Kale & Cilantro Slaw

I recently shared one of my favorite recipes {slow cooker pulled pork} so it’s only right that I share the best accompaniment that goes with this dish.

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This kale and cilantro slaw is perfect nutritionally-

dark leafy greens, check!

extra protein and probiotics from the Greek yogurt dressing, check!

Cool and tangy to offset the spicy and warm pork, check!

Pretty colors to “eat with your eyes”, check!

It’s also fast, easy, and while it gets better with time as it sits, it tastes great right away so no need to make ahead if you don’t have the time!

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Kale and Cilantro Slaw

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1/2 head of purple cabbage, julienne

4 stalks kale, julienne

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

juice of 1 lime

pinch of kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon honey

freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, add the cabbage, kale, cilantro, lime juice, salt, & pepper.

Prepare the dressing by combining the yogurt, vinegar, garlic powder, honey, and black pepper. Whisk together with a fork.

Pour the dressing over the veggie mixture. Toss well to combine.

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For a printer-friendly recipe, click here.

xo,
Becca

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos

It’s the middle of summer and that often entails no one wanting to cook in attempts to keep cool and not add more heat to the house by turning on the oven.

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This month’s recipe redux theme uses some form of cooking rather than the oven: slow cooking, pressure cooking, insta pots, etc!

My bff in this situation is the slow cooker because it means low and slow cooking that produces flavorful and tender meals that are comforting and satisfying, even in the sultry summer!

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This recipe is almost a 2-ingredient meal. If you have the salsa mixture already on hand in your fridge then you can just plop some in the pot with the chicken and be done. If you don’t have a fresh jar of homemade salsa, not to worry, everything gets blended briefly and poured in so it’s still little prep work- something that can be done pretty thoughtlessly at night after a long day, or in the early am before you head out the door.

I do love this salsa- on a side note! It’s so fresh and flavorful with a little kick of heat and extra flavor from the chipotle peppers! It’s great to make up ahead of time and use for various other recipes!

IMG_5926Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 ten ounce can Rotel with Lime & Cilantro

handful of grape tomatoes

2-3 chipotle peppers packed in adobo sauce

1/4 red onion, diced

4 cloves garlic

1/2 bunch cilantro

1 lime, juiced

 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

HOLA NOLA corn tortillas

{For the fixin’s: avocado, cilantro, plain Greek Yogurt, shredded romaine or lettuce of choice}

Direction:

In a blender or food processor, blend all the ingredients together- except the chicken, tortillas, and fixin’s (Rotel through the lime). Blend until well combined.

Pour the salsa into the bottom of the slow cooker pot. Place the chicken breast on top. Set on low for 6-8 hours.

Shred with two forks and serve on whole grain tortillas with desired fixin’s.

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As with many of my recipes,  you can adjust the amounts of ingredients to suite your taste and what’s available in your house. If you have half an onion to use and won’t likely use it later in the week for another recipe, by all means, throw it all in the blender for the salsa. If you only have 3 cloves of garlic, no big deal! Use what you have and don’t stress!

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xo,

Stay cool and enjoy!

Becca

 


 

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tenderloin

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One of my all time meals on my blog to recommend revolves around pulled pork.

Most people can’t imagine making pulled pork better-for-you. It’s tender, smoky, it’s juicy, and flavorful- how can that be good for you?

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Simple! Just use a leaner piece of meat, plop it in your slow cooker or smoker with some vinegar and spices and you have an easy nutritious meal makeover!

Pair it with a whole grain bread and a slaw or veggie and you’re good to go for a family friend & comforting meal that’s delicious and nutritious!

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tenderloin

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 lb pork tenderloin

1 small onion, sliced

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup unsalted stock (veg, beef, or chicken will do)

1 tablespoon low sodium Worcestershire sauce

2 dashes liquid smoke

1 tablespoon brown sugar (or molasses, coconut sugar, etc)

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

pinch of kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Set the onions in the slow cooker then rest the pork on top.

Prepare the liquid mixture (combining the vinegar, stock, Worcestershire, and liquid smoke). Pour along the edge of the pot.

Prepare the spice “rub” by mixing together the seasonings and spices (brown sugar through the remaining ingredients). Sprinkle 1/2 the spice rub on the pork.

Set to low for 8 hours and walk away! Shred with two forks and allow to keep warm for another hour + to allow the juices to soak up into the pulled meat.

About half way through the cooking (if able), flip the meat and sprinkle the remaining spice mixture on the second half of the meat. If you cannot complete this step because you are away during the day, don’t worry! Simply add all the spice rub in the beginning, shred when able, and serve when able. It’ll be delicious either way!

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On a 100% whole grain or whole wheat sandwich thin or round, spread on some BBQ sauce, add a good helping of meat, and top it off with a kale slaw.

If you’re wondering what particular BBQ sauce I use, there really isn’t any go-to brand in my house. I’ve had almost every store-brand and restaurant brand on hand at some time or another. Go ahead and use any one you like because the amount you’ll likely use on your bread is so insignificant that the sugars and sodium won’t make or break your meal.

I like to recommend, and follow my own advice, to incorporate a vegetable into every meal. A slaw of some sort just goes well with this meal. While I don’t personally care for heavy-mayo-based traditional slaws, I’m a big fan of what I call zesty slaws. Simply toss together shredded or julienne veggies, Greek yogurt, and lime juice or vinegar and top it on your pulled pork sandwich! It really helps to bring all the flavors home. A cool. zest slaw with a spicy, warm sandwich is the perfect pairing.

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xo,

Becca

 

 

Blueberry Yogurt Ombre Pops with Lavender and Lemon Oil

When I was approached about contributing my knowledge and expertise about essential oils, I couldn’t help but think my friend and colleague was such a better fit for this essential oil guru-role.  I’m so new to oils, their benefits, and uses that I’ll stick to writing recipes. Which is why I came up with these perfectly summery yogurt pops with the benefits of plain Greek Yogurt as well as lavender and lemon essential oils.

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While they may seem like an unnecessary amount of steps for the ombre- effect, I’ll say a few things:

  1. It’s actually not that difficult, just takes a few steps and a few quick segments of time to allow each layer to cool and firm up in the freezer.
  2. It’s quite feasible to do in the midst of other projects, especially if you’re good at #multitasking.
  3. You can definitely skip the ombre look altogether and just mix in the blueberry sauce with the yogurt and swirl it around with a toothpick.

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For me, the best part of these popsicles is that my 2 year old adores them! She thinks they are such a fun treat meanwhile I”m over here with the #mommywin and #dietitianwin because there’s no added sugar, benefits of blueberries, probiotics, protein, I could go on and on.

Mix up different flavors of these pops all summer long for a refreshing afternoon snack, dessert or even breakfast that you can feel good about feeding your family!

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Blueberry Yogurt Ombre Pops with Lavender and Lemon Oil

Makes: 10

Ingredients:

2 cups plain 2% Greek Yogurt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 drops lavender oil

2 drops lemon oil

2  12-ounce frozen blueberries

1/2 lemon, juiced

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and lavender & lemon oil. Mix well to combine the flavors.

In a small sauce pan, add the blueberries and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, cover and allow the blueberries to warm through and soften (about 10 minutes).

Fill each popsicle molds with or paper cups with a tablespoon of Greek yogurt. With the back of a spoon, smooth the surface to make it flat. Freeze for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a blender, combine 3/4 of the remaining Greek yogurt with 1/4 of the blueberry syrup mixture. Puree until smooth.  Pour into a small bowl and set aside to cool.

In a the same blender, add 1/2 the blueberry syrup and the remaining Greek Yogurt to the blender. Puree until smooth, this should be darker in color than the previous blended mixture. Pour into another small bowl and set aside.

To the frozen Greek yogurt in the popsicle molds, add a tablespoon to each of the 1st (lighter color) yogurt blueberry mixture. Smooth out the top. Add the popsicle stick to the center. Freeze for 10 minutes. Then repeat with the second yogurt blueberry mixture (darker color) and freeze for another 10 minutes, carefully placing the mixture around the inserted popsicle stick in the center.

Finally, spoon a tablespoon of the remaining pure blueberry sauce onto each of the pops. Freeze overnight.

Nutrition facts: 70 calories, 1 gram of fat, .5 grams saturated fat, 15 milligrams sodium, 11 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 8 grams sugar, 5 grams protein

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For the full scoop – especially from a nutrition standpoint- check out Molly Kimball’s article on NOLA.com  including contributions from my friend Lauren Dunaway.

xo,

Becca

 

4 Summer Salads for the 4th of July Celebrations

If you’re health conscious, trying to make healthy decisions, and surround yourself with healthy foods, you need to have some delicious and nutritious go-to recipes that you can make and take to holiday gatherings. That way you can indulge in your favorite items that are only available certain times of the year, but still fill up on nutrient dense, more health conscious items at the same time.

I’ve put together four of my more recent and favorite salads that are perfect for the upcoming 4th of July festivities!

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Spiralized Grilled Vegetable Salad: skip the pasta, but don’t skimp on flavor my take on a healthier summer pasta-less salad.

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Broccoli Ranch Salad: Another pasta-less salad that’s like a classic Italian pasta salad, but with more veggies and no refined white carbohydrates. That’s not to say you can’t throw in a little whole wheat pasta, chickpea pasta, brown rice pasta, etc for whole grains and fiber!

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Marinated Vegetable Medley Salad: It’s like a coleslaw without the mayo-based dressing. This mix of veggies {throw in whatever you have, seriously!} is marinated in a simple vinaigrette that will only taste better as it sits. Perfect for making ahead of time and not scrambling before everyone arrives!

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Watermelon & Arugula Petite Salads: Mini salads where you don’t need to eat just one. Stack ’em, eat ’em with a fork, or getting a little messy with these hand-held babies. Drizzle or dip into the homemade honey dijon dressing for perfect little bites of summer.

 

xo,

Becca

 

Peach and Cherry Tart Cups

It’s the 6th birthday of The Recipe Redux and we’re celebrating by sharing healthier small bite desserts!

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I made these delectable, perfectly-summery, and festive peach and cherry tart cups that are great for any celebration that were inspired by Cooking Light’s Peach – Thyme Galette.

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The recipe looks pretty daunting but it’s pretty simple for being a homemade baked dessert.

Start by preparing the dough, no fancy or high tech kitchen gadgets needed here.  It just needs to sit in the freezer for 10 minutes compared to an hour for most dough recipes.

Then roll out the dough, portion it into a muffin pan, add the fruit, and bake.

See?! Couldn’t be more simpler.  Or guilt free. It’s made with plant-based fats, whole grains with very little added sugar {and if you’re fruit is super ripe and in season, you could probably omit it altogether}.

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Peach and Cherry Tart Cups

Makes: 12

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons ice cold, divided

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour, divided

1/4 cup oat flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 tablespoons turbinado sugar, divided

1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch

6 ounces frozen dark cherries*

8 ounces frozen peach slices*

2 tablespoons apricot preserves*

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray.

In a small bowl, add 4-5 tablespoons of water, vinegar, vanilla and 1/3 cup flour and combine with a fork to make a slurry.

Place the coconut oil in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes so it becomes cold.

In a medium bowl, combine the oat flour, salt, remaining 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour, and 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar and whisk together. with a pastry blender, or two knives, cut in the cold coconut oil until it resembles course crumbs with the flour mixture.

Add the slurry, being careful not to over mix.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, kneading about 5 times. Roll it into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Freeze it for about 10 minutes.

Remove the dough, let stand for about 1 minute at room temp. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut with a large biscuit cutter and place each round into the prepared muffin pan.

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and the peaches and cherries. Toss to combine. Evenly distribute the peaches and cherries mixture into each cup.

In a ramekin heat the apricot preserves with the remaining tablespoons of water for about 10-15 seconds. Stir to combine and brush over each cup.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the crust becomes golden brown.

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I made a few notes in the recipe for some of the ingredients* that I want to explain a bit:

I used frozen fruit because the fresh was just perfectly eaten on their own, and I had some frozen on hand. But definitely substitute with fresh if you have it.

For the apricot preserves, you could really use any flavor but I really prefer brands that don’t have any added sugars, sweetened with only fruit or even a bit of fruit juice.

I hope you get to make this at your next gathering or even for yourself when you need that much deserved healthy treat at the end of the day!

xo,

Becca


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No Pasta Lasagna

This recipe is one of my all-time favorite comfort food recipes twisted into a more nutritious and lighter recipe with all the flavor and love of the original version! It’s also one of my blog’s most popular recipes! 

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No pasta lasagna, is a delicious pasta-less version of your favorite comfort classic without any of the guilt but with all the feelings of satisfaction and indulgence.

It’s full of fiber from the veggies {lightly grilled zucchini or eggplant}, less sodium by controlling the ingredients and removing any added salt, and heart-healthy protein by selecting reduced fat cheeses and extra lean ground meat.

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No need to worry about what vegetable to this dish when it’s full of veggies already. It truly is a one-stop meal.

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The catch?

While it’s easy to prepare, it does take a few steps in order to assemble the entire dish. So this is definitely a meal prep dish for the week or a weekend dinner to use throughout the week for leftovers.  It only gets better as the week goes on though, so no worries about boring, tasteless leftovers!

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Serve this up at your next family dinner! It’s a great gluten free option for anyone that needs it. It’s also friendly to anyone watching their weight, blood sugar, heart health, etc. It’s even kid friendly! You can even make it vegetarian by replacing the ground meat with cooked lentils or black beans and mushrooms.

It’d be fabulous to share to new moms who are too tired and busy to prepare food for themselves and their families as well as wanting to start shedding those pregnancy pounds.

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No Pasta Lasagna
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
1 lb 93% extra lean ground beef
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
28 oz can tomato sauce or puree
6 oz can tomato paste
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
3 medium zucchini
1 large egg
2 cups part-skim ricotta (or reduced fat cottage cheese)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated (divided)
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp cayenne
freshly ground black pepper
16 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Directions:

In a medium sauce pan, brown the meat. Remove any excess fat, by straining in a colander. In the same pan, saute the garlic and onions for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic burn. Return the meat to the pan, add the tomato sauce, basil, and pepper. Cover and simmer on low for about minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat a grill pan. Slice the zucchini into thin slices to resemble lasagna noodles. Grill the zucchini on both sides until there are some nice grill marks on each side (about a minute or so). {This helps to remove any moisture in the zucchini so the lasagna isn’t too watery}.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, add the egg, ricotta or cottage cheese, 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, dried herbs, cayenne, and pepper. Mix well to combine.

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray. In the bottom of the pan, spread around a little bit of the meat sauce. Then place a layer of the zucchini on top. Spread some of the cheese mixture onto the zucchini layer. Repeat with meat sauce, zucchini, and cheese mixture two more times or until your ingredients run out. Top with the shredded mozzarella cheese and remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30-45 minutes and let stand for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

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I’ll admit when I make this recipe, I often divide the recipe in half and make a his and hers version. That way I can use the same meat sauce and cheese sauce for each, but I use the grilled veggies in place of pasta for mine and then do a traditional version with pasta for the hubster. While I don’t recommend doing this for children, because you do not want to set yourself up to be a full service chef as they get older, it is a nice way to customize food preferences relatively easily for couples that are pretty set in their ways on some things.

He’s coming around though.

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Enjoy!

xo,

Becca