Meet The Little Green Pea!

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Today I want to honor this smart and talented young woman, Alyssa Luning, RD, RDN – founder of The Little Green Pea.

Alyssa obtained a Bachelors of Science in Culinary Nutrition at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. She then completed her graduate program and clinical internship at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

I am truly blessed to have this chic in my life, not only for continuously providing useful information on healthy living, but also for being a beautiful human being, inside and out.

Alyssa specializes in bariatrics and weight management, and has a passion for cooking nutritional cuisine for her friends. I have been lucky enough to cook along side this mastermind, and am happy to showcase a few of her meals I have had.

Almond lemon cupcake with a spiced peach filling and a honey buttercream.

Alyssa

A Healthy Hanukkah – (from left to right) Lentil Loaf, Radish and Roasted Beet Salad, Kale Artichoke Dip, Roasted Carrots & Asparagus, Poached Pears (all FitGirlsGuide inspired – post on that program coming soon).

Hannukah

Follow her on Facebook – Instagram & YouTube for plant based culinary nutrition!

Chocolate Frosting Shots

FrostingYes you read that right.

I’m going to share with you a healthy alternative to chocolate frosting, and you seriously wouldn’t know the difference.

I found this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie. Katie had been determined to fit dessert in her daily life, with out all the added guilt, refined sugars and calories. I seriously suggest you check out her blog, and her new book, Chocolate-Covered Katie: Over 80 Delicious Recipes That Are Secretly Good for You.

When making this recipe, it is important you use a good brand of coconut milk (I like Thai Kitchen), and use full fat.

Katie’s recipes can be catered to your dietary needs or preferences, as I prefer to use honey than sugar. I also found it gave a creamier texture this way. Don’t worry if your mixture looks nothing like frosting! I poured mine into individual serving mason jars, and stored them in the fridge. Overnight, I was beyond myself when I dipped my spoon in this heavenly rich frosting.

Lean Three Bean Chili

Happy December Everyone!

Now that the winter season has approached us, it felt only necessary to warm up next to a hot bowl of comforting chili.

Chili can be made so many ways, from slow cooking all day in your crock pot, to quickly simmering on your stove. Being such a hearty meal, I usually slow cook my chili on days I know will be super busy. But there are just some mornings that you can’t get out of bed and forget to set your crock pot! Before you know it, it’s 7PM and you have a ton of work to catch up on, but don’t want to order take out for dinner. This recipe is for you! This chili recipe from Skinny Mom can be ready in twenty minutes and tastes like the flavors have been marrying all day.

Not only was this a super quick meal to make, it was also a great meal for the days you haven’t gone grocery shopping yet! Canned beans, tomatoes, and chicken stock are three main things that I stock in my pantry for times like this.

As you can see, the recipe is for Turkey Chili not Bean Chili .. HUH?! This recipe can be made both ways. As I mentioned, I had no food in the house but beans! Instead of ground turkey, I simply added one more can of beans. Nothing else was changed, except the omission of cinnamon.

Chili is so versatile, you can really add what you want as far as toppings – cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives, jalapenos, sliced avocado, fresh chopped tomatoes, sliced olives, crushed tortilla chips or shredded lettuce. Go wild!

Salad Nicoise Redux

IMG_20150512_132657Another recipe idea from the FitGirlsGuide 28 Day Jump-start.

Ingredients:
1 Yellow Pepper
Green peas, frozen
Chicken
Avocado
Greek Yogurt
Lime
Green beans
Red Bliss potatoes
Cilantro
Dried dill

Directions:
1. Steam green beans. Boil potatoes. Chill.
2. In a 400F oven, roast bell pepper unit soft but will still hold it’s form.
3. Mash avocado, Greek yogurt, dill, salt, pepper, lime juice. Add to shredded chicken, peas, a cilantro.
4. Spoon mixture into half of a pepper.
5. Serve with a side of low calorie dressing. I used a lite Caesar.

**I did not write down an exact recipe for this. I improvised, and tasted along the way to my liking.

Pita Pizza

If you haven’t already figured it out, I like quick recipes. But quick, doesn’t have to mean it lacks flavor.

I got this idea from the FitGirlsGuide 28 Day Jump-start.

This program has taught me I can still eat all my favorite foods, and be healthy.

PIZZA.

In particular, buffalo chicken pizza *swoon*

IMG_20150519_212021Ingredients:
1 whole grain pita
Franks Red Hot Sauce
Shredded Chicken
Part-skim Mozzarella cheese
Green onions
Broccoli

Bake in a hot oven, directly on the rack, at 400F for 10 minutes. I like to eat this along with a side of fruit, usually strawberries.

Spinach Lasagna Roll-ups

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For those nights you want some comfort food. I love making these in large batches, and freezing the rest (using my new vaccuum sealer!)

Recipe:
6 whole wheat lasagna noodles
4 large handfuls of spinach
1/2 cup ricotta
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 jar of your favorite marinara (I like Arribata)
Mozzarella cheese (for the top)

Directions:
1. Cook the pasta according to the box. Then rinse under cold water.
2. Saute the spinach with the olive oil and minced garlic.
3. Once the spinach has wilted, transfer it to a bowl and mix in the ricotta, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
4. Lay your pasta flat on a paper towel, add filling.
5. Roll the pasta.
6. In a baking dish, pour a small amount of marinara sauce to just cover the bottom of the pan.
7. Add pasta roll ups, top with more marinara and some mozzarella cheese.
8. Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes

Tip- make sure to cover the noodles with more sauce if you do not like crispy edges.

Brekkie Quesadilla

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One of our favorite breakfasts and it’s packed with protein.

1 whole wheat tortilla
Low sodium refried black beans
2 scrambled egg whites
1 T shredded mozzarella
Sliced avocado

While your eggs are cooking, heat the tortilla in a dry pan on medium heat. Spread half of the tortilla with beans and the other half with cheese. Add scrambled eggs. Once the cheese starts melting, fold in half. Let the tortilla crisp nicely, then cut and serve with sliced avocado.

Chocolate Chip Doughettes

Doughettes, protein balls, whatever you call them.. make these now.

These are great snacks throughout your day when you are craving something sweet, and will hold you over until your next meal.

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These balls are 100 calories each. But if you use pb2, you can eat about 4 for 100 calories! #loophole

Recipe:
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup oats
2 T honey
2 T dark chocolate chips

Directions:
Coarsely grind your oats in a food processor then combine all ingredients. Chill mixture in fridge for 20 minutes before shaping into balls. Shape balls 1 T each. Roll in sprinkles if desired!

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

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Acquired this recipe from Damn Delicious. My new favorite blog!

This beats your old chicken noodle soup recipe. Perfect for cold, snowed in weather or when you’re feeling sick. This dish tastes so fresh with all the herbs and has a nice zing from the lemon.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions:

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to the stockpot and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Whisk in chicken stock, bay leaves and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Stir in orzo, rosemary and chicken; reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.