Skinny Slowcooker Lasagna Soup

I mentioned in my last post how I was planning on cooking more now that we are getting into a groove with the little one. After our Sprouts trip last week I was super excited to get started. I came across this recipe while perusing Pinterest during a early morning feeding. We love lasagna in our house and make it probably 2-3 times per month. It is an easy stand-by that can be modified anytime to suit your current needs. Soup seemed just as simple and I had most of the ingredients on hand. The recipe I used as my base came from the website The Little Kitchen from the Skinnytaste cookbookAnyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Skinnytaste! I have made countless recipes from that website and you can find many of there on this site. The recipe was a hit so I will make it again 🙂 The only modifications I made were I added leftover diced tomatoes, three large rainbow carrots (shredded) and I used turkey sausage instead of chicken. You can add different vegetables like kale, mushrooms, eggplant or squash to make it a veggie lasagna soup. You can also change the type of meat you use or omit it all together. I served this with crusty french bread. Click here for the original recipe.

Skinny Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup (sorry that I did not take any pictures!)
Serves 8
223 calories/10 g fat/4 g saturated/56 mg cholesterol/793 mg sodium/17 g protein
***omit diced tomatoes if you are watching your sodium***

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Topping
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Soup
  • Cooking spray or oil mister
  • 14 ounces sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 3 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/2 tbsp dried parley flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 6 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into small pieces
  • 6 Tablespoons shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Adapted from www.TheLittleKitchen.net, Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

 

 

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FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Lemon Blueberry Scones

I had this recipe sitting on my counter for almost two weeks. I kept saying, “Tomorrow, I am making scones!” I had never made scones so I was a little nervous although I have no idea why, as baking comes naturally to me. My original intention with this recipe was to use lemon essential oil in place of the actual lemons. Then I realized I was out! UGH! I wanted to use the oils because not only is it more concentrated, there is less waste. One drop of lemon essential oil is equal to the juice from five whole lemons! Not to mention, the host of additional health benefits and household uses. Make sure the oils you use are therapeutic grade organic oils!

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This recipe if from Diane Sanfilippo’s BalancedBites website. She is the creator of the 21 Day Sugar Detox that I participated in about 6 months ago. She has a lot of great recipes and tips to eliminate sugar cravings!

Cheers!

Lemon-Blueberry Scones [grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free]

PREP TIME: 15 min
COOKING TIME: 25 min
YIELD: 10 scones (10 servings)
NUTRITION INFO: click here (PDF)

ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from ~ 1 -1/2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries

preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a food processor or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, thoroughly combine the eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and honey.
  • Sift in the remaining ingredients, except the blueberries, and mix for about 2 minutes or until the batter is well combined and forms a loose, very wet dough. If the batter is still too loose to somewhat hold its shape, let it sit for 5 more minutes.
  • Gently fold in the blueberries until they are evenly dispersed through the mixture.
  • Using 1/4 cup of batter for each scone, gently roll each scone into a loose ball and put on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press down the top of each scone to flatten slightly.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. (mine only took about 22 minutes so watch them!)

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

My husband is starting a strike schedule at his job next week. He will be working six 12 hour shifts per week until the unions and his company come to an agreement. He does not like eggs so I have been researching portable, healthy breakfast foods he can grab and go. This morning I did a test run of the Oatmeal Breakfast Bars I found on WellPlated.comNot only was the recipe easy to follow, the ingredients were already in my cupboard. This is a big selling point for me!

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes (my bars were finished in 23 minutes so keep an eye on them)
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 bars ( I cut mine in squares and was able to double the yield)
Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Ingredients
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond, but any kind will do nicely)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (Elisabeth’s version calls for agave)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy or crunchy—I used natural creamy)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 large banana, quartered and diced

Directions

  1. Place rack in the center reheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat an 8×8 inch square pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. In a separate large bowl, combine the milk, applesauce, egg, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir to combine . The batter will be very wet. Fold in the diced banana, then pour into the prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes or until thickened and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool, cut into bars, and serve.

Notes

Storage: Once cooled, bars can be wrapped individually in plastic and kept in the refrigerator for 5 days or frozen in a zip-top bag for up to 4 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours before serving. For a larger yield, increase the ingredient quantities by 1.5 and bakes in a 9×13 inch pan for 25-30 minutes.

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Lemony Greek Orzo Salad

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Summer is here and with the heat comes the need for lighter meals. Cold pasta salads and soups are a great option when it is 90+ degrees outside. Orzo (orso) is a great recipe base because of its versatility. Orzo, also risoni, is a form of short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice. It tends to take on the flavor of whatever you put it with and doesn’t try to be the star of the show. The recipe I am sharing today is one of my favorites and could be made with any pasta or rice. You can control the portion size as well so it is perfect for a large party or dinner for two. orzo-jpg

Lemony Greek Orzo Salad (Serves 6)
*I substituted 4 drops of doTERRA Lemon Oil for the fresh lemons. I love cooking with essential oils because unlike fresh produce, I do not have to worry about them spoiling before I can use them! doterra-lemon

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup orzo cooked and cooled (follow instructions on the box)
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil drizzled on cooked orzo to prevent sticking
  • juice from 1/2 half lemon or 4 drops doTERRA Lemon Oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
  • 10 kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in large bowl and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
Serve and Enjoy!

Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of Essential Oils or becoming a Wellness Advocate?
Please visit my website or contact me directly for more information! 

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Bake-free Chocolate Oat Cookies

Wow! It has been over a month since I posted anything. I would like to say that it is because I have been so busy but that really isn’t the case. I suppose I just needed a break. In May, I decided not to renew my nutrition counselor certification. It was a little pricey and since I dissolved my LLC back in January there really wasn’t a huge need to continue for another two years. I am still interested in helping people learn how to love a healthy lifestyle, but my work schedule didn’t allow the time I needed to build a successful business. This was not an easy decision, but with the saturation of the health and wellness market it really requires a full-time schedule to make money. I am thankful for every client I had over the last two years and seeing their success was so rewarding. I pray that the Lord opens the door again at some point. Until that time, I am still teaching Made to Crave at my church twice a year which is my passion. I have met some terrific women who love the Lord and have a desire to honor Him with their lifestyle choices. I look forward to my next class in the Fall! I know He is in control and will direct my paths to bring Him glory!

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I came across this recipe on Facebook and it originated at Healthy Holistic Living. This was another case of “Hey, I have most of these ingredients on hand so let’s make it!” I have not actually made the recipe yet but I plan to do so this afternoon. It has been sitting on my counter for a week and every night I tell my husband that I am making them tomorrow. Today is tomorrow! 😉 Enjoy! Check out the main website for a great explanation of the ingredients.

Bake-free Chocolate Oat Cookies – yields three dozen

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of quick-cooking oats
  • ¾ cup of raw organic honey
  • ⅔ cup of almond butter, optional
  • ½ cup of coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon of pink Himalayan pink salt

Directions

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the honey, almond butter and coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Stir in the oats, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and pink salt until everything is fully incorporated and coated.
  4. Use a spoon or small ice cream scoop to drop mounds of your mixture on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
  5. Place your cookies in the freezer for at least 15 minutes so that they can set.
  6. Store your healthy cookies in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer (depending on how hard you would like your cookies to be,) and that’s it! That’s a pretty quick and easy recipe right?

I <3 Cooking!

Over the last couple of weeks, my cooking bug is back. I can’t stop printing and saving recipes that I want to make in the very near future. Even more exciting is that I am creating my own! Monday night I made grass fed beef meatloaf and today I made a lovely apple, jicama, carrot salad. I did not photograph the meatloaf and the picture of the salad is just terrible. Please forgive me :-/ Normally, I share recipes on Friday but since I am cooking so much I figured I would have some new ones for you by then.

In past posts, I have mentioned SaladMaster and the fantastic tool I received for hosting a dinner party at my home. We ended up purchasing the cookware at another party because we loved it so much. The reason I mention this is because I used the SaladMaster machine to grate all my ingredients for the salad. A hand grater will work just fine, just watch your knuckles!

Apple, Carrot & Jicama Salad

Apple slaw

  • 1 medium apple (I prefer Fuji but any kind will do) shredded
  • 2 organic carrots shredded
  • 1 small jicama shredded
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds

Directions

Combine shredded lemon zest, apple, carrots and jicama in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice and mix well to coat the fruit. This will help keep the salad from browning and adds terrific flavor! Sprinkle the poppy seeds on last. Enjoy!

Check back tomorrow for the Grass Fed Beef Meatloaf recipe!

Cheers!

Almond milk, almond flour, almond butter…

We all remember the movie Forrest Gump starring Tom Hanks as a lovable, simple man from Alabama. In the movie, Forrest befriends “Bubba” Blue while serving in the army. Bubba comes from a long line of shrimp boat captains. During one scene of the movie, Bubba rattles off a litany of all the things one can do with shrimp. It is a pretty funny scene and not unlike our versatile friend the shrimp, almonds offer a variety of culinary opportunities.

Check out this great info-graphic about almonds from Nuts.com! Nuts.com is a family-owned business that has been operating since 1929. Don’t be fooled by the name! While nuts are their specialty they also offer high quality flours, candy, baking goods and coffee and tea at comparable prices delivered right to your door. I am honored to be able to collaborate with them on this post.

As you can see, almonds are a high protein, low-carb, gluten-free food. They are also a great snack as they are filling and portable! You can read more about the health benefits of almonds here.

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While I made the switch to almond butter and almond milk years ago, my favorite use for almonds these days is almond flour/meal in place of wheat flour. I love baking and this gives me a low-carb alternative while still enjoying my favorite treats! Here is a terrific almond pancake recipe from PopSugar.com. I made these one morning during the Sugar Detox and my husband was none the wiser; he loved them! Be sure to watch the heat as almond flour can burn faster than wheat flour. You will also notice the texture is crumbly versus fluffy but once you are used to the difference, you won’t go back!

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Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Almond Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

3 cups almond meal
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, light coconut milk, or milk
2 tablespoons extra-light olive oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, or butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the almond meal, flaxseed, salt, and baking soda.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the milk and oil or butter and whisk thoroughly.
  3. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Add more milk as necessary, one tablespoon at a time, to reach pancake-batter consistency.
  4. Lightly oil a skillet and heat over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto the skillet. Cook for three minutes, or until bubbles form and edges are cooked. Flip and cook for three minutes or until underside is lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batter.
  5. Serve with desired toppings.

Makes 14 four-inch pancakes. The following nutritional information is for one pancake made with unsweetened almond milk and coconut oil.

Enjoy!

*I did not receive any type of compensation for this post.