Category Archives: healthy tips

Pineapple Banana Green Protein Smoothie

This is a variation on my favorite smoothie of all time – David’s Green Smoothie. Using the pineapple instead of berries will give you you a different flavor profile and another tool in your green smoothie arsenal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 handful fresh spinach or kale
  • 6 baby carrots or 1 full size carrot
  • 1/2 half cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 half of a raw banana (can also use frozen banana for extra creaminess)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optimum nutrition gold standard is my recommendation)
  • un-sweetened vanilla almond milk OR water (the choice here is based on taste vs. calories)

Directions:

Throw everything into a blender and blend until you reach the desired consistency. This shake for me normally fills about 3/4 of a large shaker bottle if you are looking for a comparison.

Garlic (Quinoa) Noodles

Hope you like garlic! Me? I love garlic… which means I love this recipe. I don’t eat too much pasta these days, but the noodles in this recipe are made from Quinoa! They aren’t available everywhere (we get our from Trader Joe’s), and I strongly recommend them for this recipe! If you don’t have any, your standard high protein whole wheat pasta will work… I just won’t be happy about it!

This is a great vegetarian recipe – but you can very easily toss a chicken breast on top and it will be delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Quinoa spaghetti
  • 1 each red yellow and green pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 carrot (or five baby carrots!)
  • 1 green chilie
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 12-15 cloves of garlic

For the sauce:

  • 4 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp sweet red chili sauce

Optional toppings:

  • Cilantro (OMG GROSS… but if you like it, use it I GUESS)
  • Red pepper flakes

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, chop up all your veg. Heat a couple table spoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add your garlic and onions and stir for about 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of your veg and stir until combined.

Add sauce ingredients and whisk to combine. Add to the skillet with your veg and stir to coat the veggies.

Drain your pasta and add it to the skillet and toss to combine.

Mango Peach Cinnamon Green Smoothie

I love fruit and I love veggies. Blended together in an ice cold smoothie is about my perfect healthy breakfast choice. So here we have a tasty green smoothie with a bit of a cinnamon kick. Don’t like cinnamon? Thats okay! It’s still a perfectly edible green drink without the spicy after shot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of mango/peaches (loosely measured into a cup, not packed)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (this smoothie is great with water as well, which is how I drink it, the almond milk gives you an extra flavor boost for about 30 cals…)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (to taste)
  • two big handfuls of spinach (can also substitute kale, but its a MUCH stronger flavor)
  • 4-8 baby carrots

Directions:

The easiest directions ever… toss all the ingredients into your blender. Blend until… blended. Pour into drinking vessel (shaker bottle, old shoe, mason jar, etc, etc, etc)… drink and be healthy!!!

*note – if this is your first green smoothie, start with more fruit and less veggies. At first ANY veggies are better than none, so start small and work your way up!

Chicken Nugget w/ Spicy Dipping Sauce

Chicken and veggies. The bastion of everyone when they start eating healthy, and for many of us, a regular menu item as our healthy eating journey continues.

Variety is the spice of life, and this chicken nugget recipe is a great compromise between healthy and naughty food and one that your entire family will love.

If you are counting calories, keep an eye on how much sauce you are using as it can get you into trouble!

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 pounds of chicken
  • whole wheat italian bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425. Cut up chicken into bite sized pieces, and season with salt and pepper. Coat chicken with olive oil and dredge in the bread crumbs to thinly coat. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Put some foil down on your cookie sheets (you’ll need 2) and spray them with cooking spray to save you some clean up time.

Bake nuggets for 10 minutes, flip and bake for another 10 minutes or until cooked through.

Spicy dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp scallions, chopped fine plus more for topping
  • 3 tbsp Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 2 tsp Sriracha (or to taste)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and use for dipping your nugge…ys.

Top salad greens with your chicken nuggets and a little bit of the sauce. Serve with cut up veggies for your kiddos!

sloppy joes with carrot noodles

I loooove sloppy joes. Definitely one of my big comfort foods and something I’ve loved ever since I was a shorty.

These days I eat very little grain, so no buns (but you could definitely toss this on a bun for disagreeable spouses or children), but with all the added veggies this really makes a great meal.

Plus a ton less sodium, sugar, and preservatives compared to the canned stuff!

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pepper (red/green/yellow)
  • 2 large onion
  • 2 pound ground turkey
  • 1.5 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce (to taste)
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bag carrot noodles (you can also use zucchini noodles)

Directions:

Bring a large skillet up to medium heat. Add in your coconut/olive oil along with diced pepper and onions. You’ll want to saute them for about five minutes or until they become translucent.

Add in your ground turkey and break up with spatula. Cook until brown. Add coconut aminos/soy sauce, ketchup, and tomato paste. Add in your salt and garlic powder. Stir to mix it all up.

Let cook on low heat for 20 minutes. This is one of those recipes where you can let it simmer for an hour and it will really help to bring the flavors out!

For the carrot noodles, follow the directions on the box (basically just saute them with a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic powder).

Serve your sloppy joes over your bed of carrot noodles and enjoy!

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

David’s note – don’t let the length of this recipe intimidate you! It is AMAZING and easy for ANYONE to prepare.

This recipe is essentially a healthier version of a Chipotle burrito bowl that uses cauliflower rice instead of rice or a wrapper.

Nearly everyone who has tried this recipe loves it and rotates it into their normal eating schedule, so put on your adult pants and give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
  • 16 oz of salsa, plus extra for topping
  • Cauliflower rice (available at Trader Joe’s-either fresh or frozen, but we prefer fresh)
  • 3 Bell Peppers, sliced
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, sliced
  • Olive Oil
  • Optional Guacamole:
  • Avocados
  • Garlic Salt
  • Salsa

Mash avocado and add garlic salt/salsa to taste! Mash less if you like chunky guac or just cut into chunks and mix. Add lime juice or fruit fresh to keep from browning if you want to make a big batch. We make this fresh each time we eat but you can definitely do it ahead of time!

  • Optional Corn Salsa
  • 1 small can of corn
  • 1 jalepeno, chopped finely (leave this out if you don’t like spicy food)
  • 1 small can green chilies
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped finely
  • Cilantro if desired.

Drain corn, and mix other ingredients in a small bowl. For spicier salsa, leave the seeds in your jalepeno!

Directions:

Put chicken and salsa in the crock pot. Cook on high for 4 hours OR low for 7-8 hours. Shred chicken and drain liquid.

In a skillet over medium high heat, sauté your peppers and onions in a tiny bit of olive oil – let them sit for 3/5 minutes at a time without stirring to caramelize.

Sautee Cauliflower rice in a bit of olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir for 3/4 minutes or until softened-I like mine to have a tiny bit of crunch still for texture.

Layer cauliflower rice, peppers and onions, chicken (and corn salsa/guac if desired) in a bowl and top with salsa!

NOTES: If you want this to last longer or have a big family, make 5 pounds of chicken and use 24 oz of salsa (1.5 jars).

TIPS FOR KIDS/FAMILIES: This recipe is REALLY kid friendly, but if your kids/spouses balk at cauliflower rice, make them a batch of brown rice OR buy a bag of whole wheat tortillas – they can put the filling in there and have fajita “tacos.”

Buy an extra can of corn (or set some aside) for kids or spouses that don’t like spicy food.

Thanks to Melissa Keith for the recipe testing and assistance!

Frozen Banana Dark Chocolate Drizzle

If you’re like me, sometimes you really, REALLY,  miss having ice cream every night as a snack. I mean, ice cream in all it’s forms is amazing.

But you’re eating healthy now, so that stuff is a no go!

These dark chocolate banana slices will go a long way to satisfy your sweet tooth, are super easy, AND are lower calorie than the store bought ones (because you are drizzling, and not dipping).

Ingredients:

  • fresh bananas
  • bakers heat and dip dipping chocolate

Directions:

Peel banana. Slice banana into roughly 8-10 round slices.

Place slice bananas on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper.

Dip a spoon into your dark chocolate tub and swiftly move back and forth to cover bananas.

Put your bananas into the freezer and wait approximately and hour. If you like them a bit softer you can eat them after they’ve been in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Try to stick to 4 slices per serving as a guideline – if not it’s WAY too easy to eat a whole bunch of these at one time!

 

Turkey Meatloaf Cups

These are a staple in my diet. They are super easy. Freeze amazingly. Reheat more amazingly. And are tasty enough that even your kids or spouse… who may not be on the same healthy eating train as you are will still enjoy em!

Ingredients: (makes 24 meatloaf muffins)

  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, cut into small chunks
  • 3 ribs celery from the heart of the stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg plus a splash of low fat milk (or plain almond milk), beaten
  • 1.5 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick
  • 1 cup smoky barbecue sauce (the lower the sugar on your bbq, the healthier it will be!)
  • 1/2 cup tomato salsa
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Put ground turkey into a big bowl. Chop onion, celery and green pepper and add to the bowl. Add egg, beaten with milk, bread crumbs and grill seasoning to the bowl.

Next, mix together the smoky barbecue sauce, the salsa and the Worcestershire sauce. Pour half the sauce mixture into the bowl with the meatloaf mix. Mix the meatloaf together with your hands. Wash up.

Spray your muffin pans with cooking spray. Use an ice cream scoop to help you fill meat into a each tin. Top each meat loaf with a spoonful of extra sauce. Bake about 20 minutes. Cut open 1 muffin to test that the middle is cooked through.

Mini Burrito Cups

These mini burrito cups are another staple in my monthly eating regimen. They hit on all the main points that I need in food for it to become a “regular” menu option (can be eaten cold, is quick to make, is packed with protein, easily consumed with hands only…) AND they are super delicious. I’m confident you are gonna love this recipe, so lets get it cracken!

mini-burrito-cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (or lean ground beef)
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 15 oz black beans, drained
  • 2 cans 14.5 oz fire-roasted tomatoes (drain liquid from one can)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 24 3-inch wonton skin
  • package of ultra thin colby jack cheese (OPTIONAL)

Directions: 

Preheat your oven to 350. When the oven is preheating, brown your turkey in a skillet on medium heat, making sure to either cook off all your fat or drain it.
After turkey has been cooked sufficiently, add in corn, beans, roasted tomatoes, spices, vinegar, and the agave nectar. Cook for 15 minutes.
Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or wipe down with non-stick oil. Lay 2 wonton skins in each cup. If you are trying to keep it even more low cal, only use one skin, but keep in mind cups swill be a lot more fragile… still delicious though!
Spoon turkey filling into cups and top with cheese (optional). Bake for 12 minutes.
Remove cups from oven and garnish with your favorite burrito toppings. We love lettuce, cherry tomatoes, avocado and salsa.

Turkey Burgers

In a perfect world you’d have all of your meals prepared for you and you only. You wouldn’t need to worry about what your kids or spouse was eating because everything would fit perfect with your dietary needs and tastes.

I’m not able to set you up with beach front property in the afore mentioned perfect world, but I AM able to give you an amazingly easy and delicious turkey burger recipe that scales easily to your own healthy diet and will be something your kids will enjoy too.

turkey-lettuce-wrap

Note – the recipe below is ONLY for the turkey patties, find some starting ideas on how to prepare your turkey burgers below in the TIPS section

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (unseasoned)
  • 1/4 cup onion (diced, the smaller the dice the better)
  • 2 eggs (you can do only whites if you want to lean the recipe out even more)
  • 1 glove garlic (minced or finely diced – stick with actual garlic, no powder)
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper to taste (I normally do about 30ish cracks from the pepper mill)
  • ***optional (lettuce for wraps/low calorie buns, see TIPS below)

Directions:

Grab a large bowl and toss in your ground turkey, eggs, onion, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. On the subject of mixing, get in there and use your hands, that’s what they are made for! They’ll mix WAY better than a spoon or spatula.

Form your turkey mix into patties. I normally do 15 or 16 patties, but you can make your burgers as big or small as you like.

In a medium or large sized skillet over medium heat, arrange your patties. You’ll want to flip them half way through cooking. If you are using a meat thermometer, you’re shooting for an internal temperature of 180F or hotter.

Tips:

I normally eat my turkey burgers on a lettuce wrap. You’ll want to get a large head of lettuce, tear a leaf off and then wrap your turkey patty inside with whatever toppings you like. It’s delicious, low in calories and carbs, and will make eating your turkey burger about a million times easier.

For your spouses or kids who may not be eating QUITE as healthy as you, toss them onto a bun and put their favorite condiments on and I bet they’ll love em.

Give it a try and enjoy!