Maple Almond Chia Shakeology Balls

Shakeology Balls

Shakeology balls are my weakness lately.  They start out as such a healthy snack choice, and then about 450 balls later, healthy has flown out the window, never to return.  I’m determined to be able to keep these craving busters around my house, and be able to eat them responsibly.  And, by responsibly, I obviously mean 1-2 per day, compared to 35.

I was in the grocery store for something else, and I ended up finding this really cool almond butter.  No secrets about it, almond butta ain’t cheap, but when I spotted this Barney Butter Raw Almond + Chia I was tempted to step outside my Plain Jane comfort zone.  This recipe is what happened next…

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Ingredients

1 1/4c gluten free oats
1c almond chia butter
1/2c dark chocolate chips
1/3c honey and pure maple syrup
1 packet or scoop of vanilla Shakeology

There isn’t an easier snack to mix up.  Pinky swear.

Directions

1. Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl

*Tip for getting your honey & maple syrup out of the measuring cup: Take a little bit of coconut oil (liquid or solid, doesn’t matter), and smear it on the inside of your measuring cup before adding the sticky stuff.  You watch.  No mess.  Everything will pour right out in to your mixing bowl.  You’re welcome.

Almond Chia Ingredients

2. Mix ingredients together using a large spoon and/or clean hands.  Mix the dough until all ingredients are combined, and you’ve got something that looks like a cross between chocolate chip cookie dough and granola.  Bottom line?  You shouldn’t have lots of oats left over at the bottom of the bowl.

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3. Using your hands, form ping pong sized balls.  Line a plastic food container with parchment paper, and you should be able to store approximately 16-18 snack balls per recipe.

Personally, I keep my shakeology balls in the freezer.  I wish I could tell you that I keep them there because they last so long at my house that they might spoil if left in the fridge, but that’s definitely not the case.  They just take a few minutes to thaw, though, and they’re perfect to grab & go!

– Keegan

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3 Day Quick Fix Baked Oatmeal

3-Day Quick Fix Oatmeal

I’m a breakfast on the fly kind of girl, so when I was trying to make the 3 Day Quick Fix meal plan work for me, I had to shake up the oatmeal and egg whites breakfast just a little bit.

The 3 Day Quick Fix is an event prep meal plan included as part of the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan.  The Quick Fix helps you lock down your nutrition so you feel extra lean and toned, just in time to rock your favorite LBD or polka dot bikini.  Fellas, there’s a Quick Fix option for you, too.  So you can rock your favoritie, umm…speedo?

The jist of the Quick Fix is to keep your nutrition squeaky clean for 3 whole days prior to your big event.  What exactly does that mean?  It means lots of lean protein, like chicken, white fish, and ground turkey paired with steamed veggies and the occasional complex carbohydrate.  The coolest thing about the Quick Fix?  I crushed-no, more like clobbered- my workouts while following this nutrition plan.

Okay…back to breakfast.  The plan calls for oatmeal and egg whites.  Since I prep my meals on Sundays for the entire week, I needed something I could make ahead, and I wasn’t really feeling reheated egg whites.  Woof.  Here’s what I did instead.

3 Day Quick Fix Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1.5c Steel Cut Oats
  • 12 Egg Whites
  • Zest of 1 Orange or Lemon
  • 2T Coconut Oil
  • 2tsp Cinnamon
  • 2tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 4c Water
  • 1 packet Stevia

Here’s whatcha do…

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Add your steel cut oats to a large mixing bowl.

 3 Day Quick Fix Oatmeal

3. Using a microplane, grate the zest of one orange or lemon.  Make sure you don’t accidentally get any of the white “pith” along with your citrusy zest, because it will make your oats bitter instead of fruity.

 3 Day Quick Fix Oatmeal Flavorings

4. Add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon (Pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg would work here, too!)

 3 Day Quick Fix Oatmeal

5. Pour 4c of water in to the mixing bowl with your oats and flavoring.  Then you can go ahead and add your vanilla extract. 

6. Next, you’re going to get your hands a little messy.  It’s time to separate 12-Yes, you read that right.  That’s an entire dozen- egg whites.  Toss the yolks and shells.  Keep your whites in a liquid measuring cup.

*Why so many egg whites?  Autumn Calabrese, the creator of the 21 Day Fix program, states that approximately 4 egg whites are equivalent to 1 red container.  Each breakfast on the 3 Day Quick Fix calls for 1 red container of egg whites.

7. You’re going to have to lightly beat the egg whites before adding them to the oats.  Then go ahead and gently pour the whites into your mixing bowl.  Using a whisk, gently combine all the ingredients. 

8. Scoop 1T of extra virgin coconut oil and schmere (We believe in very technical culinary terms here at NGU Krew) it on the bottom of a large glass baking dish.  I use a 9×13 dish, but the size isn’t really that important.  Place the dish in your oven for 1-2 minutes, until the coconut oil is melted.  Grab your pot holders and swirl the melted coconut oil along the bottom and sides of the dish.  Trust me on this one.  You’ll be thanking me at clean up time!

9. Give your oatmeal mixture one last whisk, pour everything into the baking dish, and put that bad boy in the oven.

10. It’s going to take about 45-50 minutes until everything is set and the oatmealy-goodness has reached it’s prime.  However-and this is a big however- unless you’re looking for an oatmeal on the bottom, scrambled egg on the top casserole, you MUST open the oven about every 10 minutes and give everything another whisk.  The oats are dense and the whites are light, so they’ll separate while cooking if you don’t keep them in line.

With about 5 minutes left, sprinkle a light dusting of stevia over the top of the oatmeal bake.

3 Day Quick Fix Oatmeal 

To prep for your 3 Day Quick Fix, all you have to do is measure out 1 yellow and 1 red of the oatmeal bake for each day.  Add 1tsp of coconut oil, a shake of extra cinnamon, and one last sprinkle of stevia, and you’ll be set to grab and go while your Quick Fix-ing.

 3 Day Quick Fix Oatmeal Serving

This baked oatmeal has been a life saver for me since I’m out the door at 6:00 most mornings.  I have an hour commute, and try to get my sweat on before sun up, so I don’t have time to be messing around with the frying pan before work.  Stick your pre-portioned servings in the microwave for 2 minutes and out the door you go!


-Keegan

Quinoa Stuffed Pepper Pumpkins

Pumpkin Stuffed Peppers

I’m a huge fan of Halloween. Like big time. If it was socially acceptable for a 30-year-old to dress up and go trick-or-treating, I probably would. Not for the candy so much as the nostalgia.

I love being festive and healthy at the same time, so in the spirit of Halloween, I whipped up this fun Stuffed Pepper Pumpkins recipe for dinner. I saw the photos for this recipe on Pinterest and fell in love. Things with faces get me every time.

Instead of making the traditional stuffed pepper filling with ground beef and rice, I switched it up and used quinoa and ground turkey. Less fat and more protein – thumbs up!

I whipped up the filling and meticulously carved the little pumpkin faces into each of the orange bell peppers with a paring knife. For the record, carving a face in a bell pepper is way harder than it might seem, but if I can do it, anyone can. My knife was just gliding through the skin and I may have lost a few pumpkin teeth that I was trying to create.

Here’s what they looked like after baking for about 35-40 minutes:

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If you want to whip these up for Halloween or even as a tasty family dinner any time (with or without the faces), here’s the recipe:

Quinoa Stuffed Pepper Pumpkins

Ingredients:

  • 4 orange bell peppers
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded part skim mozzarella cheese (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Wash your orange bell peppers and cut off the tops around the stem – kinda like a pumpkin. With your fingers, pull out the membranes and seeds from inside the peppers. Carve your fun jack-o-lantern faces into the front of your peppers.

3. Brown your ground turkey in a pan. When it’s ready, remove it from the pan and set aside.

4. Add the olive oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add your onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook until the onions start to become translucent. Add your spinach and cook until the pieces are wilted.

5. Add the ground turkey and cooked quinoa into the veggie mixture (I cooked my quinoa in low sodium chicken broth for extra flavor).

6. Pour the can of tomato sauce on top of the mixture, sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired, and stir until everything is combined.

7. Using a spoon, fill your orange bell pepper pumpkins with the mixture and place them in a baking dish. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the peppers are tender.

8. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and pop them back into the oven uncovered for a few minutes until the cheese is nice and melty.
Note: If you don’t dig quinoa or any of the veggies listed feel free to swap them. Instead of quinoa you can use brown rice. If you aren’t a mushroom fan, you can go for carrots or celery. Make it your own spooktacular creation.

Enjoy!!!

– Dana