Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tomato and Mozzarella Skewers with Basil Oil

I am planning on making these little appetizers for an upcoming party at my house!  It's the perfect portion, easy to grab and they aren't messy!  It's basically a caprese salad on a stick!

All you need is:
Grape Tomoatoes
Bocconcini  (bite sized mozzarella balls)
Fresh Basil
Olive Oil

I'm going to put three (3) grape tomatoes and one piece of cheese on each skewer.  For the basil oil, blend a couple of handfuls of fresh basil in a blender with enough olive oil to make it fluid and creamy.  Drizzle basil oil over top of the skewers and voila!  A nice simple appetizer!

I will let you know how it turns out!  :-)

Eat, Shrink & Be Merry!

I absolutely LOVE this recipe book!  It has amazing alternatives to high fat, high calorie foods and every recipe I've ever tried I have really enjoyed!  There are also some really fun facts about food in the book, practically on every page! 

These Sister's (Janet & Greta Podleski) also have a great show on the Food Network and they challenge restaurateurs to make their signature dishes and Janet and Greta use healthy options to create the same dish.  At the end of the show, they have people vote on which dish they liked better...most of the time the people chose the healthy option and can't tell the difference!  It's amazing!

I recommend this book to anyone who loves to cook and is looking for healthy options for their favourite recipes!

10 Tips to Healthy Eating & Physical Activity

There are a lot of 'fad' diets out there these days, but the fact is, that being healthy is a lifestyle!  There are a few simple rules that are easy to follow, and once you embrace them it'll feel like second nature!

RULE # 1Eat Breakfast
This is so important.  After not eating all night while you sleep, your body needs to be re-fuled so that you can focus at school or work and retain information.  Some ideal breakfast choices are: cereal, oatmeal, fruit, yougurt, skim or soy milk, smoothies, and homemade granola bars (see recipe

RULE # 2Get Moving
Try taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, park far away from the store you're going in to, take the dog for a walk, ride your bike!  Try and get at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.

RULE # 3Snack Smart
Let's face it, we all hit the 3 o'clock wall at times, and it's very important to eat something healthy rather than running for the nearest vending machine.  Try to pack things such as fruits, veggies and hummus, and yogurt.  Knowing that dinner is only a couple hours away will help you to not over eat because you'll want to save room!

RULE # 4Work up a sweat
Vigorous work-outs (sweating and breathing hard) help your heart pump better, give you more energy and help you look AND feel your best!  Start by stretching your muscles, inlcude 20-30 minutes of aerobic activity (running, biking, dancing, Tae Bo, etc...) and follow up with some strength training (weights, push ups, etc...).  Be sure to include a cool down at the end which includes more stretching and deep breathing!

RULE # 5Balance your food choices - don't eat too much of one thing
You don't have to give up foods like hamburgers, french fries, and ice cream to eat healthfully. You just have to be smart about how often and how much of them you eat. Your body needs nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fat, and many different vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and A, iron, and calcium from a variety of foods.

RULE # 6Get fit with friends or family
Being active is much more fun with friends or family. Encourage others to join you and plan one special physical activity event per week, like a bike ride, belly dancing, zumba, volleyball, etc...

RULE # 7Eat more Grains, Fruits & Veggies
These foods give you carbohydrates for energy, plus vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Besides, they taste good! Try breads such as whole-wheat, bagels, and pita. Spaghetti and oatmeal are also in the grain group.

RULE # 8Join physical activities in your neighbourhood
If you look at your local Activity guide, you'll be able to find all sorts of activities that you can join.  Things like Zumba (as mentioned above) is great because it's an aerobic dance class, Volleyball, baseball & cross-country skiing are all fabulous ways to get out there an exercise without even knowing it!

RULE # 9Foods aren't good OR bad
A healthy eating style is like a puzzle with many parts. Each part, or food, is different. Some foods may have more fat, sugar or salt, while others may have more vitamins or fibre. There is a place for all these foods. What makes a diet good or bad is how foods fit together. Balancing your choices is important. Fit in a higher-fat food, like pepperoni pizza, at dinner by choosing lower-fat foods at other meals. And don't forget about moderation. If two pieces of pizza fill you up, don't eat a third.

RULE # 10Make healthy eating and Physical activity fun
Take advantage of physical activities you and your friends enjoy doing together and eat the foods you like. Be adventurous - try new sports, games, and other activities as well as new foods. You'll grow stronger, play longer, and look and feel better! Set realistic goals - don't try changing too much at once.

*Rules taken from

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fruit & Oat Granola Bars

I like a quick & healthy breakfast during the week before I go to work.  I began to search for a healthy homemade granola bar that I could make and here's what I found!  It was really simple to make and they taste great (also low in fat)!  After they cooled I bagged them individually for easy grabbing!


1 egg
1 egg white
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup toasted oats
2/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped (I used Craisins)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread oats on a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 18 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant.

2. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Line an 8-by-11-inch pan with foil. Lightly oil or coat with nonstick spray.

3. In a large bowl, whisk egg, egg white, brown sugar, oil, cinnamon, salt and vanilla extract. Stir in toasted oats, dried cranberries, pecans and flour.

4. Spread in prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool; cut into bars with a lightly oiled knife.

Servings 16 bars
(based on individual servings)

Calories: 130
Total Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 14 mg
Sodium: 50 mg
Carbohydrates: 24 g
Protein: 2 g

**Originally published in
Read more: