Winter Salsa

Winter Salsa | Mimi's Fit Foods

Well folks!  I’m finally returning back to my blog.  Adjusting to life with two children was a little more challenging for me than I thought it would be.  So, the blog just never made it on the to-do list.  I’m feeling much more adjusted to life now days and am creating/trying new recipes again.  Yay!  So . . . without further ado, let’s get back into it with salsa!  Salsa that tastes fresh, even in the winter months.

I love salsa!  That’s no secret if you peruse the blog here.  I definitely prefer fresh salsa over the store-bought stuff.  Sometimes that just gets tricky in the winter months since the tomatoes are just not in season and lacking in flavor.  I mean, let’s be honest . . . we only get the good garden-fresh tomatoes a few months out of the year.  So, what can we do the other nine?

Surprisingly, I whip up this salsa from canned tomatoes and jalapeños.  I pair the canned stuff with fresh cilantro and onions.  The salsa is AMAZING and full of rich tomato flavor.  My husband tells me that it tastes just like the salsas found in authentic Mexican restaurants.  You know . . . when you get served the chips and salsa when you are seated.

Perhaps that is all you need to know.  But, more importantly, you can still make salsa during the winter months or when you just don’t have fresh tomatoes handy.  This salsa is good year round.

Enjoy!

Winter Salsa
Mimi’s Fit Foods

Ingredients:
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon canned jalapeños
1 onion, roughly diced
1/4 – 1/2 cup cilantro (depending on your taste preference), roughly torn
juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper to taste (I do about 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper)

Directions:
Put all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until salsa is “chopped” up to desired consistency (anywhere from 5-10 pulses).

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Tablespoons)
5.9 Calories | 0.2g Protein | 1.4g Carbs | 0g Fat | 0.4g Fiber | 0.6g Sugar

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

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from No Thanks To Cake

Ingredients:
1 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup low fat milk (I used 1%)
1 packet of Ranch dressing mix

Directions:
Put all ingredients in a pint jar. Tighten lid on jar and shake until everything is well combined. (You could also put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.)

Serves 12.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Tablespoons):
16.3 Calories | 2.3g Protein | 1.3g Carbs | 0.1g Fat (0.1g = Sat.) | 0g Fiber | 1.3g Sugars

 

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.

Fresh Herb Sweet Potato and Zucchini Baked Fritters
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from Averie Cooks

Ingredients:
2 cups shredded zucchini (1 large or 2 small zucchini)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups shredded sweet potato (1 medium to large sweet potato, peeled)
2 tablespoons light butter (I used Smart Balance Light)
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, coarsely chopped

Directions:
Place shredded zucchini in a colander (place colander over a bowl to eventually collect liquid from zucchini) and sprinkle salt over zucchini. Gently toss the zucchini and salt. Let zucchini sit for approximately 30 minutes. This will remove excess liquid from zucchini. Gently push zucchini with a wooden spoon against sides of colander to squeeze any additional liquid from zucchini.

Remove zucchini from colander and place in a medium-large sized mixing bowl. Add the shredded sweet potato to zucchini and set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking tray with Silpat, parchment paper, or aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter (about 1 minute on 50% power). To the melted butter add the egg and egg white and beat with a fork to combine. Add the black pepper, the flour and herbs to the butter/egg mixture and stir to combine. Pour this mixture over the sweet potato and zucchini and toss to combine. The mixture will be loose and a bit soggy.

Using a 1/2-cup measure, form fritters by transferring one packed half-cup of vegetable mixture from mixing bowl directly to baking tray.

Bake fritters for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. You’ll find that the fritters will “leak” additional liquid (either from the zucchini releasing additional water or from the butter/egg mixture) and this is okay.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. Carefully flip fritters over (they will be soft and delicate, so be careful not to break them) and bake for 15-20 more minutes, or until browned. Fritters will be browned and soft upon removal from the oven. Serve hot/warm.

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information Per Fritter:
87.3 Calories | 2.5g Protein | 14.7g Carbs | 2g Fat (0.6g = Sat.) | 2g Fiber | 0.1g Sugars

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!

Lime Kissed Fruit Salad
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Ingredients:
3 cups watermelon, cubed
2 cups strawberries, quarters
1 cup grapes, halved (red or green)
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained well
1 banana sliced
zest from one lime
2 tablespoons honey

Directions:
Combine the fruit in a medium-large serving bowl. Add the lime zest and gently toss.
Drizzle the honey over the fruit and again, gently mix until the fruit is evenly coated with the honey. Serve.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/2 Cup):
43.3 Calories | 0.4g Protein | 11g Carbs | 0.1g (0g = Sat.) Fat | 0.9g Fiber | 8.8g Sugars

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!

Honey-Glazed Carrots
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 pound baby carrots, sliced in half
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
slat and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons light butter (I used Land of Lakes)

Directions:
Bring the carrots, broth, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the carrots are almost tender, about 5 minutes.

Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer rapidly until the liquid measures about 2 tablespoons, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the honey and butter and continue to cook, stirring often, until the carrots are completely tender and the sauce has reduced to a light golden glaze, about 4 minutes.

Off the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 the Recipe):
80 Calories | 1.6g Protein | 17.4g Carbs | 1g Fat (0g = Sat.) | 2.7g Fiber | 13.1g Sugars

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!

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from Kristy at Sweet Treats and More

Ingredients/Supplies:
4-6 large sweet potatoes
foil
cooking spray

Directions:
Lightly coat your slow cooker with cooking spray (some of the juices of the sweet potatoes usually leak out of the foiled sweet potatoes and spraying your slow cooker will help with clean up).

Wash sweet potatoes and pat dry. Wrap each potato in foil and place in the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4.

Nutritional Information Per Large Sweet Potato:
162 Calories | 3.6g Protein | 37.3g Carbs | 0.3g Fat (0.1g = Sat.) | 5.9g Fiber | 15.2g Sugars

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