Snacks & Bites · Uncategorized · Vegetarian & Vegan

Butternut Cheese Sauce

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, I am guessing that your desire to cook pumpkin everything has at least diminished slightly. Am I right?

I am all about the seasonal pumpkin craze because of all the health benefits that pumpkin provides (packed with vitamins and minerals, low calorie, fiber to keep you full, etc.) Mind you I am talking about pureed pumpkin- not your PSL.

Well, let me introduce you to one of pumpkin’s close friends- Butternut Squash.

Butternut squash gives you many of the same benefits as pumpkin (vitamin A, C, Fiber, potassium—the list goes on and on) but offers a different flavor for your taste buds.

There are about a million ways to eat butternut squash, but today I am going to share with you my absolute #1 favorite, fool-proof way to eat it: Butternut Cheese Sauce.

This recipe is super simple, lactose intolerant friendly, and fantastically versatile.

Use it as a pasta sauce, as cheese in a quesadilla, dip for pretzels or veggies, a creamy pizza sauce, eaten with a spoon… I can go on if you like, but I will spare you. Boiled down: this stuff is good for EVERYTHING.


Butternut Cheese Sauce

Yield: 4, 1/3-1/2 cup servings


  • 400g Butternut squash (roughly 2 cups cubed)
  • ½-1 cup milk of choice*
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste


  1. Boil or roast butternut squash until softened
  2. Add all ingredients to food processor
  3. Process until smooth
  4. Eat with spoon if desired (encouraged)

You can add the amount of milk needed to reach your desired consistence. For causes I would go more towards the 1 cup side, for a dip or spread, aim for close to ½.

Snacks & Bites · Uncategorized

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Pinwheels

I don’t know how your workplace is, but for me, we are always in the process of coordinating some sort of party/potluck- or at least that’s the way it feels. They’re nice because they break up the work day and give you something to look forward to, but I always feel like I am left with the anxiety of trying to figure out what to bring. Usually this is my own fault because I either wait until the last minute- or just plain forget.

This happened to me again just a few days ago. It was 6pm the day before the potluck and I still had no idea what I was bringing. I was not in the mood to be running to the store, so I took survey of my pantry. The result? Black bean & sweet potato pinwheels.


Pinwheels are a perfect pot-luck item. They’re just small, appetizer-like bites, so no one feels like that have to take a huge heaping, helping with portion control. Plus they stay good for a few days, so you can snack on them later in the day, send some home with co-workers, or take them for lunch yourself the next day. Also, bringing these allows you to be sure there will be a healthy option available- which may not always be the case!


Black Bean & Sweet Potato Pinwheels

Yield: 18 pinwheels


  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp each: Onion Powder, Cumin, Garlic powder,
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 3 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach


  1. Scrub and peel potatoes. Boil in a pot of water until tender.
  2. Mash soft potatoes with a potato masher. Adding in butter and spices.
  3. Lay 1 tortilla flat and spread 1/3 of the mashed potatoes evenly on top
  4. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of black beans on top of potatoes
  5. Lay a few leaves of spinach up the middle
  6. Roll tortilla rightly and cut into 6 even slices
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 with remaining 2 tortillas and ingredients

Nutrition Information Per Pinwheel: 57 calories, 1.2g fat, 10g carbohydrate, 1.5g protein

Breakfast · Uncategorized

Fiesta Fried Egg Topped Sweet Potato

There is one surefire way to sell me on a dish: top it with an egg.

They are so pretty to me, add great flavor, and it’s incredibly satisfying when you break the yolk.


At about 70 calories and 6 grams of protein, a large egg is also a nutritious choice. Combine that with an antioxidant packed sweet potato and fiber filled black beans and you’ve got a nutrition powerhouse.

This dish is so versatile you can try it at breakfast, lunch or dinner….Or all three, because it is just that good. 


Fiesta Fried Egg Topped Sweet Potato

Yield: 1 serving


  • 1 medium to large sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 2 tbsp. corn
  • 1 tbsp. red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes, canned
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Scrub sweet potato and pierce with fork 6-8 times. Wrap loosely in a piece of wet paper towel and microwave for ~6 minutes, flipping potato half way through.  
  2. Meanwhile, combine black beans, corn, red onion, green pepper and tomato in a large skillet to warm, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Move the veggies to one side of the pan to keep warm and fry egg sunny side up on other side. 
  4. When potato is done cut it in half and use a fork to mash innards. Make a welt in each half to fill with veggie mixture, top with fried egg. 
  5. Serve warm. 

Nutrition Information: 333 calories, 5.25g fat, 60g carbohydrates, 15g protein


Liquid Calories

I would like to introduce you all to a special someone.  This is my other-half Carley Kocks. Yes, my best friend has the same last name as me and her first starts with a C as well… Ironic…

Anywho… This lovely lady loyally reads my blog ramblings and gave me the idea of doing a post on a temptation most of us love… Starbucks.

I am not exactly a frequent flyer when it comes to the coffee house, mostly because I am too cheap. But every now and again I treat myself to a little splurge.

What a lot of people don’t realize is what exactly they are sipping on out of that little green straw. Coffee doesn’t have calories…right?? For the most part, the caloric content of brewed coffee is minimal, but that is most definitely not the case when you add things like cream, sugar, syrup, and the oh-so-sinfully-good whipped topping. Some of the drinks can have nearly HALF of your daily caloric intake… YIKES!

Take a look at these two  images.. one is of the most fat-filled beverages offered and the other gives some lighter options.

I was pretty sad to see the Java Chip Frap on the worst list, it is my favorite indulgence. However, I refuse to swear it off! Instead I opt for getting a skinny and splitting it with my mom and sister. Most of the time, you don’t need to drink the entire thing to get your fix, I find that splitting it gives you just the right amount without killing your healthy habits entirely.

What does making it a skinny do? Well….

Non-Fat Milk: This can save you  up to 120 calories and 15g of fat

Sugar-Free Syrup: Trim 20 calories and 5g of sugar PER pump (trust me.. usually it is NOT only one pump that they add!)

-Hold the whip: Sad, I know. But you will be glad you did when you cut 50-110 calories and 5-11g of fat

All-in-all, just be smart about what you order. We all deserve a treat from time to time. However, remember that it is just that, a TREAT! Your waist line with thank you I promise =]

Green logo used from 1987-2010, still being us...
Green logo used from 1987-2010, still being used as a secondary logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Suddenly my stale black coffee from the office coffee maker just doesn’t seem adequate….

Have a wonderful start to your week =]