Sweet Potato- maple quinuoaaa

This has got to be one of my favorite dishes of all time. It’s sweet, fluffy, and makes you go mmmmm with every bite. If you haven’t figured it out- I have a huge sweet tooth. I feel like I need something sweet after dinner every night to make me feel satisfied before bed. If I don’t, I don’t feel complete when getting in bed. Weird? Ya I know. To be exact I prefer something chocolate paired with peanut butter. duhhhhhh

Haha that’s pretty much my love in that picture. But my staple dessert lately has been oatmeal, 2 tsp chia seeds, with chocolate ( darker the better) and a serving of PB, OR 2 mixed in 😉 I recently tried Krema peanut butter and oh my it’s so good. It’s all natural and has a really good smooth texture that has no salt, sugar, or hydrogenated oil. It’s perfect!

Okay now I am getting off topic. Here is a great recipe that you could use as a dessert or even side dish.  Its vegan and gluten free, dairy free, Yeast free, Corn free! Saaay what! Yep!

First off how amazing is quinoa? 

Great info from 3 Fat Chicks on a diet

1. Protein Powerhouse

Proteins are essential to the building and repair of the body’s tissue.  Quinoa has a higher protein content than wheat, barley or other major grains. One cup of quinoa has 9 grams, which trumps the protein-rich egg (6 grams). Quinoa, which contains all 8 of the essential amino acids, is a complete protein.

. Dieter’s Dream

Quinoa is a satisfying source of complex carbohydrates. Rich in fiber, it’s digested slowly and has a low glycemic index, helping you steer clear of the blood-sugar roller coaster.

3. Internal Cleanser/Detoxifier

As a complex carbohydrate, quinoa acts an internal cleanser, easing the progress of food through the digestive tract. Used regularly in your diet, quinoa can help keep you free of constipation and bloating. Unlike more common grains such as wheat, quinoa is gluten-free and can be enjoyed by people with digestive disorders, like celiac disease

4. Bone Builder

For vegans, people with lactose intolerance or those who are simply looking for non-dairy sources of this vital mineral, quinoa is a flavorful source of plant-derived calcium.

5. Brain Food

A cup of cooked quinoa offers 15 percent of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of iron, which helps to deliver oxygen to the blood, boosting energy and brain power. Quinoa’s vitamin B content can help keep the mind sharp, maintain brain volume and stabilize mood.

Def is a staple in my house now. Plus I love the nutty texture!!!

Second up, I love sweet potatoes. They are soft in texture and are smooth on the digestive system.

1.  They are high in vitamin B6.  Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies.  Homocysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases, including the prevention of heart attacks.

2. They are a good source of vitamin C.  While most people know that vitamin C is important to help ward off cold and flu viruses, few people are aware that this crucial vitamin plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation.

3.  They contain Vitamin D which is critical for immune system and overall health at this time of year.  Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight.

4.  Sweet potatoes are a good source of mag­nesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral.

5. Their rich orange colour indicates that they are high in carotenoids like beta carotene and other carotenoids, which is the precursor to vitamin A in your body.  Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/9-reasons-to-love-sweet-potatoes.html#ixzz1oOXqLpWP

So this DISH makes for a POWERHOUSE!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup (dry) quinoa

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 shallots

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

4 tablespoons brown sugar (I OMITTED THIS, BUT YOU CAN ADD FOR MORE SWEETNESS)

2 tablespoons olive oil Salt, to taste

optional: SPRINKLE CINNAMON, OR ANY NUT OF CHOICE

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring water to a rolling boil; add quinoa, cover and reduce to low heat.
  2. Puncture sweet potatoes with a fork and microwave for 8 minutes.
  3. Thinly slice the shallots.
  4. In a small pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until translucent, stirring often.
  5. Cube the sweet potatoes and stir into the quinoa along with the cooked shallots.
  6. Stir in maple syrup and brown sugar. Add salt to taste and garnish with cinnamon and nuts. Serve warm.

 

 

TIP AND ANOTHER DELICIOUS RECIPE!

Tip of the day:  focus on one thing that you know
trips you up. And make it a goal to work on that one thing for the next 7 days.
This tip works really well because it gets you in the habit of small wins. I don’t care
who you are or what stage you are at in your life right now. There is nobody who
can’t use a small win to rebuild motivation and momentum 😉
Recipe of the day: Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken & Vegetables– yum yum!!!
Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken & Vegetables Recipe
6 servings, 1 1/2 cups each
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter (Trader Joe’s my fav)!
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce, or to taste (see Ingredient note)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh vegetable medley, such as carrots, broccoli, snow peas

PREPARATION

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil for cooking pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, place chicken in a skillet or saucepan and add enough water to cover; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size strips.
  3. Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, chile-garlic sauce and ginger in a large bowl.
  4. Cook pasta in the boiling water until not quite tender, about 1 minute less than specified in the package directions. Add vegetables and cook until the pasta and vegetables are just tender, 1 minute more. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Rinse the pasta and vegetables with cool water to refresh. Stir the reserved cooking liquid into the peanut sauce; add the pasta, vegetables and chicken; toss well to coat. Serve warm or chilled.

TIPS & NOTES

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To serve, stir in 2 tablespoons warm water per portion; serve cold or reheat in microwave.
  • Ingredient Note: Chile-garlic sauce (or chili-garlic sauce, or paste) is a blend of ground chiles, garlic and vinegar and is commonly used to add heat and flavor to Asian soups, sauces and stir-fries. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets and keeps up to 1 year in the refrigerator.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 363 calories; 12 g fat (2 g sat, 0 g mono); 44 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 29 g protein; 7 g fiber; 348 mg sodium; 287 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (58% daily value), Fiber (27% dv), Vitamin C (25% dv), Magnesium (19% dv).

Spinach, chicken and Goat Cheese Pizza

If I am going to indulge in a favorite-PIZZA- then I’m going to make a healthy alternative with my favorite ingredients!! There’s always a healthy alternative to the these “comfort” foods we crave day in and day out! Sunday is a day to relax and enjoy the things best in life to mentally prepare for the long week ahead! Happy Sunday!

Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza

2 gluten free pizza or sprouted  rice flat bread
1/2 cup pizza sauce
Sauteed mushrooms
Sauteed sweet onions
Shredded chicken (Either pre- made from store- or bake a lean breast and shred)
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 cup baby spinach
1/4 cup goat cheese organic
2 tablespoons pine nuts (OPTIONAL)
all NATURAL BARBECUE SAUCE (TRADER JOE’S) optional
Make it: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake flatbread for 7 minutes. Spread pizza sauce on flatbread and top with oregano, spinach, goat cheese, and pine nuts, mushrooms, onions, and shredded chicken. To add a little sweetness and zazz- add drizzle of all natural Trader Joe’s BARBECUE SAUCE!  Bake an additional 12 to 15 minutes.
Remember….…Pay Attention. A permanent, healthy lifestyle is created on purpose. Planning, tracking, reading menus, asking questions, following progress reports—they’re all part of the 5% strategy of knowing what’s going on and preventing setbacks. People who follow a healthy lifestyle doesn’t believe in fooling themselves or relying on chance to make things happen. Usually (if not always) aware of the foods they eat, and on the lookout for opportunities to stay active, they know that good health is no accident.
……There’s a reason that a healthy lifestyle sticks around for this small minority of people. They make weight loss a positive experience and have fun with it. Because they feel good about their goals and their new habits, they also feel good about themselves and what they’ve accomplished. Programs based on negative messages, dread, resignation, or criticism are doomed to disappear. Optimists are proven to reach more goals than pessimists. They also live healthier, longer lives.
………….Everyone Allow Themselves To Fail. It’s a guaranteed certainty. Every one of the “healthy” people has failed at some point along their weight loss journey. The difference is that they learned to forgive setbacks and refused to beat themselves up. Every failure is simply one step closer to ultimate success. With this outlook, and using lessons learned along the way, they kept these setbacks from turning into full-fledged disasters.
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE ~

Comfort foods made HEALTHY!!!! macaroni AND CHEESE

Craving something salty, cheesy, greasy, or generally evil? Save yourself the guilt and whip up one of the  good-for-you versions of your favorite bad-for-you recipes. With healthy recipes for chocolate chip cookies, macaroni and cheese, and even brownies 🙂
macaroni and cheese

Macaroni and Cheese

2 1/2 cups dried radiatore, rotelle, or elbow macaroni (8 ounces)
2 cups reduced-fat (2 percent) milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup American cheese, cubed
1/2 cup coarsely crushed seasoned croutons
2 tablespoons finely shredded parmesan cheese
Make it: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pot.
Meanwhile, in a large screw-top jar, combine 1 cup of the milk, flour, mustard, salt, and pepper; cover and shake until combined. Pour into a medium saucepan. Stir in remaining 1 cup milk. Cook and stir over medium heat just until bubbly. Reduce heat to low. Add cheddar cheese and American cheese, stirring until melted. Pour sauce over pasta, stirring until combined. Spoon into a 1-1/2-quart casserole.
Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together croutons and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered, about 5 minutes more, or until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
****FOR EXTRA NUTRITION: ADD in your favorite vegetables steamed  to put in some more health benefits!!!

Curried Chicken Pitas

4 servings
Curried Chicken Pitas RecipeActive Time: 15 minutes                                   
Total Time: 15 minutes

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 cups cooked, cubed chicken breast (see Tip)
  • 1 ripe but firm pear, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted (see Tip)
  • 4 4- to 5-inch whole-wheat pita breads, cut in half
  • 2 cups sprouts
  • PREPARATION

    1. Combine yogurt, mayonnaise and curry powder in a large bowl. Add chicken, pear, celery, cranberries and almonds; toss to combine.
    2. Fill each pita half with 1/2 cup chicken salad and 1/4 cup sprouts.

    TIPS & NOTES

    • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the salad (Step 1) for up to 2 days.
    • Tip: If you don’t have cooked chicken, poach about 12 ounces chicken breast for this recipe. Place boneless, skinless chicken breast in a medium skillet or saucepan. Add lightly salted water (or chicken broth) to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 15 minutes.
    • To toast sliced or slivered almonds: Place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
    • NUTRITION

      Per serving: 323 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 58 mg cholesterol; 41 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 6 g fiber; 352 mg sodium; 372 mg potassium.

Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken Nuggets with Blackberry Mustard

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup fresh blackberries or raspberries, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 pound chicken tenders, cut in half crosswise (see Tip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

 

PREPARATION

  1. Mash blackberries (or raspberries), mustard and honey in a small bowl until it looks like a chunky sauce.
  2. Sprinkle chicken tenders with salt and pepper. Place cornmeal in a medium bowl, add the chicken and toss to coat (discard any leftover cornmeal).
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook the chicken, turning once or twice, until browned and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total (thinner nuggets will cook faster than thicker ones). Serve the chicken nuggets with the berry mustard.

TIPS & NOTES

  • Chicken tenders are the lean strips of rib meat typically found attached to the underside of chicken breasts. They can also be purchased separately. Four 1-ounce tenders will yield a 3-ounce cooked portion. Tenders are perfect for quick stir-fries, chicken satay or kid-friendly breaded “chicken nuggets.”

NUTRITION

Per serving: 184 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 67 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrates; 3 g added sugars; 26 g protein; 2 g fiber; 452 mg sodium; 70 mg potassium.

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