Honey Dijon Salmon for Two

Valentine’s day is a great time to get together with your significant other and spend quality time together. Many couples opt to celebrate the holiday at a restaurant, but the crowds can be crazy! Or, we are on a budget and can’t spend hundreds on a pricey meal. Sometimes, it is just a better idea to stay in. But, you don’t have to sacrifice a delicious meal! Buy a couple of quality salmon filets, some fresh veggies, and cook a fantastic (and healthy!) Valentine’s meal this year!

 

What you need:

– 2 large, fresh salmon filets

– 2 tablespoons honey

– 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard

– juice from ½ a lemon

– 1 clove minced garlic

– ½ teaspoon dried parsley

– salt and pepper to taste

 

What you do:

  1. Combine honey, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Place salmon in a lightly greased baking dish.
  3. Pour combined ingredients over the salmon, coating the filets completely.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and flakes with a fork.
  5. Enjoy with a side of roasted veggies (recipe below)!

 

roasted-brussels-sprouts_large600_id-1094747

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

These brussels sprouts are an easy, healthy side for any meal! And you can use other veggies in this recipe, too! Broccoli, carrots, asparagus, and zucchini are all great when roasted. Use this same recipe using any of them, just adjust the cooking time!

 

What you need:

– 2 cups raw brussels sprouts

– 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

– salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

 

What you do:

  1. Wash brussels sprouts, cut off stem, and halve.
  2. In a large bowl combine brussels sprouts, oil, and seasonings. Mix well so all of the sprouts are coated with oil and seasoning.
  3. Spread brussels sprouts on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until brussels sprouts are tender.

 

 

How to Build the Best Smoothie

Smoothies are very popular among those trying to lose weight or eat better. They are a great way to get in a ton of nutrients at once and can even be their own meal. However, it is important to build a smoothie the right way in order to make it as healthy as possible. You want to make sure you get all of your core nutrients – protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fiber – to help you get the most out of your smoothie and keep you feeling full. For example, an all fruit smoothie will get your carbs and fiber in, but will leave you hungry sooner than if you add in a good protein source. Another important thing to remember when making smoothies is to use as many whole, unprocessed foods as possible and not to add extra sugar. Use these four steps to build the best smoothie!

  1. Pick your fruit: Pick 2 – 3 different fruits to be the bulk of your smoothie. Berries are great because they are flavorful, nutrient rich, and low in sugar. Adding a banana will add a good amount of fiber to your smoothie to help you feel more full. Also, adding mango or pineapple will add a vitamin C boost and great flavor!
  2. Pick your veggies: Pick 1 or 2 veggies to add more vitamins and minerals to your smoothie. Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are great! They are very nutritious and when mixed in with the fruit and other ingredients, nearly impossible to taste. Avocados are also a great addition. They are a known super food and will add fiber and healthy fats to your smoothie.
  3. Pick your protein: Use ¼ of a cup of organic almond, hazelnut, or peanut butter for a great protein source! We want to stick with using whole foods that are unprocessed, so we try to stay away from protein powders as much as possible. If you do choose to use protein powder, though, try pea, hemp, or rice protein. These varieties contain no dairy or other animal products and usually don’t contain artificial sweeteners.
  4. Pick your liquid: Use ½ a cup of liquid to blend your smoothie. You can use more or less depending on how thick you want your smoothie and how much of the other ingredients you are using. The best choices are water, chilled green tea, or coconut water. Fruit juices and milk add unnecessary sugars. If you want a creamier smoothie, try using unsweetened almond or coconut milk.

 

smoothie-1

Nuts and berries smoothie:

½ cup blueberries

½ cup strawberries

1 banana

1 cup spinach

¼ cup almond butter

½ cup coconut water

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

 

Immune Boosting Vegetable Noodle Soup

Cold weather is here and that means it’s also cold and flu season. Our best defense is making sure our bodies are functioning at their optimal levels to help fight becoming ill. It’s important to always eat well, but we especially need to give our bodies proper nutrients when we are sick. This soup is very healthy and great for the immune system! Lemons, celery, and parsnips are great sources of Vitamin C which helps build a strong immune system and they contain many other vitamins and minerals too. Shitake mushrooms increase production of infection fighting cells in our bodies and contain immune supporting properties. Onions and turmeric also promote a healthy immune system and both contain anti-inflammatory properties. Cayenne pepper helps break up mucus, is an anti-irritant, and aids in digestion. Ginger is notorious for easing upset stomachs, but it can also help with muscle aches and migraines. And garlic is especially great for colds and flu because of its powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Enjoy this recipe for a healthy boost if you are feeling under the weather or enjoy anytime to help prevent illness!

 

What you need:

1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, sliced

2 parsnips, slice

1 package shiitake mushrooms

4 cups vegetable broth

1 ½ teaspoons freshly grated ginger

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (add depending on how spicy you want it)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 lemon, halved

½ to 1 package of egg noodles (add depending on how noodly you want it)

Fresh parsley, for garnish

 

What you do:

  1. Sauté onions, celery, carrots, and parsnips in oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. When vegetables are tender, remove from heat and add garlic (the residual heat will cook the garlic without burning it).
  3. In a large pot, bring to a boil the vegetable broth, turmeric, ginger, and cayenne pepper.
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes then add lemon halves.
  5. Boil for about 10 minutes, then remove lemons.
  6. While the broth is cooking, rehydrate the mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain and chop.
  7. Prepare the noodles.
  8. Combine mushrooms, sautéed vegetables, and noodles with the broth.
  9. Garnish with parsley and serve with toasted bread or crackers!
  10. Enjoy!

Eat This, Not That: Energy Packed Holiday Cookies

It’s the holiday time which means here come the holiday parties! Need to bring a treat, but don’t want to be so unhealthy? Try this amazing alternative to traditional cookies or cupcakes!

Our energy packed holiday cookies are sure to be a hit at your next party. Avoiding ingredients like butter, salt, and oil help keep the calorie count low while still being delicious. Check out the recipe below and be sure to bake these up as soon as possible!

 

Ingredients:

2 cup of Oats (not steel cut)

1 cup of cinnamon apple sauce

2 mashed bananas

1 cup of “extra” ingredient: we prefer either dark chocolate chips, blueberries, or craisins

3/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Directions:

Mix and form into balls (about the size of a golf ball) and put on a greased baking sheet

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, let stand for 2-3 minutes, and ENJOY!

 

Do you have another healthy alternative for holiday treats, either sweet or savory? Comment below and let us know!

 

Eat This, Not That: Avocado Cream Sauce

Who doesn’t love avocados? They are so nutritious and, of course, great tasting! Avocados are loaded with vitamins and minerals and are a great source of healthy fats and fiber that keep us satisfied and energized throughout the day. They are also a very versatile food and can be used in so many dishes. This recipe makes a great alternative to traditional cream sauces. Instead of using heavy cream, which is loaded with unhealthy fats and not very nutritious, we are using avocado and greek yogurt. These ingredients are, instead, going to provide healthy fats, essential nutrients, fiber, and probiotics to make a delicious and healthy cream sauce you can put on anything!

 

What you need:

  • 1 avocado
  • ½ cup of plain greek yogurt
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

  • Peel and pit avocado
  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth
  • Serve over pasta, spaghetti squash, or grilled chicken or salmon

avocado pasta

For a vegan option, use 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in place of the greek yogurt!

Drink This, Not That: Detoxifying Infused Water

Heading into the cooler months, we all seek out that comfort food that keeps us warm and cozy. However, we need to be careful with what we’re eating to make sure we don’t consume too many inflammatory ingredients. What is inflammation in terms of our diet and nutrition? It’s a swelling, and sometimes painful, reaction our body creates when we eat certain foods, such as refined carbs, sugary drinks, dairy, and alcohol. Now, temporary inflammation in the body is a good thing when we’re trying to fight off an injury or infection—it’s our body’s way of mounting a defense against “intruders.” But, when the inflammation is chronic due to improper diet and nutrition, our body can start to attack our good, healthy cells.

We’ve started drinking an incredible, and easy to make, drink to help fight the inflammation that gives us that bloated feeling and appearance. The drink includes anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as ginger, and alkalinic ingredients, such as cucumbers, which help fight acid build-up in our bodies. It is also very low in sugar, making it a great alternative to soda and sports drinks!

Next time you go to the grocery store, make sure you buy these ingredients to create the perfect drink to help decrease your inflammation and get you feeling and looking great again!

 

ginger_lemonade_ingredients

What you need:

  • 2 liters of water
  • 1 teaspoon grated, fresh ginger
  • 1 medium lemon, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 10 to 15 mint leaves

What you do:

  • Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and let sit for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator
  • Drink 4-5 glasses during the day and enjoy!

Eat this, not that: Veggie Chili!

Happy first day of fall! We are celebrating by making this awesome vegetarian chili. Chili is a great meal; it is inexpensive, easy to make, and warms you up on cold days. However, traditional meat chili, usually made with ground beef, is not necessarily the healthiest, when not made with lean, grass-fed beef. It is full of fat and doesn’t offer many good nutrients. This version cuts out the meat and replaces it with nutrient-rich vegetables and legumes, while keeping all the flavor!

 

What to use:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 jalapenos (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1, 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes, not drained
  • 2, 15 oz. cans black beans, drained
  • 1, 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Chop onions, peppers, and zucchini and mince garlic
  2. In large pot, sauté onions and peppers in olive oil about 4 minutes
  3. Add zucchini and garlic and sauté another 4 minutes
  4. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, and spices
  5. Simmer for about 30 minutes
  6. Serve with multi grain bread, corn bread, or tortilla chips. Top with cilantro, lime juice, avocado, or low fat cheese!

Eat this, not that: Cauliflower mac and cheese!

Eat Cauliflower, Not Macaroni!

Everyone loves mac and cheese. It’s the ultimate comfort food and like most comfort foods, it doesn’t offer much in the way of nutrients. But, that doesn’t mean you have to give it up to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Subbing cauliflower for pasta is an easy way to cut calories without losing a favorite dish. Cauliflower is very nutritious as it is extremely low in calories and has no fat. It is also loaded with vitamins, being a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. So, not only are you cutting out unhealthy ingredients, you’re adding some needed nutrients.

 

 boiled cauliflower  boiled macaroni
1 cup of: boiled cauliflower boiled macaroni
Carbohydrates: 4g 43g
Calories: 23 221
Vitamin C: 44.3mg (74% daily value) 0.0mg

 

 

What you need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup of milk
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ cup of breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Boil or steam cauliflower until slightly tender, about 5 minutes
  3. Combine cauliflower, butter, cheese, salt, and pepper
  4. Add mixture to greased baking pan
  5. Pour milk over the top
  6. Bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven
  7. Stir, then top with bread crumbs
  8. Bake an additional 20 minutes or until top is browned

 

Enjoy on its own or as a side dish to any meal!

 

Eat Guac, Not Queso!

Everyone loves a good queso dip, but if you are watching your weight or trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle it may not be the best snack choice. Queso is very high in saturated fat and cholesterol and, while it is a good source of calcium, it is pretty much void of any beneficial nutrients. If you are looking for a nutritious alternative, try fresh guacamole!

 

Nutrition  Guacamole Queso
Calories 240 492
Fat 24g 40g
Saturated Fat 1g 25g
Cholesterol 0 139mg
Sodium 200mg 1493mg
Carbs 16g 6g
Fiber 8g 0g

*based on a 1 cup serving

Guacamole has become an incredibly popular snack and not just because it is delicious. It’s super easy to make too! And, bonus, it’s packed with tons of nutrients. Avocados have so much of the good, unsaturated fats and omega fatty acids that our bodies need. They are also a great source of fiber, vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Onions, jalapeños, and cilantro all contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that help keep our bodies healthy and prevent disease. Homemade guacamole doesn’t contain the preservatives and unnecessary ingredients found in some store bought brands, either, making it especially good for you. Try this spicy guacamole recipe for a tasty and healthy snack!

quacamole ingredients

What you need:

2 avocados

½ red onion,

1 large jalapeño

½ bunch of cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cayenne pepper

What you do:

Thinly chop onion, jalapeño, and cilantro. Using a fork, mash avocado and add in other ingredients. Add as much or as little cayenne as you like. I like to make this very spicy, so I add a lot. Enjoy with chips, sliced veggies, or even as a spread on sandwiches!

Eat This, Not That!

Eat spaghetti squash, not pasta!

Do you love Italian food and a big bowl of pasta, but hate the bloated and heavy feeling that immediately kicks in afterwards? We have the perfect solution for you!

Try substituting your favorite pasta or spaghetti with spaghetti squash instead! The texture is almost identical to normal spaghetti, but without all of the negative effects of eating a heavy pasta dish full of carbohydrates.

 

 spaghetti squash  spaghetti squash recipe 2.tif
100 Grams of: Spaghetti squash Pasta
Carbohydrates: 7 g (2% of Daily Value) 75 g (25% of Daily Value)
Calories: 31

371

Vitamin A: 120 IU 0 IU

Try this delicious and healthy recipe for chicken parmesan with spaghetti squash instead of regular pasta!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 lb thin sliced chicken breast, cut into strips
  • Italian seasoning
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Coconut Oil for sautéing chicken

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. With a sharp knife, slice the squash in half. If the squash is too tough – puncture in several places forming a dotted line around the squash. Microwave for 3-5 minutes to soften. Allow to cool before cutting in half – following the dotted line.
  3. Scoop out the seeds – brush with oil, salt, and pepper, – and roast face down in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until a fork can easily pierce the skin.
  4. Meanwhile, slice the chicken breasts into strips. Note, for this recipe we will be sautéing the chicken, not frying.
  5. Sautee the chicken strips in a pan using coconut oil and Italian seasoning. Cook completely through until there is no pink in the middle of the chicken strips. Set cooked chicken aside on a plate while you prepare the squash.
  6. Once the squash is out of the oven, let cool for about 10 mins. Flip over and shred the inside of each squash so that the spaghetti strands are loosened. Be careful not to poke a hole in the skin of the squash. It is your choice whether you want to keep the spaghetti squash in the skin, or shred and scoop it out onto a plate or into a large bowl.
  7. If keeping the squash in the skin, pour 1/2 cup marinara sauce over shredded squash in each half of the squash. Top with chicken strips, then 1/2 cup more marinara, and finish with mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and a pinch of Italian seasoning. Return to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese has melted.