muddy footsteps

Simple Summer Side Salad

Posted in Uncategorized by nicolejanaye on May 30, 2014

ImageWoa, that was a mouthful.

After whipping this recipe up, you’ll want a mouthful as well. In our household, we like to keep our dishes simple, easy to make, and of course keep it healthy. This salad was something I just came up with while looking through my refridgerator. I wanted a salad that had protein, was flavorful, and could be used as a delicious side to any meal or even by itself. The ingredients are easy to come by and I’ll guess that you have a majority of them already in your kitchen. Many of the ingredients can be replaced with similar ones for your preference and convenience. Try using parsley instead of cilantro, or perhaps use a blend of fresh herbs. Mix in fresh or sun-dried tomatoes to intensify the flavor of this salad. You can even make this a non-vegetarian dish but adding grilled chicken or roasted fish. There are so many ways to personalize this salad! Try this recipe out for tonight’s dinner or bring as a side to your next party.

 

ImageIngredients:

  • 1 yellow bell pepper; chopped
  • 1 cup roasted corn; (I use the frozen bags from Trader Joes)
  • 1/2 can (8oz) of black beans; drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 large cucumber; peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 red onion; chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese; crumbled
  • 10 kalamata olives; chopped
  • 1/2 lemon; juiced and zested
  • handful of cilantro; chopped
  • 1/8 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS Annies Organic Goddess Dressing (can be omited, but is a great addition!)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

 

As far as directions, just combine everything. I told you it was simple.

Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Fall Waffles

Posted in Breakfast, coffee, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, Paleo, Protein by nicolejanaye on November 13, 2012

My alarm was set for 6:50 am, workout clothes laid neatly on the floor, and my body was warm and cozy deeply hidden amongst a mountain of blankets. My intentions for the morning were to rise and sweat my tush off at the gym. The stair master has been my choice of cardio equipment for the past few days since I re-introduced the kindle fire back into my life. I loaded up Netflix and Hulu Plus onto this godsend of a gadget and it has me completely consumed and distracted while I torch away calories and build up sweat puddles on those endlessly revolving steps.

The alarm goes off. I’m one of those rare breeds that doesn’t prefer to smash down the snooze button and I don’t have the need for my alarm clock to sound like a fire engine five inches from my face. However, today was a different story and I wasn’t ready to get up and get moving. I’ve been busting my booty, literally, in the gym and outside everyday and this was just my body telling me that I needed rest. I decided to sleep in, have a relaxing morning, and make a comforting breakfast.I burried my way back into the sheets and shut my eyes for what seemed to be another hour. Soon enough fall aromas were going to be perfuming my kitchen and creeping their way throughout the remainder of the house.  

Butternut Squash Fall Waffles

These waffles are perfect to share between you and your significant other on a cold and quiet morning. A sprinkle of nuts, a handful of dried fruit, and a ladle of maple syrup on top will be enough  to give yourself a foodgasm. Their fall flavors are the perfect match to a steaming, hot cup of coffee.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup roasted butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup pecans (optional: sauté pecans in a little bit of coconut oil prior to mixing with batter. It will bring out the flavors in the nut)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 egg + 2 whites
  • 4 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • pinch of sea salt
  • coconut oil/butter (to lubricate the waffle maker)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients, except for pecans, raisins, and coconut oil/butter, into mixer and mix until thoroughly combined. The temperature of your kitchen could change the consistency slightly. Adjust the coconut flour and/or almond milk to suit the desired consistency. You want your batter to be thick, but a little liquidy. If it’s too thick, add more milk. If it’s too thin, add more flour.
  2. Add pecans and raisins to the batter and continue mixing just until combined.
  3. Heat your waffle maker and lubricate with coconut oil/butter.
  4. Add batter to maker and cook until done.
  5. Serve warm, flooded with toppings, and right alongside a mug of your favorite morning beverage.

Topping options: Pure maple syrup, Walden Farms syrup, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews), nut butter, coconut butter, powdered sugar…

Also, I finally made the switch from the url of muddyfootsteps.wordpress.com to muddyfootsteps.com . It’s easier to access, remember, and hopefully share with your friends and family. To make reading my blog posts and having access to new recipes easier, subscribe to my blog and you will receive an email each time I make a new post.

Protein Thin Mint Cookies & Froyo

Posted in Dessert, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Protein by nicolejanaye on October 2, 2012

The lovely ladies from Purelytwins came up with this sweet, rich cookie that satisfies any chocolate craving and packs a punch of protein. They have a few variations of the thin mint cookie on their blog, but this recipe sounded best to me. I paired a few cookies with some frozen yogurt for my pre-workout meal. This combination could really be eaten at anytime of the day, it just so happened that my sweet tooth kicked in right before I was heading to the gym.

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For the frozen yogurt all I did was take a single serving sized container of Greek yogurt and stuck it in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. While that’s freezing, start making your thin mints.

Servings: 4 thin mints
Ingredients
-1/3 cup chocolate protein powder
-1/4 cup + 1 TBS cocoa
-2 TBS water
-1 TBS coconut oil
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp peppermint extract
-2 packets of stevia

Directions
1. Mix all the ingredients together until it’s one cohesive mixture.
2. Scoop cookies onto a parchment covered plate and flatten out.
3. Freeze for 10+ minutes.

It’s as simple as that! Try scooping some froyo in between two cookies and make yourself an ice cream sandwich!

Hope you enjoy 🙂

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Baked Tofu

Posted in Breakfast, dinner, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch by nicolejanaye on September 23, 2012

20120923-115644.jpgI used to work at a coffee shop & café when I lived further down south. We made breakfast and lunch with food items ranging from egg sandwiches on croissants, a variety of salads, apple chicken sandwiches, chili, and quesadillas. We had a great selection of meals, but one of the greatest things that interested me when I first applied there was the incorporation of vegetarian and vegan meals. Their vegan chili was excellent, hearty, and could please even the regular meat-eater. The veggie sandwiches were loaded with sprouts, spreads, cucumbers, avocado, and the rest of the garden vegetables you could think up. However, there were two dishes in particular that caught my eye. The baked tofu sandwich, and baked tofu salad were staring me straight at me. I think the idea of this foreign, white, spongy ingredient scares most people (rightfully so), but if you know how to play with the ingredients in the right combination and the correct cooking methods then you found yourself a winner.

It’s been about a year since I’ve worked there, but I’ll go in to order the salad or sandwich every once in a while so I can enjoy those meaty tofu slabs.

Servings: 24 tofu slices

Ingredients
-2 packages of medium firm tofu
-3 Tbs balsamic glaze
-3 Tbs liquid aminos (soy sauce works if you don’t have liquid aminos)
-2 tsp teriyaki ginger rub (combination of garlic, onion, ginger, soy sauce powder, chiles, spices, and sea salt)
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp coconut oil

Directions
1. TOFU WILL NEED TO MARINADE FOR 8+ HOURS, so keep this in mind when you decide to make the recipe. I like to marinade at night so that it’s ready to bake in the morning.
2. Completely drain all liquid from tofu, press in between towel or paper towels to push more of the excess liquid out.
3. Slice each tofu block into 12 slices (slice with your knife parallel to the shorter side of the tofu).
4. Mix all ingredients, except tofu, in a bowl and then pour into a flat dish (You will be marinading your tofu in this overnight so make sure the dish is a suitable size to allow all pieces of tofu to be coated).
5. Place tofu slices into marinade and let sit in the fridge, covered, for overnight or up to 8 hours. (The longer it sits, the more flavor it absorbs. Also, the more liquid pressed out in the beginning of the directions, the more flavor the tofu will be able to absorb as well.)
6. Once completely marinaded, lay the slices on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

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Healthy Protein Peanut Butter Cups

Posted in exercise, Food & Recipes, Health/Nutrition by nicolejanaye on September 22, 2012

I’ve been in a flurry of moods craving some sweetness back in my life and also getting in the kitchen to whip up some new recipes. I was browsing through youtube channels and a recipe caught my eye, these healthy protein peanut butter cups. Sounds intruiging, right? Michael Kory at Lean Body Lifestyle came up with this recipe for these delicious, protein-packed cups. Through some trial and error, I would recommend either spraying/oiling your muffin pan paper liners with a little bit of coconut oil to help the cups pop out when they are finished. Normally, if you were just melting and freezing regular chocolate, you would have no problem with pulling the liners off the cup, but with this recipe it’s a little bit more challenging. Either way, these puppies are delicious, packed with protein, have barely any sugar, and are great post-workout (because of their quick digesting whey protein) and before bed (because of their slow digesting micellar casein and minimal amount of sugar).

 

Serving size: 2 cups

Ingedients/Supplies

  • Muffin pan paper liners
  • 2 small bowls
  • wisk
  • 1 scoop protein (* I use Pro7ein Synthesis chocolate powder)
  • 2 TBS PB2
  • 1 TBS cocoa
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1/8 cup water + 1 TBS
  1. Mix the protein, cocoa, stevia, and 1/8 cup of water in a bowl. (It may seem like there isn’t enough water, but continue mixing and there should definitely be enough).
  2. Take half of the chocolate mixture and pour into 2 oiled muffin pan linings. (Think of a peanut butter cup, there is chocolate on the bottom, sides and top. You want to make sure that a decent sized layer is covering the majority of the liner. I pour in a small amount and pick of the liner and tip it so it coats the entire surface.)
  3. Let freeze for 30 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix PB2 with 1 TBS of water. Continue mixing until a creamy consistancy results. Divide the pb2 mixture in half and place one scoop in each of your cups. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  5. Finally, add the remainder of chocolate on top of your pb2 and freeze for 20 minutes. I like to store the cups on a plate or baking sheet while freezing, and I bang the sheet down on the table a few times before freezing to make sure there are no bubbles and the layers lay flat.

Stats for 1 cup: 106 calories, 5g carbs, 0.5g sugar, 1.5g fat, and 20g protein.

I hope they turn out for you guys just as great as they did for me!

 

Salted Peanut Chocolate Protein Pudding

Posted in Dessert, Uncategorized by nicolejanaye on July 10, 2012

 

Well that was a mouthful. I’ve been hooked on this pudding the past month and have been playing around with ingredients to completely change the flavor of the pudding. I’ve tried espresso, chocolate cherry, and salted pecan. The basic recipe is very simple and it just takes a little bit of creativity to come up with new flavors. I’ve also been rearranging the sweeter ingredients so that I can have it anytime of the day without feeling a little guilty. If you crave some rich chocolate dessert near the end of the night, try omitting the chocolate chips and add more protein powder and cocoa.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup  soy/almond/coconut milk
  • 16oz. firm tofu (drained)
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (I use Rainbow Light)
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 stevia packets
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (melted)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Simply combine all of the ingredients (except the peanuts) in a food processor. Fold in the peanuts after the mixture has been thoroughly combined. Pour into a mug, mason jar or any type of ceramic bowl and refrigerate. You can eat the pudding right away but I recommend waiting at least a few hours for the pudding to thicken up. It’s best eaten the next day!

Veggie Lentil Bowl- 5 Ingredients

Posted in Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition by nicolejanaye on November 17, 2011

It’s been a while and what better way to end a blogging fast than by introducing a new recipe. I’ve been hooked on lentils lately, not just because their filling qualities or their endless food combinations but the amount of nutrients stored in these small pods.

I’ve been introducing a variety of vegetables and grains to the lentils to produce different meals to keep my taste buds constantly entertained. The most common players are quinoa, sun-dried tomatoes, and tofu. Tonight was a great combination that was full of nutrients, flavor, satiety, and energy for my late night workout.

This dinner is much easier than you would assume, cheap to make, and uses only 5 ingredients! Let’s dig in.

 

Veggie Lentil Bowl

  • 1/4 tsp kosher/sea salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup dried lentils; cooked
  • 8 large brussel sprouts; quartered

Directions:

  1. Soak lentils in water while you prepare the pot to cook them. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot (with a lid). Rinse lentils and add to the pot. Continue the boil for 2 minutes and then reduce to a simmer. After a few minutes, take the lid off and simmer for an additional 10-20 minutes.
  2. Add oil to a skillet and heat on the stove top. Add chopped brussel sprouts and a little bit of water. Cover and let cook on medium heat for 2-4 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking until brussel sprouts get a golden color on some of the sides, but remain green on the majority of the vegetable.
  3. Combine brussel sprouts, cooked lentils, sun-dried tomatoes and salt to a bowl and mix.

I enjoy drizzling balsamic vinegar on top to further enhance the flavors and give the meal a unique twist. If you think you’re not a fan of brussel sprouts, try roasting them. Experiment with other ingredients. Add garlic, quinoa, and carrots. Try making a breakfast bowl by combining tofu, spinach, and roasted walnuts. Enjoy!

 

 

simple living

Posted in Breakfast, Food & Recipes by nicolejanaye on April 9, 2011

How to explain the things rambling through my mind…These last few months have been a whirlwind. It’s weird but I’ve slowly been sinking into a life of monotonous agendas, routines that I could do blind folded, and eating food that my stomach recognizes so intently that it could cook itself, blind folded.

Moving back to a ‘city’ where a car is needed to get from A to B and all the way to Z is somewhat exhausting. I dislike driving, I always have. I don’t like the idea of dropping $50+ in that tub of oil that is fueling my vehicle to puff out fumes and exhaust in the streets. I would much rather be riding my bike, walking, heck even jump roping to do these routines. But in a city where I live twenty minutes driving distance away, have hills that when you climb them you can see your gas tank drop, and gym bags full of shower care to clean me up after I sweat a pound or two, it’s difficult to manage all that while rollerblading to school or work. It’s not just driving that has gotten to me, but the technology that is consuming my life.

I think I’ve fried my brain of technology. To be honest, I don’t watch tv. I think it’s a waste of time, makes you lazy and should only be used for limited pleasure, on occasion. However, the computer and internet consume a lot of my time. I don’t like that. I tweet, facebook and check my email too often to be true. This glow on my computer screen has practically turned into a night-light. I used to be this adventurous girl, rafting class 5 white waters, climbing 200 foot walls in between a high flowing waterfall. I used to ride my bike everyday to class, use the outdoors as my gym, play softball and football on a regular basis. My closest connection to the outdoors is nature sounds radio playing on my phone as I fall asleep. I’m extremely blessed to be in a beautiful home, a room to myself, my own bathroom and fireplace, warm blankets and an amazing view to come home to every night. Not that I’ve taken advantage of this lifestyle, but I think I’ve lost my appreciation for it and forget that I’m lucky to have a roof over my head. 

I’ve had debates about today’s technology numerous times. I think it’s amazing the things that our world has created, developed, and we continue to push the limits. However, I think most of us have abused the technology. It’s here to make our world easier but not to consume us.  Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler helped create the first car, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, Charles Babbage was the first to conceptualize the computer, and without these inventions we wouldn’t be where we are today. But this isn’t for us to take over our lives. It’s to help make things easier, more convenient, and let you run the rest of your day with ease.

This past week I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I took a day to myself and went in search for inspiration; inspiration for my life, for my future career, for my education, and for today. I was guided in the right direction and began to explore it. I found this saying, “the secret of a better life is: eating right, working out, sleeping well, indulging responsibly, and reading.” I would have to add laughing often, to complete it.

My goal from here on out is to focus on school. I need to finish my college education so that I don’t need to be working out a coffee shop any longer. I’m going to limit my computer time for school, the occasional blog post and indulging in the social media in small amounts, well smaller than what I’ve been doing. Riding my bike to school and work isn’t an option for me right now, but I’m going to try to minimize my driving time as much as possible. When I eat, I’m going to eat. I’m not going to check out twitter, update my facebook status, drive, put on make-up or do anything else but focus on what’s happening at that moment. Now don’t think I’m turning into this crazy hippie, I’m just trying to get back to my roots, to things I truly enjoy in life, and feel better about the way I chose to live my life. I’m working on an article for a magazine my school is creating. The title is ‘simple eating’. If I strive to eat foods with simple, healthy ingredients, shouldn’t I be living my life that way as well?

Today is a new beginning and now it’s my turn to focus on the present. I want to leave you all with a quick meal that I whipped up for breakfast. After I submit the ‘publish’ button, it’s my time to get the day going.

Cheers!

High-protein breakfast scramble

Ingredients

  • Eggs (cage free & organic) *
  • Black beans
  • Quinoa
  • Garlic oil or sun-dried tomato oil (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook your quinoa as directed on the box. Near the end of the cooking process, I like to add garlic oil to the quinoa. If you roast garlic cloves in a baking sheet, covered with olive oil, it will emit a wonderful liquid that can be used as you would olive oil. Plus, it has an incredible taste.
  2. Whether you choose to use a can of black beans (rinsed, of course) or cook your own, heat them up in a separate pan, drizzled with your choice of oil. Don’t be afraid of olive oil. I use a small amount, but it’s healthy fat. People are so afraid of avocados, olive oil, and nuts but decide to eat a snickers bar sometime during the day. Our bodies need healthy fat. Don’t be afraid of it.
  3. Combine the black beans and quinoa and crack an egg or two over the mixture. Sometimes I scramble them and other times I keep them sunny-side up.
  4. Top with fresh basil.

*You can find this list somewhere on the internet but there are 10 foods that should ALWAYS be consumed organic. Eating 100% organic is amazing but not many people can afford to eat this way. However, eggs made the list and should always be consumed as organic.

 

 

Learned my lesson

Posted in Food & Recipes by nicolejanaye on January 14, 2011

Speaking of hypocrites. Sorry folks, but today I took a fat bite out of the hypocritical cake.

On a regular basis it’s important to eat balanced meals so that you are getting plenty of vitamins and nutrients. If you work out on top of your usual routine, it’s imperative to get plenty of protein, calories and electrolytes. Well this past week has been a fun little doozy for me. Last Thursday I had 4 wisdom teeth pulled. Good times.

So this week I’ve been laying off the gym and living off bananas, sweet potatoes, and soy yogurt. I’ve somewhat gotten to a point where I’m tired of eating and making food. I can hardly open my mouth and can only chew with my front chompers. It’s exhausting and I’m sick of not being able to eat properly. Needless to say, I haven’t been getting enough nutrients and calories. I went to bed hungry last night and woke up hungry. Unfortunately bad timing because I had training at the gym at 6:30 AM. I live 2o minutes away and I like to get there early to warm up. This meaning, I have to wake up extra early to be there on time. I managed to shovel down a banana and take literally two sips from a protein drink. Let’s just say the end of the workout wasn’t so swell. I actually managed to do the entire workout pretty well for the mind and body set I was in, but I was somewhat a mess afterwards.

I’ve learned my lesson.

So from this experience I would like to share with you guys this healthy dish. It’s perfect for a post-workout meal and filled with plenty of protein.

When you exercise and work out muscles, you are literally tearing the tissue apart. You NEED protein to help build the muscle back. Each element of this meal has a good source of protein.

Ingredients

  • Quinoa
  • Black beans
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Eggs
  • Salt(Kosher or Sea Salt ONLY)/Pepper

Directions

  1. Prepare the quinoa accordingly to the box. Make them a tad bit undone because they will be cooked further later in the meal.
  2. Cook your own black beans or strain/wash a can of organic black beans. Combine the black beans and quinoa in a medium sauté pan. Add a portion of sun-dried tomatoes with a tablespoon of olive oil to the combination. Sprinkle with salt and crackle some black pepper over top. Once everything has been warmed, transfer your dish to a plate.
  3. Fry up two eggs in the pan and place on top of the black bean/quinoa mixture. I like to cook them just enough so that the yolk is still liquid, so that when you transfer them on top of your mixture, you can slice the yolk and it will run throughout the rest of the food.

I hope this dish seems as appetizing to you as it does for me. Now it’s time to get my butt back into gear and eat plenty of food!