Archive | June, 2013

[Paleo] [Whole30] Apple Berry Smoothie

30 Jun

My mom unfortunately just had knee surgery as she torn her ACL while on vacation last week. Thankfully, God protected her and allowed the surgery to go over wonderfully.

When she woke up the morning after her surgery the night before, she was very hungry and thirsty, as she couldn’t eat the day of her surgery, but solid food just didn’t appeal to her. So before I headed off to my 4 hour organic chemistry class in the morning, I created her this delicious smoothie.

In recovering from an illness or injury, it is so vital to maintain a healthy and clean diet. My mom just recently came off of the whole30 program, so she is use to eating clean, but I wanted to make sure these first few weeks of recovery were filled with only clean, healthy foods. Definitely no sugar (sugar decreases your immune system greatly!)  Also, when being on pain medications, some problems arise (digestive to be exact, I’ll spare the details), so I knew I wanted to keep her smoothie dairy free, and load it up with some healthy and fresh fibrous ingredients. What resulted, was a delicious smoothie, flavored with apples, berries, and coconut, AND free of added sugar, whole30 qualified and paleo-friendly!

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Apple Berry Smoothie (Whole30, Paleo-friendly)

-1/2 big red delicious apple
-1/2 cup mixed berries frozen
-1 egg (Yes, she likes raw eggs in smoothies, and it’s never hurt her!)
-1 handful spinach
-2tsp coconut oil
-1T chia seeds
-1 cup water/ coconut milk
-2T flaked unsweetened coconut

Directions: Blend all ingredients together in blender. If desired, add honey (not whole30 qualified).

Apple Benefits
1)Reduces tooth decay by lowering levels of bacteria
2)Keeps Alzheimer’s away and fights aging effects on brain
3) Curbs Cancer because of flavonol richness
4)Decreases risk of diabetes (due to soluble fiber amount)
5)Reduces Cholesterol
6) High in fiber keeps digestive tract optimal
7)Neutralize Irritable Bowel Syndrome (high fiber content)
8) Detoxes Liver
9) Boosts immune system

Coconut Oil Benefits
1)Fights viruses and bacteria growth in body
2)Fights yeast, fungus, and candida
3) Positively affects hormones for thyroid and blood-sugar control which leads to increase metabolism, energy and endurance
4)Aids in digestion
5)Absorbs fat soluble vitamins
6)Lowers cholesterol
7)Special fat called medium chain triglycerides (Research shows 2T a day allowed women not only to gain less weight but lower abdominal fat)

sources: BestHealthMag.cadoctoroz.com

Healthy&Fresh Dinner Salad

29 Jun

Sometimes, you just want a big salad for dinner.

The problem: salads don’t fill one up and satisfy as a meal in itself most times

The solution: a huge, fresh salad creation full of fiber filling ingredients, and topped with a protein to keep that stomach satisfied!

I made this salad for my mom the other night, and she loved it! She was completely satisfied the whole night..of course, until I made her my healthy chocolate protein mug cake(recipe on site)!

If you’re wanting a lighter meal, this is a great option. If you’re wanting a more filling, satisfying meal, this is still great, just add a big serving of protein on top! Grilled chicken, salmon, or even steak would be yummy.

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Dinner Salad
-Spring Lettuce Mix
-Arugula
-5 cherry tomatoes, chopped
-1/4 red pepper, diced
-1 mini cucumber (or about 1/4 cup chopped)
-about 10 baby carrots, chopped small
-1/2 avocado, sliced
-2T nutritional yeast
-1T chia seeds
-1T walnuts
-2T dried cherries or raisins
-2T feta cheese
-2T olive oil/coconut oil
-1T balsamic vinegar
-salt and pepper to taste
-optional: grilled chicken, salmon, or steak to top salad
Directions: cut up enough lettuce and arugula to fill plate. Cut up all veggies and place on salad mix. Sprinkle nutritional yeast, seeds, nuts, cheese, and dried fruit on top. Drizzle oil and vinegar over all. Top with protein if desired. Enjoy!

“Creamy” Herb Protein Quinoa

27 Jun

Quinoa. [KEEN-wah]. Yes, I am putting the pronunciation because I was pronouncing it wrong myself for a long time embarassingly :) A grain high in fiber and protein.

But I love adding just a little bit more protein to my grains. It not only has it’s nutritional benefits, but it makes it oh so fluffy. Yes, I used “fluffy” to describe quinoa. But let me tell you, it is the perfect description. How do I add protein you may ask? It’s all in the whites..egg whites that is! If you stir them vigorously into your grain of choice (quinoa, oats, rice), it doesn’t get “eggy”, but only fluffy and delicious!

But there is also 2 other ingredients that lend the creaminess in this recipe. And nope, it is NOT cream or butter. But it does add even more protein and flavor!

I’ll give you a hint. I was very intrigued when I passed samples of carrots and ranch at Costco the other day , that is, when I saw the ranch was made from simple ranch flavored powder :)

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Creamy Herb Quinoa
-1.5 cups quinoa
-3 cups water
-1/2 cup egg whites
-1/4 cup fat free ricotta cheese
-1T  powdered ranch dressing packet
-1 tsp crushed garlic
-1 tsp sea salt
Directions: Bring quinoa and water to boil, reduce to medium heat and add in ranch dressing powder, salt, and garlic; cook until most water is gone. When most liquid is gone, add in egg whites and stir constantly for about 3 minutes. Take off heat and add ricotta cheese, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Enjoy!

Quinoa Benefits
1) One of the most protein rich foods we can eat (contains all 9 essential amino acids)
2) Twice the fiber of other grains (aids in regularity, reduces high blood pressure, keeps you feeling full
3) Contains iron (keeps red blood cells healthy, increases brain function, muscle functioning)
4) Contains lysine (essential for tissue growth and repair)
5) Rich in magnesium (helps relax red blood vessels which alleviates migraines; also aids in formation of healthy bones and teeth)
6) High manganese content (an antioxidant, which helps prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production)

Source: MindBodyGreen.com
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Enjoyed my quinoa with chicken off the grill!

Pumpkin Pie Protein MilkShake (with no protein powder)

26 Jun

I use to have shakes every single night. It was just something I loved and enjoyed ending my night with. But ever since I began this sugar detox, I haven’t had them very much. Why you may ask? Well, the base of most of them were protein powder, and then were definitely sweetened with stevia and other delicious, yet sugar filled ingredients:/So, I had to put them on hold as almost all protein powders have sugar added.

But no fear! I have now come up with a delicious way to make a high protein milkshake, without protein powders or any added sugar! And it still has the delicious taste of all my other shakes :)

Of course, as I begun my shake creating again, I had to start with the very loved, pumpkin flavor. Pumpkin Pie to be exact. Let me just say it was absolutely delicious! With this shake being so healthy and full of protein, enjoy this for breakfast, post workout, or for a delicious dessert!

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Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
-1 cup almond milk
-1 very ripe frozen banana
-1/2 cup greek yogurt
-1/2 cup cottage cheese
-1/4 cup pumpkin
-2T TVP (or oats if no TVP)
-2 dates
-1/2 tsp: cinnamon, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice
-Sprinkle of sea salt
optional: xanthan gum or guar gum for added thickness

For “Crumble” Topping:
-2T rolled oats
-1/2 tsp coconut oil
-sprinkle of cinnamon and sea salt

Directions: Blend all shake ingredients together. Mix together “crumble” ingredients in small bowl or cup. Pour shake into glass and top with oat mixture. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Benefits:
1) High in Vitamin aid which aids in eyesight
2) High in fiber to keep you satisfied
3) Rich in Beta Carotene with plays a role in cancer prevention and benefit your skin
4) More potassium than a banana (great post workout food!)
5) Rich in Vitamin C to keep you fit and healthy

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/pumpkin-health-benefits_n_1936919.html

Mocha Coconut Latte Mugcake with Coconut Chia Froth

26 Jun

Why are mugcakes one of the best recipes ever to make?

They are so easy! and NO waiting around for it to bake or cook! Usually, when I’m hungry, I’m hungry, and waiting around while something cooks or bakes leads to snacking and then not even being hungry when it is done. So mugcakes are a great creation :)

All you have to do is mix together a base for the “cake”, add the flavors you are wanting, pour it into a mug, and place it in the microwave for a minute or two. What could be easier than that?!

The inspiration of this flavor came from a local coffee shop I have up at my university. I wanted something new, something different. And when I told them I like chocolate and I like coconut, they created me what I would like to consider a little taste of heaven, and Mocha Coconut Latte.

I knew I had to recreate these flavors when seeing one of my favorite health accounts on instagram hosting a mugcake challenge, TastyHealth. If you haven’t checked her out on instagram or on thw web, you should do it now. This lady is amazing!

Anyways, so I went to work in my kitchen recreating this delectable latte flavoor into a mugcake, and this was my result. Let me tell you, it did NOT last very long at all :)

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Mocha Coconut Latte Mugcake

For Cake:
-1T coconut flour
-1T oat flour
-2T egg whites
-1T expresso or strong coffee
-1T coconut butter
-1T coconut or almond milk
-1/2 tsp coconut extract
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1T honey/1 packet stevia or 2T date purée as sweetener (for no sugar added option)
Directions: Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Spray mug and microwave for 1.5 minutes.

Coconut Chia “Froth”
-2T Greek yogurt
-2T coconut milk
-1tsp chia seeds
-1/2 tsp coconut extract + honey (or 3 dates for no sugar added option)
Directions:  Blend together in blender. Top mugcake with “froth”

*Use unsweetened coconut, cinnamon and cacao nibs for garnish

 

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Kalamata Olive Hummus

25 Jun

I could eat a whole container of hummus with carrots. It’s just so good. On sandwiches as the sauce, on crackers, or or as a dip for veggies..you can never go wrong by having hummus in your fridge!

It is such a great appetizer to prepare when having people over too. I always make this hummus when guests are coming, and it is always the first bowl I’m refilling!

But did you know that hummus is made of a lot of oil and tahini (basically ground sesame), when buying packaged? That is what give it that oh so smooth texture. But because of those ingredients, just two tablespoons of dip is quite costly in calories. And let’s be honest, who truly only eats two tablespoons?

The way I have created this hummus, allows you to enjoy guilt free, as it is made of almost nothing but chick peas, olives, and spices! And it is just as delicious as the other stuff. Everyone is always asking for the recipe, so I thought I would share it with you.

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Kalamata Olive Hummus
-1 15oz can chick peas
-1/2 4.25oz can chopped kalamata olives
-1/4 cup liquid from chick pea can
-lemon juice from 1/4 of a lemon
-1 or 2 garlic cloves (if not wanting to taste much of  it, use 1)
-2 tsp dried onion
-2 tsp cumin
-1T cajun spice seasoning

Directions: Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth. If needing more liquid, add more reserved liquid from canned chick peas. Enjoy!
Chickpea Benefits
1) Great source of protein and fiber ( 1 cup has 10g fiber and 12g protein)
2) Rich in calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc
3) Can improve your circulatory and heart health
4) Fiber aids in a healthy digestive system and lower cholesterol

Kalamata Olive Benefits
1) Good source of monounsaturated fats
2)Rich in vitamin E, polyphenols and flavonoids which pretext against free radicals, reduce inflammation, and build the immune system
3) High in vitamin A, which helps fight cancer and maintain healthy eye sight.
4) Rich in minerals, such as calcium, copper, iron, and magnesium–good for strong bones and clear skin
5) High in fiber

Source: Livestrong.com

Mediterranean Eggplant Crust Pizza

24 Jun

Everyone has been making cauliflower crust..but have you ever tried an EGGPLANT crust?!

I had an eggplant that needed to be eaten soon. And just happened to be in the mood for pizza too. As I thought about taking out some cauliflower to make a crust, I thought, why not try using eggplant?! And guess what? It turned out amazing!!

Not only did it taste great, but the crust actually did not stick to the wax paper for once, it browned perfectly, and I was able to pick up a slice without it falling apart like most cauliflower crusts! The secret? Well I think there are a couple :)

I was so in awe when tasting this, as I didn’t know what to expect. I was keeping my mind open, and was hoping for the best. And thank goodness I gave it a try! I enjoyed it BETTER than a cauliflower crust!

So what’s the recipe?? Here it is! I topped it with easy, quick ingredients as I was hungry, but feel free to top it with whatever you would like!photo 5Mediterranean Eggplant Crust Pizza

For Crust:
-1 big eggplant, shredded (about 2.5 cups packed)
-2T ground flax
-2T coconut flour
-1 tsp guar gum (or xanthan gum)
-1 egg (do not just use egg whites!)
-1T basil
-1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

Topping:
-3 tomato basil laughing cow wedges
-1 cup spinach, slightly cooked
-1/2 cup artichokes, canned
-1/4 cup dried tomatoes
-seasoning to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove outside skin of eggplant (can use potato peeler), and shred it. Place it in a towel and squeeze to take as much liquid as you can out of it. Allow it to sit in towel for 10 minutes at least. Then place the shredded eggplant in a bowl and add other crust ingredients. Mix to combine all ingredients. Place a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet, and spray it lightly with cooking spray. Place “dough” onto wax paper and spread out to thinness you desire in a circular shape. Place sheet in oven for 20 minutes. Remove. Take another piece of wax paper, and flip crust over on to that one. Put back on cookie tray and cook again for another 10 minutes. Check to see if done. If crust is as desired, take out. If desiring a more crunchy crust, cook for 5 minute intervals until done. Take tomato basil cheese out of wrapper, and spread onto crust. Cook spinach for a minute or two, just enough to slightly wilt it. Place artichokes and sundered tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with sea salt or season salt and enjoy!

Eggplant Benefits:
1) High in fiber–aiding our digestive system
2) Rich in Vitamin C and B1
3) High in phytonutrients such as caffein and chlorogenic acid and flavonoids
4) High in potassium–balances salt intake and maintains hydration
5) Contains folate, magnesium, and niacin

Spinach and Mushroom Tenderloin Pinwheels + Garlic and Herb Quinoa

23 Jun

You can never go wrong with a chicken dinner.

Tonight was a very exciting night. My boyfriend is back in town for the week so he and his family came for dinner. As I’ve been home taking classes all summer, he has been up at the university we both attend taking classes, so I haven’t been able to see him since spring semester ended! I wanted to keep the dinner simple, yet delicious.

We had these spinach and mushroom chicken pinwheels, savory garlic and herb quinoa, my freshly baked herb bread, and some delicious tomato salad made with chopped celery, bell pepper, cucumber, and red onion. It was a great night.

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Don’t you love those stuffed chicken breasts you can get out at restaurants? Unfortunately, most of those are filled with high fat cheeses and ingredients, and then cooked in so much more fat! (Don’t even get me started with the unhealthiness of most restaurant meals) I will never understand why chefs must take such delicious ingredients, and lather them in butter. Reason why I love home cooking, still delicious, and healthy.

This recipe will allow you to enjoy that delicious stuffed chicken breast flavor, without guilt!

What is your favorite chicken meal to prepare?

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Spinach and Mushroom Tenderloin Pinwheels
1 lb Kirkland Signature Chicken Tenderloins
1/2 cup Fat Free Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup pieces Mushrooms
1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Frozen Chopped Spinach, drained
1 tbsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Trader Joe’s Crushed Garlic
1T Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Olive Oil
Directions: Place tenderloins in between two pieces of wax paper. Pound down chicken until very thin. Combine rest of ingredients up through sea salt (using only 1 tsp of salt) together in bowl. Place about 1T mixture on the end of one side of each tenderloin, and roll up. Place chicken seam side down on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle rest of sea salt and Italian seasonings. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Simple Garlic and Herb Quinoa
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
1 tsp Trader Joe’s crushed garlic
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1T dried basil
1T dried thyme
1 tsp sea salt
Directions: Add all ingredients to a pot on the stove, and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer, and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until all water is gone.

Best of Both Worlds Smoothie

22 Jun

Sometimes, you can’t just choose one flavor. And sometimes, that is just okay.

Why not get the benefits of fruit, and vegetables, all in one glass, without getting a yucky mixed flavor taste? This will solve all the problems for us indecisive ones..

The Best of Both Worlds Smoothie

Base:

-1 frozen banana

-3 frozen almond milk cubes

-1/2 cup Greek yogurt

-1/4 cup cooked oatmeal

-1/4 cup almond milk

-1T chia seeds

*Pour half into glass and set aside

Strawberry layer

Add for frozen strawberries and ¼ tsp coconut extract, and 1T shredded coconut to base. Blend, and pour into a different glass.

Green Layer

-Pour the other half of the base back into blender. Add a handful of spinach, ½ tsp greens powder, and 1T peanut butter (or peanut flour for lower calories). Pour on top of strawberry layer in glass. Enjoy!

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Strawberry Benefits

1) 1 Cup has only 43 calories and 13% RDA fiber

2) Contains the antioxidant compounds called phenols

3) Phenols fight inflammation in the same way over the counter drugs do

4) Fights cancer due to antioxidants, vitamin C, folate, and flavonoids

5) Decreases chances of muscular degeneration

6) 136% of RDA’s vitamin C

7) Rich in manganese, which is great for bones and inflammation

Spinach Benefits

1) 20% RDA fiber in one cup

2) Contains flavonoids, phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties

3) Rich in neoxanthin and violaxanthin which are two anti-inflammatory agents

4) Rich in antioxidants—Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc, and selenium

5) Inhibits the angiotensin I-converting enzyme which aids in lowering blood pressure

6) Rich in vitamin A which is beneficial for the skin, and fights sickness in the body

7) Rich in vitamin K (1000% RDA), which helps density and strength of our bones, and aids in brain functioning

 Source: HealthDiaries.com

Pumpkin Peanut Butter No Sugar Granola {1st RecipeRedux Post!}

21 Jun

Why does every single granola today have to be loaded with sugar as well? Here people think they are being “healthy” by having yogurt and granola, yet they are eating flavored yogurt with tons of sugar, and granola with tons of sugar. Sugar overload without even knowing it?? I think so. This sugar detox I have been on this last month has really open my eyes. There really is so much added sugar in almost everything these days! I am constantly having to read labels throughout this detox for fear of buying and eating something with sugar; even products you would never guess had sugar!

That is why I decided to make my own granola. And what better way to make it than a pumpkin and peanut butter flavor, my two favorite things? Well, actually I could name a few more things to squeeze on that list, but those are certainly two of them :)

No, this granola isn’t super sweet like the store-bought stuff you are normally use to, as it does have no sugar; but it is quite good! And without the super sweet taste, it won’t spike your blood sugar levels and lead to overeating! My mom even liked it better than the one she was eating prior to this.

It is loaded with many of my favorite seeds: hemp, flax, and pumpkin seeds! Which leads me to why I had to hold out on sharing this recipe for a little bit. This is my first month being a part of Recipe Redux, which is an awesome community of healthy living bloggers that strive to create more nutritious recipes. Each month, we get a theme that we must make a recipe according to. Can you guess this month’s theme?! You got it, SEEDS! “Sowing Seeds” to be exact :) I knew I had been wanting to make a healthy no sugar granola for awhile when starting my sugar detox, so this was a perfect opportunity to do just that. I hope you enjoy, I know I did as mine only lasted a couple days!

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Pumpkin Peanut Butter No Sugar Granola
-1 cup oats
-1/2 cup hemp seeds
-1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
-1/2 cup currants
-1/4 cup mashed ripe banana
-1/4 cup pumpkin
-3T ground flaxseed
-2T peanut butter
-1T coconut oil
-1 tsp each: vanilla extract, cinnamon
-1/2 tsp sea salt
optional: 1/4 cup cacao nibs, or 2T of honey if wanting a sweeter granola
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all seeds, oats, and currants, cinnamon, sea salt, and cacao nibs (if using) in a bowl. In small bowl, combine mashed banana, pumpkin, oil, extract, and peanut butter. Mix in wet ingredients into dry ingredients. (if too dry, add more pumpkin or oil, if too wet, add a touch of flaxseed). Mixture should be crumbly but sticky. Place on non-stick cookie sheet (can place on aluminum foil on sheet to prevent mess if desired). Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Take out and toss mixture around, bake for another 10 minutes. Check: if browned, it is done and you can take out; if not crispy yet, bake for 5 minute intervals, watching closely, as it burns very easily! Take out and let cool on tray. Enjoy!

Hemp Seed Benefits:
1)High Protein (and very digestible protein)
2)Contains all 20 amino acids (including the 9 essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce)
3)High Fatty Acids and Fiber amounts
4)Contains vitamin E and trace minerals
5)Perfect 3:1 ratop of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid
6)Rich source of phytonutrients
7) Richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids

Flaxseed Benefits
1)High in fiber, both soluble and insoluble
2)Contains all 9 of the essential amino acids your body cannot make
3)Contains lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities
4)Rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids
5)May reduce inflammation

Pumpkin Seed Benefits
1)Filled with minerals including: phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, iron, and copper
2)Contains phytosterols, compounds that have shown to reduce cholesterol
3)Contains L-tryptophan, which help with good sleep and lowering depression
4)High in zinc, serving as a natural protector against osteoporosis
5)Good Source of vitamin E
6)Most alkaline-forming seed
7)Excellent source of vitamin B group
8)Contains good quality protein
9)Reduces inflammation without side effects of drugs
10)Good for prostate health