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It appears that winter is upon us. I am not a fan of being cold, so prepare for lots of recipes that will warm up both you and your home! Also, if you like checking out all the recipes but just can’t quite get yourself to put them into a meal plan, you are in luck. Check back here on Friday for the start of a 5 week series of meal plans complete with shopping lists!

sometimes you  just want warm food the second you walk in from the bitter cold and I can’t think of many things better than slow cooker chicken fajitas to have ready and waiting for you

healthier (but still delicious) oat + pistachio crumble topped sweet potatoes for your thanksgiving menu

shepherd’s pie, but easier

this maple bourbon pumpkin butter would make a fun holiday gift! or you could add it to these pumpkin spice overnight oats.

roasted broccoli is a staple in my house. it is such a quick, easy, flavorful way to make sure you have veggies on the table. plus, broccoli is usually only 99 cents/lb this time of year!

simple roasted carrots with salt + pepper are also a favorite of mine, but here is a slightly fancier version if you need a little more flavor. or you could always make some carrot fries

I guarantee that this homemade pineapple chicken is much healthier than anything you’ll find on the chinese buffet

if you haven’t tried homemade applesauce, I highly recommend it. you barely even need a recipe. my most recent batch was: 3 lb bag of jonathan apples (peeled + cored) in the slow cooker with 1/4 to 1/2 cup water or apple cider, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and a dash of ground nutmeg. set on low and it was done within 5-6 hours. it’s good by itself, on pancakes, on yogurt, on oatmeal….on ice cream? you should make some.

this one isn’t a recipe, but if you like looking in people’s refrigerators, you will probably also find this photo gallery incredibly interesting

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Sometimes after the abundance of summer produce disappears, I feel like there are no vegetables left to be had over the colder months. But that’s not true! There are lots of ways we can eat veggies in the fall/winter! [am I the only one that sometimes needs reminders that there are foods besides cookies and bread from October – February??] This week’s collection of recipes have certainly helped inspire me to seek out more cold weather veggies [even if in the form of dessert]. I hope they do the same for you!

this harvest veggie bowl is a good start

you could also eat raw veggies with roasted pumpkin seed hummus. or add it to a wrap with leftover roasted veggies.

snack on homemade bbq sweet potato chips

you can never have too many recipes for southwest quinoa salad

I LOVE barbeque chicken pizza. barbeque chicken french breads are even faster! and you could totally sneak in extra veggies. pretty much everything is better with a little barbeque sauce and cheese.

maybe the easiest way to fit more veggies into your diet is to toss them in a grilled cheese

creamy roasted red pepper soup!

shredded kale salad with fried chicken. talk about balance! also, I just bought her cookbook, seriously delish, and I can’t wait to make pretty much every single recipe

butternut squash + apple + pear crisp. I mean, we put pumpkin in just about everything this time of year, so why not butternut squash?

speaking of pumpkin and dessert – the texture of these soft pumpkin chocolate chip bars looks like perfection

mix some zuchinni noodles into your pad thai

these sesame peanut noodles are loaded with veggies and only take one pot…and less than 30 minutes!

granola bars are a great snack in theory, but most of the ones on the shelves today are just glorified candy bars. making your own is easy and a much healthier and better tasting option – like these chewy peanut butter apple granola bars. there may not be any veggies in there but real fruit is a major step up from the stuff in packaged granola bars

 

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LOTS of recipes this week! There are summer recipes, fall recipes, snack recipes, weeknight meal recipes….all of the recipes! Enjoy 🙂

it’s soup season for sure. this week, I made this summer minestrone I shared awhile back. it’s like the perfect combo of fall + summer for those of us who aren’t quite ready to let go of warm weather. this weeknight indian chicken soup might be next.

maybe there are people in your house that have an aversion to “healthy” foods. you could probably deceive them with some baked chicken wings. it’s a win-win for everyone involved.

popcorn is a whole great and a great snack, especially when air popped at home…and of the sour cream and onion variety

homemade ramen is much healthier than 20 cent packages of ramen

although fall means winter is next, it is the season for brussels sprouts which I LOVE. don’t be afraid of them. they really are amazing if you cook them right..like these tart cherry-glazed brussels

grilled eggplant + pesto sandwich!

apples are starting to get really good. if any survive being eaten raw, you should probably make some hazelnut streusel apple muffins

why eat a plain side of corn when you could eat thai glazed skillet corn?

strawberry + almond oat crumble would be a more filling/healthy way to take care of that after dinner sweet tooth (I have a major after dinner sweet tooth….anyone else??)

sometimes you just need a little inspiration to get you out of a lunch rut (I also have and LOVE this book for good lunch ideas)

if you are a fan of arugula, you might be a fan of this salad

homemade snack mix is so easy

lentil chickpea salad + roasted garlic dressing!

risotto is comfort food. especially with sausage, brussels sprouts, and sun-dried tomatoes!!

stir-fried beef + sesame noodles. it only takes 30 minutes!

if peach butter is as amazing as apple butter, then I am all. over. it.

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Well, I’m not really sure where last week went! It flew by and I somehow never got around to hitting publish on the posts I had ready. Anyway, I’m back and I’ve found some great recipes lately. There are lots (to make up for last week!), so I hope you find a great one to get into the kitchen and try out this week!

I wish I had a grill so I could make these grilled steak + avocado flatbreads

have  fun, delicious breakfast this weekend: raspberry crumble pancakes

toasted oat + coconut muesli is a quick breakfast that’s packed with good stuff

making indian food at home can seem kind of intimidating. this chicken chickpea curry looks pretty doable!

burrito bowls are a great way to get a healthy, delicious, homemade meal on the table fast.

serve your burrito bowl over slaw or salad for a lower calorie version packed with good-for-you veggies!

need an after school snack? homemade pudding >>>> pudding from a box.

who says you can’t have pizza for breakfast?

use your abundance of late summer tomatoes for this pesto pasta!

saute summer veggies + sausage for a quick dinner that has a little something for everyone

I don’t know if I’m ready to accept that it’s pumpkin season again quite yet, but these single serving pumpkin muffins look amazing

banana yogurt muffins with streusel topping are also good if you need muffins but also can’t accept pumpkin season just yet

20 minute thai basil beef rice bowls? what’s not to love?

make a salad into a meal with the addition of protein (like chicken, beans, hummus, steak, or tofu) and healthy fats (like avocado or olive oil). this fajita veggie burger salad would make a great meal that actually fills you up!

these no-bake dark chocolate almond butter cheerio bars would make a great snack or dessert!

sometimes I want to make pesto, but I almost never have all the ingredients. this oil-free//dairy-free version might be the answer! and the caprese rice salad doesn’t look like a bad way to enjoy that pesto.

here’s the thing. sometimes you just don’t have a dinner plan and you need something fast. I sometimes like to keep some Annie’s brand mac + cheese (because it’s delicious and has recognizable ingredients) in my kitchen for just that very situation. I love these 10 ways to enhance Annie’s mac + cheese that help make it into a more legitimate meal. shells with white cheddar is my favorite!!

 

 

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I hope everyone is having a smooth transition back into the routine of the school year! Enjoy some of the recipes below to help you pack school lunches, get a quick dinner on the table, or enjoy the last bit of summer.

here are 5 great tips to packing a healthy lunch that can be used at any age!

a thai chopped salad with tofu is a nice change

yogurt marinated grilled chicken skewers! make extra for easy lunches!

quinoa can be breakfast too – like this coconut quinoa with dried fruit and nuts

I wish I had a spiralizer so I could make these incredible greek cucumber noodles. genius!

soba noodles with shrimp – can’t go wrong with a recipe that only requires one pan

whole wheat apple zucchini muffins make a quick breakfast or snack you can feel good about

homemade sesame chicken is MUCH better than fast food sesame chicken. less grease. fewer sketchy ingredients. just better.

and if you prefer beef, you can make that at home too.

let’s be honest…it’s kinda chilly this week (compared to what it has been). if you feel like you need some soup, I think this spicy sausage and kale soup would be perfect

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There are some good recipes this week for things you might normally not think to make at home, like crackers and fruit roll-ups. Most of the time, like with these recipes, it really doesn’t take all that much to make something at home instead of buying a pre-packaged version. Not to mention that you then have much more control over what goes into your food. Is there anything you’ve tried making at home that you used to only buy pre-made at the store? I make all my bread at home and cook beans from scratch instead of buying canned. Sometimes, I’ll make granola and granola bars too!

a nice change from traditional chicken salad

make good use of that summer squash that is overflowing from your garden by throwing it on a pizza

you could also toss that summer squash in a salsa to eat on chicken or fish, mixed with brown rice or wheat pasta, or with tortilla chips!

fresh spring rolls look much more intimidating than they are. they’re easy to pack for lunch too!

make a blended chai latte at home to beat the heat and save some money (..and calories!) at the drive-through

there’s no reason to avoid eating veggies when you can eat them with pizza flavored hummus

no need to buy fruit roll-ups or fruit snacks packed with all kinds of shady chemicals when you can easily make homemade fruit roll-ups with fresh fruit. the only thing your kids (and you!) will notice is how much better the homemade version tastes 🙂

it may be hard to find good fresh mussels in kansas, but these coconut curry mussels look fantastic

making your own crackers is much easier than you might expect. these life changing crackers are packed with nutrients because they’re made with real food…something most crackers on store shelves can’t claim.

I can’t even describe how amazing these greek chicken plates look. lean protein, grains, and loads of veggies make it a perfectly balanced meal.

it may have been 100 degrees outside today, but this tuscan summer minestrone soup looks insanely delicous. this might be my lunches next week….

…I know, another soup…but this thai corn curry soup would be perfect with all the super sweet corn in season right now

if you want a fast, easy weeknight dinner that your whole family will love, look no further than sweet balsamic glazed chicken

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Here are some great recipes from the last week – a lot of red, white, and blue…and grilling! Stay tuned in the next couple days for a post covering just about everything you want to know about protein and another on figuring out food labels. Is there another nutrition-related topic you’d like cleared up? Let me know in the comments!

strawberry cream popsicles. I know….more popsicles…but it IS popsicle season!

summer fruit pecan crisp, as if you need another excuse to eat all of the delicious summer fruits

eggplant + chickpea coconut curry, because you can’t go wrong with curry

tomato, peach, + avocado bruschetta is a summer twist on a classic

have a backyard bbq side dish and a perfect lunch the following day with the leftovers of mediterranean lentil salad

how about red, white, + blueberry caprese salad for your 4th of july celebration?!

….or American flag jello?!

cornbread + homemade hot dog buns all rolled into one….does it get any better??

greek salad is always a winner

grilled bbq chicken pizza – my favorite homemade crust only takes 45 minutes (totally worth the wait) or if you’re really in a rush, make a quick flatbread crust by blending 1.5 cups flour, 1/2 cup water, and a pinch of salt in a food processor or by hand. No rising required – just roll it out and add your toppings! Make half of the flour whole wheat when making your crust for added fiber and nutrients!

grilled tofu is a great meatless option for summer cookouts

this summer chopped salad literally combines everything wonderful about summer food into one bowl