White Fish en Papillote

It’s hard to find a dinner recipe that’s as healthy as this one: white fish and veggies, steamed in a parchment parcel with fresh herbs, lemon and white wine. You’d also be hard pressed to find a white fish recipe that is this easy to make and tastes this darn good!

Cooking “En Papillote” (with Parchment Packets!) 

En Papillote is a fancy French way of saying “cooked in paper” 🙂 So we are going to be French and fancy today while making this super-quick-n-awesome recipe!

This recipe cooks in a packet made with parchment paper, which is one of the reasons that it’s so quick and healthy.  Parchment paper packets use steam to quickly and healthfully cook the contents. It also makes clean up a breeze – crumpling up some paper and throwing it in the trash is my kind of KP! Parchment paper is grease and moisture resistant paper that has been specially treated for oven use. It won’t burn in the oven on bake, however don’t put it under the broiler – it will burn there! There is no right or wrong side of parchment paper – either side can be used.

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need

  • ½ cup red onion, cut into think matchsticks
  • 1 zucchini, cut into matchstick
  • 1 carrots, cut into matchstick
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 (6 oz.) halibut fillets, or other white fish
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup white wine

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl toss the thinly sliced onion, zucchini and carrot with the olive oil and minced garlic.
  3. Cut four 12-by-16-inch pieces of parchment paper and fold each in half. Open the parchment paper and arrange each fillet in the center of the top half of each parchment. Generously season with salt and pepper. Top each fillet with one quarter of the veggies, 2 slices of lemon, two sprigs of thyme and 1 Tablespoon of white wine.
  4. Fold the bottom half of the parchment paper over the fish. Start folding and crimping the parchment paper ends together from one end all the way around the fish to the other end, creating a sealed envelope. Fold the end under the fish. The fish and veggies should be fully encased, with no breaks in the parchment paper for steam to escape – we need that steam as part of the cooking process! Place the packets on a pan.
  5. Bake the fish packets for 12 to 18 minutes and remove from the oven. Serve the packets on plates, tearing them open just before serving. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

231 calories, 4g fat, 8g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, 166mg sodium, 2g fiber, and 36g protein.

I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!

XOXO,

Have a great weekend ENJOY the eclipse.

 

Easy Moroccan Chicken

Moroccan cuisine contains an exquisite combination of savory and sweet spices to create unique flavors. The result is often quite memorable, as in the case of this Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken. You’ll notice cinnamon in the ingredient list, not a typical spice to be included in a chicken dish, however the combination works beautifully.

Vibrant fresh veggies like butternut squash, tomatoes and onions create a nutritious base on which to serve this tender, spiced chicken. Meals like this

are the building blocks for creating a lean, fit body.

Servings: 8

Here’s what you need

For the Slaw

  • 1 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ½ small head purple cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of cilantro, chopped

For the Citrus Dressing

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and cubed
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 lbs bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ cup pimento stuffed green olives, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chives, minced

Instructions

  1. In a slow cooker, combine the squash, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and broth. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and ground black pepper. Rub spice mixture all over chicken thighs; place chicken on top of vegetable mixture in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
  3. Once cooked, remove the bones and shred the meat. Transfer the veggies with a slotted spoon to a serving platter and top with the shredded meat, chopped olives and minced chives. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

268 calories, 10g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, 560mg sodium, 2g fiber, and 35g protein.

I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!

Enjoy

Samantha

Citrus slaw

Here’s a refreshing Citrus Slaw that pairs perfectly with whatever you’ve got sizzling on the grill! Fresh orange and lime juices give this side a tangy kick.

Too often slaws are overloaded with creamy dressing that contains more fat and calories than is really necessary. This recipe provides the colorful flavor that you love in a slaw without any extra fat or calories to weigh you down. Enjoy!

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

For the Slaw

  • 1 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ½ small head purple cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of cilantro, chopped

For the Citrus Dressing

  • 3 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of ground cayenne
  • In a large bowl combine the green and purple cabbage with the cilantro.
  • In a small bowl whisk the dressing ingredients.
  • Pour the citrus dressing over top of the slaw just before serving and toss to combine. Enjoy!

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine the green and purple cabbage with the cilantro.
  2. In a small bowl whisk the dressing ingredients.
  3. Pour the citrus dressing over top of the slaw just before serving and toss to combine. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

56 calories, 2g fat, 8g carbohydrate, 4g sugar, 100mg sodium, 4g fiber, and 2g protein.

I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!

xoxo Samantha

Healthy Kit Kat Bar Recipe

With a buttery, coconut-based crust reminiscent of a shortbread cookie, a sweet, gooey caramel sauce in the middle and rich dark chocolate on top, these magical bars come together in one delicious crunch!
IngredientsFor the crust layer:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 T honey

For the caramel sauce layer:

  • 1 cup dates, pitted and soaked in water
  • 1 T unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T coconut oil, melted

For the chocolate layer:

  • ½ cup dark chocolate
  • ½ t coconut oil, melted
Instructions

  • Place dates in a large bowl and fill with water to soften 1-2 hours.
  • Drain water from dates, set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine melted coconut oil, honey and coconut flour until it becomes a gooey mixture.
  • Place the dough in plastic wrap 20 minutes to set. Do not place in the refrigerator or the coconut oil will harden and separate from the dough.
  • While the dough settles, preheat oven to 350oF. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the edges for easy removal.
  • Transfer the crust mixture to the pan and spread into an even layer into the corners of the pan.
  • Place crust in the oven to bake 10 minutes until slightly raised and browned. Cool crust 30 minutes before proceeding.
  • While the crust bakes, place the dates in the microwave to warm 1-2 minutes. Then add all ingredients for the caramel layer in a blender, placing the dates in first.
  • Blend on high until the ingredients are broken down and becomes a sticky, smooth mixture.
  • Spread the caramel sauce into an even layer over the crust. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours.
  • Once set, make the chocolate layer by melting chocolate and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat.
  • Spread the chocolate into an even layer over the bars. Place back in the refrigerator to set 1 hour.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and gently lift the bar out of the pan with the parchment paper and place on a hard surface. Slice into 12 bars using a large knife.

Paleo butterfinger …WHAT!

This sweet, buttery bite-sized treat is reminiscent of your favorite candy bar.
Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted sugar free almond butter
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ t vanilla extract
  • 2 T coconut oil, melted
  • 2 T butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cacao or baking chocolate
  • Optional: sea salt for sprinkling
Instructions

  • Bring a small saucepan to low heat. Add butter, almond butter, vanilla extract and coconut sugar. Stir until the ingredients are combined and the mixture becomes sticky, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Line a 9×5-inch meatloaf pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the edges of the pan for easy removal.
  • Spread the mixture from the saucepan into an even layer on the pan. Be sure to spread it into the corners as well.
  • Next, layer the pumpkin over the crust in an even layer.
  • Place in the fridge to set while you prepare the chocolate.
  • Make the chocolate by melting chocolate and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat.
  • Spread the chocolate into an even layer over the bars. Optional: sprinkle with sea salt and place extra chocolate chips on top, gently pressing into the chocolate so they set.
  • Place back in the fridge to set 1 hour.
  • Remove from fridge and lift the bars out of the pan with the parchment paper.
  • Place on a hard surface. Slice into 12 bars using a large knife and devour!

Enjoy ,

Samantha

Slow Cooker Spiced Chicken and Sweet Potato

One of the best secrets to consistently eating for fat loss is to utilize a slow cooker to create wholesome, homemade meals. Slow cooker meals are incredibly simple to make, since all you do is get everything into the pot in the morning. When you get home it smells delicious and dinner is hot and ready to be eaten!

Chicken and sweet potato make a winning combination in this almost-too-tasty slow cooker meal. By utilizing bold seasoning and fresh salsa, flavor is infused into every tender morsel. Meals like this one are the building blocks of a solid, long-term nutrition plan. Lucky for us it tastes amazing!

 

Servings: 8

Here’s what you need

  • Olive oil or coconut oil
  • 3 lbs skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup chicken bone broth- no sugar low sodium
  • 1 cup salsa, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1 inch by ½ inch strips
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced for garnish

Instructions

  1. Rinse the chicken thighs and pat dry. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.
  2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly spray with olive oil. Add the chicken thighs and cook until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to plate. Remove the skillet from heat.
  3. In same skillet, combine the smoked paprika, allspice, chicken broth, ½ cup of the salsa, garlic, and remaining 1½ teaspoons cumin.
  4. In a slow cooker, combine the sweet potatoes and red pepper strips. Generously season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken thighs on top of the sweet potato mixture and pour the broth mixture over the chicken. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
  5. Transfer the cooked chicken pieces from the slow cooker to a large plate. Remove the bones and shred the meat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sweet potato and red pepper mixture from the slow cooker and onto a serving platter. Top with the shredded meat and the remaining salsa. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

285 calories, 6g fat, 15g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, 357mg sodium, 3g fiber, and 40g protein.

I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!

Enjoy xoxo,

Samantha

Sometimes you feel worse before you feel better. What to expect with probiotics.

Probiotics: Who Shouldn’t Take Them?

Some people find that taking probiotics causes them to have gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. For most people, these symptoms are temporary; however, side effects are more likely in those who are very young or elderly and those who have less robust immune systems or a damaged immune system, such as those with HIV or a terminal illness. Indeed, probiotics might not be good for people who are already extremely ill.

A general concern is that probiotics are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Instead, they are classified as a food supplement, so consumers are at the mercy of manufacturers and their health claims.

Keep in mind that the effects of one strain of probiotics do not necessarily hold true for other strains or even for different preparations of the same species or strain. If you do experience gas and bloating from one type of probiotic, you can try switching to a different kind to see whether it agrees more with your digestive system.

“Because the quality and quantity of probiotics is not regulated by the FDA, it is difficult to accurately assess the effectiveness of one formulation against another,” Lucak says.

Expert Tips for Choosing Probiotics

Probiotics come in two forms: live cultures — such as in probiotic yogurt — or in a dormant (but still living) form, such as those found in capsules. If you want to try probiotics, here are tips to help you choose.

Decide on food or supplements. One advantage to probiotics in food is that they may also contain other beneficial ingredients, such as dietary fiber,  which also promotes digestive health. But most experts agree that it’s a matter of preference whether you consume probiotics in your diet or as supplements. I find that supplements tend to be more effective, as long as the probiotics are good quality.

Watch the expiration date. Because probiotics are living organisms, the amount placed in the container or capsule when it was manufactured may not be the same as when you consume the product. You must use these products before the expiration date to be sure the probiotic is still effective.

Play detective. If your doctor recommends a specific species and strain of probiotic, be aware that you may have a difficult time finding it. Many manufacturers don’t tell you exactly which strain is in their product; they only list the species (e.g. Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium lactis). If you’re looking for a specific strain of probiotic and it’s not listed on the label, call the manufacturer and ask. This information might also be on the company’s website.

Buyer beware. To avoid being scammed, don’t order products over the Internet unless you know and can trust the site. Keep in mind that the price of probiotics can vary tremendously, and a higher cost doesn’t mean the products are of higher quality.

If you decide to try probiotics, make sure you store them according to the directions on the package; some must be kept in the refrigerator.

Sometimes when you start a probiotic you will experience some dye-off as your body begins to rebalance the good bacteria. Give it a week or two and see how you feel before you throw in the towel. If things aren’t getting better try a new brand. The one I have found to be the most effective with all of my clients is the Orthomolecular Biotic. Take one Am and one PM.