Inspiring healthier eating one dish at a time

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..

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Whoa, did I miss the boat on this one. Cauliflower rice. I’ll admit, I was skeptical. Yes, I could see how it could resemble rice, but cauliflower is not taste-free, so how in the world could it taste like rice? And wouldn’t it get too soft when cooked? And the leftovers – would that tell-tale most unpleasant odor of cooked cauliflower permeate the entire dish?

Well – I’ve finally been converted, after feeling like I am the very last nutritionist and Pinterest junkie on earth to try cauliflower rice. So, to answer my own questions — no, it actually doesn’t taste like cauliflower when you add it to something. The other flavors of the dish take over, which is why it works so well in Mexican or Asian dishes. And no, it didn’t break down into mush. And, unfortunately, I can’t address the leftovers question, because it was so good, there were none! Sold! Continue Reading..

Eggplant Parmesan Panini

This post was sponsored by Dominex, the Eggplant People. I received free products from them, but I was not compensated for my time. As always, all opinions are my own.

Holy. Meatless. Monday. Let’s toss aside the quinoa and kale just for a week, and take a quick trip to Italy for one of the all-time most wonderful and original Meatless Monday dishes – Eggplant Parmigianino. Yep – I’m going there. And you can come too.

I rarely make Eggplant Parmesan (or Parmigianino, as they say in Italy) just because it’s so time consuming. All that slicing, and salting the eggplant to remove the bitterness and water. Then there’s the egg dipping and breading and the frying or baking. And that’s before you even get to the sauce-making part of the recipe. Waaay too much work, but I will be your BFF if you ever want to make it for me :) Continue Reading..

What To Do With 3 Pounds of Costco Salmon: Chipotle Salmon S...

I’ve never lived too terribly close to a Costco to make it worth my while to join, so whenever someone would sing its praises, I would just tune it out. Whatever. It was kind of like hearing someone going on about surfing when you live in Iowa. Not gonna happen, so who really cares?

Well… Suddenly, it seems that there’s a Costco just 10 little miles from my new house. Oh my. I resisted at first, because there’s only two of us now, and I’ve fallen prey to the membership club experience in the past. Money saving my ass (can I say that on a blog?). “Hey where did that 100 pack of lunch snacks go?” I would ask as my teenage son and his posse wiped orange cheese powder off their faces many a night. And who doesn’t totally love it when their husband drops a 50-pound jar of pickles on the kitchen floor?

So I joined. Continue Reading..

Grilled Pesto Tomato Flatbread {Recipe ReDux}

Don’t you love it when you find little treasures at the bottom of your freezer? I’m really good at saving little scraps of things that can be really useful and totally lifesaving – like Parmesan cheese rinds to perk up soup, or the ends of French bread to make fresh breadcrumbs. And I always have a few bags of cranberries at the bottom of the freezer, and sometimes when I think there’s nothing to eat, I spy a stray veggie burger that escaped its open box. Unfortunately, I’m also fairly guilty of freezer neglect, so I usually don’t find those things until years later. Eeek.

Every time I clean out the freezer, I vow to have a really good organizational system – frozen produce items on the left hand side, meat or frozen meal items on the right side, shredded cheese and bread scraps in the top basket. But inevitably, there’s always something that doesn’t fit into my system, and all hell breaks loose, and suddenly it’s chaos in there. Continue Reading..

The 5 Main Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight…

Have you noticed that it gets a little bit harder to lose weight, or keep those extra pounds from creeping on as you get older? And while it’s true for everyone, women have the hardest time of all. While we’re quick to blame it on the holidays or our thyroid, the truth is, middle age weight gain happens to most of us, and it usually happens for five main reasons. Continue Reading..

Strawberry Rhubarb Spinach Salad

You have to know it’s springtime when you start to see rhubarb in the produce department.  It’s one of the first vegetables (yes, technically) harvested in the spring, and if you live in the northern hemisphere, you should be seeing it right about now. Blink, and the really good stuff will be gone, so get your fill now.

Because rhubarb is mouth-puckeringly tart – kind of like spring’s version of cranberries,  it’s usually paired with really sweet, ripe fruits, and sweetened quite a bit.  I love it in jams, and I also pair it with wild blueberries to make Bluebarb Cheesecake Ice Cream. Continue Reading..

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