Category Archives: Others’ Recipes

Get Your Dip On [with Blue Diamond Nut Thins]

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Nut Thins.

Did you listen to the 2nd episode of our #ProteinPartners #ProteinChallenge series of the Sound Bites Podcast?  Melissa and I were chatting about the goal to get 25-30 grams of protein at each meal and that one strategy I have been using to get there is adding up the little things.

I’m a snacker, a muncher, a fill-your-plate-with-two-bites-of-everything-er, and it’s not uncommon for me to play the snack game when it comes to meal time.

For example, my favorite office snack plate lunch might get a boost in the protein department thanks to adding a serving of almonds and some cheese and/or deli meat to my lunch pack. But what I really think helps me get to the “goal zone” protein wise is being choosey on the items in my lunch that doesn’t always add protein in the meal.  I’ve been seeking out the types of these foods that do have a few grams of protein in a serving; being picking with my crackers, veggies, spreads and dips.


Which explains while I was uber-stocked when I looked at the back of the box of Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins I received as part of the Blue Diamond Tastemakers program and saw that a serving of these crackers brings in 3 grams of protein.  These are delicious, with a slightly nutty taste adding a depth of flavor regular ole crackers just don’t offer. I’ve been eating them smeared with peanut butter and preserves, served with salsa and shredded cheese – nacho style!, and as a device of getting spinach artichoke dip into my mouth on the double. SO TASTY!!

Blue Diamond Nut Thins come in a slew of flavors to boot! I’ve already started the hunt for some of the Artisan, cheese and honey thins in my local markets.

16 Dips to Share this Summer

I’ve also been on the hunt for dishes to share with friends on our deck this summer and dips and spreads are topping the list.  Here are a bunch of recipes I’m itching to make [and eat!] at THS HQ.


Caprese Dip from Amee’s Savory Dish. My pal Amee calls this stuff crack dip and I can’t blame her!  There is a local Italian place, Johnny’s that has the most DELICIOUS caprese salad with made fresh daily mozzarella that is simply amazing and reading through this recipe has my mouth watering in the same way as that local favorite.  I need to get some basil plants for the porch STAT to help make this dip a regular thing in my life.

Honey Goat Cheese Spread from Ari’s Menu. There was a point in time that I “wanted a goat” as a pet for the pure intention of more goat cheese in my life. Thus, this speaks to me.

Easy Layered Dip with Sweet Potatoes from MJ and Hungryman. I am CRAZY about sweet potatoes and try to use them in my meal plan every week.  The sweet potato spin on a classic like layer dip is something I can totally get behind.

Pesto White Bean Dip from Koko’s Kitchen.  Pesto lovers unite! Loving this dip for the protein power packed in the white kidney beans, too.

The Best Vegan Buffalo Dip (not pictured) from Zeelemons. I’ve been fortunate to taste this dish made by Jona and she’s not lying – it’s DELICIOUS. I’m a fan of the non-vegan buffalo dips, too [this one is my go-to: Iowa Girl Eat’s Buffalo Chicken Dip] which made the yum-tastic level of this dish even more impressive, in my opinion.


Corn Guacamole with a Zing from Diary of a Semi-Health Nut.  I love recipes from Amanda because she keeps it simple but never skimps on flavor.  I’ll take a bowl of this with a margarita, please!

Single Serving 5-Minute Taco Dip from More Than Just Dessert. Taco dip is a Midwestern MUST for any party, and I love that Emily made it nice and simple for me to make for myself any darn time I want. WIN!

Creamy Feta and Sun Dried Tomato Dip from The Wannabe Chef.  I’ve never met an Evan recipe I didn’t like and since feta does, in my honest opinion, make everything “betta,” I’m all about this one for my next party platter. I love a dip that works well with both veggies and crackers, don’t you?

Healthy Caramelized Onion Dill Dip from Chicago Jogger. Is there an ingredient more wonderful than the caramelized onion? It’s definitely one of the most favorites in the THS Kitchen and pairing it with dill makes this dip hit the very top of my “To Make ASAP” list.


Spicy Avocado Dip from Alma’s Days. This dip looks delicious in the photo and I love Denise’s idea of pairing it with cocktail shrimp to compliment the Old Bay flavoring in the dip.

Zesty Carrot Dip from A Fit & Spicy Life. A nutrient packed veggie dip that hits the vegan, gluten free and paleo check boxes makes this dish super party-with-your-health-pals friendly.

Chocolate Party Dip from The Wannabe Foodie.  I’ve made this dip before and think it would be especially delicious with the Pecan Nut Thins that I’ve been hunting for at the market ever since I saw them on the Blue Diamond website.

Garlic Greek Olive Hummus.  I haven’t made hummus in FOREVER and this needs to change immediately.

Clean and Simple Black Bean Dip (not pictured) from Treble in the Kitchen. This dip would pair perfectly with the Spicy Avocado Dip above. Let’s have a fiesta!


What is your favorite dip or spread to share with friends? 

20 Delicious Tofu Recipes for Spring

Last month, the friendly folks at Nasoya contacted me with a generous offer; a chance to try Nasoya TofuPlus, the first and only line of tofu “beefed up” with the nutrients commonly lacking among those actively reducing meat in their diets. 

I have cooked with tofu a dozen times or so in the past, and I really like that it’s a protein that easily takes on the flavor of whatever sauce or seasoning you pair with it.  This time around, I decided to try a new to me cooking method with the TofuPlus that Nasoya provided for my review when I read about this pan shallow-oil-frying experience on Domestic Superhero.  The General Tso’s Tofu recipe sounded like a delicious alternative to take-out, so I was sold.


And then I failed. Maybe it was that I wasn’t paying the closest attention to the frying pan as I prepared the dish, but I totally ruined the tofu.  And every attempt at my fixing dinner left me more and more frustrated. Eventually, sadly, into the trash it went. From here on out I’m sticking to my normal methods of tofu cooking, my favorite of which is in the oven using this simple method Caitlin taught me years ago.

Nasoya is a brand I buy and support on the regular. I highly suggest you sign up for their e-newsletter – I get coupons in my inbox often.  All Nasoya Tofu is Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified as well as gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian/vegan.

Two of my goals for Spring are to eat more meat-free meals and to spend more time cooking in the kitchen.  I recently put together a Pinterest board of tofu recipes to consider adding to my meal planning over the coming weeks.  Here are 20 of my favorites I wanted to share with you! (Why keep all the delicious ideas to myself? That’s just rude!)


1. The Perfect Baked Tofu – as mentioned above, this recipe from Healthy Tipping Point is wonderful, and the baking method is my go-to for cooking tofu no matter the sauce or flavoring of the meal.

2. Lemongrass Tofu Noodle Bowls from The Healthy Everythingtarian. With a Sesame Soy Vinagrette this is the kind of light with a punch of flavor meal perfect for a warm sunny day.

3. Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips from Oh She Glows.  I’ve never made tofu nuggets or strips, and as a self-proclaimed Queen of Condiments, I’d love to see what they best dip in.  And Ang’s recipe is a Weeknight Dinner recipe featuring sweet potato fries – my favorite snacky side dish!

4. Tofu Fritatta from VeggieGirl.  Load it up with veggies!

5. Southern Style Biscuits and Gravy from Sinful Nutrition.  I’ve been trying to make protein in each meal a priority, and this would be a great weekend tofu breakfast to fill me up and fuel me for the day in a delicious way.

6. Kelly recently wrote about this Pineapple Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry on Brownies and Zucchini, which is on my meal plan for next week. She rated it an A- in the easiness factor, and an A+ in taste, so how can I pass that up? Plus, I’ve been craving pineapple these days, so adding some to dinnertime will be welcomed!


7. Pineapple Cashew Fried Rice from How Sweet Eats. Totally adding tofu to this recipe, as she suggests.

8. Tofu Cauliflower Crock Pot Garam Masala from Treble in the Kitchen. I love using my crock pot when my schedule feels extra busy and I’ve never had garam masala before, but I’ve seen it popping up on lots of blogs lately. Cheers to trying new things!

9. DIY Kindfood Buddha Bowl from Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen.  This is another dish that looks so light and refreshing, perfect for a spring day.  Love all the beautiful, fresh produce in this recipe!

10. & 11. Come from one of my absolute FAVORITE blogs for recipes these days, The Adventures MJ and Hungryman.  If you haven’t started reading this healthy recipe blog from a RD-to-be, I have two Thai tofu suggestions to get you started: Shrimp and Tofu Pad Thai & Thai Chicken Tostada with Spicy Peanut Sauce

12. Grilled Lemon Basil Tofu from Eating Bird Food. Now that the weather is warm and the evenings are getting long, grilling is the only answer.

13. Spring Roll Salad from Zeelemons. This SCREAMS Spring. This salad (like most salads) sounds super easy to master and the flavor combos sound delicious!


14. Buffalo Tofu Wraps from Because I’m a fool for buffalo flavored anything, and these wraps seem like perfect eat out on the deck food.

15. Orange Sesame Tofu via Chia Seed Me. The photo of the finished product in this post makes my mouth water upon viewing.

16. Caramelized Tofu from 101 Cookbooks. If caramelized onions are amazing, then this recipe is sure to please, right?

17.Marinated Tofu Burgers from She Knows.  Burgers are another out-on-the-deck, warm-weather, long-evening meal, and these seasoned with rosemary and maple syrup seem like the perfect option to give a try. 

18. Tofu-Avocado Salad from (never)Homemaker would be a fantastic sandwich spread for a picnic in the park.  Dear local friends – let’s make it happen!

19. Cappuccino Cloud Cheesecake from Chocolate Covered Katie. Because tofu in dessert is alright by me!

20. 3 Ingredient Chocolate Butterscotch Pudding from More Than Just Dessert. Because tofu in a SUPER EASY dessert is alright by me, too!


What’s your favorite tofu recipe?

A New Cookbook for Your Library

At one point while I was rambling on during the raffle at the end of Saturday’s sessions earlier this month at the Healthy Living Summit, I mentioned how much I really love  I said something about the fact that Spark People helped me to lose 50+ pounds at the beginning of my health journey and we all had a good hoot and holler over it.

I like to hoot and holler about the tools that have helped to make my healthy living journey just a tad bit easier.  In our day and age choosing health isn’t always as easy as it should and could be; if something has made me want to jump for joy along this journey, it’s only fair that I share it.  While health means something different to every soul, and it’s true that what works for one person definitely won’t work for every person, I share because I care.  And I want you to know about the things I love to love!*

And I love to love Spark People, for about a billion reasons.  Here’s just a few:

1 // Have a health topic you want to learn about? Spark People has TONS of articles and videos covering a wide range of specific health topics from experts to trust.

image0012 // Meal planning made easy with; a site dedicated to healthy recipes for any and every occasion.  Spark Recipes is a tool I have been using for YEARS for meal planning inspiration and has recently received a beautiful facelift with wonderful photography and a focus on eating better with quick and easy cooking.  One of my favorite features of Spark Recipes is the ability to “Add/Calculate a Recipe.”  It allows you to input the ingredients of your own recipes to calculate the nutritional info.

3 // Spark People trackers are customizable; a dream for this self-proclaimed organization nerd.  You can track calories, fitness activity, weight gained and lost, plus any other goal you’d like to keep on your radar.  To this day when I want to work towards a specific health goal, I find myself logged on to Spark People to do some goal setting and tracking.

4 // Spark People was the birthing site of some of my greatest friendships. I am so thankful for the COMMUNITY aspect of Spark People. I’ve made some lasting friendships through that site.  As a matter of fact, Spark People is how I first started my friendship with Laura.

5 // Spark has gone mobile, and I love having the tracking tools at my finger tips when I’m on the go.  There is also a v. cool “scan barcode” feature in which you can scan a package barcode to upload the nutritional info.  Technology is uber-fun!

6 // Spark resources go beyond the web and onto my bookshelves.  I love Spark People founder Chris Downie’s book, The Spark, which is full of motivational stories, tips and suggestions of how you can find the spark within you to make positive changes in your life.  I’m currently reading The Spark Solution, the latest Spark People book release, and one of my favorite cookbooks in my kitchen is The SparkPeople Cookbook.


The cookbook is such a fantastic resource for the kitchen, full of delicious, nutritious recipes, but also narrative on healthy choices, lots of cooking and food prep tips, and motivation to make your health a priority as you eat.  Some of my favorite go-to week night meals come of this book.  As a matter of fact, Nick and I had an at-home date night where we made dinner together using three recipes from the cookbook; Baked Chicken Tenders (love the cheesy panko crust,) Three-Cheese Macaroni with Broccoli(blanching the broccoli makes such a huge difference! it’s the perfect texture,) and Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic Herb Oil(so flavorful – probably my favorite dish of the night.)


All of the dishes were wonderful and I was stoked to have leftovers to use in other meals throughout the weekend.  I’ve used some leftover tenders for quick tacos using stuff I already had in the house: my favorite pineapple salsa, corn tortillas, mixed greens, and shredded cheese.  Other tenders and extra broccoli were used to top a big ole freggie filled salad and I diced up the roasted reds to make a potato egg hash for brunch.   And the mac and cheese was fantastic reheated on its own and also topped with a runny egg.


I’ve marked at least a dozen recipes to add to our meal plan this fall from The SparkPeople Cookbook and I’m excited to offer you the opportunity to meal plan with a copy of your own, too.  In celebration of the gorgeous relaunch of, Spark People has offered to give TWO of the friends of THS their own copy of The SparkPeople Cookbook!


Update: Congratulations to Kelly from Living the Before and Rachel from The House Always Wins for winning a copy of The SparkPeople Cookbook.  Ladies, be on the lookout for an email to confirm shipping details!

To enter to win one of two copies of The SparkPeople Cookbook, leave a comment on this post answering one of the following two questions before Friday, October 4th:

  1. What cookbook do you use the most often? Mine is a toss up between The SparkPeople Cookbook and How to Boil Water, especially for technique how-to. 
  2. What cookbook feature is most important to you when you determining if it’s a “great cookbook?”  I love extra trips and tricks that go along side the recipes to help make cooking easier on the beginner, home cook.


*if you’ve read this blog for more than 5 seconds, you probably are already aware that this extends way beyond health tools and products.  I can’t stop talking about media recommendations, either.