Sweet Potato Fries

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I’m pretty sure sweet potatoes may be one of the most versatile foods ever.  They lend them selves to both sweet and salty dishes, and they are so so yummy!  Best part is that they are really great for you!  you may be familiar with the cons of regular white potatoes…well, the good news is that sweet potatoes are a completely different story – all the nutrition, none of the cons!

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And, personally, I really like the taste of sweet potatoes better than white potatoes!  So, when you think of potatoes of any kind, one of the first yummy foods that comes to mind is FRIES, and that’s exactly what we’re looking at here – sweet potato fries!  I love these things!  They’re super easy to make, taste delicious and can serve as a side, a snack, or as the even as the main part of a meal depending on what you top the with!

This recipe is just a nice basic recipe for sweet potato fries.  I really enjoy them dipped in plain greek yogurt, but they would also taste great with ketchup, ranch, or many other typical fry dipping sauces!  You could also get creative and top them with cheese, chili, onions, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

SWEET POTATO FRIES

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. garlic granules
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Plain greek yogurt, for dipping

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 380 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Wash and slice your potato into fries.  Place the fries on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the garlic granules and sea salt.  Toss to coat and spread out evenly.  Bake in the oven for 35 minutes at 380 degrees.

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2.) Transfer to a plate, and season with more sea salt if needed.

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Serve with a dollop of plain greek yogurt on the side, or another dipping sauce of your choice.  They also stand alone just great too!

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FRIES!!!  You’re never know how good they are for you!  Enjoy! 🙂

Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins

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Okay, I get excited for just about any gluten free muffin recipe, but the fact that this recipe has some veggies in it as well has me beside myself!  These are SO good for you, and they are DELICIOUS!  They’ve got a perfect light and fluffy texture, and they have the perfect taste!  YUM!

Like I said, these guys have the added benefit that there are veggies in there – namely, carrots and zucchini!  The following pins show some of the health benefits of these two powerhouse veggies.

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You will think these muffins are too good to be true considering the fact that they have all these health benefits and they taste like a treat!

I am also including a little recipe for an almond lemon frosting.  This is optional, but it does go perfectly with this muffin!  I used goat cheese in it, but that’s because I really LOVE goat cheese!  You can use cream cheese, or you can leave the cheese out all together.

Alright, without further ado, here is the recipe, folks!

GLUTEN FREE CARROT ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

Ingredients:

For the muffins:

  • 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp. alcohol free vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

For the frosting

  • 2 Tbsp. goat cheese (or  3 Tbsp. cream cheese)
  • 4 Tbsp. smooth almond butter
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. alcohol free vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. honey

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin with coconut oil.

2.) In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.

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3.) In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients (eggs, honey, almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar)  and the shredded carrots and zucchini.

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4.) Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.

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5.) Fill your muffin tin with the batter (2/3 of the way full for each cup in the tin).  Place the muffins in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

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6.) While the muffins are baking, put your frosting together.  Place all of the frosting ingredients in a bowl and mix until completely combined and smooth.

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7.) When the muffins are done, remove from the muffin tin, and allow to cool.  Place a dollop of frosting on each muffin, if you are using the frosting.

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Yum, Yum, Yum!  You are going to love these!  Enjoy! 🙂

Homemade Pain Relieving Gel – Safe and Non-Toxic

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Last week, I woke up and realized that I am getting old!  Somehow, I managed to sleep wrong (is that even a thing?), and I woke with a major kink on the right side of my neck/trap muscle.  OUCH!  I tried stretching it, heating it with a grain bag, massaging it, etc. but it just wouldn’t give!

Because I had a busy day in front of me, I knew I needed something that could dull the pain while this thing calmed down.  I don’t do pain relievers such as ibuprofen unless it is a dire emergency, so I tried to think of something to use that would help throughout the day.  Icy hot/Ben Gay came to mind, but I wasn’t sure about the ingredients in them.  Thankfully, I knew about the EWG (Environmental Working Group) website.

The EWG website’s skin deep cosmetic guide is a great tool to figure out if any beauty product or ingredient is safe.  The following pin gives some useful facts and links to the website.

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I hopped on my computer and within a couple of minutes, I discovered that those Icy Hot/Ben Gay products aren’t too great…I’ve seen worse, but I knew I could do better.  I looked at the main ingredients, and saw menthol and camphor as a common ingredient.  Both of these have an excellent safety rating on the site so I figured why not make my own pain relieving cream/gel with these as my main ingredients?

Guess what?  It worked!!!  Both in that the recipe turned out great – it’s safe and non-toxic, and it helped to relieve my pain throughout the day as long as I reapplied as needed.  I am also happy to report that the kink finally let up a few days later, and I’m doing much better now.  I’m so glad that I now have this cream/gel recipe on hand for any future incidents that may arise!  It is perfect for runners as it will soothe away any soreness after a great workout!  Heck, it’s perfect for anyone that gets minor aches and pains here and there!

HOMEMADE SAFE AND NATURAL PAIN RELIEVING GEL

Ingredients (I made a small batch since I knew I would only need a little bit.  This recipe makes about 2 ounces of gel, but you can easily double or even triple the recipe to make more):

Directions:

1.) In a small sauce pan, completely melt the coconut oil and beeswax pellets over medium heat.  Remove from heat and add the camphor oil, eucalyptus oil, and menthol crystals.  Stir till completely dissolved. Pour into a glass container.

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2.) Allow to sit until it solidifies (About an hour or so).

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Rub into those painful areas an get ready for some sweet (and safe) relief! Enjoy! 🙂

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

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I don’t know about you, but I love Zucchini bread!  Not only for the taste, but also because it has ZUCCHINI, and zucchini has loads of health benefits, some of which are shown in the following pin!

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SO many health benefits!  This zucchini bread recipe is gluten free, and is so yummy!  It tastes great with a bit of soft goat cheese or almond butter spread on top.  I love that zucchini bread is still on the table even if you are gluten free!

GLUTEN FREE ZUCCHINI BREAD

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey
  • 2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of stevia
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • sprinkle of sea salt

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a bread pan and then line it with parchment paper hanging over the sides.

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2.) Place your shredded zucchini in a fine meshed sieve and put the sieve over a bowl.  Press down on the zucchini to get rid of as much moisture as possible.

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3.) In a large bowl, mash the banana.  Add the eggs, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla.  Stir until completely combined.  Stir in the coconut flour, cinnamon, stevia, baking soda, nutmeg, and sea salt.  Stir until completely combined and fairly smooth.  Stir in the zucchini.

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4.) Transfer to your prepared bread pan, and use a spoon to smooth the top.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.  Use the edges of the parchment paper to pull the bread out of the bread pan and place on a plate to cool.

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5.) Slice using a knife and serve!

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Yay!!!  It’s gluten free zucchini bread!!! YUM!  Enjoy! 🙂

Chopped Veggie Dill & Sardine Salad

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Alright, guys!  Once again, I am giving a shout out to sardines!  I know that every time I write a post with a sardine recipe, I go on and on about how fantastic these tiny guys are, but I only do this because it’s true!!!  The following pin links to a site that explains 20 health benefits of Sardines.

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Some of these benefits include the following.

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Helps relieve depression and anxiety
  • Helps control blood sugar
  • Prevents blood clots
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Promotes healthy brain function

And that’s only 6 in this list of 20, and the list of 20 is only 20 in the loads and loads of health benefits that this fish provides!  If you haven’t been convinced to try them with my past posts, then hopefully this salad will get you on the sardine bandwagon!

This salad is SO yummy!  Loaded with veggies, sardines, and a healthy dill dressing, the nutrition in this thing is out of this world!  Best part?  It’s a salad, so it’s beyond simple to make!

CHOPPED VEGGIE DILL & SARDINE SALAD

Ingredients – makes one salad…feel free to use more or less of a certain ingredient – it’s up to you!

  • 2 cups baby spinach, finely chopped.
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, cored and finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped red onion
  • 1 tin of boneless and skinless sardines (in water), drained
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • sea salt, to taste

Directions

1.) Layer your spinach, cucumber, tomato, and onion on a plate.  Toss to combine.

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2.) In a bowl, combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and dill.  Stir to combine.  Add the sardines to the bowl, and mash up with a fork.  Stir to combine.  Add the sardine and dill mixture to the salad.

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3.) Season with sea salt and mix well.

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You’ve gotta try this!!!  It’s SO yummy and SO good for you!  Enjoy! 🙂

Chicken and Veggies in a Flash

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If you follow my blog at all, you know that I normally cook with fresh produce.  However, every so often, I’ll either be too busy or just feeling a bit lazy, and I want something super easy and quick without having to sacrifice nutrition.  This recipe meets this criteria perfectly!

I was actually hesitant to post this, just because it’s SO easy and simple.  However, it tastes great, and it is perfect when you just don’t have a ton of time to prepare dinner, so I decided to go ahead and put it on here!

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Of course, fresh veggies are always best, but frozen veggies are a close second.  You may have heard that frozen dinners aren’t good for you because of all the additives, etc.  Well, you heard right!  Processed frozen dinners are not good, however frozen veggies are just veggies that have been frozen.  There’s no added ingredients to make them any less healthy (of course, some frozen veggie packages do include other ingredients, so always check the label), so they are perfect for when you don’t have fresh veggies on hand…Especially when they are organic!  As an extra bonus, they are usually pretty cheap, so they’re a great bargain.

One more thing – this is a one pan meal, so clean up is a cinch!  Okay, enough touting frozen veggies (or secretly justifying this super simple recipe, so I don’t feel silly for posting it)!  Let’s talk recipe!

CHICKEN AND VEGGIES IN A FLASH

Ingredients: makes 2 servings

  • 1 large boneless and skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 bag of frozen vegetable medley of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. of each: garlic granules, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, or you can just use 1 tsp. of Italian seasoning.
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.) In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the chicken, seasonings, and onion and cook until the chicken is cooked through (about 7-8 minutes).

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2.) Add the frozen vegetables and a small amount of water (about 1/4 cup) to the frying pan.  Cover and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are completely cooked.

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3.) Transfer to plates and season with sea salt and pepper.

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Told you it was embarrassingly easy!  But, hey, still super good for you and tastes delicious, and that’s what matters most!  Enjoy! 🙂

Zucchini and Veggie Fritters

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You guys are gonna love me for sharing this recipe!!!  I made these for breakfast the other morning, and they are to die for!  Plus, they are easy to make, and I don’t know about you, but I always like a nice easy breakfast since I’m not much of a morning person!

So, these fritters…not only are they so tasty, but they are also really good for you!  They are packed full of zucchini, peppers and green onion.  The following pins explain some awesome health benefits that each of these veggies provide!

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Yeah, so you’re getting all these health benefits in something that tastes amazing…ummmm, I’m sold!

ZUCCHINI AND VEGGIE FRITTERS

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated zucchini (about 3 small zucchinis shredded)
  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Plain greek yogurt

Directions

1.) Prepare your zucchini by shredding it, then place it in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl.  Sprinkle it with some sea salt and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.  After it has sat for that time, press down on the zucchini squeezing out as much moisture as possible.

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2.) In a medium mixing bowl, add the eggs and whisk until smooth.  Add the zucchini, bell pepper, onion, flour, thyme, paprika, and sea salt.  Stir to combine completely.

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3.) In a large frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil over medium heat.  Add three large spoonfuls of the mixture to the pan (the mixture should make about 8 fritters total), and flatten with a spatula.  Allow the fritter to cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, then use the spatula to flip the fritter to the other side and allow it to cook for another 2-3 minutes on that side.  Transfer to a plate.  Repeat this process, for the rest of the mixture, until you’ve made all your fritters.

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4.) Transfer your fritters to a plate and top with a dollop of plain greek yogurt, if desired.

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Ah!  My new favorite!  YUM!  Enjoy! 🙂