Showing posts with label healthy snacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healthy snacks. Show all posts
Happy Super Bowl Sunday all you football fans out there!  :) Although I am not a football fan, my husband is quite the enthusiast and wanted to have “the guys” over for a Super Bowl party this evening.  Of course I am always up for cooking and having a little get together at our house.  My husband asked me to secretly make only vegetarian snacks for the guys then at the end of the night tell them.  I had to laugh a little bit, he wants to see if they notice and then surprise them.  Of course I am not going to say no to making yummy vegetarian “game day man snacks.”

Little do our unsuspecting victims know, the day associated with eating copious amounts of stereotypical “meaty” and “manly” food is going to be very different at our house.

At first you might think creating meatless Super Bowl Sunday snack menu would be difficult, but don’t fear, I have cracked the code.  Why not try surprising your guests and have vegetarian snacks?  Here is what we have made-

Oven-Roasted Spicy Potato Wedges

Ingredients-
•    6 russet potatoes, cut into wedges
•    ½ cup olive oil
•    1 tsp. paprika
•    ½ tsp. garlic powder
•    ¼ - ½ tsp. cayenne pepper, depending on your spicy taste
•    Salt and ground pepper
Instructions-
•    Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 
•    On a foil lined baking sheet toss the potatoes with the oil, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.  Spread evenly on the sheet and roast for about 25-30 minutes turning once until they are golden brown.  Enjoy!

Not so Pigs in a Blanket

Ingredients-
•    Cheddar Cheese
•    Vegetarian “hot dogs,” your preference, I chose Field Roast
•    Crescent rolls, your preference again
Instructions-
•    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil
•    Roll out the crescents and begin wrapping your pigs in the blankets.  I sliced the hot dogs into quarters, topped with the cheese and rolled them in triangle crescents.
•    Bake for about 15 minutes until lightly browned and enjoy!

Mini Nacho Pizzas

Ingredients-
•    4 English muffins, halved
•    ½ cup pepper jack cheese, or cheddar
•    ½ cup roasted tomato salsa
•    ½ cup refried beans
•    2 small jalapenos, thinly sliced
•    ½ cup onion, thinly sliced
•    4 tbsp. tomato, diced
•    Additional toppings if desired, I used olives
Instructions-
•    Preheat oven to about 350 degrees F.
•    Top the English muffin halves with salsa, then refried beans, and cheese.  Add the rest of the toppings and sprinkle some extra cheese on top.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Let cool and add extra toppings if desired and enjoy!

What Super Bowl party would be complete without Taco Dip?

Ingredients-
•    1, 8 oz. package of softened cream cheese
•    1, 16 oz. container of nonfat sour cream
•    1 package taco seasoning mix
•    ¼ head iceberg lettuce, shredded
•    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
•    3 chopped tomatoes
•    1 green bell pepper, chopped
•    1 small can of black olives drained
Instructions-
•    Combine the cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning in a medium sized mixing bowl.  When thoroughly mixed and smooth, spread on about a 9-inch serving dish.  Top with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, pepper and olives.  Enjoy!

Jalapeño Poppers

Ingredients-
•    12 jalapeño peppers
•    8 oz. softened cream cheese
•    ½ tsp. kosher salt
•    Pepper to taste
Instructions-
•    Heat oven to broil and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
•    Slice the jalapeños in a “T” shaped and open the flaps and scrape the inside to remove the seeds and ribs.
•    In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and salt, add pepper to taste and mix until smooth and combined.  Spoon the mixture into the jalapeño’s.  Place them on the baking sheet and broil for about 5 minutes, rotate the pan and broil until they begin to char.  Remove and let cool.  Enjoy!

I can’t wait for the guys to be shocked that we have delicious snacks for the game but it is all vegetarian!
Have a happy Super Bowl,

Julie

Super Bowl Snack Time

by on 2/05/2017
Happy Super Bowl Sunday all you football fans out there!  :) Although I am not a football fan, my husband is quite the enthusiast and wante...
Occasionally I suffer from migraines when I’m stressed or don’t get enough sleep; today has been one of those unfortunate days.  I am not one to immediately turn to pills to cure something that might have a more natural from.  I was searching the internet and found several people talking about how magnesium can help with migraines.  Although it is not a definite cure, I was up for it.

I read the many people who suffer from migraines have low levels of magnesium which is an essential nutrient for many of our body’s functions.  By no means am I a nutritionist or doctor, but I read with a specific ratio of magnesium and calcium there is a way to reduce the frequency of migraines.  Instead of trying to concoct a formula I turned to foods that are naturally high in magnesium like:  almonds, cashews, dates, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, dark chocolate…and the list goes on.


Although that list of foods high in magnesium sounds great, I thought I could one up just eating the nuts or seeds plain.  I modified one of my recipes to incorporate magnesium rich ingredients into yummy no-bake bites.  Here is what I came up with:


Ingredients-
1 cup of seeds, nuts, or bran…what have you prefer or have at home
¼ cup of dates
2 tbsp. tahini
2 tbsp. molasses
2 tbsp. cocoa powder

Instructions-
Put the 1 cup of preferred seed, nut and/or bran into a food processor and process until it is the texture of sand.  Put the processed mixture into a bowl and set aside.
Place the dates into the processor and pulse until chopped.  Add tahini, molasses, and seed or nut mixture and process until well mixed.  (It should have a consistency to make a ball out of the blend, if not add more molasses or tahini)
Make little bite sized balls with your hands and roll in cocoa powder.  Enjoy your magnesium packed power bite sized ball.

I think they actually taste really good and have migraine fighting foods that hopefully will help my migraines from coming again.

Do you have a natural remedy to fight migraines? I would love to find out!

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

Magnesium for Migraines?

by on 12/23/2016
Occasionally I suffer from migraines when I’m stressed or don’t get enough sleep; today has been one of those unfortunate days.  I am not ...
We all know that there are certain foods that are better for parts of your body and your mental and emotional health.  I swear that a good breakfast can keep my kids going all morning and keep them attentive.  But there are some foods that are even better than others to keep your energy and brain power.  Have two growing children has made me very interested in these kinds of foods.

I always try keeping up to date on latest findings and research about what is best for my kids and my husband and I.  I found a few really interesting articles about foods that fuel brain power and memory.  These foods are good for our entire family and can keep us healthy.  I believe it is important to know what is good for you and take it into your own hands. 






Here are my findings and knowledge on “brain power food”:

•    Almond Butter can help find memory loss because of their high content of vitamin E, which has been found to help reduce the risk of cognitive impairment.  Almond butter has three times as much vitamin E than ordinary peanut butter.  Why not make an easy switch to a healthier and better for you nut spread.

•    Leafy Greens like spinach or broccoli packed with vitamin K can help improve verbal memory and the ability to understand and remember verbal instructions.  Vitamin K is good for both my husband, our children, and myself.  Leafy greens are also high in tandem that works with vitamin B12 that helps cognitive function in older adults. 

•    Blueberries are the ultimate power food.  The flavonoids in them are shown to help spatial memory and the antioxidants reduce inflammation that helps with long term memory and brain health.  There are so many powers that blueberries have it is hard to name them all.

•    Green Tea helps improve brain plasticity making it easier to learn and retain information. 

•    Tomatoes are packed with carotenoids that help improve cognition and memory over long periods of time.  Tomatoes also have lycopene found in the skin that helps protect against depression-causing inflammation.

I hope to continue eating these foods and incorporate them a little more in my life.  There are huge lists foods that help brain power and cognitive health but these were some of my favorite foods. 

What are your “go to” brain boosting foods?

Go Green and Go Keen,

Julie
healing foods
I believe that foods can have a healing power on the body.  Becoming vegetarian has made me look at food differently and has changed my body for the better.  Instead of turning to medicine for minor aliments like muscle pain, headaches, sore throats or colds, I try finding a food or herb alternative to make the pain diminish.

Whether you are fighting stress, fatigue, or trying to boost your immune system I believe that a lifestyle change and healthy eating can help immensely.  Eating fresh fruits and vegetables help the body perform to the fullest potential and stay healthy.

Here are some of the foods that can help fight minor ailments-

•    Bananas are good for fighting stress and anxiety.  They provide a little bit of a sugar boost and have 30% of your day’s vitamin B6 that helps your brain produce mellowing serotonin to help calming down.

banana healing food

•    Raisins help maintain cardiovascular health and bringing down blood pressure.  They contain fiber and potassium that are both good for the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.

•    Kidney stones are something no one wants to deal with.  Apricots help prevent then because of the fiber, low sodium, and potassium help keep minerals from accumulating in the urine and from forming calcium stones. 

•    Ginger tea can help cure nausea from motion sickness.  The oils and compounds in ginger help to get rid of nausea without the side effects of other prescription drugs.

•    It is a little strange but I swear by buckwheat honey as a cure to coughing.  2 teaspoons of the thick, dark brown honey and your coughing will stop.  I find it so much more effective than cough syrup.  And the honey has antioxidants and other properties that can soothe the throat.

•    Ladies you know yeast infections are not fun.  By adding garlic to sauces, dressings, and other dishes you can help lowing the risk of getting them.  Garlic contains oils that inhibit the growth of a certain fungus that causes the unpleased symptoms of a yeast infection.


•    Chamomile tea can make heartburn disappear.  Although it may take a few cups of tea to fully ease the digestive culprit, who doesn’t like sipping tea all day?

•    Headache? Cure that with some potatoes!  The carbs in potatoes can ease tension headaches by raising serotonin levels and nixing that pesky thing.

There are many other foods that help diminish or prevent ailments from happening.  These are just some of the foods I eat frequently with more than just a nutritional value.  Foods can not only change your body, but can also help your mind fight off negativity.


Go green and stay keen,

Julie

 


Healing foods

by on 10/28/2015
I believe that foods can have a healing power on the body.  Becoming vegetarian has made me look at food differently and has changed my ...
The kids first day of school is tomorrow and they are having mixed feelings of excitement and sadness because the summer is over.  They both got new backpacks this year and have them all filled with notebooks and pens ready to go.

We got to do so many things together this summer and were able to cross everything off their summer to do list.  It was a wonderful summer.



Because it is the last day before they start school, I want to make them a nutritious dinner so their brains are ready for tomorrow.  I am making my eggplant lasagna that they love.  Eggplants are great vegetables with so many benefits for everyone.

Here are some healthy facts about eggplants that will make you want to add them to your regular diet.

Eggplants have essential nutrients that your body needs like iron, calcium, and many other minerals.

Eggplant skins contain essential phyto nutrients that improve blood circulation and nourish the brain; perfect for back to school after a summer of fun.

Eggplants have fiber to protect and regulate the digestive tract.

For many years eggplants were used to control and manage diabetes.  With research it was proven because of the high fiber and low soluble carbohydrate content.

Eggplants are high in bioflavonoids that control high blood pressure and relieve stress.  Good for those first day of school jitters.

Regular consumption of eggplants can also help prevent blood clots because of the vitamin K and bioflavonoids that strengthen capillaries.


I believe that a good dinner and breakfast are the key to a successful day at school for children.  Food fuels the brain and the body so that it performs to its highest capability.  I am lucky I taught my kids at a young age to like foods that are good for their bodies and minds.  Now Hannah and Liam prefer “healthy” food over junk food, almost all the time :).

It makes me proud to see them make good choices and grow stronger and bigger each year.

I am sure tonight is going to be the “I don’t want to go to school, I want it to be summer longer,” but with this dinner and homemade ice cream for dessert, it should make it a little more bearable for them.

Happy first day of school for all the other kids out there!

Go green and stay keen,

Julie


The Wonderful Eggplant

by on 9/07/2015
The kids first day of school is tomorrow and they are having mixed feelings of excitement and sadness because the summer is over.  They bot...
Happy National Watermelon Day! :D

Okay, I know it is not a widely known holiday or for that matter really celebrated, but our family takes National Watermelon Day very seriously.  It is a great day to indulge on watermelon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Watermelons are pretty interesting fruits as well, giving us plenty to talk about.

Here are our family’s favorite fun facts about watermelons-

There are 300 different kinds of watermelons in the US and Mexico
They are the perfect summer snack because they are 92% water making them so refreshing.
The world’s heaviest watermelon weighed 268.6 lbs., now that is a lot of watermelon.
People eat on average 16 lbs. of watermelon annually.
Egyptian hieroglyphics show the first-ever watermelon harvest took place about 5,000 years ago.  They were often sealed into tombs of kings.

Now you can have the same useless trivia as we do.

There are so many recipes with watermelon that are often forgot.  People usually just eat them sliced, although it is wonderful that way, there are so many more possibilities when it comes to a delicious fruit like this.

Watermelon-Peach Salsa with Tomatoes-

Ingredients-

½ cup hot pepper jelly
1 tbsp. lime zest
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 cups seeded and diced watermelon
1 cup peeled and diced fresh peaches
1/3 cup chopped basil
1/3 cup chopped chives
3 cups baby tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil springs to garnish

Directions-

Whisk the pepper jelly, lime zest, and lime juice together and then stir in watermelon, peaches, basil, and chives.
Season the baby tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste.  Mix with salsa, and serve with basil if desired.  Enjoy!

Don’t be nervous at the thought of warm watermelon, Grilled Watermelon Slices are delicious-

Ingredients-
Several slices of watermelon
2 limes, juices
½ a limes zest
3 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. water
A few dashes of cayenne pepper
A few pinches of salt



Directions-

Preheat the grill to high.  Cut watermelon into 1 inch thick slices and lightly brush each side with honey and place on grill until browned, about 2 minutes.
In a small bowl mix the rest of the ingredients and drizzle mixture over watermelon slices on place.
Enjoy!

And for a little adult beverage, Frozen Watermelon Margaritas are very tasty-

Ingredients-

1 ½ cups watermelon, cubed
1 cup tequila
½ cup lime juice
½ cup orange liqueur
1-2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
3 cups ice

Directions-

Puree watermelon, add the rest of the ingredients and blend until desired consistency.  Divide among glasses and garnish with lime and watermelon slice.
Enjoy!


With your new fun facts and superb watermelon recipes, National Watermelon day is going to be WONDERFUL!

Go green and stay keen!

Julie

National Watermelon Day

by on 8/03/2015
Happy National Watermelon Day! :D Okay, I know it is not a widely known holiday or for that matter really celebrated, but our family ta...
Rhubarb is one of my favorite vegetables that is seasonally spring.  It is so delicious and makes, in my opinion, THE BEST desserts.  Don’t get me wrong, I like to add rhubarb to main courses, but it doesn’t get much better than a good old fashioned rhubarb pie.  I wanted to share my love for this seasonally sweet vegetable with a few of my recipes.  I hope they seem just as delicious to you as they do to me!

Rhubarb Crumble
rhubarb crumble julie green and keenIngredients-
1 ½ pound of rhubarb, just into small slices
2 cups of raspberries or strawberries (or if you are feeling crazy, both)
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons of instant tapioca
½ tsp. grated orange zest
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
A dash of salt

Ingredients for topping-
6 tbsp. softened vegetarian butter
¼ cup packed light-brown sugar
¼ tsp. orange zest
1 cup flour
Dash of salt

Instructions for topping-
Mix butter, brown sugar, orange zest in a large bowl, electric mixers work great.  Mix until creamy.  Add flour and salt, work mixture until it forms coarse crumbs.

Instructions for Rhubarb-
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix rhubarb, berries, sugar, tapioca, orange zest, orange juice, and salt in a large bowl.
Divide rhubarb mixture into six small, one cup baking dishes and top with topping.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes until golden brown and it is bubbling a little bit.
Let cool and serve, Enjoy!




My favorite Rhubarb Cake
rhubarb cake julie green and keenIngredients-
½ cup vegetarian butter
1 ½ white sugar
¼ cup soy yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp. bake soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 tbsp. flour
¼ cup vegetarian butter
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup packed brown sugar

Instructions-
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugar, yogurt and vanilla until creamy.
In another bowl sift 2 cups of flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add the buttermilk and combine with creamed mixture.
Toss the rhubarb with 1 tbsp. flour and stir into the batter.  Pour the batter into a buttered 9 x 13 in pan and smooth the surface.
In a separate bowl, blend together ¼ cup butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  Sprinkle evenly over the batter.
Bake for 45 minutes, let cool and enjoy!


The Beloved Fresh Rhubarb Pie
rhubarb pie julie green and keenIngredients-
4 cups of chopped rhubarb
1 1/3 cups white sugar
6 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. butter
Pie Crust (Homemade or bought, your choice)

Instructions-
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
Combine sugar and flour and sprinkle a ¼ of it over the pie crust.  Heap the rhubarb over this mixture and sprinkle the remaining sugar and flour over the top of the rhubarb.  Chop up pieces of butter and sprinkle over the top and cover with top crust.
Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue baking for 40-45 minutes.
Enjoy your fresh rhubarb pie!


Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

With summer vacation in sight and countless activities to drive the kids around to, it seems that the kids are even hungrier when they get home from school.  The moment Hannah and Liam run through the door, they head straight to the kitchen for a snack.  I always try to have something healthy and filling enough to bridge the gap until dinner.

Finding after school snacks that are “Hannah and Liam approved” can be a little difficult though.  I try mixing it up each day from snacks that sweet and ones that are savory.  I know how important it is to refuel my kid’s minds after a long day at school; so I have to make a list of a few after school snacks that are always welcomed. 

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips (this recipe makes plenty for leftovers :))

 
Ingredients-

•    2 kiwis- peeled and diced
•    2 golden delicious apples- peeled, cored and diced
•    8 ounces raspberries
•    1 pound strawberries
•    2 tbsp. white sugar
•    1 tbsp. brown sugar
•    3 tbsp. fruit preserves- any flavor
•    10 flour tortillas
•    Butter cooking spray
•    2 tbsp. cinnamon sugar

Instructions-
•    In a large bowl mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar, and fruit preserves.  Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
•    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
•    Coat one side of each tortilla with butter cooking spray.  Cut into wedges and spread on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the wedges and spray again with cooking spray.  Bake for 8-10 minutes and allow to cool. 
•    Use tortilla wedges to dip into fruit salsa and enjoy!


Stuffed Celery-




Ingredients-
•    1 bunch of celery
•    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
•    ¼ cup chopped walnuts
•    20 small green olives (chopped)
•    2 tablespoons of sour cream

Instructions-
•    Cut the washed celery stalk into bite sized pieces.
•    Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, walnuts, and chopped olives together.  Spread the filling on to the celery pieces. (If you don’t want to use celery, the kids also like to put it on crackers)
•    Enjoy!

Pizza Pockets-





Ingredients-
•    1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls
•    4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
•    ½ cup parmesan cheese
•    Other toppings your kids like, mushrooms, olives, ect.

Instructions-
•    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
•    Unroll crescents and top each piece of dough with shredded cheese and the toppings you like, and sprinkle a little more cheese on.  Roll into a crescent shaped.
•    Place pizza pockets on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

For those hot summery days, Watermelon Strawberry Pops-



Ingredients-
•    1lbs. seedless watermelon
•    ¼ lbs. halved hulled strawberries
•    ¼ cup sugar
•    1 ½  tbsp. fresh lime juice

Instructions-
•    Puree watermelon and strawberries in a blender and place in a large bowl.  Add sugar and lime juice and stir until the sugar is dissolved
•    Pour mixture into 5 3ounce ice pop molds and add sticks.  Freeze pops until solid and Enjoy!

A healthy and filling after school snack holds my kids off until dinner and automatically puts them in a good mood when they come home. :) I love finding new ideas for snacking that the kids love.  Happy snacking!

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

After school Snacks

by on 3/11/2015
With summer vacation in sight and countless activities to drive the kids around to, it seems that the kids are even hungrier when they get ...