Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

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Wellness tips for eating out at restaurants- Eating at home gives you more control over what and how much you eat. However, there are occasions where it’s best to go out to dinner with loved ones or friends. Follow these tips to help you eat healthy when at a restaurant: request dressing and sauce on the side, look for items that are broiled, grilled or baked, research the menu beforehand to avoid bad choices, avoid picking at chips and bread before the meal, eat your veggies first, order soups to fill you up, cut your meal in half when you first get it to take half home.

Early Fall is my favorite time of the year. Growing up on the east coast, it’s tough to beat the early Fall foliage and pumpkin flavored everything. Fall also means watching football! I don’t like going to a friend’s place empty handed, so this is a low card, healthy dish that still packs the buffalo flavor! The photographs are courtesy of galonamission.com

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Ingredients 

  • 1 large cauliflower head
  • 3/4 cup of your favorite buffalo or bbq sauce (I used Dinosaur bbq sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Line the baking pan with foil to minimize clean up
  2. Cut off the cauliflower stem. Break up the cauliflower head into individual florets (bite sized pieces)
  3. Mix the cauliflower and sauce in a ziploc bag. Place the bag in the refrigerator while the oven is preheating
  4. Place the cauliflower onto the baking pan and bake for 20 minutes

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

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Wellness tip- Have you committed yourself to going to the gym, but can never find the time? Do you constantly have things come up so you can’t go? If you have the time, morning workouts should solve your problems! It makes getting into a routine so much easier, considering there aren’t many things that pop up before work or school. You can even sleep in your workout clothes so you can roll out of bed in the morning!

 

A few weeks ago, I posted about my new fascination for overnight oats. I love how you can prepare the night before, roll out of bed, and enjoy breakfast. However, my inspiration for oatmeal breakfast recipes started with this classic peanut butter banana hot oatmeal. It only takes about 10 minutes, and tastes much better than traditional microwaved oatmeal. I enjoy the creaminess that the peanut butter and milk provide. I used to make the mistake of making oatmeal with water. It make a HUGE difference when using non-dairy milks like almond milk or soy milk. This oatmeal recipe should give you the kickstart to your day, and keep you full until lunch!

This recipe and picture is courtesy of Minimalist Baker

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Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 large very ripe banana, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2-1 tsp chia seed (or ground flax)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • toppings choices: heaping 1/2 tbsp peanut butter, nuts, cinnamon, pure maple syrup

1. In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, cook the banana oil for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Stir in 1/2 tbsp peanut butter, and add the oats, chia, milk, and spices. Whisk well until combined.

3. Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring often for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. It is important to bring to a low boil so the oatmeal won’t stick to your pot!

4. Scoop into a bowl and top with peanut butter, nuts, cinnamon, and maple syrup.

Smoothies in Paradise

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Wellness Tip- Looking for something to replace soda in your diet? Not satisfied with just drinking water? Go for flavored  seltzers or fruit infused waters! Most seltzers are calorie free, contain only carbonated water and natural flavoring (check the label), and offer mild flavors that can be refreshing on a hot summer day! Seltzers also make a great alternative for mixers instead of sugary sodas. You can also buy a fruit infused water bottle or jug, and add fruits or herbs such as grapefruit, basil, and lemon.

 

Some of my friends know I am not the biggest bachelor in paradise fan. I have a tough time sitting through 2 hour TV shows, let alone with a plot like the bachelor HOWEVER, I do enjoy match making when it comes to smoothies. I have recently been on a mission to put on muscle by working out and eating right. I follow up each workout with a protein shake, but you can easily just make a smoothie if you’re looking for a treat or way to sneak in your fruits and veggies. I use one of the individual smoothie makers, (similar to this one), which makes for easy clean up. Below are my favorite smoothie combinations that I’ve made recently. If you make these, post which ones is your favorite combination! As far as measuring, I typically put 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (you can use your milk of choice), 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, and a handful or 2 of the fruits and veggies. I also loving using frozen fruit so I don’t have to add ice to the mixture. Feel free to also add chia seeds (the superfood I previously mentioned, which gives you fiber, protein, and omega 3s). Pictures courtesy of amazinggrass.com and withrawintentions.com

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Spinach, plain greek yogurt, almond milk, banana, peanut butter (can add vanilla  or chocolate protein powder)

Almond milk, kale, banana, blueberries, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (Can add vanilla protein powder)

(My personal favorite) Peanut butter, banana, almond milk, chocolate protein powder, spinach

Spinach, kale, banana, mango, almond milk, vanilla protein powder

Kale or spinach, berries, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, almond milk, vanilla protein powder

 

Cranberry-Almond Broccoli slaw

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Wellness tip- When baking, substitute a 1:1 ratio of avocado instead of butter. Avocado is a healthy fat and can dramatically improve the nutritional content, without sacrificing the flavor.

 

Are you going to a BBQ or pot luck soon? Sometimes it can be tough to eat healthy at a BBQ, which is why I usually bring some type of veggie plate. This cranberry-almond broccoli slaw avoids the big globs of mayo, and replaces most of it with high protein greek yogurt. Add in some chopped up almonds and broccoli, and you have a sneakily healthy dish that people will love. This recipe is courtesy of myrecipe.com Photo courtesy of Iain Bagwell Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Cooking Light: May: Amazing Recipe Makeover
Broccoli Salad

Serves 8

Ingredients:

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup canola mayonnaise
3 tablespoons 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets (about 1 bunch)
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Instructions:

1. Soak red onion in cold water for 5 minutes; drain.

2. Combine mayonnaise and next 5 ingredients (through pepper), stirring well with a whisk. Stir in red onion, broccoli, and remaining ingredients. Cover and chill 25 minutes before serving.

Well Balanced “Buddha” Bowl

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Wellness Tip- Don’t forgo the yolks! While many studies have said that egg yolks aren’t good for you, they actually contain most of the nutrients that eggs provide. Whole eggs are a nearly perfect food, with almost every essential vitamin and mineral our bodies need to function. It is one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D and contains 7 grams of high-quality protein. Whole eggs are also full of omega-3 fatty acids and deliver many of the B vitamins and nutrients. When you eat only the egg whites, you’re missing out on all of these nutritional benefits and are getting only 3.5 grams, or half, of the protein. (Jillian Michaels – http://www.jillianmichaels.com/fit/lose-weight/myth-eggs)

Bowls like “Buddha” bowls have been my go to dinner when cooking for my wife or company. There are so many varieties between the different sauces and ingredients. The staples of Buddha bowls are the incredibly healthy chick peas, avocado, rice or quinoa, and whatever veggies you like! I’m also a big sauce person, so any time I can use whole ingredients to make a sauce, I jump on it! This bowl is very well balanced, hence the “Buddha” name. This recipe is courtesy of wellandfull.com

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Serves 2

Quinoa
  • 1 Cup Quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 Cups Water
Chickpeas
  • 1½ Cups Cooked Chickpeas
  • Drizzle Olive Oil (or other neutral oil)
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Chili Powder
  • ⅛ Tsp Turmeric (or some kind of curry powder)
  • ½ Tsp Oregano
Red Pepper Sauce
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, ribs and seeds removed
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil (or other neutral oil)
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • ½ Tsp Pepper
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tsp Paprika
  • ¼ Cup Fresh Cilantro
Everything Else
  • Mixed Greens
  • An Avocado

 

  1. Start by cooking the quinoa. Bring 2 cups water to a boil, then add quinoa. Simmer for about 15 minutes until all water is absorbed. When done, remove from heat and keep covered for about 10 minutes so quinoa can absorb any excess water.
  2. Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl, toss chickpeas, oil, and spices until chickpeas are evenly coated. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake chickpeas for 15 minutes. When done, remove from oven and let cool.
  3. To make red pepper dressing, add all dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Finally, assemble the buddha bowls. In two bowls, add quinoa, mixed greens, avocado, and chickpeas. Drizzle everything with red pepper sauce

 

Southwestern Quinoa to Spice Up Your Weeknight!

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Wellness tip- Have you recently caught yourself mindlessly munching on a snack while watching TV? I used to do that, and by the end of the show, I’d mindlessly finish the entire bag! Do yourself a favor and pour our a healthy portion of the snack into the bowl so you can limit yourself on what you eat.

 

I’ve focused on recipes that are quick, healthy and use household ingredients. I’m going to throw another benefit at you in this recipe. When I cook during the week, my wife is gracious enough to clean up the cooking dishes afterwards. She not only loved this recipe for the taste, but it cooks in only one pan, making cleanup a breeze! One pan recipes take advantage of merging different flavors together as it cooks.This recipe and pictures are courtesy of merchant baker.

Side note, if you’re wondering where I find most of my recipes, I subscribe to the Greatist, which is a life changing blog that has fueled my passion for cooking. I also subscribe to Buzz feed food which has cool lists of recipes, like one pan recipes and ways to spice up your chicken dishes.

I especially like this dish because it is extremely versatile, where you can spice to your liking. The quinoa is great because of it’s high fiber and protein content. You can add chicken or ground beef/turkey as well.

Servings– 4

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

 Optional Ingredients

  • 1 jalapeno, minced (the more seeds you leave in the jalapeno, the hotter it is)
  • 1 cup corn kernels, I used frozen and did not thaw

 

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and jalapeno (if you are using one) and lightly saute on low heat for a minute. Stir in spices, salt and pepper and allow to cook for another minute, watching your heat so that the garlic doesn’t burn.
  3. Stir in vegetable broth, tomatoes, quinoa, beans, and corn (if being used). Bring to a boil.
  4. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir the quinoa then add in avocado, lime juice and cilantro. Serve immediately.

2-Ingredient Oatmeal Pancakes

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Wellness tip- Swap whole wheat pasta for traditional white pasta. Whole wheat pasta is full of more fiber and nutrients, plus I’ve found that it keeps me full longer, so I don’t have to eat as much to feel full. Many more restaurants are offering whole wheat pasta, so it’s worth asking!

Good morning and happy 4th of July weekend! This week’s recipe is about as simple as it gets. As a runner, oatmeal has become a staple in my apartment. It is a whole grain carb that fuels me both before and after my longer runs. Plus, as you will see in my recipes, it is extremely versatile.

Speaking of versatile, this 2-ingredient oatmeal pancake recipe can be tailored to your liking! While the base ingredients are just eggs and oatmeal, there are so many ways you can top the pancakes according to your liking! I’ll give you a few of my favorites.

One of my favorite parts about this dish is the texture of the oats on the outside, but you still get the overall shape and idea of the pancake.

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2-Ingredient Oatmeal Pancakes

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/2 cup oats

2 eggs

Optional Add ins

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Peanut Butter/Banana Topping

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

1 banana

Fruit/Greek Yogurt Topping

1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt

2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons almond milk (or other milk product)

1 cup of fresh or frozen mixed berries

Instructions

  1. Spray down a medium size pan with cooking spray and set stove top to medium heat
  2. Mix together eggs and oats (and cinnamon, vanilla extract, and/or chia seeds if you’d like)
  3. Once the pan is hot, pour the oats and eggs into the pan and flatten out so it is shaped like a pancake. There shouldn’t be any gaps in the circle
  4. Cook on one side for 4 minutes, and then flip it. Cook for 2 minutes, then place it on your plate
  5. If you are using the peanut butter/banana topping, spread the peanut butter on top of the pancake, then slice up the banana and place on top. Drizzle maple syrup on top of the bananas.
  6. If you are using the greek yogurt sauce, mix up the greek yogurt, maple syrup and almond milk in a bowl. Scoop out the sauce and drizzle it over the pancake. Defrost the frozen berries, or use the fresh berries and spread them across the top of the pancake

Honey Balsamic Chicken

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Wellness Tip- Swap store bought dressings for an easy homemade dressing. Store bought dressings are definitely convenient, but contain a trove of added ingredients like sodium and preservatives. How about whipping up a quick homemade dressing that contains only the good stuff?! The general ratio for an oil and vinegar dressing is 1/4 balsamic to 3/4 cup olive oil. I also like to add a tablespoon of dijon mustard, tablespoon or minced garlic, and a few teaspoons of Italian spices like basil and oregano. I used to mix it in an empty dressing bottle, but I bucked up and bought a container at bed bath and beyond for less than $20.

 

Good morning all! Today I bring you a quick and easy Honey Balsamic Chicken over a bed of vegetables and sweet potatoes recipe. Feel free to sub in regular potatoes if you’re not a big fan of sweet potatoes, or a different veggie for the broccoli like asparagus or brussels sprouts.

One of the things I love about food blogging is that I’m starting to make variations of recipes that I read about. The more you start cooking, the more you start to create your own style and learn what goes well together. So if you create a variation of your own from my dish, comment on the recipe so I can learn!

I love this sweet, well balanced dish that only requires on baking sheet, making clean up a breeze! Without further ado, my Honey Balsamic Chicken recipe! (Note: While the dish only take 30 minutes to make, it does require 30 minutes of marinading the chicken, which can be the first thing you so you are efficient with your time!)

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Honey Balsamic Chicken

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 medium sweet potatoes (diced into 1 inch pieces)

1/2 head broccoli

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 teaspoons minced garlic (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)

1/4 teaspoon Italian herbs (dried oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cups cherry tomatoes (cut in half)

1 handful kale

  1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together mustard, honey, oregano, basil, 2 teaspoons minced garlic (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)  and balsamic and put together with chicken in zip lock bag. Marinade in refrigerator for 30 minutes
  2. Spray down cookie sheet with Pam or olve oil, and place sweet potatoes and tomatoes on sheet, drizzle with olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, Rosemary, salt and pepper (just a few shakes)
  3. Cook chicken, potatoes, and tomatoes for 20 minutes
  4. Put kale and broccoli on top of chicken, sweet potatoes and tomatoes, drizzle a little more olive oil, and cook for 10 minutes.

Creamy One Ingredient Ice Cream

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Wellness tip- When buying canned goods such as beans, tomato sauces, and others, look for labels that say low sodium, or no salt added. Most americans consume way more salt than they need to. High sodium diets can raised to increased blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease. Most recipes call to add salt anyways, and I trust you more than I trust the food companies for adding a healthy amount. Some canned beans have up to 10% sodium per serving, and that’s before adding salt to your recipe! When cooking with beans, make sure to drain them, wash them off before adding to your recipe so you don’t feel bloated at the end of the meal!

 

With summer approaching, I want to give my readers a cold, creamy, healthy treat they shouldn’t feel guilty about eating. Ice cream tends to be high in fat and sugar. Being lactose intolerant, even sherbets  that I can have are high in sugar, not a healthy alternative to ice cream. This recipe eliminates the need for high sugar and fat content with my favorite fruit, bananas! Bananas are one of the healthiest fruits out there. Even more important to this recipe, they can also act as a natural sweetener to some decadent treats.

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This recipe, as you can see from the title, only needs one ingredient! I will provide some variations for the recipe so you can make it exactly to your liking. All you need is a blender and food processor, and whatever frozen fruit you desire. I’ve also added plain greek yogurt to give it an even creamier taste (and extra protein for after my workout!). I personally love this after a long, hot day outside, or even as a late night snack!

Pictures are courtesy simpleveganblog

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen bananas (or 1-2 cups of frozen fruit of your choice)

Optional:

  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons natural Peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Steps:

  1. Peel the bananas and cut into slices.
  2. Lay bananas on a plate in the freezer for at least 2 hours
  3. Put the bananas (and optional ingredients if you choose to) in the blender or food processor and turn the machine on to blend them. At first they will want to spin around and stay icy, but keep at it, stopping the machine and using a wooden spoon to loosen the mixture if it stops moving. At some point, it will suddenly go creamy and custardy, like soft-serve ice cream—but if it doesn’t, add a little yogurt and blend until it does.

 

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Overnight Oats

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Wellness Tip- swap mustard for mayo and ketchup for your condiments list. Mayo is full of fats and can add unnecessary calories to your meal. Many sauces with the word aioli contain mayo. Ketchup tends to have high fructose corn syrup, which adds unnecessary sugar to your diet.  Instead opt for mustard! There are plenty of varieties, like spicy, classic yellow, and Dijon. The ingredients for mustard are simple (DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR, WATER, MUSTARD SEED, SEA SALT, TURMERIC, PAPRIKA). Here is a link to other healthy condiments and brands to consider. I personally use French’s classic yellow/spicy mustard or Trader Joe’s Dijon mustard.

 

One thing you will come to know about me is my love for breakfast. Nothing helps me start my day off right than a filling, tasty breakfast. If you are also like me, I tend to always be in a rush in the work week mornings. But as long as you have 5 minutes the night before, I have the perfect, quick, filling breakfast that will have your mouth watering the night before!

Oatmeal is one of the most versatile food products out there. Not only can it be used for many breakfast recipes, but it can be grounded up and used as bread crumbs or when baking.

Even more nutritious are chia seeds! I have only recently stumbled on chia seeds, but it has now become a staple for most of my meals. It is a super food that has an impressive amount of fiber and protein jam packed in such a small seed! I put them in salads, smoothies, overnight oats, and other ways! They definitely help keep me full.

When you mix together rolled oats, chia seeds, and almond milk, the chia seeds absorb the milk and the oats soften, creating an effortless chilled porridge. Place it in the fridge at night and forget about it until morning, when you’ll wake up to a cool, creamy bowl of oats that’s just perfect in the spring or summer. (http://ohsheglows.com/2015/07/22/vegan-overnight-oats/#ixzz4BCwClMxV)

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There are many ways you can make overnight oats. The base recipe is:

  • 1 standard size mason jar
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of sweetener (like pure maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, honey, etc.)

 

This is my personal favorite. Pictures and recipe are from minimalist baker

EASY peanut butter overnight oats made with just 5 ingredients and 5 minutes prep time.
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tsp pure maple syrup (or cinnamon or honey)
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp natural salted peanut butter or almond butter (creamy or crunchy)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
TOPPINGS
  • Sliced banana, strawberries or raspberries
  • Granola
  • Nuts
Instructions
  1. To a mason jar or small bowl add almond milk, Greek yogurt chia seeds, peanut butter, and maple syrup (or other sweetener) and stir with a spoon to combine. The peanut butter doesn’t need to be completely mixed with the almond milk (doing so leaves swirls of peanut butter to enjoy the next day).
  2. Add oats and stir a few more times, then press down with a spoon to ensure all oats have been moistened and are immersed in almond milk. You can also add frozen fruit (like bananas, mangoes, berries) so it thaws overnight!
  3. Cover securely with a lid or plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 6 hours).
  4. The next day, open and enjoy as is, or garnish with desired toppings (see options above).
  5. Overnight oats will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, though best within the first 12-24 hours.