Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. To increase awareness and help prevent heart disease, the American Heart Association is currently sponsoring American Heart Month. Since eating lots of fruits and vegetables is strongly recommended as a preventative measure for heart disease, I’ve partnered with Dole on this post to inspire you to eat more of these in 2015, and especially during Heart Month.

When the folks from Dole asked me to come up with a healthy, heart-inspired recipe, I had many different ideas about what I could make. In the end, I had a lot of fun creating this Greens Quesadilla, especially since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner :)

quesadilla_hearts_text
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It’s been a brutally cold and very snowy winter so far. On days when the weather’s too unpleasant to venture out for long, I love to curl up on the couch with a hot drink and a stack of inspiring cookbooks. Aimée Wimbush-Bourque’s book Brown Eggs and Jam Jars: Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites is one of my new favorites.

brown eggs and jam jars

In addition to being a friend of mine, Aimée is a very talented cook and writer and an urban homesteading aficianado. She is the editor of Simple Bites, a family-oriented whole foods blog, and she lives in Canada with her husband and 3 young kids. Brown Eggs and Jam Jars is her first cookbook and it’s really a gem: the seasonally-arranged recipes are at both imaginative and comforting, the photos are vibrant and inviting, and the writing is warm and engaging. So far I’ve made the Toasted Oat and Cocoa Smoothies, the Mexican Hot Cocoa, and the Citrus Cheesecake you see here: they’ve all been wonderful.

Now let’s talk about this cheesecake :)

Citrus Cheesecake from @winnieab | www.healthygreenkitchen.com
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I make rice bowls all the time, so I was excited when the folks from Della Rice asked me if I’d like to be part of their campaign to showcase “Stirs” (aka rice bowl creations). I easily decided on the recipe to share here on my blog: a Jasmine Rice Bowl with Pan-fried Tofu. It’s long been one of my favorite vegetarian meals, and I think you’re going to love it, too.

Jasmine Rice Bowl with Tofu from @winnieab|www.healthygreenkitchen.com //#CreateAStir
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Organic macaroni and cheese is pretty much always in my cupboard: it’s an easy, delicious treat I can cook up when we happen to be low on fresh food. Lately I have discovered that I really enjoy “embellishing” boxed macaroni and cheese. So when the folks from Horizon asked me to come up with an “adventurous” recipe featuring one of their products, I was excited to do so.

This recipe for Mac and Cheese with Pancetta and Peas is really tasty and cooks up quickly. It’s perfect for kids with more “advanced” palettes (my teenage son is a big fan) as well as adults. Since the peas are frozen and the pancetta and jarred roasted red peppers both keep for quite a while in the refrigerator, this is a great recipe to file away for those days when you feel like you have nothing in the house to cook. Drizzling the finished Mac and Cheese with a bit of truffle oil is optional, but highly recommended.

Recipe for Mac and Cheese with Pancetta and Peas

Yield: serves 2-3

Ingredients:

*1 package Horizon Classic Mac or Organic Mac (I used the Pasta Shells with White Cheddar Cheese)
*1/4 cup milk
*2 tablespoons butter
*2 rounded tablespoons finely chopped pancetta (or bacon)
*1 cup frozen peas
*1/2 cup chopped jarred roasted red pepper
*Freshly ground black pepper- optional
*Black or white truffle oil for drizzling on top of the finished Mac and Cheese- optional

Directions:

1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the Horizon Mac and Cheese package.

2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a skillet over medium and cook the pancetta for several minutes, until starting to brown. Add the peas and the chopped roasted red pepper and cook for another minute or two, until the peas are cooked through.

3. Drain the pasta and add the cheese packet from the Mac and Cheese package, the milk, and the butter. Add the cooked pancetta, peas, and the roasted red pepper and stir to everything to combine.

4. Serve right away, topped with the freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of the truffle oil, if desired.

For more mac and cheese ideas, please check out the Horizon Mac and Cheese Pinterest Board!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

Chocolate Marshmallows | Healthy Green Kitchen

I competed in my second powerlifting meet this past Sunday. My goals for this one were to get more experience lifting in front of judges, and to qualify for USA Powerlifting (USAPL) Nationals in October. My lifts went pretty much as I planned and I accomplished my goals. I also got a pretty gold medal (full disclosure: I was the only one in my weight class) so I am very pleased!

One thing I am learning about meets is they are very draining for me, both mentally and physically. I tried really hard to stay super calm in the weeks before this one, trusting that my training, nutrition, and rest have all been very solid, but the day of the meet was still pretty nerve-wracking and exhausting. When it was over, all I wanted to do was get home and curl up on my couch with some hot chocolate embellished with these chocolate marshmallows. So I did just that, and I’ll be taking it easy the rest of the week, as well.

Chocolate Marshmallows | Healthy Green Kitchen

I’ve long wanted to try sweetening marshmallows with honey so when I saw this chocolate version in Brittany Angell’s new book Every Last Crumb, I knew I had to make them. I love how they turned out, and how they melt in hot drinks. I’ve enjoyed them in warm honey sweetened milk and coffee in addition to hot chocolate.

chocolate marshmallow fluff on whisk

marshmallows in pan

This chocolate marshmallow recipe is just one of more than 150 Paleo-inspired recipes found in Every Last Crumb. If you follow a Paleo-ish diet or have food sensitivities, I think you will love this book (though I don’t eat Paleo nor do I have food sensitivities and I am really enjoying it!). Every Last Crumb features grain-free recipes for numerous specialty breads such as bagels, croissants, and naan. But the book isn’t just about bread; Brittany shares lots of creative ideas for savory foods and treats, too.
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