What the Heck is Queen-Nah…Salad

I love football (even though the Steelers aren’t doing so great this season…sigh). I also love witty football commercials. And this one, this happens to be one of my faves…

It’s actually pronounced “keen-wah” but hey that’s close enough. What’s more important is that it doesn’t (or at least doesn’t have to) taste a dirty tree branch! I make a delicious quinoa salad that I thought I’d share since it makes an awesome dish for potlucks and parties (and umm in case you forgot party season is upon us!) So without further ado…

Italian Roasted Tomato Quinoa Salad

IMG_4132

Delicious quinoa salad! If you leave out the parm cheese it’s also a dairy free/vegan recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1C dry quinoa (any kind) rinsed thoroughly… if you don’t rinse quinoa it will taste nast-teeeee
  • 2C water (or chicken/veg broth if you want it to be extra tasty)
  • Approx 4C grape or cherry tomatoes… really any tomatoes would work
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic (peeled, smashes, and roughly chopped)
  • 2 springs of fresh rosemary or Italian flat leaf parsley it’s cheap and yes, it makes a HUGE difference
  • 1 TBSP EVOO
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 C fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional…clearly leave it out if you’re dairy free)
  1. Cook quinoa following normal method: Boil water, add quinoa, return to boil, reduce heat, simmer until little halos form around the quinoa grains.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  3. Line baking sheet with tin foil and curl up sides (or cook in a shallow baking dish)
  4. Toss tomatoes, garlic and rosemary in EVOO; add salt and pepper to taste.

Mmm… looks so tasty right!? IMG_4089

  1. Bake for approx 30min or until the tomatoes begin to burst, give up their juices. (I like to turn on the broiler after they burst to get a nice char on them too!)
  2. Mix tomatoes and all of that juicy goodness into your cooked quinoa, add cheese, stir and enjoy!

I eat mine on Romaine lettuce leaves like as a sort of non-traditional lunch time lettuce wrap. ENJOY!

(no)sugar, spice & everything nice

It was C-O-L-D cold this week! And that meant two things…

1.) I felt the need to listen to Christmas music! (And thus broke my anti-Christmas-music-before-thanksgiving stance)

2.) I’ve entered into every minute of the day hot beverage mode.

Now during the day I drink my fair share of black coffee. But that caffeine can get to your head (even though my homemade blend is 1/2caff)…especially before bed. So, I branch out to my homemade Peppermint Mocha. It’s delicious, dairy-free, sugar-free and all of 15 calories. BOOM, you’re welcome…enjoy!

image1 (1)

Skinny Peppermint Mocha

  • 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp stevia powder
  • Hot water (or half hot water, half almond milk)
  • 1 Peppermint tea bag

Mix together first three ingredients. Let tea steep for approx 3 minutes. Stir, sip, savor.

Who needs Starbucks?!?? :-D

#pumpkinspiceeverything

Fall in American no longer means the leaves are changing colors or the weather is get cooler… it means pumpkin spice everything! Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice Jell-O pudding, pumpkin spice creamers and cookies and liquors!

And, you know what? I friggin LOVE it!

Here’s my logic…

Sara+fall=love

Fall=pumpkin spice everything.

Therefore, Sara+pumpkin spice everything= love.

(Undergrad philosophy 101 did teach me something after all.)

However, I don’t enjoy how pumpkin spice everything usually means processed everything. So, I’ve made a few deliciously non-processed pumpkin-laden things over the past few weeks and thought I’d share. (especially since the last time I posted was way way way way too long ago).

Pumpkin Spice Oat Bars

Oatbars

  • 2.5C rolled oats
  • 1 tsp powdered stevia
  • 1 TBPS cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of all spice
  • 1C pumpkin puree
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • any other add-ins you enjoy (craisins or fresh cranberries with a little extra melted honey are a great addition! and I usually add in a scoop or two of protein powder to make them a more well-rounded snack)
  • TIP: add a dash of almond milk if it looks too dry or a little more pumpkin

Mix dry, add wet, PRESS (really press) into a pan (smaller pan if you want em thicker, bigger pan if you want em thin… but the thinner they are the more likely they are to crumble!)

Bake in 350 degree oven  for ~10-12 minutes or until the tops are dry to the touch.

Overnight Slow-cooker Pumpkin Butter

pumpkin

  • 1 medium “pumpkin pie” pumpkin
  • 1/2C coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of all spice
  • 2 TBPS cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 C water
  1. Gut the pumpkin like you would a jack-o-lantern. (Clean and roast the seeds if you love some peppitas on your oatmeal like I do).
  2. Split it in half and place flesh side down in a casserole dish with about 1 in of water in the bottom.
  3. Roast in 350 degree over until you can pierce the skin easily with a knife.
  4. Allow to cool and then skin the pumpkin.
  5. Place pumpkin flesh and all other ingredients in a crockpot.
  6. Allow to cook on low overnight (8 hours) or on high for ~4 hours.
  7. Puree in a high-end blender or with a blender stick.
  8. Enjoy on everything… even cardboard. :-D

TIP: if you’re having a hard time blending it add some apple cider/juice to it to help the process.

Enjoy all the tasty pumpkin treats this season! And, feel free to share your faves below!

Change & Chewsday

I love inspirational quotes, mantras, verses, and anything else that makes you go “yea, right on!” when you read it. One in particular came to mind this morning as I substitute taught a fitness class…

gretzky

To be honest the first quote that came to mind is “sticks and stones may breaks my bones buuuuttt…” this one seemed more positive ;-) There are people that HATE change mainly because they are unwilling to try anything new, and a met one of those ladies today in the locker room after class. All that came to mind is, if we repeatedly do the same things over and over again (no matter if it’s fitness related or not) eventually we become numb to them. And last time I checked being numb, stale, or constantly maintaining the status quo in lift is not only boring, but also unhealthy. I’ll add one more mantra for good measure… variety is the spice of life! So, here’s to trying something new and not whining when you’re forced to do it :-)

What’s one thing you can change TODAY that will make your life healthier, more fun, or just spice things up?

Well, you could make a new recipe! I put a new twist on one of my favorite bake-ahead recipes (I usually cook 2-3 recipes the first weekend of the month and then freeze half or more for quick lunches/dinners) and I thought I’d share it!

textmexpeps

Spicy Stuffed Peppers

Filling:

  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 1/2C brown rice dry (par-boil it…aka cook it halfway)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (minced or grated)
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 1 TBSP oregano (mexican if you have it)
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced (this is where you can control the spice!)
  • 2 TBSP fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 small can (6-8oz) of tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 green peppers, cleaned

Sauce:

  • 2 large cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 TBSP of the adobo sauce from the chipotles
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl mix all ingredients except peppers and crushed tomatoes together until well incorporated. Place peppers upright in a baking dish. Fill evenly with meat mixture (I used a medium ice cream disher to be sure they were all evenly filled…two scoops each!). Mix sauce ingredients until desired spiciness. Pour over peppers. Cover dish with aluminium foil and bake for approximately 1 hour or until peppers are soft and meat is fully cooked.

As you can see I enjoy mine over a bed of spinach. :-) They’re the perfect lunch option! One pepper is about 250 calories: 15g of protein, 13g of fat and 19 carbs.

Buen provecho!

Happy Chewsday! aka Blueberry Flaxseed Microwave Muffin day!

It has been seriously so long since I’ve posted anything new! Hopefully that’s about to change as I work on getting into a better groove with life, school, work, and everything else!

I wanted to share this quick, scrumptious, healthy, no bake muffin recipe with you all! It’s so quick (like 3 min quick… never skip breakfast again!), easy, and a great source of Omega-3s all under 250 calories!

I don’t know if the picture does it justice… I usually leave it in the mug I make it in :-) This morning I took it out, split it in two and added Powercakes Strawberry Chia Jam (google it… you won’t be disappointed) to it.

flax muffin

Blueberry Flaxseed Microwave Muffin

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C milled flaxseed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4C frozen blueberries
  • Optional: 1 tbsp melted coconut oil (makes it a little smoother) but adds the extra 130kcals

Directions:

In a mug or a 1C glass measuring cup mix dry, add wet, and stir until well incorporated. Taste to make sure it’s to your sweetness liking. Place in microwave on high for 1-1.5 min. Let cool a bit and then enjoy.

According to myFitnesspal (I’m user sholtz1005 if you’d like to be friends) It’s 238 calories, 14g of protein, 17g of fat (sans coconut oil), and 11g of fiber. It’s also #glutenfree, #dairyfree, and #paleo…BOOM!

A special thanks once again goes out to Aunt Gina who supplied me with the original recipe from which this is adapted. She was sugarfree, dairyfree, glutenfree before it was a fad… go Aunt Gina!

Have a Happy Tuesday!

Roasty Toasty Weekend (Recipes galore)

It’s HERE!

snow

 

It makes me want to curl up with a cup of tea and a blanket, get all nice and toasty and read all day, but alas… things called school and work (and cleaning off the car in order to go to school and work) must happen.

And schoolwork went slightly by the wayside this weekend as I roasted and toasted all of this…

food 11.12.13

 

Upper left: Honey Roasted Cranberries and Carrots Upper right: #GF, #DF Buckwheat Waffles with Ocean Spray’s Cranberry Relish on top (tip… I cook my relish for about 10min with some whole berries in it to get it to gel a bit…mmm) Lower left: BBBrownies & PB (recipe coming later) Lower right: Roasted Brocc & Walnuts

And now the recipes! Let’s start with the easy ones (healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated :-)

Honey Roasted Cranberries and Carrots

  • About a dozen medium carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 1.5C fresh cranberries (if you want it sweeter you could use craisins)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic (I know that’s weird, but it’s good I promise)
  • 2 TBSP honey (you can adjust the sweetness by adjusting the honey or adding a little extra sugar
  1. Season
  2. Mix
  3. Roast @400 for ~45min or until the carrots are tender (mix them every once in awhile)

Roasted Brocc & Walnuts (aka mouth candy)

  • 4C Brocc florets
  • 1C Walnuts
  • 1-2TBSP olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, paprika
  1. Place brocc onto a sheet pan and drizzle with as much or as little olive oil as you’d like
  2. Add seasonings
  3. Roast @350 for 30min
  4. Add walnuts to brocc and mix around
  5. Roast another 15-20min or until brocc is tender and walnuts are toasty… yum

#GF, #DF Buckwheat Waffles (this is a time and time again tested recipe, and I think I’ve finally gotten something GdoubleODgood… and Buckwheat is so good for you!)

  • 2C Buckwheat Flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, separate the whites into a glass/metal bowl
  • 2TBSP honey
  • 2TBSP coconut oil
  • 1.5tsp vanilla
  • 1C almond milk
  1. Mix dry together
  2. Melt honey (if raw) and coconut oil together
  3. Add honey/coco mix, vanilla, egg yolks and almond milk to dry mix
  4. Whip egg whites into soft peaks
  5. Fold whites into batter
  6. Make waffles!

(NOTE: I use an ice cream disher to measure out my waffle mixture…it’s ~1.5 scoops for each waffle, but that depends on your maker)

Hope you enjoy all of these as much as I am for breakfasy, lunch and dinner this week :-)

It’s not too late for Pumpkin goodness! #GF Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes & Pumpkin Butter

Oh how the days just seem to slip away. I swear just yesterday I saw the first leaves start to turn the slightest tinge of orange and the next thing I know it’s November!

Well, October is my favorite month for many reasons, so I am sad that it’s gone. But, while it was here I did manage to whip up some amazing pumpkin concoctions that I’ve been meaning to share so….

Gluten-free Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes

*Adapted from my friends the Walberg’s Aunt Gina’s buckwheat recipe…thanks Aunt Gina!

Image

  • 1C buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice (more or less to your liking)
  • 1TBSP coconut oil
  • 1TBSP honey (I used raw)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 C pumpkin puree (If you use the “pie mix” kind eliminate some of the spices! And… I’ve tried adding more…. it doesn’t work…trust me on this one!)
  • 1C almond milk (or regular milk for you lactose enzyme producing folk)
  • 1 egg
  1. Mix dry ingredients
  2. Melt together coconut oil and honey
  3. Add vanilla to coconut/honey mix
  4. Add coconut/honey/vanilla mix, pumpkin and egg to dry mix. Stir to combine.
  5. Start to add milk little by little until you get a pancake batter consistency to your liking.
  6. Heat griddle (med or so) and coat with your favorite kind of cooking lubricant (I either use coconut oil or butter). Cook and enjoy!

NOTE: if you’re not a good pancake maker… these are very much so like regular pancakes in that they tell you when they need flipped. They will get tiny pockets (burst bubbles) in them. Flip, cook about 1min more and then remove from heat!

I also made this….

5min Pumpkin Butter

image (1)

  • 1C pumpkin puree
  • 1 TBSP raw honey (or reg honey)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • A splash or two of almond milk
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a microwave safe dish.
  2. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir, stir, stir.
  4. Taste…adjust sweetness to your liking, and enjoy on top your pancakes!

So, there you have it two super easy, GF, DF, Vitamin A packed recipes to help you enjoy some pumpkin… and there are a few more still to come… so get some pumpkin and get to cookin… it’s still fall after all!