quick power snack: hand-cut sweet potato fries with carrots

Looking for a quick and delicious boost of healthy disease-fighting beta carotene? We’ve got it covered with another quick power snack idea. These ain’t Ronny Mac’s fries! So grab that bag of sweet potatoes you’ve got hanging around in the kitchen and some baby carrots that haven’t been touched in days in the fridge. (Ok, that’s what I did)

Here’s what you need for 2+ servings:

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 cups baby carrots

EVOO

Herbs/spices for seasoning

Set oven at 400 degrees. Microwave sweet potatoes on high for 2-3 minutes or until slightly soft to make easier for slicing. Grab a large bowl and toss in baby carrots. On a large cutting board, slice sweet potatoes into french-fry width pieces – thickness is up to you!

Add sweet potato fries to carrots in bowl, drizzle with 2 tablespoons EVOO (you do not need much). Add seasoning of your choice, I used  Tuscan Seasoning which includes garlic, lemon, red peppers, salt. You can also add salt and pepper but I did not since my seasoning already included it. Toss to coat with a large spoon, tongs, or even your hands!

Coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray and evenly distribute the sweet potato fries and carrots. Put in the oven and check every 10 minutes or so until crispy and slightly brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, and serve with ketchup.

These will also make a creative side dish, or serve along with crisp cut veggies for an appetizer. Enjoy!

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quick power snack: tasty caprese crispbread

If you’re in the mood for a quick, easy, and hearty snack made with ingredients you most likely have on-hand, this one’s for you!

Our  homemade Tasty Caprese Bread is a fast and simple way to whip up an arguably gourmet snack to satisfy a crunch or salt craving. All with ingredients you can feel good about.

Here’s what to grab for 2 servings:

4 crispbreads

1 tomato, sliced

mozzarella (buffalo is best, but shredded is fine)

balsamic vinegar

basil flakes

Top crispbreads with tomato slices.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and top with shredded or sliced mozzarella. Add a generous sprinkle of basil flakes.

Toast in a toaster oven for 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Let cool and enjoy! You have just made yourself a filling, all-natural power snack.

I’d like to thank my boyfriend for this wonderful creation.


Fa-YAY! the wonders of greek yogurt

If you’re like me, there was a point in your life where the processed and artificial-ness of Activia was cause enough to give it up cold turkey. Luckily for me, this was right around the time Greek Yogurt entered my life. I was skeptical and weaning myself off the fake sweet, watery goodness commercial yogurt brands brainwashed us all into mistaking for real wholesome yogurt.

But once I acknowledged all the undeniably fantastic things about Greek Yogurt, I was hooked and have never looked back. Yes, it’s a taste and consistency that takes getting used to but so worth it. Greek Yogurt is like a highly concentrated version of all the good things about it’s distant cousin.

1. Lower sugar. Have you ever checked out the back of that Dannon container? Many types of regular yogurt have lots of added sugar. Yes, you need to watch out for high amounts of sugar in Greek Yogurt but typically only in the flavored kinds. Plain Green Yogurt usually contains <10g sugar per serving.

2. All natural. Regular yogurt companies may use artificial ingredients, preservatives, and milk from cows treated with who-knows-what. It’s always a smart choice to go with GY if only for quality of ingredients.

3. High protein. Non-fat dairy protein is complete and awesome for you, especially when included in a high-activity diet. Plain or Vanilla versions of GY boast more than 20g of protein per serving, compared to 5g in some of the leading regular yogurt brands.

4. Live active cultures. Same stuff that promotes regularity that most of the regular brands like to brag about. Oikos and Chobani have 5 LACs, Fage contains 2.

5. Versatility. Plain GY is not a far cry from sour cream, and can be used as a healthy nutrient packed substitute in a number of recipes. I’ve used it for baking, for dips, and as a base for sauce in a pasta dish to name a few.

Once you discover the creamy goodness of Greek Yogurt,  it’s sure to become your new grocery store staple that you find yourself eating at least once a day. It’s certainly pricier than other yogurt alternatives, but without a doubt worth the extra cost. Try adding a high-fiber cereal, fresh or frozen fruit, and even almond or peanut butter for a quick, fulfilling snack.


big meal of the weekend: turkey chili

Hmm apparently we are obsessed with ground turkey. But that’s ok because it’s a fabulous way to add lean protein to yummy meals!

This weekend we threw together one of our classic favorites: Turkey Chili. We have made so many renditions of this recipe I couldn’t tell you where to find our original inspiration. Chili is a staple and a tasty way to load up on tons of veggies, filling fiber, and muscle building protein. And it’s totally portable and easy to re-heat. That’s what we call a power meal!

Here’s what you need to start!

1lb ground white turkey meat

1 can whole peeled tomatos (the big size)

1 can tomato paste

Veggies – one of each: red, yellow, green, and jalapeno peppers, onion, zuchini, potato (optional if you want to add a little starch)

1 can pinto beans

1 can kidney beans

Minced garlic

1tps cumin

1tsp chili powder

Start by browning the turkey in a large skillet with a splash of EVOO. Meanwhile, warm a large stew pot up on med-hi heat and add garlic and EVOO. Add onion and the rest of the veggies, chopped in stew sized pieces. Cover and let cook for 10 mins. Once turkey is browned, take off heat and set aside.

Once the veggies are heated and cooking, add tomatoes, paste, cumin and chili powder to the stew pot. Add cooked turkey. Stir, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 mins. Then, add drained and rinsed beans. Stir, and let simmer for another 15 mins.

Voila! You are now left with a gorgeous and filling super meal. Enjoy!


big meal of the weekend: turkey stoup

I’m pleased to announce my first official Big Meal of the Weekend: Turkey Stoup

I just gracefully burnt my tongue on this incredibly healthy and satisfying creation. What is stoup do you ask? A hybrid soup/stew. Here’s what you need:

1lb ground turkey

Lots of hearty veggies: 1/2 to 1 cup of the following: onion, green beans, carrots, celeri, spinach, potato

1 jalapeno, diced

1 can pinto beans

Low sodium chicken broth

Can diced tomatoes

1 tbsp diced garlic

Start by browning the ground turkey in a splash of EVOO. Chop all the veggies into stew-sized pieces. In a stew pot, heat a generous amount of EVOO and add garlic, jalapeno, onions, green beans, carrots, potato, celeri. Hold spinach for later.

 

When the turkey is finished browning, put to side. Let the veggies sautee  for about 10 minutes. Then, add 1 cup diced tomatoes and 3 cups broth. Rinse and drain the beans, add. Stir in the cooked turkey and a handful of fresh spinach leaves. Optional: 1 tsp ground cumin. Add sea salt/pepper to taste.


Bring to a boil and let simmer, checking every 10 minutes. Let it cook until the potatoes look soft, but not falling apart like above. Serve alone or with a piece of whole wheat bread. Enjoy!

Find our inspiration here.


McDonald’s gives oatmeal a bad name

Despite the recent sweeping trend of providing ‘healthy’ menu alternatives at even some of the notoriously worst restaurants (think Unos: home of the 2,000 calorie ‘Pizza Skins’ who now offer ‘Five Grain’ thin crust pizza), one chain giant yet again gives us a reason to never stop being skeptical. Published yesterday on Time’s health page was an article about how McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal is made with an offensive number of artificial ingredients and contains just about as many calories as an Egg McMuffin. Read more here.

And then check this out for a good laugh.

I’m a bit disappointed, Micky D’s. I’ll admit, I hadn’t yet had the pleasure to select this bait-n-switch bomb in a pinch, but I guess I’ll stick to egg & cheese on an english muffin from Dunkin Donuts as my default on-the-go breakfast. Well, that is, until they get ratted out.


what’s the better choice, long grain or whole grain rice?

In the cupboard we have two bags of what appear to be brown rice – one ‘long grain’ and one ‘whole grain.’  My college-educated, smarty pants boyfriend asked a great question: What’s the difference? Which is the better choice?

The short answer is there is no difference. From what I can find, all brown rice is considered ‘whole grain.’ And long grain rice appears to be unique from brown rice in terms of consistency and taste – not nutrition. And it takes up to 50 minutes to cook. I’ve actually done this and you can get by with 30 minutes if you’re in a hurry.

However, what I did discover is if you’re counting calories, your best bet sounds like wild rice. This type also requires a good part of an hour to cook, but boasts a mere 166 calories per cup (vs. 200+ in most brown or long grain varieties). What’s also interesting is that wild rice isn’t even actually rice, but rather marsh grass. Yum!

So I will leave you with way more than you’ve ever wanted to know about wild rice here. I’m off to Whole Foods to stock up!