Posts tagged healthy

whole wheat pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

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with six foot snow drifts mounting outside my door and about a 36” cover of snow everywhere else in sight, there were few things i wanted to do during this blizzard other than eat grilled cheese and tomato soup.

http://distilleryimage5.s3.amazonaws.com/79a63bf272f611e2b6fe22000a9f12db_7.jpg

…ask and you shall receive.

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(that little mirror over on the right side of the picture is my car. awesome.)

anyway, i was glued to my couch working from home all day friday and saturday, but once saturday night came around, i was going a little stir crazy. first on my list was whole wheat banana-pumpkin muffins for breakfasts this week. before i started to put everything away, though, i realized i had 1/4 a can of pumpkin hanging around, all my baking goodies out and nowhere to go. so… i made some healthy whole wheat pumpkin dark chocolate chip cookies. in the entire batch, there is less than 1/2 a cup of sugar, whole wheat flour and rolled oats, pumpkin puree, no oil or butter.

unlike 99% of my recipes, i didn’t take step-by-step photos of this one because - to be honest - i didn’t have high hopes! this summer, i was tasked with making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for my friend adam and i tried 3-4 times before getting them right. when trying to healthify cookies, i sometimes lose my mojo.

to my surprise, they turned out fantastic and i couldn’t help but share them. you get some finished product pictures instead of step-by-step, but i’ll walk you through the process anyway.

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1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 c. rolled oats

3/4 c. whole wheat flour

1/4 c. brown sugar

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

1/3 c. dark chocolate chips

tips & things to do/know before you get started:

-preheat your oven to 350 degrees

-this recipe makes appx. 16 decent-sized cookies

-because there’s no butter/oil, they won’t rise/spread like “normal” cookies, so feel free to put them closer to one another on the baking sheet, but also flatten them out a bit so you don’t wind up with thick cookie puffs

okay now that that’s all settled, let’s get baking!

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in a small bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients (pumpkin, vanilla, eggs) and set aside.

in a larger bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, aside from the chocolate chips. once everything is well-mixed, pour the wet ingredients into the dry. the dough will be fairly dry - don’t worry about it. mix in the chocolate chips and make sure they’re evenly-distributed throughout the dough.

line your baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it. roll the cookie dough into balls, flatten them slightly and place them on the cookie sheet. (note: since my dough seemed a little dry, i made sure to knead slightly with my hands to make sure all the flour/dry ingredients were mixed in).

pop them into the 350-degree oven for 13-15 minutes, depending on how well-done you like your cookies.

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delicious :) enjoy!

xxoo,

eliz

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#healthy

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#pumpkin

#cookies

#dark chocolate

#whole grain


italian for dinner! simple swap: instead of regular spaghetti & meatballs, we roasted some spaghetti squash and topped it with turkey meatballs and marinara. SO filling. next time we buy a spaghetti squash, i’ll do a tutorial!

italian for dinner! simple swap: instead of regular spaghetti & meatballs, we roasted some spaghetti squash and topped it with turkey meatballs and marinara. SO filling. next time we buy a spaghetti squash, i’ll do a tutorial!

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#recipe

#food

#italian


avocado deviled eggs
when i’m stuck with some late nights at work, one of the things that bums me out is having to eat dinner at my desk. i don’t mind breakfast or lunch at my desk, but dinner, to me, is about family, friends, recapping the day and unwinding. there’s something a little less appealing about eating at a desk.
that being said, i try to make some inventive meals with plastic cutlery and tupperware, when i can.
lately, one of my favorite snacks has been hard boiled eggs. cue the sad looking, half mushy avocado on my counter and you now know the contents of my lunchbox. what to do, what to do? i decided to make healthier deviled eggs! loads of protein, healthy fats and not a drop of mayo or salt in site. also, they only required two ingredients!
ingredients
2 hard boiled eggs
1/2 a ripe avocado
instructions
1. slice the eggs in half, lengthwise.
2. scoop out the yolks into a small tupperware/cup/bowl and add the avocado.
3. mush around until the yolks and avocado are well-mixed.
4. scoop the avo/egg mixture back into the hollowed out shells.
5. i garnished mine with a pinch of chia seeds and put them on a bed of snap peas (thanks for the encouragement and not the idea, brian)! looked pretty fancy for a late night work dinner, if i do say so myself.
enjoy!

avocado deviled eggs

when i’m stuck with some late nights at work, one of the things that bums me out is having to eat dinner at my desk. i don’t mind breakfast or lunch at my desk, but dinner, to me, is about family, friends, recapping the day and unwinding. there’s something a little less appealing about eating at a desk.

that being said, i try to make some inventive meals with plastic cutlery and tupperware, when i can.

lately, one of my favorite snacks has been hard boiled eggs. cue the sad looking, half mushy avocado on my counter and you now know the contents of my lunchbox. what to do, what to do? i decided to make healthier deviled eggs! loads of protein, healthy fats and not a drop of mayo or salt in site. also, they only required two ingredients!

ingredients

2 hard boiled eggs

1/2 a ripe avocado

instructions

1. slice the eggs in half, lengthwise.

2. scoop out the yolks into a small tupperware/cup/bowl and add the avocado.

3. mush around until the yolks and avocado are well-mixed.

4. scoop the avo/egg mixture back into the hollowed out shells.

5. i garnished mine with a pinch of chia seeds and put them on a bed of snap peas (thanks for the encouragement and not the idea, brian)! looked pretty fancy for a late night work dinner, if i do say so myself.

enjoy!

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#healthy

#eggs

#recipe

#avocado

kale, grilled chicken, yellow tomatoes, walnuts, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, ground pepper and parmesan cheese. (thanks, chef dad!)

kale, grilled chicken, yellow tomatoes, walnuts, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, ground pepper and parmesan cheese. (thanks, chef dad!)

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#recipe

#kale

#salad

summer white bean salad

light, fresh, nutritious. everything a summer meal should be, right? this salad reminds me a lot of my last recipe (chicken & orzo salad with herb lemon vinaigrette or orzo stuffed peppers) but it’s meat free and packed with protein. it’s equally customizable, though. if i had a vegetable garden out back, i imagine i’d throw together whatever i picked fresh (zucchini, peppers, squash, tomatoes, peas, etc.) with whatever whole grain i had on hand at the time.

i cooked up a big batch of this salad and ate it a different way almost every day - once as a side with dinner, once as a quick snack from the fridge, another time for lunch on a bed of spinach (GBG = greens, beans & grains!).

ingredients

1/2 c. quinoa (uncooked)

one can cannelini beans (15.5 oz)

1 small summer squash, shredded

2 plum tomatoes

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/4 large cucumber, diced

2-3 T extra virgin olive oil

2 T red wine vinegar

juice of half a lemon

1 garlic clove, minced

kosher salt & ground black pepper to taste

3-4 fresh basil leaves

done with the collecting? time for the doing!

first thing’s first: get your quinoa cooking and wash those veggies.

follow the instructions on your box of quinoa, but in case you bought in bulk or want to know the quick rule of thumb with this great grain, just remember this: 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. dump it all in a pot, bring to a boil and then let it simmer until all of the water is absorbed. easy peasy!

next up, rinse your beans (until there’s no white foamy bubbles - that’s how you’ll know you’ve gotten rid of some of the salt!) and chop/grate/dice/slice those veggies. i shredded the zucchini because i like the texture and vinaigrette-soaking abilities. i diced up the tomatoes/pepper/cuke, as well, and did a quick chiffonade (rolling and slicing into a ribbon) with the fresh basil.

throw all that into a big mixing bowl and in a smaller bowl, whisk together your oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper. pour it on top of the veggies and quinoa in the big bowl and toss everything together.

and just. like. that. you’re done! enjoy it and soak up the last month of summer :)

click here for a printable version of the recipe!

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#healthy

#vegan

#salad

a salad a day keeps the doctor away!

for the past couple of months, i’ve been eating a salad every single day for lunch. i pack up my shoebox sized tupperware container, load it up with bright veggies and filling protein and go on my merry way. it always takes me tons of time to eat, packs in the nutrients and leaves me feeling full for hours until it’s time for my afternoon snack.

instead of store-bought dressing, i keep olive oil and balsamic vinegar at my desk and shake a little on every day. easy, peasy!

you might think i’d get bored eating a salad every day for lunch, but they’re so versatile, it feels like an entirely different meal each time i eat it! also, instead of woofing it down, i’m able to take longer to eat and stay fuller longer, as well. try it for a week, you won’t be disappointed!

eliz’s tips for a great salad:

1. not to sound like the barefoot contessa, but start with good lettuce. my favorite kinds are romaine and butter lettuce. you might prefer arugula, spinach, spring mix, kale or iceberg. find out what works with you and go with it.

2. load it up with basic veggies - i aim for all different colors and textures in my staples. bell pepper, cucumber, celery and tomato always find their way into my lunch, but maybe carrots, sprouts, radishes, olives or onions are your cup of tea! if you think having 5-7 servings of vegetables a day seems daunting, recognize that you could easily have one serving with breakfast (think veggie omelette or green smoothie!), two servings with dinner and a big salad could easily take care of another four servings of vegetables! wham, bam.

3. don’t forget the protein! protein is what will keep you full, rather than feeling like you just ate a bowl of rabbit food. whether it’s chicken, deli meat, shrimp, salmon beans, hummus, a veggie burger, tofu or tempeh, just get that protein in the mix!

4. change it up & give your salad a theme. although i eat a salad a day, i don’t eat the SAME salad every day. that would get really old really fast. some days it’s greek, others it’s mexican. sometimes it’s mediterranean, others it’s roasted vegetables. keep yourself interested!

5. don’t be afraid of leftovers! instead of letting leftovers in your fridge go to waste, incorporate them into your salad. just the other day, i cut up a leftover turkey burger, sweet potato slices and roasted zucchini from the grill. traditional salad fixins? no. delicious? yes. the next day, i had leftover chicken, peppers and onions from fajitas - i threw that in with some avocado and i had an instant mexican fiesta!

6. don’t go overboard with the “goodies” - you could have an amazingly nutritious salad and throw it all down the drain if you load on lots of croutons, cheese, creamy dressings, etc. some of those treats, in moderation, are fine - let’s be honest, i wouldn’t DREAM of having a greek salad sans feta cheese! just be smart about it so you’re not burying all the benefits that drew you to a salad in the first place. (also, unsuspecting culprit… watch out for low fat/fat free dressings. when they take out the fat, they replace it with SUGAR and that’s not helping anyone. make your own dressing with olive oil or make sure you read in the ingredients carefully.)

7. most importantly, make it your own. maybe you hate celery - then don’t include it. maybe your favorite food is strawberries - include those! whatever you do, make it appealing to YOU or else you’ll never enjoy it.

salad combo ideas:

greek salad: romaine, bell peppers, cucumber, olives, feta cheese, grilled chicken

roasted veggie salad: romaine, roasted zucchini, squash, onion, bell pepper, brussels sprouts, kidney beans

mexican salad: romaine, sauteed onions and bell peppers, grilled shrimp, avocado, black beans, tomatoes

summery salad: butter lettuce, strawberries, peaches, goat cheese, walnuts

asian salad: shredded lettuce, orange segments, baked salmon, sesame seeds, water chesnuts

everything but the kitchen sink salad: also known as a clean-out-the-fridge salad. literally… your dinner from the night before on a big bed of lettuce!

**QUESTION: what are your must-have salad ingredients?**

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greeña colada smoothie recipe

"if you like piña coladas, getting caught in the rain.." it’s fine, i know you were singing that to, just as soon as you read this post title (i’m so clever!). here, let me help you out:

you’re welcome. now moving on…

lately i’ve been eating a smoothie for breakfast almost every day and it usually is some variation surrounding: 1 c. frozen strawberries, 1 c. unsweetened almond milk, 1 c. spinach, 1 c. protein powder. it’s filling, nutritious and tasty - what more can you ask for first thing in the morning? (i PROMISE if you blend it enough, you cannot taste the spinach. you might think i’m crazy for drinking veggies, but you really don’t notice it and think of all the extra nutrition you’re sneaking into your breakfast! one serving of dark, leafy greens out of the way before 8am!)

the problem was that i was out of berries last week. and also out of almond milk. what i DID have were frozen bananas and pineapple, unsweetened coconut/almond milk and then my usual spinach and protein powder. what i ended up with was nothing short of a piña colada suitable for breakfast.

one thing to keep in mind, though, is that while my normal breakfast of berries are low in sugar for fruits, both pineapple and bananas are very high in sugar. keep this baby as a treat and not as an every day drink!

ingredients

1/2 banana, sliced and frozen

3/4 c. frozen pineapple chunks

1 c. fresh, raw baby spinach

1 c. unsweetened coconut almond milk

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

(note: i already had these banana slices frozen because when i’ve got a banana on the counter that’s on its last legs, i’ll proactively slice it up before it goes bad and freeze it. perfect for smoothies or any recipe you don’t want to use a whole banana for!)

are you ready for these instructions? i know they’re pretty complicated…

dump everything in the blender. blend until smooth. pour. sip.

now look at that bright, beautiful beverage! wouldn’t you be excited to drink that in the morning? it’s practically a mocktail.

if you’re into smoothies, i also have some great recipes for an orange creamsicle smoothie, peanut butter banana & honey smoothie and a super healthy green smoothie

on the other hand, if you’re only interested in the piña colada aspect, check out these piña colada cupcakes! see? something for everyone.

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#smoothie

#green

#healthy

#fruit

#pina colada

greek yogurt chicken salad (stuffed in a tomato!)

it feels like summer outside, so i might as well start cooking accordingly, right? thought so. it was my night to make dinner and i wanted something fast, healthy and the perfect combination of light but filling. a girl can dream, right?

i had every intention of tearing through my magazines to find a recipe before i went to the fresh market for the first time the other day, but when nothing spoke to me from those pages, i figured i’d get inspired by the fresh ingredients at the grocery store, instead.

i ended up deciding to make a lightened-up chicken salad, stuffed in a gigantic tomato on top of a bed of greens. think of it as a hybrid between my waldorf salad and orzo stuffed peppers! looking back at my checklist, this was fairly quick to make (with a few errands between steps), was definitely healthy in that it was packed with protein, veggies and pretty low in fat. on top of that, i only had a couple of dishes to wash after, so that definitely adds to the quick factor!

note about the ingredients shot - i’m losing my mind! i stacked everything up for the traditional photo and then broke it down and started cooking without ever snapping the picture. der! this photo is a recreation post-chicken cooking. i guess i’m a little out of practice…

ingredients

1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3/4 lb)

1 Tablespoon light mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons nonfat, plain greek yogurt

2 celery stalks

3 Tablespoons Craisins (optional)

generous pinches of: onion powder, garlic powder, dill and kosher salt

2 large tomatoes

first up, poach the chicken breasts by boiling them in lightly salted water for about 10 minutes or until they’re cooked all the way through. then, set them aside to cool for a bit. it’s up to you if you want to take this break to go to DSW and pick up two fantastic new pairs of shoes. don’t worry, they were extremely discounted and i had a gift card and coupon. (read: i got two pairs of shoes for the price of one individual shoe, pretty much!)

anywho, back to the kitchen…

while the chicken is cooling, finely dice your celery stalks and set them aside. i decided i had enough, so i polished off the final 1/3 of a stalk with a dab of peanut butter! delicious impromptu snack - totally underrated! why do i always forget how great this tastes?!

 

next, slice the very top off your tomatoes and hollow out the majority of the inside with a melon baller to create tomato cups. set that aside. (note: i didn’t waste all the tomato guts! which looked sort of like watermelon balls… anywho, i added them to my salad for lunch the next day. easy peasy, no waste!)

when the chicken is cooled, shred it with two forks and place in a medium bowl. this can be a little tedious, but it goes by quickly and you can get some aggression out while you prep your food!

to the medium bowl, add the celery, craisins, dill, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, mayo and yogurt to the bowl. mix until everything is evenly distributed and it has reached your desired consistency.

spoon the chicken salad into the tomatoes, pop onto a bed of lettuce and serve!

click here for a printable version of the recipe!

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#food

#healthy

#chicken salad

#greek yogurt

#summer

#tomatoes

banana blueberry bread (vegan, no oil, no added sugar!)

okay so i figured the title of this post might scare you off, but i promise. this is one of the most delicious breakfast breads (or muffins) that i’ve ever had. and the best part is that after you eat it, you don’t have to feel guilty for eating a 600 calorie sugar bomb that makes you miserable for the rest of the day. win-win, right?!

things that make this banana blueberry bread healthier are that it uses: no oil, no butter, no sugar and it DOES use whole wheat flour. plus, it’s jam-packed with fruit, whole grains and even some healthy fats in the form of optional walnuts.

if you haven’t run away yet… congratulations! now you get to see how EASY the recipe is and make a loaf or some muffins for yourself. you’ll thank me later.

3 bananas (the riper the better!)

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1/3 cup vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

2 Tablespoons agave nectar

2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup blueberries

1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)

(now that you’re done with the collecting, let’s move onto the doing! …have you missed me saying that?)

to get started, preheat your oven (do you like our brand spankin’ new one?! so many colors!) and spray your 9x5 loaf pan (or muffin tin) with nonstick spray.

mash up your bananas in a large bowl (i went with the potato masher method) until they’re nice and gloppy (sorry for the unappetizing adjective).  next up, add your lemon juice, agave, almond milk and apple sauce and stir it all up. set this bowl to the side for a hot second.

in a medium bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. then pour it into the big bowl and stir until everything is well-combined.

once everything is mixed together, fold in your blueberries and walnuts until they’re evenly distributed. pour the batter into your loaf pan and pop it into your 350-degree oven for 45-50 minutes. the bread will be nice and light brown on top and a toothpick should come out clean from the middle.

let it cool for 15-20 minutes, slice and enjoy!

click here for a printable version of the recipe!

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#recipe

#food

#blueberry

#banana bread

#fruit

#baking

#vegan

#healthy

one of my goals for the next couple of weeks is to incorporate more leafy greens into my everyday meals. some that i’m already a big fan of are spinach, broccoli and romaine lettuce, but i’m also trying kale (hopefully chips, soon!) and i’m even counting brussels sprouts as a sort-of-leafy green vegetable.

one super suggestion from health coach and cook jennifer moore is to blend some of these babies into a smoothie. can you imagine having this for breakfast and already getting 2-3 servings of fruits/vegetables before 10am?! it’s brilliant! and for those of you that are scared, i promise the sweetness of the vanilla, banana, pineapple and agave mask any signs of veggies in your beverage.

well, here’s my adaptation of her recipe for a green smoothie (so much easier for me to make than green juice, since i’ve already got a blender and had all the ingredients on hand!). feel free to make this your own, but as you sip, be proud of all the vitamins and nutrients you’re packing in with every gulp :)

green smoothie

ingredients:

1/2 ripe avocado

1/2 large, ripe banana, sliced (freeze slices ahead of time for even colder smoothies!)

1/2 cup pineapple chunks (i used frozen to keep it cold)

3/4 cup de-stemmed kale

3/4 cup baby spinach

1 cup vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup water

1 Tablespoon agave nectar (you could also use honey or another sweetener)

directions (so easy):

1. throw all the ingredients into your blender.

2. blend until everything is smooth (especially those leafy greens!)

3. pour, sip & enjoy :)

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#green smoothie

#vegetables

#fruits

#superfoods

#healthy

#recipes

#smoothie

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