Mac and Cheese

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Being that it has now officially gotten cold, Mac and Cheese is the perfect comfort food for a cozy night in. This recipe is rather indulgent and totally beats the usual Weight Watcher’s recipe I follow, but it’s sweater time- perfectly ok to splurge once in awhile.

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And splurge we did. I used my fav girl Ina’s Barefoot Contessa recipe and followed it exact, except I did use whole wheat pasta. Sure, I’ll cook with piles of shredded cheese and butter, but use regular pasta, nope! Oh and I used panko bread crumbs verses the white bread she references- because once again there’s that voice in my head says “no-white-grains” but throw some extra cheese on top—sure thing! Chopped broccoli was used instead of fresh tomatoes since we have a non-tomato lover at home (which falls under things I’ll never understand). I love tomatoes and do think the addition of them would be excellent.

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Let me also mention that this was super simple, so creamy, rich and delicious. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to let this baby bake, the crunchier the top- the better!

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Chia – the lowdown

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If you add one healthy addition to your diet this week, let it be these nutrient-packed, energy fueled, tiny, little seeds. I recently started throwing them into my breakfast every morning and have become quite the fan. They keep you feeling full and have loads of benefits to them- plus you can eat them in their natural form so there’s zero prep work.

Who even knew a seed could be a superfood, but in fact these are it. They are packed with healthy Omega-3’s, protein, iron, fiber, antioxidants, calcium- the list goes on! Quite a lot for something you can easily toss on anything you eat and with a nutty flavor it’ll actually taste good!

Here are some of my favorite ways to incorporate the seeds into my diet with little to no work:

(using about 1 tbsp straight from the bag)
Mixed into oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, granola
Smoothies – once blended they will create a little crunch
Sprinkled on a Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich
Tossed into a veggie stir fry or salad

And if you want to take them one step further try the below:

Chocolate chia seed pudding:
1 1/4 cups almond milk or coconut milk
3 to 4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chia seeds
Mix all together and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. Super tasty and healthy!

There are tons of recipes out there using chia seeds, I haven’t tried cooking or baking with them just yet- but I hope to try it out soon so stay tuned…

arugula, watermelon & feta

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I’ve been seriously loving this salad. It’s perfect for a warm day, it even looks like summer with the bright watermelon chunks. It’s fresh, light, colorful, so tasty and easy to make. I’m hooked.

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Arugula, watermelon, feta, red onion and toasted pine nuts, all you need.

I make my dressing by whisking together fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and a splash of honey. Drizzle on top of the salad and enjoy immediately.
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The peppery arugula and sweet watermelon topped with creamy feta makes a delicious combination. The pine nuts give that nutty flavor which is balanced by the sharpness of the red onion.

Flavor overload. and o so good!

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