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Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie | alidaskitchen.com

Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie

 

Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie

This Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie is a thick, frosty, fruity smoothie with a protein boost from Greek yogurt.  I often add ground flaxseed for additional health benefits.   

Ever since I made my Diet Mixed Berry Smoothie recipe, I have been on a real smoothie kick.  While I have enjoyed coming up with several different recipes, I think this Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie recipe is my favorite.  When made with a perfectly frozen banana and chilled mango, this smoothie whips up to the consistency of soft serve ice cream….

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Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Mediterranean Lentil Salad


Mediterranean Lentil Salad is a healthy, protein-packed, veggie-rich grain salad, mixed with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette.   There are so many delicious flavors at play here, with red onions, garlic, parsley and, of course, the balsamic vinaigrette.  This easy recipe is a great base recipe with lots of flexibility to customize it to your preference.  You could add spinach, change up the amounts of tomatoes, onions, etc.  Mediterranean Lentil Salad can also be vegan by simply omitting the feta cheese.

I really like using lentils because they are such a great source of lean protein and high fiber and iron too.  Per the bag I used, there are 12 grams of protein and 14 grams of fiber…all with zero fat.   I find lentils to be a great meat substitute in recipes, such as tacos.  In fact, I am putting the final tweaks on a lentil taco recipe to share with you soon!

Mediterranean Lentil Salad
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped red onion, plus 1 1-inch thick slice (for cooking water)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus 3 parsley sprigs (for cooking water)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 cup halved cherry (or grape) tomatoes
  • ½ cup diced cucumber
  • ½ cup feta cheese, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • For the balsamic vinaigrette:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
Instructions
  1. COOK LENTILS: Add 2½ cups of water to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add onion, parsley sprigs and minced garlic and bring to a boil. Stir in lentils, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered until lentils are tender (about 20-25 minutes). Drain and discard onion and parsley.
  2. MAKE VINAIGRETTE: In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, water, vinegar, mustard and garlic until combined. Pour into a sauce pan (I just used the same pan used to cook the lentils) and heat on low until just warmed (do not boil).
  3. ASSEMBLE: Place warm lentils in a serving bowl. Add cucumber, tomatoes, chopped parsley, ¼ cup feta and warm vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup feta and serve.

It’s my favorite time of month again…the Eating with the Alphabet Challenge hosted by Brenda from Meal Planning Magic!  This month we were to showcase a recipe using a fruit, vegetable or grain that begin with the letters K or L.  Lentils are the first that came to mind, and I had so much fun trying different, healthy recipes with them.  If you’re a blogger, why not join us!  It’s fun to come up with new, healthy recipes as well as see what other bloggers decide to make.   Brenda has more information and sign up details here.



healthy cocoa chocolate coconut date truffles balls

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles

 Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles are an easy recipe made in minutes using only 3 ingredients with no added fat or sugar. {vegan, gluten free}

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles | alidaskitchen.com
Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles have the delicious flavors of dark chocolate and coconut…all coming in around 60 calories and without any added sugar of fat.  They are made using only 3 main ingredients (plus an optional ingredient which helps to deepen and intensify the chocolate flavor).  Even better – they take only minutes to make.  Intrigued?  I certainly was when I first found the recipe but it took me over 9 months to make them.  I am kicking myself that it took so long…they are so amazingly good!

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles | alidaskitchen.com

Thankfully, it is time again for the second installment of the Eating the Alphabet Challenge, hosted by Brenda of Meal Planning Magic.  Participating in this challenge was the extra push I needed to make these truffles.  This month we’re featuring healthy recipes using fruits, vegetables, grains or legumes that start with letters C or D.  Since Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles feature both coconut and dates, I’ve got both letters covered this month.

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles | alidaskitchen.com

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles
 
Yields: 20 truffles
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces pitted dates (approx 1½ cups)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened flaked coconut, for rolling
Instructions
  1. Put dates, cocoa, 3 tablespoons coconut and espresso powder in a food processor and puree until smooth. If mixture is too dry, add water by the teaspoonful (I needed about 3 teaspoons). If mixture becomes too wet, add more unsweetened coconut.
  2. Scoop mixture by the tablespoonful and form 1-inch balls. Roll balls in remaining coconut.
  3. Chill/store in refrigerator until ready to enjoy.

Source: Bon Appetit, June, 2012  

Healthy Banana Cookies - vegan, no added sugar and nut free | alidaskitchen.com

Healthy Banana Cookies

 Healthy Banana Cookies are a chewy, fruit-filled cookie made using some of my favorite foods – oats, dates and bananas.  They are made from simple, wholesome ingredients, have no butter and added sugar, thus making them a healthier choice.  I love the simplicity of these cookies and have to admit these cookies made a delightful breakfast!  These Healthy Banana Cookies also happen to be dairy free and can be gluten free.

I have had this at the top of my ‘to make’ pile for months just waiting for some super ripe bananas.   While we always have plenty of super ripe bananas in the house, they’re typically reserved for Pumpkin Banana Muffins or Pumpkin Banana Pancakes (or Strawberry Banana Pancakes once strawberry season hits).  Fortunately, I was a muffin and pancake making machine in advance of our new baby’s arrival, stocking the freezer full of Adam’s favorite banana goodies.  With a stocked freezer and 3 very ripe bananas, it was finally my opportunity to try these Healthy Banana Cookies!

Healthy Banana Cookies
 
Yields: approx. 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned or quick cooking work fine)
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) pitted dates, chopped
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mash bananas. Add oats, dates, oil, vanilla and cinnamon, and mix well. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonful onto prepared cookie sheets. [Note: the cookies don't spread so you may want to shape them a bit]
  4. Bake cookies for 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
These are best enjoyed the day after baking.

Coincidentally, this is also the first month of the Eating the Alphabet Healthy Recipe Challenge for 2013, hosted by Brenda of Meal Planning Magic.  Each month, several bloggers will focus on healthy recipes featuring fruits, vegetables grains or legumes, from a couple different letters (this month it is A or B).  I thought Healthy Banana Cookies would be the perfect healthy recipe to start off this fun series.