Food to keep you fit, lean, healthy and on track.

Blueberry Coconut Breakfast Quinoa

quinoaBefore you call me a hippy, quinoa is not as boring as you might think.  It can be but if made the right way it will be a great staple for your family as an alternative to rice or oatmeal.  In this case, I’ve whipped up a great breakfast dish that takes a little bit to cook up but can be saved for mornings all week. Quinoa is a higher protein grain that delivers all nine of the essential amino acids – building blocks of muscle! The carb count is a little on the high end of our recommended levels but paired with greek yogurt, or eggs this is a protein friendly way to have healthy whole grains in your diet.

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup raw quinoa, rinsed well and dried
  • 15 ounces unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tsps maple syrup / agave
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2-3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract

Melt the coconut oil over medium heat.  Add the quinoa and cook, stirring frequently, until it is toasted and golden brown, about five minutes.  Next, add the almond milk and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 12-20 minutes.  Fluff the quinoa with a fork, then stir in the vanilla, cinnamon and syrup to taste.  Top each bowl with the shredded coconut and blueberries.

If quinoa isn’t your thing, I have a great alternative for you. These handy packets of oatmeal make eating breakfast anywhere easy and healthy. 2 min and 30 seconds in the microwave, mix in your favorite protein source and you’re good to go.

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Vegetable Stuffed Chicken Recipe

Stuffed ChickenThere was a point in time where I literally thought to myself, “If I eat chicken one ore time ….”.  I was officially tired of it.  Which is a bummer because it’s such a great source of lean protein when you’re trying to keep your protein up, especially around dinner time. The trick is to keep things interesting by adding vegetables,marinades and seasonings to enhance it and make it more palatable.   You should also know this about me by now, I don’t like fussy cooking.  If it looks too complicated, I just won’t do it unless forced. Simple dishes are a requirement if I’m going to stay on track and keep my family healthy too.

I stumbled over this idea on Instagram and it looked easy to do so I added my own twist to it.  It turned out better than I expected and made this part of my summer grilling arsenal of recipes. I made this for one (me!) but you could really do this for several people or a big group on the grill.  Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cleaned chicken breast, rinsed and pat dry
  • 2 Tbsp cup Light italian dressing (preferably one without high fructose corn syrup – I like Newman’s Own)
  • 1/2 red pepper cut into small strips
  • 4-5 pieces of asparagus with bases removed
  • Small handful of baby spinach
  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 green onion with stem and green top trimmed
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil grill spray
  • 1-2 metal skewers

Directions:

chicken prep

Place chicken breast on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap, and with a mallet, flatten chicken until it’s thin enough to roll around your veggies. But first, put chicken in a zip lock bag with italian dressing, squish it around, and let marinate for at least 45 minutes or longer in the fridge.  Once marinated, remove chicken from bag and lay flat on a board or plate to assemble. Season with black pepper.  Place asparagus, onion, pepper, spinach and basil in a neat pile in the center of chicken breast, carefully rolling chicken up (like a burrito) around your vegetables.  Once rolled, use one or two metal skewers to fasten the chicken together. This step doesn’t need to look pretty, its just to keep it together until it’s cooked.  Otherwise, messy grill.

Rolled Up

Spray pre-heated grill surface with olive oil spray to prevent sticking. On medium heat, place your chicken and veggie bundle in the center of the grill.  Cook on fastened side down for 10-12 minutes, then carefully tun the bundle over to finish cooking.

Makes 1 serving.

Calories: 240, Fat: 7g, Protein: 30g, Carbs: 11g

Grilled Peaches with Lemon Goat Cheese

Grilled PeachesI was thinking innovative snacks but this was so delicious that I have deemed it a healthy dessert instead. It sounds much more high maintenance than it was to make. I’m not from the south but I do love a good peach, and if you haven’t tried them grilled, then you really are missing something. Goat cheese, if you haven’t tried it is a healthier way to enjoy cheese.  Much lower in calories, fat, sodium and cholesterol, this tart creamy cheese is higher in Vitamin D and Vitamin B. Not to mention it’s delicious and versatile. Goat cheese offers 5g of protein per ounce as well as some healthy probiotics!

I found this Lemon Goat Cheese at Kroger (who knew they were so fancy) but it’s easy to make on your own if you need to.  And trust me when I say you need to!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Just about ripe peaches
  • 1 ounce goat cheese
  • Lemon Zest
  • 1 Tsp honey

Directions:

Half peaches and remove the pits.  Place face down on a heated grill surface for 10-15 minutes.  Carefully remove with a spatula and set aside. If you are making the lemon goat cheese – I promise it’s easy – Place plain goat cheese in a small bowl and add zest of 1 lemon, Mash with  fork.  Top Peaches with goat cheese and drizzle with honey.  Enjoy!

Cucumber Noodles with PB2 Peanut Sauce

Cucumber NoodlesPeanut butter is something I have to limit or I go nuts with it. It’s a good thing to have in your diet but not in excess.  So when someone mentioned PB2 to me recently I had to check it out.  You are basically getting powdered peanuts without all the oil that makes peanut butter high in fat and calories.  2 Tablespoons of PB2 yeilds 45 calories, 5g carbs and 5g protein.  So while it’s not the same as traditional peanut butter, this works great as a substitute.  I used it in one of my new favorite snacks, Cucumber Noodles with Peanut Butter Sauce but this would also be amazing with grilled chicken (on skewers even  – kids love that!). This is a erally light snack that still provides some decent protein (10g from the PB2).

For the Peanut Sauce:

  • 4 tbsp PB2 peanut butter powder
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tamari (or light soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp honey (or agave syrup)
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tspn grated ginger
  • 1/3 cup warm water

For the Cucumber Noodles:

  • 2 large seedless cucumbers
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts(optional)

In a large bowl, combine PB2 peanut butter powder, rice vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, agave, and lime juice. Whisk, and then add in garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Whisk in the warm water until sauce is smooth.

Using the julienne blade on a mandolin or your handy Julienne Peeler… Carefully run a cucumber down the blade to form noodles. I like to keep some of the skin on to keep the dish looking colorful.

Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Blueberry Key Lime Smoothie

Blueberry SmoothieGetting tired of your post workout smoothie? Here’s a fresh take on a protein smoothie that will get you excited about them again.  Not everyone is a smoothie style person, I get that.  But this is also a great recipe to use for kids ice pops (or your own) for a hot weather summer treat that won’t do the kind of damage a milkshake will. Full of antioxidants and protein to get you through the rest of your morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk
  • 1 Scoop Vanilla protein powder (Or A small container of plain greek yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 Key Limes (Regular limes work too but I like the zesty flavor of these)
  • 1 Cup ice

In a blender, combine and blend until ice is smooth.  Squeeze half a key lime on top and enjoy.