cookiesandcarrots

Where fitness and french fries find a healthy balance.


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French Fry Nachos (Guilt Free!)

In my opinion, there are few things more delicious than carbs covered in cheese and a ridiculously rich sauce. Things that come to mind: fettucini alfredo, corn casserole, eggs benedict, and oh yeah…NACHOS!! Every time I’m at a Mexican restaurant, I find myself wishing I could order the nachos appetizer. The menu always has such an enticing picture of all those chips dripping in cheesy goodness. Thank goodness for my lactose intolerant boyfriend who stops me from ordering dairy bombs like that! However, I have to satisfy my craving somewhere, so when I came upon this idea from HowSweetEats, I knew it would become a main staple in my weekly menu.

Crispy Potato Nachos (adapted from How Sweet Eats)

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 large russet potatoes sliced into wedges with skins on

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup reduced fat mexican cheese blend

1/2 cup black beans

diced onions, avocado, cilantro

salsa, lowfat sour cream, greek yogurt

Directions:

The first step is to get those potato wedges nice and crispy. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and immediately put the wedges in a bowl of salted cold water. Letting them soak for about 10 minutes before cooking them, allows some of that starch to come out, leaving them ready to crisp right up. After 10 minutes, take them out of the water and dry them thuroughly on papertowels. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for approximately 40 minutes flipping once during that time. Once they are all brown and crispy, take them out of the oven and top with cheese, beans, and onions. Place back into the oven until the cheese is melted. Remove and add the remaining toppings! I used black beans but you could easily use ground turkey, beef, shredded chicken, anything! Healthy nachos that are super delicious??? Now its a real thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Old Fashioned Blackberry Cobbler

There are very few activities that allow you to eat, exercise, and do something useful all at the same time. Berry picking is one of them! Which is why I highly recommend that everyone goes berry picking at least once each summer. There is something so childlike about meandering through berry bushes (the non prickly kind!) with a little blue bucket. The best part?? The famous “2 for me 1 for the bucket” strategy will not destroy your figure!

Hmmm…maybe I should stop eating them??

I ended up picking a few more with the help of my sister and went home to create the BEST black berry cobbler!

Its very cakey, very old fashioned, and extremely delicious. Thank you Pioneer Woman for another hit! She is absolutely unstoppable and you can find the recipe here.


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Herbed Pea Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Sometimes near the end of the week I will get home from work and rummage through the fridge for a quick and easy dinner. Often times this produces a meal that consists of lowfat pepperoni wrapped around baby carrots with a side of left over rice. But not tonight! I knew I had some left over salmon and a sweet potato ready to go. I just needed a veggie. Since its summer I decided that a nice cold pea salad would be amazing. A tasty side dish in 5 minutes flat?? Now we’re talking!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots thawed

2 Tbsp. minced red onion

2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

1 Tbsp. sliced almonds

2 Tbsp. plain greek yogurt

2 tsp. dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. Worschstershire Sauce

1/4 tsp. curry powder

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine first four ingredients in a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients to make the dressing. Mix the dressing with the pea mixture and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.


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The Poached Egg

At 22 years old, I feel pretty accomplished in the kitchen. I have made flaky pie crusts, tender and moist roast chicken, awesome crepes, and even beef wellington. However, poaching an egg has always seemed so impossible that I have never attempted it. And I LOVE poached eggs! Sadly I have lived in fear and thus lived without one of my favorite foods. Until Gordon Ramsay showed me how on Masterchef! Holy cow that man can cook. I figured if I was going to trust anyone’s instructions I would trust his. And I totally nailed it. 🙂

Heres a simple explanation but if you are scared like me and want something more detailed, I highly recommend watching this short video of Gordon himself.

Start by bringing a small pot of water to simmer. You do not want a full on rolling boil because it will be hard to keep the egg together. Crack an egg into a ramekin or small bowl and place by the stove. Once the water is simmering, add about a teaspoon of white vinegar. This is supposed to help the egg come together in the water. Then once you muster up enough courage, VERY gently slide the egg into the water and immediately begin bringing it together with a spoon. You will lose a little of the egg whites. That is pretty much impossible to avoid. However, the majority of the egg should form a cute little oval. Let simmer in the water about 2.5 to 3 minutes. No more than that or you will have a rubber egg. Thats it!! Not so scary after all….


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7 Days to a Flatter Tummy

When I go to a Mexican restaurant, I always tell myself beforehand that I will NOT consume the entire basket of chips. No matter how delicious and salty they may be, I will eat 5 and be done. Unfortunately my resolve melts as soon as the basket is on the table and I can smell that fresh pico de gallo. That being said, I decided to form a plan to eliminate the gallons of water my body stores after one of these episodes. Luckily I am not the only one who retains water like a dry sponge. This “special water” concoction is supposed to flush out the excess water while being gentle on the kidneys. Its actually a Jillian Michaels creation I found on Pinterest and tastes pretty refreshing on a hot day! You don’t have to buy a bunch of fancy ingredients. You drink it for 7 days along with additional water if needed. Sodas are pretty much a no no during the 7 days because it would just counteract all your efforts. I would drink this whether or not it helped beat the bloat so basically its a win win deal!

7 Day Cleanse Drink adapted from Jillian Michaels

Drink each day for 7 days straight and watch that tummy flatten out!

60 ounces filtered water

2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp. no sugar added cranberry juice

1 Dandelion Root Tea Bag*

Combine all ingredients together and drink throughout the day. I like to make it before bed and let it sit in my fridge overnight.

*Note: Dandelion Root Tea can be found in most health food stores. Look for teas labeled “detox” or “kidney cleanse”.


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Salmon Tacos with Spicy Lemon Sauce

Let me just say that it is a sweltering 105 degrees today. The coolest I have felt all day was during my 7:30 AM bike ride to the local gym. I have literally been sweating ever since. So what could I possibly make for lunch that did not heat up the kitchen and force me to turn on every fan I own? Well yesterday I made this awesome salmon wrap using an 8 oz salmon filet. Since I only ate half of the filet, I still had 4 oz ready to go in the fridge! YES! Having that premade ingredient allowed me to whip up these tasty tacos quickly and sweat free.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. greek yogurt

½ tsp. sriracha

1 tsp. lemon juice

Salt and pepper

2 corn tortillas

4 oz precooked salmon (This Awesome Rub!)

1 Tbsp. chopped onion

1 Tbsp. minced cilantro

¼ cup chopped cabbage

2 Tbsp. feta cheese

Directions:

Heat up the corn tortillas either in the microwave or on the stove. They need to be soft and pliable. Meanwhile, mix together yogurt, lemon, sriracha, and salt & pepper. Spread the yogurt sauce on each tortilla. Top with salmon, onion, feta cheese, cabbage, and cilantro. That’s it!


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Grilled Salmon Wrap with Feta and Yogurt Dill Sauce

Since today I had the morning off from work, I decided to treat myself right. I woke up early, relaxed with a little Today Show, drank my usual 16 oz of coffee, and hit the gym! I will go into details about my workouts later, but this post is all about the awesome salmon wrap I made for a recovery lunch afterwards. To season the salmon, I used a combo of spices that I personally love. However a little lemon pepper, honey, and paprika would be tasty too!

Serves 1 ( But can be easily doubled!)

Ingredients:

4 oz salmon filet

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp paprika

¼ tsp pepper

¼ tsp Cajun seasoning

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp. greek yogurt

¼ tsp dill

5 capers

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 whole wheat wrap (Flatout)

1 green onion chopped

1 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese

1 Romaine lettuce leaf

Directions:

Rinse the salmon filet and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the first five spices over the salmon and gently rub. If the filet has skin on one side, place the salmon skin side down in a non-stick pan over medium heat. While the salmon is cooking, combine yogurt, capers, dill, and mustard in a small bowl. Spread the yogurt mixture over the wheat wrap and top with green onions, feta cheese, and lettuce leaf. Flip the salmon after about 4 minutes. While the other side is cooking, gently peel the skin off the filet and discard. This should be relatively easy and will come off in one piece. After the salmon has cooked about 4 minutes on the other side, remove and let cool for a few minutes. Once cooled, slice the filet and place on top of the lettuce. Roll up the wrap burrito style by folding in the ends and you have a delicious and healthy lunch!