Friday, November 28, 2014

Low Carb Baked Broccoli and Cheese Patties

Low Carb Baked Broccoli & Cheese Patties! Perfect to make ahead and have in the fridgeas a snack for you and the kids. You can change the cheese and use use any kind (swiss, mozzarella, feta, etc) you'd like. 

Makes 12 patties

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
One 12oz bag frozen broccoli, thawed
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten

1 .Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a skillet over medium heat, add oil, garlic, onions, salt, and pepper, and sauté until soft and translucent. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. Using a kitchen towel, squeeze out as much water as you can from the broccoli.  Place broccoli in a medium-sized bowl. Add onion mixture, breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, and eggs. Stir together until well-combined.

4. Form the mixture into patties, using about 2-3 tablespoons for each patty. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on each side, or until crispy and golden brown.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Party Cheese Roll

Cheese is definitely one of my favorite foods and I love to serve it as an appetizer at parties!  This is a super easy recipe to make for your next party and it involves VERY little time and ingredient!

Cream Cheese & Feta Dill Cheese Roll

2 packages of cream cheese
1 cup of feta cheese
Dill to your liking

Let the cream cheese soften at room temperature. Blend the cream cheese and feta in a bowl.  Add in some dill (as much or as little as you'd like).  Form into a ball or a longer log type of roll.  Sprinkle more dill on top and place in the refrigerator for an hour.  Serve it with veggies, pita chips, bread or anything else you'd like :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Argentine Chimichurri

Ok being from Argentina, I MAY be a little biased but regardless, this stuff is pretty amazing on just about anything! We eat it on steak, chicken, salads, vegetables and anything else we can think of.  It's a delicious, healthy addition to many different foods and it's not too difficult to make.  This is my mom's recipe so give it a shot and enjoy!

--1 bunch of coarsely chopped parsley
--3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar (if you'd like but not necessary)
--6-8 finely choppled garlic cloves
--2 tablespoons of dried oregano
--2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper
--sea salt and fresh ground pepper to your liking
--1/2 cup oil (sunflower, corn, vegetable, olive, etc)
***** If you use olive, do not make any extra to keep on hand as it will turn a whitish color and not sit well.  Any other oil can be used and the chimichurri can be saved in the fridge for several weeks to a month.

It's suggested that you use a food processor or quality blender.  Blend all of the ingredients in the blender or processor and slowly add in the oil until smooth.  Let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving if desired.

Monday, November 17, 2014

10 Tips on Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

It's no surprise that most people decide on a New Year's Resolution that revolves around weight loss.  It's due in large part because of the weight Americans tend to gain during the holiday season!  The average American gains between 5-10 lbs from Thanksgiving to Christmas alone.  That can and should be avoided since added weight gain has an impact on your health and will carry over into your family's health as well!  Here are 10 tips to integrate into your life to AVOID the holiday weight gain! Don't wait until January 1st to make the commitment to better you! It's almost Thanksgiving! Be thankful for a better, happier you and start NOW!

1. Drink a glass of water immediately after you wake up in the morning. BEFORE you eat or drink anything else!

2.  Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces throughout the day. Water has countless benefits and is responsible for helping every part of your body work efficiently. 

3.  Cut sugars and fake sugars out of your diet unless they exist in the food naturally (fruit, vegetables, dairy, etc)

4.  Do not eat any fast food!  Take your lunch to work and, if you HAVE to eat out, choose a salad with grilled chicken and use balsamic vinegar and lime or lemon juice instead.

5.  Make breakfast your biggest meal of the day.  Enjoy a healthy lunch and eat a balanced, healthy dinner with protein and veggies. Avoid sugars and carbs later in the day when you likely will not burn them off.

6.  Watch your portions!  When you eat out and order a meal, put half of it into a to go container immediately.  Eat the rest on your plate slowly and IF you're still hungry after eating and waiting 10 minutes, eat some more. 90% of the time you won't be AND you'll save half of the calories!

7.  Make these healthy substitutions during meals and while eating snacks.  

8.  Eat MORE vegetables! Eat them with every meal and increase the number of greens especially!

9.  When eating fruits, try to stick to low glycemic or low sugar options.  They will keep your blood sugar regulated and prevent you from increased hunger between meals.

10. STOP drinking soda. Diet or regular.  Drink water and save yourself the calories and harmful effects of the fake sugar! 

21 Day Fix Approved Sweet Treat! Popcorn!

Healthy and Yummy Afterschool Treat for the Kids
AND Sweet Snack for the Adults!

3 cups Non-GMO Popcorn
1 tsp Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Coconut Oil1/2 tsp Cinnamon1/4 tsp Nutmeg
Blend together and serve!  

Paleo Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Tongue Twister, can you say it?
Paleo Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
I love pumpkin, protein AND pancakes so this is a marriage made in heaven! Enjoy!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 10 pancakes
Serving Size: 1 pancake
Calories per serving: 80 calories, 7 g protein each
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 scoop vanilla Shakeology
  • 2 tbsp organic milled flax
  • 2 tbsp organic honey (or splenda/stevia)
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. stir in/dissolve the pumpkin into the egg whites & add the honey
  2. mix dry ingredients separately & add to the wet ingredients
  3. heat pan or griddle on medium low heat (4 out of 10) and coat with organic coconut oil or coconut oil spray
  4. using a 1/4 cup measure, pour batter onto your cooking surface
  5. once it bubbles up, use a spatula to flip it over & cook for an additional 30 seconds to 1 min on the other side
a griddle is ideal, but when i cook these individually in a pan, i put the pancakes on a piece of foil in the oven on warm as soon as each one is finished so they are all hot & fresh when i'm ready to eat them!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

21 Day Fix Prep: Container Ideas

21-Day Fix Snack Ideas

Green (Veggies)

  • Baby carrots
  • Broccoli florets
  • Cauliflower
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Grape tomatoes
Try Tzatziki dip or homemade hummus with your veggies (red)

Purple (Fruit)

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Banana
  • Pineapple
  • Apples
Dip in Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt or make fruit yogurt bites (combining red and purple)

Red (Protein)

Blue (Healthy Fats & Cheese)

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • String cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Lowfat cottage cheese

Yellow (Starch/Grain/Treat)

21-Day Fix Snack Ideas - BaggiesContainerize!

Pre-portioning your snacks is a great idea to do at the start of the week.  Target sells colored sandwich bags (pictured here) that are great for color-coding your snacks for the 21-Day Fix.  You can portion them out in advance, and keep them in a handy spot in your refrigerator. They come in yellow, red, blue, and green. There is no purple baggie, but you can use the plain clear sandwich bags in their place.  This will save you money instead of buying extra 21 Day Fix containers :) 

Clean Eating on a Budget

Do you want to eat clean but feel like it will be too expensive? Let’s put that myth to rest! There are lots of ways to incorporate eating clean into your life without busting your budget.
1. Shop at farmer’s markets. Once spring hits, farmer’s markets start back up again. If you happen to live in a temperate climate, they sometimes stay open year round! You will always be able to cut costs by buying directly from the farmer because you cut out the middle man. Plus, it’s always beneficial to actually speak to the person who grew your food. You’re also helping your local economy so it’s a win all the way around!
TIP: You can sometimes get an even better price on items at farmers markets if you shop late in the day.
2. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, buy items that are in season. It’s always cheaper to purchase seasonal produce.
3. Shop your pantry FIRST. Before you head off to the grocery store, shop your pantry and fridge. This will keep you from unintentionally buying duplicate items. I’ve even had times when I was able to throw together a meal with items I forgot I had in the pantry!
4. Have breakfast for dinner once a week. Kids really love this idea. Something about having breakfast at night makes dinner fun for everyone! It sort of shakes up the routine a bit.
5. Join a CSA. CSA stands for community supported agriculture. With a CSA you pay your local farmer up front at the beginning of the growing season and you’ll receive a box of produce every week throughout the entire season. It ends up being a much cheaper way to get your local vegetables every week.
6. Grow your own! Growing your own vegetables is not only economical but it’s  a really satisfying experience. And it doesn’t have to be a big time commitment either. You can grow vegetables in containers if you don’t want to put in the time on an entire garden. If you’re limited on space you can simply use containers to grow your produce.  Every year we grow vegetables in containers and my two kids LOVE it! There’s just something so fantastic about eating something that you grew yourself. 
7.  Make your own trail mix instead of buying the packaged varieties with added sugars, preservatives, etc.
8.  Make your own salad dressings!  Super easy and MUCH healthier too!
9.  Bake your own veggie chips and swap them out for potato chips.  Just chop up the veggie, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with no salt seasoning. Bake and eat!
10.  Wrap your lettuce in paper towels when you bring it home, place it in a zip lock bag and in the crisper. Your lettuce will last a lot longer (about 2-3 weeks) in the fridge!

Baked Bananas

A delicious treat that kids and adults will enjoy! Guilt free too!
For a real treat, top these warm bananas with a scoop of vanilla nondairy frozen dessert.
Makes 2 servings
2 bananas
1 tablespoon maple syrup (do not use this if doing the NO SUGAR CHALLENGE)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Peel bananas, slice lengthwise, and arrange in a single layer in a small baking dish. Drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with vanilla and cinnamon.
Bake until tender and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes.
Per serving (1 banana): 135 calories; 0.4 g fat; 0.1 g saturated fat; 2.8% calories from fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.3 g protein; 34.1 g carbohydrates; 20.5 g sugar; 3.2 g fiber; 2 mg sodium; 16 mg calcium; 0.5 mg iron; 10.4 mg vitamin C; 31 mcg beta-carotene; 0.2 mg vitamin E

Chicken Apple Sausage

Perfect for some protein for lunch or breakfast! 
MUCH better than the fatty, preservative laden store bought versions!

1 medium tart apple, cored, peeled, and chopped
5 green onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ pounds organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil, for cooking

1. Place the apple, green onions, sage, salt, and pepper into a food processor fitted with the “s” blade; pulse 
    a few times. Then add the chicken and process until the chicken is ground and the mixture starts to form a       ball. It does not take long, only about 30 seconds. 
2. With oiled hands, form mixture into about 8 patties and set onto a plate or cookie sheet. Heat a large cast        iron skillet over medium-low heat, then add about one tablespoon of oil.
3. Add four of the patties to the pan, cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. 

Repeat with remaining patties. Serve.
Yield: 8 sausage patties


Banana Nut Porridge

½ cup raw cashews
½ cup raw almonds
½ cup raw pecans
1 very ripe banana (makes it easier to digest plus adds a little more sweetness)
2 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
dash of sea salt for soaking water

1. Place the nuts in a large bowl and sprinkle the sea salt over them. Fill the bowl with filtered water so the
nuts are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Cover and soak overnight.

2. Drain the nuts and rinse 2 or 3 times, until the water runs clear.

3. Add the drained nuts to a food processor or high­speed blender. Blend the nuts with the banana, coconut
milk, and cinnamon until smooth.

4. Divide it into bowls and microwave for 40 seconds or put all of the porridge in a pot on the stove and
heat over medium­high heat for 5 minutes.

5. Serve with raisins, chopped nuts, and an extra splash of milk if desired.

Coconut Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potato

There are good carbs and bad carbs! Sweet potatoes are good carbs and you can have them when you're craving bread or sweets to get rid of that sweet tooth craving!

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1.     Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2.     Put the sweet potatoes, oil, cinnamon, and sea salt into a large baking dish or rimmed cookie sheet      and mix well to coat with the oil.
3.     Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the yams are very tender.

Yield: 4 servings 


Homemade Healthy Salad Dressings

Great options for dressings instead of using store bought versions with added sugars and preservatives.
You can store leftover dressings in a covered container in the refrigerator.  Some of the dressings may thicken when cold, so, place in room temperature for about 30 minutes and stir before serving.

Balsamic Vinaigrette 
(Makes 8 servings at 6 tsp. each)
(DO NOT use if you're participating in the NO SUGAR challenge)
  • 6 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp raw honey or pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 6 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
* Combine and whisk vinegar, lemon juice, and honey in a medium bowl. Stir in the mustard then slowly add oil while whisking.  Be sure to mix well.

Creamy Herb Dressing (Makes 12 servings, about 6 tsp each)
  • 1 medium avocado, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek Yogurt (nonfat)
  • 4 Tbsp finely chopped herbs (ex: tarragon, parsley, mint, or cilantro)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 dash ground white pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

*Place avocado, yogurt herbs, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.  Continue blending mixture and slow add oil until well blended. 

Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette (Makes 6 servings, about 6 tsp each)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 6 fresh tarragon sprigs, leaves removed and chopped, stem discarded
  • 4 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

* Whisk lemon juice, shallot, tarragon, mustard, salt, and pepper in medium bowl.  Slowly add oil while whisking, mix well.

Dijon Vinaigrette (Makes 8 servings, about 6 tsp each)
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
* Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.  Slowly add the oil while whisking and mix well.

Asian Citrus Vinaigrette
 (Makes 6 servings, about 6 tsp each)
(DO NOT use if you're participating in the NO SUGAR challenge)
  • 1/4 cup 100% orange juice
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
* Whisk orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and ginger in a medium bowl. Slow add the oil while whisking, mix well. 

Chicken Cauliflower Rice


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil 
1 medium head cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 white onion, diced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1⁄2 pound organic chicken breasts or thighs, chopped 
5 to 6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 cups sliced napa cabbage
3 tablespoons coconut aminos
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon white pepper

1.       Place the chopped cauliflower into a food processor fitted with the “s” blade. Pulse until cauliflower is broken down into tiny rice-like pieces, set aside.

2.       Heat oil in a deep 11- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and ginger; sauté about 5 minutes.

3.       Then add the chicken and sauté a few minutes more. Next add the mushrooms, zucchini; sauté 2 minutes more.

4.       Then add the minced cauliflower and stir into the chicken-vegetable mixture; sauté for about 7 minutes.

5.       Add the peas, napa cabbage, coconut aminos, salt, and pepper; sauté another few minutes.

6.       Taste and adjust salt and seasonings if desired. Garnish each serving with sliced green onions and cilantro.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings