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8-WEEKS TO BUILD HEALTHIER HABITS: SIGN-UP

8-WEEKS TO BUILD HEALTHIER HABITS: SIGN-UP

**CLOSED!!!!!!**   THE TIME IS NOW!!!!!!   If you’re ready to build healthier habits into your life, this challenge is FOR YOU!!   To purchase my challenge, you must:   have consistent access to computer, e-mail, and Facebook Weekly Habit information will be sent via e-mail […]

[PRE-SALE]: 8-WEEKS TO BUILD HEALTHIER HABITS

[PRE-SALE]: 8-WEEKS TO BUILD HEALTHIER HABITS

WOW! I am overwhelmed at the interest and excitement over my 8-WEEKS TO BUILD HEALTHIER HABITS CHALLENGE!!   Official sign up starts Monday, January 21st but due to many requests I am opening up a presale!   To purchase the PRESALE of my challenge, you […]

[RECIPE]: Loaded Mac & Cheese

[RECIPE]: Loaded Mac & Cheese


So before I even start...I have a confession about this mac and cheese recipe....

 

I've been cooking my entire life. Through my Nutrition degree I've had to take my share of cooking classes, like Meal Management and Food Science. I know for a truly classic mac and cheese recipe you need to make the cheese sauce with a roux (equal parts butter and flour to make the base of a sauce). But I do NOT use a roux in my Loaded Mac & Cheese recipe.

 

The cheese sauce for this recipe is actually cheese dip.

 

LOOK. I know all of the classically-trained cooks are dying right now, but hear me out - this. is. good.

 

Now that being said, I love this recipe. So much so that I'm not even going to fluff it up. I'm just gonna get right to it and share it. I will say this recipe makes a LOT so use it to feed a crowd or expect yummy leftovers!

 

 

What You'll Need:

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces DeLallo Farfalle Whole Wheat Pasta (or any whole wheat bow tie pasta)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped to bite-size chunks
  • 1/2 pound white american cheese, cut into chunks or shredded (I use my Kroger brand from the deli)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup milk (may need more to thin out)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
  • 12 ounces turkey sausage, cut into rounds
  • 1 bag microwaveable frozen broccoli florets (I use Bird's Eye steamables)

 

What You'll Do:

  1. In a large stock pot, heat 8 cups of water with 1 teaspoon salt over high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and add farfalle. Cook until al dente (will take longer when using whole wheat version).
  3. Add bell pepper and let cook in boiling water for 5 minutes.
  4. Drain pasta and pepper and run cool water over to stop cooking process.
  5. In a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat, add cheese, milk, butter, pepper, and cayenne. Stir constantly until melted and reduce heat to low.
  6.  In a separate skillet, add sausage and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Place broccoli in microwave and cook according to package directions. Remove and let cool.
  8. Return pasta and pepper to stock pot.
  9. Add broccoli and sausage to pasta mixture and stir to combine.
  10. Slowly add cheese sauce over the pasta, stirring to coat evenly.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

 

Yield: 8 servings. 1 serving (about 1 cup) contains 257 calories, 15g Fat, 16g Carbs, 2g Fiber, 1g Sugar, 15g Protein

[RECIPE]: Balanced Breakfast Bowls

[RECIPE]: Balanced Breakfast Bowls

These breakfast bowls might be my new favorite breakfast!   I got the idea when I bought the Healthy Choices Power Bowls: Unwrapped Burrito Scramble. This frozen meal was SO delicious. I loved the flavors and it was just enough food to give me a […]

8-WEEK CHALLENGE TO BUILD HEALTHIER HABITS

8-WEEK CHALLENGE TO BUILD HEALTHIER HABITS

I am SO excited to FINALLY be rolling out the details of my 8-Weeks to Build Healthier Habits Challenge!!   I have been contemplating for a long time HOW to help the ladies around me who want to make changes in their lives. I knew […]

[RECIPE]: Sorta Lasagna Soup

[RECIPE]: Sorta Lasagna Soup


Sorta Lasagna Soup.....but not quite!

 

If you've never made the Lasagna Soup recipe from SkinnyTaste, you, my friend, are missing out! Link for her recipe here

 

This soup is inspired by that recipe. I made it the original way once and as always, made it differently every time after until it became my own!

 

One difference is that I use lean ground beef. She uses Italian chicken sausage, but unfortunately, my grocery store does not carry it. Also, I like ground beef because it reminds me of real lasagna. I opt for 93/7.

 

The biggest difference between the original and mine - I LOAD this soup up with veggies. In fact, if you're more plant-based or vegetarian, swap the beef for mushrooms and this would be an awesome Italian Vegetable soup recipe! I add in a whole red and green bell pepper, carrot, and zucchini. As a bonus, I even use Prego's Garden Harvest Chunky Zucchini pasta sauce.

 

You can never have too many vegetables!

 

Another difference is that I use mini bow tie pasta. In her recipe, she uses broken lasagna and I sometimes do this, but truthfully, it can take a little time to break all those lasagna sheets up. Also, I may have injured myself once on a sharp edge when breaking them. (I wish I was kidding). Still, I do love to use whole wheat lasagna noodles when I have time time. I usually go for the mini bow tie pasta because my boys love them and they're just cute! (That's a good reason, right?) You can use whatever pasta you prefer - make it your own!

 

Pasta sauce is used as the base of the soup, but you thin it out with chicken, beef, or vegetable broth and it is DELICIOUS. If you reduce it down to much and the sauce is too thick, just add more broth or water.

 

A dollop of ricotta with a little mozzarella sprinkled over this soup truly ties it all together AND ups the protein count!

 

This is a great comfort food recipe that doesn't hit the calorie bank too hard and will warm you up on a cold winter night. Give it a try - I bet it will become a family favorite! 🙂

 

 

What You'll Need:

  • 1 pound 93/7 ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups Prego Harvest Garden Chunky Zucchini Italian Pasta Sauce (or your favorite pasta sauce)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 ounces mini bow tie pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons part-skim ricotta
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella
  • red pepper flakes, fresh basil, black pepper

 

What You'll Do:

  1. Brown ground beef in a large soup pot over medium heat until no longer pink.
  2. Add bell pepper and carrot to pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until soft.
  3. Add garlic and stir to combine for 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add pasta sauce and chicken broth to pot and stir to combine ingredients.
  5. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add pasta and zucchini to pot and cook for addition 5-10 minutes, until both are soft.
  7. Divide soup among six bowls *serving should be about 1 1/4 cup*.
  8. Top each bowl with 1 tablespoon ricotta and 1 tablespoon mozzarella.
  9. Add any additional toppings desired (red pepper flakes, basil, black pepper, etc.) and enjoy!

 

Yield: 6 servings. 1 serving contains 251 calories, 9g Fat, 20g Carbs, 2g Fiber, 6g Sugar, 23g Protein 

 

 

[RECIPE]: Farro Stuffed Sweet Potato

[RECIPE]: Farro Stuffed Sweet Potato

A few weeks ago I shared a Warm Farro & Kale Salad recipe. When making a grain like Farro, I like to batch cook (making a bunch at once) and use it across several recipes! I LOVE farro and will make the salad, this recipe, […]

[RECIPE]: Loaded Tortilla Soup

[RECIPE]: Loaded Tortilla Soup

Yesterday in Arkansas it snowed for like half a second and the whole state lost its mind!       In all seriousness, it was COLD. And all I wanted was a big bowl of soup. I normally go for a comfort food soup on […]

[RECIPE]: Warm Farro & Kale Salad

[RECIPE]: Warm Farro & Kale Salad

In my last recipe blog post I was excited because Fall is here which means soup season!

 

But I'm also excited about Fall salads this year! Fall can be a tough time for me in the produce department. I miss my strawberries and tomatoes and quite frankly - the thought of eating a big, cold salad when it's cold outside just isn't appealing to me.

 

I wanted to create a salad that highlighted all of the amazing flavors of Fall, but still brought the warmth you desire in the chilly evenings. 

 

And that's how this Warm Farro & Kale salad came about! I added chicken for some lean protein, but this could easily make a great meatless side dish (it would still offer 8 grams of protein) OR you could make it a complete meal by adding some roasted delicata squash for a little "meatiness."

 

If you aren't a big fan of kale salads because you find chewing them to be tough, give this recipe a try - wilting down the kale on the stove top softens the fibers and the finer you chop it, the less work you will have to do in the chewing department!

 

The goat cheese in this recipe gives a creaminess and because the salad is warm, it melts in your mouth. Enough said! If you don't care for goat cheese, try feta or your favorite cheese.

 

The pecans and pomegranates add a great crunch to this salad. Just a tablespoon of each of these is the perfect amount to add a little texture.

 

I LOVE this simple salad dressing. I use equal parts everything to keep it easy and it uses four pantry staples, so I use it to dress many of my salads. The honey is just sweet enough to counteract the acid from the apple cider vinegar and the dijon makes it nice and creamy.

 

NUTRITION HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Kale and pomegranate are good sources of Vitamin C which is especially important for boosting our immune system during cold season
  • Farro is an ancient grain that packs a punch in the fiber department, which can help with gut health, digestion, and blood sugar control
  • Chicken is a complete, lean protein which helps maintain lean body mass and increases levels of satiety so you feel fuller for longer
  • Pecans are a heart-healthy fat that are rich in magnesium which can help fight inflammation in the body

 

Take this recipe to a holiday get together or give it a try for a tasty, nutritious weeknight dinner!

 

 

 

What You'll Need:

  • 1/2 cup farro, dry
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-4 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • salt, pepper, onion powder
  • 8 cup chopped kale
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

 

What You'll Do:

  1. In a medium-sized sauce pan, cook farro in chicken stock according to directions on packaging. (Allow around 20-30 minutes for farro to cook).
  2. Season chicken breast with salt, pepper, and onion powder.
  3. In a medium-sized skillet, cook chicken breast over medium heat until cooked through.
  4. Remove chicken from pan and cover with foil to keep warm.
  5. Using the same skillet, add the kale to the stove top.
  6. Allow 5-7 minutes for kale to wilt down, but still hold some texture.
  7. Remove from heat and divide kale among 4 plates.
  8. Slice chicken breast into thin strips and divide between plates.
  9. Top each salad with 1 tablespoon goat cheese, 1 tablespoon pecans, and 1 tablespoon pomegranate.
  10. Whisk together remaining four ingredients and top each salad with 1 tablespoon dressing.
  11. Serve warm and enjoy!

 

Yield: 4 servings. 1 serving contains 375 calories, 14g Fat, 28g Carbs, 4g Fiber, 4g Sugar, 33g Protein

FREE DOWNLOAD: Weekly Meal Planning Sheet

FREE DOWNLOAD: Weekly Meal Planning Sheet

Picture this:     You’re going on a trip out of state. It’s somewhere you’ve been BEFORE, but it’s still not totally familiar. You know the general direction you should head so you start driving. Some times passes and you’ve done alright, but suddenly you […]