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Thursday, 7 December 2017

Sweet Potato Hamburger One Pot Dinner

Sweet Potato Cheeseburger Casserole




This grain free casserole fuses your favorite cheeseburger fixings with fresh veggies for a lighter, healthier meal. I add a sprinkle of cheese to the top and the whole family LOVES it!

We have made this dinner 3 times now and everyone really enjoys it. It gives you that hearty home cooked casserole feel yet it's healthy and full of veggies too! I like to add white cheddar to the top of it and allow it to melt before serving and if we have green onion and tomato to add to the top it's even better! You can easily take this cheeseburger casserole recipe up a notch and add your favorite burger toppings like bacon or avocado the options are endless!

The best part is that we always have enough left overs for lunch the next day and it heats up beautifully. I'll say it doesn't' look beautiful but it sure tastes great!

Sweet Potato Cheeseburger One Pot Dinner

Ingredients
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, spiralized
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • ½ t chili powder
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • Chopped tomatoes. grated white cheddar cheese and green onion to garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  • Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 3 minutes until onion is translucent and veggies are softened.
  • Increase heat to high and add ground beef.

  • Cook for 5 minutes, breaking meat up as it cooks, until beef has browned and is no longer pink. Add oregano, garlic powder, smoked paprika and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

  • Stir in the chicken stock and the crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer; add spiralized sweet potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes until sweet potatoes are slightly softened and sauce is reduced.

  • Remove from heat and top with grated cheese, chopped tomatoes and spring onions. Serve warm.

Recipe Modified from: Paleohacks

Monday, 4 December 2017

Energy & Mood Boosting Foods





It's 3:00 pm, you have been sitting in front of a computer screen ALL day and your energy is at an all time low. Unfortunately, your work day may be coming to an end but chances are you have a whole lot to do in the evening. Once you make it through the heavy traffic, you still have to cook dinner, take care of the pets, kids, household chores, maybe even race off to kids activities or other commitments. But the truth is most of us just want to crash on the couch instead. 

Fatigue especially in the winter months wreaks havoc on your precious immune system and also takes a toll on you physically and emotionally.  So it's super important that we fuel our bodies the right way and boost our mood and energy naturally instead of turning to caffeine and sugary snacks.  Not only will those just slow you down and leave you more tired in the long run, but they aren't doing your immunity any favors.  Here are a few Mood and Energy boosting foods that you can incorporate into your routine to give your body the natural boost it needs in the winter months. 

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Turmeric is an antioxidant-rich root that boosts dopamine and serotonin levels. A 2015 study found that curcumin, the primary antioxidant component in turmeric, not only boosted cognitive function but also improved mood in study participants. Curcumin is best absorbed when combined with black pepper.




Salmon is a great source of the energy-boosting goodness that has omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for energy production, brain activity and circulation. Fish is often referred to as “brain food” because it supplies essential fats that allow brain membranes to perform at peak level, which is key for the regulation of mood. Try out this Parmesan Herb Crusted Salmon recipe to add more Salmon to the menu this week!

Halva

Sesame seeds are rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps control your stress response. If you like sesame, you don’t have to limit yourself to eating just the seeds, since they are used to make other tasty and nutritious products, including tahini and halvah (one of my fav sweet treats).


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Bananas are one of the world’s best foods for supplying your body with energy. Rich in potassium and B vitamins, they can provide your body with a more sustained release of energy. The supply of vitamins and carbohydrates in bananas make you feel full, help slow down digestion and keep blood sugar levels stable.Try making these Power Bananas for a quick and yummy snack!


Oatmeal Tucking into a bowl of oatmeal not only feels good this time of year but it’s also good for your immune system. This fibre rich food has something called “microbiota-accessible carbs” which help the Gut Microbiota! 75% of our bodies defense is in your gut so what we eat has a huge impact on our overall health and immunity! Try this Apple and Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal Recipe.

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Yogurt & other fermented foods are rich in probiotics to help promote a healthy gut. A 2013 study from UCLA found that women who had eaten probiotic-rich yogurt twice a day for 4 weeks showed a significant decrease in brain activity in the neural networks that help control emotional and sensory behavior. The study authors concluded that the connection between your brain and your gut goes both ways – and what you eat impacts your brain’s sensory processing and emotion. 

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Coconut The oils that are found in coconut provide a super nutritious source of energy as it primarily consists of medium chain triglycerides, a type of fat that is turned into energy quickly and efficiently. Coconut is utilized by the body to actually produce energy rather than store it as fat. That’s what we want! Coconut is an awesome food to prevent you from feeling sluggish throughout the day too. Try making these Healthy Cranberry Bliss Bars!
Hawaii 5-0 Rainbow Acai Bowl recipe

Acai, the purple berry found in Brazil and other southern climates, may be one of the best at fighting the oxidative stress that can come from a winter-impaired immune system. In a recent study, researchers demonstrated how acai beats such supplements as vitamins, coenzyme Q10 and lutein in maintaining a better quality of life and extending life span. Try any of these Acai Bowl recipes!


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Sweet Potato Skins with Chicken

Image may contain: food


SWEET POTATO SKINS WITH CHICKEN

3 Servings

Ingredients

3 baked medium sweet potatoes, cut in half
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
6 oz. shredded cooked chicken breast
1 tsp. all-natural taco seasoning, no salt added
1/3 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup chopped fresh green onion


Directions

1. Heat oven to 400° F.
2. Scoop flesh out of the sweet potatoes and reserve for another use.
3. Place skins on baking sheet. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. (Optional)
Bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp.
4. While skins are baking, combine chicken and taco seasoning in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.
5. Top each sweet potato half evenly with, chicken mixture, and cheese.
6. Bake for a further 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Top with Greek yogurt, and cilantro.

*white potatoes can be used in place of sweet potatoes

Sunday, 22 October 2017

5 Days of Grain Free Dinners




Meal planning is a huge part of being successful with your nutrition. On weeks which I don't meal plan it is so much easier to reach for easy and unhealthy foods and little by little it adds up to a lot. When we are eating healthy as a family we have more energy, better moods and for me my skin is better too! This weekend we didn't have much time to meal plan but I've put together really quickly 5 grain free dinner recipes so we could get the groceries this evening and plan ahead for success.

I found two new recipes that we will try and modify this week that I'm sharing in this post and 3 others that we have tried and shared before. I've included the recipes for each as both a reference for us this week and a resource for you as well.


Here are our 5 dinner recipes for the week:









These Low Carb Cauliflower Pot Pies have all the flavors of a traditional chicken pot pie in guilt free form! Gluten free, low calorie and delicious! www.itscheatdayeveryday.com

Cauliflower Mini Chicken Pot Pies (itscheatdayeveryday blog)

Ingredients

For the cauliflower base:
1 medium head cauliflower (4-5 cups cauliflower rice)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 egg
pinch of salt and pepper

For the pot pie filling:
1/2 onion, diced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
8 oz cooked chicken, diced
1 tbs onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbs cornstarch + 1/4 cup water

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Add the cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you achieve a rice-like consistency. Transfer cauliflower "rice" to a bowl and microwave for 5 minutes. Set aside and allow cauliflower to cool for approx 10 minutes.
Add the cauliflower rice to a cheesecloth and squeeze out as much of the juice from the cauliflower as possible. If you don't, the bases may end up soggy. (The key here is to really get as much of that juice out as you can. Once you have done a round with the cheesecloth. Repeat with another dry cheesecloth to ensure you have removed a majority of the liquid. I managed to get 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower juice).
Add the dried cauliflower rice to a bowl with the egg, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Using your hands, combine all of the ingredients thoroughly. Spray a large muffin pan or 4 ramekins and gently press the cauliflower mixture to the sides, creating a cauliflower bowl. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the centers are dry and the edges are golden brown.
While the cauliflower bases are in the oven, spray a medium saucepan with cooking spray and saute the diced onion on high heat until slightly tender. Reduce heat to medium and add the chicken broth, almond milk, mixed vegetables, onion powder, salt and black pepper. Stir and cover for approx 5-8 minutes or until frozen vegetables are soft.Mix the cornstarch with the water to make a slurry and add to the sauce with the cooked chicken. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and increase heat to high and cook until sauce begins to boil. Remove from heat.Fill each cauliflower base with the pot pie filling and serve!


Sweet Potato Cheeseburger Casserole


Sweet Potato Cheeseburger Casserole

This grain free casserole fuses your favorite cheeseburger fixings with fresh veggies for a lighter, healthier meal. We added a sprinkle of cheese to the top and the whole family LOVED it! Certainly will be making this again.

Ingredients
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, spiralized
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • ½ t chili powder
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • Chopped tomatoes. grated white cheddar cheese and green onion to garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  • Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 3 minutes until onion is translucent and veggies are softened.
  • Increase heat to high and add ground beef. Cook for 5 minutes, breaking meat up as it cooks, until beef has browned and is no longer pink. Add oregano, garlic powder, smoked paprika and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Stir in the chicken stock and the crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer; add spiralized sweet potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes until sweet potatoes are slightly softened and sauce is reduced. Remove from heat and top with grated cheese, chopped tomatoes and spring onions. Serve warm.

Tip: Take this cheeseburger casserole recipe up a notch and add your favorite burger toppings like pickled jalapeño or crumbled bacon. The variations are endless!

Original recipe source: Paleohacks




Thai Peanut Chicken & Zucchini Noodle Bowls


Thai peanut chicken & zucchini noodle bowls are easy to make, healthy, and incredibly tasty!

Ingredients

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
Sea Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 medium zucchini, spiralized (AKA Zoodles)
1 large red or orange pepper, thinly sliced or chopped
¼ cup chives, cut up into tiny peaces
¼ cup peanuts, roughly chopped
Lime wedges, for serving

Peanut Sauce


⅓ cup creamy natural peanut butter
4 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame or olive oil
2 teaspoons Coconut Palm sugar or Brown sugar
¼-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (Optional)

Instructions

 Drizzle a large skillet with oil and bring to medium heat on stove. Season chicken on both sides with sea salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken to pan and cook 4-6 minutes on each side until browned on the outside and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board or platter and allow to rest.

 Whisk together all sauce ingredients.

Steam or boil zucchini noodles and pepper til just tender (you can also put them in a large bowl and microwave them for about 2-3 minutes for a shortcut!)

Assemble bowls with zucchini noodles and peppers on the bottom. Dice chicken and assemble on top of zucchini and peppers. Drizzle sauce over the top and sprinkle with chives and peanuts. Serve immediately. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing on top if desired.


*   Left overs can be taken for lunch and they actually do reheat nicely in a microwave safe bowl.  Reheat the zoodles and peppers separately and then top with your peanut sauce and toppings.  


Image may contain: food


SWEET POTATO SKINS WITH CHICKEN
3 Servings

3 baked medium sweet potatoes, cut in half
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
6 oz. shredded cooked chicken breast
1 tsp. all-natural taco seasoning, no salt added
1/3 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup chopped fresh green onion

1. Heat oven to 400° F.
2. Scoop flesh out of the sweet potatoes and reserve for another use.
3. Place skins on baking sheet. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. (Optional)
Bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp.
4. While skins are baking, combine chicken and taco seasoning in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.
5. Top each sweet potato half evenly with, chicken mixture, and cheese.
6. Bake for a further 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Top with Greek yogurt, and cilantro.

*white potatoes can be used in place of sweet potatoes



Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos

Total Time: 55 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 40 min.
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tsp. olive oil
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
¼ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. garlic powder
½ cup shredded Monterey jack (or pepperjack) cheese
¼ cup chopped tomato
¼ cup chopped red onion
¼ cup chopped orange bell pepper
1 to 2 medium jalapeños, seeds and veins removed (optional), sliced
½ cup mashed avocado
2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 425º F.
2. Place cauliflower on baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with cumin, salt, chili powder, and garlic powder; toss gently to blend. Spread evenly on baking sheet.
3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender crisp and golden.
4. Top evenly with cheese. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
5. Top evenly with tomato, onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, avocado, and cilantro; serve immediately.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Thai Peanut Chicken & Zucchini Noodle Bowls


I just HAD to share this recipe with you!  Why?  Because it's so flavorful and healthy which is what it's all about here on the blog! 

When I first started eating clean I discovered that healthy doesn't have to mean zero flavour and taste well "healthy".  Which is why I love finding and creating delicious recipes, and sharing them with you here and over on my Faceook page!

Lately Gord and I have been following the meal plan and home fitness program we followed in the summer which is grain free and only includes healthy carbs like beans, sweet potatoes and white potatoes for the most part.  I found it hard at first not having my overnight oats and baked oatmeal in the mornings but now I'm so used to having my super food smoothie and greek yogurt and berries for breakfast and morning snack that I don't even miss oats!  

Along the way we have discovered quite a few yummy dinner recipes that we have found very satisfying as well.  Not to mention the results from this program have been incredible!  I eat clean 80-90% of the time but a few adjustments and sticking to the meal plan 100% for 3 weeks gave both of us amazing results!  And while I've kept active and maintained my results since we completed the program in August, we both wanted to do it again before we leave for Hawaii in November!  


If you want more details on the program Gord and I are following shoot me an email and I'd be happy to give you the details!  

Now you might think Zucchini noodles don't sound too tasty but I'm here to tell you that you MUST give them a shot!  Besides it's all about the peanut sauce in this recipe although we usually have zoodles with marinara sauce or pesto and it's just as tasty!  

Peanut Sauce has always been my FAV and practically a comfort food in my book!  It's a little bit salty and a little bit sweet and just really hits the spot and makes all those healthy veggies taste amazing!  

Ok now for that recipe.... 


Thai Peanut Chicken & Zucchini Noodle Bowls


Thai peanut chicken & zucchini noodle bowls are easy to make, healthy, and incredibly tasty!

Ingredients

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
Sea Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 medium zucchini, spiralized (AKA Zoodles)
1 large red or orange pepper, thinly sliced or chopped
¼ cup chives, cut up into tiny peaces
¼ cup peanuts, roughly chopped
Lime wedges, for serving

Peanut Sauce


⅓ cup creamy natural peanut butter
4 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame or olive oil
2 teaspoons Coconut Palm sugar or Brown sugar
¼-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (Optional)

Instructions

 Drizzle a large skillet with oil and bring to medium heat on stove. Season chicken on both sides with sea salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken to pan and cook 4-6 minutes on each side until browned on the outside and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board or platter and allow to rest.

 Whisk together all sauce ingredients.

Steam or boil zucchini noodles and pepper til just tender (you can also put them in a large bowl and microwave them for about 2-3 minutes for a shortcut!)

Assemble bowls with zucchini noodles and peppers on the bottom. Dice chicken and assemble on top of zucchini and peppers. Drizzle sauce over the top and sprinkle with chives and peanuts. Serve immediately. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing on top if desired.

*Left overs can be taken for lunch and they actually do reheat nicely in a microwave safe bowl.  Reheat the zoodles and peppers seperately and then top with your peanut sauce and toppings.  

Original Recipe adapted from lecremedelacreme. 


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