Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait!

 

I kind of feel like St. Patricks Day is my least favorite holiday.

Obviously any excuse to eat a bowl of Lucky Charms with green milk is a fantastic holiday, but the idea of wearing green bothers me. I remember being in middle school and making my dad rush me to the nearest store to find some hideous green t-shirt because EVERYONE would be wearing green  at school the next day and I didn’t have ANY green shirts. (Was that a run-on sentence?)

I still don’t.

Do people even wear green shirts?

I wish I could say that my children don’t know what Lucky Charms are, but sadly grandma and grandpa have taken care of that. And I’m not going to lie and say Lucky Charms are horrible and unhealthy and no one should ever eat them because, well…Marshmallows for breakfast?! Come on!! That sounds amazing…

When are they going to come out with Lucky Charms made with JUST dehydrated stale marshmallows?!

This is a healthy lifestyle blog.BTW.

With the holiday soon approaching, I could obviously share many ‘Green’ recipes, but this year I want to focus on the rainbow! For some reason when a plate is full of color and vibrant foods, it becomes all that more appealing. (At least to me and my babies.) This first ‘rainbow’ food post is all about fruit, and tomorrow I’ll post a recipe made with veggies! I’ve got both your bases covered!

The idea of this rainbow fruit parfait is that it’s topped with white clouds and a sprinkle of gold, because gold is found at the end of every rainbow! The fruit is interchangeable, and if you have more time you could make the shape of a rainbow on a plate. As for the white clouds, I used greek yogurt for added protein. You could easily use a non dairy yogurt or a whipped coconut milk cream! Yummmmm!

 

Rainbow Fruit Parfaits
 
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Taste the Rainbow!
Ingredients
  • Rainbow colored assorted fruit
  • Greek yogurt mixed with honey-or non dairy yogurt, or coconut milk whipped cream
  • gold sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Arrange the fruit by color in a shallow glass. (You can also arrange in the shape of a rainbow.
  2. Add a dollop of your 'clouds', or cream on top, followed by gold sprinkles.
  3. Serve immediately.
  4. (If wanting to make ahead, don't add the greek yogurt or cream until it's ready to be served!)

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m almost tempted to buy a St. Patty’s day t-shirt at Walmart. Do you think the other moms will be wearing them too?? I hate feeling left out…

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Looking for a Shamrock Shake, similar to the one a popular fast food joint serves?! The big difference is it’s healthy, made with natural sweeteners, and it’s good for you!

A Better For You Shamrock Shake

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Healthy Root Beer Floats!

There are a lot of things in my past that I often time bring up to my husband, and he will literally drop his jaw in disbelief.

Let’s not go too far into thinking I was an exotic dancer of some sort. It’s more like, I used to scarf down a whole chipotle burrito every thursday with my friends.  (Sour cream + Cheese and all!) And every morning before school, I would have my second breakfast at a fast food place called Bakers. Hash browns. Enough said.

And sometimes, after a hard day at my highschool fashion club, I would pull up to my favorite drive through and order my most favorite bubbly beverage. Root Beer.

Holy heck, I love Root Beer. And if my day was extremely hard, (hard as in getting called Booty Booty every time I walked by someone in class-true story), then I treated myself to a Root Beer Float. Booty Booty deserved.

Healthy Root Beer Floats from http://thediva-dish.comHealthy Root Beer Floats from http://thediva-dish.com

I know right now you are probably wondering how much I weighed in high school, but my lips are sealed. Let’s just say, thank goodness skinny jeans & leggings weren’t in. (More like overalls and flaired bottom pants.) But let’s talk about Root Beer Floats.

I love making & sharing recipes that people might crave, like Root Beer Floats. I can remember so many times being pregnant wanting one so badly, and I can only imagine there are others out there who feel the same. THE NEED FOR THE ROOT. And ice cream. So the other day in the grocery store I spotted Root Beer Extract, and immediately I got really really excited! I knew I had to re-create my favorite high school beverage.

Healthy Root Beer Floats from http://thediva-dish.com

This is such an easy recipe, it’s only FIVE  ingredients. And I don’t count calories, but if you do, I’m assuming its around 100. Yea. Awesome right?

Which leaves enough room left over to enjoy a hash brown bar in a greasy bag. So hungry now…

Healthy Root Beer Floats from http://thediva-dish.com

5.0 from 1 reviews
Root Beer Floats
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ c. sparkling water
  • ½ tsp. root beer extract
  • liquid stevia (drops)-or other liquid sweetener
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, puree bananas and vanilla until ice cream consistency. (May need to add a few drops of non dairy milk.
  2. Add ice cream to a small container with a lid and place in the freezer.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup add sparkling water and root beer extract. Stir.
  4. Add in a few drops of liquid stevia (any where from 6 +), and stir. You can use a liquid sweetener such as honey/agave/maple, etc. (It might change the taste.)
  5. Remove ice cream from freezer and scoop ice cream into a drinking glass.
  6. Add root beer on top! Enjoy!

Healthy Root Beer Floats from http://thediva-dish.com

Healthy Root Beer Floats from http://thediva-dish.comHealthy Root Beer Floats from http://thediva-dish.com

And if you must know, fashion club was extremely tiring. Not like a running track or playing sports, but seriously a lot of work. Fashion magazines and movies… I barely got an A.

 

The Best Way To Start Your Morning!

 

I almost feel silly about posting the following ‘recipe’, because to some it might seem kind of like, “Well Duh!”

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I realized though that this ‘idea’ wasn’t always a ‘DUH’ thought for me, but more of like a, “Eh, who cares?”

Make sense?

Without trying to sound like an email in your spam inbox, the following is something that has truly helped me loose weight and keep it off. Sadly, I only recently discovered this a few months ago, because like I said before, this didn’t seem like THAT big of a deal.

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Every morning I’ve started drinking lemon water. Duh right? We’ve all heard how starting the day off with Lemon water can boost your metabolism and do many other things, but for some reason I never did it.

A few months ago I caught a nasty cold/flu bug and my throat was KILLING me! I starting drinking warm lemon tea every morning, noon, and night. I noticed that my cravings for, well chocolate (because that’s ALL I crave), were minimal and I wasn’t always reaching for something ‘sweet’. I’ve learned that sometimes when we think we are hungry, we are really thirsty. But I’ve always just put carbs & chocolate  in my mouth because I.Love.Food.

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This was a life changer for me, despite how ‘little’ this really is.

SO, what do you do? I fill up a large pitcher in my fridge with lemon slices, juice of a few lemons, and water. I leave it in my fridge and pour myself a glass in the morning. (Sometimes I heat it up, and sometimes I don’t.) Then through out the day I’ll drink regular water, but if I notice I’m craving something sweet or like a Ding Dong, I pour a glass.

If I really want something sweet, like a Twinkie, I’ll add a few drops of liquid stevia to my class. I don’t know why, but I really look forward to drinking it sweet. I’ve been having it as I watch my nightly trash tv…

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You can add many other things like mint leaves, cucumbers, fruit cubes, etc., but right now I’m loving just lemons.

It’s small and simple changes like these that make a difference in living a healthier lifestyle, honestly.

(But don’t worry. I still eat chocolate.Every day.)

Refried Beans (Pinto Bean)…Soup

A lot of times I hear Tim Gunn’s voice in my head saying… “Make it work.”

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For example, if my daughter has to be at school in 10 minutes, and I’m not dressed/showered, and I’ve got a huge pimple…Make it work. (Solution-Put on gym clothes, huge sunglass, and pretend you were just working out.)

Or if I’ve got two pieces of bread, one egg, and carrots left in the fridge for dinner…Make it work. (Solution-Delivery.)

Just kidding…I’ve NEVER call for delivery.Ever.

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I’ve been on a quest for a while now trying to make our grocery budget smaller and smaller. Trust me, a challenge. What’s helped most is making a lot of stuff homemade and freezing the extra. So I had this bright idea to make a HUGE amount of refried beans. I’d freeze it, make burritos, and all would be glorious. I found the perfect recipe, that was cheap & easy, and got to work.

But then, I did what I ALWAYS do, and didn’t read the rest of the instructions.

Guys. This is a serious problem. I seriously don’t ever read the end of recipe instructions. It’s like, I think I know how it will end, but then like…I don’t.

Like.Like.Like.

So anyways, did you know you are supposed to drain the water off of beans to make refried beans? Ya? Ok.

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So a skip, jump, and a hop and in my blender is this soup of refried beans. For a second I thought it was the recipes fault, but no no. It was all mine.

So then I had about 10 cups worth of this refried bean soup puree, and no one to eat it. My kids aren’t HUGE soup fans, and the only liquid my husband consumes is soda. This wasn’t going to work.

But then I remembered I had a fridge full of toppings left over from THIS meal, and ‘Lightbulb’! Make it work.

Thank you Tim. Thank you!

The thing is, this soup is so darn simple and delicious on it’s own. (And by soup I mean refried beans.) But then you add all  of those flavorful toppings, and BAM! (My fav was the crunchy roasted corn and chips toppings!) I ended up not freezing the soup, and ate it everyday for lunch instead. You could easily freeze it though, whether you made it into soup OR refried beans.

Next time I think I’ll actually make refried beans instead of soup though…That is, if I read the directions all the way through.

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Refried Bean (Pinto Bean)...Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lb. dried pinto beans
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 3-4 TB. diced garlic
  • 2-2½ TB. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • (opt. 1 jalepeno diced and seeded)- I left this out
  • 8 cups water
  • (Toppings)
  • Choice of desired toppings such as salsa, greek yogurt, cilantro, chips, roasted corn, cheese, etc.
Instructions
  1. Rinse beans and remove any bad beans.
  2. Soak beans in enough water to cover them, overnight. (NOTE-I've heard if add hot water to the beans, you won't have to soak them..But I've never tried this!)
  3. Drain beans and place in a crockpot.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients ; onion, garlic, spices, and water.
  5. Cook on High for about 4 hours and low for 2 hours, or until beans are soft and cooked through.
  6. Add beans (Including water) to a blender and blend until soup consistency!*
  7. *These would obviously be just refried beans WITHOUT the water, so you can do that as well. And you can make the soup with less liquid too! (It could be more of a runny refried bean dish! With all the toppings, it would be great!)

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Problem…What happens when you consume an abnormal amount of pinto beans throughout a whole entire week?

It’s called bloating. Try and make that work.

Chocolate Beet Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Valentines Day is a national holiday in our household. (Well, unless your my husband. It’s just a typical day for him….) 🙂

A day dedicated to love, chocolate, and the color pink…COME ON!! So badly I want to throw pink glitter in every direction, where a frilly pink tutu, and shove chocolate down my throat. (Note-I’m 25)

 

This year my 3 year old is starting to understand holiday’s better, and I know this holiday will be well embraced in our household. Sadly this means that we won’t be able to talk about Christmas anymore and use Santa Clause as a way to make our child behave. Hashtag Great Parenting.

SO in the spirit of chocolate and the color pink, I feel and probably always will, that chocolate cake is language of Love. And obviously a chocolate cake with four sticks of butter and sugar would be delicious, I’ve found a way around that.

A perfectly moist cake (hate that word), with the right amount of sweetness, topped with a delicious layer of rich chocolate ganache. Put on a frilly pink tutu and coat that cake with pink sprinkles. True Love.

Oh…and there’s a nice serving of Beets inside the cake. You will love it, I promise!


Chocolate Beet Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting
 
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Although beets are frequently turned down by many, they are what make this cake incredibly moist! You won't even notice their taste, because the other ingredients do their part and make this cake any lovers dream!
Ingredients
  • (for the cake)
  • 2½ c. whole wheat white flour
  • 1½ c. coconut sugar
  • 1 TB. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2-3 medium beets
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ c. melted coconut oil
  • 1 c. almond milk mixed with 1 TB. vinegar
  • 1 TB. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 oz. water
  • (for the ganache)
  • 1½ c. dark chocolate chips
  • 1 c. full fat coconut milk
Instructions
  1. (For the Cake)
  2. Cute end of the beets and peel. Cut the beets up a little bit, and place in a steamer basket. Steam until beets are soft and poked with a fork.
  3. Once the beets are soft, add them to a food processor and blend until they become a puree. Add a few TB. of water if needed.
  4. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Whisk together well.
  5. In a separate bowl add the rest of the wet ingredients. Make sure the eggs and milk are room temp. so they don't solidify the coconut oil. Add in the beet puree. Whisk together well.
  6. Add the wet to the dry and beat on medium speed until incorporated.
  7. Add cake batter to greased pans of choice. (I chose a bundt pan, but a layer cake would taste fabulous!)
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes, of until the cake is baked all the way through.
  9. Remove from oven and let sit in the cake pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  10. (For the ganache)
  11. In a small pot at water and set over a heated stove. Add a large glass bowl on top of the pot to create a double broiler.
  12. Add chocolate and milk and continue stir with a rubber spatula until chocolate is almost all the way melted.
  13. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is fully melted.
  14. Let it cool for a few minutes, then pour over the cake. (If you made a layer cake, pour a little between layers and on top.)
  15. Add your choice of toppings like sprinkles or chopped chocolate.
  16. Enjoy!

 

I was really nervous my kids wouldn’t love this cake, but they haven’t stopped begging for it! If you are ever nervous to give your kids  a ‘healthier’ dessert option, there is nothing wrong with dressing it up a little with eye catching sprinkles!

You also wouldn’t believe how incredibly moist this cake is! I plan to bake with beets more often, because it added to the cake so many wonderful things!

Happy Valentines Day my friends! Be sure to hug the ones you love and share a piece of chocolate cake with them!

 

Loaded Nachos! // Fresh, Fun, Healthy!

Honestly, I don’t reeeaaallllyy care about the Superbowl. But since it involves eating food, I’m automatically drawn in. Fact.

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Another fun fact:

When football season started I said that I was going to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks and they were going to win the Super Bowl.

Another Fact:

They won.

Wanna know what else? I should have bet money on that.

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Obviously Super Bowl Food is like chicken wings and ranch dressing, which let’s just be frankly honest, I could eat ranch dressing by dipping my finger in it. Add on the amazing cheesy dips, brownies and football decorated strawberries, and well Monday morning calls for sweat pants and your husbands T-shirt.

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I took on the challenge that party/football food can be healthy and delicious, all you need is to play up the flavor and fun!

I decided Nachos was the perfect solution, because you can’t go wrong with colorful, fresh, flavorful toppings. Roasted corn, garlic lime black beans, tomatillo salsa, salty guac, green onions, sweet and spicy ground turkey,  jalepeno…the list goes on! It’s also completely vegan/vegetarian friendly!

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You would THINK you would miss the fake cheese sauce on top, but with all those toppings only a little bit of cheese on tops does wonders! It’s a fun & fresh twist on nachos that even a football loving ranch dressing eating person would approve of!

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Loaded Nachos
 
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Nachos can sometimes get a bad rap as being a completely unhealthy! But i'm here to tell you that nachos can be enjoyed without the bad fats, loads of calories, and unhealthy toppings! WIth the right ingredients jazzed up with tons of flavor, you won't be missing the cups of fake processed cheese sauce doused over chips! (These are easily vegan/vegetarian friendly!) There are SO many fun delicious toppings, that you won't need a ton of cheese. Just a sprinkle does the trick!
Ingredients
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Diced green onions
  • Fresh grated cheese
  • Diced black olives
  • ½ bunch cilantro finely diced
  • 1 can diced jalepenos
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • greek yogurt
  • (For Black Beans)
  • 1 can drained and rinsed black beans
  • 1 TB. olive oil
  • 3-4 TB. chopped garlic
  • juice of ½ lime
  • salt, pepper, cumin
  • (For the Guacamole)
  • 2-3 avocados
  • juice of ½ lime
  • ½ bunch cilantro finely diced
  • salt, pepper, cumin
  • (For the corn)
  • 1 bag frozen/fresh corn
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • salt, pepper, paprika
  • (For the Tomatillo Pico De Gallo)
  • 2 tomatillos
  • ½ large onion
  • 3-4 TB. chopped garlic
  • ½ large bunch cilantro
  • 1 jalepeno, stem removed (and seeds if you don't want spice!)
  • 4-6 tomatoes diced.
  • 1 lime
  • salt, pepper, cumin
  • (For the Turkey)
  • Ground Turkey
  • 1-2 TB. oil
  • Taco Seasoning-**Link for homemade version next to Taco Meat Picture**
  • 1 TB. coconut sugar
  • 2-3 TB. water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Arrange corn on a baking sheet. Coat with oil and sprinkle a nice helping of the seasonings over the top. Toss and bake for 30 minutes in the oven. (This seems long, but you will be preparing all the toppings during this time!)
  2. Assemble the toppings into different bowls. Chop the toppings and separate into different bowls. (Green onions, black olives, cilantro, jalepenos, lime, greek yogurt.)
  3. Prepare the Tomatillo Pico De Gallo.
  4. In a food processor add the onion, cilantro, jalepeno, and garlic. Pulse a few times until finely diced.
  5. Add mixture to a bowl along with diced tomatoes. Add lime juice and a nice sprinkle of the seasonings. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
  6. Prepare the Black Beans
  7. In a sauce pan add oil and garlic. Saute for a few minutes, then add black beans. Cook for a couple of minutes, remove from heat and add lime juice and a nice helping of spices. Toss, cover with foil and set aside.
  8. Prepare the Guacamole
  9. Mash the avocados. Fold in cilantro, juice, and spices. Cover and set aside.
  10. Prepare the Ground Turkey
  11. In a saucepan, heat the oil.
  12. Add the ground turkey, and sprinkle the spices and coconut sugar over the top. Ground the turkey, and then add a few TB. of water.
  13. Continue to cook turkey, grounding it as you go, and cook until turkey is cooked all the way through.
  14. Once done, cover and set aside. (Drain any excess water if needed.)
  15. Remove corn from the oven.
  16. Take out guacamole and salsa.
  17. Add corn, turkey, and black beans to a serving bowl.
  18. Have everyone load their favorite toppings to the nachos, and enjoy!

 

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I’ve been making my own Taco Seasoning lately, and I love it! Taste so much better than the packaged kind!

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I’m looking forward to the next event that I don’t really care about where food is involved!!