Friday, February 13, 2015

CIY Qdoba Naked Burrito Bowl

CIY - Cook It Yourself

Here's my knockoff of the Qdoba Mexican Grill Naked Veggie Burrito Bowl.

It's filling, flavorful and full of good for you ingredients.  I call this a throw together meal as it combines a building block foods, (healthful items I always have cooked and ready to go in my fridge), with a few pantry staples into an amazing meal.


Building block foods - click links for recipes
Cooked brown rice
Oven roasted vegetables

Other ingredients
Salad mix
black beans, canned - reserve liquid
1/2 jalapeno pepper, remove seeds and finely chop
1/2 avocado, cubed
fresh lime

  • In a saucepan, heat the canned black beans with the liquid over medium heat.  Add chopped jalapeno, some paprika and cumin to taste (~1/2 teaspoon).  Stir and simmer till warmed thru. Do not boil.
  • If your cooked rice and roasted vegetable are cold from the refrig - reheat them.
  • Meanwhile, wash, dry and lightly chop your salad greens. I really enjoy a mix of spicy arugula with a tender baby spinach.  This time I used a baby spinach and baby kale mix. Place the greens in the bottom of your bowl.
  • Top with brown rice, ~1/3 cup.
  • Layer on about 1/3 cup of your seasoned black beans. (Use a slotted spoon to drain off the liquid.)
  • Pile on an ample serving of roasted vegetables. (The pictured mix contained zucchini, red onion, portobella mushrooms and carrots.)
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro (about 1 tablespoon) and cubed avocado.
  • Sprinkle the juice of half a lime across the top and a few tablespoons of your favorite salsa. (My current favorite is Original Juan Smoked Jalapeno Batch #218 Salsa - amazing flavor and spicy kick.)

This bowl is fantastic! There's a whole lot going on... you get spicy heat from the beans and salsa, cool creaminess from the avocado, bright flavor from the lime and cilantro, meatiness from the roasted mushrooms, a touch of sweet from the carrots and nuttiness from the brown rice.  All the flavors and textures come together beautifully.

This version is also vegan. natural and Daniel Fast friendly. Mix it up to fit your tastes. Change the veggies, add some grilled chicken, beef or shrimp - it's your bowl - do what you wanna do!

Foods that are good for you can taste so good.

Salsa image source

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal Review

Today I tried this cereal and it tastes...healthy. (smile)

On the real - this is nothing like a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios or a healthy looking, fat and sugar laden granola, but that's the point.

Made by Food For Life, the ingredient list is based on Ezekiel 4:9. "Take also unto thee wheat and barley and beans and lentils and millet and spelt and put them in one vessel and make bread of it." The combination of these sprouted grains and legumes creates a high quality complete protein that rivals protein found in eggs and milk. This cereal is also strong in vitamins, minerals, fiber with 18 total amino acids.

The cereal contains freshly sprouted organically grown grains. It is also minimally processed with no additives, preservatives, added sugar or fat making it clean eating, Daniel Fast and vegan friendly.

Now back to the taste. At first bite, I was taken back by the crunch. Whole grains are hecka hard. Letting it sit in the almond milk a bit softened it nicely.  I enjoyed the natural flavors - the nuttiness of the grains and sweet chewiness from the raisins.  The satiety factor makes it a winner. I can easily polish off 2 teenaged boy sized bowls of Cheerios (without thinking), however, one serving of this cereal satisfied and stuck with me. 4 hours and a Barre class later, I'm just starting to get hungry. No sugar crash - yaay!

Overall, I'm happy to have tried this product and will put it in my regular breakfast rotation.

Image source: Food For Life


Monday, February 9, 2015

Snack on This! Peanut Butter Rounds

Remember Ants on a Log from your childhood?  (Celery stalks with Skippy peanut butter and raisins.)  Check out this variation. It is crunchy, creamy and chewy, sweet and salty, crisp and juicy - a lot going on with just three ingredients.

To make it, all you need is your favorite crisp apple, peanut butter and some dried fruit.

Slice the apple into 1/2 inch rounds.  I prefer honeycrisp).  Punch out the seeds.  
Side note: Our kids call this the star cut because core makes a star shape in the center of the apple.  Little things that catch kid's interest makes it easy to get them to try different or healthier food ideas.

Smear the apple with natural peanut butter.  Many grocery stores have setups for you to grind your own peanut butter. This bypasses the added refined sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oil often added to commercially prepared peanut butter. 

Sprinkle the top with dried fruit. Currently, my family is digging dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice.

This selection of ingredients yields a natural snack with 0 grams of added sugar.  
Also Daniel Plan friendly 

Variation ideas:
Try other nut butters - freshly ground cashew and almond butters are also widely available.
Explore other fruit toppings, dried pineapple, figs, apricots.
Instead of fruit, top with mini milk chocolate chips or a shaving a dark chocolate. 
Take it from a snack to a dessert by baking the apples until slightly soft, sprinkle with cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg, then add the peanut butter and fruit and heat till soft and gooey....

What are you snacking on?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Breathe, Fat Releasing Smoothie and a Big Beautiful Bowl of Soup

Today is the first Monday of 2015.
Happy New Year!

Are you set and settled for 2015?

We are still in process in my household.  Decorations are packed away, and holiday leftovers and sweet treats are long gone.  My husband went back to work today, but things are not back to the regular just yet because the kids are still home. (For some reason our school system doesn't start back until January 12th...).  It's all good.  I'm enjoying this last week home with the kids by taking things easy and slowly acclimating back to the school schedule/routine.

This month, I'm most excited to start personal Bible study using Breathe: Making Room for Sabbath by Priscilla Shirer.  The topic description:
One of the greatest challenges among women in our culture is taking time to stop and cease from all the activities and busyness and just breathe. We are in bondage to busyness. We constantly strive to complete the limitless to-do lists that hinder us from experiencing all that God has for us. We miss the moments because we rush ahead to the next thing. By neglecting time for tranquility, serenity, and repose, we limit our Christlikeness and miss out on some of God's greatest gifts. It is time for us to breathe and build margin into our lives for God. In the Old Testament, God instituted principles and laws that would transform the Israelites' mindset. He didn't just want them legally free; He wanted them to be able to walk in the freedom and enjoy it. So God gave them many gifts, including boundaries in which to enjoy those gifts. Sabbath was intended as a gift, and it is still a gift to us today. If you are weary, worn out, and exhausted the concept of Sabbath will change your life.
I've been thinking about praying about my level of busyness and was led to slow my roll.  This study is just what I need!  I'm open and ready to listen, learn and obey.

On the fitness front, I'm ready for a physical push and started a HIIT-based, circuit at-home routine that looked to be another perfect fit. 

Day 1 workout is done with a pleasant surprise.  It got my heart rate going but was not the push I anticipated. Yay fitness! (LOL)  I need something more challenging so the search continues.  

On the food front, Meatless Monday also continues.  I started the day with a smoothie - my go to choice for a quick, nutritious breakfast or workout recovery meal.  Below I share my simple smoothie. It is made with only 5 ingredients - each chosen for their taste, satiety, nutrition and fat releasing benefits.

For dinner, I'm really looking forward to a big salad and bigger bowl of the Yukon Gold Potato Soup from my current favorite cookbook - A Beautiful Bowl of Soup - the Best Vegetarian Recipes by Paulette Mitchell,  I luv this book!

From the publisher:
No, there is no chicken stock in this soup. What you'll find here is page after glorious page of the loveliest, most delicious soups and stews - each and every one entirely vegetarian. Brimming with international flavors, Paulette Mitchell's easy-to-follow recipes are paired with unique accompaniments, garnishes, and toppings that add tremendous visual appeal. Witness hearty Pumpkin Stew baked and served in a pumpkin shell; classic onion soup updated with crunchy goat cheese toasts; and Spicy Sweet Potato Ancho Bisque swirled with bright Roasted Red Pepper Cream. From Mediterranean Saffron Stew to Greek Spinach and Orzo Soup, these colorful dishes are simple enough for every day, yet sophisticated enough for elegant dinner parties. Instructions for making tasty vegetable stock from scratch, a selection of delicious vegan soups, and a helpful "tips" section make this gorgeous cookbook an important addition to any kitchen where good food and good health are on the menu.

I think soup is one of the world's most comforting pleasures and could eat it everyday during the cooler months.  I'm also a decided flexitarian.  I like meat and currently don't see giving it up completely, but my taste and tolerance is changing. Cleaning the turkey for Thanksgiving and chicken for gumbo on Christmas grossed me out in a way it never has before.  This cookbook of vegetarian soups pulls two interests together for me.  It is perfect for Meatless Monday Meal exploration this winter. (The plan is to try a new recipe every week.)

Tonight is the potato soup. Next week, (or maybe later this week), I'll try the Roasted Bell Pepper Soup with Lemon Vinaigrette. Week after that - Asparagus Leek Soup, then Black Bean Soup with Mango Salsa, then Tomato Lentil Soup, then Jalapeno Corn Chowder and then Sweet Potato-Ancho Bisque with Apple Pecan Salsa and Roasted Red Pepper Cream.  The to try list goes on and on.

Anything new for you on your faith, food or fitness front?  If so please share. 

Here's to a happy, healthy and purposeful New Year.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Bedside setup for a SMART Start to the day

What is the first thing you reach for or the first thing you do in the morning?

I've learned the way we start our day sets the tone for the rest of the day.
When the first thing I did upon waking was grab my phone or tablet to start checking emails or reviewing my to-do list, my day was frantic and frazzled.

To avoid that temptation, I moved my phone to another room and placed at my beside things that help energize and focus me for the day.

Every night while we sleep, our body loses water via respiration (breathing), transpiration (sweating) and some water leaves the tissues and blood stream into the bladder in the creation of urine. We awake dehydrated. Getting water in the system hydrates, can boost energy, and it gives a jump start on the daily recommended amount of this life giving substance.

God's Word
The Word of God is our weapon, our comfort, our direction, our correction, our inspiration, our guide, our help. Without it we are lost. Seeking God in the morning gives focus and balance to the day.