Fixers- My serving was 2.5 yellow (I'm counting the .5 yellow for the sugar content), 1/2 red, 1 purple, 1/2 tsp.  You can omit the brown sugar and use a little cinnamon with Stevia if you're a stricter Fixer then I ;) )

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Casserole is just French for Love.

That's not actually true, but it should be.  I love casseroles, even though I hardly ever make them!  They're warm, and rich, and creamy and gooey and crunchy, and salty and ALL of those words mean love.

I'm not even sure where this recipe originated in my brain, I had never had Tuna Noodle Casserole before I made this up!  I had an extra large can of tuna, my husband was away on a business trip and I just wanted something comforting and easy.  So this is what I came up with!

It does take a few minutes longer then traditional Tuna Noodle Casserole, but I think it should!  I think if you want something comforting and yummy that it should be a labor of love!  If something comes to easy, it's probably not good for you!

Tuna Noodle Casserole:

½ box of whole grain penne (or whatever you like) 
2 tsp organic butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, minced
½ stalk celery, minced
4 cups Chopped vegetables (I used zucchini and carrot)
1 ½ cups chicken stock
½ cup nonfat milk
1 tsp fresh thyme (optional- I like to add to homey dishes)
1 tablespoon corn starch
½ cup cold water
1 large can of chunk white no-sodium tuna fish
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Whole wheat bread crumbs
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta until almost cooked through. Drain and set to the side.

Melt butter and oil in a pan. Add onion and celery. Mix until soft, add chopped vegetables and stir. Let soften for a few minutes, then add chicken stock, milk and thyme. Bring to a low simmer.

Mix corn starch and water in a small bowl, and stir into vegetable mixture. Bring back to simmer and let it go for 5-10 minutes, whisking every now and then.

Once it reaches the desired thickness, add drained tuna and cheddar cheese. Stir in pasta.
Pour into a baking dish, and sprinkle some bread crumbs on top. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes and serve. 


Tip:  You can omit the corn starch and water and add some whole wheat flour to the chopped vegetables, oil and butter and create a roux.  Then whisk in chicken stock, milk and thyme!

(21 Day Fixers: I measured by the green container- my serving was 2 green containers full.  The breakdown for that would be 2 green, 2 yellow, 1/4 blue, 1 teaspoon, 1 red.  Not an exact science, but should be pretty close)

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Big, Bold, Blam.

As a home cook/foodie, I definitely like to branch out with my flavors.  But, I have a huge love affair with the BIG BOLD flavors of Thai, Asian, and Mediterranean foods.  Not only because they taste great and are so easy to adapt but also because they're usually so fresh tasting, and don't weigh you down like heavy gravies or sauces might!  The flavors are bright and happy, and that makes me bright and happy !

The use of peanut butter in this recipe might give you pause, but please trust me!  It adds such a solid and creamy back flavor to this fish, you won't be sorry you tried it!

Spicy Thai Peanut Tuna with Gingered Quinoa

Four 4 oz. Tuna steaks
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp Sriracha (more or less is just fine)
2 tsp pure maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup water

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and marinate the fish for 1/2 hour.  Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium high heat and spray a little coconut oil.  Sear the fish for 2 minutes on each side, spooning a little of the marinade over top at the end. (I cooked these med rare-med.  If you like them more rare, cook for 1 minute.  If you like them less rare, try 3 minutes)

Gingered Quinoa

1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp olive or coconut oil
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup chicken broth

(I used a rice cooker but you could follow the same method on your stovetop).  Allow oils to warm up in the bottom of your rice cooker, then add the ginger and garlic.  Let saute for a few minutes until softened.  Add quinoa, soy sauce, water and chicken broth.  Cover the rice cooker and cook as usual.

I served with steamed broccoli with a little orange zest and garlic.

Tips:  This could very easily be translated to chicken, or shrimp.  You'd also have the option to pour all of the marinade in with the protein and allow to thicken, then it would be yummy over some brown rice!

(21 Day Fixers- My entire plate was 2 red, 2 teaspoons, 1.5 yellows, 1 green.  If you use the Tip offered above and use the marinade to make a sauce, please increase your teaspoons accordingly).

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Because sandwiches.

I don't really have any more of an explanation then that!  Sandwiches=Good.  Sandwiches with Avocado and bacon?=THE BEST.

Turkey and Avocado Club

2 slices of toasted Ezekiel, or whole grain bread
3 slices of low fat, low sodium turkey breast
2 slice turkey bacon, cooked
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 tsp greek yogurt or hummus
Romaine lettuce
Cucumber, sliced thin

Spread the greek yogurt or hummus on one side, and lay the avocado out on the other side. Add the turkey and bacon, then the romaine and cucumber.


Tip: Add some ham and make it a Country Club!  Add some sunflower seeds too!

(21 Day Fixers- 2 yellow, 1 red, 1 green, 1 blue)

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Put your hand up on my nip.  ParsNIP, that is.

I've been repeating that tag line in my head for the last hour and it keeps cracking me up.

Anyway, parsnips.  You need to get all up in that.  I never had a parsnip in my life until I started dating an Englishman who loved them.  I've heard them called carrots with attitude and that's actually pretty accurate.  They have a semi-sweet flavor, and are amazing roasted in the oven with a little bit of olive oil.   But when they're mashed or pureed, they have a starchy quality a lot like a potato.

As such, they make a great replacement for mashed potatoes.  They have almost half the calories and carbohydrates as potatoes and twice the fiber and nutrients.  For real, try them.  You won't be sorry you did!

Parsnip Mash with Goat Cheese and Thyme

4 large parsnips
4 oz goat cheese
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup chicken broth
3 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring chicken broth and water to a boil.  Add peeled and chopped parsnips. Boil for about 30 minutes or until fork tenders.

Drain parsnips and reserve some of the cooking liquid.  Place parsnips in the blender with goat cheese, thyme, butter, and salt and pepper.  Blend until smooth.  (You want a thicker consistency, add a little of the cooking liquid until you get a consistency you like).

Tip:  Eat this with Roasted Balsamic Dijon Chicken and some steamed greens like spinach or swiss chard.

(21 Day Fixers- there is much debate over whether a parsnip is a green or a yellow.  It's a yellow, the carbs and fiber content is too high to be considered a vegetable.  I'm eating my words on this because I called parsnips a green for so long.  I'm very sorry! 1 green container serving of parsnips would be considered 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 tsp)

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I don't actually believe in soul mates, as far as relationships go.  I think I married the right person and everything, I just don't believe in mating souls.  Sounds gross.

I do believe in soul mates in terms of everything else.  I believe in finding your soul mate workout, junk food, alcoholic beverage, etc.  I'm bringing all of this up because this recipe is my soul mate marinade.  I have used this marinade on chicken, fish, pork, turkey, everything.  I have yet to find something that this marinade doesn't compliment.

It's tangy, sweet, acidic, salty, creamy....IT. IS. EVERYTHING.

Love it. Hope you do too.

Balsamic Dijon Roasted Chicken

2 chicken breasts
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tsp dry italian herbs (or fresh thyme)
1 tiny squeeze honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, herbs and honey in a bowl with a lid or tupperware container.  Whisk together and drizzle in the olive oil.  Place chicken in the marinade and mix up to coat.  Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for as long as you can.

Place chicken in a baking dish and pour marinade on top.  Bake for 30-40 minutes at 375.


Tip: Enjoy this chicken with Parsnip Mash and some sauteed greens.  You don't even know.

(21 Day Fixers-  1 piece of chicken counts as 2 red, 2 tsp)

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Does Master Chef make anyone else hungry?

This recipe was from the Monday's I spend with my husband watching Master Chef.  I watch a lot of cooking shows (obviously something I'm into) but this is the only one he'll watch with me.  The only problem is when we'd watch it and get hungry!  And as I'm trying to lose weight and get healthy...chips and ice cream aren't exactly on the menu.

I've always made these pita chips, and believe me they've been a lifesaver during this transition!  Sometimes you just need something crunchy and salty!

Pita Chips with Ranch Dip and Roasted Chick Peas

Pita Chips-

2 whole wheat pitas cut into wedges
2 tsp olive oil
Garlic powder, onion powder, italian seasoning

Heat the oven to 375.  Toss the pita wedges with some of the spices and olive oil until coated.  Lay out in one layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle some Parmesan on each one. Bake for 10 minutes or until crunchy.

Ranch Dip-

1 cup Greek Yogurt
2 tsp each garlic powder and onion powder
1 tbsp of chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped chives
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients with a whisk and chill.

Roasted Chick Peas:

1 can chick peas
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, cumin
1/4 tsp paprika

Drain and rinse chick peas.  Dry thoroughly.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl until chick peas are covered.  Spread on a baking sheet and roast at 400 for 35-40 minutes (until crunchy)


Tip: The ranch dressing is also great with raw veggies!

(21 Day Fixers- 4 pita chips is equal to 1 yellow, 1 tsp.  Ranch Dip is red, and measure chick peas out in a yellow container and count 1 yellow, 1 tsp)

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Can I say something crazy?

Cauliflower makes the best cheese sauce.  I know, it's bizarre.  Cauliflower is becoming one of the new trendy vegetables; it does anything we want it to!  It can become a pizza crust, rice and now a creamy, delicious cheese sauce.

I was given a challenge in my Just A Mommy With MS group on Facebook to come up with a healthy alternative to macaroni and cheese.  (I do Healthy Recipe Friday in that group) I had seen a recipe with steamed cauliflower to make Alfredo sauce, so I thought I could try to turn that over into a cheese sauce.  And I'm so glad I did, it really makes a creamy and rich sauce.  You'd never believe it's mostly veggies! (Great way to sneak it to your kids!)

I hope you like it as much as I do!

Cauliflower Mac N Cheese-

1 cup cauliflower steamed in a bit of chicken broth
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Once the cauliflower is nice and tender, transfer to a blender with some of the cooking liquid.  Add the cheddar, cottage cheese, salt and pepper and a splash of the milk.  Blend until smooth (if it's too thick for you add a little more milk).  Pour over your favorite pasta and enjoy!

Tip- Omit the cheddar and add some parmesan and a little garlic if you'd like.  Alfredo!

(21 Day Fixers-  This is enough for two servings of pasta so it counts as 1 green, 1 red, 1 blue, 2 yellow)

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Healthy Pumpkin All the Things Part Two!

I don't make a lot of pancakes, I'm not generally a "sweet" breakfast person.  But again, this goes back to my Sunday Brunches.  Sometimes I just want something special and rich to treat myself!  These pancakes really did the trick, with some scrambled eggs and a few slices of turkey bacon.

Due to the pumpkin puree and the use of the whole wheat flour, they create a more dense pancake but I'm okay with that!  A little goes a long way here!

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes


1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional, I just like cinnamon)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened or low fat milk (Use half the milk first then add more if you need it)

Beat all ingredients until smooth.  The batter should be a little bit on the thin side, this could require a little more or less milk then 1/2 cup.  Use your best judgement.

Heat a griddle or non stick skillet to medium heat.  Spray with cooking spray and spoon a ladle full of batter into pan.  Once the sides start to pull up and you see some bubbles in the tops, flip and cook on the other side.

Yield: 6 medium sized pancakes

Tip:  If you're not into maple syrup, sprinkle some toasted pecans and a bit of honey on top of these bad boys.  If you're feeling really crazy, put a scoop of butter pecan ice cream on there!  (Not 21 Day Fix approved lol)

(21 Day Fixers- 2 pancakes=1 yellow, depending on the size)

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Stuff.  Stuffed.  Stuffing.

As a general rule, I like anything stuffed.  Chicken, turkey birds, fish, shrimp, my face.  Anything.

 I especially love stuffing squash!  It's a beautiful presentation, and so satisfying.  The squash almost has the consistency of mashed potatoes and who doesn't like that? Just weirdos, that's who.

I tried a recipe a while ago with turkey sausage and kale,and it was amazing.  Tonight I was using up what I had in my house and this was the result!  This recipe also includes farro, it's not an ingredient that's very commonly used but you must try it!  If you see it at the grocery store, grab some and start Googling ways to prepare it.  It's almost like barley but with a slightly chewy bite to it.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 med-large acorn squash
Coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 lb ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 med onion, halved and sliced thin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
5 cups baby spinach
1 plum tomato, seeds removed, chopped
1 cup cooked farro or quinoa
1/4 cup no sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tablespoon pecans
1/8 cup or 1 oz goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400.  Slice acorn squash in half and remove seeds.  Cut a small slice out of the bottom so it will lay flat on the pan.  Place both sides on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Bake for 45 mins to an hour or until tender.

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tsp of olive oil.  Add onion and garlic until softened.  Add the ground turkey and break up with your spatula, once the turkey is cooked through add the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, spinach, tomato and chicken broth.  Cover pan for 3 minutes.  Remove cover and stir until combined.  Let reduce down in the pan for about 5 minutes on low-medium heat.  Once the liquid has evaporated a little add the farro and stir.

Remove the squash from the oven and fill with turkey mixture.  Pack down so you can fit a lot in there.  Sprinkle bread crumb/pecan mixture over the top then add the goat cheese.  Spray with cooking spray and place under the broiler in your oven for 2-3 minutes or until browned.


Tip: Make this with southwestern seasoning, and black beans and use shredded cheddar instead of goat cheese.  Taco Squash!

(21 Day Fixers- 1 half acorn squash filled is-2 green, 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 tsp)

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Sometimes you just want pizza!  This was the easiest I could think of to get the satisfaction of pizza without all the fat and calories!

Flatouts are just like wraps or flatbreads.  Either of those things would be fine too, and this is another one of those fun recipes where you're only limited by your imagination!  Have fun with it!

Flatout Pizza

2 Flatouts or Flatbreads
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1 sliced tomato

2 teaspoons pesto sauce
1 cup baby spinach
2 sliced low sodium ham, chopped
1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles

Bake flatbreads (whole grain or wheat) for 5 minutes prior to adding toppings on a cookie sheet with cooking spray 

Flip over and add toppings. (Left is my homemade sauce, skim mozzarella, sliced tomato and a dash of Parmesan. On the right is pesto, goat cheese, spinach and low fat low sodium deli ham. )

Bake for 5-10 mins and broil for one minute.

(21 Day Fixers- The pizza on the left is 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 green.  The pizza on the right is 2 tsp, 1/2 red, 1 blue, 1 green) 

Tips: Try this with some chicken, bleu cheese, and some hot sauce!  Buffalo Pizza!

Dying for Chinese Food...

This recipe was born from my desire for Chinese food one night.  I just wanted a big bowl of greasy chicken and broccoli and fried rice and a crunchy egg roll!  I couldn't do that obviously, and I had two pieces of fish so I sort of threw this together on the fly. That happens pretty often that when you just throw things together they become the best meals you've ever had.  This was one of those times!


Orange Garlic Glazed Fish 


Two 6 oz pieces of mahi mahi 
Juice of half an orange 
2 tbsp low sodium soy
2 tbsp water
2 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp honey
2 tsp fresh garlic
2 tsp olive oil 

Marinate the fish for an hour (I made it up as I went along so I marinated it for 5 minutes, it was still excellent) 
Heat a nonstick skillet to med-high heat with two teaspoons olive oil
Place the fish in the pan and let brown for a few minutes Flip the fish in the pan and add the marinade. Lower the heat and let it bubble and reduce down for 5 minutes while cooking the fish, spooning the glaze over the fish from time to time. 

I served this over quinoa with a side of broccoli sauteed with garlic!  It was SO good and really satisfied my craving.  

Tip: This would also work for chicken, cut into cubes and cook the same way- Orange Chicken! 

(21 Day Fixers- The dish in total was 1.5 red, 2 yellow, 1 green, 2 teaspoons) 

Friday, October 10, 2014

My Favorite Fall Soup

I love Fall (well, I used to before I moved) and this is my favorite soup to make.  My father always made Leek and Potato Soup (he was always good with any kind of soups).  One night he was supposed to make it and kept putting it off until he finally looked at me and said "Hey Lindsey, you gonna make that soup?".  I was so irritated that I had to make the soup I decided to do it my way!  It got mixed reviews from my family but I've been making it every since!  It's loosely based of off an Ina Garten recipe! (She's where I got this idea to roast the leeks and potatoes!)

Roasted Leek and Potato Soup

2 tablepoons olive oil
1 lb. potatoes (any will do, I like red skinned or gold)
6 large leeks, or 8 small
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 large carrots, minced
2 celery stalks, minced
1 yellow onion, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 tsp organic butter
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock (low or no sodium)
2 cups water
2 tsp fresh thyme
½ cup lowfat milk or unsweetened original almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by slicing the tops and bottoms off the leeks. Cut in half lengthwise, and slice. Place sliced leeks into a large bowl of cold water and let soak (dirt and grit likes to hide in there, it’ll all fall to the bottom and you can scoop the leeks out)

Cut potatoes into cubes (you can peel or leave the skins on. I like the skins on) and place on a baking sheet. Scoop the leeks out of the cold water and dry on a paper towel. Mix leeks and potatoes together with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a little bit of salt and pepper to taste. Roast at 400 for about 30-45 minutes or until everything is cooked through and a little browned.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat a large soup pot on the stove to medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil, then the garlic, onions, carrots and celery. When they’re soft and fragrant, add the flour. Mix constantly until everything is cooked through (a roux). Add the potatoes and leeks, then the broth and water to the pot along with the thyme. A little bit of salt and pepper, and stir while mashing the potatoes a little bit with your spoon or a potato masher. (if you have an immersion blender, that works too. This is to break up the starchiness in the potatoes and thicken the broth).

Let simmer for 1 hour uncovered, stirring frequently. Add the milk to the soup towards the end.

(21 Day Fixers, measure one green container full and it counts as 1 yellow, 1 green and 1 tsp)

Tip: Slice a baguette into thin slices (whole grain if you can find it) and put under the broiler for a minute.  Let them sit on top of the soup before eating.

Breakfast Frittata

This is one of my favorites!  Some Sundays my husband and I just like to have a nice brunch, something healthy but nice and satisfying.  

I love to make these frittatas, or "crustless quiche" and the great thing about them is that you can add pretty much anything you have in the fridge! Get creative! 

Breakfast Frittata:

Two cups onions, halved and sliced 
Four cups spinach loosely packed
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 tsp olive oil
6 eggs
1 cup cheddar cheese

Caramelize the onions in 2 tsps of olive oil on med low heat (Low and slow til they're nice and brown and creamy. I like some thyme in there too)
While they're going, saute mushrooms and add to a baking dish (6X6). Add sauteed spinach on top of the mushrooms, then the onions. Then add the cheese. Whisk the eggs last and pour over veggies. DO NOT STIR. Move the pan around and tap to make sure the eggs distribute.

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes- serves 4

21 Day Fixers- 1 serving would be 1 red, 2 green, 1 blue, 1 tsp 

Tip: Layer the bottom of the pan with thinly sliced potatoes.  They get crispy and are great with the eggs.  (21 Day Fixers- add a yellow) 

Adventures in Shakeology 

I've always had the same Shakeology...chocolate.  And I always put the same ingredients in it.  Frozen banana, peanut butter, spinach and almond milk.  I received a bag of strawberry from a friend and got to try it, I actually really enjoyed it.  I'm looking forward to trying vanilla next! 

If you don't know what Shakeology is, ask me about it!  It's dense superfood in a delicious shake, with all natural ingredients.  Curbs cravings, boosts energy, etc.  And as someone with MS I can tell you between my new lifestyle changes, and the exercise with the Shakeology I can really see a difference in the way I feel.  Amazing! 

Strawberry Marzipan Shakeology 

1 scoop Strawberry Shakeology 
1/2 frozen banana 
2 tsps almond butter
1 cup (1 green container) spinach  
4 oz almond milk
4 oz water
1 cup of ice. 

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy!  Enjoy!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Healthy Pumpkin All The Things!!

Fall is here, and Halloween is right around the corner!  I love Halloween, and Thanksgiving...especially Thanksgiving.  Enjoying the pumpkin madness has been a little bit difficult for me, mostly because of my relocation to South Florida from Pennsylvania.  It's hard to feel that Autumn joy in a tank top and flip flops.  But, I live near the beach so I can't really complain! 

Since beginning my healthy lifestyle I really like to keep healthy snacks in the house, especially for when my sweet tooth hits! These have been a wonder, for soothing the sweet tooth and for giving me a little taste of Fall! I hope you like them as much as I do! 

Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

2 tbsp+ 1 tsp almond butter
1 cup pure pumpkin puree 
1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips 
1/4 cup chopped pecans 
1 cup rolled or quick cooking steel cut oats 

Preheat oven to 350.  Place parchment, wax or tin foil on a cookie sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, almond butter and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Add chips, pecans and oats and mix until combined.  Spoon by tablespoon full onto cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.


(21 Day Fixers- Two cookies equals one yellow treat replacement) 

Tip:  Sprinkle a little pumpkin pie spice into your coffee filter in the morning with your coffee grinds before brewing.  Automatic pumpkin spice coffee! 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My first blog.  How exciting!

I'm no one special, my story is pretty similar to most people.  I've struggled with my weight most of my life.  After I had my son, I ballooned to a weight that I was uncomfortable with. (Physically and emotionally).  Once I began losing that weight, I had a new lease on life.  I felt better about myself, better about my life, and my family.  I was a better person and a better mother.  I became a BeachBody Coach and began helping other people feel better about themselves.  I don't even care if they never buy anything from me, if I've made a difference in their lives that's what really matters to me.  And that's not just the Skinny Vine Chardonnay talking!

My journey began with the 21 Day Fix.  It gave me the strength to lose weight and eat differently, and the strength to try other, more challenging workouts.  The courage to go out of my comfort zone and join a public class with women with actual metabolisms and let them see me sweat.  Since I love food, and I love to cook I've found a way to make the nutrition fun, exciting and delicious.

I hope you enjoy tagging along on the rest of my journey.  I still have about 65 lbs to go, and I'm going to get it done Stuffing Myself Skinny!!!