Sunday, May 26, 2013

Clean Memorial Day Cooking

It's Memorial Day weekend!! It's a weekend of REMEMBRANCE in my family and honoring the fallen for the sacrifices they have made. My husband has been in the Air Force for 15 years, my Grandfather retired from the Air Force, and I am a 3 year Army Veteran. We will always treat this holiday with the respect it deserves. However, it's also a time to get together with friends, enjoy the warmer weather, enjoy the conversations and time together, a time to sit back and relax. That doesn't mean you have to relax with a bunch of crappy food that is going to leave you with a big pile of guilt and a tummy ache the next day. I'm not telling you not to indulge once in awhile because I certaintly do and everyone that knows me, know this. I enjoy my "free" meals but I also enjoy my clean healthy meals that leave me feeling energized, healthy, and a lot less bloated. 

So far this weekend has been a very relaxing one and we don't really have many plans but to just spent time as a family. Unfortunately my husband works Monday, so it will just be myself and the kids but i'm thinking of setting up the kiddie pool and making the most of the day. 
Friday night I played bunco with the girls in my play group. It was Duck Dynasty Style and I laughed so hard. The night before I went out with my husband and indulged a bit so I opted to bring a healthy dish to the pot luck so that I was able to still enjoy the evening but a healthy snack was available. My husband picked up a veggie tray and we whipped up some home made hummus. Everyone raved about it and I was happy that I didn't feel over stuffed and bloated but enjoyed the hummus that I made. 

It really is that easy. If you don't want to cheat or stuff your face with unhealthy eats that leave you feeling gross the next day, bring a healthy dish. Instead of focusing on the food you are missing out on enjoy the people you are spending time with. Laugh, socialize, and have fun. Sure people may ask you while you aren't eating the other foods but you can be honest. You should never ever be embarrassed about feeing your body clean healthy food. You are setting an example that others would like to follow and if not, that's okay too. I never judge others on what they eat and the same should go for me. 

This hummus that I made was SO creamy and really delicious. DO bring it to your next get together because I guarantee the crowd will love it. 

Creamy Red Pepper Hummus

14oz can of chickpeas
1 red pepper chopped
2 cloves of garlic - minced
2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp of lemon juice
1/3 cup of green yogurt
1 tsp of chili powder
dash of pepper and salt
3 Tbsp of water

1. Drain and rinse the can of chick peas toss them in the food processor or blender

2. Chop and de seed the red pepper and toss in.

3. Pour in the remaining ingredients besides the water.

4. BLEND!!!! As you blend pour in the water a little bit at a time as needed.

5. Sprinkle a little bit of chili powder on top and you are ready to dig in.

Use all veggies as dippers!!! ENJOY! The whole family will love this dish.

You can also grill up some chicken breast, shrimp, or turkey burgers during your BBQ! These options are DELICIOUS, PACKED WITH FLAVOR, & everyone will enjoy with out feeling deprived.

These Clean Eating Garlic and Lime Shrimp for The Gracious Pantry are amazing! I love this website and recommend all of her recipes. She has come up with some amazing ones.

2 lbs of Jumbo shrimp, pre cooked and frozen variety, thawed.
10 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
Juice of 3 limes
1/2 tsp of red pepper
chopped cilantro for garnish.

Make sure you have fully thawed out your shrimp and drained. You do not want extra water in the pan.

Throw all the ingredients in a pan and sauté. Not too long - Just enough to warm the shrimp since they are already cooked.

I have also throw these on the grill and they turned out awesome. Just use the ingredients as the marinade. Awesome.

Guacamole Turkey Burgers

Instead of using mayo or some other high fat and calorie dressing for my burger I always use home made guacamole, hummus, or salsa and greek yogurt. All ways are delicious but my favorite has to be the guacamole.

I also love to stuff feta in my burgers.

1lb lean ground turkey meat
1/4 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs.
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 egg white
Pepper and salt to taste
Mrs Dash Onion and herb seasoning.

Mix all ingredients and form into burgers. Then they are ready to hit the grill.

Whip up some guacamole. I like to chip up some tomatoes and red onions to throw in my guacamole and bam it's ready to go with a squirt of lemon. It's that simple!!
Grab some whole wheat buns or eat it on a bed of lettuce. My favorite way is along side some black beans. Can you tell I really love Mexican food!?!

My favorite seasonings to use on any of my meat that i'm cooking our the Mrs. Dash Seasonings. They are salt free but packed with tons of flavor. I really love each of them but my favorite of all time is the onion and herb. I go through that baby fast. It goes in just about every dish I cook. I high suggest picking up a few of your favorite flavors and adding them to your dishes. It replaces the high sodium seasoning options.

Some additional ideas for your weekend BBQ parties is whipping up a tasty fresh salad with THIS Creamy Garlic Dressing <------. SERIOUSLY amazing and no extra junk included in it like the store bought brands. Whip up this dressing and bring it with you along a colorful veggie packed salad. It will be a hit. 

Throw in some chopped sweet potatoes with chili powder or one of these Mrs. Dash seasonings into the oven with a little extra virgin olive oil and whip up some sweet potato fries. One of my FAVORITES! YUM YUM YUM!

I love having dessert and yogurt as a dessert because it truly taste like a treat and my kids love it. Healthy, creamy, and delicious.

I like to get the organic original yogurt and mix in a squirt of honey, all natural maple syrup, and cinnamon. Taste awesome and is great for dipping fruit. You could even make cute fruit kabobs for dipping.

Living a healthy and clean life does not have to be tasteless, no fun, and depriving. Enjoy your LIFE! Don't make it a diet but a lifestyle. Eat healthy and clean because you like the way it makes you feel each day that you wake up and are able to get out of bed energized and fresh. Instead of bloated, tired, and with a tummy ache. I talk from experience. I have horrible digestion issues. Anytime I eat a greasy meal my stomach gives me hell. I do it for my body because it treats me good when I fill it with clean eats.

Enjoy this wonderful weekend with family and friends but keep in mind the promises you made to your self, the commitment you made to create the new and improved you, and the way you feel at the end of the day!!!

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