Goat Cheese Spiked Brussels Sprouts – Serves 6+

I’ve got news!  In a week from today I start my journey West.  I recently accepted a position in San Francisco…  Time for a whole new adventure.  I am super excited and nervous but I will channel that energy for something positive.  About five months ago I set out to change my career and well, it finally happened, anything is possible.

Fall weather has me reaching for everything pumpkin when I have a sweet tooth but when I want something savory then I reach for butternut squash or sweet potatoes.  I am over pumpkin at the moment; my savory taste buds have kicked in, hence this recipe was born.

Butternut squash is an excellent way to increase your dietary fiber as well as nourish your body with vitamins A & C.  With the winter months upon us your skin needs these vitamins more than ever (#makeyourskinglow).

Ingredients:

  • 1# Brussels sprouts; quartered with roots removed
  • 1# butternut squash; diced
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shredded pieces of proscuitto
  • 3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • To taste: 1 tsp sea salt

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a bowl toss the following ingredients well: Brussels, butternut squash, olive oil, black pepper, goat cheese, proscuitto, and sea salt.
  3. On a parchment lined baking sheet spread out the Brussels and butternut squash.
  4. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the vegetables.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Set aside and serve with your favorite entree (or in my case, eat from the baking tray and pass out in a food coma).
  7. Cheers!

 

xxx – Sarah

Power Strawberry Pumpkin Pudding – Serves 2+

I seriously love all things pumpkin.  You can tell the moment you step into my home – pumpkin scents everywhere.  Now that it is almost fall there are some gourmands here and there…  Imagine, it’s only September which means there is still time for me to up my game even more.  Look out friends.

Pumpkin.  What do you know?  Well for starters: 1) High in fiber which helps with satiety and blood glucose control, 2) High in antioxidants as well as vitamin-A and vitamin-C which supports retinal function, hair, skin, and nail growth/support, and 3) High in water content thus if you’re slacking with fluids this will help.  This awesome beta carotene/orange goodness is full of flavor which can be enhanced by spices such as cinnamon, cumin, and of course, pumpkin pie spice.  This recipe is a wholesome way to get all your nutrients in while on the run and has been a breakfast lifesaver!

Ingredients:fullsizerender

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin; canned
  • 2 frozen bananas; softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp almond butter; smooth (unsalted)
  • 2 tbsp dry oats
  • 1 1/2 scoops vanilla protein powder of choice
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2-1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 medium-large strawberries; fresh and chopped

Methodology:

  1. Combine all ingredients sans strawberries and mix/mash well until a homogenous mixture is formed.  Divide pumpkin mixture among two mason jars or similar containers.
  2. Top with chopped strawberries and seal with a cover.
  3. Refrigerate overnight or 2-3 hours prior to consumption.
  4. Grab a spoon and get moving!

 

xxx – Sarah

Italian Herb Pizza Frittata – Serves 10+

Italian?  Yes.  Herbs?  Yes.  Pizza?  Kinda of…  Minus the bread and cheese.  Frittata?  Yes.  Should you make this?  Absolutely.

Are you looking to change up your breakfast routine?  Well, this is a hearty change that will leave your mouth watering for more.  This is also good for those of you like myself who love the ‘Reverse Diet’ aka breakfast for dinner which is what I do at least 150 days a year.  This recipe is loaded with antioxidants, protein, and slow digesting carbohydrates that will fuel your goals.

I previously mentioned utilizing the bulk section at local grocery spots can help you to select, try, and obtain fresh spices at a lower cost and control your portion to ensure freshness.  I recently loaded up on fennel seeds hence its addition to this recipe and it is fabulous.  Fennel is sweet due to its composition of anise which has a similar taste to licorice.  If you are trying to boost your fiber intake – try fennel.  In addition to its fiber content fennel also has antioxidant, mineral, and vitamin properties.

Ingredients:

  • 10 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh or canned/drained yellow corn
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes; quartered/slivered
  • 1 cup raw kale; chopped
  • 2 ounces prosciutto; chopped/ripped into various sizes
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage; minced
  • 1 sprig rosemary; minced
  • 1 tbsp parsley; chopped
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 tsp sea salt

Methodology:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. On a stovetop heat up a frying pan over medium-high heat to toast the corn, fennel seeds, and black pepper.  Toast for 5-8 minutes until fragrant and/or slightly browned then remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and the corn from step one.
  4. Oil a circular pan and pour in the egg mixture from step two.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a knife can be inserted in the center and removed without residue.
  6. Set the pan aside, inhale, allow to cool, slice, and serve.

 

xxx – Sarah

Seedy Cucumber Salad – Serves 4+

This salad literally takes FIVE minutes to prepare if not less and it only has FIVE ingredients.  Basically if you want something super easy to prepare – this is it!  This salad is both crunchy and tangy making it the perfect compliment for whatever your entree fancy may be!  As soon as I made this salad, I literally couldn’t keep my hands off of it, mouthgasm 101.

If you did not know, cucumbers are an excellent source of hydration, and a single 8-ounce cup is just as hydrating as an equivalent amount of water.  Cucumbers are low in calories and rich in anti-inflammatory properties.  Even though there are many, many more benefits of cucumbers to discuss, I will list my favorite which is their ability to cool and soothe (Hint: think of when you’ve sipped on cucumber water at the spa or when you’ve put cucumbers over your eyes to relieve puffiness).  

 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized cucumbers; cut into thin circular halves
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes; halved
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of dijon mustard (seed based – I love this one from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Methodology:

  1. In a tupperware container combine all ingredients then cover and shake well.
  2. Remove cover from tupperware…  and serve!

 

xxx – Sarah

No Bake Cashew Raspberry Energy Bites – Serves 6+

Summer may be winding down, but the temperatures are still rising, especially in Texas.  Bikini season is still going and that means healthy eats!  However, if you’re like me, bikini season is all day, every day.  These flavor rich bites are a fantastic addition to your morning routine if you’re looking for a workout boost, post-workout snack, or mid-day snack for extra energy.  Not only are the bites easy to make but they are packed with ‘good for you’ nutrients and mouthgasmic worthy.  If you like berries and nuts – this creation is definitely for you.

Now let’s talk shop.  These bites contain: chia seeds, coconut flakes, cashews, raspberries, dates, protein powder, a banana, and some water.  Basically these bites are a mouthful of antioxidants and protein with natural sweet flavorings.  Next time you’re opting for store bought energy balls, snacks, or protein bars with ingredients that are unpronounceable or contain numbers, try these, you’ll know exactly what you are eating.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw cashews (soaked/drained)
  • 1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 medium banana (fresh)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 5 large medjool dates (pits removed)
  • 1 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Vega Protein Powder (this protein powder can be found just about anywhere – Target, Amazon, Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, Costco, and GNC)

Methodology:

  1. Toss cashews and water into a blender and pulse/blend until soft.
  2. Add coconut flakes, banana, and dates to the nut mixture then pulse/blend until the mixture is homogeneous.
  3. Remove cashew mixture from the blender.  Fold in the raspberries and chia seeds utilizing a fork.  Use the fork to mash up some of the berries so that they are not whole.
  4. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Use a tablespoon to create scoops to drop on the parchment paper.  Aim to make each portion half the size of the tablespoon utilized.
  6. Freeze for 4-5 hours then remove from the freezer and store in a parchment paper lined airtight tupperware container.
  7. Now you’ve got energy bites whenever you want!
  8. Time to get energized.

xxx – Sarah

Loaded Chicken Curry – Serves 5+

Recently a friend asked about cooking curry at home rather than going out…  She wanted a good ‘date night’ type recipe, and frankly, she asked the right person.  This dish is quick and easy so that while the chicken (or other protein is cooking) is tenderizing you can clean and/or get all glammed up.  The quick run-down on this recipe is that it is gluten-free, dairy-free, a great source of protein, antioxidant rich, and loaded with flavor.  The leftovers from this dish taste amazing (ahhhh-mazzzzzing) reheated.  On a final note this dish does not have to be made with chicken rather other proteins such as shrimp, turkey, or beef can be utilized.

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Ingredients

  • 1.5# chicken tenders; chopped into chunks
  • 1 can (8 ounces) light coconut milk
  • 1 medium size zucchini; sliced/halved
  • 1 cup red and orange bell peppers; strips
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2-3 ounces water
  • 1 medium size yellow onion; minced
  • 4 bay leaves; whole
  • 3 springs rosemary; minced (fresh)
  • Coconut oil to heat up the frying pan
  • 2 (or 3 if you want a bold taste) tablespoons of each spice: tumeric, garlic powder, and ginger, and paprika
  • 3 tablespoons of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and black pepper
  • If you want an extra kick: 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (probably my favorite ingredient)
  • To taste: garlic salt or sea salt

Methodology

  1. Under medium heat add coconut oil to heat up a large stir-fry pan then add the yellow onions.  Cook until carmelized.
  2. Add the water and coconut milk – stir well.  Allow the mixture to heat up well for about 5 minutes then add the chicken, coconut flakes, vegetables, and spices (including the bay leaves and rosemary).
  3. Stir the mixture well until homogeneous for 5 minutes then reduce to low heat and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes either covered or uncovered.
  4. Serve atop your favorite rice.  (I used basamati rice with some spicy southwest seasoning for an extra kick.)
  5. Happy date night y’all!

 

xxx – Sarah

Very Crabby Salad – Serves 1

I am a firm believer in the power of eating various foods whether cooked or raw.  By eating raw you are acknowledging the importance of eating wholesome and nutrient dense items.  The benefits associated with eating raw foods include increasing your intake of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein, and much more.  When vegetables are cooked their nutrient content seeps into the cooking liquid and/or is broken down.  I’m not saying to eliminate cooked vegetables and/or fruits, I am saying to incorporate more raw vegetables and/or fruits into your diet, its benefits are endless.

Challenge yourself today, aim for 4-5+ different colors on your plate and try to embrace the raw as well as the varied way of eating.  It’s so easy that you’ll be surprised.  

In the evenings, I have little to no time to prepare dinner, therefore having containers of chopped/sliced/diced vegetables ready for action makes life easy.  I tend to prepare salad ingredients on Sundays or Mondays therefore I can simply ‘grab and go.’  The key is preparation therefore if trying to lose weight or improve your wellbeing, have healthy options on hand to grab rather than to seek high sugar/processed/calorie-laden options.

Ingredients

  •  1 cup raw kale as a base
  • 1/4 cup yellow/red/orange peppers; chopped)
  • 1/4 cup pickles; chopped/sliced (dill pickles)
  • 1/4 cup black beans (no added sodium version – canned)
  • 1/4 cup pico de gallo (fresh)
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes; slivered
  • 6 ounces lump crabmeat
  • As desired: drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • As desired: juice of 1/2 lemon

Methodology

  1. In a large bowl, create a base with the kale, then create sections around the bowl edges with the peppers, tomatoes, pico de gallo, pickles, and beans.
  2. In the center place the lump crabmeat.
  3. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the outside sections (vegetables and beans).
  4. Squeeze lemon or pour lemon juice over the crab.
  5. Time for some eats!
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Oh hi Teddy!

Primary salad staples in my refrigerator (or on my counter in mason jars) include:  peppers (all colors), tomatoes, pico de gallo, raw onions, kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, raw nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios), pickles (my absolute guilty pleasure), balsamic vinegar, and lemons or limes to derive juices.

Primary protein staples in my refrigerator that are quick to grab include:  cooked cold shrimp, cooked salmon, cooked chicken, beans (kidney, black, pinto, and chickpea), lump crabmeat, tuna (on occasion), and hard boiled eggs.

xxx – Sarah

 

Curried Sweet Potatoes – Serves 6

Everyone needs a sidekick.  Batman has Robin and every meal needs sweet potatoes.  This is one of my favorite quick sides that you can serve with just about any meal whether hot or cold (or just set aside a scoop for a small snack).  I made this for dinner the other night alongside scallops and garlicky Brussels sprouts.  However, I’ve been pairing the leftovers with my ‘Grab and Go Egg Scramble,’ and it has been absolutely mouthwatering!  Best of all it is nut, dairy, and gluten-free.

Pretty sure you know the hype surrounding sweet potatoes but just in case you don’t, here goes – great source of vitamins A and C, micronutrients (potassium, phosphorus, and copper are a few to name), contains fiber, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and assists with blood sugar regulation.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes; minced/diced
  • 3 scallion stalks and most of the root; minced
  • 1/2 tsp of curry powder and paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper and cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (to heat the frying pan)

Methodology:

  1. Place a frying pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil.  Allow the pan to heat for 1-2 minutes and circulate the oil throughout the surface of the pan.
  2. Cook the scallions well until the white pieces aka the root is slightly tinged yellow.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes and stir/toss well for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the spices and stir/toss for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and pair with your desired meal!
  6. Get your antioxidant action going!

xxx – Sarah

Grab and Go Egg Scramble – Serves 4+

Inspiration came to me late Monday night as I was dancing to Mirrors by JT and perusing my refrigerator to utilize what I had at home to make an easy ‘grab/go’ meal.  As Maya Angelou says, ‘Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.’  Cooking and dancing – now that’s a perfect night.

This is a terrific breakfast if you want something wholesome and uncomplicated to last for the week.  The dish is loaded with antioxidants from the vegetables and high in protein from the egg base.  Also this dish is dairy/nut/gluten-free!  Best of all is that it tastes fantastic whether cold or hot.  So, as many wise women and men say, do not skip breakfast (#grabandgomeal).

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So much happiness awaiting consumption!

 

Ingredients:

  • 9 eggs; whole
  • 3 bell peppers of your choice; chopped/minced/diced
  • 1 small yellow onion; minced
  • 3 cups kale; washed/rinsed
  • 1.5 tbsp FlavorGod’s ‘Everything Spicy’ seasoning
  • EVOO to heat frying pan and coat shallow baking pan

Methodology:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Under medium heat, cook onions in a slightly oiled frying pan until slightly browned.
  3. Add the peppers, kale, and spice, stir/cook for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add eggs to the vegetable mixture then scramble.  Allow dish to sit for 1-2 minutes.  Transfer egg/vegetable scramble to a slightly oiled 10×15 rectangular Pyrex dish (click the link for the exact item I used) and insert in the oven.
  5. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes.  Remove dish from heat and allow to cool.
  6. Set aside for breakfasts by itself, create a traditional sandwich, or create an open-faced sandwich.  My favorite spin to this is a slice of gluten-free bread or rice cake with this scramble served on top!
  7. Start your day right.  Bon appetit.

 

xxx – Sarah

 

Fried Quinoa Stuffed Peppers & Coconut Lime Shrimp – Serves 4

Back to the grind.  Spent the weekend brunching, laughing, and lounging.  I try to do bulk cooking on Sundays but I was a weeeee bit too lazy so meal prep day was moved to Monday.  Now I’ve got leftovers for all my lunches – perfect.

I’ll keep this educational piece short and sweet…  These recipes are super easy and the ingredients are good for you!  Yes, good for you.  The more variety, the better.  Think color, think antioxidants.  Lastly, these stuffed peppers are perfect for vegetarians – not only are they filled with varied vegetables but quinoa is a complete protein.  Not all complete proteins need to come from meat, poultry, or seafood!  However I wanted seafood so I put together the fixings for my favorite shrimp recipe.

Fried Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 4 colored Bell Peppers with the insides/core removed
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1 cup green onions, minced
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, crushed
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
  • 2 tbsp pineapple, crushed
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • SPICES (4-5 shakes):  Curry powder, tumeric, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder, red pepper flakes, chili powder, and ground black pepper
  • OPTIONAL:  Sea salt
  • Coconut oil – enough to coat a frying pan

Methodology:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Heat a frying pan with coconut oil under medium-high heat.
  4. Add to the frying pan the following ingredients: yellow onion, cilantro, green onion, peanuts, carrots, and pineapple.  Sauté well for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the quinoa, egg, spices, and salt (if used).  Sauté for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the quinoa mixture from heat and stuff the pepper shells.  Place the bottoms of the peppers directly on the parchment paper and allow the insides to face up.
  7. Cook for 15 minutes then set on a plate for serving!

Coconut Lime Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1# jumbo shrimp, fresh with the tails/shells removed (or frozen)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 limes, juice (the size of a golf ball)
  • Coconut oil to coat frying pan

Methodology:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Under medium-high heat add coconut oil to a frying pan.
  3. Toss in the shrimp mixture and cook until golden brown.
  4. Set aside for serving or add to the plate with the stuffed pepper – such an amazing combination.  Makes me want to go someplace tropical.

What else was on my plate?  I did add my usual staple of greens which tends to be either kale, asparagus, or Brussels sprouts.  As seen above, I added my Garlic Peppered Asparagus but unlike the linked recipe I did not add pumpkin seeds or Brussels.

xxx – Sarah