Rosemary Pork Chops with Green Beans & Mushrooms

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These pork chops are juicy and full of flavor, perfect with a side of mashed cauliflower or simply by themselves. This recipe idea was inspired by your typical green bean casserole but in order to make it a little bit healthier I removed the cheese, fried onions, and heavy cream ingredients.

Check out this 20-minute Rosemary Pork Chop with Green beans & Mushrooms'll definitely have your family and/or guests coming back for seconds.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 pork chops
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 handful of green beans, both ends cut

  • Heat butter in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chops; cook 6 minutes, turning after 3 minutes. Remove from skillet; cover to keep warm.
  • Add onions to same skillet. Cook 5 minutes or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in green beans and mushrooms. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 minutes and drizzle balsamic dressing over vegetables and pork.

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Daily Beauty Must-Haves

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A few of my family and friends have been asking me what I use for my skin and hair regimen. I always love to share what new beauty products I am using but keep in mind what I use may work differently for you. I would suggest trying each of these products at different times so you can see what truly works best for you. 

Here is a list of my five favorite products I can't live without...well, I can but I don't want to. 

  1. Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream: this was a birchbox find and now I would consider myself a loyal customer of the Wonder Eye Cream brand. 
  2. No. 7 Pore Refining Serum: perfect for giving you that flawless skin. Rub into trouble areas of your face before putting on your make can find this brand at your local Target store. 
  3. Peter Thomas Camu Camu Power C x 30 Serum: Packed with more vitamin C than a crate of oranges...pretty badass, right?
  4. Leven Rose Jojoba Oil: Perfect for right after you get out of the shower or before you go to bed. Warning...don't use more than a dime size because too much can make you look very greasy!
  5. Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder: When I use this I can literally go 7 days without washing my hair and still get compliments on day 7...this little guy is a HUGE time saver.  

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White & Red Onion Salsa

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I am a huge fan of magic bullet/blender recipes...I mean who ISN'T a fan of an easy recipe?! This white onion salsa is a little lighter in color than most but still has the same zing as a regular salsa. All I did was chop up all the ingredients for an easier blend and throw into my magic bullet... 2-3 minutes later you have fresh salsa!

Here is what I threw into my nifty bullet. 
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • splash of vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

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DIY Banana, Honey, and Coconut Oil Repair Hair Mask

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I have been shedding like a golden retreiver for the past couple of months and it's driving me crazy!! After investing in a new vacuum and dry shampoo (temporary fixes), I decided to do a little more research on what I can do to prevent the shedding and hair breaking... turns out stress and diet are huge indicators...grrr! Since stress and diet are not things I can immediately change I found out bananas, honey, and coconut oils are great ingredients for quick healthy hair results. 

This banana, honey, and coconut oil hair mask is the easiest hair mask to make and it works the best with a hot towel. Your hair cuticles will open and absorb all the nutrients to make your hair silky smooth! 

So you are probably thinking why bananas? Here are a few facts about bananas that are worthy of sharing.
  • Great for dry hair itchy, flaky scalp because it keeps hair hydrated and healthy. With regular use, banana hair masks can increase the moisture content of your hair.
  • Bananas contains vitamins A, B, C, natural oils and carbohydrates which all help prevent split ends, breakage by improving your hair’s elasticity. Most importantly, if you apply heat to your hair a lot as well.
  • Bananas also decreases hair loss because it helps nourish your scalp which leads to minimal hair loss. 

Now finally for the hair mask ingredients and directions...follow below for awesome hair!

1 super ripe banana
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon of coconut oil

  • Mix in a blender until mixture is smooth and creamy. 
  • Start with the ends of your hair and work your way up to your scalp. Once entire mixture is in your hair, place a shower cap or plastic grocery bag to trap in heat for ultimate silky hair results. I also threw a towel in the dryer to heat up and twist over the plastic bag. 
  • Leave in your hair for 20-30 minutes. Rinse well and follow by washing with shampoo and conditioner. Style as usual.

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Clean Eating: Lentil Arugula Salad

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Lately, I have been reading a TON about processed foods and the benefits of eating clean. I've decided to jump on the health nut bandwagon by first trying to cut out processed foods like bread, splenda, and's been day one and I' am already feeling better. It also helps to have a few friends getting married and watching more of what they eat... their healthy food updates spread like wildfire among our friends.

Here are some basic clean eating rules to live by:

  • Eat whole foods - meaning straight from the farm!
  • Stay clear of processed foods - basically anything that has a label!
  • Eliminate refined sugar or artificial sweeteners - sniff. sniff. Bye splenda.
  • Eat five or six small meals a day- I use to roll my eyes everytime I heard this piece of advice...mainly because I felt it was not very practical and it would make me feel like I was always eating. Well, I was very wrong...if you make a habit of carrying almonds or an apple with you it will make it easy to not eat as much during the main meals of the day.
  • Cook your own meals - this isn't anything new or rocket science... when you cook at home you know what's going into your body.

Need your first clean eating recipe to get started? Check out my Lentil Arugula Salad recipe below!

Salad/Lentil Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of arugula (triple washed)
  • 1 cup of lentil - cooking instructions should be on the bag or box of packaging. 
  • 3-4 radishes
  • 1/2 english cucumber

Dressing Ingredients:
  • 2 pieces from garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil 
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • Read the lentil instructions on box or bag of packaging. This part should take the longest (about 45 minutes or till lentils are soft) - once the lentils are cooked put them to the side to cool. 
  • To save time I cut cucumber and radishes into thin slices while the lentils were cooking. After I finished cutting the cucumber and radishes, I finely minced the garlic and placed to the side for the dressing. 
  • Once all the salad/lentil ingredients were cut and placed to the side, I mixed the dressing ingredients and whisked them all together...don't forget to add the garlic you minced earlier!
  • Add arugula, cucumber, radish, and lentil in a bowl together - pour the dressing over the salad/lentil mix. 

Happy clean eating!

xoxo, Carol
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Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Mashed Cauliflower

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At first glance, this meal does not look healthy at all but I promise you it is! This was the perfect meal to enjoy while watching a movie with a glass of dark red wine...oh man, I wish I doing that again right about now...

I am definitely a carb loving type of girl which is why I am so excited I finally tried these "mashed cauliflower" recipe everyone has  been raving about. No joke - they taste just like the real thing (mashed potatoes of course!). 

Here are the ingredients you need to get started - double the ingredients listed below to make 2 servings. 
  • 1/2 head of chopped cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp low sodium butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 white onion; chopped
  • 1/4 bunch of green onion; 1 stalk is enough
  • 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes
  • 5-6 thawed shrimp (or you can use fresh shrimp); tail ends off
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Boil water in pot with a couple pinches of salt. Once the water is boiling, toss in chopped up cauliflower and cook for 5-6 minutes (or until soft but not mushy - you can test it with a fork). Take out the cauliflower and put to the side. Heat up skillet with olive oil till hot. Toss in chopped onions and tomatoes first. Cook until onions begin browning. Once they brown throw in thawed shrimp and turn down the heat to low. Put skillet cover on and cook for 6-8 minutes. While shrimp is cooking, take out blender or magic bullet to blend the cauliflower with butter, garlic, and green onion. Salt and pepper to taste after everything is blended smooth - pump blender to mix in the pepper and salt. 
  • Empty out blender and dish out mashed cauliflower into bowl - place shrimp and tomato mix onto cauliflower then sprinkle oregano to finish. 

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Banana Orange Flax Seed Smoothie

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This recipe can be eaten at any time of the day...the best times are in the morning or after a workout for a boost of energy. You can throw in almost any kind of fruit into your blender - as long as the skin is removed...for example, like apples or oranges.  After you throw everything into your blender (or my favorite...magic bullet!) you are basically done with your smoothie recipe. 

For this recipe I use...
  • 3 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 whole banana
  • 1/2 orange; juice squeezed
  • 1 tsp of organic honey (optional)

I blend for a couple minutes or until it's smooth and creamy - magic bullet containers are the best and my favorite to use. They flip over to blend the mix and then when you are finished you can flip it back over and snap on a "to-go'" top (no blade is attached).

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Greenworld Greenhouse Succulent Farm

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Did you know there are over hundreds of different succulent plants? Neither did I till I visited Craig and Cindy's succulent farm in North Branch, Minnesota. The Greenworld Greenhouse has hundreds of succulents to choose from and everything was arranged so beautifully...which made it extremely hard to pick out the seven succulents I needed for my planting pot. Succulents, which are also known as "fat plants", because of their juicy leaves, are super easy to care for and makes it ideal for people with a busy schedule. They can easily survive with dew or mist since they retain so much water in their leaves...or as Craig likes to say "my generation" loves the low maintenance plants. 

The picture above is showing only a third of the greenhouse - if you turn to the right you can see a couple other greenhouse tunnels attached. Pretty magical...

My boyfriend's niece picking out some awesome succulents...she was even having a hard time!

Craig (owner) working his magic and planting the succulents I picked. I totally could have done this myself but I wanted to document the creation instead...Craig probably thinks I'm a total weirdo snapping pictures of him!

How 'vintage' does this arrangement look? Obsessed! The light brown plant to the right is called a copper spoon...cute, right?!

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Mill City Farmers Market

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The past week I made it the Mill City Farmers Market with my boyfriends sister, Jill. She is always showing me the hot spots in Minneapolis and I am super thankful I have her around! The Mill City Farmers Market isn't just filled with fresh vegetables and fruit... it's actually a market that inspires and nurtures a healthy community of people by building a local, sustainable, and organic food economy in a vibrant marketplace.

If you can't make it this summer to 704 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN you should at least check out their delicious recipes on their company website

Oh, stay tuned for when I check out these other markets...I guess this means I will need to think of some super healthy recipes, right?!

Fulton Farmers market
Kingfield Farmers Market

Chef Shack Ranch has the best sweet potato tacos!

I can't wait to have my own BIG garden...the balcony space isn't cuttin' it.

Jill's daughter grabbing some Ames Farm can find these honey jars at your local Trader Joe's.

The 1878 Washburn A Mill Explosion - what was once Minneapolis' largest industrial building and the largest mill in the world

Kiss my Cabbage...yes please!

Stacked thin rings are the best. 

You can find these bad boys here

Who doesn't love free samples?!

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