Archive for January, 2015
Easy Dinner Idea: Simple Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

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You gotta make dinner everynight. That reality, combined with the whirlwind of the workday can feel daunting. Climbing the corporate ladder, working in a workout, finding clean socks. There’s a lot we have to balance these days, and adding in “make dinner” can tips the scales.

Which is why we love this Sweet Potato and Black Bean chili. You literally open up a few cans, dice up sweet potatoes, and set it all to cook on the stove while you peel off your suit and settle in for a relaxed night. A healthy, hearty dinner in just 30 minutes, with a mere 5 minutes of prep? Absolutely. Get the recipe below and give yourself the easiest night of your life. (And yummiest, too!)

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Easy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Simple Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Serves 4     adjust servings

Quick and easy, this healthy chili can be made in minutes and tastes like a prize-winner!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (optional)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (32 ounce) can fireroasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • Toppings: sour cream, diced green onions, diced jalapenos, diced avocados, chopped cilantro, shredded cheddar.

Instructions

If using ground beef, brown in a large skillet, then remove from heat and set aside. In a large pot, place sweet potato, 1/2 cup water and diced tomatoes. Cover and bring to a boil, turning to a simmer once boiling. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add beans, tomato sauce and taco seasoning to the pot. Add cooked ground beef, if using. Heat until very hot. Spoon into serving bowls. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

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Healthy Twists on Coffee Shop Favorites

Does your morning start with a trip to the corner coffee shop or the drive thru at Starbucks? This can be a double whammy on your wallet and your waistline. Your beloved morning drink or afternoon pick-me-up is costing you thousands of dollars a year.

Imagine what else you could be spending your money on if you mastered an at-home copycat recipe? Money aside, your drink may also be contributing to those extra pounds you’ve packed on. It’s shocking that the popular Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino packs in 380 calories, 58 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of fat in the grande-sized cup. By making a copycat version at home, you have control over serving size, added sugar, added fat, and topping choices. We’ve found 7 healthy twists on coffee shop favorites, so you’ll still get your amazing coffee shop drink without that whopping calorie count, and you’ll be saving money for those new skinny jeans.

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1. Healthier Homemade Frappuccino

A Starbucks Frappuccino contains a whopping 50 grams of sugar, which is more than double the daily recommend intake!  This healthy version from CHOCOLATE COVERED KATIE uses stevia as a sweetener, so this drink feels like an indulgence even though it’s not.

Healthy Homemade Frappuccino

2. Skinny Pumpkin Latte

You’ll get a calorie breakdown for this skinny pumpkin latte on SALLY’S BAKING ADDICTION.  This cool, creamy latte has less sugar, fat, and calories than the coffee shop version. 

Gingerbread Latte

3. Gingerbread Latte

There’s no artificial flavoring in this gingerbread spice latte.  Made with a ground spice blend and a dollop of molasses, this drink is perfect for a cold winter morning wake-up.  Find the recipe at DESSERT FOR TWO.

Skinny Almond Joy Frappe

4. Skinny Almond Joy Frappuccino

If you’re in need of a sweet, decadent pick-me-up that doesn’t pack in the calories, try this skinny almond joy frappuccino.  It’s made with real extracts that give it a candy-bar taste without all the added sugar and fat.  Get this amazing recipe at AMY’S HEALTHY BAKING.

Skinny Eggnog

5. Skinny Eggnog

Classic eggnog is made with heavy cream, whole milk, and copious amounts of sugar.  This skinny eggnog latte replaces the added fat and sugar with skim milk and stevia for a calorie-friendly drink.  Head to PEANUT BUTTER AND PEPPERS for this amazing and delicious treat. 

Skinny Starbucks You Can Make at Home

6. Cinnamon Dolce Latte Made Healthy

Whip up a soothing mug of this sweet, warm cinnamon dolce latte.  It’s just as good as Starbucks, but has way less sugar and calories.  Learn how to make this incredible drink at DIETHOOD.  

Skinny Starbucks Made at Home

7. Good-For-You Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino

This rich, chocolatey drink is surprisingly healthy.  You’ll get an antioxidant boost from the cocoa powder, and this skinny double chocolatey chip frappuccino is low in fat and sugar.  To try this sweet, drinkable treat, head to AMY’S HEALTHY BAKING.

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Simple Rainbow Spinach Salad-in-a-Jar

Looking for a delicious way to be healthy on-the-go? This rainbow spinach salad tucked into a mason jar may be the quickest, hippest way to tote a healthy lunch. Layer all the ingredients the night before. Tote your salad dressing along with you and drizzle just before serving! Full of vibrant veggies and a delicious, easy to make dressing, this is one meal that’ll make you feel like a million bucks. It’s a great way to stick to healthy eating goals and an easy way to save dollars because you won’t have to eat out ever again!

Rainbow Spinach Salad-in-a-Jar. Makes it so easy to be healthy on-on-the-go!

 

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8 Healthy Dinners That Cost Just $5

Ever glance at a healthy recipe with a long and intimidating ingredient list?  That can add up to major bucks at the grocery store.  Healthy doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are ways to get a low-fat, nutrient-rich meal without shelling out a lot of dough.  High-quality protein is an important part of dinner, and you don’t need to buy freshly-caught salmon or grass-fed beef to get it right.  Vegetarian sources of protein. like beans and quinoa, are excellent sources of protein that don’t cost a bundle and add fiber and nutrients to your meal.  Canned tuna and eggs are are also great sources of protein on the cheap.  Add in fresh or frozen veggies and you’ve got a cheap, healthy meal.  We’ve found 8 healthy dinners that cost less than $5- try them all to improve your health without breaking the bank.

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1. Skinny Minestrone

This comforting Skinny Minestrone Soup delivers 16 grams of protein per serving from kidney and white beans.  A frozen veggie mix saves on prep time, and you’ll load up on fiber and nutrients with every spoonful.  Find the recipe at SKINNYMOM.

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2. Sweet Potato Skins

These healthy sweet potato skins are filled to the brim with roasted corn, black beans, and light cheese.  Even though they’re simple, they seem extravagant, and make a wonderful budget-friendly meal. Head to PINCH OF YUM for this recipe.

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3. Zucchini Pasta

This incredibly creamy, hearty mushroom zucchini pasta dish is made right in one pot.  It’s easy to make, totally tasty, and won’t break your bank.  Get the recipe for this simple weeknight meal at DAMN DELICIOUS.

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4. Quinoa Bowl

Quinoa is an excellent vegetarian source of protein, and can be bought in bulk and used as needed.  This quinoa black bean burrito bowl gets flavor from chili powder and lime juice, and you can get creative with veggies and toppings using leftovers from your fridge.  Learn how to build this basic burrito bowl at TORI AVEY.

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5. Simple Tomato Quiche

Eggs make a fantastic base for a meal- they’re cheap, versatile, and have many health benefits. Toss in some veggies for nutrients and some cheese for extra flavor, and you’ve got yourself an amazing and easy dinner!  Find the recipe at SKINNYTASTE.

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6. Tuna Pasta

Canned tuna is a great budget-friendly source of protein.  It works well in pasta, and has numerous health benefits.  This simple tuna rigatoni with sun-dried tomatoes comes together quickly and has incredible flavor.  Head to EAT YOURSELF SKINNY for the recipe.

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7. Veggie Stir Fry

Use any veggies you have on hand and pick a protein source for this versatile stir fry.  It freezes well and can be defrosted in a warm water bath, then reheated in a saucepan.  You can also skip the freezing part and simply make it as tonight’s dinner.  Learn the how-to at THE KITCHN.

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8. Butternut Squash Quesadillas

Black beans and butternut squash create a nutritional powerhouse of a meal, and the mellow flavor will win you over.  Pair these quesadillas with avocado for a truly tasty meal.  Find the recipe at IOWA GIRL EATS.

 

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7 HEALTHY SLOW COOKER FAVORITES

There are so many reasons to love your slow cooker- you can whip up warm, delicious meals with ease and convenience, and it takes the stress out of cooking. Slow cookers are perfect for busy weeknights when dinner needs to be on the table ASAP.  You know, those nights when your child’s soccer practice, gymnastics, and piano are back to back, or your work meeting runs late?  Toss the ingredients in your slow cooker in the morning, let it simmer all day, and you can sit down to a hot meal when you walk in the door.  We’ve found 7 healthy slow cooker recipes that are easy to make and taste amazing.  Let your slow cooker help streamline your day, and let these simple, tasty, and healthy recipes nourish your family.

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1. Easy White Chicken Chili

All you need are a few simple ingredients to create this Easy White Chicken Chili.  Let this comforting stew simmer all day in your slow cooker, and serve with fresh chopped herbs and avocado for a healthy and delicious weeknight meal.  Get the recipe from GIMME SOME OVEN.

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2. Chicken Cacciatore

You won’t miss the deep-fried chicken in this skinny version of chicken cacciatore.  You’ll still get the classic taste of this wonderful Italian favorite, but this healthy version will make you feel good about dinner.  Head over to SKINNYTASTE for the recipe.

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3. Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Use your slow cooker to get a perfectly roasted chicken without drying it out.  Fresh rosemary and lemon slices infuse this chicken with amazing flavor, and any leftovers can be tossed with salad for tomorrow’s lunch.  Get this simple and delicious recipe at NUMBER-2-PENCIL.

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4. Southwestern Potato Corn Chowder

Get all the creaminess of a chowder without the dairy in this Southwestern Potato Corn Chowder.  Coconut milk replaces the cream in this innovative recipe, and a perfect mix of spices and flavorful veggies makes this a soup a winner.  Grab the recipe from JOYFUL HEALTHY EATS.

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5. Coconut Ginger Chicken

This dish sings with flavor thanks to an aromatic spice blend and a good dose of fresh herbs.  Serve in bowls over rice and heat up leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.  Head over to SIMPLE BITES for this wonderful recipe.

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6. Stuffed Pepper Soup

Just one spoonful of this slow cooker stuffed pepper soup and you’ll fall in love.  It’s got everything you’re craving on a cold night, and the peppers and fire-roasted tomatoes give you a healthy dose of vitamin C in every bite.  Get the recipe from HAPPY HEALTHY MAMA.

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7. Korean Braised Chicken

This Korean braised chicken dish is full of chunky vegetables and coated with a tasty Asian sauce.  It’s way healthier than takeout but still full of flavor.  Get this recipe at KOREAN BAPSANG.

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