Lime Kissed Fruit Salad

Lime Kissed Fruit Sald | Mimi's Fit Foods

With it being summer and having all this lovely fruit in season, fruit salads are all the craze!  I absolutely love eating fresh fruit in the summer and find that it makes a delicious, light, and beautiful side dish to almost any meal.  That being said, this has become my most favorite way to serve it as of late!

This fruit salad is oh-so-simple, takes very little time, and seriously takes that fresh fruit up a gazillion notches to SUPER awesome!  I’ve been toting this fruit salad to family and friend BBQ’s all summer long and every. single. time. I am asked how to make it because everyone is drooling over every bite.

I’ve found that the fruit options are endless.  I typically make it with whatever fruit I have on hand or with whatever fruit I am in the mood for.  Being summer . . . there is usually melon and strawberries in it for sure.  Then, I add others.  You can change things up to your liking.

One little note that I must mention is that you should not “dress” this salad until it is time to eat it.  It only lasts a couple of hours before going “mushy” and gets all juicy.  (I mean, the mushy and juicy fruit is still to-die-for, but you know . . . not the most optimal to serve.)

All I’m saying is that if you want to be praised for your little-to-no-effort salad, this is it folks!  Make it for your next BBQ.  Or, if you don’t have a BBQ, make it for yourself.  You’ll be in heaven!  And, keep it in mind for the fall/winter months too because it’s even delicious with canned fruit.  No kidding!

Lime Kissed Fruit Salad
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Ingredients:
3 cups watermelon, cubed
2 cups strawberries, quarters
1 cup grapes, halved (red or green)
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained well
1 banana sliced
zest from one lime
2 tablespoons honey

Directions:
Combine the fruit in a medium-large serving bowl. Add the lime zest and gently toss.
Drizzle the honey over the fruit and again, gently mix until the fruit is evenly coated with the honey. Serve.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/2 Cup):
43.3 Calories | 0.4g Protein | 11g Carbs | 0.1g (0g = Sat.) Fat | 0.9g Fiber | 8.8g Sugars

Friday Feature – Half Marathon Bliss

Half Marathon Bliss_2014-6 | Mimi's Fit Foods

Last weekend was fun times!  I ran a Half Marathon down one of my most favorite canyons.  That alone, usually calls for bliss.  However, this year called for more bliss.  In addition to running with some of my favorite running buddies, my brother joined me for his very first half!  This is utterly amazing and special, folks!

Why you might ask?  Well, this cool dude took a serious turn towards a healthy lifestyle and over the last year or so, he has dropped nearly 200 pounds and he can run like the wind!  He eats incredibly healthy, watches portion sizes like a hawk, and he exercises like a champion.

With his permission, he has allowed me to share his Before-After photo.  A.Maze.Ing!  Need I say more?

Half Marathon Bliss_2014-4

So, needless to say, this Half Marathon was indeed a blissful one for more than one reason.

True to form, this half marathon started bright and early.  Race time was at 6am, and we loaded the busses at 4:30am to be taken to the drop-off point in the canyon.  It was still dark when we got there.

Half Marathon Bliss_2014-1 | Mimi's Fit Foods

Race day is always soooo much more fun when I’m in good company.

 

Half Marathon Bliss_2014-2 | Mimi's Fit Foods

Here I am with my sister-in-law, Becca and one of my best friends, Jen. I love these girls. They totally rock!

 

Half Marathon Bliss_2014-3 | Mimi's Fit Foods

Here I am at the start line with my bro. As you can see, the scenery is gorgeous. Which, makes the run that much more enjoyable!

I ran with my brother throughout the entire race.  We ran the whole way and only stopped at a few of the aid stations for water.  Here we are at mile 9-ish.  We had some family members come to cheer us on.  While they only saw us for a minute, seeing their faces and hearing their cheers was a nice re-charge for us!

Half Marathon Bliss_2014-5 | Mimi's Fit Foods

After crossing the finish line, I was so excited to see two of my most greatest supporters!  My hubby has given up so many Saturday mornings so that I can get my long runs in.  Trust me; this is a huge sacrifice for him.

Half Marathon Bliss_2014-7 | Mimi's Fit Foods

And, my little angel has often times spent more time in the jogging stroller than she would ever care for.  They are both troopers and I’m lucky to have their support!

Half Marathon Bliss_2014-8 | Mimi's Fit Foods

Seriously!  I had such a great time.  One of my most memorable 13.1 miles ever.  We’re all committing to do it again next year.  Come join us!  We would love to have you.  You have a year to get ready.  No excuses!

Honey-Glazed Carrots

Honey-Glazed Carrots || Mimi's Fit Foods

Here is a tasty vegetable side dish that goes well with SO many main dishes!  When I was growing up, my mom would sometimes make cooked carrots that simmered in brown sugar and butter.  Oh, they were soooo good!  I mean, no wonder!  Sugar and butter?  Yeah . . . that explains it all.

Needless to say, they definitely weren’t the healthiest, despite that they were a vegetable side dish.  Well, this recipe brought those childhood memories to life.  While this is a much healthier way to prepare the carrots, you’ll find that the sweetness of the carrots is intensified and boring carrots are made exciting.  We gobbled these up when I made them and I plan to put them in the vegetable rotation.  After all, my sweet toddler does have carrots at the top of her favorite food list.  And, now we do too!

Honey-Glazed Carrots
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 pound baby carrots, sliced in half
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
slat and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons light butter (I used Land of Lakes)

Directions:
Bring the carrots, broth, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the carrots are almost tender, about 5 minutes.

Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer rapidly until the liquid measures about 2 tablespoons, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the honey and butter and continue to cook, stirring often, until the carrots are completely tender and the sauce has reduced to a light golden glaze, about 4 minutes.

Off the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 the Recipe):
80 Calories | 1.6g Protein | 17.4g Carbs | 1g Fat (0g = Sat.) | 2.7g Fiber | 13.1g Sugars

Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon Chicken Kabobs

Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon Chicken Kabobs | Mimi's Fit Foods

Grilling season is in full swing and these kabobs were one of the very first things we threw on the grill this summer.  They are so, so, SO good.  The flavors are summery fresh and they all meld together incredibly well.  We’re talking rosemary, garlic and lemon!  Amazing!  There’s plenty of each of these ingredients in the marinade, so there is no lack of flavor whatsoever.

And, if that isn’t convincing enough, the chicken is incredibly moist (so long as you don’t over cook).  The base for the marinade is buttermilk and while it provides nice tang, it also makes that chicken nice and juicy!

We like to add bell peppers and red onion to our kabobs.  There are various opinions on whether you should grill your veggies separate from your meat.  The main argument for this is so that you can cook each to the level of doneness you prefer since they rarely get done at the exact same time.  I am not picky with the level of doneness on my veggies (I find that they’re slightly still crisp once the chicken is done . . . and I love them like that anyways), so I combine my meat and veggies on the same skewer.  Plus, I think it looks prettier.  However, if you’re one that likes your veggies cooked to a perfect doneness (per your opinion), then put your meat and veggies on separate skewers.

You seriously gotta make these this summer.  Probably more than once!  Again, they are so, so, SO good!

Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon Chicken Kabobs
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pinches
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch squares
lemon wedges (for serving)

Directions:
Pepare marinade by combining buttermilk, rosemary, olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small-medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

Combine the chicken and marinade in a large zipper-lock bag, press out the air, and seal the bag tightly. Toss to coat the meat and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours, flipping the bag occasionally.

Thread the marinated chicken, peppers, and onion onto 12 skewers in an alternating pattern, then brush with leftover marinade.

Prepare grill. IF USING A GAS GRILL: Turn all the burners to high, cover, and heat the grill until hot. Turn all the burners to medium-high. IF USING A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open the bottom grill vents completely. Light a large chimney starter three-quarters full with charcoal briquettes. When the coals are hot, pour them in an even layer over the grill.

Set the cooking grate in place, cover, and heat the grill until hot.

Clean and oil the cooking grate. Place the kabobs on the grill and cook, turning as needed, until the chicken and vegetables are lightly charred on all sides and the chicken registers 160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (or until juices run clear), 8-12 minutes.

Transfer the kabobs to a platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (2 Kabobs):
147.5 Calories | 24.9g Protein | 7.1g Carbs | 3.9g Fat (0.5g = Sat.) | 1g Fiber | 3.1g Sugars

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes | Mimi's Fit Foods

So, I’ve thrown regular, ol’ potatoes in the slow cooker, so I’m not sure why I didn’t think about throwing the sweet potatoes in there too.  But, my sweet friend Kristy over at Sweet Treats and More does it all of the time and once the idea entered my mind, there was no leaving it!  Thanks Kristy!

We LOVE sweet potatoes at our house.  They’re such a great choice when it comes to healthy side dishes, but they definitely take some time to cook in the oven.  And, I don’t always think that far ahead.  Besides that, turning on the oven in the summer time for more than an hour sound like WAY too much heat in the kitchen.  Thus . . . the fabulous slow cooker.  While the slow cooker reminds a lot of us of comfort food for the fall and winter months, it is a miracle worker in the summer too.  It avoids extended time of oven heat.  And, that is certainly the case with these sweet potatoes.

The even greater part about throwing the sweet potatoes in the slow cooker is that they come out soooooo incredibly perfect and fluffy.  We love to put some coconut oil or light butter on them and then sprinkle with cinnamon.  Seriously so yummy!

Now that summer is here, we’ve been throwing these Sweet Potatoes in the slow cooker and then when dinner comes around, we’re throwing meat on the grill to eat alongside them.  It’s pretty perfect really.  It takes little-to-no effort, but our meals have been incredible!

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from Kristy at Sweet Treats and More

Ingredients/Supplies:
4-6 large sweet potatoes
foil
cooking spray

Directions:
Lightly coat your slow cooker with cooking spray (some of the juices of the sweet potatoes usually leak out of the foiled sweet potatoes and spraying your slow cooker will help with clean up).

Wash sweet potatoes and pat dry. Wrap each potato in foil and place in the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4.

Nutritional Information Per Large Sweet Potato:
162 Calories | 3.6g Protein | 37.3g Carbs | 0.3g Fat (0.1g = Sat.) | 5.9g Fiber | 15.2g Sugars

Fit Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Fit Homemade Spaghetti Sauce | Mimi's Fit Foods

I’ve said it before, but my hubby is not the biggest fan of traditional Spaghetti (thus this and this), but I am.  We had a lengthy discussion about this and what it came down to was the sauce.  He’s just not a fan of the bottled/canned sauces that are available to purchase on the grocery isle.  So, I set out to make us a homemade sauce that would make all of our tummies smile.  Here’s what did the trick!

The secret to most GREAT sauces is the opportunity to let them simmer for a nice amount of time.  While this sauce takes only a few minutes to prepare, it does require a nice 45-minute simmer.  So, plan ahead.  The simmering is where all the magic happens, so don’t be messing with that step if you mess with anything.

I love the balance of textures found in the sauce.  I used a combination of diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes and I think it yielded some fabulous texture.

The spice combination is pretty perfect too!  If I wasn’t feeding a 2-year-old, I may have added a bit more crushed red pepper . . . but what I have in the recipe is definitely enough to give is a slight punch without really even noticing it’s there. And, you’ll find all your traditional Italian spices in there too.

Fit Homemade Spaghetti Sauce - Mimi's Fit Foods

I must note that I used no added sugars.  Sugars are typically added to most spaghetti sauces.  I was hoping that this sauce would taste well without it, and I am happy to report that it’s not even missed . . . not one bit!

You can easily use lean ground beef in the recipe.  I chose to use ground turkey to save a little on calories and fat, but they can be interchangeable.

This recipe makes a lot of sauce.  I like it that way because then I can freeze it and use it for later (without having to do any of the work).  It freezes beautifully.

I like to serve this sauce on top of whole wheat noodles of any kind.  It would also be delicious served over spaghetti squash.  Seriously  . . . I’m so glad to have this recipe because now we can have spaghetti a little more often with smiles all-around!  Homemade is always better, isn’t it!?

Fit Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from Tastes of Lizzy T

Ingredients:
2 pounds ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (14.5-ounces each) cans Italian diced tomatoes, with juice
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions:
In a large saucepan, brown the ground turkey along with the chopped onion. Drain, if necessary.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a low boil, stirring often. Once the sauce is heated through and at a low boil, reduce the burner temperature to low and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Yields Approximately 13 Cups.

Nutritional Information (Per 1/2 Cup):
77 Calories | 7.9g Protein | 4.1g Carbs | 3.6g Fat (0.9g = Sat.) | 0.6g Fiber | 2.5g Sugars

Lighter Grilled Ham and Double Cheese

Lighter Grilled Ham and Double Cheese | Mimi's Fit Foods

Ham and cheese . . . one of those combinations that are just meant to go together on a sandwich.  Here is a version that comes in with much less calories and fat than a typical grilled Ham and Cheese sandwich.  I used a thick slice of lean ham, and then I used Sargento’s Ultra Thin sliced cheeses.  You can play around with the cheese flavors, but I used my two favorites that I love with ham . . . Swiss and Sharp Cheddar.

I added Dijon mustard to my sandwich because I love the grown-up taste that it offers to the sandwich.  You get a nice tang and I think it compliments the ham beautifully.  That being said, it can totally be optional.  If you’re not a mustard fan, or if you’re making sammies for little kiddos, feel free to leave it off.

I just grilled mine in a nonstick sauté pan with a lid on it (to trap in the heat so that the cheese would melt and the ham would warm through).  There are a couple of other easy ways to grill/toast your sandwich and if I was going to make several sandwiches at once, I would probably use another method.  You can quickly toast both sides of your sandwiches on the stovetop in a nonstick skillet and then put them on a baking tray, throw them in a 350-degree oven and let them warm through in there (about 5 minutes).  Another option would be to use a toaster oven if you have one.  And lastly, you can use a George Foreman grill or a panini grill to get the job done.

Any way you look this, the sandwiches come together in just a few minutes and they taste great, are nice and gooey, and you get the satisfaction of having a classic comfort food without all the extra calories and fat!

Lighter Grilled Ham and Double Cheese
Mimi’s Fit Foods

Ingredients:
2 slices whole-wheat bread (I used Orowheat’s 100% whole-wheat bread/90 calories per slice)
2 ounces lean ham
2 slices Sargento Ultra Thin slices cheese (I used Swiss and Sharp Cheddar)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, optional
butter-flavoried nonstick cooking spray

Directions:
Heat a nonstick saute pan over heat.

Meanwhile, assemble your sandwich by starting with laying 2 slices of bread on a work surface. Place 1 slice of cheese on one slice of the bread, lay the ham on top of the cheese, and then place the last cheese slice on top of the ham. Spread the mustard, if using, on the remaining slice of bread. Place that slice of bread, mustard side down, on top of the cheese.

Away from the stove, spray the sauté pan with cooking spray. Spray both sides of the sandwich with cooking spray, and place the sandwich in the pan. Cover with a lid. Brown each side of the sandwich, about 5-8 minutes per side.

Serves 1.

Nutritional Information Per Sandwich:
334.6 Calories | 23.3g Protein | 36.7g Carbs | 10.8g Fat (5g = Sat.) | 6g Fiber | 9g Sugars