Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mushroom Barley Burgers with Sage

Mushroom Barley Burgers with Sage



It’s easy to make your own delicious veggie burgers! After you’ve tried these mushroom barley burgers, you’ll say goodbye to frozen, processed patties. These get wonderful flavor from sautéed mushrooms, sage, and mozzarella cheese.
Total Time: 55 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 20 min.
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients:
3 tsp. olive oil, divided use
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 oz. finely chopped mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage (or 1 tsp. dried sage)
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1½ cups cooked pearl barley (see below)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped walnuts
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp. sherry wine
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
Preparation:
1. Heat 1½ tsp. oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
3. Add mushrooms, garlic, sage, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until liquid that mushrooms give off evaporates. Remove from heat.
4. Combine onion mixture, barley, walnuts, egg, mozzarella, and sherry; mix well.
5. Shape mixture into 4 patties. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
6. Heat remaining 1½ tsp. oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
7. Add patties; cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until evenly browned and cooked through.
8. Serve each patty on a bun.
Tip: To make 1½ cups cooked pearl barley, place ½ cup dry pearl barley in a small saucepan. Cover with water. Heat to boiling on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, for 40 to 45 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
Mushroom-Barley Burgers with Sage

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Garlic Basil Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles

Garlic Basil Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles


Zucchini noodles, sometimes called “zoodles”, can be made with a vegetable peeler, a mandolin, or a Spiralizer. Their pasta-like texture is a perfect base for all sorts of sauces and toppings. Try these delicious garlic shrimp with fresh basil on a bed of zucchini noodles tonight. We’re getting hungry just thinking about this recipe.
Total Time: 20 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 10 min.
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients:

  • 5 medium zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. raw medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup prepared pesto
  • 4 fresh Italian parsley sprigs, finely chopped
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
  • 4 Tbsp. sliced raw almonds
Preparation:

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, cut each zucchini into lengthwise strips about ⅛ inch thick. Turn each zucchini slightly after cutting each strip to work evenly around the outside, stopping when you hit the seeds at the core. Discard cores. Cut slices lengthwise into ½- inch ribbons. Set aside.
  2. Boil water in steamer or large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high. Place zucchini in steamer basket; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat.
  3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add shrimp and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until shrimp are opaque and firm.
  5. Add pesto; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through.
  6. Add parsley and basil; toss gently until blended.
  7. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  8. Divide zucchini among 4 plates; top evenly with shrimp mixture.
  9. Garnish each serving with 1 Tbsp. almonds.
Tip: Zucchini can also be sliced with a Spiralizer or on a mandolin; adjust to a very thin slice.
Garlic Basil Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles nutrition information and meal plan portions

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Baked Oatmeal Cups with Bananas and Berries



Baked Oatmeal Cups with Bananas and Berries
Oohhh how I love blueberries and oatmeal.  Put them together and it is a little bite of heaven for me!  I hope you enjoy these.

Baked Oatmeal Cups with Bananas and Berries
(Makes 12 servings, 1 cup each)
Total Time: 45 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 30 min.
Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large bananas, mashed
1 Tbsp. raw honey
2½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
1 cup fresh blueberries (or raspberries)
Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Prepare twelve muffin cups by coating with spray. Set aside.
3. Combine eggs, extract, bananas, and honey in a large bowl; mix well. Set aside.
4. Combine oats, cinnamon, and baking powder in a medium bowl; mix well.
5. Add oat mixture to egg mixture; mix well.
6. Add almond milk; mix well.
7. Divide oat mixture evenly between prepared muffin cups.
8. Top evenly with blueberries.
9. Bake 26 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Tip: Raisins, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pomegranate seeds, or dark chocolate chips can be substituted for blueberries.
Baked Oatmeal Cups Berries Banana

Monday, June 22, 2015

Veggie Egg Muffins - 21 Day Fix Approved

Veggie Egg Muffins - 21 Day Fix Approved


Breakfast is one of my favorite meals!  
With this easy to make recipe you will have plenty of food for leftovers. 


Ingredients
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 21 Day Fix green containers of vegetables (such as onions, garlic, bell peppers and fresh spinach)
  • Optional: Mrs. Dash, salt, pepper, hot sauce and/or cheese
Instructions
  • Spray 12-slot muffin tin.
  • Beat 6 eggs in large bowl.
  • Sauté vegetables until onions caramelize. If using fresh spinach, add at end of cooking time and allow to wilt momentarily.
  • Mix the vegetables into beaten eggs.
  • If using additional spices or cheese, add to mixture.
  • Portion equally into muffin tin.
  • Bake at 350° for 12 - 15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool and remove from pan.   
      Tips
    1. Use an ice cream scoop to create equal portions in muffin tin.
    2. Top with cheese or turkey bacon crumbles (other 21 day fix containers would need to be calculated in)

      21 Day Fix Containers:  4 muffins = 1 red & 1 green

    Wednesday, June 10, 2015

    Top 10 Food Additives to Avoid

    So let's face it... we are living in a time that what we might think (labeled) is healthy is really not.   I want you to really take some time and read the labels on everything you eat.  Can you pronounce the ingredients?  Do you know what they are?  

    It can get kind of scary when you start reading them and learning... feeling lied too from the food industry for all this time.  Forget Organic and GMO's right now.... let's focus on getting the CRAP and CHEMICALS out of our foods!  I found this amazing information on the internet from www.foodmatters.tv 


    Food additives have been used for centuries to enhance the appearance and flavor of food and prolong shelf life. But do these food additives really “add” any value to your food?

    Food additives find their way into our foods to help ease processing, packaging and storage. But how do we know what food additives is in that box of macaroni and cheese and why does it have such a long shelf life? 

    A typical American household spends about 90 percent of their food budget on processed foods, and are in doing so exposed to a plethora of artificial food additives, many of which can cause dire consequences to your health.




    Some food additives are worse than others. 
    Here’s a list of the top food additives to avoid:


    1. Artificial Sweeteners

    Found in: diet or sugar free sodas, diet coke, coke zero, jello (and over gelatins), desserts, sugar free gum, drink mixes, baking goods, table top sweeteners, cereal, breathmints, pudding, kool-aid, ice tea, chewable vitamins, toothpaste

    Aspartame, (E951) more popularly known as Nutrasweet and Equal, is found in foods labeled "diet" or "sugar free". Aspartame is believed to be carcinogenic and accounts for more reports of adverse reactions than all other foods and food additives combined. Aspartame is not your friend. Aspartame is a neurotoxin and carcinogen. Known to erode intelligence and affect short-term memory, the components of this toxic sweetener may lead to a wide variety of ailments including brain tumor, diseases like lymphoma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue, emotional disorders like depression and anxiety attacks, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental confusion, migraines and seizures. Acesulfame-K, a relatively new artificial sweetener found in baking goods, gum and gelatin, has not been thoroughly tested and has been linked to kidney tumors. Read more about the dangers of Aspartame here.


    2. High Fructose Corn Syrup

    Found in: most processed foods, breads, candy, flavored yogurts, salad dressings, canned vegetables, cereals
    High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a highly-refined artificial sweetener which has become the number one source of calories in America. It is found in almost all processed foods. HFCS packs on the pounds faster than any other ingredient, increases your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, and contributes to the development of diabetes and tissue damage, among other harmful effects.


    3. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG / E621)

    Found in: Chinese food (Chinese Restaurant Syndrome ) many snacks, chips, beef jerkey, chex mix, cookies, seasonings, most Campbell Soup products, frozen dinners, lunch meats.
    MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and many restaurant foods. MSG is known as an excitotoxin, a substance which overexcites cells to the point of damage or death. Studies show that regular consumption of MSG may result in adverse side effects which include depression, disorientation, eye damage, fatigue, headaches, and obesity. MSG effects the neurological pathways of the brain and disengaged the "I'm full" function which explains the effects of weight gain.


    4. Trans Fat

    Found in: margarine, chips and crackers, baked goods, fast foods

    Trans fat is used to enhance and extend the shelf life of food products and is among the most dangerous substances that you can consume. Found in deep-fried fast foods and certain processed foods made with margarine or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fats are formed by a process called hydrogenation. Numerous studies show that trans fat increases LDL cholesterol levels while decreasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol, increases the risk of heart attacks, heart disease and strokes, and contributes to increased inflammation, diabetes and other health problems. Oils and fat are now forbidden on the Danish market if they contain trans fatty acids exceeding 2 per cent, a move that effectively bans partially hydrogenated oils.


    5. Common Food Dyes

    Studies show that artificial colorings which are found in soda, fruit juices and salad dressings, may contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Animal studies have linked other food colorings to cancer. Watch out for these ones:

    Blue #1 and Blue #2 (E133)
    Found in: candy, cereal, soft drinks, sports drinks and pet foods
    Banned in Norway, Finland and France. May cause chromosomal damage

    Red dye # 3 (also Red #40 – a more current dye) (E124)

    Found in: fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy, bakery products and more!
    Banned in 1990 after 8 years of debate from use in many foods and cosmetics. This dye continues to be on the market until supplies run out! Has been proven to cause thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage in laboratory animals, may also interfere with brain-nerve transmission.


    Yellow #6 (E110) and Yellow Tartrazine (E102)
    Found in: American cheese, macaroni and cheese, candy and carbonated beverages, lemonade and more!
    Banned in Norway and Sweden. Increases the number of kidney and adrenal gland tumors in laboratory animals, may cause chromosomal damage.



    6. Sodium Sulfite (E221)

    Found in: Wine and dried fruit 
    Preservative used in wine-making and other processed foods. According to the FDA, approximately one in 100 people is sensitive to sulfites in food. The majority of these individuals are asthmatic, suggesting a link between asthma and sulfites. Individuals who are sulfite sensitive may experience headaches, breathing problems, and rashes. In severe cases, sulfites can actually cause death by closing down the airway altogether, leading to cardiac arrest.


    7. Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite

    Found in: hotdogs, bacon, ham, luncheon meat, cured meats, corned beef, smoked fish or any other type of processed meat 
    Sodium nitrate (or sodium nitrite) is used as a preservative, coloring and flavoring in bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed meats. This ingredient, which sounds harmless, is actually highly carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system. There, it forms a variety of nitrosamine compounds that enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc with a number of internal organs: the liver and pancreas in particular. Sodium nitrite is widely regarded as a toxic ingredient, and the USDA actually tried to ban this additive in the 1970's but was vetoed by food manufacturers who complained they had no alternative for preserving packaged meat products. Why does the industry still use it? Simple: this chemical just happens to turn meats bright red. It's actually a color fixer, and it makes old, dead meats appear fresh and vibrant.

    8. BHA and BHT (E320)

    Found in: Potato chips, gum, cereal, frozen sausages, enriched rice, lard, shortening, candy, jello
    Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are preservatives found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. This common preservative keeps foods from changing color, changing flavor or becoming rancid. Effects the neurological system of the brain, alters behavior and has potential to cause cancer. BHA and BHT are oxidants which form cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body.


    9. Sulfur Dioxide (E220)

    Found in: beer, soft drinks, dried fruit, juices, cordials, wine, vinegar, and potato products.
    Sulfur additives are toxic and in the United States of America, the Federal Drugs Administration have prohibited their use on raw fruit and vegetables. Adverse reactions include: bronchial problems particularly in those prone to asthma, hypotension (low blood pressure), flushing tingling sensations or anaphylactic shock. It also destroys vitamins B1 and E. Not recommended for consumption by children. The International Labour Organization says to avoid E220 if you suffer from conjunctivitis, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, or cardiovascular disease.


    10. Potassium Bromate

    Found in: breads
    An additive used to increase volume in some white flour, breads, and rolls, potassium bromate is known to cause cancer in animals. Even small amounts in bread can create problems for humans. 

    Do you need help getting these toxins out of your meals?  Learn more about clean eating here.

     

    Please email or facebook message me and I would love to share some of my tips and what works for me.  






    Tuesday, June 9, 2015

    Battle of the BULGE Health & Fitness Challenge




    We are kicking off another AMAZING challenge group on June 22nd!

    I am looking for 5 men and 5 women who are looking to be healthy and fit in my upcoming health and fitness challenge. You may have weight to lose or you may not. You may want to learn to eat healthy or you might already be a clean healthy eater. Maybe you need accountability! Whatever you reason is these challenge groups will push you to the next level and hold you accountable! 


    ✅ NO DIETS HERE
    ✅ Easy to Follow 30 Minute Workouts 
    ✅ Simple Meal Plans
    ✅ 1:1 Support 
    ✅ Accountability & Motivation 
    ✅ Secret Online Forum



    I do not believe in fad diets. Sure they work. Sure you can lose weight fast but will you keep it off? You are not learning how to eat properly and make it a lifestyle. There is no MAGIC PILL. If there was we wouldn't be where we are! 

    This plan focuses in on REAL food and healthy eating. We also incorporate a routined workout schedule.

    My spots are filling up quickly! This is my second challenge group of the month so if you want in... get in now! Please fill out a challenge group application here.

    Unsure if you want to do this challenge? 
    Ask yourself...
    1. When is the last time I felt happy the way I looked?
    2. How is my sleep? Do I feel rested?
    3. How is my health?
    4. How is my weight affecting my life?
    5. How are my bad eating habits affecting my health?
    6. Why not me? Why not today?


    Tuesday, June 2, 2015

    Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

    Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers


    I LOOOVE Philly Cheeseteaks!!!!  Who doesn't?  The key factor to an amazing Philly Cheesesteak is the bread!  I can honestly say these peppers do a DARN good job of replacing that tasty carbohydrate!  I don't even miss the bread these bad boys are so good.


    Ingredients:

    • 8 oz Thinly Sliced Roast Beef (I always buy no nitrate, no hormones, no antibiotics etc lunch meat)
    • 8 slices Provolone Cheese
    • 2 Large Green Bell Peppers
    • 1 Medium Sweet Onion
    • 6 oz. Baby Bella Mushrooms 
    • 2 Tbs. Butter
    • 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
    • 1 Tbs. Garlic-minced
    • Salt and Pepper-to taste


    Directions:
    1. Slice peppers in half lengthwise, remove ribs and seeds.
    2. Slice onions and mushrooms.  Saute over medium heat with butter, olive oil, minced garlic and a little salt and pepper.  Saute until onions and mushrooms are nice and caramelized. About 25-30 minutes.
    3. Preheat oven to 400*.
    4. Slice roast beef into thin strips and add to the onion/mushroom mixture. Allow to cook 5-10 minutes.
    5. Line the inside of each pepper with a slice of provolone cheese.
    6. Fill each pepper with meat mixture until they are nearly overflowing.
    7. Top each pepper with another slice of provolone cheese.
    8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown.

    This recipe is so easy and so delicious!  Enjoy!