Light and Healthy Summer Dinner: Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

Everyone loves tacos, but unfortunately they aren’t always the healthiest food to fuel our body. But have no fear! We love finding new ways to make some of our classic favorites into lighter options. Today we’re looking at a healthier alternative for some yummy tacos using lettuce instead of the usual tortilla and taco shell and ground turkey instead of beef. Still as delicious as ever, just with a bit healthier twist!

Image Source: Cooking Classy

Image Source: Cooking Classy

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • ¾ cup of chopped yellow onions
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • ½ cup of tomato sauce
  • ½ cup of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 pound of 95% lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1  teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Iceberg/Romaine lettuce leaves doubled up

Some additional/optional toppings are:

  • Shredded Mexican cheese
  • Diced roma tomatoes
  • Diced red onion
  • Diced avocado
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Light sour cream
Image Source: Cooking Classy

Image Source: Cooking Classy

Start by heating up the olive oil in a non stick skillet on medium-high heat. Next, add the onions and saute them for two minutes. Then add the turkey and garlic, season this with salt and pepper. Cook this, occasionally tossing and breaking up the turkey until it’s cooked through, which should be around 5 minutes! Add the chili powder, chicken broth, cumin, tomato sauce, and paprika. Reduce this to a simmer and cook it for about 5 more minutes until the sauce has reduced. Serve this over the lettuce leaves and top it whatever you want to enjoy!

The Healthier Alternatives To Your Favorite Foods

IMAGE SOURCE: @LIFE.OF.CHA

IMAGE SOURCE: @LIFE.OF.CHA

Our favorite foods tend to be full of unhealthy sugars, fats, and carbs, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are tons of healthier alternatives to our favorite foods that taste as good and are full of the nutrients we need. To help you lead a healthier lifestyle, we are sharing our favorite alternatives to otherwise unhealthy foods that you can implement into your every day routine!


Pasta Alternatives

Most pastas are made of starchy grains with low nutrition value, and it takes more than the recommended portion size to fill you up. So, to make sure you are eating more vitamins and minerals, we love using zoodles (zucchini noodles), spiraled beets, or spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Zucchini is full of vitamins A and C, is low in calories, and has many essential minerals. Beets are full of folate and vitamin C, and is known for its anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties. Spaghetti squash is high in Vitamins A and B-6 and is very low in carbs and calories. Click the images below for our favorite zoodle, beet spiral, and spaghetti squash recipes!


Red & Fatty Meat Alternatives

Red meats are high in iron, B-12, and protein; however, too much red meat can lead to heart disease because of it's fat high content. To help reduce the amount of red meat you consume, we have come up with three delicious alternatives! Tofu is a staple in the vegetarian world. Tofu is made of soybeans and contains all the essential amino acids you need! It soaks up the flavors of sauces extremely well and can be used in many different ways. Jackfruit is used heavily in vegan recipes and is native to India. It's texture is similar to cooked chicken, and is readily available in canned form. Fish is our favorite alternative to red meat for those of you who are not vegetarian. Fish is full of healthy fats, is tasty, and there are so many different kinds and ways to prepare it!


Sugar & Sweetener Alternatives

Refined sugars, such as sugar from cane or sugar beets, are high in calories and can become extremely addictive. Limiting the amounts of refined sugars we eat can help boost metabolism, burn more fat, and lower risk of sugar related diseases like diabetes. Our favorite alternatives to refined sugars are natural sugars such as coconut sugar, stevia, maple syrup, honey, or dates! Next time you reach for a sugar packet to put in your coffee, try adding coconut sugar or honey instead. Dates are perfect for sweetening soups and sauces, just puree a few and add to your recipe while cooking!


Rice Alternatives

Like pasta, rice is healthy when eaten in correct portion sizes, but in excess is high in calories and carbohydrates. To add more nutrition to your rice-based dishes, we want to introduce you to the growingly popular alternatives: cauliflower rice and quinoa. Cauliflower rice can be tedious to make at home, so for on the go or quick meals pick up a bag of frozen cauliflower rice at your local grocery store. Cauliflower rice is great at absorbing liquids such as curry and adds lots of nutrients to your dish like vitamin C and K, folate, and omega-3. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein and fiber. It comes in a few varieties and colors and is super easy to make. You can even make a large batch and store in the refrigerator!


Those Pesky Sweet Cravings Alternatives

Sweet cravings are wrench in anyone's healthy lifestyle. We all get them and we all cave. To help you make healthier decisions when it comes to your sweet cravings, we have a few alternatives that will kick cravings in the butt! Pickles, believe it or not, are a great craving quencher. Pickles, an other fermented foods, increase the immune system which helps regulate appetite and reduce sugar cravings. And at 5 calories per pickle, you can manage to indulge a little. Try to buy pickles with little added sugars (look near the deli refrigerators instead of down the condiment aisle). Fruit is an obvious alternative, because it is naturally sweet (think natural sugars over processed sugars), and is full of antioxidants and vitamins. If you want chocolate, try eating a few pieces of dark chocolate. Most dark chocolate bars have yummy and healthier flavor options such as orange or ginger! Got soda cravings? Try zero calorie seltzers. Seltzers satisfy your carbonation craving and come in a variety of sweet, but no sugar added, flavors.


Dessert Hummus Is The Healty Treat You Deserve

IMAGE SOURCE: @DELIGHTEDBYDESSERTHUMMUS

IMAGE SOURCE: @DELIGHTEDBYDESSERTHUMMUS

The worst part about eating healthy is having to say no to dessert. Lucky for you, we have found a must try healthy dessert-- dessert hummus! Like regular hummus, dessert hummus is made with chickpeas, but this treat has sweet flavor profiles like chocolate, vanilla bean, and cake batter. Here are a few of our favorite dessert hummus recipes; just process all ingredients in a food processor or blender for 30-45 seconds until smooth!


IMAGE SOURCE: THE WANNABE CHEF

IMAGE SOURCE: THE WANNABE CHEF

SNICKERDOODLE

  • 2 cups of chickpeas, drained and washed
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • cinnamon sugar for garnish

IMAGE SOURCE: DON'T WASTE THE CRUMBS

IMAGE SOURCE: DON'T WASTE THE CRUMBS

CAKE BATTER

  • 1½ cups chickpeas, drained and washed
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 1-2 tbsp. milk
  • sprinkles for garnish

IMAGE SOURCE: REAL SIMPLE

IMAGE SOURCE: REAL SIMPLE

CHOCOLATE

  • 1½ cups chickpeas, drained and washed
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp. tahini
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tbsp. water

If you don’t have time to make dessert hummus, check out Delighted By Hummus for pre-made deliciousness!

 

Keep Your New Year's Resolution With This Healthy Pizza Alternative!

IMAGE SOURCE: OUR BEST BITES

IMAGE SOURCE: OUR BEST BITES

Everyone love pizza, but if you have been successfully sticking to your New Year’s resolutions it probably isn’t on the menu. Lucky for you, we have a delicious healthy alternative to that pizza you are craving! This recipe uses cauliflower as a crust and yummy veggies and low fat meat as toppings! So get cooking!


CAULIFLOWER CRUST PIZZA

FOR THE CRUST Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse the florets from 1 medium sized cauliflower in a food processor to a fine snowy powder (you should have about 2 1/2 cups). Transfer the processed cauliflower to a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Microwave until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a clean, dry kitchen towel and allow to cool.

When cool enough to handle, wrap the cauliflower in the towel and wring out as much moisture as possible, transferring to a second towel if necessary. In a large bowl, stir together the cauliflower, ¼ cup of Parmesan, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp. of salt, 1 egg, and 1 cup of mozzarella until well combined. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and press into a 10-inch round. Bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.

FOR THE SAUCE Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a saucepan. Add 1 large minced garlic clove and saute just until fragrant (about 20 seconds). Add in 3 cups of tomato puree; 1 tsp. each of dried oregano, basil, fennel seed, and sugar; ½ tsp. of dried thyme and salt; and ¼ tsp. of red pepper flakes. Bring to a low bubble, and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar.

CONSTRUCT THE PIZZA Ladle the sauce on to the hot pizza crust leaving ¼ inch of crust on the end. Layer the pizza with a blend of mozzarella, parmesan, and cheddar cheese. Use as much or as little as you like! To keep your pizza healthier, use low fat cheese.

Top the pizza off with your favorite veggies and low fat meat! We love bell peppers, onions, spinach, and ground turkey (cooked) or turkey pepperoni! Bake the pizza until the cheese is bubbly, about 8 minutes. Cut into 8 slices and enjoy!!

SOURCES Crust Recipe: Food Network; Sauce Recipe: Oatmeal with a Fork


Our Best Healthy Eating Tips to Stay on Track this Winter

PHOTO: The Modern Proper

PHOTO: The Modern Proper

Eating healthier is one of the top New Year’s resolutions on everybody’s list. So, today we are going to focus on ways to make that resolution stick! Here are our best tips on how to begin and maintain a healthy eating lifestyle!


BEFORE YOU BEGIN...

Before you start on your health food journey you should know what “healthy foods” are. The best foods for your body are natural foods such as fruits, veggies, meat, and limited natural sugars (honey, maple syrup) and grains. You should eliminate as much processed food as you can, and avoid products with MSG, carrageenan, or sulfites. Throw away all processed food when beginning your journey so you have no temptations!

Junk food and desserts should not be a common staple in your diet, treating yourself once and awhile is OK and good for your mental health. Treat yourself as a reward for finishing a big project or reaching a new goal; it should be a positive reinforcement. Never treat yourself when having a bad day or for a negative circumstance.


OUR TIPS:

  • Eat organically
  • Eat grass-fed and cage free meat/eggs/dairy
  • Buy locally from farms or markets (fresh food is good food!)
  • Meal plan for the week and stick to it
  • Meal prep
  • Always have chopped veggies and fresh fruit to snack on
  • Cook from scratch
  • Make bone broth and keep it in the freezer for quick soups or when needed in recipes
  • Invest in a few good kitchen tools (crockpot, blender, cast iron pan, veggie noodler, and knife sharpener)
  • Buy a few cookbooks and learn a few staple dishes
  • Make your own salad dressings and condiments (it’s easier than you think!)
  • Don’t be afraid to try new food
  • Learn some easy food substitutes such as coco aminos for soy sauce, olive oil for butter, zoodles or spaghetti squash for pasta, and seltzer for soda
  • Eat protein with every meal so you stay fuller longer
  • Use nuts instead of croutons in salads
  • Eat correct portion sizes
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Limit your juice intake, and replace juice with water infused with citrus, herbs, and fruit.
  • If you are craving something sweet eat fruit, coconut, or even pickles (yes, pickles!) instead
  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Stock up your spice cabinet. It is the best way to add flavor to your food with fewer calories.
  • Learn to say no to fast food or any bad foods
  • Limit your sodium intake
  • Stock your freezer with frozen fruit and veggies! It’s great for smoothies, oatmeal, and even cooking!
  • Stock your pantry with canned fruits and veggies, as long as it is canned in its natural juices or water
  • Try to eat fish 2-3 times a week for an easy way to add omega-3 to your diet
  • Learn how to read nutrition labels
  • Use fresh herbs
PHOTO: The Glitter Guide

PHOTO: The Glitter Guide

PHOTO: The Modern Proper

PHOTO: The Modern Proper


Summer Date Night - Shrimp Scampi Zoodles

The spirit of summer is all about having fun and adventuring, whether it be trying a new activity, testing out the latest fashion trends, or experimenting with new foods. Instead of opting for plain pasta, try a healthier alternative with one our favorite shrimp scampi recipes with zoodles- perfect for any summer date night!

Image and Recipe Credit:  Food Network

Image and Recipe Credit: Food Network

 
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups zucchini noodles, from 2 medium zucchinis (about 1 pound)  
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
 
IMG_20170711_194952.jpg

Step 1: Heat your butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.

Step 2: Once the butter has melted, add in garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir the mix until it’s fragrant and the garlic becomes a light golden color (this should take around 2 minutes).

Step 3: Next pour in the wine and lemon zest and cook until the alcohol smell is gone and the sauce turns to a nice golden color (around 4 to 5 minutes).

Step 4: Add in the shrimp, ½ teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Stir frequently for about 3 minutes or until the shrimp start to turn pink on the outside, but are still translucent on the inside.

Step 5: Stir in zoodles until they are coated with the sauce and begin to wilt slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 6: Transfer into a serving bowl and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with parsley.

Step 7: Serve and enjoy!

Note: Recipe takes about 30 minutes and serves 4.  The fastest and easiest way to make zoodles is to use a vegetable spiralizer. Although some can be pricey, there are many more affordable options available on sites like amazon and trust us, you won’t regret buying one!