Roasted Vegetable Soup

I am always looking for different and creative ways to integrate vegetables into my family’s diet. (With a 6- and 8-year-old at home, I’ve discovered that I need to somehow keep veggies interesting). This Roasted Vegetable Soup recipe incorporates 8 fresh vegetables and simple herbs to create one amazing combination. Roasting the veggies before pureeing brings out their sweetness and intensifies their natural and delicious flavors.

I find that this soup hits the spot after a few weeks of indulging during the holidays. It’s a great recipe to take with you into the New Year!

Roasted Veg2 1200x1200  Roasted Vegetables 1200x1200  Roasted Carrots 1200x1200Roasted Veg Soup in Pot 1200x1200Roasted Vegetable Soup Photo

Roasted Vegetable Soup
Servings
4
Servings
4
Roasted Vegetable Soup
Servings
4
Servings
4
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the vegetables in ¼ x ¼ x 2 inch pieces and place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Note: you will need several baking sheets to accommodate all the vegetables. The sweet potatoes often take longer than the other vegetable so make sure to place them on their own tray.)
  3. Roast the vegetable for approximately 25 minutes at 400 degrees, turning once. Increase temperature to 425 degrees and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine vegetable broth and roasted vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a high-speed blender and puree in batches. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped basil and serve.
Share this Recipe

Gluten-Free Blondies

By using all-purpose white flour alternatives (like rice flour and coconut flour) you can create a gluten-free crave-worthy dessert. These Blondies may be just what you need to satisfy that sweet-tooth without going overboard.

IMG_4635 blondies Close upSingle Blondie

Gluten-Free Blondies
Servings
12
Servings
12
Gluten-Free Blondies
Servings
12
Servings
12
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium-large bowl, combine butter, oil, and sugar and blend until creamy. Add vanilla and eggs and mix until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Once combined, add dry mixture to batter mixture and fold in chocolate chips. Place in a non-stick 9x9 pan and bake for 20-24 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean and top is golden brown.
Share this Recipe

Almond Crusted Chicken Breast

It’s sometimes challenging to get my young kids to eat a healthy chicken meal. Like most kids, they tend to prefer fried chicken nuggets; so when I place a standard grilled chicken breast on their plates, I brace myself for complaints. Having this in mind, I tasked myself with creating a delicious chicken recipe that the whole family will enjoy while still providing nutritional benefits.

This crispy almond crusted chicken uses a splash of extra-virgin olive oil (eliminating the need for butter or peanut oil) and skips the white flour that is standard in most recipes. The end result is a gluten-free, nutty-tasting chicken that’s awesome on its own or atop a bed of greens. Feel free to add your favorite veggies, squash, or grains to create a heartier meal.

Almond Crusted Chicken in Pan 1200x1200 Almond Crusted Chicken with Snap peas Almond Crusted Chicken over spinach close

Almond Crusted Chicken Breast
Servings
4
Servings
4
Almond Crusted Chicken Breast
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, oat flour, paprika, onion powder, oregano, salt and garlic powder and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and set aside.
  3. Pound the chicken to an even thickness (about ½ inch) by placing the breasts between 2 plastic bags or sheets of plastic wrap and hitting the thick part of the chicken with a flat meat pounder or rolling pin.
  4. Dip the chicken breasts into the egg mixture. After dipping chicken into the egg, dip into the dry mixture so that it is evenly covered.
  5. In a deep skillet, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Time will depend on the thickness of the chicken.
Share this Recipe

Healthy Holiday Gift Guide: 15+ Items to Set You Up for a Healthy New Year!

Wish lists and holiday gifts are heavily circulating between friends and family this time of year. With less than a month of shopping left, it’s crunch time!

I put together a list of healthy living products that are currently on my wish list as well as items I’ve grown to love and use often. All of the products on this list will help you kick off the New Year in a healthy and happy way (perhaps getting us one step closer to achieving our ‘healthy’ New Year’s Resolution).

I hope the guide will help you as you develop your wish list, or help you when shopping for that someone special.

ARTISANAL BAMBOO SALT CHEST ($130)
I love experimenting with different salts while cooking. Even just a pinch of salt can make a big difference in the flavor of a dish. Most of my recipes in The Healthy You Diet cookbook includes salt and pepper as I think it adds just the perfect touch. So when I came across the Artisanal Bamboo Salt Chest (including 24 varieties from around the world), I was super excited! Having a wide assortment of spices can satisfy any mood or craving and make for a memorable meal!

HHGG_Salt Chest

Photo credit: Uncommongoods.com

 

BREVILLE JUICE FOUNTAIN PLUS ($150)
As you probably know, I love to juice in the mornings. Since sharing several juice recipes from my cookbook, I often get the question “What kind of juicer to you use?” Buying a juicer can be quite confusing, and quite frankly daunting, as there are so many different kinds at a wide variety of prices. I have tried many different brands of juicers over the years, but recently started using the Breville Juice Fountain Plus, which I absolutely love! It does everything on my check list. If you are in the market for a juicer, I suggest reading as many reviews as possible. Also, if you are interested in a Breville, I found the comparison guide on Amazon very helpful!

HHGG_Breville Juice Fountain

Photo credit: amazon.com

 

SODASTREAM (starting at $80)
I am a BIG proponent of drinking lots of water throughout the day. But I know that water can sometimes get boring and often suggest adding fruit or veggies (like cucumber, lemon, lime, etc). I also love ordering sparkling water while dining out — it tastes good and makes water more interesting! The more interesting it is, the more you’ll drink. So you can imagine how excited I was to stumble upon SodaStream. With a touch of a button, SodaStream allows you to turn tap water into sparkling water in an instant. Their slogan, “water made exciting” is the perfect way to sum it up! Not sure which sparkling water making is right for you? Compare their models here.

sodastream

Photo credit: sodastreamusa.com

COOKING LIGHT SUBSCRIPTION ($18)
Cooking Light is my all-time favorite magazine! I get so excited when it comes in the mail and I read it cover-to-cover immediately. I keep recent copies on hand as I refer to them often. Cooking Light offers everything from healthy and fast recipes for the novice to more skilled, detailed recipes for the veteran chef. It also provides decorating inspiration, beauty and fitness tips and travel and entertaining ideas. Everything you could ever want in one place!

HHGG_Cooking Light

Photo credit: cookinglight.com

 

EPICUREAN CUTTING BOARD ($11.95 – $34.95)
I currently own a bamboo cutting board that has to be hand washed. Then I stumbled upon this dishwasher-safe cutting board that immediately went on my wish-list. This Epicurean Cutting Board is a wood-fiber composite that is often used in commercial kitchens. The best part? The wood-fiber composite won’t harbor bacteria, absorb unwanted flavors or odors or dull your knives!

Epicurian Cutting Board

Photo credit: william-sonoma.com

 

FITBIT FLEX ($99.95)
Fitbit’s holiday slogan: “Small gifts. Big impact”. I couldn’t agree more. This is a trending item for this year’s holiday season and definitely on my wish list. I love the idea of wirelessly tracking my everyday activity including steps walked, distance, calories burned, active minutes, and sleeping patterns (all from wearing a conspicuous wrist band!). It also allows you to set goals and syncs your stats wirelessly so you can see your real-time progress on your computer or wireless devices. How cool is that?!? This is just the thing to make me a little more mindful of my everyday activity and the motivation I need to keep me moving.

HHGG_Fitbit2

Photo credit: amazon.com

 

GREEN HERBAL TEA KIT ($40)
Once the kids are asleep, I love winding down after a long day with a cup of hot herbal tea. I agree with UncommonGoods.com when they say, “waiting for the tea to steep gives your mind a moment to rest.” In this tea kit, there is a wide varity of flavors and every herb is labeled with its unique blend of health benefits. The kit comes with reusable tea bags, but if you are looking for a tea infuser to go along with it, Teavana has a great selection.

HHGG_Herbal Tea

Photo credit: Uncommongoods.com

KITCHINAID ARTISAN 5-QUART STAND MIXER (prices vary)
The KitchenAid Artisan Series Mixer is every cook’s dream. With 10 speeds and the option for additional attachments (food grinders, pasta makers and more), this appliance mixes, kneads and whips, making any recipe a breeze! The “legendary” KitchenAid mixer has been on my wish list for awhile now – perhaps 2013 is my year for it!

HHGG_KitchenAid

Photo caption: KitchenAid.com

 

MOLCAJETE ($34.95)
The Mexican molcajete is handcarved tool made of natural volcanic stone. The molcajete is used for grinding herbs and spices and blending sauces and pastes. What do I want to use it for? Fresh guacamole! Not only does it make a perfect guacamole, but the presentation at a gathering or party is like no other! (Molcajete comes with instructions for seasoning the stone prior to use).

HHGG_molcajete

Photo credit: crateandbarrel.com

 

WILLIAM-SONOMA SMART TOOLS FOR iPAD ($199.95)
Exclusive to William-Sonoma, this gadget makes it easy for you to read recipes and follow while in the kitchen, watch cooking videos, listen to music and even video chat. This three-piece set includes a Bluetooth speaker, stand for iPad (can hold device horizontally or vertically), and screen shield (items are also sold separately). Efficiency and entertainment in one cool device – yes please!

HHGG_WS Smart Tool

Photo credit: william-sonoma.com

 

THE HEALTHY YOU DIET ($14.95)

You know I had to :) Start the year off with inspiration for eating healthier and cleaner. The Healthy You Diet is jam packed with tips for eating well and ultimately leading a healthier lifestyle. The book also includes a two week meal plan and amazing recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

HYD_ribbon

DEAR SANTA! (STOCKING STUFFERS):

Growing up, my favorite part of Christmas was opening up my stocking first thing in the morning. And truth be told, it still is! Here are some great stocking stuffers to keep with our healthy holiday gift theme.

HHGG_Portable Spices

FOODIE SURVIVAL KIT ($26)
Although labeled as a ‘mobile’ kit, I’m not sure I would personally travel with this in my purse. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I would however, love to have this variety of spices in my kitchen cabinet for easy access while cooking. I love the size of the containers and the easy stack display. This would also make a great host/hostess gift!

 

SPONGESTER ($28) HHGG_Spongester2
The kitchen sponge is one of my biggest concerns when cleaning up after a meal. The “Spongester” by uncommongoods.com seems like a great solution!  It offers to shelves – one for the “good sponge” (for counters and dishes) and the “evil sponge” (for sink and drain). Love this idea!

 

HHGG_bobble copy

BOBBLE BPA FREE WATER BOTTLE ($9.99 – $12.99)
The bobble is a reusable bottle that filters water as you drink by its replaceable carbon filter. The carbon filter removes chlorine and organic contaminants. As you know, I am a big proponent of drinking water all day long. This allows you to fill up anywhere and drink filtered water on the go.

 

HHGG_Wine Stoppers

PERSONALIZED WINE STOPPERS (SET OF 2, $19.50)
This mango wood and iron wine stopper is beautiful and will be used again and again. It can also be monogrammed to make it more personal. (Also great as a housewarming gift)

 

AVOCADO TOOLS ($9.95 – $17.95)
I am convinced these tools would be some of the most used in my house. With as many avocados as I eat, I am always looking for the easiest way to cut, pit and slice them. I think I found my answer! (Tools found at Williams-Sonoma and Crate&Barrel)

 HHGG_3-in-1-avocado-toolHHGG_Avocado Cuber

 

 

Cranberry-Oat Cookies

These wheat- and dairy-free cookies are the perfect balance of sweet and tart. Although I prefer them for a mid-day snack or after dinner treat, the healthy ingredients make them a perfect choice for breakfast as well.

I’ve always found cooking to be more enjoyable when I get everything ready in advance this way I’m not constantly running back and forth between my pantry and kitchen cabinets. If you cook or bake regularly, I’m sure you’ve heard the term “mise en place” which means everything in its place. It truly helps even the most seasoned cook.

After looking over my recipe I gather all the tools I need and then proceed to measure out all the ingredients. Doing so may dirty a few more dishes but the added ease this method brings is worth it.

Mise en place_Cookies 1200x1200 Cranberry Cookie Ingredients 1200x1200

I love these cookies, especially this time of year when I tend to crave the sweet (yet tart) treats. These definitely satisfy the cravings while still leaving me feeling light.

Cranberry Oat_tray 1200x1200  Cranberry Oat 1200x1200

Cranberry-Oat Cookies
Servings
20-24cookies (depending on size)
Servings
20-24cookies (depending on size)
Cranberry-Oat Cookies
Servings
20-24cookies (depending on size)
Servings
20-24cookies (depending on size)
Ingredients
Servings: cookies (depending on size)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together the oats, oat flour, cinnamon, xanthan gum, baking soda and sea salt and set aside.
  2. In a medium-large bowl whisk together the coconut palm sugar, coconut oil, egg and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until combined. Gently fold in cranberries.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a small ice cream scoop or spoon, transfer the batter to your cookie sheet. If desired, flatten cookies slightly with the palm of your hand or the back of the ice cream scoop or spoon, as these cookies will only spread slightly.
  5. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. (Makes 20 – 24 cookies depending on size)
Share this Recipe

Crave-Worthy Salmon Stir-Fry

I love the fresh flavors that come together in a stir-fry. In this particular version, I use salmon, broccoli, snow peas, carrots, water chestnuts, and spinach. But the beauty of stir-fry is that you can substitute nearly any vegetable for another. Shop your local farmers market for the season’s best and add or substitute as you please.

Salmon Stir Fry in Pot   Salmon Stir Fry 2 Forks

Salmon Stir-Fry
Servings
2
Servings
2
Salmon Stir-Fry
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Marinade
Stir-Fry
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine sesame oil, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper in a large glass bowl. Add the salmon to the mixture and let marinade for approximate 10 minutes.
  2. While the salmon is marinating, place a collapsible steamer in a wide saucepan with tight-fitting lid and add enough cold water to almost come up to the bottom of the steamer. Cover the saucepan and bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat to create a head of steam.
  3. Add the broccoli, snow peas, and carrots to the steamer. Cover the saucepan tightly again and lower the heat so the water simmers to maintain steam. Steam the vegetables until they are done to your liking. Using a potholder, grab the central stem and remove the steamer. Transfer the vegetables to a dish and set aside.
  4. Remove salmon from marinade (reserve the marinade) and cut into bite size pieces. In a large skillet or stir-fry pan, heat olive oil and reserved marinade on medium-high heat. Add salmon, water chestnuts, and tamari. Cook until salmon is partly done, approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Add steamed vegetables, spinach, and ¼ cup water to the skillet. Stir, cover, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Share this Recipe

Healthy Holiday Gift Guide: 15+ Items to Set You Up for a Healthy New Year!

Wish lists and holiday gifts are heavily circulating between friends and family this time of year. With less than a month of shopping left, it’s crunch time!

I put together a list of healthy living products that are currently on my wish list as well as items I’ve grown to love and use often. All of the products on this list will help you kick off the New Year in a healthy and happy way (perhaps getting us one step closer to achieving our ‘healthy’ New Year’s Resolution).

I hope the guide will help you as you develop your wish list, or help you when shopping for that someone special.

ARTISANAL BAMBOO SALT CHEST ($130)
I love experimenting with different salts while cooking. Even just a pinch of salt can make a big difference in the flavor of a dish. Most of my recipes in The Healthy You Diet cookbook includes salt and pepper as I think it adds just the perfect touch. So when I came across the Artisanal Bamboo Salt Chest (including 24 varieties from around the world), I was super excited! Having a wide assortment of spices can satisfy any mood or craving and make for a memorable meal!

HHGG_Salt Chest

Photo credit: Uncommongoods.com

 

BREVILLE JUICE FOUNTAIN PLUS ($150)
As you probably know, I love to juice in the mornings. Since sharing several juice recipes from my cookbook, I often get the question “What kind of juicer to you use?” Buying a juicer can be quite confusing, and quite frankly daunting, as there are so many different kinds at a wide variety of prices. I have tried many different brands of juicers over the years, but recently started using the Breville Juice Fountain Plus, which I absolutely love! It does everything on my check list. If you are in the market for a juicer, I suggest reading as many reviews as possible. Also, if you are interested in a Breville, I found the comparison guide on Amazon very helpful!

HHGG_Breville Juice Fountain

Photo credit: amazon.com

 

SODASTREAM (starting at $80)
I am a BIG proponent of drinking lots of water throughout the day. But I know that water can sometimes get boring and often suggest adding fruit or veggies (like cucumber, lemon, lime, etc). I also love ordering sparkling water while dining out — it tastes good and makes water more interesting! The more interesting it is, the more you’ll drink. So you can imagine how excited I was to stumble upon SodaStream. With a touch of a button, SodaStream allows you to turn tap water into sparkling water in an instant. Their slogan, “water made exciting” is the perfect way to sum it up! Not sure which sparkling water making is right for you? Compare their models here.

sodastream

Photo credit: sodastreamusa.com

COOKING LIGHT SUBSCRIPTION ($18)
Cooking Light is my all-time favorite magazine! I get so excited when it comes in the mail and I read it cover-to-cover immediately. I keep recent copies on hand as I refer to them often. Cooking Light offers everything from healthy and fast recipes for the novice to more skilled, detailed recipes for the veteran chef. It also provides decorating inspiration, beauty and fitness tips and travel and entertaining ideas. Everything you could ever want in one place!

HHGG_Cooking Light

Photo credit: cookinglight.com

 

EPICUREAN CUTTING BOARD ($11.95 – $34.95)
I currently own a bamboo cutting board that has to be hand washed. Then I stumbled upon this dishwasher-safe cutting board that immediately went on my wish-list. This Epicurean Cutting Board is a wood-fiber composite that is often used in commercial kitchens. The best part? The wood-fiber composite won’t harbor bacteria, absorb unwanted flavors or odors or dull your knives!

Epicurian Cutting Board

Photo credit: william-sonoma.com

 

FITBIT FLEX ($99.95)
Fitbit’s holiday slogan: “Small gifts. Big impact”. I couldn’t agree more. This is a trending item for this year’s holiday season and definitely on my wish list. I love the idea of wirelessly tracking my everyday activity including steps walked, distance, calories burned, active minutes, and sleeping patterns (all from wearing a conspicuous wrist band!). It also allows you to set goals and syncs your stats wirelessly so you can see your real-time progress on your computer or wireless devices. How cool is that?!? This is just the thing to make me a little more mindful of my everyday activity and the motivation I need to keep me moving.

HHGG_Fitbit2

Photo credit: amazon.com

 

GREEN HERBAL TEA KIT ($40)
Once the kids are asleep, I love winding down after a long day with a cup of hot herbal tea. I agree with UncommonGoods.com when they say, “waiting for the tea to steep gives your mind a moment to rest.” In this tea kit, there is a wide varity of flavors and every herb is labeled with its unique blend of health benefits. The kit comes with reusable tea bags, but if you are looking for a tea infuser to go along with it, Teavana has a great selection.

HHGG_Herbal Tea

Photo credit: Uncommongoods.com

KITCHINAID ARTISAN 5-QUART STAND MIXER (prices vary)
The KitchenAid Artisan Series Mixer is every cook’s dream. With 10 speeds and the option for additional attachments (food grinders, pasta makers and more), this appliance mixes, kneads and whips, making any recipe a breeze! The “legendary” KitchenAid mixer has been on my wish list for awhile now – perhaps 2013 is my year for it!

HHGG_KitchenAid

Photo caption: KitchenAid.com

 

MOLCAJETE ($34.95)
The Mexican molcajete is handcarved tool made of natural volcanic stone. The molcajete is used for grinding herbs and spices and blending sauces and pastes. What do I want to use it for? Fresh guacamole! Not only does it make a perfect guacamole, but the presentation at a gathering or party is like no other! (Molcajete comes with instructions for seasoning the stone prior to use).

HHGG_molcajete

Photo credit: crateandbarrel.com

 

WILLIAM-SONOMA SMART TOOLS FOR iPAD ($199.95)
Exclusive to William-Sonoma, this gadget makes it easy for you to read recipes and follow while in the kitchen, watch cooking videos, listen to music and even video chat. This three-piece set includes a Bluetooth speaker, stand for iPad (can hold device horizontally or vertically), and screen shield (items are also sold separately). Efficiency and entertainment in one cool device – yes please!

HHGG_WS Smart Tool

Photo credit: william-sonoma.com

 

THE HEALTHY YOU DIET ($14.95)

You know I had to :) Start the year off with inspiration for eating healthier and cleaner. The Healthy You Diet is jam packed with tips for eating well and ultimately leading a healthier lifestyle. The book also includes a two week meal plan and amazing recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

HYD_ribbon

DEAR SANTA! (STOCKING STUFFERS):

Growing up, my favorite part of Christmas was opening up my stocking first thing in the morning. And truth be told, it still is! Here are some great stocking stuffers to keep with our healthy holiday gift theme.

HHGG_Portable Spices

FOODIE SURVIVAL KIT ($26)
Although labeled as a ‘mobile’ kit, I’m not sure I would personally travel with this in my purse. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I would however, love to have this variety of spices in my kitchen cabinet for easy access while cooking. I love the size of the containers and the easy stack display. This would also make a great host/hostess gift!

 

SPONGESTER ($28) HHGG_Spongester2
The kitchen sponge is one of my biggest concerns when cleaning up after a meal. The “Spongester” by uncommongoods.com seems like a great solution!  It offers to shelves – one for the “good sponge” (for counters and dishes) and the “evil sponge” (for sink and drain). Love this idea!

 

HHGG_bobble copy

BOBBLE BPA FREE WATER BOTTLE ($9.99 – $12.99)
The bobble is a reusable bottle that filters water as you drink by its replaceable carbon filter. The carbon filter removes chlorine and organic contaminants. As you know, I am a big proponent of drinking water all day long. This allows you to fill up anywhere and drink filtered water on the go.

 

HHGG_Wine Stoppers

PERSONALIZED WINE STOPPERS (SET OF 2, $19.50)
This mango wood and iron wine stopper is beautiful and will be used again and again. It can also be monogrammed to make it more personal. (Also great as a housewarming gift)

 

AVOCADO TOOLS ($9.95 – $17.95)
I am convinced these tools would be some of the most used in my house. With as many avocados as I eat, I am always looking for the easiest way to cut, pit and slice them. I think I found my answer! (Tools found at Williams-Sonoma and Crate&Barrel)

 HHGG_3-in-1-avocado-toolHHGG_Avocado Cuber