“Fancy” Family Dinner

My husband’s college roommate came into town Sunday afternoon, and by time I got back from babysitting and girl time at 6pm, I realized I probably should make them dinner while they were catching up and lost in the world of business endeavors. Of course I wanted to make something a little fancier than normal because we had a guest, but also something filling and healthy that I would want to eat too. Cooking for two grown men has to be hardy enough!

My first thought was the organic zucchini squash I picked up over the weekend (thank goodness I just went grocery shopping!!) and was determined to finally use a wedding gift. Thanks also to the person that got us the viral veggie cutter! I went out on a limb trying it for the first time with a guest, but I was VERY surprised at how easy it was.

1. I just twisted the zucchini into a skillet with olive oil on medium heat and added some minced garlic seasoning. I used 4 smaller sized zucchini, which was the perfect amount for 3 people, as the noodles shrink a little when cooked. I flipped it and pushed it around off and on for about 10 minutes. After draining it, I just added some pasta sauce and served it like a pasta side!

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2. The chicken tender pieces were prepared with some drizzled olive oil, small slices of mozzarella cheese on each piece, with fresh basil and sliced tomatoes. I’ve never tried that on chicken, but I love it as an appetizer at fancy restaurants and figured it’d be fun for something different! Baked at 375* for 18 minutes. 

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3. I had some frozen organic broccoli florets steaming for 8 minutes while the chicken was cooking. On a normal basis, we just have plain vegetables as a side. BUT again, attempting to be a little more special, I drained the broccoli, put it in a nice serving bowl and added a couple scoops of pesto basil and mixed it up. It was the perfect flavor to compliment the taste mozzarella from the chicken! For anyone looking for an easy seasoning, you CAN’T GO WRONG with Pesto Basil on everything. YUM.

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Below is my little serving with the pasta sauce on the zucchini, and chicken on top of the broccoli… A LOT OF green, but super healthy!

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Reviews from the guys was that they loved the veggie noodles and I should make them more often! For those trying to sneak more vegetables into meals, turning them into a “pasta” is a delicious, quick way to do it. Zucchini is a very low calorie vegetable, rich in fiber, Vitamin C, antioxidants, and Potassium. Broccoli also has a strong detoxification affect, high in Vitamin D/C, and Folic Acid. Consider this a SUPERFOOD meal 🙂

Bonus: we even have some chicken and broccoli left over for lunch! Y’all know I like to keep chicken in bulk!

ENJOY!

XOXO,

Ro

Chicken Quesadilla

This isn’t a mind blowing recipe. I recognize that it’s pretty basic, but I aim for healthy, quick and easy; the less stress the better. And I know there has to be someone out there who just wants an idea for a healthy weekend lunch, like we had after church today when we came home starving.

Turkey sandwiches for weekend lunches in the first few months of marriage got really old. Lately, we have switched to this delicious tortilla to use for wraps and quesadillas.

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Quesadillas are a great way to sneak in veggies and is the perfect example of why I try to always have some extra baked chicken in the fridge for when the moment of hunger strikes.

1. I used Roasted Red Pepper Hummus as a spread, which provides a little healthy fat and extra protein.

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2. I piled on as much organic spinach, kale, and chard (they came together in a bag) as I could fit! Then I cut up a few grape tomatoes we had in the fridge, and also cut up half of a chicken breast. Feel free to add any other vegetables you have!

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3. We had some shredded sharp cheddar cheese (say that 3 times fast) in the fridge so I lightly sprinkled that on top before heating. I bet feta or goat cheese would have also tasted wonderful!

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4. I LOVE using our George Foreman grill, so I grilled it on there for about 4-5 minutes. You can also throw it in the oven for 10 minutes, or even the microwave for a minute, but it won’t be as crispy obviously. For my husband who needs more calories, I fill an entire tortilla for the bottom and put another one on top so I can fill with more chicken and veggies.

ENJOY!!

XO,

Ro

Banana Protein Muffins

WARNING…these muffins are addicting 🙂

I used to go on late night WaWa runs in college where I’d eat 2 huge muffins before I even walked back to my dorm. Needless to say, I love muffins. I’ve loved having these as little low-calorie healthier substitute option that are a lot more moist and thick than a regular muffin. Sorry for those of you that like really fluffy!

If you want to be 100% sure they are gluten free, you can leave out the baking soda, they just won’t rise as much. (or buy gluten free baking soda, but I didn’t have any on hand, and it’s only a small amount)

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Ingredients 

7 Tablespoons of Coconut Flour

5 Eggs

2 Mashed Bananas

1 scoop or pouch of Vanilla Protein/Shakeology

1 mini cup of Applesauce (4oz)

2 Teaspoons of Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon of Honey

2 Teaspoons of Vanilla extract

Directions

1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tins with non-stick spray. They are sticky!

2. Mix all ingredients into large bowl. Let sit for around 10 minutes. It took my bananas a little while to soften and mix evenly.

3. Pour mixture into muffin tins. It should fill one tray: 12 muffins.

4. Bake for 20 minutes and then let cool for 5 minutes or so. Store in a container on the counter for grab and go during the week!

ENJOY!

XO,

Ro

Peanut Butter Protein Balls: The yummiest little snack

For all you peanut butter fans out there… this one is for you! A couple of these are perfect for a post-workout snack, or a very filling little sweet after a meal. My husband says it’s like eating a peanut butter cup without the excessive sugar.

As all my recipes are, this  one has to be the easiest to make yet!

Total prep time-just 5 minutes!

You need: 

  • 6 Dates or 4 Medjool Dates. If you don’t have a heavy duty blender, you may want to push out the pits inside of the dates before you put them in to the mix.

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  • 1 scoop (25g) Natural Protein Powder (whatever you have is probably fine! This is what I had in the cabinet leftover from last year. I used Vanilla, but next time I’m going to try with Chocolate Shakeology to get the Chocolate Peanut Butter taste).

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  • 4 tablespoons Crunchy or Natural Peanut Butter. As a warning, this ends up being nearly half of your jar! I had just enough left.

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  • 2 teaspoons Chia Seeds. My NutriBullet ground them up pretty well at the same time with everything else, but you may want to grind them first a little bit if you don’t want the texture coming out in the protein balls.

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Put all the ingredients into a blender, food processor, or I just used our Nutribullet. After a couple of quick pulses, the mixture was already soft and not sticky. Take the dough and roll into tablespoon size balls.

I put them in the freezer for about 3-5 minutes and took them out to enjoy a couple immediately! I’m planning to have a few in the fridge during the week for a grab and go filler.

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ENJOY!!

XO,

Ro

Turkey Meatballs

This is another one of those recipes that came about out of necessity and having limited time. I came home from personal training at 8:30pm after all day at work. My husband was still working and I realized we had nothing to pack for lunches. (Packing lunch everyday is how this young couple saves $$$). I had thawed a pound of ground turkey overnight, so that was our only choice for our protein the next day! I decided to go with some kind of quick meatball type option and found things in the fridge to add to it!

In a large bowl, mix the following together–> 

-1lb of 99% Lean Ground Turkey Meat (All Natural or Organic if possible!)

-1 egg beaten

-1/4 Cup of coconut flour (or 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs if you’re not going with a lighter gluten free option)

-1 Teaspoon parsley

-1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

-1/2 teaspoon of pepper

-2 teaspoons minced garlic (if you have garlic cloves on hand, feel free to chop and add even more than this. I just only had the seasoning)

-1/4 cup chopped onion (I always keep a bag of frozen chopped onion in the freezer because it lasts so much longer and is great to add to a lot of different meals)

-several handfuls of organic spinach; tear apart and add in the mixture.

-1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (I just chopped up organic cherry tomatoes into small pieces, but feel free to use canned or whatever veggies you have!)

After making sure all of the meat had been exposed to the seasonings, I turned the stove top heat on medium, and added olive oil to pan. I rolled the meat by hand into maybe 1 inch by 1 inch balls and placed them all around the pan. Once the bottom was browning, I turned them over. JUST to be sure they were cooked all the way through, I flattened them a bit so that’s why in the picture they’re not quite as round. I had to do 3 rounds of about 7-8 meatballs, and each round took around 6 minutes. I also added a little bit of olive oil each round since the meat soaked it up as they were cooking.

We had it for lunch with roasted green beans and brown rice, but feel free to serve with wheat pasta and pasta sauce, or with your veggie fried brown rice!

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ENJOY!

XO,

Ro