It’s getting cooler, comfort food is starting to sound delicious, and you wanna celebrate Taco Tuesday but you still wanna kill it in your skinny jeans. I totally get it, the struggle is real!! Today I’m sharing with you a delicious recipe for healthy nachos that I created last week on a whim. This recipe allows you to have the best of both worlds, it feels so bad, but it’s so good for you. On top of that it’s delicious, satisfying and super easy to make.
I made these stuffed peppers for dinner last week on a whim. They were amazing, so I had to share the recipe with you. Not only are they healthy, they are also extremely easy to throw together for a great weeknight meal.
I love to eat bell peppers, there are always a few in our fridge. I bought a few extra last week because I wanted to try to make some healthy stuffed peppers that were low carbs and had no dairy. I do not follow a low carb diet or a paleo diet; however this recipe suits both of those nutrition plans. Believe me, I love to eat carbs! It’s good to have options though because some days you want a lighter meal.
I was intrigued by the idea of cauliflower rice and wanted to give it a whirl. My first attempt I totally failed. I tried again thanks to a few tips from my friend Hope, and it was a success! (my advice: use a blender instead of a food processor, much easier and not as messy!) I had seasoned the cauliflower with curry spices and cumin which is what gives it the color.
GF, Dairy Free & Paleo – Healthy Stuffed Peppers
4 bell peppers (any color)
1 pound ground turkey (I used 93% lean)
5-10 mushrooms, diced
1/2 onion, diced
handful of spinach, sliced into strips
2-4 cups of cauliflower rice
coconut oil spray
- Heat skillet to medium. Spray with coconut oil (or other cooking oil spray) and sauté mushrooms and onions until onions become translucent – about 5 minutes.
- Add turkey to skillet and cook with mushrooms/onions until browned.
- Add spinach and cauliflower rice to skillet with the turkey mushroom mixture and cook until spinach is wilted and turkey is cooked thru.
- Hollow out the peppers and fill with stuffing mixture. Preheat oven to 350F and cook for 20-25 minutes or until peppers reach desired softness.
Now all that is left to do is enjoy!
I love these healthy stuffed peppers because they are so easy to make and are also a great way to eats lots of veggies without even noticing. Your husband and/or kids won’t even know the cauliflower rice is in there and that they are eating tons of veggies!
Tell me: Have you tried cauliflower rice?
Before I share one of my FAVORITE recipes with you I have to share that today is my birthday!!! I’m the kind of person that I don’t like to make a huge deal about my birthday. Trust me I LOVE to celebrate it, but I don’t go around warning people the week before that my birthday is coming. There is nothing wrong with doing that, it’s just not me. Katie got mad at me last night because even she didn’t know today is my birthday and she is one of my BFFs!
As I am writing this post, I am on my way to California!!!!!!! My husband surprised me with a trip down to So Cal for my birthday!! I was disappointed we hadn’t made any birthday plans and then last night he said, “hey, pack a bag we are going to Cali!” …. Then me “WHAAAAT?!?”
The timing is so perfect, which my husband obviously intended. We will be in Cali for my birthday and also get to go to my friends baby shower this weekend. YAY!!
I had to immediately start getting ready to go. My packing always seems to start in the kitchen. I can’t explain, but for some reason it’s really hard for me to pack clothes before I pack food LOL. I grab a few protein powder packets, some Quest Bars, a few cut up fruit and veggies and if I have time I whip up a favorite travel recipe or two.
This recipe is one of my GO TO travel recipes. It is gluten and dairy free. It’s great to make at home and eat as a snack during the week, but I especially LOVE it for travel because it’s protein packed and easy to transport. Plus it’s also super simple and easy to make. While it’s baking in the oven, you can pack your suitcase!
The only possible downside is that because of the egg whites this bread should be refrigerated. However, it can go from fridge to plane (or car) and last just fine until you reach your destination. If you don’t have refrigeration where you will be staying, just take a few slices with you. It can be hard to find nutritious snacks in airports. It’s getting easier these days but if you can make and take your own, nothing is left to chance and you save some money. Having a high protien snack is important because protien helps keep you full and feeling satiated.
I originally found this recipe on Quest Nutrition’s blog. I have modified a few things from the original recipe. The link to the original recipe is in the recipe card below.
**this is not a sponsored post, I was not compensated by Quest to write this, I just love Quest nutrition and their products**
I have made this using vanilla protien powder, chocolate protein powder, and Quest’s peanut butter protein powder (really really delicious). All the variations have been good, but my most fav is with the chocolate.
I have also used different flavored Quest bars in the recipe. The original calls for the chocolate brownie bar, but my favorite Quest bar to use is a double chocolate chunk. (Insert heart faced emoji) The cookie dough bar also works well.
I like to make this bread in mini loaf pans. I like the smaller slices and how they bake better that way. You can use a regular size pan, it will just be a little flatter. Feel free to try both ways and make it the way you like best.
Be sure to let the bread cool adequately before cutting it. It will be really moist so letting it cool will also make it easier to slice.
I have made this recipe multiple times, and it has become one of my staples. I hope you try it and enjoy it! Below is the recipe card you can print, or just bookmark this blog post.
If you do not have any Quest bars, you can purchase them online directly on the Quest website. You can get there by clicking on the images below. These do contain my affiliate link, so that means I get a very small portion of the sale. Thank you for your supporting me, either by buying thru this link or just reading my blog! 🙂
- 6 egg whites (usually 1 cup)
- 2-4 tablespoons water
- 1 cup vanilla/chocolate/peanut butter protein powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 medium bananas, mashed (if you only have 1 banana on hand, use 1 banana and 1/2 cup apple sauce)
- 1 Quest Double Chocolate Chunk Bar
- Preheat oven or toaster to 325F
- Line 2 mini loaf pans (or 1 loaf pan) with parchment paper
- Cut the Quest Bar into small chunks, and set aside.
- Mix egg whites, 2 tablespoons filtered water, protein powder, cinnamon, and baking powder.
- If the batter is thick and dry, add 1-2 tablespoons more water, and mix well.
- Fold in bananas.
- Fold in Quest Bar chunks.
- Pour batter into pan(s). If using small loaf pans they will be very full.
- Bake for about 40 minutes at 325F until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool completely (brings out the flavors), then slice and enjoy!
- Store in the refrigerator or freezer
Coconut Oil + Coffee ?
Sounds like it might be a strange combination right?! I thought so too, but let me tell you it is a delicious way to change up your morning coffee every once in a while. Coconut oil also has some added benefits that are worth mentioning as well. Another bonus: it’s REALLY easy to make!!
Just to clarify — this is NOT bulletproof coffee. The bulletproof coffee does have coconut oil in it as well as grass-fed butter. I have yet to try that combo in my coffee…but if I do, I promise I will blog about it. P.S. if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my blog HERE
I know what you guys are thinking… I’ve jumped on the coconut oil train. The purpose of this post is not to tell you that coconut oil is some miracle food and can save the world. Coconut oil has been shown to have health benefits, but they may not be the same for everyone. If you are looking for a way to add more coconut oil to your diet or a healthier way to doctor up your coffee in the morning – you MUST try this coconut oil coffee “creamer”.
I say “creamer” because it’s not dairy based creamer. Are you ready for the recipe? Here it is:
- brewed coffee
- 1 tsp Virgin Coconut Oil
It is SO creamy and smooth. This ONLY happens if you use a blender. If you just add coconut oil to your coffee it won’t taste bad, but it certainly won’t be creamy and frothy.
You may be wondering why coconut oil has gotten so much attention lately or why you should even bother trying it. Coconut oil is full of MCTs – medium chain triglycerides – these are easily converted to energy by our bodies and can help to rev your metabolism and can also reduce hunger. Some people get concerned that coconut oil is so high in saturated fat. These MCTs make up about half of the saturated fat in coconut oil. There are good and bad saturated fats and coconut oil is one of the good ones. Just like any good fat source, it’s only good in controlled quantities so don’t over do it. 🙂
Healthy fats help to steady our bloom sugar over time and also help us feel full, so drinking some healthy fat with your coffee in the morning will help you make it to lunch or snack time with more ease.
Like I mentioned earlier, different things work for different people and I am not trying to tout this as a key to weight loss. It’s a great alternative to dairy creamer if you like to have creamy coffee and a creative way to add more healthy fats to your diet.
If you give it a try, comment and let me know how you liked it! I’d also love to hear any fun coffee drinks you like – please share them in the comments!
Stay sweet & caffeinated!
Do you love peppermint?? This time of year peppermint is EVERYWHERE! Whether its candy canes, peppermint bark or peppermint mochas.
I LOVE peppermint and dark chocolate together. My most favorite protein shake combo this time of year is chocolate protein powder with peppermint extract.
As an occasional treat, peppermint mochas are delicious too! However, the downside of the mocha of course is the amount of sugar… check out these stats:
54 grams of sugar! Need I say more…
If you really love peppermint mochas and want to have one every once in a while, consider having a skinny peppermint mocha from Starbucks. Check out the stats for the skinny:
Still has 13 grams of sugar, but comparably its’s so much better and the calories aren’t as high either. If you are out and about and want to have one as a treat, the skinny mocha is a much better option.
You can order a skinny peppermint mocha from any coffee place as along as they have sugar free peppermint syrup and sugar free chocolate sauce. And of course, leave off the whipped cream.
The only downside to the skinny mochas is all the sugar free syrups and chocolates have a lot of chemicals and additives in them. SO – if you are able, try making your own peppermint mocha at home!! It’s so much easier than you would think!
Peppermint Mocha Makeover
This peppermint mocha is dairy free, gluten free and has NO added sugar! Yum, yum, yum! A delicious coffee treat that you DON’T have to feel bad about. (recipe card at bottom of post)
½ cup unsweetened almond milk (can also use regular milk)
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cacao powder (can also use unsweetened coco powder, just be sure it is unsweetened)
½ tsp. raw honey (optional) or stevia
¼ tsp. pure peppermint extract
1 cup brewed black coffee (or 1 shot espresso)
I did not use the honey to sweeten my peppermint mocha, however you can sweeten with honey or with stevia if you wish. You can use your favorite brewed coffee, you can use a packet of instant coffee with hot water, or you can use an espresso machine if you have one.
Bring almond milk, cocoa powder, honey or stevia (if desired), and peppermint extract to a boil in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
This is what it looks like once it is boiling.
Remove from heat; mix vigorously with a whisk until frothy.
Making this frothy is a serious arm workout! 😛 If you have a handheld milk frother you can use that too.
Once frothy, pour coffee into a large serving mug (if not already there) and top with almond milk/chocolate mixture.
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (or use regular milk)
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cacao powder (can sub coco powder, just be sure it's unsweetened)
- ½ tsp. raw honey (optional)
- ¼ tsp. pure peppermint extract
- 1 cup brewed black coffee (or 1 shot espresso)
- 1. Bring milk, cocoa powder, and honey (if desired), and peppermint extract to a boil in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- 2. Remove from heat; mix vigorously with a whisk until frothy.
- 3. Pour coffee into a large serving mug; top with milk mixture.
- 4. ENJOY!
Before we get to the recipes, I want to know…
What are your plans? What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Are you going to go Black Friday shopping?
Here are my plans for tomorrow:
- sleep in
- eat a super yummy breakfast
(SO IMPORTANT! Don’t skip meals!)
- run my own virtual turkey trot – I was planning on running a 10K (6.2 miles) but considering I haven’t run in the last week, I may settle for 8K (5 miles)
- make a kale salad to bring to Thanksgiving dinner (and maybe a healthy pie, depends on how ambitious I am feeling)
- have a green smoothie before going to the party
- enjoy dinner & time with family!!!
Here’s a quick recipe round up of some of my Thanksgiving favorites. They are all gluten & dairy free and fairly easy to make. I looooove to eat whole foods, but I don’t like a lot of fuss and complications in the kitchen 🙂 I know you will find these recipes so delicious and that they will satisfy you in a healthy way on Thanksgiving, during this holiday season, or whenever you want to make them!
Let me know which one of these recipes you would try by tweeting me (@sweetblondefit) or by leaving me a comment!
Butternut Squash & Kale Salad
Why I love it: creative salad full of fall flavor, a great addition to the Thanksgiving plate & full of superfood nutrients!
Adapted from Sur La Table cooking class
Yield: 4 servings
8 oz butternut squash, peeled & cut into 1-1/2in cubes
1/4 cup plus 1T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1-1/2 tsp dijon mustard
2 T lemon juice
2 tsp maple syrup (omit if you don’t need sweetness on salad)
1lb kale, (Tuscan kale is my fav) discard stems & cut into 1/2 inch ribbons
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1/2 pomegranate)
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
To cook squash: (preheat oven to 350F)
1. place squash in large bowl and toss with 2T of olive oil until coated
2. season with salt and pepper
3. spread squash in even layer on baking sheet
4. place baking sheet in oven and roast until golden brown & tender (about 30 mins)
To make vinaigrette:
1. In medium bowl, use a whisk to combine mustard, lemon juice & maple syrup
2. Use a whisk and mix vigorously
3. While whisking, drizzle in 2T of olive oil until well combined
4. Add salt and pepper to taste
To cook kale:
1. In large bowl, toss the kale with 1T of olive oil until coated
2. Place nonstick skillet on stove over medium heat
3. When skillet is warm, place enough kale in skillet to cover bottom of pan
4. Stir frequently until very lightly browned on both side and tender (about 4 mins)
Instead of cooking kale, massage in bowl with your hands, massaging makes kale more tender and not as bitter to eat. Same effect as cooking the kale without the warm salad.
Transfer kale to a bowl and using spatula, add vinaigrette and butternut squash. Carefully mix, try not to mash/break up squash.
Serve on large plate or in salad bowl. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds immediately before serving.
Thyme & Lemon Green Beans
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2½ lbs. green beans, trimmed (about 10 cups)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ cup water
1 tsp. finely chopped lemon peel
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ cup chopped fresh thyme
1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add green beans and garlic. Season with salt; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes.
3. Add water; cook, covered, for 2 minutes.
4. Remove lid; cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until water evaporates.
5. Add lemon peel, lemon juice, and thyme. Serve immediately.
Cranberry Quinoa Stuffing
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 medium celery stalks, chopped (about 4 cups)
2 medium green apples, with peel (about 2 cups)
4 cups low-sodium organic vegetable broth
2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup pine nuts
1.Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
3. Add celery and apple; cook, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender.
4. Add broth, quinoa, salt, cumin, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, for 15 minutes, or until most of liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
5. Add cranberries. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
6. Add cilantro and pine nuts; fluff with fork and serve.
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Yield: 4-5 servings
2lb cauliflower (1 very large head) 7-8 cups chopped
1T unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup white beans (cannelloni or navy beans), rinsed
1. in 4 quart pot, cook cauliflower in 5 cups of water, covered, until very soft (about 10 minutes)
2. Drain well using colander
3. Place cauliflower in blender, add almond milk, salt, & garlic powder.
4. Blend on low, 15 seconds
5. Push down cauliflower (be sure to get off sides) and blend on low again. Repeat as needed until reaching desired consistency.
6. Once coarsely ground, add beans and blend on low sped just until smooth but NOT creamed.
Variations: use 1/2 cup baked potato instead of white beans.
Top with a little bit of grass-fed butter.
Why I love it: Turkey breast is the leanest part of the turkey & super juicy. It’s great if you aren’t having many people over for dinner or have a lot of vegetarians/vegans as it isn’t as big as a whole turkey.
from Inspired Taste
1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6 1/2 to 7 pounds, thawed
1T minced garlic (3 cloves)
1T chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1T chopped fresh thyme leaves
1T chopped fresh sage leaves
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2T olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 orange, sliced
Preparation: visit Inspired Taste for the rest of the recipe!
Why I love it: this is the one recipe on here I haven’t tried, delicata squash is delicious, easy to slice (unlike other squash) and inexpensive. I modified the original recipe a little bit. This recipe is BEAUTIFUL and a great way to use this wonderful ingredient
recipe adapted from My Man’s Belly
2 Medium Onions (sliced thin)
¼ cup Olive Oil (divided)
2 delicata Squash
2 large cloves garlic (grated)
½ tsp Dried Thyme
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Heat half of the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
- Once oil is hot, add onions.
- Cook onions until they are slightly browned and softened. Stir occasionally. This should take about 8-10 minutes. If they are browning too fast, reduce the heat and add a tablespoon of water. You want the onions soft.
- Remove onions from heat when done.
- While onions are cooking, cut the squash in half (lengthwise) and remove the seeds.
- Trim the squash ends and slice into thin half moons (about ⅛” thick).
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Spoon onions into 8″ oven proof pan and spread evenly.
- Top onions with sliced Delicata squash pieces. Begin arranging slices skin side up along the outside edge of the pan. Overlap the slices and continue arranging them in circles until you get to the middle and there is no more room to add any more.
- Pour remaining olive oil into a small dish and add the garlic, thyme, salt and black pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Brush the herbed oil mixture over top of the squash slices and make sure to coat the surfaces well.
- VERY lightly sprinkle the top of the dish with maple syrup (very very lightly)
- Slide into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until squash slices have softened to your desired consistency.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.
Last week I was talking with Katie and somehow we started talking about soup. Soup had sounded so good lately but just seemed like too much effort. Katie was making one, and I realized “um, hello! You have no excuse to not make a soup, you have a super high powered blender!”
So, fast forward about a week, and I made soup. If you have a blender or an immersion blender, this is so easy! It features one of my favorite winter time squash, butternut!
First roast or bake your butternut squash. You can even cook it in the microwave. I used precut butternut squash, but you can certainly use the whole squash and peel/cut it once it is cooked. Then sprinkle it with cinnamon (as little or as much as you like depending on taste). At the same time, cook up some carrots either stove stop or microwave.
Add carrots and butternut squash to the blender along with some cornstarch and spices. This recipe is so cool because you can literally just dump everything in the blender once the veggies are cooked.
Added in spices like oregano, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder along with the cinnamon.
Added in carrots once they were done cooking. Then we add the almond milk. I wanted a creamy soup, so I used almond milk. You could easily use chicken broth or vegetable broth if you wished.
Now it’s time to make the soup!
I had to add more milk in at this point. I didn’t add enough for the consistency I wanted.
Do you notice how the blender is more full now? That is because the soup is slowly expanding with all the air that is getting whipped into it. That means its about time to turn it off, because I want soup, not whip 😛
Garish with whatever you like or eat plain.
You must try this recipe, it’s full of nutrient rich veggies and super easy to make. Plus it makes you all warm inside on a super cold day without the guilt of typical warming comfort food.
- 2 cups butternut squash, cooked
- 1 cup carrots, cooked
- 1 T cinnamon
- 1 T garlic powder
- 1/2 T cumin
- 1/2 T dried oregano
- 1/2 onion powder
- 1/2 tsp corn starch (gluten free)
- 1-2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- Add all ingredients to blender.
- Start blending on low and slowly increase speed.
- Continue blending until it reaches desired consistency. I wanted mine silky smooth. This is why the amount of almond milk varies, add 1/2 cup and slowly increase until you reach the desired consistency.
- Serve with caution as the soup may be hot. Warm up on the stove top or in microwave if not warm enough after it is done in the blender.