Slow Cooker Chicken

Cooking doesn't have to be a big chore if we use our appliances wisely.. One of my favorite things to make is crock pot chicken tacos or chicken taco soup. Simply place chicken breasts in the crockpot, cover with bone broth or stock, add 1 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp onion powder, and 1/4 tsp sea salt. Cook on low for 3 hrs (until the internal temp is 165° on thermometer) and the chicken literally pulls apart. You can use it in tacos, make a chicken taco soup and many other chicken dishes. If you just plan ahead in the morning dinner becomes so easy. It's ready when you walk through the door and your home smells amazing! ...

Home Baked Chicken Fingers & Fries

Taking fast food and making it in a healthier way is always possible and it's fun to experiment.  Today's mission was significantly improving the health score of chicken fingers and fries.  I am constantly working to put the best quality food possible into our daughters.  It's so important to my husband and I to give the girls the best nutrition we can to build their health, bring out their best moods (oh yes, so needed!), their best focus, and their best performance. I'm going off on a bit of a rant here however please bear (is it bare or bear - I never know!) with me....  Almost every single time that we eat out and they hand me the kids menu I hold my breath.  Occasionally I've been pleasantly surprised, however, most often I see the same old chicken fingers, hot dogs, burgers, grilled cheese (all with fries of course!), spaghetti, pizza, blah blah...  Most often these offerings are not prepared with our health in mind. Why should kids health be less important than adults? It shouldn't be.  Good nutrition and being active are foundational to the happy, healthy lives that we all want for our kids!  People are eating out more than ever so how can we consistently feed kids these addictive, processed foods and then expect them to want to eat the veggies and fruit after their tastebuds become accustomed to the fatty, salty, sugary foods?  This really gets under my skin (in case you didn't notice) as kids nutritional future is shaped early on.   There are so many small healthy shifts that can help to make these 'kids menus' so much healthier.   Using higher quality cuts of meat, including vegetables sides and even pureeing them into the mains, using brown rice, whole grain or some of the legume based pastas available today and using whole grain buns/breads go a long way in making these less than healthy kids options healthier.  I love it when I order salmon and my kids devour it.  More often than not we take a pass on the kids menu and order some adult meals or appetizers to share. With more and more information on the importance of whole foods nutrition we are starting to see some positive changes - there is hope!  The buy in to get the entire family eating well starts with education - explaining the 'why' when it comes to why it's so important to choose food that enhances our health.  We are always voting with our dollars.  The more of us that choose to skip the processed foods on the menu and make healthy requests, the more the good choices will come. Ok rant over!  The most important health tool that we can have is home cooked meals using whole food ingredients.  Every time we get our kids involved in the process we are giving them the tools to prepare their own health enhancing meals.  We are constantly healthifying meals over here and I wanted to share our healthy chicken tenders & fries (with side green beans of course!) with you.  I always do my best to get the kids involved in the cooking process whenever possible as it increases meal time buy in and keeps them occupied while I'm trying to get it done!  We hope that you enjoy this one as much as we did!     ...

Oatmeal Pancakes

Pancakes are such a hit around here and this recipe is such a good way to sneak a balanced meal into the kids. I've even pureed spinach into this recipe to get veggies in too - green pancakes! You can also experiment and add pureed pumpkin or sweet potato. I hope that your family enjoys these as much as we do! ...

Breakfast Burrito

This is one of my hubby's breakfast favorites.  We can definitely fall victim to getting stuck into routine eating the same things day in and day out so this breakfast burrito is a nice change.  Black beans, eggs, spinach, and the whole grain wrap are all good sources of protein and iron making this an energizing breakfast. The salsa adds some spice and the avocado adds a welcome creaminess. This is an easy recipe to make up for a group and is a great option for lunch or a casual dinner too.  You can prep the eggs and bean/spinach mixture and leave the toppings in small bowls so that people can create their own healthy Burritos.  Serve these up with a some vegetable credit and a beautiful bowl of fresh fruit to add even more nutrient density to this meal. Our daughters are always anxious to get their hands into the creation process and like putting together their own.  Getting the kids involved definitely helps to get their buy into eating the meal too!         ...

Savory Farro Stuffing

Stuffing lovers, rejoice... a healthier spin on stuffing just for you! PS - I don't like mushrooms however they definitely add some flavor in this recipe so feel free to leave them out if you are a fellow non-mushroom lover - it's a texture thing 😉 ...

Hearty Roast Veggies

I am happy to report that there is finally a breeze and chill in the air here in Bermuda. I can't say that I miss the bitter cold winters in Canada however I do welcome the cooler weather of the fall/winter here in Bermuda.   Seasons bring such a nice change in temps and also in cuisine! As the weather cools we always feel the need to warm ourselves up and chili, soups, and stews always sound more appealing.  As you know I'm all about the veggies and one of my favorite ways to prepare them in the fall and winter is to roast them.  Roast veggies are so so good on the side of a nice grilled sirloin steak, baked chicken, or chicken thighs.  If you choose to do baked chicken thighs you can make them up with the veggies for a super quick and easy meal. I hope that this recipe inspires you to roast up some veggie goodness!   ...

Freekeh Salad

Even though we are meat eaters around here it doesn't mean that we don't enjoy 'meatless Monday's'. Freekeh is high in protein, fiber, and iron as are chickpeas. I hope that you enjoy this concoction, we sure did! ...

Eggy Crepes

You race in the door for dinner and everyone is hungry and there are no groceries and nothing prepared. You could pick up the phone and get take out but you know that's not the healthiest option and it's still going to take 45 minutes. What do do? Break out the eggs and make these super easy and fast Eggy Crepes. ...

Succulent Citrus Salmon

This salmon dish is so tangy and OH how I love salmon. It's so easy to throw together in just a few minutes and goes well with a side of rice, quinoa, or spaghetti squash (which I'd bake at the same time as the salmon) topped with a little tomato sauce. This is a hit in our house, I hope that it's one in yours! PS - I've been reading up on the state of farmed salmon and it is definitely worth your $ to buy the line caught/wild salmon. ...

Chickpea and Kale Stew

When I was in England last week, a friend and I headed out to a Pub in Sussex called the Black Cat pub.  We were prepared for typical pub grub and were pleasantly surprised to find a robust menu with lots of healthy options.  We started out sharing a bowl of green olives which were ahhhmazing, in fact, I'm dying to know what type they were because I've never had any like it.  They were pretty big and crunchy.  I've eaten a lot of green olives but none have compared to these.  If anyone knows what type they might be, please let me know! Onto the main course (did I mention that the Prosecco that they had was also amazing?). Ok, focus Tania ????. The main that I chose was a chickpea stew with kale and a piece of either steamed or baked cod on top.  It was delish and I knew thought that it would be fairly easy to re-create.   This was so fast (in typical Tania style!) and I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did! ...

Veggie Chili with A Sweet Twist

My folks are visiting and man is it nice to extra helping hands to get things done around here!  Of course this means more mouths to feed and I always feel a little more pressure to have proper meals when we have guests, I can't feed them my protein pancakes every night lol.  You know me, I like to make up some good, nutrient packed meals but also don't want to spend the little time that I have with them shopping, prepping, and planning for meals.  I've been getting better at planning out the meals before guests arrive in order to be more prepared ahead of time.  I've also started using the crockpot for meals when we have company.  There are so many great crockpot/slow-cooker recipes and once you take the time to gather the ingredients and spices then you really can just toss it all in and forget it.  My veggie chili is a fave around here and it's really easy to throw together and we always enjoy having extras so that we have something for the always hard to decide upon lunch dilemma!  We planned to have leftovers however I have to report that there wasn't much, triple batch next time! I hope that you enjoy this chili and the new twist on my favorite that added a delicious & unexpected sweetness.  Enjoy! ...

Curried Lentils & Cauliflower

I love this dish.  Every time I make it I'll eat it (and maybe more veggies ;-)) for dinner for an entire week.  Lentils are high in iron, fiber and protein.  Mix them with some veggies and they make a fabulous meal. ...

Is that a Rat in your Ratatouille?

I had a ton of leftover tomatoes so decided to try to make ratatouille.  I didn't have eggplant or some of the other ingredients that you find in some versions so I improvised (which happens a lot around here) and used what I had.  My husband LOVED it but the kids were not big fans.  It may have been the texture that got them or the fact that I told them that I put a rat in it 🙂   Not only is this recipe easy and delicious but it's brimming with lycopene.  Tomatoes are full of antioxidants and have been shown to have anti-cancer benefits, as well as supporting bone & heart health. Anywhooo...here is the recipe, I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did! Bon Appétit! ...

Fiesta Chicken

This recipe is so super easy as you just throw everything in the crockpot and leave it to cook.  Words of caution 1) use fresh chicken, not frozen 2) check to see if the chicken is done using the probe/thermometer and don't leave on warm for too long as it will dry out the chicken 3) do not open the lid to the crockpot while cooking. The chicken literally falls apart, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did! ...

Super Duper Quick and Delicious Beans

I am always saving and pinning recipes that I am going to make...one day..  The truth is that even when I do make a recipe it ends up being something that I came across that very day and happened to have the ingredients for. These two sides that I make often are SO easy and fast and best of all, my husband and children love them.  Win...win..  I hope that you like them too! Black beans Garlic Garbanzo Beans I like to make these 'base' dishes and keep them in the fridge to mix with other things during the week for quick dinner prep. Enjoy 🙂 ...

Crispy Coconut Chicken

In an effort to once again make chicken more exciting I came up with this recipe. I hope that you like it!   ...

Crispy Chicken!

This chicken was a huge hit.  It was super crispy and so much better for you than fried.  You can use any type of chicken or turkey (or firm white) with this recipe.  It's so easy! I needed to move the racks in my oven around to accommodate the cookie sheet with the rack and chicken on top, just FYI. I'd love to hear how you like this recipe!! ...

Sweeeeet & Sour Ribs :)

In the constant pursuit of being a better wife I ventured to make ribs for my hubby 🙂  I found an Amish brand of pork here in Bermuda which is hormone free and happened upon ribs so I set to work cleaning up my mom's favorite rib recipe.  Let's suffice it to say that they were a hit. Here's the recipe, enjoy! ...

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free/Egg Free Bread

I had a really hard time finding any decent gluten free/egg free bread for my daughter in the grocery store.  The ingredient list on most of these breads is definitely not Health Fanatic approved :).  I picked up a package of Bob's Red Mill gluten free bread and experimented.  So here's what I did.. I warmed 1 3/4 cups of unsweetened almond milk and let the yeast 'bubble' (although it didn't really 'bubble') for 5 mins Soaked 6tbsp of chia soaking in 3/4 cup of water (during the time the yeast was 'bubbling') Put the dry mix into a large mixing bowl Add chia mixture, 1 tsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, and yeast-milk mix to the dry mix Mix on low speed until all ingredients are blended and smooth and then turn mixer to medium for about 15 seconds until mixture thickens (it got really sticky and was all stuck up in my beaters!) Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray (I also put a piece of parchment paper in the pan and up two of the sides) and scrape the mix out of the beaters and into the pan. Cover the pan with foil and put in your oven on the lowest possible temp (preferably 75-100 degrees) and let rise for 40-45 mins or until the mixture rises to the top of the pan. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Bake uncovered 60-65 mins and cover with foil again after it starts to brown.  Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 5 mins and then remove it from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.   I hope that it works for you as well as it did for us, the kids and hubby all liked it.  I realize that there are two types of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free bread mixes out there and the one pictured here is not the one that I used the first time but I'll be trying this one now as I couldn't find the other one in the grocery store again. ...

Chick Peas…Garbanzo Beans.. Whatever you call them, eat them up :)

I love chick peas.  Also called garbanzo beans these little legumes are high in protein and in dietary fiber not to mention folate.  Garbanzos are a great carbohydrate choice.   There are many many ways to add them into daily meals & snacks.  Other than as hummus dip with cut veggies here are a few more ideas: #1 - Easy 'peas'y - Add 1/2 cup plain chick peas into your salad #2 - Garlic lovers choice - One can of garbanzo beans (preferably BPA free, Eden organic is a solid brand) mixed up with 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1-2 garlic cloves crushed, 1tsp lemon juice, sea salt & oregano to taste.  This is a great cold salad on it's own or added into greens.  You can also add other legumes, tomatoes, and/or quinoa into this mix. #3 - Roasted Snack - One can of garbanzo beans (preferably BPA free, Eden organic is a solid brand) rinsed, patted dry and lightly spritzed with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.  Bake at 400 degrees for approx 20 mins - keep your eye on them and remove when they are nice and crunchy. For a sweet twist on #3, toss the garbanzos with 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil (skip the sea salt), 2 packets or 10 drops of stevia and cinnamon before baking. ...

Healthfanatified Tuna & Egg Salad!!

Restaurants and deli's want us to love the taste of their food so much that we can't resist coming back.  More often that not, they will use the richest ingredients which we all know are not low cal or figure friendly.  A couple of the worst offenders at lunch time are tuna and egg salad.  The tuna sandwiches are likely made using oil packed tuna, loads of artery clogging mayo, and the egg salad probably contains enough egg yolks (not to mention the mayo again) to last a regular person a week. Tuna and egg salad can be good for you!  Here are my delicious, (you won't know they're not the super unhealthy versions!) and easy healthfanatified versions. Tuna salad: Egg salad:   ...

High Iron Recipes

I have a friend who just found out that her little one may be anemic.  I wanted to share a couple of the recipes that I came up with for her.  In addition to these types of main meals you can always check the iron %'s of the cereals & breads (low sugar & whole grain I hope!) that you use to find those higher in fortified iron.  Red meat is the best way to get iron if you are low.  I always recommend choosing lean cuts and adding beans & leafy greens (spinach/collards/kale) to your diet.  Eggs (whole eggs!) are also good as the yolks are high in iron.  Dried fruit like raisins & prunes are also a good source.  Remember that iron rich foods are best absorbed when eaten with foods containing vitamin C.  So tomato sauce is great with your lean beef in pasta sauce as are sliced oranges in your spinach salad.  Cooking in cast iron will also increase the iron. Iron Powerhouse Pasta Flax Bean Burgers ...