Baked Asparagus Fries with Three Dipping Sauces!



CAN YOU SAY YUMMO?!?!? Asparagus is my Favorite Veggie, I like it cooked a million different ways and I love to eat it with just about every meal.  I especially love it in an egg omelet! Sooo Tasty!  Well, these "Fries" are going to be my new favorite way to eat asparagus now! With either one of the 3 different dipping sauces, you can't go wrong! 

Fresh Cucumber Salad


Homemade Cucumber Salad is one of my favorite summer favorites, but I've been having a hankering for them so I think I might put these in my recipe rotation for sometime this week!! Can't Wait! Thanks Cathy!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Herbs

Using Spaghetti Squash is a great alternative to using Pasta and / or potatoes.  Especially if you are on a low carb diet, which most of us are. Its so flavorful and hearty, you don't feel like your "missing out" on all the other goodies that we can't have. 

What Is and How do you Blanch Foods?


Recipes sometimes call for cooks to "blanch" fruits or vegetables. All that means is to put the item in question in boiling water, lift it out after the prescribed time, and cool it off quickly. Blanching helps loosen skins for peeling (as in the case of peaches and tomatoes), gets items partially cooked before being added to a dish, sets bright green color and keeps pretty vegetables from turning gray (asparagus, greens, peas, green beans), leeches out bitterness (as with kale, collard greens, and dandelion greens), and prepares some vegetables for freezing.

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin


The options with this dish are endless, you can make with the the sour cream and cheddar or skip it and go for heavy cream and gruyere with a dash of nutmeg. 

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes


If you can't tell, I've been on a Parmesan Cheese kick lately..I can't help it, I'm a HUGE cheese fan and being on a diet, it isn't easy giving it up. I've noticed that when I use the parmesan cheese, a little goes a long way. I just need to be able to taste it!! 

Lasagna Cupcakes


These lasagna cupcakes are a big hit with the kids and they are great for parties! 

Zucchini Cakes


 These are one of those hearty comfort food items that I just cannot live with out! 

Greek Quesadillas



Makes 4 Inspired by Better Homes and Gardens Notes: Feel free to use whatever quantities desired of the ingredients below, and substitute or omit ingredients according to your own preferences! These healthy ingredients would also be great in a spinach wrap or a Pita Bread

Homemade Fruit Leather


As I was growing up...who am I kidding..I STILL love fruit Roll-ups and I had this sudden craving for one so I went on a hunt and I found this recipe on Georgia Pellegrini's web site and fell in love! Make sure you check her page out cuz she shows step-by-step pictures of how to do this! I love that she calls it Fruit Leather!!

Broiled Parmesan Tilapia


I JUST made this for dinner tonight and this is sooooooooooooooooooo flippin good!!! I made it with Green Beans Parmesan and Creamy Mashed Cauliflower (fake taters) 
This has only 203 calories a serving if you are trying to watch your girlish figure. I modified this recipe from All Recipes and It's one of their highest rated recipes...3,093 people like this recipe too.  

The Coolest Sandwich Cake





ok This might not be in our Diet Repertoire, but I'm posting it anyway! I saw this on Pinterest and HAD to share! It just looks awesome and I'm sure if you want to make a healthy version of this, it wouldn't be very hard. But this comes from Panini Happy's Website - Great stuff there! Check it out! 

Double Coconut Muffins


Although these are a fine muffin, fragrant with coconut and filled with a dense, moist crumb, the potential for adaptation is almost endless. First, you could make them triple coconut muffins (and dairy free) by using coconut milk instead of yogurt. You could make mango-coconut muffins by adding a cup or so of diced mango chunks to the batter; pina colada muffins would use the same volume of pineapple chunks. You could replace the yogurt with mashed banana or banana puree to make a banana-coconut muffin and if you’re into that whole lime-in-the-coconut thing, you could add a teaspoon of lime zest. Chocolate chips? (1 cup), Macadamia nuts? (1/2 to 3/4 cup, toasted and chopped)… All the possibilities!! 

If your yogurt and egg are not at room temperature, they will re-solidify the coconut oil, which is fine for baking but makes the batter quite thick and difficult to stir, like a cookie batter.  But, it all works out. It’s much easier, however, if you let the ingredients warm up.


Pink Lemonade Cupcakes


I was surfing the web this morning and I ran across this recipe from Swamp Hollow Designs and I had to wipe the drool off of my mouth! These look so pretty and refreshing, I can't wait to get in my kitchen and whip up a batch! yea yea....Diet Shmiet...I can have at least ONE!! 


Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs with Olives and Tomato Sauce


I love chicken, and as you all know I LOVE my slow cooker...put the two together and it's heaven!! 

Garlicky Baked Butternut Squash


I made this last week when I had a bunch of the family over for dinner and it was a complete hit!! I've eaten butternut squash before but it always intimidated me when it came to trying to cook it. This recipe is SO easy, I can't believe it took me this long to actually get the nerve up to make it! Wish I would have done it sooner.

Baking Substitutions


OK..I know...this is supposed to be a blog dedicated to healthy foods right?? Well, hopefully there are a bunch of people looking at my blog and they might bake so I gotta cater to them too...after all, even if you yourself are on a diet, the rest of the family might still enjoy a great cake every now and then so here are a few tips on some baking substitutions that might come in handy.

IF YOU DON'T HAVE                                                             USE
   
1 tsp. baking powder                                1/2 tsp baking soda plus 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar           1/2 cup sugar mixed with 2 tbs molasses

1 oz (1 square) unsweetened                     3 tbs unsweetened cocoa plus 1 tbs shortening
baking chocolate 

3 oz (3 squares) semisweet                       3 oz (1/2 cup) semisweet chocolate morsels
baking chocolate

1 cup sweetened whipped cream              4 1/2 oz thawed frozen whipped topping

1 cup heavy cream                                  3/4 cup whole milk plus 1/4 cup butter
(for baking, not whipping) 

1 cup cake flour                                      1 cup minus 2 tbs all-purpose flour

1 cup honey                                            1 1/4 cups granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup water

1 pkg active dry yeast                             1 cake compressed yeast


How Much of This Equals That?

Nine times out of ten, we have all come across a recipe that calls for...lets say 3 1/2 ounces of something and your thinking...I don't have a scale to measure that.  So I've decided to give you a little conversion tool that might help you out and make it a little easier for you.

BELOW ARE SOME EASY CONVERSIONS FOR INGREDIENTS THAT ARE USED OFTEN

Homemade Cranberry Balsamic Salad Dressing


 This is such a refreshing dressing!!!

Ingredients: 
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 can of whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 tbs Honey
  • 1 tbs tarragon, freshly chopped
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbs pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
mix it up and you got yourself a fabulous dressing to impress all your guests! mixing it in the blender is the easiest way to get the flavors blended.

Photo courtesy of French Bunny 

Homemade Honey Balsamic Salad Dressing



A balsamic vinaigrette is given a twist with an addition of a little bit of honey for sweetness and a taste of dry mustard for some spice.

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbs ground black pepper
  • 1/2  tsp salt
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
mix together! 

Homemade Creamy Italian Dressing

I LOVE Creamy Italian dressing, I love anything creamy for that matter!! But most of them are on the No-No list, but if you use the fat free mayo, it reduces the fat dramatically.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp fat free parmesan cheese
Directions: pretty simple.......mix them up and badda-bing-badda-boom! 

Homemade Basic Balsamic Salad Dressing

I'm personally not a big fan of this kind of dressing, it's a little to bland for my taste but my grandmother loves it!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of parmesan cheese (use fat free if you got it)
Directions:  mix it up and you're good to go! 

Homemade Horseradish-Mustard Vinaigrette

This is probably one of my favorite salad dressings... I LOVE spicy foods and adore me some horseradish!!

Ingredients: 

  • horseradish mustard
  • red wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • ground black pepper
  • parsley flakes
  • onion powder 
Directions:  Combine 1/4 cup of horseradish mustard with 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar, 2 tbs of olive oil, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, pinch of ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp of parsley flakes. Mix it up and drizzle it on your salad! 

Homemade Russian Or Thousand Island Dressing

Everyone loves this infamous dressing on some super yummy Rubens!!

Ingredients: 

  • fat free mayo
  • vinegar
  • ketchup
  • finely diced pickle
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • ground black pepper
  • paprika
Directions: 
Combine 1/2 mayo with 3 tbs of vinegar, 4 tbs ketchup, 1 finely diced pickle, 1 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder, 1/2 tsp each of ground black pepper and paprika.  Mix it up and drizzle it on your salad! 

Homemade Italian Salad Dressing

Making your own dressing is soooo much healthier for you plus you actually get what you pay for unlike the bottled dressings which consist of mostly water.  Now who the heck wants to pay $3-4 bucks a bottle for water with a few spices??!! Certainly not I!

Ingredients: 
  • 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tbs Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbs Onion Powder
  • 1 tbs Parmesan Cheese ( use the fat free kind if you can find it ) 
  • 1 tbs Parsley Flakes
Directions:  Super simple.......mix it together!! and voila!! ( that translates to wah-la) hee hee 

How To Deglaze

Deglazing: What it Is and Why Do It?

Deglazing is a fancy schmancy word that means to basically pour some cold liquid into a very hot pan to get up all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Those yummy little brown bits (not the black burnt bits) are where all the flavors are.

You want the caramelized brown "stuff" to stick to the pan. So it wouldn't make any sense to use a pan with a non stick surface. That only defeats the purpose of creating that wonderful base.

I have also read that you should stay away from cast iron pans because the iron reacts to food high in acid like red wine and gives off a metallic taste. Although I love cooking foods in my cast iron skillet, but stay away if you are planning to make a pan sauce.

Six ways to use Vinegar with your food



It gets rid of mold, it’s good for cleaning windows and it makes amazing “volcano” science fair projects when combined with baking soda. But did you know that vinegar can be used in your kitchen too? Here are six quick ways you can use vinegar in the kitchen and around: 

ONE: As a Simple Salad Dressings 
* Classic Salad – mix together: Balsamic Vinegar (just a dash), Olive Oil, Lemon Juice 
* Wakame (Seaweed) Salad Dressing – mix together: Rice Vinegar, Sugar, Sesame Oil 

TWO: As a Condiment 
* Over French Fries instead of ketchup (Try it! Not as weird as you would expect) 
* Mix with ketchup to reduce sugar consumption (for fries, sandwiches, fish sticks, crabs) 
* With cooked beets 

 THREE: As a Pickler 
* Make homemade pickles (cucumbers, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots) using a simple solution of vinegar      and sugar. Not low in sugar, but contains no salt. 

FOUR: For flavor in cooking 
* A southern tradition, vinegar is used in cooking collard greens, green beans, dry beans or cabbage. 
* Add balsamic vinegar to any tomato-based pasta sauce – it will reduce with cooking and add a rich flavor. 
* Try a sprinkle (and we do mean sprinkle) of balsamic vinegar with olive oil (+ herbs, + garlic) on top of your baked vegetables (before baking). 

FIVE: As a Substitute for Veggie Wash 
* Soak organic leafy greens or herbs in a light vinegar & water solution for a dirt-free salad. 

SIX: To Keep Herbs & Garden Greens Bug-Free 
* Spray herb gardens and garden greens with vinegar water mix for a non-toxic bug repellant. How do you use vinegar? Which kind do you prefer?

Source: Fooducate 

Zucchini Boats


I adapted  this recipe from Kayotic's blog and she has some good ones on there!  The only thing I added were some healthier options in the ingredients.. She has some beautiful pictures to go along with this recipe so be sure you check her blog out too! 

Lunch Box Treats - 20 ideas for Wrap Fillings

Are your kids getting bored with the same old sandwiches for lunch day in and day out at School?  How bout you?  I know I am! Bread is fattening too - at least it sticks to MY butt! So, here are 20 different ideas on how to cure the sandwich blues! Get some variety in your life!! 

Hassleback Potatoes


OK, we must falter sometimes on our diet and if we do...THIS is the kind of thing that's gonna make me fall off the diet wagon, just because it's soooo pretty!!

Ingredients:

  • 6 Medium Size Potatoes 
  • 2 - 3 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced 
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil 
  • 30 g Butter Maldon Sea Salt 
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper 
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 220˚C (425˚F). Put the potato on a chopping board, flat side down. Start from one end of the potato, cut almost all the way through, at about 3 to 4 mm intervals. Arrange the potatoes in a baking tray and insert the garlic in between the slits. Scatter some butter on top of each potato. ( you can use I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray to cut calories) Then drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake the potatoes for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes turn crispy and the flesh is soft.

Source: Sea Salt with Food 

Slow Cooker Veggie Chili


I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE my slow cooker!! If I could adapt every single recipe into a slow cooker, I'd be in heaven! With a colorful combo of canned, frozen, and fresh vegetables, this hearty meatless chili will even have the kids begging for seconds!!  Serve toppings alongside for a chili bar: low-fat sour cream, low-fat cheddar, green onions, and minced jalapeƱo or add a dash of hot sauce to your bowl for extra heat. You can also use a variety of your favorite beans if you wish.


Pan-Fried Chicken

Pan-fried chicken is a healthy alternative to traditional fried chicken. Replacing some of the salt with spices like ginger, paprika, cinnamon, and nutmeg reduces the amount of sodium and pumps up the flavor. Make sure you read the full recipe below before making this dish, because it needs to chill in the fridge for a bit before cooking!

Re-Vamped Beef Stroganoff (Healthy Style)


This classic Russian dish is easy to make; use frozen chopped onions and presliced mushrooms to speed up preparation. To maintain a creamy consistency, be careful not to bring the sauce to a boil once you stir in the sour cream mixture. Serve with rice if you need a substitute for egg noodles.


Roasted Winter Vegetables


Use any combination of vegetables you like for this riotously colorful side dish. To ensure all the vegetables are done at the same time, place the second pan in the oven after the first pan has been in for 20 minutes.


Healthy Shephard's Pie


Grab a piece of paper and a pen cuz you're gonna wanna write this recipe down!!  This recipe calls for sweet potatoes, but if you want to skip the pototoes all together, try using this Creamy Mashed Cauliflower recipe as a substitute!! Since the whole purpose of this blog is to make healthy recipes, I'm going to use ground turkey instead of ground beef, but you can use the leanest ground round if you'd like.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower "Potatoes"


Pureed or mashed cauliflower is a great substitute for mashed potatoes. Low in carbs and high in nutrients, the "cauli-taste" is very mild. Try it even if you think you won't like. Even my husband asks for it! You can flavor it up in any way you like Adding garlic is a great addition, or Parmesan cheese, or both!


Meatballs and Peppers


Choosing ground round in place of high-fat ground beef is an easy way to cut back on fat without sacrificing flavor. In this recipe, ground round is combined with herbs, spices, and flavorful veggies then simmered in beef broth.

Berry Sweet-Tart Slow Cookin Cobbler


This fruity dessert is so easy, it practically makes itself! Feel free to experiment with whatever berries you find in the freezer aisle. Berry nice... for a crock pot recipe!


American Buffalo Chicken Pizza


What's more American than pizza that tastes like hot wings? (Other than an apple pie in the shape of an eagle waving the US flag.) Not much.


Pizza-Pied Nachos


The first time we made these crazy-amazing pizza-ed up snacks, we could NOT stop smiling. (Which is unfortunate, because you lose a lot of chew time that way.) Try this recipe immediately! My mouth is watering!

Baked Pizza

Three kinds of cheese... a "secret" sauce... assorted yum-ilicious toppings. You will be dreaming about this veg-tastic pizza until the end of time! Yes, you can still have pizza on your diet!! If you substitute all the fattening ingredients with healthier choices, you can still take care of that pizza craving!



50 Amazingly Helpful Time-Tested Tips for the Kitchen

You know all of those helpful kitchen-related suggestions that old-timers are so willing to share with the younger generations? These little tips and tricks might be called “kitchen hacks” these days, but they’re still the same good old nuggets of wisdom that they always were. As with any old wives’ tale, hack, or tip, your mileage may vary. Some of these gems have been around for several lifetimes - and according to most grandmas, they really work.

1. For cleaning smelly hands after chopping onions or garlic, just rub them on a stainless steel spoon. The steel is supposed to absorb the odor.

2. Fresh coffee beans can also absorb nasty odors from your hands.

3. If you happen to over-salt a pot of soup, just drop in a peeled potato. The potato will absorb the excess salt.

4. When boiling eggs, add a pinch of salt to keep the shells from cracking.


Avocado Spinach Egg Salad Sandwiches


If you like egg salad and avocado, there’s no reason you won’t like this! In fact, you might even decide that you never want to make egg salad the “normal” way again. Because what’s the point? You might even want to serve this with Healthy Homeade Baked Tortilla Chips and eat it like it’s an eggy guacamole. With the spinach added, you get an extra nutritional boost.

Ingredients:

  • 7 eggs, hardboiled 
  • 4 oz. plain fat free greek yogurt 
  • 2 avocados 1 stalk celery, chopped 
  • 1 C baby spinach 
  • Hot pepper flakes to taste 
  • Good bread, toasted if you want 
Directions:
Start by hard boiling your eggs. If you’re never sure how to tell when your eggs are done boiling, follow Simply Recipe’s amazing guide! Once your eggs are ready, obviously you need to peel them. The shells are not the kind of crunch you like!! \mash them up with the Greek yogurt. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top, too. Now, peel and pit your avocados. And mash those up, too. Just like a guacamole. Add a little salt and pepper to this, too, if you’d like. Now, all you do is combine the egg with the guac! And mix in the cup of spinach and the celery, too. Add a few hot pepper flakes to kick it up. Makes about 5-6 sandwiches. 

Source: We are not Martha

Cheese Cake Filled Strawberries

OK,  this has got to be the best thing since sliced bread!!  OMG! who would of thunk it!! yummo! I'm not a huge fan of cheesecake because it's way too rich for my taste, but like this, I'm all for it!! 

Healthy & Hearty Breakfast Idea: Egg Baked In an Avocado


Avocados are amazing things—they're delicious on their own, but they also have a lot of healthy fats, dietary fibers, and vitamins, and despite their high caloric value, they're remarkably easy to prepare. If you have an avocado that's too firm to use for something else, or you're just in the mood for something new and healthy for breakfast, slice it in half, remove the pit, and carve out a little space in the center. Crack an egg where the pit was, and bake. In a few minutes, you'll have a delicious, protein and vitamin-packed breakfast treat that's rich enough to keep you going all morning.

The recipe itself is pretty simple.  Basically, you remove the pit from a halved avocado, hollow out a little more space if needed, and crack an egg into the hollow. The avocado becomes an edible ramekin, holding the egg as it bakes. Additions like cheese or herbs can be sprinkled over the top before baking.

Directions:  preheat oven to 425, have cast iron pan in there Slice avocado in half, take out pit then take pan out, put avocado half on, crack egg in put whatever you want on top place in oven and cook till your eggs [are done how you] desire.

Source: Lifehacker 

The Perfect Valentines Day Egg!

Who wouldn't want to wake up with breakfast in bed in the shape of a heart!!  You could follow up the idea with Toast and some fruit cut in the heart shape using a cookie cutter! You could always Pickle the egg, (soak it in beet juice) for a bright pink take on this!!

Slice - O - Matic


WHOOO HOOOO!!  I GOT A NEW TOY! Look what I just went and bought!!  I can't wait to use it tomorrow to make some Baked Sweet Potato Chips! I am such a sucker for kitchen gadgets ESPECIALLY if they are the As Seen On TV ones! LOL But after I bought it (at Walgreens) I looked it up for the heck of it and found out that I could get TWO for the same price I paid for ONE!! booooooooo :(  Oh well, at least I have it now! Gonna be a choppin machine!  My family is probably going to be sick of fruits and veggies for the next few weeks!

Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado & Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette

If you like to show off your knife skills or like to use your handy dandy food processor, this is the recipe for you! With all these flavor combinations, it's like having a Mexican Fiesta in your mouth!! This goes great with Healthy Homeade Baked Tortilla Chips! 

Healthy Homeade Baked Tortilla Chips

These Homeade chips are the best!! Before I started with this healthy kick, I used to cut up the tortillas and throw them in a boiling hot tub of grease. Now, I bake them and they taste even better! With all the different spices, there is no end to the combinations that you can come up with! These go great with the Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado & Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette!

All you need are corn tortillas (Mission brand is Gluten Free) and salt If you want to use additional spices to give them some more kick, there are a few suggestions below.

Pink Lemonade from Scratch

If you're used to buying lemonade in powdered or bottled form, you might be surprised at how easy it is to make it yourself. By mixing your own ingredients, you can vastly improve the taste by controlling everything from the amount of sugar to the quality of the lemons to the extra ingredients that you add. Learn how to make lemonade from scratch and see just how great this summer favorite can be!


Southwestern Slow Cooker Chicken

  A simple, healthy and delicious chicken recipe for the slow cooker with just 6 ingredients. Nothing beats a slow cooker recipe, Throw all the ingredients in the crock pot, go to work, pick up the kids, and when you get home, dinner is done!!

Savory Turkey Burgers with Garlicky Mayonnaise

Now, I love me some turkey burgers and this recipe is very very good!! The best thing that I like about the turkey burger is that it is virtually grease free!!  I hate making burgers where there is about 1/8" of grease still in the pan. Imagine how much of that is still IN the burger itself!! YUCK!


Shrimp and Scallops and Veggies Asian Dish


I was in the mood for Chinese food tonight and I'm too cheap to order out, besides there are no good Chinese restaurants around here anyway, so I searched the freezer and the cupboards and whipped this concoction up and it was goooood!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Blizzard for 2


I know what your thinking....THIS is Healthy???? YES!! (Well, probably not if you eat 2 everyday)  This dessert recipe is probably the best one that I have seen on the internet, especially with it being gluten free and vegan! Instead of the fattening ice cream that you would normally put in a blizzard, this recipe uses bananas and little dough balls, so If your a fan of eating cookie dough, this Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Blizzard will be right up your alley!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Cookie Dough Balls

YES!! Cookie Dough Balls!! yipeeeeeee :) You can eat these all by their little lonesome or you can add them to the Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Blizzard! 

Baked Sweet Potato Chips


If your anything like me, being on this stupid diet means giving up my regular potato chips and that's been pretty difficult because I love the crunch!  So, I've decided to switch to these and they are fantastic!!!! Listed below is a spicy combination of spices but I love spicy foods, but some of you might not, so experiment with you favorite spices till you find the perfect combination for you.

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