A 60′s Themed Party: Food, Fun and Friends!

Last night my friend had a Ladies night at her home in honor of her Birthday. An actual night away from the kids? Yes, really!  It was a wonderful gathering. We got to dress up in 60′s themed clothes, talk food, fun and well all things women must talk about.

60'spartyhat

We started out in the kitchen, of course, helping prepare the yummy dishes for our ladies’ feast. We had stuffed mushrooms with herb seasoned cream cheese, a garlicky Bruchetta, one of my favorite go-to salads Spinach & Strawberry Salad with sliced almonds and a Balsamic Vinaigrette – here’s my recipe, an Indian Spinach dish, a crudite´and of course desserts (including but not limited to chocolate rum ball, macaroons, an assortment of homemade cookies…) I made it early enough to help prepare quite a few of these delicious dishes.

Spinach Strawberry Salad

If my accountant appointment didn’t run so late (yes my hubby and I are always filing on the tail end of Tax Season), I would have stopped off to buy a large tomato, fresh mozzarella and some basil (already had asparagus) to make this wonderful, and yet so simple dish. I call this a Caprese Sandwich sans the bread. Found this gorgeous foodie pic at Green Renaissance on FB. Would love to credit the actual person though.  Check it how lovely this combo is “Dressed Up”:

capresse sandwich

And here I am – “Dressed up” for the gathering:

60's party

So much for my ‘selfie’ portrait skills. Yup, I cut my head off in this pic. So here’s a full length shot below:

60'spartyfulllength

Nutri-Savvy Chocolate Macaroons #lowsugar #gluten-free #healthier

GF cookies w fluffyWhile I was making my yummy, crisp GF chocolate chip cookies (only 2 g sugar per cookie!), I couldn’t stop there. Creating low in sugar, gluten-free treats is becoming an obsession. Well, I actually had some dark chocolate I just wanted to use up. Why? Don’t ask. I just had an idea and wanted to build from the ingreds I used in my cookies.

Gone are the cookies. Shhhh… fluffy scarfed them up, and in their place are yummy chocolately  macaroons (recipe below). You can also check out my other macaroon recipe: “Sweet Over Macaroons” here!

 

bag of goodies I made

Here is the simple recipe for 8 individual macaroons!

Nutri-Savvy Chocolate Macaroons

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cashew meal
  • 1/4 cup coconut, shredded, unsweetened
  • 2 Tbsp flax meal (or 1 Tbsp Chia, soaked in 2 Tbsp water)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 7 small squares (20 cal each) of Dark Chocolate, melted
  • 1-2 packets stevia

Thats It!

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F. Simply add water to cashew and flax meals. Then add in remaining ingreds. Scoop with mini scoop. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn off oven and leave in remaining oven heat for 10-20 minutes more. ENJOY!!

Nutritional Info:

Cal 70, Fat 6g, Chol 0mg, Sodium 12.5mg, Carb 4g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 1g, Protein 2g

Bookmark or PIN so you  can have this on file, next time your sweet-tooth is calling!

 

GF Chocolate Chip Cookies (w/ no added sugar) and Healthy Bean one’s too!

Okay. I promised to help my hubby out with lent. He’s given up alcohol and sweets. But its been a few weeks and I just had to make these cookies. The good news: only 2 g sugar per cookie. So while they are still a “treat” – there are quite a few commonly used  condiments I can name that have more sugar. Can you name them? … let’s start with Ketchup (1 Tbsp has 4g sugar)! Your turn! : )

GF Chocolate Chip Cookies (no sugar added)

except the dark chocolate chips

GF cookies

Now onto my recipe: GF Healthy Baked “Chips Ahoy!” Yes, they actually are reminiscent of my childhood dipping crisp, crunchy cookies into milk. And they taste GREAT! Just ask my girls! – (Yes, they are “twin-star approved”!)

Makes 10 (2.5″) cookies or 15 small

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Pamela’s Pancake/Baking Mix (It’s Gluten-Free and so are her other products)
  • 1/8 cup (2 Tbsp) *coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 2 Tbsp flax meal
  • 2 Tbsp oats, gluten-free
  • 1 Tbsp chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 packets Stevia
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened, vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips (I used dairy-free morsels)

Directions:

Soak flax in almond milk. Add Pamela’s baking mix, coconut, oats, almond butter. Then mix in vanilla, stevia, pecans and chocolate chips. Scoop onto baking sheet and press to flatten. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. Leave in warm oven (turned off) for about 20 more minutes, until crisp and browned. Enjoy!!

Nutritional info for 1 (2.5″) cookie:

Cal 77, Fat  5g, Chol 0, Sodium 52mg, Carb 7g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 2.5g, Protein 2g

*Note: If you don’t like coconut, you can substitute with same amount of almond meal (or cashew meal).

 GF cookies w fluffy

“Fluffy” wants some! These are the types of pics I take being a mommy of l’il girls. I just couldn’t resist! : )

Healthy Bean Choco Chip Cookie Crisps

I decided to try a similar recipe using Cannelini beans in place of the GF baking mix. This would give me more Fiber punch per cookie and maybe a bit more protein.

I used 2 cups of mashed beans and 2/3 cup almond milk, unsweetened (because I needed to puree the beans and make ‘em smooth enough). I also used a little more stevia and 1 Tbsp more of the almond butter and oats because there was more batter to thicken/sweeten. My hubby loved the flavor but they came out more like a crisp cracker. Still good flavor. But I love the GF ones the best and absolutely love Pamela’s Baking Mixes.

This recipe made 18 (2.5″) cookies.

Nutritional breakdown as follows:

Cal 96, Fat 6g, Chol 0mg, Sodium 115mg, Fiber 3g, Sugar 2g, Proten 3g

 

NNM Tip: Vary Up Your Eating Routine

As National Nutrition Month comes to a close (yes, March is nearly over), remember that healthy-living is an ongoing process. You can build upon your healthy values everyday and eventually they’ll become second nature. So these Nutri-Savvy Tips I’ve provided throughout this month are useful no matter what day or time of year. Keep them handy and stay healthy. Here’s one last NNM post — for this year anyway : ).

NNM fruit pic
This Week’s NNM Tip: Add in a new fruit or vegetable each week! It can be something unusual and unique to your palate or even just something you haven’t had in a while.

For example:

Asparagus is in season and can be a delightful side simply steamed and served with lemon and garlic or used to serve up chopped in your salads and potato or rice dishes. Come up with your own healthy recipe or try these amazing Eating Well recipes here.

Use this as a fun way to taste and explore the possibilities for your dishes and snacks. This will reduce the same old boring meals and liven ‘em up with new favors, color and textures that fruits and veggies can provide. So go ahead – mix it up – and enjoy a rainbow of epicurean delight!

Q: How do you add healthy variety to your palate?

NNM: Shut-eye may be more valuable than you think

Today’s NNM Tip: Get some sleep!

Studies show sleep deprived individuals have poorer memory and cognition and tend to eat more (and keep/pack on the pounds).

Not to mention higher risk for diabetes, obesity and stroke among the more serious consequences of long-term chronic sleep-deprivation. Prioritize your day and set your schedule so you can get some “beauty sleep”. Not only will it keep you looking more refreshed, you’ll be feeling better (and performing better) from the inside out. : )

Q: Early bird or Night Owl?

What keeps you up at night?

 

NNM: Surround Yourself with Healthy Choices

It’s National Nutrition Month (NNM)! Just recently, we celebrated Registered Dietitian day. I’m delighted to be amongst a group of professionals who promote health & well-being. Nutrition is an important part of good health (and so is exercise, so I applaud my fitness-expert colleagues as well).

Why I choose a Mediterranean-based diet

The Mediterranean diet is bountiful in fruit & vegetables – it includes a variety of whole grains, nuts & seeds and omega 3-rich fatty acid sources (fish, olives, walnuts). It is a beautiful diet with many delightful combinations. I always have a variety of healthy, colorful, foods to choose from. And these foods are the basis to some pretty yummy meals and satisfying snacks that I prepare for my family. I plan ahead (so I can surround myself with healthy choices) – having a variety of healthy foods to choose from makes this process quite do-able. This weeks NNM Tip shows you how to get started (see below).

Note: With more restricted diets, meal-planning can be a challenge, but with a list of appropriate foods to choose from, the process becomes a creative venture. As I develop more of these modified diets for my clients, I get to enjoy these meals, as well – with new dishes to add to my reportoire. I call it taste-testing. : ) Contact me (see form below), I’d be happy to help you put together a healthy eating plan that suits your needs  – personalized meal planning is one of my SERVICES.

This Week’s Tip: Surround yourself with healthy choices.

Good health starts in your home. Keep your kitchen stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats/proteins and heart-healthy nuts/legumes. And make healthy-living a fun, inviting family commitment. When you have fresh, colorful produce ready and available, it is much easier to snack or prepare your meals in a healthy way. Buy pre-cut veggies or fruits from your market or set aside some time to cut and prep for the week ahead. A good snack should be as simple as grabbing pre-cut or baby carrots and a TBS or 2 of hummus; fresh or frozen berries and a 1/2 scoop of non-fat greek yogurt; mini bell peppers and mushrooms ready to add to salads, lightly grilled veggie-dishes and or pasta sauces.

Q: How do you stock your kitchen?

Q: What are 5 of your weekly must-have’s? (Nutri-Savvy’s: leafy greens, bell-peppers, berries, apples, pears)

Q: What are some of your prepping tips for making healthy choices tasty, quick/convenient?

CONTACT ME

Introducing a NOT-SO-’empty-caloried’ treat!!

I’ve seen many ways to lighten a recipe. Sometimes you’ve just gotta have it rich, dense and full-fat — just eat a lot less of it! See my 3-bite rule. And sometimes you come up with a winner that’s got more nutrients, less “empty-calories” and still quite a treat! I’ve seen quite a few these days incorporating beans to fill it up with protein/fiber instead of all the fat. And some of these bean-powered treats sound so good – like this slice of yummy cake from SnackGirl. But alas, no beans in my cupboard today.

These may not have a lot of protein and fiber, but they sure do have LESS of the bad stuff and MORE of the good stuff, including fiber-rich prunes, magnesium-boosting cashews and an omega 3 “superfood” – flax! And they are mini-sized for portion-control. (unless you’ve got a hubby who just keeps popping each bite sized treat).

Light and fluffy, these moist little treats are great alone. But if you’ve gotta have frosting, I’ve got a special recipe that includes Calcium-rich ricotta (instead of butter). But you’ll have to stay tuned because today I’m highlighting these simply good cocoa-y muffins.

So here they are, my Cocoa Light Mini Muffins, UNTOUCHED (until my hubby get’s home) lol! Check out the Recipe and Nutritional info. here!

NS Cocoa Light Mini Muffins
(as seen at Livestrong.com)

cocoaminibites