Recipes

Breakfast

  • Chipotle Egg & Sweet Potato Hash April 16, 2013MariaDSC02055_thumb.jpg   I’m so excited to share this savory dish with you guys! I realize that Lisa and I usually share dessert recipes, so I am making a point to include more meal recipes. I already have another savory recipe on the list to share! This meal actually came about at the end of the week, when our fridge was bare – yet I still wanted to cook up something nourishing. Onions, sweet potatoes and eggs are staples in our house and I usually have some around, even at the end of the week. The second time I made this – I turned it up a notch and added the goat cheese and chipotle sauce. It definitely was a hit! I can see myself making this dish often. I usually serve it for dinner with a side of greens for a delicious & balanced meal. I love that you can pretty much eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner! If you have leftovers, the hashed potatoes reheat pretty well. Serves: 4 Ingredients: 3 medium sweet potatoes, shredded (I use my food processor to do this) 1 onion ...
  • Grain Free Peanut Butter & Banana Crepes October 30, 2012MariaSONY DSCI’ve come to the conclusion that it continues to get easier for me to eat healthy (most of the time) because I have learned how to make healthy options for some not so healthy meals. Growing up my favorite meal was breakfast. That was solely due to the fact that breakfast could be very similar to dessert like foods. Think pancakes, french toast, etc. I indulged in some of my old favorites while in vacation in Vegas earlier this month. While I fully enjoyed them, I was shortly reminded why I don’t eat them anymore and was determine to create a much healthier option at home. I woke up Saturday morning without much on my agenda and got to work. If you love bananas and peanut butter(who doesn’t) I can pretty much guarantee you’ll love this recipe. The crepes take some time and patience, but they can be made ahead of time and used throughout the week or even frozen for future use. These peanut butter banana crepes are my favorite combo thus far, but I have also enjoyed the crepes filled ...
  • Crazy French Toast September 26, 2012MariaDSC01591.jpgIt’s been wayyy to long my friends. Roberto was born and you would’ve thought I gave birth. I pretty much didn’t workout for over a month and most of my free time was/is being spent with this little angel. I’m head over heals for the little guy and am already dreading when I won’t see him for a few weeks when he is living it up in Italy I’m so excited for Rinaldo’s family to meet him, his going to wrap them around his little finger! One of the reasons I love reading other blogs is to get recipe ideas. My two favorite recipes I have been making over and over are Laury’s chocolate cupcakes recipe (which also make great pancakes) and Maria’s Eggplant French Toast. Did you just go back and reread that? Yes, EGGPLANT french toast. That lady is a pure genius! I love how it’s a great way to sneak in some veggies for breakfast. I know using eggplant to make french toast might seem a little crazy or gross, but eggplants actually have a very neutral flavor that make them very versatile. ...
  • Blueberry Pancakes {Coconut Flour} & Benefits of Butter July 17, 2012MariaCocopancakes1_thumb.jpgHi guys! It’s been SOOO long since I last blogged, I don’t even know how long! I lost my mojo but knew I’d be back as soon as I had something exciting to share. I actually have two exciting things to share. A recipe and a skin revolution I’ve come across. I’ll be sharing the recipe today and the skin tip tomorrow. I have been avoiding grains for quite a few months now, especially grains containing gluten. Coconut flour is a great grain-free flour that I’ve been playing around with. I’ve been making pancakes, cookies, breads and pancakes, though I’ve been most successful with the pancakes. I was able to come up with a great recipe that my husband and I enjoyed them this past Sunday. I’m so excited that I have leftovers to for breakfast today!     My goal with the pancakes was to sweeten them just enough (naturally) where I wouldn’t need any maple syrup. However, I HIGHLY recommend topping them off with a chunk of butter (grass-fed of course). Side note: Contrary to what Dr’s have said for years, butter does ...
  • Protein Packed Grain-Free Pancakes April 6, 2012Lisapancakes_thumb.jpg Would you believe me if I told you that these pancakes had 40 grams of protein in them? Well, they do. I made these for the first time 2 Sundays ago. I knew I wanted something with protein for breakfast, but I didn’t feel like having my usual scrambled eggs or Greek yogurt with fruit. Instead, I opted to create pancakes that were protein filled. I’ve been trying to limit the amount of grains & sugar I eat. I usually don’t eat grains for breakfast or lunch anymore, but will have some for dinner about 1-2 times a week. I knew I wanted to use almond flour and after playing around, I came up with some pretty tasty pancakes! I used a banana to give the pancakes sweetness and found that all the pancakes needed to be topped off with was some butter. They tasted so good like this! Sort of like eating banana bread with butter smeared on top of it. Rinaldo topped his with some maple syrup and butter and said that they were the best grain-free pancakes I have yet to make! I’ve ...
  • Protein Muffins Galore April 2, 2012MariaChocPB.jpgI don’t think I’ve ever been as excited as I am right now to share a recipe with you guys. Last Monday, I woke up with some time to spare so, I decided to experiment with a new breakfast idea. I had a few requirements in mind. Tastes good (most important!) Takes less than 5 minutes to make, start to finish. Full of good wholesome ingredients Grain free Sweetened with fruit and\or stevia Easy to clean up I don’t know why or how, but I decided to make a protein muffin and boy girrrrl am I glad I did! You might not believe it, but I started by combining my favorite ingredients and it worked perfectly the first time!! THAT.NEVER.HAPPENS.TO.ME. Especially when using coconut flour, since it tends to come out dry. I couldn’t believe that on my first try the texture was perfectly tender and moist. I didn’t base it off a recipe, even though I’m sure there may be many similar ones on the web. God must’ve just known I was hungry and a failed recipe was really going to set me off the edge Thank ...
  • My Kind of Breakfast June 17, 2011LisaIMGP3233I’m the type of person where I can eat the same thing for a meal for months at a time. If there’s something that I like and enjoy, I have no problem whatsoever eating it day after day. Earlier last week I mentioned how I’d been enjoying The Fitnessista’s Breakfast Cookie. It’s been at least 2 weeks where I’ve been having it almost every morning for breakfast. What I love about it the most is that I literally takes me 3 minutes to make the night before. I eat breakfast right when I get to work since I work out at 5:30am so I love having this ready for me to attack. Yes attack! I’m usually ready to chew my arm off by then! Here is my adapted version of the recipe! 1\3 cup oatmeal 1 tbsp almond butter 1\2 scoop protein powder (i used sunwarrior chocolate) 1 tbsp chia seeds 2-3 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes 2 tbsp almond milk half mashed & ripe banana In a bowl first combine the oatmeal, almond butter and protein powder until you have a nice crumbly mixture. I use my hands to do this. ...
  • Typical Sunday Morning May 29, 2011LisaIMGP3088Our Sunday mornings usually start out like this. I make oatmeal for myself and eggs & bacon for Rinaldo while Leo spies out on the birds. Today’s oatmeal was so satisfying. I cooked up some plain oats and topped them with caramelized bananas, honey and toasted walnuts. Have you ever add caramelized bananas to your oats? They’re amazingly delicious. YOU.MUST.TRY.THEM. Here is the recipe. __________________________________ Caramelized Banana Walnut Oatmeal 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 1/2 cup water 6 tbsp almond milk, or other milk 1 tbsp Smart Balance Light Butter, or other butter 1 small banana, sliced 1 tbsp honey 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon Pinch ground nutmeg 2 tbsp walnuts, toasted 1.  Combine the oats, water and milk in a medium saucepan and set over medium-low heat.  Cook oatmeal, stirring occasionally, until fully cooked, about 7-9 minutes. 2.  Meanwhile, heat butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat until melted.  Add slice bananas and sauté until bananas begin to soften, about 2 minutes.  Add honey, cinnamon and nutmeg and continue to cooking until bananas are cooked through and begin to caramelize.  Remove from heat. 3.  Pour oatmeal into a bowl. Add more milk, if desired. Top with caramelized ...

Main Dishes

  • Tender Braised Beef May 8, 2013MariaDSC02093.jpgLet’s keep this short… This braised beef is awesome. My husband has requested it 4 times in the past 2 weeks and I am so proud of myself for creating this simple, yet delicious dish. Make this! You won’t regret it!   (I had step by step photo’s…… but live writer is being annoying right now & won’t upload them. Sorry!) Serves 4-6 Ingredients: 2 sirloin steaks, 3 lbs total 1/2 cup dry red wine ( I used a Sangiovese blend) 1 cup of water or beef broth (I used water) 3 Tbsn salted butter Salt & Pepper Directions: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and heat a heavy duty pan over med-high heat. I used my Le Creuset braiser, it works great! Generously season the steaks with salt and pepper. Melt 1 Tbsn of butter and sear the steaks for a couple minutes on each side. Pour 1/2 cup of a dry red wine, over the steaks. The wine will loosen up all those yummy bits stuck to the bottom of the pan <—— my favorite part! Next, add a cup of water or beef broth and top the steaks with 2 Tbsn of butter. Cover ...
  • Chipotle Egg & Sweet Potato Hash April 16, 2013MariaDSC02055_thumb.jpg   I’m so excited to share this savory dish with you guys! I realize that Lisa and I usually share dessert recipes, so I am making a point to include more meal recipes. I already have another savory recipe on the list to share! This meal actually came about at the end of the week, when our fridge was bare – yet I still wanted to cook up something nourishing. Onions, sweet potatoes and eggs are staples in our house and I usually have some around, even at the end of the week. The second time I made this – I turned it up a notch and added the goat cheese and chipotle sauce. It definitely was a hit! I can see myself making this dish often. I usually serve it for dinner with a side of greens for a delicious & balanced meal. I love that you can pretty much eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner! If you have leftovers, the hashed potatoes reheat pretty well. Serves: 4 Ingredients: 3 medium sweet potatoes, shredded (I use my food processor to do this) 1 onion ...
  • Creamy Shrimp & Sweet Potato Curry March 5, 2013MariaDSC02022.jpg Oh, how glad I am that curry found it’s way into my life 6 years ago. Is there a food in your life that you were introduced to by someone you know? One that you probably wouldn’t have tired on your own? 6 years ago, when my husband and I were just dating, my sister-in-law ordered Thai take-out  and encouraged me to try her  yellow curry chicken. I was a little hesitant at first. Prior to that day I always assumed I wouldn’t like curry because the spices would be… I don’t know, pungent, overpowering, strong? Well, I gave it a try and my taste buds exploded in my mouth. Ever since that day I have been trying to recreate it at home….without much success. The main problem was that I could not find a curry paste that had that sweet and mild taste like the one from Thai takeout. I think you guys know where this is heading. The other week I was at World Market (they have a World Market section inside the Bed Bath & Beyond by me now) and spotted this. I was sold at first ...
  • Spicy Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa March 22, 2012LisaIMGP6780_thumb.jpg With the weather being so summer-like these last few weeks, Rinaldo and I have been grilling outside almost every night for dinner. Ok, well I have been grilling while Rinaldo works on preparing our garden and doing some spring cleaning with our trees, shrubs and other plants outside. Who says grilling is a man’s job? I don’t know about you, but I enjoy grilling. It’s fast, the food tastes great, and besides for a little prepping inside, my kitchen stays clean! We pick our protein for the night (usually chicken, steak or shrimp) and include 2 different vegetables. I seriously think you could grill anything and it would taste amazing! Ok, maybe not, but grilling gives the food so much flavor and just changes up your typical eats a bit and makes them more exciting. This recipe I’ve created is packed with flavor. The cold, fresh and light salsa pairs really well with the warm, juicy and tender meat. (Sorry for all my vegetarian friends!) So far we’ve topped our steaks and chicken with this salsa and it was amazing with both. Maybe it ...
  • Sweet & Spicy Ginger-Lime Quinoa Stir Fry February 29, 2012MariaQunioaStirfry_thumb.jpg There is so much I love about this recipe.  It’s a simple & meatless entree that is great as leftovers, is easily digested and can be made in under 20 minutes.  I highly recommend making the quinoa ahead of time. I have been keeping a stash in the freezer, and it has been a life saver.*Note to self, I need to restock ASAP.* The possibilities are endless with this recipe. You can add in any veggie under the sun and even substitute the quinoa for brown rice or millet. Whatever rocks your boat.  On days where I’m feeling some meat, I plan on adding in some shredded chicken. Maybe even a poached egg. The one part you have to stick with is the sauce. It has taken me a while to make a stir-fry sauce that I love. I was inspired by a ginger-lime  marinade I found at Whole Foods. Since the ingredients were not up to par with my detox restrictions, I went ahead and created my own. It tastes just as yummy, if not better. I created this recipe as a meal I could eat ...
  • Spaghetti Squash Casserole April 1, 2011LisaComforting yet nutritiousHappy Friday everyone! Another weekend is here with lots to get done. I stared off my day by hitting the gym at 5:15 for my workout! I was solo this morning. If you read yesterday’s post, then you know that Maria is in sunny Florida this morning with her husband. I haven’t really gone to the gym by myself in long time  so it definitely was weird, but I still got a great work out without my buddy. I started off with a 30 minute interval on the treadmill. I did a combination of incline power walking and running because I kept getting cramps while running. After I did 15 minutes of arms & abs and finished with 15 minutes on the bike. I felt great after! Once I showered and got to work I made myself some breakfast. I made some oat bran with cocoa powder, cinnamon and truvia that was cooked in almond milk and topped with plain Greek yogurt and strawberries. This combo was good but not my favorite. I couldn’t taste the cocoa powder all that much and I added a Tbsp.   Anyways, ...
  • Ch Ch Ch Chili March 25, 2011MariaCh Ch Ch Chilli TimeThis morning was a pretty good one. It started off with a couple laughs.  The first was when Lisa fell after getting out of her car at the gym. She didn’t get hurt so that’s why it was funny and, because of the fact that I can’t understand what made her fall. The second kind of funny thing was how Lisa and I discovered that we both do a little count down in our heads before getting up in the morning… Shocking I know. When our alarms go off we count down from 10, slowly, and then get up! Those 10 extra seconds after my alarm goes off, makes all the difference! Do any of you do this? Lisa and I headed to our typical Friday morning No Limits Circuit class today. A different instructor was teaching today and we both felt as if our limits weren’t pushed as hard as they normally are in that class. Perhaps because there wasn’t much cardio involved and we didn’t get our heart-rates up that much?  It was still a decent workout.  Hopefully, we’ll be ...
  • Pomegranate Orange Glazed Cedar Planked Salmon March 17, 2011MariaDSC_0436Before I get to how lame I am, I’d like to fill you in about mine and Lisa’s training session yesterday morning. We can always count on getting in a good workout with our trainer, Maggie. Some are more tough than others but, none the less, they’re always tough. Yesterday, she had us do a million plank exercises. Lisa and I are having trouble with them, and practice makes perfect.. Right? . Anyways, I  definitely got a good sweat from all the different planks we did. It came to the point where I wanted to cry if she said plank one more time! In the end, planks are amazing and should always be apart of your workout! We did a few new exercises, one of them being “pike” push-ups (basically a push up in the downward dog position). I really suck at any push-ups but, I totally felt these in different areas (shoulders & upper back) compared to when I do regular push-ups. So moving on about me being lame. I’ll be the first to admit it. I can be so lame sometimes. Want to know why? Well here, ...

Side Dishes

  • Homemade Kale Veggie Crackers February 17, 2013MariaKaleCracker_thumb.jpg  Kale chips have gotten really popular over the past couple years. My favorite recipe has been Fitnessista’s cool ranch chips, they are ahhhmazing. Lately I’ve been amazed at how much little Ela loves Brad’s Raw Kale Chips. There’s something about a child chomping down on kale chips that makes my heart swell. Now, I’ve never tried Brad’s Raw Kale Chips before, but one look at the ingredient list and I knew I could make them myself and for much cheaper too.  Brad uses buckwheat groats in his chips, but I subbed almond flour instead. I’m calling these kale crackers since they are thicker than a chip might be and I wanted to differentiate them from the typical kale chips I’ve made in the past. You can quickly put together this recipe, especially if you prewash your kale the day before. I stretched one recipe to four servings but actually doubled it the second time I made it, so that I would have enough to last a while week. I couldn’t believe how great these turned out on my first attempt! Lisa tasted them ...
  • BBQ Sweet Potato Chips February 23, 2012MariaBBQ2_thumb.jpgWhadya  know, I actually made it to work today without my smoothie all over my face. I call that a huge success. I won’t mention that I spilled almond milk on my kitchen floor and knocked off the knob on my washing machine all within 5 minutes. If I told you that, then you’d all really think I’m a clutz. So instead I’m going to share this BBQ sweet potato chip recipe with you, but I must warn you. You will not want to share them. I had every intention to do so yesterday at work, but it just didn’t happen.     I came across this recipe on Pinterest and shortly after decided to make them, with some slight modifications as usual. I wanted to simplify the recipe so that it used all common ingredients, and have measurements for you guys to follow. I wasn’t sure if they’d end up tasting more spicy than “BBQish”, but they ended up having that perfect BBQ chip flavor. I honestly couldn’t believe it. They tasted just like a store bought BBQ chip, but only 100 times ...
  • Cheezy Herb Kale Chips February 2, 2012LisaIMGP6623.jpg   Kale Chips. They’ve become super trendy over the past few years. Especially in the blog world. If you follow Maria & I on twitter, than you’re probably aware of our love affair with these gorgeous leafy green chips. We’re always making them. Not only is this one of the prettiest greens around, it’s ridiculously healthy for you. Bonus! The aroma of baked kale is certainly unique and rather pungent. Kale greens are a part of the cruciferous family and although they release a rather sulfur like aroma, the smell is easily forgotten when you bite into their feathery light chips.     Anyways, back to kale chips. Maria & I have been making these for about a year now. We have played around with them a lot, and have figured out some tips and tricks that can be helpful to someone who has never made kale chips before.   1. There’s a variety of different kinds of kale. The most common type is curly kale which I used in this recipe. I’ve also used tuscan kale which is more tender and a little less bitter. I ...
  • Recipe Thursday: Balsamic Roasted Eggplant & Tomatoes August 25, 2011MariaDSC_0012_thumb.jpgCan I tell you guys a little secret, and you promise not to get mad? I’m getting excited for fall.   Don’t tell my husband. He doesn’t really like summer and has been looking forward to fall since July. I’ve been telling him to enjoy summer because once winter is here, he’ll be sorry he ever said that. Now I’m scared I’ll be sorry. I’m getting flash backs to last winter.   Putting my fall excitement to the side, I’ve been trying to enjoy my garden while it lasts. I love that I have gotten an abundance of tomatoes and eggplants, but I’m starting to get bored with eating them day after day for a month straight. Last Sunday, I brought over some to share with my family. I wanted to do something different, so instead of grilling the eggplant, like i have been. I decided to roast them with tomatoes.     Once I saw it was a hit with my family, I knew I had to share the recipe with you guys. I remade it on Monday and changed a few things to make ...
  • Recipe Thursday { Roasted Eggplant Hummus} What the… are you eating? August 4, 2011MariaEggplant hummusIf I had a dime for every time someone made a comment to me about the food I eat, I’d be living in Santa Monica next door to Oprah. Quite honestly, it used to really bother me, but by now I have learned two things. Who gives a flying you-know-what, what people think about the foods I eat, and if I don’t want to hear the comments then maybe I shouldn’t walk into work with a bright green mucous colored “green monster” in a clear container! Problem solved. There really isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t get at least one comment about something I eat. I just take it with a grain of salt and tell myself that people are just curious. They have asked things from, if I always eat this healthy to what in the world are you eating? Which is usually followed by….. that looks disgusting. Many times I find myself feeling self-conscious knowing that people are watching what I’m eating and judging it. I know some people might do this unconsciously out of curiosity,and I have no ...
  • Almond Butter Crusted Parsnip Fries February 4, 2011LisaParsnipsI will get to those yummy Parsnip Fries in a sec…. First, I’d like to deliberate about the reminder I had yesterday about why I don’t workout after work. Lisa and I both got to bed late Wednesday night and knew we wouldn’t get enough sleep and make it to the gym Thursday morning. We still wanted to get our workout in and decided to meet at the gym after work at 3pm. Well here is my list of what went wrong and a reminder of why working out before work is 100 times better. 1. Felt sluggish all day. 2. Overwhelmed at work to try and get everything done in order to leave on time to make it to the gym by 3. 3. During my workout I was stressing about how I was going to shower, cook dinner, wash the dishes, and go through the mail in the 1 hour I had. 4.I was using the iPod (on my iPhone) at the gym and got 2 phone calls from work that I had to ignore, which made me a little anxious thinking if I should respond or ...

Desserts

  • Flourless Chocolate Cakies January 9, 2013MariaDSC01954_thumb.jpgI have an obsession…. Not a day goes by without thinking about it.. Once it’s on my mind, it will stay there until I give into it. What is it? I’m always thinking of new ways to make healthy grain free and low sugar sweets. Lame? Nah! I hope it makes you excited! As my mind is running, I not only try create recipes that I will like, but something that I know everyone can enjoy. Even though Lisa and I like baking with coconut flour, we realized that some people don’t like the taste and texture of it. If you’re a long time reader, you already know that I LOVE showing people that you can make healthy & delicious foods. If you disagree, please stop reading our blog Perhaps it’s my Type A personality. Ooooorrr perhaps, it’s just my love for teaching others how to nourish their bodies. I’ll let you decide This is how these “chocolate cakies” came about.   ” I wonder if I can use sweet potatoes as a base to chocolate brownies?” ” I bet I could!” {Goes to the kitchen, mixes favorite ingredients in ...
  • Berry Chocolate Cake {Grain Free and Low Sugar} December 2, 2012MariaDSC01922.jpgWho knew it would be 65 degrees in CHICAGO on DECEMBER 1st. Definitely a real treat! You know what else is strange? I found berries that actually taste really good and I found the perfect way to use them. If you’re looking for something sweet and healthy to share with guests (of just for yourself), I have just the perfect recipe for you. One that won’t make them think you only eat bird food. Even though they probably already do, but they just might start to think you’re “normal” again. To be honest, I find pleasure out of getting others to eat healthy treats without them knowing. I’m sneaky like that. This Chocolate Cake was inspired by Laury’s Carob Cupcakes. She’s a genius! I used a flower shaped pan plus a few ramekins, but this recipe can make a 7′”x11″ baking pan or 24 cupcakes.  If you don’t have as many guests just go ahead and halve the recipe.   Ingredients: 1cup of cocoa powder 1 cup of coconut flour 11/2 tsp baking soda 11/2 tsp baking powder 1 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup of Swerve sugar (or additional ...
  • Blueberry Peach Crisps {Grain Free & Low Sugar} July 26, 2012LisaDSC01448_thumb.jpg There are many fruits that pair so well together. Strawberries and bananas, apples and cranberries, mangoes and coconuts… the list goes on and on, but our all time favorite fruit combination is blueberries & peaches. We try to bake with blueberries and peaches all summer long. Summer isn’t really summer without it. Well, summer is definitely happening this year, because we’ve already devoured a few blueberry peach crisps over this last month. I spent the evening by Maria & John’s house last night. Rinaldo was working late, so I thought I’d spend some time with them. And I didn’t feel like cooking dinner and Maria so kindly offered that I eat dinner with them! (Maria played a joke on John and told him that my water broke. You should have seen the look on his face! hahahaha Poor Johnny!) Maria with all her hard work! While prepping dinner, we went into her yard to see what was ready to be picked. She had a ton of cherry tomatoes, a few peppers and several plump peaches! Yessss. We knew right away that we wanted to ...
  • Banana Chocolate Cream Pie May 8, 2012MariaPie_thumb.jpgDo you ever buy and over abundance of a certain food item and get home wondering, what am I going to do with all of these? I’m all about eating healthy fats these days. I’m talking avocados, coconut oil, almonds, extra virgin olive oil, etc. I’ve been really good at adding lots of healthy oils to my meals but many times I forget to buy avocados. Last week, at the grocery store I decided to make up for lost time and brought home 10 avocados. I’m telling you I’m serious about my healthy fats! The easiest way to eat avocados is by adding them to your salads which is nice, but can get boring. I’ve seen a few of my virtual friends (as my husband calls them) make avocado pudding. It would’ve have repulsed me a couple of years ago, but I’m up to try most things these days. I decided to sweeten my avocado pudding with a banana and vanilla stevia. I threw them in my Vitamixer along with some raw cocoa powder and surprisingly made myself a delicious little snack. ...
  • Chocolate Coconut Fudge Bites April 26, 2012LisaIMGP7049_thumb.jpg If there’s one thing I miss a lot during this Sugar Free Challenge, it’s having a little bit of dark chocolate a couple nights a week. I never really liked chocolate growing up (I leaned more towards the sugary candy) but over the last few years, I’ve fell in love with chocolate. Especially dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds. YUM!! What I love about this challenge is that I’m being really creative in creating something that will satisfy my sweet tooth. I played with this recipe 3 times, and finally came out with something that both Rinaldo and I liked a lot. They didn’t turn out as “fudgy” as I wanted them to, but they were good enough. I know that dates would’ve worked really well in this recipe, but dried fruit is off limits for now.   These are best eaten cold out of the fridge. They get a little too soft at room temperature, but you could try both and see what you prefer! I’m getting some xylitol in the mail today, so I cannot wait to bake up some ...
  • Chocolate Almond “Ice Cream” April 16, 2012LisaIMGP6878_thumb.jpg We all love ice cream right? What if I told you that you could have ice cream during this 28 day Sugar Free Challenge? Rinaldo & I love us some ice cream and find ourselves eating it a few times a month. Don’t even get me started on my beloved Red Mango frozen yogurt. That’s an addiction in and of itself! Well, if you’re into frozen cold treats, boy do I have a treat for you. It’s the best soft serve ice cream you’ll ever taste, and it’s 100% unprocessed, 100% delicious and 100% free of any refined sugars. (It does have natural fruit sugars in it)  It’s also kid-friendly and ridiculously simple to make. Friends, behold banana soft serve That’s right. Who knew that frozen bananas could, if given a whirl in the food processor, rival the best fro-yo in town? Well believe me, they do. Once you try this recipe, I guarantee you’ll crave it instead of your usual ice cream—at least some of the time. I’ve been making banana soft serve for about a year now and I never get tired of it. ...
  • Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes March 27, 2012MariaDSC00875.jpgRemember those fun little lemon poppy seed muffins we made? You know the ones up in our blog header? Well, I couldn’t get them out of my mind and the wheels have been turning ever since. I wanted to take them to the next level and pair them with a frosting to create cupcakes. As you can see, it worked! I’ve successfully created a grain and dairy free cupcake and I should also mention that they are naturally sweetened with a little maple sugar and raspberries. What more could I ask for? To make the frosting more nutritious I made them with coconut cream and only sweetened it with some raspberry puree and vanilla stevia. Before I go on, let’s get something straight. These ain’t no sugar coma>diabetic shock >Paula Dean cupcakes. More like, light>refreshing>Healthy Diaries cupcakes. The best part – you can eat five of these and not feel lethargic or the least bit bloated. —–> Speaking from experience The frosting is really light with a hint of sweetness, so feel free to increase the stevia or some sort ...
  • Vanilla & Chocolate Coconut Macaroons February 10, 2012MariaDSC00575_thumb.jpgWhen I promise you guys a recipe, I mean it.  Shortly after I got my dehydrator, I started to create my own recipe for coconut macaroons. While the first time was a success, I was on a mission to lower the sugar content. I wanted them to be sweet enough where I could have them for a snack or dessert. After three attempts, my perfectly sweet macaroons were born. They have approx 4.5 grams of sugar per macaroon. Not too shabby! These would be perfect to make for your special someone, or yourself for Valentine’s Day! They are the perfect mix of coconut goodness with a hint of sugar and chocolate. I can’t decide weather or not I like the vanilla or chocolate ones, so I’ll let you guys decide which  ones to make. Or make both like I did!  I should let you know that these are Lisa and husband approved too While these are my current favorites, I know I will continue to make different kinds. So many flavors I’d like to play with. Mocha, cherry, lemon. Ohh,  the possibilities ...
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Bites January 27, 2012Lisalpbites_thumb.jpg Mine and Maria’s baking has come a long way over the last several years. Anyone close to us knows that we’re the queens of baking. It’s been a passion of ours  since our early teens. When we first started baking, the more indulgent the recipe was, the better. Who cared if there was a pound of butter and 4 cups of white sugar in a recipe. It tasted good and that was all that mattered. After graduating college in 2007 we started to become more and more interested in our health. Over the next few years we fell in love with “light” recipes. We became concerned with calories and watching our weight.  Our focus was on how we looked and wanting to look good for bikini season but still be able to indulge our sweet tooth. Since starting this blog a year ago, our focus has changed to wanting to be healthy. We pay very much attention to the foods we eat and what we put in our bodies because we want to feel good. We love using recipes that taste good and at ...
  • Apple Crisp For Everyone! November 23, 2011LisaIMGP6173_thumb.jpg   The number of people with food allergies or sensitivities is skyrocketing. I think we each know at least one person that cannot eat certain foods. We personally know a handful of family and friends that can’t have gluten or dairy.   I think it’s smart to have a bunch of great tasting go-to recipes that can be enjoyed by everyone. We’ve really been trying to limit our sugar intake and have dramatically cut down. We’ll talk about sugar in an upcoming post, but when we bake now, we really try to cut down on the sugar.   Apple Filling   This apple crisp is gluten free and dairy free. The crumb topping consists of oats and almond flour and also uses coconut oil instead of butter. We served this at Maria’s Princess House Party last weekend and the guests really enjoyed it. After all, there were no leftovers! I loved how it was so light and not overly sweet. You could taste the apples and spices, as well as a small hint of almond and coconut flavors.   Before Baking I used the baking apples from last week’s CSA box ...

Smoothies

  • Peanut Butter Fudge Smoothie December 22, 2011LisaIMGP6439_thumb.jpg Dear Santa, I hope you’re doing well. Are you watching your weight and your cholesterol? I’ve been a little worried about you lately. It seems that your belly seems to grow bigger with each coming year. How do you eat ALL of those cookies? I know it’s only one day, but that’s way too many cookies for one person to eat. I thought about you the other day when I made a delicious peanut butter smoothie. This is actually Rinaldo’s favorite smoothie and I know that you would just love it!  I got to thinking and instead of leaving you a plate of cookies, I’m going to leave you this green smoothie instead! This smoothie will give you a boost of energy and make landing your sleigh, to bring presents to all the good little boys and girls, so much easier! I hope you’re excited to try this! Enjoy! Sincerely, Lisa Do you guys think Santa will like my smoothie?! It really is Rinaldo’s favorite smoothie and I’ve been making it for the longest time. It’s so simple and I bet kids would love it ...
  • Apple Pie Filling Smoothie December 21, 2011MariaDSC00352_thumb.jpgDon’t you hate when you make a smoothie that states it taste like a dessert, and it doesn’t?! Well I promise you this one does! I found that the sugar addict in me has made an appearance this cookie season. My Christmas cookie party triggered it. While, I definitely enjoy baking cookies and celebrating with everyone. I don’t enjoy the sugar addict that comes out and lingers for a week. I have to say I think this smoothie crushed the sugar addict in me, and showed it who’s boss that healthy can be sweet and satisfying too. I wouldn’t go as far to say it tastes like an apple pie, but it sure does taste like the filling. This smoothie is definitely on the sweet side and will crush any sugar craving. My husband liked it too and confirmed that it does indeed taste like apple pie filling There is something about the crisp apples and warm cinnamon that make this smoothie so refreshing & comforting at the same time. My friend Sarah inspired me to make this smoothie, when she requested ...
  • Berry Christmas Green Smoothie December 20, 2011LisaIMGP6425_thumb.jpg Whenever I make a smoothie, I almost always include a frozen banana and some almond milk. Well, what do you do when you’re missing both? You improvise, and boy did I come up with something tasty! I substituted orange juice for the almond milk and used a combination of frozen blueberries and strawberries instead of the banana. Once again, this smoothie is super simple, but aren’t they all? That is why I love making smoothies. They’re so easy to make and taste so good.   Since I don’t have much more to say about my berry smoothie, I thought I’d fill out this holiday survey that has been traveling around the blog world lately. Enjoy!!   Eggnog or hot chocolate? Hot Chocolate, but I’ve been coming around to eggnog lately! Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? They were always wrapped! Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored lights outside and white on the tree. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope. When do you hang your decorations up? Usually a few days after Thanksgiving. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? My mom’s lasagna! –It’s the best! Favorite holiday memory as a child? Seeing Santa’s ...
  • Cranberry Spice Green Smoothie December 15, 2011LisaIMGP6404_thumb.jpgWe’re on day 7 of our 12 Days of Green Smoothies series. We hope you’ve been enjoying our recipes as much as we’ve enjoyed creating them! I created this smoothie after work yesterday. I had been planning on using some frozen cranberries I had leftover from Thanksgiving. I was pretty tired when I got home yesterday and wasn’t as hungry as I normally am at that time. As a result, I kept it simple and made a smaller snack-size smoothie. This smoothie turned out delicious and was less tart than I thought it was going to be. The banana gives this smoothie some sweetness and the spices add some depth. I loved the little specks of red throughout the green. (You can see them better in the first picture) At Maria’s Christmas Cookie Party this past Saturday our friend Sarah, who has become such a huge fan of green smoothies, was telling us how a friend of hers asked her what the point of drinking green smoothies was. I thought this was a great question and have put together a list of answers.   10 Reasons Why Green ...
  • Raspberry Mango Smoothie December 14, 2011MariaDSC00208_thumb.jpgI can’t believe Christmas is only 11 days away! Well, truth be told, I can believe it by the amount of cookies I’ve been eating! Having a Christmas cookie party = Tons of leftover cookies. Even after all my guest took home cookies, I was still left with a ton! I figured I would just freeze them so I wouldn’t have to bake again for Christmas day. Guess what? Cookies still taste good, straight from the freezer! You know how an alcoholic is one drink away from relapsing and the same is true for a drug addict? The same principle applies to a sugar addict me. I’m telling you guys sugar=crack! I get the whole, “it’s the holidays, enjoy yourself” thing. The thing is, eating cookies for the whole month of December isn’t going to do me or my behind any good. My problem when it comes to sweets is that, once I try something I want MORE! Especially if it is loaded with sugar. It just spikes my sugar cravings. In order for me to have any cookies left for Christmas, I was left with one ...
  • Gingerbread Cookie Smoothie December 13, 2011LisaIMGP6390_thumb.jpg We’re on day 5 of our “12 Days of Green Smoothies” series. Here is what we posted so far if you missed any recipes! Day 1- Chocolate Peppermint Smoothie Day 2- Eggnog Smoothie Day 3- Crazy for Coconut Smoothie Day 4- Raspberry Almond Smoothie   Ok, so I’m not going to try and make you believe that this smoothie tastes exactly like a gingerbread cookie, because it doesn’t. But, it sure is one tasty smoothie that I finally perfected this past weekend. If you missed Maria’s post yesterday, she recapped her Christmas Cookie Party. What she didn’t show you were the gluten free gingerbread cut-outs I made. Maria=Fail. We had a few gluten free cookie options for our friend Sabrina that attended who is a celiac. (Hi Sabrina!) We actually let guests decorate their own cookies which was fun. Especially for our nieces and nephews! Wait, weren’t we talking about a smoothie? Oh yah! In the recent past, I’ve tried a few different gingerbread smoothie recipes, but there was always something I didn’t like about them. Either too much molasses, overly spiced or just plain bland. In my opinion, my version is ...
  • Crazy For Coconut Green Smoothie December 7, 2011Lisacs_thumb.jpg I made it clear that, until recently, I wanted nothing to do with mint. Even though I’m now converted as a mint lover, coconut is my all time favorite flavor and will always by dear to my heart. Coconut is my endless love. I would crawl to the ends of the earth for coconut. I will eat it fresh or dried. I will eat it in sweet food or savory food. I will drink anything even remotely associated with coconut flavor. Coconut macaroons, coconut yogurt, coconut shrimp, coconut cupcakes, coconut ice cream, coconut milk – oh how my heart swoons! ___________________________________ Recently I’ve come across health products such as, coconut flour, coconut water & coconut oil. Now I can get my coconut fix without loading up on the sugar and bad fats. Coconut water is something I’m fairly new with and have been adding it to my smoothies every so often. This smoothie has just the perfect amount of coconut flavor. You definitely can taste it, but it’s definitely not overpowering. Sometimes I’ll add fresh pineapple to this smoothie for a piña colada version. YUM! This is a fairly ...
  • Egg Nog Green Smoothie : Day 2 December 7, 2011Mariasmoothie1_thumb.jpg   Sometimes I feel like I am the most  indecisive shopper ever. I don’t want to buy something I’m not 100% crazy about, especially if it’s something expensive, and I usually take a long time decided if it’d be worth it or not. On the other hand….. I can be a compulsive shopper. Pretty sure I just contradicted what I said, but it’s true. There are times when I find so many things and know I will love them without a doubt! Do you all know where I’m heading with this? Let me explain. Last week, I was at Whole Foods and about to pay for my groceries. Just as I was about to get in line, I saw something sparkle out of the corner of my eye. I stopped in my tracks and turned around to find a huge Christmas display of SO Delicious coconut nog and mint chocolate milk. I was in coconut milk heaven! I grabbed one of each. They were 2 for $6 so I had no other choice, right? Later that night, I warmed some of the mint ...
  • Chocolate Peppermint Green Smoothie December 6, 2011Lisa2_thumb.jpg If you would’ve asked me a few years ago what flavor I hated, hands down, it would’ve been mint. In fact, I despised anything with a bare hint of mint. I was very picky with my toothpaste flavors and thought people obsessed with anything mint, were weird. Get the point? Over the past few years, this year in particular, things have changed. I couldn’t get enough of mint flavored sweets, drinks and candies. I was craving mint chocolate chip ice cream, like no other the last few months. I honestly thought I was pregnant because I’d never craved mint so badly. It’s so crazy to me, that something I nearly gagged at, was taking over my world. Lately, my craving of anything mint was on the down low, until this past weekend. After my workout on Saturday, I was running errands and came across these at Target.    Candy Cane & Mint Truffle Hershey Kisses I was obsessed with these last year and couldn’t get enough of them. Even though I wanted to buy a bag to bring home, I was brave and resisted. With ...

Dehydrated Foods & Misc.

  • Homemade Kale Veggie Crackers February 17, 2013MariaKaleCracker_thumb.jpg  Kale chips have gotten really popular over the past couple years. My favorite recipe has been Fitnessista’s cool ranch chips, they are ahhhmazing. Lately I’ve been amazed at how much little Ela loves Brad’s Raw Kale Chips. There’s something about a child chomping down on kale chips that makes my heart swell. Now, I’ve never tried Brad’s Raw Kale Chips before, but one look at the ingredient list and I knew I could make them myself and for much cheaper too.  Brad uses buckwheat groats in his chips, but I subbed almond flour instead. I’m calling these kale crackers since they are thicker than a chip might be and I wanted to differentiate them from the typical kale chips I’ve made in the past. You can quickly put together this recipe, especially if you prewash your kale the day before. I stretched one recipe to four servings but actually doubled it the second time I made it, so that I would have enough to last a while week. I couldn’t believe how great these turned out on my first attempt! Lisa tasted them ...
  • Making Cashew Butter on a Snow Day!! February 2, 2011MariaCreamy GoodnessFor the past week there have been several blizzard warnings for last night and this morning. I kind of didn’t believe it was going to be as bad as they predicted. There have been several times were the forecast has been wrong, so I tend to not take it too seriously. I still wanted to be prepared so yesterday, I had Lisa & Rinaldo pick me up on their way home from work. My husband was working and I didn’t want to be left home alone if this crazy blizzard was going to happen. I left prepared and packed a bag for my husband and I in case we had to spend the night. To make a long story short, lets just say they were 100% right! We even heard thunder a couple times.. I guess it’s called thunder snow. We ended up spending the night because there was no way we were going to make it home. Lisa and I were really excited to have a sleep over, we felt like little girls again. I woke up this morning at 5 am to ...
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  • About Us

    Hi, welcome to Healthy Diaries and Thank You for stopping by! Our names are Maria & Lisa and we’re 26 year-old identical twin sisters. Our blog is a look into our lives as we live life being healthy and active. Find out more here...
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