Recipe: Sweet Potato Jerky Treats for Dogs

If you haven’t realized it by now, we’re crazy about our dog, Katie. Although we know she’s a pet … not a person, she adds a whole lot of personality to our home. And let’s face it, there’s nothing like a four-legged friend to share unconditional love with one’s family!

When it comes to feeding Katie, we try to make healthier food choices that use real ingredients. That’s true for her treats as well … like these Sweet Potato Jerky treats we made for her this weekend.

One ingredient sweet potato jerky that's so delicious, you may not want to give it to your dog!
Rest assured, we don’t make treats every week. So what’s the occasion? Today happens to be Katie’s adoption day. I know it’s kind of silly, but we’ve penciled a reminder onto our calendars. Eight years ago today she came home with us, and we are so grateful to have her in our lives. It seems like just yesterday she was this tiny ball of fluff in my son’s lap.

My son, Ben, and Katie the day we picked her up.
My son, Ben, and Katie the day we picked her up.

To celebrate her adoption we usually make a homemade treat. This week I wanted to try something totally different, and I find this great recipe off The Humane Society’s website for Sweet Potato Jerky for dogs. (more…)

One ingredient sweet potato jerky that's so delicious, you may not want to give it to your dog!

Continue Reading Recipe: Sweet Potato Jerky Treats for Dogs

Recipe: Sweet Fried Plantains

As I shared in my last post, there’s no better side dish to accompany my Black Beans and Rice than homemade Sweet Fried Plantains.

Fried plantains are a delicious side dish that are easy to make and add a distinct, tropical feel to your favorite meals.

Now don’t be intimidated by this dish. The combination of frying and plantains may throw some of you into culinary orbit. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of cooking fried food, but this dish isn’t hard at all. And since it uses olive oil or avocado oil, I think it’s a lot healthier than traditional “deep-fried” foods. And have I mentioned how amazing it tastes?!?!? 🙂

Probably the hardest part about making Sweet Fried Plantains is finding plantains that are ripe and ready to cook. A lot of stores sell plantains these days, but usually what you’ll find are green plantains. Here’s a photograph of the difference between green and ripe plantains: (more…)

Fried plantains are a delicious side dish that are easy to make and add a distinct, tropical feel to your favorite meals.

Continue Reading Recipe: Sweet Fried Plantains

Recipe: Easy Homemade Black Beans and Rice

Today I’m sharing with you one of my all-time favorite dishes. You see, I grew up in South Florida (Ft. Lauderdale to be exact), and I loved it when we went out to eat at a little Cuban restaurant near our home. I think every time we went there I ordered the same thing—roasted chicken, black beans and rice, and plantains.Inspired by the Cuban Black Beans and Rice I grew up with, this easy, homemade original will become a family favorite!

Last month I had the chance to go back to Florida on vacation and visit my family. Although they’ve moved from Ft. Lauderdale, we all still went to a little, family owned Cuban restaurant, and I ordered the same thing. Boy did I love it. Especially the black beans! (more…)

Inspired by the Cuban Black Beans and Rice I grew up with, this easy, homemade original will become a family favorite!

Continue Reading Recipe: Easy Homemade Black Beans and Rice

Recipe Blueprint: Real Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

Is breakfast a tough meal to get right for your family? It sure is in mine. I’m not a morning person, so you won’t catch me waking up an extra 30 or 40 minutes earlier to cook a more time-consuming breakfast during the week. Instead, I make some quick, real food options that I can whip up in minutes … like my Real Fruit and Yogurt Parfait.

This delicious Real Fruit and Yogurt Parfait is such an easy, 3 ingredient breakfast that's made with little to no added sugar!

Now please, don’t confuse this with McDonald’s Fruit and Yogurt Parfait!  (more…)

This delicious Real Fruit and Yogurt Parfait is such an easy, 3 ingredient breakfast that's made with little to no added sugar!

Continue Reading Recipe Blueprint: Real Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

Quaker Breakfast Flats … A Healthy Breakfast or a Breakfast Cookie?

Breakfast can be one of the hardest meals of the day, especially if you’re not a morning person. Yes, that “not a morning person” comment needs a big arrow pointing at me. 🙂 So marketing healthy, convenient breakfast foods is literally a goldmine for food companies. But are most of these products really healthy? Let’s take a closer look at one of the newest “healthy” breakfast products on the block—Quaker Breakfast Flats.

Quaker Breakfast Flats market themselves as wholesome and full of real ingredients. But are they healthy, or really a cookie in disguise?

 

Honestly, these are one of those products I want to love. They’re available in three varieties (Cranberry Almond, Banana Honey Nut, and Golden Raisin Cinnamon), and they sound delicious and healthy. (more…)

Quaker Breakfast Flats market themselves as wholesome and full of real ingredients. But are they healthy, or really a cookie in disguise?

Continue Reading Quaker Breakfast Flats … A Healthy Breakfast or a Breakfast Cookie?

Our Best Easter Recipes

Holiday celebrations can be difficult when you’re trying to make the switch to eating less processed food. Between family traditions and busy schedules it’s easy to end up serving a meal made from boxes and bags filled with additives. So to help you out, we’ve assembled our BEST Easter recipes for your upcoming holiday meal!

Looking for help cutting processed foods from your Easter meal? Then check out over 20 recipes ideas in our Best Easter Recipes edition that includes a FREE meal planning guide!

While I don’t think holiday meals need to be perfect, I always try to do my best. So in the spirit of “progress not perfection” why don’t you give one or more of these unprocessed recipes a try. They may just spark a new holiday tradition of eating REAL food!
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Looking for help cutting processed foods from your Easter meal? Then check out over 20 recipes ideas in our Best Easter Recipes edition that includes a FREE meal planning guide!

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Recipe: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

If you’re looking for a delicious dessert to make, there’s nothing better than a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. And bonus—no decorating is required! It comes right out of the pan looking amazing!

A delicious, unprocessed version of the classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe. It's perfect for any celebration, and it's super easy since there's no decoration required!

Although upside-down cakes have been around since the Middle Ages, the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is a relative newcomer. Historically upside-down cakes were made with apples, cherries, and other seasonal fruits. It wasn’t until a November 1925 advertisement that the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake phenomenon started. As Jean Anderson notes in her cookbook, The American Century Cookbook—The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century:

While rooting around in old women’s magazines I found a Gold Medal Flour ad with a full-page, four-color picture of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake–a round cake with six slices of pineapple, candied red cherries, and a brown sugar glaze.

After seeing this recipe the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (which would later become know as The Dole Food Company) took the idea and ran with it, making Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes a celebratory staple. Unfortunately, as boxed dessert mixes were popularized in the 1950s, the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake took a highly processed turn for the worse. And as this ingredient list from Duncan Hines illustrates, there’s nothing real about these boxed desserts: (more…)

A delicious, unprocessed version of the classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe!

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Recipe: Homemade Scalloped Potatoes with Cheese

Growing up my mom loved to make scalloped potatoes when company came over. Not that kind from a box. The real deal. Boy did those potatoes taste good!

These homemade scalloped potatoes are made with a delicious cream sauce and lots of cheese—perfect for a holiday dinner or for entertaining!

Like many homemade recipe traditions, though, over the years highly processed options have made their way into most kitchens. While these boxed versions do mimic the taste of homemade, they’re anything but real. Have you looked at what’s in those boxes of Hungry Jack or Betty Crocker Cheesy Scalloped potatoes? They contain a lot of ingredients that you simply can’t find in any kitchen. (more…)

These homemade scalloped potatoes are made with a delicious cream sauce and lots of cheese—perfect for a holiday dinner or for entertaining!

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Recipe: Smashed Green Beans

Green beans are one of our favorite vegetables. Not only do they taste great, but you can cook them up and season them in so many different ways.

A delicious twist on stir-fried green beans made with a little garlic, oil, and red wine vinaigrette dressing. Can you say yum!

So last summer I was in one of those experimenting moods. Rather than make my standard, “go-to” green bean recipe, I decided to mix things up. I spied some red wine vinaigrette salad dressing on the kitchen counter, got out my wok, and voilà, I stir-fried up this new Green Bean recipe! (more…)

A delicious twist on stir-fried green beans made with a little garlic, oil, and red wine vinaigrette dressing. Can you say yum!

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Recipe: Quick and Easy Avocado Salad

I love avocados. I think they’re just about the most perfect food around. I’ve written about how great they are in my free e-book, The Ultimate Clean Eating Guide. And last spring I shared one of my favorite recipes to make—Quick and Easy Avocados. But just when you think your avocados can’t get any better, lightning strikes. At least it did for me when I whipped up this Avocado Salad recipe from some leftover ingredients I had in my kitchen.

This Avocado Salad is a delicious, easy way to eat more vegetables. Made with avocados, corn, cherry tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil, this avocado salad really is an amazing taste treat!

Boy is this Avocado Salad a delicious, easy way to eat healthy! Made with avocados, corn, cherry tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil, this salad really is an amazing taste treat.

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This Avocado Salad is a delicious, easy way to eat more vegetables. Made with avocados, corn, cherry tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil, this avocado salad really is an amazing taste treat!

Continue Reading Recipe: Quick and Easy Avocado Salad

Recipe: Blueberry Banana Frozen Dog Treats

This past weekend we celebrated our dog’s 8th birthday. I know—we’re a little crazy about Katie. 🙂 While I can promise you there wasn’t a full-blown party, we did commemorate Katie’s birthday by making homemade, frozen dog treats.

Katie patiently waiting for her Blueberry Banana Frozen Dog Treat.
Our birthday girl, Katie, patiently waiting for her Blueberry Banana Frozen Dog Treat.

Why homemade? Well, as I’ve shared before, many of the store-bought dog treats are filled with unhealthy additives and highly processed ingredients. This is especially true for frozen dog treats like Frosty Paws. Although we don’t give Katie treats very often, we believe they should be made from real food. After all, we want Katie to live a long, healthy life and believe she deserves REAL food too. 🙂 (more…)

These three ingredient frozen dog treats are the perfect way to celebrate or reward your special pooch. Made with yogurt, blueberries, and a banana, you can whip these treats up in less than 5 minutes, freeze, and share!

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Recipe: Butternut Squash Lasagna

I love lasagna so much I’m always experimenting with new twists on this family favorite. So when I thought of how much I love butternut squash ravioli, I decided a Butternut Squash Lasagna had to be a winner. Boy was I right!

This Butternut Squash Lasagna is a delicious, mouth-watering twist on traditional lasagna that's made with butternut squash, spinach, and Swiss cheese!

After trying a couple different variations, I fashioned my Butternut Squash Lasagna off of a recipe I found in Cooking Light. The final result is a wonderfully delicious lasagna made with yummy layers of maple-sage butternut squash filling, a creamy garlic sauce, and lots of spinach. Honestly, it doesn’t get better than this. 🙂

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This Butternut Squash Lasagna is a delicious, mouth-watering twist on traditional lasagna that's made with butternut squash, spinach, and Swiss cheese!

Continue Reading Recipe: Butternut Squash Lasagna