Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad

If you want something that will be consistently devoured by your family, you’ve come to the right place.  I make a large batch of this fresh fruit salad for every family gathering and it’s a hit each time.  Who would love juicy pineapple, crisp apples, and crunchy sweet grapes? Although a 3 ingredient fresh fruit salad is quick and easy, you don’t want to skip out on my tips. First, wash your grapes and apples!  And by washing, I don’t mean rinsing with water. Scrub those babies! Here’s a post on washing vegetables where you can see the difference between washed and rinsed grapes. I’ve used a few vegetable washes in my day.  I keep coming back to Fit Fruit & Vegetable Wash.  Big BIG fan! For grapes, I pluck them and place them in a large bowl.  I pour a cap full of Fit Fruit & Vegetable Wash over the grapes and fill the bowl with cool water until all the grapes are covered.  Let them sit for about 3 to 5 minutes and use your hands to gently scrub the grapes while still in the water in a circular motion.  Drain and rinse with water. For apples, spray each apple 2 to 3 times with wash.  Scrub the apples with your hands for about 15 to 20 seconds.  While rinsing under cool water, scrub the apple with your hands until you feel the residue wash off.  You’ll oooh and aaah over how great they feel!   After you finish cutting your fresh pineapple into chunks, don’t throw away the rind just yet!  Those crisp delicious apples need the juice from the rind in order to prevent them from...
Sauteed Asparagus with Coconut Oil

Sauteed Asparagus with Coconut Oil

The first 20 seconds says it all… I’ve watched it a 100 times.  Make that 101. Picture me puckering my lips while elegantly throwing up my hands and using a flowing French accent to say, “No miserable, overcooked asparagus in your kitchen! Make your cuisine a passionate affair!” If you’ve sautéed asparagus, you know how quickly it can turn from crispy to soggy.  AND then you’ve just wasted your money because no one eats the soggy mess.  As the 1980s say, been there done that.  SO stick with me and I’ll let you know how to keep it crispy and scrumptious. If you haven’t taken the coconut oil leap yet, it’s time to jump on before the bandwagon leaves.  Coconut oil and its nutrition benefits are through the roof, off the chain, and wicked good.  Apparently, I’m bringing all the 1980 quotes back tonight.  How did I go from elegant French to parachute pants and big hair in the same post? ANYway, coconut oil has been proven to assist in weight loss, reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, lower chance of heart disease, and improve skin and hair.  Since falling in love with coconut oil, I can’t remember the last time I used butter.  I spread it on anything you normally would spread butter on… like my blueberry waffles, whole wheat bread, and my banana zucchini muffins. As far as crispy asparagus goes, coconut oil is the perfect companion.  This sauteed asparagus is going to be fought over like candy. Here are a couple parting tips.  Coconut oil is meant for low to medium cooking temperatures so make sure you cook on low-medium heat.  Also, you literally only cook asparagus...
Honey Cornbread Muffins

Honey Cornbread Muffins

I had my second child a couple months ago and have loved focusing on my family and adjusting to a new normal.  Although, our new normal during these last couple months has consisted of eating out a lot or cooking previously prepared frozen meals.  I have definitely craved more kitchen time creating healthy, delicious food.  Since it’s more than chilly outside, I’m obsessed with soups like my Chicken Tortellini Soup and my Simple Turkey Chili (which just won a chili cook off!).  And there’s nothing like enjoying some sweet, honey cornbread as a side dish.     Cornbread can be tricking when figuring out the right consistency.  I like mine to be light and fluffy but still have the cornmeal texture.  If you haven’t heard my rant about whole wheat pastry flour yet, prepare yourself.  I’m officially addicted!  It has all the nutritional benefits of whole wheat, but doesn’t leave your baked goods dense and heavy.  It creates perfect fluffy breads, muffins, waffles, and whatever else you love to bake.  You will love it guaranteed.  Try it out in my Multigrain Waffles or my Banana Muffins.  Let me know how much you love it after using it in these honey cornbread muffins.  Enjoy, my friends!    PrintHoney Cornbread Muffins Ingredients1 cup yellow cornmeal 2 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1 Tbs flaxseed meal 1 Tbs baking powder 1 tsp salt 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup honey 2/3 olive oil 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk InstructionsPreheat oven to 375 degrees F. Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together...
Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob

Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob

You know those grilled corn-on-the-cob recipes that require you to soak for 20 minutes, pull down the outer husks, strip away the silk by hand, fold them back up in place, and then tie the ends?  Yeah… after doing that a couple times, I decided I’m too impatient for that time consuming ritual.  Side dishes should not require extensive labor. One night, I skipped all those steps and just husked and grilled!  The corn-on-the-cob turned out just as juicy, flavorful, and so much quicker and easier!            How many of you are coconut oil fans?  If you’re new to coconut oil, let me quickly share why I know you’ll fall head-over-heels for it.  First, fabulous slightly sweet taste similar to sweet butter.  For those who hate anything coconut flavor, don’t you worry… it doesn’t actually taste ‘coconuty’.  Coconut oil is a very healthy fat with health benefits ranging from weight loss, decreases risk of heart disease, curbs hunger, improves hair and skin, kills off bacteria and fungus, boost brain function, and so much more.     I bought a large container of Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil on Amazon about 6 months ago.  I use it frequently and have only used about 1/4.  I’m not worried about it going bad since it has a shelf life of over 2 years.  It’s time to purchase some coconut oil, friends.  Try it out on this easy grilled corn-on-the-cob first and let me know what you think!  Once you’re truly addicted to coconut oil, then head over to try it on my Grilled Tuna Cheese Sandwich.         ...
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

I have loved creating Thanksgiving dishes this week.  I’m just preparing and stretching my stomach for the big day.  I LOVE Thanksgiving!   My most favorite dish… oh, I’m getting giddy… is the sweet potato casserole!  I could probably eat one whole 9×13 pan by myself.  How could you not love the creamy and sweet texture topped with crunchy pecans and brown sugar?  I may or may not have made two so I could freeze one for a later (most likely sooner) date!  Trust me, no one in your family will even know it’s healthy.  I love ‘health punking’ people!  Okay, enjoy the healthy sweet potato casserole with your eyes while I go enjoy another helping with my mouth.   PrintHealthy Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients4 to 5 medium sweet potatoes 1/2 cup honey or agave 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk 2 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp cinnamon Topping: 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (I used Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour) 1/4 cup soft butter 1/2 cup chopped pecansInstructionsPreheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash sweet potatoes and place on baking sheet. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes until soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before peeling. In a blender, add peeled sweet potatoes, honey/agave, milk, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon. Blend until smooth. Light spray 9x13 baking pan with olive oil cooking spray. Pour sweet potato mixture into prepared pan. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly over the top. Reduce oven to 350 F and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until top is...
Cranberry Relish

Cranberry Relish

Please do your turkey a favor and DO NOT use canned cranberry sauce on it.  The jelly texture gives me the heebie-jeebies and does anyone even know what’s in it?   Fresh cranberry relish is the best way to magnify your juicy turkey.  Tart cranberries, sweet applesauce, juicy oranges with a little kick from a jalapeno?!?!  Your turkey will never be complete again without it!  The vibrant colors of this dish are decoration enough… BUT, I have fallen in love with this white pumpkin bowl.   I can’t wait to serve my cranberry relish in it!  There are also matching salt and pepper shakers.   I love Thanksgiving!    PrintCranberry Relish Ingredients1 (12-oz.) package fresh or frozen cranberries 1 Tbs orange zest 1 navel orange, peeled and coarsely chopped 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped 2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro InstructionsPulse cranberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Pulse next 5 ingredients in food processor 3 to 5 times or until orange, pepper, and cilantro are finely chopped. Stir into cranberries; cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. 3.1http://www.nodietsallowed.com/cranberry-relish/ I’ve only begun building your Thanksgiving feast!  Don’t forget about these side dishes.   Apple Sausage Stuffing     Creamy Mashed Potatoes...

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