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

Black Eyed Peas & Sausage Stew

A New Year’s tradition in one pot, less mess. It is said that if you eat black eyed peas in the new year you will have luck all year long.  Some say to add a penny to the pot and whomever gets the lucky penny in their bowl with gain extra luck that year.  I don’t know if it works but why take the chance? Especially when black eyed peas are loaded with fiber, potassium (good for muscle support), iron, and black eyed peas contain 5.7g of protein for every 1/2 cup serving.  I’d say that is a good reason to take a chance on luck.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
  • 2 chicken sausages (I like Aidells chicken apple sausage), cut into half moons
  • 1/4 cup diced apple
  • 3 cups bone broth or chicken stock
  • 11 oz black eyed peas (canned or pre-soaked)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach or greens

Directions:

  1. Warm a dutch oven pot or deep skillet and add coconut oil or ghee and allow to liquify.
  2. Add diced onion and mushrooms, cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add black eyed peas, sausage, spices and broth, cover and let simmer on medium low heat for 20 minutes or until most of the broth has been cooked out and absorbed.
  4. In the last 5 minutes of cooking add apple, re-cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Stir in spinach until wilted.  Serve warm and wish for good luck all year.

Breadless Chicken Parmigiana

I’ve made this a few times over the last week or two.  It’s easy to put together, almost everyone likes it, and you can make extra for the next day.  It feels indulgent but without the processed bread crumbs this is a really lean dish.  You could eliminate the cheese of you don’t roll with dairy.  This is a gluten free recipe if served with veggies instead of pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 chicken breasts, split in half
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of your favorite low sugar tomato sauce
  • 1/2 – 1 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Trim fat off chicken breasts and divide each one, butterfly style so that they’re a bit thinner.  You could also pound them into thin pieces if you prefer.
  3. In a shallow dish combine almond flout, parmesan cheese, garlic, black pepper and oregano.
  4. Lay chicken on a lightly oiled baking sheet.  Brush each chicken breast with oil on both sides.  Dredge each piece into almond flour mixture until fully coated.
  5. Lay flat on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and spoon tomato sauce on each chicken breast and top with cheese.
  7. Put back in the oven for 5 minutes to melt cheese.
  8. Serve as is, with salad, or on top of spiralized zucchini.

Enjoy!

Gingerbread Protein Bites

Ingredients:

  • 10 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water to soften
  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp chocolate protein powder
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions: 

  1. Add dates to a food processor and pulse until blended into a paste consistency.
  2. Add all the other ingredients to the food processor and process until it’s all well combined.
  3. Using a spoon scoop out 1-2 tbsp at a time and roll into balls with your hands.
  4. Place on a parchment or wax paper line baking sheet / dish
  5. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes to set.

To add some chocolate fun:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (preferably non-dairy and 60-70% cacao)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

OR

  • 3 tbsp raw cacao butter
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

Melt ingredients and whisk to combine.  Let cool and drizzle over your protein bites and place back in the fridge to set.

 

Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

A treat that has health benefits? Why not! The holiday’s are upon us and there will be treats.  We can at least try to make our treats a *little* better. These are great for a party!

Ingredients:

  • 2 bars dark chocolate, (dark chocolate with 60% or more cacao or unsweetened bakers chocolate – add 1 tbsp honey)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • 3 Tbs vanilla protein powder

Instructions:

  1. Using a double boiler pot or a large pot with a metal bowl propped on top, melt half of the chocolate broken into pieces, stirring as it melts.
  2. Pour melted chocolate into candy molds or small mini muffin tins lined with parchment or mini cupcake liners.
  3. Place muffin tin in the fridge to cool and harden.
  4. In a separate bowl combine almond butter, protein powder, vanilla, and sea salt, adding protein powder in a little at a time until you get a doughy consistency.
  5. Roll dough into small balls and place one in each muffin tin. Squish with a finger to flatten it out a little.
  6. Melt and use the remaining chocolate to fill each “cup”, top with sea salt and put back into the fridge to cool and set.

Adapted from original recipe by MeghanTelpner.com

Immune Boosting Bone Broth

Bone broth has become somewhat of a buzz word lately but it has some merit.  Bone broth is simple to make and packs a lot of immune boosting power.  The constituents of animal bones are left in the broth that does amazing things for healing the gut. Healthy gut (lining of the stomach and intestines) means better immunity from illness and viruses, as well as better digestion and nutrient absorption.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs chicken or turkey bones* (I use leftover carcass from a turkey breast or a whole chicken) *optional
  • 8 large carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 6 celery stalks, trimmed
  • 1 large onion, rough chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • 3 fresh sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 small piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 8 cups of clean water

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low heat  for 6-8 hours, making sure water covers the contents.
  2. Strain broth and toss the vegetables and bones.
  3. Drink a warm bowl to boost immunity or combat colds.
  4. Store remainder in the fridge or freeze until ready to use.

Stove Top method:

  1. Boil bones in water (low boil, or simmer) for 8-10 minutes.  Drain.
  2. All all ingredients to a large stock pot, cover with water and simmer for 2-6 hours.  The longer you simmer the better the broth.
  3. Strain and enjoy.