Tag Archives: lifestyle

Veggie Flatbread Pizzas

I made these as a last minute snack last week, and loved them SO much that I just have to share them with you! Crispy flatbreads, loaded with home made spinach pesto sauce and veggies are the perfect meal to fill you up, yet leave you feeling light on your feet. Plus, they totally satisfy that pizza craving…anybody with me?!

I hope you will try these with your favorite veggies and let me know what you thought.

Enjoy,

-C

You will need to first whip up a batch of my delicious, creamy home made Spinach Pesto sauce.

spinach pesto

For these flatbreads, you will need:

  • 100 grams thinly sliced zucchini
  • 50 grams sliced bell pepper
  • 60 grams sliced mushrooms
  • 75 grams fresh sliced roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fat free mozzarella
  • 4 tablespoons Spinach Pesto
  • crushed red pepper and spinach & parmesan seasoning from Johnny’s
  • Flat Out Pizza bread, rosemary and olive oil

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Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. While the oven heats up, slice your veggies and make the pesto. I like to use this as an opportunity to cut extra veggies, so I can make more flatbreads later, or throw the veggies in with a quesadilla or scramble.

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Lay 2 flatbreads out on a cookie sheet and place in the oven to pre-cook for 5 minutes. Remove the flatbreads from the oven, and top with pesto, cheese and veggies evenly. Sprinkle with your seasonings, and place into the oven for 15-20 more minutes. I like mine a little on the crispy side, so I usually do the full 20 minutes.

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Once the pizzas are done, pull them out and serve while they are still warm. Enjoy!

Macros for 2 flatbread pizzas:

Calories: 546

Fat: 17.8g

Carb: 64.2g

Protein: 42g

Fiber: 12.6g

Spinach Pesto

This sauce is bright and tangy, colorful and simply delicious. It is divine on flatbread pizzas, toast, eggs, chicken, rice and more. Whip up a batch and try it for yourself!

Check out my recipe for Veggie Flatbread Pizzas using this delicious pesto sauce.

Enjoy,

Crystal

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100 grams raw spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • basil leaves, approx 40
  • salt and pepper

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Combine all ingredients in the blender or food processor, and blend until smooth and creamy. You may want to add up to 1/4 cup water as you are blending until you achieve the desired consistency.

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Recipe makes 16 servings. One serving is a tablespoon.

Per 2 tablespoons:

Calories
85
Total Fat
6.8g
Sat. Fat
0.8g
Cholest.
0mg
Sodium
9.1mg
Carb.
3.9g
Fiber
2.6g
Sugars
0.8g
Protein
5.1g

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Week 1 Food Prep – Part 2

week 2 final

FOOD PREP PART 2:

Today, we will be preparing everything we need for the next 5 days. Prep time approximately 1.5 hours.

On the menu for the next 5 days: Broccoli soup, Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps, Pesto Quinoa, Fruit Salad, Oats & Berries, Green Salad w/Black Beans & Chicken, Cilantro Avocado Dressing, Sweet Potato, Grilled Artichokes, Pesto Turkey w/Kale, Chocolate Bananas & Scrambled Egg Wraps.

You will need:

  • Chicken breasts (3)
  • 1 Cup Quinoa (rinsed)
  • Broccoli (3 lg. bunches)
  • Celery (3 cups, chopped)
  • Baby Carrots
  • Onion & Bell Pepper Mixture (2 cups, chopped)
  • 5 Cloves Garlic
  • Basil & Cilantro (1 bunch ea.)
  • Berries & Other Fruits
  • Grapes or Apples (1 cup sliced or chopped)
  • Butter Lettuce (1 head)
  • Spring Mix (half container)
  • 1 Can Low Sodium Black Beans (rinsed)
  • Pine Nuts (sm. bag)
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemons (2)
  • Sweet Potato (1)
  • Extra Lean Ground Turkey (1 lb)
  • Kale (1 lg. bunch)
  • Artichokes (2)
  • Bananas (3)
  • Dark Chocolate Bar
  • Almond or Peanut Butter
  • Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • Raw Almonds (1/2 cup, chopped)
  • Seasonings

***Store turkey meat in refrigerator to thaw out, and place kale in fridge until later this week.

To begin, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a pyrex dish with 1/2 inch water, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place dish in oven along with your sweet potato, and set the timer for 35 minutes.

FOOD PREP 005Next, fill a large pot with both artichokes, and fill 3/4 with water. Cover and let boil until artichokes become soft at the base – appx. 45 minutes depending on the size.

black book and hiking 190Next, get another large pot to make broccoli soup in. Add 2 cups chopped celery, 1 cup chopped carrots, and 1 cup chopped onion, along with 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil, & 5 cloves garlic (peeled.) I used the leftover mixture of bell peppers and onions from earlier in the week when we made fajitas!

044Sautee all ingredients until they become soft and fragrant. Next add chopped florets of broccoli, 1/4 bunch of fresh cilantro, and 1/4 bunch fresh basil (stems and all.) Add about 10 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook until broccoli becomes fragrant and slightly soft. Set aside.

058I like to use this bullion as seasoning, but you may use whatever spices you like, or whatever you have in your cabinet! I used 3 tablespoons “Better than Bullion,” and salt and pepper to season my soup.

054While your soup simmers, and while the chicken, potato and artichokes cook, it’s time to prepare the pesto sauce, fruit salad, chicken salad fixins, and snacks.

Slice all of your fruit and mix together until you have approximately 4 cups of fruit salad. I used blueberries and strawberries. 🙂

052

Next up, grab a large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup sliced red grapes or apples, 1 cup chopped celery, and 1/2 cup chopped or sliced raw almonds.

049068Set mixture aside for later. Next up, gather 3 medium sized containers to pre-make salads in. Add spring mix, carrots, cabbage and cucumber. While you have the carrots handy, portion out 3 small bags for snacks.

056Add leaves from 1/2 bunch of remaining cilantro, and rinsed black beans. I chose to leave a small amount of beans off my salad to enjoy with my eggs later on in the week!

060Next up, you will need a food processor or blender. We are going to whip up that pesto before the chicken is done!

In the food processor, add remaining fresh basil, including the stems. Add small bag of pine nuts, 3 tablespoons olive oil, juice from 2 lemons, salt and pepper. Blend until you have a smooth paste, approx 3 mins. Transfer mixture into a new bowl, and rinse food processor.

046Now it’s time to pull the chicken out of the oven. Leave the potato in there, and turn the heat up to 400 degrees. Set your timer for 35 more minutes.

While the potato and artichokes continue cooking, let’s move on. In a medium sauce pot, add 1 cup rinsed quinoa and 1 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to a simmer and let sit for 25-30 minutes, or until all the moisture is evaporated. This should time well with the remaining cooking time of your potato.

047

Now it’s time to whip up our soup. Using a blender and a large bowl to store, add soup mixture in batches until it is pureed nicely. I like to add a little nutritional yeast, and any last minute seasonings during this part. We will be eating this yummy soup for the next few days!

broccolisoup.jpg We are almost done! It’s time to whip up some dressing for our yummy salads.

064

Using your food processor, add 1/2 avocado, 1 tablespoon Ms. Dash fiesta lime, 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or olive oil,) all remaining cilantro – leaves and stems, and blend until smooth, add salt and pepper to taste.

065Transfer to an airtight container. This stuff makes a great dipping sauce for those carrots, a tasty dressing for salads, or a spread for eggs!

063It should be time to take your potato out of the oven. Turn the oven onto broil HI. Take your artichokes off heat, and drain all the water. Pour cooked quinoa into a large mixing bowl.

053Add 3/4 of the pesto to your quinoa, and store the remaining pesto in a small container.

061Stir quinoa thoroughly and portion into 3 containers.

062Now slice your sweet potato into rounds, sprinkle with cinnamon (optional) and store in 2 baggies or tupperwares.

FOOD PREP 022

Now slice each artichoke into halves, and using a spoon, remove the inner prickly leaves. Lay halves onto a cookie sheet, and spread a thin layer of your extra pesto sauce onto each one. Store the remaining pesto for dinner later this week. Place artichokes under the broiler for 10 minutes, or until top sides begin to brown. Remove, turn off oven, and store artichokes in a tupperware. I used little tiny baby artichokes, hence the full cookie sheet. You should be left with 4 halves of regular size chokes.

black book and hiking 193We have 2 more tasks! Great job keeping up. 🙂 Next up, let’s deal with that cooked chicken. Take 1 breast and store in a plastic bag for dinner in a few days. Use your remaining 2 breasts to finish the chicken salad.

067Chop chicken into small shred like pieces and add to bowl of grapes, celery and almonds. Add appx. 1 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt, salt and pepper, and 1 teaspoon ground cumin. (If you have it.)

069Combine all ingredients with a spoon or fork. Transfer to an airtight container to store.

070Clean all butter lettuce leaves, dry on a paper towel, and store in a baggie for quick access.

071

Our last task for today is dessert! Well done! You will need to cover a cookie sheet with foil or wax paper, and lightly spray or coat with coconut or avocado oil.

075Slice bananas and lay out on the cookie sheet. Coat each banana with a small amount of almond butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon if you so desire. I did. 🙂 Top each banana with a small piece of your dark chocolate bar. Place tray into freezer for 30 minutes, remove, and transfer bananas to a ziplock back. Store in the freezer until you are ready to eat! YUM.

077Alright, guys. I know that was a lot of work, but you have just prepared EVERYTHING you need to eat for the next 5 days straight. Think about how much more productive you can be, and more focused on your workouts too! Now everything is laid out for you, and ready to go at the exact moment you are. 🙂

Don’t forget to refer to Part 1 of the food prep to see a daily meal schedule for all this delicious food you’ve prepared.

Cheers, and bon apetit!

Crystal

074
Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Week 1 Menu and Grocery List

Week1MENU

This week’s menu includes tacos, soup, breakfast burritos, chocolate bananas, oatmeal, chicken salad, and home made pesto! We will be preparing a few dishes ahead of time, and I will show you how to use your ingredients in several different ways to keep your nutrition interesting and flavorful.

For this week’s menu, you will need to stock up on a few things at the grocery store first. Some of these things will repeat next week, and you may have leftovers that you can use in next week’s menu as well!

PROTEINS:

  • Chicken breasts (6)
  • Extra lean ground turkey (1lb)
  • Eggs (12)
  • Fish filet of your choice (1)
  • Egg whites (2 large cartons)
  • 0% Greek Yogurt and/or 2% Cottage Cheese (optional)
  • Protein powder of your choice (optional)

FATS:

  • Almonds (raw)
  • Avocado (3)
  • Kind bars (optional)
  • Almond butter (no added oils or sugars)
  • Almond milk (unsweetened)
  • Pine nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds (for sprinkling)

CARBS:

  • Quinoa
  • Black beans (1 can, low sodium)
  • Sweet potatoes (2 large)
  • Rolled oats (old fashioned)
  • Whole wheat tortillas (high fiber, low carb)
  • 1 bar dark chocolate (80% or higher)

FRUIT:

  • Berries
  • Bananas (3)
  • Red Grapes or (1) Apple
  • Lemons (6)
  • Misc. fruit of your choice

VEGGIES:

  • Butter lettuce (or large leaf lettuce for wraps)
  • 1 bunch kale (any)
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 1 bag spring mix
  • Baby carrots & celery
  • Mushrooms (white)
  • Bell peppers (3)
  • Broccoli (3 large heads)
  • Onions (2 large white)
  • Artichokes (2)
  • Cucumber (1)
  • Basil and Cilantro (1 bunch each)
  • Garlic (large head)
  • Cabbage (optional)

SPICES:

  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Ms. Dash fiesta lime flavor
  • Cumin
  • Coconut, olive, grapeseed or avocado oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • Red wine, balsamic, or apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • Agave sweetener (optional)

WEEKLY MENU BREAKDOWN:

WEDNESDAY, MAY 6: (FOOD PREP DAY)

  • Breakfast: Lemon water, Egg scramble with 2 eggs, 1 cup egg whites, mushrooms and avocado. Fruit salad (berries etc.)
  • Snack: Cottage cheese (1 cup), berries, kind bar or small handful of raw almonds
  • Lunch: Salad with grilled chicken (4oz)
  • Snack: Spinach smoothie (almond milk, ice, spinach, protein powder or fruit) & 1/2 sweet potato
  • Dinner: Chicken fajitas made with pre-cooked chicken (4oz), bell peppers and onions (freebies), whole wheat tortillas, & greek yogurt.

THURSDAY, MAY 7:

  • Breakfast: Lemon water. Breakfast burrito (or tacos) made with egg scramble: 1 egg, 1 cup egg whites, mushrooms, peppers and onions, greek yogurt, and whole wheat wrap.
  • Snack: Baby carrots. Kind bar (or handful of raw almonds)
  • Lunch: Green salad with chicken breast (4oz)
  • Snack: Cottage cheese (1 cup) & berries
  • Dinner: Pan seared fish filet of your choice, steamed broccoli & 1/2 sweet potato.

FRIDAY, MAY 8: (FOOD PREP DAY)

  • Breakfast: Lemon water. Fruit salad. 2 poached eggs
  • Snack: Scrambled egg whites, almond butter, whole wheat wrap.
  • Lunch: Chicken salad lettuce wraps
  • Snack: Pesto quinoa salad. Frozen chocolate bananas.
  • Dinner: Broccoli soup. Grilled artichokes.

SATURDAY, MAY 9:

  • Breakfast: Lemon water. Oats w/ berries, seeds & almond milk. (protein powder & agave sweetener – optional)
  • Snack: Kind bar. Pesto quinoa salad.
  • Lunch: Spinach smoothie. (Fruit, spinach, almond milk, ice – protein powder optional)
  • Snack: Chicken salad lettuce wraps. Sweet potato.
  • Dinner: Broccoli soup. Green salad w/black beans & cilantro.

SUNDAY, MAY 10:

  • Breakfast: Lemon water. Oats w/berries, seeds & almond milk. (protein powder & agave sweetener -optional)
  • Snack: Scrambled eggs (1 egg, 1 cup egg whites.) Kind bar.
  • Lunch: Broccoli soup. Pesto quinoa salad.
  • Snack: Baby carrots. Cottage cheese & fruit.
  • Dinner: Ground turkey (extra lean, 1/2 lb) with kale sautee & grilled artichokes. Frozen chocolate bananas.

MONDAY, MAY 11:

  • Breakfast: Lemon water. Egg scramble (2 eggs, 1 cup egg whites, mushrooms, cilantro, avocado) on whole wheat wrap w/greek yogurt.
  • Snack: Cottage cheese & fruit. Kind bar.
  • Lunch: Green salad w/ cilantro & black beans. Spinach Smoothie.
  • Snack: Baby carrots. Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps.
  • Dinner: Ground turkey (extra lean, 1/2 lb) with kale sautee & sweet potato.

TUESDAY, MAY 12:

  • Breakfast: Lemon water. Oats w/ berries, seeds & almond milk. (protein powder & agave sweetener – optional)
  • Snack: Egg scramble (1 egg, 1 cup egg whites.) Almond butter & whole wheat wrap.
  • Lunch: Broccoli soup. Fruit salad.
  • Snack: Baby carrots. Spinach smoothie.
  • Dinner: Chicken taco salad w/ chicken breast (4oz,) black beans, avocado, greek yogurt, cilantro. Frozen chocolate bananas.

Black Book Challenge: Week 1 Workout Schedule

WEEK1workouts

Welcome to my second Black Book Challenge! Today we will be embarking together on this 60 day Body Transformation Series. I want to say first and foremost how proud and excited I am that you have decided to take this opportunity to better your health and fitness with me, while getting a KILLER physique in the process. I will be here with you every step of the way, doing each workout with you, and offering support and guidance throughout the challenge.

Our schedule for workouts this week is designed to ease us into the feeling of working different muscle groups, and kick start our metabolism with a couple cardio days as well. I have included a day for lower body, abs, and full body, with 2 cardio days and 2 rest days.

  • DAY 1: Back Side Boot Camp – Remember, weights are optional. You will need a stability ball for this workout. If you don’t have one, use a bench, couch or coffee table, and replace these exercises with regular or one legged glute bridges.
  • DAY 2: Ab Meltdown – You do not need any equipment for this workout. Remember to push as hard as you can for each interval, and make the most of this short workout. If you are having trouble with any of the exercises, just try to hold a plank for the entire duration of the interval!
  • DAY 3: Cardio Day – Today’s only task is to complete 30 minutes of cardio – your choice! I want to see you out there getting your heart rate up, and keeping it up. Go for a vigorous bike ride, a run, a strenuous uphill hike, do some jump rope intervals, swimming, etc. but get it done!
  • DAY 4: REST DAY! – The only thing on your agenda today is to recover. Drink lots of water, refuel with wholesome nutrition, and either do some foam rolling, or a short stretch routine.
  • DAY 5: Endless Summer Sweat – This workout is a full body circuit, to be completed as a time challenge! Move as quickly as you can between exercises, and record your time for future reference. 😉 😉 Also, if you are having trouble with the reptile push ups, just hold a high plank, and try to bring your knees to your elbows – leaving the push ups out completely. Weights are optional for this workout, but you know your ability level, and if it is too easy for you without them, get something heavy in there for the extra challenge!
  • DAY 6: Easy Cardio Day – Today’s task is to complete 30-60 minutes of cardio of your choice. Go for a long walk, short easy jog, walk up a long hill, go for a hike or easy long bike ride, do some yard work, etc.
  • DAY 7: REST DAY! – Today, I want everyone to re-fuel, re-hydrate, and mentally prepare for next week’s workouts. Reflect on how your body feels, how your mental health is improving, and how you feel overall about your decision to get healthy. Cheers, and congratulations on your first week!!!

Black Book #2: 60 Day Body Transformation Series

blackbook2

I have always kept a journal of every workout I do. I have filled up 2 Black Notebooks with a variety of different routines, including high intensity interval style workouts, yoga inspired workouts, and weight lifting routines.

This month, I want to share my workouts with you in a unique format, combining exercise and nutrition for a comprehensive program designed to completely lean and shape your body in 60 days.

Starting May 6th, I will be posting weekly workout schedules that will include 4-5 workouts each week. These workouts will be mixed up to include HIIT, Body Sculpting, Cardio, and Recovery routines. Additionaly, every week I will include a shopping list with recipes, and easy to follow food prep instructions that will set you up to support your workout with clean flavorful nutrition.

If you want to take your training to the next level, I think you will really enjoy this program. Everything will be laid out for you, removing all the guess work. Commit to this program for only 60 days, and watch your body and mental health transform right before your eyes!

I will be with you every step of the way, so, WHO’S WITH ME?!

Cheers,

Crystal

Crockpot Chicken & Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Verde Chicken

Prepare to amaze yourself with this mouth watering crockpot “Chili Verde!” Sweet, spicy and tangy sauce with melt in your mouth pulled chicken – it is sure to have you coming back for seconds.

Try it on a whole wheat wrap with brown rice, avocado, radishes, and Greek yogurt, on top of a salad, or as part of a scramble for breakfast! The possibilities are endless.

It really is easy to make bright, flavorful dishes at home with just a few fresh ingredients!

Cheers, I hope you enjoy this recipe. 🙂

-Crystal

CROCK POT CHICKEN & ROASTED TOMATILLO SALSA

  • 12 large fresh tomatillos
  • 1 large while onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 small can of diced green chilis
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 large chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay tomatillos over a large cookie sheet and leave them in their skin. Chop the onion into large pieces and add them to the cookie sheet. Roast tomatillos and onions in the over for 30 minutes, or until they begin to char on top. Remove from oven and peel skins away from soft tomatillos. (Careful, they will be HOT!)

tomatillos

Using a food processor, combine tomatillos, onions, peeled garlic, cilantro, green chilis, seeded serrano pepper, lime juice, salt and pepper. Blend mixture until smooth.

tomatillo processor

tomatillos 2

green sauce

To make delicious crock pot chicken, simply add 4 large thawed chicken breasts to your crock pot, along with all of your Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, and a little sea salt. Cover and let cook on high for 3 hours. The chicken will pull apart very easily with a spoon, spatula, or fork. I just used a wooden spoon and smashed the chicken while it was still in the crock pot until it all pulled apart nicely.

Bon Apetit!

Slow Cooked Verde Chicken with Pineapple Salsa
Slow Cooked Verde Chicken with Pineapple Salsa