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Tomato and Cucumber Avocado Toast

It was my turn to make the meal plan for our monthly 5 day clean eating jump start last month. I had several recipes that I was excited about including but was struggling to find some meat free or vegetarian recipes to include for the Friday. Honestly it was a good excuse for me to lay off the meat sources of protein. I think we all have certain recipes and foods that we gravitate toward and my meal plans tend to be a bit meat heavy lol. But hey, that’s why we take turns. Each one of us has different tastes and opinions and by changing it up, we are always trying something new!

I came across an avocado toast recipe on Pinterest and while it was not one of my typical recipe choices, I decided to save it. When I actually got around to making a version of it, I added my own changes and worked with ingredients I wanted to use and OH.MY.GOODNESS. So easy and sooooo good. I ended up skipping the dinner in the meal plan for that night and made it again. And then I ate it Saturday too. You just really can’t beat how simple it was as well as flavorful. Give it a try and see what you think!

Tomato and Cucumber Avocado Toast

Tomato and Cucumber Avocado Toast

Ingredients:

1.) Wasa Crackers (I just used the multi grain package)

2.) Hummus (I used Sabra brand Roasted Red Pepper)

3.) Cucumber slices

4.) Guacamole (I used Wholly Guacamole)

5.) Cherry Tomatoes cut in half

Directions:

Just layer each item as listed in the ingredients: wasa cracker, layer of hummus, layer cucumbers, layer I feel guacamole, and some cherry tomatoes on top.

See! It really was that easy. And you could really change the flavors up if you wanted. There are different flavor options available for several of the ingredients.

An here is the original recipe

Tomato and Cucumber Avocado Toast

21 Day Fix:

While I did not measure this out for 21 Day Fix equivalents at the time, I think it is possible to do! You would count your wasa crackers and hummus as yellow, the veggies as green, and the guacamole as blue.

Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate ads where should you purchase through them I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you). Thank you so much, that is how I keep this blog up and running!

Jenn Fehrenbacher

Crispy Zucchini Boats

I love the warmer seasons. I am not a cold weather person and I think I’m getting worse ever year. I just can’t help it….negative degree weather is not my thing. And then I married a duck hunter. He is crazy! Summer means that our garden is in full swing and that is one of my favorite parts.

Crispy Zucchini Boats

I am always trying to find new ways to cook the vegetables from our garden. I don’t want to waste them, but really I can’t eat plain squash and zucchini three meals a day every day the same way. But that is what  is amazing about cooking and experimenting, right? You can take something plain and turn it into something super tasty. Like a vegetable that you actually look forward to eating.

Crispy Zucchini Boats

That is what happened when I tried these. I had an idea and I ran with it. So good. Crispy Zucchini Boats? Baked Zucchini? Like usual I have no idea what to call these. But, they are worth a try. I promise.

Crispy Zucchini Boats

Crispy Zucchini Boats

Ingredients:

1.) Zucchini and Squash: as much as you want to eat (leftovers are good…but not as good as right out of the oven..they are not crispy anymore 😢 reheated)

2.) Cooking Oil or Fat of choice: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Butter, Ghee

3.) Parmesan Cheese

4.) Seasoning of choice: this is where you can experiment and really change the flavor (so far I have used an Adobo blend and a garlic/salt/pepper )

Directions:

Cut your zucchini and squash in half lengthwise and then I scoop the seeds out (especially if they are big, you don’t have to..I just don’t like the seeds). Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet, peel side down. Drizzle with cooking fat of choice, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and seasonings. Bake 375 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes and then broil at around 500 degrees for 3-5 minutes. I do this until the cheese is crispy on top.

21 Day Fix Equivalents: Green, Blue, tsp

You could make this 21 Day Fix legal if you measure your portions 😀

Crispy Zucchini Boats

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links where should you make a purchase through them, I may receive a small commission. This is how I keep my blog up and running…thank you!

Jenn Fehrenbacher

Pork, Sweet Potatoes and Snow Peas

I never meant for this to be a recipe I shared!  We had a long day of fun and swimming and picnics…truly a Sunday Funday 😀. What that also means is that I didn’t cook at all and it was also the last thing I wanted to do when we got home.

Kids

Packing Lunches for our fun day!

I had leftover pulled pork in the refrigerator and an ice cream bucket of snow peas that my husband’s aunt was sweet enough to let us come pick….what a treat! I also had some sweet potatoes that I needed to use. So that’s what we ate.  Simple as that lol.  I decided to bake the sweet potatoes like oven fries and reheated the pork at the same time.

I happened to take one picture before I ate it because it was pretty and that was it. So, no wonderful pictures to show…nothing. But that does not do this meal justice. It was sooooo good. I knew with the first bite that I had an accidental keeper “recipe” (recipe in quotes because who am I kidding…I can’t cook, I just mix food together 😂😂).

It was this awesome mix of a bit sweet, with bites of pork…but also bites of crunchy!  The snow peas made the meal! I just barely boiled them (30 seconds) so they were super crunchy. So good! Can’t wait to make it again.

Pork  sweet Potaotes and snow peas

Pork, Sweet Potatoes and Snow Peas

Ingredients:

1.) Pulled Pork: I used leftovers, but feel free to make this on purpose!

here is a good recipe…I either use a crockpot or a roaster if I’m making the recipe even larger (that way I have plenty to save for later)

2.) Sweet Potatoes: peel and cut into “fries” or wedges

3.) Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or coconut oil)

4) Sea Salt, to taste

5.) Snow Peas: I cut the ends off and cut the pods in approximately 3 pieces

Directions:

–Pork: I had leftover pulled pork, so that was very simple. (Make extra and use it later!) But…if you need to cook your pork, get your crockpot out way early and follow the directions on that recipe to cook it.

–Sweet Potaotes: spread wedges on parchment paper lined baking sheet, toss with a bit of oil and sea salt. I baked them approximately 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes

–Snow Peas: boil water and then add your pieces of snow peas, boil for 30 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon (we want them crispy, not mushy)

Then mix it together….Potaotes, snow peas, pork….and then I added more snow peas because I liked them so much!

21 Day Fix Equivalents: you can make this pretty darn close to 21 Day a Fix compliant. Just measure your portions…its Red, Yellow, Green, tsp

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links where should you purchase through them, I receive a small commission. I use this to keep my blog up and running. Thank you so much! 😀

Jenn Fehrenbacher

Sausage and Spinach Spaghetti Squash

I was in the mood to try some spaghetti squash again with fall here and spaghetti squash easily available. And guess what? I accidentally found a GREAT way to cook and cut it in the process. No cutting a huge raw squash with a knife (scary!).  But, you still get longer “noodles” in the process. Win win. Here are my exact instructions with pictures detailing how to cook and cut spaghetti squash with ease. Really, it’s worth it.

But now, what to do with it?  Lots of options really. Basically I just used what I already had in my refrigerator. I improvised, but it ended up good!  It is a great way to get those green containers in. I had already grilled sausage burgers that week, so I just chopped those up.  In the future, I will cook the sausage while preparing the squash so that I have actual ground sausage.

sausage and spinach spaghetti squash

Sausage and Spinach Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:

1.) approximately 1.5 lbs of ground meat (I used sausage)

2.) 2 onions, chopped

3.) 1 spaghetti squash (I ended up using about 3/4 of the “noodles” I made. It was huge!)

4.) 3 cups fresh spinach

5.) garlic, salt, and pepper to taste

Directions:

Follow these directions for cooking and cutting your spaghetti squash. With about 30 minutes left on cooking the squash, start browning your ground sausage on the stovetop and cooking your onions (I added the onions to the sausage when it was cooked) When the spaghetti squash is complete and “noodles” and the sausage is cooked through, add both to a large saucepan or wok (the wok worked great). Then add the spinach, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir for 1 minute then remove from heat. Let sit for 2-3 minutes (this is so we don’t over cook the spinach..easy to do!). Enjoy!

sausage and spinach spaghetti squash

21 Day Fix: red, green

*I specifically counted this as 1 red and 2 green when I ate it. I ate a big portion lol!  I don’t know that Autumn would technically say sausage is totally 21 Day Fix compliant. But, I have not noticed any detrimental effects with using it here and there. This was a great paleo recipe!!

sausage and spinach spaghetti squash

If you would like some extra help with clean eating and exact steps for meal prep to save time..check this post out.

Are you on your 21 Day Fix journey or thinking about starting but want some extra support and guidance?  That is where I come in. Connect with me on Facebook or contact me through this site for help!

21 day fix help

Jenn Fehrenbacher

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

I finally purchased a spaghetti squash and had such high hopes. Then, I tried to cut it and cook it exactly like the instructions I had researched on Pinterest and…FAIL. It had all these great instructions for getting longer “noodles” and I thought it was going to be pretty awesome. And then I tried to cut the completely raw spaghetti squash. And that’s when I chickened out.  I’m sorry but those suckers are terrible to cut through.  Not to mention I was a little gun shy after having cut the corner of my thumb off just the day before.

Seriously look at how far I got…

spaghetti squash

And there is my bandaid from my previous kitchen cutting incident. 

That’s when I decided cutting a raw squash was crazy and just tossed the whole thing in the oven. I did basically nothing, cooked it the whole way through and took it out. And that’s when it hit me…I could still try to get the fancy long noodles. I just completed the instructions backwards. I cut my squash into several discs, cut the seeds out and seriously all I did was peel the skin away. It was super easy. And that is how I discovered the BEST way to cook and cut a spaghetti squash completely on accident. Perfect for those of us who don’t like a lot of instructions and are a little afraid of big knives and huge raw vegetables.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash and Cut it

Ingredients:

1.) 1 spaghetti squash

2.) light olive oil

Cooking Directions:

Wash the squash and dry it then lightly coat the outside with olive oil.

Place in a baking sheet or casserole dish and in the oven.  I baked it 400 degrees for about 60 minutes. (The goal is to have the inside cooked and soft)

spaghetti squash

Cutting Directions: 

Let the squash cool slightly (don’t burn your fingers!).

Place the squash on a cutting board and pierce the skin with the point of your knife and the cut through.  You are going to make several discs about 2 inches wide. (Throw away the ends!) I used a kitchen a towel with my non-knife hand to hold it steady without getting burned.

spaghetti squash

Lay your discs flat on the cutting board and cut the seeds out of the center with a smaller knife.

Slice down one section of the skin and then just pull it off of the squash

spaghetti squash

Use the side of the knife or a fork to pull your “noodles” apart

I was really impressed with how this turned out. So many accidents turned into something really great!  I was amazed that I could just peel the skin off. See what you think!

spaghetti squash

21 Day Fix: Green

For specific 21 Day Fix help, visit me here. And if you are looking for specific clean eating meal prep instructions and help, check out this post.

Jenn Fehrenbacher

Sautéed Green Beans

Seems like most of our summer recipes revolve around food that comes from our garden. Got to use it while it’s fresh, right? Pretty thankful to have a husband that loves to grow things. (Even if he does take it to the extreme at times…). I learned the original version of this recipe from my husband’s family. It’s quick, easy and good. No more eating plain and boring green beans. This version adds a nice twist to the flavor. Enjoy…21 Day Fix friendly and Paleo too

green beans

Sautéed Green Beans

Ingredients:

1.) green beans (fresh if possible)

2.) onions, chopped

3.) light olive oil (drizzle)

4.) coconut aminos

Optional: garlic

Directions:

Drizzle a small amount of oil in the bottom of a saucepan or wok and heat on medium. Add green beans and onions to the mix (garlic if desired). Cook the green beans and stir frequently  until they are cooked as desired (I still like them crispy). Then, near the end add the coconut aminos and continue to stir. Cook a few more minutes on low heat.

*coconut aminos are a liquid that can be used as a replacement for soy sauce.  They are great on vegetables and derived from coconut.  Great for those avoiding soy.

Coconut aminos

* type of green beans: I have always used some form of fresh green beans for this recipe whether from the garden or from a store during the winter. I would not recommend canned. I personally think this recipe is much better when the green beans are crisp and not soft

21 Day Fix: green, tsp

green beans

Jenn Fehrenbacher

Zucchini Noodles “Zoodles”

It’s garden season people!  I’ve been looking forward to this since it ended last year. You can’t beat fresh vegetables.  But, what to do with them?  We try our best to use it all. Whether we are eating, canning or freezing the goods we try our hardest not to waste food. This year I have been experimenting with squash and zucchini. I finally got my spiralizer veggie slicer down out of the cabinet and have been using it like crazy ever since. You know, you just need a little variety sometimes. My “go to” squash and zucchini cooking method is just to cut them and sauté in my wok. But, I am branching out this year. I finally started making zoodles (zucchini noodles).

So, my recipe for this night started out with grand plans of making awesome zucchini noodles in my wok. As most of my experiments in the kitchen go….it ended up being trial and error and some happy accidents along the way. I started cutting my zoodles and realized I had really overshot it. My wok was overflowing before I was even close to done with the zucchini I had washed. No worries, I started cooking those and then started cutting zucchini chips (zips? Just kidding). I baked those in my oven and while I was picturing delicious and perfectly crispy chips (pretty sure I was dreaming about Ruffles)…what I got was my happy accident. It was not at all what I had pictured, but still super tasty. I made them again today, on purpose!

So, here we go….Zucchini 2 Ways

zucchini noodles zoodles

Zoodles “zucchini noodles”

Ingredients:

1.) zucchini

2.) light olive oil or butter

3.) garlic

4.) basil (to make it “look” like we know what we are doing)

5.) salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cut your zucchini into noodles using a spiralizer or other type of veggie slicing tool. Heat a light amount of oil or butter in a saucepan or wok on the stove (the wok was helpful because of the higher sides). Add some garlic and basil to the mix. Then add your zoodles. Coat the zoodles in the oil mix and heat until desired texture. Add salt and pepper if desired.

*the key here is NOT to over cook your zoodles. Heat the oil and and then add the zoodles. Toss and heat, but just a handful of minutes really. I just left them in my wok until they were heated through and then turned the stove off ASAP. This way they stay somewhat firm and don’t turn into a mushy, watery mess. 

21 Day Fix (use oil instead of butter): green, tsp

And now for the second option.  This is where I thought I had made a big sloppy mess of things, until I tried them. Pretty great!

Zucchini Chips

Ingredients:

1.) zucchini

2.) light oil (olive oil or coconut oil)

3.) sea salt

Directions:

Cut the zucchini into slices this time.  I used my spiralizer veggie slicer, but you could potentially just cut them very thin with a knife.  Spread out in a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Toss lightly with oil and sea salt.  Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for approximately 10-15 minutes,  then turn oven to broil and cook until desired crispness is achieved.  As always with broil…keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!

21 Day Fix (use oil instead of butter): green, tsp

Zucchini chips

Jenn Fehrenbacher

21 Day Fix Snacks

My best advice when it comes to getting hungry and snacking is to always be prepared! I can start a day with the best intentions, but if I get caught off guard or too busy and don’t have anything ready to eat…I get desperate. I have made some of my worst food decisions with my stomach growling and kids going crazy in the background. I’m starving and I need something fast and portable because sometimes I’m eating it running out the door with a kid in each arm. Then before I know it, I made a poor choice and ate it and don’t even remember eating it by the way (Yeesh, I should at least savor the junk food if I’m going to eat it), and then I’m left wondering why I even did that. But, by then it is too late. Can’t undo that one. Tomorrow is another day, right? Then again what if I do the same thing all over again? Despite my best intentions it does seem like we are usually running late or in a hurry and just not accomplishing what we need to accomplish. I do have 4 people generally working against me (they are cute though, I’ll keep them).

21 day fix snacks

 

Instead of waiting for tomorrow, let’s break the cycle NOW. Quit waiting for tomorrow and let’s learn to start planning ahead. I highly suggest keeping snacks on hand and readily available so that there is always something ready to grab in those moments of panic. (HANGRY..hungry + angry and yes this is a real emotion for me). I don’t step out of the box too often actually. The more simple the better for me as far as compliance. So, I have a set list of snacks that are 21 Day Fix approved and clean eating approved as well. Because, that is what the 21 Day Fix is based off of. Clean eating WITH portion control. You can easily include prepping for snacks into a mealprep day actually. You can read more about that here. This is exactly what I do to save time and still eat clean.

21 Day Fix Clean Eating Snacks
Tips & Tricks

1.) pick a list of snacks that you like

2.) include prepping snacks on meal prep day
-cut veggies
-boil eggs
-wash/cut fruit if necessary
-Portion out your snacks into baggies or containers
Just a suggestion..do it when you are NOT hungry. I’m guilty of sneaking a little extra food in especially when super hungry 🙂

3.) know what you are doing during the day and plan accordingly
-running errands and grocery shopping? Pack water and snacks
-my goals is usually to grab a shake (breakfast) and drink that in the car on the way
out, bring water and usually an apple and then try to be home for lunch. Find what
works for you.

4.) Be proud of yourself: some extra steps on the front end can save you from disaster later!

21 day fix snacks

21 Day Fix Snacks: listed by container if possible

I am trying to list snacks that are as portable as possible and mostly Paleo as well. Everything listed is also 21 Day Fix Extreme approved unless it has a * by it.

GREEN (vegetables)

Broccoli
Tomatoes: cherry
Peppers: sweet, sliced
Carrots
Cauliflower
Cucumbers
Celery

PURPLE (fruit)

Berries
Melons
Orange
Apple
Cherries
Grapes
Kiwi
Mango
Pineapple
Banana

RED (protein)

Eggs: hard boiled
Greek yogurt: plain
Shakeology: recipes
Cottage cheese
Tuna: canned, light in water/drained
Meat: precooked chicken, turkey, pork etc

YELLOW (carbs)

Popcorn*
-place 3 Tbsp of kernels in a large brown paper bag. Seal tightly. Microwave on high for 1.5-2 minutes or until there are 2 seconds between pops.
Coconut milk

ORANGE (seeds etc)

Pumpkin
Sunflower
Olives*
Peanuts

BLUE (healthy fats)

Almonds
Cashews
Peanuts
Pistachios
Pecans
Walnuts
Mozzarella cheese (this could be string cheese!)
Avocado

EXTRA ADDITIONS: you can use these to dip your vegetables in

Hummus (blue)
Nut butters (tsp)
Seed butters (tsp)

Feel free to mix and match! Here are some of my favorite combinations.

Greek yogurt + fruit
Cottage cheese + cherry tomatoes
Apple + Almond butter
Shakeology + coconut milk + water
Peppers + hummus
Carrots + almond butter
Tuna + avocado + tomato

Popcorn + Almonds

Popcorn + Almonds + Apple

 

Check this out for more information on exactly how to use the 21 Day fix nutrition system.

21 day fix

Did id you know you do not have to do this alone?  I love running 21 Day Fix support groups. I help you use the program, motivate and support you the whole way. Feel free to contact me to join my next support group.

jennfehrenbacher@gmail.com

New Year's Resolutions

 

Jenn Fehrenbacher

Baked Cauliflower Rice

I have a new found love for cauliflower these days. It has definitely gone through stages though. Actually, growing up my mom allowed each of us kids to pick 1 vegetable that we never had to eat if she happened to fix it. Mine..cauliflower. I hated it that much. Not too smart of a pick for my one vegetable either considering my mom rarely cooked cauliflower for us so I almost never got to use my opt out option.

The first time I actually even tried cauliflower was when my husband, then boyfriend introduced me to fried cauliflower at a favorite local tavern. It was pretty awesome..I couldn’t believe it.  Did I mention it was fried though? Lots of things are good fried 🙂

It took around another 7 years for me to try it…gasp…not fried. I had been eating mostly clean for awhile and had been oven baking carrots and broccoli. I decided to give cauliflower a try. I was pretty excited. The way I baked it made  it a little crispy and crunchy. Could this be a new favorite vegetable?  Needless to say, I started making it weekly as part of my meal prep day.

I decided to branch out a bit more and try to make cauliflower rice. My first attempt was a flop in my opinion. I prepared it and then cooked it in the wok, not so good. Then I stumbled across someone who BAKED their cauliflower rice. What a great idea!  My favorite, easy way to cook vegetables. I was happy with the results on this one!  Now, I just need to get a bigger food processor so it doesn’t take me like 20 rounds to chop the cauliflower.

 

Cauliflower rice

 

Baked Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients

1.) cauliflower

2.) oil (extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil)

3.) sea salt

Directions

Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and pulse in the food processor. *helpful hint..just do a few quick pulses each time (don’t overdo it in the food processor or it will be really mushy). Put it on a baking sheet, drizzle on the oil and mix it up a bit. Then spread the cauliflower out and sprinkle on some sea salt.

Bake 400-425 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, then turn oven to broil and bake for about 3-5 minutes (this is key I think..watch to make sure you don’t burn it, but this makes it crispier which I like!)

Jenn Fehrenbacher

Basic Eat Clean Meal Planning

It can be so overwhelming to think about changing so many years of ingrained habits. You get so set in your ways, and it is tough to change!  And switching to clean eating alone is a HUGE change depending on what you are used to. And then there are all of these amazing resources of how to meal plan to perfection and do whatever else to perfection. Well, I’m not perfect. I never will be, and guess what I don’t want to be. We strive to be clean eaters in this house. We are on a JOURNEY (and by journey, I mean we do things right and we do some things wrong and move on).

 

Here are some of my tips and tricks for meal planning and preparation. They are simple and basic (because I know me..and I won’t stick with anything else). I won’t make fancy foods. I just need practical. I need to have my set list of things and repeat…not buy crazy ingredients and never use them again. I’m going for practical!  Now, don’t get me wrong…if someone would grocery shop, pay, and prepare for me…I may just be willing to branch out. As it stands…it’s just me 🙂 and plain and simple is what gets the job done.

 

Meal planning

 

 

Weekly Menu

I have chosen a theme for each day. I don’t always stick with it. Basically the options are items I usually keep on hand and can throw together quickly. If I don’t feel like eating whatever that night, I don’t. But, it gives me a “go to” list to shop from and prepare from.   Keep in mind when planning the days that you are going to be more busy ( make those crockpot days). And you may notice, I’ve only got dinner on here.  We eat lots of leftovers and we have a few set breakfasts that we eat repeatedly.

Meal planning

Meal Prep Day

I typically have 1 day a week where I prepare  most of our bulk food. I get a lot done in 2 hours that I can use all week. I grill meat and bake my vegetables at the same time. And, while those are cooking, I cut my fresh fruits and vegetables.  This is usually Monday for us and I make that “grill night” because that is when I just cooked the meat.  So, this is the main bulk of the food we eat along with snacks. This way, I’m not cooking every day all day and we are still getting clean foods. I just cook here and there the rest of the week. Here are some ideas I use to make my grilled chicken a “NEW” meal each time.

Chicken redo

Prep

 

 

Calorie and Water Targets

Something to keep in mind. I know some people are blessed with unbelievable metabolisms (not me) and that they can eat with reckless abandon with no consequences. Well, I still have to keep myself in check even if it is healthy food. Here are some calorie and water targets worth noting. I’m not always super strict..but I do have to stay aware of what I’m doing. With water, I attempt to drink 1 gallon a day. It’s a work in progress

Piyo calorie target

 

 

This is just what works for us!  I have friends that are wonderful cooks and I am just not there yet. My goals are for us to eat clean and get healthy and this is how I make it happen 🙂

 

 

Jenn Fehrenbacher