Easy Peasy Baked Chicken.

Happy Tuesday! I have recently been contemplating starting a meal prepping business and trying this out for some friends of mine. With that in mind I do have a disclaimer: I have been vegetarian for almost 10 years. Let’s not forget that at one point in my life I did consume meat on a regular basis but I wasn’t quite as interested in cooking as I am now. Now it seems like I cook more than I go out mostly because I enjoy it and because I don’t like to consume food full of high fats and calories! Don’t get me wrong I love to go out, but I also prefer hosting and cooking a little bit more. 🙂 I had someone ask me to prepare some meals for them so this is the first of many. I baked some chicken- to my surprise it came out really good (yes I had a bite). Who knew after 10 years I can still cook chicken?! With this entire meal planning in mind it applies to my life as well. I have been working out a lot and sometimes not consuming enough calories throughout my day- so it will be beneficial to my food consumption as well. The name of the game is planning. Yes it involves time but so does anything that you can see results from.

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What you’ll need:

  • 6 TB Olive Oil
  • 2 lemons sliced and layed out on baking sheet
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • sea salt
  • finely ground black pepper
  • dried oregano
  • 2 small red potatoes, diced up in med pieces
  • cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, sliced (clean seeds out)
  • 2-4 boneless skinless chicken breast (organic)
  • baby carrots
  • 1 can chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Coat a large baking dish with 1 TB of the olive oil. On the bottom of your dish, arrange lemon slices in a single layer.
  2. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper In a large bowl. You will be coating all the ingredients with the olive oil mixture. Start with the chicken. Next, add the potatoes to the olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Place the chicken on top of the lemon slices with the red potatoes. I add the tomatoes, peppers and carrots without coating (they will get flavor while cooking). Pour any remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken. Add chicken broth (1 can).
  3. Cook at 350 for 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes (or until potatoes and veggies look soft and chicken cooked through). Serve warm.

Coconut Cauliflower Curry.

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The other day I was browsing through insta-stories as most of us do when we are bored or should probably be doing something productive! I tend to follow people who are of ADD value- in that sense these are people that are my friends, that I look to for workout motivation and lastly people that like to cook so I can keep my foodie inspiration going. Lo Bosworth from the Hills popped up and her mom was actually the one in the kitchen cooking some coconut curry Chicken! It looked so yummy I had to take a little spin down vegetarian lane and see if I could put something together that had no meat but tasted just as good. Let’s just clarify I love anything curry and Indian food all together. First, because it is filling and vegetarian and second, because the flavors are amazing and usually out of my reach when it comes to cooking! By that I mean I have never even tried so why not start now! Have no fear- I tested this out and it was surprisingly really good. It was easy, and full of flavor and guess what else??? Completely 100% VEGAN!!! This recipe can easily be made with chicken if you wanted to substitute and skip the vegan route. Either way- it was worth the time to make! You can serve this as both an entree with rice/quinoa or as a side dish with some extra protein as your main.

What you’ll need:

  1. Cauliflower (Half/Cut in little pieces)
  2. 1 Can Chickpeas / Drained
  3. Handful Chopped Basil + Cilantro (Chopped)
  4. Curry Powder (1 Tablespoon) you can add more
  5. 1 red onion (sliced)
  6. 1 can organic coconut cream (blend together in blender if separates)
  7. 1/2 can organic tomato sauce
  8. salt + pepper
  9. extra virgin olive oil

How to Make:

  1. Heat sauce pan on low/med heat (depending on oven) with olive oil and sliced red onions + curry powder and cook for about 20 min.
  2. Add pre-cut cauliflower (small pieces) when onions are well cooked and almost clear. Make sure all the cauliflower is covered with the olive oil/curry mixture and cook for a 3-4 minutes. **[If you are cooking chicken add in place of cauliflower and cook until it is no longer raw]
  3. Add Tomato Sauce + Coconut Cream + Basil/Cilantro.
  4. Bring to a quick boil for just a minute and reduce heat to simmer for about 30-40 minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper (moderate- you can always add at the end.  (I like to do just a little so all the flavors can cook together before you have a chance to over season something).
  6. Mid simmer add garbanzo beans- since they are already cooked they need much time in the dish.
  7. When cauliflower seems cooked- taste check on the salt/pepper/add accordingly.
  8. Serve as a main dish with quinoa/rice or as a side dish with additional protein as a main entree.
  9. Top with fresh basil or cilantro as garnish.

This dish takes about 45 minutes to cook. Let me know how it works out!

xo Sarah

 

Lemon Orzo Soup.

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This last 3 weeks has kicked my butt! As soon as I got back from NYC for the New Year celebrations I ended up with the flu and then just when I thought I was better I am sick again! Sometimes when your tastebuds disappear the only thing that sounds good is lemon and salt (at least for me). You can only go so many days with food tasting like nothing. This soup is SO so easy and if you want a quick meal I suggest you give it a try!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tsp Basil (dried)
  • Carrots (chopped)
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 lemon and zest + juice
  • Chicken or Veggie Broth
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • salt + pepper
  • zucchini (optional)
  • chicken (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot heat olive oil, carrots, celery and onion.
  2. Add garlic and saute for just a few minutes.
  3. Pour in broth – season with salt + pepper + dried basil.
  4. Squeeze in juice of half lemon and add lemon zest.
  5. If adding zucchini or chicken add now and let soup simmer. (I like to bring the soup to a boil firs and then let simmer).
  6. Lastly, cook orzo separate for about 8 minutes and add at the very last. I don’t like overcooked pasta so right before serving you can add in.

Let me know if you try it!

xo Sarah

 

Stuffed Zucchini.

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What you’ll need:

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large zucchini
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked rice (I like to use spanish rice)
  • 1 cup salsa (optional-I didn’t; use)
  • 1/2 red onion [diced]
  • 1 red bell pepper [diced]
  • mushrooms [diced]
  • 1/2 cup corn1 jalapeno (or poblano pepper), cored and diced
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • avocado [sliced]
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese
  • queso fresco [crumbled]

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Start by greasing a cookie sheet with olive oil and place to the side. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise[DON’T cut off the ends (I made the mistake of doing that!). Using a melon baller or metal teaspoon, hallow out the center of each zucchini. Lightly brush the tops with one teaspoon of olive oil then place them skin side down in the casserole dish. I reccomend dressing the zucchini with a little salt and pepper before filling with everything.
  2. Next warm the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the peppers until coooked through. Then add the rice, corn, and beans along with the salsa, chili powder and cumin. Stir everything together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes then remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F and then stir in 1/4 cup of the cilantro and salt to taste to the filling. Spoon the filling inside of each zucchini until they are all full. Sprinkle each half with cheese then arrange them in the dish and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes then remove the foil and set the oven to broil. Cook them for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  4. Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes then top with fresh cilantro, avocado and queso fresco and serve.

Thank you Making Thyme For Health for this recipe! There were a few modifications but it was delicious!!

*This recipe can also be made without cheese and would be just as good. Anything with avocado and salsa you can’t go wrong! Enjoy!

CHEERS! It’s Our First Monday in 2014!

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Happy 2014 Friends. Newtritionsavvysarah is back! It’s been a while since I have had a chance to catch up on the blog. Life was a little bit hectic for a minute there with a change of job and suddenly feeling like I had no time to do anything but sleep and work! I am sure some of you can relate. All has since settled and I now have time to start working out and focusing more on newtritionsavysarah. If there is anything I have learned in the last 6 months it’s that sometimes the obstacles that present themselves turn out to be for one reason. LEARN THE LESSON. This last year has been motivational and I have learned if that if you want to succeed you MUST believe in yourself. I think as each year passes it’s a great way to reflect on what worked and what could have been better. We might have made some new friends or lost touch with others but in the end the people that are in your life are there to help you sculpt the person you are becoming daily. I can’t help but recognize the amount of support I have received surrounding Newtritionsavvy. It can be scary putting yourself out for everyone to see but none the less a great way to maintain accountability.  Nutrition and healthy living are my passion and I hope I inspire at least one person to be more healthy every day. It’s not about being perfect but rather doing what you can when you can. I have so many plans for this year and the direction of my blog and can’t wait to share. Stop. Take a minute. Be thankful. Take a breath & be happy that you are able to live one more day.

Cheers to 2014!

Brunchin’ it Newtritionsavvy Style

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Happy Monday friends! What a great weekend. I recently moved into a new place a couple of weeks ago during my transition from San Jose to New York. The new situation is totally relaxed (unlike the last) and my new roommate loves to entertain. With that said, I have been wanting to have people over for a brunch of some sort. It was very last minute but I managed to put together a pretty delicious menu. The menu included a vegetarian quiche, ham quiche (for my meat lover friends), french toast with fresh berries, fresh whipped cream, breakfast potatoes and plenty of fruit! I don’t normally consume these breakfast foods but sometimes you have to splurge a little. Let’s just say it was a nice treat from the steel cut oats, juices and no sugar items I usually eat. The turnout was perfect, about 10 people and before I knew it the mimosas were in full force along with the food being devoured quickly! I love cooking but more importantly, I love hosting for others and showing them that home made food isn’t that hard, can be organic and enjoyed in moderation and tastes delicious! From what I heard, the food was a success and there will have to be another brunch before I move! Can’t wait!

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Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Avocado

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Remember these? Here is the recipe. Enjoy!
 
{Ingredients}
  • Spiced Quinoa:
  • Avocados (1 small avocado per person)
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed)
  • ½ chopped red pepper
  • ½ cup corn
  • ½ chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro + some for garnish
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • Cilantro ‘sour cream’
  • 1 cup cashews soaked for at least two hours
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp agave (if you want it sweeter)
  • dash of salt
{Instructions}
  1. Start by rinsing your quinoa well and then place it in a sauce pan and toast for about two minutes until the quinoa starts to smell ‘toasty.’ Add one cup of water or vegetable broth and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cover. (To get fluffy quinoa, it’s really important to not stir it, just let it be, keeping a close eye on it)
  2. Chop the red onion and red pepper and add all the ingredients, minus the quinoa, in a bowl and mix well with the taco seasoning. Once the quinoa is finished and has cooled, add it to the vegetable mixture.
  3. Put the mixture in the refrigerator to cool.
  4. Drain the cashews and place them in a blender. Add ¼ cup water, apple cider vinegar, agave, and salt and blend. You may want to add more water until the mixture is silky and smooth but I recommend doing so a little at a time. Once the consistency you want, pour into a bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool
  5. To assemble the avocados, begin by cutting them in half, removing the skin and the pit. I also scooped out part of the avocado to make a little room for more stuffing.
  6. Scoop about ½ a cup of the quinoa mixture into each avocado, more if you can fit it.
  7. Finish with a little cilantro ‘sour cream’ and some chopped cilantro and serve.

Found this recipe here.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

NYC On My Mind.

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Love me some NYC. In about a week I will be heading out to the big city. This is a very impromptu trip, but I have decided those are the best kind of trips. Not quite enough time to think about the logistics of it. My cousin will be out there for work and kindly invited me to tag along. I also have two best friends who live in and near NYC, and another good friend who just spent the last 4 months traveling across the United States chasing the dream that we all aspire to live. That dream consisting of actually doing the things we want to do NOW instead of waiting until that right time. Is it ever the right time? It seems like some of us ( I am guilty) will be waiting until forever when it is the “right” time. I had an epiphany last week about my life and the direction that it is headed. Don’t be alarmed- that last sentence sounds sort of serious! Ha. I am completely happy with who I am, who I am becoming and how I am leading a life that will hopefully inspire others to make better choices with prevention and their personal health overall. Many times we get stuck in the same routine and our thought process day in and day out becomes our habit. This might be great if we are on the right track- or just the opposite if we are constantly surrounded by Debbie Downers. Let’s be honest, we all have a few of those in our life. My friend who recently made it to NYC did this with not a single dollar in his pocket.I know, crazy right? That’s what most would say- and well, I said the same thing when I heard the news that he was going to do this. When I thought about it some more, it really came down to the fact that I wished I could stop my entire routine and pick up and go. In reality, why can’t I? For fear that I won’t be making the right choice…or fear that people are going to judge me for not doing the “normal” things we are supposed to be doing? By this I mean getting married, career, and well for some having children. THIS is crazy. I think people get so wrapped up in chasing these things that they forget to fulfill their own personal goals. The more I think about it the more I realize I am in control of my life and choices no matter what they are. From here on out- if I am confident in my decision I am going to do it without the objectives of others. Forget everyone else. It’s my life and only I have to live it. So, back to my epiphany. I have been wanting to move to New York City for some time now- probably over a year or so. I went a couple of years ago and instantly felt like I needed to do it. Do it as in move. Some places we visit and are satisfied, others we visit and we want more. My favorite part about the city is that it is composed of people from all over the United States! Eclectic. That’s what comes to mind. It’s change, and most importantly a challenge. The thought of change alone freaks me out but with that I know comes growth and ability to adjust to a new situation. I have some exciting plans for my blog in the next couple of months- both personal and for my followers. I promise to start posting on a regular basis once my classes are over. For now, biology and nutrition are taking over my life. In a week it’s NYC and then three weeks until summer. Can’t wait to share pictures upon my return.

Cheers. xo

 

60 Day Challenge: My Truth!

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Friends! Here we go. It’s April 1 and you know what that means? The beginning of a 60 days to summer challenge. It’s been a year now that I started my blog. Hard to believe the time has flown by. You know that saying. “Where has the time gone??” I’m feeling it! As I reflect on the last year I am amazed at all that has been accomplished in my own life and in the lives of others around me. I attended a Wayne Dyer conference a year ago and remember it like it was yesterday. This was the pivotal moment that I would allow my creative passion for health and nutrition to no longer be just a dream but actually manifest into  reality. To my surprise the people in my immediate life were ready to hear what I had to say. With this said, I have completely transformed my lifestyle. When I look back at a year ago I think of all the things that have changed for the better. Of course when we stop and evaluate our life we assume everything is on track (hopefully or somewhere close), and that we are always the best we can be. Ha. I wish this was true. In the last 5 years or so I have always considered myself healthy. When I refer to healthy I am talking about food, life, relationships, work, etc. It’s always easier to justify where we are due to some event that happened in the past and “made us who we are.” I have come to learn in the last 365 days this simply is not the case. Whatever the situation is, or story that we create to be our own can be changed at any moment you make the choice to live, NOW. I joined FNS training center last year with the intent to try a workout that would actually change the way my body looked. I had the diet down, but never really pushed myself to workout where I felt like I was going to throw up. Don’t get me wrong I liked to go hiking, run and occasionally lift some weights but I think I was lifting the same amount of weight for the last 3-4 years! Sound familiar?? During this type of workout I have learned to really step outside of my comfort zone. I started the workouts because eating healthy is easy for me (not for many) and working out on the other hand was not something I ever exceeded at or felt like needed to be pushed to the limits. As I look back I know that every single workout is so much more than the physical aspect. It’s getting your mind right  in order to then tell your body A- you CAN do this and B- you are SO strong enough!!!! Who was I kidding. When I started I could barely even do a single pushup or pull-up for that matter. It’s not like I would just break down while watching TV and do either of those…how was I supposed to know?? I started with the intent to change my body and this is exactly what has happened. I became committed to doing something I actually hated(this extreme workout). The split jumps, the squats, and the rowing are all things I still have to force myself to do to this day. (Just being honest!) On the contrary,  I have become faster, lost some weight, lost some inches and have changed my confidence level beyond words. I have a frequent habit in my life to start something and not commit if I don’t like it. This workout regimen helps me to overcome this barrier I sometimes set in my mind. We’re not always going to like the things that make us better, it’s a fact. Simple as that.

I am doing this 60 day challenge as a commitment to be better. My passion for life is not just about food and nutrition but about being better than we were yesterday. It’s so easy to make an excuse and get stuck in our ways because it’s easy (trust me, I am guilty) but where is the growth and reward in that? My intent for the next 2 months is to step up my game. I want to be fit and I want to be full of muscle. I want others to know that No- it’s not easy to get in shape and look great  but the easiest things DON’T TEACH US ANYTHING. I want a six pack, let’s get real! I will post an after picture June 1 so watch out! This will be a before and after from May 2012 to May 2013. I am proud of myself for staying committed and changing my body and mindset over the last 365 days. It’s not always easy, and I don’t always want to wake up at 6 AM to workout but I can definitely say I never leave and feel like I shouldn’t have come to the workout. It’s commitment, lifestyle and making my health a priority. What are you going to do in the next 60 days to change your life??

THE 60 DAY CHALLENGE

As we start our “60 Day’s to Summer Chall…enge” is imperative that we are setting ourselves up for success. One of the biggest ways we do that is by Setting Clear Expectations not just for ourselves but also those we surround ourselves with most. Here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to reach your goal over the next 60 days.

1. What are you willing to give up to be successful?

2. What are you willing to add in to be successful?

3. Who are going to ask for extra help, support, and accountability to be successful? When you let others know what you need and what you are trying to accomplish they will either support you or leave you alone. In either case both will be beneficial.

4. What are your “Non-Negotiables”? No matter what the circumstances, what are the things you WILL get done everyday in order to take a step closer to reaching your goal.

5. WHY is this important to you? “If it is important enough you will find a way, if it is not you will find an excuse” KNOW YOUR WHY!

Good luck!!!! When you know better, you DO better!

 

Easy Bake Fruit Granola Bars

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Old Fashioned Oats (Gluten Free if needed)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I didn’t use because I was out)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together a sheet pan and bake for 10-12 minutes. stirring occasionally, until lightly brown. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in small saucepan on medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute and then pour over toasted oatmeal, apricots and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press ingredients into pan. Bake for 25 to 30 more minutes until golden brown. Cool for at least 2 hours. When cool, cut into little squares. Serve at room temperature.

Keep in mind-the more dried fruit you use the chewier the bars will be. I used mango and they were pretty chewy! Good luck…these are good!