New Year! New You!

For many people, the beginning of a New Year typically signifies change and a chance to make a fresh start. That is why some people make resolutions for themselves and figure, “New Year, New You” and new goals. Having goals gives us the opportunity to strive forward and accomplish things we deem important. For many of us, better health and diet often top the list.
goals

The New Year is a great time to take charge of your health and make changes to your diet. It is also a good opportunity to change up your routine and allow yourself the time to exercise more. Many people today are frustrated with their weight or have health problems related to their diets and are looking for help. In my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living,” I talk about how society today consumes more processed food containing artificial ingredients than real, wholesome foods. Many people don’t know the difference and think “food is just food” and that is a big problem. Many of us are eating the wrong foods, which can cause weight gain and make you sick.
weight gain

Why not start out the year with a life-style change incorporating healthy eating habits? Remember—eating healthy is a choice, which requires a commitment. Following are some things you can do daily to commit to your health.

Ways To Commit To Your Health

  1. Eat Breakfast
    According to many nutrition experts, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, many people, including children and adults, skip breakfast and jump right in to their day, which is not good for you. After a long night’s sleep, your body requires nutrients to get you going. Eating breakfast helps gives you energy for the day ahead and will help you perform and feel better. While you may feel rushed, there are plenty of foods you can grab quickly to take with you out the door, or make in a minimal amount of time. Breakfast doesn’t have to be hard, or complicated. If you are in a hurry, grab a banana or some other piece of fruit. You can also grab a yogurt, nuts or perhaps a protein bar. If you have some time to spare, why not mix some healthful ingredients together to make a smoothie? You can add protein powder, a handful of spinach or kale, fruit, coconut oil and more. You can also make yourself some eggs, a breakfast sandwich or a breakfast burrito. There are many options to make a healthy breakfast.
    Eat Breakfast
  2. Eat More Fruit And Vegetables
    Eating a healthy diet is the best way to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly. Some of the best sources of these nutrients come from fruit and vegetables. Unfortunately, many people do not include enough of them in their diet, especially vegetables. Do yourself a favor and try to include them at every meal. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips to go along with your sandwich, why not grab an apple or banana. If you bring your lunch to work, why not include some healthy vegetables such as carrots, peppers or broccoli to go with your meal? You can also choose to have a side of vegetables with your dinner, instead of fries or bread. Try including fruit and vegetables in your morning meals, as well. Oh—and don’t forget to incorporate fruit and vegetables for a morning, afternoon or evening snack. Try having some carrots, cauliflower and celery with hummus or your favorite dip, or snack on them alone. Apricots, raisins, cherries and grapes also make great healthy snacks. Find your favorites and enjoy their sweet flavor.
    fruit and vegetables
  3. Stay Active
    The morning is a great time to exercise. If you have the time, why not go for a walk, get on your treadmill (if you have one), do some stretches or yoga? You can also jump rope for 10 minutes. There are many possibilities. If you don’t have time to exercise in the morning, make sure you schedule some time in your day for it. Your body was meant to move. Make sure you find ways to stay active. You can go to a gym, lift weights or do kick boxing. You can also get on a stationary bike or get outside to run or go a long walk. If those things don’t interest you, find some other activity that does. There are  many options.
    yoga
  4. Plan Meals
    Many people these days opt for processed foods, go out to eat and eat unhealthy foods on the run. To help avoid these tendencies, try and make more home-cooked meals. The best way to do this is to pre-plan your meals. You can start by making a list of several meals you would like to make for the week. You can write down some of your favorites, or look for some new recipes to try. Why not pull out  your favorite cookbook, or search Pinterest or some other food site. Next you can make a grocery list of any ingredients you don’t already have on hand and then plan a trip to the grocery store. Once you have your groceries, you can prepare some items ahead to make things easier. For example, you can chop vegetables in advance for salads, stir-fries, or snacking. If you are making several recipes with chicken, why not cook them together? You can also cook a few extra chicken breasts to have on hand for salads, a quick stir-fry or some other dish. By planning ahead, you can save yourself time, eat healthier and avoid that usual visit to that local restaurant when you don’t necessarily have items on hand.
    cookbook
  5. Add More Good Fats To Your Diet—
    Fat plays a big part in how a food tastes. Unfortunately, many people are still hooked on low-fat foods, which aren’t all that healthy. Low fat foods tend to have added sugar, chemicals and preservative added to them to make them taste better. It is better to choose foods that contain monounsaturated fats (MUFAS), which are good fats. You can find them in a variety of whole foods including: avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, coconut oil, olive oil, dark chocolate and certain varieties of fish. Make sure you start adding more good fats to your diet to reap their health benefits.
    avocados
  6. Take Time For Yourself—
    Make sure you take some time daily to practice a little self care. We all lead busy lives and can get stressed out from work, running our children around or attending meetings all day. It is easy to get caught up in our daily lives and the needs of others. That is why it is important to take a little time out of your day, just for you. There is nothing wrong with tending to some needs of your own. Make sure you allow yourself time to do a little reading, go shopping, work out, have a pedicure or something else you enjoy.

    reading

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Easy Spinach Parmesan Squash Noodles

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe for some Easy Spinach Parmesan Squash Noodles I made the other day.

Easy Spinach Parmesan Squash Noodles

They are simple to make and include only 5 ingredients, which is great! I was at Whole Foods the other day and came across some butternut squash spirals that looked good to me, so I decided to give them a try. Although I’ve never used butternut squash noodles before, I knew I could find a good recipe on Pinterest. The one I selected, called for zucchini noodles, but I figured substituting squash noodles would work and I am happy to say, the recipe was delicious!

butternut squash

Butternut squash is good for you and includes some healthful ingredients including vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, iron and more. It is also high in antioxidants and helps boost your immune system, which is important this time of year. Give it a try if you are looking for a quick, easy recipe. It would be a good one to add for your Thanksgiving dinner!

thanksgiving

Easy Spinach Parmesan Squash Noodles

Butternut squash spirals (10.7 oz. package or make your own)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups packed spinach
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or until slightly brown. Add in the butternut squash noodles and spinach. Gently toss and cook until spinach leaves are wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese and toss until butternut squash noodles are coated in the Parmesan cheese. Add salt and the ground black pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve warm.

Enjoy!

Barb

P.S. If you are looking for other healthy recipes, you can find some in my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, which is available on Amazon.

 

Warm Quinoa, Spinach, Tomato And Feta Salad…

In this blog, I wanted to share my recipe for some warm quinoa, spinach, tomato and feta salad. It is easy to make and a favorite of mine. This recipe includes some healthy vegetables and spices, which promote vitality and contain some anti-inflammatory properties. It also includes avocados, which have feel good-fats your body needs to move and function properly. In addition, it includes the ancient grain, quinoa, which is considered a super-food. Quinoa not only has a number of healthful vitamins, but includes a healthy dose of fiber and is rich in protein, which helps sustain energy. If you are looking to plan a meal, you might want to give this recipe a try. It is easy to prepare, wholesome and delicious.

Warm Quinoa, Spinach, Tomato & Feta Salad

Warm quinoa spinach tomato and feta salad

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 or 2  large handfuls fresh spinach
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 handful feta cheese crumbles (1/8 cup feta cheese, approximately)
  • 1/2 avocado cut in to pieces
  • cajun seasoning
  • tumeric
  • soy sauce or coconut aminos

Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with olive oil.

olive oil

Add the spinach, onion, and garlic. Stir on medium heat, until the onion begins to brown and the spinach is slightly wilted. Sprinkle the top with the turmeric and Cajun seasoning. Stir in the quinoa with the warm with the vegetables. Add the tomatoes and stir, until they are just warm. Spoon the salad on a plate. Add the feta cheese and avocado pieces on the top of the salad. Sprinkle with a little coconut aminos or soy sauce, if desired and serve warm.

Note: You may also add black beans, chick peas, or another vegetable to the mix to make it your own.

Enjoy!

Barb

P.S. You can find this recipe, as well as other healthy recipes in my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, which is available on Amazon.

Easy Chocolate Zucchini Bread

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe for some Easy Chocolate Zucchini Bread that I made over the weekend. I had a few zucchini’s in my refrigerator that a friend gave me from her garden I needed to use. I decided to make a recipe from another friend who made me some Chocolate Zucchini Bread last year for my birthday. I like traditional zucchini bread, but I am a chocolate lover and I have to admit, this chocolate version is delicious. I did substitute honey for some of the sugar the original recipe called for, as well as put in some other substitutions you can use.

This recipe is easy to make and contains some healthful ingredients including fiber, vitamin C and magnesium from the zucchini, plus some good fat from the chocolate, (especially if you use a high cacao version of the chocolate chips). Give it a try if you are craving some chocolate or having a seasonal craving for zucchini.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

chocolate zucchini bread
chocolate zucchini bread

2-1 oz. squares chocolate
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
(You can also use coconut palm sugar for a lower glycemic load.)
1/2 cup honey
(You can substitute 1 cup of honey and omit the sugar.)
1 cup oil
(I used olive oil)
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
(You can substitute rice flour, if you are looking for a gluten free option.)
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
(I used one with a higher cacao content)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two loaf pans. Using a double-boiler, or similar, melt the chocolate squares. Stir until smooth and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, honey, oil, zucchini, vanilla. Add the melted chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold in the flour. Add the chocolate chips. Pour the batter in the two loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 60 minutes, or until a toothpick in center come out clean.

Enjoy!

Barb

P.S. If you are looking for more good recipes to try and ways to live a healthy life-style, you might want to check out my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living. You can grab a FREE chapter here to preview.

5 Reasons You Have Food Cravings

We all experience cravings from time to time, but what is it that causes them and why do some people experience more cravings than others? Maybe you’re not a sweets person, but all of a sudden a big piece of chocolate cake sounds good. Perhaps you crave something salty and crunchy at a certain time of day or can’t wait to get home and eat a big slice of greasy pizza? Whatever it is, we all can relate. Many people try and resist their cravings and others beat themselves up when they give in, but did you know that your body is actually trying to tell you something? That’s right! Your body is trying to let you know you are missing something, whether it is a vitamin, some nutrient, or maybe just some tender loving care. There are a variety of reasons we all have cravings. In this blog, I wanted to share 5 reasons you have food cravings. Let’s take a look…

5 Reasons you have food cravings:

  1. Seasonal Cravings—
    Seasonal cravings are natural and common for many people. That’s because your body is trying to adapt to the changing temperatures. In the winter months, you naturally crave warming foods like stews, soups and hearty casseroles, whereas in the summer months you tend to crave cooling foods, such as watermelon, cucumbers and salads. Many seasonal cravings also stem from the growing seasons. Instinctively we know when it’s time for certain varieties of food. For example, in the fall, we tend to crave foods that were just harvested such as zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, apples and pumpkins. I don’t know about you, but I love pumpkin! Last week I had a serious craving for something pumpkin—like muffins or pumpkin bread. I actually broke down the other day and made myself some paleo pumpkin coffee cake after searching for pumpkin recipes on Pinterest. I don’t eat a whole lot of sweets anymore, but having a piece was just enough to satisfy my craving and made me feel content. Seasonal cravings are not a bad thing and can be quite comforting. In fact, it is important to eat the foods that are prevalent during certain times of the year, as they help your body perform and function better.

    pumpkins
    pumpkins
  2. Vitamin Deficiencies—
    Many people crave certain types of food because they are lacking some vitamin. In our fast-paced society, many people eat on the run and opt for quick, easy to prepare food. Often times this includes fast food or processed food, which may taste good, but many times it lacks the nutrients our bodies need and crave. In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk about how food is fuel, and how many people don’t feed their body the information and nutrients it needs to function properly. Your body needs a variety of nutrients to produce skin, muscle, hair, finger nails, bone and more. When you don’t feed your body the right foods with the right nutrients, vitamin deficiencies can develop, such as an iron deficiency and more. Many people crave chocolate, especially women, at certain times of the month. While this is a common craving, it is not always the fact that you love chocolate, but rather that your body is most likely craving the mineral magnesium. When you feed your body more foods rich in magnesium such as kale, bananas, almonds, avocados, pumpkin seeds, or black beans, you most likely won’t notice the craving for chocolate as much.

    chocolate
    chocolate
  3. Hormonal Imbalances—
    Many people crave certain foods because they have a hormonal imbalance. Again—women can have hormonal imbalances that may cause cravings for chocolate or sweets. When your hormones are in-flux they can also wreak havoc on your body and sleep patterns. When this happens, you are often left tired and run down and many people turn to sweets for a quick pick-me-up. Unfortunately, the pick-me-up is usually short-lived and may leave you reaching for more sweets or more caffeine. People who have hormonal imbalances may also crave cheese or other comfort type foods. Cheese contains  l-tryptophan, which improves mood and promotes relaxation. This is one reason you might be craving a big slice of cheesy pizza, macaroni and cheese or some cheesy lasagna.

    lasagna
    lasagna
  4. Emotional Triggers—
    Many people turn to food when they want to turn away from the daily stresses of life. Food can be comforting and may temporarily give you a good feeling. Unfortunately, eating a box of cookies, or a bag of Doritos is not the best way to deal with a problem you are having with your spouse or significant other, a problem with another family member, or a situation at work. We need to face these problems and work through them instead of turning to food. The next time you find yourself going to your pantry for some junk food, take a minute to ask yourself, “What do I really need?” You need to be curious about what you are eating and why you want a certain item. Maybe you really want to talk to somebody who understands your situation, so call up a good friend instead of reaching for those chips. If you just want to feel better about yourself and change your mood, why not go for a walk, or treat yourself to a little self-care? Go have a pedicure, do some shopping, take a warm bath, or go to a movie. This way you will be taking care of yourself in a way that makes you feel good, instead of beating yourself up after eating some bad food.

    pedicure
    pedicure
  5. Yin & Yang Imbalances— Sometimes people tend to eat the same types of foods and get stuck in a pattern. When you do this, you can actually cause an imbalance. Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that idea of Yin and Yang in the body; that heat and cold exist in the body. There are both warming and cooling foods, which can be both expansive (Yin) and contractive (Yang). When there is an imbalance in the two, it can cause problems or discomfort. For example, if you are eating too many raw foods, over time, you may crave extremely cooked foods. If you are eating a diet filled with sugar-laden foods, you may start craving meat. Your body is naturally trying to balance itself out.
    pork
    pork

    Thanks for reading!

Barb

P.S. Grab a FREE Chapter of Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living here.

Source:
¹https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9531/5-reasons-why-we-have-cravings.html

²https://www.rd.com/health/diet-weight-loss/cravings-meaning/

Recipe: Ginger Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry Delight

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe for some Ginger Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry Delight, I recently made. I had some chicken, broccoli and mushrooms and a few other fresh vegetables on hand and decided to turn them into a delicious, delightful meal. All it takes is a little meal planning, some healthy ingredients and a little time. It is not hard to eat healthy. Cooking can also be fun, if you give it a chance and play around a bit. I found this recipe on Pinterest, but changed it up a bit, by adding some additional vegetables, including some fresh cherry tomatoes and zucchini slices for some added vitamin C, iron and fiber. I also gave some options to if you wanted to make a few of the ingredients a little healthier. Give it a try if you like.

Ginger Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry Delight

ginger chicken broccoli stir fry delight
ginger chicken broccoli stir fry delight
  • 2 chicken breast, cut into pieces
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 cups (12 -14 oz) fresh broccoli, florets
  • 1 small onion, cubed or sliced
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • handful of cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 1 small zucchini sliced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Combine the chicken broth, water, soy sauce or coconut aminos, sugar, grated ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, black pepper, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a medium size glass bowl. Mix together until the cornstarch dissolves and then set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook for several minutes, until crisp. When fully browned, remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the frying pan and add the broccoli, mushrooms, onions and zucchini. Saute the vegetable mix until the broccoli turns bright green and the mushrooms are tender. This will take several minutes. Add the prepared sauce to the vegetables. Top with sliced tomatoes. Stir to coat the vegetables and warm tomatoes. Add the chicken back into the frying pan and stir to coat everything. Serve warm alone or with rice, or use quinoa.

Enjoy!

Barb

P.S. If you are looking for ways to live a healthy life-style and also want to find more good recipes, you might want to check out my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living. You can grab a FREE chapter here to preview.

Tomato Avocado And Cucumber Salad

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe for some summertime Tomato Avocado And Cucumber Salad I made over the weekend.

tomato-avocado-cucmber-salad
tomato-avocado-cucumber-salad

I had some garden fresh vegetables on hand including tomatoes, onions and cucumbers, so I thought I would add an avocado to the mix and make a healthy summertime salad. The mix proved not only be tasty, but included some healthful vitamins, including vitamin C and K, as well as some other healthful nutrients. It also included some good fat from the avocados, which our body needs.

garden fresh vegetables
garden fresh vegetables

If you have some vegetables available from your garden, or have some on hand from your local farmers market, you might want to give this recipe a try.

Tomato Avocado And Cucumber Salad

1-2 medium avocados, diced
3 medium tomatoes, diced
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 small red onion, diced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup sunflower seed oil
salt to taste
fresh black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine the chopped vegetables.

tomato-avocado-cucumber-chopped vegetables
tomato-avocado-cucumber-chopped vegetables

Add the sunflower oil and salt & pepper to taste. Serve alone, or as a side salad with other items.

Enjoy!

P.S. You can find other healthy recipes in my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living. Grab a FREE chapter here.

Recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

In this post, I wanted to share a recipe for some Chocolate Zucchini Cake I made over the weekend.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I had some home grown, garden fresh zucchini from a neighbor and another one from my daughter’s garden, so I figured I needed to do a little cooking and baking to enjoy their goodness. If you caught my last post, you may remember I spotlighted the health benefits of the zucchini. Zucchini’s are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, calcium, fiber and more. They also contain other vital nutrients your body needs and craves, which help prevent disease and boost your immune system. I always look forward to the zucchini season, as they not only are good for you, they are great for grilling, frying and baking.

garden fresh zucchini
garden fresh zucchini

Last week, I enjoyed some sauteed zucchini, as well as made some zucchini bread. Over the weekend, I remembered I had a good recipe for chocolate zucchini cake, so I decided to get a little more baking on. I don’t bake as much as I used to, but I do like sweets from time to time. Remember—there is nothing wrong with eating sweets now and then. Michael Pollan, in his book Food Rules an Eater’s Manual, tells us “Eat all of the junk food you want, as long as you cook it yourself.”¹ Chances are you won’t eat it every day then. Anyway—his recipe is easy to make, contains some healthful ingredients and gets an “A” for satisfying those chocolate cravings. Give it a try if you like.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1-3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup high quality cocoa
1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
2-1/2 cups flour (You can use rice flour if you want it gluten free)
2 cups grated zucchini
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (You can also use pecans or almonds)
12 oz. bag good quality chocolate chips (I used one with one with a high cacao content for its good fat content)

In a mixer, mix the first 6 ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients, then add the zucchini. Mix well. Spread the mixture in a greased & floured, 13” x 9”. Top with nuts and chocolate chips. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool and frost with chocolate frosting if desired. Serve warm, or cold.

Optional Frosting Glaze

1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp coconut oil

Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in double boiler or similar, stirring until the chips are melted and a smooth texture. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.

Pour and spread over the cake. Allow to set for at a bit and serve.

Enjoy!

Barb

P.S. You can find other healthy recipes in my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, available on Amazon.

Source:

¹Pollan, Michael. Food Rules and Eaters Manual.

Healthy Chicken Parmesan Kale Pasta

After our big Fourth of July gathering at the lake, I was left with a lot of extra food, including a big bag of kale that I wanted to use before it spoiled. Since Pinterest is a great resource for recipes, I decided to look there for a healthy kale recipe to try. Of course, I like to change things up and added some chicken and a few other vegetables to make the recipe healthier and came up with my own recipe for some Healthy Chicken Parmesan Kale Pasta instead. It was easy to make, contains some healthy nutrients and was pretty tasty. Give it a try if you like.

Healthy Chicken Parmesan Kale Pasta

chicken parmesan kale pasta_close up
Chicken Parmesan Kale Pasta
  • 2 medium size chicken breasts (grilled and sliced)
  • 1 bunch (about ½ lb.) kale
  • ½ lb. angel hair pasta (You can also use a gluten free option)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 package mushrooms sliced (about 4 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Cherry tomatoes (handful or 2 sliced in half)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Red pepper flakes

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and other favorite seasoning. Place the chicken on a heated grill and cook until done, flipping the meat as needed. When the chicken is done, remove from heat and let cool slightly. Slice the chicken in thin strips and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Break the pasta in half, add it to the boiling water, and cook until soft (about 10 minutes). Drain the pasta in a colander.

While the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil, butter, minced garlic and sliced mushrooms in a large skillet pan. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and mushrooms slightly browned. Add the washed kale and continue to sauté until the kale has slightly wilted. Add the sliced chicken.

Add the drained pasta to the kale mix. Toss the pasta and kale together. Season the pasta and kale with salt and pepper to taste and then add the red pepper flakes. Add the sliced cherry tomatoes and stir to warm. Top with the grated Parmesan cheese.

chicken parmesan kale pasta
Chicken Parmesan Kale Pasta

Serve warm with another vegetable side or slice of garlic bread.

chicken parmesan kale pasta
Chicken Parmesan Kale Pasta

Enjoy!

Barb

Red White And Blue Spiked Berries

With The Fourth of July just around the corner, I thought I would share a recipe for some Red White And Blue Spiked Berries I made the other weekend. Although this dessert is spiked with a little wine, it does include some healthy berries and slivered almonds, which contain protein, good fat and other healthful vitamins and antioxidants. Before I share the recipe however, I thought would share a little story.

Fourth of July
4th of July

I know I just wrote a blog on 5 Simple Ideas To Plan Meals, but I wanted to share an experience I recently had with meal planning. The other weekend, I had my sister and a friend up to the lake. As I was thinking about what we should have for our meals, I thought it might be fun to try some new recipes from a cookbook that my daughter gave me the other year. Although I like to try new recipes from time to time, when I cook I typically wing it and make meals with the food I have on hand, or change recipes up a bit to make them healthier. I thought this particular weekend however, it would be good to practice a little meal planning of my own. Anyway—we picked out 4 recipes from my cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Healthy in a Hurry, to make including the Wine Spiked Berries With Ricotta. We then made a grocery list of the things we needed to buy that I didn’t have on hand and made our way to the store for the rest of the ingredients.

berries
berries

The one day we made 3 recipes from the book and for breakfast the next morning we used the Turkey Arugula Frittata recipe, but we decided to change it up a bit and create a Healthy Breakfast Spinach Tomato Sausage Frittata version instead. It turned out to be delicious. Maybe you saw my blog on that one?

ALT Spinach Tomato & Sausage Frittata
Healthy Breakfast—Spinach Tomato & Sausage Frittata

Anyway—I have to say the weekend, the meal planning and the food, all turned out great. We all helped out with the food prep and had a good time doing it. Oh— and the Wine Spiked Berries, which we added strawberries and almonds to were delightful. Here is the recipe for my version.

Red White And Blue Spiked Berries

Spiked Berries
Spiked Berries
  • 1 large orange
  • 1-1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup plus sugar, plus 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 cups mixed strawberries, blueberries and blackberries (You can also use raspberries or another type of berry.)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tbs. Grand Marnier liqueur
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup slivered almonds

Using a sharp paring knife, cut two 2- to 3-inch strips of zest from the orange. Using  a grater, remove 1 tsp. finely grated zest from another section of the orange. Reserve the orange for another use.

In a small saucepan, combine the wine, the 1/2 cup sugar and the orange zest strips and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is reduced to about one-third, (simmer about 10 to 15 minutes). Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool.

Put the berries in a bowl. Remove the zest strips from the syrup and pour over the berries.

In a food processor or mixer, combine the ricotta, Grand Marnier, vanilla, grated orange zest and the 2 Tbs. sugar and mix until smooth. Spoon the berries with some syrup into glasses or small bowls and layer with the ricotta mixture. Top with slivered almonds and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Enjoy and Happy 4th!

Barb

Source:

{“isAjaxComplete_B004SOPF1I”:”0″,”isAjaxInProgress_B004SOPF1I”:”0″} Karen Ansel (Author) › Visit Amazon’s Karen Ansel Page Find All the Books, Read about T. “Healthy in a Hurry (Williams-Sonoma): Simple, Wholesome Recipes for Every Meal of the Day Hardcover – April 3, 2012.” Healthy in a Hurry (Williams-Sonoma): Simple, Wholesome Recipes for Every Meal of the Day: Karen Ansel, Charity Ferreira: 9781616282134: Amazon.com: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 June 2017.