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Go Green With Your Pizza this St. Patrick’s Day

You know what I love? Pizza. A big, gooey, cheesy, greasy pizza! Dipped in ranch dressing. But pizza isn’t a food you can eat every day. I mean, you can. But what’s that saying about everything being permissible, but not everything being beneficial? Yeah, I think that applies here.

Except, PLOT TWIST:

Spinach Crust Pizza! (Yes, pizza can be healthy!) Similar to cauliflower crust pizza, I give this pizza my official stamp of approval. The crust only has 3 ingredients, and you can personalize the toppings to meet your taste. Another fun idea could be to incorporate a weekly pizza night into your family’s routine. One night a week you bake a couple of healthy crusts, and have a “pizza bar” set up in your kitchen where the little ones can help create, everyone gets to personalize their pizza, and maybe you’ll even discover some new taste preferences in the process.

Your healthy, tasty pizza bar can include anything- different kinds of cheeses, healthy sauces, bell peppers, onions, different cuts of meat, mushrooms, spinach (too much spinach isn’t a thing), avocado, black beans, broccoli- the list goes on and on! Get creative and get cooking!

Spinach crust:

Ingredients:

2 cups of spinach
1 egg
1 8 oz. bag of mixed Italian cheese
Salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs of choice

Directions:

1. In a food processor or good blender, pulse the spinach until it is a smooth paste. I HIGHLY recommend a food processor. The blender takes a little while (trust me), but it can be done. Pulse, pulse, pulse until the spinach is nice, moist, and paste-y.
 
2. Add the egg and seasonings of your choice in- I used salt, pepper, Pizza Seasoning and Herbs de Provence. Pulse some more. Add in [...]

Valentine’s Day Snack: Cupid’s Arrows

Valentine’s Day has to be one of the easiest holidays to incorporate theme-appropriate fresh food! It seems like people get more and more creative each year. Food shaped like a heart, a dessert turned pink or red, and aphrodisiacs make it fun to cook for this holiday!

Maybe you’re looking for a fun-but still healthy snack to bring to your child’s class Valentine’s Day party. (Is that this week?!) Or maybe an appetizer or dessert to serve at your own Valentine’s Day get together. Even if you’re just searching for a creative snack to make with your little ones, Valentine’s Day Cupid’s Berrows (arrows, made with berries…see what I did there?) are the perfect way to celebrate the day.

All you need:

wooden skewers
blueberries
strawberries
honeydew melon or cantaloupe .

**(This recipe can also be made using veggies of your choice, like cherry tomatoes with cheese.)

Wash and sort your berries, then cut a wedge out of the top of your strawberries so that it makes a heart shape (like you see in the picture). You can also buy a small heart cookie cutter if you want the really easy way!

Spear the blueberries(about 5 or 6) in a line down the skewer.

Place a strawberry onto the end of each skewer.

Slice your melon into V-shaped pieces for the end (or is it the top?) of the arrow.

Alternate blueberries and melon pieces until you get 2-3 melon pieces onto your arrow.

And there you have it, a simple, fresh, and delicious Valentine’s Day treat for little people and adults alike. 🙂

XOXO

 

Pasta-Free Spaghetti

At INDULGE in Nutrition, we like to bring you meals that pack in the health benefits, but that don’t take hours of preparation. That’s exactly what this Pasta-Free Zucchini Spaghetti has to offer.

Not only is this bright green member of the squash family a tasty alternative to wheat spaghetti noodles, but it is also full of plenty of nutrients that can have a great impact on your health. Some of those include:

Feeling fuller for longer thanks to the fiber content
Possible weight loss
Healthy skin
Lowered blood pressure
Lower cholesterol
Reduced risk of heart attack and/or stroke
Anti-inflammatory effects on the body- good for joints, the respiratory system, and other inflammatory diseases
Cancer fighting properties

And those are just some of the benefits! You can also bake it, sauté it, eat it on salad, add it to casseroles, or just enjoy it by itself with a nice dip. Today- we’re spiralizing it!

You can find a vegetable spiralizer on Amazon or in most stores- they are affordable, super easy to use, and very useful! Plus, it’s fun!

First you take raw zucchini and stick it in the spiralizer, then just begin twisting. Long “noodles” will start to form. You can pull the zucchini out when your noodles get long enough, and then start over. Two zucchini took me about one minute to spiralize.

Then heat olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the zucchini to the pan and add your seasoning (I used Herbs de Provence and it was magnificent.) Sauté for 3-5 minutes, until the zucchini is soft and bright green.

Remove from heat and add pasta sauce and ground beef for spaghetti, a light alfredo sauce, or a small amount of cheese. OR leave [...]

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

 

 

 

Don’t forget your fresh vegetables when you go to the store to do your Christmas dinner grocery shopping! In the midst of all the cans (cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, cream of celery- it never ends!), bread, and sweet foods we buy to stock up for Christmas Day, a fresh vegetable tray can be a good change of pace. And this is a veggie tray your little chef will love to help out with! (Just make sure to keep an eye on the tooth picks!)
what you’ll need:

– 3-4 heads of broccoli for the base of your tree

– a handful of cherry tomatoes

– squash or bell peppers, diced

– styrofoam cone, or blocks of styrofoam

– 1 long wooden skewer

– toothpicks

1. If using styrofoam blocks, cut them into the shape of a pyramid.

2. Stick a wooden skewer down the middle to hold everything in place.

3. Trim the heads of broccoli and stick a toothpick in the center of individual florets, as shown, and stick them into the Styrofoam. I found it was easiest to start form the bottom.

 

 

4. After the “tree is done” stick toothpicks into the tree where you want your big “ornaments”(tomatoes) to go. 5. The stick the tomatoes onto the toothpick.

6. Do the same with the squash.

7. I thought it would be a nice touch to add a vegetable star on the top of the tree. (Much easier said than done!) I managed to get a decent looking one with a little trimming.

This can be set in the refrigerator until ready for serving and set with some carrots and cheese cubes for a complete appetizer tray!

Merry Christmas,

Indulge In Nutrition!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Fruit Turkey

The holidays are a lot of people’s favorite time of the year. For most of us they are filled with family, friends, religious activities, and each year brings back sweet memories we thought we had forgotten. I love the holidays! I also love to EAT all through the holidays. While the average person doesn’t gain that much weight during the holidays, we eat much more food per meal than we typically do throughout the rest of the year. It can also be extremely difficult to diet throughout the holidays, and the likelihood of being successful is low due to the festive atmosphere. So where does that leave us?

One way to ease up on our bodies this time of year may be to incorporate more fresh foods into our holiday meals. I’ve always thought that Thanksgiving could use a little more fresh fruit (seeing as how most of the fruit comes in the form of pie.) A Thanksgiving Pear Turkey would be a hit. It’s not too “out there,” for those who may not be as health conscious, it’s cute, and pretty simple to put together!

You can pick and choose the kind of fruit you want to use depending on what is in season in your area and what might be on sale. (I got a whole pineapple for $0.99!) I also used 1 banana, 1/2 apple, 1 cup of grapes, a handful each of raspberries and blackberries, and a pear. You will also need a few carrot slivers for garnish.

 

 

First, wash your pear and slice it in half length wise. When shopping for your pear it is best if you find one with a fat bottom and a taller skinnier neck to look more [...]

Healthy Pan-Grilled Chicken and Squash Nuggets

After a fun weekend filled with friends, Halloween parties, Aggie football, and too much candy (oops!), my alarm went off way too soon on Monday morning. I’m sure this is every weekend for you moms! You know the days I’m talking about- the ones where you hit snooze one too many times, leaving you running late.

On days like that, having a grab and go meal or snack for the kids (and yourself) is a life saver! Sunday is my favorite day to prep all of my food for the week, and that normally lasts me until Thursday (my busiest day when I’m not home to cook.) Being able to have a healthy snack ready to grab on Thursday morning as I’m headed out the door keeps me from having to buy fast food, and is great on my tummy, body, and my dad’s bank account. 😉

One of my favorite grab-and-go’s to make are Pan-Grilled Chicken and Squash Nuggets. They are easy, have two main ingredients, and can be personalized based on your taste. These nuggets are another way you can sneak in vegetables to your child’s diet, too! You can use ground chicken or turkey, although the chicken is more visually appealing. You can also use zucchini instead of squash, or any other moist vegetable. Season according to personal preference.

Ingredients:

1/2 lb ground chicken
1 c shredded squash (1 whole squash makes about 1 cup of shredded squash)
olive  oil for pan
spices and herbs of choice (I used garlic salt, italian seasoning, cumin, and chili powder)

Recipe:

1. Shred squash into a medium sized bowl. Heat a pan over medium heat and add olive oil.

2. Add ground chicken to squash and mix well.

3. Add seasoning.
4. Using hands [...]

Jack-O-Lantern Citrus and Granola Parfait

Did you know that even if you get the recommended amount of calcium in your diet, you might not be absorbing that calcium? If you’re not absorbing calcium (through your intestines and into the blood), then your body can’t use it. Calcium is most known for strong bones and teeth, but it also helps with muscle contraction and nerve function, blood vessel constriction, and insulin release. It can play a role in preventing certain types of cancers, bone diseases, and high blood pressure. But it can only do all of these things if it is first being absorbed into the blood.

It’s a well-proven, but not so well known fact that Vitamin C (and others) increases absorption of calcium. You can find Vitamin C in foods like oranges, mangoes, berries, pineapple, watermelon, and many more. Try incorporating some of these foods with your calcium containing foods (yogurt, cheese, fortified cereals, almond milk, leafy greens, and salmon) to get the most bang for your calcium buck. 😉

A great recipe to try out this vitamin/mineral pair is this Jack-o-lantern Citrus and Granola Parfait! Start Halloween morning off in a right (and fun) way this year by making this cute halloween themed breakfast before the kids head off to school. This recipe feeds 2 but can easily be multiplied to fit your needs.

 

What you’ll need:

2 Large Navel oranges
1 c Greek Yogurt – use plain, or look for lower sugar options like Yoplait 100
1/2 c granola (I used ‘Honey Gone Nuts’ granola from HEB’s Bulk section, but any will work)
10-12 rasperries
1/4 c mixed nuts and dried fruit
Optional: honey or agave for topping

How to do it:

1. Slice the top part of a large orange off (about 1-1.5″ down)

2. The peel of the [...]

Apples and Almond Butter with a Spooky Halloween Twist

With Halloween just around the corner, all of the candy is starting to make its appearance. Although overwhelming, staying healthy even in the middle of the candy chaos this month is doable with a little creativity and resourcefulness! This week at Indulge In Nutrition we wanted to share a new twist on an old favorite- apple slices and almond butter turned into a spooky halloween treat! Your kiddos will love these Goblin Grins and they are a snack you can feel good about treating them to this Halloween. (They can even help out with this one!)

Ingredients:

Apples
Almond butter (can sub your favorite nut butter)
Jam of your choice
Slivered almonds
Mini marshmallows
Tooth picks

Assembly:

1. Slice your apple into strips (about 1/2-1 cm thick).

2. Spread the almond butter on one side of a few of the apple slices

3. Push the slivered almonds into the almond butter to where the ends stick into the apple slice just a bit. This will help anchor the two slices together later.

4. Take one of your toothpicks and use it as a small tool to drip jam through the “teeth” (almond slivers).

5. Take the second apple slice (it’s easier if it has almond butter on it as well) and press it into the almond slivers.

6. Now take two more toothpicks and put one marshmallow on one end and then press the toothpicks all the way through both apple slices.

It’s alive!! Enjoy these cute little Goblin Grins with your cuties as an after school snack or as a special treat when the candy is too much.

Happy Halloween from Indulge In Nutrition

 

  • Permalink ">Hereford Cattle by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Gallery

    What Does Your Steak Eat?

What Does Your Steak Eat?

People say, “you are what you eat.” But an even truer statement is, “you are what you eat eats.” This is something we often don’t think about when picking out our meats. We tend to think that meat is meat no matter what the label.

Generally speaking, there are grass-fed cattle and grain-fed cattle. Cows that are grass-fed are left to live off the land until the time of slaughter, but grain-fed cows are fed corn or grain-based feeds to fatten them up faster. They are also given hormones and drugs to speed up the fattening process even more. Yuck!

This difference in diets of cows also affects the nutrient composition of their meat (and our food!) Grass-fed beef has fewer grams of fat, and since fat has 9 calories/gram, it has less total calories too. While the content of omega-6 fatty acids in each kind of beef is pretty similar, grass-fed beef has a much higher content of Omega-3 fatty acids and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). Omega-3 and CLA are both known for their healthy effects on the heart. Omega-3 fatty acids are the “good fats” we hear about and can help lower chances of high blood pressure and heart attacks, and CLA is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

A common misconception is that Omega-6 fatty acids are less important or not as good for you as Omega-3’s. This isn’t true! We actually need Omega-6’s too, but the typical American gets way more than we need! (Our ratio of Omega-6:3 averages 20:1-15:1, when the AHA recommends 1:1 – 5:1). Grass-fed beef contains the Omega-6 we need, with a much better ratio of Omega-3 to balance it!

Grass-fed beef also contains more Vitamin A, [...]

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    Fuel Up the Right Way This Week – 6 Easy Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Fuel Up the Right Way This Week – 6 Easy Healthy Breakfast Ideas

This week we wanted to share with our readers an assortment of quick and healthy breakfast recipes from some our favorite blogs on the web. These posts can all be converted into make ahead, grab and go breakfasts, or are quick to throw together in the mornings. They feature a fruit or vegetable, are minimally processed, and have no or low sugar. What more could you ask for?

 

This Creamy, Dreamy Tropical Smoothie recipe from My Recipes is quick to create. The only sugar comes from the yummy pineapple and the healthy greek yogurt! You could easily add spinach or kale to get an extra serving of veggies in your kids to start their day off with.

 

Looking for something a little more savory, but still just as easy? Mary at Barefeet In The Kitchen has created a delicious Bacon, Potato, and Vegetable Breakfast Hash. You could personalize this recipe to include your family’s favorite vegetables. Simply chop your vegetables at the beginning of the week (I do all of this on Sundays), refrigerate them in an airtight container to keep fresh, and just throw it all in a skillet each morning with eggs and seasoning.

If you’re looking for a make ahead muffin, Sugar Free Mom, Brenda, has a great recipe for you! Sugar Free & Dairy Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins are a breeze to make and freeze or store in an airtight container to use throughout the week as breakfast, lunch box additions, or after school snacks. The muffins use vegetables as their star, are made with clean ingredients, and also have a gluten free option!

 

4-Ingredient Almond Butter Cookies from Melissa at My Whole Food Life can be made using any kind of nut butter, and can trick your kiddos into thinking they’re [...]