Healthy Recipe: Quick Banana and Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie….with “Sneaky Spinach”

Recently I’ve been working my way through several smoothie recipes I discovered on Pinterest. Adding a few tweaks here and combining and few ideas there, I’ve come up with a go to breakfast smoothie quick and easy enough for even the busiest mornings. Plus, I get a a ton of green goodness without having to choke down lots of veggies. This recipe employs what I like to call “sneaky spinach”…meaning I get the nutritional benefits of green vegetables without actually having to taste them. To be honest, I try very hard to eat as healthy as I can, but I’m not going to lie, given the choice between broccoli and a donut, I will always choose a donut:)

Start with 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal ( I cook a batch in advance and keep it in the fridge so it’s cold), then add 1/2 to1 cup of almond milk, a scoop of protein powder, half a cup of frozen chopped spinach (to make the consistency thicker) a banana and 4 ice cubes. If you want to really cut the spinach taste add teaspoon of instant coffee graduals. (This is also helpful for early mornings). Blend and you are good to go!

Protein, calcium  potassium,  Vitamin D , fiber…you name it, this smoothie has it. The perfect thing to get me out the door fast and power me through the day!

Enjoy!

-Caitlin

Healthy Lunch: Quinoa Bowl With Roasted Veggies and Chicken

For years my husband has been searching for a healthy lunch that actually tastes good. With some inspiration from the Evolution Fresh simmer bowls, we finally came up with something he loves. Not only is this bowl low in calories, healthy and filled with lean protein, fiber and tons of veggies, but you can also make all of the ingredients ahead of time and simply assemble everything in the morning.

I always make quinoa with chicken stock to give it more flavor. Then, thanks to my friend’s recipe suggestion,  I roasted broccoli, parsnips, butternut squash and carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper and a bit of rosemary. I added slices of roasted chicken then poured hot vegetable broth over the top sprinkled a few gorgonzola crumbles for taste. This is definitely one of out go to healthy meals for lunch or dinner!

Healthy Recipe: Minestrone Soup and A Grilled Chicken Panini

During the winter months there is nothing I love more than soup and a sandwich. It’s cozy and wholesome and the perfect meal to counter the cold weather. For Christmas my husband got me the new Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Foolproof, which I was ecstatic to receive after dropping major hints:) When I flipped to the Minestrone Soup recipe I knew it was going to be one of the first ones I tried. Let me say, true to Ina form, it did not disappoint.

This soup is delicious and layered with rustic flavors, bites of of squash, carrots and celery tomatoes and just a hint of heat. It’s hearty enough for a full meal even though I paired the soup with a grilled chicken panini. To make the panini I simply rubbed skinless chicken breasts with pesto then baked them in the oven, sliced fresh thin ciabatta bread, added a few gorgonzola crumbles , a few spinach leaves and a bit more pesto then pressed them in the panini.

I love this dinner since it’s incredibly healthy.. filled with lean protein, tons of veggies and healthy monounsaturated fat from the olive oil. You can make it ahead and serve it all week, my husband and I thought it was ideal for a movie night or a  laid back dinner soirée with friends. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Healthy Recipe: Bananas Foster Bread

When the weather turns to fall, the leaves start to change and the days get a little shorter, I  I love making quick breads. The fill the house wonderful aromas, they are a delicious treat and, as the name suggests, they are quick and easy to make. My husband always gives me a hard time for letting our bananas over ripen, then reneging on my promise to use them for banana bread. This weekend, however, I finally proved him wrong! I found this delicious recipe for bananas foster bread from Cooking Light which uses greek yogurt in place of oil to cut out fat and calories.

Bananas foster is a decedent dessert where bananas are flambéed with rum or cognac, and in this bread recipe you simmer the rum or cognac with the mashed bananas before combing the dry ingredients  You also add a tablespoon of rum or cognac to the glaze for adults, but you can omit this step if you want to serve it to your kids:) This bananas foster bread has rich banana flavor without being overly sweet, ground flaxseeds add a nice nuttiness and the greek yogurt give it a little bite! It’s a great guilt free fall treat!

Healthy Recipe: Spicy Spinach Arugula Pesto Pasta With Chicken

 

This spicy pesto pasta with chicken is in heavy rotation on our dinner menu…and it is delicious! My husband absolutely loves arugula and spinach (me, I’m not going to lie, I’d rather eat a cupcake), so when I watched Giada make this arugula and spinach pesto, I knew I had to try it.

The recipe is filled with healthy components…you get your green veggies from the arugula and spinach,  and omega-3 fatty acids from the walnuts and olive oil. I added chicken for extra lean protein and you could sustitute whole wheat or rice pasta. I also reduced the amount of cheese in the pesto.

You flavors are layered with  great subtle kick from the jalapeno, pepper from the arugula and a nuttiness from the parmesan and walnuts…totally delish! It’s an easy weeknight meal and a great way to get kids (or anyone else who doesn’t like to eat their veggies:) to try spinach and arugula.