Cool Collard Summer Burgers

Are you looking for a unique, but healthy recipe for Memorial Day weekend this year?

This has been a new favorite in the house!  Grass fed burgers wrapped in a blanched collard greens!  This recipe is very flexible.  You can add avocados, healthy condiments, or any other healthy toppings you like.  I love adding goat cheese and cauliflower rice to my Cool Collard Green Burgers.  My husband loves cheese and avocado with several different toppings.

Cool Collard Summer Burgers
Have fun making these burgers for your family, friends and guests this weekend or any weekend this summer :)
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Ingredients
  1. First, you will need 24 oz. of Grass Fed and Finished ground beef to make 4 (6 oz.) burgers.
Ingredients for the burger marinade
  1. 4 oz. of Drew’s All Natural Rosemary Balsamic Dressing and Quick Marinade
  2. 4 oz. of Dale’s Steak Marinade
  3. 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  4. 1 tsp. of onion powder
  5. ½ tsp. crushed, dried rosemary (or 1 ½ tsp. of fresh rosemary)
  6. Juice from half of a lemon
Ingredients for the collard green wraps
  1. Whole organic collard greens
  2. Sliced avocados
  3. Organic cheese slices of choice OR goat cheese
  4. Cauliflower rice (recipe on site)
  5. Get creative! Add any other healthy toppings you like (tomatoes, organic mayo, organic ketchup and mustard, etc.)
Instructions
  1. In a large pot of boiling water, gently blanch the collard greens for 1 minute. Remove and place into an ice bath (bowl of water and ice cubes) to stop the cooking process and to retain the bright green color of the collards. Remove the leaves and dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
  2. Mix burgers ingredients and set aside. Hand press the burgers. Use ½ to ¼ pound of grass fed beef per burger, depending on your preferred burger size. Baste burgers with marinade prior to cooking.
  3. Cook approximately 3-5 minutes per side on medium heat on the grill depending on size of burger and if you prefer medium rare to medium. DO NOT OVERCOOK burger as it will dry out due to the very low fat content. I prefer medium rare. Since these burgers are grass fed and finished and have never had any antibiotics or hormones, you can safely eat this type of meat as rare or medium rare.
  4. Only flip the burgers once while cooking.
  5. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Health Tip: The omega ratio in Grass Fed and Finished beef is anti-inflammatory as opposed to pro-inflammatory with grain fed, commercial, factory-raised beef.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Cool Collard Summer Burgers - burger w cauliflower rice on collard

My Collard Burger with Avocado and Cauliflower Rice

Cool Collard Summer Burgers -Brett holding burger

Brett’s Collard Burger with Cheese and Avocado

Healthy Taco Night!

I love to have themed dinners on Sunday night if I can pull it off because the kids have so much fun!  This past Sunday, we were feeling festive and decided to have a Mexican theme for dinner because my kids wanted tacos. We had so many giggles and fun especially with the Pandora mariachi band music playing in the background. I am sure you can use your imagination!  This was such an easy dinner to put together, and the only major prep was making the cashew cheese.

Here is how I made the tacos:

Healthy Taco Night
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Ingredients
  1. grass fed and finished beef from Grayson Farms, browned
  2. organic chicken, cooked and shredded
  3. tomatoes, chopped
  4. avocados, sliced
  5. whole collard greens (for the adults to use as "soft taco shells") - use these to make this recipe Gluten-Free
  6. organic corn taco shells (for the kids)
  7. cashew cheese (recipe below)
Instructions
  1. We lined up all of the ingredients and served up some yummy and healthy tacos!
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Cashew Cheese
This makes so much cheese that we had leftovers and used it for a vegetable dip and as a spread on wraps and sandwiches the next day. I found this recipe from The Blender Girl, and there are so many different ways to make it! Just choose one that fits your taste buds that day.
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Basic Raw Cashew Cheese
  1. 2 cups raw cashews soaked in filtered water for 2 – 4 hours (soaking is optional)
  2. 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup filtered water as needed for desired consistency
  3. 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  4. 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  5. 4 cloves fresh garlic minced
  6. 1 tsp sea salt
  7. 1 Tbsp freshly chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
  8. I like my cheese the consistency of ricotta. The more water you add, the creamier and thinner the cheese will become. Add less water for a thicker, more rustic cheese.
For a different flavor omit the nutritional yeast, garlic and 1/2 of the lemon juice from the basic recipe and try adding and making
Herb cheese
  1. 1 chopped green onion
  2. 1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  3. 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  4. 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  5. 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
Tomato basil cheese
  1. 1 tsp organic tomato paste
  2. 2 cloves fresh garlic
  3. 4 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
Chili chive cheese
  1. 1 – 2 Tbsp Chopped Chives
  2. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
Chili cheese
  1. 1 – 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  2. a pinch of red chili flakes or chopped fresh chili
  3. or
  4. 1 – 2 Tbsp freshly chopped fresh flat parsley
  5. 2 chopped green onions
  6. 1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
  7. 1/2 tsp ground chipotle or 1/2 finely chopped jalapeno pepper or 1 Serrano chili
Sweet cheese
  1. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  2. 1 tsp raw agave nectar
Truffle cheese
  1. 2 tsp truffle oil
  2. freshly ground pepper
Sesame cheese
  1. 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  2. 1 Tbsp tahini paste
Instructions
  1. Place the cashews, 1/2 of the water, 1/2 of the lemon juice, garlic and sea salt in the food processor and pulse until roughly blended.
  2. Gradually add in more lemon juice, garlic and salt to taste. I have listed granulated garlic as optional. I find this is a nice touch if you like a garlicky cheese.
Notes
  1. Tips!
Selecting and storing raw cashews
  1. “Raw” cashews are widely available in pre-packaged bags as well as bulk bins. Always purchase from a supplier where there is a high turnover to ensure freshness and quality. Look for plump cashews that are uniform in color. Avoid the limp and shriveled ones. Cashews should smell nutty and sweet. If they have a sharp or bitter smell they have gone rancid. To preserve the precious oils, store cashews in a sealed glass jar in the fridge for up to six months. Always soak cashews before using to remove the enzyme inhibitors and make them more digestible.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Vegan Stew

Vegan Stew in a Crockpot
While spending time with my family and watching our Carolina Panthers play on Sunday, I made this super yummy vegan stew that my husband and kids fell in love with! This recipe was inspired by my friend, Alexandra Arrandt from Top Team Fitness, but I put my own twist on this delicious stew. Here is the quick and easy recipe for you to try!
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In a crockpot, add the following ingredients
  1. 1 box of Organic low sodium chicken broth
  2. 2 large Portabello mushrooms, chopped (you could also use a pint of baby portabella mushrooms, chopped)
  3. 2 celery sticks, chopped
  4. 1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  5. 1 head of broccoli, chopped (including the stems)
  6. 2 large carrots, chopped
  7. 1/2 red onion, chopped
  8. 2 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
  9. 2 cups of black beans
  10. 4 garlic cloves, diced
  11. Fresh parsley
  12. Fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Turn your crock pot on to Low and cook for 6 hours or on High for 3 - 4 hours. This was so easy! I really just chopped whatever veggies I thought would be good and threw it in the crockpot! Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Vegan, Heart Healthy
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Happy Tummy Lasagna

I always try to make recipes that are healthy, DELICIOUS, fun and easy! We all have a favorite pasta or lasagna dish that we love to eat, but we may feel a little guilty and bloated after eating it. I am so happy to share one of my favorite family dishes with you that you can enjoy and feel guilt and bloat free!

This is a wonderful meal for the entire family to enjoy for dinner, and it’s a fantastic dish to serve around the holidays! When I make this dish, my husband and I always end up eating the leftovers for lunch the next day! My Happy Tummy Lasagna is packed full of health benefits, and you can eat this and really feel great afterwards! What I love the most about this dish is that my girls love helping me make it, and we have truly turned this into a staple in our home that I know my girls will one day share with their children. Making memories in the kitchen with my girls has become one of my favorite things to do, and I hope that you will try this with your loved ones too! :)

 

Happy Tummy Lasagna
Healthy Twist on Traditional Lasagna
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep and have ready
  1. 9x11 glass baking dish
  2. 6 zucchinis, thinly sliced the long way with a mandolin slicer
Prepare for Step 1
  1. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  2. 2 tbsp. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  3. 1 onion, diced
Have Ready for Step 2
  1. 2 lbs of Grass Fed Beef. I use T and D Farms Beef.
Have these items ready for step 3
  1. 2 cups of diced roma tomatoes
  2. 1 (6 ounce) can of organic tomato paste
  3. 2 tbsp. dried oregano
  4. 1/2 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of Pink Himalayan salt
  7. 1/2 tbsp. black pepper
Instructions
  1. ** Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Step 1: In a large pot, sauté the onions and garlic in the extra-virgin olive oil for 3 minutes.
  3. Step 2: Add the ground beef and brown.
  4. Step 3: Add the diced roma tomatoes, tomato paste and the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Step 4: Start layering your glass dish with your first zucchini layer. You can overlap the zucchini slices - a helper is always useful!
  6. Step 5: Layer some of the meat over the zucchini layer.
  7. Continue to layer meat and zucchini slices ending with the meat as the top and final layer. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Step 6: Remove from the oven and add your cheese of choice (optional). I prefer goat cheese to top it off. Let the lasagna stand for 10 minutes.
  9. Serve and Enjoy!!
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
 

Zucchini Lasagna - step 1 onions garlic EVOO

 

Zucchini Lasagna - step 2 T&D Farms meat pic

 

Zucchini Lasagna - step 3A Mix tomatoes meat dry ingred

 

Zucchini Lasagna - Riley and Brooke layering zucchini

 

Zucchini Lasagna - step 4 Layering

 

Zucchini Lasagna - step 5 All layers in dish

 

 

Macadamia Mahi Mahi

We love Wild Mahi Mahi in our home, so I am always trying new recipes to change it up and have some variety.  My girls love helping me with this recipe, and it only takes about 5-10 minutes of prep time!  When I started having my girls (ages 5 and 8) help me with dinner, I noticed it was so much easier to get them to be excited about dinner.  They talk about how much they LOVE what “they” help to make!  Try it!  I promise you will have great success.

Costco carries Wild Caught Mahi Mahi that is:

  • Wild Pacific Mahi-Mahi
  • Boneless, skinless
  • Center cut portions, 4-8 oz each
  • Individually vacuum-packed & quick frozen
  • Kept frozen
  • 3 lb resealable bag

Macadamia Mahi Mahi
**I also wanted to share some "real" photos of what went down in my kitchen with my girls helping. I hope this will inspire you to try this with your kids, too! Let me know if you try it! :)
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Wild Caught Mahi Mahi fillets
  2. 1 cup of Macadamia nuts, chopped (We used a hand held chopper that my 5 year old, Riley, loves to help with.)
  3. 1 cup of coconut milk (We use Native Forest Coconut Milk because the can is BPA free.)
  4. 1/4 tsp. of sea salt
  5. 1/4 tsp. of pepper
  6. Coconut oil to coat baking dish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle the fish with the salt and pepper first.
  3. Have a 13 X 9 baking dish lightly coated with coconut oil and ready to place the fish on.
  4. Pour the macadamia nuts in one bowl and milk in another bowl.
  5. Dip one side of the fish in the milk, the dip it in the nuts and place in the dish. Complete steps for all 4 Mahi Mahi filets.
  6. Bake fish for 20 minutes.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
 

 

Mahi Mahi Fish collage - Riley chopping nuts

My 5 year old feels so proud chopping anything!
Here, she is chopping the macadamia nuts in our hand chopper.

Mahi Mahi Fish collage - Reagan holding fish

 My 8 year old is dipping the fish in the coconut milk and then in the macadamia nuts!

Mahi Mahi Fish collage - Reagan prep fish

Dinner was accomplished!

We were all ready, and guess what?  It was so easy and quick that we never felt like we were “slaving away in the kitchen”.

This is a great Mother/Child activity that will make them feel excited about preparing dinner with you!


Cauliflower Fried Rice

I LOVE Cauliflower!  I have replaced it for my mash potatoes and now for rice! Cauliflower Rice is so versatile, and it is extremely good for you. Did you know that 1 cup of cauliflower can give you up to 86% of your daily Vitamin C? Plus, cauliflower is linked to cancer prevention, particularly in the bladder, breast, colon, prostate and ovaries.

Cauliflower Fried Rice
The Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe below can be used with or without the coconut flour. You can really change it up however you like. I LOVE this recipe because I really feel like I am eating "fried rice". Most recently, I made this as a side dish with fish, but I have also made it with chicken as a chicken and rice stir fry. I really hope you enjoy this as much as my family did! :-)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 head of organic cauliflower, stem removed
  2. 1/2 red or yellow onion, minced
  3. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 2 Tbsp fresh basil, diced
  5. 1 egg
  6. 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  7. 1 tsp. of sea salt
  8. Black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Steam the cauliflower and put in a bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the cauliflower down to the consistency of rice.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the Ingredient Mixture.
  3. Combine the two bowls and mix. Heat 3-4 Tbsp of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Then, pour the mixture into the skillet.
  4. *You only want to use coconut oil when cooking or frying at a high heat. Why? Coconut oil has a high smoke point. Some oils will start smoking at a low temperature and release their nutritional qualities. But, coconut oil retains its flavor and nutritional value at higher cooking temperatures.
  5. Fry cauliflower mixture for 7-10 minutes, and it will be good to go. :-)
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Wild Flounder with Fresh Herbs

I cook fish at least 2-3 times a week!  I LOVE changing up the style with just simple easy ingredients found in 

my back yard.  The herbs make this dish so flavorful and my kids kept begging me for more.  Both of my girls told me this was their favorite dish by far.  I was shocked because Mahi Mahi is always the “staple” easy fish that they love, but they truly LOVED this Wild Founder and I know your family will too!

I buy most of my WILD Fish from Costco because I think its the best deal and highest quality I can find where I live.  The brand I use is Orca Bay, and make sure you look for the WILD fish label!  I paired the wild flounder with steamed broccoli and Cauliflower Fried Rice.  :-) Enjoy!

Wild Flounder with Cauliflower Rice
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Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. Wild Flounder with Fresh Herbs
  2. 4 Filets of Flounder
  3. Coconut Oil
  4. 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt/Pepper
  5. Herbs: 1/4 cup of Cilantro, 1/4 Cup of Parsley, 2 Tbs. Mint Leaves
  6. 3 Tbs. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  7. 1 Tsp. Lemon Juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Chop herbs in a processor and then pour in 3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil and continue to run the machine.
  3. Transfer to small bowl or dish and stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  4. Brush herbs mixture over fish to coat top.
  5. Bake fish for 15 minutes.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
 

Fish with Califlower rice and broccoli 9-17-13b

Mahi Mahi Frenzy

I love Wild Fish and my favorite is Mahi Mahi! I went on a Wild Mahi Mahi Fish Frenzy and cooked it two nights in a row. However, I did two completely different recipes and they seemed so different it really didn’t seem like over kill at all! I am all about simple, easy and healthy and you can’t get much easier and quicker than these two recipes! I hope this will inspire you to try one of these recipes. Let me know what you think! :-)

Brooke's Basil Tomato Mahi Mahi
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 mahi-mahi fillets
  2. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  4. 2 lemons
  5. Fresh Basil
  6. Fresh Garlic, chopped
  7. 2 Tomatoes
  8. Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  9. Parchment Paper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Lay parchment paper on baking sheet with Mahi Mahi fillets
  3. Dust Paprika over fish to help browning
  4. Squeeze lemon juice and spread garlic over fish
  5. Slice tomatoes and arrange on top of fish then drizzle with oil
  6. Sprinkle fresh basil and salt/pepper to taste
  7. Fold parchment paper over fish to make a tent (secure with toothpicks)
  8. Bake on 375 for 20-25 minutes.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Cashew Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 Mahi Mahi Filets
  2. 2 cups of chopped cashews
  3. 1/2 cup organic all-purpose flour (or flour of choice)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  5. 1/2 cup of Native Forest coconut milk
  6. Sea salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Rinse fish and pat dry
  3. Season with sea salt and pepper
  4. Mix flour with cayenne pepper and spread flat on a dish
  5. Pour coconut milk in one bowl and cashews in one bowl
  6. Dip fish on top only into flour, then coconut milk then cashews
  7. Place on dish with oil on bottom face up basically grease dish with extra virgin olive oil
  8. Bake for 20 minutes
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Tomato Basil Mahi CollageCCC Collage

Grammy’s Game Hens

grammy

My Grammy’s Game Hens will become a staple in my home now. My amazing Grammy passed away a few months ago and my heart will never be the same. I have realized that the pain from the loss may never go away, but that I needed to move on and start to create memories with my family to keep her spirit alive. My Grammy had a home in Florida and in the North Carolina Mountains. I went to college in North Carolina and every summer and throughout the school year, I would venture up with my friends to enjoy her home cooked meals. One meal that always stuck out to me was her Game Hens! After college, when I met my husband Brett, we often visited Grammy in the mountain home and this was a staple dinner. I have so many wonderful memories of my Grammy, but this meal reminds me so much of her, it will become a Thomas Family Staple! I had a very fun night with my family talking about Grammy and making Game Hens! I am learning through the pain of the loss how important it is to focus on the happy times and to keep her memory alive! I hope you enjoy my Grammy’s Game Hens as much as our family did!

We served these with Zucchini Linguine!

dinner1

Grammy Game Hens
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For the hens
  1. 2 Cornish Game Hens
  2. 1 teaspoon paprika
  3. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the Sauce
  1. ½ cup sliced shallots
  2. 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  3. 1/3 cup dry sherry
  4. ½ cup organic chicken broth
  5. 2 tablespoon raw unsalted butter, room temperature
  6. 1 teaspoon coconut flour
  7. 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  8. 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  9. 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. For the hens, remove the backbone with kitchen shears and discard. Cut the hens in half by splitting the breast plate with a chef’s knife. Dry hens with paper towel.
  3. In a small bowl, combine paprika, sea salt, and pepper then season the hens with the mixture.
  4. Heat oil in skillet and sear hens skin side down over medium heat until golden brown (about 4 minutes). Flip hens and sear for 2 minutes. Transfer hens to the oven and roast until the thickest part of the breast is 165 degrees (about 10 minutes). Transfer hens to a plate and let rest while making sauce.
  5. For the sauce, sauté shallots and garlic in the same skillet over medium heat until soft (about 3 minutes). Add sherry. Cook until reduced to 1 tablespoon. Add broth and simmer about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Combine butter and flour and swirl into sauce one tablespoon at a time. Turn off heat, stir in rosemary, thyme, and mint. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve sauce over hens.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Zucchini Linguine

I made this dish alongside of my Grammy’s Game Hens and it was a definite hit! You could easily use this type of linguine as a healthier alternative to traditional linguine. I love this side dish because it is different – it jazzes dinner up a bit! We all love and need that, right?

Zucchini Linguine
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Ingredients
  1. 2 zucchini, ends trimmed
  2. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  3. 2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  4. Sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Julienne zucchini using a chef’s knife or mandoline (I love this handheld mandoline slicer on Amazon).
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and cook until softened (2-3 minutes). Stir in oregano and season with salt and pepper.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
 

zucchinizucchini1

 

Moroccan Vegetable Quinoa

This was the first time trying a Moroccan dish and I will definitely be making more Moroccan spiced dishes! I added shredded chicken breast for my husband, but I had the veggie version like below. Let us know if you try it and if you add any additions.

 

Moroccan Vegetable Quinoa
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 carrots, peeled and halved length wise and diced into 1-inch sections
  2. 2 medium yellow or zucchini squash, half-moon sliced
  3. 1 red onion, cut into cubes
  4. ¼ cup organic chicken broth
  5. ¼ cup honey
  6. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + more for tossing vegetables
  7. Juice of ½ lemon
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  10. ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  11. 3 cups cooked quinoa
  12. Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Toss carrots, zucchini, and onion in a bowl with EVOO, salt, and black pepper then transfer vegetables to a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until tender.
  3. Combine broth, honey, EVOO, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl, add quinoa and vegetables and mix until well combined. Pour the sauce mixture onto the quinoa and mix until all is well covered.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
 

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken

The crockpot has been such a huge help in our home on busy days for sure! I love that I can just can throw the ingredients in first thing in the morning and when I get home at the end of the day, my meal is completely cooked and ready to serve. The recipe creates a flavorful and juicy chicken that is great for the whole family. My kids love drumsticks, but we threw in some breasts for me and my husband. This was so easy and so delicious that it will now be a staple dinner in our home. Pair this with fresh veggies or my Healthy Lemon Ginger Eggplant Chips.
Easy Slow Cooker Chicken
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 4 lbs bone in chicken pieces
  2. 1 tablespoon EVOO
  3. 1 large onion, cut in rings
  4. 2 teaspoon pink hymalian salt (or sea salt)
  5. 2 teaspoon paprika
  6. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 20 garlic cloves
  8. 1 teaspoon dill weed
Instructions
  1. In your slow cooker, place onion rings on the bottom. In a large mixing bowl, add the chicken and then top with the remaining ingredients to coat. Add into slow cooker on top of onions. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Riley says “thumbs-up” to drumsticks!

Memorial Day Makeovers

We all know that Memorial Day is the official kick-off to summer and it calls for a celebration of grilling out! Burgers, hot dogs, and mayonnaise filled salads are typical for a Memorial Day cook-out. This year, try making over your fare with some of these easy swaps. We’ve even got some simple recipes at the bottom of the blog to help you create the most nutritious cook-out!

Burger  –>  Grass-fed and finished beef or Veggie Burger on a Lettuce Wrap

Burgers made with commercial beef can have added hormones and antibiotics, but when made with grass-fed and finished beef the burger can have good fat and protein. The bun is often the heaviest part of the burger, so ditch the bun and wrap your burger in lettuce. Top with all the veggies you want! You won’t even miss it!

Hot Dog –> Nitrate and Nitrite Free Wieners on a Sprouted Grain Bun

Regular hot dogs, even turkey dogs, are typically filled with many added ingredients, including nitrates and nitrites. Nitrates and nitrites have been linked to several cancers, COPD, increased heart disease risk, DNA mutations, and brain tumors in children.

Potato Salad –> Quinoa Salad

Potato salad is often laden with mayonnaise and filled with starchy potatoes all the while lacking any energizing nutrients. Our quinoa salad will provide you with protein to satisfy you throughout the day and some needed veggies!

Store Bought Brownies –> Black Bean Brownies (click for recipe)

Our black bean brownies are filled with antioxidants through the black beans and free of artificial ingredients often found in store-bought brownies. Don’t tell anyone about the black beans and see if anyone notices! J

Homemade Veggie Burger
Yields 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (16 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed (choose a BPA free can)
  2. ½ bell pepper, cut into strips
  3. ½ onion, cut into quarters
  4. 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  5. 1 free range egg
  6. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  7. 1 tablespoon cumin
  8. 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  9. ½ cup gluten-free oats or whole-grain breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
  2. In a high speed blender or food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Add this mixture to the black beans and mix well.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and hot sauce. Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in oats until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture and pat into patties.
  4. Place on grill or bake in the oven! Top with your favorite topping (I love hummus, tomato, and avocado on mine) and wrap in a lettuce wrap. Enjoy!
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Quinoa Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 2 limes, juiced
  5. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  6. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  7. ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  8. 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halfed
  9. 2 cucumbers, diced
  10. 5 green onions, finely chopped
  11. 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed (about 10 to 15 minutes). Set aside to cool.
  2. In a bowl, whisk olive oil, lime juice, cumin, salt, and cayenne.
  3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions together in a bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture and toss to coat. Stir in cilantro. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Finally, a way to make pizza a little healthier! This crust is not only gluten-free, but it’s nutritious too! This recipe makes a small pizza, so you may want to double it to make a large pizza. You can also make tortilla wraps by using the “batter” to make smaller sizes. My youngest daughter loved helping me make this, so make sure to get your kids involved and let them add their favorite toppings!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 large head of Cauliflower
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 cup organic mozzarella cheese
  4. 1/4 tablespoon garlic powder
  5. 1/4 tablespoon dried basil
  6. 1/4 tablespoon dried oregeno
  7. 1/4 tablespoon black pepper
  8. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Remove the stem and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Place the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse until it is fully grated.
  3. In a bowl, combine cauliflower, egg, cheese, and seasonings. Mix together until fully combined.
  4. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil and spread cauliflower mixture in a circle.
  5. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown without burning.
To make pizza
  1. Let crust cool for 10 minutes. Add toppings and bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is fully melted. For our pizza, we used organic pizza sauce, 2 handfuls baby spinach, then topped it with 2 cups mozzarella and sprinkled it with goat cheese!
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Brooke’s Shepherd’s Pie

Brooke’s Shepherd’s Pie
In honor of St.Patrick's Day, here is a healthy spin on the traditional Irish dish, Shepherd's Pie.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. grassfed ground beef or chicken, turkey, pork…almost any ground meat will work
  2. 1 onion, diced
  3. 1 green pepper, diced
  4. 1 tsp minced garlic or garlic powder
  5. 2 carrots, chopped
  6. 1 cup frozen peas
  7. 1 T each rosemary, sage and thyme
  8. 1 head cauliflower, chopped and boiled in water until soft
  9. 2 T raw butter
  10. Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF.
  2. In a deep-sided, oven safe saute pan(I use an iron skillet) add the ground beef and saute on medium heat until browned. Drain any excess fat/grease and return the beef to the pan. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and peas and cook until softened. Turn the heat off and toss in the herbs along with some salt and pepper.
  3. In a blender or food processer, add cauliflower, butter, and salt to taste and blend until smooth.Spoon the mixture on top of the meat and press into an even layer with your spatula.
  4. Bake in the oven, on the middle rack, for 20 minutes. Let it sit a few minutes before serving.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Green Mac ‘N Cheese

Mac ‘N Cheese has no age limit, but we all know that kids could eat it for every meal. Boxed, commercial mac ‘n cheese varieties contain a lot more than shells and cheese — it’s often shells and a lot of processed, powdery preservatives. I wanted to come up with something that appealed to kids, yet is packed with a lot of nutrients. This mac ‘n cheese is not only loaded with nutrient-rich ingredients, but is also gluten-free!

Gluten-Free Green Mac ‘N Cheese
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Ingredients
  1. 8 ounce (1 box) Ancient Harvest Quinoa Elbow Pasta
  2. 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  3. 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  4. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  5. 4 cups shredded Organic cheddar cheese (we used white cheddar)
  6. Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cook pasta according to box.
  3. While pasta cooks, blend spinach and milk in a blender or food processor.
  4. Drain pasta, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water. Return pasta to pot on stovetop and remove from heat.
  5. Add milk mixture to pasta and turn on low heat. Add salt, pepper, butter, and cheese. Continue stirring often for 10 minutes until well blended.
  6. Transfer mixture to a greased 13 x 9 baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.
Notes
  1. Gluten Free
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
 

Healthy Stuffing

Nothing makes a holiday meal a true “holiday meal” like stuffing does. Flavored with spices and vegetables, this stuffing is clean and free of any fillers or additives and is delicious alongside of your holiday turkey.

Healthy Stuffing
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Ingredients
  1. 1 loaf gluten-free, whole-grain, or sprouted bread
  2. 6 tbsp coconut oil
  3. 1 large, yellow onion, diced
  4. 2 stalks celery, chopped thin
  5. 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  6. 3 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  7. 3 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  8. 2 cups organic chicken stock
  9. 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  10. 2 cups cranberries
  11. 2 cups pecans or walnuts (we used both combined)
  12. Salt & Pepper
  13. Let the bread sit out, uncovered, overnight to stale.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Make sure all herbs and veggies are chopped according to ingredient list.
  3. Cut bread into cubes and place on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Once baked, place the bread cubes in a large bowl.
  4. In a large skillet or pan, melt the coconut oil and add the onions, celery, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the veggies are tender.
  5. Transfer the veggies to the bowl with the bread cubes. In your large skillet or pan, cook the ground beef until browned, breaking up into small pieces. Add the beef to the bread mixture when cooked through.
  6. Add the chicken stock and cranberries and mix well. Pour into a 12-inch baking dish and bake for 30 minutes until browned and hot in the middle.
Notes
  1. Gluten Free
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Roasted Veggies

Roasted Veggies
These veggies are so colorful and look beautiful as a side dish to your holiday meal! You can use any vegetable that you like, but I used broccoli, carrots, onions, peppers, and squash.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 head of broccoli, chopped
  2. 1 large bag of carrots, peeled, sliced lengthwise and cut into smaller pieces
  3. 1 large onion, cut into large chunks
  4. 2 bell peppers, cut into large chunks
  5. 1 yellow squash, cut lengthwise (seeds removed), and cut into large pieces
  6. 2 tsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  7. 1 tbsp sea salt
  8. maple syrup (optional, to add sweetness)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F on convection bake.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients then toss to coat the vegetables thoroughly with the seasonings, syrup, and oil.
  3. Line a baking sheet with foil. Transfer the vegetables to the baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until tender. At the 25 minute mark, stir vegetables. Enjoy as a side or as a main dish over quinoa.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Homemade Fresh Cranberry Sauce

This delicious dish is a fresh alternative to those canned, jellied versions of cranberry sauce that normally are loaded with sugar. This cranberry sauce is made with REAL cranberries! Cranberries are full of antioxidants, which protect cells from damage from free radicals…so eat up! This dish is great as a side dish or on top of your turkey.

Also try: 360 Cranberry Pear Salsa

Fresh Homemade Cranberry Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. Zest of large orange
  2. ¼ tsp cinnamon
  3. 3 ¼ cup fresh cranberries
  4. ½ cup of raw honey
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and heat over low heat until well combined.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet Potato Mash
Serves 4
We love sweet potatoes in my house! They are a great alternative to regular, starchy, white potatoes. Sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene that is a potent antioxidant and also packed with fiber to help with digestion. Around the holidays, sweet potatoes are typically used in casseroles or topped with butter and sugar. This Sweet Potato Mash uses the good fats of coconut milk and the sweetness of cinnamon and ginger to make a healthy version of a holiday favorite.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 pounds medium sweet potatoes
  2. 3/4 cup coconut milk
  3. 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  4. 1 tbsp cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Peel and chop sweet potatoes then boil until tender. Drain water from potatoes. Using an electric mixer, beat potatoes until fluffy or use a potato masher to mash.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon honey, beat again
  3. Add 1 teaspoon salt, beat againTransfer the sweet potatoes to a medium microwaveable bowl and mash thoroughly with a potato masher. Add coconut milk, ginger, cinnamon and salt; stir well. Reheat in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, or in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Notes
  1. Heart Healthy, Cancer Fighting Foods
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Mexico Vacation Inspired Recipes

HOLA! Greetings from Mexico! I’m on vacation with my family this week and I wanted to share some healthy Mexico-inspired recipes with you. I’ve tweeked them to make them healthy, so you can still enjoy them without feeling guilty.

Basil Strawberry Sangria
I love Sangria, but not with all of the added sugars that sometimes come along with it. This sangria is made with stevia or xylitol and is filled with healthy strawberries and apples. Basil has stress-busting properties, can help clear your skin, and has mind and body benefits too!
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Ingredients
  1. ½ lb of fresh strawberries (trimmed and thinly sliced)
  2. 1 apple (diced into bite-sized pieces)
  3. 1 ounce of fresh whole basil leaves
  4. 1 bottle of Chardonnay or white wine of choice
  5. ½ cup Stevia or Xylitol
  6. 1 cup of club soda
  7. 1 cup Santa Cruz Organic White Grape Juice
Instructions
  1. Score the basil leaves with a fork and rub the basil leaves gently with a fork in order to release their flavor in the sangria.
  2. Layer the fruit, Xylitol (or stevia) and basil in a large pitcher and let sit for about 10 minutes. This is just to let the Xylitol absorb the juices from the basil and the fruit.
  3. Add the club soda and then the remaining liquids. Stir well and serve.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
 

Mexican Huevos Quinoa
Mexican food typically involves a lot of rice, but in this quinoa dish we’ve replaced the rice with quinoa. Quinoa is full of protein and is easier to digest than rice. We’ve added some veggies, spices and an egg to give this dish a kick! This is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner...whatever you'd like!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 1 tsp sea salt
  3. 1 T bsp olive oil
  4. 1 cup corn
  5. 1cup black beans, drained
  6. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  7. 1/4 tsp cumin
  8. 2 avocados
  9. 2 tomatoes
  10. 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  11. Juice of 1 lime
  12. 2 free range eggs*
  13. 3 jalapeno peppers (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook your quinoa according to package directions in water with 1 tsp sea salt. Use a fork to fluff it up when cooked.
  2. When quinoa is finished, add it to a large bowl and mix in corn, beans, peppers, cayenne, and cumin then put it in the fridge to cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Poach egg. To poach: bring water and ½ tsp vinegar to a boil in a large skillet. Crack egg into a separate bowl. When water is at a steady boil, remove from heat, gently place the egg in water and cover skillet. Let cook for 5 minutes and then remove the egg. Line a plate with a paper towel and add the egg so the paper towel can absorb water.
  4. Remove quinoa from fridge and mix in tomatoes, avocados, and cilantro. Squeeze lime over the top and mix in.
  5. Place poached egg on top.
Notes
  1. *If you want to add an egg on top of each serving, you may need more eggs depending on how many servings you make from this recipe.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

 

 

 

Jessica’s Butternut Squash and Chickpea Coconut Curry (Slow Cooker)

This is another recipe from my NYC trip that I had to share with you all! Butternut squash is one of my favorite types of squash and is in season during the fall and winter months. Butternut squash contains many vital anti-oxidants and vitamins, particularly vitamins A and B-complex. It is a great source of dietary fiber and phyto-nutrients. It can also aid in weight reduction and cholesterol control.

Chickpeas, also known as Garbanzo Beans, are rich in fiber and can also help with weight control and cholesterol. The Journal of the American Diabetic Association suggests that chickpeas can effectively reduce cholesterol levels.

So put butternut squash and chickpeas together and you’ve got a nutritious meal to feed your family!

Jessica's Butternut Squash and Chickpea Coconut Curry
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Ingredients
  1. 2.5 cups diced butternut squash
  2. 1.5 cups dried organic chick peas
  3. 1 small onion chopped
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 can organic coconut milk
  6. 1 bunch of fresh spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped (may use kale)
  7. 1.5 cups of freshly shelled peas (you can use frozen if you wish)
  8. 1-2 large tomatoes, diced
  9. 3 cups vegatable broth or water
  10. 3 tablespoons yellow curry powder(you can use your own blend of spices here)
  11. 1 tsp sea salt, handful of cilantro, roughly chopped (save some for serving)
Instructions
  1. Rinse and sort through the dry chickpeas.
  2. Cut the skin off the squash, remove seeds and cut into 1 inch square cubes.
  3. Add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker besides the peas and spinach.
  4. Cook on high for 6 hours.
  5. About 20-30 min. before serving add the fresh peas and spinach, and give a stir.
  6. Serve over brown basmati or jasmine rice topped with fresh cilantro, mint or basil.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Brooke’s Superfood Naked Burrito

The typical American diet lacks important mircronutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are found in whole-food, fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains. A diet that is rich in these important nutrients will help prevent serious chronic diseases, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, burn body fat, promote digestion, improve immune function, and protect against everyday toxins.

The typical burrito is filled with a heaping of unhealthy ingredients and wrapped in a nutrient-poor tortilla. This recipe is filled with superfoods, whole-grains, and some really yummy flavor that will help you get some of the micronutrients that your body needs! It’s a burrito you can’t pass up!

Brooke's Superfood Naked Burrito
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cooked quinoa
  2. 1 ⅓ cup black beans
  3. 3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  4. 1 cup baby spinach leaves, chopped
  5. 1 cup kale, de-ribbed and thinly chopped
  6. 8 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt (full fat)
  7. 2 cups sprouts (alfalfa or sunflower)
  8. 2 cups of salsa
  9. 1 avocado, diced
  10. Blue or Veggie Baked Tortilla Chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Layer your individual bowls with ingredients separated evenly in each in the following order.
  2. Add cooked quinoa, cooked black beans, lettuce, spinach, kale, salsa, avocado, Greek yogurt, and sprouts.
  3. Mix ingredients in the bowl and enjoy!
  4. Top with crushed blue chips.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/