Category Archives: Recipes

Homemade Hummus

The lineup:

  • 1 can garbanzos (aka chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • 1 to 2 T extra virgin olive oil (if you want a thinner consistency but don’t want any additional oil, try reserving a bit of the liquid from the canned beans)
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 to 2 T tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds)
  • salt, pepper, and spices to taste (Traditionally, hummus is prepared with paprika and/or cumin.  I used cumin, smoked paprika, and a little cayenne for some kick.)
  • either 1 or 2 raw garlic cloves or 1 whole head of roasted garlic

If you want to go the roasted garlic route (and believe me, you do), simply slice off the top, spray with a little EVOO, and wrap that sucker up in some tin foil.  You can sprinkle on a little sea salt and pepper too if you feel so inclined.  Roast 45 minutes to an hour in a 350 degree oven (hint: prep some proteins for the week at the same time!).  Allow to rest until it is cool enough to handle.

The cloves should come out easily as a paste when the bulb is squeezed…

…looks gross, tastes a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

From there, simply blend all of your ingredients in a food processor or blender until your desired consistency is reached.  Then package it up and refrigerate.  Serve as a snack with raw veggies, add it to a salad, or use it as a sub for mayo in dishes like tuna salad!

Other ingredients you might consider adding (friendly tip: not all at once):

  • roasted red peppers
  • kalamata olives
  • artichoke hearts
  • roasted eggplant
  • hot sauce
  • white beans instead of the traditional garbanzos
  • natural peanut butter instead of tahini (don’t knock it til you try it, Alton Brown has a killer recipe)
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Taco Seasoning

Another quick, healthy meal the whole family can get behind: taco salad!  Instead of buying pre-made taco seasoning that may be loaded with franken-food ingredients and artificial colorings (mmm maltodextrin my favorite), just make your own!  Not only will you know exactly what you’re putting into your body (and your loved ones) you can also save money in the long run.  Think about it…pay upwards of $1 for a single packet of the pre-made stuff OR invest a few dollars worth of several individual spices that you’ll get multiple meals out of.  Looking for the convenience factor?  Just make a larger batch (double or triple the recipe) so you always have some on hand!

The lineup:

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (plus a few shakes of cayenne if you like it extra spicy)
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano

Shake it all up in a plastic container…just don’t forget the lid people…

How to use?  I sprinkled roughly half of this mix over a 1 1/4 lb package of extra lean ground turkey breast that I had browning up in a nonstick pan…

…added about a 1/2 cup of water, turned the heat to low, and let it simmer covered for 5-10 minutes until the liquid absorbed…

…and then served with an assortment of goodies for a tasty taco salad.  Toppings to try:

  • spinach, romaine, or other green leafies
  • chopped veggies (raw or cooked) like bell peppers, onion, celery, etc.
  • fresh tomatoes and/or salsa
  • nonfat Greek yogurt (as a sub for sour cream)
  • avocado and/or guacamole
  • black beans
  • brown rice or quinoa to make it more like a burrito bowl (homemade Chipotle anyone?)

Nom nom nom….

Monday “Mess”-cipe Recipe

I woke up yesterday to a cool, rainy morning…  Perfect excuse to bust the slow cooker out of its summer retirement for a little cleaned up comfort food.  I had a bunch of summer produce hanging around, nearly on its last leg so I knew I needed to concoct a dish using as much of it as possible.  Solution?  An “everything but the kitchen sink” veggie dish.

Ingredients (I never really measure when I cook, so all of these measurements are educated guesses.  Much more fun that way.):

  • 1 tsp virgin coconut oil (You could also use olive oil, but I really love the flavor good quality coconut oil imparts)
  • 1 ½ c chopped onion (I used one small vidalia onion)
  • 1 c carrot, sliced ¼-inch thick (I used three large carrots)

Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; cover and cook until tender (about 5 minutes).

  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced (The heat is in the seeds and the ribs, so if you’re a fan of spicy food leave a little more of the ribs intact.)

Add curry, ginger, garlic, and chile.

Cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly until aromatic and well combined.  Place onion mixture in slow cooker.

  • 1 ½ c cubed sweet potato (I used two small spuds)
  • 1 c cubed yellow squash (I used one small squash)
  • 1 c diced bell pepper (I used half of a green pepper and half of a red one)
  • 2 c cut green beans (Dirty little secret: I used frozen…just as good and usually cheaper)

Add remaining vegetables to onion mixture.

Add remaining ingredients.

  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, including juices (look for lower sodium varieties)
  • 14 oz low-sodium vegetable broth (more or less depending on how thin you want the dish to be)

Cover and cook on HIGH 6 hours or until all vegetables are tender.

By the time I had everything bubbling away in the crock-pot, the morning rain had subsided, the sun came out, and I decided it would be a perfect afternoon to take my birthday present to myself for a test drive…

…and my apartment smelled amazing when I returned 🙂

To give the dish a little something extra, wilt in fresh spinach (I used a whole bag) and coconut milk (I used about a cup of light coconut milk).   To brighten up the flavor and lend some acid to the dish (the slow cooker tends to muddy flavors a bit), spritz each serving with a fresh lemon wedge.

I served this dish with cubed chicken breast that I cooked separately, but you could simply throw some chicken right into the crock-pot along with the veggies to make a one-pot meal.  And feel free to use whatever fresh (or frozen…or even canned if you’re desperate) produce you have on hand in this “mess”-cipe recipe.

My go-to meal…

I would consider myself a “volume eater”…I need to eat A LOT of food to feel satisfied.  This is one of my favorite go-to meals at the moment.  I pair a lean protein, some healthy satiating fats and tons of nutrient dense, fibrous veggies that fill me up on relatively few calories…

 

For this particular meal I used…

  • a bed of baby spinach
  • cucumber and yellow squash
  • fresh salsa
  • avocado
  • scrambled egg whites and one “dippy” whole egg

My favorite thing about this meal?  You can pull it together using whatever fresh produce and proteins you have on hand.  If I were to use this as a pre- or post-workout meal, I’d probably scale back the fat content (i.e. add less avocado and nix the whole egg in favor of more egg whites or a different protein altogether) and add a starchy complex carbohydrate (quinoa would be an ideal option).
Real food that’s really filling, not to mention tasty.  What more could you ask for?

Clean Spicy Tuna Cakes

Looking for a clean source of protein that won’t blow your grocery budget? You probably already stock one as a pantry staple: canned tuna.  I know, it’s not the most exciting food in the world, but with a little creativity you can take your tuna to another level (without the mayo usually used in tuna salad).  With roughly 30 grams of protein per four-ounce serving, canned tuna is one the best bargains for a clean eater.

Ingredients (4 patties):

  • 2 (5 0z) cans water-packed tuna, drained

  • 1 Tbsp (1 oz) spicy brown mustard
  • 1 Tbsp (1 oz) hot sauce
  • spices of choice (I used several shakes of garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, and plenty of cayenne)

the usual suspects

  • 2 Tbsp oat flour (I ground rolled oats in a food processor, but you could use quick oats)

  • 3 Tbsp liquid egg whites  (or one whole egg white)
  • 3 oz broccoli, finely chopped (you could use any combination of veggies: celery, onion, bell peppers, etc.)

  • cooking spray

Ok, these instructions couldn’t be any easier…ready for it…  Mix.  Divide.  Cook.  Serve.

Seriously?  You need me to elaborate?

MIX all ingredients.

DIVIDE evenly into fourths and shape into patties.

COOK in a skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.

SERVE.

I placed mine atop a bed of baby spinach and topped it all off with avocado.  You could add any of your favorite toppings: salsa, Greek yogurt, guacamole…or if you’re anything like me, extra hot sauce 🙂

Idiot proof, easy on the wallet, easy on the waistline.  What more could you ask for?

Clean Crock-Pot Pork Tenderloin

“I don’t have time to eat well.”  “Eating clean is way too complicated.”  “It’s so much easier to head to the drive-through.”

Clean eating doesn’t have to be time consuming, complicated, or intimidating.  Case in point: my crock-pot pork tenderloin.  The actual prep time is very minimal and you’re free to go about your day while the slow-cooker does all the work for you!

Seasoning Mixture

Ingredients:

  • 1 large pork tenderloin, trimmed of visible fat and broken down into chunks
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • salt&pepper to taste
  • cooking spray (go for an olive oil or coconut oil)
  • 2 c water (or low-sodium chicken stock)

Part 1:

Blend the seasonings (garlic powder through pepper) in a small dish.  Rub the pork with the prepared seasoning mixture.

Brown the pork in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Note that the goal here is not to cook the meat all the way through, just to sear the outside.  Do not crowd your pan; work in batches if necessary.  Once all the meat has been browned, transfer to the bottom of your slow-cooker and then cover with water (or stock).  Cook on high for about 2 hours, then reduce the heat to low for an additional 3 to 4 hours.

Now you could stop there…and believe me, with the smell emanating from your kitchen, it’s going to take some serious willpower not to just dig right in.  But with a little extra effort you can mimic traditional southern pulled pork barbeque.

Part 2:

Preheat your oven to 425, or for the brave and impatient preheat the broiler.

Pour off the cooking liquid through a sieve, reserving about a cup.

“Fork” your pork!

After “forking” your meat should look like traditional pork barbeque.  Pile into a foil lined baking sheet and then cover with your reserved cooking liquid.

Roast the pork, flipping every five to ten minutes (more frequently if you opt to use the broiler).   Continue until the liquid evaporates and the edges of the pork become crispy.  Set a timer and keep an eye out so you don’t burn the meat!

Once it’s finished, just add some fibrous veggies (yay broccoli!) and a quality fat source (avocado, anyone?) for a complete clean meal!

If you’re feeling really ambitious you can make your own vinegar based barbeque sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (go for the good stuff, raw and unfiltered)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you prefer)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Stevia extract (or Splenda or a bit of honey can be substituted if you prefer)

Whisk ingredients together until well mixed.  Serve over your pork!  If you wind up microwaving leftover pork, the extra liquid will help to keep it from drying out.

If you don’t bother with the second step of the process, this meal will take you no more than 10 minutes of prep time.

Enjoy!