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step-by-step photos, fettuccine alfredo, cauliflower alfredo

If you’re looking for a healthier, low-calorie, low fat version of a regular alfredo sauce, this Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce is it!  It’s delicious, creamy, and very silky, without using any cream!  When I was making this recipe, my main objective was simplicity: I wanted to make the process as simple as I could.  In this recipe, all you will do is to combine cooked cauliflower, chicken bullion cube (you can use organic version, too), Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and nutmeg (optional) in a food processor, and you’re done!   I used cooking water to thin the sauce, which makes this cauliflower sauce completely cream-free!
Without further ado, here are step by step photos and instructions.  Clean the cauliflower head from green leaves and chop off any dark spots. Your cauliflower head should look nice and clean: [click to continue…]


quinoa fritters, quinoa cakes, bacon fritters, bacon cakes, gluten free snack, gluten free comfort food, fritters with sour cream, fritters with greek yogurt

Quinoa, Spaghetti Squash, and Bacon Fritters – perfect snack, breakfast, or lunch! This might become your favorite way to eat quinoa or spaghetti squash! These little cakes are perfect on their own, and you can also dress them up with sour cream or Greek yogurt.

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To ensure these fritters turn out well, make sure to wring out the cooked spaghetti squash strands really well before forming the fritters (more detail on that in the recipe instructions below).   You will want to get rid of as much liquid from spaghetti squash as you can. [click to continue…]


pumpkin chili, quinoa chili, easy chili

Delicious Pumpkin Quinoa Chili with Black Beans and Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) – a yummy vegetarian version of a regular chili – this recipe will keep you full and satisfied!

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I love making SAVORY recipes using pumpkin puree, without any sweetness or spices that are usually associated with pumpkin – and I love how tasty this dish turned out to be!

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10 Things To Do in NYC in December

Rockefeller Plaza, toy soldiers, Christmas in NYC, New York City Christmas

New York City is one of the most fun cities in the world during the holiday season. The activities abound, the whole city gets decorated with holiday lights, Christmas decorations, and intricate window displays. Spending holidays in NYC can get expensive, but there are SO MANY fun free things to do (and to see!) in New York City in December – and that’s what this post is all about.  Here is my list of top 10 Things To Do (and To See!) in NYC during the winter holiday season:

Rockefeller Center skating rink, Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, Rockefeller Center people skating

1.  Gigantic Christmas decorations and lights in midtown Manhattan
Giant red ornaments at 1251 Sixth Avenue, near Rockefeller Plaza in NYC.   If you let your imagination run wild, these Christmas ornaments will remind you of huge caramelized apples or gigantic pomegranates, quite appropriately for the season!  Very shiny and deliciously looking, aren’t they? [click to continue…]


Browned Butter Pecan Sandies

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Browned Butter Pecan Sandies – delicious butter cookies made completely from scratch! I will show you how to carefully brown the butter without burning it (including step-by-step photos), how to add chopped pecans to the browned butter to toast them a bit. And, finally, how to create these cute cookies, rolled in granulated sugar before baking and each one of them individually topped with a pecan half!

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You can also brush maple syrup over the top of the cookies for an extra shine and flavor – it’s an optional step, and I recommend that you try it on a couple of cookies, taste them, and only then decide whether to brush the rest of the cookies with the maple syrup:

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These cookies will be devoured by your family, friends, co-workers in no time! [click to continue…]


The best chili recipes on the web, hearty chili, spicy beef chili, quick and easy chili, gluten free recipe

What could be better on a cold wintery night than a warm, hearty chili? Such as this pumpkin chili with beef and black beans, topped with shredded Cheddar and Mozzarella cheeses (and, optionally, with sour cream). It’s a deliciousness in a bowl!

Pumpkin and beef chili ingredients, canned peeled tomatoes, sharp cheddar shredded cheese, canned pumpkin, canned black beans, chili powder, cumin powder

Not only is this chili a perfect comfort food, the recipe is gluten free and uses good-for-you, whole food ingredients, such as pumpkin puree, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese! [click to continue…]


Teenage years are an interesting chapter: not only do teens learn (with parental help) how to become successfully independent, teenage years are also very important and formative years in terms of setting lifelong habits and defining values. Food, drink, and physical activity are huge components of teenage life. Teens need to create healthy habits such as a balance between healthy foods, sweet treats, soda consumption, and physical exercise; in turn these habits will make their transition into adulthood a smooth and happy journey! My stepson just turned 15, and my husband and I put a huge emphasis on helping him become a health-conscious and balanced individual in relation to what he eats, drinks, and his physical activities.

Mixify - 7 Tips to help teens find life balance

Here are 7 tips to help your teens find healthy balance and make smart food and drink choices:

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The story goes that after borrowing $45,000 from friends and opening their very first health food store in Austin in 1978, the Whole Foods Market® founders lived in that store for a little while, because they got evicted from their apartment for storing food in it. Today, Whole Foods Market® has one of the best brand images out there, a loyal fan base, is ranked #218 on the Fortune 500 list, and has revenues of $12.9 billion in 2013. What can I say? I wouldn’t mind living at a Whole Foods Market store for a while. :)

I am one of many loyal Whole Foods Market customers who want minimally processed products free of certain artificial ingredients, and don’t want foods that contain nitrates, harmful pesticides, artificial colors, antibiotics, and hormones. In this blog post, I am going to dig a little bit deeper why exactly I choose to shop at Whole Foods Market. I admire Whole Foods Market not only because of the high quality standard they set for their products, but also because I respect their values and philosophy about life.

Whole Foods Market

10 Reasons why I choose to shop at Whole Foods Market:

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Today’s recipe is an amazing Pumpkin Apple Spice Bundt Cake: flavorful, moist, light and fluffy! It’s everything you will want in a holiday cake! Perfect for Christmas, Thanksgiving, all year around, really!

By the way, today I’m guest posting over at Oh Sweet Basil – a wonderful blog that you will love to follow! Please head over there to check out the recipe! Carrian of Oh Sweet Basil is a beautiful mom of two, with the health and fitness being a major part of her family’s life (and her blog!) She shares not only great recipes on her site, but also fitness tips and ideas.

pumpkin bundt cake, pumpkin spice cake, apple bundt cake

Back to the cake! It’s a healthier kind of a dessert: I am using Greek yogurt to replace half the amount of oil. Pumpkin, as we know, is full of anti-oxidants. And, this cake is literally stuffed with apples, as you can see on the photos. Yumminess! [click to continue…]


healthy mashed potatoes with greek yogurt, how to make mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes with butter, gluten free side dish, gluten free mashed potatoes, dairy free mashed potatoes

Deliciously creamy Greek yogurt mashed potatoes is my new favorite, healthier recipe for mashed potatoes! No milk or half-and-half are used, just Greek yogurt, some butter, and water from boiling the potatoes. Greek yogurt adds a nice “tang” to the potatoes, and chopped green onions as garnish on top are perfect!  [click to continue…]


chicken pasta, broccoli pasta, sun-dried tomato cream sauce recipe

Delicious Chicken and Broccoli Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce: short, penne pasta smothered in a flavorful, creamy sauce spiced up with garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and crushed red pepper flakes! When you taste this dish, it will make you feel like you just had a taste of Italy!

First, drain and reserve all olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar. Then, add 2 tablespoons of that reserved oil to the hot skillet and saute first sun-dried tomatoes, then add chicken (generously salted on both sides and sprinkled with paprika):

cooking chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and crushed red pepper

Add half-and-half and Mozzarella cheese, heat it up to a gentle boil, then immediately reduce to simmer. [click to continue…]