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Tag Archives: healthy meals

Strawberry Peanut Butter Shake

31 Aug

I use to love peanut butter and jellies.

Actually, they still taste delicious sometimes when I’m needing something simple.  But the kind I use to make weren’t necessarily the healthiest. Jellies packed with processed sugar, peanut butter packed with vegetable oil, sugar, and sodium, and I can’t forget that delicious, hearty white bread. Now I usually turn to Ezekiel bread, homemade raw nut butters, and fresh fruit for my healthy spin on a PB&J. But let’s get back to the real reason of this post.

Today was game day down here in sunny Gainesville, FL, aka, the swamp for my fellow gators! I was feeling so dehydrated after the game, that I knew I needed to eat something substantial yet refreshing. This was the perfect match.

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My first order of Casein protein powder also just came in! So I decided to try it out in this lovely shake. The mix of the French Vanilla powder, coupled with the peanut butter and strawberry flavors, was spot on. I couldn’t have asked for a better “post-game” refreshing yet satisfying drink!

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PB&J Protein Shake
-1 scoop Vanilla protein powder
-1 cup water or almond milk
-1 cup frozen strawberries
-2 T peanut flour
-1 teaspoon natural peanut butter
-.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 packet stevia
-Optional: 3T rolled oats for a heartier shake!

Directions: Blend all ingredients together and enjoy!

 

Strawberry Benefits
1) Excellent source of Vitamin C: 1 cup has 100% of your needed daily intake
2) Aids in eye health: antioxidant properties in strawberries prevent cataracts and protects your eyes from sun’s UV rays
3) Helps fight cancer: ellagic acid, a phytochemical, yields anti-cancer properties
4) Prevent wrinkles: Vitamin C is vital to the production of collagen, which improves skin’s elasticity and resilience
5) Lowers bad cholesterol: Ellagic acid and flavonoids—or phytochemicals—can provide an antioxidant effect that can benefit heart health in various ways
6) Reduces inflammation: antioxidants and phytochemicals found in strawberries may also help to reduce inflammation of the joints
7) Lowers blood pressure: due to the high amount of potassium (134 g per serving)
8) High in fiber: protects from intestinal problems and also slows absorption of sugars in the blood.
9) Aids in weight loss: only 28 calories per serving, fat free, and low in sugar
10) Promotes prenatal health: High in folate, which is recommended for pregnant women or women trying to conceive.

Peanut Benefits
1)Rich in energy, containing many nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins
2)Good levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids
3)Good source of dietary protein
4)Great source of resveratrol, an antioxidant found to protect against cancers, heart disease, and fungal infections
5)Excellent source of vitamin E, which maintains and protects cell membranes and skin
6)Packed with B vitamins

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Breakfast Burger w/ Sweet Potato Waffle Buns+Apple & Cheese Bun Burger

29 Aug

Yes, another competition. A burger one. But this girl doesn’t eat real burgers much, so in order to participate, I made a couple of unique “burgers”.

No burger was actually involved. Haha, I’m not sure if that totally defeats the burger name, but I seem to think not.

One was a breakfast burger, made with waffle buns and egg. And guess what came with the breakfast burger? French toast fries!. The other burger used apple “grilled cheese” buns with a chicken burger. Have you ever had apples and cheese together? It’s a great mix!

Very interesting combinations, and very delicious outcomes. If you want a healthy yet fun spin to the typical burger, these are surely ones to try!

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Breakfast Waffle Burger with French Toast Fries

Waffles:
1/2 cup oat four
1/2 cup egg whites
1/4 cup sweet potato, cooked and mashed
1/2 tsp sea salt+baking powder
1 packet stevia

Other:
1 egg, cooed on stove
2 slices of avocado
2 baby tomatoes

French Toast Fries
-1 slice Ezekiel bread
-1/4 cup egg whites
-1/4 cup almond milk
-1T honey or stevia

Directions: Combine all waffle ingredients and cook in waffle maker until browned. Place cooked egg, avocado, and tomato slices on 1/4 of the big waffle. Place another 1/4 on top. Save other half of waffle for another day! Cut bread into 4 slices. Combine milk, egg white, and honey in shallow bowl. Soak slices of bread in mixture and cook in pan on stove until all sides are browned and crispy. Serve with burger.

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Apple Grilled Cheese Burger

-chicken/turkey burger, cooked
-red onion slices
-1 dried fig, sliced
-spinach leaves

For Buns:
-4 slices of thick apple
-1/4 cup cottage cheese
-1/4 shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Mix 2T each of cottage cheese and cheddar cheese together. Place between two apple slices. Repeat with other 2T and 2 apple slices. Place in pan on stove on medium high heat until cheese is melted on the inside of the “grilled cheese”. Place on “grilled cheese on plate, place burger, fig, spinach, and red onion on it, and top with other “grilled cheese”.

Protein Pumpkin Pie in a Squash

23 Aug

Fall is almost here..and you know what that means! Lots and lots of pumpkin recipes!

I have always seen people bake something inside of a squash, and have always wanted to try it myself. Yesterday, when I finally found time in my busy college schedule to get back in the kitchen for a couple hours, I knew exactly what I wanted to try.

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Pumpkin Pie. In an edible, delicious Acorn Squash “bowl”?! With this being high in protein, there is no guilt making this recipe! Squashes are a great source of healthy carbs, and are relatively low in calories along with having many nutritional benefits. Ad pumpkin, well it’s a superfood! There are too many good things I could say about pumpkin. But I will say I am slightly obsessed:)

This is a perfect, single serving Protein Pumpkin Pie to make when having those Fall sweet cravings. Or  any cravings! This will meet your every desire :)

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Protein Pumpkin Pie
-1/2 acorn squash
-1 scoop all natural vanilla whey protein
-1/4 cup pure pumpkin, canned
-1/4 cup baking stevia
-1/2 cup liquid egg whites
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-Dash of each: nutmeg, cloves, ginger, sea salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drizzle squash will a touch of coconut oil, and place half into preheated oven for 10 minutes. While in oven, combine all other ingredients in a bowl. Add more sweetener if desired. Remove squash after 10 minutes. Pour pumpkin pie ingredients into the “bowl” (deep portion) of the squash. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until squash is slightly soft and pumpkin pie filling has formed a browned top. 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

Squash Benefits:
1)Iron rich, comparable to red meat!
2)Rich in Calcium-22% more calcium than milk
3)High in vitamin A
4)Low in fat
5)Fiber content is higher than most vegetables
6)Excellent source of beta-carotene
7)Rich in magnesium (important in activating enzymes required for muscle and nerve function)

Taco Salad in a Jar

21 Aug

Raising the Bar on Food in a Jar. 

Mason jars used to be just for canning – but now they may be more likely used for overnight oats. How do you do food in a jar? I’m raising the bar on food in a jar today.

Did you know that jars are the perfect way to bring salads on the go? Those giant 32 ounce mason jars are perfect for this. When Recipe Redux released it’s theme this month as food in a jar, I knew what I wanted to do!

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Salads are the perfect summer meal. Cool, crisp, and refreshing. Oh, and did I mention, an extremely healthy option? However those taco salads you can order out, are usually anything but nutritious. Did you know that a simple chicken taco salad at Taco Bell is over 750 calories and 60 grams of fat?! That is what scares me. People think salad, and they think chicken, and order a meal like that, thinking that they are eating healthy. Unfortunately, choosing to buy rather than pack your lunch comes with a big price.

This is why I have created a healthy option that still has all those delicious flavors. But with not near as much fat. Or calories. I’m not one to keep count of the calories I eat, but over 750 for a simple salad?! I knew there must be a better option.

Meet my 32 ounce mason jar. It is one of my best friends when taking food on the go. I fill it with smoothies and shakes to take with me all the time (like this or this one), but I decided to spice it up from the typical smoothie today. Mason jar, meet delicious salad.

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Ground turkey instead of beef, chick peas instead of the typical beans, fresh raw corn. All the flavors you love about a taco. Without the greasy shell. But you may ask, how do you keep your salad becoming soggy? Meet my mini bottle used to carry salad dressing. I found a pack of 3 of these for only 2.99! They are the absolute best for salads on the go, as you keep the salad dressing off the salad until just before eating :) Fill it with dressing of choice, or even just some salsa to go on top of that salad. Whichever you would like. No mater what you choose, you win when you pack this salad to go.

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Taco Salad in a Jar
-1/2 cup ground turkey, cooked
-1/2 cup raw corn
-1/2 cup chick peas, drained and rinsed
-1/2 cup sliced red bell peppers
-1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
-1.5 cups lettuce, cut

Dressing to go:
-Healthy Ranch Dressing (found here)
-Dressing of choice
-Salsa

Directions: Obtain a 32 ounce mason jar. In the order listed, place all ingredients into jar. Finish off jar with lettuce, to prevent any wilting. Choose dressing of choice and fill any tiny to go container with dressing. Don’t forget a fork! :)

Tomato Benefits
1)Low in calories
2)High in vitamin C
3)Good source of vitamins A,K,folate and potassium
4)Provides thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper
5)Source of fiber
6)High water content
7)Source of beta-carotene and lycopene (good skin protectors)

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

Turkey Benefits:
1) One 3.5 oz serving is packed with 30 grams of protein and only 4 grams of fat
2) Loaded with B vitamins:phosphorous, potassium, zinc, and iron
3)Rich in Selenium–antioxidant necessary for thyroid metabolism
4)Contains tryptophan–amino acid that triggers serotonin production and aids in sleep

Raw Chocolate Tart with Fudgy Mousse Filling

16 Aug

This is made with a secret ingredient.An ingredient that you might not suspect would be in a dessert. But it is. And it was what made this recipe so absolutely delicious!

Because of my last post you may have guessed, but the answer is yes it’s avocados!

If avocados are “The World’s Most Perfect Food”, than why not attempt to incorporate it in things other than your typical guacamole!

Avocados are a perfect summer ingredient for foods as they hard high in fiber and healthy fats that keep you satisfied and slim. Like you can see here, they are perfect not only for savory dishes, but sweet! Why use full fat cream in a dessert when you can use an ingredient that will give you the exact same texture, yet filled with only healthy fats?!

Using avocados as the main ingredient for this tart filling offered such a fudgy, decadent, chocolate flavor. This recipe is completely raw, which makes it simple to create with no cooking time, and also keeps all the healthy nutrients in the ingredients instead of baking them all away! You taste what would seem like a full fat chocolate fudge, yet are actually eating a healthy-fat-filled dessert that offers so many benefits to your health. Some people think avocados are bad because of being high in fat, but that is far from the truth. Just viewing the benefits below this recipe will prove that :)

How is your favorite way to use avocados?? I would have said the typical guacamole, or simply just sliced with sea salt a week ago, but after getting creative in the kitchen, I’ve realized the sky is the limit in using avocados!

Did I mention, the filling for this tart can also be eaten on its own as a rich mousse, which is absolutely incredible!

avocadotart_edited-1

Raw Chocolate Tart with a Fudge Mousse Filling

Serving: 4 mini tarts

Raw Chocolate Tart:
-1 cup Almonds
-1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
-6 dates
-3 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
-2 tablespoons Raw Honey
-1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
-Dash of Sea Salt

Fudge Mousse Filling
-1 cup Avocado (about 1/1.5 large avocados)
-3/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
-1/4 cup Raw Honey + 1/4 cup Baking Stevia
-1 tsp Vanilla Extract
-1 tsp Instant Coffee

Directions: Place all Tart ingredients into Food Processor and Blend until a crumbly dough forms. Using mini tart pans,, place a handful of dough into the bottom of each ramekin (makes 4), and press up the sides (make sure to leave a thick enough bottom). Freeze for at least 20 minutes. Blend all Filling ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor until smooth. Fill mini tarts with filling, and place in freezer for about 10 minutes. Serve cold.

Avocado Benefits:

1) Filled with Monounsaturated Fats: types of fats that help control triglycerides in the bloodstream, lower blood cholesterol and control diabetes.

2) By adding avocado to certain foods, you can improve your absorption of nutrients

3) Provides all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, the body readily absorbs avocado protein because avocados also contain fiber.

4) Pack with Folate:  a water-soluble B vitamin that promotes healthy cell and tissue development. According to the National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, “This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is also essential for metabolism of homocysteine and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid.”

5) Contains Lutein: a carotenoid that protects against cataracts and certain types of cancer, and reduces the risk of muscular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 years of age and older. Avocados contain 3 or more times as much lutein as found in other common vegetables and fruits.

6) Rich in Oleic acid and Potassium — Both of these nutrients also help in lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of high blood pressure.

7) Good source of fiber

“I received free samples of California Avocado mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Avocado and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Avocado Artichoke Pesto Stuffed Chicken

10 Aug

I don’t know what it is about stuffed chicken recipes, but I love them. And I love creating new ones.

Lately I have been loving avocados. Not only because they are delicious, but because when I’m staying away from the typical unhealthy fats for the most part, I need a lot of good fats!  Along with homemade nut butters, avocados are something I eat daily to get those healthy fats.  They not only have tons of good, healthy fats, but they have many other benefits. This makes them a delicious summer ingredient, and not just in guacamole!

Did you know that avocados have been called “The World’s Most Perfect Food”?? And rightfully so! An avocado contains every single nutrient that a person would need to survive.

Avocados are rich in many vitamins, such as A, C, D, E, K, and all of the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). Dr. Daniel G. Amen, a clinical neuroscientist, psychiatrist, brain-imaging expert and author of the New York Times bestseller Change Your Brain, Change Your Life counts avocados as one of the top brain-healthy foods that can help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

I became so excited when I heard there was a contest involving avocados, and instantly became motivated to create something delicious. I have a few delicious recipes, but today, it’s all about the stuffed chicken! I love pesto.  I just adore that delicious basil taste. That is why I knew I wanted to incorporate it in this recipe creation. The creamy taste of avocados, the flavor of fresh picked basil..I knew I was heading in the right direction.

This is the perfect summer night meal, as even though it may seem like you are indulging, it was made in a very healthy manner! Protein packed and rich in healthy fats, this delicious meal is sure to keep you satisfied, in both hunger and taste.

chicken_edited-1

 Avocado Artichoke Creamy Pesto Filling
– 2 avocados, flesh
– 1/2 14oz can artichokes, chopped
-1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
– 1/4 cup  low fat cottage cheese
-1T lemon juice
-1 teaspoon crushed garlic
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1/2 teaspoon red pepper seasoning
-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Other:
-4 large Chicken Breasts
-1 T each: dried basil, thyme, onion
-1 tsp each: pepper flakes, garlic powder, sea salt

Directions: In high speed blender or food processor, add all avocado filling ingredients, except artichokes, and blend until smooth. Stir in chopped artichokes. Place in fridge until needed. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take out chicken breast, and butterfly with knife (cut breast in half horizontally but not all the way through so that it is still in one piece). Place 1/4 mixture in each breast, and fold back top half of chicken to “close”. In a shallow bowl, mix all the dried seasonings and salt together. Sprinkle rub mixture on each breast on both sides, and place on a cookie pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Cook in oven for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is done.

Avocado Benefits:

1) Filled with Monounsaturated Fats: types of fats that help control triglycerides in the bloodstream, lower blood cholesterol and control diabetes.

2) By adding avocado to certain foods, you can improve your absorption of nutrients

3) Provides all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, the body readily absorbs avocado protein because avocados also contain fiber.

4) Pack with Folate:  a water-soluble B vitamin that promotes healthy cell and tissue development. According to the National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, “This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is also essential for metabolism of homocysteine and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid.”

5) Contains Lutein: a carotenoid that protects against cataracts and certain types of cancer, and reduces the risk of muscular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 years of age and older. Avocados contain 3 or more times as much lutein as found in other common vegetables and fruits.

6) Rich in Oleic acid and Potassium — Both of these nutrients also help in lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of high blood pressure.

7) Good source of fiber

“I received free samples of California Avocado mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Avocado and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Feature Friday–Top 10

9 Aug

I decided to let my fellow readers know about some other wonderful blogs and posts I have come across in the last week. So for this beautiful Friday as I head back up to college, here they are!

My TOP 10 of the Week

 

1) The Slender Grapefruit and her Clean Whole Wheat Crackers

http://slendergrapefruit.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/clean-whole-wheat-cracker-recipe/

I love my crackers. To me, they are so much better than chips. So when I saw clean crackers, I was instantly attracted!

 

2) Alexis over at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen and her Everything Bagel Buns

Not only does this pretty lady have good health tips, but absolutely delicious, gluten free, dairy free, paleo friendly recipe, like these absolutely delicious Everything Buns made of cauliflower that I fell instantly in love with..who doesn’t like everything bagels?!  http://lexiscleankitchen.com/2013/07/30/everything-bagel-cauliflower-rolls/comment-page-1/#comment-844

3) Tina from Carrots n Cake with her delicious looking No Bake Almond Joy Cookies. Come on, just the name grabbed my attention instantly! I will definitely be trying these, along with so many other of her recipes!

https://www.bloglovin.com/frame?post=1328408975&group=0&frame_type=a&blog=335330&link=aHR0cDovL2NhcnJvdHNuY2FrZS5jb20vMjAxMy8wNy9uby1iYWtlLWFsbW9uZC1qb3ktY29va2llcy5odG1s&frame=1&click=0&user=0

 

4)Embracing Our Hunger by Accidently Delish was a great read!

http://accidentlydelish.com/2013/07/embracing-our-hunger/

 

5) Kasey, over at PowerCakes.net, wrote an amazing article about doing what is best for YOU. I loved the truth within this article and was so happy to see someone sharing what is needed to be heard J

http://www.powercakes.net/checking-myself-before-wrecking-myself-my-honesthour-of-what-kept-me-up-all-night/

 

6) Brittany over at BarrandTable caught my attention with a baked peanut tofu! I have been trying to eat tofu, but everytime I make it, I just don’t really like it. But this looks delicious so I may just have to try it!

http://barrandtable.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/foodie-friday-peanut-chili-baked-tofu/

 

7) Dolly over at dtspersonaltraining deserves some attention after her post on how she has overcome binge eating! That is such a huge accomplishment and it is great seeing her share her personal story to help others

http://dtspersonaltraining.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/liberated-from-binge-eating/

 

8) Reasons Why you Overeat caught my attention over at FitSugar as I tend to do just that at nights!

https://www.bloglovin.com/frame?post=1360541435&group=0&frame_type=fb&blog=22471&link=aHR0cDovL2ZlZWRwcm94eS5nb29nbGUuY29tL35yL2ZpdHN1Z2FyL34zL2FrbGp0ekJtSWxjL1JlYXNvbnMtWW91LU92ZXJlYXQtMzEwNDI0MzQ&frame=1&click=0&user=0

 

9) I loved the idea of taking one day of rest from The Skinny Confidential as I never allow my body to completely rest 100% any given day of the week. Staying away from every kind of work, computer and all? That sounds liberating.

https://www.bloglovin.com/frame?post=1360541435&group=0&frame_type=fb&blog=22471&link=aHR0cDovL2ZlZWRwcm94eS5nb29nbGUuY29tL35yL2ZpdHN1Z2FyL34zL2FrbGp0ekJtSWxjL1JlYXNvbnMtWW91LU92ZXJlYXQtMzEwNDI0MzQ&frame=1&click=0&user=0

 

10) And my wonderful best friend, Amy over at FitFunandFantastic.com had a lovely presentation of delicious looking Sweet Potato Nachos! Yum?! http://fitfunandfantastic.com/2013/08/04/sweet-potato-nachos/