Healthy Nachos

Healthy Nachos

Yes. I realize these healthy nachos are missing a fundamental ingredient… cheese. However, just because your eyes are missing it doesn’t mean your mouth will.  The juicy chicken, soft avocado, cherry tomatoes, and black beans combined with crunchy tortilla chips will make you wonder why we even add cheese to begin with! Do you remember me sharing my sad, sad story about getting migraines from dairy in my 3 ingredient ice cream post?  Well, there’s nothing that makes you take a good look at life like ripping away one of your favorite food groups.  However, let’s be honest.  Us Americans eat WAY too much dairy.  We throw butter, cheese, and milk in everything.  It’s the American way.  Let me grab your hand and walk you in a healthier direction… like straight towards these cheese-less healthy nachos. Come on.  I know you want to ask.  What’s my source of calcium if I don’t eat dairy?  I’m pretty sure my mother has lost sleep over this very question. Since I’m the one cookin’, my family is mostly dairy-free now. My husband cannot abandon his lifelong relationship with cheese though.  It’s just too painful to say good-bye.  Since I love my family and their bones, I have found several ways to make sure we have plenty of calcium. First, I’m the daily vitamin tyrant.  You know the crazy wife in pajamas running down the street with no shoes or makeup on?  It was probably me running after my husband trying to catch him before he left without his vitamin.  If somehow I forget, my 3 year is on it.  She asks for her vitamin at...
Basil Chicken with Quinoa

Basil Chicken with Quinoa

My husband has not been a fan of quinoa.  I usually sneak it in with my brown rice like in my Yellow Coconut Chicken Curry so he doesn’t even know he’s eating it.  However, I don’t give up easily.  My Balsamic Quinoa Salad was my first success.  He loved it!  So, I just kept experimenting until I found another winner (meaning my husband cleaned his plate).  This juicy, grilled chicken coupled with flavorful quinoa and accents of tomato and avocado is to die for!     I’ve cooked chicken a million different ways… boiled, baked, fried, roasted, slow cooked, etc.  My most favorite is grilled.  The grill cooks chicken quickly but keeps the inside juicy and the outside a little crispy.  Oooh yum!  Since it’s hard to shovel snow off my grill during the winter, I purchased a George Foreman and use it all. the. time.  Especially with this basil chicken recipe, the grill makes its flavor pop!  I highly recommend it.       Let’s talk quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah).  It’s full of protein, fiber, amino acids, antioxidants, gluten-free, and lots and lots of nutritious yumminess.  I use truRoots Organic Quinoa and have really like the texture and taste.  I’ve tried other brands which turn out a little soggy.  Seriously, I can’t wait for you to try it in this recipe!       PrintGrilled Chicken and Basil Avocado Quinoa Ingredients10 chicken tenders, thawed 1/2 cup olive oil 1 Tbs dried basil 1 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper 1 Tbs olive oil 1 cup chopped sweet onion 1 Tbs minced garlic 3 cups organic chicken broth 1 tsp black pepper 1 ½ cups...
Easy Strawberry Spinach Salad

Easy Strawberry Spinach Salad

When it comes lunchtime, I’m a salad-aholic.  There’s just something about combining crisp, fresh vegetables and fruits sprinkled with a little dressing.  Since I’m usually juggling my ready-for-a-nap 2 year old while quickly preparing lunch, I forego the photo shoot and just enjoy eating.  Well, I couldn’t pass up sharing this spinach strawberry salad.  It’s quick, easy and full of flavor.  You can also adapt the salad to include your favorite ingredients.     If you haven’t tried balsamic vinegar, what are you waiting for?!?!  I fall more and more in love with its versatile flavor.  Its fabulous spicy when combined with chili powder and cayenne pepper like in my Chili Chicken Skewers or delectable with fresh lime juice like in my Balsamic Quinoa Salad.  For this easy strawberry spinach salad dressing, I combined balsamic vinegar with organic agave to make it sweet.  It’s a must buy ingredient!  I’ve enjoyed this $5 Colavita Aged Balsamic Vinegar.  It’s a great flavor for the price… trust me, balsamic vinegar can get pretty pricey.           You really can play around with this salad and make it your own.  I love to add diced Fuji apples or fresh blueberries when I don’t have fresh strawberries on hand.  You can also add crumbled blue cheese or feta (I’m staying away from soft cheeses due to my current pregnant status) or even black beans.  My husband also digs a couple grilled chicken tenders on top.  Make it your own, my friends!  You’ll never get tired of it’s incredible flavor and textures.   PrintEasy Strawberry Spinach Salad Ingredients2 large handfuls of fresh organic spinach (about...
Grilled Tuna Cheese Sandwich

Grilled Tuna Cheese Sandwich

Don’t believe a grilled tuna cheese sandwich could be healthy?  Well, prepare to deceive your taste buds with a little twist on the classic grilled cheese.  I sneak in an avocado, Greek yogurt, and coconut oil and make this sandwich full of whole grains, Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and protein.  This crunchy, cheesy sandwich will become one of your families favorite lunches.     There are a couple key tips in making these sandwiches finger-lickin’-perfect.  When choosing canned tuna, purchase tuna packaged  in olive oil like Genova Tonno Solid Light Tuna.  Olive oil helps contain nutrients better than water and also adds more Omega-3s.  Also, most pre-packaged pickles have yellow coloring added.  Is that really necessary? Make sure to read the ingredients on the pickle relish.     Coconut oil is considered a ‘high heat’ oil meaning it cooks hotter at a lower temperature than other oils.  Since you’ll be ‘frying’ this sandwich with coconut oil, start with a lower heat or you’ll burn your sandwich.  Coconut oil has been proven to cause weight loss, improve metabolism, reduce cholesterol, and even improve memory.  The rich aroma and sweet, light flavor is an added bonus too.  I love Nutiva Coconut Oil.     Most store bought breads have tons of additives, chemicals, and preservatives.  For best taste, quality, and nutrition, read the ingredients and purchase whole wheat bread with pure, simple ingredients.  I purchase Aspen Mill’s at Costco.  The ingredients are 100% stoneground whole wheat, water, honey, salt, and yeast.  I love pre-packaged foods with ingredients like this!   PrintGrilled Tuna Cheese Sandwich Ingredients1 large ripe avocado, mashed 1/4 cup Greek plain yogurt...
Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

 Juicy chicken, sweet corn, tangy broth, with crisp bell peppers, onions, and celery make a quick and easy chicken tortilla soup.  It’s pretty perfect on it’s own, but adding an avocado and crunchy tortilla chips on top just overdoes it!  This classic recipe and it’s complimenting flavors and textures never gets old.         I really am infatuated the unique flavor of cumin and chili powder… especially when they’re united in recipes like this one and my Chicken Fiesta Soup.  I purchase a large container of McCormick’s Cumin and Chili Powder so I will always have some on hand for scrumptious dinners like these.  They’re two spices my kitchen does not go without.       Are you tired of me emphasizing the importance of reading ingredients?  I truly apologize.  I wish I could say this would be the last time.  I just want you to put good things into that body of yours!  I’ve read ingredients on lots of broths and keep coming back to the brand Pacific Natural.  Rich flavor, organic, and free from those unnecessary additives.       Well, friends, enjoy your dinner!  It’s a good one.   PrintChicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients1 Tbs coconut oil or olive oil 1 large green bell pepper, chopped 2 medium ribs of celery, chopped 1 medium sweet onion, chopped 2 tsp minced garlic 1 (32 oz) organic chicken broth/stock, low-sodium 2 cups water 2 large chicken breasts or 6 to 7 chicken tenders, thawed and cut into 1 inch pieces 1 jalapeno, remove seeds and finely chopped (optional... keep seeds to make it spicy!) 4 Roma tomatoes, diced...

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