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

Salted Coco(a) Banana Bites – Serves 2+

Basically Summer screams frozen everything.  I love salt and I love sugar aka I go nuts for combinations with hints of both – why not mix them together and get crazy?!  However, since I’m ‘adulting’ that means make some swaps for healthier ingredients…  Rather than adding traditional chocolate in the recipe I swapped for chocolate protein powder which allows for a bit more protein compared to a regular dessert.

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Methodology

  1. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the sliced bananas to the parchment paper and freeze for 10-20 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix protein powder with very little water, stir and/or add water until a pudding consistency is reached.  Set aside the chocolate protein pudding mixture.
  4. Heat up coconut oil under medium-high heat in a frying pan then add the oatmeal, coconut flakes, and sea salt.  Toss the coconut/oatmeal mixture until golden then remove from heat and set aside.
    1. SIDEBAR – the toasted mixture almost tastes like popcorn and it’s heavenly.  
  5. Remove the cooking sheet from the freezer.  Add a dollop of the protein pudding to each banana slice then top with a sprinkling of the coconut/oatmeal mix.
  6. Put the banana slices back into the freezer for minimum 20 minutes.
  7. Sandwich two banana slices together with a toothpick so that the chocolate pudding mixture is in the middle.  Return the cooking sheet to the freezer for 20 minutes or longer.
  8. Remove banana sandwiches from parchment paper and serve as a the perfect guilt-free dessert.
  9. Absolute H-E-A-V-E-N!!!

 

 

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

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

Berry Good Banana Bread – Serves 12

O-M-G.  I’m obsessed with this bread – I won’t lie but it’s almost finished and I made it like yesterday.  I’ve been playing around with flavors in my kitchen since the weather has been cold…  Then again, who am I kidding, it’s like 60-70 degrees in Texas.  My mom always made banana bread when I was a kid and frankly I needed a taste of home but sans the gluten and dairy.  Basically I changed my mother’s recipe and just kept the bananas.

Potassium.  It’s a very important mineral and bananas are loaded with it!  What does potassium even do?  Well, it’s a mineral that helps to keep your heart, nerves, and muscles working properly.  Thus when dehydrated many individuals chug energy drinks with potassium but sometimes its easier, healthier, and cheaper to opt for actual food sources.  Other good food sources of potassium include oranges, pomegrante, dates, tomato and tomato-based products, potatoes, winter squash, avocados, broccoli, dried/refried/baked beans, milk, nuts and seeds, and some salt substitutes.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 medium yellow bananas, ripe
  • 3 frozen bananas, defrosted
  • 2 tbsp light coconut milk
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil (+extra for greasing the pan)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 or more tbsp cinnamom or pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp (or 1-2 grinds) sea salt
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (or other berries)
  • 2 tbsp mini milk chocolate chips

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a loaf pan (or pan that is about 9×5 inches) with coconut oil OR you can line with parchment paper.
  3. In a blender combine the eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk, almond butter, 2 fresh bananas, and 2 frozen bananas.
  4. Fold in the coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and sea salt.  Blend all ingredients until mixture is homogeneous.
  5. In the greased pan pour half the mixture then set aside.
  6. Using a small bowl mash up the defrosted banana and berries.
  7. Evenly the mashed fruit over the mixture in the pan.
  8. With the remainder of the banana mixture, fold in the chocolate chips and mix, then pour over the berries.  Use a spatula to try and spread the mixture evenly.
  9. Cook for 60-70 minutes or until a knife/utensil can be inserted and removed clean.
  10. Allow to cool then serve with your finest tea, wine, or coffee.
  11. Bottom’s up!

 

xxx – Sarah

 

 

Vanilla Candied Brussels and Pistachio Peppered Beef topped with a Poached Egg – Serves 4

I can pretty much add an egg to everything…  And I do.   As previously mentioned, throw out the notion that eggs and their yolks are bad for you…  Totally yesterday’s news.

Egg yolks contain MORE nutrients than an egg white.  Egg whites have fewer calories and protein compared to the whole egg.  However the yolk provides extra protein along with micronutrients that include iron, phosphorus, zinc, and folate, and the fatty vitamins (A, D, E, and K).  The B-complex vitamins found in whole eggs include biotin, selenium, and choline which are crucial during the creation of the human nervous system as well as its maintenance throughout the lifespan.  

These are two incredibly easy recipes to make and/or keep for leftovers during the week.  As I always say, leftovers always taste best, plus you don’t have to lift a finger.  Basically I made both recipes and then consecutively layered them with a poached egg on top.  This can be made at breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner…  Brunch was my poison of choice.

Vanilla Candied Brussels

Ingredients: 

  • 1# Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • About 1 tbsp/enough to grease a cooking sheet – coconut oil or EVOO

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a cooking sheet with coconut oil or EVOO.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the Brussels sprouts, vinaigrette, vanilla extract, and spices, then lay out evenly on the cooking sheet.
  4. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until desired texture is achieved (less than 20 minutes for more moisture or greater than 20 minutes for crispiness).  At the cooking half point, utilize a spatula and lightly toss the Brussels to ensure that all sides are cooked well.
  5. Remove from oven, set aside for use, or cool down and store.

 

Pistachio Peppered Beef

Ingredients:

  • 1# beef, ground (98% lean)
  • 1/2 cup yellow and red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced and minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/4 cup pistachios (make sure all the shells are removed – you don’t want broken teeth)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced/minced/chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • About 1 tbsp/enough to grease a frying pan – coconut oil or EVOO
  • Spices to taste (2-3 shakes):  Cumin, paprika, curry powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and black pepper
  • Optional:  Salt

Methodology:

  1. Drizzle coconut oil or EVOO in a frying pan under medium-high heat.
  2. Toss into the frying pan onions, sweet potatoes, cilantro, and garlic, and mix well for about 3-5 minutes or until onions are golden.
  3. Add pistachios,peppers, spices, and ground beef to the pan.  Sautee for 10-15 minutes until beef is well cooked or has met an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (this is the minimum temperature set by the USDA to kill E-Coli).
  4. Set aside to add to a meal or cool down to store.

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Poached Egg

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole Eggs
  • 2 cups water or just enough to cover the egg
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt

Methodology:

  1. In a saucepan bring water to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and white vinegar.
  3. Drop one egg in and using a large spoon whip the water around the egg in circular motion until the whites are close to the yolk.  Cook for about 2 minutes then remove and repeat with the remainder eggs.
  4. Serve atop the layered Vanilla Candied Brussels and Pistachio Ground Beef.
  5. Don’t forget to poke the yolk for extra taste!

 

xxx – Sarah

Time to Become the Best You Possible

So if you’re like me then you’re on a lifelong journey to achieve optimal wellness that is constantly changing due to new information.  The key is to obtain information from a trustworthy source – always look at the background of the individual and his/her services to see if it fits with your goals but pay attention to education and the mission.

As a professional I have learned there is not one solution for achieving your goals nor one template.  If you are looking to make improvements, changes, and/or modifications to your life – contact me today for a free consultation.

Consultation – FREE

30 minute nutrition counseling, goal planning, grocery shopping, or education session – $35/person/session

60 minute nutrition counseling, goal planning, grocery shopping, or customized nutrition education session – $65/person/session

***All the above options can be in-person if the geography is right!  Otherwise other methods will be utilized.


INITIAL MONTHLY PLANS (+ free initial consultation):

  • Menu meal plan and diet framework – $100
  • Workout plan – $100
  • Meal and workout regimen – $150

EXTENDED MONTHLY PLANS/CHANGES TO MONTHLY PLANS (done on a weekly and monthly basis):

  • Menu meal planning – $50
  • Workout plan – $40
  • Meal/workout regimen – $65

IN PERSON WORKOUTS:

30 minute session: $25/person/session

60 minute session: $50/person/session

***Payments are non-refundable

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chip Cookies – Makes 3 Dozen

November.  This is my favorite month because it represents Thanksgiving.  When I think of Thanksgiving I think of family, good eats, and wonderful conversations.  In my household, the meal is always the most poignant part since there is something for each person to munch on and no one is the odd man out.  We give thanks for our friends and family while reminiscing and looking ahead – I tend to look ahead at dessert.

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This is an awesome dessert because it is gluten-free and friendly for most sufferers of celiac disease.  If you are trying to reduce inflammation, a great way is to reduce your intake of gluten, or one of the other many inflammatory agents which include eggs, nuts, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and trans fats.  Start small by taking something out of your diet that has one of these inflammatory agents and then add it back to see how your body reacts.  Negative reactions include cramping, diarrhea, headaches, gargling of the stomach, vomiting, and nausea.

Remember – – – > > >  Desserts are loaded with inflammatory ingredients but remember they do not have to be 100% ‘bad‘ or ‘off limits.’  Just consume in moderation rather than the whole thing at once.  Keep something to be savored.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups margarine – melted
  • 1 cup dates – no pits
  • 1 cup sugar (or brown stevia)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (or stevia)
  • 2 cups oats (quick cooking – I always aim for the holy grail of oats aka Quakers 1-minute Oats)
  • 15 ounces Pumpkin (or 1 can) – pureed          FullSizeRender-8
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or regular salt)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • OPTIONAL: 1/3 cup pecans – crushed

METHODOLOGY

  1. With a mixer combine the margarine and sugars.
  2. Add in the dates and mix until pureed.
  3. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, fold in the pumpkin, egg, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.
  4. Add in the chocolate chips (and pecans if used) and mix well.
  5. On a parchment paper lined tray or non-stick tray drop 2 heaping spoonfuls (tbsp sized) of batter then slightly flatten with a fork.
  6. Cook under 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes until slightly browned on the edges or check for completion by inserting a butter knife in the center and if it is free of residue then you are ready to set them aside.
  7. Serve warm, at room temperature, or freeze with a scoop of ice-cream in the middle…
  8. Try to limit yourself to 3… Or 4.
  9. Got Milk?

xxx – Sarah

Triple Potato Strawberry Crisp – Serves 15

Do you have events such as BBQs, potlucks, beer tastings, or wine and tapas pairings coming up?  Try this colorful and simple crowd pleaser…  For me in a nutshell it was a little slice of heaven; I recently competed in a bikini competition and was extremely strict with my diet (sans a few noshes here and there).  Regardless of my diet, I was not about to show up empty-handed to a beer/pairing event, thus I whipped up a little something that represented all of the food items that I no longer consumed on a daily basis but craved – aaaaaand let me tell you, it was phenomenal (or so that is what I was told).

triple potato crisp

Potato Layer Ingredients:

  • 3 small Japanese sweet potatoes; diced
  • 3 small Yukon gold potatoes; diced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes; diced
  • 4 sliced Jalapeno bacon; minced (I love utilizing the HEB brand)
    • Absolutely love this quote: ‘Either you love BACON or you’re WRONG.’
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil; melted form (save some for greasing the baking dish)
    • It is recommended to use a 9″ x 13″ pan

Crumble Layer Ingredients:

  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup dry oats
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (or Stevia)

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the a, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pumpkin spice together.
  3. On the stove top, cook the bacon so that it is slightly crisp, remove from heat and add to the potatoes from step 2 – mix well.
  4. Grease the baking dish to be used with coconut oil then layer the potatoes evenly and cook for 30-40 minutes.
  5. While the potatoes are cooking; combine the oats, strawberries, pecans, and sugar – mix well to form the crisp.
  6. Utilizing the grease from cooking the bacon – add the concoction from step 5 and cook until slightly browned but still moist.
  7. Remove the potatoes from the oven then cover the potatoes with the crisp.
  8. Cook in the oven for the remainder of the time left (should be at least 10 minutes).
  9. Insert a fork into the crumble and potatoes to test for tenderness – depending on how tender the potatoes are the cooking time may need to be increased.
  10. Optional: Drizzle honey over the top of the finished product before serving.
  11. Serve with a beverage of choice – cheers!

 

PS – Yes, I finally did indulge…

bikini

Sometimes I leave the kitchen.

Fear not... Donuts to the rescue at the end!

Fear not… Donuts to the rescue at the end!

 

xxx – Sarah