Butternut Squash & Lentils Soup

butternut squash and lentils soup

To make just add:

butternut ingredients

2 tsp minced garlic and 2 tbsp olive oil or butter to a soup pot or dutch oven over med heat

1 small red onion or shallots diced

4 to 5 celery ribs chopped

4 to 5 large mushrooms chopped

1 cup cubed butternut squash

Cook down for about 15 min then add:

1/2 cup white wine or cooking wine

Let it reduce

Add salt, pepper, 2 bay leaves, coriander, cumin and cayenne pepper-to your liking

Stir and continue to cook on med heat

Add 1/2 c any color lentils-I used red

Next add 12 oz low sodium chicken stock or broth and 12 oz water, bring to a boil then lower to simmer

Add in another layer of salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper to your liking

Add the juice of 1/2 lemon and zest too if you wish

Add 1 c kale or spinach, stir until it wilts down and then serve

*remember to remove the bay leaves if you used them*

Let it cool completely  before storing in the fridge.

butternut squash ingredients

This is a great make ahead idea for your meal prep for the week. It is packed with nutrition!!

ENJOY!!!

A

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Meal Prep-chicken 4 ways-8 mini meals for the week

meal prepping completeMeal prep!! Essential for success! I used what I had on hand and made sure to keep it quick and simple (5 or less ingredients).

The prep took just under and hour! Well worth the time because now I am ready for the week or at least the first few days!

I took 1 package of chicken breast that was 1.3 lbs and slow cooked it  for 6 hours on low with:

water to cover chicken

lemon wedges (2 whole lemons quartered) and celery (about 3 stalks)

bay leaves (2)

dash salt, pepper, garlic and coriander

**After 6 hours on low turn off and let everything cool for an hour

** Take chicken out and start shredding it with 2 forks-should fall apart pretty easy

Meal 1: Chicken salad with Greek yogurt

1 cup shredded chicken mixed with:

2 tsp feta cheese

2 tsp chopped red onion

2 tsp chopped kalamata olives

2 heaping tbsp. plain 0% Greek yogurt

Mix well and divide in half into 2 containers

Top with chopped tomatoes

Pictured below:

meal preppin chick salad

 

 

 

 

 

Meal 2: Spinach salad with chicken and strawberries

Fill up 2 small containers with fresh spinach leaves

Add 1/2 c shredded chicken to each one

Add silvered or crushed almonds to each-about 2 tsp

Add feta or shredded mozzarella to each-about 2 tsp

Add chopped fresh strawberries to each-about 1/4 c to each

Make your own balsamic dressing in separate container: 2 parts water, 2 parts oil,1 part balsamic vinegar

Pictured below:

meal preppin spin salad

 

 

 

 

 

Meal 3: Chicken noodle and mushroom soup

Cook 1 cup dry noodles according to pkg. and drain, place noodles back in pot

Strain the broth from the crock pot into the noodle pot-leaving behind the celery, bay leaves and lemons

Add 1 and 1/2 cups of the shredded chicken breast to the pot

Chop about 1/2 cup mushrooms and add to pot on med heat for about 10 to 12 min then cool and store or eat!

Pictured below:

meal preppin chick mush soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meal 4: Chicken, cheese and raw veggies

Take remaining chicken, split in half and add to 2 small containers

Chop peppers (any and all colors) and add to container

Add about 1/4 c chopped mozzarella cheese to each container

Add celery and or carrots (broccoli and or cauliflower would be good too!) to each container

Humus would be a great addition to this one but I didn’t have any!

Pictured below:

meal ppeppin chick raw veggies

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it! You are well on your way to eating right, getting doses of protein in throughout the day and not having to stop for fast food or binge when you get home because you didn’t have food with you throughout the day!

I usually eat 4 to 5 small meals per day with fruit, nuts and sometimes a smoothie for breakfast. I also have a protein shake with just water immediately after my workout.

**A typical day might be:

Smoothie or eggs and avocado/toast 7:30 am

Chicken salad with Greek yogurt 10:30 am

Workout/shake 12:45-maybe a small apple or half sweet potato too

Spinach salad with strawberries and chicken around 2:30/3

Dinner-something healthy that I make that night like fish/rice and asparagus around 6

Nuts and fruit as dessert around 9:30

Planning feels good and being prepared and ready feels good! Your body wants and needs food often! Don’t neglect it!!

It should be a top priority!!

xoxo-A

 

HEALTHY ITALIAN TUNA BAKE

italian tuna bake

Directions & Ingredients:

6 oz Greek yogurt

8 oz lite sour cream

2 tsp tomato paste

1/4 c parmesan cheese

1/4 c white or spanish onion chopped

1/2 c chopped mushrooms

1/2 c chopped yellow, green or red peppers (or a combo)

2 cans white albacore tuna

2 cups dry mini penne or rotini whole grain pasta

1 c shredded mozzarella

1/4 to 1/2 c Italian breadcrumbs (whole wheat)-depending on your taste (go easy)

First, boil pasta just under what the directions tell you to because you are going to bake it for additional time.

At the same time in a pan on the stove on med heat mix the yogurt, sour cream and tomato paste with the following seasonings: garlic powder, basil, oregano, pepper, red pepperflakes and paprika. Mix well and let sit for 5 min until warmed all the way through.

Pour the cheesy sauce mixture into the baking dish-I used a 9×13. Strain the pasta and also pour into baking dish.

In the same pan add the veggies along with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and let cook down for 5 to 7 min.

Lastly, combine all ingredients into the baking dish-finishing off with the shredded mozzarella, parmesan and breadcrumbs. (I also added fresh parsley and more black pepper at this point)

Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 min.

Enjoy!!!
A

Egg Bake with a pancake bottom

egg bake 3 egg bake 2

egg bake 1

DIRECTIONS:

Cook 5 or so pancakes to line the bottom of your baking dish with-I used a  healthy buckwheat mix and only added water and unsweetened applesauce to make them. (You can also use Greek yogurt instead of applesauce.)

Add 1 cup frozen hash browns

Next, rough chop mushrooms-about 1/2 cup and cook 1/4 lb of sweet or spicy sausage with minced garlic and  some chopped onions to add to the mixture (mine was left over from another dinner so I didn’t have to make it this go around)

Layer the meat and mushroom mixture on top of the pancakes and hash browns.

Next, add a 1/2 cup shredded cheese-I used a Colby jack mixture

Lastly, mix 4 eggs, 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup flour with pepper, parsley, red pepper flakes and hot sauce. pour egg mixture over and bake at 375 for 30 to 35 min.

Packed with protein and good carbs!!! So delicious! I love this so much because you can use whatever you have around, add any veggies you have, salsa, use ground turkey instead of sausage, omit the pancakes, change the cheese (spinach and feta with egg and hash would be great!!!) No butter was used to make this masterpiece. This my friends is what heaven looks like or at least what a kick ass brinner (breakfast+dinner) looks like !

egg bake 4

Enjoy!!!

xoxoxo-A

Labor of Love LASAGNA!

 By now I think you are starting to understand that I believe you should LOVE your body and therefore want to feed it better with awesome good for you ingredients. This Lasagna is a labor of love but well worth the time put into it! There are  many healthy benefits to cooking it this way vs the traditional way and as always I promise it is just as delicious!!!

Ingredients:

1 to 1 and a half packages of lasagna noodles-WHOLE WHEAT (using whole wheat won’t make you feel all icky and full after like white pasta does)

1 lb lean ground turkey meat

2 sweet sausage links or about 5 oz total

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 and a half cups chopped mushrooms

1 and a half jars of sauce-I used fire roasted organic

24 oz container of 2% cottage cheese

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded skim mozzarella

Italian seasonings-I used basil, rosemary, garlic and red pepper flakes

I whole zucchini-peeled and shredded to use as  a layer

Step 1:

Cook ground turkey and sweet sausage over med heat in skillet for 10 to 12 min. Add in seasonings, onions and mushrooms for another 5 to 6 min.

Step 2:

Mix cheese mixture-cottage, parmesan and mozzarella in a bowl so it is ready as part of the lasagna assembly line……That is the fun part-putting it all together!!!

Step 3:

Cook your noodles or not depending on what the package says you can do then start to build your lasagna in this order:

noodles

sauce

cheese

meat

zucchini

Repeat ending with noodles and sauce on top. Sprinkle with a little bit more cheese-but remember this is “healthy lasagna” not “good old-fashioned lasagna” so easy on the cheese on top!!! Bake at 375 for 45 min.

This is great for dinner and then even better for leftovers the next few days!!!!

ENJOY!!!

XOXOXO-A

Colorful!!!

Pizza…..Salad……tons of opportunities to get your color on with food!!! Mix fruits and veggies in salads (tomatoes and strawberries pictured here below)…..pile on the veggies when making pizza. Color=Nutrients…which reaps great rewards on your body and mind. Treat your body after a great workout with color, after a long day, a long week with colorful food. You will feel better, you will live longer, you will be more mobile, you will be happier, you will be light and airy maybe even bouncy! I love when I feel bouncy!!! Food is fun and good food is essential to our health….make it fun, make it colorful!!! xoxoxo-A

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