Tag: healthy

Suzy Oakley: Not your father’s PB&J – 3 healthy riffs on ‘Peanut Butter and Jelly

Suzy Oakley has had a long love affair with peanut butter and jelly, but sometimes adults have to act like … well, adults. Because of an aversion to her family’s legacy of diabetes and heart disease, she’s always trying to think outside the breadbox and modify simple, time-tested treats to be just a little healthier, yet still delish.

See how she takes the idea of a traditional PB&J sandwich and dishes up a few modern twists. Keep your minds (and your tastebuds) open – it’s a new day in the world of PB&J. (P.S. It’s OK to lick your fingers.) Continue reading.

 

With certifications in wellness and running (plus budget coaching, but we won’t go into that here), Suzy is nonetheless a work in progress. She considers life an extended form of school, where every student has the opportunity to learn something every day if they keep their minds and hearts open. She considers herself “your travel companion on the journey to well-being.”

Instagram, Twitter, Periscope: @oakleysuzyt

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ToWellWithYou

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/suzyoakley 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/SuzyTaylorOakley_suzyandspice

Google+ (I haven’t posted there much lately): https://google.com/+SuzyTaylorOakley_suzyandspice

Lyndi Fultz: Healthy Green Bean Casserole {Foodie Friday}

 Healthy green bean casserole - main

  

The leaves have almost pushed off all their leaves while a few tough ones are holding on tightly. These tough guys want to make sure that fall has its day in the * ahem * sun.

Thanksgiving is knocking on the door and I love to relish in it. This national day of giving thanks is my personal favorite holiday with its traditions, its lack of commercialism, and the massive focus on foods. Seriously, is it any wonder why Thanksgiving is so beloved? 

If green bean casserole using canned soup, canned mushrooms, and canned French-fried onions are on your tradition list, may I invite you to making it a bit healthier?

This version of green bean casserole starts off with no-sodium canned green beans. If you saved fresh beans from the garden, fantastic! For the rest of us, go with one of the many options now available to us with no-sodium. Also, there is no need for a cream of mushroom soup, with all of its additional sodium levels and added ingredients that are hard to pronounce. This version uses good old-fashioned fresh mushrooms, broth, and a bit of whipping cream.  

What more do you need?

You’ll need your appetite.

 Healthy green bean casserole - up close

 

Lyndi Fultz: Healthy Green Bean Casserole {Foodie Friday}

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces of baby portobella mushrooms
  • 1 large sweet Vidalia onion
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (I use no-sodium)
  • 4 cans of cut green beans, no salt added
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 shallots
  • 1 tablespoon flour

Instructions

  1. Wash and thinly slice mushrooms by separating the cap from the stem. Throw the stems in your compost pile.
  2. Thinly slice onion and sauté with mushrooms on stovetop in a large skillet or saute pan with 1/3 cup olive oil and ¼ cup chicken broth on medium heat. Cover for 30 minutes and then remove lid and reduce heat to low.
  3. Preheat oven to bake 350 degrees.
  4. Drain cans of green beans and add to large mixing bowl.
  5. Add ¼ cup chicken broth to mushrooms and add whip cream. Stir.
  6. Add mushroom mixture to mixing bowl of green beans and lightly toss to incorporate. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add green bean mixture to large Pyrex baking pan and place in oven to bake for 20 minutes.
  8. As casserole is baking, thinly slice shallots and separate into individual slices. Add to mixing bowl with flour and ¼ teaspoon salt and toss.
  9. Reheat skillet on high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and add shallots. Toss until crispy and brown, approximately 5-10 minutes.
  10. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle sautéed shallots over entire surface and add back to the oven, baking for 5-10 minutes until perfectly done.
http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/lyndi-fultz-healthy-green-bean-casserole-foodie-frida/

Enjoy and give thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll.

 

Lyndi Fultz Getting to Know Your ARWB Foodies

 
 What food reminds you of childhood? 
cheese omelets
When I was a kid, my mom made runny, undercooked, boring scrambled eggs. I decided to take matters in my own hands and learned how to 1) make dry scrambled eggs and 2) kicked it up a notch and learned how to make cheese omelets. Never again did I have runny, undercooked, boring scrambled eggs. Thanks mom!
 
 What is your favorite international cuisine?
 
slow food from France and Italy
I like the country rustic fare from just about anywhere: fresh fish plucked from the sea, lightly but perfectly seasoned, wine with brie and fruit and long conversations, and whole chicken simmered in broth with garlic. I can appreciate fancy food yet I fall in love with simplicity that is delicious. 
 
What is always in your refrigerator at home?
 good, grass-fed butter
whole whipping cream
parmesan cheese
farm eggs
large curd cottage cheese
whole milk plain yogurt
brussel sprouts
thyme
minced garlic in a jar (what, you didn’t think I always mince my own garlic, did you?)
 
What is your go-to ingredients that you use time and time again?
 fresh thyme
 
Do you have a favorite food indulgence?
 fried chicken, yes please

What is your most used cookbook?
 
What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
santoku knife
 
What is your favorite food meal to cook at home? 
 pan slow-cooked paillard chicken in broth with balsamic and dijon 
 
What is a cooking tip that you would like to share with beginning cooks?
 Sign up for Cook’s Illustrated because they will absolutely teach you how to cook
 
When you’re not cooking, what are your favorite pastimes?
 kayaking, fishing or just hanging out in the lake, remodeling, landscaping, going for drives with my husband and hanging out with family. 
 
What else would you like us to know about you?
I need a clutter-free zone to function properly.

Arkansas Women Blogger member Lyndi Fultz writes about living and eating well from her life in beautiful Northwest Arkansas at nwafoodie. Much of her blogging inspiration comes from this gem of a place, which she refers to as the proverbial land of milk-and-honey. Read more related to cooking, entertaining, gadget suggestions, ingredient explorations, local finds, local restaurant treasures, kitchen tour spotlights, and always with a healthy and simplistic approach.

Connect with Lyndi:
twitter – @nwafoodie
fb – /nwafoodie
pinterest – nwafoodie

 

In an effort to eat more veggies, today I shall have carrot cake {Foodie Friday}

 written by Shannon of Still Seeking Martha 

In an effort to eat more veggies, today I shall have carrot cake!

I love a good carrot cake. Honestly, I love cake PERIOD! There is just something about a carrot cake that makes me feel like a kid again.

In a single bite it takes me right back to the “pie” auctions the Cattlemens Association used to have.

I loved going to the auction with my Godfather. What little kid wouldn’t want to go bid on cakes and pies?!? Plus, everyone always said things like “Oh, I see you brought the boss with you.” Me? The boss? Alright I could handle that.

My Godmother, in what I chose to believe was an effort to make me smile throughout the year, but was more likely an effort to keep her husband’s wallet a little thicker, started making me carrot cake any time I asked.

Yes, I was that spoiled by them.

You’re going to need:

  •  A couple large mixing bowls
  • A mixer (unless you’re crazy and want to do this by hand)
  • A large spoon
  • An oven heated at 350 degrees
  • Either a 13X9  cake pan
  • OR two 8 or 9 inch round pans
  • A little bit of shortening
  • A tiny bit of flour

As well as:

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

and to frost it you’ll need

  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

 Now that you have everything needed, I’ll tell you just want to do with it.

If you read this from the start, your oven should already be preheating to 350 degrees. If not, do that now.

Grease the bottom and sides of the pan(s) with shortening and lightly flour them.

Get one of those large bowls and your mixer and beat the granulated sugar, oil and eggs on low for about 30 seconds or until its well blended.

To that, add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla and the salt; beat on low 1 minute.

Stir in the carrots and the nuts. STIR, with the large spoon I mentioned earlier.

Pour your batter into the pan(s).

If you used a 13×9-inch pan you’ll want to bake it 40 to 45 minutes.

If you used the round pans, bake them 30 to 35 minutes

Either way, you want to bake them till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Once baked, let them cool completely. You can cool the 13X9 in the pan or on a cooling rack. Cool the rounds about 10 minutes in the pan then remove them and let them finish cooling on a rack. It should take about an hour.

While that’s cooling you should probably make the icing so get the other mixing bowl and your mixer back out, or cleaned off.

You’ll want to beat the cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla on low until its smooth. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar. Gradually… like 1 cup at a time. Your mixer should still be on low so just keep it going till its smooth and spreadable.

Since that didn’t take an hour let your cake(s) finish cooling.

Now you can frost the 13X9 or fill and frost the rounds.

 If by chance you have leftovers, store them in your fridge or invite me over.

Shannon is a 30-something Mom to 5 beautiful children. Yes, 5! You could call it a modern day version of yours, mine, and ours. Her blended family of 7 keeps her on her toes and on the go. Add in working from home as a legal secretary and quickly you’ll see her life is crazy and often chaotic, but she wouldn’t trade one sarcastic moment of it. Her blog, Still Seeking Martha is just a place she goes to share the ups & downs of blended mommyhood, like mowing what feels like 127 acres with a push mower, favorite foods and recipes, mostly cake, and sometimes some DIY projects like great teaching tools. You can stalk Shannon at http://stillseekingmartha.blogspot.com, on Facebook, Twitter, or just email her at seekingmartha@gmail.com.

Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Bake {Foodie Friday}

Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Bake {Foodie Friday}
Written by Ashten Adamson at Barefoot ‘N Running

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be pretty wishy-washy with my breakfast habits. It’s not something I’m proud of, but at least I’m aware of it. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day and starts your metabolism, I’ve been making conscious effort to eat breakfast every morning.

I’m sure you’re wondering why this is a problem. But I like to get up and lounge around drinking coffee before I want to eat breakfast. Are you like that, too? This is a problem for me because I’m living a very active lifestyle. I’m currently training for my second 10K, and I take yoga three times a week. And I have my hopes set on the St. Jude’s Half-marathon in December. So I need a good, healthy breakfast that keeps me full.

Enter Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Bake, a recipe I adapted from Fit Foodie Finds.

What you will need:

2 bananas
1 pint of fresh blueberries (or 1 C. frozen blueberries)
2 C. Old Fashioned Oats
1 egg, beaten
2 C. almond milk (I used original but I’m sure Vanilla would be delicious)
¼ C. honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of chia seeds
A few shakes of cinnamon
A splash of vanilla

In the bottom of a baking dish, slice the bananas and for a nice layer. Add half of the pint of blueberries on top of the bananas.

In a separate bowl, mix oats, baking powder, chia seeds and cinnamon. Add almond milk, honey, vanilla and the beaten egg.

Pour oat mixture on top of bananas and blueberries. Top the oats with the remaining fresh blueberries.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 35 minutes. The top should be nice and toasty brown, and there should be very little liquid in the center.

Spoon out a nice portion and top with your favorite nut butter, Greek yogurt, honey or all three.

 

The possibilities for a breakfast dish like this are endless. It would also be nice dish to serve at a brunch because it can be made in large batches.

You can use whatever ingredients you have on hand, and I feel quite positive that it will be delicious. And trust me, it’s the perfect breakfast to fuel a long day.

 

A tribute to running, eating, graduate school woes, healthy living and story-telling, Ashten writes a slice of life blog at Barefoot ‘N Running. You will find eclectic posts and a conversational writing style that will draw you into her crazy life.

 

Wassail, wassail all over the town! {Foodie Friday}

“Our bread it is white and our ale it is brown…” Ok, I’ll stop. In case you’re wondering, those are the words from the traditional English Gloucestershire Wassail song. Come on, indulge me, you’ve got a minute to explore that link and the background on wassail!

Gloucestershire Wassail (on Youtube)

Apparently, my high school years of performing in a Madrigal dinner had quite an effect, and now those around me must also endure it. If you don’t feel like delving in, here’s the gist of it: today’s definition of a madrigal dinner is a multi-course, Medieval-style meal served by costumed performers singing traditional (old English) Christmas carols. (“The boar’s head, in hand bear I…” Ok, sorry – I’ll really stop this time.)

So, why does this matter on foodie Friday? Because wassail (literally “waes hael” or “be you healthy”)  is a foodie tradition you should most definitely explore! Before we go further, though, I need to offer my standard disclaimer from The Food Adventuress: I’m quite horrible at precisely following directions and tend to just do whatever I want in the kitchen and wait to see how it turns out. So, if you’d like a real recipe for wassail, you’d best go elsewhere. Just do a quick search on the Interweb and you’re sure to turn up lots of lovely options. Now, don’t tell my Mom, but here’s what I do:

  1. Grab crock pot a little too late in the day for 6 p.m. wassail readiness.
  2. Have a glass of wine or your relaxing beverage of choice.
  3. Recollect that you were going to make wassail and get back to it.
  4. Fill said crock pot about 2/3 full of apple cider.
  5. Top it off with generous pours* of orange juice (I like pulpey for this!) and pineapple juice.
  6. Add a good amount** of lemon juice and honey.
  7. Start adding spices to your taste. I choose cinnamon (lots!***), ground cloves, freshly grated nutmeg and sometimes ginger and allspice depending on my mood/desire to exert myself.
  8. Decorate your wassail. I typically add a cloved orange (sliced or not, per your own desire to exert yourself) and some apple slices from near the core along with a cinnamon stick or two.
  9. Let simmer for several hours and return to your aforementioned beverage.
  10. Serve to standing ovation (or at least a few compliments).

* In this case, generous pours mean probably a cup or two each, but let’s not get too precise.

** Under duress, I would probably estimate that a good amount means half a cup?

*** I’m pretty sure my favorite measurement is “to taste.” That’s what you do here – you won’t mess up!

A couple of notes that will increase your cool factor: first, everybody has a scratchy throat around the holidays. Wassail is the guaranteed fix-it and soother – offer it to everyone who enters your home. Of course, your home smells completely fabulous because you made wassail! Also, I recommend not adding alcohol. Shocking, I know. Wassail is enjoyable by all… the kids and those who abstain should enjoy it as much as everyone else, and anyone who wishes to doctor (ahem) their drink may do so with ease once in the mug.

Finally (insider tip!) just store the wassail outside between servings, assuming it is even mildly chilly at night in your neck of the woods of Arkansas (and beyond). Just slowly warm it up starting a little earlier on subsequent serving days. The wassail gets a little thicker as the spices mull, so just add some more of the juices prior to simmering and the original batch should get you through several servings.

Again, this is all highly unscientific but fairly popular Chez Stephens, and it’s standard fare throughout the month of December from tree-decorating through New Year’s. I hope you’ll try it, and maybe add a few of the old English carols to spice up your holiday tunes as well! Give some background to your family and your kids may be the smartest ones on the block. Mine is definitely the one who knows about wassail, which either makes her incredibly cool or highly nerdy. I’m ok with both.

Happy Wassailing to you!

Beth is the marketing maven and one of the four founding members of Arkansas Women Bloggers, but her real job is as executive director of the Ozark Natural Science Center – a nonprofit field science, environmental education, camp and conference facility in northwest Arkansas. She blogs over at The Little Magpie and The Food Adventuress and finds herself eating far more of her mother’s rum cake around the holidays than she would care to admit.

Please note: all images and links are public domain from the web, and used only to illustrate topics for your personal use.