Chicken Stir Fry Fajitas with Quinoa

Chicken Stir Fry Fajitas with Quinoa

I have a stir-fry recipe I love and is my usual go-to, but is best made with cauliflower or rice. I attempted a couple weeks ago to make it with quinoa, and with the way the recipe is set up to make the stir-fry, the quinoa ended up soaking up all the liquids and became complete mush. Thus, setting me on a journey to find a slightly different stir-fry recipe that didn’t require you to cook the rice/quinoa in the sauce. The original recipe calls for different veggies and isn’t used in a fajita, but I assure you, this mixture with cooked quinoa in a low carb wheat tortilla is absolutely delicious and healthy!

*Original recipe found here

Ingredients

1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
3 garlic cloves, minced
Dash ground ginger
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup of quinoa, cooked
1 bag of fajita veggie mix, frozen or fresh*
6 – 8 Low-carb Tortillas

*If you don’t like or can’t find this option, use the following instead:
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, broth and soy sauce until smooth; set aside.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, stir-fry the chicken, garlic and ginger in 1 tbsp of hot oil for 4-5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove and keep warm.
  • In a large skillet, stir-fry veggie mix in remaining oil on medium heat until cooked through. Approximately 4 – 5 minutes. (I also added extra minced garlic in with the veggies.)
  • Stir broth mixture; add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Add chicken; cook until heated through.
  • Serve in tortillas with quinoa. Makes approx 6 – 8 fajitas.

Enjoy! 

 

Peanut Butter Cookies

[Healthier] Peanut Butter Cookies
Vegan and Gluten Free

One of my goals this year has been to cut out sweets and large amounts of sugar. I knew it would be too hard to cut out sweets and desserts all together, so I started searching for alternatives. With that being said, I have learned that there are 2 benefits to making my own desserts/sweet treats. 1) If I have to make an effort to make it, I will be less inclined to have it all the time, because I’m lazy. 2) Baking it myself means I control what goes into it. Now, one thing must be noted… I love Peanut Butter cookies. I mean, I can eat half a dozen in one sitting if I let myself. My whole life, my mom and I have baked my Grandmother’s PB cookie recipe and it’s really the only one I have ever used. Until now, that is… If you’re familiar with the ingredients of peanut butter cookies, it is as you can imagine, primarily flour, sugar, butter and peanut butter. The 4 basic ingredients to deliciousness. While the texture of these cookies are slightly different then what you’re used to with Grandma’s cookies, the taste is still very much there. Mine turned out moist (as if I had added a stick of butter), full of flavor, and chewy! At the end of the day, sugar and peanut butter are still sugar and peanut butter, and despite using fresh ground peanut butter and coconut sugar, still does not provide great nutrients. But this is a great alternative to make once in a while when you’re craving something naughty!

*Original recipe found here!

Ingredients

1 cup peanut butter (I used fresh ground peanut butter)
1 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
⅔ cup almond flour (can most likely use flour of choice)
1 tsp baking soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
¼ cup water

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter and brown sugar for 1 minute. Add in the vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients together (oat flour, baking soda, and salt).
  • While beating the peanut butter mixture, slowly add in the oat flour mixture and beat until a crumby dough forms. Add in the water and continue to beat until distributed. Do not over mix.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll the dough into balls (about 1½ – 2 tablespoons per cookie), drop on parchment paper, and flatten with a fork one way and then the other to create a crisscross pattern.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just starting to turn golden on edges (they bake FAST so watch them carefully).
  • Let cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight plastic container to keep the cookies soft and chewy.

*Note: Check out the original recipe for some delicious pictures! Although mine didn’t quite look like hers, the look definitely didn’t alter the taste. She also used brown sugar and oat flour, but I used the coconut sugar and almond flour because it’s what I had at the house.

Cilantro Salmon Burgers

Cilantro Salmon Burgers

Let me the first to admit, I have a hard time fitting fish into my diet. In fact, up until a few years ago, I would never even touch it, let alone try it. Gradually I’ve tried different types over the years and different recipes. While it is still an uncommon dish I work in each month, I’ve started to attempt new fish recipes more often. This week, I tried a salmon burger recipe that I found on a Paleo recipe list. A friend of mine highly recommended trying salmon burgers, since you’re adding other flavors to help mask the taste, and let’s just say, her recommendation did not disappoint! This specific recipe is made with canned salmon (though I’m sure you could use fresh salmon) and is so moist and tasty that I could eat it all the time! If you’re hesitant about trying fish recipes like I am, this is an easy and cheap (with the canned stuff!) option that tastes great and leaves you wanting more!

*Original recipe found here!

Ingredients

2 cans wild caught salmon, drained
3 eggs
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp green onions, minced
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp mustard
2 tsp fresh cilantro, minced
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup coconut flour (I used Almond flour because it’s what I had on hand)

Instructions

  • In a bowl, mix the salmon, garlic, green onions, and cilantro.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, lime juice mustard, pepper, and salt.
  • Combine both mixtures until well incorporated then add coconut flour and mix again.
  • Form into burger shape and place in greased pan over medium high heat. Cook burgers until browned and then flip (about 4 minutes each side).

*Note: The amount of burgers may depend on the can/amount of salmon you use. I used 2 14 oz cans, and my mixture made 6 large burgers.

Energy Bites

Super Food Energy Bites

As you may have caught on from my previous recipe post, I’m a little obsessed with BlissfulBrit‘s recipes… And this one does not disappoint! I had been looking for a new snack during the day to help boost my energy and when I saw these, thought, this sounds exactly like what I’m looking for. I was apprehensive about the cranberries and well, all the goodness that is in it. But since I’m still working through my picky-ness, I decided to give it a try. Both my roommate and I love them! I tweaked them a little, so you will find my altered version as I had trouble finding the golden berries from the original. I am also including a 2nd recipe that is similar, but slight variation that is also delicious!

*Original recipes found here and here!

Nuts and Berries

Ingredients

1 cup dry whole grain oatmeal
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup of honey + 1 tblsp*
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup pecan chips
1/4 cup dried cranberries

*I substituted maple syrup the first time I made this because I didn’t have honey, and it tasted great!

Instructions

  • Combine all dry ingredients first.
  • Add in wet ingredients.
  • Mix until well combined.
  • Refrigerate for 10 – 15 minutes to firm.
  • Once set, roll into bite sized balls.*

*Mine made approximately 17 balls, but this will depend on your size preference. The original recipe stated makes between 8 – 12.


Chocolate and Coconut

Ingredients

1 cup dry oatmeal
2/3 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used  mini’s because it’s what I had!)
1/4 cup honey
1tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Stir all ingredients together, and mix well.
  • Refrigerate for approximately a half hour to set.
  • Roll into bite sized balls.

*Mine made approximately 15 balls, but this will depend on your size preference.

A New Year, A New Plan

As I went into this new year, I started thinking about the end of 2015 and what I had accomplished. Although I felt I had accomplished a great deal in regards to my health, I also knew I could do better. The last couple months of the year was a bit more stressful (as the holidays always are) and I went on vacation back home for Christmas, which made it easier to say yes (to bad things), and harder to say no (to healthy eating and workouts). Going into 2016, I felt good about things. About life in general, and I knew I wanted to come up with a plan. A plan that I am able to follow and achieve! Typically I don’t like New Year’s resolutions or even setting goals at the beginning of the year. It feels extremely cliche and dishonest, because a majority of those who do set resolutions and goal’s are the ones who felt guilty for putting on that extra weight over the holidays, or not getting that promotion at work, or in general, felt lazy. So, they try and make up for it, and it usually never lasts more than a few months. At least, in my own personal experience.

So, with that being said, I wanted 2016 to be different. To be better. I felt 2015 was good, but there’s always room for improvement! Although I already had plans formulating, a couple of my close friends and I decided to have a Goal’s Party. A party consisting of the 3 of us talking about our goals, with good drinks, good food, and good company. I believe it has been quite a success so far. It really forced all of us to sit down and focus on the year ahead and what we wanted to achieve. I even bought a planner for the first time since I was a teenager!

Now that I have my goals in line, one of my primary goals is, as always, my health. I purchased DDP yoga at the end of December, and started it on January 4th. If you haven’t heard of DDP yoga, look it up! I heard about it through a person on YouTube who had tried it, and enjoyed it and even saw results. The program is not actually intended for weight-loss, but instead focuses on low impact yoga workouts that also incorporate cardio and strength training. Inconsequentially resulting in inches and weight loss, particularly when following the DDP Yoga program and it’s meal plan. The meal plan has 3 levels of intensity. I already mostly follow the Beginner plan he has in place, eat real food, eat organically when you can, no processed food. Eventually, he has you cut out grains and dairy, and focus on a complete meal that combines specific types of food. I have followed the calendar workout for just over a week now, and have really enjoyed it so far. I’m starting with the Beginner level, and will work through each level for the full amount he recommends, moving on to the next as I complete each level. Although I am still in the beginner workouts, I can easily see the benefits already. The foundation of the program, so to speak, that will increasingly get more difficult, but more results.

Another goal of mine this year is to try 2 new recipes each month. The successful ones, I plan on posting here, so be on the lookout! I have actually already accomplished that goal this month, trying out Black Bean Brownies and Super Food Energy Bites, which I will be posting soon. Ironically, both the recipes I tried are from the same source and are vegan and gluten free. I never thought I’d be eating anything vegan, especially desserts. But I have to say, they were delicious, and I look forward to finding more vegan healthy options! So here’s to a New Year full of heathy eating, delicious vegan desserts and trying to new things!

Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies

This was my first time for trying out black bean brownies but had been on my food bucket list for a while. I had been skeptical that all I would be able to taste was the black beans. While they don’t quite taste a traditional brownie, they definitely do not taste like black beans. This recipe has a strong taste of bananas with a hint of the cinnamon, so be mindful if you you’re not a fan of either of those items. I will always love “traditional” brownies, but these are a great, semi-healthy vegan dessert that fulfills those cravings without going overboard on the sugary and grains. Check out the original recipes blog also! She has a lot of great dessert options that I’m looking forward to trying in the future. Hope you enjoy!

*Original recipe found here!

Ingredients

1 15oz can of black beans drained and rinsed
2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Grease 8″ pan and preheat oven to 350.
  • Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Add chocolate chips and stir with spoon.
  • Pour batter into your pan and cook for 30 minutes or until you can stick a toothpick in them and they come out clean.

*Note: I followed this recipe exactly. However, the blender I have is not a good one, so I could only blend the bananas, beans, oats and maple syrup, and then had to stir in the rest. Having a working blender would make the preparation time be under 5 minutes! The consistency isn’t quite like a normal brownie, it’s a bit more fudgy cake-like, but definitely did not take away from the taste. I also used mini chocolate chips, but I’m sure regular size would be great too. I’d also like to try white chocolate chips in them!

Low Carb Turkey Burgers

Low Carb Turkey Burgers

*Original recipe found here!

Ingredients

3 lbs Ground Turkey
1 cup Grated Zucchini
1/4 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Finely Diced Onions
2 Egg Whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup of Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 Clove Garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Mix ground turkey, zucchini, seasoned bread crumbs, onion, egg whites, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Form into 12 patties.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat; arrange patties in skillet and cook until no longer pink in the center and juices run clear, about 4 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

*Note: I love these! They have such a good flavor and are great for bulk cooking. I can make all 12, and stick most of them in the freezer and cook when needed. I usually follow this recipe to the T from the original one, and I serve without a bun to make it low carb. I have adjusted when needed, like when I run out of zucchini or eggs. I also regularly cut this recipe in one-thirds with no problem. Usually eye-balling the measurements. Really, this is a diverse recipe that allows you to tweak to your hearts desire!

*Pairing Options: I love to serve these with sweet potatoes. I cut the sweet potato in cubes, spray a pan with olive oil pam, pour in the sweet potato cubes, minced garlic, leftover sliced onion, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper. I cook on medium, covered for approximately 20 minutes or until I can pierce a fork through the biggest cube. I spray these down pretty well with the pam olive oil too, and stir every few minutes to keep them from sticking to the skillet. Seriously, my roommate and I have had this meal for dinner for the last 2 weeks. So good! Enjoy 🙂