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

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.

BBQ Chickpea and Quinoa Bowl with Spinach and Roasted Red Peppers

This incredibly simple dish combines two things that I love; BBQ and bowls.  Buddah bowl recipes are so easy to make, very filling and can be packed with loads of  protein and fiber.  To reduce inflammation, I stick with plant based proteins.  They are cleaner and don’t create an inflammatory response in the body like animal proteins do.

Because chickpeas contain lots of fiber- they help keep you feeling full for longer periods of time.  This means you’ll be less likely to graze on junk which could help you in your quest to lose some excess pounds. Chickpeas also help to stabilize blood sugar levels and offer protein, vitamins and minerals including manganese, folate, copper, iron, zinc and more. They are the heart of this dish, along with the quinoa which- also offers a great serving of protein and fiber.

I wilted down three cups of spinach to add to the dish.  Spinach is rich in iron and actually has about 3 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces.  If you want glowing skin- add spinach to your diet.  It is an excellent source of  folate, chlorophyll, Vitamin E, magnesium, Vitamin A, fiber and Vitamin C. Due to their antioxidant abilities, Vitamins C, E, and A are especially great for your skin.  The magnesium in spinach is helpful in calming nerves and anxiety. In fact, a magnesium deficiency can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.

To make this dish, sauté 1/2 cup chickpeas with 1/3 cup sliced grape tomatoes in BBQ sauce over a low flame until tomatoes are soft.  To cook the quinoa, combine 1 cup quinoa (this will cook up to about 2.5 cups- use the left overs for other meals or with fruit for breakfast) with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 1o minutes. In another pot, wilt down 3-4 cups of spinach.

If you want the roasted red pepper sauce it’s incredibly easy.   In your blender combine 1/3 cup roasted red peppers with 1/3 cup Earth Balance ‘mayo’.  Blend.  Taste and add a dash of salt and garlic if you would like.

When everything is done, assemble your bowl.  My portion was

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup tomatoes
  • 3 cups baby spinach, wilted down
  • 1/2 of an avocado, sliced
  • Drizzle of roasted red pepper cream sauce on top

My portion had about 14.5g of protein.

About Ultimate Fit Zone’s Boot Camp in Monmouth County

Four different methods of training, one membership at our boot camp gym. Now you can keep your workouts fresh and challenging.  Take advantage of Cross Training (Zone 360), Interval & Circuit Training (IT 360) High Intensity Interval Training (HEAT) and Spin (priced separately).  Scroll down to read descriptions of each.

Your unlimited monthly membership at our boot camp/cross training gym in Monmouth County also entitles you to one complimentary consultation each month with our Holistic Nutritionist on staff.  Get questions answered about nutrition, weight loss and more.  We have special support for beginners.  For more information about beginner boot camp fitness please give us a call at 732-428-2111.

 

 

Protein Packed Portobello Steak with Creamy Polenta and Kale Salad

If 40 is the new 30 and silver/grey hair is now in style- I think it’s safe to add portobello mushrooms to the list of trends that make us look and feel younger.  Food is no longer just a palette pleasing opportunity.  The realization that the foods we put inside our bodies can help us look better on the outside means that our diet is perhaps just as important as our hair stylist.

Portobello mushrooms offer a huge opportunity for us to literally nourish our bodies from the inside out every time we enjoy a meal.  Packed with protein, vitamins and minerals- this vegan-portobello-mushroom-steak-recipemushroom should become a staple in your weekly meals.  Bellos can help keep blood pressure at a healthy level, reduce cholesterol, are great for your skin, keep your heart healthy and boost your immune system.  Take a look at what the world renowned Dr. Mercola has to say about this mushroom:

 

“…Portobellos are an excellent source of copper, which your body needs to produce red blood cells and carry oxygen through your body. They also offer three important B-complex vitamins: riboflavin for maintaining healthy red blood cells; niacin for supple skin and properly functioning digestive and nervous systems; and pantothenic acid, which aids in the release of energy from the fat, protein, and carbohydrates in the food you eat.

Just one cup of mushrooms has the potential to release at least 15 different vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. A single Portobello contains more potassium than a banana – 630 mg per serving – which helps maintain normal heart rhythm and muscle and nerve function, as well as a balance between your fluid and minerals. This in turn helps control blood pressure.” (source)

My favorite way to eat portobello mushroom caps is lightly brushed with olive oil and then grilled on the indoor grill pan for just a few minutes on each side.  These mushrooms release a lot of moisture and will wilt quickly- so be careful not to overcook at too high of a temperature or for too long.

Serve over creamy polenta (recipe below) and an iron-packed kale salad and you have a meal that has about 15 grams of protein (2 mushroom caps, 1 cup polenta and about 2-3 cups kale salad), loads of fiber, vitamins, minerals and disease fighting anti-oxidants.

FOR THE POLENTA:

  • 2 cups of corn grits
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter
  • A sprig of rosemary (do not chop)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Slowly add the two cups of corn grits, while stirring, and immediately reduce heat to a very low simmer. Stir in the butter, rosemary, salt (if using) and nutritional yeast. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

About Ultimate Fit Zone’s Boot Camp in Monmouth County

Four different methods of training, one membership at our boot camp gym. Now you can keep your workouts fresh and challenging.  Take advantage of Cross Training (Zone 360), Interval & Circuit Training (IT 360) High Intensity Interval Training (HEAT) and Spin (priced separately).  Scroll down to read descriptions of each.

Your unlimited monthly membership at our boot camp/cross training gym in Monmouth County also entitles you to one complimentary consultation each month with our Holistic Nutritionist on staff.  Get questions answered about nutrition, weight loss and more.  We have special support for beginners.  For more information about beginner boot camp fitness please give us a call at 732-428-2111.

Traditional Tempeh Bolognese Sauce – Vegan & Gluten Free

This traditional tempeh bolognese sauce is very authentic tasting, packed with protein and goes amazing over pasta OR zucchini noodles for a low carb option.  This is as high or higher as any tempeh-bolognese-recipe-veganbeef bolognese and it eliminates your intake of harmful residues found in animal meats including antibiotics, synthetic sex hormones, environmental toxins, cholesterol and more.  This is such a clean way to enjoy a heart ‘meat’ sauce.  Even meat-eaters have told me that they absolutely LOVED this version and would definitely make it over a traditional beef bolognese.

The original recipe is from TheMuffinMyth.com 

Since sauces tend to thicken as they sit, I modified the recipe slightly to include crushed tomatoes.

 

Traditional Tempeh Bolognese Sauce

A vegan and gluten free on the classic beef bolognese.  Packed with protein and flavor, this sauce will satisfy any pasta lover. 

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion Diced ((I like vidalia))
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic ((I buy mine already minced))
  • 1 Package organic, non GMO tempeh- crumbled by hand (Let the tempeh become room temperature so it's easy to crumble))
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 can diced tomato ((The can is approximately 411 g))
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (Same 400-415g size)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup water ((You may need more water- this is to dilute the sauce to a consistency of your liking))
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet and add the onion.  Saute 2-3 minutes until it softens a little. Add garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add tempeh crumbles. Stir all together to incorporate flavor of onions and garlic into the tempeh.  Let all cook together about 5 minutes.  Add oregano, thyme and chili. Stir together and cook for a minute.  Add diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, nutritional yeast and a little bit of water (as needed).  Reduce to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes. 

 

 

 

Sundried Tomato and Herb Chick Pea Salad

vegan-chick-pea-salad-sandwich-ideaThis is a really good, quick recipe to make that can satisfy may desires.  You can have this Italian inspired chickpea salad over pasta or brown rice with some balsamic vinaigrette, as a sandwich or even spread onto a bagel. Because it’s made with chick peas and white beans, it’s high in protein and fiber.  Eating a diet high in protein and fiber will help you feel full for longer periods of time.  This means you’ll be less likely to snack and crave junk foods.

I was going to make just a regular white bean and chick pea salad with some Earth Balance mayo, lemon juice and parsley…but I wanted something different and then I got the idea to do sundried tomatoes.  I had mine over short grain brown rice with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. Other ideas would be to add in broccoli or wilted spinach.

Sundried Tomato and Chick Pea Salad

  • 1 14 oz can chickpeas- rinsed and drained well
  • 1 14 oz can canellini beans- rinsed and drained well
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan mayo
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6-7 Whole Sundried tomatoes ((mine were packed in oil, I drained them as much as possible first))
  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and process until well incorporated. 

About Ultimate Fit Zone:

UFZ is a cross training and boot camp gym in Monmouth County NJ.  We are owned and operated by husband and wife team, Eddie and Stacey Albert.  Eddie is a long time and well known personal trainer in NJ and Stacey is a certified holistic nutritionist.  The gym offers high intensity boot camp classes coupled with health focused weight loss and nutrition programs to help members get the most out of their training.

Crockpot Sweet Potato Chili (Vegan) Over Wilted Baby Spinach

With fall around the corner and winter fast approaching, I’m in the mood to experiment with all different types of chili dishes.  Chili is a quick and easy way to get a good portion of protein, vegan-sweet-potato-chilihealthy carbohydrates, fiber and veggies.  It’s everything you want on your plate combined into one simple and healthy dish.  Making it in the crockpot is an added bonus. I put everything into the crockpot in the morning and by dinner time, it was cooked to perfection.

Using Beyond Beef Feisty Crumbles instead of turkey meat or ground beef saves you over 100mg of cholesterol per serving.  Cholesterol is the stuff that clogs up our arteries, when consumed in excess, and causes the nation’s number one killer- heart attack. You won’t miss the cholesterol and you certainly won’t miss the taste.  This chili tastes as authentic as they come and I don’t even think meat eaters will notice the switch from beef to Beyond Beef feisty crumbles.

But wait–there’s more…everyone knows that chili is best enjoyed with sweet, buttery cornbread!  So how about a recipe that is sweet, buttery tasting but without the damaging saturated fat and cholesterol??  Pair the chili with Agave Cornbread muffins and I promise you’ll be going back for seconds!

I slightly modified this recipe from the original version found on anomadsdream.com

Crockpot Sweet Potato Chili Recipe (Vegan)

  • 28 oz can diced tomato
  • 28 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper ((Add more for extra spice))
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ((If you don't have- do 2 teaspoons paprika))
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar ((or omit))
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink sea salt
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes ((Peel and cut into chunks))
  • 1 Vidalia onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 14 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 14 oz can black beans
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 package Beyond Beef Feisty Crumbles ((or omit))
  1. Combine all ingredients in your crockpot.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Optional- add Daiya cheddar shreds or avocado on top. To add extra veggies- serve over wilted spinach.