Butternut Squash-Fruit Casserole

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, you most likely have your list of sides already planned out.  If you are looking for one additional idea, check this powerhouse recipe out.  Best news, no oven time needed!

Finally, Happy Thanksgiving!  I am so grateful for the opportunity to help each and every one of you.  My wish for you, is time to tell those you love how much you appreciate them this week.

Butternut Squash-Fruit Casserole

by Gabe Mirkin

1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups bouillon
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch cayenne, or to taste
2 tart apples, cored and cut in 1/2″ chunks
1/2 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened, or low sugar)
1 cup cooked barley or other whole grain of your choice
ground cinnamon for garnish

Pierce the squash with a knife in 2 or 3 places. Set in a microwave dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut the squash into bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile, combine the onion, garlic, bouillon, tomato paste, curry powder, nutmeg and cayenne in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 5-10 minutes. When the squash is ready, add it to the pot and cook until the squash is barely tender, about 10 minutes. Add the apples, cranberries and the barley and cook 10-15 minutes more, until the apples are tender. Dust each serving with a pinch of ground cinnamon if desired.

Happy Turkey Day!!!

Protein packed, “Latte” Taste!

I have been enjoying this protein shake all week and I just had to share it.  If you are craving a latte, you MUST try this.  Not only will it fit the bill, but it will keep you fuller longer and out of the grasp of a sugar crash later.

Vanilla Latte Energizer Shake

Why cottage cheese you ask?  It is full of B Vitamins for energy:1/2 cup packs 12% of your daily dose.
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 cup brewed strong coffee
1/2 cup low fat (low salt) cottage cheese
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
ice cubes
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy.
Optional “upgrades” to change it up:
– Omit coffee for more cinnamon flavor
– Substitute cottage cheese for 1/2 cup (4oz) cashew milk – if consistency is a concern                                       – add 1/4 cup raw oatmeal for an added carbohydrate boost after a hard workout
Try it, and let me know what you think via comments.

Banana Ice Cream

The banana has gotten some bad press over the years and I want to clear up misconceptions.  While it is one of the sweetest fruits available, it is chock full of nutrients and minerals.  Bananas are a great “go to” when that sweet tooth is nagging you.

One little banana…

  • is loaded with potassium, a mineral helpful in maintaining blood pressure and cardiovascular health
  • contains natural sterols which help block the absorption of dietary cholesterol
  • contains Vitamin C and B6, for immune system support and energy
  • is low fat, with less than 4% of calories from fat
  • has natural fiber, 3 grams per banana, to help regulate digestion and thus keep blood sugar levels from spiking.
  • Did I mention portable and cheap?

Now that the weather is warming up, here is a healthy alternative to ice cream using bananas.

Banana Ice Creambanana ice cream

recipe by youmustlovefood edited by eatlivefit.net

SERVES 2-3 1/2 cup servings

TIME 10 minutes to mix; 2 to 3 hours in freezer

Ingredients

  • 6 very ripe bananas, peeled and cut into medallions
  • 1 cup almond milk unsweetened
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • sprinkle of chopped almonds, for topping (optional)
  • cinnamon stick, for garnish (optional)

Other Equipment

  • large resealable freezer bag and Blender or food processor

Directions

Put the bananas into a resealable airtight bag and freeze for at least 3 hours or overnight. Place the bananas into a food processor or blender along with the almond milk, vanilla, and ground cinnamon and blend until smooth (this may take a few minutes). Scoop into dishes and top with almonds, and garnish a cinnamon stick.  If you want a thicker texture like traditional ice cream, place blend back into the resealable bag and freeze for up to 3 hours.

 

“Healthier” French Fries, is it an oxymoron?

I am always searching for ways to modify my current cooking habits to make them healthier.  When I find a good recipe or two, rather than recreate the wheel, I share it with you.  Most of my family meals are very simple and require little prep and few ingredients, so I love these recipes.  In all honesty, I have only tried three of them, but they were a hit with my family and very easy to make.  Word to the wise, try not to compare them to french fries because they are not.  Instead, try them and know you are getting a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals along with the good taste.  Sometimes nutrition comes down to thinking outside the box.

5 Vegetables That Make Amazing Fries (Besides Potatoes) By What To Eat

French fries are one of the ultimate comfort foods, and while there’s no denying how satisfying a salty serving of fried potatoes can be, enjoying a serving of fries doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. It’s easy to make healthy fries at home, and branching out from your usual spuds is a great way to up the nutritional value and slash calories while still enjoying the comfort food favorite. Steer clear of your local drive-through window and bake a big batch of one of these nutritious veggie French fries that everyone will flip for.

fries-daikon-400.jpg

Daikon Fries

Daikon is a versatile, white radish from Asia that is naturally low in calories and a good source of vitamin C. When roasted, you’ll get a light golden fry that pairs well with strong, robust sauces like herbed mayo or mustard. Try Christopher James Clark’s take with his Daikon Fries with Thyme Mustard Dipping Sauce.

fries-carrot-400.jpg

 Carrot Fries

Bored with steamed carrots? Get creative with the colorful veggie by slicing it into wedges, tossing with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and baking them like in this Healthy Baked Carrot Fries recipe from 2 Teaspoons. You’ll get a low-sodium, vitamin A-rich snack that’s perfect with spicy ketchup or ranch dressing.

fries-jicama-400.jpg

Jicama Fries

If you only know jicama as a slaw base and salad topping, you’re in for a treat! This mild and crunchy tuber might not come to mind as a good substitute for potatoes but it works surprisingly well as a super skinny fry. Give this Spicy Spiralized Shoe String Jicama Fries recipe from Inspiralized a try for a fun snack that packs a health punch with potassium, fiber, and vitamins A and C.

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Yucca Fries

Yucca is another root vegetable that works as an excellent potato swap. It’s rich in manganese and vitamin C and keeps for months at a time when stored properly. You won’t miss the spuds when you serve baked yucca fries with a flavorful, unique sauce like  Spoon Fork Bacon’s Baked Yucca Fries with Grilled Banana Ketchup.

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Zucchini Fries

In the warmer months when summer squash like zucchini are plentiful, use up your farmers market haul by baking up a batch of fries to go along with grilled favorites like burgers. This mild veggie is high in vitamin C, riboflavin, and vitamin B6, and pairs well with strong dipping sauces like A Cozy Kitchen serves up in this recipe for Zucchini Fries with Roasted Garlic Aioli and Sriracha Mayo.

What, that can’t be butternut squash?

I am always looking for recipes to share that are clean and simple to prepare (did that rhyme?).  I have cooked sweet potatoes this way many times, but this is a new twist and a kick!  All you need is butternut squash. You can even buy it pre cubed in the grocery store to save a step. Give it a try.

Butternut Squash Cajun Fries

Recipe by Allrecipes modified by eatlivefit

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS:
cooking spray
1 pound butternut squash – peeled,
seeded, and cut into thick French fries
1 pinch salt to taste 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to
taste
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, or to taste
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Blot any moisture from the butternut squash fries with paper towels, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and Cajun seasoning.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned and tender, 15 to 20 minutes, turning once.

A Sweet for your Sweet Tooth!

I try to cut sugar completely out of my diet and for those of you that are doing the same, I found a sweet for your sweet tooth that won’t undo all your hard work in the gym.  These are for occasional indulgences, not regular meals mind you, but they are delicious and easy to whip up quickly.  The rich filling is so satisfying that a little goes a long way!

 

These balls is that they take 10 minutes to whip up, there is no baking involved!  No sugar highs or crashes with these yummy treats, just good old yumminess! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups soaked, pitted Medjool dates
  • 2 cups of nuts (pecan, walnut, almond, brasil nut, or a mix)
  • ½ cup unsweetened natural coconut (optional)
  • organic 72% chocolate (for coating)

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and process until a thick paste forms, not too smooth but almost like chunky nut butter.
  2. With a heaping teaspoon amount, form balls in between your palms.
  3. You can keep them like this, or you can roll some in coconut, nut pieces, or dip in melted chocolate.  Keep in airtight container or freeze until needed.  They get chewier in the freezer, not rock hard.

recipe by Your Beauty Fuel Rita Catolino, modified by eatlivefit.net

Orange and Spice Sweet Potato Souffle {Casserole}

Just found this one and had to share..haven’t tried it yet, but going to!  Thank you “food to glow.”  If you want to really clean it up, try omitting the topping and just top with nuts.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  May you have a relaxed time surrounded by family and friends and get to do something really fun on your Thanksgiving Day, even if it is a small something for you.

food to glow

sweet potato soufflé // food to glowIs it a soufflé? Is it a casserole? Who knows. Most recipes for sweet potato casserole/soufflé contain a couple of eggs, making it veer rather sharply into soufflé territory. Imho. But the name seems to be interchangeable. And it matters not a jot once you taste it.

If you have never experienced this Southern US delicacy, you are in for an unexpected treat: light, fluffy, warmly spiced whipped sweet potato topped with crunchy, sweet and very slightly salted topping. As a side dish. I know that it sounds odd to pop a {heaped} spoonful of something sweet onto your otherwise savoury dinner plate. But trust me, it works.

My food to glow version is not quite the Southern US specialty of my youth: loads less sugar and fat. And then there’s the little matter of a complete – and, for some, sacrilegious – lack of marshmallows. But it gets the job…

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Crock Pot Applesauce – Leave the sugar in the cabinet

One of the best memories of my childhood is visiting with my grandparents in Ohio.  My grandmother, MaMaG, always made the best homemade applesauce and kept it frozen in her storage freezer for a dinnertime side dish.  Yes, apples have a lot of sugar but it is the natural kind that your body can break down and use to feed your muscles and cells.  The spices used in this recipe give it a healing punch that no store bought applesauce can match.  Ginger for anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon for heart health.  I could go on and on!  NO ADDED Sugar needed!

I recommend fresh grated ginger (or the puree you can buy in grocery store produce section).  Use a few cinnamon sticks and grate them against a fine cheese grater for fresher tasting cinnamon.  Nutmeg and cloves can be found in whole form also at most grocery stores and will add a little more taste to your recipe.  Throw all ingredients in your crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Before serving, fold the cooked crock pot ingredients into your blender and puree.  Not only will you have a side dish for dinner that night, but your house will smell like you have been burning a scented candle all day!  Freeze leftovers for another day in air tight container.

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Crock pot Applesauce:
10 apples peeled, cored and cubed
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 heaping tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 ground vanilla bean (pure vanilla extract would work too)
1/2 cup water

Try it and let me know how it goes.

Pumpkin Protein Mug Cake

Love this recipe as an evening snack because it is full of protein to keep you sleeping all night and light on fast burning carbohydrates. It is the perfect portion also so don’t double it no matter how yummy it tastes. Did I mention it is light on the dish washing cleanup also? Quick and easy!

Your Very Best Self

Happy autumn!

I have just the thing to celebrate: PUMPKIN PROTEIN MUG CAKE!

Tis’ the season for all pumpkin everything, right? What’s greatest about this is that you can make it in a dorm easily! Here you go:

pumpkin

In a mug (or bowl) mix:

1/2 scoop of your favorite protein powder (I used 100% whey vanilla)

1 egg (egg whites work too, 1/4 cup)

1/4 cup of pumpkin (canned, 100%)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp brown sugar (a little more if you have a mega sweet tooth)

1 tsp cinnamon

Toss it in the microwave for 1.5-2 mins. Just make sure that egg is cooked and your cake is light and fluffy!

I tossed some chocolate chips and extra cinnamon on top too! 🙂

Enjoy!

– Amber

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Primal Baked Apple, Raisin, and Nut Crumble

af8c2cbe9c46609f750c6e9937aaaf5aFall is fast approaching, so here is a fabulous recipe for baked apple crisp thanks to Love and Primal.  Nothing like the smell of apples to warm your home and all WITHOUT white sugar.  Just remember to keep your portion size to 1/2 a cup and serve over plain Greek yogurt.

Primal Baked Apple, Raisin, and Nut Crumble
Ingredients
  1. 4 Gala or Granny Smith Apples (your choice)
  2. 1 T Cinnamon
  3. Pinch of Nutmeg
  4. 1/3 cup Raisins
  5. 1 T Coconut Oil, melted
Crumble
  1. 2 T Coconut oil, melted
  2. 1 Cup Almond Flour
  3. 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  4. 2 T Honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Chop the apples, with the skin on, into bite-sized pieces
  3. Place in small casserole dish and toss with raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  4. Combine all the ingredients for the crumble and mix until the mixture resembles a “crumble”
  5. Sprinkle crumble on the top of the apples (add a little more cinnamon if you’d like)
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and enjoy warm! Bet you could even do this in the crock pot.