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
- 1 seedless watermelon
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 pint strawberries
- 3 gala apples
- 1 pint raspberries
- ¼ cup agrave or honey
- fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- Combine all clean and prepped fruit into a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together honey, lime juice and lime zest. Add to fruit bowl and stir well.
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.
Italian Sloppy Joes
The italian version of an old-fashioned sloppy joe, cheese included.
- 1lb ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 4 hoagies or italian buns
- 4 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
- parsley for garnish, optional
- 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.
- Add marinara sauce and lower heat to simmer, cooking for an additional 8-10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
- 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.
- Remove from oven and add bun to top. Serve immediately.
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
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…
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
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.
- 16-ounces lasagna noodles
- 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
- 15-ounce skim milk ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 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.
- Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce over the bottom of a 9x13 casserole pan so that it is just slightly covered. Set aside.
- Using a medium size mixing bowl, add ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and egg. Whisk well until combined.
- 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.
- 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.
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
An easy meal made in 15 minutes tops that can be served cold or hot and with or without vegetables.
- 12-ounces lo-mein egg noodles, cooking accordingly
- 4 green onions, sliced thin
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- snap peas, optional
- cabbage slices, optional
- green pepper slices, optional
- diced cucumber, optional
- 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.
- 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.
- Sprinkle with green onions and any additionally vegetables you like.
Lately I’ve been trying to swear off bread for the most part, but I’ve been constantly running into some really yummy sounding muffin recipes on Pinterest and it made it hard to resist baking some. Breakfast has always needed to be some sort of variety for me. I could never stick to a routine bowl-of-cereal breakfast day after day, week after week. And so I am unendingly searching and testing for new recipes for breakfast. Afterall, we do dedicate our Sunday night dinner to it as well!
I was pretty much sold on this recipe when I saw “chocolate chips” in the title. You can pass off just about any healthy ingredient when you’re adding chocolate chips as well. So if you have some picky eaters in your home, chances are they will still enjoy these muffins. I just leave the “banana” part out at first. You never know, they may not even figure out there’s bananas in there too.
Know what else is great? Each muffin is 170 calories, easily leaving room for that much needed cup of coffee in the morning. That made going off the bread edge for just this week even more worth it!
Not to mention how much I wish I could put into words just how delicious these muffins are. I guess the best way for you to understand would be to just bake a batch yourself. If you decide to, come back and let me know how they turned out!
Skinny Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Muffins
A healthy take on banana and chocolate muffins that are easily assembled and take as short as 20 minutes to bake. Plus kids love them!
- 1½ cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 ripe bananas
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using cooking spray, grease muffin tin well.
- Add dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt to a medium size mixing bowl. Whisk well.
- Using a blender, add banana, honey, vanilla, oil, egg, yogurt, and milk. Blend on high speed for 60 seconds. Add blender mix to medium bowl with dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, combine well. Next gently fold in chocolate chips.
- Add batter to muffin tin evenly and filling until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, depending on your oven. Check using a toothpick to see if they are throughly cooked through. If the toothpick comes out clean after you stick in the middle of muffin; they are ready to take out of the oven.
- Allow muffins to cool down momentarily before moving to a cooling rack. Serve warm.
- Muffins freeze for up to 3 months if needed. Just add them into a ziplock baggie and heat for 30 seconds in a microwave to thaw out when ready to eat.
Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen
Okay, so I know that today isn’t Tuesday and that’s usually when everyone enjoys their favorite day of the week because it’s tacos for dinner. But it is Friday and these can be considered pizzas; at least according to me that can.
Did anyone else use to order the Mexican Pizza from Taco Bell during their late teens/early twenties-my-metabolism-is-fantastic days? I miss them so much! I didn’t have refried beans in the pantry and forgot to grab them while at the grocery – so these aren’t my way of copying Taco Bell. I save that for a evening when the only person who enjoys beans in the house (me) will be the only person who will be enjoying beans on a flatbread (me again).
Until then! Enjoying this version, which is just as good by the way. If you want to drizzle some sour cream over-top yours, I suggest adding it to a little bowl along with a teaspoon of milk. It helps thin out the sour cream and keep the taste.
More pictures next time! I was in too big of a hurry to eat these.
Your favorite two meals mashed up into one. Does it get any better than that?!
- 1lb lean ground turkey
- 4 flatbreads
- 1 package of taco seasoning
- 4 tablespoons medium salsa
- 1½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- tomatoes, diced for garnish
- shredded lettuce, for garnish
- sour cream, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and add flatbreads. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, add ground turkey and cook until brown. Drain excess grease in a strainer and return to skillet. Add taco seasoning sauce accordingly to package and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes so ground turkey and seasoning are well combined.
- Add cheese evenly to each flatbread, followed by ground turkey. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes.
- When flatbreads are finished cooking, add a pinch of cheddar cheese to each, salsa, tomatoes, lettuce and sour cream. Serve immediately.
- For a crispier crust, add flatbreads directly to oven rack instead of using a baking sheet.
It’s watermelon season! And because so, I challenge you to make this salsa and serve it at your next party; be it the 4th of July or potluck. Just make sure not to tell your family and friends what’s in it at first! Chances are they won’t suspect those small delicious red cubes to be watermelon.
A sweet way to enjoy your favorite summer past-time snack. Don't let the watermelon fool you though, this salsa has quite the kick to it!
- 3 cups seedless watermelon, diced into small cubes
- 2 jalapenos, deseeded and diced
- ¼ cup red onion, minced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup lime juice
- pinch of salt
- Combine all ingredients into a medium size mixing bowl. Serve chilled with tortilla chips or baked cinnamon tortilla triangles.
I know that it’s the beginning of summer and it’s probably a little too hot outside for soup. Over 90 degrees too hot. I still don’t care. I’ve been craving some good ol’ slow-cooker chicken tortilla soup for some time now and this is the week I have it for dinner three days in a row since my husband is out of town.
I call this my favorite dump meal; because that’s basically what you’re doing – dumping all the ingredients into a slow-cooker. Other than shredded the chicken later on, there is no real effort needed to go into preparing this. You’d never guess that though by how good it tastes!
Southwestern Tortilla Soup
A flavorful soup that's easy to prep and cooks throughout the day, leaving your home smelling delicious.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 10-ounce can rotel
- 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 15-ounce can sweet corn, drained
- 1 package taco seasoning
- Add chicken breasts to to slow-cooker, followed by all other ingredients. Stir well to combine.
- Cook on low for 7 hours. Remove chicken from slow-cooker and shred into small pieces using two forks. Return to slow-cooker and cook for an additional hour.
- Serve with shredded cheese, lite sour cream and tortilla soups.
Quick lunch alert! It’s pool season and if you’re like me; you are attempting to not only eat healthy at all times, but also avoid the ridiculously overpriced pool food. I love pizza as much as the next person, so I have to remind myself how long it would take to burn those pizza calories off on the elliptical (it’s 60 minutes) each time I see a child walk by with a slice on their plate.
White Bean Tuna Salad is packed with protein and inexpensive to make. While all beans are low-calorie and cholesterol free; I used a can of Northern Beans because I know that in just a single cup there’s nearly 4 of iron. And that’s not the only benefit – they’re also a great source of dietary fiber, protein and potassium. Which makes the “did you get your beans in today?” phrase make sense.
White Bean Tuna Salad
A light take on a tuna and bean salad. This tastes great on it's on, on top of a slice of grain bread or crackers.
- 15-ounce can Northern Beans
- 5-ounce can chunk light tuna in water
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lite mayonnaise
- salt and pepper, for taste
- Rinse and drain beans using a colander. Set aside.
- Add can of tuna to a small bowl after draining excess juice in sink. Pat dry with a paper towel. Next, add beans to tuna followed by green onion slices, lemon juice, olive oil and mayonnaise. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper over-top and mix well.
- Chill in refrigerator momentarily before serving.