Paleo Turkey Meatballs Recipe

Pair these dairy free, grain free paleo turkey meatballs with some zucchini noodles for a high protein, low carb dinner. Perfect way to re-fuel after a rigorous session at Ultimate Fit Zone!

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz (1.3 lb) ground turkey breast (if you buy a larger or smaller package of meat, be sure to adjust the ingredients)
  • 1/4 cup almond meal flour
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes, (found in health food stores in the Bulk Organic Section (Wegman’s sells this in their organic bulk section behind the floral area. This way you can take as much or as little as you need).
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (I buy it already minced, in the jar)
  • 1 tsp salt + fresh pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Form into medium sized meatballs- less than a ¼ cup of meat each.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.  Check at about 25 minutes to see if they are done. Add more time if needed.

Apple Pie Oats for Breakfast

Breakfast can be delicious and filling. A few extra minutes plus some common ingredients can turn your morning oats into a sweet and satisfying treat. Regular flavored ‘apple cinnamon’ oatmeal packets from the store contain too much refined sugar. This recipe uses natural sweeteners plus adds the goodness of chia seeds (if you have them on hand) to give you a healthy boost of Essential Omega 3 fatty acids. This will make 2 servings (or a little more depending on how much your serving size is.

Oatmeal helps transport cholesterol from our bodies. The fiber also helps keeps us regular. If you don’t like oatmeal, I really encourage you to try this recipe! Enjoy!

*This recipe is from Oh She Glows. I may have changed a few things slightly

Original recipe: https://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/24/apple-pie-oatmeal/

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped into dice size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (buy from the bulk bins so you can take as much or as little as you want)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized pot over medium heat, whisk together the oats, apple, chia seeds, cinnamon, ginger, salt, milk, maple syrup, and applesauce until combined.
  2. Cook over medium heat for about 9 to 15 minutes, stirring often. When the mixture thickens and the oats soften, it is ready.
  3. Stir in the pure vanilla extract.
  4. Pour into a dish and serve

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas make great snacks or salad toppers. As a snack, they are highly portable. Pack them up in a small Tupperware or a Ziplock baggie and take them with you wherever you are going. Having a high protein/high fiber snack on hand or in-between meals can actually help curb cravings and ensure you don’t overeat at your next meal. Protein and fiber help keep you fuller for a longer period of time.

The Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Earth Balance (Vegan alternative butter)
  • ¼ cup hot sauce
  • 15 oz can chickpeas beans (drain/rinse well)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Drain and rinse garbanzo beans. Pat dry with towel.
  • Place chickpeas in large mixing bowl or large Tupperware with lid.
  • In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat melt Earth Balance (or microwave). Add hot sauce and stir until combined.
  • Pour the hot sauce mixture over the beans. Toss to coat evenly or cover Tupperware with lid and shake to coat.
  • Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, until browned.  I would check them half way through baking and stir them up a little to flip them around. Keep your eye on time because they can burn FAST.  So keep checking,

Cilantro Lime Chicken In The Slow Cooker!

The vibrant flavors of cilantro and lime paired with soft, tender chicken that falls apart when you touch it with a fork. Make this and prep a few meals to have on hand during the week. Pair this with quinoa or faro (1/2 cup cooked for women, 2/3 cup cooked for men). Quinoa or faro have more protein and fiber than brown rice. That combination can keep you feeling full for a longer period of time, reducing the likelihood that you will graze on junk food. Recipe below!

Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts (about 4)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Juice from 2 limes (or about 4 tablespoons lime juice)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (you could use different beans or even chickpeas)

Optional toppings:

Salsa, guacamole or avocado slices. 

Directions:

Season the chicken with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and cumin on both sides (go a little heavier on the cumin for added flavor)

Put ALL ingredients in the crockpot.

Cook on low for about three hours.  Check to see if chicken is easily shredded with a fork.  If not, cover and cook another half hour and check again.

Serving suggestion: Serve over a generous portion of cauliflower rice.  You could season your cauli rice similarly with lime juice, fresh cilantro, garlic and maybe some sautéed onion as well.

Red Lentil Bolognese Recipe

This amazingly tasty recipe uses lentils in place of ground beef to deliver you a chunky, filling, protein packed and healthy Italian style dinner. I promise you that you will be craving this sauce over and over again! To reduce carbohydrates, I used two zucchinis, spiraled into noodles, instead of pasta. I always use raw zucchini noodles. The heat from the sauce will warm them. If you try to cook them they get incredibly soggy and watery.

Lentils are packed with protein and fiber, vitamins and minerals too. Unlike ground beef they have nearly zero fat (not even 1 gram in a cup) and cholesterol. Whereas ground beef has over 23 grams of fat in one cup. See recipe below!

Red Lentil Bolognese Recipe:

Ingredients

Lentils

  • 1 cup dry red lentils (if you want to use canned lentils it would be about 2.5 cups canned)
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf  (if you don’t have just omit- I know a lot of people don’t keep bay leaves on hand)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Bolognese

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced ( I always use Vidalia, just a preference)
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½  teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons organic brown sugar (or coconut sugar or raw unrefined sugar crystals)
  • ½ cup red wine (I use inexpensive red wine, whatever I have in the house for cooking since I don’t actually drink it J )
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon vegan (ore regular if you’re not vegan) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1, 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

Lentils

(If using dried lentils, if not—skip) Combine lentils, vegetable broth, bay leaf, oregano, basil, salt and pepper in a small pot. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook covered until lentils are very soft, 20-25 minutes. I found that the lentils absorbed the broth quickly so I added a little more water as needed.  Remove from heat and allow lentils to cool. Do not drain. I left the lentils as a ‘soupy’ consistency.  Set aside as you prepare the sauce.

Bolognese

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper, salt and black pepper to pot and cook until vegetables are very soft, about 10 minutes. Add brown sugar and cook 1 minute more. Add wine to pot and stir to scrape up browned bits. Continue to simmer until most of the wine cooks off, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce to pot and cook 1 minute more. Add crushed tomatoes, prepared lentils, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook partially covered for 20 to 25 minutes.

Season Bolognese with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot over zucchini noodles or with roasted vegetables.

Calorie Saver!

1 Cup Ground Beef 1 Cup Lentils
340 calories 250 calories
23 g fat 0.8 g fat
490 mg sodium 10 mg sodium
108 mg cholesterol 0 mg cholesterol
29 g protein 18 g protein

Dairy Free Vegan Cashew Queso

This is the most delicious cashew cheese sauce I’ve ever made.  I’veVegan-Cashew-Queso made plenty of dairy free ‘cream’ sauces before to go over pastas (as a garlicky cream sauce), on top of veggies or over Mexican style dishes, but this one really takes the cake.

I admit, it’s been a few years since I’ve had a typical queso cheese sauce, but I think this dairy free recipe is authentic as it gets. I was literally licking it off the spoon.  And the best part is that it comes together in minutes.  You do need a high speed blender for this. If you don’t have a very powerful blender, just soak your cashews in HOT water for 10 minutes prior, drain and then they are ready to go.

Dairy Free Cashew Queso Sauce

  • 3/4 cup Raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup Salsa (I used Wegman's Santa Fe Black Bean & Corn salsa which was AMAZING)
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 6 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast (Wegman's sells this in a dispensable bin behind the flower section so you can buy as much or as little a you want)
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon Smoked Paprika (optional) (I literally just put a few sprinkles in but if you don't have it don't worry)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until ALL the cashews are pureed.  I then poured the sauce into a small sauce pan and heated it on LOW for just a few minutes to warm it up before pouring it over a veggie stuffed baked potato.

How to Make A Beef and Cheese Lasagne That Won’t Give You A Heart Attack

Lasagne.  Mmmmm….those Sunday Italian dinners with beef and cheese lasagne, garlic bread, salad…who wouldn’t want to sit down for a plateful??  While lasagne is a favorite comfort food, it’s also food that is high in cholesterol.  Too much cholesterol in our diets raises blood cholesterol making heart disease, heart attack and stroke a greater risk.

One average serving of beef and cheese lasagne has about 45 mg of cholesterol.  But- be honest, most of us have about 2 pieces..raising the cholesterol intake to at least 90 mg.  The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) total intake for cholesterol is about 300 mg per person–IF you are healthy and already have low blood cholesterol. For someone with elevated cholesterol the RDA limits you to 200 mg a day.  Let’s say you are healthy with low cholesterol.  You’re probably thinking that consuming 90 mg of cholesterol for dinner isn’t so bad then for those two pieces of lasagne.  Well- we have to take into consideration what you also ate earlier in the day.

Maybe 1 egg for breakfast? That’s 187 mg of cholesterol.  1 chicken breast over salad for lunch? A 6 oz. serving of skinless roasted chicken contains between 140 mg and 160 mg of dietary cholesterol. Did you have a cup of coffee with creamer?  Add another 12 mg of cholesterol to your daily intake.  So far, without the lasagne and estimating modest food portions, you may have already consumed well over 300 mg of cholesterol.  And we have’t even gotten to snacks or dinner yet.  You can start to see why diet related diseases (heart disease, stroke, etc) are now the leading cause of death in the US.  This is all preventable.  Take better care of yourself and your loved ones by making simple changes.

Vegan-beef-and-spinach-lasagne-smallerTry this cholesterol free beef and cheese lasagne for a family dinner.  Don’t tell anyone that you made it differently or that it’s healthy.

What you’ll need:

  • Oven ready lasagne sheets
  • 1 bag Beyond Meet Beefy Crumbles (Dean’s health food store in Ocean, NJ sells in their freezer)
  • 1 bag Daiya Mozzarella Shreds (you can also find this in Dean’s in their refrigerated section)
  • 1 bag frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 package of firm tofu (find this in Dean’s as well in refrigerated section or in Wegman’s nature’s market refrigerator)
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • Seasonings: Nutritional yeast (optional.  Wegman’s and Dean’s both sell.), lemon juice, dried garlic, dried basil, dried onion powder)

How to Make Cholesterol Free Beef and Cheese Lasagne:

  1. Sautee entire bag of beef crumbles with frozen spinach over low to medium heat for 5 mins and set aside
  2. While that is cooking, make ‘ricotta’ cheese using your tofu, seasonings and a food processor (see recipe below)
  3. Layer your lasagne: Cover the bottom of your lasagne baking dish with some non-stick spray and then a layer of sauce. Add 3-4 sheets of lasagne noodles (depending on size of noodles and size of dish), it’s ok if they overlap. Spread another layer of sauce over the noodles and half of the beef and spinach mixture.  Sprinkle Daiya mozzarella shreds. Add another 3-4 sheets of lasagne noodles on top of that. Add half of the ricotta.  3-4 more noodles. More sauce and the remaining beef and spinach mixture and a sprinkle of the Daiya mozzarella shreds.  3-4 noodles and the remaining ricotta mixture. 3-4 noodles and cover WELL with tomato sauce.  Cover with tin foil and bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes (***NOTE–check your lasagne noodles as they may have different baking times). After 40-45 minutes check to make sure noodles on top are soft.  If they aren’t, add more sauce, cover and bake another 5-7 mins.  When they are soft, remove tin foil, add mozzarella shreds to the top and put back in the oven just a few minutes to melt the cheese.  Let stand for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Recipe for Tofu Ricotta:

In a food processor place 1 package firm tofu, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried onion powder, and 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (if you have).  Pulse until everything comes together and it looks like ricotta.

Weight Loss Programs in Monmouth County

If you want to learn to eat healthier and make delicious meals like this, join our 6 week weight loss challenge at Ultimate Fit Zone in Monmouth County.  You’ll get meal plans with great recipes from our Nutritionist and 6 weeks of unlimited group boot camp training at our gym.  Text our nutritionist for more info: 732-757-7944

Soy Free Vegan Quiche

This is actually a really good, simple recipe for making a soy free, eggless quiche. A lot of recipes I’ve seen for vegan quiche use tofu for a filling.  It works great but I try to limit my intake of tempeh or tofu to just 2-3 x a month.  This past week I had already made us a tempeh meat sauce, so when deciding to make a quiche for dinner, I didn’t want to use my ‘go to’ quiche recipe as it is in fact made with a tofu filling.

So I did some digging online and found a few great ways to make the filling using a cashew cream base with chickpea flour.  Seemed easy enough so I combined the veggies from the usual recipe I made (mushrooms, spinach and sun dried tomatoes) with the chickpea flour and cashew cream filling and it worked beautifully!

For the crust I usually take the easy way out and just buy vegan pie crust.  The Wegman’s near me sells the brand Wholly Wholesome and they offer vegan and gluten free crusts.

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe!

Soy Free Vegan Sun dried Tomato, Mushroom and Spinach Quiche

  • 1/2 cup Cashews soaked in 1 cup water (Reserve the water!) (If you have a very high powered blender, soak for just about 10 mins. If not, soak for 30 mins.)
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup extra water (Set aside)
  • 2 cups frozen spinach
  • 1/3 cup Sliced sun dried tomatoes (Packed in oil)
  • 3 large portobello mushrooms (sliced thin)
  • 4 cloves garlic (Or two teaspoons minced garlic in the jar)
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Few sprinkles of black pepper
  1. Add your cashews WITH the soaking water to your blender.  Blend until all the cashews are smooth. Then add in the one cup of flour and another 1/2 cup of water and blend just until it is all mixed together.  Leave while you sauté the veggies.

    For the veggies, sauté the mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and spinach with the herbs, spices and nutritional yeast.  When the mushrooms are softened and everything is cooked down, turn off the heat and move the pan to a different burner for the mix to cool a few minutes.  Then pour in the cashew and flour mixture.  Mix all together and add the entire mixture to your pie crust.

    Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, until the center is firm to the touch. 

Stacey is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist in Monmouth County offering weight loss programs and meal plans at Ultimate Fit Zone boot camp gym and Ultimate Fitness 24 hour gym.

Sweet Treat! Oatmeal Cupcakes!

These oatmeal cupcakes will transform the way you look at breakfast or snacks.  Not only are they moist, sweet and filling- but they are healthy and full of fiber too.  Making a batch gets you set up for the week.  Grab 2 for breakfast or a snack.  Bring them on the road with you to prevent you from getting ‘hangry’ while running errands.  They are delicious and can fit into your meal plan almost anywhere.

Delicious and healthy recipes like these can be found in all of our weight loss meal plans.  Our goal is to help you transition to a healthier way of life while still enjoying delicious foods that can fuel your health. Working with our nutritionist in Monmouth County you’ll learn tricks to cut out fat and calories from your meals that will help you lose the weight you’ve been holding onto for too long.

This recipe will yield about 11 oatmeal cupcakes.

Healthy Oatmeal Cupcakes!

For breakfast, a snack or sweet treat!

  • 1.5 cups quick or rolled oats
  • 1 + 1/4 cups mashed banana ((this ended up being one med-large mashed banana and about 1/3 of another banana))
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ((heaping))
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, agave or honey ((or blueberries, dairy free mini chocolate chips, almonds, etc))
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup water
  • 2.5 tablespoons canola, olive or coconut oil
  • 1 +1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 380 degrees

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients (including banana) in another (sorry I didn't organize them for you that way). Mix the wet into the dry then pour into muffin tin ( used ¼ cup of mix for each cupcake) ( I did not use cupcake liners, I just sprayed my muffin tin with baking spray). Bake for 21 minutes.

    White Bean, Kale and (Vegan) Sausage Soup

    Found this amazing recipes on WholeFoods.com. I modified it to add the vegan sausage links to add some more flavor and heartiness to it.  I have to admit, I am hardly a fan of the fake vegan meats. For this recipe though, I was serving it to meat eaters so I wanted to make it filling for them while also being acceptable for me to eat.  I found that cutting up the sausages into small enough pieces is the trick to add flavor without overloading the soup with the sausage.  Another good idea would be to add quinoa to this soup.  That would add more fiber, protein and make it even more filling.

    I used Field Roast vegan sausages in the Italian flavor.

    White Bean and Kale Soup with (Vegan) Sausage

    Serves 4

    Ingredients:

    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 Vidalia onion, diced
    • 2 teaspoons jarred, minced garlic
    • 1 (32-ounce) box low-sodium vegetable broth
    • 4 cups packed chopped kale
    • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (look for low sodium varieties)
    • 1 (14.5-ounce) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
    • 3 vegan (or turkey) sausage links, cut into small pieces
    • 2 large carrots, chopped into small pieces or discs

    Directions:

    In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and sausage pieces and cook 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Add broth, kale and tomatoes and cover. Cook 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Add beans and heat thoroughly. Serve hot.