Food prep for success

Last year I lost over 20 lbs and managed to keep it off. This year my goal is to get my body to its healthy weight and tone up. One of the biggest obstacles for me is my job. I leave the house by 7am and usually do not get home until 8pm. My lunches are squeezed in whenever I find a minute so they are never at the same time. After talking to a good friend and amazing motivator I decided to commit my Sunday free time to food prep. Instead of driving around trying to find healthy fast food options I’m stocking up in organic veggies and free range proteins to eat through the work week. 

This week I made roast chicken breast with lemon, garlic, pepper, cayenne and a little sea salt. My broccoli was roasted with lemon and pepper.
What do you eat to stay healthy?
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Valentines day favorites

Valentines day is just over a week away. I’m not huge into celebrating valentines day since T and I have an anniversary shortly after. BUT I love having an excuse to wear pinks and reds. These are just a few off my affordable favorites! 

1. The limited skater dress $70
2. JCrew factory store sweater $30
3. New York and co hearts blouse $50
4. Forever 21 dress $12
5. Boohoo.com Candy dress $45
 

6. Target red shoes $30
7. Mac all fired up lipstick $15
8. JCrew factory store sweater $30
9. Aldo pumps $70
What are your favorites??
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Meatless Monday Week 2: Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Whole Foods is know for free sample Saturdays. New products are prepared and displayed. A few weeks ago I tried the gluten free corn free quinoa noodles. They tasted soooooo similar to a regular white enriched pasta. About 200 calories per serving and still a whopping 40 carbs, but zero sugar higher protein and way easier for your body. 
What you need: 
Quinoa noodles (there are two kinds the gluten free can be found at most grocery stores. The gluten and corn free I have only seen at health food stores) 
1 cup organic cream or half and half 
1 cup of buffalo cheddar 
1 cup extra sharp white cheddar
1/4 cup plain unsalted Panko crumbs 
2 tsp butter
1 tsp of flour 
How to do it: 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare noodles according to package set to side drained. Melt butter in sauce pan on lowest setting. Add flour and whisk consistently. When flour starts to turn to a light brown color add in half of the cream. Whisk very quickly and make sure the mixture is smooth. Add in cheese. Whisk while cheese melts and add the rest of the cream. Cheese should be thick and creamy. Add in noodles. Now is the time to salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a baking dish. Sprinkle Panko on top. You can add extra cheese if you would like. Bake for 15 minutes. 
This dish is very easy to change up. Use any cheeses you prefer! 
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Blueberry Oatmeal Chip Muffins

Let me tell you about these muffins. Each bite is packed full of chocolatey blueberry crunch. These are not health food muffins  but they are definitely better than something you will get in a bakery. So fluffy with the perfect top crust. 
Blueberry Oatmeal Chip Muffins 
What you need: 
1 1/2 cups oats 
1 cup all purpose or wheat flour unbleached
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp of kosher salt 
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1/4 cup granulated sugar 
2 eggs 
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce 
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tbsp canola oil 
1 tsp vanilla 
1 cup blueberries ( I buy fresh then freeze them. This keeps the color from bleeding and it’s healthier than buying already frozen) 
1/2 cup dark chocolate 
Ok I know there are a ton of ingredients but I promise it is worth it. You can replace the almond milk with regular milk and skip oil by adding more apple sauce. You can even ditch the chocolate if you want. 
How to do it.
Preheat to 400 degrees. Mix all wet ingredients together then add in the dry. Mix very lightly. You almost just want to fold the mix. Add in blueberries and chocolate. These do not rise a ton so you can fill the muffin liners 3/4 of the way. I sprinkled more oats on top. The more you mix the batter the tougher your muffins will be. Bake for 20 minutes. 
Enjoy! 
 
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Chicken pot pie minus the pie

Sometimes you want food so comforting you just forget how cold it is outside. This is one of those dishes. We were craving the creaminess of a chicken pot pie, but did not want to add so many calories to our meal. 

What you need: 
2 chicken breasts cooked and chopped 
1 cup of peas (we used organic frozen)
1 cup of corn 
1/2 cup chopped raw carrot 
1/2 cup chopped raw celery 
1 small sweet onion chopped 
1/4 cup cream or half and half 
3 cups chicken broth 
1/2 tsp red pepper (optional) 
Salt and pepper
How to do it:
Heat up a soup pot with a little cooking spray or olive oil and add all veggies. Cook about 5 minutes stirring as needed or until onions are translucent. Add in chicken and broth. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium low and let simmer for at least 20 minutes or until carrots are cooked through. Mix in seasonings. Turn heat to low. Stir in the cream. 
Serve with crusty farmers bread! Trust me you will want it to soak up this goodness. 
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Meatless Monday Series

So I am definitely a day late on this post, but I want to start a meatless Monday series! All my favorite protein packed meatless recipes. This isn’t a diet. Just an extra day to fill up on produce and yummy grains. This first recipe is a an awesome light salad that is perfect for lunches! 

Spinach Quinoa Salad 
What you need:
1 cup red quinoa (prepare according to directions)
1 can of rinsed chick peas
2 handfuls of spinach 
1 ounce herb goat cheese crumbled 
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar 
1 tsp honey 
1 tsp spicy mustard 
Salt and pepper 
How you do it:
Add spinach and chick peas to warm quinoa. Mix together oil, vinegar, honey and mustard to make a vinaigrette. Stir dressing into the quinoa. Add goat cheese, salt and pepper and toss. 
Tada! Easy peasy quinoa salad. Serve warm or cold. 
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Super fast apple pie crumble

We have all been there. 30 minutes before people arrive and you still have nothing to serve. We tried this apple pie crumble recipe the other night and not only was it easy – it was delicious! 

What you need: 
Prepared pie dough wheat or regular 
Canned apple slices
1 cup flour 
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon 
1/2 stick butter
How you do it:
Roll out the dough to fit a 9 inch pie pan. Grease before hand. I used canola spray and a glass dish.
Poke holes across the bottom and bake at 350 for ten minutes. 
Add apple slices 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon. 
To make the crumble:
Mix flour, butter, cinnamon and sugar. 
Use a fork to incorporate the butter making a crumble texture. Spread ontop of the apples. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Have a few more minutes? 
Mix 1 cup of heavy whipping cream 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon. Mix until the cream starts to stiffen and stand up on its own. 
Enjoy! We sure did. 
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5 Minute Day Time Sultry Eye

Hey guys! 

Every day I fight the battle between looking put together and sleeping longer. I use just a few tips and tricks to bring my morning routine down to a whopping 35 minutes. One of the easiest looks is a day time smokey sultry eye. Takes only a few minutes, but looks like a lot of work went into the makeup. 

Today I used the Two Faced palette.  To recreate this look you will need a blending brush, a smudge brush or Q tip and a lengthening mascara.

First I prepped my skin with Origins moisturizer and Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation. I primed my eyes with Mac Pro Concealer.

Using the blending brush I put Chocolate Milk on my entire eyelid and the crease.


Next I used the second darkest chocolate shade mixed with the silver navy shade and put that on my entire lid. Using the smudge brush I blended the same combo on my lower lash line. This is when you can use the qtip. The trick here is to REALLY blend. This is the biggest step because this is what makes the eye smokey.

Go back in with the darkest chocolate shade and cover the lid. Go back to the Chocolate Milk shade and blend any harsh lines.

Mixing the light champagne color and the matte cream color I highlighted my tear duct and under my brows. 

Finish off with the mascara! I used Origins brightening mascara. 



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Meatless Monday Pasta Edition

One of the easiest ways to reduce the fat content in your diet is to have one meatless day a week. The problem with most vegetarian options is they are not filling and you may end up eating more. This dish is both filling and satisfying. 

Eggplant And Mushroom Pasta 
What you need: 
1/2 pound whole wheat angel hair pasta
1tbsp chopped garlic
1 can diced tomatoes 
1 small can organic tomato sauce 
1 sweet onion chopped 
2 cups mushrooms chopped (I used baby Bella’s) 
1 egg plant peeled and chopped 
1 tsp crushed red pepper 
1 tsp organic sugar cane 
1 cup torn basil leaves 
Salt & pepper 
Optional * 1/2 cup freshly grated parm 
How to: 
Heat a little olive oil and sautée onions and garlic. Add eggplant and mushrooms. Mix in seasonings and sugar. Add tomatoes and sauce and turn up the heat. When sauce begins to boil turn down to low and let simmer for at least 30 minutes. Before serving add basil leaves, salt and pepper. 
Pour over prepared pasta and finish with parm. Enjoy !

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Cranberry Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Looking for a holiday spin on traditional chocolate chip cookies? This is my favorite chocolate chip recipe. The fillings are easily interchangeable. 

What you need: 
1 bag of milk chocolate chips 
1/2 cup craisins I used sugar free 
1 cup chopped pecans 
2 eggs 
2 1/2 sticks butter
1 2/3 cup white sugar 
1 2/3 cup brown sugar 
2 tsp vanilla 
1 tsp sea salt 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
1 2/3 tsp baking soda 
1 2/3 cup bread flour 
2 cups minus 2 tbsp cake flour 
I know it’s a lot of ingredients but I prooooomise you it is worth it! 
Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350 
Cream butter and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs. Mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients. Do not over stir! Adding too much air will make your cookies cakey. Use your hands if you need to. Add chocolate, craisins and nuts. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. I use a small icecream scoop with lever to make it easy to get portions right.   Bake for 10 minutes. You want to take them out as soon as the edges start browning. It’s ok if the center looks undone. If you wait until the top is brown or even starts to brown then you will have hard cookies. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes to finish cooking then transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

*tip if you freeze your chocolate before baking the chips will hold shape and not turn the batter brown. 

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