Holiday

Category: Holiday

Festive and fun meals with out all the guilt!

Oven-Puffed Berry Pancake

Oven Puffed Berry Pancake- With a crispy golden outside and custardy soft inside, these lightened up Oven-Puffed Berry Pancakes are delicious and impressive, yet unbelievably easy to make!
With a crispy golden outside and custardy soft inside, these lightened up Oven-Puffed Berry Pancakes are delicious and impressive, yet unbelievably easy to make!

This is one of our favorite quick and easy breakfasts! You will not believe these delicious and impressive pancakes require just a few simple ingredients, less than 10 minutes of prep time and 13 minutes in the oven. And they are so pretty, aren’t they?

Whenever I ask Brandon what he wants for breakfast it’s usually, “puffy pancake!” Similar to a German or Dutch baby pancake, these Oven Puffed Berry Pancakes are addictive, flavorful and so fun to make. They kind of remind me of fry bread or a popover but much lighter and less fattening…crispy golden on the edges but with a dense custardy center.

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Skinny Chai Spiced Hot Chocolate

If you are a chai tea and dark chocolate lover, this drink is for you! This hot chocolate has the perfect balance of cocoa, spices and sweetness, yet made healthier without any white sugar!
If you are a chai tea and dark chocolate lover, this drink is for you! This hot chocolate has the perfect balance of cocoa, spices and sweetness, yet made healthier without any white sugar!

I’ve been slacking lately! It seems like things haven’t quite slowed down yet since the holidays. Between that, covering at work, possibly buying a house and trying to keep up with a toddler, this little momma hasn’t had a lot of time to blog!

For the past few months I’ve wanted to post this fun and healthy Skinny Chai Spiced Hot Chocolate. I suppose its not too late since I’m sure its still somewhat cold where you are, unless you live in Australia.  Here in Arizona we actually had some light snow on New Years Day. Crazy I know!! So that made for a perfect hot chocolate day. Now our temps are back to the 70’s…perfection! I wish it stayed like this all year long. That doesn’t stop me from still making a yummy cup of hot chocolate though.

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Loaded Apple Nachos

These Loaded Apple Nachos are drizzled with a mixture of nut butter and honey, and then sprinkled with California Raisins, white and dark chocolate chips, granola and strawberries. Perfect for your next holiday party for after school snack for the kids. Very simple, sweet, colorful, fun and healthy!
These Loaded Apple Nachos are drizzled with a mixture of nut butter and honey, and then sprinkled with California Raisins, white and dark chocolate chips, granola and strawberries. Perfect for your next holiday party for after school snack for the kids. Very simple, sweet, colorful, fun and healthy!

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

I’m excited to participate in this month’s Recipe ReDux contest sponsored by California Raisins. The theme is “Naturally Sweet for the Holidays with California Raisins”. We were challenged to create a delicious and nutritious holiday recipe using wholesome California Raisins. Challenge accepted!

It’s now that time of the year when we are all faced with the temptation of eating masses of indulgent sweets. Cookie exchanges, work parties, holiday meals, food gifts, baking traditions! Today I am sharing a delicious and fun recipe you can feel good about serving at your next holiday party. Loaded Apple Nachos! They would also make a great snack for after school snack or a special occasion for the kids.

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Cranberry Pecan Banana Bread

Cranberry Pecan Banana Bread-The most flavorful, moist and healthiest banana bread ever!  No butter or oil! It makes a perfect snack or breakfast for the holidays.
This whole wheat Cranberry Pecan Banana Bread is the most flavorful, moist and healthiest banana bread you’ll ever have! No butter or oil! It makes a perfect snack or breakfast for around the holidays.

Looking for a quick and easy recipe for those extra cranberries sitting in the refrigerator? I’ve got you covered! The Recipe Redux theme of the month is: A Food Memory for Which You Are Thankful. We were asked to share a favorite food memory and the healthier “redo” of the recipe.

I’m thankful for the amazing homemade banana bread my mom used to bake for us as kids. There’s just something so comforting about it. Warm, moist banana bread fresh from the oven.  mmmm.

I know everyone claims to have the best banana bread recipe…but this recipe is definitely the best, most flavorful, moist and healthiest banana bread! You’d never know it doesn’t have any butter or oil! I typically make it with just some chopped nuts but this time I decided to add some fall ingredients in honor of Thanksgiving. Cranberries and pecans!! It turned out so good!

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Lightened Up Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Lightened Up Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars- You’d never know these rich, creamy delicious bars are lightened up with Greek yogurt and are butter free!
You’d never know these rich, creamy delicious bars are lightened up with Greek yogurt and are butter free!

It’s been a little while! We were visiting my brother in Austin, TX for a week and it’s taken some time getting back into the routine. We had so much fun hanging out with him, exploring Austin and eating our way through the incredible restaurants and food trucks! I bet you’ve never imagine a dietitian would eat Lucy’s Fried Chicken, a “Pumpkinator” cupcake from Hey Cupcake or Texas BBQ  When in Rome, right?  Seriously though, when you find food that is authentic, homemade and looks amazing you must give it a try! (or at least share!) It’s always fun to discover new places and cuisines that you’d never find at home.

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Sweet Corn & Pea Tomato Pesto Bruschetta

Sweet Corn & Pea Tomato Pesto Bruschetta-Two simple bruschetta recipes that are flavorful, quick and sure to impress a crowd.
Two simple bruschetta recipes that are flavorful, quick and sure to impress a crowd!

“I received free samples of Libby’s new Vegetable Pouches mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Libby’s and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

I’m excited to participate in my second monthly Recipe Redux contest. Libby’s Fruits and Vegetables is sponsoring this month’s challenge. They have a new product coming out to the shelves January 2015 and are challenging us to create healthy and delicious appetizers, soups, salads and side dishes, which can be made in ten minutes or less!

Let me introduce you to….Libby’s Vegetable Pouches! They are a time efficient and healthy source of shelf-stable vegetables that can be warmed up in their packaging within seconds! Not to mention they are environmentally friendly (the bag uses less energy to produce and compresses nicely for disposal), BPA free and are easy to open. The vegetable pouches will be available in five varieties: sliced carrots, sweet peas, cut green beans, mixed vegetables and sweet corn.

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Boo-nana Pops

Boo-nana Pops- A festive, fun and healthier Halloween treat for the kids.
A festive, fun and healthier Halloween treat for the kids!

Getting excited for Halloween? I know I am! I’m actually most excited for our trip the last week of October to visit my brother in Austin, TX. The city is already lively enough, so I can’t imagine what Halloween will be like! I look forward to seeing my brother who is there for PT school and of course all of the amazingly delicious restaurants they have there!!

Today I’m sharing a fun Halloween treat for the little ones. Well adults can have them too, if decorating bananas is your thing.  JK. But seriously I’m sure you won’t be able to resist these yummy and festive Boo-nana Pops if you make them with your kiddos!

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Kale, Mushroom and Zucchini Stuffed Shells + Easy Red Wine Tomato Sauce

Kale, Mushroom and Zucchini Stuffed Shells + Easy Red Wine Tomato Sauce- A delicious recipe to incorporate some kale into your diet along with mushrooms, zucchini and ricotta, all stuffed into pasta shells and covered with homemade red wine tomato sauce and bubbling mozzarella cheese.
A delicious recipe to incorporate some kale into your diet along with mushrooms, zucchini and ricotta, all stuffed into pasta shells and covered with homemade red wine tomato sauce and bubbling mozzarella cheese.

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Today I am going to share my 4th and final pasta recipe for National Pasta Month sponsored by Pasta FitsKale, Mushroom and Zucchini Stuffed Shells + Easy Red Wine Tomato Sauce.  I felt like I was channeling my inner Italian while making this dish and sipping wine as I made the tasty tomato sauce. Yes, I am supposedly ¼ (or less?) Italian. I say “supposedly” because one of my great-grandfathers claimed to be from Palermo, Italy, although he was adopted and the story keeps changing. I hear that multiple birth certificates for him were found, so it seems that he may have actually been born in Milwaukee, WI (where my family is originally from) and possibly had Italian parents who set him up for adoption? Or his adoptive parents were Italian? Interesting… Maybe I will work on my family history some day to solve that mystery.

Anyways…

We just  ‘d this pasta dish! I think it would also be wonderful to make for a holiday dinner. Christmas Eve maybe? It has incredible flavor and elegance, without being too complicated! Not to mention, it’s packed with nutritious kale, mushrooms and zucchini. I haven’t cooked much with kale yet, besides making kale chips, so I thought I’d give it a go. I would definitely recommend using kale in your pasta recipes (cook just like you would fresh spinach). In this recipe I finely chopped it up so it was evenly spread through out the ricotta stuffing. Yum! What a fantastic way to get in some extra vitamins K, A, C and many other nutrients.

I also made this dish slightly healthier by using part-skim ricotta and 2% milk mozzarella along with heart healthy homemade tomato sauce and olive oil.  The noodles provide a delicious and nutritious base to the recipe alongside the wholesome fresh ingredients.

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Skinny Pumpkin Alfredo

Skinny Pumpkin Alfredo-Pumpkin + Pasta? Yes please!  These pasta noodles are tossed in a flavorful creamy pumpkin alfredo sauce.  Not only delicious but also healthier for you than the typical alfredo sauce.
Pumpkin + Pasta? Yes please! These pasta noodles are tossed in a flavorful creamy pumpkin alfredo sauce. Not only is it delicious but also healthier for you than the typical alfredo sauce.

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

‘Tis the season for pumpkin galore! Whether you like pumpkin or not, you pretty much can’t escape the frenzy.  For those of you who happen to be pumpkin obsessed like me and also happen to enjoy a comforting bowl of alfredo pasta, you will  this dish!

This is my all time favorite alfredo sauce. It’s so addictive, I could pretty much just eat it off a spoon 🙂  And better yet it’s much healthier then the typical high fat and salt alfredo sauce from a jar. It uses olive oil instead of butter to provide some healthier fats, non-fat milk and low-fat cream cheese (I think this is what really makes it yummy!). By adding the pumpkin puree and a few extra herbs, it makes a fantastic seasonal dish and provides an extra dose of Vitamin A.  Combine it with some fresh steamed veggies and grilled chicken to make it a balanced and wholesome meal.  

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Savory Butternut Squash Soup with Homemade Croutons

Savory Butternut Squash Soup with Homemade Croutons- The perfect bold and savory soup for fall time, and it’s so simple to make!  The croutons are the cherry on the cake ☺
The perfect bold and savory soup for fall time, and it’s so simple to make! The croutons are the cherry on the cake. ☺

What better way to start celebrating fall then enjoying a cozy bowl of Savory Butternut Squash Soup? And then top if off with the most amazing delicious homemade croutons! Yeah, I’m still pretending we’re having fall weather over here in Arizona (it’s still 100 degrees). But a girl can dream right? It was actually the perfect day for soup when I made this because we were having a cooler rainy day. Hence the light looking rainy-ish in my photos. Maybe it worked out in my favor though?

This soup has such an amazing flavor. With the onion, garlic, vegetables and herbs it has more of a bold and savory taste vs. a sweeter apple or pear butternut soup. Plus, the added chopped vegetables heighten the flavor and give it a little more texture.

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