Spring, I think, is finally here! This year, one of my new favorites has been lettuce wraps. Today for lunch, I made tuna ones. Here are the ingredients I used to make mine.
The core recipe is:
1 2-to-3 oz. package of tuna in water
about 1/4 c. of diced onion or green onions
1/4 cup diced bell peppers of your choice
3-4 diced up cherry tomatoes
1/2 to 1 whole avocado
1/2 t. sea salt (or 1/4 t. kosher salt)
1/4 t. fresh ground black pepper – or more to taste
Dressing part, you can use these options:
1 T. of lemon juice or rice vinegar
2 to 3 T. of olive oil (use 2 if the tuna is packed in oil; 3 if it’s packed in water)
Or plain greek yogurt or a “healthy mayo”, which I used to make my wraps today.
Then I just toss everything in a bowl, you just have to eyeball, if you need to add more of any of the ingredients. Make it to your liking. Then spread on romaine or butter lettuce.
This would work great for a lunch to pack for work, school, or a picnic, too.
Baked Bell Pepper Tacos
- 4 large bell peppers
- 3-4 cups taco filling (see below)
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese, extra as desired
- 3/4 cup chopped tomato
- 3/4 cup chopped lettuce
- cilantro and lime, as a tasty edible garnish
- FEISTY FILLING OPTIONS:
- 1lb ground beef, chicken, or turkey – seasoned your favorite way. You can use a combination of enchilada sauce (homemade or store bought) and homemade taco seasoning to flavor, plus a little mexican hot sauce for a kick! You can also make your protein option in advance and keep in the fridge for 2-3 days or freezer for emergency taco night filling.
- 2 cups Refried Beans or black beans + 1-2 cups sautéed veggies
- TASTY TOPPINGS (choose your favorites)
- shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
- sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- fresh cilantro
- sliced jalapeños
- fresh or leftover grilled/roasted/sautéed veggies
- fresh chopped avocado
- pico de gallo
- salsa verde
- lime wedges, for a burst of citrus
I truly believe our kids imitate what we would do. It may seem at times, they aren’t paying attention, but rest assure, they are. So what does that look like, if we are wanting a healthy family, healthy kids? It means, we must set the example and teach them, what healthy looks like. From what are healthy foods, to cooking, the importance of some type of exercise daily in our lives and so on…..
Teaching our kids the healthy way to live, is one of the best things we can do as parents. It helps set them up for success in so many areas of their lives today and in the future. I want to give some tips in the area of how to feed are kids well. It is one of the struggles I hear from parents all of the time. Hope these tips can help you move into a direction of being more healthy in your family.
Tips on how to best feed your kids:
- Encourage a wide and varied healthy diet, introducing new foods frequently and early.
- Don’t pressure your children to eat (one-bite rules are fine) or withhold dessert unless they eat their veggies.
- Don’t reward them with food.
- Disband the “clean your plate” club.
- Keep plenty of fruits and vegetables handy, accessible, visible, washed and prepared, and literally smile at your kids when they eat them.
- Sit at the table and eat with your kids.
- Don’t skip meals.
- Dramatically minimize meals out and takeout.
- Ensure that as many meals as possible a week involve the transformation of raw ingredients.
- Involve your kids in cooking.
Put even more simply? Live the lives you want your children to live.
- No stress. You know what you will be cooking so no last minutes stress and dilemma about what’s for dinner.
- Supports healthy eating habits. When you plan your meal in advance, chances are high that you will make healthier choices and avoid fast food and take out!
- Variety. You will probably enjoy more variety in your dishes since you plan out your meals. No need to resort to pasta every night because you can’t figure out what to make with what you have!
- Time saver. Spending an hour or so on Sunday night (or whenever you decide to meal plan) is worth the investment! So much time saved by planning ahead!
- Save money. You save money by shopping after your list and eating more meals at home.
Less food waste since you plan your meals and what to cook and buy only what is needed. This is a big one as you can often plan your meals around what you already have at home!
- Always prepared. Since you know what you will be cooking you can prepare some in advance and have a quick dinner one of the other days.
- Fewer trips to the grocery stores. Does anyone actually like to hang out at grocery stores more than is necessary?
- Shop more efficiently. And your trip or trips to the grocery store should be shorter as you are armed with a list and you already know what you are going to buy!
- Supports family meal times. This is hugely important! When you’ve taken the time to plan and cook a meal, serving it to your family at the dinner table and sharing a moment together is invaluable.
This is one thing, we go through a lot in our house, energy bites! They are so easy, fast, and simple to make. They go in lunch boxes, or for a snack or pre-workout snack. These are a new flavor I made over the weekend. Give them a try.
Maple Pecan Energy Balls
- 1 cup quick oats (certified gluten free for allergies)
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup chunky peanut butter (drippy is best)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup shredded coconut (optional)
- 3 tbsp. mini dark chocolate chips
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and roll into golf balls sized balls, placing on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the fridge or freezer for an hour.
- Store covered in the fridge or freezer.
Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
- 4 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup whole wheat white flour
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chocolate chips*
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup avocado or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup honey
Preheat oven to 325 F. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Place granola mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet and shape into a rectangle, about 13 x 9 x 1 inch thick. Bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool completely then cut into 3 x 1 inch bars.
** You can substitute raisins or other dried fruit for the chocolate chips. Individually wrapped, the bars will remain fresh for several weeks.
These banana muffins are healthy and lightened up from the traditional muffin which can have over 300 calories and be loaded with sugar and fat.
Here are my simple secret substitutions for lightened up muffins:
Whole wheat flour: Whole wheat flour has more nutrition than regular all-purpose. It also adds a nutty delicious flavor to the muffins.
Greek Yogurt: Yogurt takes the place of butter in this recipe. It helps to keep the muffins super moist and adds protein to keep you full. I always use plain greek yogurt; it has the least amount of sugar and is similar to sour cream so it’s great for baking.
Honey instead of sugar: I used an all natural sweetener instead of sugar. Honey also adds moisture to the muffins and since it’s sweeter than sugar you can actually use less of it. There’s only 1/4 cup in this entire recipe!
These muffins are the easiest to make and everyone will love them – even kids!
Healthy Chocolate Chip Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 bananas
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
- Add bananas, honey, vanilla, oil, egg, milk and yogurt to a blender. Blend on high for 1 minute or until well combined, smooth and creamy. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
- Divide batter evenly into muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Cool muffins for 5 minutes then remove and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Enjoy the muffins!
Stress eating gets the best of all of us. From a looming work deadline, to things going on at home ect…, means you’re 95% likely to finish that family-size bag of chips. But your brain doesn’t need a steady stream of empty calories to be productive and alert. Pick snacks with a combination of nutrients that leave you satisfied and focused without an energy-sapping blood sugar crash—think: fiber-rich carbs plus a bit of fat or protein. As an added bonus, you can pick foods that have proven stress-busting qualities.
Here are a few examples of snack ideas:
1. Ants on a Log
2 stalks celery + 2 Tbsp almond butter + 1 Tbsp raisins. Energizing carbs and filling fiber, fat, and protein—this snack’s got it all.
2. DIY Energy Bites
½ c chopped dates + ¼ c rolled oats+ ½ c nut butter, all mixed together and formed into 12 to 14 bites. The perfect treat, or even on-the-go breakfast, to satisfy a sweet craving while keeping blood sugar stable.
3. Herbal Teas
These are comforting and can help calm your jittery digestive tract. Chamomile specifically has been shown to ease anxiety and irritability; while green tea contains the amino acid L-Theanine, which provides a focused calm.
4. Open-Faced PB&B
1 slice whole-wheat toast + 1 Tbsp peanut butter+ ½ banana + drizzle of honey. Foods that remind us of childhood are naturally comforting and calming, and this one just happens to be healthy, too.
5. Dark Chocolate-Covered Almonds
The intense flavor of dark chocolate can help curb cravings, and just 1 oz per day can help reduce stress hormones.
6. Veggies & Dip
2 sliced carrots or celery stalks + 2 Tbsp guacamole or hummus. If you’re a snacker that needs to feel full to be completely satisfied, veggies fill you up without filling you out. Guac or hummus help that full feeling stay with you.
7. Mini Parfait
½ cup yogurt + ½ cup blueberries + 1 oz chopped nuts. Dairy packs calcium and protein, both of which help your body release feel-good neurotransmitters.
8. Water or Flavored Water
Opt for seltzer with cucumber slices, or any other fun fruit- and veggie-infused combinations. We often mistake dehydration for hunger.
9. Trail Mix
1 oz walnuts+ 1 Tbsp dried cranberries or raisins + 1 Tbsp dark chocolate chips. Studies show that regularly snacking on walnuts may help your body respond better to stress.