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Healthy Dishes

Nothing says summer like a BBQ or picnic! Of course this also means that we have to come up with something clever to take with us, and no, re-plating the grocery store potato salad does not count!

This gluten-free, colorful, Greek-inspired salad is perfect for summertime, either as a side dish, or a vegetarian lunch entrée. Plus this recipe will have you looking like summer party goddess in no time!


                              Ingredients:


O 1 cup quinoa, rinsed

 O 1 1/2 cups water

O 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

O 2/3 cup halved grape tomatoes

O 1-2.25 oz. can sliced black olives, drained

O 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

O 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower nuts

O 1 Tbsp. finely diced shallot

 O 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

O 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 O 3 tablespoons lemon juice

O 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

O 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

O 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

O 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


Directions:

1.In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa, water and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed. Spread quinoa on a cookie sheet and allow to cool, about 30 minutes.

2.Once quinoa has cooled, transfer to a large bowl. Add tomatoes, olives, feta, sunflower nuts, shallots and parsley. Toss to combine.

3.In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, the 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper.

4.Pour lemon dressing over the quinoa salad and toss. This salad can be served immediately, or covered and refrigerated to serve later.

This salad is very versatile. You can make it with carrots, no olives and chopped baby spinach. As long as you have the lemon, feta and sunflower seeds, you will still have the great taste of this quinoa salad. It’s a wonderful side dish to take to a picnic as a gluten-free substitute for pasta salad. In fact, I think I’m going to make this for a potluck picnic I’m going to in a couple of weeks. I hope everyone attending enjoys it as much as I do!

With Memorial Day Weekend officially upon us, and Summer unofficially beginning, this recipe is perfect on all fronts! I am sure a lot of you have weekend BBQs to attend and backyard parties to go to and this recipe is absolutely perfect for those hot summer afternoons! Grilled fruit kebobs are delicious, healthy and gives the fruit a great flavor! Grilling them actually brings the flavors out more and caramelizes them in the slightest. They are so refreshing when it gets super hot out!

The recipe is easy and all you need is a grill. Pick out your favorite fruits and you’re ready to go! Feel free to add any fruits that you like, but just make sure they are easy to grill. The honey lime yogurt dip is delicious as well and adds a fresh taste to this recipe.

Ingredients:

O  2 pounds assorted fruit. (Think strawberries, pineapple, mango, kiwi.)

O  8 metal or bamboo skewers

O  1 cup plain yogurt

O  2 tablespoons honey

O  1 teaspoon grated lime zest

Directions:

O  Heat grill to medium-high and make sure grate is clean. Thread chunks of washed, peeled or seeded fruit onto skewers. If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for 10 minutes to minimize chances of burning.

O  Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning carefully so fruit does not fall off of skewers. Remove from heat and serve with dip.

O For the dip: Combine yogurt, honey and lime zest and stir until well blended. Keep chilled until serving time.

How easy was that?! These little kebobs look so pretty once they are plated and will keep your guests coming for seconds! Make extra and keep some in the fridge so you can have snacks later. You can even serve some melted chocolate as dipping sauce for an extra sweet treat. So, get your outfit ready, go lay out in the sun, have your fruit kebobs and have a fabulous Memorial Day Weekend!

 

I have had a long, stressful, work week and I cannot wait to lounge around in sweatpants all weekend and relax! Even us fashionistas need a break once in a while!

I could not think of a better way to start the weekend, or finish the work week, than with a delicious, savory brunch recipe that will put the “comfort” in comfort food. One of my absolute favorite treats is banana bread, so I thought that these Banana Bread Pancakes would be to die for!

I cannot wait to wake up late on Sunday, lounge in my pajamas and start cooking this amazing brunch recipe. When I think of banana bread I think of my Mom’s kitchen and the smells that used to make me feel right at home.

By the way, this is also a great recipe to make your Mom for Mother’s Day this weekend! I bet she would LOVE breakfast in bed! These pancakes would go great with berries, oatmeal, or yogurt and anything else you might happen to whip up.

Ingredients:

O  2 cups all purpose flour

O  2 teaspoons baking powder

O  1/4 teaspoon salt

O 1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

O  1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

O  2/3 cup milk

O  1 tablespoon vanilla extract

O   3 large ripe bananas, mashed

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

O  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Measure out the milk and add the vanilla extract to it.

O  Whisk together the dry ingredients and add in milk and vanilla, stirring to combine. The mixture will still be dry.

O  Add in mashed bananas and mix. Add in melted butter and stir until batter is somewhat smooth.

O  Heat a skillet or grilled on medium heat. Using a 1/3 cup measure, spoon batter into rounds and cook until bubbles form on top – about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for a minute or two more.

The best part about these pancakes is that you can serve them with fresh bananas or berries on top too! You can even add a little vanilla extract to your maple syrup for an added surprise. There is no better way than spending your Sunday reading the newspaper, watching TV, and eating a delicious brunch! I am such a fan of brunch and cannot wait to make these amazing pancakes.

I am pretty much in love with avocados. I literally eat them every day and have them incorporated into my meals in any way possible. The great part about this food obsession is that avocados are so healthy for you! They provide essential nutrients and are a healthy fat that you should add to your diet. I am so excited to share this Avocado Boat recipe with you because it is super healthy, super easy to make, and can be eaten as a snack or a side dish!

This recipe is from Rachael Ray who is really such a great chef, and has so many amazing cookbooks out. These avocado boats are not only healthy but can be great for entertaining too. You can put a bunch of avocado boats on a platter and make a great appetizer out of them! My favorite thing about this recipe is that I won’t feel guilty after eating them because they are so healthy!

Ingredients

O  3 ripe avocados

O  1 Lemon

O  Several drops of hot sauce

O  Extra-virgin Olive Oil (for drizzling)

O  2 small plum tomatoes

O  2 scallions

O  salt

Directions

O Cut into and all around the pit of each avocado, down to the pits. Twist the avocados and separate them. Whack the corner of your knife into each pit and remove it.

O  Using a large spoon, scoop out each avocado half and arrange them on a plate. Dress the avocados with lemon juice, a few drops of hot sauce and a drizzle of olive oil.

O  Combine the tomatoes and scallions and season with salt. Fill the avocados with plum tomatoes and serve.

I am drooling just writing about this recipe. Nothing is better than avocados lightly seasoned with salt and olive oil. I can literally eat that right out of the fruit itself! (Yes, an avocado is actually a fruit despite how we use it in the kitchen.) This recipe is great for an energizing snack at 3 in the afternoon when you need that little pick-me-up.

These avocado boats are delicious and also so healthy for you, so you can’t go wrong here! These are great for a quick weeknight side dish and won’t leave you feeling bloated afterwards. So when you’re in a rut on a Tuesday night, make some healthy avocado boats and bring a new healthy recipe into your kitchen!

 

Don’t let the word “burger” scare you away! This delicious Sweet Potato Veggie Burger is extremely healthy and satisfies your hunger on those days when you just crave a burger! And hello! Anything with avocado screams my name and just tastes a thousand times yummier, and also instantly becomes more attractive to me.

As I was looking up this recipe I was also thinking that you could tweak and change things to the actual burger recipe to your liking. Add more of this or less of that, try adding spices, whatever you happen to be in the mood for should work in this burger!

Ingredients:

O  2 cans cannellini white beans, drained

O  2 large sweet potatoes, baked, then peeled, then mashed (about 2 cups)

O  2 Tbsp tahini

O  2 tsp maple or agave syrup

O  1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning OR Cajun seasoning (or another fave spice!)

O  1/4 cup wheat flour

O  Optional: any additional seasoning ( Any of your favorite spices can work! Maybe a few dashes of cayenne, cumin, black pepper)

O  salt to taste (if needed)

O  1 package of Panko Crumbs

O  1 tbsp of olive oil

Directions:

O  Bake sweet potatoes. Peel the potatoes, and place in large mixing bowl.

O  Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.

O  Mash in seasoning, flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist. But you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs – or dry rice to thicken the mixture if needed.

O  Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a pan over high heat.

O  Form a patty from mixture and coat in Panko crumbs. (Thick coating.) Then drop the patty in the pan. Cook until browned on both sides. You could also bake. If baking, use less Panko. (If the patty is too thin and keeps falling apart you can use one egg in the mixture to act as a binder, or add more flour.)

O  Transfer cooked patties to paper towel. Cool for a few minutes.

O  Next serve on a multi-grain, whole wheat, or other grain bun and top with low-fat Dijon mustard, and of course, avocado!

Every ingredient that goes into this burger is healthy, nutritious and tastes amazing as well! Sometimes when you make these “healthy” dinner options they end up tasting dry and bland. However, sweet potatoes have a ton of flavor in and of themselves and adding a little mustard, avocado, salt, pepper and a pinch of spice will have your taste buds dancing!

This is a great weeknight dish, or even a great casual weekend get together dish that you can serve to friends. Serve it with a healthy salad or grilled vegetables and you have a very well-balanced meal that is quick and easy to make. Plus, with this dish being so healthy you can save a little extra room for dessert!

            

Whenever I purchase salmon for the grocery, I always have the sudden urge for the craving of a simple cracker with a light spread of cheese, topped with a piece of salmon and a dash of an herb. These bite size salmon snacks are most likely the lightest snacks of ease in calories and carbs,but yet the perfect party favor.

Here is the recipe and the how-to to this delectable snack:

O Cut each salmon slice into 6 equal portions.

O Combine onions,cucumbers,dill and lemon stirring in a small bowl.

O Spread 1 tablespoon of the mixture on top of the cracker.

O Top each cracker with a quick slice of salmon and sprinkle a piece of chive or other simple herb over each piece of salmon on top of the cracker.

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