Friday, April 30, 2010

Paleo Balls

I made these sweet treats for a nice night in with some friends.

What you'll need:

1/2 c pitted dates
2 tbsp natural applesauce
1 egg white
1 teasp cocoa powder
1 c unsweetened coconut, divided in halves
1/4 c walnuts
1/2 c almond meal

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients and place into your food processor, except for 1/2 c of Coconut and the Almond meal. Pulse the processor until the mixture is nice and smooth. You will have to scrape the sides of the processor a couple of times to make sure the mixture is blended enough.
Once you have a nice, smooth mixture, place it into a larger bowl and fold in the remaining coconut and the almond meal. On a greased cookie sheet, spoon up some small balls and place them in rows. Bake for 10 minutes.

** You may want to add your own ingredients, or more/less or the ingredients I listed. I have been loving coconut shavings lately, so I went a little heavy on the coconut***

Enjoy, try not to eat all of them in one sitting!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Clean Spaghetti w/ Meat Sauce

Mmmm... Pasta has got to be one of the meals that I miss the most. I'm sure I am not the first person most of you know who has subbed spaghetti squash for pasta noodles, but for those of you who are new to this idea, you should definitely try it. You can find spaghetti squash at most grocery stores. I got mine today at Mother's Market.

To prepare the squash:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Poke the squash several times with a fork, then place in a baking dish. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Remove the squash and let it sit for about 10 minutes, it will be very hot! Once it has cooled a little, cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Remove the seeds and stringy-like stuff with a spoon. Next, scrape the flesh of the squash (the walls on the inside of the squash) with a fork. This will create the string-like "noodles". I scrape mine down to the skin, I try to get the most out of each side of the squash. Set the "noodles" aside.

For my meat sauce:
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T Olive Oil
1/2 T Herbs de Provence
1/2 T Dried Parsley
1/2 T Garlic Powder
4oz can Tomato Paste
4 oz can water
1/2 c organic diced tomatoes

In a pan, add olive oil, onion and garlic and sautee until the onions are translucent. Next, break up the ground beef and drop it in the pan, add all of the spices. In a separate bowl, mix together the tomato paste and the water, so that it is a nice smooth consistency. Add tomato sauce to the meat, garlic & onions, as well as the diced tomatoes. Turn the burner to low and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.

I hope you enjoy this ... Paul said it needed salt, but I told him "No extra added salt on Paleo!" ... he said "I hate Paleo", and he then took a sip of his glass of milk (not so paleo) haha... I guess it is not for everyone, but, we're trying our best. Have a great week! 11 more days until regionals....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Italian Tilapia with Spinach

Happy Friday everyone! Here is a light and fresh meal, adopted from the Paleo Diet newsletter's Recipe of the week. This recipe was made for two people.

Recipe adopted from here

Here is what you need:
Fresh or frozen Tilapia Filets
Lemon Zest (approx 1 tbsp)
Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Heat your oven to 375. Spray your baking dish with pam and lay the fish filets nicely in the pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with lemon zest and pepper. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

1 c chopped tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
4-5 leaves basil shredded
1 clove garlic chopped
2 tbsp white onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp Lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then spoon onto fish. Delish!

Loads of Spinach, I used probably 6 or so cups
3 cloves garlic
1/2 c mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil

Heat a large non-stick pan with the olive oil for about 1 minute over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and mushrooms. When mushrooms are cooked to your liking, add the spinach. Place the fish on top of the spinach/mushroom mix and enjoy!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Straying off the straight and narrow....

We all do it from time to time. Some call it a "cheat meal" some call it a "cheat day" and unfortunately, some of us have "cheat weekends". What do these do for us? I'll tell you what they do for me...NOT MUCH! Although I had a great weekend up North with my best friend for her "21st" (wink wink) birthday, I sure did pay for it in the gym this morning. Do you ever have cheat meals/days/weekends? Are they worth it? Do you think they help your performance at all? Let me know what you think...

Well, here is a recipe to help you get back on track, if you might have had a weekend like me.

"Back on Track Chicken Dinner"

Here's what you'll need:

2 chicken breast
4 tbsp Tomato Paste
~4 Tbsp water
1/2 c Artichoke Hearts
1/4 c Sun Dried Tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 375, and spray your 9" x 9" baking dish with Pam. Sprinkle the chicken with some pepper and place into the baking dish. Arrange the artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes in the pan, around the chicken and a few on top of the chicken. In a separate bowl, mix the tomato paste and water. When the tomato paste is a nice smooth consistency, pour over chicken breasts. Depending on your chicken breast thickness and whether or not it is frozen or fresh will determine the cook time. Mine are, frozen: 40 minutes and fresh: 25 minutes.

Also, in the picture you will see my "Busy Lady Broccoli"

2 crowns of broccoli
2 tbsp olive oil
seasonings of your choice

Throw the ingredients into a ziplock back and DO NOT CLOSE IT. Place the bag on a plate and microwave for 3 minutes. Enjoy!

I hope everyone has a great week, for those of you Crossfitters out there I hope you are getting ready for Regionals and the Affiliate Cup.... I know I am! It's time to get real serious!!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Please, don't quote me.....

Happy Tuesday to everyone! As I said, I would love to hear from any and all of you if you may have some suggestions. Today I talked to my best friend who recently lost 20 lbs following a "modified zone diet" and a moderate exercise plan. She has reccommended my site to her friends, who have shown interest in the zone diet and the implementation of physical fitness, but they have no idea where to get started.

Now let me just start by saying that I am no Barry Sears, but I have been following the zone for some time. Here is a link for you to follow if you would like some basic tips on the zone, in a nutshell:

Zone Tips

However, you may want to start with something a little more reasonable. Here is a simplistic way of starting out on your road to "zone eating"...

1. Eat fresh fruits and veggies
2. Eat lean meats
3. Do not eat grains (even if they say that they are WHOLE WHEAT)
4. Eat healthy fats: nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado (in moderation)
5. Do not eat sugar
6. Drink plenty of water
7. Make sure that you have a protein, a carb and a fat at every meal (see the zone website link if you want to get really technical)

Also, feel free to email me with any questions that you may have. As I have mentioned before, I am not a doctor, I am not a nutritionist and I am not the most knowledgeable person out there about diet/nutrition, but I am willing to learn as much as possible, and if I cannot give you an answer, I will surely try to help you find it.

Good luck on your journey in what ever it is that you may be doing, and give yourself a pat on the back for taking a step in the right direction towards an active and healthy lifestyle!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fiesta, Fiesta!

I was in the mood for something spicy- but something new. I usually make my naked fajitas (fajitas sans tortillas), but I wanted something more, and I didn't want to have to eat a truckload of bell peppers just to get all of my carbs in. So, I made a couple of other items to compliment my spanish themed-meal.

For an appetizer, I made what I will now name, Ali's Ceviche, after my friend Ali, who gave me the great idea!

Here's what you'll need:

2 c tomatoes, chopped
2 c cooked shrimp, chopped
1/2 c red onion, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Roughly 1/2 c cilantro, chopped
1/2 of a jalapeno (a little more than 1 tbsp) chopped
1/2 avocado

It's simple, just combine all of the ingredients (except the avocado) in a bowl and refrigerate for about an hour before serving. When you're ready to serve, chop up the avocado and place it on top. I used cucumber slices instead of tortilla chips, but it was also tasty by the fork-full. Here is my presentation, doesn't it look mucho authentico?

As a side, I made Spanish Cauli-Rice, it was SO GOOD. I gave some to my co-worker (who is doing strict paleo), and she said, "it tastes so good, I feel like I am cheating!" It was delicious, the picture just does not do it any justice.

Here is what you'll need:

1 head of Cauliflower
3 tbsp tomato paste
~ 3 tbsp water
1 4 oz can diced green chiles
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 c cilantro, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp olive oil

Chop the cauliflower into very small pieces so that it resembles rice, or, place it in the food processor, and set aside. In a non stick pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil, onions and garlic until the onions become translucent, then add chiles, tomato paste and water. Stir the mixture so that it turns into a paste-like consistency. Microwave the cauliflower for 3-4 minutes. Once the cauliflower is done in the mirco, add it to the pan and mix well, turning the burner to a low heat. At this time, add the cilantro. You can also add other veggies if you like. Next time, I think I will add fresh chopped tomato.

And finally, my finished product was my naked fajitas over the cauli-rice. Naked fajitas are really easy to make. Just sautee some sliced bell pepper in 1 teasp olive oil, and grill up some chicken, with the spices of your liking. I covered my chicken in chili powder, garlic & onion powder, and red pepper flakes. The meal was great! Ole!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm Alive! .... And yes, I do have recipes!

Well, as some of you may know I have spent the past 2 days and 2 nights babysitting my nephews. They are 4 and 1. Let me just say WOW. First of all, I will say they are very well behaved, but boy did I learn a lot. It's hard! I am not gonna lie. I'm giving a shout out to all parents right now because kids are sure a handful- especially two of them. Overall, I had a great time, and next time you see Paul, call him the "Baby Whisperer" because that is his new nickname. It was a great experience and I am very confidant that one day Paul is going to be a great daddy, and I guess I won't be too shabby of a mom either!

The good news is, I was still able to make a couple healthy meals while the boys were here. Friday night's dinner has got to be one of my faves. Here is what is was:

Agave Mustard Chicken, Bacon Wrapped Asparagus & Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes. To. Die. For.

For the Chicken:
Place two chicken breasts in a large ziplock bag. Add 2 Tbsp Agave Nectar and 4 Tbsp Mustard. You can use which ever mustard you like, I use this kind from Trader Joe's which is a aioli garlic mustard, it's yum. Next, zip up the bag and smash everything together, make sure that you thoroughly cover the chicken and the mustard and agave are mixed well. Let that marinate for about 10 minutes. In the mean time, strike up the grill on a medium heat... Chicken cooking times will vary depending on what you use. We usually cook ours on the grill for about 9-12 minutes each side.

For the Aspargus:
Snap the ends off of your asparagus then bundle them together by wrapping one piece of bacon around them. I think I did bundles of 8 or 9. 12 asparagus spears is 1 block according to the zone so it wasn't quite one block, because I was saving room for sweet potatoes. Throw the asparagus bacon bundles on the grill once you've flipped the chicken. Try to rotate the bundles every 2 minutes or so. The bacon does a great job of flavoring the asparagus- and you don't even have to eat the bacon if you don't want to- I didn't.

For the Sweet Potatoes:
I used one sweet potato for Paul and I to split. Scrub the potato, leaving the skin on. Then slice the potato in 1/4 in slices, so they look like little round patties. Spray a cookie sheet with pam and spread those puppies out. Drizzle 2 tbsp of Olive Oil on them, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Preheat the oven to 400, cook for 30 minutes. Zone says sweet potatoes are an unfavorable carb, weighing in a 1/3 of a potato for 1 block. I eyeballed-it, thinking I had close to my 3 blocks of carbs with the asparagus.

The dinner was delish, and we were able to enjoy it with the baby in bed, and the 4 year old watching Alvin and the Chipmunks. But the fun didn't stop there!

Saturday morning what did the kids want for breakfast? PANCAKES!!!! (And Bacon, I swear my 4 year old nephew is going to turn into a piece of bacon, he loves that stuff!)

So, I got to the kitch and started by gathering the following ingredients:

2 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/3 c oats
1/2 banana

Just blend all of the ingredients together and you have yourself a zone-ish style pancake batter! The whole batter itself came to 3 PRO blocks and 3.5 CHO blocks. Add a little butter for your fat, and there you go. I wasn't too concerned with feeding the kids in "zone portions", but I was happy to use healthier ingredients than your average Bisquick box of badness. Anyway, I just used my electric skillet on 350, flipping each pancake after about 1 minute. And, I topped the cakes with Sugar Free syrup. Probably not the best for you, but maybe better than the stuff with sugar? Who knows? That's a whole other can of worms that I am not going to get into right now...

Well, there you go! I hope you enjoy the recipes and there will be more to come! By the way, I got some great feedback from some friends about this blog over the weekend, if you ever have any questions/comments, please let me know!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Breakfast On-The-Go!

More often than not, if someone is going to skip a meal, it is going to be breakfast! We've all been guilty of it, rushing out the door late for work/school/life in general. But you know the saying, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! So eat up. These little muffins are so simple to make, you'll be glad you did. If you have 20 minutes to spare, you can easily wisk these suckers together. (Pun intended, ha ha).

Here is what you'll need:
Eggs- depending on your muffin tin, I have a 12-hole muffin tin, so I used 11 eggs
Veggies- what ever you like! I used bell peppers, onion and asparagus
Salt & Pepper to your liking
Anything else- Cheese (for the non-paleo eaters) and I used Canadian Bacon, which was yum!

Heat the oven to 350. Wisk the eggs together in a bowl, then add the other ingredients and mix well. Place cupcake liners in your muffin tin and fill each liner about 3/4 full. Place the tin in the center rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Keep a close eye on your muffins near the end of the cook time, all oven temperatures do vary.

There ya go. Now you have no excuses for not eating breakfast. Tomorrow when you're rushing around the house getting ready to leave, grab a couple of these and re-heat them, or eat them cold with some fruit and nuts and you're golden!
* Each Muffin = 1 block of Protein

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hello and Welcome!

Hello to all of my new followers! I am excited to start this new blog, and I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts and recipes with you. You will have to excuse me, I am very new to this stuff, and my computer skills are not too great, so please bear with me, I'm learning :) I am starting this blog for many reasons:

1. In a month, I will be done with school, which means, I am going to need to fill my time with something.
2. A lot of friends frequently ask me things like "what's a healthy recipe you have?" or "what do I need to eat to be healthy?"
3. I love food.
4. It's fun
5. It keeps me accountable for the things that I put in my mouth. (sometimes)

So I'm not even sure how I want this blog to be, recipes only? thoughts on life? thoughts on fitness? day to day meals that I eat? I don't really know... but what I do know is that I will try my best to keep it current, and healthy!

I hope everyone had a great Easter! Today I am back on track with the zone and ready to tackle a great week off for Spring Break. This morning I had my usual zone smoothie for breakfast... mmmm In case you're wondering, here's what it is:

8 oz water
1/3 of a banana (1 CHO)
~10 strawberries (2 CHO)
4 teasp of mixed nut butter (6 FAT).... I double my fat intake because I get hungry if I don't...
1 scoop chocolate protein (3 PRO)

and now I am feasting on my lunch, the perfect little zone meal:

Egg Salad made with 3 eggs, 1 tsp mayo, and 1/2 tsp mustard (3 PRO, 3 FAT) spread out on some crispy romaine leaves
10 mini bell peppers & 1 apple (3 CHO)
9 Almonds (3 FAT)

What a delicious way to get rid of those pretty little Easter eggs!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hashini Browns

Mmmmm... Who doesn't like some good old hash browns? These are a yummy version that have less carbs than your average potato hash browns.

Here is what you'll need:

2 cups grated green zucchini
3 green onions, chopped
1 egg, beaten
Salt & Pepper to taste

After grating the zucchini, place it in a paper towel and ring it out, get as much water out of the zucchini as possible. Place the zucchini into a bowl with the chopped onion and beaten egg, and mix all ingredients together. Scoop a small amount onto your grill or pan (over a medium heat of course) and flatten out as much as possible. After about 2 minutes, flip the little patty over. The zucchini patty should be brown on each side when done. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fake Fried Rice?

Here is what you'll need:

1 medium head of Cauliflower (finely chopped)
1/2 c mushrooms (chopped)
4-6 green onions (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 eggs
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Microwave the chopped cauliflower for about 3-4 minutes so that it is soft. In a pan, heat the olive oil and sautee the onions, garlic and mushrooms for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Wisk together the 2 eggs in a bowl, then add to the pan with the onion/garlic/mushroom mix. Before all of the egg is cooked, quickly add in the cauliflower so that the eggs and cauliflower can take up each other's flavor. Mix all of the ingredients in the pan together. Continue to sautee the mixture until the cauliflower turns a light brown color. Serve with your favorite protein and fat!
Zone info: 4 c of cooked cauliflower is 1 block. This recipe makes about 4 cups... be sure to serve with some more carbs!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Shell-Less Tacos

Shell-Less Tacos

These are a delicious alternative for your average, greasy, carb infested, processed tacos!

What you'll need:

Extra Lean Ground Beef
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Yellow Bell Pepper (sliced)
1 Orange Bell Pepper (sliced)
1/2 c Cherry tomatoes (cut in halves)
Romaine Lettuce

Seasoning of your choice: I used Chili Powder, Garlic Salt, Paprika and Pepper

Avocado, Cilantro, Cheese, Salsa

In a pan, over medium heat, sautee the ground beef with the seasoning of your choice, add about 1-2 tablespoons of water so there is a small amount of juice made from the seasonings and the grease from the meat. stir occasionally, should cook in less than 10 minutes. In a separate pan, heat the 1 tbsp of Olive Oil and add sliced bell peppers, season to your liking and stir so that the peppers all have a nice thin olive oil coat. Cover and let cook for about 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes so that the peppers do not burn.

Separate the Romaine Lettuce leaves so that they are able to hold the ingredients for your tacos. Fill each leaf with the amount of meat, veggies, cheese and other topics that you desire. I made sure to measure my ground beef out to 4.5 oz=3 PRO blocks for women. The peppers and lettuce were probably about 1 block of CHO, so serve with a small salad.