Lunch

Sweet Potato “Pizza”

WARNING: If you continue to read this post and/or make this recipe you are not allowed to say that this is not pizza. You are not allowed to hassle me about the fact that potatoes aren’t pizza crust or that yours fell apart or blah blah. You know why? Because this stuff is good whether you think of it as a pizza or not. You’re gonna eat it all. You can call it sweet potato nachos or just stuff on sweet potatoes for all I care, but do me a favor and savor the sweet potato goodness. Give in people! Let it happen.

That being said, some time ago I made a sweet potato pizza.I was nervous about it at first. I had my doubts, but the power of the potato pulled through. It’s a little involved, but the pesto and other toppings could absolutely be made ahead of time or you could just buy some of your favorite pre-made versions to cut down on the time in the kitchen.

And yes, I am ignoring the fact that I haven’t posted on the blog in FOREVER. We are just gonna brush over that. Consider this your “let’s sweep this one under the rug” present.

Sweet Potato Pizza

Crust:

  • 3 huge sweet potatoes or 6 small/medium sweet potatoes
  • pinch paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • mozzarella cheese

Toppings

  • bell peppers (used 1/2 red and 1/2 orange), sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • bacon, cooked & chopped
  • chicken, cooked and shredded
  • mozzarella cheese

Suggestions:

  • Top with bbq sauce instead of pesto and use pulled pork instead of chicken
  • Add some broccoli or other veggies of choice with your peppers and onions

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Wash and pat dry your sweet potatoes. Cut off the ends and give them a rough peel, no need to stress about getting all the skin off. Using a sharp knife or a mandoline, cut your potatoes lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices. Add the potatoes to a large bowl and toss to coat with the olive oil, garlic, paprika, salt & pepper. Lay the potatoes in a single layer, making sure their ends overlap.

Here is where you add your veggies. Sprinkle your peppers and onions over the sweet potatoes. You don’t want too many toppings on the pizza just yet or else they will burn or end up just steaming the potatoes and you won’t get a good crust. I sprinkled everything with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Then bake for 20 minutes and then broil on high for 10 minutes.

While that is cooking, prep your other toppings. If you have to cook your chicken or fry up your bacon do that here.

After the crust is done, pull the pan out and top everything with 2.5 oz of the cheese. Make sure you get all the seams because the cheese is going to help keep the crust together come stuff your face time. Drizzle on your pesto, sprinkle on the chicken and bacon, and top with the remaining cheese. Return the pizza to the oven and broil for another 8-10 minutes or until your cheese gets bubbly and browned. Take that shit out and cut into slices or dig in with a fork or just put your face in it.

fajita salad

Posted by Corie

The fajita. A beautiful union of sizzling hot peppers and onions, with tender, juicy chicken or steak, slathered in guacamole and covered in a mound of fresh tomato salsa. Ditch the tortillas and add a bed of crisp lettuce… ayup, fajitas just became your new best friend.

stepbro

This shit I’m about to drop on you all is super easy. You can make everything from scratch or you can buy some of your favorite brand salsa or guacamole, it’s all up to you. These have tons of muscle building protein from the chicken, vitamins and minerals in all your veggie toppings and healthy fats from avocado. The brown rice is optional, but it definitely gives the dish a faux-chipotle feel and satisfied my complex carb craving. Sometimes, the body wants what the body wants, and it’s important to listen. But if gluten bothers you or you’re going all full-scale paleo, then by all means leave it out. Last note, you can definitely make this with steak or shrimp or a mix. Have fun with it.

friggen’ fresh fajita saladIMG_3629

serves 4-5 w/ leftovers

For the Chicken:

(Feel free to use your own marinade instead)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1.5 tbsp honey

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp grainy mustard

2 tbsp chopped, fresh cilantro

4 cloves garlic, minced

Throw the chicken in a gallon zip lock bag. Season with the salt and pepper. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl, when combined, pour over the chicken. Seal the bag and let that stuff sit in the refrigerator for one to a few hours. If you’re pressed for time, a half hour will do, but you won’t get all the flavor. Also… some adobo sauce would be bangin’ in there, but I didn’t have any.

Take the chicken out and cook over medium high heat on the stove in a sauté pan. Get a nice deep golden brown color on the outsides and then let them cook on low until done throughout. Make sure they are cooked all the way through because we don’t need any cases of salmonella round here. Then slice then and set aside.

For the Rice:

1.5 cups brown rice

pinch of salt

1 tsp coconut oil

juice of 1 lime

chopped, fresh cilantro

put your brown rice and 4 cups water in a pot over high heat. Throw in a pinch of salt and let that come to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer until all the water has been absorbed by your rice. Fluff with a fork and then stir in the coconut oil, lime juice, and fresh cilantro.

For the Peppers: 

3/4 medium yellow onion, sliced into strips

2 red, 1 orange, and 1 yellow bell peppers, sliced into thin strips

In a large saute pan, heat the onions and some coconut oil over medium-high. Cook these, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown and caramelize. Throw in the peppers and continue to cook and stir until the same thing happens to them. You want to get a real good color and flavor on these so taste often if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Salsa: 

I made a fresh avocado salsa, but feel free to sub here.

2 large tomatoes, small chopped

1/2 small red onion, small chopped

1.5 avocados, chopped

juice of 1 lime wedge

pinch of salt

fresh cilantro

Just throw it all together and let sit in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to let all those flavors mesh.

Put it all together: 

Over a bed of thin chopped romaine and mixed greens, pile high a small scoop of rice, a healthy handful of those peppers and onions, slices of the chicken, and then the salsa. You can put all the salads together ahead of time or make it like a fajita salad bar where everyone makes their own. Get a good simple dressing, I used a chili-lime vinaigrette my mom picked up at whole foods, and drizzle that all over your salad. DIG IN. Gainz galore.

 

 

muscle maker meatloaf

Posted by Corie

I love meatloaf.images

No, not that Meatloaf… the other kind.

Meatloaf is a powerful meal.

It has the power to build muscle in a protein packed loaf form. It has the power to hide some nutrient dense veggies with a crispy bacon crust. It has the power to comfort you on those increasingly chilly fall and winter nights. Meatloaf is versatile and tweak-able. Most importantly, meatloaf has the power to please to everyone from the fussiest of 11 year old boys to the health nut dietician and all the way to the bacon loving, muscle builder.

The Meatloaf Method:

1. Choose your meat. I prefer the grass fed ground beef in my meatloaf, but any good quality ground meat can work. You could do chicken, turkey, veal or pork, or a combination of a few.

2. Get your veggies. With meatloaf, you just can’t pass up the opportunity to pack that baby with nutrients. You’re going to get such a great flavor, why not get optimal nutrition too? Use spinach and sweet potatoes, mushrooms and caramelized onions, shredded carrots or zucchini. Whichever veggies you use will determine which spices and seasonings you throw in, but that’s something easily google-able for those of us who haven’t entirely developed that pairing knowledge base yet. Not only are they going to add nutrient density to your meatloaf, veggies can help keep dat loaf nice and moist.

3. BACON. This step is essential. Add it. Layer it on top or in the mix or maybe both.

4. Ditch the breadcrumbs. We don’t need any breadcrumbs or crumbled up crackers up in here. We’ve got ground flax seed, almond flour, and coconut flour, all more nutritious and delicious options.

Now that you’ve got the basics I’m going to give you the recipe for my favorite meatloaf. It’s sweet and savory, tender and juicy. There’s no green veggies inside, so make sure to pair it with a big green salad or some broccoli and kale.

Sweet Potato MeatloafIMG_1926

1/4 lb bacon

1/4 cup raisins

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 large sweet potato

1lb grass fed lean ground beef

1/2 cup almond meal

1 egg

cinnamon

a pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Take 4 slices bacon and cut into bite-sized pieces. Heat your bacon in a deep saute pan until you start to see a nice crisp on your bacon. Add in the raisins, garlic, and onions and let cook.

While those are cooking peel and shred your sweet potato. I’d suggest using a food processor, but if you don’t have one, no need to panic. When I was up at school this meal was my go-to and I always shredded them by hand with a grater or shredder. You can use a vegetable peeler and then you get these beautiful ribbons of sweet potato in your meatloaf. It’s a bit of a workout, which just means you deserve an extra piece of meatloaf when you’re done.

Once the bacon is cooked, the onions are translucent, and the raisins start to bloat a bit, add them all to a large bowl. Mix in the rest of your ingredients (the beef, almond flour, sweet potato, egg, cinnamon, salt and pepper). Get in there and mix everything together with your hands. When it’s all well incorporated press your meatloaf into a loaf pan and top with the rest of your strips of bacon… you know… for good measure.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until cooked through. The bacon will be perfectly crispy and your kitchen will smell like heaven. Eat up.

IMG_1921

 

adapted from PaleOMG.com 

tips to up your salad game

Posted by Corie

I’ve eaten a lot of salads in my day. Okay I’m only 22, but regardless I’ve eaten a shit ton of salads. You go out to eat or you go to a party and for the most part, you see the same salads. You got your house, your caesar, your spinach, maybe a pear walnut, if you’re lucky. Ugh, it gets boring. Lettuce, cucumber, tomato, boring salad ingredient, boring salad ingredient, boring salad ingredient.  Where’s the inspiration? Where’s the creativity?

sad-woman-salad-vert

She’s sad cause her salad sucks.

Listen, I’m all for salads. I pack a salad for lunch everyday. But if you’re packing the same, boring salads, void of excitement, every single day… well, you’re going to end up hating it. Not only that, but you’re probably going to stop doing it and write off healthy eating for a little while or develop a deep seated hatred for any green vegetable resembling a salad. I don’t want that. I want you to look forward to your salads as much as I look forward to mine so here are my tips for upping your salad game:

  • Leftovers are always fair game. This is where I get most of the proteins in my salads. Did you have flank steak for dinner? How about some pork chops? Maybe bbq chicken? Whatever the case, it’ll probably make for a bitchin’ salad ingredient the next day.

 

  • Not much left over? No worries. Throw in a hardboiled egg with your leftovers. It’s basically a little package of protein AND eggs have this really cool ability to tie your salad all together when it’s all mixed up. You’ll get it.

 

  • Ditch the iceberg and limit the romaine. Iceberg lettuce is nothing. It’s just not worth it. There are so many choices out there for nutrition packed greens. Used mixed lettuce, spinach, baby kale and collards. The options are endless and so are the benefits of a diet packed with vitamins and minerals.

 

  • Cook some stuff. This is my FAVORITE way to spice things up. I roast or sauté veggies like zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, and sweet potatoes either right before or the night before. These are DEE-LISH-US salad toppers, even cold the next day. Throw them in and you’re getting a whole other level of flavor. Also, kale can be hard to stomach. Let’s be honest… it tastes like dirt. Guess what though? It tastes a lot better sautéed in olive oil and garlic, then sprinkled with salt. Kale can be your friend, just give him a chance.

 

  • Use whole nuts in your salad. I’ve got this weird thing for roasted, unsalted cashews and almonds. I throw a little handful of them in my salad and get so excited when I come across them come lunch time. Those good fats, the ones we’re not afraid of anymore, are good for keeping you more satisfied and fuller longer to get you through those long days.

 

  • Play around with fun fruits. Buy a mango or some kiwi. Dice those babies up and you’ve got a salad that’ll make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation. Use a vegetable peeler and shave in slices of apples or pears. This is another one of those ingredients that really pulls a salad together.

 

  • Last, but not least, keep your dressing simple. You want your flavor to come from your salad ingredients, not a heavy dressing that’s gonna weigh you down all day. I was never into buying salad dressings, but I recently found a very simple vinaigrette that I’m into. Check the ingredient list and stay away from anything with sugar listed as one of the first 5 ingredients. That shit’s no good. You don’t want to put in the time making a kick ass salad to just smother it in something gnarly.

Here’s a recipe for the salad I made today that inspired this post.

IMG_3452

Kale & Sweet Potato Salad w/ a Tropical Twist

1/4 sweet potato, chopped

1 handful kale, rough chopped

1 large handful mixed greens

1 large handful baby spinach

1/4 cucumber, sliced

1/4 mango, chopped

4-6 oz rotisserie chicken

small handful roasted, unsalted almonds and cashews

dressing of choice

Take your sweet potatoes and throw them in a hot sauté pan with some olive oil. Let them cook until nice and golden brown on all sides and sprinkle with some course salt.

While those are cooking, prep your salad. Throw the mixed greens and spinach, cucumber, mango, chicken, and nuts all into a large bowl. My salad was pretty big, so feel free to adjust the ingredients as needed.

When your sweet potatoes are done and cooked through, toss them in there. Throw your kale in the same pan and splash a little olive oil in there. Throw in some minced garlic and let that stuff cook until wilted and fragrant. sprinkle with that salt and throw that in your salad too. I like to eat them still hot. I’m all about that hot and cool mix, but if you’re not, feel free to cook these ahead of time and let them cool in the fridge. You can even cook them the night before for easy prep on a weekday.

Drizzle with your dressing, toss, and enjoy. Eat this one slow. It’s the first of many tasty salads to come.