Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Happy day after Independence Day! I hope everyone had a great holiday. In case you missed it, check out my Nutty ‘Naner Bread recipe I posted yesterday. Holy peanut butter….yum!

Now that I am done with the SCD intro diet and on to phase 1, it is time to begin incorporating cooked veggies. I scanned our fridge for dinner ideas the other night, and came up with a real winner winner chicken dinner! It is SCD friendly, super easy, and very satisfying.

I started by peeling three zucchini, cutting them in half lengthwise, and using a spoon to remove seeds and hollow out the middle. They look like little boats after you do this. I placed them in an oven safe glass dish, with about 3/4 cup water on the bottom of the pan and set them aside.

Next, I sautéed 1/2 of a white onion and 2 small garlic cloves in 1 teaspoon of olive oil. I then added leftover shredded chicken. I stirred this all together until the chicken was heated through. I seasoned with basil, oregano, salt and pepper.

Divide chicken mixture into zucchini boats and sprinkle with parmesean cheese.

Bake in a 350° oven for 25 minutes. Zucchini should be slightly softened, but still have a little crunch. Lastly, broil for 2-3 minutes or until the top of the boats begin to turn lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and enjoy!

These had great flavor all by themselves but they would also be really good with a marinara dipping sauce.

Speaking of red sauce, I also made SCD Homemade Ketchup (not that I would put ketchup on the zucchini boats). I used a recipe from this site. I modified it only slightly; here is the recipe I made:

  • 1- 46 oz. bottle of tomato juice
  • 3/4 cups white vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/16 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup honey

This was actually incredibly simple, the process just took a little time. I boiled all of these ingredients together except for the honey.

Stir frequently and continue to boil over high heat. The water will begin to cook out and the ketchup will thicken. Once about half of the water has cooked out, reduce heat to medium and continue to boil. When ketchup is at desired consistency, remove the bay leaf, and use an emersion blender to puree the ketchup. Then add your honey, cook for a few more minutes and there you have it!

Homemade SCD ketchup!

I do love my ketchup so I am excited to have found a way to continue to eat it while following the SCD! I feel like I have been spending a WHOLE LOT OF TIME in the kitchen lately due to all of this extra food prep involved in the diet. I keep telling myself it is all worth it though. It will be! I am continuing to feel better.

I’m off to enjoy the day! Catch up with you soon!

Continue Reading Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Nutty ‘Naner Bread: WILD HARVEST Recipe Contest

Happy Independence Day everyone!

As mentioned a little while ago, I received a wonderful package of WILD HARVEST Organic products courtesy of WILD HARVEST and SUPERVALU INC. in conjunction with the Healthy Living Summit 2012.  SUPERVALU INC. provided these products to me for free and asked that I come up with a fun and healthy breakfast recipe which included three or more of their products provided.

As soon as I received my box of goodies, my brain started rolling at a mile a minute. I absolutely LOVE recipe creation and was super pumped to get started.

The WILD HARVEST ingredients I chose to include in my breakfast recipe are: WILD HARVEST Original Applesauce, Creamy Peanut Butter, and Cherry Vanilla Granola.

Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it!

Nutty ‘Naner Bread

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F. Use cooking spray to lightly coat one 9 x 5 inch bread loaf pan. Set aside.

Step 2. In mini food processor, process 3/4 cup WILD HARVEST Cherry Vanilla Granola into a course sand texture.

Step 3: In a small bowl, combine processed granola with 3/4 cup almond meal, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix to combine; set aside.

Step 4: In a large mixing bowl, beat together 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1/4 cup WILD HARVEST applesauce.

Step 5: Add two eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla; beat well.

Step 6: Add 3 over-ripe mashed bananas; beat until smooth.

Step 7: In a small liquid measuring cup, measure 1/3 cup almond milk. Add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar to milk and mix.

Step 8: Alternate adding dry ingredients, then milk mixture to the batter, until both are incorporated into the batter; beat until well combined.

Step 9: Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and 5-10 minutes. Baking time will vary so check bread at 1 hr and 5 minutes and test if it’s done by poking a toothpick through the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. Remove from oven. Let cool slightly.

Step 10: Once bread has cooled, melt 1/4 cup WILD HARVEST creamy peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Drizzle over bread. Scrape the bowl clean to get every last drop of the wonderful peanut butter onto that bread!

Step 11: Sprinkle the top with 1/3 cup WILD HARVEST Cherry Vanilla Granola.

Serve slightly warm or cooled to room temperature. Enjoy this nutritious and delicious Nutty ‘Naner Bread for breakfast with a side of fresh berries and a glass of low-fat milk or your favorite morning beverage.

Nutty ‘Naner Bread (Makes 1 loaf)

Prep time: 20 minutes; Bake time: 1 hour and 5-10 minutes



  • 3/4 cup WILD HARVEST Cherry Vanilla Granola, coarsely ground
  • 3/4 cup almond meal (almond flour would work fine too)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup WILD HARVEST applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup WILD HARVEST creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup WILD HARVEST Cherry Vanilla Granola (for topping)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Use cooking spray to lightly coat one 9 x 5 inch bread loaf pan. Set aside.
  2. In mini food processor, process WILD HARVEST Cherry Vanilla Granola into a course sand texture.
  3. In a small bowl, combine processed granola the flours, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine; set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat together sugar with WILD HARVEST applesauce.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
  6. Add bananas; beat until smooth.
  7. In a small liquid measuring cup, measure almond milk; add white vinegar to milk and mix.
  8. Alternate adding dry ingredients, then milk mixture to the batter, until both are incorporated into the batter; beat well until well combined.
  9. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan; bake for 1 hour and 5-10 minutes. (Baking time will vary so check bread at 1 hr and 5 min. and test by poking a toothpick through the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. Bread should be lightly golden brown). Remove from oven. Let cool slightly.
  10. Once bread has cooled, melt WILD HARVEST creamy peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Drizzle over bread.
  11. Sprinkle the top with WILD HARVEST Cherry Vanilla Granola.

Serve slightly warm or cooled to room temperature. Enjoy this nutritious and delicious Nutty ‘Naner Bread for breakfast with a side of fresh berries and a glass of low-fat milk or your favorite morning beverage.

Thank you to SUPERVALU INC., WILD HARVEST, and Healthy Living Summit for providing me with the opportunity to be a part of this recipe contest. I had such a great time in the creation process! I hope to do it again.

To all of my readers, the contest is being judged on nutrition, taste, and creativity. I am anxious to see what everyone else came up with!

Again, Happy 4th of July to all! I hope you enjoy your day. Catch up with you soon!

Continue Reading Nutty ‘Naner Bread: WILD HARVEST Recipe Contest

Day 2 of SCD Intro Diet

Hi friends! I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start. Can you believe tomorrow is July 4th already? I can’t! For those of you who missed yesterday’s post, you may want to check it out here. Otherwise you are going to look at my diet for the day and wonder what has gotten into me.


Yesterday was day two of the introductory diet on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The morning began with a slice of SCD cheesecake which looks pretty good right? I wish I could say it tasted as good as it looked, but it didn’t. You have to use this special dry curd cottage cheese aka Farmer’s Cheese in the recipe, and I despise it. It leaves the world’s worst after taste in my mouth that makes me nauseated.

I also drank a glass of pineapple juice to try and wash out the flavor. No such luck.

After breakfast I was working on my blog when Dana comes rushing in with Moose saying something about how he thinks Moose broke is toe. Holy cow, okay, wasn’t expecting that, what do I do? I ran over to Moose to see that his dewclaw is completely bent to the side and dripping blood. I ran and got a towel to try and catch the blood and Moose howled from pain. We loaded him into the car immediately and headed to the Animal Hospital.

When we got there they weighed Moose (90 lbs–he lost weight!) and headed back to the clinic room to wait for the doctor. I caught this photo of him for the very brief moment that he was sitting. He was so incredibly anxious and wouldn’t sit still. He knows this place…

They ended up numbing the area, and had to tear the dewclaw off which they said is the pain equivalent to us ripping our nail off. That news made me cringe. They sent us home with a laundry list of meds and a cone head to keep him from licking his bandage. Our poor baby. I feel so bad for him. We hate to have to have him wear that thing because he is miserable in it, but we don’t want him licking his bandage or gnawing at it while we are gone.. He can’t relax so he just sits there with his head lifted the entire time.

We gave it a rest after a little while because we were going to be home with him. He was fairly sedated at this point and konked out for the majority of the day.

That was a lot of excitement before 10 am! When I got home I was hungry again, so I snacked on a hard-boiled egg.

Lunch time rolled around and since my options were pretty slim due to the restrictive two-day intro diet, I sipped on a cup of chicken carrot soup.

And some pineapple jello.

I hit the road to go meet my mom during her lunch break and visit with her. I brought a picnic blanket and we sat under a nice shady tree and chatted for a good 45 minutes. Loved it! Dana and I hit the gym in the afternoon. I wasn’t feeling very energetic, so I brought a magazine along and hit the elliptical for an easy 30 minute workout.

For dinner, I made myself scrambled eggs with salt and pepper.

Bearing the 100° heat, I wanted to whip up a batch of SCD allowable bread so that Dana could have something to make a sandwich with. It was super easy and the bread looks awesome. I’ll try to remember to get Dana’s report back so I can let you know what he thought.

And yes, our house was a sauna after this got done baking!

SCD Bread (Recipe from this site)


  • 3 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup homemade yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Mix all ingredients in food processor
  2. Bake for 55-60 minutes at 350°
**Note: this bread is not meant to be eaten during the introductory phase of SCD. I made this in preparation for the stages to follow.

I spent the rest of the night cleaning up the kitchen, I seriously cannot tell you how many dishes are involved with this SCD. I also watched DVR’ed Bachelorette which I have decided is my preferred way of watching the show. Some of the conversations can become pretty darn boring, so I fast-forward and get to the good stuff. In case you haven’t watched it yet, I won’t say who went home. I will say I was very happy with her decision, but I don’t know how she is ever going to pick between the last three guys. They are all great!

I am in a very good mood today because I have moved past the introductory diet and moving on to incorporating more fruits and vegetables today. I hope everyone has a wonderful day and I will catch up with you soon.

Continue Reading Day 2 of SCD Intro Diet

Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Well, hello there. I have a lot to share with you so I am going to get right to it. Today’s post is somewhat of a short novel. I apologize.

For those of you who follow my blog regularly, you know that I am combatting some health issues. Anyone just reading for the first time, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at the age of 12 and since then have lived with flare-up, remission, flare-up, remission, etc. etc.

I was healthy for over two years without any bouts until about 2 months ago when I started having symptoms again. Now, as a Registered Dietitian my first thought was to try to help the healing process through diet. The diet is something you can control. I began a low-residue, low-fiber diet to try and give my intestines a little time to rest. Think chicken, potatoes with out skin, apples without skin, Cream of Wheat, bananas, etc.

Along with the low-fiber diet, I also consulted my gastroenterologist who started me on medications right away. As time progressed, my symptoms only got worse. I went back to the doc who then switched my meds again. At this point, I was so frustrated with the low-fiber diet and not being able to eat the foods I love (especially raw veggies) that I kind of let loose on the whole diet thing. For breakfast and lunch I would eat low-fiber but then at dinner I was oftentimes making myself a small salad just to fulfill my cravings. Nothing was working, and I was tired of it.

Long story shorter, I was ready to try something different. Dana bought this book for me, and ironically my mom has the same one from when I was younger.

My mom tried EVERYTHING with me when I was sick as a child, but so many of these diets are incredibly hard to follow because you do have to be strict. As a teen, you weren’t going to stop me from going out with my friends and having pizza or other fun snacks. I would eat the pizza and then feel completely miserable afterwards. I wasn’t able to make smart decisions because I didn’t want to risk missing out on social moments. I will never be able to thank my mom enough for all of the time, research, money, love, and support she gave me and still does. Now that I am older though, I have a better understanding of my priorities. 🙂 Also, I know that I can still be social and have fun, I just need to be careful what goes into this delicate body of mine.

So, Dana brings me this book and starts telling me about the concepts involved. I was definitely skeptical at first, but continued on to read the whole book. Here is what I learned…

I pulled this information right from their site which you can link to by clicking on the title below.

“The Specific Carbohydrate Diet™ has helped many thousands of people with various forms of bowel disease and other ailments vastly improve their quality of life. In many cases, people consider themselves cured. It is a diet intended mainly for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, diverticulitis, cystic fibrosis and chronic diarrhea. However it is a very healthy, balanced and safe diet that has health benefits for everyone. 
The foods that are allowed on the SCD are based on the chemical structure of these foods. Carbohydrates are classified by their molecular structure. The allowed carbohydrates are monosaccharides and have a single molecule structure that allow them to be easily absorbed by the intestinal wall. Complex carbohydrates which are disaccharides and polysaccharides are not allowed. They are not easily digested and feed harmful bacteria in our intestines causing them to overgrow. This produces by products and inflames the intestinal wall. The diet works by starving out these bacteria and restoring the balance of bacteria in our gut. The SCD is biologically correct because it is species appropriate. The allowed foods are mainly those that early man ate before agriculture began. The diet we evolved to eat over millions of years was predominately one of meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, and low-sugar fruits.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet™ was clinically tested for over 50 years by Dr Haas and biochemist Elaine Gottschall with convincing results. From feedback from the various lists and other information at least 75% of those who adhere rigidly to the diet gain significant improvement.”
View SCD official site here

I have forever had issues digesting complex carbohydrates. I always joke about how I love bagels but bagels don’t love me. Sometimes I can eat them and feel fine, but oftentimes I eat them and regret it a few hours later when my stomach begins to bloat like a balloon. In my teen years, mom brought me to a holistic doctor. I remember him waving a bunch of scents under my nose while testing my body’s resistance at the same time—pressing on my arm and asking me to push against it, etc. I remember I was slightly intolerant to lactose and gluten. To this day I am still the same way. I am a true believer in holistic health and healing. I also know, that western medicine is a necessity in a lot of cases.

As a dietitian, this diet does make sense to me and it does sound completely legitimate. The book explains the science behind our bodies digestion process and goes on to explain that our bodies have a difficult time digesting these complex carbohydrates and we are not able to get rid of all of the sugars involved. These sugars therefore sit in our intestine and begin to ferment, which can cause a lot of gas and can cause inflammation as well. As a gal with ulcerative colitis, the last thing I need is EXTRA uncomfortable symptoms. After reading this book and talking it over with the hubs and madre, I have decided I am going to give it a whirl.

The diet begins with a 2-5 day introduction diet. You can eat as much as you want of the following foods (directly from their site and the book):

Dry curd cottage cheese (moisten with homemade yogurt)
Eggs (boiled, poached, or scrambled)
Pressed apple cider or grape juice mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with water. See, SCD™ Legal / Illegal List for more information about allowable juices.
Homemade gelatin made with juice, unflavored gelatin, and sweetener (honey or saccharine)

Homemade chicken soup
Broiled beef patty or broiled fish
Homemade gelatin made with juice, unflavored gelatin, and sweetener (honey or saccharine)

Dinner: Variations of above

I started this intro diet yesterday and bless Dana’s heart, he is doing it with me. Because my symptoms are no longer severe, we will only be doing the introductory diet for two days before moving into the next stage (which looks and sounds WAY better). To prepare for these two days we made a big batch of hard-boiled eggs, lean beef patties, 100% grape juice gelatin, homemade yogurt, “legal” cheesecake made from homemade yogurt and dry curd cheese, and allowed chicken soup from scratch. We also stocked up on Dole 100% pineapple juice. The prep is pretty tedious but if this diet works like it says, then it’s worth it.

This was my first time ever making homemade yogurt. Getting the temperatures just right was the hardest part, but I think we got it down now, and next time we make it will be a lot easier.

Homemade Yogurt: following the directions to a T is very important as you are making sure to rid the product of all lactose remains.


  1. Bring 1/2 gallon of 1% milk to simmer; stirring often. Remove from heat.
  2. Cover and cool until milk has reached room temperature (64-77°F).
  3.  Remove 1 cup cooled milk and make a paste with 1/2 cup good quality commercial yogurt*.
  4. Mix the paste with the remainder of the cooled milk and stir thoroughly.
  5. Cover pot and place on a hot plate heated to 100-110°F; let stand on hot plate for at least 24 hours.
  6. Remove from heat and place in fridge to cool.
*The yogurt should be unflavored and unsweetened. Buy one containing only milk or milk solids and bacterial culture. Recommended cultures are Lactobacillus bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, and S. thermophilus.
I will not lie to you, I am hating these first two days. No fruits or veggies besides those from fruit juice? I am not a meat or fish lover, and I can only take eggs in small amounts. The Farmer’s Cheese, aka Dry Curd Cheese gives me the worst after taste in my mouth. Blech. The chicken carrot soup is OK, but very bland. I tried making the cheesecake this morning hoping that would be something that I would enjoy but no, because of the cheesy aftertaste I’m not a fan. I am loving the 100% grape juice gelatin however, so I have been eating an insane amount of that. The homemade yogurt I believe needs to wait until tomorrow before I can really incorporate more of it. It felt good to complain for that brief moment. I am trying to remain positive. Tomorrow, we move on to the next phase which is slowly introducing fruits, veggies, nuts, and proteins. Considering I am not a huge complex carb eater in general, the next phase will be very similar to my pre-flare diet with tons of fruits and veggies and beans too!!
My symptoms are already improving drastically and it’s only been a couple of days. On Friday I ate low-carb all day, the only thing I ate that “wasn’t allowed” on the SCD was corn. Then yesterday of course I followed to the very strict intro diet, along with today. I have had zero bloating. You read that right. ZERO. I am utterly amazed at the progress already. I am continuing to take my medications as prescribed by my doctor as well as implementing this diet. Also, the book emphasizes the importance of supplementing with vitamins during this time. If you are thinking about starting this diet, please consult with your physician first. They will make sure this diet is okay for you and help you determine what supplements you  may need to take.
I am so excited to be sharing this journey with you all. Besides from these first two days, this will not be a major lifestyle change for me. Sure, there will be some changes: a lot of food preparation to ensure that there are no complex carbs, a lot of dishes, making smart choices when out with friends, etc. I will do my best to adapt to these modifications. The book recommends you stay on this diet for a year to increase your chances of curing the disease completely. They don’t recommend that you “give it a try” for a month and then quit even if your conditions improve. But, I am only human and although I will continue a very low-carb diet in the future, this is a diet that I will not stay on forever.
As I progress through the stages of this diet, I will continue to keep you posted and update you on the changes. There will be some seriously awesome veggie-packed recipes coming your way soon, that anyone will enjoy, even if you’re not following the SCD.
And that is the nutshell version of what is going on in our household. I am off to get a few things done around here. Catch up with you later!
Continue Reading Specific Carbohydrate Diet

First Frittata and Team Ortho

Super creative post title today, right? I covered my bases with that one.

I mentioned that I wanted to briefly describe some of the details of the Minneapolis Half Marathon, in relation to Team Ortho’s wonderful organizational job with the race. The day of events put on by Team Ortho included a full marathon, a half marathon, and a relay.

I also wanted to share some of the inspirational and comical signs I saw throughout the run, to help get me through to the finish. So, we’ll start with that…

  • A woman dressed up in a banana costume with a sign that read, “Nipple Chafing Turns Me On.” This one was for the men mostly.
  • “Pain is temporary; Pride is forever.”
  • “Worst Parade Ever”
  • “You’re So Pretty”
  • “It’s okay to go in your pants. Just go.” This one was more geared toward the marathoners.
  • “Run like you stole something”
  • “Beer at the finish”
  • “You go girl”

What I loved about this race

Although, personally I had a very difficult time throughout this run physically, and couldn’t enjoy myself as much as I had hoped, there are still pieces I reflect upon that I am thoroughly impressed by and that I can say I loved about this race.

1. The staff and volunteers were awesome. The people in charge of handing out water were on top of their game; always prepared with handfuls of filled water cups. The medical staff was right there in case of emergency; post-race I was not feeling so hot and immediately a medical staff member approached me to make sure I was okay, and brought me a bag of ice. The pacer’s were incredibly energetic and motivational; they kept cheering everyone on throughout the race and also instructed runners to stay off parts of the course as marathoner’s were coming through at the time.

2. It was so well organized. Packet pick-up was coordinated so that it was quick and easy to navigate. On race day there were so many staff members helping with bag check, water, answering questions, etc. You didn’t have to look far to find someone to help you if needed. They had plenty of Port-A-Potty’s available because we all know how important those are pre-race. The lines were very long right before the race but that is to be expected. Race start was organized into expected pace/mile and groups were set off on the run in “batches” so that a running clog wouldn’t be created. The course was marked off clearly with staff there to instruct as well (turnarounds, water stops, etc.). Post-race bag pick up was set up very nicely and staff were eager to assist.

Photos courtesy of Team Ortho and Minneapolis Marathon

3. I loved certain aspects of the course. Passing the 35w Bridge Memorial Site was really neat. I had never seen it before and what better way to see it than to run by it. The Mississippi River was flowing behind it which was another beautiful site to see. The way the course was drawn out was as such:

You can see that there are two turn around spots. At first I wasn’t sure how I would like this. The idea of retracing my steps didn’t sound too appealing to me.

However, I ended up liking it and here’s why. I knew other runners in this race: my husband, my brother, and a couple of other friends. They all ran faster than me which meant that they were going through the turnaround before me, therefore we were basically running right by each other, just in opposite directions. I got to cheer them all on as they passed me in the other lane! Also, it was inspiring to see the top finishers bolting by. The speed of some of these runners leaves me speechless.

Overall, I am very impressed with this organization. Thank you Team Ortho for all of your hard work in making this day of events such a success. It’s no wonder they always have such high registration rates and such a great rate of runners returning year after year to participate.



Last night I made a frittata for Dana and I. This was my first ever attempt at a frittata and I have to say I am proud of it. I went with a mushroom, spinach, and onion combo. I used a recipe from as my guide, and made adjustments as I always do. For anyone unfamiliar with frittatas, it is an egg-based dish which is cooked in a skillet.The first portion of the preparation involves cooking on the stovetop, and the second part involves baking in the oven.  I used our cast iron skillet and it worked perfectly.

Review: We loved it! We ate the entire thing. If anyone is interested in the recipe let me know. I can post it if there are any takers. If not, I won’t be offended. It was very tasty and satisfying. If could be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

The rest of the night was spent preparing for our garage sale…..price check!

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Continue Reading First Frittata and Team Ortho

Red Potato & Chive Salad

Last night, Dana and I headed to mom and dad’s for a Memorial Day BBQ with my parents and his parents. We enjoyed beautiful weather on the deck, great company, and munched on some delicious grub.

On the menu:

Burgers, potato salad, cucumber salad, chips, guacamole, salsa, and fresh melon.

I offered to bring the potato salad because I had a whole bunch of fresh chives I wanted to put to use. I wanted to make a non-traditional potato salad, no mayo included. I came up with a mustard and vinegar based salad, after browsing through some recipes online and collaborating my own ideas with them. I adapted this one from Moira Hodson’s recipe in FOOD; New Twist on Barbecued Chicken Dinner.

Red Potato & Chive Salad

Serves 6-8; Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 3 lbs red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-5 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp bacon bits
  1. Wash, cut, and quarter potatoes. Place in large pot and fill with water to cover the top of potatoes.
  2. Bring to boil; boil 8-10 minutes until able to pierce with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix mustard, garlic, vinegar, oil, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
  4. Once potatoes have cooked, remove from heat and remove from water; let cool. Once cooled, add to sauce.
  5. Mix to combine, stirring gently. Adjust seasonings if needed.
  6. Add chives and bacon pieces. Serve cold or at room temperature.

It was a hit. Make it for your next BBQ or picnic for a nice healthy spin on potato salad.

Happy Tuesday!

Continue Reading Red Potato & Chive Salad

Every BODY is Different

Happy Memorial Day!

This weekend has been extremely productive. It has been nice to spend a weekend at home to catch up on things around the house.

How about a recap from yesterday?

Breakfast: Cream of Wheat with maple syrup, cinnamon, and brown sugar. On the side, some cinnamon apple decaf tea.

We did our usual Sunday morning gig of browsing through the newspaper, but unfortunately we didn’t get to cut any coupons because there were no coupons in the paper yesterday! I was incredibly bummed. I love coupon cutting on Sunday mornings. We then went to the grocery store and then home to work on the yard.

It was finally time to plant our vegetable garden. This year we planted: zucchini, 4 different varieties of tomato including 1 grape tomato plant, bell peppers, onions, jalapeno, green beans, and kale.

We decided to buy the pre-grown tomato plants this year because our tomato plants were extraordinarily late last year. When all of my co-workers were bringing in tomatoes to share, mine still didn’t come up for at least another month after that. We are hoping these work out better. We also moved them to a different area in the garden, so we’ll see what happens.

On the deck in separate containers we planted a few herbs: Basil, Dill, and Mint. I have a strong desire to make mojitos this summer if we get our mint to come up!

We worked on the yard all afternoon; trimming bushes, trees, cleaning the gutters, etc. It was a hot and steamy day here in MN at about mid 90’s and very humid, so I was a sweaty mess.

I snapped a couple of photos of some beauties in the yard.

For dinner we bought very lean pork tenderloin which I had marinated in the fridge using this lovely Lawry’s Hawaiian sauce.

The description: “An enticing combination of pure honey, soy sauce and ginger blends with tangy pineapple, papaya and a touch of mango to unlock the flavor secrets of the islands.” I was sold.The pineapple from the marinade also serves as a natural meat tenderizer. I would definitely recommend this sauce.

Nutrition per tablespoon: 20 calories, 0 fat, 250 mg sodium, 5 g sugar. Although I prefer making my own sauces and spices whenever possible, I think it’s okay to “cheat” every once and a while too.

For those of you who have been following my blog recently, what you see on my plate in this next photo may surprise you due to my current health situation and low-fiber, low-residue diet that I had said I was going to try to follow. Enter: greenery.

Alongside my (awesome) grilled pork tenderloin, I made myself an experimental small side salad. No toppings except for a little of my fav Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard. I wanted to see how my body would feel after eating one of the most missed components of my normal diet.

Lately, I have been following the low-fiber diet, but the truth is, I am feeling totally crummy and it’s not just from the colitis. My body is craving green veggies and I am getting burnt out of canned green beans real fast. I have been thinking that if I feed my body a little bit of the foods that make me feel good normally, and the food my body is craving (greens), that maybe this will help me heal (as long as I don’t get too extreme about adding fiber back in). I don’t plan to slam down the raw broccoli, beans, and cabbage, but slowly incorporating some side salads and other greens may possibly be the best medicine for me. There is no significant evidence that proves that any particular diet really helps people with U.C., so why not experiment and see how my own body reacts?

I wanted to see how I felt this morning after my salad experiment and guess what? I feel no different, and that’s a good thing. Like, I said, I’m not condoning a veggie smack down by any means, but I am going to continue to experiment and learn how my body reacts to different options. Every BODY is different. I will be very careful and also continue to be cared for by medical professionals.

I am off to make a potato and chive salad (thanks for the chives, Nicole!) for a get together with some of my family and some of Dana’s family later this afternoon. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Have a great day!

Continue Reading Every BODY is Different

Cauliflower Fritters

Everyone happy it’s Wednesday? I know I am. It would be better if it was Friday though, right? Oh, how I love my weekends.

After work yesterday I headed to my parent’s “gym” (aka elliptical and weights) as I had plans to hit the elliptical for my workout. My initial thought was to go to the gym after work and do my thing there, but then I weighed my options.


  • Other people around me to motivate me (pro)
  • Accessibility to weights should I decide to do strength training (pro)
  • Stuck watching old episodes of Ice loves Coco (con)
  • Stinky people (con)

Parent’s House:

  • Elliptical in the privacy of a comfortable basement (pro)
  • Free reign of the television (pro)
  • I get to see dad and Abbie (pro)
  • I can browse the cupboards and eat cereal to my heart’s content for lunch (pro)
  • No stinky people (pro)

Mom and dad’s casa wins by a landslide. Dad said he would even waive my initiation fee because I had been a member in the past. Such a jokester, that man. 🙂

Such a cozy little nook. I loved it AND I got to watch my favorite channel, The Food Network. Giada De Laurentiis and her aunt were cookin’ up some amazing looking pasta pinwheels (except they had a fancy italian name of course). They looked great whatever they were!

After 40 minutes on the elliptical, I completed 3×10 pushups and 3×26 planks with knee tucks.

Thanks for the free initiation fee dad, and by the way, mom said I get a free membership too.


Dinner last night was quite a show. It involved a little more prep than my typical weeknight dinners, and I was a mess in the kitchen, but I managed to pull it together.

On the menu: Cauliflower fritters served on top of sautéed vegetables and drizzled with marinara sauce

First, I chopped up a head of cauliflower and steamed in the microwave  for 10 minutes (covered with a little water in the bowl).

Next, I transferred the steamed cauliflower into a food processor and processed until it turned into what looked like mashed potatoes, but I was actually trying to keep them from getting to the phase. There were some small bits still which I had wanted, and the rest was nearly pureed cauliflower. It still all worked out though.

Next, I added 1/2 cup diced onion, 1 Tablespoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1 egg, 3 Tablespoons egg whites, 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast, and 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese; and mixed well. You want to make sure the cauliflower has cooled slightly before adding the egg products so that the egg doesn’t begin to cook in this process.

I prepared a large skillet on the stove top by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray, and placing it over low-medium heat. I then formed 2-inch patties in my hand and placed them in the pan for a light fry.

In the meantime, I placed another pan on the stove top and began sautéing 1 1/2 cups chopped asparagus, 1 cup diced onion, 3/4 chopped cup zucchini, 3/4 cup chopped mushrooms, and 2 cups kale.

Once the cauliflower fritters were beginning to lightly brown (about 3-4 minutes), I flipped them and let other side cook for another few minutes. I did this until all of the fritters were cooked. This head of cauliflower made a lot of fritters, but I had plans to freeze the leftovers for another day so it was all good.

Once the veggies were sautéed, and the fritters were cooked, I plated it up. First, the green veggies, then a drizzle of marinara sauce, and lastly the cauliflower fritters.

The texture of the fritters reminded me of mashed potatoes but except in a patty form. Not pictured is a sprinkle of parmesan cheese I added after the photo was taken.

Not bad, huh? Dana and I both really enjoyed this dinner. It was a very fun and different dinner and the first time I have ever attempted making cauliflower fritters. We both agreed that you would definitely need to like cauliflower to truly enjoy these guys. Makes sense though, right? The only downfall of this dish was the mound of dishes which accumulated in the cooking process. Whoopsie!

The rest of the night was spent organizing wedding photos (finally), watching an episode of Modern Family, and relaxing.

To all of my wonderful readers: If you have any recipes you would like me to test out and review, or would like me to try to “healthify” one of your favorite dishes, feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to help you out!

Continue Reading Cauliflower Fritters

Make This: Vegetable Lasagna

After work yesterday I headed straight to the gym. The plan was to do a 20 minute elliptical warm up, and then hit the weights for back and biceps, but my plan was slightly derailed. I forgot an important piece of fitness apparel, the sports bra. Okay, not that I need a TON of support while doing weights, but still, I felt uncomfortable wearing a regular bra. My modified plan of action was a quick warm up on the stationary bike and then I hit the free weights for some arm action.

  • Bicep curls 3×10
  • Hammer curl 3×10
  • Front arm raises 3×10
  • Reverse fly (in a squat) 3×10
  • Standing shoulder press 3×10
After that I went home and completed some ab work.
Moving on to the highlight of this post: DINNER. On Sunday evening I spent a little time in the kitchen to get dinner prepped for last night. On the menu was vegetable lasagna. This is a good one! I am so excited to share it with you.
I began by spraying a bread loaf pan (since it was only for two people) with cooking spray and spreading down a layer of marinara sauce. I used Light Ragu No Sugar Added which I like because it only has 6 grams of sugar per serving. I then sprinkled on a layer of diced red onion followed by roasted Japanese eggplant. I had roasted the eggplant about a month ago and froze it until now. I sprinkled the eggplant with garlic powder.

The next layer was chopped kale, leftover tempeh marinara sauce (plain pasta sauce can be used instead) and a layer of sliced mushrooms.

Next, a layer of fat-free cottage cheese, more diced red onion, and sliced zucchini. I then sprinkled this layer again with garlic powder.

And finally, the royal icing. One more layer of pasta sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and grated parmesan cheese (no spell check needed for the word parmesan this time–I think I finally nailed it).

In a preheated 350° oven, I covered the pan with aluminum foil and baked for 45 minutes. I then removed the foil, and broiled on high for 4-5 minutes keeping an eye on it to catch the perfect stage of golden melty cheese.

While I waited for the lasagna to bake, I munched on some pickles and celery.

And then the moment of truth arrived, the removal of the lasagna from the oven.

Oh yeah baby, check out that cheesy goodness. I let it cool for about 5 minutes, sliced it up and served it hot.

The verdict: such a winner! Healthy, nutrient-packed, and satisfying. Would you please make this? The prep really did not take very long, and I covered it and stored it in the refrigerator overnight so that it would be all set to go in the oven when I came home from work last night. How great is that? All it takes is a little planning. It is worth the effort, trust me.


This morning started off with my usual pre-run breakfast and a trip to the gym. I wanted to get one last indoor treadmill run in to test out my new shoes before making the final decision to keep them. The run was painless except for the boredom pains. I will be keeping the new Asics and they have graduated to outdoor runs. Now that the weather is improving, it is time to really kick the half-marathon training into high gear. Dana and I would like to be on the same training plan, however we both have different thoughts on which training route we would like to pursue. More on that later.

I hope everyone has a nice Tuesday!

Continue Reading Make This: Vegetable Lasagna

Some TLC for the Big Man

After all of our Sunday errand running yesterday, it was time to give the Mooser a little TLC. We took him out for a nice hilly walk where he sniffed and explored as if he had never seen the outside world before.

That’s 92 plus pounds of lean mean doggy machine.

I worked up an appetite out on our walk and had plans for a killer stir fry for dinner. Before our walk I began marinading Tempeh in soy sauce and garlic powder (I used the other half of the Tempeh a few weeks ago in spaghetti sauce and froze the other half which I used last night).

When we got home I first got the quinoa cooking in the rice cooker: one cup of quinoa to two cups of water. I love how the rice cooker cooks the quinoa. I made a cup because I wanted leftovers.

Next, I began chopping up the veggies. I had leftover asparagus from two days ago that I hadn’t made into asparagus wraps so I chopped that up along with green cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and red onion.

I poured about a half a tablespoon of garlic olive oil in the wok, heated it up, then added onions. I let the onions cook down for a minute before adding the mushrooms. Next, I added the asparagus and carrots, and then lastly the tempeh and cabbage. I flavored the stir-fry with soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic powder, and a little ginger.

Once the quinoa was done cooking and the cabbage in the stir-fry had started to wilt ever-so-slightly, I plated everything up, gave it one last splash of soy sauce (because I love sauciness) and chowed down. This was my first time putting cabbage into stir-fry and I’d say it was a winner!

I really enjoyed the tempeh in there too. It had a slight nutty taste which was exciting. 😉

After dinner we watched a couple of episodes of Modern Family, Season 1, then headed out to the backyard to entertain the dog for a little while. Dana threw the ball to Moose using the Chuckit! which is one of the best dog toy inventions in my opinion. You don’t have to touch the nasty slimy tennis balls ever. You grab it with the claw of the Chuckit! and “chuck” the ball, and it does all the dirty work for you. How about that.

I made myself an evening snack of PoPcOrN! I spruced it up with some butter spray and salt and it was the perfect salty snack to conclude my Sunday with.


Now, I am going to get this body moving. Hope everyone is having a tolerable Monday! Oh, I almost forgot. I decided last Monday that every Monday I wanted to write something positive considering I am trying to rekindle my battered relationship with Mondays. So, today I am very happy because I have the day off and my family is coming over for dinner tonight. There.

Let’s hear your positive Monday talk!

Continue Reading Some TLC for the Big Man