Easy Greek Yogurt Granola Cup

This Greek yogurt granola cup is made from homemade granola and Greek yogurt with a hint of honey, cinnamon and vanilla. It’s healthy, low sugar and delicious!

Greek Yogurt Granola Cup

Greek Yogurt Granola Cup

Course Breakfast, lunch, Snack
Servings 1
Calories 280 kcal


  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • tsp vanilla
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup fruit nut granola


  • In a small bowl, mix yogurt, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir in granola just before serving.
  • Hack: Stir in some chopped fruit or berries for an exciting twist!
Keyword breakfast, fast and easy, granola, greek yogurt, healthy, low calorie, lunch, make ahead, oatmeal, oats, parfait, quick and easy, snack, vegetarian

Did you know?   Oats are a great way to start your day.  They’re packed with nutrition that combats heart disease and diabetes while helping control your weight and digestive health.  Check out the facts here!

Suggestion: This strawberry banana yogurt smoothie is another super quick and easy way to serve up a healthy breakfast!

Slow cooker Spicy Red Beans and Rice

Spicy red beans and rice puts a delicious spin on a classic meal eaten the world over. Using a rice cooker and a slow cooker makes preparing them a snap!

Slow cooker Spicy Red Beans and Rice

Slow cooker Spicy Red Beans and Rice

Course Main Course
Servings 4
Calories 344 kcal


  • 1 cup dried red beans
  • 2 cups water
  • cups vegetable broth
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried cumin
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp Creole seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice, hot


  • Cover beans with 2 cups of water and allow to soak for 6 - 12 hours.  Drain and rinse.
  • (NOTE:  The above step can be done ahead.  Drain beans and store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)
  • Put beans and broth into a saucepan on the stovetop and bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil for 10 minutes. 
  • Transfer beans and broth to a slow cooker.
  • Add peppers, tomato and spices to the crockpot.
  • Turn heat to low and cook for 6-8 hours or until beans are tender.
  • Remove bay leaf and discard it.
  • Serve with brown rice.
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in serving-sized portions for up to 3 months.  Allow to thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating.
Keyword beans and rice, brown rice, cajun, convenient, crockpot, dried beans, easy, low calorie, low fat, make ahead, red beans, slow cooker, spicy, vegan, vegetarian

Did you know?  Red beans are a member of the legume family.  Legumes come in many options, are inexpensive and they’re packed with nutrition!!

Suggestion:  Use this vegan spicy brown rice to pair with the red beans!

Asian Coleslaw With Ramen Noodles

Asian coleslaw with ramen noodles is a fresh and easy take on a classic picnic dish.  It’s low in calories and fat as well as being a handy “make-ahead” salad!

Asian Coleslaw With Ramen Noodles

Asian Coleslaw With Ramen Noodles

Course Salad
Servings 4
Calories 192 kcal


  • ½ head cabbage, shredded (4 cups)
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 block of ramen noodles, uncooked (2 oz)
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional)*
  • Toasted sunflower seeds (optional)*


  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • tsp ground ginger
  • tsp garlic powder
  • tsp black pepper


  • Combine ingredients for the dressing and mix until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  • Place cabbage, carrot and green onions in a gallon-sized zippered storage bag.  Add dressing to the bag and shake the bag to incorporate ingredients.  
  • Seal the bag tightly and store the coleslaw in the bag for at least 24 hours.  
  • Several hours before serving, coarsely crush ramen noodles and toss them into coleslaw.  This can be done up to 6 hours in advance for soft noodles or 1 -2 hours in advance if you want the noodles to retain some crunch.  
  • Sprinkle with sesame and/or sunflower seeds before serving, if desired.
  • *To toast seeds: lay them in a single layer      
    On a baking sheet.  Bake at 350℉ for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.      
    In a glass pie pan.  Microwave at 1-minute intervals until lightly browned.   
    In a skillet on the stovetop.  Cook over medium-low heat for 4-6 minutes.     
    –For all methods, shake or stir several times for even browning.
  • Hack:  Ask the produce clerk to cut a head of cabbage into wedges so you’ll only have to buy what you need.  They’ll wrap the leftover pieces and put it back on the shelf for sale.
Keyword Asian cuisine, Asian food, Asian side dish, buffet, cabbage, cold side dish, cole slaw, coleslaw, make ahead, picnic food, salad, vegan, vegetarian

Did you know?  Cabbage is part of the cruciferous collection of vegetables that are associated with lowering the risk of some types of cancer.

Please check out my article for more health benefits of cabbage as well as some great recipe ideas.

Preparing Healthier Meals

Many people face barriers in preparing healthier meals, including a lack of time and conflicting information about nutrition, and taste preferences.

Preparing Healthier Meals
Preparing Healthier Meals

Eating healthy. It’s something we all know we should do but it can seem like an impossible task. Often we feel so ingrained in our bad behavior that it’s hard to decide how to even get started.

I’m not an expert in the field and my eating habits are not perfect. I’m just a gal who’s trying to do better today than I did yesterday. I fall off the wagon just like everyone else and struggle to get on the right track again.

I have, however, picked up a few nuggets of knowledge along the way in regard to preparing healthier meals and I’d like to share a few of them with you!

Eat At Home (And Pack Your Lunch)

Eat At Home
Eat At Home

Americans love to eat out.  It’s a fact.  Studies show that we, on average, spend over 50% of our total food budget to eat food away from home 4-5 times per week.

Now, we all know the dangers associated with fast food but there are pitfalls at your local sit-down eatery as well. Restaurants are in the business of serving food that tastes good with little regard for how healthy it may be. The result is often an increased amount of fats and sugars compared to meals you would normally cook at home.

The bottom line? Those who eat more home-cooked meals are simply healthier than those who don’t.

And since you’re cooking dinner anyway, why not cook extra to pack for your lunch tomorrow?

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables

The recommended amount of produce for adults is 1-2 cups of fruit and 1-3 cups of vegetables.  (And, no, french fries don’t count.)  This seems to be an area where many of us fall short.  More than 90% of Americans don’t eat enough produce.

While a wide variety of fruits and vegetables are the optimal solution to good health, let’s be serious. We don’t all like every vegetable. Me? Not crazy about salads. Or at least that’s how I feel about the bowl full of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers but I love this Mexican Avocado Salad and this Orange and Beet Salad.

Vegetables can take on a whole new flavor profile when combined with a small piece of bacon, some soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, or a few nuts. Sometimes, they can even be the base for your entire meal!

Smoothies made with whole fruits and vegetables (not juice) are a great choice, quick to prepare and easy to take along for the ride to work. This is one of my favorites but there are plenty of other options out there, both “green” or “fruity”.  Really, almost any combo of fruits and veggies works well in a smoothie so use your imagination!

So, maybe it’s not that you don’t like produce. Maybe it’s just that you don’t like the way you’ve been preparing it!

Lose The Cans And Bottles

Lose The Cans And Bottles
Lose The Cans And Bottles

Marinades, sauces, dips, soups, canned fruits and veggies…the vast majority of these pre-made items are loaded with sugar, salt, fat and all kinds of additives. And P.S.? They don’t taste nearly as good as what you can whip up in your own kitchen.

OK, OK, you’re right. I’m not going to ferment my own vinegar or soy sauce. It’s stinky and it takes months.

What I can do is make a few key items when I have the time and store them in the freezer for when I need to use them. Applesauce,  cranberry sauce, barbecue sauce and tomato sauce are just a few examples of things you can whip up in no time!

Salad dressings and dips often don’t hold up as well to freezing but it’s easy to throw together just the amount you need for the meal you’re having. Blue cheese? Yes, please! Thousand island? Honey Mustard? Making these will leave you unflustered!

And this ranch powder mix will happily sit in your cupboard for a long time until you need it.

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead
Plan Ahead
  1. Make a meal plan. This doesn’t have to be complicated but it is important. It’s a fact that those who make a meal plan are more likely to have a healthier diet.
  2. Hit the store. Make a list of everything you’re going to need to make those meals and go shopping for everything you don’t already have.
  3. Prep, prep, prep. Prep all the food you just brought home from the store. Break the proteins down into serving-sized portions for freezing (so you don’t have to defrost 5 pounds of ground beef to make one meal) and pre-prep other items in advance (such as turning that head of broccoli into bite-sized pieces). It’s easier to prepare a meal after work if you’ve already done some of the work!
  4. Cook for the future. Since you’re cooking anyway, why not make enough for another meal? Many of my recipes, such as this pepper steak stir-fry, make 2 or 3 servings that can be used for several meals during the week. I love to cook a whole meatloaf and then freeze individual slices to use later in sandwiches. Uncooked meatballs can be frozen (make sure the ground beef hasn’t been previously frozen) and then thawed in single portions to make sweet and sour meatballs or pasta.
  5. Don’t be overzealous. This is a mistake I’ve made more than once. I mean, why not double this sausage and butternut squash skillet so it will last the whole week? Because I guarantee you’re going to be sick of eating it by day 3. Luckily, it freezes nicely so I was able to eat the rest a few weeks later.

Go Forth And Cook

Go Forth And Cook
Go Forth And Cook

The road to eating healthier meals can seem like a long and daunting journey but keep in mind that you don’t have to be good at this all at once. There will be missteps, missed exits and side trips. The important thing is to stick with it. Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to preparing that healthy meal. I promise.

What strategies have you adopted to make things easier? Let me know in the comments below!

All my best,


Hearty Sweet Potato Crust Quiche

Sweet potatoes, eggs, spinach and feta cheese come together in this tasty quiche. This sweet potato crust quiche makes a great addition to a brunch buffet!

Sweet Potato Crust Quiche

Sweet Potato Crust Quiche

(Courtesy: Penny Jacques)
Course Breakfast
Servings 4
Calories 230 kcal


  • 1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced (⅛”)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 3 cups fresh spinach (3 oz) or ½ cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup feta cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 350℉. Coat 9” pie pan with cooking spray.
  • Layer sweet potatoes across the bottom and up sides of the pie pan, overlapping heavily. Coat with cooking spray and bake for 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft and beginning to brown.
  • Remove from the oven and turn the temperature up to 375℉.
  • Allow crust to cool for 10 minutes. Coat crust and any exposed pan with cooking spray.
  • Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add spinach and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  • Whisk eggs with milk, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Arrange cooled onion/spinach mixture over sweet potato crust. Pour egg mixture over the filling and sprinkle cheese on top.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until set with an internal temperature of 160℉. Allow to set for 5 minutes before cutting.
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Hack: Cut leftovers into serving-size pieces. Place on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer until solid. Move to freezer bags or containers and store in the freezer for future use.
Keyword baked breakfast, breakfast, breakfast bakes, brunch, buffet, casserole, eggs, make ahead breakfast, quiche, sweet potato, vegetarian

Did you know?  Despite the negative press that eggs have received in the past, they can absolutely be a part of a healthy diet!

Cutting back on carbs?  Try this crustless vegetarian quiche!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Bean Stew

This chicken and bean stew is full of healthy goodness and it’s easy peasy. Toss it in the slow cooker before you leave for work and let it cook dinner for you!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Bean Stew

Slow Cooker Chicken and Bean Stew

Course Main Course
Servings 6
Calories 285 kcal


  • ½ cup dried pinto beans
  • ½ cup dried navy beans
  • cup vegetable broth
  • ½ sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup honey


  • Place beans in a bowl and cover with water. Cover the bowl and allow to soak overnight.
  • Place beans in the slow cooker and add vegetable broth. Put chopped onions and green pepper on top of the beans. Add chicken, salt, black pepper, ketchup and honey.
  • Cook on low for 9 hours.
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in serving-sized portions for up to 3 months.
Keyword chicken, crockpot, easy, easy dinner, easy prep, healthy, make ahead, navy beans, pinto beans, quick prep, slow cooker, stew

Did you know?  Pinto and navy beans are a member of the legume family.  Legumes come in many options, are inexpensive and they’re packed with nutrition!!

Want another slow cooker bean recipe?  Try this pork and bean one…it’ll remind you of the canned version you loved to eat as a kid!


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