Healthy Recipes to Keep You Fit and Fabulous

Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

Summer Corn Salad

Yesterday was a day full of fun, food, and friends!

Breakfast

Laura made breakfast for all of us, consisting of classic bacon and eggs.

After we ate, Laura and I headed to Publix to pick up food for the weekend, while the boys went to stock up on beer.  Laura’s older brother and his girlfriend, as well as a few of their friends, were planning to join us yesterday to cook out and hang by the pool.  He told us he was bringing filet mignon and shrimp, so we volunteered to make the rest of the food for dinner.

After a quick Google search, I was able to find the recipe for a delicious-looking corn salad that I saw Sunny Anderson make on her Food Network show last week.

I grilled 9 ears of corn and 2 endive, chopped it up and threw it in a bowl with feta, parsley, red onion and lime juice.

It was quite a hit! Sunny’s recipe can be found here.

We also blended up some skinny pina coladas, thanks to a bottle of Skinny Mixes that Corey picked up for us.  He knows me well.

The boys lounged in the pool while Laura and I slaved away in the kitchen.  So typical 🙂 .

Kitchen Slave

Laura made some fabulous bruschetta for everyone to enjoy as an appetizer.

Laura’s brother grilled bacon-wrapped filets and shrimp, and once they were ready, we had a feast!  Laura and I also made some smashed potatoes to go along with it.

Once we were finished eating, some of us stayed out by the pool, others came inside to take a nap.

Later on, a string of strange activities ensued, including, but not limited to…

iPad dance party…

Espresso making…

And measuring ourselves with a tape measure…

And the party continues today!

Road Trip!

Happy 4th of July Weekend people!

Breakfast 

I started my day yesterday with a big bowl of hot oatmeal.

I mixed a 1/2 cup cooked oats with 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, and it was perf.

Lunch

Lunch was another wonderful salad, which I have been fully enjoying lately.

I topped a bed of Organicgirl 50/50! with 3 leftover turkey meatballs, chopped baby carrots, garbanzo beans and Organicville Sesame Goddess Dressing. Delish!

Workout

I spent 25 minutes on the elliptical sweating it out to the Casey Anthony trial, and then I ventured into a BodyPump class at 9:30AM.

Dinner

Corey talked to our friends, Austin and Laura, on the phone, and randomly decided that Friday night was a perfect time to drive to Clearwater for the weekend!  After this news, I thought dinner should be relatively light and healthy.  Corey and I pan-fried some Ready-to-Cook Publix Breaded Chicken Cutlets, and laid them on top of a bed of Organicgirl 50/50!.

After dinner, we hopped in the car and made the two hour drive to Laura’s house in Clearwater, FL.  We enjoyed a glass of wine before going over to her friend, Kristen’s house.

We played drinking games with cards and laughed the night away, as expected of 23-year-olds.  Don’t judge.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Tabata Method

Raise your hand if you’re ready for the weekend!

You can’t see me, but both of mine are raised.

Tabata Method

Lately, I’ve been trying to take the 7:15AM spin class at my gym once a week, after finding an instructor that I absolutely love.  Yesterday, I decided to sleep in and shoot for the 8:45AM class.  Unfortunately, I forgot that this class is taught by an instructor that I do not absolutely love.  She’s very boring, has a monotone voice, and walks around for practically the whole class.  On top of that, the spin room is under construction at my gym, and they took out the black lights and removed the blinds from all the windows!  Um, hello awkwardly bright room…(spin connoisseurs know that classes are always dark!)

Anyways, I was determined to make the best of a less than ideal situation.  The class was off to a very boring start, but then, the instructor surprised us by introducing the Tabata Method.  She explained that this is a method of working out that activates both your aerobic and anaerobic pathways simultaneously, which optimizes results and gets you in much better shape in a significantly shorter amount of time.  The key to this method is doing a total of 4 minutes of extreme exertion- you do 20 seconds of an exercise at maximum capacity, recover for 10 seconds, and repeat 7 times.  That’s it!  The studies showed that people who did the Tabata Method 3 times a week lost more fat and were in better cardiovascular health than people who did 60 minutes of cardio per day, 5 times a week.  Pretty crazy, huh?

By the time our 4 minutes of misery were over, everyone was drenched and pretty fatigued.  We recovered for a song or two before powering back up for the rest of the class.

I don’t know if I believe the statistics, but I think it’s a very interesting theory, and I don’t see the harm in incorporating this method into my workouts.

Have you tried the Tabata Method?  What do you think of it? 

Breakfast

After class, I was more than ready for breakfast.  I was planning to have a yogurt bowl with strawberries, but this idea went out the window when I discovered that my fresh strawberries had frozen solid overnight!

Whoops.

Frozen fruit can only mean one thing- smoothie!

I made a chocolate strawberry smoothie by blending up:

– 1/2 cup skim milk

-7 frozen strawberries

– 1 scoop Chocolate Muscle Milk Protein Powder

– 1/2 tablespoon natural peanut butter

– Handful of ice cubes

Clearly, not my mug 🙂 .

Lunch

Lunch was a fabulous repeat, with a twist.

I topped a bed of Organicgirl 50/50! with tuna salad (1 tablespoon  Light Mayo, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard), garbanzo beans and…pickle chips!  I secretly love pickles on salads, even though basically everyone thinks it’s weird.

Dinner

I used the help of a box of Annie Chun’s 100% Natural Pad Thai for dinner.

I cooked the noodles according to the directions, while microwaving a bag of frozen vegetables.  After draining both, I mixed everything together in a big pot with 1/2 pound of shrimp and the sauce that came in the kit.  It was ready in 10 minutes flat!

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I also just wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my fabulous mom!

I love you so much!

 

 

 

 

Turkey Meatballs

Last night was a rainy one here in Orlando.  I don’t know what it is about rainy weather, but it seems to always call for comfort food!  To me, Italian = ultimate comfort food.  I decided to make classic spaghetti and meatballs, using my recipe for Turkey Meatballs to lighten it up.

Turkey Meatballs

Servings: 4 (3 meatballs each)

Ingredients: 

1.3 lbs. ground turkey meat

1 tablespoon capers

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon of:

garlic powder

salt

pepper

red pepper flakes

basil

oregano

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, add all of the above ingredients.

Use your hand to combine all the ingredients with the turkey.

Working with approximately 2 oz. portions, roll the meat in between your hands until you form a perfect ball.  Lay them on a nonstick cookie sheet, and pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Serve on top of whole wheat spaghetti with your favorite marinara sauce.

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Other meals of the day…

Breakfast

Fage 0% Greek Yogurt topped with fresh strawberries.

Lunch

Organic Girl 50/50! topped with tuna salad (made with 1 tablespoon Light Mayo, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard), garbanzo beans and Organicville Sesame Goddess Dressing.

Workout

After taking a week off from BodyPump, I was definitely ready to get back to lifting weights.  I went to the gym ahead of the scheduled class time so I could get in some cardio beforehand.  I did 25 minutes on the elliptical before Pumping it up 🙂 .

Leftover Salad

Breakfast

The yogurt bowl is ruling my life these days.  I’m trying to keep carbs to a minimum during the week, just for the next few months, in an effort to look bueno in my wedding dress.  We’ll see how long that lasts.  All this really means is that instead of having a carb-heavy breakfast, followed by a sandwich for lunch and something carb-y with dinner, I’m trying to stick with yogurt-centered breakfasts and salad-heavy lunches.

I filled a bowl with Fage 0% Greek Yogurt, topped with a handful of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds, for some crunch.

Lunch

Corey and I were talking last night about our favorite lunches.  He asked me what I would eat for lunch if I could pick anything to make at home every day.  I said, “Honestly, I just like leftover dinner on top of lettuce!”

Anytime we have a little leftover chicken, fish, or even burgers, with some steamed or roasted veggies on the side, I love to chop up some Romaine lettuce and throw the leftovers on top (heated, of course).  I just add a few other salad toppin’s and my favorite dressing, and lunch is ready to go.

Yesterday’s creation was a small leftover turkey burger and steamed brussel sprouts with a sprinkle of 2% cheddar cheese and Naturally Fresh Ginger Dressing, on top of a bed of Romaine.

Workout 

I put off my workout for as long as possible yesterday.  Generally, I really prefer to wake up in the morning and get my workout over with.  It’s a great feeling to be finished and know that you can spend the rest of the day doing other things.  If I don’t, the thought of having to workout later looms over my head all day.  Yesterday was one of those days.

I loaded up my iPod with all kinds of new songs (basically 3 new Nicki Minaj jams, duh), and headed out the door around 4:00PM for a run.  Well, that didn’t last long, thanks to some shooting leg pains and a severe thunderstorm over my head.  I made it for about 10 minutes before coming inside to complete a treadmill workout for 35 minutes.

Dinner

Corey and I needed to make a grocery store run, so we decided to eat dinner first at one of my favorite places- Green Lemon Cafe.  I ordered my go-to salad- Tuna with Balsamic dressing.

Afterwards, we decided to venture over to Whole Foods next door.  After realizing that we could barely afford a lemon in that place, we started to make our way out the door.  And then, the bakery caught my eye.  Everything looked so great!  I picked out a Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie that was size of my face for us to share.

Corey also picked up a treat.

His version of the word “treat” and my version are clearly very different 🙂 .

What is your favorite leftover meal? 

Nothing to Do

For the first time in a full year, I officially have absolutely nothing to do.

I am not complaining!

I’ve spent the last year working my butt off trying to finish my nursing pre-requisite classes, working different jobs, and dealing with lots of stress.  I honestly couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but now, I’m finished!

On Friday, I finished my last day of a week-long training course to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.  Now that I’m done with that, I just have to wait for a letter telling me when and where I can take the state board examination.  I will have to take a written exam, and then complete 3 different nursing skills that a supervisor will choose at random.  Once I pass, I can start applying to jobs!  Fortunately, there are a lot of places hiring CNA’s right now, so getting hired shouldn’t be a problem.  I cannot even express how excited I am at the thought of finally having a job- and not just any job, a nursing job!  I hope that letter gets here SOON.

For now, I’m definitely savoring every precious moment of down time that I have, because I know my schedule will be back to crazy in no time- especially when I add wedding planning and nursing school to the mix!

Breakfast

I made a delicious yogurt bowl yesterday, made with a cup of Fage 0% Greek Yogurt, a handful of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds, sliced strawberries and a drizzle of honey.

I’ve decided that honey + Greek yogurt is the ultimate combo.

Lunch

Yesterday’s lunch was something a little different, and totally inspired by Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers!

I made one of her “Cheese and Jelly Bagelwiches”, served with a side of baby carrots.

I spread a toasted whole wheat bagel thin with a little strawberry preserves, and melted a slice of Meunster cheese on top.  Delish!

Dinner

When Corey got home from work, we tossed around some dinner ideas before deciding that turkey burgers sounded perfect.  Corey seasoned the meat with garlic powder and a little BBQ sauce, and then I made the patties and popped them under the broiler for 10 minutes.

We served our burgers with steamed broccoli, brussel sprouts, and some Sante Fe rice.

Workout Motivation

Sometimes, the thought of working out sounds about as appealing as doing yard work on a Saturday at noon in Florida in the middle of August (if you live here, you know what I mean.)

This week I’ve been extremely busy- the same day that I finished my last nursing pre-requisite course, I went straight to my first day of training to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.  I have to wake up really early to leave for class, so my morning workout routine has been a no-go.  Luckily, it’s just for this week (which is almost over- hallelujah!).

Anyways, I ended up skipping Monday and Tuesday’s workouts, and yesterday, I still didn’t feel like working out.  I was on the computer doing some browsing on SHAPE Magazine’s website, when I came across a series of “Behind-the-Scenes” videos of celebrities shooting their SHAPE covers.  Let’s just say that after hearing Kourtney Kardashian, Marisa Miller and Brooke Burke talk about their workouts, I basically bolted off the couch and went straight to the gym.

"I would still look like this even if I didn't work out."

Now, don’t get me wrong- my days of pouring over gossip magazines and taping pictures to my fridge are long gone.  I do not condone staring at celebrities and envying their bodies, because, let’s face it, that won’t do anything positive for anyone.  However, I think that reading or listening to someone talk about fitness and health is a great way to get motivated for your own workouts- and if it happens to be coming out of the mouth of a gorgeous celebrity who is living proof that it works, then, hey, we better listen!

What motivates you to work out? 

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Breakfast

I started the day with a toasted whole wheat sandwich thin, spread with a little peanut butter and a drizzle of honey.

I could’ve really used a banana on top, but clearly, we didn’t quite make it to the grocery store this week.  I also enjoyed a glass of almond milk on the side.

Lunch

Lunch was a random mix of small snacks that went undocumented, but it included baby carrot sticks, an apple and a turkey sandwich.

Dinner

When Corey got home from work, he fired up the grill at threw on two Top Sirloin Filets that I had marinating in the fridge with olive oil, soy sauce and garlic.

On the side, we had some steamed broccoli and Steamfresh Lightly Sauced Roasted Potatoes in Chive Butter.


Stuffed Poblano Peppers

On Saturday, Corey went up to Jacksonville to help his brother, Drew, move into a new apartment before his classes started back at UNF.  Since I had two huge final exams on Monday, I decided to stay behind so I could study.

I knew Corey and his parents would be exhausted after moving all day, so I thought it would be nice to make them a good dinner for when they arrived home.

I picked up some big poblano peppers earlier in the week, and since I got four of them, I thought this would be the perfect chance to use them up!

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

4 large poblano peppers (sometimes they’re really small)

4 chicken cutlets, chopped into bite-size pieces

1/2 onion, chopped

4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

8 oz. white mushrooms, chopped

1/2 cup 2% shredded cheese (I used Mexican Blend)

3 wedges Laughing Cow Queso Fresco Cheese (if you decide to skip

this ingredient, just add 1/4 cup more of the shredded cheese)

non-stick spray

1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

*You will also need a plastic bag*

Directions:

Pre-heat broiler.

Place washed and dried peppers in a baking dish and put them under the broiler.

Keep them under until they are blackened and blistered.

Use tongs to flip each pepper onto the other side, and put them back under the broiler until that side is also black and blistered.  Note: Don’t be afraid to keep them under “too long”…all of the skin needs to be blackened so that the next steps will work.  It should take 10-15 minutes total.

Remove the dish from the oven and use the tongs to place each pepper inside the plastic bag.  Tie the bag shut tightly.  Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Allow the peppers to steam in the bag while you do the next steps.

Place a skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray.  Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes before adding the mushrooms.

Cook until browned, about 6 minutes. Add the chicken.

Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Add the tomatoes after the chicken is no longer pink.

Let these cook for 2 minutes, then transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Stir in the Laughing Cow wedges, followed by the shredded cheese.

Mix until creamy and well combined and set aside.  Open the plastic bag with the peppers inside.  Use your fingers to peel the blistered skin away from the rest of the pepper (it should come off easily).

This is what they should look like when you finish peeling:

Next, you will need to remove the seeds and ribs of the inside of the pepper (also known as the spicy part!).  To do this, use a knife to gently make a slit down one side of the pepper.

Carefully grab the bunch of seeds at the top and pull downwards- this will loosen the roots that the seeds are attached by.  Use running water to help rid the inside of seeds.

When the peppers are all cleaned out, lay them back in the baking dish going opposite ways, with the slit facing up.

Use a spoon to carefully fill the peppers with your prepared mixture.

After each pepper is stuffed, sprinkle a little more cheese on top of each one, and place in the 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes, you will have beautiful, cheesy-yet-healthy, stuffed poblano peppers!

Taco Night

Workout 

I started off Wednesday morning the best way possible- with BodyPump!  I got to the gym a little earlier than usual, so I had time to hop on the treadmill for 15 minutes for some running intervals before class.  After class was finished, I got back on the treadmill for another 10 minutes of intervals before calling it quits.

Breakfast

I made one of my favorites for breakfast.  A PB+Banana Sammy!

I topped a toasted whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter, banana slices, and a drizzle of honey for good measure 🙂 .

Lunch

While watching TV (mainly the Casey Anthony trial) in the morning, I must have seen the same Subway commercial ten times.  It was advertising the new Turkey, Bacon and Avocado sub, and each time I watched, the more tasty it looked. I decided to save my 5 bucks and make my own healthy version at home!

I toasted a whole wheat sandwich thin and topped it with Dijon mustard and deli turkey.  I sliced an avocado and placed the slices on top of my sandwich.  Take that, Subway.

On the side, I had some baby carrots and a dill pickle spear.

Dinner

As I’ve mentioned before, I am definitely a creature of habit when it comes to meals.  I know what I like, and I’m OK with that!  I have a feeling when Corey and I have a family one day, we will definitely be the family that has certain nights of the week dedicated to the same meal.  For example, Taco Night!  Who wouldn’t look forward to that each week?  Well, it was taco night for us on Wednesday, and we let one of Old El Paso’s Soft Taco Dinner Kit take care of the details.  I generally like to buy my own taco shells so that I can get whole wheat, but I decided regular shells wouldn’t kill me.

I cooked some ground turkey meat with a packet of taco seasoning, and then got busy chopping up tomatoes, red onion, and lettuce for toppings.

We each had a salad to start, topped with lettuce, onion and diced mango.

I filled up two shells for myself, with all the toppings- tomatoes with red onion, lettuce, a little shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, and a small dollop of sour cream.

I love taco night!

Do you have certain nights of the week that you eat the same meal? 

 

 

 

Healthy Enchilada Casserole + Wedding Dress Shopping

Last week, my mom and sister both drove to Orlando to visit!  We had big plans for Tuesday- it was time to find my wedding dress!

When they both arrived on Monday, we spent some time catching up, and then I got busy on dinner.  I decided to make a recipe that I knew is a crowd pleaser- my Healthy Enchilada Casserole!

Healthy Enchilada Casserole

Servings: 9

Ingredients:

6 whole wheat tortillas, cut into triangles

2 cups low-fat shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican blend)

1 can reduced-sodium black beans

1 can Vegetarian Refried Beans

1 can Mild Rotel Tomatoes

1 can Diced Tomatoes

1 can Low-Salt Corn

1 can Enchilada Sauce

1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded OR

4 cooked chicken breasts, finely chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a baking dish, spread 1/4 cup of the Enchilada Sauce in the bottom.

After cutting the tortillas into triangles, make a single layer of them on top of the sauce.

Using the back of a spoon, spread each slice with a small amount of refried beans, using 1/3 of the can.  (It does not need to cover each piece completely)

Next, combine the black beans, corn, and both cans of tomatoes in a mixing bowl.  Use a spoon to spread about 1/3 of the mixture on top of the tortillas and refried beans.  Top with 1/3 of the shredded chicken, and then a 1/3 cup of shredded cheese.  Pour 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce over everything, and then repeat these steps (starting with the tortillas) until you have 3 layers.  Sprinkle an extra layer of cheese on top of the last layer.

Place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.  For the last 2 minutes, turn on the broiler.  Remove from the oven, and cut into squares using a spatula.  Serve with hot sauce, salsa, or fat-free sour cream!

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Later on, my party animal of a sister managed to convince me to go out with her and Corey’s brother, Drew, and his friends, to one of the bars down by UCF.  I agreed, and left my responsible fiance at home in bed, since he had work the next morning.

My friend Daniel came with us, so I wasn’t the oldest person in the place.  Wait…he’s younger than me, so…yes, I was.

We had fun, but Lauren was not a happy camper when I woke her up bright and early for a day of shopping!  Muahahahaaa…

I don’t want to reveal too much about my dress, because I do plan to explain everything about it in full detail after the big reveal, also known as…our wedding!

Let’s just say that the day was a success.  My bridal consultant said I was the fastest bride she’s ever had!

Here’s a little teaser to hold you over for the next 5 months:

🙂

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