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Peach Banana Smoothie | alidaskitchen.com #shop

Peach Banana Smoothie

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser to celebrate back-to-school with this Peach Banana Smoothie recipemade in minutes using wholesome ingredients. All opinions are mine alone. #HorizonHappiness #CollectiveBias

Peach Banana Smoothie | alidaskitchen.com #shop

My kids are so excited for back to school! While I enjoy (and share!) their enthusiasm, I also anticipate navigating busy mornings and juggling after school activities, all the while making sure everybody is fed. Easy recipes that kids love and are made with ingredients that moms feel good about are essential. Fortunately these busy moments will be a lot tastier thanks to this delicious taste of summer, in smoothie form ~ Peach Banana Smoothie! …

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Easy Fruit & Nut Parfait | alidaskitchen.com

Easy Fruit & Nut Parfait

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Hershey Company. All opinions are 100% mine.

This Easy Fruit & Nut Parfait recipe is layered with yogurt and almonds, pumpkin seeds, fruit and a hint of chocolate or yogurt, yet contains only two simple ingredients. 

Easy Fruit & Nut Parfait | alidaskitchen.com

This Easy Fruit & Nut Parfait recipe has become breakfast staple and favorite snack. It is packed with wholesome goodness of yogurt, real fruit, nuts, seeds and yogurt-flavored cream or dark chocolate, yet is made using only two ingredients. Plus it takes only minutes to make. Intrigued? The secret ingredient…Brookside Fruit & Nut Bars!

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Fueled Mornings with Chobani Oats | alidaskitchen.com

Fueled Morning Routine with Chobani Oats!

Kick start mornings with a hearty gluten-free grain breakfast that fuels your day with real fruit ~ Chobani Oats!

Fueled Mornings with Chobani Oats | alidaskitchen.com

Every morning, my Fitbit alarm goes off. It’s 4:45am. Time for a run! I sneak in a 4 mile run before the morning madness of kids and getting ready for school. The house is quiet when I leave. It is dark outside – the moon is out, the stars are shining, and lately the temperatures have been cool, and I have been able to see Venus. It feels peaceful, if only for a moment because I know…it’s the calm before the storm!  …

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Over 30 Perfect Party Dips and Desserts | alidaskitchen.com

30+ Perfect Party Dips and Desserts #HolidayHelper

NRFA Disclosure

Over 30 recipes for Perfect Party Dips and Desserts made using cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream that are easy to make and great for a crowd.  For all of these recipes and more, be sure to visit my Perfect Party Dips and Dessert board on Pinterest!

Over 30 Perfect Party Dips and Desserts | alidaskitchen.com

Lately I have been receiving many requests for party menu ideas, as people begin planning their Holiday festivities.  I thought it would be fun to share some recipes from my favorite bloggers.  I gathered the most amazing appetizer and dessert recipes ~ think savory dips and spreads, as well as dessert dips and simple cheesecakes.   They are all easy to make, many require no cooking or baking, which is all very welcome when it comes to planning a party!

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broccoli pea pesto pasta from Alida's Kitchen

Broccoli Pea Pesto Pasta #WeekdaySupper

Broccoli Pea Pesto Pasta

Broccoli Pea Pesto Pasta is a creamy pasta dish made healthier with broccoli, peas and Greek yogurt.  The peas add a freshness to the sauce and crushed red pepper  gives it a little kick.  This is a delicious way to eat your veggies and quick to make for a weeknight!  {can be gluten free based on pasta choice}

On my quest to perfecting this Broccoli Pea Pesto Pasta recipe, I made several batches of broccoli pesto pasta (no peas).  Then I tweaked the broccoli, the yogurt, the cheese, used onions, didn’t use onions, used raw garlic, sauteed the garlic.  Finally I had it – the perfect broccoli pesto pasta recipe.  The only problem was when I went to make this ‘perfect recipe,’ we had only half a stalk of broccoli.   I couldn’t go to the store because Greta was napping, yet I promised Adam broccoli pasta for dinner (and we all know how easy it can be to explain such things to a 3 year old).  Clearly I had to come up with something.  So I tried to get into a 3 year old frame of mind – we have peas, Adam loves peas, peas are green – this should work, right?   I measured out the amount of broccoli I had and then made up the rest with peas to equal one pound.  I finished the recipe according to my plan and crossed fingers that Adam a) wouldn’t notice it’s different and b) would like it.  Obviously since I am telling you this story, you know the outcome – he loved it!…

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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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healthy blueberry strawberry blackberry yogurt smoothie

Diet Mixed Berry Smoothie

healthy diet mixed blueberry strawberry blackberry yogurt smoothie

This Diet Mixed Berry Smoothie is quick and easy to make and perfect for breakfast on a busy morning, a post-workout recovery drink, or an afternoon pick me up.  Made with just a few healthy ingredients, it’s a vitamin-packed smoothie that can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime (and portable too for when you’re on-the-go!).

 

Recently, I was given the opportunity to try Ocean Spray’s Diet Juice Drinks and thought it would a tasty addition to this smoothie recipe.  At only 5 calories per serving, swapping out full-calorie juices in favor of Ocean’ Spray’s Diet Juice Drinks can help save calories (and carbs, if that’s a concern), while still tasting delicious.   For this recipe, I used Ocean Spray’s Diet Cranberry juice and it went nicely with the berries used in the rest of this smoothie.  For next time, I have my eyes on the Diet Blueberry Pomegranate!

To learn more about Ocean Spray’s Diet Juice Drinks, visit http://www.oceanspray.com/Products/Juices/Diet-Light/Diet-Cranberry-Juice-Drink.aspx.

 

 

Diet Mixed Berry Smoothie
 
Yields: 1 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Diet Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Drink, any flavor
  • ½ cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries)
  • 1 ripe banana, frozen and cut into slices
  • 3 ounces fat free plain or berry-flavored Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender (or Magic Bullet). Blend on high speed until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pour into a chilled glass. Enjoy!
Notes
Tip: slice banana before freezing...it's much easier!

 Adapted from Ocean Spray

 

I have partnered with Ocean Spray through DailyBuzz to help promote their new Ocean Spray Diet product. I have been compensated for my time commitment to work with this product, however my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

mixed green salad with roasted sweet potatoes and tangy yogurt dressing

Red-Leaf Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Red-Leaf Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes is all things good wrapped up in a salad.  You have your roasted sweet potatoes and red onion, green beans and pepitas, all on a bed of red leaf lettuce and topped with a tangy yogurt dressing.  Sound good?  Umm..yeah, I thought so too!  Mike and I don’t typically put dressing on our salads, but the first thing that he commented about this dish was ‘how good is that dressing!’  The dressing has some zip, so a little goes a long way.  It goes perfectly with the sweetness of the roasted sweet potato and onion.  There are so many yummy vegetables in this dish, I would happily eat it every day of the week.

I made a couple changes of note from the original recipe.  First, I used nonfat Greek yogurt instead of low fat regular yogurt.  The Greek yogurt adds a nice little protein boost, and frankly is what I always have on hand.  I’m sure regular yogurt would work just fine.  The other change I made was using pepitas, in lieu of walnuts, due to my tree nut allergy.  Pepitas are always tasty and added a nice little crunch.  However if you are a walnut fan, I suspect they would also be quite delicious in this dish.  Frozen green beans worked really well, but I look forward to using fresh green beans when the season hits.

Mike and I were talking in terms of ‘next time we have this’…which tells me there will definitely be a next time.  This salad is a keeper!

Red-Leaf Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3-4 cups sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 10 ounces frozen cut green beans, thawed (or 1½ cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • ⅓ cup pepitas
  • ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 head (10 ounces) red leaf lettuce (or spinach or mixed greens)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Place sweet potato and onion on baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Roast until sweet potatoes are tender, approximately 30 minutes. Add green beans and pepitas and roast another 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, vinegar and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place lettuce on bowl and top with sweet potato mixture. Drizzle dressing on as desired and serve.

Slightly adapted from Everyday Food Light

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Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Have I told you lately that I love summer produce? Because I do!  This weekend we are planning a visit to our local farm to pick up several pounds of blueberries.  I am so excited! While we love to eat plain blueberries by the handful, I have a long list of great recipes using blueberries that I can’t wait to share with you!

So in honor, and anticipation, of our future blueberry windfall, I would like to share with you my favorite blueberry muffin recipe.

Years ago, I was flipping through a Bon Apetit magazine, and this recipe for blueberry muffins caught my eye. It just so happened to be an advertisement for Pam Cooking Spray – go figure!

Now I know that I promised you a break from yogurt recipes, and well…I stuck to that for over a week. It would simply not be fair to keep this recipe from you any longer. These muffins rock!

The beauty of using yogurt in baked goods means that you can use less oil/butter, which makes them a healthier option.  These muffins also contain oats, which provide a little texture that goes well with the juicy blueberries. And what more can I say about the blueberry-lemon combination – it just works.

Over the years, I have made these muffins using different types of flours and yogurts.  This time, I made them using whole wheat pastry flour and Greek yogurt.  These muffins are just as delicious using all-purpose flour and/or regular yogurt, so use what you have or go crazy and try something different!

Blueberry Lemon Muffins
 
Author:
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (or regular plain nonfat yogurt)
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • zest of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare 12-cup regular muffin pan with cooking spray or liners.
  2. Whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, oil, egg and vanilla.
  3. Pour yogurt mixture into center of dry ingredients; stir until just blended. Do not over mix. Fold in blueberries and lemon zest. (Note: batter is thick)
  4. Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin cups. Bake 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then remove from muffin pan and cool completely on wire rack.
Notes
Adapted from a Pam Cooking Spray Advertisement found in Bon Apetit magazine

 

 

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Fresh Strawberry Pie ~ Lightened up!

Let’s just get this out in the open.  Yes, I am doing another strawberry recipe.  And yes, I am doing another strawberry recipe with yogurt.  Every year around the Fourth of July, I look forward to making this healthy version of a strawberry pie.  It just so happens to coincide my Strawberry Yogurt Muffins post from Wednesday.  I promise you a break from strawberry and yogurt recipes in the coming weeks.  In fact, there are even some indulgent recipes on the horizon!

There are 3 parts to making this pie.  The first step is making yogurt cheese, which is draining plain yogurt through cheesecloth.  This step needs to be done a day in advance, as the yogurt needs at least 16 hours to drain.

Part 2 is making the crust.  This crust is a simple stir and roll crust which uses oil instead of shortening.  It is nice and thin, and serves as the perfect vehicle for the rest of the pie. 

The last step involves mixing the yogurt cheese with sugar, vanilla and chopped strawberries; then pouring that mixture in the crust and topping/decorating with strawberry halves.  It is all very easy.

Now I do not want to mislead you into believing this pie is a replica of its sugary, fat-laden counterpart because it is not. It is, however, delicious, light and healthy!  It’s a wonderful summer dessert!

 Happy pre-Fourth of July and have a great weekend!

Fresh Strawberry Pie ~ Lightened up!
Yields 8 servings

16 oz plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons powdered sugar (adjust amount to taste and the sweetness of your berries)
1 cup diced strawberries
approximately 1/2-1 pound strawberries, halved (the amount depends on the size of your berries)
1 tablespoon strawberry preserves (optional) – amount many vary depending on size of strawberries
1 Stir ‘n Roll Pie Crust (recipe below)

  1. Make yogurt cheese:  Arrange wire strainer lined with double thickness cheesecloth (or coffee filters) over bowl.  Spoon yogurt into lined strainer; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until liquid has drained from yogurt and yogurt is very thick (16-24 hours).  Discard liquid.
  2. Combine yogurt cheese, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, and diced strawberries.
  3. Pour yogurt mixture in cool pie crust, spreading evenly.  Top with strawberry halves.
  4. Optional (see note below):  Microwave strawberry preserves for 5-10 seconds, just to melt it.  Then with a spoon or silicone pastry brush, brush the strawberries with preserves. 
  5. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until serving.

Note:  If you do not plan on serving this immediately, I highly recommend using the preserves in order to seal and preserve the appearance of the berries.  It gives them a little shine as well, which can be nice.

Stir ‘n Roll Pie Crust
Yields 1 9″ pie crust

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons cold skim milk

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In medium bowl, combine flour and salt; stir in oil and milk just until blended. Form dough into a smooth ball.
  3. Dampen counter top.  Place 12 x 15 inch sheet of waxed paper on dampened counter.  Place pastry on paper; cover with another sheet of waxed paper.  Roll dough into a 12 inch circle, turning dough and paper over once to roll evenly.
  4. Peel off top paper.  Lift dough and paper, and place dough-side down in pie plate, fitting dough to the plate.  Carefully peel off the remaining paper. 
  5. Trim edge so it fits evenly with the pie plate.  Prick dough with fork, and press edges with tines of fork. 
  6. Bake until golden brown (12 to15 minutes).  Remove to wire rack to cool.

Adapted from The Best of Byerly’s Cookbook

strawberry-yogurt-muffins

Strawberry Yogurt Muffins

Strawberry Yogurt Muffins are an easy, healthy muffin recipe made with lots of fresh strawberries and Greek yogurt.  

After picking up 8 pounds of strawberries from a local farm, I noticed these were the most perfect strawberries I have ever seen.  They had a perfect shape, a perfect stem and were a deep red throughout (no white inside these berries).  My husband wondered what I could possibly do with 8 pounds of strawberries?  Spend a LOT of time experimenting in the kitchen, that’s what!

In fact, I was thinking 8 pounds might not even be enough.  I eat strawberries on my plain Greek yogurt every day.  My son eats strawberries by the fistful.  There is also a long list of goodies that I want to make with strawberries…hmm.

For the longest time, I have been searching high and low for the perfect strawberry muffin recipe.  I was inspired by this recipe for Strawberry Bread on Cate’s World Kitchen.  I love that Cate uses yogurt, a good dose of vanilla, and this recipe uses more actual strawberries than other recipes I found.  From the original recipe, I reduced the amount of sugar and used plain nonfat Greek yogurt.   The recipe below is written accordingly.

These muffins smelled incredible while baking in the oven.  It was hard to resist digging in while they cooled, but I knew they would be worth the wait.  And worth the wait they were indeed!  They are moist, delicious and have bits of sweet strawberries in every bite.  We are definitely going to make another trip to the farm to pick up more strawberries, and I will definitely be making more of these muffins!

Strawberry Yogurt Muffins
 
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1½ cups strawberries, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line or grease 12 muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, yogurt, oil and vanilla until blended. Add to flour mixture and gently mix until combined (Be careful not to over mix). Gently fold in strawberries.
  4. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer muffins to wire rack and let cool completely.

Adapted from Cate’s World Kitchen

Strawberry Yogurt Muffins | alidaskitchen.com