Fitness Crazed Foodie
Lover of all things food and fitness related
Not going to lie... a massive pile of loaded nachos with all the fix-ins is one of America's finest restaurant offerings. Buuuut it's also a bomb to the stomach and doesn't leave you feeling the greatest. My version has all elements you would want in nachos, but it is healthier and won't leave you feeling gross. This recipe is the meal-prepped version that I made for the week days, so it has 3-4 servings. It's also great for family dinners or a make-your-own nacho bar with friends!
3 large regular potatoes
1 large white onion
1 lb of 99% fat-free ground turkey
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Salsa (no-sugar added)
Fat-free plain greek yogurt
Salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes
Optional: part-skim mozzarella cheese, jalapeños
Preheat oven to 425. Roughly peel the skin off the potatoes, leaving some on, and slice thin. Place potato slices on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed. Add sea salt and pepper on top. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Since they are thin, they may burn quickly, so keep an eye on them!
Chop the white onion. In a sauté pan over medium heat, spray with cooking spray and onion. Cook until brown and caramelized. Remove onion from the pan and set aside on a plate. Spray the pan again with cooking spray and add ground turkey. Once browned, sprinkle on equivalent amounts of salt, pepper, paprika, cumin and red pepper flakes. Cook the meat fully in the pan.
Time to assemble the nachos!
Fill the base of your plate with roasted potatoes and add onions on top.
Add 1/4 of the ground turkey (about 4 oz) on top.
Add a handful of halved cherry tomatoes, a scoop of salsa, 2 tbsp of greek yogurt, 1/3 of chopped avocado.
Enjoy with a fork and knife, or get messy and dig right in!
Meal prepping salads can seem bland and unsatisfying, especially if you are making multiple servings to eat throughout the week. However, it's probably because you haven't found the right salad that does the mid-day trick.
I have found that this Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad is the perfect big-batch option to make on Sundays and toss with different proteins all week. It is flavorful, sweet, savory, and fiber-filled! Your taste buds will thank you for the combination of salty from the almonds, sweet from the grapes, tangy from the lemon, and nutritious from the greens. You're welcome.
1 big bag of shredded brussel sprouts (should have about 4-5 servings)
1 head of broccoli
1/4 cup lightly salted almonds (my favorite are Trader Joe's dry roasted 50% less salt)
1/2 cup red grapes
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Steam the bag of brussel sprouts in the microwave for 3 minutes. Chop the head of broccoli and steam in a microwaveable bowl for 4 minutes once the brussel sprouts are done. Roughly chop the almonds and halve the grapes. Combine steamed greens with the rest of the ingredients and toss until well combined. Let the salad cool down before serving and storing in the fridge.
- grilled chicken
- sautéed tofu
- baked salmon
- garlic sautéed shrimp
- roasted cubed sweet potatoes
I know what most people are thinking: cheesy tortellini isn't healthy! Why is this on the blog?!
Well, let's set this straight. Pasta can be a healthy choice if served in the right portion, with the right add-ins, and if used as fuel for your workouts. I have my first olympic-distance triathlon coming up this Sunday, so I thought making a hearty, green pasta dish was appropriate for this week. Obviously, you don't have to be training for a triathlon to eat pasta, but timing of a carb-heavy meals is important. Carbohydrates, regardless of whether they're from pasta, bread, vegetables, fruit, etc., will be used as energy/fuel when eaten before or after a good workout, rather than being stored away as excess calories.
Bottom line: you don't have to shy away from carbs like pasta, but just make sure you're being active enough to use it as fuel!
This recipe has a great balance of green vegetables, lean protein, flavorful spices, and a liiiiiitle cheesiness from the tortellini filling. It's great served with a chilled summer salad, too! I added a simple recipe at the end of this post for a great summertime side dish that compliments the Veggie-Loaded Tortellini & Chicken perfectly. Enjoy!
1 package of Trader Joe's Spinach Tortellini
1 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast
1 bundle of asparagus
2 heads of broccoli
Salt and pepper
Optional: nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, tomatoes
Ambitious Kitchen's Cilantro Pesto Sauce
1 cup cilantro leaves (about ½ a bunch)
1/3 cup roasted or raw cashews
1 small lime, juiced
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeño, seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons water, if necessary to thin the pesto
Chop up asparagus and broccoli and put in a big bowl with 1/3 cup of water. Cover with paper towel and steam in the microwave for 5 minutes. Drain and keep in the bowl.
While veggies are steaming, chop chicken into big chunks and sauté on medium heat with olive oil, salt and pepper until cooked through the center.
In a separate stove pan, boil water and cook tortellinis based on instructions. After boiling, the pasta should only take 2-4 minutes to cook thoroughly. Add cooked pasta, chicken, and veggies into the large bowl and mix.
For the sauce, add cilantro, cashews, lime juice, garlic clove, jalapeno, olive oil, and salt and pepper to a blender. Process on high speed until smooth and add water, if necessary, to help thin the pesto and make it easier to process. Add the pesto directly to the bowl with the pasta and mix to combine.
Once ready to serve, top with nutritional yeast (or parmesan cheese) and additional spices if preferred. You can serve it hot or cold- both are delish!
Corn, Avocado & Tomato Summertime Salad
1 bag of frozen corn
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
Paprika, chilli powder, salt and pepper
Steam the frozen corn until thawed (a couple minutes in the microwave). Pour into a bowl with roughly chopped avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, a handful of chopped cilantro and spices to taste.
Set in fridge for 1 hour before serving chilled.
Roasting meats and vegetables together seems like a big task that takes practice and perfect timing. But I'm here to show you that it can be all done in one pan and take 60-90 minutes from start to finish. This meal idea comes from my boyfriend that followed a recipe online and it turned into the best meal he has ever made me! I tweaked a couple things based on nutrition and my preference. This recipe makes 4 servings and can be eaten all week or served as a great family meal.
4- 5oz chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
Garlic salt, pepper, oregano
4 sprigs of rosemary
1 bag, or 2-3 lbs, of fingerling potatoes
1 large red onion
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 400F. Line large baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
Drizzle olive oil over the chicken breasts and rub it to cover the tops of each. Add garlic salt, pepper and oregano. Over a bowl, hold a sprig of rosemary at its top, slide your fingers down to the bottom, and strip off the leaves into the bowl. Sprinkle half of this rosemary on top of the chicken and save the rest for the vegetables. Add the chicken breasts to the baking pan.
Slice the fingerling potatoes in halves if very small or fourths if larger. Roughly chop the red onion and cut the tomatoes in half. Add them all to a bowl and toss with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and the rest of the rosemary sprigs. Pour onto the baking pan and disperse evenly.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken is done and potatoes are crispy. I usually cut into one chicken breasts to make sure there is no pink and it is fully cooked (I know, the juices come out then, but it's the safest way to know!). Serve with a cold side salad or any other greens you like!
Grocery shopping can be stressful, boring, and time-consuming, but it doesn't have to be.
With just a smidgen of preparation before going to the store, you can save yourself so much time, effort and stress. AND you can easily make healthier choices.
I want to share my standard healthy grocery list that I pick and choose from each week. Obviously, I don't need to buy all these foods for one week, but this comprehensive list will hopefully help you see how I categorize my shopping and what options I pick from to create recipes. Keep in mind, I meal prep lunches and dinners to last 4-5 days and then I eat out the rest of the week. It'll take some time to know the right amount of food to buy for the week (so that you don't have to make multiple trips), but it gets easier. And if you buy too much one week, stick the rest in the freezer to use a different time! DON'T throw the unused food away!
Frozen blueberries or frozen mixed berries
Avocado (yes it's weirdly enough a fruit)
Pineapple, peaches, cherries- summertime only
Bag of spinach
Red and white onions
Frozen cauliflower rice
Grains + Legumes
Banza chickpea pasta
Hummus - lower calorie option made without oil (Cava is a great brand)
99% fat free ground turkey
Boneless skinless chicken breast
Chicken sausage - look for brands without added sugar (it's hard to find one...)
96% lean ground beef
0% fat greek yogurt or cottage cheese
Unsweetened almond milk
Vega protein powder
Ground flax seeds
Unsalted almonds or walnuts
Sweetened almond butter
No sugar added ketchup
Olive oil or cooking spray
Other grocery tips:
Seriously don't go to the grocery store when you're hungry. You know it won't end well.
Make a list. It will take 5 minutes and save you from wandering aimlessly.
Eat colorfully!! (See images below)
Shop the periphery. The majority of foods you buy should be on the outskirts of the store.
Don't have ice cream in the freezer "just in case". If you neeeeed it, then make yourself go out to get some and chances are, you probably won't spend the energy doing that.
Some meal prepping inspo
Every weekday my day starts out the same- rushing out of the apartment to make it to work on time, while probably forgetting one or two things along the way. I wake up approximately 12 minutes before I have to leave to walk to work (don't judge me, I just have to wear leggings and a training shirt as my outfit), so time to spare is next to zero.
Therefore, making smoothies for breakfast the night before is a MUST! I have two of my favorites that I'm sharing with you in this post. It's so easy to mix and match ingredients based on flavors and textures you enjoy, but this will give you a good start to get creative on your own!
Every since reading Body Love by Kelly Leveque, I base my smoothies off of her Be Well By Kelly's Fab Four smoothie formula (link here: bewellbykelly.com/bewellsmoothie/) that incorporates protein, fiber, fats, greens and fruits. With this combination, the smoothies keep you energized and full for hours. I promise.
1. Revitalizing Berry Smoothie
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
1 cup spinach
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 scoop Vega vanilla protein powder
2 tbsp chia seed
1 tsp cinnamon
+ water if too thick
Optional: topped with naturally-sweetened granola/nut crumbles
2. Green Protein Smoothie
1 cup spinach
1 frozen banana
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop Vega vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp ground golden flax seed
1 tbsp unsweetened almond butter
1 tsp cinnamon
+ water if too thick
Optional: add 1 tsp of spirulina if you're feeling extra green that morning
After a month of birthdays, vacations, and never-ending celebrations, I am back on the Whole 30 as a solid reset to my digestive system and eating behavior. Buuuuut this time I'm calling it the "Dirty 30", as I will incorporate some alcoholic beverages while staying strict with the food. I can't say no to the beginning of patio season drinking!
My first go-to for a Whole 30 recipe was this simple and flavorful frittata that was my lunch for every day last week. It takes 30 minutes to make and it can be the star of any meal. I served it alongside some roasted sweet potato fries and mixed greens with Trader Joe's Green Goddess dressing. I can't believe this was my first time trying this dressing because I have heard so much about it...and all the hype is true! Write it down on your next grocery list and you'll be forever grateful you did.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small white onion
1 cup steamed broccoli
1 cup steamed cauliflower
Optional: 3 chicken sausages or Italian sausage (with no sugar added)
10 eggs (can sub for 1/2 egg whites if want a lower fat version)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
Salt and pepper and paprika
Preheat oven to 425F.
Heat up olive oil over medium heat in large cast iron pan (10'') for 2 minutes and add chopped white onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until they become translucent. Add the steamed cauliflower and broccoli on top of the onions (I steam in the microwave with a little water and cover with paper towel for 4 minutes). Add sliced chicken sausage on top of veggies. Turn the heat off of the stove.
Whisk eggs, milk and seasonings in a separate bowl and pour this mixture over the ingredients in the sauté pan. Carefully transfer the skillet pan to the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, until the edges get brown and there is just a slight jiggle in the center.
Let it sit for 15 minutes before slicing and serving, or putting it in Tupperware for the week!
Some great toppings: salsa, avocado and cilantro... or some parsley, grated parmesan, and red pepper flakes!
^^^ Not pretty, but this is what a typical meal-prepped lunch looks like at work!
This frittata should make about 8 servings, but I doubled up at the end of the week when I ran out of sweet potato fries :)
Enjoy! And comment if you have any other topping ideas or sides to go along with it!
The only thing getting me through this seriously dreadful weather that we call "spring" is all the recent and upcoming birthday celebrations in April. My birthday, along with my mom's and a handful of close friends' birthdays, are all squeezed together in this month. The fun (and indulgences!) don't stop. From dinners, to drinks, to brunches, to desserts- the healthy eating is definitely side tracked. Wait, maybe it's a good thing that nice weather is postponed....
Regardless, I will continue to celebrate my wonderful friends, my amazing Mom and my own irrelevant birthday with great company, delicious indulgences and continuous laughter.
This birthday month inspired me to make a healthier version of a cookie cake that will slightly off-set the other "treat-yo-self" moments of celebrations. It is a vegan sprinkled sugar cookie cake that will have you going back for seconds (or thirds, no one is judging).
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax meal + 6 tbsp water, let sit for 5 mins)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1.5 cups almond flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Optional: 2 scoops unflavored collagen peptides (not vegan)
Preheat oven to 350 .
Whisk flax egg, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract and almond milk together. Add the rest of the ingredients except the sprinkles. Mix until well incorporated.
Spray a 9 or 13 inch pan with Pam and spread the batter out evenly with a spatula. Top with as many sprinkles as you want. The more the merrier.
Bake for 20-23 minutes. It will be easiest to cut once it is chilled in the fridge for a couple hours. Serve alone, with some candles, or my favorite is with a scoop of halo top ice cream! Enjoy!
I hear a lot that people don't like to eat salads, and I get it. Kinda.
If you're making a salad with iceberg lettuce, carrots, croutons and other blahhhh things, then obviously it's not going to be enjoyable. But there's a better way to do it! My salads are loaded up with different flavor profiles, lots of vitamins, healthy fats and protein. If you're getting this balance of flavors and macronutrients, then I promise it won't leave you feeling unsatisfied.
Here's my PSA: stop the stigma towards salads!
This Loaded Greek Chicken Salad is a great example of how we can help end the stigma. Make this, bring it to work, feel good about it, tell all your friends, and maybe attitudes will change...
This recipe builds on flavors and nutrients over a bed of hearty spinach. It has the saltiness from the olives, the crunch from the cucumber, the juiciness from the tomato, the spice from the chicken and the creaminess from the homemade tzatziki sauce. Boom.
The ingredients and directions are for 4 servings. I recommend building each salad in separate tupperware containers so that your lunches are ready to throw in your bag and take to work!
Ingredients for salad
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1 can of chickpeas
4 cups of spinach
4 medium roma tomatoes
1/2 cup of pitted kalmata olives
Spices: cumin, paprika, red pepper, oregano, garlic powder, s&p
Ingredients for Tzatziki Sauce
1 cup 0% fat plain greek yogurt
1/4 of finely chopped red onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 lemon- juiced
1 finely chopped cucumber
Garlic salt, dash of s&p
Spray saute pan and cook chicken breast over medium heat. Season the breast with salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder and cook for about 6 minutes each side.
While the chicken is cooking, preheat the oven to 425F. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place them on a baking sheet with sprayed aluminum foil. Season them generously with cumin, paprika, red pepper, salt and pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes until slightly dried out.
While the chickpeas are cooking, make the tzatziki sauce. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
Once everything is cooked, begin assembling your salad. Start with 1 cup of spinach and add 1/4 cup of the chickpeas.
Chop the tomatoes and add 1 tomato per serving. Chop the olives and add about 8-10 olives per serving.
Roughly chop the cucumbers and add 1/2 cucumber per serving.
Measure out 4-5oz of chicken (about the size of your palm) and add on top of each salad.
And the last element is the sauce. The tzatziki sauce is going to act as the dressing! Add one heaping spoonful to each salad, and you are done!
If you aren't eating this on the go, then keep the chicken separate, but still assemble the other ingredients together. Then, you can heat up the chicken and add it on top of the cold ingredients. Enjoy!!!
What is better than a build-your-own burrito bowl that is healthier and cheaper than Chipotle?! Answer: not many things.
Unfortunately, guac is still extra... But the price of avocados does not stop me from piling it onto this bowl of goodness.
This is my take on a burrito bowl that is layered with black bean and lime cauliflower rice, steamed broccoli, seasoned turkey and mushrooms, and then alllll the toppings of course. There are so many different variations you can play around with to create the burrito bowl of YOUR dreams, and you can use my version as inspiration.
I recommend storing the rice, broccoli, meat and toppings separately in the fridge so you can build the bowl fresh each time. This also allows you to change portion sizes depending on the day or meal you make it for!
Serving size: 4
1 bag of frozen cauliflower rice (about 4 cups)
1 can of low-sodium black beans
2 heads of broccoli
1/2 red onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small container of cremini mushrooms
1 lb of ground turkey (93% or 99% lean)
Paprika, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, red pepper flakes, S&P
Plain greek yogurt
Steam the bag of cauliflower in the microwave according to bag's directions. Drain and rinse the can of black beans. Once steamed, combine the cauliflower and beans in a bowl, add a generous portion of salt and pepper, and squeeze the juice from two limes into the bowl. Set aside.
Chop the two heads of broccoli, add to a bowl with 1/4 cup of water, cover with paper towel and steam in the microwave for 4 minutes.
In a sauté pan on medium heat, add olive oil, chopped red onion and chopped mushrooms.
(TIP: Adding mushrooms to a meat mixture creates more bulk/servings without the added calories and with the added vitamins and umami flavoring!)
Once onions are translucent, add ground turkey to pan. Once meat is browned, add 2 tbsp of water and all the seasonings to the pan. Stir well so that the seasonings are evenly spread. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Now it's time to layer your bowl!
Start with a big scoop (very precise, I know) of the "rice", then add 1/2 cup of broccoli, 1/4 of the turkey mixture, 1/3 sliced avocado, 2 tbsp salsa, 2 tbsp plain greek yogurt. Sprinkle some more salt, pepper and red pepper flakes on top. And waaalaahhh!
Other great toppings: cilantro, chopped red onion, reduced-fat cheese, shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes, Sriracha.
About this Section
This section is here to share my experiences in the kitchen and to give you inspiration to try out healthy and fun recipes!