Monthly Archives: November 2014

A Perfect Fall Night

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Spicy Turkey Chili with Greek Yogurt

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Paleo Pumpkin Biscuits

What more could you want than football, chili and something pumpkin when it’s a cool, fall/wintery rainy, Sunday night?  Ummm…nothing, nada, zilch.  I found the chili recipe on Allrecipes, and used turkey and turkey sausage instead of bison because I couldn’t find any bison at the market I was at!  The original chili recipe is paleo, but it was quite spicy, so I added some Greek yogurt to cut the spiciness.  Perfect.

To go perfectly with the chili I found a beautiful recipe for paleo pumpkin biscuits, and I literally cannot stop eating these things!!  These are so good that I’m going to make these for Thanksgiving as well.  I mean – SO good.  They are almost dessert-ish too.  Throw some butter and honey on – mmmmm, but they don’t even need that!  I found this on Lexi’s Clean Kitchen – check out this blog – amazing recipes on there!!  I changed a few things from the original recipe based on what I had available, but oh so good!

Spicy Turkey Chili With Greek Yogurt

INGREDIENTS:

-1 1/2 tbs coconut oil

-2 cups of chopped bell peppers

-4 garlic cloves, minced

-1 lb ground turkey

-1/2 lb turkey sausage – I got cranberry turkey sausage from Trader Joe’s

– 1/2 tbs chipotle chili powder

-1 tbs ground cumin

-1 tsp dried oregano

-1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

-1 tsp worchester sauce

-1 28oz can crushed tomatoes

– salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir bell peppers until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir garlic into mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir turkey and sausage into the garlic mixture. Cook and stir until meat is cooked and crumbly, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Stir chili powder, cumin, oregano, cocoa powder, and Worcestershire sauce into the bison mixture; add crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until flavors are blended, 10 minutes.

Paleo Pumpkin Biscuits

INGREDIENTS:

DRY

  1. 1 cup almond meal
  2. 2 tbsp coconut flour
  3. 1/2 cup gluten free flour
  4. 1 tsp baking powder
  5. 1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt, more to taste
  6. 1-2 Tbs of honey (optional) if you want it sweeter

WET

  1. 1/4 cup organic canned pumpkin (OR unsweetened applesauce)**
  2. 1 organic egg
  3. 3 tbsp grass-fed butter, cold or room temperature (not melted)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a bowl combine dry ingredients
  3. Add in wet ingredients and whisk together to combine
  4. Line a baking sheet with baking lineror parchment paper
  5. Roll dough into balls (does not have to be perfect)
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through and flakey
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Viva Las Vegas Marathon!

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Not even a week ago, I ran the Las Vegas marathon.  I signed up for it thinking I would be able to wear my new Lulu reflective skirt and a cute tank, lay at the pool the day before, maybe come back to Nashville with a  tan…  NEGATIVE!  It was a frigid 32 degrees that night, and everything felt frozen.  By mile 17 – I suddenly remembered how truly hard and taxing running a marathon was…

A few months ago, my friend Julie came to me after my Barry’s class one day and said – Las Vegas Marathon.  November.  Bucket list.  Let’s do it.  I didn’t even think twice…I said YES!  Now, Julie wanted to do the smart thing and just do the half, I on the other hand, had to take it to the next level and train for a full. I usually do one a year, so I decided to squeeze this one in just in time!

IMG_0738  BRRRRRRR!!!!!  Julie and I right before we took off!

IMG_0698 Oh, just trying out the tub pre-race.

I trained using Hal Higdon’s marathon training program.  I did the Intermediate 2 program and just focused on getting the miles in.  I ran the first half and felt great, but around miles 16, 17…things started to freeze up, get stiff, and my mind started playing tricks on me…  As things started to hurt, hips started to tighten…I started to think – I need to walk, oh I don’t think I’m going to be able to finish, will my IT band hold together?  My back is killing me!!!  All of these things and more ran through my head.  BUT – what overshadowed all of the negative was the positive.  I kept thinking of my clients, my friends, my BBC family, my blood family, the people waiting for me at the finish line, the people following me online, getting my finisher’s medal, crossing the finish line, all of the people that would give anything for the opportunity to accomplish a goal like this, how much of a privilege it is to accomplish goals and how completely blessed I am day in and day out to try and help others reach their goals.   THAT is what I thought about as each heavy step hit the pavement towards the end. THAT is what got me through.  THAT is what kept me going. THAT is what keeps me going every day, and THAT is the reason why I know and believe that anyone can do anything that they put their mind to.  YOU, my friend can do anything.

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As a recap – the entire weekend was amazing.  I played a show at Sunset Casino with the amazingly talented Trent Tomlinson, Aaron Benward and Travis Howard.  As these guys played song after song, I sat on stage in awe and beyond blessed to share a stage with such talent.  FullSizeRender-14

Here’s Julie and I after the show!  And a snap below of the actual show!

 

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I also got to spend the weekend with a special new someone and we hit the jackpot!!  Well…let’s say I hit the jackpot…

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The other wonderful thing about running a marathon is the food that you feel the need to consume AND the food that you justify consuming after running 26.2 miles.  Now, right after, I didn’t feel like anything much besides some chocolate milk and eventually a Quest bar, BUT the next morning was a different story.  Well, the next day, really…  Here are a few of my highlights…

IMG_0780Red velvet pancakes!!!!!

IMG_0786Frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The experience of this last week and weekend was incredible.  I have stories that will be re-played over and over in my mind again and again.  A goal was accomplished and shared with wonderful people, and that is what life is about.  Crossing the finish line, the little encouraging notes and texts from everyone, the hug waiting at the end, the words and smiles and congrats I got after coming home, the love I felt and the love I feel…  THAT is what life is about.

Black Pepper Encrusted Salmon with Basil Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

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This was a supper yummy and simple dish that was just SO good!  Spaghetti squash is such a beautiful fall veggie, so go get some and try out a few different sauces.  It pairs amazingly with fish or chicken!  The fresher the fish, the better the dish will be.  I however found some beautiful frozen fillets at Trader Joe’s that I can’t get enough of!  I got this original recipe from Creation Based Health, so check them out.  This is definitely one worth sharing!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 – 8 oz wild-caught, Alaskan sockeye salmon filets – I got these frozen from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 cup of finely shredded fresh basil or dried basil
  • 1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese – I only had shredded parm and it worked great
  • 1/4 tsp pink himalayan or sea sal
  • 1/8 cup freshly milled coarse black pepper
  • 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp organic butter
  • 1/2 of a large spaghetti squash

DIRECTIONS:

-Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
-Shred 1 cup of parmesan
-Finely chop 1 cup of fresh basil
-Prepare 2 tbsps of butter, 1/4 tsp of himalayan or sea salt, and 1/8 cup of coarsely ground black pepper

Squash:

I cut my spaghetti squash in half, clean it, poke holes in the squash itself (like a potato), and fill half with water.  Place the other half on top and put it in the microwave for 10-15 minutes.  Take it out, let it cool then shred the inside with a fork.

Salmon:

-Brush the meaty side of both salmon filets with 1 tbsp of olive oil each.
-Place pepper on a plate and dip the oiled side of the salmon in the pepper,
-Place filets in a baking dish, skin sides down, peppered sides up.
-When you put the squash into cook – place salmon in the oven with the squash.
-Remove squash and salmon at the same time.  Prepare spaghetti squash and let salmon rest for several minutes, top with cherry tomatoes, then serve and enjoy!

Paleo Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread and Paleo Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread

 

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Ok, ok, ok, ok, ok… so I made the banana bread for a couple of friends who stopped by the house, and we might have sat there and eaten every single last loaf.  I mean, there were only 6 and 3 of us…  🙂  They were SO good, and I loved the chocolate cinnamon swirl so much that I decided to make some pumpkin bread for my co-writers on Monday and swirl it on in as well!  Both were a hit, I must say!  I found the original banana bread recipe on A Girl Worth Saving, and the pumpkin bread on Wellness Mama, so check them out!

For the banana bread:
  • 4 medium bananas (about 1 pound/455 grams)
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup (125 grams) almond butter
  • ½ cup (60 grams) coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
FOR THE SWIRL:
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (3½ ounces/100 grams) Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-12-cm) metal loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the bananas, eggs, oil, and almond butter in a food processor or mixing bowl and mix well until the ingredients are well blended. Add the coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and salt and mix together well.
  3. In a double boiler over medium-low heat, mix together the swirl ingredients until the chocolate has melted.
  4. Pour the bread batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. As soon as you pour the batter, pour the chocolate swirl directly on top and use a knife to swirl the chocolate throughout the loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before serving.
Ingredients
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree (pumpkin only… check the ingredients)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil or butter (softened)
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon – I used 1 TBS of both
  • ¼ cup honey or a few drops of stevia extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Put all ingredients in medium sized bowl
  3. Using strong whisk or immersion blender (recommend!), mix until smooth and well incorporated. If batter is too thick, add a little coconut milk or water to thin, but don’t let it get runny at all.
  4. Put into greased muffin tins or an 8×8 baking dish (a regular loaf pan doesn’t work well)- For muffins, I use a ¼ cup measure to make pretty even sized. Batter will be somewhat thick.
  5. Pour the chocolate swirl directly on top and use a knife to swirl!
  6. Bake for 13-18 minutes (muffins) or 20-25 minutes (bread) until lightly browned and set in middle.

Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix

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I COULDN’T STOP THIS STUFF!!!!!!!!  This is a simple, savory/sweet, and very addictive little dish!!!!  The final bit didn’t taste quite like pumpkin spice, so I’m thinking adding more spice wouldn’t hurt – definitely go for heavier on the spice maybe even throw in some cinnamon!  I got this  recipe from Averie Cooks, used it for a party and HAD to share.  Check her out – some great stuff on there!!!

INGREDIENTS:

6 cups Chex cereal – you can use different types of Chex Mix if you want
2 cups dried fruit
1 1/2 to 2 cups nuts
1 1/2 to 2 cups pretzels
1 1/2 chopped graham crackers, diced in large 1-inch pieces (about 5 full-size graham crackers)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 to 2+ tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
salt, optional and to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a 5 to 6-quart Crock-Pot, add cereal, dried fruit, nuts, pretzels, and graham crackers. Recipe is very flexible. If you don’t have something, don’t like something, etc. use something you do have on hand or omit.
  2. In a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  3. Add the maple syrup, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice (I used 1 tablespoon but recommend at least 2 tablespoons if you want a more pronounced pumpkin flavor), vanilla, optional salt, and whisk to combine.
  4. Slowly and evenly drizzle wet mixture over the dry ingredients in Crock-Pot and stir very well to combine. I use a silicon-tipped spatula so I don’t break the cereal.
  5. Cook on high power for about 2 hours, stirring well every 15 to 20 minutes. Start keeping a more careful eye on mix at about 1 1/2 hours to make sure pieces on bottom don’t start burning. All slow-cookers and ingredients vary, and cooking times will vary. Cook until there’s no visible liquid pooling and pieces have dried out. They will not be ‘dry’ and will be more on the sticky and tacky side even when done, but do dry out more as they cool. Note – Although I haven’t tested it, you could probably bake in a 250F oven, with the mixture divided between two baking trays. Keep a very watchful eye on it and toss every 15 minutes until it’s done.
  6. Turn mixture out onto baking tray and allow to dry for at least 2 hours, overnight is better. Mix will keep airtight for up to 5 days.

 

 

GF Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

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I had a little shindig the other night, and this was one of the top hits of the night!  They aren’t super healthy, but they are SO good, and worth the calories.  I found the original recipe on Taste of Home and revamped a few things to make them gluten free.  I used actual butter in these, but you could probably use coconut oil as a substitute.  I mean, these are pretty perfect.  MAKE THEM!!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can of pumpkin
  • 2 1/3 cup of flour – I used a combo of Trader Joe’s GF Flour and almond meal
  • 1 TBS pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk – I used lowfat

FROSTING:

  • 1 package of cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup of butter softened
  • 3-4 cups of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin. Combine flour, pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  2. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and cinnamon; beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 2 dozen.

Read more: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/pumpkin-spice-cupcakes-with-cream-cheese-frosting#ixzz3HyZwty34

 

 

 

 

All Things Halloween!!

Halloween 2014 was a good one for sure!!!  Between Barry’s Bootcamp, and a little client appreciation shindig that I had, it was a great time all around!  My friend/assistant/client Danielle and I prepared some (mostly healthy) yummies, and people found themselves lingering around the food table unable to pull themselves away…  which we didn’t complain about.  Some were from the blog, and some were new recipes I tried out.  I’m going to share pics with you here then post all of the new recipes very soon, so stay tuned.  Although these were Halloween parties, all of these recipes are great for fall!

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Danielle and I got a lot of ideas from Pinterest and some of our other favorite blogs!  Here’s a pumpkin with fresh fruit skewers!  Simple and so cute.  This would even be great for Thanksgiving.

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Another simple and really cute idea we got from Pinterest was clementine pumpkins and ghost bananas!  Simply peel the clementines and top with a small piece of celery.  Peel the bananas and cut in half then place 2 chocolate chips for the eyes and one for the mouth in.

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One of the hits of the party were these Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Muffins with homemade Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting.  Not super healthy, but SO worth it!!  Recipe to come soon!

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Another yummy was the Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix!!  I really couldn’t stop with this stuff!!!!

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On actually Halloween day – I dressed up as Britney Spears and taught an entire bootcamp class as Britney to all Britney music.  Haha!!  What I love is that I’m a part of a company that encourages having a great time AND being healthy!!  Barry’s Bootcamp is an amazing international company that supports this exact thing!!

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When I do a special class at BBC, I always try to prepare a little healthy treat for after class!  This time it was Paleo Almond Butter Pumpkin Muffins!!  I made the almond butter from scratch, and these were a little mouthful of joy!!  I’ll post this recipe soon as well.  Again, a perfect little fall bite!

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It is possible to throw a party and serve healthy, fun dishes!!  Google, search and figure out what you can make from ingredients you already have in your cupboard!  Have fun with it, and play with your food!  It’s always best to stay fresh and non-processed with your food.  Challenge yourself to find healthy twists on your favorite recipes!!