It is fall here in Georgia, but in many parts of the world, it is spring/summer. I know that we can get veggies year round and it's not true to my 'eating local' stance, but sometimes I just want spring veggies. This risotto is perfect anytime if you ask me. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large leek, diced and cleaned
  • 1 bunch green onion, diced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 3-4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese


In a medium pot, bring stock to a boil. Dice asparagus diagonally and blanch 1-2 minutes in boiling stock. Remove asparagus with a slotted spoon and run under cold water or put into an ice bath. Set aside and reduce stock to a simmer.

In a large pan, melt butter with olive oil. Add leeks and onions, sautéing until tender. Add rice and mix well. Add wine, continuing to stir until wine is absorbed. Add two ladles of stock, continuing to stir. Season with salt. Once stock is absorbed, add two more ladles, continuing to stir. 
After about 15 minutes, add the asparagus to the rice mixture. Keep adding stock until the rice is tender. Once rice is tender, add in parmesan cheese. Stir well and serve immediately. Enjoy! 
 
 
Need an easy side dish? Look no further. I used dill as my herb, but rosemary or sage would be perfect. Use your imagination! 

I used 6 small yukon gold potatoes. Adjust amounts up/down to your needs.

4 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. minced dill
1 tbsp. kosher salt

Mix oil, dill, and salt in a bowl. Preheat oven to 425. 

Slice the bottom off of each potato, so that it will sit flat without rolling around. Make thin slices into the potato from top to bottom, leaving about 1/4". 
Toss each potato into the oil mixture, being sure to get the mixture in between the layers. Spread out on a foil-lined sheet pan. 
Roast the potatoes 30-40 minutes, until fork tender and golden. ENJOY! 
 
 
Happy Healthy Monday! This is a light, fresh dish that can whipped up quickly for a healthy lunch or side dish any day of the week. I divided it into 3 portions to pack for lunch for work. 

Ingredients:

1 cup orzo
4 cups vegetable broth (chicken would work if you have it on hand)
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
1 shallot, finely minced
1 cup peas ( I used fresh, but frozen are fine)
grated parmesan cheese 

Bring the broth to a boil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Cook orzo in broth until al dente. Drain orzo, saving remaining cooking liquid. While the orzo is cooking, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with a bit of nonstick cooking spray. Add asparagus, cooking 3-4 minutes, or until fork tender but not mushy. Add shallots and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add peas, and cook 2-3 minutes until tender. Add drained orzo, and any remaining liquid. Mix well and season to taste if needed. Top with parmesan and enjoy! 
 
 
Hello everyone! I will admit it - it has been a crazy busy few weeks here and I have no recipe prepared for Healthy Monday. Instead, I will just give you a little update on what's going on in my world. 

On September 20th, it was two years since my mom passed away. It is a sad time for me, not that I don't miss her any other day of the year, but there is something about the date that just makes it more upsetting. I also found out this past week that there is a very good chance my father has cancer... again. I've always tried to be a positive person and find the good in any situation. Losing my mom made me realize that I needed to get my health in order. Update: In the 14 months I've been focusing on my health, I have lost 91 pounds! 

I've recently enrolled in school, focusing on Holistic Health. I feel like my weight loss journey, losing my mom, and my Dad having cancer once and possibly twice, have led me to a career in health. I definitely feel the cliche of "If I can do it, so can you!" I want to be able to share my journey with others, help encourage others, and give hope those those who feel they don't have any. 

I won't get preachy or get on my soapbox - but do something for your health today. Take the stairs, park a little further away. Tell your loved ones how you feel about them. Life is short - so live for today. I will leave you with a favorite quote:

"Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again." - Og Mandino
 
 
Happy Healthy Monday, everyone! For tonight's dinner, whip up this light yet satisfying noodle bowl that the whole family will love! 

Serves 4

Ingredients :


  • 8 oz. soba noodles (Udon would work well, or even linguine in a pinch!)
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place sugar snap peas on a lined baking sheet and spray with cooking spray, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned and tender. 

While the peas are roasting, get a pot of water boiling for the noodles. Cook according to package directions. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and honey. Set aside. 

To serve, toss all ingredients together and divide into two portions. Dig in! 
 
 
Hello! I have to share this recipe with you, even though I didn't create it. I saw it on Pinterest, and it had me at banana chocolate chip. The original recipe is HERE. What a delicious and nutritious way to start the day! No added sugar! Perfect for kids and they'll never suspect they are eating healthy! These babies are the love child of two of my favorite things: pancakes and oatmeal.
Ingredients: 

  • 1 very ripe medium banana
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 Tbsp water)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil (or coconut oil)
  • 3 Tablespoons almond milk (or sub other milk)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (or gluten free oats)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat or unbleached flour (or sub other flour)
  • 3 Tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips (non-dairy for vegan)


Prepare flax egg by mixing flaxseed meal and water and letting sit for 3-5 minutes. Mash your banana with baking powder. Add flax egg, oil, salt, vanilla, almond butter, almond milk, and stir.

Stir in oats and flour until just combined. Add chocolate chips and fold gently.

Preheat griddle/skillet/nonstick pan over medium heat and lightly grease. Pour 1/4 cup measurements onto pan. Lightly press down ( they are thick like oatmeal). Cook 2-4 minutes each side, until golden brown.

Serve plain or with a small drizzle of maple syrup and a few additional chocolate chips for melting.

 
 
 originally saw this recipe on another site - made it exactly as directed - and thought, "It was ok. Just ok." It wasn't the best lasagna I'd made, but I could see it's potential. Today I've made it again and kicked it up a notch. The results were fantastic and will be a part of our weekly rotation.
Just as a note - the sauce recipe makes more than you need, so you can have extra for pizza, pasta, to freeze, etc. Make sure to read the recipe in full, as I have divided the ingredients into two lists - one for sauce and one for filling.

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • (2) 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes ( I like Muir Glen with basil )
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock ( can use chicken if you have it and aren't vegetarian)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • pinch of red pepper flakes


In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Add onions and carrots, cooking until soft. Add garlic, stirring 1 minute until fragrant. Add tomatoes and stock. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir together and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Taste for seasoning and remove from heat.
Ingredients for Filling:

  • 10 lasagna noodles with curly edge, fully cooked
  • 32 oz. sauce
  • 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder


Preheat oven to 400˚ F. In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until soft. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Remove from heat to cool a few minutes. In a large bowl, mix spinach, ricotta, parmesan, egg, seasonings, and half of the mozzarella. Add mushroom mixture and blend well.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and put about 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of the dish. Lay cooked noodles out on parchment paper and line each with 1/3 cup of filling. The curly edges help to keep the filling in line. Leave a gap at the end of the noodle to seal when it is rolled up. Place the rolls in the baking dish, seam side down.
Cover with remaining sauce and remaining mozzarella. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!
 
 
I don't know about you - but I love nuts and any type of nut butter. Peanut butter and almond butter are big staples in my house. They are great as a spread on toast, to dip apples slices in, or in my shakes in the morning. When looking in the pantry tonight, I saw a bag of cashews, and thought I'd try to make my own nut butter. Success! Very easy, inexpensive, and delicious! Try with any nuts you may have. 

2 cups unsalted cashews 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used grapeseed, as I had it on hand)

In a food processor, add all ingredients and mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides if necessary, and add more oil if you desire a smoother butter. Enjoy! Makes approximately 18 tablespoons. 

Store in an airtight jar or vacuum sealed container and keep refrigerated. 
 
 
Happy Healthy Monday! Here's another clean eating post - and very delicious! You don't have to feel guilty about eating this soup! It's a great way to get your veggies in. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week and have it for lunch all week! 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/2 cups low-fat milk, plain unsweetened soy or almond mll
  • 1-1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 pound broccoli, chopped
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until onion is translucent but not brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in flour. Whisk in milk and vegetable broth until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain. 

Add bay leaves, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Increase heat to bring broth to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the bottom isn't burning. Remove bay leaves and discard. Add carrot and broccoli and stir. 
Cover and simmer about 15 minutes longer, or until veggies are tender. Uncover, add nutritional yeast, and blend using a handheld immersion blender or a stand blender, working in batches if necessary. Ladle in bowls and serve hot. 
 
 
Picture
Happy Healthy Monday! Today's feature is a fast, four ingredient, grab and go snack or side dish also! Kid friendly, mother approved! 

16 oz. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed & drained
1-1/2 cups shredded Parmesan
3 eggs
1 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs

Mix all ingredients together. Season with salt; form into small patties. Place on parchment lined baking sheet, into a 375 degree oven. Cook for 25 minutes, turning over halfway.