Smoothies in November??

So I have not gone crazy, but you can still drink smoothies when it’s cold out! Earlier this week, on Fox2, we discussed how to keep your smoothie healthy and made a delicious smoothie. Take a look:

Fox 2 smoothie segment

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They are excellent snacks and meal replacements during the busy on the go days during fall. Whenever we heard the word smoothie, we typically think, oh healthy food, sign me up. However, we may be thinking we are making a healthy smoothie, when in actuality we have made a sugary, fat laden, high calorie drink that can have a negative impact on your health.

Take a look at these tips to help keep your smoothie a healthy treat and not a high calorie dessert.

Start with a good base:

    • Greek yogurt excellent source of: calcium, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. It is also thicker than your other yogurts and will provide a nice creamy base.
    • Cow’s milk: excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Increase calcium intake can increase bone and teeth health as well as keep you hydrated.
    • almond milk:  rich in nutrients, including fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, copper and calcium it also has fewer calories than cow or soy milk, meaning that it is usually lower in fat, carbohydrates, and protein. If you are planning to add spinach or dark green leafy vegetables, this is a good choice as the calcium will not interfere with iron absorption.
    • Fruit juice: use with caution, as it is higher in sugar and calories. If you are adding fruit, let the fruit sweeten the smoothie not the fruit juice.

Add some fruit or vegetables:

  • Spinach: adding spinach or greens to your smoothie is an easy way to increase vegetable intake as well as increasing how much iron you consume.
  • Fruits: can be delicious, but keep in mind, the more you add the more calories you are packing into your smoothie. Tip: Stick to 3 or less types of fruit; also use frozen fruit, that way you don’t have to add ice.
  • For a fall treat, add pumpkin! Pumpkin is higher in fiber which can improve your digestive health, boost your immunity from added vitamins and minerals, and help your eyesight.
  • For a fall treat, can add pumpkin to the recipe

If needed add protein.

  • If you need to increase your protein intake, protein powders, nut butters, and nuts and seeds are good choices.

Watch the extras:

Extra protein powder, nut and nut butters, avocado, chia or flax seeds and other healthy ingredients can increase calories. For example adding 1 tablespoon of peanut butter adds an extra 100 calories.

Finally do a calorie count:

In your mind rough calculate how much of each food you have added. If your smoothie is replacing a meal around 400 calories is a good goal. If your smoothie is a snack keep the calories around 200. An easy to do a quick calorie count is to measure.

For a tasty fall treat, try a Pumpkin spice smoothie. It’s absolutely delicious!!!

Enjoy!!

xoxo,

Katie

❓Question of the day: what’s your favorite smoothie?⁉️

Pumpkin spice smoothie

Makes 1 smoothie

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pumpkin (canned or freshly cooked)

1/2 Banana

6 ounces Total 0% Nonfat Greek Yogurt

1/2 cup almond milk

15g Vanilla Protein Powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

Blend all ingredients together

Nutrition facts:

Calories: 323

Total Fat: 3.0g

Total carbohydrate: 39g

Protein: 37.8g

 

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Dash of dinner: Sweet Potato Goodness

Happy September!! I think I say this almost every month but I can’t believe it’s September!  September means football, leaves changing, cooler weather and fall!! I’m pretty excited that fall is around the corner. My basic self is about to emerge: PSL’s boots, scarves, leggings…a6153fb7af862a1527702cc8a6a59ee0meme found here

In the spirit of fall, I was craving something for dinner that was fallish but still delicious while it’s 90 degrees here in Saint Louis.

I found this recipe by tablefortwoblog.com and the original recipe can be found here. I tweaked the recipe to have chicken and  some sliced jalapeños to add some pop.  What I like about this dish: it’s full of vegetables, protein, This is a nice quick meal that can be made in about 20 minutes. Cooking the chicken in advance will help speed up the preparation time. Here is my version of Vegetable and Chicken Stuffed Potatoes.

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Vegetable and Chicken Stuffed Potatoes

Makes 1 Potato

Ingredients:

1 Large Sweet Potato

1/2 medium zucchini, shredded ( about 1/2-2/3rds cup)

1 medium carrot chopped

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

1/4 yellow onion chopped

1 medium chicken breast shredded

Optional sliced jalapeños ( about 1/4 cup)

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to season

olive oil

Instructions:

1.  Cook or grill chicken breast

2. Poke potato with a fork 8-10 times. Depending on the size of your potato and your microwave, cook the potato for about 4 minutes. The potato should be soft but not too squishy when you touch it. Once the potato is done, slice potato in half, but do not cut in half.

3. While the potatoes are cooking, heat an oiled skillet and cook the zucchini, mushrooms, and carrots until soft about 10 minutes. Add in the shredded chicken, jalapeños if wanted, and seasonings.

4. Once potato is cool, scoop out about 1/2- 3/4s of the potato and add to skillet.

5. Once potato is evenly mixed, scoop the mixture into the stuffed potato and Enjoy!!

Nutrition information

376 calories, 4.2g fat,232, mg sodium, 52.8g carbohydrate, 10.8g fiber, and 34.6g protein

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(disclaimer I did not make this recipe I give 100% credit to tablefortwoblog.com and made some minor adjustments)

What are you looking forward to about September?

xoxo,

Katie

Holy Guacamole it’s Monday

Happy Monday!!

It’s always crazy how fast the weekends fly by and before we know it, the alarm is going off and it’s Monday.  Well here’s to a new week!! Over the weekend I was craving guacamole. I have made some excellent guac, and have had some epic guac fails. These fails usually come from not following a recipe and me trying to be Giada or Bobby Flay and getting creative. Well I have found a recipe that needs no changing. I realize that I’m bit behind to making this recipe, but surprise it’s Chipotle’s guac recipe!!

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This guac is AMAZING. It’s simple and quick to make, and just delicious!  Here’s why you should eat avocados:

  • They are heart healthy. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, the good fat that helps lower your bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol. Avocados also contain plant sterols which also help your good cholesterol.
  • Avocados are good for your eyes. They contain 2 carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, that help slow down age related eye issues.
  • Keep your bones strong. Avocados are high in vitamin K. Vitamin K can help increase calcium absorption.
  • Cancer fighter. Avocados are a good source of folate. Eating food high in folate can help decrease the risk of developing breast, colon, stomach, pancreatic, and cervical cancers.
  • It keeps you regular. Avocados contain approximately 6-7 grams of fiber per half. This also will promote weight loss by keeping you feeling full longer.

The recipe can be found on Chipotle’s website

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If you haven’t tried this guac yet, go buy some avocados, red onions, cilantro, and jalapeños and make yourself a batch. You won’t regret it!!

xoxo,

Katie

Pre 4th of July breakfast

Happy day before the 4th of July! I love that I can use food to celebrate a holiday and what screams red, white, and blue more than a yogurt parfait!!

Since this is also a Thursday, how fitting for a #TBT recipe! This is one of my favorite breakfast recipes from my blog, homemade granola.

Original recipe found here. Now this recipe is also near and dear to my heart because my cousin got my uncle to change up some of his eating habits and one of those was breakfast. Since I developed the recipe, he trusted her and had it with yogurt and fell in love. You will too!! I modified this from the original recipe. I was out of brown rice syrup so I swapped that for applesauce. I also used flaxseed instead of wheat germ and a smaller batch. Too much of a good thing is still too much!!

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Homemade Granola

8 servings (about 1/3 cup)

 Ingredients

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flaxseed
2 tablespoons Chia Seed
3 tablespoons flax seeds
2 scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup craisins

Instructions:

1.       Preheat oven to 325F.

2.       In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (minus the dried fruit)

3.       On the stove, hear the oil and brown rice syrup

4.       Once the oil and syrup are heated and starting to bubble, pour over the dried ingredients.

5.       Spread on a cookie sheet and bake 15-20 minutes. At about 15 minute or right as its starting to turn brown, add the dried fruit and bake for an additional few minutes.

6.       Remove from oven once it is golden brown.

7.       Let it cool and store in glass jars or Tupperware.

8.       Enjoy!!

Nutrition facts:

1 serving:  299 calories, 9.6g fat, 1.2g saturated fat, 37.9 g carbohydrate 16mg sodium, 15.2g protein

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Now once you’ve made this adding 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup of  slice strawberries, and 1/4- 1/3 cup of granola. Layer in a glass or a jar and enjoy!!!

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What is your favorite red, white, and blue food to eat on the 4th??

xoxo,

Katie

Buffalooooooooo oh and some squash

So if you’ve ever gone to a burger restaurant or any restaurant for that matter and they have bison on the menu, I get as excited as a schoolgirl who’s on the playground with her crush. Seriously I love bison. Not that it’s tasty but also that it’s darn good for you!

Here are some benefits of bison:

– It has less calories and cholesterol than chicken or fish.

– There is 76% less fat than in beef and about 68% less fat that chicken- meaning for meat that you can eat for your money (saving those $$).

– Eating buffalo or bison 3-4 times a week in place of red meat can help low bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol.

-Not only does it have lots of protein but it’s packed with nutrients: zinc, niacin, iron, vitamin B6, and selenium.

Here’s a quick run down on these nutrients:

Zinc: boosts immune system, and improves hair, skin health and cell function.

Selenium: decreases cellular damage from free radicals

Niacin: helps open up blood vessels and helps turn food into energy

Iron: the oxygen carrier of cells

B6: keeps you mentally and physically sharp.

Use Bison in place of ground beef in any recipe and you will have a tasty meal on your hands. I swapped bison for ground beef in my spaghetti squash with meat sauce recipe as seen below and had a real treat on my hands.

Enjoy!!

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Spaghetti Squash with Bison Sauce

Makes roughly 4-6 servings

Ingredients

1 Medium Spaghetti Squash

10 ounces Ground Bison

1 10 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes

1 cup frozen spinach

1/2 jar of Marinara sauce ( I used TJ’s Sweet basil marinara sauce)

Garlic powder to taste

Oregano to taste

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cut spaghetti squash in half. Place face down in a  baking dish and add a  bit of water. Cook squash for 30-45 minutes.

2. While the squash is cooking, ground the ground bison. Once browned add in tomatoes, and spinach. Add in the sauce last.

3. Once squash is cooked, should be tender but not falling apart, let cool and take a fork to the meat. It will fall apart like spaghetti noodles.

4. Serve spaghetti squash with meat sauce and add some grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!!

Nutrition facts

4 servings:

243 calories, 13.9g fat, 5.6g sat fat,241 mg sodium, 8.6g carbohydrate, 21.5g protein.

Printable recipe here:

Spaghetti squash and bison sauce

 

Also try: Oatmeal bison burgers

 

What is your favorite bison recipe??

xoxo,

 

Katie

Snow blowing, chilled to bone, warm you up chili

Happy 2014!!! I can’t believe that it is 2014. One of my resolutions is to make more time to blog. Well use my time more efficiently. There is no reason for me to sit on the couch more than an hour and not do anything ( everyone needs some time to veg). Anyways Saint Louis is frigid cold right now. I feel like I’m in Minnesota with the negative temps. Temperatures this cold call for something that will warm you up!

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I love that commercial, am iffy on the soup (due to the amount of sodium) but love that commercial.  Anyways this chili will definitely be warming your heart on this chicken chili!!

Warm you up Chicken Chili

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Serves 6 large servings 8 medium servings

Ingredients

1 pound chicken breasts
12 ounce  can Red Kidney Beans
12 ounce can Pinto Beans Canned
12 ounces can Cannellini (White Kidney) Beans
1 32 ounces can plum tomatoes
1 6 ounces tomato paste
1 8 ounce bag frozen spinach
2 cups chopped carrots
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder

 

Instructions

1. Combine all ingredients into crock pot (if using regular beans and not low sodium rinse off the beans first).

2. Cook on low for 6 hours and enjoy.

***I added much more cayenne because I like hot chili but add to taste.

 

Nutrition facts per serving:

293 calories, total fat: 5.9g, 1.4 saturated fat, 35.2g Carbohydrate, 27.8g protein, 260mg sodium

Print Recipe here: Warm you up Chicken Chili 

 

Sorry for the lack of photos, I was hungry and dove right into my bowl. Enjoy!!!!

 

Xoxo,

 

Katie

Everything’s bigger in Texas…including this sheet cake

A few months ago, I got together with some friends for a sunday night dinner.  Sunday night dinners are just a great way to end the weekend and get ready for the week ahead. This Sunday dinner was extra special because Alyson from SimplyNutricising was in town, and we were celebrating the last Sunday dinner in St. Louis for one friend. This definitely  called for a delicious dessert and Texas Sheet Cake with some berries sounded like just the thing!

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Texas sheet cake is so easy to make and is SO good. Be careful it can be hard to stop at one bite!

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Texas Sheet Cake

12 Servings

Cake:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup nonfat greek yogurt

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons flaxseed

1 1/4 cup splenda

Frosting:

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

6 tablespoons fat free milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup slivered almonds

For the Cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Mix together the flaxseed, nonfat greek yogurt, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Stir in sugar, whole wheat flour, and baking soda. If the batter is dry add some water.

3. Pour into a sheet pan or a shallow cake pan.

4. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. While the cake is baking, melt the butter and  mix with the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, fat free milk and vanilla.

6. Mix in the almonds and pour onto the cake while the cake is hot.

7. Once cooled, enjoy!

Per Serving:

343 calories, 12.8 g fat, 57.9g carbohydrate, and 4.9g protein

Printable recipe here:Texas Sheet Cake

What is your favorite dessert??

Xoxo,

Katie