Clean Eats, Recipes

Guilt-Free Banana Coconut Blender Ice cream

banana ice cream (2)Healthy yet creamy ice cream doesn’t get any easier than this! Being lactose intolerant can be a terrible thing when an ice cream craving comes on. Now, I’m a BIG fan of store bought coconut milk ice creams, but they are typically loaded with sugar. Plus, they cost a small fortune. I’ve seen a few recipes on frozen banana blender ice cream and made a few tweaks, some experimental runs (no one complained about the first couple batches, but I wanted to find just the right consistency). I think I’ve found a mix that really works. This is best done in a high speed mixer, but I’m thinking that maybe you could let the frozen bananas soften a bit and then do this in a regular blender and just let it set up in the freezer a little longer. If someone gives that a try, please let me know how it went!banana ice cream (3)

Lately, with all of my experimentation, I’ve been buying an extra bunch of bananas (or two if Im at Costco) and letting them get super ripe before throwing them in the freezer (fully intact peal and all). Leaving them in the peal prevents freezer burn. When you are ready for them, just use a paring knife and peal the skin off of the frozen banana. Then, I usually cut them into thirds before throwing them in the Vitamix. You WILL need your tamper for this if blending them fully frozen.

Add the coconut cream, coconut milk, blend until smooth and DONE. Really, that’s it! Eat it directly, or let it set up 20 mins – 1 hr in the freezer and then top and serve. I like the consistency a little better after it sets up a while.
A quick note on canned coconut milks…they are not all created equal. I really like the quality of the Native Forest brand. It has a good amount of super thick cream on top and tastes great. There are other great brands out there- just make sure you find one with a super thick cream on the top of the can or your ice cream will end up runny.

Talk about guilt free, its like eating a banana and drinking some coconut milk! No added sugar and only 2 ingredients! And from the taste, no one would even know.

 3 frozen bananas (pealed)
 1/2 heaping cup coconut cream (thick cream from the top of a full fat/original can of coconut milk
 1/4 cup of the milk (sometimes looks watery) from the bottom of the can of full fat/original can of coconut milk
 Fresh sliced strawberries
 cashew meal
 shredded coconut
 candied pecans (if your really feeling decadent)
 a good quality dark chocolate shredded over
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender with a tamper
  2. Transfer to glass bowl
  3. Chill in freezer for 20 minutes – 1 hour (or enjoy right away)
  4. Scoop into serving bowls, add desired toppings and ENJOY!

Serves 4

Clean Eats, Recipes

Clean Energy Rice Bowl

Clean Energy Rice Bowl_blog Ok. I know I promised to post more recipes of last weeks meals, but I had a friend request this one. I threw this together one day when she was meeting me to go for a bike ride but hadn’t eaten lunch and was going to stop for fast food somewhere! What?! Fast food?! Don’t do it I said! I had leftovers from my lunch and so I threw this together for her. Apparently this super easy bowl was a big hit. For dinner this week, I grilled some tuna steaks to go with it, but the tuna is totally optional. The hard boiled egg really adds all of the protein you would need. If you are vegan (or just not an egg eater), you could easily substitute with some lentils or garbanzo beans for your protein.

I’ve read a fair amount on soaking grains before use to aid in digestion. I usually soak it 24 hours, but anything helps. Soaking rice and then rinsing can also remove some of the arsenic from your rice as most rice tends to have a fair amount of arsenic. I personally feel like it helps with my digestion, though it tends to make the rice a bit more sticky and less fluffy, which doesn’t bother me. I also try to use homemade bone broth to cook my rice in. Bone broth is one of the best ways to get calcium and other essential minerals through your food (Ill share how I make bone broth in another post). Some folks even say it helps with their joint pains. But whether you believe that or not, it certainty makes your rice taste amazing!

 2 cups brown rice (soaked if you have time)
 4 cups bone broth (optional to cook rice with)
 1 large tuna steak (or 2 small)
 2 cups fresh or frozen organic broccoli 
 1 avocado
 2 eggs
 1/3 cup cilantro (approx 1 handful of leaves)

 1 lime, juiced
 1 teaspoon agave nectar syrup (more if you like it sweeter)
 3 Tablespoons EVOO
 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  1. Soak rice up to 24 hours.
  2. Strain water of of rice and rinse thoroughly.
  3. Cook 1 part rice to 2 parts liquid using bone broth, store bought broth, or just water. Brown rice usually takes approx 25-30 minutes after soaking.
  4. Whisk together all ingredients for the lime vinaigrette in a small bowl.
  5. Brush the vinaigrette over the tuna steaks and allow to sit while the rice is cooking. You could also marinate them over night if you plan ahead.
  6. Make your hard boiled eggs –
    • Place 2 eggs in a pot and cover with cold water.
    • Place on medium heat, allow them to come to a rolling boil, place a fitted lid on the pot and turn off heat.
    • Allow to sit for 12 minutes (could do 1-2 mins less for a softer yolk)
    • Rinse under cold water, then fill pot with ice water.
    • Once cool, peal eggs and slice.
  7. Cook your broccoli –
    • In small pot bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil and add the 2 cups of frozen broccoli & cover with lid.
    • Cook frozen broccoli 3-4 minutes until warmed through.
    • Fresh broccoli should take less time, about 2-3 minutes. Make sure not to over cook.
  8. Cube up the avocado.
  9. Finely chop the cilantro.
  10. Heat up your grill or a saute pan.
  11. Cook your tuna steaks 3 minutes per side. You want them medium rare.
  12. Allow steaks to rest 5 minutes and then flake apart meat.
When rice is ready, create your bowl(s).
For each bowl layer the following: 
* Place 1/2 - 3/4 cups brown rice in the bottom.
* Add 3/4 - 1 cup broccoli
* Add sliced hard boiled egg
* Add avocado
* Add flaked tuna steak meat
* Sprinkle with cilantro
* Drizzle with lime vinaigrette

I usually make an extra large batch of rice for the week and use it all week long. I’ve been on a rice bowl kick lately – my new thing is burger bowls. Such a healthy way to enjoy a burger. Plus burgers store and freeze well, so it makes for a quick meal if you have a few extra cooked burgers in the freezer. I just thaw a burger throw it over my extra rice from the fridge, and just cook some fresh veggies to go with. Easy.

Serves 2

Clean Eats, Recipes

Crock Pot Whole Roasted Chicken

In my previous post, I promised a simple crock pot roasted whole chicken. I had made a Costco run and grabbed two organic whole chickens (you have to buy two at Costco). So, I froze one, and used one to make the recipe below. It doesn’t get any easier than this. I always set it all up in the crock pot the night before, put the lid on and throw it in the fridge. In the morning, there is always just too much to do to get out the door on time. I like just pulling it out of the fridge, sitting the crock in the basin and turning it on low before leaving for work. Of course, this is also a great way to cut down dinner prep on a busy weekend. Sorry I forgot to take a photo of this one. It was a super busy weeknight. Ill add one later when I make this again, which will be soon!

 1 whole chicken (I prefer organic)
 1/2 cup water
 2 teaspoons dried French thyme
 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder (or 2 cloves minced garlic)
 2-3 teaspoons ground sea salt
 1 teaspoon ground pepper

  1. Unwrap the chicken and remove any giblets from the cavity (freeze or refrigerate these  these to make bone broth)
  2. Rinse off the chicken and place breast-side down in the crock pot.
  3. Add the 1/2 cup of water to the crock pot
  4. Sprinkle the thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper over the chicken
  5.  Put on the lid and cook on low for 10-12 hours (Im sure it would be done in 8 hours, but I just let mine go until I get home from work)

When ready, carefully pull the cooked bird out of crock and place on large plate or platter. Clean all of the meat off the bone and save the carcass for bone broth.

There are so many options on how to serve this! One of my favorites is over a salad. I love making a “kitchen sink” salad with whatever I have on hand. Throw some roasted chicken over it and dinner is served!

If you are single or have a small family, this chicken would freeze well to save for another time.

Serves 6-8

Clean Eats, Recipes

Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers

Lately, my brain is running on overdrive thinking about recipes and healthy meal ideas. I have so many recipe ideas but just not enough time to share them all. When you have a little one who is sick AND teething, time just vanishes. This week, with the lack of time, I’ve really been focused on time-saving healthy meals. It’s so easy to make excuses for eating unhealthy when you are super time crunched (and possibly sleep deprived). Which, had me thinking…what could I make in the crock pot this week that would really help make meals simple and easy?!

I have a dear friend who works for a food distribution company in St. Louis, Kuna Food Service. They are an awesome company and they try to source a lot of local foods and they carry very good quality meats. I recently got some amazing grass-fed ground beef from them. The kicker is, I have to buy in large portions since they distribute to restaurants. So, I had a 5 lb bag of frozen ground grass-fed beef that I wanted to thaw and use, so it got me thinking of how to utilize it all. Even if you don’t have a friend in food distribution, you can get a lot of great deals at Costco. Last weekend I also hit up Costco and grabbed two organic whole chickens. Or, if you have the freezer space, the best thing would be to buy a half or quarter cow from a local farmer, but few people have the space for that.

Here is what I ended up doing as far as meal planning for the week:

  • Monday – 1.5lbs used for a large batch of Southwest Style Burgers (recipe to come)
  • Tuesday – 1.5 lbs used for a crock pot full of stuffed peppers (prepped on Monday night while I was mixing up burgers already)
  • Re-froze the last 2 lbs for future use (that was enough red meat for me for the week)
  • Wednesday – roasted a whole organic chicken  (recipe to come) served up with a quick grated potato/shaved Brussel sprout hash
  • Thursday – Used leftover chicken in an Asian style stir-fry, used chicken carcass to make homemade bone broth (again, more recipes to come)
  • Friday – left overs

I prefer to pack a lunch for work, so these meals gave me plenty of left overs for that (and even had extra burgers to freeze for another time). When I made the rice for the stuffed peppers, I made a large batch (2 cups uncooked or 4 cups cooked) which allowed me to use in various things throughout the week for quick meals.

Today I’ll share the stuffed pepper recipe. You seriously cant mess these up so feel free to play around with the veggies you use and the ratio of rice to beef. If you wanted to cut back on the beef, you might even substitute some ground turkey for all or part of the beef. These are so simple and the crock pot does all of the hard work for you.

I just got a new Kitchen Aid mixer and it works fabulously for mixing. Of course, and old-school hand mixing does the trick just fine as well.

Add all of these ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly:
 1.5 pounds grass-fed ground beef (or ground turkey)
 1.5 cups cooked brown rice
 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms of choice
 2 finely chopped medium-sized carrots
 ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes
 ¾ cup spaghetti sauce (or canned tomato sauce)
 ½ finely chopped white or yellow onion
 2 cloves minced garlic
 2-3 teaspoons sea salt
 1 teaspoon ground pepper
 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
 4 large fresh basil leaves finely chopped 

Then take 6 large multi-color bell peppers slice off the top and use a small knife to slice out the seed membrane and clean out all of the seeds.

Stuff the meat mixture into each pepper and prop open-side up in the crock pot.
6 peppers should all fit perfectly in a standard sized crock pot.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

I sautéed up some mixed greens with garlic and sea salt and served on the side. It complemented the peppers really well.

stuffed peppers

Serves 6