Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Zoodles

Zucchini noodles have become quite the craze nowadays! These spiralized vegetables are allowing those who love pasta to have a low carb option every now and then! Zucchini is a great summer vegetable that is so versatile and should be utilized as much as possible in this season because when you buy it, you will most likely be buying it fresh, in season. This meal has a light flavor profile,  perfect for summer, chalked full of good nutrition and low carb!! Oh, also, its pretty easy to make, the only “unusual” kitchen tool that you will need will be a spiralizer, these are easy to find and pretty cheap! Here ya go 🙂

 

Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Zoodles

Makes: 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

2 12oz bags of peeled, deveined, uncooked shrimp (I did tail off)

4 medium zucchini, spiralized

2 tbsp Olive Oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp butter or butter substitute

1 lemon, juice and zest

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup chopped parsley

pinch of Red Pepper flakes

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash and cut the ends off the zucchini. Use the spiralizer to make pasta. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute without stirring. Add garlic, then stir the shrimp for another minute or so. Once the shrimp is cooked use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the shrimp to a plate.
  3. Add butter, lemon juice, zest, red pepper flakes and broth to the skillet and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the parsley  and then add the zucchini to the skillet and toss to warm it up.z1
  5. Add the shrimp and stir another minute until the flavors are incorporated. z3

 

That’s it! Serve immediately for best results. NOTE: you can keep in refrigerator and reheat. Just be aware that because zucchini is mostly water, when you reheat, it might make the zoodles a bit watery. They will still be flavorful and al dente in texture!!

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Enjoy ❤

 

 

Keto Sausage Balls

Keto Sausage Balls

makes 24-30

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Bobs Red Mill 1 to 1 baking flour (Gluten Free)

2 eggs

1 lb breakfast sausage

4 oz shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Mix all ingredients together until combined like a dough
  3. shape into balls and place on an aluminum covered baking sheet
  4. bake for 25 minutes

 

Tip: be careful when consuming these, they are small but high in calories. Great source of protein but don’t eat them to fill up, add them to an already filling meal such as: mixed vegetables, or a big salad or with fruit/avocado for breakfast. Also use them as a snack.

Calories from 1 sausage ball- 84

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Enjoy ❤

Banana Breakfast Muffins (healthy)

Banana Breakfast Muffins

Makes 9 big or 12 medium/small

Ingredients:

2 medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup Almond Milk (I use unsweetened original)
2 tbsp. light tasting olive oil
1 egg
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine bananas, milk, oil, egg and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients
  4. stir dry mixture into wet mixture until just combined.
  5. Spray muffin tins or use liners and divide batter among the cups.bananamuffin
  6. bake for 16 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

 

TIPS: slice your over-ripe bananas and put in Ziploc bags to freeze. Do one banana per bag so you know what the serving size is. I don’t like putting bananas in the freezer still in the peel because when it comes to thawing it can be gross. Microwave your sliced banana to make it soft faster for mashing.

You can substitute brown sugar if you prefer.

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Enjoy ❤

Lentil Tacos

I know what most of you are thinking…lentils? In tacos? No thanks! I thought the same thing too! I was reading a book with a mock meal plan in it and decided to try that meal plan…most everything else on the meal plan was…not good ha! BUT these were an exception!!!! Lentils are the third highest for protein in legumes and they don’t have the acidity that meat does. I love meat and I think meat is a great source of protein, but so are legumes!! AND they are usually cheaper!! I had never had lentils before, and now I am glad that they will be part of my meal planning in the future! These are so easy to make and very filling. I don’t think recipe blogs need a lot of intro so without further ado….

Lentil Tacos: Makes 8 tacos. Serving size-2 tacos.

Ingredients:

1 cup dry brown lentils

olive oil for sauteing

1/2 cup chopped onion (I used some frozen chopped onions that I had)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tsp. Chili Powder

1/2 tsp. Cumin

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp. Paprika

8 high fiber tortillas (I use whole wheat)

Optional fillings: Avocado, salsa, sour cream, cheese, cilantro etc.

  1. Prepare lentils according to package directions. You could also use steamed lentils and microwave them.
  2. Add onions, garlic and peppers to a large skillet that has been lightly coated with olive oil over medium heat. Saute until everything starts to soften. 3
  3. Add tomatoes, the cooked lentils and spices. Continue to saute for 3 minutes over medium heat until everything is evenly distributed. 4
  4. Assemble your tacos!!

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This lentil mixture keeps for about a week and leftovers taste great! These are healthy all around!!!!

4 Apartment Porch Plants for Those Working on Their Green Thumb

As of now in my life I live in a wonderful apartment which seems like it would be a horrid thing for someone who loves gardening. Overall, yes I would love some more dirt and surface area to grow things in, but I still get to exercise my green thumb muscles. This year I had a very busy spring and wasn’t able to get seeds started in time for the herbs and plants I had planned…which is sad because I had some awesome tomato plant ideas, oh well. Any who, I still wanted some lovely summer scenery for my morning tea and God time on the porch, so I went low maintenance this year. The four plants I picked would be awesome starter plants for those who would like to explore their green thumbs a little more. These plants are a perfect balance of learning (for those new to gardening) but not being overwhelmed and they yield beautiful blooms. You will see growth which will motivate you to take care of them!

Before I go on I will preface this by saying that two out of the four need full sun and the other two need shade, so pay attention to your porch or yard and know if you can do these plants or not. I will talk mostly in terms of porches because that is what mine are on and in pots.

Lets get started with….#1 Portulaca:

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also known as Moss-Rose Purslane (so if you see that on a tag its Portulaca)

There are different varieties of this plant with different colored blooms, but they all have the same care requirements.

WATERING: These are a drought resistant plant so they are very good for hot, humid summer weather. They need to be watered when the top 1-2 inches of soil are completely dry. If you over-water you will notice your leaves start to turn yellow and if you under-water you will notice limp stems. (it takes a long time for these plants to feel under-watered) make sure your pots have good drainage holes.

SOIL: They prefer sandy soil if you are buying and re-potting.  If you are buying already potted, they should be in the appropriate soil.

TIP: I bought mine already potted this year. Every now and then run your fingers through the top soil to loosen it, it will help your plant receive water more evenly.

SUN/SHADE: These plants need full sun.

TIP: pull off blooms that have died to encourage more bloom growth. This plant will give you a beautiful display of blooms if you keep dead-heading.

These succulent like plants will start to get a bit leggy in late summer into fall. If you want to keep your plant year around, make sure you bring your plant inside when it starts getting cold out. It will need a sunny, warm spot.

Got too much? Cut it back, you can give the cuttings to friends and family that would like to grow their own. Portulaca roots in soil easily, just stick a stem in some good soil and it will continue to growk

#2 Coleus (Kong Scarlet)

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WATERING: Water when the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry. Make sure your pot has good drainage holes.

SUN/SHADE: Coleus can handle partial sun but will be most vibrant in full shade

TIP: When it blooms (like you see in the picture) pinch the bloom stalk off. The blooms are not the main attraction of the Kong Scarlet, so pinching the bloom stalk off allows the leaves to get more nutrients to grown bigger and more vibrant.

Kong Scarlet does pretty well in cooler tempratures but when it starts to frost bring it inside.

 

#3 Kalanchoe (type of succulent)

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WATERING: Like most (if not all) succulents they are a desert plant, so they are very drought resistent. In fact, they prefer dry soil. You run the risk of over-watering succulents as opposed to under-watering them. Allow the soil to dry completely between waterings. Kalanchoe roots are fairly sensitive.

SOIL: Soil needs to be well-drained and well-aerated. If you buy already potted it should be good. Make sure your pot has good drainage holes and it is best for it to be a clay pot for the roots.

SUN/SHADE: Kalanchoe can live in sun or shade. They need good light to bloom. Mine is in full shade but it gets indirect sunlight so I still get bloomage.

TIP: Like the other plants mentioned, dead-head the spent blooms to encourage more bloomage.

 

#4 Pentunias

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When buying Petunias pick a pot thats leaves are very healthy without spots or rips and find one that has only bloomed a little bit. That way you will get to reap the benefits of the most blooms.

WATERING: When in containers Petunias require more frequent watering. Check to see if the top soil is beginning to dry and water then. FULL DISCLOSURE: make sure you dont forget to water it  because they will wilt and you wont be able to get them completely healthy again. That happened to mine 😦

SUN/SHADE: Petunias prefer full sun but can stand partial shade. You will have less blooms in partial shade but still healthy.

TIP: Always dead-head petunias so the nutrients will focus somewhere else.

 

All of these plants are beautiful to look at and grow. As long as you stay on top of watering and follow these tips you should have gorgeous, low maintenance plants for your patio to enjoy all summer and then into your home for the winter months.

OVERALL TIP: You should fertilize your plants once a month. Fertilizer usually comes in a concentrated form that you add water to. I use Miracle Grow Fertilizer and just follow the box instructions. Add it to your watering can and fertilize while you water that day. Two birds…one stone!

Hope this is helpful to someone ❤ Enjoy 🙂

Vegetable Broth Detox

image1I hate doing cleanses…detoxing…juicing…special drinks…etc. Ha! Not the first sentence you would expect for a Vegetable Broth Detox post. The truth is, I think they are unrealistically hard unless you are a masochist. Any cleanse that asks you to only have a juice like substance more than a day is ridiculous in my book. Basically, because I don’t have the amazing will power that so many other health gurus have to be without solid food for more than a day…if that. The thing is…detoxing is good for you when done the right way. First of all, it should not be an everyday, all day thing. Secondly, There are many different types of cleanses. I have one cleanse that I enjoy doing. It is 8 days long and you eat real food. It’s a protein detox so you are eating all the time and full, but it rids your body of processed chemicals and shifts where your body is getting energy from carbs to protein (though there are days within it that you eat carbs) Anyway, that has been the only cleanse that I enjoy doing because I get to eat lots of food and the results are almost instantaneous. I am sure I will do another one someday and I will post more about it then. Now, I can say that I have TWO cleanses that I enjoy doing. I did not stick to my healthy eating last week…I had like 3 cheat days and then proceeded to eat gummy jolly ranchers and mozzarella/marinara chips. Now I am not super strict with my meals…I eat cheese and carbs and sugar…I just eat a lot of vegetables and protein and my carbs are whole grain and my sugar is usually in small amounts ( mainly because I don’t have much of a sweet tooth…thank God!) but the way I was eating last week was not healthy and I could feel it. I was bloated and very lethargic. Then binging on those gummies and chips…needless to say I went to bed feeling like crap and woke up feeling like crap. My stomach was achy and bloated, I had bad gas (TMI?) I had a swollen lymph node from irritated gums because I wasn’t treating them well and ACNE!!!!! When stuff like that happens, it’s usually your body telling you that it needs maintenance and medicine or something is going to start failing. So I am a firm believer in FOOD IS MEDICINE and my maintanence tool was to detox. I wanted to do a one day anti-inflammatory detox to flush my body so when I started eating good (for you) food again my body would be ready to accept those nutrients fully. I was reading Kate Hudson’s Pretty Happy book which is about loving your body and being healthy and she has a section about Cleansing your body. Now Kate Hudson is one of those people who has the super-power of strong will so there are quite a few cleanses that she partakes in every now and then, but this one day vegetable detox stuck out to me. First of all, all the ingredients made sense and were easy to obtain and secondly it was for one day and the instructions were easy! So I picked up the ingredients at, none other than…walmart, coarsely chopped it up and threw it in a stock pot. You bring it to a boil and then simmer for 3-4 hours. I did exactly 3 hours. I strained it, though you could leave it chunky and do a soup detox over a broth…kind of wish I would have done that actually for the texture. Drink/slurp it throughout the day, whenever you want. BOOM, DONE! Now, here is the why…why these ingredients.

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Carrots: eye health, antioxidants (which are good for free radicals), good for your heart, teeth and gums. Good for digestion and for your skin.

Celery: Anti-inflammorty, good for the liver, fights infection, good for digestion and helps urinary tract infections.

Kale: tons and tons of vitamins and minerals and also has some Omega-3 fatty acids which is a vitamin your body needs that it doesn’t produce on its own.

Parsley: Bone health and good for bad breath. Natural antibiotic and full of vit c for your immune system. Clears complexion and detoxifys your body.

Ginger: anti-inflammatory and good for digestion. Full of antioxidants, good for nausea. Reduces muscle pain.

Butternut Squash: fiber and potassium. Digestion and boosts immune function.

Garlic: combats sickness, like the common cold. Helps detox heavy metals from your body. Good bone health.

Tumeric: major anti-inflammatory. Good for brain function and helps with depression. Fights age-related chronic diseases.

All of these foods fight against cancer and heart disease!!!!

So There you have it! It’s not a bad tasting broth. I added a little bit of salt to each cup I drank and I am not going to lie…the texture got to me…It wouldn’t have if I had left it chunky but because I strained it and was just drinking broth it was killing me to not have anything to chew on. Ha! So I DID eat some hummus and carrots. I figured that wouldn’t be bad because it was still sticking to the vegetable detoxation.

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THE RESULTS: Bloating=gone. Diegestion=back to normal (it did flush me out a bit 😉 Acne=still there by the end of the day but no new breakouts and no oily skin. Gums=I could eat the carrots without pain and the swelling is going down.

All in all, I would say it was worth it. Things I would change: I would keep it chunky so I have the texture and open it up to eating some raw vegetables and fruits throughout the day.

Recipe:

2 medium carrots, chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 bunch Kale, leaves only

a bag of frozen chopped butternut squash (I used organic)

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1/2 ounce fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1/2 tsp Tumeric

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

3 quarts water

  1. place all ingredients in a stock pot, slow cooker or dutch oven

  2. cover and bring to a boil then simmer for 3 hours

  3. enjoy chunky or strain for broth.

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