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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
Summer is upon us and you know what that means: bathing suit-season! With that in mind, we’re all more conscious about what goes into our bodies and working out to make sure we look good out there strutin’ our stuff. Clean eating is one way to go about it, getting rid of all those chemical-laced processed foods that were never meant for our bodies to consume anyway. Clean and healthy eating doesn’t have to be scary — it just means you have to open your eyes and be more aware. When you cook at home, it’s super easy to eat clean since you are in full control of your ingredients. Need some inspiration?
Get creative with your salads — and hold off on the store-bought dressings. You can easily make your own vinaigrettes, or just simply drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and your favorite kind of vinegar on your salad. If you do rely on store-bought dressings, watch the servings. Don’t smother your salad in dressing — this will totally mask the flavors on all your yummy ingredients and pile on unnecessary calories. There are also tons of different kinds of mix-ins you can add to your salads to change things up. Chickpeas are one of my favorite salad ingredients, especially if they’re roasted to add extra crunch. Vary up your greens and add lots of colorful vegetables and fruit. This Strawberry and Avocado Salad is a delicious choice — light and refreshing, with healthy fats and great flavor.
I could eat a big bowl of veggies everyday, but some people find that boring. If you’re tired of eating the same vegetables and starting to find that they just aren’t doing it for you anymore, it’s time to shake things up! Switch from your regular side of steamed or roasted veggies or salads at lunch and dinner, and get in your veggies first thing in the morning. A breakfast hash is a great way to get in your greens. Make your potato hash very veggie-heavy and use sweet onions, zucchini, squash, fresh green beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, chives, parsley, cilantro — the list could go on and on. Whatever you like, use it! Chop the veggies and cook ’em on the stove with olive oil or, my favorite oil to use, coconut. Add in your favorite spices for some extra zing and once those babies are looking nice and browned, remove them from the heat. Want more protein? Add a poached egg! If you’re looking for even more flavor, top this meal with a sauce. Use your favorite homemade sauce recipe, or choose from one of HamptonCreek‘s delicious, healthy sauces like chipotle, garlic mayo, or sesame ginger.
Some of my favorite veggie-centric dishes are this Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate, Carrot Farrotto, and Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Lasagna.
I love the idea of utilizing veggies as a vehicle for stuffing or topping with lots of yummy combinations. Have you ever made stuffed tomatoes, peppers or mushrooms? How about cauliflower as a pizza crust? I’m a huge fan of the smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber combination, but don’t always love piling it on a bagel. Instead, I cut cucumber rounds, whip up cream cheese with some chives to spread over the cucumber, and top with a piece of smoked salmon. You could add tomatoes, red onions, capers — everything that you normally find on a smoked salmon bagel platter. This is a light, super low-carb appetizer perfect for brunch or summertime get togethers.
Healthy eating doesn’t mean tasteless or boring eating. There are so many ways to change things up — and if you still need inspiration, my favorite place to look for it is on Pinterest!