Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pizza Party+Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with Walnuts and Dark Chocolate

This post is a part of Unprocessed Fridays on Girl Meets Nourishment! 

On Saturday, my mom, sister and I held our first annual pizza party! We invited all our closest friends and family, the people we love and have been close to for years. The house was crowded with many people... lots of mingling going on!

 Some of the older kiddos at the party!
 My momma, with the pizza assembly line behind!

More guests and fun! 

My mom bought premade pizza crusts. The idea was that two or three people would share one, and "create" their own pizza with the toppings available. I spend the hours before the party prepping... I chopped up veggies like onion, bell pepper, olives, and artichoke, as well as cooking ground beef and ground turkey meats. There also was pepperoni available, and lots of cheese. 

We also told the guests to bring one dish of sweets each, so that everyone could share and go home with a baggie full of different kinds. 

The party was a TOTAL success! Everyone had a BLAST. Everyone left full of pizza and in need of a sugar detox (lol!). 

My best friend Taylor and I stood out (in a good way) from the crowd! Instead of using pizza crusts, we stuffed some Portobello Mushrooms with all the pizza goods (mines sans cheese). Everyone thought ours looked super yummy... except my boyfriend of course, who insisted on teasing us ;) 

I of course did not plan on eating the processed sweets from the rest of the guests, but I wanted to offer everyone a treat from me, too! So thus, these cookies were born. I think I must have eaten at least six. Taylor loved them too! There were also a few other guests who tried them and told me they were yummy :D

I got the recipe idea from Ashley at The Gypsy Dietitian. I just found her blog recently and am addicted! 

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with Walnuts and Dark Chocolate 
Makes 18 cookies 

1 1/4 cup oats, grounded into "flour" 
1/4 cup plain whole oats 
1 TBSP ground flax seed
3/4 TBSP cinnamon 
1/2 TSP ginger 
Pinch of sea salt
1/8 TSP ground clove 
1/4 TSP baking soda 
1/4 TSP baking powder 
1 TSP pure vanilla extract 
1 can organic pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1/4 cup raisins 
1/4 cup walnuts 
2 squares 100% dark chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli 100% Dark)
1/3-1/2 cup raw local honey 

1)Preheat oven to 350

2) Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. 
* NOTE- It is going to seem as if you need more liquid. You don't! Keep mixing everything in with the pumpkin and I promise everything will blend. 

3) Grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil and spoon the mix out a few TBSP at a time, and flatten it down. (I tried it with both foil, SHOWN, and greasing the pan. It works better if you grease it!)

4) Bake for about 20 minutes or until firm! 

These cookies, in my opinion, taste best either right out of the oven or cooled in the fridge. Room temperature is fine too, but not my favorite :)

Of course, they're even more delicious with peanut butter. ;D

What are you planning to bake this holiday season?


All About QUINOA! Pecan Raisin Quinoa Salad: Vegetarian, Vegan



Hey there Clean Eaters! I apologize for my absence this past week, with the holidays. I hope your Christmas (if you celebrate that) was fun, safe, and joyful.

After these crazy holidays, I'm sure many of you want some time to relax and just detox. I think today's recipe is perfect for that!

I don't know how you chose to balance out the holiday treats. I personally did my best on staying on track during the holidays, making healthy versions of sweets. Thanksgiving I did indulge with a slice of home made coconut cake, but other than that everything had been normal eating for me nutritionally!

Many people over-indulge during the holidays due to the abundance of food, sweets, and alcohol. This is probably why come January 1st, the top item on most resolutions lists is to get healthy!

But like I and anyone else who is participating in the No Excuse November Challenge with me... why start in January when you can start RIGHT NOW? Thanksgiving is over with. Christmas just passed. What is holding you back?

If you remember from my Thanksgiving recap, I posted a picture of my meal.

The above is pictured with some turkey, but the yummy looking stuff underneath is today's recipe!

Let's be honest here. I have a serious love for carbs... at least, the healthy kinds!

I LOVE quinoa. I have used it in previous recipes, it is the star of this one... and I am sure it will be used again soon!

Here are some stats on the super grain:

  • Quinoa gives a lot of bang for its buck. For only 222 calories per cup of cooked quinoa, it gives over 8 grams of protein! 
  • It actually is not a grain. It is related to dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, and is allowed in most Paleo life styles. 
  • It is gluten free.
  • It is a complete protein, having all essential amino acids. 
  • Quinoa is high in manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. 
Thanks Marks Daily Apple for these facts !

Pecan Raisin Quinoa Salad

Serves 3-5

1/3 cup dry quinoa
3/4 cup+1/2 cup vegetable stock, unsalted
1 small onion, diced
1/3 bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup chopped mushroom
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
1 small sweet potato, chopped and cooked (boiled or roasted) with skin
1/3 cup unsweetened raisins
1/3-1/2 cup shelled pecans (bits and halves)
TBSP coconut oil
1/2 TBSP herbs de province
TSP thyme, dried
2 TSP cumin
2 TSP garlic powder
2 TSP chili powder
pinch of salt

1) Bring 3/4 cups of stock and 1 TSP of cumin, garlic, and chili powder to a low boil. Add the dry quinoa and let it simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed. Set the pot aside.

2) Chop all your veggies, then melt your coconut oil over medium high heat. Saute the veggies (not the sweet potato) for about 3 minutes.

3) Add in the rest of your seasoning, as well as the quinoa and any leftover liquid. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

4) At this point, toss in your raisins and your pecans. Stir in the rest of the stock.

5) Turn the heat down, and add the sweet potato. Cover the mixture and let the flavors meld together and the liquids to be absorbed for a few minutes.

6) Serve and enjoy!

I ate this salad hot, but it would also be fantastic cold. You could add some wilted spinach or kale if you wanted too!

Try this super detox salad and tell me how you feel after! Even if you aren't really "detoxing" per say, this is still a super easy meal or side dish.

How are you detoxing after the holidays?


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Gym Membership+ A Gym Goer Back Workout

As you guys may know, I am not only the "Clean Eating Teen"... I am also the clean eating Yogi and Strength Trainer.

A recent picture I posted on Instagram. 

Of course, I say the latter with caution, because it sure doesn't seem like it by just looking at me.

If you didn't know me, you'd think I'd never lifted a dumbbell in my life. Quiet the contrary: I have been an avid strength trainer just as long as I have been practicing yoga.

Due to young age and limited budget, I never have had the opportunity to get a gym membership. One summer a few years ago I had one at my local rec center, but I didn't use it to it's full potential and it's equipment was limited.

Instead, I have utilized resistance in the form of body weight, a few pairs of home dumbbells, a kettle bell and a resistance band. And I HAVE gained strength- I can now do REAL pushups people! This wasn't even in my horizon back three years ago! Maybe not significant size has been gained, but my stamina, endurance, and strength have improved in these past years, all in the comfort of my own home.

Look what we have here! I got my sister to do Insanity with me!! 

This is something I am SUPER proud of, yes. But in the past year or so, my REAL goal has been to gain muscle. Especially when I have a best friend who can leg press 400 lbs at her gym!!

It has been frustrating, and I have expressed my desire to finally go to a real gym with my family. So, this past holiday... guess what?


Image via Google Images

I am SO excited to say that I now can join my best friend Taylor whenever she goes to our local Anytime Fitness! 

I really love Anytime Fitness, not only because I can go any time of the day, but also because I can easily use any facility no matter where I am at. This really came in handy during the holidays at my grandmothers... she has an Anytime Fitness right by her house!

Usually, when I went out of town, a would bring a few pieces of equipment and workout on site, like with this workout here. But now I don't have to anymore! It's such an awesome feeling :)

I'm not gonna lie, the gym is pretty intimidating. There are a lot of things I need to get used to... I want to learn proper form for barbell movements such as squats and deadlifts. Plus, the machines and cables can also be confusing with the many seating adjustments and different handles.

The gym is also very humbling. Taylor (and a few other nice people at the gym) have been helping me learn new moves. It is really embarrassing, having to ask for help. It is also embarrassing to not be able to lift as much as the girl or guy next to me. But you know what? I am NOT ashamed. I am excited to embark on this new journey, and I know that any other dedicated lifter would be proud of a newbie like me, and surely wouldn't laugh.

 Okay, they might laugh when I take pictures like this. But going to the gym doesn't count unless you take a selfie. Just sayin. 

Here is a back workout that I did recently. I felt the burn DAYS afterwards... I was planning on doing biceps too but they were already burning after this was over with.

I am by no means a professional, but I got the thumbs up from one of the coaches at my gym after showing them this workout. So hopefully you will like it too!

Try it out, and tell me if you feel the burn!

Do you go to a gym, or workout at home?
Were you intimidated by the gym at first?
What are you favorite gym workouts?


Monday, December 23, 2013

Old School Blogging: Holiday Edition!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE EVERYONE!! (Or for those who don't celebrate Christmas, happy December 24th!)

I have recently been seeing this type of post popping up around my favorite blogs! 

I decided to have a little fun and go along with it. Thank you to Cori at Olive to Run  for the inspiration!  

First things first: 1 Holy Night or 8 Crazy Ones? (Do you Celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, both?)
I celebrate Christmas ! 

Peppermint or Chocolate?
I'm gonna say both. Chocolate is nice on its own, but it is even better with peppermint. I don't exactly crave peppermint on it's own... but when it is paired with chocolate, it becomes AMAZING!  

Sing us into the Holiday Season, what is your favorite Carol this time of year?
Aaaaall I want for Chriiiistmaaas... Is Yoooou! 
Image via Google Images 
Haha, even though I have absolutely no singing voice what so ever, I still jam out to Mariah Carey's version of "All I want For Christmas". (Actually, I was listening to it back in July, but we won't get into that.) I also LOVE LOVE LOVE Michael Buble's Christmas album. His voice makes everything sound better. 

Tell us about a Favorite Family or Personal Holiday Tradition?
Things have changed since I was a small girl, but there are a few things I always remember being associated with Christmas...
-If there ever was snow, my mom, sister and I would get into our jackets and make snow angels outside at night. We got soaked and were freezing, but it was always worth it! 

-Staying warm by a REAL FIRE in the fireplace. Sure, the fake ones that are more like heaters still warm you up, but it is NOTHING like sitting by a real fire. 

-Decorating the Christmas tree with my family. When I was little, I used to steal the ornaments off the tree and put them in my room for a few hours before my mom made me put them back on the tree! 

-Not sure if this is really a tradition, or something cute. All my life, we always set out a "stocking" for the pets in my house. Silly, but true! As a little girl I wanted to be sure that Santa gave Lucky the cat a present too. So as the animals have came through our house (dog, cat, rabbit, hamster...), so have the pet stockings! I think my sister is putting a carrot in her rabbit's stocking this year. 

C’mon you remember your favorite  (Christmas, Hanukkah) gift, tell us all about it:
When I was 3-4 years old, I got a Jeep! 
Image via Google Images

Haha, no... not THAT Jeep! I got a small, bright pink Barbie jeep that I adored with every ounce of my being. I rode that thing around the house and outside until the battery finally wore out years later. I felt like the coolest chick in the world, cruising around in that thing! Definitely the best gift EVER.  

That magical moment? (Your favorite scene in a Holiday’s okay if you have 2)
There has always been the tradition to watch "A Christmas Story" during the holidays. I think it is super cute, but really it is my mom's favorite. There are too many funny scenes to name, but I really think the whole "leg-lamp" thing is hilarious! 

Image via Google Images 

Kissing under the mistletoe? Who do you hope is standing underneath (We know it’s normally your spouse, if it didn’t have to be, who would you choose?)
I couldn't think of anyone else I'd rather have than my awesome boyfriend! <3

But if I had to say someone out of the norm like the question asks, maybe I'd choose Bad Luck Brain. He needs some holiday love. 

Image via Google Images 

Swans a swimming, lords a leaping, golden rings; which gift of the 12 days of Christmas would you like most?

The partridge in a pear tree! I'd have the pear tree (I love pears), and I'd cook up the bird. 

Because I am an awful person inspired chef. 

Play Secret Santa, what inappropriate gift would you love to give this year?

Well, on second thought, maybe I shouldn't give this one out. Would just give people more reasons to insist I am a hippie who does this stuff! (I agree with the hippie part, not the pot head part!)

Martha Stewart or the Grinch? What is your decorating style? 
I actually really love decorating for Christmas. My favorite thing to do are the lights outside... I love white lights, or baby blue lights. To me, it makes the house look magical! I also really think it is fun to make the bathrooms in the house decorative (Christmas towels, hand soaps, ext). Surely I'm not the only one who likes this right?!

What is ONE WORD that defines the holiday season for you? (Examples: Believe/Wonder/Bah Humbug?)
Warming. I can't think of anything else to describe it. I love sitting next to a warm fire, and the feeling I get when everyone exchanges gifts and watches movies in their pajamas all day is simply comforting. 

If Santa could assure its delivery, what’s the first thing on your CHRISTMAS LIST?
My own cooking show! It is a goal of mine to eventually have a show that features holistic and healthy cooking methods as well as some restaurants around the world that also serve food in that manner. So many cooking shows now days only worry about how to make the food taste good (read: lots of processed foods!) or how to make really quick meals. I want to show the world how healthy food can be DELICIOUS and time efficient. Plus I would love to travel to see how other states/nations try to incooperate healthy lifestyles.
Having my own cooking show would be such a blessing. I would not only be living my dream, but I would also be able to make connections with other wonderful people in the same industry. Also, just being realistic, some extra income would be awesome! My mom is a single mother, so helping her out in any way I can is always a priority to me.

My sister and I years ago. I am the ugly duck on the right! :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, and new year!

What are you doing to celebrate this holiday season?
Do you have any special holiday traditions? 


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary Chicken, Eggplant and Zucchini

This is a recipe I made recently, using both store bought vegetables and vegetables from my local farmers market. I even used rosemary fresh from my garden! It is a perfect meal for any time of the year, and is not heavy or rough or your stomach.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary Chicken, Eggplant and Zucchini 
Yields 2-3 servings

2 chicken breasts (or about ½-1 lb chicken breast tenders)
1 medium butternut squash
1 large zucchini
¼ cup red onion, diced
½ cup sweet green pepper, diced
¾ cup eggplant, chunked
2 small tomatoes, diced
2 handfuls of mixed greens (I used kale and collard greens)
1 TSP + ½ TBSP garlic powder, divided
1 TSP+ ½ TBSP ground black pepper, divided
¼ cup + ½ cup unsalted vegetable or chicken stock, divided
3 twigs fresh rosemary 
½ cup sweet tomato hot sauce (optional)
1        TBSP coconut oil

1)      Slice the butternut squash in half. Sprinkle with divided TSP garlic powder and TSP black pepper. Bake in oven at 450 for about 25 minutes, or until soft.

2)      In the mean time, prepare your chicken. Toss it with the rest of the garlic and pepper, half the amount of fresh rosemary, and ¼ cup stock. Cover and let sit in fridge until needed.

3)      Melt coconut oil over medium high heat in a large pan. Sautee the onion and bell pepper until soft, about 3 minutes

4)      Add the diced eggplant and sauté another 4 minutes.

5)      Add the tomato and zucchini to the mix for about 4 minutes.

6)      Make room in the pan to add your chicken. Place the chicken in, along with any extra marinade.

7)      Add the rest of the stock, and place the rest of the rosemary directly on the chicken. Cover until the chicken is nearly cooked.

8)      Add the sweet salsa (optional) and greens. Cover and let wilt, about 5 minutes.

9)      Reduce heat, and serve by filling your butternut squash half with the mixture. Enjoy!

These butternut squashes were AWESOME coming from the farmers market! I thought that I did not like butternut squash, until I had these. Store bought always seem tasteless. I am so glad I got these (for a bargain price too;) )... they've turned me into a fan !

Do you taste the difference between farmers market produce and store produce?
What have you been cooking lately?


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I Don't Do Drugs! + A WINNER!

The awesome HEMP HEART giveaway from Monitoba Harvest has now come to a close!

There were only 15 entries total... I kinda hoped for more participants, but I am grateful for the ones who did enter! I will announce the winner at the bottom of this post :)

I was also sent a bag of Hemp Hearts, and I have loved using them in different ways. Typically I sprinkle them on oatmeal, or I have even put them in almond milk or on peanut butter!

Old picture, but here I have used the Hemp Hearts in some So Delicious yogurt! 

It's a bit embarrassing, but people actually tease me for eating hemp hearts! I am known around my town as the "hippie chick". Obviously people who don't know me that well (or those that do and just like to be mean!) take 'hemp' the wrong way...

I can't tell you how many times I have been asked exactly what I meant by I eat 'hemp'. Hmm.

Well, I may be a hippie, but I don't exactly plan on exhibiting any habits involving hemp during, say, Woodstock

My preferred method of using hemp is eating Manitoba Harvest hemp products, thanks! NO drugs for this Clean Eater, thanks!

Anyhow, there are lots of yummy looking recipes using Hemp Hearts. I plan on posting more in the future, but some basic uses can include (from the Manitoba website):

Honey Hemp Oatmeal Cookies

Honey Hemp Oatmeal Cookies

Hemp Hummus
Hemp Hummus

Hempizza Crust

Hemp Pizza Crust 

Cherry Chocolate Hemp Bliss
Cherry Chocolate Hemp Bliss

I really am inclined to try the pizza crust, especially since I am having a make-your-own pizza party at my house this weekend with family and friends! ;)

And... to end things with a bang, it is time to announce the winner of the give away!!

"Mint Clare Drew"

Congrats!! Please respond to my email and I will hook you up with your prize! :)

If you didn't win, or just would like to get some hemp hearts anyway, no fear! They are seriously a superfood, so getting some isn't a bad idea ;)

Hemp Hearts are available at most stores and can even be bought online. You can get a full size bag starting at $8.99 and they last forever (I've had mine for a few months and have yet to see the bottom of the bag!)

Have you ever had Hemp Hearts?
What are you eating lately? 


Manitoba Harvest did not compensate me for this post. They allowed me to do a giveaway, and all these opinions are my own. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stuffed Garlic Serrano Tomato Chicken Breast

Yum yum!! Today it is time for another recipe, Clean Eaters.

A while ago I posted a delicious looking picture on my Facebook and Instagram...

Oh yes. Come to mama. 

Remember when I went to the Metrocooking Dallas Expo? Well, besides meeting Bobby Dean and his wonderful wife Claudia, I also had the opportunity to meet Uncle Millie and sample some of his awesome hot sauces!

I purchased his Garlic Serrano hot sauce. It's not too spicy, but it definitely gives your taste buds a kick! Not only is it a great dip or condiment, but I thought it also would be useful in cooking. So thus, a recipe was born!

Anyhow, now is time for the delicious -and uh, SUPER crazy easy- recipe for these Stuffed Garlic Serrano Tomato Chicken Breast!

Funny story. My best friend Taylor  came over while I was making these. I told her on her way here "I'm making lunch!", and she had sweetly replied to not worry because she ate something before she left the house.

Ha. Well, that story changed once the wonderful smell of herbs and tomato filled the house. Lets just say we both chowed down on these once the oven timer went off!

I stuffed one breast with just onion and pepper for my sister, who turns her nose up to greens and such. But this recipe is for stuffing for two breasts!

Stuffed Garlic SerranoTomato Chicken Breast:
Yields 3-4 servings (2 stuffed breasts)

2 medium-large chicken breast, pounded flat. (Preferably free range!)
2 cups chopped baby spinach
5 TBSP tomato paste, unsalted
1/3 cup tomato, diced
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 oz feta cheese (optional. I left this out due to lactose intolerance but it would be great otherwise!!)
2 TBSP + 1 TSP herbs de province
TBSP chile powder
TBSP+ 1/2 TSP garlic powder
1/3 cup+ 2 TSP Uncle Millie's Garlic Serrano hot sauce
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Toothpicks (for cooking)

1) Preheat the oven to 350.

Here is the fun part!! Pound out your chicken breast, preferably with a meat tenderizer. I, uh, obviously misplaced mine so I had to improvise... but it still got the job done!

Season these on both sides with 2 TBSP of the herbs, TBSP of garlic powder, and TBSP of chile powder and salt and pepper, and the 2 TSP of Garlic Serrano Hot Sauce.

Go ahead. Take out all your anger on these chickens. They taste wonderful regardless.

2) For your stuffing, mix the tomato, onion, bell pepper, spinach, and feta (optional) with your tomato paste. Toss in the remaining seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Add in the 1/3 cup of hot sauce too!

3) Lay out your chicken breast and carefully divide the mix evenly between the two. You may think you have too much... but you don't want to leave any out! The veggies cook down. You want to try to fit all you can into the chicken.

4) After laying the stuffing on the breast, take the two sides, and "roll" (or at least, connect the two sides) as best you can, and use tooth picks to hold the whole thing together.

5) Transfer the stuffed breasts into a shallow glass container. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes.

And voila! Here you have it. These chicken breasts are not only yummy, but are EASY, and healthy. They take care of a need for a spicy flavor without it being too overpowering. If you tend to like more of a mild spice, feel free to use less. Or, crank up the heat and use a bit more (or toss in some cayenne or red pepper flakes) to really take things up a notch!!

It really takes no time at all to prepare a wholesome meal for your family. Multiply the recipe as needed to fit your household, and you can have dinner done in an hour flat!

What have you been cooking lately? 
Do you like spicy foods? What is your favorite hot sauce?