Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Turkey Veggie Canellinni

It's one of those days where I need to use what I already have in the fridge/freezer, and make something healthy, delicious, and very easy - easy as in 'cook everything in one pot and serve it on paper plates.'

P.s. Yay, I got to use the basil I've been growing. 

Turkey Veggie Canellinni

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Pound ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced 
2 Cups chicken broth
1 zucchini, thinly sliced 
8 Ounce bag spinach leaves 
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: 3 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
Optional: Freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

  • 1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add the ground turkey and cook until brown, adding the minced garlic half way through cooking time. 

    2. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the zucchini slices, spinach and cannellini beans (and chopped basil, if using) and continue simmering for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

    3. Optional: Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese AND/OR over brown rice or pasta AND/OR with a fresh green salad!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Chicken Picatta

Hi. I'll skip the small talk and get straight to the Chicken Picatta. You're welcome.

Chicken Picatta

(4 servings)

4 chicken breasts, thinly sliced (about 1/2 inch thick)
1/3 Cup lemon juice
1/2 Cup chicken broth
6 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons olive oil 
1/4 Cup capers, rinsed 
1/4 Cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste
About 1/2 Cup of flour (for dredging)

1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Dredge the pieces in flour and shake off the excess flour.

2. Heat the olive oil and 4 tablespoons of the butter in an extra large skillet over medium-high heat. 

3. When butter is melted add the chicken pieces and cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes (cooking time will vary depending on your skillet, stove and the thickness of your chicken).

4. Remove chicken pieces from skillet and place on a plate (NOT the plate you will eat from, as the chicken is not yet done cooking).

5. Add the lemon juice, chicken broth and capers to the skillet and bring to a boil. 

6. Place chicken pieces into the pan, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

7. The chicken is done! Place on a platter or on your plate.

8. Sauce time! Add the last 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and stir for about 30 seconds.

9. Drizzle the sauce over each chicken piece and garnish with freshly chopped parsley and thin lemon slices.

Bon appetit!

Follow me on Instagram @howtogetawaywithcooking for more instructions and inspiration for cooking healthful and delicious foods.

Questions? Feedback? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or email me at HTGAWC@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Roasted Salted Almonds

I tolerate raw almonds because they are healthy and filling. But I really love my almonds roasted (and salted, please).

I buy a 3-pound bag of raw almonds from Costco and use it for all my almond needs; like making my Crunchy Cranberry Almond Granola, portioning into serving sizes to have as a snack, and roasting for an even better snack. 

Here's a simple recipe for roasted almonds...

But first, a couple things about this recipe:

1. **UPDATE!** I modified this recipe. The recipe you see below is the modified version.

2. I use a cake pan because it's easier to toss the almonds when I remove them from the oven, plus layering the almonds in a cake pan helps prevent them from sneaking to the outer areas of a large cookie sheet and burning.

3. I prefer to use coconut oil (I prefer to use coconut oil for almost everything!), but you can use any type of cooking oil.

Roasted Almonds

2 Cups raw almonds
2 Teaspoons coconut oil
1-2 Teaspoons fine salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheight. Place almonds, salt and oil into bowl and stir to combine. Place almonds into cake pan. Bake for 15 minutes, removing pan from oven every 5 minutes to stir. Almonds are done when they become darker in color. You will also be able to smell a nuttier aroma when they're done (although the coconut oil tends to mask the nutty aroma of the roasted almonds). Remove from oven and transfer almonds to a paper towel on a cool surface in order to allow the almonds to stop cooking and also drain excess oil. Add more salt if needed.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

7 Rice Cake Hacks: a Week of Fun & Healthful Snacking

Let's be honest, plain rice cakes are boring. But they're a great base for a host of toppings. The possibilities are endless!
Here are 7 of my favorites:

What do you put on YOUR rice cakes? Share your rice cake hack pics on Instagram by including #ricecakehack in the caption of your post. 

Happy snacking!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Vibrant Vegan Salad

I love a big, colorful, flavorful, fresh salad. You just can't go wrong with a bunch of your favorite vegetables. This is great to enjoy before your entree (fill that belly with vegetables first to prevent you from over-indulging on other less-nutritious foods). Or eat this filling salad as your entree. It's guilt-free, packed with nutrients, and your body and taste buds will love it. Use whatever dressing you like if you're not a fan of olive oil and lemon juice.

Prepare this tonight for lunch tomorrow!


Vibrant Vegan Salad

Romaine, chopped
Red cabbage, chopped
Orange bell pepper, chopped
Yellow bell pepper, chopped
Tomato, chopped
Green onion, chopped
Avocado, chopped 
Roasted pepitas
Fresh parsley 
Dressing (olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste)

Don't worry about measurements, just use what you like, and feel free to add more of your vegetables for an even more nutritious meal! I don't believe there's such a thing as too many vegetables. The more the merrier! The avocado, pepitas and olive oil are great sources of fat and protein to make this salad a complete meal.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Parmesan Quinoa Turkey Meatballs

Sounds fancy, don't it? I wanted to make a sophisticated meatball recipe that was healthy, yet full of flavor and also exciting enough that I wouldn't get tired of eating it repeatedly. I made this recipe for our meal prep this past weekend. And I outdid myself.

Here's what you need to do to make this meatball situation happen in your life:

Mince a red bell pepper. 
You'll want a sharp knife for this (if you don't already have a sharp knife, invest in at least one good knife. It's so worth it). A dull knife is going to smash the bell pepper and you will have bell pepper mush instead of minced bell pepper. Gross. Toss those tiny minced pieces of bell pepper into a very large bowl.

Mince 5 cloves of garlic.
Or do what I almost always do and scoop 5 teaspoons of minced garlic (sold in convenient glass containers in the produce isle) into the bowl.

Still with me?

Mince a medium onion. 
If you're not a big onion fan you can use a small onion. And again, you want to really get those onion pieces as small as you can. Big chunks of vegetables will make the meatball fall apart. We don't want that to happen. That upsets us. 

Add 1 cup of cooked quinoa.
Oh dang, we're getting fancy.

Add 3 pounds of ground turkey.
Oh, did I mention this makes 12 servings? Like I said, I made this for our meal prep this past weekend. We make several servings of a few different meals. Click Here for more details about how I meal prep. If you don't want 12 servings I suggest cutting the recipe in half to make 6 servings. 

Add 2 eggs.
Dos huevos.

Add 1 and a half cups of grated Parmesan cheese.
That's a lot of cheese! The cheese really helps give these meatballs an amazing flavor.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. 
Keep in mind that the Parmesan cheese also contains salt, so if you want to keep the sodium level low (or if you prefer food with less salt), use less salt or just omit the salt altogether. You can always add it later when you're eating it if you need to, right?

Add 1 cup of freshly chopped parsley.
I love this part. 1 cup is ridiculous, right? This beautiful green and flavorful parsely is going to give your meatballs so much color and flavor.

This is the messy part. Use your clean hands to mix all the ingredients together. You want to really get in there and make sure everything is combined.

Form meatballs, 3 heaping tablespoons in size.
They should be about the size of 3 heaping tablespoons. Don't drive yourself crazy trying to measure them perfectly. I used a tablespoon measuring spoon (and, full disclosure, I got a little obsessive trying to get exactly 36 of them because I wanted to have 3 per meal for our meal prep). The important thing is that they are all about the same size. So, with this recipe (if you did not cut the recipe in half), you should aim for about 36 meatballs.

Put meatballs in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
This step is important. The meatballs are prone to falling apart, so you want to let them cool and even freeze just a little in order to maintain their round shape as you cook them. Place them on a tray or baking sheet lined with waxed paper and put them in the freezer.

Cook meatballs in olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.
This is the part where you babysit. First of all, you need a very large skillet in order to cook as many meatball as you can. You don't want to crowd them in the skillet. You will need to cook more than one batch. I used two large skillets and cooked a total of 4 batches of meatballs. Keep the rest of the meatballs in the freezer while you are cooking the ones that fit in your skillet (s).

Okay, now the babysitting part: like I said, these meatballs are prone to falling apart. I had 3 meatballs fall apart because I did not freeze my first batch and also because I moved them too much while they were cooking. So the key to babysitting is watching them closely to make sure they don't burn BUT to not flip them until they are brown and cooked enough to survive being flipped without falling apart. You may have some meatballs that fall apart as you are getting the hang of babysitting, but do not worry, deconstructed meatballs still taste great.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove meatballs from skillet when browned on all sides. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
I used two baking sheets in order to bake all 36 meatballs at the same time. If you only have one you can certainly let half of the meatballs sit and wait on a plate while the other half is in the oven.

We served our meatballs with grilled asparagus and sautéed garlic balsamic mushrooms. Interested in meal prep? Check out my post about how to meal prep.

Clap for your damn self. You just made some fancy meatballs.
Okay, now try them. Do you love them? I hope so!

Parmesan Quinoa Turkey Meatballs

Yield: 12 servings, 3 meatballs each

1 red bell pepper, minced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, minced 
1 Cup cooked quinoa 
3 pounds ground turkey
2 large eggs
1.5 Cups grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, to taste (I used 1 Teaspoon)
1 Teaspoon ground pepper 
1 Cup fresh parsley, chopped 
Olive oil for cooking

1. Add all ingredients except for olive oil to a large bowl and mix very well with hands to combine.

2. Form approximately 36 meatballs, 3 heaping tablespoons in size, and lay on a wax paper-lined baking skeet or tray.

3. Place tray of meatballs in the freezer for about 30 minutes until meatball are slightly frozen on the outside.

4. Cook meatballs in olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until brown on all sides, turning carefully when they are browned with plastic tongs.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place parchment paper on a two baking sheets. Place meatballs on prepared baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you like ground turkey recipes, you'll love my Turkey Taco Salad.

Follow me on Instagram @howtogetawaywithcooking for more instructions and inspiration for cooking healthful and delicious foods.

Questions? Feedback? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or email me at HTGAWC@gmail.com

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Wonder Pudding (Healthy Chocolate Pudding)

Oh...MYgosh! This pudding is really good! 

Non-dairy, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, no artificial anything! Sounds like it would be disgusting right? Wrong. This pudding is full of the good stuff: chocolate, natural sugars, and good fats.

This pudding works for The Whole 30 lifestyle and for the vegan lifestyle. It's also a wonderful dessert for babies 8 months old or older (but don't take my word for it: please consult with your pediatrician regarding feeding your baby solid foods).

Story behind Wonder Pudding: My in-laws were coming over for dinner this past weekend and I wanted to make them a dessert that was in line with their fancy new Whole 30 diet. I found a simple recipe that called for bananas and cocoa powder. Bananas, love 'em. Cocoa powder, love it. So yea, this recipe seemed liked it would work. 

But then...I found a baby food recipe for chocolate pudding that seemed even better (@babyfooduniverse on Instagram). The recipe called for the bananas and cocoa powder, and also an avocado, dates, and fruit juice. I was a little skeptical about the amount of avocado and dates, and also about the fruit juice. So I made modifications and gave the recipe a try. I tossed the ingredients into the Vitamix, and boom: chocolate pudding!

I chopped some raw almonds and toasted them in the toaster oven. I served the pudding in martini glasses sprinkled with the almonds and garnished with a thin slice of banana. My plan was to get the in laws to "taste it with their eyes" first, just in case they didn't like it. 

Well, they were very impressed by the martini glasses and the banana slice, but most of all they loved the taste of the pudding. They ate every spoonful! Daughter-in-law win! 

I think they loved it even more than my baby girl did!

I hope you love it too! 

Wonder Pudding

Yield: about 4 servings

1/2 large ripe avocado
4 ripe bananas 
1 cup cold filtered water
5 pitted dates 
4 Tablespoons cocoa powder

Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth, then refrigerate. Serve chilled, topped with roasted nuts.

Follow me on Instagram @howtogetawaywithcooking for more instructions and inspiration for cooking healthful and delicious foods.

Questions? Feedback? I would love to hear from you! Leave them in the Comments section below or you can email me at HTGAWC@gmail.com.