Monday, March 30, 2015

Meal Prep: Turkey Veggie Meatloaf Muffins

What a glorious Monday morning it is! The sun is FINALLY out and I never thought I'd say this but 35 degrees feels pretty nice! I am going to take a little break from getting my Maui posts up to share a recipe. Monday's are normally Crockpot Monday, but I needed a break this week. So, instead this Monday is Meal Prep Monday! I still prepared a week of dinners, but I cooked instead of using the crockpot.

Before I get into the food I have a confession to make. I've never had meatloaf. To most that is probably not a big deal, but since my dad is such a picky eater I was kinda forced to live off chicken as a kid. Once I got to college and started cooking an entire world of foods opened up. I love trying new foods and I love using spices (another thing that was never used in my house). Trust me my mom did an awesome job with the limited selection of foods my dad would eat, but it's nice to be able to experiment on my own. 

This week I made a "meatloaf." I use the term loosely because this is a veggie meatloaf. It has zero of the stuff traditional meatloaf has- no ketchup, brown sugar, beef, etc. Plus I didn't make it in traditional loaf form. I opted for meatloaf "muffins" because they are easier grab and go. This is one meatloaf you can feel good about eating- each muffin has 95 calories, 4 carbs, 3 grams of fat, 10 grams of protein and only 1 gram of sugar! 

Turkey Veggie Meatloaf Muffins
  • 1.25 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup GF old fashioned oats
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1/2 small sweet or red onion, diced (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1 heaping cup organic baby bella mushrooms, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded (I forgot to put my carrot it :( )
  • 3 tablespoons egg white
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon organic minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • pinch garlic salt

In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients. I found it was easier to use my hands than to mix it with a fork or spoon. 

Once all the veggies, spices and turkey have been thoroughly combined divide the meat into 12 meatballs or muffins and place them in a nonstick muffin pan. You can also use muffin liners.

Bake the meatloaf muffins at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Slice into a muffin to check for doneness. It should be a golden brown and there should not be any pink. If they are not fully cooked bake for an additional 5 minutes and check again. 

With the meatloaf I made a giant batch of roasted vegetables and cauliflower "mashed potatoes." I will get those recipes up this week also.

Nutrition per serving (1 "muffin" equals 1 serving- makes 12 servings):
Nutrition Facts
Servings 12.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 95
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3 g5 %
Saturated Fat 1 g5 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 33 mg11 %
Sodium 43 mg2 %
Potassium 30 mg1 %
Total Carbohydrate 4 g1 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g4 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 10 g20 %
Vitamin A2 %
Vitamin C18 %
Calcium2 %
Iron4 %

Friday, March 27, 2015

Maui Mornings: Proats and Post Workout Snacks

I am finally starting to get some of my Maui posts up. Trust me there is still a lot of posts to come, but school has been keeping me busy.

Mornings have always been my favorite time of day. I love the quiet and stillness of the early morning and I love watching the world come to life. There is something so peaceful in the stillness of the morning, but Maui mornings are a zillion times better. I loved sitting or laying in bed listening to the crashing waves. The ocean really is my cure for everything. I would listen to the ocean as I ate my breakfast. Normally I have a protein smoothie in the morning before heading to the gym, however I didn't want everyone around us to hate me for running a blender at 4 am, so I switched things up and had proats.

Proats is protein powder + (gf) oatmeal. I cooked the oats according to the directions, usually I added a tad more water than called for because I was adding in protein powder and no one wants dry oats, then stirred in the protein powder. 

I mixed things up with the toppings. Some mornings I had banana or strawberry slices (or both), sometimes I had peanut butter blob and sometimes I ate plain proats. Gotta keep life interesting right ;)

Luckily where we were staying had a pretty nice gym. There was all the usual cardio machines- ellipticals, treadmills, bikes, a stair stepper and even a rowing machine, but there was also a lot of free weights and weight machines. I stuck to my normal lifting routine, but I cut back the cardio. Between walking everywhere, taking hikes, walks on the beach, playing in the ocean and swimming I got plenty of cardio. 

I had packed two boxes of Quest bars so I had plenty of post workout snacks. I packed s'mores, cookies and cream, chocolate brownie, double chocolate chunk and chocolate chip cookie dough- it's safe to say the chocolate Quest bars are my favorites :)

I loved eating my post workout Quest bar on the lanai. Besides gazing at the gorgeous view (which I could do all day) I'd look for whales. I love how magical it is whale watching. Whales are such beautiful creatures and I find them fascinating. Watching whales jump and splash around never gets old. What I'd give to live there and wake up to that view every day...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Maui Eats: Cheeseburger In Paradise

There are so many places to eat in West Maui. Most nights my family and I stayed in and cooked or grilled, but some nights we did go out. Going out to eat in my family is no easy task. One our first nights in Maui before my brother joined us we decided to go down to Front Street and walk around.

I have a love/hate relationship with Front Street. Front Street is basically a tourist trap because there are a ton of the typical t-shirt, jewelry and art stores mixed in with restaurants. It can be fun to walk around Front Street and I always love the banyan tree in downtown Lahaina, but generally the area is too toursity for me. I love finding local hole in the wall places that don't charge an arm and a leg for a meal. But since we were already downtown we stopped in Cheeseburger In Paradise to grab a bite to eat. 

Cheeseburger In Paradise is located on Front Street in the heart of downtown. It is right on the water and has gorgeous views of Lanai. It's a beautiful place to grab some food and watch the sunset or whale watch. 

Obviously it is a burger place, but they do have a lot of other food. The best part is they do have gluten free options which are all labeled on their menu. 

I ordered the Sesame Crusted Ahi Salad. I don't like ahi so I swapped it for grilled chicken instead. The salad is not normally gluten free because of the salad dressing and the won ton strips, so I simply picked the won ton strips off and asked for no dressing. They gave me the dressing on the side so I just set it off to the side on the table. The salad was delicious! My mom ordered the same salad and my dad ordered a grilled chicken sandwich without the cheese. Everything was really good! If you're looking for a quick and yummy bite to eat I do recommend stopping at Cheeseburger In Paradise. You'll get to enjoy a beautiful view while you eat! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Typical Maui Lunch

Food is expensive most places, but in Hawaii food is really expensive. Basic rule of thumb don't go to the grocery store unless you're prepared for some serious sticker shock. Like $9 for a gallon of milk shock...

Grocery shopping in Maui is expensive, but it is cheaper than eating out all the time. Besides, I enjoy cooking and being able to prepare food how I wanted it. Having been grocery shopping in Hawaii many times before my jaw doesn't drop as much at the prices. I packed a lot of food in my carry on and some in a checked bag that my family had (I talk about traveling gluten free here).

With all that I packed I stuck to getting the basics at the grocery store: almond milk, gf bread, kale/romaine lettuce blend, bell peppers, tomatoes, avocado, feta cheese, greek yogurt, eggs, creamy and crunchy peanut butter (I needed some variety!), bananas, pineapple, apples, blueberries, frozen strawberries, fresh strawberries, gf oats and gf rice cakes. 

I loved eating lunch out on the lanai because I would watch for whales. Maui has the BEST avocados EVER. They are so fresh and amazing, I would move just for the avocados (not even kidding). I stuck to the usual suspects for lunch. A gf sandwich thin, one has peanut butter and banana and the other has smashed avocado, tomato slices and a hard boiled egg.

Another favorite I found while I was there was Dannon Light and Fit salted caramel greek yogurt! I have seen it all over instagram and wanted to try it and it is definitely delicious! I liked having one of these yogurt cups or a refresher smoothie for a snack after the pool or beach because I was always hungry when I came back. All of the swimming and running around in the waves and even just laying in the sun trying (and failing) to get my tan on (haha, just kidding I had on like SPF 100) made me hungry, gotta feed the muscles to make them grow!

More Maui posts to come soon!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Crockpot Taco Chicken Meat

How is it Monday already? Where does the weekend go?! In any case Happy Crockpot Monday! I apologize for slacking on the blog. It's that point in the semester where every class has papers, presentations and research projects due. I have been trying to stay on top of everything for school and work, plus I had to go home for a bunch of doctors appointments over the weekend.

Even though I was really busy with doctors appointments and a tower of homework I got my parents to go to a chronic pain yoga class Saturday morning. It has been awhile since I have done yoga, but I do enjoy it. This was very basic yoga, nothing intense, mostly just stretches and lots of breathing exercises. I am hoping to go to another class whenever I go home again.

Anyway enough about that on to crockpot Monday! I have done a few different crockpot tacos before, but practice makes perfect right? These tacos have a little kick to them and since it is just the meat in the crockpot you can make a traditional taco or taco salad with it.

Crockpot Taco Chicken Meat
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/3 sweet onion, diced
  • 14.5 oz organic diced tomatoes with green chilies 

Spread the onion on the bottom of the crockpot. 

Place the chicken breasts on top of the diced onion.

Sprinkle the seasonings and minced garlic over the chicken.

Dump the diced tomatoes with green chilies over everything in crockpot.

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

Using a fork shred the chicken- the chicken will just fall apart so this will be very easy. 

Once you have shredded the chicken cover the crockpot and allow it to soak up more of the tomato juice and spices for 20 minutes.

Serve tacos how you desire!

Nutrition Information (I did not measure out my servings so the nutrition information will differ depending on much meat you use for a taco):
Nutrition Facts
Servings 5.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 137
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12 g18 %
Saturated Fat 0 g0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 75 mg25 %
Sodium 373 mg16 %
Potassium 35 mg1 %
Total Carbohydrate 6 g2 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g4 %
Sugars 4 g
Protein 27 g54 %
Vitamin A15 %
Vitamin C13 %
Calcium3 %
Iron3 %

Monday, March 16, 2015

Crockpot Lentil Vegetable Soup

Happy Monday! It's about to be a great Monday for three reasons: 1. it's crockpot Monday 2. it's going to be 64 degrees!!! and 3. one of my classes was cancelled. For those three reasons I consider it to a fantastic way to start the week! I cannot wait for the warm weather to come and stay, but for the mean time I will take what I can get!

One of my goals for this year was to experiment with foods I had never tried before, until now I had never had lentils. Some of my vegetarian friends eat lentils all the time and seemed to like them so I decided to give them a go. I figured pairing them with vegetables in a soup would be the safest bet, because if I didn't like them at least they would be semi disguised. LENTILS ARE AMAZING! Seriously I cannot wait to put them in salads, lettuce wraps and use them a zillion other ways!

This soup turned out really good and the best thing is it's totally customizable. You can use whatever vegetables you want. This soup is really great spring soup- it's not a heavy like chili, but it's still packed with protein to keep you full. Another bonus I've found is it tastes equally good cold as it does hot- a perk for those who have to pack meals! However you eat it this soup is delicious and packed with all things nutritious! 

Crockpot Lentil Vegetable Soup
  • 2 9oz steamed or ready to eat lentils (about 2.5 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 8 oz baby bella sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 yellow summer squash, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 3 on the vine tomatoes, diced
  • 28 oz organic diced tomatoes
  • 32 oz organic low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • thyme, to taste
  • dried basil, to taste
  • oregano, to taste

Layer half of the diced onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms, summer squash, carrot and on the vine tomatoes into the crockpot.

Dump the first package (9 oz or 1.25 cups) of lentils on top of the vegetables in the crockpot.

Layer the other half of the diced vegetables on top of the lentils in the crockpot. 

Dump the second package (9 oz or 1.25 cups) of lentils on top of the second layer of vegetables in the crockpot.

Place minced garlic and all seasonings on top of everything in the crockpot.

Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Stir the soup to mix everything together before serving. The soup pairs well with gluten free cornbread. Place leftovers in airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for up to six months.

Nutrition Information (1 cup= 1 serving):
Nutrition Facts
Servings 9.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 111
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1 g1 %
Saturated Fat 0 g0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0 %
Sodium 257 mg11 %
Potassium 260 mg7 %
Total Carbohydrate 20 g7 %
Dietary Fiber 5 g19 %
Sugars 4 g
Protein 8 g17 %
Vitamin A33 %
Vitamin C35 %
Calcium6 %
Iron3 %