Prep Week

How do you plan to stay on track for the week? I have super BUSY weeks away from the house for long hours, so it helps to have healthy snacks and lunches prepared ahead of time.

This afternoon, I cut up a ton of raw veggies – to be paired with guacamole or hummus, made a homemade nut and berry trail mix, and tried out a new gluten free pasta salad for lunches.

Recipes for all below!

11178274_648988555240148_5045420273233801337_n

11178327_648988978573439_1045226065114620776_n

Fruit & Nut Trail Mix:
– dried mangos
– dried cranberries
– dried pineapple
– walnuts chopped
– raw almonds
– toasted coconut shavings

Grab a handful of each and mix together in a bowl. It made enough for a heaping 1/4 cup for 5 pre-prepped baggies.

Cookie Dough Energy Balls

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 11.15.06 AM

Total Time: 15 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 13 servings, 1 ball each

Ingredients:
½ cup all-natural almond butter
¼ cup raw honey
½ cup finely chopped raw almonds
2½ scoops Vanilla Shakeology
2 Tbsp. mini semi-sweet (or dark chocolate) chocolate chips

Preparation:
1. Combine almond butter, honey, almonds, Shakeology, and chocolate chips in a medium bowl; mix well.
2. Roll into thirteen balls, about 1-inch in diameter each.

Homemade Goodness for Cold & Flu Season

It’s that time of year again.

The kids are back in school and it is cold and flu season everywhere you look.

One of my personal favorite things growing up was a hot cup of soup when I was feeling under the weather. Back then, it was good ‘ol Campbell’s Chicken Noodle, but now as I have my own family, I have learned to make a few of my old favorites a little bit healthier.

Looking to make you sick kiddos something to eat when they are sick? Try out this recipe. It is quick, easy, AND healthy on their little tummies.

My 1 year old son, Hudson, LOVES his chicken noodle soup!

healthy-2

What is your favorite soup when you’re feeling under the weather?

Have a large family or want to have leftovers? I would definitely DOUBLE this recipe! That way you have plenty to go around.

See you next time!

XOXO, Ashley

Healthy Chicken, Broccoli, and Quinoa Casserole

Do you have fond memories of those deliciously rich and creamy casseroles your mom used to make when you were growing up? You know…..the ones with the cans of Cream of Chicken from Campbell’s? haha. Yeah me too!

Although delicious, they’re not the healthiest dishes for you. So, what I love to do now is take delicious recipes and make some substitutions to make it a yummier and healthier version.

Last night, I made this casserole for my husband and I and we loved the way it turned out! I even ate a couple spoonfuls for lunch today – zapped it in the microwave for 45-60 seconds and it was just as good as last night!

IMG_3088.JPG

Here’s the recipe I adapted so you can try it out for yourself. Let me know what you think.

PS. My husband (who has never liked quinoa) even went back for seconds on this dish! That’s a winner in my book! 🙂

This recipe serves around 6 people.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk (I used Organic 1% but you could also use Unsweetened regular Almond Milk too)
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ½ cup flour (I used gluten free flour)
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (I used the mixed ones)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning (I used an all-purpose seasoning)
  • ¼ cup shredded Gruyere cheese (Parmesan and a little feta is actually great too!)
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. SAUCE: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and generously grease a 9×13 baking dish (the stuff tends to stick so be real friendly with it). Bring the chicken broth and ½ cup milk to a low boil in a saucepan. Whisk the other ½ cup milk with the poultry seasoning and flour; add the mixture to the boiling liquid and whisk until a smooth creamy sauce forms.
  2. ASSEMBLE THE DISH: In a medium bowl, mix the sauce from step one, one cup water, quinoa, and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish. Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips and lay the chicken breasts strips over the top of the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with the seasoning, salt, and pepper. Bake uncovered for about 35 minutes.
  3. BROCCOLI: While the casserole is in the oven baking, place the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute until it turns bright green and then run under cold water. Set aside until ready to bake with the rest of the casserole.
  4. FINAL BAKE: Remove the casserole from the oven, and check the mixture by stirring it around in the pan, and if needed, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to get the right consistency. When the quinoa and chicken are cooked and the sauce is thickened, add the broccoli and a little bit of water (up to one cup) until the consistency is creamy and smooth and you can stir it up easily in the pan. Then, top with the cheese and bake for 5-7 minutes, or just long enough to melt and barely brown the cheese.

A few notes….

If the quinoa looks soft and like it has popped open, that means it is done!  You will see a little spiral. If your mixture is not absorbed enough, just bake a little longer until all that liquid is gone. No harm there! 🙂

Okay, now go enjoy baking a delicious dinner for your family!

XOXO, Ashley

 

Healthy Spinach, Bean, & Turkey Soup

Spinach, Bean, & TurkeySoup

Quick and easy is a MUST these days in the Smith household. Between working from home all day, changing what seems like a hundred diapers, breastfeeding every couple of hours, and cleaning the house……cooking dinner is often one of the last things on my mind until it gets to be well…dinnertime!

We all know that crock pot meals are quick, but sometimes I just hate the hassle of cleaning the pot after….I know, I know…call me lazy, but hey, I’m a new mom…that’s my excuse. 😉

So….what’s my solution to needing something quick on a fall evening? SOUP! If you know me, you know that I LOVE a good stew or soup! Pour all the ingredients in and BAM — you. are. done.

This recipe for my Spinach, Bean, and Turkey Soup is one of my new favorite concoctions. My kitchen is always stocked with cans of beans, diced tomatoes, low sodium chicken broth, spinach, ground turkey and other frozen meats. You can ALWAYS find something to make with those staples!

Tonight I wanted to use the last of my spinach and ground turkey that will go bad in a few days, so what better than a big pot of soup to end this rainy day off with?

Check out this protein-packed, healthy, and flavorful soup and let me know what you think!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

You can have this soup on the table for your family in 20 minutes flat! How’s that for a quick & healthy meal you can guarantee everyone will love?!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup bell peppers, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • a dash of red pepper (add more depending upon how much spice you want)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (Hunt’s or Rotel)
  • 1 can great northern beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 can black beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 2 bags baby spinach (this is about 9 ounces or so)
  • 1 carton of low-sodium chicken broth
  • fresh grated parmesan cheese (for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Brown the ground turkey with the garlic, black pepper, red pepper, onions, celery, and bell peppers. Cook through until the onions are translucent and celery and peppers are softened.
  2. Add in the rest of your seasonings (oregano and basil), as well as the diced tomatoes (pour the liquid in as well), and both cans of beans. Stir to combine.
  3. Lower your heat and add in the spinach (you can also use kale if you prefer). This will look like a lot, but put the top on and let it sit for 2 minutes. Take top off and stir a little to help the spinach continue to wilt. Keep stirring until all spinach is wilted and combined.
  4. Add your chicken broth, stir in, and raise your heat to medium again. Continue to cook soup until heated all the way through to a boil. This should be about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove soup from heat, scoop out about 2 cups per serving and top with a pinch of fresh parmesan cheese.
  6. Enjoy and share!

FullSizeRender 19