better mashed potatoes

Is there anyone else out there who can not believe that Thanksgiving is in mere days? I still sort of can’t believe it. I’ve managed to move past my shock and this week I’ve got a few Thanksgiving recipes for you all – they are traditional sides with little twists.

I hope I don’t upset anyone by saying this, but I’ve never been a huge fan of mashed potatoes. They are all right, but I’d much rather my potatoes fried in duck fat. :) And even though I’m not really a fan – we thought that having a mashed potato bar at our wedding would be super fun! There were a few varieties of mashed potatoes, with toppings like pancetta, lobster and creme fraiche, which make mashed potatoes sound so much better – I heard it was good!

My husband on the other hand loves potatoes of any kind (he’s a real Midwestern boy) and I love him so I tried to figure out a way to compromise. I hear that is what marriage is all about. ;)

So I proceeded to think about the things that I love (selfishly) and if they could possibly pair with mashed potatoes. Coconut milk and curry; wasabi and bok choy; neither of which seemed appropriate for Thanksgiving, especially since I realize there are a lot of Thanksgiving purists out there.

And then I thought about my beloved cured pork and cheese. And I thought that garlic mashed potatoes topped with crispy proscuitto and parmesan cheese would make everyone happy.

They did.

Better Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1.5 pounds baby red potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp half & half
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 oz proscuitto
  • 4 oz parmesan


  1. Place potatoes and garlic cloves in large pot.
  2. Cover with water.
  3. Bring to a boil and lower, cooking for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes .
  4. Remove from heat and put in mixing bowl.
  5. Add butter, half & half and whip or mash to desired consistency.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  7. Place proscuitto in hot pan and heat, flipping occasionally until crisp.
  8. Shred parmesan over hot mashed potatoes and crumble proscuitto over top.
  9. Serve hot.
  10. *Mashed potatoes can be made ahead of time, just re-heat and top with proscuitto and cheese.

build it better: turkey sandwich

It’s the quintessential lunch, right?

It can definitely be a great, easy lunch option if you are into brown-bagging it.

And if you want it to be, it can be really healthy too. Here are my tips for the healthiest turkey sandwich!

  • Bread: Because I work at a bakery, I’m a total bread snob so I use Sprouted Bread but 100% whole grain is also a good option- each slice should have at least 3 grams of protein and fiber.
  • Turkey: Natural turkey is best – no antibiotics, hormones, weird fillers, etc.
  • Cheese: Adding a slice of cheese can add a serving of dairy and some extra protein to your meal – just make sure it is real cheese!
  • Toppings: I’ve got nothing against mayo, but a topping like avocado adds good fats and lots of vitamins. Mustard is a low calorie way to add in extra flavor as well. (Or a blend of mustard + a little mayo gives you that creamy flavor without all the calories!)
  • Vegetables:  Always add vegetables! Lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, cucumbers – whatever you can think of or have around – the more the better!

How do you make your sandwich healthy?



easy, no-prep, healthy lunches


There are many times in life, when spending an hour or two preparing lunches to take to work or school throughout the week is just not feasible. You know the times. :) While you may think the only option is to pick up lunch at a restaurant there are some options that require little or no prep time, can be very well balanced and save you money all at the same time.

Here are some of my favorites – most of them require a quick trip to the grocery store and will provide a few lunches!

  • Mezze Platter: whole grain pita + hummus + baba ganoush + baby carrots & pepper slices
  • Avocado Sandwich: whole grain bread + wholly guacamole packet + tomato slices + lettuce or sprouts
  • AB & J: sprouted bread + almond butter + jam or preserves (grown-up PB & J!)
  • Cottage Cheese: cottage cheese + garbanzo beans + favorite seasoning + baby carrots on the side
  • Cheese & Crackers: triscuits (or other 100% whole grain cracker) + 1 oz sliced cheese + 2 oz deli turkey + grape tomatoes
  • Yogurt Parfait: plain greek yogurt + fresh or frozen berries + 1 serving high fiber cereal like Uncle Sam’s Original
  • Snack Plate: hard boiled egg + carrots & celery sticks + whole grain crackers + 1 oz cheese cubes + apple


What are your quick and easy lunches that you rely on during busy times?

build it better: yogurt & granola

Spring is finally here, although it is currently snowing in Minnesota. I’m ignoring it and moving on with Spring. :)

I’ve been ready for warm weather meals like yogurt & granola, cereal and smoothies for the last few months (or maybe I’ve just been longing for warm sun) but they often leave me hungry by 10am. Luckily there are a couple of ways to make these breakfasts last the entire morning:

  • Yogurt: Use Greek yogurt or Skyrr as it has a lot more protein than regular yogurt (and it is worth the extra $)
  • Cereal or Granola: Should be whole grain, high fiber and extra points for protein and good fats (Uncle Sam Cereal or Kashi Go Lean are great ones)
  • Good Fats: Will add staying power to your meal – chopped nuts or nut butter are great, easy additions
  • Fresh Fruit: For flavor, sweetness, something fresh and some natural beauty ;)

Your typical yogurt and granola is probably full of added sugars and lacking in protein, fiber and good fats. Make a few of the changes I’ve suggested and you’re starting your day in a great way.

Nutrition Stats: 428 calories, 13 g fat, 30 g protein, 17 g fiber (Using 1 cup 2% Fage Greek Yogurt, 3/4 cup Uncle Sams Cereal, 1/4 oz almonds (about 6), 3/4 cup raspberries)

What do you add to breakfast so that it stays with you until lunch?