Parmesan Purple Sweet Potato Grits with Creole Shrimp

Topping cheese grits with shrimp isn’t anything new down here in the south, but mashed purple sweet potato grits is an unexpected and utterly game-changing twist! I feel like I should rename this post, Grits Gone Wild. Plus, I love how it’s a quick fix on busy nights and, if desired, the shrimp can be left off for a vegetarian side dish . . . . perhaps for Thanksgiving?

Purple Sweet Potato Grits with Creole Shrimp

Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes are different that their classic orange cousins not only in color, but they are favorably denser, richer and offer well-balanced sweetness. Read on to get the Parmesan Purple Sweet Potato Grits with Creole Shrimp recipe, find out more about this healthy complex carb that is perfect for your active lifestyle and to enter my giveaway for Purple Sweet Potato & T-shirt Giveaway. 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

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

Chipotle Butternut Squash Enchiladas – Vegetarian & Gluten-Free

Enchiladas are an easy, make-ahead family meal that gets my Tex-Mex loving family congregating in the kitchen early to count-down the oven timer. When the teenage boys found out I was serving vegetarian Chipotle Butternut Squash Enchiladas they seemed a little bummed about missing the meat. One said, “Well, at least there’s lots of butter and nuts”!  Chipotle Butternut Squash Enchiladas

After I educated him on this sizable squash (which is technically a fruit) packed with fiber, potassium, magnesium and vitamins like C, A & E, he took his plate with an eye roll. But, soon his plate was licked clean and he was coming back for more – read on to find out why and get the recipe! Continue reading

Apple Freekah Salad with Ancho Honey Vinaigrette

This post is sponsored by Now Foods. However, all content, opinions and enthusiasm are my own.

It’s easy to excited about September and the promise of all things autumn – the crisper weather, the golden cast the sun makes, the rah-rah of sports teams, and, of course, comforting food in all the fall flavors . . . especially apple!   Apple Freekah Salad with Ancho Honey Vinaigrette

My Apple Freekah Salad with Ancho Honey Vinaigrette makes a hearty yet still healthy choice for lunch or dinner, packed with filling whole grains, pumpkin seeds, golden raisins and spinach. It’s also a great choice for football tailgating, as it can be served warm or cold. Read on to get the full recipe and learn more about the benefits of apples, freekeh and pumpkin seeds.

Continue reading

Cherry Wheat Berry Super Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Over this busy summer weekend, everyone was delighted to have a big batch of my Cherry Wheat Berry Super Salad on hand for a picnic lunch down at the lake and leftovers to pair next day with our grilled steaks. Cherry season makes me want to do a happy dance and this year was no exception, especially because I scored both Bing and Rainer cherries on sale for a pittance!

Cherry Wheat Berry Super Salad

In addition to sweet cherries, this satisfying, savory-sweet salad features iron-rich spinach, satiating nuts and seeds, and whole-grain wheat berries.  Not to mention feta and balsamic vinaigrette for even more flavor. The ingredients all marry beautifully together – you won’t be cherry-picking the fruit out, you’ll be licking the bowl clean! Continue reading

Grilled Cantaloupe with Ancho Date Sauce #FireUpYourStay

isclaimer: This post is sponsored by TownPlace Suites by Marriott. However, all opinions, experiences, content/recipes and enthusiasm are my own.

If you’ve ever had to stay in a hotel for an extended period of time, whether for vacation, business, or even “between houses,” you will likely agree that both your wallet and waistline take a hit eating every meal out. TownPlace by Marriott is your home away from home and even has Weber Grills on site.

Thank goodness for TownePlace Suites by Marriott, my favorite “home away from home” that keeps me in a happy place with all of my life’s necessary comforts — free-flowing Wi-Fi, spacious living areas, a full kitchen for recipe creating, and even high-end Weber grills in the patio area. Honestly, I was so fired up after finding out that TownPlace had partnered with Weber Grills, I created a special fresh and fit recipe to celebrate – Grilled Cantaloupe with Ancho Date SauceContinue reading