Tag Archives: recipe

Throw-It-In-Your-Bag Thursday: Homemade Trail Mix

I’ve been getting a little fired up in my posts the last couple days. Warning, that trend is about to continue … I’ve been getting it from patients and friends: I just don’t have time to eat healthy! I have so many presents to buy and still have to work my job! OH-EM-GEE guys. This is not an excuse, it just means that you have to be better planners for the few weeks that your schedule is tight. If you can learn to do it now, imagine how many busy times it will help you through.

Here’s what most people do when they don’t have time to pack a lunch: eat fast food or don’t eat at all (less likely but the healthier people think this is a better option). NEITHER of these is ok. You MUST eat multiple times a day to give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly, you’re not going to get those nutrients from fast food. End of story.

Now that we have that established, how the heck do you bring enough food to last you an entire busy day??

Well, you can make a smoothie (recipe for an awesome one is on its way), make a healthy sandwich, bring a couple pieces of fruit and….drumroll please…make your own trail mix! YAY!

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The trail mix has to be homemade because packaged and pre-made mix usually has quite a bit of sugar in it. Sugar coated dried fruit, nuts roasted and nutrients killed, or just plain chocolate chunks that pretty much cancel the goodness of the other stuff. I’m lucky enough that my grocery has an awesome bulk section (see above) but you can buy packaged raw nuts and seed too. No excuses.

A Few Rules:

  • no roasted nuts
  • no sweetened dried fruit
  • no chocolate unless it’s unsweetened
  • NO SUGAR

Trail Mix Possible Nuts:

  • almonds, raw
  • cashews, raw
  • walnuts, raw
  • pecans, raw
  • pistachio nuts, raw
  • brazil nuts, raw
  • macadamia nuts, raw
  • Any other nuts you like but NO PEANUTS! The processing of those hasn’t been so great lately.
  • sunflower seeds

Trail Mix Possible Sweetness:

  • raisins, unsweetened
  • dried cranberries, unsweetened
  • dried apricots, unsweetened
  • dried mango, tough to find unsweetened but so tasty when you do
  • chocolate morsels, unsweetened (aka. bittersweet chocolate chips)

Instructions:

  1. Buy a few bags of whatever ingredients you like and keep them handy.
  2. Throw a couple handfuls of each into a resealable plastic bag whenever you need and throw them in your backpack, briefcase, or car. Make enough to last you a few days.
  3. That’s it!!

TrailMix1-Published

I made this mix while writing this post. It took me a total of 2 minutes and 39 seconds. Just kidding, I didn’t time myself. But it was really quick!

Anyone else have mix-in ideas?

Tasty Tuesday: Guacamole!

Who doesn’t love guacamole? And all you people out there that are shaking their head, “no I hate guacamole, that delicious healthy fat combined with all those savory veggies and awesome spices, I hate it.” Obviously something’s wrong with you. The great thing about making your own dip is that you can take out any flavors you don’t like!

With this batch, I decided to try to add some protein. I put in some black beans and they are so tasty. Definitely be doing that again.

Guac is great to bring to parties with some crackers/chips or to put on top of salads. And it makes taco night SO much better. Plus, it’s so easy! This took me about 20 minutes to make and it will (hopefully with some restraint from Mike) last at least 3 or 4 days.

Easy Black Bean Guacamole

Ingredients

3 ripe avocados

1 small onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, pressed

6 oz salsa or 1 medium tomato, diced

juice from 1/2 lime, 1/2 lemon, OR 1 orange (I didn’t have anything else and it actually worked really well)

1 tsp cumin, to taste

2 tsp sea salt, to taste

1 tsp ground pepper, to taste

dash of chili powder

6 oz black beans

Instructions

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1. Our avocados were unripe yesterday so I took them out of the fridge and wrapped them in a brown paper bag. For some reason they ripen faster in paper bags. This morning they were perfect.

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2. Cut avocados in half, take out the pit, and scoop into a large bowl. Add all other ingredients besides black beans. Mash it all up with a fork or masher.

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3. Stir in beans or other add-ins. Taste test it! Mess with the spices however you see fit. It looks kinda gross but it is OH SO GOOD!

What is your favorite way to eat guacamole?

Hope you’re all having happy days 🙂

Thursday Recipe: Bean Burgers

I’m not a vegetarian but good grass-fed, organic meat is expensive! So I’ve started to explore getting protein in other ways like from beans and other legumes as well as seeds and nuts. I just recently (while I was writing this post) learned that legumes form a fuller protein when eaten with grain so I’m stoked that we ate them like an open-faced sandwich. These were really really good. They were a little crumbly (like most veggie burgers) but great on a half-bun and ever better over a salad the next day. I made a double batch so that’s what we’ll be having tonight for dinner too!

TheRealFoodDiet

I got the base for this recipe from this book. This was a written by a chiropractor at our company and is AMAZING.

Bean Burgers (makes 8 small patties)

Ingredients

2 cups (about 22 oz) Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas)

1 onion

splash of high heat oil (coconut is my favorite)

1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (you can make your own from GF bread or just buy some)

6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 Tbsp rosemary

2 Tbsp Tahini

juice of half a lime or lemon

dash of sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

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1. Thinly slice the onions and saute until soft and beginning to caramelize. Season with salt and pepper, then place in a large mixing bowl.

2. Blend or food process garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, and lime/lemon juice until smooth. Add to bean mixture.

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3. Add all remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly. Use your hands to roll form into balls about the size of a baseball (love using my hands in cooking!). Use a bit of plastic wrap to cleanly and neatly form them into patties.

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4. Heat a little more oil and cook burgers until heated. Serve on top of half a gluten-free bun topped with dijon mustard and ketchup with a side of steamed veggies or salad.

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Enjoy!

Does anyone have any big events they need to cook for this month? What do you want me to cook?

 

Just-Try-It Thursday: Frittata

This recipe is really flippin’ easy. And cheap! (I got it from an awesome blog I read regularly: Once A Month) I cooked it immediately after my workout and was eating within 20 minutes. It is a pretty basic dish though so I also had a couple of pieces of toast. One with almond butter, one with honey. It would be delicious with roasted potatoes though.

Veggie Frittata (serves 4)

Ingredients

8 eggs – keep the yolks! They’re a healthy fat.

Whatever veggies you have – I used green peppers, mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, and a bit of spinach. Onions would be really good too.

1/2 cup almond, coconut, or full fat milk

salt and peppa

1. Chop up all the veggie and sauté the hard veggies (peppers, mushrooms, garlic, onions) in a Tbsp of oil. Medium heat for 5 minutes.

2. While they’re cooking, scramble the eggs and milk together. Use a big bowl and a whisk. Don’t stop until the eggs get frothy.

3. Add the soft veggies (tomatoes) to your sauté and spread everything out evenly.

4. Pour on the eggs. And top with any green leaves you have. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Then transfer to the oven to broil for another 5 minutes.

5. Take it out and cut into it! I kept mine covered for a few minutes before eating it and it went from pretty and fluffy to sadly deflated. But it was still delicious!

Let me know how it goes! (< do this by clicking the title of this blog post and entering your message under “penny for your thoughts)

Thriving Thursday: Back to Basics Applesauce

When was the last time you had applesauce? Does anyone remember the blue kind? Why do kids love to eat weird colored food? Scratch that, why do PEOPLE love to eat weird colored food? Anyway! In my quest to get healthy, I’ve started cooking lots of stuff from scratch, in big batches, and then eating it for a week or two. It’s actually amazing how simple some of these recipes are.

So this week I tried to recreate my favorite Trader Joe’s chunky applesauce.

Back to Basics Applesauce (large batch)

Ingredients

8 apples, cored, peeled, and chopped

1 1/2 cups water

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp stevia (optional)

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cover and cook on medium for 15-20 minutes or until apples are soft.

Then mash them up with a fork, masher, or in a blender. For chunkier sauce, wait until apples are cool and do not blend.

Enjoy! I even saved my old TJ’s jar and all the sauce fit perfectly 🙂

Ashley Life Update: I have to boast a little, I am a serious BAMF (bad ass mother f’er). A couple of friends (yep friends) and I went on a bike ride on Sunday morning. The winds were about 30 mph and as I was parking to get ready, I realized my shoes were at home, 20 minutes away. So I biked 25 miles in my Crocs with shoe covers on. I usually chicken out when something like this happens so I’m really proud that I stuck it out. And it was even better because I got a great ride in and met a new friend 🙂

So! What recipes do you think would be even better/healthier homemade?

Thursday Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

Yesterday I forgot to say Happy Halloween, so….HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I hope you all got lots of awesomely dressed trick-or-treaters. We got one (Darth Vader) and he looked very confused when we gave him dried fruit leathers. Haha.

Also, today I am on my way to my first ever business trip! Me and the three coworkers are headed down to Orlando, FL for 4 days for a conference on health, wellness, and leadership. I’m actually kind of excited 🙂

On a totally different note, here’s the post for today:

This recipe is grain-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free. Sounds disgusting right? WRONG. I had heard rumor of the awesomeness of Spaghetti Squash but this was my first experiment with the pretty yellow gourd. I decided, since it’s already in the name, to make Spaghetti and sub the noodles for squash.

Mike and I were a little wary but jeez it’s good! A little time-consuming because the squash has to be cooked for a while but other than that it’s super easy.

Ingredients (makes 3 servings):

1 spaghetti squash

1 can crushed tomatoes/tomato sauce

1 lb ground beef (grass-fed) or organic ground turkey/chicken

2 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp butter

salt and pepper

Instructions:

Cut the squash in half and cook at 450°F (230°C)  for 45 minutes. While it’s cooking, simmer the tomato sauce, beef/poultry, and garlic.

When the squash is slightly brown, take it out and go at it with a fork! It’s easier than it looks, I promise.

Mix the noodled squash with the butter, salt, and pepper.

Top with the cooked sauce and enjoy!

It’s a great evening meal because it doesn’t spike your insulin levels like normal pasta does. Keep those sugar and carb levels down before bed!

Smile, it’s almost Friday 🙂

Tuesday Recipe: Halloween Treats?

Halloween can be a daunting time for us “healthy ones.” Luckily I don’t have to worry about taking kids trick-or-treating this year but a lot of our patients and a lot of my readers do so here’s a quick guide to help limit the sugar in your kids’ systems:

Set an example by handing out “healthy candy.” However, DO NOT be the house on the block that gives out carrots or raisins. Some ideas for treats most kids love:

^Popcorn Balls – you do have to cook for this one but it’s really easy and they’re delicious.

^ Fruit strips – made of dried fruit and a replacement for fruit roll ups, they can be bought at pretty much any grocery store.

^Cocomels – from JJ Sweets, they are healthy and yummy. A bit expensive maybe to give to all the kids but a great idea for your own or even for Christmas gifts.

^ String cheese – what kid doesn’t love string cheese.

^ Natural Gummies – Surf Sweets sells a great version of natural gummy treats in the shape of spiders! But any natural gummi treat will do. I know this was one of my favorites when I scored on these as a kid.

^ Trail Mix – make your own with your choice of almonds, raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. Be sure to throw some chocolate in there (dark is best) so the kids don’t feel like they’re totally deprived!

^Crispy Rice Treats – click the link to find a great recipe from a fellow blogger. However, I highly encourage you to use healthy marshmallows with less sugar and cereal without any kind of ingredient with -ose on the end (ie. fructose, sucrose, etc).

Note: If you’re making the treats yourself, include a note to the kids parent’s of the ingredients so they don’t think it’s spiked.

Now, it’s inevitable that your kids get your hands on a fair amount of candy this time of year but how do you keep them from riding that sugar high for 12 weeks afterwards? I do not have kids so I really have NO IDEA, but I do have a couple of suggestions!

1. Give them a vacation night. Let them eat the candy. Let them work themselves into a sugar-induced coma. But while they’re there, ask them how they are feeling. Make them realize that the candy is making them sluggish, over-full, and cranky with a headache. Don’t harp on them, but for 5 minutes just try to help them realize the effect of the candy.

2. After their coma, give them incentives to “trade” the candy. For every 10 pieces, they don’t have to do their chore for the day. Something like that.

3. Ask them if they’d rather spend some time with you, cooking something else delicious that won’t make them feel like crap. Then proceed to make an awesome, fun desert (like the popcorn balls or crispy rice treats listed above) to make them feel that this is so much better.

Ok those are a few suggestions from a child-less 24 year-old. I hope they help a little bit! And I hope you all have an awesome Halloween!

What will you and/or your kids be dressing up as?

 

Thursday Recipe: Sugar, Gluten, and Dairy Free Chocolate Macaroons

Macaroons are one of the most deliciously allowable foods for those of us that are gluten, dairy, and sugar challenged. I have yet to really explain to you all why I try to be sugar-free but you’ll just have to trust me on this one, sugar is really not good for you. You can substitute Stevia or Xylitol for sugar but sometimes it can taste a bit wonky. In this recipe, it just works!

So I made these macaroons and they are so flippin’ delicious. There are a few more steps than I’m used to but SO worth the brain power.

Chocolate Covered Macaroons

Cookie Ingredients:

4-5 egg whites

14 oz of unsweetened coconut, shredded

2 Tbsp butter, melted

Xylitol or Stevia to taste

Chocolate Ingredients (this chocolate covering is optional):

3 squares unsweetened chocolate

2 Tbsp coconut oil

2 Tbsp butter, melted

Xylitol or Stevia to taste

Instructions:

^ Beat egg whites until frothy.

^ Stir in coconut, butter, and sweetener.

Roll into tablespoon sized balls and drop onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes. Cool in fridge until firm.

The chocolate is optional but SO good, just do it:

^ Melt chocolate, coconut oil, and butter together. Add sweetener. Dip macaroons in chocolate. Cool on wax paper. Keep refrigerated.

Like an idiot, I got so excited to eat these babies that I didn’t take an after picture. DOH! But you can imagine how pretty AND tasty they were. And so easy to make. Try it, you will amaze yourself.

Does anyone have plans for a nice meal this weekend?

Who are you gonna smile at today?

Recipe Sunday: Healthy Fried Rice

Hey All. Sorry about the late post but Mike and I have had such a busy and relaxing (awesome combo) kind of day. Earlier this week I tried my own healthy fried rice and it didn’t come out so well. I only post delicious recipes so I retried it last night and it ended up being so good!

Healthy Fried Rice

Ingredients:

brown rice (cooked)

3 or 4 eggs (beaten)

veggies (I used red pepper, spinach, and broccoli)

liquid aminos (the healthy soy sauce, I use Bragg brand)

meat (optional)

little bit of sunflower oil for cooking

Instructions:

^ Saute all the veggies on low heat. If you are using meat, cook with the veggies. When it’s all cooked through, add the beaten eggs. Stir as it cooks to coat everything in egg. When egg is cooked, empty it into a bowl.

^ Add the rice to the empty pan and spray some liquid aminos on there (it has a very salty taste so make sure not to use too much). Just until it has the “fried” brown look. Cook until heated.

Add the veggie/egg/meat and mix it all together. Enjoy!

Ashley life Update: Last week, Mike and I decided that we were starting to settle into a very sedentary life. Unacceptable. So today, our day off together, we went for an awesome pancake breakfast and then to a GIANT antique market about 40 minutes away. We didn’t have long at the market but we saw some really beautiful stuff and I bought a cast iron skillet, yay! I’ve been wanting one for a while because they’re such a healthy, non toxic way to cook and they last forever. Got an 8″ pan for $14 (I’m a great haggler). It was a wonderful day with my man 🙂

 

I hope your Sunday was as great as mine! If not, tomorrow is a new day, so smile 🙂

 

Sunday Recipe: Carolyn’s Squash Bowl

My friend and fellow blogger posted this recipe on Friday and I made my own version that night for dinner. Here is her original post. She is an incredibly healthy and fit woman and I learn a ton of new stuff from her. Check out her blog!

I don’t really love the format of “reblogging” so I’m just going to copy/paste the recipe here.

Roasted Stuffed Squash

This is a great fall meal and its easy to make, and lasts a while in the fridge. You’ll need:

Ingredients:

Acorn Squash (as many as you want to cook)

Quinoa (or any other easy-to-cook grain like brown rice, kamut, wheat berries, etc.)

Veggies (I usually use spinach and mushrooms, but you can add anything you want!)

Chickpeas (or black beans, or lentils, etc as you can see this recipe is really what you make of it)

Tiny bit of butter

Paprika

Sea Salt

Pepper

Garlic Powder

Instructions:

1. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds (save these to cook later)

2. Put squash halves on a baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes (or until the squash is soft)

3. You can coat the seeds in olive oil and any spices you want and toss them in there on a baking sheet with parchment paper for about 10-15 minutes for a super tasty snack!

4. Cook up the quinoa (or whatever grain you’re using accordingly)

5. Saute those veggies

6. In a large bowl, mix the veggies, cooked quinoa, chickpeas, a tiny bit of butter and the paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

7. When the squash is done, fill the centers with the veggie-quinoa mix and BOOM you’re done.

8. Grab a fork and get after it.

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These things are small but very filling and nutritious so I usually just have one half at a time. Throw some plastic wrap over any of the extra squash halves and you’ve got yourself a delicious lunch for tomorrow, or easily reheatable dinner for another night this week. Enjoy!”

I filled our squash with veggies,  kidney beans, and these egg noodles I’ve been wanting to try. I think it would be better with chickpeas and quinoa though. I’m also out of paprika so I used Jamaican All Spice.

There was a photo but it was lost in my recent phone disassembly. BOOO. I definitely plan on cooking it again though and will post photos when I do.

Thank you Carolyn! It was delicious.

Ashley Life Update: Mike and I are holed up in our apartment this weekend trying to get over the last of our flu/cold/strep throat. It’s times like these that make it very tough not taking any kind of medication (including ibuprofen). I’m relying on sleep and my body’s ability to heal itself. Man it takes some self-control though! Hopefully we can end today well and wake up tomorrow morning fresh as the day we were born! Hah. We shall see. I hope you’re all having wonderful Sundays.

SMILE 🙂