Get Well Salad

I don’t know about you, but I don’t get sick. Never, not ever. So we’re gonna call whatever I’m experiencing this weekend simply me “feeling under the weather”. That works for me. I will admit to sickness when I’m throwing up, hacking up a lung, or delirious with fever. I’m not any of those things today. Still, it’s really no fun feeling under the weather. I slept ’til 10, woke up, made breakfast, and went back to bed ’til 2. Probably sounds like the average weekend for high school students, but I’m generally up and at ’em at 8 on Sunday morning. Also, my nose is raw and red from wiping all the stuff that won’t stop pouring out of it. TMI maybe, but that’s what’s happening around here. And did I mention my head feels like it’s going to explode at any moment? Yuck.

For dinner, I decided the smartest thing would be to throw all of the healthiest, vitamin-rich, healing foods in my kitchen in a bowl. I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll feel like superwoman in the morning!

Get Well Salad
Serves 1 under-the-weather person

Ingredients:
2 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup purple cabbage, chopped thin
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1 small granny smith apple, cored and sliced thin
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Dressing:
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 very small clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp minced ginger
1.5 tsp raw local honey
1.5 T freshly squeezed orange juice

Make the dressing first by combining all ingredients. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and strain, discarding the ginger and garlic pulp. Combine all salad ingredients and toss with dressing. Serve immediately.


~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Mason Jar Salads

First off, because I feel it needs addressing, I have obviously failed at my new year’s resolution to post on Skinnyfat every week.  I would like to defend myself by mentioning that February is the holiday season all over for me.  First it’s hubby’s birthday, then mine the week right after.  Of course, Valentine’s Day is hardly observed at all by the time we’ve gone through birthday mode, but add that to mix even a little bit and it still makes for a very busy time.

So in penance for my absence, I knew I had to post something absolutely brilliant so I’m posting about salad.

SALAD?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Yes, salad.  Want to pump your body up with raw veggie power?  Salad is one of the great ways to go.  Add a mason jar to the mix and we’re really onto something.

Now I know you may be confused at this point, so let me clear it up for you.  If you add a mason jar to the mix your salad will stay fresh for MORE THAN A WEEK!

All I have to do now is make 5 mason jar salads on Sunday and I have lunch for the entire work week!  My mason jars have claimed their very own corner of the fridge at work.

I can’t take credit for this genius – I heard it from a friend who heard it from Skinny Girl Trapped in a Fat Girl Body.

Of course, there are probably thousands of ways you can make this salad, but I will share with you what I did.

Mason Jar Salads

  • 5 mason jars
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1/2 head kale
  • 1/2 head collard greens
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Black beans
  • Parmesan cheese

Salad Dressing 1

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of the juice leftover from the canned olives
  • 1 clove of garlic smashed
  • Dash of dried red pepper flakes
  • A pinch of salt

Salad Dressing 2

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine
  • Juice from a quarter wedge of orange
  • A pinch of salt

First step is the measure out your dressing into your mason jars.  I don’t usually use a lot of dressing, so the portions I made were enough for all of my salads.  Do what’s best for you.

Because I’m not very good at following directions when it comes to recipes, I didn’t follow the advice about not letting the dressing touch the leaves.  I put the dressing and then the kale right on top of it.  They stayed fresh!

After the kale layer, I added the collard greens and lettuce, then topped it off with the black beans, olives, grape tomatoes, and parmesan cheese.

Keep the salads upright in the fridge and when you are ready to dive in, shake it all up and pour it into your bowl.  I like to add avocado after that.  More fiber = good.  More avocado = delicious.

Some thoughts and tips:  If you used olive oil, sometimes the refrigeration causes it to solidify a bit.  All you should do if this happens is let it set out a bit and it will liquify again.  Also be forewarned that sometimes the smell is pretty strong when you open the mason jar up for the first time.  Don’t worry, it’s still good to eat.  I’ve checked.

Save time and eat healthy thanks to these babies!

Until next time.

Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Juicing 101

Raw power.

I’ve blogged casually about juicing, but I think it’s time for me to get serious. If you don’t have a juicer, well, you should. I’ve seen some decent ones on amazon for as low as $65, but if you’re able to make a bigger investment, it’s totally worth it!

While I’m making suggestions, I may as well add that you ought to take some time to watch the following documentaries: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Food Matters, and the Gerson Miracle. They will change your life; at least, they changed mine. No, I’ve never been seriously overweight or sick before, but watching those films has drastically altered the way I eat and think about food, which will ultimately affect my lifelong health and longevity, not to mention the health habits of my future children. These documentaries also gave me a greater respect for the power of fruits and vegetables. Nature is truly incredible.

Ideally, everyone should start off the day with fresh green juice. It is a super-concentrated, unique source of vitamins and nutrients that your body needs on a daily basis. Most of us are deficient in some way, whether we realize it or not, and drinking a cup of green juice is the perfect and natural way to give your body the vitamins it’s lacking. You’ll find that when your body is equipped with the vitamins and nutrients it requires to function correctly, it is next to impossible to become sick. Fresh juice has magnificent healing properties and a faithful juice fast can cure numerous ailments.

I’m a big fan of eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, but it’s not everybody’s thing. For those of you who have trouble consuming the 8 – 9 recommended servings per day, juicing is a quick way to get those servings without all the chewing. It would take a good hour for me to eat all the stuff I put in my morning juice; it’s much more convenient to drink it within a matter of seconds.

The beautiful thing about juicing is that you can put practically anything through there and it will taste great…as long as you add a piece of fruit! I still can’t stomach pure green juice that doesn’t at least have a bit of apple, beet, or carrot to sweeten it. Some quick rules of thumb:

1. Always juice greens. It just doesn’t make sense to go to the trouble of juicing and not throw some greens in there. Unless you put like 4 heads of collard greens in one juice, you won’t really notice much difference in the flavor, but you’re adding tons of nutritional content. Don’t be scared, just do it.

2. Always juice celery, even if it’s just half a stalk. It helps to deliver the nutrients to your tissue.

3. Because of its high water content and mild flavor, add cucumber when juicing vegetables with strong flavors (such as the collard greens I was talking about).

4. Drink your juice right away. It starts to lose nutrients immediately, so gulp that baby down as soon as possible!

If you’re hesitant to juice random combinations of produce, here are a few “recipes”, if you will, that I use often. Remember to always wash everything very thoroughly and chop to the correct size for your juicer’s chute. A helpful hint: greens are sometimes difficult to juice, so always juice them by handfuls along with something large and dense, like a quarter of an apple, beet, carrot, and celery. If you fill the entire chute with kale, you’re likely to have issues. Oh, and don’t forget to stir!

Morning Glory
Makes 2 large servings
You can substitute any dark greens for kale. I personally like the flavor of kale and it has the greatest nutrient density.

6 cups kale, spines removed (optional; they can be bitter)
4 celery stalks
4 medium carrots
Half of one large cucumber
Half of one large beet
2 Granny Smith apples (nice and tart, but you can use any apples)
Lemon or lime, to taste

Green Explosion (ingredients shown above, photo of the juice seen at the top of this post)
Makes 2 large servings

6 cups kale
3 cups spinach
4 stalks celery
2 apples
Half of one large cucumber
Fresh basil, to taste
Fresh mint, to taste
Handful of wheatgrass

Note: One ounce of wheatgrass has the equivalent of 2.5 cups of green vegetables in nutritional value. The Green Explosion is quite a mighty elixir!

Pineapple Citrus Blast
Makes 2 servings

Half of one pineapple, peeled
1 large grapefruit, peeled
2 medium oranges, peeled
1 large apple
3 cups turnip greens (or greens of choice)
Fresh mint, to taste
Lemon or lime, to taste

There you have it, a few of the juices I enjoy regularly. I hope you enjoy them, too! I am currently nearing the end of day three of a five-day juice fast. I am doing this to clean out the junk my body has built up over the holidays and past month, which has come to my attention by way of bad skin and a couple of pounds. When my body is thoroughly cleansed, I look forward to maintaining my squeaky-clean innards with lots of great new recipes that I can’t wait to share with all of you!

Happy Juicing!

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Carb hangover? Nevermore.

What is your biggest food temptation; the food that you know you shouldn’t eat, but it tastes so heavenly you could just forget yourself and enjoy one moment of pure tastebud pleasure?  My greatest love is dark chocolate, but since cacao is a superfood full of wonderful and incredible nutrients, I don’t bother about feeling guilty about consuming it.  So, if I’m not talking about chocolate, what could possible be such a big food temptation for me?  (Little hint: I want to visit this country, not for the gondolas, for the food).

Okay, that was a big hint, but you’re right, I’m talking about Italian food.  Do you love pasta as much as I do?  Oh my goodness, I can honestly say that I have never eaten an Italian dish I didn’t adore.  Fettucine alfredo, bowtie pasta, eggplant parmesan, the bread, gelato, do I really need to go on?  Unfortunately, Italian food can also be extremely fattening with loads of cream, cheese, and white flour.  Have you ever experienced a carb hangover from eating too much pasta?  I know I have.  You know, that bloated, heavy, uncomfortable feeling?  Now, I’m a huge believer in everything in moderation and the last thing I believe in is deprivation, but it’s so hard for me to restrain myself when it comes to pasta, so I have to be careful.

Now if I hadn’t had the skinnyfat mind makeover, I probably wouldn’t believe that it was possible to make Italian food delicious and healthy,  but now I’ve learned that whole, real nutrient-dense food can actually be way more delicious than the alternative.  Prime example? The best lasagna I’ve ever eaten.

To begin with…

These whole wheat lasagna noodles from Target have one ingredient.  ONE!  Whole wheat seminola.  That’s it and it’s looking like a pretty good start. 

Next you have fresh mushrooms (I’ve used shiitake mushrooms, which I like the best).

Grind or chop these up and moving on.  Next chop up fresh oregano, fresh basil, fresh spinach, fresh kale… Do you notice a theme here? 

Of course, you’ll also need cheese and tomato sauce.  I used half Daiya non-dairy cheese (If you haven’t tried Daiya, it’s the best non-dairy cheese out there and Target has it!) and half Italian blend cheese.  For my tomato sauce I used an organic garden vegetable marinera sauce, also from Target.

With all these delicious and wholesome ingredients, all that’s left to do is layer your lasagna! 

I always layer the bottom of an oiled casserole dish with the sauce first then the noodles.  On top of the first layer of noodles I put more sauce, then I put a thick layer of kale and spinach.

Then add your ground mushrooms, cheese, and sprinkle your fresh oregano and basil on top of the cheese.  Now layer and layer until you cannot fit anymore in!  On the very top layer I only put the layer of sauce, cheese, oregano, and basil.

Bake the lasagna at 375 for about 30 minutes until the noodles are soft and the cheese is melted.

Here is the whole recipe:

  • Whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • Tomato sauce
  • Cheese
  • Fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • Fresh oregano, chopped
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Fresh kale, chopped
  • Fresh spinach, chopped

I have been eating this all week and every day at work someone has commented on how good it smells.  Don’t tell anyone, but it tastes even better.

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Bagels = Joy and antioxidants

Okay, so you know how in this post I said that pastelillos de guayaba (guava pastries) would be my next recipe attempt?  Well, I lied.  Don’t ask me why I have not yet gotten around to using the enormous stack of guava paste that I ordered in bulk from Amazon. 

In my defense, I did not realize how much guava paste I would be getting when I ordered it.  Now I will definitely get to making pastelillos de guayaba at some point, but now is not that time.  

By now you must know how much Becky and I love to add funky things to our recipes to make them more nutritious .  You can take a look at pretty much any of our recipes and see examples of this (“Greens with Ice Cream” Shake  and Chocolate Chip Blondies  are just a few).  I’ve applied this tactic with a vengeance to another food item I love, bagels

If bagels are one of the foods you’re scared to eat because they are unhealthy, fear no more.  I have rescued and remade your nutritionally void loop of unhealthy carbs into a fiberful treat for both you and your body to rejoice over. 

Here it is:

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil or butter
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (yes)
  • 1.5 cups chopped kale (and yes, seriously)

Blend all ingredients except for yeast and flour in the blender.  Once the carrots and kale have blended in well, heat the mixture in the microwave until warm.  Then mix the flour, yeast, and liquid together in a mixing bowl.  Oil your hands and knead dough, then separate into 12 equal parts.  Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes.  While the dough rests, bring a large pot of water to a boil and preheat your oven to 425.

Once you have let the dough rest, form each section into bagels.  I found the best way to do this is to roll each section into a hamburger bun shape and then use your finger to make the bagel hole.   Once the bagels are formed, boil each bagel for about a minute on each side.  This will make them puffy and nicely shaped. 

Once boiled take bagels out and put on an oiled cookie sheet.  At this point you can dip the bagels in seeds or nuts, if you want.  I didn’t, but if I had some whole flax seeds, I may have tried.  Bake at 425 for about 5-10 minutes, then flip them and bake them for 5-10 minutes more. 

For a healthier version of cream cheese, try using greek yogurt or neufchatel cheese.  I had one with neufchatel cheese and guava paste (hey, I had to start using it somehow) and then I had another with melted cheddar cheese.  Yes, I had to have two, they were just that good!  And tomorrow, I have a sneaky suspicion I will be having a egg and cheese bagel for breakfast.

Have another favorite type of bagel?  Try your own variations of bagels and let us know how they turn out!  We love to learn new tricks!  Don’t forget like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!  And if you love us, help us spread the word! 

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

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