Tag Archives: kacy meinecke

The Frozen Lemonade Sam Adams Summer Ale Slush You Have to Taste to Believe

sam adams lemonade slush

Last summer I spent a month in Savannah, Georgia, a true American gem that should be on your must-visit list. Aside from soaking up all the history, playing at the beach, and hitting up all the Forrest Gump tourist spots, one of the highlights was attenidng the fifth annual Fitbloggin’ conference.

If you’ve never been, mark your calendars for the last weekend in Denver this year. It’s a life changing three days with an inspiring, motivating, beautiful group of about 250 souls. No matter what your place is in within the weight loss blogging/social media sphere, there is a place for you within Fitbloggin’. And as last year proved, no matter how hot and sweaty you get — be it during one of the morning Zumba classes or out wandering Savannah’s scenic historic district — everyone still has plenty of love for ‘ya.

sam adams lemonade slush

On the last day of the conference, it was time to cool off and get even more scenic, with a drive out to Georgia’s Tybee Island. I didn’t go alone. My husband and daughter tagged along with myself, Emmie from AuthenticallyEmmie.com, and Alan from SweatingUntilHappy.com. After a whirlwind three days inside a hotel getting all of the hugs, blog lessons, and free California Almond trail mix snacks we could handle, sinking our toes in the sand and letting the sea breeze wash over our faces was the decompress everyone needed!

alan brandi emmie fitbloggin

And frozen lemonades, we needed those to fully complete the post-conference decompression slash Georgia heat exhaustion. After we dusted most of the sand from our bodies, we headed to a highly recommended local dive – AJ’s Dockside Restaurant. We sat outside, because we clearly love sweating as much as possible. We ordered po’boys, because when in Rome. And we ordered frozen lemonades. (more…)

Garlicky Mushroom Cavatappi Pasta Recipe: A Love Story

mushroom cavatappi pasta recipe

Do you remember the Book-It program? It’s Pizza Hut‘s program for rewarding kids for reading. I crushed Book-It. I mean, in first grade, I had piles of those free Personal Pan pizza coupons stacked up at home. About once a month, mom would take me to the neighborhood Pizza Hut to collect my prize. You were only allowed one topping. One.

Here kids, here’s a whole bag of Skittles, now let’s just eat one. Say what?

baby-bella-mushroom

Early on I narrowed in on my choice and never once deviated. At age six — through elementary school — it was a plain mushroom pizza for me. I love those little squishy, cheesy bites of fungi! Three nights ago I ordered pizza for dinner — mushrooms only. It’s really the best option. Even my homemade pizzas are piled high with thick slices of mushrooms, and the salami, bell peppers, and basil are just there for decoration.

This, however, is not about pizza. It is a lot about how I’ve found one more place to enjoy three of my favorite things — mushrooms, cheese, carbs. Pile ’em up, baby! (more…)

Roasted Kielbasa and Potato Casserole: An Easy Meat and Potatoes Dinner You Can Feel Good About

potatoes-and-kielbasa

I very much grew up in a meat and potatoes household. Our dinner menus were as predictable as the negotiating was to get out of doing dishes. Every night there was a meat entree — ground beef made into burgers, meatloaf, sloppy joes — with some form of potato — be it baked, mashed, or frozen fries. A side of canned green beans or corn would round out our plates. And for dessert we never received more than two small sandwich cookies.

This is my comfort food. This is what I fall back to when I’m homesick, too exhausted to think through a meal plan, or just want to keep things really simple.

So many of my recipes are fresh takes on old favorites, and that’s exactly what I’m serving up here. There’s nothing new with this recipe, it’s been served out of casserole dishes for decades. What is new is the realization that you can make it a little more wholesome, but just as savory, familiar, and comforting. (more…)

Naan Crust Pizza with Homemade Cabernet Basil Pizza Sauce

naan crust pizza cabernet basil sauce

There isn’t anything I don’t like about pizza. I like wood fire, NY style, grease bomb, and everything in between. You can hold the green bell peppers and onions, but otherwise I’ve never found a slice of pizza I didn’t like.

In the past year though, my favorite pizza is the one that I make. I’ve worked my homemade sauce to be just right, found a crust that is pretty perfect, and realized I don’t need a stitch of meat. Rather than give up pizza because it’s so unhealthy, I found a way to enjoy it on occasion because it’s not that bad for me.

naan-pizza-ingredients

I start with a whole grain naan, an Indian bread that is usually sold near your grocer’s bakery. The Stonefire brand is excellent (I find this at Kroger), and SuperTarget’s house brand is great, too. They usually come two to a pack and I try to keep at least one in the freezer at all times. You never know when it’s going to be the perfect night for pizza! (more…)

Exclusive! Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo Recipe from The Biggest Loser Bootcamp Book

biggest-loser-bootcamp-spaghetti-squash-chicken-alfredo

Resolve to eat more vegetables. Or try new foods. Or eat more colorfully. Or reduce carbs. Or eat more home-cooked foods. Or just eat cleaner. Which ever one of these resolution categories your “diet” falls into, this dinner is a perfect fit.

We snagged this Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo recipe out of the new book The Biggest Loser Bootcamp (out December 30, 2014!). It met our own food resolutions — C: all of the above — and offered a fresh take on the spaghetti squash trend we love so much. Spaghetti squash has taken off in recent years, and for good reason. It’s a hearty vegetable that has a mild enough taste that you can pair it with almost anything. It’s a great alternative for noodles, but I don’t fully buy in to it being a supreme replacement. Don’t eat this expecting it to taste or feel like noodles; it gets the job done, deliciously so, but stands on its own as a noodle-ish food. (more…)

Resolve to Eat More Colorfully: Mango-Cherry Chia Pudding Parfaits

chia-pudding-parfaits

By Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, author of Eating in Color

I’m on a mission to get people to eat more colorfully. Why? Brightly hued fruits and vegetables are loaded with compounds that reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, some cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and obesity. You’d think that should be enough to convince anyone to throw some color on their plate! Unfortunately, the reality is that most of us are falling seriously short of getting enough fruits and vegetables.

eating-in-color-book

That’s why I create fun and delicious ways for people to eat their colors, like the recipes in my cookbook Eating in Color. In my newest cookbook, I showcase just how vibrant and delicious real food can be. The book includes 90 family-friendly recipes that are fruit, vegetable, and grain focused that you’ll actually want to eat. With recipes like Caramelized Red Onion and Fig Pizza, Cran-Apple Tarte Tatin, and Roasted Tri-Color Carrots with Thyme, tasting the rainbow has never tasted so good, nor been so easy. (more…)

Be the Hostess with the Mostess: Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Goat Cheese Sandwiches Recipe

pork-tenderloin-goat-cheese-sandwiches-tall

The more the merrier is my food philosophy. I love hosting and I really get my jollies by sharing dinner with as many friends and loved ones as I can. That, to me, is the soul in food.

I never like to serve the same thing twice. Who would ever want to come over when they know it’s Chicken Something again? But when the menu is always a little unexpected, it makes the invitation that much more enticing.

pork-tenderloin-sliders

Pork tenderloin has been an easy go-to for my menu planning for some time now. It seems strange to say I’m obsessed with this tender cut of meat — but really, I am. I’ve grilled it and served as medallions, shredded for pulled pork sandwiches, sauteed with veggies for fajitas, cubed for pork and veggie stew, and so much more. The question is — what haven’t I used pork tenderloin for? (more…)

Crustless Pumpkin Pie Mini Muffins: Clean Eating Dessert That’s Entirely Decadent

crustless-pumpkin-pie-muffins

The holidays are here and that means we get to feast! Whether you do so mindfully or mindlessly, the point is to enjoy the time, the family, and definitely the food.

I LOVE sweets, however I don’t love how I feel afterwards. This means that some of my greatest ingenuity in the kitchen happens while trying to create desserts that still taste sinful without punishing my tummy later on. And this becomes especially necessary during Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season.

Enter: the Crustless Pumpkin Pie Mini Muffins. This quintessential holiday dessert does not need to be on your “No-no” list this year. I have adapted this recipe from 58 Day Dreams into a cleaner more health-friendly version. Why wait until New Year’s to start eating right again?

mini-pumpkin-pie-muffins

My favorite way to watch portions with most delectable treats is to make mini versions, and in this case that’s mini muffin pies. I often find that those few bites are enough to satisfy me for the rest of the night. (more…)

Cozy Winter Dinner for Four: Turkey and Herb Stuffed Acorn Squash

turkey-acorn-squash

Some (huge) part of me loves hunkering down for the cooler months. This season mean more time by the fire, with a book, wearing cozy sweaters, and playing board games. Maybe this means I’m secretly an 85-year-old woman living in a millennial’s body, but maybe I’m OK with that.

One of my favorite parts of fall and winter is spending time in the kitchen creating wholesome, seasonal recipes. I love all of the winter vegetables and making “comfort food” that won’t ruin my wellness goals — like these fall comfort foods for vegetarians. My household tries to avoid excessive grain consumption, and increased veggies, the result being my favorite format of dinners: stuffed anything. Stuffed zucchini, butternut squash, these stuffed kale and bean sweet potatoes — name the veggie and I’ve packed it with goodies and served it as a meal.

acorn-squash

So then I tried to include the much less popular cousin of the beloved butternut or spaghetti squash, and experimented with acorn squash. It is perfect for a foggy fall night and lasts forever to make GREAT leftovers — even served cold! Plus, acorn squash is more nutrient-dense than any of its other summer squash relatives. Score!

stuffed-acorn-squash

Acorn squash is loaded with vitamin C to boost the immune system, vitamin A for healthy vision and skin, and has more than 9 grams of dietary fiber! This is more than one-third of the daily requirement and helps to regulate blood sugar, diabetes, and digestion. Plus, hello, isn’t she so pretty?

To choose a ripe acorn squash, look for one with a dark green color, with a small patch of yellow or orange. The skin should be hard and the stem slightly withered.

acorn-squashes

For this recipe, slice the squash lengthwise, brush with olive oil and dust with nutmeg. Remember a little bit of this powerful autumnal spice goes a long way!

I chose to stuff the squash with ground turkey, as it is leaner than red meat and the subtler flavor lets the squash taste take center stage! Like all of my recipes, this is extremely forgiving in what you choose to throw in to the stuffing mixture. Consider adding red and green bell peppers, chopped onions, or sun-dried tomatoes. Those are some of my favorite bonus additions when I have them lying around the house.

minced-garlic-and-herbs

But for the purposes of guiding you on a ready-to-follow recipes with little improvisation needed, I’ve literally stuffed this recipe with some of the best natural flavor agents around. Minced garlic and onion, sweet raisins, and a trio of fresh herbs like parsley, basil, and thyme. The aroma before you even start roasting will fill your senses and boost your anticipation of this meal.

stuffed-turkey-acorn-squash

As always, I’d suggest tossing any almost-moldy greens into the mixture right at the very end so they wilt slightly and blend in with the other flavors. I’m always looking for ways to hide any extra veggies!

If your tummy and nutritional choices allow, you may even want to top with crumbled feta cheese before drizzling with balsamic vinegar and serving for an extra flavor boost!

And one more favorite preparation tip? I’ve made this with sweet potato flesh combined with the turkey mixture. Having both acorn and sweet potato together makes it extra yummy!

Turkey and Herb Stuffed Acorn Squash
serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise with seeds removedacorn-squash-stuffed-turkey

1 lb. ground turkey

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, minced

16 oz. baby spinach

3 celery stalks, chopped

1/4 cup raisins

1 tsp. parsley, chopped

1 tsp. thyme, chopped

1/2 tsp. basil, chopped

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

2+ tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground pepper

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter or coconut oil

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and adjust rack to middle position. While it warms, brush the squash lightly with olive oil and dust with nutmeg. Place squash, cut-side up, on a baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Brown the ground turkey. Add the diced onion, garlic, and celery, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes until soft.

3. Stir in herbs, spices, and raisins. Add spinach and wilt 2-3 minutes. Add in butter or coconut oil and combine over medium heat.

4. Spoon filling into acorn squash and roast for 20 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.


ALSO TRY THESE PERFECT FALL MEALS

Twice-Baked Shepherd’s Pie

Whole Wheat Chicken Pot Pie

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese


Recipe by Katie McGrath; Photos by Kacy Meinecke for DietsInReview.com

No Brainer Dinner: BBQ Pork Sliders with Homemade Cole Slaw

bbq-pork-sliders

There’s a new D-word, and all of us cringe at its mention. But inevitably, once a day, that question sounds: what’s for dinner? There’s too much pressure on this one single meal that doesn’t even carry the responsibility of being the most important meal of the day. And yet, it’s the one that we focus on the most.

We need it easy, fast, delicious, healthy, and we need all of it for an affordable price. Something has to give, right? Not with these BBQ Pork Sliders! You get the whole package for a fair price in less than 45 minutes. You can’t beat that with a sack of burgers!

bbq-pork

35 Quick & Easy School Night Dinners Your Kids Will Actually Eat

This recipe uses lean pork tenderloin, and the name says it all. This cut of meat is very tender (it’s honestly hard to mess it up) and it’s very lean. Four ounces of pork tenderloin weighs in nutritionally almost identical to the same amount of chicken breast, with 185 calories and 5 grams of fat. For the serving size and the amount of satisfying flavor pork tenderloin offers, you seriously cannot beat this cut of meat. It’s one of our favorite go-tos.

bbq-pork-tenderloin

The pork roasts for about half an hour in the oven, staying moist and building flavor with your favorite barbecue sauce. Sodium and sugar are two things to watch out for when buying bottled sauce, but tasty options abound if you’re willing to read a label.

While the pork is cooking, you’ve got plenty of time to prepare the homemade slaw to top the sandwiches. This is way too easy, and if you’ve got eager hands who love to help out in the kitchen, this is the perfect task to pass on to the kids. Simply mix reduced-fat mayo and milk with white vinegar and scallions (green onions) and toss that with a bagged cole slaw mix from the store.

bbq-pork-coleslaw

Then prep the dinner rolls or slider buns with a scoop of the slaw, finishing with the pork. When this comes out of the oven, you can use a fork to shred or pull the pork. Top with any remaining scallions and barbecue sauce and dinner is served!

bbq-pork-slider

BBQ Pork Sliders
serves 12

INGREDIENTS

One pork tenderloin (about 1 ¼ lbs.)
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
3 cups bagged Classic Cole Slaw (shredded cabbage and carrots)
3 Tbsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. fat-free milk
1 ½ tsp. cider or white vinegar
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. sliced scallions
12 dinner rolls or slider buns, split and warmed or toasted if desired

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or regular foil coated with cooking spray.
  2. Place pork on pan and brush with 1 Tbsp. barbecue sauce. Roast until meat thermometer inserted in center registers 155 degrees, about 30 minutes.
  3. To make coleslaw, put coleslaw, mayonnaise, milk, vinegar and 2 Tbsp. sliced scallions in a medium bowl and toss to mix and coat. (Can be made 1 day ahead).
  4. Slice pork then tear or cut into shreds or pieces.
  5. Put pork, remaining scallions and barbecue sauce in a large nonstick skillet and warm over low heat. (Can be made one day ahead and reheated just before serving).
  6. To serve, spoon about ¼ cup BBQ pork on each bun bottom. Top each with about 3 Tbsp. coleslaw, then bun tops.

Sriracha oven fries rack

TRY THESE HOMEMADE SIDES

Sriracha Oven Fries (pictured)

Red and Sweet Potato Salad

Parmesan Orange Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Cheesy Black Bean and Sweet Corn Dip

recipe by Terry Grieco Kenny; photos by Kacy Meinecke for DietsInReview.com