We are adding chia seeds to our meals, making fresh veggies a staple, and preparing homemade healthy meals instead of going out, BUT what are we eating in between meals?? Yeah, I took a fork to my son’s leftover birthday cake today because it was sitting on my kitchen counter saying “Eat Me!!!”
What if we had super healthy snacks that could satisfy our sweet, salty, spicy cravings?? And were sitting on the counter ready to grab???
I found it!!
NatureBox!!! NatureBox ships one box of delicious healthy snack made from wholesome, minimally processed ingredients for you to enjoy every month!
Sometimes we need a great all day crockpot recipe, especially on Mondays!! Throw all of the ingredients in and leave for the day! This one is more delicious the longer you cook it and adds a mouthwatering edge to the traditional beef taco!
Crockpot Pork Tacos
2.5 lb. pork shoulder butt roast, fat trimmed and cut into 3 chunks
1 35 oz. can whole San Marzano tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell peppers, choppd
1/4 cup taco seasoning
1/2 cup medium salsa
1 can black beans
Add all ingredients to the crockpot.
Cook 6-8 hours.
Serve in your tortilla shells with your favorite toppings or on top of a salad!
Health bars, granola bars, oat bars…we try, but what are we really buying? Often times, we are buying a way fattier version of what we think, and might have been better off with a bag of potato chips! Reminds me of Mean Girls, when Lindsay Lohan’s character gives Regina the “Caltine” bars that were supposed to taste amazing and help her burn calories and lose weight. Remember this? They were 1000 calories each! Poor thing!
So lets talk peanut butter! High in fat, but a staple protein source for athletes, vegetarians, and many others! Delicious and creamy, a definite staple for my kids! What if you could trim the fat down by 85%? Have you heard of PB2? PB2 is a powder form of dry roasted peanuts that have been stripped of extra fats.
Some common everyday uses:
Add almond milk and make a homemade peanut butter!
Add to smoothies and protein shakes for flavor!
Bake with it, substitute PB2 when making homemade health bars instead of regular peanut butter! Read more!! http://www.bellplantation.com/nutrition
Did I mention there is also PB2 chocolate? Yes, chocolate peanut butter. Mmmmmmm…
I whipped up my own, no bake, easy health bars using healthy ingredients in my pantry!
Easy No Bake Health Bars With Chia Seeds and PB2
2 cups oats
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes
1/3 cup PB2
(2 cups of oats and 2 cups of any other mixable dry ingredients you would like. Try dried fruits, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.)
Heat Honey and Coconut oil in a small saucepan.
Add all other ingredients and coat. DO NOT COOK , just warm.
(If adding chocolate chips, you need to cool the mixture before adding or they will melt!)
Press into the bottom of a glass 9X13 pan or for 1/2 recipe 8X8 dish cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
How many middle men are handling your meat before it gets to you? Why is meat so expensive right now? I decided to visit The Butcher, Pittsburgh’s own Ken Zvirman, owner of Jo-Mar Provisions in the Strip District and get the beef!
Located at the corner of 18th and Smallman St., Jo-Mar’s store front emits the style and charm of the Strip District. Walk in the front door, and you will see it is not your typical meat case lined with cuts of raw red ready to be packaged. Why not? As Ken explained, he wants his customers to experience an unmatched freshness and quality when shopping at his store.
Buying meat straight from farmers in the Mid-West ensures a great price and an unquestionable quality. Why have meat prices gone up? Ken explained that the herd counts are down which means with supply down and demand up, prices increase.
Lets talk safety “Cleanest meat plant for 9 years!”
We talked safety, a lot!! Ken has binders and binders of rules and regulations to uphold. I asked why he doesn’t have all the meat hanging from the ceiling and he laughed. Nobody does that anymore except at the farmers’ butcher’s level. The sanitation regulations are stringent and they should be!! What does that mean for us at home?? He says disinfect, disinfect, disinfect…with E coli 0157 running rampant and salmonella from chicken, you don’t want to take any chances. Wash all surfaces in and around your work area! 70% of flus are actually reactions to raw meat contamination aka food poisoning.
What we really want to know?
How much meat to cook per person when entertaining?
Ken says bone in 1 lb. per person, boneless 8-12oz. per person
What is the difference between an oven roast and a pot roast?
Contrary to what we think, these are two totally different things! An oven roast can be a ribeye and a pot roast is made in a pot and cooked over time!
Can’t I buy my meat at Giant Eagle or WalMart?
Sure! You will pay more!! According to Ken, their “everyday low price” isn’t so low. Not to mention, how many middle men are handling their meat??
What is the best way to cook (insert cut of meat)? should I marinate it? season it? cook all day? cook to a temp?
Ken’s head butcher Jim, executive chef, can answer any of these questions! Awesome!
Here are some basics…
Grilling is #1- Jim grills all year!
New York Strip steaks require just salt and pepper grill on a hot flame!
For Pork tenderloin, high temp cook -shut off and let it cook for a juicy finish!
Want your Spare ribs to fall apart? Long, wet cook on low heat such as in a crockpot!
Bottom Round Roast requires tenderizing cook for a long time -great for stew!
Ken started his business in 1988 and his awesome selection of exotic meats, impeccable reputation, and a love for people has made Jo-Mar provisions the go-to butcher shop for restaurants, foodservice companies and customers looking for the best steaks in the Burgh!
Go down, check it out! Meet Jim! Pick his brain!
Jim’s picks for best burger in the Burgh- a meat patty from Jo-Mar, of course! close runners up…Butter Joint, Legume, Bar Marco!
My Nuni, maternal Sicilian great-grandmother, made what she called “empanadas” or “broccoli pies”. Since it is impossible to replicate any of her creations, here is my version…For my Nuni!
Sicilian Broccoli Empanadas
Rosemary Pizza Dough:
2-3/4 cups flour
1 small packet dry yeast
1/2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp.chopped rosemary or dry flakes
1 cup water
1 tbsp. olive oil
Flour for working surface
Mix together flour, yeast, sugar, salt and rosemary well with a wooden spoon.
Stir in water a little at a time. Dough begins to form. Work with hands
Add olive oil.
Cover bowl with a dish towel and let sit 3-4 hours.
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves pressed
1-1 lb. bag of broccoli florets
1 small onion chopped finely
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Put olive oil in a fry pan on medium heat.
Add pressed garlic then onions and stir for a few mins.
Add thawed broccoli.
Cover with a nice coat of pepper.
Add a few shakes of salt.
Mix all together.
Cover with a lid and stir frequently.
Put them together:
Preheat oven 400! With pizza stone inside oven!
Section dough in to 4
Roll out dough on floured surface into 4″x6″ ovals.
If too elasticy let it sit a min.
Scoop mixture from pan into center of oval.
Add a handful of mozzarella and a shake of Parmesan.
Fold dough over and tuck and pinch all the way around
Put 2 slits in the top of each.
Brush with a tiny bit of oil.
Happy Saturday! Spring cleaning today anyone? Start your day including superfood chia in your breakfast and have more energy to accomplish your Saturday To Do list!
One step closer in our quest for health and youth…Try chia!
Superfood Chia Blueberry Muffins
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1-1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup blueberries
Preheat oven to 350!
Spray muffin pan with nonstick spray
Cream butter and sugar with mixer.
Add the eggs one at a time beating well.
In a mixing bowl, fold together flour, chia seeds and baking powder.
In another bowl add yogurt, vanilla.
Add each to creamed butter sugar mixture.
Fold in blueberries.
Fill muffin tins 2/3 full with batter.
Bake. 20-25 mins until muffins are lightly browned.
Let cool. Enjoy!
Skinnygirl Bethenny Frankel created a healthy way of living with her skinny recipes! From low carb, no carb to superfoods, she has paved the way for reinventing mac’n cheese, burgers and even desserts! It is no wonder she has gone from a Real Housewife of NY and “skinny chef” to having her own liquor line and a daytime talk show with her name “Bethenny!”
Whether you have tasted her Skinnygirl cocktails or love her balls to the wall attitude, Bethenny is a real mom with a great product! Who says what she thinks! Love that !!
I want to share some of her favorite skinny recipes…from her book “Naturally Thin”
Try this recipe!
Bethenny’s Mexican Chili
According to Bethenny,
“This is a popular recipe on my Web site. It substitutes ground turkey for the typical ground beef; or you can just skip the turkey if you want a vegetarian version. If beans bug you, you can even leave those out. It will still be good. This chili also tastes great the next day!
1/2 medium onion, chopped
Nonstick cooking spray
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 each red and yellow bell pepper (or half a bell pepper of any color), chopped
1 small can of pureed tomatoes or tomato sauce (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup zucchini, chopped
1/4 pound ground turkey breast
1/4 cup canned red pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Over medium-high heat, saute the onion in a nonstick skillet coated in cooking spray until soft. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
Stir in the garlic and bell peppers, and cook until the peppers are soft and the garlic is golden but not burned.
Stir in the tomato sauce and the zucchini.
When all the vegetables are soft, add the turkey breast and beans.
Let the chili simmer for at least 10 or 15 minutes. The longer you simmer, the better the flavor.
This chili is awesome!! Plus it’s Friday!! Serve with Skinnygirl margaritas and tortilla chips for the perfect Friday happy hour! It is Lent…leave out the meat, no problem!
As our first-week-of-Spring low temps here in Western PA tank back into the 20s and 30s, we need a hearty soup to warm our bones! Again!! Hopefully for the last time! I love this recipe!!! So easy in the crockpot!!
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic pressed
4 carrots chopped
3 celery stalks chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 tbsp. each Basil, rosemary, thyme
1/2 tbsp. fennel seed
1 28oz. can LaValle San Marzano
1 cup dry lentils rinsed
1 32oz.box of low sodium chicken stock
1-1/2 lb. kielbasa, sweet or hot sausage link cut into 1 inch chunks.
3 cups chopped red potatoes washed and skinned.
Remember the superfood chia! Add your gel or the seeds right into to the soup!
Add olive oil to frying pan on medium heat.
Start with garlic and chopped onions.
Add celery and carrots and let cook 15 minutes.
Season with basil, rosemary, thyme and add fennel seed.
Add contents of frying pan and all other ingredients to the crockpot! Cook for 6 hours on high!
Always top off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, grab a fresh loaf of ciabatta bread and enjoy!