Tag Archives: #healthyeats

Carbs are out, clouds are in!

Listen, friends….I’m all about that carb life…like 99% of human beings. But…..I have some issues with gluten, so I have to be careful. If I’m going all in with gluten, it’s going to be something really satisfying, like a huge doughnut!

My breakup with gluten meant that my bread intake went from a thriving relationship to pretty much non existent. That makes spaghetti dinners and lasagna and all things Italian a little sad, right???? And don’t get me started on things like egg salad or chicken salad, two of my favorite quick lunches!

Fortunately for me, I stumbled across a recipe awhile back that has been a lifesaver and serves as a wonderful bread substitute: CLOUD BREAD!

For starters, the name Cloud Bread is just fabulous as it is….but there is something to the name. This “bread”, made with only four ingredients, comes out light and fluffy like a cloud. The best part??? It is a protein! Yes, you read that right….nothing carby about it! You’ve got to make it!

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                                                    Katie’s Cloud Bread Recipe
Ingredients:

-3 large eggs
-1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
-Dash cream of tartar
-Dash of salt (optional)

How to make:

Heat oven to 300 degrees, then spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Separate egg whites from egg yolks, placing in separate bowls. Add dash of cream of tartar to egg whites and beat on high until peaks form (between 3-4 minutes). Set aside, then add yogurt and salt (if using) to yolks, beating until blended completely. Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture, then fold in the remaining egg white mixture. Using a spoon, scoop mixture onto cookie sheet, pressing mixture down to resemble a pancake. Bake for 30 minutes or  until golden brown. The “bun” should be crispy when touched. Once you remove from oven, loosen with spatula, then allow to cool. If not serving immediately, store in tupperware container.

***Few notes***

-Don’t over mix when combining the egg whites and yolks.
-When scooping out mixture, make sure scoop is about 3 inches in diameter.
-This recipe makes three servings. A serving is two pieces of “bread”.
-One serving has 94 calories and 9 grams of protein.

ENJOY!

 

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Eat Chili when it’s not Chilly….

Anyone else love some chili?

I could take or leave plain old chili….I eat it about once a year, and I’m good with it.

White chicken chili on the other hand….I could eat that for weeks on end without complaint!

My meal plan this week included my delicious 21 Day Fix Approved White Chicken Chili, a favorite not only because of its zesty flavor, but because it involves dumping everything in a crockpot and letting it do all of the work.

Here’s how you make it!

                                                  Katie’s White Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

-1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
-1 15oz can of Great Northern Beans
-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
-1/2 teaspoon cumin
-2 cans of canned corn
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-32 oz of chicken broth
-1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
-1 can green chiles (I use Old El Paso)

Throw all ingredients into crockpot and cook on low for about 5 hours. Do not drain the corn or chiles. Once it is done cooking, mix in 8oz of cream cheese.

I garnish with a dollop of plain Greek Yogurt (if you don’t care about healthier options you can do sour cream), shredded cheese, green onions, and a few crushed up tortilla chips.

****If you like thicker chili, don’t use as much chicken broth. If you use the 32 oz it will have a more soup-like consistency.

Super easy, guys, and so so so good…plus you can freeze it for a day you are in the mood for it!

Try it and be happy 🙂

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I DONUT live a life without donuts!

Donuts are one of my all time favorite things….I’m pretty sure anyone who reads my blog and follows me on Facebook knows this. I mean…..I captain a running team called Running for Donuts and run the race with a donut on my head. It’s an obsession. I’ve embraced it.

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I go by the running name “Bearclaw.”

Every now and again I like to enjoy a donut from Peace, Love, and Little Donuts….a franchise that makes the best donuts around, but most of the time I prefer making healthier versions of this treat.

I know what you are thinking…they don’t taste like real donuts. If you are after the Fruity Pebbles donuts or Creamsticks, then you are right….you can’t make those kinds healthy regardless of how hard you try. I love chocolate, and I love chocolate glazed, so the recipe that I make the most is the closest thing to that. They are so good!

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Donuts that taste like a brownie but fit in any meal plan. 

Here’s my recipe!

                                                                         Katie’s Chocolate Donuts

– 1 cup whole wheat flour (or oat flour)
-2 scoops Chocolate Shakeology
-1/2 cup Truvia (you could use Stevia if you prefer)
-3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
-1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
-1/2 Teaspoon Salt
-1/4 cup egg whites
-8 ounces natural applesauce
-1/4 cup water

Mix well. If batter is too thick, add more applesauce or water until it reaches desired consistency. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees! Enjoy!

**If you are a 21 Day Fixer, I break one donut down to be 1/2 cup yellow, 1/2 purple, 1/2 red.

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You won’t regret these beauties!

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Places to Visit: All Good Things!

Things I like: eating healthy and supporting small businesses.

Living near two major cities, I have never had an issue finding great local joints that are full of healthy options or that cater specifically to a vegan/organic/non gmo kind of lifestyle. The people of Cleveland and Akron have lots of options, and I love it.

The problem has never been finding healthy options on the go here….it’s when I go back to visit my family in Columbiana County when I struggle. Lucky for me my mother stumbled across a relatively new restaurant, All Good Things, not far from her house and suggested we visit. Since her initial suggestion I have visited All Good Things every single time I have been home, some visited two or three times. I guess you can say I like it a little bit…..

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Enjoying a little Pumpkin Nice Cream to go!

One thing that I realized after visiting AGT for the first time was that this restaurant was practically in my mother’s back yard and had been there for awhile….and I had no clue that it existed! Instantly I began sharing my experience there with my local friends who I knew would enjoy the menu and items that were available to purchase, but I wanted to write a quick blog on the restaurant for those of you who are local and don’t know much about this diamond in the ruff local spot!

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All Good Things owners Melissa and Quinn

Owner Quinn Colella answered some questions I had about how All Good Things came to be!

What inspired you to open All Good Things?
Quinn: Years before the conception of All Good Things, we were both into eating clean and high quality food. We enjoyed supporting small, local farmers and would frequent the farmer’s markets on weekends whenever we could. I also spent a couple years on an organic vegetable farm learning the in and outs of farm life. We opened All Good Things in November of 2013 in hopes to fill the void of local and organic food options for our surrounding community. Since then, we have listened to the demand of our customers and have grown into a place for not only groceries, but also a place to stop for lunch and dinner.

How do you determine what items to add to the menu?
Quinn: With the adjustments on our menu we take into consideration a variety of scenarios. We have plenty of individuals who are new to organics, people who are gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and so on. We take all of our customers dietary needs into consideration when placing new menu items on our menu. Another important aspect we pay close attention to is seasonality. We use fresh, organic produce in our menu and have to use foods that are readily available and let’s be honest, more tasty as they grow in season.

How often do you change your menu?
Quinn: We like to offer food items that reflect the seasons, so we tend to offer two menus a year, a spring/summer and a fall/winter menu.

What is your favorite item on your menu?
Quinn: It’s hard to find a favorite item, but without a doubt our jackfruit has a lot of interest from our customers. We have used jackfruit in several dishes and people love it.

Do you grow your own produce? If not, do you purchase from local vendors?
Quinn: As running a business is rather time consuming, unfortunately we don’t grow our own produce. We do however have weekly certified organic produce deliveries to ensure freshness and quality. During the growing season in our area we do support local farmers who grow with organic standards.

What makes All Good Things unique to the area?
Quinn: All Good Things is unique because of the food we carry, the close relationships we have with our customers and the message we represent- to support local. In addition to our food menu we do offer local, pasture-raised meat, grass fed dairy, organic produce, natural groceries and locally made items from artisans from our community. Numerous times throughout the year we offer juice cleanses to customers. We use 100% organic fruits and vegetables and use a cold-press method to ensure there is very little nutrient loss. The cleanses consist of 6- 16 oz drinks a day which help to “reset” and balance your body.

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All Goods Things has a great shopping area with items for your pantry!


As someone who has tried the majority of the items on the All Good Things menu, I have to share my favorite: this Quinoa salad! I love eating it with one of their grilled cheese sandwiches on semolina bread! I’m also a huge fan of their jackfruit tacos and their mocha frappe smoothie! They Nice cream is also a great sweet treat….it inspired my own Nice Cream recipe that I make for myself when I’m not back at my mother’s.

I encourage you to check out this small business and grab lunch. Their menu is fantastic, their customer service is great, and whether or not your goal is to eat healthy, you will be feeding your body a delicious meal made from quality ingredients that is good for you. If you have an upcoming event and want to host it at the restaurant, All Good Things even has special event menus and rates!

I’m so thankful that my mother suggested All Good Things to me and can’t wait to hear what you think of it when you visit! Make sure you tag me in a post or send me what you tried!

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Quinoa Salad! 

All Good Things is open Monday through Friday from 10am-6pm and on Saturdays from 10am-3pm. They are located on South Main Street in Columbiana.

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Brownie Points!

My love affair with chocolate is not something I have ever hidden. In fact, I’ve always embraced it. Why hide such a wonderful thing that brings so much joy to others????

When I started making healthier changes to my life back in 2013, I knew that my relationship with chocolate needed to have some boundaries…..more like the occasional visitation. The one thing I think people are surprised to learn about me is how important balance is in my life. Yes, I love living healthy and making quality choices with what I put into my body, however, I believe very strongly that you should never cut things you love completely out of your diet…..I feel like that only leads to bingefests and bad decisions. Instead, I believe you should balance your choices. Do I eat pizza and chocolate every day? Absolutely not. But do I deprive myself of them? Nope. I’ve just learned that having a slice or two of pizza with some salad is a much better option than eating a whole pizza, and I’m ok with that.

Over time I’ve learned healthier adaptations for the foods I used to binge on. Some people may roll their eyes and think that there is no way cauliflower pizza crust is any good, but trust me. Some of the healthier recipes I have come across or created I actually prefer over the original. Yes, you heard right!

Back to my love affair with chocolate…..how amazing is the brownie? Of all the treats in the world, brownies (especially my mother’s) have always ranked in my top favorites. For a long time they were the one treat I had failed countless times in finding a healthy alternative.

That is no longer the case.

I’d like to enter into the discussion my old friend, the black bean. I’ve written about them previously and think they are one seriously underestimated item in your cabinet. Awhile back I stumbled across a brownie recipe where black beans were used. I was open minded to the taste, thinking the black beans would be noticeable but that they would still be okay.

My apologies to the recipe for thinking it would be just “okay.” These brownies were incredible! Here’s how you make them!

Before you begin making the brownies, you must follow the first rule of thumb for handling black bean. Rinse the heck out of them! You don’t want the bean slime to join you in cooking, and you want to make sure you get rid of any additional sodium lingering.

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After the beans have been rinsed, it’s time to break out your food processor and get to work. You’ll start with just the black beans and process until their are smooth, then add in the rest of the ingredients with the exception of half of the chocolate chips (the full recipe is posted below). 2016-02-19 22.00.24

Pour batter into a greased 8 by 8 pan and place into an oven set to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top. Looks just like a pan of regular brownies, right??

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As you can imagine, the excitement of trying a new brownie recipe didn’t just appeal to me. Murphy was extremely focused on the brownies….too bad chocolate isn’t for dogs, Murph.

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Once the brownies have baked for 30-35 minutes (depending on your oven or when the brownies start to separate from the edge of the pan), remove them and let cool before you decide to enjoy them.

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So what did I think of this recipe? BEST EVER. You can’t taste the black beans at all, and they have a great fudge-like texture. Overall, they were a huge hit, and a much healthier one at that! I opted for dark chocolate chips, but you can go with semi-sweet if you prefer.

You may be nervous to try them because you don’t like black beans as a side dish. Trust me….you want to try these and give them a chance. If I brought you a brownie and didn’t tell you what the ingredients were, you’d never know black beans were in it. Don’t knock them until you try them! You may just be pleasantly surprised!

Here’s the recipe so you know what all you need! Happy Baking!

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Squash the stereotype….Italians can survive without pasta!

Little Pop Quiz for Ya….

Q: What is the one food item that is the most difficult to give up when you are trying to eat healthy AND have Italian in your blood?

A: Pasta, Pasta, Pasta

Don’t get me wrong….pasta isn’t entirely bad……especially when you eat the proper portions. However, what Italian do you know that actually eats the proper portion of lasagna, spaghetti, etc? I know I struggle with it.

Until Now!!!!

I found a way to disguise vegetables as lasagna!

It was a squash kind of week!

This week I made the most amazing lasagna that allowed me to have a pretty substantial portion. Since I am now obsessed with this recipe (I think I will be making it weekly), I had to share.

                                                      Katie’s Bombdiggity Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

         (I know what you are thinking….spaghetti squash, yeah right. Be openminded. Veggies are good for you!)

What you need:

-1 cup ricotta cheese
-2 1/2 cups of Italian turkey or chicken sausage ( I use the Fit and Active brand at Aldi’s)
-1 spaghetti squash (cooked)
-2/3 cup mozzarella cheese
-1 1/2 cups homemade tomato sauce (I use a family recipe or the one in the Fixate cookbook)

To cook the squash:

-I place mine on a cookie sheet and bake for about 55 minutes at 400 degrees. I literally do nothing to the squash other than plop it on the cookie sheet.

***Sidenote….Aldi’s presently has squash on sale for about $1.29 each! Stock up!

While squash is cooking:

-Brown the sausage (make sure to remove the casing….what a fun, slimy, gross job) and spray a casserole dish.

Once you remove the squash from the oven, set it to 375 (the temp for baking the lasagna). Cut the squash in half, remove those blasted seeds, and use a fork to remove the “spaghetti”.

Then break out your inner Italian and assemble the lasagna in the casserole dish as follows:

– Spoon about 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish
-Place spaghetti squash on top of sauce
-Add the sausage (make sure it is drained…no one likes that extra grease)
-Add 1/4 cup sauce, then 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese
-Spread ricotta
-Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella

Bake for about 15 minutes at 375.

So freaking good!

That’s it! Super easy, and it is absolutely delicious! You can change this up if you want…maybe you don’t want the meat; you can go without. Pair it with a nice salad, and your Italian heart can be happy.

21 Day Fixers, one portion of this is equivalent to ONE GREEN, ONE AND A HALF RED, HALF A BLUE, and ONE THIRD OF A PURPLE.

Don’t be a squash snob…..spaghetti squash is so versatile. And with this recipe the Italian in you doesn’t have to feel guilty about lasagna!

Enjoy, my fellow health conscientious Italians!

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Cheesecake for Eeeeerrrryyyyyyyyybody!

Things we should know about me by now:

-I like to eat healthy.

-I like to meal plan.

If you are a Life is Katetastic blog regular, you know that this is a very important part of my weekly routine and equally serves as part of the success I have found with losing weight and feeling better overall. From time to time I share my meal plan for the week with my Facebook followers, and usually it sparks at least one person asking for a particular recipe. This week I began the 21 Day Fix with a new batch of Fix challengers and wanted to show how diverse your meal plan can be while eating healthy……and, as usual, had some requests for some of the recipes. I figured I would share two of my favorites so you can spice up your meal plan next week! Here’s a look at my complete plan for the current week:

Don't think eating healthy is boring. I assure you, in my world, it's not.

Don’t think eating healthy is boring. I assure you, in my world, it’s not.

A few weeks ago I, like a million or so others, purchased the newly released Fixate cookbook, a cookbook created by Fix created Autumn Calabrese that shares 101 recipes. This week I made a few of the recipes and have to share with you one of my favorites to date….ladies and gentleman, let’s talk Caprese Chicken.

(Let me preface this by saying the Italian part of me generally gravitates to the Italian dishes….I can’t help it!)

CAPRESE CHICKEN

Ingredients Needed:

-Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

-2 tsp pesto sauce

-Large tomato

-Fresh Mozzarella

-Balsamic Vinegar

-Pepper and Salt

-Fresh Basil Leaves

I prepared my chicken on a stovetop griddle….it is just easier, plus it allowed me to prepare everything else to save me some time. You could use a grill or even bake it if you prefer. Tip: I always opt for a coconut oil cooking spray for a healthier prep option. 

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Here’s a little secret…I prefer Roma tomatoes aka maters over those big guys….not sure why, but find a mater you like and use that. Cut the mater up into slices, and cut the fresh mozzarella up, too!

Once your chicken is completely cooked, top chicken (while on your grill/griddler/whatever) with a spoonful of pesto sauce, a slice of tomato, some fresh basil leaves, and a slice of mozzarella. Cover and cook at a reduced setting for a few minutes until the maters are soft and the cheese is melted. Then plate!

Here’s how I plate: a spoonful of pesto on the plate, a splash of balsamic vinegar, the heavenly chicken breast, then some fresh basil on top. Doesn’t it look fab? I like serving it with spaghetti squash.

Seriously, so easy and delicious. My fix friends, this is one red, 1/2 green, one blue, and one teaspoon.

A+ from Kyle.

A+ from Kyle.

 

Another item on my meal plan that always seems to catch people’s attention is cheesecake. Yes, I have found a way to eat cheesecake on a healthy eating plan. Best part? Super simple!

Katie’s Fix Approved Cheesecake

-Ricotta Cheese

-Splash of vanilla extract

-dash of cinnamon

-Squirt of honey (the natural healthy kind)

-Strawberries

Mix up everything (minus the berries), then top with them. You could also use peaches or cherries, whatever you want. I usually mix it up in my red container (that’s what the ricotta is) to save on a dish and keep me on track.

Easiest dinner life hack.

Easiest dessert life hack.

There you go, folks….a healthy dinner and dessert/snack idea to add to your meal plan.

I like food. I like food a lot. Know what else I like? Sharing these healthy and delicious recipes with you so you can still have an exciting and amazing meal without feeling bored or disappointed. I think many people avoid eating healthy because they think all you eat is veggies and water……not the case at all, my friends.

Those of you who haven’t purchased this yet, get it…..especially all of my fixers!

Life is too short to eat boring. Enjoy!

Pie, Cake, OMG!

Pie, Cake, OMG!

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