Avocado, Cilantro, Lime Dressing

I have a new dressing recipe to share with you today.  This avocado cilantro lime dressing is the perfect mix of creamy avocado goodness plus the amazing flavor of cilantro.  It’s the perfect dressing for a taco salad or any other type of southwestern salad or dish.  I love it because it adds so much flavor at only about 15 calories per tablespoon.  That’s not bad for dressing!  Not only is it low calorie but it’s a nutrition powerhouse.  The three main ingredients (avocado, cilantro, and Greek yogurt) provide calcium, healthy fats, fiber, and lots of vitamins and minerals.

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two ways to save money and eat better when flying

We recently traveled to Florida to visit my brother and his family.  In order to stick with our healthy habits and save a little money I did two things:  First, we stuck with water and second, we brought our own meals with us to the airport.  I knew we would enjoy plenty of splurges while we were in Florida so I wanted to stick to our normal eating habits during travel.

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easy and healthy dinners

Let’s face it, not everyone likes to cook or has the time to make elaborate home cooked meals each night.  Healthy dinners don’t have to be overly complicated.  I’d say about half of our dinners are super fresh, healthy, use-a-recipe type of meals.  But the rest of them are simple, easy, and use what I happen to have on hand.  I make it a point to keep my fridge, freezer, and pantry stocked with plenty of convenient and healthy options so we don’t have to run through a fast food joint or go out to eat on a regular basis.  Today I’m sharing some of our favorite quick, easy, and healthy meals for those nights I don’t want to cook.

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crunchy oatmeal and dark chocolate chip cookies

I saw these Cookies the other day on A Bountiful Kitchen’s Instagram feed.  I was intrigued, probably because I had some leftover corn flakes from a Christmas recipe I made a few weeks ago.  These cookies are basically a twist on oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  The addition of corn flakes and coconut gives them a little crunch that really elevates these cookies into something special.  I knew I could make a few changes to the original recipe to make them a teeny bit lighter.  I decreased the amount of sugar by 1/2 cup (and they were still very sweet), swapped out all purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour, and used dark chocolate chips.  I also made 32 cookies instead of 22 and they were still a very good size cookie.  Now, I know they aren’t good for you and are still a treat but I always like making little changes when I can to decrease the amount of sugar and increase the amount of fiber in our foods.  It’s those small changes over time that have helped change our palate in a positive way.

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Peppermint and Dark Chocolate dipped pretzel sticks

I love to cook but that love does not extend to baking. I know many people look forward to the holidays because of all the yummy baking they get to do.  I am definitely not one of those people  Maybe it’s because after I bake I spend the next several days trying NOT to eat what I baked.  🙂  I much prefer to make simple sweets that don’t involve a lot of actual work.

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I’m a fan of eating fresh and healthy foods but they can sometimes be expensive and they often go bad rather quickly.  Learning to utilize your freezer helps minimize waste, allowing you to stretch your grocery budget further.  Knowing you can freeze ingredients and/or leftovers for later also decreases the pressure to “use up” produce and food that is close to going bad.

Over the years I have learned that you can freeze almost anything.  When I first started cooking more at home I would often google “how to freeze _____”.  It’s not very often that I learn about something that can’t be frozen.

I thought I’d share a few posts detailing my experience with freezing different types of foods.  Today I’m going to share how I freeze soups, broth, and sauces.

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6 Tips

One holiday down, lots more to go!  Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean your healthy habits have to be completely thrown out the window.  You can still enjoy all that this time of year has to offer without compromising your health.  Here are a few tips to help you.

1. Try to practice balance as much as possible when it comes to eating during the holiday season.  Balance out the more indulgent meals with lots of salads, fruits, veggies, lean meats, healthy fats and whole grains.    Fill up with nourishing foods when possible so you feel well throughout the winter.  Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to completely let go of your healthy habits.

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Sausage Kale and White Bean Soup

Today’s recipe is perfect for cold fall days.  It’s made with smoked sausage, in-season kale, and white beans.  To boost the nutrition I also added in some onion, carrots, and celery.  This soup is super simple to throw together. Start by browning some smoked sausage slices, such as kielbasa or even andouille if you prefer a little spice.  (I used Kroger’s nitrate free Simple Truth brand kielbasa.)  Set aside the sausage and, in the same pot, simmer some kale and veggies in chicken broth. After the kale has wilted, add the beans and sausage back to the pot, season, and cook until heated through. Serve with some freshly grated Parmesan on top, if you wish. Warm, filling, healthy, and delicious!

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dark chocolate peanut clusters

Several weeks ago the boys noticed a picture of peanut clusters on Pinterest and they declared that we needed to make them for an after dinner treat.  (Yes, we do scroll through pictures of food on Pinterest together.  :-))  You may have noticed that I have a special affinity for dark chocolate and nuts so of course I was completely on board with their request.  The recipe they saw was actually made in the crockpot and used milk chocolate.  But I knew I could make it without having to pull down our crockpot and I could use dark chocolate, which would make it a teeny bit more healthy.  This may be the simplest recipe I have ever shared.  And it’s delicious too!

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