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Posts tagged healthy fats
Classic Healthy Chicken Salad
 

My healthy take on the classic chicken salad is loaded with nutrient dense fruits and veggies as well as healthy fats that will keep you full all day long without weighing you down! 

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Make your busy life manageable with this quick and healthy classic chicken salad that is sure to fill you up and save you time and money!When I worked at a spa in West Georgia, I would grab lunch at Chicken Salad Chick and get their amazing chicken salad that was quick and super refreshing. Sometimes, I would indulge and get the not-so-healthy chicken salad options. Nonetheless, everything was amazing and I miss it dearly! Now that I live in Kentucky where unfortunately Chicken Salad Chicken does not exist, I make my own chicken salad at home, saving time and money. With this recipe, all is good in the world!

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My healthy take on the classic chicken salad is loaded with nutrient dense fruits and veggies as well as healthy fats that will keep you full all day long without weighing you down!There are many ways to prepare chicken salad, but for this recipe, I have found that red onions, carrots, granny smith apples, sunflower seeds, and grapes are the perfect classic combination. As far as seasonings go, I keep it simple but use fresh herbs like dill and smoked paprika which I believe separates my classic chicken salad from the rest!

You can use whatever creamy component you prefer depending on your allergies/preferences. I have tested this recipe with avocados, vegan mayonnaise, and greek yogurt, so you are good on all fronts if you would like to change things up. Additionally, you can either shred the chicken or dice them. I prefer dicing as it saves a little bit of time and I appreciate the texture. Now, onto the recipe!

This recipe makes 4-6 servings and is a good choice if you want to meal prep it for the week. I like to use chicken salad for sandwiches, pairing it with tomato slices, mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, and pickles on 100% whole grain bread.  You can also add it to a salad or even have it as a snack with crackers!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo with #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


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My healthy take on the classic chicken salad is loaded with nutrient dense fruits and veggies as well as healthy fats that will keep you full all day long without weighing you down! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 Tbsp poultry and citrus seasoning

  • 1/2 lemon with zest

  • 1/2 small red onion (diced)

  • 1/2 granny smith apple (diced)

  • 1 cup fresh dill (chopped) (less or more depending on preference)

  • 2 carrots (shredded)

  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

  • 1/2 cup grapes (halved)

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (I use Primal Kitchen or Just Mayo) (or use greek yogurt or ripe avocado)

Garnish

Micro greens, pickles, alfalfa sprouts, mixed greens, slices of tomato

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Prep chicken by seasoning with poultry and citrus seasoning and s&p.

  2. Grill chicken on both sides for about 3-5 minutes or until brown and completely cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet; let chicken rest and cool.

  3. Add the remainder of the ingredients to a large bowl.

  4. Dice chicken after it has cooled (or shred with two forks if you prefer!)

  5. Add chicken to large bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix until fully combined.

  6. Store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to one week.

NOTES

  1. If you are using avocados in place of mayonnaise, the fridge life will be shorter as avocados brown in the fridge.

  2. You can cut down the time to make this salad even faster by using rotisserie chicken instead of grilling chicken as well as purchase pre-shredded carrots instead of shredding by hand.

  3. I have recently noticed that Walmart does not carry the organic poultry and citrus seasoning anymore so I have used this brand instead.

 
Avocado Deviled Eggs
 

Made with avocado instead of mayonnaise, these healthy avocado deviled eggs are just as creamy and delicious without the guilt.

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They’re perfect for Easter or for an upgraded snack. Sprinkle with chives or dill and smoked paprika for garnish!

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Growing up as a child, my mother would make deviled eggs for every occasion; Christmas, Easter, you name it! But since I live in a different state from her, it looks like it's up to me to continue the tradition in my home! This recipe will be similar to my mother’s recipe but tweaked so it’s healthier for you.

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Eggs can get a bad reputation with the fat content but eggs actually contain healthy fats that are essential to overall health. Eggs are also a great source of protein as one whole egg contains six grams of protein. They are great from a culinary standpoint to help emulsify sauces or dressings and important in baking to add structure, leavening, and to enhance flavor.  

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Speaking of healthy fats, a great whole food alternative to mayonnaise is using avocado instead! An avocado provides just a quarter of the calories mayo does along with healthy fats, fiber, and important vitamins like folate and Vitamin C.

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Since I absolutely love deviled eggs, I thought I would kick up the game a little bit. You can completely omit this part (why would you!?) but these eggs are beet-dyed! Dying the eggs are merely for presentation. The beet dying process does not affect flavor at all! If you would like to give your eggs this pretty color, check out the Created by Diane blog post on beet dying. I followed her foolproof method but used the juice from my Refrigerator Pickled Beets recipe instead, to cut out some steps.

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Enjoy these not so devilish eggs as a quick protein snack or as an appetizer to share this Easter holiday, picnic or barbecue.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo with #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


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Made with avocado instead of mayonnaise, these healthy avocado deviled eggs are just as creamy and delicious without the guilt.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 dozen, 12 fresh eggs

  • 1 large ripe avocado

  • 2 Tbsp minced sweet pickles (bread and butter pickles or gherkins)

  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard

  • 1/2 tsp celery salt

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Garnish

smoked paprika, chives or fresh dill

DIRECTIONS

  1. To hard boil the eggs: Place 12 eggs in a large saucepan with cold water until eggs are fully covered. Set the oven on medium heat and let the water boil gradually (this prevents the eggs from cracking if set on high). Once boiling, cover with a lid and sit on the back burner for about 11-13 min (depending on the size of your egg). When the eggs are cooked, immediately transfer eggs to an ice cold water bath to stop the cooking process. Gently crack shells to remove the egg.

  2. To beet dye eggs: Place de-shelled eggs in a large ziploc bag and place bag in a bowl to keep the ziploc bag upright. Pour beet juice from (pickled beets recipe) and dilute with water until all eggs are covered. (or use beet mixture from (Created by Diane). Place in fridge for at least 1 hour. Rinse the beet juice off the eggs using a strainer and pat dry

  3. Slice eggs in half and remove eggs yolks saving 4 egg yolks (8 halves) and add to a bowl. Discard or keep remaining yolks for another dish.

  4. For this filling: add avocado, pickles, dijon mustard and seasonings to the bowl with yolks and mash until fully incorporated. Adjust seasonings to taste. It is best to use the back of a fork for easy mashing.

  5. To serve: place filling in a ziploc bag and cut one corner to squeeze the filling into the hollowed part of the egg. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and top with chopped fresh chives or dill.

  6. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week and enjoy!

NOTES

  1. The egg and avocado mixture should fill exactly 24 halved eggs but just in case you might have used a small avocado, add more egg yolk to the mixture to ensure you have enough filling for 24 halved eggs. 

 
Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cinnamon Cashew Cream Cheese
 

A healthy take on the classic carrot cake, made into pancakes that are sure to please everyone! I pair it with an irresistible cinnamon cashew cream cheese that you can’t help but lick right out of the bowl! Best of all, these pancakes are oil-free, gluten-free, and entirely vegan.

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Carrot cake has got to be in my top 5 favorite cakes.

From the spices of cinnamon and nutmeg to the textures of walnuts and carrots, there is nothing that will stand in the way of me and carrot cake.

Nothing.

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That is why I have decided to try and incorporate carrot cake into my life in an innovative and healthy way. Now that I’m getting older, I am more aware of how many sticks of butter it takes to achieve the perfect taste of carrot cake. After experimenting, I have found a way to not only indulge my desires completely guilt-free but to also do it for breakfast.

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You’ll need a few key ingredients for that classic carrot cake taste, such as carrots, of course! I prefer starting with fresh carrots so I can medium grate them to get more of a crunchy texture, but if you prefer to have a well-blended batter then you can finely grate your carrots or put them in a processor. Be sure to pat your grated carrots with paper towels or a kitchen towel to absorb excess liquid so it doesn’t make your batter too liquidy.

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Another key ingredient is the spices. Now, you can go about this either two ways: You can mix a ratio of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, or you can simply use a pumpkin pie spice mix. Both seem equal in flavor, I just had leftover pumpkin pie spice from the fall days and I basically use it in all my pancake batters!

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Prepping for the pancake batter is a breeze. Just add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and then use a spatula to fold in the walnuts and grated carrots. It is important that you let your batter rest for at least 10 minutes so that the starch molecules in the flour can absorb the liquid in the batter. This causes them to swell and gives the batter a thicker, more viscous consistency. This allows time for the air bubbles to slowly work their way out.

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Now, onto my favorite part… The cinnamon cashew cream cheese! It really takes the cake in this recipe (no pun intended)! The cashew cream cheese tastes almost like confectioners sugar to me. It has the perfect amount of sweetness thanks to the pure maple syrup. It’s so addicting that I will literally make an extra batch of this and sneak it in the fridge to take a spoonful (or three) out of the jar when I need to satisfy my sweet tooth!

*Updated - You can make this recipe into waffles! (notes below)

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If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo with #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!

Vegan, gluten free and oil free take on a classic carrot cake pancake that is sure to please everyone! Paired with an irresistible cinnamon cashew cream cheese that you can’t help but lick right out of the bowl!  

INGREDIENTS

Carrot Cake Pancakes

  • 1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts

  • 1 cup (loosely packed) shredded carrots ((2 medium carrots))

  • 1 cup non dairy milk ((I used unsweetened almond milk))

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix or (2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg)

  • 1/4 cup applesauce unsweetened

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup almond flour (not almond meal)

  • 1 cup GF baking flour

  • 1 Tbsp sweetener of choice (I used pure maple syrup)

  • Dash of salt

Cinnamon Cashew Cream Cheese

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews drained (soaked overnight with warm water)

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup non dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

  • squeeze of small lemon wedge

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

  1. To prepare the batter, in a medium bowl, add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and a dash of salt. In a separate bowl, add applesauce, milk, vanilla, and sweetener and mix until combined. Add your dry ingredients to your liquid ingredients and mix until combined.

  2. Gently fold in the walnuts and carrots and let the batter sit for at least 10 minutes.

  3. Lightly coat your skillet with vegan butter or coconut oil over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add about ¼ cup of the pancake mixture to the pan. Cook for 2-3 min or until the bottom of the pancake is brown and bubbles have formed on the outside. Flip and cook for 2-3 min or until brown and fully cooked through.

  4. While pancakes are cooking, add cashews, maple syrup, milk, lemon and cinnamon to a processor and pulse on high for about 4 minutes or until mixture is smooth and creamy in texture. Add additional maple syrup for a sweeter taste.

  5. Layer pancakes with cream cheese and top with walnuts and maple syrup!

  • Make sure to grease your skillet in between batches as well as to keep a consistent strain of heat. If you let your skillet get too hot, then the pancakes will be crispy and brown on the outside but mushy and raw on the inside.

  • Since the pancakes are vegan, an egg is not present, so let your batter rest is key to get that perfect fluffy texture.

  • If you are short on time, you can actually boil the cashews! Just cover cashews with water in a small saucepan and boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the water boils, turn the oven off and let the cashews sit in the saucepan covered for 1 hour.

NOTES

  1. Ingredients trusted brands: GF Baking Flour, Almond Flour, and Pumpkin Pie Spice

  2. Can be easily made into waffles! If eggs are not an issue, I would recommend substituting applesauce for 1 egg and omitting almond flour.

 
Lemon and Coconut Energy Balls
 

Filled with fiber, plant-based protein, and healthy fats, these are the perfect choice when you need a little pick-me-up snack! They are great to make as a “911 snack” as it only takes 5 minutes to make and uses only 6 ingredients!

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I have to be honest - life can be hard and stressful for me at times.

I juggle school, work, this food blog, and my personal life all while searching for grad schools. In everything I do, I strive to be intentional in every moment and hour in my life.For example, if I take a class and pass by the skin of my teeth then what have I gained from the experience? With every new practice, patience and persistence are tested as we don’t always get it right the first time. In the midst of the busy times, I have to continuously remind myself that this is only temporary and that I should be proud of myself for getting this far.

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As easy as it sounds to be intentional, you need the energy and willpower to actually do it! That’s why I lean on to these amazing lemon and coconut energy balls. Lemon and coconut is an excellent pairing as they are both sweet and refreshing. This flavor-packed combination is great with the caramel undertones of pitted dates; the creamy texture provided by cashews and almonds is also a big plus!

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Cashews, almonds, and dates are magnesium-rich foods that actually boost energy and prevent inflammation. Magnesium is key in creating energy by activating ATP; (adenosine triphosphate) which is an energy carrying molecule found in the cells of your body. Ultimately, when you have an adequate amount of magnesium in your system, your body is primed to function at its peak.

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Not only are these lemon and coconut energy balls great for providing energy and preventing inflammation, they’re nutrient and calorically dense. Filled with fiber, plant-based protein, and healthy fats, these are the perfect choice when you need a little pick-me-up snack! They are great to make as a “911 snack” as it only takes 5 minutes to make and uses only 6 ingredients! I recommend making a couple of batches so that you can store half in the fridge for immediate use throughout the week and the other half in the freezer for a later time.

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If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo with #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!

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Filled with fiber, plant-based protein, and healthy fats, these are the perfect choice when you need a little pick-me-up snack! They are great to make as a “911 snack” as it only takes 5 minutes to make and uses only 6 ingredients!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw cashews

  • 1 cup raw almonds

  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes

  • 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil

  • 8 pitted dates

  • half one lemon *plus more for preference

  • Zest of one whole lemon *plus more for garnish

  • Dash pink Himalayan salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak dates in warm filtered water for at least 10 minutes

  2. After dates have properly soaked, remove dates and set date water aside.

  3. Blend all ingredients in a high-speed processor until desired texture. If the consistency seems dry, add a little bit of the reserved date water.

  4. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of the mixture, and form into balls.

  5. Roll into your favorite toppings! I like to use lemon zest and coconut flakes.

NOTES

  1. These can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to a month. Make large batches to store snacks ahead of time.

 
Mediterranean Grain Bowl + Goat Cheese And Olive Dressing
 

Classic grain bowl - Mediterranean style! Great recipe for batch cooking. Homemade goat cheese and olive dressing included!

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I don't know about you, but I generally have a busy schedule. An everyday schedule looks something like this: wake up at 6:15AM, get ready for work/prepare a smoothie, long commute to work, work all day, chemistry lecture in between, workout, come home, make dinner, study for GRE, work on homework, work on the blog, and go to bed around 11PM. As you can see, there is not much time in my schedule to make a nutritious and filling lunch.

This is where batch cooking (or meal prep) comes into play! Mastering this art has saved me so much time and money. It has helped me to maintain a healthy weight by not eating out as much, especially at work.  I typically batch cook on Sunday's for two hours. Within two hours I will make lunch for four servings, prep for breakfast meals that I want for that week, and chop fruits/vegetables for snacks and dinner sides. If you are just starting on the batch cooking train, grain bowls are the way to go!

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Not only are grain bowls easy to put together, they are also aesthetically pleasing. I love seeing all my veggies laid out on top!

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You begin by choosing a grain, a form of protein, some greens, and veggies, and finish it off with something extra like a dressing, lime wedges, or avocados. For this recipe, I decided to create a Mediterranean style grain bowl by using couscous, lemon and garlic marinated chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, and mixed greens. I also created a goat cheese and olive dressing that is simple to make in a mason jar but is even easier if you have a food processor.

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Mediterranean cooking has become a popular way of eating as it consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats with lean sources of protein like fish and poultry. This style of cooking is very easy to follow especially when it comes to batch cooking lunches. In this Mediterranean grain bowl recipe, you will need to cook the grain and protein but the rest is all fresh ingredients that are super easy to assemble. What’s even better about grain bowls is that you can add or take away ingredients if you need to! For example, if you want to skip the meat, you can instead toast chickpeas with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and Italian seasoning in the oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes until brown and crispy.

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Let us know how you like to prepare your favorite grain bowl! If you tried this recipe, don’t forget to comment and share!

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Classic grain bowl - Mediterranean style! Great recipe for batch cooking. Homemade goat cheese and olive dressing included!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

  • 1 cup cooked couscous

  • 1/2 cup black olives

  • 3 gloves garlic (peeled and minced)

  • 1 whole lemon

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

  • 1/2 small red onion (sliced)

  • 1 whole cucumber (sliced)

  • 1 large handful of spinach or mixed greens

Goat Cheese & Olive Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (more if into vinegar like me!)

  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper

  • 4 Tbsp avocado oil (or EVOO)

  • 2 Tbsp goat cheese (or feta cheese)

  • 3 whole olives

  • 1 clove garlic

DIRECTIONS

  1. Marinate chicken with minced garlic, juice, and zest of one lemon and S/P for at least 30 minutes. If you have more time, marinating it overnight will create a super juicy chicken!

  2. Grill or cook chicken in a skillet for 5-10 minutes per side until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

  3. While the chicken is cooking, add all dressing ingredients to processor and process until smooth and creamy. If you do not have a processor, finely mince garlic and olives and add to mason jar along with the rest of the ingredients and shake vigorously until desired creamy texture.

  4. Assemble!

NOTES

  1. This recipe will make four servings. With that in mind, divide up your couscous, chicken, veggies, and dressing in order to create four-grain bowls!

 
Chicken Zoodle Soup
 

Chicken zoodle soup is filled with winter harvest vegetables, healthy fats, and sustaining ingredients that will keep you full and filled with all the good feels during this winter season! 

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 How cute is my baby boy in this winter storm we had a few weeks back!?

As this may be Rory's first introductory post, he is a pure breed Pembroke welsh corgi and just turned three years old in January! Rory is a very sweet and active boy and definitely keeps us on our toes! Even though he could barely see past the snow flurries, he absolutely loves the winter. If only his love for winter could rub off on me! This ties into another thing that you will learn about me ...

Hello, my name is Candace... and I am not a soup fan! Phew, there I said it!

If I go out to eat or plan out my meals for the week, I am not thinking about soup. Instead, I am thinking about salads, tacos, grain bowls, sandwiches -- you name it! But during these bitterly cold months, I am searching for anything hot and comforting for the body. This soup is filled with winter harvest vegetables, healthy fats, and sustaining ingredients that will keep you full and filled with all the good feels during this winter season!

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This soup is inspired by the traditional chicken noodle soup with upgrades that are catered to gluten free, dairy free and low carb lovers. The soup may be a healthier take on the traditional, but it certainly does not lack in flavor and heartiness.

Chicken zoodle soup is a crowd pleaser; the aroma is HEAVENLY when you simmer this bad boy. It’s also super versatile! Feel free to add more veggies, or omit chicken if you want to go vegan. You could also change the protein to a plant-based protein with chickpeas or tofu.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo with #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


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Chicken zoodle soup is filled with winter harvest vegetables, healthy fats, and sustaining ingredients that will keep you full and filled with all the good feels during this winter season! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

  • 3 carrots (sliced)

  • 3 celery stalks (sliced)

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 yellow onion

  • 2 large zucchini (spiralized)

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 2 cups each organic low sodium chicken and veggie stock

  • 2 cups canned coconut milk

  • 1/2 lemon

  • 1 handful Italian parsley

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Seasonings

  • 1 tsp celery salt

  • 1 tsp crushed rosemary

  • 1 tsp thyme

  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 2 bay leaves

  • S & P

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat coconut oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.

  2. Season chicken breasts with S&P and add chicken to pot. Sear for about 5 minutes per side. Set aside to rest.

  3. Saute minced garlic and chopped onion and cook until translucent.

  4. Add carrots, celery, and peas and cook for about 5 minutes

  5. Shred or dice chicken and add back to the pot.

  6. Add both stocks and coconut milk along with the seasonings.

  7. Turn the heat down to low-medium heat to let simmer for about 20-25 minutes with the lid on. During this time, you can spiralize the zucchini.

  8. Take out the bay leaves and add the spiralized zucchini and parsley. Simmer on low for 5 minutes.

  9. Squeeze in lemon and it's ready!