I forgot how delicious a well-cooked salmon filet is until earlier this week! I normally always have a bag of frozen salmon in my freezer for quick meal options and Monday night was one of those. I unthawed the fish in the fridge through the day and then cooked at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes with a side of diced sweet peppers.
Below is the glaze and oil topping I did for both – which I always just eyeball these ingredients to personal preference.
drizzle of Honey
drizzle of Olive Oil
Salt (I buy a mixed jar from Whole Foods which is amazing)
I added the fish and peppers on top of brown rice and spinach for a pretty filling dinner. I was pretty satisfied!
How is it already February? I don’t think I’ve even been able to process the fact that we’ve past the holiday season and Valentine’s Day is next weekend. Holy heck!
Since my schedule has been so busy lately, I’ve been going after really quick lunches so I can focus on cleaning, walking Nella, getting in a quick workout, or running an errand over my lunch hour. Today I’m sharing three of the three quick lunches I’ve been eating like crazy lately. I try to get in a good portion of protein for my lunches so I’m full through the afternoon and can avoid cravings.
Lunches from Left to Right:
Scrambled Eggs & Turkey: Brown up about 1/2 cup of ground turkey with 21 Season Salute from Trader Joes. When the turkey is almost fully cooked, add in two stirred up eggs – scramble in the pan all together. Place in a bowl and top with salsa.
Ground Chicken Salad: Brown up about 1/2 cup of ground chicken in a pan with 21 Season Salute from Trader Joes. Place over butter lettuce, 1/8 cup shredded Mexican Cheese, & 1 spoonful of Plain Greek Yogurt.
Pasta & Green Beans: Pictured is the Birds Eye Veggie Made Mac & Cheese (but all of these pastas are super delicious) with crushed red pepper. Side of 1 can Green Beans with a slice of Pepper Jack Laughing Cow Cheese.
These are my current go-to lunches that only take about ten minutes to whip up because I’m always about being super productive through my day and maximizing my time. If you have quick lunches that you love, I’d be happy to hear & try them out.
If you enjoy food ideas, you can find more from me daily on Instagram at @ashraeeining where I share a lot of different meals, snacks, and drink ideas on stories! Let’s be best friends on social 🙂
After attending a lake birthday party this last week I had a pretty intense craving for Thai Noodle Salad since the birthday girl had made a batch for her party but I didn’t get to try it. My typical experimental brain hit the web Monday morning to find a simple recipe that I could quickly whip up and voila, I found one that I happened to have (most) all of the ingredients!
We tested it out last night after a longish run (4 miles) in the heat. I would definitely tweak a few things next time just to experiment with taste but overall I would say it’s a keeper. Also noted, we served it hot but traditionally after mixing all the ingredients you would chill it in the fridge and eat cold.
Seasonings (I used Garlic Sea Salt, Terriakyi Ginger mix, and Crushed Red Peppers)
Vegetables (I used a mixed bag I had in the freezer)
Optional Meat Topping (I had some Trader Joe’s Potstickers on hand that we through on top but shredded chicken or pork would also be delicious!)
Soak rice noodles in a pot or bowl for ~30 minutes. We placed our noodles right in the pot we would boil them in and went for a run.
Boil noodles on high for about 5-7 minutes.
Sauté veggies in a pan with olive oil until crispy.
Mix sauce in a small bowl. I used about a 1/4 tbsp of seasme oil, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, and 1/2 tbsp of honey but this will depend on the amount of noodles you are cooking.
Drain noodles, return to pan, add sauce mixture, and cook on low so sauce absorbs into the noodles.
Add veggies to the noodles. Continue to cook for about ~5 minutes or while cooking meat.
Cook optional meat.
Hot: Serve in a large bowl with a cold drink!
Cold: Place mixture in a large bowl, set in the fridge for a few hours, then enjoy!
I’ve just started to explore the instapot craze since my partner owns one and let me tell you guys, I am hooked! I totally understand what everyone is raving about now. It is so simple & easy to make quick yet delicious meals.
I’m a huge fan of home cooking and dabbling with new recipes but can be turned off by the time it takes to make a well thought out meal so the instapot definitely solves that pain point. We threw whipped up some juicy chicken for tacos the other night & I thought I would share. We choose this recipe since all the ingredients are basic that you would more than likely already have on hand (win!).
2 Chicken breast
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup salsa
1/2 small Yellow Onion
Plain Greek Yogurt/Sour Cream
Combine all ingredients (minus toppings) in instapot, close lid, and cook for 15 minutes.
Release steam, remove chicken from pot, shred, and return shredded chicken back to pot with the sauce. Can let it sit in the sauce for a bit to absorb or immediately serve.
Build tacos or salad bowl and enjoy!
So simple, am I right! That’s why we’re all such a fan of tacos 🙂
A few weeks back I flew back to my old place of residence, Sioux Falls, SD over my birthday weekend for a college friend’s wedding. I thought it would be fun to share a (overdue) recap of this short trip and also add in a few additional favorite spots I didn’t get time to make it to!
And yes, I flew during this crazy Covid time knowing I would keep myself quarantined for the recommended timeframe after I made it back to Colorado. I would say that flying isn’t so bad if you take the proper precautions and are ready to follow quarantine timelines after your travels. I’m also hear for any questions you may have for your upcoming travels!
I flew out bright and early from the Denver airport on my birthday to arrive into Sioux Falls around noon. My mom and sister picked me up from the airport and we headed straight to a new local hotspot Daily Clean Eats and Drinks. My mom and I ordered the Tongue Thai’d Bowl and my sister got the Ambrosia Bowl – both were super delicious, filling, and healthy!
We then checked into our hotel, the Holiday Inn Sioux Falls City Centre, and walked downtown for cocktails and wine at our old favorite, The Carpenter Bar. For dinner, we just hung at a family member’s house for some pizza and cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes (the Lemon Raspberry flavor is my favorite!).
The next day was a bit of prep for the wedding with spray tans and getting our nails done. Then relaxing at the local water park, Wild Water West under a personal cabana sipping Cheladas, a stop at B&G Milkway for ice cream (I like the classics – Oreo Avalanches or Turtle Sundaes), dinner at Mackenzie Rivers with friends (I’m a big fan of the Southwest Chop salad) and more ice cream at Parlour Ice Cream House.
The following day was spent traveling around eastern South Dakota to visit family members, rehearsal dinner, and a graduation party for our cousin. Then the wedding on Saturday with the reception at Icon Lounge + Events and lunch at Granite City on Sunday with friends before flying home (I’m a fan of the Mediterranean Chicken).
It was great, quick getaway filled with friend reunions, cocktails, and plenty of sweets. A few of my favorite spots we didn’t get to while back:
If you find yourself in the Sioux Falls area or looking for a unique short getaway, there is definitely plenty of great places to eat, small local boutiques to shop, and a few nice sight-seeing stops in the area (when the weather is nice!).
I’ve talked about this brand a few times but I am a huge fan of Four Sigmatic! A company that started in Finland, which focuses on providing plants and mushrooms through drink form. So you don’t have to go to the forest to consume exotic mushrooms for the health benefits!
I learned of this brand like I learn about many, through a referral from a friend which is why I wanted to share about them and my favorite items in a post. It’s also perfect timing because they are having one of their (very few)huge sales right now with up to 50% off on some items.
Here is an explanation of Four Sigmatic in their words:
“Four Sigmatic foods are the 100 most nutrient dense, most studied foods on the planet. And now they’re easy to add to your daily routines. We’re making these foods as easy as possible to eat and use and talk about. Because the world is asking more of you. Of everyone. We’d all feel a lot better doing that work if we got off the hamster wheel of coffee jitters and hangovers and sugar highs.”
My favorite items:
Cacao Mix with Reishi: By far my all-time fav four sig products. Reishi mushroom is meant to relax so it is a perfect before-bed sipper.
Chai Latte Mix w/ Turkey Tail & Reishi: Another great drink for bedtime is the chai latte with reishi and turkey tail, which is a stress-reliever mushroom. If you’re a chai latte fan, it is definitely not as sweet as you’re used to. I like to mix this one with almond or coconut milk.
Mushroom Elixir Mix with Lion’s Mane: Lion’s Mane mushroom will help with focus on the days where your brain just wants to be all over the place. I love this option for a mid-morning pick-me-up before lunchtime hits.
Mushroom Elixir Mix with Chaga: Who doesn’t love a good extra defense for your immune system? The Chaga mushroom helps with overall wellness which makes it a great option for when those sneaky colds start to come up.
I’m a sucker for quick + simple recipes that call for items I already have around my place. So when I came across 2 ingredient Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls on Instagram last week, I knew I needed to try it out. Disclaimer: this recipe always had more than 2 ingredient – they aren’t tricking anyone.
I attempt the baking exactly as the recipe directed yesterday and than did my small tweaks today to test making it more to my own preferences. The original recipe calls for you to roll out the dough, add the blueberries and cinnamon, and then roll up the dough to create “cinnamon rolls”. This did not work for me, so instead I place the mixture directly into the pan and bake as bars. Below, I write out the original recipe as is and then I explain what I’ve changed to the recipe.
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
Handful of blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a glass 8×8 pan.
Mix first three dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add in yogurt and mix, creating a dough. Mix in blueberries and cinnamon.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until dough is thoroughly cooked through.
The first attempt tasted too bitter to me so this morning I switched out the plain greek yogurt with Two Goods brand Vanilla yogurt. Since it calls for a cup, all you need to buy at the store for 1 batch is two small individual vanilla yogurt cups. I’m not a fan of having a lot of excess ingredients left over so this worked out perfectly.
I also added about 3 teaspoons of brown sugar and a splash of vanilla extract to the dough to provide a bit more flavor. Then to top it off, I used Trader Joe’s Coconut Whip Cream as an icing alternative.
This was definitely a winner in my book. It’s simple and doesn’t provide too much of a sweet taste early in the morning. I love me some french toast or a good decadent muffin but if an item is too sweet it normally leaves my stomach not so happy (cue the sugar gram counting). Also, if you noticed, we don’t add any sugar or sugar alternative (except the brown sugar) so if you stick with the original recipe than you’re still on track for the added-sugar detox!
Let me know if you try this one out and of course, enjoy!!
The human gut microbiome is complex and powerful in impacting our overall health – in a good or bad way depending on how we treat it. A healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, as well as heart & brain health, boosted mood, healthy sleeping patterns, and an effective digestive tract.
The term gut microbiome refers specifically to the microorganisms living in your intestines. A person has about 300 to 500 different species of bacteria in their digestive tract. While some microorganisms are harmful to our health, many are incredibly beneficial and even necessary to a healthy body.
Signs your gut might be out of whack:
Gas and/or bloating
Irregular bowel movements
Like depression, anxiety, and brain fog
Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies
Unintential Weight Gains
Or struggles managing a healthy weight
Chronic Unmanaged Stress
Trouble Falling into a Deep Sleep
Ways to improve your gut health:
Improve Eating habits (see below section)
Monitor consumption of prebiotics and probiotics
If it is a struggle to get enough in your normal diet, consider taking a supplement (address this with your doctor to make sure it is a healthy option for you)
Consider food intolerances that upset your gut
Attempt to get in a recommended amount of water for your body weight
Implement a Consistent Sleep Pattern
Going to bed and waking up at the same times will help your body & digestive system fall into a flow
This is easy said than done but consider areas of your life that are more stress inducing and consider how you can change this.
A happy gut means a healthy feeling body. A diet rich in immune-supporting probiotic & prebiotic foods will fuel your gut with what it needs for your microbiome to thrive. Probioctic foods contain “good” bacteria or live cultures that are found naturally in your gut. Prebiotic foods nourish the probiotic foods in your digestive tract.
Beginning a journey to improve your gut might take a bit, so be patient. Implementing a healthy diet and reducing your stress won’t heal a gut in a day but will begin to detox the gut microbiome of toxins.
But please keep in mind this isn’t an overhaul either! Like I always like to say, life is a balance of healthy habits and periodic indulgences. We want to incorporate healthy habits in our lives so that WE. FEEL. GOOD. but what also feels good…. a fudgy brownie with vanilla ice cream. So definitely implement new healthy habits into your life but don’t deprive yourself!
Stayed tuned for a Morning Routine for a Happy Gut later this week!
In true Cinco de Mayo fashion, this night calls for a robust taco salad. And luckily this is a recipe that is suuuuuper easy to make sugar-free (minus the red wine I had to include for festivity purposes). You really can’t go wrong with a veggie filled salad that is topped with some homemade salsa.
Cook up with taco seasoning
Sauteéd peppers & onions
Season with salt + cracked pepper
Plain Greek Yogurt
Throw all that yumminess in a bowl and do a little salsa dance because you have one good dinner! Feel free to substitute the ground beef for chicken, pulled pork, fish, or jackfruit. Also, can add whatever vegetables your heart desires.
What are you enjoying this Taco Tuesday (or indulging in ;))?
You can’t go wrong with a good smoothie. I enjoy the fact that you can cram in a ton of good fruits & veggies into one glass. Also there is such a variety that there are endless opportunities for a new flavor every day.
Over the years, I’ve definitely done my fair share of experimenting with different concoctions of smoothies and have nailed down my favorite blend of ingredients. Don’t get me wrong, I still do some new mixing every now and then to keep things spicy but this is, for sure, my tired and true smoothie recipe that I keep coming back to and it hardly ever fails that I don’t have these ingredients on hand.
I prefer to blend my smoothies in a Nutribullet (not sponsored but wouldn’t mind being ;). It’s the perfect kitchen gadget to blend everything in one cup and then drink straight out of that same cup. Who doesn’t like less dishes? I also like to use my Nutribullet to blend my homemade Ranch Dressing. (Not going to lie, I do have my eye on a Vitamix too).
I prefer a blend of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries but also grab blends with mango, banana, and peaches often.
Make sure to check the back of the package for any added sugar. Unnecessary ingredients are sometimes added to make the berries sweeter – but we don’t need that 😉