Tuesday, December 30, 2014

{Video} Trader Joe's Haul and 21 Day Fix Meal Plan (Week 1)

No comments:
I've never been one for New Year's Resolutions because I've always believed that each and every day is an opportunity to start fresh.  But this year, 2 new diet and exercise programs were so intriguing to me, I couldn't wait to get started... 
New Year or not.

So, the workout?  PiYo.

I'm pretty excited, as this program is one that I know will work for my body, combining weight bearing, low impact exercise.  A program that will get me sweating (while not hurting my knees or joints). And also a program that won't leave me bored (adding in fun music and quicker movements).  But more on this in the future, after I've had a chance to do the 60 days of workouts.

And the eating plan? 21 Day Fix.

It's not often that I come across an eating plan that easily appeals to everyone, is simple to use, and uses solid nutritional principles.  So, I was excited to find 21 Day Fix. And even more excited to create some meal plans and recipes based on the program... especially since the enclosed book was pretty lacking in creative meal planning. I love that it offers so many options for foods (including vegetarian/vegan options). And the containers are perfect to help get your portions right. 
(Note- 21 Day Fix also has workout DVDs that I will also try in the future)

So, here's today's Trader Joe's haul and some ideas on how to put it all together.  Plus 1 of 3 meal plans that I'll be creating over the 21 days.

21 Day Fix Inspired One-Week Meal Plan (Week 1)
(For specific amounts, refer to the number and color containers after each entry. This plan is for 1 person)

Day 1

Breakfast- Yogurt and Berry Smoothie (use berries or fruit of choice) *1 red, 1 purple

Snack- 2 Poached Eggs on Toast with tsp. olive oil drizzled on the toast *1 yellow, 1 red, 1 tsp.

Lunch- Salad with lettuce, cut up yellow pepper, 6 slices low fat turkey, feta cheese and dressing of choice (I used the balsamic vinegar in the book) *2 green, 1 blue, 1 red, 1 orange

Dinner- Citrus Chicken Skewers with Brown Rice and Red Cabbage & Fennel Slaw *1 green, 1 yellow, 1 red, 1 tsp.

For the chicken, combine juice from 1 lemon and 2 limes, plus 1 tsp. of zest from 1 lime and 1 lemon. Add in 1 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp. olive oil, seasoning as desired (I used Greek) and 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes. Set aside 1 Tblsp. to use on the red cabbage and fennel slaw. And to the rest of it add chicken chunks and let marinade for at least 2-3 hours. Then place chicken on skewers and grill on an indoor grill pan or on an outdoor grill. (recipe adapted from The Daniel Plan).

For the slaw, mix cabbage and fennel and pour over the 1 Tblsp. reserved marinade/dressing.

Snack- Orange *1 purple

Day 2

Breakfast- Oatmeal *1 yellow

Snack- Yogurt mixed with unsweetened coconut flakes and an orange *1 red, 1 purple, 1 orange

Lunch- Chicken Sausage Vegetable Soup *2 green, 1 red, 1 tsp.

Saute the chicken sausage in a small skillet to brown and then set aside. In a stockpot, saute a diced onion and sliced leeks in a tsp. of oil. When soft add in whatever vegetables you'd like (I'm using baby zucchini, green beans, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, celery, corn and spinach). And top off with non fat, low sodium organic vegetable broth. Season to taste (I used ). Bring to a boil and simmer until vegetables are done. If using spinach add at the very end to wilt. Add in browned chicken sausage. Note- I cooked 3 servings to use for 3 days.

Dinner- Baked Cod with a Zucchini and Potato Skillet topped with feta cheese *1 green, 1 blue, 1 yellow, 1 red, 1 tsp.

For the cod, place cod in foil packet with lemon juice and seasoning (I used all purpose seasoning). Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until cooked through.

For the skillet, saute 1/2 a sliced onion in 1 tsp. oil. Add in sliced zucchini and cook until softened. In the meantime, cut the potatoes in small chunks and microwave until soft. Add potatoes into the skillet and add seasoning as desired (I used a lemon pepper seasoning). Top with feta cheese.

Snack- Sliced Apple on top of Cottage Cheese. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. *1 red, 1 purple

Day 3

Breakfast- Yogurt and Berries Smoothie (use berries or fruit of choice) *1 red, 1 purple

Snack- 2 Scrambled Eggs on 1/2 muffin with cheddar cheese *1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue

Lunch- Chicken Sausage Vegetable Soup (add cooked brown rice) *1 red, 2 green, 1 yellow, 1 tsp.

See Day 2 for recipe. Add 1 yellow portion of rice to a bowl and top with a serving of vegetable soup.

Dinner- Lemony Cilantro Turkey Burger and Kale Salad (I cooked the turkey burger in 1 tsp. olive oil) *1 red, 1 green, 1 orange, 1 tsp.

Click here for the Turkey Burger recipe. For the Kale Salad, use dressing of choice from the 21 Day Fix Book (I used the Balsamic Dressing). Note- I doubled this for leftovers.

Snack- Fruit Popsicle *1 purple

Blend fruit or berries of choice with 1 tsp. stevia and pour into popsicle molds (add water if needed to thin out). Freeze overnight. (I used 3 cups of fruit to make 6 popsicles- but yours might vary depending on popsicle mold size).

Day 4

Breakfast- 2 egg scramble with spinach and feta cheese. Serve on a piece of toast (I use Ezekiel bread). *1 red, 1 green, 1 blue, 1 yellow

Snack- Sliced apple over cottage cheese. Sprinkle with cinnamon. *1 purple, 1 red

Lunch- Lemony Cilantro Turkey Burger and Kale Salad (I cooked the turkey burger in 1 tsp. olive oil). *1 red, 1 green, 1 orange, 1 tsp.

See Day 3 for recipes.

Dinner- Roast Salmon with Brown Rice and Green Beans *1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green, 1 tsp.

Drizzle the salmon with lemon juice and season (I used all purpose seasoning). Roast in a foil packet at 350 for 20 minutes or until cooked through (depends on thickness of salmon). I also drizzled the rice with 1 tsp. olive oil.

Snack- Orange *1 purple

Day 5

Breakfast- Oatmeal *1 yellow

Snack- 2 kiwis, sliced over yogurt. Sprinkle with unsweetened coconut. *1 purple, 1 red, 1 orange

Lunch- Chicken Sausage Veggie Soup *2 green, 1 red, 1 tsp.

See Day 2 for recipe.

Dinner- Steak tacos using 4 oz. grilled steak, 2 corn tortillas, cheese and a slaw using fennel and red cabbage (I cooked the steak in 1 tsp. olive oil). Note- I doubled this recipe for leftovers. *1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 green, 1 tsp.

Snack- Sliced Apple on top of Cottage Cheese. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. *1 purple, 1 red

Day 6

Breakfast- Yogurt and Berries Smoothie (use berries or fruit of choice) *1 red, 1 purple

Snack- 2 poached eggs on toast (I used Ezekiel bread). *1 red, 1 yellow

Lunch- Steak tacos using 4 oz. grilled steak, 2 corn tortillas, cheese and a slaw using fennel and red cabbage (I used 1 tsp. olive oil to cook the steak). *1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 green, 1 tsp.

Use leftovers from Day 5.

Dinner- Chicken Picatta with Green Beans and Salad using dressing of choice (I used the balsamic vinegar dressing from the book and cooked the chicken in 1 tsp. olive oil). *1 red, 2 greens, 1 orange, 1 tsp.

For chicken, saute seasoned chicken breasts (I used lemon pepper) in 1 tsp. oil. When browned and almost cooked through, add the juice of 1 lemon and 1/4 c. non fat vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened. Note- I doubled this recipe for leftovers.

Snack- Fruit Popsicle *1 purple

See day 3 for recipe.

Day 7

Breakfast- 2 egg scramble with spinach and feta cheese. Serve on a piece of toast (I use Ezekiel). *1 red, 1 green, 1 blue

Snack- Sliced Apple on top of Cottage Cheese. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. *1 purple, 1 red

Lunch- Chicken Picatta with Green Beans (I cooked the chicken in 1 tsp. olive oil) *1 red, 1 green, 1 tsp.

See day 6 for recipe

Dinner- Beef Burger in a Lettuce Wrap with Dressing (I used Balsamic from the book). Add Roasted Sweet Potatoes on the side (I drizzled the sweet potatoes with 1 tsp. olive oil before roasting). *1 red, 1 green, 1 orange, 1 yellow, 1 tsp.

Snack- Orange *1 purple

*Note, this meal plan is inspired by the 21 Day Fix program, so it might not fit the guidelines 100%, but I did my best to be completely accurate. Also, quantities are based on my personalized number which ranges from 1200-1499 calories per day. And includes 3 green, 2 purple, 4 red, 1 orange, 1 blue, 2 yellow and 2 tsp. containers per day.  Since this is copyrighted material, I am unable to offer exact measurements or recipes from the book.

*I am not working with Beachbody in any way, and was not compensated for this post.

Monday, October 13, 2014

{Video} Trader Joe's Haul and 2 Week "He Said, She Said" Meal Plan

No comments:

I'm married to a meat eater... is this relationship doomed?

OK, so that sounds a bit dramatic.  But, more and more I'm reading about people struggling with meal planning... and way too much time and money spent at the grocery store, now that their partner, spouse, kids, or even they, themselves have moved over to a plant-based diet.  And believe me, it's usually the cook in the house that suffers the most.  And by suffer, I mean double time, and double the dishes in the kitchen.

I stopped eating meat about 3 months ago, for no particular reason except that I lost the taste for it.  And I've never looked back, and have already reaped many of the benefits of a plant-based diet.  But my husband did not... and who am I to judge, or make him fend for himself in the kitchen.  Because, let's face it, Taco Bell and tuna sandwiches can only get a person so far.

So I decided to sit down and map out some ways to satisfy our "He Said, She Said" diets, and it has actually worked. I've spent less time than I ever have in the kitchen (seriously, we're talking 23 years of marriage) with far less dishes.  And the best part? We're both eating healthier... even my husband now asks for, and truly enjoys his rainbow salad with "nibbly bits" (raw sunflower seeds and dried cranberries) every single day.

He Said, She Said Meal Planning Tips

1, Make whole grain and vegetable dishes the main attraction, and the meat an extra. Not only will you save money, but you'll start to enjoy the feeling of being able to eat more.  And not feel as bloated, weighed down, or sleepy, like you would with a heavy meat-based meal.

2. Look for a Trader Joe's in your area. I especially enjoy purchasing their frozen chicken breasts and fish. This makes it easier to grab what you need to make a "He Said" meal, without worrying about meat going bad, or depending too much on leftovers.

3. Rotisserie chickens are a "He Said" eater's best friend. Chicken can easily be added to just about any "She Said" meals like rice or quinoa, tacos, pasta dishes... the list is endless.

4. Check out your grocery store's sale flyer each week, and buy meat that can be used for several "He Said" meals. His favorite is pork tenderloin, which we often find on sale BOGO at Harris Teeter. The first night I roast it, then the next few nights it can be used in sandwiches, quasadillas, or our favorite- stir fried rice.

5. Make your "She Said" meals based around what's in season. Not only will this save you money (buying in-season produce) but you can also support your local farmers.  Don't have a farmers market nearby? Most grocery stores purchase some of their produce locally or regionally, so look for the signs.  Much better to buy produce from a few hours away, rather than across the country... or from another country.

6. Purchase a variety of vegetables each week for your "He Said, She Said" salads.  Once a week, I wash and cut up many of the vegetables ahead of time like beets, broccoli, red and orange peppers (don't buy the green ones- they're actually unripe peppers), red cabbage and fennel.  And don't forget your "nibbly bits" which are my favorite part... raw pumpkin seeds (make sure and buy raw) and dried cranberries (low sugar is not always better- look at the ingredient list).  I also add clover sprouts, but make sure you buy from a reputable company that tests each batch for any harmful bacteria.

7. Make up a few salad dressings each week, and keep them in the fridge.  I rarely buy dressings at the store these days (except my husband loves Briannas "strawberry" dressing). By making them myself, I can control the ingredients, and the sugar... and they take minutes to make.  My favorite is olive oil, apple cider vinegar (make sure it has the "mother"), Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper.  Simple shake it all up in a mason jar, keep the leftovers in the fridge, and you're good to go for the week. 

8. Keep it Simple.  Long gone are the days where I made complicated dishes that left my kitchen a major mess.  Try to incorporate as much raw produce as you can into your diet (which only needs a knife and a cutting board).  And for the "He Said" dishes, look for recipes that utilize one pan... like a baking dish, a cookie sheet for roasting, or even foil, for the simplest foil baked fish, etc.  Once you learn some simple and delicious recipes (like those below) you'll realize just how much better tasting, quicker... and cost effective preparing food at home can really be. 

He Said, She Said 2-Week Meal Plan

Week 1

Monday- (H) Pork Tenderloin (S) White Bean, Leek and Asparagus Salad and a side salad
For the pork, trim off any extra fat and place in 9x13 pan. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and Greek seasoning. Roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until an internal temperature of 136 degrees (USDA says 145 degrees). Let rest, and then slice.

Tuesday- (H) Pork Quesadillas with Balsamic Onions (S) Roasted Root Veggie Quesadilla with Balsamic Onions and a side salad
For both quesadillas, peel and cut into chunks whatever root vegetables you'd like, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc. Place on a rimmed cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper, and I like to add the zest of a lime for some extra flavor. Roast at 400 degrees until caramelized, around 25 minutes. 

For the balsamic onions, thinly slice a sweet onion and add to a hot skillet with about 1 Tblsp. oil. Cook for a few minutes until translucent, and then turn down heat to medium low. Add in about 2 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar and a bit of salt and cook until the vinegar is reduced, about 20 minutes.

For the "He Said" quesadilla, place a small amount of oil in a skillet and once heated up add in a tortilla. Top with roasted veggies, sliced leftover pork, balsamic onions and goat cheese. Then top with another tortilla.  Once the bottom is nicely browned and starting to crisp, turn over and brown the other side. For the "She Said" quesadilla, follow all the steps except leave out the pork.

Wednesday- (H) Citrus Soy Glazed Sirloin (S)

Thursday- (H) (S) Broccoli and Carrot Fried Rice
For the "She Said" meal, add in the broccoli and carrots before the meat, and serve. Then for the remaining stir fry, add in the meat for the "He Said" meal.

Friday- (H & S) Leftovers

Saturday- (H) Salsa Chicken (S)
For the salsa chicken, simply defrost the chicken (or use fresh), trim off any fat, and wipe off any juices. Place in a greased 9x9 baking dish. Spinkle the chicken with a bit of salt and then top with your favorite jarred salsa. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (depending on thickness).

Sunday- (H) Leftover Chicken in the Taco Salad (S)

Week 2

Monday(H & S) and a side salad

Tuesday- (H & S) Butternut Squash Chili and a side salad

Wednesday- (H) Tuscan Chicken Artichoke Bake over rice or quinoa (S) Rainbow Salad with Spicy Balsamic Lime Vinaigrette
For the chicken bake, defrost 3 chicken breasts (or use fresh) and cut into bit size pieces. In a greased baking dish add in the chicken pieces in one layer. Salt and pepper. Then top with a can of chopped tomatoes (drained) and a can of artichoke heart quarters (not marinated, and drained). Pour in enough chicken broth to come about half way up the pan. Sprinkle all with Greek seasoning (I use quite a bit). Serve over cooked rice or quinoa.

For the salad- use the veggies listed in the recipe. Or make a rainbow salad including all your favorites... one of every color!

Thursday- (H) Leftover Chili (S)

Friday- (H) Leftover Chicken Artichoke Bake (S) Leftover Cauliflower Salad

Saturday- (H) (S)

Sunday- (H & S) Leftovers

Enjoy! And please check back for future He Said, She Said meal plans and recipe ideas.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

{Video} Week 4 Matthew Kenney Raw Food Academy- Final Recap


Just now, several weeks after graduation, I've really been able to absorb what was a whirlwind month.  Really let it all sink in, and reflect on not only what I've learned, but also how this raw food culinary experience has truly changed me. 

You see, as I started down this path, I had the dream of starting my own raw food business, which I still plan on doing.  And thanks to this program, I feel like I have the skills to prepare raw food for a successful business.  But there's more to it.

Through it all, I've seen the biggest change in me.

Today, I realize that there was so much more, and over the next months I'll be sharing more of my own personal journey of some very unusual, yet pretty intense health challenges this last year. And how organic and raw food has helped me get back to health.  No more hot flashes or night sweats.  Increased energy.  And a miraculous reduction in food allergies.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach Chili #SecretRecipeClub


OK, so it might be a tad bit early for a hearty chili recipe, but come on Fall.  I know you're out there.  It's not that I don't love you, Summer, but this year has been a bit unusual, as I spent more time in the kitchen cooking, than laying on the beach soaking up the sunshine.

And so here we are in September (I know!), at another  reveal time.  And this month I was assigned to Tracy over at .  Tracy has such a fun blog.  Science teacher by day, blogger by night, and she even has two turtles. Seriously, how cute it that.

So, as I perused her recipe index, I was drawn in by many, including her ,  and (and did I mention these are all vegan recipes!)  But, I opted for this delicious looking (and sounding) chili.  And it was a huge hit in our home, tonight.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Week 3 Matthew Kenney Raw Food Academy- Recap and a Fennel and Pea Shoot Salad with Spicy Balsamic Lime Vinaigrette Recipe


Bahain Soup

Week 3 was the most intense, yet most satisfying week... with some really challenging and delicious recipes.  I don't know if this happens to you, but in my schooling experience, when I'm learning something new, there comes a point where things just click.  And this week, it all seemed to come together in my mind. And I gained an ever greater respect and love for raw cuisine... plus it didn't hurt that this was sweets week.

Oh yes, it was one sweet week (also read about week 1 and week 2).

And I think my favorite sweets were these chocolate chip cookies.  This was hard for me to wrap my head around, as I'm a long-time chocolate chip cookie connoisseur.  But these kept us coming back again and again, despite the fact that there were no eggs... or butter... white or brown sugar... or even white flour.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 

We even made the chocolate chips.  And learned that this superfood, cacao, has 10x more antioxidant potency than blueberries, 21x more potency than green tea, and 14-30x more potency than red wine.

I love that I didn't even need fancy equipment, we just snipped off the corner of a ziplock bag and out came these chocolaty morsels.

Raw Cacao Chips

And then there were cacao truffles... covered in coconut sugar, maca powder, bee pollen, a mix of dehydrated lemon and coconut, and cacao powder.