Roast the Rainbow – Veggie Delight

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Having just returned to school after a diet-busting spring break filled with fried shrimp, whipped cream, carrot cake and of course piña coladas (I was in Destin after all!) I felt like making myself something lean, clean and green. I’ll credit my mom as my source of inspiration for this recipe – one of my favorite dishes as a kid was her olive oil roasted veggies (yes, maybe I am a little strange). But seriously, I love roasted veggies – they’re SO healthy for you and easy to make. Now you can eat and taste the rainbow…while actually having something that’s good for you and your waistline! (sorry Skittles)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5 TBSP EVOO (or extra virgin olive oil spray to cut out extra fat)
  • 4 TBSP red wine (I used Malbec)
  • 1 TBSP dried rosemary (or fresh)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • veggies to your liking!

MAKES 5 servings

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This recipe is great because you can make it so many different ways. Choose the veggies that you prefer and start by chopping them up. Just to give you an idea, I used 6 large carrots, 1/2 carton of mushrooms, 5 stalks of asparagus, 1/2 sweet onion, 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, 1/4 red onion and 1 small zucchini. A recommendation I have if you use onions is to cut them in semi-circles as opposed to dicing, I just think it tastes better. Baby carrots would also be great in this, I just happened to have large ones!

Now comes the fork in the road. You can choose to make a beautiful rainbow array of veggies (like I did) or the faster route.

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If you’re pressed for time, mix all of the ingredients (olive oil, wine, rosemary, garlic, salt & pepper) in a large bowl and add in all of your veggies, coating them with the mixture. Then pop them into the oven at 375 for 20 minutes, switching your oven to broil for the last 5 minutes to add a bit of crispiness.

However, if you need more color coding in your life, start by mixing the olive oil, wine, rosemary, salt & pepper in a large liquid measuring cup. Start by pouring out a little of the mixture (about 1/8th of the total) at a time into a separate bowl. Add the first “layer” of veggies and coat them in the dressing. Then line them up on a baking sheet and repeat until the sheet is covered!

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Voilá! The perfect roasted veggies – I love eating these as a light lunch, a side with dinner, in a salad, or even with pasta and a little extra olive oil. If you’re looking to cut down on fat content, instead of using regular olive oil, you could use olive oil spray (no mixing bowl required – just drizzle the wine on top of the baking sheet and spray!) Enjoy!

-SkinnyGirl

Little Bites of Heaven: Valentine’s Day Truffles

Valentine's Truffles

Truffles are just one of those things that nobody should live without. These have been a Valentine’s Day tradition of mine for the past few years because they are the epitome of the perfect dessert: easy, simple, and full of chocolate! They definitely aren’t the healthiest treat around so I’ve subbed some of the unhealthier ingredients, making these truffles perfect for those on eat-clean diets, vegans, those with lactose-intolerance & people who are gluten-free! EVERYONE can enjoy these 😉 So make some for your sweetheart, friends or just to treat yourself this Valentine’s Day! (because even if you hate Valentine’s Day nobody hates chocolate)

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. dark chocolate chips
  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (you can use all dark if you want to)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For topping: cocoa powder, PB2, cinnamon sugar, or cayenne pepper & dried chilis

*MAKES 32 small truffles

Stir all of the ingredients together in a pan over medium. Be sure not to burn the chocolate – continuously whisk the ingredients until all the chocolate is melted and the consistency is equal throughout.

chocolate

Once all of the chocolate is melted, cover the pan in foil and place it in the fridge for a couple hours (preferably overnight) until the chocolate has hardened.

Once the chocolate is hardened, here comes the fun part – the toppings! Scoop the chocolate out with a spoon & get ready to get your hands a little messy! Form the chocolate into 1″ balls and then roll them to cover the outside with your favorite topping! I’ve got toppings for every kind of food-lover out there…

  • For the sweet tooth: roll the balls in a 1:1 ratio of cinnamon to sugar
  • For the spice fiend: roll the balls in a mix of cayenne pepper & dried chilis (I used McCormick’s Mexican blend which has no MSG! Tahín would also work great if you can find it at your store)
  • For the peanut butter lover: roll the balls in PB2 (for those who don’t know, it’s powdered chocolate peanut butter with WAY less calories than the normal kind)
  • For the classic truffle: roll the balls in cocoa powder

valentine's truffles

Other ideas I had were truffles rolled in dried coconut as well as your favorite ground nut, turbinado sugar or even sprinkles! All of these are truly delicious but I’d probably have to say my favorites were the spicy & the classic…my tummy’s rumbling already.

Once you’ve covered the truffles in a topping they are ready to eat! I recommend putting the topping on right before you serve because if you stick these back in the fridge, the toppings tend to get absorbed by the chocolate and they just won’t look as pretty – they’ll definitely still taste great though. You can serve them on a plate like I did with a little bit of extra topping to add to your liking! If you have leftovers refrigerate these and they will stay good for a few days although I have a feeling that they will disappear quickly 🙂

Enjoy & have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

xo SkinnyGirl

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Soup’s up: Tomato Basil Parmesan

Who doesn’t love soup in the wintertime? It’s the perfect meal to curl up to in a warm blanket and sip on while contemplating how happy you are to not be outside in the cold 😛

While consulting Pinterest one night on what to make for dinner I came across this delicious-looking Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup. I was hoping to find something to make for my boyfriend who had just had his wisdom teeth taken out and much like a baby, still couldn’t eat solid food. I thought this recipe looked perfect – comforting, delicious, and easy to make since it’s made in the crock pot! I love the convenience of crock pot cooking – for students or the working woman it’s great because you can pop your food into the slow cooker in the morning & when you come home dinner will be done!

Since my goal is to always make a recipe as healthy as possible without sacrificing taste, I did what I call a recipe redo, swapping out the unhealthier ingredients for better ones.

tomato basil parmesan soup

Here’s what you’ll need:

28 oz can muir glen fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
½ cup multigrain flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
2 cups fat-free milk (you COULD try this with plain almond milk if you wanted to)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

*MAKES 8 servings

  1. Start by adding the tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker. I am obsessed with the Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes so I use them every chance I get.
  2. Next, cover your crock pot & cook it on low for about 5-7 hours, until the veggies have all become well acquainted with one other and there has been lots of mixing going on.
  3. About 30 minutes before dinnertime you’ll need to make a roux! It’s like you’re a French chef or something…the roux thickens up the soup & gives it a better texture. I kept my roux blonde, meaning that I cooked it for less time than other darker roux.  I swapped out butter for olive oil (yes, you can do that) since olive oil is a much healthier choice. Olive oil does have more calories and fat, but it does not have the sodium, cholesterol or the saturated fat that butter does (3x more saturated fat in fact). For those who don’t already know, saturated fat is the real villain when it comes to fat. According to the Mayo Clinic, “it raises total blood cholesterol levels which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat may also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes” so try to avoid this stuff as much as possible!
  4. To start the roux, put the olive oil in a skillet over low heat & add in your favorite multi or whole-grain flourStir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes and slowly pour in about 1 cup hot soup at a time. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth.
  5. Put it all back in the slow cooker, give it a stir, and add the Parmesan cheese, fat free milk (preferably warmed), & salt and pepper. You can also add in extra herbs since they often get lost in the mix of things.
  6. Cover & cook on low for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve. Top it off with your favorite whole grain crackers & eat up!

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Not only is this recipe “soup-er” comforting and delicious, it only has 266 calories a serving! Enjoy it while the weather’s still chilly & it will warm you right up! If you’re looking for another healthy soup to make, try out my recipe for Chicken Quinoa Soup! Happy eating & come back soon 🙂 Don’t forget to subscribe for more free recipes & healthy eating tips!

Click here for nutrition facts

Holiday Hot Cocoa

Ho Ho Holiday Cocoa

With Christmas coming ever near (in 4 more days!) it’s time to bust out the holiday sweet & treats! This hot chocolate will warm you up in the cold weather & can easily be made in a big batch for family gatherings! Made with 0 sugar and very little fat it’s a treat you can enjoy without the worry of weight gain…nobody here will be turning into Santa Claus 😛  This is truly a guiltless treat – I shocked myself when I counted up the calories & realized that each serving is only 38 calories! So curl up by the fireplace with a mug of this stuff and enjoy the holiday season – Merry Christmas from me to you 😉

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c. stevia
  • 2 c. almond milk (unsweetened – don’t use the coconut blend)
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • *optional candy cane for garnish

MAKES 3 SERVINGS

Start by combining the water, stevia, cocoa powder, salt and maple syrup in a saucepan. Cook on medium while stirring regularly until all ingredients are combined. Gradually pour in the almond milk (1/2 cup at a time) and stir. Simmer on medium for another 5-10 minutes until cocoa is hot. Add the remaining teaspoon of vanilla, stir, and enjoy! Top it off with a candy cane for an extra holiday treat! Alternatively, you could add a teaspoon of peppermint extract to get that delicious candy cane flavor! If you like your cocoa extra creamy you could substitute the water in the recipe for almond milk or add more (1/4 c.) so that there is not so much of a cocoa flavor. Drink up & enjoy!

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Herb de Provence Chicken

Herbs de Provence Chicken

The first time my mother brought home herbs de provence from the store I was in love. In my opinion it’s the perfect blend of spices – plus it’s fun to say since it’s French and doing so makes you feel sophisticated 😉

Inspired by my own hunger and the ingredients in the fridge, I came up with this low-calorie recipe that is healthy, easy, and full of flavor!

herb de provence chicken

Ransack your kitchen for:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 3 tsp EVOO (you can also use canola oil)
  • 2 tsp herbs de provence
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1/2 large onion (or 1 small one), sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup of red wine

*MAKES 3 SERVINGS

First, season each chicken breast with herbs de provence, salt and pepper. Next, add the olive oil to your pan and once it’s warm, place the chicken in the skillet. Meanwhile, slice the onions, celery and mushrooms. Once sliced, add the celery and onion to the pan.

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Continue to cook the chicken and once it is no longer pink, add the mushrooms, red wine and minced garlic.

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Cover the skillet with a lid and let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the chicken has fully cooked and soaked up the wine flavor.

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This recipe is super easy and all of the flavors compliment each other so well. To top it all off, it’s only 288 calories a serving! One of my favorite things about this chicken is that it comes out so tender – by letting it simmer in the wine it soaks up a lot of flavor!

Herb de Provence Chicken

 All I can say is yum. Serve it with your favorite blend of quinoa, brown rice or whole grain couscous! Eat up & enjoy! 

Spinach, Blackberry & Goat Cheese Salad

This recipe is perfect for summertime – light, fruity and containing goat cheese (I’m obsessed with the stuff). It’s really simple to make and is just great for the occasional day where you might be feeling a salad for lunch.

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What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 TBSP EVOO
  • 1/2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh basil
  • 3-5 pieces of tangelo, sliced into 1/2 in. pieces
  • 1 slice of red onion
  • 3 oz. blackberries
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • 3 oz. spinach

This yields about 2 servings or 1 extremely hungry person serving

First you can make the dressing by mixing the first 4 ingredients.

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Whisk until evenly mixed.

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Next place the onion slices, tangelo pieces, blackberries and goat cheese in a bowl.

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Pour over the dressing and voilá! Eat up and enjoy

SkinnyGirl

P.S. Check out the stats on this recipe: only 164 calories for eating half of this recipe (2 smaller salads)

blackberry goat cheese salad nutrition facts