It's really no surprise that I did not stick to my New Year's resolutions. In fact, I feel like I did the opposite of what I set out to do. But, it's March and that means just one thing: Bathing suit season is coming. So move over candy, it's time to get healthy and energized.
Unlike many energizing recipes, these are actual snacks and recipes you can eat with a fork, no straws or cups required. I love juicing and smoothies as much as the next girl, but I'll admit, I love chewing more. That's why I love healthy recipes, each packed with superfoods and tons of antioxidants. Who wants to sip when you can chew?
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Add the oats and pumpkin seeds, spread evenly over the parchment paper. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant and toasted.
Once toasted, remove from the pan and place in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the quinoa, flaxseeds, almonds and chia seeds.
In another bowl, whisk the applesauce, maple syrup, peanut butter and honey together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Press the mixture into the foil. Place in the fridge and chill for about 2-3 hours. Cut into bars.
Rice noodle chicken soup with green tea and lemon
Serves about 6
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-1/2 medium carrots, sliced
1-1/2 medium parsnips, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
Zest from 1 lemon
About 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 large leek, chopped
2 quarts reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons loose green tea
1/2 pound rice noodles
1/4 cup chopped parsley and dill
Salt and pepper, to taste
Boil 3 cups water. Remove from heat, add tea leaves, cover and let steep 5 minutes. Heat chicken broth to a slow simmer in a pot. Strain tea into broth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, leek and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the carrots and parsnips, cook another 5-7 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Liberally coat the chicken with salt and pepper. Add to the pan with the vegetables.
Pour the broth/tea mixture over the chicken mixture. Toss in chickpeas, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and dill. Add salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Once done, remove chicken from the pot and shred with 2 forks. Add back to the pot.
Place the rice noodles in a bowl of hot water for about 15 minutes or until loose. Rinse and set aside.
Add noodles to the chicken soup mixture and heat another 5 minutes or until noodles are completely soft.
Lemon, strawberry and almond breakfast bread
Yields 9-inch loaf
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon almond meal
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup canola oil
Zest from 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a standard loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a stand mixer, beat the sugars, canola oil, lemon zest and applesauce together until creamy. Add in the flour, almond meal, cinnamon, baking soda and eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully combined.
Mix in the strawberries and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for about 42 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cafe green pasta salad with sunny-side up egg and bacon
Serves about 4
8 ounces ditalini pasta
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 pieces crispy bacon, cooked and chopped
4 large eggs
Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add the pasta and the salt. Cook until pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes. Rinse and set aside in cold water.
Meanwhile, make the pesto by placing the cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, olive oil and salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse on high until mixture is creamy.
Mix the pasta with the pesto and the bacon pieces.
Grease a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Crack the eggs into a shallow bowl and pour the mixture into the skillet. Cook until the egg whites turn opaque, about 4 minutes. Garnish with cracked black pepper. Place the eggs over the pesto pasta.