Buffalo Tuna Cakes

Looking for a quick and delicious appetizer? These Buffalo Tuna Cakes are simple to mix together and very tasty! Plus they deliver omega-3 fats and go great served with carrots, celery, and blue cheese.

 Buffalo Tuna Cakes

 Buffalo Tuna Cakes

Buffalo Tuna Cakes 
Serves 4 

Ingredients:
1 can (5 oz) of wild tuna  
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or mayonnaise
1/2 sweet onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon wing sauce*
12 whole wheat crackers, divided
black pepper  

*These are mildly spicy, if you rather more spice, add more wing sauce!  

Directions: 
1. In a small mixing bowl combine the tuna, yogurt, onion, and wing sauce. Then crumble four of the crackers into the tuna mixture. Stir to combine.

2. Crumble the remaining crackers and place the crumbs in a small bowl.  Season with cracked black pepper to taste. 

3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Take one tablespoon of the tuna mixture, dip it into the crumbled crackers. Gently form into small cakes.

4. Working in batches, place the tuna cakes into the preheated skillet. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes per side, until they are lightly browned on each side. 

5. Transfer the crispy tuna cakes to a platter. 

Serving suggestion: Serve with celery, carrots, and blue cheese dip.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 100 calories, 2 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 200 milligrams sodium, 10 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 3 grams sugar, 11 grams protein

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Creamy Cauliflower & Garlic Soup with Superfood Crunch

This soup is thick and creamy! The soup gains most of its thickness from using the immersion blender before serving it. Then finishing the soup with a home made Superfood Crunch, gives a delicious crunch. 

Although the directions make this look complicated to make, it actually comes together really quickly! The most time consuming part is roasting the cauliflower. 

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Creamy Cauliflower & Garlic Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets or 4 cups frozen cauliflower florets
1 Tablespoon olive oil + 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 heads of garlic
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or dried thyme
3 teaspoons vegetable stock base
4 cups water
1/2 cup Asiago cheese, grated
1 Tablespoon raw quinoa
2 Tablespoons whole grain breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup Asiago cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 
2. Place the cauliflower florets on a sheet ban and drizzle with olive oil. 
3. Cut the bottom of each head of garlic. On a sheet of foil drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil and then place the cut side down of each head of garlic on the foil. Wrap the foil around the garlic. Place the garlic wrapped in foil on the sheet pan with the cauliflower.
4. Roast the cauliflower and garlic for 25 - 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is roasted and lightly browned and the garlic cloves are softened. Remove from the oven and set aside.
5. In a soup pan saute the diced onion with 1 teaspoon of olive oil for 5 - 7 minutes, until tender. Then add the poultry seasoning or thyme and cook for 1 minute more. 
6. Mix the water with the vegetable stock base until combined. Add to the soup pot. 
7. Once the roasted garlic is cooled enough to work with, remove the cloves are garlic and place in the soup pot. Add the roasted cauliflower to the soup pot as well.
8. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Then remove from the heat and using an immersion blender,  blend the soup until it is thick and smooth. 
9. Stir in the shredded Asiago cheese. 
10. Prepare the Superfood Crunch: In a small skillet, over medium heat, add the quinoa. Gently stir the quinoa to keep it from burning and the quinoa will start to pop once it is hot, resembling small tiny pieces of popcorn. Once the quinoa is popped (about 10 minutes), add the bread crumbs, chia seeds, and shredded cheese. Stir to combine and until the cheese is melted. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool. 

Serve the soup with the crumbled Superfood Crunch topping on it!
 

 

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Grocery Shopping with Kids

I actually love grocery shopping and although it can take a little extra patience, I enjoy grocery shopping with our kids. Although I may wind up spending a few extra dollars when the boys grocery shop with me, I think in the long run, it is actually a good thing and helps them to actually eat the food we serve at the dinner table. 

The boys at the Wegmans check out with veggie balloons that a produce department worker gave them because he observed them being such great helpers picking out fruits and veggies while we shopped. 

The boys at the Wegmans check out with veggie balloons that a produce department worker gave them because he observed them being such great helpers picking out fruits and veggies while we shopped. 

Not that I have it perfect, but here are some tips to grocery shop with your kids!

1. Have a plan AND a list - Talk with your kids about food for the week (breakfast, lunches, snacks, dinner). Of course, you can't say yes to all their ideas or requests - for example, our youngest would opt for pancakes or waffles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if we let him - having their input can help helpful. Then build your grocery list because especially when kids are with you...  without a list it would be nearly impossible to leave the store with everything you need.

2. Give them mini jobs at the grocery store - While the 'job' may vary slightly based on their age, giving them little things to do while you are shopping can help keep them focused on the list and a little less likely to get distracted by things you do not need.

Examples:
Grab a bag and pick two bunches of broccoli. 
Pick which lettuce pack you think looks the best for salads this week.
Get 5 of the (tell them specifically which brand or color package) yogurts with the green label.
Pick two boxes of the little bunny crackers. 
Pick any bag of frozen veggies. 

3. Pick and choose somethings to say yes  - Our boys will ask for many things that we don't need in a shopping trip. I find if I tell them yes, to some things that are healthier choices, like a new flavor of KIND Snacks Bar, a different fruit than what was on the list, etc. It makes all the times I say no to the stuff that is sugary, too pricey, or that we just don't need. 

Happy grocery shopping! 

 

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Mini Cheddar and Sausage Breakfast Frittatas

Mini breakfast frittatas are perfect for busy schedules! You can make them ahead quickly and then they are ready to go through the week. There are so many different ways to make them as well, which will keep it interesting - here they are made with a combination of egg, cheddar cheese, and chicken breakfast sausage. 

Mini Cheddar and Sausage Breakfast Frittatas

Mini Cheddar and Sausage Breakfast Frittatas

Mini Cheddar and Sausage Breakfast Frittatas

Serves 12

Ingredients:

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12 organic cage free eggs

3 oz shredded cheddar cheese (e.g. Cabot New York Vintage Cheddar Cheese)

4 chicken sausage (e.g. Wegmans Organic Chicken Breakfast Sausage with Sage) - chopped into bite-size pieces

Directions:

1. Prepare muffin tins with non-stick pan spray and preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a mixing bowl, crack 12 eggs. Then stir in cheddar cheese.

3. Fill each muffin tin with the egg and cheese mixture. Then divide the chicken sausage pieces among the baking tin. 

4. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until the frittatas are golden brown and the egg is cooked through. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes before removing from them pan.

Nutrition Facts (per frittata): 130 calories, 8 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 230 milligrams cholesterol, 250 milligrams sodium, 1 gram carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar, 12 grams protein

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I Love Beets!

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I love beets! They are truly a favorite. Plus they are loaded with nutrition benefits. Specifically beets are rich in nitrates, betaine, and the B-vitamin folate; these nutrients in beets can help your health in many ways!

Nitrates in your body are converted into nitric oxide which helps to relax and dilate blood vessels which in turn can boost blood flow. Betaine (a plant compound found in beets and other foods) has been shown to protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, and enhance performance. While folate helps to drive down levels of homocysteine in the blood, which can reduce the risk for artery damage and heart disease. 

When you are short on time to peel and cook beets, Love Beets has you covered with packages of cooked, ready to eat beets (pictured above). Look for them in a refrigerated area of the produce section of the grocery store. Also look for delicious baby beets too in flavors like honey + ginger and sweet chili. 

Check out this delicious Greek Cucumber Beet Salad recipe (See below) and some other favorite picks like: Beet and Salmon Nicoise Salad, Strawberry Rhubarb Beet Scones, or Beet Caprese Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

Note: This isn't a sponsored post, just products I love! 

Photo from LoveBeets.com 

Photo from LoveBeets.com 

Greek Cucumber Beet Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved

1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced (2 cups)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

½ red onion, thinly sliced (1-½ cups)

1 green bell pepper, cored and sliced

1 ripe (but firm) avocado, peeled and diced

1 (8.8-ounce) package Love Beets Cooked Beets, chopped

⅓ cup fresh feta cheese, cubed

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1-½ teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Add the first 8 ingredients to a mixing bowl.
2. Whisk together the remaining 5 ingredients in a bowl.
3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss everything together until well-coated. Taste the salad for flavor and add more sea salt and/or vinegar to taste.

Click here to visit Love Beets.com for more recipes and information.

References:

Betaine in Human Nutrition, http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/80/3/539.full, Accessed August 15, 2017

Homocystine Lowering with Folic Acid and B Vitamins in Vascular Disease, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa060900#t=article, Accessed August 15, 2017

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Farmers Market Fresh Tomato Sauce

Farmers market season is the best! This tomato sauce is easy to make and includes all ingredients that are plentiful this time of year. 

The farmers market is the best! 

The farmers market is the best! 

Look at all those colors... ready to simmer down!

Look at all those colors... ready to simmer down!

Farmers Market Fresh Tomato Sauce

Serves 6 - 8

Ingredients:

4 cups tomatoes*, chopped

1 sweet onion, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

7 oz tomato paste

2 tablespoons relish

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper 

*A variety of tomatoes works great, for example: cherry tomatoes and roma tomatoes! 

Directions:

1. In a large pan saute the tomatoes, onion, and pepper for 5 - 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the tomato paste, relish, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper. Simmer on low for at least 60 minutes. Stirring occasionally while simmering.

3. For a smooth sauce puree with an immersion blender. For a thicker sauce -serve as is!

Serving suggestions: serve over zucchini noodles or whole wheat pasta.

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Blueberry-Banana Bread

While blueberries are so fresh, what could be better than Blueberry-Banana Bread? This recipe is made with my favorite whole grain flour, whole wheat pastry flour, which keeps the texture nice and light!

Blueberry-Banana Bread

Blueberry-Banana Bread

Blueberry-Banana Bread

Serve 16

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 stick butter, melted

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a bread pan with parchment paper.

2. In a mixing bowl combine the melted butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir together.

3. Stir in the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir well to combine. The mixture will be thick.

4. Fold in the fresh blueberries.

5. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes until the bread is cooked through and the top is golden brown. 

Nutrition Facts (per slice): 160 calories, 6 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 130 mg sodium, 25 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 12 grams sugar, 3 grams protein

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Summer Pesto Pizza

Skinny Rules Pesto! 

Skinny Rules Pesto! 

This delicious pesto takes perfect on top of pizza for a light and delicious dinner or even appetizer. This recipe is from The Skinny Rules (Publisher: Harlequin Non-Fiction, see page 108), it's a recipe from a cousin of mine, Kristine Schoembs. What I love about this recipe is that it is only 45 calories per serving, which is much less from traditional pesto that can be loaded with calories. While the calories in pesto mostly come from healthy fats from nuts and oil, it can be hard to save enough calories in a day for a rich pesto. 

Skinny Rules Pesto

Serves 8 (1 oz servings)

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup veggie or chicken broth

1/4 cup grated Parmesean cheese

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 - 3 garlic cloves

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend! Store pesto in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Nutrition facts (per flatbread pizza*): 50 calories, 3 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, <5 milligrams cholesterol, 100 milligrams sodium, 6 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 3 grams protein

Photo by luchezar/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by luchezar/iStock / Getty Images

SUMMER PESTO PIZZA

Serves 1 

Ingredients:

Whole grain flatbread of  choice (approximately 150 calories)

1/4 cup feta cheese

1 oz Skinny Rules pesto (See recipe above)

Toppings of your choice: sliced olives, mushrooms, zucchini, olives, arugula, basil leaves, etc. 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Top the flatbread with pesto and spread evenly around. Then top with feta cheese and toppings of choice.

Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese is warm and melted. Slice and serve.

Nutrition facts (per flatbread pizza*): 273 calories, 9 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 30 milligrams cholesterol, 620 milligrams sodium, 39 grams carbs, 22 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar, 12 grams protein

*Nutrition facts based on a Millet & Flax Flatbread (150 calories) and sliced zucchini for a topping, note: the flatbread selected and the toppings will impact the nutrition fact data. 

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Happy National Mojito Day - Strawberry Mojito

Cheers!

Cheers!

What I love about this refreshing strawberry mojito, is that it relies on the sweetness of the strawberries and skips simple syrup all together. This recipe is from my recipe book, Skinny-Size It (Publisher: Harlequin Non-Fiction)!

STRAWBERRY MOJITO

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 lime wedge, sliced into 6 wedges

8 fresh mint leaves, plus 2 mint sprigs for garnishing

4 strawberries, stems removed and cut in half, plus 2 whole strawberries for garnishing

2 ounces white rum

Club soda

Ice

Directions:

1. Place 3 limed wedges and 4 mint leaves in each of 2 glasses and lightly mash in the bottom of the glass with a spoon or wooden muddler. Then add 2 strawberries to each glass and lightly muddle.

2. Top each glass with rum, club soda, and ice. Garnish each with a strawberry and sprig of mint, and serve at once. 

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 80 calories, 0 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 0 milligrams sodium, 6 grams carbohydrates. 2 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar, <1 gram protein

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The Perfect Summer Salad

This Mango Strawberry Pecan salad is perfect for summer! It is really simple to put together and is delicious.

Mango Strawberry Pecan Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped romaine lettuce

2 cups baby spinach, stems removed

1 mango, diced into cubes

1 cup sliced strawberries

1/4 cup feta cheese

1/4 cup pecans

Balsamic vinaigrette

Directions:

In a serving bowl or on a platter start with the greens. Then top with the mango, strawberries, pecans, and feta. 

Serve with balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the side.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 100 calories, 6 grams fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 5 milligrams cholesterol, 470 milligrams sodium, 15 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 2 grams protein

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