In keeping up with the theme of getting and staying healthy, I have been trying out new dishes in the kitchen. Some of the recipes are old favorites and some are new! For me, the kitchen and cooking are stress relievers so I always like to try something new.
So I was craving some pasta (and yes I use organic pasta with gluten regularly) but I did not want anything heavy as my sauce or tomato-y. I needed to be creative with limited ingredients and time -I was not about to start cooking a full gourmet dinner at 7-something at night.
I made a quick homemade avocado sauce that was light but very flavorful! It can be served cold like a pasta salad but I did serve it warm last night
1 Large Haas Avocado 1/4-1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt 2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese 1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice 1/3 Cup Olive Oil 3 Cloves Garlic (minced) 1/4 Cup Onion Powder Fresh Black Pepper to taste
Mash and mix everything together (you can put it in the food processor for a creamier sauce). Top and serve!
Both my husband and I cleaned up the bowl! It was great especially on a warm/hot night for something light. It was high in good cholesterol, easy to digest, flavorful, and with low/no salt.
Inquiring minds want to know… Have you tried a new recipe for an old favorite? Are you an avocado lover or is it not your cup of tea??
Instead of downing a third (*or more*) cup of coffee this morning, I opted to make a smoothie with a little variation and a hint of caffeine! This one takes a little prep work, but the final result was a big hit! I can only imagine how much better this would be with fall temperatures outside instead of 90s…
Now bare in mind that the recipe below equated to about 4-12oz servings so you will want to customize this for your own serving size.
Ingredients: 6 bags of chai tea (I used Tazo tea bags) 4 Tbsp of chia seeds 1 whole cinnamon stick (I broke it in half) 8 cups of water 1 banana 2 scoops SuperGreens 2 scoops Combat Protein Powder 2 Tbsp Maca Powder 1 scoop collagen powder 2 Tbsp flax powder 8 oz almond milk (I use Silk Unsweetened Original) Ice
The night before – I used my handy-dandy Instant Pot to cook my chai tea base by filling my 6qt with 8 cups of cold water, 1 cinnamon stick, and 6 bags of chai tea. I “cooked” it for 6 minutes and let it naturally release. Once the pin dropped, I scooped out the tea bags and cinnamon sticks and added 4 tbsp of chia seeds, covered the pot and stuck it in the fridge. The morning of – Mix the rest of the ingredients, along with the now cold chai tea and ENJOY!
As a part of “No Spend Week”, I had to start getting a little creative with my dinner options. By time Sunday came around, I was out of quick fixes and a lot of random food items. What does one do with two cups of mixed dry beans or a single can of crushed tomatoes?
Well…let me re-introduce to my friend the Instant Pot. I had no protein defrosted and a lot of dry ingredients that needed to soak and soften like rice. So I kind of adapted a “dump” recipe and made my own little concoction!
Ingredients: 3 chicken breast (frozen is okay) 2 cups of rice (I use brown basmati) 2 cups of dry mixed beans (like what you would use for chili) 1 12oz can of crushed tomatoes (no salt added) 5 cups of chicken broth (no or low sodium) 1 16oz bag of frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, and green beans) 1 tbsp of cumin 1 tbsp of smoked paprika 1 tbsp of black pepper 1 tbsp of red pepper flakes 1 tbsp of turmeric Shredded cheese & lite sour cream optional
Soak 2 cups of dry mixed beans in water. Drain before cooking.
Add 1 cup of chicken broth to the instant pot and place the chicken breast (skip this part if using fresh chicken). Cook on manual and sealed for 8 minutes. If chicken isn’t fully cooked, that’s okay – you will cook it again. Quick release.
Add 3 cups of chicken broth to instant pot. Add drained beans and rice. Add cumin, smoked paprika, pepper, turmeric and red pepper flakes. Cook on manual (or rice button if you have it) for 10 minutes. Quick release. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot well!
Add chicken to instant pot with rice and beans. Cube chicken if preferred or shred. Add frozen mixed greens. Add 1 cup of chicken broth. Add 1 can of crushed tomatoes. Seal and cook on manual for 5 minutes. Quick release.
If you get the “BURN” notice, that means that the rice stuck to the bottom of the pot. You need to scrap the bottom and create a hole in the middle to allow pressure to build.
Plate and top with shredded cheese and sour cream.
Sorry that week 03 never got its own week of glory! That week was super busy with classes starting up again. But have no fear, this is a two-fer Sunday post with both week 03 and 04!
Now that week 04 is over, we will be starting back at week 01 and making some small improvements and throwing in a curveball or two – especially since I try to use fresh produce whenever possible and the summer months allow for some great variations!
I also want to share that these smoothies are not for someone that is on a low-carb diet. Though predominantly vegetarian and organic, these shakes allow me to essentially have a meal replacement and often times, two meals are replaced because I am simply not hungry. Each shake varies but they are between 280-350 calories. I do sip them throughout the morning, and sometimes into the afternoon, so I do not find myself snacking as much either. Those that are also a part of the “shake club” are getting a daily dose of at least one serving of vegetables and one serving of fruit, though many shakes are upwards of 3 servings. I also shop weekly for my produce with the exception of the powder supplements and any frozen items.
Remember that each shake contains Combat protein, collagen power, Maca powder, and unless otherwise noted (*), Amazing Greens. Okay, so disclaimer is out – now on to the important stuff!
Wake-Me Up Monday* Cacao Powder, Banana, Coffee (straight from the Ninja after cooling), coconut flakes, vanilla extract, and flax. The liquid base is: almond milk
An Apple a Day Tuesday* Apples, walnuts, oats (soaked from the night prior), cinnamon, spinach, yogurt, and chia. The liquid base is: almond milk.
Green-a-colada Wednesday Banana, pineapple, coconut, spinach, Greek yogurt, and flax. The liquid base is: water.
Friday Eve Blues Blueberries, blackberries, tofu, walnuts, flax and Greek yogurt. The liquid base is: coconut water.
Cheesecake Friday* Strawberries, non-dairy sour cream, honey graham cracker, cinnamon and ice. The liquid base is: almond milk.
The obvious winner of the week was Cheesecake Friday. This was very indulgent and very rich, even though it was low in fats, dairy-free, and surprisingly not high in calories. It genuinely tasted like a cheesecake and even non-“shake club” members thought it was relatively spot on! The second place winner was An Apple A Day Tuesday as it mimicked an apple pie!
Cup ‘O Sunshine Monday Carrots, banana, Greek yogurt, mango, papaya, and pineapple. The liquid base is: orange juice.
Watermelon Delight Watermelon, Greek yogurt, lime juice, mint and ice. The liquid base is: coconut water.
Berry Glad It’s Already Wednesday Blueberries, blackberries, mango, avocado, chia, honey and peanut butter powder (or almond butter). The liquid base is: coconut water.
Power Through Thursday Mixed greens, apples, cucumber, zucchini, lime juice, banana, ice, turmeric and ginger. The liquid base is water.
Strawberry Shortcake / Peaches & Cream Friday* Strawberries, vanilla extract, graham cracker, cinnamon, oats (soaked from the night before), almond butter. The liquid base is: almond milk. Peaches, vanilla extract, graham cracker, cinnamon, oats (soaked from the night before), almond butter. The liquid base is: almond milk. This day had two variations due to the availability of frozen strawberries. So “shake club” had the strawberry shortcake and Hubby & I had the peaches & cream.
This week’s winner was actually Wednesday’s shake! It had a lot of flavor without being too overpowering. Also, Friday’s shake was the second choice.
I honestly have to say that after 4 weeks of doing these daily shakes, I do not see an end in sight just yet. I enjoy making these and enjoy getting a good jump start to my day. I don’t snack much anymore. I don’t eat as much -even for dinner. I have more energy, less of a crash in the afternoon, and have noticed a difference with my recovery from workouts as well as the length & strength of my hair, skin and nails.
If you think you want to give these a try, please let me know what you think! I am always open to feedback and suggestions. If you have any tried and true recipes, please let me know!
Next week I will be covering my current blender situation – and no, I do not have a Vitamix, as well as which blender is next on my radar since these are becoming a staple in my household.
As promised, though a day late, the smoothies from last week. Despite Monday being Memorial Day, I made it a point to keep up with the 5-day streak! In fact, I used Monday as a test day to see how a recipe I had planned for later in the week would be.
Just as a reminder, please check out Week 1 – Smoothie Recipes for a recap on what protein, collagen, and other ingredients I use in each smoothie. Also, I do not use any MLM products nor do I do any juicing – I want to make sure I get ALL of the nutrients from my smoothies…fiber and all.
Monday (Memorial Day) – Key Lime Pie Greek Yogurt, Spinach (for color), ice, protein, one whole lime, lime juice, honey, organic graham crackers, collagen, and Maca. The liquid base was water.
Tuesday – “Pick Me Up Tuesday”
Old-fashioned oats, dates, greek yogurt, iced coffee (I used actual coffee I froze in an ice cube tray), collagen, protein powder, Maca, Greens Powder. The liquid base was almond milk.
Wednesday – Key Lime
Repeated Monday’s recipe!
Thursday – “Going Banana Nuts Thursday”
Banana, chia seeds, almond butter, Maca, cinnamon, walnuts, collagen, protein powder. The liquid base was almond milk.
Friday – “Going Choco-Bananas”
Banana, cacao powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, Greens Powder, protein powder, collagen, Maca. The liquid base was almond milk.
The biggest hit this week was “Going Banana Nuts Thursday” by a landslide! Also, key lime came in second though I still want to manipulate that recipe for a future smoothie!
I have also been dabbling in non-dairy yogurt as an option because some of my friends are steering clear of dairy right now. The only issue I have noticed is that non-dairy yogurt is much more watery than regular or Greek yogurt. In order to maintain a smoothie consistency, I have to cut some of the liquid that I use.
I have also started to add some Creatine powder to my husbands’ smoothies because he is deficient, which we found out after some blood work, and he is looking to start building more muscle mass.
Comment below if you are going to try any of these or are interested in learning more! Do you have any recipes or suggestions for me to try?
Apologies for the late post! It has been a bit of a hectic weekend but I am getting back on track! Tomorrow’s post will be week 02’s smoothie recipes.
Recently I posted on my IG my weekend indulgence – my organic and vegetarian egg white omelettes. I call it my guilty pleasure on weekends because it is full of cheese – all different types of cheese, but cheese nonetheless. Sometimes I think I spent too much time in a laboratory environment and had some of my wires crossed with a mouse…
Anyway, I wanted to share my recipe with you all as my alternative to my weekly breakfast/lunch smoothies.
AllWhites Egg Whites (1 32oz container is good for about 5 omelettes)
Shredded Cheese – I prefer mozzarella and pepper- or Colby- jack mixed
Onion Powder (2 Tbsp per omelette)
Garlic Powder (1 Tbsp per omelette)
White Pepper (1 tsp per omelette)
Himalayan Salt (1/2 tsp per omelette)*
Turmeric Powder (1/2 tsp per omelette)
Butter (1 Tbsp per omelette)
Crushed mint (optional)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) or Avocado Oil
Baby Spinach (optional)
Mix the egg whites, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and turmeric powder together until slightly fluffy.
Heat frying pan (or omelette pan if you have one) and use one the butter to coat the bottom of the pan (you can also use coconut oil).
In a separate pan, coat the bottom with EVOO or Avocado oil and start cooking the soyrizo (it does not come pre-cooked although it may look like it). It needs to be cooked till browned, like a grounded meat.
Add the egg whites and cook on one side for 2-3 minutes depending on the heat of the pan. You will need a spatula to keep the egg from sticking to the pan and to keep moving the liquid egg to the bottom.
Once all of the liquid egg has cooked, add the cheese, soyrizo & spinach in a line on one side of the omelette. Using the spatula, fold the omelette in half and flip to the other side.
Cook for another 1-2 minutes so the omelette is golden brown and plate. Let it sit for 1 minute before serving and garnish with mint.
Comment below if you are going to try this and how it turns out for you! Do you add anything extra to your omelettes?
It is officially the end of week 01 of my smoothie series and as promised, I want to update you all on the recipes used, and since several of you have inquired, my protein of choice! I will add links to the every day items below if I can find it from Amazon but please know that some of these, like my protein powder, I get at Costco or other retailers. In fact, this month, Costco has a sale on my protein powder so you know I am stocking up!
Let’s start off with the products I use every shake. If you plan to make any of the recipes below, please do not forget to add these items!
Combat Protein Powder Don’t be scared by the “cookies & cream” flavor because you do not taste it! This protein powder only has 2 grams of sugar which is one of the lowest I have seen in a protein that still tastes good. And over 25 grams of protein. It also have different types of protein which means it has a long lasting benefit.
AmazingGreen Green Superfood One scoop of this is added to help me get my 3+ servings of fruits and veggies a day! It is full of organic greens, fruits, and other vegetables. It blends easily and tastes great! It is gluten free, organic, and does not add any additional sugar.
Maca Powder This is a new addition to my shakes, but there have been a number of intriguing benefits that have been uncovered by this root vegetable (think potato-esque). It has been consumed for years in Peru and has said to have benefits for both men and women including: increasing energy and stamina, helping balance hormones including during menopause, promoting athletic endurance and recovery, improving immunity levels, and boosting blood circulation.
So on to the weekly recipes including the top 2 favorites of the week!
Manic Monday* Fresh Orange Juice, chia seeds, frozen peaches, fresh banana, cucumber, lime juice, celery, and flax. The liquid base is water.
Green Tuesday Mixed organic greens (kale, spinach, lettuce), raw and fresh zucchini (3 slices), cucumber, dates (2), raw and unfiltered honey, and ice. The liquid bases are aloe water and almond milk (50/50).
Mint Chocolate Wednesday* Fresh mint, cacao powder (think raw and unsweetened chocolate), fresh banana, matcha powder, old-fashioned oats, Greek yogurt, and flax. The liquid base for this is almond milk.
Thirst Quenching Thursday Cucumber, baby organic spinach, lime juice, celery, fresh and raw zucchini, fresh apple, beets (this has to be steamed – do not add completely raw), frozen peaches, chia seeds, and ice. The liquid base for this is water.
Berries & Cream Friday* Fresh strawberries, frozen blueberries, Greek yogurt, fresh banana, and honey. The liquid base is almond milk.
The top two favorites this week were: Berries & Cream Friday and Mint Chocolate Wednesday!
All of the ingredients included are customizable to your preferences and how much you are making. If you would like for me to be specific on exactly how much I include, please let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out my IG for day-to-day updates on the shakes of the week!
Do you have a favorite shake that you make? What are your preferences for ingredients? Do you prefer coconut milk or almond milk? Comment down below!
As I mentioned in my last post, one of my favorite kitchen gadgets is my 6qt Instant Pot (IP). This was a spontaneous item that I bought when times were hard at home – one income, limited kitchen space, long hours…and I had heard so much about this pressure cooker that was just shy of saving the world!
But seriously, I recall that Walmart had a sale on this where I scooped it up for less than $50 between the sale and some coupon codes (thank you, RetailMeNot). I figured that this was my present to myself and if it could help me make even one home cooked meal a week, it was worth it. Low and behold, this has become so significant that I was gifted the new 8qt version where I can even make homemade yogurt!
This week, I was asked for my IP Mac & Cheese recipe by a friend of mine that now has an IP of her own and since there are 1379247395 different versions online, I figured why not add just one more – mine!
1 Box or Bag of Elbow Macaroni or Shells (do not use rice or lentil alternatives)
4 Cups of No Salt (Low Salt is okay) Chicken Broth (or Stock)
1 Cup Almond Milk (can use low-fat regular milk)
3 Cups of Shredded Cheese – I use mozzarella, Colby jack, and a hint of white Vermont cheddar
1 Cup of Greek Yogurt
1/4 Cup Onion Powder
1 tsp Himalayan Pink salt
1-2 tbsp of smoked paprika (optional)
Throw in the macaroni, chicken broth, and salt into the Instant Pot. Set on 4 minutes (manual or pressure cook). Do not be alarmed that as your pasta pressurizes, or at the end of the 4 minutes, it will splatter through the steam release. This is okay and can be cleaned afterwards (this is due to the starch in your pasta).
After 4 minutes, manually release the pressure (in other words, quick release). You will notice a little bit of liquid still left with the now cooked pasta – that’s good!
Add the greek yogurt, onion powder and shredded cheese – 1 cup at a time. Stir. Add the milk – one half cup at a time. Stir.
Set your IP to “Sauté” mode. This will help melt the cheese but make sure to mix often. Once the cheese is melted and creamy, turn off “Sauté” or it will burn your food.
Add the smoked paprika, if desired. This gives the mac & cheese a little kick without being over-powering and gives a nice color richness to the dish.
Comment below if you are going to try this and how it turns out for you! Do you add anything extra? Do you have a version that you would like me to try? Do you have a tried and true stove top recipe that you use?