Tag Archives: Brandi Koskie

This Lighter Chicken Caesar Salad with Grilled Croutons Embodies a Local, Fresh Summer

We spent Mother’s Day a little differently this year. My family and I spent the evening at a local farm planting 150 herb seedlings. It felt good to dig in the earth, watch the warm sun set over the vast Kansas prairie, and spend some truly quality time with my husband and daughter.

grilled chicken caesar salad
We left MG Honor Farms with a promise to return and lend our hands to the tomato harvest, and with a lot of fresh greens and veggies. Clint Brauer built the farm on his late grandmother’s land as an homage to her memory. As well, to serve the people of our community, saying, “MGHonor Farms was created to help those who have realized their true priorities, have an option to purchase healthy food for themselves and their families without any herbicides and only organically certified pesticides.”

Every community deserves a resource like this.

kale and greens
The next evening we enjoyed the fresh spring greens and crisp kale in a salad that paid us well for our hard work the night before and reminded us of a promise to enjoy this summer more than any other. Escaping from the confines of winter, a big entree salad that is light and satisfying always feels so refreshing on these warmer days. That’s exactly what we made. (more…)

Our Exclusive Recipes Featured at HelloGiggles.com

There are few people having as much fun online as the girls over at HelloGiggles.com. Created by actress Zooey Deschanel and a few of her wildly talented friends, HelloGiggles is a safe place for girls and women to be themselves. Whether it’s a live bunny cam or a creative “nail of the day” art, or a seriously introspective look at progressing the feminist movement in a positive direction, the site is a delicious place to feel like you’re hanging out with your girls. And no quality girlfriend time is complete without good snacks and drinks, which is where we come in.

Each month our recipe development team conjures up a tasty new treat to share with our giggling friends. In true DietsInReview fashion, it’s always simple, light, good for you, and totally shareable.

Click through each link to find our exclusive creations for HelloGiggles.

raspberry lemon pops

Raspberry Lemon Pops

Tart and tangy, absolutely refreshing, and only three ingredients – meet the easiest and best tasting homemade popsicle you’ve ever had! We use a lemony Greek yogurt with plump, fresh raspberries in a recipe so simple that you’ll have no choice but to let the kids get their make on. You get to indulge too, as each pop has only 77 calories!

mango agua fresca

Mango Agua Fresca

It doesn’t get much more refreshing than this, nor do many other drinks scream summer as much as our mango agua fresca. We use real, whole mangos with a bit of naturally sweetened water to create a beverage typically saved for your favorite local tacqueria. Make it home and enjoy it beach-side all summer long!

waffle panini

Prosciutto and Apple Waffle Paninis

Your next brunch won’t know what hit it when you serve these delightful little breakfast sandwiches. Savory prosciutto, sweet apple slices, and creamy Laughing Cow cheese are piled between our toasty cinnamon apple waffles for a big breakfast that feels delicately gourmet.

perrier slush

Berrier Perrier Slush

In our very first recipe for HelloGiggles, we crafted a refreshing little mocktail that’s as pretty as it tastes. With your choice of fresh berries and a bubbly splash of Perrier’s grapefruit sparkling water, we blended up a little slush that will cool down the hottest of summer days.

pumpkin hummus

Pumpkin Hummus

There are few things Americans are obsessed with more than hummus and pumpkin-flavored-anything. So we figured, why not? We use a creamy, pure pumpkin puree with fresh sage leaves to craft a rather simple yet exceptionally flavorful hummus.

vegan irish cream

Vegan Irish Cream

For St. Patrick’s Day, we wanted to celebrate in a way that felt truly Irish without being too naughty, which is why we spun up a homemade Irish cream free of animal products. Of course it’s got Jameson, but we used a rich and creamy coconut milk in place of regular cow’s milk. A strong espresso and a splash of vanilla will make you forget you ever bought the stuff at the liquor store.

blackberry martini

Blackberry and Basil Martini

Since we’re in the friend zone at HelloGiggles, making fresh cocktails makes us all feel right at home. This Blackberry and Basil Martini was as succulent in color as any of the gowns on this year’s Oscar’s red carpet, and tasted as sweet as victory for the winners! The irresistible flavor of blackberries muddled with basil leaves is topped off with vodka and lemon for your new favorite ‘tini.

Try More of Our Original Recipes Right Here:

Sriracha Oven Fries

Jalapeno Cheddar Burger Bite Kabobs

No Bake Cookie Chia Bars

Our Exclusive Recipes Featured at FitBottomedEats.com

We really love Jenn and all the Fit Bottomed Girls, so when we learned last year that they’d be adding a third site to their sassy suite, we couldn’t help but ask if we could be a tiny part of it. FitBottomedEats.com is one of our favorite places to share our original recipes. Each month we craft a dessert, or breakfast, or entree that fits in to the lives of the easy-going, no-fuss ladies who visit there. We never make anything we wouldn’t, or don’t, eat ourselves and love that marriage of healthful and flavorful ingredients that always result in a winning recipe.

Each link will take you to the original recipe featured at FitBottomedEats.com. Be sure to tell Jenn we sent you!

Cheesy Stuffed Pepper Enchiladas

stuffed peppers done

We took everything we love about the classic green chili enchilada and stuffed it in to a big ‘ole bell pepper. In ditching the carb-loaded tortillas and typical cheddar cheese, we can focus on the flavor and wholesomeness of this quick and satisfying dinner.

burrito

Better Breakfast Burrito

We stuffed a soft spinach tortilla full of everything you love at breakfast and still managed to make it healthy! We used Applegate’s breakfast sausage links, which cook in mere seconds in the microwave, scrambled an egg, chopped fresh bell peppers, and sprinkled a bit of cheese. It’ll fuel your morning without interrupting your flow. (more…)

Jalapeno Cheddar Burger Bite Kabobs Mark the Unofficial Start to Summer

Happy Memorial Day! As we grill our way through this holiday, we (un)officially kick-off summer. The air is filled with charcoal, bug spray, sunblock, and fresh-cut grass and frankly, I’m not mad about a single one of those scents.

Americans are mostly grilling beef today. According to Purdue research, Memorial Day is the largest beef consumption day of the year. Surely none of us are surprised by that. So if you’re going to bite in to a burger this holiday, or any other day this summer, we say be as conscientious about it as possible.

burger kabobs

This year, we’re making beef our side item and letting our fresh, healthy sides be the star of the cookout. With these Jalapeño Cheddar Burger Bites, everyone gets the juicy meat they don’t think they can host a barbecue without while filling up on more of the fruit and vegetable side dishes they’re usually too full to enjoy.

We made these bite-sized burger kabobs with organic ground beef by Suzy Sirloin, a reliable source of natural beef products. Recently they made available an organic product, raised right int he US without antibiotics or growth hormones. Suzy Sirloin’s cows are fed only certified organic grass and grains, and they are USDA Organic certified. Best of all, the organic beef is juicy and full of that big flavor you expect from a burger. (more…)

Sippable Sangrias for Summer: Try These 3 Fresh Recipes!

Red wine was fine to keep us a little warm and cozy all winter, but now it’s time to chill out! Sangria is one of my favorite summertime indulgences, partly because it’s a healthier way to imbibe when I’m by the pool. No really, it’s true! While most cocktails are just booze and processed mixers, void of any nutritional value, a glass of homemade sangria has a lot more to offer in the way of fresh juices, fruits, herbs, and other ingredients that not only enhance flavor but add fiber and vitamins.

Now, I know as well as you that when we’re pouring a drink we’re not usually considering the health value. I mean, it’s not a salad! And just because you made it with fresh berries doesn’t meant the calories don’t count. BUT, as with all things, if you’re going to do it, there is a way that’s ultimately better for you. Homemade wins every time; and our recipes will be fool-proof winners!

frozen talenti sangria

Talenti Frozen Sangria

We’ve found the secret to easy, bold, creamy frozen sangria that you can make at home – Talenti Sorbetto! We just combine their blood orange and Roman raspberry flavors with fresh berries and red wine for a concoction that’s less than 225 calories per glass (compared to more than 500 for Abuelo’s frozen sangria). Take the blender to the pool because it’s party time! (more…)

Sriracha Oven Fries: The Way to a Hot Sauce Fan’s Spicy Heart

Sriracha lovers are a special breed. The hot pepper sauce is the equivalent of Asian ketchup – die-hard fans, like my friend Kenton, will put it on almost anything. And the more the better. So when Lay’s announced the finalists for its Do Us a Flavor contest this spring, and Sriracha was one of the three flavors Americans wanted most, I knew many of my friends wouldn’t be able to resist.

sriracha oven  fries text

But then, Sriracha didn’t win. The Garlic Cheesy Bread did. So what were my friends like Kenton to do when they crave that crunchy, spicy, impossible-to-pronounce condiment? Well, turn to us, of course!

Sriracha oven fries rack

Snack or side, these Sriracha Oven Fries are super simple, exceptionally crisp, and as spicy as your tender taste buds can handle. (more…)

The Great Gatsby Recipe Guide: 10 Party Foods Inspired by the Roaring Twenties

The roaring twenties will no doubt be a theme of many a summer party this year as The Great Gatsby film release has everyone reconnecting with this classic novel that embodies one of the most fabulous periods in our history. When most people think of the 1920s in the U.S. they think of the flappers, Prohibition, gangsters, and jazz. What people often overlook are the great advancements in home cooking and recipe development during this period. A comprehensive listing of the top rated diet plans can be seen when you click the link here.

gatsby

The availability of “sliced bread,” refrigerators, and other convenience foods that are dogged today helped (mostly) women spend 44 hours each week in their kitchens preparing meals. By 1965, women were only spending 25.7 hours per week cooking, and research in 2010 revealed women today spend only 13 hours each week on all household chores.

If you plan on hosting a Great Gatsby party this summer, you’ll want to dress the part of course, but the food can play a major role in pulling together the theme. If healthy is your goal, stick to the recipes we’re sharing. But if authenticity is most important, you’ll appreciate the homemade, healthified versions of many of these processed foods that are still popular today.

Thai Blueberry Old Fashion

old fashioned with blueberries

Alcohol was banned for much of the 1920s during a period known as Prohibition, but that didn’t keep the booze from flowing. The Old Fashion, a tart whiskey-based cocktail, was a creation of this decade that we still raise a glass to today. Guests will easily celebrate with this jazzed up version with fresh blueberries and a Truvia simple syrup. See what diets were rated as the best when you follow the link here.

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7 Cinco de Mayo Recipes for Your Guilt-Free Fiesta

mexican recipes

Cinco de Mayo is one of the unofficial starts of summer and one of the most food-focused holidays in the US. Who would want to pass up a day where tacos, guacamole, and margaritas flow like fireworks on the Fourth of July? If you’re a calorie counter, that might be you.

Mexican food is known to be rich and heavy and full of fat and calories. A meal at On The Border could push you past 2300 calories for two margaritas, chips and salsa, the three ground beef enchilada dinner with chile con carne, rice, and refried beans, and a sopapilla to round it all out. You know that’s more than a day’s worth of calories, right? And we won’t remind you how bloated you’ll feel afterward.

We plan on celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year, and want you to do so, too! That’s why we’re sharing a few tips and recipes to do so with much less guilt. (more…)

Make Frozen Waffles at Home with this Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Waffles Recipe

Waking up to pancakes, French toast, or waffles in my house is a staple of the weekend. My soon-to-be three-year-old daughter asks to make pancakes most mornings of the week and every day I have to sadly decline. I make up for it by giving her a frozen waffle so we can all eat and get out the door. But she knows when it’s Saturday and she expects bowls full of batter and big drizzly pours of honey.

Cinnamon Apple Oat Waffles

I would alternate between the Van’s or Earth’s Best frozen waffles. They’re both organic, whole grain, have a few bites of blueberries, and taste really good. They both also run almost four dollars for six waffles. Lately I’ve been trying to make more of our own bread and homemade salad dressing to save money and ensure we’re eating the best quality food. I figured the waffles would fit right in there andI was right. (more…)

Roasted Tomatillo and Pineapple Salsa is a Sweet and Spicy Treat

“I’m solar powered,” my grandmother recently said to me in the deepest, darkest part of the Winter That Just Would Not End. I couldn’t have agreed more, I thrive on sunshine! That day, the sun had poked through for the first time in weeks and we were all in a better mood. That night, I couldn’t handle sitting cooped up at our table for dinner one more time, so we made our way to the patio of a Mexican restaurant and enjoyed what will be the first of many outdoor dinners this season.

Our complimentary chips and salsa included a tomatillo and pineapple variety that I hadn’t tried before. One bite was all I needed to try and commandeer that part of the sampler. My husband told me I could make it better. Challenge accepted.

By the way – challenge won! (more…)