Friday, February 28, 2014

Fruit Platter

Sometimes after a long workout I don't feel like eating anything "heavy," if that makes sense. One of my favorite things to do on days like those is have a fruit platter.

Usually I will have a variety of fruits but here are some of my favorite I like to include:
  • 1 cup cherries
  • 3 or 4 strawberries, cut in half
  • 1 kiwi, sliced
  • 1 small bundle of green grapes

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chicken Fajita

Chicken Fajita:
  • 1 La Tortilla Low Carb High Fiber wrap
  • 1.5 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup grilled chicken with fajita seasoning
  • sprinkle of mozzarella cheese 
  • if you choose throw on some veggies for added flavor

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Big Bowl of Oatmeal

I have a back log of posts I need to get up and I am trying to find time to get a few up this week.

I know this is not the best picture, but the oatmeal was delicious and definitely worth trying.

I used 1 cup of old fashioned oats (prepared according to directions), then added in 1/2 cup Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla Greek yogurt, 1/2 banana, sliced, 4 strawberries, sliced, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix together all ingredients and enjoy!

Follow me on Instagram for recipe inspiration and for a peak into my daily life: rachael_miner

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Quick Dinner

Between studying for exams, finishing up papers due this week, and editing a film and video project I was glad to have chicken lo mein leftovers to heat up for a quick dinner. You will want to cover the leftovers with wax paper before heating up to retain moisture.

With my leftovers I had half of a large red grapefruit and a small bundle of green grapes.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Lo Mein

Happy Crockpot Monday! I have been so excited to post this recipe because it is so delicious. Although I technically cheated because I made this yesterday, so it was technically crockpot Sunday. Regardless delicious food needs to be shared!

Chicken lo mein is definitely up there as one of my favorite foods, but I don't eat it that often. I had a hankering for it though so I decided to make it this weeks crockpot meal, and I must say I am glad I did! 

You will need:
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 packet stir fry seasoning, can use 1/2 cup of low sodium teriyaki sauce instead
  • 1/2 small sweet onion diced
  • 1 cup diced vegetables of choice, I used red, yellow, and green bell peppers
  • 16 ounce frozen stir fry veggie mix, make sure there is no added artificial ingredients
  • 10 ounces lo mein noodles, most grocery stores keep them in the international aisle

Place chicken breasts in crockpot. You can cut up the chicken breasts before hand or shred them after they're cooked. I think it's easier to do after they're cooked.

Spread 1 cup of fresh, NOT frozen, veggies and sweet onion on top of chicken breasts. 

Pour packet of stir fry sauce on top of vegetables and chicken. Use a spoon and spread it around a little bit.

Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 3 hours. 

One hour before serving add the frozen vegetables into crockpot. Again use a spoon and spread sauce around a bit.

Cover and allow to cook for another hour. You can also switch your crockpot to high and cook for 30 minutes. Check to make sure vegetables are tender.

Fifteen minutes before serving boil water and cook lo mein noodles. These do cook quickly so be sure to keep an eye on them. 

Once the noodles are done cooking drain any access water from them and uncover crockpot. Dump noodles into crockpot. Use a giant spoon to combine vegetables, chicken, and noodles also coating the noodles in sauce.

Serve and enjoy! 

Nutrition per serving (serves 6):
Calories: 224
Carbs: 21
Fat: 5 grams
Protein: 22 grams
Sodium: 558mg
Sugar: 12 grams

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Winter Blues

I know I have been slacking on the blog, but I can't seem to find time to do anything between exams, papers, and all class projects I have going. I am so ready for spring break! 

I woke up at 4:30 this morning, which is way too early even for me. I managed to get a lot done this morning though. I did an extra long workout this morning, because when you're up at 4:30 why not? I combined my weekday workouts into one long workout of cardio, strength training and abs work. Even though I was up way too early it felt good to get my muscles moving and work off some of the previous days steam. 

After a quick shower I whipped up a quick batch of granola to munch on while I studied. I would rather make my own snacks than buy store brand snacks that are filled with chemicals and fake ingredients. I threw in some dried mango and pineapple as well as banana chips and it's actually really good in granola! 

While the granola was in the oven I started on my homework pile, which somehow seems to keep growing (another reason I need spring break!)

Despite a hard workout this morning and lots of brain work I was not overly hungry for lunch. But I knew I needed to give my body fuel though so I made a pretty basic lunch. I smeared two tablespoons of all natural peanut butter on whole grain bread and topped it off with some banana slices. Along with it I had a bundle of grapes, 1/4 of blackberries, and 1/2 of vanilla Greek yogurt topped with a few granola clusters. Do not knock it until you try it because it was delicious!

After meeting up with a friend to work on a project in the late afternoon I whipped up a tasty salmon dinner, which I will hopefully have time to post the recipe for soon. 

I promise I do have a crockpot recipe for Monday for you, and it is one I am really excited to share with you! 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and check back soon for new recipes!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Salmon Berry Salad

I wanted to do a quick dinner post because with midterms this week I don't know how much I will be able to post. Last night I threw together a salad from ingredients I already had on hand.

You will need:
  • Salmon
  • 1/2 Red Delicious apple
  • 2 cups mixed Mediterranean Blend lettuce
  • 1/4 cup blackberries
  • lemon juice

Cook salmon at 400 degree for 20 minutes, or until it flakes apart and is light pink in color.

I squirted a little lemon juice over my salmon to add some extra flavor.

Serve salmon over 2 cups mixed Mediterranean salad blend.

I also added in 1/4 cup of fresh blackberries. 

For a final semi fancy touch I added thin Red Delicious apple slices around the plate. 

The salmon was so good and the fruit was sweet enough that I didn't add any dressing. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Crockpot Ground Turkey for Healthy Taco Night

Happy Crockpot Monday! More snow is in the forecast and temperatures are still below freezing. I'm done with winter, but sadly it's not done with me. Anyway there are only two weeks left of classes before Spring Break and I am so excited! I can't wait to go home and snuggle with my puppy. It's been far too long since I've seen her.

Back to crockpot Monday. I had a hard time deciding what kind of recipe I wanted to do this week and then I started craving tacos. I've never had a "real" taco because I don't eat beef, but my mom always used to make them with refried beans when I was a kid. I wanted to try ground turkey this time around.

I was also feeling a little adventurous because I decided to forgo a wrap for a shell, I hate traditional taco shells, they taste like cardboard to me. So, I went with a lettuce wrap. Spinach wraps are also really good for a shell as well.

You will need:
  • 1 pound of ground turkey, I used Jennie-O Extra Lean
  • 1 cup water or organic low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup diced onion, more if you prefer
  • red, yellow, and green bell peppers, diced
  • salsa, I used Meijer Naturals
  • avocado
  • taco cheese
  • head of lettuce 
  • OPTIONAL: Packet of taco seasoning, go organic to avoid artificial ingredients

Put ground turkey in crockpot.

Spread diced onion over meat and pour water or chicken broth over onion and meat. If you're going to add taco seasoning pour seasoning over meat and mix in before covering and cooking.

Cover and cook on high for 3.5 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.

Cut up veggies before hand or after the meat is finished cooking. 

If you prefer you can sauté veggies before putting them into your taco. When you sauté them it will release their natural flavors and tastes so good in a the taco.

Scoop ground turkey, drain away excess liquid first, into lettuce wrap or taco shell and top with salsa, bell peppers, onion, avocado, and cheese. If you like sour cream on your tacos try plain Greek yogurt as a healthy alternative. 

Nutrition (per serving):
Calories: 229
Carbs: 2
Fat: 11 grams
Protein: 27 grams
Sodium: 129mg
Sugars: 2 grams

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Egg White Veggie Omelet

I am sorry for my lack of postings over this weekend. I wish I could say I was busy with my Valentine but my only Valentines this year were my textbooks, but we did spend a lot of time together this weekend...way too much time. 

Anyway Friday night I was so busy studying I didn't feel like making anything fancy, so I made an omelet. It was a quick and healthy meal that was perfect for a night in studying.

I used slightly less than 1 cup of egg whites. I cooked it over medium heat until it was partially cooked.

Then I added 1/2 cup of mixed Mediterranean greens, a little bit of red and yellow pepper, and two baby red potatoes chopped into small chunks.

I allowed everything to cook together for a few minutes then I folded it together so each side could have time to cook. Flip to allow both sides to brown.

Once each side turns a nice golden brown it's done!

I had my omelet with half a red grapefruit and a small bunch of grapes. 

It was a yummy meal full of all kinds of good nutrients to help fuel my studying. Food is fuel so feed your brain good!

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Happy Valentine's Day! Valentine's Day was always so much fun as a kid. I always got to make a cool box where classmates would put Valentines cards in. I also liked picking out my Valentines. There were so many choices it was always hard to choose. That is probably what I miss the most about being a kid. I don't get those awesome foil Valentines anymore or the cool fake tattoos that came with some of them  

Being an adult Valentine's Day isn't as much fun, but sure is a heck of a lot more expensive. If you've procrastinated and still don't have anything for your sweetheart or you're short on cash I have the perfect solution for you today. Homemade chocolate chip cookies. Now I realize these may not sound all that special or fantastic but I can promise you (and my friends will verify it for you) these chocolate chip cookies are the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever taste. 

In my hometown my mom is famous for her amazing chocolate chip cookies. Literally all my friends, former teachers, church friends, neighbors, and pretty much everyone else will tell you my mom makes a mean chocolate chip cookie. When I started playing with ingredients to make the best chocolate chip cookie ever I had a lot to live up to. Luckily, because I don't eat sweets, one of my friends was more than happy to be the taste tester. She happily confirmed these were the best cookies she'd ever had. 

So, if you need a last minute Valentine's Day gift why not show your love with something homemade instead of store bought. Homemade gifts are always better, especially when they're edible! 

You will need:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients. If dough is crumbly and not forming well melt 1.5 tablespoons of butter and add it into the mixing bowl. If you're still having a hard time getting dough to form use your hands instead of a spoon- yes this is messier but it really does help.

You can also combine ingredients with an electric mixer.

If you're going to use an electric mixer combine the butter, egg, and vanilla first on a medium or low speed.

Then carefully add in mixture of dry ingredients. Combine on a low speed. 

Slowly add in chocolate chips.

Using your hands or a scooper make dough balls and place on lined baking sheet. Form dough balls larger or smaller depending on how many cookies you want to make. Leave space between dough on baking sheet for cookies to spread.

If you create small dough balls you can get about 40 cookies.

Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 16 minutes. Check cookies at 12 minutes. Cookies are done when the edges turn a golden brown color. 

Bake each sheet of cookies individually so the cookies will bake evenly.

Allow the cookies to cool for thirty minutes before removing from baking sheet. Even after removing do not immediately place in a sealed container/bag. Allow the cookies to completely cool or they will spoil much faster.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week. 

For a fun Valentine's day touch add red, white, and pink sprinkles to the top of cookies as soon as they come out of the oven. You can also incorporate sprinkles into the dough of the cookies as well. 

Important Update

Hi everyone I just wanted to give you a brief but important update. Last night my Pinterest account was hacked. The person who hacked my account changed my bio, my website, and various other things were also changed. I just want to apologize for this incident and I hope none of you clicked the link the hacker had posted on my Pinterest page. My page is fully back to normal and everything is back in full working order. I apologize for any confusion and I certainly hope you did not click the link the hacker posted. Have a great Friday and again I apologize for any confusion.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Granola

Fall is not the only time to make pumpkin everything. I had a hankering for a healthy pumpkin treat so I whipped up pumpkin spice granola. Oh my was it delicious! If you like pumpkin or pumpkin pie you've got to try this recipe! I will most definitely be making it again soon as somehow it managed to get eaten very quickly!

You will need:
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar, can substitute honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, can substitute canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl combine dried oats, dried cherries, dried cranberries, dark chocolate chips, and chia seeds. Use a rubber spatula to mix dried ingredients together.

In a separate mixing bowl combine agave nectar, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and all natural peanut butter. Microwave ingredients for 45 seconds and stir. If all ingredients are not completely melted microwave for an additional 25 seconds and stir again.

Carefully add wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula and toss dry ingredients until all ingredients are coated with wet ingredients. 

When wet and dry ingredients are completely tossed, spread granola onto lined baking sheet. Use a rubber spatula and spread granola out fairly evenly on baking sheet. 

Carefully sprinkle pumpkin pie spice over granola. You can use more than a tablespoon if desired but baking will bring out the flavor so more will make the flavor stronger.

After sprinkling pumpkin pie spice onto granola bake granola at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Check at 15 minutes. Granola is done when it turns a golden color. Remove promptly.

Allow granola to cool overnight or cool for a few hours before breaking apart. Keep granola clusters in an airtight container for up to three weeks.