December 30, 2016

Clean Chicken Teriyaki


If you love Asian inspired food, try this clean chicken teriyaki recipe. It is simple and tasty!

Earlier this week, we cooked the chicken and quinoa-rice blend as a family. My husband cooked the chicken, while my son and I put the rice blend in the Instant Pot and mixed up the teriyaki sauce.

We intentionally limit the amount of soy in our diet, so instead of traditional or even gluten free soy sauce, I use coconut aminos by Coconut Secret for recipes like this. If you're not familiar with coconut aminos, it tastes nothing like the drupe. Yes, it comes from coconuts but is extracted from the blossoms of the tree. I prefer coconut aminos over soy sauce, because it much less salty tasting.

As you can see in the picture, I portioned the quinoa-rice blend using the starch container from my Beachbody Portion Control containers. I only ate the portion plated but wanted to show you how much rice is included in one of those little yellow containers! If portion control scares you, don't be! If you are eating the right foods, your portions are plentiful.

Let me know if you try this recipe or have other quick and easy Asian recipes. My husband could eat this kind of food every day and will appreciate your ideas!

INGREDIENTS
1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken (breast, thigh, or combination)
1 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
Salt and Pepper

For the Sauce:
1/4 cup Coconut Palm Sugar (substitute for brown sugar)
1/4 cup Coconut Aminos
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour

Additional if desired:
Quinoa, Rice, Broccoli, or Stir Fry Vegetables)

INSTRUCTIONS
1. If serving w/ quinoa or rice, go ahead and get that started cooking in the Instant Pot, rice cooker, or on the stove.
2. Cut chicken into bite size pieces.
3. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet.
4. Place chicken in skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink, stirring frequently.
5. In a small bowl, combine all sauce ingredients and whisk until no flour lumps.
6. Add sauce to chicken and cook, stirring constantly until thickened and sticky.
7. Serve with additional ingredients of your choice.

December 21, 2016

Seven Ways to Make Hot Chocolate Healthier

Stop! Drop that packet of pre-packaged, store bought hot chocolate!!
Instead, try this healthier recipe for hot chocolate and one of these seven ways to make it even tastier.

Healthy Hot Chocolate
Serves: 1 serving
 
Ingredients
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage (or unsweetened almond milk)
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. raw honey (optional)
 
Instructions
  1. Bring coconut milk, cocoa powder, and honey (if desired) to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking frequently.
  2. Pour into a large mug; serve immediately.
 
Ok so now that we have the basics covered, tantalize your holiday taste buds with one of these delicious variations.
 
1. Cinnamon Hot Chocolate
With two common spices, you can create a unique flavor for your hot cocoa that will really hit the spot during the holidays.
Add a pinch of cinnamon (up to ½ a teaspoon) and just a dash of ginger (⅛ teaspoon) to a cup of hot chocolate.

2. Peppermint Mocha Hot Chocolate
If you like your chocolate with an espresso buzz, this version is for you!
Add a shot of espresso and dash of peppermint extract to a cup of hot cocoa. Not a fan of extracts? Use a few leaves of fresh mint instead.

3. Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
Are you one of those people that just can’t get enough of the fall-favorite? Enjoy it year-round with this recipe. You’ll find that because pumpkin puree is thick, you’ll likely drink this slower than your typical.
Whisk two tablespoons pumpkin puree into a mug of hot chocolate using a whisk or a fork. Then, add a pinch of pumpkin pie spice to give it that iconic fall flavor

4. Bananas Foster Hot Chocolate
Chocolate and bananas are a sweet combination that works whether it’s in a smoothie, a campfire dessert, or hot chocolate. Instead of using chunks of a ripe banana as you would with the original Bananas Foster, use dried bananas.
Place a few slices of dried banana in the bottom of a mug, then fill with piping hot chocolate.

5. Tahini Hot Chocolate
This twist of the traditional drink, contains sesame, which makes it richer, creamier, and just a bit nutty.
Simply add one teaspoon of tahini paste into the basic recipe.

6. Mexican Hot Chocolate Cocktail
Whip up a hot version of Chile Mocha Hot Chocolate to keep you warm this winter.
Mix ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of Ancho chile powder to a mug of hot chocolate.

7. Hot Chocolate Martini
Here’s how to enjoy a chocolate martini with less sugar.
Just add a shot of vodka to the basic recipe above. If you want a richer chocolate flavor, try a dash of chocolate extract.

Original recipes by Ariane Resnic and posted on The Beachbody Blog.

December 9, 2016

My Fitness Fan Favorites List

When I find something I really like, I'm one of those people that loves sharing all about it. So, that is what I'm going to do - share my fitness fan favorites list with you!

I already own or will receive many of these as Christmas gifts. For the items that aren't a personal favorite, I have friends that recommend, or they caught my attention when thinking about great fitness items.
Each item is linked, so you can check it out in more detail and maybe purchase as gifts this Christmas for a fitness fan in your life or yourself !

Reebok Women's Yourflex Trainette 8.0L MT Training Shoe
Right now, I'm doing Core De Force workout which is MMA style, full body workout. Cross training shoes with flat soles are needed, instead of running type shoes, to make sure your feet don't slip. I love how colorful the fun design is! Definitely a Christmas list item!

Old Navy Leggings
My BFF Haley Willis Little turned me on to Old Navy leggings. I will tell you what she told me...I can workout just as good in these $20 leggings as I can in $45 leggings! Holla.
Old Navy offers both full-length and crop compression leggings. I like how they fit around my waist and provide great support.

Mama Bear Workout Tank
Of course, SOULFITmama needs a Mama Bear workout tank. Mama, I think you need one too! There is no such thing as too many workout tanks, but this one has my heart. Even better, it's a great price. Another Christmas list item of mine!

S'well Bottle
I received my 25oz gray woodgrain S'well bottle as a gift and love this thing. I drink a lot of water, so my reward is making it a point to have pretty water vessels. S'well keeps drinks cold for 24 hours, hot for 12 hours, and they do not condensate. I like the smaller mouth opening on this bottle much better than some of the other stainless steel vessels. Oh yeah...when you're not using it for water, it can hold an entire bottle of wine - just sayin'.

Motivational Bottle
These are too cute! A fitness mama can't have too many water vessels, so I may spring for this one next when I'm ready to change things up. These 32oz bottles feature a motivating quote and timeline to keep track of daily water intake. Super cute.

MyCustomYogaMat
Surely these are made in the South, because we will monogram any and everything - even a yoga mat. If you practice yoga regularly or have a pal that does, this is great. These monogrammed mats are available on Etsy and have been featured on the Today Show, as well as Oprah's holiday gift guide.


Nutribullet
So as you likely know by now, I drink Shakeology every morning for breakfast to get my vitamins, and quality protein. I use this Nutribullet model every single day. It is a compact high-speed blender/mixer that comes with 12 pieces. Super easy to use, quick clean-up, and takes up very little space. This is always the blender I recommend to my Challengers.

Spiralizer
If you are following a clean, lower-carb, Keto, or Paleo diet, you need a Spiralizer in your life. This one is the best - because I say so and pretty much everyone agrees. It comes with five blades and super easy to use. You can replace wheat/grain pasta with veggie pasta. Sweet potato hash browns are a favorite, and I use my Spiralizer to make them. Since I received mine a few years ago, I don't think we have eaten traditional spaghetti noodles with marina. Instead, we use this to make zoodles.

Shakeology
Shakeology is one of my favorite things relating to my health and fitness. It is packed with 23 vitamins(!), 17g protein, and more than 70 whole foods that are dehydrated then ground…still whole – not extracts like a lot of other shakes. Everything is natural, no refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives, and yet still tastes so good. So, yeah - it's on my favorite list for myself, and I give it as gifts!

Core De Force Workout
This is my current workout program and already on the favorites list. It is Beachbody's newest program. If you're planning to start a new fitness program at New Year's or know someone else that is, this workout program will make a GREAT gift.

Commit 30 Planner
Raise your hand if you love a good planner...Me too!! I just found this one and going to use it in 2017. If you are familiar with vision boards, this planner is like a traveling vision board. It is designed to help you attain goals, not just keep up with your appointments and such. Also, customizable for your specific goals, dreams, and passions. The planner has month and weekly spreads, motivational quotes, add-on sticker pack available, and comes in gold. It speaks my goal love language!

Apple Watch
It took me a long time to get on the Apple Watch wagon, but now I'm sold on it. It's my big Christmas list item this year. The new Series 2 has a GPS, is water resistant, and will track fitness activity. It features a workout app that will accurately measure your movement. Bonus - I can screen texts and calls right on my wrist. Get out!
 
This is a less expensive fitness and even sleep monitor that has a great design. It tracks your steps, distance, and calories burned during the day, and by night, it tracks your sleep quality and wakes you in the morning.
 
Hopefully, out of all these items, you have found something that will support your health and fitness lifestyle. If so, let me know. I would love to hear which items are already or hopeful future favorites!

-SFM

December 8, 2016

Pesto Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

This is one of my favorite healthy and delicious meals!

It is such a go-to for me. Sometimes, I have to remind myself that we just had it last week, and the Big Guy will not appreciate back-to-back weeks of spaghetti squash since he really only tolerates it rather than embraces it.

Here is the best thing about this recipe - you can use it as a guide only. Mix it up with ingredients you like better than these. Often, I throw in some random leftovers or produce that will soon expire. Another reason it’s a favorite!

So, here’s how I usually go about making this recipe in phases.
I cook the spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot on a Sunday, maybe the chicken that day also.
These are the two ingredients that take the longest, so I try to get them out of the way. It makes my life easier, and who isn’t about easier?

Then, the night we are planning to eat the stuffed spaghetti squash, I cook the remaining ingredients, combine, sprinkle with some cheese and finish baking in the oven. Tadah!
 
For purposes of this post, I will provide instructions as if you were cooking the recipe at one time.

INGREDIENTS
2 medium-small spaghetti squash [+/- 6 inches long]
2 chicken breasts, large, chopped in 1/2 – 1 inch chunks
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup pesto, extra to taste
1-2 cups fresh baby spinach, torn/chopped
1 extra large carrot, shredded
1 package sliced baby bella mushrooms
salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz shredded cheese
1-2 Tbsp parsley to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Cook spaghetti squash in the InstanPot or Oven. For Instant Pot instructions, click HERE.
If cooking in the oven, follow IP instructions except bake on 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

2. While the squash roast, cook chicken in skillet with grapeseed oil and garlic powder until chicken is no longer pink.

3. Remove cooked chicken from skillet and toss with pesto. Set aside.

4. In a small pot, heat a small amount of grapeseed oil to medium-high heat. Sauté the shredded carrot and mushrooms (or any other veggies except spinach) until tender.

5. Add the spinach and pesto chicken to sautéed vegetables. Stir until spinach is wilted.

6. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Now, add half of the cheese to the chicken and vegetable mixture.

8. Cut the spaghetti squash halves in half again to create 1/4 piece of squash. Then fluff the squash with a fork to loosen the strands.

9. Once fluffed, top the 1/4 piece of squash with the pesto chicken and vegetable mixture. Go ahead, just pile it on!

10. Lastly, sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over each piece and place in the oven long enough to melt the cheese (or warm thoroughly if your spaghetti squash was cooked in advance).

Recipe adapted from Peas and Crayons.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Spaghetti Squash


The Instant Pot was somewhat life-changing for me and my relationship with spaghetti squash.
It's faster and IMO better texture than cooking in the oven.

INGREDIENTS
1 spaghetti squash, medium-small

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, crosswise.
2. Scoop out the seeds in the center of the squash using a large spoon.
3. Place the steamer insert in the Instant Pot.
4. Add 1 cup of water.
5. Place the squash halves in the Instant Pot on the steamer insert.
6. Place the lid on the cooker and turn the valve to allow it to pressurize.
7. Press the Manual button and press until it changes from 30 to 7.
8. Let it pressurize and cook for 7 minutes.
9. When the squash is cooked, release the valve to rapidly lower the pressure.

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