Tag Archives | healthy

Grilled Romaine Wedge Salad

I’m really excited to have my new healthy foodie friend, Melanie Delude, guest post on the blog today. I met Melanie at Camp Blogaway back in May and we have remained blogger buddies ever since. I even had the chance to meet up with her when vacationing in New Hampshire this summer where she lives with her family. The recipe below looks amazing and I cannot wait to try it out. Enjoy ūüôā

I am so honored to be guest posting on Desert Healthy today! This is my first ever guest post, and I am very excited to share my Grilled Romaine Wedge Salad with you. I hope you love it as much as I do!

The inspiration for this salad developed while I was working on my 100 Day Project a couple months ago. Each day, for 100 days, I posted a simple and healthy recipe idea and photo to Instagram. When I agreed to do the project back in April, it sounded so daunting to have to come up with something new on a daily basis. I was pleasantly surprised that because I prepare all the food that my family eats each day, as long as I planned ahead and included lots of variety into our meals, it was relatively easy to post new material. To see more of the work from my 100 Day project, head over to Instagram and search for the hashtag #100daysofeasyhealthyrecipes.

And now, for the recipe!

Yield: 4 small servings, or 2 large servings


  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, cut lengthwise
  • ¬Ĺ of a large sweet onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 3 slices cooked all-natural bacon or prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup of gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil (or similar high-heat oil option)
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Step 1: Brush the romaine generously with olive oil, and season to taste with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. On a grill over medium heat, place the romaine cut side down, and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until nicely charred.

romaine 1 (1)

Step 2: Caramelize the onions until browned and softened. For great tips on creating perfect caramelized onions, check out this post by Plating Pixels.

Step 3: Plate the grilled romaine, then top with the caramelized onions, bacon or prosciutto, and gorgonzola cheese crumbles. Drizzle with olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

romaine 2 (1)


Melanie Delude profile imageMelanie Delude writes a self-titled blog (www.melaniedelude.com) which is focused on her passion for providing healthy recipes for her family, including her 2 young children. Her biggest passion beyond her blog is her love of running, and she has successfully completed 3 half marathons to date, and hopes to begin training for a full marathon within the next year. Other passions include frequent travel, hiking, downhill skiing, and curling up with a good book.





July’s Love with Food Subscription Box Review and Giveaway

Love with Food 7/15

The July Love with Food box arrived and per usual, I was giddy with excitement. Snacks on my doorstep? Yes please.¬†Love with Food helps people like you and me discover new organic or all-natural, healthy snacks and they’re delivered to our door every month. There are various levels of membership and as of now I subscribe to the Tasting Box which includes 6-8 snacks every month. For every box they deliver, they donate a meal to a food bank and have donated almost 700,000 meals to date!! Pretty awesome!

This month’s box is themed “Surfin’ USA.” I was thrilled that 6 out of the 8 snacks were gluten free and 2 were organic. The snacks delivered included the following:

  • Kids’ Organic Sour Citrus Chews by Honey Stinger
  • Coconut Almond Curry Granola by Bear Naked
  • Simply Toasted Crunchy Coconut Chips by Bare Snacks
  • Gum Pops by Glee Gum
  • Hawaiian BBQ Chips by One Potato Two Potato
  • True Lemon, True Lime, True Orange and True Grapefruit by True Citrus
  • Lemon Almond Biscotti by Biscotti Di Suzy
  • Organic Fruit Snack by Fruigees


Overall I thought this month’s selection was a 6 out of 10. I couldn’t eat the Bear Naked granola because it’s not gluten-free, but my husband had it¬†and said it was delicious. I also handed him the biscotti which he enjoyed dunking in his coffee. The potato chips were tasty, I loved the Honey Stinger kid chews and the coconut chips are a sweet addition to yogurt, dessert, or a smoothie. As far as the other snacks go, the True citrus packets are pretty flavorless, I could care less about a sucker and I’m afraid to drink the Kalefornia Grape Fruit Snack…I don’t know why, but it creeps me out to drink out of a squeeze pack. So overall, it was a¬†mediocre¬†box in my opinion. I liked three of the snacks, my husband liked two and three of them I either couldn’t eat (gluten free sitch) or just have no desire to. I still think this is a great box to subscribe to even if there is a month where the snacks are subpar. It’s a great way to taste test different brands and discover what you like and what you don’t. It can either encourage you to run to the store and buy a product in full size or it can help you avoid purchasing something you don’t care for.

Once again, I have an extra subscription box that I will be mailing to one subscriber! Yay! All you have to do to be entered is to complete one of the following:

A) Subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already. That’s it.
B) If you’re already a subscriber, just leave a comment below telling me what your idea of a perfect healthy snack box would have in it.

NOTE: You have to subscribe or already be a subscriber to be entered. You can do this in the upper right hand corner of the blog. It’s a breeze.

Winner will be chosen at random through www.randompicker.com and will be announced within the comments of this blog post. Giveaway ends on Friday, July 31st at midnight. Good luck!


Lunchtime: Healthy Brown Rice Veggie Bowl

This is my ultimate, easy, go-to lunch that I take to work almost every week. It’s effortless to whip up and it’s also very healthy and satisfying. I prep a batch of this¬†veggie brown rice in the beginning of the week and then I’m good for lunches for 3-4 days. I like this recipe because it’s a no-brainer for me at lunch time…I’m not stressed trying to figure out what to eat or where to order out from. These brown rice bowls are full of nutritious, organic brown rice, a medley of veggies that I change up each week, and a little bit of low-sodium soy sauce that gives this dish a light salty kick. Typically I add a half of an avocado or a hard-boiled egg to round out the dish and include¬†a little bit of healthy fat. I’ve had plenty of coworkers ask me what I’m eating when I bring this goodness into work and I’m always happy to share the recipe and my enthusiasm for how easy it is to make.

This particular week, I had asparagus, brussel sprouts, sweet potato and a bag of frozen shitake mushrooms on hand. If you have not yet discovered these shitake mushrooms in your grocery store’s frozen aisle, now is the time. I usually have a couple of bags in my freezer and they come in handy on a frequent basis.

Woodstock Frozen Shitake Mushrooms deserthealthy.com

TIP: The frozen mushrooms hold a lot of moisture so you want to saute them on medium-high heat alone¬†for about 10 minutes. You’re trying to reduce their liquid by half before throwing in the sweet potato and brussel sprouts.

Follow the recipe below and enjoy this addictive lunch that will likely become a weekly staple for you like it is for me!

Brown rice veggie bowl - deserthealthy.com

Brown rice veggie bowl - deserthealthy.com

Lunchtime: Healthy Brown Rice Veggie Bowl
  • 1½ Cups of Brown Rice, cooked (could also use another grain if you'd like)
  • 1½ Cups of Asparagus, diced small
  • 1½ Cups of Sweet Potato, peeled and diced small
  • 1½ Cups of Brussel Sprouts, trimmed and sliced
  • (1) 10 oz. bag of frozen mushrooms OR 1½ cups of fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 TBSP Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Low-Sodium Soy Sauce (2-3 splashes or to your liking)
  • S&P and Red Pepper Flakes
  1. In a large saute pan, heat sesame oil on medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the frozen mushrooms. (If you have fresh mushrooms, skip step one and head to step two.) Stir often for 10 minutes until mushrooms have softened and their liquid has released and been reduced by half.
  2. Add brussel sprouts and sweet potato to the pan and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook another 5 minutes, continue stirring occasionally. (add fresh mushrooms at this point if you have them)
  3. Add the asparagus and brown rice and cook everything for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Season the rice and vegetables with S&P and red pepper flakes. Add a few splashes of the soy sauce, but be careful to not overload it.
  5. Turn off heat and let cool. Store in airtight containers and enjoy your lunches all week!




True Food Kitchen

Before moving back to Arizona, I already had True Food Kitchen on my radar. Being familiar with Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet, in which the restaurant’s concept is based off of, I knew TFK would be my jam.

Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid

If you aren’t familiar with Dr. Weil or his work, he is a leader in the world of integrative medicine and believes that medicine involves mind, body and spirit. Additionally he is a best-selling author having written 10+ books, a highly sought out public speaker and the¬†Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine at U of A. If you want to know more about this awesome man, read¬†more info here.

Onto the food…the menu at TFK makes my heart skip a beat. The menu is full of healthy options with dishes like “inside out” quinoa burger, spaghetti squash casserole and asparagus & artichoke pizza. YUM!

True Food Kitchen Menu

I have been a few times now to TFK and every time it’s just as delicious as it was previously. This last time I visited, I ordered¬†a¬†Root & Remedy juice which consisted of juiced beets, carrots and ginger, mixed with tumeric & honey lemonade. Besides the threat of the beet juice dripping onto my white pants I wore that day, this drink was amazing. It felt so good to know that every drop I was sipping was nourishing my body. I love it when good juice¬†makes me feel that way.

Root Remedy

After I slurped up the Root & Remedy concoction, it was onto my lunch entree. I chose¬†the organic Tuscan kale salad with a salmon filet perched on top. The salad was really tasty and had the right amount of dressing on it. I could have used a little more Parmesan, but you’ll have to excuse the Wisconsin in me. The salmon was seared to perfection and although I had full intentions of only eating half of it and saving the rest for lunch the next day, I ate every last flake. Whoops.

Kale Salad with Salmon - True Food Kitchen

If you’re into the sort of thing like really good food and eating healthy, check out True Food Kitchen. There is a location in the Biltmore Fashion Park and another in the Scottsdale Quarter. It’s definitely a treat when I get to have lunch there, but the quality of the food and the ingredients behind it make it worth every penny.

True Food Kitchen Philosophy True Food- Virginia Wolfe quote

True Food Kitchen on Facebook

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Sage Kitchen




(Almost) No-Bake Healthy Granola Bars

I have been¬†crushing on a super health food lately…DATES! Do you eat dates? If you’re not familiar with these little dudes, pick up a package from your grocery store and check them out.¬†Dates have a really high mineral content which is why they are known for helping with a variety of ailments. People often eat them to help with digestion and fiber intake, but check out this chart that displays¬†just how awesome dates are and how they can help your health overall.

Organic Facts about DatesDates can be prepared and enjoyed in a variety of ways. Recently¬†I stuffed a batch of them with goat cheese and wrapped them with prosciutto and then baked them in the oven. The crowd went wild! Now I’m incorporating them into my granola bar recipe¬†and they are the perfect sweet glue to hold the bars together. The recipe is pretty simple and the only baking required is when you have to toast the oats. I LOVE these bars because¬†they are versatile as you can change¬†up the nuts, the nut butter and the sweeteners ¬†every time if you choose. They are a great addition to a cup of coffee or tea in the morning or as a snack on the go. Enjoy!

(Almost) No Bake Granola Bars (Almost) No Bake Granola Bars

(Almost) No-Bake Healthy Granola Bars(Almost) No-Bake Healthy Granola Bars

(Almost) No-Bake Healthy Granola Bars
  • 1½ Cup of Rolled Oats
  • 1 Cup of Pitted Dates, chopped roughly and packed tightly
  • ¼ Cup of Honey
  • ¼ Cup of Almond Butter, Creamy or Crunchy (use peanut butter if you prefer)
  • 1 Cup of Almond Slices (use another kind of nut if you prefer)
  • 1 TBSP of Cinnamon
  1. Toast the oats in the oven on 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes. (Make sure to keep a close eye on the oats as they can burn fast.)
  2. In a saucepan on low heat, warm the almond butter and honey until blended together.
  3. While almond butter and honey are warming, process the dates in a small food processor. They should be very fine and sticky. The dates will roll into a ball like dough when ready.
  4. Place the almonds, dates and toasted oats in a large bowl. After the almond butter and honey have cooled a couple of minutes, pour mixture in and mix everything with your hands. Continue mixing everything thoroughly until the dates have separated and the consistency is even.
  5. Place a sheet of parchment paper inside of an 8x8 pan so that you're able to take it out easily later on.
  6. Scoop mixture onto the parchment paper and spread evenly across the pan. Make sure it's completely flat and even.
  7. Sprinkle top of granola evenly with the cinnamon.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an hour.
  9. Once cooled and hardened, take the parchment paper and bars out of the pan. Place on cutting board, discard parchment and cut into 8-10 bars. Wrap each individual bar in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for the week.