The Healthy Foodie http://thehealthyfoodie.com Who says eating healthy has to be boring? Sat, 25 Oct 2014 12:48:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole with Candied Maple Pecans http://thehealthyfoodie.com/whipped-sweet-potato-casserole/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/whipped-sweet-potato-casserole/#respond Sat, 25 Oct 2014 11:00:50 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436670633 Would you believe me if I told you that before I made this Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole, I had never before experienced the deliciousness that is this great classic. Boy had I ever been missing out! This stuff is out of this world deeeeee-lish! But I dunno, for some reason, the idea of pairing such an extremely sweet dish with savory meat […]

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Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole | thehealthyfoodie.comWould you believe me if I told you that before I made this Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole, I had never before experienced the deliciousness that is this great classic. Boy had I ever been missing out! This stuff is out of this world deeeeee-lish!

But I dunno, for some reason, the idea of pairing such an extremely sweet dish with savory meat and veggies always kind of put me off, so I was not in the least inspired to whip one up. But then, I got curious (yeah, curiosity always gets the best of me) and decided I had to give it a go.

Needless to say I had to peruse the web to get some ideas and inspiration… but, I just couldn’t seem to find THE one recipe that truly spoke to me. And to be honest, I kind of went easy on myself… I’ve seen many so many versions that call for marshmallows, I almost changed my mind. Frankly, I’m really not sold on that idea. I mean, really? Marshmallows in a sweet potato dish that’ll get served alongside turkey and stuffing? For me, that’s a little bit overboard!

Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole | thehealthyfoodie.com

Still, I get the feeling that someday, my curiosity will win once again and I’ll end up making a batch of paleo marshmallows just so I can give it a try.

But for the time being, I decided to stick with candied pecans… that was plenty “out there” for my taste.

Most of the recipes I checked had you peel and boil or steam your sweet potatoes. Ugh! I really don’t care for boiled or steamed sweet potatoes. I think they bring up memories from a distant past when I totally disliked sweet potatoes (as in I almost gagged on them) so I’d rather keep those thoughts buried deep and undisturbed. For me, when it comes to cooking sweet potatoes, oven baked is the way to go!

For realz, the tubers come out of there so insanely rich and creamy, which is just what you need to make an awesome puree! continue reading

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Maple Walnut Crusted Salmon http://thehealthyfoodie.com/maple-walnut-crusted-salmon/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/maple-walnut-crusted-salmon/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:00:36 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436670603 A lot of people think that cooking salmon is an art, and a very complicated one at that. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I think salmon is one of the easiest fish to cook, especially when it’s in fillets. Its flesh is so firm and holds its shape so very well, you can […]

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Maple Walnut Crusted Salmon |thehealthyfoodie.com

A lot of people think that cooking salmon is an art, and a very complicated one at that.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I think salmon is one of the easiest fish to cook, especially when it’s in fillets. Its flesh is so firm and holds its shape so very well, you can basically cook it any way you like and trust that it will remain in one piece for ya: you can pan-fry it, grill it, poach it, smoke it…

Or you can cover it with a tasty walnut crust, throw it in the oven and have dinner on the table in mere minutes!

Now, with a name such as Maple Walnut Crusted Salmon, one might expect this dish to be overly sweet but surprisingly, it doesn’t taste very sugary at all. Instead, the maple syrup delivers very subtle hints of sweetness to your taste buds, while the smokiness of the paprika and the faint kick from the chipotle pepper brilliantly complement and help keep that sweetness level in check. Add to that the rich, creamy flavor of the ghee, the slight tanginess of the vinegar and the buttery crunch of the walnuts, and you’ve got a match made in heaven.

I say you should totally give this crusted salmon recipe a try, and the sooner the better. I’m ready to bet that it will quickly become a favorite of yours.

This dish definitely delivers in every single area: it’s truly delectable, highly nutritious and you won’t believe how quickly and easily it comes together… continue reading

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Homemade Pumpkin Puree http://thehealthyfoodie.com/homemade-pumpkin-puree/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/homemade-pumpkin-puree/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:00:31 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436670580 I don’t know about your part of the world, but in my neck of the woods, it seems like pumpkin puree only comes in cans of the gigantic variety. As a result, I’m always fairly hesitant to use that deliciously sweet puree in recipes, because practically every time I do that, I end up throwing out […]

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Homemade Pumpkin Puree | thehealthyfoodie.com

I don’t know about your part of the world, but in my neck of the woods, it seems like pumpkin puree only comes in cans of the gigantic variety. As a result, I’m always fairly hesitant to use that deliciously sweet puree in recipes, because practically every time I do that, I end up throwing out half the content of the can. I mean seriously, what recipes, apart from pumpkin cake or pumpkin pie, calls for so much pumpkin puree?

And even then, you don’t get to use the whole can! Hey, that stuff costs a fortune too, you know… I’m not really a fan of spending my money on stuff that will end up in the trash. (now don’t get me started on toilet paper and garbage bags!)

Oh, and another thing, too: if you’re like me, you probably try and avoid cans as best you can! You know, because of the BPAs and their impact on the environment and all…

This year, I decided I would put an end to all this nonsense and make my very own pumpkin puree!

What a great decision this was: for about the price of  a single can, I go to make a HUGE batch, which I then portioned and froze for ulterior use.

HA! I honestly don’t think I’ll be buying pumpkin puree EVER again. continue reading

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Polpette alla Fiorentina http://thehealthyfoodie.com/polepette-alla-fiorentina/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/polepette-alla-fiorentina/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 11:00:27 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436670545 I’m not typically a fan of meatballs… you probably know this by now. But these Polpette alla Fiorentina (which is basically a fancy way of saying meatballs with spinach) are different. These are the real deal, man. They’re like DUDE FOOD material. They’re big, they’re bold, they’re beefy and they certainly pack a serious punch. In fact, these […]

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Polpette alla Fiorentina | thehealthyfoodie.com

I’m not typically a fan of meatballs… you probably know this by now.

But these Polpette alla Fiorentina (which is basically a fancy way of saying meatballs with spinach) are different. These are the real deal, man. They’re like DUDE FOOD material. They’re big, they’re bold, they’re beefy and they certainly pack a serious punch.

In fact, these meatballs are so totally loaded with filling and nutritious ingredients, they’re like a complete meal in themselves. No need for a side dish!

The meatballs alone hide a generous amount of cauliflower, which greatly contributes in keeping these monster-sized meatballs super moist, tender and extra juicy. The sauce, for its part, provides the diner with a copious serving of spinach and tomatoes.

And talk about FLAVOR! Believe me, this dish seriously deliver in that department, too! continue reading

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Oven Baked Fried Chicken http://thehealthyfoodie.com/oven-baked-fried-chicken/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/oven-baked-fried-chicken/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 11:00:08 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436670523 The other day, I rendered a fresh batch of lard and, by the same token, inherited a bunch of delicious crispy lardons. Since I was still doing keto at the time, it turned out to be a real blessing for me and I started sprinkling said lardons on basically everything I ate. Their flavor reminded me […]

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Oven Baked Fried Chicken | thehealthyfoodie.com

The other day, I rendered a fresh batch of lard and, by the same token, inherited a bunch of delicious crispy lardons. Since I was still doing keto at the time, it turned out to be a real blessing for me and I started sprinkling said lardons on basically everything I ate.

Their flavor reminded me of something… something familiar… some flavor from a distant past that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. For days, I racked my brains, trying to pinpoint the source of this perplexing gustatory memory.

And then it hit me: their flavor reminded me of one of my former favorite treats in the whole wide world: Kentucky Fried Chicken. Something that I haven’t had in years, to the point that I’d almost forgotten that it even existed, but used to love SO much when I was a kid. Oh yeah! If you wanted to treat me to the ultimate delicacy back then, KFC was the way to go. For years, it has been on the menu on my birthday, at my request of course. I even remember a year when my mom had successfully talked me out of trick-or-treating (she absolutely, positively despises Halloween so she was very happy to see me skip it) in exchange for dinner at KFC.

That realization made, I knew I had to use my tasty lardons to create some sort of fried chicken. I didn’t want to actually fry it, though, as I’m not a huge fan of deep frying. I find it’s way too messy and a tad too risky for my liking.

Besides, I figured the lardons would make the “breading” so fatty and tasty that frying the chicken would be completely unnecessary. And I was right! This Oven Baked “Fried” Chicken turned out just as good as I’d imagined, if not better. That skin got nicely crispy and super tasty, even tastier than the real thing, thanks to the addition of almonds.

And the chicken itself was crazy tender and juicy. continue reading

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Caramelized Onions and Roasted Bell Peppers Meatza http://thehealthyfoodie.com/caramelized-onions-roasted-bell-peppers-meatza/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/caramelized-onions-roasted-bell-peppers-meatza/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:00:35 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436670500 I can’t even count the number of times I have come across Meatza recipes since I took the paleo leap… I never really caught on to them, though. I dunno, something about the concept of replacing pizza crust with ground beef left me feeling sort of meh… I mean, ground beef and pizza crust probably have as […]

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I can’t even count the number of times I have come across Meatza recipes since I took the paleo leap… I never really caught on to them, though. I dunno, something about the concept of replacing pizza crust with ground beef left me feeling sort of meh

I mean, ground beef and pizza crust probably have as much in common as Superman and Papa Smurf do. So how could this Meatza thing even compare with real pizza? To me, it was basically a giant beef patty, baked and garnished with all kinds of different toppings.

Yummy sounding, undoubtedly! But totally not pizza. And definitely not something I cared to try…

Onion Goat Cheese Bell Pepper Meatzza | thehealthyfoodie.com

But then one morning, for some obscure reason, I woke up with this crazy craving for exactly that: a giant rectangular (had to be rectangular, don’t ask why. Circular just wouldn’t have cut it) beef patty, baked and garnished with caramelized onions, roasted bell peppers and soft and tangy goat cheese.

Hey, I know I’m not supposed to do dairy anymore, but I’m having a real hard time letting go. Besides, I had this cheese in the freezer already, so I figured I’d better use it than let it go to waste…

Plus, I had to make this at least somewhat pizza-like, and pizza without cheese? Now that’s a concept that’s really hard for me to grasp.  And while the dish I ended up creating still had nothing to do with pizza, I’m happy I included the cheese. Its creaminess and tanginess really helped bring all the flavors together and elevate this dish to the next level.

That said, I’m not even certain that this really qualifies as meatza. Honestly, I don’t really know how to label it, and I don’t really care…. All I know is it was good. Darn good. And satisfying, too.

A culinary experience I’ll be wanting to repeat time and time again, while experimenting with loads of different flavor combinations.

Care to make one with me? continue reading

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Layered Choconut Bars http://thehealthyfoodie.com/layered-choconut-bars-2/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/layered-choconut-bars-2/#comments Sat, 11 Oct 2014 11:00:42 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436670477 First, take a good long look at the picture below. Then, scroll aaaaaaaaaall the way down and take a real good peek at that recipe… and then come back here. Now, before I even write another word, please allow me to say this: whatever you do, keep this lovely picture in mind and don’t let the recipe’s […]

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First, take a good long look at the picture below. Then, scroll aaaaaaaaaall the way down and take a real good peek at that recipe… and then come back here.

Now, before I even write another word, please allow me to say this: whatever you do, keep this lovely picture in mind and don’t let the recipe’s very lengthy list of ingredients and seemingly endless series of instructions demoralize you and prevent you from giving these Layered Choconut Bars a try.

Hear me out: it really isn’t so bad, I swear. I’ll give it to you, this recipe does indeed call for a lot of ingredients. As in “A LOT” with big fat capital letters! But most of them are pretty standard in a paleo pantry, so that shouldn’t be an issue. And they’re all fairly easy to weigh and measure, too. Promise.

Layered Choconut Bars | thehealthyfoodie.com

And yes, there are many layers to make, but you don’t even need to rinse or clean the bowl of your food processor between layers. Or clean dishes at all, for that matter.

Trust me, those bars are so sweet and creamy, so intensely chocolaty, so fudgy and crunchy, so indecently dreamy that they are worth every single second you’ll be spending in the kitchen making them.

Plus, I’ll take you by the hand and walk you through every single step and even give you pictures and all. You’ll see, it’ll be a fun ride. In fact, it’ll probably take you much more time to read the post and recipe than it will take you to make the actual bars.

With that in mind, and without further ado, what do you say we get started? continue reading

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Ginger Sesame and Almond Broccoli http://thehealthyfoodie.com/ginger-sesame-almond-broccoli/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/ginger-sesame-almond-broccoli/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:00:33 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436670426 Well, I’ve officially started working out from home again. CrossFit is now a thing of the past for this foodie, at least for the time being. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about all this yet. I mean, unquestionably, I am EXTREMELY excited about building my very own gym. I’ve been having a blast […]

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Well, I’ve officially started working out from home again. CrossFit is now a thing of the past for this foodie, at least for the time being.

I’m not exactly sure how I feel about all this yet. I mean, unquestionably, I am EXTREMELY excited about building my very own gym. I’ve been having a blast purchasing my new equipment and I just LOVE having all that stuff in my basement: Olympic bar, bumper plates, bench and rack, dumbbells, kettle bells, weighted balls, resistance bands, name it… I pretty much went all out and bought everything I would need if I ever decided to start doing WODs at home. Heck, I even got me one of those fancy-shmancy LED timers to put on the wall and I’m seriously considering installing gym flooring across the entire room.

What can I say? I LOVE nice things (yes, yes, gym gear IS nice, very nice!) and I love things to be done well, too.

Ginger Sesame Almond Broccoli | thehealthyfoodie.com

For the time being, however, I’m not exactly doing WODs per se. As some of you may recall, I’d asked my coach to take me under his wing and design me a custom made program, one that would include strength training as well as some elements of CrossFit, while taking my annoying knee injury into consideration. And that he did, quite brilliantly I might add.

So far, I must say I’m having a real good time. I can blast my music all I want without having anyone complain about my [apparently] questionable tastes and sing along at the very top of my lungs if I want to. I can sweat all over the place without feeling one tiny bit self-conscious about it, and I can get as loud as I want when the weights start getting real heavy and require a little bit of “vocal coaxing” to get off the ground…

I miss my box, though. I miss the smell, the energy, the guidance, the cheering… I miss the people!

Ah! Guess I’ll have to go in and do a “spot WOD” from time to time. continue reading

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Keto Ground Beef and Spinach Skillet http://thehealthyfoodie.com/keto-ground-beef-spinach-skillet/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/keto-ground-beef-spinach-skillet/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 11:00:11 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436670403 Well, that’s it. I’ve decided that Keto and I are officially through. Well, at least for the time being. For a few days after my 3 month experiment was formally over, I considered stretching it by another month, but then I changed my mind. Not that I was feeling bad or anything. Only, I was fed up. I was […]

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Keto Ground Beef and Spinach Skillet | thehealthyfoodie.com

Well, that’s it. I’ve decided that Keto and I are officially through. Well, at least for the time being.

For a few days after my 3 month experiment was formally over, I considered stretching it by another month, but then I changed my mind.

Not that I was feeling bad or anything. Only, I was fed up. I was starting to get major cravings for meatballs in tomato sauce and carrot salad and roasted bell peppers, and baked sweet potatoes. All good stuff, really, so I felt there was no good reason to deny my body of its right to appease those cravings.

Besides, it’s no secret that I felt like the keto diet wasn’t doing much of anything for me. In 3 full months of strictly adhering to the “rules” and remaining in a constant state of ketosis, I can’t say that I really lost weight, or that I felt better physically or mentally, that I got any stronger, had more energy or even felt more intelligent.

I can’t say that I truly hated it, though. In fact, keto food can be pretty tasty!  Like this Ground Beef and Spinach Skillet for instance. I came up with this dish one evening that I was feeling particularly uninspired. All I did was throw a little bit of this and a little bit of that in a skillet. The resulting meal was so outstandingly tasty and so deeply satisfying, I just HAD to recreate it the very next morning. No way I was going to let that one fall into oblivion…

Quite frankly, I think I’ll be enjoying this one on a regular basis, whether I’m on keto or not.

Because hey, there are no rules against eating keto meals even when you’re not technically ON the diet.

continue reading

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Olive Artichoke and Spinach Dip http://thehealthyfoodie.com/olive-artichoke-spinach-dip/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/olive-artichoke-spinach-dip/#comments Sat, 04 Oct 2014 11:00:30 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436670363 After I made Olive Tapenade for the very first time the other day, I got really inspired to turn it into a super tasty dip; one that would contain oodles of olives and almonds, of course, but that would also be loaded with tons of spinach and big chunks of artichoke hearts. Lucky for me, the PERFECT occasion to make such […]

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Olive Artichoke and Spinach Dip | thehealthyfoodie.com

After I made Olive Tapenade for the very first time the other day, I got really inspired to turn it into a super tasty dip; one that would contain oodles of olives and almonds, of course, but that would also be loaded with tons of spinach and big chunks of artichoke hearts.

Lucky for me, the PERFECT occasion to make such a dip presented itself to me very shortly after.

Indeed, some of you may remember that my daughter has nearly given me a heart attack recently by telling me that I was soon going to be a grand-mother. Of course, to celebrate the occasion, we decided to throw her a little surprise party. Hey, no pregnancy would be complete without a surprise baby shower, now, would it?

And well, no party would be complete without a huge platter of crudités and dip, me thinks!

We were expecting about 30 people, so I made a fairly big batch. I wanted to be certain that we wouldn’t run out. But seriously tell me, is there even such a thing as too much dip? I don’t think so. In fact, I find there’s usually never enough at parties. The poor crudités always end up being abandoned, left to dry out and die a terrible terrible death on their half-empty platters, as soon as the bowl of dip empties out.

Tell you what, it shouldn’t happen this time, unless your guests do like I did and start eating it by the spoonful…

I wouldn’t be surprise in the least if that were to happen, though! ‘Cuz yeah, it really is that good!

continue reading

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