Mint Rosemary Butternut Squash Lamb Bites

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Yay!  Another lamb recipe!!! I’ve discussed the health benefits of lamb before, and the following pin goes over some of them as well!

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Some of the benefits of lamb include the following:

  • Good source of a good form of selenium
  • Good source of other absorbable forms of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, B12, and iron
  • Fats in meat are excellent for the nervous system, particularly the brain
  • Good source of Carnitine and Taurine, both essential nutrients
  • Lamb and other meats are good for people with candida issues, which includes a large percentage of the population today

Some people don’t like the taste of lamb, and I know this, because I was one of those people initially.  However, with some practice preparing it and experimenting mixing it with other foods, spices, herbs, and flavorings, I am now a big fan!  I still keep it to once or twice a week max though.

Okay, so back to these bites!  Ahhhhh! This is my favorite lamb recipe yet – it is so yummy, and somehow it has a sweet and savory flavor to it…I think it’s because of the cinnamon I added in.  It actually makes for a great recipe to bring to a potluck or to have out on a warmer plate at a party for snacks.  At any rate, this recipe is one that I can confidently file under “highly recommend”!

MINT ROSEMARY BUTTERNUT SQUASH LAMB BITES

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 of a small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes (about 2-3 cups of cubed butternut squash)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 10 mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic granules, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss the butternut squash with the olive oil and 1/4 tsp. garlic granules.  Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees. When done, take out of the oven, transfer to a small/medium bowl, and use a masher to mash the butternut squash.

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2.) Transfer the mashed butternut squash to a medium mixing bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl, and mix together, using your hands, until completely combined. From the mixture, create balls that are about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Place them in the cups of a mini muffin tin.

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3.) Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until the bites are cooked through and the meat is browned and no longer pink.

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4.) Transfer to a plate, and serve with toothpicks to use to pick them up.

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Yummers!!!! Enjoy! 🙂

Cauliflower Poppers

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I ❤ Cauliflower!!!  I am just finding more and more recipes that cauliflower lends itself to! The best part?  It’s SO good for you!

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Pretty awesome, huh?  So, as I’m sitting here professing my love for this awesome veggie, I also get to share with you my latest cauliflower creation – Cauliflower Poppers!  These bite-size yummies make for an awesome healthy snack, and you can flavor them in so many different ways.  The recipe I’m going to share with you is just a basic recipe, but you could easily change the seasonings, or add in things like cheese, other veggies, or meat to turn them into whatever you would like!

I used italian seasoning and garlic granules as seasoning (along with a bit of sea salt), and I also added in some chopped red onion.  This concoction dipped in some marinara sauce tastes a bit like pizza!  I think next time, I may add in some cheese, olives, and tomatoes to make them even more pizza themed.  Really, you could make these into little curry bites, taco flavored bites…anything!  The possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to get creative!

CAULIFLOWER POPPERS

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower head (about 4 cups of cauliflower rice)
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. garlic granules

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wash your cauliflower, dry completely, chop into florets, and place the florets in a food processor.  Process on high to create a “cauliflower rice”.

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2.) Add the cauliflower rice, eggs, olive oil, garlic granules, italian seasoning, and onions to a large bowl.  Stir to combine completely.

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3.) Spray a mini muffin tin with olive oil.  Fill the tins with the cauliflower mixture.  Press into tin firmly so it is packed down and will set more easily.  Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes and the cauliflower is lightly browned.

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4.) Use a spoon to remove the cauliflower poppers from the muffin tin.

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YUM-O!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

Healthy Almond Yogurt Fruit Dip

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This fruit dip is now center stage in my dreams, because it’s that good!  I’m not even kidding, guys!  I threw this together the other day when I wanted something to dip my green apple in.  It only has 4 ingredients, and all you have to do is throw them together and stir – SO easy, right?  The two main ingredients are almond butter and plain greek yogurt, so there’s plenty of protein in there, and the two following pins list some of the other health benefits of these two awesome power foods!

PLAIN GREEK YOGURT

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ALMOND BUTTER

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As you can see, plenty of health benefits come from the ingredients in this dip!  That, along with the fact that it’s incredibly tasty make it an awesome companion for the fruit of your choice.  In full disclosure, I also eat it by the spoonful because it tasted like almond butter pie filling…seriously, it really is THAT GOOD!

HEALTHY ALMOND YOGURT FRUIT DIP

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp.  alcohol free vanilla
  • stevia, to taste

Directions

1.) Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and stir.  Start by adding a small amount of stevia, then taste and add more if desired.

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2.) Dip your favorite fruit in and snack away!

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YU-UM!  Enjoy! 🙂

Apple Walnut Parfait

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Yogurt is one of my favorite snacks!  It’s delicious.   Not only that, it’s great for you…that is, as long as you aren’t eating the sugar laden versions with little to no nutrition in them.  Stick to organic, plain, unsweetened yogurt with live active cultures, and you are eating a powerhouse of nutrition (My favorite is Stonyfield organic plain greek yogurt – yum)!  This pin lists some of the health benefits of yogurt.

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If the taste of plain yogurt is less than desirable to you, then you can add things to it to make it nice and tasty!  This apple walnut parfait is SO good!  It is one of my favorite things to eat, and I have it about 3-4 times per week…I could honestly eat it all day everyday, because it’s so delicious!

APPLE WALNUT PARFAIT

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic plain unsweetened yogurt with live and active cultures
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 small green apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. alcohol free vanilla (optional)
  • Pinch of stevia (optional)

Directions:

1.) If you wish to sweeten your yogurt a bit with the vanilla and stevia, Add the yogurt, vanilla, and stevia to a small bowl and stir to mix together.

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2.) In a cup, place one layer of 1/2 of the yogurt followed by a layer 1/2 of the apples and 1/2 of the walnuts.  Repeat this with the rest of the yogurt apples and walnuts.

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Super easy and healthy, this can serve as an afternoon snack, or a tasty breakfast!  Enjoy! 🙂

HEALTHY HOMEMADE GLUTEN FREE CRACKERS

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I came across a pin for homemade crackers on Pinterest.  The recipe looked delicious, and it got me to thinking how much I really enjoy crackers.  Here is the pin:

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The recipe called for regular flour, margarine, and cheddar cheese, none of which I eat – but don’t fear!  I have my own recipe for crackers and they are extremely healthy and good for you!  I am not sensitive to gluten, but these crackers are gluten free, so they are safe if you have gluten sensitivities.  The recipe is versatile, and you can make your crackers pretty much any flavor you desire.  This batch, I made rosemary garlic crackers with black olives, but you can just take the basic dough recipe and add whatever you would like.  Some different ideas could be:

  • plain with just a bit of sea salt
  • Cinnamon, honey, and stevia
  • garlic parmesan
  • garlic onion
  • rosemary
  • dill
  • chopped cherry tomatoes with mozzarella cheese basil and oregano
  • basil
  • cheese of your choice
  • thyme
  • sour cream and chive
  • vegetables finely chopped
  • nuts and seeds

These are just a few ideas – you can really flavor them however you would like which makes this a fun recipe to make!  You can even do different shapes if you would like!  It’s also great that it’s really easy and quick to make.  These make a great healthy snack, or you can combine them with your favorite soup or chili – YUM!

I’m going to give you the recipe I used, so it has rosemary, garlic, and black olives in it, but if you take those out, you have the basic dough recipe to play with.

HEALTHY HOMEMADE GLUTEN FREE CRACKERS

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal/almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/3 tsp. garlic powder
  • 7 black olives, finely chopped

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.) Place all ingredients in a food processor, and pulse on high until well combined and the mixture starts to form a ball.

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3.) Place the ball of dough on a piece of parchment paper.  Cover with another piece of parchment paper and use a roller to roll out the dough till it is about 1/8 inch thick, then take off the top layer of parchment paper.

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4.) Slide the parchment paper with the dough on it onto a baking sheet.  Score the cough into the shapes you would like your crackers to be.  Place in the oven and cook at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes till lightly golden and crispy.

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5.) When done, take out of the oven, let cool, then break apart along the score lines.

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6.) Store in an airtight container.

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Enjoy! 🙂

HOW TO MAKE PERFECT KALE CHIPS AND SOME HEALTH BENEFITS OF KALE

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The other day, I did a search on Pinterest for healthy foods, and of course, a lot of pins for kale came up!

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I really like Kale, and there are a lot of different ways to prepare it and incorporate it into some really yummy recipes!  This is great news, because kale is one of the healthiest foods you can put in your body.  Some of it’s health benefits include the following.

  • Weight management – One cup of kale has only 36 calories, and 0 grams of fat.  It has 5 grams of fiber making it excellent for aiding in digestion and elimination.
  • High in iron – Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.
  • High in vitamin K – Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers, and is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and blood clotting. Increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease as it promotes brain cells to be more resilient.
  • Filled with powerful antioxidants – Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
  • Strongly anti-inflammatory – One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
  • Cardiovascular support – kale can help lower cholesterol levels.
  • High in vitamin A – Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin, and it helps to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • High in vitamin C – Vitamin C is excellent for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.
  • High in calcium – calcium aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism.
  • Aids in detoxification – Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks!  There are many more health benefits.  Kale is considered a super food for a reason!

I decided I would share my recipe for kale chips with you, because I have tried SO many different recipes, and for the longest time, every recipe I tried would either end up burnt or soggy.  After some trial and error, I’ve finally found a perfect way to a perfect kale chip!

PERFECTLY PERFECT KALE CHIPS

Ingredients:

  • Kale
  • olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • dried herbs or spices of your choice – I usually just use a bit of garlic powder, but sometimes I add some dried basil or some rosemary, and once I did a bit of stevia and cinnamon out of curiosity – I was pleasantly surprised, Yum!

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2.) Wash Kale.  Cut leaves off thick stems and tear into pieces.  Let dry COMPLETELY (this is very important – when I make mine, I prepare the kale, then let it sit for about an hour to make sure it is completely dry).

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3.) When kale is completely dry, place in a bowl, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, sprinkle with a small amount of herbs and sea salt, and toss to coat evenly – it’s okay to use your hands to mix as well.

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4.) Line a baking sheet with wax paper.  Put kale on baking sheet distributed evenly.

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5.) Now for the secret part!  When your oven is completely heated to 425 degrees, place the baking sheet in the oven and then TURN THE OVEN OFF!  Keep the kale in the oven for 17-20 minutes.  Your chips will come out perfect!

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6.) Transfer to a bowl and snack away!

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Perfectly crisp and delicious – oh yeah, and it’s beyond healthy too!  Enjoy! 🙂

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