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, November 23, 2013

Fall Endive Cup: Butternut Squash and Apple Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing

I received a call to cater a Women's Health event recently; how could I say no too an opportunity to whip up healthy delicious food for a group that would totally appreciate it?

This Fall-filled Endive Cup was the hit of the night! For the event I used endive cups (see the images at the bottom of this page); you can see I used kale leaves for these photos, butter lettuce would work really well too. Kale is NOT for everyone so go with what you like. You could even toss this with lettuce or spinach and serve as a side salad (would be perfect on your Thanksgiving table.)

Roasted butternut squash just pairs so well with fresh apple. The maple balsamic dressing screams warm fall flavors with a breeze of sweetness. Since maple syrup is derived from nature, it offers nutrients like iron, calcium and zinc with fewer calories than refined sugar which is void of any nutritional content. Maple syrup also has a low glycemic index making it ideal for those with diabetes.

Try these super yummy Fat and Happy squash and apple filled lettuce cups, it's a healthy way to enjoy the fall goods.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Salted Pistachio Bark

Are you looking for a  super simple dessert that will wow your guest? My Salted Pistachio Bark is a total crowd pleaser!

Hold on you say - what about all the sugar in chocolate? How is this good for me? Let's explore that and the importance of Dark Chocolate.

Dark chocolate is full of antioxidant which help free your body of radicals, which cause oxidative damage to the cells. The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help reduce insulin resistance by helping your cells to function normally and regain the ability to use your body's insulin efficiently. Because it's not loaded with extra sugar it boasts a low glycemic index, meaning it won't cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.

If you are new to dark chocolate, it may come across as bitter to you. But keep in mind when you begin to ease back on your sugar intake, your sensitivity to sugar is heightened allowing you to appreciate it more. Yet another reason to reduce your sugar intake.

The percentage referred to with regard to dark chocolate is the amount of cocoa solids added. So the percentage is really the percent of actual chocolate.  A higher percentage means more chocolate, and less of the remaining ingredients, primarily sugar. The dark chocolate you choose should ideally be at 80% or above in order to receive all the requisite health benefits (including increased immune function, slowing aging, lowering of bad cholesterol and reduction of cancer risk among others.)

In this particular recipe I used a 60% dark chocolate because of the crowd I was feeding; if you are not used to such a high percentage, it can be bitter and even unpleasant for some. It's ok to ease into the an 80% dark chocolate.  Keep in mind this is not the kind of chocolate that should be mindlessly chomped on; quality chocolate should be slowly savored allowing it to melt in mouth while tantalizing your taste buds.

Treat yourself with this Fat and Happy (and healthy) Salted Pistachio Chocolate Bark: it's ooh so tasty and guilt free!


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