Healthy Chicken Caesar Wrap

Chicken Caesar Wrap

 

It’s hard bringing your lunch to work every day–I get that. It’s especially hard bringing a healthy lunch to work every day. Not only do you have to wake up earlier to make your lunch, but you have to plan ahead for what you are going to eat, and shop for the ingredients you need. It’s obviously more convenient to swing by a drive through, or fork over at least $10 for a nicer meal, but it’s definitely not healthier or easier on the wallet. So I can at least help you by providing an easy packable lunch option. All you have to do is wake up slightly earlier–you can give me 5 minutes, right? Just drink some coffee if it sounds too overwhelming!

 

I ate this chicken caesar wrap almost every day this week for lunch, and since I may have gestational diabetes (still waiting on my 3 hour glucose results), I figured I might as well start myself on a nice carb-controlled diet. Did you know you can eat healthy, be active, and still get gestational diabetes? It doesn’t sound fair to me, but what type of dietitian would I be if I couldn’t coach myself on carb-counting! I used the multi-grain with flax Flatout brand wrap for this recipe. The wraps have a few more fluff ingredients than I would prefer, but they don’t tear up when you fold them (finally!), only contain 100 calories, have 9 grams of protein, and only 1 gram of sugar–overall a very good nutritional profile. You could absolutely use a tortilla or 1/2 a pita too, but I haven’t had much luck with my whole wheat pitas not tearing upon filling recently, so I went a new route. I filled my wrap with mixed purple and green romaine lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes, shredded herb seasoned rotisserie chicken, Annie’s artichoke and parmesan dressing, with just a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. I love all of Annie’s brand dressings because they are made with healthy fats, and real ingredients. You can use a rotisserie chicken as an easy way to get flavorful protein without cooking, just be sure to remove the skin to avoid unnecessary fat. You can either roll up the wrap like a burrito, or roll end over end like a cinnamon roll from the shorter side to make a spiral-type wrap. Pack it up and enjoy it with a piece of fruit for lunch!

 

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Cheesy Beef & Broccoli Quinoa

Cheesy Beef & Broccoli Quinoa

 

It’s a few weeks after the New Year, and I bet everyone is trying to get back into their normal healthy meal routine after all those extra indulgent holiday meals (just like me). At 7 months prego, it’s hard to know how much of this last months weight gain was due to Christmas cookies vs actual necessary baby weight gain (I think I’ll stick with the it’s all baby story). Either way, I think it’s a perfect time for another #HealthyInUnder30 recipe. After all, what better way to kick off a healthy year than with broccoli, right?

 

Not only does this hearty dish come together in no time, but there are only 6 ingredients, so assembly is a breeze. I originally created this recipe for my sister-in-law and myself one night when both of our husbands were out of town, but we didn’t want to be unhealthy and order pizza. I also wanted something I could make that afternoon at home and easily transport to her house to eat later. The beauty of quinoa as a grain base is that it really doesn’t get mushy like pasta and rice do after being reheated.

 

If you are a non-meat eater and want to make it a vegetarian or vegan dish, just sub black beans for the beef, and omit the cheese. If you aren’t a vegan, don’t omit the cheese! It’s really just a garnish, so it isn’t making the dish unhealthy, and it adds that perfect tangy finishing kick.

 

Strawberry Fields Smoothie: Organic Squeeze Copycat Recipe!

Strawberry Fields Smoothie

 

I love starting off my day with a nutritionally packed breakfast, and there aren’t many easier or quicker options in those early morning hours than a smoothie. You can throw together an endless combinations of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and even grains to make a varied breakfast every single day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my go-to eggs and avocado, but I can’t eat eggs every day. However, I have no problem starting the day off with a smoothie for months on end, so long as I switch up the ingredients regularly.

 

The drink I’ve been hooked on recently is called the Strawberry Fields Smoothie. I originally drank this delight at my local OKC Organic Squeeze; their smoothies are terrific, and I love the fresh ingredients they use. This smoothie is the perfect combination of strawberries, bananas, oats, almond milk, almonds, flax, dates, agave, and cinnamon. Did you read that there are oats in the smoothie? What a perfect ingredient to use in a breakfast smoothie! Unfortunately, I can’t drop $6.50 on my breakfast every day; I’ll save those purchases for those really rushed mornings when I’m running out the door like a crazy person. Thankfully, I (and you) can whip up one of these filling smoothies at home. All the ingredients are vegan friendly, so everyone can enjoy this drink! You could definitely substitute the almond milk with soy or cow’s milk, or use honey instead of agave syrup if you don’t feel like buying those specific ingredients. But I love the drink just how it was meant to be, and it cost less than $1 a day to make–that’s some serious savings!

 

If you love Organic Squeeze smoothies as much as I do, you can check out my other copycat recipe–the Green Monster smoothie for a veggie-packed option! It’s a powerhouse smoothie to drink after a hard workout. You’ll feel healthier just by looking at its green goodness.

 

Banana Oat Breakfast Muffins–Low Sugar & 100% Whole Grain

Banana Oat Breakfast Muffins

 

The other morning I awoke to a particularly bad craving for muffins. I’ve heard that you’re not supposed to ignore pregnancy cravings, so who was I to deny my unborn child a moist, and delicious muffin. Rather than immediately drive to the nearest Starbucks in my pajamas and buy some sugary, over-sized dessert muffin, I patiently tried my hand at whipping up a batch at home. I wanted the recipe to be simple and delicious, but still low in added sugar, and made from completely whole grains. Rarely do I succeed so perfectly on a first recipe attempt, but sometimes I just get lucky! These muffins turned out perfectly moist and lightly browned on top. I immediately ate two before even photographing them.

 

These muffins are naturally sweetened from bananas; I only added an additional 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and they really didn’t need any more sweetener than that. I used Greek yogurt to help keep the muffins moist (whole grain baked goods tend to need extra moisture), and the yogurt helps cut down on the fat needed too. There is only 1/3 cup oil in the whole recipe. I also used whole wheat flour and oats for the whole grain-filled, won’t-spike-your-blood-sugar muffin base. I threw in some chia seeds to help bind the muffins together, while also adding in an extra boost of healthy fat and fiber!

 

Feel free to throw in a cup of blueberries for super fruity muffins, or toss in some walnuts for a banana nut version. If you aren’t concerned with a little extra sugar, some dark chocolate chips would make these extra decadent! No matter what, I promise you won’t know they are healthy muffins, because they taste that good!

 

 

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No Bake Pumpkin Bars: Gluten-Free, Vegan, & No Refined Sugar!

No Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars

 

Today I give to you a delicious pumpkin dessert recipe just in time for Thanksgiving! If you are trying to make a dish your gluten-free aunt, vegan cousin, and everyone in between will enjoy, then you can breathe a sigh of relief–your search is over (that’s one more thing to be thankful for).  These festive no-bake bars may be gluten-free, vegan, and contain zero refined sweeteners, but they are definitely not lacking in flavor or sweetness from a lot of natural, and healthy ingredients!

 

The crust is made from oats, pecans, dates, and coconut oil, which also doubles as a crumbly topping. The pumpkin filling is made from pumpkin puree, dates, banana, real maple syrup, and coconut oil. The coconut oil helps the filling set up without needing eggs or cream cheese. I wouldn’t go so far as to say these bars are low fat or necessarily low calorie (because they aren’t), but the fat is coming from heart healthy pecans and unrefined coconut oil, which is way better for you than the trans-fat laden shortening found in most crusts. Plenty of sweetness comes from the dates and banana, which are naturally sweet and nutrient-dense foods. The added maple syrup gives it that classic pumpkin pie taste, and adds even more sweetness, plus a little extra minerals like calcium, manganese, and zinc that are absent in your white sugar. So go ahead and get cooking (or not cooking, since no oven is required) and you will have a crowd-pleasing dessert in under 30 minutes.

 

 

No Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars--Vegan & GF--pan