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!

                                  Wednesday, July 10, 2013

                                  Crockpot Siracha Chicken

                                  Combining the simple ingredients of this chicken recipe gives you endless dinner and lunch possibilities. The flavors in this slow cooker recipe are the spiciness of the Siracha, the warmth of the stewed tomatoes, and the sweetness from the honey and brown sugar make this a completely successful recipe sure to satisfy the whole fam. You can use this recipe in several different ways. Place overtop quinoa, rice, pasta. Fill in taco shells or burritos. Use the juice from the crock to dipping your tortillas.... 
                                  I better stop, I'm getting carried away. Here's the key to an easy recipe to keep you out of the kitchen...
                                  Crockpot Siracha Chicken
                                  • about 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
                                  • 1 medium onion chopped
                                  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
                                  • 1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes
                                  • about 3 tablespoons Siracha hot sauce (or more if you like it spicier)
                                  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
                                  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
                                  • 1 tablespoon honey
                                  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
                                  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or EVOO


                                  1. In slow cooker, combine all ingredients except for the chicken. Combine the ingredients well.
                                  2. Add chicken and push it into the sauce until it's immersed.
                                  3. Slow cook the chicken for about 4 hours on HIGH or 6-8 hours on LOW, or until the chicken becomes the texture that you want, it should fall apart when you fork it. (For a more soft, shredded chicken, cook it longer.)
                                  4. Shred the chicken when it's done cooking. It should just easily fall apart. 
                                  5. Serve chicken with rice, quinoa, or pasta and make sure to pour the delicious sauce over everything! Or you can shred the chicken in tacos, and save for lunches through the week.

                                  Tuesday, July 9, 2013

                                  Easy Skinny Turkey Lettuce Wraps

                                   Who loves those lettuce wraps from PF Changs or Pei Wei?? Well, if you love those, you will really appreciate these!  I found these to be ten times better than ordering them out.... And CHEAPER!!  Give these are whirl.... It only took me about 15 minutes to cook these and I was fully satisfied and guilt-free.

                                  Yummy Turkey Lettuce Wraps


                                  1 T peanut oil or avocado oil (or slightly more, depending on the pan you have)
                                  3 T minced red onion
                                  2 T minced garlic (I used minced garlic from a jar but fresh garlic would be even better)
                                  2 T grated ginger root
                                  1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
                                  4 T soy sauce (I used Tamari)
                                  1 T Chile Garlic Sauce (or slightly more if you like spicy foods)
                                  1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (about 1/2 large bunch)
                                  1/3 cup chopped almonds
                                  1 large head or 2 small heads Boston Lettuce or butter lettuce, or substitute 1 head romaine lettuce


                                  Chop onion and set aside. Peel ginger root, then grate with the large side of a cheese grater, and chop garlic if using fresh garlic. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add onion and saute about 2 minutes, then add garlic and ginger root and saute about one minute more.

                                  Add ground turkey to separate frying pan (with a bit more oil if needed) and break apart and spread out with turner, then add soy sauce and chili garlic sauce. Cook until the turkey is brown and crumbling apart, and the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

                                  While turkey cooks, wash and chop fresh cilantro to make 1 cup. Remove the core end from lettuce, separate leaves, and wash in salad spinner and spin dry (or wash under running water and dry with paper towels.) Chop almonds or use sliced almonds and put in small bowl to serve at the table.

                                  When turkey is done, add chopped cilantro and cook 1-2 minutes more. Serve filling and lettuce leaves in separate bowls, with chopped almonds in another small bowl. Take a lettuce leaf, fill with desired amount of turkey mixture, add chopped almonds over top, and then eat the mixture from the lettuce cup.
                                  I fold the lettuce cup over when I eat it, so it's kind of taco-shaped, but some people like to wrap the lettuce clear around the filling... However you like it.... It all still tastes divine!!  Have at it....

                                   If you are feeling crazy, add some avocado and Siracha, as Jeff did below!  He's too crazy for me, it was spicy enough as it is for me!

                                  Tuesday, July 2, 2013

                                  Turkey Quinoa Mini Meatloaves

                                  Ok, Ya'll, here is a simple recipe that is super good! It involves a lot of my favorite things to have for dinner. You know we have a soft spot for Quinoa. As should most of you ;)   This stuff is good for you and there are so many ways to make this stuff taste good.  You can make these at the beginning of the week and bring your leftovers to work for lunches. Give this one a try....

                                  1 egg
                                  dash of pepper
                                  2 garlic cloves or 1 tsp minced garlic
                                  2 cups, chopped Kale (if you are not a fan, replace with spinach)
                                  1/2 small onion chopped
                                  1/2 cup fresh Parsley
                                  5 tbsp ketchup
                                  3/4 cup cooked Quinoa
                                  4 oz ground turkey
                                  1 small red bell pepper
                                  5 tsp Worcestershire sauce


                                  1. Coat a pan with a little cooking spray ( I use avocado oil or EVOO) and saute onion, garlic, bell pepper, and kale until kale is softened. You can add pepper or whatever additional spices you prefer, but caution with adding salt. Too much salt is NOT OK!

                                  2. In a large bowl combine cooled sauteed mixture with your ground turkey, 1 egg, your fresh chopped parsley, and quinoa. Be careful not to over mix though... it will become too dry and tough when cooked.

                                  3. Lightly spray a muffin tin & fill with turkey mixture (makes 12 mini meatloaves). Top each with a tiny bit of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.

                                  4. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. Let cool for a couple of minutes then enjoy!!

                                  ** Tip:  top yours off with some of your favorite hot sauce... I used Tapatio and it was mighty fine!!