Watermelon Fennel Salad

What are you making this weekend for the July 4th holiday? This Watermelon Fennel Salad is on my list.  I love this recipe because it is so versatile for lunch or dinner. Serve it with pork, chicken, seafood or steak. It is especially good with grilled salmon. I call this a Superfood Salad.

If you have not experimented with fennel, it has a very fresh, aromatic anise flavor. It can be eaten raw, sautéed, roasted, or added to soups and pasta sauces. I love it for its flavor, but it also is very low in calories and has man health benefits. It is filled with nutrients including vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

Watermelon also has many health benefits, so I like to put it in “Superfood” category. Watermelon is high in Vitamins A and C. Vitamin C is great to boost your immune system. Vitamin A, beta-carotene, Vitamin B and much more.

Try this healthy fresh salad this weekend or anytime this summer and let me know how you like it. You can eat it and feel good you are gaining so many healthy and vitamins!

Three Ingredient Blueberry-Banana Ice

This Blueberry-Banana Ice is one of those recipes that is almost too basic (and good) to be true. Simple is sometimes better. Recipes with only three ingredients can be as fabulous and flavorful as if it had more. Who needs all of the fuss?

To prepare this recipe, purchase ripe bananas and in season blueberries and freeze them (I used zip-top plastic bags). Place these ingredients in the food processor or blender with a touch of honey. It’s that easy. Feel free to experiment with other berries if you wish. This is the perfect healthy dessert for summertime. It’s healthy, great for your immune system and all natural. It   truly hits the spot.

Berry Banana Smoothie Bowl

This Berry Banana Smoothie Bowl recipe is my favorite new breakfast recipe. Not only is it easy to prepare, it’s filing, fast and filled with healthy raw ingredients. I am trying to consume a lot of immune boosting ingredients right now. Strawberries are packed with fiber, vitamins and a high level of antioxidants. Using strawberries in smoothies and smoothie bowls adds color and great flavor to your recipes.

Blueberries are also a great immune boosting fruit. One cup of blueberries has four essential nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. Now is a great time to be enjoying them because they are in peak season. I always have bananas in my kitchen. Bananas are high in vitamin B6. This vitamin is needed to keep the immune system functioning properly.

Smoothie bowls have so many health benefits. Read on, and you’ll see why I love them so much.

  • Smoothie bowls contain all-natural ingredients. Most of the ingredients are raw, so they are packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants.
  • They are made with natural superfoods that are high in fiber. This aids in digestion and keeps you feeling full longer.
  • Many smoothie bowls contain anti-inflammatory ingredients.
  • Smoothie bowl recipes are loaded with vitamin C, which may help boost the immune system.
  • Many smoothie bowls include dairy products and other ingredients that are rich in calcium, which helps improve bone density and prevent osteoporosis. If you use nondairy milk, make sure to purchase one that is fortified with calcium.)

This smoothie bowl recipe is one of 200 of my recipes in my latest cookbook 200 Best Smoothie Bowl recipes. Recipe courtesy of 200 Best Smoothie Bowls by Alison Lewis © 2016 www.robertrose.ca  Reprinted with permission. Available where books are sold. Image credit: Colin Erricson

Rah Power Balls

I am so excited about this recipe. These Rah Power Balls are a recipe from One&Only Reethi Rah. They are now my new favorite go-to snack before or after a workout. Also, they are also easy to make. Be sure to prepare them ahead because they have to chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.

Made from some of the healthiest ingredients, these Rah Power balls taste as good as they look. Enjoy these fantastic balls for a mid-morning energy boost or a little treat after a workout. Check out this super healthy ingredient list:

Manuka honey aids in digestive health, have antiviral properties and more.

Bee Pollen is made up of  antioxidants, protein, carbohydrates vitamins and minerals. One tablespoon can have over two grams of protein.

•Turmeric is filled with health benefits.. Read my article about the health benefits of Turmeric here.

Surrounded by the wonders of the Indian Ocean, One&Only Reethi Rah makes its home on one of the largest islands in North Malé Atoll. The Resort is located 700km (430mi) southwest of Sri Lanka. One&Only Resorts have launched new initiative One&Only At Home, which is amazing creative content. Go check it out.

Lighter Sweet Potato Casserole

My sister, Julie, makes our Sweet Potato Casserole for Thanksgiving every year. She typically has to make two, so we are sure to have enough and some for leftovers. This Lighter Sweet Potato recipe is very similar to a recipe I created for the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook when I worked as an Editor at Oxmoor House. I love the orange accents in this recipe. You can also substitute 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier for 2 of the tablespoons of orange juice, which adds amazing flavors.

I reduced some of the fat and calories without sacrificing any flavor or texture to my updated version of Lighter Sweet Potato Casserole. What I also love about this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time, and it freezes beautifully. Remove it from the freezer the day before Thanksgiving and thaw it in the refrigerator. When thawed, bake according the directions below.

People often ask me are sweet potatoes really better for you then baked potatoes. Baked potatoes and sweet potatoes contain about the same amount of carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes have a leg up in that they have more fiber and are slightly lower on the glycemic index so blood glucose will rise slower when you eat sweet potatoes. Other than that, a medium-sized baked sweet potato has 102 calories, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and no fat or cholesterol. A baked potato has about 120 calories, 28 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of both fiber and protein, and is also free of fat and cholesterol. More importantly is how are the potatoes cooked, how big of a potato are you eating, and what are you putting on top of fit.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and thank you for your continued support! I’m thrilled to be back. Alison

Holiday Oatmeal Chocolate Pecan Pie

“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” -Ernestine Ulmer

Remember me? I know it’s been a while, and sometimes life happens like that. In 2018, I started my blog Ingredients, Inc. at the height of my food freelance career. At that time, I was doing recipe development for top food brands, food writing for top print magazines, national food television segments, nutrition counseling, speaking engagements and creating recipes for three international cookbooks.

This path gradually lead to travel freelance, projects, traveling the world for work, publishing Healthy Travel magazine, marketing jobs, social media jobs, content writing and much more. Then, one of my freelance clients offered me a job full time, and there you have it. My career completely shifted again.

Because I have missed working with food, recipes, photography and all of the amazing creative opportunities and people that come along with it, I am reintroducing Ingredients, Inc.

And what better time than now. Since Thanksgiving is next week, I am sharing one of my favorite Thanksgiving pie recipes: Holiday Oatmeal Chocolate Pecan Pie. It’s super easy, fantastic and is the perfect holiday dessert. You only need 15 minutes of hands-on time. Adding Oatmeal to this pie makes this recipe a little bit healthier and enhances the texture. Feel free to use dark chocolate chips instead of semisweet if you wish.

Trust me, you will love this Thanksgiving dessert (consider making two and freeze one or give it as a gift).  Have a great day and thank you for following! Alison

Where to Book Now for Valentine’s Day

Maui

Want to start off the New Year with a Valentine’s weekend you’ll never forget? Here four of my top picks on where to go this Valentine’s Day:

  1.  Maui

Maui has been recognized as one of the most desirable romantic destinations in the world, and the island’s most coveted neighborhood has welcomed its newest resort – the reimagined Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui. Following the December 2016 debut of their $100 million transformation, the resort’s sprawling 22-acre contemporary retreat offers couples a picture perfect Valentine’s Day getaway.

Wailea Beach Resort Maui

Here is our guide to a magical retreat, Wailea Beach Resort style:

  • Calm down: Enjoy a couples treatment while overlooking the serene Hawaiian waters, Molokini crater and the island of Kaho’olawe at the newly renovated full-service Mandara Spa.
  • Get lost: Unplug with your loved one while soaking up the sun at the new adults only adults-only infinity edge serenity pool, participating in a couples scuba diving class at the resort’s new dive pool or snorkeling together with an underwater photographer.
  • Shake it up: Try something new! Embrace the Hawaiian culture at Te AU Moana, Maui’s highly anticipated vibrant luau exclusively curated for the resort, taking place at the property’s new Luau Gardens
  • Treat yourself: Perched at the highest point of the property, the resort’s new signature restaurant is serving loved ones the ultimate dinner with a view. Humble Market Kitchen by Roy Yamaguchi is the go-to date night locale to feast your eyes on a new menu influenced by Japanese, Filipino, Chinese and Hawaiian cultures and sweeping views of the Pacific.

The Resort at Paws Up

2. Montana

Head to The Resort at Paws Up, an ultimate romantic retreat on 37,000-acres of winter wonderland in western Montana. This rustic, chic setting is the ultimate destination for romance, zen and adventure.

The Resort at Paws Up

  • Calm down: Treat yourself to a spa day at the Morris Ranch House. Then head back to your cozy home to build a fire in your wood-buring fireplace or relax in your outdoor hot tub.
  • Get lostWith spectacular views of the legendary Blackfoot River and endless forests, Paws Up’s winter horseback adventures offer a wide-eyed gulp of the winter wonderland. Enjoy 60 minutes of beautiful winter vistas and the unforgettable Old West history.
  • Shake it up: In the mood for adventure? Book a private snowmobile tour, attempt skijoring (but this time behind a horse), enjoy snowshoeing, ice skating, dogsledding or cross-county skiing.
  • Treat yourself: Relax with a cocktail in Tank with the best and friendliest mixologists. Savor every bite of Chef Ben Jones‘ Creations at Pomp. Be sure to ask for a table fireside and leave room for dessert.

shore lodge

3. Idaho

A majestic mountainscape, a crackling fire, snow falling softly on a frozen lake. This may sound like the setting of a romantic movie but, in fact, it is very much a reality. McCall, Idaho has everything lovebirds could want for a getaway: stunning scenery, exciting excursions, luxurious amenities and, perhaps most importantly, a feeling of complete escape. Nestled in the heart of the Salmon River Mountains, and on the shores of the stunning Payette Lake, Shore Lodge in McCall is an idyllic retreat that offers refuge from big city life amongst unparalleled natural beauty.

Here is our guide to a magical retreat, Shore Lodge style:

  • Calm down: Treat yourself to a spa day. The Cove offers side-by-side couples massages, calming body treatments and one of the most soothing experiences in town: soaking in the heated indoor/outdoor immersion pools. Enjoy a cool glass of champagne and a hot soak to get you loosened up for other activities.
  • Get lostSo often we get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life and lose a little bit of touch with the one that matters most. Remedy the distance by getting lost together! Strap on some snowshoes or Nordic skis and spend some time reconnecting as your explore the beautiful snowy wilderness around you.
  • Shake it up: Lacking a little adventure in your life? Try something thrilling with your significant other to bring your closer together. Shore Lodge offers countless excursions for adventurous couples of all skill sets, from snowmobiling to heli-skiing.
  • Treat yourself: A little indulgence goes a long way. Dinner at The Narrows is a must for the ultimate fine-dining experience. Enjoy the artfully crafted menu of Pacific Northwest cuisine and an extensive, award-winning wine list alongside panoramic views of Payette Lake. End the evening with a nightcap martini in the Narrows Grill or enjoy the view on your private balcony of your Lake View Suite.

Monarch Beach Resort

4. California

It’s nothing but California Dreaming with this romantic beachside getaway, whether you are looking to surf, sunbathe or just take in the sunset.  From luxurious pampering and captivating views to unsurpassed dining options and with professional Resort Hosts and Experience planners ready to ensure your every need is met, couples can reconnect with a curated couple’s retreat at Monarch Beach Resort. 

monarch

Here is our guide to a magical retreat, Monarch Beach Resort style:

  • Calm down: Take relaxation to a higher level at Miraval Spa, where couples can participate in treatments and activities that will transform you from the inside out.  From private partner aerial yoga to couples relaxation spa treatments, loved ones will leave feel rejuvenated and reconnected.  For a more intimate experience, revel in the luxurious comfort of an elegant suite and enjoy a romantic evening in.
  • Get lost: Watch the glowing sun fall behind the horizon as we host the nightly Champagne Sabering, or share a bottle of bubbly from our wine cellar and warm up by the fire on a cool California evening.
  • Shake it up: For couples interested in active pursuits, the resort offers paddle boarding, tennis, yoga classes, championship golf, and so much more.
  • Treat yourself: Wine and dine your loved one at Michael Mina’s acclaimed restaurant concept Stonehill Tavern, offering tavern fare in an elegant and sophisticated setting.  Enjoy a one-of-a-kind dining experience, including modern American cuisine that features seasonal ingredients and contemporary twists on classic tavern dishes.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar New Years Giveaway

new years eve menu

 

What better way to ring in the New Year than by spending it dining at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar? Fleming’s is hosting a spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration, pairing steak and seafood with Fleming’s three-course New Year’s prix fixe menu.

I am excited to give away on lucky winner a $100 Fleming’s dining card. For a chance to win leave a comment below telling me your favorite New Years Eve beverage. One winner will be chosen on December 31st! Good luck!

The meal includes Fleming’s favorites, including the Crab Louie Wedge Salad, lobster bisque, filet mignon paired with Australian lobster tail and Fleming’s signature potatoes. To top off the night, Guests can select one of the following indulgences: chocolate lava cake, New York cheesecake, crème brulee, carrot cake, walnut turtle pie, ice cream and sorbet or fresh berries served with Chantilly cream.

Fleming’s has also pre-selected the perfect drink pairings to complement this meal. Sip on a glass of French 75 Plymouth Gin Mas Fi cava, JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset Brut Burgundy No 21, or Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne Yellow Label.

Don’t forget to enter to win and happy holidays!

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower is the latest trendy vegetable right now, and did you know it makes a great substitute for rice in fried rice? Believe me, it does! This Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe is so amazing, and it makes yummy leftovers too. When you pulse the cauliflower, it resembles the texture (and color of rice). Sautéing it creates a winning main dish for those who are following a gluten-free diet or those who can’t eat rice. Cauliflower also makes a good substitute for mashed potatoes.

And did you know that cauliflower is really good for you? Cauliflower is high in Vitamin C, B Vitamins, fiber and vitamin K. The antioxidants in cauliflower can helps with our immune systems and aid in reducing the cancer and stroke. Eating cauliflower works well for those on an anti-inflammatory diet, and it can also help maintain bone and brain health. Enjoy this thirty minute recipe for Cauliflower Fried Rice on any weeknight since it’s quick and easy! Serve it with a salad, and dinner is done is ready.