Quick Meals

Rhubarb Salsa on White Fish

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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:

Rhubarb Salsa on White Fish

Ingredients:

  • 6 sticks of rhubarb, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced

  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced

  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped finely

  • 4 tbsp garlic sprouts or green onion, diced

  • 3 TBSP lime juice

  • 3 TBSP apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • 1-2 TBSP honey

  • 1 lb white fish

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475.

  2. Prep the fish and place on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

  3. Meanwhile, combine rhubarb, pepper, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic sprouts, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl.

  4. Serve salsa over fish

  5. Enjoy!!

We served ours with roasted broccoli and potatoes as well!

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.



{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.

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!

A quick meal: tuna cakes

Okay... so yesterday was one of those days where nothing really went according to plan or as we expected. I often tell people that having a plan is one of the easiest ways to provide consistency and ultimately success in eating well and getting exercise in. I realize though that there are times when our plans don't work- that is just life. I also often suggest to people that they have a stock of foods that they know they can easily throw together for a quick meal. 

Back to yesterday...We got home later than we anticipated from work and had only a little bit before we had friends coming over.  People always ask me what our quick go to meals are, and I have started to feel boring telling people the same 3 or 4 that we usually choose. So, yesterday, I felt the challenge to create something different than we usually do. We decided to make tuna cakes!

Tuna is one of our go to proteins in these situations because it doesn't require thawing, cooking, or really much at all. It is also a great source of lean protein, has some omega 3 fatty acids, and some vitamin D as well. When buying tuna, get the tuna in water, not oil. Also, looked for canned light tuna instead of canned white. Canned white comes from albacore tuna, which is a bigger fish- meaning it has higher mercury content. Don't overdue tuna because it does contain mercury. For most individuals including those who are pregnant and breastfeeding, limit intake to about 2 cans of CANNED LIGHT TUNA per week (12 oz total). If you are choosing canned white tuna, limit intake to 1 can per week. 

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Okay, here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 cans light tuna in water, drained

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

  • a couple dashes of salt, pepper, celery seed and basil

How to:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Form into 2 patties with hands.

  2. Heat a sauté pan with 1/2 tsp Ghee or avocado oil. Place patties in pan and cook until browned on the outside- flipping halfway through.

Easy peasy!

We also made a Sriracha mayo to go on top with 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 tsp Sriracha, 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp soy sauce and 1/4 tsp pepper

As far as the rest of the meal goes, we whipped up some quinoa and a mix of the veggies we had around already including sautéed garlicky Swiss chard: sauté roughly chopped Swiss chard in a tiny bit of Ghee/avocado oil with a couple of cloves of minced garlic, salt and pepper. 

And viola! We had a satisfying, well balanced meal! And one to add to our list of quick ideas.

Give it a try! Or figure out what kind of quick meals you can make when a crazy day hits and get the ingredients, so you know you're prepared!