Tag Archives: healthy recipes

Don’t Like Zucchini? You Don’t Need to With This Sneaky Black Forest Smoothie

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie With Zucchini

Smoothies are ubiquitous these days. Really, everyone’s drinking them (yup, including me). I can see why; as long as you make them right, they’re a great way to get a double dose of fruits and veggies for breakfast or a snack. Of course, when you look at the ingredient list of some smoothie recipes, they’re more like dessert: loaded with fruit and then even more sweeteners. Really, you should not need to add honey, no matter how healthy you think honey is, to your smoothie if you have at least some fruit in it.

I have my go-to green smoothie recipe, which I’ll share one of these days, but recently I’ve been experimenting with other fruits, veggies, and flavors. Inspired by a sale on cherries and some leftover zucchini just about to go bad, today I thought a sneaky black forest smoothie might hit the spot. And sure enough it did. Continue reading

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It’s Easier Than You Think to Make Homemade Natural Peanut Butter

Homemade Peanut Butter

The first Whole Foods came to the Pittsburgh market in 2002, a few years after I moved to the area, so I remember the locals’ reaction. It was the first store of its kind in Pittsburgh, and it was quite the attraction for some time. And the one thing everyone marveled over was the nut butter grinder. “You can make your own ‘homemade’ peanut butter!” Amazing.

As a runner and plant-based eater, nuts are on my daily menu. They’re a great source of healthy fats and a good source of protein, and they’re calorie dense to replenish what I burn through exercise. Plus I use them as a stand-in for cheese atop salads and pastas, since they lend a similar richness (and saltiness, if you use salted varieties). Nut butters are also a delicious—never mind easy—dip for veggies like raw carrots and celery, which helps me fit even more vegetables into my day. Continue reading

Beet-Berry Smoothies Are a Sneaky Way to Add Vegetables to Your Breakfast

Beet-Berry Smoothie

After years of resistance, I’ve finally jumped on board the smoothie trend. In my ongoing attempt to eat healthier, I’ve found that smoothies are a sneaky way to have vegetables for breakfast and love them. Skeptical? So was I, but when you blend them with fruit or other flavorings, you really can barely taste the vegetables. (Notice I said “barely.” If you don’t want to taste them at all, you’re going to have to use added sweeteners, which I’m not down with, so “barely” is a good enough compromise for me.)

This beet-berry smoothie is an absolutely gorgeous color, thanks to the anthocyanins that lend both hue and health (preventing inflammation, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes). Beets also contain nitrate, which not only helps with heart disease but has been found to improve running performance. Veggies that make me a faster runner? Yes, please! Continue reading

Nutella and Bananas Marry Again, This Time in a Healthy Granola

Banana Nutella Granola

Like a beacon of light in a foggy night, World Nutella Day offers hope in the middle of a cold, gray winter.

(Can you tell I’ve had it up to here with snow and subfreezing temperatures?)

World Nutella DaySeriously, though, aside from the obvious tie-in with Valentine’s Day just over a week later, early February is the perfect time of year to celebrate all things chocolate and hazelnut. It’s far enough away from both New Year’s resolutions and summer bathing suit season that you can allow for a little indulgence. So grab a spoon and dig in, or make one of the many decadent recipes that Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso (the holiday’s sponsors) have compiled for the occasion. Continue reading

Squeeze Out the Last Bit of Summer With This Black Bean Salad

Black Bean, Corn, Red Pepper, and Avocado Salad

Even though there’s a good three weeks before the official start of fall, summer’s been winding down for a while now, and for most people, this weekend marks the end of the summer grilling season. If you’re hosting or attending one last cookout this weekend and looking for an extra side dish, have I got a salad for you. Continue reading

Combine Quinoa, Blueberries, and Greens for a Sweet-Savory Anti-Inflammatory Powerhouse

quinoa blueberry pistachio salad over greens

Although some might call quinoa a fad by now, it really has its place in an anti-inflammatory kitchen. It just so happens that the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has deemed 2013 the “International Year of Quinoa,” so I guess it’s doing something right.

It’s cooked and served as a grain, but quinoa is really a seed, and therein lies the secret to its nutritional value. Like most seeds, it contains everything needed to grow a new plant: it’s like the plant version of stem cells. According to the Year of Quinoa site, the seed has several advantages over traditional grains: it’s higher in protein, calcium, healthy fats, iron, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, and vitamins B2 and B3 than your everyday whole wheat. Continue reading

I Know It’s Been a While. But I’m Back Now.

kitchenLooking forward to sharing more of what I’ve been doing in here lately!

Yes, I’ve been away for a while. It’s been a number of compiling reasons, really. What started with a lack of time and good lighting this winter for food pictures turned into a lack of inspiration and focus.

You see, I decided to run a half-marathon this spring, so my winter weekends normally spent cooking and photographing were instead spent on long runs and recovering from long runs. Half-marathon day finally hit, but I ended up injuring myself and not having the race turn out the way I had wanted to. So my weekend long runs were then replaced with twice-weekly physical therapy sessions, and my nights previously occupied with web surfing for recipe inspiration were replaced with Google searches to educate myself about ITBS (that’s illotibial band friction syndrome) and performing the exercises I had learned in PT.

Then the more I realized how long it had been since I last blogged, the more performance anxiety I felt. “It’s been too long,” I’d tell myself. “I should have never let it go this long. What will I write or do now???” Continue reading