Tag Archives: recipes

Clean Orange Chicken Quinoa Stir Fry

Day one of my What’s Beautiful challenge and I’ve already increased my weight in close-grip bench press from 75 lbs to 85 lbs and my dips from 8 reps to 11 reps per set…I don’t know if my triceps were feeling extra good or something but today they were doing WORK.

I also accomplished something that has to do with the “balance” challenge I have for myself. Usually after my workout, I rush home to prepare my post-post workout meal at least an hour after my protein shake. If I don’t get the carbs in that time frame, I get anxious and nervous that my muscles will have lost that optimum carb/protein intake time frame for muscle growth. Today, I took my time. Instead of going home immediately, I went next door to Whole Foods to buy some of those Japanese yams I love so much. And then, instead of going home after that, I knew I had a lot more grocery shopping to do so I went to my next grocery stop, and finished the rest of my  shopping. By the time I got home, instead of whipping up something fast, I decided to put on some music and make a new recipe I’ve had on my to-do list for awhile. Usually when I cook recipes for my website it takes about an hour, with plenty of dishes to do, veggies to cut and lots of loving care:) Regardless of the mess and time it would take, I decided to go for it. So an hour later after making this delicious meal, I finally got those post-post workout carbs in and it was at least 2 hours after my workout. I’m so proud of myself for listening to my body, relaxing and enjoying cooking stress-free.

Now, on to the recipe. Step by step directions are at the bottom but I’m thinking we should look at some pictures first. Chyes? I think so.

2013-05-13 00.58.47 The orange extract, looking as lovely as ever.

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The ground cloves, doing a little mixing and mingling.

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The chicken, hot and sizzlin.

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The quinoa, fluffy and luscious.

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Oh heyyy chicken, you lookin gooood.

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Just a little love makin.

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B-E-A-utiful colours.

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The final masterpiece.

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A little extra orange squeezed on top…just for additional perfection.

2013-05-13 01.34.08AND PLENTY OF LEFTOVERS!

Orange Chicken Quinoa Stir Fry
(**paleo, serves 3-4)
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Ingredients for the orange chicken:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into small pieces
2 tbs orange extract
1/3 cup water
a dash of ground cloves
a dash of cinnamon (a big dash!)
1-2 packets of Stevia depending on how sweet you like it

Ingredients for the stir fry:
1 cup quinoa
Thinly sliced carrots
Mushrooms, chopped
Broccoli
Chopped onions
Sugar snap peas
Red pepper slices
1 orange (optional)

**I’m sorry I don’t have the measurements for the veggies. Just add accordingly to the number of mouths you need to feed! I would start with 1/3 cup for each veggie and add more of what you like the most!

Directions:
On a nonstick skillet, place the chicken strips on medium to high heat. Mix all of the other “orange chicken” ingredients in a small bowl and pour the mixture on the chicken (you could also marinate the chicken beforehand if you want more intense flavor but I thought it was awesome as is). Prepare the quinoa by boiling 2 cups of water with the 1 cup of quinoa. After about 15 minutes (time varies) the quinoa should be fluffy and cooked through. When the chicken is cooked through, add the chicken to the pan with the quinoa but try to keep as much of the marinade inside of the pan. Add as many veggies as you would like into the pan with an additional spoonful of coconut oil if needed! Saute the veggies and then add them to the pan with the chicken and quinoa. Serve hot with a few additional orange slices or get more creative by adding avocado slices, bragg’s liquid aminos or some toasted almond slivers.

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Curry Burgers

curryburgers

Buying 8 pounds of longhorn was a marvelous idea. Now, when I’m feelin like some lean red meat, all I do is mix them with different spices and make major muscle-building burgers. And they taste pretty fantastic. I found an Indian-inspired seasoning in Practical Paleo and then mixed in my own ingredients to make these burgers. Hope you give it a go!

Curry Burgers (makes 4 patties)

Ingredients:
1 pound lean beef
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 T curry
1/2 T paprika
1/2 T cinnamon
Dash of sea salt and pepper

Directions:
Mix it all in a bowl and cook on medium-high heat for about 4 minutes on each side. I like mine a little pink in the middle but if you want it cooked through more, feel free to leave it on the stove a bit longer. Serve with a side salad and enjoy!

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Note to self- time to step up my photography game. Need some new plates and place mats:)

Red Velvet Protein Pancakes

My favourite kind of cake is red velvet. One of my new favourite veggies is beets. So why not make some protein pancakes, my favourite food, to look like my favourite cake and taste like my favourite veggie? BOOM.

So I bought some beets (canned, since I was in a hurry) and whipped up these bad boys when I should have been studying for my exam this Wednesday. Food always wins.

These pancakes serve one and they don’t exactly turn out the way tradition pancakes do. They are extremely moist and almost mousse like in the middle. Or actually, I’d compare it to a bread pudding texture. Not very flour-like but extremely delicious. Just make sure they cook for a decent amount of time on the first side before flipping.

redvelvetpp

Ingredients:
½ cup beets
½ cup liquid egg whites
½ scoop vanilla protein powder
1 T coconut flour
2.5 oz mashed sweet potato
Cinnamon (generous amount)
Pumpkin pie spice (generous amount)
Dash of salt
Coconut oil

Directions:
Mix everything except for the coconut oil in a blender or food processor until it’s reached a thick batter consistency. Melt a dollop of coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and pour on the batter. This batter took awhile to cook and it was still pretty soft when I flipped it, so make sure you don’t flip too early. Once it starts to bubble, it’s usually about ready to flip.

This made 2 medium sized pancakes for me:) Top with fruit, more beets, honey, nut butter, nuts, or anything else that may sound good! Just be sure to enjoy every last bite. This recipe is a keeper.

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Strawberry Protein Mug Cake

What makes me happy you ask?

Purses? No.
Chick flicks? No.
Celebrity gossip? Heck no.
Getting my toes done? Okay…sometimes.
Clothes shopping? NO.

But I do get excited over personal records in the gym, shiny new Tupperware, gym bags, neon workout tanks, bulk cooking, 7 a.m breakfasts, clean eating, finding a spare tuna package in my purse, chicken discounts and most of all……NEW PROTEIN.

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I’ve been dying to get a hold of some strawberry protein lately and I landed with Gaspari. I’ve been through Optimum Nutrition, Body Tech, V-core, Dymatize Elite and a few others, but none of them have really stuck with me. I’m looking for a brand I can be loyal too so I’m trying out some Gaspari. I’ve been a fan of the company for quite some time now, I just never got around to purchasing their products. Silly me. I now have 3 things of whey, even though 2 of them are dangerously close to their end.

Tonight for my last meal I decided I wanted cake. Strawberry cake. And protein. So what did I do? Made a strawberry protein cake of course.

But I’m lazy…so I resorted to the microwave. Which turned out the be a brilliant idea.

strawberrymugcake

Ingredients for cake:
1 scoop Myofusion strawberries and cream whey
1 T egg whites
1/3 cup almond milk
1/2 T flax seed
1/2 packet Stevia

Ingredients for icing:
2 T chocolate whey
1/2 T Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
3-4 T almond milk (depends on how you want the consistency)

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients for the cake in a mug and put in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Be careful to make sure it doesn’t spill over! Once done, turn over the mug on a plate and let the cake cool for a second while you make your icing. Simply mix the icing ingredients together in the mug you just used, and pour it on top the cake! I put a strawberry one top but you could use Greek yogurt, berries, nut butter or raisins! Go cuhrazy!

When you have a tasty protein powder, there is simply no need for a greasy, tummy-ache creating cheat meal.

Butternut Squash Quinoa

butternutsquashquinoa

It’s both St. Patrick’s Day AND leg day. So that just means one thing. Breakfast must be big….and kinda green. I woke up not really knowing what my paleo-loving tummy was in the mood for so I reached for a couple of my favourite carbs and one of my favourite proteins to create this fast dish (this is lower in protein so feel free to add more eggs!).

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butternut squash (I’ve been using frozen Archer Farms squash from Target for convenience)
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 egg
Spinach or kale
Garlic or garlic powder (I used both)
Paprika
Cumin (cause I’m weird)
Salt/Pepper

Directions:
Heat up or cook the butternut squash (skillet would probably be best but I used the microwave since mine was frozen a bag) and the quinoa. At the same time, saute the spinach or kale in a nonstick skillet with garlic and either olive oil or water (I prefer water when I saute my greens). Once spinach is done, set aside and fry your egg in the pan. Again, I don’t use any kinds of oils, I just make sure the pan is coated with nonstick spray. When the butternut squash is done, put it on a plate and spice it up with whatever you like! I used paprika, cumin, pepper and a little bit of salt. Once the quinoa is prepared, put it on top of the butternut squash and layer on the spinach as well. Season more to your liking and then top with a delicious runny egg!

Other awesome ideas for toppings would be: walnuts, avocado and/or shallots. YUM!

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I’ve been feeding myself pretty well the past few days. Lots of taters, veggies, eggs and protein. A few trips here and there to Whole Foods as well, considering it’s across from a music venue and that’s the place to be during SXSW. Yesterday, Ra Ra Riot was playing a show and I could hear them from Whole Foods, sitting under the sun while chowing on a turkey and kale salad. Mmmmm.

Time to catch up on all the school work I neglected over spring break. Happy Paddy’s Day y’all!

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Butternut Squash Spinach Salad

butternutsalad

How many of you are obsessed with the grill station at Whole Foods? One of my all time favourite go-to meals is their prepared salmon, sweet potato fries and broccoli. It’s so fresh and delicious…but during the winter, there’s a new side in town that knocks all the other ones OUT of the water. Have you ever had their butternut squash salad with spinach and craisins? I don’t know if it’s just me but I literally crave this combination now that I’ve had it a few times. I finally decided to make it myself before the winter squashes are totally “last season.” It was surprisingly easy once I learned the proper way to slice and dice those blasted butternut squashes.
2013-03-02 02.19.42Peel first, next cut, then scoop out the seeds. I saved half of it for a future “butternut porridge” I want to create but the rest of it I cubed up.
2013-03-02 02.33.42Drizzle them up with a little olive oil and maple syrup. You can also add some spices but I just couldn’t think of what to use for this already-so-flavorful dish!
2013-03-02 02.55.11Craisins. The ever popular cranberry raisin. Good for you? Heck I don’t know. But I do know I love them. And that’s what matters here- right?

Anyways, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:
1//2 butternut squash, peeled and diced
1/2 cup craisins
2 cups spinach
2 T olive oil
1 T pure maple syrup

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once you’ve peeled, de-seeded and diced your butternut squash, disperse them on a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil and maple syrup on top of the butternut squash cubes and place the dish inside of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until soft. Add the craisins in the dish and stick it back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Saute the spinach in a skillet (or heat it in the microwave if you so desire) and mix it into the butternut squash once it’s done. Serve hot with dinner or enjoy it after it’s been chilled in the fridge for a few hours! Either way I guarantee it’s going to please your pallet! 🙂
2013-03-02 03.09.44MMMMMMM. So easy but so delicious.

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And yes, I almost created my Whole Foods go-to meal. Everything but the broccoli…which is fine by me. It was only 3:30…too early for broccoli, duh. Rosemary salmon and butternut squash hits the spot, every time.

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WIAW and Getting LASIK!

Happy Wednesday everybody! Chances are right now as you’re reading this, I’m either in the midst of getting my LASIK surgery or I’m at home, face down on the bed sleeping away the post-op eye irritation. I’m writing this Tuesday night, filled with lots of excitement, anxiety and curiosity. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the procedure, but I’ve also had to sign a million consent forms and listen to a ton of “there are no guarantees” speeches. But hey- this is my LAST day of my entire life to have -8.5 vision…..that’s 11 years of contacts and 19 years of glasses DONE. I’m so excited and couldn’t be more grateful to my awesome parents for providing me with this glorious graduation present!

In other news- lots of great things have been going on in my life the past few days. I am now a member of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, I may be getting sponsored, I have seen GREAT improvements in my muscle growth, I think I’ll be attending PaleoFX after all (as a volunteer!) and of course I’m getting perfect vision (I can’t stop saying it!!) It’s funny because literally just yesterday morning I kept dwelling on all the bad things going on in my life and now I’m realizing I have nothing to complain about. Though school is stressing me out to no end, it will pass and I will soon be done and DONE. While I was rolling around in my own self-pity I decided to venture over to Pinterest to look at the quote board….I always do this when I’m in the dumps and seriously it’s always helped me.
I’m pleased to say that the very first picture I saw is the one I needed to see the most.
ab9499bf1766f1adb8b4a366b4c6e2c9Sometimes, like everybody else, I have a hard time moving on from things. So often I try to avoid change because I fear what is coming next. I fear it won’t be as amazing as what I previously had….and that there’s no way it could possibly be better. I’m scared to let go of the experiences I had, the goals I once achieved, the memories I made because the future is so unclear. Memories are great because we can look back and smile on things, but we can’t do that with the future because it hasn’t happened yet. This is where I have to learn to trust and have faith. Wherever I am in life is exactly where God wants me to be. Whatever great things I have lived through, I WILL experience again…and EVEN BETTER! It’s hard to believe it, but life does go on and great things constantly happen without having to force them. And that’s a beautiful thing. So I’m learning to relax, let go and get ready for whatever lies in the future…trusting that it will be great:)

Anyways, back to the less inspirational segment but something slightly more fun FOOD! Here are my WIAW eats! **warning….pictures aren’t the best quality this time around!

Preworkout– pear slices, 3 hard-boiled eggs and 1 Applegate chicken sausage

image-31PWOSweet Potato Pancake with sugar free syrup and a dollop of almond butter! (pancake made with 6 oz sweet potato, 1/2 cup egg whites, 1 scoop vanilla whey, 1 tsp baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and stevia)
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Meal 3– Crumbled turkey burger, orange bell peppers, mushrooms, 1/2 avocado, spinach and balsamic vinegar!

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Meal 4– A random concoction of egg whites, 1/2 cup beef, mushrooms, bell peppers (sauteed in coconut oil) and seasoned with paprika, pepper and cumin!
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Meal 5– This was out of character for me because I usually don’t eat carbs at night, especially bananas, but I was CRAVING one like crazy. So I made another protein pancake, but this one just with 1 bananas, egg whites and whey. Super simple but delicious! Also another side of chicken sausage:))
image-33It’s slightly burnt but I’m one of those weird people that like the taste of lightly burnt food.

Meal 6– I wasn’t feeling very creative so I just munched on a can of salmon in water with a little Dijon mustard:))

And just as an added bonus here is my back/bis workout for tuesday- it KILLED ME! Doesn’t look like much but honestly, when you decrease the rep range from 12 to 8 and increase the weights by at LEAST 10 pounds….it’s intense. I did a total of 25 reps of 55 lb barbell curls, 8 with a 60 and 4 with 65. I was so proud:)
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