Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

Ingredients: 

  • White corn tortillas
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Secret ingredient: Cumin
  • Sea salt

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Slice the tortillas into triangles                                                                                                                            IMG_6098
  3. Coat each triangle with a thin layer of olive oil
  4. Spread the tortillas out onto a cookie sheet lined with foil and season with cumin & sea saltIMG_6099
  5. Bake for about 8 minutes or until tortillas are browned around the edges & crispy IMG_6102
  6. I like to serve these with some black beans, salsa, and/or homemade guacamole.  You could even melt a little cheese on them to make some healthier nachos.                                   IMG_5870

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These are one of the simplest things to make.  They taste so much better than store-bought tortilla chips– the cumin makes them so flavorful– AND they are much healthier as well

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Pork Spring Rolls

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This simple pork spring roll recipe is full of flavor and has the protein to fill you up and carry you through the day.

Ingredients:  Yields about 4 servings

  • 1 lb. pork loin cutlets
  • 1 head napa cabbage (about 3 c. shredded)
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 4 large romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. asian fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt & ground pepper

Directions: 

  1. In a large pan coat with olive oil and add pork cutlets.  Season with a little sea salt & pepper.
  2. Cook on medium high until one side of the pork is browned.
  3. Flip, turn heat down to medium-low, and cook until no longer pink, yet still juicy. Set asideIMG_5767
  4. Whisk together fish sauce, lime juice, ginger, garlic & red pepper flakes in  a small bowl
  5. Shred napa cabbage and slice red bell pepper into thin slices      IMG_5769IMG_5770
  6. Slice the pork into thin slices                                                                     IMG_5771
  7. Toss the pork with 1 tablespoon of dressing mixture                IMG_5774
  8. Toss the cabbage and red bell pepper with the remainder of the dressing                            IMG_5773
  9. Lay the romaine lettuce leaves on a plate and fill with cabbage mixture and pork.  Eat open-faced

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For my Vietnamese Spring Roll recipe, click HERE!

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Healthy House Salad

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Sometimes I just crave a typical house salad with ranch dressing.  I found this great new all-natural ranch dressing made with yogurt.  It has a small fraction of the amount of fat than traditional ranch dressing and tastes even better as it is not thick and artificial.  Bolthouse Farms has a whole line of these yogurt dressings found in the chilled section.

Ingredients:

  • Romaine, Green Leaf, or Butter Lettuce
  • Diced vine-ripened or roma tomato
  • Shaved carrots
  • Diced avocado (about 1/4 an avocado)
  • Diced cucumber
  • Bolthouse Farms Ranch dressing made with yogurt
  • Cracked pepper

Enjoy this refreshing, basic salad without the guilt of a fatty ranch dressing!

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Creamy Banana, Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Smoothie

So I must say, this smoothie can be a little dangerous because it’s sooo good! I definitely treat this as a special treat and wouldn’t have it on a regular basis.  BUT there’s a few tricks to keep it a healthy & protein-packed smoothie.

Ingredients: 

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  • 1 Frozen banana (peel, divide into chunks & freeze)
  • 3/4 c. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 c. Plain greek yogurt
  • 2 Espresso brew ice cubes (brew a pot of espresso roast coffee and pour into ice tray to freeze)
  • 1 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
  • 6 nuts of your choice: I used almonds & walnuts
  • 12 Dark chocolate (semi-sweet) chocolate chips or carob chips

Directions: 

  1. Prepare & portion all ingredients to be blended together     IMG_5234
  2. Blend ingredients until smooth.  Add more almond milk for a thinner texture IMG_5196

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Enjoy this creamy smoothie in moderation.  It’s the perfect protein-packed treat to satisfy a sweet tooth.  This is also a smart substitution for a blended coffee drink, like a frappuccino, which would contain much more sugar and significantly less protein than this flavorful smoothie.

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Cottage Cheese with Peaches & Blueberries

Simple & sweet snack or breakfast.   I will often add vanilla greek yogurt in with the fat free cottage cheese as well to add protein that will keep you fuller, longer.

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Try adding sliced almonds or another type of nut as well. Enjoy!

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Edamame with Sea Salt

Healthy & fun veggie ideas for the new year

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Edamame are one of the quickest & easiest vegetables to make.  You can get a frozen or fresh bag of edamame, either still in the shells or already shelled.  Just heat them up & season with sea salt!

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Edamame are a great snack because they contain fiber & protein to keep you fuller, longer.

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Asian Style Green Beans

This dish can be enjoyed as a flavorful snack or to accompany a meal as a side dish

Ingredients: 4 servings

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+ Pine Nuts

  • 1 lb Green Beans
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 5 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts

Directions: 

  1. Fill a medium sized pot about half way with water (enough water to cover the green beans)
  2. Put burner on high for the water to boil
  3. While water is heating up, snap the ends/stems off of the green beans & snap green beans in half
  4. Once water is boiling: Submerge green beans in the water, place lid on the pan, turn heat down to medium-low & cook until green beans are tender (about 5 min) IMG_3406
  5. While green beans are cooking: Toast pine nuts on the stove on medium heat until golden brown & set aside
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  7. Mix sesame oil, soy sauce, & minced garlic together in medium-sized bowl
  8. Cut cherry tomatoes in halves or thirds & set aside
  9. Once green beans are finished cooking, drain & toss into the soy sauce mixture to coat the green beans
  10. Add cherry tomatoes & pine nuts, mix
  11. Best enjoyed chilled, but delicious either way!

IMG_3411_2This is a tasty & creative way to incorporate more veggies into your diet!

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Experience Clean Eating at Your Local Farmer’s Market

When buying fresh produce from your local farmer’s market, the difference in the quality & freshness of the fruits & vegetables is significantly noticable, and you’re supporting the local farms of your area at the same time.  The San Luis Obispo, CA Farmer’s Market has an abundance of healthy food to offer from different farms & vendors.

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All Photo Credits: Carly (author)

While navigating through farmer’s market, you’ll see that some vendors grow organically.

Island Farm's stand in the San Luis Obispo farmer's market.  Grow organically  (Photo Credit: Carly)

Island Farm’s: An organic produce stand at the SLO farmer’s market 
(Photo Credit: Carly)

When asking Lori Asdoorian, one of the owners of Island Farms organic fruit, what the benefits of buying organic produce is, she said, “Organic doesn’t mean more nutritious, it means less pesticides.”  She said, it’s the “lack of what’s on it” that separates organic farming from other farming methods and makes organic a more pure way to eat fruits and vegetables.

See Canyon Fruit Ranch is a highly acclaimed farm in the San Luis Obispo area that specializes in apples.  It is located off See Canyon Road in Avila Beach, CA.

The famous See Canyon Apples.  Farm located in Avila Beach, CA. (Photo credit: Carly)

The famous See Canyon Apples.  Farm located in Avila Beach, CA.
(Photo Credit: Carly)

Mike Cirone, one of the family owners of See Canyon Apples, informed me about the family-operated See Canyon Fruit Ranch.  The ranch has 60 variations of apples that are dry-farmed, meaning the farm is non-irrigated and watered by rain only.  Apples are in their high picking season during the fall, now through Thanksgiving.  Cirone said that most people think See Canyon Apples are the “best apples they have ever had.”  He believes this to be true because, the farmers of See Canyon Fruit Ranch “pick & sell,” so the apples are always freshly picked for the consumer.

Not only is there a colorful array of fruits & vegetables at farmer’s markets, but there are also other healthy snacks to find such as dates, dried fruits & nuts.

An assortment of nuts and dried fruits  (Photo credit: Carly)

An assortment of nuts and dried fruits at the SLO Farmer’s Market
(Photo Credit: Carly)

Sunrise Desert & Tropical is a unique vendor who sells dates at the San Luis Obispo Farmer’s market.  These dates have a carmel-flavor that can satisfy a big sweet tooth.  Dates have a multitude of uses: You can stuff them with walnuts or your favorite kind of nut as a satisfying protein snack, they are found in many granola bars and are often used as a binding ingredient in desserts, and they are also delicious in smoothies.

Gary Billington, a vendor for Sunrise Desert & Tropical, educated me about the many health benefits of dates.   Dates are one of the highest sources of potassium in the diet and they contain trace elements & electrolytes.  These nutrients make it possible for a person to survive off of a diet of solely dates and milk.  He informed me that dates are an old world food, originating in the Middle East from Morocco to Pakistan, and people in the desert used to sustain themselves on this diet.

There are many interesting findings at the farmer’s market that you may have never even seen before.  (Hover over the picture or click to find out what these crazy-looking things are.)

There are many things to discover at your local farmer’s market, and it’s a fun experience to walk around and explore all the different farms & vendors.

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Painting capturing the essence of the San Luis Obispo, CA (SLO) Farmer’s Market
(Photo Credit: Carly)

Abundant Food for an Abundant Life is inspired by utilizing our plentiful supply of fresh foods as nourishment for the body through clean eating:  Farmer’s market is where an abundance of these fresh foods are found.

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Caprese Quinoa

If you’re sick of your typical salads or just need a side dish or snack, this Italian-style quinoa is full of flavor and nutrients to fill you up!  It was super simple for me to make and take on-the-go!

Ingredients: Makes 4 servings

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+ Quinoa

  • 1/2 c. dry quinoa (tri-color or regular)
  • 2 oz. fresh mozzarella: about 1/4 of the log (I like this one from Trader Joe’s: It has a bit of a kick to it, but you can use any kind of fresh mozz)
  • 1/3 c. cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 of a cucumber
  • 5 fresh basil leaves (I keep the basil plant in my kitchen: about $3 at TJ, or you can get fresh basil in smaller packs)

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    Just needs a little tender loving care of watering every once and a while

Directions: 

  1. Boil quinoa (per instructions), refrigerate overnight (to be served chilled) in a medium-sized mixing bowl
  2. Cut up cucumber, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella into small pieces & basil leaves into very small pieces
  3. Transfer the cucumber, tomatoes, mozz. & basil into the bowl of chilled quinoa
  4. Mix and serve!
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The end result, ready-to-go!

Enjoy knowing that quinoa is full of fiber, protein, iron, & magnesium.  And…It is gluten-free!

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