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.

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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!

Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

This has to be my favorite recipe to make when Fall comes around. November 1st- I’m on it! Even though I live in Florida and it doesn’t exactly get “cold” here, I still like to feel warm and fuzzy inside and pretend that the season is changing. Don’t judge me! 😉

Originally, I found the recipe here. It comes out great every single time! I made a few changes to suit my taste buds. I took out the “white hominy” because I found it unnecessary and hard to find; I also added more squash and changed up a few measurements on the tomatoes/chilis. You can usually find organic beans and other canned items at Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe’s.

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Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

2-3 tbs EVOO

1 large yellow onion; chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 fresh garlic cloves; minced

1 lb ground turkey ( 93/7)

3 cups raw butternut squash, peeled and diced

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 can petite diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz

1 can petite diced tomatoes with green chilis, 14.5 oz

1 can kidney beans with liquid

1 can low sodium tomato sauce, 8 oz

1 tbs chili powder

1 tbs cumin

1 tsp garlic salt

Dash cayenne pepper

Instructions:

In pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion and celery until soft. Add crumbled turkey and look until brown, about 5-10 minutes.

Add all other ingredients to pot and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes, making sure the squash is tender.

Share with friends! Enjoy!

Learning Paleo.

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Since opening the CrossFit gym, I have been hearing more and more about the Paleo diet.

Pa·le·o di·et
ˈpeɪlioʊ ˌdīət/
noun
  1. a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food.

Many people are convinced that eating Paleo is great way to avoid disease and achieve optimal health. Little by little, it has crept into the back of my mind that I need to give it a shot. For the past few years, I have opted for a healthier lifestyle by limiting my red meat intake, eating mostly fish, very little poultry, and vegetables. I will admit that I am NOT the best at avoiding dairy (especially cheese), and I love seeded/nutty breads and brown rice. This will be challenging!

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I am by no means an expert at this, so if I post something that doesn’t agree with the Paleo Diet please let me know. I am still learning! My goal is to try to incorporate new Paleo recipes into my diet for a few weeks with my husband and possibly start a Paleo Challenge if anyone becomes interested.

The simplest thing I have read so far to understand was eating Paleo “means” was to eat food in its most natural state. Not processed in any way; no unrecognizable ingredients.

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A few links that I have found helpful in learning about the Paleo lifestyle:

http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/

http://thepaleodiet.com/what-to-eat-on-the-paleo-diet/

http://paleoleap.com/paleo-101/

Our simple menu today was:

Breakfast: Mean Green juice and 3 hard boiled organic free range eggs

Snack: Mixed organic strawberries and blueberries + 1/4 cup whole almonds

Lunch: Large Salad (romaine, cucumbers, 1/2 avocado, tomatoes, fig balsamic/EVOO) + Seared Ahi Tuna (coconut oil,sesame seeds/seasonings)

Snack: Banana

Dinner: Cajun Rubbed Pork Chop + half sweet potato with coconut oil and black pepper

Tons of water!

I think we off to a good start. I will be trying out many recipes this week and keeping you posted!

-Leigh

http://www.fitfromflorida.com

PS.

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Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Yum, can’t wait to try these!!

Nutrition.Health.Life.

banana choc chip cookies (4)These cookies are a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

banana choc chip cookiesThey are basically an oatmeal banana bread baked into cookie form. The original recipe is from Two Peas and Their Pod, who also just welcomed a new little man into their life. I made the first batch last night, following the original recipe except for adding 1 cup of chopped walnuts as well. They turned out delicious and I have eaten more than I’ll ever admit (I’m telling myself that Eli needs them for healthy breast milk).

However, once they cooled off and sat in the storage container they got super soft. The texture reminded me of banana bread, not a cookie. I decided to make a few changes to the recipe. First I wanted to make them healthier – so healthy they could pass as a breakfast cookie. Second, I wanted to see if I could improve the texture for storage purposes. The original…

View original post 336 more words

Leigh’s Green Smoothie

Everyone should have one easy, go-to green smoothie! A nutritious smoothie makes a quick and easy breakfast option when you’re on the go. Be sure to use a high-powered blender so that its extra creamy!

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Leigh’s Green Smoothie

1 cup unsweetened vanilla Almond Milk

1 ripe Banana

2 handfuls Baby Spinach

5 fresh Strawberries

1 tbs Ground Flaxseed

4-5 Ice Cubes

Blend and enjoy!

Leigh’s Favorite Blender:

Vitimix

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PS…

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Butternut Squash “Fries:

Need to satisfy that “carb” craving? Don’t blow your day! Try this healthy twist on fries instead!! No they aren’t really fried; they’re roasted and you won’t be able to tell the difference. They are so flavorful and delicious. Be sure to bookmark this post because I know you’ll be coming back for more. 😉

 

Butternut Squash Fries

Wash and peel the squash.

Slice into strips (about 3-4 inches long; .5 inch wide)

Toss in a very small amount of olive oil (just enough to coat; drowning them will make them soggy)

Sprinkle with a few dashes of each: Salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. 

Place in a single layer on baking sheet.

Convection Oven: Bake for 18 minutes @ 400 or until golden brown. Toss halfway through.

Regular Oven: Bake for 23 minutes @ 425 or until golden brown. Toss halfway through. 

Enjoy!

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