Archive | May, 2013

Pesto Salmon

30 May

Sugar Detox: Day 11!

Update: Everything is going well! I am actually surprising myself with how little I crave true desserts, as I have found just plain fresh or dried fruit to be so sweet! And I’m finally getting use to not chewing gum:) I ate a grapefruit the other day, which I usually have to load with sugar, and it tasted fine as is! My taste buds are already changing! Now back to my dinner recipe post:)

 

This is a very common meal in my household.

Did you know, back when I was younger you would never catch me eating such a thing, nothing to do with fish, raw seafood, vegetables, or anything healthy for that matter actually!

Thankfully I’ve come around to see how absolutely delicious healthy eating can be :) And all throughout high school, my mom and I would fix salmon about 3 times a week! Now that I’m off at college I don’t get to eat it quite as much..but it’s still a favorite! Any seafood is actually :)

Salmon is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acid, and is an excellent source of protein as well! It is recommended to get wild salmon though, as farm raised can have high mercury levels which can be dangerous to our health in high amounts.

There is so much you can do with salmon! But I usually like to keep it simple. Simple is usually the healthiest way to go. Try to avoid any cream sauces or frying when cooking your proteins. Grilling or baking is usually the best method of cooking! Most nights, I either lightly coat it with olive oil, diced garlic, and top it with sea salt and seasonings and grill it outside, or I make it this way below!

P.S. This was one of the entrees to my mom’s surprise party I threw as well, and a MAJOR hit :)

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Pesto Salmon
-Salmon
-Homemade pesto (or store bought)
Directions: Skin salmon if the skin is still on the fillet. Coat with pesto sauce. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to soak up the flavors (this isn’t necessary, but makes it a lot better!). Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Make a “tray” out of aluminum foil  for salmon and place fish inside, covering completely with foil. Bake in oven until done, about 15 minutes. Take out of oven and enjoy!

Ricotta Crostinis Appetizer

28 May

I mentioned  a couple weeks back about a surprise birthday I was planning for my mom. Well, it went great! And a big part of it was how amazed the guests were at the delicious food :)

This is one of the appetizers I made. Crostinis with ricotta and a variety of toppings.

I had never made crostinis as an appetizer before, but when I saw something like this on here, they just looked too good.

So, I bought all the ingredients, and made a quick, easy, yet delicious appetizer that all the guests enjoyed so much. Getting low fat cheese will make this appetizer healthier than normal, and topping it with all fresh ingredients will make it even better!

With being on a sugar detox for 21 days, I’ve made these a few more times to cut those sugar cravings :)! Great sweet and savory options.

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Ricotta Crostinis
-1 8oz container of low fat ricotta cheese
-1 loaf of french bread (small diameter)
-toppings of choice: chopped figs and agave, sun-dried tomatoes with sea salt, cucumbers with sea salt, blueberries with jam, smoked salmon and dill
Directions: Cut loaf of bread into thin circles, about 1/2″. Spray lightly with olive oil or apply thin coat of butter and toast in oven at 350 degrees until crispy but not browned(about 10 minutes). Let cool. Top with ricotta cheese. Layer desired toppings on ricotta. Serve!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust–Take 2!

26 May

Cauliflower has been the new hype in the health and fitness world lately I feel like. At first, I was quite skeptical of the foul smelling vegetable being used in recipes from pizza crust, to mashed “potatoes”, to even pancakes! But I caved in and had to attempt it myself with so many around me experimenting with it..and I was surprised!

Now the first time making a pizza crust, it didn’t turn out exactly as I would have liked. It held together for the most part, but definitely wasn’t crunchy or crust “tasting” like your normal pizza.

But tonight I threw together some extra ingredients, played around with the taste, and it turned out surprisingly delicious! It’s hard when cooking with cauliflower to get it browned and toasted, but I was able to finally achieve that with this one.

Benefits of Cauliflower?
-May reduce chance of cancer
-Great source of dietary fiber for better digestion
-Contains high amounts of antioxidants
-Contains omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin K which prevent inflammation
-Good source of folate, needed for healthy pregnancy
-Loaded with other important B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamine
-Low in calories

Sounds like a good food to be eating!

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Cauliflower Crust
-2 cups cauliflower “rice” (food processed cauliflower)
-2T coconut flour (or any gluten free flour)
-1 egg
-1T balsamic vinegar
-1T psyllium husk
-1T ground flax
-1tsp each: basil, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, baking powder
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Food process cauliflower until rice like texture. Steam/cook cauliflower. Combine all ingredients in bowl with cooked cauliflower. Spray wax paper with oil (do not forget this, crust easily sticks!). Place “dough” on wax paper and flatten to desired thickness. Cook in oven for about 10 minutes. Take out quickly, and wrap all sides of crust with aluminum foil, and stick back into oven for another 10-15 minutes. This allows for the rest of the crust to cook and brown without outside burning. Top with desired toppings. Suggestions: tomato sauce and cheese, ricotta cheese and tomatoes, pesto and chicken

Stadium Workout

25 May

Sorry about the lack of workout posts. I’ve gotten so wrapped up in all my cooking creations that I forget to post workouts as well! So I’m going to start catching up on some more in the next few weeks :)

This is a workout I did while still up at college this past spring. A stadium is a great place to get in a fun, yet beneficial workout. You would be surprised at all the things you can do in a stadium. Don’t be fooled, you can do so much more than some cardio of running up and down the stairs (which is still a good thing to do!).

I always start out with running some stairs just to get warmed up and my heart rate up. I will usually run for about 10-15 minutes, only going up to the first entrance (row 30 or 33), and then jog across to the next aisle, go down the stairs, jog across the bottom, and go up the next aisle’s set of stairs. Pretty self explanatory :)

Then I begin to incorporate strength work! This is where the fun creativity comes in. I’ll do squats, squat jumps up the bleachers, ab exercises, push-ups, other arm exercises..the sky is the limit! Down below I’ll post exactly what I did one day.

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Stadium Workout
Run up and down stairs around stadium for 10-15 minutes
3 sets of each of the following in a row
-squat jumps up the bleachers to row 30
-10 dips off of bleacher
-10 pushups
-ab leg raises (lay on bleacher with legs hanging off of end, keeping legs         together, raise them up and then back down–20 reps)
Rest in between sets for about 2 minutes
Run up stairs all the way to the top of stadium (really far and hard, you’ll be dying by the time you reach the top)–walk or slowly jog down
3 sets of the following in a row
-plank walks up the bleachers to row 30 (switching direction of head half way          through to work other side of abs and arms)
-single leg squats off of bleacher–15 reps each leg
-10 decline pushups (feet on higher bleacher than hands)
Run all the way to top one more time. Slowly jog or walk down

*Don’t forget to stretch! :)

Pita Salad Bowl

23 May

Sugar Detox Day 4!

I am truly surprised with how good I’ve been doing with no sugar. I thought I would be craving it like crazy with how much I used daily to sweeten things, but I haven’t! Of course, it is only day 4, so I guess we will see! I’m sure the cravings will come soon enough :) Today, once again the hardest part was not being able to have gum. It’s just such a habit! And of course, my unsweetened hot tea in the morning doesn’t taste near as good as my alternative coffee with molasses! I’ll keep updating every now and then with how it’s going from here, but won’t be pestering with an every day story of similar thoughts! If anything new happens, I will let you know! It’s still not too late to join by the way! Join in any way you can, even if you don’t limit completely. Just the awareness it gives you is amazing. I will be continuing this until June 10th, so join any time! My rule? Nothing with added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, sugar, stevia, honey, or agave. Basically, only fruit and vegetables with naturally occurring sugars are allowed! But change it to fit your needs :)

For dinner the other night, I wanted some carbs with my big dinner salad, so what did I do? I placed one of my spinach wraps over an empty aluminum can, and put it in the oven under broil until toasted. What came from it? A perfect bowl for a salad! So delicious to end my dinner with :)

You should most certainly try it! Anytime you need a more enjoyable way to serve a meal, look no farther, here it is!

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Spinach Pita Salad Bowl

Only instructions I can give is to drape any kind of wrap over an empty can or bowl, and toast in oven until “set” in a bowl shape :)

PB2 has Added Sugar?!

22 May

Sugar Detox:Day 3

I’m feeling great! Once again, sitting in a 4 hour organic chemistry class without gum is harsh for me, but other than that, fruit has been enough to satisfy that sweet tooth! One finding from yesterday..

pb2 pb2-03

You know that so loved PB2 peanut flour that tastes so great?! Well now I know why. It has added sugar!! Why does everything have to have added sugar to it? I would not have used as much of this as I have in the past if I had known. Thankfully I realized this before I ruined my sugar detox!

Another bad thing about pb2: It has had almost all the fat taken out, so that it is so much “lower in fat and calories”. But isn’t the reason we eat nut butters is to get in some healthy fat. I think so. And now, with this, that isn’t true.

The Truth about PB2 in detail can be found here!

I’ve learned it’s all about moderation. Moderation in eating the food. Not Modifying the food to make it “healthier” so we can eat mass amounts of it! There is such an over eating epidemic in the world today. By the way, things that are “low in fat” have usually had that fat replaced with sugar, so they truly are healthier for you!

There is a peanut flour in which is truly just peanut flour, and no sugar added. Like I said, it still doesn’t have those healthy fats, but I will probably purchase some for minimal use. My main source of nuts will definitely be coming from real, full fat, yet raw nut butters I make at home:) That’s truly healthy! This genetically modified, sugar free, low fat stuff is not truly “healthy”. Low in calories unfortunately does not mean healthy, just like high in calories does not mean unhealthy! There is such a misconception of what healthy is today, and it has led to obesity and eating disorders of all kinds unfortunately.

What to take away from this? Reevaluate what you coin as healthy and not healthy. And check your products labels, they might just surprise you! Fats are good for you, in moderation and of the right type :)

Sugar Detox:Day2- No Sugar Added Chocolate Mousse

21 May

Sugar Detox: Day 2!

Today is my second day on my sugar detox, and I’m feeling pretty good! I just can’t do coffee without sweetener, so I’ve had tea these past two mornings, which hasn’t been the most enjoyable compared to my molasses sweetened Teeccino. But I managed! I woke up feeling so good this morning. I think part was definitely do to no sugar, and part of it just due to not stuffing myself before bed since I couldn’t have sugar:) Today in my summer Organic Chemistry class, I was so tempted to chew gum, I wanted it so much. One thing about me, I chew gum all the time! I usually can’t workout/run without it! So that’s definitely been one of the more tough things to give up..along with my PB2 peanut butter.

Honestly, it continues to surprise me how many things have added sugar in them. This detox has made me so aware of all the added sugar these days! But, It’s been a great way to get myself eating almost all whole, fresh foods instead..since almost every packaged product has sugar! P.S. If you buy “low fat” or “fat free” products, the fat that is taken out is usually substituted with sugar. Beware of products that claim to be “healthy”!

But last night I had to make something to substitute for my nightly dessert/shake I usually have:)

So, I came up with a chocolate mousse, completely free of any added sugar! Is it as sweet as your typical mousse? Probably not. But its such a good way to curve those chocolate cravings without putting all that sugar in your body! Plus, I think it’s pretty tasty:)

Using tofu in makes this mousse a great high-protein dessert! That’s always a good way to go at night :)

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No Sugar Added Chocolate Mousse

-1 package silken tofu

-2T cocoa powder

-10 pitted dates

-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

*Directions: Blend all ingredients until smooth. Food processor is best here, but if not available, high power blender is also okay. Choose any toppings you like: unsweetened coconut, peanut butter, nuts, fruit, ect.!

Surprising Foods with Sugar

20 May

Sugar Detox:Day 1!

As I begin my 3 weeks journey of having absolutely NO sugar, I have to say, I’m excited. It’s going to be so beneficial for me. But, it isn’t going to come easily! See, it’s not that chocolate cake or donuts that is going to be hard for me. If I’m honest, my body doesn’t even like that kind of stuff anymore after beginning to eat healthy.

For me, it’s going to be the addition of stevia and agave in almost everything that is going to be hard to stay away from! From my morning coffee with stevia and molasses, to my plain Greek yogurt with added agave, to all the gum I chew during class, to my shakes I make almost every night with protein powder(yep, it has sugar in it too!) and agave..this will surely not be easy!

Have you checked labels on things you eat on a day to day basis? I think it may surprise you as to just how many of those things have added sugar..I know some of my foods already today surprised me. Here’s a couple that I didn’t realized were adding to my sugar intake every day!

Sugar-in-Yogurt-1

Unless buying plain Greek yogurt, almost all yogurts are PACKED with added sugar.

protein_powder

Protein powders are a huge one. Most active people (including myself!) use at least a scoop a day, if not more..but have you checked the ingredients lately?! Some of them like these above have SO many ingredients, things that you have NO idea what they even are. Plus, they have artificial sweetener, which truthfully, is even worse for you! Try to read labels before buying, and opt for an all natural one with little sugar or stevia added.

ketchup

Yes, most tomato products have added sugar! I went to put this on my eggs this morning, and realized I couldnt! Many condiments have sugar added. I went to go use my honey mustard for lunch, then realized I couldn’t. Went for the mayo, same story! So many of our foods have added sugar nowadays!

gum

Sorry all you gum lovers (I’m one of them!), gum has tons of sugar added! Even the “sugar free” gum has artificial sweetener :X This will be a hard one for me throughout these next 3 weeks to not have!

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Protein Bars. Yep, usually full of sugar! Thankfully, these above have very little stevia added, (the ONLY zero calorie sweetener I will use), but these next 21 days I wont even be able to have these! Check the bars you eat, msot are loaded with sugar!

sugarfree

BEWARE of this title! Most things that claim to be “sugar free” are the furthest thing away from no sugar added than anything! I hate how people think they are eating healthy when choosing “sugar free” foods, like canned fruit, jelly, candy, chocolate syrups, ice cream, sodas, all sorts of things. Why? Because what they are really saying when they say their product is “sugar free”, is that it contains loads of artificial sweetener like splenda, equal, sweet n low, or “aspartame” and “sucralose” as its called many times. Caution! Artificial sweeteners, except for all natural options like stevia, are very bad! Their is so much research on this, but to make it short, these type of sugars do not register in your body’s hunger signals, therefore usually just making you overeat! And it has bad effects on digestions and internal processes. Please stay away :)

Here’s a long list of foods(and other things!) you may not have realized have sugar added I found here :)!

Tomato Sauce

Ice Cream

Lip Gloss

Canned Vegetable Juice

Pancake Mixes

Cough Drops

Breakfast Bars

Packaged Cereals

Bread Mixes

Soup Mixes

Yogurt

Dried Fruit

Protein Powder

Red Wine

Chewing Gum

Relish

Mustard

Canned Soups

Canned Fruits

Rolls

Puddings

Breads

Waffle Mixes

Apple Butter

Sherbet

Peanut Butter

Crackers

Soy Sauce

Toothpaste

Ketchup

Lipstick

Lemonade

Canned Beans

Breath Mints

Potato Chips

Stewed Fruit

Baby Foods

Condensed Milk

Licorice

Vitamins(my gummy vites for sure!)

Mouthwashes

Pickles

TV Dinners

Condiments

French Fries

Breakfast Drinks

Meat Sauces

Medications

Food Seasoning

Envelope Adhesive

Hamburger Buns

Gravies

Packaged Nuts

Margarine

Pretzels

21 Day Sugar Detox

19 May

Will you be joining?

I got really bad at one point with artificial sugar. I fell into that false thinking that low calorie (or no calorie for that matter!) meant healthy, and tried to sweeten everything with splenda or stevia, and bought every “sugar free” (which by the way, is NOT free of sugar, just has fake sugar) product I could find..low calorie does NOT mean healthy everyone. A lot of those products actually are worse as they have so many chemically modified ingredients :( Thankfully, I’ve realized that and live stay away from it all. I still use stevia occasionally, but mostly use agave and honey now.

But, because of the use of so much artificial sweetener in the past, that is MANY times sweeter than regular sugar, I have such a sweet tooth! It’s so bad, I love everything so sweet. Since using such a sweet form of sugar for so long, I just don’t like anything that isn’t super sweet anymore.

SO, a friend and I (check her out at fitfunandfantastic.wordpress.com!) have decided to nip our sugar cravings and super sweet likings by going on a 21 day sugar detox! Yes, that is a whole THREE weeks without ANY sugar. The only sugar we are allowing ourselves is sugar that is naturally occurring in fruit and veggies, ect. But NO stevia, other artificial sweeteners, honey or agave.

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Want to join in on the challenge? I dare you :)

This may be one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I am SO excited to step up to the challenge! I think it’ll be so great for my body, and such a healthy change from all the sweetness I’m use to! Guess I won’t be drinking my morning coffee anymore, as I certainly wouldn’t enjoy it without sweetener :p

P.S. Do you realize how many foods we eat in our day to day life that we add sugar to unknowingly or has hidden sugar added you would have never expected? You know that gum you chew every single day..yep, tons of sugar..even the “sugar free” gum (fake sugar alert!).  And no sugar in that coffee/tea or bite of chocolate at night! Make sure to look at everything you eat, because many dried fruits, nuts, and so many other products you buy have added sugar :X

I’ll try to begin posting some little creations here and there that I make as my substitute dessert :)

 I’d love to know if you’re willing to join in on the challenge! If you have an instagram, follow me! @freshfitnhealthy, and tag any posts about this sugar detox with #FFsugardetox :)

Honey Lime Chicken Kabobs

18 May

Remember that honey lime chicken I posted a little bit ago? Well, since it turned out good, I used it for my mom’s surprise party and made kabobs..many kabobs..7 lbs worth of chicken.

Kabobs are such a great thing to make. Especially if needing a meal in mass amounts! Perfect for a party.

I made the marinade the day before, and cut up the chicken to allow it to soak up all those delicious flavors for a long time. The day of the party, I cut up the peppers and onions to go on the kabobs with the chicken, and assembled the kabobs. When guest started arriving, I put those babies on the grill, and turned them half way through cooking to get the other side browned.

Everyone loved them! The chicken was so moist and everyone was raving about them.

Don’t know what to make to dinner tonight? I do. This. So delicious. Get marinating!

Get the marinade from my last post when I used it, right here :)

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before grilling

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after getting them off grill!