A Healthy & Happy End to Summer

Image result for end of summer bbqSummer’s (sadly) coming to a close. I’m sure by now you think you have it all figured out and can throw the best BBQ party anyone has ever been to. However, I’m willing to bet there are many things you haven’t even thought of when it comes to hosting a healthy feast for your family & friends. In this post, I’ll give you some of my tips as well as some healthy ideas to end the summer of 2016 with a bang! Let’s get started!

One of my favorite ways to cook is on the grill. I wish that I lived in a climate that made this possible year-round but since I don’t right now…I’m stuck with it being summer only. Grilling gives everything such amazing flavor and it’s super easy for prep and clean-up. When people think of BBQ, they typically think of burgers and hot dogs BUT there are so many more options! You can make chicken, turkey burgers, vegetables, fish…virtually anything your heart desires. You can also use this BBQ time as meal prep for your week ahead. Grill some extra meats and you will be set for the entire week! The best advice I can give anyone when preparing for a Labor Day BBQ…or any get together – spend a little extra time planning the menu. Think of your guests and what they like…but also think of healthy options. Make your list, check local sales, and head to the store for those items. By being a little prepared, you will end up being a lot less stressed and your entire event will run much smoother.

In addition to the grill, you will need to think of snacks. One great option to pair with platters of chips, pretzels, & crudités is Chobani Mezé Dip™. Mezé Dips™ are made from Greek yogurt and real vegetables with only natural, non-GMO ingredients and no artificial flavors or preservatives. They come in flavors such as Roasted Red Pepper, Chili Lime, Three Pepper Salsa, and Smoked Onion Parmesan. Best of all, they are low in calories and good for you! Try that instead of traditional dip or hummus this weekend 🙂

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As far as side dishes go, have your guests bring something they love. This will keep everyone involved and cut down on your own prep time…and expenses.

Now then…the drinks. I’ve written about this in a previous post however this is such a common diet buster at get-togethers…it’s worth mentioning again. You have to be smart about it. Enjoy a light beer or skinny cocktail but save the calories for the delicious food instead. Trust me, you won’t regret that choice!

Lastly, and my least favorite – cleaning up. The best part of a BBQ party is how low maintenance it all really is. Head to your local Dollar Tree or dollar store and stock up on paper goods – tablecloth, napkins, plates, utensils, cups – get it all. While you’re there, get a few bowls and aluminum tins as well. When the party is over, you can throw everything away!! The only clean up required will be your grill (and putting away any leftovers, of course).

No matter where you go or what you do this weekend, make sure to enjoy every second. Life is too short to spend it unhappy. Stay safe  & stay healthy everyone!

-Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

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Vegan Stuffed Peppers

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I’m not usually into meatless alternatives. I may not eat red meat…but I DO like my poultry and fish. However, this made me a believer!

I was given Textured Soy Protein. I had no idea what that was or what to make with it so I went to Google. When I saw this pop up from AllRecipes.com, I knew I had to give it a try! As per usual with me, I put my own spin on it to adapt to my own liking and health needs. Feel free to do the same – and let me know what you think! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did ❤

Vegan Stuffed Peppers
Serves 1

Ingredients:
2 tbsp brown rice (uncooked)
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup soy or vegetable protein
1 bell pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
Salt & pepper, to taste
**I also topped mine with a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese. To make this totally vegan, use a soy or vegan cheese alternative.

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan, add rice and water on medium heat. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.
2. While the rice cooks, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep cookie sheet or baking dish with foil. Seed and cut bell pepper (length-wise.) Place pepper on covered dish/sheet and set aside.
3. In a medium pot add oil, protein, and parsley on medium heat. Stir in tomato sauce. Let simmer.
4. Add semi-cooked rice to protein mixture along with salt & pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
5. Spoon protein/rice mixture into each pepper half. Cover with foil and place in oven for 40 minutes.
6. Remove foil and sprinkle cheese on top. Cook for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
7. Remove from oven. Serve and enjoy!

Healthy & Hearty Italian Dinner

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Ladies and gentlemen….tonight’s dinner 🙌

In under 30 minutes you have a super easy, delicious, and healthy dinner! Here’s the recipe:

Pasta Primavera (serves one)
1 cup of whole wheat pasta (I used rotini)
1 cup of frozen zucchini (this was the Shoprite brand, which is already cut)
A handful of frozen pepper strips
A handful of mushrooms (sliced or chopped)
Diced tomatoes (approx 1 cup)
A drizzle of olive oil
Italian seasoning
Pinch of salt
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
-Boil water for pasta in small pot. Once water is boiling, dump the cup of pasta in. Stir until water boils again. While that’s working, grab a small pan and put all ingredients (besides the mushrooms) in.
-Wait about 5 minutes, then mix mushrooms into pan. Cook pasta for about 10 minutes, or until tender.
-Drain pasta, leaving a tiny bit of water in the pot. Return to stove and remove veggie mix from heat. Mix the veggies with the pasta and serve in a small bowl. Enjoy 💖
*I topped mine with a little cheese (as all good Italians should 💁) before eating…feel free to do the same!

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. This whole meal costs under $5 and took about 15 minutes to cook. You can adjust the amount of ingredients based on the number of people you are serving. Feed your body well and you will notice how amazing you feel.

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina
TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com