Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Team[FIT]'s Thanksgiving Menu

I have had a lot of questions and concerns about still being able to enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner without going over our calories allotment for the day. So I figured I would share what I am cooking up in the Team[FIT] kitchen this year!
Before I share though, I have to remind you that it IS okay to indulge every now and then, and Thanksgiving Day is one of my favorite times. Remember – everyone deserves a little Reward (or "cheat") Day, to still allow ourselves to feel human. We highly suggest scheduling your reward, or cheat day, as Turkey Day this week. So... here is what's for dinner at the Team[FIT] household.
Turkey, of course!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes, by Table for Two


2 1/2 Pounds Sweet Potaots, peeled and cut into 2- inch cubes
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp pepper, or more for taste 


1.      Bring a pot of water to a boil then add the sweet potatoes to the pot. Cook the sweet potatoes until they’re fork tender.
2.      Carefully drain the sweet potatoes then place them in a large bowl. Using a potato masher, or just a fork, mash the potatoes to your desired consistency. If you want more texture, you’ll likely want to use the potato masher and fork.
3.      Stir in the butter, milk, and salt/pepper.
4.      Serve warm.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
(I have submitted this before, but here it is again!)
They are amazing!!

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.

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole
(For all you Green bean casserole fans, here’s a healthy, and gluten-free, solution for you!)

Ingredients: (Serves 6)
16 oz. fresh green beans

1 cup low fat cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup almonds

1/4 cup dried onions

2-1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
1.  Preheat oven to 350F.

2.  Cook prepared beans in large pot of boiling water with half of the salt. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.

3.  In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and the mushroom soup, mixing until smooth.

4.  Put the almonds in the blender and pulse until you have large crumbs. Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the blender and pulse just until broken up.

5.  Spray a large baking dish with olive oil spray and add the beans. Pour the gravy mixture over the beans and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle the topping evenly across the beans.

6.  Bake for 30 minutes until the top is lightly browned and the casserole is bubbly. Serve immediately.

Cranberry Quinoa Stuffing
It's not Thanksgiving without Stuffing RIGHT??!
Ingredients: (Serves 8)
1 package Pancetta (or bacon)

1 container Trader Joe’s Stuffing Starter Mix **

2 cups (dry) quinoa

1 quart low sodium chicken broth

1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)

1/2 cup dried cranberries
**TJ’s Stuffing Starter mix is about a 14.5 oz container of prechopped onions and celery seasoned with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
In a large pan over medium heat, saute the Pancetta and stuffing starter, until veggies are wilted and the
Pancetta is crisp, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to a large pot on the stove top.
Add the quinoa, broth, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook until light and fluffy (stove top, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes).

 Gently stir in the cranberries.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ooey Gooey Black Bean Brownies

Ya'll remember that Fitness Challenge Fund Raiser we hosted 2 years ago for Christmas?! Haha.... well, I guess only our longest standing members would remember this!!  I was going through pictures and remembering how fun that day was... What a blast! I also came across pictures of some of the food we had there!! Heelllloooo... I totally forgot about some of the yummy goodness I baked up!
As most events such as these, you would find cookies, cakes, popcorn, sodas, cotton candy, etc. and we obviously are not going to promote any of that garbage. Instead, I cooked up some healthy substitutes to those sweats we all like to get out hands on once in awhile ;)  My favorite yet unique recipe that seemed to steal the show was my Black Bean Brownies. I figured I should share these again since the holidays are approaching and everyone loves themselves a little dessert with their turkey dinners. Here goes...


4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups soft-cooked black beans, drained well (canned is fine)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (granulated) natural coffee substitute (or instant coffee, for gluten-sensitive)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 large eggs
1½ cups light agave nectar

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 11- by 18-inch (rimmed) baking pan (note: or jellyroll pan) with parchment paper and lightly oil with canola oil spray.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high. Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely. 
3. Place the beans, 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the vanilla extract, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans smooth. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, coffee substitute, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
5. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer beat the eggs until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the agave nectar and beat well. Set aside.
6. Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the coffee/chocolate mixture. Stir until blended well.
7. Add the egg mixture, reserving about 1/2 cup. Mix well. 
8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup egg mixture until light and fluffy. Drizzle over the brownie batter. Use a wooden toothpick to pull the egg mixture through the batter, creating a marbled effect. 
9. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares. (They will be soft until refrigerated.)

Makes 45 (2-inch) brownies. If you want to serve these to many people, make sure to place them in cupcake papers (that worked best for me), toothpicks will not work! They are too ooey gooey :) 

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Favorite Spaghetti Squash Casserole

If you watched my Food Log video we posted on Facebook, then you might be curious about how I make that spaghetti squash casserole I talked about. I am a bit of a spaghetti squash addict! I like the texture of it, and that the flavor isn't overpowering. It also doesn't leave me feeling overstuffed as regular pasta used to.  It certainly lends itself well to using it like you would any pasta in a casserole or just with a good tomato sauce on top. However, this recipe is my favorite of all the things I've tried with it yet, so I hope you enjoy it, too!

Serves: 4 - 5

3 pounds spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 tablespoon EVOO
2 tablespoons basil pesto1 medium red onion, diced1 cup chopped asparagus
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup sliced zucchini
1/2 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
1/2 cup shredded colby & monterey jack cheese
Feta Cheese (optional)
Cholula hot sauce (optional)


1.  Preheat oven to 400°F. 

2. Cook the squash. You can bake it on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes to an hour. Or, if you don't have an extra hour to do this, you can cook the squash in the microwave (this is what I did), cut-side down in about half an inch of water for about 8 - 10 minutes.

3. Shred the squash with a fork once cooled slightly

4. While the squash is cooling, Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir the onions, zucchini, asparagus, garlic, tomatoes, and pepper until onions are translucent and zucchini is tender. 

5.  Stir onion mixture, pesto, and cheese into the squash until well mixed. 

6. Bake in the preheated oven (uncovered) for 15 - 20 minutes, or until warmed through and top is lightly browned.

Serve hot!  Save your leftovers for lunches the next day. It's still good warmed in the microwave the next day!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Iced Protein Mocha

   I am sure about 99% of people can say they have had Starbucks. Most of which, probably still stop at Starbucks regularly.... if not everyday! That's A LOT of unnecessary calories, fat, and useless crap they are putting into their bodies, not to mention dollar bills down the Starbucks drain! URGH!!  
   Did you know in a Starbucks Grande Iced Mocha (without whipped cream) there are 310 calories, 6 g fat, 56g carbs, and 11g protein. AND... you are paying them about $5 every time you order one.  Let's just say you stop on your way to work in the morning at least 3 times a week. Thats $15 a week or $60 a month!!!  That's ridiculous.... with nothing to show for it besides a couple extra pounds that may or may not have arrived ;)
Let's fix this situation shall we?!  Here we have a homemade iced mocha that is 'FIT' worthy and contributes to your daily nutritional needs. A Venti size holds 125 calories, 3.5g of fat, 5g carbs, and 18g of protein. On top of that... It costs less than $1.50 to make!!!

Iced Protein Mocha

9-10oz fresh brewed coffee of your choice (let it chill)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk

1 scoop MRM Dutch Chocolate Whey

1 stevia packet


1.) Mix all together in a shaker cup and pour over ice

Calories: 125g
Fat: 3.5g
Carbs: 5g
Protein: 18g

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Butternut Squash and Chicken Sausage Hash

Hey ya'll, I know I haven't added a new recipe in awhile. I have been making a lot of my faves over and over from the blog. The Siracha chicken is just too tasty and easy to pass up!

BUT... Here's a new one I made last night for dinner that was so easy and turned out pretty, darn good!

Serves 3
Amount per serving:
Calories: 337
Carbs: 40
Fat: 12
Protein: 17

3 Chicken and apple sausages
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 butternut squash
Red bell pepper
Half jalapeño
Half red onion
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Dash cinnamon

1. Use 1 half of the Butternut Squash and chop into 1 inch pieces. Place in a large saute pan with chicken broth and turn on medium to high heat.
2. Season the squash with chili powder, cayenne, pepper, salt, and a dash of cinnamon.
3. While the squash is bowling, chop the red onion, jalapeno, and red pepper. Add this mixture to the saute pan, once the broth has evaporated with the squash.

4. Spray the squash and pepper mix with a little EVOO, and saute the mixture until the butternut squash is browned and peppers and onions are soft.

5. Meanwhile, slice the 3 sausage links into bite size pieces and saute in a separate pan until they are browned and cooked through on both sides.

6. Serve hot and splash some hot sauce over top for an extra kick. I like to use Cholula!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Healthy Burrito Bowl

Who doesn't like a little Chipotle from time to time?!  Of course, I am human and think their burrito bowls are awesome!! BUT have you noticed their portion sizes???  Good god! And it's not just there, its really everywhere you eat out. The portion sizes is what gets everyone into trouble. You don't REALLY need to eat everything on the plate they serve you, but being human, if it's in front of you and it tastes the way it does, most people don't have the control to stop when they are full. At least at home, you have more control of the serving size put in front of you and have control of the amount of oils that are used in your food. Try this delicious burrito bowl recipe... and stay away from the fattening restaurant meals (OUT of this ARIZONA HEAT!!!).
Healthy Burrito Bowl

  • 3-4oz Grilled Chicken breast (or meat of choice)
  • 1/4 Ripe Avocado
  • 1/4 Cup Black Beans (low sodium if possible)
  • 1/4 Cup Seeds of Change Quinoa and Brown Rice Mix
  • 2 T chopped red onion
  • A few slices of fresh jalapeno- optional depending on how hot you like your food
  • Dollop of Nonfat, Plain Greek Yogurt- OPTIONAL (great substitute for sour cream!) 
  • Hot Sauce of Choice (I used Tapatio)
  • 1oz Cheddar or Feta Cheese (optional)- I didn't use any!
Cook rice & fish (I grilled my chicken- marinated in mustard, Siracha, and spices). Heat black beans. Mix rice, chicken, onions, and beans together. Slice up half an avocado and top with a dollop of greek yogurt and hot sauce! Enjoy!

Meal Facts with Greek yogurt:
Calories: 360
Total Fat: 12g
Carbs: 27g
Protein: 40g

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

5 Go-To Summer Protein Shakes

To survive the summer heat, many of us add snow cones, "Froyo", slurpies, and milkshakes (whatever your choice of poison may be) to our diets. The problem with sipping on those cool, sweet drinks, however, is the massive amount of sugar that accompanies them, along with the empty calories. So why not make your own, healthier summer smoothie? Even better, why not add a kick of protein?
Save yourself the cash, calories, and insulin spikes, and make your own smoothies at home! My bad habit is I like drinks with me when I am running errands. I would almost bet my life on that about 90% of you probably do as well. When I am on the go and running errands, I am a people watcher! I notice everyone has some sort of drink with them, and the majority of those drinks are 40oz Thirst busters full of soda... AND don't even try and tell me " But it's DIET soda!" I won't even touch that topic right now or we'll be here all night! The good thing about these shakes is you can whip them together quickly at home and throw them in a to-go cup and bring it with you, everyone has red Solo cups right?!
Real fruit and whole ingredients are much tastier than corn-syrupy puree that will give you cancer and cause your fat cells to grow, anyway. Sorry... a little brutal but hey, no beatin' around the bush with this one!
These five simple recipes make delicious, refreshing smoothies that are packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants. Enjoy them as they are or add your own spin for more unique flavors!
1. Pina Colada

Instead of adding rum, add some protein! By making some healthy changes to this yummy favorite, you get to enjoy it without the guilt.
    1/2 cup Pineapple, chopped
      1/2 frozen Banana
        1 scoop Vanilla Protein
          1/2 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk

            1/2 cup Water and Crushed Ice
            Add all ingredients in a blender. Blend, pour, and enjoy! 
            Calories: 219  Fat: 5g Carbs: 28g Protein: 20g

            2. Watermelon Mint

            1 cup Watermelon, cubed
              1/2 cup Liquid Egg Whites
                Mint Sprigs
                  Crushed Ice
                  Calories: 111  Fat: 1g  Carbs: 17g  Protein:  14g

                  3. Strawberry Papaya

                  1/2 Cup Strawberries

                  1 cup Papaya, sliced

                  1 cup Non-fat Plain Greek yogurt

                  1/2 Cup Water and Crushed Ice

                  Calories: 108  Fat: .2g  Carbs: 15g  Protein: 13g

                  4. Cranberry-Coco Fiber Kicker

                    1 tbsp dried Unsweetened Cranberries

                      1/2 cup frozen Cherries
                        1/2 tbsp Chia Seeds
                          1/2 tbsp Flaxseeds
                            1/3 cup Non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt
                              1/2 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
                                Crushed Ice
                                Calories: 307  Fat: 7g  Carbs: 52g  Protein: 11g
                                **suggestion for this one: if you would like more protein and less calories, take out the greek yogurt and add water or unsweetened green tea with a scoop of Whey protein.
                                5. Coconut Mango Monster

                                Mangos are a great source of vitamin A and C, as well as potassium, calcium, and many more. Eat them!!
                                1 Cup chopped Mango
                                1/2 cup Unsweeted Coconut Milk
                                1 scoop Whey Vanilla Protein Powder
                                Calories: 224  Fat: 5g  Carbs: 29g  Protein: 20g

                                Tuesday, July 23, 2013

                                Skinny Spicy Stuffed Chicken

                                I know chicken can get a little boring after having it in so many recipes. When we try to eat healthy, I noticed people always tend to go straight to "chicken and veggies" for their healthy diets. Well, without eating the same boring chicken recipe all the time, here is another "chicken and veggies" meal that won't bore your taste buds.....

                                  INGREDIENTS:  For the chicken
                                  •   Boneless, skinless Chicken Breast (4 - 6 oz per serving/person)
                                  •  1/2 serving (serving = 3/4 cup) Greek Yogurt 0%
                                  •  1 oz Lowfat Cheddar or Colby Cheese
                                  •  Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, to taste ( suggested 1-2 tsp)

                                  1. Mix Greek yogurt and shredded cheddar with sriracha chili sauce in a small bowl.

                                  2. Grease a pan with non-stick spray.

                                  3. Lay the chicken breasts out as flat as possible (pound them into submission if you must).

                                  4. Put the Greek yogurt/sriracha/cheese mixture on top of each of the chicken breasts. (Just enough to fit inside the chicken when folded over.)

                                  5. Fold over the chicken breasts so they are folded in halves and use a toothpick to hold them in place. I put Fajita spices and cayenne pepper on mine, you can put whatever spice you like.

                                  6. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.
                                  ** For your side, add any mixed veggies you like. We sauteed brussels sprouts, asparagus, and onions!