Twice baked sweet potatoes

twice baked sweet potatoes

twice bakedbaked sweet potato filling

 

 

 

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes-maybe my favorite thing to eat in the whole world!

Step 1: Microwave sweet potatoes until able to cut in half and scoop out 3/4 of the inside.

Step 2: Add scooped sweet potato to 1 heaping tbsp plain Greek yogurt, 1 heaping tbsp skim ricotta cheese, 1/4 c almond milk (optional), 1/4 c black beans and 1/4 c  crumbled blue cheese to mixing bowl.

Step 3: Mix together with hand mixer until well blended and slightly fluffy then scoop mixture into hollowed out sweet potatoes.

Step 4: Bake for 15 to 20 min at 375 degrees

Other combos to try for the stuffing:

Spinach or kale, black beans, Greek yogurt and feta cheese

Ricotta cheese, tuna, red onion and Greek yogurt

Enjoy!

xoxo-A

 

 

 

Coconut & Dates Granola

 

COCONUT & DATES GRANOLA

Pre-heat oven to 380 degrees

mix together the following:

4 c Old Fashioned Oats

1 c raw natural silvered almonds

2 to 3 tbsp honey

1/4 c dark brown sugar

1/4 c cinnamon

Bake  on big cookie sheet, spreading as evenly as you can to ensure even toasting for 15 min

Add 1/4 flaxseed meal, 1 c shredded coconut on top and place back in oven for 10 additional min

***Let cool completely, add 1/2 chopped dates and then place in the fridge to store***

Serving suggestions: 1/4 c topping Greek yogurt, alone when you are hungry in the car or on the go or with milk.

Enjoy!

xoxoxo-A

 

 

 

Jambalaya Recipe

JAMBALAYA!

I started with this recipe I found from Emeril when I got the notion that I wanted to make a jambalaya:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/cajun-jambalaya-recipe2/index.html

Then I saw that I had on hand already “baby salad size frozen shrimp” and “spicy chicken sausage” so I bought the chicken and went from there….Protein is most important to me so that is what I tend to focus on the most and then let the rest fall into place.

Step 1: cube about 1/2 lb. chicken breast and cook on med  heat with the following seasonings:1 teaspoon each paprika, oregano, blk pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic powder and dash of cinnamon (place together in a small bowl and stir as you will need half of the mixture for the shrimp/sausage in a min)  for about 10 to 12 min using a teaspoon of olive oil to coat the pan prior.

Step 2: cook the shrimp and sausage (use about 1/2 lb combined of both) with the same seasoning mixture you used on the chicken (you should have about half left over) on med heat for about 6 to 8 min.

 Step 3: chop 1/2 c each spanish onion, green onion, green pepper and sautéed those in a deep skillet on low to med for about 8 min with a little bit of olive oil.

Step 4: chop 3/4 c tomatoes and 1/4 c fresh parsley and add to the veg mix, stirring for another 4 min.

Step 5: add all protein to veggies in deep skillet along with 2 cups rice (brown or jasmine) and approx 3 cups hot water. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer on low for about 15 min until the rice is cooked-but has not soaked up the liquid….you need and want some liquid when all said and done! Feel free to add hot sauce to kick it up a notch here…mine was only med spice temp.

I took his recipe and tried to make it budget (I didn’t use all of the Emeril suggested ingredients) and a little more health friendly!

Try this with all recipies…..you can see from his picture in the recipe and my picture they don’t look the same but it still tasted incredible!!!

Enjoy!

xoxoxo-A

Meals made EASY all week!

In this post I want to try to show you how easy and quick it can be to eat healthy…..

On Tuesday I chopped my veggies-tomatoes, zucchini, red onion and green onion-about 2.5 cups total

I cooked 1 package of chicken and cubed it so I can easily throw it in a pita pocket, salad or mix it with some rice or quinoa.

I boiled 2 eggs so I had them ready for when I wanted to add them too!
I had on hand already brown rice, quinoa, tuna, feta and mozzarella cheeses and lettuce.

If you take a little time 1 or 2 days a week to prepare your meals or part of your meals you will be more inclined to throw together something healthy quickly rather than stopping and grabbing something quick-that rarely ends well!! Try it this week and see if it works for you!! 

This is what I ate all week for lunch and dinner. I spent maybe 5 min at the most putting it together and making a little homemade dressing each time if I wanted to add it. Below are pictures so you can see how I basically ate the same thing over and over again BUT I never got bored with it…..

Healthy balanced meal-smashed black beans topping roasted sweet potatoes with asparagus, mushrooms and chicken

3 oz chicken, handful of mushrooms, steamed asparagus made only with lemon juice and balsamic vinegar, roasted sweet potatoes brushed with olive oil, cinnamon and black pepper then topped with smashed black beans.

Let me tell you some of the awesome health benefits of this meal! Not only does it include roughly 1 part good fat, 3 parts carbs and 2 parts protein but it is packed with  vitamin D, high in fiber, vitamin A and C-these antioxidants also work as anti-inflammatories, and can reduce the symptoms of arthritis and asthma. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of copper, manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin B6. They also contain thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. I cannot say enough awesome things about sweet potatoes!!! The black beans are packed with vitamins,  minerals, fiber and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids! Then there is the asparagus-deliciously made with only lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Asparagus has hardly any calories, no fat, no cholesterol and no sodium….it may make your pee smell but the folate-good for heart health, the fiber and the inulin-good for digestive health is well worth the trade off!!! This meal makes me smile big! It tastes so good and is so ridiculously good for you!

Enjoy!!!

xoxoxo-A

 

Food:Lifestyle Basics 101

  • Always eat at least 5 times a day- 3 meals and 2 snacks works well
  • Each meal or snack should consist of approx. 1 part fat, 2 parts protein and 3 parts carbs-in general….see the next bullet
  • When you sit down to eat ask yourself this: What will I be doing in the next 3 hours? If you are going to take a nap go easy on the carbs. If you are going to workout have some more carbs…adjust your carbs based on your anticipated energy output. If you are sitting at your desk at work and will be buried for the next few hours eat some plain & delicious almonds…maybe even some Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and a touch of granola!
  • Eliminate junk food-if it isn’t in the house you are not likely to eat it. Fast food, pastries and processed food mostly contain high amounts of fat, sugar and sodium….see bullet two-that is not what we want our meals to be made up of!
  • Drink water! Eliminate soda or pop-whichever you call it and NO Diet is not ok!!!! Eliminate sugar and please for the love eliminate fake sugar!
  • Fiber is your friend-you can find your friend in some of the following: apples, blackberries, oranges, carrots, lentils, sunflower seeds, cauliflower and oats to name a few-it is recommended that you consume 25 to 30 g per day of fiber. Ease into it adding a few grams at a time until your body gets used to this new fabulous “regular” routine of yours!
  • Carbs-you need carbs-the best source of energy comes from carbs! You want to choose COMPLEX CARBS-whole grains, nuts, fruits, veggies, beans, oats, quinoa, yams, sweet potatoes,  brown rice, and barley would be some to start adding into your life.
  • Protein-the leaner the meat the better! Ground turkey, chicken, fish, lean beef, Greek yogurt, beans, cheese, milk, peanut butter or almond butter, egg whites, almonds, Whey protein supplement would be some to start adding into your life. ***immediately following your workout your body craves amino acids, please give it whey protein in the form of a shake if you can afford to add this to your life(whey protein is high in glutamine and branched-chain amino acids) ***
  • Lastly, Fats-olive oil, avocados, nuts are my favorite 3 fats! Remember bullet two, each meal can be 1 part good fats!

You can live this life 80% to 90% of the time and be a healthy & happy human! If you are body building to compete or want more serious results you will have to up that percentage to 95 to 100% of the time clearly.  I simply want to feel and look good, prevent disease and maintain my awesomeness…. so I follow this I would say 90% of the time and the other 10% of the time I don’t feel guilty or bad because I had a beer and a piece of pizza or a cupcake etc. because I know how I live my life and I know how good it feels to eat right and exercise regularly!!!