Busy Mom Chicken-Stuffed Peppers

I love my Fixate cookbook–I have a handful of recipes from it that I make all the time (Grandma’s Tomato Sauce and the Clean Eating Sloppy Joes are a couple of examples), and now there is a Fixate cooking show on Beachbody On-Demand that I watch every week to get new recipe ideas!  I was watching it last week and got reminded of this stuffed pepper recipe that is so good, but also a little involved and complicated.

On the show, Bobby Calabrese (the chef) mentioned that instead of buying chicken breasts and cutting them up into bite-sized pieces to cook, you could just get ground chicken to save some time and energy.  GENIUS!  I’m not sure I would ever have come up with that on my own, but it’s such a simple tip!

The original recipe calls for quinoa and corn, but I opted to leave those out because 1) I don’t really like corn, 2) I didn’t want that many carbs in this meal, and 3) I was being lazy and didn’t want to add quinoa.  If you love corn and don’t care too much about the extra carbs, feel free to add 1 cup cooked corn and 2 cups cooked quinoa to the filling when you add the black beans.

If you want to make this recipe even easier and quicker, you can skip the whole baking step and slice your peppers into large strips and use them as a chip alternative.  You could also skip the peppers altogether and just eat the filling alone, or in taco shells or with tortilla chips.  Check your grocery for pre-chopped onion and minced garlic in the jar.  That saves a few steps, as well!  Last, instead of chopping the cilantro I usually just tear it by hand as I add it to the dish and that is a lot faster, as well.

Enjoy!

Busy Mom’s Chicken-Stuffed Peppers (adapted from Fixate)–serves 4

4 bell peppers (any color), cut in half and seeds/ribs removed

2 tsp olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb ground chicken (can up this to 2 lbs to bulk up the filling if you prefer)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp cumin

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp paprika

Salt, to taste (at least 1/4 tsp)

1 cup tomato sauce (I used plain canned tomato sauce, no salt or sugar added)

5 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tbsp lime juice

Optional: 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

Optional: Hot sauce, to taste, for serving

Preheat oven to 375F. Place peppers skin side down on a baking dish (spray with cooking spray).  Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot.  Add onion and cook for 5-8 minutes, until soft and translucent, stirring frequently.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add ground chicken, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is cooked all the way through and no longer pink.

Add tomato sauce, black beans, cilantro, and lime juice and reduce heat to medium low.  Stir together until all ingredients are fully mixed and heated through.  Remove from heat and turn heat off.

Scoop a heaping 1/2 cup of filling into each pepper half.  Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes, until peppers are soft.  If desired, top each pepper with cheese and bake for 3-5 more minutes uncovered until cheese is melted.

Let cool about 5 minutes before serving. Top with hot sauce if desired.  Each serving is 2 pepper halves!

 

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Cafe Latte and Chocolate Shakeology Treats

I LOVE my daily superfood shake.  I literally never miss a single day of drinking it, so I never have leftover Shakeology sitting around my house.  It just never happens!  Every so often, though, I have some clients that ask me for ideas on how to use their extra Shakeology that aren’t just more shakes.  Luckily for them, there are a ton of awesome treat recipes out there when you need to get to the bottom of your bag a little faster.

My favorite flavors are Cafe Latte and Chocolate (vegan or regular), so these treats are for those two flavors, specifically.  You are still getting your superfood nutrition with these treats, just mixing it up from a regular shake!

All of these recipes are from The Beachbody Blog–they have so many fantastic articles and are a great resource for anyone trying to live a healthy lifestyle!

Chocolate Shakeology Pudding

2 scoops Chocolate (or Chocolate Vegan) Shakeology

1 ripe medium avocado

2 large bananas, cut into chunks

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  1. Place Shakeology, avocado, bananas, and almond milk in blender; cover. Blend until smooth. (If too thick add additional almond milk.)
  2. Pour into four dessert cups; refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until set.

 

Double Chocolate No-Bake Vegan Brownies

½ cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium)

½ cup all-natural smooth peanut butter

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 scoops Vegan Chocolate Shakeology

Instructions
  1. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with plastic wrap (or aluminum foil). Set aside.
  2. Combine banana, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and Shakeology in a medium bowl; mix well with clean hands or a rubber spatula.
  3. Press chocolate mixture into prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to flatten into pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour so that brownies set.
  4. Cut into sixteen brownies.

 

No-Churn Chocolate Peanut Butter Shakeology Ice Cream

1 medium banana, cut into chunks

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

2 scoops Chocolate Shakeology

2 Tbsp. all-natural smooth peanut butter

Instructions
  1. Place banana in plastic bag; freeze for 4 hours, or until completely frozen.
  2. Place almond milk, bananas, Shakeology, and peanut butter in blender (or food processor); cover. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately.

 

Homemade Energy Bars

1 cup whole pitted dates (or prunes)

1 cup dried fruit (like apricots, prunes, figs, raisins, cranberries, blueberries, or cherries)

1 cup chopped nuts (or seeds) (like almonds, walnuts, cashews, sesame seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, or sunflower seeds)

2 scoops Shakeology, any flavor

Instructions
  1. Place dates, fruit, and nuts in a food processor. Pulse for 1 to 2 minutes; scrape sides of bowl.
  2. Add Shakeology; process for 2 to 3 minutes, or until mixture becomes tiny crumbs that can come together to form a loose ball.
  3. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with cellophane. Press mixture into pan until flat. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Cut into 12 bars. Store in refrigerator.
  5. Tip: For additional flair add one or more of the following: ½ tsp. rum extract, ½ tsp. cinnamon, 1 Tbsp. raw honey, ½ tsp. vanilla extract, 1–2 oz dark chocolate chips, or 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger.

 

Tiramisu No-Bake Cookies

1 cup oat flour, gluten-free
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, divided use
¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
1 scoop Café Latte Shakeology
¼ cup all-natural smooth almond butter
2 Tbsp. raw honey (or pure maple syrup)
3 to 4 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk (or low-fat milk)

Preparation:
1. Combine oat flour, 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, salt, and Shakeology; mix well.
2. Add almond butter and honey; mix well. (Mixture will be dry and crumbly.)
3. Add almond milk 1 Tbsp. at a time until a thick dough forms; mix well with clean hands or a rubber spatula.
4. Roll mixture into twelve balls, each about 1-inch in size. Roll balls into remaining 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder.
5. Flatten each slightly so that it is shaped like a traditional cookie.
6. Refrigerate for a firmer cookie, or eat immediately for a softer cookie.

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

I never, EVER thought that I would like Brussels sprouts.

I don’t remember having them as a kid, but they were part of the Thanksgiving meal at my college–cooked with bacon and maybe brown sugar?  I tried them because I like pretty much anything with bacon, but they were HORRIBLE.  As a part of the cabbage family, they can be very bitter, and I don’t love bitter foods like kale and other greens.

Like most people, I had basically written Brussels sprouts off as gross until my friend Deb shared this recipe with me.  There are many variations of this recipe on the Internet, and I really don’t know who to attribute this one to, but it is GOOD.  If you like balsamic and mustard, just try it.  I know that Brussels sprouts have a bad rep in general, but give it a chance!  They are so healthy and a great, nutrient-dense veggie option.

I’ve made these as posted here, and I’ve also made them with chopped white onion and a some minced garlic.  That adds some more flavor and a little more veggie power.  You could also roast this with bacon, because, well, bacon.

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

2 cups Brussels sprouts, ends chopped off and halved (or quartered if they are large)

1 tbsp olive oil

1-2 tbsp balsamic vingar

pinch of salt and pepper

1-2 tbsp of mustard (any kind you like) for dipping

Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl until Brussels sprouts are evenly coated.  Spread in a single layer on a large cookie sheet lined with either foil or parchment paper.  Roast Brussels sprouts for 15-20 minutes, until slightly browned and softened. Serve with mustard and enjoy!

 

Clean Eating Hummus

I love hummus.  I could eat it with a spoon all day, every day.  But I am kind of particular about the texture of hummus, and when I’ve made homemade versions in the past, the flavor is always great, but the texture has been too thick for me.  So, I’ve stuck with my store-bought brands that are kind of expensive and filled with some extra ingredients that aren’t necessarily bad, but that I just don’t want to eat every time I have hummus.

Recently I posted a picture of some hummus I was eating for lunch, and one of my friends messaged me to offer up her dad’s hummus recipe.  Holy moly, ya’ll, this hummus is PERFECTION.  It’s a great base to add other flavors, like roasted red pepper or sriracha, and the texture is exactly what I like.  It’s simple to make, and has very few ingredients that I already had in my pantry from previous hummus experiments.  The best part of this recipe, for me, is the small amount of olive oil–I’ve always made hummus with at least 1/4 cup of olive oil, and that is a lot!  I love that this recipe still has great flavor without a lot of oil (and therefore fat and calories).

One variation I’ve tried so far is to double the garlic (because I LOVE garlic) and roast 2-3 cloves in the oven before chopping them.  I peel the cloves, put them in a small square of aluminum foil, drizzle with a tiny amount of olive oil, and fold up the foil to make a little pouch.  I put that in the oven at 375 for 40 minutes, and then chop and add it to the hummus mixture.

You can adjust the amount of liquid you put into the hummus based on the texture you prefer–less liquid if you prefer thicker hummus, more if you like it thinner.

***I half this recipe each time I make it because I’m the only one in my house that eats it.  The full recipe made just shy of 5 cups of hummus!

Clean Eating Hummus (from my friend Macarena and her dad)

2 cans garbanzo beans, liquid drained and reserved

3 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons cumin

Mix all ingredients except the bean liquid in a blender or food processor.  Slowly pour the bean liquid as you blend.  Blend in olive oil to taste.

 

All About Core De Force

If you had told me 3 years ago that I would be counting down the days to the release of a new workout program, I would have laughed in your face.  But here we are!  How times have changed.

As a mom, my midsection has been a “trouble spot” for a couple of years.  Plus, stress causes you to hang on to fat in your belly, and the past couple of years have been really stressful.  Anyone else out there looking to tone their core?  Lose a little belly fat?

Check this out:

Core De Force Promo

On October 31st, a new MMA-style program is being released that is focusing on core work.  Core De Force will have 8 different workouts with varying degrees of difficulty, all focusing on moves that force you to rotate your core in every direction to tone every part of your midsection.  The workouts don’t require any equipment, using only your own body weight, which I love because that makes it easier to modify!  They range from 25-45 minutes–they use the MMA fight format with 3 minute rounds at first, and then they work up to 6 minute rounds and 12 minute rounds.

This 30-day program comes with its own meal plan that uses the Portion Fix containers, and allows an increase in food during the more intense weeks of the program–any time I get more food, I’m all about it!

I’ve been able to do 2 sneak peek workouts of this program, and they were both SO FUN!  The workouts went by really quickly, and the 3-minute set up made it easier to push through moves.  Once the 3 minutes was up, that move was done and I could forget about it.  The next day, both times, I was sore in places I didn’t even realize I was using!  My lat muscles (running down from the shoulders) were really sore, which surprised me.  I didn’t realize how many muscles I was using!

This program is only available through coaches until closer to Christmas, so if you’re looking to do a program to help with your midsection, this is what you’re looking for!

Check out these transformations–and if you’re looking to work for a transformation for yourself, click here!