Filed In: Eats

dinner made easy (and healthy!)

In case you don’t know this about me already, I am a major foodie. I love good food, I love great restaurants, and I love desserts. I’ll be the first to admit though, I’m not the greatest cook in the world. Baking – I love. Cooking – not my strong suit. I’m trying to get better though & find more recipes that are healthy and easy!

I recently found this turkey burger recipe (from The Pioneer Woman) and thought it looked simple and delicious. I tried it last night and both my husband and I loved it! The goat cheese/pesto spread was amazing, and the entire meal took less than 30 mins to make. (The Pioneer Woman recipe has the turkey burger on a toasted everything bagel. My husband had his on a toasted bun, and I did mine just on a bed of spinach! She also put more butter in her’s than I used. So, the recipe below is my version of her original) Enjoy!

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Ingredients (This is for 8 servings – if you have a big family or just want lots of leftovers!)

  • 8 whole Everything Bagels (Again, I used a bun for my husband, just spinach for me!)
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 ounces, weight Goat Cheese (chevre)
  • 2 Tablespoons Pesto
  • 2 pounds Ground Turkey
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (more To Taste)
  • Plenty Of Black Pepper
  • 8 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 whole Egg Yolk (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Sliced
  • 3 whole Avocados, Sliced
  • 16 whole Large Basil Leaves

Preparation Instructions

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and grill the cut side of the bagels until golden brown and slightly crisp. Set aside.

Stir together the goat cheese (or cream cheese) and the pesto until smooth. Add more pesto if you’d like!

Combine turkey, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and egg yolk (if using) in a large bowl. Stir or knead together with your hands, then form into patties.

Heat canola oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties on both sides until totally done, with no sign of pink in the middle, at least 4-5 minutes per side.

To serve, spread a good amount of the pesto spread on each bagel half. Place the burgers on the bottom half, then top with tomato slices and basil leaves. Lay avocado slices on the top half, using the spread to make them stay put. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the avocados, then place the top half on the bottom half, smush it together…and dig in!

Flawless Chocolate Chip Cookies

In case we haven’t met before, my name is Lauren Sims, and I am an absolute cookie MONSTER. I love all sweets but ever since I was an infant (maybe even before), cookies have won my heart. Particularly chocolate chip.

I have several different recipes I rotate through when baking cookies, depending on the occassion and how much time I have. The recipe I’m about to share with you all is for brown butter chocolate chip cookies. I love this one because you don’t have to chill the dough, because really…who has time for that. They are also so chewy and stay soft for days!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I have!

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (this recipe is adapted from Baker By Nature, I just made a few changes!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 15 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt; set aside
  3. Place 8 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until the butter has browned.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 7 tablespoons of butter; whisk until completely smooth. Place the bowl in the refrigerator or freezer and bring the butter back to room temperature. *You’ll know the butter is at room temperature when you press a finger into the top and it makes a slight indentation.
  5. Once the butter is at room temperature, add the sugars and the vanilla to the browned butter and whisk until light & fluffy; about 2 minutes (I use a stand mixer!) Add the eggs and beat quickly, for only about 30 seconds – until they’re just combined.
  6. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes, then beat the eggs for another 30 seconds
  7. Gently fold in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear.
  8. Fold in all chocolate chips
  9. Lightly grease a cookie sheet (or place a silipat mat on a cookie sheet! This is the one I use and i’m obsessed with it. Totally transforms your cookies)
  10. Roll the dough into balls (I personally like smaller cookies – then you can easily justify eating 5), then place on prepared sheet (make sure to leave enough room in between each cookie for inevitable spreading).
  11. Continue this process until all the dough has been rolled.
  12. Place baking sheets in preheated oven and bake for 11-14 minutes, or until golden at the edges but still soft in the middle. (I cook mine 10 minutes actually!)
  13. let cookies cool for 5 minutes on the sheet before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely. (This is the wire wrack I use)
  14. Enjoy!! Try and cut yourself off after a dozen if you can!

Make sure you follow me on pinterest for more yummy dessert recipes. xx

5 FRIDAY FAVES – FITNESS EDITION

For our 5 Friday Faves this week, we’ve picked our top 5 fitness items! Working out and running is such a huge part of both mine and Lo’s lives, so we wanted to share the items with ya’ll that make working out so much more enjoyable for us!

1. Favorite sports bra:

This all depends on your activity. If it’s for a highly active/intense workout, I love to have a lot of support, which is why the Under Armor Eclipse sports bra is my fave. If its for light activity (walking, yoga, etc.) you can’t go wrong with a good Target sports bra. So comfortable and easy to wear all the time (but, try and resist!). I have this in probably 4 different colors…

2. Favorite running shoe:

For everyday running, the Nike LunarEclipse takes the cake. What I love about Nike is that they manage to make an amazing product, but keep style in mind at the same time! I love this turquoise LunarEclipse.

3. Favorite workout companion:

Fitbit flex. I had been wanting a steps tracking device for a while and did my research on the different brands. I was won over by the amazing reviews for the fitbit flex and all of it’s capabilities. And, let’s be honest, it was the cutest one. It tracks my steps throughout the day, mileage from my runs, and my sleep at night. My husband bought it for me a few months ago and it has not left my wrist since!

4. Favorite running sock:

Crazy to think that such a small item makes such a massive difference in running; but it does! I love these tab back socks because they keep your feet from blistering, the sock doesn’t slip down into your shoe, and provides the support your foot needs.

5. Favorite pre-work out snack: banana and almond butter – every time! My favorite almond butter is from Trader Joe’s.

Shop our favorite fitness products here!:

mashed califlower.

As we move into November, here are the fruits/vegetables in season: green beans, grapes, pears, apples, cauliflower, potatoes, winter squash & broccoli. Try to include these foods in your daily diet as often as possible for nutrient rich meals and snacks.

 

Mashed potatoes are always a favorite dish, especially when it’s getting colder outside. For those of you trying to include more vegetables, looking for a lighter dish (decreasing body fat) or wanting to try something new, mashed cauliflower has become a hit with many.

 

Cauliflower is classified as a cruciferous vegetable. While many people think of “white” foods as being empty calories, cauliflower is high in Vitamin C providing many antioxidants to the body.

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Here’s a simple recipe to get you started. Change up the amounts of milk and/or yogurt to get a different consistency.

Makes 4 servings

Time: 40 minutes

 

1 head cauliflower

1 bulb garlic

2 tsp olive oil

½ cup almond milk

¼- ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Chop cauliflower into florets. Don’t spend too much time chopping – just enough to spread out the pieces (eventually you will blend it all up). Spread onto baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil. Toss to coat.
  3. Slice off the top of the garlic bulb and wrap in foil. Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil. Place wrapped bulb on the baking sheet with the cauliflower.
  4. Roast cauliflower and garlic bulb for 25-30 minutes, stirring cauliflower halfway through. While cauliflower/garlic is roasting, you can add the remaining ingredients to the processor/blender to save time.
  5. Allow cauliflower to cool slightly. Remove garlic cloves from bulb (they should be soft and easy to remove from skin).

If you enjoyed this post, please visit me at www.thefueledathlete.com. I just re-launched my blog this week and would love for you to join me!

Christina Strudwick, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, is a Sports Dietitian with a passion for helping others reach their goals. She’s a native Texan but currently working with Special Forces soldiers in North Carolina.

chocolate almond butter cups.

I heart chocolate, and almond butter is a pantry staple of mine. I also aim to eliminate dairy and gluten as much as possible in my diet. All this to say, I am kidnapping this recipe from this new blog I came to adore today. I can hardly wait to make these yummy gluten free, dairy free treats!

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Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

makes 4 large cups (probably 8 or so servings)

Base:
1 cup dates
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Blend together all ingredients. Shape into cup base either just by using your hands or by pressing into parchment paper lined muffin pan. Place in refrigerator to stiffen.

Chocolate topping:
1 cup dates
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoon cacao
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Mix together all ingredients until fluffy and smooth sauce is formed.

Center:
1/2 – 3/4 cup almond butter

Remove bases from refrigerator and fill half way full with almond butter. Top with chocolate sauce. You can add hemp seeds, chia seeds, or any other seeds to top them off if you’d like as well. Serve, enjoy!

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Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie.

Fall weather is here! Along with the cooler weather comes the delicious fall produce. When trying to choose healthier options, it’s important to consider what is in season. By choosing and purchasing foods in season, you will not only save money… you will get fresh and nutrient dense food.

 

Foods lose flavor when they have to be shipped from another part of the world, just as they lose moisture when they are held. Fresh, locally harvested foods have their full, whole flavors intact, which they release to us when we eat them. By purchasing local produce (aka Farmers’ Market) instead of conventional (aka Grocery Store), you can get the benefits of flavor, nutrition and often chemical-free produce. Many farmers grow their produce as if it was organic but can’t afford to officially label it organic.

 

Buying conventional foods means you are eating something produced with varying levels of chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth. This could include insecticides to reduce pests and disease, chemical herbicides to manage weeds, and possibly antibiotics, growth hormones and/or medications to animals (when looking at eggs, meat, etc) in an effort to prevent disease and spur quicker growth. Plus, who knows where it was actually grown? Or how long it’s been sitting in a delivery truck?

 

Don’t get me wrong – consuming produce in any fashion is a great choice! Perhaps it’s time to think outside the box, though. Where is your food actually coming from? Many grocery stores have a section for locally grown produce or you can always head to your local farmers’ market.

You can download the app – Eat Local – for free on your phone. It gives you the local farmers’ market info, produce that’s in season and how to pick out/prepare that vegetable or fruit.

What’s in season right now, you ask? Pumpkin! And any winter squash for that matter… acorn, spaghetti, and butternut. The options are endless.

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Here’s a lower sugar, higher protein smoothie inspired by the famous pumpkin spice latte:

Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie

1 cup almond milk

½ can (~3/4 cup) pumpkin (winter squash – find in canned vegetable aisle or seasonal section)

1 banana

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt (try vanilla)

Spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves to taste (try ¼-½ tsp of each)

Optional: Add whey protein & almond butter to make it a substantial post-workout meal

 

Nutrition Facts

  • 300 calories, 4g fat, 53g carbohydrates, 15g protein
    • Use as a pre-workout meal or small breakfast
    • Pre-workout snacks should be low in fat to prevent GI issues during exercise

Optional

  • Instead of yogurt, add 1 scoop whey protein, 1 more banana & 1 tbsp almond butter: 500 calories, 13g fat, 74g carbohydrates, 29g protein
    • Use as a post-workout meal and/or breakfast substitute
    • The ratio of carbohydrates to protein is perfect for post-workout recovery

 

Enjoy your pumpkin spice without the added sugars or artificial flavors!

 

If you enjoyed this post, please visit me at www.thefueledathlete.com. I just re-launched my blog this week and would love for you to join me!

 

Christina Strudwick, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, is a Sports Dietitian with a passion for helping others reach their goals. She’s a native Texan but currently working with Special Forces soldiers in North Carolina.