Browsing Tag

healthy

Light and Healthy Banana Muffins

 

It’s almost the freaking weekend! Friday is my favorite. I’ve said it before and I will say it again….and again……and again….. I LOVE Friday. During the summer, our office closes an hour earlier (yay!), and I actually get to pick my son up from daycare, one of those rare moments that I absolutely treasure, and we get to enjoy two “home days”. I love home days. Snuggles galore and the time that I get to focus on baking and cooking. Nothing sounds better to me. So to celebrate the weekend, I’m sharing these lightened up banana muffins. These are so good, I couldn’t tell they were lighter. The original recipe uses white whole wheat flour which would be great here. I used all-purpose because I happened to run out of white whole wheat flour and they still came out great. Super easy to whip up and they will make your kitchen smell amazing!

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line your cupcake tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and 1/4 cup of maple syrup with an electric mixer. Add in the egg whites, banana (I left mine whole and just let the hand mixer do the mashing), maple syrup, apple sauce, and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda and salt to the bowl and blend just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and top with crushed pecans. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Notes

Slightly adapted from Skinnytaste.

Smoothie Four Ways

 

The warm weather has finally arrived in New England, despite the SNOW that some areas saw about a week ago. Thankfully, not here. But back to the warm weather. This time of year makes me crave lighter foods. Something more refreshing. Smoothies are such a great way to get a lot of nutrients and stay hydrated in the warm weather. My son and I love them as a mid-morning snack, or is some cases a pre-daycare treat during the week. While we usually default to this smoothie recipe I personally like to change it up a bit. The base for all of these smoothies is the same. 1 banana and almond milk. Vanilla flavored to be exact. While it’s sweetened, it’s still healthy and helps to sweeten the smoothies a bit. The other key is to use very rips bananas. Not ripe like banana bread ripe, but almost. I’m including the individual recipes for each below. I wish you all a very happy and healthier Thirsty Thurs-yay!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Cherry Jubilee Smoothie is like the dessert minus the heat and booze. Start with 1 banana and 1/2 cup of Almond milk. Add in cherries, about a 1/2 cup (handful if you are like me!) and about 1/4 cup of orange juice. Add in 1/4-1/2 cup of ice and blend together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Very Berry Smoothie is exactly as it sounds. Full-o-berries! Such a great way to get those antioxidants. Start with 1 banana, 1/2 cup Almond milk. Add in some strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Add about 1/2 cup of ice and blend together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Green Health Smoothie is a great way to get in your greens and it SUPER healthy. Start with 1 banana, 1/2 cup of almond milk. Toss in about a handful of baby spinach and a kiwi. Add your ice, about 1/2 cup and blend together. I feel healthier just looking at it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A spin off of a classic. Such a treat! For this you start with 1 Banana and 1/2 cup Almond milk. Toss in some strawberries, I also used about a tbsp. of this strawberry syrup. Add in about 1 spoonful of peanut butter and 1/2 cup of ice. Blend together and enjoy!

Overnight Oats

 

Mornings are such a struggle for us. Are they for you? I always like to start my day with a decent breakfast but that can be tough when I’m trying to get myself and our three year old out the door so I can drop him off at daycare and make it to work on time. Most mornings, except on the weekend, I’m eating breakfast while I drive into work. Needless to say, I’m looking for something quick and easy to transport and eat on the go. I would say most often my mornings consist of a variation of toast, but some days it’s just easier to grab a muffin. Not so great when you are trying to be healthy, and not get hungry an hour later. As much as I love and adore toast in all varieties, I do like to change it up. So I did, and I tried overnight oats. I will be honest, my first attempt was not great. I tried a banana bread overnight oats, which sounded great, but tasted too much like yogurt. I’ve tried a few variations since, and have been very pleased. What I particularly love is that you can just grab it and go, because eating it cold is perfectly acceptable and delicious. Or, you can heat it a bit, if you prefer to have it a warmer. I generally make mine on the more basic end of the scale, to start, so I can jazz it up with some mix-ins. Yes, I just said jazz it up. But let’s move onto the mix-ins. So many options. You can load it with nut butter, dried fruit, chocolate chips if you need a morning dose of chocolate, seeds, spices. For this particular recipe, I only slightly adapted a recipe I found on Hip Foodie Mom. By the way, this site is awesome. So many yummy and healthy recipes can be found here. But if you are looking to change up your breakfast routine, definitely give overnight oats a shot. It’s healthy and very minimal prep.

Instructions

  1. Add ingredients to a mason jar and shake up to combine. Let sit in your refrigerator overnight. In the morning, place in a bow and add on your favorite mix-ins. For this I used sliced banana, a spoonful of almond butter and some crushed honey almond chex cereal.

Notes

Grilled Caesar Salad

 

Have you ever grilled lettuce? Well you should definitely give it a shot. If you want a change from the usual salad experience, I urge you to grill your lettuce. My husband refused to try it because it reminded him eating a warm grinder (yes, that’s a MA thing, I think) that has lettuce on it. It wilts and transitions to this weird state where it’s disgusting. But do not fret! If you are fearful of this same texture, you do not need to be. To grill the lettuce, I just cut a couple heads of romaine in half and washed them out. Thoroughly dry them and spits with some olive oil. Sprinkle on some salt and pop those babies on the grill for a couple of minutes a side. You cant to see the char, then you’ll know it’s time to flip. To me, it’s like roasting kale. Kale on it’s own can be very overpowering. Roast it and my GOD I could eat all the kale. I felt like this was a very similar experience. Adding on grilled ciabatta bread croutons was also amazing. Because grilled bread is always amazing. Truly, if I could grill bread every morning, I would. It’s that delicious. I also made a fish-less vinaigrette which was uh-mazing. I will also suggest dipping your grilled toast into the dressing. You will be so happy that you did.

Ingredients

For the dressing

For the grilled lettuce

For the croutons

Instructions

  1. To make the dressing, combine the ingredients in a mason jar and shake to combine. It's best to make this ahead a bit so the flavors can blend together.
  2. To make the croutons, drizzle the bread halves with olive oil and salt. Place on the grill for a few minutes each side. You;ll want to make sure you see the charred lines and it's toasty, but do not let it burn completely.
  3. For the lettuce, leave the bottoms intact and cut the heads in half. Wash and dry. Spray.drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on your grill for about 2-3 minutes per side. Once you remove it from the grill you can cut the ends and separate the leaves.
  4. To assemble the salad, spread the grilled lettuce leaves on a platter. Cut the toasty croutons and shave some extra Parmesan on the top. Drizzle the whole thing with your dressing and serve immediately.

Notes

Original Recipe

Mexican Rice

 

It’s Cinco de Mayo a day to enjoy all the yummy eats and drink some tequila. Actually it’s only about 6AM here so no tequila for me yet. Maybe a tequila sunrise would be appropriate? In all honestly, I saw a post from a fellow blogger, How Sweet Eats for Rose Sangria, and I just happen to have some Rose, so that will most certainly be happening this evening. Anyway, back to this rice. I dare to be different today and post a side dish rather than taco inspiration. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE tacos! So much, actually, that I’ve researched apparel ad nauseam to express my affections. But this rice dish caught my eye a while ago. I was focused on my health for a bit and got completely distracted by potato chips and Easter Candy, but I didn’t forget and I’m trying to regain focus. If you are trying to stay healthy, or eat something a bit lighter, just like me, you are going to enjoy this dish. It uses brown rice and fresh veggies so it’s super healthy, and super flavorful. I had it as a side, but brought left overs for lunch because it’s that good and satisfying. If you want to limit your taco intake or perhaps have a side dish to enjoy, try this dish.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Prepare the rice according to the package directions.
  2. In a pan, heat a bit of olive oil about 1-2 tsp. Add in the onion, jalapeno and tomatoes. Cook about 8-10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook about a minute more. Add in the tomato paste and spices and heat through. Add in the cooked rice, salt and pepper, and mix together. Serve warm.

Notes

Recipe from Skinnytaste.