Welcome Back!

Wow! Has it really been almost 2 years since I posted? Several things have changed since then. I decided to close my nutrition consulting business. With a full-time job, it was costing me more to keep the business going. It was a difficult decision but God always has a better plan! We started a new company at my current employer and with that new company came a new voice over gig that paid very well.

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Fast forward to February 2016 when my husband and I found out we were expecting! Fast forward again to October 29, 2016 – our beautiful Addie Grace was born!

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Life has been a bit crazy since then! She will be 4 months old next week. As you can imagine, nutrition was last on my mind during the last several months. Although, I am thankful I did not gain much during my pregnancy. I stuck to my workouts as much as possible (thank you Orange Theory!). Over the last month, I have started cooking and trying to get us back on track.

They opened a Sprouts near us and boy was I excited to check it out! We went the other night and spent a small fortune. Their produce is beautiful and they have an excellent organic selection. I purchased Daikon radish mainly because it was pretty. Turns out they are high in potassium and vitamin C. What does on do with Daikon you ask? I did not know either so I started researching. Most of the recipes were stir-fry and salads. I decided to shred it using my Salad Master tool along with some rainbow carrots. Topped with sesame oil, rice vinegar and soy sauce it was a perfect combo! My plan is to start posting recipes again! Happy Friday!

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I <3 Cooking!

Over the last couple of weeks, my cooking bug is back. I can’t stop printing and saving recipes that I want to make in the very near future. Even more exciting is that I am creating my own! Monday night I made grass fed beef meatloaf and today I made a lovely apple, jicama, carrot salad. I did not photograph the meatloaf and the picture of the salad is just terrible. Please forgive me :-/ Normally, I share recipes on Friday but since I am cooking so much I figured I would have some new ones for you by then.

In past posts, I have mentioned SaladMaster and the fantastic tool I received for hosting a dinner party at my home. We ended up purchasing the cookware at another party because we loved it so much. The reason I mention this is because I used the SaladMaster machine to grate all my ingredients for the salad. A hand grater will work just fine, just watch your knuckles!

Apple, Carrot & Jicama Salad

Apple slaw

  • 1 medium apple (I prefer Fuji but any kind will do) shredded
  • 2 organic carrots shredded
  • 1 small jicama shredded
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds

Directions

Combine shredded lemon zest, apple, carrots and jicama in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice and mix well to coat the fruit. This will help keep the salad from browning and adds terrific flavor! Sprinkle the poppy seeds on last. Enjoy!

Check back tomorrow for the Grass Fed Beef Meatloaf recipe!

Cheers!

Almond milk, almond flour, almond butter…

We all remember the movie Forrest Gump starring Tom Hanks as a lovable, simple man from Alabama. In the movie, Forrest befriends “Bubba” Blue while serving in the army. Bubba comes from a long line of shrimp boat captains. During one scene of the movie, Bubba rattles off a litany of all the things one can do with shrimp. It is a pretty funny scene and not unlike our versatile friend the shrimp, almonds offer a variety of culinary opportunities.

Check out this great info-graphic about almonds from Nuts.com! Nuts.com is a family-owned business that has been operating since 1929. Don’t be fooled by the name! While nuts are their specialty they also offer high quality flours, candy, baking goods and coffee and tea at comparable prices delivered right to your door. I am honored to be able to collaborate with them on this post.

As you can see, almonds are a high protein, low-carb, gluten-free food. They are also a great snack as they are filling and portable! You can read more about the health benefits of almonds here.

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While I made the switch to almond butter and almond milk years ago, my favorite use for almonds these days is almond flour/meal in place of wheat flour. I love baking and this gives me a low-carb alternative while still enjoying my favorite treats! Here is a terrific almond pancake recipe from PopSugar.com. I made these one morning during the Sugar Detox and my husband was none the wiser; he loved them! Be sure to watch the heat as almond flour can burn faster than wheat flour. You will also notice the texture is crumbly versus fluffy but once you are used to the difference, you won’t go back!

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Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Almond Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

3 cups almond meal
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, light coconut milk, or milk
2 tablespoons extra-light olive oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, or butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the almond meal, flaxseed, salt, and baking soda.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the milk and oil or butter and whisk thoroughly.
  3. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Add more milk as necessary, one tablespoon at a time, to reach pancake-batter consistency.
  4. Lightly oil a skillet and heat over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto the skillet. Cook for three minutes, or until bubbles form and edges are cooked. Flip and cook for three minutes or until underside is lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batter.
  5. Serve with desired toppings.

Makes 14 four-inch pancakes. The following nutritional information is for one pancake made with unsweetened almond milk and coconut oil.

Enjoy!

*I did not receive any type of compensation for this post. 

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Happy Spring!

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I know some of you have had a rough Winter and are looking forward to some warmer weather! A friend posted photos of more snow up in the northeast this morning so I imagine they have a little longer to wait. Here in Florida, we are already in the high 80’s. Before you get too upset with me, remember that the upper 80’s in central Florida is a tad more unbearable than it is up north as we have that beloved humidity. Spring has definitely sprung here and we have a layer of yellow on everything to prove it! Not to mention the stuffy nose, sneezing and watery eyes 🙂 I digress…Spring is more than pollen and heat! It is also about making the switch to lighter fare to get ready for beach season. With that said, let me get to my recipe for today. This gem comes from our friends at SkinnyTaste.com.

I had some chicken thighs in the fridge that needed to be cooked, so this recipe was the perfect solution! I know some of you may balk at the thought of dark meat and I used to be right there with you. However, I found boneless skinless thighs at BJ’s from Harvestland. I love their products because they contain no hormones or antibiotics and they are reasonably priced. While the thigh meat is a little higher in fat than breast meat, it also has much more flavor and stays moist when cooking which makes it perfect for grilling!

A couple of notes regarding this dish:

  • When choosing a balsamic vinegar, don’t skimp! We use one from Key West Olive Oil Company. It is aged 20 years and it is sweet and thick. We eat it alone on salad instead of dressing. The flavor is wonderful!
  • My husband will not eat asparagus so I substituted brussel sprouts, portobello mushrooms and cauliflower. I also used mini-peppers because that was what I had on hand. Any veggies will do since you are roasting.
  • The recipe tells you to keep the veggies and chicken separate. I cannot stress that enough! Also, make sure your chicken is dry, otherwise you will end up with steamed chicken instead of roasted. I recommend using two baking sheets; one for the chicken and one for the vegetables.
  • We did not have any sides with this dish although it would be good with mashed potatoes or rice.

Enjoy!

Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Vegetables
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 5 • Size: 2 thighs plus vegetables • Old Points: 8 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 347.1 • Fat: 17.0g • Protein: 31.1 g • Carb: 19.2 g • Fiber: 5.8 g

Ingredients:

  • 10 (20 oz) boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 20 medium asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in half
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced in half long way
  • 2 red onions, chopped in large chunks
  • 10 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and sliced
  • 2 tbsp oregano or thyme
  • 4 leaves fresh sage, chopped


Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°. Wash and dry the chicken well with a paper towel. Combine all the ingredients together and using your hands and arrange in a very large roasting pan. The vegetables should not touch the chicken or it will steam instead of roast. All ingredients should be spread out in a single layer. If necessary use two baking sheets or disposable tins to achieve this. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes.

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – No-Flour Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Let me begin by telling you these are not healthy or low-fat cookies. I made them because I was aching to bake and I did not feel like a trip to the store. In case you hadn’t noticed, this is my M.O. I added chocolate chips even though the recipe did not officially call for them. You could also wait until the cookies are finished and add a Hershey’s Kiss! My cookies came out flat (I think my baking soda is old). Make sure your baking soda is fresh to ensure fluffy cookies!

The flavor in these cookies is outstanding and I will definitely be making them again! The simplicity of this recipe makes it a great recipe for kids too!

My peanut butter of choice is Earth’s Pride Organic Peanut Butter from Bj’s Wholesale. The ingredients are organic dry roasted peanuts and sea salt; no added oils or sugar. Peanut Butter

No-Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

    • 1 cup peanut butter
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix ingredients together in a large bowl until well-blended.
  3. Roll peanut butter mixture into Tablespoon size balls. Bake 12 minutes for chewy cookies; Bake 15 minutes for crisp.

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Veggie Overload Chili

I was told by my husband this is the best chili recipe yet so I had to share it with you. Chili is one of those dishes that you can really make your own. We hosted a Salad Master dinner party about a month ago and as a gift received the SaladMaster tool! For those of you unfamiliar with the SaladMaster brand, it is a US company that has been around since the 40’s. They sell water-less/oil-less cookware titanium cookware. The Salad Master tool is their signature piece and it is my new favorite kitchen tool! There are five different cones that fit to the tool to grate, slice and shred vegetables and fruit to your liking! When we decided to make chili, we used the tool to add a ton of veggies. You can use any tool to prepare your vegetables.

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Veggie Overload Chili
Serves 15
Nutrition Info: Calories 124, Fat 1g, Protein 9g, Sugar 5g, Carbs 21g Sodium 508mg

Ingredients

  • 3 cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 oz lean ground turkey, browned
  • 2 – 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes (low sodium is best)
  • 1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 raw medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini squash, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • chili powder to taste (I used 5 tbsp, but we like it spicy)
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  • Cook the turkey in a skillet until cooked through
  • Add all ingredients to crock pot and mix well
  • Cook on HIGH for 1 hour, then LOW for 3-4 hours (if you are leaving it all day, cook it on low)

You can add as many vegetables as you like! This is your creation 🙂 Enjoy!

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Shake, Shake, Shake

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I mentioned several months ago that I purchased a Nutribullet. I am happy to report that unlike many of the mini-appliances I own, this one has definitely been put to good use. My recipe is pretty much the same every morning although today I tried to get crazy and I was not thrilled with the outcome. The shake itself was good, it was just too sweet for me. I like the tart flavor of citrus fruits as opposed to the sweetness of melons, pears and bananas.

If you do plan on making smoothies and shakes, make sure you have enough ingredients on hand at all times. I purchase organic frozen fruit in bulk and thaw what I need each day. This way I am not wasting food by not using it before it spoils and I am not making trips to the store every couple of days.

The number of shake recipes you can create is unlimited! When you first get started, it may take some trial and error unless you use recipes which I am not very good at doing. I like to fly by the seat of my pants. Here is my favorite recipe! I hope you enjoy and please let me know what shake recipes you recommend!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic baby spinach
  • 1 cup frozen organic berries (thawed)
  • 1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I rotate between Arbonne Vanilla and Garden of Life Raw Protein)
  • 1 tbsp flax seed meal, hemp seed or chia seed

Here is the one I tried this morning. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic baby spinach
  • 2 medium stalks celery cut in small pieces
  • 1 bosc pear cut in pieces
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 banana

Cheers!