Saturday, July 25, 2015

avocado brownies...

i recently read that you can replace butter or oil in baked goods with mashed avocado!?!?!  i have used apple sauce as a substitute for fats, but never heard of avocado, so i had to try this.  i saw a great homemade brownie recipe but i decided to take a short cut and see how this theory works with a boxed mixed.

ingredients:

1 box of your fav brownie mix
2 ripe avocados
2 eggs
1/4 cup water


how to:

in a bowl, mash your two avocados until smooth.  add your eggs and water and stir well.  pour in your brownie mix and fold in until thoroughly combined.  bake at 350 degrees for approximately 22 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.


the taste is just OK, but the texture is really different from your normal brownies.  these come out a little denser and chewy, actually "gummy" is a better word..  but still a good sweet treat when you are craving chocolate without some of the fat, but not to be mistaken as a health food by any means.  i don't think i will make these again, but it may be better in a homemade version, but i still have to write about it, because i think it is an interesting substitute.  i believe that using apple sauce in place of oil or butter is a better solution.  in my experience you don't sacrifice flavor or texture and your end result comes out delicious and moist.  i'm curious what else i can bake with avocados as a healthy fat alternative that might be more successful????

Thursday, July 23, 2015

create!

this quote really stuck out at me today, an i hope you find it inspiring too!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

happy birthday dad!!!

happy birthday to the greatest dad ever!  the funniest, hard working, most generous and loving man and the rock of the family!  wishing him a happy day and an awesome year ahead!  love you so very much!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

turkey taco salad...

sometimes i like to take a recipe that isn't good for you and give it a healthy make over.  this time i was craving taco salad.  so i made a few adjustments and i had a great meal that satisfied my craving and was still good for me!

ingreidients:

1 pound lean ground turkey
1 packet of taco seasoning
1/2 medium onion (diced)
1 head of iceberg lettuce
whole grain tortilla chips
1 avocado
2/3 cup greek yogurt
1/4 pico de gallo
1 T ranch seasoning mix
green onions for garnish
cheddar cheese

how to:

in a pan i cook the turkey and onion, and when it is almost done cooking i sprinkle in the taco seasoning.  i chop up the head of lettuce and set aside.  in a large bowl i take my greek yogurt, ranch mix and salsa and whisk together until combined and the consistency of salad dressing.  you can add some water or the juice from the salsa to thin it out if necessary.  add your lettuce to the bowl and mix until the lettuce is coated with dressing.  place the dressed lettuce in a clean bowl or plate and get ready to assemble.  on top of your salad add your turkey, tortilla chips, 1/2 avocado, and cheese and garnish with green onion.  when figuring out the calories on this, i estimated it is about 600- 650 calories, which isn't bad considering we turned this "junk food" into a healthier option and with such a large portion size!  enjoy!



Monday, July 20, 2015

21 day fix?!?!?

have you seen the 21 day fix infomercials or are any of your friends beach body coaches???  it seems to be all over.  i was looking for a new work out to incorporate into my weekly routine for the days i don't go to the gym, and i thought i would give this a try.  i couldn't get behind the pyramid scheme, so i purchased it on amazon and it was the same price as the infomercial $72.80.

the 21 day fix comes with:
~ 7 workouts all 30 minutes each on 2 DVD's
~7 rainbow colored portion control containers
~shakeology mixer cup


my first reaction was total disappointment when i saw how TINY the containers were and i already have 2 mixer cups in the house, so i didn't need a third, but i was excited to try out the work outs!

i started with the first work out, which is the total body workout and man was it hard!  there is an exercise called the "surrenders" and after doing those, i could hardly sit, squat or bend down for 4 days!  even though i was extremely sore, i kept at it and have been doing it for 2.5 weeks now.  i must preface this with i am only incorporating this into my work out routine, and do not do it everyday.

so my weekly work out routine looks something like this:

monday - gym, walk, 10 min abs
tuesday - 21 day fix work out, walk
wednesday - gym, walk, 10 min abs
thursday - 21 day fix work out, walk, 10 min abs
friday- gym, walk
saturday - 21 day fix, walk, 10 min abs
sunday - i have to take a break!!!

so you can see i do not do these work outs everyday, but i do try to get the 10 min ab workout in at least 5 times a week.  last week i lost 1.5 pounds, so i was happy with my hard work and the results!  i think there are pros and cons to this system and although i am not completely sold on it, i still like it.

pros:
~30 min work outs
~no gym membership required
~lots of variety in the work outs
~you can modify most exercises for your fitness level
~ you will break a sweat!

cons:
~you will need some equipment; light weights, heavy weights, resistance bands and a thick mat
~it's hard!  if you are out of shape or haven't worked out in a while, this might not be the place to start.  it is hard and even the modified exercises are difficult.
~even though it is a 30 min workout, but often times have to pause it and take a breather, so it can take longer
~alongside this program of work outs and food portioning they also use their own brand of protein powder called "shakeology."  i have never tried this myself, and i hear it is good, but it is expensive, about $4.00 per serving.  i think there are so many high quality protein supplements out there, that there is no reason you can not stick to the one you like.  my husband and i drink syntha 6, and we both like it.


in conclusion, this system as a whole is not right for me, but i do like components of it, mainly the workouts when used in conjunction with other physical activity.  i found the food containers to be unrealistic for my lifestyle, it is too much planning, prepping and counting.  i think eating should be easy; heavy protein, lots of veggies and fruit, low carb and minimal sugars.  if i were cooking for just myself, i might be more open to using the food containers.  i also like the idea of "shakeology", i just don't want to use their brand.  there are so many good quality protein powders out there, that i would rather chose my own.  but often times i have one for an on the go breakfast or a afternoon snack.  the work outs are intense and hard, but i am enjoying them and the results, so i will continue to incorporate those into my routine.  if you are still on the fence about this program, i suggest googling or going on pinterest to find a DIY version of this.  i came across many that use similar workouts on youtube and show you how to make your own food containers. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

peanut butter!

i was doing my early morning grocery shopping at trader joes this morning and sometimes when it is quiet there and i am not in a rush, i like to look at the section with new products.  i came across this and was excited to give it a try.  i love all nut butters, but peanut butter especially, and this one has flax seed and chia seeds in it!  i had it on a piece toast  (my fav is trader joes whole grain bread) with their organic raw honey, and it was delicious and extra crunchy!  if you like peanut butter this is a good one to try, and only $2.99 a jar.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

happy birthday jen!

happiest birthday to my beautiful friend jen!  i recently met her about 8 months ago, as her and her boyfriend relocated from back east so that he could work at spacex.  i feel like i have known her a long time and i love her enthusiasm to try new things, her passion for food and cooking and her kind and generous spirit.


she has had company in town for the last 10 days or so, and i know that she is probably tired from entertaining, but i wanted to make sure she feels the birthday love.  so i made her a cake to celebrate!  happy birthday, wishing you a fun filled year ahead with many new and fun adventures!

Friday, July 10, 2015

just as good as the real thing!

my newest obsession...cauliflower rice!!!!  i prepped two heads of cauliflower today and it perfectly filled a gallon sized ziplock bag.


now i am excited to substitute it in recipes.  tonight's dinner was a quick and easy one, but still healthy and guilt free!  rotisserie chicken with sauteed green beans with almonds and cauliflower rice, it is as good as the real thing!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

mama bev!

today we lost and angel disguised as my grandma...
because of her the world laughed harder...
smiled bigger...
loved larger...
i hope in her next life there will be a dance floor waiting for her with rock and roll playing...
she was always an infinite source of wisdom, love and good times!
she will be missed beyond words can express...


















Tuesday, July 7, 2015

one for one...

spring cleaning has kicked in a little late, but i am starting to deep clean, de-clutter and reorganize around the house one project at a time.  i have a rule that for every one new thing i bring home, one has to be thrown out or donated.  my "one for one" rule.

if you buy an item to replace a broken one then you must throw the old one out.

if you buy a item because it is fun, pretty or a "must have", then you must find an item to donate.

and of course there is just the good old rule, that you must donate if:
~it doesn't fit
~you haven't worn it in over a year
~you don't need it or use it

Monday, July 6, 2015

cauliflower rice...

jarad offered to make dinner and surprise me with a new recipe!  he came up with an awesome dinner that was delicious and something i didn't feel guilty about eating.  it was a korean short rib teriyaki plate.  he bought pre-marinated korean short ribs from trader joes and cooked them on the BBQ and served it on top of cauliflower rice! 

ingredients:

short ribs or protein of your choice
head of cauliflower

how to:

cut the head of cauliflower into florets and then put them into food processor and pulse until it is finely minced. in a saute pan add the "rice" with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and salt to taste.  cook for 4-5 minutes until it is tender but still has a bite to it.  serve with the protein of your choice for a teriyaki bowl.  of course you can add additional stir fry veggies!  i actually felt guilty eating as much "rice" as i did, because it was so good that i truly felt i was eating white rice.  it has the same shape and consistency as real rice, i promise you will trick yourself (it's that good)!



Saturday, July 4, 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

coconut rice...

my sister made this dish a few weeks ago for a family dinner, it goes perfectly with a caribbean style menu (think jerk chicken).  it is easy and delicious and comes out of my cookbook called "thug kitchen, eat like you give a f***"

ingredients:

2 cups short grain brown rice
2 t vegetable oil
1 cup diced shallots or white onion
2 T grated fresh ginger
1 cup canned coconut milk (full fat)
2.5 cups vegetable broth
1 can black beans
green onions for garnish

how to:

in a dutch oven saute onion until translucent with oil, then mix in brown rice to toast for a couple of minutes.  then add in the rest of the ingredients (with the exception of the black beans and green onion).  stir until combined and turn the heat to low and cook for approximately 30 minutes.  at this point there shouldn't be much liquid, and stir in your black beans.  cook for another 10 minutes.  serve with green onions on top. 


the original recipe calls for mango to be mixed in, which sounds awesome, but i left that part out.  we also use the left overs to form patties, and lightly fry, and then serve with a fried egg on top for breakfast.  i love to eat it all by itself, and it should serve 6-8 as a side dish.