Treats for a different kind of season {Guest Post}
Dec
17th

This is it! The last of the guest posts I have planned. AND it’s another recipe post, actually two recipes, amazing since I rarely post them myself. Today’s guest post is extra fabulous because, as you will see, Alaina knows my pain all too well. AOne of the things I love about having guest posts (in addition to making my life easier!) is that it brings content I would never have otherwise, like recipes for my meat-eating readers. 🙂 Enjoy!

First, I want to say a giant GOOD LUCK on your finals to Kim!! I remember the stress of law school finals well (I’m less than two years removed from where Kim is right now). I can also attest to how difficult it is to convince yourself to study during your 3L year; it really is like senioritis.  The moment I learned that Kim was in law school, I immediately was in awe of how she was able to maintain being such a consistent blogger and a Zumba instructor! When I was in law school, the only things I did consistently were study, drink diet coke, and eat chick-fil-a.  Each day that I visit Busy Bod, I’m inspired to live a more healthy, balanced life.  Get it girl! You’re on the homestretch now!!

I didn’t start blogging until I moved to Las Vegas after I graduated from law school and took the Illinois bar exam.  Even though I’ve been blogging less than a year, my favorite part of blogging is the community of bloggers, like Kim, that share their experiences with leading healthy lives.

Vegas Sign

I swam and ran competitively throughout high school and college, and we didn’t really focus on nutrition. So, I went into adulthood without really understanding that I couldn’t necessarily burn off the unhealthy food I put in my body. I love diet coke, I love ice cream, and I go through phases during which I’m obsessed with McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with Cheese.  However, over the last several months, I’ve been feeling very sluggish, despite getting 7+ hours of sleep each night. In an attempt to be more energized, I’ve decided to dedicate more focus on fueling my body more intelligently.

I bet you think that I’m about to launch into one of those typical posts that are EVERYWHERE right now that are full of strategies for avoiding holiday weight gain or recipes that “health-ify” traditional holiday dishes. Nope. We’re entering another important time of the year: college football bowl season.  Check out a couple of my favorite quick-and-easy recipes for football snacking.

Bacon Wrapped Apricots

This first time I saw this recipe, all I could think was, “you had me at bacon.”  Prior to making these, I’d had bacon-wrapped dates, which are delicious, but I was trying to come up with variations. Then, I read this huffington post article about the health benefits of the beta carotene in orange foods.

“Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A when it enters the bloodstream, and helps protect the body against cancer and cardiovascular disease, boost the immune system and protect the eyes.”

Boosting the immune system is an especially attractive benefit this time of year.

Other than the bacon, my favorite thing about this recipe is that it literally requires three ingredients and toothpicks:

  1. bacon (I used maple-glazed, but you could use turkey bacon to make it more healthy);
  2. dried apricots; and
  3. brown sugar.
bacon wrapped apricots ingredients

Actually, the brown sugar isn’t “required,” but it sure does make these more delicious.

**You could probably make this even healthier by using turkey bacon.  I actually really like turkey bacon, but I had this bacon in my refrigerator and didn’t want it to go to waste**

Instructions:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Once you’ve assembled the complex list of ingredients, start by cutting the bacon in half and start frying it up. You’ll want to cook the bacon about half way or a little more, but don’t fully cook yet because you’ll eventually be putting these in the oven. Once the bacon cools a bit, simply wrap each half slice of bacon around one dried apricots and stick them with a toothpick.

Next, put all the wrapped apricots on a baking sheet and throw them in the oven for 8-10 minutes. After this time passes, pull the sheet out and sprinkle the bacon apricots with the brown sugar.

bacon wrapped apricots in progress

Finish them off by putting them under the broiler for 5-10 minutes.  Let cool and enjoy! Warning: these will go fast!!

Bacon wrapped apricots done

Cheesy Zucchini Bites:

Okay, these don’t involve bacon, but I promise they are also yummy and also require very few ingredients:

  1. zucchinis (the skinnier the zucchini, the easier it is to make bite-size pieces);
  2. olive oil;
  3. shredded parmesan cheese;
  4. spices (I used lemon pepper, thyme, and oregano)

Instructions:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Start by slicing the zucchinis in half and then chop the halves into the desired bite size.  Next, brush the exposed surface of each piece with olive oil.

zucchini

Combine about a cup of shredded parmesan (or more depending on how many you’re making and how cheesy you want your bites to be), and the chosen spices.  I know rosemary and thyme would be great together, but I didn’t have any rosemary.  So, I used thyme, oregano, and lemon pepper.

zucchini ingredients

Sprinkle this mixture on to the previously olive oil-ed surface of the zucchini.

zucchini in progress

Bake these on 375 degrees for about 10 minutes and then turn on the broiler and let these sit under the broiler for an additional 5-10 minutes until the cheese has melted and turned a little golden.  Because my zucchinis were so large, they needed more like 18 minutes before putting the oven on broil.

zucchini done

I can’t get enough of these!  They’re so filling and it is a snack you can feel good about!  Skip the cheesy fries and try out these cheesy zucchini bites instead while cheering on your favorite team!

Sadly, my Tennessee Volunteers will not be taking the field for a bowl, but I will be screaming at the television on New Year’s Day when my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes take on LSU.  One or both of these yummy treats will definitely be on the menu that day.

Questions: Any college football fans out there? What are your favorite game day treats?

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