His + Her Chia Seed Pudding

Hi everyone!  I just wanted to pop-in and share two super easy, delicious summertime recipes.  Both recipes can be enjoyed as breakfast, a satisfying snack or just add some dark chocolate chips or coconut flakes for a healthy dessert!

chia seed pudding

‘His’ Blueberry Banana Chia Seed Pudding 

Ingredients

1/2 cup (or 1 small container) vanilla or blueberry greek yogurt 

1/2 cup 1% milk

2 tablespoons chia seeds

about 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Toppings: 1 sliced banana + organic blueberries

and… 

chia seed pudding

‘Her’ Strawberry Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients

1/2 cup (or 1 small container) vanilla or strawberry greek yogurt 

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 tablespoons chia seeds

about 1 tablespoon honey

tiny bit of vanilla extract

Toppings: low-fat granola + organic strawberries

Directions for both puddings

1. – Combine ingredients in a small container or mason jar, stir well, cover + refrigerate for 4+ hours (I leave it in the fridge overnight).

2. – Add toppings to the mix + enjoy!

**By the way, you can play around with these recipes and substitute any type of yogurt, milk, sweetener + toppings…        I can’t wait to make it with fresh peaches + home-made granola!

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Enjoy your evening + the weekend!  Hopefully I’ll be spending mine in the hospital meeting my ‘lil girl! :)

Almond Butter Granola + WIAW #30

 Good morning!

Soooo the countdown is on…  9 days to go!!  I’m hoping our little girl decides to arrive on the earlier side since 38+ weeks pregnant feels like a long enough time to me.   I know everyone says to enjoy my last few days of peace and quiet (which I am) but I still really just want to meet her. :)  Thankfully I have my weekly doctor’s appointment this morning so we’ll see what they say!

And in the meantime, let’s talk about food…

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Here’s this weeks ‘What I Ate Wednesday Last Saturday‘:

Breakfast 

Peach greek yogurt + sliced banana topped with a fresh batch of super easy/healthy home-made Almond Butter Granola.  I really need to start making granola on a regular basis!  It takes just minutes to prepare and it’s so much healthier than the store-bought granola.  I also had a cup of 1/2 decaf, 1/2 hazelnut coffee with coconut milk.

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Almond Butter Granola 

Ingredients

3 cups old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup creamy almond butter

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons chia seeds

a few pinches of sea salt

Optional toppings: craisins, coconut flakes, almond slivers, chopped walnuts, etc.

Directions

1. – Preheat oven to 300 degrees and lightly spray baking sheet with non-stick spray.

2. – Add almond butter and honey to a small bowl and microwave until creamy (about 30 seconds).

3. – In a large bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, chia seeds, vanilla extract, sea salt and almond butter/honey mixture.  Stir until everything is evenly coated.

4. – Spread mixture on the baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.

5. – Remove from oven and let cool completely.  Add the optional toppings to the mix and enjoy!  (I added craisins and coconut flakes to this batch of granola)

See…  super easy, right? :)

Lunch

A sandwich with home-made chicken salad (btw I never buy prepared chicken salad since it’s basically loaded with fatty mayo), cucumber slices (for the ‘crunch’ factor) and a slice of cheese.  I also had fruit salad and water.

Afternoon Snack 

Too many triscuits to count….

Dinner + Dessert 

 Mike was away so I just picked up a salad with grilled salmon at a nearby cafe.  The salad was pretty simple and included spinach, craisins, goat cheese + cucumbers with a light raspberry dressing on top.  And the salmon had an herb seasoning on it.  Yummm!

Since I can’t end the day without something chocolate-y, I had a tasty peanut butter chocolate chunk cookie (I forgot to take a pic’ but it looked similar to this cookie…)

and a chocolate frozen greek yogurt bar.

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Do you make granola?  What do you include with yours?

What’s on the menu for today?

On a separate note, does anyone know how to get rid of shin splints?!  PLEASE SHARE :)

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As always, thanks Jenn for hosting this weekly WIAW party!

Hawaiian Burgers + WIAW #29

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

I’m typing this up on Tuesday night when I really should be reading for Book Club…  I still have another 200+ pages to finish by Thursday!  So let’s just jump right into this weeks ‘What I Ate Wednesday Sunday’ post. :)

Pre-Breakfast Snack – 6:45 am

larabar

Mike and I had plans to go on an early 3 mile power-walk (in which I had killer shin splints, wtf?), so I ate a larabar before we took off.

Breakfast – 9ish am

A bowl of mixed berry greek yogurt, raspberries, blueberries + GoLean crisp cereal.  Plus, Dunkins hazelnut coffee with unsweetened almond milk.

Lunch – Noon

Lunch was whatever I could quickly throw into a cooler for the beach…   including freshly cut-up pineapple (addicted!) and a peanut butter, banana sandwich.

Afternoon Snack – 4ish pm

My favvvv snack plate: cheese, pretzel crackers, grapes + wine! Yep, I enjoyed 1/2 glass of chardonnay and it was delicious!

Dinner – 7:30 pm

Hawaiian Burger

Mike prepared an amazing dinner consisting of steamed green beans and Hawaiian burgers.  I believe I ripped the recipe out of an old ‘Better Homes & Gardens’ magazine but I can’t recall?  And Mike just tweaked it a bit.

Hawaiian Burgers

Ingredients for 4 servings 

1 lb lean ground, grass-fed beef
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped pineapple (canned or fresh)
a few pieces of diced deli ham
a few dashes of sea salt + ground pepper
4 slices of cheese (we used cheddar)
4 whole wheat sandwich thins (or burger buns)
Optional toppings: lettuce, tomato, onions, ketchup, mustard, etc.

Directions

Combine beef, blue cheese, onions, pineapple, ham, salt + pepper together in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Shape the burgers into 4 patties, cook over medium heat on the grill + add the sliced cheese right before they’re done.  Enjoy the burgers on a sandwich thin or bun with whatever toppings you’d like!

You guys, these burgers were SOOO flavorful – you have to try ’em! :)

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What do you usually pack to eat @ the beach?

What’s your favorite type of burger + toppings?

 

Piña Colada Smoothie!

Happy Friday, everyone!  

And Happy {belated} National Piña Colada Day!  Apparently I made my Piña Colada Smoothie a day early (on Wednesday) and missed out on National Piña Colada day yesterday!?  Someday I’ll get on top of these fun, national holidays. 

pina colada smoothie

Here’s a delicious smoothie recipe that’s packed with nutrients, full of protein and is super refreshing!

Piña Colada Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup vanilla greek yogurt (or plain)
1 frozen banana
1 cup fresh pineapple 
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Shredded coconut (for ganish)

Directions

Add ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.  Garnish with shredded coconut and enjoy!  You can also add a pineapple wedge and little umbrella to make it even more festive. :)

Happy 4th of July!

Just wanted to pop in and wish you all a Happy 4th of July!!  

Mike and I are heading to my mom’s house on the Cape for the long weekend.  I’m hoping our plans include lots of beach time, relaxing in the evenings (well as much ‘relaxing’ as you can with 12 people + a dog + a cat under 1 roof ;)) and enjoying my families annual Lobster Fest on Saturday night.  

As for food + drinks, I’m planning on whipping up this festive cocktail for everyone:

mocktail

Ingredients:

Champagne or sparkling water (I used La Croix’s coconut flavored sparkling water for my mocktail above)
Pomegranate or cranberry juice (optional)
Blueberries
Strawberries
Star-shaped iced cubes

red white blue mocktail

And making these delicious looking brownie, marshmallow, fruit kabobs for dessert!

4th of July dessert

Hope you all have a happy + healthy holiday weekend! :)

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PS if you’re looking for some more red, white + blue ideas, just check out my fun & festive Memorial Day blog post!

Tropical Pineapple Banana Smoothie (WIAW #27)

Happy WIAW!

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With the weather in Boston becoming hot, hot, hot, my smoothie addiction is becoming out of control!  I’ve been enjoying a smoothie a day so it was no surprise when all I wanted for dinner the other night was yet another cold, refreshing smoothie.  Not only is a smoothie the perfect snack or meal any time of the day but there’s also en endless amount of ways to make a smoothie…  you’ve got the super healthy green smoothie, the fruit-filled smoothie, the tropical coconut water smoothie, the creamy greek yogurt smoothie, the protein-packed smoothie and on and on.  So many amazing options! 

But before we keep talking smoothies let’s start with my foods + drinks from earlier in the day…  

Here’s ‘What I Ate Wednesday Last Sunday’:

Breakfast – 7 am

My morning started with a bowl full of vanilla greek yogurt, blueberries, sliced banana, almond slivers + grape-nuts cereal.

Morning Snack – 10 am

A Peanut Butter Bear Naked energy bar – so good!

Lunch – 12 pm

A turkey, lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese wrap with cherries and Cape Cod potato chips on the side.  Oh, and a glass of ice water…  this pregnancy has me chugging water 24/7.

Afternoon Snacks – 4ish pm

I packed a container of strawberries + blueberries for a ‘lil snack at the beach…

and then came home and stuffed my face with Oreos, ughhh.  But it’s OK, everything in moderation, right? ;)

Dinner – 8 pm

Apparently eating too many Oreos left me feeling kinda sick and not super hungry for dinner…   but I knew I needed something to hold me over through the night (plus, I figured the baby could use some more nutrients) so I quickly whipped up a delicious, protein-filled smoothie for dinner!

Tropical Pineapple Banana Smoothie

1 cup coconut water
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 banana
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon all-natural peanut butter
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

Blend & enjoy!

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What’d you have for breakfast today?  

Do you crave smoothies during the hot summer months?

Blueberry Paleo Pancakes (WIAW #26)

 Goooood morning!  

You guys ready for another WIAW post?  And ready for an awesome, 4-ingredient paleo pancake recipe?

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Here’s a look into ‘What I Ate Wednesday Last Sunday’:

Breakfast (6:45 am)

blueberry paleo pancakes

Blueberry Paleo Pancakes! 

I’ve been making these pancakes for years since they take only minutes to prepare and they’re perfect for a guilt-free Sunday breakfast.  Plus, they contain only 4 ingredients – and that’s including the blueberries! 

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana
1 egg (cage-free)
1 scoop almond butter
1/2 cup organic blueberries

Directions:

1) Mash a banana in a medium bowl, add an egg and almond butter and stir until well combined.*  Pour the blueberries into the mix. 

2) Spray a frying pan with non-stick spray. Spoon the batter onto the pan and cook over medium heat.  Flip when bubbles appear in the middle of the pancakes.  

3) Serve with honey, maple syrup or almond butter and enjoy!  (I topped my pancakes with organic honey & fresh strawberries).

*I’m sure you’ll want to add flour or something to thicken the batter but trust me, you don’t need it. ;)

Morning Snack (10ish am)

larabar

Mike and I attended a birthing class in the morning so I packed a water bottle and a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar to hold me over.

Lunch (12:30 pm)

lunch

We had about 45 minutes between the birthing class and the hospital tour so we stopped at a little cafe for lunch.  I went with an all-natural chicken breast, lettuce, tomato & cheddar cheese on whole-wheat bread panini.  I also had a little bag of chips and pickle with the meal.

Afternoon Snack (5ish pm)

banana

A banana before my work-out (btw I’ve definitely ‘popped’… )

Dinner (7 pm)

yogurt bowl

 I was still hot from working-out and craving something cold for dinner so I went with my beloved yogurt bowl.  In the mix: vanilla greek yogurt, chia seeds, strawberries, GoLean cereal & a big scoop of peanut butter (<– for the extra protein = stay full longer = happy, pregnant Julie :))

Thanks Jenn for hosting the WIAW  link-up!

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Do you love yogurt bowls/parfaits?  What do you add to yours?

What’s on the menu for today?

 

Wild-Salmon with Avocado Mango Salsa

I love, love wild-salmon.  Not only is it such an easy dish to prepare but it also has tons of health benefits including:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • High Quality Protein
  • Essential Amino Acids
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin E

In the past, Mike and I usually ate salmon a couple of times a month but since I’ve been pregnant we’ve really made an effort to have it at least once a week.  Salmon is loaded with DHA which is a fabulous fat for boosting the babies brain power.  Heck yeah!  

And I know it may be tempting to buy the farm-raised salmon since it’s so much cheaper (like $10 per lb cheaper!) but as I’ve mentioned in other posts, it’s really not worth it.  On the days we’re having salmon, I usually look online to see if any local grocery stores (Shaws, Stop & Shop, Whole Foods…) have salmon on-sale.  If they don’t, then I just remind myself of all the health benefits we’re gaining by eating the fresh, wild fish instead of the gross farm-raised fish.

Alright, and now on to the simple, quick, delicious, and so flavorful recipe…  

avocado mango salsa

Wild-Salmon with Avocado Mango Salsa

(2 large serving sizes)

Ingredients for the salsa:

  • 1 medium diced avocado
  • 1 ripe diced mango
  • 1/4 cup diced orange bell pepper (or any bell pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons diced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced onion (optional) 
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Ingredients for the salmon:

  • 1 lb wild-caught salmon
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Sea salt

Directions:

1) Combine the ingredients for the salsa (avocado, mango, orange bell pepper, onions, fresh cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, salt + pepper) in a medium bowl.  Lightly stir and crush with a fork to mix up the juices then set aside.

2) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easier clean-up) and place the salmon on the foil.  Drizzle the olive oil on the salmon and add salt and pepper to taste.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.

3) Serve the salmon with the salsa spread on top and enjoy!

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By the way, want to know how to buy a ripe mango?

I was at the grocery store yesterday staring at the mix of red and green mangoes and realized I had no idea how to figure out which ones were ripe…  Somehow I’m 31 years old and I’ve never bought a mango before?  So I pulled out my cell phone, googled ‘ripe mango’ and here’s what I learned:

  • Don’t focus on color. It is not the best indicator of ripeness.
  • Squeeze the mango gently. A ripe mango will give slightly (similar to an avocado).

I also wasn’t exactly sure how to cut-up the mango so I quickly checked out this site for easy step-by-step directions. :)

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Do you enjoy salmon?  

How do you usually prepare it?

A Green Smoothie a Day

…..keeps the doctor away!  Between the rain, crazy Spring allergies and being pregnant, this has been a tough week for me.  Which is exactly why I need to feed my body more nutrients to make it through the long work days.  Some mornings I’ll have a greek yogurt bowl loaded with fresh fruit for breakfast but during weeks like this when I really need more vitamins and a boost of energy, I’ll start my morning off with a fresh green smoothie!

green smoothie

Lately my ‘go-to’ green smoothie has included the following ingredients:

1 cup coconut water or unsweetened almond milk
1-2 handfuls organic baby spinach
1 cup frozen fruit – banana, blueberries, strawberries, mixed berries, pineapples, mangoes, etc.
1 cup fresh fruit {same list as above}
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 scoop of flax seeds, chia seeds or almond butter {optional}

Not only does this smoothie taste f’n delicious but it also starts my morning on a healthy foot and motivates me to stay that way throughout the day. :)

So what’s so great about a green smoothie?!

*Green smoothies are a great way to sneak veggies into your diet.  Just by adding spinach to a smoothie your loading up on vitamins, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium {which is necessary for energy metabolism, maintaining muscle and nerve function, heart rhythm, a healthy immune system and maintaining blood pressure}.

*They’re quick & easy to prepare {and can easily be made the night before to save time on a busy, work day morning}.

*They’re high in antioxidants.  Not only are you giving your body the best defenses for disease, but you are ingesting a variety of natural substances that are essential for optimum health and fitness.

*Green smoothies are low in calories but very filling. Because they contain high amounts of water and fiber, they’ll make you feel as if you just ate a full meal.

*They provide you with a lasting source of energy.  A green smoothie is full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients that don’t bog down your digestive system.

*Unlike fruit juice or using a juicer, green smoothies use the whole fruit and vegetable so that you get all the fiber and nutrition.

*Green smoothies may even give you clearer & more radiant skin. Smoothies are high in fiber which allows your body to eliminate toxins the right way instead of through your skin.

Wanna know how to make your own green smoothie?

That doesn’t sound too hard, right? :)

Alright, time to log off and plop on the couch for the night…   Hope you all have an awesome, sunshine-filled Friday/weekend! 

Peanut Butter Banana Fudgesicles!

Good morning!  

Well it’s Wednesday which means it’s time to talk FOOD.  Here’s this weeks ‘What I Ate Wednesday Monday’:

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Breakfast: I woke up starvingggg so I made a big bowl of GoLean cereal, grape-nuts cereal and blueberries with a cup of coffee on the side.   I followed it up with a few slices of Entenmann’s Raspberry Danish Twist…   Ahhh so good!  

Lunch: A tuna melt on whole wheat bread + a granny smith apple.

Afternoon snack:  Multiple bowls of Boom Chicka Pop…  I couldn’t stop eating it {thankfully it’s really low in calories so eating half the bag isn’t too bad} :) 

Dinner:  A cobb salad with mixed lettuce, tomatoes, shredded carrots, corn, hard boiled egg, feta cheese, grilled chicken and low-fat ranch dressing.  I also ate a bunch of Wheat Thins while making dinner {not pictured}.

Dessert:  2 home-made Peanut Butter Banana Fudgsicles!  

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Let’s talk about that ‘dessert’ mentioned above….

How have I never thought of turning a smoothie into a popsicle or fudgesicle?!  

Through-out my pregnancy I’ve been craving sweets at night and I either have a healthy{ish} popsicle or multiple pieces of chocolates {and then promise myself I’m done eating crap and will eat better the next day}.  It finally occurred to me that I can easily make my own fudgesicles by using all healthy ingredients I already have in my kitchen.  Plus, by adding protein powder + peanut butter I can make the pops more filling and prevent any late night hunger pains.

peanut butter banana fudgesicle

Ingredients*

2 medium, ripe bananas

1 1/2 cups almond milk 

1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened

1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter (or any nut butter)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey 

2 scoops protein powder (optional)

Directions

Add ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth & creamy.  Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 5-6 hours.  To remove the fudgesicle from the mold, run warm water over the outside for about 15 seconds then gently twist.  Enjoy!

*Btw I’m pretty sure you can turn just about any smoothie recipe into a popsicle or fudgesicle so feel free to experiment with the ingredients!

Ta-Daaaaa!

I love that I now have a super easy, ‘go-to’ dessert I can eat without feeling guilty!! :)  

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Do you always end the night with something sweet?  

What’s your ‘go-to’ dessert?

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**Don’t forget to head over to Peas and Crayons to see what everyone else ate today!**

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