Monday, September 7, 2015

Final post

I just wanted you all to know this is my final post on this platform! I have moved on and my new page is: confessionsofafrugalistahousewife.com   Feel free to follow me there! Thanks!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rosemary Lemon Chicken Thighs


Rosemary Lemon Chicken Thighs
Yield: Serves 6


Ingredients:

2.5 lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 lemon
1 tablespoon of rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
1 bell pepper
1 sweet onion
4-6 gloves of minced garlic
salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Mince your garlic, dice your onion, julliene your bell pepper, slice your lemon and set to the side.
2. In a large pan, with a lid, coat the bottom with olive oil and turn on medium.
3. When hot place your peppers, onions, and garlic at the bottom of the pan and let brown for about 3 minutes.
4. Salt and pepper your meat and place in your pan over the onion and pepper mixture.
5. Sprinkle rosemary over the whole dish and place your lemon slices on top.
6. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes.
7. Move to a 425 F oven, without lid on, and finish cooking in oven for an additional 20 minutes until golden brown!

I threw this chicken dish together the other night when I was trying to think of something "clean" and "healthy" that both my husband and my children would eat. Originally spinach was going to go in this dish but noses were turned up at that idea and I adapted and did lemon and rosemary instead. I made sure to cook a heaping portion of broccoli to go alongside the chicken and served with pasta (obviously not clean or healthy but hey what can I say)! It was a a big hit here and very simple to make! This would be a a great 21 Day Fix Approved Chicken Dish to make at the beginning of the week and portion out for meals throughout your week! I hope you all enjoy! Happy Cooking!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Flax Seed Steal Cut Oats Granola


Flax Seed Steal Cut Oat Granola
Yield: 15-20 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups Coach's Steal Cut Oats
4 cups rolled oats
2 cups finely ground Flax seed
2 cups sliced almonds
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups real maple syrup

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 F
2. In large bowl mix together all your dry ingredient.
3. Melt your coconut oil, add in your maple syrup, and vanilla. Pour into your dry mixture. Mix well until all oats are coated.
4. Foil line two large baking sheets, spray with cooking oil to prevent any sticking.
5. Separate you mixture between the two trays and spread flat.
6. Bake for 20 minutes. Pull trays out, with a spatula move granola around to prevent clumping, and place back in oven for additional 20 minutes.
7. Let cool for a few hours and then store in an air tight container for several delicious meals to come.

I eat this granola every single morning with a big plop of Greek yogurt and a fruit of my choice. I'm really into peaches this summer and have been slicing them into the granola and yogurt mixture. Its so good!! The combination of the granola and Greek yogurt keeps me nice and full for several hours which is great because I am a mom to three little ones and eating usually ends up on the back burner for me until they are content and I get a moment to myself. Enjoy!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken Alfredo


Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken Alfredo 
Yield: Serves 4-6


Ingredients: 

3 tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil
3 large chicken breasts
1 large onion
8 cloves of garlic
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups parmesan cheese, shredded
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of flour
1 stick of butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound cooked al dente linguine


Alfredo Sauce:

1. In a medium saucepan, on medium heat, add you stick of butter, freshly cracked black pepper, 4 minced garlic cloves, and your flour. Let your rue thicken and whisk to get all lumps out.
2. Slowly add in you heavy cream. Whisk repeatedly to ensure no lumps. 
3. Add in your parmesan cheese and whisk until thick and delicious! Turn heat to low. Stir occasionally while cooking the other components of your dish.


Tomato Basil Chicken:

1. In a large sauce pan, on medium heat, pour in your olive oil. Add you diced onion and half of your diced tomatoes to the hot oil. Let it simmer and reduce for about 5-8 minutes.
2. Salt and pepper both sides of you chicken breasts and add them to your onion and tomato mixture in the saucepan. Add the rest of your diced tomatoes along with 4 mince garlic cloves. Sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper throughout the saucepan, cover, and let simmer for another 5-8 minutes.
3. Flip your chicken, add in half your chopped basil, and cover your saucepan. Let sit for another 5-8 minutes. Cooking times on your chicken will vary depending on their thickness so make sure not to overcook (or undercook) your chicken. The easiest way to check your chicken is to cut a slit in the middle of the largest breast and if you see all white and nothing is running pink (blood) than you are good to go and cooked through! If you see a very faint pink go ahead and let cook for another 2ish minutes. 
4. When your chicken is all cooked through, pull the chicken breasts off, and put on a plate to the side. Slice each breast up in strips. Then, scoop up all those yummy reduced tomatoes, onions, and basil, leaving behind the oil in the pan. Add the tomato, onion, and basil to the alfredo sauce that you made. Add the cooked linguine directly to the cheesy mixture. In a large serving dish add all your pasta and the sliced chicken to the top. Sprinkle with some fresh basil to garnish and place in the middle of the table for a family style serve. Enjoy! 



Monday, June 22, 2015

Basil Pesto


Basil Pesto
Yield: Coats two pounds of pasta, aprox 5 cups



Ingredients:

5-6 cups fresh Basil
2 cups Pinenuts
2 cups Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 cups Olive Oil
2 garlic gloves to taste



Directions:

1. In your food processor add all your dry ingredients and blend.
2. While blending slowly add all your olive oil pulsing until smooth.
3. Separate into two batches to freeze one batch and use second immediately. The basil will start to turn brown if you let it sit for too long, so I always make it the same day that I want to use it.





Pesto pasta is something that I adore every summer! Yummy al dente penne paired with pesto made from the basil growing in my garden is divine! It is so fast and easy to make. I highly recommend whipping it up and seeing for yourself just how yummy it is!   


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Virgin Watermelon Mojito



Virgin Watermelon Mojito
Yield: Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of cubed watermelon
2 limes
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1 quart sparkling water
2 San Pellegrino Limonata cans

Directions:

In your pitcher muddle together half your watermelon and your mint leaves. Add in the rest of the watermelon, all liquid and the juice of one lime. Slice the second lime and let float in pitcher. Serve in wine glasses or tall tumblers with a sprig of fresh mint. Enjoy this refreshing beverage on a hot day paired with some delicious BBQ.
I grew the mint in my garden and have tons overflowing in my beds, but if you don't have access to mint at home its fairly cheap at the grocery store. It is beyond easy to grow (it literally grows it self and is almost weed-like) so feel free to plant some and see what happens!! Enjoy!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

PB2 Coconut Hemp Granola


PB2 Coconut Hemp Granola
Yield: 12 servings


Ingredients:

5 cups rolled oats
1 cup finely ground flax
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon cinnamon 
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/2 cup PB2
1 cup coconut flakes
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup maple syrup



Directions: 
1. In a large bowl add all your dry ingredients. 
2. Melt your coconut oil until clear and liquid. Drizzle your oil, maple syrup, and vanilla over the dry ingredients. Mix well until everything is blended together.
3. Divide your mixture between two lined cookie sheets. Bake at 300 F for 15 minutes. Take out, mix and move your granola around, and then pop back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes. 
4. Let your granola cool for about an hour before storing in an air tight container. 



I LOVE Granola! I'm just a little bit crunchy ;)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Pear Spinach Quinoa Baby Food


Pear Spinach Quinoa Baby Food


Yum!


Ingredients:

5lbs of peeled, sliced, and cored Pears
1 cup uncooked Quinoa 
4 cups Spinach
6 cups water
1 tablespoon cinnamon



Directions:
In your slow cooker, turned on HIGH, put all your ingredients in, pouring the water over and cover. Cook for 5 hours. Puree your cooked baby food, when finished cooking, until smooth. Divide up and freeze the extras in ice cube trays for easy access. Once your cubes are frozen you can pop them out and store in a Ziploc. Heat two cubes for 1 minute in the microwave in a mug when needed. 


Freeze the extras to keep that hungry baby happy!


Charlotte was a fan! She gobble it up as fast as she could! 








Monday, February 23, 2015

Thrive vs. Shakeology















What is Thrive? Thrive is a quick fix. Thrive has several products, the most popular being a patch, that all contain two main ingredients: Caffeine and B 12.  Have you ever seen the Disney movie, Meet the Robinsons? There a scene in the begining of thee movie with a scientist that has created a caffeine patch, and has covered both arms with multiple patches and is spazzing out because she hasn't slept in day. This is how I picture all "Thrivers". The slowest way to absorb nutrients or carcinogens is through your skin.This is how the Thrive patch "transmits" the B12 and caffeine slowly through your dermal layers until it eventually reaches your nervous system. The combination of B 12 and caffeine gives you that "jult" and for some that "jult" stays all day and makes you feel jittery. Its the same feeling that diet pills and too much coffee gives you. Not a pleasant feeling for some folks. Again, this is a quick fix, to "jult" your system and should NOT be used long term. The amount of caffeine and B 12 pumping into your system daily is not needed. A healthy diet, free of caffeine is much healthier long term!
Thrive also offers other products, and "suggests" you take them as well.  Their shake is soy based, so stay far away from that. Soy is very harmful to your body and your hormones. ALL of their products contain caffeine. ALL of them! So when someone says "I have been off coffee since starting my Thrive Experience" All they have done is replace one caffeine for another. Its like switching from coffee to black tea... both are caffeinated...both will wake you up with a "jult" and both are not good for you. Caffeine is an addictive substance and has NO health benefits whats so ever! Also, Thrive will run you $100-$200 a month.... A MONTH!!! For caffeine and B 12 (primarily). Kick your caffeine habit, you can take a B 12 supplement if you want too, but take it sparingly or your body will become dependent on it making it ineffective. Working out and eating clean will give you those same wonderful effects that Thrive markets in a patch! It is not worth the cost, in my honest opinion.



What is Shakeology? Shakeology is a dense superfood packed full of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins in their true forms. Shakeology is a complete package with whey protein, quinoa, chia seeds, maca root, and more nutrients than you normally consume in a whole day! It is the healthiest meal of the day hands down! Shakeology's main ingredients consist of:
1.Whey based protein: helps develop muscle, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, helps promote overall health and wellness. Whey protein helps regulate your thyroid as well!
2. Pea Protein: an easily digestible protein, keeps you fuller longer, and promotes lean muscle development. 
3. Pea Fiber: A natural fiber to keep you fuller longer and is linked to maintaining blood sugars.
4. Maca Root: helps regulate hormones and stabilizes your mood and amps up your energy!
5. Chia: is a complete protein (cool!!), fiber-rich, and packed with antioxidants!
6. Flax: has omega-3s and protects against cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease!!
7. Yacon Root: Promotes a healthy gut and helps lower your cholesterol!

Shakeology can be used as a meal replacement or as a nutritious snack. Each shake contains 140-160 calories depending on the flavor and 16-17 grams of whey protein. The protein sustains you and helps refuel you after your workout. Shakeology is non-GMO, has no artificial flavors, and contains all natural and wholesome ingredients. Shakeology, paired with exercise and a clean diet, will give you energy, make you clear headed, and  help you lose weight. If you want to join my team check out my page here! Send me an email and we can chat! Happy to help! :)

Shakeology vs. Advocare

Shakeology vs. Advocare





As you can clearly see above the ingredients are completely different. I will compare the ingredients for you so that you can make an informed decision about which is better for your body and your health! Here is a comparison of the first seven ingredients in each shake so you can fully breakdown what you are consuming.

Shakeology: 

1. Whey based protein: helps develop muscle, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, helps promote overall health and wellness. Whey protein helps regulate your thyroid as well!
2. Pea Protein: an easily digestible protein, keeps you fuller longer, and promotes lean muscle development. 
3. Pea Fiber: A natural fiber to keep you fuller longer and is linked to maintaining blood sugars.
4. Maca Root: helps regulate hormones and stabilizes your mood and amps up your energy!
5. Chia: is a complete protein (cool!!), fiber-rich, and packed with antioxidants!
6. Flax: has omega-3s and protects against cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease!!
7. Yacon Root: Promotes a healthy gut and helps lower your cholesterol!


Advocare:

1. Protein Concentrate: A lab formed protein compound containing whey and  a chemical lactose concoction that dilutes the protein in the whey.
2. Crystalline Fructose: a processed sweetener chemically created from corn and is 20% sweeteer than regular granulated sugar. It is most similar to high fructose corn syrup and contains GMOs.
3. Vitamin Mineral Mix: contains a variety. of about 15 vitamins, that I wont list all (see above). Folic Acid is a chemical compound linked to cancer. Potassium chloride, for example, is what is used in lethal injections. Think about that for a minute.
4. Dutch Cocoa Maltodextrin: An artificially sweetened chocolate bi-product. It has a higher glycemic index than table sugar, double to be exact, and has diluted what was once cocoa into artificial and unnecessary. Think of it like a cocoa bean being turned into a candy bar... The candy bar is in the shake, not cocoa at it's true form.
5. Gum Arabic: It is a food stabilizer and yet another form of sugar.
6. Natural and Artificial Flavors: Thats all that was listed as the sixth ingredient. No disclosure as to what those flavors are...
7. Guar Gum: A thickening agent. Guar gum could potentially give you the "full" sensation, but it also is known to possibly give you some intentional discomfort and GI issues. 


The biggest differences between BeachBody's Shakeology and Advocare's Meal Replacement Shake are difference in ingredients, chemical breakdowns, and components. Remember that coco-bean analogy I mentioned? That is the best way to compare Shakeology to Advocare: Cocoa-Bean to a Candy Bar. One is full of nutrients and the other has been manipulated in a lab and factory. Shakeology is the clear winner. Shakeology has no artificial ingredients, is all whey and plant based and is the healthiest option overall.


The differences between Beachbody and Advocare don't just stop at their shakes. Beachbody as a company does not require large "buy in's" like Advocare does. You do not keep product on hand to sell. And your focus is not on selling, like it is with Advocare, your focus is motivating. Remember, Advocare pays Drew Brees and Danica Patrick to be Advocare pushers. Beachbody doesn't pay celebrities to use their product, because the product sells it's self. Combining Shakeology with a Beachbody workout program in a Challenge Pack is the best way to be successful with your own personal weightloss goals. Advocare can't offer that! Here is a link to Advocare's "buy in" needs: Advocare . Who has that  kind of cash to fork over for product that is not healthy for you??
BeachBody, on the otherhand, has a very simple and easy step to becoming a coach, here, for only the price of a challenge pack. No product on hand and no large "buy in" and you get to reap the benefits of what you purchased all for yourself all while motivating those you love to join you in your fit journey! If you would like to join me in my fit journey let me know! 




Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Parmesan Garlic Oil Pasta



Parmesan Garlic Oil Pasta
Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 Box Spaghetti
3/4 cup Olive Oil
1 head of garlic, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan



Directions:

1. Boil your spaghetti until al dente! No overboiling in to oblivion! 
2. In your large saucepan heat your olive oil, add in your minced garlic, and bring to a low simmer. 
3. When your spaghetti has finished cooking add directly to the garlic/oil saucepan with a ladle full of the pasta water included. Stir together for about a minute.
4. Add your parmesan cheese to the pasta mixture and turn off the heat.
5. Serve immediately and enjoy with a healthy dose of yummy veggies for an almost healthy pasta dish! :)



My husband is currently eating like a BEAST for Body Beast and I am eating like a BIRD for 21 Day Fix so I am trying to come up with cleaner recipes that I can add things to his portion and subtract from my portion. I served him up HALF of this pasta... yes, half a box of pasta all to his self. I added meat balls to his. Ten meatballs to be exact. The kids picked at their spaghetti, but they ate far more of the oil sauce spaghetti than regular tomato sauce... Over all win win! 





Monday, February 16, 2015

21 Day Fix Week One Meal Plan


I just started my 21 Day Fix Journey!! I am a Vegetarian,. My plan is shifted slightly and had to turn some things like hummus into reds. If you aren't a vegetarian, than follow the plan to the T. If you are a vegetarian as well, then feel free to follow this meal plan! For your first week, start SLOW! Don't try and get fancy with your food. Repeat a lot! A LOT! Think of three foods that you can alternate and stick with that.  Meal planning, cooking in batches, and making sure you do your workouts is what will help you lose the most weight and inches! Success begins in your mind, develops in the kitchen, and forms with your workouts! If you are interested in starting the 21 Day Fix than check it out here!
I am a gym rat, I LOVE the gym, but the 21 Day Fix workouts are AWESOME! They kick my butt! I seriously love the flexibility of being able to workout at home and they are only 30 minutes! I love the workouts and the motivation that Autumn gives you to keep going. So fun! I just completed my first week of the 21 Day Fix and am down two pounds and two inches around m belly! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Power Salad


I recently started the 21 Day Fix, you can read more about that here, and one of the areas I was lacking in my diet was more green. I eat vegetables with every dinner, but your body needs more than that. I'm a busy mamma, as are  we all, so I decided to put together salads in containers to store in the fridge to be able to grab as I am heading out the door. This gives me NO EXCUSES! No excuse for not eating my salad that day! I bought the big bag of Kale and Spinach Mixed Greens at Costco, divided it up among the containers, adding Pumpkin Seeds and Sunflower Seeds, from Whole Foods to make the salad more hearty. I added a crumbling of Feta and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) to my salad when I am home, but left those out for my containers for fear of the Feta turning funky in a warm car (YUCK!) but if you have access to a fridge at work or something that you could go ahead and add it ahead of time. I have to admit, Kale has a bit of a funky taste... It takes some getting used too. I certainly will say it is not my favorite, but it is good for me. Adding the EVOO to the salad helps incorporate it all together without the added calories of a dressing! Enjoy your Power Salad on the go!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Oatmeal Banana Muffins


Oatmeal Banana Muffins
Yield: 2-3 dozen 

Ingredients: 

1 32oz container of Greek Plain Yogurt
4 cups rolled Oats
6 ripe bananas
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
chocolate baking chips (60% or higher)
walnut halves



Directions: 

In your blender, add all ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. Line your muffin tins with paper liners and pour your batter in about 3/4 way full. Sprinkle a couple baking chips and walnut halves on top of your batter. Bake at 350 F for about 18 minutes. Let cool and enjoy! Freeze the extras for a guilt-less treat later! 


I recently started the 21 Day Fix and these will count as a red and yellow. If you are interested in joining me in my 21 Day Fix journey, be sure to check out my page here


Oatmeal Apple Baby Food



Oatmeal Apple Baby Food

Ingredients: 
1 cup cooked Oatmeal
1 cup apple sauce (homemade or jarred)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup water



                            
Directions:

1. In your blender, add all the ingredients, and blend on high until smooth.
2. Portion out into an ice cube tray to freeze for individual servings.
3. After 24 hrs you can pop the cubes out and store in a ziploc bag. Heat each cub in a mug for 30 seconds in the microwave when ready to eat. Enjoy!!

Oatmeal Chocolate Shakeology




Ingredients:

1/4 cup cooked oatmeal
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
1 cup Almond Milk
5 ice cubes

Directions:

1. Cook up a batch of oatmeal and store in a container in your fridge for easy use to add to your shakes.
2. In your blender add your oatmeal, Shakeology, and Almond Milk. Blend.
3. Add your ice and blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Enjoy your Oatmeal Shakeology for a filling breakfast! Pair with a fruit salad to balance out your on-the-go breakfast and take it with you in the car! Yummy!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Apple Quinoa Baby Food


Apple Quinoa Baby Food


Ingredients: 

6 large apples, peeled and cored
1 cup organic quinoa
4 cups water
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 lemon zested and juiced


Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to your slow cooker.  Turn on HIGH for 3-4 hours
2. Stir occasionally. Make sure that your ingredients cook evenly.
3. When finished cooking use your immersion blender to emulsify the ingredients.
4. Portion the smooth mixture into ice cube trays and freeze. After about 24 hours you can remove from the trays and put into ziploc freezer bags for easy freezer storage.
5. Serve up 1-2 cubes at a time depending on your baby's age and food needs. Each cube cooks for 30 seconds in the microwave. 
6. Enjoy! 




Saturday, February 7, 2015

Chalkboard Mail and Key Organizer


I love my husband to bits, but two things that he scatters throughout our house are mail and keys. So, I designed this wood mail and key organizer with a chalkboard back told my husband what I wanted, sketched up a little design with some measurements, and gave them to him on his day off. I couldn't take the clutter anymore. It was driving me bonkers!


The wood, plywood backing, hooks, and chalkboard spray paint all and all costed $55. I already had some left over Ebony Stain from when I ripped off the carpet on my stairs and stained the treads, so I used that to stain the wood. 


Here is my handsome husband holding sweet baby Charlotte so I can do a quick spray on the plywood backing. 


The plywood backing was sprayed with three coats of Rustoleum Chalk Board spray paint. It dried quickly and was easy enough to assemble to the back of the wood with just a handful of screws.

I am so happy with the overall product, and am in fact selling them in my boutique now! I think that I am going to add some milk paint to the edges and sand it up a bit for the distressed look. When I do that I will add a new picture. LOVE my new mail and key organizer!!