Saturday, August 31, 2013

Green Smoothie #2

I have a confession to make... I absolutely adore green smoothies. Don't judge me.

Now, this statement comes with a little warning on it, as I have really only ever tried two. And both I am obsessed with. I started my love affair with the Green Monster smoothie that is like an electric green milkshake for breakfast, all jam packed with spinach and good for you things. But I needed more. 

I knew I needed to venture out of the spinach realm (knowing that usually spinach in a green smoothie will be tasteless) and try... wait for it... kale. I have only ever eaten kale as a chip, so I wasn't about to do this immediately, and I wasn't about to do this without doing a little research first. I have been told that raw kale has quite a unique flavor, and when I hear that, I always go on the assumption that I'm not going to like it. 

As always, FitSugar helped. I got my daily email with an article and recipes about de-bloating. DING DING DING. I will do {almost} anything to debloat. This smoothie makes the claim that it has these items in it that help with bloating, add fiber into your diet, and ease digestion. Kale is one of these things from the sounds of it... And when you pair it with the flavors of sweet pineapple and berries, you have yourself a match made in flat-belly heaven. And, it's delicious, at that! 

{Note: nothing about my belly is flat. BUT I will definitely say that after drinking this smoothie daily for a week, I felt like I looked less bloated in both my belly region as well as my face. And I actually got compliments from people telling me I looked like I lost weight.}

Recipe of the day
Adapted from:
Appx 1/3 cup 0% Chobani vanilla
8 roasted almonds
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1 cup kale
1 cup water + a little extra
1 tsp chia seeds

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender
  2. Blend until smooth, add water as needed
  • I used a fresh pineapple, cut it and measured it and froze in individual baggies to just grab in the morning
  • I think chia seeds are a great and necessary addition to this smoothie
  • I strongly dislike the taste of almond butter, so I chose to use actual almonds instead. The original recipe calls for almond butter.

Original recipe can be found by clicking here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pesto Crusted Halibut

Did you watch Next Food Network Star this past season? We did! It was not nearly as good as last year but we made it through and I was delighted when Damaris won the title. That being said, and as much as I was driven crazy by some of the other contestants, one of them did bring me this delightful fish dish when I started following her blog. I've never made halibut before, but I think I'm a fan. Super easy {although not any easier than any other fish that I just pop in the oven...} and the roasted red pepper pesto is pretty delish. Let's get to it.

Recipe of the day
recipe by Nikki Dinki Cooking
For the fish...
   1 Lbs Halibut, 4 4oz filets
   1 cup Bread Crumbs
   4 Tbs Greek Yogurt
   1 lemon, juiced
   Salt + Pepper

For the pesto...
   ¼ cup Pinenuts
   2 Roasted Red Peppers
   1 tsp Thyme Leaves
   3 Garlic Cloves
   1 Shallot
   ½ cup Parmesan
   2tsp Kosher Salt
   ¼ Olive Oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Make the pesto by adding all ingredients to a food processor and pulsing until it is mixed well and pureed. 
  3. Combine 1/2 cup of the pesto with breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. 
  4. Season fish with salt + pepper and spread the yogurt onto the filets. Then top with the breadcrumb/pesto mixture. 
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until fish is cooked through. 
  6. Serve by squeezing lemon over tops of cooked fish. 
  • This pesto is potent!!! Raw, it has a very garlicky/oniony bite to it. Might be able to cut back on that by decreasing the amount of garlic or shallot put in. Cooked, however, it is delightful. I was tempted to spread the remaining amount of pesto into a baking dish and cook it off, so that the zing was gone. I still might... 
Get the original recipe by clicking here.

Chicken Salad with Yogurt-Dill Dessing

We all know how much I LOVE mason jars. And that I put anything and everything in them, as often as I can. It was recently brought to my attention that apparently I'm doing something right because there was a feature about layered salads in mason jars in some magazine that someone got. Which doesn't surprise me because it's literally the best thing ever.

SO- I am always looking for new ideas instead of the hum drum arugula salad with tuna on top, and when I find a stackable salad, I fall hard. Like this one, for example, has a ton of amazing ingredients, and really makes for a satisfying little meal because it has both chicken AND greek yogurt for protein. You know you're ready for this.

Recipe of the Day
{in a mason jar!}
adapted from 
For the dressing...
   1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons plain fat-free Greek yogurt
   1 tablespoon chopped dill
   1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed {I used ground}
   1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
   Kosher salt & Freshly ground pepper

For the salad...
   4 roasted red bell peppers from a jar, drained and sliced
   1 container cherry tomatoes, halved
   2 Hass avocados, diced {+ drizzle lemon juice}
   One rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat shredded
   One decent sized cucumber, seeds removed and chopped
   1 cup mixed fresh herbs, like parsley, basil, tarragon and dill

  1. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, dill, coriander and add 3 tablespoons of water; whisk until smooth, and then whisk in the oil in a steady stream. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  2. Layer the remaining ingredients in 4 jars. I did it in the order shown above: peppers, tomatoes, avocado, chicken, then herbs. I didn't use cucumbers but have deemed them 100% necessary to this salad, and so you need to add them in.
  3. Serve the salads with the yogurt dressing.
  • These measurements are from the actual recipe, I did not follow the measurements at all!! I ended up making 6 mason jar salads with appx what it says above.
  • DEFINITELY use cucumbers. I didn't this time, and the salad was missing a little something. 
  • If you are making ahead, make sure to add in the lemon juice on the avocado. Not a lot, but enough to keep it from browning. 
  • I find that everything kept very well. I might make half the dressing in the first half of the week and then make more the second half of the week. It started to get a little oily as it separated. Not sure if maybe re-mixing it each day would help with this.
Get the original recipe by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chia Seed Pudding | Spiced Blueberry

So, I've been pretty intrigued by these trendy little black seeds. I've heard all sorts of things about the health benefits... they're full of fiber, are great for weight loss, give you energy. The whole nine. So finally I broke down and bought a bag at Target, not really knowing what I would do with them. As I was holding the bag in my hand, I noticed that there was a recipe on the back: PUDDING! {insert the sound of angels singing here, and please also picture a white light streaming down on me standing in the middle of the aisle in Target}

You probably know by now, that the girls and I have started a weight loss challenge. I'm super excited about this, as we are all such competitive people, and I think the best way to successfully diet/exercise is when you have people to push you. SO finding this healthy little dessert type item was pretty exciting for me. I made it, loved it, and am sharing it. Hopefully, I will have more flavor combinations to share!

Recipe of the day
Makes 2 servings
1/4 cup Chia seeds
1 cup milk {I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk}
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 Tbl Honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger


  1. Blend everything but the seeds in blender until smooth - pour into serving bowls 
  2. Stir in half the Chia seeds into each bowl. Wait 10 minutes, and stir again.
  3. Put in refrigerator for 30+ minutes. The longer they are in the fridge, the thicker your pudding will become. 
  4. Stir once more, and serve chilled. 

  • The base of the pudding is made from the milk + seeds. The rest of this recipe is all for flavor. 
  • Different milks will of course make different puddings. I read a few recipes that used coconut milk which I would think might be a little creamier and a little sweeter, especially than unsweetened almond milk.
  • I might use something sweeter than honey next time, i.e. agave nectar, especially if I use unsweetened milk again, and/or decide to use less spice for a vanilla or chocolate version. It definitely could have been a little sweeter than the honey made it. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower

So, being on this diet thing, I'm trying to focus on vegetables. That being said, eating a ton of veggies is not always the easiest task, especially when you're not smothering them in melted butter. So, I have tried to find different ways to make my veggies taste good, while not adding in a ton of calories. This recipe is one of those tricks... It's adapted from a Paula Deen recipe that isn't as sinful as most of her recipes are. 

Recipe of the day
Adapted from Paula Deen's recipe {link below}
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 leeks, green parts sliced 
3 red bell peppers, sliced into strips

and for the dressing...
   1/4 cup EVOO
   2 Tbl lemon juice
   2 Tbl Dijon mustard
   1 Tbl chopped fresh thyme 
   1 Tbl chopped fresh basil
   1 tsp minced garlic
   Salt + Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for the dressing. 
  3. In a large bowl, toss veggies with dressing and mix well {I use my hands to mix- get in there and give it some love}
  4. Spray a 9x13 glass baking dish with non-stick spray, and pour veggies and dressing into dish.
  5. Bake in the oven for appx 40 minutes. I typically will stir it around at least twice to ensure the dressing re-coats the veggies. 
Get the original recipe by clicking here