the best pineapple salsa

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Oh baby, have I got the salsa for you. Sweet caramelized pineapple, cooked low and slow with mild bell pepper and juicy tomatoes, all blended together with just the right amount of lime and cilantro. It may look like mush, but this is one mush you’re gonna want to put on everything. I used it on my crusted mahi tacos (recipe to come!).

Sweet Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pineapple, cored and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes
  • juice from 1 lime
  • cilantro

In a cast iron skillet (or regular nonstick pan) over medium heat, cook pineapple chunks and yellow bell pepper until they begin to turn golden brown(you may need to add a splash or two of water to the mix if too dry and the pineapple isn’t caramelizing well). Throw in cherry tomatoes and continue to cook until their skin blisters. Let cool.

Add pineapple, pepper, and tomato mix to a blender. Add in the juice of 1 lime and desired amount of cilantro (I like to go light on the cilantro, just a few tablespoons for me). Pulse until salsa is well blended, but still thick. Serve in salsas, eat with chips, whatever your heart desires.

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paleo tortillas

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Made these paleo tortillas yesterday and they were a hit! They’re really easy to make, come together in a snap, and are sturdy enough wrap everything up without busting at the seams. Flour and corn tortillas are tasty, but can cause some serious inflammation inside the body. These tortillas leave out all those inflammatory grains by using tapioca flour or arrowroot and coconut flour. Don’t think you have to go out for your way to find these ingredients though! You can find them all right in your local Shopright down the baking aisle.

Makes 10-12 small tortillas

Ingredients:

  • 8 large eggs
  • 4 tsp olive oil (or melted ghee)
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 cup arrowroot or tapioca flour
  • 4 tsp coconut flour
  • pinch of sea salt

Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk in the olive oil or melted ghee and water. Add the dry ingredients – tapioca flour, coconut flour, and salt – and beat well to combine.

In a small ungreased nonstick skillet over medium heat, pour in roughly 1/4 cup of the batter (I used a 1/4 cup scoop to make things easy), and immediately roll it around to evenly coat the bottom of the skillet. The tortilla should start to pull away from the edges as it cooks. Cook for roughly 1 minute and flip (the tortilla should be easy to flip when ready). Cook for another minute on the other side.

If saving your tortillas for later, cool completely and store tightly wrapped in an airtight container. You can even freeze a batch of these and thaw later. AND if you want these tortillas to serve as a vessel for some sweeter fillings add 1/2 tsp of vanilla to the batter.

Recipe from The Performance Paleo Cookbook

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herb citrus chicken

This chicken is bitchin’. It’s flavorful and fall-off-the-bone tender. Goodluck not taking seconds.

Herb Citrus ChickenIMG_5491

Serves 4-6 with leftovers

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar (or honey)
  • 3 whole lemons, 2 juiced and 1 sliced
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 1.5 tablespoon italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • dried parsley, basil, oregano
  • sea salt and crushed black pepper
  • Roughly 24 pieces bone in chicken parts (2 packs drumsticks & 2 packs thighs), pat dry
  • 1 medium onion, thin sliced
  • 2 tsp dried thyme, or fresh chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoon dried rosemary, or fresh chopped

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl or directly into a large gallon ziplock bag mix together olive oil, garlic, agave, lemon juice, orange juice, italian seasoning, paprika, onion powder, crushed red pepper, and a healthy dose of dried parsley, basil, oregano, sea salt, and black pepper to your liking. (the herb amounts all depend on how herby you want your chicken. I just added a few shakes of each).
  2. Place chicken and olive oil mix into the large gallon ziplock, mix around, and allow to marinade for a few hours, up to overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Place chicken in two 13 x 9 inch glass baking dishes, distributing chicken and all the marinating juices evenly. Arrange slices of lemon and onion around and on top of chicken.
  5. Sprinkle generously with the thyme and rosemary if you’d like even more herb flavor (optional)
  6. Bake for 1 hour, uncovered, or until chicken is cooked and juices run clear.
  7. Remove from oven, serve it all up and chow down!

You can make this recipe with chicken breasts instead of parts the exact same way, but only bake for 30-40 minutes instead of an hour. This chicken is great with a nice big salad or vibrant green broccoli and brown rice.

smooth operator

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, smoothies and shakes are something we all need to be careful with. It’s just so easy to overdo it. Too much protein: you’re gonna pee it out or store it as fat. Too many carbohydrates and simple sugars from fruit or sweeteners: you’re gonna spike your blood sugar and store those carbohydrates as fat. We get a whole lot of benefit from eating our foods whole.

She had a terrible day, but now she's happy because smoothie.

She had a terrible day, but now she’s happy because smoothie.

Smoothies are, however, a great way to get protein, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats all in one glass. Not to mention that smoothies are easy for everyone to digest, both figuratively and literally.

Shakes and smoothies are especially helpful for athletes working to put on muscle mass or for recovery after intense workouts. The best time to provide our bodies with quick digesting nutrients in the form of a shake or smoothie is immediately post workout. Use these smoothies to get the nutrients you need after your WOD (within 30 minutes to an hour after aka your window of gainz).

Smoothie Recipes:

Go Hearty

  • 1 cup milk (your choice)
  • ½ cup rolled oats or steel cut oats
  • 1 banana
  • 2-3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ cup liquid egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 5-6 oz. vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup ice

Directions: Add all ingredients to a blender. Turn on and blend until smooth

 

Go Green

  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • ½ small avocado
  • 1/3 banana
  • ¼ cup pineapple
  • 3 strawberries
  • handful of spinach
  • ¼ cup water
  • ice for desired thickness

Optional:

  • ¼ cup uncooked steel cut oats
  • ½ celery stick

Directions: Add all ingredients to a blender. Turn on and blend until smooth

 

Go Simple

  • 1 scoop whey protein
  • 8 oz. unsweetened almond milk
  • ¾ cup berries
  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chia or flax seed

Directions: Add all ingredients to a blender. Turn on and blend until smooth

Smoothie recipes adapted from bodybuilding.com

 

Perfect Prepping

I did some prepping this past weekend. Took the trip to Whole Foods, spent my Saturday chopping and dicing and organizing, and then got to enjoy my week without all the food hassle that comes along with packing lunches and scrambling for snacks. It’s been smooth sailing and I wanted to share some of the methods to my prepping madness. Here’s what I did:

  • Made a salad mix:
    • I bought mixed greens (I make my own blend of romaine, mixed, and spinach), a variety of colored peppers, carrots, red cabbage, and cucumbers. I chop them all up and put them in a big container together.IMG_5413
  • Made brown rice & quinoa:
    • Nothing fancy here, just bought some no-gmo basmati brown rice and tri-color quinoa, cooked some of each, and stored them in two separate containers in the fridge to grab whenever I need some healthy carbs in a pinch. They are perfect for salad toppers too!IMG_5410
  • Made snack baggies
    • I put together little snack baggies that I could grab in the morning and stuff in my lunch box so I’m never too hungry during the day. I made carb baggies: few with mixed berries (fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries) and a few with some fresh cherries. I made healthy fat baggies: a few trail mix baggies (roasted unsalted nuts, unsweetened coconut flakes, and a little dried fruit). And a few protein baggies: two hardboiled eggs in a some baggies.IMG_5414
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
    • Having some diced or whole roasted sweet potatoes in the fridge is another essential grab for me. I can take a hunk smothered in cinnamon and almond butter to have with my snack or throw some on my salad. They taste just as good in a cold salad as they do when you make them hot!IMG_5411
  • Got my meats.
    • At the Whole Foods deli, they had thin sliced skirt steak they wrap up like deli meat that I bought for my first few lunches. You can also get chicken like that here!
  • Other ideas include portioning out nut butters or hummus into small containers to grab and go with, make a batch of chicken or tuna salad, grill up some chicken breasts for high quality protein in your lunches, make your own dressing (I like to keep it simple with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, and some chia seeds)

Now that you’re all prepped, here are two killer salads you can make for lunch or dinner using leftovers and the stuff you’ve got in your fridge that take under 10 minutes to throw together on your way out the door.

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Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2 cups salad & veggie base mix
  • 4 oz sliced and diced skirt steak
  • 1/4 cup quinoa (or sub brown rice)
  • 1/6 of an avocado, diced
  • handful roasted red peppers, chef’s cut
  • 1 Tablespoon roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1 Tablespoon craisins
  • Dressing (I used roughly 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, pinch salt and pepper and oregano, 1/4 tsp chia seeds all shaken together)

Directions:

Throw all the ingredients except for the dressing into your to-go container or a large bowl. You can layer it pretty or mix everything all up so it’s more evenly distributed. Top with your dressing and eat immediately or close it up and bring your dressing to top it when it’s time to chow down.

 

Go-To Salmon SaladIMG_5444

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2 cups salad and veggie base mix
  • 4 oz leftover salmon filet
  • 1/4 cup quinoa (or brown rice)
  • 1 Tbsp craisins
  • 1/6 avocado, diced
  • almonds & cashews
  • Dressing (I used roughly 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, pinch salt and pepper and oregano, 1/4 tsp chia seeds all shaken together)

Directions: 

Throw all the ingredients except for the dressing into your to-go container or a large bowl. You can layer it pretty or mix everything all up so it’s more evenly distributed. Top with your dressing and eat immediately or close it up and bring your dressing to top it when it’s time to chow down.

balsamic glazed salmon

Balsamic and salmon go together perfectly. Make dinner time effortlessly decadent with a sweet balsamic glaze made with minimal sugar that takes no time at all. We ate ours with that zucchini ribbon salad!

- from cooking classy. I only drizzled the glaze over instead of covering the salmon, but we ate all ours before I snapped a picture

– from cooking classy. I only drizzled the glaze over instead of covering the salmon, but we ate all ours before I snapped a picture

Ingredients:

for the balsamic glaze

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 Tbsp agave
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, fine minced

for the salmon

  • 2 lbs salmon, cut into 4-6 oz filets
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • olive oil

Directions:

Take out your salmon and allow it to rest at room temperature. Preheat your grill.

In a medium saucepan, mix all the ingredients for the glaze. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce becomes thick and reduces to about 1/3 cup. This’ll take about 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Rub salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay, skin side up, on the grill. Cook salmon on open grill for roughly 3 minutes or until the filets have some beautiful golden brown hashmarks and come off the grill easily without sticking. Flip over to skin side down and continue to cook until done, roughly another 3-5 minutes.

Remove from grill, drizzle with that glaze and eat up.

 

Adapted from: cooking classy

zucchini ribbon salad

Summer is coming. Fire up the grill. Pick up some fresh zucchini. Make an awesome salad that will convince your friends that you’re a master of all things grilled, fresh, and delicious. Eat said salad. Repeat.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 small – medium zucchini
  • 2-3 handfuls greens ( I used a baby chard, arugula, spinach mix)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2-4 oz cheese (I used a sheep’s milk cheese similar to gorgonzola in flavor, feta would be delicious as would parmesan)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • dijon mustard
  • crushed garlic
  • crushed red pepper
  • salt & crushed black pepper

Directions:

Preheat your grill. With a vegetable peeler, cut thin lengthwise “ribbons” of your zucchini. You could also use a mandolin to make the long thin strips. Massage the ribbons with some olive oil. Lay on your grill until cooked and you get some beautiful golden brown grate marks. Remove and set in a bowl.

To make your dressing mix 3 parts extra virgin olive oil to one part red wine vinegar. Whisk in 1-2 tsp dijon mustard, 1 crushed garlic clove, and some crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper to taste.

Toss your grilled zucchini ribbons with the greens, toasted pine nuts, crumbled cheese, and a few tablespoons of dressing.

We ate our salad with some grilled salmon (recipe to follow) and a hearty serving of roasted sweet potatoes!