Go-to Salad…

Lately I have been on a major salad kick!  The great thing about salads is that you can basically add anything you want to fit your particular cravings.  I always seem to go through periods of eating a lot of the same thing and then switching to something different, before I was eating a vegan diet I was eating a lot of salads but then I stopped because I was having a hard time finding dressings without any dairy products.  Then I realized on of my families standby dressing mixes was dairy-free and could be made with lower fat as well.

To start with the salad I usually go with organic mixed baby greens and then top with whatever veggies I have on hand.  Pictured below I topped the greens with 1/4c of quinoa, cucumber, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and half an avocado.  Some other great toppings I use are chopped pecans, black beans, salsa, and even homemade guacamole!  If you eat meat you can use grilled chicken, ground turkey, anything you feel like!IMG_0070 IMG_0075 This is the salad dressing that we love using, you buy the seasoning packets and then you can make them fresh at home and just keep it in your refrigerator.  We use extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and water then you simply add the seasoning and shake it up!  It takes like two seconds and is super easy and has a really great flavor.  IMG_0076 So if you read the preparation instructions it shows a low-fat option and we usually use a little more than 1/4c of water and less oil and the dressing still taste delicious and has a lot of flavor.  IMG_0077 IMG_0080 You can make this dressing in really any container that you have in your kitchen we have even made it in a ziplock container before because we don’t have a specific salad dressing bottle but a mason jar would also be another great option.  We have a bunch of blender bottles so we just use one of those and its great because you can easily pour it right onto your salad. IMG_0078

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Salads are a great way to increase the amount of veggies you are eating but they don’t have to be boring you can pretty much add whatever you want to switch up the texture and taste!  Just make sure to measure out your dressing so that you aren’t adding tons of extra calories to a really nutritious waist friendly meal!

xo Meg

 

Couscous…

I am in love with this ancient grain, it is a nice change from quinoa and rice and goes perfectly with veggies!  This is super easy to make because you put it in a pot with water and let it absorb all of the water until it is light and fluffy.  For 1 cup of couscous it is about 176 calories with less than 1 gram of fat and about 6 grams of protein depending on the particular brand you purchase.
IMG_7250 IMG_7242 For this dish I started by cooking the couscous with water and followed the instructions on the package.  Next I sautéed some red onion with a little extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Next I tossed in some zucchini and the juice of one lemon.  You could add chicken, steak, or any other veggie that you have on hand and it would be delicious!  IMG_7243 IMG_7244 IMG_7248This dish is pretty low in calories and would make a perfect side dish if you are eating meat I would just cut the portion to maybe half a cup instead of a full cup.  The lemon added the perfect kick to the dish and to top it off I added a little bit of a ripe avocado and it was so good I can’t wait to make it again! This was super easy and you could use a variety of different ingredients and flavors to suit your families taste buds!

xo Meg

Vegan Chili…

This recipe turned out soo good I seriously can’t wait to make it again!  My husband wanted me to make him a big pot of chili so that we could freeze some for him to take for lunches later in the month. So I figured I would try and come up with something that didn’t have meat, but still was filling and tasted like chili!

I looked through our fridge to see what we had that I could throw together and  this is what I came up with.  It really is so simple and you can change up the ingredients to really whatever veggies you have on hand.  We always keep taco and chili seasoning packets in our pantry so these are really quick meals when you are in a rush or don’t know what else to make!

Recipe

1 Packet Low Sodium Chili Seasoning

1T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Can Tomato Sauce

1 Can Diced or Crushed Tomatoes

1 Small Butternut Squash

1 Green Pepper

1/2 Can Black Beans

1/2 Can Kidney Beans (can sub with your fave)

Brown Rice

Steps:

  1. Sautee the veggies in olive oil until they have a little color and start to soften
  2. Add in your tomato products and stir on medium heat
  3. Drain and add in all of the beans
  4. Stir in your Chili Seasoning
  5. Turn Heat to Low and cook for about 30 minutes or until the butternut squash is soft
  6. Serve over brown rice and enjoy!

Approximate Calorie Count

1 cup Chili = 220 calories

1/2 cup Minute Brown Rice Cooked = 112 Calories

Total: 332 Calories


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IMG_5869 IMG_5871 IMG_5873IMG_5885This is now one of my fave meals and it could not be any easier!  If you do eat meat you could easily add in ground turkey, chicken, or beef and it would be a great way to incorporate more veggies into your diet!

xo Meg

Roasted Veggies…

I mentioned in a previous post that we have been subscribing to our local farm to table program and we get tons of fresh veggies every week one very easy way to make them is to just cube everything up and roast it in the oven until they are golden brown or tender. I love doing this because I can throw them in and forget about them for like 30 minutes and finish doing other things or concentrate on the rest of dinner. I usually always cook everything on the stove top but this is so much easier and a super easy clean up if you use foil on your pan you just throw it out with no mess!

The great thing about roasting veggies is that it pretty much works for any type of veggie or you can combine them together which I love doing. This is a great way to eat tons of different colors and eat healthy. Obviously you can pair these with anything from fish to steak and they always taste amazing even if you just use salt and pepper. The combination of flavors are endless!

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Butternut Squash and Eggplant I served this over whole grain pasta with marinara, the most delish combination!

Make sure to eat your veggies!

xo Meg

 

Kelsey’s Eggplant Parm…

This recipe is so delicious and full credit for it goes to my youngest sister Kelsey! She made this for me the first time about a year ago and I can’t get enough of it! It is a super simple meal to make but it is so delicious! I was so surprised when she first made it for us, I had never really seen her cook before and it seriously is so amazing, she did a great job!

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When I was at the grocery store I was in search of fresh veggies that we haven’t tried before. I came across purple potatoes and this really cool zebra striped eggplant! I thought that they looked beautiful and they were delicious as well! They both tasted just like the normal versions but its fun to switch it up every now and then!

The first step would be to wash your veggies and then slice up the eggplant into equal sized slices so that they cook evenly.  Then pre-heat your oven, dip each slice into an egg white and then bread with Italian breadcrumb.  Place slices on a baking sheet and bake for ten minutes.  At the ten minute mark take the tray out and flip each slice and continue baking for ten more minutes.  When the second ten minutes are up take out the eggplant and start to assemble the slices with tomato sauce and cheese and then place back in the oven at 400 degrees and wait for the cheese to get nice and bubbly!  Once the cheese melts your are all done!  You can serve this with whole grain pasta or a fresh salad.

When I made this I measured everything out to my specific calorie needs for the day so I used a 1/2 cup of sauce and 1/4 c of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 c of the breadcrumbs. This is a delicious meal and even though I didn’t eat it with pasta I was so full! The recipe will be to feed 2-3 but you can make as much as you want!

I used Rao’s Marinara Sauce which my sister insist upon using with this recipe!  If you don’t want to make your own sauce and want something really quick that you can pick up at most grocery stores.  I highly recommend this sauce it is so delicious and great regular pasta and we even make homemade pizzas with it!

Recipe

1 Large Eggplant

1/2 c Italian Breadcrumbs

1 Egg White

1-1.5 c Marinara Sauce

1/2 c Shredded Mozerella Cheese

4 T Grated Parmigano Cheese

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Thanks kel love ya!!

xo Meg

My go-to breakfast….

I eat breakfast every single day!  I think it truly is the most important meal of the day, it literally breaks your fast from the night before and helps to fuel you through the rest of your day.  Typically if I have time I will make a variation of the same meal but just mix up the ingredients.  As of right now I am still using MyFitness Pal to calculate all of my calories since I am still not at my goal weight which I will do a post on later!  I usually try and keep my breakfast around 300 calories which will provide me with enough energy to get through my workout and not be completely starving until lunch.  I have found that for me personally protein specifically from egg whites combined with oatmeal keeps me full for a long time and gives me tons of energy!

For some reason no matter how hard I try the egg whites out of the carton just don’t cook the same as real eggs so I usually use large brown eggs and just save the yolks for a treat for my pup.  As for the oatmeal I always buy Bob’s Redmill which is my fave because it is thicker than your traditional oatmeal and doesn’t taste like paste when you cook it.  My whole family thinks I am so weird for how I eat my oats, but I like to chew them not eat them like soup!

I always do between 5-6 egg whites and mix in any type of veggies that I have in my fridge, my faves are mini-bella mushrooms, red onion, spinach, and tomatoes.  I always top it with half an avocado instead of adding cheese into the omelet.  The calories are about the same but I feel like you are getting more vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats from the avocado compared to a slice of american cheese.

For the oats I always measure 1/3 of a cup and make them with water, you could also sub unsweetened almond milk as well.  Then you can really mix in whatever toppings you want, I always do at least cinnamon and Truvia.  Some of my other faves are banana, almond slivers, blueberries, and pb2.  The possibilities are endless!

We have been traveling a lot the past month and these are two really easy things to make and pack with you if you are going to be in the car for a long time.  Our trips back to PA top out around 10 hours!  I always try to pack healthy options so that I don’t cave to my Chick-Fil-A cravings even though they do have some healthy options which ill write about later!

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xo Meg