I’m trying to lose weight right now (aren’t we all?) and I always struggle to find healthy recipes that don’t taste like cardboard.
I try to keep my carbs relatively low, mostly coming from fruit, and eat lots of veggies and lean proteins.
This recipe, adapted from a Velata recipe card, is great because it pairs grilled shrimp skewers (the shrimp picks up great flavor both from the marinade as well as picking up natural grilling/smokey flavor), with an awesome green salad. I typically double my greens just so that it fills me up for longer.
How to Make Grilled Honey Chipotle Shrimp Skewers
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
- 30 shrimp
- 3 tbs honey
- 3 tbs + 1 tsp Smoky Sweet Chipotle seasoning
- 1/4 c + 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 lime
- 4 wooden skewers
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 c spinach
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 cup tomato, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbs vinegar (white, red wine, raspberry, or whatever you prefer!)
- Place shrimp in a large mixing bowl and add honey, 2 tbs of the chipotle rub, olive oil and the juice from ½ lime
- Mix together and let the shrimp marinade for 30 minutes
- Skewer shrimp, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of chipotle rub over the top, and grill or pan cook on medium-high heat on both sides until fully cooked and pink (2-3 minutes each side)
- Toss lettuce, spinach, avocado, tomatoes, and onion in a salad bowl, and serve skewers on top
- In a small tupperware container, mason jar, or blender combine 1/4 c olive oil, 1 tsp chipotle rub, 2 tbs vinegar and juice from 1/4 lime for salad dressing
- Serve with remaining lime wedges
My schedule can be a little hectic at times, so over the last couple of years my crock pot and I have become well acquainted.
3 reasons I love my crock pot:
- Dinner’s hot and ready as soon as I get home from work
- It’s easy to make healthy, balanced meals
- I can prepare three of four days’ worth of food ahead of time to take to work for lunch
Every Sunday I make a pork roast, and by the middle of the week I’m ready to make another crock pot meal to last me until Friday.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes for the crock pot:
Honey Maple Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin
Pork has been one of my favorites lately to cook in the crock pot. One reason it’s so great is because it’s cheap. Most weeks I can get pork tenderloin or boneless roast cuts for around $1.60/lb, so I stock up when it’s at a good price.
This Honey Maple Tenderloin recipe from Creations By Kara is great because it is simple and fast, and the pork works wonderfully with the sweet honey, maple, dijon mustard, and balsamic vinegar.
To make this a complete meal, serve it with:
- Steamed white rice
- Roasted veggies (or toss the veggies in the crock pot 1/2 hour before you intend on serving and they will cook through without becoming overcooked)
- On a hamburger bun with a side salad
Crock Pot Stuffed Bell Peppers
I grew up on my mom’s baked stuffed bell peppers, but until recently I had not made them on my own, partially because I don’t have an hour and a half to prepare dinner. This recipe by Life in the Lofthouse for crock pot stuffed peppers is… well, genius!
The filling is made from lean ground beef and enchilada flavorings, but I find it just as good with a marinara sauce or ground turkey.
Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings
When it comes to dumplings, I don’t discriminate — I love them all! From jiaozi and steamed dumplings to classic American chicken and dumplings, I can’t get enough.
In the past I’ve only rarely made chicken and dumplings because it’s just too labor intensive. That is, until I discovered you can make them in a crock pot! This recipe by Eating on a Dime is not only easy and delicious, but it’s also cheap cheap cheap!
“Take Out” Beef and Broccoli
Emulating your favorite restaurant meals seems like a nice idea, but it typically involves way too many complex ingredients and way too much time.
Table for Two has found an easy workaround for a classic take-out favorite by making beef and broccoli in the crock pot! To make this recipe you cook the beef over low for 6 hours, thicken the sauce, toss in the broccoli, and bam! Serve with steamed rice and you have a complete, healthy meal with only a few minutes of preparation.
Crock Pot Butternut Squash, Chicken, and Quinoa Soup
Having a hot, hearty meal ready for you when you get home for work is a dream come true, especially the the fall and winter when it starts to get chilly outside.
So how can you make it even better? Use seasonal ingredients – namely, butternut squash!
This recipe by Chelsea’s Messy Apron features butternut squash, corn, beans, quinoa, and chicken. It hits all of the food groups, and the squash makes it super hearty and perfect for the fall. Chelsea recommends mashing some of the squash near the end of the cooking process to make it even heartier and less brothy.
Do you have a favorite crock pot recipe? Share in the comments below!
I talked about pumpkin crepes earlier in the week, and I couldn’t help but pick up a can of pumpkin and a few other treats when I went grocery shopping.
This recipe is a bit different because there is no pumpkin in the batter itself, but it is even easier to make (and incredibly delicious!)
Pumpkin Marshmallow Crepe Recipe
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 5 min
- 2 c Velata Crepe Mix (this will make about 15 crepes to ensure everyone gets their fill!)
- 3 eggs
- 1 c hot water
- 1/3 c pumpkin
- 1 c marshmallow creme
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 c milk chocolate meltables, melted (or other melted chocolate of choice)
- 1 c sliced strawberries
- Plug in and turn on crepe maker and allow it to heat
- Combine crepe mix, eggs, and hot water in a bowl and mix until completely smooth
- Combine pumpkin, marshmallow creme, and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl and mix with a whisk or electric beater
- Pour crepe mix into dish and dip crepe maker into batter, coating thoroughly
- Allow to cook until light goes off, then carefully use spatula to remove the crepe from the surface
- Fill crepe with marshmallow creme, roll or fold, and add additional marshmallow creme and strawberries as desired
- Top with drizzled chocolate and enjoy!
**Side note: my friend and I also tried this with apple butter – yes – pumpkin marshmallow cream chocolate strawberry apple butter crepes. We found that with the apple butter, chocolate pushed it over the edge just a little bit, and they were better without.
If you’re expecting this post to be all about pumpkin spice everything, well, you’re pretty much right. Fall is the season of warm sweaters, fuzzy boots, and warm pumpkin scented breads, lattes, and baked goods.
Actually, there are tons of great ways to fall-ify breakfast, both including and excluding pumpkin. Here are a few ideas to get your creative cooking juices flowing.
Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
Yep, you guessed it. Pumpkin pancakes are one of my favorite ways to celebrate fall. They are warm and delicious, and perfect for weekend mornings after a quick workout. This recipe by A Pretty Life in the Suburbs features real pumpkin and warm spices including cinnamon, allspice, and ground ginger.
Best enjoyed with bacon, eggs, and scalding hot coffee.
Nutella Pumpkin Crepes
I wouldn’t really be living up to my URL if I didn’t include a fall crepe recipe here, and you guessed it — more pumpkin! I’ve talked how much I love Nutella crepes before. Nutella crepes are normally enjoyed with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar or whipped cream, but it pairs perfectly with the delicate pumpkin pancake.
If you want to make this recipe from Carlsbad Cravings even easier you can use Velata Crepe Mix and just add in the pumpkin and spices. Here’s an adapted ingredients list:
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 cups Velata Classique Crepe Mix
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Even better, once you make your crepes and slather them with delicious chocolate spread, you can take it a step further and drizzle them with spiced pumpkin syrup.
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
While I could come up with a long list of hundreds of my favorite pumpkin desserts and baked goods, I did promise some non-pumpkin goodies on this list.
In come apples. Apples are another fall favorite. In the fall you’ll find apple breads, muffins, alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic juices and ciders, and many renditions of the traditional apple pie.
Chandra over at Plaid and Paisley Kitchen even went so far as to deck out cinnamon rolls with apples, caramel, and fall spices. Find the recipe here!
I actually have a really hard time finding apple recipes that I love because my mom’s apple pie is so phenomenal that nothing seems to live up to it. Chandra’s recipe leaves a little room for interpretation, so here are my two biggest tips:
- Use Granny Smith apples or another tarter type of apple. Cinnamon rolls drenched in caramel sauce will be dreadfully sweet, and a really sour apple contrasts the sweetness so well
- Cut the apple small enough that it cooks through – this recipe has a cook time of only 25 minutes so you will want the pieces to be pretty small. Cooking them through does you a big favor texturally – don’t ruin a soft cinnamon roll with chewy chunks of fruit, yuck!
One of the great things about Velata syrups is that because they are made with real fruits and natural flavors, they go well with both sweet and savory meals. In fact, while Velata has a whole line of rub designed specifically for the grill, the syrups do just as well as a marinade giving you healthy and flavorful chicken, pork, or beef.
Grilled Raspberry Chicken Skewer Recipe
- 1 lb chicken tenderloinds
- 1 tbs Velata Santa Maria BBQ Artisan Rub
- 1/2 c Velata Raspberry Syrup
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime
- Preheat your grill to a high temperature
- Put chicken in resealable bag and add Velata rub, raspberry syrup, vinegar, and lime juice. Seal the bag and shake until chicken is coated in marinade.
- Skewer chicken tenderloins and grill until completely cooked, flipping halfway through, about 5-8 minutes each side.
Sides Dishes to Eat with Grilled Chicken
Now that you’ve got an incredible sweet and savory chicken recipe it’s time to pair it with awesome side dishes to make a complete and healthy meal.
Here are a few ideas:
- Corn tortillas (or flour) lightly heated on the grill
- Steamed rice, white or brown
- Apple Raspberry Quinoa Salad
- Grilled asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini, or whatever is in season – use the same marinade you used on the chicken for extra flavor, or use Balsamic Vinaigrette Veggie Grillers
- Green salad with raspberry vinaigrette
- Vegetable casserole, like this cheesy cauliflower bake
- Fresh fruit salad – berries, apple, watermelon, etc.
- Grilled pineapple or peach halves
- Apple slices