Energy bites are the perfect snack/dessert. This one is loaded with whole ingredients, has a little chocolate element with the chocolate-hazelnut spread, and is rolled in salted sunflower seeds. It's a great sweet/salty combination. Two for dessert is the best!
Seeded Energy Bites
For a downloadable version, click here.
1-1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/3 Cup shredded coconut
1/3 Cup chocolate-hazelnut spread
1/3 Cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 Cup honey
1/4 Tsp kosher salt
1/3 Cup salted sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1-1/2 cups oats on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 10 minutes, cool completely.
Transfer oats to a bowl and add coconut, chocolate-hazelnut spread, peanut butter, honey, and salt. Mix well.
Form into balls, about 1 Tbsp each. Roll in mixture of sunflower seeds and sesame seeds; pressing to adhere the seeds to the balls.
Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
Winter squash has tremendous health benefits. Not only is it low calorie and nutrient dense, but scores big on the feel good, clean eating scale. Here are a few highlights of it's nutritional profile: winter squash is loaded with beta-carotene to protect against cancer and heart disease, a great source of potassium for heart and muscle function, has a notable amount of vitamin C for growth and repair of tissue, as well as carbs for working muscles, and vegetable protein to prevent injury and build new muscle. Steamed, roasted, or pureed in a soup, take advantage of the long squash season and get some on your plate today. Here is one of our new favorite recipes for a dynamite soup that's quick and easy to prepare.
For a printable version, click here.
Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 5 cups)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped (about ¾ cups)
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp curry powder
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup full fat coconut milk
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and the carrot for three to five minutes. Add the squash and sweet potato to the pot and pour in the vegetable broth. Add the spices and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about twenty minutes or until all of the veggies are tender. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the vegetables until a thick, smooth consistency is reached. Pour in the coconut milk and continue to blend until it is mixed thoroughly. Serve warm. Enjoy!
From: Making Thyme for Health
I'm always looking for a twist on classic Mexican food. Not only are these tostadas different, but they are healthy, quick, and just the right blend of flavors. Add a little salsa and hot sauce and you'll want this version every time. Serve for lunch or add rice and beans for a complete dinner.
Black Bean & Butternut Squash Tostadas
for a printable version click here
2 cups ¼" cubed butternut squash
½ cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, or chipotle powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 15 oz can black beans, with liquid
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 teaspoons honey
3/4 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
4 to 6, 6" corn tortillas
2-3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
Preheat oven to 425˚.
Toss butternut squash with onion, olive oil, chipotle pepper, and salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until squash is tender and beginning to brown.
In a small sauce pan, combine black beans with liquid, lime juice, honey, and cumin. Cook over medium-low until the liquid has mostly evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes (may take less or more time depending on how much liquid there was). Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.
Place the tortillas on a sheet tray and divide black bean mixture evenly. Top with butternut squash mixture and finish with a sprinkle of goat cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until tortilla is crisp and goat cheese is browning. Serve with a sprinkle of cilantro, if desired.
Quinoa is a highly nutritious carbohydrate and the perfect go-to food for runners. Whether you are carbo loading for a race or just being mindful of your diet, quinoa is the perfect choice. It will help keep you lean and maximize your energy levels. Its nutritional profile is impressive and will make you re-think pasta and potatoes.
What I love about quinoa is it's easy; easy to remember the recipe and then easy to make. You need one measuring cup, the 1/2 cup size. I scoop 1/2 cup of the off-white quinoa and 1/2 cup of red quinoa and rinse both in a fine sieve. Bring 1-1/2 cups of water, the drained quinoa and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil. Cover and reduce to low for 15 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa tender. You can keep cooked quinoa in the fridge easily for a week. I love all of the quinoa recipes (below) as make-ahead, week-long lunches ready to go.
Quinoa is a gluten free seed about the size of a sesame seed and is pronounced "KEEN wah". You will find it most commonly in an off-white or red color either in bulk or on the grain aisle of your grocery store. A cup of quinoa will give you 254 calories, 2 g of fat, 23.4 g of carbohydrates, and 4.5 grams of protein. Quinoa is also a complete protein which means it delivers all the essential amino acids for our nutritional needs. It is a healthy protein choice and especially good for vegans and vegetarians because complete proteins are hard to find in the plant world. It is high in iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, copper, and fiber.
The high magnesium content in quinoa is good for cardiovascular health. The manganese and copper promote a healthy immune system and help keep red blood cells in tip top shape. The fiber content keeps the digestive system running smoothly.
So try quinoa next time you have a craving for carbs. It is great eaten like rice, as an oatmeal alternative, or added into soups and salads. To cook quinoa, rinse 1 cup of quinoa in a fine strainer. Bring 1-1/2 cups of water and 1/2 tsp of salt to a boil. Add the quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low for 15 minutes until quinoa is tender and the water has cooked out completely.
Four of our favorite quinoa recipes include:
If you haven't made granola before, this recipe is for you. It's quick, easy, and healthy. Plus, you don't need to stir it during baking. Win win!
For a printable copy click here.
Pumpkin Seed, Coconut & Flax Granola
6 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
1 cup flax seeds
3/4 cup olive oil or other vegetable oil
3/4 cup sweetener (honey, molasses, agave, maple syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Combine oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine oil, sweetener and vanilla. Pour the oil mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
Spread the mixture evenly over an 11-by-14-inch jelly roll pan, and bake for 55-60 minutes until nicely golden brown. There is no need to stir. Let cool and place in air-tight containers. Granola can be frozen.
As we approach Labor Day Weekend, I'm trying to squeeze in as much outdoor eating and grilling as possible. These Hoisin Dijon Chicken Skewers are super on the grill and will get dinner on the table in about 20 minutes. The 4-ingredient sauce is bold and flavorful - used both to baste with and as a dipping sauce for the cooked chicken. Grill some vegetables and serve with rice, polenta or potatoes for a tasty dinner. Enjoy!
Hoisin Dijon Chicken Skewers
3/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds chicken tenders (or chicken breasts cut into thin strips)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Count out the number of chicken strips you have, then soak an equal number of bamboo skewers in warm water for 15 minutes. Heat the grill to medium-high.
In a small bowl, mix together the hoisin sauce, mustard, vinegar and red pepper flakes. Divide the sauce into two portions, one for basting the raw chicken, another to serve with the chicken after it is cooked.
Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and season lightly with salt and pepper. Thread the chicken pieces onto the soaked skewers and brush all over with one portion of the hoisin mixture. Grill the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes per side, basting with more of the hoisin mixture as it cooks. As the skewers finish cooking, reaching 165 F at the thickest part, transfer them to a platter. Serve with the reserved sauce.
After eating a wonderful Seafood Paella poolside this summer in Mexico, I wanted to make it at home. This recipe is easy and delivers the flavor I was looking for. Traditional paella requires a short-grain rice such as calasparra. However, I used long grain, white rice and was very pleased. Pass the hot sauce at the table if you are looking for a little extra heat!
For a printable version, click here.
Easy Seafood Paella
2 lobster tails
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cups Spanish rice or short grain rice, soaked in water for 15 minutes and then drained
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 large pinches of Spanish saffron threads soaked in ½ cup water
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 large Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
6 oz French green beans
1.5 lbs prawns or large shrimp or your choice, peeled and deveined
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
In a large pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the lobster tails and let boil very briefly (2-3 minutes) until pink. Turn heat off. Remove the lobster tails with a pair or tongs. Do not discard the lobster cooking water. When lobster is cool enough to handle, remove the shell and cut into large chunks.
In a large cast iron skillet, heat 3 tbsp olive oil. Turn heat to medium-high and add the chopped onions. Sauté the onions for 2 minutes then add the rice, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring regularly. Now add the chopped garlic and the lobster cooking water. Stir in the saffron and it's soaking liquid, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and green beans. Bring to a boil and let the liquid slightly reduce, then cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Add more water as needed until rice is tender. Uncover and spread the shrimp over the rice, pushing it into the rice slightly. Add a little more water, if needed. Cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the shrimp turns pink. Finally, add the cooked lobster chunks. When the lobster is warmed through, turn heat off. Garnish with parsley. Enjoy!
Adapted from The Mediterranean Dish