Monday, May 23, 2016

Clean Recipe Roundup

For the past few weeks, I've been doing the 21 Day Fix.  Let me tell you, those workouts are no joke, and they work. Along with the workouts is a clean eating plan. I personally found the portion controlling to be a little restrictive (I'm going to eat as many fruits and vegetables as I want), but I liked that it was a reminder to eat clean and avoid processed food.  I always love the opportunity to try new recipes, and everything we've been eating lately is going into our regular rotation.  I put together a little round-up of some of my favorites, because I assure you that my easy variation on tuna nicoise is far better than cold grilled cheese crusts for lunch.


Veggie Scramble - This has become one of my favorite dishes. I cook zucchini, kale, and tomatoes in olive oil. Mix with a scrambled egg and top with pesto.

Avocado Toast - So simple, so filling, and so good.  A slice of Ezekial or other sprouted bread, topped with mashed avocado, an egg and sea salt.

Egg Muffins - I like to make these on Sunday night for us to eat throughout the week.  Use any combination of veggies or meat you like and put in a greased muffin tin.  Whisk together 6 eggs and 1/2 cup milk.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour egg mixture over filling and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until set.

Chocolate Smoothie - This is one of my favorite snacks, anytime of day.  Frozen banana, cocoa powder, milk, a splash of vanilla and as much spinach as you can pack in the blender.  It's like a super frosty!

Green Tea with Honey and Turmeric - I was soooore the first week of workouts. Turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory, among many other health benefits, so I've been mixing it into my green tea with honey.


Lazy Girl Tuna Nicoise - Roast chopped potatoes and green beans (you can even use frozen!) in a 425 degree oven for 30-40 minutes (less for the beans).  In a bowl, mix together vegetables, one can of Italian tuna in olive oil, juice of one lemon and salt and pepper.  Serve with greens.  Add in hard boiled eggs and olives, if you like.

Egg and Avocado Salad - Mix together two chopped hard boiled eggs, half an avocado, a Tablespoon or two of Greek Yogurt, and a teaspoon of mustard. Season with dill, salt and pepper.

Chickpea Avocado Salad- Mix together one can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed, one chopped avocado, chopped feta cheese and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and the juice of a lime.


Salmon with Greek Yogurt Sauce - I love salmon because it cooks so quickly.  Grilled, sauteed or broiled, it only takes a few minutes.  The sauce is greek yogurt, lemon juice and dill.

Taco Bowls - When in doubt, make tacos.  I like to clean mine up by serving the meat (or beans) on lettuce and topping with avocado, greek yogurt, cilatro, and hot sauce. 

White Chicken Chili - This is one of my new favorite meals! Recipe here.

Burgers on a Lettuce Wrap - Our standard burger recipe is to mix grass fed beef with worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.  I skipped the bun and topped it with avocado, goat cheese, pesto and tomatoes, and wrapped the whole thing in lettuce leaves.

Tropical Chicken Salad - Romaine topped with pineapple, oranges, bell peppers, scallions and grilled chicken.   Dressed with honey mustard: 1/2 cup yogurt, 3 T dijon mustard, 3T honey, 3T apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, pepper, and water to thin to desired consistency.

Salmon Cakes - My go-to dinner. You're probably sick of hearing about these, so just make them already!

Italian Chicken with Zoodles - In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add 1/2 cupped onion, 2 cloves chopped garlic and cook for a few minutes.  Add in 1 teaspoon oregano and 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and mix in 1 cup ricotta cheese, 1 cup spinach leaves and 1 lb. cooked chicken.  Sprinkle with grated parmesan and serve over zucchini noodles. 

Cauliflower Crust Pizza - I used this recipe for my crust.  They key to getting it crust-like as opposed to soggy cauliflower is to remove as much liquid as possible. I wrap mine in a clean dishtowel and wring it as hard as I can.  I recommend being generous with your herbs and spices for seasoning, because cauliflower can be bland.  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

A few weeks ago we went into Boston for the day. After chasing little people up, down, and around the Children's Museum, watching Colin climb up three stories on a jungle gym and James' excitement at a room filled with golf balls, we went to Flour Bakery for lunch.  I had the Roasted Sweet Potato sandwich, and it was amazing. I just checked the menu, and it looks like they don't offer it right now, but lucky for you I made a salad that's just as good.  The original sandwich was roasted sweet potato, apple, walnut pesto, blue cheese and kale on wheat bread.  I took some liberties, changed up some ingredients, and made it into a salad.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Romaine and Kale, shredded
Olive oil
Sweet potato rounds, roasted
Apple, sliced
Roasted tomatoes
Goat cheese
Balsamic Vinegar

Drizzle kale and romaine with olive oil
Sweet potatoes - coat slices or cubes with olive oil and roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
Tomatoes - toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt. Roast at 425 for 30-45 minutes.
Mix all ingredients together and top with balsamic vinegar.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Turkey Sloppy Joes

This version of Sloppy Joes is lightened up with ground turkey, and packs a bunch of vegetables into the mix.  My brother-in-law, who might be my most loyal reader, lived with us a few years ago, and probably remembers the Sloppy Jane. It used lentils instead of meat and was even healthier than this version.  After the lentil taco incident, which some of you may recall, I've stayed away from those particular legumes for the time being.

Turkey Sloppy Joes

1 lb. ground turkey
1 zucchini, shredded
1-2 carrots, shredded
1 onion, shredded or chopped
1 garlic clove, shredded or chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
8 oz. tomato sauce
1/4-1/2 cup barbecue sauce
Rolls, for serving

In a medium saucepan, saute zucchini, carrots, onion and garlic until soft. I shredded everything in the food processor, but you could also use a box grater or just chop finely.
When vegetables are cooked through, move them to the side of the pan and add the ground turkey.  Cook until browned.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, and barbecue sauce.
Simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes.
Serve on rolls.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Zucchini Lasagna Rolls

It's been pointed out to me by more than one person that I haven't been posting much lately.  I'm here to remedy that with an easy and healthy meal your whole family will enjoy, as long as you don't have a finicky 4-year-old.

Truth be told, instead of writing down recipes and photographing meals, life is moving pretty quickly around here.  Many afternoons I make dinner in 5 minute increments running into the kitchen while I leave Colin "in charge" outside in the back yard. Someday this will likely result in James running Colin over with the mini John Deere (again...), or someone getting stuck in a tree.

If you follow me on Facebook (please do! I share mini-recipes and awkward comments - link is on the sidebar), you know I have a serious addiction to my spiralizer.  There are zucchini noodles all over the place here.  Today, I set my beloved kitchen gadget aside for a y-shaped peeler to make these noodles.  This has all the cheesy, saucy goodness of your favorite Italian pasta dish, without the empty carbs.

Zucchini Lasagna Rolls

2 medium zucchini, peeled into thin strips
1 16 oz. container cottage cheese or ricotta
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 egg
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup marinara sauce
Optional: garlic powder, chopped spinach, Italian herbs, pesto

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, combine cottage cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella, egg, parmesan, salt and any additional seasonings.
Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish.
Lay three strips of zucchini overlapping, as shown below.
Scoop a couple tablespoons of cottage cheese mixture on and roll up.
Arrange in the baking dish.
Top with marinara and additional 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes until heated through.




Wednesday, March 2, 2016

White Chicken Chili

This has quickly become one of my new favorite meals.  Quick, easy, healthy, and the kids (usually) enjoy it, too.  That's pretty much all I ask for these days.  It's also great because you can stock all the ingredients in your pantry/freezer to have at the ready.  Long gone are the evenings of leisurely stirring risotto for forty minutes while sipping on a few glasses of wine.  Yesterday I put all the ingredients in the crock pot after lunch and dinner was ready to go at our early bird time of 5pm when we came in from playing a highly competitive game of outdoors Chutes and Ladders.  If you're wondering what that is, it's basically Colin directing me around the yard to most of the "chutes" and him winning the game.  The champion always seems to win ice cream.

White Chicken Chili

1 lb. chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 8 oz. jar salsa verde (I like the Trader Joe's brand)
2 teaspoons cumin
2-4 cups chicken broth
Optional toppings: avocado, cilantro, hot sauce, chips, cheese, sour cream

Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.
Shred chicken with two forks and serve with your favorite toppings.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Pesto Baked Chicken

This was such an easy dinner, perfect for weeknights.  I turned on the oven at 4 and we were ready to eat at 5.  The early bird special works for the kids, otherwise they are demolishing snacks and getting sleepy at the table later.  Last weekend Jon and I went out to dinner for the first time in, oh, 8 months. We put the kids to bed first so we didn't eat until 9.  I was demolishing snacks and getting sleepy at the table, because apparently I'm 4.  Or 94.

I made my own pesto, because bunches of basil were half the price of tiny containers of pesto, but either works here.

Pesto Baked Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (depending on the thickness you may want to slice them horizontally or pound them)
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes (or use fresh)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour diced tomatoes into the bottom of a baking dish.
Arrange chicken breasts on top.
Spread with pesto.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Cherry Pie

The only regret I have about our wedding is that I didn't agree to Jon's request that instead of wedding cake we have wedding pie.  Everyone loves pie, but instead I insisted on a lovely tiered lemon cake that we had to cut immediately because it was a million degrees and the buttercream was melting.  This would not have happened with wedding pie.  

Pie is surprisingly easy to make.  The longest part is rolling the crust.  Then all that's left is to fill it up with sweetened fruit, pop it in the oven, and get ready with the ice cream.  My crimping skills are rustic at best, so cutting the top crust into cute hearts was not only seasonal, it was functional.  

Cherry Pie

1 recipe pate brisee pie crust (from the master herself, Martha Stewart)
2 pounds cherries (I used frozen)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch or flour
1/2 lemon juiced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Make pie crust recipe in advance. I prefer to make it the day before, but at a minimum let it chill in the fridge for 3 hours.
In a large bowl, combine cherries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice.  
Roll out bottom crust and fit into pie plate.
Pour fruit mixture into crust.
Top with second crust. 
Brush with an egg wash (optional).
Place pie on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.
Allow to cool before serving.

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