Wednesday, May 29, 2013

African Chicken Stew

African Chicken Stew is absolutely one of my all time favorite dishes.  It is hearty, yet healthy, which leaves your stomach feeling full and happy afterwards.  I discovered the recipe a few years back on AllRecipes, and have gradually adapted it to my own tastes.  The most recent change I made to the recipe was switching white potatoes to sweet potatoes, which in my personal opinion, has officially made the recipe perfect.  Since the recipe no longer needs tinkering, I figured it was time to share African Chicken Stew with you guys!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Open Faced Tuna Melts

Tuna Melts have always been one of my ultimate comfort foods. Growing up, my dad could only cook two things: omelets and tuna melts, and he made both of those things better than anyone else in the world.  I'll never know all my dad's tricks for making a stellar tuna melt, but I'll spend my life trying to replicate it. So while the recipe below is no "Dad's Tuna Melt", it's a pretty tasty (and skinny) rendition.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

A few weeks ago, my husband asked if I knew of any natural cleaning sprays that we could make.  Since I have been so focused on natural food, hair care, and skin products, he assumed that I would have several natural cleaner recipes on hand. I told him that I hadn't really worried about it: my commercial all-purpose cleaner wasn't being applied to my skin or digested, so it wasn't a pressing concern.  My husband then pointed out that we use that spray to clean our kitchen counters and tables, which food touches, and my child regularly eats directly off of; and when I do a thorough cleaning, the air is misty with cleaner for awhile, so we are probably breathing in a good portion of chemicals.  Um.....good point.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

While I am no longer dieting, I am still focused on eating healthy food.  However, I no longer define healthy food is as strictly low calorie and/or fat.  Instead, "healthy" food means that it is made with real, unprocessed ingredients that pack nutritional value.  Amazingly enough, I have somehow managed to continue to lose inches on my non-diet, which includes eating Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge nearly every night. That's right, I found HEALTHY fudge!  And it is decadent.  It is made with only 5 ingredients; with no egg, butter, or refined sugar.  It is full of healthy fat, which is great for your metabolism, heart, and even hair.  This fudge is also incredibly easy to make, and has gotten rave reviews from everyone I've served it to.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Toddler Activities in Athens, Georgia

When my daughter first learned to walk, she was suddenly no longer content to be confined within the walls of our home. I remember panicking, wondering where on earth I could take her every day.  After all, Athens is a town geared towards college students, not children...or so I thought.  It turns out there are actually a decent number of activities in our lovely town, although they can be difficult to spot amidst all the collegiate activities.  I remember feeling so lost in the beginning, trying to find ways to entertain my feisty toddler, and unsure of where to go.  I am therefore motivated to share what I've learned to help prevent other parents from feeling the same way. 

Skinny Brownies

Last week I decided to try to come up with my own Skinny Brownie recipe.  I had several failed attempts (which I mercilessly pawned off on several friends, sorry guys!), but eventually I came up with a winner.  Not only are these brownies nice and moist, they have the added benefit of being vegan and low sugar.  They also don't take very much time or effort to make, which I always appreciate.  I topped my brownies with a generous sprinkle of sea salt, which I felt like added a fun dimension to the brownies.  However, if you are unsure about the (amazing) salty and sweet combination, feel free to leave that part out.  

Friday, May 3, 2013

Natural Baby Wash & Shampoo

I had been using all natural products on myself for a few months, when I began to wonder why I wasn't doing the same for my toddler. I had been washing her hair with Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo, and cleaning her skin with Aveeno's Baby Wash every night.  I did some research on both, and was not happy about what I learned.  I don't have the energy to go into it all on my blog, but let's just say that both are full of unnecessary and sketchy (at best) chemicals, that I'd rather not lather into my child's skin. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pasta Alla Norma

For my birthday this year, my sister-in-law made an amazing Pasta Alla Norma, which translates to pasta with tomato sauce and eggplant.  I always have bad luck when I try to cook with eggplant (it's totally my cooking nemesis), but the pasta was so good, I was desperate to try to replicate it.  The problem is, like most great cooks, my sister-in-law doesn't follow a recipe, she just wings it.  So I pestered her for hours for every tip and ingredient involved, and then armed with her advice, I gave it my all.  I think it turned out pretty great (though not sure if it was quite as good as my sister-in-law's). It's a little higher in carbs than I usually have for dinner, but a hearty bowl is under 400 calories, which makes it diet-friendly.