Archive | October, 2013

Pulled Chicken Taco Salad

28 Oct

IMG_1779Anything I can top with guacamole makes me happy. Use this pulled chicken recipe in chicken chili, over spaghetti squash or in butter leaf lettuce for tacos or collard greens for a spicy wrap.

 

Ingredients:

2 lbs boneless, skinless antibiotic and hormone-free chicken breasts

3 cups salsa (I like Whole Foods 360 Hot Salsa or Green Mountain Gringo Hot Salsa)

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp coriander

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

20 turns of cracked black pepper

Toppings: black olives, guacamole, sliced avocado, pico de gallo, cashew cheese, or broccoli slaw

salad greens (arugula is a nice choice for an extra peppery kick)

3 red bell peppers, sliced

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Place chicken in a Dutch Oven. In a bowl, mix the salsa, garlic, red onion, cilantro, chili powder, coriander, cinnamon, sea salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper and place it on top of the chicken. (You can also make this in a slow cooker on low heat and cook for 6-8 hrs). Bake for 90 minutes.

2. Take out Dutch Oven, remove chicken, place on plate and shred with two forks. Place shredded chicken back in the Dutch Oven and bake an additional 45 minutes. (If using a slow cooker, place back in for another hour on low).

3. Serve on salad greens, bell pepper strips and use toppings such as broccoli slaw, black olives, guacamole, pico de gallo, cashew cheese or sliced avocado.

 

Serves 7-8

 

Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Bell

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Learn to Love Exercise

20 Oct
Rock Climbing in Utah

Climb trees as a kid like me? Try some rock climbing or wall climbing!

Say what?! That’s right… whether you are a hater or just need some variety to get your sweat on, here are some questions to ask yourself so you can discover your inner athlete and get your body moving.

1. What Do You Enjoy and How Can You Incorporate That Into Your Life? Did you love to dance as a child? Then check out a Zumba, Barre or Modern dance class. Maybe you’ve never liked a physical activity you’ve tried, but you do dig Robert Downey, Jr.’s moves in Sherlock Holmes or watching Buffy kick vampire butt (back when vampires were evil and didn’t sparkle). Then try kickboxing or join a martial arts studio. Love to walk and spend time with your family? Then walk around the block together before sitting down to a healthy family dinner.

2. What Are You Willing to Invest In Your Health? It’s not just about the Benjamins, but expertise and time as well. So you found an activity you like–awesome! Find an expert who will teach you correct technique to reduce injury, but also so it is scheduled and organized (i.e. walking into a gym and not knowing what to do can be intimidating and wastes your precious time). Brilliant! Your health is the most important investment, so schedule it like any other crucial appointment in your life. If you like to lift weights, invest in a few private or semi-private sessions with a trainer (having a workout buddy makes exercise even more fun and cost-effective). If you enjoy yoga or Pilates, go to a studio with a knowledgable instructor. If the instructor teaching the class isn’t walking around correcting form or if your trainer is on their cell phone, then find a new teacher. You are hiring them to give you a safe and effective workout, not paying them to do their own workout or text their friends on your time.

3. What One Simple Thing Can You Do Right Now to Incorporate It? The best way to build an exercise habit, is to start slow. Maybe you go to your Martial Arts or Barre class one time per week for two weeks before adding in a second class. That’s cool. And if that is too much of a time commitment, then pop in some Daft Punk, dance your little heart out for 15 minutes and see where your dance parties take you. And if you honestly do not have the money right now to invest, then try this 30-minute workout I designed to get you moving towards your fitness kingdom. Doing something is always better than nothing.

If you incorporate these three steps, you will slowly build lifelong exercise habits and be an inspiring example for your loved ones too. Exercise doesn’t have to be something you sweat (…too cheesy of a pun?). You can choose fun activities and you can choose to make it a part of your life. Now go out there and be awesome!

For more info, please contact Stephanie Bell (hey, that’s me!) at 402-819-8970.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Hazelnuts & Pumpkin Seeds

15 Oct

IMG_1772Nothing says cozy comfort like curling up on a chilly Fall night with a warm bowl of soup. The soothing cinnamon mixed with the slightly salty, crispy butternut squash seeds and hazelnuts make this dish pop with flavor.

Ingredients for the soup:

1 butternut squash

1 small onion

2-3 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp coconut oil

4 cups low sodium vegetable broth

5 turns black pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

cinnamon sticks or sage leaves for garnish

Ingredients for the toasted nuts & seeds

butternut squash seeds

1/4 cup raw hazelnuts

extra virgin olive oil to coat

sea salt to taste

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350°. Chop the onion into chunks and remove skin from the garlic cloves. Cut top stem and bottom nub off of the butternut squash. Then, cut in half lengthwise and widthwise, remove seeds (set them aside in a dish of water) and use a vegetable peeler to peel skin off of the butternut squash. Coat all vegetables with coconut oil, set on a baking dish and roast for 40-50 minutes.

2. While vegetables are roasting, clean seeds, dry and set aside for roasting.

3. While the squash is cooling, turn oven heat down to 325°. Place butternut squash seeds and hazelnuts on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil and season with sea salt. Roast for 25 minutes. Nuts and seeds should lightly brown but not burn.

4. Cut the butternut squash into chunks. In a large stock pot, add onion, garlic cloves and butternut squash. Add the vegetable broth, black pepper, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Bring soup to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth.

5. To serve the soup, place the toasted seeds at the bottom of the bowl, pour the soup in and top with hazelnuts (I love hiding the seeds for a tasty surprise!). Sprinkle with cinnamon and garnish with a cinnamon stick or sage leaf.

Serves 4-6

Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Bell

The Goodie Ghouls

8 Oct
FrankenPeppers

FrankenPeppers

Halloween is a time for children (and adults) to indulge their imagination, becoming whomever and whatever they wish to be, carve pumpkins and go on hayrack rides. However, Halloween can also be a month-long battle against spooky snack-sized sweets that fill store aisles, candy dishes and trick-or-treat bags, slowly creeping up the scale and sparking the sweet downward spiral into Sugarland. You may find yourself sampling the candy corn decor or nibbling on goodies from your kids’ trick-or-treat bags that you hid in the freezer. Fear not, Pumpkin! You don’t need to throw your good nutrition habits out the door just because Halloween and its big bag of evil goodies are knocking. There are ways to maintain your healthy body and enjoy Halloween while keeping your kids’ sugar-induced comas and stomach-aches at bay. Here are some quick tips to fight the goodie ghouls.

1. Buy Alternative Treats. Fun alternates to candy are glow-in-the-dark bracelets, pencils and stickers.

2. Buy Gross Candy. Now, this may be different for everyone, but if you like a certain candy, for the love do NOT buy it! Give out candy you dislike. There will be no temptation for you and, depending on how gross the candy is, you will have saved countless neighborhood children from sugar highs, because they won’t eat it either. If you haven’t met a sweet you don’t fancy, then wait until October 31st to buy candy.

3. Minus the DecorATE. Sure, Halloween colored M&M’s look cute in your glass pumpkin dish, but they won’t look so cute after you’ve eaten the equivalent of 2 candy bars in 5 minutes and feel bloated, fatigued and sick. Rather, fill that dish with acorns, apples, or leaves to add a homey vibe to your fall decor.

4. Cook Bat Wings. Everyone goes crazy baking for holidays. Trust me, you and your family will have so much sugar thrown your way that the last thing you need to do is make ghost sugar cookies and spider cupcakes. Instead, plan a fun Halloween dinner (think lime “bat” wings, eyeball grapes, scrambled “brains,” almond fingernails, etc.). Your kids will be more excited about that than another black and orange cookie.

5. Spread the Love. Allow your kids to choose 10 pieces of their favorite candy (a month supply at two pieces per week). Allow them (and yourself) to have one or two pieces of candy that night. Place the remainder in the freezer, picking one night during the week when they may have two more pieces of candy. This will give all of you something to look forward to and know that you aren’t depriving yourself of your favorite sweet treat. After they choose their candy, bag the rest and donate it or throw it away. Many organizations and dentist offices will collect the candy (and some will pay you for it) and donate it to troops overseas.

6. Work Your Thang. Build special memories with your kids and take this amazing opportunity to show them (and yourself) that play is fun and important for a healthy body. Start the night with a Mini-Monster’s Ball before your FrankenPepper Dinner. Play the Monster Mash and other fun Halloween tunes and dance your little vampire heart out. After dinner, join the kiddos and walk house-to-house with them while they trick-or-treat. Take turns thinking of different ways to get to the next house… maybe you do the Igor Foot Slide, the Boogie Man Boogie or the Headless Horseman Trot.

Whatever you decide to do this Halloween, laugh often, be safe and enjoy the simple moments in life.

For more health and fitness tips, visit me on Facebook and Twitter.