Healthier Hot Cocoa

fit-momma-2-fiveThis morning it was only 63 degrees in our house! I think it is time to turn the furnace back on!

The kids LOVE having a warm cup of cocoa on those cold mornings, but I cringe at the ingredients in those little packets you can buy at the store. So I came up with a healthier version for them to enjoy!

Healthier Hot Cocoa

1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/3 cup hot water
1/8 tsp salt
4 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla

Combine the cocoa powder, sugar, and water in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat. Continue to whisk together until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add the milk. Stir in the vanilla. Continue stirring until it is warm. Do not boil.

Feel free to share! ūüôā

Strawberry Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

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When I get home from grocery shopping I do not like having to cook a big meal.  I usually end up making a salad. This is one of our favorites!  It is full of flavor and just hits the spot!  I even make a homemade Poppy Seed dressing to go with it.  When possible, I recommend making your own dressings!

Strawberry Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Romaine lettuce

Grilled Chicken Breast

Strawberries

Walnuts

Goat Cheese

Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

Ingredients

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 cup olive oil

1 Tbsp raw honey

1 Tbsp poppy seeds

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp salt

pepper to taste

Whisk together well.  It will thicken slightly when stored in the fridge.

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To assemble my salad I use my containers that came with the 21 day fix!

21 day fix: 1 green, 1 purple, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 orange

Meal Plan 2/28 to 3/12

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I am trying to make meal planning and shopping easier for myself.  I shop every 2 weeks and usually I have to take all 5 kids with me.  If you are a Momma, you know that can be a chore in itself!  For the most part, they are great helpers.  Learning about finding the best deal, learning how to pick out great produce and meat.  I think this is important life skill to learn.  They also love to help prepare meals, so it is great for them to see the whole process of what I do to prepare meals for our family.

Starting with the meal plan, I am planning on trying  a few days for the Countdown to Competition (C2C) meal plan. (It is a pretty restrictive meal plan that comes with the 21 Day Fix Extreme program.)   I am in the 1,800-2,099 calorie bracket.  The pink days are the days I will be doing the C2C plan.  On the blue days, I am following the 21 Day Fix Extreme meal plan.

 

 

 

 

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Recipe/Support Group

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This journey to being healthier is hard, especially if you are doing it alone! I just started a new Recipe/Support group on Facebook. ¬†It is open to anyone and it’s FREE! Click HERE to join! Be sure to READ the PINNED post at the top of the group!

Chopped Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce-21 Day Fix Approved

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If you are like me, you LOVE yummy Salads! ¬†I think they are great to throw together and know that I am getting a healthy meal in for my family with lots of veggies & flavor! ¬†Salads do not have to be the boring iceberg lettuce with ranch dressing. ¬†Nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you like, but there isn’t much nutrition in it either.

Try to experiment with different ¬†vegetables for you salad. ¬†Add some fruit, nuts, cheese…mix it up! ¬†I also like to make my own dressings. ¬†Not only does it save money, but I know what is in it! Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on a bottle of salad dressing? ¬†I would rather spend and extra 5 minutes to make it myself and know what we are putting into our bodies!

This salad was definitely a HIT with my family!  I will be making it again!  It does make a HUGE bowl, so you may want to make 1/2 of the recipe. (We are a family of 7.) I will say I am loving the leftovers for my lunch the past 2 days.  The cabbage base is still crunchy like the first day!

Chopped Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce makes a huge bowl

(For the Salad)

1/2 green cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped

1/2 purple cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 bunch of green onions, chopped,

2 red peppers, diced

4 cups shredded carrots

2 lbs grilled sirloin steak (or grilled chicken breast)

peanuts (I add to each individual salad)

(For the Peanut Sauce)

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

3 Tbsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce

juice from 1 lime

2 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/2 cup water**

**If you refrigerate the sauce it will thicken a bit, you may want to add a tiny bit of water to thin before using.

Toss all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl and mix well.  Grill your steak or chicken breast, then slice.  For the sauce, toss all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  I like to keep salad, meat, sauce and peanuts all separate until I am ready to eat.  Put the salad on your plate or in a bowl, top with meat, peanuts and sauce.  Once I have my salad put together, I like to stir to make sure the sauce is on every piece!

21 Day Fix:  Salad: measure with your green container. Meat: measure with your red container. Peanuts: measure in orange container. Sauce: 2 tsps of sauce= 1 tsp on the fix (since it is half peanut butter, half water.)

Are you ready to learn more about the 21 day fix or to join my accountability group? Join Here! 

 

 

Homemade Granola Bars

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If your family is like mine, they LOVE granola bars! ¬†However, I am not a fan of the price or some of the ingredients in the ones you find at the store. ¬†Since I make my own granola, I figured I would attempt to make the family some granola bars. ¬†This was my first attempt and I would say it was pretty successful. ¬†I think next time I won’t boil the honey as long, maybe they will turn out to be more of a “chewy” granola bar then. ¬†These have some crunch to them. ¬†They are perfect for the big kids, but the little ones have a struggle eating them. ¬†For variety try adding different nuts, seeds, raisins, cranberries…let me know what you tried!

Homemade Granola Bars makes 25 bars

1 batch of Coconut Chia Seed Granola

1 cup raw honey

6 Tbsp water

1/2 cup natural peanut butter, optional (or other nut butter)

1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional

Cook the Granola according the directions. ¬†Once the granola is done, heat the honey and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. ¬†I used a candy thermometer to heat to 270 degrees. ¬†(Next time I will try a lower temp. to see if I can create a “chewy” bar.) Once you reach 270 degrees turn off the heat and stir in peanut butter, if using. ¬†Pour the honey mixture over the granola and stir. ¬†It will seem a bit dry, but make sure it all gets covered well. ¬†Line a 9X13 pan with parchment paper. ¬†Pour the granola mixture into the pan. ¬†Use the back of the spoon to press into the pan. ¬†I sprinkled chocolate chips onto after I pressed them into the pan. ¬†Use another piece of parchment paper on top of the bars to press the bars as compact as you can. (The parchment paper is to help since they are so hot. ¬†And making sure they are compact will help them to stick together once they cool.) After they have cooled for about 45 minutes, lift the parchment paper out of the pan and cut the bars. ¬†You want to cut them while they are still a little warm or else they will crumble when you try to cut them. ¬†Once you have cut the bars, let them cool completely. ¬†Store in an airtight container.

21 day fix: 1 bar, 1 yellow treat swap

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Healthy Zuppa Toscana Soup 21 Day Fix Approved

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When we lived in Alaska one of the highlights of visiting family in Washington was having a Ladies Lunch at Olive Garden. ¬†(Alaska didn’t have any Olive Garden’s then, not sure if they have any yet.) When our trip was getting close I could just taste the warm, spicy Zuppa Toscana Soup with endless warm, garlic bread sticks! ¬†Ok, I just made myself hungry for bread sticks now! ¬†ūüôā

Traditionally this type of soup is made with cream and sausage, but since I am trying to be healthier not only for myself but for the whole family, I decided to try to revamp one of our favorite soups! I have to say I honestly don’t notice the difference in taste! ¬†My twin daughters actually had 3 bowls tonight! ¬†I am glad it makes a large pot of soup, so I can have some for lunch tomorrow!

Healthy Zuppa Toscana Soup serves 12- 1 cup servings

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, diced

1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

4 cups kale, chopped

32 oz. organic chicken stock (or vegetable broth)

1 lb Sweet Italian Turkey sausage (or spicy lean turkey sausage) cooked and crumbled

1 lb red potatoes, diced

5 cups of water

salt & pepper to taste

1-1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds (I love the flavor it adds)

Chop the kale (I used a 1/2 of a 1 lb bag that was already chopped).  In a skillet over medium to high heat add the sausage and fennel seeds, cook until browned.  Crumble and drain any grease. Add the onions and garlic to the sausage and cook until soft.  Place water, broth, potatoes and sausage mixture in a large pot.  Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are soft.  Add the milk and kale.  Season with salt and pepper.

*You can make this is a Crock Pot as well.  When you get to the step to add the water, broth, potatoes, and sausage mixture to a large pot place in a crock pot instead and cook on low for 7-8 hours. In the last 30 minutes of cooking add the milk and kale.

**Optional: Sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese. (count as a blue container if you are following 21 day fix.)

21 day fix: 1 cup serving, 1/2 yellow, 1/2 red, 1/2 green

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