Inspiring healthier eating one dish at a time

Desserts with (Health) Benefits

Yes!  There really is such a thing as a healthy dessert – here’s proof!

It kinda makes me sad when people say “I was bad – I ate dessert”.  Dessert is GOOD.  Very good.  It makes your taste buds happy and it completes a meal.  I’m not saying you have to have it every meal, or every day, but if you can’t have some dessert every once in a while, well, that’s just wrong.

Here’s my take on dessert.  It’s just like everything you eat.  Make sure it’s balanced, and contains a few ingredients with health benefits – like fresh fruit, especially berries, or real dark chocolate, to get your antioxidants, or Greek yogurt, or a wholesome dairy ingredient to get some protein and calcium.  If the ingredients in your dessert are healthy enough to eat on their own and make you feel good, then they’re A-OK to get combined in some creative way and turned into a dessert. Right?  It’s what I call Desserts with Benefits, AKA, a Healthy Dessert, and these are some of my favorites for summer.

Continue Reading..

Southwest Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

Mini sweet peppers stuffed with a southwest black bean dip make a perfect small-plate dinner or appetizer for summer entertaining.

You know those little mini peppers that have popped up in grocery stores everywhere?  First, how cute are they?  And the fact that you don’t have to slice, core, seed…  Just pop them, bite off the stem (if there is one) and voila!  You’re eating more veggies!  Well, I recently discovered that with just a tiny bit more work, they also make a fun small-plate appetizer, when you stuff them with something delicious.  Continue Reading..

Grilled Tandoori Turkey Salad with Creamy Curry Dressing

Don’t limit turkey to the holidays!  It’s a perfect choice for summer grilling and it turns this savory and sweet salad into a quick summer meal.

Thank you to the National Turkey Federation for sponsoring this post and inspiring this recipe!

I was thinking the other day, that turkey doesn’t get nearly enough love. Not the kind of turkey from the deli, but the home-cooked kind that steals the spotlight on one important day of the year (and maybe shows up once more for Christmas), but then quietly takes a back seat somewhere in the poultry section…   We should change that, and include turkey in our summer festivities too, don’t you think?  How about we let a new bird take over the grill this summer? Continue Reading..

Mexican Street Corn and Quinoa

When it’s too early for good corn on the cob, this recipe satisfies your craving for street corn.

If there is one thing that just screams summer is here, it’s a beautiful ear of grilled corn schmeared with real, sweet butter, and topped off with a sprinkle of salt.  Mmmm.  Can you taste it?  So please, can someone tell me why the grocery stores are desperately trying to ruin that summer thought by selling what is clearly WAY too early corn on the cob packaged in little styrofoam trays that are wrapped in plastic? Continue Reading..

Why Intermittent Fasting Might Be the Best Diet for You

Trying to lose weight or improve your blood sugar? Intermittent fasting might be worth a try.

As a rule, I don’t do diets.  I always recommend the slow and steady approach of cutting out empty calories and increasing your physical activity to lose a few pounds, or get your cholesterol, blood sugar or blood pressure under control.  For most people, that works really well, but sometimes, after a certain age, and especially if you’re already pretty careful about your diet and exercise, the slow and steady approach feels like you’re swimming upstream – exhausted but getting nowhere. Continue Reading..

16 Ways to Celebrate the Year of Pulses

2016 is the Year of Pulses (also known as beans), and you won’t believe how many ways there are to cook with this  protein-packed ingredient.

Yes, you read that right.  The year of pulses.  NOT the kind of pulses that indicate whether you’re still alive, but pulses as in, dried beans, peas, lentils, etc.  Don’t feel bad, I didn’t know they were called pulses either, until recently. Hey, we just learned something. In case we’re ever on Jeopardy, or Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.  Here’s another little tidbit of information.  The United Nations declared 2016 – The International Year of Pulses.  Yay!  Time to have a  party. Continue Reading..

No Bake Fruit and Nut Energy Bars

Customize these Fruit and Nut Energy Bars with any fruits or nuts you like.  They’re quick and easy to make, and require absolutely no baking.

Guys – do you ever buy “energy bars” (you know, the type that are kind of expensive and are supposed to be eaten on top of a mountain, or at the end of a long bike race), but then you just end up eating them when you really want cookies, because they make you feel a little less guilty?  Yeah, me too.  There are two major problems with those fancy energy bars.  The first, is that there are so many delicious flavors, I end up buying one of each.  Which brings me to the second problem, which is the price.  Yikes.  If I only ate them when I made it to the top of a mountain, that would be one thing… Really expensive cookie habit.  Continue Reading..

Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake Sherbet

Strawberry sherbet turns into a healthy, probiotic-rich snack when it’s made with labneh, also known as Greek yogurt cheese.

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Real California Milk products and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

I have a crazy new addiction.  It’s labneh – also spelled labna and known as kefir cheese, or Greek yogurt cheese. It’s part of my Greek yogurt and probiotic obsession.  I add a bit of honey and vanilla to it, and no lie.  It tastes just like cream cheese icing.  I dip fruit into it.  I scoop it into my overnight oats.  Sometimes I just eat it by the spoonful.  Please – there are way worse addictions. Continue Reading..

The Secret to Healthier Joints

The secret to healthier joints – and preventing osteoarthritis, is as close as your kitchen pantry and your nearest Walmart.

This post was sponsored by OmniChannel Health Media and Walmart, but as always, all opinions are my own.

Here’s a sad fact: If your joints don’t hurt yet, it’s probably just a matter of time. I hear my friends and family complain about it and I’ve noticed myself that my knees just aren’t what they used to be.  In fact, the CDC estimates that 25% of adults have full-blown arthritis, and a whole lot more of us are on our way, with cracking knees, aching shoulders, and stiff fingers. Continue Reading..

One Skillet Pappardelle Pasta Primavera

Ease into the week with this ridiculously fast and easy One Skillet Pappardelle Pasta Primavera – perfect for a Meatless Monday dinner.

I love Meatless Mondays.  Or Tuesdays through Sundays for that matter.  They’re so easy!  Nothing to have to remember to pull out of the freezer to thaw.  No grill or oven to preheat.  No braising, broiling, roasting or grilling.  And no worrying whether it will be tough – or too pink inside.  Oh, and of course, there’s all of that important environmental stuff, and the fact that people who eat more plant-based meals tend to be healthier overall.  But let’s just focus on the fact that it’s Monday, and we’re coming off the weekend, and we’re all busy, and we need easy for dinner tonight.  Plus, sometimes on a Sunday night, I just really don’t like to write long, involved recipes and blog posts.

Enter – One Pan Pappardelle Pasta Primavera. Continue Reading..

Tabouli Cucumber Pinwheel Bites

This four ingredient, make-ahead appetizer is so quick and easy and always the hit of any gathering.

Do you have a go-to appetizer that you bring to parties or serve when you have guests?  I’m always scanning my cooking magazines or Pinterest for new quick and easy appetizers – you never know when you’ll have an impromptu ladies night out, or game night with the neighbors.  And let’s face it, sometimes, when no one’s home and dinner is optional, it’s kind of fun to pour a glass of wine, or make a margarita and have appetizers for dinner!   Continue Reading..

25 Ways to Celebrate Spring Vegetables

It’s time to ditch the white comfort food, and welcome spring with lots of colorful, fresh spring vegetables.

Hey there!  How happy are you that the end of March is in sight, and spring is just around the corner?  For real – and you know I mean spring weather, not the actual date on the calendar.  As soon as the days are longer, and the air has that “hello – it’s spring” smell to it, and shadows from the sun start screaming “it’s here!”, don’t you just want to say buh- bye to carbs and comfort food, and hello to those pretty, colorful spring veggies?  I sure do! Continue Reading..

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