Category Archives: recipe

Ultimate Reset Redux: Recipes and Updates

Today is day 10 of my Reset Redux.  I was looking back at my pictures from the first day of my first reset and wow, I have changed.  I also apparently look really really orange under the lights at my old place.

Between these two pictures – 7 months, lots and lots of Shakeology, one full Ultimate Reset, 9 days of the current Ultimate Reset, one full round of INSANITY, a month of P90x and a lot of other workouts from Beachbody thrown in.  Most importantly I stopped dieting and started really focusing on eating right.  Between these two pictures other than the 30 days so far I have been on a Reset program, I have not been logging or following any specific meal plan other than Shakeology once a day most days.  I’ve just been focusing on eating healthy, finding delicious recipes with healthy ingredients and moving my body.  It’s actually the simplest “plan” I have ever followed while losing weight…so I’m not really surprised it’s sticking so well.  Because it’s damn hard to fall off of a plan that is basically common sense, eh?
And with that, since I’ve had the request on Instagram a ton, I wanted to share a few of my favorite favorite recipes from the Ultimate Reset.  These are recipes that I either repeated a ton after my first reset or I plan on repeating after this one because I forgot about it before 🙂  All of the recipes below are vegan.
Pinto Beans and Rice (makes 1 serving)
Ingredients
1/2 cup canned pinto beans w/ liquid
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 tsp EVOO
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 dash ground cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
Salt (to taste)
Heat beans in medium sauce pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until hot.  Drain.  Add all seasonings to the pan and mix well.  Gently fold beans into warm cooked rice.

Stir Fried Veggies (makes 1 serving)
Ingredients
1.5 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1.5 tsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
1.5 cups of vegetables to stir fry of your choice

Heat oils over medium high heat.  Add vegetables and cook stirring frequently 5-10 minutes depending on type of veggies.  Carrots and broccoli will take longer than more water filled veggies like zucchini.  When veggies are tender-crisp turn off heat and add Braggs.  Mix well and serve with rice or quinoa.

Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque (makes 1 serving)
Ingredients
1 cup water
1 medium sweet potato peeled and cubed
1/4 medium red bell pepper
1 tsp grated ginger root
1.5 tsp EVOO
2 tsp miso paste, mixed with 2 tbsp hot water
1 cup vegetable broth
Bragg Liquid Aminos
Herbal Seasoning blend to taste (Spike for me)

Add sweet potatoes to boiling water and cook for 7 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Roast bell pepper in oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes turning to cook evenly.  Place in medium bowl and cover with a kitchen towel for 10 minutes.  Peel skin under running water and remove seeds.  Chop into 1/2 inch cubes.

Place sweet potato, bell pepper, bell pepper, ginger, oil, miso, and broth in a blender and blend until smooth.  Can do in 2 or more batches if necessary based on the size of the blender.  If consistency is too thick, add water.  Heat soup in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook stirring frequently for 4 to 5 minutes or until hot.  Add Braggs and herbal seasoning blend if desired.

With all of these recipes, they are just a component of a meal, not a meal alone.  You can add salads or steamed or roasted vegetables to the side to make the meal more complete.  You could also add a meat side if you wanted.  Just play around with the meals to fit them into your nutrition needs and personal dietary preferences.  For example I have used the stir fry recipe many times as a base for making fried rice by adding a scrambled egg and about 3/4 cup cooked brown rice.  Other times I have added an egg and shrimp to make shrimp fried rice.

Any questions about the Ultimate Reset?  Leave a comment here or shoot me an email – healthyengineer@gmail.com.

Operation Pantry Cook Down

As I’ve mentioned on IG or Twitter, I’m on a mission to cut down my pantry.  Our new place has a smaller pantry even though there are more cabinets in general, there is less room for food (by about half) in the actual pantry.  So that has resulted in some serious kitchen sprawl….

There is literally NO room in the inn.  So in an effort to contain the food sprawl and to help contain the budget this month I’m engaging in Operation Pantry Cook Down (and pantry is a relative term – it’s also a fridge/freezer cook down).  I have a few weeks until we start the Ultimate Reset (which will require some serious shopping anyway) so my goal is to cook from the pantry instead of shopping so much.  My goal is to spend no more than $75/week on groceries (we usually spend like $160) to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, milk/almond milk and if there are some things we run out of over the next 3 weeks.

Last night I made my first meal – spaghetti with a seitan-tomato sauce with coleslaw on the side.  I was pretty pleased with myself when I just opened the cabinets and threw this together.  Cooking this meal got rid of 5 containers out of the house, which was pretty cool.  The spaghetti was pretty easy – I took 8 oz of seitan and sauteed it in a little EVOO for about 5 minutes.  I added some basil, parsley, and oregano while I was cooking it.  After it was nice and browned, I added a jar of Trader Joe’s marinara sauce and a spoon of minced garlic and a few dashes of pepper and let that simmer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile I let the spaghetti cook.  I don’t like a saucy spaghetti, so after the spaghetti was done, I added it to the sauce until it was just the right consistency and served with a dash of Parmesan on top and a little pepper.

There was enough for leftovers so I will eat them tonight (unless my hubby destroyed them for lunch, lol).  That was the easiest meal I have to make, lol.  I am really excited to stretch my cooking creativity to make some new creations.  Hopefully they are delish and I will share them if they work out!  Hopefully I can get through most of April with only spending about half I usually do in the grocery store and end up ready for the reset with a clean pantry 🙂

Kale and Feta Breakfast Casserole

I love eggs.  Like I realized during the Ultimate Reset that truly, eggs are probably my favorite food.  So when the man asked for a breakfast egg casserole I was more than happy to oblige.  Enter Kale and Feta Breakfast Casserole (or lunch casserole…which is when I eat it).

This recipe starts with very few ingredients.  Very simple and very easy to find…you probably have most of them at home already.

10-12 oz fresh kale, washed and coarsely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 oz)
12 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. spike seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
First things first, preheat the oven to 375F/190C.  Wash and dry the kale, then coarsely chop.  Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan.  When oil is hot, add the kale and cook until kale is wilted and starting to soften, about 3-5 minutes.  
Spray a 9×12 casserole dish with olive oil and put kale in the bottom of the dish.  Crumble feta cheese over the kale.  Beat eggs with spike seasoning, salt, and fresh ground black pepper; then pour eggs over kale/feta combo.  Take a fork and gently stir so veggies and cheese are well distributed in the eggs.
Bake the casserole 40-45 minutes or until eggs are set are the top is starting to lightly brown.  I cooked mine the full 45 minutes and it was darker brown and still awesome.  Serve hot.   

There is a note that it tastes good with a dollop of sour cream, but I didn’t have any so I didn’t have it like that. I did serve with a little salsa and roasted veggies on the side, which made a fantastic lunch.  This was a great taste.  I don’t know how familiar you are with spike seasoning, but it is awesome for vegetables.  I used it a ton during the reset to steam veggies and fell in love with it.  It’s very much a staple in a healthy kitchen in my opinion!

Let me know what you think of this one if you try it!

Strawberry Oat Squares with Jam

The need for this recipe in my house because of the man and the desire to start dabbling in healthy sweet snacks and desserts.  We try to stay away from processed foods, so there is a need for a healthy dessert for the times we want something sweet and fruit won’t cut it.  This recipe stood out to me because of the fact she said it tastes like a nutrigrain bar.  DONE.  I love those things and haven’t had one in ages.  I also liked how easy it seemed (and is) it would be to make.  .

This recipe originated from Oh She Glows, a vegan blog.  I was tempted to make the vegan version, however I don’t want to sue earth balance, I prefer to use an organic butter in my cooking.  If you would like a vegan version, just use the same amount of Earth Balance.  I took one shortcut, I went with the pre-made jam instead of making it myself.  I do want to make these with the homemade jam one day.  The other substitution  the lack of Kamut flour was because I couldn’t find it anywhere.

Servings: 6-10

Ingredients
For Oat Base

  • 1.5 cups regular oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup Bob’s red mill all purpose baking flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea sald
  • 1/2 cup Succanat sugar (can use brown sugar)
  • 1 chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds + 4 tbsp warm water, mixed)
  • 1/2 cup organic unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
For Strawberry Jam, use 1 cup pre-made or the ingredients below
  • 2 1/4 cup chopped strawberries chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3-4 tbsp sugar, to taste
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a pan with parchment paper.  I used a 2 qt rectangular pan, but a square pan can be used.  
  2. To make the strawberry jam, in a medium sized pot add the chopped strawberries and sugar.  Heat over low until the strawberries begin to sweat and it gets a bit watery.  Once it heats through, add in the chia seeds and stir well.  Bring to a boil and simmer over low to medium heat for at least 10 minutes.  Once it has thickened a bit, remove from heat and cool 5-10 min.  You may add arrowroot powder to thicken if desired.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the chia egg and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the oat base dry ingredients (oats, flour, sucanat or brown sugar, baking soda, and salt).  In a small bowl mix the oat base wet ingredients (melted butter or earth balance, maple syrup, almond milk, and chia) and stir well.
  5. Reserve 1/2 cup of the dry oat base mixture in a separate bowl.
  6. Mix the large portion of dry oat base to the wet oat base and mix well.  Pour the oat mixture into the pan and press down with fingers.  A pastry roller can be used to smooth if necessary.  
  7. Pour the strawberry mixture or jam on top of the oats and smooth out.  Sprinkle on the reserved 1/2 cup of oat mixture.  
  8. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.  Allow to fully cool 30-40 minutes before gently removing from pan.  Slice and serve or store 🙂
I LOVE these.  I will definitely have these in my rotation and try different fruit toppings.  I cannot wait to use the strawberry jam recipe except on apples with cinnamon – that will be amazing too.  These are sweet, but a good substitution for the common breakfast pastry or quick grab recipe you might be using now.  Yes they have sugar in them, but they have a lot of other good things too.  Chia seeds (yes those chia seeds) are really little nutritional powerhouses.  And you get the benefit of making them at home and knowing exactly what you put in them.  
One tip I have for you before you run out for ingredients.  This one is a good one for a trip to a bulk store (like Whole Foods).  I was able to buy the ingredients for very cheap by purchasing only what I need.  I don’t bake much and I don’t need a whole bag of sucanat, but the 1/2 cup I needed was only $0.86.  The oats were a dollar and the whole wheat flour (I already had the all purpose at home) was another dollar.  Everything else is a standard thing at my house, so even if I had to buy more jam or fruit, it would be only another few dollars.  Healthy and economical?  Good deal.
Hope you enjoy these delicious bars!!  Let me know if you try them out 🙂

Mexican Style Brown Rice Casserole

As I have worked harder on my weight loss, I have fallen into the habit of doing meal prep of 2-3 meals a week on Saturday or Sunday. It saves me money as well as keeps me on the straight and narrow – meaning keeps us from going out to eat. I wanted to share a new recipe I found and made this week that is extremely easy to throw together but tastes delicious and has a lot of nutrients.  Casseroles are perfect for a busy family because you can throw it together and bake.  I often have left over rice from the batch I make in the rice cooker so this was a great way to use it up.

I am going to write it out as I prepared it, but you can go to the site for the original recipe.  It has a few mistakes or typos or something so you can take that and play with it as you want.  This is my interpretation.

Mexican-Style Brown Rice Casserole 
Serves 6
Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 15 oz Wegman’s mild salsa
  • 16 oz organic frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup organic mild cheddar cheese
  • 15 oz can organic refried pinto beans
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 1.5 cups cooked brown rice (mine was a combo of short grain and jasmine)
  • 10 oz organic frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Coat a 2 qt glass dish with EVOO.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine rice, salsa, and cumin.  Spoon 1/2 of rice mixture into a prepared baking dish and spread to cover the bottom of dish
  3. In a large bowl combine refried beans, black beans, corn, cilantro, and chili powder.  Mix well and spread bean mixture on top of the rice layer.  Smooth with rubber spatula.
  4. Squeeze excess water from thawed spinach.  Sprinkle evenly over bean layer.  Sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese.  Top with remaining rice mixture and smooth.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  5. Place casserole in the oven and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.  Cut into 6 pieces and serve.  
I served mine with a little salsa on top instead of the suggested sour cream and had a salad on the side.  My husband had his with some roasted veggies we had left over.  This meal is incredibly filling because of all the beans and corn in it.  It’s really awesome comfort food.  The serving suggestion is to add more vegetables, but you could easily grab some tortillas and wrap these up as an amazing burrito or have a smaller serving (maybe half of one serving) with a side of eggs for a healthy and different breakfast.  
I also like these types of casseroles because they are very easy to play with to make different variations.  I already have been thinking of making a fajita version that substitutes the spinach with a layer of sauteed peppers and onions.  

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew

I have an amazing recipe to share.  My husband actually found this one on vegetarian times and we both give it 5 stars.

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew (link goes to original recipe on vegetariantimes.com)

Serves 6

30 minutes or fewer

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, diced (¾ cup)
  • 1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped (½ cup)
  • 1 Tbs. whole cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 2 16-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 1 32-oz. container butternut squash soup, divided
  • 1 ½ cups couscous

Directions:

1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Sauté carrot in oil 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes more, or until soft. Stir in cumin seeds and bay leaf.

2. Purée 3/4 cup chickpeas and 3/4 cup butternut squash soup in blender until smooth. Add to carrot mixture along with remaining chickpeas and soup. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, place couscous in heat-proof bowl, and stir in 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Cover, and let stand 3 to 5 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff couscous with fork. Divide couscous among 6 shallow bowls. Ladle chickpea stew around couscous in each bowl.

Note: The recipe on the site has a picture on the site. I”m not sure what that is a picture of but it is not the picture of the stew. The picture I posted is representative of what two of us got when making this recipe. It’s truly a stew and not at all as dry as the picture on the site would lead you to think.

The one modification I made is that I had this with millet, not couscous. Because I had millet at home and I didn’t have couscous. It was still amazing. I think it would be just as awesome with couscous and next time may use that if I happen to have it or don’t have millet left to cook up. It was SO filling. Perfect if you are trying to eat light. I also had a side of roasted vegetables with it because I’m all reset-afied and think that every meal needs vegetables with it now 🙂 The portions are very generous as well!

Stuffed Portobello Caps

Stuffed Portobello Caps
From Clean Eating Magazine – June 2012
As I posted yesterday – cooking at home is a priority goal for me right now.  So on Friday I grabbed the latest Clean Eating and went through it for recipes that looked good.  These portobello caps jumped out at me and looked delicious so they were on the menu for the week.
Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs (recipe called for bone in skinless, but the grocery store only had boneless skinless)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
4 egg whites
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (I used Ian’s whole wheat panko)
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I used the Gourmet Garden brand pre-chopped which I LOVE)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried tarragon
sea salt
8 portobello mushroom caps
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mist a large baking sheet with olive oil baking spray and arrange the chicken thighs on the sheet.  Bake until chicken is cooked through – about 30 minutes (25 for boneless skinless); set aside to cool (or don’t – I didn’t).  Keep oven at 375 degrees.  With a fork, shred meat into 2 inch pieces.  In a large bowl combine chicken, red onion, egg whites, bread crumbs, parsley, parmesan cheese, tarragon, pepper, and sea salt, mix well.  Arrange portobello caps on a baking sheet and fill equally with chicken mixture.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until chicken mixture is golden brown and mushroom softens.  
Serving size: 2 stuffed mushroom caps.  Unless you do what I did and bought the extra large caps, then it’s just one large cap.  
Other Kim Notes: So I bought 4 extra large caps because that’s all the store had.  I didn’t realize they were XL – I thought they were normal.  I didn’t realize they were so large until I tried to halve the recipe and realized that it wasn’t nearly enough so I added 2 additional chicken thighs (for a total of 6) and left everything else halved.  I also added some shredded cheddar to the top after the caps were done cooking.  
Rating:  Definitely 4 stars.  Delicious recipe, low carb, healthy, and something I would make again.