This is a semi-healthy go-to for dinner for Matt and I. It's so simple and it takes less than 30 minutes to whip up. I say semi-healthy because there's a decent amount of brown sugar in the sauce, though I definitely wouldn't classify this as "comfort" food. Truthfully, I just don't want all the REAL health nuts to come after me like, "THERE'S SUGAR IS THERE SO IT'S NOT HEALTHY."
Anyway, it tastes REALLY good and I highly recommend it for a simple dinner. The more veggies you add, the better! This recipe serves 2.
I would also like to take this time to give a small shoutout to all the people that post beautiful photos of food. That's actually a really hard job and I'm completely incapable of making food look appetizing.
1. Whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ground ginger and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown and crumble the lean ground beef until no longer pink. Drain. (wow that photo is super gross)
3. While your hamburger is draining (I usually just let it sit for a couple minutes on a paper towel because that's what my mom does...) steam your broccoli. Chop it, wash it, and put it in a microwave safe bowl. Add a few tablespoons of water to the bowl and cook it in the microwave for 1 minute increments until it's cooked to your liking. (We like ours a bit crunchier).
4. Add your ground beef back into the pan on low heat and immediately add the whisked sauce mixture to it. Let the sauce and beef simmer for 2-3 minutes. (Another horrible looking photo).
5. You can take this 2-3 minuets simmer time to chop your cilantro and avocados - one avocado per person. (This photo isn't terrible. But I don't think you can mess this one up) Ah, and cook the rice now, too.
6. Now everything should be cooked! The rice is the base of your bowl, then add your Korean beef, then the broccoli, avocado and cilantro on top. (And the crushed red pepper if you like spice) DON'T JUDGE THE FINISHED PRODUCT PHOTO I'M TRYING.
Beef recipe courtesy of lovebakesgoodcakes.com
Hello! And welcome back to the blog... it's been a minute!
This recipe has become one of my favorites as a mid-day snack or a dinner side. I've completely fallen in love with brussel sprouts (thanks Marquee Pizza, 30 Hop and Zeppelins). I've been trying to emulate those restaurant's recipes and although I haven't been able to recreate them perfectly... I've created my own!
All of my ingredients are from Lucky's Market in Iowa City (right next to Sycamore Mall). This recipe is all natural, organic, and SUPER easy.
1 1/2 lb Brussel Sprouts
1 TBSP Olive Oil
2 1/2 TBSP Wholesome Organic Honey
1 TBSP Yellowbird Jalapeño Condiment
*Chopped cilantro optional
1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Cut the ends off of the brussels and then cut them in half.
3. Place the brussels on a pan and coat them in 1 TBSP of olive oil.
4. Bake them 25 minutes.
5. Combine the Jalapeño Condiment, honey, and lime in a bowl. Whisk together.
6. Remove the brussels from the oven and pour the combined sauce and toss to coat.
*Chop the cilantro and sprinkle on top!
Yay for easy dinners! We're usually running from training to events to WHATEVER else, and I just can't commit to a lengthy prep time for dinner. I'm all about a simple, healthy, and pretty well-balanced meal. We always incorporate a protein, vegetable, and usually some sort of carb.
Tonight, with the help of Lucky's Market, I whipped up a Teriyaki Chicken and Shrimp dinner that took me less than 30 minutes and tasted delicious! I found all of the organic, natural ingredients at Lucky's Market in Iowa City - A.K.A the most beautiful grocery store in the world. We do our best to forgo unnecessary antibiotics, growth hormones and pesticides, and Lucky's allows us to do that without breaking the bank.
Check out the recipe and cook it up!
1/2 lb Chicken
12 oz. Raw, small shrimp
12 oz. Lucky's Garlic Teriyaki Sauce
2 bags Lundberg Organic White Jasmine Thai Hom Mali Rice
1 bundle Asparagus
1 bottle 5 Reasons Sauvignon Blanc Wine
(for sipping while cooking... because it's yummy and $5 at Lucky's...)
1. Thaw your chicken and shrimp. Easiest way to thaw shrimp quickly is to run it under cool water in a colander (DON'T use hot water)
2. Cut the chicken into small pieces and make sure your shrimp is deveined and peeled!
3. Put the raw shrimp and chicken into SEPARATE bowls with 1/2 bottle of Lucky's Garlic Teriyaki Sauce in each bowl. Set aside.
4. Bring a pot of water to a strong boil.
5. Wash and cut your asparagus into 1.5-2 inch pieces. Remember to cut the bottoms off and throw those away.
5. Add your asparagus to the boiling water. Let boil for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and drain. Add butter and salt as needed.
6. The 2 bags of Lundberg Organic White Jasmine Thai Hom Mali Rice just have to go in the microwave for 90 seconds! Follow the simple instructions on the back of the bags.
7. Add chicken and sauce to a deep pan on medium heat. Stir occasionally until the chicken is almost completely cooked. (Wow that photo is not appetizing...sorry).
8. Add the shrimp and it's sauce to the chicken. Leave on heat, stirring occasionally until shrimp begins to turn pink and chicken is cooked through.
9. Plate like the photo below and serve! We put our protein on top of the rice, but you could put it on the side... whatever feels right :) ENJOY.
WE LOVE FALL. Right?! For like three days... but once the temps drop below 45, I'm out. Actually I'm in... inside, wrapped up in a heated blanket and planning the next vacation to somewhere that doesn't give me goosebumps.
I like fall and all the fun things that come with it (pumpkins, Halloween, apple orchards, etc), but I'm just not a huge fan of being chilly, cold, or really anything that's not warm... sorry not sorry for hating on everyone's favorite time of the year :)
Now that I got that out... let's move on to the reason for this post. My favorite drink to cozy up with! (No, it's not Pumpkin Spice... though I am drinking Pumpkin Spice coffee as I write this... basic). Like I said, you can usually find me huddle under a blanket for most of the fall/winter seasons, sipping on something warm. Fall time calls for apple cider, I might venture to say it's one of my favorite warm drinks ever?
Check out the recipe and cozy up with it on your own time in your Uggs while you light apple candles and watch Hocus Pocus.
You've probably heard sweet potatoes are good for you, right? I read countless articles about how they're the good carb, an awesome source of Vitamin A, and that they're high in antioxidants. That great and all, but how do I cook them?
I finally found the perfect recipe for cooking sweet potatoes that last the entire week! It's easy, because that's how I roll, and it tastes amazing. I should also mention that it's not really the healthiest version.. BUT it's better than popping chocolate chip cookies as a snack.
This makes a LOT of food, but I use this recipe as meal prep for the week. I use these as a side for lunch or dinner and sometimes as a quick snack.
3lb bag sweet potatoes
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 TBSP cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Peel and chop (see above photo for size) sweet potatoes.
3. Spray 9X13 glass baking dish with cooking spray, be sure to cover bottom and sides of the dish.
4. Put peeled potatoes into a large bowl, add 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil and toss until potatoes are fully coated.
5. Add brown sugar and cinnamon, toss until fully coated.
6. Dump potatoes into 9x13 dish.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, then mix.
8. Place BACK in the oven for 30 more minutes. (1 hour total cook time).
Simple as that! Feel free to add or subtract brown sugar or cinnamon, whatever you prefer. I get a lot of messages asking about intermittent fasting and what I eat in my 8 hour window, and here's one of those dishes.
Making food for the week that heats up well is difficult, but it's even harder to find time everyday to make a fresh, homemade meal. That's when we all turn to the easy, more fattening foods - at least that's what I do! So, if you're looking for an easy meal prep idea, this one is for you.
Coming soon: a simple protein recipe
to prep for weekly lunch or dinner.
p.s. CLICK HERE for a link to a similar dress
I had so many people comment or message me about intermittent fasting, but most of the questions revolved around my morning routine since I fast until around 11am or noon. These questions were pretty much like, "DO YOU DRINK COFFEE THOUGH?!" or "HOW DO YOU GO WITHOUT CAFFEINE IN THE MORNING?!"
The official answer to those questions is right here! I do have a morning drink with a bit of caffeine, but alas, it's not coffee.
You saw it in the title, it's a Vanilla Caramel Chai Tea Latte! It's got some serious desert vibes, because I feel like a total rustic yogi hippie sippin' on tea in the A.M.
I've completely scratched coffee from my life; I know, I know, HOW COULD I EVER? Truth be told, it's just because it was giving me stomach aches throughout the day. Even just a morning cup made me uncomfortable for hours. I'm assuming it was from the acid tearing at my stomach... if you've got an answer, hit that contact tab.
So, after scratching coffee I was on the hunt for a new morning drink. But, I had a few stipulations:
1. It has to be warm
2. It has to have caffeine
3. I need it to be at Starbucks/any other coffee shop
4. I need to be able to make it at HOME TOO.
Obviously, a chai tea latte was the answer! I first tried it at Starbucks and LOVED it, but trying to recreate that masterpiece at home was just not going to happen (I tried). What I did, though, was create my own EASY at-home recipe.
All of the ingredients are pictured below! As you might have noticed, I'm not really into elaborate recipes. I like things easy, mostly because our schedules are unpredictable but also because I'm not going to spend hours in the kitchen (let's be honest, neither are you...probably).
*Fun Fact: the only traceable calories from this drink are in the milk you choose to use.
1 C. Water
1 C. Milk (or milk substitute)
2 packets Tazo Vanilla Caramel Chai Tea
1-3 TBSP Walden Farms Caramel Syrup
*Also try subbing Walden Farms vanilla sauce for a more vanilla dominated flavor
1. Bring 1 cup of water to a hard boil
2. Pour the boiling water over the 2 tea bags into your mug
3. Let the tea steep for 5-7 minutes. The longer you steep, the more concentrated the tea.
4. Heat 1 cup of milk on the stove and stir vigorously/constantly with a wire whisk to form a foamy top. DO NOT let the milk boil - it'll create a film on the top of your latte. Not cool.
5. After you've let your tea steep for 5-7 minutes, remove the tea bags.
6. Add foamed milk to the tea.
7. Add 1-3 TBSP Caramel Sauce to the latte and stir.
The only downfall you might find is that it doesn't have the same amount of caffeine that a cup of coffee would. You're getting about 80-90mg of caffeine in this Chai Tea, where a cup of coffee is about 190mg.
If you're not into letting go of that added caffeine, I get it. But, if you're like me and have sworn off coffee or would like to, this is a awesome replacement. Avid coffee drinkers, this could be a good break from that same flavor every morning too!
If you've got questions on Walden Farms Syrups, CLICK HERE.
Tried it and loved it? Let me know!
Advice on at-home Chai Lattes? Hit the contact tab!
All photos by Ivy Towler: Learn More HERE!
As we're trying our best to move the heck on from winter, I'm doing my best to move on from winter cooking! Oven and Crockpot recipes can only last me so long, and then it's time for a change. And this one is as fresh as ever.
I'm constantly trying to come up with simple recipes to throw together on week nights and this one is just too easy! If you're looking for extravagant recipes suited for a 5-star restaurant, you've come to the wrong place... Also, this recipe has been Matt VandeBerg approved, which says a lot about it because he's P-I-C-K-Y. (If you're reading this, I love you anyway.)
Let's get started with the ingredients.
Here's some instructions... if you need them.
1. Throw all those veggie ingredients together; whatever you're feeling out of the list I gave you and whatever will fit in that little romaine heart boat.
2. Add some grilled chicken. Fill to your heart's content (get it?).
Finally, the third step. This recipe is exhausting.
3. Add some Teriyaki sauce to top it off.
Remember to subscribe to my newsletter for my homemade sauce!
I'm a total sauce person, so I'm loading it on. Matt on the other hand, will add a teaspoon and call it a day. Opposites attract?
And that'll do it! An overly simple lunch or dinner for you and your fam. College students - this is the lunch/dinner recipe you've been asking for! Simple and able to be prepared ahead of time. Not to mention, it's a perfect option for spring and summer cooking, and it definitely won't break your calorie bank.
*Pro tip: These romaine hearts are FUN. Switch up the ingredients and make it into a healthy taco night! Taco seasoning instead of teriyaki, shredded cheese, light sour cream... you get it.
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All photos by Ivy Towler: Learn More
We blend up quite a few smoothies around our place, so needless to say, our Ninja blender was my favorite Christmas gift! As you can imagine, there are a few reasons Matt and I drink different mixtures.
First, he's training for the NFL and has a metabolism like I've never seen before. I mean, a good chunk of his job is to run, while a good chunk of mine is just running my mouth.
I take in around 1,700 calories per day. I definitely don't count those calories, but I can give myself a good estimate at the end of the day. Plus, it helps to know how different Matt and I's caloric intake is in numbers so you can see why our smoothie recipes are so different. He takes in over 8,000 per day. Woah. His diet definitely contains more [healthy] fats and protein than mine does, so his recipe provides that.
These smoothies are meant to be snacks or paired with a meal, we do not use either of them as meal replacements!
We'll start with his recipe, the green colored cup of goodness.
MATT'S SMOOTHIE - 545 CALORIES, 32g PROTEIN
1 Medium banana
2 TBSP Peanut Butter
1/2 C. Chopped, fresh Kale
1/4 C. Non-fat, plain Greek Yogurt
3/4 C. Whole Milk (add more if needed smoother)
I'll quickly break down why we use these foods. Banana's contain potassium for smoother muscle contraction to avoid muscle cramps. Avocados and peanut butter both contain monounsaturated fats, the healthy kind; this fat is good for insulin levels aiding in heart and brain health. Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients, you'll barely taste it in the mix. The Greek Yogurt and Milk contain over half of the protein in this mix among other benefits in dairy products.
*Phew!* Now that we've covered his, we'll move onto mine.
MY SMOOTHIE - 280 CALORIES, 8g PROTEIN
1 C. Chopped, fresh strawberries
1/2 C. Chopped, fresh Kale
1 TBSP Whole flax seed
1/4 TBSP Coconut oil
3/4 Cup almond milk
Now time for my breakdown. Strawberries add a definite sweetness to a smoothie, which I'm all about while they also add antioxidants. We covered banana and kale in his smoothie, but my favorite part of adding kale is added fiber. Flax seed is unique to my smoothie - these little seeds can actually have an anti-estrogenic effect in your body. Which means it can lessen active forms of estrogen, helping to prevent estrogen receptive cancers like breast, uterine and ovarian (click this link for more info). I add a bit of coconut oil to smoothen the mixture, but it also helps increase your body's healthy cholesterol. I sub Matt's whole milk for almond milk - because less dairy is best for my digestion.
So, there ya have it! As I mentioned, these are not meant to be meal replacements; they're a simple snack! I hope these smoothies find you well and you're able to incorporate them into your daily diet.
Love our recipes? Let me know through the Contact tab!