Arugula: More than just healthy.

A friend gave me an arugula salad a few weeks ago and sparked my taste buds. Where have these greens been all my life? I have had it a few times but always neglect it at the grocery store.

Some fear peppery flavor, but paired with the right dressing or ingredients its delicious. And the best part? It’s great for you in more ways than one!

Arugula can be eaten raw or lightly cooked; although it is most nutritious raw.

Arugula contains tons of vitamin B, vitamin K, chlorophyll, folate, and much more. It also aids in cleansing due to its high fiber content and antioxidants. It has also been shown to serve as an anti-inflammatory!

 

Arugula was used as a very strong aphrodisiac during the ancient civilization of Rome. 

Oh yeah- I said it! Break out the oysters over arugula! Romans also ate arugula for good luck (obviously 😉 ) It was used as a love potion around the world, often mixed with lavender oil and chicory. Some say the “sensual” effect could be a combination of the energy boost from vitamins and the spice heating your core temperature. I believe its magical, so jot down my recipe and get your arugula on!

 

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh arugula

1 ripe mango; sliced or cubed

1 diced avocado; optional

2 tbs Champagne Vinaigrette  (click to find recipe)

squeeze  of lemon

salt and black pepper to taste

 

Toss ingredients together and enjoy! Delicious when paired with grilled white fish or shrimp.

 

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Overnight Oats

Meal prepping for breakfast can be challenging if your looking for a change. Sometimes I get into a “hard boiled egg” rut when looking for a quick grab and go meal in the morning. “Overnight oats” has been a tasty solution which gives me great energy and keeps me satisfied well until my next meal or snack.

 

Easy Recipe:

1 cup Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1.5 cups Rolled oats

.5 Chopped banana, ripe

.25 cup Fresh blueberries

1 scoop (or .5 serving) Vanilla protein powder

1 tsp chia seeds (optional)

 

Mix together in to-go container and let sit in fridge overnight.

 

…and just like that, you have a delicious breakfast ready to enjoy in the morning!

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Champagne Salad 

This fresh, crisp salad is just what I needed today. Sometimes I get stuck in a salad rut, using the same ol’ ingredients over and over….and over. It makes me want to ban salads from my lunch forever! Refresh your palate with this fun combination of ingredients.

#2 Champagne Salad (minus the bubbly)

Toss all salad ingredients lightly or just drizzle the dressing over the salad. This is a very elegant salad; too delicate to chop and toss. 

  

  
  

 

Banana Apple Smoothie 

Who needs new recipes for the new year? I know I do! One of my resolutions is to try something new in the kitchen each week  day. I almost set the bar to just one new recipe weekly, but I thought why not take it up a notch?! Some simple drink recipes, some more involved meal recipes….its time to be creative. I need to jazz up my healthy menu and this is the perfect time to take on a challenge. I thought the least I could do is share with you! Stay tuned for the rest of the year to see what I come up with. 

Happy and Healthy 2016 to you and yours! 🎉
#1: Banana Apple Pie

A simple and delicious smoothie, perfect for a light breakfast or a snack. Be prepared to share; kids will love this, too!

  

Fall Green Smoothie

I blended a magical combination today! I love having green smoothies in the morning. Usually I go for my basic recipe, which you can find here.

I felt like something different today, but not to far from the norm. Sometimes just a few ingredients can make all the difference! I added a Fall twist with oats and a little cinnamon and BAM….deliciousness on the go.

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Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 frozen banana

1/2 cup frozen mango chunks

1 tbs ground flax

1 tsp chia seeds

3 tsp rolled oats

a few shakes of cinnamon

2 handfuls of baby spinach

TIPS:

-Not blending smoothly? Add a few more splashes of almond milk.

-You can use unfrozen fruit if you like. I prefer to use frozen so I don’t ned to add ice!

-When my bananas are getting old, I peel and freeze them in separate baggies for smoothies.

-Who has a Costco card? Costco has a WIDE variety of organic frozen fruits….including mango!

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(Take me to the Original Green Smoothie)

Pumpkin Puree Recipe

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Fall is in the air! Everyone is posting pumpkin recipes (healthy ones of course 😉 ) and you are about to go grab a can of Libby’s.

STOP! Never buy canned pumpkin puree again! Whipping up your own is so easy, not to mention natural, which makes it well worth it. The whole process takes about an hour from beginning to end but guess what? It makes a TON (if you have a decent sized gourd of course) and it freezes well for future use.

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice off the top and bottom of your pumpkin.

Remove seeds by scraping out the center with a spoon.

Slice your clean pumpkin into wedges; about 3 inches wide.

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Place on a sprayed or foil lined baking sheet.

Put NOTHING on the pumpkin and roast for 45 minutes.

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Take out and let cool so you can touch.

Remove from peel and add to food processor or blender chunk by chunk. Add a few splashes of water as needed to puree. (not too much water- just enough to blend without getting stuck)

I use a Vitamix, but any good one will work!

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Done!

That it, folks!! You will see recipes out there that tell you to rub with oil or seasoning. You really don’t need it, and I highly recommend roasting it plain. It opens up recipe opportunities! When I post my Pumpkin Smoothie (this weekend), are you going to want to taste a hint of olive oil and garlic? I think not!

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Oh by the way, did I mention that you can freeze it? Yes! Just throw it in a couple freezer bags and store it for future use. Who says we can’t have a Paleo Pumpkin Pie in the summertime? (also posting this weekend, so follow my blog for email updates!)

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Now share and go follow! Don’t miss out on new recipes and fitness tips ever again. 🙂

Sunday Meal Prep 11/1/15

“I vow to Meal Prep for the week every Sunday for the rest of November”. -Leigh

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Does anyone else make a monthly goal? Or even a weekly goal? It is common that we see a Monday or the 1st of the month as a “fresh start”. In reality, you do NOT have to wait until these moments for a fresh start, because each day is a new beginning!! But if a Monday or a new month motivates you to shoot for a healthy new goal, more power to you. 🙂

Since my long awaited vacation last month, it has been extra difficult finding my way back to a healthy routine. I have been in a major rut. It has been challenge playing catch up with the work, which means I haven’t been finding time to make healthy meals. If you have a busy schedule like mine, you probably understand that life gets in the way of home cooked meals, and that healthy “grab and go” options are rare!

If you really want to set yourself up for success, the only real option is to meal prep. Creating your own “fast food” is the best bet. Pick a day; pick some healthy recipes; separate it out in containers and get on with your week!

My menu choices:

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Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

I have been making this since last year!! My version is modified from the original      which can be found here. I made a few small changes, nothing major. I like a lot of butternut squash, and I did away with the “white hominy” which most people have never heard of anyway!

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Turkey Meatloaf

I made this specifically for my husband. This is his all time FAVORITE thing to take to work for dinner. It reheats really nicely; I usually send him with some steamed veggies or a salad as a compliment.

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Roasted Beets and Carrots 

I love roasted roots, and they’re so “Fall”. Seasonal cooking is my favorite. I find it always gives me something to look forward too; not to mention you can always find the seasonal veggies on the cheap at local farmer’s markets!

Chai Pumpkin Bread (Paleo)

I used this recipe. It came out pretty good! If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to add some sort of natural sweetener. This is perfect for someone watching their sugar. It goes great with a cup of tea 🙂 I used my homemade pumpkin puree to make mine.

image1 (I will post my very simple pumpkin puree recipe tomorrow!)

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Paleo Grain Free Raw Brownie Bites

This is the second time I made these, they are so simple and take away any chocolate craving. They are so rich, so you only need 1!

🙂 And there you have it. I’m feeling pretty accomplished!

I will add in a few salads and Green Smoothies as I go and I am all set for the week!!

If you try any of these recipes and have any suggestions or modifications, please comment and share!! I am always looking for suggestions and trying new things.

Until next week!