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Crockpot Cranberry Barbeque Meatballs

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Well I did it- I have officially kept two tiny humans alive for over a month. Yes I know I am far from the first person to accomplish this feat, but I am still giving myself a pat on the back (and a much needed glass of wine) to celebrate my small victory! Adjusting to life with two little ones has been a challenge at times, but it has also been a lot of fun (other than the potty training boot camp I am currently implementing for my older one- I swear I’d take childbirth over potty training any day!). One of the biggest adjustments to life as a family of four is just the lack of time to accomplish simple tasks. For instance, I used to prep dinner while Joey napped. But now when Joey naps, Jimmy is wide-awake and crying. Luckily he loves to be worn as much as his older brother did, which frees up my hands for some things, but I am just not comfortable baby wearing while cooking over an open flame.

 

Prior to Jimmy’s arrival, I had stocked up on healthy meals so we would be in good shape for the first few weeks. But now, those meals have run out and I have been finding myself just throwing random foods together at times out of desperation. Even though it’s a little chaotic right now and sleep deprivation is hitting us hard, I still want to make sure my family has nutritious meals to enjoy daily. And I want to make sure we aren’t eating the same meal day after day (which was a rut I was falling into as well). So what’s the best solution for a healthy meal when you are short on time? The crock-pot of course! I swear my slow cooker is my lifesaver. Any time you can just set a meal and forget it- I am all for it!

 

This Crockpot Cranberry Barbeque Meatball is a big hit with my family. What I love about it is how easily it pairs with any vegetable you enjoy. You can also make a large batch and freeze the leftovers for a quick meal (or snack!) anytime. And it makes a simple, yet delicious, option for when company stops by.

 

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Crockpot Cranberry BBQ Meatballs
Servings: 16 meatballs (4 servings)
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. 95% lean ground turkey
  • 1 each egg whisked
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 each onion diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine turkey, egg, rolled oats, garlic, basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. 

  2. Once well combined, roll meat into 1-inch balls. Repeat until all meat is rolled. 

  3. In a saucepan with olive oil, lightly grill meatballs, until sides are browned and meatballs are firm, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat. 

  4. In a crock-pot on low-heat, add grilled meatballs, cranberry sauce, and BBQ sauce. Let cook for 1-2 hours or until meatballs are cooked throughout. Serve with vegetables or on top of brown rice and enjoy! 

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 280 calories, 27 g CHO, 13 g Fat, 13 g PRO, 3 g Fiber, 17 g sugar 

 

Ring in the New Year with my Favorite Healthy Appetizers

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I can’t believe in less than 48 hours it will be 2017! Where did the year go?! The holidays seemed to fly by. What a wonderful and crazy year 2016 has been. We expanded from a family of 3 to 4 and could not be any happier! I hope your 2016 was fantastic as well!

One of my favorite things to do on New Year’s Eve is to get together with friends and family to talk, play games, and of course- eat! What’s a New Year’s Eve without those amazing tiny hot dogs wrapped in pastry puffs, right?! Since most of the New Year’s foods aren’t the healthiest, I wanted to put together a few options I know my friends and family would love that are at least better for us than those deliciously tempting fatty little hot dogs.

I guess I have a bit of a sugar tooth lately because the appetizer/snack options I created are more sweet than savory. But if you are looking for savory, I recommend giving my Parmesan Tomato Bites and Breadless Quiche a try.

 

My first New Year’s Eve must have this year is my Guiltless Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bark. This dessert is so easy to make – it’s simply just two ingredients! You can’t mess it up. And it tastes so good you won’t even realize it’s packed full of antioxidants.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bark
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Guiltless Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bark
Servings: 16
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips 70% cacao or higher
  • 1/2 cup freeze dried raspberries
Instructions
  1. Melt dark chocolate and spread evenly onto a cookie tray lined with parchment paper. **My easy tip for melting chocolate: Add the chocolate into a plastic zip-lock bag and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave. Rotate and heat for another 30 seconds. Repeat until all of the chocolate is melted. Then, cut a small hole in the bottom of the bag and squeeze the chocolate out onto the parchment paper. 

  2. Next, sprinkle the freeze dried raspberries evenly over top. Allow tray to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours until dark hardens. Break into pieces and serve. This treat is best enjoyed within 1-2 days as humidity can cause the freeze dried fruit to soften over time (it still tastes great, but the texture will be less crispy) 

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts (per serving) 52 Calories, 7 grams Carbs, 0 grams Protein, 3 grams Fat 

My next must have for tomorrow evening is my sweet take on nachos with my Nutty Chocolate Apple Nachos! This dessert nacho makes the perfect appetizer or sweet treat for your New Year’s party. And the best part, it’s only 91 calories per serving!

Nutty Chocolate Apple Nachos
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Nutty Chocolate Apple Nachos
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups freeze dried apple chips
  • 2 tbsp natural nut butter
  • 1/8 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp walnuts chopped
Instructions
  1. Arrange apple chips on a large platter. Heat nut butter and chocolate in the microwave (or on the stove) until the consistency thins enough to drizzle over the apples. Drizzle the nut butter and chocolate evenly over the apples and top with chopped walnuts. Let stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to allow the chocolate and nut butter to harden slightly, then serve. This dish is best served within 10-20 minutes of assembly as freeze dried fruit becomes less crisp the longer it is exposed to air. (If the fruit is left out longer, it still tastes great, it just becomes less crisp) 

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 91 Calories, 9 grams Carbs, 2 gm Fiber, 1 gram Protein, 5 grams Fat

What will you be eating this New Year’s Eve?

 

Yum

White Christmas Sangria

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I’m dreaming of a white Christmas… sangria… one that contains few calories …. Lalala….

 

Are you drinking of relaxing over this holiday with a delicious cocktail that won’t pack in the calories and sugar? Me too! That’s why I decided to combine my two favorite adult beverages (wine & rum) into a healthy slimmed down sangria that pairs perfectly with this week’s festivities. On top of it being Christmas Eve, it’s also Joey’s 3rd birthday (can you believe it- we have a treenager!!), so I figured I deserved some celebration time myself- you know to mark my almost 1 month anniversary of being a mom of 2! So yes, I need a drink!

You do have to prep a little to make this drink (it doesn’t take long, I swear) because you want to allow time for the fruit to defuse into the alcohol for a sweet taste. You can still make the drink with the fruit without allowing it time to defuse, but it won’t taste quite as sweet. So if you can, make this overnight tonight and it will be ready for you to enjoy all day tomorrow – of course if you start enjoying it too early it may lead to a very early bedtime for you. Hey, maybe that’s the solution to Joey’s sleep problems- just kidding!

I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas, a happy holiday, and of course a happy & healthy New Year! Enjoy!

 

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Slimmed Down White Christmas Sangria
Ingredients
  • 1 750 ml bottle Pinot Grigio
  • 1/2 cup fruit infused white rum I used Bacardi Razz
  • 1 cup 100% white grape juice
  • 2 cups seltzer water
  • 1 cup red apple sliced
  • 1 cup green apple sliced
  • 1 cup strawberries sliced
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, place sliced fruit, rum, and wine and chill for 2 hours. In a large pitcher, mix together the fruit & alcohol mixture along with the grape juice and seltzer. Add 1 cup of ice to chill. Serve by scooping some fruit into a wine glass and pouring liquid mixture on top. Makes 12 servings.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts (per serving) 95 calories, 8gm carbs 

*Remember if you have #diabetes, alcohol can increase the chances of hypoglycemia- drink responsibly, test blood sugar often, and never drink on an empty stomach 

Yum

Slimmed Down Chocolate Martini Recipe

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Skinny Chocolate Martini

After 9 months of no drinking (for a wonderful little reason), I am pretty excited about being able to sip on a few holiday cocktails this winter. Every Christmas, my dad loves to make these amazing chocolate martinis. The problem is, though, that I am pretty sure he uses about a gallon of chocolate syrup to make each one. Yes they are delicious, but they are like having three dessert servings in one sip! So I thought why not play around with the martini recipe until I can discover something delicious, but at the same time, slightly healthier than just sticking a straw into the container of Hershey’s syrup. Of course, experimenting with cocktail recipes is certainly not the worst job to have! Enter the “Decadent Chocolate Martini” – a slimmed down version of the original with all of the same great taste. Just remember to pace yourself if you whip up a batch- they are delicious, but they are strong!

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Slimmed Down Chocolate Martini
Servings: 1
Ingredients
  • 5 ounce Kahlua Rum
  • 5 ounce Vanilla Vodka
  • 1/2 cup non-fat chocolate milk
  • chocolate syrup
  • ice
Instructions
  1. In a martini glass, drizzle chocolate syrup and place in freezer while you mix other ingredients. In a mixer, combine all ingredients. Shake until mixed completely. Drain liquid from mixer into glass. Enjoy immediately. 

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

267 Calories, 34 g CHO, 1 g FAT, 4 g PRO, 115 mg Sodium, 12 g sugar

 

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