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Archive for February, 2012

So I am so excited to share this recipe. Even thought it’s cold here in Michigan sometimes you just have to have a smoothie.

Just by looking at this picture, you probably don’t see the green specks of goodness, but this smoothie bowl has not one but two types of greens in it.

Keeping Up with Kale Smoothie

  • 1 Cup So Delicious Coconut Milk
  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder
  • 1 Handful Kale
  • 1 Handful Spinach
  • 1/2 Frozen Banana (can also use fresh)
  • 1 Handful Frozen Blueberries (can also use fresh)
  • 1 Tablespoon Milled Flax seed
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

Side Note: If you use all fresh fruits instead of frozen add an ice-cube or two.

Blend for about a minute and enjoy.

I keep lots of frozen fruits on hand for smoothies. It makes it really convenient to be able to go to the freezer and have a selection of frozen fruits already portioned in snack size bags.

Look at all the specks of goodness. Now I could not taste the kale or spinach, but I felt the texture which I really liked, the flavor that jumped out at me was the nutty flavor from the Organic Milled Flax Seed, it was a perfect addition to this smoothie.

This was my first time adding coconut oil to a smoothie, and it really gave it a silky texture. There are many health benefit’s from coconut oil, but the one that interests me the most is the fact that it is metabolized quickly so it’s used as an energy source rather than being stored as fat. I have also read that it keeps you fuller longer and helps to control sugar cravings. Thanks to my friends over at Swanson Health Products I get to try these items in lots of recipes and explore new flavors.

Rating this smoothie is easy, this is a Keeper. I want to try different fruits next time with the kale and spinach and see if the taste changes.

Question of the day: Greens in your smoothie Yeah or Nay? 

Check Ya later.

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So today I am really excited. I am a Featured  Blogger over at FITBLOGGER. I had a really good time writing this post. I hope you go over there and check it out.

Here’s what’s in today’s bag. Oats in a Jar (OIAJ) and an apple for breakfast. Whole wheat pita and hummus with a hard-boiled egg, string cheese and pretzels for lunch.

Yesterdays overnight oats for breakfast really kept me satisfied straight through lunch so I thought I’d make it again for today’s breakfast.

Today’s OIAJ:

  • 1/2 cup of Oats
  • 1/2 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Nut Butter
  • Few shakes of Cinnamon
Here’s whats for dinner.

Crock Pot Chicken Taco’s have become a favorite at my house. How can you beat having something cook for you while you do other things or while you are gone to work. I made this Monday night when I got home from work and by 8pm they were ready. I had to sample one, well I had a 1/2 and my husband had the other half.

With just a few ingredients, you will be surprised at how much flavor it packs.

Place the chicken in the crock pot and cover with the diced tomatoes with or without chilies, or you can use salsa if you prefer. You can also add a few tablespoons of taco seasoning powder. I just added a tablespoon of chili powder.

With about an hour left to cook I added a can of corn and a can of black beans.

Pull out the chicken and shred and then mix well with all the ingredients.

Serve on a tortilla with shredded lettuce and shredded cheese. Or make a big nacho, there’s really no wrong way of serving up this taste meal.

Dinner is done. It’s Taco Tuesday!

Crock Pot Chicken Taco’s

This recipe makes 8 really large taco’s.

  • 1 envelope taco seasoning, or seasoned to your taste
  • 2 to 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies or a jar of salsa (16 oz)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can of corn

Dump everything into a crock pot and give it a little stir to blend the seasoning with the salsa or can of tomatoes. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. When done, the chicken should shred easily when stirred with a fork. During the last hour of cooking add a can of corn and can of black beans.

Question of the day: What’s the last meal you made using a crock pot?

Check Ya Later.

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What do you do with the swirling bits of peanut butter that are left in the jar, well you make Overnight Oats, that’s what.

Overnight Oats or Oats In A Jar are a great way to use up all the peanut butter left in the jar.

Plus it’s an easy on the go meal that you can eat hot or cold. We all know how good oatmeal is for us, so this is a great option that is also super easy to make.

So I grabbed the almost empty jar of The Bee’s Knees’ peanut butter, and added 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of coconut milk and a few shakes of cinnamon and put it in the fridge for an overnight soak.

When you wake up in the morning you have a wonderfully flavored jar of oats that you can add anything and everything you like to it. I like to heat in the microwave for about a minute then top those oats with one, two or three of my favorite toppings. Here are a few suggestions.

Topping Ideas:

  • Nuts
  • Fresh fruits such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries
  • Additional creamy nut butters
  • Ground flax
  • Chia Seeds
  • Maple syrup
  • Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin spice
  • Shelled hemp seeds
  • Granola
  • Cocoa powder
  • Dried fruits
Here’s what I added after I microwaved for 60 seconds.
  • 1 Tablespoon Trader Joe’s Sea Salt Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • Few shakes of Swanson Organic Cinnamon
  • Banana Slices
I am Seriously in Love with this combo, the Cinnamon from Swanson Health Products had a warm and spicy flavor and it had the most amazing aroma to it. I can not wait to try this cinnamon with a few of my favorite pumpkin recipes, I have a feeling they will be best friends.
Sometimes oatmeal is the best way to kick-start a busy Monday.
Also for anyone interested, go visit a favorite blog of mine Annette at Enjoy Your Healthy Life is having an amazing giveaway on her blog today. ONE lucky winner will get an entire tub of Vega Sport Recovery! Check it out. 
Question of the day: How do you like your oats?
Check Ya Later.

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A few weeks ago, I was given an opportunity to do a little “online shopping” which landed me with all of these goodies you see here…

Did I forget to mention that I got all this for free. Yes, for FREE.

I was contacted by Anthony from a company known as Swanson Health Products.  If you haven’t heard of them before, they’re an online company that is:

  • Family owned since 1969
  • Located in Fargo, ND
  • Huge selection of vitamins, supplements, organic foods, natural bath/beauty products, Eco-friendly cleaners, etc (www.swansonvitamins.com)
  • Guaranteed low prices

I really was totally impressed with all the national brands that they carried, but I wanted to review the Swanson brand health products. The website swansonvitamins.com was very easy to order from, and my shipment came very quickly. I still can’t believe just how much product I got for $40.00. Outstanding.

Here’s a breakdown of the Swanson brand health products I received:

Organic Cocoa Powder, Organic Milled Flaxseed and Pure Xylitol Powder.

Plus, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Date Sugar and Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

Anthony was right, they have really great prices, so I could get a variety of items to try from this Shopping Spree.

Be sure to check out their Face Book page for $5.00 coupon off your next purchase. Be sure to use this offer soon it’s only valid until 4/30/2012.

Now the fun starts, I get to try out some recipes with these products and do a review. My mind is racing with ideas and recipes I want to try. Stay tuned!

Today I treated myself to a Starbucks Chai Soy Latte, it was a perfect treat on a cold Sunday.

Hope everyone had a great week-end!

Check Ya Later.

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Well the walking belt on my treadmill has taken a hit, it has been wearing out for sometime now, but I have been ignoring it, and didn’t realize how damaged it really was. This treadmill is an older model, but the motor works great so I found a replacement belt online and I ordered it, and should expect it in about 3-5 working days. So I will be getting all my cardio via my elliptical rider until then.

Wearing my headphones and rock’in out while power walking, I didn’t really hear the warning noises it was giving off, until the noise got louder than my music.

The last hint was this terrible burning smell that started.

So I jumped off the treadmill and got on my elliptical rider and did a 40 minute resistance workout.

To be honest I’m really getting in a good rhythm on the elliptical lately. Since I started to challenge my self to adding resistance, I cannot believe how fast the workouts have been going by. Plus I can tell my legs have gotten stronger.

After my cardio I got on some circuit training,  I did the following .

LEAN LEG PYRAMID

  • 20 Squats
  • 30 Lunges
  • 40 Toe Touches (head forward, legs straight, bend down & touch your toes)
  • 50 Second wall sit (sit up against a wall, legs at 90 degrees and hold it!)
  • 100 Seconds Jumping Jacks
  • 50 Second Wall Sit
  • 40 Toe Touches
  • 30 Lunges
  • 20 Squats

Next was the LEAN ABS PYRAMID

  • 10 Standing Knee Raises
  • 20 Tummy Tucks
  • 30 Second Plank Jacks (on your hands in a plan, jack your legs out & in)
  • 40 Crunches
  • 50 Bicycle Crunches
  • 40 Crunches
  • 30 Second Plank Jacks (on your hands in a plan, jack your legs out & in)
  • 20 Tummy Tucks
  • 10 Standing Knee Raises
Today I made a Saturday morning favorite, Eggtastic English Muffin.

Using my Pampered Chef measuring/storage jars I microwaved the first egg for a total of 2 minutes, but the problem is if you’re not careful the egg will explode in the microwave, so after 30 seconds I stop the cooking and let it rest and poke the egg. Then continue until it looks firm. The second egg only took a minute and 30 seconds to cook, so the cooking time’s do vary and you really have to watch the egg the entire cook time.

It was eggtastic.

Hope you enjoy your Saturday.

Question of the day: How do you like your eggs?

Check Ya Later.

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We had a side of Kale the other day. I have tried kale raw in salads, added kale to soups, but my favorite is Kale Chips.

I can’t think of an easier side dish.

Kale is naturally high in Vitamin A & C. So it tastes good and is good for you, Bonus!

I’m loving the way they crisp up.

Roasting Kale Chips:

ingredients:

1 bag of Kale, torn and tough stems removed
2 teaspoons olive oil
sea salt and or, parmigiano cheese

directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Coat kale leaves with olive oil
  3. Place the kale on the baking sheet
  4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until leaves are crisp. Do not let the leaves turn brown
  5. Season with salt, or shake on parmigiano cheese
Our dinner was these little Perline Prosciutto Pastas from Trader Joe’s.  They boil up in 3 minutes.

Perfect comfort food for a cold Michigan night.

Question of the day: Kale Chips Yeah or Nay?

Check Ya later.

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Spinach and Cannelloni Bean Dip

Have you ever had a recipe you always wanted to make, but just never found an ingredient that the recipe called for. Well I have had one of those recipes on my list. Back in 2008 I saw an episode of Everyday Italian with Giada and printed off  the recipe. The one thing I could never find was Endive.

So when I saw Endive at Trader Joe’s I grabbed it and when I got home I pulled out the recipe.

Giada’s Spinach and Cannelloni Bean Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (6-ounce) bags baby spinach (I used frozen)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil, over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 of the spinach and cook for 2 minutes until wilted. Repeat with the remaining spinach. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes.

Place the remaining olive oil, spinach mixture, cannelloni beans, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor.

Please Note: For this recipe, I used frozen spinach. Once I drained all the liquids, I added it to the pan with olive oil and garlic and heated it for about 4 minutes.

Blend until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Serve with endive spears or pita chips.

Red and White Belgian Endives.

Grab your ingredients.

I used my Tofu Press to press out the water from the frozen spinach after it thawed.

Added the mix to a food processor to blend.

Served.

I also sprinkled a little Parmigiano cheese over the top of the dip and dug in. I really loved it. I could taste the smoothness of the white beans, and I’m a sucker for spinach so this recipe was right up my alley. I also really liked the endive it had a nice zesty bite to it. I heard it had a bitter taste to it, but I didn’t get a bitter flavor from it, I think the combo of the spinach, beans and the endive worked well. I was not disappointed.

Question of the day: Have you ever tried endive? 

Check Ya Later.

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