Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing || Mimi's Fit Foods

This is for all of you Ranch Dressing lovers!  I recently made this to go on our taco salads.  I usually make my Ranch Dressing with cottage cheese (you can check that out here), but this is a good alternative . . . especially if you’re looking for more of the “right” consistency.   

I throw everything in a Mason Jar and shake it up.  It turns out beautifully!  Make sure you use the Ranch Dressing packet (not the Dip packet).  

This is a GREAT alternative to making the typical Ranch Dressing with full-fat sour cream and buttermilk.  It can be used for everything you love to use Ranch Dressing with (salad, veggies, snacks, etc.).

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing | Mimi's Fit Foods

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Fresh Herb Sweet Potato and Zucchini Baked Fritters

Fresh Herb Sweet Potato and Zucchini Baked Fritters

I haven’t shared one zucchini recipe with you this year.  That is kind of ridiculous considering it’s a staple at our house starting mid-summer.  We still have zucchini growing like crazy and, unlike many others, we are STILL loving it.  For those of you who are looking for another creative and delicious way to use zucchini I must share one of my new favorite ways to use to use it.  These fritters make such a delicious side dish and go with just about any main course.  And, they look pretty fancy to boot!

They are seriously easy to prepare, especially if you have a food processor.  I like using the food processor to shred my sweet potatoes and zucchini for two reasons.  1 – It’s fast.  2 – Everything turns out to be the same size.  However, if you don’t have a food processor you can totally use a hand grater and your fritters will turn out just fine.

Shredded Sweet Potatoes & Zucchini | Mimi's Fit Foods

I looked at several fritter recipes and, based on previous experience/knowledge of zucchini, I found it pretty essential to get as much liquid out of the zucchini as I could before cooking up my fritters.  There are several ways to do this, but the easiest and most mess-free way of accomplishing this task is to place your shredded zucchini in a colander, salt the zucchini, and then let it sit for about 30 minutes (you’ll want to place the colander over a bowl or simply in a sink to catch the liquid).  This magically pulls the liquid out of the zucchini and all you have to do is gently press it with a spoon to get any extra liquid out.  (Another popular method is to squeeze the zucchini with a towel, paper towels, or cheese cloth.  While this works, I still find it hard to get as much liquid out of the zucchini and then I have a dirty, wet, green towel to deal with.)  

Also, if you’re a bit salt-sensitive, then I recommend rinsing your zucchini after the 30 minutes.  This will take some of the salt off the zucchini.  I slightly rinsed mine and then just used a wooden spoon to gently squeeze the zucchini against the colander to remove any excess water. 

You’ll find that I used a combination of fresh Thyme and fresh Basil.  You can really use just about any combination of fresh herbs you desire.  I found these to be delicious and well-balanced and . . . I happened to grow them in my little herb garden this year.  The herbs really help elevate the freshness of these fritters.  Soooo yummy!

Most fritters are typically fried, however that’s not really a great option when looking for healthy ways to prepare foods.  So, I went with a baked option and we loved the way these turned out.  

You seriously should add these to your zucchini recipe files.  These fritters are a keeper and we totally love them at our house.  Plus, having one more way to mix up the zucchini is a huge bonus when we practically eat it every day.  

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Lime Kissed Fruit Salad

Lime Kissed Fruit Sald | Mimi's Fit Foods

With it being summer and having all this lovely fruit in season, fruit salads are all the craze!  I absolutely love eating fresh fruit in the summer and find that it makes a delicious, light, and beautiful side dish to almost any meal.  That being said, this has become my most favorite way to serve it as of late!  

This fruit salad is oh-so-simple, takes very little time, and seriously takes that fresh fruit up a gazillion notches to SUPER awesome!  I’ve been toting this fruit salad to family and friend BBQ’s all summer long and every. single. time. I am asked how to make it because everyone is drooling over every bite.  

I’ve found that the fruit options are endless.  I typically make it with whatever fruit I have on hand or with whatever fruit I am in the mood for.  Being summer . . . there is usually melon and strawberries in it for sure.  Then, I add others.  You can change things up to your liking.  

One little note that I must mention is that you should not “dress” this salad until it is time to eat it.  It only lasts a couple of hours before going “mushy” and gets all juicy.  (I mean, the mushy and juicy fruit is still to-die-for, but you know . . . not the most optimal to serve.)

All I’m saying is that if you want to be praised for your little-to-no-effort salad, this is it folks!  Make it for your next BBQ.  Or, if you don’t have a BBQ, make it for yourself.  You’ll be in heaven!  And, keep it in mind for the fall/winter months too because it’s even delicious with canned fruit.  No kidding!

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Honey-Glazed Carrots

Honey-Glazed Carrots || Mimi's Fit Foods

Here is a tasty vegetable side dish that goes well with SO many main dishes!  When I was growing up, my mom would sometimes make cooked carrots that simmered in brown sugar and butter.  Oh, they were soooo good!  I mean, no wonder!  Sugar and butter?  Yeah . . . that explains it all.

Needless to say, they definitely weren’t the healthiest, despite that they were a vegetable side dish.  Well, this recipe brought those childhood memories to life.  While this is a much healthier way to prepare the carrots, you’ll find that the sweetness of the carrots is intensified and boring carrots are made exciting.  We gobbled these up when I made them and I plan to put them in the vegetable rotation.  After all, my sweet toddler does have carrots at the top of her favorite food list.  And, now we do too!

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Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes | Mimi's Fit Foods

So, I’ve thrown regular, ol’ potatoes in the slow cooker, so I’m not sure why I didn’t think about throwing the sweet potatoes in there too.  But, my sweet friend Kristy over at Sweet Treats and More does it all of the time and once the idea entered my mind, there was no leaving it!  Thanks Kristy!

We LOVE sweet potatoes at our house.  They’re such a great choice when it comes to healthy side dishes, but they definitely take some time to cook in the oven.  And, I don’t always think that far ahead.  Besides that, turning on the oven in the summer time for more than an hour sound like WAY too much heat in the kitchen.  Thus . . . the fabulous slow cooker.  While the slow cooker reminds a lot of us of comfort food for the fall and winter months, it is a miracle worker in the summer too.  It avoids extended time of oven heat.  And, that is certainly the case with these sweet potatoes.    

The even greater part about throwing the sweet potatoes in the slow cooker is that they come out soooooo incredibly perfect and fluffy.  We love to put some coconut oil or light butter on them and then sprinkle with cinnamon.  Seriously so yummy!  

Now that summer is here, we’ve been throwing these Sweet Potatoes in the slow cooker and then when dinner comes around, we’re throwing meat on the grill to eat alongside them.  It’s pretty perfect really.  It takes little-to-no effort, but our meals have been incredible!

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Whole Wheat Flatbread

Whole Wheat Flatbread | Mimi's Fit Foods

I’ve been on the search for a good flatbread recipe that uses 100% whole wheat flour.  I found a keeper, you guys!  I found a keeper!  This flatbread is SO similar to the homemade bread I make, that I figured it would turn out delicious.  The lovely thing about these is that they are incredibly soft and chewy (without any reference of imitating cardboard) and they have a hint of sweetness thanks to that honey.  These are WAY easy to make and take VERY little time.  Seriously.  You’ll be amazed of the simplicity of making your very own flatbread.  Besides that, it tastes WAY better than what you’ll ever buy at the store.

Oh, the things you can do with flatbread!  Think pizza, wraps, gyros, pita chips, etc.  I’ll be sharing some fun and healthy things to do with these wraps in some upcoming posts.  Stay tuned!

Whole Wheat Flatbread
Recipe slightly adapted from The Taste Tester

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups whole what flour (plus or minus 1/4 cup depending on heat and humidity)

Mix yeast with warm water and honey.  Let sit for five minutes.  In the meantime whisk flour, gluten, and salt together.

When yeast is ready, stir in the olive oil first and then the flour mixture until well combined (I did this in my mixer and then removed it to do the kneading).  Knead dough twenty times.  It should be soft but not sticky.  Add more flour while kneading as needed.  Let dough rest for 20 minutes.

Divid dough into eight equal portions.  Shape each piece into a ball and then roll into an oval, circle, or rectangle on a greased surface (I just spray my countertop lightly with cooking spray).  The dough should be thin.  Heat a pancake griddle to 350 degrees.  When grill is heated, place two-three flatbreads on it.  Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  They will bubble up slightly.  Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining pieces of dough.

Serves 8 (but can easily be made to serve 10, with the rounds being slightly smaller).

Nutritional Information (Per Flatbread)
Calories:  163
Protein:  6.7g
Carbs:  27.2g
Fat:  4.2g
Fiber:  4.1g
Sugars:  2.2g

Quinoa Tabouli

Quinoa Tabouli | Mimi's Fit Foods

I must admit.  I’m not a pro when it comes to knowing much about Middle Eastern cuisine.  However, I have had Tabouli (or Tabbouleh) before and LOVED it.  It is traditionally made with bulgur wheat.  That being said, I ran across this version with quinoa instead of bulgur and knew I would love the simple exchange.  It’s still a healthy grain, yet I tend to have quinoa on hand much more often than bulgur.

Tabouli is naturally healthy.  There is nothing found in this salad that isn’t clean.  It’s PACKED with flavor because it’s made with gobs of fresh herbs (mint and parsley to be exact). It’s seasoned beautifully with a dressing made primarily of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

The great thing about this little salad is it is quite versatile.  You can eat it as is, you can add chicken to it, you can made a vegetarian wrap out of it, etc. In fact, stay tuned because I have a post coming up where I actually stuff this yummy Tabouli in a wrap/gyro.  It’s so good!

Quinoa Tabouli
Adapted from Nutritious Eats

1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed, drained & cooked to package instructions
2 cups chopped cherry or grape tomatoes (about 1 pint)
1 1/2 cups chopped cucumbers
1/2 cup chopped onion (can substitute green onions)
1 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 cups fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

Dressing:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 scant cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Koser salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl to cool while you prep other ingredients.

Add chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and fresh herbs to cooked, cooled quinoa.

In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for dressing. Pour over quinoa salad and toss to combine. Refrigerate for a couple hours to chill slightly. Serve room temperature or cold.

Serves 10.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  124
Protein:  2.8g
Carbs:  16.4g
Fat:  5.5g (0.6g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.6g
Sugars:  3g