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Superfood of the week: Flaxseed

By: Snap Fitness

Flaxseed is one of the world’s most powerful superfoods. Not only has it been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, it is also good for the skin, hair, and proper cell function. Can you believe all of that goodness comes from a tiny little seed?

 


Flaxseed is found in a variety of foods such as frozen waffles, crackers, oatmeal, and salad dressing. Flaxseed is a wonderful addition to your morning smoothie, or you can take it as a daily supplement.

 


Although flaxseed contains all sorts of health benefits, it’s best known for these three:

 


-Omega 3 fatty acids: Also known as the "good” fats. These acids have been shown to provide heart-healthy benefits. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of omega-3s.

 


-Fiber: Most Americans do not get enough fiber in their diet. Each tablespoon of flax contains about 8 grams of fiber. This helps keep your bodily functions regular and promotes proper digestion.

 


-Antioxidants: Contribute to protection against cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants are also good for cell rejuvenation, clear skin, and acne.

 

What's your favorite way to enjoy flaxseed? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Quinoa Tabouli Salad

By: Snap Fitness

Spring is here! Time to break out the lighter food fare including salads, fruit, and tabouli. If you haven’t tried tabouli, you’re missing out! It’s a major salad in Middle Eastern cuisine. The main components of tabouli are always the same: fresh parsley, mint, tomato, scallions, lemon juice, and oil. Traditionally, tabouli is made with bulgur, but we substituted it with quinoa for a gluten-free option. 

 

Ingredients
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 1/2 cups minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 2 large bunches)
3/4 cup minced fresh mint (1 small bunch)
2 fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions or onions
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (or more to taste)


Directions:

1. Rinse uncooked quinoa in cold water using a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Drain.


2. Spread quinoa in the bottom of a skillet in an even layer. Turn heat to medium and let the quinoa heat up, stirring occasionally until the moisture is gone. Continue to cook the quinoa over medium heat.


3. Heat, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes until it begins to turn toasty and fragrant. The quinoa is ready when the seeds start to pop and turn golden brown. Remove from heat.


4. Pour quinoa into saucepan along with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a
simmer and cover the pan. Cook quinoa for 10-15 minutes until tender. Stir and let cool to room temperature.


5. Place minced fresh parsley and mint in a medium sized bowl.


6. Gently stir the cooked, cooled quinoa into the parsley and mint so they’re well combined. Add tomatoes.


7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon juice, if desired. Serve at room temperature, or chill in the refrigerator. Flavors will improve in the fridge overnight.

 

Enjoy! 

 

Southwest Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

By: Snap Fitness

This southwest salad allows you to enjoy your favorite Mexican flavors in a veggie-packed salad that's perfect for lunch or dinner. Not only will this salad satisfy your hunger, it will leave you feeling light. Save half the dressing for another salad tomorrow and serve today’s portion on the side to limit fat and calories so you can make the most of how hard you've been working out!

 

Southwest Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

 

Ingredients

 

1/4 cup finely minced cilantro

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped romaine lettuce

1/4 cup low sodium canned black beans, rinsed and drained

4 grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup corn, thawed if frozen

1/4 avocado, sliced

1 scallion, thinly sliced, white and light green part only

 

Directions

 

1. In a small bowl, whisk together cilantro, lime juice, cumin, and chili powder. Continue whisking and slowly stream in olive oil until the dressing thickens. Set aside.

 

2. Layer remaining ingredients in a large plate or bowl. Serve dressing on the side for dipping or pour desired amount over the top.

 

3. To get even more protein, add grilled chicken breast or pumpkin seeds.

 

4 Healthy Ways to Curb Your Appetite

By: Snap Fitness

If you’re trying to shed a few pounds, chances are you’re doing it with a change in diet and an exercise plan. Most of us have the best intentions in mind when it comes to eating healthy, but situations come up that throw your cravings into high gear. Maybe it’s “Donut Friday" at the office? Or the two o’clock vending machine munchies that make you fall off the wagon?

 

Whatever it may be, here are four simple ways to curb your cravings without relying on fad diets or starvation.

 

Eat a healthy breakfast: Eating a healthy breakfast is not only good for a healthy body weight, it will also rev up your metabolism giving you the boost of energy you need to make it through your morning. Try eating a balance of carbohydrates and protein, such as oatmeal with walnuts and blueberries.


Stay hydrated: It’s easy to confuse hunger with dehydration, but keep in mind not filling up on fluids usually leads to unnecessary snacking. Keep your water bottle handy and full throughout the day. Try to avoid beverages that are high in caffeine, which will leave you feeling dehydrated later on.


Power up with protein: Protein helps you sustain energy that will keep you focused throughout the day. It’s easy to fill your day with protein by packing snacks such as nuts, cheese sticks, peanut butter, protein powder, and hardboiled eggs. Not only are you curbing your appetite, you are filling your body up with essential nutrients.


Eat more regularly: Three big meals a day won’t curb your appetite; it will only set you back. If you’re looking to keep a high metabolism, aim for six mini meals throughout the day. Small meals will keep you full and satisfied while helping you kick cravings to the curb.

 

What helps you curb your appetite? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry

By: Snap Fitness

This is a recipe for Chickpea Tikka Masala, which is an Indian curry traditionally made on the stovetop with chicken, tomatoes, and cream. Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are a wonderful vegetarian protein, with 15 grams of protein per serving. This recipe is vegetarian when made with regular yogurt and cream, and is easily made vegan with non-dairy yogurt and homemade cashew cream. Both versions are gluten-free. For even more protein in your meal, enjoy your curry over quinoa!

 

Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry
Serves: 6

 

In a large plastic bag, mix the following, seal well, and let marinate in fridge for at least one hour:

1 cup yogurt (use non-dairy yogurt like soy or almond for vegan version)

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

2 cans chickpeas, drained

 

Other ingredients

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

6 ounces tomato paste

2 tsp fresh ginger, finely diced

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

1 tbsp garam masala (Indian spice blend)

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tbsp of lemon juice

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dried coriander

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup heavy cream (use cashew cream for vegan – see note below)

2 tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped

 

Directions

1. While chickpeas are marinating, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, onion, spices, olive oil, and lemon juice to your slowcooker.

 

2. Add marinated chickpeas (be sure to get all the yogurt and spices, too), and mix well.

 

3. Turn your slow cooker to high and cook for three hours. After three hours, add cream, mix well, cover, and cook for another 30 minutes.

 

4. Serve curry over cooked brown rice, quinoa, or a baked potato for a filling meal! Top with fresh cilantro or parsley.

 

Note: If you are using cashew cream, in a blender combine one cup of raw cashews with ½ cup cold water, ½ tsp salt, and one tbsp lemon juice until smooth.

 

5-Minute Breakfast Burrito

By: Snap Fitness

These burritos hit all the major food groups! They're a great way to work more veggies into your breakfast. The addition of prepared salsa gives the burrito lots of flavor without a lot of work. Whip one of these up, and you'll have a filling breakfast ready to take out the door in about five minutes!

 

5-Minute Breakfast Burrito


Ingredients:

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup baby spinach

1 tablespoon salsa

1 high fiber wrap (such as La Tortilla Factory Smart and Delicious Wraps) or flour tortilla

2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions:

1. Coat a small skillet lightly with olive oil or cooking spray and set it over medium heat. When the pan is warm, add the eggs and spinach.

 

2. Cook, stirring, until the eggs are soft but fully cooked and the spinach is wilted, about two minutes.

 

3. Remove from the heat and stir in salsa. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

4. Heat the wrap in the microwave for about 10 seconds until warm.

 

5. Spread cheese evenly along the center of the warm tortilla and top with the egg mixture.

 

6. Fold in the sides of the wrap and then roll up tightly from the bottom. Serve immediately.

 

Fish Tacos with Red Cabbage-Apple Slaw and Mango Salsa

By: Snap Fitness

Tacos are a great weeknight meal. They’re quick, filling, and flavor-packed. Too often, tacos are topped with gobs of sour cream, loads of cheese, and made with seasoning packets that are high in sodium. Try this twist on the classic instead! This recipe is light, and turns up both the heat and nutrition of this delicious meal.  

 

Mango salsa with cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice adds a sweet, spicy layer, perfectly complimenting broiled cumin seasoned fish. Serve with the red cabbage slaw on the side or add a bit to your tacos for added crunch.

 

Fish Tacos with Red Cabbage-Apple Slaw and Mango Salsa

Serves 4

 

Ingredients
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound cod, tilapia fillets, or other firm white fish (4 four-ounce fillets)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
6 tablespoons plain yogurt (milk-based or dairy-free)
1/2 cup finely minced fresh cilantro, divided
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, divided
1/3 small red cabbage, thinly shredded (about 3 cups)
1 medium firm apple, cored and coarsely shredded
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large jalapeno chile, halved length-wise, seeds removed, minced, divided
1 cup peeled, pitted and diced mango
1/3 cup red finely-diced red onion
Salt and pepper to taste
8  6-inch tortillas
Fresh spinach or other greens for tacos as desired

 

Directions


1. Preheat broiler. Rub fish fillets with olive oil and place on baking parchment lined baking pan.


2. Dividing between fillets, sprinkle ground cumin on fillets, then season with salt and pepper.


3. Broil fish eight to 12 minutes until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.


4. While fish is broiling, stir together yogurt, two tablespoons lime juice and two tablespoons minced cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer half the mixture to a small bowl serving. Set aside.


5. Toss cabbage, green onions, and half of minced jalapeno with remaining yogurt mixture. Season slaw with salt and pepper, as needed.


6. To make mango salsa toss together mango, red onion, remaining diced jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.


7. Warm tortillas according to package instructions. Add fresh spinach or other greens to tortillas. Fill with tortillas with fish and fresh spinach, if using.


8. Drizzle with reserved yogurt mixture and top with mango salsa. Serve slaw on the side.

 

Angela runs a gluten-free/dairy-free food blog. She’s a master food preserver, gluten- and dairy-free cooking instructor, and mother of three kids and a flock of spunky chickens. 

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Burger Recipe

By: Snap Fitness

These sweet and spicy patties are a great way to switch up your usual burger routine. They're vegan, gluten free, and made with wholesome ingredients like quinoa, sweet potato, white beans, and oat flour. I like serving them on whole grain buns with smashed avocado and hot sauce, but they also work well crumbled over your favorite salad. This recipe serves six.

 

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided

1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked (tri-color or white)

1 medium sweet potato

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 shallot, diced

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne

1/4 cup oat flour

 

Instructions

1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized sauce pan. Add the quinoa and toast for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the water and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes (until all liquid is absorbed). Set aside and allow to cool.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, cook the potato. Poke holes in the potato and microwave for a few minutes, until softened. Push the potato through a potato ricer. If you don't have a ricer, peel the potato before you microwave it, and then mash with a fork.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Mash the beans with a fork in a large bowl. Add the cooled quinoa and cooked sweet potato, and stir in the spices, remaining salt, and oat flour.

5. Form the dough into 6 patties (about 1/2 cup each) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes on each side.

7. Serve on a burger bun (gluten free, if desired), with your favorite toppings; I love smashed avocado and a drizzle of hot sauce.

 

Katie is the creator of a food blog with hearty vegetarian meals, decadent desserts, and everything in between. A vegetarian since age three, she loves developing healthy, veggie-packed recipes that even her meat-eating boyfriend will devour.

Greek Lentil Soup

By: Snap Fitness

Ingredients:

2 carrots

1 can fire roasted tomatoes

7 cups vegetable broth

½ onion

2 cloves garlic

1T oregano

8 ounces green lentils

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Red wine vinegar

 

Directions:

 

1.) Place lentils in a strainer and rinse them well, checking to be sure they are clear of debris. Place the lentils in a stockpot and pour four cups of veggie broth over them. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 10 minutes.

 

2.) As the lentils are cooking, prep the vegetables. Remove the outer layer of the onion and chop. Remove skins from garlic and finely dice. Peel carrots and chop into half-moons.

 

3.) Swirl a few tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan. Add garlic, onion, and carrot and hook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.

 

4.) Transfer veggies to stockpot with lentils. Add the remaining three cups of veggie broth, oregano, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

5.) After 20 minutes, the lentils will start to break apart slightly. Be mindful of this and remove from heat before they become overcooked. Serve soup in bowls, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar.

 

Nikki is the author of the recipe e-book, musician, artist, and recipe developer. She began writing her vegan and vegetarian blog in 2011 as a way to connect with people over a shared love of good food.  

Eggplant Parmesan

By: Snap Fitness

Enjoy the rich flavor and texture of eggplant parmesan with less work and fat. The eggplant are broiled then baked with a layer of cheese, sauce, and breadcrumbs, making this a healthier dish you can whip up on a busy night.

 

Ingredients:

2 medium eggplant

Olive oil

3 cups marinara sauce

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

1 cup plain or whole wheat panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound spaghetti noodles

Parsley, finely chopped (optional)

 

Directions:

 

1. Preheat the broiler on your oven to high and place an oven rack in the highest position.

 

2. Remove the ends of the eggplant and cut them into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet and brush both sides lightly with olive oil or spray with cooking spray.

 

3. Broil 5-7 minutes per side or until soft and just beginning to brown. When the eggplant is done, move the oven rack down to the middle position and heat the oven to bake at 425ºF.

 

4. Thoroughly combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium bowl. Set aside.

 

5. Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour a little marinara in the bottom of the pan and spread around evenly. Arrange the eggplant slices in the dish. They will be slightly overlapping.

 

6. Cover with remaining marinara sauce. Arrange mozzarella slices on top of the sauce.

 

7. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

 

8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and beginning to brown.

 

9. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.

 

10. Cook spaghetti according to package directions and drain.

 

11. Serve spaghetti topped with a scoop of the eggplant and sprinkled with chopped parsley, if desired. Makes about six servings.

 

 

Lindsay is a food blogger and stay-at-home mom of three small children. She's all about doing what needs to be done to keep everyone fed, happy, and healthy.

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