Every day can be Taco Tuesday with this easy one skillet meal

I’ve been rocking my single mom status this week while my hubby is out of town for a work conference. One week may seem like a long time (and at one point it was for us too), but being a military family we have gotten used to long stretches of being split up whether for training camps or deployments. Regardless of how long he’s gone, I am a big fan of easy and quick meals that my kids don’t fuss over.

I was scrolling Pinterest last week as I normally do to get new dinner ideas and came across a super simple one skillet dinner that was healthy and delicious. Plus, it took less than 25 minutes from start to finish.. I made a few tweaks to the recipe and here is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy it and let me know how you change it up, because there are literally thousands of ways this dish could be made!

 

What you need:
1 lb ground turkey ( I used 99%lean, you could use chicken or beef too)
1/2 white onion
3/4 c salsa (Costco is my favorite one)
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/3 c shredded cheese
Cumin
Chili powder
Sea salt
Garlic powder
1 can rinsed and drained kidney, black, or pinto beans (no salt added)
And your toppings of choice

To make:
Sauté onions until cooked (about 3 min)
Add ground meat cook, breaking apart and season with spices
Add salsa and cheese
Cook until meat is done and warmed through
Cut up tortilla into strips and add it into the mix (optional)

Serve with lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocado, and green onion or any other toppings you typically like on your tacos ūüĆģūü•Ď

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This beet and goat cheese salad is to die for..

Wine in the mail? A few years back I had signed up for one of those monthly wine clubs where they sent you new bottles each month to try out, and one of the extra perks was that you got recipes to go with each bottle of wine. This was an amazing service and is definitely something I would recommend if wine is your jam and you’re also on a budget. Hosting your own happy hour or wine tasting is so much fun and is likely more affordable than hitting the local spots.

Anyway, one of the recipes that came was a beet and pistachio salad. At the time beets were not a regular ingredient in my weekly meal prep as I hadn’t had too many pleasant experiences with them. But I am all about adventure and stepping out of your comfort zone, so I decided to give this salad a try, and as you guessed it by the title of this blog post a version of this salad has become one of my favorites.

I shared a picture of my hubby’s birthday dinner a couple days ago on my social media and had so many requests for the recipe I wanted to share it here too.¬†28055983_1633104806726074_2528223352529088391_n

Ingredients:

Mixed salad greens (about 1-2 cups/person)

3 large beets (golden or red will work)

1/2 c shelled pistachios (roasted)

Goat cheese

Dressing:

1 T Red wine vinegar

3-4 T Olive Oil

1 tsp stone ground mustard

1-2 garlic cloves pressed or diced finely

pinch of sea salt

(you can play around with the measurements until you get it to your liking, my hubby isn’t too fond of vinegar/mustard so I go easy on it )

 

To make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  2. cut the stems from the beets and wrap in foil, place in the oven
  3. roast beets until done and easily pierced with a fork or knife about 45-60 min
  4. shell and roast your pistachios for about 5 minutes until you can see a little oil release. Remove from heat so they can cool.
  5. rinse your greens and add them to a large bowl, set aside.
  6. while beets are roasting, prepare the dressing and set aside. I like to use a small mason jar, add all the ingredients, seal the lid, and shake until it is combined.
  7. When the beets are cooked through, let them cool, peel them, and cut into small wedges and add to the greens.
  8. Chop the pistachios, add to the salad.
  9. Finally top with goat cheese and a little dressing.

What to cook when you’re feeding picky eaters

I remember when I first started my clean eating journey over ten years ago it was hard enough to make some necessary changes in my and my husband’s life when it came to our nutrition and healthy habits let alone even thinking about what and how we would feed our kids healthy food without a ton of resistance. I’ll admit maybe I had a slight edge in the fact that I had already changed a lot of my habits around food before having my daughter. I was already swapping¬† healthy{ier} ingredients into some of our go to recipes. And the kind of food I would keep in the house had changed so much from the food that I grew up eating.

However, since I like cooking and like to pretend I’m a foodie on the Food Network there were of course things I would make or try to get my kids to eat and they weren’t having any of that. For the record, regardless of whether or not your kids came out of the womb munching on kale or other superfoods or not, you CAN always change their habits. If we can do it as adults, then so can our kids. The hardest part honestly is probably just sticking to your guns and not giving in or giving up when your kid refuses to eat what you have made.

One of the things that has really  helped is creating an arsenal of kid friendly dinner ideas that are easy enough that your kids can get involved with too. I know that life is crazy with kidsРwhether it is play dates or after school activities it seems like our schedules are jam packed. So easy and quick recipes are always welcome!

Besides, when you involve your kids in the¬† meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking you are teaching them how to eat, rather than just feeding them. You know it’s that whole analogy of teaching a man to fish vs just giving him a fish. Because whether you’re ready to see your kids leave the nest or not, they will one day, and I know that you want to see them fully capable and able to take care of themselves. Does it sometimes take more time having them in the kitchen? You bet. Does it sometimes get a little messier? Yes! But it can also be such a great time to bond with your kids.

Some of my family’s go tos are: tacos, spaghetti, breakfast foods, or hamburgers. The good news is that these can all be tweaked to be healthier for them and for you. And if you are wanting to watch your weight a little simply focusing on your portion sizes and cleaning the recipes up just a bit can go a long way in your efforts.

Not quite sure what kinds of swaps or upgrades you can make to make these healthier how to.pngwithout adding difficulty…I’ve got you! Here are a few of my ideas:

Tacos:

  • swap high fat ground beef for leaner beef, venison, elk, or ground turkey/chicken
  • make your own taco seasoning with cumin, ground chili powder, salt, pepper, dehydrated garlic
  • opt for black beans over refried beans
  • make it a taco salad with a few tortilla chips on top to get more veggies in

Spaghetti:

  • whole grain noodles over white noodles
  • boost the veggie content with greens, canned tomatoes, shredded carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms
  • sub noodles for spaghetti squash

Breakfasts:

  • incorporate protein, veggies, and fruit if you can
  • sub chicken sausage over pork sausage
  • can use a blend of egg whites and whole eggs (the yolk is where the bulk of the nutrients are)

Hamburgers:

  • go for ground turkey or chicken or lean ground beef
  • skip the bun
  • serve with home made fries instead of chips

 

Since I’ve made it a personal mission to not get stuck in a rut, making the same things week after week, I’ve started using Pinterest more (and actually making the things I’ve pinned). Last night we made this and it was a winner! It really is just a spin on a quiche, and is super versatile.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Kodiak Cake Protein Mix (we get ours at Costco)

4 T butter cut into the Kodiak Cake mix

1/2 cup ice water added slowly

2 eggs per person (we used 8 total)

Cooked and chopped bacon (could sub chicken sausage or Canadian Bacon)

Any veggies you have on hand (onions, bell peppers, broccoli, garlic)

Cheese of choice shredded

To make it:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add the Kodiak cake mix to a bowl and cut the butter in until it makes small crumbs, then slowly add in the water. Mix until dough forms and then lay it out between two pieces of wax or parchment paper. Then roll it out to make a crust. Pinch the ends to make a well/crust to prevent eggs from running off. Place it on a cookie sheet (on parchment paper for easy clean up). Then crack the eggs on the dough, top with bacon and veggies and the shredded cheese. Cook for 10-12 minutes until dough and egg whites are done. Then cut it up dividing it among different plates and serve.

*This can be used for breakfast or like us for dinner. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did, it will certainly make its way into the rotation. And of course as always if you have any questions or requests for things you want to see more of drop me an email at findyourthrive@gmail.com or leave it in the comments!

Cheers to creating healthy habits for you AND your sweet family!

XO Alisha

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Healthy Chicken Alfredo

 

When I started my clean eating journey I remember there were a few foods I was going to be very sad to see go (at least on a regular basis), and Alfredo sauce was definitely one of them. Since I am always on the mission to satisfy my inner foodie and experiment with healthy swaps for my recipes, you can imagine my joy when I found this recipe.

Cauliflower seems to be such a hot ingredient these days. I love how  versatile it is as an ingredient, and it seems that you can use cauliflower as a substitute in so many recipes  (including pizza crust). For this particular recipe, the combination of cheese,  cauliflower, spices, and milk gave this sauce all the high notes without any of the guilt or bloating that might come from eating the real thing.

And because I am always looking to boost the veggie content of most meals, I served it alongside some steamed broccoli.

What you will need:

  • 8 oz . dry whole grain fettuccine
  • 3 cups low-sodium organic vegetable broth
  • 1 medium cauliflower , chopped (about 1¬Ĺ pounds) or one 16 oz bag of cauliflower rice (this is what I used)
  • 2 tsp . olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg or all spice
  • Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
  • ¬Ĺ cup unsweetened almond milk or regular milk
  • ¬Ĺ-3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp . chopped flat-leaf parsley (for garnish; optional)
  • 1 pound chicken breast grilled
  • 1 pound of broccoli floretsHealthy

Here’s how:

  1. Cook fettuccine according to directions on package.
  2. Bring broth to a boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower. Reduce heat; cook, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until soft.
  3. While cauliflower cooks, heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute, or until garlic is soft.
  5. Place cauliflower + vegetable broth in blender (or food processor) with garlic and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Blend in two or more batches if necessary; cover with lid and kitchen towel. Blend until very smooth.
  6. Heat cauliflower mixture in same medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  7. Add  milk; cook, stirring frequently, 5 to 7 minutes. Consistency should be that of a thick soup. (Meanwhile, steam broccoli)
  8. Add fettuccine; mix well.
  9. Divide fettuccine evenly between four bowls. Top evenly with cheese and parsley (if desired); serve immediately.
  10. Grill chicken until it is cooked through, slice and serve with fettuccine.
Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers

Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers

It had been a while since we had had stuffed bell peppers at our house, but for whatever reason, I had quite a few bell peppers that needed to be used before spoiling. I am all about easy and versatile recipes (and if I can get the kiddos to eat it without too much grumbling I’m a happy camper). ¬†Stuffed peppers seem to fit that bill as they are usually pretty easy, inexpensive, and seem slightly fancy so would be a great way to impress your guests. They are also super versatile and you can go any number of ways depending on what kind of mood you’re in or what you happen to have on hand.

(This recipe made enough filling for about 8-10 peppers depending on size)

Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey breast

1 onion

2tsp oil

1 packet Trader Joe’s taco seasoning

1 cup frozen corn thawed

2-2 1/2 cups lentils (cooked)

1/4 cup salsa (look for no sugar added or very low sugar if possible)

1 can tomatoes (optional)

4 1/2 bell peppers

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup shredded cheese

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brown turkey with onion in oil and add taco seasoning, cook until turkey is done through.
  3. Add in remaining ingredients. Cook for 5-10 minutes heating all the way through and allowing flavors to develop.
  4. While filling is cooking, cut your bell peppers in half and remove the seeds.
  5. Remove filling from heat and fill each pepper, dividing mixture evenly.
  6. Top with shredded cheese and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until filling is hot all the way through and peppers are cooked to your desired texture.

We didn’t serve with a side dish, but if you needed more vegetables you could put together a simple dinner salad. You could even add some greens to the mixture and heat just until wilted.

 

No Bake, no guilt brownie bars

 

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Ever have those chocolate cravings, but you are trying to watch your waste line? Maybe there is a way you can have both..My daughter loves trying new recipes and spending time in the kitchen with her is one way we sneak some extra quality time into our crazy schedule (I’m all about multiplying my time, but I will save that for another post).

Let’s just say these didn’t even make it to the container to be stored. I ate one (or two) too many, but could do it without all the guilt knowing that they are low in sugar (which is one of the things I try to avoid getting too much of in my family’s diet) I found that the recipe alone was pretty rich, adding the peanut butter topping seemed to cut that…and let’s be real, who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate together?

4 Scoops Shakeology (or chocolate protein if you have that on hand)

1/2 cup peanut butter ( you can also sub PB2 with some water to reduce calories)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup milk (almond, coconut, or other alternative milk would work too)

1 cup rolled oats (if you have a gluten intolerance make sure your oats are processed in a GF facility)

Pinch of sea salt

 

Add ins:

If you want to spice this up a bit try adding in Raisins, dark chocolate chips, dried cherries or anything else that suits your fancy. You might even try adding some cinnamon and a small dash of cayenne for more of a Mexican mocha taste. You really can get as creative as you want. These were just some ideas that came to mind.

To make:

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. You an either use a stand mixer with the paddle or your (clean) hands.

2. Line a ¬†9×13 inch pan with parchment paper or grease it. Press the mixture into the pan and chill in the fridge for about 3 hours.

3. Cut into squares and store in an air tight container.

 

*Notes: If you really love peanut butter like I do then I put a teaspoon of peanut butter on top too. This is where using powdered Peanut Butter like PB2 and adding a little water can come in super handy. It will give you the PB taste with the added calories.