Portobello Pizza

Pizza is the end all cheat meal. It’s carbs, dairy, grease, and fat all rolled into a delicious, handheld treat. While many feel like it’s the hardest thing to give up while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there’s variations that deliver the taste without the trash. 
portobello caps
Ingredients: Portobello mushrooms, tomato paste (preferably organic), chicken tenderloins, low fat shredded mozzarella cheese, peppers, onion, kale to garnish

Directions: Scoop out inside of portobello caps (a melon baller was used here), saving the extracted mushroom. Make sure to be CAREFUL while still insuring that a large amount of the inside has been removed. No one wants a holey pizza! Lightly sprinkle with salt to absorb moisture. Bake on 350 for about 15 mins. 

saute chicken and veggies
Slice peppers and onions. Slice chicken to fit size of portobello cap and lightly season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Sauté the removed mushrooms and sliced veggies first. Once browned, add chicken. Cook for about 10-15 mins. 

Once portobello caps have cooked, remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, spread a layer of the tomato paste on for your sauce. Then add chicken and cooked veggies. Finish with mozzarella. 

cheese portobellos

Bake for about 10 mins and broil for 2-5 minutes. Watch carefully!

Portobello Pizzas
It’s important to remember that all bad food is based off of good, nutritional ingredients (like a bad movie derived from a good book)😜. Don’t think about what you’re giving up, but what you can spin into making healthy! 

Glowing Green Ice Pops

Glowing Green Ice Pops
It’s getting hotter and hotter out there. It’s important to stay hydrated and refreshed…two things these ice pops satisfy.

Additionally, it’s always good to have solutions to excess fruits and veggies that are on the brink of spoiling. It feels like an accomplishment when you finish off ALL the spinach in that bag or blow throw ALL the apples in that sack. Coming up with the right combination for a delicious ice pop will certainly help to fulfill your produce’s destiny!

Ice Pops in Food Processor

The recipe requires an ice pop mold and food processor. If there is one kitchen gadget to invest in, it’s a good food processor. There are countless healthy things one can produce with it so it’s best not to settle for a cheap, small one. 

Ingredients: 2 Granny Smith apples, 2 small Haas avocados, half of a honeydew melon, half the juice of a lime, bunch of spinach and kale, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1 cup of coconut water. 

Directions: place all fruits and veggies in food processor. Add coconut water and chia seeds. Blend until the desired consistency. Some prefer a bit of texture but these are pretty smooth. Pour into mold. Freeze for about 5 hours (overnight is ideal). 

frozen ice pops
The two key ingredients are the avocado and coconut water. Avocado gives the pops a creamy consistency which a banana will also do. The coconut water provides a sugary component as opposed to a bland, watery taste (it will give the same effect for a protein shake). 

frozen ice pops
These will make the perfect treat for a pool day or as a dessert without any guilt attached. Happy summer!

Blazin’ Burgers over Coolin’ Quinoa

Coolin' Quinoa and Blazin' Burgers
Happy Memorial Day! MDW officially kicks off summer, so that summer body better be ready! It’s kind of ironic: we kill ourselves in the gym and with keeping a healthy eating plan, only to spend the summer eating fatty cuts of processed meats, nutrition-less fried startches, and washing it down with adult beverages. Then, it’s a sleigh ride into the holidays and their indulgences so we can start over again next January. Vicious cycle. 

But there are ways to stay on track even when attending fun events like BBQs and beach parties: BYOS (Bring your own sides). While hotdogs and hamburgers aren’t exactly tofu, the proteins aren’t the biggest culprits. Mayonnaise based sides like potato salad and cole slaw and heavily processed potato products like chips and French fries are the real culprits for the extra belly fat. Well, that and the beer (we’ll let you know when we find a comparable substitute for that one ;).

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad
Quinoa: 1 cup of quinoa, 1 cucumber, half of a large tomato, quarter of a red onion, bunch of cilantro, 1 lime

Quinoa is usually described as a good fill-in for rice, but it’s actually more flexible in that you can serve it either warm or cold. In this case, we are using it as a nice, cooling base for our sizzlin’ hot burgers.

To cook, 1 cup of the quinoa was combined with 1 1/2 cup of water in a pot and boiled until all the water was absorbed. Quinoa does not have much of a taste on its own, so normally we heavily season it to give it a flare. In this case, we added a quarter of the lime and cilantro into the boiling water to add some zest to it. Once cooled, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, cilantro, and the juice of the remaining lime were added. Put in refrigerator to chill. 

Cilantro, Lime, Tomato, Red Onion, Cucumber
burgers on grill
Burgers: For our meat, we choose 1 lb organic, grass fed beef (makes about 5 burgers). It will give you all the flavor of a regular hamburger without the nasty, processed extras. 

To compliment the chilled quinoa, we went extra spicy with our seasonings. Cayenne, chipotle, cumin, black pepper, salt, a pinch of raw sugar, and a dizzle of balsamic vinegar for moisture were added, so these bad boys are anything but flavorless. They were cooked on a stove top grill for about 10-15 mins each side. 

Blazin' Burgers over Coolin' Quinoa
Garnished with avocado and green peppers, the meal has a southwest yet All- American feel. This goes to show you that BBQ food doesn’t have to be fatty and repetitive. Happy summer! 

Cucumber Wrapped Salmon Sushi Rolls

Cucumber Wrapped Sushi with Caulirice
You either love sushi or you hate it. Some people can’t handle raw fish. Some can’t take the helping of rice, veggies, and fish all at one. Well, these are cooked, light and palatable so that even the pickiest of eaters will be lunging for the chop sticks. 

peeled cucumber
Ingredients: .67 ounces of salmon (makes about 10 rolls), 1 cucumber, quarter chopped onion, bunch of grated carrots, whole avocado, grated ginger, soy sauce 

Rolls: Cut edges off cucumber. Peel layers of cucumber. Each roll should be about 2-3 “sheets”. For a thicker product, make sure to apply pressure on peeler. 

Baked Salmon
Salmon: Season with garlic powder, onion powder, sesame oil, pepper, and salt. Bake at 350 for 30 mins. 

Sushi roll
To form rolls, layer veggies and salmon. Roll forward. If cucumbers unravel, use avocado as adhesive.

Cucumber Sushi Rolls
We have paired it with leftover caulirice, but it will also go well over greens. For moisture, add a dash of soy sauce. The rolls are refreshing and filling. And they will keep you from throwing a dish at the wall out of frustration from keeping a stagnant diet. And who wouldn’t want to prevent that? 😛

Sweet and Sour Meatballs over Caulirice

Sweet and Sour Meatballs with Caulirice
Cauliflower is another vegetable that can be the answer to your carb cravings. If you can get passed its rather, uh, flatulent odor while it’s being prepared, cauliflower is able to be manipulated into a variety of forms that can serve as a base for any dish. 

Cauliflower-food processor
Ingredients: Medium size cauliflower head, 2 garlic cloves, one quarter white onion, bunch of carrot sticks, salt & pepper, Food processor

Ground chicken, orangic sweet and sour sauce, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Caulirice: cut the cauliflower head into florets. Chop onion, garlic cloves, and carrots and add to cauliflower. The cauliflower is a bit bland without anything added to it, so the garlic and onion offer great flavor. Season with salt and pepper. A medium size head should be processed in two loads. Do NOT add any liquid. Mashed cauliflower is another conversation for another time 😜. Place in microwave safe dish. Cook for 8-10 mins. 

Caulirice
Meatballs: combine all ingredients (using about 3 tablespoons of S&S sauce) in large bowl and mix. For the breadcrumbs, we used an end piece of Ezekiel bread to keep it safe. Shape into medium size balls. Bake for 30 mins at 350. Broil for 2 mins if desired. Serve with extra sauce on the side. 

Sweet and Sour Meatballs over Caulirice
This dish is yet another example of a balanced meal that does not slack in the taste department. One you master it, Caulirice will be your go to fake starch. 

#Leftoverremix: Chicken Cobb Spaghetti Squash Salad

Chicken Cobb Spaghetti Squash Salad
We have already covered how spaghetti squash makes for a great low carb alternative to pasta. But, that can’t possibly be its only reason for being. What’s great about spaghetti squash is that it’s texture and thickness are applicable to both a hot or cold dish, so adding a bit to a salad gives you a fun new throw-in to keep your salads vibrant and unboring.

We have taken a leftover half of squash from the previous entry using pesto and steak (which also includes instructions on cooking the squash). After forking out the goods and placing it on top of spinach, we added chicken, bacon, blue cheese crumbles, hard boiled egg, avocado, tomatoes and onions. Now, you may say that a cobb salad is not exactly the most healthiest of options, but the fattiest ingredients have been added in moderation (you got to live a little, even with a healthy lifestyle :).

Chicken Cobb Spaghetti Squash Salad 2
You’ll find that the squash is a good absorber of dressings or just the cheese and bacon. So the next time you’re whipping up a Greek, Caesar, or Chef for guests, give them a little yellow shock by throwing in a bit of spaghetti squash. 

Pesto Steak Spaghetti Squash

Pesto Steak Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is the answer to your pasta craving. While a bit thicker, it has a similar consistency to angel hair pasta and can be prepared just as many ways. The problem is, people tend to think the direct opposite of this blog’s purpose: I’m eating healthy, so all I can eat my squash with is bland, old tomato sauce.

WRONG! Truth is, tomato sauce (at least to this blogger) is kinda boring without the heartiness of pasta and flavor of Parmesan. So, we will be creating a variety of spaghetti squashes that are anything but bland and ordinary, starting with this one.

Spaghetti Squash
Ingredients: 2 Spaghetti Squashes (feeds 5-6), 2 bell peppers, 1 yellow onion, 3 6-ounce steaks (round used here, if looking for a leaner cut, go with sirloin). 

Pesto: Bunch of Basil, Parmesan cheese (go with the block, not the pre-grated), handful of walnuts (pine nuts are traditional, but cashews or walnuts work about the same), half clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt & pepper to taste

Directions: Half the spaghetti squashes down the middle and deseed. IMPORTANT: Lightly dust the inside with salt. This is crucial to remove moisture and prevent a soggy squash (horrible). Bake at 350 for 45- 60 minutes. Allow to cool. Use fork to remove squash “meat” into a bowl.

Pesto
Pesto: Blend all pesto ingredients in food processor. Check that final product is moist enough. If not, add a little more olive oil and reblend. 

Steak Stir Fry
Steak/Veggies: stir-fry onions and peppers in pan. After cubing steak, add to pan. We did not heavily season or marinade the steak because the pesto will  do the talking. Lightly season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes. Test steak to make sure it is to liking (do NOT overcook). 

Chewy Steak=Ruined Meal.

Pesto Steak  Spaghetti Squash
The meal is full of flavor and will make to forget about pasta, carbs, and that you are eating healthy altogether. 

Apple Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars (V)

Apple Breakfast Bars
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The problem is, it’s also at the most hectic time of the day. Mornings tend to consume us rather than us consuming the necessary nutrients to have a productive day. And worse than that, McDonald’s breakfast makes the allure of the drive-through all the more appealing. 

But, breakfast prep is possible! These bars (which we could even call “breakfast brownies” due to their mouth watering moisture) are filled with protein and good carbs from an unlikely source to successfully prepare you for the day. 

Apples in pan
Ingredients: 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and dried (yes, you read that right), 1/2 cup peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of agave nectar, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, 2 scoops of protein powder (vegan used here), 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 3 apples (any kind), 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, pinch of sea salt

Directions: Dice apples. Sauté in pan for about 15 mins or until a bit browned while adding cinnamon. Let cool once completed.

Bars in Oven
Once cooled, process all ingredients together (chickpeas, peanut butter, agave, etc.). You should have a peanut butter cookie-like batter (but foodborne  illness free!). Pour into greased cake pan (recipe caters to 8×8, but a 12×8 is all that we had available). Bake for 30 mins at 350°.

We cut the bars quite large to give a filling portion for the morning. If using as a dessert (which they are also excellent for), you may want to cut to more of a brownie size. 

The bars are packed with protein (about 20 g per bar if you cut in 6’s) and are gluten free and vegan. They are sure to keep you full and fueled for your busy day.

#Leftoverremix: Cashew Chicken Broccoli Slaw

Cashew Chicken Broccoli Slaw
Another #leftoverremix for when your stomach, taste buds, and soul just can’t do the same meal a fourth time in a row. In the fridge, we still had leftover broccoli slaw, chicken, sugar snap peas, and zucchini. Despite how delicious the Zucchini Pillows turned out, we opted to create a nice chopped salad with the remaining ingredients. 


First of all, if you are a raw food eater or seriously interested in a healthy diet at all, investing in a salad chopper (or a pizza cutter, but remember what you bought it for!) would be highly beneficial. It makes salad much more bite size and also helps to mix around dressings and ingredients. 

Ingredients: chicken, broccoli slaw, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cashews, sesame seeds, soy sauce/sesame oil/pinch of organic sugar mixture as dressing (Braggs’ Amino Acids will substitute well)

Directions: Place all dry ingredients in a salad bowl. Use salad chopper until ingredients are at desired size/consistency. Add dressing. Chop again. Quick & easy 🙂

Additional throw-ins, like edamame, rice noodles, or any other leftover veggies, will fit right in. Feel free to get creative and share your results! 

Zucchini Chicken Pillows

Zucchini Pillow
Missing pasta? Absolutely. All the time. Even in between bites when I’m actually eating it. Truth is, pasta is just one big carb bomb. More than bread and rice, pasta is filling, heavy, and only ends up sitting around your waist. But there are options that can itch that scratch without putting your diet in the danger zone.

Zucchini is very versatile. It can be manipulated in a variety of ways other than just cut up and fried. Here we have created zucchini pillows, a kind of “blanket” (see what I did there) term for either a ravioli or a dumpling. 

Zucchini cross
Ingredients: 2 large zucchinis, 1 large cooked chicken breast, vegetable peeler

Directions: With the vegetable peeler, cut 2-3 strips to form the vertical strip as seen above. Repeat the same process to form the horizontal piece. The strips are frail and may need more than 3 to support the chicken. 

Cut chicken into small pieces (what I have used is premade. Sue me:). Place in center. You can add any seasoning (garlic, pepper, etc) or even cheese to act as more of a binder. 

Zucchini wrapping
The rolling process is best done by first selecting an end that is underneath the other zucchini strip. Then pick an end that is on top, followed by the remaining underneath end, and finally finished with the last strip. BE SURE TO BE DELICATE. They can fall apart at a moments notice! 

Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Then broil for an additional 10. 

Zucchini pillows out the oven
We have prepared these with a sort of Asian inspiration (more so dumpling than ravioli than) consisting of broccoli slaw, sugar snap peas, and rice with a drizzle of soy sauce/sesame oil.

These can also be done with cheese or any other protein in a red sauce as a ravioli substitute. Try them out, you won’t regret it!