Be sure to check out my Happy Eats Healthy site to see upcoming classes, seminars, for more information on Health Coaching, nutrition information and more!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Avocado Citrus Salad

I created these adorable little devils when catering a baby shower recently- not only are they healthy and delish, but they are super gorgeous and perfect for a brunch appetizer.

Let's get something out of the way - Avocado is GOOD fat! It lubricates the body

keeping your hearth healthy and brain running efficiently. The avocado helps fight inflammation as well and is known to help with arthritis in particular.

No cooking required, just whisk, cut and assemble. Eat healthy, get happy!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Strawberry Walnut Milk


I've never really been a milk fan. I can't even remember drinking a glass of milk as a kid. But there are great uses of milk, such as in a smoothie.

Dairy is a controversial things these days and I'm not about to tell you whether you should or shouldn't be eating dairy or if it's right for your body; that is something you need to use your intuition for. (As a Health Coach, I can help guide you in this area.)  But, this Strawberry Walnut Milk is dairy free - so you can set the controversy aside on this one.

Raw walnuts blended with fresh berries and a touch of almond, it's creamy and delicious. Walnut milk is rich with omega 3's which lowers cholesterol, reduces high blood pressure and improves arthritis symptoms. So blend up and drink up!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Spinach Fig Hummus


Ever get bored of hummus? It's everywhere; probably because it's a basic go-to when you need a quick appetizer option. Don't get me wrong, I do like hummus, but I also like flavor.

I found myself with a lot of spinach the other day, even after making a spinach salad, sauteed spinach-stuffed potatoes and this super yummy spinach and  mushroom dahl, I was beginning to wonder if I could eat any more spinach. But then I found myself in need of a quick dip to go with veggies and I just happened to have some dried chick peas soaking, it seemed like a blender marriage.

The result is a beautiful green hummus with hints of sweet from the fig jam. A wonderful break from typical hummus and perfect as a dip or a sandwich spread. This makes an enormous amount of dip, great for a large party; cut the recipe in half if you are making this for yourself or a small party.
No matter how much you make, it's a Fat and Happy and Healthy delicious!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lentil, Spinach and Mushroom Dahl with Apricot Chutney Yogurt


I've been catering seminar lunches at my favorite Physio Therapy place- Entropy. Their focus is on complex  conditions and restoring hope - something I can personally speak deeply about. Preparing food for this group is like cooking for friends who admire healthy options, we all are connected  through our strive for wellness, which goes beyond just food.

Dahl is basically a stew that can be made from lentils, chickpeas or black beans. For this dish I went the lentil route, the organic green lentil route. Then I stuffed  it full of mushrooms and spinach and topped it off with cumin, garam masala and a touch of curry.

A veggie lentil stew isn't necessarily boring, but my chutney yogurt creation is what really brings this dish alive. Pulling from my recent Moroccan visit, a touch of sweet really shines with ethnic spices and the creaminess calms the heat (if you decided to go heavy on the jalapeno.)

This dish pretty much cooks itself, it just needs your love and  some good friends to appreciate it.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pesto meets Vinaigrette: Herbed and Minted


Recently I stumbled upon this Green Chermoula recipe because of a photo that look interesting, but the reviews of it were seriously lacking. And even though I'm still not a fan of cilantro, the ingredients looked intriguing, using both parsley and cilantro with a side of mint and jalapeno.  So I decided to give it a go, knowing I could doctor it up as needed.

Turns out the recipe did need a little help; a splash of lemon and a doubling of the mint and ginger did the trick. The result is an interesting herby, minty, slightly spicy pesto-like vinaigrette that grows on you. The first few tastes didn't totally hook me or my guests, but half way through our meal people were asking for the recipe (and that has happened twice!)

So far I've used this on flat bread pizza, as a spinach salad dressing, drizzled across baked sweet potatoes and then as a light spread on a chicken salad wrap. Talk about versatility! It whips up in seconds, no cooking required. And with these great health benefits (see Happy Health Tips below), adding a second helping is almost a requirement!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Roasted Strawberries and Goat Cheese with Lemon Crostini

We enjoyed the loveliest appetizer at a local pizzeria just outside of Madison, in Sun Prairie to be exact. I was so pleasantly surprised at what this place was doing with fresh, local ingredients.  This is my re-creation of their strawberry, pea and goat cheese starter; I'm missing the fresh peas, but it's really pretty yummy without them.

The strawberries soften just a bit and then melt in your mouth while the black pepper adds touch of earthy spice. Don't be afraid of how lemony the crostini is; once you add a little goat cheese and a roasted strawberry you will taste the heavenly flavor combination. There wasn't a lick left when were done with this.

I will definitely make this again; next time I'll probably do it on the grill in a little cast iron skillet. The smokey addition will meld in nicely.  And if you are looking for a place in Sun Prairie that's doing great things with local fare, stop into Salvatore's, they really do a nice job (thanks Brian and Cindy for introducing us to this great place!)~


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Chive and Goat Cheese filled Raspberries

The concept of Farm to Table has been taken a step further with cutting-edge, hard working entrepreneurs like the folks at Outstanding In The Field by taking the table out of the restaurant and placing at a local farm. Regular people get a chance to explore growing first hand and then enjoy the the farm goods as cooked by a local chef. It's fresh, upscale, informative and super delicious.

We attended one of these dinners last year in South Haven, Michigan where we first encountered these delightful raspberry nibbles. Creamy goat cheese and sharp chives cradled in a bright berry, nestled on top of a finishing crunch. A perfect bite.

Mine are slightly different from what I remember. They used a puffed rice for the crunch while I used a popped quinoa. They may have used different herbs in the filling, I happened to have fresh chives and love the little onion hit with the berries. All in all, it's a gorgeous little presentation and is fairly simple to put together.

Try these super tantalizing appetizers for your next outdoor party, then I highly recommend visiting your local farm to see what inspires you. I'm personally psyched for our farm dinner this year in Door County; good food and good friends abound.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

John Bubbly (or The Thai Champagne)


I know, I know, make up one name for your new drink and stick with it. When I first concocted this drink I definitely molded it after the classic John Daly drink (iced tea, lemonade and vodka) which is a play on an Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade.)

Skipping the lemonade, I mixed iced tea with Champagne- it was that easy. The bubbles give just a little sparkle to a basic tea. To get into the details, I made the drink to go with a this snappy coconut milk cod, which is Thai-like, not to mention somewhat difficult to pair a cocktail with (this one worked great with that dish!) That lead me to iced tea, which lead me to the John Daly which got us to this point.

Because the flavors already rolling around the kitchen involved ginger and lemon grass, I tweaked my tea in that direction by brewing basic tea with a slice of ginger and stem of the lemongrass.

Now, your version doesn't have to be Thai-esque.
You could use a straight black tea or even a fruity tea; skip the lemongrass and add in a cinnamon stick. It all goes and it all depends on your palate.  I don't like anything too sweet, so the plain unsweetened tea actually helped to calm down the sweetness of the champagne for me, but you could add a touch of honey to your tea while it's steeping.

It's a refined John Daley.  It's a simple afternoon sunny sipper. It's a base idea for you to have fun with.

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