Honey Butternut Squash, Chicken, and Kale Dinner

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Oh my gosh!  This is pretty much the simplest dinner ever to put together, and yet it tastes SO good and is super filling!  The mixture of sage, garlic, and honey goes perfectly together with the flavors of butternut squash, onion, kale and chicken!  Oh, and by the way, I pretty much just listed practically all the ingredients in this thing…like I said, SIMPLE!

So, obviously this dish is simple and tasty, but it’s also so good for you, with you probably already gathered by looking at that ingredient list!  The two main ingredients in this is butternut squash and kale.  Both of which are crammed with nutrition!

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See?!  So good for you, plus the remaining ingredients are all incredibly healthy as well!  Basically, there’s nothing in this dish that doesn’t have some sort of health benefit!  Okay, so let’s get to the recipe!!!

HONEY BUTTERNUT SQUASH, CHICKEN, AND KALE DINNER

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 10 – 12 ounces boneless and skinless chicken breast
  • 3- 4 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 3/4 – 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 3-4 cups kale, rough stems removed and chopped
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. dried sage, divided
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. garlic granules, divided
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp. raw honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 380 degrees.  Place the chicken breast and butternut squash in a baking dish.  Drizzle with half of the olive oil, then sprinkle with half of the sage and half of the garlic granules.  Place in the oven and cook for  35 minutes at 380 degrees.

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2.) Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for 4 minutes.  Chop the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the pan.  Cook for an additional 4 minutes, browning the chicken. Add the kale and cook until completely wilted, about 2-3 minutes.

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3.) Add the butternut squash to the pan.  Sprinkle with the remaining sage and garlic granules.  Drizzle with the honey.  Season with sea salt, and stir to combine.

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4.) Transfer to plates to serve.

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SO good!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt & Tahini Brownies

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Ooey gooey chocolaty goodness in a healthy brownie! That’s right, a HEALTHY brownie! Wow are these things AMAZING!!! The two main ingredients in these brownies are raw cacao and tahini, and both of these have loads of health benefits! Just check out these pins explaining some of them!

cacao

tahini

On top of that, these guys are sweetened with raw honey, so we also get all the benefits of that little power sweetener (not to be confused with regular honey…it’s gotta be the raw stuff)!

honey

See?!? HEALTHY BROWNIES!!!  Another bonus? Gluten free and dairy free – yup, so if you have those sensitivities – these are still okay!

Now, about the taste…guys, I can’t even take how good these things are! I’ve never been a huge brownie person…I mean I like them (who doesn’t), but they’ve never been my go to when I’m craving something sweet…that is until now. OH MY GOSH, these things are delicious! I could seriously eat the whole pan…maybe I did…you’ll never know! 😉

Depending on if you like them a little more solid and chewy or a little more gooey and ooey, you can adjust the baking time accordingly! I like mine a little chewier, so I opted for a bit longer in the oven, but less time would definitely result in a softer and gooier brownie….nice thing is that there’s no eggs in there, so you can make them as gooey as you want! Heck, you can even just make the batter and dig in as is (I made sure to lick the bowl and spoon clean…SO good!). The sea salt is the PERFECT compliment to these things you get a sweet and salty punch of chocolate with every bite…seriously can’t tout these things enough!

DARK CHOCOLATE SEA SALT AND TAHINI BROWNIES

Ingredients: makes 6-12 brownies, depending on how large you like your brownies

  • 1 1/3 Tbsp. Ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 2/3 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raw cacao
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder (make sure it is aluminum free)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/3 tsp. sea salt, plus more for sprinkling on top

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 x 11 baking pan with parchment paper. Place your flaxseed and almond milk in a bowl, and whisk together. Set aside.

 

2.) Place the oats in a food processor, and process on high until they have a flour like consistency. In a medium bowl, sift together the oats, cacao, sea salt, and baking powder. Stir to combine thoroughly. Set aside.

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3.) In a small sauce pan, melt the coconut oil, honey, and tahini together. Once combined, slowly pour in the almond milk and flax mixture, stirring to combine completely.

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4.) Pour the contents of the sauce pan into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir to combine completely.

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5.) Use a spoon to spread the brownie mixture into the prepared pan so that it reaches the edges and is even on top. Sprinkle the top with sea salt. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes. Keep an eye on it to determine when it has reached your desired consistency.

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6.) Remove from the oven, and let cool completely in the pan. Cut into squares, and dig in!

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Um, yum. So. Freaking. Good. Enjoy! 🙂

 

Mixed Cabbage Cranberry Almond Cooked Salad

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My new favorite salad for sure!!!  This stuff is SO delicious that I get a little sad when I see that my plate is almost clean, because I know the flavor explosion is about to end.  And flavor explosion is the perfect description for this salad!  There’s a lot going on in this salad – onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, almonds, mint leaves, honey, dried cranberries, goat cheese…and of course, cabbage!  There’s so many different flavors going on here that your taste buds will be having a delicious party in your mouth!

A little about the main ingredient:

Cabbage is super good for you!  Both green and red cabbage have many different health benefits.  Thankfully, this salad has both varieties, so we get the health benefits of both!

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Between the cabbage and the other great ingredients in this salad, it is packed full of nutrition and health benefits!!!

MIXED CABBAGE ALMOND CRANBERRY SALAD

Ingredients: makes two servings

  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/3 head of green cabbage, chopped into thin slices
  • 1/3 head of red cabbage, chopped into thin slices
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (apple juice sweetened)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic granules
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. Raw honey
  • mint leaves for garnish
  • 2 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • sea salt for seasoning

Directions:

1.) Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat.  Add the almonds and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often, till lightly browned.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

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2.) Place the pan back on stove and reduce heat to medium.  Add the olive oil and onion to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the cabbages, garlic, and cranberries and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Add the garlic granules, apple cider vinegar, and water and cook for 5-7 minutes until the cabbage is tender.

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3.) Add the honey and the cooked almond slivers, and stir together.

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4.) Transfer to plates and top with the mint leaves and goat cheese.  Season with sea salt.

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Delicious, nutritious, and it looks beautiful too!  Enjoy! 🙂

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Squares

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Ready for a super yummy and healthy awesome autumn sweet treat?  I whipped up these pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal squares to have as a snack, and they turned out GREAT! These are perfect if you are craving something sweet, but want to stick to a healthy diet.  For starters, these guys are packed with pumpkin giving them all the awesome health benefits of pumpkin!

pumpkin

On top of that, these are sweetened with raw honey, and that means the whole slew of health benefits that raw honey contains are also in these squares.

honey

It’s because of all these health benefits that if I’m going to use a sweetener, I always turn to raw honey!

The nutrition of these bars don’t stop just at the pumpkin and raw honey!  There’s gluten free oats in there, coconut oil, cinnamon, and other great ingredients in there that are actually quite good for you.  So, even though these are a sweet treat, there’s plenty of awesome health benefits in there, which means you don’t have to feel bad about indulging a bit.

Another quick note – you can replace the chocolate chips with raisins or dried cranberries to make these a little healthier.  You can even take it a step further, and replace the chocolate chips with fresh blueberries, apples, or strawberries!

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL SQUARES

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs, and 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (liquid form)
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. chocolate chips (can use blueberries, raisins, walnuts, etc. in place of the chocolate chips if desired)

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease an 8 x 11 glass pan with coconut oil. Place all of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a medium mixing bowl, and stir to combine completely.

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2.) Fold in the chocolate chips to combine completely.

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3.) Place the mixture into the prepared glass pan, and spread out evenly.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 28 – 30 minutes until lightly browned.

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4.) Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut into squares, then transfer to a plate to serve.

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SO yummy!

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Enjoy! 🙂

Brussels, Carrot, Leek & Lentil Salad

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This salad is so so yummy, you guys! The main ingredients are in the title, so as you can see, it’s super duper healthy!

I love lentils – they make the perfect compliment to so many dishes, and they are loaded with health benefits as the following pin illustrates.

lentils

All those health benefits, and that’s only from one ingredient in this salad! The veggies in this dish add about a gazillion more health benefits, and the only other ingredients are garlic, olive oil, plain yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and a couple of spices! So, um, yeah, nutrition overload, right?

BRUSSELS, CARROT, LEEK & LENTIL SALAD

Ingredients: makes 1 large salad or 2-3 side dishes

  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus 1/2 tsp. for dressing
  • 1/2 pound brussels sprouts, finely chopped or shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 leek, chopped into long strips
  • 1/4 cup dry lentils
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp. basil
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. Hawaiian Jade Bamboo sea salt

Directions:

1.) Heat 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add the brussels, carrots, dried basil, and leeks. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables begin to sweat. Add the garlic clove and cook for 1 more minute.

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2.) Rinse and sort the lentils, then place them and the water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil.

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3.) Add the vegetables to the boiling lentils and water. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 25-30 minutes until the lentils are tender, and the water has cooked off. (It’s okay if there’s a little water still, just drain it off before transferring to a plate or bowl.)

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4.) While the lentils and veggies are cooking, make your dressing/sauce by adding the yogurt, 1/2 tsp. olive oil, sea salt, and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl. Stir to combine completely, then place in the refrigerator until the lentils and veggies are done cooking.

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5.) When the lentils and veggies are done cooking, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl or plate. Top with the yogurt sauce, and stir in to combine.

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Yum, YuM, YUM! Enjoy! 🙂

 

Non Toxic D.I.Y Hand Sanitizer

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HAPPY GLOBAL HAND WASHING DAY, GUYS!!!! (well…tomorrow)

Autumn is here, and now that we are living in the Midwest again, I am beyond excited to experience everything that my favorite season has to offer! That being said, a couple of things that tend to increase around this time of the year are colds and flu – not cool, guys!

Of course, one of the biggest preventatives of these bugs, along with many other diseases and illnesses is to wash your hands regularly. Did you know that October 15 is global hand washing day?!? Good timing for this post, huh? I decided to get a jump on it, and publish this the day before, so that you all could have this recipe to celebrate on the actual day! 😉

So, the question is, what to do when you’re out and about, and there’s no soap and water to wash your hands at a time when you need to (think porta-potties, being out in nature, etc)? Hand sanitizers are a great alternative, but the problem with that is that most store-bought hand sanitizers contain questionable ingredients at best, and downright dangerous ingredients at worst! Some of these ingredients to avoid in hand sanitizers and hand soaps are as follows:

  • Triclosan
  • SLS (Sodium Laurel Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate)
  • Parabens
  • DEA
  • Fragrance and Artificial Colors
  • Pthalates
  • Propylene Glycol

The list goes on and on, guys. These ingredients can be responsible for disrupting hormones, respiratory distress, skin rashes and reactions, allergies, immunotoxicity, organ system toxicity, neurotoxicity, and on and on…ugh! The following pin links to an article going into further detail of each of these ingredients to avoid in soaps and sanitizers.

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Okay, now that all that yuckiness is out of the way, on to the good news! Making your own hand sanitizer is really easy! The recipe I’ve come up with is actually great for moisturizing the skin, and it’s free of any toxic ingredients! Awesome!

NON TOXIC D.I.Y HAND SANITIZER

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol (If the rubbing alcohol concerns you, you can also use witch hazel in its place to make the recipe gentler and alcohol free, or you can even use vodka for a weaker alcohol in its place)
  • 3 Tbsp. aloe vera gel
  • 1 Tbsp. aloe vera oil
  • 1/4 tsp.colloidal silver (optional)
  • 8 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 7 drops lavender essential oil

Directions:

1.) Put all of the ingredients in a small bowl, and stir to combine completely.

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2.) Carefully pour the mixture into a small bottle container, cover and shake to combine even more. Anytime you need to sanitize your hands, apply a small amount onto your hands and rub in.

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Safe, non-toxic, moisturizing, and it works! Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, and any recipe for food, beauty products, cleaning products, or the like is not a means of diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure for any disease or condition, mental or physical, real or imaginary.

Veggie Packed Autumn Oatmeal

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If you are looking for a breakfast that screams “AUTUMN”, then this is it!  I took some of the “sweeter” autumn veggies (butternut squash, pumpkin, and carrots), and made a oatmeal breakfast that is surprisingly similar to pumpkin pie!  The only difference is that this stuff is SO good for you!  Check out the following pins explaining some of the health benefits that the veggies in this dish provide!

butternut squash

carrots

On top of that, the other ingredients (oatmeal, almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) are all great for you as well!  Trust me, you will love this stuff!  It makes for a perfect breakfast to start off your day!

AUTUMN OATMEAL

Ingredients (1 serving):

  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup almond milk, plus a little extra for topping
  • 1-2 cups butternut squash chopped into small bite size pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, plus a little extra
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, plus a little exttra
  • 1/2 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla
  • 1-2 Tbsp. almond butter
  • stevia, to taste

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 380 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a small bowl, toss the butternut squash and olive oil with a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, and stevia.  Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven at 380 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the squash is tender.

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2.) Heat 2/3 almond milk over medium high heat.  When it begins to bubble, add the oats and carrots.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the oatmeal is at its desired consistency.  Add the pumpkin puree and the almond butter.  Stir to combine. Remove from heat, and then add the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add stevia, to taste.

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3.) Add the roasted butternut squash and stir in.

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4.) Transfer to a bowl, and top with a bit of almond milk.

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Now get ready to have an explosion of autumn flavors in your mouth!  Enjoy! 🙂