Veggie Squares

For Easter this year, my parents hosted a covered dish lunch for family and “chosen family.” For years I took my mac and cheese to every Easter/Thanksgiving/Christmas, but for the past few years I’ve been trying different things. This time it was veggies squares. I found a video on Facebook and thought “perfect.” I told my mom that’s what I’d be bringing, she put it on the Facebook event and I was committed. I looked back at the video and realized it wasn’t a recipe, it was just someone cooking. There were no measurements or times or temperatures! I decided that I would carry on and just come up with my own recipe inspired by the video I watched. Here is that recipe!

Veggie Squares
Appetizer, Vegetarian
Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 can crescent rolls
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup Sour cream
1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Red, yellow, and orange bell pepper (about ⅓ each)
Broccoli (a small head)
Cucumber (about ⅓)
Carrots (4-6 large baby carrots)
Jalapeños (½-1 per personal taste)

Directions:

  1. Roll out crescent rolls as a single sheet onto a parchment paper lined baking pan. Pinch together edges of rolls to seal gaps. Bake according to package instructions.
  2. Combine cream cheese and sour cream. Add Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and set aside.
  3. Dice all vegetables. Proportions can be adjusted based on availability and personal taste. I only placed jalapeños on half as I assumed many people wouldn’t like them.
  4. Once crescent sheet has cooled, spread on a thick layer of cream dip from step 2. Add diced vegetables on top, pressing gently into the dip.
  5. Cut into desired sized squares using a pizza wheel and serve.

VeggieSquares-ingredients

VeggieSquares-crescent_sheet

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That’s it! Pretty easy, right? It’s very easily customizable, too. Try it out with different vegetables, add your own spices to the dip and let me know how it goes in the comments below! Share via Facebook or Twitter and, as always, follow me here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this!

Simple Tips for Eating Healthier in 2018

This is not a diet. It’s not an exercise routine or a total lifestyle change. These are some simple tips and substitutions to help you make healthier choices in 2018.

  1. Drink water
    Staying hydrated will make you feel better and keep your body running smoothly.  If you need a little push try out this bottle which keeps you on track to drink water throughout the day.
  2. Drink black coffee or add a splash of milk instead of going to starbucks
    If you’re a coffee drinker who loves lattes and fraps but wants to be healthier in the new year, consider brewing your own black coffee at home. Coffee has almost no calories, so if you drink it black or add just a splash of milk or hint of sugar, you’ll be reducing your caloric intake (not to mention fat and sugar) by a lot. A small coffee house drink can have 330+ calories!
  3. Be conscious of your protein and vegetable consumption.
    I make sure to have at least one-two servings of each every day. Even if it doesn’t seem to go together. For example: a bowl of black beans as a side for protein with cheese pizza.
  4. Try squash/zucchini spaghetti
    Cut down on carbs by replacing pasta with spiralized veggies.
  5. Make your own sauces or use spice blends instead
    Pinterest has a ton of ideas for healthier pasta sauces/dishes. My favorite is pasta tossed with olive oil, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, pepper, salt, and parsley.
  6. Switch to sugar-free energy drinks
    They’re out there! Energy drinks have a ton of sugar. If you drink energy drinks and want to reduce your sugar intake, try out the sugar-free versions.
  7. Limit to one soda a week.
    Moderation is key. Let yourself have treats, but know that it’s not an everyday thing. You’ll enjoy it more, and you’re reducing your caloric and sugar intake. Replace the sodas you were drinking with water and you’re killing two birds with one stone.
  8. Diet soda
    See “sugar-free energy drinks” above. Reduce your sugar intake by going diet.

Whatever your bad habit is, find a way to reduce it until it’s gone. For example, my bad habit is eating sweets every night. My husband and I eat supper early, around 5-6pm, so I’m usually hungry again in the evening before bed. For a while, I’ve had a glass of milk and some cookies, candy, or brownies before bed. I’m trying to eat a cup of yogurt (I like the Chobani “flip” greek yogurt) and a glass of water 1-2 times a week instead of sugary snacks. As I get used to that, I’ll try to do it 2-3 times a week, then 3-4, until my regular late-night snack is yogurt instead of cookies.

You know what you shouldn’t eat. With a slow reduction, you can eliminate the things you want to from your diet, and add in the good stuff. Good luck!

Did you enjoy this post? What do you do to stay healthy? Leave a comment below. Share this post via Facebook or Twitter and, as always, follow me here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this!

Disclaimer: if you follow the Amazon link in the body of this post and make purchases through them, I will receive a small compensation from Amazon. This compensation comes from Amazon, not from you, and the price you see through my links is the same as the price you would see otherwise.

Water bottle with time marker: http://amzn.to/2sENn4Z

Photo credit, plus a great article from the CDC about food safety: https://www.cdc.gov/features/foodsafetyquiz/index.html