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...
Quinoa and Tomato Stuffed Bell Peppers

Quinoa and Tomato Stuffed Bell Peppers

Since my stuffed zucchini recipe, I intently assess every vegetable with hopes of eventually stuffing it. Veggies stuffed with other veggies smothered with cheese.  Sign me up!  Bell peppers obviously beg to be stuffed since they form a little bowl once hollowed out.  Now… let’s go stuff these bad boys with some good stuff. My husband is not exaaaaactly a quinoa enthusiast.  Shame.  However, I always get a little burst of excitement when he doesn’t like something.  It’s like an intense game of chess where I move one ingredient here and another there and before you know it… checkmate!  He’s falling in love with something he previously hated like these sneaky quinoa scrumptious stuffed peppers. Why did I use a chess analogy?  I’m seriously horrible, and he always beats me.  I’m way too competitive to admit my subpar chess abilities to him…. so let’s just keep this between you and me. For my fellow quinoa admirers, do not pass go, do not collect $200, and go directly to my balsamic quinoa salad!  Now that it’s finally warming up (I kid you not… we had a foot of snow dumped two weeks ago), you’ll want to whip up this recipe the first time you fire up the grill for the season. Okay… chess?  Monopoly?  I’m getting way off track.  Peppers, Kami.  Talk about the amazingly delicious stuffed bell peppers!   Okay, just a couple parting tips before you get to the recipe.  Depending on how large and how much you stuff your peppers, you may need to adjust the baking time.  You only need to bake long enough until the ground beef or turkey is thoroughly cooked....
Chicken Fiesta Soup

Chicken Fiesta Soup

I try not to play favorites.  I really do.  BUT it’s hard not to favor the spicy tender chicken with zucchini, summer squash, and sweet corn.  No matter if I crank up the heat by adding 2 jalapenos or tone it down by omitting that awesome little green pepper, it’s a fav! When I think of slow cooker, I usually think ‘I need to get that baby prepared and cookin’ first thing in the morning or it won’t be done by dinnertime.’  Right?  That’s the benefit and disadvantage of slow cookers. Well, good news to my fellow dinner-making procrastinators!  You only need this to cook 2 to 3 hours on HIGH or 3 to 4 hours on LOW.  Any longer and your zucchini will go from crispy-tender to yucky-mush. Remember how we said au revoir to miserable, overcooked asparagus?  Let’s give our zucchini the same fighting chance!  Yes… I know how ridiculous I am. Whenever my large family (I’m the youngest of 7) gets together, they can’t resist teasing me.  Usually it has to do with healthy eating.  My brother will sympathetically put a hand on my husband’s shoulder and ask if he needs a pizza.  They chuckle as my ‘deprived’ 3 year old daughter spits out Root Beer because she doesn’t like the ‘sparkley’ drink.  Oh, they like to mock.  BUT guess who they want bringing the main dish when it’s potluck time?  This girl! This Chicken Fiesta Soup or my Classic Spaghetti or my Baked Burritos are among the most requested.  AND they’re health punked each and every time. To be fair, my sisters and sister-in-laws are pretty healthy eaters and big fans of my recipes.  And when I say big...
Chicken Sausage and Rice Soup

Chicken Sausage and Rice Soup

Although I’m loving the warm weather, I may have shed a tear that soup season is coming to a close.  Wait… was that a tear or are my eyes non-stop watering from allergies?  Either way… I had to squeeze in this chicken sausage and rice soup one last time. When it comes to soup, my husband is pretty picky.  He likes hearty meals and feels most soups are well… girly food.  It’s not that he doesn’t like the taste, he just rarely gets full off of soup.  When he doesn’t like to eat something, he might as well triple-dog-dare me.  Game on, honey, game on. I’ve played around with this recipe a few times.  I found the additional spice from the crushed red pepper to be the cherry on top.  He LOVED it!  Direct quote, “okay, I think you finally made a man’s soup… I’m getting seconds.” A major part of healthy cooking is using quality ingredients.  I can’t emphasize the importance of reading ingredients!  Take two extra seconds, flip the package over, and read what ingredients are actually making up the food your purchasing.  You’ll be surprised what junk is thrown in our foods. I like Pacific Natural broths.  Especially the ‘cage free’ portion on the chicken broth.  Thank you documentary, Food, Inc.  I don’t know if I’m more scarred or informed after watching it.  Either way, I think we all need to open our eyes a little more about what we’re putting in our bodies.  Hence, my ‘reading all ingredients’ rule. Well, get ready for this fulfilling, satisfying, flavorful, rich, and yummy-in-your-tummy chicken sausage soup.  It will be a winner!...
Baked Stuffed Zucchini

Baked Stuffed Zucchini

This is one of my all time favorite quick dinners.  It takes 30 minutes to prepare and these stuffed zucchini boats are juicy and packed with the perfect savory combination of flavors. Like I said, I’ve thrown this dinner together too many times to count.  Here’s a couple quick tips.  At this point, it’s become second nature to wash my vegetables prior to cooking or eating.  It sounds pretty strenuous and annoying to take time to wash every single fresh vegetable, right?  Nope.  It only takes 20 seconds and absolutely worth it to get the grime, dirt, wax, and who know what else off. Check out this post where you can visible see the difference between rinsing and washing your vegetables.  I love my Fit Vegetable Wash! So… scrub those zucchinis prior to preparing.     Once you’ve scooped out the insides, you can either discard them or throw them in a smoothie for dessert!   Sometimes I keep some leftovers of the meat mixture on purpose.  I love using it for quick burritos or scoop it on top FSTG tortilla chips.  Nom nom.  It’s super tasty.   Your family will love this one.  It passed my husband and 3 year old daughter taste test.  You’ll understand why we make this frequently on those busy days. Print Stuffed Zucchini Ingredients 1 lb ground turkey/lean ground beef browned 1 15 oz can organic diced tomatoes, drained 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 and 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn 1 Tbs parsley 1 Tbs basil 1 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper 3 organic zucchini washed and cut lengthwise...

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