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Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner: Part 2 – The Stuffing

November 11, 2014

Read about the Turkey in Part 1, Part 3 Green Bean Casserole

My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is the stuffing or dressing. This iconic turkey side dish comes in a wide array of variations, depending on which ingredients you like best. If you want to branch out from your mom’s famous recipe, the option below could be a great alternative to try, This fabulous stuffing recipe uses toasted nuts, prosciutto, and pears to create a flavorful dish that won’t do too much damage to your waistline. It pairs well with our healthy Thanksgiving turkey recipe, so feel free to prepare it on your big day.

Ingredients You Need

  • 3 tsps extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 4 oz prosciutto (sliced into thin ribbons)
  • 2 cups onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 2 cups fennel bulb (diced)
  • 2 tsps minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsps minced fresh sage
  • 8 cups stale or lightly toasted baguette (1/2-inch cubes)
  • 2 ripe Bosc pears (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts (toasted)
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 14 oz can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Ground pepper

How To Make Healthy Thanksgiving Stuffing

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Use cooking spray to coat a 9×13″ baking dish.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat in a large, nonstick skillet. Add the prosciutto to the skillet. Continuously stir the prosciutto and cook it until crispy – about 5 minutes. Place on a paper towel to dry.
  3. Wipe the pan clean. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Mix in the fennel, onion, and shallot. Cook until the ingredients are softened and beginning to brown, stirring continuously – 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Add thyme, sage, and rosemary. Cook while stirring for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Combine everything in a large bowl. Stir in pears, bread, hazelnuts, parsley, and the prosciutto. Add the chicken broth and toss to coat the entire mixture.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the stuffing into the baking dish and cover with foil.
  7. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove the foil top and bake until the top turns a crisp, golden brown – 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven, set it out to cool, and serve.

If you want to plan a healthy Thanksgiving meal all the way around, check out Part 1, Part 3, and Part 4 of our series.

Blog Entrees Recipes

Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner: Part 1 – The Turkey

November 6, 2014

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner? This is usually a holiday where we all give up our diets and pig out for the day, but you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice your healthy lifestyle to have a good meal. The recipe below will still give you the turkey tradition you’re used to without all of the calories and sodium that most recipes have. Here is a recipe for lemon-garlic roast turkey.

Ingredients You Need

  • 12-pound organic turkey
  • 10 garlic cloves (divided)
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup oregano leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsps canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper


  1. Crush 6 cloves of garlic and place them in a large bucket or stockpot. Add in Worcestershire sauce, salt, lemon juice, and 4 quarts of cold water.
  2. Remove giblets and trim the excess skin on the turkey. Place turkey in bucket with brine, and put it all together in the fridge for 24 hours. If there is not enough brine to cover the turkey, turn the turkey over every 8 hours.
  3. Remove the turkey and rinse well. Use a paper towel to pat it dry, and then discard the brine.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  5. Put the oregano, lemon zest, oil, pepper, 2 tablespoons of water, and the remaining 4 cloves garlic in a food processor. Pulse to a paste.
  6. Loosen the turkey skin over the breasts and thighs. Rub the paste under the skin and all over the turkey. Add some of the paste inside the cavity as well.
  7. Tie the turkey legs together using kitchen string or plastic zip ties. Tuck the tips of the wings under the turkey.
  8. Set the turkey in a large roasting pan on a roasting rack, breast-side down.
  9. Roast the turkey in the oven for about an hour. Turn the turkey over and add 1 cup water to the bottom of the pan. Continue roasting for 1 more hour.
  10. Use a turkey baster to baste the turkey with the juice at the bottom of the pan. Make a tent with aluminum foil over the top and continue roasting the turkey for 30-45 minutes. Baste every 15 minutes, and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thigh shows 165°F.
  11. Move the turkey onto the cutting board. Let it set for 20-30 minutes, remove the leg fasteners, and start carving.

How To Make Healthy Thanksgiving Turkey

Read about The Stuffing in Part 2, Green Bean Casserole In Part 3

Blog Entrees Recipes Sandwiches

Pesto Shrimp Tacos

September 23, 2014

It could be quite messy eating tacos but the kids love having them just for that reason. 🙂

I haven’t been in the greatest mood. I think part of the reason is that i don’t get enough sleep and i have so much on my mind. Marc is almost 18 months now and still wakes up so many times at night. He drinks about 4-5 bottles through out the night so i hardly get a full 2 hours of sleep. He doesn’t take the pacifier so the bottle consoles him. I know I know. Everyone tells me i have to just let him cry for a few days but i just don’t have the heart. I keep saying its ok he will grow out of it. I have to figure out a way!!!

So summer is over and Halloween is just around the corner. I don’t know why and i hope you don’t hate me for this but i hate halloween. Kids love it but it my least favorite holiday. I prefer christmas a million times over.:)


Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)
Serving Size 4

Calories 490
Total Fat 16.8g
Saturated Fat 3.3g
Total Carbohydrates 51.9g
Dietary Fiber 11.7g
Protein 37.4g

Nutrition Facts are calculated and may Vary


Blog Entrees Recipes

Tomato and Basil Beef Chunks

September 23, 2014

Hubby loves to have some meat about once a week. I do use fillets most times and i make sure they are very lean. My kids like meat as well. I am blessed with children that eat everything. I only have one picky eater.

I am super sore. Sometimes i just want to lay down and not get up for a whole day. I started to workout more. But as they say no pain no gain. When i complain about soreness but husband says “Rena you should be happy. It means you are growing muscle!” But the torture of picky up the baby and doing the normal daily things is just painful.

This dish is great! We had them with salad and sweet potatoes. I hope you enjoy it as well if you do try them. I am trying to improve my photography skills. Just too busy to spend too much time taking pictures and doing the editing. I currently just use my phone.


Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Serving Size: 2

Calories 380
Total Fat 16.3g
Total Carbohydrates 7.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.6g
Sugars 3.5g
Protein 48.9g

Blog Entrees Recipes

Garlic and Rosemary Chicken with Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes

September 21, 2014

For those of you that know my husband is into body building you should know that all he eats is eggs and chicken. I honestly got tired of making scrambled eggs. We use about 6 dozens of eggs a week. You are probably thinking “cholesterol”. I know I know.  He only eats about 1-2 yolks a day. I personally hate eggs. I think its because when i was younger my mom forced me to eat them and thus as i grew older i grew to only hate it. Hahahah.

I love cooking with these pans. They make it so quick. I hate baking in the oven now.  Something like this literally only takes about 10 minutes. Best source of protein is typically from chicken breast and egg whites. We eat a lot of broccoli. My kids prefer it over green beans and asparagus. I cannot eat asparagus. When i was a kid i hated eating vegetables. I took baby steps to start including it into my diet again.


Nutrition facts (per serving)
Serving Size 4

Calories 345
Total Fat 10.0g
Total Carbohydrates 7.2g
Dietary Fiber 2.5g
Sugars 2.3g
Protein 57.0g

Nutrition Facts are calculated and may Vary

Blog Entrees Recipes

Honey Grilled Salmon topped with Roasted BBQ Balsamic Tomatoes

September 21, 2014

I cannot believe its taken me this long to do a post. This summer has been very crazy for me. It was non stop with the kids. I have all the meals and pictures taken but i just couldn’t find the time to type out the recipes and edit pictures and so on. Where did the summer go? i don’t even feel like we got a decent summer this year. I was only able to take the kids to the pool twice the whole summer. Michigan weather can be bitter sweet. Kids are back to school so i should have more time to blog more. I still have baby Marc at home with me. I do like to take a nap with him in the morning. At 18 months you would think that he sleeps through the night but he still wakes up quite a bit for the bottle. He takes about 5 bottles through out the night. He just likes to wake up to suck on the bottle. I don’t really think he is hungry. I would have to discuss this problem on another post. My husband just walked into the house from costco and if you shop often at costcos you will know what i should be doing for the next half hour.

This Salmon was amazing. Only one of my kids won’t have fish. I am not sure why. The rest love it.  I love the taste of sweet and savory on a meal. This was simple and we enjoyed it with some Quinoa.


Serving Size 1-2
Calories 484
Total Fat 26.3g
Total Carbohydrates 29.7g
Dietary Fiber 4.0g
Sugars 25.1g
Protein 37.4g

Blog Entrees Recipes

Veggie Tacos

August 10, 2014

I usually hate making Tacos as much as I love them. The reason is that its a bit messy. Especially when my kids want to have some. They loved this one. I usually add some sort of protein most times but this time my eldest said mommy can you please make me some without any meat? so I figured we will all have some without any meat. Nothing wrong with doing some veggie meals. I always get asked what I cook for my kids and whether they eat the meals I eat. Here’s the scoop on that. When I first started eating clean, I cooked my meals different from what I cook the kids. So every time I made my meals they always rushed to eat what I made and thus I eat way less than what I intended to eat :). So I then learned to prepare more of what I would eat and they just love it. They do like to eat rice with stews quite a bit. I would never even try to force my kids to go on a certain diet. They really just don’t like to eat fried food. I think that its because ever since they were younger I just never gave them any. Not because I didn’t want them to have any but because I simply never cooked any fried food.

These tacos are delicious. Fell free to add any protein of choice. Fish, Chicken or shrimp would taste great. I used Corn tortilla because I didn’t have any whole grain low carb ones that I normally eat. feel free to sub that as well.. Hope you enjoy this!


Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)
Serving Size 4

Calories 304
Total Fat 14.6g
Saturated Fat 2.8g
Total Carbohydrates 39.2g
Dietary Fiber 10.5g
Protein 8.8g

Nutrition Facts are calculated and may Vary



Blog Desserts Recipes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

August 8, 2014

Hi guys. I feel like its been forever since I posted anything on my blog. 🙂 I was so busy two weeks ago trying to get ready for our Disney trip.  We just got back yesterday. The trip was very nice. I plan to add a few pics up soon. I didn’t realize how hot and humid it was though. It was nice to get away but it was tough with 5 kids. Plus the baby was sick so it made it harder to do anything. Overall it wasn’t the best trip but we had a great time 🙂

So Back to this post. My kids like these. We always make my other Cookie Dough Balls. But one day my daughter said “Mommy why don’t you make chocolate cookies instead” and thus this was created. Feel free to use Dark chocolate chips instead of peanut butter chips and of course the sprinkles are the kids ideas as well. Hope you enjoy this as much as we do.


Nutritional Facts

Serves about 10-12 Bites

Serving Size 1 Cookie Dough Bite


Calories 122

Total Fat 6.9g

Carbohydrates 14.4g

Protein 2.3g

Please Note that Nutrition Facts are calculated and may vary.

Blog Entrees Recipes

Sweet and Sour Noodles

July 16, 2014


This dish was amazing. Even my picky sister that never approves of anything said oh wow this is amazing why didn’t you add shrimp to this? Then I thought why didn’t I? I think I wasn’t in the mood for any meat. Sometimes I just like to keep my meals simple. I think you could totally add chicken or shrimp to this and it will come out amazing.

Gosh I feel like I never have time to do anything. I know you guys would like to see more food posts. I am trying my hardest. The kids are not in any summer camps this year so we are always running around all day. I am very excited we are going to Disney World in a couple of weeks. I know it will be crazy with 5 kids. If you didn’t know my oldest is 7 and my youngest is 1. This should be fun right? I wonder why I am 100lbs.:) Kids are amazing and a blessing though. I couldn’t have it any other way. I am blessed!



Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)
Serves 3
Calories 223
Total Fat 6.1g
Total Carbohydrates 35.7g
Dietary Fiber 2.7g
Sugars 15.6g
Protein 7.0g





Blog Breakfast Desserts Recipes

Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Bars

July 10, 2014

These Rice krispy Bars were just amazing. Very simple and easy to make. I used the Arrowhead Mills Puffed Rice Cereal. I see it at every grocery store so it shouldn’t be too hard to find. We don’t make that many treats at our house. My kids like the plain sponge cakes, muffins and banana bread. Well of course they also love cookies.

You can store these in an air tight container in the fridge for a few days. I haven’t tried freezing them. They only make about 6 medium bars. It is ideal to use all natural peanut butter or you can make your own peanut butter by blending salted or unsalted peanuts using a high speed food processor.

I have made this with Honey, Cane sugar syrup and Brown rice syrup and they have all came out great but slightly different flavor. Hope you enjoy it if you do try it.




Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)
Makes 6 Serving (6 squares)

Calories 220
Total Fat 9.8g
Saturated Fat 2.8g
Total Carbohydrates 29.8g
Dietary Fiber 0.9g
Sugars 21.3g
Protein 4.2g

‘Nutrition Facts are calculate and may Vary