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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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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Roasted Cabbage Slices

Roasted Cabbage Slices | Mimi's Fit Foods

St. Patrick’s Day is in a matter of days and I know several of us are on the lookout for recipes, so I decided to share another one for you to consider.  There are LOTS of fun recipes out there for this lovely green-inspired holiday, and of all the recipes, I decide to share with you Roasted Sliced Cabbage.  Stay with me, here!  Stay with me!

While this may not appear “fun,” I promise I would not share this with you if I didn’t absolutely love it!  This is seriously crazy yummy when it comes to the cabbage world.  Roasting the cabbage helps to bring out a level of sweetness you don’t get otherwise, and it offers a bit of crunch on the edges (my favorite part).  Seriously!  If you’re not a fan of cabbage, this could certainly be one of the cabbage dishes that could possibly sway you!

Besides that cabbage seems to be popular in Irish-inspired St. Patrick’s Day dishes (for example . . . Corned Beef and Cabbage), it’s also green!  Why not make this a side dish at an all-green dinner?  It’s a great way to make sure you get something healthy, it’s green, and it’s deeeeelish!

Roasted Cabbage Slices - Mimi's Fit Foods

Roasted Cabbage Slices
Adapted from Wellness Mama

1/2 head of medium-sized cabbage
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the cabbage in 1/4-1/2 inch slices.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, or use a Silpat liner.  Place the cabbage on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. If desired, evenly brush drizzled oil over cabbage.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast for 30-35 minutes or until tender in the middle and sides are just starting to turn golden brown. Remove and serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  58.4
Protein:  1.6g
Carbs:  6.2g
Fat:  3.8g (0.5g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.6g
Sugars:  0g

Roasted and Crispy Parmesan-Cauliflower Poppers

Cauliflower Poppers | Mimi's Fit Foods

These are a “fun” way to eat your veggies!

I love roasted cauliflower, but I thought this would be a fun and different way to make it as well.  My little munchkin loves to “dip” her food, so I figured she would fall in love with these little “Cauliflower Nuggets” without even thinking twice.  I was totally right!

The panko gives these a nice crispy crunch.  I toasted the panko beforehand because it’s not super awesome to brown itself in the oven.   And, well . . . I think the parmesan cheese is definitely a no-brainer when it comes to cauliflower.  I used egg whites to get the panko to stick and that worked like a charm . . . plus it added a nice protein factor to the end result.

You can serve these with a variety of sauces/dips.  I recommend Simple MarinaraFit Ranch DipSpicy Chipotle White Bean Hummus, or Fresh Garden Salsa.

When you create your “breading station” you’ll find that there will be a little bit of leftover ingredients with each step (flour, eggs, breadcrumbs).  I prefer it this way so that I’m not struggling to get everything coated.  That being said, the nutritional information is based on what I actually used (not what the recipe suggests).

We had these for a snack the other afternoon and we ate them all!  My babe couldn’t even wait for me to finish taking pictures before she started dipping.  Now . . . go surprise yourself and/or your kiddos with these addictive, yes addictive, Cauliflower Poppers!

Eat Cauliflower Poppers | Mimi's Fit Foods

Roasted and Crispy Parmesan-Cauliflower Poppers

12 oz bag cauliflower florets, cut into small, bite-size “popper” pieces
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
pinch paprika
pinch salt
pinch black pepper
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 egg whites
cooking spray, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Prepare baking sheet by lightly spraying with cooking spray, or by placing a silicone mat on sheet.

Toast your panko breadcrumbs by heating a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.  Constantly stir breadcrumbs until they start to brown (approximately 3-7 minutes).  Place toasted breadcrumbs in a gallon-sized ziplock bag and add the parmesan, paprika, pepper, and salt.  Set aside.

Continue to set up your breading station by adding the flour to another gallon-sized sip lock bag.  Set aside.  Beat the egg whites in a large bowl and set aside.

To bread, lightly spray cauliflower pieces with cooking spray (this may not be necessary if your pieces are still a little wet from washing).  Add cauliflower pieces to the bag with flour and very gently shake to coat the pieces well.  Next, add the floured pieces to the bowl with the beaten eggs and toss the pieces to coat with egg.  Next, add the pieced to the bag with the panko/parmesan mixture, and again, gently shake to coat the pieces well (I added my egg-coated cauliflower in two phases).  Take the coated pieces out and place on prepared baking sheet in a single layer (no over-lapping).

Place cauliflower in heated oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender (I roasted mine for 23ish minutes).

Remove from oven and serve with dipping sauce of your choice.  (I recommend Simple Marinara, Fit Ranch Dip, Spicy Chipotle White Bean Hummus, or Fresh Garden Salsa).

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  123.8
Protein:  8.4g
Carbs:  18.2g
Fat:  2.6g (1.4g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.4g
Sugars:  0.1g

Quinoa, Cranberry and Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quinoa, Cranberry and Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash - Mimi's Fit Foods

I LOVED the freshness and comfort of this meal!  I love roasted squash and filling it with a delicious quinoa salad is just plain fabulous!  The roasted squash offered the “comfort” and the quinoa salad offered the “freshness.”  And, even better . . . they go SO WELL together!  The textures are amazing with the softness of the squash and quinoa being combined with the crunch of the almonds and spinach and then topped off with the chewiness of the dried cranberries.  And, probably without even having to say it, the flavors all meld well together.

This is a beautiful meatless meal.  I had a couple of acorn squash that were begging to get used so this is what came of them.  We had it for lunch and loved it.

Quinoa-Cranberry-Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash - Mimi's Fit Foods

Quinoa, Cranberry and Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash
Adapted by The Spicy RD Blog

2 acorn squash
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling on squash
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
2-3 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, cut acorn squash in half, vertically, and remove the seeds. Drizzle olive oil over the flesh of both pieces of squash, then sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper. Place squash, flesh side down on a foil lined sheet, and bake for 30 minutes.

While squash is baking, combine quinoa and water in a medium pan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, and cook until water is absorbed, and quinoa is nice and fluffy.

While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in pan, then add onions and cook until translucent. Push onions to the side of the pan, and add almonds, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes to toast. Remove pan from heat, and set aside.

When quinoa is done cooking, pour it in to a medium bowl, then stir in onion/almond mixture, cranberries, spinach, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When squash is cooked, remove from oven and place each piece on a plate. Scoop 1 cup of quinoa pilaf mixture in to each squash half and serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 half squash filled)
Calories:  327
Protein:  8.8g
Carbs:  51.1g
Fat:  12.6g (0.6g = Sat.)
Fiber:  .6g
Sugars:  7.3g

Triple Berry and Carrot Juice Detox and Antioxidant Smoothie

Triple Berry and Carrot Juice Detox and Antioxidant Smoothie - Mimi's Fit Foods

We caught some of the nasty winter germs that have been going around and have been down with colds in our house.  Ugh!  In order to help boost our immune systems we’ve been trying hard to get in as many fruits and veggies as possible.  

This little smoothie has become our breakfast drink for the past week.  The berries are LOADED with antioxidants and I love sneaking veggies in the smoothie without anyone even noticing they’re there . . . thus, the addition of carrot juice.  Fruits and veggies will help us to naturally detox and cleanse our bodies too, so this smoothie is great for any of us who may have indulged a little over the holidays.  

If you’re wondering, I buy my triple berry mix from Costco.  I also found the carrot juice at Costco and have noticed that I can get the three bottles at Costco for almost the same price it costs for 1 bottle in the grocery store.  Since we won’t be drinking ALL that carrot juice before it goes bad, I’ve decided to freeze it until I need it.

If you’re in need of a handy-dandy way to get in your fruits and veggies, here’s a great solution.  Your kids will love it too.  My little babe sees it mixing in the blender and starts chanting, “num, num, num.”  Smoothies just seem to be a special treat!

Triple Berry and Carrot Juice Detox and Antioxidant Smoothie
Mimi’s Fit Foods

1 cup frozen mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
1/2 cup carrot juice
1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (depending on taste)
crushed ice, optional

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds).

Serves 2.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (Per Smoothie)
Calories:  110.2
Protein:  4.8g
Carbs:  22.6g
Fat:  0.4g (0.1g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.7g
Sugars:  18.4g (mostly all natural from the berries)