Spinach & Artichoke Dip

One of my boyfriend’s favorite snacks is spinach and artichoke dip. Anytime it is offered as an appetizer we usually order it. I have to admit, it is also one of my favorite dips as well and I can usually kill half if not all of the dip by myself. A couple months ago, I was playing around with recipes for this to make it healthier since the traditional recipe for spinach and artichoke dip involves using multiple cups of cheese in addition to mayonnaise. I started by swapping the mayonnaise out for a leaner and much lighter Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is high in protein and lower in fat than mayonnaise and also contains probiotics which is beneficial for our digestive health. From there, I decided to also reduce the amount of cheese used by substituting nutritional yeast in for about half of the cheese. Nutritional yeast is rich in B vitamins and is significantly lower in sodium and contains no saturated fat or cholesterol in comparison to traditional cheese. Nutritional yeast still gives a cheesy flavor to any dish so you won’t even notice that this recipe has less cheese than usual. The few times I have made this dip, it has not made it past the 6 hour mark. The entire bowl is always left completely clean and no one even knows that it’s a healthier version of the traditional spinach and artichoke dip. Now that we’ve gotten all the info out of the way, let’s dive into what you need for this recipe.

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Strawberry Banana Smoothie

As the weather warms up, I find myself having less of an appetite for a solid food meal and leaning more towards smoothies and smoothie bowls. However, I am someone who gets bored fairly quickly so I always try to change up the smoothies in my rotation. I was playing around with a classic recipe the other day but I wanted to add something extra to it to make it more nutritious and a little bit more filling. If I didn’t tell you in the recipe here, you would never know that there’s actually cauliflower in this smoothie! That’s right, you heard me right. This smoothie has frozen riced cauliflower in the mix to add some extra fiber and nutrients into the mix such as Vitamin C, K, and folate just to name a few. I also added in some chia seeds for a source of omega-3 fatty acids and some non-dairy cashew yogurt for probiotics (great for digestion). I used non-dairy yogurt because quite frankly I do not like the taste of dairy yogurt in my smoothies. It leaves a tang to my smoothies that I don’t particularly enjoy so instead I used either almondmilk yogurt or in this case, cashew-based yogurt but of course use whatever you have or prefer. This recipe is incredibly easy and makes enough for 3 or 2 very large servings (about 32 oz.). Feel free to freeze any leftovers into ice cube molds to save for another day. Now let’s get into the specifics of the ingredients.

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My Experience with Adult Acne

At the age of 22, following my college graduation, I noticed I started to break in ways I never had before. I noticed large nodules popping up along my jawline, on my cheekbones, and all over my cheeks which had never happened before. In the past, I suffered from a mild form of acne but it was never the kind of acne that hurt. That was definitely not the case for the most recent type of acne I was faced with. Large red bumps would come to the surface and were so painful I would cringe applying moisturizer and my makeup. I began to analyze in great detail the ingredients in my skincare but was confused because those products had always given me great results. At this point, I began to analyze my diet but once again could not find anything that would trigger such a large breakout. After a month of desperation, I decided to try aloe vera on my skin in an attempt to soothe my inflamed skin. Every single night I would slather my face with the gel from a fresh stem of aloe and would go to sleep with it. In the morning, I would wash my face with a gentle cleanser, moisturize, and apply sunscreen. Over the course of a few weeks, I began to notice a dramatic difference in my skin and felt so overjoyed to have found something that worked. I stuck to my routine of applying aloe to my face every night for about 2 years until one day it just stopped working.

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Tortilla Chip Crusted Fish Tacos

One of my all-time favorite foods is fish tacos. I am a sucker for crispy fish paired with a creamy mayo-based sauce and topped with crispy cabbage, tangy lime juice, and salsa. However, fish tacos the way it is traditionally prepared isn’t necessarily something that I think is best to eat on a weekly basis. So, in order to get away with eating it on a weekly basis, I decided to get creative and come up with a healthy recipe to fulfill my fish taco needs. Instead of frying my fish, I coated my fish in tortilla chips that I seasoned with taco seasoning and pan-fried them in avocado oil to yield a crispy and flavorful outer crust for the fish. This recipe was a huge hit in my household and much to my dismay, there were absolutely no leftovers for the next day. However, because this recipe is so easy I have no problems making another batch. From start to finish, dinner can be on the table in 30 minutes or less. Whether you want to try this for your next Taco Tuesday or you want to save this for the weekend, you won’t be spending much time preparing this meal. Without further ado, let’s get into the ingredients you will need for the recipe.

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Peppermint Mocha Tart

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not just because it’s the holidays but mostly because school is finally coming to an end! With just a few days of the semester left, I felt inspired to make a little dessert for the holidays. After giving it lots of thought, I decided to turn a classic holiday drink into a yummy treat you can easily make for a holiday party or to enjoy at home! This peppermint mocha tart is decadent and perfect for the holidays. It’s so incredibly easy to make and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Whether you are a fan of peppermint or not, I am sure you will love this one. Not only is this tart easy but it’s also gluten-free, and vegan! Instead of using heavy cream like so many recipes during the holidays do, I used coconut milk to yield a creamy filling. Rather than using a graham cracker crust, I utilized nutrient dense walnuts that are packed with essential fatty acids, fiber, and a great source of protein.

Although I always aim to make recipes that are healthy, I do want to make a point that sometimes, the calories, sugar, or fat content are unimportant. The holidays should be about spending time with family while enjoying delicious food. You shouldn’t deprive yourself of the foods you want to eat during a holiday party because they don’t fit into your lifestyle. As I have said before, there is a time and a place for fun foods and rather than stressing out about your food choices, enjoy whatever makes you feel good and happy. Anyways, enough with the ranting for this simple and delicious recipe, let’s get into the details of what you will need to make it happen.


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Pumpkin Spiced Waffles

Fall has officially arrived and although the weather here in Southern California has been a little on the warm side, that hasn’t stopped me from working on meals that are perfect for the chillier days. I have to admit, not too long ago I actually did not particularly care for pumpkin spice as I typically do not enjoy the flavor of very heavy spices like cinnamon. However, more recently I have started to come around to these flavors and have taken some time to play around with the m in different ways. One of the first recipes I ventured out to make was pumpkin spice pancakes which turned out okay but not great. After making them I created a poll on my Instagram asking if you prefer waffles or pancakes. The answer came back with over 50% voting for waffles so we are starting with that! I really wanted to make these waffles gluten-free since it’s been a while that I made a gluten-free option and also because waffles are typically more on the indulgent side. Although these waffles are superior in their nutrient content than traditional waffles, they still taste very decadent and like a treat.

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Pea Pesto Pasta

Today is such an exciting day for me as I have been patiently waiting to share this recipe with you! After so much trial & error I finally came up with a recipe I am proud to call my own. I will be sharing with you my recipe for the perfect pesto pasta that is not only delicious but loaded with a variety of nutrients. Pesto is one of those foods that I know so many people love but it can typically be pretty price to make at home all because of the very pricey pine nuts. Not only is pesto a little pricey to make at home but it is also not the healthiest. Pesto is is typically loaded with olive oil & Parmesan cheese which contributes quite a bit of calories in just a small amount. In order to make this pesto healthier & more cost-effective I made a few changes.

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The BEST Red Salsa

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Today was a very exciting day as I finally got to harvest the peppers I have been growing in my little garden. I have spent so much time & effort into growing my garden because what’s better than homegrown food? The answer to that is absolutely nothing because right away I ran to my kitchen to get to work on a new & improved salsa recipe. I decided to utilize the Anaheim chiles I picked because they were the largest & I know my mom swears by these chiles & her salsa is some of the best I have ever had in my life (I’m not just saying that either mom).  After whipping up the batch today, I will never go back to a salsa where I don’t include the Anaheim chiles. These peppers while mild provide SO much flavor that it tastes like it took hours instead of minutes. The Anaheim chiles add a depth of flavor that according to my boyfriend, is the best salsa I have ever made, I can’t argue with that. There are a few things I did differently this time that made the world of a difference and I am going to share them with you so you can boost your salsa game.

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Mango & Lime Popsicles

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I don’t know about you, but whenever the weather surpasses 90°F I pretty much want to avoid hot/warm foods as much as possible. During the summertime, I tend to like more cold & crisp treats to help cool down as much as possible. With that being said, over the course of the last few weeks, I have been working diligently to perfect these popsicles so it tastes like a summer explosion in your mouth. After lots of trial and error, I finally nailed it. So much so, that I had to make 3 batches several days in a row because Adrian kept eating them even though I told him I needed to do the pictures for them. Mango has always been one of my all-time favorite fruits but I have to admit I don’t always buy them because they can be a pain to cut as they leak their juice all over the place and things can very quickly become messy. I figured these popsicles would be an easy solution to that problem so if you’re like me and don’t like the mess, you can still enjoy the delicious and juicy mangos this season.

Mangos are rich in Vitamins A & C which are powerful antioxidants that help to slow the aging process. They are also a great source of fiber which is important for proper digestion. In addition to the mango, I also added some lime juice which is also rich in Vitamin C but in this case, we just added it for tartness to contrast the sweetness of the mango.

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Depending on how ripe & sweet your mangos are you may not need to do so, but I added in a bit of organic honey to boost the sweetness a bit. Before adding in the honey, I suggest tasting your popsicle mix to see if it needs additional sweetening. If so, add in small amounts and adjust to taste. Ever since I came across this honey at Ralphs, I have been obsessed with the flavor and don’t think I will ever go back to any other brand. I scored this on a special closeout sale which brought the price down to $3.99 which is much better than the regular $10 price tag. If you have a Ralphs near you, I highly recommend you track this honey down to try it for yourself. Anyways, this post is NOT sponsored but I just really really like the flavor of this honey so I figured I would mention it just in case any of you are interested.  Nonetheless, you can use any honey/sweetener you’d like. I will quickly mention that organic raw honey has antimicrobial & anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial for those who suffer from seasonal allergies (Adrian has the worst). Although I have previously mentioned I like to utilize maple syrup more because it is minimally processed (if at all), if you can find organic & raw honey then there are also added benefits.

All in all,  these popsicles take about 5 minutes to prep and are as simple as filling in the mold and allowing them to freeze overnight. Prep them in advance and you have a healthy & delicious treat the whole family will love!

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Stuffed Zucchini (Two ways)

Zucchini boats (two ways)

In the last few weeks, I have spent so much time working on various recipes but sometimes they take longer to develop than others. The process of running a food blog is that of trial and error. I would say most of the time, the process of creating recipes is fairly straight forward but that’s not always the case. The last few recipes I have tried to nail have been an absolute headache, but I wanted to put out something I knew would be easy and delicious and that is how these zucchini boats came to be. Now, I personally tend to eat more vegetarian style on a day-to-day basis but I wanted to give you a healthier option that also contained leaner sources of protein because I realize not everyone centers their meals around veggies. So with that being said, I have provided a recipe with both a vegetarian option and a ground turkey version so that way no matter how you eat, you can find something that works for you and your lifestyle. In addition, these are also great if you are being mindful of your carb intake which can be important if you are prediabetic or full-onset diabetic. However, even if you’re like me and obsessed with everything carbs, you will love these because they are absolutely delicious and definitely do not taste “healthy”.

These zucchini boats are so incredibly easy and more importantly packed with tons of flavor. They come together in 30-40 minutes and are perfect to prep in advance for a busy week ahead. I packed them to take to work a few days in a row just because they were so easy, filling, & nutritious.  I didn’t bake the zucchini for too long because I wanted them to maintain their shape so you could eat it like a taco if you want.  That’s how I ate them and I basically shoveled them into my mouth one after another because they’re that good.  I definitely think they’re worth a try and keep in mind like all my other recipes, you can sub whatever veggies you have on hand. Now that I’ve rambled on long enough, let’s get into what you will need to make the 2 variations of these zucchini boats.

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