HEALTH WITH JESSICA

Quinoa Taco Casserole 

We were looking for a tasty, healthy recipe and I stumbled upon a 21 day fix friendly taco bake recipe and am happy to report…it’s delish! 


Here’s my modified version:

Preheat oven to 350F

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 c. Quinoa, cook according to package
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey, or beef (we used grass fed beef)
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper, finely chopped 
  • 1/4 cup onion, finally chopped
  • taco seasoning (1 packet)
  • 16 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 & 1/3 cups shredded cheese 

DIRECTIONS

Cook the quinoa & set aside.  Brown the meat, adding seasoning per seasoning directions. Add the chopped veggies & tomato sauce to the mixture. Bring to low boil then simmer for a few minutes. Add cooked quinoa & 1 cup of the cheese mix and spread in a 9×13 pan. Top with remaining 1/3 cup of cheese, cover with foil and cook for 20 min. Remove foil and cook another 10 min. 

Let cool in pan for several min. before serving. 

21 Day Fix containers (1/4 pan = 1 serving)

  • 1 yellow
  • 1 red
  • 1/2 green
  • 1 blue

We loved this! Next time we’ll double or triple the recipe and freeze some! Perfect with a salad on the side!

Healthier Fruit Crisp 

A good fruit crisp is probably my favorite summertime dessert! I love how fruit tastes after it’s been baked and with cinnamon….mmmmmm! You can do a lot of different fruits in this. I just happened to have some apples and peaches that needed to be used up. But berries would be amazing. I love combining fruits like I did this time. 

  
Ingredients for fruit mixture:

  • 4 cups fruit of your choice. Cut/sliced up if needed.
  • 2 Tbsp honey 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Ingredients for topping:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour (or flour of your choice)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F. 

Combine fruit, honey & cinnamon in medium mixing bowl. Mix together well and spread in medium sized casserole dish or pie plate. 

In a small bowl, combine oats, flour, butter, honey & cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of fruit mixture. Bake 20 minutes, or until golden on top. 

I put a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt on mine 😍 It’s very crumbly as it has far less butter & sweetener than traditional recipes. So consider serving in a bowl. It’s pretty delicious! I would even say this would be an excellent breakfast dish!

Enjoy!!

xoxo, Jess

Homemade Vanilla Coconut Coffee Creamer 

Coffee creamer is one of those things I have a very hard time not having. I LOVE the thought of getting up and having that first cup of coffee in the morning. There’s just something comforting and inviting about it. Anyone with me on this?

So, rather than give it up altogether, I like trying healthier ways of still having my coffee the way I like it, sweat and creamy.

Typically what I do instead of the regular flavored coffee creamer you buy at the store (hello salted caramel!) is just half & half & honey. It’s good! And people…I take my coffee seriously. When I say it’s good, I’m being genuine. 🙂

I thought I’d try something different however. I love the idea of making your own ______ (fill in the blank). So homemade coffee creamer it is!

If you like coconut…I mean real coconut, not just the artificial flavor, you will be a fan. And another thing I love…it’s SO simple!


Ingredients:

  • 1 can coconut milk (Full fat my friends! Do not be afraid!! It’s good for you!)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup (go for the good stuff…real maple syrup. It’s more expensive, but it’s better for you and  it tastes a million times better!)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Put all of the above in a sealable jar, close it up and shake baby shake!! It’ll take a couple minutes to get everything good and mixed up. Then seal that puppy up and keep it in the fridge.

Enjoy!!

xoxo,
Jess

 

Mango Coconut bars

These guys are Larabar-like 🤓 So yummy…so easy! 

What I love about bars like this is that it’s just nuts and fruits mushed together. That’s. It. No weird chemicals and preservatives. No fillers. No SOY (I swear it’s in EVERYTHING)! Plus, how fun it is to play with different combinations 🤗 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried mangoes
  • 1.5 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut 
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds

Blend all ingredients in food processor until they stick together and it is mixed well. 

Press mixture into an ungreases casserole dish. Refrigerate 1 hr to firm up a bit. Cut and enjoy!!

Coconut Crusted Chicken Strips & Sesame Broccolini

I am not interested in high maintenance food prep (or anything else high maintenance for that matter!!). This recipe is about as complicated as I get!  I don’t want cooking to take up my entire evening.  This one was just complicated enough for me to be fine with it 🙂  And the coconut was well worth it!  I actually found this recipe on the Cooking Light site and just tweaked few things.

IMG_9082

Ingredients/Directions Rice/Quinoa:
1 cup basmati rice & quinoa mix
2 cups chicken stock (if you are watching your sodium get salt free.  I got salt-free and regretted          it…sodium is not an issue for me so I just added salt.)

Cook according to directions on package

Ingredients/Directions Chicken:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut lengthwise into 12 (1/2-inch-thick) strips
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Cooking spray
3 tbsp mayonnaise (don’t freak out about this…this little amount of mayo won’t kill you & this sauce      is YUMMY!)
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp hot sauce (I used Frank’s)
2 tsp soy sauce

1. Preheat oven to 450°. Place a foil-lined baking sheet in oven as it preheats.

2. Place flour, egg whites in two separate shallow dishes.  Place the coconut and panko mixed in a shallow dish.

3. Sprinkle chicken with pepper and salt. Cover each piece of chicken in flour; dip in egg whites then in panko/coconut mixture, pressing to adhere. Place chicken on prepared baking sheet; coat chicken with cooking spray.

4. Bake at 450° for 6 minutes on each side or until done.

5. Combine mayonnaise and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Serve chicken with dipping sauce and rice.

IngredientsDirections Sesame Broccolini:
1 Pound trimmed broccolini
1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp sesame or peanut oil (I used peanut oil an it was delish!)
1/4 tsp sea salt

Boil broccoli just until cooked but still crisp (about 3 min). Drain. Sprinkle remaining ingredients over broccolini and toss to coat.

 

Enjoy!!  This is one we will make again for sure!
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