Jenni Eicher

Author Archives: Jenni Eicher

As a busy woman, Jenni has relied on food to properly fuel her body over the last 4 years. From a middle school teacher to personal trainer and nutrition coach, she has found that living life in balance is sustainable. She believes that choosing quality ingredients will not only eliminate toxins from your body and give you the energy needed day to day and year to year.

Vegan Pesto Pasta Medley

One of the main things I have missed since changing my eating habits is PASTA! That’s right, it’s okay to eat those carbs sometimes. I love the development over the last few years in a good GF noodle. But to find a tasty vegan pesto?! Well, that’s the cherry on top! Because let’s face it, pesto is cheese-based and without it, I truly thought a vegan pesto would be awful! But I was wrong.

While I don’t have any affiliations with Trader Joe’s, I do love the convenience of their vegan and gluten-free products. This pesto has zero traces of tasting like kale and is the perfect way to trick someone into eating cleaner without their knowledge of it. Plus, it’s guilt-gree for you!

Another bonus point for this meal is that it is easy to make and takes very little time. With everything going in one pan, your clean-up is quick and you can spend more time enjoying your meal and saving room for dessert.

Like my Almond Butter Cups !

As many of you know, I focus on clean eating for healthy living. After becoming a consultant with Arbonne, now in qualification for Area Manager, I have fine-tuned my clean eating habits. I love that this recipe is 30 Days to Healthy Living compliant.

Not only will you enjoy this meal, but your body will feel good from the inside out. You won’t have to worry about hidden chemicals and sugars that your body has to slow down to process. So dig into a giant bowl of this pasta medley and save that cheat meal for another day.

Products purchased at, Costco, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods
  • Aidells Chicken Sausage – Chicken and Apple (Costco)
  • Vegan Pesto (Trader Joes)
  • Jovial Bow-tie Pasta (Whole Foods)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes – not in oil (Trader Joes)

Vegan Pesto Pasta Medley Vegan Pesto Pasta Medley Print This
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 4.0/5
( 2 voted )

Ingredients

  • 3 links Aidells Chicken Sausage - Chicken and Apple
  • 1/4 cup Vegan Pesto
  • 2 cups Jovial Bow-tie Pasta
  • 1/4 cup Sun-dried tomatoes - not in oil
  • 2 Veggie Skewers (Mushrooms, peppers, onions and zucchini)

Instructions

Boil the pasta per package instructions.

Chop the veggies and chicken sausage into 1-inch pieces.

Drain the pasta. 

Add the veggies, sausage into the same pan and continue to heat. 

Add the drained noodles, sun-dried tomatoes and 1/4 cup pesto and let simmer for 5 minutes until combined. 

 

What is Clean Eating?

If I polled 100 people, there could easily be many definitions and viewpoints.

However, after years of detailed research, personal experience, and conversations with certified nutritionists and dietitians alike, I’ve developed a definition that is the heartbeat of Take Back Your Kitchen. It’s throughout all my recipes and incorporated into my personal life.

Clean eating is enjoying food in its purest form. This directly translates to the number of ingredients used to create the food you eat. In other words, the fewer ingredients, the better.

Do you see yourself in any of the following descriptions?

  • A reluctant and picky eater
  • Feel you lack time for meal prep
  • Don’t enjoy cooking
  • Are you simply bored with the same old recipes

I can guarantee that clean eating is right for you! It will look distinct for each individual, but when you tackle it one healthy habit at a time, the benefits of clean eating will quickly become obvious. 

CONSEQUENTLY, WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY, DIRECTLY CORRELATES TO HOW YOU FEEL FROM THE INSIDE – OUT. Your gut health controls your emotions, your physical pain, sleep and more day to day functions. When you can get your gut biome to a healthy state life just works out so much better in every aspect.

So ask yourself this? Do you feel any of the following symptoms on a regular basis:

  • lack of energy
  • poor digestion
  • exhaustion and fatigue
  • hair loss
  • weight gain
  • muscle tension 
  • headaches 
  • mood swings 

Clearly, these symptoms are often caused by the food one consumes on a regular basis.  While I am not a doctor and am not claiming to know your specific situation, choosing to be intentional about the foods you put into your body is a great place to start.  

Likewise, sometimes your body needs more help than just choosing clean foods. 

Unfortunately, many people not only need to take out inflammatory foods (see descriptions and ideas below) but they also need to ADD something to help them gain and maintain a healthy gut. This will allow your body to absorb all of the nutrients it needs to get the BEST results overall. I recently have had success and LOVE the program that Arbonne uses and would love to tell you more about it. The products are 100% vegan and full of 21 vitamins and minerals. The program itself is full of products that re-align the PH balance of your gut biome as well include delicious protein shakes fill you up to get you to the next meal. These plant-based products are clean eating at its best!

Here are some thoughts to consider when choosing ingredients:

Does the ingredient cause inflammation in the body? 

The only way to find out what’s causing the inflammation is to remove ingredients from your diet.  Hit that reset button! 

Likewise, while many people do not have an allergy to gluten or dairy, many products Americans consume are mass produced and full of additives and GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). These products are hard for your digestive tract. Over time, those extra sugars, chemicals, and artificial junk turn into fat and inflammation in the body. Furthermore, since these hidden ingredients are in so many foods with labels claiming to be “natural” or “healthy” or “no high fructose corn syrup”, they still contain variations of corn syrup. This alone is a leading cause of higher spikes in blood sugar. 

Solution: Look for products that have 5 or fewer ingredients that you recognize. Furthermore, unless the product is something that is naturally sweet, avoid buying brands that include unnecessary sugars. Overall, this will cut down the added sugars, sodium and additives that turn directly into fat in the body.

What food does my own food eat? 

Identifying what is pumped into proteins is also important. If your food eats it, guess what!? You’re eating it! Many of the ingredients you’ll see unnecessarily added to proteins like sausage, bacon, and even ground beef is:

  • Nitrates (preservatives)
  • Dextrose and Maltodextrin (a form of High Fructose Corn Syrup)
  • Sugars
  • Added artificial colors and flavorings

Why are they added? It’s cost-effective. But if I’m being honest, it’s only cost effective for the manufacturer.  Choosing to add preservations that will keep food on the shelves longer means they can sell it to you for slightly less to the consumer, but sell more due to the lower cost. As the consumer, you might save a few bucks over time, but is the cost of your health worth it?

Solution: Look for organic and grass-fed products if its in your budget. This helps to eliminate those unnecessary ingredients. When choosing sausage, stick with the leaner version like chicken sausage. However, indulging in a local, quality version of sausage is okay in moderation. Most importantly, read labels and know what you’re putting into your body. There is always a wiser option. 

Do I have to give up dairy?

As a general rule of thumb, I avoid dairy. However, I do include goat, sheep and lamb milk cheeses as they are lower in lactose and easier for the body to process. Keep in mind that quality cheese that is aged for over one year is lactose-free. So check with the deli counter at your natural food store for one of these quality cheeses when you want to indulge. 

Solution: The quality of ingredients is key. Treating dairy as a treat rather than a daily ingredient will make all the difference. Including Greek yogurt with zero additives is a great addition to healthy digestion. Adding fresh berries or organic honey will make it sweet enough. Over time, these are small changes that will directly affect how your gut feels and how it looks! 

Ghee is my butter substitution. It is simply clarified butter that is lactose-free. 

Are my baking ingredients plant-based Products?

Grains commonly used in baking flour, pasta, and bread tend to be genetically modified and overly processed. They are one of the leading causes of poor gut health and inflammation. 

Solution: Stick with plant-based products, as you’ll see in the pantry must-haves section. These are all waistline friendly. But like anything you eat, moderation is key.  

If you have any questions concerning clean eating, message me! I would love to hear from you and be able to answer your questions.

In Health,

Jenni

Weeknight Stir-Fry

Need dinner in 30 minutes tonight? Try this stir-fry. I posted it on my FB page and Instagram page

It quickly became a hit and my cousin Kelly asked me to post it here, so of course I am. Because well…family. 🙂

What I love most about this dish is that it is full of #realfood and will fill you up without that feeling of regret later. #cleaneats #takebackyourkitchenwithjenni #wholefood #cauliflowerrice #stirfry #coconutaminos #plantbased

I was on my way home from meeting up with a friend that went longer than expected. I realized I needed something quick to make that would hit the spot and fill me up.

I stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home and grabbed all the essentials for a stir-fry. But I am always certain I avoid processed and pre-packaged foods as they are full of preservatives and sodium. The same rings true for soy sauce, which is one of the main ingredients of most stir-frys.

My substitute is easy: Coconut Aminos! Derived from plants, this easy swap has fooled many as soy sauce and better yet, it has up to 10x less sodium.

So enjoy this quick weeknight fix, feeling satisfied without compromising your health.

Prep work is EASY!
Just add Ginger Cauliflower Rice and you’re set!

Weeknight Stir-Fry Weeknight Stir-Fry Print This
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 6 cups mixed veggies, chopped (peppers, red onion, mushrooms, zucchini)
  • 1 pound organic chicken breasts, sliced thin
  • ½ -¾ pound shaved flank steak
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • ½ -1 teaspoon chili sauce paste
  • sesame seeds for garnish
  • 12 ounces riced cauliflower
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ cup green onions, diced
  • dash of sea salt and pepper

Instructions

For the stir-fry:

Prep your meat and veggies. To save some money, purchase veggie skewers from your local grocery store. This gives you about 6 cups of variety without having leftover veggies to use later in the week.

Pound the chicken to ¼ inch thick. Slice into bite-sized pieces.

Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the veggies and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring to fully combine.

Add the coconut aminos, ground ginger, and chili sauce paste. Continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

To avoid another pan, push the veggies to one side. In batches, add the chicken and cook for a few minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Add to the veggies and continue this process, following with the shaved steak until all are cooked. Mix together and let the flavors simmer for a few minutes.

For the Ginger Riced Cauliflower

Add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil to a pan on medium-high heat. Add the riced cauliflower and a dash of sea salt and pepper.

Cook for 5 minutes, stirring to cook evenly. Add 1 cup full fat coconut milk and ground ginger. Simmer on medium-low heat for another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

With 10 minutes left, add the diced green onions and continue to stir to combine.

Pesto Deviled Eggs

I honestly can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I used to stay far away from deviled eggs. I thought they were stinky and the figured the texture would put me off. And if you get a bad deviled egg, this can be true. Using non- GMO eggs will not only produce a beautiful yoke, but keep these tasty snacks from being slimy.

I was prepping my Easter feast last week and already had my original recipe for deviled eggs from my Online Meal Prep Course. I knew I’d add bacon to the top, because well…bacon makes it better!

But I wanted another variation for my spread. I had some leftover pesto and just like that the egg was created.

Eggs are full of protein, but their fat content comes from the yoke. So this time I subbed out some of that healthy fat for another, avocado. Mainly to create the creamy texture and keep them looking like pesto. Topped with sun-dried tomatoes, they almost look like Christmas too. So no matter what the occasion, these eggs are will not disappoint! But I’ll let you be the judge of that.

My Easter Spread

If you’re wondering what to do with the leftover pesto, get creative.

~Throw it over some spaghetti squash and add your favorite lean protein.

~Use it as a marinade for chicken or steak.

The possibilities are endless…how are you using pesto?

Pesto Deviled Eggs

Pesto Deviled Eggs Pesto Deviled Eggs Print This
Serves: 3-4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 12 cage free eggs
  • 8-10 egg yokes
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons homemade pesto
  • 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, aged 1+ years
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

Place your eggs in a large pot, making sure they fully cover the bottom of the pot.

Cover your eggs with water and get them boiling.

Once boiling, cover and set a timer for 8 minutes.

Take the eggs off the heat and place in an ice bath.

Once they are cool to touch, peel your eggs and cut them in half.

Add the yokes, avocado, and homemade pesto to the mixture. Cream with a fork until smooth.

Place in a small zip-lock bag. Cut a small portion of the tip off and slowly pipe your filling into your egg halves.

Top with the sun-dried tomatoes and serve.

Pesto: Roughly makes about a ⅓-½ cup

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor minus the avocado oil.

Pulse until combined.

Add the oil while it blends together to create the pesto paste.

Almond Butter Cups

One of the most popular flavor combinations of all time is peanut butter and chocolate. It’s been on my favorites list since I was a kid. But did you know that those PB cups you can buy at the store are pumped full of various forms of sugar and corn syrup.

Well, I decided to create my own recipe that satisfied my cravings without adding all that sugar. Don’t worry, the flavor isn’t compromised here. In fact, it wakes up those taste buds. I love this recipe because of how easy it is to make. You’ll have sweet treats for the week and a few to share.

Almond butter is my choice nut for many reasons, but the main is that is less likely to add inflammation. While I don’t have a peanut allergy, they are legumes and legumes (beans, lentils, and peas) are all prone to cause inflammation in your body.

SHOPPING TIP: go to the natural section of your local grocery store and grind your own almond butter…it’s cheaper this way and you only need to get the amount you need. So if you’re not used to almond butter, this is a great way to ease into adding it to your pantry.

Almond Butter Cups Almond Butter Cups Print This
Serves: 8 Prep Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 4.5/5
( 2 voted )

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 14 ounces or 1 ½ package of Enjoy Life Vegan Dark Chocolate Chips (split in half)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • Silicone muffin tin or muffin tin with paper liners

Instructions

In a medium mixing bowl, add the filling ingredients and stir until combined. Set aside.

In a microwave, melt half of the dark chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon coconut oil in 30-second intervals. Stir between each round. Repeat until completely melted.

Pour into 8 silicone molds. Swirl so it covers the bottoms and halfway up the sides.

Freeze for 5-8 minutes or until the chocolate is set.

Roll the almond butter into 8 ovals and place over the hardened chocolate in each cup.

Melt the remaining chocolate and pour over to cover each almond butter filling.

Place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to fully set.

Store in the fridge until ready to eat.

Southwest Style Eggs Benedict

or as my good friend Melynda also named it: "Jenni's Benni" or "Southw​est Benni".

Whatever you call it, it is still purely decadent. It makes the prefect weekend brunch and satisfies so many cravings without all the guilt.

Clean eating doesn’t have to be overly complicated with a handful of hard to find ingredients. Since most of these ingredients are most likely in your fridge or freezer or on your grocery list rotation, this should be easy to whip up.

I was never a fan of Eggs Benedict, so this is my exception. My creamy secret sauce drizzled layers of flavors both spicy and sweet burst to life with every bite.

So show off to your friends and create brunch at home. Save money, buy some bubbly, fresh oranges and fruit, and enjoy your own brunch on a sunny spring day.

Southwest Style Eggs Benedict Southwest Style Eggs Benedict Print This
Serves: 2 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 4 cage-free eggs
  • 2 chicken sausage links
  • Heirloom Tomato Slices
  • 1 avocado, smashed
  • Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning
  • Secret Sauce
  • ¼ cup 0% Fage Greek Yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small lime, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons organic honey

Instructions

Follow the steps for the sweet potato toasties, except for the direction you cut the sweet potatoes. Instead of lengthwise, cut ¼ inch circle rounds.

Cook the chicken sausage on medium-high heat.

Poach the eggs. I use these handy gadgets to help me. Let your water boil and add a splash of white vinegar as it will help the eggs maintain their form.

Poach anywhere from 2:30-3:15 based on your stove top and desired cook.

Layer your Southwest Bennie:

sweet potato

smashed avocado

tomato slice

chicken sausage

poached egg

sauce

Trader Joes seasoning

Better in a Bowl?

When looking over my cookbook recipes and the new recipe creations, they are not only full of flavor, but I’ve found that putting a meal in a bowl makes life easier. So here’s a few oldies but goodies AND a few new ones you need in your life.

Loaded Burger Bowl:

This is my latest creation and I just ADDED a new blog post with the recipe.

Simply Rooted Salad:

I needed something light and filling for a late night of work. This salad did the trick! I felt full and satisfied and didn’t have to worry about my body fighting to digest my late dinner while sleeping. (recipe below)

Not Beetin’ Around the Bush Smoothie Bowl

I love this go-to bowl for when I have a little more time in the morning or as a great snack. I top it with some dried fruit (no sugar added) like figs and my favorite grain-free granola.

Sheet Pan Fajitas … in a Bowl

I took my simply flavorful sheet pan fajitas and went low carb. I created this lime-cilantro cauliflower rice instead. (recipe below) It makes these fajitas even easier to eat the next day. Meal Prep WIN!

Better in a Bowl? Better in a Bowl? Print This
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • Simply Rooted Salad:
  • 3 medium beets
  • 2 medium carrots or 1 1/2 cups organic rainbow carrots
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • pepitas
  • Drew's Italian Dressing
  • Spinach
  • Lime Cilantro Cauliflower Rice:
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 16 ounces of frozen riced cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (Thai Brand)
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, diced

Instructions

Simply Rooted Salad

Heat oven to 400 degrees 

Roast beets, wrapped in foil for 50-60 minutes

Add sliced carrots to the pan, sprinkled with salt, pepper and avocado oil and roast for 25 minutes

Compile salad and add fresh pepitas and 1 tablespoon of Drew’s Italian dressing.

Lime Cilantro Cauliflower Rice

Add coconut oil and the riced cauliflower to a large skillet on medium-high heat.

Cook for 5 minutes, adding a dash of salt and pepper along the way.

Add the coconut milk and let simmer for 10 minutes until fully absorbed into the cauliflower.

Add the juice of 1 lime and cilantro and continue to cook for 5 minutes. 

 

1

Loaded Burger Bowl

When I gave up grains, dairy and processed foods a few years ago, I was surprised on what foods I actually missed eating. While I didn’t missed the processed foods, I missed a good juicy burger. And especially today, you can find places that use quality ingredients. But still I know all the sauces are full of sugar and fries high in calories and fat. So why no recreate a burger that I can enjoy throughout the week without feeling guilty?

In my cookbook, I have a BBQ meatball recipe that was inspired by a bun-less burger I tried to make. The problem with that burger was never it’s flavor. It was simply hard to eat… Don’t you feel that way about eating a burger without a bun!?! Completely messy!!!

BBQ Meatballs from Take Back Your Kitchen

A few weeks ago I created another burger with a smashed sweet potato for the bottom bun. Full of flavor once again, it had so many steps to make and was a mess to eat.

Smashed Burger: My inspiration

So I’m learning, that if it’s going to be messy, why not use all those components and make it a salad? Finally, I nailed it! (I’m just realizing I did forget to add the bacon…but clearly I didn’t miss it.)

So enjoy this Loaded Burger Bowl. It will fill you up and help to satisfy that craving without any real guilt. All components can be made during meal prep and complied when you’re ready to eat!

So grab a fork and dig in!

Loaded Burger Bowl Loaded Burger Bowl Print This
Serves: 3 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Balsamic Onions
  • ⅛ yellow onion, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons pure balsamic vinegar
  • Maple Dijon Aioli
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Sweet Potato Seasoning
  • PRO TIP: Make a batch to have on hand.
  • Sweet Potato Seasoning (from my cookbook: Take Back Your Kitchen)
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 6 cups mixed greens, loosely packed
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • avocados

Instructions

Components can be made in advance and much of this will all be timed together, but here are some tips:

  • Double your batch of sweet potatoes and add them to one of my power bowls.
  • Chop all of the components first. Then getting each component baking, simmering and cooking.
  • Place all of your spices in a small bowl first so you can just add when ready.
  • Make the aioli when you’re ready to eat.
  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and chop into ¼ inch pieces.  Toss on a rimmed sheet pan and drizzle with avocado oil and Sweet Potato Seasoning.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  4. Thinly slice, or julienned, ⅛ of the onion.  Place in a skillet on medium-low and add the balsamic and onion slices. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Place the ground turkey in a large skillet pan on medium-high heat. Cook and drain. Add the spices, water, and garlic and continue to bring all the flavors together.
  6. Whisk the aioli ingredients in a small bowl.
  7. When you’re ready, compile your salad. Each salad has about 2 cups of loosely packed mixed greens, a few cherry tomatoes, and ½ a small avocado.
  8. Store components in meal prep containers so it’s ready for your lunch the next day!

Moroccan Lentil Soup

I created this Moroccan Lentil Soup last week because I wanted something that was light in general, but full of flavor and still filled me up. The secret? Keeping it simple. The split pea lentils with the spice profile made for this perfect creation that was satisfying without being too much. It was the perfect lunch. And with all of this blustery, cooler weather, it warmed me up from the inside out.

The reason it is so filling is the lentils. Full of protein, they are a great substitute for meat in a soup. Mix it up! While I’m not vegan or vegetarian, it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy that food too. Pair this soup with one of my Brekkie Biscuits or Salads as it will make the perfect combo. If you like this flavor profile you will LOVE my Morrocan Chicken for a bit heartier meal. 

Last week I also hosted a cooking class for a family who wanted meal prep tips. The couple, along with their teenage daughter, found it easy to make the Moroccan Chicken and soup. We paired the chicken with a side of quinoa and Balsamic and Bacon Brussels. All were a hit and ready for the week.

Spaghetti Squash Bowls

Another favorite growing up was spaghetti. I loved my pasta and bread but even when you eat those ingredients in moderation, they tend to have hidden sugars. Using spaghetti squash instead of noodles allows you to fill up on the meat sauce and your portion increases. Bonus: you get a serving of veggies.

Found on page 84 of the Limited/Deluxe Editions of Take Back Your Kitchen.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

My grandma Ruth was known for her chocolate chip cookie recipe. Friends were always asking me for it. It was the hardest recipe for me to give up when I went grain free. I finally recreated her recipe, making them double chocolate this time, because WHY NOT? Their cake-like consistency will satisfy any craving. 

Found on page 105 of the Limited/Deluxe Editions of Take Back Your Kitchen.

A Salad for Every Season

I love these salads because they are versatile. You can change out any ingredient for another within that flavor profile. Prep once to have a few meals ready to go. They are filling, satisfying and full of flavor. All salads include prep (about 30-45 minutes) that you can leave alone while you work on other meals. Multi-tasking at it’s best! 

Found on pages 51-53 of the Limited/Deluxe Editions of Take Back Your Kitchen

As Seen on SA Live – 3rd Time’s the Charm

A year ago I was connected with the producer of SA Live, a local TV show that brings the community of San Antonio together. At this point I was just starting to write a few of my own recipes and trying to get my name out there. Little did I know that one year later I would be a published author!

SA Live: 1/2/2019

I honestly didn’t think I had it in me then as I am a home cook who has taught myself how to make healthy eating a lifestyle. It was time to dump the fad rollercoaster diets. Now that I’ve adopted clean eating habits, I have balance in my life. I enjoy the occasional meal out but find ways to make flavors come to life with my recipes and still keep it from draining my bank account or adding inches to my waistline.

After my first appearance on SA Live, I started to believe I had something to share. And that’s when it clicked! The recipe ideas kept coming and I continued to better my practice. It takes grit and risk to take your dreams from an idea to reality and I am so thankful for the support and opportunities I’ve been blessed with this last year.

To learn more about my food philosophy, take a few moments to watch these segments from the January 2nd show. Consider how you and those closest to you, can make these small and meaningful changes.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below:

What is one manageable step you’re going to take this month to create a new healthy habit in your life?

Personally, I need to get my water intake back up! 1/2 of my body weight in ounces is the magic trick. I plan to track my ounces on my monthly habit tracker that is included in my book. Have you got your copy yet? There are so many helpful resources, not just the recipes, to help you finally get off the rollercoaster and take small steps to a healthier you.

Have you got your copy yet? There are so many helpful resources, not just the recipes, to help you finally get off the rollercoaster and take small steps to a healthier you.

5 Easy Switches for 2019

Oh Mr. Max – Dog Treats that Appease the Pickiest of Eaters

I love my dog! His name is Max and he is a rescue. While he’s the biggest sweetheart, he is super skittish. Random things make him jumpy. One day he loves something, the next day he is scared of it.

(insert heartfelt awwweeeee here)

Since I am a new dog mommy, I wanted to give him food as clean as I eat. And while I still stand by that principle, I soon learned from my vet and further research, that a grain-free diet can lead to heart disease for dogs. Check out this article from the NY Times for more info.

Needless to say, I have stepped back from grain-free and focus on only giving Max REAL ingredients.  After the release of my cookbook, (which is on sale right now) I decided to embark on making new recipes. So clearly Max was first on my list! However, I’m not sure I’m up for creating a dog food, so treats it is for him. After my research, I decided to choose flour, choosing whole wheat and the best quality so it’s still easy on his tummy. The first variation was almost too easy to make and he inhaled it. So I also created a variation to freshen his breath. Let’s be honest, all dogs could use this one. And again, the treats didn’t disappoint.

So take a few minutes this weekend to make this simple treats for your fur baby. They will love you even more for it.

3 simple ingredients make this not only safe for your fur baby but easy to make.

Dog Treats, Fresh Breath

Parsley and Coconut Oil are known to spruce up that stinky dog breath. I could tell a difference after Max devoured 1.

Oh Mr. Max – Dog Treats that Appease the Pickiest of Eaters Oh Mr. Max – Dog Treats that Appease the Pickiest of Eaters Print This
Serves: 12-22 treats Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • Peanut Butter Biscuits:
  • 1/2 cup raw peanut butter (make sure this is the only ingredient)
  • 1/3 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup whole wheat organic flour
  • Fresh Bites:
  • 1 cup gluten-free oats, ground
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups parsley. loosely packed
  • 2 cups carrots, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Instructions

Peanut Butter Biscuits:

Mix all of the ingredients on low until combined.

On a cutting board, parchment paper or Silpat, roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thick.

Using 2 or 3 inch dog bone cookie cutters (or your choice of shape) cut 12-16 biscuits.

Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.

Let cool completely before letting your fur baby enjoy.

Fresh Bites:

Ideally using a food processor, grind the oats.

Add the flour, parsley, and carrots and mix until combined. The parsley will turn the mixture green.

Add the melted coconut oil and egg to form a gummy-like dough.

Lightly dust a cutting board, parchment paper or Silpat with flour. Place the dough ball on it and roll out until it’s 1/2 inch thick.

Using 2 inch dog bone cookie cutters (or your choice of shape) cut 12-16 biscuits.

Bake at 325 degrees for 22-25 minutes.

Let cool completely before letting your fur baby enjoy.

 

Peanut Butter Blossoms with a Twist

Growing up,

these cookies were my absolute favorite during the Christmas season. They had all of my favorite components in 1 cookie: peanut butter and chocolate. 

As a kid, my family would all bring cookies to Grandma’s on Christmas Eve. I was a cookie monster!!! But inevitably, I’d be in a cookie coma hours later. This will be my first holiday season where I’ve had a sweet treat that didn’t make me feel sick after and I LOVE it.

Life is about balance,

but why not have a balance that tastes the EXACT same as the regular recipe. I created this twist to keep the flavor without all the processed ingredients. I say: let the true flavors shine! While I’m not vegan, this recipe is also egg and dairy free. These cookies just had a better texture without the eggs. The Peanut Butter Blossoms have that perfectly fluffy cookie base with a powerful punch of peanut butter in every bite.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Holiday Cheer in a bite-sized package.

For those of you who wonder,

why peanut butter and not almond butter, know that I debated it. When I went strict paleo, peanuts were not included as they are a legume. Legumes are known to cause inflammation in the body. However, as I’ve added some healthy grains and legumes back into my diet, I recognized that while I still avoid peanut products on average as well as most legumes and grains, when peanut butter is raw, or freshly ground, it is okay to consume in smaller doses. Everything in moderation right?

You’ll notice I only use other plant-based products in my baking as well. I have the scoop in my book under Pantry Staples as to why I use these particular ingredients only when baking. In my book, I give you the ins and outs to clean eating with tips on how to find that balance, even through the holidays. So enjoy this holiday cookie one bite a time. I’ve already given the cookies to 3 different friends who couldn’t tell the difference between my variation and the original recipe.

My dog Max, delivering these cookies to our friend Leona.

If YOU are vegan, I recommend you try this recipe with my Chocolate Covered Caramels (pages listed below) featured in my cookbook, Take Back Your Kitchen

Feel like changing it up?

The caramels take the cookie up a notch in flavor profile and are just a great addition to your holiday sweets or are a great hostess gift. They are not filled with refined sugar, but rather honey instead. So if you’re going to indulge a little, indulge thoughtfully.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

A gift ready to be received.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms with a Twist Peanut Butter Blossoms with a Twist Print This
Serves: 8 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup almond flour sifted
  • ¼ cup coconut flour sifted
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup peanut butter, raw
  • ¼ cup palm shortening
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dark Chocolate Hershey Kisses
  • OR Chocolate Covered Caramels (pg. 111 Limited Edition and pg. 99 Original Edition)
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar for dusting

Instructions

In a large bowl, sift your flours. This creates that light and airy texture in the final cookie. Add the baking soda and salt. Add the peanut butter, palm shortening, maple syrup, and vanilla and mix with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer until combined.

Roll into 1 ½ inch balls and coat each cookie in coconut crystals or sugar. Place cookies on a lined baking sheet. Using your thumb, press a small indent into the cookie as they will not spread during baking. This will be your placeholder for the dark chocolate kiss.

Bake at 350° for 7 minutes. Immediately place the dark chocolate kiss. Let cool for 5 minutes on the pan before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

If using my Chocolate Covered Caramel recipe, which I highly recommend, make them a day in advance and keep in the freezer. Create a slightly wider indent the size of the candy mold. All the cookie to cool for 5 minutes first, then place on a wire rack to then insert the candy.

Afterthoughts: make the caramel separately. After the cookies come out of the oven, add the caramel only to the indent. Once the cookie has cooled for 5 minutes, drizzle the chocolate across. (not pictured)

Leftovers Skillet Stuffing Challenge

After all my recipe testing and cooking for the final preparations for this cookbook, I needed a break from the kitchen. And since Thanksgiving is the perfect time to enjoy what others bring to the table, I went light on my contributions. While I normally limit my refined foods, grains, and dairy, I planned to enjoy small bites of all the goods that were shared. Life is about balance right!? And the meal didn’t disappoint. However, forgot to grab leftovers this Thanksgiving.

I did have a box of gluten-free stuffing that I planned to use and a bunch of random ingredients that created this flavor-packed leftover creation.  So whether or not you have turkey day leftovers, you probably can create a variation of this recipe without having to buy much or even any ingredients at all. Take a few minutes to go to your pantry and fridge and see how you can make your own variation of skillet stuffing.

Take a pic and post on my facebook page so we can see what tasty combo you created! 

Leftovers Skillet Stuffing Challenge Leftovers Skillet Stuffing Challenge Print This
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • ⅛ cup white onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • ½ cup fresh cranberries
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 12 ounces chicken sausage (apple and gouda), chopped
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 4 cups gluten-free stuffing mix
  • 1 cup vegetable broth

Instructions

When making this dish, keep ingredients in the same category with the same measurements while subbing out what you have.

Dice the carrots, celery, and onion and saute them in your OVEN SAFE skillet for 5 minutes with the ghee. Add the cranberries, chicken sausage, and seasonings. Continue to combine for another 3 minutes.

Finally, add the stuffing mix and raisins. Combine and pour the vegetable broth over the entire mix. Place in an oven heated to 375 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown.

leftovers, stuffing, thanksgiving

I paired this meal with garlic green beans and leftover Japanese sweet potatoes. Perfection!

skillet stuffing

One meal, one skillet, one stove to one oven! Easy Peasy!

Balsamic Bacon Brussels

When I say bacon, you say…YES! Eating clean doesn’t mean you have to cut out all rich foods, but it does mean you focus on the quality of your food. So when choosing meats like bacon that are high in fat, choose a brand that doesn’t have added preservatives (nitrates), sugars or other variations of corn syrup like Dextrose. I love Hemplers brand and the price is right!

This balsamic and bacon Brussels sprouts recipe is easy to whip up and sure to be a crowd pleaser. In fact, it is perfect for your Thanksgiving day feast! Ready in 20 minutes it can be cooked in the final push. Brussels sprouts used to be a vegetable with a bad rap, but that is no longer the case. These little green veggies are full of nutrients, antioxidants, Vitamin K and fiber.

Serve yourself a helping of this delicious side!

When I created this recipe, I literally had some leftover bacon and my balsamic reduction all ready to go in the fridge. I would recommend making a larger batch of this reduction and using it as a healthier option for your salad dressing! It will save you time and pull the meal together! So cheers to something deliciously easy and may your Thanksgiving be filled with blessing too numerous to count!

With gratitude,

Jenni

Balsamic and Bacon Brussels

Balsamic Bacon Brussels Balsamic Bacon Brussels Print This
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Brussel Sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
  • 4 Strips Nitrate Free Bacon, thick cut
  • ⅛ cup Balsamic Reduction
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

Balsamic Reduction

Yields 1 cup

2 cup Balsamic Vinegar

Make a Balsamic Reduction by simmering 2 cups of balsamic vinegar on medium heat for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool. It will reduce to half the amount.

Balsamic Bacon Brussels

Cook the bacon on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side. The bacon should not be fully cooked at this point.

Wash, trim and cut the Brussel Sprouts in half.

Remove the bacon from the pan and place on a few paper towels to drain. Soak up most of the grease, leaving on a little to cook the sprouts in. (These two steps are not only to reduce the oil, but mainly to keep the bacon crispy in the end without making the sprouts mushy.)

Place the sprouts, and a dash of salt and pepper to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes.

Dice the bacon.

Add the balsamic reduction and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Turn the heat up to high for 2 minutes to blacken the sprouts.

Reduce heat and add the bacon and cook for another 2 minutes.

 

Not a brussel sprouts fan? Try this recipe with fresh cut green beans. Either way, you won’t regret it.

 

A Taste of Fall

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I love the flavors, aromas and produce during Fall, especially squash. Honestly, it’s one of the most versatile foods. It can act as a noodles for pasta, a bowl for stuffing or a side dish all on its own. It pairs with both sweet and savory flavors which makes it the perfect Fall dish. This stuffed acorn squash will fill you up and leave you satisfied. The burst of the tart cranberries paired with the sweet and crunchy apple and savory sausage makes for the perfect bite!

I originally created this recipe last year when wandering through the produce aisle. I realized that squash came in so many forms I hadn’t tried and I wanted see how this particular squash varied from butternut. Honestly, there isn’t much of a difference besides the outer shell containing its goodness. It’s slightly less sweet which makes it the perfect choice for this dish as the rest of the flavor combinations provide that aspect.

It’s definitely one of my go to recipes this season and a tried and true show stopper. I already plan to bring it as a side dish to a Friendsgiving this year and I’ll be sure to post those pics and any changes I might add to my Facebook Page: Take Back With Jenni.

Clean eating, fall flavors, acorn squash

Dig in to the flavors of fall

A Taste of Fall A Taste of Fall Print This
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Acorn Squash, seeded
  • 6 oz Pre-Cooked Sausage, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 Honey Crisp Apple, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 cup Cranberries
  • 1 tsp. Thyme
  • 1 tsp. Ghee, melted
  • Dash of Salt and Pepper
  • Optional: Shredded Gruyere Cheese (1 tsp. per serving)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Brush with melted ghee to lightly coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the squash face down on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. They should be mostly cooked through, so use a fork and prick them to check for firmness. The fork should go through the thickest portion with ease.

While baking, slowly caramelize the onion. No added oil needed, just slowly sauté on low, stirring every few minutes. This will allow their flavor to fully come through. At the 10 minute mark, add of the cranberries, apples, and garlic. Continue to cook until everything is softened. My favorite parts is as the cranberries cook, you will hear them start to pop.

Once everything is softened, about 20-25 minutes total time, add the sausage and cook for another 3-5 minutes along with the thyme, salt and pepper. Take the squash out of the oven and leave them facedown for 10 minutes to steam.

[caption id="attachment_4293" align="alignnone" width="576"]Acorn Squash, Fall Flavors, Clean Eating, Chicken Sausage Easy to prep and perfect for leftovers.[/caption]

​​Turn the oven to broil. Scoop out 1 giant spoonful of squash to allow for more stuffing. Place the stuffing into center of the squash, knowing you will have stuffing leftover, and add the cheese if you choose. Broil for 5-7 minutes. Make sure to turn the oven light on to see how they are coming along, avoiding burnt cheese.

Grain-Free Pumpkin Pancakes

I love fall flavors, especially when they align with my clean eating habits. These grain-free pumpkin pancakes are rich and filling and do not disappoint!

The flours used in these pancakes, almond, coconut and arrowroot, might be new to your pantry. But as they are used in many of my recipes, I recommend them becoming staples in your pantry. So why plant-based products? It’s easy: you’ll feel better!

Even without a food intolerance to gluten, most pancake mixes are filled with preservatives. These preservatives have zero nutritional value, spike your blood sugar and are harder for the body to process. One thing I don’t miss at all about taking gluten out of my diet, is that awful bloated and lethargic feeling. However, these pancakes will fill you up and leave you satisfied without the fuss.

Fun Fact: I like to top my pancakes off with a few dairy-free or dark chocolate chips and toasted pecans. Just a tablespoon of pure maple syrup is enough to tickle those sweet taste buds. I promise these pancakes won’t disappoint!

grain-free pumpkin fall flavors

Start your weekend off right!

Grain-Free Pumpkin Pancakes Grain-Free Pumpkin Pancakes Print This
Serves: 3 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 T Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • ⅔ c. Organic canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla
  • ¼ c. Almond Flour  
  • ¼ c. Coconut Flour
  • ⅛ c. Arrowroot Flour
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Toppings per serving: (2 pancakes)
  • 1 T Dairy Free Chocolate Chips
  • 5 Toasted Pecans
  • 1 T Maple Syrup

Instructions

In a large bowl, mash the banana and then whisk in all of the wet ingredients.

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

Add the mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until batter.

On a medium hot griddle or skillet, use a ⅓  c. to scoop the batter into 3-4 inch circles. This batter is slightly thick, so use the measuring cup to spread it out to ¼ inch thick. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until they are golden.

Sprinkle with with a few dark chocolate chunks, crumbled toasted pecans and pure maple syrup!

Crustless Quiche Recipe Test Group

I have had numerous conversations with clients who don’t seem to have any energy early morning. Most often it’s due to lack of fuel to keep going. So what is that fuel I’m referring to? Food! A natural and balanced meal can make or break the start of your day. But who has time for that? As I fill the final holes for my cookbook, I wanted to create a few variations of this recipe, a crustless quiche,  with different flavor profiles. I started with an Italian variation and added a Mexican variation to the mix. This round, I upgraded the Italian variation (with bacon to begin) and decided to see what y’all thought.

Here’s why I love these quiches: They have the correct portions of veggies, proteins and healthy carbs to start your day right. They fuel your body and keep you going longer. Better yet, when short on time, I can serve up a portion for lunch or dinner too and feel completely satisfied.

So here’s the deal: There isn’t a recipe posted in this blog. BUT WAIT! You can still get this recipe. All you have to do is be within the first 30 people to subscribe to my blogs and email me. That’s it! I’ll send you this recipe to test. Once the first 30 have the recipe, this recipe won’t be available until my cookbook is published!

As this recipe is an upgrade, it also needs a test group! So, if you are part of the first 30 people AND you want to provide thoughtful feedback (by Sunday September 16th), I’ll send you the Mexican variation upon completion of the survey. So don’t waste any more time:

1. Subscribe

2. Email

3. Create, Enjoy and Provide Feedback!

Italian Quiche Grain Free Clean Eating

Test Group Anyone?

Naturally Delicious Stir Fry

I LOVE one pan meals, especially when are naturally delicious. Often, these types of meals are loaded up with ingredients that are high in additives and sodium. Not this recipe! It uses a plant- based sauce called Coconut Aminos that will change your perspective on healthy food for good!

So what are Coconut Or Coco Aminos? Naturally deriving from nature, they provide the same taste as soy sauce without all the sodium. In fact, on average they have 10 times LESS sodium per serving than soy sauce! So you get the added health benefit, but keep all the flavor. Another reason you should avoid soy sauce and soy-based products is because studies have shown that 95% of all SOY products are Genetically Modified and lead to hormone health issues, specifically in women’s bodies. For more info on soy, check out this video from Dr. Josh Axe. For more on this recipe, watch my first segment from SA Live from back in January where I make this recipe live!

soy sauce alternative natural

More importantly, this recipe is packed full of flavor while still providing your balanced nutrition with lean proteins, veggies (nutrients) and healthy fats.

Naturally Delicious Stir Fry Naturally Delicious Stir Fry Print This
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 4.5/5
( 2 voted )

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Thinly Sliced Chicken Breast
  • 2 cup Broccoli Rabe (chopped and remove end of stems)
  • 1 Red Pepper (diced)
  • 3 medium Carrots - about ½ cup (diced)
  • 2 cups Cauliflower Florets
  • 1 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 2 tsp. Coconut Oil
  • 4 T. Coconut Aminos
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • ½ tsp Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • Optional Garnish
  • Green Onions, Sesame Seeds, peanuts or pistachios (no more than 1 T.)

Instructions

Cut chicken in small bite size pieces.

Melt coconut oil in a large pan.

Add the chicken and cook almost through.

(Option to drain any excess liquid.)

Add the sesame oil, cauliflower and carrots to chicken. Stir and then let steam for 5 minutes. (If subbing veggies, choose the veggies that take longer to steam at this point.)

Add the broccoli rabe and red pepper. Stir it all together and add the ginger, garlic and salt.

Pour in the Coconut Aminos and allow the veggies to cook, leaving a slight crisp. (about 10 minutes)

Garnish with your choice of toppings and dig in! 

Greek Yogurt Fruity Pops

Clean Eats, Greek Yogurt Pops, Fresh Fruit

Tangy and sweet – the perfect treat!

With summer slowly creeping to an end, I created these simple yet delicious Greek Yogurt Fruity Pops; a perfect way to cool down from the summer heat. They are perfect for that after school snack or even poolside.

With all the frozen treat options out there, this one is free of additives , chemicals, and that one ingredient that seems to be pumped in to EVERYTHING: High Fructose Corn Syrup.

It’s also a great way to get your kids involved in the process and gives them that choice they are seeking. I will say, if you have an overly sensitive sweet tooth, these will seem especially tart to you. If you absolutely must, add another tablespoon of Honey max!

Having a few batches in your freezer is the perfect way to beat this heat without busting that waistline.

Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments below.

Greek Yogurt Fruity Pops

Greek Yogurt Fruity Pops Greek Yogurt Fruity Pops Print This
Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt (Fage)
  • 1 ¼ cups Fresh Fruit, sliced ( I used Strawberries for one batch and Mango for the other)
  • 1 T Honey
  • 1 Lime, juice and zest

Instructions

Preparation

Slice the Fruit,  then mash so the puree has large chunks of fruit.

Add the zest of 1 lime, lime juice, yogurt, and honey.

Combine it all together.

Pour into your choice of molds: I used 6 Silicone Popsicle Molds and a Mini Silicone Candy Molds. You could also use a 8 x 8 baking dish and cut into squares.

Freeze for a minimum of 6 hours then enjoy!

 

Not Beetn’ Around the Bush Smoothie Bowl

Need an easy way to fuel your morning? Try this smoothie bowl.

While beets may not seem like the obvious choice, they are full to the brim in antioxidants and promote so many other health benefits such as:

  1. Reducing Inflammation, Aiding in Detox and Supporting Digestive Health
  2. Boosting Brain Function
  3. Promoting a Healthy Heart
  4. Enhancing Athletic Performance

All of these things will lead to Weight Loss.

So before you roll you eyes or turn away from this mighty root veggie, throw it in that blender and give it a go!

For more information about the health benefits on beets, check out Dr. Axe’s website.

Need another breakfast idea? Check out this post for a delicious morning treat!

Not Beetn' Around the Bush Smoothie Bowl

Not Beetn’ Around the Bush Smoothie Bowl Not Beetn’ Around the Bush Smoothie Bowl Print This
Serves: 2 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 1 cup loosely packed spinach
  • 1 cup cooked beets
  • 1 cup peeled zucchini
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Grain Free Granola
  • Hemp Hearts
  • Chia Seeds
  • Fresh Berries

Instructions

If you are not buying pre-cooked beets, it’s super simple and easy to prepare them in advance. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wrap each beet in foil and place on baking sheet. Cook for 1 hour, or until softened. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Rinse under cold water and the skin will rub off easily. Watch out as your fingers will soak up that gorgeous pink color, but you can wash it off immediately after. Store your cooked beets for up to a week in an air tight container.

Place the ingredients in the blender in the order listed through the almond milk.
Blend until smooth.
Pour into 2 bowls. Top each smoothie with a combination of the following and enjoy:

¼ cup grain free granola
1 T Hemp Hearts
1 T Chia Seeds
¼ cup fresh berries

Take Back Your Kitchen

It’s always fun to coin a phrase, like my new one:  Take Back Your Kitchen.

But while the meaning is clear in my mind, I recognize it could mean something different to each person that reads it.

I grew up with a family of home cooks. We didn’t eat out a ton, except to West Salem’s best pizzeria; Walery’s Pizza. This is the place where I ironically ordered my famous burger: meat, ketchup and bun. Yep! I was THAT kid. Now if you just lost all faith in my judgment, fear not, I have grown up quite a bit. Life is about balance… so I do enjoy the occasional burger from Hopdoddy and I can make a mean plant based pizza at home. (food allergies are no joke!)

Wallery’s was more than a pizza joint! The arcade was the best!

Needless to say, as I grew older and learned my way around the kitchen, I realized cooking soothed me and allowed my creativity to shine. And the final outcome…oh so delicious!

I was shocked when other people commented on how odd it was to them that I cooked most of my meals. It seemed so taboo within my generation and more so over the last 5 years. But I still don’t understand the fuss of cooking at home. I’ve done the math and it definitely is cheaper. There are thousands of recipes that are guided with videos, pictures and 10 ingredients or fewer. And when chosen correctly, it’s better for your waistline.

So again, what’s the hangup? Lack of knowledge and education on how to make clean eating at home simple, cost and time effective, and delicious!

As a personal trainer, I have seen first hand how WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY, aka your diet, directly correlates to your outcomes. I’ve had clients battling with under eating, overeating, and eating the wrong types of foods. So often, people are unaware of their day to day habits. It’s usually those habits that directly link to the overall success of any goal.

What has been the most helpful in my client’s lives is the education on healthy eating habits and tips on small steps to create better ones. With this empowerment of creating one new habit at a time, they have seen total transform in their bodies and mindsets.

3 of my clients came to me with zero physical activity in their lives. Even though they were adding exercise to their new routine and seeing some results, they were frustrated with their overall outcomes after a few months. Once we dug deep into their individual habits;

  • skipping meals
  • double portions of healthy foods
  • lack of the right levels of macronutrients (carbs, healthy fats and lean proteins)

they were able to refocus and the weight and inches began to fall off. Better yet they had more energy, less cravings, higher motivation and overall: MORE LIFE!

Small changes led to incredible results.

She’s made clean eating work for a family of 6!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SO WHY: TAKE BACK YOUR KITCHEN?

Going back to the basics within your mindset surrounding food will change YOU from the inside out. You start to realize that healthy food doesn’t have to taste bad, cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, and eating out doesn’t have to RUIN your hard work.

Creating healthy habits is possible when taken one step at a time, but often the education is needed.

So if any of this relates to you, take a moment NOW to contact me. My at home 3 hour sessions and corporate events are the 1st step for your success!

Healthy habits begin one step at a time.

Stir the pot to make positive changes.

 

My focus is for each individual to find tangible actions they can take to make those small changes that will add up to incredible results.

So contact me so I can create a personalized session just for you!

Are you ready to Take Back Your Kitchen?

Smoky Fish Tacos with Mango Slaw

This fish taco recipe and more was featured on SA Live Monday, July 30, 2018. To watch these links and to learn more about clean eating, click here! I start the show and my 2nd segment starts around 13 minutes. Let me know what you think and feel free to leave your questions below.

It doesn’t have to be Tuesday in my home for there to be tacos. In fact, I have intentionally created a chapter for my upcoming cookbook, Take Back Your Kitchen, just for tacos! And why not!? It’s a house-hold favorite and these fish tacos are sure to be crowd pleaser.

One of the biggest challenges when eating clean is flavor. The common myth is that if it is healthy, it is void of flavor. But I would beg to differ and I’ll prove it with these tacos.

My Philosophy

Fresh ingredients in their purest form are bursting with flavor. It’s knowing the right flavor profiles and combinations to make that perfect mouth-watering bite. And that’s exactly what I’ve worked hard to create with this recipe.

 What kind of fish?

Fish tacos quickly became a favorite of mine when I lived in the Seattle area and was surrounded with plenty of options. While they were usually considered a cheat meal for me, at least I knew the fish I was eating was fresh and wild caught. What I realized when I moved further away from that Northern Pacific coastline, was how challenging it was to get quality seafood. But I didn’t want to compromise the quality and here’s why. Wild caught fish are simply that, wild. They are not farm raised and pumped full of food that is genetically modified…aka, chemicals. But does it really make a difference? YES! Over time, everything we put in to our bodies makes a difference. Farm raised fish, the most popular and less expensive route, is fed with genetically modified food like corn, soy and high fructose corn syrup. If your food eats it…you’re eating it; plain and simple. All those additives and GMOs can cause inflammation in your body. Think about this; arthritis, heart disease and digestive problems are all linked to inflammation. Its just not worth it.

So how do you avoid the budget breaker when purchasing wild caught fish? Purchase your fish in bulk and frozen. The marinade and seasoning from this recipe will add flavor and prevent it from being dry.

My Philosophy

Think before you buy and consume. Every small step you take to a healthier and cleaner diet, is well worth the effort.

 

Smoky Fish Tacos with Mango Slaw

Smoky Fish Tacos with Mango Slaw Smoky Fish Tacos with Mango Slaw Print This
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • Cod pieces: (about 16 oz)
  • 2 limes
  • Zest of 1 lime, plus all remaining lime wedges
  • 2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Dash Salt and Pepper
  • Dry Rub:
  • 4 T Paprika
  • 2 T Chili Powder
  • 4 tsp Garlic Salt
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Mango Slaw:
  • 3 cups of broccoli slaw (pre-packaged)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 medium jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium mangos (between firm and ripe), cubed in ¼ inch slices
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 T Avocado Oil
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • Avocado Cream Sauce:
  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • ½ cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ½ juice of lime
  • Cilantro, Lime Wedges and Goat Cheese for topping

Instructions

Start with marinading the cod. Pour the lime juice, zest, wedges, oil and salt and pepper in a large plastic zip bag. Add the cod and marinade in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Create the dry rub by mixing all the spices together well. Feel free to double the recipe if you want to have it ready to go for later use. It stores well it a glass jar or spice container.

Next prepare the mango slaw. Pour the pre-packaged broccoli slaw mix (because why make it harder on yourself) and add the oil and lime juice to soften. Thinly slice your seeded jalapenos and red onion and add to the mix. Now here comes the STAR ingredient. The mango! Choose a mango that is between firm and overly ripe. It should smell mildly sweet. Using a sharp knife, slice the mango lengthwise right next to the pit. Repeat on the opposite side. Now score your mango by cutting 1/4 inch diagonal lines in both directions. This will create small 1/4 inch squares. Use a spoon to scoop out the mango right over the slaw to allow the juices to add to the flavor. Add a dash of salt and pepper and toss it all together. This slaw can be made the morning of to save you time later. 

Creating the avocado cream sauce is simple. Mash your ripe avocados with a fork and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Continue to combine until they are well mixed and smooth.

Finally, I like to warm my tortillas on a griddle before grilling the fish. I keep them warm in a tortilla holder to allow them to get perfectly pliable.

Now its time for the main event! Take the fish out of the marinade and sprinkle the dry rub  on both sides. I tend to be heavy handed as I like that burst of flavor and heat in each bite. Grill on medium-high heat for about 1-2 minutes per side if you’re using thinly sliced pieces as I did. Adjust your cooking time accordingly.

Assemble your tacos fish first, then the slaw, avocado cream and toppings.

 

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