This past several days have been unbelievably hot in San Diego. Every year winter comes and goes and I forget the feeling of sweat-soaked clothing on my skin. Not terribly comfortable for the woman who regularly wears black polyester pants (we’re getting close to laundry day here).
However! I’ve had the veggies for this recipe almost a week now. They were on the verge of going bad. So we sat in our sweltering apartment and ate hot stew. Oddly enough, it made us feel cooler! I have heard that when you eat hot food, it heats your body temperature and there’s not such a huge difference between you and the air. Hmmmm…
Regardless, I would have eaten this stew even if it made me sweat like a Scotsman at a charity fundraiser. In other words: it’s delicious. Chunky and thick and SO tasty.
I’m trying to teach myself a few recipes to prep on Sunday nights and crockpot cook it on Monday while I’m at work. It makes our late track riding clinic much easier to handle if dinner is ready when we get home. You could do it in a pot though. Just try it, however you decide to cook it.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I DON’T LIKE FISH. I found one recipe that I loved because it made it taste like chicken (Sweet Teryaki Salmon) but every one I’ve tried since then is so salty … and the texture, yuck.
But, alas, thanks again to the most awesome healthy chef, Sammie Kennedy, I have found and adapted another way to cook it that is SO delicious. Continue reading →
We had some people over on Saturday. A melting pot of people from all the different areas of our life. We ladies had some fun with makeup (more on that Friday) while the guys watched basketball. Then we all went line dancing! I’m getting pretty good at it by now.
So for the get together at our place, I decided that I would cook appetizers. I settled on 4 relatively simple recipes. When people started arriving and I was only half done cooking, I realized I may have been a bit ambitious. BUT, I did discover this amazing recipe. It took a total of 3 minutes and was one of the tastiest things on the table.
Honey Yogurt Dip
1 cup plain yogurt (organic and/or goat is better, raw is best)
2 Tbsp honey (local is best)
1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)
Any fruit that’s in season
Cut up your fruit into bite-sized pieces.
Mix remaining ingredients together and serve!
Also, it snowed here again! About 5 inches in 24 hours. I had the day off and managed to catch the flu so it was the perfect weather to snuggle up on the couch, watch marathon TV, and drink pots of tea. But just to prove how amazing the Midwest is, a random, kindly citizen cleaned off my car! There is no way for me to know who did it so they just did it from the kindness of their heart. Peoria really isn’t so bad 🙂
I hope you’re having a happy day. Love and hugs – Ash
This bread is delicious. Really, really good. It’s moist and naturally sweet; and the texture is like butter in your mouth. Yummy. It can take up to 45 minutes to prepare and an hour to cook so do it on a Sunday and make a big batch. It freezes really well so leftovers are a good thing!
I found the recipe on another blog (Skinny Ms) and then tweaked it a bit. I took out the stevia and oat bran and added gluten-free oats and walnuts.
Because it’s high in protein, sugar-free, and very low in grains, you can eat it any time of day. We had it last night for dessert and this morning for breakfast. Toast it for a few minutes for an even more satisfying experience.
Banana Nut Bread
2 granny smith apples
3 very ripe bananas
8 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup almond milk
1 cup almond meal/ almond flour
1 cup whole, gluten-free oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180°F. Lightly coat loaf pan with 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil.
Peel, core, and dice apples into small pieces. Sauté with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon on medium heat until brown (about 5 minutes).
In a large bowl mix together the almond meal, oats, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In another bowl mix olive oil, eggs, almond milk, and vanilla.
Slowly add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture (in about 4 batches).
In the now empty liquid mixture bowl, mash all 3 bananas.
Fold bananas and apples into the large bowl mixture.
Spoon into the loaf pan. Cook for about 50 minutes or until a wooden skewer or toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in pan and then enjoy!
I highly recommend this one. It really is delicious. Let me know how it goes! A big hug and a smile. – Ash
Happy Thursday to you all! It’s almost the weekend and I’m excited about it. This last couple months has been absolutely crazy at work. It’s really wonderful to see so many people starting their path to health but I’m a little glad that it’s starting to taper now. I was starting to miss my relaxation (and cooking) time. So here is a great recipe directly from my Momma’s kitchen.
My mom is a fabulous cook. She claims to hate it but how can you hate something you’re so good at?? I think she gets tired of cooking every single night (who wouldn’t) but goodness knows we would have been a MUCH less healthy family without her daily meals.
She is one of those people who can whip up a meal when the fridge and pantry are completely empty. If friends stop by for a chat, she has the most creative and delicious appetizers on the table within 5 minutes. She has mastered the art of feeding AND socializing with people. Those who have tried it know how hard that can be.
She taught me this recipe before I left for college and it quickly became my signature dish. She uses mashed potatoes from the box (understandable with 4 kids and no time) but I love mashing potatoes. They taste better and I get to let out my pent-up aggression on them. So I turned to my friend Alex for some further input. She is also an amazing chef and trained in the art of food.
So here is my combination from the two lovely ladies. My mom’s was quicker but slightly healthier and Alex’s was a little more time-consuming but richer and more savory.
Mom’s Shepherds Pie
Note: This is a delicious dish but if you’re trying to lose weight, do not eat it for dinner. You don’t want the potatoes sitting in your stomach all night. Unless you use the energy, it will turn into fat.
5 medium potatoes
1 cup organic butter
1 cup milk (unsweetened almond, coconut, whatever…)
1.5 lbs ground turkey
2 Tbsp high heat oil (like coconut or grape seed)
4 cloves garlic
1 cup gravy (I use Bisto but it contains trace gluten so be careful)
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to its lowest setting.
Chop potatoes into small pieces. Boil them in a large pot of water until soft when stabbed with a fork.
While they’re boiling, chop the onion, carrots, and zucchini.
Drain the potatoes and mix in a large bowl with butter and milk. Mash them all up! Set aside.
In a large pot (yes a large pot) sauté the onions, carrots, and minced garlic on medium heat. Cook until onion is transparent, about 5 minutes.
Add turkey and zucchini to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes then add gravy. Continue to cook until meat is browned.
Spread out the turkey mixture evenly in the pot then layer the potatoes on top.
Heat in the oven for 5 minutes to let juices mix.
I hope you’re all having wonderful days. Love and a grin. – Ash
Grains and sugars before bed are bad. Grains hit your tongue and turn into sugar. Sugar is digested and stored in your body until you use it. If you don’t it turns into fat. In that vain, I’ve been trying to cut pasta and other grains out of our dinner plates and limit the amount of dessert I have. How do you make a delicious dinner with a base of vegetables rather than pasta??
Most of the recipes I have posted fulfill this requirement but Zucchini Boats are some of my favorite. (check out the panel at the top of this page for “recipes”) Zucchini Boats are fun to make, really tasty, and the name is just awesome. I adapted this recipe from my Maximized Living Nutrition Plan book.
Zucchini Boats (2-4 servings, I doubled it for the next night)
Ingredients (As many organic as possible! Especially the meat)
2 medium zucchini
3/4 lb ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Heat oven to 350°F. Butter or line a baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
Trim the ends of the zucchini then cut them in half lengthwise.
Scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/2″ thick shell. Chop the pulp.
Over medium-high heat, cook zucchini pulp, ground turkey, onion, mushroom, and peppers. For about 10 minutes, until meat is brown. Drain the juice.
Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
If you’re saving some for tomorrow, seal up half the boats in a glass container (or plastic if you must)
Place the remaining shells in the baking pan. Spoon the mix into all the zucchini shells.
Have you ever tried to make soup? The ingredient list can be long but the process is so easy! Soup is delicious (especially in the winter), freezable, and cuts way back on the dishes. I encourage anyone with a big pot and cutting board to try it. This specific recipe is from my Gran.
My Gran is incredibly healthy. She could kick my tail in the gym and sticks to eating mostly veggies and other deliciousness that keeps her immune system rock solid. She’s definitely an example for me and where I want my health to be over the next couple decades.
A few weeks ago she sent me this recipe. It’s for a low-heat Veggie Soup. It doesn’t look that yummy but I made a massive batch and Mike and I have been guzzling it down. So tasty!
Gran’s tips: If you can, buy organic pre-cut veggies or bring in some extra help (in the form of a boyfriend or husband?); the chopping can take a long time. Cook a double batch and freeze the extras for soup next week!
So without further ado, here it is:
Gran’s Veggie Soup (6 servings)
2 Tbsp water
1 large onion
1 small carrot
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups veggie or chicken stock
2 lbs broccoli
1 large tomato
1/8 cup flat leaf parsley
5 oz spinach, fresh
1/8 tsp cardamom (only buy what you need, it’s $79 a lb!)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 cup lemon juice
Chop up the onions, carrot, broccoli, and tomato into bite-sized pieces.
Cook water, onions, carrot, and garlic in a large pot over low heat for 10 minutes, until wilted.
Add the stock, broccoli, tomatoes, and parsley. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
Add the spinach and all spices. Cook for 1 minute then remove from heat.
Let cool for 5 minutes then blend/puree everything.
Return it to the pot. Add lemon and serve it warm.
Thanks for this one Gran! Everyone else, let me know how it goes 🙂
Confession: I HATE fish. I actually really dislike seafood in general. I’m not one of those picky, “I hate the consistency” people but oysters?? Truly the consistency is like snot. And fish? Any kind of fish is just so salty and YUCK. I’ve disliked it since I was a kid. When my mom made her delicious fish for dinner, I would eat a bowl of cereal.
However, (this is how I know I’m an adult) I LOVED this fish I cooked last night. Everyone always talks about how good fish is for you so I figured I’d give it another try. Teryaki was the closest I could get to make it taste like chicken. Haha. So I adapted a recipe from one of my cookbooks and came up with this. It is SO delicious. Sweet and tangy all at the same time.
Money Saving Tip: Wild-caught salmon can be really expensive ($13 for 2 fillets??) so we ate small portions with lots of veggies to make it last for the next day’s dinner too.
Sweet Teryaki Salmon (3-4 servings)
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 Bragg’s liquid aminos (healthy soy sauce)
1 tsp. stone ground mustard
1 Tbsp. raw honey
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 wild-caught salmon fillets or steaks
Whatever you would like for your side (bed?). I used leftover mashed sweet potatoes (from the Sherpherds Pie) and added sautéed red peppers and mushrooms (YUM). It would also be really good with a spinach salad, roasted veggies, and/or quinoa.
In a bowl, mix first 6 ingredients until combined. Set aside 1/4 cup of marinade in fridge for basting.
Combine salmon and marinade in a plastic bag and marinate in fridge for 1 hour.
While it’s marinating, cook your side.
Lay marinated salmon on parchment paper in a deep baking pan.
Broil or grill for 4-5 minutes on each side.
Brush with reserved marinade.
We’re getting very close to the weekend. I hope you all have happy Thursday’s! 🙂
Sweet potatoes are flippin’ awesome. They are fantastic for digestion, heart health, skin health, and blood sugar levels. Specifically, they are high in Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Fiber, Potassium, Vitamins C and E, and Manganese.
This recipe was my attempt at making my mom’s amazing shepherds pie but without the starch of potatoes. With that in mind, it was GROSS. But once we stopped thinking of it as Shepherds Pie and started thinking of it as a dish on it’s own, SO DELICIOUS. Isn’t it weird how your brain can trick you like that?
This was incredible easy to make and I just kept it in a crockpot in the fridge and reheated it (on the lowest temperature possible) for 3 nights straight. Thank you bulk-cooking!
Sweet Potato Pot Pie(6-8 servings)
7 organic sweet potatoes, chopped into small chunks
3/4 cup organic milk (almond, coconut, dairy, whatever)
Professional cyclists DO NOT eat a healthy diet. Especially not the riders over in Europe. Mike and I saw this first hand when, while following the Giro d’Italia, we picked up their discarded feed bags on the side of the road. All we found were pastries and “energy bars” full of refined sugar and bad carbohydrates. It was unbelievable to us that their team directors think it acceptable and, above all, profitable to fuel their riders with these kinds of food. How much better would they perform on a 5 hour race day if their bodies could actually use the food they were given?
This weekend I met two of my favorite chef’s: Dr. Allen Lim and Chef Biju Thomas. They co-authored “The Feed Zone Cookbook.” Allen Lim was the director of sport sciences for professional cycling teams, Radioshack and Garmin. He introduced the idea of gluten-sensitivity and the importance of a healthy diet in a training plan. Biju Thomas is an avid cyclist and chef to some of the top riders in the US. The cookbook is based on very simple but very healthy meals that could be cooked with 3-5 ingredients on one stove-top while on the road. I love it.
One of my favorites (and now perfectly adapted for me) recipes is their Chicken Tikka Masala. Their version uses lots of yogurt which is fine if it’s raw (or at least organic) but I wanted to see if I could get rid of it altogether. So I replaced it with canned coconut milk and OH-EM-GEE. Really, really yummy.
I was always nervous about cooking curry because it’s so tasty that I figured it would be complicated. Absolutely not the case. This is one of the easiest dishes I’ve ever cooked and it now holds a preferred spot on our meal planning menu.
Ingredients (3 servings, double this to make 6 servings and last a couple days)
4 cups of cooked quinoa for the base
2 lbs chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (I used my leftover chicken from my roast last week)
1-cup tomato sauce
1 12oz can organic coconut milk (shake before opening)
2 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 a sliced onion
1 tsp salt
a dash of cayenne pepper or 2-4 green chiles, cut into strips (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and, if you can, let marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. I didn’t have time for this and it was still delicious.
Pour all ingredients into a deep pan and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for 30 minutes.
Spoon on top of your quinoa and enjoy!
It’s the simplest and most delicious meal. Definitely one of our favorites. Try to pair it with a spinach salad to get your raw veggies in.
Let me know how it goes! I hope you’re all having very fun and spicy days 🙂