Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey Day Menu!!

Happy Thanksgiving Week Everyone! This year has flown by... we must have been having tons of fun because I CAN'T believe we are at the end of November already.

I thought I would share with everyone what we have on the menu this year.

Mama Vuk is taking care of the Turkey. I still can't get myself to dive in on that challenge just yet. So I am in charge of the sides and dessert!

As our appetizer, sides, and desserts, we are changing it up a bit. Growing up I always had the green bean casserole, buttery mashed potatoes, stuffing, and an overdload of carbs in every way. No wonder I was miserable and couldnt move off the couch on Thanksgiving. I eat differently than I did when I was younger. I didnt quite have the knowledge and experience as I do now. So here is what our Thanksgiving menu looks like this year...

Appetizer : Avocado Hummus with a Veggie plate made just for Turkey Day

I borrowed this recipe from a fellow healthy cooker (The Lovely Cupboard).


2 garlic cloves
1 (15-ounce) can of garbanzo beans
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoon tahini
2 avocados
Olive Oil

1. Place garlic cloves, garbanzo beans, lemon zest and juice from the lemon and tahini in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Salt to taste.

2. Add two avocados and blend just until smooth. Salt to taste once more. Transfer to a bowl, pour a couple tablespoons of olive oil on top, and sprinkle a few dashes of paprika.

Instead of using pita chips or bread like most assume to do.... use some healthy vegetables!! I am making this festive little platter to go with it.

My choice of side:  Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Balsamic Vinegar

Ingredients: (serves 6)
½ pound pancetta (one thick slice), diced
1½ pounds Brussels sprouts, stems removed, halved
Olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup balsamic vinegar


1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

2. In a large bowl, drizzle the halved Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons olive oil, tossing to coat.

3. Pour them onto a sheet pan and season them with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

4. Roast the Brussels sprouts for 40 minutes.

5. While they're roasting, sauté the diced pancetta in a large non-stick pan, cooking until golden brown. Set Aside

6. Simmer 1 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat until it reduces by half, about 10 minutes. It should be thick and syrupy. Set aside.

7. Remove the roasted Brussels sprouts from the oven and pour the sauteed pancetta (plus any drippings) directly atop the Brussels sprouts, tossing to combine.

8. Transfer the mix to a serving platter and drizzle with the balsamic syrup

Dessert.... Yes... We eat dessert sometimes!!!
  I decided to make Protein Pumpkin Bread with Candied Pecans.... Holy Moly! It sounds good but this is my first attempt at making it so if the report is good from all of my taste testers... I will share the recipe with everyone!!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!! Enjoy the time with family and friends!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mmm mmm... Menu planning!

Holy moly.... now I know why I live in Arizona.  Hopefully you didn't spend your weekend indoors this weekend because you would have missed out on some pretty amazing weather!

We went hiking, went to the Chandler "Rock the Block" block party and enjoyed some football. Could NOT get much better than that. All while enjoying the best company I could ask for. Winning!!

Thursday:  Loaded Potatoes... Again!

All of our recipes for this week are posted with the ingredients needed.  So have fun and I hope you try all of them. They are my favorite quick and easy recipes for dinner!  Let me know what you think....

I hope you all had an amazing weekend!

Loaded Baked Sweet Potato

I haven't met anyone who didn't like a loaded baked potato!  Especially in my family... they LOVE them some potatoes. However, they never took this route with it. Here's a healthy alternative to getting that satisfaction....

Med to large Sweet potato
Red Onion
pepper jack cheese
olive oil
pepper to taste
Cooked Grass Fed ground beef


Step One: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prep your potatoes; grab a medium sized cookie sheet and stab your sweet potato 4 to 5 times about an inch deep. Spray lightly with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Leave it unwrapped for a crispier outer shell for the skin, wrap it in foil for soft outer shell skin. Bake for about 50 minutes to an hour (depending on how large the potato).

Step Two:  When potato is done, cut in half but not all the way down. Just about half way and spoon out some of the potato to make room for you fillings.

Step Three:  Add your fillings:  1/4 cup ground beef, small handful of broccoli, and desired amount onion and fresh jalapeno.  Finally top with small amount of pepper jack cheese. I only had sliced cheese so I just cut it into small pieces.  Place back in the oven for about 3- 5 minutes and Done!!

Top with Tapatio hot sauce if you want it spicy.... ENJOY!

Garlic Chicken Calzone

So, I was looking to try something new.  Yes, Calzones are new to me. Can you believe I have never tried one before?  What better way to try one than to make one yourself and have it be healthier than dining out??  I wanted to make one that wasn't as thick as most calzones I see and NO marinara sauce (that stuff doesn't agree with me), plus with some wholesome all natural dough from Sprouts... it was super easy!

My recommended serving size: half of one!  A whole one is too many calories for a meal and too much in general. I'd be miserable if I ate the whole thing!
Prep time: 15 mins
Bake time: 15- 20 mins
Feeds: 2 - 4


Olive oil
3/4 lb cooked grilled chicken
1 bag of Sprouts Pizza Crust Dough
2 cups of fresh baby spinach
1 jalapeno
1 1/2 cup chopped red onion
Shredded cheese of your choice- we used pepper jack (because that's what my fridge offered). I recommend Mozzarella!
Minced garlic
Small amount of Parmesan cheese for topping


Step One: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the dough in half and roll out 2 large thin circles using a light amount of olive oil and a rolling pin.

Step two:  Heat a medium sized nonstick pan to cook the spinach. Meanwhile, Spray (lightly) each one with olive oil and add about 1/4 tsp minced garlic spreading around the entire piece of dough.

Step Three:  Throw in 1 cup of spinach on the heated pan, it will only need to cook for a couple of minutes. When it is wilted, remove from the pan add it to the first calzone. Place this on one side of the calzone only.  Add the cooked chopped chicken (about half a cup) and your desired amount of onion and jalapeno.

Step Four:  Repeat step three for your second calzone.

Step Five: Fold over the other half of the dough and pinch the two sides together so it will not open when baking.

Step Six:  Place both your calzones on a nonstick cookie sheet. Spray lightly with olive oil. Bake for about 15- 20 minutes.  When the tops and side turn golden brown, it should be done.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Here's what's in-store for this week

Hey y'all! Well, it has been a great weekend that went by waaay too fast. We had a blast enjoying the company of some of our most dedicated members. Thank you Kelly and Bryan for not only being great Team[FIT] members but also such welcoming hosts and awesome Party Thowers!  Oh and thanks for our winnings ;) We enjoyed that as well!

So this week we are trying a couple new recipes and reusing some oldies but goodies. Here's what's in-store for this week....

Monday:  Garlic Cheesy Chicken Calzone
Tuesday: Crock Pot Spicy Beef Chili (click here for turkey version of the recipe)
Wednesday: Loaded Sweet Potatoes
Thursday: Grilled Bruschetta Chicken and Mustard crusted Brussels sprouts
Friday:  Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Grocery List: **For a household of 3

  Feta Cheese
  Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Meat & Fish
  3 lbs boneless, skinless Chicken breast
  2 lb Organic Grass fed Ground Beef   

Fruits & Vegetables  
  1 Green bell pepper
  1 Red Pepper
  4 Jalapeños
  3 Red Onions
  2 Roma Tomato
  4 Sweet Potato
  1 Avocado 
  1 bundle brussels sprouts
  1 carrot
  Romain Lettuce wraps
  Fresh basil
  1 broccoli crown

  1 15 oz. can Black or Chili Beans
  Hoison Sauce
  Soy Sauce
  Dijon or Honey Mustard
  Sprouts- 2 Frozen dough bags
  Chili Paste
  Rice Vinegar
  canned water chestnuts
  Red wine vinegar dressings
  Bread crumbs

***Note: For spices, sauces, etc. that is not on the above list, you may need to add for your shopping:
 salt, pepper, olive oil, sriracha or tapatio, garlic powder, minced garlic, cayenne pepper, chili powder.