Healthy

roasted citrus salad

Revamp your salad game to keep from getting bored towards the end of a salad filled summer. Roasted caramelized oranges are just what you need to add depth and complexity to mundane salads. Pair them with the bitter tang of arugula and smooth avocado and you get a salad that’ll feel sinfully gourmet.

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Roasted Citrus & Avocado Salad

Serves 4-6

Adapted from bon appétit

Ingredients:

  • 2 large oranges, peeled and sliced, seeds removed *
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 small red onion, thin sliced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

Directions:

IMG_5736Preheat your oven to 425′ F. Toss your citrus slices with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast your citrus, flipping occasionally, until you get a light char and a caramelized sweet scent (10-15 minutes). Let cool. **

 

Meanwhile, combine your onion and lemon juice in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, this will soften and mellow out the flavor of your onions.

In a large serving bowl, combine arugula, romaine, cucumbers, avocado, and roasted citrus. Pour onions and lemon juice over greens. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Toss to coat

 

* Don’t feel like you’re limited to oranges here. If you’ve got blood oranges or love the taste of grapefruit try those! You could even do lemons for more flavor.

** Feel free to make your oranges ahead of time and keep in the fridge. They stayed pretty nicely for me and were in the fridge all day.

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We ate this tasty little salad with some tangy korean ribs and potato salad (recipes to come), but it was great with some pesto chicken salad the next day too!

 

 

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olive oil mayo

Are you a mayo lover? Do you despise mayo with a deep-seated fiery passion? Either way, I need you to throw out everything you think about mayo right now and try this insanely easy, no added garbage, fresh made olive oil mayo. Theres no industrial vegetable oils in this stuff, just healthy fats that can be spiced up and added to give those healthy dishes of yours the fun kick they need.

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Olive Oil Mayo

Makes roughly 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp light tasting olive oil**
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large egg

Directions:

In a blender, combine 1/4 cup of your olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and the egg. Cover the blender and let these ingredients come to room temperature for 20-30 minutes (this will allow the ingredients to fully form the emulsion you need).

Run the blender on low for 30 seconds, then remove the insert from the lid and begin to drizzle the rest of the olive oil in. POUR SLOWLY in a thin stream (not too fast, not too slow) and increase blender speed from low to medium. Keep pouring slowly until all the oil is integrated.

Scoop out into a container and store in the fridge. The mayo will last you until the egg’s marked expiration date.

** Note: definitely use the light tasting olive oil. The regular stuff is too potent and will overpower your mayo.

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Recipe from The Performance Paleo Cookbook

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.

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.

Healthy Heckling

Healthy can be daunting. We get the impression that we need to be on top of our game all the time, that we need to cook every meal, that we can’t eat out, that we can’t enjoy ourselves with our friends. I’m gonna put an end to that notion right here, right now. I am a student, an athlete, a sister, a daughter, a girlfriend, a best friend, and a downright mess most of the time. I am by no means on top of my shit. I eat in restaurants on the weekends and like to go out with my friends. Despite all that, I still manage to eat pretty healthy. Wanna know my secret? I’m a heckler… a healthy heckler that is (said in my cheesiest voice accompanied by a sickeningly sly wink).

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This may not be the best way to go about things when you don’t want cook.

Maybe heckling isn’t the best way to describe it, but the alliteration was too good to pass up. What I mean by healthy heckling is that I make healthy eating a priority and I make sure EVERYONE knows about it. You’re trying to eat healthy to better your body, to get yourself to a healthy weight, to hit PR’s and feel damn good while doing it. There is ZERO shame in that. Let the world know. The more you tell everyone what you like to eat and what you don’t like to eat, the more they understand what you’re doing. Some people may even join you or at least accommodate you. You’d be surprised the support you can get from your family, friends, and random waitresses when you let them know about your goals and priorities.

Thus begins my Healthy Heckling series of blog posts. Let’s be real, we all know I haven’t been cooking lately, but while I try my hardest to muster up any desire to get into the kitchen around dinner time, why MjAxMy02ZTVhN2JhODhjMGQyOGIyshould you all suffer? Well, you shouldn’t. That’s why I’m going to provide you with some nuggets & pearls each week while I stumble across them on healthy eating without all the cooking.

 

For my first installment: Home Heckling

She may not like this part, but my mom and I are a perfect example of my “healthy heckling”. I berate her with nutrition information on a constant basis. I make it very clear when she makes something that’s unhealthy or could be healthier. I can be, what some might call, an opinionated person. I can get away with this (using this phrase lightly here, mom may not agree) because I also make sure to have the biggest smile on my face and plenty of thank-you’s when she nails it, which is often.

My tips to you:

– Voice your health concerns to whoever’s doing all the cooking while you aren’t

– Don’t force them to do ALL the work. Do a little research and give your chef healthy ideas for dinner so that it’s not all on them. You could even print recipes for them if you have something specific in mind.

– Praise them for every little improvement. Say thank you over and over. Maybe even do the dishes (I’m still working on that last one)85535f99d0d004269ccb0cdc05ab90838798a39e7e9597ff7ee530f8c0cb4311