Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Original Recipe - Roasted Carrots

I love roasted carrots.. they get all sweet and tasty!

Roasted Carrots

2 lbs baby carrots (cut them in half if they are big)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion granules
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp dried dill

Toss carrots with the oil and set aside.
Mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle over the carrots, tossing well.

Bake at 400 degrees on a large baking sheet until they are done to your taste. Make sure you flip them a few times to prevent burning.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Original Recipe - Twice Baked Potatoes

Feel free to share but please link back to this blog. Thank you.

Twice baked potatoes! Twice the fun, twice the servings, twice the carb overload!

um, yea .... well.... anyway.

Twice baked potatoes are essentially just a mound of loaded mashed potatoes presented in a potato shell.

It's all about presentation.

For the shell part, you will want to find the big, jumbo baking potatoes that you'd see in steakhouses. The bigger they are, the more impressive they are to company.... plus, if they are big, they make a perfectly lovely meal on their own!

If you are serving these to kids, cut them in half or allow time for a serious nap afterwards.

Just a note... the photo shows an uncooked potato. These were for a friend of mine so she'll be doing the twice baked part on her end when she gets ready to serve them up!

First off, you'll want to make a batch of my tempeh bacon because you'll need some of it for this recipe.

If you'd rather not make it, you can sub in something like Bac-o's but.. I'll be disappointed and the potatoes will be less fabulous. Just sayin'

Feel free to add other yummy stuff into the potato mixture like chopped green onions, vegan cheese or vegan sour cream. You can also use fresh chives and parsley instead of the dried.

Shelly's Twice Baked Potatoes

Makes 6 large potatoes

3 very large baking potatoes
5 medium russet potatoes
2 tbsp Earth Balance
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp dried chives
1 tbsp dried parsely
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp onion granules or powder
1/2 tsp garlic granules or powder
1/8 tsp citric acid (you can sub in 1/2 tsp lemon juice)
6 slices tempeh bacon, cooked crispy and chopped

1. Place the 3 very large potatoes into a crockpot and bake on high for 2 to 3 hours until fork tender (or bake them however you want)

2. Peel the 5 potatoes, wash and chop into small pieces and boil until fork tender like you're making mashed potatoes (because you are!) Drain and place in a large bowl.

3. When the 3 large potatoes are done, slice them in half and let cool until they can be handled.. still warm tho. It's easier to remove the middle if they are warm.

4. Carefully scoop out the middle of each potato half , leaving a small layer of the potato behind and set aside. Place the scooped out potato middles into the bowl with the boiled potatoes.

5. Melt the Earth Balance and pour into the potatoes and mash them until smooth.

6. Add the other ingredients (except the tempeh bacon) into the mashed potatoes and mix well.

7. Carefully fill in potato shell with the mashed potato mixture, leveling it off and then mound more of the mixture on top, smoothing out the sides. You may not use all of the filling. If not, you have leftover loaded mashed potatoes!

8. Once you are finished, press the chopped pieces of the temeph bacon into the top.

9. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until the potato is heated thru and slightly toasted on the top.

10. I like to serve them with a little pat of earth balance on top.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Original Recipe - Peanut Butter Cup Protein Shake

This is the shake I make every morning for my husband before he heads off to work. I have it almost every day as well.

I didn't get a couple ingredients in my photo but I included them in  he recipe.

I use a product called PB2, which is a product made from slow roasted peanuts that are pressed to remove the fat and oil which results in a lower calorie product with all the yummy peanut butter flavor and it's all-natural. It has roasted peanuts, sugar and salt. You can get it in jars or in bulk packages of 1 lb.

A two tablespoon serving is 45 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 2 grams fiber, 5 grams carbs, 1 gram sugars, and 5 grams of protein! Compare that to regular JIF peanut butter, which is 190 calories, 16 grams of fat, 2 grams fiber, 6 grams carbs, 2 grams sugars and 7 grams of protein.

However, I use 1 tbsp in this recipe. If you use the recommended ingredients shown here, your shake comes in around 300 calories with 27 grams of protein! (of course it depends on your non-dairy milk calories)

Make sure you freeze some ripe bananas. I usually buy bananas, eat them until they are too ripe and then peel them and toss them in the freezer for smoothies. Using a frozen banana (or any frozen fruit) in a smoothie thickens it up and gives you a nice shake texture!

Westsoy Soy Milk is just soybeans and water so I recommend it over other brands that have added chemicals, sweeteners and fillers.  It's about $2 a carton.  Aldi has great almond milk in sweetened and unsweetened or pick up the silk Pure Almond.

I did research to find the best brown rice protein and I am very happy with the NutriBiotic brand. It's straight up brown rice protein.. nothing added.. not even artificial sweetener! It's also affordable. It comes in plain, vanilla or chocolate. The chocolate has rice syrup in it so I recommend just buying the plain or vanilla and adding your own cocoa or cocoa powder. It is available in a 1 lb container but I buy it in the 3 lb container for less.

You can also use hemp protein powder here or your other fave vegan protein powder. I don't recommend soy isolate tho and keep in mind it may have less protein and more fillers or ingredients. Just be aware.

I am linking to Vitacost for some products. If you haven't ordered from them before, use my referral link to save $10 .... click HERE and get $10 off your first order with Vitacost

Also, iHerb carries the products too, but at a higher price but with the first time customer discount, it might be ok..  New to iHerb? Use coupon code AWE648 for up to $10.00 off your first order.

Lastly, Amazon has the ingredients as well .. and free shipping on $25 so that is an option too! They also also their auto-delivery plan so you could save a little more by setting that up.

The WestSoy website has $1.00 coupon offer. My store carries it for $1.99 so you can probably try it for half price!

Peanut Butter Cup Protein Shake

Serves 1 (I recommend making these one at a time. If  you try to make 2 servings, you'll use more soy milk trying to thin it out .. it gets too thick)

1 cup unsweetened WestSoy Soy Milk (or other non-dairy milk, like almond)
I TBSP NutriBiotic Brown Rice Protein powder
1 TBSP Amazing Grass Green Superfood Powder
1 TBSP PB2 powder
1 tsp to 1 TBSP Nutiva Cacao or cocoa powder (this is by taste)
1/2 tsp Maca powder (optional)
1 frozen banana (broken into a few pieces)

Optional: toss in a handful of fresh spinach or 1/2 tsp servings of spirulina, barley grass juice and/or wheatgrass powders to up the nutrients.

Combine ingredients in a high powered blender until completely smooth. If you want it thinned out, add water or more non-dairy milk. Adding additional non-dairy milk will change the calories.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Guest Blogger - Cole Millen

Check out Cole's article on Staying Healthy on Vacation and pop on over to his blog for more great articles!

Staying Healthy on a Vacation

Your vacation is something you have likely been looking forward to for months. In fact, in preparation for the fun and excitement, you may have dieted and worked out more than normal to make sure you could shed that extra weight and look fabulous for your trip. However, it is often a bit more challenging to continue with the good eating habits and lifestyle changes while vacationing. There are a few ways for you to keep the weight off while having a good time.

Remain Healthy While Flying

The foods offered on a plane are not necessarily the healthiest selections. If at all possible, avoid eating food while on the plane. You can do this by eating a nutritious and filling meal before you board your flight. You may also consider carrying some healthy snacks for your flight so that you do not have to eat junk food on the plane.

After getting off of the plane, you can carry your luggage down the flights of stairs instead of relying on the airport elevator to get you from one place to another. This will allow you to burn off a few calories even if you spent most of the day sitting down while on the plane.

Keep Active at the Hotel

Your vacation is a time to relax. It does not mean that you have to completely forget about your healthy lifestyle habits. Prior to even booking a hotel room, check to see that the hotel has important features that promote healthy lifestyle. For example, try booking a hotel that features a fitness center and a swimming pool. You can get plenty of exercise swimming in the pool and working out in the fitness center. Often time’s hotels can be misleading when looking for information. For this reason I have found reviews from other travelers to be extremely helpful. I recently took a trip out west and found a great site that listed reviews for hotels in Las Vegas regarding not only their amenities and services but also the restaurants in the surrounding area. This made is easier than ever to maintain my healthy lifestyle both in the hotel and out.

If your hotel room comes with an optional mini bar, save yourself from temptation and simply say no. The mini bar costs more money and is loaded with empty calories and snacks that are most likely no good for you anyway. Stop at a grocery store within the area to find prepared meals that will be easy to make from your hotel room that will also be healthy, such as instant oatmeal, healthy soups, and fresh fruits.

Healthy Restaurant Options

Most people do not want to cook while they are on their vacation, which is completely acceptable. If you are planning to try different restaurants in the area, you should find out more about them before you even enter through their front doors. Restaurants will often have their own website with a list of food items on their menu. You can decide which restaurant you will go to for your meals based upon what is available on the menu. Check for healthy selections and low-calorie meal made with fresh and flavorful ingredients. Avoid the need to stuff yourself and simply take your extras to go if need be. Try to stay away from foods that are obviously deep-fried or double battered because they have tons of calories and lack nutrition.These are just some of the ways to stay healthy when vacationing. You can still eat healthy and properly while exercising regularly while you are on an enjoyable vacation.