Lemon & Garlic Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears

If you’re in a hurry, this super simple and crazy quick dish makes for an elegant appetizer or a fancied side. The best part? The recipe only calls for a handful of ingredients— all of which are healthy! The result is a perfect balance of crispy saltiness from the prosciutto and delicious earthiness from the asparagus. This is one of my all-time favorite recipes to prepare whenever I’m expecting company on short notice. Enjoy guys!


Lemon & Garlic Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears

1 lb fresh asparagus spears, trimmed

1/2 lb sliced prosciutto

1 lemon

2 garlic cloves, chopped

sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

extra virgin olive oil

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Set oven to broil. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with extra virgin olive oil. Wrap each asparagus spear in a single prosciutto slice, arranging the wrapped spears with the prosciutto edges tucked underneath. Ensure there is enough room between each wrapped spear so they do not stick together. Halve the lemon, and squeeze the juice onto the wrapped spears. Sprinkle with the chopped garlic cloves, and season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Broil in the oven for 5-6 minutes, turning halfway though. Enjoy your crispy treats!

Eggplant Rollatini with Rosemary-Maple Chicken Stuffing

When it comes to cooking a dinner that’s sure to please everyone, you really can’t go wrong with the classic Italian meal. The problem? Italian dinners are notorious for pasta, bread, cheese… and that’s not even to mention the wine! All of which are delicious— yet none of which are a clean eater’s friend! With just a few simple tweaks, this clean eating Italian-inspired meal is a flavorful and healthful way to enjoy a classic meal.


Tomato Basil Sauce

1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1/4 cup red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

1-2 packets truvia/stevia

sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

In a lightly oiled pan over medium heat, sauté red onions and garlic until tender. Add in the basil, oregano, and thyme; sauté together until fragrant. Lastly, pour in the can of diced tomatoes. Season with stevia, sea salt, and cracked pepper to taste. Simmer over medium heat until bubbly. Remove from heat to cool; blend thoroughly in a blender or with an immersion blender.


Eggplant Rollatini with Rosemary-Maple Chicken Stuffing

1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise

1 lb ground chicken

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1/2 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 egg white

sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish by spooning a thin layer of the tomato-basil sauce onto the bottom of the baking dish; this helps prevent the rollatini from sticking to the bottom of the baking dish.

In a bowl, mix together ground chicken, rosemary, sage, maple syrup, garlic, egg white, sea salt, and cracked pepper. Spoon chicken sausage onto the eggplant slices, and roll the eggplant into rollatinis— ensuring that the edges are secured underneath. Arrange in rows in the 9×13 inch baking dish.

Lastly, spoon more of the tomato basil sauce over top of the eggplant rollatinis. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken sausage stuffing is sufficiently cooked. Enjoy!

Herbed Turkey Breast with Rosemary Parsnip Fries

Nobody— nobody!— can resist a good fry. They should be crunchy on the outside, somewhat chewy on the inside, and bursting with a slightly salty flavor. But, as we all know, potatoes deep fried in unhealthy fat are a clean eater’s nightmare! Instead, try these delicious parsnip fries! Parsnips are a root vegetable with an almost peppery taste, and they serve as the perfect potato substitute in any fry recipe! Plus, lightly coating these in healthy extra virgin olive oil and oven baking as opposed to deep frying help make these the perfect clean eating alternative. Serve your crispy, crunchy, golden brown rosemary parsnip fries with a beautifully pan seared herbed turkey breast to make the perfect healthy— yet elegant— dinner!


Herbed Turkey Breast (serves 4)

1 lb turkey breast

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

2 shallots, sliced

2 cups chicken broth

In a bowl, mix dry mustard, rosemary, sage, rhyme, sea salt, and black pepper. When mixed thoroughly, pat the mixture on both sides of each turkey breast. In a lightly oiled pan over high heat, sear the turkey breast on both sides for 2-3 minutes to retain the juices. Once seared, reduce the heat to low-medium, pour the chicken broth around the turkey breasts, and place the mushrooms and shallots in the surrounding broth to simmer. Slow cook the turkey breasts for another 10-15 minutes or so (depending on the thickness of the turkey breasts) until the inside is no longer pink.

Rosemary Parsnip Fries (serves 4)

1 lb parsnips, peeled, cut into 2″ fries

Extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

Sea salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parsnips in a bowl. Toss with just enough extra virgin olive oil to coat (I personally used an olive oil spray mister). Add in rosemary, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper. Toss to coat in the seasoning. Arrange the parsnip fries in a single layer on a baking sheet (you may need two). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes, until crispy golden brown.

Golden Bisque with Chipotle Shrimp

As we slide into the New Year, it seems like everyone has a case of the yucks! Coughing, sneezing, sniffling is running rampant, and sometimes you just need a good soup to warm you to the bone. Look no further than this hearty squash-based bisque which pairs fabulously with a kick of heat from some chipotle shrimp. Enjoy this clean eats sick bed treat guys!

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Golden Bisque (makes about 1.5 quarts of bisque)

2 medium sized yellow squash, cut into cubes

2 shallots, diced

3 cloves black garlic, whole

4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock

1 teaspoon savory

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 buttercup squash, cooked and cubed

optional: a few dashes of hot sauce

1 bunch of fresh chives, chopped

Chipotle Shrimp (yields about a cup of seasoning)

Shrimp

1/3 cup chili powder

2 tablespoons cilantro

2 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons oregano

2 tablespoons basil

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon thyme

1 tablespoon crushed chipotle pepper

In a pot, place all of the bisque ingredients except for the fresh chives. Simmer over medium heat until the yellow squash becomes tender. Pour the mixture into a blender (or use an immersion blender) to blend the bisque thoroughly. Meanwhile, mix together all of the dry ingredients for the chipotle seasoning (you can try this on chicken, fish, even in burgers!). Sprinkle the chipotle seasoning liberally on both sides of the shrimp. Sear in a lightly oiled pan over high heat on both sides until the shrimp is fully cooked. Top the golden bisque with the chipotle shrimp, and sprinkle with the chopped fresh chives. Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt if you’d like as well! Yum!

Bacon-Wrapped Cajun Fish

This was one of those recipes where I thought to myself “okay, I’ve really outdone myself now.” Despite its appearance, this dish is actually super simple to make. On top of it, not only is it delicious… but its also nutritious! The salty touch of the turkey bacon blends perfectly with the mild taste of whitefish, and everything is rounded out amazingly with a hint of cajun spice. Trust me… you need to try this recipe!


Homemade Cajun Spice (1 Jar)

1/4 cup salt

1/4 cup pepper

1/4 cup cayenne pepper

1/4 cup paprika

1/4 cup garlic powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried thyme

Thoroughly mix together all ingredients. Store in a jar in a cool, dry place.

Bacon-Wrapped Cajun Fish (Serves 4)

1 lb mild whitefish fillets such as tilapia (4 fillets)

8 turkey bacon slices

Homemade cajun spice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay the fish fillets flat, and sprinkle with homemade cajun spice to taste. Lay 2 turkey bacon slices flat, and place a fish fillet (seasoned side down) on top. Beginning at the end, roll up the bacon and fish. Secure with toothpicks, repeating with the rest of the bacon and fish. In a lightly oiled pan over very high heat, sear the the bacon-wrapped fish fillets for roughly 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a foil-lined baking sheet; bake for 8-10 minutes or until both bacon and fish are thoroughly cooked.

Grilled Teriyaki & Lime Marinated Orange Roughy

Even though summer seems to be winding down— kiddos are heading back to school, the Halloween candy is already making appearances, and the barrage of pumpkin everything is just around the corner— it ain’t over ’til its over, baby! Don’t let summer disappear without taking full advantage of it; try this summer-lovin’ grilled teriyaki and lime marinated orange roughy recipe. The taste is bursting with fresh, bold, summery pizazz so good in a few months it’ll have you wondering if it’s really so bad to bust out the grill in late November…


Grilled Teriyaki & Lime Marinated Orange Roughy (serves 4)

1 lb orange roughy fillets (can substitute any mild-tasting whitefish)

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon pure honey

2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground

2 limes, sliced

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In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, water, honey, red onion, garlic, and ginger. Add the orange roughly fillets to the bowl, ensuring the fish fillets are fully submerged. Marinate in the fridge while covered for at least 30 minutes. When finished marinating, remove and place each fish fillet in its own foil packet. Spoon 2-3 spoonfuls of the marinade over each fish fillet, and top with a few lime slices before sealing up the foil packet. Puncture the top of each foil packet with a fork to allow the hot air to escape. Grill over high heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the fish becomes flaky. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Sweet Sausage Breakfast Bake

It’s the weekend! For a lot of people, that means backsliding into bad habits. After a week of making healthy choices, it’s not uncommon for people to “reward” themselves by indulging on the weekends. Reverting back to a bad habit as a reward every now and then isn’t the worst thing in the world, but when you let it derail all the progress you’ve already made so far… it can get in the way of your goals! When it’s time for weekend brunch, don’t fall for the sugary donuts, processed cereals, and whatnot. Keep this deliciously healthy sweet potato and sweet sausage breakfast bake in mind. You’ll get that touch of sweetness without derailing your hard work!


Sweet Potato and Sweet Sausage Breakfast Bake

1 lb 99% fat free ground turkey

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon sage

2 large PRE-COOKED sweet potatoes, cubed

1 bell pepper, diced

2 cups egg whites

1/2 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the ground turkey, maple syrup, and sage. Over medium heat, thoroughly cook the turkey sausage, breaking apart until crumbly. In a lightly oiled 9×13 baking dish, evenly spread the crumbled turkey sausage, cubed sweet potatoes, and diced bell peppers. In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites, almond or cashew milk, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. Pour over the ingredients in the 9×13 baking dish, and season with salt and pepper as desired. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the egg whites are completely opaque, fully cooked, and the edges are browned. Slice, serve, and savor!

Weekend Winner: Tomato Bacon Basil Bisque

So I know that I teased y’all a bit over the weekend with a teeny tiny contest. Last week, I cooked up several delicious dishes that will be available in my upcoming cookbook, BUT I was so excited that I wanted to share at least ONE of my recipes with you guys— so I left it up to all of you to decide which one! The options? Golden summer squash and sweet corn bisque with maple dijon salmon OR tomato bacon basil bisque with maple rosemary turkey sausage crumble. The winner?

By a mere 2 votes… tomato bacon basil bisque! I mean, come on, bacon. Bacon! So without further ado, here’s the recipe deets:


Tomato Bacon Basil Bisque

1 onion, diced

5 garlic cloves, chopped

2 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes

2-4 cups chicken stock (depending on desired consistency)

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

15 fresh basil leaves (10 whole; 5 chopped)

1/2 lb turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled

In a lightly oiled pot over high heat, saute the diced onions until translucent (3-5 minutes). Add in the chopped garlic, continuing to saute for another minute or so until fragrant. Pour in the diced tomatoes, 2 cups of chicken stock (reserve remaining optional 2 cups), 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, and 10 of the basil leaves. Simmer while covered over medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Transfer (carefully!) to a blender, and blend until smooth (blend in smaller batches if necessary!). Add in some of the remaining optional 2 cups of chicken stock for a thinner bisque, or omit the additional chicken stock altogether for a thicker, heartier bisque. Season with salt and pepper as desired (I personally like a saltier soup!). Lastly, top with the chopped basil and the cooked turkey bacon as garnish.

Maple Rosemary Turkey Sausage

1 lb 99% fat free ground turkey

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped

1 sprig of fresh thyme, chopped

5 sage leaves, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a bowl, combine all ingredients thoroughly. In a lightly oiled pan, brown mixture over medium heat until cooked throughout, breaking apart as needed to create a crumble-like consistency. Crumble over top of the tomato bacon basil bisque for a protein-rich complete meal!

Stress: Correct Your Form

Lately, I’ve been thinking about squats. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about stress and squats. (These are the kinds of things “normal” people think about, right? Oh… no? Well, I never put too much stock in being “normal” anyway!) Stress and squats share one common denominator: it’s not just the load that you carry that matters, it’s also the way that you carry it that matters as well.

In short, a person can squat 200 lbs with ease with good form, but if that same person tries to squat 200 lbs when their form is unbalanced— it’s a recipe for disaster! Likewise, if you’re handling stress with bad form, living life in an unbalanced way, you’re much more liable to topple over.

Even though this is a clean eating, physical fitness, and personal empowerment blog, in light of the recent stress in my life that’s been heaped like a smorgasbord onto my plate… I thought this was an important issue to address! We all know that stress can (and will!) impact your health, so before it does— here are my top 6 stress-busting suggestions!

What do you do when stress has got you down?

What do you do when stress has got you down?


 

1. Work it out

Come on… y’all knew this was going to be numero uno, right? How long have you been following my blog now? Studies show that people who exercise regularly are 25% less likely to develop depression and/or anxiety within the next 5 years. But that’s just one study; there are a myriad of others touting the stress relieving benefits of exercise. So the next time you’re stressed, stop wallowing and start moving. It doesn’t need to be much, either. Studies also show that a 10 minute walk has the exact same stress relieving benefits as a 45 minute workout (although, uh, personally… throwing around some heavy weights always helps me de-stress exponentially!)

Fight stress with physical exercise

Fight stress with physical exercise

 

2. Color your stress away

Some days, you just don’t want to adult. Well, I got news for you… it’s okay to take a kid break. One of the hottest crazes nowadays is adult coloring books. Psychologist Carl Jung introduced mandalas (intricate concentric circular design patterns) as a relaxation technique in the early 20th century, and the stress relief method is currently experiencing a huge revival. In short, coloring has one simple psychological benefit: when we focus on coloring, we aren’t focusing on our stresses, worries, or problems. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, grab a coloring book for grown-ups, and color your stress away!

Yup, that's my coloring book

Yup, that’s my coloring book

3. Delve into a book

In search of a stress relief method that’s a little more… intellectual? Well, grab a book. Sometimes real life problems can be a little too overwhelming, and, while you can’t escape real life permanently, you can escape real life temporarily. Delve into another world by reading a book! Studies show that reading reduces stress by as much as 68% in only 6 minutes. 6 minutes! For me, personally, I almost always opt for a fantasy book— the more outlandish, the better— because, really, if I’m trying to take my mind off of my everyday problems, the last thing I want to do is read about someone else’s everyday problems!

Don’t judge my book collection… yes, I’m a fantasy fan!

4. Spa it up

I’m an advocate of regular spa days: saunas, scrubs, massages, everything. There’s a reason it’s called massage therapy, and the effects aren’t just physical— they are psychological too! Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a day at the spa every time stress strikes (and, come on, what if your stress is financial-related? that ain’t gonna help!). The next best thing? Treat yourself to an at home spa day: take a 20 minute hot bubble bath, pop an effervescent shower fizzy in during your next rinse, or treat yourself to a do-it-yourself salt scrub. Another option: gyms often have saunas available for gym members to use, so if yours does… don’t be afraid to grab a relaxing steam to unwind!

Relaxing in the sauna… total thumbs up!

5. Help others

One of my favorite ways to relieve stress? Help others! Often there’s nothing we can do to fix our own problems, but that doesn’t mean we should simply fall into despair. Sometimes a better approach is to turn our focus outward, and instead do something to help those around us. Even if we can’t make our own lives better, we can make someone else’s life better— which, in turn, can really uplift you. It’s a win-win. This is one of the many reasons that I support awesome causes such as ReliGym, an amazing nonprofit organization that aims to provide underprivileged youth with much needed fitness resources (want to support our cause? get your ReliGym gear at www.ReliGym.org!)

Me rocking my ReliGym shirt

6. Escape to nature

One of my favorite authors— Henry David Thoreau— once wrote: “I took a walk in the woods and I came out taller than the trees.” The restorative effects of nature simply cannot be denied; there is nothing better than surrounding yourself with nature… bright green fields of grass, the solace of towering trees, the tones of chirping birds, everything. Whether life’s stress seems inescapable, your best bet is to escape into nature. No doubt, you’ll return feeling refreshed, revitalized, and reinvigorated.

Can you tell I’m an outdoorsy gal?

Source: Anxiety & Depression Association of America

Announcing: ReliGym

It’s time for the BIG announcement guys! I’m partnering with a newly-formed nonprofit organization, ReliGym, which will aim to offer free fitness services to underprivileged youth such as fitness classes, gym memberships, and fitness equipment. By helping these kids strengthen themselves physically, we can also teach them how to strengthen themselves emotionally, mentally, and spiritually as well. ReliGym will be offering free functional fitness classes (which I will be teaching here in Pittsburgh!) for underprivileged youth by January of 2016. All endeavors will be funded through our ReliGym Clothing Co. athletic apparel line, which I will also be representing (you’ll see soon!)

Help support our cause through our GoFundMe page, visiting our ReliGym website, or purchasing from our ReliGym Clothing Co. line (available soon!).

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