Friday, May 15, 2015

what's been cooking...

This post contains affiliate links.

Has it really been a month since I've sat down to post? Oops.

Well, I will fully admit to not spending a whole lot of time in the kitchen. The sun is finally out in the Northeast, and so am I. But here's what I've been whipping up...

To keep my skin clear and bright, smoothies every morning. I combine 2 cups of water, coconut water or almond milk + 1 packet of ALOHA Daily Good Greens + 1/4 - 1/2 cup of a good fat like hazelnuts, almonds or avocado + 1/2 - 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit.

Blend it all together and voila. A satisfying start to my day.

My other morning ritual? 1 cup coffee + 1 Tablespoon coconut oil + 1-2 scoops collagen. Sounds weird, tastes delish. And keeps me looking 33 vs 43.

There's a lot of blending in the Spring. Quick and easy… and makes meals come together quickly. One recent fav:

Chimichuri Sauce
(makes 2+ cups; store in fridge or freeze)

2-3 cups fresh parsley
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cider or red wine vinegar vinegar (or more, to taste)
4-5 cloves garlic (or more, to taste)
salt and pepper, to taste

Whiz everything in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve drizzled over chicken, steak, fish, shrimp, quinoa, couscous, rice and/or grilled veggies. 

I've also made sure to keep a few tubs of pesto on hand for quick weeknight dinners. Kale Pesto is a go-to, and another that's become a recent fav is Carrot-Cashew Pesto. Deelish. This is one of the recipes in the Second Batch of Stock Your Freezer in a Snap, which you can purchase here if you don't already have the instant download. Lots of good vegetarian, gluten-free, and family friendly freezer recipes in there that you can whip up.

My kids love this Carrot-Cashew one because it's creamy and sweet.

I love to spread this one on naan and make a pizza dinner, which has been pleasing both the vegetarians and non-vegetarians around here.

Fitbit Flex Activity + Sleep Wristband

That kind of dinner comes together quickly, which is perfect because I find we're on on fields, tracks and whatnot well into the evenings most nights.

My other fav, if games, matches, belt tests or meets fall right at lunchtime or dinnertime, is the snack bar at our local park. My personal favorite? Emad's Falafel Platter. If you're at Mead Park, it's a must try.

I was trying to think back on the past month and the only real 'cooking' I've done was to restock our supply of enchiladas for the freezer. I've taken to making large trays of chicken ones, and packaging up individual containers of vegetarian ones for my older son. Have that system down pat so we can all enjoy the 'same' meal.

On Cinqo de Mayo we had both sets of grandparents visiting, so I whipped a chicken and veggie tray of enchiladas out of the freezer and served them alongside that delicious Romaine, Jicama, Mango Salad that's an oldie but goodie on the blog.

Plus, since that enchilada recipe makes a ton, we were able to surprise our son's dedicated Robotics Team coaches and teachers with a Cinqo de Mayo feast too. Ole!

Anyway, given the choice, we're taking most of our meals outside

and when I do cook (enchiladas being the exception), I'm making a real effort to eat clean-- lots of quinoa salads, things like the chimichurri sauce and pestos mentioned above drizzled over grilled veggies, fish or meat.

But then there are those times when you think, "I want to be good… but man of man, do I also want a decadent treat!". And that's when I poke around sites I like and find recipes like this Banoffee Pie from Oh She Glows that make me swoon.

Fitbit Flex

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

easy clean eating: banana-walnut chia pudding

Whipped this up to rave reviews this week...

As one commenter said on the Facebook page, "I love chia pudding  But I think you have to like tapioca pudding to deal with the texture. Just my opinion….." and I'd totally agree. We happen to love it around here.

As you can see, I had some ripe bananas just begging to become a wholesome snack, so this go round, I decided to make the chia pudding banana-flavored… but then at the last minute I added walnuts too for some extra good fat. If you have nut allergies, you can absolutely omit the walnuts, no problem, and you can use whatever milk your family enjoys-- be it dairy, seed, soy or nut.

OK, so the preparation is super simple-- first you blend 2 cups of milk {whichever type your using} + 2 bananas + 1/2 cup walnuts {optional} + 1 Tablespoon vanilla + 1 teaspoon cinnamon {or more, to taste-- I like our cinnamon-y so I added as much as a Tablespoon} + a dash of ginger {optional, start with a scant 1/2 teaspoon and go from there til you get to desired taste}. Once this mixture is smooth...

you'll simply pour it over 2/3 cup of chia seeds, then either stir well-- or shake-- and place the bowl into the fridge overnight. In the morning you'll have a thick pudding to enjoy for a protein-packed breakfast, or a special after school snack.  

Banana-Walnut Chia Seed Pudding
{makes 6 servings}

2 cups of milk {dairy, nut, seed, or soy-- your choice}
2 bananas
1/2 cup walnuts {optional}
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon {or more, to taste}
a dash of ginger {optional}
2/3 cup chia seeds

Blend all but the chia seeds until mixture is smooth. Place chia seeds in a bowl or jar large enough to hold whole batch of pudding. Pour banana mixture over the chia seeds and stir-- or shake-- to combine. Place container in fridge overnight. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

simple clean eating smoothie: blueberry-almond with ALOHA daily good greens

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Same price of goods to you, but I am compensated for recommended products that my family and I genuinely enjoy. Thank you, in advance, for considering purchasing through these links and keeping The Full Plate Blog out of hobby status!

I know, from working with Dr. Hyman on the launch of his 10 Day Detox, that a well-made smoothie sustains me until lunchtime, leads to glowing skin, and gets my day off on a good note-- setting a pattern for healthy eating the rest of the day. This week, I am sharing a favorite of mine. If you have some ALOHA Daily Good Greens on hand, this is a perfect way of "sneaking" them in. 

Blueberry-Almond Smoothie with ALOHA Daily Good Greens
(makes about 4 cups)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup water (or more to reach desired consistency)
1 cup frozen or fresh organic blueberries
1 or 2 packet(s) ALOHA Daily Good Greens 
1/4 cup raw almonds
hearty handful organic spinach (about 2 cups)
optional - 1 banana (if you like your smoothies sweeter)
optional - 1/4 avocado (if you like your smoothies creamier)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until desired consistency. 

Looking for other smoothie ideas? Here are a few more favorites:

Monday, March 30, 2015

simple clean eating soup: bone broth + trader joe's healthy 8 chopped veggie mix

Wow, after a whirlwind two-week school break, and a lot of restaurant meals {achem… and fruity, frozen drinks}, I am ready to dial things back a bit. Don't get me wrong, I love it when someone else cooks for me. But, about this time each year I start to crave simpler meals. Recipes that take just a few minutes to make. Ones where veggies or some lean protein are the highlight.

Easy is key. And not just because today I don't have time to cook because I am picking one of my children's "airport treat" pack of Trident bubblegum off of an entire load of vacation laundry… don't get me started. Anyway, today I wanted-- and needed-- a quick quick quick and easy lunch. It's still pretty chilly here in CT, so soup sounded good. And in that department, I have a two-ingredient fav...

If you've been following me for a while, you know I am a big fan of bone broth. And, hopefully, you have some of your own kicking around your freezer. You do? Good. Recipe here, if you don't already have it.

Simple Clean Eating Veggie Soup
(makes about 8 cups)

1 quart (or two pints) homemade bone broth  
one 16 oz tub Trader Joe's Healthy 8 Chopped Veggie Mix*

In a soup pot, warm the bone broth and veggies until veggies are desired doneness. I take my broth straight out of the freezer, and it thaws while my veggies are cooking, so the whole process takes about 10-15 minutes. Enjoy warm with some good fat, like a little handful of nuts, for a complete "clean" meal. 

* If you're not near a Trader Joe's you can, of course, make your own 1 lb batch of chopped mixed veggies… but I'm a big fan of having someone else do the chopping for me, in this case. If you want to mimic the above mix, it's a combination of broccoli, carrots, green cabbage, red cabbage, jicama, green bell pepper, celery and radishes.

The red cabbage in that TJ's chopped veggie mix turns your broth a brilliant fushia… be sure to get all that bone broth goodness down the hatch. If no one is looking, it's perfectly appropriate to use a straw….

Saturday, March 14, 2015

{almost Spring} break + link to GREEN foods

Spring is coming to the East Coast… gone are my YakTrax, big boots, and mittens,

but it's still very much winter when you look around. We'll give it a few more weeks!

So, we're still embracing the snow. A last hurrah, after what seemed like a very long winter.

My stash of homemade freezer meals is still very much appreciated-- especially recipes like Red Coconut Curry {pictured here after a full day of skiing}, Roasted Carrot-Cashew Pesto, Loaded Veggie Calzones, Enchiladas and Greek Stuffed Peppers.

Nothing beats being able to put a homemade dinner on the table in mere minutes, with minimal effort. I've got dinner 100% under control.

But, as the seasons change, I'm starting to peel off the layers and starting to think about how I can clean up my care routine a bit. The first thing I've done is get back on a regular vitamin routine. While I eat healthfully, it's still hard to get enough of important vitamins. But, honestly, I wasn't sure what to take on a regular basis. I've found a company-- ALOHA-- that makes it easy for me with their "Daily Foundation" packets.

And while you're checking out their products-- if you feel like you also want a treat-- I recommend their "Superfood Chocolate" too. Yum. Big fans of it over at our house. 

As an affiliate for Aloha, I have a 15% off link off of purchases over $50. Just click here and use code  15ALOHA50. Perfect for busy moms, like me, who want to perk up, but need someone to tell them what to take!

We're on school break for the next two weeks, so it's going to be quiet here on the blog but by the time I'm back, hopefully the snow will have melted, and we can celebrate Spring with some new, quick and easy recipes. In the meantime, a few of you have asked me for some good "green" ideas for St. Patrick's Day, and I've got you covered. Here's a Pinterest Board full of ideas! And here's a round-up  of green food ideas I assembled a while back, plus if you're looking for a clean idea, this is a fav. 

Please note, this post contains affiliate links. Same price of goods to you, but I earn a small commission for recommending products I use and honestly recommend to my friends. The small earnings keep the blog from hobby status… win-win for both of us.