Monday, April 14, 2014

PB & J Energy Bites

I love this variation of my original energy bites recipe.  I added fiber-rich chia seeds and dried fruit for a different flavor combination.  My husband competed in a CrossFit competition last weekend and these little snacks were the perfect fuel in between workouts to keep him going strong!

PB & J Energy Bites

1 cup dry quick oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
1/2 cup dried fruit (I used dried cherries and golden raisins)
1/2 cup crunchy organic peanut butter
1/4 cup ground golden flaxseed
1/4 cup chia seeds (white or black)
1/3 cup raw honey
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt

Place all ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer.  Blend until well incorporated.  Roll into tbsp size balls and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fine Artisan Tasting Boxes from Hatchery

I was excited to receive my gourmet box of goodies from Hatchery this past week!  I love the pretty packaging of each individual item, it's like opening a bunch of little presents and who doesn't love presents?!
When you subscribe to Hatchery's monthly subscription tasting box, you receive 6 curated, sample-size artisan ingredients and condiments delivered to your door!  For $25 per month, you can taste and experiment with ingredients that you may not have discovered before and the company focuses on natural, small batch production items from green markets and family farms across the country.  Hatchery's chefs experiment with these products, ensuring only the best flavors before approving them for each month's tasting box.  I love their quick cooking and food tip videos on Instagram, so be sure to follow them there for the latest food creation!
This month's tasting box included Strawberry Chipotle Jam, Causey's Sweet & Smoky barbecue sauce, Ohia Lehua honey (found only in Hawaii), Jalapeño Garlic Olive Oil, Ole Man's Original Spice Blend, Fuego Salsa and a tempting Roasted Snapper recipe.  

The boxes usually contain a combination of different ingredients, like: spreads, condiments, cooking sauces, jams, honeys, syrups, oils, vinegars, salts, spices, seasonings and specialty baking ingredients.  If you can't live without any of the products that you sample, you can order a full-size version in Hatchery's online marketplace.  Now you can either travel the world to get unique food gifts or let Hatchery do the work for you and sit back, relax and anxiously await your next box.
You can receive $10 of your first box with code SAVE10.  Enjoy!

*This box was provided for my review.  All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Maple-Mustard Glazed Chicken & A Giveaway!

This simple recipe has a delicious combination of flavors.   It comes from Cooking Light's Dinnertime Survival Guide by Sally Kuzemchak.  Sally Kuzemchak is a registered dietitian, busy mom and the brilliant creator of Real Mom Nutrition.  She shares her favorite tips and tricks to get healthy, simple meals on the table fast! When you are busy shuttling your kids to extra-curricular activities, who has a lot of time to cook??!  Sally gives you time-saving methods to feed your busy family.  I love her easy-to-follow recipes and meal plans that allow you to spend less time in the kitchen and more quality time with your kids.  When I browsed through this cookbook, this chicken recipe caught my eye.  The photo was absolutely mouthwatering, so I knew exactly what we were having for dinner. :)  

Maple-Mustard Glazed Chicken
Serves 4

2 tsp olive oil
4 (6oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I used 6 smaller organic breasts)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup maple syrup (use the real stuff!)
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced (I used 3 cloves…love garlic!)
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp stone-ground mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Sprinkle chicken with pepper and salt.  Add chicken to pan; sauté 2 minutes on each side until browned.  Remove chicken from pan.  Add broth, syrup, thyme and garlic to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add vinegar and mustard; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Return chicken to pan, and spoon mustard mixture over chicken.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until chicken is done.  Remove chicken from pan; let stand 5 minutes.  Place pan over medium heat; cook mustard mixture 2 minutes or until liquid is syrupy, stirring frequently.  Serve with chicken.  

Now you have a chance to win your own free copy of Dinnertime Survival Guide!  Enter to win by following the instructions below.  Contest runs until April 15th.  Good luck! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway *This cookbook was provided for my review.  All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Protein Pancake Recipe Round-Up

Here are a few of my favorite protein-rich pancake recipes.  They not only give you great fuel to start the day, but they taste delicious, too.  Now you can tackle your tough workouts in beast mode!

Mom's Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Pumpkin Flax Protein Pancakes
Apple Cinnamon Protein Pancakes

Gluten-Free Strawberry Flax Pancakes

and don't forget the topping!  This delicious Blueberry Compote is simple to make and a wonderful clean-eating syrup substitute.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Health Benefits of Lean Beef

Recently, I had the opportunity to tour Partisover Ranch in Colbert, GA and attend a seminar at the University of Georgia about the farm-to-table process.  We are what we eat, so being educated about the origin of your food, how it's cared for, what it's diet consists of and the quality of the environment it is raised in is extremely important.  

Lean beef is a wonderful protein to include in a healthy diet.  Our family enjoys lean beef several times a week.  Gathering as much information that I possibly can about this protein source makes me feel better about serving it to my family and sharing beef recipes, on my blog, as a healthy living advocate.  Beef provides important nutrients for our bodies, like zinc, iron, B vitamins and protein.  It is a "complete protein" meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids the body needs to repair and build tissue.  These nutrients are especially important for athletes and children's growing bodies.  Zinc helps to heal injuries, build muscle and enhance our immune system response.  Interesting fact: you would need 14.5 servings of fish to equal the amount of zinc in one 3-ounce serving of beef.  Iron carries oxygen throughout the body to create energy, fight infection and support brain development.  The iron in beef is more easily absorbed than the iron we get from vegetable sources.  The B vitamins found in beef are important for healthy metabolic function and normal functioning of our cells and nervous system.  Each lean beef cut is a nutrient powerhouse with eight times more vitamin B12, six times more zinc and three times more iron than the same size serving of a skinless chicken breast.  A 3-ounce serving of lean beef contributes less than 10% of calories to a 2,000 calorie diet, yet it supplies more than 10% of the Daily Value for ten essential nutrients.  So you can see that lean beef does a body good! 

Getting a little cattle herding demonstration…

The ranchers were great answering our questions and telling us all about the process of delivering beef to the table.  Check out this great infographic from The Beef Checkoff about the important nutrients found in lean beef.
Shelley, a Registered Dietician for The Beef Checkoff, shares some information about the nutrients in lean beef and tips on selecting lean cuts and preparation.  

*video provided by The Beef Checkoff

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chicken Fried Brown Rice

Love fried rice, but not all the refined carbs and unhealthy fats?  This healthier version is made with wholesome brown rice, olive oil, pastured butter and lean boneless chicken.  Feel free to add more vegetables and make it a one-pot meal.  It's a winner in our house!

Chicken Fried Brown Rice

1 egg
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp pastured (Grassfed) butter 
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice, cold
2 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
dash cayenne pepper
2 cups cooked boneless chicken breast, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 scallions, finely chopped
toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

In a small bowl, beat egg and water.  Melt butter in large sauté pan over medium-low heat.  Add egg and cook quickly, remove from skillet and set aside.  Chop egg into small shredded pieces.  Heat oil in the skillet and add onions.  Cook until onions are soft.  Add rice, coconut aminos or soy sauce, pepper, salt, cayenne and chicken.  Stir fry for 5-7 minutes, then stir in egg and serve.  Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Tropical Key Lime Protein Shake

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 (5.3oz) container of Chobani key lime yogurt
2 tbsp BiPro unflavored protein powder (or your favorite unflavored whey protein)
1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 frozen banana
3-4 ice cubes.

Place all ingredients into a blender or Vitamix and blend until smooth.  Serve immediately.


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