Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's for Dinner, Mom? Forget Delivery, Try Pita Pizzas!

Eating clean takes practice and is a state of mind. In order to practice clean eating and help my children eat healthy, I try to find healthier alternatives to the usual fast food fare. The older my kids get, the harder it is to control what foods they are exposed to, including pizza. As much as I try to keep my kids eating healthy, pizza is the one thing everyone really likes. I need a plan to stay away from delivery/frozen pizzas (I know they are so convenient!) while still satisfying the pizza craving and keeping it basic, simple and easy. Even though I have found a few frozen "organic" pizzas, they tend to be high in sodium and veggies, low in flavor, three things my kids, nor I, get excited about.
 
I have seen lots of recipes for using pita bread to make pizzas instead of pizza dough or prepared pizza crusts. I decided to try these a few years back and my kids love it.
 
The best thing about pita pizzas is each kid can make their own, including the adult kids. Everyone gets their own personal pizza! I use everything from chopped peppers to onions to nitrate, nitrite gluten free chicken sausage. I have also found nitrite, nitrate free organic pepperoni. I use regular three-cheese pre-shredded cheese but have used organic mozzarella and shredded it myself. My daughter loves cheese pizza. My son loves cheese and black olives. Hubby not so much, he's an absolute meat freak. The more meat and cheese on the pizza, the happier he is. The more veggies on mine, the better. With pita pizzas, we all get what we want.

Easy Pita Pizzas
Crave Worthy Pita Pizzas

1 package Wheat Pita Bread
1 Can Muir Glen Pizza Sauce
1 Package Three-Cheese Shredded Cheese
1/2 Cup Chopped Green, Yellow, Red Peppers (your choice)
1/2 Black Olives
1/4 Cup Chopped Red Onions
1 Package Organic Chicken Sausage (Cooked)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cookie sheet or pizza pan. I place everything in individual bowls so the kids can easily prepare their own pizzas. The only thing I do is place a spoonful of pizza sauce and spread it on the pitas. The kids do the rest. Place on your cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Yum!

Add caption


Variations:

I have used cooked left over chicken chopped using Alfredo sauce instead of pizza sauce topped with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and fresh spinach. Or instead of pita bread, use portobello mushrooms!







Portobello Pizzas





 
 
 
 
 
I also use the chicken sausage in my Sweet N' Spicy Asian Meatballs, but that is a recipe for another day!
 
Happy Cooking,
 
~B


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Thursday, June 13, 2013

For Real....Don't Trash Talk My Shows!

The other evening, after the kids were in bed, I decided to take a break from my usual nighttime ritual, household chores, to catch up on a few of my shows. A select few television shows I DVR, my way of staying in tune, I guess.

I head to the TV Room/Office in the hope of having a few peaceful moments, enjoying the first TV (I don't count Sesame Street) I've watched in at least a week.

I sit through one episode, peaceful, quiet, enjoying thinking about one subject for more than 5 minutes, engrossed in the plot, excited for the next episode and the fact I can fast forward through the commercials :)........

Here he comes, the Mavenator. Waltzing in like he just don't care, plops down on the couch, phone in hand, playing a game, of course. He proceeds to talk trash about my show. "Getting your fix, huh? Oooooh some more vampire soap opera. When are they gonna turn into bats? I wanna see that." In a particularly dramatic part of the show, "This is worse than one of those real housewives shows." No sense in me trying to explain that THESE vampires don't turn into bats and they don't fly. They can just run really fast. Then I say to myself, he knows exactly what to say to get a response and you fall for it. Every. Single. Time.

Finally, I've had enough. I ACTUALLY say, in my most serious voice possible, "You wait one minute, Mister.  Don't talk trash about my shows. I don't give a running commentary when you're watching that show about catching crabs." (you know, the one about those Alaska fisherman, ;)

To which, for once, he does not have a response. Hmm? Did I make him speechless? Not sure I could do that again if I tried........




~B

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Espresso, Oh My

Fabulous Caffeine Kick-Start Frappe`



















I love the combo of coffee, chocolate and peanut butter. In fact, my favorite ice cream is from a little store called Cold Stone Creamery. I am so glad we do not have one of those anywhere close because their Mud-Pie Mojo ice cream creation is TO DIE FOR! I don't just LIKE IT, I LOVE IT. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Espresso Protein Smoothie recipe gives me the satisfaction of the flavors I crave without all the calories and is sure to kick-start your morning in a good way! Yum! All this and it has no bananas or yogurt!

 Caffeine Kick-Start Protein Frappe`

1/2 Cup to 3/4 Cup of Coffee or 3 shots of freshly brewed, cooled Espresso (Try different combos for taste)
2 tbsp Organic Peanut Butter
1 Scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
Ice to fill blender cup

No bananas or yogurt! Just place this all in your blender cup and blend away.

You could add a banana but for me it adds too many calories and carbs. Plus my daughter likes to try everything I am eating or drinking and since she and I have "issues" with bananas, I leave them out of my protein smoothies. And no, I don't let her have this one since it has espresso in it. This protein shake is the best I have EVER had and let me tell you I have tried them all from my over 17 years experience in weight training and eating clean. I do always have vanilla protein powder on hand.

Since this is my morning snack, I sometimes choose to add only 1 shot for less caffeine plus coffee or water to make the 1/2 cup of liquid needed. You could add milk with less coffee, if you choose. Even though technically this protein powder is dairy (whey), dairy is one of my stay-away-most of-the-time foods. My body is very sensitive to dairy (meaning it blocks my bodies fat-burning ability), but not the whey protein found in it.

If you want more chocolate flavor, you could add a handful of chocolate chips. I use Jay Robbs' Protein Powder exclusively, because it doesn't have any added artificial ingredients. I tried this with a prepared chocolate protein shake and it turned out too watery. I literally cannot stop drinking this shake until it is all gone! I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do!

Thanks for stopping by!

~B



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What Happens at the Beach Stays at the Beach

Our little respite on the coast was a reminder of what summer is all about. We had a blast at the beach even though we were only there for three days. It was a glorious three days of sun, sand and summer fun. There is nothing in the world like waking up every morning, opening a door and hearing the ocean waves. Fixing a pot of coffee, enjoying a cup on the veranda overlooking the ocean or walking a few blocks to a local coffee shop for a latte. At night, walks watching the moon rise over that ocean. This. Is. Absolute. Bliss.......Rejuvenating. Reinvigorating. Bliss.



 

One of the other great things about the beach are the pictures. The amazing camera shots that just jump out at you begging to be taken. There is so much inspiration.




 
Feeling the sand between your toes, the sun on your face and the water on your skin. Everything about the beach awakens and soothes your soul.
 
 















And the delicious, fresh seafood. Grilled Ahi Berry Salad at Pompano Joes. I love a good steak of sushi grade tuna!

 
Nothing says relaxation like this.................
 
 

What Happens at the Beach, Stays at the Beach. Here's to sun, sand and water!

~B
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Monday, June 10, 2013

Clean Eating Chocolate Madness Muffins

I know what you are thinking "Not another "clean" eating muffin recipe. Ugh, those are always so gross." I know, I usually say the same thing. The pictures always look great but the end result is less than appetizing. I tried this twice on two finicky kids and had rave family reviews both times. This one is called Chocolate Madness Muffin! Can you believe it? A recipe that involves chocolate, stevia leaf extract and NO FLOUR!! Oh the insanity! Stop me now!

Here is the recipe inspiration.

Clean Eating Chocolate Madness Muffins

1 3/4 Cup Oatmeal
3 Egg Whites
3/4 Cup Carob Powder (I chose carob bean powder because it has no caffeine as compared to cocoa)
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract


Chocolate Madness Muffins
1/2 Tsp Cream of Tartar
1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used Chobani)
1 1/2 TSP baking powder
1 1/2 TSP baking soda
1/4 TSP salt
1 Cup Hot Water
1/4 + 2 TBSP Cup stevia leaf extract
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 Scoop Protein Powder (can be omitted)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your muffin tin by using the silicone liners like I did or tin liners and spray with cooking spray. Place oatmeal in grinder/blender and blend until the oatmeal becomes a fine powder. Here is the secret: I take the cup of warm water and let the oatmeal "flour" soak for a few minutes before adding all the ingredients. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Pour into individual muffin liners and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.

Variations:

I made these for my family twice. The first time with cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate pieces. I then remembered that cocoa powder has caffeine and decided to make the second batch with carob powder. The carob powder muffins had less of a chocolaty flavor, though. I also made some with pecans and some with butterscotch chips. I enjoyed all of the variations. This is one recipe I tried variations and still like the original best!

Note: Both times I made these, they did not seem to "rise" or have a muffin/cake like consistency but they were still good. The picture is of the ones I made, no tricks, that is what they really look like (very much unlike the pictures I saw of the three recipes I found online).


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Sunday, June 9, 2013

This Father's Day Dinner is Sure To Please

Why not make that special dad in your life a wonderful dinner to say thanks for all the things he does? The Father's Day dinner I have planned, I've prepared several times and I can't take credit for the recipe. This one came from my weekly Publix circular several months ago, Prosciutto Steak and Arugula Salad. I just HAD to share this! Sounds delish, right?

There are three things I LOVE about this meal. Prosciutto, steak and arugula. What's not to love? I made some teensy, weensy changes to the recipe. I love the end result. Quite possibly the perfect steak dinner this side of....well....Perini's Ranch by which I compare all steak meals....

Which reminds me of that delicious meal I once had at a little steakhouse called Perini's Ranch in Buffalo Gap, TX many years ago. Maybe it was the ambience sitting at an old, thick wood table beside a roaring fire or the rustic décor or that we drove over cattle grates to get there, this place is authentic Texas steakhouse. The filet I ordered was so tender I could practically cut it with a fork not to mention the grilled onions and mushrooms and sourdough bread. My mouth is watering just thinking of that meal. Even though I am a clean eating and exercise FANATIC, I do indulge from time to time. All work and no play makes B a dull girl.....But I digress....

Here is a Father's Day Dinner That is Sure to Please....

Prosciutto Steak and Arugula Salad

3 Slices Prosciutto, torn into small pieces (I used an all-natural only salt and pork)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 Steaks of your choice
Season Salt
Special Ingredients
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup Sun-Dried Tomato Butter (recipe to follow)
1 bag Organic Arugula
2 Tbsp White Balsamic Glaze

Start the grill. Then season your steaks. I used this Mediterranean Season Salt (pic). Cook to your temperature preference. When the steak has about 5 minutes left of cooking, start the arugula salad. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and prosciutto. Sauté
until onions are soft. Add 1 TBSP of the sun-dried tomato butter. Once melted, add the arugula. Toss until just slightly wilted. Pour the white balsamic glaze on top and toss. Place some arugula on the plate, place your hot-off-the-grill steak on top and add one tablespoon of the sun-dried tomato butter to the steak.


Father's Day Prosciutto Steak and Arugula Salad







 
Sun-Dried Tomato Butter

4 TBSP of Margarine
4 Sundried Tomatoes, Sliced

Slice the sun-dried tomatoes in thin strips and mix well with the margarine. I make four tablespoons because I LOVE this stuff and use it on other things.















Is your mouth watering yet?
 
 
All nutritional information about this is available here. Personally it didn't matter because this was just so dang good!




Happy Cooking,
 
~B
 
 
 

 

 
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Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Escape Artist Strikes Again...

"Here we go again." I think this morning when my 2-year-old climbs in my bed at 5am. The Mavster groans and says a few choice words before walking her back to her room. While we are both sitting in the living room awaiting her return from her room after having escaped, what I thought was, the inescapable crib, I look over at Mav and say "ya gotta give it to her, she is tenacious and determined which are all REALLY great qualities." To which his only response is a flick of his wrist playing whatever game it is he's playing on his phone. Mav is not a morning person...

As I wrote a few weeks ago, our little Houdini was escaping her crib and having parties in her brothers room at 2 am. By parties I mean, screaming, jumping on the bed, lights on, kinda raucous parties....Needless to say, the Mav and I were determined to FIX this. We tried several things, none of which worked. See our 6 year old never did this. He would just wake at 5 am screaming. If I had to choose, I kinda like Ms. Escape Artist's wake up call. At least she is quietly coming in my room to give me "huggies"...

Then we had an epiphany, take the springs out and put the mattress on the floor. Great idea!!! It took her a whole 2 days to figure out she could climb out....So much for that brilliant idea.....

I even tried a little bit of a guilt trip. I figured since I was up at 5am I might as well fold the laundry that's been sitting in the dryer since yesterday afternoon. While she was attempting to fold and I was actually folding, I said "If mommy wasn't awake right now, I wouldn't be folding laundry" as I look at the clock which reads 5:54 am. At least the laundry's done...for now.





Thursday, June 6, 2013

Simple Grilled Pineapple-Orange Smoothie: So Clean, So Healthy and So Delish!

Summer Smoothie
Pineapple Orange Smoothie

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Thanks for visiting armylifeaviatorwife.blogspot.com. Welcome! I hope you enjoy your time on this site! I have this simple, basic and ooooh sooo yummy and healthy Grilled Pineapple Orange Smoothie. This smoothie will take you to the beaches of Hawaii and the cool, crisp freshness of the trade wind's blowing in the palm trees.

After living in Hawaii for over 7 years, I have a lot of great pineapple recipes. Rarely do we have left over grilled pineapple, but when we do I make this smoothie the next day! I love this recipe because it is so quick, so easy to make in the mornings to take me back to my precious Hawaii or to cool off from an afternoon of summer fun. My kids LOVE it! This delicious smoothie reminds me of sitting on a lanai enjoying the breeze!


Cool Grilled Pineapple Orange Smoothie

1/2 Cup Real Orange Juice (I use Simply Orange)
1 Cup Fresh Grilled Pineapple
1 Cup Ice
1/2 Cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt (I always use Chobani) or 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 Fresh Lemon

Add all ingredients but lemon to your blender. Squeeze lemon juice on top. Blend until smooth. All of my recipes are simple, basic and easy for anyone to try. I believe that fresh, healthy food doesn't need many ingredients to taste delicious! So smooth, so crisp, so summer!
 
Happy Summer,

~B

Do you have any favorite smoothie recipes? I would love to hear them.



Easy Summer Fun Ideas for Kids!

With summer closing in and most kids out of school, many mommas, myself included, are scouring the Internet hoping to find ideas to keep their kids busy this summer. As I was doing my scouring, I found lots of ideas for summertime fun. Crafts that require what must take 2 hours to put together or messy ice cream sandwiches are not my cup of tea. It would melt in my house before I could get all the decorations placed and look like some scary alien leaking fluid instead of a cute little ladybug. My children don't have that much patience, therefore my summertime fun activities are simple, basic and easy. I found several local, low-cost summer camps, one at a local art studio!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summer Detox Beach Body, HIIT Training and Busting the Scales: The Conclusion

It has been four weeks since I wrote about the summer detox revolution with a detox "juice" I was going to try and, as promised, let you know my results. I will first start by saying in my original post which gives you the method and recipe for the Jillian Michaels' detoxification tea, the experiment is meant to last for seven days. To tell you the truth, I liked the way I felt and the way my clothes fit so much, I continued for a WHOLE MONTH! In fact, I drank a glass of it first thing this morning. As far as losing weight, I don't like the scale. I didn't weigh myself instead measuring my results on how my clothes fit. After working at a weight loss company and having our weekly weigh-ins every Monday morning, I cringe at the thought of stepping on the scale, EVER. I also began a new exercise regimen that I included below. I had some INCREDIBLE results!