Twice Baked Creamy Ranch Broccoli Potato Bites

‘Tis the season for side dishes and my Twice-Baked Creamy Ranch Broccoli Potato Bites are little mouthfuls of yumminess, fancy enough for your holiday dinner yet an easy fix to pair with fast weeknight meals.  And, as a party appetizer, these personal-sized poppers vanish before you can set down the platter! Twice Baked Creamy Ranch Broccoli Potato Bites

Something about a soft and tender baked potato that is so comforting, but often with all the other side dishes can be too filling.  Would you believe one of my go-to “carbo loading” meals at a nearby deli (a super-sized spud topped with broccoli cheese soup) inspired these cute little veggie-stuffed mini potatoes?  It’s true, read on to get the recipe! Continue reading

Chocolate Peanut Butter Power Oats with Life Time Protein

Keeping my nutrition in check with my busy family, work and training schedule can sometimes seem like one of the hardest tasks at hand. If I don’t put a priority on properly fueling first thing in the morning before my workouts, and then afterward, I definitely notice an increase in my recovery time, dip in my overall energy and concentration levels, and a reduction in performance the next day. Day after day, this can become a downward spiral. For example, if the stress starts getting to me, I’m prone to lose weight and stop sleeping and that’s no good for an athlete trying to maintain and/or grow muscle mass.Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Power Oats

Thankfully, I plan ahead more these days with simple solutions for success, like putting up portions of leftover steak in the freezer for future salads, meal prepping a week’s worth of whole grains like quinoa or oatmeal, and placing my scoops of protein powders and recovery drinks into single-serve baggies for a grab-and-go before the gym. Read on to get the recipes for my easy make-ahead Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Power Oats and learn about some of the sports nutrition products I rely on from Life Time Fitness. Continue reading

Lemon Ginger Green Beans with Almonds + Holiday Sides

November is here and it’s time to start thinking about healthy Thanksgiving side dishes! One of the best things, other than gathering with family and friends, is the sheer smorgasbord of side dishes that go along with the meal. On a normal day, I’m lucky to get two plant-based accompaniments with our main protein, but during the holidays it’s more like a dozen delicious things to go alongside our turkey or roast.Lemon Ginger Green Beans with Almon

This recipe for Lemon-Ginger Green Beans with Almonds is a snap to make and so much fresher and fitter than the creamy green bean casserole of yore.  Read on to get the 10-minute recipe and a few other ideas for vegetable side dishes. Continue reading

Turmeric Egg Drop Soup with Noodles

Texas weather is wacky. It can be a real treat . . . or a total trick with hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, thunderstorms and flooding. But, today we got a real treat as the highs dropped down from nearly 90 degrees yesterday to a predicted 65 today.

Turmeric Egg Drop with Pasta

Finally, it feels like fall and I’m suddenly in the mood for soup. However, less in the mood for heading to the grocery store on a Friday afternoon before Halloween. No need to fight the monster shopping crowd, my Turmeric Egg Drop Soup with Noodles comes together in mere minutes with simple items from my pantry and produce bin scraps. Read on to get the recipe. Continue reading

Why Organic Cotton Matters & Jeans to Kara ’bout #prAnaLovesMe

I wrote this poem nearly a decade ago (and won a trip to Fashion Week in NYC) and yet it still seems so fitting today! “It’s fab to wear cotton when grueling at the gym. But more than that, cotton lets me walk a fashion limb. I’ve got cotton denim skinnies that I sport around the town, as well as a hooded jacket and a stellar evening gown. My friends all say I’m stylish, despite my lack of silks and furs, just peek into my cotton closet and I’m sure you will concur”!Prana Kara Jeans save 15% FFJEF17 at prana.com

Probably the only thing that’s changed about my love for cotton is that I now make a point of purchasing and wearing organic cotton whenever possible. Cotton grown and processed without the use of harmful chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides is better for the earth, the farmers, for me . . and for you! A brand I particularly love is prAna, not just for the intersection of adventure and fashion, but also because their clothing is mindfully made to support sustainable practices and fair trade. Read on to learn more about organic cotton, this company’s best practices, discover my favorite finds for the season and to get a great discount code. Continue reading

Baked Butternut Squash Dip

Holiday get-togethers are starting to gear up, from Halloween potlucks in the cul-de-sac to Thanksgiving gatherings, soon enough! When I need an autumn recipe that’s easy (but looks like I took some time with it) and healthy (but seems rich and indulgent), my blender recipe for Baked Butternut Ricotta Dip is a favorite to share.

Ranch Butternut Ricotta Dip bread in pan

Read on to get all the recipe details and find out my secret ingredient in this comforting, ooey-gooey appetizer. Continue reading

Lightened Pumpkin Spice Crumb Cake (gluten free option)

Autumn means ALL the pumpkin-spiced things! It’s a seasonal craze I can support  — and, by support, I mean “hold up to my mouth and shove in!”Lightened Pumpkin Crumb Cake - gluten-free

So, with the hubby’s birthday right in the smack of pumpkin month, I don’t even ask him what flavor cake he wants. He’d normally say “chocolate,” but in September, October and November, the only option is pumpkin spice. Check out my Lightened Pumpkin Spice Crumb Cake (gluten-free), get the recipe and find out what yumminess I served it with. Continue reading

Purple Sweet Potato Salad with Figs, Pomegranate and Balsamic Syrup

Nothing better than a beautiful salad alongside dinner and there have been so many fresh and colorful “fixings” at the market. In Texas, our seasons seem to not pay attention to the rules — they intersect and linger around, meaning lots of produce choices for me!Purple Sweet Potato Salad with Figs, Pomegranate and Balsamic Syrup.

 

For example, I’m still seeing fresh, summery figs in abundance, but also cooler weather fruits and vegetables like pomegranates and purple sweet potatoes. I can’t decide what to choose, so I choose it all and make a Purple Sweet Potato Salad with Figs, Pomegranate & Balsamic Syrup. Read on to get the recipe and (hello) learn more about these out-of-the-ordinary, colorific tubers! Continue reading