Kitchen Fitness: 3 Healthy Recipes

I love spending time in the kitchen trying new recipes. I love creating my own, but also love experimenting with recipes from food bloggers or friends. The three recipes I’m sharing tonight are not my own and credit is due.

My good friend Tana, fellow barre 3 fanatic, introduced me to two recipes from Love Your Lower Body, a book by barre 3 founder Sadie Lincoln. I’m addicted to both recipes and have made several tweaks to get them just right.

The last recipe I’m going to share was inspired by a co-worker during a conversation one day about pesto. I don’t know about you, but I could eat pesto pretty much everyday. What’s not to like?

First, let’s talk breakfast. I need it. If I go without, I am not pleasant to be around. Enter DIY muesli. You can buy muesli in the store, but it’s always packed with sugar and preservatives, and it can be expensive. The muesli recipe that Tana shared with me is not only easy, but also much more affordable. It’s become a breakfast staple for me. I mix it with almond milk and fresh berries. This recipe is gluten-free and vegan.

This muesli is packed with protein and keeps me full almost to lunchtime.

This muesli is packed with protein and keeps me full almost to lunchtime.

Here’s how I make it:

DIY Muesli

Ingredients
2 cups rolled oats
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 TB chia seeds or other seeds
2 TB golden raisins or other dried fruit
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup or more of fresh berries

Directions
Mix all the dry ingredients together and store in a Ziploc bag or airtight container. When ready to eat, the ratio of muesli to liquid is 1:1. I enjoy mine with unflavored almond milk, raspberries, blueberries, and half of a banana.

You can also eat this warm. Just heat up your water or milk and add to your muesli.

Next up is the best homemade protein bar I’ve had yet. Tana can tell you how many variations I’ve tried and none stand up to the recipe she uses from Love Your Lower Body. In the book, this recipe is called Protein Power “Barre” and is packed with 4g of protein. Not bad for a healthy snack! This recipe is gluten-free and vegan.

Here’s how I make it:

Protein Power “Barre”

Ingredients
6 dried figs (I use Mission figs)
2 TB coconut oil
1/4 cup sunflower butter (also called sun butter)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup almond flour/meal
Pinch of cinnamon
1 TB cacao powder
1 cup pecans

Here's a collection of the ingredients I use for the protein bars.

Here’s a collection of the ingredients I use for the protein bars.

Directions
1.
Add the figs, coconut oil, and sun butter to a food processor and pulse until blended. Add the raisins, coconut, almond meal/flour, cinnamon, and cacao powder. Process until well blended. (It should be a little chunky in texture.) Add the pecans and pulse until the mixture starts to resemble cookie dough.

Here's what the mixture should look like before you transfer it to the 8x8 pan.

Here’s what the mixture should look like before you transfer it to the 8×8 pan.

2. Transfer the mixture into an 8×8 pan lined with plastic wrap. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the mixture flat and evenly in the pan.
3. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into bars. Use within one week.

NOTE: There are many variations to this recipe, so be creative! Use whatever dried fruit you like. For example, the recipe calls for dried cranberries. I used golden raisins simply because I like those better and there is no added sugar. The recipe also calls for chocolate chips, but I used cacao powder instead.

These bars are great pre- or post-run. I also like to have one as a 3 p.m. snack or right before barre class.

This last recipe is intended to make chicken fun again!

Breaded Pesto Chicken

Ingredients
1-1.5 lbs of skinless chicken breast tenderloins
Homemade pesto (recipe from The Kitchn)
Traditional breadcrumbs
Panko breadcrumbs
Grated parmesan

Directions
1. Make pesto according to directions.
2. Put chicken tenders into a large Ziploc bag or sealable container. Add pesto and stir to cover chicken evenly. Put in refrigerator and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 375.
4. On a plate, pour about 1/2 cup of traditional breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup of Panko breadcrumbs, and about 1/4 cup grated parmesan. Stir with fingers to incorporate. NOTE: These measurements are all estimates. I usually eyeball it.
5. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
6. One by one, dip chicken tenders into breading. Shake off excess and place on baking sheet.
7. Bake for 7 minutes and then flip the tenders over. Cook for additional 7 minutes. If the tenders aren’t getting golden enough for you, try putting them under the broiler for 1-2 minutes.

I eat lots of vegetables, so here’s what dinner looked like tonight:

No shortage of veggies on my plate!

No shortage of veggies on my plate!

I hope you enjoy these recipes. If you have any recipes you’d like to share or want to leave feedback, please do. Happy eating!

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