Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lighter Hummus

I love hummus. SO MUCH. It's good with pretty much anything. It makes vegetables taste better and crackers seem healthier. You can add it to a sandwich or eat it straight up. It's pretty magical.
I have another hummus recipe on the blog that is a sort of basic recipe that you can go to when you want hummus. This is exactly the same but made a little lighter. We use a little bit more olive oil so we get the health benefits from that but less tahini and we skip the liquid from the can, which has a little bit of sodium in it.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fettuccine Alfredo with Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms

Fettucine alfredo is one of the most popular Italian dishes in America. It's such good comfort food, you feel like you're in heaven while you're eating it. Once you're done though, that feeling turns to shame and regret, or is that just me...? It's so good but it's also so evil! It has an insane amount of calories.
If you are looking for something to hit the same notes as Alfredo sauce does but without all the calories, this dish is for you. It's not a traditional Alfredo because it doesn't use butter or cream but it's just as good! Let me show you how to make it.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts. Every child's nightmare. I always saw these in the grocery store and thought "Well, they're ADORABLE! Baby cabbages, how freaking cute. But I don't know what to do with them so...nope". I only recently tried Brussels sprouts and they're surprisingly really good! A little bitter, crunchy, but sweeter than cabbage. You can cook them in many different ways, you could even juice them! Some people say they are even better for you than kale, but what makes them so good?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Back to Basics 17 - Stuffed Peppers

There are a ton of stuffed pepper recipes out there, and that's the beauty of stuffing peppers, mushrooms or tomatoes. You can stuff them with anything you want. This is a pretty basic one using just a few ingredients and a very secret one. Keep reading and you'll see!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Health Benefits of Farro

So....what exactly IS farro? It originated in the Middle East and was used everywhere during the Roman Empire, and has since played a vital part in Italian cuisine. It has a nutty, earthy flavor, and a supple texture that's chewy on the outside, with a firm center. It's also awesome for your health:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Asian Lettuce Wraps

If you're bored of all the meals you've been making, try these lettuce wraps. Seriously, the flavors are unlike anything I've ever eaten. We use a blend of five spices along with some Asian sauce to take these from plain turkey lettuce wraps into a mini vacation for your mouth. They're that good. Let me show you how I make them.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chicken Broth VS. Chicken Stock

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the 2? I have. Many times. I've googled it SO many times. Yet, I still forget. Gettin' old...
Well wonder no more!!

Chicken broth: Made more from the meaty parts. So when you toss in an entire bird along with your usual vegetables and spices, that's broth. I don't ever make this one because I just feel like using a full bird for broth and then throwing it out is a complete waste. Ina Garten has a recipe where she uses 3 roasting birds! That's 3 roasted chickens you just threw away Ina!! I love her but c'mon. I'm not rich.

Chicken Stock: This is when you mostly use bones. It's still chicken stock even if a little bit of the meat and skin are attached. This is my favorite of the 2 because you can make use of leftovers. And who doesn't want to make something new out of things you would throw out anyway? Chicken stock also has a lot richer flavor than chicken broth, due to the gelatin being released by the long hours simmering on the stove. Did I just gross you out? Get over it.

I have a recipe teaching you how to make chicken stock here. There's no ONE way to make it. You can throw in whatever veggies you want, whatever herbs and spices you want but this is a really good, basic recipe.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spaghetti with Broccoli and Tomato Sauce

This recipe comes from EatingWell on a Budget cookbook. It's a great pantry recipe! Which just means that most, and in this case all the ingredients can be kept in the pantry or freezer. It was also very quick to make, and is obviously delicious. This is really one of those recipes you want to have in you back pocket for busy weeknights.
We use anchovy paste here but don't be scared, trust me, you can't even taste it in the recipe. We use only a small amount to give it a briny and salty taste. I'm not into fish that much and was skeptical about using it but seriously, you can't taste it. Enough babbling.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are truly a superfood. They are great for your body, taste really good and are very versatile. You can put them in almost anything! Here is why you should be eating more of these:

-Anti-inflammatory & great for your heart! This is because of their vitamin E content, which is an antioxidant. The anti-inflammatory effect of these seeds means it reduces symptoms of asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin E has also been show to reduce colon cancer and decrease the intensity and frequency of hot flashes. Vitamin E is also great for your skin by combating UV rays!
-Phytosterols can lower cholesterol.
-Its magnesium content will help lower high blood pressure, reduce severity of asthma, calm you down, and prevent migraines. Magnesium is necessary for healthy bones and energy production. It regulates nerves and muscle tone.
-They're a good source of selenium, which may help decrease your chances of cancer.

Eating just a 1/4 cup of these guys a day will be enough to get these health benefits. You can add them to your cereal, granola, yogurt, pancakes, salads, pasta or even just straight up as a snack.

If you want a good recipe where you can incorporate these, this Almond-Honey Power Bar is for you. It is PACKED with healthy ingredients and it tastes AMAZING.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Back to Basics 16 - Almond-Honey Power Bar

I've got a really great breakfast/snack recipe for you! This, no surprise, is an EatingWell recipe. I got it from my Simple Art of EatingWell cookbook. I make a batch of these granola bars at the beginning of the week for my boyfriend Eric to take with him in the morning as his breakfast.

These bars are very complex, filling and just sweet enough. They have so many tasty and healthy things in them! They're seriously amazing. Everybody that has tried them looovvesss them and begs me to make more.

Yields 8 bars

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Green Juice

I got a juicer for Christmas and it's the coolest thing! Eric, my boyfriend, now loves juicing mostly because the juicer is a beast. You can put almost anything in there and it crushes it! And we all know how much boys love power tools. If you want to get one like it, here it is on Amazon.

I know juicing is very controversial. Some people don't like it because they believe it takes out all of the fiber in the produce, making it just a big ball of sugar. Which isn't exactly true. Yes, most of the fiber is gone but some studies say that SOME fiber is still left in there. But one of the benefits of juicing is that taking the fiber out means your body doesn't have to work as hard on digesting the food, so all those vitamins and nutrients go straight into your body way quicker. Fiber is great for keeping you full longer, but it does take a while to digest. Juicing isn't the thing you want to do when you're trying to stay full. I like to use it as a snack between meals, or as part of my breakfast along with a slice of toast.

Another thing that is important is knowing HOW to juice. Meaning, knowing the right the amount of fruits and vegetables to put in your juice. Fruit has a lot of sugar, you don't want a juice that is entirely made of fruits. You also don't want to eliminate them completely because then your juice might be too bitter and you won't want to drink it. So I like to do 1 fruit for every 3-4 veggies. That keeps it just sweet enough. Adding lemon also helps keep it less bitter and adds a bit of zing!

I'm not an expert on juicing so if you want to know more about it, I suggest you do your research. Go online and you'll find thousands of articles and blogs written by people who know their stuff.

This is a recipe in the new Giada De Laurentiis book called Feel Good Food. If you know me at all you know I love her. This is a book all about how she keeps that figure while still eating amazing Italian food. She makes this as a morning juice to drink instead of coffee. I like it any time of day. Enough babbling. Here is a little video of me making it: