All posts by MSweet

Mash My Cauliflower

That title almost sounds a little vulgar, like something you yell after you get cut off in traffic, “MASH MY CAULIFLOWER, MAN!!” Ok, maybe not, but mashed cauli certainly makes a great healthy side-dish! And it’s easy and tasty. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3-5 garlic cloves
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt (optional)

Prep:

Wash & cut apart 1 head of cauliflower into small chunks. Place it in a large pot (with lid). Add about an inch of water to the bottom and bring to a boil, cover with lid & let it steam. Once cauliflower is tender-to-fork (takes about 15 minutes) drain the water and place the cauliflower in a food processor, blender, or bowl to hand mash– add pepper, minced garlic and a dash of sea salt (optional) and blend. The food processor and blender makes a smooth texture, while hand mashing leaves it slightly chunky as pictured. Feel free to explore variations of this recipe, like adding chives, basil, or a scoop of sour cream or cottage cheese—just remember, you’re making a HEALTHY alternative to traditional mashed potatoes, so try not to overdo the extras!! Enjoy!

Click on fatsecret.com to see the nutrition facts for 1 cup of cooked cauliflower.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • 2/3 Cup Dry Oats
  • 1 Whole Egg & 1 Egg White
  • 2 Tbsp Low Fat Cottage Cheese
  • A dash of Vanilla Extract & Cinnamon

Prep:

Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Use nonstick spray & cook like regular pancakes. Add favorite toppings & enjoy!!  I like to top them off with pumpkin spice & 100% pure maple syrup, yum!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Seed Pudding

Here is an easy chocolaty dessert recipe I found two nights ago. I immediately made it since I happened to already have all of the ingredients. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome and thought it was certainly worth sharing, especially to anyone trying to eat healthy, with a sweet-tooth:

                  • Ingredients:
                  • Chia Seeds
                  • Cocoa Powder
                  • Almond Milk (I use unsweetened vanilla)
                  • Cinnamon
                  • Honey

Prep:

Take 1/4 cup chia seeds, 3 tbs raw cocoa powder, a little less than 1 cup almond milk, a dash of cinnamon and honey, mix all ingredients in a bowl, place it in the refrigerator and let thicken. DONE! It’s that easy, enjoy!

Side notes: Rather than having to stir, I used a container with a lid and shook it until it was well mixed. I let it thicken for about 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator, tried it– Delicious! I forced myself to put the remainder back in the ‘fridge until the next day to see what it would become, and to my delight it was VERY thick & smooth! So my recommendation is to make it a few hours ahead of time so it has a chance to thicken. It’s a little heavy on the cocoa… you might want less. Since it wasn’t my recipe to begin with, I was more than happy to have an excuse to use that much cocoa :) You can read the benefits of chia seeds in a previous post of mine if you’re not sure what they are, or how AWESOME they are! Last, the recipe also called for a spoonful of coconut oil, but I skipped that part. Last, last, oddly enough, mixing this with protein powder in place of cocoa can also work for a “pudding” concoction. Enjoy!

 

Easy Lemon Protein Squares

These protein squares are quick & easy to make, and quick & easy to eat! Make them Sunday night and have the perfect snack for your busy week days. Rather than grabbing potato chips out of the vending machine at work, bring a bag of your healthier Lemon Protein Squares!!

I found this recipe on Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Recipes on BodyBuilding.com and just made a few minor adjustments: less Splenda (because I’m not a big fan of sweetener) and less lemon flavor (because I didn’t want to over lemon since I was using less sweetener). Feel free to adjust this to fit your tastebuds!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Organic Oat Flour
  • 2 Scoops Vanilla Whey Protein
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • Crystal Light Pure Lemonade – made w/ Truvia to avoid Aspartame — I used 3 of the single serving packets for 16.9oz water each *Recipe called for 4 packets*
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 8 oz Baby Food Applesauce (or Regular Unsweetened Applesauce)
  • 4 oz Water
  • 1/4 Cup Splenda/Truvia *Recipe called for 1/2 Cup*

Prep:

Preheat your over to 350 degrees, check that your oven rack is in the center of the oven. Use non-stick spray to coat an 8×8 baking pan or glass pyrex dish (I only had a baking pan). Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, mix wet ingredients in another bowl, then add your wet ingredients to your dry, and mix together. Pour the mixture into your 8×8 pan/dish and bake 23 minutes.  For accurate nutritional count, cut your baked goods into 16 squares, with 2 squares being the recommended serving size. These are 86 cals, 1g fat, 10g carbs, and 9g protein. My version of the recipe had slightly less cals & carbs due to the cut back on Splenda & Crystal Light, but I still thought they tasted pretty good! Try it out and enjoy!!

 

 

Turkey Burger Heaven

This is a MUST TRY recipe. I can’t say enough about how amazingly tasty this turkey burger is! Takes about 10 minutes to prep, 14 minutes to cook, and an incredibly fast rate to devour because it’s so delicious!

 Ingredients:

  • 1 package of ground extra lean turkey breast
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

 

*Served with lettuce & tomato on a 100% Whole Wheat Flax & Fiber Sandwich Thin.

Prep:

Preheat your oven to Broil on High, and make sure to put your oven rack all the way to the top so that the turk burgs will cook about 2 inches from the heat. Next prep your baking sheet with foil and a non-stick spray. The turk burg mixture was very moist, so I suggest using a baking sheet that has a lip so that you don’t have any juice run off in your oven while cooking.

Grate the two zucchini and place them in a large bowl. Add all dry seasoning (dried basil, onion powder, oregano, garlic powder, salt & pepper) and then turkey.              Mix well–I used my hands to mix, because the next thing you do is make your patties anyways. The recipe said it would yield four 4-5 oz portions, however I ended up with 5 patties. Place patties on your baking sheet, broil (on high) on the top rack for 7 minutes, then remove them from the oven and carefully flip each patty, cook for another 7 minutes on the other side.

Now it’s time to enjoy!! I dressed mine up with lettuce & tomato, and placed it on a lightly toasted 100 cal flax & fiber sandwich thin. It was delicious!

According to the recipe, if you were to yield four 5 oz burgers, they are 144 calories, 1g fat, 3.5g carbs, and 27.6 g protein. I didn’t weigh my patties, so my numbers may have been slightly off, but still low cal, high protein, and super tasty!

Thank You Jamie Eason for this rockin’ LiveFit Recipe!

 

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

Yes, you read that correct, that is not carb loaded pasta, it is carb-friendly spaghetti squash with pomodoro sauce and a pinch of parmesan! So pile the “pasta” high and let’s try this healthy alternative. On average, one cup of cooked spaghetti squash is about 42 calories, compared to one cup of pasta/spaghetti having 220 calories. In addition, spaghetti squash has about 10g of carbs, compared to around 43g carbs in the same amount of pasta/spaghetti. So try this simple recipe and see what you think!

Ingredients:

1 Spaghetti Squash
Coconut/Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1/2-1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 can diced plum tomatoes (I use No Salt Added)
Parmesan cheese

Prep:

Preheat your over to 375 degree. Cut the squash in half long ways, scoop out the “guts” (aka seeds) and rinse. Use cooking spray (or coconut oil) to coat a baking sheet, then place squash halves flesh side down. The squash will bake for about 45 minutes, or until the outside skin can be easily pierced with a knife (knife test around 35 minutes). Depending on your preference, less cooking leaves you with a vegetable crunch to your “pasta”, while cooking longer leaves you with a softer version. Once the squash is in the oven, saute your garlic and onion in olive oil on medium heat. When the onion is soft & transparent, add the can of tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and red pepper flake and cook on medium/low heat, stirring occasionally, until squash is done (or about 30-40 mins). Once the squash is done cooking the fun part begins (and believe me it really is kind of fun)– take a fork and scrape the flesh of the squash to produce individual string like “pasta” strands. Have a bowl handy because this squash multiplies once you begin scrapping the “pasta” out. I tried a bite solo, it seemed to have a buttery taste (unique & tasty), but I quickly added red sauce and parmesan cheese! Yum! Enjoy!

Move of the Week – Core Reaches

Core reaches are a core exercise meant to strengthen the abdominal muscles. Begin by laying on your back, knees bent with your heels close to your butt. As you do the sit-up reach your hands between your legs until they pass the threshold of your calves, then lower back into the starting position. Do not use your hands in a rocking motion, but have them remain extended, palms facing the floor. The workout suggestion is 3 sets of 20 reps.

Move of the Week – Squat Jump

The squat jump is a cardio based lower body exercise meant to strengthen your legs & glutes. To begin, stand with your feet shoulder width apart & arms at your side. Start by doing a regular squat, then jump up as explosively as you can reaching your arms towards the sky. When you land, drop back into the squat position completing one rep. Keep in mind as you squat you want your knees over your ankles, dropping your butt back into the sitting position. Try to keep your head & chest up while bringing your elbows back, then explode straight up into the air extending the arms. Land soft & repeat.The workout suggestion is to do 3 sets of 10 reps.

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Thyme for Roasted Sweet Potatoes with a Kick!

This recipe is a delicious variation of a sweet potato side-dish that is sure to liven up any meal. Roasted sweet potato rounds with a kick of red pepper flake, and the bold taste of garlic and thyme, all in one bite! ‘What’s so good about sweet potatoes?’ you might ask, well they are rich in Vitamins A / C / B5 / B6, potassium, copper, manganese, fiber, iron, and carbs, taste great and are low calorie. They are low on the glycemic index (the measurement of the raise of blood sugar), and have antioxidants & natural anti-inflammatory properties. This dish goes great paired with lean meat and a green veggie such as asparagus. Try the recipe and let me know what you think! Also tastes great with fresh rosemary in addition to thyme.

Ingredients (makes 3 to 4 servings):

• 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds
• 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 large garlic cloves, minced
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (you can also use 2 ½ TBSP fresh thyme leaves)
• 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)

Prep:

Preheat oven to 450°F. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except sweet potatoes, mix well. Next add in sweet potatoes and toss until coated all over. Arrange potato rounds in a single layer on a baking sheet or lasagna tray. Roast on the top rack of oven for about 35 minutes or until edges begin to brown and potato is tender.

Recipe inspiration from: epicurious

Move of the Week – Kneeling Rear Leg Raise

The kneeling rear leg raise is a great exercise to tone & strengthen the hamstrings, glutes and lower back. Begin on your elbows and knees, straighten your right leg behind you, and raise it as high as you can go without arching your back or compromising correct form. Bring your leg back down tapping the toe to the floor, then immediately raise it again. Once you’ve completed the exercise on the right side, switch legs and complete it with the left leg. The workout suggestion is to begin with 2 sets of 12 reps per leg, you will increase the number of sets as you gain strength doing this move.
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