dimpled inspiration

.. daily dose of health and happiness

5 Steps to Create a Healthy Menu

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Hello! The snow has continued here in New England. I just checked the parking lot of my apartment and some cars are actually completely buried – all I can see is a side mirror! I’m sure glad mine doesn’t look like that. Once my boyfriend and I venture out later we’ll have quite the workout shoveling. Part of me likes the snowed in, snuggling, sweatpants, fleece blankets, hot coffee joy of of it all! Sometimes staying in beats going out. What did you do for Valentine’s Day? I hope you celebrated with your special girlfriends, special someone, special mom, special cat – you name it πŸ™‚ We stayed in and made quite a feast! While we were eating we decided that we prefer menu planning, cooking up a storm together, music playing,Β drink pouring, happiness in our little home. That’s not to say we don’t like to go out, but cooking together is fun, dancing in the kitchen is even more fun and the meal is cheaper while guaranteed delicious because we know what went into each plate! Below I’ll break down into what we had and share the recipes I found or created, so you can give it a try yourself some night.

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My boyfriend loooooves to eat a potpourri of food. I mean, who doesn’t like the occasional break from a traditional meal and instead grazing on a little bit of all the yummies. My only problem, I’m pretty matchy-patchy from my clothes to decor to my plate. If I’m going to feast on a spread, I’d like to have the flavors flow together deliciously. May take a little more time to plan, but my tastebuds are for sure happy. Since this is a spread of different foods, you’ll most definitely have leftovers to enjoy the next day, too! If you plan to do this, I suggest coming up with a theme – mexican, mediterranean, spicy, asian, thai, italian.. you name it! My theme was mediterranean – my favorite.

1 – Pick your protein, plant-basedΒ or meat. We decided on these mediterranean meatballs. Here’s what we changed:

  • I can’t eat Mary’s little lamb, so I picked ground turkey
  • Zest of a whole lemon, not half
  • For spices: 1 teaspoon of dried oregano and 2-3 teaspoons of dried dill
  • We did not make the tzatziki, but it sounds delicious

2 – Pick your veggies. We chopped carrots and celery to dip into no-bean parsnip “hummus.”

  • I didn’t have coriander, but didn’t miss the flavor either
  • 4 tablespoons of tahini instead of 6 was the perfect amountΒ for a creamy consistency
  • I did add a 1/4 cup of water to the food processor at the end because I found the hummus to be too sticky without it
  • I made this mid-afteroon and put it in the fridge to cool and let the flavors mingle
  • I don’t recommend the coconut oil on top as it hardens when it touches your out-of-the-fridge hummus – drizzle a bit of olive oil with a dash of garlic powder and red pepper flakes instead

3 – Pick a grain if you’d like. Yes, right now I’m calling a whole-grain naan flatbread pizza a grain (haha).

  • PlaceΒ a store-bought whole grain naan flatbread in the oven at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes until it starts to get crispy
  • Take it out of the oven and spread Stonewall Kitchen’s onion and garlic jam all over, leaving the outer edges bare for a crust
  • Crumble goat cheese on top and place back in the oven for 5-7 minutes
  • Next step for the pizza is in step 4..

4 – Pick a green! I added arugula to the pizza – you won’t regret this.

5 – Pick a few fun “mini sides”

  • Kalamata olives
  • Red grapes
  • Whole wheat pretzles
  • Rosemary spiced nuts
    • Add 1 tablespoon coconut oil to a skillet over medium heat
    • Once melted, add 1/2 cup of raw almonds, 1/2 cup of raw pumpkin seeds, and a 1/2 cup of raw cashews and stir until covered in the oil
    • Add 1 teaspoon of coconut sugar, 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary, andΒ a few dashes of cayenne pepper and reduce heat to medium-low
    • Don’t take your eyes off the skillet or it will burn! Continue to stir until fragrant and remove from heat once the nuts start to golden
    • Spread out on a cookie sheet to crisp up

Then, take that glass of champagne to CHEERS!

  • Do you ever prefer staying in over going out, too?

 

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