CRISPY BAKED WALLEYE

Albert Lea, Minnesota also known as “The Land Between the Lakes” is a quaint southern Minnesota city of 19000 residents nestled between beautiful blue Fountain and Albert Lea lakes. Pickerel Lake, another picturesque lake with a small park is located on the south end of the city. I visited this city for the first time in 1987 and soon thereafter, my husband and I moved to Albert Lea to continue our  careers and came to enjoy life in this small town.

Crispy Baked Walleye

Much to our dismay, we found out that scenic Pickerel and Albert Lea lakes were just too shallow for our little speedboat. Once we launched our little speedboat out in Albert Lea Lake and on our cruise back our motor became stuck in the bottom of the lake. Canoes, kayaks and pontoons glide over these lake s with ease.

Fountain Lake in early Spring

We were later blessed with my late father in law’s larger 1969 Dorsett  cabin cruiser. We traded our small speedboat for this since as he got older he wanted a smaller boat to take in and out of Madison Lake where he lived. We have spent many warm summer days cruising around beautiful Fountain Lake which is situated right in the heart of Albert Lea. Below is a picture of our 1969 vintage Dorsett cabin cruiser and my husband Jim. We like to joke around that he is the captain of our boat, I am first mate and our dog Angel was the mascot. Angel is now an angel in doggy Heaven since she passsed away in 2018. We adopted another dog in 2019 and he is now the official mascot.

Digital StillCamera 1969 Dorsett Cabin Cruiser
Digital StillCamera Captain Jim with mascot Angel
Digital StillCamera Dorsett Captain Jim

We dreamed of one day living on this beautiful lake. We also prayed for ten years that the Lord would bless us with a one story rambler with at least three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a walkout basement on Fountain Lake. Our dreams came true as our prayers were answered when we purchased a home  on Fountain Lake in 1998. Low and behold, it was a rambler with four bedrooms, two and one half baths and also included an office, living and family room, two kitchens and  a walkout basement. It was actually a duplex and we rented out the lower level apartment for a period of time to family members and we now live in the entire home. Don’t give up on your dreams and continue to pray. God is faithful and will make a way.

 

Digital StillCamera Fountain Lake view

Albert Lea will be hosting the 72nd annual Minnesota Governor’s fishing Opener May 11, 2019 on Fountain Lake. 521-acre Fountain Lake is approximately 14 feet deep and features many bays and over 20 species of fish, including walleye, northern pike, large mouth bass, crappie, catfish and yellow perch. Most of the fishing openers have been in northern and central Minnesota cities so its nice to have this one in southern Minnesota this year. As I recall, there has been some ice left on some of the northern Minnesota lakes on some of the May fishing openers in past years. The ice is usually off Fountain Lake by the end of March or early April so no worries here! This is such an exciting event for our scenic little city and we are quite honored as a city to be able to host this fun event. Minnesota fisher men and women spend their winters dreaming of their first fishing opener. Just to be outside with the fresh air, blue sky, birds chirping as you float along on the beautiful lake with the bright sun shining down on you is Heaven itself after a long five months of winter.

CRISPY BAKED WALLEYE
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • Four 6-oz walleye fillets
  • 1½ cups crushed Cornflake crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • Seasonings:
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Salt free Seasoning blend
  • Garnish: Lemon wedges and 1 TB chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. combine the crushed Cornflake crumbs and spices in a shallow wide pan and stir to combine. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Dip each piece of fish into the beaten eggs and then roll into the Cornflake crumb mixture to coat. Spray non-stick coating spray on a baking sheet or shallow cake pan. Place the fish on the baking sheet and bake 10-13 minutes until fish is done and flakes easily with a fork.Serve with lemon wedges and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. If you prefer, increase Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Salt Free seasoning from 1 tsp to 2 tsp to enhance the lemon pepper flavor.in the Cornflake crumb coating.
Notes
Information presented in this blog is not intended to be used for medical advice. Please consult your personal health care provider for medical and/or nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 oz fish fillet Calories: 282 Fat: 1 gram Saturated fat: 1 gram Trans fat: o grams Carbohydrates: 28 grams Sodium: 227 mg Protein: 40 grams Cholesterol: 193 mg

 

Walleye is so delicious and is a favorite summer food of many Minnesotans. Typically, it is served batter fried in many Minnesota restaurants and fish fries. It is my all time favorite kind of fish so I am featuring a recipe with a crispy coating that is baked rather than deep fried. This trims the calories by almost 40% and is much more heart healthy and Blue Zone friendly. Albert Lea was the first city in the nation to begin a Blue Zones Pilot Project in 2009. This initiative encouraged citizens of Albert Lea to begin to exercise more, improve their nutritional intake, have  a sense of purpose, reduce their level of stress, belong to a faith based community of fellow believers, put family first, socialize regularly with friends and include one to two small servings of red wine on alcohol free grape juice on a daily basis. For more information on the Blue Zones projects check out www.bluezones.com/2012/07/albert-lea-mn-where-are-they-now/

Crispy Baked Walleye, Maple Mashed sweet Potatoes, Watermelon Wedge and Iced tea with Lemon

Serving suggestion: Serve with baked or mashed sweet potatoes, fresh spinach salad, watermelon wedges and iced tea. See my former blog HoneydewsKitchen.com November 2014 blog post for a recipe for Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes. The vintage china set belonged to my maternal grandmother and my mother passed it down to me. My maternal grandmother passed away at age 47 as a result of hypertension which led to a fatal stroke. The medical community didn’t have the life saving blood pressure medications that we have at the present time. I never met her since she passed away before I was born. My mother gave me her name Mildred as my middle name. I have this and her beautiful china to remember her by.

Here’s hoping that you catch the biggest fish on the fishing opener in Minnesota!

 

DARK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BREAKFAST BOWL

I have to admit that I am one of those people who love peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I used to pack these in my brown bag lunches or consume open face for a grab and go breakfast.  Recently, I was wanting to create a nutritious breakfast bowl using one of my other favorite breakfast foods which is oatmeal. At the same time, I also desired to add some of my all time favorite comfort foods, dark chocolate, peanut butter, almonds and bananas to my oatmeal. After some experimenting in my vintage kitchen, I came up with the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bowl. It is a feast for the eyes, delicious yet nutritious and a snap to prepare. Your kids and grandkids would even go for this. My husband and I enjoy it at breakfast or even for supper if I don’t want to slave all afternoon over a hot stove in my vintage kitchen. Saves more time for having fun and enjoying life!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bowl

Some of you probably remember your mother cooking oatmeal or cocoa flavored Malt-O Meal on the stove for your breakfast before you walked to school in the morning. This was before the instant microwave oatmeal, mind you. It turns out mom was right that oatmeal is good for you.  Yes, oatmeal is incredibly nutritious since it contains a  soluble fiber called beta-glucan which has been proven to lower cholesterol and even help improve insulin response possibly reducing blood sugar as well in people with Type 2 Diabetes. Hold the sugar and honey though if you have diabetes and sweeten with stevia. If you do sweeten with dark chocolate chips as my recipe calls for, count into your carbohydrate controlled meal plan accordingly.  A once cup serving of oatmeal is also a good source of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, phosphorous, zinc, folate, Vitamins B-1 and B-5. Recently you may have read about the importance of gut health. Good news for oatmeal lovers: the beta-glucan in oatmeal forms a gel like substance when it mixes with water in your digestive tract and this solution coats the stomach and digestive tract. This coating feeds good bacteria in the gut which increases their growth rate contributing to a healthy gut.

The Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bowl toppings of dark chocolate chips, sliced almonds and a banana really dress up the oatmeal and add a fabulous taste. To get the good peanut butter taste, I stirred in PB Fit, a peanut butter powder which contains only 50 calories per two tablespoons, 2 grams of fat, 70 mg of sodium, 1 gram of fiber, 5 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of sugar. I began a weight loss meal plan January 1 and have lost 9 pounds so I desire to limit my calorie intake at this time as many of you may want to do also. If you don’t want to use the PB fit you can use a non-hydrogenated peanut butter or almond butter where the oil rises to the top. Just stir the oil in when you open it.

Peanut butter and PB Fit as well as the almonds are an excellent source of protein. As you may be aware, protein is made up of amino acids which help to grow, maintain and repair various tissues in the body including your muscles. Protein also has a very filling effect so that you remain full and satisfied longer after you consume your meal. Fiber also has a very filling effect. Almonds are also an excellent source of fiber, monounsaturated heart healthy fat and are a good source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese.  Since nuts including almonds and peanuts are a high fat source, they also contain a moderate amount of calories per serving. Due to this fact, sprinkle approximately a one tablespoon serving on your cereals or salads or enjoy a small handful for a power snack during the day. If you on the other hand, consume a large quantity of them, your calorie intake will be much higher.

Last but not least, dark chocolate is a very healthy food that likewise can be enjoyed in moderation. Dark chocolate is very delicious and a small amount can help satisfy that sweet tooth. You can purchase the dark chocolate kisses, candy bars and chocolate chips to name a few versions of it.   Nutrition professionals recommend that you look for the less processed chocolate that contains at least 65% cacao. Not only does dark chocolate have a higher concentration of disease fighting antioxidants and flavonoids than milk chocolate, it is also lower in added sugar content. You might notice that your mood improves and you feel better after eating a small amount of dark chocolate. Science has proven that  it stimulates the neural regions in the brain associated with pleasure and reward. Research studies have also demonstrated that consuming dark chocolate in moderation can improve heart health, decrease stroke risk, improve vision, and may even increase the HDL (good) cholesterol.

DARK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BREAKFAST BOWL
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry 100% whole grain old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 TB dark chocolate chips
  • 2 TB slivered almonds
  • 4 TB PB Fit or 2 TB peanut or almond butter
  • 1 banana
Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan on the stove. Stir in oats. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes and then stir in the PB Fit or peanut/almond butter. Cook for approximately 2 more minutes until oats are well cooked. Remove saucepan from heat source. Spoon the oatmeal into 2 bowls. Sprinkle 1 TB of slivered almonds on the oatmeal. Slice ½ banana on each bowl of oatmeal. Sprinkle 1 TB of dark chocolate chips over the oatmeal also. the dark chocolate chips will begin to melt over the hot oatmeal breakfast bowl. Stir chocolate chips, slivered almonds and banana into the oatmeal prior to consuming if desired. Enjoy!
Notes
The PB fit used in this recipe is manufactured by Better Body foods. It is gluten free, non-GMO, Vegan and Koshe, contains 85% less fat than butter and 50% fewer calories per serving than traditional peanut butter. Obviously, you can't spread it on toast but it is delicious when incorporated into smoothies, quick breads, cereals and other recipes. It can be purchased in a variety of grocery stores including Walmart.The nutrition information in this recipe has been calculated using the PB fit. If you use peanut butter, the calories per serving would be 423 and the fat content would be 17 grams per serving. Other nutritional values would remain the same.

1 serving = 3 carbohydrate choices on a diabetes meal plan

Information in this food blog is not intended to provide medical and/or nutritional advice/recommendations. Consult your personal health care provider for your personal medical and nutritional advice/recommendations.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ recipe Calories: 373 Fat: 12g Saturated fat: 3 grams Unsaturated fat: 9 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 46 grams Sugar: 8 grams Sodium: 70 mg Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 11 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Here’s hoping that you enjoy this Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bowl as much as we do  and use this on a regular basis for your breakfast each morning!

PINA COLADA SMOOTHIE

Woohoo, hallelujah spring has finally arrived in Minnesota! I can see green grass under the snow drifts in my back yard. Folks around here can’t recall a winter with so much snow since the 70’s. It is melting now. There are threats of flooding but this too shall pass.

Pina Colada Smoothie

What does this have to do with a pina colada  smoothie you might ask? Spring is here so I am celebrating this in my vintage kitchen by creating a smoothie that reminds me of the tropics and the warmer weather to come.  Before long my tulips and daffodils will be blooming. I purchased the vintage small milk jugs at my local antique store here for only $2 each. Now that is a bargain!

This smoothie contains only four ingredients so you can whip this up in no time in your blender or magic bullet. It serves as a quick breakfast in the morning, a delicious snack or dessert and it is very nutritious so there is no guilt involved.

This smoothie deserves superstar status due to its high protein content, low calorie content, and it also provides 29% of the recommended daily value (RDV) for Vitamin C, 8% of the RDV for calcium and is an excellent source of potassium.  As you may be aware protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body and manufacturing hormones and enzymes. It is also an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage and blood. Protein also has a very filling effect so that you are satisfied after you have consumed it in a meal or a snack. Vitamin C promotes healing and is beneficial for our immune system. Calcium is important for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. Potassium plays a role in maintaining fluid balance in the body as well as keeping our brains, nerves,  heart and muscles functioning normally on a constant basis. Occasionally, a physician may recommend that a person limit potassium if they have kidney failure so always discuss your food intake with your personal physician, health care provider or dietitian if you have concerns about your food intake.

 

PINA COLADA SMOOTHIE
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 5.29 oz container of Dannon Lite Toasted Coconut flavor Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, juice packed, undrained
  • 1 medium banana, frozen
  • 1 cup crushed ice
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients in your blender or magic bullet. Blend until all ingredients are combined well. Serve immediately.
Notes
If desired, you may substitute a different brand of yogurt. I have used organic yogurt or even plain or vanilla Greek yogurt. You may wish to add 1 packet Stevia or honey to taste with the plain yogurt. If using the plain or vanilla flavored yogurts, you can add 2 tsp of flaked coconut to give the smoothie the coconut flavor.Dairy Free/Paleo diets may substitute a dairy free yogurt such as a soy or almond milk yogurt as an example.

This food blog is not intended to provide medical or nutritional advice. Please contact your own health care provider for medical and nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ recipe Calories: 163 Fat: 0 grams Saturated fat: 0 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 36 grams Sodium: 23 mg Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 8 grams Cholesterol: 5 mg

 

Happy Spring to all my readers and may God bless you in every area of your life!

SWEET AND SPICY ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

If you’ve been searching for an easy, crispy  side vegetable dish which doubles as a nutritional superstar along with a delicious taste, look no further! Bingo, Sweet and Spicy Roasted Cauliflower defines all of this. It could be served for an snack at a gathering with family or friends as well. Move over spicy wings and make room for this dish!

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

SWEET AND SPICY ROASTED CAULIFLOWER
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 TB olive or melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce, regular or lite version
  • cumin, pepper and paprika
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large cookie or baking sheet with parchment paper Combine maple syrup, sriacha, olive or coconut oil and soy sauce in a large bowl or a large Ziplock bag. Add a dash or cumin, black pepper and paprika and mix together. Next add the cauliflower florets and mix together until the cauliflower is well coated with this mixture. Place the cauliflower on the baking sheet, leaving some room between the cauliflower in order for it to brown well. Bake for 30 minutes or until cauliflower is tender and browned. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Notes
The recipe was calculated using the lite soy sauce with one third less sodium per serving.

Information presented in this food blog is not intended to be used as medical advice. Please consult your personal health care provider for medical and/or nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 115 Fat: 7 grams Saturated fat: 1 gram Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 12 grams Sodium: 233 mg Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 2 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Plan to serve Sweet and Spicy Roasted Cauliflower at your Superbowl party!

Cauliflower is a nutritious vegetable packed with fiber, vitamins C, K, B6 and folate. Cauliflower is all the rage now since it is being used as  lower carbohydrate  alternative to flour in pizza crust, mashed cauliflower vs mashed potatoes and in many other recipes as well.

If you are like me, you may have overindulged over the holiday season. This recipe makes a crisp, spicy side dish or snack that is guilt free. That goes a long way when you are working on achieving those weight loss and health resolutions that you wrote out on January 1.

Sweet and Spicy roasted Cauliflower

Stay warm and cozy on these cool days and spend some quality time in the kitchen making healthier foods that become family traditions for years to come!

 

 

TURKEY VEGETABLE WILD RICE SOUP

With thanksgiving just two days away, holiday hostesses everywhere are busy with details including last minute trips to the grocery store, preparing that favorite cranberry  orange  salad that grandma used to make every year and last minute house cleaning. The day after Thanksgiving it seems that we always have lots of leftover turkey on hand. My husband grows tired of turkey sandwiches in no time at all and says where’s the beef? Turkey vegetable wild rice soup is the perfect solution to the leftover turkey dilemma in my house. Your family will love it on these cool November days. This soup is also a nutritional superstar since it is chock full of antioxidant rich vegetables, healthy spices, broth, leftover turkey and wild rice. Wild rice is harvested in northern Minnesota and is an excellent source of fiber and  magnesium. It is also a very good source of zinc, folate, phosphorus and iron as well. Wild rice is also a gluten free grain so can be enjoyed by people who must  avoid or limit gluten in their diets. Since I am a Minnesota girl at heart, I really enjoy wild rice, especially as a side dish over the holiday season or in soups that I prepare this time of year.

Turkey Vegetable Wild Rice Soup is  very nutritious, filling and perfect for waist watchers. Soup fills you up not out! A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition surveyed 20000 adults and found that on average, the soup eaters weighed less and had smaller waists than those who didn’t consume soup several times in a week. Soup is very satiating so it is a healthy first course for your meals. You will likely eat much less at your meal after you have consumed a bowl of soup. Creamy or cheesy soups are much higher in fat and calorie content however so choosing broth based soups would be more beneficial. Canned soups are also very high in sodium content so make your own with low sodium broths or choose low sodium or sodium reduced versions if you prefer to use canned soups. Be a food detective also by checking your food labels. Avoid broths or soups containing monosodium glutamate which is an excitotoxin.

Serve this soup with a hard roll, fresh fruit and sparkling cranberry juice for a quick and easy meal.

The recipe calls for broth which is the broth from which you roast your turkey in. I add a cup of water in the roaster pan when I roast my turkey so that I will have plenty of broth to make gravy with and save in the refrigerator for soup the next day. If you would like to you can make bone broth from the turkey carcass after you have removed the meat from the bones. Google a recipe for turkey or chicken bone broth for preparation instructions. Bone broth is an excellent source of collagen, which is the protein found in vertebrae animals-in their bones, skin, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bone marrow. As we age, our own cartilage in our bodies diminishes. Collagen from the turkey or chicken bone broth when consumed as a part of your diet on a regular basis may actually help restore our own cartilage according to Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS. Bone broths also contain minerals such as sulphur. calcium, magnesium and phosphorus that your body easily absorbs. The collagen and minerals in bone broth may be very beneficial for our joint health. Bone broth  may also improve our gut health and is immune supportive according to a research study from the University of Nebraska which discovered that the amino acids produced when preparing chicken stock  helped reduce inflammation in the respiratory system and improved digestion. Of course, we have all heard that consuming chicken soup is good for us when we have a cold or the flu and science supports this. This soup freezes well so you can keep it on hand in your freezer and easily prepare during cold and flu season.

Turkey Vegetable Wild Rice Soup

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
TURKEY VEGETABLE WILD RICE SOUP
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups diced cooked turkey
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1 cup cooked fresh or frozen sliced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli or okra
  • 1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 TB coconut or olive oil
  • 32 oz turkey or chicken broth or you may use chicken or turkey bone broth
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ chopped green onions or fresh chives
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
Instructions
  1. Melt the coconut or olive oil in a medium sized frying pan. Add chopped celery, green onions or chives and mushrooms. Saute until the vegetables are tender. Place these ingredients in a large pot or dutch oven on your stove. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well with a large spoon. cook on your stove until the soup boils and then simmer for at least one hour until all of the vegetables are tender. Serve immediately. You may also prepare this soup in a large crock pot. Place all of the ingredients in your crock pot and cook on the medium setting for three hours.
Notes
Information in this food blog is not intended to be taken as medical advice. Always consult with your personal health care practitioner for medical and/or nutritional advice.

Recipes and blog content are subject to copy right laws.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/ 12 of recipe Calories: 101 Fat: 2 grams Saturated fat: 1 gram Unsaturated fat: 1 gram Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 10 grams Sodium: 409 mg Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 11 grams Cholesterol: 13 mg

 

Turkey Vegetable Wild Rice soup

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Take time to count your blessings!

TROPICAL TURKEY SALAD

Yah, my tulips are blooming and spring has arrived here in Minnesota. What better time to enjoy salads as a main course at meals. With the last blizzard just 3 weeks ago, I was beginning to wonder if spring would ever arrive this year! Soon we’ll be gardening, boating, swimming, fishing and hiking in area parks. Since short and swim suit weather is arriving soon, why not begin to eat healthier if you have slacked off in that area and cut a few calories in the meantime. That is one of the reasons I am swapping out calorie and fat laden mayonnaise and trimming down this salad with protein rich Greek  yogurt. By substituting the Greek yogurt dressing in place of regular mayonnaise in this recipe, you are saving 315 calories, 40 grams of fat, 68 mg of cholesterol and 340 mg of sodium per serving. If you really like that mayonnaise or Miracle Whip taste in the salad and still want to save some calories and fat, you can substitute the reduced fat versions. I was very pleased with the taste of the yogurt and honey dressing in this salad however.

If you’re not as big of yogurt fan as me or are avoiding dairy products, you can easily use a vinaigrette dressing in place of the yogurt dressing or use one of the many varieties on dairy free yogurt on this salad. I had an extra turkey in my freezer from last Thanksgiving which I hadn’t yet prepared so we recently enjoyed a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for a few meals. I had plenty of white meat left over which I sliced and used in this salad. Chicken breast would work well also.

Tropical Turkey Salad

 

Tropical Turkey Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch or Dinner Main Dish Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cup cooked and cubed turkey or chicken breast
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt or nondairy yogurt such as coconut or almond milk plain yogurt
  • 1 TB honey
  • 1 medium avocado chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or canned juice packed, drained pineapple chunks
  • 1½ cup red grape, halved
  • 1½ cups celery, chopped
  • ⅔ cups pecan halves
Instructions
  1. Cut a fresh pineapple lengthwise and remove stem. Using a filet knife, carve out fresh pineapple and dice into chunks. Prepare the dressing for the salad by combining the Greek yogurt and honey in a bowl and whisk well. Place the remaining recipe ingredients in a large bowl and toss together. Next, fold in the yogurt dressing. Refrigerate until chilled. Place the pineapple salad mixture into hollowed out pineapple shells. (You will need two fresh pineapples, scooped out and halved for the four servings.) Serve immediately. If you prepare these in advance, be sure to refrigerate until serving time to prevent food borne illness.
Notes
Information in this food blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care provider for nutritional or medical advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 324 Fat: 11 grams Saturated fat: 0 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 26 grams Sodium: 358 mg Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 28 grams Cholesterol: 50 mg

 

 

 

Summer weddings are popular here in the north so if you are planning a bridal shower or even a baby shower luncheon this salad would be a hit due to it’s  taste, appearance and ease of preparation. If you’d rather not take the extra time to cut, carve and chop fresh pineapple, use the canned pineapple chunks packed in juice and serve the salad on a bed of greens in a serving bowl or plate. A glass of sparkling grape juice or wine complement this  main dish salad. Cheers and enjoy!

Tropical Turkey Salad served in a pineapple boat.

My food blog tends to feature some of my favorite recipes as well as vintage treasures in my home. I use my vintage singer sewing machine as a serving table prop in many of my food blog photos. My mother purchased this for me shortly after I was married years ago at a Mapleton, Minnesota antique store. Of course, I was wanting to decorate our home attractively and on a tight budget also. I purchased some material for fabric drapes for the windows above my dining room window seat and for cushions to match. Fabric drapes were all the rage in the eighties, mind you! I also purchased fabric for living room drapes on sale. With the help of my mom and mother in-law, I sewed the drapes, fabric shades and window seat cushions on this antique sewing machine pictured below with our puppy.  Wow, was I ever proud of myself after that accomplishment and wish that I was equally that ambitious at the current time to take on another sewing project like that.

My vintage Singer sewing machine and cockalier puppy.

 

 

RASPBERRY CHIA PUDDING

If you are looking for a new recipe that is delicious, nutritious and filling, Raspberry Chia pudding is all of these. It can easily be prepared in your blender, food processor or bullet, poured into a decorative small mason jar or even your fancy china, refrigerated and ready to serve in 3-4 hours.

Raspberry Chia Pudding

When you have been shopping at the grocery store recently, you have most likely noticed that many food companies have added chia seeds to puddings, yogurts, smoothies and cereals. Why are they so popular as of late? Chia seeds are members of the mint family and grown mainly in Mexico and the United States Southwest. They are an excellent source of heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber as well as calcium, phosphorus and manganese content. Two tablespoons contain 138 calories, 10 grams of fiber, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, 17% of your daily value (DV) of calcium, 12 % of your DV of iron and 23 % of your DV for magnesium. Ideally, you add chia seeds to liquid foods and as they soak up the liquid, they begin to thicken or gel these foods. As they do this, the soluble fiber in the seeds go to work to slow your digestive process and may keep you feeling full or satisfied much longer.  Chia seeds are not necessarily low in calories so just using a small amount initially such as 1-2 tsp as an addition to your smoothie for example, is ideal if you are limiting your calorie intake. Chia seeds do not cause weight loss but may keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. Chia seeds can easily be added to smoothies and make delicious puddings and can be added to pancake and cooked cereals such as oatmeal. Refer to a recipe book or online recipes for  further recipes.

 

RASPBERRY CHIA PUDDING
Author: 
Recipe type: pudding
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Serve as a dessert, healthy snack or on the go breakfast in the morning.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek plain or vanilla flavored yogurt (may substitute nondairy yogurt)
  • 2 tsp (or packets) of Stevia
  • 2 TB chia seeds
  • ¼ cup 1% milk or nondairy milk such as almond or cashew milk
  • ½ tsp pure almond extract
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in your blender, food processor or bullet. Add the frozen fruit and chia seeds last for better blending. Blend or process until mixture is smooth and berries are completely processed. Pour into small mason jars (6-8 oz each) or serving dishes .Stir mixture together with a small spoon. Add the cover to mason jars or saran wrap to serving dishes. Refrigerate at least 3-4 hours or overnight to allow the pudding to thicken. Serve cold. Add whipped topping if desired and garnish with fresh raspberries.
Notes
The recipe has been calculated using the plain nonfat unsweetened Greek yogurt. Information in this food blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Please contact your health care provider for individual medical and nutritional advice and information.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ recipe Calories: 170 Fat: 5 grams Saturated fat: 0 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 17 grams Sodium: 74 mg Fiber: 8 grams Protein: 5 grams Cholesterol: 6 mg

 

Raspberries are one of my favorite fruits and we grow these in our garden in the summer. Raspberries are not only delicious but are also an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C. The combination of raspberries, chia seeds and smooth and creamy greek yogurt is sure to satisfy. Raspberry Chia Pudding can be served as a delicious dessert, filling and tasty between meal snack or as a quick and nutritious breakfast  in the morning. If you plan to eat this for breakfast, whip up the recipe in your blender in the evening, pour into your serving dish, refrigerate overnight and enjoy in the morning.

 

 

 

 

SWEET POTATO VEGETABLE SOUP

The north wind is a howling on this cold blustery evening.  A foot of fresh snow blows around during yet another January blizzard here in Minnesota.  It was the perfect weather to cook up a crock pot of hot soup to enjoy on this cold day. I made a pre-blizzard grocery run to pick up my soup ingredients on Sunday. As I glanced out of my kitchen window to watch the big fluffy snowflakes fall, I chopped up my vegetables and boiled my chicken and sweet potatoes on my stove. I let my mind wander and  thought of palm trees blowing in a gentle breeze by a beautiful blue ocean and heard the waves crashing into shore. Reality check, I heard the snow plow drive by and realized that I was back in my warm cozy kitchen preparing soup. A girl can dream can’t  she.

Sweet Potato Vegetable Soup

 

Serve with a glass of red wine or sparkling cranberry juice.

I love sweet potatoes so I wanted to include these in my chicken soup. I usually add egg noodles  to my chicken vegetable soup but I decided to swap those out in favor of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have enjoyed a superfood status due to their abundant supply of  nutrients which include Vitamin B6, folate, Vitamin C, potassium and manganese. They are especially high in beta-carotene which is the pigment responsible for giving  them their vibrant orange color. These nutrients in the sweet potato promote good vision, enhance immunity and help boost brain function. The high fiber content also has a very filling effect and increases satiey. The other vegetables in this soup are equally nutritious as well. People who frequently consume healthy soups containing lean protein sources such as chicken breast as an example, low sodium broths and a variety of vegetables tend to  be leaner as well as consume more nutrients when the soups are served as a main dish or as a first course to a meal.  Plan to serve a green salad and some fresh fruit with your soup  and you have yourself a very healthy and easy meal.

I enjoy collecting vintage china, tea pots, antiques and bird houses which add a decorative touch to our home.

SWEET POTATO VEGETABLE SOUP
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 pounds chicken breast or thighs, skinned, cooked and diced
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced
  • 1.5 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup diced red peppers
  • 12 oz bag of frozen stir fry vegetables
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium sliced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic and herb flavored Mrs. Dash
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 cups water from boiled sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth from cooking chicken in or low sodium brand
  • Remove all of the skin and fat from the chicken breasts or thighs. Boil chicken in water in a large pan on the stove until tender. Drain chicken, reserving 3 cups of broth. Refrigerate the broth and wait for the fat to harden on the top and skim all fat from the reserved broth. Boil the sweet potatoes in water and cook until tender. Peel the sweet potatoes. Reserve 2 cups of this broth for the soup. Add chicken broth, sweet potato broth and chicken to a large crock pot and turn on high setting. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the chopped cabbage, onion, celery, garlic, peppers and mushrooms until tender. Place this mixture along with the bag of frozen stir fry vegetables and all of the seasonings in the crock pot. Cook on the high setting for at least 2 hours until all the vegetables are tender and serve.
Notes
Information in this food blog is not intended to to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care professional for medical and nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/ 12 of recipe Calories: 95 Fat: 1 gram Saturated fat: 0 mg Unsaturated fat: 0 mg Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 11 grams Sodium: 201 mg Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 8 grams Cholesterol: 20 mg

 

This makes a large batch of soup so you can enjoy eating this for a few days or freeze the leftover soup and reheat again when you are in the mood for a hearty soup. If you prefer, you can omit the meat and you will have a vegetarian meal. For a vegan meal, use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth in your recipe. Enjoy and stay warm out there!

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes. I love to spend time out on the lake canoeing and boating each summer. I prefer to sit by the warm fireplace with a mug of hot cider and look out at the frozen lake watching the snow mobilers and ice fisherman in the winter months.

CRUNCHY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

Green bean casserole is my go to recipe for a quick side dish at meal time. You can easily prepare this at the last minute after work or even prepare this in advance before you go to work and place in your casserole dish. Refrigerate it and bake in the oven or microwave the prepared casserole after you get home from work. It is an easy dish to bring to those potlucks as well. I remember that my aunt used to bring this casserole to our family holiday celebrations.

CRUNCHY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 12 oz packages of frozen green beans
  • 1 8 oz can of drained, sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 cup of fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 10.5 oz can reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup
  • 1½ cups whole walnuts
  • 1 tsp. Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper or Garlic and Herb Seasoning Mix
Instructions
  1. Saute the sliced fresh mushrooms in the olive oil in a small frying pan. Oil or spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Add the 2 packages of frozen green beans, mushrooms, water chestnuts, Mrs. Dash and reduced sodium cream soup or 1½ cups of the cashew white sauce (see recipe below in my blog) to a large bowl. Stir all the ingredients together and place this mixture in a casserole dish. Top the green bean casserole with the whole walnuts. Bake in a preheated oven uncovered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or microwave in a glass covered casserole dish for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe nutritional information per serving has been calculated using the reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup.

This food blog is not intended to provided medical advice. Contact your personal health care provider for medical and/or nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅛ recipe Calories: 212 Fat: 15 g Saturated fat: 2 grams Trans fat: 0 mg Carbohydrates: 15 grams Sodium: 140 mg Fiber: 4 grams Protein: 5 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

The original version of this recipe calls for a can of french fried onion rings as a topping but I wanted to change it up a bit so I used whole walnuts as an appealing and healthy alternative to top it off. I also wanted to add some crunch for a different texture so I added some water chestnuts to the recipe.If you would like to make a main dish out of this casserole, add 1 1/2 cups of cooked sliced chicken, turkey breast or angus beef. This casserole is a good source of dietary fiber, copper, magnesium  and manganese.

Last but not least, I added some sauteed mushrooms since they are a favorite vegetable at our house. I use a homemade white sauce or reduced sodium version of cream soups when my recipes call for a cream soup of some kind. In order to add some extra flair and flavor when reducing sodium in your recipes you can add other sodium free seasonings such as Mrs. Dash or experiment with garlic powder, cumin, Italian seasoning, turmeric or curry powder in your recipes. If you prefer to use a white sauce in place of the reduced sodium canned soup, refer to your cookbook or google a recipe online. The typical recipe usually calls for milk, flour and butter. If you would prefer a non-dairy vegan white sauce, I found a recipe for five minute cashew sauce at A Pinch of Yum food blog which looks very good. Recipe for Five Minute Cashew Sauce: 2 cups cashews, 1 1/4 cup water or broth, 1-2 cloves garlic 1 tsp salt (use less if desired) Directions: Place cashews in a bowl. Cover with water or broth and soak for about 2 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Place soaked cashews in a food processor or blender with the 1 1/4 cups broth or water, garlic and salt. Puree until very smooth in consistency. Makes approximately 2 cups. Add 1  to 1 1/2 cups of this to the casserole mixture in place of the canned cream soup.

Crunchy Green Bean Casserole

I did prepare this casserole for one of my family Christmas celebrations as the picture above shows.

 

 

 

PALEO CHOCOLATE ALMOND TRUFFLES

Just a few more days until Christmas is here! I celebrated Christmas with family members two weeks ago and have another family Christmas celebration this weekend. I really do enjoy preparing favorite old family Christmas recipes this time of year as well as trying new recipes. Some family members as well as friends follow a Paleo food plan so I decided to experiment in my kitchen recently and prepare a Chocolate Avocado Truffle recipe that I found on Dr. Mercola’s website. In order to make the recipe go farther, I added an extra half of  an avocado and swapped out the vanilla extract that his recipe called for and decided to use almond extract since I like the flavor of the almond extract with chocolate. In order to thicken up this recipe, I added some ground flaxseed, crushed walnuts and chia seeds. Everyone needs some dark chocolate  to keep them going this time of year. This recipe calls for  raw cacao powder. This was not available at my local grocery store. It can be purchased or ordered at most food coops. I was running behind on my Christmas food preparation so I decided to opt to use the next best thing, the Hershey’s dark cacao powder. Raw cacao powder is made by cold pressing unroasted cocoa beans which keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa but removes the fat.  The dark chocolate 100% dark cocao  powder may be beneficial in lowering LDL cholesterol, reduce the risk of blood clots, increase blood flow to the arteries, help reduce blood pressure and improve cognitive function if consumed on a consistent basis according to some research studies. The avocado in the recipe is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat as well as a good source of folate, vitamins B6, E and C, potassium and fiber. Coconut oil which this recipe contains as well, may also play a role in improving cognitive function according to some new research on this fat.

Paleo Chocolate Almond Truffles

 

PALEO CHOCOLATE ALMOND TRUFFLES
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ medium ripe avocados
  • 1 cup Hersheys 100% cacao special dark dry cocoa, (unsweetened powder) or 1 cup raw (dry)organic cacao powder
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 TB melted coconut oil
  • 3 TB regular or organic honey
  • 2 drops liquid stevia or 2 packets dry stevia
  • 2 TB chia seeds
  • 2 Tb ground flaxseed
  • ⅓ cup crushed walnuts (pecans or almonds may be substituted)
Instructions
  1. Peel and scoop avocado out of its shell and place in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat the avocado until it is smooth in consistency. Melt the coconut oil in a small pan over low heat on your stove or microwave. Add the melted coconut oil, almond extract,honey and stevia to the avocado mixture. Next, add the cocoa powder gradually ¼ cup at a time to the mixture and stir or beat in well with a hand mixer on low speed. Add the chia seeds and ground flaxseed to this mixture and stir in until well combined. Add the crushed walnuts to the mixture and mix thoroughly. Place the mixture into the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove from freezer and using a small cookie dough scoop, scoop the mixture out and roll into balls. if desired dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate or freeze until serving time. If you freeze them, take the truffles out of the freezer, 10 minutes prior to serving time.
Notes
One serving ( one truffle) counts as 1 carbohydrate choice on a diabetes carbohydrate counting meal plan. If you would like to lower the carbohydrate content further in this recipe, experiment with reducing the amount of honey in the recipe and adding some additional stevia.

This food blog is not intended to provide medical advice to people. Please contact your own health care professional for personal medical and nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 truffle Calories: 162 Fat: 12 grams Saturated fat: 4 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 14 grams Sodium: 75 mg Fiber: 4 grams Protein: 3 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

We really enjoy taking some evening car cruises to view  all of the beautiful Christmas lights displayed on houses, churches and in parks this time of year. We took a trip to the Kiwanis Holiday Lights display in Mankato, Minnesota a few weeks ago. I am including some pictures of this fun and fabulous lights display. You can drive through the park or park your car and walk through the display on lighted trails at the park. Santa also visits the park. Hot chocolate as well as horse drawn sleigh rides are offered too.

Kiwanis Holiday Light display, Mankato, Mn.

Well aside from all the health benefits, my family and friends found this chocolate truffle to be delicious. Joining together with family and friends around  the Christmas tree enjoying favorite traditional family holiday foods and and trying new foods as well is what this season is all about. This is the time of year that the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated as well. Our church and many others offer Christmas services where we sing along to favorite Christmas carols. There always seems to be hot apple cider and holiday goodies after the services. Enjoy your family traditions this time of year, eat your favorite foods in moderation, bring along a healthy dish to pass such as a fresh fruit basket or veggie platter. Plan to go for a walk in the mall or around your neighborhood as a family to stay healthy this time of year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Remember Jesus is the reason for the season! Below are some favorite family photos of our Christmas celebration.