Choosing Healthier Options

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TENways  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Last week I shared how I get motivated to work out including fun fitness programs and sprucing up my gym wardrobe (P.S. you still have time to enter that giveaway!) Today, I’m going to share a few things I’ve been switching up in my daily meals for a healthier diet!

Kitchen Prep

I used to eat cereal for breakfast and a sandwich consisting of bread, turkey, cheese and mustard for lunch. Hello Ciera, where the heck are the fruits and veggies?! That was just no good and I’m determined to live a healthier lifestyle so I’m being proactive and changing what I eat! The cool thing about the meals I suggest below is that you start with the basics but customize them with different fruits and vegetables so that it doesn’t get boring!

 

Breakfast

Now I eat greek yogurt with fruit and granola. I stick to plain greek yogurt and use vanilla almond granola to sweeten it up some. My favorite fruits to add are pears, blueberries, strawberries and bananas.

Yogurt Blueberries Granola Coffee Breakfast

 

Lunch

Now I eat quinoa with veggies. I like to cook a bunch of quinoa at the beginning of the week and then switch up the ingredients each day. My favorite things to add are spinach, carrots, broccoli, red onions, garlic and garbonzo beans. I really just throw in whatever we have in the fridge. I just drizzle a little olive oil on top then I usually top it with avocado, salt and pepper.

Quinoa Carrot Spinach Veggie Bowl

 

Beverages

Now I swap regular high calorie soda with the TEN sodas product line. I know that water is always your best bet but I just can’t completely give up my occasional soda. The TEN sodas come in four flavors, 7-up, Sunkist, Canada Dry & A&W, and I found them at Walmart. They only have ten calories a serving but with the same full flavor of their regular counterparts! I also tried the 7-up with a splash of cranberry juice and it was really good!

Ten Calorie Soda Option

What do you like to eat for a healthier diet?

You can save $0.50 at Walmart when you buy TWO 2 Liter bottles or TWO 4-pack cans of 7UP TEN, A&W TEN, Canada Dry TEN, RC TEN or Sunkist TEN soda. If you share that digital coupon via email, Facebook or Twitter (there is a click to share button) the coupon will save you $1.50 off that purchase instead of just $0.50! Offer available while supplies last, from 3/27-4/17. Click here for coupon and visit DPSG on Facebook and Twitter.

The Font Feast Presents Roasted Veggies

roasted-veggies

Last year, we signed up for our first CSA. Not the kind of CSA my friends subscribe to (no offense if you’re reading this, ladies) where you go pick up a cheap box of pineapples and bananas every week. The CSA we signed up for was run by a little family that grew, picked, and delivered all of their own vegetables every week from Spring to Fall. We signed up for a Large Box and were awash in produce for six whole months. We ate lots and lots and lots of cool vegetables–crazy varieties of cucumbers and broccoli, potatoes in every color imaginable, more tomatillos than we could possibly consume, the totally weird-looking but delicious kohlrabi–and oven-roasting became my go-to method for cooking any and every vegetable.

Oven-roasting is great for so very many reasons. First, it is so quick. It literally takes just a few minutes of prep work and just a few minutes of cooking. Even if you are cooking other things in the oven and have to wait to roast the veggies until the last minute, they’ll be ready by the time you’ve called everyone to the table. Second, you can roast pretty much any vegetable using this same method and they’ll taste great. All you have to vary is the cooking time. Third, it makes the colors really pop! Greens, oranges, purples…they all become even more vibrant as they cook. And last but not least, and actually best of all, roasted veggies taste amazing, plain and simple. They get brown and crispy in spots, and their flavor really deepens. Yum! I can’t wait for our Large Box of veggies to start rolling in again in a few weeks!

The font that inspired this easy recipe (more of a method, really) is so appropriate: Bright + Beautiful by Skyhaven Fonts.

Roasted Veggies Recipe

Roasted Veggies inspired by Bright + Beautiful

vegetables, washed, dried, and chopped into hefty bit-sized pieces (We are on a cauliflower kick lately!)
extra virgin olive oil
garlic salt

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spread the vegetables out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle all over with olive oil, then sprinkle generously with garlic salt. Using clean hands, toss the veggies until everything is well-coated with oil and salt. Roast the veggies, tossing occasionally with a long-handled spoon or spatula, until lovely, crispy, brown spots appear and the veggies are just tender. The time will vary depending on what vegetable you’re roasting. Green beans go quickly, broccoli and cauliflower take a little longer. Check often. Eat immediately.

So…this is my last Font Feast post, everybody. It has been such a pleasure to work with Ciera on this series for the past 18 months, and I’ve loved every single post! xoxo

The Font Feast Presents Crepes with Nutella & Strawberries

Nutella Strawberry Crepes Recipe

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! Luckily, my husband is a pro at breakfast-making. Fluffy buttermilk pancakes, crisp, golden waffles, savory scrambled eggs, hearty biscuits and gravy–you name it, he can make it. One of my favorite things that he makes for us is crepes! Crepes filled with apples and cinnamon and butter, crepes filled with lemon and powdered sugar, crepes filled with homemade berry jam. And the creme de la creme of crepes, at least at our house, crepes filled with Nutella, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream. They’re really easy to make, but they seem so fancy and indulgent, and are so delicious! They make even regular weekend breakfasts an event to remember!

The font I chose to go with our fancy French crepes is called Little Lord Fontleroy, and the moment I saw it, I knew it was the perfect French-inspired font for this month’s post. It’s just beautiful! 

Crepes with Nutella & Strawberries

Crepes with Nutella & Strawberries inspired by Little Lord Fontleroy

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
a splash of vanilla
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar
nutella
strawberries
whipped cream
powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, oil, salt, and vanilla. Add flour and cinnamon sugar and whisk until smooth. Spray a crepe pan or large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto the center of the pan and gently swirl the pan to spread the batter out into a thin circle. Allow to cook until golden on the bottom. Using a large spatula, turn the crepe over and continue to cook until golden on both sides. Stack finished crepes on a large plate until ready to serve. Fill crepes with Nutella, strawberries, and whipped cream before serving, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes about 12 crepes.

The Font Feast Presents Kale Berry Smoothies

Kale Berry Smoothie Recipe Inspired by Raleway Font

It seems like eating better is at the top of everyone’s New Year’s resolution list, and really, it’s no wonder. I think a brand new year inspires us to find our best selves, and after the treats and sweets and snacks of the holidays, everybody is ready for fresh, healthy foods. I’ve been having smoothies for breakfast every single day (okay, fine, except Saturdays and Sundays) since January 1st, and I’m really liking this change! It gets me eating breakfast, which we all know is the most important meal of the day, and gives me the chance to load up on fruits and veggies and superfoods and vitamins, and all that good-for-you stuff. We’ve done a little experimenting here and there over the past two weeks, and this Kale Berry Smoothie is my favorite smoothie creation to date. It’s packed with goodness (Kale, people!), and is sweet and delicious.

I have to admit that I chose a little bit of a tongue-in-cheek font to go with these smoothies: Raleway. You probably don’t get the connection yet, so let me explain. Raleway is a great all-purpose font, smooth and sleek, and it comes in lots of weights, ranging from Heavy to Thin. See?? It goes perfectly with healthy smoothies and New Year’s resolutions!

Kale Berry Smoothies

Kale Berry Smoothies inspired by Raleway Thin

1 banana
1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
kale (I use 3 big black kale or dinosaur kale leaves.)
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup strawberries
100% apple juice (I start with a generous splash and work up from there.)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Stir as necessary. You will still see blackberry and raspberry seeds, but you shouldn’t have any visible green bits.

P.S. Ciera was over on Lulu the Baker last week sharing what it’s like in her kitchen, check it out!

The Font Feast Presents Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

homemade hot cocoa mix with candy cane

I’ve never been particularly high-brow about my hot chocolate. Give me a box of Swiss Miss and a pot of boiling water and I’m good to go. I could drink cheap cocoa all winter long and be perfectly content. My husband, on the other hand, is a bit of a hot chocolate snob. When we were first married, he bought himself a little cookbook full of really legit, high-class hot chocolate recipes from all over the world; he loves to make “real hot chocolate” and turns his nose up at most hot cocoas. So it came as a shock to me when I made him cocoa the other night using a favorite recipe from my childhood and he said, “I love this hot chocolate!” My Nana used to make us this cocoa mix when I was little, and we’d keep it in an absolutely massive jar with a Santa face painted on the side. It makes me happy that this bit of my childhood has passed the cocoa test in our house with flying colors and gotten two enthusiastic thumbs up from everyone, even the cocoa snob!

I paired this Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix with a fun, retro font, Remachine Script. It reminds me of a Christmas party from the swinging’ 60′s, complete with ugly sweaters, turtlenecks, and cocoa!

homemade hot cocoa mix with candy cane

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix inspired by Remachine Script

32 oz Nesquik
1 lb powdered sugar
16 oz powdered coffee creamer
25 oz powdered milk
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa

Combine all ingredients in a really enormous bowl (or the largest soup pot you have) and stir until well combined. Store in an airtight container. To make hot cocoa, combine 1/2 cup hot cocoa mix with 1 cup boiling water. Stir, and top with whipped cream, mini marshmallows, or crushed candy canes!

The Font Feast Presents Gratin Dauphinois

gratin dauphinois recipe

My family is really big on food traditions. We always have the same thing for dinner on St. Patty’s Day. We always have the same thing for breakfast on Christmas. And the Thanksgiving menu never changes. Without fail, we have mashed potatoes and gravy with our turkey, and they’re always delicious. BUT. These Gratin Dauphinois, which are really just scalloped potatoes with a fancy French name, are pretty irresistible, and would make an amazing addition to any Turkey Day menu. They’re actually a long-time family favorite, filled with butter and cheese and hints of garlic. If only I could talk my family into a potato upgrade…

For potatoes with such a fancy name, I needed a font with lots of oomph, and Baker Script is a perfect fit: rustic yet elegant, lovely and legible.

scalloped potatoes on plate

Gratin Dauphinois inspired by Baker Script

1 1/2 cups milk
3 lbs waxy potatoes, unpeeled (I like Yukon Gold or Klondike Red)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 heaping cups shredded cheese (whatever kind you want)

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat. While waiting for the milk to simmer, thinly slice the potatoes. We’re talking THIN slices, like 1/8″ thick. I use a mandolin for this and it’s a breeze. If you don’t have a mandolin, just slice them with a sharp kitchen knife. Lightly spray a 9×13″ pan with nonstick cooking spray. Scatter half of the potatoes evenly over the bottom of the pan. Drizzle half of the melted butter over the top (2 Tablespoons), and sprinkle on half of the salt, half of the pepper, and half of the garlic powder. Top with 1 heaping cup of shredded cheese. Repeat layers. When the milk has come to a simmer, pour it evenly over the top of the cheese layer. Bake for 40 minutes, or until deeply golden and bubbly. Allow to cool slightly before serving.