Okay, don't be intimidated by the title! This meal is actually very simple to make, despite its exotic name. First off, what the heck is kamut?? I happened upon kamut in the health foods section by the rice and quinoa. I thought, "YOLO!" and tossed that mysterious grain into my cart. Here's an important tip: I assumed it would cook like rice in that it would be finished when all the water was absorbed and that it would be fluffy. But it's more like pasta. There will be some water left to drain off, and the texture is chewier. Don't be scared, though-- despite it not being familiar like rice or pasta, my kids and hubby still ate it AND actually liked it. I think maybe they just liked saying, "Kamut. Kamut." It's a fun word. Try it.
Okay, so while the kamut cooks (I followed the instructions on the package and cooked 1 c. dry kamut in 3 c. water, which was plenty for my family of 5 with some to spare), prep your veggies. Use whatever veggies you like. Here's what I used:
Brown some ground turkey in a pan, seasoning with fresh ground pepper and sea salt. Add your prepped veggies and some olive oil. Once your turkey and veggies are cooked through, add one jar of your favorite Tikka Masala sauce (look for organic, low sugar varieties) and simmer on low until your kamut is ready. Tikka Masala is a great Indian sauce to first introduce your kids to Indian food-- it's not too spicy and has a familiar tomato-base-- it also tends to be the least fattening of the Indian sauces you can purchase in the grocery store, found in the Asian food section. Can we all agree that the Asian food section is the smartest section? ;)
That's it. The kamut takes about 40 minutes total, so start it early. Then serve with some fresh diced avocado. Seriously, so flavorful, so packed with veggies and protein-- it's a meal you will brag about making! And it tastes great the next day for lunch, too ;) Winning!
What's great about being Real Fit for Real Life is that you DON'T have to give up foods you love! And who doesn't love spaghetti & meatballs?!
Simply combine a pack of ground turkey with one egg, crumbs from one slice of your healthy bread of choice, fresh ground pepper & salt, & Italian seasoning. Heat up a pan (medium heat) sprayed with olive oil & carefully form meatballs (I used my cookie scooper) & place in pan. Brown each side as evenly as possible, then pour in the healthiest marinara you can find (I like hitting farmers markets for this, but even the grocery store has good organic ones with no added sugar. They may be pricier, but a good marinara that I don't have to spend days making is totally worth it!! How good can it be if it costs less than $2???)
Turn heat to low & let simmer. Meanwhile, cook your pasta of choice. Here you could use zoodles, quinoa pasta (that's what I used here), brown rice pasta, etc. And because I'm a nice mom, I let my kids make some garlic bread using bakery rolls, butter, & garlic salt. Have another kid make salad, & together you've created a delicious, nutritious spaghetti dinner you all can feel good about!
Clean eating doesn't have to be complicated! Keep it simple. Come back to basics! Stop overwhelming yourself with exotic ingredients & doing everything yourself from garden to table. This is real life. And it's beautifully, deliciously simple.
Who says it's too early for a turkey dinner? This was way easy & made me wonder why I think turkey is solely for Thanksgiving.
Simply place a thawed turkey breast (not a whole bird) into a roasting pan with some chopped sweet potatoes, sprayed in coconut cooking oil & seasoned with fresh ground salt & pepper. Follow the cooking instructions on the turkey. Mine needed about an hour and 15 minutes to cook.
Once done, check the internal temp of the turkey to ensure it's fully cooked. Then let sit while you roast some asparagus (you know the drill). As the asparagus cooks, slice up your turkey, cook the gravy that comes with (I don't care for gravy at all, but the kids like it), and toss together a pretty salad with some fall fruit, like fresh pear or apple slices, nuts, & pomegranate vinaigrette. Yum!
And because I kept tossing sweet potatoes into my mouth as I finished cooking, you'll notice very few on my plate! Always be mindful of the dinner you've eaten before actually sitting down to dinner ;)
Most of my dinners, not gonna lie, arise out of urgency & ingenuity. I plan dinners for the week, but then life happens. Tonight's dinner turned out miraculously tasty for how hastily I threw it together! I had some ground turkey thawed in the fridge, & as always, I had some peppers, onion, & zucchini in the crisper. I've learned, if you have these staples, you can create a variety of delicious, nutritious meals-- so I just try to stay stocked at all times!
Simply spray some olive oil into a pan on medium heat, throw in the ground turkey & sprinkle with garlic & fresh ground sea salt & pepper. Then chop up green peppers & toss in, stirring occasionally. Then put on your sunglasses or goggles & chop up half a red onion & add to the pan. Stir some more, & yes, you can put the shades away.
Grab some Worcester sauce & Bragg's liquid aminos (also staples in your fridge) & shake into the pan according to your tastes. Stir some more. Finally, chop off the ends of 2 zucchini & spiralize them directly over the pan. Pause to stir it all up, then resume spiralizing. I have the cheapest spiralizer out there-- found it at Marshall's for $5-- so it's a workout! But still, it doesn't take too long. Add more sauces. If you like it with kick, add some hot sauce, but if you're serving your kiddos, sprinkle with those yummy fried wonton strips. Trust me. This helps take the edge off the fact that you've zoodled them again!
My whole family ate this up without whining, so that's a success! Had I been more prepared, I would've added fresh cilantro because that makes everything taste gourmet. Truth.
If you're not already eating salmon once a week, you should! Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium. It is a good source of niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus, and vitamin B6. I know, I know-- if you're a fish-hater, you don't really care!
But if you love salmon, or can tolerate it, here's an amazing dinner! (Ok, the kids still hate salmon, so they made themselves grilled cheese- but if your kids are less picky than mine- this is a great family meal.)
Broiled Salmon with Asparagus & Shiitake Mushrooms, modified from Martha Stewart magazine (she actually has great recipes-- I'm glad this magazine keeps mysteriously showing up in my mail!!)
• Preheat oven to broil hi with rack 4 inches from heat. • In small bowl, stir 1/4 c Bragg's liquid aminos (or low-sodium soy sauce), juice of 1 large lemon, & 1 tbsp Truvia or raw coconut sugar, 2 tsp grated ginger (or just the ginger in your spices- to taste). • In baking pan, toss asparagus & mushrooms with oil (olive, canola, coconut, safflower- whatever makes you happy) & coarse salt & freshly ground pepper. Broil 5 minutes. Add soy sauce mixture, stir to coat, broil 3 more minutes. Add salmon (4 skinless wild fillets), drizzle with oil, salt, & sauce from pan. Broil a couple minutes. Flip, add a lemon slice atop each salmon, broil a couple more minutes. Serve with small salad- mine's greens, beets, goat cheese, & raspberry vinaigrette.
Rumor has it salmon is great leg day recovery food! I swear by it ;) Maybe one of these days I'll research the scientific accuracy of this statement, but for now, I'll enjoy any excuse to eat salmon!
I am a fan of one-dish meals like this one. This is another recipe I modified from the Martha Stewart Magazine. Now when I say rice, I never mean white rice. I'm a horrible Filipino, I know! I don't even keep white rice stocked in the pantry. Always choose the more nutrient-dense brown rice, black rice, quinoa, amaranth, or another variety of grain that is trending for it's incredible nutrient profile-- some trends should be followed! As far as chicken sausage, check your local grocery-- these are increasing in popularity & many brands are available in a variety of flavors. Compare ingredient lists to decide which one seems most beneficial AND flavorful.
Baked Rice with Chicken Sausage, Peppers, & Corn
• preheat oven to 375. Pierce sausage with knife tip, then heat in an oven-safe skillet with 1 tbsp oil about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate.
• In same skillet, sauté sliced onions, red peppers, & garlic in oil. Stir in 1 1/2 c rice of choice (I used quinoa & black rice to amp up protein & antioxidants!)
• add 3 c broth of choice (bone broth is popular right now for supposed healing qualities). Salt & pepper to desire. • Return sausage to pan, bring liquid to boil. Add corn (cobs cut to 1-inch pieces), cover, & bake in oven about 25-30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes & top with cilantro. Top with a bit of grated Mexican blend cheese for the kiddos, because cheese makes everything kid-approved!
This quick & easy grilled sandwich is so tasty, it could pass for dessert! Seriously so good. And simple!
You'll need a panini press or just a George Foreman grill (I never use mine as intended!) Spray both sides of grill with coconut oil spray & heat up.
Sandwich: 2 slices Eureka bread of choice, handful of arugula (or spinach), a few slices of a fresh & juicy peach, then some goat cheese. That's it.
Place sandwich in grill/press & cook till light signals it's ready, about one minute, not even enough time to check your Instagram! I did say quick, didn't I?? Because when you're hungry, who wants to wait? Now this is my idea of "fast food"!
Enjoy with a side of pickles or carrot sticks or cucumber slices, something to increase your veggie intake ;)
Seriously, this sounds so gourmet, but it's a 10-minute meal! Now I realize a lot of trainers & fitness gurus are anti-pasta-- down with CARBS! But I say, as long as you're not eating starchy carbs all day long every day of the week, a pasta night is not going to kill you! Plus, there are fantastic options now for pasta-- whole grain, brown rice, spinach pasta. You can even make your own noodles out of squash/zucchini! I'll post another time about zoodles ;) For now, find a pasta your family will eat & that you feel good about!
Step 2: find a local farmer who makes his own walnut pesto. Buy it. Pat yourself on the back for supporting local small business & saving yourself a lot of hassle of making it yourself. Again, if you enjoy spending all day in the kitchen, by all means, make your own! I'm sure there's something on Pinterest. The grocery store may have some tasty, clean options as well.
Step 3: cook cubed chicken in pan with some olive oil. When fully cooked, add your awesome sauce. Serve over pasta of choice with a fresh side salad.
Ok, so my pic doesn't do this dinner justice, but if you are cool like me & obsessed with the beet-goat cheese combo, you will be in absolute tastebud heaven!!
First, spray a large cooking sheet with olive oil or coconut oil, and fill pan with sliced sweet potatoes (soften first in microwave to make it easier to cut) and beet slices. Spray again with oil & salt & pepper to taste. Bake in oven at 450 for 10 minutes, remove beets, then finish cooking sweet tater fries under low broil. Watch it so they don't burn!!
Grill on medium heat your fave turkey burger (homemade if you're a go-getter-- mine's Bubba brand), sprinkle with goat cheese for the last minute or two of grilling, then top with the beets you roasted.
For a "bun", I used one slice of Eureka brand bread (cut in half) instead of a regular bun, because this bread is "clean" & only 80 calories a slice but then I'm not eating it completely bun-less like a sad person on a diet! I don't require ketchup, but if you do, try to use a low-sugar organic brand, or try a yummy salad dressing as a dip!
And yes, I ate some before the pic-- seriously, I had no idea I'd even share this till I took a bite & went to heaven & realized I needed to share the love :)
There are lots of fantastic quinoa salad recipes in existence! Ever since Oprah & Dr. Oz announced the health benefits of this grain, people have gone wild over quinoa. If you haven't, you should. It's as easy to cook as rice but with way more protein! So here's my family's favorite quinoa salad-- it's zesty, fresh-tasting, perfect for a summer party or for your personal week-long indulgence, as the flavors get better each day!
2 cups quinoa- cooked to make 4 fluffy cups & chilled
1 can organic corn
1 can organic black beans, rinsed
2 avocados chopped
1 big red onion, finely chopped
a bunch of fresh cilantro
juice of one lemon
a little olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
Be patient & let the flavors combine for a day! Yummmmmy!
As a busy mom of 3, working multiple part-time jobs & volunteering in PTA, I am all about QUICK, EASY, HEALTHY, REALISTIC meals. If it takes longer than 20 minutes or requires hard-to-find ingredients, it's likely not gonna happen! Don't ask me for macros, because that goes against my Real Life mentality-- just know I always balance carbs, protein, & healthy fats.