Move over chickpea hummus. There’s a new hummus in town – Edamame Avocado Hummus.
I recently did a presentation about smart snacking. One thing I like to mention about smart snacking is to opt for real food first. Snacking is an opportunity for nourishment.
Yes, grabbing a bar is quick (some bars do pack in great nutritional value), but really think about your snacks throughout the day. How many of them are real food vs. processed foods?
I’ve been challenging myself to include more veggies into my snacks. I go through snacking phases, and raw veggies have fallen out of my routine a little bit.
Snacking is more fun when you are dunking. I love dunking my veggies into hummus, but I decided to switch it up a bit and use edamame as the base instead of chickpeas. Edamame, a plant-based protein is a young soybean that has been harvested before the beans have had a chance to harden.
Adding avocado to the edamame helps make this dip creamy. Avocados can act as a booster to help your body absorb fat-soluble nutrients from the foods eaten with them, like vitamin A. Vitamin A foods, like carrots, contain carotenoids, which not only promote healthy skin but benefit the heart and immune system as well. This vitamin is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals. So, pair carrot sticks with this delicious dip!
28 delicious game day appetizers perfect for Super Bowl Sunday created by Registered Dietitians.
Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner. Do you have your menu planned yet? No matter how big your gathering, there is always food for the big game, but let’s lighten up them up with these game day appetizers.
Whip up this delicious appetizer with just three simple ingredients! Lemon Pepper Asiago Stuffed Tomatoes are going to be your new go-to recipe. This post is sponsored by La Terra Fina. Thanks for supporting brands that make this blog possible!
For a New York Giants fan, who the heck am I going to root for during the big game on Sunday since both the Patriots and the Eagles are the NYG’s rival? NJ.com interviewed NYG fans, and I guess most will be pulling for the Patriots this year.
My boyfriend is a die-hard Eagles fan (football season is always competitive fun when our teams are playing each other). I’m going to be a supportive girlfriend and root for the Eagles this year. Plus, I always like an underdog win!
With all good football viewing Sundays comes good food! The key to delicious appetizers is each bite is packed with flavor. My secret: La Terra Fina Greek yogurt dips & spreads. Following the tagline “Good Food from the Good Earth,” La Terra Fina produces a wide range of ready-to-eat refrigerated dip, spreads, and quiches that are rich in flavor and high in quality.
You first saw La Terra Fina on RDelicious Kitchen from my one of my Grocery Store Finds round-up. They recently have gotten a brand new look, but kept the same great taste!
These Greek yogurt dips are perfect for entertaining. Enjoy as is served warm or cold, dunked with vegetables, crackers, or bread or utilize them in a recipe.
The lemon pepper & asiago flavor quickly became my new favorite flavor with real ingredients, no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
This is the perfect recipe who wants to show off a new appetizer that tastes like you’ve been developing these flavors in the kitchen for a while, but really this recipe can be put together in 15 minutes with just three ingredients.
Learn more about La Terra Fina and their great products on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter — we all need a shortcut here and there while entertaining and their dips are perfect! Follow along with them on social media for more great recipes.
Spread the holiday cheer by sharing this DIY Chex Party Mix.
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear” .. name that movie!
Another great way to spread Christmas cheer is sharing a fun little snack with those around you this holiday season.
General Mills kindly sent me a care package to create Chex party mix to spread the holiday cheer. Look how adorable this personalized wooden spoon is!
Last month, I had a wonderful opportunity to spend a couple days at the General Mills headquarters learning all about General Mills and the Bell Institute of health, nutrition, and food safety.
General Mills and the Bell Institute of health, nutrition, and food safety truly stand behind their mission statement – serving the world by making food people love.
When I was there I cooked in the Betty Crocker test kitchen and learned she is a famous woman who never existed. Guys… Betty Crocker is NOT a real person! My mind was blown. The recipe creations they come up with in that kitchen are delicious. I tried a pumpkin spice cheerio latte AND a cinnamon toast crunch latte when I was there. The cereal was actually blended in to the beverage. So creative!
We even saw the behind the scenes of GM’s food photography studio where they take all of their photography for their recipes and the images that appear on the box’s products.
It was interesting to learn that each General Mills brand has their own unique story. Wheat Chex have always been a staple in my pantry. I love the crunchy texture. I often add it to my homemade trail mix.
It’s always so common to do a cookie swap or gift candies during the holiday season, but sometimes it feels like a sugar overload. This year I am packaging up this savory snack mix to pass out this year. I always like making something to pass out to everyone.
If you are still looking for a sweet treat, Chex has got ya covered with a recipe for that too – Muddy Buddies. In my house, we call this “puppy chow”.
Thank you, Chex, General Mills, and the Bell Institute to help make the holiday season a little brighter and cheery for everyone!
1 cup garlic-flavored bite-size bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
In a large microwavable bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels, and bagel chips; set aside. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.
Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 6 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container. (OR Pre-heat oven to 250°. Put cereal and seasoning mixture into an ungreased roasting pan and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes.)
Looking to switch up the same old appetizer recipes you serve at parties or gatherings? Kick off your next party with Smoked Salmon Avocado Flatbreads your guests will love. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Seafood Nutrition Partnership and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
I was excited to enter this recipe contest sponsored by the Seafood Nutrition Partnership because I feel like seafood does not get enough love in the appetizer department. Also, I selfishly can’t wait to see what everyone else came up with for this contest to get even more seafood inspired recipe ideas.
Yes, you may see the usual shrimp cocktail, or crab dip included in an appetizer spread. There are so many other seafood options to consider.
Why add more seafood into your weekly routine?
Eating seafood twice a week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause. Studies show it may reduce your risk of heart disease, plus it gives you more energy throughout the day. (Source)
My feeling is the general population knows they should eat more seafood, but not sure how to prepare it. From delicate, mild flounder to rich, flavorful salmon, or sweet and savory shrimp, seafood can please any palate. Seafood fits with all of your favorite flavors – it can be incorporated into a spicy Latin dish, flavorful Creole recipe, light, and refreshing salad, or a rich Italian pasta bowl.
I’ve loved smoked salmon ever since I was introduced to it when I worked at a local bagel shop in high school. It has a silky, buttery, texture balanced with a not so fishy, smokiness flavor. All seafood, including smoked salmon, is one of the leanest sources of protein and a superfood packed with nutrients such as omega-3s, which is essential for your good heart health.
The Great Debate: Farm-Raised or Wild Caught:
I get this question often and I never tell anyone one way or another, but rather to help them educate themselves. The Seafood Nutrition Partnership collaborates with FishWatch.gov who provides easy-to-understand facts about the science and management behind U.S. seafood and tips on how to make educated seafood choices. Helping everyone—from chefs to consumers—understand sustainable seafood.
Also, check out Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. They make recommendations, in your area, showing you which seafood items are “Best Choices” or “Good Alternatives,” and which ones you should “Avoid.” This list is constantly being updated as things are changing.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, is a popular legume across many cuisines. These versatile legumes are also packed with high-quality plant protein, soluble and insoluble fiber, and beneficial polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Grab these for a protein-packed snack or top on a salad. I always tell clients to make these to top their salads when they are looking for a crunch factor in place of croutons.
The best part, you can customize these with any flavor you like! Craving sweet? Try roasting the chickpeas with a little cinnamon and sugar. Looking to add a little heat? Add a little chili powder to the mix.
Looking for a new appetizer idea? Set it and forget it! These Slow Cooker Thai Meatballs are the perfect balance of sweet and spicy that everyone will keep coming back for. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by SPLENDA® Sweeteners and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
This past weekend, my family did our second annual fantasy football draft. I am feeling pretty good about my picks. There is a trophy on the line and I want bragging rights this year.
With football season about to start, it’s got me thinking of new recipes for Sunday football game gatherings. Let’s be honest, if my team isn’t playing, I’m mainly just there for the food.
These Slow Cooker Thai Meatballs have the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, sweetened with SPLENDA® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend and adds a kick of spice with Thai chili sauce. SPLENDA® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend is made from only 2 non-GMO ingredients: stevia & cane sugar. With 50% Fewer calories than sugar, a 1⁄2 teaspoon of SPLENDA® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend gives you the same amount of sweetness as a full teaspoon of traditional sugar. Bonus – it has no bitter aftertaste that you sometimes get with other artificial or alternative sweeteners.
If serving as an appetizer, keep them on warm in the crockpot and serve with small skewers or toothpicks to or serve over quinoa or cauliflower rice to make a main dish.
Set it and forget it! These Slow Cooker Thai Meatballs are the perfect balance of sweet and spicy that everyone will keep coming back for.
3 stalks lemongrass, roughly chopped
2 shallots, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2/3 cup Thai chili sauce
¼ cup SPLENDA® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend
2/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
½ cup rice vinegar
1 cup water
2 lbs. ground chicken breast
1 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
½ cup chives, divided
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
(optional) fresh lime wedges, to garnish
In a food processor, combine lemongrass, shallots, garlic, ginger, and hoisin sauce. Process the mixture until it forms a paste.
In a small sauté pan add half the paste, reserving the remaining half for the meatballs. Cook stirring until fragrant. Remove from the pan and add to a slow cooker.
Stir in the chili sauce, SPLENDA® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and water with the paste in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, or until reduced by half.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the remaining paste, ground chicken, panko, egg, ¼ cup of the chives, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Mix meatball mixture until well combined. If the mixture is too wet, add more panko.
Roll meatballs into golf ball size meatballs; line on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until beginning to brown.
Add meatballs to the slow cooker for the last 30 minutes of cooking, stirring to coat.
In a small bowl, combine remaining chives and peanuts. Slice limes.
Once the timer is up, sprinkle meatballs with the peanuts and chives. Serve meatballs with lime wedges.
May 13th is National Hummus Day! Celebrate with this Cheesy Spinach Hummus Dip. Disclosure: I received free samples of Sabra Hummus mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
While it is perfectly acceptable to simply open a container of Sabra hummus and dive right in, to celebrate National Hummus Day, did you know hummus is very versatile in the kitchen?
Hummus = Happiness
I’ve recently been loving adding hummus to dressing and marinades. It adds great flavor and helps thicken it to create a creamy dressing. I recently made a lemon hummus tahini dressing for a grilled caesar salad recipe. So good!
Hummus is also an interesting idea for a coating in place of your typical dredging mixture. Next time you bread chicken cutlets, skip the milk and egg mixture and roll in a thin layer of hummus, then coat in a crunchy topping.
Don’t stop there! Hummus is also great in dip recipes to replace saturated fats with a heart-healthy plant-based protein hummus. A traditional warm spinach dip has at least one or a mixture of these calorically dense ingredients: cream cheese, mayonnaise, or sour cream. This Cheesy Hummus Spinach dip is just as creamy with swapping in hummus instead.
What is your favorite Sabra hummus flavor? My top three favorites are the classic, roasted red pepper, and olive tapenade. I recently saw a lemon twist flavor that I definitely need to try.
This past September I traveled to California for the first time. I was so fortunate that California Almond Board invited me on an amazing trip to the almond orchards in Lodi, California with a group of amazing Registered Dietitians and food bloggers. We learned a wealth of information of all things almonds, including sustainability, growing methods, almond life cycles and nutrition research. Disclosure: I was provided with free travel and accommodations to the California Almond Orchard experience. I was not additionally compensated for my time or to write this post.
Ever wonder where those almonds that are in your trail mix, granola bars, and cereals are from? The almond lifecycle has many stages before they end up in your kitchen cabinets.
Did you know, there are more than 30 different varieties of almonds? 10 of them comprise the majority of almonds produced in California. 80% of the world’s almonds are produced in California, and from raw almonds and almond butter to almond flour, almond milk, and almond oil. The Central Valley of California is the perfect spot for almonds to grow due to their mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The Almond Lifecycle: November – February: Almond trees go through a period of dormancy when the cold weather lets them sit back, relax and store up almond nutrients for next year’s crop. Late February – early March: Almond tree buds burst into light pink and white blooms in preparation for pollination. Nonpareils are among the first to bloom, while other varieties, such as Carmel and Mission, bloom later.
Many almond trees are not self-pollinating, so bees provide the missing piece of the puzzle. Populations of bees are brought to the orchard to carry pollen and initiate crop development. March – June: Almonds continue to mature, with the shell hardening and kernel forming. Also at this time, green almonds are harvested for various culinary uses.July – early August: Almond hulls begin to split open exposing the almond shell and allowing it to dry. Shortly before harvest, the hulls open completely. Mid-August through October: Mechanical tree “shakers” harvest the almonds by vigorously shaking them to the ground. The almonds then dry naturally for 8–10 days in the orchard before they are swept into rows and picked up by machine.After harvest, almonds go to a huller/sheller where the kernels pass through a roller to remove the hull, shell, and any remaining debris. Next stop: the handler for sizing, where the almond kernels drop into separate bins according to size.
After sizing, almonds are kept in controlled storage conditions to maintain quality until they’re either shipped or further processed into any variety of different almond forms for diverse culinary uses. (source: California Almonds)
Did you know – Almond trees are grafted on the roots of peach or plum trees for a stronger root base. The almond trees are grown in a nursery, then grafted onto the root of a peach or plum tree to grow to maturity. Through the orchard you are able to see the point where they were grafted since they overlap each other. Did you know there are three parts to an almond? The hull, shell, and kernel make up this mighty little nut and all parts are used. The hull is the dry and fuzzy outer later. Hulls are sold as livestock feed, which reduces the amount of water used to grow other feed crops. The shells go to various alternative farming uses such as livestock bedding. The kernel, which most think of when thinking about almonds, is the nutrient-rich almond we eat. Each serving (28 g) contains 6 grams of energy-packed protein, 4 grams of hunger-fighting fiber, 13 grams of “good” unsaturated fat and only 1 gram of saturated fat.
Warning: these almonds are addicting. The whole batch was gone in less than a week. Add them to salads, pair with a piece of fruit, the possibilities are endless. Be on the look out for another recipe soon using these almonds!
Place almonds in a small bowl. Pour the balsamic vinegar into the bowl, stir to coat the almonds. Let sit for one hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 350˚. Drain the vinegar from the almonds and pat almonds dry. Add sea salt and rosemary to the bowl and stir well to coat the almonds evenly. Spread almonds evenly onto a cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes (stir the almonds halfway through cooking).
Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Store almonds in an airtight container.
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Thank you California Almonds for this amazing experience! To learn more about California Almonds check out their website. They have great resources for health professionals!
A balance of savory and sweet, this Wild Blueberry & Rosemary Stuffed Baked Brie is a festive appetizer your guests will love. Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Wild Blueberries and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Welp, it’s official. The holiday season is here! If you didn’t know, I work as a Supermarket RD and the grocery store is on top of the holiday season craze. The second Halloween was over, those shelves cleared out to the clearance rack and the Thanksgiving/Christmas decorations and food items are filling the shelves to the brim.
Being a food blogger, I am ahead of the game too, testing recipes for the holiday season already. The holiday season is my favorite time of year! It’s all about family, friends, and FOOD! I know that nutrition is not everyone’s top concern during the holidays. While it’s okay to indulge a little on holidays, I still always want to add a nutrition punch to my flavorful recipe creations.
Did you know? Wild blueberries have a more intense flavor than regular blueberries. Wild Blueberry plants grow wild and are genetically diverse with thousands of interlocking plants spreading naturally across fields called barrens, giving Wild Blueberries their complex and delicious flavor with a mix of tart and sweet.
Make sure to stop over to the frozen section of the grocery store tour, because that is where you’ll find Wild Blueberries. Wild Blueberries are different from cultivated blueberries. For one, they are smaller than your regular blueberry and you can’t find them in the produce aisle. The Wild Blueberry crop (99% of it) is frozen. The little berries are individually quick frozen (IQF) at harvest locking in their nutrition and taste.
Since the Wild Blueberries are frozen when warmed it does create more moisture. Too much moisture will create a soggy pastry crust. A simple (and healthy hack) is to add chia seeds to help thicken the Wild Blueberry mixture. Yes, I know you’ll be excited to share these new Wild Blueberry facts at your holiday party. I’m sure you’ll have plenty of time because everyone will be huddled around this appetizer dish digging in for more.
A balance of savory and sweet, this Wild Blueberry & Rosemary Stuffed Baked Brie is a festive appetizer your guests will love.
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
3 tablespoons honey, divided
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 tablespoon chia seeds
12-ounce wheel of brie
1 sheet puff pastry defrosted
1 egg, whisked
1/4 cup sliced almonds
In a small pot over low-medium heat, combine wild blueberries, honey, rosemary, lemon juice, lemon zest and chia seeds. Let simmer for about 10 minutes until mixture thickens. Let cool completely.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Roll the puff pastry into 12×12 inch square. Slice brie horizontally. Place of the brie, rind side down in the middle of the puff pastry. Add blueberry mixture evenly over brie. Place the other half of brie gently on top the blueberry mixture to cover.
Fold up the corners of puff pastry one at a time, brushing all the dough with the egg wash as you go, using it as the glue to hold the pastry together. Continue to brush the egg wash over the top and sides of the dough after formed.
Bake the brie at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then carefully pull the oven rack out without removing the brie from the oven. Quickly drizzle with remaining honey and sprinkle with the remaining almond slices. Slide the Brie back in the oven and continue baking for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Top with the remaining wild blueberry mixture and garnish with rosemary. Serve warm.