Date-Pecan Bread with Greek Yogurt

This Date-Pecan Bread with Greek yogurt is my newest favorite healthy, quick bread recipe. I used whole wheat and all-purpose flour, flaxseed and nonfat Greek yogurt to create a flavorful, moist bread. My kids were skeptical at first, but shortly after they tried it, they were gladly helping themselves to seconds. Perfect for breakfast, dessert, an afternoon snack or holiday gift, this recipe is a cinch to prepare (no mixer needed). I bought my dates at Costco, but you can find them at any local grocery store. Dates are filled with so may health benefits. They’re full of fiber, Vitamin B, Vitamin, A, Vitamin C, Iron and potassium. They are an excellence source of energy and work wonders for the digestive system.

Fennel-Apple Slaw


I am a huge fennel fan so this recipe for Fennel-Apple Slaw is one of my new fall favorites. Fennel, which looks like a cross between an onion and a bunch of celery, has a slightly sweet anise (licorice) flavor. It has the perfect crunch to pair with shredded cabbage, and it makes a great addition to any salad or slaw recipe. I love it in this vegetarian combination with Greek yogurt, walnuts, dried cranberries and fresh dill. Fennel is also good for you, containing Vitamins A and C, fiber, folate, potassium and calcium.

Panko and Vegetable Stuffed Portobellos and Giveaway

I love creating recipes with fresh mushrooms, and this Panko and Vegetable Stuffed Portobello was a vegetarian main dish was a hit this weekend. Be sure to notice that between September 15th to November 15th, select retailers nationwide will sell mushrooms in pink containers in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Since 2002, the Mushroom Council has invested more than $750,000 in grants to City of Hope for research on mushrooms and cancer. This fall, the Council will provide an additional $50,000 to continue funding this important research. How cool is this packaging in support of City of Hope and Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

Great Health Benefits of Mushrooms

 

1. Mushrooms are low in sodium and calories, and they are fat and cholesterol free.

2. Mushrooms can be an effective substitute for meats thanks to their hearty and fulfilling nature.

3. Mushrooms are the only item in the produce aisle to provide vitamin D, and one of the few non-fortified food sources. Growers also have the ability to increase D levels by exposing mushrooms to ultraviolet light.

4. These friendly fungi provide critical nutrients like energizing B vitamins, potassium and powerful antioxidants, including ergothionene and selenium.

For chance to win the great giveaway above, follow the steps below. For each one, and let me know in the comments for a better chance to win:

1) Follow @MushroomChannel on Twitter

2) Check out and “like” the Mushroom Channel on Facebook

3) Answer the question: “How do you support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

4) RSVP to the Mom It Forward #gno twitter party and check out the giveaway at Mom at Forward

5) Join me for the Mushroom Council #gno twitter party October 4th, from 9-11 p.m EST.

6) Follow @alisonlewis on twitter and come see me on Facebook

Note: I was compensated for my participation in the Mushroom Channel Campaign

Awesome Honey Cake for Fall and Rosh Hashanah

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My father’s mother, Mary Rich, made the best Honey Cake that I can remember. She died when I was young, but I have never forgotten it. For years, my sisters and I have been searching for a Honey Cake recipe that would rival hers. Last year, my mom’s incredible friend, Rosalie, brought a Honey Cake to our families Rosh Hashanah holiday dinner, and it was a winner! We loved the recipe so much, and it reminded us of Mary. I hope you will like it as much as we do. It’s perfect for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah or any fall celebration. Note: the batter will be slightly liquid, but the recipe turns out moist as can be.

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.

Grilled Steak with Mushrooms

School may have started back, but grilling season is far from over. This recipe for Grilled Steak and Mushrooms makes a great weekend or weeknight dinner recipe idea. I used baby Bella, shiitake and bottom mushrooms in this dish, but feel free to use what you like and have on hand. The simple marinade creates a tender and flavorful steak. My kids even ate the mushrooms (so yea). Serve on a bed of watercress for a pretty presentation, or serve as a sandwich for a casual sunday night dinner. This one is a winner.

Halibut with Mango and Goat Cheese

Grilling in the summer is the norm at my house. Lately, I have really been trying to get my kids to eat more fish. This Halibut with Mango and Goat Cheese recipe is one of my newest favorite creations that they really liked (can you say no leftovers?).  The combination of maple syrup and Dijon mustard flavors the fish to perfection, and it goes great with the sweet and savory mango topping made with fresh mangos, parsley, lime juice and goat cheese. This makes a great weekend night family dinner or weekend idea for entertaining with friends. Serve with a tossed salad and grilled asparagus or grilled okra for a healthy summery meal in under 35 minutes.

Is The Mediterranean Diet the Healthiest Diet?

The Mediterranean diet has been called the “healthiest” diet of all, and my brother, Craig, a physician, sites research to his patients quite often as the most highly recommended diet. As a Nutritionist, I have studied a lot about it too, but when I was in Italy last month, I became a true believer. I traveled for seven full days in Italy eating six and eight course meals for lunch and dinner served with wine. I also didn’t exercise the entire week (very unlike me). When I came home and realized I actually lost weight, I was stumped. I thought about what ingredients comprised those extravagant meals, and I realized how pure all the food was. This shot was taken on my trip touring the beautiful land of the Le Marche Region of Italy.

Some Key Components of the Mediterranean Diet Include:

1. Plenty of exercise

2. Eating primarily plant based foods

3. Replacing butter with olive and canola oils

4. Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods

5. Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month. Eat more vegetables.

6. Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week.

7. Drinking red wine in moderation.

8. Eat fruit for dessert

9. Eat small portions of high-quality foods.

10. Eat yogurt and cheese as your main dairy products.

11. This diet conveys the importance of enjoying meals with friends and family.

Top Foods on The Mediterranean Diet

-Fish and Seafood

-Olive oil or canola oil

-Fruits and Vegetables

-Nuts

-Beans

-Cereal

-Red wine

Rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, cereals, fish oil and even red wine, this diet is lower in saturated fat and has been said to reduce risks of cancers, heart disease and more.

Other Great Attributes about a Mediterranean diet:

1) A diet rich in fruits, grains, nuts, can reduce risk of obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and alzheimers.

2) This diet is high in fiber which is great for decreased risk of diabetes and stomach issues.

3) This diet is filled with a good supply of mono-unsaturated fats found in fish, avocados, olive and canola oil which can help fight disease from the cellular level.

4) This is a diet people can stick to and actually enjoy.

So Simple, So Summery, So Good: Watermelon-Tomato and Arugula Salad

This Watermelon-Tomato, Arugula Salad is a true taste of summer. This salad was inspired by a similar salad I had at George’s Restaurant in Alys Beach, Florida, one of my favorite places. The fresh combination of peppery arugula topped with sweet watermelon, mild yellow tomatoes and flavorful goat cheese mesh together perfectly. You don’t even need to use olive oil because it’s so healthy and low in fat. I drizzled mine with balsamic vinegar and fresh pepper, and that’s all I needed. Feel free to add grilled shrimp or grilled chicken to make this a main-dish salad as well. This is definitely my new favorite summer salad.

Three Ingredients: Blueberry-Banana Ice

Sometimes simple is better, and recipes with only three ingredients actually can be as flavorful as if they had nine. This Blueberry-Banana Ice is one of those recipes that is almost too basic (and good) to be true just in time for July 17th “National Ice Cream Day.” Purchase ripe bananas and in season blueberries and freeze them (I used zip-top plastic bags). Remove and toss in the food processor or blender with a touch of honey, and you’re done. Feel free to experiment with other berries if you wish. This is the perfect healthy dessert for summertime, and it truly hits the spot.