Archive of ‘Healthy’ category

Avocado Salad

avocado-saladThis is one of my family’s favorite dishes.  My sister made it for me once and I think that it took me all of a day to make it for myself after I got home from visiting her.  It’s wonderfully fresh and everything in to is good for you!  How do you beat that?

 

AnneOpinion

The ingredients are very simple, which is what, I think, helps make this salad so good.  There’s nothing getting in the way of all of the great flavors.  I like to use either fresh corn (from corn on the cob cooked this way) or a high quality frozen corn that I let defrost on the counter.

Here’s a tip for cutting the tomato.  Cut the tomato in half and gently squeeze it over a bowl or sink.  This will get rid of most of the seeds and mess that can come with tomatoes.

The lime juice helps to brighten the flavors and keeps the avocado from going brown.  The garlic and the hot sauce are added to taste so mix it up, try it out and add from there to get the flavor you want.

I generally make this to go with a Mexican themed dinner and serve it with tortilla chips.  My family eats a ton of it this way.  Everyone loves it!  I personally love to have a bowl of this salad with some grilled chicken for dinner.  So good!

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Avocado Salad
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Avocado Salad
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cute the avocado and the tomato into bite sized pieces. Slice the onions and drain the black beans. Mix all of the ingredients together, season with garlic and hot sauce to taste. Let it sit for 1 hour before serving. Serve as a side dish or as a dip for tortilla chips.
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No Mess Corn on the Cob

corn-on-the-cobI love corn on the cob and when I was growing up I couldn’t understand why we didn’t have it more than once or twice a summer.  Now that I’m a mom and have had the mess in my kitchen I completely understand and my family normally only has corn on the cob once or twice a year. Last summer, while visiting my husband’s family, my mother in law introduced me to a new way to cook corn on the cob, and it has been life changing.  I now feel like I can have corn on the cob whenever I want.  You won’t believe how easy it is.

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place corn (in husks) on a baking sheet.

Step 2:  Place corn in the oven for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Remove corn from the oven.  Pull off the silk and husks (which will come off together, very easily and will not make a mess of silk strings everywhere) and eat.  You can add butter, salt and pepper if desired.

AnneOpinion

Can you believe how easy that is?  After baking the silks stick together and come off all together.  That alone would make me a convert to this method but it tastes better too.

I have boiled, grilled, and grilled in husks in the past.  None of those methods works as well as this one.  I love how the corn is super moist from cooking in the husk and you don’t loose any of the flavor like you do with boiling.

We now have corn on the cob about once a week during the summer.  It’s so nice to have this “treat” more often.  Everyone is loving it except for Boy 1, who is currently enjoying the benefits of a life with braces.  Guess you can’t please everyone.  😉

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Brownie Batter Oatmeal

brownie-oatmealI have been working on losing weight for the last couple of months.  This means that one of my favorite things, brownies, have been off the table.  Diets, in general, means that real chocolate is off the table.  There are lots of diet products out there that are chocolate flavored, but unless real chocolate is used there always seems to be a weird artificial taste.(just for the record, that doesn’t stop me from eating them.  I’ll take what I can get)

Making things myself is one way that I know that the chocolate is going to be real.  I saw this Brownie Batter Breakfast Bake on Running with Spoons.  As a side note, go there and check out the cute spoon Amanda uses for her pictures.  I think that it would definitely make breakfast (or anything) taste better.  Alright, back to the Brownie Batter.  I tried it that night for dinner.  Yes, when I’m dieting I don’t stick to having breakfast foods at breakfast time or dinner foods at dinner.  I figure if I’m not going to eat very much, I’m going to eat what I feel like (that falls within my diet food parameters.)

AnneOpinion

I made the recipe just like the it was written the first time.  I really loved it until I plugged it into my fitness app and found out that it had 370 calories. (audible gasp)  I restrict myself to 1200 calories a day when I’m trying to lose weight.  This means that I generally don’t eat a meal that has more than 250 calories, and I really try and get it closer to 200.  I loved this so much though that I decided to try and work on getting it down to within my calorie needs.

Right off the bat I decided to cut the amount of chocolate chips in half and used mini chips so that they would leave their chocolately goodness throughout the whole thing and I used my Mrs. Butterworth lite syrup instead of pure maple syrup. (that’s 75 calories gone)

I originally tried to get the flour calories down by subbing in cornstarch as a thickener. This had a slight bitter flavor.  No go.  The flour also had a little bit of a bitter flavor.  I eventually left it out all together and took out 56 calories by doing that.

I had this every morning for a week straight. I wanted to be thorough for you, and if it that meant that I got to have super yummy chocolate oatmeal for breakfast every day, well I was willing to make that sacrifice.

I like to make two or three when I make it.  I put one in a ramekin to eat now and the other two in half pint jars to keep in the fridge for later in the week.  This made it so easy to grab a good nutritious breakfast (or snack) when I want them.  I tried it in the microwave, in the oven, cold from the fridge to the microwave and oven, and here’s what I’ve decided.  Cooking time isn’t any different straight from the fridge or making it that morning.  I prefer it from the oven.  The texture is better.  If I don’t have time for the oven, the microwave is fine.

Brownie Batter Oatmeal
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 5 minutes
Brownie Batter Oatmeal
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325, if using oven. Mix all of the ingredients together in a ramekin or 1/2 pint mason jar. Cook in oven for 15 minutes and let rest for 5 before eating. If cooking the microwave, cook on full power for 2 minutes. Let rest for 5.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion  adapted from Running with Spoons

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Secret Fruit Salad

fruit-saladLast week we were having some friends over for dinner and I wanted to make a fruit salad to go with it.  I was putting a lot of time into the rest of dinner, so I didn’t want to do anything fancy, but I was wanting it to be more than just a bowl of fruit.  Lucky for me, Rachel Shultz had just the answer with her Secret Fruit Salad.  It was fruit with vanilla pudding mix sprinkled over it and mixed in.  That’s it.  It definitely met my criteria for simple and easy, so I gave it a go.

AnneOpinion

You can use whatever fruit you want.  I just include a list of the ones that I used. Be creative and use whatever is in season.

I added the lemon because I used banana and apple and I didn’t want them to brown.  I also like the brightness that it brings and the balance that it provides with the sweetness of the pudding.

I really liked the flavor that the pudding brought.  It complemented the fruit well and provided the desired, “What did you add to the fruit?  It’s really good.”

Simple, basic and really good.  Sometimes that’s exactly what you need.

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Secret Fruit Salad
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Fresh fruit salad with a secret ingredient (vanilla pudding) that brings it to life
Secret Fruit Salad
Print Recipe
Fresh fruit salad with a secret ingredient (vanilla pudding) that brings it to life
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Wash fruit and cut strawberries, bananas, and apples into bite sized pieces and place all fruit in bowl. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over fruit and gently toss. Sprinkle pudding powder over fruit and stir to gently coat all of the fruit. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.
Recipe Notes

 

AnneOpinion from rachelschultz.com

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Chocolate Fruit Dip

chocolate-fruit-dipwebWelcome to my new site!! I’m so excited for you to check everything out.  Please take a look around and if you find something that you love, I’d love to hear about it; or if there is something that you don’t love, just leave a comment and I’ll make sure and take care of it.

To celebrate my new look, I’m sharing one of my own favorite recipes, Chocolate Fruit Dip.  I love this Chocolate Fruit Dip because it is so versatile, semi-healthy, and it is so very good. Like, lick the bowl and use a spatula to get every last bite good.   The chocolate has a strong, deep flavor blends perfectly with all kinds of fruit.  I’ve made this to go with our family’s dinner, a baby shower, a football party, and Thanksgiving dinner; the possibilities are endless.  I made it most recently for my friend’s surprise birthday party.  For this event I made fruit kabobs with strawberries and bananas. If you choose to make cute little kabobs like this, and don’t want to mess with shortening traditional kabob skewers, use candy apple sticks that you can find in the candy making section on your local department store or craft store.  They are the perfect size and work great!

AnneOpinion

  • This dip comes together in a snap with only 3 ingredients: yogurt, cocoa powder, and maple syrup.
  • It’s thick like a pudding.  Our favorite things to dip in it is fresh pineapple, strawberries and bananas.  We’ve also enjoyed graham crackers and vanilla wafers.
  • I like using Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla Yogurt, but any vanilla or plain yogurt will work.  I’ve also made it with plain Greek yogurt.  The Greek yogurt makes it very thick.
  • The recipe calls for pure maple syrup, but I’ll be honest, I’ve used the fake stuff plenty of times.  Taste wise, it makes no difference.
  • If you are using a fruit that will start to brown, dip the pieces into lemon juice before placing them on your serving plate.  This will help keep them looking pretty for longer.

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Chocolate Fruit Dip
Print Recipe
This chocolate dip is perfect for dinner with the family, or the next party that you host.
Prep Time
5 minutes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Chocolate Fruit Dip
Print Recipe
This chocolate dip is perfect for dinner with the family, or the next party that you host.
Prep Time
5 minutes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Places all ingredients in a bowl and stir until fully combined. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until needed. Serve with fresh fruit.
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Two Healthy Snacks

I have to new health snacks I’ve tried that I wanted to share with you.  I, along with so many others, am trying to be healthy and lose weight.  I can’t tell you how many years I’ve done this in January; most of my life really.  I’ve struggled with my weight since I was 7 and I’m afraid that it’s going to be a lifelong battle.  Even once I manage to get the weight off (which I have done before), it’s a constant battle to keep it off.  Especially for someone like me, who has such a love for making really good food.

Just because food is healthy, don’t mean that you have to accept smuggiesmediocre flavor.  That’s the guideline that I follow as I eat better.  If it’s something that I wouldn’t like when I’m not on a “diet,” than I’m not going to each it now.

I have been on the hunt for some new snacks to try making because (you’ve probably noticed this if you’ve ever gone on a diet too) healthy snacks are much more expensive to buy than junk food.  I checked (with myself) and it’s a scientific fact.  Homemade snacks are much cheaper, and you have ability to control what goes into them.  Two good reasons to find some good ones that you like.

The first snack is called “Peanut Butter Banana Smugies” found on popsugar.com.  Jenny sells the smugies as a sugar free, dairy free, ice cream sandwich.  As a chronic dieter, who has tried her fair share of “this tastes just like a _____” I was very skeptical.powerballsweb

The second snack was also found on popsugar.com.  These were called “Peanut Butter and Honey Balls.”  They sounded simple enough to make and I already had everything to make them so I decided to give them a go.  Here’s what I thought of each of them.

AnneOpinion

I am really glad that I tried the Peanut Butter Smugies.  While I might not call them an “ice cream sandwich,” they were tasty and provided a nice cool snack when I was craving one.

I wanted to see if I could bring down the calories, without sacrificing taste so I tried them with PB2, a powdered peanut butter.  I love PB2.  I use it all of the time in my protein drinks to make a chocolate peanut butter milkshake.  PB2 is not something that I would recommend mixing with water and eating straight like it’s real peanut butter, but when mixed with other things, it’s hard to tell that it’s not the real thing, and it only has 45 calories in 2 Tablespoons!  I couldn’t tell a difference, at all, between the real Peanut Butter and the PB2.

This is super easy to make too.  I’ve been thinking that it would be a fun one for my 6 or 8 year old to try.  You just mush up bananas, mix in the peanut butter, spoon on to the graham crackers, and put the tops on.  Once frozen, they’ll make a great after school treat.

The Peanut Butter and Honey Balls are my new obsession.  They are the treat that I look forward to every day, and sometime I save calories, just so that I can have another one.

The peanut butter and honey mixed together make a very “naughty” tasting treat.  I used dried Cran-Blueberries in them, and that is one of my favorite parts.  It works really well with the other flavors.  I also used unsweetened coconut flakes on the outside to roll the balls in, and while they don’t have much flavor, they do provide a nice “shell.”

The mixture is very, very sticky.   To make it so I didn’t get really frustrated separating the mixture into balls, I used my large cookie scooper to shape them and dropped them directly into the coconut.  I think that if I had not done this, they would have been a pain in the neck to make.

I made mine larger than the ones on popsugar.  I got 9 balls out of the recipe; each having 178 calories with the blueberries and coconut.

To find the recipe for each of these, just click on the links above or on this one for the Smugies and this one for the Peanut Butter and Honey Balls.  I used a 1:1 conversion for the PB2.

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Sweet n’ Tart Grapes

A couple of weeks ago my friend Milana posted this picture of her prep work for her family’s meals for the week. She is doing the whole30 program. I was unfamiliar with this program so I looked it up here.  Basically it’s a 30 day program where you reset your body.  During that time you can have lots of veggies, some fruit, meat, nuts and seeds.  No grains, dairy or sugar.  It sounds like a great program and I think at some point I’d like to try it, but I’m not there right now.
Milana mentioned that she loves the grapes.  She said that they had lime and pink sea salt and that she and her kids devour them.  So, my interest was peaked.  Salt on grapes?  I had to try it.  So, I picked up the salt, limes and grapes, and I didn’t do anything with them.  I just let the kids eat them all because, I’ll admit it, I was nervous about eating salt on grapes.  It didn’t sound good, but I had to try it.  Their family had liked it so much.  So I bought some more grapes today, and made myself make them.  Here’s what I thought of them.

AnneOpinion:

I liked them.  I love lime and the salt just enhances the flavor for me, it’s not something that I taste.  The rest of my family is not as into lime as I am.  I don’t feel like theirs is a fair opinion though because of their dislike for lime.  My husband could taste the salt right away.  He wasn’t a fan.
I loved them frozen.  Make them, pop them in the freezer for an hour.  So yummy!!
I used green grapes.  I think that red would have been even better because they are generally sweeter and would have more of a contrast.
If you love things that are sweet and tart, you need to try these!!

Sweet n’ Tart Grapes                                                                     Printable Recipe

4 C grapes- stems removed
1 Lime
1/2 t pink sea salt
Place grapes and salt in a Ziploc bag or container with lid.  Squeeze the juice of one lime over them. Shake bag or container to evenly distribute everything.  Place container in the refrigerator or freeze for minimum of 1 hr.  Take out and enjoy, and feel zero guilt!