This is the first official recipe where I have enjoyed eating Kale…

stirfry-16

You guys. This is HUGE! For those who know me personally, you may know that me and kale don’t get along well. Sorry so sorry to all my fellow nutrition buddies out there but kale is definitley not my cup of tea. Every time I have dared to try the stuff my mouth goes sour with bitterness and I swear to never touch kale again.

You should know I am very open to all ranges of food. It’s extremely rare for me to completely shun a food group out of my palate, but kale doesn’t make the cut. And neither do clams but that’s a whole other story.

stirfry-5

stirfry-2

Anways, there’s kale in this stir fry of chopped greens. I guess you can say I was feeling a little frisky with my life and accepted the kale challenge. I haven’t fully converted though. That stuff is going nowhere near my smoothies.

On another note, I could eat this stir fry every day and be a happy little nutritious camper. As a busy full time student, quick and healthy meals have become a staple. This dish is all that wrapped up in a bow.

stirfry-9

Many will say that adapting a healthy lifestyle is hard. I may be biased towards nutrition in general (shouldn’t everyone be?!) but like with everything else in life, the hardest part is starting. Taking the plunge and buying a bag of apples instead of greasy potato chips. Or in my case a bag of chopped kale instead of the jar of cookie butter that haunts me every Trader Joe’s trip.

It’s simple little choices like these that will eventually grow into a lifestyle. Being healthy won’t be something you’re striving to work towards, it will simply become apart of you…with the occasional spoonful of cookie butter, because a little indulgence is always necessary in my opinion :)

stirfry-15

Following my own food philosphy I splurged on a bag of chopped greens from Trader Joe’s. Kale included. One of the funnest parts of having a food blog is creating something bland and boring into something tasty and fun. Enter–>Apple Glazed Turkey Sausage & Chopped Greens Stir Fry.

So even if you HATE vegetables or kale specifically, I promise you this stir fry will do wonders to your palate. And it doesn’t require a zillion ingredients or hours in the kitchen. 15 minutes out of your day, one skillet and boom…kale mindblown to the max.

stirfry-14

Apple Glazed Turkey Sausage & Chopped Greens Stirfry
Print
Ingredients
  1. 4 turkey sausage links, chopped (Trader Joe’s)
  2. 2 gala apples, chopped
  3. 1 bag Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch Chopped Greens (about 8 cups worth)*
  4. Sea salt + pepper to taste
  5. Handful of chopped peanuts or almonds
Apple Glaze
  1. 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  2. 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (good quality)
  3. 2 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil (melted)
  4. 1 Tbsp honey
Add in’s
  1. Quinoa or brown rice
  2. Roasted potatoes/sweet potatoes
Instructions
  1. Whisk together your apple glaze ingredients then set aside.
  2. Grease a skillet with olive oil and cook your sliced turkey sausage over medium high heat. Continue to cook for about five minutes then add in your apples, continually stirring. After a few minutes add in your chopped greens a few handfuls at a time with your apple glaze and seasoning.
  3. Stir with a wooden spoon until chopped greens begin to wilt and continue to add in more chopped greens. This will only take a few minutes. Once done, serve over quinoa or brown rice. This also pairs will with roasted potatoes!
Notes
  1. Makes 4 servings
  2. *I reccomend using Trader Joe's cruciferous crunch mix since all the vegetables are already pre chopped for you. You can alternatively use your own chopped greens of kale, cabbage and brussels.
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/

PicMonkey Collage2

Now that I am an adult, halloween isn’t exactly my favorite holiday. As a kid, it was super fun. I always wanted to have the scariest looking costume at the halloween parade at school. While all the other girls dressed up in princess costumes…I had a black gown on with the mask from Scream that had fake blood drip down the face…I grew up with an older brother so the princessy-pink thing never stuck with me.

Now that I am older the only thing that appeals to me about Halloween is all the candy that comes with it (how ironic?). I would much rather go trick-or-treatng than prounce around the bars all night in half naked costumes. Needless to say I’m not your average 20-somethin college girl. Just like I wasn’t your typical 10 year old girl…

My Halloween plans will hopefully include making my way down this list filled of healthier treats while I cram for midterms all weekend. So here are 10 alternatives to satisfy your trick-or-treat candy craving this Friday from some of my favorite bloggers!

 

Chocolate Cookie Dough Candy Bars via Oatmeal with a Fork

oatmealwithafork

 

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Blondies via The Healthy Maven

Pumpkin-Spice-Chocolate-Chip-Blondies-3

 

 

Cranberry Dark Chocolate Biscotti via Pinch of Yum

biscotti-2-600x900

 

 

Snickers Stuffed Chocolate Brownie Cookies via Ari’s Menu

snickerscookies-16

 

 

White Chocolate Pumpkin Snack Cake (My favorite pumpkin recipe out of TNK!)

pumpkinbars-10

 

 

Thick and Chewy Grain Free Snickerdoodles via A Clean Bake

IMG_3238

 

 

Single Serving Chocolate Caramel Stuffed Pumpkin Cookie via Imma Eat That

Chocolate-Caramel-Stuffed-Pumpkin-Cookie-7

 

 

Peanut Butter Truffles via Minimalist Baker

5-Ingredient-Vegan-Caramel-PB-Truffles-Crunchy-dark-choocolate-shell-two-layer-CREAMY-caramel-PB-centers-vegan-glutenfree

 

 

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cheerio Bars via Ambitious Kitchen

cheerio bars

 

 

Cookie Butter Truffle Cups (The best way to make use of cookie butter!)

CookieCups-13

Happy Halloween everyone! And happy indulging :)

This is definitely a strange but good type of thing.

savorygranola-8

The idea of savory granola can make your head twitch for a second. Don’t be alarmed. I had the same thoughts too awhile ago but it’s good to look at food with an open mind. Sort of like everything else in the world. I am all about giving people the benefit of the doubt and finding the silver lining in life. And the same goes for food!

Sometimes the most strangest sounding food ends up being delicious. The first time I went to Italy I knew zero Italian besides the words gelato and molto bene. With that strong Italian education background (sarcasm) I had no clue what to order on menus. So I had two strategies.
1) Pick a random item with my eyes closed
2) Ask the waiter their best reccomendaton ( Que Cosa Consiglia?! )

I’m not going to lie, sometimes the meals were not what I expected. But if I hadn’t had an open mind that summer my taste buds never would have discovered the sensations in pairing prosciutto with melon, pouring olive oil over thick slices of mozzarella and finding bliss in a bowl of duck
bolognese.

savorygranola-2

Is your mouth watering yet? I could talk about traveling and the authenticity of Italian food for hours. But back to reality. Sweet and Savory Granola to get you through the hectic week ahead. Ahh real life always has to get in the way of our dreams doesn’t it?

The good news is, this sweet and savory granola will make real life seem a little more dreamy. Hopefully. It will surprise you just as lemoncello gelato surprised me on the streets of Venice with Joey. (Side note, the second time I was in Europe, I spent it with the love of my life. Highly reccomend this way of living.)

savorygranola-3

The sweetness in this granola is very subtle, but comes from hints of honey and roasted peanut butter. This ends up pairing oh so nicley with the flavors of pretzel and barbeque.

You just gotta trust me on this. Go fill your house with the warmth of honey roasted bbq granola in the oven so you can forget about the fact that it’s Monday morning and get lost in your dream world. That’s my plan anyways. 

Sweet and Savory Bbq Pretzel Granola
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 cups rolled oats
  2. 1/2 cup whole grain pretzels + extra for mixing in
  3. 1 Tbsp bbq seasoning (Trader Joe’s)
  4. Sea salt to taste
  5. 1/2 cup peanuts
  6. 1/4 cup golden raisins
  7. 1/4 cup peanut butter
  8. 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  9. 1/4 cup almond milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place 1/2 cup of pretzels in a blender or food processor and blend until a flour forms. This should take less than 15 seconds.
  3. Combine your pretzel flour, oats, peanuts, golden raisins, sea salt and bbq seasoning in a large bowl.
  4. On a skillet over medium heat, melt peanut butter, honey and almond milk until well combined and a thick mixture forms.
  5. Pour this into your dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until oats are completely drenched in mixture.
  6. Spread granola out onto your baking tray and bake for about 30 minutues, checking every 10 minutes and stirring with a wooden spoon.
  7. Once granola is done (will look golden brown) take out of the oven and mix in some pretzels, then drizzle with a little extra honey. Mix together then allow to cool for atleast 15 minutes.
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/

Cuz it’s Fridaaaaay!

pumpkinbars-8

And Friday’s instantly make us all giddy inside so a yummy pumpkin bread recipe naturally pairs with that feeling wonderfully.

That being said, Friday’s aren’t the same for me anymore since Fall quarter started. I have a three hour Anatomy/Physiology lab every Friday morning at 8 a.m…that doesn’t exactly scream happy go-lucky status.

So my Friday mornings normally go like this:
7am: Rushed Breakfast + Coffee + Blogging –> 8am: 3 Hour Lab Mental Atrocity –> 12pm: Trader Joe’s Therapy

pumpkinbars-12

It’s not all that bad. I just like to be over dramatic with my life in order to make it more interesting. Because in reality my life can be pretty boring from an outsiders perspective. Unless you also find zen at Trader Joe’s on a Friday afternoon in order to clear your mind and get lost in the aisles of foodie heaven.

If that’s the case for you let’s get some two buck chuck, dark chocolate peanut butter cups and become best friends please.

pumpkinbars-9

So my latest Friday TJ’s finds included white chocolate chips for only $1.99, I mean how could I resist? And of course, canned pumpkin, rolled oats and PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE. Someone pinch me this stuff is so good.

I don’t usually give into the whole Trader Joe’s pumpkin hoopla…I mean I try a few products here and there but I don’t go crazy with getting ALL the pumpkin things…I have a student budget to abide to unfortunatley.

That being said, after getting mentally beaten down last Friday with a Lab Practical, I felt like treating myself. And that my friends is what Fridays are all about.

pumpkinbars-7

Now as I write this post, with The Voice on in the background, pumpkin bread bar in hand slathered in pumpkin cream cheese and sunbutter…I’m finding my zen, my escape from the stress of school and the beauty of treating myself.

And spoiler alert: these taste like cake. No joke, legit cake. The white chocolate chips + maple cream cheese glaze are just icing on that cake (literally). You will not believe how moist and fluffy these little bars are, and it’s all from good-for-you ingredients like oat flour, greek yogurt, peanut butter and pumpkin puree. Sha-zaaam on that note Happy Friday y’all!

P.S. Does anyone else watch The Voice? I think I’m team Adam… (for obvious reasons)

pumpkinbars-16

White Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Bars with Maple Cream Glaze
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup oat flour* (gluten free if needed)
  2. 1 tsp baking soda
  3. 2 tsp pumpin pie spice
  4. 1 tsp cinnamon
  5. sea salt to taste
  6. 1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  7. 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  8. 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  9. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 cup peanut butter** (or almond butter)
  11. 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  12. 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Glaze
  1. 3 Tbsp cream cheese (Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cream Cheese = THE BEST)
  2. 2 tsp maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Whisk together yogurt, almond milk and vanilla extract. Let this stand for a few minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Combine oat flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, sea salt and sugar in a bowl until well mixed.
  4. Combine pumpkin and peanut butter until well combined. Whisk this into your yougrt mixture until a thick mixture forms. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Fold in white chocolate chips then evenly spread out into your baking dish.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes and while it's baking make cream cheese glaze. Melt the cream cheese in the microwave for a few seconds then mix with maple syrup.
  6. Once bars are done baking, allow to cool in the pan for atleast 20 minutes. Cut into 16 squares then drizzle on maple cream cheese glaze.
Notes
  1. *To make your own flour, simply grind raw oats in a blender or food processor for 30 seconds until smooth.
  2. **I used Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor but any peanut butter will work, and I am sure almond butter will as well.
  3. Makes 16 bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days or in the fridge. These taste best the next day so I reccommend planning ahead if making for an event! Super yummy warmed up with extra cream cheese or nut butter.
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/

More fun things to do with quinoa!

quinoachicken-7

When it comes to food, there are a few commandments I tend to follow. Okay, that’s not true. I am VERY open to all kinds of food but everyone has their preferences and here are some of mine:
1) Crispy is always better. Always.
2) There needs to be a sauce. Or a dip. Or something flavorful to add that brings extra va va voom to my meal.
3) Dry chicken will never be cosumed. I’d rather grab a bowl of cereal and call it a day than conform to dry chicken.
4) All meals get a topping. Wether it’s granola on top of my peanut butter toast, cereal in my smoothies or crunchy chips on top of a burrito bowl…I will make it happen.

Clearly, this list could extend for pages and I would have no problem filling you in on my little quirky atttibutes of food but I’ll just give them to you in bits and pieces. Todays four food commandments tie into this scrumptious little rosemary quinoa crusted chicken sandwich with balsamic crema. You know me and my long titles. Gotta cover all the bases.

quinoachicken-4

So who would have thought quinoa could be used in place of breadcrumbs? Not that I am against breadcrumbs. In fact, my pantry is always stocked with panko bread crumbs that get used in almost every poultry dish made…BUT sometimes we gotta change up the scenery. Especially when that scenery involves extra nutritious benefits.

The benefits of quinoa are no mystery anymore so I am not going to bore you with a post all about how quinoa is the new chia seed. It’s a great source of protien and fiber, more so than most grains. What you really should know is that when you mix your quinoa with excess amounts of rosemary, garlic and parmesan you can get an awesome meal out of it.

quinoachicken-8

And by awesome I mean a crispy coated, non dry peice of chicken drenched in creamy balsamic sauce and throw into a bun. And with that, we covered my quirky food preferences. The quinoa added the perfect crispy crunch coating, which in all hoensty surprised me. I was a little skeptical the quinoa would not come out as a crispy breading, but it worked great!

Rosemary and parmesan are SO essential for this dish as well. When the Recipe Redux challenged us to use spices this month, I was sort of at a lost. I LOVE experimenting with spices and I realize rosemary isn’t something out of the ordinary, but it’s one of my favorite ways to add extra zing to chicken and potaotes. Two essential food groups in my life. Therefore, rosemary = essential. Adding it to the quirky food preference list for sure.

quinoachicken-10

Rosemary Quinoa Crusted Chicken with Balsamic Crema
Print
Chicken
  1. 2 thinly sliced, boneless chicken breasts
  2. 1 Tbsp rosemary
  3. 2 tsp garlic powder
  4. Sea salt + pepper to taste
  5. 1 cup cooked quinoa*
  6. 1/4 cup almond flour (or flour of choice)
  7. 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  8. 1 egg, beaten
  9. 1 Tbsp olive oil
Balsamic Crema
  1. 2 Tbsp strawberry balsamic vinegar (regular is fine, make sure it’s good quality)
  2. 2 Tbsp olive oil mayo (Earth Balance)**
  3. 4 Tbsp plain greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine rosemary, sea salt, pepper, garlic and cooked quinoa in a shallow dish. On a paper plate spread out your flour and set aside.
  2. Whisk together your egg and olive oil in a shallow bowl until thick and fluffy.
  3. Coat chicken in flour on both sides, then into your egg mixture and lastly into your rosemary quinoa. Make sure both sides are evenly covered and place into a greased baking dish. Repeat with your other slice of chicken. Lightly spray with olive oil cooking spray and bake for 25-30 minutes, setting oven to broil the last few minutes for an extra crisp.
  4. While the chicken is baking, prepare your balsamic crema. Whisk together balsamic, olive oil mayo and greek yogurt. For the olive oil mayo, I use earth balance brand. They use healthier ingredients than regular mayo like olive oil, but still give off the same flavor.
  5. Once chicken is done, top with balsamic crema and serve with vegetables, in a sandwich or however you prefer!
Notes
  1. *Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. You will need one cup of COOKED quinoa, not uncooked.
  2. **For the olive oil mayo, I used Earth Balance brand. They don't use any weird ingredients and is a great alternative to regular mayonaise. Veganeise would work great as well.
  3. Serves 2-4
Adapted from Damn and Delicious
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/

quinoachicken-13