Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Pie Day: Part 3

For this week's installment of Friday Pie Day I decided to go with something a little different. I often make fruit-based pies, but those one was just calling out to be tried and I couldn't resist. This Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie is absolutely amazing. It has a layer of chocolate in between the peanutty graham cracker crust which sends it right over the top flavor-wise.

I took this recipe right out of an issue of Food Network Magazine and honestly changed nothing. It was perfect just the way it was and the peanut butter filling was surprisingly light, it didn't feel overly rich like a cheesecake, but had a really delicious peanut flavor along with the dark chocolate layer on the crust.


Unless you have a nut or dairy allergy, you have no excuse not to make this fabulous pie!

Click Here For The Recipe Courtesy of Food Network

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Overcoming The Scars of Bad Meatloaf

Have you been scarred by meatloaf? I'm talking that circa 1980s dried out mess crusted with baked-on ketchup we have all experienced at one time or another in our lives. No wonder not many people think of meatloaf as something they're excited to put on the table for dinner!

I've tried a few meatloaves over the years, Bobby Flay's veggie-packed one is one of my favorites, but I always get annoyed cleaning the loaf pan. It just gets so crusted and its impossible to serve slices well when you're digging it out of a grease-laden pan. So I've gotten rid of the pan. That's right, free-form meatloaf is where its at!

This recipe is fantastic, not just because all you need is a rimmed baking sheet (you can even line it with foil to avoid cleanup completely), but because the flavor on this meatlof is delicious. It has zucchini in it, which makes it impossible to dry out and the topping isn't overly sweet, which my husband was a fan of.

Give it a try and serve it up with a side of roasted broccoli and potatoes, its the perfect meal for when the weather is turning chilly.

Free-Form Zucchini Meatloaf

2 eggs
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 onion (diced)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 lb. lean ground turkey
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tbsp. dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix together the turkey, eggs, zucchini, panko, onion, a big pinch of salt & pepper, oregano, basil and garlic powder. Make sure it is well combined. 

Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and shape the meatloaf into a "loaf" shape. Bake for 1 hour.

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, ketchup and mustard. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and spread the mixture over the loaf. Return it to the oven and cook for 15 minutes longer (make sure it is completely cooked in the center with a meat thermometer, as no one wants to eat rare poultry!). Let it stand for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Printable Free-Form Zucchini Meatlof Recipe

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My First Detox Cleanse: A Lesson in Self Control

It is no secret that I love food. However, have you ever hit one of those weeks where you just feel out of balance, kind of slow and icky? Not sick but not feeling great either. I'd been playing with the idea of doing some kind of cleanse for a month or so, but wasn't ready to commit to an extreme one for 30 days or more. I also didn't want to try one that relied on manufactured ingredients and powders to "cleanse" my system.

I did want to find a way to kind of get back on track nutritionally and give my self control the kick in the pants it needed. I've been working out consistently with DailyBurn (no, this is not a paid endorsement!) and I love it but lately I haven't been getting the results I want and I know its because I have relaxed my control over my eating. I'm not a fan of "dieting", mostly because I know its not something I can keep up with long-term, but over the past year I've been focusing on eating healthier, whole foods, less processed and sugary items and adding in more veggies, especially greens. I noticed a difference in my waistline as well as my overall health, so who doesn't love that?

Still, over the past month or so I've let my self-control lag. I've been lazy when it comes to planning lunches for myself and that has led to really stupid snacking habits. The biggest benefit of the cleanse I did this week was that I feel like I got my snacking under control. Hear hear for mind over matter!

I came across this cleanse and really liked the idea. Who can't stick to a cleanse for just 3 days? Plus it was full of veggies and fruits and I like smoothies, so why not?

Click Here For Info on the 3-Day Cleanse

I gave it a try starting on Sunday this week and made it just 2 days. Honestly, it wasn't any type of craving that made me stop, it was the pain in my stomach. That lunch smoothie took a toll on my insides and I just couldn't keep it up. By the 2nd day I could only drink 1/2 of the lunch and 1/2 of the dinner smoothie and I just felt too awful to continue. I decided to throw in the towel and start eating whole foods again this morning.

I did wake up feeling ok and decided to weigh in and see what 2 days on the cleanse did...I lost 4.5 pounds! Holy crap. Still, this morning I had wholegrain oatmeal, blueberries and some almondmilk for breakfast and am on my 3rd glass of water. Feeling good and re-energized!

The one thing on the cleanse I didn't do was take a probiotic. I'm wondering if taking it would have eased the stomach pain and nausea I had, but I've never tried taking one before and was concerned about starting to take one while on the cleanse. If I try this again I'll probably ask my doctor for a recommendation and start taking one regularly before starting the cleanse again, just to ease my system into it.

No lie, the lunch drink was the worst for me. It was a little better the second day, I decreased the amount of celery and chopped everything really fine before tossing it in the blender so it was smoother. Chilling the drinks is the best idea too, because I found that I could more easily drink the one I wasn't a huge fan of if it was icy cold.

The dinner drink was my favorite, I love the combination of the mango and blueberries and the avocado made it really creamy. I'll probably use it on its own as a breakfast or lunch on days when I want to amp up my nutrition. 

I made a few subsitutions to the cleanse ingredients: I used spinach for everything instead of kale, which is  harder for me to digest. I also used sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter, purely because it cost 1/2 the amount at my grocery store and has similar health benefits.

I'd definitely encourage just about anyone to give this smoothie-based cleanse a try. Even if you only make it a day or two it can really be a great boost to get you back on track nutritionally. The weight loss is a nice side benefit too! I honestly never felt hungry while doing the cleanse either, definitely because the drinks were packed with fiber and whole fruits and veggies, not to mention good fats like the coconut oil and flax seed.

Don't worry, I'll be back later this week to celebrate another Friday Pie Day with you. There's no way a smoothie is coming anywhere near me for at least a few weeks!

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