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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MUNCH THIS: Portobello mushroom steak with roasted cauliflower

Wow, if you’re looking to impress friends and family with a recipe, MUNCH THIS. I made this last night to just try it out. I’ve heard of “cauliflower steaks” before at fancy vegan restaurants so I went ahead and made that portion… Except that the finished product looked like a brain.

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Plus, a dish of roasted cauliflower just didn’t sound like it would be satisfying at all, so I added in my usual Portobello “steak” recipe. The Portabello steak combined with the cauliflower steak, a slightly strong raw cheese and a red wine sauce…. Drooling as I type this.

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It presents really well also! Try it out when you’re feeling a little adventurous!! Plus, the entire meal is only 270 calories

Portobello Mushroom Steak with Roasted Cauliflower and Red Wine Sauce
serves 1

ingredients
1 head of cauliflower
1 portobello mushroom
3 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
1/4 cup red wine (I used chianti)
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 thin slices of a mild raw cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Slice the very tip inch of the cauliflower off, then cut a 1 inch thick steak from it.
*the cuts should be parallel to the base of the cauliflower. Careful while you cut down so that you don’t break the steak into chunks.
3. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet and drizzle two teaspoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper over it. Put into the oven for 25 minutes.
4. While that bakes, take the portobello mushroom and remove the stalk by pulling it out. Place 1 teaspoon of olive oil into a pan and heat to medium. Put the mushroom, gills up, into the pan and sprinkle it with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook both sides for 3 minutes then add the thyme and wine. Let this cook for another 4 minutes or until the wine has reduced. Turn off the heat, add the chicken broth and butter and stir until a sauce is formed.
5. Place the entire cauliflower on a plate and drizzle it with the red wine sauce. Place the mushroom on top of the steak and add the sliced cheese to the top.

Yummmmmmmm.
Definitely MUNCH THIS!

Hearty Mushroom Soup

Sometimes a day just calls for a warm cup of soup. I used to work at this restaurant when I was 15 that made the BEST mushroom soup. I’ve done my best to recreate it and I must say, it tastes pretty damn delicious. Plus it’s hearty and only contains 229 calories per serving! What more could you ask for?

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Hearty Mushroom Soup
serves 4
Ingredients
4 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup yellow onions, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cup wild rice, cooked

1. In a pot, add the olive oil and heat to medium.
2. Add the onions, leeks, celery, thyme, salt and carrots and cook while stirring for 10 minutes.
3. Add the mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes.
4. Add the chicken broth and Dijon mustard, reduce to simmer and cook while covered for 20 minutes. Add the cooked rice to the finished product and serve hot.

Garlic lemon rosemary baked chicken

This recipe is one of my go tos when I’m busy, stressed and don’t have much time to prep a dinner. Even though it’s such a simple recipe, the flavors are so delicious that you’ll think you’re eating restaurant quality food! Plus it only has 313 calories per serving!! So it definitely will fit in with your time and calorie allotment!

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Garlic Lemon Rosemary Baked Chicken
serves 1
Ingredients
1 bone in, skin on chicken breast
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth
5 garlic cloves
2 slices of lemon
2 teaspoons rosemary (fresh or dried)

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Put the olive oil into a pan and heat to medium. Sprinkle the chicken breast with salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon rosemary. Cook skin side down first for 5 minutes then flip and cook the other side for another 5 minutes. In a baking dish, put the chicken broth, 5 garlic cloves, remainder 1 teaspoon rosemary and the juice of the lemon plus the actual lemon inside. Add the partially cooked chicken, skin side up and cover with tin foil.
3. Put in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Check the to see if the chicken is cooked all the way through. If it isn’t, put it in for another 5-10 minutes.
4. When the chicken is done, take it out and serve with 1/2 cup cooked wild rice!

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!