My Favorite Produce Picks for Spring

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March is right around the corner, and not to mention March is National Nutrition Month. Luckily, March is one of the first months in which superfoods are bursting from gardens and into our produce isle. Here are my favorite picks for spring.

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Artichokes

Artichokes are high in antioxidants which can help combat aging and heart disease. They also have positive effects on the liver thanks to phytonutrients. Not to mention they are packed with fiber.

Artichokes are a great finger food. We drizzle ours with evoo, add a little fresh lemon juice, wrap them in foil, and grill them. Delicious!

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Asparagus

Asparagus is low in sodium and calories, and it provides a healthy dose of fiber, potassium and B vitamins. They also pack anti-aging vitamins A, C, E, as well as K, which is a booster for skin elasticity, and luminosity.

I usually steam my asparagus, or my favorite is to toss it in evoo, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Then broil for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parmesan cheese while still hot. It is awesome!

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Pineapple

Pineapple is probably my most favorite fruit. They are second to bananas as America’s favorite tropical fruit. The season for pineapple runs from March through June, but they are available year-round in local markets. Pineapple has anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits. They also provide anti-oxidants and immune support. Pineapple is an excellent source of manganese, which is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses.
I love pineapple fresh, sliced in a salad, and grilled.

Happy Healthy Living!πŸ™‚

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

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I came across this recipe last year on www.jen-fits-playground.com. I love Jen’s recipes! Not to mention this one is perfect for the Autumn season.

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake (Leslie style.πŸ™‚ )

3/4 cup of coconut milk
1/4 cup of pumpkin purΓ©e
1/4 tsp of vanilla
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use EAS)
1/2 tsp of pumpkin spice
Stevia to taste
Ice

Put all of your ingredients in your blender and process until thick and creamy. Yummo!…and who said protein shakes were boring??πŸ˜‰

Clean Eating Minestrone Soup

It is soup and crock pot cooking season! This was my first time making minestrone soup in the crock pot. It turned out mouth watering delicious.

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Ingredients:
1 large can of organic tomato sauce
1 large can of organic tomatoes
2 cartons of organic vegetable broth
2 green onion (chopped)
1 bunch of basil
3 bay leaves
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 red onion (chopped)
7 carrots sliced
3 zucchini sliced
1 can kidney beans
1 can chickpeas
1 package of button mushrooms chopped
1 package of frozen corn
1 package of frozen peas
6 stalks of celery chopped (I used some I had frozen)
2 Tbsp of evoo

Directions:
Chop all of your veggies and herbs. Lily helped while Jaydon had quality time with Dad.πŸ™‚ I couldn’t keep her out of the carrots.
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SautΓ© garlic, onions, and herbs in evoo for 3 minutes to get the aroma flowing. Add remaining ingredients and cook on high for 5-7 hours. I divided it up into single servings and froze a lot of it. The only thing missing is…fresh bread. Guess I need to pull out the bread machine.πŸ˜‰

Butternut Squash Soup and Sweet Potato Fries!

I just LOVE Fall. It’s my favorite time of year! Yesterday the kids and I spent the afternoon putting up Fall and Halloween decorations. I even have a themed bathroom set. I know…I’m lame, but we have so much fun!πŸ˜‰

Real quick I did want to share my new favorite lunch recipe that I got off of the TurboFire 5 Day Inferno nutrition plan.
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Egg Salad Wrap and Side Salad

Ingredients:
2 hard boiled eggs, yolk removed from one
1/4 cup of low-fat cottage cheese
Whole wheat tortilla (approx. 50-70 calories)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard (I use jalapeΓ±o/cilantro mustard)
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions: Chop up hard boiled egg and mix with cottage cheese, mustard, salt & pepper. Place onto tortilla and wrap. Serve with 2 cups of mixed greens, tomatoes, and 1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar. Toss all ingredients. Enjoy!

Last week I was so fortunate that a friend thought of me when her co-op in her neighborhood was a person short. I paid $20 for all of this produce from the Dallas Farmers Market! I am currently looking into starting a co-op for our neighborhood.
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Now with all of this food you know I was SO excited to try some of Tosca Reno’s recipes!πŸ˜‰ I am definitely making those stuffed pumpkins on the cover!
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First I made the Butternut Squash Soup. It was my first time even having butternut squash soup, and let me tell you…it was devine. I LOVED it! It was thick and creamy. I honestly don’t know why I haven’t had this sooner. Here’s the recipe!

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Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:
1/4 cup of evoo
1 large butternut squash
3 green onions chopped
1/2 head of garlic
1/2 tsp rice bran oil
1 cup of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Juice from 1 lime
Sea salt & ground pepper to taste
Ground nutmeg

Directions:
Drizzle squash with oil and roast. When finished & cooled. Scrape squash into large stock pot. Add onion, garlic, stock, & lime juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer for 15 min. I poured mine into my healthmaster and pureed it. Garnish with green onion & nutmeg. It’s SO good! I stored the leftovers in some mason jars I found in the pantry the other day.πŸ™‚
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I have finally perfected my sweet potato oven fries recipe! The whole family loves them.πŸ™‚
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Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Ingredients:
β€Ž3 medium sweet potatoes, skin on and cut into finger like wedges.
1 Tbsp of evoo
4 cloves of minced garlic
Sea salt & ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp of Italian seasoning

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss potatoes with the rest of the ingredients. Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. I serve them with a homemade spicy mustard dipping sauce.

Sauce:
2 Tbsp of jalepino cilantro mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp of raw local honey
Enjoy!

For a fitness update…still LOVING my turbo kickboxing class M, W, F. PiYo is another addiction for Tues, and Thurs. I have now committed to a half marathon for next year, so I need to squeeze that training in as well. I don’t want to over do it. I’m focusing on properly fueling my body because I really feel that over training and not properly fueling my body led to my back injury. So focus and dedication is where I’m at right now.πŸ˜‰

Happy Healthy Living!

Did someone say California Rolls??

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This was my first time making sushi rolls and it was messy, sticky, and fun! Definitely something I’m going to need to practice.πŸ˜‰

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Nori is Soooo good for you. I buy sheets of it, cut it into little squares and keep it in a baggie in my purse. Lily loves snacking on Nori! I made the jasmine rice and the aroma while this was cooking was almost intoxicating. Loved it!πŸ™‚

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You can use what you like. We used sliced cucumber, avocado, artificial crab meat, and green onion.

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It rolled nicely, but started to tear slightly…not sure why. Maybe because I put the rice on slightly warm.

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YUM!

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It started to fall apart when I picked it up. Tasted yummy!…but didn’t hold together well. Wonder what I did wrong??

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So I made it into a wrap!πŸ™‚

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You can’t have sushi without ginger! They go hand in hand.

Please share your favorite sushi recipe and let me know what kind of rice you use.πŸ™‚

Happy Healthy Living!

5 Going Green Tips for Going Back to School

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I know school has started for most of us or about to for some. I wanted to share with you some green tips my family uses and please feel free to share your own ideas.πŸ™‚

1.) Ride your bike or walk to school. You can join us for the month of October for International Walk to School Day!

2.) Buy recycled paper. Check out The Green Office for purchasing green school supplies and even items for your office.πŸ˜‰

3.) Use a reusable lunch box instead of paper bags. We even use containers in place of baggies. Check out www.easylunchboxes.com for some great ideas.

4.) Donate last years clothes!

5.) Find someone you can car pool with for sports and/or extra curricular activities.

I hope this helps kick start your going back to school the green way. Please feel free to share your green ideas!

Happy Green Living!

Playing Catch Up…

A recap for you…Jaydon started kindergarten and there has been a mediterranean theme going on with my cooking. Boy do I have some yummy recipes for you!

First things first…my sweet baby boy started kindergarten. He is such and awesome kid.
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With Jaydon at school I wanted to focus a little more on spending time with Lily bug one on one. We spent a day painting toes and shopping. I bought her some flowers and she picked out “her favorite.”πŸ˜‰
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Lookie lookie what I found…
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I can’t think of anything that goes better with Greek olive hummus and pretzels than…
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Greek-style olives!

Hello carb lovers!! I stumbled upon these on an end cap. Perfect for a veggie sandwich for lunch. Layer up on side with your favorites and fold over and enjoy.πŸ™‚
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Or you can go with Artisan lettuce wraps. Isn’t this a beautiful picture?πŸ˜‰
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I am going to make a salad with this tonight. I’m also grilling chicken and I am going to make my own salad dressing using lemon Chobani Greek yogurt.
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My husband does have a sweet side! Ha. Jayson picked these up for me to try while he was out shopping. The lemon chobani was a great post workout snack today after I finished my awesome PiYoclass.

My Grandmother came over this weekend to watch the kids while Jayson and I got out and had some much needed adult time together. Grammie’s 90 year old neighbor sent this apron of hers with her to give to me.
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I LOVE it! It is SO my mother.πŸ™‚

Now its time for my Grilled Pizza Recipe!
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Ingredients:
1 loaf of 4 cheese chibatta bread
1 cup of mozzarella cheese shredded
1/2 zucchini sliced very thin
1 yellow and 1 orange mini bell pepper sliced
3 mushrooms sliced
Handful of chopped basil
2 green onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
Handful of cherry tomatoes sliced
Evoo
Salt and pepper to taste
Tomato & basil feta cheese

Directions:
Heat grill on low. Brush chibatta bread with evoo and 1 garlic clove. Place on grill face down for 4 minutes. Meanwhile mix all remaining ingredients except feta cheese, & mozzarella cheese and drizzle with a little evoo and let it sit while grilling bread. Pull bread off grill and place ingredients starting with mozzarella cheese and minus the feta cheese. Place in oven at 350 degrees for 5 more minutes. Pull out and top with feta cheese. This was SO yummy! Enjoy!