I like granola. I like that it’s convenient for those week days when your morning is rushed and you don’t want to wait in the long line at Starbucks for a muffin. I also like that it doesn’t take a chef in the kitchen to make a batch of it. In fact, you really don’t need to have any kitchen skills; it’s pretty foolproof. You just need a few ingredients and an oven.
Granola is just like most other recipes; you can tweak the ingredients to your liking or to what you already have in the pantry. I like to add a little flavor to mine by using dried up fruit. Both cherries, cranberries, bananas and apple chips do wonders for a batch of granola. If you’re not the fruit-kind, simply sprinkle some cinnamon on-top to add a little more.
Heat oven to 300. Place parchment paper onto a cookie sheet.
Combine old-fashioned oats, pecans, almonds, dark brown sugar, cinnamon and sea salt in a large bowl. Mix well.
Melt unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Swoosh that pan around a bit, it helps the butter melt a little faster. Remove from heat and pour into a small bowl. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk well.
Pour butter mixture into bowl of dry ingredients. Stir well until all dry ingredients are covered and layer thinly on parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until granola is golden brown. Make sure you stir granola around every 10-15 minutes.
Add dried cranberries after removing granola from oven and letting cool off slightly. Package when granola is completely cooled off.
Week 5 of Transform20 means the beginning of the last and final chapter of this workout. I want to do better these next 2 weeks, not because we’re rounding closer to the end but because I believe I CAN do better. I’ve had a “cheat meal” here and there due to celebrations or unplanned events but have done well for the most part overall. I haven’t missed a workout (!!) and finally am to the point where I’m looking forward to being active each day.
This week I’ve added in this flavorful Stuffed Pepper Soup to my menu for lunch. We’ve had some pretty gross weather lately and I’m always craving something that resembles warm comfort food because so. This recipes makes a HUGE serving amount, 10 servings huge, a perfect opportunity to freeze some as well!
21 Day Fix = 1 red, 1 green, 0.5 yellow per 2 cup serving.
So technically this is a late post because we had these for dinner yesterday, but I did blog the Skinny Burrito Bowls which makes up for quantity in the blog department. And it’s a Tuesday so the timing is great for that as well. Fajitas are taco’s cousins.
In a small bowl, add 1 tbsp olive oil, juice of half a lime and spices. Mix well before adding chicken in bowl as well to coat.
Over medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil to a large skillet. Add half the batch of chicken, cooking 3-5 minutes on each side or until cooked throughly. Repeat with other batch. Remove chicken from skillet and onto a plate. Set aside.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil to skillet again, adding the peppers and onion this time. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until vegetables appear tender. Next add chicken and stir, combining. Squeeze lime juice from other half and serve over tortillas or rice.
I just finished the Commit Chapter for Transform 20 and I’m pretty excited about the transformation that I’ve had these past 15 days; both physically and mentally. By having discipline in the food department, I have dramatically cut down on my “craving sweets” moments and have been able to have an intake of 80oz of water per day. Both of these are huge milestones simply considering the fact that when you live with teenagers you’re likely to have a pantry full of snacks.
Each Friday I begin meal-planning for the upcoming week so that I can spend my Saturday grocery shopping and my Sunday meal-prepping. Because I am still learning how to perfect the container equivalents, I get a good amount of recipes to try from Pinterest searches. Last week I prepared the 2-bean Vegetarian Chili recipe that was inside the Transform20 nutrition guide, which was suuuper yum, but this week I’m having this Skinny Burrito Bowl recipe that I found via Emily J Goodman
I thought this particular meal was an especially good idea because this week we’re supposed to have incredibly cold wind chills. Cold enough that I am not so sure that I am going to want to go outside. So, I prepared 6 dishes of it; I’ll split half for me, half for my sister. That way it meets the 3-day fridge rule since I won’t be freezing any and gives me an opportunity to be lazy and not have to tweak the original recipes ingredients 🙂
Note: If you want to add extra toppings to your bowl, you may. Just make sure you add them accordingly to whichever container they’re categorized to while meal-planning.
Well it appears as though winter is finally here and because so, I want to apologize. The day prior to us having snow I had put together a letter-board that said “I think winter skipped us.” We had sunny days and high 50s weather. And while I thought we had possibly gotten lucky and weren’t doomed for the cold, I may have in-fact jinx us all and now we have no sun, no high 50s weather; just cold air and white everything. Which I guess is OK if you’re looking out at it from inside the warmth comfort of your home.
Side-note: I dragged my feet on getting new tires for the Jeep and now I feel as though I have no choice. So thank you for that, snow.
I guess if it’s going to be cold though, soups are a perfect solution to a warm and filling dinner. One of my all-time favorites is Wedding Soup. When we were smaller, I remember my grandma cooking up a pot and I’ve been hooked every since. Unfortunately none of us ever thought to get the recipe from her and I’ve been searching for one similar ever since.
My instant pot seems to be a hit with me. I haven’t had a bad mishap yet, knock on wood. This however would be the first time that I’ve ever cooked a soup in it and being that one of the ingredients were noodles, I was a little nervous. The first time I ever made a homemade chicken noodle soup, I ruined the noodles and I’ve been nervous about noodles ever since. No one likes mush pasta.
This is foul-proof though! And your noodles won’t come out like mush. I do suggest playing around with ingredients if you’d like. This certain recipe is healthy and I used turkey meatballs rather than regular.
Add olive oil and diced onions to Instant Cooker and set to saute mode, allowing the onion to cook for about 2 minutes.
Add carrots and garlic powder and set to saute mode again for another 2 minutes. When finished, add your chicken stock, beef stock and pasta. Next add meatballs, making sure that they are submerged. Add Instant Pot lid, close to lock and make sure your pressure valve is on sealing. Then select the high pressure mode, adjusting the time to 10 minutes.
When done allow the pot to release on it's own for 5 minutes naturally. Turn the valve to quick release. Next add your handful of baby spinach. It will wilt on it's own within a couple minutes or less.
Trying to incorporate more avocado into my diet. I remember there was a time when I didn’t even like avocado and now I’m searching high and low for more recipes that use them. Of course, the standard spreading some over a piece of whole-wheat toast for breakfast never gets old. Or 2 used for a batch of guac. But avocados have endless possibilities; just like how they’re used to add an extra flavor, texture and look to your regular egg salad recipe.
Monday is here and I just started Prep Week for Beachbody’s Transform20. I’m sure most of you have heard of Shaun T, and if you haven’t – do a quick search. He has the most exhilarating workout programs (Insanity!) and is such a motivator. The new Transform20 program only calls for 20 minutes of your day, perfect if you’re the type of person who loses interests after a half hour of hearing a trainer yell instructions and moves. Plus you can lose up to 20lbs in just 6 weeks! If that’s not convincing enough to give it a try, I’m not sure what is.
I’m not in my best shape. My eating may be OK and I have lost 5lbs in the past 3 weeks, but I’m not IN shape. We’re in the middle of having our home gym area remodeled and so I can’t use any of my go-to equipment. So every pound I’ve lost lately has been due to eating clean and cutting down on snacks and sweets. This week is especially an exception because while I will be doing quick prep workouts, I also will need to focus on remaining on my clean-eats path!
Starting the week off right with this salad.This particular salad is packed with plenty of vegetables and protein! I don’t like fish myself, but I love a good can of tuna with some light mayonnaise. Add it into a salad and you’ve got even more of my attention. But I feel as though I see a lack of tuna recipes on the internet. I guess maybe there are only so many ways that you can incorporate it into a meal other than just the by using it in staple recipes.
It’s awfully colorful too, and I know that can be appealing to some. I like pretty food. It’s more photogenic and it also meal-preps wonderfully which should always be the exception. We don’t necessarily have the time to prepare our foods daily and in order to stay on track, you’re guaranteed to succeed with your personal goals if you’re preprepared.
I love my Shakeology drinks. They’re my go-to breakfast every day and they’re versatile; you can add so much into them for a bonus added flavor. But the best part is that Shakeology isn’t just your everyday store-bought protein powder found in the healthy food aisle; it’s a nutrient-dense superfood protein shake. That means each serving contains important things that our bodies need like antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, mineral and probiotics just to name a few. Supporting digestive health should always be a priority and you’re doing just that when you have your daily dose of Shakeology.
I personally enjoy mine in the morning but I know a lot of others who have it as a snack, lunch or dinner. It’s a great boost for healthy energy, a factor in weight-loss and also a wonderful way to curb those junk-food cravings.
If you’ve read this far, that means I’ve sparked your interest… So find your flavor here! I personally suggest Strawberry.
While I love my Strawberry PBJ Shakeology, I will test the waters with other flavors every now and then. This weekend the sun was out and it wasn’t entirely cold so I thought I would give my Greenberry packet a shot. Now because I’m not familiar with this flavor, I turned to Pinterest for some ideas and found this Orange Banana recipe. That seems like a pretty harmless combo, right? Right! Delicious enough that I’m gonna list the ingredients below.
1 scoop Greenberry Shakeology
1 medium banana
½ cup orange juice
½ cup water
3-4 ice cubes
With each new year comes new goals, new dreams or if you’re me – a newly remodeled home gym! (Currently still in progress.) Working out at home has always been a preference for me because you really have no excuses as to why you aren’t able to get a quick sweat in. I know a lot of you like having a gym membership because other than the obvious, it’s also a great opportunity for quiet time if you have small children at home.
Alright! Aside from the veeeeery original “get in better shape” New Years resolution, one of my “2019 things that I’d like to do” is also to be more active here on my blog. We eat homemade meals nearly 6 out of 7 nights a week and most of the time I’m not documenting them because of the silly fact that I do not like to photograph anything unless I’m using natural light. Cue in another “2019 things I’d like to do” – learn how to photograph using unnatural light.
So, let’s start the first week of the new year with an easy, healthy meal that is a fairly well made recipe throughout the winter – Cabbage Rolls! But I’m going to make it even more easy on you. You won’t be rolling anything but your fork in your soup bowl.
Cabbage Rolls are one of my most favorite meals. Unfortunately, I may be the only one in this house who feels this way, which is OK; we’re not all going to like the same thing. I also think cabbage rolls can be a preferred meal and so when I do cook them, I usually cook them in bulk and have them as leftovers when my husband is out of town.
Besides not having to roll cabbage,Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls are a great quick on the skillet meal. No oven bake necessary. It’s just a few chops and you’re simmering on-top of the oven for the remainder of the time. Plus it’s suuuuper flavorful and being that we’re tip-toeing around winter and instead in this “rainy, gloomy and cold season without snow”, this recipe would fit great in your weekly menu.
Be sure to let me know if you try this recipe out via the comments, tag me on instagram or use the hashtag #fitgirlniccooks. Enjoy!
Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls
A super easy and healthy alternative to one of your favorite comfort recipes.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Next add ground beef and onion and allow to cook until meat is no longer pink. Throw in garlic clove and let saute for 1 minute.
Slowly add cabbage, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and water to skillet. Combine by stirring until everything is blended well. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes, depending on how cooked-through cabbage is.
By Nicole Leslie
Adapted from http://www.fitgirlnic.com/deconstructedcabbagerolls
Adapted from http://www.fitgirlnic.com/deconstructedcabbagerolls