Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo

Chicken alfredo gets a healthy boost from spaghetti squash and broccoli without sacrificing flavor. It is a new family favorite around our house.

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Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 3 lb spaghetti squash
  • vegetable oil for drizzling
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder for sprinkling
  • 2 broccoli crowns, chopped into florets
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup parmesan

Instructions

  1. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds. Drizzle some oil inside the hollow of each spaghetti squash half. Use your fingers to spread the oil all over the inside of the spaghetti squash. Sprinkle with salt, garlic, and pepper.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place both squash halves cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove squash from oven and add the broccoli florets to the baking sheet. Sprinkle broccoli with salt and spray broccoli with cooking spray. Return broccoli and squash to oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Prepare the chicken and sauce near the end of the roasting time. Place a non-stick frying pan on the stove on medium heat. Allow to heat for 5 minutes. While the pan is heating, cut chicken into ¾ inch cubes. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the hot pan. Allow the oil to heat about 2 minutes until hot.

  5. Add chicken to the hot pan. Turn stove heat up to high. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon garlic and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir the chicken to coat it in seasoning and oil. Leave it in a single layer in the pan for 2 minutes to develop some color. Flip or stir the chicken and allow it to cook another 2 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
  6. Add cream to pan and allow to thicken stirring occasionally, 5-8 minutes. Add parmesan and stir for about 1 minute until parmesan is incorporated. Add chicken and cook until chicken is cooked through. The chicken may already be done from the previous step, if this is the case just stir to combine. Remove from heat and allow to thicken about 5 minutes.
  7. While the sauce is thickening use two forks to shred the spaghetti squash. Add squash and broccoli to the sauce and stir to combine. Serve warm, garnished with fresh parsley and additional parmesan if desired.

Recipe Notes

When heating the pan, we use medium heat because that gets the pan hot enough without damaging the nonstick surface. Once we add the chicken we turn the heat up because non-stick pans don't retain heat well.

Pasta is not my favorite meal, but the rest of the family goes gaga for it, so we end up eating pasta pretty often. I need a lot of cheese and cream if I’m going to get excited about pasta. Enter chicken alfredo. I don’t make it often (newsflash: it’s not super healthy). But with this many vegetables I can justify it every once in a while without batting an eye.

Roasting the broccoli gives it an extra flavor boost. You can put it right on the baking sheet with the spaghetti squash after the first 30 minutes.

We would love to hear about your favorite pasta dishes. Let us know in the comments!

Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo – Get Hooked on Cooking – Chicken alfredo gets a healthy boost from spaghetti squash and broccoli without sacrificing flavor. It is a new family favorite around our house.

Doritos® Taco Salad

Yes, you should eat this salad. It has Doritos® in it, but weren’t you looking for an excuse to eat Doritos® guilt-free anyway? A delicious combination of crisp, healthy ingredients and indulgent delights.

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Doritos® Taco Salad


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 dinner salads

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 cans red kidney beans, drained
  • cup taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup mild Pace salsa
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 3 romaine hearts
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bag Nacho Cheese Doritos® regular or party-sized, depending on how naughty you feel
  • sour cream optional

Instructions

  1. Add lean ground meat to a non-stick skillet and cook over medium heat until done. Add water, beans, taco seasoning, cumin, and garlic. Cook until beans are hot and sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.
  2. Wash your lettuce and chop lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Dice your tomato. Slice your cucumber length-wise into quarters and then slice the other way into ⅛ inch slices.

  3. Add vegetables to a large salad bowl. Top with meat-bean mixture. Add ranch, salsa, and crushed Doritos®. Toss to combine and serve immediately. Top with sour cream if desired.

Recipe Notes

I normally make this salad ⅓ at a time and put the remaining meat-bean mixture in the fridge for later. ⅓ of this salad will make a filling meal for 2 hungry adults. 

I was talking to my Mom over a year ago, and she told me, “Jen made me the best taco salad while I was visiting her. You have to get the recipe.” Well, I can’t pass up the opportunity for a good recipe, and I have been making it ever since.

Jen’s original recipe called for cheddar, but I did an experiment on my cheese-obsessed husband. The first time I made it with cheese, the second time I left it out. He didn’t notice any difference so I decided to nix the cheese. I’m going to be in serious trouble if he ever finds out he missed a potential cheese consuming opportunity.

You may be thinking, “Doritos®? In a nice healthy salad? What are you trying to do to me?” But I promise you, it’s worth it. To be perfectly honest, I don’t want to live in a world where I can never eat chips. We have a fairly strict chip policy in our house. Neither my husband nor I have any self-control, so we only buy them if they are part of a meal. Or if my husband coerces me. Whichever comes first. So now you’re thinking, “Are you using salad as an excuse to eat chips?” Yes, yes I am.

But seriously, there are some nice healthy aspects to the salad. The original recipe has lettuce as the only vegetable because that reduces chopping. I kept it simple by only adding cucumber and tomatoes. I highly recommend the cucumber if that’s your thing. It complements the heavier flavors of the salad beautifully, and it is so quick to chop a cucumber. But make it your own by removing ingredients or adding avocado, corn, cheese, cilantro, or anything that makes you happy. Although, Jen will be upset if you leave out the ranch dressing, salsa, or chips. So let’s not upset Jen and make some delicious Doritos® Taco Salad!

Enjoy!

Doritos® Taco Salad – Get Hooked on Cooking – Yes, you should eat this salad. It has Doritos® in it, but weren’t you looking for an excuse to eat Doritos® guilt-free anyway? A delicious combination of crisp, healthy ingredients and indulgent delights.

Parmesan Ranch Chicken

This is one of my most requested recipes so it’s about time I got it up on the blog. Parmesan ranch chicken is perfect if you are feeding picky people. It’s amazing if you are tired and you need a quick meal. It’s a secret weapon for unexpected guests. It’s delicious enough for special dinners and celebrations. It comes together with just a few minutes of prep and only takes 10 minutes to bake!

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Parmesan Ranch Chicken


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large, boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • ½ cup ranch dressing
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Remove all fat from outside of chicken breast. Slice against the grain into ½ inch thick slices.
  3. Add chicken to a large bowl. Pour on half the ranch and toss to coat. Add additional ranch as needed to coat chicken.
  4. Spread chicken out on the bottom and up the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle with about half of the parmesan, breadcrumbs, and garlic. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with more parmesan, breadcrumbs, and garlic and toss again.
  5. Spray an aluminum foil-lined cooking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken in a single layer on baking sheet. Spray tops of chicken with cooking spray (this helps the chicken crisp up).

  6. Bake on the bottom rack of your oven for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Check chicken by slicing the thickest piece and looking for any pink color.

When I was a kid we used to have parmesan chicken bites for dinner all the time and they were gone so quickly you had to fight for your share. I have two older brothers and two younger sisters and when my brothers and I were all teenagers at the same time the amount of calories consumed rivaled feeding an NBA basketball team. Ranch dressing takes my childhood favorite to a whole new level. Use caution if feeding ravenous teenagers.

We don’t eat a lot of meat in our family so this is a four serving recipe for us. If you normally eat a large meat course expect this to only feed two of your family members. I normally double it to have leftovers. I’m not the type to eat parmesan chicken just once. Did I eat the leftovers for breakfast straight out of the fridge? Yes, and I don’t feel ashamed.

I love to serve lots of veggies with this, since it is not my lightest meal. Roasted potatoes and broccoli are my go-to sides, but it was delicious with hummus and veggies that I already had on hand. Can you tell I was trying to get photos taken before my daylight was gone? What’s with the sun setting before 5:30? Doesn’t it know I’m trying to food blog over here?

Enjoy!

Parmesan Ranch Chicken – Get Hooked on Cooking – This is one of my most requested recipes so it’s about time I got it up on the blog. Parmesan ranch chicken is perfect if you are feeding picky people. It’s amazing if you are tired and you need a quick meal. It’s a secret weapon for unexpected guests. It’s delicious enough for special dinners and celebrations. It comes together with just a few minutes of prep and only takes 10 minutes to bake!

 

Our Healthiest Recipes of 2017

Happy New Year everybody! Are you all working on your New Year’s resolutions? If you’re an anything like us, you enjoy finding easy ways to improve your health. We love healthy, simple recipes so we thought we would share our 16 healthiest recipes of 2017!

Taco Quinoa

This is on of our favorite quinoa recipes. It is quick to throw together, it has the comfort of cheesy Hamburger Helper, and it is loaded with healthy ingredients.

Taco Quinoa

Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus for Beginners

We love hummus as a quick and healthy snack at our house. What we don’t like is the price tag on store bought hummus. This recipe is super easy and delicious.

Sweet & Tangy Peanut Stir Fry

There’s something about an amazing peanut sauce, and this one hits the spot. Pair it with your favorite stir fry ingredients for an unbelievably delicious meal.

Indian Spiced Potatoes & Cauliflower

This yummy dish is so warm and comforting, perfect for a cold winter night. Best of all, you can make it in your slow cooker!

Creamy Mushroom Quinoa

My personal favorite quinoa recipe. It reminds me of Thanksgiving stuffing but brings some healthy ingredients to the mix to make this a great comfort food to start off your new year!

Orange Sunrise Smoothie

The perfect vitamin C burst to help you hit your fruit quota for the day!

Greek Quinoa

This is a great main dish or pairs perfectly with some grilled chicken or hummus for a flavorful and veggie-packed meal!

Cheesy Beef & Black Bean Casserole

I pretty much can’t say no when it’s time for a nice, hot Mexican casserole. Yum, yum, yum!

Indian-Fusion Tacos

I could eat these tacos every day for weeks without getting tired of them. Latin and Indian ingredients combine to make these tacos explode with flavor!

Korean Veggie Pancakes

Shredded vegetables never tasted so good. With a food processor these come together in a snap. With a crispy exterior and a delicious dipping sauce, your waist and your taste buds will thank you.

Roasted Mexican Cauliflower

Mexican seasoning plus roasting bring out amazing flavor in a vegetable that is chock full of vitamins. Don’t delay, make this for your next taco night!

Cajun Spinach Quinoa

With tons of veggies and quinoa you may be questioning whether this is a delicious dish. Well, I tried it out on a bunch of comfort food-loving southerners and it got rave reviews!

Pumpkin Pie Bars

It’s not too late to take part in pumpkin season. These bars taste like pumpkin pie, but they are a satisfying and filling breakfast!

Easy Brussels Sprouts Salad

If you’re not a fan of cooked sprouts, this is a great way to add this superfood to your diet! Raw Brussels sprouts are very mild, and a food processor takes care of your chopping for you.

Chipotle Pot Roast Chili

Sweet, smoky, spicy, warm, and delicious! This chili is the perfect accompaniment for a winter night by the fire.

Tortilla Soup

Nothing chases the winter blues away like a nice hot soup. Ring in the new year with this beautiful bowl of goodness! You won’t regret it.

Our Healthiest Recipes of 2017 – Get Hooked on Cooking – Happy New Year everybody! Are you all working on your New Year's resolutions? If you're an anything like us, you enjoy finding easy ways to improve your health. We love healthy, simple recipes so we thought we would share our 16 healthiest recipes of 2017!

Tortilla Soup

This soup is so easy, healthy, and delicious! The base is fresh and flavorful, and there are so many amazing toppings mixed in that each spoonful is a treat. There’s nothing like the combination of creamy queso fresco, rich avocado, crunchy tortilla strips, and lean chicken. If you are looking to eat healthier this year, why not start with this yummy hot soup? It is packed with tomatoes, avocado, onions, garlic, and chicken. How can you say no to superfoods and lean protein?

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Tortilla Soup


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people

Ingredients

Soup

  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1-2 cups yellow onion, diced (1 medium-large onion)
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 2 lbs roma tomatoes
  • salt to taste

Toppings

  • 2 avocados
  • 10 oz queso fresco
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded or diced
  • 6 corn tortillas cut into strips
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium-sized pot over medium heat until hot, 3-5 minutes. Add oil and heat until hot, 30-60 seconds. Add onion, cook 1 minute stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 1 minute stirring occasionally.
  2. Add whole tomatoes. You do not need to cut the stems off the tomatoes! You do not need to dice them! But go ahead and do those things if you want. This is a low effort soup but I’m not going to fight you about how much effort you want to put in. That would make it high effort for me.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes are very tender.
  4. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or traditional blender until it is very smooth. Return soup to pot and season to taste with salt. I measured how much salt I put in so I could tell you guys, but then I promptly forgot how much I used. ½ a teaspoon sounds like a good starting place though.

  5. While the tomatoes are cooking, dice or crumble the queso fresco, prep your cooked chicken, and dice your avocado.

  6. Add 1 inch of oil to a separate small pot. Heat the oil over medium heat until it crackles when a drop of water is added. Slice the tortillas thinly and fry them 1-2 minutes until crisp.
  7. Serve soup hot with generous amounts of the toppings.

Recipe Notes

Tip: Queso fresco is easy to find at your local grocery store. Look for it in the cheese section.

I had an amazing roommate in college who shared my love of cooking. I still have some meals I make that she taught me and this is one of them. I had never heard of queso fresco before but, once I tried it, I was hooked. Don’t be intimidated by queso fresco; it is easy to find at your local grocery store in the refrigerated cheese section.

I love memories of eating this in our run-down college apartment. Cooking with someone else who loves to cook is a real treat for me. It’s so fun to share ideas and food.

It’s hard to find words to describe this soup because it’s so good and at the same time so unique. The ingredients are simple and they don’t hide behind a large list of seasonings. I don’t want to say “delicious” too many times but it’s hard not to. Stupendous! Fabulous! Fantastic! Too much?

The queso fresco is definitely one of the stars of this dish. It melts slightly when you add it to the hot soup, but doesn’t disappear into the soup like many cheeses would. The fried tortilla strips are the perfect complement to the other flavors and textures.

This soup is so easy there’s no reason to not try it! Bring some healthy deliciousness to your New Year!

Enjoy!

Tortilla Soup – Get Hooked on Cooking – This soup is so easy, healthy, and delicious! The base is fresh and flavorful, and there are so many amazing toppings mixed in that each spoonful is a treat. There's nothing like the combination of creamy queso fresco, rich avocado, crunchy tortilla strips, and lean chicken. If you are looking to eat healthier this year why not start with this yummy hot soup? It is packed with tomatoes, avocado, onions, garlic, and chicken. How can you say no to superfoods and lean protein?

Glazed Almond Cookies

This recipe has a fun history. Read the post to find out how these cookies led to us starting our blog!

Fact: sugar cookies are better with almond flavoring. These cookies take that message to heart. An almond cookie base, an almond pressed in the top, and an almond glaze. A perfect trifecta.

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Glazed Almond Cookies


Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Servings 30

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • almonds for topping

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2-4 tsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until well blended in a large bowl.
  3. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix well.

  4. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Or, if you're lazy like me, pour the flour into the wet mixture. Then add the salt and baking powder on top of the flour and mix them into the flour a bit before mixing it into the wet ingredients. One less bowl to wash makes me a happy baker.
  5. Mix dry ingredients into butter mixture.
  6. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Position dough on greased cookie sheet and gently press a whole almond into the top of each cookie. For those who don't like nuts you can leave the almond off the top. I have to make most of them that way in my house for my husband and older daughter.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 7-8 minutes until the edges are golden.
  8. Leave on pan to cool for at least 3 minutes. Remove to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  9. Mix glaze ingredients. The glaze should just barely be runny enough to drizzle. If it is too wet it will slide right off the cookies. Add more sugar if it is too runny and more milk if it is too stiff.
  10. Line the cookies up and drizzle the glaze on a whole line of cookies at once to make it easier. Allow the drizzle to set for about an hour if you want them to be easy to transport. Or enjoy some right away if you can't wait.

 About a year ago I sent a photo of these cookies to Jen to make her jealous because, let’s face it, they’re delicious. She edited the photo and sent it back to me and she told me I should start a food Instagram. I think it was the fact that Jen turned a photo I snapped into something beautiful so quickly that did it. I had talked for years about starting a food blog and that moment turned a flicker into a flame. It took a while to get up and running but now we’re having a ton of fun sharing recipes with you!

When I was a kid we had a family favorite Christmas cookie called almond bars. They had an almond-flavored sugar cookie base with slivered almonds on top and a delicious glaze. The problem was that they dried out really quickly and started crumbling, not the best for cookie plates.

These cookies are inspired by the almond bars of my childhood, but they the young, hip version. They are soft instead of crumbly, they don’t require a rolling pin like their fussy predecessor, and they don’t demand fancy diagonal slicing.

If you’re like my husband and you hate nuts you can definitely leave the almonds off the top. But I don’t really understand that. I actually think these would be good with more almonds, some chopped almonds in the dough perhaps? Ha, I can almost hear my husband groaning.

Enjoy!

Glazed Almond Cookies – Get Hooked on Cooking – Fact: sugar cookies are better with almond flavoring. These cookies take that message to heart. An almond cookie base, an almond pressed in the top, and an almond glaze. A perfect trifecta.

Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies

If you could capture the feeling of Christmas in one cookie it would be this one. The flavor will remind you of a ginger snap but even more delicious. The texture is soft on the inside and chewy for days after they’ve been baked. The cinnamon, cloves, and ginger will make your house smell amazing!

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Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes
Servings 60 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups butter softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • extra granulated sugar, for rolling

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs and beat well. Add molasses, mix well.
  2. Add dry ingredients to separate, smaller bowl. Mix dry ingredients well and add to wet ingredients. Mix cookies until a stiff dough forms. Chill 1 hour.
  3. Shape into 1 inch balls, roll in sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 6-7 minutes. Cool on sheet for three minutes before removing to rack. Cookies should be soft and chewy.

I’ve been making these cookies since I was a little girl. It is one of the recipes I made sure I had when I left home. My mom loves these cookies and that helped develop my love for them. They have an amazing flavor and just make you want to curl up by a fire and read a book.

Ginger cookies can get a bad reputation because some gingerbread can be a bit dry and floury. Well you can banish those thoughts from your mind. The word “dry” will not cross your thoughts. Instead you will think things like, “Where have these cookies been all my life?,” and “Wow, I’m in Christmas heaven.”

We love all kinds of cookies, especially ones that come with traditions. What’s your favorite Christmas cookie? Let us know in the comments!

Enjoy!

Soft & Chewy Ginger Cookies – Get Hooked on Cooking – If you could capture the feeling of Christmas in one cookie it would be this one. The flavor will remind you of a ginger snap but even more delicious. The texture is soft on the inside and chewy for days after they've been baked. The cinnamon, cloves, and ginger will make your house smell amazing!

Chipotle Pot Roast Chili

Smoky, sweet, and spicy, this chili has it all! It’s the perfect recipe to warm you and your loved ones up on a cold winter night. This recipe comes together quickly then can simmer on the stove while you get back to your holiday baking or gift wrapping.

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Chipotle Pot Roast Chili


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12 people

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs chuck roast
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 15 oz cans red kidney beans undrained
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 chopped chipotle peppers, from a can
  • 2 tsp adobo sauce from pepper can
  • 2 medium yellow onions chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Remove large fat veins from pot roast. Cut against the grain into 3/4 inch slices.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until hot. Add oil and heat until oil is hot, about 1 more minute. Add about half of the meat in a single layer and sprinkle it with some of the salt. 

  3. Sear it until it is well-browned, about 2 minutes. Flip it and sear it on the other side. Remove the seared meat to a plate and repeat with the other half of the roast.

  4. Add all the meat back to the pot. Add the crushed tomatoes to deglaze the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot well to get all the good flavor off.

  5. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover pot and turn heat to low. Simmer about 3 hours, or until meat is tender. 

  6. Remove meat to a plate. Shred with two forks, or allow it to cool about 10 minutes and shred with your fingers.

  7. Return meat to pot and stir to combine. Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning.
  8. You can serve it immediately or let it simmer another hour or so.

Chili recipes can be hard to get right. They need a good balance of different flavors. The chipotle peppers in this chili bring a lovely smoky flavor and a subtle heat to the dish. A little sugar adds the perfect sweetness to complement that smoky heat. The seared pot roast adds a delicious beefy flavor that brings everything together. Don’t skip searing your meat!

You may be wondering where the chips are because chips and chili go together. We love chips, but I can’t keep them in the house or my husband will eat about a pound a day. Two pounds if there’s salsa around. I can’t judge him though because if there’s guacamole I have no self control around chips myself. So, I chose to crisp up some corn tortillas instead and it was a dreamy substitute. Corn tortillas get a bad rap because they have a weird texture cold or even steamed. But once you crisp them with a bit of oil they get such a delicious flavor! Don’t be scared of corn tortillas.

Don’t forget your favorite toppings! We topped this with guacamole, tomatoes, and sour cream.

Enjoy!

Easy Brussels Sprout Salad

Why do salads require so much chopping? It is so annoying. Not this salad. It barely counts as a recipe because it is so easy. But it is delicious and packed with nutrients so it is worth sharing. Do yourself a favor during this indulgent season, and make this yummy and healthy salad! Then you can eat some Christmas cookies guilt free. Life’s all about balance right?

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Easy Brussels Sprout Salad


Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 - 8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1 large apple
  • ½ cup sweetened, dried cranberries
  • ½ cup roasted, shelled sunflower seeds
  • ½ - 1 cup poppy seed dressing

Instructions

  1. Trim tough ends off brussels sprouts. Add about half of the sprouts to a food processor. Process for about 15-30 seconds or until sprouts are well-chopped.

  2. Diced up your apple. Add brussels sprouts, apple, and remaining ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to combine.

  3. This makes 4 large side salads if you're serving this to salad lovers. It will feed about 8 if they are taking a more reserved serving.

Brussels sprouts are an unsung salad hero. They are incredibly mild when they are raw and they taste similar to cabbage. A food processor makes very quick work of chopping the sprouts so the only thing you will have to prep for this salad is the apple.

Did you know that most people gain an average of 1 pound over the holidays? Seriously. And then never lose it? Since the average adult gains 1 pound a year, holiday eating can account for all of adult weight gain! When I read that I decided to up our vegetable intake this holiday season. Hence why I’m making this easy salad. And you should too!

Enjoy!

Easy Brussels Sprout Salad – Get Hooked on Cooking – Why do salads require so much chopping? It is so annoying. Not this salad. It barely counts as a recipe because it is so easy. But it is delicious and packed with nutrients so it is worth sharing. Do yourself a favor during this indulgent season, and make this yummy and healthy salad! Then you can eat some Christmas cookies guilt free. Life's all about balance right?

Pumpkin Pie Bars

A breakfast that tastes like pumpkin pie but is naturally sweetened with dates? Sign me up! Don’t worry, you can try these with sugar first if you don’t keep dates on hand. Kid and adult friendly. These bars use oats instead of flour too! You will not meet a more moist breakfast bar anywhere. Did I mention you can make the batter in your blender without dirtying any mixing bowls or your beaters? These pumpkin bars are delicious served cold with a glass of milk.

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Pumpkin Pie Bars


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 cup dates, packed (about 22 dates)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Add oats to blender. Blend on medium low until a flour is formed, about 30-60 seconds. You may have to tap the sides to get the oats down into the blades. Dump the oat flour out into a bowl.
  2. Heat the milk until steaming. Add dates and hot milk to blender. Blend on medium until the dates are blended in with the milk.
  3. Add pumpkin and eggs to blender. Blend on high until incorporated.
  4. Add oat flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder to blender. Blend until incorporated.
  5. Pour batter into a greased 8x8 pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips across the top. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. These are delicious warm or chilled, but they are definitely easier to cut cold.

I don’t know about you, but I like to indulge over the holidays. Doesn’t everyone? But too much indulgence makes me feel gross and run down. Pumpkin pie bars to the rescue! These little numbers will let you feel like you are indulging, but they are packed with fiber and vitamins from the oats, dates, and pumpkin. These are a great choice for breakfast or snack time.

If you don’t want to bother with dates, you can sub ¾ cup sugar for them instead. But dates are easy to find at your local grocery store, and these bars actually taste better with dates than with sugar!

I sprinkled the chocolate chips on top so that they look more indulgent than they are. Plus I can cut them in half horizontally and the chocolate-free part becomes a baby-safe food. My kiddos and I couldn’t get enough of these pumpkin pie bars and you will love them too!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Bars – Get Hooked on Cooking – A breakfast that tastes like pumpkin pie but is naturally sweetened with dates? Sign me up! Don’t worry, you can try these with sugar first if you don’t keep dates on hand. Kid and adult friendly. These bars use oats instead of flour too! You will not meet a more moist breakfast bar anywhere. Did I mention you can make the batter in your blender without dirtying any mixing bowls or your beaters? These pumpkin bars are delicious served cold with a glass of milk.