Tag Archives: healthy recipes

Chicken and Sweet Potato Chili

2 May

Like most busy people, I love a good Crockpot meal.You can make a ton of food with the same amount of effort (or less) that it would take you to make a normal dinner.

Last night we celebrated hubby’s birthday a bit early and he wanted a simple dinner at home… which meant I had the time and excuse to try a new recipe 🙂 It was a rainy day yesterday so based off this Catz in the Kitchen recipe, I decided to try a slow cooker chicken chili. Per usual, I made some adjustments.

You’ll need:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1½ lbs boneless, skinless/boneless chicken breast
  • 1 (15 oz can) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz can) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz can) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (can sub water)
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Optional toppings: Light Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt, Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Cilantro

  1. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into approx. 1 inch squares
  2. Place 1 cup liquid at bottom of crockpot, layer in chicken and sweet potatoes
  3. Top with beans, tomatoes, garlic, and spices
  4. Cook on low for 2 hours, then add in fresh onions and pepper and cook on high for another 2 hours (you can just add it all in at the start and cook on low for 6 hours per original recipe)
  5. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred then add chicken back in and stir into other ingredients.
  6. Serve with favorite toppings and enjoy!

  

Protein Pumpkin French Toast

28 Mar

This morning I was craving french toast but knew I needed a lot more protein than that to stay in my macros for the day (and a lot less carbs the rest of the day). So I decided to make protein french toast. I’ve also been wanting pumpkin so I worked that in too!

You’ll need:

  • 1/4-1/2 C pumpkin
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • 1/4 C almond milk (I want to play with this amount)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Allspice and nutmeg to taste
  • 2-3 slices whole grain bread (I use Rudi’s multigrain, Ezekiel would be a great option)
  1. Whisk together the ingredients (other than the bread) and pour into shallow dish
  2. Dip bread in mixture, leave in a few seconds on each side to soak in the egg mixture
  3. Transfer onto a warm, lightly greased pan or griddle
  4. Flip the pieces while you cook until they are golden brown on both sides
I ate mine before I could take a picture... found this at Healthy Recipes Blog

I ate mine before I could take a picture… found this at Healthy Recipes Blog

Clean Chicken Salad

23 Nov

This weekend hubby and I had the pleasure of hosting a baby shower for an awesome couple stationed here with us. I love hosting parties but I always struggle over the menu… I want to make sure it’s food everyone will enjoy but I refuse to give up all of my healthy alternatives. So, of course, we had a baby cake and some desserts but I also made the mini quiche (which were a huge hit) and a healthy fall chicken salad.

Glimpse of the invitations

A Glimpse of the invitations

I’m kicking myself because I took barely any pictures but here’s the recipe…

You’ll need:

  • 3/4 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 C dried cherries
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts
  • 1 pear (diced)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 lb shredded chicken (if you buy canned to save time, make sure it’s in water)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and enjoy! Serve on it’s own or with whole grain crackers

Do you have a healthy go-to dish for when you entertain? What are some of your favorite party recipes?

Wednesday Workout Review

15 Oct

I hate sick days… I’m not good at them. I feel awful but still just feel guilty about not being at work and not getting things done around the house. It’s just miserable.

On the plus side, there’s at least a few things I can do while taking it easy, like writing a post for example. It’s been a week of T25 and while we haven’t been following it religiously I do feel comfortable writing a review. Here’s my thoughts… It is a very dynamic workout plan. You will work up a sweat and it is tiring in just a 30 minute workout. I like that it’s something hubby and I can do together (but the 4 am wake ups are rough!)

The down side is, with my back issues, I have to modify quite a bit. They have a beginner modification built in but nothing as an intermediate option. This isn’t a make or break since I have a background that allows me to safely modify and still get a good workout but I could see it being a challenge for someone who did not have a fitness background.

All in all if you’re looking for a dynamic workout program and are able to safely complete a high impact workout, I think it’s worth the buy. Just keep in mind that if high impact isn’t for you, neither is this program.

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The other night I made this Coconut Curry Cauliflower. It was delicious! I substituted green beans instead of spinach for a little crunch but otherwise stuck to her recipe.

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Back, Biceps and Rosemary Chicken

14 Mar

Since getting back from Arizona my workouts have been limited and at home so it felt great to get back into the gym this morning. My friend and I did back and biceps at the gym and then I’ll bring the pups on a run later to get in my cardio.

3 sets:

  • 12 Incline Bicep Curls
  • 12 lat pull-downs
  • 12 seated cable rows

3 sets:

  • 12 reverse flyes
  • 12 cable bicep curls

3 sets:

  • 20 Bosu push-ups
  • 10 TRX bicep curls

The whole workout took about 40 min, no excuses 😉

Scott Traczyk Photography, oldie but goodie

Scott Traczyk Photography, oldie but goodie

The other night it was beautiful here so hubby and I decided to grill and enjoy the weather. We made grilled rosemary chicken, it was very simple to throw together.

You’ll need:

  • 1/4 C lemon juice
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 4 tbsp olive juice
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and pour into gallon Ziplock bag, add chicken breasts and let marinade approx. 1 hour. Grill the chicken about 4-5 min/side and enjoy!

Image

Picture by It’s a Keeper

I served it with Basmati rice and green beans. What are your go to sides?

What I’ve done instead of Facebook…

13 Mar

I hadn’t realized how much of a habit checking Facebook had become. Especially with smart phones it has become so easy to just tap the little icon while I have 5 min here and there or get out the computer just to check e-mail and pay bills and then an hour later still be looking through news feed pictures and Pinterest.

On Monday I had a day off and instead of spending my afternoon wasting time on Facebook etc. I got a short at home workout in and had a baking afternoon.

I had to do a light workout because of some medical testing they were doing so the at home workout looked like this:

2 sets:

  • 20 squats
  • 20 side squats/leg

2 sets:

  • BOSU planks with leg raises (15/leg) followed by leg abduction (10/leg)
  • 20 BOSU push-ups

2 sets:

  • 15 Hamstring bridges
  • 10 squats with medicine ball twist

Then I made granola for the week and a new variation of carrot cake bars. I adapted Jamie Eason’s recipe to make it gluten free and I’m not a fan of any of the artificial sweeteners, even Truvia (which is only like 1% actual Stevia), so I’m experimenting with honey. What substitutes do you use while baking?

Carrot Cake Protein Bars:

  • 1 C almond flour
  • 1/3 C honey (I’m still playing with this ratio)
  • 2 scoops Vanilla Whey Protein
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp all-spice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 egg whites
  • 8 oz carrot baby food
  • 4 oz water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Mix all dry ingredients together
  2. Add in wet ingredients
  3. Pour batter into lightly greased baking pan (I use canola oil)
  4. Bake at 350 for approx 20 min
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Protein Carrot Cake

Hey September…where’d you come from?

17 Sep

So, I don’t know where August went but it seems like I looked up and it was gone and I haven’t written anything in a month! We had some unexpected travel last month which threw off my sense of timing but things are starting to settle back in now 🙂

I’ve been at my new job just over a month now and so far really like it. It’s challenging but I’m always on the go and learning a lot so I think after a month that’s all I can ask for. As of last week I’m settling into my 3 days a week schedule (I don’t know how most of you work 5 days a week… I love my 13 hour shifts) and hopefully that means on days off like this I can get back to writing again.

Hubby was gone most of August which meant my exercise was mainly taking Maia on her walks. She’s gotten  a lot better about pulling and I like to think she’s fully “adopted us” by now. But, she’s still a big dog which means I try to take her on at least three 20 min walks a day… there’s my hour of workout time. The past week I have been able to do more at home workouts so between that and physical therapy twice a week I’ve hardly been sedentary, just haven’t had a lot of strength workouts to post :-/ I am going to start using my crockpot more again since I’m on the 12 hour shifts now so look for those recipes this fall!

Other than that, we’ve finally got a contract on a house so hopefully we’ll be moving out of the apartment and Maia will have a yard by the end of November! We’re just settling into the new pace of both of our new jobs and life together back in the states. How was August for you? Any big news for the fall?

ImageMy “lap dog” 😉

 

Shrimp and Broccoli

28 Jan

Happy Monday! I started off the week by FINALLY checking off all the lists and trainings for the hospital here in Okinawa which means… I get to start being on the floor! It’s as a volunteer but at this point it’s a hospital job so I’m happy 🙂

I spent way longer working on that than I had planned so dinner became a “what do we have in the house?” But it turned out really well (it pays to keep some frozen options around) and hubby and I basically ended up with a Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry. As usual when this happens I didn’t measure anything…I should really stop doing that… so what’s listed below is my best guess.

You’ll need…

  • 2 C chopped broccoli
  • 1 C Orange Juice (we actually had made orange-pineapple juice the other day so I used that)
  • 1/2 C Reduced Sodium GF Soy Sauce** all the GF readers make sure you’re reading labels!
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • pre-cooked salad shrimp
  • 1.5 C cooked quinoa
  1. Add the juice, soy sauce, and garlic into large sauce pan. Cover and heat over med-high heat until it starts to boil
  2. Add in broccoli, ginger, pepper, and honey. Cover and reduce heat to low until broccoli is tender
  3. Add in shrimp and cilantro for about 5 min (Assuming you have the pre-cooked!)
  4. Stir in the quinoa, simmer another 5 min and serve

shrimp and broccoli

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Clean Eating Chinese Food and Chocolate Pudding

8 Jan

I hear Chinese food and dessert and instantly think of things I shouldn’t be eating. But last night I was craving some Chinese food so got searching on how to make a clean eating, gluten free, meal. It was delicious! Now, keep in mind, it does still involve soy sauce (i.e. salt) and rice so, not a meal for if you’re in a cutting phase. I’m having to guess on some of the measurements because I honestly eye-balled it but didn’t think splash and/or pinch would do well for a whole recipe 😉

You’ll need:

  • Brown Rice
  • 1/4 GF Soy Sauce **Low Sodium (Kikkoman has started making a GF low sodium option, has have a number of other companies, but PLEASE always double check the bottles)
  • 1/4 C water
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar (or rice wine vinegar if you have it)
  • 1 tbsp diced chili peppers
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • ginger (or ginger powder if you don’t have fresh)
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 chicken breasts
  1. Combine soy sauce, white vinegar, and water in medium bowl. Dice the garlic and approx. 2 tbsp ginger and stir both, along with the peppers, into sauce. Chop the chicken and marinate in sauce.
  2. Prepare the rice according to the directions and set aside.
  3. Add a splash (sorry) of soy sauce and 2 tsp wine vinegar into a large skillet. Sautee onion, red pepper, and about 1 tbsp ginger (here you can also add in ginger powder if you prefer) until the onion begins to soften.
  4. Pour chicken and sauce into the skillet, add cayenne pepper, and continue to cook on Med-High until chicken is done
  5. Add in rice and cook approx. 3-5 more min while stirring to coat rice

I tasted as I went to add in more ginger and spices so, I apologize if the measurements aren’t exact. But it made plenty for hubby and I each to have a large dinner and about 1-2 portions left over.

chinese chicken

Then for dessert hubby had found a avocado chocolate pudding recipe that (surprisingly) tasted just like chocolate pudding! I Googled it today and apparently I’m behind the curve because there were a ton of recipes but here’s what we used to make 2 servings:

  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1/4 C sugar (the recipe actually called for Agave and you could easily substitute Truvia)
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder

Blend the avo, sweetener, oil, and milk until smooth. Add in the cocoa and blend until fully mixed. Garnish with crushed walnuts. Because avocado is high in fat and it does have sweetener it’s still an occasional treat but just a healthier option 🙂 **When I looked for it there are a ton of ways to make this including without milk so if you have other dietary restrictions I’d still suggest trying it but do a quick search for a different recipe

Off to the gym for leg day!

Quinoa, Cucumber, and Red Pepper salad + Legs

3 Jan

This shoot on Saturday has been really good for me. I might not be as cut as I’d like to be for it but it definitely jump started me again, which I was needing. Yesterday I hit arms hard so today I did cardio and legs and tomorrow will be light cardio. But more importantly, I’ve been good about the gym, my diet has been way better the past week and I feel great!

Tonight I made a Quinoa Salad from Yoga Journal that I found on pinterest but, as always, made some changes– I didn’t use any salt and only used about half the olive oil (plus the things with ** and the steps to make it are slightly changed).

You’ll need: 1 cup quinoa
2 garlic cloves**
1 large shallot, finely diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
Juice from 1 lime**
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil**
1 medium-large red pepper,  finely diced
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
2 to 3 ripe avocados, sliced

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the quinoa to the boiling water and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Place aside to let cool

2. Put the garlic, shallot, jalapeño, and lime juice in a small bowl. Stir together and let sit while you prepare the next step. Add 1/4 cup of the oil (basically enough to cover the veggies) and whisk to combine.

3. Mix quinoa, red pepper, cucumber, and chopped cilantro in a medium bowl. Pour in the vinaigrette mix and stir all together.

**I had made that earlier in the day so put it in the fridge, you can also serve immediately with the following step:

4. Slice avocados and place on serving dish/plate, cover with salad mix, and garnish with fresh cilantro– I think you could easily get away with 2 avocados. I’ve used about 1/3 to 1/2 avocado per serving.

Quinoa SaladI served it with Chicken that I cooked stove top in coconut oil, cilantro, shallot (any onion would do, I just had some left over), and pepper. Hubby and I both loved it with the chicken but it could easily be a vegetarian meal on it’s own. It’s def. something I’ll be making again.

As for leg workout…

  • 20 walking lunges/leg
  • 20 squats with heavy ball throw (squat down, as you come up throw a weighted ball up, catch and immediately drop into the next squat)
  • 15 step-ups/leg
  • 20 deadlifts
  • 20 sumo squats
  • 20 calf-raises

I did 3 sets of each of those (so 2 super-sets) and then 35 min cardio. In between I tried working in kicks on the heavy bag but, I’m still getting sharp pain in my ankle with those and running so when I get back to the states I’m afraid it’s back to the doctor.