Simple Summer Salad & Homemade Dressing

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It's summer...finally! This is my absolute favorite time of the year when all I want to do is bask in the sun :) So when it comes to meal prep, I try to keep it simple & casual because (1) it's too hot to cook and (2) it's too beautiful out to spend my time inside.

This is when salads come in really handy. You can get your veggies and your sunshine too. And when it comes to salads, there are no rules. You can toss in anything you want. 

Start with any fresh veggies you have on hand (I usually keep some type of lettuce, carrots and tomatoes). Next toss on some protein (hard boiled eggs, canned beans, tuna, any leftovers, etc). *I recommend draining and rinsing the canned beans to lower the sodium content* Then add some fresh fruit, cheese, rice or quinoa, nuts and seeds, etc. Literally ANYTHING you have in the fridge/pantry/freezer can be added - so be creative. Finally, top it off with a nice light dressing. I prefer homemade because it takes 2 minutes to make and there's no additives. Check out my recipe below for a 3-ingredient homemade maple dijon vinaigrette. It is also FODMAP friendly for all of my IBS people. Let me know what you think :)

xoxo. L 

Homemade Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

Makes 1 serving

- 1 tbsp  balsamic vinegar

- 1 tbsp dijon mustard (or any mustard you like)

- 1 tsp maple syrup 

Directions:

Mix together all ingredients. Keep refrigerated. 

 

Tomato & Basil Salad

Growing up in an Italian household, tomatoes and basil were abundant (my parents grew them in their garden) and olive oil was on tap (just kidding 😉 ). Some of my fondest childhood memories of family get togethers always had this tomato and basil salad served as an appetizer. Little did I know at the time, this combo is a total knockout when it comes to nutrition. The tomatoes and olive oil provide important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients on their own but when combined, they are a powerhouse that help fight inflammation and prevent disease. No matter how hard we try, food science can’t recreate what these foods provide on their own. Plus it's simple to make and delicious. Buon appetito!

  Recipe: Fresh tomato and Basil Salad  Makes 4 servings   Ingredients:  4 large vine-ripe tomatoes  2 tablespoons olive oil 2 table spoons balsamic vinegar chopped fresh basil, to taste oregano to taste   Directions:  (1) Wash and slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over tomatoes. Sprinkle with basil and oregano and serve.  PS - My website and blog are currently "under construction". Check back soon as I'll be adding more recipes and posts. Also don't forget to sign up for my free newsletter with nutrition & fitness tips! xoxo. L  

 

Recipe: Fresh tomato and Basil Salad 

Makes 4 servings

 

Ingredients: 

4 large vine-ripe tomatoes 

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 table spoons balsamic vinegar

chopped fresh basil, to taste

oregano to taste

 

Directions: 

(1) Wash and slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over tomatoes. Sprinkle with basil and oregano and serve. 

PS - My website and blog are currently "under construction". Check back soon as I'll be adding more recipes and posts. Also don't forget to sign up for my free newsletter with nutrition & fitness tips!

xoxo. L

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter 'Ice' Cream

When it comes to choosing sweet or savory, I ALWAYS choose sweet. This is one of my favorite "go-to" recipes to help satisfy my sweet tooth. 

Ingredients: 

Topped with shredded coconut & cacao nibs 

Topped with shredded coconut & cacao nibs 

  • 1 small ripe banana, frozen
  • 1/4 cup milk or milk alternative
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 tbsp cacao powder 
  • handful of fresh, baby spinach (optional) 

Add all ingredients into a blender for about 30 seconds. Enjoy!

This combination is perfect to tame any sweet tooth. The frozen ripe banana provides a natural sweetness while the peanut butter and cacao powder make this recipe very tasty. The spinach provides an antioxidant boost and it's a great way to sneak in extra greens that you won't even taste. Depending on how you want the consistency, you can add more or less milk (less milk will provide a thicker consistency while more milk will make it thinner). 

**Tip: Make sure bananas are ripe before freezing. Once ripe, just peel off the skin, cut into 1 inch slices, place in a zip-loc bag and put in the freezer. Take out of the freezer and use anytime your sweet tooth hits.

PS - My website and blog are currently "under construction". Check back soon as I'll be adding more recipes and posts. Also don't forget to sign up for my free newsletter with nutrition & fitness tips!

xoxo. L

The Breakfast Smoothie

We've all heard it: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives us the energy we need to get through our morning commute and the early Monday meeting that you're just not quite ready for. 

When in a rush, a lot of people opt for a granola bar or fast food but I prefer a breakfast smoothie. Simply because it's already made the night before (perfect for grab and go) and the possibilities are endless so you'll never get bored. But first, lets talk the basics. 

1) Know what's in your smoothie. This is why I like to make my own with no "surprise" ingredients. If you tend to buy them, be sure to know the ingredients used. Lots of places will add sugar, artificial sweeteners and food dyes -- things we can do without. 

2) Choose a base. Is it milk (cows  milk or milk alternative)? Is it water? Or even tea?

3) Choose a "creamer". No not actual creamer. Choose an ingredient that will make it creamy. My favorite "creamers" are avocado, banana or greek yogurt. 

4) Choose a source of protein. Whether it's protein powder, nut butter, greek yogurt or tofu (yes that's not a typo), add it to your smoothie. It'll keep you full for longer and also keep your blood sugar stable (win-win). Ps - the yogurt and tofu can double up as "creamers"

5) Add a sweetener. Your best option here would be fruit because it's naturally sweet. The riper the fruit, the sweeter the taste. I like bananas, raspberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple or cherries. 

6) Optional: Add some greens! Adding spinach will add valuable nutrients without changing the flavor. Just the color might be a big brighter. 

7) Add your toppings. Oats. Nuts. Homemade granola. It's all good :) 

There you have it. Make the night before and even if you wake up 5 minutes before you head out the door, you still have breakfast. 

PS - My website and blog is currently "under construction". Check back soon as I'll be adding more recipes and posts. Also don't forget to sign up for my free newsletter to get nutrition & fitness tips sent to your inbox!

xoxo. L 

Healthy Egg Salad on Sweet Potato Toast

My love of sweet potato toast is quite evident from previous posts but this time I have a savory recipe for you! Growing up, egg salad sandwiches were one of my faves <3 This is a delicious and healthy spin on it. The sweet potato and vegetables provide fiber to keep you full while the greek yogurt and hard boiled egg are excellent sources of protein. After trying this recipe, you'll never use mayo in your egg salad again. And who uses bread as toast anymore? 

PS - My website and blog is currently "under construction". Check back soon as I'll be adding more recipes and posts. Also don't forget to sign up for my free newsletter and receive nutrition & fitness tips to your inbox! 

xoxo. L

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Healthy Egg Salad on Sweet Potato Toast

Ingredients: 

1 medium sweet potato

1 cup fresh baby spinach

1 medium tomato, sliced

2 hard boiled large eggs, chopped

1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard 

Black pepper, to taste 

Paprika, to taste

Yield: 2 servings

  1. Cut off the sweet potato ends. Slice the sweet potato into 1/4 inch slices and toast in the toaster oven (usually ~5-8 minutes but varies)
  2. In a small bowl, mix the greek yogurt, mustard, black pepper and paprika. Stir in the hard boiled egg. 
  3. Top the toasted sweet potato with baby spinach, fresh tomato and the egg salad mixture. Enjoy!

Protein Pancakes

Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day (besides dessert 😉 ) but this protein pancake recipe takes it to the next level. I'm sure if you google "protein pancakes" you'll find a million different recipes but none like this one.

First off, it's made with all real ingredients (no powders, artificial sweeteners, etc). Second, it's high in protein and also provides some carbohydrate. (FYI, the best times during the day to consume carbs are in the morning and pre/post workout) And third, these pancakes come out super fluffy thanks to the greek yogurt. 

So what are you waiting for? Go whip some up! Happy Saturday everyone :) 

 

Berry Protein Pancake Recipe

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup egg whites

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1/3 cup greek yogurt 

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup berries 

A few drops of vanilla extract (optional) 

Directions: 

(1) Combine egg whites, old fashioned oats, Greek yogurt, cinnamon and vanilla extract in a blender. Blend for about 45 seconds. 

(2) Lightly coat a skillet with coconut oil and place on medium heat. Add the mixture to the skillet. Add berries. Cook for about 2 minutes or until small air bubbles appear. Flip and cook for an additional minute or until light brown. 

Sweet Potato Toast

Sweet potato toast is one of the newest nutrition "trends" and I must say, I like it! Basically you toast sweet potato slices like you would bread in the toaster and eat it like an open faced sandwich (why didn't we think of this sooner?!) Anyways, below is one of my favorite recipes and it's super quick and easy. 

This recipe is a delicious way to curb your afternoon sugar craving. The greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, calcium & vitamin D. The fiber from the sweet potato and fruit will help keep you full (and away from the vending machine). Let me know what you think!

PS - My website and blog is currently "under construction". Check back soon as I'll be adding more recipes and posts. Don't forget to sign up for my free newsletter and receive nutrition & fitness tips to your inbox!

xoxo. L

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Sweet Potato Toast Recipe

Ingredients: 

1 medium sweet potato

1 cup greek yogurt *plain greek yogurt would be the healthiest option

1/2 cup berries of your choice: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, 

2 tbsp chopped walnuts

Pinch of cinnamon 

Yield: 2 servings

  1. Cut off the ends of the sweet potato. Slice the sweet potato into 1/4 inch slices and toast in the toaster oven (usually ~5-8 minutes but varies)
  2. Top the sweet potato slices with greek yogurt, berries, walnuts and cinnamon. Enjoy!