spotlight + surviving food holidays

Happy Thanksgiving week!! There’s no doubt you already have the menu planned, but here are some healthy additions…as well as some other fun recipes from this week.


One thing to keep in mind during this season of food holidays: just as one day of eating vegetables can’t make a person healthy, one day of more indulgent food than usual can’t make you unhealthy! Don’t starve yourself before a big meal but don’t feel like you need to avoid all the amazing foods your friends and family prepared. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind before we get to the recipes:

1. Eat normal, healthy meals throughout the day before a big gathering. “Saving up” calories for a feast isn’t a thing. You’ll just end up ravenous (and likely hangry!) by the time you get to the party and end up eating far more than you would have if you’d just eaten normally through the day.

2. Focus on balanced, healthy meals on days in between food events. A few days of indulgence here and there aren’t going to add on the pounds, but a 2 month long endless buffet of indulgent foods will.

3. Portion control! Enjoy a reasonable portion of each food and enjoy it.

4. If you don’t love it, skip it. You will not find me wasting plate space on a bland carboard roll or that pink fluffy mystery “salad” I don’t love just because it’s a holiday. I’d rather have extra space for stuffing and pie!

5. You can always bring a healthier dish so you know you’ll have something you can load your plate with and crowd out some of the less healthy options.

I will definitely be trying these cinnamon roll overnight oats

there is a lot of heavy comfort food this time of year. make room on your table for this festive kale salad with apple + pomegranate too!

polenta is one of my favorites and these polenta stuffed poblanos look incredible

I LOVE yukon gold potatoes. imagine them combined with garlic, chives, and sweet potatoes!

if you want to add some sweet potatoes to your Thanksgiving table without 10 lbs of marshmallows, I suggest this sweet potato casserole with sweet and savory bacon pecans! roasted sweet potatoes are also a favorite

deep dish pancake in the microwave!

homemade cranberry sauce is almost as easy as opening the canned variety




Fall foods are taking over my kitchen in full force lately! There are some on today’s list that you don’t want to miss – like homemade applesauce! It’s so easy! Enjoy!

if you’re not sure how to use all the spices in your spice cabinet or just want to be more creative in the kitchen, this infographic is perfect for you. so much great info!!

if you don’t mind a little spice, you’ll probably love this sriracha roasted chicken

do you make homemade pizza? I used to make it at least once a week but I’ve gotten out of the habit. this thai chicken pizza would be a nice change of pace

I think I have my favorite pizza crust recipe on this blog somewhere from back in the day, but this whole wheat pizza dough is even faster. now you have no excuse NOT to make pizza this week! 🙂

did you jump on the kale chip bandwagon a couple years back? I know…it sounds like major hippie food but they’re pretty darn good and these masala kale chips look incredibly addicting.

I’m not a fan of tomato soup, but this one actually looks pretty incredible

a souffle pancake with cinnamon apples sounds like the perfect fall Saturday morning treat

fried chicken is high in unhealthy saturated fats but if it’s a routine part of your dinner menu, you can make a lighter version like this oven fried chicken

nachos are one of my favorite foods and they don’t have to be unhealthy. load them up with fiber-filled black beans, healthy fats from avocado, and veggies like bell peppers and corn for a filling meal you can enjoy and feel good about.

fall is full of all kinds of squash. if you haven’t tried it, what better way to start than squash covered in sweet and sour sauce?

everyone in the family will like easy cheese baked tortellini. bonus – it can easily be frozen so make a couple batches at once!

if you have a slow cooker and you haven’t made homemade applesauce yet, you are missing out. it is so incredibly delicious and EASY….and makes your house smell amazing.


Clearly fall is in full swing because today’s round-up of recipes is definitely heavy on the comfort food.

some soups are definitely not enough on their own to be a meal (I’m looking at you, vegetable). mediterranean chicken, bean, and pasta soup, on the other hand, has everything you need for a meal

roasted potatoes are hands down one of my favorite comfort foods. barbeque roasted potatoes take it up a notch.

guacamole tacos…what more could you possibly need??

sneak in some veggies with cinnamon butternut squash bread

no-bake coconut raisin crunch bars

homemade indian food seems intimidating but this cauliflower coconut masala seems totally doable

baked apple chips would make the perfect fall snack

I think I’ll be making these peanut noodles for lunches next week!

veggie potato breakfast tacos would make a fun weekend breakfast/brunch. I’m betting you could even wrap the leftovers up as burritos and pop them in the fridge/freezer for easy weekday breakfasts….

this one-pot herb roasted chicken looks incredible

homemade cheeze-its!





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!!




lots of great veggie filled recipes this week! many would make perfect leftovers for lunches. just make a big batch of something like the easy pasta salad or chickpea and mozzarella salad, portion into individual containers, and healthy, affordable lunches will be the easy choice all week long. Enjoy!

coconut basil chicken with brown rice looks AMAZING.

ginger garlic steak tacos with pineapple pico de gallo are perfect for summer

add those delicious fresh blueberries to a fresh blueberry lemonade

toss some potatoes and carrots on the grill – the herb feta pesto would be perfect on grilled meats too

vegetarians sometimes get stuck with a plate of baked beans or pasta at cookouts – serve these grilled portabellos for a nice change!

cherries are at their prime right now (and super cheap). if you can avoid eating them all fresh, throw some on the grill for this grilled cherry milkshake

another easy summer pasta salad. you can never have too many! it makes a perfect healthy, no-fuss lunch for the rest of the week too

take a trip to Morocco from your own kitchen with this vegetarian tagine

toss your next grain salad with some pesto for great flavor – like this chickpea, tomato, and mozzarella salad


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


I can certainly tell that the first day of summer is just around the corner – it has really started to heat up the past few days!! Not to mention the ever-present humidity. Some cool summer recipes are definitely in order this week.

how about a swirled tropical fruit smoothie to cool things off? it’s so pretty!

tzatziki chicken salad would be great on a sandwich or salad for a healthy, filling lunch

pork souvlaki with pineapple + cucumber salsa makes a great new summer grill meal

can’t go wrong with grilled salmon…especially when topped with avocado! talk about some delicious healthy fats!

get your meat fanatic to consume a few veggies by….wrapping them in steak

this breakfast sandwich looks incredible. you could totally make your own sun-dried tomatoes if you have a food dehydrator (which I have been meaning to do…)

you know what else makes a great summer breakfast? overnight oatmeal. just combine 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup milk, and 1/2 cup yogurt in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. all you have to do in the morning is add toppings (fruit, peanut butter, etc.) and eat!

feta + herb chickpea quinoa sliders would make a fun appetizer or light dinner

can’t wait for peach season to roll around – these peaches roasted in amaretto (or sub almond extract) look outrageous. with ice cream?! YUM. I think you could totally do these on a pan over the grill too.

What are your favorite summer foods or recipes you can’t wait to make?