It's Memorial Day Weekend and I'm loving every part of it! Schools out, summer vacation has officially started, the pool opens and my boys and I are spending as much time as possible outside. Today we took a family hike and had a picnic at Highbanks Metro Park. It was so nice to be out hiking and spending time in nature!
I also love this time of the year because it is the beginning of strawberry season and summer also means it's watermelon time! On days like today when we come home all hot and tired from being outside, I love to make my Strawberry Watermelon drink. I use fresh watermelon and frozen or fresh strawberries. I add in juice from half a lemon plus a few mint leaves and blend it all up! It's super easy to drink, very nutritious and it is so refreshing! Here is the recipe:
Servings: Makes one large glass
1.5 cups watermelon
1 cup strawberries
2 mint leaves
Juice from half a lemon
Blend it all together and you got the Perfect Strawberry Watermelon Drink for a hot summer day! Enjoy and here's to Just Living Fit!
Is it just me or do things seem to be busier since school is almost out. Between working, running around to school events, sporting events, practices and trying to figure out my husband's schedule, I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately and the last thing I want to do is cook. I have to admit that my gourmet dinners that I love to make for my family have been minimal these past couple of weeks. My brother-in-law came to visit and I had every intention on making him a great meal, but exhaustion got the best of me and he had to settle for chicken nuggets and tater tots (my boys picked out this dinner). At least the chicken nuggets were homemade!
In my crazy, busy world I have been working on creating recipes that are family friendly, but also quick and easy. Earlier this week I made this one pot fish and vegetable dinner and my family was asking for more! For the fish you could use most white fish and salmon would also be a good choice. This night I used cod, a simple fish to cook with. The veggies are the fun part to make and you can totally make them how you want. I am in love with my spiralizer so it was super easy to spiralize
2 zucchinis and a squash. I placed them in a large bowl and tossed them with extra virgin olive oil and some fresh oregano, basil and minced garlic. Easy peasy! Once the fish was half way cooked, I flipped it and added in a coupe of splashes of white cooking wine, sherry, a squeeze of half a lemon and topped it off with some Old Bay Seasoning. At this point I also threw in my veggies to start cooking. That's it! The veggies and fish were done at the same time and I served it up. The whole dinner took roughly 20 minutes to make.
Here is the recipe:
Serves 3-4 people
3-4 Fish filets
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) divided
2 medium zucchinis chopped or spiralized
1 medium zucchini squash chopped or spiralized
1 tbsp fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
1 tbsp fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tbsp white cooking wine
1 tbsp sherry
1-2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
Heat up 1 tbsp of the EVOO in a large skillet. Add the fish in to begin cooking. While the fish is cooking mix together in a large bowl the zucchini, squash, rest of the EVOO, oregano, basil and garlic.
Once the fish is halfway cooked (roughly 3-4 minutes) flip and push it to one side of the skillet. Add on top of the fish the white cooking wine, sherry, squeeze half the lemon on and sprinkle on the Old Bay Seasoning. Add in the zucchini and squash mixture and cook until the fish is cooked (about 3-5 minutes).
That's it! You can also use any veggies you like, carrots, mushrooms. green beans, etc. Also play around with the seasonings on the veggies. I love oregano and basil, but rosemary and garlic sound yummy as well. Also note that I don't add salt or pepper in most of my dishes. I feel that this is a personal choice on adding it or not. If you like them then add in the amount you would like. Enjoy and here's to Just Living Fit!
I was in Whole Foods the other day looking at their frozen fruit section, to get a variety of fruits for my smoothies when I came across the Aronia Berry. I have never heard of it before, but after I read the label it claimed that the Aronia Berry had more antioxidants than a blueberry. All right, I’ll try. The next day I made a smoothie bowl with the berries. Recipe is at the end of this entry. It was really good! I needed to learn more about this super berry.
The Aronia Berry that was at Whole Foods that I bought was Aronia melanocarpa or black choke berry. It is 4-9 millimeters in size and looks just like a blueberry, but it is a darker and richer color and tastes NOTHING like a blueberry. It is not sweet tasting at all like a blueberry, but put it with other ingredients like in my smoothie bowl recipe and it is yummy!
Did you know, the Aronia Berry also has the highest levels of anthocyanins and procyanidins which means it has a TON of antioxidants. It can be found as a berry, powder or juice. The health benefits are as follows:
I have only been able to find it in the frozen food section of Whole Foods, but the berry is a native to North America and may be available at some farmers’ markets this summer. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for it!
Aronia Berry Smoothie Bowl recipe. Note you can get the specialty powders at a health food store or Whole Foods.
1 cup water
1 serving lemon flavored greens powder (optional, mine I use is from Advocare)
1 tsp camu powder
1 tsp maca power
1 serving vanilla protein powder of your choice
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 oz fresh/frozen aronia berries
Optional Toppings: walnuts, almonds, coconut flakes, fresh fruit /berries
Mix all ingredients well in a blender until it becomes super thick. Poor into a bowl to eat right away or pour into a Mason Jar to store in the fridge for later.
If you want more information on the Aronia Berry check out
or you can read the article in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
Aronia Plants: A Review of Traditional Use, Biological Activities, and Perspectives for Modern Medicine Adam Kokotkiewicz, Zbigniew Jaremicz, and Maria Luczkiewicz. Journal of Medicinal Food. April 2010, 13(2): 255-269. doi:10.1089/jmf.2009.0062.
Last night my family indulged in the family pizza night and a movie. We don’t do this often and most of the time I will make the pizzas for the family, but it has been a long week and a take n’ bake pizza from Costco sounded perfect. Since I don’t eat dairy, I opted for an Annie’s Roasted Veggie Pizza with no cheese. It was AWESOME and full of refined carbs. Tonight though I was craving vegetables specifically Bok Choy. I know sounds like a funny craving, but I think the extra carbs and lack of green veggies the night before might have played in to this. I decided to make cauliflower fried rice. I LOVE fried rice, but when I need to clean up my family’s eating especially after a carb filled night like last night it’s all vegetables and protein for dinner. Part of Just Living Fit is finding balance, so indulge in a special dinner, but then eat healthier the next day.
The recipe I followed is from www.SkinnyTaste.com, but I added in shrimp, extra carrots and peas, and I also added two Baby Bok Choy heads to it. To make the cauliflower “rice” I tried using a grater, but I quickly realized that it would take me FOREVER to grate the whole head, so I opted using the grater blade on my food processor. It took not even 2 minutes to have a whole head of cauliflower “rice”. The trick to not making the cauliflower “rice” soggy is to wash the head of cauliflower ahead of time and let it fully dry. I did this right after lunch, so come the time to make dinner it was good and dry. Next is to pulse the food processor just a few pulses at a time as you feed the cauliflower through. This way you get shorter “grains of rice” instead of the longer ones.
Once I have everything chopped up, (That brings me to a good point! I have learned to have EVERYTHING chopped and measured ahead of time BEFORE you start a recipe as I have ruined many good recipes because I was still chopping up something when it was supposed to go into the dish and before I knew it I had burned dinner.) I first cooked the shrimp in the large wok before I started to follow the recipe from Skinny Taste. I then removed the shrimp and placed it on a plate to the side and added it back in at the end of the recipe along with the Bok Choy.
My favorite way to chop the Bok Choy after I rinse it off it to chop the bottom (white end) off (see picture below) and then slice the leaves length wise. If you look at the end that you chopped off, it looks like a pretty flower. Kids (and adults too!) can use the end to do vegetable paintings. You dip the flower looking side in paint and have fun! Kids love this!
This whole dinner took maybe 30 minutes to make. The time consuming part is all the chopping of the vegetables. You could do this ahead of time and for a quick, easy and healthy dinner option.