The Best Kale and Quinoa Salad

I made this salad a few weekends ago to take with us to a BBQ, and it was a hit.  The lemon juice makes the kale super tender and gives it a great summer feel.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dry quinoa, cooked

handful of asparagus, steamed and cut into pieces

1 pint cherry tomatoes halved

3 cups baby kale finely chopped and mixed with lemon juice of 1 whole lemon and sea salt

1/2 red pepper chopped

1 can of white beans or chick peas, drained and rinsed

1/2 red onion finely chopped

3 green onions chopped

Toss together with a little salt and pepper and you’re done.  I like it best chilled in the fridge, and I don’t add any oil.

Red Curry Chicken with Coconut Cauliflower “Rice”

gluten free low carb cooking

Last week I was pleasantly catching up on my favorite blogs when I saw these amazing pictures that Jacquelyn posted of this yummy recipe.  I was intrigued but also weary of this recipe since it asked for it to be served on a bed of rice, which I am trying to limit since I’m still looking to shed about ten more pounds.  I initially toyed around with the idea of serving the curry on a bed of quinoa, but I know quinoa has a very distinct and overpowering taste, and then the AHA moment came.  I asked Briana what she though would make a good rice substitute and she suggested cauliflower!!  So I decided to try it for our dinner on Sunday with added chicken for extra protein, although any veggies or protein substitute would also work.  I served it on a bed of coconut cauliflower “rice” and I skipped adding cilantro since I didn’t have any in the house.

The recipe is incredibly flavorful, delicious, healthy and super easy to make.  **see recipe after the pictures**

gluten free low carb cooking gluten free low carb cooking

 

Coconut Cauliflower “Rice” Recipe

1 head of cauliflower chopped into large pieces

1 can of low fat coconut milk

1/2 cup of water

salt to taste

In a large pot place the cauliflower pieces, pour water and coconut milk on top and boil until just slightly soft.  Remove the cauliflower pieces from the coconut milk mixture and into a separate bowl.  Dump out the remaining liquid.  Mash the cauliflower with a fork until the desired consistency is reached.  Add salt to taste and serve.

 

Red Curry Chicken Recipe

1 large chicken breast chopped into chunks

1 can of chick peas (cooked)

1 med onion diced

1 med tomato diced

6 cloves of garlic minced

2 tbsp thai red curry paste

2 tbsp tamari sauce

1 tbsp agave nectar

juice from half a lime

1/4 cup light coconut milk

salt to taste

Heat olive oil in a pan, and sautee onions until a little glossy.  Add chicken and cook thorough.  Add garlic and 1tbsp of red curry paste and mix until well blended.  Add tomatoes, lime juice, tamari sauce and agave nectar, and simmer for 4 minutes.  Add coconut milk and continue to simmer for another 3-5minutes depending on how thick you’d like the sauce.  Remove from heat, add the remaining 1 tbsp of curry paste and salt to taste.  Serve over coconut cauliflower “rice”.

The Fight for Health

I’m sitting here pool-side, on our mommy-daddy vacation, reading the new book I picked up on our way down, Wheat Belly, and I just have to write this post.

If you haven’t read Wheat Belly yet, I urge you to pick up or borrow a copy. The message of the book is extremely important for not just weight loss but our family health.

I experienced the effects of a gluten-free diet completely by accident. For the past few years I have struggled to shed weight especially belly weight. I am and have been for years and years a very active person. I run, I go to the gym, I eat a healthy diet. I don’t go to extremes and enjoy a moderate diet of both veggies an the occasional pastry or macaron. Yet despite my 6-7 days of cardio+weights a week and even diet changes I just wasn’t able to shed the weight and worse I seemed to continue to gain belly weight. After giving birth I attributed the belly weight to something normal that happened as a result if being a new mom. But I don’t believe that to be the case any more.

In January I decided to make a change. I eliminated all starchy carbs, which by default included gluten. In addition I minimized the amount of dairy consumed and limited it to a splash of milk in my coffee and a few spoonfuls of fat free Greek yogurt. The results have been astounding. Not only have I lost 11+ lbs but I lost most of it in my belly…2inches to be exact. Yes I exercise too. But I always have and in the the past it wasn’t sufficient to cause me to lose any weight.

In addition to the weight loss I feel amazing. I don’t have cravings which helps me make smart food choices at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I sleep better. My stomach cramps from which I suffered for years have completely disappeared. I am less bloated. I run faster, breathe better and am less irritable. All the while I was aware of these changes but had no insight into the cause.

Wheat Belly is now giving me the answers I have been looking for. The premise is simple, wheat has been genetically modified to make it easier to grow, yet the way that it is processed and absorbed by our bodies is by way of converting it to glucose…sugar. 2 slices of whole wheat bread are the worse for you than munching on a tablespoon of white sugar. Excess sugar in our system is converted to fat…primarily belly fat. Beer belly and wheat belly…same. The book goes into more detail about the really damaging health and neural effects of gluten so I won’t go into detail. If you are interested read the book.

I know that our family’s future will be a gluten free one. What scares me most is the unknown. I feel like I’m constantly fighting a battle for health. Health for my son and my family. I don’t know all. I am afraid of what I don’t know. But all I can do is try to be as informed as possible and follow my gut. In this case my own personal symptoms are enough to convince me. I can’t argue with feeling better.

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26 percent

I have finally conquered a major milestone, breaking the 150lb benchmark that has been a constant for me since I gave birth.  Last month I told you how I was assessed at 31% body fat, you can read that post here.  Well I did it!  11 lbs later, 11 total inches lost and I’m down to 141lbs and 26% body fat.

It hasn’t been an easy month.  I’ve dealt with ear infections and colds, really stressful work days and even more stressful house hunting.  I had days when all I wanted to do was order a pizza, sit in bed and watch shows.  But I didn’t and I’m so glad that I didn’t.

Week three for me was the hardest, but since then I’ve found my groove, and this new way of eating and working out has become a habit.  I still don’t eat many carbs, and I’ve cut out gluten entirely.  I don’t eat any dairy except for the occasional non-fat greek yogurt.  I cut out sugar and increased my protein and water intake.  And you know what??  I feel amazing.  I don’t feel bloated anymore, I feel leaner and full of energy.  So its working, this new way of life.  I still have a ways to go.  My goal weight is 130lbs, the weight I was at when I got married.  So I’ve got that to strive for.  But for now I’m taking it day by day, and thanks to my amazing supportive husband and my friend and personal trainer Briana founder of Bikini Body Mommy, I am sure I will succeed.

Baked Salmon with Corn and Tomato Salsa

the best salmon recipe

I was in a rush to make dinner last night, a healthy yet delicious quick dinner.  Johannes was in a terrible mood…canines are the worst for teething…so he wasn’t about to let me do much cooking.  Luckily I had some precooked quinoa and three pieces of fresh sockeye salmon in the fridge.  I decided to make a quick corn and tomato salsa using the organic cherry tomatoes, red onion and cilantro lying around in my fridge.  I layered the salsa on top of my fish and popped it in the oven for 15minutes, just enough time to steam some broccoli and asparagus.

I have to say I was pretty excited about the result.  It was as delicious as it was colorful…and packed with tons of vitamins and antioxidants.

the best salmon recipe

Here’s how you can make it:

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup corn

1/4 cup red onion

fresh cilantro

1/4 of a lemon’s juice

fresh pepper

fresh wild salmon

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.  Chop the tomatoes, onion, cilantro.  Toss in a bowl with lemon juice and fresh pepper.  Place the salmon in a lined roasting pan and top with the corn and tomato salsa.  Bake for 15 minutes or until desired tenderness.

the best salmon recipe the best salmon recipe

The Best Flourless Chocolate Banana Pancakes

protein pancakes

Pancakes are my favorite to have on weekends, with pure maple syrup and loaded with tons of fruit.  I definitely miss them now that I’ve cut down on sugar, dairy and starchy carbs.  But that just meant that I had to find another way to make pancakes…protein pancakes…flourless pancakes.  And these little morsels turned out just as yummy as I imagined them in my mind.

Here’s how you can make the best flourless pancakes loaded with lots of protein.

1 ripe banana

1 whole egg

1 cup liquid egg whites

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup flax seeds

1/4 cup hemp seeds

1/2 crushed walnuts

1 cup whole blueberries

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1/2 unsweetened almond milk

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Mix banana, almond milk and egg in a blender.  Add the egg banana mixture to the rest of your ingredients and stir.  Cook the pancakes as you would any other pancakes, and enjoy.

 

protein pancakes