Lucky Lime Creamy Protein Shake

Lucky Lime Creamy Protein Shake | Mimi's Fit Foods

Oh man!  I might be a little biased because of my love for anything citrus-flavored, but this shake seriously made my day yesterday!

I wanted to bring you another healthy  “green” recipe that you can use on St. Patrick’s Day and this is what I decided on.  I had originally hoped to make something with mint, but when this idea entered my mind . . . . I couldn’t let it go!  I’m yearning for warm, summer weather and this shake just might have given me a taste of it.  It’s SO refreshing!  We had a nice 55ish-degree day yesterday that was filled with sun.  After making this shake, I put the babe in the stroller, walked to the park (without a jacket, mind you), and sipped this the whole way there.  Sunshine, a creamy lime shake, and a happy toddler going down the slide . . . . I think summer is coming!  I’m totally feeling lucky about that and this shake definitely  helped!

This shake comes out with a slightly green hint.  If you really want it to look more green, add a drop or two of green food coloring.  Feel free to make this on your St. Patrick’s Day.  It will definitely bring out the fun mood of the holiday and it might even make you feel like it’s summer for a day.  Worked for me!

Lucky Lime Creamy Protein Shake

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (100 Calories, 15g Protein)
1/2 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
sweetener, to taste (I used 2 packets Stevia)
fresh juice from 2 limes
zest from 1-2 limes
1/2 cup plain 0% Greek yogurt
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
ice, to desired consistency
1-2 drops green food coloring, optional

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Serves 2.

Nutritional Information Per Shake
Calories:  200.5
Protein:  29.3g
Carbs:  12.7g
Fat:  3.8g (1.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.1g
Sugars:  7.7g

Roasted Cabbage Slices

Roasted Cabbage Slices | Mimi's Fit Foods

St. Patrick’s Day is in a matter of days and I know several of us are on the lookout for recipes, so I decided to share another one for you to consider.  There are LOTS of fun recipes out there for this lovely green-inspired holiday, and of all the recipes, I decide to share with you Roasted Sliced Cabbage.  Stay with me, here!  Stay with me!

While this may not appear “fun,” I promise I would not share this with you if I didn’t absolutely love it!  This is seriously crazy yummy when it comes to the cabbage world.  Roasting the cabbage helps to bring out a level of sweetness you don’t get otherwise, and it offers a bit of crunch on the edges (my favorite part).  Seriously!  If you’re not a fan of cabbage, this could certainly be one of the cabbage dishes that could possibly sway you!

Besides that cabbage seems to be popular in Irish-inspired St. Patrick’s Day dishes (for example . . . Corned Beef and Cabbage), it’s also green!  Why not make this a side dish at an all-green dinner?  It’s a great way to make sure you get something healthy, it’s green, and it’s deeeeelish!

Roasted Cabbage Slices - Mimi's Fit Foods

Roasted Cabbage Slices
Adapted from Wellness Mama

1/2 head of medium-sized cabbage
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the cabbage in 1/4-1/2 inch slices.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, or use a Silpat liner.  Place the cabbage on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. If desired, evenly brush drizzled oil over cabbage.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast for 30-35 minutes or until tender in the middle and sides are just starting to turn golden brown. Remove and serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  58.4
Protein:  1.6g
Carbs:  6.2g
Fat:  3.8g (0.5g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.6g
Sugars:  0g

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

Black Bean & Quinoa Enchilada Casserole | Mimi's Fit Foods

Every-so-often I am looking for a good and healthy casserole to make.  This gets tricky for a couple of reasons.  1 – Casseroles are usually not healthy.  2 – Casseroles usually use canned soup of which I am not the biggest fan.  So, I get kind of picky when it comes to making casseroles.  BUT, casseroles are so wonderful because they are great one-pan dishes that feed a crowd.  So, I never stop searching for tasty and healthy casserole dishes.

This is my current favorite casserole dish!  It’s loaded with traditional Mexican flavors and the texture is phenomenal thanks to the black beans and quinoa.  It is really easy to make and takes little effort.  The prep time takes about 20 minutes (that’s to chop up and sauté the veggies and cook the quinoa) and the bake time is 30 minutes.  So, I essentially had dinner ready in 20 minutes, and used the 30 minute bake time to make a green salad AND wash the dishes so I wouldn’t have to do much after dinner.  Pretty awesome!

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (Whole) - Mimi's Fit Foods

I loved adding the fresh toppings to the cooked casserole.  The green onions, fresh cilantro, and avocado were oh-so-perfect.  It hyped up the freshness and intensified the Mexican flare.

This is also a meatless casserole.  That being said, the addition of shredded, cooked chicken would work SO well here (and stretch the servings).  I have NO doubt that I’ll be incorporating that on occasion to increase the protein content.

This is going to become a regular around our house!  Please make it at yours . . . and then bring me a plate.

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole | Mimi's Fit Foods

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups 99% fat free chicken broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed,diced
1 red pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 orange pepper, seeds removed, diced
juice of 1 small lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper, to taste
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups red enchilada sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese
Toppings: Sliced green onions, avocado slices, sour – optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Add quinoa and broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover quinoa and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the peppers. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa and black beans. Add the sautéed vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Add cheese and pour in the enchilada sauce and stir to combine.

Pour the black bean and quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining 1 cup shredded cheese. Cover the pan with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil. Bake an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with toppings, if desired. Serve warm.

Note-this recipe freezes well!

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  289.7
Protein:  15.9g
Carbs:  38.6g
Fat:  9g (2.6g = Sat.)
Fiber:  9g
Sugars:  3.3g

Coconut Infused Vanilla Muffins

Coconut Infused Vanilla Muffins - Mimi's Fit Foods

These are glorious!  They are soft, fluffy, and contain both hints of coconut and vanilla.  The dusting of cinnamon on top adds the perfect finishing touch.

And . . . well, if you’re looking to use up some of that leftover coconut milk that’s lingering in your fridge, this recipe is a fabulous idea!   (It seems like most recipes that call for coconut milk rarely use the entire can!)

We are BIG fans of coconut oil and coconut flavor in my house.  So, I was pretty darn sure we were going to LOVE these muffins.  That being said, the coconut is not overwhelming here, but offers nice subtle notes that leave you completely satisfied.  I use organic extra virgin coconut oil because it has a stronger coconut flavor and it’s a tad bit better for you than other forms of coconut oil.  (If you’re looking for less coconut flavor, then use one that’s not organic and not extra virgin . . . but please make sure it’s non-hydrogenated as you’ll still want the health benefits of using the coconut oil.)

Now, let me just clarify that these muffins are not perfect from a nutritional stand point.  However, they are healthier than most traditional muffins.  They have less sugar, use a healthier fat, and more than half of the flour is whole wheat.  I realize we are all at different places in our health journeys.  For some, these could be the healthiest muffins you’ve made in years.  For others, these might be considered a treat/dessert.  Either way, I think these can find a way into the hearts of many of you, and luckily they are much more heart-healthy than the typical muffin (or donut, or pop-tart, or other crazy breakfast option you might grab).

Coconut Infused Vanilla Muffins
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

2 large eggs
1/2 cup canned light coconut milk
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
Cinnamon and sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray (or you can line them with paper liners).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milks, vanilla extract, coconut extract and coconut oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.

Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir the batter together until just combined. Don’t over mix or the muffins will be tough and dry. It only takes a few stirs to incorporate the batter well enough. The batter will be lumpy and that is ok.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and sugar.

Bake for 16-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out dry or with a few moist crumbs. Don’t over bake.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 12.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Muffin)
Calories:  205.4
Protein:  4.1g
Carbs:  28.6g
Fat:  8.8g (7g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.8g
Sugars:  11.3g

Berry Heart Skewers

Berry Heart Skewers1 - Mimi's Fit Foods

Since Valentine’s Day is in two days, I thought I would share a fun and easy idea into the mix.  These Berry Heart Skewers are so EASY, but beyond that I think they are so super adorable.

There’s not a real recipe that goes with this post as it’s more of a simple method to ensure you get a heart shape out of your strawberries.  It’s pretty simple since strawberries already come in a shape that resembles a heart.

All you do is core the strawberries.  Then, taking a paring knife, simply cut a v-shape out of the top of the berry.  I  cut one slant down, and then I make my other cut on the opposite side.  I found that the strawberries look best if the cut is not too deep.

That’s it!  You can skewer them however you wish.  I thought the addition of blueberries was way fun and festive.

Berry Heart Skewers - Mimi's Fit Foods

You can put these out as a snack for the kids, put them in your hubby’s lunch, or you can have them as a side dish for dinner or lunch.

My sweet little toddler has been enjoying them with her PB&J for lunch!  And, because it’s Valentine’s week . . . her PB&J is shaped like a heart too (using a cookie cutter).

Berry Heart Skewers with Heart PB&J - Mimi's Fit Foods

Most importantly, I hope you have a love-filled Valentine’s Day!

Tri-Colored Bell Pepper Couscous With Lemon

Tri-Colored Bell Pepper Couscous With Lemon - Mimi's Fit Foods

This is a tasty and easy side dish that you can add to your files.  If you haven’t made couscous, well . . . you should!  The VERY basic directions for making couscous takes all of 8 minutes and 5 of those minutes are simply waiting for the couscous to set up, while the other 3 minutes are dedicated to making water or broth boil.  Yeah. . . easy peasy, I tell you.  Thus, couscous tends to be a go-to side dish for me because I can whip it up fast without much thought.

This version of couscous gets a little fancier, yet still doesn’t take all that much extra time.  The flavor is elevated by the shallot and garlic, the peppers give it a great dimension of texture and taste, and oregano adds that nice bite of freshness I’m always looking for.  What REALLY makes this dish sing is the lemon!  I tasted it before the lemon and then I tasted it again after I squeezed the fresh lemon juice over it and I am not. even. kidding.  The difference was HUGE!  This is what really got me hooked on this version of couscous.  It tastes so fresh and that lemon juice really accents each and every ingredient found within.

Go couscous!

Tri-Colored Bell Pepper Couscous With Lemon
Adapted from the Food Network

1/2 tablespoon (or 1 1/2 teaspoons) extra-virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large shallot or 1/2 small red onion, minced
3 medium red, yellow, green or orange bell peppers or a mix, finely diced
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano
2/3 cup low sodium, 99% fat free chicken broth
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup whole wheat couscous
lemon wedges, for serving

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add the garlic and shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 2/3 cup broth, the bell peppers, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the peppers just begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the couscous, immediately cover and remove from the heat. Let stand, covered, until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 7 minutes.

Transfer to a platter or large bowl and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = Approx. 3/4 Cup)
Calories:  137.5
Protein:  4.4g
Carbs:  25.8g
Fat:  1.9g (0.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.5g
Sugars:  1.8g

Quinoa, Cranberry and Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quinoa, Cranberry and Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash - Mimi's Fit Foods

I LOVED the freshness and comfort of this meal!  I love roasted squash and filling it with a delicious quinoa salad is just plain fabulous!  The roasted squash offered the “comfort” and the quinoa salad offered the “freshness.”  And, even better . . . they go SO WELL together!  The textures are amazing with the softness of the squash and quinoa being combined with the crunch of the almonds and spinach and then topped off with the chewiness of the dried cranberries.  And, probably without even having to say it, the flavors all meld well together.

This is a beautiful meatless meal.  I had a couple of acorn squash that were begging to get used so this is what came of them.  We had it for lunch and loved it.

Quinoa-Cranberry-Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash - Mimi's Fit Foods

Quinoa, Cranberry and Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash
Adapted by The Spicy RD Blog

2 acorn squash
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling on squash
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
2-3 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, cut acorn squash in half, vertically, and remove the seeds. Drizzle olive oil over the flesh of both pieces of squash, then sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper. Place squash, flesh side down on a foil lined sheet, and bake for 30 minutes.

While squash is baking, combine quinoa and water in a medium pan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, and cook until water is absorbed, and quinoa is nice and fluffy.

While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in pan, then add onions and cook until translucent. Push onions to the side of the pan, and add almonds, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes to toast. Remove pan from heat, and set aside.

When quinoa is done cooking, pour it in to a medium bowl, then stir in onion/almond mixture, cranberries, spinach, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When squash is cooked, remove from oven and place each piece on a plate. Scoop 1 cup of quinoa pilaf mixture in to each squash half and serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 half squash filled)
Calories:  327
Protein:  8.8g
Carbs:  51.1g
Fat:  12.6g (0.6g = Sat.)
Fiber:  .6g
Sugars:  7.3g