Filtering by Tag: healthy eating

Decadent Favorites with a Healthy Twist!

Everyone loves comfort foods.  Sometimes you want all the decadence of your favorite foods but the guilt that comes with it can be crippling.  What if you could have it all.  Your favorite satisfying foods, but with a healthy twist?!  Here you go!

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Arugula

Mac and Cheese is a comfort food staple. But it's usually loaded with so much heavy cream and cheese that it could take a month just to work off two bites!  While I was perusing Instagram recently I came across a pic of my friend Lauren Nolan, aka The Lakeshore Lady's, Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Arugula.  The heavy cream is replaced with roasted cauliflower puree and it's outstanding.  You do NOT feel like you're eating a healthy substitution.  Get the whole recipe here! 

Who doesn't like to end a satiating dinner with something sweet?!  But as we know, most of our favorite dessert indulgences are "a moment on the lips...a lifetime on the hips"  But what if you could actually be eating your favorite desserts but also have it be healthy?! Mind blown, right?!

Muller Dessert Inspired Yogurts * are the best of both worlds. It comes in a dual sided container (we're all familiar with these).  One side has the little crumbles and crunchies we love, and the side has the fruity goodness or creamy part of the dessert incorporated into it.  I swear it's as if you are eating the actual desserts, and the fact that you get all the flavor for under 220 calories is outstanding.

Now I am VERY picky about yogurts. I used to be naive and think that any yogurt was automatically healthy for you.  Then I realized that most of the yogurts we eat have artificial flavorings or sweeteners (which are incredibly harmful).  Muller Dessert Inspired Yogurts have NO artificial flavorings, sweeteners, or high fructose corn syrup.  They’re a good source of calcium and protein and best yet, they’re made from cows not treated with hormones.  So now it’s ok to indulge in your favorite desserts and say adios to all the guilt that comes with it.  Also, you've gotta check out this hilarious video that The Girls With Glasses made to show you how Muller Dessert Inspired yogurts are a delicious lifesaver.  Click HERE to watch.  Here’s to our sweet-tooths! #yogurtwithbenefits

*The second half of this blog (yogurt portion) was sponsored by Muller Dessert Inspired Yogurts. 

A New & Healthy Way To Get Your Morning Caffeine Fix

Want a new way to down your morning cup o' Joe?!  Or better yet, want to summer-ize your traditional coffee and add some great health benefits?!  This recipe uses my obsession, Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate, it's like rocket fuel and a little goes a LONG way.  I made this in my Vitamix, as that is the ideal hardware for this recipe, but a regular blender should suffice.  Enjoy, caffeine lovers!!


Banana-Nut Butter Coffee Smoothie

1/2 cup Coconut milk

1/4 Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

1 frozen banana

1 tablespoon cashew or almond butter

Directions:  Pour coconut milk in Vitamix... enough to cover blades.  Add coffee, frozen banana, and nut butter.  Blend on high for 30 secs or until smooth.  Add a bit more coconut milk if you'd like it to be a bit more liquid-y.  Enjoy the buzz!! 


Healthy Menu Picks From Your Fave Chicago Restaurants

In case you haven't noticed, I'm mid- health kick.  Which isn't a diet (hate that word) because I thoroughly love and enjoy all the delicious foods i'm eating, and I'm never hungry, nor do I deprive myself.  I've just been staying away from all meat except seafood, making smarter and healthier choices, especially when out at restaurants,  and working out a ton.  Piece of cake really... mmmmmm cake.  

You might think it's impossible to go out to dinner and still eat well.  It's NOT!  Even if you're veggie and/or seafood focused. Here are my fave picks from my/ Chicago's fave restaurants. I've included a ton of neighborhoods, and cuisine types.  Please share with me your favorite healthy dishes, I'd love to discover even more!

Eataly Chicago- the grilled octopus (polpo alla griglia) at Il Pesce restaurant inside Eataly.  Cooked to perfection, not rubbery AT ALL.  The great kick from the chili flakes and chili peppers will also jump start your metabolism! 

Bub City- Bub City is known for their succulent BBQ.  But if you're not eating meat, or trying to eat light.. there aren't too many options on their menu.  It has almost discouraged me from going until I discovered, in the very bottom right corner of their menu is one seafood item.  The blackened or BBQ grilled salmon.  They're both INSANELY delicious, but if you're trying to cut sugar, get it blackened.  

Pearl Tavern-  They are oyster and seafood focused, so there are a few great options like the ceviche and oysters of course.  But their Salmon burger with shredded butternut squash and house made giardinera is quite possibly the tastiest sandwich, and dare I say, burger, I've had in a LONG time. 

La Sirena Clandestina-  There's really no way to go wrong at this spot since all their food is to-die-for.  But if you're keeping it healthy, check out the Head On Prawns with charred Serrano Salsa.  

Maude's Liquor Bar-  The oysters are to die for in this romantic and intimate setting.  I love the way they're served too.  Makes you feel like it's more of a meal vs. an appetizer. 

Osteria Langhe- Love the unique Italian fare at this Logan Square spot.  The Cauliflower with salted cod and sunchoke puree with house pickled veggies is a great meatless and lighter choice. 

MFK- This Lakeview spot has some of the best ceviche I've had.  But their Boquerones are fab too.  An anchovy is perched atop piquillo peppers and fennel, all of which is resting on a piece of crusty Italian bread.

GT Fish and Oyster- always my fave.  Their Thai Coconut soup is light yet filling.  So yummy with chunks of fish and shrimp in it.  Also their mussels in a spicy red marinara is outstanding. 

Beatrix- Love everything on this menu, but the standouts for my fave healthy fare would be the Mushroom and Quinoa Burger with swiss, baby kale, and sriracha aioli.  It's one of the best, if not THE best veggie burger I've ever had.  

RPM Steak-  Do you ever feel like you "just can't even" go to a steak house if you're not eating meat, or trying to eat healthy.  Well ya can.  RPM Steak has a ton of amazing salads, but 2 items I have literally dreamed about are the Coal Roasted King Crab legs with lime and coriander, and the Atlantic Scallops.  Trust me, you will NOT feel left out while your fellow diners are gnawing on Flintstone's sized Tomahawk bones.  

Sushi Dokku-  Now sushi can be pretty healthy overall... especially if you're not getting mayo rolls deep fried in sweet and crunchy tempura batter.  When you hit up this outstanding West Loop venue, try the Uni but order it in a cucumber cup and compliment it with the Tako (octopus) sashimi.  

Greek Islands-  If you love Greek Town as much as I do, you never want to have to give up the yummy food just because you're eating healthy.  Fortunately, I can OD on taramosalata and grilled octopus and this spot has the best of both.  If you're cutting carbs too, or gluten conscious, order the taramo with veggies for dipping instead of bread/pita. 

India House-  Indian food is known for having a ton of vegetarian options.  Even though they're fried I cannot eat Indian food without getting the veggie samosas.  Also, order the tandoori shrimp which is very light and comes with veggies on the side.  I love to mash up the samosas and mix it with the sauces and all the tandoori and veggies too!

Le Pain Quotidien... in Chicago!

FYI- I did NOT get paid to write this.... Moving on, nothing makes me happier than when Chicago is only a quick step behind NYC.  My FAVORITE spot for a delicious cafe au lait, croissant, healthy salad, or yummy omelet in NYC has always been Le Pain.  I love how it feels like a rustic French cafe/bakery or like a cozy neighborhood spot.  I love how they have the calorie count printed on the menu for EVERY dish.  I love how they use fresh local and organic ingredients for all of their delicious creations. Basically, I just love it.  I've been known to sit at the one in Chelsea or Upper East Side for hours, reading, eating, working, and getting my caffeine on.  The only problem was that there weren't any in homeland.  Well, now that ain't the case.  They've opened in Lincoln Park (Armitage and Sheffield) and West Loop (Clinton St) and soon they'll be open at 10 E. Delaware in the Gold Coast.  So excited that I now have a place to be a "regular" and where I can indulge in healthy items (don't be shocked- I can eat healthy) that are also planet friendly and most of all delicious.  Bon Appetit!!