Hawaiian Pork Shish Kabobs

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to the warm weather by starting up the grill! It doesn't matter what season it is, I always say, "this is my favorite season!" As the merry winter melts into spring, which then bursts into summer then cools and seems to light on fire with fall leaves.  I just can't help it.  I find myself embracing the excitement of something new.  Which inspired something new for dinner tonight!  These Hawaiian Pork Shish Kabobs are as fun to eat as they are delicious.  The juicy pineapple, crunchy bell pepper, mellow mushroom and sweet pork are complemented with a sweet and tangy marinade.

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Bacon Broccoli Quiche

"Real men eat quiche".  So here's to all you, the manly men or otherwise just hungry men.  This Bacon Broccoli Quiche is what "real men" and everyone else eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner!Crust:1/2 cup coconut flour1/2 cup almond flour1/2 cup almond milk1/2 tsp. sea salt2 tbsp. ground flax seed2 tbsp. coconut oilFilling:4-5 eggs, beaten1/2 cup almond milk1 cup fresh broccoli florets, or thawed and patted dry if frozen6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled1/2 red onion, choppedsalt and pepper1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (opt.)Preheat oven to 350.  Cook bacon, pat off excess grease with a paper towel and crumble.  In left over bacon grease cook onions until translucent, salt and pepper as they cook.  Combine all ingredients for the crust, mixing with a fork.  Press into the bottom and sides of a pie pan. Now in a separate bowl, beat eggs and almond milk together.  Add cooked bacon and onions, broccoli, salt and pepper.  If you opt to have cheese then mix that in too.Pour egg filling into the crust. Bake for about 20-30 minutes until the egg is solid, the edges are a light brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cut up like a pie!Enjoy!

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Meatball Appetizers with Tomato Vinaigrette

Appetizers are great because they're so versatile!  You can serve these savory meatballs at your next get together or as part of "finger food" night with your kids along with a Rosemary Hummus Snack Platter!  Plus, your kids and guests may not know how good for you these cute little meatballs are since they're blended with sweet potatoes which are naturally packed full of vitamins C and A, folate, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals.

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Breakfast Fruit Tarts

 

I don't know about all of you out there, but breakfast at our house can get a little monotonous.  Do you want oatmeal, or eggs?  When we have time, gluten free pancakes or waffles can be added to the list of possibilities.  But, more often than not even those choices get reduced to, "Here, scarf this down while we drive or you'll be late for school!" So I decided to break up the reruns with these Breakfast Fruit Tarts.  You can make the tart mixture the night before so all you have to do is pop them in the oven the next morning while you get ready.  A healthy breakfast is served and you can eat it on the run too!  

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Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Here's to the winding down of a busy school year, spring cleaning and other to-do's that interfere with dinner time. This is a simple, yet healthy and tasty crockpot recipe that you don't even have to dirty a utensil to eat!  This is paleo or keto diet goodness at it's best and easiest.

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Lemon-Dill Flounder Fillets

I've never met a fish I haven't liked and this flounder was no different!  This dish is your classic lemon, butter and fish combo. I added some fresh dill weed and garnished with almond slices.1 garlic clove, smashed1/4 tsp. saltpinch red pepper flakeszest of 1 lemon (about 1 tsp.)2 sprigs fresh dill weed or 1/4 tsp. dry dill1 tsp. butter4 flounder fillets1/2 cup almonds, slivered or chopped.Pat fillets with paper towel to remove any excess water. Combine all ingredients except flounder and almonds. Place fish in a foil lined dish with enough excess foil to wrap over top.  Spread butter mixture over each fillet and bake at 400 for about 10 minutes (10 minutes per inch of thickness). Cover fish with tin foil, this will act as a steamer which will help keep the fish from drying out.Toast almonds in a pan and sprinkle on top of fish when done.Enjoy!

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Almond Coconut Dream Cake

It's kind of a funny story how this cake came to be...it all began with a lemon and an idea to make healthy lemon squares.  After some experimentation, major failure (twice), contemplation and adaptation out of the oven came this beauty. The end result...moist almond cake with lemony hints topped with sweet coconut cream...you might forget its good for you ;)P.S. I was in too big of a hurry to let my coconut milk cool in the fridge so it was a little runny, but don't worry it was still super yummy!

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Sunchoke Shrimp Scampi

This tasty and healthy shrimp scampi switch up has all the classic must haves of a shrimp scampi recipe, but with a fun twist.

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{Homemade} Soft Serve Mango Ice Cream with Blackberries

This one's perfect for a Hawaiian vacation or whenever you're just imagining yourself on a beach somewhere.4 bananas, peeled and frozen1-2 tsp. vanilla extract1 large mango, peeled and cut into small chunks4 oz. blackberriesServes 2Peel bananas and place in either a large plastic container.  Cover and freeze overnight.When you're ready for ice cream simply place frozen banana pieces and vanilla into a good food processor into an ice cream consistency. Have your mango chopped up and ready to go before you start whipping though.

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Black Bean Quinoa Fiesta & {Homemade} Guacamole Salsa

Here's something a little different to put in place of taco night. Fiesta in a bowl! It's light, yet super filling and since this recipe makes a bunch, it's perfect to take to work the next day for a healthy lunch.Black Bean Quinoa Fiesta1 cup quinoa, toasted1 red bell pepper, chopped1 clove garlic, minced2 cups chicken broth2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed1 - 15 oz.can tomato sauce1-2 tsp. cumin1-2 tsp. chili powder1 cup frozen corn, thawed1 lime, zest and juicesalt to taste1 green onion, choppedHeat a large non-stick pot and add dry quinoa. Keep the quinoa moving with a wooden spoon until it becomes fragrant.  Remove from pot and set aside.  Add bell pepper and garlic. Give it a splash of chicken broth if they start to stick.  Once peppers are slightly tender and you can really smell the garlic add remaining broth and return quinoa to the pot.  Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to medium low and add tomato  sauce, cumin and chili powder.  Stir to combine and let that simmer for another 8 minutes or so, until a good amount of the liquid is absorbed.  Add drained and rinsed beans, thawed corn, lime and salt.  Turn to low and put a lid on it until all the liquid is absorbed.  Stir in the chopped green onion.Guacamole Salsa 1 avocado1 tomato, seeded1/2 tsp. cumin1/2 tsp. chili powder1 green onion, choppedjuice and zest of 1 limeCut onion, avocado and tomato (remove seeds) into chunks.  Combine dry ingredients in a small dish before sprinkling over onion, avocado and tomato mixture.  Squeeze fresh lime and zest over top and gently toss to coat.  Top Black Bean Quinoa Fiesta with a healthy scoop of Guacamole Salsa!Enjoy!

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Chicken Cordon Bleu & {Homemade} Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

 

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Inside-out Egyptian Cabbage Roll and Pork Roast

 

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{Homemade} Pumpkin Surprise Muffins

Today my kids were asking for something "yummy" to snack on after school.  Sound familiar?  The after school snack rush is always eventful with my 7 year old frantically scavenging through the pantry and fridge.  He's convinced that if he doesn't eat in the next five seconds he will literally "starve to death".  So while they helped themselves to some "ants on a log" (only the best healthy kid snack ever: celery stick topped with peanut butter and raisins or "ants") I whipped up these pumpkin surprise muffins for when the peanut butter ran out. Wondering what the surprise is?  Don't tell the kids, but these muffins have no refined sugar like most muffins, ground flax, and....(pause for effect)....pureed black beans in place of oil.  Yep, amazingly you don't taste the beans, but you get all the fiber, protein and vitamins anyway. These muffins are moist and filling.  Perfect for those starving growing 7 year-old's snack attack.  Just tell you're kids that the dark chocolate chips and crunchy walnuts are the surprise, they'll never know :) P.S.  Don't you just love the tin foil instead of muffin liners.  Guess I better put that on my grocery list for next time :)

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Zesty Tuna and Palm Salad

Sometimes you just want a restaurant quality lunch without the restaurant.  Well that's how I was feeling one day when this zesty tuna topped salad with sliced hearts of palm, avocado and tomatoes was born.  And it was delicious!

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"Spaghetti" with Lemon Pepper Marinara and Herb & Veggie Meatballs

I never liked the term diet or the phrase, "I should really start doing that" (even though I am as guilty as any of saying it). However, I love new years resolutions.  I love the idea of having a fresh start, a whole new year and a new found resolve to make more of the coming year than I did of the last or to simply stay consistent with the things that make me happy.  So here's to new years resolutions and here's a delicious recipe that with start your year off healthy and satisfied.This spaghetti and meatballs redo is full of flavor.  The fresh lemony sauce with a kick of pepper is a perfect blanket for the slightly sweet flavor of the squash and topped with the herb and veggie stuffed meatballs adds even more layers of flavor and yum!

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{Homemade} Chick 'n Noodle

Chicken noodle soup is kind of the universal cure all.  It's the soup your mom gave you when you were sick and no matter what's wrong it just makes you feel better.  In my gluten free interpretation of this classic I've added some pureed cannellini beans as a thickener and to add that extra boost of flavor and make it a little more hardy.2 cans chicken broth4 cups water2 chicken breasts2 bay leafs1 carrots, sliced1 sweet potato, chopped1 small onion, chopped1 celery rib, sliced3 sprigs fresh parsley, choppedsea salt and pepper to taste1 can cannellini beans, drained and pureed2 cups gluten free egg noodles or prepared quinoa stirred in just before servingIn a large pot pour in broth, water and add chicken breasts, bay leafs and parsley.  Bring to a boil and cook for 5-10 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken breasts) until chicken is cooked through. While chicken cooks, cut up vegetables.  Remove chicken and set aside.  Keep the heat on while you add sweet potato,carrot, onion and celery.  Boil for another 5 minutes until veggies are a crisp tender.  Add egg noodles and salt and pepper.  Cook for another 6-7 minutes then turn down the heat and let it simmer.  While that works drain and puree beans in a food processor.  Stir beans into soup once noodles and veggies are done.  Serve hot with crackers.*  As it turns out mom was right about chicken soup being the best thing for when you're feeling under the weather.  "Pulmonary specialist and professor at the UCLA school of medicine, Dr. Irwin Ziment notes that chicken noodle soup contains drug-like agents similar to modern cold medicines.  Basically the amino acids released during the process of cooking the chicken resembles that of a drug called acetycysteine which is prescribed for those with bronchial problems."

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Dixie Salad

I love fall for many reasons, but one of them is the pomegranates.  I had seen and heard of this peculiar fruit growing up, but never got my first taste until I met my hubby.  My in-laws have two out of control pomegranate trees in their back yard and every fall my mother-in-law makes Dixie Salad.  There's always plenty more pomegranates to take home and share with neighbors and friends too.

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{Homemade} Southwestern Chili

 

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Herb-Crusted Chops & Apples with Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

It seems like the cooler it gets the more comfort food I crave.  These savory pork chops crusted with herbs and topped with sweet sauteed apples and paired up with creamy garlic mashed potatoes is perfect for when family comes for a visit or just for a night at home. Pork Chops4-6 center cut pork chops (one per person)Salt and pepperthymerosemarysage1 tbsp. olive oil1/4 cup chicken broth 1/4 cup lemon juiceSeason pork chops on one side with salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary and sage (just sprinkle until it looks good to you).  Heat olive oil and chicken broth in large skillet.  Lay chops, seasoned side down into skillet.  Only 3-4 at a time so they don't get over crowded.  Squeeze some lemon juice on top of the chops in the skillet and sprinkle more salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary and sage on.  Cook on both sides until no longer pink inside (cook time will depend on thickness of chops.)  Repeat for remaining pork chops.Garlic Mashed Potatoes3-5 lbs. small red potatoes (adjust for how many hungry people you've got. * Cream sauce amount is for 3 lbs.)1/4 cup fat free cream cheese1 1/2 - 2 cups skim or 1% milk1 tsp thyme1 clove garlic, grated1 green onion, chopped.  Reserve green tops. (I forgot the tops for the picture...oops!)Boil potatoes in salted water.  Just leave the skins on, but remove any eyes or blemishes before. (Eww, that just sounded like I was describing a head.  It's just potatoes peoples!).   While potatoes boil combine in a small sauce pan cream cheese, milk, garlic, thyme and white ends of the green onion.  Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until cream cheese is melted and steamy.  Dump water off potatoes once they are easily pierced with a fork.  Pour garlic cream sauce over top and, using a hand mixer or potato masher, mash potatoes and incorporate cream sauce. Top with chopped green onion tops.Sauteed Apples4-6 apples, sliced (about one per pork chop)2 tbsp lemon juice1 tbsp Smart Balance butter2 tbsp apple juice2 tbsp oat flour (place about a 1/4 cup of plain instant oatmeal in food processor until about the consistency of flour)1 tbsp agave nectar or 1-2 tsp stevia powderCut up apples and squeeze lemon juice over top.  Melt butter in small skillet, add oat flour and whisk together until it makes a paste.  Pour in apple juice, sliced apples and agave or stevia.  Saute until apples are a tender crisp. Put it all together So everything gets done about the same time, here's probably the best order to do things.  First slice up your apples, pour lemon juice over top, cover and set aside. Put oats into food processor and pulse until as close to a flour consistency as you can get.  Rinse pork chops and pat dry.  Rinse potatoes (you can half or quarter if they're big) .  Start by boiling potatoes while you prepare chops.  While first shift of chops are cooking prep another skillet for apples. While second shift of chops are cooking make garlic cream sauce for mashed potatoes.  Cover chops when done and set aside. Mash potatoes and blend with garlic cream sauce.  Cover and set aside. Cook apple in skillet. Now stack it up.  A mound of mashed potatoes, a pork chop on that, and topped with a scoop of apples.  Savory food l'more! * By just making a few simple adjustments I made this savory and potentially very fattening dish a little less fattening, but still just as savory. 1: Instead of using a ton of oil to fry the pork chops I just used a little oil and replaced the rest with chicken broth and lemon juice. 2: By using fat free cream cheese and skim or 1% milk I cut out a bunch of fat and calories.  3:  Instead of using regular butter I used Smart Balance butter with Omega-6, ground up oats instead of using bleached white flour, and if you replace sugar with agave or stevia  you're cutting out calories and adding nutrients to your savory and HEALTHY meal.

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Butternut Pumpkin Soup

I would eat soup all year long, but soup + fall = heaven!  Especially this Butternut Pumpkin Soup.  For the full effect put on a sweat shirt and take a bowl full out to the porch on a crisp October day when the leafs are exploding with color. 

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Melissa Cornwall has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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