Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Inspiration: Power

A thought for a fresh new week...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fresh Friday Presents: Gala Apples, 2 Ways

Welcome to the first Fresh Friday post! Every Friday, I'll highlight one of the freshest fruits or vegetables in the market, and show you two fast and healthy ways to prepare it.

This week: Gala Apples


Recipes: A single-serve no-bake baked apple & a nut butter snack plate

A healthy snack that tastes like apple pie...so...yeah you should go ahead and make that.
A healthy snack that tastes like apple pie...so...yeah you should go ahead and make that.

Gala apples are at their best right now. Their sweetest, juiciest, crunchiest best. To celebrate Gala season, I've got two crazy easy ways to enjoy them. Without an oven. Or added sugar. And you only need 4 minutes to get them ready. That's less than five minutes! Go get yourself some Galas!


1) No-Bake Baked Apple (Forget the oven, all you need is 2 minutes in the microwave. A satisfying snack but naturally sweet enough for dessert)

Apple Yogurt Bowl_1


Serves: 1    Time: Less than 5 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 Gala apple, cut into 8 wedges
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Handful of halved walnuts (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 date, chopped
  • ~3 ounces of plain Greek yogurt* (half of a single-serve container)

Directions:
  1. Microwave the apple wedges for 2 minutes on high
  2. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on the apples
  3. Spoon the yogurt over the apple-cinnamon combo
  4. Sprinkle walnuts and dates on top

*I love the flavor and richness of 2% Greek yogurt, and the amount of fat helps the dish feel decadent and filling. Feel free to use  whatever fits best into your daily diet. For help choosing the healthiest yogurt, see my recommendations on ABC News for Health Magazine.


2) Gala Apple Snack Plate

A snack plate looks like more food than individual pieces, and you can't overdo the PB since it's pre-portioned
A snack plate looks like more food than individual pieces, and you can't overdo the PB since it's pre-portioned

Serves 1   Time: Less than 5 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 Gala apple, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons of nut butter (I used Justin's Maple Almond Butter)
  • Handful of raisins (about 1/8 cup)

Directions:
  1. Assemble the apple slices, nut butter and raisins on a plate
Celebrate Gala Season TWO Ways!
Celebrate Gala Season TWO Ways!


Stay tuned for Bartlett pears next Friday!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

25 Decadent-yet-Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

25 of the most decadent-looking (but surprisingly healthy) pumpkin recipes are all in one place.

I can’t wait any longer – I’ve seen gourds and mini pumpkins at the farmers market so I think it’s okay for this to be Thursday’s Roundup. Right? Yes.

They all lean toward the healthy side - you won't find any recipes with 2 sticks of butter or 2 cups of sugar here. Instead, you'll see whole grains, spices, and thoughtful portions of fat and sweetener.

They're sorted into 3 popular categories: Breads & Muffins, Breakfast, and Dessert (but no pies - they'll come in November).


(Click on the link or photo to open the recipe in a new window)


Breads & Muffins


1. Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread - Cookie + Kate

Photo Credit - Cookie + Kate (with permission)
Photo Credit - Cookie + Kate (with permission)


2. Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins - Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

Photo Credit - Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker (with permission)
Photo Credit - Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker (with permission)


3. Pumpkin Pie Muffins - Snixy Kitchen

Photo Credit - Snixy Kitchen (with permission)
Photo Credit - Snixy Kitchen (with permission)


4. Pumpkin Spice Mini Muffins - Foodlets

Photo Credit - Foodlets (with permission)
Photo Credit - Foodlets (with permission)


5. Pumpkin Muffins with Streusel Topping - 30 Seconds with A&J

Photo Credit - 30 Seconds with A&J (with permission)
Photo Credit - 30 Seconds with A&J (with permission)


6. Chai Pumpkin Bread - PaleOMG

Photo Credit- PaleOMG (with permission)
Photo Credit- PaleOMG (with permission)


7. Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins - The Lean Green Bean

Photo Credit - The Lean Green Bean (with permission)
Photo Credit - The Lean Green Bean (with permission)


8. Flourless Pumpkin Pie Muffins - Running With Spoons

Photo Credit - Running with Spoons (with permission)
Photo Credit - Running with Spoons (with permission)


 

Breakfast


9. Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Vanilla Bean Caramelized Bananas - Ambitious Kitchen

Photo Credit - Ambitious Kitchen (with permission)
Photo Credit - Ambitious Kitchen (with permission)


10. Crunchy Pumpkin Spice Granola - Sally's Baking Addiction

Photo Credit - Sally's Baking Addiction
Photo Credit - Sally's Baking Addiction


11. Pumpkin Granola - Two Peas & Their Pod

Photo Credit - Two Peas and Their Pod (with permission)
Photo Credit - Two Peas and Their Pod (with permission)


12. Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats - My Whole Food Life

Photo Credit - My Whole Food Life (with permission)
Photo Credit - My Whole Food Life (with permission)


13.Pumpkin Pancakes - Snack Girl

Photo Credit - Snack Girl (with permission)
Photo Credit - Snack Girl (with permission)


14. Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Quinoa - Once Upon a Cutting Board

Photo Credit - Once Upon a Cutting Board (with permission)
Photo Credit - Once Upon a Cutting Board (with permission)


15. Apple Cinnamon Pumpkin Crockpot Steel Cut Oats - The Lean Green Bean

Photo Credit - The Lean Green Bean (with permission)
Photo Credit - The Lean Green Bean (with permission)


16. Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal, 3 Ways - Will Cook for Friends

Photo Credit - Will Cook for Friends (with permission)
Photo Credit - Will Cook for Friends (with permission)


17. Pumpkin Oat Pancakes - Cookie + Kate

Photo Credit - Cookie + Kate (with permission)
Photo Credit - Cookie + Kate (with permission)

 

Dessert


18. Healthy Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Oatmeal Bars - Running with Spoons

Photo Credit - Running With Spoons (with permission)
Photo Credit - Running With Spoons (with permission)


19. Iced Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies (Gluten-Free) - SnixyKitchen

Photo Credit - Snixy Kitchen (with permission)
Photo Credit - Snixy Kitchen (with permission)


20. Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Scones with Maple Glaze - Cookie + Kate

Photo Credit - Cookie + Kate (with permission)
Photo Credit - Cookie + Kate (with permission)


21. Lightened-Up Pumpkin Spice Bars - Sally's Baking Addiction

Photo Credit - Sally's Baking Addiction (with permission)
Photo Credit - Sally's Baking Addiction (with permission)


22. Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Snack Cake - Sweet Treats & More

Photo Credit - Sweet Treats & More (with permission)
Photo Credit - Sweet Treats & More (with permission)


23. Pumpkin Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie  - The Fountain Avenue Kitchen

Photo Credit - The Fountain Avenue Kitchen (with permission)
Photo Credit - The Fountain Avenue Kitchen (with permission)


24. Salted Pumpkin Crème Brûlée - 30 Seconds with A&J

Photo Credit - 30 Seconds with A&J (with permission)
Photo Credit - 30 Seconds with A&J (with permission) -


25. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars - Chocolate Covered Katie

Photo Credit - Chocolate-Covered Katie (with permission)
Photo Credit - Chocolate-Covered Katie (with permission)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday Lunch Date #4: Feng Shui for Fall, Chai Pumpkin Bars & 4-Minute Workouts

Another week has passed, and we're already sitting down for our Wednesday lunch date again! Can you believe it? I'm so glad to have this time to share the latest news with you and I encourage you to share your favorite articles, recipes, and healthy stories from the week in the comments below.
Here's what I've been up to this past week:

My Recent Press:

What I've Cooked Lately That Was AWESOME:

What I’m Reading:

Food News & Trends:

Healthy Eating:

Exercise:

Lifestyle (Home, Relationships, Organization, Psychology, Happiness, Art, DIY Crafts):

What I'm Salivating Over:

Breakfasts:

Salads & Veggie Sides:

Main Courses:

Desserts:

Snacks:

New Cookbook Alerts!

Helpful Tweets:
  • "Putting a vanilla chai tea bag in my oats before microwaving is the best idea I have had in a while. New staple in my diet!" - @NutritionNerd
  • "What #diet do I favor?  Wholesome foods in sensible combinations, and let the nutrients sort themselves out" - @DrDavidKatz
  • "[My Son] ordered okra tonight, which surprised me, but then confessed that he confused it with orzo." - This one just made me laugh :) - @TheScramble

Fun Food Quiz!
  •  Can We Guess Your Favorite Food? - Buzzfeed (I got steak. Not my favorite food by any means, but they did say that means I'm a "really awesome person" so I'll take it.

The Week in Photos:

While I love cooking some nights, other times I like/need/must have wholesome dinners that are really quick to assemble. Here's one of my favorite easy chicken dinners. Step 1) Buy a Rotisserie chicken. Step 2) Make rice in a rice cooker (easiest!), or on the stove (In the photo, it's garlic & herb rice pilaf). Step 3) Steam green beans in them microwave (takes just a few minutes). Step 4) Slice up a raw vegetable of your choice - tomatoes, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, etc. If you used a rice cooker, the dinner took about 5 minutes to put on the plate. A 5 minute chicken dinner awaits!

One super simple chicken dinner
One super simple chicken dinner

On Tuesday night, I went to a truly lovely dinner hosted by the California Table Grape Commission at Republique in Los Angeles. Did you know 99% of the commercially grown table grapes harvested in the US are from California? The chef incorporated cooked grapes into each course in creative ways alongside sea trout crudo, wild atlantic striped bass, and Sonoma duck breast. My favorite part of the meal was the dessert: Warm California Grape Clafoutis. It's a French dessert where fruit (traditionally cherries) are baked in a custard batter. Ours was piping hot served with a dusting of powdered sugar and a scoop of freshly made almond ice cream. During dinner, Ellie Krieger talked about how she uses grapes in her kitchen at home (like roasting, yum!) and we all shared some of our favorite grape recipes. They gave us each a personalized box of red, green and black grapes that had been harvested TWO days ago and two fabulous cookbooks. I can't wait to cook something from the grape book! (I already have a well-loved copy of Ellie's cookbook, which I reference often on the blog).

Dinner with the California Table Grape Commission at Republique in LA
Dinner with the California Table Grape Commission at Republique in LA

Be well! See you for another mid-week lunch date next Wednesday!

Any favorite recipes, new products, articles, or quizzes you'd like to share?

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