Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tyler Florence's Ultimate Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are so great, am I right??  They take me back to lunch time in school, but thinking back, I'm sure those were probably pretty gross.  But we all loved them!  So here is a amped up, so good and actually good for you version that I adapted from Tyler Florence.   


Yum!!  Totally sloppy and it will spill out everywhere!  Just how it should be.  I served them with roasted sweet potatoes, my lazy version of making fries.  A little olive oil, salt and pepper and that's it.  My entire family gobbles them up.  Side note, I use organic, natural ingredients where I can.  The ketchup I used was a natural, no sugar added from either Hunts or Heinz.

Serves 4

Tyler Florence's Ultimate Sloppy Joes

Olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 pound lean ground turkey
salt and pepper

For the sauce
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Set a heavy-based pot over medium-high heat and add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add onions and saute for 2-3 minutes until translucent.  Add ground turkey, season well with salt and pepper and brown well all over.  Break it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 7-10 minutes.  Add ketchup, mustard, tomato paste, honey and cayenne.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes.  Finish with a splash of red wine vinegar and check for seasoning once more before serving on good rolls.

(Source:  Adapted from Tyler Florence)

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

If you really want to know how good these are, ask me how many my 2-year old and I ate as I was taking these pictures.  No, don't ask...it's not pretty.  Ok, ok...5!!  I'm not proud.  


They are TOO good!!  And not bad for you!  No refined sugars, no butter, no white flour.  


I doubled the original recipe because I knew I wanted to freeze some.  I should have tripled it!  I'll be making these quite a bit, that I'm sure of.   


They freeze so great too.  When I brought our extra batch to room temperature, they were just as good as the day I made them.  My children are addicted and I don't blame them!  They make a perfect on-the-go, out-the-door kind of breakfast or a quick snack between school and ballet for my 4-year old.   

Yields 24 muffins

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

3 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
1 cup honey
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with liners and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt and baking powder.  Add the eggs, honey and applesauce until just combined (do not overmix).  Add the pumpkin puree until just combined.

Divide the batter equally among the muffin cups (I use an ice cream scoop).  Each cup should be about 3/4 full.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, 18 - 20 minutes.  Store at room temperature or freeze.

(Source:  Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food)

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

How and Why I Became a Beachbody Coach

I recently became a Beachbody coach (well, 5 months ago - where has the time gone?) and I felt that it was time to share my story!  Back in April, my friend, and now coach and mentor posted on Facebook that she was doing a 'Sneak Peek' into coaching.  I don't know what possessed me...the number one reason was probably the fact that I had a one-month old and was ready to get my body back.  But I was also very curious about what it entailed - I had been watching her talk about coaching for 2 years.  Not only was she getting in the best shape ever, she was making money too?!  It was about time I found out more.   


I went through the 'Sneak Peek' and by day 3 of 5, I was convinced that I needed to join.  The group of coaches that presented it were so nice and supportive...I was literally blown away.  I signed up immediately.  Now I'm no fitness expert or nutritionist.  So it kind of scared me.  How was I going to convince people to join me when I was JUST starting out myself?  Before I started coaching, I NEVER exercised.  I didn't even like taking the dogs on walks!


My husband thought I was crazy (it's always the husbands, I hear it time and time again!), but now he is more supportive than ever.  He was the first coach I ever signed, and he is now an Emerald coach as well!  I've grown, I've changed for the better since becoming a coach - and he sees that.  I'm happier, healthier and so is my family.  Best decision I EVER made.


So why is Beachbody so great?  And why should you consider becoming a coach?  Here are my top reasons:
  • You do not have to be a salesperson to be a coach.  Consider yourself more like a blogger.  I share my experiences, whether it's my workout, my favorite Shakeology recipe or teammates transformations.  If you get too salesy, people will tune you out.  If you share, they will start to wonder if it's something that might be able to help them!  
  • There is no upfront inventory to purchase.  But, you should be proof the product works so I think it's 100% necessary that as a coach, you are doing one of the Beachbody programs and drinking Shakeology daily.  It's hard to guide others when you aren't doing it yourself! 
  • All you need is a cell phone, tablet or computer and you can manage your business!  Most of our business is conducted through Facebook - messaging customers, placing challengers in accountability groups and posting about promotions.  I also use other social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram to reach out to potential customers.  
  • You put in as much time and energy as you can or want.  I am a stay at home mom so I do a lot of my work or checking in with challengers while my two oldest are at preschool or after everyone is in bed.  I am my own boss and work around MY schedule.  
  • Discount!  On all Beachbody programs, apparel and Shakeology!   
And I seriously could go on and on.  My blog will still be 90% recipes, but I'll also keep you up to date on Beachbody promotions, challenge groups and sharing my own experiences with each program I do.

I would love to answer any question you have about becoming a coach.  Fill out the form on the right hand side and I'll be in touch to talk you about becoming a coach or even just to get started on your own fitness journey.  Don't forget to friend me on Facebook and to follow me on Instagram!  


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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Roasted Tomato and Herb Ricotta Crostini

Sometimes don't you just love having appetizers for dinner?  My husband and I love roasted tomatoes and I've been addicted to ricotta lately.  I'm sure I served this with something else for dinner, but this was so good, I've quite forgotten what that other food could have been!  


I'm not going to lie, my tomatoes didn't turn out so pretty.  It almost turned into a chutney, just a thicker, chunkier tomato spread.  But it was still so delicious - the tomatoes get caramelized and they are heavenly!!  I cut my tomatoes into thin slices, but in the recipe I wrote to just cut them in half and seed them.  They will turn out much pretty that way!

Serves 2

Roasted Tomatoes and Herb Ricotta Crostini

1/2 cup ricotta
2 tablespoons half & half
1-2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

For the tomatoes 
6 Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the crostini
4 slices thick multi-grain bread
olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Halve the tomatoes, remove the seeds and place on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic and top with the garlic, salt and pepper.  Using your hands, mix until all the tomatoes are coated evenly.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes become concentrated and caramelized.

On a smaller pan, arrange the bread slices and brush with olive oil on both sides.  Bake for 8-10 minutes (at the same temp as the bread) until the tops are golden.  

Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, half & half and Italian seasoning (use depending on your taste) in a small bowl and stir.  Set aside.

Once the bread has cooled a bit, top each slice evenly with ricotta mixture.  Follow with the roasted tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and a drizzle of balsamic if desired.

(Source;  Adapted from Ina Garten)

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Cinnamon-Raisin Quick Bread: 100 Days of Real Food

This is one of the most exciting blog posts I have ever written!  I had the privilege of being selected as a Cookbook Ambassador for Lisa Leake's 100 Days of Real Food.  It's the coolest thing!!  She sent me a free signed copy and I get to share a recipe from the book with you.  So much fun!!    


Lisa's book was released on August 26th and when I received it in the mail, I was ecstatic!  I only recently started cutting processed foods out of our diet (and to be honest, we are still not 100% there).  I started following 100 Days of Real Food on Facebook and Pinterest because it seemed like a good starting point.  I was not wrong!  Her blog has helped us transition easily to eating more whole, clean foods in such a real, honest way. 


The cookbook is GORGEOUS!!  And so much great information.  She shares how and why she started on the 100 day challenge to cut out processed and refined foods.  Grocery lists templates, how to navigate the grocery store and what to look for in dairy, meats, etc.  The recipes all look delicious and are quick and easy for super busy families (like me and mine!!).  The Cinnamon-Raisin Quick Bread is in the lunch box section - which includes tips for packing real-food lunches.  And just in time for school to start again!    
   

I think it was a hit in our house...what do you think?  I was kicking myself for not making a double batch!  But, it's also so easy that I'll for sure be making it again and again.  I found my two-year old son dragging one of his play table chairs across the kitchen floor so he could reach the bread on the counter more than once...    


So this is what you came for, right?  Lisa's recipe for Cinnamon-Raisin Quick Bread.  Lucky you, a sneak peek from the book!  I cannot wait to cook my way through it.  We've already made the Veggie Corn Chowder as well and it was a hit with the whole family.  Enjoy!!  
    

You can find 100 Days of Real Food on Amazon.  

To learn more about the book, watch this video:





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Thursday, September 4, 2014

{Healthier} No-Bake Cookies

I loooove a good no-bake cookie.  And if you follow this blog, you know I'm pretty obsessed with an oat/peanut butter combination.  Needless to say, I'm pretty psyched that I now have a go-to clean eating no-bake cookie to make when I'm in need of something sweet!


Little bites of yumminess!!  The chewiness of the raisins is an awesome addition and I would not recommend leaving them out (unless you despise raisins).  Store in the fridge or freezer because they get very soft and sticky at room temperature.  

Yields 12 cookies

{Healthier} No-Bake Cookies

2/3 cup coconut sugar
4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup fat free milk
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 raisins

Stir coconut sugar, cocoa and milk in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on high for one minute.  Stir.  Add peanut butter and vanilla and stir until well blended.  Stir in oats and raisins until combined.  Using a small cookie scoop, drop the mixture onto a wax paper lined baking sheet.  Chill in fridge for about an hour (or freezer for 10 minutes) before serving.  Keep leftovers stored in fridge.

(Source:  Adapted from Ready Set Eat)

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Barbecue Chicken Wonton Cups

A very simple, but oh-so-adorable little appetizer!  Like little flowers filled with barbecue chicken!  


They may look elegant, but they are too easy to make!  Cooking the chicken was what took the longest - and that was only like 8 minutes or something.  An awesome game-day snack (football season has descended upon us again as you all know) or party food.  Don't you think people would be impressed if you brought these? :)


Easily doubled to accommodate your crowd.  I didn't make these too spicy because my 4-year old was dying to try them, but I think I would definitely add some diced jalapeno next time.  Or do buffalo chicken ones!  So trying that next!
 

Barbecue Chicken Wonton Cups

24 wonton wrappers
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons spicy salt-free seasoning
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 12-count muffin tin with non-stick spray.  Press a wonton wrapper into each muffin cup.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute the chicken seasoned with the salt-free seasoning until cooked throughout.  Remove from heat, stir in the barbecue sauce and 1/2 of the cheese.  Stir to combine everything and melt the cheese.

Place about a tablespoon of the chicken mixture in each cup.  Layer with another wonton wrapper and repeat with the remaining chicken mixture.  Top with about a tablespoon more of the shredded cheese.

Bake for 18 minutes or until the wontons are crisp and golden and the cheese is melted.

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I'm a super busy mom of 3 and a Beachbody coach. Follow along as I try to find a balance between eating good food and keeping my family healthy and happy! We eat mostly clean with a few fun treats thrown in every once in awhile. Thanks for stopping by!

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