Category Archives: Recipe Box
I mentioned about a week ago that while getting into a routine is key, making your healthy new lifestyle FUN and interesting is also super important to creating new habits.
And one of the best ways to keep your new lifestyle FUN and INTERESTING and make healthy habits stick is to make them your own – to mold them to fit you and your specific needs and goals.
Find workouts that you ENJOY. Don’t force yourself to do something that a friend said worked. Find something you will stick with in the long run that combines something fun with something that is good for you.
Same goes for recipes. Yes, the more you can eat only whole natural foods, the better off you will be. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat simply baked chicken and broccoli every night.
AND it also doesn’t mean you can never have those foods you love.
While I’m not a huge fan of “Paleo” baked goods, I am a huge fan of making TRULY HEALTHY variations of the foods we love to indulge in.
I love taking recipes I used to love and tweaking them to be healthier. It is creative and fun and it makes you feel like you aren’t being deprived of the foods you loved!
Plus it is just so exciting when that new recipe tastes freaking amazing!
Anyway, I was super pumped when I got texted this delicious picture of Mini Pepper Chicken Nachos by Jodie last night.
She first made the shredded chicken for the recipe in the crockpot, which was great because she also had leftover chicken for later this week!
Jodie’s Crockpot Shredded Chicken
2 large chicken breasts
1-2 cups Chicken Broth (depending on size of chicken breasts)
Cumin and chili powder to taste
Add all ingredients to a crockpot. Cook on high for about 4 hours until you can pull the chicken apart with a fork.
She then took that shredded chicken and made Mini Pepper Shredded Chicken Nachos:
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 green onions, sliced with white and green parts separated
1.5 cups of shredded chicken
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup salsa (all natural or even homemade please!)
1 pound mini bell peppers (can also slice up regular bell peppers a bit smaller)
1.5 cups shredded cheese (grass-fed is best!)
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/2 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup cilantro
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and the white parts of the green onions and cook and stir 1 minute.
Mix in shredded chicken and chili powder. Toss until all ingredients are well coated with chili powder and chicken is warm, about 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in salsa. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Slice the ends off each mini bell pepper and slice in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and ribs and press each half open so the peppers are as flat as possible. Arrange close together in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
Spoon chicken mixture evenly over pepper halves. Top with black olives and cheese mixture.
Bake nachos for 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove from oven, top with tomatoes, cilantro, and remaining green onions.
Top with a little sour cream or guacamole if you want!
Enjoy! (Makes about four servings.)
What are your favorite healthy variations of recipes you used to love?
I know one of my favorite recipes is our healthy variation of the Shepherd’s pie!
My sister got Ryan and I a Yonanas for our wedding….She knows us pretty well!
And while I don’t believe in baking “healthy” desserts with a ton of ingredients that really shouldn’t be consumed that way or in that quantity, I am a fan of SIMPLE, healthy desserts that minimally process the foods they use.
So last night we tried out the Yonanas.
I was nervous to use it because I didn’t want to be disappointed after seeing it turn frozen fruit into very creamy “frozen yogurt” on the TV.
And I must say…The Yonanas didn’t disappoint!
Yesterday was a carb day and I wanted to end it with a nice sweet and healthy treat, especially after our 4 mile walk on the beach.
So we pulled out the frozen banana pieces Ryan had put in the fridge days before and some frozen raspberries and 70% dark chocolate.
Here is our Banana Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Yonanas Ice Cream:
Ingredients for two servings:
2 Bananas (we froze them in quarters for easier use)
1 cup Raspberries (frozen)
4 squares (about 2 oz) 70% dark chocolate bar
Take the frozen ingredients out of the freezer and let thaw for a minute. They work a lot better if not completely frozen solid.
Add one quarter of the banana to the Yonanas with a few of the raspberries and some small chunks of chocolate. Turn on the Yonanas and press the ingredients through.
Continue adding more alternating bananas, raspberries and chocolate until it is all gone. Make sure that as you add the chocolate, you’ve already broken it down into smaller pieces.
After you’ve Yonana-sized it all (my new word for processing all the ingredients), give it one good stir and enjoy.
It literally is the creamy texture of frozen yogurt!
Can’t wait to try out some really fun flavors. Look for a pumpkin and a coffee one coming soon!
I LOVE deviled eggs.
They always seem like such a treat to me even though they are pretty easy to make and can easily be made to fit in your healthy diet.
They can be an appetizer for a party if you don’t want to cheat on your diet or just a fun little side dish for your lunch or dinner. (Shoot you can even save leftovers and eat them for a breakfast!!)
I also find it can help people starting out on a new diet to occasionally be able to indulge in healthy variations of the “treat” or “party foods” they used to love!
Buffalo Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs
1/2-1 tbsp Frank’s Hot Sauce (or other hot sauce)
1 oz blue cheese
1/2 tbsp cream
1 tsp dill
Place eggs in cold water in a pot (to make them easier to peel, put vinegar and salt in the water). Heat the pot on high heat until the water boils. Leave the eggs boiling for about 8 minutes.
Remove from heat and place eggs in cold water.
Once cool, peel the eggs and cut in half.
Scoop out yolks and add to a food processor with cream, cheese, dill, and hot sauce. You can add each ingredient to taste. Blend until smooth.
Place mixture back in eggs and serve!
You can also make jalapeno bacon deviled eggs this way as well! That is one of our other favorites!
What are some other “traditional” party foods or “treat” foods that you love that you’ve made healthy variations of?
As you’ve probably all now noticed…Ryan does a lot of the cooking. And he is superb at it (follows in his father’s footsteps…Yea…Just a little sucking up…)
You’ve also probably noticed…I’m obsessed with cauliflower! (Getting sick of me repeating that, huh?)
Combine those two things and you are bound to end up with one great meal! Which Ryan did indeed do this past weekend. He created the LOW CARB SHEPARD’S PIE!
If you double the recipe, you could easily make this dish tonight and have dinner or lunch for almost the rest of the week!
Casseroles like this are great if you don’t have the time to cook or simply don’t enjoy cooking each and every night.
I have lots of clients complain that eating well is so hard because they have to cook when they get home and are exhausted from a long day of work. But when you make a meal like this Shepard’s Pie on a Sunday or Monday, you end up with HEALTHY leftovers you can easily reheat when you get home late, tired and drained from work!
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult or even extremely time-consuming. You just need to plan ahead a little.
So here is a great recipe to use when meal prepping for this week!
Low Carb Shepard’s Pie
1lbs grass-fed ground beef
1/2 head cauliflower
2 tbsp pasture butter
2 oz Grass-fed Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup beef broth
Spices (Cumin, garlic) and Salt and Pepper to taste
Steam cauliflower in water until softened a bit. While cauliflower is steaming, heat a little oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.
Add beef and broth to skillet. Cook allowing the broth to reduce and the beef to brown.
Take steamed cauliflower and add to food processor with butter and egg.
Turn the broiler on your oven on low.
Once broth has reduced and beef is basically cooked through, add to a casserole dish. Place beef on bottom and then scoop cauliflower mash on top. Place in the oven under the broiler and allow the cauliflower mash to brown slightly.
Remove from oven and top with sliced/grated cheese and place back under broiler. Allow cheese to slightly brown and crisp up.
Then scoop out the shepard’s pie and enjoy! You can easily refrigerate the leftovers as the recipe above makes about 4 servings (although if you are Ryan and I on a Saturday afternoon after a morning fast and workout, you will eat the entire thing).
P.S. Posted this one for you *la. Just another meathead you are following on IG for meal prep ideas! 😛
Desserts are my weakness. But now I don’t eat them very often.
I have a piece of dark chocolate occasionally or some berries, maybe even with a little nut butter. But I never really try to make any “healthy” desserts. I save my cupcakes for cheat days thank you very much. If I want a cupcake, I want the REAL THING.
But the other day, one of Ryan’s students, who’s a chef, told him to try to make a frozen strawberry merengue since it would be healthy.
Of course it being summer and me loving frozen yogurt and ice cream, WE HAD TO TRY IT!
Frozen Strawberry Merengue
3 Egg whites
1/3 cup sliced Strawberries
Honey or sugar if you want (we did not include this)
Slice the strawberries up. While they will get sliced up and mashed further by the blender, you want them small enough to start.
Add egg whites and sliced strawberries to a standing mixer or bowl and blend. Keep mixing until stiff peaks form.
Scoop into a bowl and freeze. The frozen merengue comes out with a fluffy almost snow cone-ish icy texture.
It is super good! Obviously this won’t be super sweat unless your strawberries are so you can add sweetener if you want.
A great low cal, healthy dessert and perfect for our high carb days since we do lower fat on those days!
And since I’m cauliflower obsessed, and love our homemade fried rice as well, I wanted to share this delicious dinner to go along with your dessert!
Cauliflower Fried Rice
1/2 head of cauliflower
1lbs chicken breast
3 garlic chives
4 tbsp Tamari
Garlic, salt and pepper to taste
Rice uncooked cauliflower in a food processor and set aside.
Season chicken and place in a hot skillet coated with a bit of sesame oil.
When chicken is starting to cook, add tamari and chives. (You can add more or less of both depending on your taste.)
When chicken is just about cooked, add cauliflower to pan and then add one egg at a time. Scramble the eggs in the pan and mix in with the cauliflower and chicken.
Serve! And then eat the merengue after…Or along side…Whatever floats your boat!
As one of my clients always says about the cauliflower mash, “The cauliflower tastes like CARBS!” So I guess if you are craving carbs (yes…veggies are carbs but I take it to mean starchy or even maybe bad for you carbs) but don’t want to eat them, this and the cauliflower mash are great options!
When I bought the nut butters from Eddie of Ingr-EAT-ients, we talked about a macadamia nut butter.
I love macadamia nuts. They are super tasty and also low in phytic acid, which makes them the best nuts to consume.
The only downside is that they are generally more expensive – at least in all the places that I’ve lived.
But anyway, since I love macadamia nuts, so does Ryan, and Eddie doesn’t YET offer macadamia nut butter, we decided to make our own.
Sweet and Salty Macadamia Nut Butter
1lbs Macadamia Nuts
1 tsp Organic Raw Honey (Trader Joe’s)
1 tsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp Salt (a little less than a full tsp…add slowly to taste)
Put macadamia nuts in a food processor. Start to blend. (Save a handful for the end if you want a crunchy nut butter.)
As the nuts blend, they will start to stick to the side. Scrap them down until the nut mixture begins to form a ball.
Add honey, oil and salt. Keep blending until completely smooth and oil, honey and salt are combined.
If you want to have a crunchy butter, add in the handful of macadamia nuts now and process for just a few seconds.
Serve on anything you want or eat by the spoonful…which we may or may not have done….
For other delicious nut butters, head over to Ingr-EAT-ients and try one of theirs!
Especially their new MAPLE BACON ALMOND BUTTER! Bacon…YES!
Every Thursday Ryan and I go to the farmers market. While I love so many of the things we get there, I’m by far most excited when the fresh seafood stand has SHRIMP! These are the BEST shrimp I’ve ever had. Always so yummy.
So of course….we had to eat them last night!
AND on top of the fresh shrimp, we had a ripe Reed Avocado (the BEST, most buttery avocados) from the market as well. They are in season right now! YAY!
We also of course had to get cauliflower. Because as you all know…I LOVE CAULIFLOWER!
Ryan took all of our fresh farmers market finds (Shrimp, Avocado, Cauliflower) and turned them into one great meal. He created a Cajun Shrimp with Avocado Cream and Cauliflower-Avocado Mash.
Cajun Shrimp with Avocado Cream and Cauliflower-Avocado Mash
1 lb Shrimp
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 Reed Avocado
2 tbsp Pasture-raised Cream
1/2 tbsp Chili
2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tbsp Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cut up cauliflower and steam it until it gets a bit softer.
While cauliflower is cooking, add avocado and cream with salt and pepper to a food processor. Blend until creamy.
Heat a skillet with olive oil. Coat shrimp in spices and add to the hot pan. Get a nice sear on the shrimp as you start to make the cauliflower mash.
Spoon avocado cream into a bowl, leaving some behind in the food processor. Add cooked cauliflower to the processor and blend with the avocado cream left behind.
When shrimp has finished cooking, remove them to a plate and spoon out the cauliflower mash. You can serve with the avocado cream or leave the cream on the side.
A great fresh farmers market meal!
What are your favorite meals to make with your farmers market loot?
Yesterday I got two delicious nut butters from Ingr-EAT-ients – Pistachio Butter and Almond Coconut Butter.
I was super excited to try them partly because a good friend and fellow trainer, Eddie Thomson, makes them and partly because I see his food pictures on Instagram all the time and they always look SO FREAKING GOOD! (Ok mostly because I seriously drool every single time I look at his food prep pictures on Instagram!)
Not only does he make healthy meals, butters, bars, fruit leathers, and shakes that look beautiful and delicious, but he doesn’t use any processed crap.
Everything is all natural and made with the highest quality ingredients…like literally….Even when his go-to stores are out of the product he wants, he doesn’t just settle for a lower quality ingredient.
He freaking drives around to other stores and markets until he finds what he wants.
Eddie is fanatical about providing the cleanest, highest quality product. And when I say fanatical, I mean it in the best way.
Anyway, on to the nut butters that I got!
Can I just say…
I LOVE THEM BOTH!
Half of both jars might just be gone after last night because I kept sneaking back to the kitchen to eat just one more spoonful.
I love that “just one more game.”
I tell Ryan, “I’m going to have just one more…”
And then I say that about 50 more times before I actually eat “just one more.”
BUT, regardless of how much more is left, what made both of these two nut butter so special is how FRESH they tasted and how clear the flavors were.
The pistachio butter really tasted like pistachio. And the almond coconut really tasted like almonds and coconut.
I also liked the texture of both. The pistachio was super creamy and the almond/coconut butter had that texture that coconut butter has that I really like.
The neat thing to is that Eddie uses coconut oil in all of his nut butters. Coconut oil is seriously amazing for you. Tons of good healthy fats.
However, the idea of coconut oil in my nut butters made me a bit nervous.
Pistachios and coconut? Hmmm….
But it was really good! And honestly there was only the littlest hint of coconut if you really tried to find it.
So great flavor and a little extra health bang for your buck?!? SIGN ME UP!
The nut butters were amazing and made me feel like I was treating myself to a great little dessert (especially when I put a bit of the almond coconut butter on some local, organic strawberries that Ryan had put in the freezer!)
Ingr-EAT-ientsproducts were DELICIOUS. And the best part is that they are all homemade and have no unnecessary crap in them.
If you are looking for healthy clean eats that make you ENJOY eating well, I would definitely recommend you give these products a try.
(And if you are in SoCal, you can help support a local business!)
The only downside to these products, in my opinion, is that Eddie lists them as vegan…just kidding…but seriously….
My next nut butter to try might just have to be cashew espresso…Although my clients would tell you I’m slightly scary on caffeine!
What are your favorite healthy, clean eats?
P.S. If you like drooling over food pictures and have Instagram, Eddie’s Instagram is @coach_eddie!
I’ve been having a very up and down week. I think that is just the ebb and flow of being in a field where you are constantly dealing with people, both clients and other trainers. Not that you really needed to know that….
All of yesterday, I complained to Ryan. I moped and complained and just plain old whined. I even whined at him through text message (I was at work and had all of a sudden gotten hungry but had some more training to do before dinner.)
So he texted me, “Jalapeño bacon burgers with blue cheese avocado cream….”
My frown instantly turned upside down and I stopped my whining.
When I got home, a DELICIOUS meal was waiting for me.
The burgers were so good I just had to share the recipe!
Jalapeño Bacon Burgers with Blue Cheese Avocado Cream
4 slices jalapeño bacon
1 pound of grass-fed ground beef
4 fresh lettuce leaves
Salt and Pepper
1 large avocado
2 oz Blue Cheese
3 tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
Shape the ground beef into patties (we made four). Season with salt and pepper. Cook the jalapeño bacon in your skillet.
Remove bacon when browned and add burger patties to bacon grease. Cook to desired temperature.
While burgers are cooking, add avocado, blue cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and cream to a food processor. Process until creamy.
When burgers are done, put two lettuce leaves on each plate. Top with avocado cream, burger patty and 2 slices bacon. Add a dash more avocado cream to the top piece of lettuce.
Then chow down!
(We did single patty burgers. You can do double or you can cook the other patties and save for lunch the next day. There is plenty of avocado cream sauce leftover for some burgers the next day too!)
I’m a bit obsessed with cauliflower. I mean I could literally just eat a whole head of it raw.
Is that strange?
But anyway, since it has looked so amazing at the farmers market, we’ve gotten it the last few times and the other night, Ryan created a cauliflower mash with it that was absolutely amazing.
So because I’m cauliflower obsessed and this was a super delicious meal of Wild Caught Salmon steak and Cauliflower Mash, I wanted to share the recipe! (Maybe I should call this the Un-American meat and potatoes…even though I do like grass-fed steak and mashed potatoes…)
Salmon Steak and Cauliflower Mash
2 Salmon Steaks
1/2 tbsp Paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp diced garlic
1/2 tbsp dill
1 tbsp cream
3/4 head cauliflower
Salt and pepper to taste
For Salmon Steaks:
Sprinkle with spices and then sear in a skillet (with 1 tbsp olive oil) on high heat for 1-2 minute each side. Then lower temperature to medium/low and cook to medium/medium rare. About 8-10 minutes.
Steam cauliflower until soft. When you transfer the cauliflower to the food processor, try to get rid of all extra water first. Put into a food processor with butter, garlic, dill, cream and salt and pepper. Blend until everything is mixed and there are no cauliflower chunks.
Then serve steak and mash together. If you are like Ryan, you may even enjoy a bit of hot sauce on your cauliflower mash!
The salmon steaks made one portion for each of us, but the cauliflower mash actually made about four servings…however, it was so good (and low-calorie) that we ended up consuming all four portions! (YUM!)
What random food do you love to consume…like raw cauliflower?
Also, since I’m into self-experimentation and have actually tried a number of the diets on Free the Animal’s list (and happen to agree with his findings), I thought it was interesting to share. What diet have you found to be most effective?