Oatmeal is probably the breakfast food that I have made the most for my kids. Hailey went at least two years straight, if not more, where she ate oatmeal every single day for breakfast. Smart girl….oatmeal is healthy!!

  • It contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and are a source of protein and complex carbohydrates.
  • Oats contain a specific type of fiber called beta-glucan, which helps reduce cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • The soluble fiber in oats helps stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full.

It’s still a favorite around here and I’ve found plenty of ways to mix it up and keep it fresh.

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen the oatmeal-stuffed baked apple that I made yesterday. This was amazing and I had it again today!!


Use a sharp paring knife to cut out the core and some of the apple to make a nice big “well”. In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup oats, 1/3 milk (or non-dairy milk), 1 egg white, 1 T. ground flax, 1 tsp. pure maple syrup, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Fill the apple and top with chopped walnuts or pecans. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Alternatively, you can stuff this into a halves of a hollowed out orange (with a little extra maple syrup and some dried cranberries) for more of an Orange Spice flavor!

Orange Spice Oatmeal


Something that my kids have been loving lately is Oatmeal Parfaits. While the oats are cooking on the  stove top, I get get the fruit and yogurt ready.  Then, simply layer oatmeal, yogurt, and berries a few times. We like to stir a little honey into our Greek yogurt or just drizzle it on top.

yogurt oatmeal parfait


If you are in more of a time crunch in the mornings, I highly recommend this recipe for Crockpot Overnight Steel Cut Oats. I have made these a couple of times and everyone loves it!!! My crockpot tends too run a little hot so I just set it on the “Warm” setting and cook it that way overnight. I also skip the butter and brown sugar and it’s still great.

If you want other ways to eat oats, check out some of these other recipes I have posted:

Baked Oat Recipes (can be made and then eaten all week long)

Zucchini Bread Baked Oatmeal

Zucchini Bread Baked Oatmeal


baked bananas foster oatmeal

Bananas Foster Baked Oatmeal


Overnight Oat Recipes (eaten cold or warmed up a bit in the morning)

pumpkin overnight oats

Pumpkin Overnight Oats in a Jar


Overnight Pumpkin Oats with cranberries and walnuts

More Pumpkin Overnight Oats


overnight chia oats with raspberry banana

Overnight Chia Oats with Fruit



So after a couple of “Thursday Night Pizza Nights” this crust has officially been deemed blogworthy!!!!

Healthy Plate Happy Family Paleo Eggplant Pizza Crust

If you are new to the blog, we have a family tradition (for the past 6? 7? years) to make pizza every Thursday night. I almost always make homemade whole wheat crust, unless we are in a huge time crunch. Then I will occasionally buy the store-bought 100% whole wheat organic crusts.

Our homemade crust is very good and we all love it. It’s especially great when you throw it on the grill! But I am always on the lookout for something a little lighter and more nutritious since we eat it every week. I have used everything from an Ezekiel clean-ingrediet pocket bread to these Millet and Flax Lavash flatbreads. I have also tried cauliflower crusts, just out of curiosity, since they seem to be crazy popular around the blog and Pinterest world. But, honestly, I just didn’t dig them.

Then I ran across a photo of an Eggplant crust and decided to give it a try. WOW! Instant obsession!!!!

Yummy Eggplant Pizza Crust by Healthy Plate Happy Family

To be honest, they are a little work. But you can make a bunch at one time and freeze them. I promise the taste is amazing!!!! Don’t expect it to be a “bread-y” replica of doughy pizza crust. It is a different texture. But still a healthy, tasty way to enjoy pizza!!

If you give this a try, please let me know what you think!!! I would love to hear if you like it as much as me :)

Paleo Eggplant Pizza Crust by Healthy Plate Happy Family

Eggplant Pizza Crust (paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)


1 whole eggplant

1/4 cup almond meal or almond flour

2 T. coconut flour

2 T. ground flax, flaxmeal, or ground chia seeds

1 egg

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Olive Oil or Parchment Paper (this crust is sticky!!!!)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel the eggplant. This may be easier if you slice the eggplant into a couple of big chunks. Then grate the eggplant with a cheese grater – be prepared to get your arm workout for the day!!! :)

Put the pile of shredded eggplant into a couple of paper towels or cheesecloth, if you have it, and wring out all of the excess moisture. Do NOT skip this step!

Place eggplant and other ingredients into a bowl and mix well.

Grease a pan very well with olive oil or lay down a sheet of parchment paper.

Place the pizza “dough” onto the pan and shape into a thin round crust.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Flip over and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

At this point, you can freeze the crust. Or top with desired toppings and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Broil, if necessary, to get the cheese slightly browned and bubbly.

**Notes – I doubled this recipe and made it into 3 personal-pizza sized crusts since I’m the only one that eats these. Darren gave them the thumbs up approval, but he prefers his regular pizza :)

This past Spring Break, we took a family trip out to California….and pretty much fell in love with it. We especially loved Southern California! Luckily, being in the Stand Up Paddleboard business, we have a lot of opportunities to travel out there. Actually, Darren just spent a week in Laguna Beach and Coronado for some meetings, networking, and a race. I loved seeing all of the pictures, but was kind of bummed that I didn’t get to make the trip with him this time. I shouldn’t complain too much since we have some pretty awesome beaches and trails near us. Whenever I need my “beach fix” I just head across the street to this….



Today was the perfect day for a jog on the trails –


running the stairs-



and a cool down walk on the beach –



Ending with a few yoga poses since I missed my usual class this morning.


I was definitely ready for lunch by the time I got home!  It only seemed fitting to make this quinoa salad inspired by the flavors of California. My fellow SUP and yoga-loving friend made this for me this summer and I completely forgot about it until just recently.

It’s a lot of chopping…..

California Quinoa Salad Ingredients by Healthy Plate Happy Family


But I promise it’s worth it!

California Quinoa Salad by Healthy Plate Happy Family


California Quinoa Salad

Ingredients (amounts are estimates, use more or less based on your taste preference!)

1 cup quinoa (red, white or a mix)

1 ripe mango, diced

1/4 large red onion, finely chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped

1/2 cup pre-steamed or frozen edamame (shelled)

1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted

1/2 avocado, diced

1/2 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins

1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

handful of cilantro, chopped

2 T. balsamic vinegar (she suggests fig vinegar if you have it, but I used balsamic)

juice of 1/2 of a lime

1 T. olive oil


Rinse quinoa and cook according to package. I usually bring mine to a low boil (covered) for about 15 minutes and then let it sit covered off the heat for another 10 minutes. Place in a dish to cool in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Chop all veggies and toast almonds if necessary.

Mix balsamic, lime juice, and olive oil.

Combine cooled quinoa with all of the other ingredients and toss with dressing. Season with a little sea salt and fresh ground pepper.


What a day! Super busy morning and a dead phone battery meant no What I Ate Wednesday pics :(

Luckily, there was a little time this afternoon for this…..

stand up paddleboarding


Seriously gorgeous Fall day! I couldn’t pass it up!

Pure Michigan


With Michigan weather, any day could be our last day out on the water, so we had to take advantage of it.

paddle yoga


Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about dinner since it was already prepped. I threw a jar of my mom’s canned summer tomatoes into the Crockpot with a few fresh veggies and dried herbs and made my first homemade marinara sauce. Have you ever tried this? I had no idea it was so easy! And it made the house smell amazing! It was kind of an experiment so I don’t have an exact recipe yet.

I do have an awesome recipe for the meatballs that went with it though!

spinach feta turkey meatballs


I actually made these on Sunday. I used the spinach feta turkey mixture to make a burger and just rolled the rest into meatballs and baked them. They are easy and come together really fast. And they are out of this world good! I served the meatballs and marinara over a bed of spaghetti squash that was roasted earlier in the day.


Spinach Feta Turkey Meatballs (or burger)


1 lb of lean ground turkey (see if you have the option of some local ground turkey or organic since the regular grocery store stuff contains extra flavoring additives)

Spinach (a big handful or two of fresh or you can use about 1/2 a bag of frozen spinach, defrosted, water squeezed out)

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1 egg, beaten

Salt and Pepper


If making meatballs, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat a skillet to medium heat. Chop spinach finely if using fresh. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Form into patties or meatballs. To make burgers, cook patties over medium heat for about 6 minutes on each side. For meatballs, sear in the skillet to brown the meatballs and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

What is going on with this cool weather?!? Summer can come back anytime now!!!

Well, I guess its a good excuse to make some soup. This actually works quite well as a summer soup since cauliflower is in season and it comes together so quickly that you’ll hardly have your stove on for more than 10 or 15 minutes tops!

Cauliflower soup with butter and lemon


Jake has really been into cauliflower lately so I had picked up this reduced-price cauliflower at the grocery store last week. And, well, who can pass up produce for 50 cents!?!  It was a double score because lemons were on clearance too!

Reduced price cauliflower and lemons

With these two ingredients, I knew I had to make this recipe that I had seen over at Kristens Raw.  As a side note, I love that she is including more high quality cooked ingredients into her recipes now!  This soup is seriously so easy that it can hardly even be considered a recipe!!!!

Lemon Butter Cauliflower Soup
Inspired by and adapted from here

2 heads of cauliflower, cut into florets and washed
2 T grass-fed butter*
Lemon, juice and zest
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

*See notes below for nutritional information on grass-fed butter.  I highly recommend Kerrygold grass-fed Irish butter, which is easily found at Trader Joes and other grocery stores for less than $3.

Add water to a large soup pot (or Dutch oven) until it is 2-3 inches high. Bring water to a boil.

Add cauliflower florets to boiling water (water does not need to cover all of the cauliflower). Cover with a lid and steam for about 10 minutes or so, until it is tender enough to easily be pierced by a fork.

While cauliflower is cooking, zest the lemon and set aside. Then slice lemon in half and squeeze juice into a small bowl removing any seeds.

Scoop half of the cooked cauliflower into a blender and add 1 T of the butter and 2tsp of the lemon juice. Blend until smooth, adding some of the water from the pot as necessary to thin the soup.

Add remaining cauliflower, 1 T of butter, and 2 tsp of lemon juice and blend until smooth.

The entire amount fit nicely into my standard blender, but you can blend the soup in batches if necessary.

Season soup with about 1/2 tsp of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Top individual bowls with additional pepper and lemon zest to serve.


Of course it always helps when you enjoy your soup outside with a beautiful view like this!

View from the deck of our cottage

Beautiful view from the deck of our cottage!

The Happy Family loves this Healthy Plate because:

Antioxidants – cauliflower contains a ton of vitamin C and manganese, as well as carotenoids. These little florets pack a punch in fighting free-radicals!

Vitamin K and Omega-3 Fatty Acids – both of these help to reduce inflammation in the body.  Cauliflower contains omega-3 fatty acids, the same healthy fats found in salmon and flax seeds, but with the added bonus of practically no calories!

Fiber – Each serving of cauliflower contains 3 grams of fiber, helping to cleanse the digestive tract.

Loads of B Vitamins – Cauliflower contains an array of B vitamins: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 9 to be exact. That includes folic acid, so if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, be sure to add this vegetable to your weekly consumption.

Grass-fed butter – this deeply colored, vitamin-rich version of butter is a source of healthy saturated fats and is naturally high in Conjugated Linolenic Acids (CLA), which has been linked to heart health and better body fat composition.  Grass-fed butter is also high in Vitamin K2 which appears to reduce, prevent, or even counteract arterial plaque, and it helps the  body use calcium correctly and effectively.

Lemon zest – Lemon peels consists of components known as salvestrol Q40 and limonene, which are known to fight against cancerous cells in the body. Also, the flavonoids present in the peel are effective in curbing the division of cancerous cells.


We have been making this Avocado Chicken Salad a lot this summer. I have even served it while entertaining, and everyone seems to really like it!

Clean Eating Chicken Salad made with avocado and Greek yogurt instead of mayo!

Clean Eating Chicken Salad made with avocado and Greek yogurt instead of mayo!


This is hardly a recipe – use what you have on hand and tweak it to your liking!! Mine tastes a little different every time! It’s also a great way to use up any leftover grilled, roasted, or rotisserie chicken.

avocado, Greek yogurt, red grapes, diced celery, and chopped walnuts

avocado, Greek yogurt, red grapes, diced celery, and chopped walnuts


Clean-Eating Avocado Chicken Salad Wraps
About 2 chicken breasts, grilled, cooled, and chopped or shredded
1 small or 1/2 large avocado
1-2 T plain Greek yogurt
Salt, pepper, and dried tarragon (optional)
1/2 cup chopped red grapes
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup celery, diced small
1/4 cup red onion, diced small
Ezekiel sprouted grain, lettuce leaves, or whole wheat pita for serving

If you don’t have leftover chicken to start with, you’ll need to season 2 small chicken breasts with salt, pepper and garlic powder and bake or grill until done. Cool and chop or shred the chicken.

In a medium bowl, mash up 1 small or 1/2 of a large avocado. Add in 1-2 Tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt and mix well. Season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of dried tarragon if you have it.

Add in chopped grapes, celery, walnuts, and red onion.

Mix in chopped chicken and combine all ingredients. Taste and adjust ingredients as necessary.

Serve in lettuce wraps, in whole wheat pita pockets, or open face on toasted Ezekiel sprouted grain bread. Enjoy with a side of fresh fruit for a great summer lunch!!!!!

Avocado Chicken Salad served in lettuce wraps.

Summer Lunch! Avocado Chicken Salad served in lettuce wraps.

The Happy Family loves this Healthy Plate because:

avocado – full of heart-healthy fats that are anti-inflammatory and help the body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients. Avocados are high in potassium which helps reduce blood pressure, folate for healthy fetal development, and lutein for eye health.

red grapes – contain flavanoids which can help slow the build up of plaque build up in the arteries leading to heart disease. Red grapes are also full of antioxidants that prevent damage to your body from harmful free radicals. The skins of red grapes contain resveratrol, which helps to lower your blood cholesterol level.

walnuts – packed with Omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial for reducing depression, ADHD, cancer and Alzheimers, and can also counter inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohns disease. Walnuts also contain antioxidants for heart health and reducing the risk of certain cancers.




I am always looking for healthy snack ideas for my kids. On days that they have school, I have to pack them two snacks in addition to their lunch. Even on days when they are home, it seems like they are always asking for snacks.

This recipe is super easy to whip up and it is full of healthy, whole food ingredients. And in this house, it also doubles as dessert – especially on those nights when the kids aren’t particularly fond of my dinner and I feel like they could use a little more substance so that they don’t go to bed hungry.

Apple Dip 1

Quick & Easy Apple Dip

Recipe adapted from happy healthy mama

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 T. all natural peanut butter or almond butter (no sugar added)
  • 1-2 T. honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve with cut fruit, such as apples or bananas, and or organic, whole grain graham crackers. For a nut-free option when I pack this for a school snack, I substitute sunflower seed butter and it is just as good!



I have to admit, I’m actually a little excited that it is Monday.  I like the thrill of tackling my to-do list, getting organized, and being productive.  In terms of the blog, it means I can post a meatless meal without having to explain myself.   I have to say, I am so much more comfortable posting undeniably nutritious vegetarian and vegan recipes because it is something that I feel so strongly about.

Every once in awhile, I come across some new information from a book, online research, or a documentary, and it just reignites the flame for me.  This weekend we watched the documentary “Food Matters.”  While it is not the most captivating and well-delivered documentary I’ve seen, it is very powerful information that everyone needs to know.

This movie begins with one of my favorite quotes, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” from Hippocrates, the “father of medicine.”  Unfortunately our society has turned its back on this very fundamental and powerful concept that food is medicine.  Most medical doctors today have very little, if any, training in nutrition.  Instead of looking to the powerful healing properties of the foods included a patient’s diet, doctors are more focused on prescribing “a pill for every ill” which oftentimes ends up doing more harm than good.  Every year 225,000 people die from improperly used medications.  Another 2.2 million end up in the hospital from adverse reactions to prescribed medications.  With over $289 billion in annual sales in the U.S., it makes sense that doctors are over-prescribing these medications because prescription drugs are big business for pharmaceutical companies.

In 2009, the U.S. spent $2.5 trillion dollars on healthcare, the highest of any country.  At this amount, I would expect to have access to some of the best medicine in the world.  But we don’t.  We spend more than every other country with only mediocre outcomes.  Each year approximately 575,000 people in the U.S. are still dying from cancer and almost 600,000 will die from heart disease.

Fortunately, most chronic disease such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes can be prevented through simple lifestyle choices including daily exercise, not smoking, eating a proper diet of whole foods (including organic fruits and vegetables and an appropriate calorie level), reducing stress, reducing exposure to environmental toxins (such as BPA), and limiting alcohol consumption.

Furthermore, there are a number of other health conditions, such as depression, high blood pressure, and digestive issues to name a few, that can be effectively treated through proper nutrition and/or vitamin supplements.

Yes, you most definitely have the power to prevent and reverse disease starting with a key decision you make three times a day.  You can choose to fuel every single cell in your body with delicious and nutritious whole foods or you can sabotage your health with processed junk and fast food.  Just like the title of the movie implies, food matters.

If you commit to making these critical food choices, I promise to deliver as many delicious recipes that I can!  Starting with this Falafel and Tzatziki dip.

These falafel are great because they can be made ahead, frozen, re-heated, used multiple ways, and are kid-friendly vehicles for a yummy dipping sauce.

Start with garbanzo beans, chopped onion, 2 cloves of garlic, chopped cilantro, lemon juice, and kosher or sea salt in the bowl of a food processor.

chickpeas in food processor

Pulse briefly.


Add in ground oat flour and baking powder and pulse a few more times to combine.  It is important not to over-process.  You want it processed enough to stick together, but still have a little texture.

falafel mixture

Shape this into flattened patties and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

falafel patties

When you’re ready to complete the falafel, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat a pan coated with extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.  Sear each side of the falafel patties for about a minute, or until golden brown.

browned falafel patties

Place the patties back on the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.


Serve them alongside this Tzatziki Sauce, which you will want to make ahead of time to allow the flavors to combine.

Falafel and Greek Salad


To complete the meal, I like to serve the falafel and tzatziki alongside a huge Greek salad.  Everyone else  likes to tuck them into a lightly toasted pita with some lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, and red onion.


Greek Salad

Falafel with Tzatziki Dipping Sauce

Falafel Ingredients

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 T. chopped cilantro

1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp baking powder

3 T. oat flour (finely ground oats or sub wheat flour)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil to coat pan

Falafel Directions

Place drained beans, chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and ground cumin into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade.  Pulse briefly to combine (see picture above).  Add baking powder and flour and pulse briefly to combine, being careful not to over process.  The mixture should stick together, but still have some texture (see picture above).

Scoop spoonfuls of the mixture and form into ball or flatten into discs.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

When ready to cook falafel, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat a skillet with extra virgin olive oil and heat over medium heat.  Add falafel and sear on each side for 1-2 minutes until golden brown.  Place falafel onto a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Note: Depending on your goal, the more oil you add to the pan when searing, the more traditional crunchy exterior you will get.  If you prefer a lighter, healthier falafel, minimize the amount of oil that is used.


Tzatziki Sauce Ingredients

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 small clove of garlic, finely minced

1 T. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp dried dill

1/2 cucumber, seed area removed, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Tzatziki Sauce Directions

To avoid a watery sauce, you will want to remove excess moisture from cucumbers by placing chopped cucumbers in a colander and sprinkling with 1/4 tsp salt.  Let sit for approximately 15-30 minutes and squeeze dry with a paper towel.  Add remaining ingredients to a mini food processor and blend for a smooth sauce.  Or simply combine ingredients in a bowl for a more authentic chunky style sauce.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but up to 24 hours before serving for flavors to develop.  Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. I find that because of the salt added to drain moisture from the cucumbers, additional salt isn’t usually necessary.

Note:  This will provide enough sauce for one meal for 4 people.  Double the recipe for additional sauce.

For a vegan Tzatziki Sauce recipe, check out this one at Peas and Thank You.


Greek Salad Dressing

Recipes from Allrecipes

Makes enough for 10-12 individual salads

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 1/4 tsp dried oregano

1 1/4 tsp dried basil

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp Dijon-style mustard

2/3 cup red wine vinegar (if you don’t like a real tangy dressing, you can mix equal parts of vinegar and oil using 1/2 cup of each)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Add all ingredients to a glass jar (I use a mason jar) and shake well.  For an authentic style Greek salad, toss a few tablespoons of dressing with romaine, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomato, red onion, kalamata olives, and Feta cheese.

Note:  After consulting with a professionally trained chef, I have learned that technically this dressing does not need to be refrigerated.  To be cautious, though, we refrigerate ours.  Doing so will cause the oil to solidify.  I take it out of the refrigerator and set it on the counter when I begin making dinner to give the olive oil time to dissolve and then shake it well before serving.

Earlier today, I was talking with a friend about finding the time to eat healthy.  Working, going to school, taking care of kids, a new baby, travelling, sports, volunteering, moving, or just living life….whatever it is that keeps you busy, I think we can all relate.  I am definitely trying to take this into consideration with the recipes that I feature here.

Ironic that we were talking about it today, because for me, Sunday afternoon is the ideal time to make up a couple of things to eat for the week.  I usually try to make one thing for the kids (muffins, oatmeal bars, granola bars, quick bread, healthy cookies, or a soup or casserole to pack for lunches) and one thing for us  (soup, grilled chicken breasts, boiled eggs, chicken salad, chickpea salad, or washed and chopped greens for smoothies and salads, etc).  By taking an hour or so to do this, it ensures that we have a few healthy things stocked in the refrigerator all week long for those times when we need something quick.

And like every busy mom since the 70’s, I love  finding great Crock-Pot meals for busy days.  You just cannot beat the convenience of coming home to a nearly finished dinner!  Tonight’s dinner was a new recipe and WOW, was it a hit!!  Easy, healthy, and full of flavor.

jamaican jerk pork



Slow Cooker Jamaican Jerk Pork with Caribbean Salsa

Recipe adapted from Skinny Taste


Jamaican Jerk Pork Ingredients

3 lb pork loin (all visible fat trimmed from the bottom)

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

2 T. jerk seasoning (I used the McCormick Perfect Pinch Jerk seasoning)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 lime, juiced

1/2 cup orange juice (store bought or a couple of fresh squeezed oranges)


Caribbean Salsa Ingredients

1 avocado, diced

2 mangos, finely diced (or 1 1/2 cups thawed from frozen)

1 1/2 T red onion, finely diced

2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

2 T. fresh squeezed lime juice

kosher salt to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp)



Mix lime juice, orange juice, minced garlic, jerk seasoning, and salt.

The original recipe calls for the marinade to be poured over the pork and marinated in the refrigerator overnight (in a ziploc bag or large covered dish).  While this would be a great option for a busy weekday, I missed this step and just added everything to the Crock-Pot before cooking it and it still tasted great.

Add pork and marinade to slow cooker and cook on low for 4-8 hours.  Here is where you will need to know your slow cooker a little bit.  Even on low, mine seems to cook pretty quickly.  Our pork loin was perfect after 4-5 hours.

Remove pork to a cutting board and shred using 2 forks.

Remove liquid from the slow cooker and reserve.  Add pork back into slow cooker along with 1 cup of the reserved liquid.  Allow this to sit while you prepare the salsa.

To prepare salsa, add diced avocado, diced mango, chopped onion, cilantro, and fresh squeezed lime juice to a bowl.  Gently toss to combine and season with kosher salt.

I served this over cilantro lime rice.  I made up some basmati rice according to the directions on the package, and mixed it with some fresh lime juice (1-2 T), chopped cilantro (1-2 T), and a pinch of kosher salt.



For a side, I went with some simple marinated cucumbers and they were great together!

jerk pork with caribbean salsa


Marinated Cucumbers


2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup white distilled vinegar

1/4 cup cold water

3 T sugar (could sub honey)

1/2 tsp kosher salt


Mix vinegar, water, sugar and salt.  Add sliced cucumbers and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.







dip with crackers


I have been trying to branch out from standard store-bought hummus lately.  It gets a bit pricey since we eat so much of it.  But also, I  just wanted to mix it up a little bit and try something different.

When I saw this dip on Pinterest, I just knew it would be a winner!  Not exactly hummus, but more of a hummus guacamole blend.  Quick, easy, kid friendly, versatile, and tastes great.  What more can you ask for?!?

Avocado and White Bean Dip

white bean avocado ingredients

First things first, I always wash my produce before I cut into it since this can transfer germs from the outside into the fruit or vegetable that you’re cutting!

Slice the avocado length-wise all the way around and twist to open.  Using a large sharp knife, give it a good whack into the pit and twist to remove it (see this youtube tutorial if you’re not familiar with this method of pitting an avocado).

Scoop the avocado flesh out and place it into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade.  Squeeze the juice from the lime half into the bowl and add the remaining ingredients.

avo white bean ingredients

Place the lid on the food processor and process until smooth.

avocado white bean dip

And in less than 10 minutes, you will have white bean and avocado dip packed with fiber (roughly 10 grams per serving!) and nearly 20 different vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.  I especially like that you can store this dip in the refrigerator for a few days without it turning brown like traditional guacamole.

You can serve this with a combination of raw veggies and crackers (I prefer gluten-free rice crackers) or other chips (tortilla, pretzel chips, etc) for an appetizer or well-balanced snack.

avocado white bean dip

Avocado and White Bean Dip


1 ripe avocado

1 can of Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed well

1 /2 lime

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)


Add the flesh of one avocado, the juice of 1/2 of a lime, olive oil, minced garlic, kosher salt, and cayenne pepper to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade.  Process until smooth.  Adjust seasonings to your liking (more lime, salt, or cayenne).  Serve with veggies, chips, or crackers.

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