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

Coconut Macadamia Fried Rice Recipe + #MustHaveBox

I don’t eat rice very often, it can be pretty boring (IMO) and really doesn’t fit into my lower-carb protein plan. However, I’m not a NO carb kind of girl – no way, no how. Sometimes I need that precious energy source to propel me through an endurance event, boost my brainpower or just keep me from going bonkers.

Coconut Macadamia Nut Fried Rice

Brown rice, which is a great source of fiber, is a smart and easy-to-make option when it comes to eating healthy, whole grain carbs. Research has shown that brown rice can reduce diabetes risk,  help manage weight, lower cholesterol and reduce the likelihood of getting certain cancers (read more about all this at The Whole Grains Council.)

Easy Coconut and Macadamia Fried Rice is a island-inspired side dish or vegetarian meal filled with healthy fats.

So, to avoid the blah-fest that is plain rice, I decided to up to the flavors with a health take on fried rice – you’re going to go crazy for my Coconut Macadamia Nut Fried Rice! Made with lots of coconut items including coconut water, coconut oil and unsweetened coconut – there is a that wonderful hint of tropical paradise with every bite. The macadamia nuts back up the beach eats vibe – and the whole thing is just loaded with healthy fats and extra protein from the eggs to help you fill filled up for longer.  (get recipe at bottom of post — but below are some great NOW Foods products I used and love)

Also, I have to tell you about the best thing to show up at my door this week (aside from my Fed Ex man who loves to yap about Spartan Race just as much as me):

popsugar box

A box of gifts for me and it’s not even my birthday (yet) or Christmas!  POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have box to try and it totally made my day, my week, my June!  This monthly subscription box is aptly named “must-have” – all the most fabulous, fun things a fit and fashionable girl could want are specially curated and packed into one awesomely exciting box to open.  You never know what each month’s #MustHaveBox will behold – but the surprises never fail to win me over on pure whimsy and major whoohoo!

The June Pop Sugar Must Have Box included:

  • jen pop sugar underarm wipeNeutral Diamonds printed Sarong by HAT ATTACK – I’m packing this easy, breezy cover-up in my weekend bag for my next trip to the beach. It’s perfect for a swim suit cover up, but gorgeous enough to wear as a wrap at the dinner hour.
  • Cheers” Gold Bottle Opener by SISTERS OF LOS ANGELES – A chic and unique upscale beer drinker would never think to use a tacky, cheap promo bottle opener. This sleek , golden opener takes the top off iced cold beverage in chic summer style.
  • Ridley’s Games Room “Who Am I Quiz?” by WILD AND WOLF – Oh, you know game night at my family reunion is going to get rocking with this celebrity-inspired guessing game! How fun!
  • Born on the 4th Nail Laquer by NCLA – So, I know what my toes are wearing on Independence Day! This glittery, glam polish!
  • Are You Ready Compact Mirror by KNOCK KNOCK – This cheeky compact will help me be ready for that next selfie situation.
  • Underarm Deoderat Wipes by PACIFICA – Lightly perfumed and oh-so convenient, this is my favorite item in the box . .. errr, uhhh, cause I stink after working out and running errands all day.
  • Sriracha Snacks by PRESSELS – Less fat and salt than many other snack foods and that spicy kick of Sriracha to boot – a winner!

So, what is your new favorite workout, fashion or food find for this summer? What is your favorite nut? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

Coconut Macadamia Nut Fried Rice
Coconut Macadamia Fried Rice Recipe + #MustHaveBox
Print Recipe
4 large eggs, whisked 2 tablespoons coconut oil (divided) ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut ½ cup thinly sliced green onions, bulb and tops 1 teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Coconut Macadamia Nut Fried Rice
Coconut Macadamia Fried Rice Recipe + #MustHaveBox
Print Recipe
4 large eggs, whisked 2 tablespoons coconut oil (divided) ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut ½ cup thinly sliced green onions, bulb and tops 1 teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add rice to coconut water and cook on stovetop, in microwave or in rice cooker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Remove rice, spread out on rimmed baking sheet and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add 1 teaspoon coconut oil to large skillet, bring to medium heat and add shredded, unsweetened coconut. Stir continuously for 3 to 4 minutes, or until turning golden brown. Remove from pan and let cool on paper towel.
  3. In same skillet, add another teaspoon of coconut oil and scramble eggs for approximately 5 minutes or until set; scrape into a bowl.
  4. In same skillet, add remainder of coconut oil and bring to medium high heat. Add cooled rice, and stir for 4 to 5 minutes or until hot. Add in green onions, toasted shredded coconuts, scrambled eggs, salt and red pepper flakes. Stir around for another 1 or 2 minutes
  5. Top with chopped macadamia nuts.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Bon Temps! Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons

Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter CroutonsWell, first of all, happy Mardi Gras – Laissez les bons temps rouler! This day of eating, drinking and overindulging that can take quite a toll so, I’m sharing a healthy salad to help keep you fit and fierce for Fat Tuesday . . . or get you back on track later in the week!

Creole Cajun Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons

You’re going to love my Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons, it’s like a healthier version of a Po’ Boy sandwich that exploded with loads of lettuces and farm-fresh veggies. Shrimp sauteed with Cajun spicesInstead of getting fried in oh-my-gawd grease, the succulent shrimp in this quick and easy recipe get a toss in Creole Seasoning before being lightly sautéed in heart-healthy olive oil.

Forget about bland Creole seasoning from grocery store spice aisle, kick up the taste and cut down on costs by making a big batch at home – in addition, making it from scratch lets you say au revoir to weird chemicals and preservatives and control the amount of heat. Often referred to as Cajun spice, this blend of peppers, paprika, thyme, oregano, garlic and onion powders creates the base of bold flavor on practically everything in my shrimp recipe – BAM! Spices for Creole Seasoning

I also use Instantly Fresh Herbs  in my Creole Spice Mix, a generous recipe that makes plenty for the salad, dressing and croutons – store leftovers in an airtight jar for up to a year. Use this Creole Spice Mix in soups and gumbos, rub into catfish and tuna, mix into meatballs, and even sprinkle on grilled fruit – this Cajun food seasoning is crazy-good!

Creole Spice with Instantly Fresh HErbs

The dressing isn’t loaded in fat either; I used the deliciously creamy Greek yogurt-based Ranch and jazzed it up a bit with Creole spices.

If you are looking for some other Cajun, Creole or otherwise New Orleans-ish, check out this collection of Crescent City inspired recipes from Cooking Light

Creole Cajun and New Orleans recipes from Cooking  Light

 

What are your Mardi Gras plans? What is your favorite Cajun or Creole recipes? Please share in the comments, XOXO — Jennifer

Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons
Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons
Print Recipe
Let the good times roll while keeping it light with my New Orleans inspired entree salad featuring spicy sauteed shrimp and crusty French baguette croutons.
Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons
Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons
Print Recipe
Let the good times roll while keeping it light with my New Orleans inspired entree salad featuring spicy sauteed shrimp and crusty French baguette croutons.
Ingredients
For Creole Spice
For Shrimp
Servings:
Instructions
  1. To make Creole Spice Mix, place ingredients in small jar with lid. Stir or shake to combine. May be stored in pantry out of direct sunlight for up to one year. Makes approximately ½ cup.
  2. To make shrimp, heat olive oil and Worcestershire sauce in large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat thawed shrimp dry and toss with Creole Spice Mix. Place in hot skillet and sauté for approximately 2 minutes, or until heated through (take care not to over-heat since shrimp are precooked). Remove shrimp from heat to a plate while finishing remainder of dish.
  3. To prepare salad, top lettuce with cabbage, radish and tomatoes on a large platter or individual bowls. For dressing stir, Creole Spice Mix in dressing until incorporated – use more or less depending on preference for spiciness.
  4. For croutons, slice 8-inch length of baguette in half lengthwise. Next, slice each half in half at a long diagonal; place on baking sheet. Brush cut side of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese and Creole Spice Mix. Set under broiler for 60 seconds (keep a vigilant eye) or until top beginning to bubble and brown.
  5. To serve, place shrimp on prepared salad and add one big crouton per person; pass with dressing.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe