Inspiring healthier eating one dish at a time

Summer Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Salad Bowls

Oh baby – it’s hot outside! And who wants to heat up the stove or oven when you could be playing at the beach instead? Grilling is always a good answer to the summer “what’s for dinner” question, but let’s be honest, it starts to get old after a while. Have you thought about dusting off your favorite winter kitchen accessory – the slow cooker AKA crock-pot for some summer fun? I know, the thought of beef stew or a hearty soup probably isn’t terribly appealing in July, but how about a cold Asian noodle bowl, or barbecued pulled chicken sandwiches? Now, we’re talking. Continue Reading..

Summer Green Bean Salad with Grilled Halloumi

Oh hi, and happy second day of summer!  I hope your days are already full of warm sunshine, deep blue skies and sleeping in a bit later than usual :)  I ran into my old friends Green Beans and Halloumi the other day when I was at Whole Foods, and we decided to have a lovely summer salad for dinner.

Have you ever had grilled Halloumi?  If you’re not quite sure what I’m talking about, I’ll explain, because I remember the first time I ever saw it on a menu and thought, WT (heck) and I just jumped in and tried it.  I ordered it in a restaurant and honestly, I thought maybe it was a type of fish… I didn’t want to appear un-foodie-like, so I just went with it, and pretended I’ve eaten it all of my life.  Turns out it’s cheese.   Continue Reading..

Crab Shack Summer Salad

Some people collect coins, or stamps. Or shoes. I collect cookbooks and recipes. Some of my cookbooks are purely functional – the tried and true ones that I can always count on for the perfect recipe or inspiration. I have lots of other books though, that I’ve picked up on vacations, and never made anything from. That’s probably weird for most people, but for me, it’s just a nice reminder of places I’ve visited and different cuisines I’ve tasted and special meals I’ve enjoyed. Continue Reading..

Tuesday Time Sucks

Oh, how I wish I could say that I’ve been away on some fabulous European vacation for the past week.  In reality, I’ve been drowning in work, which means no time to cook, and definitely no time to create new recipes, and less than no time to set up a camera.  Sorry ’bout that.  How about if I share some of the time sucking items from the internet vortex that made me smile this week?  I promise, I’ll cook something next week… Continue Reading..

Southwest Cauliflower Rice Confetti Salad {Meatless Monday}

I had corn yesterday!  Let me clarify – I did not have canned or frozen corn, but real, honest-to -goodness, summer-is-here, corn-on-the-cob!   And it was good too :)  I ran into my local Sprouts (love them) after the gym yesterday, just to get some milk and yogurt, and there it was.  I’m always hesitant to buy the first corn of the season, because nothing is worse than starchy, mushy corn.  From my experience growing up in the Midwest, late summer corn is best.  Knee-high by July is what I remember, which means by August it’s ready to pick.  But I live out west now, and everything is different.  Cilantro is 3 bunches for $0.79.  Love that. Continue Reading..

Southwest Veggie Burgers

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BUBBA Burger. All opinions are 100% mine.

Happy unofficial summer!  I know summer doesn’t technically start for a few more weeks, but hey – we’re past Memorial Day, so that means let’s dust off the patio furniture and fire up the grill!  There are so many things to love about summer, but one of my favorites is that the cooking just gets so much easier.  More fresh fruit and vegetables means meals are automatically lighter and healthier, and I’ll vote for fast and easy grilling over the stove and oven any day. Continue Reading..

Blackberry Chia Jam {Recipe ReDux}

Well, Hello lovely, luscious, plump and juicy berries!  I sooo missed you!  Late spring — early summer means berries, berries everywhere and hooray for that, because as acceptable as frozen berries are in smoothies and my overnight oats, they just don’t cut it in a big old fresh fruit salad.  Yay for summer food!

And speaking of berries, the blackberries were ginormous AND on sale the other day, so I snagged a few pints, because they’re just perfect for this recipe I’m sharing today. Continue Reading..

10 Ways to Celebrate the Mediterranean Diet

Have you ever visited any of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea?  We’ve been fortunate to do a little bit of traveling to that part of the world, and next to the breathtaking scenery, the thing I enjoyed most about those vacations was the food.  Never have I eaten so well – in terms of amazing, fresh flavor and ingredients, and good health.  The Mediterranean Diet is full of fresh fruit and vegetables, flavorful grilled fish, local cheeses, legumes, olives, nuts, herbs, and of course lots of olive oil.  Almost nothing is processed, deep fried, or contains preservatives, and meals are a time to relax and talk and spend time with friends and family, rather than eat on the run or in your car. Continue Reading..

Bone Suckers and Bone Builders

Did you know that every bone in your body is constantly changing?  Bones are made of cells that grow and die, just like every other tissue in your body, and every day, you lose some bone but then it’s replaced. When you’re young (until your 20s), your bones are doing lots of growing and strengthening, so you tend to gain more bone mass than you lose. But around the age of 30, everyone’s bones start to break down a bit more quickly, and new bone is replaced a bit more slowly.  So if you’re a women who is over the age of 30, you need to show your bones some love every day to help maintain them.  If you’re a postmenopausal woman, you REALLY need to pour on the love, because the process of breaking down bone density really accelerates, and the process of forming new bone slows down considerably after menopause. Continue Reading..

Baked Ricotta with Caramelized Tomatoes

I’m smitten. Cheese. Bread.  Roasted Tomatoes.  I had a variation of this dish as an appetizer in a restaurant last week, and as I was eating it, all I could think was, why does ricotta cheese only get used in lasagna and Italian desserts? And why, oh why, have I never thought to bake it before? The only time I actually pick up a container of ricotta is when I think it’s sour cream, and I grab it by mistake.  What is wrong with me?

True, it’s a pretty bland tasting cheese, but that actually makes it the perfect partner for SO many different flavors. Like lemon zest and fresh thyme. Or garlic and rosemary. Or just fresh herbs and olive oil. SO MANY POSSIBILITIES!  Yes, I’m screaming at you. Continue Reading..

Sweet and Savory No Bake Energy Bars

“I received free samples of California Dried Plums mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Dried Plum Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Here’s a totally random tip for National Osteoporosis Month. Dried plums (AKA prunes) are really good for your bones. I’m sure you know all about the “other” benefits of prunes – or dried plums as they prefer to be called these days. Feeling a little bit constipated? Try some prune juice. Need a shot of fiber? Eat a few prunes… Yes, it’s true that prunes can help with that problem, but there are some new studies out that show that California Dried Dlums can also help to prevent osteoporosis by helping to increase bone density. Hmmm… Interesting, and kind of nice to know about for anyone who’s small boned, fair skinned, and at risk for bone loss. Yikes! That’s me! Continue Reading..

DIY Mother’s Day Gifts for the World’s Greatest ...

I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be

(Robert Munsch)

Because every mom, mom-to-be, mother-figure, grandmother, and any special women in your life deserve to be treated like gold at least one day each year… Don’t forget about Mother’s Day this weekend!  Most moms appreciate simple gifts that come from the heart, so here are a few ideas that are sure to please.

Continue Reading..

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