Sunday, December 29, 2013

Loaded Potato Soup

My poor baby boy was sick so I wanted to make him a yummy dinner. I remember my mom making us soup and grilled cheese for my sister and I when we were sick. We would all pick our soup we wanted from the pantry cabinet and she would make it for us. I was a strange one and always wanted cream of mushroom soup. To this day I still sometimes get a craving for cream of mushroom... Odd I know.

This was actually the first time I had made potato soup but it came out AMAZING!!!!!

Ingredients:

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

6 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 slices bacon

8 cups chicken broth

1 cup cream

2 tbsp flour

1/4 cup milk

1/2 tsp Tony Chachere’s seasoning

1-2 tsp salt

pinch of black pepper

pinch of white pepper

shredded cheese for serving {we like habanero cheese!}

sliced green onions for serving

Directions:

Fry the bacon until crisp in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Remove and place on paper towels to drain. Pour out the grease, reserving about 1 TBSP in the pot.

Add the onions, carrots and celery to the hot bacon grease and saute for about 6 minutes until veggies are tender. Add the potatoes and Tony Chachere’s and toss well.

Add about 6 cups of the chicken broth, or enough to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender.

Place the milk and flour in a jar and shake well until totally combined. Pour slowly into the simmering soup and stir. As the soup continues to simmer it will thicken slightly.

Either mash the potatoes well with a wooden spoon, transfer {carefully!} to a blender or use an immersion blender to process until smooth but still slightly chunky.  Add additional broth and cream. Season with salt, black pepper and white pepper to taste.

Serve bowls of soup with shredded cheese, bacon crumbles and sliced green onions.



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pumpkin Protein Muffins Take 2

I wasn't 100% satisfied with my last batch so I tried these again....

Ingredients:

1 cup oat, almond, or whole-wheat flour (I used 1 cup brown rice flour)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 egg whites

2 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein powder (I used Herbalife French Vanilla)

½ cup unsweetened applesauce or incorporate any combination of almond butter or coconut oil that will still add up to ½ cup total (I used 1/2 cup homemade sugar free applesauce)

½ cup organic canned pumpkin

Pinch of salt

1 tsp baking powder

Cinnamon and other pumpkin pie (I used cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice)

2 Tbsp sweetener, such as Stevia, honey or agave nectar (I used agave)

 Instructions:

Pre-heat the oven by setting it to 350 degrees F

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl

Spray cooking spray on the muffin pan – try using coconut oil cooking spray

Fill the each muffin space ¾ of the way full

Place the pan in the oven and wait 20 minutes, checking on them periodically

**Try topping off the muffins with the following coconut milk whipped cream**

Makes 12 regular sized muffins or 36 mini muffins



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pumpkin Protein Muffins



I know there are some of you who may get discouraged by "healthy eating," or some purchase items from the store because it says "only x amount of calories." You really need to look at those labels. How much sodium and sugar are in those items you are buying. Trust me, I use to just grab items off the shelf that claimed to be "healthy," and in actuality, they were really bad items to purchase. That's why we all live and learn. 

I've since then learned and been taught the "healthy" way to eat. Don't get me wrong, there are some days I have a cheat meal, but it's not an everyday thing. If you do a cheat meal all the time, you'll fall back into the same patterns and will continue to cheat yourself of eating healthy. Don't let cheat meals cheat you out of becoming healthy. 

Also, rule of thumb, never call it a diet, you're more likely to fail. You're changing your eating habits with making healthy eating choices and habits. 

The first step I made to becoming healthy for my kids and my family was trying Herbalife to see if I liked it. I was of course hooked after my first shake. I had my doubts at first about doing Herbalife, but I was willing to try anything. I have had digestion problems since I was pregnant with my daughter and I was still getting sick from certain foods and I never knew when I would have a flare up.  I was eating pretty healthy before trying Herbalife, but not until I started Herbalife that I saw a change in my body not only digestively, but physically too. 

After just 3 weeks, I started seeing results and I couldn't believe my eyes. It wasn't just the healthy eating though. It was 20% fitness (thank you my Sactown FitClub Family), 80% Nutrition (thank you Herbalife, my amazing health coach Amber) and 100% mindset. 

After my 4 week challenge with Sactown FitClub, I decided I wanted to be a health Coach as well because I wanted to give back to other what was given to me. I want others to have the energy and motivation I have. Here is my before and after picture of the 4 week challenge for those of you who want to see the results I showed in only 4 weeks.

Tonight after my amazing FitClub workout, I wanted to experiment with my protein shakes and make a little concoction. I'm a little OCD with calories, so I calculated the calories out for this recipe, it's 71 calories for a regular sized muffin and 24 calories for mini muffins. 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups oat, almond, or whole-wheat flour (I used 1 cup oat & 1/2 cup brown rice flour)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 egg whites

2 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein powder (I used Herbalife French Vanilla)

½ cup unsweetened applesauce or incorporate any combination of almond butter or coconut oil that will still add up to ½ cup total (I used 1/2 cup homemade almond butter)

½ cup organic canned pumpkin

Pinch of salt

1 tsp baking powder

Cinnamon and other pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg and ginger would be delicious)

2 Tbsp sweetener, such as Stevia, honey or agave nectar (I used agave)

 Instructions:

Pre-heat the oven by setting it to 350 degrees F

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl

Spray cooking spray on the muffin pan – try using coconut oil cooking spray

Fill the each muffin space ¾ of the way full

Place the pan in the oven and wait 20 minutes, checking on them periodically

**Try topping off the muffins with the following coconut milk whipped cream**

Makes 12 regular sized muffins or 36 mini muffins


Monday, December 9, 2013

Turkey Chili



It's been so cold here in Sacramento lately, so I wanted to cook some cold weather food. 

Since were eating healthy, here's a healthier version of chili and it simmers all day in the crockpot to infuse all those yummy flavors together.

This chili recipe is a little spicy, but it's spicy in a good way. It's an amazing spice that kind of creeps up on you after you've had a couple bites.   Jack told me this was my best chili.

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground turkey
1 cup onion, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley minced
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 28oz can diced tomatoes with chilies
2 chipotle peppers, minced
2 tbs. siracha
1 (12oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (12oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (12oz) can chili beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbs chili powder
1 tbs cumin
Salt and pepper to taste (I omit salt cause I'm trying to stay away from sodium)

Instructions:
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté ground turkey, bell peppers, onions, garlic and jalapeño until turkey has cooked through. 

Drain and put meat mixture into crockpot. Addremaining ingredients to crockpot and stir to combine.  

Cook on HIGH 2-4 hours or LOW 6-8 hours. 

Now how easy was that, simple and yet so delicious!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This was the first year I actually made this dish on my own. I remember my mom making this for our family growing up and it was actually one of my favorites.

For Thanksgiving this year, Jacks grandma had made a special request for this cake since it is her favorite, so I jumped to the opportunity to make this one. It came out just like my moms when I was growing up.

Not only was this cake delicious, it was one of the easiest cakes to make!
 
Ingredients:
For the Topping:
5 tbs. butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
7-8 slices canned pineapple, syrup reserved
Maraschino cherries, for garnish
For the cake:
10 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup syrup from the pineapple can
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the butter in a 9x1/1/2 inch round cake pan. Stir in brown sugar and 1 tablespoon water.  Arrange pineapple and cherries in the pan. Set pan aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, adding the sugar gradually, and then add the eggs and beat well. Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Combine the buttermilk, syrup, and vanilla extract in a small measuring cup. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk-syrup mixture, beating well after each addition. Spread the batter evenly across the mixture in the pan.
Place in the oven and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Place a large cake plate over the pan, and invert to remove.



Sunday Football Quinoa & Kale Patties



Sweet Kale how I love thee, let me count the ways....
 
Well once again it's Sunday in this household and since we've been eating healthier, I wanted to make some football food, but a healthier option. Jack of course wanted his buffalo wings, but I bake those, so they're not too bad. I have those perfected thanks to my dad. My dad is the Buffalo Wing master. They're perfectly crisp and the meat just falls off. He cooks them in the oven too!

 
For myself I wanted something a little different. Typically I would've used ground chicken for this recipe, however the store I went to was all out of their ground chicken, but they
had ground turkey so I decided to get turkey.
 
These little patties came out amazing. I made fairly good sized patties because it was just for Jack, the kids and me. I even calculated out the calories. I made 16 patties and each patty came out to 93 calories. Not too bad! Not to mention you're getting your protein, carbs and veggies in each patty. It is a Patty Success for this Sunday Funday!
 
Ingredients:
1.25 lbs ground turkey
½ cup quinoa
1 cups water
2 eggs, whisked
3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
2 scallions, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup steamed kale, chopped
1/4 cup panko
3 tbs. franks hot sauce
optional toppings: salsa, tzatziki, avocado, cilantro, lemon juice, salsa verde, garlic oil
 
Instructions:
Rinse 1/2 cup of quinoa and place the grains in a medium saucepan with 1 cup of water.  Over medium high heat, bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the water is tender and the water has absorbed, about 20 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature.
 
In a large bowl, mix together cooked quinoa, ground turkey,  eggs, Parmesan, scallions, garlic, steamed kale, panko, and hot sauce. Let everything sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. You want the batter to be moist, but not runny. Form 16 patties.
 
Heat large skillet over medium-low heat, lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Cook up to 6 patties at a time (don’t overcrowd the pan). Cover the pan and let the cuties cook for 3-4 minutes until the underbellies are a deep rich brown. Flip and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes until both sides are nice and brown.

 
Let patties rest on a cooling rack while you finish the next batch.
 
NOTE: We served these at room temp. So they could also be made ahead of time and brought up to temp in an oven on low heat. You could also freeze these bites for a quick appetizer on hand at any time!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Michelle's Turkey Dish with a Twist



With the holidays, I feel like I haven't had a free moment. Thanksgiving has just passed and we ate pretty good for the most part. Since Jack and I have been eating healthy and exercising, we don't give into those cravings nearly as often as we use to. 

The lovely Michelle from my SacTown FitClub Family was so nice for sharing this recipe. I put my own twist on the dish for my Meal Prep Monday. I now have lunch for the kids and I for the next week. 

This meal is so amazing! Just because you eat healthy, doesn't mean it has to taste healthy. If seasoned right, your healthy meal can taste just as good as those bad meals, but without all those bad fats, sodium and sugars.

Well, this healthy meal is amazing, and what can I say about kale.... Oh how I love thee. Kale is amazing because of these reasons:


Oh, it tastes great too!!! You can cook it, bake it to make chips, or use for salad. It's such a versatile veggie you can eat in so many different ways! I try and use kale as much as possible because of the great nutrition value it holds. 

Hope you all try this recipe, spice it up a bit and feel free to make it your own! Give it your own twist!

Ingredients: 
1 lb lean turkey sausage
1 lb lean ground turkey
2 tbs cilantro, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbs. siracha 
2 cups peas
1 bunch kale, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice



Instructions:

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown meat, garlic and pepper until cooked through. Drain.


Return meat mixture to pan and add ginger, red pepper flakes, siracha, kale and peas. Cover and cook an additional 5-10 minutes over medium heat until kale has slightly softened. Remove from heat and serve over rice.