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Crave-Worthy Recipes

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The best chicken salad ever

The best chicken salad I ever had was from a little bistro up the street from where I used to work. Sadly, it went out of business in just a few short years, but I still believe they could have kept their doors open with their chicken salad alone had more people discovered their incredible combination. I’m not sure of their exact recipe, but like all delicious, good-for-you food, all of the main ingredients were right there, whole and easily identifiable. The red grapes were a welcome addition to the crunchy cashews, and flavorful fresh dill. The mayo mix was light, and just present enough to stick all of the ingredients together. I swapped the classic chicken salad croissant for a slice of toasted brioche out of preference, but you serve on any bread you would like, or just spread it on a few hearty crackers. Also try, Healthy avocado…

Cocoa Krispie Treat footballs, a fan favorite

Are you ready for some football? Of course you are! But do you know what you’re bringing to your friend’s party? This year, let someone else bring the boring chips and dip, while you show up with these adorably delicious Cocoa Krispie Treat footballs. With just four ingredients, this recipe is super easy to make. I melt the butter, add the marshmallows, pour in the cereal, then transfer to wax paper and let it cool. It’s impossible to shape warm, gooey marshmallow, so it will need to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before you start. But don’t wait too long or the mixture will set and become too hard to mold. For the football shapes, I never like recipes that require specific cookie cutters, like — Hello! How many kitchen gadgets do you think I have?! (Actually, don’t answer that.) Anyway, no cookie cutter or special tool required. Footballs…

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

I know, I know! Cauliflower isn’t exactly the most exciting vegetable to make, but it is having a moment — and for a good reason! If you haven’t tried this cruciferous vegetable in a while, now is a good time to revisit. Just like Brussels sprouts came back a few years ago with much fanfare, so too has cauliflower, thanks to tons of delicious new recipes and ways of preparation. Here is one easy recipe to get you back on team cauliflower and eating more veggies in the New Year. The roasted cauliflower adds a ton of flavor, and the finely diced carrots and celery give the soup even more texture. A big, hot bowl of this hearty cauliflower soup, served with crusty bread — that’s what winter days are all about. Roasted Cauliflower Soup Ingredients 4 tbsp olive oil, divided 1 small onion, diced 1 carrot, finely diced 1…

Cranberry, orange, almond smoothie

You may think of cranberries as a fruit option only between Thanksgiving and Christmas when popular dishes like cranberry sauce and cranberry baked goods prevail. But there are plenty of reasons to eat the fresh, ruby red fruit all year long. Cranberries have long been known to help reduce the likelihood of urinary tract infections. They also contain important vitamins such as C, E, K, manganese, fiber, and loads of antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to limit the damage caused by free radicals in your body, and help reduce signs of aging as well as helping to fight cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Cranberries may also reduce bad cholesterol, help fight gum disease, and boost your immune system. Get the picture yet? Eat more cranberries! You can add fresh or dried cranberries to any number of salads, salsas, smoothies, or dishes, but eating them fresh delivers the most health benefits. This…

Healthy avocado egg salad

This avocado and egg salad is one of my favorite homemade lunches because it’s healthy, tastes great and uses Greek yogurt instead of mayo! Tuna salads and egg salads are often passed off as healthy, but they’re so loaded with fatty mayo that you might as well have opted for a cheeseburger! This salad has only healthy fats from fresh avocado. Plus, it doesn’t have that gooey, wet consistency that mayo gives. Ew. I can hear the stickiness now. This salad is everything you want from a lunch — It’s easy to make ahead, it’s packed with protein, and it’s full of flavor thanks to the zingy Dijon mustard and smokey turkey bacon. Substitute the bread and arugula for a large lettuce leaf to cut carbs, if that’s your thing.  Either way, it’s the guilt-free lunch you need for healthy resolutions in the New Year! Healthy Avocado Egg Salad Ingredients…

Spicy cauliflower, arugula salad

I love when a restaurant dish inspires me to make something similar at home. It’s not that making it at home stops me from going back to the restaurant — the exact opposite, actually! I find that it keeps the menu item top of mind, so I actually can’t wait to return! This dish was a restaurant-inspired salad. Roasted cauliflower and raisins might not seem like they’d be the best of friends, but the combo is really quite nice, especially when the cauliflower is roasted with the spicy heat of Calabrian chili peppers. Add some arugula, Parmesan cheese, and lemon, and you have a unique flavor explosion that is creative, healthy, fresh and crisp. Spicy Cauliflower, Arugula Salad Ingredients Serves 4 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets 2-3 spicy chili peppers, finely chopped + 3 tbsp of hot pepper oil (more if you love heat) 4-5 large handfuls of arugula 2 lemons,…

Queen Elizabeth’s pastry chefs share her favorite gingerbread biscuit recipe

Mince pies and Christmas pudding aren’t the only sweet treats served at Buckingham Palace, of course. Luckily for those of us not dining with the Royals this holiday, a palace pastry chef has revealed (via the Official Royal Family Website) another one of the Queen’s festive favorites — gingerbread biscuits. And the secret recipe has been shared online for you to try. With only a few ingredients, it’s the kind of recipe you can whip up last minute with ingredients you already have if you’re behind on your holiday baking. Of course the decoration on the biscuits at Buckingham Palace will be the definition of perfection, while the rest of us are left to struggle with keeping the lines straight, but none-the-less, it will be fun to have a taste of one of the things the beloved monarchy loves most at her Christmas table. One tip offered by a royal…

A Perfect Christmas Punch

Every holiday party needs a pretty drink to pass around. This punch is festive and so delicious — it will be gone in no time. It’s the holiday season, so splurge on the good stuff — Skip the juice “cocktails” and get 100% cranberry and pineapple juices. Cocktail juices tend to have tons of unnecessary added sweeteners and other flavors. Also, be sure to keep your liquids cold prior to mixing up this punch. This will keep the ice from melting right away and watering down your punch. Another tip: use frozen cranberries and lime wedges instead of ice to help keep your drink cool. A Perfect Christmas Punch Ingredients 3 liters cold ginger ale 6 cups cold cranberry juice 3 cups cold pineapple juice 1 12-ounce bag of fresh or frozen whole cranberries 2 limes, thinly sliced ice (optional) 1 liter of vodka or rum (optional) Directions Pour ginger…

Loaded ranch snowman cheeseball

You’ll win at Christmas Eve when you set this ranch snowman cheeseball on the table. Seriously, cocktail shrimp, who? Everyone will be talking about the cute — and delicious — snowman dip! Plus it’s loaded with turkey bacon, green onions, and tons of flavor, so you know everyone is going to love it! Ranch Snowman Cheeseball Ingredients 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened 1 packet of dry ranch seasoning mix (1 ounce) 2 cups shredded white cheese (I like white sharp cheddar, but mozzarella works too), divided in 2 4 strips turkey bacon, cooked until crispy and then crumbled 3 green onions, chopped 1/4 tsp finely ground fresh black pepper 1 small carrot 10 whole black peppercorns Cooking spray or oil (for greasing hands) Serve with: crackers, carrots, celery sticks, broccoli florets, bell pepper strips or anything else you like to dip in delicious ranch cheese! Directions In a…

Healthy carrot cake smoothie

Don’t you just love dessert for breakfast? Of course eating actual carrot cake for breakfast isn’t exactly a healthy or energizing way to start your morning, but this cool and creamy smoothie is the best of both worlds. Actually, you’ll love this smoothie anytime you want a perfect breakfast, dessert or even a snack. This carrot cake smoothie tastes just like your favorite carrot cake dessert, only lighter and healthier — so it’s totally guilt free. The Greek yogurt replaces with cream cheese so you’ll get a filling dose of protein instead of fat. Maple syrup makes for a great smoothie sweetener, and it can work really well, so start with just a tablespoon and adjust accordingly from there. It’s just eight ingredients and can be whipped up in no time with any high speed blender in under 5 minutes. Keep this one on file for the new year, or…