Triple Berry and Carrot Juice Detox and Antioxidant Smoothie

Triple Berry and Carrot Juice Detox and Antioxidant Smoothie - Mimi's Fit Foods

We caught some of the nasty winter germs that have been going around and have been down with colds in our house.  Ugh!  In order to help boost our immune systems we’ve been trying hard to get in as many fruits and veggies as possible.  

This little smoothie has become our breakfast drink for the past week.  The berries are LOADED with antioxidants and I love sneaking veggies in the smoothie without anyone even noticing they’re there . . . thus, the addition of carrot juice.  Fruits and veggies will help us to naturally detox and cleanse our bodies too, so this smoothie is great for any of us who may have indulged a little over the holidays.  

If you’re wondering, I buy my triple berry mix from Costco.  I also found the carrot juice at Costco and have noticed that I can get the three bottles at Costco for almost the same price it costs for 1 bottle in the grocery store.  Since we won’t be drinking ALL that carrot juice before it goes bad, I’ve decided to freeze it until I need it.

If you’re in need of a handy-dandy way to get in your fruits and veggies, here’s a great solution.  Your kids will love it too.  My little babe sees it mixing in the blender and starts chanting, “num, num, num.”  Smoothies just seem to be a special treat!

Triple Berry and Carrot Juice Detox and Antioxidant Smoothie
Mimi’s Fit Foods

1 cup frozen mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
1/2 cup carrot juice
1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (depending on taste)
crushed ice, optional

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds).

Serves 2.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (Per Smoothie)
Calories:  110.2
Protein:  4.8g
Carbs:  22.6g
Fat:  0.4g (0.1g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.7g
Sugars:  18.4g (mostly all natural from the berries)

Roasted Beets

Roasted Beets - Mimi's Fit Foods

Beets.  You should all know that beets are SO good for you.  They contain so many good vitamins and minerals (just to name a few . . . potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; folic acid).  They are good for all of us, including pregnant women as the vitamin B, iron, and folic acid are good for both mommy and baby.  Among many other health benefits, beets are also a natural cleanser of the blood.

With that all being said, I know beets may not be the MOST popular vegetable found at the dinner table.  Perhaps its the taste or perhaps its just the problem of not really knowing how to to prepare them.  I am one who actually loves beets, but have never prepared my own (I’ve always eaten bottled beets or beets that someone else prepared for me).  Some beets made their appearance in a mixed produce box I ordered and I was determined to find the best way to prepare them.

The crazy thing is, after doing all my research, the very best way to prepare the beets is to roast them.  Roasting them brings out the flavor much better than boiling or steaming them.  And, even crazier, roasting them is SUPER easy and pretty mess-free.  I REALLY cannot believe that I haven’t been roasting my own beets for years.  I think I might just be planting beets in my garden this upcoming summer.

Roasted Beets
Adapted from Bobby Flay

4 medium beets, scrubbed, leaves trimmed (red or gold)
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray sheets of aluminum foil lightly with cooking spray.  Wrap beets in aluminum foil (like you would a baked potato).  Place wrapped beets on a baking sheet and roast in oven until cooked through, approximately 45-60 minutes (I find that they take closer to 60 minutes).

Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes.  Peel and slice into 1/4-inch slices.  (I peel the beets under warm, running water as this avoids staining on my hands and countertop.  They peel very easily.)

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Beet)
Calories:  22
Protein:  1g
Carbs:  5g
Fat:  0g
Fiber:  1g
Sugars:  4g

Fresh Green Bean Salad With Balsamic Dressing

Fresh Green Bean Salad with Balsamic Dressing - Mimi's Fit Foods

Okay.  Let’s get back to fall.  In reality, this dish is perfect year-round, but I’m sharing it this week because I think it would make a fabulous side dish at Thanksgiving.  I’m always looking for healthy side dishes for the holidays and since green beans seem to make an appearance at most Thanksgiving dinner tables, I thought I would share a very YUMMY (and healthy) way to make them this year.

This green bean salad is to-die-for.  Yes, I’m serious.  You’re probably thinking that there’s no way that green beans would ever be considered to-die-for, but guess what!?  You’re totally wrong because I found this recipe and it completely qualifies!  I made a fancy dinner to go alongside these babies and the green beans totally won my hubby over.  Hands down, he said this salad was the best part of the meal.  And, he doesn’t even really like green beans!  So, that’s saying something HUGE!

The green beans are cooked so they are crisp-tender, then placed in an ice bath to stop them from cooking (which also keeps their color a nice, vibrant green) and cools them down.  They are mixed with the grape tomatoes and then drizzled with a simple balsamic dressing.  Just before serving, feta cheese is mixed throughout.  The result . . . delicious, crisp-tender green beans that want you going back for more and more and more and . . . well, you get the idea!  It’s just so good and fresh and flavorful!

Besides being down-right delicious, the salad is pretty too!  I think it is totally worthy for holiday meals and it’s also WAY easy to throw together for any weeknight meal too.  Thus, it’s a recipe to keep in your back pocket.  Right!?

A couple of tips for the beans.  I bought mine at Costco and they were of the best quality.  You can usually find them in your local grocery store (produce section) too.  When cooking the beans, you want to cook them to the tenderness you prefer.  However, you don’t want to let them over-cook or they’ll be mushy and not so awesome.  I prefer mine slightly on the crisp side, so I cooked mine for about 7 minutes.  I wouldn’t cook yours longer than 10.  And, don’t forget to have your ice bath ready because you’ll need to transfer them right to the ice bath after cooking.

Now start planning to make the best green bean recipe you’ve tried in years (or in forever!).

Fresh Green Bean Salad with Balsamic Dressing2 - Mimi's Fit Foods

Fresh Green Bean Salad With Balsamic Dressing
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

1 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed if desired
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
pepper, to taste
2 ounces reduced fat feta cheese

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook green beans until tender, 5-10 minutes.

While they cook, prepare a large bowl with an ice water bath.  Immediately drain the beans into a colander and place the drained beans in the ice water for a few minutes to stop the cooking.  (This will keep them bright green and perfectly tender.)

Drain the beans and pat them dry.  Toss them in a bowl with the tomatoes.

For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.  Pour the mixture over the green beans and toss to coat.  Cover the bowl and chill for at least an hour or up to 3 hours before ready to serve.

Stir in the feta cheese right before serving.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 the Recipe)
Calories:  135.6
Protein:  2.5g
Carbs:  4g
Fat:  8.8g (2g = Sat.)
Fiber:  4g
Sugars:  2.8g

Skeleton Veggie Tray

Skeleton Veggie Tray - Mimi's Fit Foods

Ok, folks!  The Halloween parties are in full swing for us, so I’m guessing they are for you too!  One of the tips I suggest to my clients when going to parties is to offer to take something healthy that you know you can/should eat.  I mean, let’s be honest.  When we show up to parties there is always a lot of fun food that is loaded with fats and or sugars (admittedly they are usually way yummy, but not good for the belly/hips/thighs . . . ya know!?).  So, I always like to play it safe by taking something healthy that I know I can eat.

A veggie tray is alway a good solution.  However, it can be BORING.  Well, it doesn’t have to be boring for Halloween!  I found this fun way to amp up the fun with a typical veggie tray.  I took this to a family Halloween pot-luck party last weekend and it was eaten up in minutes.  There was another large veggie tray there too, but it had hardly been touched.  I’m still kind of sitting here amazed that the skeleton trick won over the kiddos and got them to eat their veggies.  They seriously ate it up (literally and figuratively).

I made the protein-packed dip from cottage cheese.  If you haven’t made the Fit Ranch Dip/Dressing  yet, you must!  (You will also deceive your little and big people with this dip.)

Hopefully this gives you a fun idea on how to fill up your belly with veggies instead of Halloween candy.  Have fun at all your parties and be safe!

Cheesy Cauliflower Quinoa

Cheesy Cauliflower Quinoa - Mimi's Fit Foods

You guys!  This is such a yummy side dish.  We all loved it at first bite!  If you love quinoa, it’s a no-brainer.  If you don’t love quinoa, well this might just be the recipe to change your mind.  You’re probably thinking, “Come on.  How awesome can quinoa get with the addition of cauliflower and cheese?”  Well, let me tell you!  It gets pretty darn awesome!  Think cheesy cauliflower with the creamy texture of quinoa thrown in.  I guess I just needed a good excuse to find cheesy cauliflower legit in a healthy way.  I totally feel 100% okay with getting my cheesy cauliflower fix with this yummy dish.  We’re totally addicted and we might end up having this more than once or twice a week now.

Cheesy Cauliflower Quinoa
Adapted from Mom, What’s For Dinner?

1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
1 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups cauliflower, chopped
1 cup reduced fat cheese (I used a Mexican 4-cheese blend)
salt and pepper to taste

Add quinoa and broth to a medium pot.

Cover and bring the quinoa and broth to a boil over medium heat. Add Cauliflower and reduce the heat and simmer covered until the broth has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender,about 15-20 minutes.

Mix in the cheese, let it melt and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot! This easily reheats. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/6 of the Recipe)
Calories:  180.7
Protein:  10.6g
Carbs:  22.7g
Fat:  5.9g (2g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.8g
Sugars:  2g

Sautéed Baby Squash with Basil and Feta

Sautéed Baby Squash with Basil and Feta - Mimi's Fit Foods

I found these cute, little baby squash at Costco and I couldn’t resist buying them.  Because of our move, we didn’t get our garden in this year so we haven’t been feeling that overdose of zucchini yet.  Thus, I plunged and made the purchase knowing we would love eating these cute squashes for dinner.  That being said, you can make this dish with your home-grown summer squash just as easily.  I thought this was a nice way to change up the flavors with the squash.  It comes together super fast (like under 10 minutes) and tastes great.  I think next time I’ll even add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  Yum!  This recipe offers another variation of how to use up that summer squash that seems to reproduce like crazy!

Sautéed Baby Squash with Basil and Feta

1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cups summer squash
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add oil to the pan and heat for about 20 seconds.  Add squash and onions to pan; saute 5-8 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.  Stir in salt and pepper.  Transfer squash mixture to a serving platter.  Sprinkle with cheese and basil.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 of the Squash)
Calories:  86
Protein:  4.2g
Carbs:  10.9g
Fat:  2.8g (1.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.3g
Sugars:  4.8g

Healthy & Low Calorie (Jicama) Fries

Jicama Fries - Mimi's Fit Foods

I have a slight love for Jicama.  However, it seems as if the Jicama Root is not very well known.  But, it should be because it’s ultra healthy and very good for you.  It’s a vegetable in the bean family and has a crisp and crunchy texture.  It has a mild taste, but tastes slightly sweet.  The beauty of this awesome vegetable is that it tastes great, but is also very high in dietary fiber.  That’s where most of the carbohydrate calories come from.  Not bad, eh?  I actually really love Jicama in my salads and get a little excited when I see it on salad bars.  (If you want to know more about Jicama, you can go here.  There is also a picture of Jicama, just in case you’re not sure what it looks like.)

So, I saw this idea to make fries out of Jicama and I thought it was genius.  Knowing Jicama , I was quite confident that the fries would turn out fabulous.  And, indeed I was right.  We all loved these things and I am so excited to have a fry recipe I can rely on for times when we’re having burgers or kabobs or I just have a crazy craving for fries.  I wouldn’t feel all that guilty about snacking on these!!

You can totally season these with whatever suits your fancy.  This particular time I used a blend of garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper.  I think they would also be great with chili powder and smoked paprika.  Yum, yum!

Jicama Fries2 - Mimi's Fit Foods

Healthy & Low Calorie Jicama Fries
Slightly Adapted from BuiltLean

1 Jicama root
1 tablespoon of seasonings of choice (garlic, chili powder, paprika, etc.)
sprinkle of sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, remove the papery-thin peel of the jicama root.

When you have cleanly removed all of the peel, slice the jicama into flat rounds about 1/2 inch thick, and then cut them up into strips resembling steak fries.

Lay your jicama strips out in one layer on a non-stick baking sheet, and prepare your seasonings.

Mix the seasonings in a small bowl and sprinkle them over the jicama strips as evenly as possible. Using an oil mister, apply a thin coat of olive oil. If you don’t have a mister, just drizzle the olive oil over the jicama. If need be, toss the fries around on the baking sheet to even out the seasonings and oil.

Bake the seasoned jicama fries in the oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, toss fries (or take the time to flip them all over) and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until they are golden-brown and crisp. Enjoy!

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  77.6
Protein:  1.2g
Carbs:  14.5g
Fat:  1.9g (0.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  8.1g
Sugars:  3g