fitmommy

Shannon's health and fitness blog

Melt in your mouth Lasagna

go-ahead-its-gluten-freeHere it is-the gluten free, dairy free, soy free lasagna recipe I’ve been dying to try. I wasn’t just pleasantly surprised, I was shocked, at how good this lasagna turned out.  I think it even gave the lasagna at True Food restaurant a run for its money 🙂  If you would like to make this dish vegan and egg free, just leave out the sausage and use an egg replacer.  This is definitely one of the best dishes I’ve ever made.

1  1/4 cups whole coconut milk, stirred well before pouring to prevent separation

2  14 oz. cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained on a paper towel

1 tsp sea salt, divided: 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp

1 small clove garlic or 1/4 tsp garlic powder and 3 cloves garlic, minced

2 large eggs

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 Tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley, minced

11 brown rice lasagna noodles (Tinkyada brand worked well)

1  1/2 lb uncooked sweet Italian chicken sausage

2 Tbsp grapeseed oil

3  15 oz. cans tomato sauce

1  6 oz. can tomato paste

1/3 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

Into a blender or food processor, pour the milk and 1/2 of garbanzo beans.  Blend or process until beans are roughly ground.  Add the remaining beans and blend again until creamy.  Scrape sides of blender as needed.  Add 1/2 tsp of salt, small garlic clove or garlic powder, eggs, and xanthan gum.  Blend for 20 seconds.  Stir in parsley and set aside.

Use a wide pan (12″ wide is best) to par-cook the lasagna noodles.  Fill half full with water, bring water to a boil, and cook 1/2 the noodles at a time.  Boil noodles gently only 6-7 minutes, or they will tear and be hard to work with.  Drain and place noodles on wax paper to dry.

Meanwhile, pour the oil into a 6 qt. pot.  Squeeze the sausage meat from casings into the pot and cook on medium-high, stirring to crumble meat and cook it evenly.  Continue stirring and cooking until the meat is done.  Drain excess liquid.  Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, 3 cloves minced garlic, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Into a 9×13 baking dish, spoon a small amount of sauce without sausage meat, just enough to cover the bottom.  Lay 3 lasagna noodles in the pan and “patch” in the area needing noodles by cutting sections from extra noodles to fill in.  Spoon 1/3 of garbanzo mixture over the noodles.  Ladle 1/3 of the sauce with sausage over that.  Repeat these steps 2 more times, beginning with noodles and ending with the sauce.  Bake in oven uncovered 40-45 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to set 15 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Serves 8

February 20, 2013 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Do you really understand what we’re dealing with here?

February 14, 2013 Posted by | Food, Health | , | Leave a comment

Harbaugh Meatloaf

Ok, so that’s not really what it’s called, but this meatloaf was still a winner regardless of which team won the Superbowl, lol…

This gluten, dairy, soy, egg, and corn free dish is actually called Dixie Party Meatloaf, and it is delicious! It serves 8-10 people and is a crowd pleaser.  And now you can guess which commercial was my fave 🙂

2 lb. ground turkey

3/4 cup onion chopped (I used one whole onion)budweiser-clyesdale

1 cup red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, chopped

3/4 tsp dried oregano leaves

1 6oz. can tomato paste

3/4 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. sea salt

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

1/2 cup brown rice flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush the bottom of a 9×13 casserole or roasting pan with grapeseed oil.  In a large glass or metal bowl, mix all ingredients with a large spoon.  Turn onto casserole or pan, and form into a loaf.  Bake uncovered 45-50 minutes until center is no longer pink ( I had to bake for 1 1/2 hours).

Serve and enjoy!

February 4, 2013 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Delicious Balsamic Chicken

I made this one tonight and my daughter said it’s now her second favorite dish (not sure anything will ever make her happier than steak). I got this from skinnyms. once again.  The only changes I made was to use 4 fresh tomatoes rather than canned, and to serve it over brown rice instead of pasta.  Quinoa would probably work too.   It is super easy and incredibly good!  Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken
Yields 10 Cups | Serving size: 1 Cup | Calories: 190 | Previous Points: 4 | Points Plus: 4 | Fat: 6g | Saturated fat: 1 g | Trans fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 53 mg | Sodium: 121 mg | Carbohydrate: 5 g | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 3 g | Protein 26 g

Ingredients

Directions

Pour the olive oil on bottom of slow cooker, add chicken breasts, salt and pepper each breast, put sliced onion on top of chicken then put in all the dried herbs and garlic cloves. Pour in vinegar and top with tomatoes.

Cook on high 4 hours, serve over angel hair pasta.

November 15, 2012 Posted by | Food, Health, Weight loss | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate chip quinoa cookies

I know I’ve been on a recipe kick lately, but i just had to share this one.  I got this recipe from my good friend, Lamar Jefferson, who gave me a cookie, then handed me the recipe.  These cookies are sooo good and jam-packed with protein, fiber, and stress busting B vitamins.  They are gluten free and will kick your cravings to the curb!  Enjoy these little pieces of heaven 🙂

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes (or gluten free oatmeal flakes)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 4 large VERY RIPE bananas
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (be aware that this will add dairy to this recipe, unless you can find the rare dairy free chips)
  • Pinch sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas in bowl with a fork and add vanilla, almond butter, and coconut sugar.  Add quinoa, oatmeal, coconut, and pinch of salt.  Mix until well combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper and drop batter on to  cooking sheet.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Serving size:

Makes about 25 cookies that look more like muffin tops and are chewy.

October 18, 2012 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake-YUM!

Stay full longer with this satisfying protein shake! Easy to make and convenient for when you’re on-the-go.
Arbonne Essentials Vanilla Protein Shake Mix
  • 2 scoops Vanilla Protein Shake Mix
  • 7 oz. water
  • 4-6 ice cubes
  • Âľ cup pumpkin puree
  • Tiny pinch of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
  • Dairy, soy, and gluten free, as always!

October 17, 2012 Posted by | Food, Health, Holidays, Weight loss | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bringing the islands to your slow cooker

I’ve had a slow cooker for a number of years now and rarely use it.  I have such a difficult time finding recipes that I think are healthy enough for my family.  Well here’s one that I found at skinny Ms. that we loved-Polynesian Chicken!  As far as the recipe goes, I did substitute Coconut Liquid Aminos for the Braggs that the recipe suggests.  I also recommend cooking this for only 4 hours.  If you have a corn allergy, just substitute potato starch for corn starch.  This is a great dairy free, gluten free meal!

http://skinnyms.ziplist.com/recipes/626343-Slow_Cooker_Polynesian_Chicken?return_to=%2Frecipes%2Fbox

October 9, 2012 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Childhood Obesity

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.  More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States are overweight, and it’s estimated that obesity results in $14 billion per year in direct health care costs.  The U.S. is doing its part to raise awareness of the obesity issue, and has provided a downloadable toolkit full of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month resources.  For more info, visit http://www.COAM-month.org.

September 10, 2012 Posted by | Children, Exercise, Food, Health, Weight loss | , | 1 Comment

The Tower Garden

Tower Garden® is a state-of-the-art vertical aeroponic growing system, now being offered by Juice Plus+. It’s perfect for rooftops, patios, balconies, terraces—just about any relatively sunny place outside.  Using aeroponics and a specially formulated Tower Tonic plant food, it grows almost any vegetable, herb, or flower—and many fruits—in less time than it takes in soil.

Technology. Vision. Passion. It took all three—and more than 5 years—to fully develop Tower Garden. Tim Blank was Greenhouse Manager for Epcot’s cutting-edge agricultural display until 2005. He left and founded Future Growing with the dream that someday everybody on the planet would have access to healthy food in their own home and local community.

With vine-ripened produce right outside your back door, Tower Garden makes it convenient to eat more fruits and vegetables.  Not only that, because Tower Garden produce is better tasting, better looking—even better smelling—you and your family will likely find yourselves wanting to eat more fruits and vegetables.  So you’ll reap additional nutritional benefits as well.   You can grow up to 20 plants with your standard Tower Garden, and you can grow a wide variety of what you and your family like to eat, from gourmet lettuces and leafy greens to luscious tomatoes, strawberries, and melons.

Each Tower Garden holds 20 plants and can grow anything from gourmet lettuces and herbs to beautiful vine-ripened tomatoes.  Best of all, because of the patented aeroponic growing system, the plants will grow in less time than it would normally take in the soil.

When you purchase Tower Garden, you’ll have a full range of customer support to help ensure a successful growing experience, including their online Resource Center.

Tower Garden’s key advantages to traditional gardening

  • Comes with everything you need to start growing
  • Compact design fits almost anywhere, including patios, decks, porches, balconies, terraces, or rooftop gardens
  • Soil-free system means there is no weeding, tilling, kneeling, or getting dirty
  • No gardening experience is necessary
  • Grows many fruits and almost any vegetable, herb, or flower—faster than in soil
  • Uses less than 10% of the water and land involved in traditional gardening
  • Reduces the need for pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides
  • Fewer issues with climate, such as heat, cold, drought
  • Help is just a call or click away

Because it utilizes aeroponics, Tower Garden’s closed-system technology recycles 100% of its nutrients and water. Plants therefore use less than 10% of both the water and the land that are commonly used in conventional and organic farming.*

Plus, the aeroponic growing system reduces the need for pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides. That’s because the all-natural earth minerals found in Tower Tonic® produce strong, healthy plants that can better protect themselves from plant pests and disease, and because the soil-less system is not subject to ground pests. So Tower Garden allows you to decide whether to use any chemicals

What Can You Grow?

Fruits & Vegetables

  • Amaranth (vegetable type)
  • Arugula
  • Bayam
  • Beans: Lima, bush, pole, shell, fava, green
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli Raab
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage and Chinese cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard, all types
  • Chicory
  • Collards
  • Cucumbers
  • Cress
  • Dandelion, Italian
  • Eggplant, European and Asian
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Gourds, edible and ornamental
  • Kale
  • Kinh gioi
  • Kohlrabi
  • Komatsuna
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce, all types
  • Mesclun Varieties
  • Melons, all types
  • Misome
  • Mizuna
  • Mustard Greens
  • Ngo Gai
  • Okra
  • Pak Choy
  • Perilla
  • Peas, all types
  • Peppers, all types
  • Radicchio
  • Sorrel
  • Spinach
  • Squash, all types
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes, all types

Herbs

  • Angelica
  • Anise Hyssop
  • Basil, all types
  • Bee Balm
  • Borage
  • Calendula
  • Catmint
  • Catnip
  • Chamomile
  • Chervil
  • Chives
  • Cilantro (Coriander) and Culantro
  • Citrus Basil
  • Cumin
  • Cutting Celery
  • Dandelion
  • Dill
  • Echinacea (Coneflower)
  • Epazote
  • Feverfew
  • Flax
  • Garlic Chives
  • Goldenseal
  • Hyssop
  • Lavender
  • Leaf Fennel
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemon Grass
  • Lovage
  • Marjoram
  • Mexican Mint Marigold
  • Milk Thistle
  • Mint, all varieties
  • Nettle
  • Oregano
  • Parsley (leafy types only)
  • Passion Flower
  • Pleurisy Root
  • Pyrethrum
  • Rosemary
  • Rue
  • Sage
  • Salad Burnet
  • Saltwort
  • Savory
  • Shiso
  • Stevia
  • Thyme
  • Valerian
  • Wormwood
  • Mibura

Flowers

Edible Flowers include:

  • Calendula
  • Carthamus
  • Dianthus
  • Hyacinth Bean
  • Marigolds
  • Monarda
  • Nasturtiums
  • Pansies
  • Salvia
  • Scarlet Runner Bean
  • Sunflowers (dwarf varieties only)
  • Violas

Ornamental Flowers include:

  • Ageratum
  • Agrostemma
  • Ammi
  • Amaranth, Globe
  • Amaranthus
  • Artemisia
  • Aster
  • Bells of Ireland
  • Bupleurum
  • Cardoon
  • Safflower
  • Centaurea
  • Celosia
  • Coleus
  • Cosmos
  • Craspedia
  • Datura
  • Delphinium
  • Digitalis
  • Eucalyptus
  • Euphorbia
  • Forget-me-not
  • Hibiscus
  • Impatiens
  • Kale, ornamental
  • Morning Glory
  • Nigella
  • Petunia
  • Phlox
  • Poppy
  • Polygonum
  • Ptilotus
  • Salpiglossis
  • Rudbeckia
  • Sanvitalia
  • Scabiosa
  • Snapdragon
  • Statice
  • Stock
  • Strawflower
  • Sweet Peas
  • Thunbergia
  • Verbena
  • Yarrow
  • Zinnia

April 10, 2012 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring cleaning

This week marks the change of seasons.  Spring is upon us again.  Of course, here in Southern California, we are blessed with great weather all year long.  Yet, something about beautiful, longer sunny days, flowers blooming, and birds singing remind us that summer and all its fun is just around the corner.  This is the time when we start thinking, “Uh oh, I have to wear a bikini soon.  Better ramp up those workouts!”  For me, spring marks a time when I replace those comfort foods with lots of veggies.  Ok, so I know my idea of comfort food is sweet potato chips and gluten/dairy free muffins from Kean coffee.  It’s all relative, right?

The real spring cleaning starts in April.   An entire month to prepare for summer and fun at the beach!  If you’re looking not only to lose weight, but have increased energy, improve your digestive system, eliminate aches and pains, and feel great join me April 3 to start April”s 28 Days to Health cleanse.  You will learn how to improve your diet permanently, how food affects your health, and how to control cravings, energy fluctuations, and mood swings.

For those committed to their health by March 31, 2012 the program fee will be waived 100%.  After April 1, the fee will be $50.00.  For more information contact me at shannonmorgan@sbcglobal.net.

March 25, 2012 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment