Best Smoothie EVER

16 May

OK, I haven’t posted in a LONG time, but OMG, just made the best smoothie I’ve ever had and wanted to share. Using my Magic Bullet (of course), I used the following ingredients – these are listed in the order that I add them to the blending cup:

  • 2 large fresh strawberries – quartered
  • 1/4 cup or so of frozen blueberries
  • 2 frozen chunks of banana
  • About 8 oz of almond milk
  • About 1/4 cup of vanilla nonfat Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 scoop of Tera’s Whey Protein Powder (organic fair-trade chocolate)

Blend together and enjoy. Using those strawberries made such a difference…so glad they’re back in season!

Off to my work out. Stay tuned as I try to blog next week about the Ayurvedic Detox I’m doing next week. Have a great rest of the week, everyone!

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Apple & Cranberry Oatmeal Recipe

14 Nov

In the Fall and Winter months, it gets SOOOO cold up here. I really like making a hot and hearty breakfast on those mornings to warm me up. Every once in a while I make my oatmeal with apples and cranberries and not only does it taste good, it also reminds me of the holidays. Here’s how I make mine:

Ingredients

  • Oatmeal (whichever you prefer)
  • 1 apple (peeled and chopped) – this is for 2 people so adjust accordingly
  • Dried cranberries
  • Pecans – I like to chop these up
  • Maple syrup – about 1 tbsp
  • Almond milk – probably about 1/4 cup (obviously, you could use regular milk, soy, etc., I just prefer the almond as it has a little bit of a sweetness to it)
  • Cinnamon

Instructions

  • Cook your oatmeal according to the instructions on the package (typically 2 cups water to 1 cup of oatmeal for 2 servings) – I like to use a little less water than what it calls for so that when I add the milk, it’s not too liquidy
  • When you have about a minute left on your oatmeal, stir in the apple, cranberries and almond milk
  • When the oatmeal is done cooking, stir in the pecans, cinnamon (a healthy pinch should do), and maple syrup

Done and done!

Hot Wings Recipe – Not So Healthy, But C’mon

12 Nov

OK, so not the healthiest of appetizers, but it’s football season and we were going to a football party. What was there to bring except homemade wings, homemade bleu cheese dip and celery? Please check out how I made this and let me know your recommendations on what I could have done differently/better…

I made 12 whole wings (24 once you cut it up)…for the sauce, I used 1/2 cup hot sauce (I like Franks); a few splashes of chipotle Tabasco; 3 cloves of garlic (minced) and 1/2 a stick of unsalted butter.

Cut up your whole wings and toss away the tips. Clean off and pat dry. Lay on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic salt, cayenne pepper and a little brown sugar. Toss around to make sure they are coated.

Broil for about 8 minutes. Turn the wings and then broil for another 4-6 minutes until cooked through and a little crispy – it’s very important to continue to broil and flip as necessary until they are charred and cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat butter and garlic until butter is melted. Then add  this mixture to the hot sauce and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl in which you can fit all of the wings.

Once wings are done cooking, toss them with the sauce mixture and then put them back on the cookie sheet and broil on high for a couple of minutes to get them extra crispy.

Serve with celery and a bleu cheese dipping sauce.

I created a bleu cheese dipping sauce by combining crumbled blue cheese (smashed up); a little brown sugar, freshly chopped chives, a little apple cider vinegar, a couple spoonfuls of plain greek-style yogurt and a splash of buttermilk.

Roasted Shrimp Recipe…Great for Salads or Appies

4 Nov

Tonight, I’m making a shrimp Caesar salad for dinner so to get a head start, I decided to make the shrimp this morning. I first got the idea of roasting shrimp while watching a Barefoot Contessa episode. My recipe below is for 2 so adjust as necessary. Here’s what I did…

Ingredients

  • 10 large shrimp (peeled & deveined) – I get mine from the local butcher and they are from the US
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced (bigger chunks) – this is a LOT of garlic for such a small number of shrimp; however, since I’m making Caesar salad, I wanted to be heavy on the garlic…adjust the amount according to your taste buds
  • EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Toss the shrimp with a nice big dose of EVOO, healthy pinch of salt and pepper and the garlic
  • Dump the shrimp on a cookie sheet that is lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray – I only use the foil for easy clean up so that part is optional
  • Bake for about 8 minutes and then flip the shrimp and bake for another 3 minutes or until the shrimp is fully cooked
  • For salads, I like to cut these up into smaller pieces so that it’s easier to eat and the shrimp to bite ratio is higher

NOTE – baking times may vary depending on the size of your shrimp so keep an eye on them the first time you do this and use your best judgement.

Like I said, I’m using these shrimp for a Caesar salad; however, I have also used this recipe and added parsley for a nice shrimp appetizer and I’ve also used it to put in pasta dishes so be creative with it.

Enjoy and, as always, leave your comments and suggestions!

My Weekly Menu

4 Nov

On Saturdays, I spend time thinking about what we will eat for the week and then plan out the menu and create a grocery list. This way, on Sunday, I am ready to go out and get everything I need for the entire week. For me, this saves time, money and energy.

As I’m planning my menu for the week, I make sure to think about what’s going on each night so that I can plan accordingly (i.e. if I won’t be home until later, I will plan to make something with leftovers or ask my husband to make dinner that night).

Anyway, I thought it may be helpful to post my menu’s on the blog, not only for you to get ideas, but also for me to remember what I’ve made in the past when I’m struggling to think of something to add to a new menu.

  • Sunday, 10/30: Vegetable & Chickpea Curry – I made this in the slow cooker and it was delish over a little rice with a few homemade pita chips on the side
  • Monday, 10/31: Vegetable wrap panini w/ a side of sautéed asparagus – usually I prep and my husband makes them when he gets home, but on Monday, he did it all 🙂 – we use onions, red pepper, yellow pepper, portabello mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and a little hummus…we use the Cuisinart 3-in-1 panini press, which has become a staple in our kitchen
  • Tuesday, 11/1: Leftover curry dish – this was a late night for us so I needed something quick and easy
  • Wednesday, 11/2: Steak tips (from the butcher – YUM!), basmati rice w/ peas and carrots (I’ll be posting this recipe later…love it!)
  • Thursday, 11/3: Pizza night…this is another meal that my husband always makes and it’s SO good. I do the prep work and he creates it. We use a beer pizza crust dough from a local restaurant and top it with chopped tomatoes, broccoli, baby bellas, artichoke and mozzarella cheese. BTW…another one of our kitchen staples = pizza stone
  • Friday, 11/4: Shrimp Caesar salad – I will actually roast the shrimp and make the Caesar from scratch using an Alton Brown recipe…much healthier and tastier this way. Also, instead of making croutons and consuming all of that bread, I make a few pita chips and crumble them on top of the salad
  • Saturday, 11/5: White bean and kale (you can sub with spinach) soup – another slow cooker meal

I hope this helps. Let me know your favorite weeknight meals by leaving comments below.

Mango Protein Shake Recipe

3 Nov

Good Morning, All! This morning, I decided to make an egg sammy and a protein shake for breakfast. Yesterday, I wrote about how much I love protein shakes and that I have them almost daily. On mornings that I make egg sandwiches for my husband and I, I typically accompany those with a shake – I make one and we split it.

This morning, I remembered that I had frozen chunks of mango a few weeks ago and so my shake recipe was as follows:

  • About 12 oz of almond milk – I buy the unsweetened 40 cal/serving from Almond Breeze
  • 2 heaping tablespoons (I use a regular spoon) of Oikos organic Greek-style yogurt (I like vanilla)
  • About 2 handfuls of the frozen mango chunks (this will serve as ice cubes)
  • 1 heaping scoop of Tera’s Whey Dark Chocolate Protein (1 serving of protein is 2 scoops, but I tpically just use 1 scoop because I’m getting enough protein in my diet and to cut down on costs)
  • Blend it up and voila! You have a delicious protein shake!

For my egg sammies, I use 1 full egg and 1 egg white that I cook in the frying pan with cooking spray. I like to add a few splashes of hot sauce as well and a slice of tomato. Sometimes, I’ll saute a little spinach in EVOO first, then add the egg on top and serve that in the sandwich with a slice of tomato – I didn’t have spinach this morning though.

Also, DON’T WASTE YOUR YOLKS…do you have a pet? I have a dog and she gets scrambled egg yolks every morning. It’s a nice treat for the pup and I don’t waste any of the egg, as I toss the shells in our compost pile.

Please leave comments to let me know your favorite protein shake recipes.

A Couple of Essentials…Tera’s Whey Protein & The Magic Bullet

2 Nov

Protein shakes are pretty much an everyday treat for me. I say treat because the way I make them, they’re delicious and because my flavor of choice is fair trade dark chocolate. Since I’m mostly eating vegetarian these days, but still pretty green at it (pun intended), I like to supplement my diet with protein shakes to make sure I’m getting enough protein on a daily basis.

That being said, I am not a fan of putting artificial stuff in my body and actually swore off ALL processed foods about a year ago. So…about a year ago, I found the BEST whey protein EVER and, while it’s a little pricey, I HIGHLY recommend you get yourself some! It is called Tera’s Whey. I have included a blurb from the back of the container below:

“The most natural ingredients like organic, hormone-free cow & goat whey proteins. All natural flavors. High antioxidant superfruits. Low glycemic stevia. Gluten free. The best tasting, simple ingredients, ethically sourced from small, Wisconsin family farms, artisinal cheesemakers, fair trade suppliers. Whey that transforms your health (and that of those you love), made in a green factory that touches the planet lightly.”

I have tried several different protein powders and this one CRUSHES the competition in both taste and ingredients. By the way, there are only FIVE ingredients and I can pronounce them ALL! So, if you’re in the market for protein, Tera’s is the “whey” to go!

Next essential when it comes to ma shakes…the Magic Bullet. If you make lots of shakes like I do, this will come in handy; it’s reasonably priced and makes it easy and mess-free (this is important for me) to make them. I have also used the Magic Bullet to make marinades and spice rubs as well.

In terms of shake recipes, I typically make the same shake each time; however, I like to change it up from time to time. I will plan to post my shake recipes as I try new things so stay tuned. For your reference, I try to have my shakes within an hour (either before or after) a workout.