Category Archives: Main Course

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers {21 Day Fix Friendly}

SantaFe stuffed peppers
Why yes, this is another recipe with Mexican flavors. I can’t help it. I’m obsessed.

There is just something so satisfying about healthy Mexican dishes. I don’t know if it is the bold flavors, the balance between those flavors or the bright rainbow of colors that you end up with on your plate. Plus it’s an excuse to eat avocado, right?!

I am a big fan of stuffed peppers, especially since starting The 21 Day Fix. It’s just a great way to get that extra green container in, plus peppers are pretty darn inexpensive, especially as the summer approaches.

The other night, I set out to make a stuffed pepper recipe from The Whole30 book I received for my birthday, but I forgot an ingredient so I decided to hop on Pinterest and see what caught my eye and these Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers were the winner. I used a recipe from For The Love of Dessert as my base and changed things up a little.

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These peppers were packed with flavor and really hit the spot! I topped mine with some shredded mozzarella, but pepper-jack would be a great choice too. You could even skip the cheese and top them with  some of the guacamole I shared with you yesterday. {Click here to get the recipe}

If you’d like to speed up the cooking process on these, you could pop the pepper halves into the oven while your filling is cooking, to soften up, then fill, bake and top with cheese 5 minutes before they’re ready.

Looking for a healthier taco seasoning option? Make your own! I love the recipe for Clean Eating Taco Seasoning over on The Gracious Pantry. {Click here to view it.}

I promise my next post will NOT feature food with a Mexican theme. I’ve been dreaming about Memorial Day BBQ food, so I’m pretty sure that will be next!

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Cinco de Mayo: Will Sweat For Tacos

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Being as I am not Mexican, this is really just another excuse for me to eat tacos. I won’t lie, I’m a little bummed that it falls on Taco Tuesday…I was hoping for that extra taco day in my week.

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I thought I would put together a quick post with a Cinco de Mayo: Will Sweat For Tacos workout (because why have guilt over eating tacos?!) as well as a few simple recipes that are perfect for today or any Taco Tuesday.

Cinco De Mayo Workout
After a good workout I always like to refuel my body right. If you are a fan of Strawberry Shakeology, why not give this Mojito version a shot?

Cinco De Mayo Shakeology

Tacos and Burrito bowls are always a favorite of mine. Here are links to two recipes I’ve shared in the past that are staples in my home. They are quick, easy and full of flavor!

Slow Cooker Carnitas: These can be made with pork or beef and they’re so yummy! Click here for the recipe.

carnitas

My photo isn’t nearly as nice as the ones featured on the site where the recipe came from. One day, I’ll put more effort into food photos for these posts.


Black Bean Tacos: These may be vegetarian but they are full of flavor! You could even use this as a dip or as a taco topping…that’s how good this is. Click here for the recipe.

black bean tacos
I hope you enjoy this workout as well as the recipes I have shared. I am a total sucker for Mexican food, so if you have a simple and tasty recipe you’d like to share, please feel free to link to it below. I can always use an excuse to use up an avocado!

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Cuban Style Rice & Beans with Turkey

Cuban Style Black Beans & Rice with Turkey
Last week I was sitting and waiting as my husband got his hair cut and a copy of Clean Eating Magazine caught my eye. As I flipped through the pages, I saw a photo of Cuban Style Rice & Beans with Turkey with the page number for the recipe. I immediately flipped to the page only to see that someone else had ripped the page out of the magazine and taken it with them.

Talk about rude! Why couldn’t they just whip out their smartphone and take a photo of it? Sheesh!

As we drove home, I tried looking up the recipe on the magazines website, but I couldn’t find it and that made me sad. I checked Pinterest too and nothing. I even checked the magazine section at Target while I was there and they didn’t have that particular edition anymore. Sigh.

Today, while checking out my Pinterest feed, a photo caught my eye. It was the Cuban Style Rice & Beans with Turkey that I had been searching for! Clean Eating Magazine had finally uploaded the recipe to their site and pinned it! Oh happy day!

Of course I quickly clicked on the photo to check out the recipe, made a list of the few ingredients I was missing and hurried off to the store so I could make this dish for dinner.

I had to make a few tweaks to the recipe because a) the grocery store I went to didn’t have any poblano peppers and b) I thought I had oregano on hand but I was mistaken.

Despite my two slight changes, this dish turned out really good and I will definitely be making it again!

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This recipe was very simple to make and it’s super budget friendly too, which is something I honestly look for when meal prepping.

If you’re doing the 21 Day Fix, you may cringe at the number of yellows this dish uses, so you might want to save it for your second round or have it on a day when you might do some extra activity outside of the Fix workout for the day.

I really want to try this with just the oregano and a poblano pepper to see if they flavor profile is really different, but in all honesty, I’m not a huge fan of oregano, so the swap didn’t bother me.

After lifting weights and running, this meal hit the spot and it’s nice to know I have a new recipe to add into the mix.

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Loaded Sweet Potato Skin

Loaded Sweet Potato BannerQuick. Simple. Easy.

Those are 3 traits I look for in my lunch items and this recipe for Loaded Sweet Potato fits all three….plus it’s 21 Day Fix friendly!

I had picked up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, as part of my meal prep on Sunday. I shredded it up and tossed the dark and white meat into a container to use for lunches during the week. I know, chicken breast is considered the almighty of healthy meats, but I’m a fan of dark meat. It’s moist and has more flavor to me, so I mix it all together to get the best of both worlds.

While searching for new recipes to try, I found this one for Sweet Potato Skins with Chicken and Spinach, which I really wanted to try. I ended up using it as inspiration because a) I didn’t feel like making the whole recipe and b) I like to be a culinary rebel at times.

(Truth is, I was just lazy and didn’t want to look up the recipe so I tried to remember it as best I could and winged it.)

This lunch came together in under 10 minutes and we ridiculously yummy!

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The key to simplicity with this recipe is having the cooked chicken on hand. Rotisserie chickens are a really great meal prep item to have on hand, or you could roast one up yourself when they go on sale at the grocery store. They can be used in chicken salad, quesadillas, quick and easy taco’s, wraps and on pizza.

They’re a blank slate and are just begging for a little creativity and seasoning!

Do you use rotisserie chickens or pre-cook chicken to have on hand for quick and simple meals? If so, what is your favorite way to prepare them?

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BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza Banner
Leftover food is common in my home. With two picky kids who don’t always like to eat what I cook and the fact that I enjoy cooking, there is always hanging around.

Last fall during one of my clean eating jump start groups, I shared a recipe for a “Clean” BBQ Pulled Pork and knew that everyone would have leftovers, so I came up with this BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza as a quick a simple Sunday lunch that the leftovers could be used up with.

This recipe is kept “clean” by using Stubbs BBQ sauce, which is one of the cleanest, bottled bbq sauces I’ve found. It contains no high fructose corn syrup, it’s gluten-free and they pride themselves on using high quality ingredients. It also comes in about 7 different flavors, which are all pluses, especially when you don’t have the time (or desire) to make your own from scratch.

(If you know of another clean bbq sauce, please share with me in the comments below. I love trying new things!)

BBQ Pizza

— Slow Cooked Pulled Pork BBQ Pizza —

Ingredients:
Whole Wheat Pizza dough
Leftover BBQ pulled pork
½ cup sliced red onion
1 cup shredded cheese (sharp cheddar, Monterey jack, whatever you prefer)

Directions:
Follow oven temperature directions for your pizza dough.

Roll out the dough to fit your pan. Top with BBQ pork, onion and cheese.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes, depending on pizza dough and oven temperature.

— Slow Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork —

2lb pork roast
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 ounces of beer (I used Angry Orchards Cider Beer)
32 ounces of barbecue sauce (Stubbs BBQ sauce has a pretty clean ingredient list but you may need to add some water to thin it out a little if it’s very thick – you don’t want it to burn in the

Directions:
Season pork with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Add to slow cooker, add beer and 24 ounces of barbecue sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours, tossing once or twice if desired. After 8 hours, shred and add remaining barbecue sauce. Toss to coat and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving to absorb everything. Serve as desired.

As you can see, the beauty of the pork is that it is cooked in the slow cooker, which means you can set it and forget it…and who doesn’t like that?!

Simply pop it into the slow cooker on a Saturday morning, run your errands (make sure to pick up some soft rolls to serve it on), come home and enjoy! Then the next day, you can enjoy the leftovers as a super yummy pizza, that takes less than 30 mins to prepare. Score!

I don’t have exact 21 Day Fix container counts for this since BBQ is technically a no-no. After you complete your first round of the program, you can be a little more adventurous with a few meals and give this a try. It’s still clean eating, just not 100% Fix approved.

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Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet Potato Pancake Banner
Obsessed.

It’s a word you could probably use to describe me when it comes to pancakes. As I’ve mentioned before, I eat them almost every morning and I’m not ashamed of it.

Yesterday, I woke up and saw that we forgot to run the dishwasher. Not thinking, I popped in a detergent tablet and hit start before realizing my griddle pan and both Ninja cups, as well as the blade where in there. That meant no pancakes for breakfast and I almost cried.

I carried on with my coffee and a bowl of banana oatmeal topped with strawberries but it just wasn’t the same.

When lunchtime rolled around, I was still thinking about pancakes (it really is an obsession) but I also wanted something savory. I look in the fridge at what my option where and decided to experiment.

With 3 simple ingredients and my pancake making tools, these 21 Day Fix friendly, Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes were born!

INGREDIENTS
  • ½ cup mashed sweet potato (the flesh from 1 medium-small cooked sweet potato)
  • 2 eggs
  • nonstick spray for cooking
  • Optional Seasonings
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • pinch of allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • I used cajun seasoning in mine to keep them savory instead of sweet

DIRECTIONS:

  • Blend or whisk together your eggs, sweet potato and spices (I used my Ninja smoothie cup to quickly blend it and make a nice smooth batter).
  • Pour 1/4 cup servings onto a hot griddle and cook for 3-5 minutes per side.

These yielded a much thicker batter than what I am used to, so I had to spoon them into the pan. I probably could have thinned it out a little with some water, but the texture of the final product was spot on.

For those of you doing 21 Day Fix these count as 1 Yellow, 1 Red and if you top it like a veggie like I did, 1 Green.

After digging through my spices, I opted to use some Cajun seasoning in my batter. I then topped them with 1 cup of baby spinach, which I wilted on the griddle as the pancakes were cooking and a drizzle of Sriracha.

I plan on trying these with cinnamon and maple this week, as well as some other variations over the next few weeks. I’ll report back with what works.

Have you ever tried a savory pancakes before? What flavor combinations do you think would work well?

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Cashew ‘n’ Oat Hotcakes {21 Day Fix Extreme}

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By now, you all know that I LOVE pancakes!

I eat them almost everyday for breakfast and I’m always posting my latest creations on Instagram.

{Click here for the post I did with recipes for National Pancake Day}

When I received the 21 Day Fix Extreme in the mail, the first thing I did was crack open the nutrition guide to see what kind of recipes they added and I was over the moon excited to see these Cashew ‘n’ Oat Hotcakes.

In all honesty, I never thought of using nuts in my pancake batter but I think it’s a great idea. I’m also a HUGE fan of cashews so I knew I had to try them.

Check out this video of Autumn showing you how to make them, or you can just skip down to the recipe…totally up to you!

 

 

 

Please note, this recipes makes 10 pancakes and each serving is 2 pancakes, so these would be good for meal prep. Simply make a batch of them, store them in ziptop freezer bags and heat them in the mornings. Simple, right?!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 dash Himalayan salt (or sea salt)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp . coconut oil , melted
  • 1⅓ cups distilled water
  • 1 tsp . vanilla extract
  • cup mixed berries

Instructions

  1. Place oats, cashews, and salt in food processor or blender; pulse until coarsely ground.
  2. Add egg, oil, water, and extract; pulse until well blended. Batter will be thick, but if it is as thick as paste add 2 to 3 additional Tbsp. of water.
  3. Heat medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Spoon about ¼ cup batter into skillet for each pancake; cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bubbles form on top.
  5. Flip with spatula and cook for 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat with remaining batter.
  7. Serve pancakes topped evenly with berries.

Containers 1 Yellow – ½ Blue – 1 tsp

Now while I like these,  they will not be replacing my Healthy Pancakes. I just find them super simple to make and I like that I can cover more containers with them than this recipe does. The Healthy Pancakes also taste better to me. I like the banana flavor of them and the sweetness that offers. These tasted more like baked oatmeal to me, which I know some people will love…I’m just not one of them.

These are still definitely worth making to see how YOU like them. They can offer a nice change of pace from time to time!

So…the burning question of the day is…. Do you call them pancakes or hotcakes?! Rumor has it that it depends on where you live as to what you call them.

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National Pancake Day – My Favorite!

National Pancake Day Banner
If you follow me on Instagram, you KNOW I love me some pancakes. I eat them almost everyday and I like to experiment with them.

Since today is National Pancake Day, I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you. All of these are based off of my Healthy Pancake recipe, but I’ve included a variation to that below for those of you can’t have or don’t like bananas. Enjoy!

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Get creative with this recipe! Here are some things I’ve added to mine:

  • Mini Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life if you have dairy issues like me)
  • Cinnamon Swirl (I mix cinnamon with some Stevia and vanilla extract, then swirl in once they’re in the pan)
  • Chopped almond or pecans
  • Blueberries

Allergic to bananas or just not a fan of them? Try this recipe…

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • Cinnamon, to taste
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Using a ninja or blender, blend all of the ingredients together.
  2. Preheat a griddle or pan over medium-high heat. Spray with some coconut oil.
  3. Pour batter into pan to form pancakes (about 1/4 cup per cake)
  4. Cook until small bubbles appear, then carefully flip and cook for a few more minutes until done.
  5. Top with pure maple syrup and 1/2 cup fruit of choice.
Apple Pancakes

I topped these with sliced apple that I sauteed in a little coconut oil and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Need to up your veggie game?

Add spinach to your batter! It doesn’t alter the flavor of your pancakes, naturally turns them green and adds a punch of nutrients to your breakfast. You already add spinach to your smoothies, so why not add them to your pancakes?!

These would also be perfect with St. Patrick’s Day coming up! (Need a recipe for an awesome corned beef? Check out this post)

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Use the Healthy Pancake recipe from above and add one packed cup of baby spinach to the mix before blending.

We all know peanut-butter and banana are BFF’s, right?! I’m not sure why I didn’t think to follow Elvis’ lead sooner and turn this combo into a pancake, but I did this morning and it was AH-MAZING!

PB Pancakes

I used the Healthy Pancake recipe from above and add 2 teaspoons of peanut butter to the mix before blending. (Use any nut-butter you like). Top with sliced banana and some pure maple syrup. Want more PB? Drizzle some melted peanut butter over these instead of syrup. Prefer a PB&J flavor? Add sliced strawberries or grapes on top.

As you can see, pancakes can be versatile. I especially love them because I can fill so many of my container needs while one the 21 Day Fix with them. (You didn’t think I just woke up and decided to add spinach to pancakes, did you?! There are a lot of green containers to fill…you have to get creative!)

Do you have a favorite pancake flavor combo that I didn’t mention here? If so, please share it in the comments below so I can give it a try!

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Hearty Beef and Butternut Squash Stew {21 Day Fix Extreme}

Hearty Beef and Butternut Squash Stew
The first thing I do when I get a new program is to dive into the nutrition guide and see what recipes they have to offer. I’m a total nerd when it comes to meal planning and I love cooking, so new recipes truly excite me. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m always posting photos of what I’m eating or meal prepping. Food has always been a passion of mine and I’ve finally found a healthy way to use that passion. Whoop! Whoop!

I was very happy when I cracked open the eating plan for 21 Day Fix Extreme and saw the recipes that were included …even if some of them were borrowed from Body Beast and tweaked a little. The lack of recipes is the one thing that I think was lacking from the 21 Day Fix. I absolutely LOVE that program and but it definitely needed recipes, especially because so many people who are starting it are beginners who need inspiration, direction and simplicity. Thankfully there are TONS of recipes on Pinterest with the container counts and it’s one of the reasons why I share what I try on this blog. I want to make planning for this program as simple as possible!

The newest recipe I tried from this program is the Hearty Beef and Butternut Squash Stew …it’s simple, tasty and a great item for your weekly meal prep!

Just chop up all of your ingredients, follow the direction and let it do it’s thing while you prep some Egg Muffins for breakfast, measure out your carrots and hummus for snack or make some Turkey Meatloaf for quick a quick and healthy dinner.

hearty beef and butternut squash stew prep

Tell me the colors of this dish don’t have you drooling. I dare you!

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 pounds raw lean beef stew meat, boneless, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup low-sodium organic beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add beef; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until beef is brown.
  3. Add onion and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
  4. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  5. Add tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, salt, pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, for 40 minutes.
  6. Add squash; cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 12 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and beef is fork tender.
  7. Remove bay leaf; serve topped with parsley.

CONTAINERS: 1 red 1 green

This stew was awesome as is, but would be even better if you have a yellow container available for potato, rice or a slice of bread….something to soak up all of the tasty liquid and fill you up a tiny bit longer. I found myself getting hungry a little before the 2 hour mark, but that could just be me. My body always performs better when it has a truly balanced meal, which means adding some carbs.

Listen to you body and adjust things as you go. However, make sure you know the difference between your body truly needing that carb and your brain just thinking it needs it. There is a difference and if you struggle with emotional eating at all, I highly recommend a book called “Life is Hard, Food is Easy” by Linda Spangle. It was a very informative read that address our thought process when it comes to food and how we tie our emotions into it.

If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, especially if you tweak it all.

As always, I have new accountability groups starting every few weeks for 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme. If you have been wanting to try them and have questions about them, I’d be more than happy to answer them for you and help you see if it would be a good fit for YOUR lifestyle.

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Healthy Comfort Food: Turkey Chili

Healthy Comfort Food Turkey Chili 21DF
Just about everyone who knows me, knows I love healthy comfort food and the recipe for Turkey Chili from the Body Beast nutrition guide. I’ve shared it before in my meal prep post and I post photos of it quite often on Instagram. I’ve even been having my 21 Day Fix participants begin using it with their meal prepping. It’s such a simple, versatile and yummy recipe that I think it would be wrong not to share it.

For those of you are not familiar with it, here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey meat
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 med white onion, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes or diced tomatoes with chilis
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce, no salt added
  • 2 TBL chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Directions:
 

1) Heat oil in large saucepan over med/high heat. Add turkey, onion, bell pepper and garlic.
2) Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink.
3) Add cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper; stir and cook another minute.
4) Stir in beans and tomatoes; bring to a boil
5) Reduce heat to low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened.
6) Serve warm sprinkled with parsley.

As you can see, it’s really simple to make and uses lots of great, clean ingredients. The beauty of it, is that it’s simple to tweak in order fit into the 21 Day Fix program.

If you have issues fitting in all of your green containers, add spinach, zucchini, extra peppers, kale, eggplant or any other veggie you have on hand to this dish and bump up your veggie intake. You could even serve it over some cauliflower rice or top it with some shredded romaine lettuce.

Are those yellow containers your issue? (Not using enough of them, that is. I know many people feel there are not ENOUGH yellow containers in general, I can’t help with that, sorry. You’ll have to take that up with Autumn.) add extra beans, some corn or peas. You could also serve this over some rice or quinoa – another option is to cash in a “treat” and have a few tortilla chips on the side for dipping.

Unsure of how to use your blue containers? Top your chili with some shredded sharp cheddar cheese or some avocado. Better yet, use both by using half a container or each.

Falling short on red containers? Top this with some plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a creamy component that will make your taste buds happy.

Purple containers also fit into this dish! Top your chili with some fresh salsa for an added kick, as well as a color pop. (We eat with our eye, too!)

As you can see this is a very useful recipe to have while doing the 21 Day Fix. You can easily make this into your meal planning and use up just about any container you may be lacking.

Do you have a versatile recipe that would work well with the 21 Day Fix? If so, I would love to learn more about it.

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