I meal plan. It’s kind of an obsession/ritual. I also try to keep my meals simple. I don’t want a huge pile of dishes to do after I’m done, plus I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. I generally spend 30 minutes cooking dinner and limit myself to 1-2 dishes that have to […]
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Thai Cauliflower Fried Rice
My husband travels a lot for work. While I miss him a lot, there are some things I take advantage of. I watch movies like “Pride and Prejudice.” I don’t have to worry about us waking each other up at night. But my favorite part is the food. I can make food he refuses to eat. And I do. Last week he was out of town and I made this delicious cauliflower fried rice. My husband thinks cauliflower is a horrible addition to any meal, so I usually save it for snacks and lunch, or serve it on the side.
This dish did not disappoint. It was full of both flavor and nutrients. While I’d still rather have him home, this definitely softened the blow.
The key to this dish is to dice all the veggies small and cook it in stages. Start with the heartier veggies and work your way up to the softer ones so everything cooks evenly.
And can I talk about this sauce. It’s so amazing. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m on a candida cleanse and can’t have anything fermented. That means no coconut aminos or gluten free soy sauce. That has been really hard but this sauce is a great substitute. You can definitely use 1/4 C coconut aminos instead of the water to up the flavor, but it was still incredible with the water.
This is also versatile based on what you have/like. We used leftover pork chops for the protein but this would be great with chicken, ham, steak or any ground meat. We just always got ham fried rice growing up, so fried rice and pork seem to be the perfect combination to me.
Sadly, my husband has a few more trips coming up before summer. The good news is, this dish will get to make more appearances as I plan to have it every time he leaves town.
3-Ingredient Trail Mix Clusters
A few weeks ago we had a “chocolate night” for a women’s organization I belong to. It was a crazy day and I didn’t have much time to make anything. I needed something I could throw together in five minutes.
I thought about calling it in and bringing store-bought cookies, but since I’d talked the the same group a month before about nutrition, I thought that would be a little hypocritical. So I made these little beauties.
You guys. These are so good! I’m embarrassed they’re so easy! Everyone loved them and I felt like I stayed true to who I am!
When I made these for the ladies, I used 69% Enjoy Life chocolate chips. I’ve also made them with 100% chocolate (my favorite way, but I get I’m crazy), and Lily’s chocolate chips (stevia-sweetened chocolate chips). All three are fabulous. It just depends on how much sugar you want in these.
I used almonds for the nut because we have a ton, but you can use any nut or a combination. My favorite is pecans.
For the dried fruit, I used dried cherries because, well, cherries and chocolate. Best. Combination. Ever. If you go to Trader Joe’s, you can get unsweetened, dried cherries. This makes me happier than it probably should. If I couldn’t find unsweetened dried fruit, I’d use raisins. Cranberries or strawberries would also be fabulous!
These stay good for a long time so I love to make a batch and have one after dinner each night. They’re also great if I’m fighting with my kids and want to lock myself in the pantry and eat a bag of Oreos. Then I remember I don’t buy Oreos but I’m locked in the pantry ready to eat my emotions and I need something. These are perfect for that.
I’m super lazy and don’t like to take the time to melt my chocolate over a double boiler. I know that’s the correct way to ensure your chocolate hardens shiny and beautiful, but if I’m the one eating them, I don’t so much care so I use the microwave. If I want to be fancy, I use a double-boiler. I rarely want to be fancy.
After the chocolate is melted, it’s just a matter of adding in the other ingredients, mixing them together and spooning the mixture out onto parchment paper. Then you have to wait about an hour for them to set. But at least you have a delicious bowl to lick out. Not that I would do that…
I also sprinkle these with a little sea salt which is totally optional but totally awesome.
So if you have these three ingredients and 5 minutes, you’ve got yourself the perfect treat!
Healthy, 5-Ingredient, Frozen Fudge Pops
Today I have an awesome recipe for you! We made the most creamy, rich, perfectly sweet frozen fudge pops last week. Before I get to that, here’s the story behind the need for such a delicious treat.
My poor, sweet 10-year-old son has braces. I’m super impressed with all the advancements society has made as far as convenience goes in the last 20 years, but I’m sad to report, braces are exactly the same. Metal death traps that steal childhood innocence.
My son has been so brave these last 7 months with his braces, but this last wire change was particularly rough. Two days after his appointment, he sat at the kitchen counter crying. “I just want an apple! Everything hurts! I’m tired of protein smoothies!” I felt so bad for this kid. I asked him if he wanted to make some fudge pops and nodded his tear-streaked face. Poor dude.
These were sooooooooooo easy to make. I thought about sneakng in some pureed veggies or collagen powder but I just wanted to give my son a pure treat. Luckily, I’m completely okay with all the ingredients in these. So okay with them, that I let both kids have one for breakfast the next morning.
I just threw all 5 ingredients into my blender and blended it until it was smooth. You could seriously just drink it that way. It was so delicious!
I got these cute molds on Zulily one morning when I was sprawled on the floor with my phone recovering from a HIIT workout. Since I only got 4, we used paper cups for the rest of the batter. The cups were about double the size of the molds (these molds are tiny), so without the molds this is enough to fill about 8 small paper cups. This will vary based on the size of your molds.
With the paper cups, I covered them with plastic wrap first, cut little holes in the wrap and stuck in the wooden sticks.
These took about 10 hours to freeze. It was longer than I would have liked, but TOTALLY worth it. The kids feel like they’re getting an awesome treat (and they are) and I don’t have the feel bad about all the junk in store-bought fudge pops. AND… the whole batch cost about $2.00 to make. That’s way cheaper than it would cost to get the all-natural fudge pops at the grocery store.
And I had two very satisfied kiddos. Eating fudge pops on a Friday off of school in pajamas. Childhood rocks!
Easy Salmon Bowls
I have a confession that may get me kicked out of the healthy community. I do not particularly enjoy eating fish. I am okay with white fish, but I don’t love salmon (one of the healthiest fish due to its higher fat content). Fish provides Omega-3 Fats, which help our heart and reduce overall inflammation. A word about buying fish. ALWAYS buy fish labeled “wild-caught.” This means the fish was taken from its natural habitat after eating its natural diet. “Farm-raised” fish was raised in large groups and fed using grain by-products. This makes farm-raised fish richer in Omega-6 fats which we already get way too much of in the standard American diet.
Because I realize how much I need fish in my diet, I’m always looking for a way I can eat salmon and enjoy it. One thing I do love is Asian food. I decided the best way to eat salmon was to give it some Asian flavor. These salmon bowls are DELICIOUS! They come together really fast and are easy to customize. I love meals like this because I don’t have to try to please everyone. I put out the toppings and everyone can just add what they like. These are also great for company for that exact reason. When I eat these bowls I can honestly say I love salmon.
If you’re going to use rice, start it cooking first.
Then start working on the salmon. I’m not willing to spend a lot of time cooking dinner so I love to cook fish in the oven. I don’t want to have to watch a pan. After it cooks, the salmon easily flakes away from the skin in bite-size pieces. If you REALLY don’t like salmon, you can make this with any fish. Shrimp would be DELICIOUS (a fish I actually do love to eat). Just remember to look for that “wild-caught” label.
While the salmon cooks, prep all your toppings. There is really no wrong way to do this. We use cucumber, carrot, red pepper, spinach, cilantro and avocado but if you want to use something different, go for it.
Then make the sauce. I love this sauce because it only requires one bowl and no cooking. Make and store extra for salad dressing. I like to use tahini, my husband likes peanut butter. Either is delicious. You can also use almond butter or really any nut butter you have on hand. Don’t go out and buy something if you have ingredients that work.
Now just build your bowl how you like it. I like to add a scoop of rice a huge handful of spinach, one whole flaked salmon fillet and then top it with my veggie strips. Then I just drizzle the whole thing with the sauce. My family members pick the veggies they like so there’s not complaining about not liking certain ingredients.
And that’s it! Dinner is ready! Enjoy your fish!!
No-Sugar Saucy Asian Meatballs
When I first started eating healthier, I wasn’t sure what to eat. I had meat and veggies seasoned with salt and pepper. This is a delicious meal but after a few weeks, I was pretty darn sick of it. That’s when I started experimenting with seasonings. Eating healthy is actually really easy if you figure out how to add flavor to food. Sometimes we feel like eating healthy has to be miserable. Good news. It doesn’t!! These meatballs are proof. They are so yummy! My husband and kids loved them and these are people who order things like chili cheese fries and shakes at restaurants, so that’s quite the compliment. Plus, these are easy to make. These days I’m really lazy with cooking. If it takes me more than 20 minutes active time to cook, I’m out.
The only chopping in this recipe is the green onions. To add to my laziness, I cut these with kitchen shears rather than chop them with a knife and cutting board. Add the onions to a large bowl.
Add in the seasonings, coconut aminos, and sesame oil.
Mix this all together before adding in the meat. This keeps the meat tender.
I make my meatballs about the size of golf balls but make them whatever size works best for your family. Just be sure to increase bake time for bigger meatballs and decrease it for smaller ones.
I bake these in the oven for about 15 minutes.
The sauce was the easiest part. Because it’s such a small amount I didn’t want to dirty a saucepan. I mixed it together in a glass dish and microwaved it for two minutes. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Then I just tossed the meatballs in the sauce and sprinkled them with sesame seeds.
You could eat these over rice or rice noodles (if you do, I’d double the sauce), but we just ate them plain with some veggies and cheese on the side.
Healthy, No-Sugar Beef and Broccoli
When my husband and I got married, we’d eat out about once a month. Now before you think we were well-off (because we were dead broke), let me explain what I mean by “eat out.” Once a month we’d make the 1/2 mile walk to the local Smith’s grocery store. Inside the Smith’s was a Chinese restaurant that charged $4.95 for a plate of food. So for less than $10, we had our date night. These days, knowing what I know, I doubt we’d hit up that particular restaurant, but I still remember it fondly. I always got the same thing: chicken chow mein, orange chicken and beef and broccoli. Today I was randomly craving that beef and broccoli. Side note: I didn’t have one craving when I was pregnant, but when I’m not pregnant, I crave random things all the time. The point is, I wanted to eat beef and broccoli and not feel horrible after. So I decided to come up with my own recipe. Here’s how it went down.
I started with a flank steak sliced super thin. Then I marinated this in a delicious, no-sugar, no-soy sauce for about 45 minutes (because that’s how long it took me to get my daughter, get home and start cooking).
Then I cooked my broccoli. This was simple as it was just avocado oil, broccoli, and pepper. How long you cook this is going to depend on your taste buds. I happen to like my broccoli very well cooked. I love when it has some black char on it. Cook it how you like it. How long you cook the broccoli won’t make any difference to whether or not the dish turns out.
Move the broccoli to a bowl and add the meat, marinade and all. This is another thing to cook to your liking. I like my meat rare, so I only cooked it for around 3 minutes or so. If you like it more done, cook it for around 5 minutes.
While the meat cooks, make the delicious sauce. The thickener in the sauce is arrowroot powder. It acts a lot like corn starch.
Add the broccoli back in and once it’s warm, toss the sauce. You’ll only have to cook it for a minute or so to finish the dish.
I ate this plain because I was starving and it smelled amazing, but this would also be delicious over rice.
10 Minute Christmas Present – Homemade Coasters
Last year for Christmas we gave our family things they’d need for a family night. This included a game, a movie, popcorn, hot chocolate and these adorable coasters (for the hot chocolate, of course). I’m not the kind of person that can find an adorable craft on Pinterest and make it come to life, so […]
How to ripen bananas… FAST!
Last week I went to make banana bread when I realized I didn’t have any ripe bananas! Making banana bread with under-ripe bananas is lame. The bananas are too hard to mash so you usually end up with weirdly-textured banana chunks in your muffins. I don’t think my son would be impressed with this. So […]
12 High-Energy Breakfasts to Get Your Kids Through the School Day
When I was a little girl I would get angry and throw fits, as most kids do. In the morning if I didn’t like what I was wearing, or my pigtails were too tight, or my favorite lace-trimmed socks were dirty, it was the end of the world. I’d cry, scream and lose my ability […]