Healthy Banana Blueberry Bread

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I could go on and on about how blueberries seem to make everything tastes so much better, even delicious banana bread. But instead of wasting your time and trying to convince you just why; I’m going to assume you already like blueberries because you clicked on a link somewhere just for this recipe. So just right below the pictures, you’ll find a list of ingredients and instructions. Get to it!

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Healthy Banana Blueberry Bread
A delicious bread baked with fresh bananas and blueberries, healthy enough that you won't feel guilty while enjoying a slice.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. ½ cup brown sugar
  7. ¼ cup coconut oil
  8. ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  11. 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  12. 1 cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix together.
  3. Next, in a large size bowl add brown sugar, coconut oil, applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract. When all ingredients have been whisked well, add mashed bananas. Whisk well again. Next, gently fold in blueberries.
  4. Add dry ingredients into large bowl with banana mixture. Combine well and pour into loaf pan. Check at 55 minutes by inserting a toothpick in the middle. If toothpick comes out clean, bread is ready. If not, bake for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  5. Remove bread from oven and allow to cool down for 10 minutes before transferring to a baker's rack. Serve warm.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Parmesan Chicken Casserole

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Have you ever wanted to take the same meal you enjoy immensely, but switch it up just a little bit? Same ingredients and hopefully the same taste; it’s just prepared a little differently. That’s what this casserole reminds me of. The list of items just scream Chicken Parmesan, you’re just giving it a whole new look!

I had spotted this recipe while browsing my Pinterest feed quite some time ago and was intrigued. I’m not quite sure who came up with this fun recipe, as I quickly jotted the ingredients down and added it to my list of potential meals. I can see how this can be either a family favorite or something you bring to a potluck party at work.

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Unlike the original recipe for Chicken Parmesan, you’re using creating a base for bake (breadcrumbs) last instead of coating the chicken in it before adding the marinara sauce and cheese. It gives it a crispier outer shell, while enjoying a more moist italian taste when you bite in. I recommend using rotisserie chicken if you’ve got it, but any leftover shredded chicken will do.

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I allowed my casserole to bake for 25 minutes, but that can always vary depending on your oven. If your breadcrumb topping has begun to take on a golden brown shade, there’s a good chance it’s ready.

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Chicken Parmesan Casserole
Serves 6
Craving something hot and easy to prepare? This Chicken Parm Casserole is a great bake for when you've got leftover chicken and an extra jar of marinara sauce.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2-4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  2. 28-ounce jar marinara sauce
  3. 1½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  4. ½ fresh parmesan cheese
  5. 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  6. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  7. 2 tablespoons italian seasoning
  8. 1 tablespoon oregano
  9. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use cooking spray to well coat an 8x8 casserole pan. Add chicken to bottom followed by marinara sauce. Mix well, evenly spreading throughout the pan. Cover with mozzarella cheese and parmesan.
  3. Add panko bread crumbs, olive oil, italian seasoning and oregano to a medium size mixing bowl. Stir well and add a pinch of both salt and pepper. Spread bread crumb mix over-top cheese layer, covering well.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Cobb Salad

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A lot of meal plans that I have seen in the past have included a hard boiled egg at some point, be it with an entree or as a mid-day snack. I’ll be the first to admit that while I do tend to eat a lot of eggs for breakfast or as a quick and easy snack, I do not necessarily like them. I never have and I’m way past the “you just may grow to like them” stage. However, there are some circumstances where they taste a little more enjoyable to me, and in a cobb salad is one. I’m not sure if it’s because of the dressing or the ingredients that they’re paired up with; they’re just much more tolerable.

But if you’re an egg lover, then chances are you’ll love this salad as well. It’s simple to make, and really doesn’t take much preparation effort aside from cooking the bacon and hard-boiling the eggs. And the dressing is light and delicious.

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Funny thing about these pictures – if you’ve already scrolled down and looked at the recipe ingredients, you know that it calls for blue cheese. Yes, that’s shredded mozzarella cheese in the picture. I had full intentions of eating this Cobb salad with blue cheese and didn’t pick up any at the grocery this week because I made my list knowing that I had a container in the refrigerator whose expiration date wasn’t even close to today’s date.

Don’t trust those expiration dates. 

After preparing everything and assembling, I got to the part where I add the cheese and went to open the container. The FOULEST smell, hit me so hard it almost knocked me out! Not to mention that the entire amount was covered with more blue than you typically see. Again, expiration date? The end of August. There was no way I was using that, so I tossed it in a plastic grocery bag and walked it to the garage dumpster verses even taking the chance of smelling that in the trash container in the house. So gross. So THAT’S why I used mozzarella cheese. Tastes good with this version, and you know – if you don’t like blue cheese, you can always substitute it with other cheese choices such as goat cheese, mozzarella, or feta. Whatever is on your plate is always your pick of the crop! Enjoy.

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Cobb Salad
Serves 4
Good ol' fashion cobb salad recipe with a homemade red wine vinaigrette dressing.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups romaine lettuce
  2. 4 hardboiled eggs, peeled and sliced
  3. 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  4. 6 slices cooked turkey bacon, crumbled
  5. ½ cup blue cheese crumbles
  6. ¼ cup avocado, optional
Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing
  1. ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  2. ¼ cup olive oil
  3. ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  4. ¼ teaspoon salt
  5. 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  6. 1 teaspoon pure honey
  7. 1 garlic clove, minced
Instructions
  1. Using a small bowl, mix together all ingredients for dressing with a whisk until well combined.
  2. Align a plate with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, turkey bacon, egg slices and blue cheese crumbles. Drizzle dressing overtop.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Taco Tuesday: Stuffed Potato-Style

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I have no problem whatsoever dedicating a night each week to tacos. And for the most part traditional style tacos always hit the spot, but I like to switch it up every once in awhile. So why not combine a taco with something else I love to eat: a potato! I originally wanted to test this on a sweet potato, but we only had russet potatoes in the refrigerator and I wanted to avoid a trip to the grocery store for at least one day. Does anyone else feel like they’re at the grocery so much they may as well have stock in it? 

Did you know that potatoes are the number one vegetable crop in the United States? That’s crazy! It probably helps that the low-calorie veggie is loaded with potassium and Vitamin C; both essential things needed in our daily dietary. In my book, that makes it A-OK to stuff them with some extra stuff; especially if it’s additional healthy things like ground turkey, beans and corn.

Stuffed Taco Potatoes
Serves 4
This is a recipe for taco styled potatoes that are chockful of all your favorite mexican toppings. Great to use for any Taco Tuesday or Mexican-themed meal.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 russet potatoes
  2. 1lb ground turkey
  3. 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  4. 8-ounces low-fat refried beans
  5. 1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels
  6. 1 medium onion, chopped
  7. ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub potatoes well, pat dry with a paper towel and add to oven rack to bake for 1 hour. While doing so, line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, brown ground turkey and onion in a skillet over med-high heat. Drain excess grease in a strainer and return turkey mix to skillet. Add taco seasoning, corn and refried beans; stirring well to combine. Lower heat to low and allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. When potatoes have finished cooking, remove from oven and allow to slightly cool down before cutting in half. Scoop the inside out, leaving a thin layer at bottom of potato. Spray potato inside and outside with cooking spray. Place each individually on baking sheet, upside down, and bake for 5 minutes.
  4. After potato skins seem crispier, add turkey mix. Top with a tablespoon of salsa and sprinkle cheddar cheese. Add to oven and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
  5. Serve with additional garnishes like sour cream, green onions, bacon.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

 

Meatless Monday: Margarita Pasta

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Holy smokes! I can’t believe it’s already Monday again. I know that the previous week was short because of the holidays but I’m still trying to gather myself together enough to start this week. I intentionally posted this meal today because it is Meatless Monday and my version of this pasta does not have any meat. Who needs it?! There’s enough flavor in the “sauce” as is. If you feel you must have some sort of protein, feel free to add chicken.

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Anytime I know a meal is a skillet-cook, I get excited. My husband bought us this fancy s’mancy gas range for the new place and I am dying to cook on it. I absolutely love the taste of anything gas cooked. Some don’t think there is a difference; oh there is, and I compare it from cooking on an indoor grill to cooking on an outdoor grill. You know the difference once you take that first bite.

I imagine a gas grill also makes a skillet picture just a little more fancy s’mancy looking too.

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My favorite part about this meal is that you’re using all fresh produce. The only thing really considered processed is the noodles and you can make those yourself if you want to be COMPLETELY clean and have a lot of spare time on your hands! I have a pasta maker. I’m not quite a pro at using it yet so I will save myself the embarrassment and just use store bought penne pasta until I have correctly learned how to use it to create presentable noodles.

Enjoy!

Margarita Pasta
Serves 4
A delicious serving of pasta that is sauteed with homemade clean sauce over a hot stove.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  4. 2½ teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
  5. 5 roma or 2 cups of tomatoes, chopped
  6. ¼ cup tomatoes, chopped and slightly pureed (optional)
  7. ¼ cup fresh basil, sliced
  8. ½ cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta accordingly.
  2. In the meantime, using a large skillet combine olive oil and butter over med-high heat. Allow to cook, stirring frequently 1-2 minutes or until it begins to sizzle. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds, followed by tomatoes and basil. Allow to cook for 2 minutes so that juices combine well.
  3. When pasta is finished cooking and has been drained, add to skillet and stir well to mix. Add parmesan cheese and stir again. Serve immediately.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

4th of July Fruit Salad

 

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Running short on time during the busy holiday but need something to bring to a party? Use star shaped cookie cutters for watermelon and add red/blue colored fruit to give a fruit salad a patriotic look.

4th of July Fruit Salad
Serves 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 seedless watermelon
  2. 1 pint blueberries
  3. 1 pint strawberries
  4. 3 gala apples
  5. 1 pint raspberries
Fruit Dressing
  1. ¼ cup agrave or honey
  2. fresh lime juice
  3. 1 teaspoon lime zest
Instructions
  1. Combine all clean and prepped fruit into a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, lime juice and lime zest. Add to fruit bowl and stir well.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

 

Italian Sloppy Joes

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Italian sloppy joes. You know, for when you’re tired of the same ol’ sloppy joes recipe, or if you have a jar of marinara that you need to get rid of.

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Italian Sloppy Joes
Serves 4
The italian version of an old-fashioned sloppy joe, cheese included.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1lb ground turkey
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 onion, diced
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  6. 2 cups marinara sauce
  7. 4 hoagies or italian buns
  8. 4 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
  9. parsley for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and allow to saute for 5 minutes. Add ground turkey, oregano seasoning and cook until browned. Drain excess grease in a strainer.
  2. Add marinara sauce and lower heat to simmer, cooking for an additional 8-10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
  3. Meanwhile, set the oven to broil. Arrange 4 hoagies on a baking sheet. When meat sauce is thick enough, add 4-5 tablespoons full and fill hoagie bun. Add shredded cheese on-top and cook until cheese has melted.
  4. Remove from oven and add bun to top. Serve immediately.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Yoga Tuesday

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I’m convinced that everyone could use a little yoga in their life, be it for meditation reasons, to tone up, or to help cope with minor illnesses. If you research enough, you’ll find there’s a yoga pose for everything and the health benefits are a few pages long.

For my Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays I will be doing yoga sessions either early in the morning or later in the evening depending on at what point I do my 45 minute session on the elliptical. These are my off HIIT days and I would like to use those to concentrate more on tone and balance; something I desperately need.

Now I am by no means a yoga expert. Everything is always a learning experience, especially when it comes to our own physical bodies and the extent of what they can do. For the first week of summer sweat sessions, these are the following poses I will be doing. Feel free to jot them down if you’d like to give them a try – all of them are beginners poses and fairly easy to do!

Yoga Exercises: Session 1
Child’s Pose – Example, Example 2
Cat Pose – Example 
Cow Pose – Example
Downward Dog – Example
Halfway Lift – Example 
Mountain Pose – Example

Yoga Exercises: Session 2
Forward Bend – Example 
Halfway Lift – Example, Example 2
Chaturanga – Example
Up Dog – Example
Downward Dog 
Halfway Lift 
Forward Bend
Mountain Pose 

Skinny Lasagna Roll-ups

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While making up my weekly menu this past Sunday, I realized that I use a lot of ground turkey and chicken breasts and not enough pasta. I’m sure it doesn’t seem that way from the recipes I have posted so far in this little corner of mine, but because most pasta revolves around cheese and cheese makes some of us in this household sick; I really try to avoid it as much as I really can. It’s crazy how many recipes involve a lot of cheese, especially some of my favorites. I just cross my fingers that it’ll be a side dish at a family party…

(Hashbrown Casserole)

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My husband is in the middle of a juice cleanse, so I snuck these Skinny Lasagna Roll-ups into this week’s dinners since it’s just the kids and I eating whole foods. They’re an easy prep and they’re cute. Plus they reheat well the next day if you want to take one along with you to work.

And you never know…you may never want to go back to the traditional lasagna cooking way again.

Skinny Lasagna Rollups
Serves 4
Lasagna on the go? It could be. Individual lasagna roll ups are not only cute, but they make your favorite pasta dinner a little less messy.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 16-ounces lasagna noodles
  2. 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
  3. 15-ounce skim milk ricotta cheese
  4. ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
  5. ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  6. 1 large egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add lasagna noodles to a large boiling pot of water. Cook according to package and drain in a strainer while rinsing with cold water when noodles are throughly cooked.
  2. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce over the bottom of a 9x13 casserole pan so that it is just slightly covered. Set aside.
  3. Using a medium size mixing bowl, add ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and egg. Whisk well until combined.
  4. To fill lasagna noodles, place each individually across a large plate. Use a spoonful of cheese mix and thinly spread across entire noodle. Gently roll up until you've reached the end of the noodle. Add seam-side down to 9x13 casserole pan. Repeat with each lasagna noodle until you've run out of pan room or noodles.
  5. Cover casserole pan with foil overtop and add to oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and return to bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve 2-3 rollups per plate.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Easy Sesame Noodle Bowl

We’re in the process of moving here shortly. Movin’ for the most part is fun because you’re either getting your own place, upgrading to a bigger home or about to live in a whole new city/state. We bought a home, had it gutted and added on additional square feet so it’s basically a brand new build. That makes it twice as exciting. But the packing up is not exciting at all. You don’t realize how much junk you own until it’s time to divide between what to box up and what to throw away. I guess that’s why most hoarders don’t move.

Inbetween packing this week, I will be spending a few hours here and there at the local pool to get some vitamin d for my pale skin. I have planned a easy sesame noodle bowl for my lunch and while some would prefer such a meal hot, I will be eating my chilled from sitting inside a portable cooler. Still same taste, but the being served cold will definitely help a cool down from the heat – it’s in the 90’s this week!

Easy Sesame Noodle Bowl
Serves 8
An easy meal made in 15 minutes tops that can be served cold or hot and with or without vegetables.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 12-ounces lo-mein egg noodles, cooking accordingly
  2. 4 green onions, sliced thin
  3. ¼ cup soy sauce
  4. 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  5. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  7. 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  8. 4 tablespoons canola oil
  9. snap peas, optional
  10. cabbage slices, optional
  11. green pepper slices, optional
  12. diced cucumber, optional
Instructions
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. In the meantime, cut green onions. When noodles have finished cooking, drain in strainer. Using a large bowl, add noodles and set aside.
  2. Add remaining sauce ingredients into a medium size bowl. Whisk well and pour into large bowl of noodles and green onions. Use a large spoon or tongs to combine noodles and sauce well.
  3. Sprinkle with green onions and any additionally vegetables you like.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/