Garlic Avocado Cauliflower Mash

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I often get in the mood for warm comfort foods that I know I shouldn’t give in to. I was craving creamy mashed potatoes so bad last night, so I tried making Taralynn Mcnitt’s Garlic Cauliflower Mash and I was so surprised by how well it turned out and how delicious it was. I couldn’t stop raving about the flavors in my mouth to my fiance… “It’s like creamy guacamole”… “Wait no its more like garlic hummus”. It definitely hit the spot and I use the steamer bag method all the time now! Better yet, you don’t need fancy food processors or blenders so you can make it anymore! It’s full of fiber, low calorie, low sugar, high protein, and low carb!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head Cauliflower
  • Ziplock Steamer Bag
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder or seasoning like ms. dash
  • 3 tbsp greek yogurt
  • pinch of pepper

Rinse and chop cauliflower, and put in steamer bag. Heat bag of Cauliflower in microwave until very soft (follow steaming directions on bag). In a mixing bowl, add steamed cauliflower and mash with fork, add chopped avocado and greek yogurt, mash with fork until smooth and add seasonings and parmesan! I love to serve these in the empty avocado halves :) Taralynn stores this dish in the fridge with the avocado pit to keep fresh.

Recipe makes 8 Servings, Serving Size 3/4 Cup.

Nutrition Per Serving: 83 Calories, 4.3 g Fat, 9 g Carbs, 5 g Fiber, 1.4 g Sugar, 4.5 g Protein

Miso-Glazed Salmon

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Miso-Glazed Salmon

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (For healthier alternative: 2 tbsp honey 2 tsp molasses)
  • 2 tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Miso paste*
  • 5 salmon filets
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Directions

Preheat broiler. Combine honey, soy sauce and miso, stirring with a whisk. Arrange fish in a shallow baking dish that is sprayed with low-fat cooking spray. Spoon the honey-miso mixture evenly over the fish. Broil 6 inches below heat source for 10 minutes (with door cracked open!) making sure it doesn’t burn. Remove and baste twice more with the miso sauce. Make sure the top is browned and glazed for most delicious results! Sprinkle with chives.

*This glaze can be used to baste any protein, try it on swordfish or a spin on barbecue chicken! The options are endless

*If you don’t have miso, can’t find it, or just don’t even want to try it, this salmon is just fine without it! You can also try substituting miso with a couple things: Add a little tomato paste; Marmite;  Boullion cube (vegetable or beef); or a Knorr Miso Soup Mix powder you can find at almost any grocery store.

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This salmon is a recipe that my mom served all the time growing up, it’s definitely a family favorite. I refrigerate or freeze the leftovers and enjoy it on salads throughout the week. Below is a simple salad with the salmon over a bed of spinach, kale & chard, with blackberries and pistachios. I didn’t even need dressing because the salmon was so delicious!

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If you like salmon, you’ll love my Skinny Caesar Salad with Blackened Salmon

Series: Eating Out

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{Moonshadows, Malibu}

Left: Better Than Cobb Salad w/ grilled grain mustard chicken, mixed greens, avocado, tomato and chile-balsamic dressing.

Right: Grilled Vegetable Salad with mixed greens, corn, balsamic vinaigrette topped with grilled chicken.

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{Skull Creek Boathouse, Hilton Head Island}

Left: Green Goddess Caesar with chopped romaine, avocado, parmesan, croutons, pecorino cheese blend and green goddess dressing and a Veggie Roll (my favorite!!) with spinach soy paper, tempura artichoke and asparagus, goat cheese hummus, avocado, edamame and sun-dried tomatoes.

Right: Mediterranean Carpaccio with sliced sashimi grade tuna, fresh lemon, truffled sea salt, olive oil, shaved mushrooms, green onions on top of a baguette.

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{Jaguars Ceviche Bar, Miami}

Left: Ceviche Oriental Appetizer with tuna, ginger, soy, jalapeños, shallots, cilantro, lime, grapeseed oil, avocado balls, cucumber & sesame seeds paired with plantain chips

Right: Tropical Salad with Mango, Papaya, Pineapple, Avocado, Cashews, leafy greens, topped with coconut and hemp seeds.

eatingout5.jpg{Bistro 843, Hilton Head Island}

Left: Carolina pan-roasted trout on top of pasta salad and sliced cucumbers garnished with chervil herbs and ponzu sauce

Right: Ancient Grain Salad with warm farro, roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes topped with an apple cider vinegar mustard-molasses dressing (one of my favorite dishes ever!)

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{Spring Roll, Charleston}

Avocado Salad with romaine, carrot strings, tons of avocado (obviously), topped with sesame seeds and a carrot-ginger dressing

Healthy Mediterranean Pizza

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Create healthy habits, not restrictions

Adopting a healthy lifestyle or trying to lose weight can be extremely frustrating, especially when the people around you are not on the same mission. When I used to “diet” in high school before school dances, I would practically shake with restraint watching my girlfriends guzzle down pizza and cookies after football games. I had such strict rules and restrictions, all I thought about were the foods that I couldn’t eat, and ended up binging like cray when I got my hands on them. I no longer allow myself to “diet” because I would concentrate on calories instead of health, and ended up gaining weight at the end of the day because I was setting myself up for failure. Now, I try to create as many healthy habits that I can, which overthrow all of my bad habits. It has helped me associate positivity with eating, which is extremely important for me because I used to be dependent on food emotionally. Since then, my mantra has been:

FOOD IS FUEL

So today I am sharing my healthy easy homemade pizza that I bake when I feel the urge for pizza. It may not be fabulously vegan or made of sprouted quinoa loaded with vegetables, but its extremely easy and hits the spot for me :) Delivery pizza like Dominos is loaded with chemically processed ingredients and has well over 800 calories, 530 of those calories are from fat with 59 grams of fat (36g saturated!). I use fresh organic ingredients, basil from my garden and whole wheat pizza dough from the market. Its such an easy and clean alternative that keeps your waistline slim and is a fun date-night activity for my boyfriend and I.

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Ingredients:

  • Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (I get mine at the grocery store bakery)
  • Flour
  • Organic pizza tomato sauce
  • Buffalo Mozzarella
  • 1 organic tomato
  • Basil

Lay out pizza dough to rise for an hour before. Preheat oven to 425 degrees WITH the pizza stone in it, or else it can crack. Place big sheet of parchment on table and cover with a lot of flour. Cover hands and dough in flour (have fun with it!) and start kneading dough out into a circle, squeezing out air bubbles, and roll with rolling pin to fit the pizza stone. Remove pizza stone with gloves and set on stand. Transfer dough to stone by sliding off of parchment (easiest with lots of flour). Spread pizza sauce over dough, leaving a 1/2 inch around the edge. I like to add a little bit of hot sauce to add a little pow. Slice mozzarella into thin circles and place around pizza on top of sauce. Place pizza and stone in oven on bottom rack. Bake for 7 minutes and then add thinly sliced tomatoes, basil leaves and if you’d like, a little pink himalayan salt. Place back in oven for 5 more minutes until edges are light brown. Remove and let cool for a little, then slice with pizza wheel. I like to slice them in squares because eating more pieces fills your up faster!

*Putting tomatoes in freezer for a little makes it so much easier to slice thin without it getting watery

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 *The key to this pizza is that I use a pizza stone, which is really inexpensive and makes the crust deliciously crispy and flavorful. I also bake my cookies on it! You can find pizza stones at target and some grocery stores, or find it online here for $16.99 at target.com

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Healthy Shrimp Alfredo Spaghetti Squash

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Who doesn’t love Fettucini Alfredo?? It’s like.. the most delicious and sinful savory comfort foods that I wish wasn’t so horribly bad for you. Fettuccine Alfredo usually has about 1200 calories and over 75 g of fat per serving! When I found Taralynn’s twist on the dish, I couldn’t WAIT to try it and it came out amazing. Plus, Spaghetti Squash is an amazing alternative to pasta. Just one cup of regular spaghetti noodles has around 220 calories, 42 grams of carbs and virtually no nutrients. But one cup of Spaghetti Squash only has 30 calories, only 10g of good carbs and a ton of nutrients like Vitamin A, C, B6 and Potassium; its also filled with 2 grams of fiber that will keep you as full as a typical pasta dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 1/2 Cup Newman’s Own All Natural Alfredo Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Non- Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup No Salt Added Corn
  • 1/2 Cup Uncooked Shrimp (Tails Off)
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

  1. Cut Spaghetti Squash in half (lengthwise) and place face up on baking tray
  2. Bake spaghetti squash for 60 minutes at 350 degrees.
  3. In a non-stick sauce pan, heat shrimp until half cooked.
  4. Turn heat to low, add: corn, Greek yogurt and Alfredo sauce.
  5. Stir together until creamy.
  6. Mix in cooked spaghetti squash!

Makes Two Servings (2.5 cups/serving)

215 Calories, 5.5 g Fat, 24 g Carbs, 5 g Fiber, 18 g Protein, 8 g Sugar 

 

Recipe adapted from Undressed Skeleton

Mini Cauliflower Pizzas

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Made these Mini Cauliflower Pizza Crusts the other night after seeing them all over Pinterest, such a great low carb meal and Soo filling I can’t wait to make them again! They might not taste just like pizza, but they definitely don’t taste like cauliflower! Dig in :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 2 handfuls shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • Basil leaves
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese

Blend cauliflower in food processor or grate in a cheese grater, then microwave for 7 minutes. Let cool for about 10ish minutes then add mozzarella, seasonings, garlic powder, chopped basil and egg white. Roll into little balls and line on baking sheet, flattening them into small pancakes. Bake at 450 for 15 or more minutes. Broil for 5 minutes, remove. Then rub with pizza sauce, add Parmesan and/or mozzarella and top with thin tomato slice.

(*Tip* – freezing tomato for a little makes it so much easier to slice!)

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Recipe adapted from girlversusdough

Skinny Creamy Pumpkin Ziti

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I was craving comfort food earlier this week but didn’t want all the extra calories and fat that comes with it, so I whipped up this light warm comfort dish that kept me fuller longer than the fattier comfort dishes – and it’s only 140 CALORIES per serving, 10g of PROTEIN, 5g of FIBER, and only 1.5g of fat.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (or baked sweet potato)
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 box whole grain Ziti (I use Dreamsfield pasta because it’s packed with fiber)
  • Chopped garlic
  • Salt & pepper
  • Turmeric & cinnamon

Cook pasta. In separate dish, mix pumpkin purée or sweet potato purée with milk, yogurt, turmeric, cinnamon & salt and pepper. In a separate pan, heat garlic in coconut oil and add pumpkin mash. Drain pasta and add to pan with heated pumpkin pan. Add handful of Parmesan if you wish. Serve and enjoy!

Vegan Farro & Sweet Potato Chili

I am hearty.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 1 cup dry farro
  • one 29 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • one 29 oz can Kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • one 6 oz can tomato paste
  • one 10oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 1/2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 Bay leaf (remove after finished)
  • 1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (plus extra cinnamon as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee (I used my seasonal Pumpkin Spice coffee)
  • 3 tablespoons Red Wine
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce or tamari
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Avocado, Daiya Cheddar Cheese & cilantro for garnish + Salt/Pepper  (optional)

Directions

Cook farro as directed, set aside

Heat the oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium low heat. Add onions, and cook until soft, add the garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the Sweet Potatoes, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, lemon, wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, spices and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring constantly, scraping bottom. Add the beans and broth, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the farro. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes – 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are cooked and the chili has thickened. Add a bit of water if the chili becomes too thick for your liking. Top with avocado, daiya cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro.

Makes 6 hearty bowls of chili

– Legumes

Beans, lentils and other legumes are one the best sources of lean vegetarian protein. They are also high in soluble fiber, low in fat and rich in complex cars and protein. In short, beans are the ultimate hunger fighter, helping us feel full and satiated for a long time and actually reduce our craving for fatty food, ultimately a good tool for weight loss. Beans have been studied to improve memory, mood, prevent migraines and grow hair.

Rich in vitamins & minerals, folate, magnesium, iron and potassium, legumes help lower cholesterol by up to 10%, as well as loweing triglycerides and blood pressure and also reducing your risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes & osteoporosis. Beans actually decrease the risk of heart problems up to 20%.

More specifically, Kidney beans contain vitamin C, an antioxidant produces collagen, and contributes to healthy skin and hair. Like black beans, they’re rich in magnesium. Vitamin C has also been shown to help reduce the risk and progression of macular degeneration. Kidney beans also contain niacin, a B vitamin that may prevent cataracts. And like black beans, they are rich in magnesium.

Happy Fall Yall!

Tomato Basil Bowl

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic Basmati brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons stevia
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, large-diced
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves (1 large bunch), chopped (I like more!)

Directions

Bring 2 1/4 cups water to a boil and add the rice and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Return to a boil, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed. Transfer the rice to a bowl.

Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, oil, remaining teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Pour over the rice. Add the tomatoes and basil. Mix well and check the seasonings. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 6 Servings: 45 minutes

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa