Sunday, September 30, 2018

Clean Eating Slow Cooker Pork Ragout Recipe

This clean eating slow cooker pork ragout is absolute comfort food.

A while back, I asked people to tell me what recipes they’d like to see on my blog. Pork Ragout was one of the many, many… Read more →

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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Beautycounter “Starter” Product Recommendations

love that I’ve received so many questions from followers about Beautycounter – specifically products for those of you who are just getting started with the brand. Beautycounter has A LOT to offer, but instead of overwhelming you with one million products recommendations, I’m going to share my top “starter” products (as well as personal favorites) with you.

Let’s start with skin care. The combination of these products below makes for an amazing starter skin care routine. The 3 products that I always recommend to newbie clients are:

For anti-aging, I personally love the Rejuvenating Radiance Serum and have had great results using it. (The whole Rejuvenating Collection is awesome, but if I had to choose just one product to start with, it’d be the serum.) However, the Overnight Resurfacing Peel is another anti-aging product that clients are seriously loving. I JUST ordered it last week, but I’ve only heard GREAT things about it, and I’m excited to give it a whirl myself. I’ll be sure to report back! 🙂 I also use the Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream before bed and love how my skin looks in the morning!

For make-up, I’m in love with the Dew Skin and recommend it to everyone – even family and friends in real life. I’m obsessed with it and just keep buy tubes of it – thankfully, it’s 25% off as a consultant! 😉 The Dew Skin has light coverage, SPF 20, and a little bit of moisture, so, most of the time, I don’t even bother with a separate moisturizer. It’s such a phenomenal hassle-free product!

If you have specific skin care concerns (i.e. acne, pigment, dryness) or interested in learning about other Beautycounter products, please let me know. I’m more than happy to get more specific with my recommendations. Just send me an email at tinabeautycounter@gmail.com your questions or concerns!

P.S. If you’re interested in staying in the loop about Beautycounter promos and sales, be sure to sign up for my Beautycounter newsletter!

The post Beautycounter “Starter” Product Recommendations appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.



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Friday, September 28, 2018

Your Most Efficient Kitchen

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron

Are you one of those people who leaves the kitchen looking like a tornado came through when dinner comes to the table? Or are you a clean-as-you-go type? You can imagine where I’m going with this 🙂 I try to be as efficient and neat in the kitchen as possible (sometimes to a fault!) Since my life is going to change a lot when the baby comes, efficiency will be more important than ever.

Below are some of the strategies that keep my kitchen as efficient as can be.

1 // Let Blue Apron Do Your Planning And Shopping

With Blue Apron, efficiency starts before you even think about your meal plan for the week because their team does your meal planning, grocery shopping and ingredient measuring for you. This is my number one favorite thing about Blue Apron meals weeks! While we do still fit in a grocery store trip in person for staples, this trip in itself is a lot more efficient because we’re only buying the things we need for every week: milk, coffee, fruit, lunch staples, bread. It’s a quick in-and-out trip.

Also, Blue Apron allows you to make really special and delicious dinners without having to set aside hours at night for ingredient prep and cooking. They always source in season, fresh ingredients and put together unique flavor combos in their recipes.

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All of their meals can be prepared in 40 minutes and many take as little as 20 minutes total which is lighting fast.  I have been loving that they are including more and more quick recipes, because – at least for the forseeable future – I do not have much free time to spend in the kitchen!

If you want to try Blue Apron, the 50 readers to sign up with from this link will get $50 off their first two weeks of meals!

2 // Batch Your Cooking During the Week

This year I’ve been batching cooking my Blue Apron recipes much like I would do a mini prep day. I will choose a night or day time while Mazen is in school when I know I have more time and cut up all the veggies for the week, prepare any grains that can be pre-cooked, and use my nice All-Clad skillet as many times as I can! While you always want to be mindful of raw meat contamination (and use a separate board or wash thoroughly before and after) there’s nothing wrong with not totally washing a stock pot in-between cooking rice and pasta. The same goes for your garlic press and chef’s knife. If you’re sticking to all produce, use it 100 times before washing it instead of washing it each night. So save yourself the cleaning time by cooking as much as you can on the same day!

3 // Watch Out for Your Spoons! 

Another favorite tip of mine: NEVER rest your spoon on the counter! The worst kind of counters to clean at the end of the day are those covered in multiple gunky spots of dried sauces and oils. Crumbs are not so much of a big deal. I always find something to balance my spoon on, whether that’s a bowl or the pot itself (depending on the heat). Sometimes even resting it over the edge of the sink allows the drips to fall in and keeps the counters clean.

4 // Select Recipes That Will Get Even Better with Time!

I generally make anything in advance that will develop flavor over time to save for the following night and make the fresher meat recipes first. This week I made Seared Chicken in Coconut-Peach Broth with Bok Choy and Jasmine Rice and Cavatelli & Shrimp with Vegetables. The coconut broth was SO good the next day after the flavors had really developed overnight.

We ate the cavatelli fresh that night (plus some leftovers for lunch the next day!) The two dishes had complementary flavors, so I didn’t even bother to wash my pot between recipes.

His, hers, and little’s!

One of my favorite feelings is coming home at night and knowing that you have a made-from-scratch meal ready to heat and eat.

“Thank you, past self!” -Future Self.

Blue Apron has always been great for inspiring home chefs with unique recipes and new ingredients. If making dinner in the past has felt intimidating or too draining for a weeknight , now is the time to try out some of their 20 minutes recipes to simplify your life and make mealtime as convenient as possible! Click through to get $50 off. 

Thanks to Blue Apron for keeping our kitchen as efficient as possible and sponsoring this post! 



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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Ditching the Diet Mentality

I bet that if you’re reading this, you’ve been on some form of a self-prescribed “diet” at one point or another, as I have. In fact, going on a “diet” was part of my routine for a number of years. I’d usually restrict my eating in some form for a few weeks or months, sometimes in preparation for a special event or “bikini season,” and once I’d reached my goal weight I’d resume normal eating (or even go a little overboard due to the restriction) and gain the weight back – and then do it all again a few months later.

I’m sure that many of you guys can relate, and, sadly, it’s not even remotely surprising. We’ve literally been conditioned as a society to accept dieting and diet culture as normalcy, a part of everyday life. But what does the word “diet” even mean, at its very core definition? To find out, I turned to good ol’ Merriam-Webster:

a: food and drink regularly provided or consumed
b : habitual nourishment
c : the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason
d : a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight going on a diet

Hmm… the last one kind of hits home, doesn’t it? Eating and drinking sparingly to reduce one’s weight. Ugh. Eating less and simultaneously being less – a hallmark of today’s standard diet structure – from low-carb to low-fat and everything in between. For example, just think of all those magazine covers that promise miracle diet results in [insert unrealistic amount of time]. Thankfully, I do believe we’ve made some progress in the healthy living community in terms of removing the word diet from our vocabulary and embracing what we eat and staying active as an overall lifestyle change, not something temporary – but despite the progress, the diet mentality still often remains.

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You guys know what I’m talking about: that non-stop tracker you’ve got going in the back of your mind estimating calories or daily steps; the feeling that a workout didn’t count if you didn’t sweat enough (or at all); the anxiety you feel when an unexpected event comes up and the only food option available is something you wouldn’t normally eat. Maybe you aren’t counting calories religiously, but you are still generally anxious about food and exercise, and live more by the rules rather than by intuition. This, my friends, is proof that you don’t need to be on a diet to have a diet mentality.

So what can we do to eliminate this whole thought process that’s become so ingrained? Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you feel stressed out in situations where you will have less control over what you are able to eat (i.e. a party, food festival, dinner at a friend’s house, long travel day)?
  2. Do you only seek out the healthiest or “cleanest” food options without checking in with your intuition first to see if that particular food is what you really want to eat?
  3. Do you find yourself restricting without even thinking about it, such as automatically saying no to seconds, an extra snack, or dessert without checking in with yourself because you are afraid of going overboard?
  4. Do you feel general anxiety, shame or guilt when you’ve eaten “off plan”?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above, it sounds like you might still be trapped in diet culture and need to find a way out ASAP. Below are three three ways to ditch the diet mentality and get yourself back on track with food freedom and eating intuitively.

Break the rules – because there are no rules

Fat makes you fat! Sugar is the devil! Dairy should be avoided at all costs! And on and on it goes. In fact, I’m pretty sure you could Google any food or food group and find a dozen articles touting why it’s the worst thing on the planet for you and why eating it will wreak havoc on your body. It’s easy to say we should just eat intuitively, but many of us have been conditioned to adhere to the diet mentality since we were very young. Our hunger, fullness, and satiation cues are probably all out of whack. If you struggle with placing too much structure around what you eat, then intentionally plan to break those “rules.” For example, use Friday nights as a time to eat something you wouldn’t normally, something you’d consider not so great for you or an indulgence. I know that this is commonly called a “cheat” meal, but I don’t like the negative connotation it brings at all. Remember: There are no rules, so there’s no such thing as cheating. By doing so, you’re giving yourself permission to cut loose and let go of rigidity, more for the mental benefit and less the physical.

Instead of labeling foods, consider how they make you feel

One day, you eat a sandwich for lunch. It has bread, meat, cheese, and all sorts of veggies. After eating it, you feel energetic, satisfied, and generally great – except a sandwich is a “bad” meal choice. The next day, you eat a salad with all the fixings – and you’re tired, bloated, and feeling icky. But you continue to eat that same salad despite how crappy it makes you feel because it’s “good” for you. This is a classic example of food labeling and assigning our food morality. But food is just food, period. Repeat with me: Food is just food. Whether you eat the sandwich or the salad, it doesn’t change who you are as a person. That’s why we need to focus on how we feel, not the food itself. The only foods that should be avoided are the ones you don’t want to eat or make you feel like crap – and sometimes even the latter is worth the stomachache once in a while!

The diet mentality doesn’t just impact what we eat, it also impacts our relationships and overall mental and physical health. Think about it – how many times have we gone out to lunch with friends and subconsciously judged the person who got salmon and steamed veggies as “being healthy” and the person who got a burger and fries as “unhealthy” or “cheating”? More importantly, how often have we judged ourselves this way? Just like we need to stop assigning food morality, we need to stop labeling ourselves as behaving good or bad based on what we eat. 

Focus on the marathon, not the sprint

To truly ditch the diet mentality, you need to get rid of the “diet” completely. How do you do that? By focusing on a sustainable eating plan that work for you and your lifestyle. For example, the paleo diet might be great for some people and may work for a short period of time, but if it’s not manageable long-term then it’s totally ok to make modifications or find your own new way of eating all together. That’s why I’m such a proponent of counting macros! It allows for you to make your healthy eating plan work for you – with your lifestyle in mind. If an unexpected trip or event comes up, you can still stick fairly close to foods that make you feel great while allowing for life to happen – and trust me, it will happen. In addition, macros are a guideline that you can follow most of the time, not all the time (see above for no food rules). I love tracking macros and prepping macro-friendly meals, but there are definitely days where I just don’t track at all – either because I am busy living my life or because I just want a break. Sometimes we just need to follow our guts when it comes to food – literally!

I know I’ve said this before, but food and guilt are two things that should never be associated with each other. Unfortunately, keeping them separate is no small feat given the diet mindset we’ve been conditioned to accept as normal. The next time you feel yourself becoming a little too strict with your diet, remember that you can only do the best you can at any given moment. Trying to control every morsel of food you put into your mouth 24/7 will not only be detrimental to your willpower, it can also set you up for a binge and restrict cycle. Sometimes we have to consciously practice food freedom – I truly believe tracking macros can give you this freedom while providing balance in your diet at the same time. Once we make a habit of it, it will eventually become second nature – and, at the end of the day, I just want us all to be happy with our food choices.

Question of the Day

What’s the hardest part about ditching the diet mentality? 



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Testimonial: Years Of Symptoms Cured In 1 Week

Robb, you literally changed my life a few years ago.

I had been suffering for years from depression and bipolar disorder until I decided to do something about it and take care of my own health.

My journey to reading your Paleo Diet book started with omega-3 milk I had purchased at a grocery store. After drinking it for a few days, my head felt lighter, clearer than it had for a long while. I felt more energy, more motivation than I ever had in my short lifetime of 21 years at the time.

Feeling such immediate results without even expecting it, I discovered how important it is to lead a healthy lifestyle by getting rid of the junk (food).

I started researching omega-3s more, asked professors about the importance of fats in the diet, and finally searched for a good Paleo diet book to read more into the “perfect human diet.” And that is what led me to your Paleo Diet book.

After reading your book, I immediately changed my diet cold turkey.

The 100+ grams of refined sugars I used to consume in a day (yikes!) went to 0 g, and in about a week’s time of doing this I already felt better than I ever have in my entire life. I pursued this for months later, and saw the physical changes to my body: a leaner, more muscular frame (people even started asking me if I “had been going to the gym more lately” when I hadn’t changed my exercise routine at all!); and my friends noted that my skin and hair were “glowing” from the newfound health I had achieved.

Most importantly though, your book led me to overcome the depression and bipolar disorder symptoms I had been suffering from for YEARS. In just a month, my head was clearer and more stable than what it had been for years.

I will always admire your work and dedication to finding the most effective human diet for people like me. Your book has been one of the most impactful books I’ve ever read to this day, even 5 years after reading it.

Thank you so much for your achievement. Thank you so much for sharing your similar story and showing me that there is a way to overcome the “impossible”–mental disorders–without the need for unnatural medication. You rock! I’ll always be a fan of yours from afar.

Chloe Martianou



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Baby #2: The Hospital Bag and 5 Things I’m Doing To Get Ready For Birth

36 weeks along and baby could come sooner rather than later! My hospital bag is packed, and I thought I’d share with you what I am bringing along plus some things I’m doing to prepare for birth! Here’s the video version for optimal wordiness ( 🙂 ) and photos below for those of you who can’t watch the video. (FYI, you might have to turn off an adblocker to see it.)

 

To summarize what I’m packing, most of it is for after the birth! I know from doing this before at the same hospital that I don’t really need much to actually labor and have the baby. Here are the two posts I reference for packing my bag with Mazen (these posts were so helpful for me to reference this time around!): Packing The Hospital Bag and Hospital Bag Reflections.

Here’s a list of what’s in my bag this time around:

For Me

  • Day-after PJs and lightweight robe
  • Day 2 PJ bottoms and a more cozy robe/sweater in case it’s cold
  • 2 nursing tanks
  • 2 nursing shirts
  • My going-home outfit (leggings, nursing tank, wrap shirt)
  • THIN PADS (because no one wants to sit on a maxi!)
  • Nursing pads (because I had to wear these for a year last time)
  • Going-home granny underwear
  • Slippers + socks
  • 3 nursing bras (in case one gets leaked on, etc)
  • 1 going-home bra
  • Bathing suit top that I don’t think I’ll wear in the tub, but I might…
  • Nursing cover (for when visitors are around)
  • All toiletries I would need for a weekend away, including nice-smelling shampoo, make up and jewelry because I want to look nice!

For Baby

  • Day-after outfit that matches mine :mrgreen:
  • 2 other outfits for cuteness (I remember Mazen’s day after shirt was so big!)
  • 1 going-home outfit and hat
  • 2 swaddle/snuggle blankets (for cute pictures!)
  • One nice-looking burp cloth
  • Diaper bag for everything to go in

To Pack At The Last Minute

  • Car seat
  • Boppy
  • Home pillows x2
  • Wallet with ID and insurance card
  • iPhone chargers x2
  • Apple Watch charger
  • Macbook + charger
  • Kindles x2
  • Hair dryer (something I wished I’d had last time)

Am I missing anything?!

Leaving At Home This Time

  • Snacks and food
  • Pacis
  • Diapers
  • Baby mittens
  • Books
  • Speaker
  • Prenatal vitamins
  • Tablet
  • DSLR (iPhone photos FTW!)

On the planning front, I’m also doing a few things every day to get ready for birth.

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1 // Eating Dates!

Most often I have them on a spoon with peanut butter for a snack. This article (with links to research inside) has me convinced dates have magic powers. Plus, I love them!

2 // Drinking raspberry leaf tea

Raspberry leaf tea is supposed to tone the uterus muscles, shorten labor, and prevent excessive bleeding. I’m trying to have one or two cups per day. I make a big french press, add some honey, have one mug hot and then sip it cold the next few days. I like both the tea and dates, so I don’t really mind if they “work” or not. At the minimum, the placebo effect always helps!

3 // Working on a yoga ball

My friend Lynsie lent me her yoga ball so I can sit and rock around while I work at my desk. I’ve heard it’s good to keep your knees lower than your hips, and I try to move around more than if I were sitting immobile in a chair.

4 // Squatting and cat/cowing before bed

At bedtime I’m doing Malasana squat on a yoga block. I reached out to my Facebook mom’s group and borrowed two yoga blocks from another mom. I’m sitting on one each night for a few minutes. It’s my favorite pose we do in prenatal yoga, and I find it really relaxing and helpful for my low back too. It’s also good to get all those pelvic ligaments all loosened up! I’m also trying to do a handful of cat/cow stretches and pelvic circles on my bed each night before getting in. This all takes a total of 3-5 minutes, so it’s not a lot. Also I should add “staying active” as an assumed bullet to this list. Walking a little every day at the min!

5 // Prenatal yoga, chiropractic + massage

I’ve been doing all of these throughout my pregnancy, because I’m a big believer that if the body is aligned and limber, the delivery will go smoother. So I have appointments scheduled for these both in the next few weeks and I’m trying to make sure I get to at least one yoga class per week.

I’m also talking to the baby and making him feel safe and welcome, listening to birth stories, and watching Ina May Gaskin on You Tube! (I love her mantra “You’re gonna get huge!“)

Tell me some of the things you did to both physically and mentally prepare?



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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What I’m Loving Lately 123

Hi, guys! I hope you’re having a fabulous week!

If you haven’t signed up yet, I FINALLY created a weekly round-up email of recent CNC blog posts. Now you can get a recap of what happened on the blog delivered right to your inbox. It’s just one email per week! Just sign up here!

I like the Thursday edition of “What I’m Loving Lately”, so I think it’ll become a regular weekly feature. They’re fun for me to write and you guys really seem to enjoy them, so let’s keep ’em alive and publish them on Thursdays. Boom. Decision made! 🙂 That way, you still have a random blog post surprise coming to you on Fridays. I like that I can switch it up from week-to-week and keep you guys guessing! Haha!

Chocolate Donut Seasoning – One of my nutrition clients recently told me about this seasoning – and, of course, I had to order it immediately. Chocolate Donut Seasoning? What the what!?! I just received it the other day and, OMG, it’s incredible! I can see myself using this ALLTHETIME!!!

Meal timing and weight loss: Does it matter when you eat? – We all know that WHAT you eat can impact your weight and your overall health, but it seems that WHEN you eat can also play a role.

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Ripped High Waist Skinny Jeans – Heyyyy, $38 jeans. Sign me up! This pair is also $38 – I like the cutoff style!

Brooks Levitate 2 – How beautiful are these sneakers?!? I love, love, love the brightly-colored knit pattern. My friends from Brooks sent me the new Levitate 2 to try… and, boy, are they a comfy ride. They have neutral support with super springy DNA AMP cushioning and an overall lighter feel than some of my other Brooks sneakers. I’m definitely a fan! And, again, can we talk about how pretty they are!?

Flaxseed – Good or Bad? – Flaxseed is pretty controversial in the health community, so this was an interesting blog post.

Elbow Patch Stripped Shirt – I received a ton of questions about my stripped shirt with elbow patches, so I wanted to mention it again – as well as this similar stripped shirt, but it doesn’t have a hood.

Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream – I’ve started to use this sleeping cream as part of my evening skin care routine, and I’m in lovvveee. It’s a wonderful blend of hyaluronic acid, plum oil, and tara gum – all of which helps to replenish hydration and revitalize skin while you sleep. My skin definitely looks smoother, softer, and more radiant in the morning. If you’re in the market for a new night cream, I highly recommend THIS ONE!

Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowl – This oldie, but goodie recipe made a reappearance this week, and I don’t know HOW I forgot about it?! It’s so dang delicious!

Amazon Explore – Mal recently told me about Amazon Explore, and I’m seriously obsessed. It’s basically a cool curated space – everything from the best in women’s fashion and kitchen gadgets to finds for little kids and work space accessories. There are just so many fun products, gadgets, and more! There’s even a “picky eaters” sub section with so many great ideas! “Coffee, Books & Rain” pillow? Adorable.

Columbia Winter Wander Lined Full Zip – How cozy does this fleece look? It comes in 3 different colors, and i’s only $64 right now with free shipping! 

CAVA – I had my first CAVA experience this week, and it did not disappoint. Their menu is Mediterranean-inspired, and you customize your meal to fit your tastes preferences. It’s basically “build your own bowl,” and, my gosh, it’s delicious! There’s a new CAVA location at the Derby Street Shoppes, and I’m excited to partner with the brand in the coming months. Do you have a CAVA near you? We’re going to host a gift card giveaway, so keep your eyes peeled! Also, you can get $3 to spend at CAVA by signing up here!

A top Cornell food researcher has had 13 studies retracted – This article was super interesting!

Question of the Day

Have you ever tried CAVA? Thoughts? 

P.S. There’s only 3 days left to save on the Ultimate Detox System! Now through Sunday, September 30th, customers will enjoy $30 OFF the original retail price when they purchase an Ultimate Detox System – NOW just $160 per system, which is definitely expensive, but worth every penny. My annoying menstrual symptoms have been nearly non-existent since I started using it. I actually might purchase another one myself!

Additionally, I’ve received a ton of questions about my experience with CBD oil. I’m working on creating an email education series, so if you’re interested in learning more, please sign up here!



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Meal Prep High-Protein Italian Pasta Bake

We’re in full on back-to-school mode over here – and that also means we’re back on the meal-prep train. If summer is busy, I’m inclined to say fall is even busier. There’s something about the leaves beginning to change colors and the cooler mornings and nights that kind of spurs on the feeling of reset, especially when it comes to prioritizing healthy habits. But with mornings flying by in a crazy rush to get everyone out the door in (mostly) one piece and the rest of the day focused on work, work, work, all I want is our evenings to be full of rest, relaxation, and soaking up the gorgeous fall weather before winter arrives.

This means that dinner needs to be something I can get on the kitchen table in no time – and if I can prep it beforehand, even better! I’m always on the hunt for tasty meals that will last throughout the week, but don’t require a ton of effort. And as much as I love an amazing culinary experience as the next foodie – sometimes a gal just wants to EAT.

That’s why I absolutely rely on “staple” recipes such as this High-Protein Italian Pasta Bake. I’ve heard it from you guys time and again (and experienced it myself) – hitting your daily protein goal is hard with a capital H. Protein is an essential building block for our bodies, but can be difficult to fit enough in, especially if you’re super busy. It’s fairly easy to find on-the-go carb and fat-based snacks, but coming across a piece of grilled chicken at a convenience store is a bit harder (and, truthfully, not very appealing). That’s why I try to incorporate ways to bump up this super important macronutrient in traditionally lower-protein meals to get in extra servings.

You’re probably thinking that a pasta dish can’t possibly be considered high-protein, but believe me, this one is – clocking in at a whopping 32 grams per serving! It’s made with Banza’s high-protein and gluten-free chickpea-based pasta, which has an average of 25 grams of protein (compared to the standard 13 grams), almost 20% less carbs, and 10 more grams of fiber than standard pasta. Pair that with delicious ground beef and mozzarella cheese – and you’ve got a super easy and tasty way to hit your daily protein goals!

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This dish is ridiculously quick to prepare (literally throw all ingredients in the oven and bake for 10 minutes) and requires few ingredients – but you would never know it. It’s freaking delicious, nutritious, and tastes even better the next day – truly the best of both worlds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the best part? This recipe is not only great for weekday meal prep – it can both feed and please a crowd! Serve this at your next fall get-together. No one will believe how little time it took to whip up! Sneaky healthy game day eats, anyone?

While I love a beautifully prepared meal, sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. And if your days are anything like mine, then this super satisfying, healthy and protein-packed take on a classic is meant for you. Make things easier for yourself this season and nix the time spent slaving away in the kitchen! Wouldn’t you rather spend it enjoying all the fun fall activities, anyway?

Print

Meal Prep High-Protein Italian Pasta Bake

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces Banza pasta of choice
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup frozen chopped peppers and onions
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 tbsp Italian (or pizza) seasoning
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella

Instructions

Cook pasta as directed. Drain water and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon while it cooks. Once meat is fully cooked, add peppers and onions and pizza seasoning to skillet.

Once meat mixture is well-combined, transfer it to a large mixing bowl along with pasta, marinara sauce, and egg. Mix ingredients well.

Pour ingredients into a small rectangular (or square) baking dish and top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.

Serve immediately!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Fat: 16
  • Carbohydrates: 21
  • Protein: 32


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Brighten Up Eats

Nothin’ like a smoothie to brighten up a rainy day!

Sub-Zero Superfoods sent me a sample pack of their blend-at-home smoothies. They’re similar to Daily Harvest in that they put pre-portioned, superfood ingredients into a frozen cup delivered to your doorstep and you just add milk and blend when you’re ready to eat. They offer a great variety of options too – some with rice protein, low sugar, collagen for all you collagen peeps, bowls with granola included (that’s what I have above!) and some with greens. All have been tasty and on par with smoothies I’d get in a fancy smoothie shop.

I’ve obviously been on a total smoothie kick lately. Mazen loves the chocolate-peanut butter-banana combo so I make those for his breakfast the majority of the time. (Usually plus a slice of whole wheat toast.) He often only drinks half the smoothie for breakfast and I save the rest for later. And sometimes I finish his half eaten toast with my smoothie! Granola on top of this one.

Yogurt, nectarine, granola + almond butter parfaits are pretty regular too! I can tell I’m about to enter the hot breakfast phase of life, as it’s been a bit chilly some of these past mornings. Can’t wait for cozy bowls of oatmeal! I might have to bring back rice cooker oats when the baby comes. Or do a big batch of whipped banana that I can reheat.

Hillary and I recently had lunch at our new Cava! They had so many great toppings, and my bowl was fab. Loved the watermelon lemonade too!

On a particularly rainy day I whipped up a bowl of Vie’s Quick Tomato Soup. It’s so simple – garlic (and onion if you want) plus fire roasted tomatoes, broth, half and half, and some spices. Blend it up and you have a homemade tomato soup. On the side I made a Sunshine Burger on a whole wheat English muffin. The brand sent me a few coupons to try them out, and I like that they’re made with real food and not soy! There’s ketchup, mustard, and pickle on there too – you just can’t see it!

Mazey and I walked downtown with our friends for Splendora’s Gelato recently. The neighbors gave him a gift card for his birthday – what a perfect gift idea! I’m going to get a few myself to give out. #minimalism

He was very proud to buy my ice cream with his “credit card.”

Mini scoop of salted caramel with heath bar – woo hoo!

My biggest dinner win last week was a turmeric crockpot pineapple chicken that I made YEARS ago and one of you told me was one of your favorite recipes! I put it on our meal plan and it was a hit. Love that sweet-savory pineapple!

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