If you need a new “after school” snack or the perfect side dish to complement any summer meal, I have the perfect option for you! AND it’s pretty darn healthy!
I frequently wonder how to use zucchinis in my everyday kitchen life. They’re incredibly inexpensive and have great health benefits – an outstanding source of manganese and vitamin C, with high amounts of fiber to keep your body in check. Turns out, zucchinis are very versatile and can be used in many recipes – from bread, to cake, to casseroles, and of course, crispy fries!
Usually, sticks like this have been cooked in a deep fryer, which means lots of heart trouble and calories for you. Luckily, these zucchini sticks are oven-baked and they taste AMAZING! Adults and kids alike will love these delicious alternative to fatty fries, adapted from EatingWell.
You know I’m always down for easy, meatless dinner options, and this recipe is definitely one of them! Ricotta is one of my favorite cheese to cook with. It’s creamy, sweet, and fresh, and perfect for a spring pasta dish – I’ve adapted it from my favorite Budget Bytes blog. The mild ricotta creaminess mixed with al dente fettuccine and mineral-packed spinach, and you’ve got yourself a delicious, easy dinner for tonight! **Bonus points if you use this recipe and make your OWN ricotta!
Happy New Year, friends! I’m sure you all made your lovely New Year’s resolutions about health and fitness and love and travel, but how easy is it to actually keep them?? I have an easy peezy recipe that’s only 3 ingredients AND no bake, and will keep you full and energized between meals! (And no, they’re not meatballs… even though they totally look like it.)
These energy balls are not only great tasting, but they’re incredibly good FOR your health. If you want good things to happen to your body, you have to put good things into your body, and popping 1-2 of these a day will do just that. Combine ingredients in a food processor, roll ’em up, refrigerate, and store in an airtight container for up to a week. Enjoy!
Health benefits of:
Dates: Fiber-rich – keeps you regular, prevents heart problems and intestinal disorders.
Walnuts: High omega-3 fatty acid content – antioxidants, reduce breast cancer, supports brain health.
Almonds: High quality protein – prevents heart disease.
SISTER TIP: This recipe is extremely versatile. Substitute any nut (cashews would be tasty!), add fruit or raisins, or roll in coconut flakes. The possibilities are endless. 🙂
I certainly didn’t invent this recipe, but I thought I’d pass it along to you because I absolutely love making them and they’re perfect for the busy mom or individual who doesn’t have time to make a healthy, filling breakfast every morning! The best part? You probably have all three ingredients in your kitchen right now to make these today!
SISTER TIP: Note to readers – these waffles don’t get super crispy, but I’ve found that if you let them cool a bit, then toss them in the toaster (cut in half first), you can get a bit of crunch you might be looking for! They’re great for on-the-go breakfasts or snacks, too!
Grilled corn is one of my favorite summer staples. It’s such a great side dish and super inexpensive to buy at farmer’s markets on the weekends! You can boil it, grill it, or even microwave it, and it pretty much goes with everything.
A unique dish to make with grilled corn is this mango avocado salad I read about from Trader Joe’s recipes. It’s so easy to make and you can munch on it as an appetizer with a side of chips, or serve it on top of chicken or fish to add flavor and color!
SISTER TIP: Here’s an infographic I made to show how to cut a mango! Chop off the two “cheeks” on the side of the pit, the slice into cubes and scoop out with a spoon. Couldn’t be easier. 🙂
This dinner could not be easier or more healthy! I found it on the side of my bell pepper package. It’s the perfect colorful dish to serve in the summertime, but hearty enough to make year round. I absolutely love stuffed peppers! The cost is less than $4 per serving, so make as many or as few as you need, I guarantee you’ll want seconds. 🙂
The great thing about these peppers is that you can use as much filling as you want, and you can really add any ingredients you have leftover in your kitchen! – mushrooms, tomatoes, corn, spinach, beans, quinoa, peppers, just mix it right in, it’ll be delicious. I like to make extra filling and eat it plain or over pasta the next day!
I’m always looking for summer pasta dishes that aren’t too hearty or heavy, and this one is perfect for patio weather, and SUPER easy to make! I got the recipe from the book “Good Housekeeping: 400 Healthy Recipes”, and as an added bonus, it’s vegetarian too! You’ll never miss the meat.
Each serving is about 370 calories, 10G of protein, 15G total fat, and 0MG cholesterol. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must eat this entire bowl immediately. 🙂
SISTER TIP: Tired of needing to buy fresh basil everytime you want it for a recipe? Trader Joe’s is selling basil plants for only $3.99 per potted plant! Go grab one (or two) and you’ll be set for a few weeks!
I was reading my monthly Shape magazine, and the authors of “Eat This, Not That” suggested substituting ice cream cookie sandwiches with graham crackers and cool whip topping this summer. I modified that idea a bit, and created a delightful, low-calorie frozen bar made with fresh, mouth-watering strawberries. You can use any fruit you want, but strawberries are in season right now and wonderfully big and juicy (and most importantly, cheap)!
So instead of ordering that hot fudge sundae with extra whipped cream, go grab these four ingredients from the store, and make these scrumptious strawberry graham cracker frozen yogurt squares – your taste buds & bikini bod will thank you. They’re not super smooth or creamy, so don’t expect a perfect trade for your fattening ice cream, but the icy cold strawberries add flavor against the crunchy cinnamon graham and it is tasty! This refreshing dessert is perfect for summer parties and a low-calorie treat when you’re craving ice cream during these hot months. Don’t give in to the pressure! Remember your beach body, darn it! I promise you it’s worth it! 🙂
I LOVE making easy bread recipes. They’re perfect for breakfast, snack time, or even to give to friends for gifts! This is my favorite banana bread recipe, and any time I have a few leftover ripe bananas, I whip a loaf of this whole wheat banana bread together and voila! Breakfast for the week! (Who am I kidding, it’s gone in a day.)
6 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce (I use a 4 oz cup)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond milk
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Various mix-ins: walnuts, chocolate chips, pecans etc
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk applesauce, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and milk together. Add in eggs and banana and whisk until combined.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the rest of the dry ingredients together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
4. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 60 minutes; test with a toothpick to ensure that it comes out clean. Allow the bread to completely cool before cutting! This is important so it holds!
SISTER TIP: I like to top mine with Greek yogurt and eat with a fork! This bread is fairly dense, so even one piece can fill you up. 🙂
You’re probably wondering what the heck is up with my post title today, allow me to explain. When I was just a young little Jesi – or, during the 2-year stage in which I only responded to my middle name, Ashley (big-ups to my Grandpa who was the only person to abide by this demand) – my parents used to tuck us kids in every night. And when they would say goodnight, instead of just saying “I love you” like normal families do, they would come up with tons of other words that started with “L” and sub those in. My nightly routine became “good night, Jessica Ashley, we leaf you,” or “we live you,” or “we loft you,” or my personal favorite, “we loaf you!”
So, whenever I make one of my favorite (and easiest) homemade dishes, meatloaf, I think of this adorable memory, and put a little extra “loaf” into that loaf! Here’s my take on a healthy meatloaf for you to try out this week. 🙂
SISTER TIP: The thing I love about meatloaf is that you can pretty much add any nutritious veggie to it and it will still taste amazing. Have some leftover carrots? Green peppers? Zucchini? Sweet potatoes? Beets? Blend ’em in the food processor and in they go! I even added some chia seeds and wheat germ for extra goodness, and diced up these mushrooms I had in my pantry. ^^
1 lb ground turkey
1 container mushrooms, chopped finely
1 small onion, diced
2 cups canned or fresh spinach, drained and chopped
1 egg white, beaten
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
Salt & pepper to taste
Basically, just mix that stuff up! Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands until well incorporated. Form into a loaf and put on baking sheet, or into a loaf pan. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Serve with barbecue sauce or ketchup.
SISTER TIP: For side dishes, I made a basic romaine salad and these easy cauliflower mashed potatoes! You won’t even miss the carbs, I promise. MOM! THE MEATLOAF!