Healthy and Easy Pumpkin Yogurt Dip
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Previously published in 2015, and enjoyed by many since then, I thought I would give this Pumpkin Yogurt Dip a makeover. It is still super easy (just mix everything together, and add your dippers), but I thought I could talk a little bit more about the ingredients and how you can customize with what you happen to have on hand. Especially since it is 2020, and many of us are trying to limit trips to the store and making do with what we have.

Canned Pumpkin

This ingredient is essential. The amount you use can be tweaked, but in order to make a Pumpkin Yogurt Dip, pumpkin is necessary. Other than adding deliciousness, canned pumpkin is full of nutritious vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Potassium, and Fiber, to name a few.

Yogurt

Another essential ingredient, but there are so many different types of yogurt you can use. I prefer plain non-fat Greek or Icelandic yogurt without added sugar or artificial sweeteners. A regular yogurt may make the dip a little thinner as both those yogurts are thicker. Choosing a plain yogurt without added sweeteners allows me to flavor it as I would like. If you do use a yogurt that is flavored, such as vanilla, you can omit the vanilla extract and maple syrup as it will probably be sweet enough. Whatever yogurt you happen to have on hand will likely work.

Cream Cheese

Adds flavor and thickens up the dip. If preferred, you can use a reduced fat cream cheese.

Vanilla Extract and Maple Syrup

Both ingredients are important for flavor and sweetness. However, if you use a vanilla flavored yogurt, you likely can omit these. Additionally, honey, agave, or any sweet syrup can be used in place of the maple syrup.

Spices

If you have a pumpkin spice blend instead of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg, you can definitely use that instead. I would probably add a teaspoon and see how the flavor is, then add more if needed.

Dippers

I love apples with this dip. You can slice them up and soak them in a solution containing 2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice and 2 Cups of Water to help prevent browning. Apple chips would also be good with this if you happen to have them or like to make them. I also like to dip gluten free ginger snap cookies (Pamela’s brand is my favorite), and gluten free pretzels for a little salty flavor (Quinn’s is made with sorghum flour and is my favorite).

Easy and Healthy Pumpkin Yogurt Dip

Pumpkin Yogurt Dip

Ingredients

15 oz Can of Pumpkin Puree

1 Cup Yogurt of Choice

4 oz Cream Cheese

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Ginger

1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg

1/4 Teaspoon Allspice

Directions

Mix all ingredients together using either a food processor or a hand mixer. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Pair with your favorite dippers such as apple slices, ginger snap cookies, and pretzels.

Want more pumpkin recipes? Check out my mini pumpkin cheesecakes for a sweet bite sized dessert or my pumpkin flaxseed bread for a quick on the go breakfast.

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Healthier Red Skin Potato Salad
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I originally posted this healthier red skin potato salad recipe all the way back in September of 2016 but wanted to give it a bit of an upgrade. While the recipe remains the same (I just remade it and it was delicious), I wanted to update the post with some new thoughts and pictures.

For me, like chicken salad, potato salad can either be delicious or severely disappointing, no middle ground here. I like a lot of flavor and just the right amount of mayo. Bland potatoes drowning in mayo tends to be what I find in many store bought potato salads, although I tend to be overly critical and easily disappointed with foods.

Since I’m not a fan of store bought potato salad, I have to make my own. But…I hate peeling potatoes. I feel like it is a waste of the limited time that I have. Especially since we are all stuck in the house together due to the quarantine. My main duties now include entertaining a 3 year old all day, and keeping her away from my husband who works at home, and taking care of a newborn. It’s not exactly how I envisioned my maternity leave going, but its much better than many other families are fairing right now, so I will count my blessings. I did end up purchasing a lesson plan from Busy Toddler for my 3 year old so I could have activities planned without having to think too much, and it has been really helpful. I got very tired of hearing her ask me what can she do next….

Anyways, red skin potatoes have a softer peel than regular white potatoes, so its totally cool to keep the skin on. Plus, it adds extra nutrients and I probably should not be peeling potatoes in my sleep deprived state anyways..

Healthier Red Skin Potato Salad

Healthier Red Skin Potato Salad

Serves 6
Ingredients
1.5 lbs Red Potatoes ( I just bought a 3lb bag and used half)
3/4 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon Dried Dill
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Chives
1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 Cup White Wine Vinegar or Champagne Vinegar
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt

 

Directions
Chop potatoes into bite size pieces (no need to remove skin) and place in a saucepan with water covering potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 min. While potatoes are cooking, mix mayonnaise, dill, chives and mustard in a small mixing bowl and refrigerate. Drain potatoes after they are done cooking and place in a large mixing bowl. Add vinegar, pepper and salt to potatoes, toss to coat. Allow potatoes to cool and then add refrigerated mayonnaise mixture to potatoes. Mix gently and refrigerate until ready to serve. Feel free to add celery or onions if you like a little crunch in your potato salad.
 

If you want more potato recipes, try my Crustless Quiche with Potatoes and Spinach or my Sweet Potato Pasta Salad.

Healthier Red Skin Potato Salad

Need more vegetables in your diet? Then don’t forget to subscribe to my email list to get your free copy of “6 Easy Ways to Add More Veggies to Your Day!”

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Easy and Healthy Pasta Salad
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Originally Published in May 2015

Last weekend I turned 30 (old lady now…) so we thought we would do a beach party on Saturday to celebrate. So of course I wanted to make some nutritious and delicious food to bring. I had to think of something I could keep cold in a cooler and that would be refreshing and not too messy or complicated. Pasta salad seemed to be an easy solution…so my recipe for sweet potato pasta salad was born!

I used whole grains (good carbs for sustained energy and fiber), olive oil (good fat, anti-inflammatory properties), and fresh veggies (lots of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals). I was able to keep it in a large aluminum tray in the cooler and it did stay cool until we were ready to eat. I also made a fruit salad to bring because it is super easy to just chop up some melons, grapes and strawberries….and who doesn’t love cool, fresh fruit on a hot day? Plus…it has a ton of nutrients and can help keep you hydrated. My pasta salad turned out really delicious and fed about 16-20 people so keep that in mind when you see the large amounts of ingredients.

Sweet Potato Pasta Salad

Sweet Potato Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

32 oz Dry Whole Grain Pasta (I used Brown Rice Pasta to make it Gluten Free)

2 Large Sweet Potatoes

1 Head of Broccoli

4 Large Tomatoes

1- Fresh 8 oz Bag of Baby Spinach

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3/4 Cup Champagne or White Wine Vinegar

Juice from 2 Lemons

1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Sugar

Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  • Cook pasta according to package directions in a very large pot.
  • While pasta is cooking, clean off sweet potatoes and poke several holes through the skin with a fork. Microwave on high for 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are cooked through.
  • Rinse broccoli and tomatoes and start chopping into pieces while sweet potatoes and pasta are cooking.
  • Remove sweet potatoes (be careful they will be very hot) and let cool.
  • Put chopped broccoli in the microwave on a microwave safe plate on high for 2 minutes…but only if you are like me and prefer your broccoli to be slightly cooked but still firm and crunchy. If you prefer it raw you can skip that step.
  • By now your pasta should be done cooking; drain and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking and add to your aluminum tray or serving dish.
  • Add the bag of spinach to the warm pot you just removed the pasta from and put back on burner on low heat stirring occasionally to warm and wilt spinach until it shrinks to about half.
  • Add warm spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes to pasta.
  • If your sweet potatoes are cool enough, peel off the skin and chop into bite size squares. If they still feel hot please be patient and let them cool down more… you can get burned by hot potato steam. The potatoes should peel very easily with a knife now that they are cooked.
  • Add the sweet potato pieces to the pasta mixture.
  • Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and sugar in a small bowl and pour over pasta. Mix well and add ground black pepper to taste.
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat, can be made the day before.

Healthy, Sweet Potato Pasta Salad, Whole Grain, Easy

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