Apple and Yogurt Tuna Salad

Tuna is a good source of protein if you’re looking to temporarily ditch the chicken. I’m always interested in anything that ends with the word salad; chicken and tuna both, but I’m especially interested when you can cut the calories in half by using yogurt. And while yogurt is ideal, it can also lack a little bit of flavor. This is where apple and celery come in. The sweetness of diced apple pieces and the crunch of celery make this meal an easy repeat offender. 

 

Apple and Yogurt Tuna Salad
Serves 2
A healthy spin on tuna salad, fruit and veggies included.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 small apple, diced
  2. 2 celery stalks, diced
  3. ¼ cup plain non-fat greek yogurt
  4. 5-ounce can of tuna, drained
  5. 1 tablespoon lite mayonnaise
  6. 1 teaspoon onion, chopped
  7. ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  8. squeeze of lemon juice
  9. salt, for taste
  10. pepper, for taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients into a medium size bowl. Serve over whole-wheat bread, a bed of lettuce or in a pita.
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Crustless Caprese Quiche

A quiche is perfect for a holiday breakfast, brunch or a few days of meals prepared ahead of time. I’ve done plenty of quiches that centered around meat and wanted to try one that was meatless, yet didn’t lack in the flavor department. Anything caprese is pretty much fool-proof, especially with baked tomatoes; those have enough flavor on their own!

This is a great recipe to make during the mid-summer when there’s an abundance of tomatoes and fresh basil. Luckily for me, my indoor basil plant is still alive and tomatoes were on sale at the grocery this week. A double win.

Note: If eating this over the course of a few days, be sure to place it in a tightly sealed container. It will last up to 4 days.

 

Crustless Caprese Quiche
Serves 8
A caprese version of a meatless, crustless quiche.
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. ¼ cup yellow onion, diced
  2. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 2 large Roma tomatoes, one diced into small pieces and the other thickly sliced
  4. ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  5. 4-ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  6. 4 large eggs
  7. 2 large egg whites
  8. ¾ cup whole milk
  9. ½ teaspoon salt
  10. ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8' quiche or pie pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Grease a large skillet with cooking spray and set on med-high heat. Add onions and garlic cloves; sauteing for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, adding to a small bowl and set aside while allowing to cool down for a few minutes.
  3. Add diced tomato and chopped basil to onion-garlic mix, stirring to combine well. Add onto the bottom of the quiche or pie pan, spreading throughout as evenly as you can. Add mozzarella cheese on top, spreading it evenly.
  4. In a medium size bowl add eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Whisk well until all ingredients are combined. Pour egg mixture overtop cheese and onion-tomato in quiche or pie pan. Place tomato slices ontop.
  5. Bake in oven for 50 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
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Halloween Party Chow

Halloween the holiday in itself is a treat, but this quick snack is a great addition and would be perfect for a holiday party or a snack to munch on during Halloween movie night. 

Halloween Party Chow
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 9-ounce Rice Chex Cereal
  2. 1½ semi-sweet chocolate chips
  3. ¼ cup unsalted butter
  4. ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. ¾ cup powdered sugar
  7. ¾ cup brownie mix
  8. 1½ cups candy corn
  9. 1 cup Reese's Pieces
  10. 1½ cups oreos, chopped into pieces
  11. 1½ cups mini pretzels, slightly crushed
Instructions
  1. Pour Rice Chex into a large bowl and momentarily set aside.
  2. Using a medium-size microwaveable bowl add chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter. Microwave 30 seconds, stir and continue to repeat process another two times (approximately 90 seconds) or until everything has melted and stirs smooth. Add vanilla.
  3. Pour chocolate mix overtop chex cereal, gently stirring as not to crush cereal. Using two gallon sized ziplock bags, pour half of the chocolate covered chex into each. Add the powdered sugar to one bag and the brownie mix to the other. Shake bags well so that the dry mixtures have coated the cereal well.
  4. Lay out a large sheet of parchment paper on a countertop. Pour out chex mix and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes so that the chocolate can harden on the cereal. In the meantime, use a large bowl to combine the candy corn, Reese's Pieces, oreos and pretzels. Add chex to the large bowl and stir well.
  5. Store in an air-tight container in fridge or ziplock bags.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Homemade Apple Muffins

Another day means another apple recipe. I had a few that I baked that I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of to post along with a recipe because they went too quick! But since it’s a Wednesday afternoon and I’m the only one home, I was able to bake up a batch of these delicious apple muffins and snap a few photos. Hopefully they are devoured by someone(s) other than me. Diets can be hard, especially around the fall time when everything is baked.

 

Homemade Apple Muffins
Yields 18
A simple recipe using fresh apples to bake a delicious, flavor-packed muffin.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
24 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
24 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups granulated sugar
  2. 2 large eggs
  3. 1 cup canola oil
  4. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  5. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 3 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  10. ½ cup brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners or well-grease pan. Set aside.
  2. Using a large bowl add granulated sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Use a large wooden spoon to combine ingredients until well mixed.
  3. In a medium size bowl shift together flour, soda, cinnamon and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients (sugar, etc) in the large bowl; mixing well. Batter will be thick! Add diced apples, stirring well. At this point your batter will become a little easier to work with.
  4. Split into 12 paper liners carefully, filling about ¾ of each. You’ll have leftover batter to make an additional 4-6 more muffins after baking the first dozen. Sprinkle a pinch of brown sugar onto the top of each muffin.
  5. Bake for 20-24 minutes. Allow to cool about 5-10 minutes before handling.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Homemade Apple Pie

It’s Day 2 of my Apple Recipe Week and today I’ve baked an Apple Pie for the very first time. As expected, I’ve already got my cheat-meal pants on because this pie recipe is pretty darn delicious; I knew so when I read one of the ingredients were 8 peeled apples! Plus it’s nothing too complex. I didn’t want to dive into the deep end of pie baking for my first round. Maybe I can do the fancy crust toppings my second time around. 

Homemade Apple Pie
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Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 9-inch double crust pastry pie
  2. ½ cup unsalted butter
  3. 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  4. ½ cup brown sugar
  5. ½ cup granulated sugar
  6. ¼ cup water
  7. 8 apples, peeled and cored
Instructions
  1. Cut apples into thin slices. Set aside.
  2. If you’re using a store-bought pie crust (and that’s perfectly OK to do), bake accordingly prior so that the pie is prepared and ready.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Using a medium size saucepan, melt butter. Next add flour and stir until you’ve created a thick paste. Slowly add brown sugar, granulated sugar and water, mixing well and allowing to come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to simmer and allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Fill your crust pan with apple slices. Cover with lattice crust pattern, following by gently pouring the buttery sugar mix overtop crust. Try not to let it drip off crust too much.
  6. Bake pie for 15 minutes. After, reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook an additional 35-45 minutes.
  7. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or by itself.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Apple Cinnamon Bread

Happy Fall! Yesterday we spent the later of the day apple picking at a fruit farm just a little outside of the city. Fall is especially my favorite time of the year because of events like this. I love baking, especially when the weather has just begun to cool down and you can leave the windows open while spending an afternoon in the kitchen. I am sure we will either run out of apples or my family will grow tired of eating all-things-apples before I can try all the recipes I want to, but I sure am going to try and cram as many in as I can!

So I deem this and possibly next week as “Apple Recipe Week(s).” This first recipe is Apple Cinnamon Bread, something that didn’t take very many apples (just 1 large to be precise) but smells and tastes like you baked a dozen. You don’t need to visit a fruit farm to make these recipes, unless you really want to. Most only ask for a handful of apples or less.

Apple Cinnamon Bread
Yields 8
A delicious addition to your collection of bread recipes.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
55 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  2. 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  3. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  4. ½ cup butter, softened
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7. 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  8. 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  9. ½ cup whole milk
  10. 1 apple, cored and peeled
Instructions
  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and greasing a 9x5 loaf pan.
  2. Dice the apple into small pieces. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon; mixing with a spoon until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, add granulated sugar and butter and beat with either a handheld mixer or using a stand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla, mix on medium speed until combined. Next add flour, baking powder and milk; mixing on medium speed again until smooth and well combined.
  6. Pour half of the batter into greased loaf pan. Add half of the diced apples on top, patting gently with the back of a spoon to combine them to batter. Sprinkle half of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

FitGirlsGuide 28DayJumpstart Program: Week 1

I’m sure you’ve noticed a slow-down as far as posts go. I have a good reason! You see I’m currently doing the 28 Day Jumpstart program by FitGirlsGuide. That means for the next few weeks, I will not be posting recipes unless they are ones I’ve cooked up for my family. And if I do post something that centers around me individually, it will mostly consist of notes regarding my health journey and the food experiences I’ve encountered while participating in this challenge.

If you like anything you see, by all means go check FitGirlsGuide out for yourself! Not only do they put together a wonderful meal-plan for you with daily exercises, but there’s a community of supportive individuals who are doing the same challenges as your with similar goals – and best of all, they’re SUPER encouraging. Sometimes that’s what we need most.

I’m only mid-week but since I’ve already experienced each meal that is scheduled for the entire week, I’m going to do a little recap on each entree today. Usually it helps to hear others experiences with food before you know for sure if you want to try something out for yourself. 

Cherry Pie Fridge Oats:
I always look forward to breakfast during week 1 of this challenge because I love Cherry Pie Fridge Oats. They’re delicious, extremely healthy and easy-as-pie to assemble the night before; perfect for those who are on the go super early! I eat mine cold and with a hot cup of coffee after finishing a session on the elliptical. 

                                             Roasted Veggie Power Bowl:
For lunch, you’re given the freedom to pick and choose your vegetables. I like to sample a variety of ways of preparing the Roasted Veggie Power Bowl and in the past have came up with dishes similar to a burrito bowl at Chipotle or chicken fried rice (above)…or I will green it out and pack on the vegetables (also above). However, if you like to just follow the ingredients and instructions to ensure you’re doing the challenge just as it’s been laid out for you; the main recipe is still fantastic! 

Little suggestion – make your own homemade hummus. While store bought hummus is the quick way to go, there’s nothing like the taste of freshly grounded chickpeas and tahini sauce. 

Sweet Potato Street Tacos:

I remember the first time I scanned the Week 1 Menu, I was hesitant at first on if I was going to like the Sweet Potato Street Tacos. Before FitGirlsGuide, I didn’t really eat sweet potatoes. I guess you could say I was a regular stuck up Russet potato kinda-gal. There is truth that you don’t know what you’re missing out on if you don’t actually “get out there” – and the same goes for food tasting. These tacos are delicious! 

So I guess that means sweet potatoes are pretty special; you can’t throw just any ingredient in a corn tortilla and pass it off as a “taco.” 

Pita Pizza:

Truth be told, I’ve never met a person who doesn’t like pizza. So I have a hard time believing that someone is going to read “Pita Pizza” and think “Ew, there is no way I am going to like that.” Think of them as individual pizzas on a flat piece of round pita bread that you get to add healthy ingredients to and then cook in the oven for a few minutes. Sound good? No. It sounds GREAT.

Zucchini Bread

With fall approaching, I’m getting the bug to bake more. I’m not sure why I’ve always associated baking breads with fall time. Maybe because of the recipes for all things pumpkins. Maybe because the thought of a warm piece of banana bread with a cup of coffee on a cold morning sounds incredibly appealing.

My SIL gave us two huge zucchinis from her garden: one I plan on using for dinner tonight and the other I baked two zucchini breads out of. Thankfully zucchini bread is favored in this household, even by the pickiest eater on the planet. And since I can’t get everyone on board with the whole white wheat or almond flour, I can make one “family friendly” and one healthy so that everyone happily enjoy a piece guilt free. Just alternate the flour listed in the recipe below to one that suits you best.

Zucchini Bread
Yields 2
This recipe is for two loaves of delicious zucchini bread.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups zucchini, peeled and grated
  2. 3 eggs
  3. 1 cup oil
  4. 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  6. ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  7. 1 teaspoon soda
  8. 3 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans and set aside.
  2. Using a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, whisking well. Divide among loaf pans and bake for 1 hour, or until top is browned and fully cooked through.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Rigatoni with Kale Meatballs

I hope the word kale being in the post title hasn’t already scared you away. I don’t care much for it myself, especially on it’s own. However, there are a few exceptions and this meatball dish just so happens to be one of them. Luckily, I didn’t skip this meal in our weekly recipes selection and gave it the benefit of the doubt. I guess there are times when kale CAN be delicious.

We get HelloFresh twice a week when we are home. I’ve learned how to cook some healthy, delicious dishes with food combinations that I would have never imagined went well together. And a lot of those containing ingredients that I have stuck my nose up at my entire life. I’ve found that I actually REALLY do like roasted zucchini and green beans. Dejavu back to being a kid and trying stuff for the first time, only you’re a little more mature and less likely to throw a tantrum when it’s presented on a plate in front of you.

So if the word “kale” still has you feeling unsure, I’ll be completely honest with you: You can’t even taste the kale, so come back, read on and try this recipe for yourself.

 

Rigatoni with Kale Meatballs
Serves 4
A delicious and easy homemade marinara sauce topped over rigatoni pasta. The traditional meatball recipe comes packed with an extra special green guest: kale! Did meatballs just get a little more healthy?
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 yellow onion, diced
  2. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 1½ cups kale, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
  4. handful of fresh basil leaves
  5. 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  6. 1lb ground beef
  7. ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  8. 12oz rigatoni pasta
  9. ½ cup parmesan cheese
Meatball Seasoning
  1. 8 teaspoons dried oregano
  2. 8 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  3. 4 teaspoons dried basil
  4. 4 teaspoons dried marjoram
  5. 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  6. 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
Instructions
  1. Using a small bowl, combine all meatball seasoning ingredients and momentarily set aside after whisking well.
  2. Add ground beef, breadcrumbs, kale, a pinch of salt and pepper and meatball seasoning mixture to a medium size bowl. Combine ingredients well using clean hands. Shape into 1½-inch balls and place on a plate. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, stirring occasionally until fully al dente at around 10 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water and drain the rest.
  4. While pasta is cooking, heat a large drizzle of olive oil in a large deep skillet over med-high heat. Add onion, cooking until fragrant and transparent; about 3-5 minutes. Add minced garlic, cook for an additional 2 minutes and then crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until sauce appears to have thickened, around 5 minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, carefully add meatballs to sauce mixture. Increase the heat to medium and cover; cooking about 5 minutes on each side or until meatballs are fully cooked through.
  6. Divide rigatoni pasta between 4 plates, adding marinara and meatballs on top. Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a few basil leaves for extra taste.
Notes
  1. If sauce appears thick, add the ½ cup of pasta water.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Cajun Chicken Salad + Cajun Dressing

Hello, Monday! I’m starting the week after a meal-prep win Sunday. This week’s mornings will be filled with fruits and vegetables that come in a green juice and my lunch; more vegetables and grilled cajun chicken with this delicious creamy cajun dressing. Less coffee. More water. (Good luck to me on that)

I am pretty stoked about the cajun chicken , I haven’t made anything similar in quite sometime and I’m in need of a week full of salads for lunch. But since I like my cajun food mildly spicy, I tend to opt for making my own seasoning here at home. You can always just buy the spice at your local grocery store if preferred. I just like to be able to control just how much spice I’ll get, plus most of the ingredients are staple spices that you most likely already have on hand.

Cajun Chicken Salad + Cajun Dressing
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Salad
  1. 4 cups romaine lettuce
  2. ¼ of a red onion. thinly sliced
  3. 1 cucumber, sliced
  4. 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  5. 1 avocado, sliced
Chicken Seasoning
  1. 1 tablespoon paprika
  2. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  3. 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  4. 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  5. 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  6. 2 teaspoons salt
  7. 1 teaspoon black pepper
Cajun Dressing
  1. 1 teaspoon cajun dressing
  2. 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  3. 2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. Combine spices to make cajun seasoning, leaving 1 teaspoon aside for dressing. Rub all-over both sides of chicken breasts, covering well.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, cooking each side about 5 minutes or until cooked through; about 10 minutes total. Set chicken on a plate off to the side to cool off slightly. Slice chicken.
  3. In a large bowl, add romaine lettuce, onion slices, cucumber, tomatoes and avocados. Add sliced chicken on-top, drizzling cajun dressing over. Divide into 4 portions.
Adapted from Cafe Delites
Adapted from Cafe Delites
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