heart healthy

Miso Ginger Glazed Salmon

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I was definitely not a salmon lover growing up. Other than fish sticks and fried catfish, I really didn’t care for fish at all. That is, until high school when I started trying more foods and then college where I started cooking, learning about nutrition, and experimenting with different recipes. Now I love it and, because it is recommended to include fatty fish like salmon or tuna in your weekly diet, I have been trying to figure out a way to keep salmon on our weekly menu. It try to mix it up to keep it from getting boring.

Why include fatty fish like salmon and tuna, you may ask? Well, both of these fish are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which, studies have found and continue to find, can improve our heart health, aid in brain health, and fight inflammation in the body. This is important for pretty much everyone, from the infant needing the DHA and EPA for brain development to the child continuing to grow and develop to the young and adult athlete in states of inflammation after hard practices, games and competitions to the older adult potentially struggling with arthritis or other inflammatory diseases. Plus, it can help all of these groups mentioned maintain a healthy heart! And, if that is not enough, salmon can be a source of vitamin D, which is super hard to get from the diet and its fat helps the body digest the fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin A, D, E and K.

SO, for all of those reasons, let’s start incorporating more fatty fish into our diets, shall we?! I have a few other salmon recipes on the blog including my simple lemon dijon salmon and my spinach & feta stuffed salmon, and I’m excited to add this one to our family list. If you don’t like ginger, it might not be your thing, but if you don’t mind it, then I certainly recommend giving this recipe a try! Here you go. The recipe for my Miso Ginger Glazed Salmon.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

MISO GINGER GLAZED SALMON

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two 6-ounce salmon filets

  • 2 tablespoons yellow miso paste (I used the Light yellow miso that I found at Central Market)

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oli

  • 1 teaspoon grated, minced ginger

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Brush some of the sauce over the salmon filet, covering the top entirely.

  3. Save any remaining sauce to spoon over the cooked filets, if desired.

  4. Cook the salmon for about 15 minutes or until desired level of doneness.

  5. Serve each salmon filet with your favorite veggies, a crisp green salad and fluffy rice and enjoy!

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Sunbutter Banana & Chia Seed Oatmeal

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This month I have decided to focus my thoughts and recipes mainly on calcium and vitamin D for the athlete. This is probably the topic I talk about with young athletes most frequently. I know calcium and vitamin D probably do not seem like a big deal when new to your sport or injury-free, but it can really be a big deal if you are cutting it out of your diet completely! Not getting enough calcium can lead to low bone mineral density, and not only osteoporosis later in life, but stress fractures now if the athlete is overtraining and not resting and eating adequately.

When I meet with athletes, the hardest meal to pack nutrition into always seems to be breakfast. So, for that reason I started looking at what I eat for breakfast and what clients eat for breakfast most frequently and then see if I could make these breakfast choices more valuable to an athlete’s nutrition and training plan. Today’s recipe is an oatmeal recipe. I am an oatmeal fan because you can easily pack a lot into it. This oatmeal can be made the morning of or prepped the night before and then heated up in the microwave while getting ready for work or school in the morning. I love it because it’s hearty, it’s super satisfying and it packs in protein, quality carbohydrates, fiber and healthy fats in just one little bowl. For those athletes who have morning practices, it can also be stored in a small airtight container in a lunchbox with a cooler and heated up in the microwave after practice. I have really been enjoying this for breakfast these last couple of months and hope you enjoy it as well. I use a sunflower butter typically but, of course, you can use any nut or seed butter that you prefer. Here you go - the recipe for my Sunbutter Banana & Chia Seed Oatmeal…

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

SUNBUTTER BANANA AND CHIA SEED OATMEAL

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Makes 1 bowl

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup dry rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed or chia seeds

  • 1 teaspoon Sunbutter (or nut or seed butter of choice) + about 1 teaspoon more drizzled over the oatmeal*

  • 1/4 cup mashed banana (about 1/2 medium banana)

  • The other half of the banana, sliced over cooked oatmeal

  • Dash of cinnamon, to sprinkle over the top after cooked.

    I like this Sunbutter and this Sunbutter because they are super simple and doesn’t have added sugar and lots of other added ingredients (not sponsored at all. I’ve just discovered these to be my preferences after lots of trial and error of different products).

DIRECTIONS

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  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a cereal bowl or travel container and stir together.

  2. Microwave 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.

  3. Stir in the mashed banana until well incorporated.*

  4. Microwave another 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  5. Stir together and top with sliced banana, extra bit of nut or seed butter and sprinkle of cinnamon.

  6. Enjoy!

  • If taking to the office or school, you can go ahead and add the mashed banana in with step one. I think it just mixes in better if you add it once the oatmeal has cooked some.



NUTRITION INFO (per bowl)

294 cal; 10.75 g protein; 6.38 g fat; 48.5 g carb; 6.6 g fiber; 22.75 g sugar; 1.38 mg iron; 205 mg calcium; 0.53 mg zinc; 250 mg vitamin A; 50 IU vitamin D; 27 mg magnesium; 22 mg phosphorus, 326 mg potassium; 1 mg sodium; 20 ug folate



Nine - Ingredient Yummy Stuffed Sweet Potato: A Vegetarian Prep-Ahead Meal

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Hi there! So, last week was a busy one! Lot’s of projects due and presentations and program wrap-ups and then we went to Scottsdale for one of my best friend’s wedding. I’m so glad that I did my meal planning the weekend before because there certainly wasn’t lots of brain space left to figure out dinner. One thing to note about my meal planning - there is nothing cookie cutter or perfect about them. I have a general plan that I could follow, but most weeks I actually go off course. This week my stuffed sweet potato was on the menu but I had actually planned to use slightly different ingredients. Then, when Monday came around, I had leftovers from dinner with friends the night before and, with that, a new idea. That is how this recipe came about that I’m sharing with you all today. It’s so SIMPLE!!! And it’s super tasty. It uses ingredients that, years ago, I would not have normally put together. However, after our trip to Israel this year I have become a little more adventurous with food and flavor combos.

This dish is a vegetarian option. However, it’s still packed with great stuff like complex carbs, vitamin A, iron, magnesium, some healthy fats and protein. I talk to so many people who think you have to eat meat to get your protein. Newsflash, you don’t! There are lots' of ways to get protein without eating meat. You may have to eat a little bit more of those foods because plant protein is not as easily absorbed in the body as animal protein, but, it can be done! For example, the 1/2 cup of chickpeas here provides about 7 grams of protein. then there are a couple of grams in the dressing and a gram or two in the potato. So, here is the recipe for my Mediterranean Stuffed Sweet Potato.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

NINE-INGREDIENT YUMMY STUFFED SWEET POTATO

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium sweet potato

  • 1/2 cup of Prepared Slaw (see recipe below)

  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tbsp hummus

  • 1 tbsp water

  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

SLAW INGREDIENTS (from Ina Garten):

  • One 10 oz. package of cabbage slaw

  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Poke holes in the sweet potato with a knife or tongs of a fork and place on a baking sheet. I usually use a fork and poke the holes in a line down the center (longways) of the potato, where I will end up slicing it once cooked.

  3. In a large bowl mix together the slaw, fresh dill and white wine vinegar. Cover and let sit, allowing all of the flavors to meld together. This can be done a day in advance. And for any of you who read my previous posts, this is from Ina Garten’s DELICIOUS salmon taco recipe.

  4. When the oven is preheated, place the sweet potato in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, until when you poke the potato with a fork, the tongs come out easily and clean.

  5. You can either allow the potatoes to cool at this point and then wrap in foil and store in the refrigerator, or go ahead and prep them to eat.

  6. To continue prepping, whisk together the hummus, water and lemon juice in a small bowl.

  7. Open the potato so that there is room to pile the toppings on top.

  8. Add about half of the humus dressing followed by about a 1/2 cup of the slaw followed by the chickpeas followed by drizzles of the remaining hummus dressing. Serve and enjoy!

  9. If serving this later in the week, I prep my potato the night before or morning of, opening it and adding the slaw and chickpeas. I package the hummus dressing separately. At the office, I heat up the potato and then add the dressing once heated through. Easy peazy!

NUTRITION NOTES:

Sweet potato: vitamin A

Chickpeas: protein, folate, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese

Hummus: protein, healthy fats…

Slaw: fiber

No Bake Cherry SunButter Squares

Last week I was scrolling through the recipes on my blog looking for this particular recipe and realized that over the past 3 years of making these I never posted the recipe!

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These squares are one of my favorites for breakfast or snack or paired with lunch or dinner.  I love them when I need a quick bite after a morning workout and, when time allows, I also love to sit and savor them with a cup of hot coffee, or currently, a glass of cold iced coffee.

They are also no-bake, which means no ovens, stoves or other heat-producing appliance needed!  This is double perfect for my current situation, a resident of Dallas, Texas, where temps continue to hang out over 100 degrees (hence my suggestion of ice coffee).

So, this weekend in attempts of staying out of the Texas heat as much as possible, I spent (a very short amount of) time throwing together a batch or two of these scrumptious squares.  They are so simple and their flavors are a mix of savory, sweet and a touch of tart (I buy organic SunButter or the Sunflower Seed spread from Trader Joe's that I just recently discovered.  Both have no sugar added).  I can't wait to enjoy these this week and I hope you love them too!

FOR THE YOUNG ATHLETE

These squares can also make a great addition to the young athlete's sports nutrition plan.  They are simple to make and easy to eat.  They pack a good amount of nutrition into one little square, which means that they can help fuel the busy athlete having trouble getting enough nutrition due to his/her jam-packed schedule and increased nutrition needs.  From my visits with high school sports teams and one-on-one sessions with teen athletes I also know that it is quite common for the young athlete to skip breakfast entirely, choosing more sleep over morning nutrition, which can set them up for sluggish practices and games later in the day.  The great news here is that these bars are BEST when right out of the freezer, which makes them perfect to grab and eat while running out the door, on the bus, in the car, etc.

These squares provide energy, protein, healthy fats, zinc, magnesium, fiber, and iron in just a few small squares.  And, it's easy to change up the mix-ins to match taste preferences.  I use Sun Butter and cherries and make them nut-free; however, you can use any nut or seed butter you prefer and change the mix-ins up each time you make them.

So, here you go - the recipe for my No Bake Cherry Sun Butter Bars.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

NO BAKE CHERRY SUN BUTTER SQUARES

Makes 9 squares

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cups rolled oats (quick cooking)

  • 1/2 cup Sun Butter

  • 2 Tbsp dry milk powder

  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries, chopped

  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 2 Tbsp honey

 

DIRECTIONS:

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1. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

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2. Mix ingredients together with a rubber spatula until well-incorporated (can also use a fork).

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3. Line a 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment paper.

4. Spread oat - Sun Butter mix out evenly along bottom of dish, making sure to get to all sides and corners.

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5. Cover dish and place in the freezer. Allow to rest in the freezer for at least 3 hours. I leave mine in the freezer overnight.

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6. When ready, bring dish out of the freezer and lift up the bars with the parchment paper, placing parchment paper and bars on a flat surface.

7. Run a sharp knife through hot water and then blot carefully to remove excess water. Making the knife really hot will make it easier to slice through the cold bars.

8. Slice evenly into 8 individual bars.

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9. Serve bars immediately or wrap, individually in plastic wrap and store in the freezer so that squares are ready to go as you need them!

NOTE:  I'm also experimenting with doubling this recipe but placing in the same 9x13 baking dish to make bigger bars.  I think they will be just as good.  Will keep you posted!

 

NUTRITION NOTES

Sun Butter:  protein, fat, iron

Dried Cherries:  iron, fiber

Dry Milk Powder:  protein, calcium

Honey:  carbohydrate

Rolled Oats:  protein, fiber, zinc, magnesium, iron

 

Chili Lime Shrimp & Mango Avocado Salad: A Monday Night Dinner After Being Gone All Weekend

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If you've been following along, you know that I have been traveling a lot lately.  It has been super fun but also doesn't leave much room for my regular routine, which usually includes weekend meal planning.  I love traveling and experiencing new foods in new cities, but, to me, there is nothing like a meal cooked in your own home.  It can be the simplest dish around -  nothing more than a grilled cheese and soup,.  However, for me the process of picking my own bread, my own perfect mix of cheeses and the fresh ingredients for a simple tomato stovetop soup is often times the perfect creative re-centering endeavor after crazy airports and plain rides and days of eating out.  

I recently just finished back-to-back trips where I went to Belize followed by NYC.  Needless to say, there was zero meal prep done in-between.  Breakfast was pretty easy b/c I managed to stock the fridge with some less-perishable fruit and milk before we left and I always make sure to keep Sun Butter and my go-to granola bars in the pantry.  Those are staples I highly recommend keeping around. While breakfast was simple, Monday night dinner didn't come quite as easily; however, I was excited to still be able to get a fresh and fast dinner on the table.  Being tired from travel and a full day of work, I was tempted to call on my usual go-to's, Zoe's or Eatzi's, but I knew that as tired as I felt, what I really needed was to get in my kitchen and chop and toss and mix and grill.  I know myself and I know that taking an hour or so to myself after work and using that time to create something in the kitchen would leave me more rejuvenated than our standard take-out.  It's something about the mixing of flavors and textures and a variety of spices that inspires me and makes me feel like myself again.  I guess some would say that't the "creative" in me.

Anyway, the recipe I put together this past Monday is what I want to share with you here.  I want to walk you through my train of thought and how this delicious dish got to our table.

Ever since I made those incredibly scrumptious salmon tacos by Ina Garten back in May (see my Instagram post), I knew I wanted to try her salmon rub in other dishes.  I'd been wondering how it would turn out on shrimp for a while now and so that is what popped into my mind first. I knew the marinade would be simple and shrimp takes basically no time to cook.  I also knew that my husband and I were not going to want something super heavy after just coming home from back-to-back trips and, in general, I always tend to crave lighter dishes in the summer.  So, I mentally threw together a picture and ingredient list for this Chili Lime Shrimp Salad in between projects at work, stopped by the store on the way home, and then got to prepping in my kitchen.  This dish is so simple and full of flavor.  You whisk together a 5 - ingredient marinade and let the shrimp sit in it while you chop the mangoes, tomatoes and avocado and plate the mixed greens.  Then fire up the grill (or grill pan) and cook those shrimp before topping them on your fresh mixed greens salad.   The longer you let the shrimp marinade the better.  I let mine marinade while I prepped a few lunch items for the week so it was probably about 30 to 45 minutes but I don't think it's an absolute requirement if you're in a pinch.

Here are the details for my quick and simple Chili Lime Shrimp & Mixed Greens Salad.  I hope you can make it a last minute go-to like I have.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

CHILI LIME SHRIMP & MIXED GREENS SALAD

To make 2 salads I used (& we had left-over shrimp for later in the week)...

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 5 cups of mixed greens (3 for Kyle & 2 for me)

  • 1 small yellow mango, cored, peeled and cut into larger chunks

  • 1/2 of an avocado, cubed

  • About 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2 pound of peeled & deveined shrimp. I put about 8 shrimp on Kyle's plate and 5 shrimp on my plate and had about 5 more shrimp leftover, which will perfect for another one of these salads again this week

  • About 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • ~2 - 4 teaspoons EVOO, for dressing

  • Balsamic Vinegar, as desired for salad

  • Crusty bread, optional

  • Marinade ingredients (inspired by Ina Garten)

    • 2 teaspoons chili powder

    • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest

    • pinch of salt

    • 2 tablespoons EVOO

    • Juice of 1 lime

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine ingredients for marinade in a large Ziplock bag. Add shrimp, coat evenly and let sit about 1 hour in the refrigerator.

  2. Add mixed greens to each plate or bowl.

  3. Top mixed greens evenly with the chopped mango, avocado and tomatoes

  4. Preheat grill pan on medium high heat.

  5. Once hot, using tongs, place shrimp on grill pan and cook about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side or until the shrimp are pink and no longer clear in the middle. Place cooked shrimp on a serving platter for guests to add to their salads or go ahead and plate onto dinner salads.

  6. Bake or toast crusty whole grain bread to accompany salads

  7. Serve salads with crusty bread, and drizzles of fresh lime, EVOO and balsamic vinegar as desired.

  8. Enjoy!

 

NUTRITION NOTES

Mangos:  vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber, fluid

Mixed Greens:  iron, vitamin K, fiber, fluid

Tomatoes:  vitamin C, lycopene, fluid

Avocado:  monounsaturated fat, potassium, lutein, fiber

Shrimp:  protein, B12, iron, phosphorus, selenium

EVOO:  monounsaturated fat, vitamin E

Oven Burst Cherry Tomatoes

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Hey there!  Question for you today - how often do you decide not to meal or ingredient prep for the week and instead pick up fast food or dine out because those "light" recipes you find in magazines are boring and bland or whatever you cook up is typically tasteless???

Well, today I may have a solution for you.  Today I'm sharing my Oven Burst Cherry Tomatoes.  I'm usually not so absolute but I mean it when I say these guys make pretty much any dish better (which is why, if you follow me on Instagram, you probably see these so often!) Even if you are not a tomato lover, I would at least give these a try.  Whether you roast or broil them, the cooking of these under high heat brings out their sweetness, replacing some of that strong acidity you usually find with raw tomatoes. 

I use this recipe to give depth and flavor to so many meals and snacks.  When added to less-seasoned dishes the tomatoes add bursts of sweetness and their juices gently permeate throughout, lending a totally new element to the dish.  I love roasting up a batch of these and keeping them in my fridge for the week.  They are the perfect addition to so many of my simpler dishes that I throw together between meetings or in the morning with my eggs. 

If you find yourself pressed for time during the week and those meals you throw together in minutes are usually bland and lacking, I highly recommend trying to add some of these sweet yet savory tomatoes to your dishes.  It's such a quick and simple way to add tons of flavor!

So here you go - the recipe for my Oven Burst Cherry Tomatoes.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

OVEN BURST CHERRY TOMATOES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes

  • 2 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt ( I use a pinch - not a lot at all)

  • Optional - fresh or dried herbs, such as Italian Seasoning, thyme, rosemary, oregano


DIRECTIONS

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1.  Preheat a broiler on high.  

2.  Cover a small to medium - sized baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

3.  Rinse the tomatoes, pat dry, and add to a medium-sized mixing bowl.

4.  Add in 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) olive oil.

5.  Add in a pinch of salt (about 1/8 teaspoon) and any herbs you choose to add (my go-to's are often about 2 teaspoons of Italian Seasoning or 1 tsp thyme + 1 tsp oregano, OR I keep it simple and just add the pinch of salt!)

6.  Stir all together with a rubber spatula until oil and salt is well dispersed over all tomatoes.

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7. Spread tomatoes out on parchment - lined baking sheet.

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8. Place your baking sheet in the preheated oven (broiler) and let cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring tomatoes at about 4 to 5 minutes for event cooking.

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9. Tomatoes are done when they have all started to burst and the skins begin to blacken.

10. Add to dishes immediately or allow to cool and store in an air-tight container to use throughout the week!

NUTRITION NOTES

Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C, lycopene, vitamin K and potassium!  Did you know that cooking the tomatoes makes their lycopene content stronger and more available to the body?!  And the vitamin C in the tomatoes helps our bodies absorb any non-meat source of iron (found in dark leafy greens, whole grains, and more).  A great thing to consider for you vegetarians and vegans out there!

Cherry Vanilla Overnight Oats

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As you all know, I have been on a bit of an overnight oats kick lately.  A bit behind the trend, I'm aware, but, then again, I've never been super trendy.  These have been such a time-saver in the last month, though!  With work fully underway in its busiest time and my Junior League commitments still going strong I need something quick and easy but that still tastes delicious and leaves me satisfied.  I will say it's a toss-up between these and my SunButter Banana Oats for which I like best.  The SunButter oats are a bit more savory, while these definitely have that fruiter juicier taste from the cherries and the yogurt.  I have resolved to alternating for the time-being because I really love them both.  I can keep these in the fridge for a quick breakfast in the morning or a part of a heartier snack. 

Not only are these great for a basic breakfast but these oats could also be a great post-run or post - workout meal or snack (depending on who you are and what type of athlete / exerciser you are) due to their combination of protein and quality carbohydrate.  The protein in this dish is helpful to repair any large or small tears in our muscle as a result of exercise and the carbohydrate repletes drained glycogen (stored carbohydrate) stores and provides the body with more energy.  A body receiving a post- intense - workout meal without carbohydrate may end up having to use protein for energy instead, which could hinder maintaining or building lean muscle.   So, in short, this dish provides the protein the body needs to repair and build muscle and the carbohydrates it needs for energy and to spare protein.

This could be a good post-workout breakfast for early morning exercisers, especially if it's hard to eat something first thing.  If you're someone who has trouble eating before early morning practices grab something simple like a piece of fresh fruit, dried fruit or dry cereal prior to your workout and make sure to refuel with a balanced breakfast of protein & carbohydrate like these Cherry Vanilla Overnight Oats!  And if you're an athlete that needs more than this post-workout try doubling the ingredients or add an egg or two on the side!

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

OH SO SIMPLE CHERRY VANILLA OVERNIGHT OATS

Makes 1 serving (1 "jar")

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons rolled oats

  • 1/4 cup 1% milk

  • 1/2 cup frozen halved cherries (they came whole and I cut them in half w/ a sharp knife)

  • 1/4 cup cherry yogurt (I love mine with Siggi's 2% black cherry yogurt!)

  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

To a small or medium-sized mason jar* add ingredients in the following order:

  1. 1/4 cup rolled oats

  2. 1/4 cup 1% milk

  3. 1/4 cup frozen halved cherries

  4. 1/4 cup black cherry yogurt

  5. 1/8 teaspoon vanilla

  6. 3 tablespoons rolled oats

  7. 1/4 cup frozen halved cherries

* my sister - in - law puts her in saved salsa jars , which I think is a great idea too!  I'm trying it next time!

 

WHAT'S IN THIS??

Rolled Oats:  fiber, iron, vitamin D, thiamin, phosphorus, magnesium, protein, carbohydrate

1% milk:  protein, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12, phosphorus, carbohydrate

Yogurt: protein, calcium, carbohydrate

Cherries:  fiber, carbohydrate small amounts of vitamin C & calcium;  currently being studied for their potential possible positive influence on inflammation and post-exercise soreness!

 

NUTRITION INFO (per serving)

265 calories;  15.75 g protein;  42 g carb;  7 g total fat (1.5 g sat, 0 g mono, 1 g poly);  4.5 g fiber;  21 g sugar (0 g added); 253.5 mg calcium;  95 mg Na;  1.75 mg iron


Sun Butter Banana Overnight Oats

SUN BUTTER BANANA OVERNIGHT OATS

A SIMPLE START TO LIFE'S CRAZY MORNINGS

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Hi friends!  Hope your 2018 is off to a wonderful start.  This month, I have kicked things off by experimenting with new breakfast possibilities.  As I mentioned in a previous IG post, I have always been a breakfast eater but sometimes, when pressed for time, it's not always the most substantial breakfast I could have.  So this month I have been making it more of a priority to get a substantial (yet still quick and simple) breakfast - one that really tides me over until lunch.  After the first week of these more substantial breakfasts, just as I suspected, I have been much more productive during those morning hours (which is great, because mornings are my favorite).  Not only that, but I am not ravenous for lunch so can make the best choices that I know will fill me up and give me energy through the rest of my workday  (v.s. feeling lethargic and worn out at 2 p.m.).  It even makes those afternoon workouts better!

You may be asking, "What do you mean by 'substantial'"?  Well, by "substantial" I mean a breakfast that contains at least10 - 20 grams of protein, some quality carbohydrate, whether that comes from fruit, yogurt or whole grains, and / or some healthy fat.  My breakfasts this last week consisted of scrambled eggs and fruit, high protein yogurts with my current favorite Purely Elizabeth blueberry granola and some fruit, and several overnight oat varieties, including this new discovery, my SunButter Banana Overnight Oats.  I know, I know, overnight oats are old news.  I'm well aware.  However, as popular as they have been, I'm just now jumping on board.  I've played with different flavors, including a blueberry variety and a cherry one that is packed with flavor, not to mention the nutritious benefits!  I'll certainly give you details on these other satisfying varieties but today it is all about this Sun Butter Banana variety that has earned a spot for itself on my "breakfast go-to" list.

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This bowl is full of quality carbohydrates from the milk, oats and banana, packed with protein from the oats, milk and SunButter, full of fiber from the banana and oats, and offers some healthy fats from the SunButter.  This one-bowl-breakfast keeps me full and energized until lunch and all I have to do in the mornings is take it out of the refrigerator and stir all of the layers together.  Perfection!

So, here you go - my recipe for this SunButter Banana Overnight Oats.  I hope it simplifies and fuels your morning and, for those non-breakfast eaters out there, gets you on the breakfast eating bandwagon. 

Happy Fueling!

Taylor


SUNBUTTER BANANA OVERNIGHT OATS: 

A SIMPLE TO LIFE'S CRAZY MORNINGS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats*

  • 1/4 cup 1% milk

  • 1 small (6" - 7" long) banana, cut into two halves.

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons 1% milk

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter (I used SunButter here) or other seed or nut butter

* I recommend the regular rolled oats.  Steel cut may not soften enough over night and still be tough in the morning and the quick cooking oats may get too mushy.


DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl or on a cutting board, mash 1 of the banana halves.

  1. To a medium size container or mason jar add 1/4 cup dry oats.

  2. Add the 1/4 cup milk.

  3. Add the mashed half of the banana.

  4. Add 1 tbsp seed, peanut or nut butter, spreading as evenly over the mashed banana layer as you can.

  5. Sprinkle cinnamon over the seed/peanut/nut butter layer.

  6. Top cinnamon with 3 more tablespoons of dry rolled oats.

  7. Add 2 tablespoons of milk.

  8. Seal the jar / container with its lid.

  9. Place in the refrigerator over night.

  10. In the morning, top the oats with sliced bananas from the remaining half of banana.

  11. Serve and enjoy!

 

WHAT’S IN THIS?

Oats:  fiber, iron, vitamin D, thiamin, phosphorus, magnesium, protein

Milk:  protein, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12, phosphorus

SunButter:  mono & polyunsaturated fats, fiber, iron, niacin, protein, vitamin E, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese

Bananas:  potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese

Cinnamon:  manganese and a little calcium

 

NUTRITION INFO:

380 calories;  12 g protein;  58 g carb;  13 g total fat (2 g sat, 7 g mono, 3 g poly);  8 g fiber;  19 g sugar (0 g added);  5 mg cholesterol;  155 mg calcium;  743 mg potassium;  103 mg Na;  3 mg iron;  145 mg magnesium;  3 mg zing;  381 mg phosphorus;  1 ug vitamin D;  

Simple Slow Roasted Root Veggies

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Hello there!  Today's recipe isn't a very complicated one.  It's actually one that I probably could have simply put in an Instagram post and called it a day.  However, in just the last month or so, this has already become a favorite and it is officially on my list of less stress, no fuss, prep it-leave it-love it recipes.  I would be excited to prepare this whether it's just me for dinner, if we have last-minute guests or if  I've had a month to plan.  

"Why?" might you ask?  Well, several reasons:

  1. It meets one of my Cardinal Rules of Cooking... have one item on the menu that can be thrown in the oven or left over the stove to cook for a while. I really like to have one item roasting in the oven when I'm preparing a meal. If you have one thing that can be thrown in the oven and left alone, it frees you up to take care of your more "high maintenance" meal items.

  2. Roasting veggies is a Game Changer. After being in the oven for 45 minutes, these carrots are soft and tender and caramelized and those pearl onions - well, to me, they basically taste like candy - so soft and sweet and caramelized like the carrots. They add pizzaz to any dish.

  3. They make great leftovers! This shouldn't be surprising coming from me at this point as most of my recipes can double as something else on any other day. Because these are heartier vegetables, I can pack up the remaining veggies, store them in the fridge and heat them up the next day. I've paired them with other veggies, chicken, chickpeas, crumbled cheese, you name it. It has been a good item to pack up and reheat for lunch at work or throw with a new protein on a different night of the week. Quick and simple and satisfying.

I actually got the idea from an episode of Barefoot Contessa with Ina Garten (I soak up the Saturday mornings when I get a little time to watch these cooking shows - they both inspire and teach me).  She had a spotlight on one of her favorite chefs who was roasting tons of veggies and I knew I had to try some variation of what was featured.  While all of those veggies looked delicious, I decided to keep it simple and stick with two or three staples that would then allow me to throw in some extra veggies at the end.  

I've always been intrigued by those mini organic carrots at the store (not the baby carrots, but the ones that look like smaller regular carrots, right out of the ground).  I also LOVE onions when they are roasted.  If you have never had them before - you HAVE to try it.  Seriously a game changer.  Roasting onions softens them and makes them wonderfully sweet and earthy.  That's pretty much my base.  And then I have the liberty to add any other veggies to it.  This last particular time I roasted broccolini separately because it doesn't take as long to cook (I have a double oven so that's helpful).  I threw them in a preheated oven when there was about 15 minutes left on the carrots & onions and then threw them all together on the skillet once they were done (which you'll see in the pics below).

The perfect side dish for many different entrees, PLUS they reheat well for veggie bowls (with chicken / beans / tofu / etc.) another day or night that week.  Oh, and my favorite part of the evening when I served these?  When my husband said, "You know, you have really gotten me to like a lot of vegetables - vegetables that I didn't think I ever liked".  Win!

So, here you go, my Sweet & Simple Slow Roasted Veggies

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

Sweet & Simple Slow Roasted Veggies

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INGREDIENTS:

  • Two 8-ounce bags of small organic carrots (or I've use about 1 pound of the large carrots, cut off the greens & cut them in half)

  • 1 pound mixed Pearl & Cipollini onions, skin removed and ends removed (you can also purchase frozen, already peeled to make this part even simpler)

  • 1/2 tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning

  • 1 - 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Line 2 baking sheets with foil or parchment paper.

  3. In a large mixing bowl mix together the carrots, pearl onions, olive oil, Italian Seasoning, and salt until vegetables are well coated.

  4. Divide vegetables evenly between the 2 baking sheets. I used 2 baking sheets b/c they would be too crowded on just one and would probably end up steaming instead of roasting (not what you want).

  5. Place vegetables in the oven on the top or middle rack (placing veggies on the bottom rack will likely cause them to burn easily - at least that's what happened to me the first time I made these!).

  6. Cook for about 45 minutes, mixing the vegetables with a spatula halfway through (for even cooking on all sides) until the carrots are soft and easily cut with a fork.

  7. Remove the veggies from the oven, serve and enjoy!

You can, of course, add more root vegetables to this mix such as:  parsnips, beets, turnips, and radishes), but IF you want to add more non-root vegetables, I suggest cooking them separately at their own temperature and time.  I like adding broccolini (2 bunches from Central Market) with these and to do that I:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Toss my broccolini in about 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

  3. Spread broccolini out evenly on a lined (with foil or parchment paper) baking sheet.

  4. When there are about 20 minutes left for my root veggies I put my broccolini in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through (so that broccolini cook evenly on all sides).

  5. Once done, the root veggies should be done as well so add them to the sheet with the root veggies, mix all together and serve with dinner!

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Cooking Note: Cooking is not always an exact science.  If you can't find the exact product that I used above - you can adjust a little.  For example, in this recipe I got the onions from the bulk bin at Central Market.  However, at Tom Thumb, these usually come prepackaged in anywhere from 7 ounce to 10 ounce plastic containers.  As long as it's around 1 pound you should be fine (for these directions) and the onions will still come out tender, caramelized and absolutely delicious!  Same goes for the carrots - I get the small bags when I can, but the other day I could only find the large organic bunches at the store - so I purchased two bunches and, when I got home, washed them, cut off the greens and cut each carrot in half so they would all be about the same size.  Just like the onions, they turned out delicious.  This made enough to serve me and a very hungry husband with a couple of days of leftovers.  If you're cooking for 1 you could plan to have more leftovers, or go down to 1 of everything and decrease the oil and seasoning by about 1/2.


WHAT'S IN THIS??  

  • Carrots - vitamin A | fiber | potassium | vitmamin K

  • Onions - fiber | vitamin C | part of allium group, that may reduce risk of some cancers

  • Broccolini - vitamin K | iron | vitamin C

  • Olive oil - monounsaturated fat | vitamin E

Italian Zoodles & Shrimp

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This is another recipe that came about from pure curiosity - (1) I have always been curious about all of these zucchini noodles I see in stores and have heard people talk about (I know, slow to jump on the zoodle train), (2) we got a zucchini spiralizer as part of a wedding gift, which spurred my intrigue, and (3) when trying to search for zucchini noodle recipes for clients, I surprisingly came up with very few results!  Now, don't be mistaken here - I'm all about those regular old fashioned pasta noodles.  However, I just had to try these zucchini noodle creations and, of course, my fun new kitchen gadget, and, to my excitement, I got a new recipe for friends and clients along the way!

Now, I had somewhat expected for this to turn into a recipe I could recommend to others, but what I didn't quite expect was for it to become a new quick and simple dinner staple for our table at home.  I made it the first time as a complete experiment, and was able to get it on the table in about 30 - 40 minutes.  So, this past Sunday when we were pressed for time to get to an evening event, I didn't hesitate to turn to this simple and delicious zucchini and shrimp dish that Kyle & I had enjoyed so much on its first debut at the table.

I quickly grabbed all of the ingredients out of the fridge, spiralized (or as I like to say, "zoodled"), did some quick slicing and mincing, and got the skillet ready to go.  

Friends, this recipe is yummy and so fast (and even faster if you prep a few things ahead)!  The zucchini gets cooked down in the cooking process and mixes with all the other flavors and I tend to forget I'm eating a rather bland (on it's own) vegetable.  The hearty mushrooms, salty Parmesan and zesty seasonings make this a refreshing but still filling dinner for the family to enjoy.  I hope you enjoy this as well and that it, or some variation of it, can also be used as a staple to get you through some of those crazy busy days or nights!

So here you go, the recipe for my Italian Zoodles & Shrimp.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

ITALIAN ZOODLES & SHRIMP!

Recipe Serves about 2 - 3 people (or 2 people and leftovers for lunch the next day)

INGREDIENTS:

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  • 3/4 pound raw shrimp

  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Italian dressing (whichever is your favorite!)

  • 3 medium zucchini

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used a garlic press)

  • 2 cups sliced white button mushrooms

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Zest from 1 medium lemon

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese + more for serving

  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning

Directions:

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  1. Pour Italian dressing and shrimp into a sealable plastic baggie (like Ziplock). Seal and place in the refrigerator to marinate for about 2 hours or more.

  2. Peel off the skin of each zucchini (use a vegetable peeler or a knife) and slice the ends off of each zucchini.

  3. Using a hand-held spiralizer or one that attaches to a Kitchen-Aid (I used a mini hand-held that you can see in the pic here and it worked great), spiralize your zucchini into a large mixing bowl. This should make about 6 to 7 cups of "zoodles".

  4. In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium heat.

  5. Add minced garlic and saute in the olive oil about 3 minutes, making sure not to burn the garlic.

  6. Add the marinated shrimp to the skillet (I had larger shrimp so had to cook them in two batches). Don't add the marinade to the skillet - only add the shrimp.

  7. Cook the shrimp about 3 minutes per side (may vary depending on size of the shrimp). Remove shrimp from the skillet and set side, covered, while you prepare the zoodles. Leave any juices / spices in the pan.

  8. In the same skillet where you just cooked the shrimp, add the mushrooms and cook about 5- 7 minutes until they start to soften.

  9. Add the "zoodles" and cook for about 10 minutes until they start to soften. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest about halfway through cooking, sprinkle with salt and gently toss to incorporate all ingredients.

  10. After the zoodles have softened, add the Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning, toss to combine all ingredients and get all of those great flavors mixed together.

  11. Add the shrimp to the skillet, toss and serve!

 

NUTRITION NOTES:

Zucchini -  fiber; fluid; some vitamin C

Mushrooms - riboflavin, niacin, copper, vitamin D (varying levels depending on the mushroom);

Shrimp - protein; niacin; B12; iron; phosphorus; selenium

Garlic - an allium with a rich phytochemical composition that may help reduce atherosclerosis & the risk of stomach and colon cancer 

Lemon - vitamin C