There is just something delicious about supper from the grill. Our grill has been fired up multiple times a week lately and we are nearing 4th of July weekend where I think the majority of the country will be throwing some meat on the grill or packing a picnic.
The meat is the easy part – add some marinade or rub and you are good to go. Figuring out side dishes for grilling is where the problem comes in. Especially if you want healthy sides!
Don’t worry, I’ve rounded up a great list of 26 healthy side dishes for grilling! These would make the perfect addition to your next grilled supper – in fact, there are enough real food options to keep you going all summer.
We would like to share with you some of our favorite Christmas cookies! We can’t give you the actual cookie, but we can give you the recipes! You can see one of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes below, and then find links to several other great Christmas cookie recipes at the bottom of this post. We have also provided a linky on the bottom for you to link up your favorite Christmas cookies! Come participate in our Online Christmas Cookie Exchange!
Here’s my recipe:
So only the recipe card says Russian Tea Cakes. The name we actually growing up calling this fabulous little cookies by? No, not snowball cookies like the rest of the world. Our name was a little more unique. We called them Dust Balls. That’s actually the name I still call them. But for some reason, I don’t think a cookie recipe called Dust Balls would go over well to the rest of the world so I’m calling them Russian Tea Cakes once again for the sake of this post. What name do you use for these cookies? I know others who call them Mexican Wedding Cakes too.
Now that we got the name out of the way, let me tell you that I LOVE these cookies. They are easily in my top 3 Christmas cookies to make each year. They are delicate – like little balls of shortbread rolled in powdered sugar. I also love that they aren’t overly sweet.
Do yourself a favor and make a double batch while you are at it! The 24 cookies will be gone in no time – they are that addicting. They keep well in the freezer as well.
The nuts in this recipe are optional in my book. We do it both ways. Growing up, a lot of us kids didn’t like nuts messing with our desserts but now walnuts and pecans are some of my favorite things. Do what will make your family happy.
Caramel and apples make a perfect match and putting the two together in bar form is no exception. Did you hear that? Bar form! Yes, that means you can pick these up and take a bite out of them. You can’t do that with apple crisp or apple pie! If you want to dress this dessert up even more, place it on a plate and top with some vanilla ice cream and dig in with a fork, but you don’t have to (unlike that pesky pie and crisp that everyone seems to think needs either ice cream or whipped cream)!
I want to know who said Thanksgiving dessert has to be pie? I think Caramel Apple Bars would be the perfect ending to the big turkey dinner. Save yourself the hassle of rolling crusts this year.
I use my yummy homemade caramel sauce. You’ll have about 1/2 cup leftover to top ice cream, drizzle into apple cider, or I suppose you could even drizzle each serving of these bars with even more caramel.
(And remember that fabulous apple pie ice cream recipe I posted a while back? You could easily substitute these bars for the pie!)
Making your own stovetop popcorn is easy. Not only, that it’s super tasty and this recipe is the bomb. My kids (and husband) love movie nights that involve a giant bowl of this stuff.. CCoconut oil is the secret ingredient, skip the canola or vegetable oil and go straight to the good stuff. I buy my coconut oil in 54 ounce tubs, but if you will only be using it for popcorn it’s still worth buying a small container! (Check out Amazon and Vitacost for a good selection. If you sign up using my Vitacost referral link, you’ll get $10 off.)
You might wonder, why not just pull out the microwave stuff. It’s a staple in so many homes. Easy and good movie night snack, right? Hold that thought. The synthetic butter flavoring is diacytel and may cause lung problems and most of the bags are lined with perfluorooctanoic acid, a carcinogen.
Don’t worry! There’s another option. Homemade is the way to go.
If you are looking to simplify homemade popcorn even more, check out a Whirley-Pop Popper. This is the gadget we normally use, and it’s even easier. Today, though, I put my kernels in a good old pot and shook it around the old fashioned way to show you it can be done. The bonus of using a heavy bottomed pot is that you get a little extra arm workout.
I’d say, if popcorn is something you just make once a month or a couple times a year, go with the pot method. If you make it weekly (or more – I’m telling you, it’s that good and easy. I love a snack I can give my kids in minutes.), investing in a Whirley-Pop Popper is something you might want to do – and it’s not even that expensive.
I love all things pumpkin. Well, except for pumpkin pie. But everything else, bring it on!
I have a Pinterest board all things pumpkin that I occasionally like to drool over. There are even some healthy recipes on it. For the most part, though, when pumpkin recipes come along they are loaded with sugar and not exactly health food. Those are good for desserts or a special occasion breakfast, but day to day, I hate to admit it, they probably shouldn’t be a part of my diet. (So sad.)
In an effort to get pumpkin into my day (and have a make ahead meal for breakfast) I put together these yummy oat flour pumpkin muffins with cranberries and chocolate chips.
That’s right, there’s no wheat in them at all and they have unrefined sweeteners (and not too much of it). I suppose, if you really wanted to, you could leave out the chocolate chips (or cranberries if you are my daughter. She thinks she doesn’t like them. Good thing my boy will eat them for her.) and they’ll be even healthier. Do so at your own risk. The chocolate is a yummy addition.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for a dark coated pan)
Combine oat flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices in a small bowls
In another bowl combine pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, oil, honey, coconut sugar, and milk. Mix well until smooth.
Gently stir oat mixture into the wet ingredients.
Fold in chocolate chips and cranberries.
Put batter into 12 greased muffin tins.
Bake for 18 minutes.
- I make my own oat flour using old fashioned rolled oats and blend them in the blender until a powder. - If you omit the chocolate chips, increase sweeteners. - I cut the amount of both sweeteners in half when making for our family! - Can use 2½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices.
Last month, during our Whole30 I cooked spaghetti squash for my first time. We’ve since made it on several different occasions with the recipes having varying levels of success.
Let me tell you, this recipe for Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash is my favorite! Black beans, cumin, paprika. So many tasty flavors combined together and when you add melted cheese it’s only going to get better. Even my 17 months old who never eats ate this up!
This dish can easily be vegetarian or have chicken added in (or add the meat to just half of it). Either way, it’s good! (My husband would tell you with meat is always better.)
You also have the option of using the spaghetti squash shell as your serving dish or putting it in a baking dish. One less dish to do is always nice.
If you are like me and are looking for a good first recipe to introduce spaghetti squash to your family or if you are a spaghetti squash veteran and wanting to try something new, this recipe needs to be on your menu. Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash is going to be my new standby during squash season.
Carefully cut spaghetti squash in half. Scrape out the seeds and stringy insides. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt. Place cut side down on a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle it. Turn squash over and use a fork to scrape across the squash short ways to make the spaghetti.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Drizzle with olive oil or coconut oil.
Add onions and jalapeno and saute a few minutes. Add garlic, bell pepper, salt, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Saute around 5 more minutes.
Add corn and black beans (and chicken if using) and saute until heated through.
Add spaghetti squash strands to skillet and carefully stir and toss everything together. Adjust salt and seasonings if needed.
Transfer mixture into both halves of the squash or into an 8x11 glass baking dish.
Vanilla ice cream and apple pie, also known as my husband’s favorite dessert. Combine the two together and you have perfection. Creamy vanilla ice cream with a touch of cinnamon and real apple pie bites mixed in and you have the perfect fall dessert. Ice cream is the ideal ending to any meal, even as the outdoor temperatures cool down and this recipe proves it.
After months of thinking about it, we finally experimented and made Homemade Apple Pie Ice Cream. Let me tell you, it should have happened a long time ago. This recipe is a winner. My husband declared the ice cream exceptional and a good friend said it was her favorite ice cream of the many I’ve made so far!
I made this ice cream lightly sweetened because I knew the apple pie was going to be added and we all thought it was perfect. You can make the pie from scratch or purchase one.
Also, if you have an immediate ice cream craving and don’t want to take the time to cook and cool the ice cream, simply combine all the ingredients (making sure the cream and milk are thoroughly chilled – if you just bought it from the store, it won’t be cold enough) excluding the pie in the blender (or use beaters and a bowl) and combine well and pour into the ice cream maker. (If you don’t like eating raw eggs, you can leave the yolks out.) Freeze according to machine instructions and mix in pie at the end.
I love sweet potatoes. They are amazing. When I first made this Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole, I was in love! It’s wheat free, dairy free, and is Whole30 approved. The perfect food to start your morning.
I made it once, ate leftover for the next three days. Made it again and ate the leftovers all week. It’s one of those dishes you don’t grow tired of – I enjoyed it just as much while finishing off the pan the second time. Yes, that means the leftovers taste just as good!
Let’s just pretend you don’t love sweet potatoes quite as much as I do. Don’t be scared away! My husband is not a fan and even he enjoyed this dish. The kiddos, they gobbled it up too.
If your mornings are anything like mine, you aren’t going to want to take time to brown pork and onions and roast the sweet potatoes in the morning. Let me fill you in on a little secret. The night before do all the prep work and layer the potatoes, meat, and veggies in the pan. Stick in the refrigerator. In a bowl, crack and whisk the eggs. Stick in the fridge. The next morning, pull the dishes out, whisk the coconut milk into the eggs and pour into the pan. Put the pan into the cold oven and turn onto 350 degrees. In just 30-35 minutes it will be ready for you!
Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole - Dairy and Wheat Free
1 pound ground pork (or meat of your choice)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon powdered thyme
½ teaspoon sage
⅛ teaspoon fennel
pinch red pepper flakes
4 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes (3-4 potatoes)
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (optional)
8 eggs (large - extra large)
½ cup coconut milk (canned) can sub other milk
Sea Salt and freshly cracked pepper
In a skilled combine all the sausage ingredients. Cook until almost done. Add the onions and finish cooking.
Meanwhile, place sweet potatoes on a jelly roll pan and broil on high for 10 minutes, stir and broil another 5 minutes. I keep my pan in the middle of the oven, if yours is higher you may need to cut down on the time.
Turn oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, whisk together coconut milk and eggs and season with salt and pepper.
Spread broiled sweet potatoes in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Top with meat mixture. Sprinkle with the bell peppers. Pour egg mixture over the top.
Put in preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.
To make the night before, follow the steps for the sausage and sweet potatoes and layer those and the bell pepper in the pan. Place in refrigerator. Whisk eggs in a bowl and put in refrigerator. In the morning add the coconut milk to the eggs and whisk and pour over the pan. Place in cold oven and turn to 350. Bake for 35 minutes.
I can’t be the only one. I’m sure we’ve all had times we’ve tried to cut back on sweeteners (even honey and maple syrup). Other times wheat or dairy. We are in the middle of a Whole30 right now, so that means we are doing without all of those.
Sure, things like ice cream and popcorn aren’t a necessary part of our diets but sometimes I just want something cold and refreshing or a snack I can sit down in front of a movie with to munch on. Dried fruit, fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts. All great options but none really have that special snack edge that ice cream does.
I remember discovering this super tasty way to eat grapes years ago when I was in high school and have used it every since. You need to try it! It might sound weird, but it’s sooo good and frozen grapes make the easiest snack ever. (Plus, they are Whole30 approved.)
When grapes go on sale, stock up! By pounds of them. Pick the grapes off the stem and place in a colander. Rinse well and then dump on a towel to dry. Then simply pour them onto rimmed baking sheets in a single layer and stick in the freezer. Once frozen, put in a zipped freezer bag and they’ll be sitting in the freezer waiting for you to fill up a bowl to munch on.
Unlike most fruit, you can eat these straight out of the freezer. No thawing necessary. They are the perfect texture. My husband says they taste like a slushy.
What’s your favorite frozen fruit? Have you had frozen grapes before?
Homemade Popsicles are a favorite in our house! They make the perfect sized afternoon snack (even breakfast at times) for my 3 year old. I typically don’t use a recipe, but instead just dump things in the blender and let it whirl away.
My daughter chose what we would make first. She selected these Frozen Yogurt Pops. No Surprise considering she loves the color purple. She helped measure the ingredients, dump them in the blender, and hold the button down. Definitely an easy recipe for the young chef.
This is a snapshot of what a page looks like in the book (there is also a picture that goes with the recipe, such as the one on the top of this post):
Of course we chose the purple option and used all blueberries since that’s what we had and decreased the maple syrup slightly. The half batch filled our 6 little blue Ikea popsicle molds.
The verdict? My daughter voted them a winner! She thoroughly enjoyed them.