5 Healthy Dinner Recipes

Greek-Style-Pork

May is a wonderful time of year for grilling and cooking fresh, flavorful heathy dinner recipes. This Greek style pork recipe can be made in a flash—it takes only 26 minutes to prepare! I love using boneless pork loin chops because they cook quickly, are low in calories and fat, and pair with a myriad of flavors, toppings and accompaniments. The recipe for Greek Style Pork Chops can be found on SC Johnson. I am so lucky to be one of their content bloggers, and I wanted to share with you 5 healthy dinner recipes that are easy, fantastic, family-approved and delicious.

Skillet-Lasagna

Skillet Lasagna on SC Johnson

In this recipe, I used oven-ready noodles so no boiling is needed. Make sure to break them into pieces so when you layer the lasagna, they are close together but do not have to touch. My son, Zachary said this is one of his favorite lasagna recipes.

salmon asparagus foil packets

Salmon Asparagus Foil Packets on SC Johnson

There are several ways to cook this recipe. Personally, I love to cook on the outdoor grill, but you can also cook indoors in your oven. Feel free to substitute any of your favorite vegetables or herbs and to sprinkle a tablespoon of shredded Parmesan or crumbled feta cheese over the top to make this recipe your own.

Caprese Panini

Pesto Caprese Panini on SC Johnson

These easy Panini sandwiches that are simple to prepare and full of flavor. Serve on ciabatta bread, an Italian white bread that is now more commonly found in your grocery store’s bakery.

Salmon Kale Pasta

Salmon Kale Pasta on SC Johnson

Prepared with fresh kale, tomatoes, chives and basil, this recipe incorporates fresh ingredients to flavor this simple dish.

4 Avondale Restaurants Not to Miss

Fancy's on FifthI love featuring guest writers on my site, and I am so excited to share an article by Leigh Lewis and Ann McQueen Whatley, high school Juniors at Mountain Brook High School in Birmingham. They recently visited a few of the hip, cool restaurants in Avondale in Birmingham, and here’s what they found. Take it away Leigh and Ann McQueen and thank you Leigh Lewis for the photos.

Post Office Pies Pizza

In recent years, Avondale has become a hotspot neighborhood in Birmingham with numerous food options. All of the food at the spots we visited was delicious; the only ways the restaurants differentiate is in their prices and service. Overall, the restaurant that excelled above the others is Fancy’s on Fifth.

After much consideration, we dined at four popular restaurants in Avondale to determine which excelled the most in three vital categories: price, service, and taste.

  1. Melt

Price: Everything on the menu is under $12.00, and this includes, starters, salads  sandwiches and desserts. We loved that!

Service:  The service was good. Waiters were very friendly, chatty and helpful.

Taste: Melt’s sandwiches exceed the average grilled cheese. From traditional grilled cheese to more experimental sandwiches, Melt has something for everyone. We tasted the Mac Melt, which was (as the name suggests) a grilled cheese with mac and cheese in the middle, and the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, which is spicy buffalo chicken in between two toasted pieces of bread. Both sandwiches tasted great. 

Post Office Pies

2. Post Office Pies

Price: 9 inch pizzas cost anywhere from $9.00 – $14.00 but are only served at lunch. 12 inch pizzas range from $13.00 – $17.00. Although a bit pricey, the amount of food as well as the fresh ingredients are worth it. 

Service: The service is really good. Even though the restaurant is not sit-down-and-order-style, waiters checked on us throughout our meal.

Taste: We ordered the Margarita Pizza and the Chicken Pesto Pizza and all of the ingredients were distinctively fresh. From the crust to the basil, we could tell that the ingredients were fresh and of good quality. 

3. Fancy’s on Fifth

Price: The price was much like that of Melt’s, where nothing was too pricey, and the portions are very good (not too big, not too small). The atmosphere is really fun, but get there early, as there is usually a wait. 

Service: The service was very good. The waiter was very helpful, and they were eager to please. 

Taste: Fancy’s on Fifth is an overall creative concept of oysters and burgers, but each item is more than just your average oyster or burger. They offer many healthy options, such as gluten-free bread, vegan patties and lettuce-wrap buns. We ordered the Smoked Salmon Salad and the Turkey Jive Burger, both of which had very good presentation and an unexpected but delicious tastes. Don’t miss the Chorizo Grilled Oysters, Ramen Noodle and Soft Shell Grab Burger as well.

4. Wasabi Juan’s

Price: With sushi burritos ranging from $6.00 – $11.00, Wasabi Juan’s is pretty inexpensive, especially considering the quality of the seafood and portion size.

Service: The service was less than adequate. We were both delivered something we did not order, and while they tried to take our food back, we had already touched it and ended up with four meals. What’s even worse is that they were noticeably irritated and did not apologize. 

Taste: For such an experimental restaurant that combines Mexican and Asian food, the sushi burritos were great, and there were many different combinations of ingredients that were creative and tasty, including one sushi burrito with mango and shrimp.

Quinoa Bowl with Almonds and Raspberries

Quinoa Bowl with Almonds and Raspberries

Quinoa for breakfast? Yes, have your tried it? Breakfast Bowls are so hot right now, and this Quinoa Bowl with Almonds and Raspberries is one of my favorites! This gluten free breakfast option is filled with fiber, protein and healthy vitamin and minerals. This recipe is great to make and serve when you and your kids are tired of cereal and oatmeal or want something unique, delicious and different. Feel free to make the quinoa the night before, and breakfast will be ready in the morning. Warm up the cooked quinoa and add your favorite milk and toppings. If you’re looking for a other fabulous breakfast bowl recipes try my Quinoa with Apples and Cranberries

quinoa with apples and cranberries

Chia Yogurt Breakfast Bowl from A Zesty BiteChia-Yogurt-Breakfast-Bowl-2

Savory Pesto Quinoa Bowl from Simple Quinoa

pesto-quinoa-breakfast-bowls-4

Lightened Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

I am always looking for an amazing chicken salad at the grocery store or restaurants in town, but I typically have no luck find one that I absolutely love. I recently made these Lightened Up Chicken Salad Wraps with ingredients I had in my refrigerator. Instead of using bread, I served it on top of romaine lettuce leaves for a lunch last weekend, and my family loved it (they also said this was the best chicken salad they have had in so long). I used leftover grilled chicken, but a great shortcut is to purchase a rotisserie chicken and chop it for easy chicken salad. I used my favorite chicken salad ingredients–pecans, red grapes, nonfat Greek yogurt and dill. This will be a summer staple that I keep in the refrigerator this summer. Here are some of my other favorite chicken salad finds:

Pineapple-Pistachio-Quinoa-Salad-678x1024Pineapple Pistachio Chicken Quinoa Salad by Layers of Happiness 

Avocado Chicken Salad

Avocado Chicken Salad from Simply Recipes

 

bacon-scallion-chicken-salad-7Paleo Chicken Salad with Bacon and Scallions by The Paleo Running Mama

5 Healthy Mothers Day Recipes

Pomegrante-Berry-Smoothie-Bowl

For Mother’s Day tomorrow, here are 5 healthy Mothers Day breakfast recipes (all smoothie bowls). All of these recipes are easy, healthy and filled with raw, sweet fruits just in time for spring and Mother’s Day. A few of these recipes are in my new cookbook, 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes published by Robert Rose Books. I am so thrilled about all of the media attention my book is getting! I will be on television on ABC 33/40 Talk of Alabama on Monday morning, May 9th between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. making smoothie bowls and offering tips to make smoothie bowls all summer long, so please be sure to tune in! The recipe above is my Pomegranate Berry Smoothie Bowl which was featured on Momspark today! Happy Mother’s Day!

Berry Yogurt Smoothie Bowl

Berry Yogurt Bowl on Ingredients, Inc.

Pomegranate Tea Smoothie BowlPomegranate Tea Smoothie Bowl on Ingredients, Inc.

Greek-yogurt-smoothie-BowlGreek Yogurt Smoothie Bowls on Ingredients, Inc.

Watermelon-Tropic-Yogurt-Bowl

Watermelon Tropic Bowl on Ingredients, Inc.

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake

If you like Spinach Artichoke Dip, this Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake is for you. My daughter, Leigh, asked why I had not thought of this sooner. It’s the perfect side dish with chicken or even main dish. Also, putting chopped chicken in this also works too, and adds even more protein. I used whole grain noodles and light cream cheese, part skim cheese and nonfat plain Greek yogurt so you’ll get a nice mix of protein, healthy carbohydrates, and not too high in fat. It is so simple to make–I think the toughest part honestly is thawing the spinach and making sure you get all the water out (I press the spinach with the tines of a fork to speed up the process). Enjoy for a weeknight dinner or side dish. I bet you will love it too!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I truly have and thank my awesome husband for a candlelit dinner at home last night. I just landed in St. Thomas for a magazine story. Photo taken at Mariott Frenchman’s Reef. It’s a little cloudy on this Sunday afternoon, but no complaints from me. Have a great week, Alison

St. Thomas Mariott Frenchman's Reef

Passover Smoked Salmon Bites

Passover Smoked Salmon Bites

Why did I not think of this before? Passover Smoked Salmon Bites are the perfect appetizer, snack, or lunch idea that only take 5 minutes to prepare. My daughter, Leigh, thought this was a brilliant idea, and I agree. She and my son, Zachary, came home from school and ate these so fast that I barely had any left to serve for appetizers to my hubs. Oh well, he did have one, and he thought these Smoked salmon bites are a wonderful light starter or refreshing snack. Feel free to half or double this recipe–they go really fast! I know what you’re thinking…Smoked salmon has sodium. Yes, that is true, but it also is a good source of protein, Vitamin B, Vitamin D and magnesium. These are very pretty too and a great way to use up your leftover matzah or use matzah even if you’re not celebrating Passover.

Passover Avocado Toast

Passover Avocado Toast

Recipes for avocado toast are everywhere, a super popular healthy breakfast or lunch option. Avocado toast was actually the TOP food trend of 2015, so if you haven’t tried it or made it, where have you been? Since it’s Passover week, I made this Passover Avocado Toast since my kids were wondering what they were going to eat for breakfast that is Passover worthy (besides eggs, smoothies and smoothie bowls). This recipe takes literally 5 minutes to prepare and is probably one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever see on my website. Eat on its own or top with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It’s also fabulous with red pepper or chili flakes. Not only are people making avocado toast at home, but you’ll find it incredibly popular on menus, especially in California and New York! Try it, you’ll be hooked. It’s so good on matzah!

Fresh Strawberry Bread

Fresh Stawberry Bread

I know it’s Passover so forgive me if you’re celebrating. I made this Fresh Strawberry Bread last week, and I could not wait to share the recipe. All you need is one big bowl–no mixer is needed. Combine all of the ingredients, except for the sliced strawberries in one bowl; mix and then fold the strawberries in gently. Even though this quick bread has bananas, it does not taste like banana bread when it’s done. The combination of the mashed bananas and nonfat plain Greek yogurt create an amazing moist texture and fantastic flavor.

Strawberries are now at their peak, and you can find them on sale at many groceries. One cup of strawberries has 50 calories, and they are packed with health benefits such as boosting your immune system, promoting eye and heart health, helping fight cancer, wrinkles, high cholesterol and so much more. Enjoy this recipe this spring and summer for breakfast, a snack or even dessert. My kids and husband went wild for us, so next time I will be making two!

How to Make A Green Smoothie Bowl

If you want to learn how to make a Green Smoothie Bowl watch my video for Spinach Mango Bowl. It’s super easy, delicious and ideal for breakfast, a snack or dessert. My kids actually love this one, so I wanted to share it with you. I topped this smoothie bowl recipe with hemp seeds, flaxseeds, strawberries, and sliced bananas, but feel free to use any of your favorite toppings such as granola, chia seeds, fresh fruit, nuts, dried fruit and/or coconut. This is just an example of one of my 200 recipes in my cookbook. To order a copy of my book click here or on Amazon click here. Thanks for watching and feel free to share my video with your friends!

200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes