• Feeds

heathier takeout

Takeout is a normal nightly routine for a lot of people these days, with people having less and less time to cook healthy meals for themselves and their families!  In the past, it has received a bad reputation because there were not many healthier options.  However, today you can pretty much get anything you want!

After spending a weekend in NH, the last thing we wanted to do when we got home was cook dinner!  We arrived home around 7pm last night and decided to go for takeout instead.

Living in a city, there are so many takeout options, that sometimes I get very overwhelmed!  We always just seem to go for pizza!  The fact that it is cheap and easy to pick up is a definite plus!  My thought is that if I am going to spend $40+ on a dinner, then I am going to eat it at the restaurant and enjoy the atmosphere.  So, pizza it was for us last night!  Many people believe that pizza is not good for you, but like I have said many times before – I believe that anything in moderation is ok!

I absolutely love pizza.  I love the dough and sauce and cheese…but, I always try to add veggies for something more nutritious.

5+ years ago, I would have ordered a large pizza and eaten 3-4 slices no problem!  But, now, I try to fill up on other good-for-you things so that I will not just scarf down the delicious pizza and feel sick afterwards!  Instead of just ordering a large pizza, my husband and I make a healthier decision and order a small pizza with a garden salad.  This way, we fill up on the greens so that we don’t overdue it on the pizza.  By ordering a small, instead of a large pizza, there is also less temptation for overindulging.  I think it is a smart choice!

Sidewalk Cafe Pizza and Salad:

This was the Alfreso: White pizza with ricotta and mozarrella cheese topped with tomatoes and a garden salad.  I definitely ate 2 more small slices after that!

Our pizza of choice for the evening did not include many veggies, but it is one of our favorites that we only get every so often!  Plus, the delicious salad (which I topped with pomegranate seeds!) gave us more than enough veggies for the meal!

To get some more antioxidants, I had a virgin cocktail of sparkling water and a splash of pomegranate juice straight from a pomegranate!

And, for dessert (which I can never give up!) I had 2 chocolate covered snowballs!

Delicious and nutritious takeout dinner!

granola bars

I decided to have a little more fun while my fruit was dehydrating, so I whipped up some homemade granola bars that I found on another blogger website: Katheats.com

They were super easy to make.  I substituted some of my own ingredients in the bars, since I had them on hand.  You could basically use any type of dried fruit and/or nuts you have on hand!

Homemade Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit (I used 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup craisins, 1/4 cup apricots)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.25 cups skim milk
  • 1 egg or egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Directions:

    1.  Preheat oven to 350°.

    2.  Mix dry ingredients.

    3.  Mix wet ingredients.

    4. Pour wet into dry.  Stir to combine.

    5.  Pour into a 9 x 9 baking dish either coated in cooking spray or lined with parchment.

    6.  Bake for 40 minutes.

    7.  Cut into 9 squares.  Wrap individually and freeze for an on-the-go treat!

    These smelled delicious while they were cooking!  Upon taking them out, I dug right in to try a piece and I was a little disappointed.  I would like them to be a tad sweeter.  Next time I will add some agave or honey or brown sugar!  My husband doesn’t agree though, he loves them!

    christmas!

    I love the holidays and I am a little sad that Christmas is over!  We spent the holiday at my in-laws and celebrated holiday cheer all weekend!  We started with our own Christmas at our condo before heading down to New York.  We opened gifts and watched A Christmas Story by our Christmas Tree!

    Next up, the in-laws tree!

    On Christmas day we made the trek out to the east end of Long Island for dinner with my mother-in-law’s side of the family.  We ate, drank, sang Christmas carols and had the famous yankee swap!  Some snapshots below of all the fun times!

    Merry Christmas!!

    vegan treats

    I am not a vegan, nor am I a vegetarian…but, I do stay away from red meat (personal preference) and don’t eat too much other meat.  I love grains and beans and veggies and fruit!  I also love sweets, so when I found a few blogs with numerous recipes for vegan sweets, I decided to try some out!  It seemed like the perfect time, being the holiday season and all.

    These are the types of recipes that I love because they are made with minimal, healthier ingredients.  I am not saying that all of the ingredients in these recipes are healthy, but they are healthier than normal sweets can be (so you don’t have to feel as guilty when you induldge)!

    (recipes borrowed from LoveVeggiesandYoga.com)


    Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

    makes 2 huge PB Cups (next time I will make mini’s)

    Ingredients:

    • 6 ounces dark chocolate (they recommended baking chocolate, but I have lots of dark chocolate bars on hand that I used).
    • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
    • small handful chopped unsalted peanuts
    • optional: dash of vanilla (or agave)

    Chocolate & PB

    Directions:

    • Melt 3 ounces of chocolate (in microwave or stovetop).

    ready to melt...

    • Pour chocolate evenly into 2 muffin liners and place in fridge or freezer to harden a little.

    melted chocolate in muffin liners

    • In the meantime, mix 2 tablespoons of PB, peanuts (or just use crunchy PB – we were out!) and vanilla in a small bowl.  I popped it in the micro for 15 seconds to make it more easily blendable.

    PB, peanuts and vanilla after 15 seconds in micro

    • Take muffin liners with chocolate out of the fridge and place a scoop of PB mixture into each.

    scoop PB mixture onto hardened chocolate

    • Melt remaining chocolate and pour over the PB.

    making a mess with melted chocolate!

    smooth out a little after pouring over PB

    • Refrigerate until hardened (I put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes).

    waiting to be eaten in the freezer!

    ready to eat!

    with muffin liner off - check out those ridges!

    • YUM!  So rich and chocolatey – delicious!

    showing off the PB filling!

    These were delicious!  Next time I would make the PB cups in the mini muffin liners, because these were too big and rich for me to eat in one sitting.  After licking all that chocolate off of my fingers while making these babies, I could only get myself to eat a few bites of this.  Mini PB cups would be awesome!

    Next up:

    Vegan Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

    makes 12-15 snowballs

    Ingredients:

    • 1.5 cups shredded coconut
    • 3/4 c maple syrup or agave
    • 3/4 c cocoa powder
    • Dash Vanilla Extract
    • Optional: 1/4 c coconut oil

    Ingredients for Snowballs

    unsweetened coconut

    Directions:

    • Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix by hand.

    before mixing

    after mixing

    • Roll into tablespoon sized balls and place on cookie sheet.

    ready for freezing

    snowballs!

    • Place in freezer until hard, about 1 hour.

    hardened and ready for eating!

    • Eat and enjoy!

    YUM YUM YUM!  These snowballs were to die for…I will seriously have these on hand in my freezer all the time!  And, they were so simple to make!