Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pizza Kale Chips

We have a phrase that we use that I think describes today pretty well..."struggle bussing it." My MRI results didn't come out as well as I had hoped and I couldn't work out the way I had wanted to and it was hard to focus and I wasn't as productive as I had hoped so I won't get to sleep as long as I need to...

BUT despite these small things, I keep in mind that if I reflect and look for the positives to gain perspective, I will know that tomorrow will be a new opportunity for a better day and a change in my outlook.

And along with that thought, I am leaving you with a very easy and unique recipe for delicious Kale chips that will brighten any day.

Pizza Kale Chips

Pizza Kale Chips

  • About 4 cups fresh kale, torn/cut into small pieces (I used the prepackaged kind)
  • 1/2 cup marinara/tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp Garlic or onion powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp each dried oregano and basil, or 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt or more to taste, if desired
  • Parmesan cheese to top
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. In a bowl, toss kale with marinara sauce, salt, and spices until mixed. Add more kale/marinara sauce to the mix as desired.
  3. Transfer to a greased baking sheet, and sprinkle with Parmesan. 
  4. Bake until kale dries, about 15-20 minutes depending on your oven.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Rounds (Snack Roundup #1)

I haven't been terribly productive this weekend, but I have been doing some brainstorming when it comes to Healtheasy, and have decided to start doing some mini-posts throughout the week, in addition to the regular big recipe posts I usually make weekly. As long as you guys can forgive the iphone quality images, this will be kind of like a periodic quick snack round-up is what I'm thinking...

I thought it would be nice since I usually come up with ideas for snacks and such during the week and put them on Instagram, but think it would be nice to also have a write-up for these with more detailed instructions to keep consistent with my other social media accounts! My posts will be short and to the point, but I figure that's better since we're all busy people right! Please let me know what you think of this idea :)

First up!

Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Rounds

Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Rounds

  • Tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch circles (I used roma but any other kind would be great as well)
  • Goat cheese of choice 
  • Salt, pepper, and/or garlic powder to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place desired amount of tomato rounds on a greased baking sheet (I used olive oil)
  3. Put a small dollop of goat cheese on the center of the tomato, and press down to spread.
  4. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until goat cheese begins to bronze.
  5. Remove from baking sheet with a flat spatula or turner to keep intact.
Enjoy! Eat warm or wait until they cool. These make a great snack or appetizer :)

Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Rounds

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Chocolate Chia Chunks

I've heard a lot about Chia seeds and their nutritional benefits and "superfood" status, but had never really tried making anything with them until my sister got me a bag for Christmas, which was a game changer. I think I'm hooked...they make a cool jelly and stay together really well even when you mix them with liquid! I thought this would make them perfect for baking, and so I started experimenting with the goal of making a "power" cookie...only without the cookie status. I ended up naming them Chia Chunks anyways because I thought it sounded cooler, which means more people are going to see this recipe and make them, right?

Did I also mention you only need 6 ingredients?? I guess what I'm trying to say is that they are healthy and easy...healtheasy ;) I also think they are beautiful, even though one avid Facebook fan may have mentioned they resemble something less attractive, but I guess you can't win them all...I do promise they at least taste if not look great though, and more importantly give you energy, can be taken anywhere, eaten as a dessert, and best of all you don't have to feel guilty doing it! You should probably make these and judge for yourself though, just to be safe.

Look out for the original non-chocolate version, and more variations of this recipe to come! The Chia seed revolution is here my friends! Revel with me :)

Chocolate Chia Chunks

Chocolate Chia Chunks

  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup chocolate protein powder (I used whey) OR chocolate powdered nut butter 
  • Add-ins: (I made a batch with cashew pieces, another with dried cranberries, etc.) 
  • 1 tbsp honey or other sweetener (not needed in my opinion, but it's up to you)

Chocolate Chia Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mash banana, and mix in eggs and chia seeds. To make it even easier on yourself, you can stick in a blender/magic bullet or use a hand blender to mix.
  3. Let sit for about 5 minutes to let the chia seeds soak in the liquid, then fold in almond flour, cocoa powder, and protein powder/peanut butter powder, and any optional add-ins.
  4. Place 1 to 1.5 inch dollops of the batter on a greased baking sheet, and bake for about 13-15 minutes. 
  5. Enjoy and be energized ;) This recipe makes about 12 "cookies"
Chocolate Chia Chunks

Please share the love :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Trail Mix Bars (Two variations!)

So I'm back in New York for the start of another semester, which means there are a lot of new and exciting things happening outside of this blogging life, but I will do my best to keep the new recipes coming and stay on top of this growing project! For that reason, in the spirit of efficiency, I will keep this post short and get right to the only thing we really care about ;) The timing actually works out perfectly, because these recipes are for two energy bars that I had made over break, and now that I am back at school I will definitely need as much energy as I can get...especially to grab on the go.

I'm thinking I should rename this post Bars for Busy People.

Here are two similar variations of the recipe, one with added protein, and one that is protein-free and oat-free! I baked one batch in "rounds" in muffin tins and another as a slab which I then cut into squares after baking, but either works, it's up to you! You can also eat these raw, which trust me is hard to resist when you are making them :)

Trail Mix Rounds

Trail Mix Rounds

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/3 cup cranberries
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
  • 1/4 cup cashew pieces
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey

      Muesli Trail Mix Bars

Muesli Trail Mix Protein Bars

  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup cashews (or peanuts)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup protein powder
  • 2 tbsp apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Add all ingredients to a bowl, and mix well (hands work best) making sure all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Form into either round "discs" and press into the bottom of cupcake tins to bake, or grease a baking sheet, and mold into a big bar to bake, and then cut after baking, Bake for about 25-30 minutes, let cool, and enjoy :) These keep pretty well even outside of the fridge.

What do you have on your plate that keeps you busy? Let's hear it! Comment and let me know :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Italian Chicken and Squash Casserole

My break is slowly coming to an end, which means I will be New York bound by the end of the week...excited to get back, but not excited for that weather...I'm hoping I make it through, after being spoiled with all beautiful weather and warm winter here in California. I try to keep in mind that it could definitely be worse though...how is the weather where you live?? Give me a reason to be jealous or grateful!

I want to take a minute to honor one special thing I have been reintroduced to while at home...ricotta cheese. My mom bought it and I am now obsessed...but it got us thinking, so this is what I would like to share with you today:

Italian Chicken and Squash Casserole
It's Italian inspired, it's got ricotta, and it's a great way to sneak in some greens...but before I get into that, I would also like to have you take a look at my new logo! It is one of the changes I have been working on, and I'm pretty excited about it! What do you think? I have been trying to get feedback on it through my Facebook page as well, and seriously appreciate any advice!
Now that that's done, we can move on to the good stuff, the healthy, the easy, the delicious.....

Italian Chicken and Squash Casserole

Italian Chicken and Squash Casserole

Ingredients for a 9"x13" baking dish
  • Approx. 3 lbs. chicken breast (about 6 "average" sized breasts)
  • 10 cups butternut squash, cubed (peel or leave skin on as you'd like)
  • 2 onions, chopped 
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese (I used 2%, but fat free and full fat versions would definitely work too!)
  • 4 cups fresh Kale, packed
  • 4 tbsp Italian seasoning (or equal parts dried basil, oregano, thyme, parsley)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grab a cutting board and cut chicken into about 3/4 to 1 inch cubes
  3. Transfer cut chicken to a large mixing bowl, and toss with 1/2 tbsp salt.
  4. Add cubed butternut squash, chopped onions, kale, and the rest of the salt and seasonings. Mix well.
  5. Add ricotta cheese, and mix until the ricotta is evenly distributed.
  6. Grease a 9"x13" baking dish, and evenly spread mixture into the pan.
  7. Bake for about an hour, covering as necessary if the top begins to brown before the squash and chicken are baked.
Enjoy!! Feel free to change the amounts to match the portion size you would like to make! And please check me out on other social media as well for more ideas and fun stuff :)


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mushroom and Spinach Romano Burgers

Happy Friday all! My first post of the year for 2014...here goes! I haven't come up with a concrete set of resolutions for the year yet, but I don't really believe in resolutions per se anyways because they tend to fizzle out as their novelty fades, just like a bad fad diet. (rhyming unintentional hehe)

Don't get me wrong, any intent to change for the better is great, but all I'm saying is that it's important to make sure we gear these changes for the long run, and make them actionable and attainable. Which basically makes them goals, and goals can be set and should be reviewed at any time of the year. So basically I am planning on renewing my current list of goals, both long term and short term, but haven't done it yet, and am not rushing it just because it is the new year.

In the recent weeks I have had the pleasure of connecting with some really awesome individuals as a result of the growth of my blog, and one of my new friends in particular is committed to helping others reach their goals! I'd love for you to check out Rachel's page at https://www.facebook.com/MPOWEREgear. We share the same intent of motivating others to promote living a healthy and fit lifestyle!

What I have ALSO been doing during my break is working on some more recipes to share with you of course, in addition to soaking as much time up with my family as I can. My mom and I made these earlier in the week and packed some for my sister to bring back to LA with her! Give these a try and your body will seriously thank you!

Mushroom and Spinach Romano Burgers

Mushroom and Spinach Romano Burgers 

  • Approximately 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey or beef (I used 92% lean turkey)
  • 1/4 cup Romano cheese, finely grated (parmesan would be great too)
  • 18 cups fresh spinach, unpacked (about 1.25 lbs...sounds like a lot, but it's only around 3 cups steamed)
  • about 6 button mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • Approx. 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, or more to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Finely dice onion and mushrooms.
  3. Steam spinach, either in a covered bowl in the microwave or on the stove top, until wilted. 
  4. Drain as much liquid as you can from the spinach, and place in a large bowl with the ground meat.
  5. Add in the chopped onion, Romano cheese, salt, and pepper. 
  6. Form patties (or meatballs) and place on a greased baking sheet. I like to spray olive oil on mine, but it's up to you!
  7. Stick in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until they start to bronze. Don't worry if some broth begins to gather around the burgers during the baking, it will evaporate as they cook :)
Enjoy in a bun or with your favorite vegetable or side, such as my Sweet Potato and Green Onion Mash!!

Please remember to come visit me on Facebook and Twitter as well, I love hearing from you!

Mushroom and Spinach Romano Patties

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