Tropical Green Machine Smoothie

Tropical Green Machine Smoothie

I make breakfast smoothies every morning before work, so I’m always looking for new flavor varieties to mix things up day to day. I also just so happened to receive my first vita-mix blender for Christmas this year. Let me just say, it makes a world of difference. I know these blenders carry a $400+ price tag, but they are worth every penny. Not only is it a powerful professional quality blender, but it’s a lot quieter than our old household blender. And when you have shared walls with your neighbors, that is a huge plus! You don’t want to be the neighbor waking up the whole block trying to blend a frozen banana at 7 am. Needless to say I’m obsessed, and I’m sure my neighbors are too!

Tropical Green Machine Smoothie

ingredients:
1 cup almond milk
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
3 fresh strawberries
2 big handfuls of fresh spinach
1/2 tsp chia seeds, optional

Tropical Green Machine Smoothie

directions:
Layer your ingredients for blending ease– I typically layer them: almond milk, chia seeds, fruit, spinach.

Blend until ingredients are broken down and the smoothie has a smooth consistency. Pour into your favorite smoothie glass and enjoy!

Tropical Green Machine Smoothie

Loaded Crockpot Turkey Chili

Loaded Crockpot Turkey Chili

I cannot think of a more perfect cold weather meal than a warm bowl of chili. There’s something about heading home and having that joyous realization that dinner is already made and has been simmering for the last hour just waiting for you to come home. I believe in magic because this crock-pot chili is just that– magic! There’s something for everyone in this recipe– healthy, hearty ground turkey, protein packed beans and the perfect balance of veggies with two kinds of bell peppers and oodles of yummy corn. The flavors work so perfectly, that you could eat this recipe for a week straight and not get sick of the taste. I’m not just saying that either, it’s been four days since I made this recipe and I’m still going strong. You know what they say, a bowl of chili a day keeps the doctor away, hahah!

Loaded Crockpot Turkey Chili

ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1.2 lb lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 (15 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 oz) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
Salt and black pepper, to taste

optional toppings: green onions, red onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, and even corn bread, yum!

Loaded Crockpot Turkey Chili

[sidenote: how cute is this tray that my little sister gifted me from Erin Condren? I’m beyond obsessed!]

directions:
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Crumple ground turkey into the skillet, cooking until meat is browned and now longer pink.

While cooking the ground turkey, add the onion, peppers, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, and finally the cooked turkey. Stir and season with salt and pepper.

Cover and cook on High for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Serve with your favorite chili toppings.

Loaded Crockpot Turkey Chili

Perfect Granola Clusters

Perfect Granola Clusters

It’s a new year, so of course like everyone else, I am starting 2015 with the resolution of eating healthier. I am definitely not as unhealthy as I think– I prepare most of my own meals, so I know exactly what I’m putting in my body. However, there are little things that I tend to forget are wayyyy more processed than they should be. Case in point, granola and other snack foods. This year, I’m going to try to be more conscious of buying less of that prepackaged deliciousness and try instead to make it on my own. Lucky for me, Santa brought me a bread maker and a vita-mix, so I have no excuse but to use them in my goal. But seriously, I was shocked at how easy granola is to make, literally mix then bake. No excuses. Plus, you can customize it to have whatever dried fruits you prefer and add your favorite nuts too! To say I dislike raisins is an understatement, so anytime I can swap those out for something a little more palette friendly, I’m in! Let me know what combinations you end up trying!

Perfect Granola Clusters

ingredients:
5 cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup + 2 Tbsp cup brown sugar
½ cup honey
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried banana chips
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup unsalted pecans
1 beaten egg white

Perfect Granola Clusters

Preheat oven to 300°
Line a baking sheet with sides with parchment paper.
Mix all ingredients except the egg white together in a large bowl until evenly coated with butter and honey. Finally stir in beaten egg white evenly. Spread mixture onto baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes without stirring. Turn oven off and allow granola to stay in oven until cooled. Once cool, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Serve with your favorite yogurt and fresh fruit or snack on it a la cart.

~40 servings, 133 calories per 1/4 cup

Perfect Granola Clusters

Almond Pumpkin Banana Bundt Cake

Almond Pumpkin Banana Bundt Cake

The first moment in the fall season that I see canned pumpkin on the shelves at Trader Joe’s, I stock up. And by stock up I mean pile as many cans as I know will fit in my cupboards into my grocery basket. Now that Thanksgiving has come and passed, I can finally focus on trying new and exciting pumpkin recipes. I always find myself with leftover bananas at the end of the week—I normally buy 14 bananas for the entire week since I make breakfast sandwiches on the weekdays for both Bill and I and I enjoy snacking on bananas to tide me over until dinnertime. What better way to utilize my leftover ripe bananas paired then to pair them with pumpkin and almonds to make the moistest Bundt cake you’ll ever eat.
Although, I’m sure Aspen would have probably preferred that I spooned all my leftover canned pumpkin onto her kibble instead. Side note: canned organic pumpkin is great if your dog has runny number twos.

Almond Pumpkin Banana Bundt Cake

ingredients:
3 ripe bananas
1 can of organic pumpkin puree
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and measured
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
sliced almonds, for topping

Almond Pumpkin Banana Bundt Cake
directions:
Mix the first ten ingredients and blend well with a mixer. Mix the remaining dry ingredients together and then add it into the wet ingredients until it forms a batter. Spray a bundt pan well with cooking spray or oil and add sliced almonds all around the bundt pan. Pour in the batter and bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes or until fork comes out clean. Flip over onto plate and slice and serve. Enjoy.

Wasabi Ahi Poke Bowl

Wasabi Ahi Poke Bowl

As you all know, I love Costco for stocking up on items I use all the time, like ground turkey, sausages, acai smoothie packets, and even dog biscuits. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, that I knew Costco sold their own ahi poke by the half pound. Bill and I were minding our own business, perusing the beer selection when we passed by the seafood station and saw four different poke combinations. At only $15 a pound, we figured we couldn’t go wrong trying half a pound of the wasabi ahi poke. We couldn’t have been more right! I never thought a Costco purchase would influence a copycat recipe, but I was counting down the days until I found the perfect batch of sushi grade ahi to repeat this delicious combination.

Wasabi Ahi Poke Bowl

ingredients:
1 lb Sashimi Grade Ahi Tuna
1 whole Shallot, Sliced
½ cups Chopped Green Onion
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Seasame Oil
1 teaspoon Chili Garlic Paste
1 teaspoon Wasabi, optional
1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds

Wasabi Ahi Poke Bowl

directions:
Pat the ahi dry, then neatly cut it into small 1/2-inch cubes. Place in a bowl.

Add the shallots, green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, wasabi and sesame seeds.

Toss to combine. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.

Wasabi Ahi Poke Bowl