That's A Keeper 9

I did a presentation yesterday for a running group in Broward.  They’re training for a half marathon in March and they’re starting to get to those long distances.  I can’t tell you how many people have the exercise portion down but haven’t yet mastered the food part of the equation.  There was a meal prep company there (don’t ask me the name, I honestly don’t remember) sampling food with all different food options to meet their individual needs.  I actually think it paired well with my topic.  So many times I forget that people don’t have the time to prepare healthy meals but yet want to eat healthy.  If this is something that helps steer people in the right direction and help ease the meal prepping, I’m all for it.  Just stay away from the “keto diet” options these companies are starting to put together – yes, I know there’s a demand for them (because people are eating this way) but we were talking to a running group.  Please, please don’t go keto and try to run a marathon.  These meals were already prepared and just needed to be heated. 

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I was gifted by Santa this Christmas a gift coupon for Blue Apron.  This is a meal delivery system that brings the groceries to you with the recipes.  The meal takes ~30 minutes to prepare.  I have tried Hello Fresh in this past year and I will tell you that they do make cooking fun, easy, and enjoyable – you get to select the meals you want for the week.  They are a test in following directions (at times – maybe it’s just me who’s challenged?)  I’m the type of person who likes to find recipes online, go to the store and see new products, etc. so I wouldn’t say that this is something I need, but I do believe that this is the wave of the future – having groceries delivered to your front door or Amazon Locker?  I again am ALL for making meal prep made easy.  If you want a great summary of these meal delivery systems, checkout this post out by Sweet Phi – 6 home meal delivery systems.  Here is my comparison.

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If you do have time to play around in the kitchen and cook, I have your latest round-up of keeper recipes.  Because the truth is no one has time to waste with #kitchenfail recipes.

Breakfast: Beet Berry Sauce

We had our first “cool/cold” front in Miami a couple of weeks back.  Another one just came through last night and that’s when I want to eat oatmeal.  Don’t get me wrong I eat oatmeal throughout the year, but I think it tastes better when it’s cold out.  Enter this recipe to add in to my oats, adding the flavor without all the added sugar most times oatmeal can come with.  It truthfully is just beets and berries, with some cinnamon and vanilla.  It’s just that simple.  I make some of this up for the week and add it in to my overnight oats (1/2 cup oats, ½ cup milk, 1 tbsp nut butter, 1 tbsp chia or hemp seeds).  I heat it up the next morning and I’m good to go!

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Appetizer: Very Chill Stuffed Mushroom with Pesto Cream and Garlic Bread Crumbs

I sent this recipe to a friend recently and they told me they didn’t like mushrooms.  First, let’s take a second to understand how someone doesn’t like mushrooms.  I mean who doesn’t like mushrooms??  I’m just kidding.  I know there are certain foods that might be a texture thing.  But here’s where this recipe is so amazing, it’s really two recipes in one!  The mushrooms by themselves are amazingly good.   The pesto “cream” is basically a dip for your crudité, just saying.  But if you do like mushrooms and do put all the components together, the pesto “cream” in the balsamic mushrooms and top it with homemade bread crumbs – can you say out of this world good?? 

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Main Dish: Tortilla Soup

Still riding on the cool weather here in Miami (or just the cold AC inside the buildings) I have been rotating through a few soup recipes.  While I do not eat turkey or chicken, I have made this tortilla soup without and just added a few more beans.  This is so simple and so delicious, you’re going to want to add this in to your rotation.  And if you do eat chicken?  Roast a whole chicken for the week, and/or buy a rotisserie chicken at the store to help you with time.  For the added crunch, I used these crackers I mentioned in my Taste Test Tuesday last week, cracker, and they were phenomenal.

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Snack: Dark Chocolate Hemp Energy Bites

One of the number questions I get asked is, “What energy bar do you recommend?”  That’s always a tough question for me to answer because the truth of the matter is it depends on what you looking for.  All food is energy, so are you looking for something pre-workout, post-workout, meal replacement because you’re on the go?  You see, it’s difficult to answer.  For me, I tend to simple grab a fruit and a handful of nuts.  Call me cheap, but it’s the easiest portable snack for me to have around.  But if I am in to making something to have for the week (and quite possibly share) this is my latest “Energy Bite” find.  Simply using the dates as a natural sweetener, I used this this week as a thing to have after my meal as my something sweet.  It does taste a little like fudge and because it has that hint of sweetness, it fit the bill for what I was looking for.  And if you don’t have a food processor, you’ll definitely want one for this recipe. 

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Main Dish: Red Pepper Cashew with Roasted Cauliflower

“A 3-ingredient sauce that’s a game changer.” That’s the description given by the food blogger and I would agree.  Something so simple yet so tasty and good.  It almost looks like a vodka sauce because of the color, but it’s the cashews providing all the creaminess needed without actual cream.    I roasted a mix of vegetables to add in to this pasta dish as well as some  textured vegetable protein (TVP) to add in more protein and make it a balanced meal.   Easy meal to add in to the rotation.

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Dessert: Dark Chocolate Fudge Pomegranate Tart

For Thanksgiving we have our traditional recipes that we make:  pumpkin pie (or a pumpkin something), apple pie (crumb, tart), or sweet potato pie.  Those are ones that we always have as our go to.  But for Christmas?  We don’t have a traditional dessert that we always make.  But we do now!!  This tart is super easy to make and is taken to the next level by the pomegranate syrup.  It makes a lot of extra syrup, but don’t be afraid to add more than what’s shown in my picture.  Believe me, I did once we started eating. 

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So there you have it.   My latest round-up of recipes that have made it to “keeper” status.  I’ve found the more and more that I trial recipes the pickier I become.  I think that’s a good thing – for all my readers out there, you’re only getting the best of the best!  If you try some of these recipes, let me know.  I hope they make it to “keeper” status for you too!