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IT’S FINALLY OVER

My fellow Americans: this is election cycle is finally over. Thank God. We made it. And that’s all I’ll say about that because this is a health and wellness blog (okay, mostly food blog) and not a place for me to discuss politics.

With that said! I have been craving ~Mediterranean food for a while now: pitas, garlic and herbs, lemon, YUM! I know Mediterranean foods are typically warm-weather (read: summer) meals but this November has been unseasonably warm! Like, when was the last time Illinois had high-60 degree temps this late in the fall?! I can’t remember a time.

So here we are, post-election day eating Mediterranean-style food

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Print Recipe
Artichoke and Tomato-Basil Chicken
A quick and easy-to-make Mediterranean-style chicken dish!
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Recipe Notes
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Butter your baking dish (or PAM spray)
  • Season both sides of chicken breasts using Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper (to taste)
  • Pop in oven for 15 minutes
  • While chicken is baking, in a small bowl, mix together parmesan, tomato, basil, garlic, and artichoke
  • Remove chicken from oven, coat with mix from above
  • Lay mozzarella slices on top of mixture
  • Pop back in oven for 25-30 minutes
  • Broil for a few min for crispy cheese (I broiled mine a wee-bit too long)!!

...aaaaaand SERVE! You can get 6-7 servings by cutting the chicken breasts in half!

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pumpkin-bars

Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bars

I don’t wanna come off as super basic but… I’m pretty basic. I love all things fall: apples, baking, my flannel shirts, LL Bean boots, bonfires, football, and seasonal beers. Notice how pumpkin spice is not on that list?

Growing up, I never had pumpkin anything in my house, aside from the Jack-o-Lanterns we carved every year. It was never apart of our meals so I was never exposed to the (wonderful) gourd. My first taste of pumpkin and pumpkin spice was a pumpkin spice latte and I gotta say… not a fan. Gimme a skinny peppermint mocha and I’ll be a happy chick but if you order me a PSL – prepare to die.

So I avoided pumpkin for years after that. That is, until today. Today I bring you my first attempt at Pumpkin Bars with a cream cheese frosting. Everybody and their mother goes crazy for pumpkin come October 1 so I figured I’d try baking with it. I must say, I really outdid myself.

I used my banana bread recipe and just replaced the mushed bananas with a can of pumpkin puree and what followed was Heaven in my mouth. The bars are spongy and flavorful, but not overpowering. And the addition of the cream cheese frosting is a bonus (though, not a must!).

I ended up with 24 bars and if left unfrosted, they’re only 75 calories each! Perfect for dessert and way better for you than those sweet “coffee” drinks that are so popular right now.

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Print Recipe
Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bars
Moist & flavorful pumpkin bars - made with Greek yogurt!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
slices
Ingredients
For the frosting:
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
slices
Ingredients
For the frosting:
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350*
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix together all wet ingredients (eggs, maple syrup, Greek yogurt, vanilla, and pumpkin puree) and brown sugar
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all dry ingredients
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients (add in small batches)
  5. Mix until creamy and then pour into oven-safe dish and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven
Frosting:
  1. With softened cream cheese and butter, mix all ingredients until blended
Recipe Notes

Let pumpkin bars cool for 20-30 minutes before frosting them. If it's too hot, the frosting won't hold!

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Crockpot Turkey Chili

Hello & HAPPY MONDAY. I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend and you’re off to a good start this week. If not, I hope the week gets better for you!

I spent the whole weekend doing next-to-nothing. It was cold and rainy so I didn’t want to leave the house if I didn’t have to. Sunday afternoon cleared up a bit so Matt and I went to an early dinner down in Evanston and afterwards, I met up with my mom for a 90-minute (SO LONG) yoga class. It was quite the experience!

So with fall in full swing, my laziness when it comes to cooking came creeping back. Well, I think I’m always lazy. I have bursts of renewed energy when it comes to the kitchen but that doesn’t last too long; between grocery shopping, actually cooking, and then the clean-up, I don’t like to do anything too elaborate. And that is why I LOVE crockpot meals: perfect for any season and you can create wholesome, hearty meals with barely any preparation! Over the weekend, I threw together some of my favorite combinations for a healthy Crockpot Turkey Chili.

This version of chili is slightly healthier than most because it incorporates lean turkey meat and chopped vegetables. And best of all: leftovers for DAYS.

I am now off to Dunkin for a mid-day coffee! I promised myself that after a new post + several job applications that I could get one. Have a good Monday!

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Print Recipe
Crockpot Turkey Chili
A hearty turkey chili - perfect for cooler fall or winter evenings!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 5+ hours
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 5+ hours
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Brown turkey on stovetop then transfer over to your crockpot
  2. Add EVERYTHING + 1/2 of seasonings (not cheese, not avocado)
  3. Mix well
  4. Add rest of seasonings
  5. Cook on high for 2 hours, or low for 5-6. The longer, the better.
  6. Serve over rice with shredded cheese and avocado
Recipe Notes
  • Vegetarians/vegans: omit turkey completely (black beans would be a tasty addition), substitute vegetable broth in place of chicken stock
  • Spices heavily encouraged! Add whatever YOU think would be tasty
  • The longer you leave it in the crockpot, the better it turns out
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