Tag Archives: healthy recipes

4 Healthy & Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes

Sweet Potato & Cranberry Bake

Neissa’s Cranberry & Sweet Potato Bake

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and we love finding recipe ideas for adding some new flavors and healthier options to the table. Try out these 4 iGnite leader favorites and leave us a comment to let us know how you enjoy them!

1. Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro, Lime & Jalapeño

by Amy

Amy Younkman

I found this recipe three years ago in the Austin American Statesman (recipe by Kalyn Denny) and I have made it every year. I love the fresh lime juice and cilantro and it is the perfect combination of tart and sweet. This salsa is wonderful as a Thanksgiving side, and I really enjoy it with leftover turkey or in a sandwich. You won’t miss the gravy at all!

Ingredients:
Makes about 2 cups of salsa

  • 1 bag (12 oz.) fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup Splenda, Stevia in the Raw Granulated or sugar
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 fresh jalapeños, seeds removed and chopped (use more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Instructions:

  1. Put cranberries into a food processor or blender and pulse until they’re partly chopped.
  2. Add sweetener of your choice and pulse a few times more to combine.
  3. Add green onions, cilantro, jalapeños (1 or 2, depending on your tolerance for heat), olive oil and lime juice and pulse until all ingredients are chopped and mixture is well combined.
  4. Put mixture into a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and chill for several hours or overnight.

Adapted from a recipe by Kalyn Denny

2. Cranberry & Sweet Potato Bake (pictured above)

by Neissa

Neissa Springmann

View the recipe

This is a favorite in the Springmann household because it’s tasty, healthy and easy!

 

3. Roasted Green Beans

by Sha

by Sha

I know most of you roast vegetables, but not many think to roast fresh green beans! Roasting is my favorite way to prepare green beans — they are delicious and easy, and my family always asks me to bring them to Thanksgiving.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bag fresh French style green beans
  • 1 & 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Roast 20 minutes at 400 degrees (or until tender with dark brown markings)

4. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette (by Barefoot Contessa)

View the recipe here

by Catherine

by Catherine

I have made this a couple times to serve with Thanksgiving dinner and it is amazing! I love interesting salads and I’m always willing to make the extra effort with this one for special occasions because it’s just so tasty 🙂

 

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Pumpkin Spice Coconut Oil Bites

Pumpkin Spice Coconut Oil Balls

Pumpkin Spice Coconut Oil Balls

by Allison Quinones of Plant Based Pulse

by Allison Quinones of Plant Based Pulse

Yields: Approx. 35 T Sized Balls
Serving: 3 per day
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic unsulphured raw coconut butter (boughten or homemade)
  • 3/4 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup + 1 T organic pumpkin puree
  • 2 T  pumpkin pie spice
  • 15 drops stevia (or to taste)

Pumpkin Spice Coconut Oil BallsInstructions:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined. Take the mixture and refrigerate for no more than 30 minutes to allow the dough to become more firm. Using a melon baller/cookie scoop, or your fingers, gently roll dough into tablespoon sized balls. Place on a plate cover in parchment paper and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until hard. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, will last about 3 weeks.

Why We Love Coconut Oil

One strategy to increase ATP (the energy currency for the body) for brain healing & preventing dementia is consuming coconut oil: 1 tbsp with breakfast, lunch and dinner.  MCT (medium chain triglycerides) found in coconut oil have many great benefits, including:

  • Improving the body’s use of insulin
  • Improving cholesterol by increasing HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Boosting thyroid function resulting in increased energy
  • Acting as an antioxidant and natural antibiotic
  • Improving overall health of skin and hair
  • Improves cognitive function

As one way to get your fill of coconut oil, I love the idea of using coconut oil to satiate sweet cravings. This is an especially good idea for those who might have a taste or texture aversion to coconut oil on its own (like my wife). Personally I create a chocolate version using raw cacao powder, coconut oil and stevia to satisfy my sweet cravings.

 

The Scoop on Coconut Butter

by Allison Quinones of Plant Based Pulse

by Allison Quinones of Plant Based Pulse

You may be asking yourself, “Why did she use coconut butter in addition to the oil, versus just oil?”  Coconut butter is made from ground raw coconut flakes or meat, that when processed at a high speed, pulls out the oils (just as nuts do into nut butter). When using coconut butter, you are not only getting the benefits of the oil, but also dietary fiber, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Coconut butter provides a full flavor and creaminess that compliments the texture of the coconut oil.

Any brand of coconut butter will work as long as the only ingredient is raw organic coconut. If you own a high-speed processor or blender, it’s much cheaper to make it at home than purchase it (plus it is satisfying to make yourself!). I paid $3.28 for 3/4 lb., which yields at least 16 oz. coconut butter, versus boughten at no less than $10.00 per 16 oz.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Yummy Breakfast Quinoa with Fruit

breakfastquinoawithfruit

by Allison Quinones of Plant Based Pulse

by Allison Quinones of Plant-Based Pulse

Over the years, my breakfast has evolved from Kashi Cereal to plain old boring hot oatmeal with a tablespoon of brown sugar. As I became more health conscious, I started to be more mindful about what I put into my body first thing in the morning.

This recipe that I featured in the iGnite 10-Day Reboot blog features quinoa, but anyone making this recipe should keep in mind that ANY grain or complex carbohydrate can work in place of quinoa. I love quinoa because it is a complete protein, and as a plant-based vegan I take any complete proteins I can get. Not to mention, quinoa is great for my digestive system.

I have found that quinoa is cheapest at Sprouts, and I typically use whatever fruit is in season or whatever I have that is frozen. On the weekends I typically cook 1 cup of quinoa and divide that 5-6 ways equally throughout the week. If you were going to make one serving, I would cook only 1/4 cup of quinoa, which would come to about 1/2 – 3/4 cup cooked.

Keep in mind this is ALL customizable based on what you have on hand. When I’m feeling extra energetic in the kitchen, I prepare a week’s worth ahead of time in a jar and store it in the refrigerator. This recipe contains all the macronutrients but can be adjusted for anyone’s nutritional needs. I find that my protein powder and fruit give it the sweetness I prefer, but adding your own sweetener such as 1 tsp. of maple syrup would suffice as well.

Breakfast Quinoa with Fruit

Serves 1

Ingredients
1/2 cup cooked quinoa (or oats, buckwheat groats, farro, etc.)
1/2 cup thawed frozen blueberries
3-4 sliced strawberries
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Yogurt Plain Unsweetened (optional)
1 Tbs ground flax seed
1 Tbs ground sprouted chia seeds (or whole)
1 Tbs hemp seeds
1 Tbs plant-based vanilla protein powder (optional, I use Garden of Life)
1 tsp maca powder
Top with any of the following: nuts, granola, raw unsweetened coconut flakes, Tbs. coconut butter, Tbs. almond butter

Instructions
Combine all ingredients (except topping) in a bowl, mix until all the ingredients have been equally distributed. Enjoy cold. Will keep in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Note: I often rotate half of a sliced banana, half of a peach, cooked apples, dried mulberries, or mango as my fruit in this dish. If you eat dairy, try adding plain unsweetened Greek yogurt in place of the Coconut Yogurt.

Inspiration for Additional Variations:

Examples of additional variations of the breakfast bowl Allison has enjoyed making

Additional variations of the breakfast bowl that Allison enjoys


Allison Quinones is the blogger behind Plant-Based Pulse. She lives with her husband in Austin, Texas, where together they cook, write and remake recipes, eat plant-based food, train, and compete in triathlons. Allison is passionate about health, wellness, and nutrition and writes her blog as a resource for those trying to find a healthier lifestyle.
Check out more of Allison’s wonderful recipes and blog here

Almond Protein Balls

Almond Protein Balls

  • 2 cups raw almond butter (freshly ground is best!)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups gluten-free oats
  • 2 cups brown rice crisp cereal (Barbara’s brand from Whole Foods)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (or dried fruit of your choice)
  1. Microwave almond butter and honey for 2 minutes and stir
  2. Combine wet and dry ingredients, stir well.
  3. Roll into balls and refrigerate 1 – 2 hrs. before serving

Butternut Squash: The Perfect Fall Immunity & Energy Booster

butternut Maple-Roasted-Butternut-Squash-640x480

Did you know that just 1 cup of butternut squash contains 1/3 of your daily amount of vitamin C? And, if you are struggling with your energy levels, butternut squash is an excellant choice for blood sugar regulation. It’s also loaded with anti-oxidants which help reduce imflammation (helping to fight diseases like cancer and helping you look & feel young).

The most simple way to cook this autumn squash is by roasting, which consists of three simple steps:

  1. Slice the butternut squash into ½ inch thick half moon slices, or peel and dice the squash.
  2. Toss it with some olive oil, honey & cinnamon
  3. Roast at 400 F for 35 to 40 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

OTHER GREAT HEALTHY RECIPES:

Go-To, Healthy Summer Dinners

We all get into routines when it comes to at-home cooking. It’s simply a lot of effort tracking down new recipes and thinking of new things to cook, right? We couldn’t agree more, so we asked the iGnite Leaders for some of their favorite go-to dinners to provide you with fresh inspiration for healthy dinners to prepare at home. No more boring dinners!

Neissa Neissa’s Pick: Salmon + Quinoa + a Big Delicious Green Salad

Molly Molly’s Pick: Quesadillas Loaded with Veggies
(recipe below)

Kathleen Kathleen’s Pick : Turkey Burgers and Corn Salad
(recipes below)

Cary Fyfe Cary’s Pick: Tilapia (olive oil and lemon) + Roasted Mixed Potatoes (regular and sweet) + Spinach/Arugula  Salad with Pecans & Sweet Yellow Tomatoes (…and a brownie for dessert!)

 Amy’s Pick: Chilled Gazpacho + Pistachio Spinach Salad + Crusty  Olive Bread
(recipes below)

Catherine Hearn Catherine’s Pick: Roasted Chicken Breast + Baked Sweet Potatoes with  Oregano + Kale Salad with chopped Walnuts & Dried  Cranberries
(recipes below)

FEATURED RECIPES: 

Photo: Southern Living

Photo: Southern Living

Kathleen’s Summer Go-To: Turkey Burgers and Corn Salad
“Really fast & easy!”

TURKEY BURGERS
2 lb. Italian Seasoned Ground Turkey (two 1 lb.pkgs from grocery store)
Chopped Red Onion
2 Cups Chopped Spinach (I just use the frozen package and thaw it)

  1. Mix all together and make burgers!
  2. Cook in oven or on Grill.

CORN SALAD
3 Cans Shoe Peg Corn
3 Cans Black Beans drained and rinsed
1 Chopped Red Pepper
1 bunch Chopped Cilantro
1 bunch Chopped Green Onions
Salt and Pepper
DRESSING: 1/2 c. Red Wine Vinegar and 1/2 c. Olive Oil mixed together– just pour over and chill!!

Amy’s Go-To: A big healthy bowl of chilled Gazpacho along with Pistachio Spinach Salad and Crusty Olive Bread

Photo: cookistry.com

Photo: cookistry.com

WHOLE FOODS GAZPACHO
1 large onion
1 1/2 lbs. tomatoes, seeded
2 large cucumbers, seeded
1 medium red pepper, seeded
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (I like more!)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups tomato puree
1 cup tomato juice
1 Tbls. lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
1/8 cup good quality balsamic vinegar

  1. Combine the olive oil, tomato puree, tomato juice, and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  2. Pour half the liquid ingredients into a Vitamix or blender and add half the onion, tomatoes, pepper and cilantro, roughly chopped. Pulse to chop coarsely. Repeat with the remaining vegetable and liquid ingredients.
  3. Combine both batches in a large container.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste, and blend in the balsamic vinegar.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
  6. Add fresh cilantro before serving and drizzle some good quality extra virgin olive oil over the top (optional.)

SPINACH SALAD WITH PISTACHIOS (easy, healthy and Paleo-friendly)
5 ounces baby spinach
1/2 cup roasted pistachios
1/2 cup dried cherries
MUSTARD ORANGE DRESSING
2 Tbls. olive extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbls. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbls. orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp. dijon mustard

  1.  In a large salad bowl, toss together spinach, pistachios and cherries
  2. In a jar, combine olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, mustard and shake well
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad
  4. Toss and serve
Photo: allrecipes.com

Photo: allrecipes.com

Catherine’s favorite: EASY BAKED SWEET POTATOES WITH OREGANO
(Makes 4 servings)

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large sweet potatoes
2 pinches dried oregano
2 pinches salt
2 pinches ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the bottom of a glass or non-stick baking dish with olive oil, just enough to coat.
  2. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into medium size pieces. Place the cut sweet potatoes in the baking dish and turn them so that they are coated with the olive oil. Sprinkle moderately with oregano, and salt and pepper (to taste).
  3. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 60 minutes or until soft.
Photo: myrecipes.com

Photo: myrecipes.com

Molly’s quick & easy go-to: QUESADILLAS LOADED WITH VEGGIES
Corn tortillas
Refried black beans
Any and all veggies….spinach, onion, bell pepper, avocado (or pre-made  guacamole)
Salsa
Cheese to your liking
Add any other protein you’d like (preferably a lean protein such as chicken, shrimp, etc.)

What are YOUR favorite healthy summer dinners? Leave a comment and share your ideas