Wild Rice w/ Apples & Butternut Squash

You’ll Fall in love with this delicious recipe…ha, I crack myself up. Did you know Wednesday is the first official day of Fall!?
Bring it on…just not the snow.

Wild Rice w/ Apples & Butternut Squash

1 1/2 Cups wild rice cook (or a blend of wild rice and other varieties)
1/2 Cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 Cups 1/2inch cubed butternut squashed
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch cubes (best to buy organic when purchasing apples)
1 T dried thyme
1 Cup chicken broth (Watkins is the best)
1/2 Cup walnut pieces
Heat oil in large skillet and saute onion over medium high heat until translucent. Add squash, apples, and thyme, and saute 5 minutes. Stir in broth. Combine cooked rice, parsley, and sauteed mixture into an oils 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle walnuts over top (these turn out to be sooo tasty and rich so be generous). Bake 425F for 20-25 minutes. Serves 10.
Of course, J likes his with Robert’s 1% cottage cheese mixed in so it gets ooey and gooey!
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Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

Apple Squash Soup

Get ready for fall infused foods….
Once the leaves start turning and the air gets a little bite to it my cravings for squash, apples, pumpkin, and soup goes through the roof. Luckily, all these foods offer amazing health benefits including vitamin A to help ward of the looming cold and flu season.

This recipe is wonderfully simple and incredibly comforting. Garnish with apples and a couple slices of whole wheat baguette.
find the recipe here: Apple Squash Soup
or here:
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp diced sage
2 T Land o’ Lakes butter
14 oz chicken broth about 1 can (I use Watkins powdered form)
3/4 c water
2 medium granny smith apples, peeled and finely chopped
12 oz cooked squash (about 2-3 cups)
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 c fat free evaporated milk
Saute onions and sage with butter in saucepan, about 3 minutes or until tender.
Add broth, water, and apples. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Add squash, ginger, and salt; return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. Process batches in blender or food processor until smooth. (I filled the blender about 1/4 full each time).
Return to pan and add evaporated milk. Enjoy!

Want to enjoy the comforts of learning to cook a delicious and nutritious meal from your home? Invite me over for an hour of cooking with the gals (or guys). Group or individuals sessions are welcomed! The only thing you supply is the house to make a mess in 🙂

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

An Iowa City filled weekend…

This past weekend was the big ISU vs Iowa football game. Although, the game might not have been a hit, the weekend was!
Lots of good times and good food with friends and family.

Friday J and I had Aunt Barb and Uncle Tom and Kelli and Mike over for dinner.

The Menu:
Appetizer: Bruschetta (recipe from crossfitter Katie)

Here’s the bruschetta recipe (makes 12 pieces):
• 1/2 loaf whole-grain French, ciabatta or other thin loaf bread
• 3 Tbsp / 45 ml extra virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 cup / 240 ml fresh tomatoes, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
• 1 tsp / 5 ml sea salt
• 1 tsp / 5 ml freshly ground black pepper
• 1 handful fresh arugula leaves, finely chopped
• 1 handful fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
• 2 Tbsp / 30 ml best quality balsamic vinegar
• 2 fresh avocados
• Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
1.Preheat oven to 375º F / 190 ºC. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.Slice bread into thin, 1/2-inch slices on the diagonal. Arrange slices on baking sheet. Don’t overlap. Use another baking sheet if necessary.
3.Use a baking brush to lightly coat each piece of bread with olive oil. Bake for several minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from oven. Set aside.
4.In a medium-sized oven-safe mixing bowl combine tomato, remaining olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place in hot oven and bake for 10 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. Remove from heat.
5.Transfer cooked tomatoes to new mixing bowl. Add chopped arugula, basil and balsamic vinegar. Mix gently to combine. Set aside.
6.Peel avocados. Cut in half and remove pits. Dice avocado and toss with lemon juice.
7.Top each piece of bread with tomato mixture. Top with avocado. Serve.
***Katie mentioned she couldn’t’t find arugula by itself, so instead found a salad mix that had spinach and arugula together and used that. You could use spinach by itself, too.

Entree: Swiss and sauteed mushroom burgers (mushrooms were sauteed in olive oil)
and Uncle Jim’s home grown squash

Dessert: Birthday cake for Kelli!

it’s suppose to be red frosting and not pink…obviously I do not have a career as a cake decorator

and of course, Aunt Barb’s scotcheroos

Saturday morning we woke up ready to cheer on our Cyclones!

I prepared a meat and veggie egg dish and homemade banana bread for breakfast.

then it was off to tailgate

Sunday started with a trip to my favorite Iowa City breakfast spot…
the sign says it all

The banana bread french toast is AMAZING!
J couldn’t even wait for me to take a picture before digging in 🙂

Then it was off to Wilson’s Apple Orchard to pick us some Honey Crisp Apples!
over the river and through the woods…
Mike had his technique for crossing the raging river
and J had his

We had to pull out all the apple picking techniques to get the best apples
What a great weekend!
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

First visit to the Apple Orachard this season & Homemade applesauce

The other week J and I made our first trip of the season to Wilson’s Apple Orchard just outside of Iowa City.
One of my favorite things about fall, besides football, is the FOOD, duh. Apples, squash, pumpkin, and everything that is made from these scrumptious ingredients.

Here I am, ready to go!

We had to travel on the unbeaten path to get the best apples

Good think I wore my high waters

J has spotted a good one!

Out varieties this time included: Ginger Gold, Summer Treat, and Burgundy.

With full buckets we were ready to head home.

I just wanted to share a picture of the fun apple I picked up at New Pioneer Coop the other day….it was pink inside!

Homemade Applesauce
4 apples that have been peeled, cored, and chopped into pieces
1/4 tsp lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
ground cinnamon to taste (start with a couple teaspoons)
sweetner to taste (start with 1/4 C) – I used evaporated cane juice (you can purchase in HyVee health market), you can also opt to use brown sugar, Stevia, honey, agave nectar, etc.
about 1/2 C water


Place all ingredients in large pot over medium-high heat. Cover and cook ingredients for 10-20 minutes or until apples are soft. Allow to cool and then mash with potato masher or fork.

My pal Abby just made homemade applesauce as well (great minds think alike)…visit her site here.

Enjoy! and GO CYCLONES!

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

The Egg McMuffin….Healthified

I’m not sure if it’s the pregnancy thing or what, but I can’t get enough cheese! J didn’t help the situation when he brought back some delectable Wisconsin cheese after a salmon fishing trip.
We’ve got squeaky cheese curds on the left, 2 year aged cheddar, and Apple Jack (blend of mozzarella and something else yummy)
I LOVE cheese and fruit platters. I mean the apple with the aged cheddar is like peanut butter & jelly….a match made in heaven.
The only thing missing in this picture….a nice glass of wine 🙁

I incorporated one slice of the aged cheddar and one slice of the apple jack into the Egg McMuffins, but you could use laughing cow for a lower calorie option.

Egg McMuffinHealthified
modified from Clean Eating Magazine
White vinegar, as needed
1 large omega 3 egg
olive oil spray
1 C spinach
1 whole-wheat English muffin
2 thin slices cheese or 1 Laughing Cow wedge
1 slice tomato or 1 T salsa
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 tsp hot sauce like cholula
This was my first time making poached eggs! Bring a large, deep sauce pan with at least 5 cups water to a boil. Add about 1 tsp vinegar for every cup of water. (Taste to make sure vinegar is barely noticeable). Lower heat to a slow simmer. Carefully crack egg into a teacup or ladle. Lower teacup pr ladle into water and pout egg out as gently as possible to not break yolk. Egg white will coagulate in water and turn white. Cook until white is formed and set and yolk beings to thicken but is not hard, 3-4 minutes. Remove egg with slotted spoon or strainer; set aside.
NOTE: to have a more fully cooked poached egg as J likes and I have to have right now…..let cook for about 6-8 minutes. Gently lift egg out of water and lightly press yolk (without breaking) to see if it has solidified. Toast English muffin in toaster.

To assemble, melt or spread cheese on base slice of muffin, add spinach leaves, top with salsa or fresh tomato slice. Top with poached egg, sea salt and pepper, a splash of hot sauce and the toasted top.

Nutrition: calories about 243, fat 8.5g, protein 14g, carbs 31 g, fiber 5.5g

Your kids aren’t the only ones that get to go back to school….
Looking for a fun way to learn about nutrition and socialize with your friends? Try a Health Study. Each week a small group of friends, colleagues, etc, meet for a “nutrition get-together” based on various topics including: truth on fad diets, clean and green eating, label reading, how to feed the family nutritiously, nutrition beauty secrets and many more! You will be the savviest foodie on the block! A healthy snack and recipe will be provided. Topics can be selected by the group.
Prices vary on group size.

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

Chilled Oatmeal with Vanilla Yogurt

J had a business trip in Atlanta a couple weeks ago. Every morning he’d call to express that he was in love with his breakfast. A coffee shop near his hotel served up this chilled oatmeal that has become a “J and I favorite” in our household.

Chilled Oatmeal with Vanilla Yogurt
a PERFECT way to eat oatmeal during those hot summer days


1/2 cup quick or old fashioned oats (because you don’t cook them we find quick to work well)
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (I use homemade yogurt flavored with Watkins vanilla and honey, you can use plain or Greek yogurt with vanilla flavoring and honey)
1/2 green apple, diced
1/4 c dried cranberries
splash of skim milk
and any berries you have (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries)
1 T of ground flaxseed (optional)

Mix oatmeal, yogurt, diced apple, cranberries ,and a splash of milk together. When thoroughly combined, top with almonds and berries.

a balanced breakfast: whole grain carbs from the oats, protein from the yogurt and milk, and heart healthy fats from the almonds and flaxseed.

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good