Pineapple Post: How to pick and cut PLUS a great recipe

For as long as I can remember, pineapple has been one of my favorite fruits… probably because it feels tropical and I am all about that!! I remember being intimidated by the idea of cutting a pineapple. I mean, come on- they are big and pokey and have pointy death leaves. In case you are like I was, I wanted to create a little guide to help you feel safer around pineapples!!

First, let’s talk about how to pick a pineapple…

My best advice is to pick the innermost leaf and if it comes out easily, it is ready to eat. Yes, I do test about 8 different pineapples at the store to get the perfect leaf pull and I advise you to do the same.

Here is a guide to help you cut your pineapple:

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Beside eating it as is, I think it is really fun to add pineapple to a savory meal. Here is a great one to try:

Blackened Chicken Bowl with Pineapple Blackbean Salsa

Ingredients:

For the rice:

  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice

  • 1 can lite coconut milk

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, sliced

  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Chicken

  • 1 1/2 lb uncooked chicken breast

  • 2 tsp thyme

  • 1 tsp allspice

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne

  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Salsa

  • 2 cups chopped pineapple

  • 1 can low sodium black beans, rinsed

  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

  • 2 TBSP lime juice

  • salt and pepper to taste

How to:

  1. Place rice in a saucepan with coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat and cook until liquid is absorbed. Once cooked, add green onion, cilantro and salt.

  2. Mix spices for chicken together and cover the surface of the chicken with the spices. Cook on the grill, on a low enough heat that the spices don’t burn.

  3. In a bowl, combine salsa ingredients.

  4. Serve rice with chicken and salsa. Enjoy with fresh vegetables on the side!

Peach Season Favorites

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It is peach season again!! I always forget how much I love peaches until I bite into a freshly picked ripe peach and juices fly everywhere and I feel like I am eating a Peach-O… then I am quickly reminded about how lovely a ripe peach is.

I shared another great peach recipes last year in the Seasonal Eating: July Edition post. The recipe is for a peach salsa that we have used on all kinds of meat, white fish and even in cottage cheese! I highly recommend checking the recipe out.

This year, I wanted to share a couple more of our favorites… Five Spice Pork Chops with Peaches and Peachy Tacos. Both are fun ways to add peaches to a meal! Here are the recipes:

Five Spice Pork Chops with Peaches

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork chops or pork cutlets

  • 1 TBSP five spice powder (buy this if you don’t have it cause it is SO good)

  • salt and pepper

  • 4 peaches, chopped

  • 3 cloves of garlic minced

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 2 tsp olive oil

How to:

  1. Preheat grill

  2. Cover the pork chops in a little bit of olive oil. Then salt, pepper and rub the Five Spice all over the surface.

  3. Grill until cooked through

  4. Meanwhile, place peaches, garlic, cayenne and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix to combine.

  5. Heat a saute pan and add peach mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the peaches soften and the mixture thickens.

  6. Serve peaches on top of the pork.



Peachy Tacos

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Ingredients:

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  • 2 TBSP Ghee/avocado oil

  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 glove garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup chipotle chili in adobo

  • 2 ripe peaches, chopped

  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

  • 1 lb chicken breast

  • 3 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

  • 2+ TBSP lime juice

  • Corn tortillas

  • 2+ peaches, thinly sliced

  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced

  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced

How to:

  1. In a large pot, add 1 TBSP Ghee/avocado oil. Add onion and garlic and cook until slightly softened.

  2. Add chipotle chili, tomato sauce, and peaches and cook on low for 20 minutes.

  3. Transfer the sauce to a blender and carefully blend, until a sauce has formed. Set aside.

  4. Meanwhile, heat the same pot with 1 TBSP Ghee/avocado oil. Add chickens and cook for about 5 minutes. Flip the chickens and add 1/4-1/2 of the sauce back to the chickens. Cook on low covered with a lid for 20 minutes. (Ours ended up being saucy enough that we saved the other half of the sauce to make the meal again!)

  5. Once cooked through, remove from pan and shred, using to forks.

  6. Place chicken back in the sauce.

  7. Meanwhile, combine cabbage, cilantro and lime juice in a bowl.

  8. Serve tortillas with chicken and sauce, cabbage slaw, peach slices, avocado slices and jalapeno. Enjoy!!

Molasses Raisin Bars

We are training for a half Ironman and currently both feel like we are way hungrier than normal! I am trying to keep our snack supply stocked with fun and different options, and these have been a perfect addition! I rarely use molasses, so it has been a nice change in taste. These bars came out more looking like cake BUT that makes them even more fun to snack on!! Here is how to make them:

Rhubarb Salsa on White Fish

I am just going to come out and say it… I am not a huge rhubarb fan. It would never be my choice of pie or anything for that matter. BUT… we got some rhubarb in our LINC box and I wanted to challenge myself to make it in a way that wasn’t doused in sugar. This salsa with fish was the perfect combination! Like maybe to the point where I would buy rhubarb myself and make it again!! Here is the recipe:

Quinoa Crunch Bowl

One of my favorite things to do is to find a meal I really like at a restaurant and then try to recreate it. I used to get a Quinoa Crunch Bowl at one of my go-to restaurants in Denver- Life Kitchen. I loved it so much, I decided to recreate it and I think I figured out the perfect recipe! When we picked up our LINC box this week, it nearly had all the ingredients to make this bowl!! So, I had to…

Sweet Potato Kale Shrimp Bowl

I am working on cleaning out some of the “extras” we have in our fridge this week, which means, I am winging recipes for dinner. Last night, we made this lovely dish and I was SO proud of it, that I thought I should share. I love this meal because it is full of healthy ingredients, is very balanced and was super easy.

Shrimp is a lean and healthy protein and is extremely easy to cook, so it is one that I recommend frequently! Also, if you haven’t tried the Murasaki sweet potatoes- DO IT! They are so delicious. I literally had to hold myself back from eating the whole pan full!!

Heres the recipe:

Sweet Potato Kale Shrimp Bowl

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb sweet potatoes (we used the Murasaki ones from Trader Joes)

  • 1 lb already cooked shrimp

  • 10 oz kale, chopped

  • 1/2 red onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 head broccoli, chopped

  • 1 ½ TBSP coconut oil (or olive oil)

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 bulb fennel, chopped

  • 1 avocado

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Clean and cube sweet potatoes. Melt 3/4 TBSP coconut oil, and pour over sweet potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and stick in the oven for 35 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, chop the broccoli and cover with ¼ TBSP coconut oil, salt and pepper and place in the oven to roast.

  3. With 20 minutes left on the roast time, heat ¼ TBSP coconut oil. Add onion and garlic and saute until onion softens. Add kale and cover to let the kale wilt down. Mix occasionally.

  4. In another saute pan, heat the remaining ¼ TBSP coconut oil. Add fennel and cook until slightly softened. Add shrimp, lemon juice, lemon zest and red pepper flakes.

  5. Serve potatoes with kale and shrimp on the top and broccoli and avocado on the side.


This meal was made to make 4 servings and should take about 40 minutes to make (most of that time is the sweet potatoes roasting)

 


The Perfect Smoothie Formula

Warm weather is coming which means smoothie season is here!! All the fresh produce makes smoothies that much more appealing this time of year. I do, however, make smoothies all year round and generally use frozen fruit. If smoothies aren’t done right, they can cause your blood sugar to spike and your energy to crash- not what we want. This is a formula I use for making smoothies. You can add quite a bit of variation using this formula. As you think through various options, just remember, you want more than just carbs in your smoothie!! So add protein and/or fat to make those carbs last longer!!

Smoothie Formula (makes 2-3 smoothies)

  • 1 cup vegetable (beets, cucumber, zucchini, carrots)

  • 1 banana

  • 2 cups other fruit (citrus, berries, mango, etc)

  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt

  • 2 cups spinach (or other green)

  • 1 cup almond milk or other liquid

  • 1/2 cup dry oats (you won’t even notice them)

  • 1 scoop protein powder (I like to use unflavored)

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Beet Orange Smoothie:

  • 1 cup beets (steamed)

  • 1 orange

  • 1 cup berries

  • 1 banana

  • 2 cups spinach

  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt

  • 1 cup almond milk

  • 1/2 cup oats

  • 1 scoop protein powder



Carrot Ginger Sunshine Smoothie

  • 3-4 large carrots

  • 1 orange

  • 2 cups spinach

  • 1 cup berries

  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt

  • 1 banana

  • 1 scoop protein powder

  • 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger

  • 1 tsp turmeric



Cucumber Berry Spice Smoothie

  • 1 cup cucumber

  • 1 cup berries

  • 1 banana

  • 2 cups spinach

  • 1/2 cup oats

  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt

  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger

  • 2 TBSP unsweetened coconut

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp cardamom

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 1 scoop protein powder

*Note- I generally serve my smoothies with granola on top, which adds some extra fat. If you will not be topping with fat of any source, consider throwing in nuts, seeds, nut butters, or avocado. Here is a link to an awesome granola recipe.



Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites

Okay guys, I’m obsessed with energy bites. I honestly had an idea in my mind that they weren’t the best snack because they had so much honey in them, but since I have learned to balance the honey with applesauce I am ALL ABOUT THEM ENERGY BITES!!! This recipe is a variation of my Chocolate Pistachio Energy Bites, but have a cherry flair :-) I have cherries on my radar right now because tart cherries are really great for recovery from endurance exercise. Some athletes drink tart cherry juice daily. I haven’t tried that yet, but have been thinking more about how to incorporate cherries into my diet. Check this fun recipe out!!

Tart Cherry Energy Bites

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almonds

  • 1/4 cup pistachios

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes

  • 1/4 cup coconut or oat flour

  • 3/4 cup almond butter

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

  • 2 TBSP honey

  • 6 TBSP unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 1/4 cup unflavored protein powder

  • 1/3 cup chopped tart cherries

How to:

  1. You can pick any assortment of nuts and seeds, but aim for about 1 cup total. Stick nuts and seeds in a food processor and process until fairly well ground.

  2. Mix with all other ingredients. Combine well. You may have to use your hands.

  3. Make into 24 bite sized balls.

  4. I store mine in a large bag in the freezer. If you are wanting to eat them from the freezer, microwave them for 10 seconds first!

Chocolate Muesli Energy Bars

Kevin and I are currently training for a Half Ironman. We have done one before and always have some sort of big training goal for the summer, but this summer in particular, we both seem to be SO hungry!! I have taken it on to make snacks that we can both easily grab and be fueling for us during this time. I had saved a recipe similar to this years ago on my computer and dug it up as a possible easy snack idea. It has been just that!! All you have to do is buy some pre-made muesli, and add some mix-ins to it and bake it!! SO simple and it has been such a fun change of pace for us. Whether you are training or just looking for a fun and different snack, I encourage you try these!!

Chocolate Muesli Energy Bars

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 2 TBSP honey

  • 6 TBSP unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed

  • 2 TBSP chia seeds

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 3 cups Muesli (I used Trader Joes Muesli)

  • 2 scoops protein powder (I generally choose unflavored)

  • 1 TBSP cocoa powder

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (measure once cut)

  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa

  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Combine almond milk, honey, applesauce and mashed bananas.

  3. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients.

  4. Once mixed, mix them together.

  5. Spray a 9x13 pan and pour mixture into pan. Flatten and spread evenly. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until middle looks cooked.

  6. Let cool. Then cut into 9 servings.

  7. *I wrap them individually in foil and stick them in the freezer. They will be thin and will thaw out quickly!


Protein Packed Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Right around this time every year I start craving lemon blueberry goodies. This is unintentional, but if you look at my Pinterest boards, it is definitely a pattern!! This year I was in search of a healthy lemon blueberry snack and found these lovely muffins! I love a couple things about these muffins

  1. They are simple: just 5 ingredients!

  2. They are balanced: they have a good amount of carbs, proteins and fats

  3. They are delicious!

Here is how to make them!

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Protein Packed Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats

  • 1 (6oz) container of Vanilla Greek Yogurt

  • 1 (4oz) container blueberries, washed

  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Place paper cups in muffin tins (or spray with non-stick)

  3. Place all ingredients except the blueberries in a food processor and blend until smooth.

  4. Once blended, fold in blueberries.

  5. Pour evenly into muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted into the muffins and come out clean.

  6. Store for a week in the refrigerator, or for a couple months in the freezer.

{Not Fried} Fried Rice

19.5 is finally here! I am feeling extra nerves around this workout because I know how badly it is going to hurt!! With that said, I know my fueling has to be on point! This workout requires a lot of minutes to be worked at a high intensity- which means carbohydrate stores will be a hug factor. Also, this workout requires a lot of mental fight, which means immediate carbohydrates will be crucial. We don’t often think about the fuel our brains need, but trust me, your brain can make you quit a lot sooner than your body quits if it senses it isn’t fueled well.

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Today I am fueling with fried rice for lunch. I will also consume an apple and RX Bar prior to the workout, and possibly a Fig Bar right before depending on my energy. All of these are carbohydrates that I know my body likes and utilizes well. As the workout gets closer, my carbohydrate intake switches to quicker carbs (fruit) vs slower carbs (brown rice).

This fried rice recipe is a fun way to get some carbohydrates in! And good luck to everyone competing this week!

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{Not Fried} Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice

  • 10 oz mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 carrots, grated

  • 1 TBSP fresh ginger, grated

  • 1 cup edamame, thawed

  • 4 scallions, sliced

  • 3 TBSP low sodium soy sauce

  • 1 1/2 TBSP Sriracha

  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds

  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 1/2 tsp Ghee/avocado oil

  • 1 1/2 lb shrimp

How to

  1. Place rice in a saucepan with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat and cook until water is absorbed.

  2. Add 1 tsp Ghee/avocado oil to a saute pan at medium high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic and saute until browned (4-6 minutes). Turn heat to low. Add carrots, ginger, edamame, and scallions.

  3. Add vegetables to rice.

  4. Whisk eggs together. Heat another saute pan with 1/2 tsp Ghee/avocado oil. Cook eggs without scrambling (like an omelet). Once cooked, let cool and then cut into bite sized chunks. Mix in with rice and vegetables.

  5. Make sauce by combining soy sauce, Sriracha, sesame seeds and sesame oil. Add sauce to rice and mix.

  6. Heat shrimp and serve with rice.

Sweet Potato Muffins

The 4th week of the CrossFit Open is upon us, and I wanted to find a carb heavy snack to eat before my workout! This one is a real winner!! Here are some highlights:

  • The sweet potatoes give this muffin carbs, but slower digesting carbs, so they are great to have at least an hour before your workout.

  • This is sweetened with a little bit of maple syrup- but mainly banana and applesauce- both of which have some fiber, so provide quick but lasting energy.

  • Oats and oat flour also are great sources of carbohydrates, but do have fiber and protein which make this muffin well balanced.

  • Seeds add fat and protein to this muffin, which again make it more balanced.

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This muffin is great for workout fuel, but in order to best utilize it, I suggest eating it at least an hour before your workout. The fiber, protein and fat in the muffin will ramp up your glycogen stores and provide long lasting energy BUT these components can also be difficult to digest if eaten right before you raise your heart rate which can lead to digestion issues… not what you want as your are burpeeing over the bar :-)

Here is how to make them:

Sweet Potato Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I baked them in the oven earlier this week, so I could scoop and mash them for this recipe)

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed

  • 2 TBSP vanilla extract

  • 1 TBSP almond butter

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 TBSP cinnamon

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 2 TBSP maple syrup

  • 3 TBSP unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 1/2 cup oats

  • 1 cup oat flour (take 1 1/4 cup oats and place them in the food processor until powdered)

  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F

  2. Mix mashed sweet potato and mashed bananas together in a bowl. Add vanilla and almond butter and mix well.

  3. Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well.

  4. Then add almond milk, maple syrup and applesauce and mix to combine.

  5. Add oats, oat flour, flax, chia and pumpkin seeds.

  6. Mix until well combined.

  7. Place muffin cups in your muffin tin and fill each about 2/3 full. This should make 24 muffins.

  8. Place in oven for 30 minutes total, spinning if necessary.

  9. Let cool and then wrap in plastic wrap or tin foil and store in refrigerator for 2 weeks for freezer for longer.

*I only had 1 muffin tin so made the rest into bars by placing them in an 8x8 greased pan and cooking them for a total of 35 minutes.

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Peanut Soba Noodles

Well… the Crossfit Open season has begun! This will be my fifth year competing in it and I am very excited about it this year. In past years, I haven’t had specific goals for it and have ended it feeling extremely discouraged in my performance. This year, I have been working on some of the movements that have limited me in the past and my goal is to be able to do every movement in every workout. Seems simple, but it would be a huge deal for me!!

Part of success in these workouts is proper nutrition, so I will be posting some good recipes that will support good performance. This workout, 19.1, is 15 minutes long which can feel like a long time when you are pushing hard. Good carbohydrates are always beneficial in fueling exercise, but because of the length, they are even more crucial in this specific workout. However, you don’t need to “carbo-load” because after all, we are not doing a marathon here!

This recipe includes soba noodles which are SO easy! And full of whole grains. These complex carbs will serve you well in providing good energy for this workout. This is also a fun and easy option if you are just looking for a healthy meal, as these whole grain noodles are a great source of starch that will keep you feeling energized and full without a carb crash. Either way, try this meal because it is so quick and delicious!

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Peanut Sesame Soba Noodles

Ingredients

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  • Soba noodles

  • Shrimp, eggs, ground meat (any protein)

  • Shredded cabbage

  • Shredded carrots

  • Bell pepper, sliced

  • 1/2-1 bunch cilantro, chopped

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

  • 1 1/2 TBSP rice vinegar

  • 1 TBSP sesame oil

  • 1 1/2 TBSP low sodium soy sauce

  • 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

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How to:

  1. Make sauce by combining peanut butter, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Whisk until combined.

  2. Chop cilantro and peppers.

  3. Bring water to a boil. Cook soba noodles according to package (usually 8ish minutes). Then drain noodles.

  4. Heat shrimp

  5. Combine sauce with warm noodles. Then, mix in vegetables and shrimp.

Making Lunches in Bulk: Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Lunch is a hard meal… am I right?!

For years we have relied on leftovers and/or eggs with some mixture of other ingredients to make a complete meal. We began to realize that this meal was causing us a lot of stress. We often would have a lot of leftover protein and not enough starch, or vice versa. We have gotten used to mixing and matching leftovers in order to fill the “gaps” in making our meals balanced. One of us would end up with a nice meal and the other would have to scrounge around to make something work. As if that didn’t already cause us some tension, we usually pack our meals after dinner… after we have spent X amount of time preparing, X amount of time eating and X amount of time doing dishes. We would always look at each other in frustration that we had to turn around and create another meal and spend 15 MORE MINUTES IN THE KITCHEN. One of the harsh realities of being prepared…

So, all of this said, I have been trying to implement some change. I am trying to pick an easy meal to make in bulk each Sunday that can be used for lunches throughout the week to fill in the gaps. This solves many of our frustrations:

  1. The meal is almost always completely prepared, so we don’t have to spend 15 minutes every night making a meal for the next day.

  2. Has allowed us to use leftovers for dinners more frequently. This gives us more time in the evenings and has honestly dramatically decreased our grocery bill.

  3. Has eliminated the stress of figuring out what is for lunch.

  4. Has helped us change up our routine- which is always a fresh feeling.

This week, we made a Mediterranean Tuna Salad. We have also prepared some rice in bulk, that can be added as a starch and then we always through in some extra raw vegetables. This recipe was definitely good enough to share and can be used for any meal, but was an easy bulk lunch to make :-)

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Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Ingredients:

  • 5 (5oz) cans tuna, canned in water

  • 3-4 celery stalks, chopped

  • 1 cucumber, chopped

  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

  • 5-7 radishes, chopped

  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped

  • 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped

  • 10-15 mint leaves, chopped

  • 1 1/2 TBSP dijon mustard

  • 1 TBSP lime juice

  • 1 TBSP lemon juice

  • salt

  • pepper

  • chili flakes

  • 3 TBSP olive oil

  • 3 TBSP water

How to:

  1. Open and drain tuna.

  2. Add to bowl with chopped celery, cucumber, Kalamata olives, radishes, red onion, parsley and mint.

  3. Make dressing by combining dijon mustard, lemon and lime juice, chili flakes, olive oil and water. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Pour dressing over tuna mixture and mix well until combined.

  5. Serve with a starch and additional vegetables!

I hope this adds a fresh idea to your routine. I will continue to post some of my favorite bulk lunches!

Crockpot Butternut Squash & Sage Beef Soup

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I found this recipe and knew I HAD to try it and I am SO glad I did! The mix of flavors creates a cozy bowl of goodness perfect for this cold weather! I highly recommend it!

Here are a few tips:

  1. It took me a lot longer than I anticipated to get all the ingredients in the crockpot because I was using the same pan for all steps (using the bacon grease to cook). If you are hoping to speed this process up, cook all portions in separate pans and part ways with the bacon grease :-)

  2. We used turkey bacon, which was great, but real bacon would be good too!

  3. As usual, I made this the night before and stuck everything except the liquid into the crockpot and then refrigerated it. I added the broth and vinegar in the morning.

  4. You could totally make this on the stove and it would turn out delicious too!

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Crockpot Butternut Squash & Sage Beef Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb bacon

  • 1 lb stew beef

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 15 sage leaves, minced

  • 3/4 yellow onion

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

  • 1 TBSP each oregano, rosemary, thyme

  • 32 oz low sodium chicken or beef broth

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

How to:

  1. Cook bacon in a saute pan until crispy. Remove and set aside. Once cooled, chop into small pieces and add to crockpot.

  2. Keep the pan heated. Sprinkle the stew meat with garlic powder and salt. Add to pan and brown on all sides. Remove and put in crockpot.

  3. Keep pan heated and add onion, sage and minced garlic. Cook until the onions begin to brown (about 5 minutes). Add to crockpot.

  4. Add remaining ingredients to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.

Serve with a veggie on the side to make a complete and balanced meal!

More Energy Bites

I love making and eating these little bites!!

A couple tips:

  • buy A LOT of almond butter before you start. Also, make sure you have all the ingredients, because I am prone to realizing I am missing one in the midst of making these.

  • Freeze them when you are done. They will last longer.

  • Use applesauce and a little bit of honey, instead of all honey

  • Pick a protein powder that is unflavored.

You may have to dedicate a chunk of time aside if you want to make all of these, BUT then you’ll be set for snacks for a while!!

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Oatmeal Raisin Bites

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats

  • 1/2 cup protein powder

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon

  • pinch of salt

  • 1 cup almond butter

  • 2 TBSP honey

  • 6 TBSP applesauce

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1/2 cup raisins

How to:

  1. Heat almond butter and honey in a microwave safe bowl for 20-30 seconds, or until warm.

  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until combined.

  3. Form into 24 balls and place on a plate and then in the freezer. Once frozen, store in an airtight container or bag in the freezer.

Chocolate Coconut Pistachio Energy Bites

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shelled pistachios

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (or oat flour)

  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder

  • 3/4 cup almond butter

  • 2 TBSP honey

  • 6 TBSP applesauce

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 1/4 cup protein powder

How to:

  1. Pulse the pistachios in a food processor until chopped into fine pieces.

  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. It may feel like it won’t mix, but keep working at it and it will all come together.

  3. Make into 24 balls and place on a plate and then in the freezer. Once frozen, place in an airtight container or bag and freeze until ready to eat.

Fig Newton Energy Bites

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Ingredients:

  • 15 figs

  • 7 dates

  • 3/8 cup almond butter

  • 3/4 cup oats

  • 1/4 cup protein powder

  • 2 TBSP flax meal

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp vanilla

How to:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it starts to form together.

  2. Form ingredients into 18 balls. You may find that you’ll have to pack the mixture tight to make it stay together.

  3. Place balls on a plate and stick in the freezer. Once frozen, place in an airtight container or bag and stick back into freezer until ready to enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!




The Best Simple Granola You'll Ever Eat

I was on the hunt for a granola with no added sugar, which is extremely hard to come by, BUT I have found one and perfected it. This is something we ALWAYS have in our pantry. We will use it on yogurt, on smoothie bowls, with milk, and sometimes I’ll grab a quick handful if I’m hungry!!

What I love about it:

  • It is simple and easy to make

  • It tastes simple, so can be used on a lot of different things

  • NO ADDED SUGAR!!!

  • It is a fun way to get a variety of nuts and seeds in

Once you make it, you’ll feel the same :-)

The Best Simple Granola

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds, chopped

  • 1 cup cashews, chopped

  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds, chopped

  • 1 cup raisins

  • 3 cups oats

  • 2 TBSP cinnamon

  • 1 tsp ginger

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

How to:

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350F

  2. Roughly chop almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.

  3. Place nuts and seeds in a large bowl with oats and spices.

  4. Melt coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Mix into nut and seed mixture with applesauce.

  5. Mix until well combined. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.

  6. Cook for 35-45 minutes total, mixing every 15 minutes. In the final 15 minutes, mix in the raisins.

  7. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

**You can add the raisins in earlier, we find that they get too hard if they cook the whole time.

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Banana Oat Muffins

Okay, if you know me, I am forever obsessed with peanut butter and bananas. You can always make this recipe with almond butter too! These muffins do not have any added sugar and use applesauce for sweetness!!

These muffins could be paired with yogurt or hard boiled eggs to make it a full meal or snack!

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Banana Oat Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup milk/almond milk

  • 2 overripe bananas

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 3 cups oats

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, or other nut or seed

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a muffin tin with oil.

  2. Mash bananas and mix in with other wet ingredients.

  3. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

  4. Spoon into muffin tins and cook for 25-30 minutes.

  5. Let cool and remove from tins. Store in fridge or freezer until ready to eat.



Chocolate Mint Energy Bites

I am always looking for new snack ideas! I have been making energy bites a lot lately. I have also been wanting chocolate mint EVERYTHING, so decided to channel that craving into a fun snack!

When I make these energy bites, I make a couple swaps to the ingredients to decrease the added sugar and increase the protein- making them a more balanced snack. I generally sub out unsweetened applesauce for most of the honey. The consistency of the applesauce helps bind the ingredients- which is one of the purposes of the honey. I also generally add protein powder. Protein powder is tricky and usually I am not a huge fan, but I do tend to use it in snacks like this and smoothies. I don’t have a favorite kind, but I do look for brands that don’t have a lot of added ingredients. And for instances like this, getting a powder that doesn’t have a sweetener or flavor is good too. This time, I used Trader Joe’s Pea Powder.

I morphed this recipe from a recipe I already make for chocolate coconut pistachio energy bites, so you can totally take the basics of this recipe and make it your own too!

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Chocolate Mint Energy Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

  • 1/3 cup oats ground to make 1/4 cup oat flour

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

  • 3/4 cup almond butter

  • 2 TBSP honey

  • 6 TBSP unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 tsp mint extract

  • 1/4 cup protein powder

How to:

  1. Grind oats in a food processor until they become a flour like consistency. Place in a large bowl.

  2. In the food processor, pulse almonds to chop into small-ish chunks (you can also hand chop)

  3. Mix everything in a large bowl. I usually mix with my hands, because without fail, every time I don’t believe it is going to mix fully. Just keep mixing, and everything will eventually stick together.

  4. Make into bite sized balls. I try to make 24 per batch.

  5. Store in fridge for a couple days or freezer if you’ll have them around longer.