Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Grilled Salmon with Chopped Guac on top

So I've attempted salmon a couple of times.  Each time its just eh, not so great not so bad but we eat it.  This recipe was so good!!!  As some of you know through Facebook I had a bit of a struggle when knowing how to eat salmon with the skin on it, I'm glad I asked, and I'm glad I ate it.  It was delicious.  This recipe was super easy and I served with roasted broccoli and roasted sweet potatoes (I was making these to have for the week with my lunches so it was the perfect opportunity.  The salmon in total took 2 minutes to prep and 5 minutes to cook.  I did let it sit in the fridge with the rub on it for about 10 minutes while I prepped other stuff.  The avocado on top was AMAZING.  The salmon and avocado count as 1 blue and 1 red on 21 day fix.  I skipped sweet potato b/c I wanted to have a glass of wine and only ate just broccoli with it.  I like to season my broccoli with pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, and a little bit of olive oil spray.  I season my sweet potatoes the same way, minus the chili powder and add some dried sage.  Yum.

Steve said it was good as well, and he really only likes raw salmon.

Grilled Salmon with Chopped Guac on Top

  • 2 fillets of wild Alaskan Salmon with skin on
  • tbsp olive oil (didn't measure just lightly drizzled and rubbed on fish)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder or ancho chili powder (smokier taste)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 red onion (I didn't even use the whole 1/4 I just stired it into the avocado until it looked like plenty for me)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • pinch dried cilantro (you could use fresh I just hate buying it to use a pinch of it and I had dried lying around)
  • dash of black pepper and dash of garlic powder to add to guacamole
  1.  Make the guacamole.  Dice up the avocado, throw in the diced onion, squeeze lime juice in, add seasonings from above cilantro, and the dash of black pepper and dash of garlic powder.  Stir together and let sit in fridge until fish is done.
  2.   Mix together the cumin, onion, garlic, black pepper, chili powder, and paprika (all amounts above the avocado).
  3.   Dry off salmon fillets and lightly rub with olive oil.  Rub spices on both sides skin side and flesh side of fish.
  4.   I grilled mine in a Panini press on high.  You could also use a cast iron or the grill.  I grilled for probably a total of six minutes.  I then topped with avocado mixture.  Enjoy!

21 Day Fix Clean Stuffed Italian Peppers

Yep steal eating clean and 21 Day Fix approved foods.  Still loving it.  When I eat unhealthy food I just do not feel good my stomach hurts and I'm dragging in the energy department.  So I've stuck to it.  I started this journey November 16th and I can't believe where its taken me.  Truthfully this whole thing was my husbands idea.  He encouraged me to do it, and looking back so much has changed.  Not only am I in love with the 21 Day Fix eating plan and exercises but I've started helping others create their own journey with these programs.  Total for the year I'm down 72 lbs, which sounds amazing, I'm pretty proud of myself.  I owe the last 25 lbs to 21 Day Fix and Shakeology.  I just started yesterday Day 1 of a new work out program through Beach Body, 22 Minute Hard Corps.  Its a military style workout based off basic training and its quick.

Ok here with go with the food part.   When my Grandfather passed just recently we were fortunate enough to have some amazing friends support us through that time and also deliver us some delicious food to get us through not only my Grandfather's passing but also my little guy who at the time was 9 months and fractured his skull.  My best friend Irene brought over stuffed peppers.  Which I've never tried before, and I don't know I went 32 years with out trying them, they were AMAZING.   I've been snooping around for the perfect recipe and think I found it.  I may tweak it just a bit, but otherwise delicious and healthy.   These were quick to prep.   The original recipe called for cauliflower rice however I needed another Yellow container (carb) in my day so I made them with brown rice.  I will include the recipe for the cauliflower rice in case you'd like to do it low carb.  I used more tomato sauce than the original recipe and I'm glad I did.  If you are not watching your sodium or cooking low sodium you could just use a jar pasta sauce, I used a can of no sodium added tomato sauce.  Serving size is 1 pepper and this recipe makes 5 peppers, so do the math, 5 servings. 

Stuffed Italian Peppers

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey or if you don't like turkey you could use 93-95% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 small white onion diced (a heaping cup full)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  •  1 large can of No Salt Added Tomato sauce (original recipe called for 1.5 cups but I just didn't think that was enough)
  • original recipe called for 1 tbsp of Italian seasoning and pepper to taste.  I didn't have Italian seasoning so honestly I just seasoned very heavily with black pepper, dried basil, dried oregano, and dried parsley.  I also added a pinch of crushed red pepper and a quick shake of onion and garlic powder just in case haha.   You'll taste it before you stuff the peppers so you can always just add more seasoning.   
  • 2/3 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 5 thin slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup of brown rice or 1 cup of cauliflower rice (recipe below)
  • 5 green peppers top cut off seeds and ribs removed 
 To make the cauliflower rice:
  1.   Cut one small head of cauliflower into florets.  Grind up in food processor until the pieces are the size of grains of rice.  If you don't have a food processor you could also hand grate them on a box grater, just watch out for your knuckles!! 
To make the stuffed peppers:
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
  2.  In a large skillet on medium heat throw in the turkey and season with above seasoning then brown the turkey, onions, and garlic until cooked through.   
  3. Once cooked through drain the extra fat.  Stir in the brown rice or cauliflower rice whatever you decided to use.  Also stir in about a cup of tomato sauce.  The original recipe said to throw in 3/4 of a cup at this time, it didn't seem like enough so I dumped some more in there.   I seasoned again at this step with all the above seasoning (actually I skipped the red peppers hear because I didn't want them to be to spicy).  Add the shredded mozzarella cheese stir in and let this cheesy bubbly goodness just simmer away for a bit stir frequently on low to med low heat. 
  4. After above has simmered for about 10 minutes put a thin layer of sauce from the can on the bottom of a deep casserole dish.  Fill all the peppers to the top place standing up in the dish and top with a spoonful of sauce each.  Bake for 1 hour on 350 degrees. 
  5. Take out of the oven and top with slice of fresh mozzarella and bake for another 10 minutes or so until cheese is melted.  I think I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture of the gooey melted cheese on top.    
Each serving is 1.5 Green, 1 blue, 1 yellow (unless you use cauliflower rice then its no yellow), 1/2 purple.  It'd be a little less green if you used brown rice.   

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

21 Day Fix Taco Salad/New Taco Seasoning

So this taco seasoning recipe is really my oldest taco seasoning recipe.  I've tried others this is my favorite.  I've adapted it to make it 21 Day Fix friendly.  I uesd this seasoning recipe to make a delicious taco salad last night covered in creamy Mexican dressing and crunchy seasoned tortilla strips and all clean and healthy.  The first time I had it with some shredded reduced fat cheese.  Today when I had it for lunch I skipped the cheese because I really couldn't taste it over the taco meat and the dressing so I just skipped it today. 

On my third round of 21 day fix and Shakeology and down a total of 20 lbs and over 27 inches......still continuing on this journey and loving every moment. 

I make this taco seasoning in a decent sized batch which lasts for 3 or 4 batches of taco meat (l-1.5 lbs of meat used with each batch).  I've also used this seasoning and thrown it in the crock pot with salsa and chicken and let it simmer away making delicious healthy chicken. 

I am a crouton lover, and miss them tons on this diet.  These crispy tortilla strips were EASY and also amazing.  I'm going to be making them and storing t

hem in the pantry to use.   The picture doesn't look all that amazing because I had no tomatoes so it did look a little blah.  But oh well...its taco salad and its amazing close your eyes and use your imagination if you need a better picture.

My Fav Homemade Taco Seasoning

  • 2 tbsp chili powder (regular or if you like smokey use Ancho Chili Powder)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp Himalayan salt (optional I do not use any salt in it because I think it has enough flavor that you don't need salt, but I know some can't live with out it)
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  1.  Brown whatever kind of lean meat you'd like to use.  Drain off fat.  Mix 2 heaping tbsp of seasoning and 3/4 cup of water.  Bring to a simmer and reduce to med low and let it bubble and simmer until sauce is thickened.
  2.  Store excess seasoning in the fridge so that the flour does not spoil (I'm not sure that it does, but the site I got the basis for this recipe before I changed it up said this....so maybe they knew what they were talking about).  
Crispy Baked Tortilla Strips

  • 2 Flat Out Brand Whole Grain wraps cut in half then sliced into thin stripls.
  • Olive oil spray
  • Pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin for seasoning.
  1. Preheat oven to 210 degrees.  Use a foil lined baking sheet sprayed with olive oil spray.  try to get strips in a single layer on the tray best you can.  Spray top with olive oil. Season as generously as you'd like with the above seasonings.  
  2. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until they look like they are starting to brown.  Take it out flip 'em all over the best you can, spray and season again.  Back another 10 minutes until just starting to brown.  
  3. They will not be all that crispy yet so through the oven on broil now and watch them like a hawk.  Broil for a minute or to until golden brown.  Enjoy so delicious.
Creamy Mexican "Dressing"

  • 0% Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • All Natural Salsa
  1. Take about a cup of yogurt (I didn't measure I just did it) and whisk in with a fork salsa until its creamy dressing consistency.  I did season with a small bit of pepper and garlic powder because I couldn't help myself.
To make the salad grab some lettuce or baby spinach and top with taco meat, some reduced fat cheese if you want, fresh tomatoes, some bermuda onion, and some crispy tortilla strips if you didn't eat them all when they came out of the oven. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Garlic and Paprika Roasted Chicken Thighs

So this is not my recipe can't take any credit for it although I cooked it and ate it haha.  I pinned this recipe a while ago and just lit it sit on a board until my friend cooked this last night and said how good it was.  So I obviously quickly added it to my menu this week.  The original recipe called for drumsticks but I really didn't feel like drumsticks so I used chicken thighs.  Steve loved this chicken and so did I.  Next time I would use probably 1/2 the amt of olive oil there wasn't a need for as much as the recipe called for it left a lot of oil in the dish which I used to baste the chicken half way through.  That is all I would change.
I was terrified to taste this actually.  Why you ask??? Because it seemed like it was going to be like blazing hell spicy.  While it was cooking it was making me cough because I thought it was so spicy....it actually was not spicy at all and was just delicious!!!
I served this with roasted broccoli and potatoes.  The meal was good even after sitting out on the counter for an hour while I took care of everyone else and listened to the baby scream...

Garlic and Paprika Roasted Chicken Thighs

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil (like I said I'd use a little less than this next time just didnt think all that was necessary. 
  • lg pinch of crushed red peppers
  • 4 large cloves of garlic minced or crushed (I use a Micro Plane zester)
  •  1 tbsp if smoked paprika
  • pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
  • dried or fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place chicken thighs in a small glass square casserole dish or in whatever you want.  Dry the thighs off and season with pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  3. In a small skillet on med lo heat add olive oil, red pepper flakes, paprika, and garlic.  Let it start bubbling and cook for about two minutes.  Do not let the pan get to hot or you will burn the garlic.
  4. Pour oil mixture evenly over chicken.  I sort of smeared it around on top of them.
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes or until tops are crispy and brownish and internal temp is 170.  I took them out half way through and used a spoon to drizzle the liquid in the pan back on top of the chicken to baste.  Remove garnish with diced or dried parsley, and enjoy.  I'd say this dish per thigh is 1 red and your 2 tsp, I didn't eat all of an orange container so I assume the lg amt of oil filled those right up.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

21 Day Fix Creamyish Roasted Vegetable and Chicken Soup

I saw a picture of this chicken soup and had to make it as soon as possible.  My plan was to make it Tuesday, but when I went to go make it I realized I never bought the chicken stock.  I wanted to make it yesterday but I ran out of time.  So today seemed absolutely perfect.  The recipe calls basically for left over chicken so I thought so smart I'll buy a rotisserie chicken (I asked to make sure they do not use any oil or butter in the cooking process and they do not).  So I bought one yesterday (although I went to the store for formula and forgot it!!!)  and brought it home and shredded it.  If you can see where this story is going I left the shredded chicken on the counter overnight and had to throw it away this morning because it was out on the counter for a very long time.   I was determined to finally make this soup so I had to use raw chicken which worked great and I'd do it the same way next time.  I'm midway through only my second 21 day fix.....the changes in my body have been insane...some day when I hit my goal I will share pictures....but literally my before and after pictures already look like different people...I'm so proud of myself and feeling so much stronger and healthier than before!  Today I bought my third set of weights because the two sets I've been using are to light :-).  I also I'm loving my Shakeology, it has made such a difference in my energy level and has curbed my cravings immensely.  Overall this experience has been life changing in more ways than physical ones.  It's changed my out look on lots of things.

The reason I called this creamy soup is because it has a thicker texture to the broth.  Steve looked at the chicken soup and said "Wow, this almost looks like a stew."  I like stews a lot and was psyched about the thicker texture.   It is thick because you roast a bunch of vegetables and puree them you then add this puree to the soup, YUM!

I did take this recipe from a website, but of course I changed it a bit and added my own tweaks here and there.  My favorite of days is when I have dinner simmering on the stove all day and the house just explodes with the aroma of something delicious.   Although with new recipies I get so nervous if I've put so much effort into it smelled it simmering all day and then its not good.... I lose it.  But this was amazing!!!!  It was so flavorful and Steve didn't even salt the soup he said it was so full of flavor.  Steve salts EVERYTHING.  

I do not like soup that has had noodles or rice sitting in it for a long time.  I hate those really weird bloated noodles that sort of slip around in our mouth then mush in your mouth.  I also don't like bloated rice.  I add the noodles and rice when the soup is served.  I served mine over  3/4 of a yellow container of brown rice (I figured the pureed sweet potato added some starch and so I didn't fill the container with rice) and Steve had his over a serving of Jasmine rice.  It was so good and filling but a good filling, not like stuffed can't move filling.  I'd say each serving was 1 Yellow, 1 Red and 1/2 Green.  I meant to add spinach....but as my scatter mommy brain has proved in the above paragraphs I forgot it.  With additional servings I'll throw in some baby spinach and wilt after I heat up.   I can not wait to eat this again this weekend at work and Steve wants to bring left overs to work tomorrow (which means I nailed it BTW).    Ok enough jibba jabba.....here it goes!!! I made a double recipe because who doesn't want left over soup, I'm just giving you the doubled recipe because trust me you want left overs and it didn't make a crazy amount of soup.

Creamyish Roasted Vegetable and Chicken Soup

  • 6  chicken breasts (I like Harvestland by Perdue Organic Pre Packaged chicken breasts, they are exactly 1 Red container, thin (I hate thick chicken), and also no weird tendons in them) 
  • 3 Large cardboard things of Chicken Stock (I got organic no salt added) It called for 8 cups, and the two containers had like 9 ish cups so I just used it all.
  • 4 celery sticks diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 white onions quartered
  • 2 small sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 4 carrots peeled and chopped ( I forgot carrots haha, so I used a ton of baby carrots and just sliced them into chunks) 
  • 2 cups of butternut squash cubed (I bought pre peeled and cut b/c I was attempting to be lazy with this soup and used about 1/2 the container the other half I roasted for William to eat)
  • olive oil
  • Pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to season veggies
  • 2 cups of water 
  • 1-2 Portabella mushrooms chopped up (I bought like the pre sliced ones and used about half of a 16 oz package)  Steve always jokes I add mushrooms to EVERYTHING, hes right I do but they add such a deep rich flavor how can you not.  
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups of baby spinach
Veggies before they were pureed
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place stock in a large stock pot (I used a dutch oven and it was very close to the top)  Bring to a boil and throw in the chicken breasts let them bubble away for 30 minutes in there.  
  2. Place the carrot, onion, garlic, sweet potato, and squash onto a foil lined tray drizzle with olive oil and season with black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Roast in the oven for 25 minutes while the chicken is cooking.
  3. Take chicken out of broth, shred with a fork and add to pot again with celery.
  4. Take all the veggies except the carrots and place them in a large bowl (or blender if you don't have an immersion blender).  Steve loves carrots in his soup so I didn't want to puree any of these and I'm glad I didn't.    Take the squash, onion, garlic, and sweet potato and puree adding the two cups of water with either an immersion blender or regular blender until smooth.  Add this smooth purree to the soup.  Also throw in the carrots.  Simmer on the stove on lowish for at least three hours, mine simmered for 6 hours and it was perfection!!!!!!!!  If you are going to remember to put the spinach in throw in 15 minutes before serving.  Also throw some cooked rice or cooked noodles in the bottom of the a bowl then ladle hot soup on top, serve and enjoy!!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

21 Day Fix Taco Seasoning

I'm going to start this post off with I'm not the healthiest eater and I do not have the healthiest lifestyle...but I'm trying.  So I'm not preaching here about eating non processed foods just sharing my experience today. 

Tonight is taco night...and tomorrow for dinner will be taco salad.  

So I've previously posted a homemade taco seasoning recipe but it had sugar and flour in it so I decided on this new recipe.  Well actually to be truthful I actually went to the grocery store in this insane rain we are having and got soaked, which Jack thought was fun, but literally I was soaking wet.  I looked at all the packets of taco seasoning and ended up deciding on a low sodium one.  As I was driving home I couldn't stop thinking that this defeated my no processed foods streak and really was feeling guilty about it as I'm trying to put good things in my body and I don't even know what some of this stuff is.  If people are right and whats listed in the ingredients is like from the most abundant to least abundant than looking at this label that I bought, Maltodextrin is the second ingredient.  Knowing this obviously isn't a natural product I googled it just to see what it was.   This is what I found about it:  "Maltodextrin is a polysaccaride that is used as a food additive.  It is produced from starch by partial hydrolysis and is usually found as a white hygroscopic spray dried powder.  Maltodextrin is easily digestible, being absorbed as rapidly as glucose, and might be either moderately sweet or almost flavorless. It is commonly used for the production of soft drinks and candy. It can also be found as an ingredient in a variety of other processed foods."  This info was taken directly from Wikepedia.  I don't know this description to me does not seem like it fits in the clean eating philosophy of what I've been trying to follow.  Feeling like it was the easy way out I bought it, but just kept thinking its so easy to make my own taco seasoning.  I got home and decided to make my own.  

Oh and wait for it I just googled Silicon Dioxide........do you know what this is??? its made from quartz and this is directly taken from Wikepedia what this product is "An estimated 95% of silicon dioxide produced is consumed in the construction industry, e.g. for the production of Portland Cement."

I'm not saying I'll never use one of these quick packets again....but for tonight I'm going to keep the cement in the package and use my own!!!

Taco Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp of chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  1.  Mix all of the above ingredients together.  Use 2 tbsp with about 1/2 cup of water.  Brown meat add water and seasoning and simmer.

21 Day Fix Turkey Zucchini Burgers

On day 7 of my second round of the "Fix".  I cheated yesterday because I was hungover and needing unhealthy food.  I attempted to stay on track but dinner and out and hungover threw me off big time.  I caught up today with workouts and am starting my meal prep so I don't get off track this week!!!  I am also doing a biggest loser competition at work and I am psyched at the potential of reaching my goals and losing some weight and winning some cash (because it doesn't look like Power Ball will work out for us grrrr, there's always next Wednesday).

I've been wanting to make these burgers for weeks now.  I have this obsession with turkey burgers from work (which I'd rather make myself b/c then  I know they are clean and fix approved).  I have been getting them topped with reduced fat cheese, banana peppers, and grilled onions.  I have them over a bed of lettuce and tomato.  It is amazing I have an obsession with banana peppers lately.  Anyways I made these burgers and aside from falling apart a tiny bit (just two of them though) they look amazing!!!! 

These burgers were good, not sure what I'd change next time.  They didn't hold together as much as I wanted them to.  I ate it and it was good.  and I'm going to eat it again tomorrow.....but it wasn't as amazing as I had hoped.  I topped it with some shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese and banana peppers and ate with no bun.  Tomorrow I'm going to add some baby spinach and red onion and eat it in a pita bread.   The original recipe called for salt to taste, I didn't add any salt because I didn't think it really needed it, and it didn't.

Turkey Zucchini Burgers 
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 zucchini grated and squeezed in paper towels to remove excess water
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 minced red onion
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper 
  • oil spray
  1.  Heat a skillet to medium high heat.  
  2. Mix together all the ingredients and form into five patties making them as thin as possible.
  3. When skillit is hot spray with cooking spray.  Add burgers letting them brown on one side and then flip and brown on the other.  Total cook time was about 14 minutes about 7 minutes per side.  Make sure internal temp is 165.  
  4. Top with whatever you want and serve either over a bed of lettuce or in a fix approved carb product (I'll use Joseph's Pita tomorrow but today just ate right out of the container with the cheese and banana peppers).  Enjoy.
Each burger patty is 1 Red and 1/4 Green.