Inspiring healthier eating one dish at a time

Why I Love The Vegetarian Flavor Bible

First of all, a big Thank You to the Meatless Monday Campaigns for sending me a free copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page, and inviting me to review it on my blog. I might have mentioned just a few times that I love cookbooks, and I own quite a few – some might even say too many! One thing I have very few of however, are cooking “reference books”. What’s a cooking reference book, you might be thinking? It’s a resource that helps you to be a better cook, so you can rely on cookbooks less, and on your creative instincts more – and that’s exactly what The Vegetarian Flavor Bible is. Continue Reading..

Lemon Parmesan Zucchini Noodles {Meatless Monday}

OK – raise your hand if you’ve ever had a new dish at a restaurant that totally moved you to bits and you thought about it all that night and the next day, and then you got right to work to recreate it right in your own kitchen.  Some people might have no idea what I’m talking about – they’re the ones who would just go back to the restaurant to eat it again, and be fine with that.  But, the rest of us – dare I say, the foodies of the world – know EXACTLY what I’m talkin’ about!  We’ve been there.  Done that!  Sometimes you’ve just gotta make it yourself. Continue Reading..

Garden Stuffed Sweet Peppers {Recipe ReDux}

Wow. I feel like I’m always saying this, and I know it’s a fact that as you get older, time really does move faster, but I can’t believe it’s fall already! Geez, wasn’t Memorial Day just last week? Is there some sort of scientific explanation why summer flies by even faster than the rest of the year?

This month, the Recipe ReDux theme is Fantastic Freezer Meals. They asked us to share tips and recipes that feature ways to stretch out the season just a little bit longer by showcasing the last of that summer produce in some heat and eat from the freezer meals. I used to be a major freezer-meals-mom. I have more freezer-safe plastic containers than I know what to do with, and of course I have a FoodSaver complete with every assorted accessory and bag size. I used to store everything from leftover hunks of cheese, to fresh breadcrumbs made from the ends of baguettes, to soups, stews and of course those huge family packs of chicken and beef. Continue Reading..

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started A Food Blog

My attendance at the Blog Brûlée was partially funded by Sponsors of the Blog Brûlée, and I received a discounted registration to the event in exchange for writing this post. Opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated for my time.

Ten days ago, I hopped a plane to Boston, rented a car, and drove much farther than I anticipated, to Smuggler’s Notch Resort in northern Vermont, where I joined 18 other, creative, smart and talented healthy food bloggers at Blog Brûlée. The intimate and experiential blogging conference was started last year, by 4 registered dietitians who work as food bloggers, food communications experts and owners of amazing companies that do amazing things, like work with some of the top healthy food brands around to create recipes and help market their products, publish nutrition and food-related articles all over the place, and run a pretty darn successful healthy food photo sharing website.  Just.  Incredible.  Energy. Continue Reading..

Heirloom Tomato, Avocado and Grilled Halloumi Caprese Salad

Is it OK to call this a Caprese salad?  I’m pretty sure (or at least Wikipedia says) a true Caprese salad, or Insalata Caprese, as they call it on the island of Capri, features slices of ripe of tomatoes, layered with fresh mozzarella and basil.  Mine does not, but that’s no reason to get nitpicky about the name.  I’m still celebrating those gorgeous end of summer ripe tomatoes – heirloom in this case, but instead of mozzarella, I’m using sliced grilled Haloumi cheese.  And instead of fresh basil, I’m going with slices of avocado.  Drizzle a bit of balsamic reduction over the whole thing, and WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE? Continue Reading..

DIY Chicken and Vegetable Ramen Noodles

I was asked to participate in the #PastaFits campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time. As always, all opinions are my own.

Chances are, if you were ever in college, or just starting out in the world, you had at least some period of time when you lived on Ramen Noodles. They were the perfect solution for a quick dinner or lunch, because really, what other food in the world could provide a hot and filling meal for less than $0.25 a serving? Then we all found out just how high in fat and sodium and lacking in nutrition those noodle bowls were, and luckily, we started to earn a regular paycheck, so they were quickly forgotten. But, every once in a while, don’t you kind of miss them?  Continue Reading..

Black Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia

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

 California black ripe olives have always been one of my favorite snack foods. Really. Since I was little. I was one of those kids who put one on the tip of each finger and just munched away. I’ve always loved their mild fruity, briny flavor, and their texture. I never gave much thought to whether they were good for me or not.  I just knew I really liked them.  Fast forward about a hundred years, and now that I know more about olives, I pop open a can every chance I get!  Most people are aware that olive oil is part of a healthy Mediterranean diet – well, guess where that oil comes from? Yep – olives, and they’re super-healthy too! Continue Reading..

Sofritas Stuffed Pobano Peppers {Meatless Monday}

Have you tried those new vegan Sofritas Bowls at Chipotle yet? I have not, only because I’ve been too lazy to hunt down a Chipotle at dinnertime. Sadly, the nearest one is about 12 miles from me, and that’s just a little too far for me to go for fast food – even though their fast food is pretty darn good. So instead of driving to the next town for Sofritas, I did the next best thing. Yep – I made it myself.

I’m pretty much in love with this stuff. Cooks up incredibly fast, and it can be served in multiple ways – stuff it into a burrito, spoon it into a grilled corn tortilla, serve it in a bowl over regular or cauliflower rice, or just eat it with a spoon. I was craving some stuffed peppers, when I came up with this twist on them. Continue Reading..

It’s Appetizers for Dinner Tonight!

At no time is the expression “time flies when you’re having fun” more true than the last weekend of the summer. And, unfortunately, dear friends, it’s here. Cue the sad funeral music, because starting next Tuesday, it’s back to reality – even more so for those of us who never really left it. There is just something so darn sad about the end of summer, so let’s do something fun for dinner so we can enjoy every last minute of the most fleeting season of the year. Let’s close down the kitchen tonight! Sometimes, there’s just nothing better than pouring a cool drink and having appetizers for dinner — please tell me you can relate? Continue Reading..

Just How Many Calories Are You Drinking?

Here’s a familiar scene: You get together for your weekly or monthly night out with the girls and you’re ready to plan ahead so you stick to your “diet”.  You order a salad instead of the chicken wings you’re really craving, and something light and healthy, like chicken or fish for a meal. Good for you! So why are you gaining weight?

Well… Let’s think about what and how much you drink when you go out, or even when you’re at home. Maybe you have a few mixed drinks, or even just a glass or two of wine in the evening. It’s probably not that much, but it’s enough to negate all of the exercise and healthy eating you’ve done. Continue Reading..

Dark Chocolate Toffee S’mores Bark and some Blog Brûlée

My attendance at the Blog Brûlée is partially funded by Sponsors of the Blog Brûlée, and I received a discounted registration to the event in exchange for writing this post. Opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated for my time.

I am totally, completely, beyond excited about a little trip that’s coming up for me in less than 2 weeks. I’m also scared to death, but I’m putting on my big girl pants and I’m not even going to think about how shy and awkward and terrified I’m going to be to spend an entire weekend with some of my blogging-photography-recipe developing-marketing and writing IDOLS. ‘Cause I’m going to Blog Brûlée 2015!! Continue Reading..

Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce {Recipe ReDux}

Happy 22nd day of the month!  It’s time for another Recipe ReDux, and this month, members were challenged to come up with a recipe that the family can enjoy and get back into the routine of eating dinner together, after a summer of running every-which-way.  My kids are grown, so the dinner table at my house is pretty quiet these days, no matter what time of year it is.  Call me crazy, but I miss those days when the kids were finally home after weekends away with their friends, and summer jobs (and money to spend), and we sat down to eat as a family.  It was my favorite part of the day.  Strangely, even though I don’t “HAVE” to cook much anymore, –  there is something about the end of summer and early fall that makes me want to start cooking again, even if it’s more for friends than family these days. Continue Reading..

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