healthy eating

Healthy Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

PB cookies .JPG

I made these Healthy Peanut Butter Kisses this afternoon, a new recipe I created that would be both healthy yet satisfying for my husband Jeff!

My go to for beating boredom on cold winter afternoons is typically either 1. bundling for a walk or 2. baking  (after a workout of course!) and often times both! Unfortunately for Jeff , my choices on what to bake aren't always super healthy , because I know how much he loves a good chocolate chip cookie made with real butter and sugar! Which is fine, however I know he would appreciate something better for his waistline during these less active months. Today, I thought I would make use of some pantry ingredients I had on hand....Peanut butter and chocolate Hershey kisses I got on discount after Christmas! Here is what I came up with:

Ingredients:

  • 2 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup chucky natural peanut butter (I used Teddies)
  • 1 egg (can omit to make this vegan)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup agave or honey (or can use coconut sugar)
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp. quick cook oats (can use GF oats too)
  • Chocolate Hershey Kisses for topping.
  1. preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mash bananas. Stir in peanut butter, egg and agave/honey until well combined.
  3. Add coconut flour and oats and mix well. 
  4. line baking sheet with parchment paper and roll dough out into tbsp. size balls. Bake for 10-11 min
  5. Once out of the oven, press a Hershey kiss onto the top of each cookie and let cool

 

 

One Sheet Pan Dinner : Spicy Lime Chicken and Veggies

Eat the RAINBOW takes a whole new meaning (sorry skittles)! Make all your meals as colorful as possible, it ensures you are getting a variety of nutrients!

 

If you are looking for something quick and healthy to make for you or your family, this is a great dish to try! I love to cook, and I find being in the kitchen slicing, dicing, baking, steaming , cooking and cleaning to often be therapeutic and like my own little world of chaos! BUT, there are certainly days where I just don't have the time to dilly dally in the kitchen, and this is where simple , easy prep dishes like this come into play. And did I mention, little to NO cleanup! 

I always like to have home cooked meals for my husband and I , even if its means scrambling at the end of a long day to run to the grocery store or putting together something healthy from food we have in the fridge and pantry. In my mind, you can always make time for healthy eating (and working out...but that's for another post!) , it just takes a little bit of thinking ahead and planning. That said, this is where I came up with these one sheet pan dinners...brilliant! The only prep you have is cutting veggies, and the only clean up you'll have is a pan to soak and scrub! Here is how I made this one sheet pan dish: Spicy Lime Chicken and Veggies

Ingredients:

  • Chicken tenders ( or you can slice up a chicken breast into smaller chunks) 
  • Red, Orange, Green, Yellow Peppers, sliced
  • Red cabbage diced up
  • Fresh broccoli florets
  • olive oil
  • cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin
  • juice of 1 lime
  • cooked quinoa, wild rice or cauliflower rice
  1. Set oven to 350 and in the meantime cut up all your veggies and put your quinoa or rice in a pot with water ready to cook.
  2. rub your chicken with spices and little olive oil
  3. lightly oilyour baking sheet and arrange your veggies on one end and chicken on the other, making sure chicken has some space between pieces for even cooking. 
  4. squeeze your lime juice all over your chicken and veggies. 
  5. Bake at 350 for about30 minutes, making sure to toss veggies and chicken half way to cook evenly on all sides!  (**note: you can use big chicken breasts as well, just make sure to adjust cooking time. I like the tenders because they tend to cook same time as the veggies!)

This is a great meal to make for family, friends, or just you! You can use any variety of veggies you'd like and can even change up the meat you use. I have done salmon before in the same preparation which is a great fish for this one sheet pan meal. You could also make mini turkey or chicken meatballs with it, shrimp, tofu, or simply just roast up your favorites veggies with any spices you like! give it a go! and remember, eating healthy doesn't have to be a chore, just don't be LAZY when it comes to your health! 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite things... SWEET POTATOES!

3 Variations of sweet potatoes I eat...all organic, and cut in wedges for easy snacking! I typically always buy them from Whole Foods.

3 Variations of sweet potatoes I eat...all organic, and cut in wedges for easy snacking! I typically always buy them from Whole Foods.

I am often asked about my diet, what I eat, what I don't eat and why. Its always a funny conversation because many people have thought I must not eat any carbohydrates or fats, and I have to laugh. I think they assume this  because of the "leaner" body composition I've adapted from the training I do, and they associate that physique to be due to a diet low in fat and carbohydrates. That however, is FAR from the truth!!! which brings me to why I am writing a blog about one of my favorites staples in my diet, sweet potatoes!!

As triathlete and lover of everything health and fitness, its no surprise I follow a very clean, regiment diet that fuels my body in the best way possible. I eat a whole, nutritious foods that's come from their natural state, nothing processed or packaged with ingredients you have never heard of. This includes unlimited amounts of vegetables, fruit, legumes, fish, small amounts of poultry, and good fats from avocados, nuts and oils. The only foods I do not eat are red meat, pork and dairy. By eating a "clean" diet, you reduce the bodies need to have to waste energy trying to digest and eliminate and foreign ingredients , such as those in packaged foods.

Why Sweet Potatoes?

Our bodies number one fuel source is carbohydrates, so its no surprise that a majority of athletes diets are heavier on the carbohydrates than those who are sedentary. This includes your fruits, vegetables (especially starchy) ,whole  grains, breads, legumes, pastas etc. One of the most highly consumed carbohydrate for athletes, is sweet potatoes! Not only are they an excellent source of carbs, loaded with nutrients such as beta-carotene and Vitamin A, loaded with fiber and have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates, which digest slower and have a better effect on blood sugar then other carbohydrates.  This makes them great for fueling a big day of training, as well as a great post workout recovery food.

My favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes are sliced up and roasted as seen above. No need for any oil , I just cut them into wedges and bake on a sheet pan so they don't ooze all over my oven. This makes them great for grab and go snacking and easy portions. There are also many varieties of sweet potatoes, the most common orange, white, purple, or Japanese which have purple skin and white flesh.  I love all varieties, especially the all purple ones, which contain even more antioxidants then the others due to its deep, dark purple color. They are great just baked whole with some cinnamon, cut up and roasted, steamed and mashed, or diced up into chili or soups. I eat mine for breakfast, lunch, snacking and dinner!! Enjoy!!

Coconut Chocaroon Chip Cookies

coconut cookies .png

 

Although these may not be the most photogenic of cookies….I had many requests for the recipe! My husband loves chocolate chip cookies, but I am often stuck between wanting to make him the good old fashioned, unhealthy ones and recreating recipes to make them super healthy! Often enough, I make a healthy version, and they are just as good as the traditional!

These “Coconut Chocaroon” chip cookies are a healthy version of two classics, the chocolate chip cookie and a coconut macaroon combined. I thought of this recipe one night when I was trying to think of a dessert I could concoct out of random ingredients I had at home. I had a bag of coconut flour, dark chocolate chips, and coconut flakes. I had never used coconut flour before for anything, but it literally tastes just like a coconut macaroon.  I really like the Bobs Red Mill brand (pictured) which was what I used for this recipe. I figured there must be a way to use the coconut flour in a cookie recipe, and I was right! This is what I came up with:

Coconut Chocaroon Chip Cookies
Ingredients:

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1/3 cup honey, agave nectar (I used agave)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 eggs, slightly beaten

¼ cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup coconut flour

¼ cup quick cook gluten free oats (sprinkle in more if batter is too wet)

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup dark chocolate chips

 

  1. Mix all wet ingredients together in one bowl, and dry ingredients in another. Combine and add the chocolate chips and coconut flakes.
  2. Scoop into balls and lay on a parchment lined baking sheet. I lightly flatten each with my hand so that they bake evenly.
  3. Bake at 350 for 20 min

These cookies are full of flavor and nutrients! It’s all you want in a chocolate chip cookie without the excess sugar, fats and “empty” calories from white flour. After baking, I let cool and store in the fridge! Eat well and feel well!!