Category Archives: Recipes

Healthy Make Ahead Meals Part 2

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Ahhhh, how we love spaghetti pie. I love spaghetti but I have never made spaghetti pie. There is a restaurant in town that always served spaghetti pie on the menu and every time we went there, the husband was sure to get it. It was tasty, and a favorite for him. We have not been there in a while so I am not sure if it is still on the menu. So, I was pondering recipes the other day hoping something would pop in my head that would be different that we both will enjoy this week. Enter spaghetti pie 🙂 Of course I healthed it up a bit and I must say it was awesome. It will definitely be in the rotation around here. This is my recipe and this is how it went down.

Ingredients:

1 pkg quinoa pasta

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 grated Parmesan cheese

1 large egg

1 lb of grass-fed beef

1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce

2 heaping tbsp tomato paste

1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 cloves minced garlic

grated mozzarella cheese (optional)

 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the pasta according to the package ( I shortened the cook time a few minutes because it will also be baked later so I did not want the noodles to become to mushy). Brown the beef and drain the excess fat. Add the green peppers, onions, and garlic. Add the jar of sauce and the tomato paste and mix well. Let simmer on low for about 10 minutes while you prepare the noodle crust. In a small bowl mix the yogurt, egg, and parmesan cheese well. It should make a nice creamy mixture. Drain noodles and add the yogurt mixture to the noodles and mix well to coat all noodles. Place noodles in a pie pan coated with nonstick cooking spray and mold to the sides and bottom. The noodles crust should be thick and sticky. Add sauce mixture (the pie filling) to the noodle crust. Add a little mozzarella cheese on top if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Enjoy with a green salad.

The leftovers are awesome. Double the recipe for an extra pie to freeze for later. Dinner is served.

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Noodle crust

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Noodle crust with filling before baking

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Pie after baking 🙂

Who loves spaghetti pie?

 

Healthy Make Ahead Meals Part 1

Food prep is no joke, but the reward is awesome. It is so nice to know that I have a few meals prepared for this week. Last week was a blur. Every night I came home and I had nothing ready or even in my mind about it. Does that sound familiar? I always end up eating whatever when I do not plan a couple of meals ahead of time. So yesterday I decided to make a few “make ahead meals”. I spent a couple of hours prepping and cooking so I still had most of the day to enjoy. Here is what happened.

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MEXICAN CHICKEN AND QUINOA CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded chicken

1 tsp EVOO

1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup sweet potatoes, cubed in small pieces

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 (10 oz) pkg of frozen spinach, thawed making sure to squeeze all water out

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 (8 oz) jar of favorite salsa

shredded cheddar is optional

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Cook quinoa according to pkg

3. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tsp EVOO and saute onion until lightly browned. Add garlic, saute for 1 minute. Add the rest of the vegetables and combine well. Add tomato paste. Add chicken. Transfer mixture to another bowl and stir in quinoa and beans.

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4. Add broth and salsa to the saute pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine to the mixture.

5. Pour the mixture into a casserole pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Note: I cooked my own chicken but the original recipe used shredded rotisserie chicken. Original recipe can be found at http://www.mjandhungryman.com along with other awesome recipes.

Also, make sure to squeeze all the water out of the spinach. I made into a ball and squeezed squeezed squeezed 🙂

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I made one pan to freeze without the cheese. Can’t wait to dig into this at the end of the week.

Do you food prep for the week? What are your favorite make ahead meals?

Stay tuned for part 2 Spaghetti Pie!

 

 

 

Spinach And Feta Turkey Balls

So here it is, an easy mouth-watering combination of lean turkey with two of my faves, spinach and feta. Yes, I know it looks pink because it is raw.  The husband said the photo looked like the balls had pink frosting on them. No, they are raw, ready to go in the oven. This is how it went down:

Ingredients:

2 packages of lean ground turkey

2 cups chopped fresh spinach, I chopped in a blender in 20 seconds

1 small container of reduced fat feta cheese

1 tsp of garlic/parsley powder

salt & pepper to taste

Mix all of this up in a big bowl, use your clean hands because  it is easier than using a spoon and you have to make balls anyway. Form into balls and place the balls in a lightly greased muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes or until done.

They smell so good while cooking. Such a simple and delicious way to get lean protein, veges, and some yum yum with the feta.

Let me know how your balls turn out!

Peace ❤IMG_20140619_143743

 

 

 

Quick Recipe Round-Up

If you follow my Instagram account you may have seen the yummy recipes I posted this past weekend. This post is recipe round-up.

First we have the mouth-watering tropical kabobs. These are so easy and light.

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Just skewer pineapple chunks, mushrooms, purple onion, sweet red peppers, and green peppers. Lightly brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt to taste. I roasted in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Grilling the kabobs would work well also.

Friday night I was craving something sweet. We had nothing in the house I could get my hands on so I decided to whip something up with what I had. It was national doughnut day that day. All I saw on social media were yummy doughnuts all day. That got me in the mood for something doughy. This is what happened.

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Blueberry Banana Cookies 🙂

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 scoops of vanilla protein powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg

1 ripe banana

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp organic honey

1 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

A big handful of fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet. Combine flour, protein powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine egg, mashed banana, coconut oil, honey, milk, and vanilla extract and whisk together. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and combine together. Fold in the blueberries. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden. These were a hit at my house.

Who doesn’t love chicken salad? I love it, but not with mayo. A good friend shared this with me. It is so easy and delightful.

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Avocado Cilantro Chicken Salad 🙂

2 cans of chicken breast or 2 cups of shredded chicken

1 tbsp garlic powder with parsley

1 tsp salt

Juice of 2 fresh limes

1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

2 tbsp finely chopped purple onion (optional)

1 large ripe avocado

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. I served open-faced with an Ezekiel muffin and tomato. It would be great as a sandwich or on a bed of mixed greens. Simple, healthy and easy to prepare. Enjoy.

5 Tips To Simple Clean Eating

Eating clean is not complicated. What complicates the whole nutrition thing is the processed crap fake food that crowds the grocery stores and markets. I know you have heard the phrase “you are what you eat” right? Well, I believe this to be true. When I put processed foods in my body I feel sluggish, irritable, lethargic and I have zero energy. I often get asked at work from our members about what are good ideas for meals and snacks. My answer to them is of course, whole food. Then I get the usual blank stare like they do not know what that means. I then explain the whole thing about shopping for whole foods, you know, the perimeter of the store, checking ingredients, no packaged or fake food etc.. People complicate things too much. I always recommend keeping things simple. Cooking meals that are healthy and nutritious can be simple.

Here are my top 5 tips of simple clean eating.

1. Spend time in the produce section of the grocery or visit your local farmers market. Try new things.

2. Take time to read nutrition labels and especially the ingredients. If there is a huge list of  ingredients, chances are it is processed so move on to something else.

3. If you do not have a crock pot, get one. If you have one, use it. There are tons of healthy recipes for slow cookers all over the web. I have a few here.

4. Do not fall for the flashy marketing on products in the grocery stores and markets. I know all the packages are screaming for us to take them off the shelf because they claim to be healthy, low-fat, low-sugar, 100 calorie, low sodium, heart healthy blah blah blah… but beware. I believe it is much safer and healthier to grab the fruits and vegetables that are sitting quietly in the produce section 🙂

5. Experiment with putting whole foods together for creating delicious meals. Do not over complicate it. For example; for dinner I can bake a piece of salmon, while at the same time roast asparagus and bake a sweet potato that I washed and wrapped in foil all in the same oven. It just takes a tiny bit of thought and planning.

 

So this morning I woke up feeling like I wanted pancakes. All it takes is a bowl, 3/4 cup brown rice flour, 1 egg, 1 scoop vanilla whey protein, 1/2 cup almond milk, stir, and cook in a skillet on medium high until golden. My topping is blueberries heated with a little butter and agave nectar. It took about 10 minutes for the whole event. This is my blueberry pancake breakfast today 🙂

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I hope this helps if you are struggling with how to clean up your diet. Remember, we are what we eat so don’t forget about all the beautiful fruits and vegetables sitting peacefully in the produce. I would much rather be a colorful zucchini or broccoli flower than a chunk of Velveeta.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning any new nutrition or exercise program.

 

Quick Jump Rope Interval Workout And French Toast

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Time to get moving! This is a quick strength and jump rope workout that I will do today. I need to get some quick and intense cardio in without running. I did a long run for my half marathon training yesterday so no running today. I will do jump rope intervals between my strength training sets where the focus will be back and biceps. I will do 3 sets of each.

Now on to recent yum yums. I made this French Toast about a week ago, and it is dreamy and healthed up. I used an organic preservative free whole grain bread. Ezekiel bread would work great too. In a bowl I mixed 4 egg whites and 1 yolk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup almond milk, and a dash of salt. I dipped 6 pieces of bread in the egg mixture and then placed on my grill pan on the stove to brown each side. I then placed the toast in the oven to finish cooking and crisp a bit on 350 degrees.

For the blueberry syrup, I used 1 cup of frozen organic blueberries and added 1 tsp of butter, and 1 tsp of Agave nectar, microwave for a few seconds until warm and syrupy (stir occasionally to blend). When the toast is done, top with blueberries and enjoy!! So tasty.

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Let me know how it turns out!

 

Some exercises are not suitable for everyone. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise or exercise program.

AmazeBalls And The Fit In 5 “29” Day Challenge

Why 29? Well, everyone does a 30 Day Challenge so I wanted to be different. It all starts tomorrow. I will keep this short and sweet so we can get on with the AmazeBalls.

Fit In 5 Challenge begins Monday March 3rd and ends March 31st. There will be a challenge posted everyday for you to complete. I will also be participating in the challenge but the challenge for me is to actually post it every day, so you will hold me accountable okay? So that means you have to comment on the post that you did it or you can leave a post on my facebook page, or post an awesome photo of yourself on Instagram doing some of the challenge and tag me @nthefitzone and #fitin5. If you do not, I will not believe you did it 🙂

The concept is all about 5!!! The challenges are short so it will not take much of your time. That is the beauty in it all, it is a great way to start forming a healthy habit everyday without screwing up your day. I promise the challenges will not take over 5 minutes. So here is the first CHALLENGE Day #1

Pushups for 1 minute. Below you will see photos of me performing the pushups with the modified version too. Don’t cheat, if you have to rest, rest in the high plank position. Attempt a few on your toes even if you barely bend your arms. This will make you stronger. Form: feet about hip with apart, arms a little wider that shoulders, set your gaze ahead of you on the floor, breathe. Do with proper form. Modify when needed. Go!

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On to the next! Jump Squats for 1 minute, I know why right? It is great for strength and cardio. There is a modification so if impact is not your thing right now modify by squatting down with legs wide, chest and head up and come up lifting out of the heels and reaching high to the sky with good form of course. Here it is below.

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Last but not least is 1 minute of Downward Facing Dog, you’re welcome. Come to your mat with hands shoulder with apart spreading through the fingers, feet hip width apart, lengthen through the spine, pressing leg bones behind you, heels drift toward the floor as the chest sinks toward the thighs. Let the head hang gently between arms in neutral position. Breathe. Namaste. Now repeat all of it again so you will get the 5 minutes 🙂

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Now on to the good stuff. A friend posted this recipe on her facebook and they are amazing. She used peanut butter and I had to be different again and use almond butter. I guess you could use any nut butters. These are the ingredients below.

Amazeballdough

1 cup dry whole oats

2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (option)

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl and chill. Once chilled, form into balls and refrigerate (I think she said up to 1 week but after you taste these there is no way they will make it a week, not in my house anyway) AMAZING! Oh, she said makes 20-25 balls but I made big balls which came out to about 15. Enjoy!

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So who is going to do the challenge? You probably should consider it if you are going to try these balls. Just sayin.

Always consult your physician before beginning a new exercise program.

Healthy Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

I found this awesome chicken fajita recipe over at StacyMakesCents . If you cannot cook, you must invest in a crock pot/slow cooker. Everyone will think you can cook and you may even surprise yourself. I changed one or two things in mine and it turned out great and healthy.

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Slice green, red, yellow peppers and 1 medium onion. Lightly grease crock pot/slow cooker with olive oil. Place the peppers and onions in the cooker and place 3-4 skinless chicken breasts on top. Pour about 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock over the top. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with Mrs. Dash fiesta lime seasonings. Cover completely with the spice mixture. Then drizzle the juice of one fresh lime on top. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

I did not shred the chicken, I cut into chunky pieces but you could do what you like.  I warmed a few whole wheat tortillas, added a little cheese, fresh tomato, lettuce and avocado. There you go, an easy healthy meal and the leftovers are great too.

Well, it is that time of year when we are all thinking about new ways to stay healthy. I am going to experiment with more crock pot recipes over the next few weeks so I will share what I come up with.

I am excited about the new year. I have set some new goals for myself that I will be sharing later. Also, another Fit In 5 workout will be posted this week. I think we all need a good sweaty New Year’s Day workout.  Are you in?

Easy And Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

This weekend was awesome and relaxing. Friday night I cooked fish tacos and Saturday night I cooked sea bass for the first time. It turned out great. Tonight was the slow cooker chicken parmesan. No frying is involved so that eliminates a bunch of fat that this dish is known for. Keep in mind it will not be crunchy, but it still has the yummy comforting flavor with fewer calories.

In a bowl beat 2 eggs with a fork. In a separate bowl combine 1/4 cup parmesan cheese with 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Spread a little olive oil in the bottom of the slow cooker/crock pot. Take 4 skinless chicken breasts, dip each in egg and then into crumb/cheese mix and lay on the bottom of the crock pot. Pour 1 jar of your favorite sauce on top and cook on low for 5-6 hours. I served the chicken with whole wheat pasta. This easy, healthier version will be a hit with the family!

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Well, I have a lot going on. The 10,000 Steps For Health Challenge is still going strong. I was interviewed by our local paper about the challenge. I am hoping to get the word out to inspire people to make small changes that can improve their health. I am wearing my pedometer every day and I am averaging about 10,000 to 12,000 steps per day. I have also been doing the Runner’s World Holiday Run Streak Challenge. I have completed 11 days in a row. Some days I do just a mile, but my streak is going strong. This challenge has really kept me motivated and I can already feel improvements in my runs.

I am still involved in the Under Armour What’s Beautiful Competition. I have been a part of the What’s Beautiful Community for over a year now and I love it. It is such a strong support of women from all over the world. We compete with each other but we all support each other too. These women are so inspiring and motivating! If you have not checked it out, go take a look at http://www.whatsbeautiful.ua.com and see what you are missing. I will be doing a separate post about the What’s Beautiful Community soon. I am also involved in an Instagram challenge from Under Armour. I have won 2 swag bags of their awesome gear. This is a fun challenge where you post a pic of yourself doing the challenge that is given for that day. They pick two winners every week to win a swag bag and trust me, they are very generous 🙂 To join just follow @Shauna_Harrison @UnderArmourWomen and tag them and use the hashtag #sweataday. Below is a photo of myself in a side plank challenge this week. Keep in mind, she always gives modifications for the challenges. The sweataday challenge is for men and women so check it out!

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I finished the weekend decorating for Christmas. Time seems like it is flying by and the New Year will be here before you know it. I have got to start thinking of my resolutions. Organizing will be one. What is your New Year Resolution going to be?

Sweet Protein Redheads

Wow! These little nuggets turned out better than I thought they would. I call them,  protein pumpkin redheads. I know there are brownies, blondies, and now there are redheads. The original recipe came from IG account @dallassrae. I changed a few ingredients and came up with my own version. We do not do peanut butter as the recipe called for, so I substituted almond butter. I used pumpkin puree instead of the pumpkin powder you mix with water. I also doubled my recipe because I am an extra hungry girl 🙂 This is the recipe I did and boy were these a hit with the husband.

In one bowl mix:

2 cups whole oats

2 scoops vanilla whey protein

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

In a separate bowl mix:

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

Now combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix well and spread into lightly greased baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Tip: I like lots of oats so feel free to add more if you do too.

Redheads like it wild so don’t be afraid to throw a few dark chocolate morsels in.  I did on one side. I love the combo of flavors!

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Hey, go check out @Dallasrae on IG. She is a figure competitor and has great recipe ideas for eating clean. What do you do with pumpkin puree this time of year?

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