For the last 30 days I’ve been trying something new...KETO. I haven’t said too much about it until I knew if I liked it and if I was getting out of it what I wanted, which is optimum health, more energy, and fat loss. Menopause has been gifting me some crazy changes in my body, namely feeling like my body has been a magnet for fat. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had a naturally thin build, but for the past year there are times I haven’t looked like or felt like myself and have felt like an alien is taking over my body. I wanted to try a natural way to balance my hormones. I also had always been intrigued since watching the documentary The Magic Pill which shows the incredible healing benefits of our bodies running on fat rather than carbs...and the illnesses Keto can heal. I’m all about prevention and healing the body through nutrition.Read More
Chimichurri sauce is a fresh, green condiment from Argentina that is great on everything from steak, eggs, veggies...even french fries.
The first few times I made this awesome sauce, I tried recipes that were prepared in a food processor. What this did was emulsify the oil and made a more creamy sauce. While this tasted great, I was after the more traditional, chunky sauce that showcased all the fresh ingredients...a more olive oil looking sauce.
After a few attempts that tasted too vinegar-y, this was the winner. My family LOVED it. It's really simple and I hope you love it too.
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 whole shallot, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher or large flake salt
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Get the first 4 ingredients ready first and combine the red wine vinegar, garlic, shallot, and salt and allow this to sit and marinate while you get your other ingredients ready, about 10 minutes.
Add the parsley and cilantro to the first 4 ingredients in a bowl and then whisk in the olive oil last with fork. Salt to taste and add the red pepper flakes if you want a little kick. If you happen to have a large mortar and pestle, crush and grind all the ingredients a bit to really combine...if not, no biggie, just mix well.
I store this in a mason jar in the fridge and spoon it onto anything and everything! Just shake it up before using as it will separate. I usually try to use it up within a week. It makes about a cup and a half of sauce.
Enjoy and let me know if your family loves this fresh sauce as much as mine does!
Note: People either like cilantro or they don't. If you don't you can use all parsley and visa versa...all cilantro. If you like both, try it the way I've written it as it's the perfect mix in my opinion. And yes....fresh herbs are a must with this one.
How do I use Chimichurri?
The day I make it I usually put it on tri-tip...because that is usually what inspires me to make it!
The next day I'll usually make a big romaine salad and dress it with ranch or caesar dressing. I then chop up some leftover tri-tip and put it on top and drizzle Chimichurri on top of the steak. This makes an easy and DELICIOUS salad. My husband loves it too!
The third day we had a burger + fry night and I made these Chimichurri + Gorgonzona Sweet Potato Fries which were to die for... and that finished off the Chimichurri Sauce in 3 days for 2 or 3 people.
This sauce is excellent on everything though! Tell me how you use it in the comments. Great on eggs, veggies, shrimp, steak, fries and more!
When people ask me if I'm a fan of smoothies, my response is always the same. "It depends."
Does your smoothie have a PURPOSE ...nutritionally?
I think smoothies can be an excellent way to pack a whole lot of nutrition into a quick and easy meal or snack...but it can turn unhealthy quick if you're not careful.
I'm not a fan of smoothies as any kind of "liquid diet". I don't recommend juice cleanses either. I believe in chewing real food. With that said, do I think smoothies can find their way into a healthy lifestyle?
I want to share my favorite Healthy Green Smoothie recipe with you that I make for my husband and I a few times a week. I also want to talk ingredients with you because these days it's hard to decipher all the "mix in's", supplements and superfoods you may be seeing out there. What the heck is Matcha anyway? ...or Maca? ...and do I need it??
Like I said, a smoothie is a great way to get a huge dose of nutrients into your body easily. This is what I like to use smoothies for. Adding Nutrition. Too many people think you need to add fruit to smoothies to make them taste good. Sure, it might make them taste good, but it also can add a ton of unnecessary sugar.
Another reason I've taken fruit out of this smoothie... as a Nutrition Coach, I actually recommend eating fruit by itself...or first at a meal. What? Why? When you consume fruit WITH other foods like protein, it can cause bloating. Fruits tend to move through your body quicker than proteins. Proteins take longer to digest which is why they keep you satiated longer. When you consume fruit after protein or with it, it can slow it down and the sugars in the fruit start to ferment... can you say BLOATED?
I'm going to show you how to make a green smoothie taste creamy and delicious without any fruit or added sugar at all.
Ingredients: (more detail on ingredients below)
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk (I use Califia Farms brand)
- large handful of baby spinach (about 1 packed cup)
- 1 level scoop of Life's Abundance Vanilla Plant Protein Powder
- 1 tsp Maca Powder
- 1 tsp Matcha Powder
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3 ice cubes
Add liquid first, then all other ingredients and blend well in a high powered blender. I have a fancy Vitamix, but I don't use it for this unless I'm making multiple servings at once, it's just too big. I use a Magic Bullet that I got at Target. It's the perfect size for a single serving and blends it perfectly with minimal cleanup.
I'm not a calorie counter....but for you calorie counters out there, this smoothie above is only 200 calories. Ahem....ever had a "Peanut Butter Moo'd Smoothie at Jamba Juice? I have. Was it tasty? Yep...BUT a small is 500 calories and a large is almost 1000 calories and 131 g of sugar!!!!! This is the typical "smoothie" people drink in America! It's no wonder our waistlines are expanding, right?
All the ingredients I use in my Healthy Green Smoothie have a PURPOSE. I think that's the key to making a HEALTHIER smoothie.
What are these ingredients...and where to buy them:
Raw Maca Powder: I get Navitas Naturals brand at Sprouts. If you can't find it near you, you can get it HERE. Maca is a potent, anchient Peruvian superfood made from a root. It's a tan color with a slightly sweet, malty smell and flavor. It supports energy and vitality naturally without jitters. As an adaptogen, maca balances hormones and stress levels in the body. It also provides an abundance of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and sterols. My husband loves the subtle flavor of maca!
Matcha Powder: You can find matcha green tea powder at any health food store, Whole Foods or Sprouts. I happen to have the Sprouts brand right now. Matcha was recently named "trendiest ingredient" by CBS News and Huffington Post because it's everywhere these days... Matcha Latte photos are all over social media these days. Unlike drinking brewed green tea, you drink the whole leaf plus the taste is twice as much as regular brewed green tea. Here's a helpful graphic that will help you see just how healthy Matcha powder is!
Life's Abundance Plant Protein: This is where people usually fall short. There are a lot of unhealthy protein powders on the market today full of dairy, unhealthy oils as emulsifiers, and artificial sweeteners. One serving of an unhealthy protein powder can wreak havoc on your whole "healthy" smoothie...and your body!! Take it from me, I've done the research for you and have found a creamy (not chalky) plant-based protein that is non-GMO, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and has zero sugar added. It's also made with coconut oil rather than unhealthy sunflower oil that can cause inflammation in the body. (Vanilla is used in this recipe, but it is also available in delicious chocolate.) This protein is not sold in stores, but you can get it HERE and anytime through me under my "Nutrition" tab on my menu. It ships really fast and you'll have it usually in 3 days or less!
Cinnamon: Yep, even this ingredient has a purpose. Cinnamon is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon has been shown to significantly increase sensitivity to the hormone insulin. This means that it can help with insulin resistance which is the hallmark of serious conditions like metabolic disease and type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon has a blood sugar lowering effect. Bet you didn't know what a healthy punch a sprinkle of tasty cinnamon can make!
Unsweetened Almond Milk or Coconut Milk: The key here is to use homemade, or a good quality refrigerated brand such as Calafia Farms. Steer clear of boxed brands that sit in the unrefrigerated section because they have unhealthy preservatives in them...or added sugar. Find one that does not have carrageenan in the ingredients. I love canned coconut milk, but I don't use that as it's too thick for this recipe.
Baby Spinach: You don't have to use baby spinach, that is just what I get. It's just harvested a bit earlier and is a bit more tender...so I think it works great in a smoothie. Spinach is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. Abundant flavonoids in spinach act as antioxidants to keep cholesterol from oxidizing and protect your body from free radicals, particularly in the colon. The folate in spinach is good for your healthy cardiovascular system, and magnesium helps lower high blood pressure. Studies also have shown that spinach helps maintain your vigorous brain function, memory and mental clarity. Packing a big handful of spinach in a smoothie is such a great way to get all it's nutritious goodness in easy and quick! Too many people don't get enough greens! Trust me, the tasty vanilla protein powder will actually totally hide any "veggie taste", so kids will even love this!!
Ice: I like adding a few ice cubes because no one wants a warm smoothie. Am I right or am I right? :)
If you make this just as I describe, it should turn out the perfect consistency, tasty, with a creamy mouth feel. The secret ingredient is the protein powder that is key for this creamy texture and delicious taste. If you use another brand, I cannot guarantee taste or texture.
Like this recipe? Let me...and others... know! Post your pics on social and tag me!
Other Blog Posts you might enjoy that you could also use this Plant Protein in:
Ok, my pal Keri Glassman of Nutritious Life is a girl after my own heart with this recipe....
Ever since I showed this to my husband he's been asking for it....
So today I got some Enjoy Life dairy-free mini chips at Sprouts and I think I'll surprise him this evening with a little healthy treat;) Here's how you can get your own...check out how easy!
- 1 scoop Life's Abundance Protein Powder
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free mini chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
- Water (as needed)
- Combine vanilla protein (can also use chocolate protein), almond flour, almond butter, honey, chocolate chips, and optional coconut.
- Add water slowly as needed and mix until dough becomes desired consistency.
Wait, what about this to take it a step further!? You could add some chunks of this to some Coconut Milk "Ice Cream"! Yum.
Like this? You'll love my Paleo Vanilla Raw Balls that are also protein-packed!!
Do you have to use this protein powder? No, you're big boys and girls. But why do I think you SHOULD? Check out my blog post "6 Steps to Choosing a Healthy Protein Powder" HERE!
Photo above is from the original post on nutritiouslife.com
This is the creamiest smoothie I've ever had. In the past, to get a smoothie really really creamy I had to add banana. I like to make "no fruit" smoothies because smoothies that are loaded with fruit aren't quite as healthy as ones that aren't. Today I added avocado....and it blows away the banana for the creamy texture! What's more? ...avocados have even more potassium than bananas and are FULL of those healthy fats that are so good for us!
I'm calling this the "Skin Smoothie" because it's loaded with nutrients, collagen, antioxidants and healthy fatty acids. Ready to get your glow on?
- 1 c. unsweetened almond milk (look for carrageenan free --> I like New Barn or Califia Farms brands
- 1 scoop Vanilla Plant Based Protein Powder
- 1 scoop Greens Blend
- 1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
- 1/4 very ripe avocado
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (great source of antioxidants...anti-inflammatory properties...and more! One of the healthiest spices!!)
- 2 ice cubes
Blend until smooth and incredibly creamy! I love making "no fruit" smoothies that are ultra healthy....and taste amazing, this one is definitely both.
The nutrients and healthy fats in this smoothie will keep you satisfied for a looooong time. This would be a great breakfast because it's full of protein too.
Think your protein powder is healthy? Read my post "6 Steps to Choosing a Healthy Protein Powder" and find out how yours stacks up.
Like this post? You might also like my Anti-Aging Drink Recipe!
I honestly think artichokes might be my favorite food. They are so satisfying, loaded with antioxidants, and are fun to eat!
I usually just steam them and eat them plain....dipped in some homemade mayo... easy peasy and delicious. You can see my blog post How to Make Artichokes where I get into more detail about how to steam them. This time I made them taste the way you get them in a restaurant, but made sure to keep it healthy.... even Whole30 approved;)
Since writing that post back in 2014, I now have an Instant Pot that has been a game changer for time saver cooking!!! It used to take me about an hour to cook artichokes and now I get it done in 20 minutes thanks to my Instant Pot pressure cooker....LOVE it.
You will need:
- 2 large artichokes
- Homemade Mayo (click for recipe)
- juice from 1/2 lemon plus extra wedges for serving
- 1/2 tsp crushed garlic (I use Trader Joe's from a jar)
- sea salt and pepper
While you're steaming your artichokes, make your homemade mayo if you haven't already so it's ready for the next step when they are done cooking.
How to Steam Artichokes in an Instant Pot:
- Wash your artichokes and trim the stem.
- Cut the tops off using a sharp serrated knife.
- Put 1 cup of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Place the steaming rack in the bottom and place the artichokes inside.
- Lock the lid and ensure the vent is set to "sealing" not "venting".
- Use the "Steam" button and set the timer for 20 mins on high pressure.
- Once it comes up to temperature, it will start counting down the minutes.
- When done, you can let it vent on it's own, or using a pot holder to protect yourself, vent it manually by moving the vent to "venting". Careful not to let the escaped steam burn you.
- Once it stops steaming, the pressure is released and you can open the lid and remove the artichokes.
Ok, now for the fun part...making them "restaurant style"
Slice your artichokes into two halves. Put them cut side up on a rack on a baking sheet lined with foil. (I use a cooling rack and it works great.) Using a knife and spoon, scoop out the center fuzz and purple leaves to clean them. This will make them super easy to eat when done.
Turn your oven to "Broil".
Whisk a couple large spoonfuls of homemade mayo, juice from half a lemon, and 1/2 tsp crushed garlic (I use the jar version of garlic for this, works great) until smooth. You want a consistency that's easy to paint on the artichokes.
Using a kitchen brush, paint the artichokes all over liberally with the mayo mixture, top and bottom. pour a little extra right in the cup that you created by scooping out the inside. This will be soooooo tasty after broiling!!! Mmmmmmm.
Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and place under the broiler on the center oven rack.
Watch them closely and in about 6 minutes they will be golden brown. Remove from oven when done do your liking;)
I served these as an appetizer like you'd order in a restaurant... with lemon wedges and additional sauce for dipping. That baked on center section where the mayo mixture settled was SO delicious!!! You could also serve these delicious beauties as a side dish! Enjoy....and let me know what you think of these in the comments!