Tag: recipes

Perfectly Imperfect Summer Smoothie Bowl

Hey Loves! Y’all know that I mostly talk about important healing topics like empowerment, positivity, self-love, body positivity, living a life you love and using your voice. Can’t shut me up about it and that hasn’t changed!

Occasionally I get to share some delicious healthy recipes with you, too.

If you followed me through The Cocoon: Empowered Transformation (my healthy living program for people in bigger bodies) then you already know that I am a big fan of SMOOTHIES. Mmm! So easy and a yummy way to get more fresh fruits and veggies into your awesome bod!  Well, this morning I made a delicious smoothie bowl using some of the goodies from my Imperfect Produce box.

If you aren’t familiar with Imperfect Produce, they are a wonderful organization that is working to fight food waste in America by directly shipping “imperfect” produce- fruits and veggies that have been deemed too ugly, too small, or too much (surplus) for traditional grocery stores to accept- straight to your home with minimal packaging (another environmental win!). PLUS, they donate loads of healthy food to hungry people living in all kinds of shelters.I absolutely love them!

ANYWAYYYYY….

I made this super simple, bright and delicious smoothie bowl for breakfast today and I just have to share it with you. I hope it will inspire you to add some fresh fruits and veggies to your awesome bod and if you can, try Imperfect Produce too! They are not available everywhere, but we can help them to expand and get good, perfectly imperfect foods to our hungry neighbors. Click here to use my affiliate code and if you sign up before the end of August, you can get $20 bucks off.  Win/Win.

 

Here’s my Imperfectly Perfect Summer Smoothie Bowl:

  • Squeeze the juice from 1 orange into your blender
  • Add 1 white nectarine, cut up into chunks (leave the peel on but remove the pit!)
  • Add a tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt
  • Optional: toss in a handful of your favorite leafy greens- spinach, kale, or lettuce, OR try slices of avocado!
  • Blend until smooth, pour into a pretty bowl, and top with a drop of yogurt and some granola, hemp seeds, or chopped nuts.
  • Take a picture and share on Instagram before diving in, or just stir it up and enjoy!

 

Rad Recipes: Perfect Salmon, Two Ways (GF, P)

Cooking fish can be tricky, but these two recipes for salmon will yield a perfect dish pretty much every single time. Be sure to select the freshest filet possible. I prefer wild caught over farm raised, but it tends to have a firmer texture and more flavor than farm raised. Either way, it should not smelly “fishy” and if it does, it’s been sitting too long to enjoy. Once you have your big beautiful filet home and in your kitchen, give it a good rinse in cold water and gently pat dry with a paper towel. If you feel any bones in the filet while rinsing, go ahead and pull them out carefully and discard.  Now, all you have to decide is which way you want to cook it: in the oven or on the grill?

Perfectly Baked Salmon

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Place prepared salmon filet skin side down on lined and lightly oiled baking sheet
  • Bake uncovered 8-10 minutes; test to make sure it’s cooked through (no translucence) but not overcooked. 15 minutes should be the max for a thick filet
  • Remove from oven and let rest for a hot minute while you are plating the rest of your meal. Enjoy!

Perfectly Grilled Salmon

  • Get your grill good and hot
  • Place prepared salmon filet skin side down right on the hot grill (be sure to lightly coat salmon skin in oil and a bit of coarse salt)
  • Cover and let cook unbothered for 8 minutes; check to see if it needs a few more minutes (Skin will get crispy and lift off the grill easily when it’s done)
  • Remove from grill and let rest for a hot minute while you are plating the rest of your meal. Enjoy!

Perfect Salmon Preparations  (always rinse first with cold water and gently pat dry with paper towel)

  • Asian Garlic Sesame
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
    • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tsp sesame seeds (white or black)
      • saute garlic in sesame oil for about a minute, then add in soy sauce and sesame seeds. Remove from heat, let cool, then pour over salmon to marinate.
  • Classic Lemon-Herb
    • 1/2 lemon, sliced into rounds
    • 3-5 pats of butter, depending on size of filet
    • 3-5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
    • fresh cracked pepper
    • extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
      • lightly coat the salmon filet in olive oil (if grilling, add a bit of coarse salt to the skin as well)
      • sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper
      • arrange butter, lemon slices, and rosemary sprigs across top of fish
Asian Garlic Sesame marinade on fresh wild caught salmon

Rad Recipes: Goddess Trail Mix (GF, P, V)

Whether you prefer a long hike or a gentle stroll, or even if you just want to enjoy a healthy snack to munch on at your desk or during your afternoon commute- my Goddess Trail Mix is an easy winner. It packs a high-energy punch, hits the sweet and savory notes, is low in sugar and high in good fats and even has tasty dark chocolate antioxidants. Gluten Free, Paleo friendly, and Vegetarian. 

You can substitute different nuts if you prefer, such as walnuts or pecans. Here’s my super simple recipe:


1 cup raw almonds

1 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup natural roasted macadamia nuts 

1/3 cup unsalted plantain chips

1/3 cup yogurt covered cranberries 

1/3 cup dark chocolate covered coffee beans

Mix together in a big bowl. Transfer to smaller resealable bags or containers. Enjoy! Makes 1 dry quart.


Rad Recipes: Creamy Dreamy Carrot Dip (DF, GF, P, V, VG)

I do love to eat a tasty dip! Even better when it’s healthy AND tastes great, just like my favorite Creamy Dreamy Carrot Dip. This one is Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo-Friendly, Vegetarian and Vegan.   And it still tastes great!  It’s a little sweet, a little spicy, and a whole lotta awesome.

Here’s the super simple recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients
  • One package organic baby carrots
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled & minced
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1½- 2  tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ⅛ tsp ground coriander
  • ⅛ tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Using either a veggie steamer or a large covered saute pan, steam the carrots until just soft (but not mushy)
  2. Place the steamed carrots & any remaining liquid in a blender or food processor.
  3. Add olive oil, minced garlic, dry spices, and lemon juice; blend on high until desired creamy texture.
  4. Stir in salt & pepper to taste, then chill before serving.
creamy dreamy carrot dip
photo credit: claire k creations

Rad Recipes: Chad’s Favorite Stuffed Chicken Breast

the blessings butterfly

I love to cook, and I’ve been told that I’m pretty frickin’ good at it. ::blushes::  My hottie boyfriend Chad loves that I love to cook, and that I’m pretty frickin’ good at it, because that means he gets to enjoy lots of great-tasting home cooked meals almost every day!  One of his favorites that I make is a stuffed chicken breast that tastes way more high-calorie than it actually is.  We have this about 1x a week because he loves it so much, but he would not be mad if I made it even more often, LOL!  (Takes about 15 minutes to prep and about an hour to cook, so pour yourself a glass of wine and plan accordingly, darling.)

 

Chad’s Favorite Stuffed Chicken Breast (for 2)   approx 450 calories per serving

  • 2 large, boneless & skinless fresh organic chicken breasts
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1- 1 1/2  cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed & drained
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup (a good handful) shredded Parmesan cheese
  • **CHEATER VERSION: Substitute the cream cheese, spinach, Parmesan cheese and garlic with a pre-made Spinach or Spinach & Artichoke dip! Shhhh)
  • *OPTIONAL: 1 Tbsp mayonnaise & about 1/2 cup seasoned Panko or bread crumbs to coat chicken

 

 

Preheat oven to 375F.  Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts, carefully butterfly cut them (or cut a pocket into the thicker side of each breast) and set aside.  Mix together cream cheese, spinach, garlic, and Parmesan cheese in small bowl.  Stuff the chicken breasts with about a Tbsp of cream cheese mixture per breast, leaving about 1/4-1/2 inch between mixture and cut openings; close the chicken.  Place chicken in lightly oiled, shallow baking dish. [*If using crumb coating, sprinkle a little of the crumbs on the pan first and rest the chicken breasts on top of it; coat top and sides of chicken with a little mayo and cover with remaining crumbs.]  Bake uncovered for 40-60 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center and juices run clear.  

 

the blessings butterfly
creamy cheesy goodness oozing out of this stuffed chicken breast

 

Serves up nicely alongside sauteed or roasted veggies, rice, garlic mashed potatoes, or with a simple Caesar salad. So good!  Enjoy!

 

#FridayFeels Accomplished 

On September 1, I started my 30 Day Challenge which included a 10 minute daily walk, daily gratitude journaling, and eliminating certain foods from my daily diet (no sugar, dairy, grains, or alcohol).  Aside from the total of 5 days of planned travel in which I released my food restrictions (4 in NOLA, 1 in Vegas), I was able to stick to my Challenge in all three areas! I’m feeling pretty accomplished and I have to say, pretty darn proud of myself.

On this final day of my Challenge, here are my observations:

This wasn’t about counting calories or weight loss, but about feeling better in my body.  The weight dropped, honestly, was minimal. Maybe 5 lbs? BUT the fact is that I truly do feel better. Not having pain and inflammation in my joints and bloating in my gut is worth saying “no thanks” to the foods that were hurting me.  Being able to love myself enough to listen to my body, take good care of her, and do what feels best for me really sums up my personal mission of helping women to love the body they are living in.  You can find support and guidance in my program, The Cocoon, if (like me) you are living in a bigger body and want to take some easy steps forward in your health & wellness.

Making time to move my body and get a little sweaty each day is a legit battle.  Oh my gosh, the mind games I played with myself to try and talk myself out of it!  Every. Damn. Day. But I would lovingly make myself do it, and each time I felt great. My body felt better physically, I released any pent up emotions, and cleared my mind for exciting new ideas. I know the struggle is real, friends, but the rewards are there for the taking.  It’s just 10 minutes.  If you are able, get out and walk!  If walking is not something your body allows you to do, spend your 10 minute doing something physical such as modified chair exercises.



Sugar is EVERYWHERE. Corn too. WTF? These two foods, I believe, have been my body’s primary enemies and main sources of inflammation. I read ingredients labels now for everything before putting it in my shopping cart at the grocery store.  Corn syrup, sugar, corn oil, sucrose, cane sugar, cane syrup – if any form of these were on the ingredients label, I didn’t eat it.

I know that I will be A LOT more careful and conscious of what I eat.  For sure, I will be reading ingredient labels moving forward. And yes, sometimes I will indulge a little and have some sweet treats when I’m celebrating with friends and loved ones- but it will not be part of my everyday meals.

Whole foods > Junk foods. Well, duh. Of course they are, but I mean they just realllllllly are so much better.  They look better. They taste better. They provide better & longer-lasting energy.  They are not difficult to prepare.  They inspire culinary creativity.  They do not leave me feeling gross, tired, bloated, blah.  They keep my head clear and mind focused.  They are easy to pronounce.  They are a better value for the money.  Even on nights when I was tired after a long day and didn’t have the stamina to create a fabulous dinner, we could still enjoy no sugar added, uncured smoky bacon & eggs. WINNING.  I’ll be sharing a collection of my favorite recipes from this Challenge, so if you’d like to receive them in your inbox just complete the form below!  (Including this SO TASTY Pot-Roasted Chicken)


I really like a good glass of wine.  During my Challenge, sometimes I craved a sweet dessert, but that craving would pass quickly.  Some mornings I craved a latte, but again, it would pass quickly.  If I really hardcore wanted something sweet and indulgent, I had some Medjool dates or a Frozen Smoothie Pop. As I was getting closer to the end of my 30 days, though, I found I was really looking forward to enjoying a glass of fine wine with dinner.  Maybe I will feel differently after that first glass tomorrow, but I don’t think so.  CHEERS!

That Was Delicious, But Now My Gut Hates Me

kale apple crunch salad

Hello Loves! After a wonderful long weekend in New Orleans eating ALL the delicious things (and more than a few adult beverages) my body is BEGGING me for a detox & reset. As you might know, I am about halfway through my 30 Day Challenge and it is going great!  However, I had planned my trip before planning my Challenge, so I knew that I would release myself from the restrictions over my 4 days in NOLA.

 

My mouth LOVED it.  My gut, eh, not so much. And my brain could use a fog lift as well.  And my joints, ouch, my aching joints.

 

I’m starting back on my Challenge today, and cannot wait to get some fresh, whole foods back in my body for clean fuel. Here’s a few of my favorite Rad Recipes that I will be taking full advantage of: Reset Smoothie, Strawberry Detox Smoothie, Kale-Apple Crunch Salad, and Karen’s Salad with Shrimp & Avocado.  I’ll be eating very Paleo dinners too.

I hope that if you are looking for a diet detox that is actually whole, healthy food and not some crappy powder, you will enjoy these.  Add them in to your routine instead of fast food and enjoy some better-for-you meals that taste great!

 

Rad Recipes: Dairy-Free Smoothie (Tastes Like a 50/50 Bar!)

Cantaloupe Almond Milk Dairy Free Smoothie

I wanted to create a sweet, creamy smoothie that was dairy-free but still tastes great & has an indulgent mouth-feel.

BOOM! The Cantaloupe & Almond Milk Smoothie is just the thing.  It has a smooth texture and is sweet with a flavor reminiscent of a 50/50 bar without being overbearing.  It’s also a super-healthy fruit that’s loaded with potassium and B vitamins including B1, B3, B6, and folate, plus Vitamin K, magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, and fiber.   Calorie wise, a medium-sized melon only contains about 186 calories!

Here’s my super-simple recipe:

  • 1/2 ripe cantaloupe melon, seeds removed (you can eat them, but I don’t like them in my smoothie)
  • 1 cup organic unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic black chia seeds (optional)
  • Blend until smooth and Enjoy!
Cantaloupe Almond Milk Dairy Free Smoothie
Cantaloupe Almond Milk Dairy Free Smoothie w/ Black Chia Seeds

 

Friday Faves: Gourmet Home Cooked Meals- IN A BOX!

TRUTH: I love to cook and have always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen. Sometimes I will get an idea of different flavors that I want to pair together, and I just go for it. Usually it works out really well and I have a happy honey enjoying his dinner!

Sometimes, though, I honestly just want to have a nice meal for the two of us that is fancy enough to taste interesting, healthy and fresh but NOT take hours to prepare.  I want to try something that is different from my few go-to favorites, but won’t require me to hunt down exotic ingredients.  What to do?

SOLUTION: I have been seeing these nifty subscription box services and thought, Hm, I wonder if they’re any good? I asked my honey if he would be down to try it out, and of course he was game. We decided to give it a go, and we have been totally impressed!

There are a few different ones on the market, so, I started using HelloFresh this year and I’ve really loved it. I’m doing a subscription that gives me all I need to create 3 new meals for two each week.  Here’s what I like:

  • The recipes are tasty, interesting, balanced and pretty easy to follow- even though they come from top chefs
  • The meats & produce are fresh, whole (not processed), high quality and provided in appropriate portions Bonus: many are locally sourced and/or supporting smaller family farms
  • Meals are ready in about 30 minutes (45 minutes was the longest so far) so they don’t wipe me out
  • We actually enjoy preparing them together! (I especially like it when he cuts the onions so I don’t cry)
  • There are several ordering options for number of meals per week, recipe choices, and more
  • I spend a lot less time in grocery stores, and less money on our groceries each week- without sacrificing quality

So yeah! I definitely recommend it! If you would like to give HelloFresh a try, here’s my special offer link for you:

Special Offer! $50 Discount on your First two Boxes! Code HELLOMAY50. Valid for new customers only. Classic, Veggie or Family Box. Ends 5/31/15. Eat fresh & healthy – Shop Now

Tell them Michelle Lewis- The Blessings Butterfly sent you! <3

Rad Recipes: Reset Smoothie (V, VG, P, GF)

After back-to-back weekends of seemingly nonstop partying with friends & family, my body has had just about enough with the heavy foods, desserts, and more than a few adult beverages.  I just felt kinda bleh and gross and dull. Can I get an AMEN?

I don’t love the idea of a “cleanse” but I do LOVE to have a hard reset to put my system back on a course that makes me feel good and happy and whole.  I created a neat little smoothie that’s green and sweet and wonderful that does just that!

Here’s my recipe:

  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 2 leaves kale, stripped from stem and torn to pieces
  • 1 kiwi, scooped out of peel
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 scoop Endefen powder (supports GI tract)
  • 1 scoop Camu Camu powder (Vitamin C super boost)

Blend them all together until smooth and enjoy!  The bright green color wakes up the eyes, and the taste is fresh and yummy without being too sweet.

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