Italian fresh tomato cannellini beans

1 Can no sodium cannellini beans in water (drained and rinsed)
3 Cloves garlic roughly chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
4 Roma tomatoes diced
Fresh basil ribboned

Heat oil over medium low and add beans.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add in half of tomatoes and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add in garlic and vinegar and lower heat.  Cook until tomatoes and garlic are soft, about 3 more minutes.  Taste and adjust salt & pepper seasoning as needed.  Plate and top with remaining fresh tomatoes and fresh sliced basil.  I garnished with toasted sourdough bread for sopping up the juices.

I came home tonight in a hurry and starving. I had fresh tomatoes and basil in my garden so I ran with that.  This makes about 1.5 cups of food.  I served it in a half cup of bean portion.  For one serving it was 239 calories.


Teriyaki baked turkey meatballs (teriyaki glaze recipe included)

I made these delicious teriyaki turkey meatballs for dinner last night with an exceptional Teriyaki glaze to go with it.  I doubled the recipe below so I could make teriyaki burgers for dinner tonight and then used the glaze to coat some roasted mushrooms.  The family approved both meals.  The single recipe makes about 30 1.5-2" meatballs.

1.5 lbs ground turkey
1 egg
1/4 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 Tsp micro-planed fresh ginger
2 Tbsp finely chopped green onions
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup crushed pineapple (drained, reserve juice for sauce)
Salt & Pepper to taste

1/2 Cup soy sauce
1 Cup water
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp fresh chopped garlic
1 Tsp micro-planed fresh ginger plus an extra knob tossed in to boil
1 Tsp fresh lime juice
1.5-2 tsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp water

4 Tbsp thin sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Line a deep baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. (I needed two pans because I made larger meatballs).

In a large bowl combine the panko and milk and set aside to allow the panko to soften as you dice veggies.

Combine remaining ingredients in the bowl with the panko excluding turkey and mix it until all ingredients are combined well.  A habit I picked up as a professional caterer was to always use gloves when mixing the meat.  Once the ingredients are combined using nitrile plastic gloves add in the ground turkey.  Mix until combined.  The mixture will be wet.  Form into 1.5 - 2" balls and place in the lined pan.  You can line them up fairly close to each other, they will separate after they are cooked.  They don't hold the circular shape super well because they are very moist.  Bake for 12 minutes, then flip each meatball and bake for an additional 3 minutes.

While the meatballs are baking add all of the ingredients reserving the cornstarch and water.  Whisk and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 15 minutes while meatballs cook.  At the very end combine cornstarch and water and bring sauce up to boil.  Quickly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauce.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer and thicken.  I tasted mine a few times during this and found I wanted to add a little more water. I also found I wanted my glaze a little thicker so I did a second round of cornstarch.

Remove meatballs from the pan and separate.  Place a small portion of your glaze in a bowl and toss meatballs in sauce allowing them to glaze.  Serve over rice or quinoa and drizzle with more sauce to your liking.  Top with sliced green onions.  

These meatballs should come out very juicy and moist.

I doubled the above recipe and reserved half of the unshaped meat for diner tonight.  I made burgers with the teriyaki turkey with a small sauce drizzle.  Then I roasted mushrooms and tossed them in a small amount of the sauce.  It really worked well.

My kids each ate 5 meatballs and then asked for seconds.  My husband also loved them.  This was a winner for sure.


Cleaning it up around here

I guess it's time to discuss this here also.  You may have noticed I've been posting moderately healthier recipes lately.  There is a reason.  In the last seventeen months I've been making a change.  When I started this blog I had just had my second son.  I had lost a ton of weight breastfeeding and I really had no concept of health and nutrition.  I spent the next six years slowly gaining weight, until I reached a peak documented weight of 198 pounds.  March 25th 2013 I joined a gym.  August 2013 I got a trainer.  January 2014 I made a choice to try clean eating.  I haven't really looked back.  I have lost 55 pounds and 10% body fat.  I've cleaned up my kids eating.  I've tried to clean up my husbands eating.  I read food labels. I don't use processed foods. I don't use anything with red 40 or high fructose corn syrup.  My childrens snacks went from junk food to a healthy snack box with a hard boiled egg, nitrate free meat, organic cheese and fresh fruit.  Their breakfasts are almost always home made and I try hard to cook balanced flavorful dinners. I want them to learn now to eat good wholesome foods.  My oldest son is now running three miles and he feels great.

The fact remains that I cannot go through this change and then come here and post a bunch of crap food.  I can't motivate people to continue eating bad foods.  I cannot advocate chemical dyes, boxed food, processed foods, shortcut recipes full of toxins, or food with zero nutritional value. I will not promote an unhealthy lifestyle anymore.  My goal here is to be one of those food bloggers who provides recipes that look incredible, taste incredible and are good fuel for your body.  I see so many food blogs now that are "homemade" blogs yet the recipes are a box of cake mix, a can of soda, and a can of processed fruit.  This is not HOMEMADE.  This is not fuel for your body.  This is a lazy way of making a meal.  Packaged sauce packets can be made from scratch.  Boxed cake mix is a cop out.  Flour, sugar, butter, and baking powder are not difficult to use.  Processed canned cake frosting is offensive to me.  I spent two straight years baking for a professional caterer here in my town.  What I can do with some butter, or heavy cream as a frosting is mind blowing.  I will share some of that with you again, and I promise you will never eat canned frosting again.

 I still make desserts, I still fry stuff, but....it's in a better way.  I don't make dessert out of a box or a can anymore, I make it with fresh ingredients the right way.  I'm going to do my best to keep posting healthier recipes, some might be clean, some might be vegan, some might be protein shakes I make in the morning.  Who knows.  Either way, I figured I should explain the change in posting here.  I hope you all stay on board as I clean up my act!

Banana cashew butter ice cream FOR BREAKFAST (raw, vegan, and so so delicious)

I was trolling around on Instagram earlier in the week when I discovered a user named @sadulifestyle she is a vegan and eats clean.  I was enamored by her entire Instagram. Being a vegetarian who doesn't eat, meat, fish, eggs, or milk; and is allergic to tofu and peanuts, has made my life miserable lately.  Then I saw her post for banana peanut butter ice cream for breakfast.  WHAT! Ice cream for breakfast blasphemy.  Surely I didn't read right.  Only I did.  She had made the easiest ice cream ever for breakfast and I'll be dammed if I wasn't trying it THE VERY NEXT DAY.  I set off to Whole Foods, bought my bananas, chopped them up and immediately threw them into the freezer.  I made sure I had cashew butter on hand and then I impatiently waited for morning.  I woke up this morning, rushed down stairs and did the following:

1 Banana chopped & frozen
1 Tbsp nut butter

Added the banana to my Vitamix (you need to use something stronger then your bullet for this).  Blended until creamy.  Add in cashew butter and blend until smooth.  Grab rubber spatula and scoop it out of blender.  Lick spatula.  Despair over how to get all of the remaining ice cream at the bottom of the blender that my spatula couldn't reach.

You guys. This was the creamiest most perfect thing I've ever tasted.  By my calculations the whole thing was 190 calories, had about 9 grams of fat (I used the Jiff Cashew butter, I was out of my good raw organic stuff), zero cholesterol and 13 grams of sugar (almost all from the banana).  Plus it had potassium, vitamins and flavor.  It was oddly filling, and so so refreshing during this summer heat.  After thinking about it, making the "ice cream" is really no different then my morning protein smoothies.  I topped mine with chia seeds and called it a day.  I've noticed she has used berries in hers also and I'm just dying to try a blueberry banana ice cream tomorrow.