Thursday, July 31, 2014

Eatin' in the Season | Summer Tomato Pasta Salad!

It's time to take a bite out of summer. 
I am all about eating foods that fit the season [except when I am craving a pumpkin spiced latte and its 90+ degrees outside...sometimes you just have to go to the store and buy something pumpkin flavored... you just gotta]. But, for the most part, I like to eat according to the season. This pasta salad, is the perfect summer lunch. ++ I am still dreaming out it.
I can't take all the credit for this one, well I really can't take any credit for it. Mollie brought this into work a few weeks ago and made me try it [because you know me... I always refuse food when offered to me... not].
IT. WAS. AH-MAZING. ++ It is probably, the easiest pasta salad ever.
I guess the only credit I can take for this one is revamping it a smidge. I was trying my best to eat Paleo//healthy because I was going to the beach the next week, so I decided to use my spaghetti squash in place of the regular spaghetti noodles. It just so happened that I had some left over from my Meat Sauce Recipe I made that night.
4 small - medium sized Tomatoes (I used vine ripe Yellow + Red tomaotes but any Tomatoes would work!)
1-2 cups Spaghetti Squash (the original recipe calls for regular spaghetti noodles)
3-4 cloves Garlic (chopped)
5-6 leaves fresh Basil
Olive Oil (enough to cover the tomatoes)
Salt (to taste)

1. Combine chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil and salt into a tuperware container (make sure it has a lid). Keep all of the juices from the tomatoes -- it adds to the flavor!

2. Next, pour enough Olive Oil to allow the tomatoes to "soak" in the oil + juices.
3. Cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight to allow the tomatoes to "marinate". Then top over warm cooked spaghetti squash!
You can either eat yours the way Mollie did [which is the way the recipe originally says to do it], OR, you can do what I did and eat it over warm spaghetti squash! Either way works and either way it is delicious!
The great thing about this recipe is how cheap it actually is. I mean they basically give away tomatoes at the grocery store + that huge bundle of basil in the pic above... $1 at the farmers market... there's not typo there. It really was $1.
I loved this tomato pasta salad + am going to start buying extra tomatoes whenever I do so I can always have this on had. It was quick, easy ++ super delicious! The way the flavors combine is nothing short of amazing.

Be honest, how many of you are looking at this and thinking; "She had to write a whole post about this.. it's literally tomatoes swimming it's own juices...". I thought so too... at first! Then I tasted it, and the heavens opened up and angels sang a majestic song of joy.
Okay, maybe that didn't happen... or maybe it did. Either way trust me and go make this tomato pasta salad.
Have a fit + fantastic day y'all!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Protein Packed Energy Balls | Two Flavors!

These might not look pretty, like at all.
Okay, these may be one of the ugliest foods I've ever made//posted.

But man, do they rock.
I mean seriously, these thangs rock.
You've probably seen protein backed bites//balls all over the Pinterest and tons of different kinds. To be honest you can basically throw anything into the mixture and it would be good. All you need is a nut butter base + oats [optional] + protein powder + flax [for extra protein] + nuts [for even more protein + an added crunch].
I made these last week before we went out of town because I was determined to eat healthy while on vacation, which sorta worked out... I also planned to workout everyday, which I actually did [self-five]! I brought the energy balls as a pre//post workout snack to keep me on track + they definitely helped!
When I made them, I was feeling super pumped and decided to make extra + different flavors. I made Chocolate Peanut Butter and a Vanilla Coconut Macadamia Nut kind. To be honest the Vanilla is my fav because 1] it's Paleo & 2] its an explosion of Coconut as soon as you bite into it + I've been on a massive coconut kick the past few months!
Originally, these [pic below] were the only ingredients I was going to use -- then I got excited and started throwing in a ton more stuff. Whoops [self low five].
And...I was supposed to use Almond Butter, instead of Peanut Butter, for this but realized I left it at a friends house so the Peanut Butter had to do.

Chocolate Peanut Butter (makes 11 balls)
1 cup Natural Peanut Butter
2 TBSP Milled Flaxseed
1 TBSP Chia Seeds
1 TBSP Shredded Sweetened Coconut
2 TBSP Walnut Baking Pieces [chopped more]
1 TBSP Honey
4 TBSP Old Fashioned Quaker Oats
1 TBSP Dark Chocolate Chips [chopped]
Vanilla Coconut Macadamia Nut (makes 10 balls)
3/4 cup Natural Peanut Butter
1 TBSP Honey
2 TBSP sliced Almonds
2 TBSP Milled Flaxseed
*Directions are the same for each flavor.
1. Combine all ingredients [for that flavor] into medium sized mixing bowl. Mix together all ingredients until evenly distributed.

2. Next, roll balls into small [1 TBSP], sized balls and place on a brown paper bag lined pan.
Placing them on a brown paper bag will help absorb the oils from the Peanut Butter [which is where majority of the oils come from].
3. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes or until chilled//slightly hardened. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or freezer if you wish to store them for longer.
The batter will be gooey, + your hands will get oily from the peanut butter-- putting them in the freezer is a quick way to get rid of the oils.
I love these for breakfast, preworkout, post workout, dessert, midday-beat-that-3:30-feeling-snack, I love this all the time!

Did I mention I loved them?
These Protein Packed Energy Balls have just the right amount of carbs + fats + proteins to keep you full, focused and on the right health track. Honestly, I had 2 [one of each flavor, who do you think I am, duh] for breakfast on my way to work at 8AM & I wasn't hungry until 12:30PM... now, that's a awesome breakfast.

 Oh, and did I mention these are Cabela Approved?
Nutrition per Energy Ball 
Chocolate Peanut Butter Flavor
185 Calories, 10.5g Carbs, 14g Fat, 8g Protein
Vanilla Coconut Flavor
175 Calories, 8.5g Carbs, 13.6g Fat, 8g Protein
Have a fit + fantastic day everyone!
Stay positive + on track!
*Disclaimer: The AboutTime Protein and Nikki's Coconut Butter products were sent to me as a promotional item for my review. I love the products and was more than happy to promote them on my blog. I received no compensation and my opinions are mine and mine alone.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Quick/Easy, Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce!

I love marinara sauce.
Actually, I love all kinds of sauces.
I'm the type of person who likes her sauce to spaghetti ratio 5 to 1.
No lie, I eat spaghetti as if it were soup. #sorrynotsorry
Monday at work I was trying to think of something I could make for dinner and Spaghetti Squash popped into my head. I knew the Fruit Stand by my house, Po Folks, had them for a really good price and a bottle of marinara sauce is super cheap.
Quick, easy & cheap? You can't go wrong with that!
Oh and it's delicious... I forgot to mention that.
Normally, I go for plain sauce and spaghetti squash "noodles" but since I knew I was going to be working out right before I wanted to add some protein to refuel after the workout.
After I made this I realized how truly simple it was. It's the perfect meal to make if you are super busy or trying to make something good in bulk. The spaghetti squash took about 30-45 minutes to bake. So during that time I worked out and by the time I was done, so was my squash. While the squash cooled I took a shower. By the time I was done, my squash had cooled and I was ready to scrape the "noodles" into a bowl -- voilà -- multitasking!
Good choice on my part!
1 large Spaghetti Squash
1.5 pounds Lean Ground Beef [fat drained]
1.5 jars Prego Fresh Mushroom Marinara Sauce
4 Roma Tomatoes [chopped]
6-8 leaves fresh Basil [chopped]
1 TBSP Olive Oil
2 TBSP Garlic Salt
1 TBSP Onion Powder
1-2 TBSP Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper [to taste]
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes [optional]

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut Spaghetti Squash long ways, or "hot dog style", and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until tender enough to pierce with a fork. Once Squash has cooled begin scraping the "spaghetti" with a fork into a large bowl. Check out my other post for more step by step details on scraping the "spaghetti" out.
*P.S. I highly recommend making more than you will eat that night. I cooked 2 large Spaghetti Squash at once so I could freeze to eat later when I am on the go! Because the process takes so long I was so glad I made more ahead of time!

2. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with Olive Oil. When the meat is almost thoroughly cooked [with little to no pink] add the chopped Roma tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes start to shrink and are tender.

As you can see there is a clear divide here. Peter's area is the left hand side, and mine is the right...
2. After all of the meat has been thoroughly cooked and the tomatoes become tender, drain the fat from the skillet and return the meat and tomatoes to the skillet.

3. Next, pour in 1.5 jars of marinara sauce, seasoning + fresh basil. [I used the Fresh Mushroom flavor from Prego because I love mushrooms!] Simmer on Medium/High heat for about 5-7 minutes. Stirring every so often.
*Be careful -- the sauce will bubble and you do not want to get that stuff on you!
4. Once the meat sauce comes to a simmer and is bubbling consistently it is read to be devoured!

5. To serve place 1 large cup Spaghetti Squash + pour meat sauce on top + garnish with fresh basil and crushed red pepper flakes for some spice!

Bon appetit!

I am obsessed with this meal now and it is my go to meal from now on -- especially since I have so much left over Spaghetti Squash. I am definitely going to be making this more often + it was such a crowd pleaser. My Dad, who is my biggest critic, ate the sauce over 2 pieces of garlic bread. He said it was to quote him "out the box good!" and he kept telling my Mom to try the sauce! [say that in an Italian family New Jersey accent].

So I was excited this quick meal turned out to be so dang good! : )

P.S. If you do not like tomatoes [like Peter... I feel sorry for you ; ) ] you can nix those all together.
Personally my favorite kind of marinara sauce, is the kind that bite into chunks of tomatoes -- that's when you know it's fresh! Also, ground turkey would be amazing in here in place of the ground beef!Also if you want to be like Peter and eat it with real spaghetti noodles -- you can do that too -- this sauce is good on anything!

If you make this in bulk [which I highly recommend] the sauce will freeze very well -- which is perfect if you're like me and you need a grab and go meal + are sometimes too busy to cook!

See you guys soon!

Have a fit + fantastic day!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Strands Café | A Hidden Baton Rouge Gem

I've recently become obsessed with random adventures.
And poor Peter, always gets wrangled into them.
The day after Fourth of July [the same day as our Fifth of July Celebration], I picked him up and we headed to the Farmer's Market early... That day at the market was just.. ahh -- if I could get away with sitting on the curb all day, munching on free samples of cheese//random assortments of olive oils, and not look like a complete weirdo, I'd do it.
But, like the song says, "We can't always get what we want!" Nope.
Since it was the first of the month, The Baton Rouge Arts Market was in full force on 5th and Main Downtown. As we made our way down the second block [that was completely preoccupied with different artists] a young guy handed us a flyer and told us to head over to Strands Café after the market. I let him give us his "spill" about there specials, coffee, pastries and chocolate, then he said "brunch"... and I was in.
Meanwhile, Peter was not in my head and had no idea I was concocting a plan to extend our morning at the Farmer's Market, indefinitely. We headed to the car with our haul from the Market and I told him about the surprise I had in store. He, thinking it was going to be something actually "surprise worthy", got excited and started guessing. I then realized that he and I had two totally different ideas when it comes to surprises, mine always involves food.
So after lots, lots, lots of coaxing and almost abandoning him in the hot car, he decided to come with me to go on "an adventure" as I kept saying.
To be honest I had no idea what this place was going to look like, or what kind of food they actually had because I tuned the guy out after he said brunch [woops...] because I was already drooling.
When we walked in I immediately felt like I was somewhere else. The atmosphere was so... so.. different than anything else I've been in in Baton Rouge that I didn't want to leave. I wanted to sit there and try every thing on their menu.
Especially the chocolate... but it was not even 10 yet and eating mass amount of chocolate before 10AM is frowned upon... I think.

OH, the chocolate. I knew, from the flyer, that they would have "fine pastries and chocolate" but I had no idea it would be like this. I don't even know if you can call this stuff chocolate... this is art!  
Oh and did I mention that the second we walked in we heard a kid scream "THIS WAFFLE IS AMAZING -- YUM" at the top of his lungs? Yeah, so if that didn't scream, we made the right decision then well... I don't know.

When we walked up to the counter we were greeted with a smile by the same guy that had handed us the flyer. I was definitely glad we decided to go because I knew it made him happy that he actually pulled some customers in by standing there on the street corner... which takes loads of courage to do [props to him]. I told him to tell me everything they had because I was up for anything! He started telling me about there pastries, waffles and chocolate. Everything sounded amazing, but I was on the brunch train and I wasn't stopping until I reached brunchville.

Then, he said Provolone, Prosciutto Croissant and I stopped him mid sentence [which I kind of feel bad about now...] and told him I didn't have to hear anything else -- I wanted that.

Of course, Peter boycotted ordering because he was in the boycotting mood. So I ordered and paid my $4 and sat down to enjoy the atmosphere.
It was absolutely beautiful. The light coming in from the front windows, the gorgeous color of the wood + everything reflecting off one another. I wanted to move in.

Whomever decorated this place did so incredibly. Everything was placed perfectly and seemed like it was supposed to be there. My favorite part of the café may have been the brick wall.

It was amazing.
Peter was so embarrassed of my picture taking and he kept repeating "you're one of those people, Morgan -- you're being one of those people..."

Yup, I was that person snapping pictures of everything and I loved it.
Then, when I thought it couldn't get any better, they brought out my croissant.
I'm 99% sure that I shed a small tear... of joy. 
The prosciutto and cheese was perfect and complimented each other extremely well. We took it Togo because we needed to run by the store to start prepping dinner for that night. But when we got to the car Peter snuck a few bites... yes, a few, and he even said it was good. Told ya Peter!
Moral of this rant of a post... I'll be back [Arnold Schwarzenegger voice] to Strands Café. And moral of the other story, adventures are always fun -- even if someone complains the whole time... [ehm... Peter..]
Strands Café is located on 226 Laurel Street, in downtown Baton Rouge! They are open Tuesday - Friday 7:30AM - 4:00PM and Saturdays 8:00AM - 12PM. They also have tons of lunch options that already have my mouth watering... including Crab Cake Salad, Bacon Rum Roasted Chicken Sandwiches, Spinach Frittatas and tons more!
If you're looking for somewhere to escape to and enjoy some delicious treats, Strands will not disappoint.
Have a fit + fantastic day everyone!
Enjoy the day -- go on an adventure!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fifth of July | Steak Dinner + Homemade Apple Pie!

I think I America should man up and make Fifth of July a holiday. I mean really, you're already in the Patriotic spirit from the Fourth, why no let that spirit carry over to the next day so we can celebrate a little more?
I'm writing a petition!
Okay, not really, but I do feel strongly about making the Fifth of July a holiday after the great day I had! I had a spectacular Fourth and didn't want it to end! We spent the day with my family swimming, eating tons of food + tons of fireworks [which I stayed very far away from...]
The next day Peter decided he wanted to cook dinner for my family, so we decided to cook up some steaks [our specialty + our favorite meal to cook together]. While we were in the store Peter mentioned how awesome it would have been if they had premade Apple Pie... I told him I could definitely make a better one than a store bought one.
He disagreed.
Hence... the Apple Pie below.
I had to prove him wrong, obviously.
He looked at me like I was crazy when I didn't buy pie filling.. I told him we had an entire bag of Red Delicious Apples at my house and said I'd use that!
For never having made apple pie before, actual homemade apple pie. I think it turned out amazing. I surprised myself! [For the record, I didn't make the pie crust, so that kind of makes me a traitor to the homemade apple pie club. At least I am a traitor with a delicious pie].
I have never made homemade pie filling before so I "Pinterested" it to see what all goes into it. I was very surprised at how simple it was.
The only ingredients were apples, sugar, cornstarch, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and water! The great thing is, most people have all of that stuff on hand, which makes this recipe relatively cheap as well!
6 medium Apples [I used Red delicious but you can use any kind]
1/4 cup Corn Starch [more if the filling needs to be thickened]
2 TBSP Cinnamon
1/2 cup Splenda Sugar
2 TBSP Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2-4 cups Water [or however much covers the apples in the pot]
2 premade Pie Crusts
1. Preheat oven to 450 [or according to your store bought pie crust]. Peel and core your 6 Apples and place in a medium sized pot on the stove top.
2. In the pot, combine Apples and water [I used about 2-4 cups -- or enough that will cover all the apples]. Turn the burner on high heat and bring the apples and water to a boil mixing so they do not burn.
3. Stir in the Brown Sugar, Splenda, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon and Corn Starch. Mix/simmer until apples are tender and are easily pierced with a fork. About 10 minutes.
*For this I basically "eye balled" it and "nosed" it [HA!]. I kept adding spice, and brown sugar until it smelled like apple pie. And it worked!
*Make sure when you add the Corn Starch that you mix it in VERY well, you do not want chunks of that stuff in your pie!
4. Next, lay down your bottom pie crust in a greased circular dish and fill with the pie filling.
*Peter and I didn't measure or anything for this and it ended up filling to the exact point it needed to!
5. Lay the top pie crust layer on top. Then connect the two pie crusts by folding them together, sealing everything in.
*My Mom taught me a trick on how to make the crust have that traditional look so I tried it out. Apparently you stick your finger between the dish and the crust, creating the indention. I found that pinching the crust worked well too!

6. Cut the openings in the middle of the pie, so the pie can breathe. I finished the top of mine off with an egg wash [1 egg lightly beaten then brushed over the top of the pie]. I also sprinkled mine with a little more brown sugar and cinnamon.
7. Bake in the oven according to the pie crust instructions -- mine said to bake it for 10 minutes at 450 degrees then reduce the head to 350 degrees for the remaining 35 minutes.

Now I have to back track a little -- As soon as we got back from the grocery store which was about 1 or 2 PM Peter and I marinated the steaks. Then I made the pie filling + pie and stuck it in the refrigerator so I could help make everything else. I didn't put the pie in until everything else was basically done!

-- Marinated in Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, Rosemary Garlic seasoning and salt and pepper
-- Marinated for about 4 hours
-- Cook over grill to your liking.
*I like mine as rare as I can get away with, Peter said mine was only on there for about 5-10 minutes MAX.

Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus
-- Snap off the hard ends of the asparagus, sauté in 1 TBSP Olive Oil on high heat. Season with Salt and Pepper + cook until asparagus are tender.
-- Wrap asparagus with 1 thin slice of Prosciutto around a bundle of asparagus.
-- Bake at 450 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until Prosciutto is warm and crispy. [I baked mine for the first 10 minutes with the pie]

Mushrooms-- Using 2 packs of pre-sliced mushrooms place in a medium sized saucepan.
-- Add 2 TBSP Olive Oil and about 1-2 TBSP Butter [yep, we went all in].
-- Sautee on medium - high heat until mushrooms are tender and fragrant.
-- Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Rosemary/Garlic, Oven Roasted Potatoes
I didn't take a picture of these while I cooked them because they are so quick it's almost impossible.
-- Using about 10 small to medium sized red potatoes, chop into chunks.
-- Place on a greased baking pan and drizzle with 1-2 TBSP Olive Oil
-- Make sure all the potatoes are evenly coated with the Olive Oil. Then season with Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Italian Seasoning and a Rosemary Garlic blend [I bought this at Albertson's].
-- Make sure the seasoning is coating all potatoes and bake in the oven on 475 degrees. Watch them closely. They will cook fast and you do not want them to burn. About 15-20 minutes.
And this, my friends, was the final product.
If you listen closely you can almost hear the steak sizzling. And smell the aroma of the garlic potatoes and the buttery mushrooms and ahh crispiness of that prosciutto.
Oh and don't think I forgot about that pie! I put it in right as we were finishing up the sides so it finished right as we finished dinner.
It looked spectacular!
I have to give myself a little credit for this. I love cooking something on a whim then having it turn out completely how you wanted it to!
This pie just screams, God Bless America!  
Ugh, now I want pie for dinner.
Well, thaaat's all for today!

Have a fit + fantastic day!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

My Top 4 Absolute Favorite Avocado Recipes!

I have developed a ridiculous obsession..with Avocados.
I don't know when, why or how it happened but I always used to think avocados were just "okay", but never was on the bandwagon of the obsession.
Well, that changed, I think I may be the driver of the bandwagon now, or at least I have shotgun.
Since my obsession started I have come up with tons of recipes for avocados and I haven't found one I didn't like and of course I had to share.
Simple, simple, simple, simple, simpleee... so how is this so incredibly delicious? This is actually what I had for breakfast this morning + is super filling! [And ps. I think we should all collectively start calling the peeling of the avocado the "shell". I mean honestly, it looks like a shell, feels like a shell -- so it's a shell. Done.
1/2 Avocado
Cracked Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes
Garlic Powder
1. Using a knife, slice the avocado in half + remove the pit.
2. Take half of the Avocado and scoop it towards the center, mashing it with a fork.
3. Season it to your liking! I like a lot of seasoning so I used a generous amount of Cracked Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Garlic Powder and Salt. I have also tried it with Garlic Salt, Red Pepper Flakes and Ground Black Pepper!
I cannot stop dreaming about this breakfast. I don't know what it was that made this so incredibly delicious. Maybe because I was in Texas [everything is bigger in Texas, right?], or because I was about to workout, or maybe it was because of the cheese. I am still not sure, but goodness gracious it was amazing!

1 slice Whole Wheat Bread
1/2 Avocado [halved, peeled, seeded and mashed]
2 slices Turkey
1 small slice sharp Cheddar Cheese
Cracked Pepper
Lowry's Seasoned Salt
Red Pepper Flakes
1. Turn your oven on 'HI - Broil'. Toast the bread in a toaster to your liking [the crispier the better].
2. Next, scoop half of the Avocado out and spread onto the piece of toasted bread.
3. Season with Cracked Pepper, Lowry's Seasoned Salt, and Red Pepper Flakes to your liking [again, I was generous].
4. Top with sliced Turkey and cheese. Place on foil lined baking sheet and place in the oven until cheese is melted/bubbling and turkey is warm [about 3-5 minutes].
5. Enjoy, and try not to make this for every meal -- it will be hard ; )
Okay, yeah of course guac -- it's like the grandfather of avocado recipes. Peter's favorite kind of guacamole is the "simpler, the better". I on the other hand do not like that. I like mine to have as much stuff as I can fit into it and still call it guacamole and not a salad.  
2-3 Avocados [halved, peeled, seeded and mashed]
2-3 Roma Tomatoes
3/4 large White Onion
1-2 Limes [juiced]
1/4 cup Cilantro
1/2 TBSP Garlic Powder
1 TBSP Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and Pepper [to taste]
1. Chop the Roma Tomatoes [I personally love Roma Tomatoes for guac because they are a lot firmer and flavorful -- I hate having super soft tomatoes in guac -- bleh, the texture] and Onion. *If you like your onion to be chopped finer do that -- I like mine to be chunky to where I can see them.
2. In a medium sized bowl [or your favorite guac mixing dish] mix the Avocados with the Tomatoes, Onion, Lime Juice, Cilantro, Garlic Powder and Red Pepper Flakes.
3. Mix well, and add salt and pepper to your liking!
This guac is super flavorful and will make you want to put it on just about anything! Sorry there is no picture -- can't keep it around long enough to snap a pic ; )
Funny story about this -- So about a month back my Mom came home with canned Chicken. I was beyond confused because we never buy chicken from a can. She told me that apparently my Grandparents bought it at the store, thought it was tuna, and then realized -- it was not. So they decided to give it to us in hopes that we had some use for it. Well my Mom ended up making some incredible chicken salad out of it!  
2 cans Chicken [shredded]
5 boiled eggs (only use 2-3 yolks)
2-3 TBSP Mayonnaise
3 Celery Stalks (chopped)
1/4 cup Green Onions
2-3 TBSP Non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt
1-2 Avocados [halved, peeled, seeded and mashed]
Onion Powder [to taste]
Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and Pepper [to taste]
1. Drain the water from the can of chicken. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine, shredded chicken, boiled eggs [only 2-3 of the egg yolks], mayo, celery, green onions and mix well.
2. Next, add the Greek yogurt, and mashed avocados. Mix in the Onion Powder, Salt and Pepper [to taste] and Red Pepper Flakes for a little extra spice.
My Mom made the Chicken Salad one day and when I came home I added the yogurt and avocados to it to add a little pizzazz! It was a perfect, delicious spin on your regular Chicken Salad -- you could also add avocados and Greek yogurt to any Chicken Salad, even ones you buy from the store! I ate mine the next day as a lettuce wrap and then with wheat thins and it was incredible you can even top it on a salad and use it as the dressing -- it's that good!
That's all the Avocado recipes I have, for now. Hope everyone has a fantastic Fourth of July! If you need ideas for some healthy treats to take to a party of make for yourself tomorrow check out some of my Fourth of July Healthy Ideas here!
Have a fit + fantastic day!
See ya tomorrow for FITtastic Friday + FITfourthtastic July!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Healthy Fourth of July Recipes!

It's every American's favorite holiday -- full of Red, White and Blue, lots of hot dogs, fireworks and some good old American booze.
It's Independence Day Y'all, or as I like to call is the 'MERICA day.
To me the perfect 4th of July is spent watching the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, listening to American Pandora [yep, it exists] and eating way too many hot dogs.
This 4th of July I have zero plans [yet], other than sitting in my backyard waving an American flag and yelling, "God Bless the USA" to random strangers, that's about all I've got. But things always seem to come up + who knows where I'll be spending this joyous occasion.
For most of us, the Fourth of July is a relaxing day spent with good friends, enjoying the amazing country we live in + eating. Oh yes, eating.
Basically every holiday revolves around eating, but to me it seems like this one especially.
This Fourth, I'm dedicated to making it a healthy one [so I can eat some hot dogs & feel less guilty about it ; ) ]. I found TONS of healthy recipes for Fourth of July and had to share! Click the title + picture of each food to get the recipe!
Skinny Gourmet Hotdogs | Obviously this would be the first thing I would put on my list. Duh. I love hot dogs, even healthy ones ; ) No 4th of July party is complete without some delicious hot dogs. Oh and yup, I'm having hot dogs for dinner.
Patriotic Sliders | In the words of my friend Ellie "And... you're gonna eat a slider!" -- if you say so I guess, if you make me! I think the American flag on these babies make them even more scrumptious looking. Pop a tiny American flag on anything and I'd eat it!
Red, White & Blue Fruit Salad | So simple, so easy and so delicious. This is one of those recipes that is a crowd pleaser anywhere you go. I mean it's fruit people, who doesn't love some healthy, American fruit?
Cookie Cutter Fruit Salad | Give me this right now, every day for the rest of my life. Seriously. This may be the only way I will eat watermelon from here on out. It's like America exploded into a bowl-- and I love it!
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries + Sprinkles | Umm... disclaimer: tried these 2 years ago. Make sure you get the right dipping chocolate + follow the directions, because trying to dip strawberries in burnt/hard chocolate is not fun. Other than the small chocolate mishap, they were delicious and very easy to make!
Skinny Chocolate Filled Raspberries | HELLO, you guys know I love these from my post here. So of course I would put them on my America post! They would also be the perfect inexpensive treat to take to a party you're going to! These are the perfect fix for a sweet tooth without eating an entire piece of cake to satisfy the craving.
Red, White and Blue Layered Flag Cake | Speaking of cake... I have to make this. Right now. If I don't it's like I am saying I hate America, right? Anyway, apparently this actually isn't that hard to make as long as you follow the directions to a "T". This reminds me of the Watermelon Cake we made, that would also be an awesome idea to bring to a party -- expect, keep it inside + refrigerated.
Almond Bark Popcorn | Mhmm... popcorn sounds perfect right now. I can see it now, me watching an American classic, eating this entire batch in one sitting, that would be the most perfect end to the most perfect day. Ahhh...
Red, White and Blue Trifle | Every time I hear the word trifle + see a recipe for one, I think of Rachel from "Friends". You know the episode. Monica puts her in charge of making the trifle for Thanksgiving -- she messes it up because she puts beef in it because the pages were stuck together and she misread the directions. Yep, it's a great one. Well, this trifle is a little more appetizing + a skinny recipe and also, extremely easy to make.
Last but not least, what fills every American's heart with love... the booze.

Red, White and Blue Sangria | Was I the only one who didn't know that there is a song about Sangria Wine? According to Peter [who knows all the words] I was crazy for never having heard it. But anyway, ahh... Sangria, such a refreshing drink + so American with the apple stars.
Fresh Cranberry Margaritas | Technically margaritas aren't American, and neither is Sangria. But we Americans do love our Margs and these are no different. If I end up making these I think they would be amazing with Watermelon instead of cranberries... because Watermelon is a must on the Fourth of July!
Blueberry Coconut Sparkler | Can I have hmm.. 7 of these right now? Two reasons: 1] How festive are these? They immediately put you in the 'Merica spirit. 2] The coconut rum + the coconut on the rim would put me into a happily-ever-after-coconut-coma that I would be happy to accept.
I honestly think I have found my plans for the fourth. I may just make all of these delicious recipes, for myself. Okay, I won't be by myself enjoying this... Cabela will be there ; )
Enjoy your holiday everyone -- however you choose to spend it! And remember the real reason for that extra day off work -- thank those who fought/are fighting for our freedom and GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Have a fit + fantastic day!