Healthy eating should be enhancing our food, not about limiting it. I love food and all the different flavors, styles, and methods that different cultures bring to the table. Food should inspire happiness, create energy, and deliver comfort which is why I spend many hours in the kitchen putting together the BEST recipes that your tastebuds and waistline will love.
Easy, simple, tried and true.
1 medium watermelon
1/2 lb. American cheese, thinly sliced
Cut entire watermelon into 1 inch rounds to make for easy use of a star cookie cutter. Use slightly smaller sized star cookie cutter to cut into the slices of cheese. Place 2 blueberries on a toothpick for garnish and done!
RED WHITE & BLUE PARTY POTATO SALAD
photo credit: Marie 'Proud Italian Cook'
1 lb. whiite potatoes
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. + 1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lemon: Zest + 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh Parsley
1-2 spring onions, sliced (with green)
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 450F. Roast potatoes and red pepers by drizzling with 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Cook until fork tender, which doesn’t take long (20 min. or so) toss them in a bowl and add sliced scallions, fresh parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and lots of grated lemon peel.
Whisk up 1 Tbsp each of fresh squeezed lemon and olive oil. Pour it all over and toss. As it sits it just gets better and better as all the flavors start to absorb.
HOW TO TO CLEAN UP YOUR HOT DOG
1 hot dog
1/3 cup veggies
1 bun, hollowed out
1 Tbsp parsley
1/4 thinly sliced cucumbers
bell peppers, sliced
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY USA!
HONEY YOGURT BERRY
ICE CREAM POPS
A healthy way to stay cool and it literally takes a few minutes to make. Popsicle molds work great! Let ice cream pops defrost for 3-5 minutes before trying to pop them out.
photo credit: Joy Zhang
2 cups 2% Greek Yogurt (I like Fage)
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
Blend yogurt and honey together in a large bowl. Fold mixed berries in. Transfer into a container with a spout so the mixture can be poured into popsicle molds. Fill popsicle molds close the top and put in popsicle sticks. Freeze for 3 hours or overnight.
Ways to Serve
If you have extra yogurt blend, add a banana and make a quick smoothie!
KEEPIN' IT AMERICAN with a
PEANUT BUTTER & BANANA SANDWICH
2 slices whole grain or fresh baked bread
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
1 medium banana
optional: side of 1 cup fruit (strawberries, blueberries, apple slices, kiwi, raspberries, etc.)
Lightly toast bread. Imediately spread peanut butter on both sides of bread so it begins to melt and get gooey delicious. Slice banana lengthwise and place even layer on top peanut butter. Enjoy!
SAVORY INDEPENDENCE DAY BREAKFAST HASH
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cups cubed blue/purple potatoes
1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
1 medium red bell peper, cubed
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme
Salt & Pepper
6 eggs, fried
Heat oil in iron skilled over medium-high heat. Add onions, potatoes, and peppers. Cook until potatoes are cooked through. Add salt, pepper & fresh thyme. Set potato has aside. In hot skilled, crack and fry 1 egg per person.
Great for the RED, WHITE & BLUE Theme of the 4th of July...but for the rest of the year add any other vegetable of your choice.
MAKE AHEAD BRUNCH:
RED, WHITE & BLUE FRESH TOAST CASSEROLE
One 1-lb. day-old loaf challah bread (or any bread of choice), unsliced
One 12-oz container (about 2 cups) blueberries
One 16-oz container of strawberries
6 large eggs
3 plus 1/2 cups milk
3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (or agave)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Slice the bread into 1-inch-thick slices.
Tile all the bread in the dish, each slice overlapping the next. Scatter the blueberries over the bread.
Whisk the eggs, milk, 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt in a medium bowl. Pour over the bread and berries and press gently to help the bread start soaking in the egg mixture.
Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in the refrigerator overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove and discard the plastic wrap. Bake the casserole until golden brown and set in the center, 45-50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.
While the french toast bakes, with an electric mixer whip up 3/4 cup heavy cream with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar on med-high speed until soft peaks form. (hint: mix in a cold bowl)
Way to Serve
Serve the casserole with a dollop of whipped cream and a generous spoonful of the berries.