I LOVE cheese and broccoli together. However, it isn't always the healthiest. Same goes for the traditional holiday Casserole with rice, Cheez Whiz, and cream of mushroom soup... NOT healthy. So, I did some research and decided to not completely overhaul this recipe into something unrecognizable, but to make it just as delicious but eliminate the processed yuckiness.
1/2 medium onion, diced
1.5 cups cooked quinoa (I rinsed mine and cooked it in water, but feel free to use veggie/chicken broth for more flavor)
2 heads of broccoli or 1 lb.
1 tbsp butter or oil
1 carton of Pacific organic cream of mushroom soup (nothing artificial!!!)
1 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded. ($ note: it's always less expensive to shred your own)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a medium or large baking dish with butter or oil.
2. In a large sauce pan, heat butter and add onion. Sauté about 3 minutes or until translucent. Add chopped broccoli and sauté. Add salt and pepper to taste, about 1/2 tsp each. Cook 3-15 minutes depending on how you like your broccoli. I cooked mine longer but it still had a nice crunch.
3. Add in cream of mushroom and milk. Stir in cheddar until combined. Add in quinoa. Stir again. :)
4. Pour into baking dish and top with a little extra cheese.
5. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. If you decide to make this in advance and store in the fridge, wait to bake until needed and then cook at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
Y'all, I am going to be real and just tell you that this is worth the effort. This recipe is amazingly delicious and I don't know how I've lived without it my entire life. Sounds like I'm exaggerating, huh!?! Try it yourself and see. 😍
12 slices of bacon, nitrate and nitrite free. (If you want to go Whole 30 style, make sure there is no sugar.)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds (1/4")
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted. (1 tbsp for potatoes, 1 for brussels)
3 cups Brussel sprouts, quartered or chopped
1 large onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp + salt (I use Himalayan pink salt)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tap garlic powder
black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425. Grease a 9x13 pan with coconut oil and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut bacon into 1" chunks and cook in a large skillet until crisp. (I used a large cast iron). When finished, place on a paper towel to drain. Reserve 3-4 tbsp of bacon grease to use for onions.
3. Toss sweet potatoes, coconut oil and salt to taste. Line the bottom of the 9x13 dish with rounds. They can overlap because they do shrink a little and this will be the "crust" of your casserole.
4. Toss Brussel sprouts in coconut oil and salt to taste. Place in a single layer on the baking sheet.
5. Bake sweet potatoes and Brussels. It took approximately 30 minutes for sweet potatoes and 20 for brussels.
6. While those are baking, start caramelizing the onions in reserved bacon grease. I cooked them on low-medium heat for approximately 25 minutes to bring out the most flavor. I also added a pinch of salt.
7. While all of this is cooking, whisk your eggs, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and garlic powder together in a separate bowl.
8. Once you've removed your sweet potatoes and Brussel sprouts from the oven, lower the temperature to 400. Layer the brussels on top of the sweet potatoes.
9. Remove onions from grease with a slotted spoon and place over brussels. Top that with your bacon chunks. Finally, pour egg mixture over to cover.
10. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes or until center is set and edges are brown.
I cut the casserole into 8 slices since I usually eat larger portions for breakfast. You can easily make 12 slices and it lasts for 4-5 days in the fridge.
I grew up eating pumpkin bread, you know, the recipethat came off the back of Libby's pumpkin. ;) After years and years of trying to eat healthier and with no refined sugar or wheat, I knew I had to switch it up. We've made this bread for the last 3 years and I officially love it more than the original.
A few notes...
I use almond meal from Trader Joe's. It's not super fine, so be sure to get the blanched fine almond flour for less crunch and texture.
The bread isn't crazy sweet like a dessert, so if you would like it to be simply add more maple syrup.
The salt in the recipe is for more of a savory flavor as well, so feel free to do a little less to focus on the sweetness.
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt (I use Himalayan pink salt)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3-4 large eggs
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Grease one bread pan with coconut oil or coconut oil spray.
3. Add all dry ingredients in a small bowl and mix until blended.
4. Combine all wet ingredients, including pumpkin purée to a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
5. Add the mixed dry ingredients to the wet and stir until combined.
6. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until toothpick entered into the center comes out clean.
i hope y'all enjoy this recipe as much as we do.
Original recipe from www.draxe.com
A mom friend and I joke that when you become a mom, you immediately turn into a hippie, or try to. ;) All jokes aside, I do try to steer clear of chemicals especially when Calista was a newborn. Calista was blessed with her mama's super dry skin and we tried everything. Coconut oil, straight shea butter, every lotion/cream under the sun... I even layered them and would seal it with Vaseline or Aquaphor. We even tried the miracle bath of breastmilk. Nothing. I mean really, how hard could it be to take a freshly bathed baby and lock in the moisture? Answer: HARD.
That is how we ended up with this homemade body butter that has now replaced my face lotion, body lotion, and pretty much anything we used to use. I still love my Origins Plantscriptions face cream, but this usually goes under it. As for Calista, I still typically put Cerave or Aquaphor on top of this body butter to create a seal.
1/4 cup organic unrefined coconut oil
1/4 cup 100% raw pure shea butter (Got it on Amazon)
1 tbsp Vitamin E oil
10-12 drops lavender essential oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Usually the shea butter and coconut oil are solid, so I simply warm it up in a jar in hot water or use the microwave.
2. Place all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and mix for 5 minutes. When done, pour into container of choice.
*Note: I studied all the Pinterest recipes and couldn't make mine look fluffy like lotion. Since I had warm oils it stayed in liquid form and created a slight whipped effect. I tried placing it in an ice bath and continued to whip and it did firm into a nice solid that melts right when I put it on. I think you can skip this step and simply pour into a jar of your choosing and it will solidify on its own.
**This is also my anti-itch belly stretch mark lotion even if it's all genetics anyway. ;)
I'm going to be honest with you. I'm pregnant, the holidays are fast approaching and I know that somehow someway I have to find a way to not eat the entire house or conveniently "forget" to do my workouts. I will, I totally will. I'm notorious for skipping an entire week of workouts during each holiday. I'm also pretty awesome when it comes to making sure there aren't any leftovers. 😜 So, I decided I would try something new this year and I want to see if you'd like to join me.
Following a strict program is NOT for me during the holidays. Having to be perfect and counting calories definitely NOT how I want to do this. So, I'm starting a little group where we each set our own goals, NOW, for accountability. For instance, I'm going to workout 4 times a week and eat no worse than 70/30 for the entire month of December. If you don't know what that means or where to start, I'll help you set a plan that works for you.
But here is the best part, I'm providing this group with 4 FULL workouts from yours truly ($120 value), 8 delicious, healthy recipes for your holiday festivities and a weekly check-in for accountability. The goal is to get us off of social media and being more present with our families, but not to gain the average 10+ lbs Americans gain during the holidays. The group is $25 and that's it. Does that sound good to you?
This is totally different than what I normally do. It's so different I even filmed a video or two about it on my this page www.facebook.com/healthystronghappy.
This has nothing to do with BB, simply me wanting to help my friends not feel guilty or discouraged this holiday season. Send me a message if you are interested! I'm taking sign-ups through this week.
You know that feeling, the one that has you searching, striving, trying so hard? I know that feeling well. I moved across the country searching for fulfillment. I've strived to fit in and be noticed by the world. I've tried so hard to find happiness, the ever elusive happiness. My heart hurts for that past version of me. It really does. When I think of how hard I tried and never felt good enough or how many times I thought I found the answer to only find that it wasn't even close, it breaks my heart. Because this me, I see Jesus. Y'all, He is it. Following Him, seeking Him, that's all you have to do to find it. No amount of chasing a dream, no presidential election, no outfit or hairdo can save you. No one has the power to save you but the one true King. He is the King of all kings and when we choose Him and when we know Him, we know that it's all going to be okay.
His plans may look differently than how we want them to, but know this and hear me, He knows what is best for us and He does use everything for His good. I pray that you turn to Jesus to save you tonight, tomorrow and every day after. I pray that you know that you don't have to search and strive and fight so hard to be accepted or loved.
"Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you." Isaiah 43:4
Y'all the holidays are just NOT the time for me to expect perfection from my meals and workouts. However, I don't want to just throw in the entire year's hard work and gain the average 10-15 lbs with the rest of America. I want to still feel good and healthy and fit, but I also want to savor sweet moments and some special treats. This means I have to find a way to balance it all.
My usual monthly Fit Camps are awesome, but asking myself and others to workout 4-7 times a week and follow a specific meal plan during the holiday season, well, it just isn't practical. Plus, I'm all about each of us understanding that our health isn't something that comes and goes. It's something that is possible to maintain through an entire year and through different seasons. That means there are times to be on point and there are times to relax and enjoy a little. I choose December as my relax and enjoy. :)
Want to join me? Here is what you can expect:
I am always talking to moms about how to get our toddlers to eat. It seems like a universal issue and everyday is a completely different battlefield. I am so grateful that I came across this recipe from The Nourished Seedling.
Up until this point, Calista wouldn't eat pasta. We run out of carb options quickly in this household. Reminder: this is the kid who can eat 7 of my "Baby Pancakes" in one sitting, with a banana and as many scrambled eggs as I eat. 😳
My concerns for her food are usually in finding ways to get spinach into her (hello iron), healthy fats (babies neeeeeeeed these), and carbs and protein at every meal. No pressure.
Enter Spinach Avocado Pesto Pasta.
10 ounces pasta (I used whole wheat rotini for her, but also have done it with zoodles for Tim and I)
1 cup raw spinach (I use organic from Costco)
1 medium Avocado, ripe
1 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 cup raw cashews (unsalted, I get the pieces from Trader Joe's)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 clove roasted garlic (takes the bite out)
3/4 tsp salt (Himalayan pink salt)
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1. Bring water to boil for pasta. Cook pasta according to directions.
2. Quickly sautée the garlic in tbsp of olive oil just long enough to mellow the flavor.
3. Place all other ingredients, including garlic, into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
4. Add to pasta and mix.
This makes 4 adult size portions.
So far, in less than one week, we have had this twice and every time Calista ends up eating a full serving. Happy mama!