Macrobalanced Mexican Fiesta: Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad + Stone Fruit Salsa

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting some friends over for dinner and decided to have a Tex-Mex themed dinner. We made low cal margaritas, chicken and flank steak tacos, and these two amazing sides. 

cornandblackbeansalad

These two recipes contain all of the best summer produce that California has to offer. Thanks to my CSA (community shared agriculture) both of these recipes were born. I get inspiration from all the organic produce that comes to my door every week and it makes it easy to show how amazing vegetables (and fruit) can be.  It may just be me, but fresh vegetables straight from a small farm are the best! If you subscribe to any CSA's in your area, comment below with which ones you use! The best way to support these CSA's is to spread the word and share with others. 

Planning on having BBQ soon? These are perfect sides to have on deck. The stone fruit salsa is the perfect mix of sweet and spicy and pairs well with healthy tortilla chips (like these Trader Joe's Quinoa Black Bean Chips) or our favorite, Siete Lime Grain Free Chips. 

This salsa is fresh, bright, tangy, spicy, and sweet. It is addicting, yet also super healthy. 

Stone Fruit Salsa 

recipe (serves 6) 

Ingredients: 

-2 medium yellow peaches, diced 

-2 medium nectarines, diced 

-1 large cucumber, diced 

-4 small Santa Fe peppers (can sub 2 jalapenos), roughly chopped 

-1/2 medium red onion (about 1/2 cup), roughly chopped 

-juice of 1 lime 

-2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 

-2 Tbsp. hemp seeds 

Directions: 

-In a large bowl, add all of the chopped vegetables: peppers, fruit, cucumber, and onion. 

-Add the lime juice and apple cider vinegar. Mix well. 

-Add 1/4 cup of hemp seeds. 

-Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and best when refrigerated and marinates for 6-8 hours. 

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 75 calories, 13 grams carb, 2 grams fat, and 3 grams protein. 

MACROBALANCED TIP: If your carbohydrate needs are lower for the day, swap out chips for slices of jicama or cucumber. These are good chips replacements! 
blackbeancornsalad

Now that you have a great salsa to put on tacos or pair with veggies and chips, let's talk a good side for your fiesta. Fresh corn is in season and it is so good that eating it raw is so delicious. This salad contains all fresh ingredients with a nice sweet lime dressing. 

The second plus to this bean salad? It is super high fiber! and packed with vegetarian protein Black beans provide the most fiber and protein with about 15 grams of each respectively per 1 cup cooked. 

Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad with 4 Ingredient Lime Dressing

recipes (serves 6) 

Ingredients:

For the salad:

-2 ears of corn (I used tri-color)  

-1/2 cup sugar snap peas, chopped

-1 can of organic black beans (10 oz.) 

-1 cup carrots, chopped 

-3/4 cup red onion, chopped

For the dressing:

-juice of 2 limes

-2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

-2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar 

-4  fl. oz. of avocado oil 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions:

-Clean and remove the husk from the corn. Try to remove as much of the husk as you can with water and a paper towel. Using a large knife, cut around the corn to remove all the fresh kernels. Place this in a large bowl. 

-Chop the rest of the vegetables and add to the bowl. 

-Rinse and clean black beans and add to the bowl. 

-In a container that you can close to mix (I use a mason jar), add the juice of two limes, the ACV, the RWV, and the avocado oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

-Pour the dressing over the bean salad and mix well. 

-Refrigerate for at least 2 hours for maximum flavor. 

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 285 calories, 23 grams carb (7 grams fiber), 19 grams fat, and 6 grams protein. 

MACROBALANCED TIP: For a full MACROBALANCED Fiesta plate, choose 1 corn tortilla, roughly 4-6 ounces of chicken or steak, 1/2 cup of bean salad, + 2-3 Tbsp. salsa. Add in extra veggies you would like and a little bit of avocado if need the extra fat! 

 

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PB&J Bowl: Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding with Peanut Butter Granola

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were one of my favorites growing up and to this day I have a huge obsession with peanut butter. Since we are at the height of berry season, I wanted to share something easy to make with strawberries. This recipe is also gluten free and dairy free. Super easy to make in advance for breakfast meal prep. 

3 Amazing Health Benefits of Berries

  • Powerful Antioxidant Food 

Antioxidants are chemicals in foods that help fight oxidative stress which can lead to illness. All fruits and vegetables have antioxidants, but berries are probably one of the most powerful. One of my favorite antioxidants they contain is quercetin which can help decrease the inflammatory effects of chemicals in the synovial fluid of the joints for people with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of chronic inflammation. 

  • Bumps up Fiber Intake 

It is recommended for adults to aim for about 25-30 grams of fiber daily. Currently, the average intake of most American adults is around 15 grams! So why is fiber so great? Fiber is key for weight loss because it is technically calorie free and it helps increase the bulk of the food making it easier to reach satiation. It also helps decrease total cholesterol, increases HDL-c, and lowers blood pressure. 

  • Keeps you mentally sharp as a needle. 

Women who eat about two servings of strawberries per week experienced a less mental decline over time than peers who went without eating the powerful berries, research published in the Annals of Neurology found. The reason is linked to the berries having high amounts of anthocyanidins, which is a powerful flavonoid. These compounds which are almost exclusively found in berries cross the blood-brain barrier and locate in learning and memory centers of the brain. 

Macrobalanced Tip:  If you have berries that look like they are about to go bad or too soft, wash, cut, and add to the blender with milk or like this coconut cream. You can use it in smoothies or like this recipe a base for chia seed pudding. 

recipe

Ingredients:

For the chia seed pudding: (serves 4 ~1/2 cup) 

-1 can of organic coconut cream 

-1 cup strawberries, halved 

-2 ounces unsweetened almond milk 

-1/2 cup chia seeds 

*Optional: 1 oz. strawberry flavored protein powder 

For the peanut butter granola: (serves 10 1/3 cup) 

-3 cups oats (use gluten-free if needed) 

-2 Tbsp. organic cane sugar 

-1/4 cup avocado oil 

-1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter 

-1/4 cup maple syrup or honey 

-1/2 cup hemp seeds 

-1 tsp. salt 

Directions:

Chia seed pudding: 

-In a blender (VitaMix was used for the recipe), add 1 can of organic coconut cream, 2 ounces of almonds milk, 1 oz. strawberry protein powder and 1 cup of strawberries. Blend until fully combined and no clumps. This is usually at medium speed for about 1 minute. 

-In a large bowl, add 1/2 cup chia seeds and mix in the strawberry coconut mixture from the blender. Mix together and cover with plastic wrap. Let is sit and activate the chia seed overnight. 

Peanut Butter Granola

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

-In a large mixing bowl, add the oats, hemp seeds, and sugar and mix together. 

-In a glass Pyrex, add avocado oil, maple syrup, and creamy peanut butter. Warm in the microwave about 30 seconds and mix until fully combined (can also do this on a stove stop). One fully combined and warm, add to the large mixing bowl with the oats. 

-Line a large cookie sheet with foil, and add the granola evenly over the cookie sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes or until fully brown. Toss gently around 10 minutes to ensure even cooking. 

-Let the granola cool for about 15-20 minutes before touching. 

-Break the granola up into clumps and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 

To assemble

-Add 1/2 cup chia seed pudding into a mason jar and add 1/3 cup granola. 

Nutrition Facts: Chia seed pudding per serving: 346 calories, 5 grams carb, 27 grams fat, and 14 grams protein. Granola per serving: 260 calories, 11 grams fat, 30 grams carb, and 15 grams protein. 

strawberrychiaseedpudding

Workout Wednesday: Summer Playlist + Free Home Workout

Workout Wednesday: Summer Playlist + Free Home Workout

So happy to post a new Workout Wednesday post because working out has been so much more fun the past couple weeks!  

One reason? A new playlist!

This playlist includes some of favorite jams for the summer and great tempo to run to. 

Another thing that I have been loving is using going outdoors for exercise during the week. I have been sporting tanks and t-shirts during my runs to get some sun, and on Thursday mornings JT, our EXOS coach, has been taking us outside to do our circuit training or sprints. Fresh air and sunshine make it so nice! 

Below check out what I did last week for my workouts and an Home Workout circuit that does not require weights. ENJOY! 

Poached Rockfish with Red Potato Pancakes and Lemony Kale

Poached Rockfish with Red Potato Pancakes and Lemony Kale

This meal is something I totally didn't plan but turned out great. Poaching is a technique I got more familiar with when I was hosting a cooking workshop recently at work. I never realized how easy it was to poach fish which ensures a moist, flaky product. I also used the residual poaching liquid to cook the kale. The residual liquid brought such a nice flavor to the kale. When it comes to fish, I find that I am mostly a salmon gal but I have been starting to try new kinds to broaden my horizons. Weekly, I hop over to my local Whole Foods and choose what wild fish they have on sale. This week it was rockfish which I was excited to try. Rockfish is a flaky white fish, similar to white cod. Whitefish provides many health benefits which I am happy to share.

Warm Golden Beet & Beet Green Salad with Blue Cheese Yogurt Dressing

Warm Golden Beet & Beet Green Salad with Blue Cheese Yogurt Dressing

One thing I love about blogging is having a platform to spread education. Today I want to educate you all on something very important for our earth and environment. There are many things we can do as humans in this world to prevent climate change (yes Trump this is a thing) and one thing I try to focus on is reducing food waste. I like to use all fresh foods (less packaging) and I like to utilize every part of the food given to me. This dish I think shows that concept. I received golden beets in my CSA box and where many people might throw away the greens, I see it as an opportunity to get more greens in my day. One less thing being put into the trash, and one less bag of greens I need to supplement my CSA with. To inspire you to reduce food waste, I have some tips on how to do it below. 

Crunchy Cabbage Apple Slaw with Yogurt Dill Dressing

Crunchy Cabbage Apple Slaw with Yogurt Dill Dressing

With Memorial Day coming up, this is a perfect side to bring to a BBQ. It is also perfect for summer meal prep. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that can withhold marinating in a salad dressing without wilting and can actually get better with time. I had it three days in a row for lunch and it never got old. My favorite topping? Tuna! It was a perfect mix of lean protein, fiber, and healthy fats. 

Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie + Macrobalanced Protein Smoothie Guide

Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie + Macrobalanced Protein Smoothie Guide

This week in the Bay Area has been a scorcher. Currently, a high of 92 degrees as I write this right now. When the weather starts to get warm, I immediately crave post-workout smoothies. There is a method to my madness when it comes to making a Macrobalanced protein smoothie which I will explain below. 

Workout Wednesday: Find the Workout Best for YOU + Weekly Workout Diary

Workout Wednesday: Find the Workout Best for YOU + Weekly Workout Diary

It is no secret that I love to exercise and maybe even the point of too much. Exercise has been in my life consistently for as long I can remember. I had a gym routine by the age of 14 in high school. Some years I had a bad relationship with exercise (i.e. in college I did almost 3 hours a day) and now I have a good relationship with exercise (exercising 6 days a week but no more than 45-90 minutes most days). Though I have a great relationship with it now, I have been struggling with something the past few weeks that is different.

Strawberry Buttermilk Quickbread with Crunchy Granola Topping

Strawberry Buttermilk Quickbread with Crunchy Granola Topping

Adding buttermilk to bread and desserts is a foolproof way to make any baked good tender and moist! This bread was a product of having some leftover buttermilk from making Cinnamon Roll Pancakes (YOLO eat them at least once) and having strawberries that were going to go bad. What turned out was amazing! For my gluten free ladies, instead of all purpose flour, use King Arthur or Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. 

Perfect Roasted Artichokes with Parsley and Olive Dip

Perfect Roasted Artichokes with Parsley and Olive Dip

Health Benefits of Artichokes

  • Very high in antioxidants, rutin, quercetin, and gallic acid. 

  • Have cardio protective properties by helping to decrease cholesterol from the compound, cynarin. Cynarin is seen to naturally lower cholesterol. 

  • Artichokes are GAP diet approved and can help aid digestive health and decrease IBS. 

  • Very high in fiber which aids in weight reduction. 

Workout Wednesday: All About Protein Supplements + Weekly Workout Diary

Workout Wednesday: All About Protein Supplements + Weekly Workout Diary

Happy Humpday! I actually cannot believe it is already Wednesday. With that, we are half way through the week, have you worked out yet? Come up with your goals for the week you want to work on? All things I ask my clients to think about at the beginning of the week. A week without a plan is probably a week without exercise. Determine the day, the time, and the workout. If you plan it out just like your work meetings, it will happen. 

Pretty in Pink: Coconut Flour Strawberry Muffins

Pretty in Pink: Coconut Flour Strawberry Muffins

I hope these pretty pink muffins gain as much attention as the horrible pink drink that debuted this week aka "The Unicorn Frappuccino" from Starbucks. Not to say I am against having treats, but this wouldn't be my treat of choice. It won't kill you though, so don't fret if FoodBabe made you think you were going to. But couldn't we have stopped at Unicorn toast? If you like pink food and aren't looking to have 59 grams of sugar in one sitting (i.e. refer back to Unicorn Frapp nutrition facts), you came to the right place! These babies are naturally pink with the help of some beautiful beet and yogurt puree. These muffins can also be made totally allergy friendly which is a huge plus for all my dairy free, gluten free, paleo, vegetarian, and etc. peeps! 

Workout Wednesday: April Playlist + Free Home Workout

Workout Wednesday: April Playlist + Free Home Workout

Workout Wednesday is back and I am excited to share with you a bunch of amazing things to get you excited for your next workout. A new playlist, what I did for my workout last week for inspo, and an at home workout you can do the moment you wake up! 

Spicy+Sweet Cabbage & Radish Slaw with Yuzu Citrus Dressing

I am obsessed with salads and you will start to notice this as the years go on. I usually love to highlight the vegetables that are in season because they tend to taste so much better raw. Here I am highlighting two different types of cabbage, purple and napa, and two different types of radish, watermelon and daikon. Ataulfo or "champagne" mango add a bright burst of sweetness that pairs well with the spicy dressing. 

salad.jpg

recipe (serves 4-5) 

Ingredients: 

For the salad:

-2 ataulfo mango, cut into small cubes 

-1/2 large head of napa cabbage, (~3 cups raw), roughly chopped

-1 small purple cabbage, (~2 cups raw), roughly chopped 

-2 small daikon radish (~ 1/2 cup), diced 

-1/2 large watermelon radish (~1/2 cup), diced 

For the dressing: 

-3 Tbsp. Trader Joe's yuzu hot sauce (or some kind of citrus + vinegar based hot sauce) 

-juice of 1 large lime

-2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 

-1/3 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 

-dash of cayenne pepper 

-1 Tbsp. coconut sugar 

Directions: 

-Place all of the chopped vegetables and fruit into a large salad bowl. 

-Mix all of the salad dressing ingredients into a jar and shake until fully combined. 

-Dress the salad and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. 

MACROBALANCED TIP: This salad can be made and used in your weekly meal prep for 1-2 days. I love to use it as a base for my lunch salad. I make it complete by adding grilled chicken or tuna. 

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 213 calories, 20 grams carb, 15 grams fat, and 1 gram protein. 

Low Calorie Flavorings for Homemade Salad Dressings

I love to make my own salad dressings at home and there are items I love to add for flavors without many calories.

  • Fresh herbs

  • Spices 

  • Hot Sauce 

  • Citrus 

  • Kraut Juice 

Comment below if you have any good ideas on how to make a low calorie dressing at home. I would love to hear your ideas.  

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Alfredo + Healthy Pasta Swaps

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Alfredo + Healthy Pasta Swaps

do believe that all foods can fit, but if you are trying to meet your weight loss goals sometimes regular pasta just doesn't seem to make you satisfied. Spaghetti squash is a perfect low carb option for all my pasta lovers and a great swap for everyone dealing with gluten issues. Can't do dairy? No worries! This dish is gluten free, dairy free and paleo. Keep reading below to find out my other favorite pasta swaps! 

Curried Tuna Salad Cups with Avocado Oil Mayo

Curried Tuna Salad Cups with Avocado Oil Mayo

Canned tuna is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get in lean protein on a budget and when you need lunch in a pinch. Trader Joe's and Whole Food's have great varieties of tuna and even have Safe Catch Tuna which is tested for their mercury levels if that is of some concern. I do asked a lot about mercy content and what people should choose for their fish intake. I have below a great infographic from the FDA that shows you portion size and the fish that are best to eat 2-3 times per week. So what health benefits does tuna provide? Tuna provides protein (7 grams/ per ounce), and omega-3 fatty acids which can help decrease inflammation. Best to keep your tuna intake to about 2-3 times per week. 

Warm Chia Seed Cereal Bowl

Warm Chia Seed Cereal Bowl

I have always loved the idea of hot cereal in the morning, but I find that oatmeal or any other porridge leaves me feeling starved and unsatisfied or overly bloated. I can have oats in small amounts, but who can eat just 1/2 cup of oats and be ready for the day! I like to have a hot cereal that has substance and will keep me feeling full and ready to take on the day. Chia seeds are a staple in my yogurt parfaits and I decided to play with them to make a hot cereal. What I came up with was fantastic and can be reheated as leftovers with no issues! 

A Case for Working Out in a Fasted State

A Case for Working Out in a Fasted State

Grab a cup of coffee and let's talk. Let's talk about something that causes a lot of controversy in the world of athletics and sports nutrition. Recently, I was in a group of dietitians and they brought up, "what do you eat in the morning before your workout?"  So many chimed in with yogurt and fruit, an egg and some milk, etc. I quickly thought about it and came up with one answer, nothing. I don't really eat anything before my workout in the morning and I do not think that is a bad thing. Mind you, I wake up at 4:40/4:45 and my workouts typically run between 5:00 am to 7:00 am.