healthy

Healthy Recipe Ideas

If you’ve spent any time at all on this blog, you may have noticed that most of the recipes I post are of the…unhealthy variety ;) I love baking somewhat crazy and delicious desserts. But I have seen a HUGE spike of people searching the blog for my healthier recipes (I’m assuming with the new year’s resolutions coming in) so I thought I would list some of my healthier recipes in one post so it would be more convenient for you guys!

Disclaimer: I’m a fan of eating healthy, but I also believe that fad diets and restrictive diets are pointless. Eating healthy is a day-to-day challenge and some days I do well and some days I don’t. But if you try telling yourself that you’re never going to eat a dessert again, it generally won’t work out well. I hope we can all do better at striving for balance, which means checking out these healthier recipes but also indulging a few times a week :)

*Anything labeled “Daniel Fast” is Vegetarian, Vegan, and Daniel-Fast approved* 

Also, for those of you interested in the Daniel Fast, I answered a lot of questions about it in THIS post :)

Healthy Breakfast and Snacks:

DF smoothie web

I love smoothies! They are so easy to make and very customizable. Depending on what you put in them, they can provide you with fruit, dairy, and protein to kick-start your day! I usually try to add some sort of fruit, yogurt or milk, and peanut butter :)

Daniel Fast Smoothies

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Smoothie

healthier bb web1

I also love breads and muffins! Here are two recipes that I have adjusted to make them much lighter than the usual muffin/quick-bread, but you really cannot tell the difference between these and their less-healthy counterparts.

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Healthier Banana Bread

Zucchini Bread

Healthy Lunch and Dinner:

tenders salad web2

These recipes are all ones that I love and think taste really good. I recently made Hot Spinach Dip again and was reminded of how good it is! And the Daniel-Fast approved Potato Wedges and Veggies is one of my all-time favorite meals!

How to Make White Rice

Salad with Maple Mustard Chicken Tenders

Hot Spinach Dip

Daniel Fast Chile

potato wedges web4

Potato Wedges and Veggies

Daniel Fast Lettuce Wraps

Daniel Fast Taco Salad <- another really great one!

Daniel Fast Vegetable Soup

Desserts:

Cookie Dough Balls

Gigantic Peanut Butter Candy Cookie <- I included this one because it makes one cookie which lets you have dessert without too many leftovers!

Zucchini Bread

A few days ago I posted my review of Brown Cow Cream Top Greek Yogurt (speaking of which, go over and enter to win the giveaway!). I knew I wanted to make some sort of quick-bread with the plain Greek Yogurt and decided on Zucchini bread. I had never even tasted Zucchini bread before, but I had a feeling I would love it. And I was right! Not only did I really like this bread, but my entire family did, too- we finished off pretty much the entire loaf the day I made it.

Because our oven is broken, I went over to my neighbors and made this at their house. While it was baking I watched the Olympics- I have absolutely loved watching them this past week. My favorite sports are gymnastics, swimming, and sprinting. I also love the equestrian events, but I haven’t seen any being aired! What are your favorite Olympic games to watch?

So anyway, back to this bread. My middle sister was worried because it had zucchini in it, but this doesn’t taste remotely healthy! It’s sweet, not dry, and the outside is nice and crisp. I love eating it heated with butter on it. I think this bread, as with most quick breads, gets better overnight, but I wouldn’t know since we ate it all ;)

I liked this bread enough that I am going to make it again tomorrow! I would definitely recommend it.

And finally, get on over to this post to win some delicious yogurt! The giveaway is open until August 18th.

Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

1 pound zucchini (you’ll end up with about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of zucchini once it has been shredded and wrung through a towel to rid of excess liquid)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used Brown Cow Plain Greek Yogurt)
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease the loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Chop the very ends off the zucchini and finely shred it, peel and all. Place the shredded zucchini in a clean kitchen towel, wrap the towel, and wring the ends to squeeze out all the excess water. You should have about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of dry zucchini. Set the zucchini aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk the sugar, yogurt, eggs, sour cream, apple sauce, and butter until combined.
  4. Gently fold the yogurt mixture and zucchini into the flour mixture, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to fold the ingredients together until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
  5. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 45-55 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes then turn out into wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour. Store well-covered for up to three days.
Very slightly adapted from Mels Kitchen Cafe :)

Healthier Banana Bread

Wow! It has been a long time since my last food post. I haven’t had any time to bake or cook anything lately, but this weekend I made lots of goodies so stay tuned! This first recipe is actually an adaptation of my favoritest banana bread. I searched so long for a perfect banana bread recipe and finally found one that tastes incredible. It really tastes more like cake than bread, which is probably because it has quite a bit of butter and sugar in it (but it’s bread so I can eat it for breakfast ;) . This healthier version of the recipe has half the butter, uses reduced fat sour cream, and uses part white whole wheat flour. What’s the verdict? It tastes exactly the same! I was so thrilled! I will be working on an even healthier version of this bread, and will blog about it if it turns out. For now, I’m thrilled with this still amazingly tasty banana bread!

In other news completely unrelated to this banana bread, I saw another blogger fill our a neat alphabet survey from this blog and thought I’d be fun to fill out!

A is for age: I am 17 but will be 18 in a month! Not sure how I feel about that yet… :)

B is for breakfast today: I had a slice of this banana bread! It was super yummy. And part of a cupcake.

C is for currently craving: Hmm…an apple! Probably because I’ve eaten so many desserts today.

D is for dinner tonight:  We went over to my grandparent’s house for dinner and my grandpa made baked ziti which was amazing!

E is for favorite type of exercise: Horseback riding (yes, it’s exercise!) but I don’t get to do that very often.

F is for an irrational fear: Being buried alive- it absolutely freaks me out! I have told my family that they have to cremate me (I’d rather have a quick death by fire than a slow, horrible suffocation) or bury me in a flimsy, wooden casket in a shallow grave (I read an article on how to un-bury your self if you’re in a flimsy wooden casket). Whenever I tell my mom these instructions, she just looks at me like I’m crazy. And then posts facebook statues about me.

G is for gross food: I call the foods I don’t like “enemy foods.” Chicken pot pie, beans, squash, all seafood.

H is for hometown: Stockholm, Sweden. That’s right!

I is for something important: My family and God :)

J is for current favorite jam: Blackberry! Wait…what kind of jam is this asking for? If it’s talking about song, I’m loving Down by Mat Kearney and, for working out, I’m Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO ;)

K is for kids: Umm I know kids? I am a kid? I babysit kids? I tutor kids? I certainly don’t have one on my own!

L is for current location: Couch! My specific spot on the couch.

M is for the most recent way you spent money: Hmm…I gave a donation to this little boy who was getting heart surgery :)

N is for something you need: A back massage and a miracle pill to make my headache go away.

O is for occupation: Photographer, babysitter, tutor, student.

P is for pet peeve: When people are cutting their food and they keep scraping their utensils against the plate so it makes that horrible screeching noise. Gahh!

Q is for a quote: Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

R is for random fact about you: I sleep with a stuffed animal frog named Froggy. And I’m not ashamed to admit that!

S is for favorite healthy snack: Hmmm…apples! I eat like 2 or 3 a day. As of yet, it has not kept the doctor away. At all.

T is for favorite treat: Cake!

U is for something that makes you unique: My middle sister and I have shhttiiinng power. It’s a sister thing.

V is for favorite vegetable: Cucumbers, carrots, and bell peppers.

W is for today’s workout: I worked out on the elliptical.

X is for X-rays you’ve had: Lots on my teeth from when I had braces. I had to get x-rays on my abdomen once, but they accidentally did them on my chest. Then they did the abdomen one. And then they had to re-do it because it was blurred. It was not a fun experience, especially because I was sick!

Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Making this banana bread was fun. Oh and watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Z is for your time zone: Central time.

So now you know a little more about me! I’d love to get to know you better so feel free to answer some of these questions in the comment section!

And for those of you who are curious, I calculated that this banana bread has 174 calories per serving (with 12 servings per loaf). Not too shabby!

Healthier Banana Bread

Ingredients:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 egg
4 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 whole over-ripe bananas, blended so that they’re liquid

Directions:

  1. Cream togetherthe first 6 ingredients.
  2. Slowly add the flours and then the baking soda and salt. Add the blended bananas.
  3. Put in a greased bread loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Enjoy!

Hot Spinach Dip

Yesterday I had my first Black Friday shopping experience! But I only went to Joanns…and it was 2pm…so there was a serious lack of greedy, angry mobs. Don’t worry, I shoved several women looking at fabrics just for the experience.

Just kidding.

I had a 50% off coupon for one item and used it on a donut pan. I’ve wanted one for a while but I didn’t feel like spending the money on one. Finally this coupon gave me the perfect excuse. I’m trying to figure out what donut to make first. I’m determined to use this pan often. I want to make sure I get my $6 worth!

After my excursion at Joanns, my sister and I went to see Breaking Dawn (insert middle school girls screaming here).

Here’s what I thought:

  • Taylor Lautner’s shirt was off within the first 15 seconds.
  • I didn’t notice Kristen Stewart’s rapid blinking during this movie…a huge improvement!
  • Kristen Stewart had emotion in this movie! Woah!
  • Rob Pattinson’s hair is kinda ridiculous…very poofy.
  • Rob Pattinson looks sorta cute when he actually smiles. Who knew???
  • They followed the book closely.
  • Best scene= wedding speeches. Hahaha oh Emmett and Charlie…Remind me not to let anyone give toasts at my wedding.
  • The movie had a good combo of well-done scenes and totally awkward scenes…kept my sister and me interested and laughing.
  • Werewolf scenes=awkward.
  • Taylor Lautner trying to sound angry=hilarious.

I think that pretty much sums it up! All in all, it way surpassed by expectations and I’m glad I went to see it. Will I ever watch it again? Meh it’s a possibility :) I see a Twilight marathon in my future once part 2 of Breaking Dawn comes out.

With no transition whatsoever…here’s spinach dip. I already shared the Pumpkin Pie dip I made for one of our Thanksgiving appetizers so here is the second dip I made. I have been wanting to make this for a long time and am glad that I finally got the chance to make it. Everyone really loved it :)

It’s funny that I like spinach dip because I don’t like most of the ingredients that go into the dip. But I really like it and this recipe was great. For some extra flavor and a bit of spice, I added red pepper flakes to the original recipe. The addition was definitely a good choice.


Hot Spinach Dip

Adapted from Skinnytaste.

Ingredients:

10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1/2 cup sour cream (reduced fat works fine)

5 tbsp mayo (light mayo works fine)

1/4 cup Parmesan  cheese

1/4 cup cheddar cheese

1/4 cup chopped scallions**

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 tbsp crushed red peppers

Directions:

  1. Make sure your spinach is thawed (I ended up microwaving mine) and squeeze out all the excess water (I ended up using my hand to get all the water out).
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Place the mixture in an oven-safe dish (I used a glass pie pan) and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is all hot and melty.
  4. Serve right away with crackers, chips, veggies, or whatever you want :)

Note: The turkey was already in the oven and was baking at 325 degrees. So I squeezed the dip on the tray below the turkey and cooked at 325 degrees for 25 minutes which worked out fine!

**I went to Kroger late the night before Thanksgiving because I realized that I hadn’t put a lot of the ingredients of this recipe on my mom’s shopping list. I was wearing my polar bear Christmas pjs, teal boots, and a hoodie. Yep…I looked pretty cool. So I was searching for scallions and I couldn’t find them. I called my mom and asked if scallions are the same as green onions and she said no. So I asked this guy stocking shelves if they had scallions. He didn’t know so he went to get a produce guy. That produce guy was new there so he went to get another produce guy. And this guy said that scallions were the same thing as green onions. And he’s a chef so he should know. So I bought the green onions. And I looked it up when I got home. Scallions are actually green onions! What are not the same as green onions are shallots, which was causing the confusion. Then later that night, I had to go back to Kroger to pick up the ice cream I had forgotten. And then my mom realized she hadn’t purchased a pan for the turkey. I refused to go back out to Kroger so my dad went. So feel free to use scallions or green onions in this dip. But not shallots. Yep. I could have said all that in a couple words (scallions=green onions) but I thought you would enjoy reading this paragraph. :D **

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