Category: Healthy Bites

One Ingredient Healthy Ice Cream

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If there’s one thing a pregnant lady can’t resist, it’s a scoop of ice cream on a hot day.

Unfortunately I just can’t eat it whenever my little heart desires or I just might end up with a 60+ lb weight gain by the time this baby pops out. No thank you!

So I’ve found the next best thing to the real deal, and no, it’s not fro-yo. It’s much, much healthier. Because, I hate to break it to you, friends, but frozen yogurt isn’t any better for you than ice cream.

The best part about this recipe is there’s one ingredient. Oh, and that it’s all natural. No artificial ingredients, no sweeteners, and no dairy. Oh, and you don’t need an ice cream maker. Too good to be true?

Nope. That one magic ingredient that can be whipped into rich, silky ice cream is…

BANANAS!

That’s right — thanks to their high pectin content, bananas make creamy, rich ice cream when frozen and blended. They don’t get that flaky/icy texture like other frozen fruit.

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe banana

Instructions

  1. Peel the banana and cut into small pieces.
  2. Put the banana pieces in a large freezer bag and freeze overnight.
  3. Blend the frozen banana pieces in a food processor. Keep blending and scraping until the banana resembles ice cream.
  4. Add in any toppings/flavors as desired.
  5. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until solid or enjoy right away for a soft serve texture.

** Note: You can make a large batch with more bananas. Just make sure your food processor is powerful enough!

Mix-Ins

The one-ingredient aspect of this ice cream is what makes it so healthy, but you can add in a few toppings to spice it up a bit.

  • Spoonful of peanut butter
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Handful of chocolate chips
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cinnamon

Let me know what you think!!

Summer Watermelon Salad

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Nothing says summer like a sweet watermelon salad. After being introduced to this salad at a friends summer BBQ a few years back, I can’t get enough. The combo sounds a little strange, but trust. It is to die for. It’s colorful and festive, and makes a great addition at any summer cookout. Enjoy!

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups watermelon in bite-sized chunks, seeds removed
  • 2 small ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons prepared balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

What you’ll do:

In a bowl, combine watermelon, tomatoes and goat cheese. Drizzle with vinaigrette and top with basil.

Mix it up: Try it with feta and mint instead of goat cheese and basil, if you like.

Serves 4

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
100 calories, 6g fat, 3g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 140mg sodium, 10g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 7g sugar, 3g protein

Skinny Chicken Lettuce Wraps

lThis is a recipe from my Mom and as with all her recipes, it is delicious! So, of course, I had to share. (Thanks Mom!!)

These chicken lettuce wraps are perfect for an appetizer or a light lunch or dinner.

Each lettuce wrap has only 62 calories and 2 grams of fat. Oh, so skinny.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

What you’ll need:
(for the wraps)

  • 1 pound ground chicken or ground turkey
  • 8 scallions, white and green parts chopped
  • 1 (8oz) can water chestnuts, drained, rinsed and chopped fine
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2½ tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 large head butter lettuce, wash, dried and leaves separated

(for the sauce)

  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ tablespoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic

What you’ll do:

  1. In a large pan, brown the ground chicken over medium-high heat, breaking up the pieces. Pour into a colander, in the sink and drain fat. Return chicken to pan. When cool enough to handle, break up the chicken pieces until minced.
  2. Add the scallions, water chestnuts, red pepper, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, water and sesame oil. Cook for a few minutes until the scallions and red pepper are soft. Keep warm.
  3. In a small bowl, add all the dipping sauce ingredients and mix well.
  4. To assemble each chicken wrap, spoon about ⅓ cup of chicken filling onto one lettuce leaf and roll it up. Serve with dipping sauce on the side.

Makes about 16 lettuce wraps

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

It’s no secret that I love eggs (see thisthis and this). And with Easter right around the corner, I thought I’d share my technique for the perfect hard boiled egg.

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To be honest, hard boiled eggs can be a little tricky to get just right. Don’t you agree?

I think one reason is that if you google/youtube how to make a hard boiled egg you get 1,000+ techniques.

Some adding vinegar. Some with baking soda.

So many different methods! How is that possible?

I need simplicity. And I need a technique that works. 

Well, I’ve finally discovered just that.

My method is SUPER SIMPLE. Nothing but eggs and water. It never fails. I’ve never dealt with the dreaded grey yolk. I’ve never had a soft, under cooked egg nor an overcooked white.

Perfect eggs, every time.

Hard Boiled Eggs:

  1. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with at least ½ inch of water. 
  2. As soon as the water reaches a rolling boil, remove from heat and cover with a lid for 15 minutes. 
  3. Drain hot water from the saucepan. Add enough ice cubes and cold water to cover the eggs, allowing eggs to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from ice water and peel or store in the refrigerator.

**To peel the eggs, gently tap on hard surface, then roll between palm of hand and surface. The shell will quickly appear to be shattered on the egg.  Begin to peel the shell – most of it should stick together as it easily comes off of the egg.

Homemade Açaí Bowl

acai-bowl-Saturday morning I had the most delicious açaí bowl for Breakfast from our hotel in Newport Beach. This “Bonzai Bowl” was made with açaí yogurt, fresh assorted tropical fruit – strawberries, pineapple, mango, kiwi, banana – and topped with toasted coconut, pistachios, and granola.

It was absolutely heavenly!

acaiAçaí is the king of the superfruit jungle is this tiny purple palm fruit called açaí. A staple food for the local Amazonians, açaí is rich in antioxidants (specifically anthocyanins like those found in red wine) and healthy fats similar to olive oil, plus it has no sugar. This combo makes açaí a powerhouse of satisfying nutrition.”

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I loved it so much that I’ve been craving another açaí bowl ever since. So, of course I had to learn to make them at home.

And now you can too!

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++ Homemade Açaí Bowl ++

Ingredients:

Optional Toppings:

  • Fresh, sliced fruit: strawberries, bananas, kiwi, mango, pineapple
  • Granola
  • Coconut
  • Chia Seeds
  • Ground Flax Seeds
  • Honey

Blend açaí packs, spinach, frozen berries, banana and milk until smooth. The mixture should be thick enough to eat with a spoon. Transfer into a bowl and add your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Mason Jar Salads

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I am all about salads right now. They are seriously the perfect lunch: tons of veggies, leafy greens, some protein, and a little healthy fat. Prepare them right and you have yourself a very well balanced meal all in one little container.

Thanks to the mason jar.

Layer your salad ingredients in this cute little jar, and when you’re ready for lunch just give it a shake. Easy, right?

You can also make them ahead of time to enjoy throughout the week. Hellooooo meal prep!

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A few rules to master the mason jar salad:

  1. Always add your dressing first. There’s nothing worse than a soggy salad.
  2. Next, add your heartier toppings like cucumber, carrots, chickens, radishes, bell pepper, etc.
  3. Then, add your lighter bits like quinoa, flax, tomatoes, fruit, corn, beans, cheese, and seeds.
  4. Finally add your leafy greens. Firmer greens like kale, spinach, and cabbage should go in before lighter greens like spring mix and arugula.
  5. Be sure to leave a little room at the top, otherwise it can be tough to mix the ingredients.
  6. When you’re ready to eat, just shake, shake, shake. You can either transfer it to a bowl or eat it right from the jar.

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{Why use a Mason Jar?}

Dishwasher safe

BPA free and environmentally friendly

Easy for school or work lunches

Excellent Portion Control

Super cute and so trendy right now. duh!

Skinny Protein Waffles

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My dad tells this one story of “2 year old Jenn,” so often, I feel like I actually remember it. I wake up in the wee hours of the night, crying sobbing for no apparent reason (probably a nightmare but the world may never know).

After several HOURS, I’m finally able to let out a sentence in between the sobs, tears, and gasps for air.

And I announce “I want a waffle.”

There ya have it folks. Emotional eating from a 2 year old.

As a 27 year old self-proclaimed nutrition nut, I am almost ashamed to admit I still die over waffles. Except now I know those frozen Eggos are definitely not the best for my body.

Can’t a girl just eat a damn waffle anymore??

Well thankfully I’ve found a solution so I can avoid another midnight meltdown.

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These Skinny Protein Waffles provide a full serving of fruit and protein which keeps me feeling nice and satisfied. I love them for breakfast, an afternoon snack, and especially when those waffle cravings kick in.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 serving vanilla protein powder
  • ½ banana
  • ½ Tablespoon almond milk
  • 2 egg whites (¼ cup liquid egg whites)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

What you’ll do:

  1. In a small bowl, mash the banana with the almond milk.
  2. Gradually stir in the other ingredients to make a batter.
  3. Spray your waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and heat on medium low.
  4. Slowly pour the batter into the waffle iron and cook 3-5 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Remove from heat and top with additional fruit, real maple syrup, honey or agave.

Makes 1 waffle. 

Butter Lettuce and Tuna Salad with Pear Dressing

This is a take on a chopped wedge salad, similar to what you’d find as a side in a steakhouse – a salad that can easily be an entrée in itself! The ingredients have been replaced with healthier options, still tasty but you can feel good about eating it. It’s rich and hearty from the tuna, avocados and hazelnuts, and the pear adds a hint of sweetness. Serves 4. 

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For the dressing: In a blender, combine the oil, pear nectar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, diced pear, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.

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For the salad: Place the lettuce in a bowl. Add the avocado, pear slices, hazelnuts and tuna. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.

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Nutrition Facts: (per serving) Calories 408; Protein 10g; Carbohydrates 15g; Sugar 8g; Total Fat 35g; Saturated Fat 5g; Sodium 184 mg

 Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup

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Time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts organic low sodium chicken stock
  • 8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil
  2. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf
  3. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned
  4. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil
  5. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender
  6. Fold in the chicken and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through
  7. Season with salt and pepper
  8. Garnish with parsley and serve

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The Trick to Brussels Spouts

Brussels spouts get a bad rap… which is a real problem because they can seriously be SO tasty if prepared right.

Plus there are a bunch of health benefits to eating them. A member of the cabbage family and cruciferous vegetable, Brussels sprouts are packed with nutrition:

  • lowers cholesterol
  • contains antioxidant ingredients like vitamin C, E, A 
  • fights inflammation
  • contains omega-3 fatty acids
  • fights against and prevents various cancers including bladder, breast, colon, lung, prorate and ovarian cancer
  • supports the cardiovascular system
  • aids in digestion
  • maintains low blood sugar
  • highs in vitamin K, which promotes healthy bones
  • highs in vitamin C, ensuring a healthy immune system

So, what’s the secret to cooking Brussels spouts?

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Roast them in a pan, instead of boiling them!

The slight caramelization from pan roasting Brussels sprouts brings out their earthy flavors while still keeping their nutrients in tact. Pan roast them to firm but tender; they will be bright green and beautiful.

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Here’s how:

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 20 Brussels sprouts, trimmed, cleaned and shredded
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • ⅛ cup pine nuts (optional)
  • ⅛ cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • ⅛ cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. To prepare your Brussels, remove any outer leaves, trim off the very end of the root end and cut them in half length wise. If needed give them a good rinse; just make sure they are completely dry before you pan roast them. Then shred in a food processor or chop into thin strips.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a well seasoned cast iron pan or stainless steel skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Add shredded Brussels sprouts and lightly sauté for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. Season the Brussels with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Toss the sautéed Brussels sprouts in a bowl with pine nuts, grated Parmesan cheese and dried cranberries.
  6. In a small bowl, mix extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
  7. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir thoroughly.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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