The Best Healthy Whole Wheat Pancake Recipes to Make From Scratch

How to Make Healthy Whole Wheat Pancakes from Scratch

…and then make extra mix and save it for later!

healthy whole wheat waffles | Continue reading


Homemade and Healthy Cowboy Salsa

a healthy homemade recipe for cowboy caviar - america's favorite salsa | recipe on

So I’m kind of obsessed with salsa. If you asked me what my favorite food is, the answer would be salsa. Actually that’s a lie, it’s ceviche, but that’s basically salsa of the sea, right?  My point is: how does one consume mass quantities of salsa on a budget?

You make it yourself!

Not from scratch silly… that’s too much work. Instead, go to the store and grab some jars and cans of your favorite ingredients.

This time around I went for the cowboy combo, you might recognize it from the Trader Joe’s version. It’s so filling, but the jars are so tiny that 1 could barely get me through the day. So instead, go make it for yourself! Mine filled a medium-sized mixing bowl, and only cost $4 total.

Here’s what you’ll need for your own “homemade” Cowboy Caviar:

  • a can of corn
  • a can of beans
  • a big jar of salsa

Now pour them all together! Be sure to drain the cans first so you only have solids going into your salsa or else it will be gross and watery. Add salt and pepper to taste. That’s it! Now you’ll have a twice the amount of salsa you started with, and it’s going to taste just like that cowboy caviar.

Other delicious ingredients that you can add to your DIY HOMEMADE SALSA include:

  • canned pineapple
  • fresh pico de gallo
  • canned mango
  • jarred jalapenos
  • and more…

Try those combos with different store-bought salsas too. Or replace the salsa with a can of diced tomatoes.

cucumber chips with salsa

Cool as a Cucumber

One more thing, observe how I’m eating it with cucumber slices. If you have never done this before you have got to try it! Just slice open a cold crisp cuke. They make for the perfect bite size summer snack, and if you play on any of the gluten-free, vegan, raw, vegetarian, or simply health-conscious teams, than cucumber slices in leu of chips are the treat for you! 🙂

I hope everything goes well for you at home in your own kitchen, please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Share pics with me via @itsa_Lisa on twitter or instagram – or leave comments below. Happy salsa-ing!

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Make these Delicious Spring Rolls from Scratch

Make your own Spring Rolls, follow this simple recipe for a healthy snack|

My father and I were craving some fresh and healthy food, and since we are a fan of shrimp and Vietnamese cuisine, spring rolls were the obvious choice! I used this recipe on because it looked simple and easy, it was:

Shrimp Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce Recipe

You can click the link above for details – I don’t want to plagiarise. However, I will share some secrets I learned while making them! Read this guide before you get started:

these are the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little spring rolls |

  • Buying ingredients at your local H-mart or asian market will save you money. I wish I’d known this secret years ago, but it’s true… groceries are cheaper at the foreign grocer! If your town has one, I highly recommend stopping in.

An Easy Way to Make Spring Rolls |

  • Only soak 2 rice papers at a time in a plate of water. Soak them as you go: when you take one out put a new one in. This will give you enough time to make a spring roll while the new rice paper softens.

spring roll filling, lettuce carrots, and bean noodle |

  • Here is a mistake we made… The directions insisted we combine all the vegetables with the cooked bean thread noodles. – First off, we probably should have “finely shredded” the veggies a little better, and by better I mean we should have actually done it. – Second, the noodles just didn’t combine with the veggies well. One was raw and dry, the other sticky and lumpy, so I don’t know why that’s a good idea? – Anyways,  keep them separate and just grab a small portion of both to place inside the roll. A “good portion” will fit between your thumb and two fingers, no more than that or the roll won’t close.

Use this techniqe when rolling your spring roll to make it prettier |

  • To make your spring roll look prettier, roll it like this:
    • First place the filling at the bottom of the wrap, give it one roll.
    • Then lay out the mint leaves, cilantro, and shrimp
    • Wrap the sides in and roll it all the way up.

The best sauce you will ever taste - Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce | easy recipe on

  • This is the best peanut sauce you will ever taste! (Photo is of the ingredients before they were mixed together.) We had to use chunky peanut butter because that’s all we had, so it looked kiiiiiindof lumpy. But the taste was AMAZING. Luckily I had leftovers and I ate it with everything until, sadly, I ran out.  So my tip to you would be to make extra Thai Peanut Sauce and put it on everything. Examples include: apples, celery, PIZZA (seriously, try it), chips, sweet potato fries, spring rolls (duh), …

Homemade Spring Rolls | easy healthy recipe on

  • Lastly, here’s a serving suggestion. Aren’t they pretty!?

My Dad and I had a good time making them, it was worth the effort. He doesn’t think so, but he thinks all cooking should take 10 minutes or less. That’s how fast it’s done at the restaurant right? (WRONG). Whatever Dad, thanks for your help, I guess. (He secretly loved it).

Good luck on your own folks, I hope this helped! Once again, here’s the recipe from the Food Network. Please leave your thoughts in the comments… do YOU think it was worth it?

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Satisfy Your Cravings with this All-Natural Skinny Chocolate Smoothie Recipe (150 Calories)

Healthy Chocolate Smoothie Recipe, 150 calories! |

Want a satisfying treat that can fill you up without maxing out your daily caloric intake? This guilt-free smoothie is guaranteed to hit the spot. Just blend the following ingredients, pour into a glass, and enjoy the creamy chocolatey goodness…

Skinny Chocolate Banana Smoothie Recipe:

  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup ice

The sweetness of the banana offsets the bitterness of the cocoa powder, and the creaminess of the almond milk all whipped up makes the drink as enjoyable as any ordinary dairy-infused drink. For 1/3 the calories of a typical smoothie, and no added preservatives, this chocolate smoothie makes a perfect trade in for a snack that is worth having any hour of the day.

Check out more Healthy Smoothie Recipes here in my Smoothie Column

I input the ingredients to Livestrong’s calorie tracker so you can see how they add up: Calorie Counter: chocolate banana smoothie for only 150 calories on from My Plate / Livestrong |

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Thanksgiving Leftovers for Breakfast – Turkey Sweet Potato Hash

<Thanksgiving Leftovers for Breakfast. Egg, Sweet Potatoes, Turkey

Disclaimer: This recipe is completely my own, but I was just so oddly hungry the morning after Thanksgiving that I forgot to take a picture of it (gasp!!) So I am borrowing an image from of a very similar recipe called “Daphne Oz’s Turkey Sweet Potato Hash” (click here to see it), and an image from, shown above, (found here). The rest of the recipe below is my own.

What to do with all those leftovers? Eat them of course! My family hosted the feast this year so we were left with all of the turkey, some stuffing, and my favorite: the yams! While we were going to have Thanksgiving #2 that night, I couldn’t wait and had to have some delicious leftovers in the morning as well. So what’s the best way to turn dinner into breakfast? Add egg!

Serving sizes: think 1 large spoonful of each per person, and 1 egg per person

  • eggs
  • turkey
  • yams
  • bread roll optional)
  • gravy (optional)

Heat up your skillet medium heat. Add turkey and yams. Crack an egg over it, I used one egg and one egg white. Allow egg to cook through, approx 2 mins. Serve with roll and gravy on the side (optional). Perfection in your mouth, just like last night but this time without the crowded room and prolonged wine buzz.

For more recipes be sure to follow my Healthy Recipes Column.

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My Mother’s Mother’s Famous Banana Nut Bread

Best Banana Nut Bread Recipe

… as seen in!

This was one of those special recipes I grew up on… every time the bananas overripened my mom would throw these ingredients together and fill the house with a decadent smell of roasted nuts and fresh baked bread. Her memories parallel mine in sentiment because this is what her mother (my grandmother) also used to do during her upbringing.

Well, that time came around today, I stared at those sad aging bananas… not wanting to eat any but not wanting them to go to waste. “Time for another loaf!” I thought to myself, but I’ve been on such a health kick lately… I needed to at least try to make it my own kind of healthy. So I followed my grandmother’s recipe and substituted healthy alternatives accordingly. Any diet forum will semi-appreciate my work, however I’m no pastry chef, I just pretend to be one by writing a food blog. Oh and also because apparently bread isn’t healthy anymore, at least for any raw, gluten, or vegans. Sorry folks. For the rest of you food lovers, just follow the recipe(s) below!

Ingredients (my alternative/healthy substitutions in italics)stevia

  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 1 2/3 cup Flour (or Whole Wheat)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Sugar (or Stevia)
  • 1 cup Walnuts (or Almonds)
  • 1 Egg, beaten (or 2 Egg Whites)
  • 1/4 Vegetable Oil (or 1/3 cup Coconut Oil)
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • (a handful of dark chocolate chunks)
  • (1/4 cup flax)


Directions: Sift together the dry ingredients. Add 3/4 cup of the nuts and chocolate. Combine the remaining ingredients and add to the dry ingredients. Stir only until the flour is moistened. Pour into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the top of the loaf. Bake in a 350 oven for 1 hour. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Enjoy!




If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out more of my Mother’s Famous Creations on her BigOven account: or connect with me, her daughter, 😉 here: @itsa_Lisa on Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

healthy banana nut bread

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Cooking a Victory Garden. $5, 5 Ingredients.


The simplicity of these 5 vegetables gives the term Victory Garden a whole new meaning! Grow one in your yard and never buy vegetables again! Or save time and effort because these vitamin packed plants are dirt cheap, generally ranging from $0.50 to $2 in price.Victory Garden

  • Onions
  • Mushroom
  • Mini Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato

Go to your local grocery store, farmers market, Trader Joes, whatever, and buy one of each of the above! Your total will be under $5 and you will chop them up and throw them in a frying pan with a blob of oil and a dash of salt and pepper. They will heat and caramelize, and you will eat them once the colors are vibrant and the onions are the same consistency as a worm. This entire process should take no longer than 10-20 minutes, depending on preference and speed of chopping.

These 5 ingredients mixed together make enough to serve 2-3 people, or serves just you for 2-3 days!

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