Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pecan Coconut Tilapia

I hadn't had fish in a while and I know that there are several health benefits to eating fish on a regular basis. White fish is one of the best for you and with that I prefer tipalia. I was toying around while cooking some the other day on how I could add some flavor to it, come up with something different besides regular spices. So, I looked in my cupboard and had shredded coconut and pecans....and there was my recipe!

  • Tilapia filets
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • shredded coconut
  • pecans pieces
  1. Set the oven to 400 degrees
  2. line a cooking sheet with tin-foil
  3. Melt the coconut oil in a bowl completely until it is liquid
  4. coat the tilapia in the coconut oil and lay them on the cooking sheet
  5. sprinkle the fish with as much shredded coconut and pecan pieces as desired
  6. bake in the oven to 15 min., or until fish flakes easily when pricked with a fork
Toasted coconut and pecans are my favorite combo!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chicken with Kale and Red Peppers

So I meant to post this last night, but got glued to "Mad Men" instead. But better late than never! I just tried this recipe last night for the first time and it was SOOO good. The only ingredients are kale, red peppers, chicken, and spices, so its easy and so good for you. I ate this as a  complete meal but added some brown rice for my husband; you could also add quinoa, barley, farro, or whatever whole grain you like! 

This dish is cooked in coconut oil; if you're not familiar with this healthy fat, it adds a very subtle flavor to whatever you cook it in, but I find it more nutty than coconut-y (I don't like coconut, so this is a good thing).  Don't be freaked out by the fat content on the label; cooking with it on a consistent basis can positively effect your immune system because coconut oil is loaded with antioxidants. Furthermore, it has been shown to elevate the absorption of calcium, magnesium and amino acids as well as decrease abdominal obesity.

(Read more:

1 lb. chicken breasts, diced
1 t. cumin
1 t. chili powder
1 t. sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 T. coconut oil
1 bunch kale, stems removed
1 diced red bell pepper
1/2 c. toasted slivered almonds (optional)

Combine the chicken, cumin, chili powder, sea salt, and garlic in a medium bowl. Mix well until chicken is fully coated.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add coconut oil.  When the pan is hot, add chicken.  Brown, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes.  Add the kale and red pepper.  Stir and continue to cook until the chicken is 165 degrees and the veggies are slightly tender (about 5 minutes).  Top with toasted almonds, if desired.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Juice Cleanse

I have decided to start a juice cleanse. I have heard and read such great things about doing a cleanse and decided I need to try this myself! Juice cleanses rid your body of all toxins and junk and actually detoxes the body. At the end of the detox I should feel cleansed, lighter, have less pain in my body and be able to perform better physically and mentally. I plan to start my 10 day cleanse on this Thurs.. I will be posting my journey on this blog updating day by day what my body is doing and how I am feeling each day. This, along with how I'll feel, will keep me motivated! I'll also post the juice recipes that I am using and my opinion of each one. After tomorrow, the detoxifying begins!

I realize I have not given an update on my juice cleanse. I actually made it only 2 days and had to stop. I felt very weak and tired and although it's supposed to help if you are constipated, it actually made things worse for me. I was told by another trainer that I have too much muscle to be able to maintain a diet like that when I need to feed my muscles like they are used to being fed. I wasn't able to workout and definitely would not have been able to lift, which is a must for me! I did watch the documentary "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" and really enjoyed it. I encourage everyone to see it. The juice detox definitely does work for a lot of people, I just didn't want to toy around with my digestive system anymore and definitely didn't want to loose muscle in the process. I still drink juices, but as a supplement to my regular diet. I am now sticking to strict paleo, so I plan on posting more paleo recipes soon.

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

So here's another family favorite using ground turkey! Trust me, if my son will eat something made with more than two ingredients, you know its good.  These meatloaf muffins are high protein and quite filling. If you're a meat and potatoes family, try them with some sweet potatoes.  I always have a green vegetable with lunch and dinner, so other great sides are roasted asparagus or broccoli or, my old standby, steamed spinach! Chopped up, these are actually a great salad topper. Yummy! I'm hungry just thinking about them!

2 lbs ground turkey or chicken (if using turkey, I like to use a pound of 93/7 and a pound of 99/1)
3 egg whites
1 c. quick cooking oats
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground thyme
2 t. dry yellow mustard
2 t. black pepper
2 t. chipotle pepper spice
1 t. salt
2 T. garlic powder (or 2 cloves minced garlic)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with olive oil.  Mix all of the above ingredients together (use your hands to make sure it's mixed well!), then roll the mixture into 12 balls (each about the size of a racquetball) and put in pan.  Bake for 40 minutes.


(I decided this title fit this dish well!) This recipe is courtesy of my good friend and wellness guru Sharon! Houston is hot for about nine months out of the year, so a hot bowl of oatmeal doesn't always sound appetizing for breakfast.  But oats are full of fiber and, combined with a good protein source, they'll keep you well-fueled and energized all morning! Prepare this dish before you go to bed at night, and in the morning it will be ready for you to grab and go. (Its a great post-workout meal to take with you in a cooler!)

In a cereal-sized bowl, mix equal parts plain greek yogurt, old-fashioned oats, and unsweetened almond or coconut milk (depending on how hungry I am and what I'm doing in the morning, I'll use either 1/2 cup or 1/3 cup of each).  Then add in whatever you like! I put in 1 T of flax seed, about a teaspoon of raw almond butter, some blueberries, a packet of Stevia, and sometimes a 1/2 scoop of protein powder.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. Just keep in mind that whatever you put in the night before will be soggy in the morning! I like to add a sprinkling of walnuts on top in the morning for a little crunch.

Blueberry Egg Muffins

This may seem like an odd combination, but I'm telling you, they're delicious! This is one of my favorite summertime breakfasts.  I just make 6 of these at a time so they don't get soggy since they're stored in the fridge.  I eat two of these split in half and topped with raw almond butter for a healthy and filling breakfast...a perfect mixture of protein, carbs, and healthy fats.

liquid egg whites
fresh blueberries (preferably organic)
old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350.  Spritz a muffin pan with olive oil.  In each muffin cup, place 1 T oats, 1 T blueberries, and fill the rest of the way with liquid egg whites.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Turkey Meatballs

These are a family favorite at my house.  My husband and kids eat them on top of whole wheat or rice pasta, while I eat mine on their own or with some greens.  Although I would love to make my own tomato sauce, that's not an option for me most nights! My favorite grocery store pasta sauce is Muir Glen's line. Yummy and organic!

3 T. oat bran
1 T. wheat germ
1 T. ground flax seed
  (*note: you can use any combination of the above; I've used only flax seed and they're just as good!)
Sea salt and black pepper
1 large egg white
1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 t. each oregano, poultry seasoning, seasoning salt
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey (93/7 works great!)

Preheat oven to 350. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or spritz with olive oil.
Place oat bran, flax, wheat germ, oregano, sea salt, and pepper in medium mixing bowl and mix.  Add egg white and stock and combine thoroughly. Add ground turkey and mix well. Coat clean hands with olive oil.  Make 16 (-ish) two-inch meatballs and place on baking sheet. Place in hot oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve as desired!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Beef and Farro

This recipe is super easy, healthy, and flavorful! (It's one of my husband's favorites, and he's even made it himself.)  The recipe calls for grass-fed beef, but as I don't eat beef, I've also made it with ground bison.  It hits all of the food groups and is very filling.  Farro is an ancient grain high in fiber and similar to a cross between rice and barley in texture and flavor.  If you are following a Paleo diet (as I'm pseudo-attempting right now), just put the meat mixture on top of some steamed spinach. You can never get too many greens!

1 lb. grass-fed beef or bison
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
3-4 cloves minced garlic
4 t. minced capers
sliced basil leaves

Sautee the above ingredients together. Meanwhile, prepare 3 cups cooked farro (see bag for directions and measurements) mixed with 4 cups diced broccoli florets.

Per person, serve 1/4 of the meat mixture over 1/4 of the farro mixture. Yummy!

Sloppy Joes Revisited

What? Sloppy Joes, healthy? You bet! With the right ingredients, you can make a delicious, easy, and healthy version of a childhood comfort food.  In my house, we serve these on either Ezekiel english muffins or on sandwich thins. You can also serve them on WHOLE wheat hamburger buns or, if you're eating pseudo-Paleo, like me, or have a gluten intolerance, this mixture is delicious on steamed spinach, especially with a little diced avocado!  One side note: I usually don't advocate using canned veggies, but I make an exception for tomatoes. I just can't seemed to get the same flavor from fresh ones. But buy organic if you can!

1 lb. grass-fed beef (since I don't eat beef, I substitute bison; you could also use 93/7 ground turkey)
1 onion, chopped
1 small red sweet pepper, chopped
1 carrot, shredded and/or corn kernels
   (*note: try chopping the onion, pepper, and carrot in a food processor; it makes the preparation
1 14-oz. can organic fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 of a 6-oz. can tomato paste (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup water
2 T. ground flax seed (you can also use wheat germ or rolled oats)
1 T. worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 t. hot chili powder (more or less depending on your love of heat!)
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. garlic salt

In a large skillet, cook meat, onion, sweet pepper, and carrot until meat is brown.  Drain off fat.  Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, water, flax seed, worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, and garlic salt. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Dish it up according to your preference and enjoy!

Delicious Green Smoothie

I absolutely love this smoothie!! It is great as a quick and easy breakfast (just make sure you add more protein somewhere), or as a delicious snack anytime. If you want to add protein to the shake an option could be a Tbsp of natural almond butter. This definitely a favorite snack of mine!

  • 1/2 C. unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 Organic medjool date, pitted and chopped
  • 1 C. spinach (feel free to add more greens for more nutritional benefit)
  •  4 ice cubes
  1. Add the milk and 1/2 date into the blender and blend until date is chopped into tiny pieces
  2. Chop the banana into smaller chunks and add to blender, blend until smooth
  3. Add your greens and ice and blend until shake is nice and creamy

Kale Chips

This is one of my favorite! This recipe is very easy and very healthy! Kale is considered a super food, as in it helps lower cholesteral, can reduce your risk of cancer, it provides comprehensive support for your body's detoxification system, and kale has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. This super food along with some healthy fats make this a great snack!

  • kale (as much as you'd like)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • optional: sea salt

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil
  3. Cut up kale into bite size pieces and spread them out on the baking sheet
  4. Drizzle over the kale with the extra virgin olive oil and mix it with your hands to make sure the kale is completely covered
  5. If desired, sprinkle with sea salt to taste
  6. Bake kale in oven for 12 min.
You don't want to bake the kale for too long, otherwise it will loose some of it's nutritional value. Another option to add a little kick to these would be to sprinkle with some cayenne. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Eggplant and Zucchini

This is a super easy recipe but one of my favorite! I absolutely looove eggplant so I eat it quite often. Of course, you can add whatever you'd like to this like squash, shiitake mushrooms, or whetever veggies tickle your fancy!

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • cut and sifted thyme leaf
  • parsley flakes
  • extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Cut up eggplant and zucchini into chunks and spread out on baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with thyme and parsley to your taste. Mix ingredients together by hand to make sure eggplant and zucchini are fully coated. Bake for 13-15 min., and bon apetite! So easy! :)

Ground Turkey and Potatoes

This is a great meat idea for lunch or dinner. You can enjoy this recipe by itself or add it on top of a bed of spinach for a salad, or on top of some quinoa for a high protein meal! This recipe would be great for after a tough workout! You can sub the ground turkey for ground bison or ground lean beef (make sure it's grass-fed!).

  • 16 oz (1 lb) ground turkey extra lean
  • 1 med. Tomato
  • ¼ C. chopped onion
  • 1 med. Potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Ground coriander to taste
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. basil leaf
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ¾ C. water

Brown turkey in skillet with salt, coriander, cumin, basil, and oregano.  Finely chop tomato and add to turkey along with potatoes and onion.  Pour water over the mixture and cover. Simmer on med/low until potatoes are cooked, about 25 min.  Enjoy!

Paleo Cookies

These cookies are Paleo friendly! If you are not familiar with the Paleo lifestlye, it means that there is no dairy, grains, or soy in these cookies. They are soooo good! Originally I put the cookies in the oven for 15 min., but they came out very burnt! I would recommend putting them in for 10 min. and then checking them. They should be a light brown color.

  • 4 dates, pitted
  • 1 1/2 C. walnuts
  • 1/2 C. pecans
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 C. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 C. dark chocolate chips

  1. Grind dates in a food processor until they are a paste (they will stick together into 1 big ball, that's ok)
  2. Add walnuts and pecans in food processor and blend until finely chopped
  3. Add baking soda and salt and pulse a few more times
  4. Warm coconut oil in a microwave until in a liquid form
  5. Pour coconut oil into food processor along with egg and vanilla and blend until egg is mixed in
  6. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and fold in shredded coconut and dark choco chips.
  7. Drop tbsp. size portions onto a baking sheet and slightly flatten with your thumb
  8. Bake 10-15 min. until cookies are slightly browned

Personal Oatmeal Cups

These are really yummy and, when you make them ahead of time, a real quick and easy breakfast to grab on the go! This makes about 2 dozen cups so you may want to freeze some to use later. As far as the topping on the cups, use your imagination! I used raisins, shredded coconut, chopped pecans and walnuts. You can use dark choc. chips for something sweet or frozen berries.

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 C. unsweetened applesauce (I made my own by cutting up 2 med. apples and chopping them up in the food processor)
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 3/4 C.  unsweetened Coconut milk (you can use unsweetened alond milk)
  • 1/4 C. flaxseed
  • 6 packets of stevia or Truvia
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 tsp. baking pwder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5 C. Old fashioned oats
  • Optional: raisins, pecans, walnuts, shredded coconut, or whatever your prefered topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana and Stevia together in a bowl.
  3. Add in oats, salt, baking powder, flax and cinnamon and mix well with wet ingredients.
  4. Finally pour in milk and combine.
  5. Spray a 12 and 6 capacity muffin tin with cooking spray or use cupcake liners.
    Pour mixture evenly into muffin tin cups.
  6. If using toppings add them onto the tops of muffins now. If using fresh or frozen fruit, drop it right into the batter.
  7. Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool and enjoy or freeze them in gallon freezer bags.