Italian Pork Stuffed Peppers

Creamy Mushroom Soup


Beef, chorizo and poblano chili


1lb ground beef

1lb ground chorizo

6 small or 4 medium poblanos, diced

2 small or 1 large bell pepper, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1/2 container mushrooms, diced

2 onions, diced

2 cans fire roasted tomatoes (with juice)

1tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

1 cup bone broth

3 tbsp arrowroot flour (optional- for thickening)


Brown beef and chorizo before tossing into crock pot. Add all other ingredients except for arrowroot flour, and set crockpot on low. Cook 8 hours, adding the arrowroot flour after about 6 hours if needed. 


Lemon Parmesan dressing: 


juice of 1 lemon

4 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

1 tsp Dijon

4 swirls olive oil

black pepper and salt to taste

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp grated Parmesan 


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together!


Honey mustard dressing

1/4 c Greek yogurt

1tbsp Honey

1tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tbsp spicy brown mustard

3tbsp ACV

4 swirls avocado oil

1/8 tsp onion powder

1/8 tsp garlic powder

salt & pepper to taste 


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together! 


Shrimp dip

1 8 oz block full fat cream cheese, softened

1 16 oz full fat sour cream

1/4 cup mayo

4 Scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 green pepper, minced

2 celery stalks, minced

Garlic powder

onion powder

salt & pepper to taste

4-5 dashes Worcestershire

2 4oz cans tiny shrimp 


Combine all ingredients, stir! Best if made at least a few hours ahead. 

Best served with club crackers.


Curry Chicken Casserole (Whole 30 approved)


For the Chicken:

6-8 Chicken thighs



curry powder

garlic powder

onion powder


Season chicken generously. Bake at 350 for 25 min


For Casserole:

2 bags Riced cauliflower, microwaved

1/2  onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can fire roasted tomatoes, juice included

2 cups raw carrots, sliced

1 can full-fat coconut milk

1 cup broth 

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp ground ginger 

2 tbsp arrowroot powder 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sautée onion and garlic in pan on medium-high heat. Add carrots, broth, curry powder and ground ginger. cover to steam carrots and reduce liquid, about 5-8 minutes. Add canned tomatoes. When carrots are fork tender, add coconut milk and whisk in arrowroot powder to thicken. Mix all together in 9×13 pan and bake to warm through, about 20 minutes. Can make ahead. 


Quick Sesame cabbage bowl with chicken

4 cups red or green cabbage, thinly sliced

3 tsp Sesame oil, divided

1 tbsp Coconut oil, divided

2 tbsp Soy sauce/tamari, divided

1 tbsp Butter

Rotisserie chicken, pulled

½ onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

8 oz mushrooms, sliced


Heat large wok/pan to medium-high heat and add 2 tsp sesame oil and ½ tbsp coconut oil; swirl to coat. Add cabbage and sautee for 5-8 minutes, adding soy sauce half way through.

In a separate medium pan on medium-high heat, sautee onion, garlic and mushrooms in butter and ½ tbsp coconut oil. Combine into larger pan when water has cooked off both mixtures and cabbage is fork tender. 

Add rotisserie chicken chunks to medium pan, tossing with 1 tsp sesame oil and 1 tbsp soy sauce to heat through.

Combine all in larger pan and toss with your favorite sauce if you need more flavor- I recommend the ginger salad dressing from Costco or the Organic Valley peanut sauce.


Roasted Brussels sprouts

6 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

4 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 tbsp Avocado oil

Salt to taste

¼ tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)


Preheat oven to 375 degree. Toss all ingredients with avocado oil, salt, red pepper flakes. Place on a roasting pan/sheet lined with parchment paper. Add 1/4 c water to pan. Roast at 375 for 45-60 min, until fork-tender.


Ginger Butternut Squash Soup

1 onion, chopped

2 cups carrots, chopped

1 tbsp coconut oil

32 oz chicken broth or stock

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed

2 tsp fresh ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

¼ tsp onion powder

1 tsp curry powder

Salt to taste


Heat large soup pot to medium-high and add coconut oil. Sautée chopped onion and carrot until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add broth, squash, ginger, garlic, onion powder, curry powder and salt. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer until squash is soft. Purée using immersion blender in the pot. 


NYE meatballs


Frozen or fresh meatballs- halved or quartered if large, whole if small 

For sauce:

I can jellied cranberry sauce

Homemade chili sauce: 

1 can tomato purée

2 tsp red wine vinegar

¼ tsp onion powder

⅛ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp chili powder


Melt cranberry sauce in small saucepan over medium heat, chopping up jelly as it melts. Add all other ingredients and reduce heat to simmer. If still chunky, use immersion blender to puree. Pour over meatballs. Bake for 15-20 minutes to heat through. 


Pizza salad


Chopped Romaine lettuce (or lettuce of choice)

Grape tomatoes, halved

Sweet onion, thinly sliced

Chopped pepperoni

Mozzarella cheese, shredded or cubed 


Pizza vinaigrette:

¼ cup tomato sauce

2 tbsp ricotta cheese

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp Italian seasoning

Salt & Pepper to taste


*other optional toppings: anchovies, raw or cooked green peppers, crumbled sausage, sliced black olives


Creamy French Dressing

Olive Oil

Apple cider vinegar

Sour cream/greek yogurt/coconut cream


Tomato paste


Mustard powder

Garlic powder

Onion powder 


Arrowroot flour (if it needs thickening)


Mexican Lasagna

2 ears corn

Pound ground beef

Can diced tomatoes

Can green Chile’s

8 Corn Tortillas 

One sweet onion, diced

Can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2 tbsp avocado oil, divided

⅛ tsp salt

⅛ tsp garlic powder

Can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 block monterey or colby jack cheese, shredded

1 bag or can of red enchilada sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Cut corn off cobs and sautee with 1 tbsp butter or avocado oil until slightly browned. Mix in the rinsed black beans. Set aside.

Place the kidney beans in a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp avocado oil, salt and garlic powder. Mash until beans are a chunky paste. Set aside. 

Sautee diced onion in large skillet over medium high heat. After 3 minutes, add ground beef. Once browned, add the diced tomatoes and green chiles, including liquid. Add ⅓ of the enchilada sauce. Cook until liquid is mostly evaporated. 

In a deep 8×8 pan (Or pan of your choosing), spoon ½ cup of the meat mixture and spread to coat the bottom. 

Sprinkle ¼-⅕ of the cheese over the meat. 

Use tortillas to make the next layer, ripping them and fitting them to the pan to make a layer. It’s okay if they overlap. 

Next, spread ⅓ of the mashed beans over the tortillas. 

Next, spoon ⅓-¼ of the corn and black bean mixture over the mashed beans. 

Start the layers over with the meat mixture until you run out of ingredients or the pan is full. On top, pour the remaining enchilada sauce and top with additional cheese. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbling at the sides. 


Serve with guacamole and sour cream


Frab Salad

1 cup Imitation crabmeat

¼ red bell pepper, diced

1 tbsp sweet onion, finely diced

 1 stalk diced celery (about ¼ cup)

2 tbsp mayo

¼ cup sour cream

¼ tsp Balanced Bites Super Garlic seasoning

⅛ tsp Balanced Bites Trifecta seasoning 


Combine all ingredients, serve immediately 

Jellied Cranberry Sauce

  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 2 cups apple cider (I used Trader Joe’s Honeycrisp Apple Cider)
  • 3 tablespoons water (or more cider)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • Added sweetener of choice (if using)

Place cranberries and cider in a large saucepan and turn the stove to medium heat. Cover the saucepan and set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off or when the cider bubbles to the top of the lid, remove the lid and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Puree mixture using an immersion blender right in the pot. If you transfer to a blender, take caution of the hot liquid and remove the air vent part of the blender lid and cover with paper towel as you blend.

Next, remove the seeds and other solids with a fine mesh colander (like these). Place the colander over a bowl and pour the hot cranberry mixture in. use the back of a spoon to make sure all the liquid gets through, and discard the solids from the colander.

In a small ramekin, use a fork or mini whisk to combine the gelatin with 3 tbsp of cider or water. Whisk rapidly, pour it into the hot cranberry mixture and continue whisking until incorporated. Do not dump in and let it sit, or it could glob. Add sweetener now, if using (I recommend 1 tsp- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup).

Now it’s ready to set! Pour it into vessels of choice and place in the fridge for about 5 hours or until set. I used a rinsed out can, and poured the rest into a small jar to use for other recipes. I used spray olive oil in the can to ensure it could be removed without too much damage to the cranberry. Once set, I used a mini rubber spatula to loosen the edges before dumping out.

If using sweetener, I recommend honey or 100% maple syrup. Artificial sweeteners are NOT healthy and I do not recommend them ever. It is much healthier to add 14-17g of these natural sugars  (the amount in 1 tbsp) than it is to have the original canned cranberry sauce, which is full of high fructose corn syrup! The end result will have max 60 grams of sugar in the 15 oz can, whereas regular jellied cranberry sauce has 150 grams per can.


Cranberry Pie Martini (1 serving)

  • Vanilla Vodka (50 ml, or 1/4 cup, or 1 airplane bottle)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider (I used Trader Joe’s Honeycrisp Apple Cider)
  • 3 tbsp cranberry jelly

Whisk cranberry with vodka to incorporate it. This works best if the cranberry is warmed first- 8 seconds in the microwave should do it. Pour vodka/cranberry mixture and cider in a shaker with ice!

Serve in a martini or other fun glass!


Cranberry Balsamic Salad Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Whisk all ingredients together and pour over salad! I didn’t even think it needed seasonings, but you can’t go wrong with S&P.


New Year’s Eve Meatballs

These are appetizer/cocktail meatballs that I have made for probably a dozen years now on NYE. The sauce I have always made used a simple recipe of jellied cranberry sauce and a bottle of chili sauce. Knowing the ingredients in both of these products inspired me to make healthy versions of both, so this year my meatballs will get an upgrade!

  •  Frozen or fresh meatballs (cooked)- halved or quartered if large, whole if small                                                                         
  • 1 can’s worth or 15 oz of my jellied cranberry sauce (above)     
  • 1 batch Homemade chili sauce

For the chili sauce:

  • 1  15 oz can tomato purée                                                               
  • 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar                                                         
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder                                                             
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder                                                             
  • ¼ teaspoon salt                                                                                 
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder

Melt cranberry sauce in small saucepan over medium heat, chopping up jelly as it melts. Add all chili sauce ingredients and reduce heat to simmer. If still chunky, use immersion blender to puree. Pour over meatballs. Bake for 15-20 minutes to heat through. 


In Summary!

Uses for jellied cranberry sauce:

  • As a side for turkey, chicken or duck
  • Simply stir it up and it’s cranberry jelly for a PBJ
  • Cranberry-balsamic salad dressing
  • Cocktails (especially my Cranberry Pie Martini!)
  • Stir it into plain or vanilla yogurt
  • Use in New Year’s Eve meatball sauce!