Tag Archives: health

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!

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!

BBQ Chicken Salad

Here is your super easy, super standard, super DELICIOUS, chicken salad recipe, with a bit of bbq sauce instead of dressing to top everything off. A great summer recipe, that works well with frozen chicken, fresh chicken, or rotisserie if you want to be extra lazy.

You can always replace barbecue sauce with your favorite low cal salad dressing as well if bbq isn’t to your liking.

bbq chicken salad

Ingredients: (for one salad)

  • 1 chicken breast per salad (or half a chicken breast depending on hunger levels)
  • red onion chopped finely
  • corn (canned), but fresh is best
  • 1 cucumber
  • low calorie/low sugar barbecue sauce – make your own here: http://www.44fitness.com/blog/healthy-barbeque-sauce/
  • 1 mixed salad bag or salad green of your choice (I prefer fresh spinach)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

Season chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Sear in a skillet over medium high heat for 3 minutes per side and then turn heat to medium low, cover the skillet with a lid or foil, and cook for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, and then chop into bite sized pieces. Return to the skillet add add just enough barbecue sauce to coat the chicken.

Add to salad greens of your choice and add corn (cut from the cob is best), red onion, and cucumbers. Top with a bit of extra sauce if necessary. Try to keep the sauce minimal-the more you add here the more calories you are consuming.

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.

Banana Oatmeal Protein Muffins

Want a delicious snack that even your kids and spouse will eat?
These amazing, protein packed, MOIST muffins are a sweet alternative to store bought and preservative filled snack bars.
protein-muffins
Ingredients: 
  • 2 cups oats (quick cooking or old fashioned)
  • 2 large very ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • OPTIONAL – 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • OPTIONAL – 1/4 cup chopped pecans
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a muffin tin lightly with cooking spray, fill with cup cake liners, and then hit the liners with a little more cooking spray.
Place the all ingredients but the chocolate chips and pecans in a blender.  Blend  on high, stopping to scrape down and stir the ingredients once or twice as needed, until the batter is smooth and the oats have broken down almost completely, about 3 minutes.
By hand, stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling each no more than three-quarters of the way to the top. Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips or nuts.
Bake for 15 minutes (10 for mini muffins), until the tops of the muffins are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes. They will deflate but still taste amazing!
Remove from the pan and enjoy!

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.

Mini Cauli Sheperd’s Pie Cups

One of the biggest keys to your success when it comes to healthy eating is always, ALWAYS having food prepared and available. Having food “already ready” in their own individual “cups” is an awesome way to stay ahead of the game. Check out these Mini Cauliflower Sheperd’s Pie Cups and let me know what you think!

sheperds-pie-cauli-cup

Ingredients:

  • wonton wrappers
  • 1 2.5 – 3 lbs (medium) cauliflower head
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp butter (unsalted) or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
For the filling:
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoons rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup each frozen corn and frozen peas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Prepare your cauliflower mash:

Chop cauliflower into small florets/pieces.  Press or chop garlic finely and add to a large pot.  Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 12 minutes or until fork tender.  Drain, and let cauliflower and garlic sit in the colander while you prepare the filling to make sure all the water is drained. Add butter, salt and pepper and blend with an immersion blender or with a potato masher (this will just mean there is some texture to your mash and more detectable as real veggies to kiddos).

Prepare your filling:

Place the olive oil into a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots and garlic and sauté about 3 to 4 minutes. Add ground turkey and salt and pepper to taste, and cook until turkey is done.  Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly. Add the corn and peas and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Add one wonton wrapper into your muffin tin as your “liners” (note – you can add two wonton wrappers for additional rigidity, but keep in mind it will double your calories).  Fill with filling and scoop a tablespoon of cauliflower mash onto the top of the mini shepherds pies.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until heated through and edges of wontons are browned.

Filling modified from Alton Brown’s recipe. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/shepherds-pie-recipe2.html?soc=socialsharingpinterest&oc=linkback

*recipe credit to Melissa Keith

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!

 

Healthy Vegetable Beef Soup

Soups. Man, I love them soups. Super easy to make. Super easy to portion out for the week on your meal prep day. Toasty and warm during all of the (many) cold winter months in the midwest. Overall, soups man, they are pretty great. And this vegetable beef soup is one of my favorites.

vegetable-beef-soup

Ingredients: 

  • 1.25 pound ground beef (you can use ground turkey, but this is one of the recipes where I prefer a nice lean ground beef)
  • 1 medium-large sized yellow onion
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 5 carrots
  • 1 15oz can whole kernel corn drained
  • 1 can beef broth (low sodium stuff is what I use)
  • 2 cups frozen green beans
  • 1 46 oz bottle of v8 (use the low sodium, low calorie stuff)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

Grab a large soup pot. On medium heat toss in the ground beef and break it apart. While the ground beef is cooking, chop up your onion and celery. Toss those into the pot to start them sauteing.

While all of that is cooking, cut up your carrots and sweet potatoes. By now your meat should be cooked and your onions translucent. Add in your carrots, sweet potatoes, drained corn, and frozen green beans. Next add all of the liquids and your garlic powder. It’s going to smell A LOT like the V8, but don’t worry, that is going to cook off nicely.

Cover your soup and bring up to a boil for 30 mins. When you hit the 30 minute mark, bring the soup down to a simmer and leave covered to cook for around 4 hours. Remember, the longer you cook the soup, the better it’s gonna taste.

After cooking salt and pepper to taste. I normally do about 20 “cracks” on my pepper mill and around a tablespoon of salt.

Also soup is always better the second day, that’s just the way stuff is. Science and all that.

Enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla less Crock Pot Soup

It’s wet n’ stormy weather outside. There’s a spicy salsa beat pumping from the speakers. A delicious and healthy chicken tortilla crock pot soup cooking in the kitchen. This is exactly what is happening in my life right now… well, everything except for the salsa music part.

chicken-tortilla-less-soup

We have a recipe here that lets you easily scale the spiciness and is simple enough that anyone can cook it. It essentially boils down to one step: dice everything and throw into crock pot, go to work or school, come home and eat.

Lets do this!

Ingredients: 

  • 1.5 to 1.75 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 bell pepper (red or green, I normally buy whatever is cheapest)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (keep the seeds if you want it to be more spicy, bin the seeds if you want it less)
  • 2 15oz cans diced tomatoes (do not drain, we want that juice)
  • 1 15oz can black beans (optional recipe is great without)
  • 2 cup chicken broth (I use the reduced sodium stuff)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely minced)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (if you like your soup on the less spicy side, start with a 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (if you like your soup on the less spicy side, start with a 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • *after cooking*
  • avocado (cubed, to use as a soup topping prior to serving)

Directions:

Add all ingredients to crock pot (except the avocado). Make sure the chicken is covered by all of spices, juice, and vegetables.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Remove chicken, using a pair of forks (or whatever your preferred method is, ninja sais or robotic claws work also ) shred your chicken, return chicken to pot. Cook on low for another 2 hours.

Salt and pepper to taste. I normally do 10-15 cracks on the pepper mill for mine, but I like it a bit more peppery.

Throw your soup in a bowl, toss some cut up avocado chunks on top and enjoy!