Monday, September 30, 2013

Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Spinach Wrap - Carbs, Fats, and Protein All-in-One!

Since they are quick to put together and easily transportable, wraps are typically thought of as fast, on-the-go breakfast, lunch, or dinner foods. However, wraps can also be full-on hearty all-in-one meals, too.  For those of you who want a lunch or dinner wrap that leaves you truly filled and provides you with all of your carbs, fats, and protein needed to keep your body going, here is a healthy recipe for a Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Spinach wrap.

Monday Morning Munchies - Lemon and Blueberry Parfait

Time and time again, the mantra "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is repeated, and this little phrase holds so much truth.  Breakfast helps kick-start our metabolism and gives us energy to perform our daily tasks, so think twice before skipping it!

As important as breakfast already is, adding healthy, antioxidant-rich and fueling ingredients makes the meal even more beneficial; they just simply help keep you going. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Healthy Baked Apples

As apples are in season during the Fall and cinnamon is a common Autumn spice, baked apples are a popular treat during the breezy, chilly season.  However, buttery, sugary toppings can quickly turn this apple dessert into a high-calorie treat.  I love sweets and treats as much as the next person, so I created a baked apple dessert that is nutritious and better for you, yet still sweet and satisfying.  There is no need to deny yourself a little sweetness; you just have to be a little more aware of what ingredients you use and how you use them!  This recipe for Healthy Baked Apples not only gives you a scrumptious dessert, but it also provides healthy nutrients for your body!

Bye Bye Summer Scrambled Egg and Smoothie Breakfast

As Summer comes to a close this Sunday, let us cherish the beautiful past few months with a tribute breakfast using Summer flavors and ingredients! Here is the recipe for a healthy Summer Scrambled Egg and Smoothie Breakfast - goodbye, Summer!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, and Chicken Lentil Skillet

This recipe begins a Fall season full of pumpkin recipes!  The temperature drastically dropped today; thus, the chilly, crisp breeze definitely begged for a warm, hearty, and savory dinner dish inspired by Fall - thus, the need for pumpkin!  By using protein-packed lentils with left-over grilled chicken cutlets, this skillet was definitely filling and belly-warming.  While this skillet may not appear as the most palatable dish, the combination of spices, onion, bell pepper, sweet potato, and pumpkin compliment one another to create a rich, delectable tasting meal!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wednesday's Weekly Welldoers

After starting this post, I have become a lot more conscious of all of the good that goes on in this world, and I have been more conscious of my own actions!  Realizing that this world is not just in the midst of crime, lack of respect and morals, and obstacles can really boost your mood, so here is my reflection on the positive actions from the past week.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

10 Ways to Beat that Post-Vacation Shlump

Returning from vacation can be downright depressing.  After hours of lazy, uninterrupted relaxation and exciting adventures in exotic locations, starting back on the typical daily grind all over again can prove to be quite difficult.  After returning from my relaxing, long-weekend getaway to my beloved cabin-in-the-woods a couple weeks ago, my family and I had a hard time adjusting back to our daily, boring home lives - heck, we wanted to go back!  BUT, we couldn't right then and there, so we had no choice to pick back up where we left off.  This transition does not have to be painstakingly difficult, nor does it have to leave you feeling sad.  Here are ten ways to beat those post-vacation blues and change your bummy spirits around!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Energy-boosting Coffee and Banana Cream Oatmeal

On those hard-to-roll-out-of-bed mornings, you may need a little boost of energy to help get you kickin'.  The day I created this breakfast was one of those mornings for me, so I made a healthy, energy-boosting and dessert-worthy oatmeal bowl.  Combining eggs, bananas, coffee, and oats, this morning breakfast is filling with all the included fiber, protein, healthy fats, and carbs, yet doesn't  drag you down into that post-eating sleepy time coma.  Have you ever heard someone tell you that bananas and coffee taste amazing together? This pairing isn't just heavenly and desserty tasting, but it is also a great morning combination since both provide a little uplift to our energy levels.  So let's wake up together and enjoy this yummy Coffee and Banana Cream Oatmeal!

Nutritious and Filling Sweet Potato and Egg Breakfast Skillet

Chillier weather calls for heartier, more filling meals.  As certain fruits and vegetables are associated with particular seasons, late summer and fall ingredients fit with the more wholesome, belly-filling meals.  The sweet potato is one such ingredient that helps to "thicken" meals in a healthy manner.

Containing a low glycemic index and a substantial amount of fiber, potassium, magnesium vitamins A and C, and antioxidants, sweet potatoes are not only filling, but they are also extremely nourishing and nutritious, making them a remarkable addition to breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

In order for your body to fully absorb all of the nutrients within the sweet potato, be sure to pair the sweet potato with healthy fats.  By combining eggs with this vibrant, scrumptious root vegetable in my Sweet Potato and Egg Breakfast Skillet, I have created a mouthwatering, healthy breakfast that will keep you nice and warm, in time for the change of seasons!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sweet 'n Savory Pumpkin Egg Whites

At this time of the year, everything seems to become pumpkin flavored.  Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin bread, pumpkin oats, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin stuffed with pumpkin puree...I think you get my drift!  As such, my ideas for food creations seem to be centered around pumpkins, too.  Stay tuned for more and more pumpkin recipes this fall!

Pumpkin-flavoring is often associated with desserts, but with the sudden drop in temperatures this morning, I was looking for something a little "heavier" - after all, it is that time of year to follow the example of all our outdoorsy, furry friends and thicken our coats in preparation of cooler temps!  To put a twist to my new-found pumpkin inspiration, I turned this Fall dessert staple into a sweet and savory breakfast to create Sweet 'n Savory Pumpkin Egg Whites. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cinnamon Fall Harvest Grape and Pear Protein Oatmeal Bowl

Recently salvaged from the remnants of our garden, grapes have been my go-to snack food for the past week or so.  I've always liked grapes, but the ones we have growing just taste so delicious and sweet (they are like little balls of fresh, homemade wine!).  I literally have been giving myself stomachaches because I'll be sitting there, snacking on grapes mindlessly without realizing that I have eaten about half of our supply in one sitting...not to smart, but I can't help it!
(Don't mind my chipped nail polish ;)...)

Acting upon my cravings, I decided to incorporate grapes into my bowl of oats this morning.  Grapes are so refreshing, yet the candy-like sweetness of them makes them great for comforting, thicker Fall dishes.  As cinnamon is a staple in all things Fall-related, I made sure to include the sweet and spicy flavor in this bowl as well!

The tangy sweetness and squishy texture of the grapes blends wonderfully with the hearty crispiness of pears, so I decided to pair the two together in my oatmeal bowl.  Both of these fruits are in season now, so run to your store (or yard!) and grab them while they last!  I also had blueberries laying around, and since I like the combination of pears and blueberries together, I threw them into the mixture as well.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Protein Breakfast Pizza - Under 300 Calories...For the Whole Pizza!

Who says that pizzas aren't nutritional for breakfast - on top of that, a whole pizza?  Well, today I prove whoever that is WRONG! 

If you haven't discovered Flatout flatbread yet, run to your nearest Walmart or Costco and pick some up immediately - no need to bump fellow customers with shopping carts though; they have plenty!  Flatout's flatbread comes in a Multi-Grain variety that boasts 100% whole wheat ingredients, 9 grams of protein, 8 grams of dietary fiber, only 2.5g of total fat (no saturated fat) - of which are healthy, good-for-you Omega 3's coming from flax, and only 1g of sugar (no high-fructose corn syrup, either!).  Is this real life? You betcha!  These wraps are thicker and puffier than those low-carb wraps you find (those wraps can be paper thin, barely holding your ingredients together without cracking) and are HUGE, making them perfect for healthy wraps, pizzas, or even baked "tortilla" chips. 

Using this protein-laden, surprisingly healthy flatbread, I created a delicious, savory, and immensely filling protein breakfast pizza with little effort on my part - the oven did most of the work.  While you do need to bake this, it is easily tossed together and thrown into the oven, so you have time to get ready in the morning while it bakes!

The ENTIRE...and I mean ENTIRE...pizza contains less than 300 calories for all of you weight-watchers, yet contains around 21 grams of protein, a little under 9 grams of healthy fats, and a ton of fiber!  With all the nutritional ingredients, this is a wonderful breakfast to start your day and to keep your hunger pangs under control until lunch.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Morning Munchies - Sweet Potato Pumpkin Autumn Oatmeal Bake

Ahhhh...Fall is in the air - at least for me it is!

Hearty dishes made with savory, filling ingredients; pumpkin patch visits with the family; festive Halloween decorations; crackling campfires; deep, earthy hues; crisp, chilly nights...my mind is centered around Fall.  Every Good Housekeeping or Family Circle with fall-themed covers that arrive at my doorstep and that line the store shelves excite me, putting me in the Autumn spirit.  The Edy's Slow Churned Pumpkin Patch Ice Cream that I found at the store yesterday and purchased without any hesitation seems to help, too (seriously...go buy it!).  As more Autumn influences found on magazine pages, displayed on store shelves, and hinted on the color-changing trees seem to increase daily, my ideas for meals fitting for that refreshing, cooler weather seem to grow as well. 

Everything about Fall screams coziness; as such, I wanted to incorporate that feeling within my breakfast.  Combining the flavors and ingredients that many seem to associate with Fall, I created a Sweet Potato Pumpkin Autumn Oatmeal Bake.  This warm, filling oatmeal bake with hints of toasty walnut, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg spices will make you crave one of those days where you snuggle up with a comfy blanket and your favorite book underneath an open window while letting the brisk breeze encompass you. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Late-night Snack Stew

Not every stew has to be a heavy, hearty lunch or dinner meal - this one is a complete dessert snack!  Simply whip all the ingredients together with little effort on your part, just like a stew.  Here is a really easy, refreshing, and healthy snack that is filling and not loaded with sugar, perfect as a late-night munchie for those days where going to bed is not an option until you fill your belly...I seem to have those rather frequently!

Fresh-Off-the-Farm Spinach, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

Still inspired by my weekend getaway to the beautiful countryside this past weekend, I keep thinking about country-style breakfasts.  Garden-picked fresh fruits and vegetables, farm-raised eggs, and cheese all remind me of my cozy Wisconsin, especially the cheese!  This morning, I combined Amish chicken-raised eggs, tomatoes and cukes from our garden, and grocery-store bought bread and cheese (hey, I don't have time to churn my own cheese just yet...but that sure would be fun to try!) to create a farm country-worthy healthy and filling breakfast - super quick to make, too!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Not-Too-Sweet Berry Custard Oatmeal

Are you looking for a quick, thick and fruity breakfast that is filling without being too sweet?  That is what I was craving this morning.  Over the weekend, I had so many (well-worth it) desserts that I was just sick of anything massively sweet...but I saw berries in the fridge the night before and wanted to eat them, so anything completely savory was out of the question :}

To satisfy my craving, I made a thick oatmeal bowl resembling a custard.  Since berries aren't too sweet, they added just the right amount of tangy sweetness, so I wasn't left feeling any more sugar-stuffed than I already was.  I felt like I had breakfast, not dessert, and it was a good change of pace!

If you, too, are in need of a detoxifying breakfast after a weekend of constant sweetness, but can't seem to give up fruit for breakfast, try this Berry Custard Oatmeal recipe out! Of course, if you are in no need of sweetness downgrading, by all means, add in any sweetener of your choice and enjoy a true custard-like oatmeal ;)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Maple Nut Oatmeal...Just Like the Ice Cream!

Wisconsin is probably my favorite state.  Friendly, warm-hearted, and down-to-earth people; lusciously green forests painting the rolling hills; farmland with natural crisp, fresh produce scattered amongst the trees...for me, everything about this state just makes me enjoy life for all its simplicity.

Of course, having melt-in-your-mouth sharp cheddar cheese and gooey cheese curds, Amish bakeries with freshly baked lard-filled pastries, and fire-grilled meats all help to capture this foodie's heart.  Wisconsin also offers one of my favorite desserts of all time - maple nut ice cream.  Besides the tangy lime flavor of Daiquiri Ice from Baskin Robbins, I don't naturally turn to ice cream to satisfy my sweet cravings...that's the job for brownies.  But. Maple nut ice cream...imagine the famous TV image of Homer Simpson standing with his head slightly titled backwards while a sloppy drip of saliva barely remains dangling from the corner of his opened mouth...yah, that's how you would witness me if you caught me amidst a daydream about maple nut ice cream.