Monday, November 28, 2016

Black Cherry Almond Smoothie

Black Cherry Almond Smoothie

Light and refreshing, this black cherry almond smoothie is the perfect snack to fill AND soothe your tummy after all that heavy holiday eating.

Black Cherry Almond Smoothie

 I don't know about you, but after the food fest that is Thanksgiving week around here, I always feel the need for a bit of a detox. Nothing too wild and crazy, but a few days of clean eating always helps me feel better after my sodium and sugar overload! The day of, I'm always positive that I'll never eat again but sure enough, the next morning I'm in need of nourishment. Enter my super easy, tummy soothing smoothie. Such a simple recipe with very basic ingredients, I really think you'll love it. Let's do a quick breakdown of why it's so healthy.

Black Cherry Almond Smoothie

 Plain Greek Yogurt- 23 grams of protein per cup, it's super filling, low in sugar, and is loaded with good for you probiotics.

 Black Cherries- The list of benefits is ridiculously long. These sweet beauties are packed full of antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C and even have anti inflammatory properties.

 Flax- Loaded with fiber and omega-3s, just 2 tablespoons does the trick.

 Almonds- Full of healthy fats, protein, magnesium and vitamin E, almonds have even been shown to aid in weight loss.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Lightened-Up Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Lightened-Up Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

With an easy cinnamon graham cracker crust, creamy pumpkin center, and a gorgeous cheesecake swirl topping, these lightened up pumpkin bars are sure to be a hit at your Thanksgiving gathering.

Lightened-Up Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

I made several batches of pumpkin bars before finally settling on this one as my favorite. It can be a tricky thing to reduce the sugar and fat, in baking, without compromising texture or flavor but finally, after my family and friends endured taste testing after taste testing,😉 we decided that this batch delivered all the creamy, pumpkin spice infused, sweet tooth satisfying, aspects that one expects from a pumpkin bar. I doubt anyone would even know that they are devouring a healthy dessert, which is most definitely what I am going for in a lower calorie treat

Lightened-Up Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Healthy Acorn Squash Risotto


Healthy Acorn Squash Risotto

Cubed ham, bright green peas, and a sprinkle of parmesan compliment the sweet puree of roasted acorn squash in this savory wild rice risotto.

Healthy Acorn Squash Risotto

I just can't get enough winter squash these days. So healthy and versatile, you can literally use it in almost anything. Sweet or savory, roasted, steamed, boiled, cubed, sliced, puréed..... your options are vast!

Healthy Acorn Squash Risotto

Our dish today is kept it fairly simple with the amazing natural flavor of acorn squash remaining the focal point. A bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and a dash of your favorite Italian seasoning..... nothing too crazy but I have to tell you, once it's all puréed and mixed together with the salty ham and sweet peas.... yum.... just yum.

Healthy Acorn Squash Risotto

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Healthy Crockpot 3 Cheese Potato Soup


Healthy Crockpot 3 Cheese Potato Soup

Ultra creamy and packed with flavor, this three cheese potato soup is only 116 calories per cup. It's hard to believe that something so rich tasting could be so low fat and diet friendly. Oh, and did I mention that it's completely loaded with good-for-you vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and protein rich, low fat turkey sausage? So how, you ask, did I get a thick and creamy, cheesy soup to remain so low calorie? The trick is to puree the potatoes and cauliflower. I also used fat free cream cheese to take it to that next level of creaminess. 

Healthy Crockpot 3 Cheese Potato Soup

I made this in the crockpot with the potatoes, cauliflower, and onion roasting all day in chicken broth. About an hour before dinner, I puréed it until smooth then threw in my spices, cheeses, broccoli, and sausage. Give it a few minutes and a good stir to really mix up the cream cheese and you're good to go. Super easy. You don't have to go the crockpot route though. You could easily just boil the cauliflower, potatoes and onion until soft and then follow the recipe from there. Either way you choose to make it, I'm positive that you'll get rave reviews:)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Cutout Cookies

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Cutout Cookies

I just love seasonal foods,  especially when it comes to baking don't you? There's just something so comforting to me about the scent of pumpkin spice and cookies filling the house when it's grey and cold outside. With that in mind, I'm so happy to say that I finally perfected my whole grain pumpkin spice butterscotch white chocolate chip cutout cookies.... the name was a bit long though so I had to cut it down to simply Healthy Pumpkin Spice Cutout Cookies but let me tell you, the flavor in these little gems is anything but simple.

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Cutout Cookies

Butterscotch and white chocolate chips perfectly compliment the pumpkin spice to give your taste buds a real treat. My 5 year old, Elias, expert cookie tester that he is, gobbled these up and to quote him "they're yummy". Even better, I was able to cut down the sugar, butter, AND sneak in some whole grains without compromising taste or texture. When it came to the nutritional breakdown and calorie count, it was a bit trickier to figure out since the size of your cookie cutter makes a big difference. This batch yields about 15-18 medium sized cookies depending on the size of your cookie cutter and how thick you roll out the dough. I rolled it about 3-4 millimeters thick and that's what the baking time is based off of. If you go thinner, be sure to adjust their time in the oven accordingly.

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Cutout Cookies

Now I wouldn't go ahead and eat the whole batch in one sitting (well ok, I might)  but this is definitely a dessert or snack that you can feel good eating or serving to your family.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Easy Turkey Pumpkin Chili


Easy Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Warm and filling, this savory pumpkin chili is loaded with simple, wholesome ingredients and can be ready to eat in under 30 minutes.  Now that's my kind of week night meal!

Easy Turkey Pumpkin Chili

This was actually my first attempt at making pumpkin chili and I have to say that I was SO pleased with the result. I may or may not have done a ridiculous little happy dance in my kitchen. But you guys, come on, a HEALTHY dinner that is incredibly delish and takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish.... now that is something to celebrate! This chili is definitely family friendly and it's very easy to control the level of spiciness depending on your family's tolerance for it. I used 1 jalapeño and it provided the perfect little kick in my opinion but feel free to only use 1/2 if you need it to be a bit more mild.

Easy Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Skinny Chicken Parmesan w/ Spaghetti Squash


Skinny Chicken Parmesan w/ Spaghetti Squash

Savory and moist, these baked chicken parmesan tenders are a cinch to make and are served over a delicious bowl of low calorie spaghetti squash.

Skinny Chicken Parmesan w/ Spaghetti Squash

I absolutely love chicken parmesan. What I do not love however, are the ridiculous amount of calories associated with it. By the time you factor in the bowl of pasta, you are easily looking at over 1000 calories.... not exactly fitting into my diet friendly dinner plans. I have great news though; with a few simple modifications, you can have a gorgeous plate of chicken parmesan goodness in front of you with minimal effort and a fraction of the calories. WIN!!!