My dad creates recipes too: dads paleo granola

My dad rarely gets involved with the kitchen. If he does, he’s making crazy weird experimental smoothies that he thinks are delicious but the rest of my family semi gags over. But today, while visiting me at school for my last family weekend ever (side note-I graduate in December–yayayayay!!), he comes up with this little gem. I’m not a huge paleo advocate, but my dad really digs it. This recipe is uber paleo friendly and it’s really tasty too with minimal sugar. The only real sugar involved is in the dates. But you guys have got to try this one out.

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I don’t know if you guys have heard of the whole butter in coffee thing… but I think it’s strange. It just sounds unappetizing. Paleo peeps love their butter, so this recipe has a little butter involved. Not as much as my dad wanted, but I made him compromise with me over the amount.
This recipe is great for a little pick me up to help hold you over between meals. Packed with healthy fats and protein! And make sure to use grass fed organic butter- we don’t want any nasty hormones in our recipe!

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Dads paleo granola
ingredients
1/2 cup almond butter
3 tablespoons butter (weird, I know)
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons of the following:
-macadamia nuts
-walnuts
-pumpkin seeds
-pecans
-pistachios
-cacao nibs
1/2 cup coconut flakes
5 dates, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon cinnamon
A pinch of salt

1. Finely chop the nuts and seeds.
2. Combine EVERYTHING into a large mixing bowl.
3. Cover a pie pan with parchment paper and pour the mixture into the pan.
4. Put into the freezer for at least an hour then transfer to the fridge and enjoy!!

Quinoa for breakfast?!?!

When I was at the Tone It Up Retreat last week, I ate a lot of quinoa. I mean a LOT of quinoa. I’ve always been a fan of quinoa because it’s a complete protein and a good grain alternative (because it’s actually a seed, not a grain). I have quite a few recipes on my blog already that use quinoa as a staple but I’ve never really used quinoa for breakfast before until this morning.

Well, actually, technically I tried it for the first time at the retreat. I was definitely skeptical when I saw “oatmeal” made of quinoa. It seemed like an odd pairing, quinoa and breakfast. But I gave it a whirl and I’m glad I did! Having quinoa for breakfast really helps fill you up and keep you satisfied throughout the day (probably because it’s high in protein). Plus, it doesn’t really taste like anything, so it’s extremely versatile and you can add whatever you want to it.

I pre-made the quinoa last night so that it wouldn’t take as long to prepare. I suggest everyone do it that way too since most people don’t have ample time in the morning to leisurely cook quinoa for breakfast.

Try it out and let me know how you like it!

**OH and by the way… along with this quinoa oatmeal dish this morning, I made a “clean” latte. And holy mother of all delicious food… it was incredible. Don’t you worry though, I’ll be posting THAT recipe soon enough!**

Don’t forget to follow me on instagram at @healthyfoodylifestyle for more recipes, fitness and health updates. And be sure to post your creation and tag me in it so that I can see how yours turned out!

So what are you waiting for… go eat some quinoa for breakfast!

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Superfoods and Strawberries Quinoa Oatmeal

serves 3

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1.5 cups almond milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped strawberries

3 tablespoons cacao nibs

3 tablespoons goji berries

3 teaspoons honey

1. Pour the quinoa, almond milk and cinnamon into a pan. Raise the heat to medium high until it starts to boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Let this cook for 20 minutes. If the quinoa dries up before it is cooked all the way through, just add 1/4 cup more almond milk to moisten it again.

*This step can be done the night before. Once the quinoa is cooked, just wait for it to cool off and put it into tupperware and into the fridge. When you are ready to reheat it, take out the desired amount, put it into a pot, add 1/4 cup almond milk and put it over medium low heat while you prepare the other ingredients*

2. Separate the quinoa out into three bowls. Sprinkle the strawberries, goji berries, cacao, and honey on top of each bowl. Serve hot!

A recipe that makes being poor taste rich: Beef Stew with red wine

Remember that leftover bagged red wine you have from your last party? Or the cheap cut of beef that you bought because you’re too broke to get the tender cuts? Well, we can make your cheap self appear to have a lot more money than you really do with this flavorful stew!
You can really stretch your dollar when it comes to stew. Cooking meat for a couple of hours causes a tough cheap cut to turn into a tender one. Plus, stew is mostly comprised of items that you already have in your pantry and fridge. So no need to make a huge trip to the grocery store to put together this meal!
This recipe is packed with nutrients from the multitude of vegetables and is naturally low in calories while still being able to enjoy beef and flavor!
Try it out as the beginning of fall starts to sneak in on us. It’s perfect to warm up with on a cold, fall night.

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Beef stew with red wine
serves 2

ingredients
1/2 lb stew meat (if it isn’t already cut, ask your butcher to cut it for you)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped (larger chunks)
1 small sweet potato, chopped (large chunks)
3/4 cup butternut squash, chopped (large chunks)
1/2 cup red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon)-use a cheap wine
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 1 tablespoon dried- make sure to crunch it up a little first)
2 sprigs thyme (or 1 tablespoon dried)
Salt and pepper

1. Pour the olive oil into a large pot and heat to medium high. Put the meat chunks in, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of both salt and pepper and brown all sides. This should take 5 minutes or so.
2. Take the meat out and add in the onion, celery and carrot. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt over the veggies. Sauté for 4 minutes and then add the wine. Let the wine cook for about 5 minutes or until reduced in volume by 3/4.

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3. Add the rest of the vegetables and the browned meat back into the pot, along with the chicken broth, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Cover and cook for 2 hours. After the two hours, the stew is done! Make sure to remove the bay leaf before serving. You can save the leftovers for the next day. Stew is even tastier when it’s been sitting.

GUZZLE THIS: green citrus smoothie

The past year I’ve been having nothing but this one cacao smoothie and I needed a change. I wanted something citrusy and green-basically the exact opposite of the other smoothie.
Plus, since I’m a girl and I need a lot more iron than guys do, so some spinach was in order.
A lot of people say that spinach isn’t the best source of iron because the oxalates inhibit absorption. BUT it just so happens that our good old friend vitamin C promotes absorption of iron, making the iron in spinach suddenly a good source!
This smoothie has protein from the Greek yogurt, vitamin C from the tangerine juice, iron from the spinach, and fiber from the banana. Plus, the wheat germ has a whole boat load of awesome things: vitamin E, both omega fatty acids, protein, fiber, the B vitamins, and a ton of minerals!!
So drink up!!

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Green citrus smoothie
serves 1

ingredients
1 cup tangerine juice
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 banana
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 small handful spinach

1. Blend all the ingredients for the smoothie! Add a few ice cubes if you want it cold.

MUNCH THIS: blueberry almond butter pancakes

I use to eat pancakes a lot growing up. Drenched in syrup, slathered in butter… You could hear yourself getting fatter (Tommy Boy reference for anyone who caught that). But then I grew up.
A couple of weeks ago, I thought that I would treat myself and get some pancakes for breakfast. It had all the above stated necessities. About two seconds after I finished eating it, I wanted to puke. I felt so… Icky inside. It didn’t even taste as good as I remembered. I guess eating cleaner caused my taste buds to prefer the healthier foods and reject the heart attack on a plate foods.
Put I still like the idea of pancakes, so I didn’t give up on them.
A few days later, my sister in law introduced me to a cleaner, healthier version of the sinfully sweet breakfast treat. And it is my civic duty to pass the recipe on to my fellow health nut followers!

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Clean blueberry pancakes
serves 2

ingredients
1/2 cup almond butter
1 banana
2 eggs
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together the first three ingredients really well. Once that is mixed, stir in the frozen blueberries. Put two tablespoon portions onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
3. Sprinkle the top with the honey, blueberries and Greek yogurt!

** Try this out on a lazy Sunday morning. Make extra and store them in the fridge for the week! Just reheat them in the oven!

Eating healthy on a post grad budget: making the struggle easier

I have one more semester until I’m completely done with school and honestly, it scares the sh*t out of me. It’s hard to get excited about graduation when all I can think about is the impending doom of being on my own and having responsiblity thrust upon me. Thankfully, I have learned how to at least feed myself on a limited budget so I won’t starve to death or survive off of plain pasta.
One of my friends who graduated in May asked me to shed some light on how to eat well while pinching your pennies. I’m going to provide tips that have gotten me through hard times of barely any money and an example week of how to eat when you can’t even rub two dimes together.

SURVIVAL TIPS

1. Meal planning will become your best friend. It can be extremely annoying to have to plan out what you’re going to eat each day for 5 days, but unfortunately, you’re broke and you don’t have much more of an option. When you’re making the big bucks, you can go crazy and decide on a whim what you’ll eat, when you want to eat it. But for now, you have GOT to learn how to meal plan.

???So how do you meal plan???
Great question, young post college graduate. That leads me to my next point…

2. Make simple meals that all use some of the same ingredients. This is really important. Lets say you want to make a veggie pasta with zucchini, tomatoes, and broccoli. Use the leftover vegetables the next day to make a veggie quinoa bowl. It takes some planning, but it gets easier, I promise.

 

I’ve told you how to plan to eat cheaply for a week… now how do you make it healthy?

SIMPLE!

3. Use the recipes that I post to plan your meals around! And stay updated with the recipes that I post. I have been living a healthy and CHEAP lifestyle on my own now for four years. I’ve learned a lot. Use my information to help you succeed in staying healthy on a budget.

 

Now I’m going to lay it all out for you in a 5 day example so that you can get the gist of how to do this. I’ve  listed enough meals for each category to get you through the week. Some won’t have 5 different meals and that’s because you can eat this on multiple different days to save you money:

Breakfast: Eggs and toast, strawberry and almond butter toast (use bananas instead of strawberries), leftover savory eggs and potatoes

Lunch: raw kale salad with avocado dressing, fajita style chicken lettuce wrap, dinner sized salad (add chicken),  chicken sandwich (using leftover chicken from one of your meals), black bean quinoa bowl 

Snacks: peanut butter protein bars, kind bar, greek yogurt

Dinner: Vegan shepherd’s pie, green monster quinoa bowl, savory eggs and potatoes, potato leek soup with toast, teriyaki chicken plate (use quinoa instead of rice)

Drinks: a bottle of wine… you know… for the weekend. or something.

You can eat ALL OF THIS healthy food for only $55.61. And I even included a bottle of WINE! Take that out and you’re under $50!! I actually went to Trader Joes, wrote down the cost of every item that you need for these meals, and then figured out the cost of everything. You’re welcome. Now you don’t have any excuse! Go eat healthy and check in for more recipes on my blog! All are diet friendly. All approved.

Just a reminder… THESE are all the money saving meals that you’ll be able to make. Looks a lot different than ramen, huh?

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6 ingredient potato leek soup

This soup is so fast and so easy that literally anyone can make it regardless of their culinary skills (or lack thereof). The soup is deceivingly creamy without the use of any dairy. Since there isn’t any dairy, it’s also a lower calorie soup while still being able to fill you up!

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Six Ingredient Potato Leek Soup
serves 2
Ingredients
2 Yukon gold potatoes
2 leeks
2 cups chicken broth
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Wash the leeks and potatoes well. Chop the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Cut the leeks into 1/2 inch strips. Put both items into a pot with the chicken broth, salt and rosemary sprig. Cook while covered on medium for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, uncover and remove the rosemary. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for another 5 minutes.
2. Put the entire cooked mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender if you have one.
3. Pour the soup into two bowls and drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over each bowl. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.

This recipe is perfect for a light summertime dinner! Enjoy!