Quinoa Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

My oldest son, Alec, has been begging me to make homemade fried rice for a while. I decided to twist the basic recipe and make it with quinoa instead of rice. This Quinoa Chicken Fried Rice recipe is a hit for something new and different for your weeknight table, especially if you’re looking for something gluten-free, healthy and hearty. Feel free to substitute rice for the quinoa if you wish, but I love that quinoa is a gluten-free, nutty grain that is a complete protein which is high in fiber, low in calories and is high in iron, magnesium and calcium.

Gluten-Free Main Dish: Balsamic Chicken with Pine Nuts

I am so excited about sharing this simple, healthy main dish. In under 30 minutes, this recipe for Balsamic Chicken Cutlets makes a great healthy weeknight or weekend entree. This recipe is perfect if you’re following a gluten-free, Paleo or low carb diet. Pine nuts are a great source of protein, dietary fiber, magnesium and iron, and they add great flavor and crunch to this easy recipe.

Chicken Couscous Salad

If you’re looking for a light, healthy and delicious salad, this Chicken Couscous Salad is the answer. Start with a rotisserie or leftover grilled chicken and combine with cooked couscous, cherry tomatoes, basil and either sherry or balsamic vinegar. Top it off with goat cheese or even feta, and you have a super wholesome main dish salad. I loved serving this over arugula leaves, but my kids just ate it straight out of this bowl. This makes a great lunch recipe or easy dinnertime entree.

4 Healthy Super Bowl Recipes: Rosemary Infused Nuts

Super Bowl XLVI is coming up this weekend with the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, and most of us are having or going to Super Bowl parties. I have had so many email requests for easy, healthy ideas for game, so I wanted to share one of our favorite lightened-up football snack recipes. Rosemary Infused Nuts are a tremendous hit! This simple, 20 minute recipe is filled with cashews, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Nuts are a great source of healthy fat, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and protein. By consuming this type of fat, you’ll feel less hungry, and your sugar cravings will diminish. They are filled with the following power food nuts:

Pumpkin Seeds: I love using pumpkin seeds in this nut mix because they are high in zinc and have been linked to so many benefits including great looking skin and boosting your immunity.

Almonds: Almonds are a power nut high in Vitamin E and potassium and one of the most nutritious nuts.

Cashews: Cashews are also a rich source of iron and zinc, and they have been linked to hair, skin and bone health.

Other Lightened Up Super Bowl Snack Ideas

Chicken Chipotle Dip   

Spinach Dip with Greek Yogurt

Panko Roasted Drumsticks

New Year’s Eve Appetizer: Chicken-Chipotle Dip

If you’re looking for a super easy appetizer for New Year’s Eve, Super Bowl Party or just any occasion, I have one for you. This Chipotle Chicken Dip is one of my newest favorite lightened up appetizer recipes. Take a shortcut by using a rotisserie chicken and add light cream cheese, nonfat Greek yogurt, green chilies, chipotle seasoning. Serve it with your favorite whole grain crackers, pita chips or fresh vegetables, and you’ll have a crowd favorite.

Lightened Up Chicken Tetrazzini

Lately, I’ve had so many requests for an easy, healthy fall weeknight dinner recipe that kids will love too. This recipe for Lightened Up Chicken Tetrazzini is one that really sticks out in my mind. I purchase a rotisserie chicken for the chopped, cooked chicken which makes my life easier. I also used light cream cheese, low sodium chicken broth and whole wheat noodles to make this dish healthier. The panko breadcrumb topping is probably my favorite part, giving it a toasty crunch and pretty golden color. This is a great make-ahead recipe or wonderful to take to someone who is ill or just had a baby. Feel free to make this recipe ahead of time and freeze. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking as directed.

Healthy Tailgating Recipe: Panko Roasted Drumsticks

As I mentioned last week, football is just kind of big around here during football season. Each week, we rotate going to friends’ houses to watch the game or head to the games (if we are lucky enough). I have such a great time coming up with creative ways to make tailgating (and game watching) a little healthier, so everyone  doesn’t feel so stuffed (and guilty) when the games are over. These Panko Roasted Drumsticks are definitely one of my new popular crowd pleasers. They appeal to adults as well as kids, and they are so simple to make. Your guests won’t believe that this recipe is a “lightened up” version of one of their favorite party foods.

Any Occasion Chocolate Cupcakes

This is not one of my typical “lightened-up” recipes, but I had to share these Any Occasion Chocolate Cupcakes with you. My daughter, Leigh, made this recipe for me the night I arrived home from being in Italy for a week. I was so excited to come home to my family and true comfort food. These are so spectacular. You don’t even need to make homemade icing. I wanted to post the recipe for Father’s Day, but I was traveling again this past week. I realized that this recipe is perfect for so many occasions: Father’s Day, birthdays, parties, showers or just because. I thought they would be a great way to start off the week so enjoy.

Great Passover or Easter Dish: Mediterranean Chicken

Passover, one of the most widely celebrated Jewish holidays, is only a few weeks away, beginning on April 18th. I have had so many email and tweets for recipe ideas, so I thought I would share this Mediterranean Chicken recipe which is a family favorite. This recipe and a Passover menu will be featured in the spring issue of “Yum Food” Magazine. This chicken is simple, yet elegant, and it’s perfect for Easter as well as all holidays.

Simple Southwestern Tortilla Soup


It has been so cold in Alabama the past 2 months, so my family has been living on soup galore. It has finally warmed up thank goodness, but this Southwestern Soup is one of my kid’s favorites. My friend, Nancy, worked hard helping me to perfect the recipe. Many thanks to a wonderful friend. I used rotisserie chicken which saves a lot of time and effort. I love the touch of the homemade tortilla strips. I make this soup even in the summertime, but it’s always fabulous to serve this time of year.