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Warning: Dangerously addicting baked Zucchini Artichoke Mac & Cheese

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YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

This deliciously healthy baked creation is undoubtedly going to have you hooked for WEEKS, MONTHS even YEARS! The moment this passes your lips, it will be all you’ll think about. Trees will start to form into zucchinis, your pool will start to appear filled with whole wheat pasta, your toothpaste may appear to be mozzarella flavored.

Yes, it’s that good!

At 2:32am last night, I couldn’t sleep because there were workers outside our house working on an exploded underground pipe. They obviously couldn’t care less if I had a 7am Zumba class this morning, because they couldn’t have possibly been any louder. Since, sleep was not going to happen any time soon, I decided to make the most of this extra God-Given time on these creative hands of mine.

2 veggies, some crumbled up garlic-Parmesan pita chips, a whole lot of cheese and a box of whole wheat pasta later; out came this delicious creation!

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz whole wheat pasta
  • Sliced and chopped zucchini
  • Chopped artichoke hearts
  • 2 oz low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 2 slices of Chipotle cheese (for a spicy finish)
  • 2 oz Low-fat Cream Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 tbs whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup of crumbled Garlic-Parmesan pita chips
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Perfect Noodles:

  • Boil and strain your whole wheat pasta. You want to leave the pasta a bit chewy, because it will soften up in the oven later. No soggy noodles here!

Cheese Sauce

Delicious cheese sauce:

  • Heat your butter on low-medium head. Mix in the cream cheese and the flour. Slowly add the milk, followed by your spices and cheese. When it becomes a thick creamy consistency, add your noodles.

Saute Zucchini

Veggies:

  • Sautee your sliced and chopped zucchinis with about 1 tsp of oil from the artichoke hearts, as well as a hand full of artichoke hearts. If you don’t have artichoke heart oil, olive oil works as well.
  • Add the sauteed veggies to the noodles and cheese sauce

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Baking your addicting cheesy dish:

  • Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees
  • In an oven-safe dish, spread your mixture evenly.
  • Sprinkle your crumbled pita chips across the top. You can also add some Panko crumbs for a bit more crunch. I also added some more sprinkled mozzarella cheese on top as well.
  • Bake for 15-20 mins (until golden brown on top).

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Don’t invite anyone over to eat this with you. Devour in 5 minutes flat all by yourself. Don’t share with anyone, trust me it’s too good to share.

 

 

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Vegetarian organic flat bread- round two!

The flavors of the fresh zucchini and summer squash are perfect toppings for flat bread!

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Click here for the recipe to make this yourself at home 🙂

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Apple Pecan Summer-Berry Salad!

This salad is perfect for any summer gathering, party or lunch!

The combination of fruit, nuts and dark leafy greens makes this salad not only delicious, but high up on a healthy scale.

It also only took me 5 minutes to put it together. Easy and delicious, my favorite combination 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • Apple Pecan Dressing
  • Green Apple Slices
  • Strawberries
  • Cucumbers
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Dark Leafy Spring Lettuce
  • Spinach Leaves

I found that this salad is better shaken. When you just pour the dressing over the lettuce, it tends to clump up on various ingredients and doesn’t reach to others. Trust me, this incredible dressing is so tasty, you’ll want it to reach every piece!

Make sure not to over-dress your salad. The delicate sweetness of the Apple Pecan dressing is delicious, but it’s easy to over do it. Start small, and add as needed.

Enjoy!

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I found a Fitness Center in the mountains!!

WOAH!

Just when I thought this road trip up to a small town in Julian couldn’t get any more awesome- I FOUND A FITNESS CENTER IN THE MOUNTAINS!

Julian is a tiny town in the mountains with a population of less then 1,000 people. Needless to say, I was impressed to see their dedication to fitness among such a small community.

My best friend Allie gladly snapped a Picture of Locket and I strutting our muscular poses in front of the fitness center haha. As you can see, Locket seemed more interested in lady bugs and daisies on the ground then treadmills.

If I can find a fitness center in the mountains, YOU can find a gym near you! No excuses, get your butt up and exercise today! If I had brought a pair of tennis shoes with me, you can BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR that I would be kicking some butt on the bicycle in there.

Julian Fitness

… We also found a jail… just incase I tried to steal a shopping cart full of Apple Pecan salad dressing from my last post (They must have known I was coming Hahahah)

Jail fabulous

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Decoding Nutrition!

Decoding Nutrition!

This is an AWESOME little chart I found on Miramountlifestyle.com.
If you do nothing else productive today, take a good long look at this chart.
GET EDUCATED ON WHAT GOES IN YOUR BODY!

Those nutrition labels aren’t there to look pretty.

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Apple Pecan Dressing!

My Best Friend Allie, my puppy Locket and I decided to take a road trip up to Julian today!

If you’ve never been to Cali, Julian is a little tiny adorable town up in the mountains with the CUTEST little shops and restaurants. Upon our adventuring around the town, I almost peed my pants with excitement when we found an all natural section in their town store!

All natural dressings, tons of all natural flavors of home-made honey and jams jams jams galore!  I spent a good 10 minutes with my legs crossed, on the hard wood floor of that 50 year old market, looking through all the various flavors of dressing. From Blackberry Walnut, to Apple Pecan, to Poppyseed- I could have spent tons of money just on salad dressing. Unfortunately I like to keep my money right where I can see it (hanging in my closet), so I had to choose just one.

As you can see, I chose Apple Pecan dressing. I’m so glad I did because I can’t WAIT to get home and create a delicious salad to go along with it.

Apple Pecan Dressing Dressing

 

Trust me, you can absolutely look forward to TONS of Apple Pecan recipes coming your way soon!

 

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Marine Smoothie Explosion!!

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My boyfriend Bryan is in the Marines- and even with his busy schedule,  he still finds time to make smoothies! He texted me this picture of his all natural green smoothie that exploded all over everything, and I couldn’t help but laugh and put it on my health blog.

Don’t forget to close the lids on your blenders everyone!

Be inspired by Bryan’s incredible ability to find time for smoothie making throughout his 11 hour work days in the Marines.

If he can wake up at 5am everyday, and still have time to eat healthy, you can eat healthy too!