Balsamic Roasted Eggplant & Tomatoes

On a mission to find new vegetable side dish ideas, and a little inspiration from a pizza date night, I came up with a new fan favorite in our house; Balsamic Roasted Eggplant & Tomatoes. This dish is SO easy to make, super healthy, is filling, requires minimal ingredients, and packs tons of flavor…can it get any better than that?

Balsamic Roasted Eggplant & Tomatoes

Ingredients:

1 medium size eggplant
½ package of cherry tomatoes halved
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
garlic powder
sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut the eggplant into a bunch of round slices and lay flat on a sprayed baking sheet then top with the halved cherry tomatoes
  3. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  4. Brush the mixture on top of the eggplant and tomato slices then sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper
  5. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown
    Serve and Enjoy 🙂

Things I am Loving Lately Pt.5

It has been awhile since I shared a ‘Things I am Loving Lately’ post so here is a round up of products I have found in the past few months and LOVE! A few of these are great healthier options for summer cookouts (hint…chips, crackers, and cocktails).

Forager Organic Vegetable Chips

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These chips are made by the San Francisco Juice Company, Forager. They use the leftover fruit and vegetable pulp from juicing to make these amazing (and healthy) chips!

Mary’s Gone Crackers

aaaaa

All hail the healthy chip! A little pricey, but worth it because they taste delicious too. These crackers come in a variety of flavors (which are all great) and are perfectly paired with any type of cheese or dip!

New Barn Almond Milk

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Almond milk without any additives! This almond milk is again a bit pricey but worth the splurge if you just use a splash or so in your coffee and smoothies. It comes sweetened and unsweetened in original or vanilla.

Core Meal Bars

via corefoods.com

I am not a huge fan of meal/protein bars but I can get behind this brand because they are made  with simple ingredients with no syrup, salt, flour, or oil! All its protein and healthy fats come from natural plant based sources and to top it off they all taste amazing.

Spin Drift Seltzer Waters

spindrift
via spindrift.com

Meet your new favorite seltzer water; these all natural, no sugar added and absolutely no artificial flavoring seltzers are triple-filtered and then combined with fresh fruit juice. There are many flavors to choose from: Grapefruit, Cucumber, Lemon, Raspberry/Lime, Blackberry & Watermelon. My favorite flavor is the cucumber because it is so refreshing in the summer heat!

Shredded Kale Salad

During a long weekend trip to Nashville this past fall with Justin, we stumbled upon a restaurant we loved and ended up going to twice while we were there. On their menu they had this amazing shredded kale salad that we couldn’t get enough of ( I know, I know, not typical vacation food – but trust me there were burgers and sweet potato fries consumed after this). I was determined to remember to replicate it when we got home (and after I purchased a food processor). Fast forward to January, after receiving a food processor from my parents for Christmas 🙂 , I finally got around to trying to replicate the recipe and to my delight it was a success and now I want to share it with all of you! This salad is super easy to make, very healthy, and really tastes great too. The shredded of the kale and added dressing really makes the bitter kale flavor you are used to.

Shredded Kale Salad

                                             

Ingredients:

1 bag of kale – take out the big stems
2 tbs of olive oil
¼ cup of toasted slivered almonds
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
lemon
optional: add ¼ cup of dried cranberries or sundried tomato pieces for a little sweet taste

Directions:

  1. Place half the bag of kale into the food processor with a tablespoon of olive oil and pulse until it is finely ground into small pieces.
  2. Add the rest of the kale and additional tablespoon of olive oil and finish the shredding process
  3. Remove all the shredded kale into a big bowl.
  4. Squeeze the juice of a lemon and a small additional drizzle of olive oil and toss.
  5. Add the slivered almonds, parmesan cheese and any additional toppings and mix well.

Serve and Enjoy 🙂

BEETS & all their benefits (+ a recipe)

Beets are not only delicious but also one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Beets come in two different colors; red and yellow. Each color has a slightly different flavor (the yellow is milder). Beets can be cooked and served in so many ways, making it super easy to incorporate into your diet. Here are just some of the MANY health benefits of beets,

  • HIGH in many Vitamins & Minerals including, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber, vitamins A, B & C, beta – carotene and folic acid, just to name a few! The high amount of vitamins and minerals in beets helps reduce cholesterol, promote skin health, and can help to treat indigestion, constipation and anemia.
    • Note: Beets are extremely beneficial to women who are pregnant since they contain high levels of B Vitamin Folate which helps the development of the child.
  • Natural CLEANSER & DETOXIFIER! Beets are a natural tonic for the liver, purifier for the blood, and can prevent various forms of cancer. Beets contain properties that fight blood clotting and plague formation which could ultimately lead to heart disease, stroke or a pulmonary embolism.
  • Source of ENERGY. Beets are very low in calories and high in good carbohydrates and natural sugar. This type of sugar releases very slowly (as opposed to the bad sugars), which combined with the carbohydrates, regulates energy levels for longer.

…and now, of course, a recipe to make using beets (which happens to be my all time favorite way to cook them).

Rosemary Roasted Beets
(regular or spiralized)

  

Ingredients:
Beets
Garlic Powder
Rosemary
Sea Salt

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line a baking tray with tin foil and spray with coconut oil or olive oil.
3. Cut beets into small squares and/or wedges and line them up on the baking sheet. You can also spiralize your beets if you have a spiralizer.
4. Drizzle the beets with coconut oil or olive oil and then sprinkle garlic powder, rosemary and sea salt on the top.
5. Place in the oven for 25 minutes.
6. Serve over greens with crumbled goat cheese and pistachios for an amazing salad or just eat them as is for a perfect side dish 🙂