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19 Nov

A soft and chewy peanut butter-oatmeal cookie studded with chocolate chips and candy-coated chocolate pieces. These Monster Cookies are gluten-free, made all in one bowl and truly the best!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links that will not change your price but will share some commission.

A longtime family favorite recipe.

Why I’m JUST now sharing this recipe after 4 years of this blog’s existence beats me! But lucky for you, because today is the day. These Monster Cookies have been a favorite in my family since I started making them back in high school (a long time ago). Over the years, I’ve tweaked the recipe that I first started with (likely found on allrecipes.com) several times which evolved into what I’m sharing today. My Monster Cookies are a recipe I make all year round – especially during the holidays. They come together quickly and can be made all in one bowl. All you have to do is add the ingredients to a bowl, give them a stir, transfer to a cookie sheet and bake them. In no time at all, you’ll be sinking your teeth into warm, peanut butter-y, oatmeal cookie goodness!

 

These Monster Cookies can be made peanut- or nut-free with one simple substitution.

Now if you’re looking for a cookie option that’s peanut-free, you can simply substitute almond butter or cashew butter for the peanut butter. Both of these nut butters have a neutral flavor and will work well in this recipe. If you want to make the cookies completely nut-free, you can substitute sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter. This will change the flavor of the cookies a bit, but they’ll still be totally delicious!

A close up The Best Monster Cookies studded with colored candy pieces and fresh from the oven. A close up The Best Monster Cookies studded with colored candy pieces and fresh from the oven.

 

A quick note about candy-coated chocolate pieces.

Though this post is not sponsored, I do want to give a quick and well-deserved shout-out to Little Secrets! The makers of the candy-coated chocolate pieces you see used in this recipe. If you’re looking for a dye-free, better-for-you alternative that’s similar to M&M’s, you’ll want to check them out! The chocolate pieces are made with non-GMO, Fair Trade Certified chocolate and no artificial colors (food dyes) or corn syrups. In these Monster Cookies, I like to use a combination of the Little Secrets Dark Chocolate Pieces and Little Secrets Peanut Butter Pieces. So good! You can browse and shop all of the Little Secrets products, here OR see where they’re available in a store near you here.

Overhead view of The Best Monster Cookies with a package of Little Secrets peanut butter candy-coated pieces.Overhead view of The Best Monster Cookies with a package of Little Secrets peanut butter candy-coated pieces.

Add a stash to your freezer.

A cookie stash in your freezer is always a good idea! For many reasons:

  • Something delicious to offer to a surprise (or planned) guest.
  • The perfect treat to bring to a new mom, a neighbor or a special someone “just because.”
  • Something to have on hand for those last-minute situations – a treat to bring to a holiday gathering, birthday party, work potluck, etc.
  • You just never know when you’ll have a mad craving for a cookie!

A gooey peanut butter oatmeal cookie with melty chocolate chips and colored candy pieces sits on a grey countertop with a big bite out of it. A gooey peanut butter oatmeal cookie with melty chocolate chips and colored candy pieces sits on a grey countertop with a big bite out of it.

If you plan to add a stash of these scrumptious Monster Cookies to your freezer, I recommend doubling or even tripling the recipe.

A soft and chewy peanut butter-oatmeal cookie studded with chocolate chips and candy-coated chocolate pieces. Monster Cookies are gluten-free, made all in one bowl and truly the BEST! Click To Tweet

It’s time to whip up a batch of The Best Monster Cookies! Who’s with me?

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Let’s Get Cookin’

The Best Monster Cookies

A soft and chewy peanut butter-oatmeal cookie that’s studded with chocolate chips and candy-coated chocolate pieces. These Monster Cookies are gluten-free and made all in one bowl! They’re truly the best.

  • Author: Stacie Hassing
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 18 cookies 1x
  • Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Nut-Free option

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the candy-coated pieces and chocolate chips. Stir to combine. 
  3. Once combined, fold in candy-coated chocolate pieces and chocolate chips. 
  4. With a small cookie scoop, spoon a heaping amount of dough and place on prepared baking sheets. Repeat until dough is gone. You will end up with about 18 cookies.
  5. Oil hands and press dough down to flatten slightly (about 3/4-inch thick). 
  6. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. 
  7. Leave on baking sheet for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to one week. May also freezer for later.

Notes

*Substitute sunflower seed butter for nut-free

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 180
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Sodium: 145 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 5 g

Pin now to make later!


Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

About Stacie Hassing

Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she and her husband reside on 5 acres with their two pups, Walter & Lucy. She’s a creator of simple and wholesome recipes, a lover of nature, a crossfitter, a seasonal runner, and she’s on a mission to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life from the inside out.


Credit: Source link

17 Nov

This Thanksgiving side is sure to please! Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole is made with no added sugar, is Whole30-friendly and topped with toasted pecans and crisp bacon.

This recipe was created in partnership with our friends at Organic Valley.

Take your Thanksgiving (or any dinner) menu to the next level with this Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole.

You’re probably familiar with the traditional sweet potato side dish that’s covered in a thick layer of marshmallows and all the brown sugar. And while that’s totally tasty, if you’re looking to lighten up your menu and offer low-sugar options without sacrificing taste, you’ve come to the right place. This Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole is one of my favorite side dish recipes. It’s creamy, naturally sweet and the topping made of toasted pecans, spices and crisp bacon, adds the perfect crunch and savoriness to this recipe. It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser that you’ll want to make again and again, Thanksgiving or not.

A Thanksgiving side that is sure to please! Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole is made with no added sugar and is Whole30-friendly. It’s topped with toasted pecans and crisp bacon pieces. @organicvalley Click To Tweet

Made with Organic Valley Ghee and Organic Valley Eggs.

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole is made with Organic Valley Ghee and Organic Valley Eggs. The ghee adds a rich, buttery flavor to the dish and it’s Whole30-friendly. Now if you’re not in need of a Whole30-friendly recipe, you can certainly use butter in place of the ghee to get the same, scrumptious results.

What is ghee?

Ghee is clarified butter with hints of nutty, caramel flavors. Ghee has been a staple of many culinary traditions around the world for centuries, and today it’s prized for its rich buttery taste, enticing aroma, and its high smoke point, which makes it ideal for high-heat cooking.

Organic Valley slowly simmers their clarified Ghee to coax the excess water out while preserving the nutritional benefits of pasture-raised organic butter. In the process, some of the ghee’s milk solids will caramelize, leaving behind hints of sweetness and roasted nuts. Ghee is a lactose-free, casein-free, and shelf-stable product. To learn step-by-step how ghee is made, check out this post.

Now, onto the eggs. The two eggs that this recipe calls for results in a creamy, smooth, soufflé-like texture. It really makes for something delicious especially when combined with the crunch from the toasted pecan and savory crisp bacon topping.

To learn all about the importance of choosing quality eggs, read this post.

Have an egg allergy or sensitivity? Feel free to omit the eggs.

Healthy Sweet Potato CasseroleHealthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Look at that topping!

Going beyond your Thanksgiving menu. Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole is meal-prep friendly, to0!

While this Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole makes for a delicious addition to a Thanksgiving menu, it also makes for an easy side dish to add to any meal. In fact, I love prepping it on the weekend along with some roasted Brussels and some sort of protein and portioning it out in these 3 compartment, glass meal prep containers. It makes for the most delicious reheat-and-eat kind of meal to enjoy throughout the week! In addition, this recipe is also freezer-friendly so if you’re cooking for one or two, you can always freeze half of the recipe to enjoy down the road.

Healthy Sweet Potato CasseroleHealthy Sweet Potato Casserole

For a touch of extra sweetness, add a few dates!

While garnet and jewel (orange-colored) sweet potatoes are generally sweet enough (the sweetest of all sweet potato varieties), if you’d like to add a little extra sweetness yet keep it Whole30-friendly, you can certainly add a couple of naturally sweet dates. Simply allow the dates to soak in hot water for 5-10 minutes to soften before adding them to the food processor with the rest of the filling ingredients. However, if you’re not in need of a Whole30-friendly recipe, you could drizzle the top with a little maple syrup. You really can’t go wrong with how you choose to sweeten or not sweeten this recipe.

Healthy Sweet Potato CasseroleHealthy Sweet Potato Casserole

I can’t wait for you to give this a try! If you do, we’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

  • Author: Stacie Hassing
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 9 servings 1x
  • Category: Side-Dish, Whole30
Healthy Sweet Potato CasseroleHealthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients

For the Sweet Potato filling:

  • lbs. sweet potatoes (about 4 garnet or jewel medium sweet potatoes)*
  • 3 dates, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes to soften (optional – feel free to omit) 
  • ⅓ cup milk of choice (unsweetened almond milk for Whole30)
  • 1½ Tbsp. Organic Valley Ghee
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder 
  • 2 Organic Valley Whole Eggs

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup pecans (½ cup chopped + ½ cup whole) 
  • 3 strips no-sugar bacon, cooked and chopped (turkey bacon works, too)
  • 1 Tbsp. Organic Valley Ghee, melted
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon 
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9-10 inch (square, round or oval) or 1.5 quart baking dish and set aside. 
  2. Bake sweet potatoes in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until soft and cooked through. Baking time will depend on the size of sweet potatoes. *Note: feel free to bake/cook the sweet potatoes however you wish. This can be done a day or two ahead of time.
  3. While sweet potatoes are baking, in a small bowl add the topping ingredients and mix to combine. Set aside. 
  4. When sweet potatoes are done, remove from oven and let set for 5 minutes. 
  5. After the 5 minutes, remove the peels of the sweet potatoes and add the peeled sweet potatoes to a food processor (one that holds at least 8 cups). You may also use a hand mixer or stand up mixer for this step. 
  6. Add the rest of the filling ingredients, except for the eggs, and process until smooth. May need to scrape sides once or twice. Next, add the eggs and process again just until smooth. 
  7. Transfer the sweet potato filling to the prepared baking dish and spread out evenly. Top with the pecan and bacon mixture. 
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. If pecans begin to get too brown, cover again with foil.
  9. Serve warm.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/9 of recipe (without dates)
  • Calories: 245 calories
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Sodium: 285 mg
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 6 g

Pin now to make later! 

Pin image for Healthy Sweet Potato CasserolePin image for Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole


Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter. 

This post was made possible by our friends at Organic Valley. Although we received compensation for this post, the opinions expressed here are – as always – 100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great companies we work with thereby allowing us to continue creating great recipes and content for you.

This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a percentage of the sale if you use the link to make your purchase. This does not change the price of the product. This income directly offsets the cost of web hosting and maintenance so we greatly appreciate your support.

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

 

 

About Stacie Hassing

Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she and her husband reside on 5 acres with their two pups, Walter & Lucy. She’s a creator of simple and wholesome recipes, a lover of nature, a crossfitter, a seasonal runner, and she’s on a mission to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life from the inside out.


Credit: Source link

19 Sep

Warm, nutty, cinnamon-infused Paleo Apple Crisp is calling your name! The perfect treat to enjoy on a crisp, fall day.

Made with less sugar and only real food ingredients.

In Minnesota here, it’s prime apple-picking season. Apple orchards are the place to be on the weekend and everyone is making their favorite apple treats. Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite desserts to make in the fall – Paleo Apple Crisp – made with only real food ingredients and much less sugar. The entire recipe calls for only 1/4 cup of maple syrup and no refined sugar, which perfectly allows the natural sweetness of the apples to really shine through.

 That nutty, crisp topping though!

The topping on this Paleo Apple Crisp is everything you’d hope for and more. The ratio between the crisp and apple filling is absolute perfection (I promise, I didn’t skimp on this part of the recipe). The crisp texture with the hint of cinnamon & nutmeg is 100% spot on. You’re going to love the the crunch from the toasted nuts and the slight sweetness that comes from the maple syrup and coconut flakes. The topping definitely adds to the deliciousness of this Paleo Apple Crisp because let’s face it, the topping just might be the best part!

Warm, nutty, cinnamon-infused Paleo Apple Crisp is calling your name! The perfect treat to enjoy on a crisp, fall day. Click To Tweet

Paleo Apple CrispPaleo Apple Crisp

Add a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.

The thought of a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of a fresh, out-of-the-oven serving of Paleo Apple Crisp makes my mouth water like nothing else. While this Paleo Apple Crisp is quite delicious served as is (even cold), adding a scoop of ice cream, in my opinion, takes it to the next level. The combination is simply indescribable. Now if you follow a dairy-free diet or you’d like to keep this recipe paleo-friendly, you could certainly give our Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream a try or there’s plenty of ice cream options to choose from at most grocery stores.

A quick tip about this recipe: I like to leave on the peels of the apples to not only save a considerable amount of time but also because the peels contain a good amount of fiber. As we know, fiber has a vast variety of health benefits and most of us could use a little more fiber in our diets. Additionally, because apples are ranked No. 5 on the EWG dirty dozen list, I recommend choosing organic apples. 

Paleo Apple CrispPaleo Apple Crisp

You’re in for a real treat!

It’s time to take advantage of the abundance of apples available during this time of year and give this insanely delicious Paleo Apple Crisp a try!

Looking for more apple recipes? Try our Blender Waffles with Cinnamon Pan-Fried Apples or Gluten-Free Harvest Apple Crisp.

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Paleo Apple Crisp

  • Author: Stacie Hassing
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 9 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Paleo
Paleo Apple CrispPaleo Apple Crisp

Ingredients

For the Apple filling:

For the topping: 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. 
  2. In a food processor (or blender), add the topping ingredients. When adding the coconut oil, break up into smaller chunks. Pulse just a few times or until ingredients resemble a course texture and stick together slightly. Set aside.
  3. In a greased 9×9 inch baking dish, add the apple filling ingredients except for the water. Toss until apples are evenly coated. Stir in water. Add 1-2 additional tablespoons of water if apples seem dry.
  4. Top the apples evenly with the crisp topping. 
  5. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes uncovered. Cover with foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until apples are soft. Let set for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  6. Serve warm. Top with whipped topping such as Coco Whip or ice cream if you wish! Garnish with chopped pecans and a dusting of cinnamon. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/9th of recipe
  • Calories: 250
  • Sugar: 15 g
  • Sodium: 80 mg
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 2 g

Pin now to make later! 


Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter. 

This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a percentage of the sale if you use the link to make your purchase. This does not change the price of the product. This income directly offsets the cost of web hosting and maintenance so we greatly appreciate your support.

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians.

About Stacie Hassing

Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she and her husband reside on 5 acres with their two pups, Walter & Lucy. She’s a creator of simple and wholesome recipes, a lover of nature, a crossfitter, a seasonal runner, and she’s on a mission to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life from the inside out.


Credit: Source link

12 Sep

Make good use of leftover taco meat by giving this easy Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Hash a try. A tasty and hearty breakfast or weeknight dinner option.

When tacos are on the menu, ALWAYS double (or triple) the taco meat.

Taco meat is freezer-friendly, can also keep in the fridge for a good 5 days and the options are endless when it comes to using the leftovers. While I love a good ol’ taco salad, I also really really enjoy this Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Hash and know you will, too!

Make good use of leftover taco meat with this Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Hash. #eggfree Click To Tweet

Tex-Mex Sweet Potato HashTex-Mex Sweet Potato Hash

Savory and sweet flavors come together in this recipe with the combination of taco-seasoned meat and sweet potatoes and an assortment of vegetables. Feel free to add some heat with some jalapeño peppers or keep it cool with creamy avocado and cilantro. You can top it with whatever sounds good to you, or nothing at all, because it’s really quite delicious on its own. I share some topping ideas below!

Tex-Mex Sweet Potato HashTex-Mex Sweet Potato Hash

Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Hash is made with less than 10 ingredients.

You know us, we like to keep it simple with easy meals because eating a wholesome and real food diet does not need to be complicated or require endless hours in the kitchen. We’re here to show you how that can be done by sharing simple, healthy and tasty recipes! You’re going to love how quick and easy this recipe is and if you already have taco meat kickin’ around in the refrigerator or freezer, this recipe will take just 20 minutes. AND it’s even meal-prep friendly and reheats ever so nicely. I like to make this recipe during a weekend meal prep and then divide it among 5 glass containers for an easy reheat-and-eat meal throughout the week.

Wondering if you should purchase grass-fed beef? Learn how to choose quality red meat in this post!

Tex-Mex Sweet Potato HashTex-Mex Sweet Potato Hash

A one-dish wonder!

One pan is all you need to make Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Hash. I don’t know about you, but kitchen clean-up is not my thing! This recipe is perfect because it only requires one sauté pan, a cutting board and a knife to make, which makes for a speedy kitchen clean-up.

Tex-Mex Sweet Potato HashTex-Mex Sweet Potato Hash

Top Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Hash however you please!

Here are some fun topping ideas to add even more flavor to this already tasty recipe:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sliced green onions
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Diced or sliced avocado
  • Homemade Guacamole
  • Pica de gallo
  • Salsa
  • Fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • Fried egg
  • Sour cream (not Whole30)
  • Shredded cheese (not Whole30)
  • Black Bean & Corn Salsa (not Whole30)

And if you’re in need of a homemade taco seasoning, well, we’ve got ya covered there, too! Try our Homemade Taco Seasoning.

Looking for another way to use leftover taco meat, try our Taco-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes!

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Hash

Make good use of leftover taco meat by giving this easy Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Hash a try. A tasty and hearty breakfast or weeknight dinner option that’s Whole30-friendly, too!

  • Author: The Real Food Dietitians
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 56 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast | Egg-free | Whole30

Ingredients

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef or ground turkey (or leftover taco meat)
  • 3 Tbsp. taco seasoning (homemade or organic store-purchased – omit if using leftover taco meat)
  • 1/2 cup water (omit if using leftover taco meat)
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking fat of choice (ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil, etc.) 
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes (about 2½ cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • Optional Toppings: Fresh cilantro, green onions, avocado, jalapeños, fried egg, sour cream (omit for dairy-free) etc.

Instructions

  1. Place a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add beef, seasonings and water to the pan. Cook until beef is browned.
  2. Remove beef from pan, set aside.
  3. In the same pan the beef was browned in, add ½ Tbsp. of cooking fat and heat over medium until melted and hot.
  4. Add sweet potatoes, dash with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 10 minutes or until just before fully cooked through.
  5. Add remaining ½ Tbsp. of cooking fat, onions, red pepper and mushroom and sauté for about 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add additional cooking fat if needed.
  6. Fold in spinach and taco meat and continue to cook until heated through and spinach is wilted.
  7. Serve with optional toppings.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 228
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 220 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 18 g

Comment below and let us know what how you like to enjoy leftover taco meat!!

Pin now to make later!


Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter. 

This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a percentage of the sale if you use the link to make your purchase. This does not change the price of the product. This income directly offsets the cost of web hosting and maintenance so we greatly appreciate your support.

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

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About Stacie Hassing

Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she and her husband reside on 5 acres with their two pups, Walter & Lucy. She’s a creator of simple and wholesome recipes, a lover of nature, a crossfitter, a seasonal runner, and she’s on a mission to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life from the inside out.


Credit: Source link

03 Sep

Need proof that food served in bowls is better? Look no further than these Mediterranean Steak Bowls with Herbed-Yogurt Dressing!


Better late than never.

I know, I’m about 5 years late to the whole ‘bowls’ phenomenon, but it’s not my fault. You see, I didn’t own any wide, shallow bowls that just begged to have everything tossed together in them until I got these bowls and then, of course, I just HAD to create something delicious to put in them and thus was the birth of the Mediterranean Steak Bowl and my new-found obsession with food in bowls. Seriously, I only want to eat food in bowls now because…

The best part about food in bowls is that everything mingles together. 

Now, I know this isn’t great news for food segregationists, but if you’re one who loves mixing textures and flavors and also loves a good veggie-forward, meal prep-friendly dish, then this is the dish for you.

All the textures.

Layering textures and flavors is probably the best part about ‘bowls.’ It makes every bite just a little different to keep things interesting. In these Mediterranean Steak Bowls with Herbed-Yogurt Dressing, perfectly grilled steak is presented on a bed of crisp romaine lettuce and a silky swirl of garlicky hummus while charred red onions and blistered cherry tomatoes mix with crunchy, cool cucumbers for a healthy dose of veggies in a rainbow of colors.

All the flavors.

As if that garlicky hummus wasn’t enough, you’ll also find a handful of briny kalamata olives and a sprinkle of salty feta along with fresh mint and a generous squeeze of lemon – it all comes together so beautifully, as you’ll see.

Crisp greens and creamy hummus are topped with a pile of rainbow-colored veggies and perfectly grilled steak in these Mediterranean Steak Bowls. #realfood #mealprep Click To Tweet

And it gets even better.

The Herbed-Yogurt Dressing might seem kind of ‘extra’ with everything that’s already going on here, but trust me, it’s just the thing to tie it all together and it also makes a great veggie dip for snacking later in the week if you happen to have any left over (or decide to make a double batch, which is a really good idea).

How to Make it Meal-Prep Friendly.

Because this Mediterranean Steak Bowl is more salad than not, it’s perfect for meal prepping and since everything can be served cold there’s no need to reheat – just eat! Here’s how to make it meal-prep friendly for those weeks when you know you’ll need a quick dinner or lunch:

  • Grill the steak and veggies (tomatoes and onions). Once the steak has rested, been sliced and allowed to cool, place it in a covered container in the fridge along with the grilled veggies.
  • Chop the cucumbers and romaine lettuce. Store in covered containers in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Make the Herbed-Yogurt Dressing and store in a covered container in the fridge (I like mason jars with these lids for easy, leak-proof pouring) for up to 5 days.

When it’s time to serve, just assemble your Mediterranean Steak Bowl with Herbed-Yogurt Dressing according the recipe directions below and enjoy. The bowls may also be fully assembled ahead of time in and stored in glass meal prep containers like these for a quick grab-and-go lunch.

So easy, what are you waiting for?

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Mediterranean Steak Bowls

  • Author: Jessica Beacom
  • Prep Time: 20 min.
  • Cook Time: 20 min.
  • Total Time: 45 min.
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Cuisine: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free

Ingredients

For the Bowls:

  • 1 lb. flank steak (may substitute NY strip or sirloin steak)
  • 1 pint (10 ounces) grape or cherry tomatoes
  • ½ medium red onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped (~10-12 cups)
  • 1 large cucumber, chopped
  • ⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced 
  • 1 cup garlic hummus
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Skewers for veggies 
  • 1 Tbsp. oil of choice (such as avocado oil or olive oil)
  • Lemon wedges and/or torn fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)

For the Herbed-Yogurt Dressing:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil or avocado oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • ½  tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried dill
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh mint (or ½  tsp dried mint)

Instructions

To make the dressing:

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Store in the fridge until ready to use, up to 5 days. 

To make the bowls:

  1. Preheat grill to high heat (about 450℉). 
  2. Pat the steak dry with paper towels and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. 
  3. Thread cherry tomatoes and quartered onions onto skewers, brush with ½ Tbsp. oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  4. When the grill is hot, place flank steak and tomato and onion skewers on the grill. Grill veggies, turning occasionally, for 5-8 minutes or until onions are softened and tomatoes start to blister. 
  5. Grill the steak for 4-5 minutes, then flip and grill an additional 4-5 minutes for medium-rare (6-7 minutes per side for medium) or until an instant-read thermometer reads 140℉ for medium-rare or 150℉ for medium. 
  6. Remove steak to a plate and cover loosely with another plate, or oil and allow steak to rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain. 
  7. While the steak rests, divide chopped romaine between 4 plates or shallow bowls. Top with sliced steak, grilled vegetables, chopped cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese. 
  8. Drizzle with Herbed-Yogurt Dressing and garnish with lemon wedges and/or torn fresh mint leaves

Notes

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ¼ recipe
  • Calories: 513
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Sodium: 819mg
  • Fat: 28g
  • Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 37g

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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a percentage of the sale if you use the link to make your purchase. This does not change the price of the product. This income directly offsets the cost of web hosting and maintenance so we greatly appreciate your support.

About Jessica Beacom

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her hubby and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, teaching herself how to play the banjo and camping out under the stars.


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27 Aug

What is Kefir? We’re glad you asked because it’s an ancient food with modern health benefits that we think you’ll love.

This post was brought to you by our friends at Kalona Supernatural. 

Milk Kefir: An old-world food with modern day health benefits

Maybe you’ve spied those bottles of milk kefir on the shelves next to the yogurt or  maybe you’ve heard someone talk about kefir but you didn’t have the time to pick the bottle from the shelf or ask questions to find out what this mysterious (and often unheard) of beverage is. That’s okay because that’s what we’re here for today – to answer the question: What is kefir?

Kefir is a probiotic beverage that results when you add kefir ‘grains’ (or powdered kefir culture) to milk. Kefir ‘grains’ contain no grain at all, but they resemble small bits of rice which is why they’re referred to as ‘grains’. These grains contain a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast that thrive on the lactose in in milk in the process of lactofermenation. Kefir can also be made with water or coconut water but you may have already guessed that we’re talking about the milk version here today. This process leaves behind a plesantly tart-sour and slightly effervescent beverage that’s rich in gut-friendly bacteria and much lower in lactose than fresh milk.

You can learn more about lactofermentation (and why it’s beneficial) here.

Kefir has been around for thousands of years and there are many stories about its origins in the Caucaus Mountains where people routinely lived to be 100 years old. It’s most likely that once discovered, it went from novelty to necessity as lactofermentation is a great way to extend the shelf life of fresh foods like dairy, meats, fruits and vegetables. Like many of the traditional foods that have enjoyed a recent revival (think bone broth, sauerkraut, kombucha, and more) milk kefir, like other naturally fermented foods, is a great way to boost the nutrition in everyday meals or just enjoy by the glass.

Kalona Supernatural Whole Milk Kefir is available in both plain and vanilla.

Isn’t kefir just ‘drinkable yogurt’?

Though you may see kefir labled ‘drinkable yogurt’ it’s not actually yogurt. Though it’s fermented like yogurt and has a similar tangy taste, the big differnce between yogurt and kefir is the culture used to make it.

While yogurt is typically cultured with 2-3 strains of bacteria, the culture (or ‘kefir grains’) used to make kefir contain upwards of 15-30 different strains of bacteria plus yeasts making it a more diverse with respect to the types of bacteria present in the final product which is really good news for your gut!

Pasture-grazed makes it better

As you already know, we beleive that the best products start with the best ingredients and milk kefir is no exception to that. Made with pasture-grazed, unhomogenized milk in the small town of Kalona, Iowa, Kalona Supernatural 100% grass-fed Whole Milk Kefir is as about as natural as you can get (outside of owning your own cow).

Kalona Supernatural was founded in 2005 in rural Iowa to help local Amish and Mennonite family armers bring their organic dairy to market and ulitimately to your kitchen table. The average herd size of these family farms is just 35 cows and most of the work is still done by hand and most of the farms have been in the farmers’ families for over 150 years and have never been touched by chemicals fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.

The cows in Kalonas network of midwest farms spend their days grazing pasture and enjoying the many varieties of grass that come and go with the seasons and you can taste that delicate, floral note in their milk. Kalona Supernatural believes in keeping dairy simple and natural so they use low-temperature pasteurization to destroy harmful pathogenic bacteria while leaving the beneficial bacteria and enzymes in the milk making it the perfect starting point for their naturally-cultured, 100% grass-fed whole milk kefir. They also skip the process of homogenization so you’ll see a layer of cream on every product, just stir or shake it in and enjoy the unreal creaminess that only comes with cream on top.

Easy to use & Easy to enjoy

  • Drink it from a cup – Often referred to as ‘drinkable yogurt’, kefir is convenient and easy to enjoy (no spoon needed!). Blend it with your favorite fruit if you want a sweet, fruity flavor without all of the added sugar.
  • Blend into your favorite smoothie in place of yogurt – Kefir is the perfect base for smoothies with it tart-tangy taste and any leftover smoothie can be made into freezer pops with molds like these.
  • Use in place of water, milk or buttermilk in pancakes, waffles and muffin recipes  – Much like buttermilk, kefir makes baked goods extra fluffy thanks to the reaction between baking powder and the slightly acidic kefir.
  • Add to overnight oats for an easy, on-the-go breakfast – Give your oats a probiotic boost by mixing them with vanilla or plain kefir before stirring in your favorite fruit, spices or sweetener.
  • Use to tenderize meats before breading – Giving chicken a quick soak in plain kefir before breading and pan-frying or baking makes it extra juicy – much like your great-grandma’s secret recipe for fried chicken used cultured buttermilk.
  • Use it to make creamy dressings or in salads that call for yogurt, sour cream or mayo – Plain kefir is the perfect way to lighten up creamy salads or add a probiotic punch to to salad dressings.
  • Make a delicious spread or dip – Just strain the kefir overnight through a coffee filter or cheese cloth (in the fridge) to remove the whey and leave behind a thick, creamy spread to which you can add your favorite herbs or seasonings.

 

Have you tried kefir? If so, what you are your favorite ways to use or enjoy it? Share in the comments below.

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This post was made possible by our friends at Kalona Supernatural. Although we received compensation for this post, the opinions expressed here are – as always – 100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great companies we work with thereby allowing us to continue creating great recipes and content for you.

This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a percentage of the sale if you use the link to make your purchase. This does not change the price of the product. This income directly offsets the cost of web hosting and maintenance so we greatly appreciate your support.

About Jessica Beacom

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her hubby and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, teaching herself how to play the banjo and camping out under the stars.

Credit: Source link

21 Aug

Keep lunches quick and easy with one of these 7 Healthy Chicken Salad Recipes!

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know we have a love for chicken salads. Not only do the limitless possibilities taste amazing, but they’re simple and quick to whip up when you need a fast lunch for the week or when hosting a get-together. Even quicker if you already have chicken on hand like our Instant Pot Whole Chicken or Instant Pot Shredded Chicken. And when you’re really in a bind, you can pick up a rotisserie chicken at your local grocery store.
Want to make sure you’re choosing the best poultry for your family and budget? We clear the mud on all the confusing poultry labels in our post here.
And if you’re wondering how to make the perfect chicken breast…we’ve got you covered there too! Check out our step-by-step photo tutorial.

Here are 7 of our favorite Healthy Chicken Salad Recipes!

Everyone loves a BLT sandwich, so it’s no wonder we combined all those flavors into this flavorful light lunch or dinner!

Plated chicken salad atop a lettuce leafs with tomato and avocado garnish with napkin and fork in the backgroundPlated chicken salad atop a lettuce leafs with tomato and avocado garnish with napkin and fork in the background

Sweet and salty with the perfect amount of crunch, this salad is fancy enough for special occasions, yet simple enough for an everyday meal!

Chicken salad nestled in a lettuce leaves with blueberries. Bowl of blueberries and lemon slices on the side.Chicken salad nestled in a lettuce leaves with blueberries. Bowl of blueberries and lemon slices on the side.

Healthy eating is easy and delicious with this fan-favorite salad. Made with only 8 ingredients with room to sub ingredients if you don’t have it all on hand, this recipe is ideal for weekly meal prepping or hosting a small get-together with friends.

Chicken salad served on a plate of greens with cucumber, nuts, grapes and lemon garnish; checker napkin underneath plate.Chicken salad served on a plate of greens with cucumber, nuts, grapes and lemon garnish; checker napkin underneath plate.

Fix up an easy, satisfying and slightly exotic lunch by making a few changes to your typical chicken salad. There’s no need to order takeout with flavors like these!

Asian chicken salad served on lettuce leaves on small plate with avocado and lime garnishAsian chicken salad served on lettuce leaves on small plate with avocado and lime garnish

There’s just something about the curry spices that transform an ordinary salad into something special. And that’s why we think you’ll love this cool and creamy chicken salad that has a boost of antioxidant-rich curry powder, crisp vegetables and crunchy cashews.

Chicken salad served in lettuce leaves on rectangular white plate with apple and lime accentsChicken salad served in lettuce leaves on rectangular white plate with apple and lime accents

The Classic Waldorf gets a healthy, fatty and delicious twist thanks to the additional creaminess of avocado. Plus if you’ve got extra you can multipurpose it for dipping veggies, slathering on a burger or even in your tuna salad!

Avocado chicken salad served on plate with utensils resting in it with walnut garnish. Half an avocado as an accent.Avocado chicken salad served on plate with utensils resting in it with walnut garnish. Half an avocado as an accent.

This salad is quick to make, made with less than 10 ingredients and is the perfect light, but satisfying lunch year round.

Pin it now and make it later!

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