This Weekend

This weekend was a long weekend (woohoo). Having Monday off is always appreciated and allows you to get some more time off to do what you love.

This weekend was spent catching up with a few friends, reading, baking and relaxing.

breakfast

Enjoyed this breakfast on the porch this morning. It includes the muffins I made Saturday night. Delicious and filling!! Click here for the banana oat muffin recipe.

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Picked up from froyo to beat the heat. Vanilla with strawberries and peanut butter crunch! My favorite summer snack. What’s your go-to summer snack?

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Going along with my goal to eat more veggies, I prepared this plate for lunch with some dip.

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Little quote I came across. It’s now the background on my phone so that I can always be reminded to enjoy the moment.  Most of us spend our days thinking about yesterday and tomorrow, we can’t forget about today!

Here are couple of interesting links I found:

How to sleep better

9 last minute dinner ideas

Love this summer manicure video

Love this beach style

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Energizing Grapefruits

One of my favorite fruits is the good old grapefruit. I love having them at breakfast time as I feel that they give me that much more energy to make it through the day. They’re also incredibly refreshing and make for a great summer snack!

The grapefruit also has a number of health benefits. Therefore, they are a quick and easy way to get some important nutrients. 

Benefits:

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Smooths your skin 
  • Boosts metabolism (Woohoo)
  • Firms skin

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These are great reasons to be eating your grapefruit in the morning! Have them with a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt and granola and you’re good to go!

Information taken from here

 

Happy Father’s Day

I spent my Father’s Day time driving my dad around the golf course while he played a couple of holes last night. Which was beautiful. I don’t really enjoy the actual game of golf (used to play when I was little) as it is a little bit too slow for me. However, I do admit I love being on the course. Very peaceful and beautiful scenery.

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I also decided I would cook something up for dinner. And I know what you’ll all be thinking, that I just made pizza, HOWEVER, when I found this recipe for doughless pizza I knew I had to give it a try. I used Lauren Conrad’s recipe here.

Now…Here is my verdict on the whole thing. I would like to emphasize that this recipe is not necessarily that much healthier. You are in fact saving on the carbs but there is a lot of cheese and oil. So if you’re trying to cut your carbs, go ahead. But if you’re trying to cut calories, I don’t think it makes a huge difference. Which is why I am going to suggest a few changes to the recipe. Here is what I would do the next time around, which there will be, because don’t get me wrong the recipe is DELICIOUS and definitely satisfies your pizza craving. However it is a little bit too heavy.

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  • Cut down on the cheese. the recipe calls for 1 cup but I think I will be putting a little bit less next time around. Also try to use low fat mozzarella.
  • Do not use a whole head of cauliflower, otherwise most of it will got to waste. Use part of the cauliflower head, maybe 1/3.
  • Do not use salt. The recipe calls for salt, however, I think there is already enough salt in the rest of the ingredients to make up for it. You don’t need to worry about it being flavorless.
  • When you brush the olive oil on the flattened “dough“, only brush it along the edges to make them harder and crispier. It isn’t necessary to brush it all over as it is already quite greasy with the cheese.
  • Do use a lot of cheese as a pizza topping, only sprinkle on a little bit as there is enough in the crust.

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If you make this recipe let me know how you’ve adjusted it to your tastes or if you know of a substitute for all the cheese!

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I Scream, You Scream

As promised, last night I made the dairy-free Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream that I had said I was going to make in this post.

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I was a little apprehensive at first because I didn’t like the smell of the coconut milk. However, once it finally froze I must say I do really like it! It’s a light and refreshing treat. Very easy and inexpensive to make. I would say that it’s more of a sorbet. Perfect for a summer BBQ and very healthy as there is no sugar! Definitely POT approved!

I changed the recipe a little bit by adding a tiny bit of almond milk and a couple of drops of vanilla because I was worried about the coconut milk.  However, I don’t think it really made a difference but try it out if you like!

I’m sure you could also make this recipe with frozen mangoes and/or other fruits.

Click here for post with recipe.

What’s on My List?

Here are a couple of recipes I’ve come across that are on my list of things to make in the upcoming weeks. they all seem pretty quick and simple.  Try them before me and let me know how they turn out!

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I’ll be making these banana oat muffins to bring to work this week! Check them out here.

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These look like a really easy snack! Check them out here

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Definitely trying this out this weekend! Click here for the recipe.

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Haven’t gotten around to trying this whole kale fad yet but I plan to get on board soon. Check out this single skillet black bean, sweet potato and kale dish from Goop here.

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Here’s a recipe for an avocado, shrimp, rice and cilantro dish. I think I’ll try replacing the rice for Quinoa. Check it out here.

Which will you try?

Grow a Garden

Sometimes when you’re too busy to prepare an elaborate meal, taking advantage of the wide selection of herbs and spices available are just what you need. Not only is using herbs to flavor your meal quick, it’s also very good for you. Check out this article in health magazine to find out what each of them are good for.

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Stir Fry in Minutes

Vegetable and Beef Stir Fry

Stir fry’s are one of my go-to dinners. They are an easy way to use left over vegetables in your fridge. You can throw just about anything in them. They’re healthy and they’re quick. What more could you ask for?

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Ingredients:

  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Green onions
  • Onions
  • Sprouts
  • Garlic
  • Beef strips
  • Hot Sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sesame Seeds
  • 1 egg

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Heat your pan with olive oil and some chopped up garlic. Start by cooking the carrots if you are using them as they take the longest to start cooking. Add the other vegetables in order of longest to shortest cooking time.

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Next add your beef strips. You can cover your beef strips in a little bit of flour to prevent them from becoming too chewy. Also throw in some chopped green onions. At this point you can also stir in your sauce – Soy sauce and some sesame oil, sesame seeds and hot sauce. The sprouts should go in last as they take the least time to cook. At this point I would then crack an egg over the mix and stir it all together. If you do not choose to use an egg then your stir fry is ready! If you’d like you can serve it with rice.

Very quick and simple dinner. The longest part of it all is cutting up your vegetables. If you’re too lazy to do this (which I often am) or do not have any fresh produce on you, use a frozen mix of vegetables! I personally don’t like the frozen stir fry mixes persé because I think that some of the vegetables do not taste very good when they are frozen. So I usually go with a simple mix consisting of just carrots, peas, green beans, broccoli, corns or something along those lines.

Again this recipe is very versatile, adjust it to you’re personal taste.

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Sweet Potato and Carrot Goodness

Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

I know it’s summer and it’s warm out but who doesn’t love a good soup? It’s an easy way to eat your veggies! Here’s a favorite of mine that’s quick and inexpensive to make. Not to mention really healthy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • about a pound of carrots
  • low sodium chicken broth (if you don’t use low sodium you’re soup will be too salty)
  • thyme
  • salt & pepper to season

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First start by peeling the carrots and the sweet potato. Then cut everything up. Start boiling the chicken broth and then place the carrots and sweet potato in the chicken broth and let them cook. Make sure the chicken broth is covering the vegetables. The more broth, the soupier you’re soup will be. Throw in the thyme at the same time. Let everything cook for about about 20-30 minutes. Once the carrots and sweet potato pieces are soft start transfer the mix in batches into a blender and blend everything together until creamy. Keep doing this until everything is blended and then season with salt and pepper!

This recipe is very versatile, add an onion or garlic for more flavor if you prefer. If you do this cook the onion and/or garlic in a pan for a little bit beforehand. Don’t overcook the onion or it will be bitter. You can also adjust the texture of the soup. To make it creamier – add cream. To make it less thick – add water or more broth. Lastly, if you’re a vegetarian just use vegetable broth.

Now you are left with a very orange and delicious soup!

 

Bananas for Mangos

 

  

      

 Here is one of my regular morning favorites – soy mango banana smoothie. It has a mix of fruit and protein to give you the energy you need to get yourself through the day!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • Frozen mango chunks
  • vanilla soy milk
  • vanilla yogurt

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Comebine all the ingredients in a blender and there you have it – the perfect breakfast.

This past weekend

This past weekend I had a BBQ for my friends. I wanted to make a light and simple meal and here’s what I came up with…

Lemongrass and Coconut Shrimp Skewers

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Click here for the recipe

The recipe tells you to marinate the shrimp over night. If you have time, you can. However, I did not do this. I left them marinating for about an hour while I was cooking everything else. They were easy to make and didn’t take too long on the BBQ. Just make sure not to touch your eyes after cutting the jalapeno!

Roasted Seasoned Potatoes

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These are my ultimate no-fail go-to. I make them all the time! All you have to do is:

Buy a bag of small potatoes, both yellow and red are best. Next, chop them up in the halves or quarters. Add olive oil, Italian herbs, dill, thyme, red pepper flakes, oregano, and garlic powder, salt and pepper. I love putting a lot of the thyme, Italian herbs and oregano. If you’re missing any of these spices, don’t worry about it, it’ll still taste great.  Mix everything up and put them in the oven at 425 C for about 20 minutes, flipping them after 10 minutes. Easy peasy! You can also do the same with sweet potatoes for an even healthier option.

Dried Cranberries, Nuts and Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad

Ingredients:

  • Spring Mix
  • Corn
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Dried cranberry and nut mix
  • Feta
  • Raspberry vinaigrette

Toss everything together and you have a delicious, nutritious salad!

Lastly, I made a healthier version of everyone’s all-time favorite!

Low-fat Mock-a-Mole

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This is a really easy recipe from Bethenny Frankel. Click here for the recipe. P.S. It has a secret ingredient that helps increase your fiber intake!

Everything took about an hour and a half from start to finish. Not too bad for a delicious meal for the girls!