Three Bean Salad with Greek Yogurt Dill dressing

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I know, I know. Its been a few days. I sincerely apologize. Life got in the way…but in a very good way 🙂 I shall explain another time!

I want to share an amazing cold bean salad with you that I cannot seem to get enough of!

Its so easy to make and filled with tons of protein, iron, and fiber!!!

Three (3) Bean Salad w/Greek Yogurt Dill Dressing

Ingredients:

– 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

– 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

– 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

– 1 cup corn, frozen or canned

– 1 clove garlic

So I admit, I snagged the recipe for the Greek Yogurt Dill Dressing from another blog. You can find it here. I wanted to give full credit to the author!

I also added some fresh garlic, as I stated above, instead of garlic powder.

(I could eat fresh minced garlic all day long)

Directions:

1. prepare Greek Yogurt Dill Dressing in large mixing bowl. Taste test.

2. Add all the beans after rinsed and drained

3. Add corn and clove of garlic

4. Stir until combined and refrigerate

Holy yummy!

This is going to be a staple in my fridge. I cannot stop eating it!

Stay tuned for some works in progress later today 🙂

Happy….Thursday?

Why are fruits and veggies better than high fattening foods?

This post is inspired by my Biology class that just started up. I have always hated the sciences and barely made it through each class. Now for my Elementary Ed degree I have to take a few of them. So I decided to have an open mind – and I actually learned something!

This question (blog post title) may seem obvious and to an extent it is. We all know the nutrients in fruits and veggies supersede those of high fattening foods (DUH!!) and that they have fewer calories. No brainer, I know. However the value of a calorie in fruits and veggies is worth a lot more than the value of a calorie in high fattening foods.

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I wanted a better way to explain to those trying to lose weight exactly what it means to gain fat – the real affect of the high fattening foods on our bodies. When my professor explained all of this to us in terms of energy, something clicked and it made so much sense to me! I will do my best to explain it a lot simpler than he did!

The foods we eat, healthy or not, are made up entirely of atoms and bonds. To keep this simple, lets think of the atoms as O and the bonds as . If you look at a fruit in terms of atoms it probably looks like:

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=                                 O

Therefore, our bodies can instantly break it down for energy to be used immediately. (Ever wonder why coaches tell athletes they can eat fruit in the middle of a game?) This is also why people on a vegetarian diet need to eat a little more regularly than others, because the energy they get from their foods is used up immediately causing them to be hungry sooner.

A food such as rice might look like this:

Unknown-2                           =               O–O

Here, our bodies need to break down the bond before they can break down the atom for energy. Because there are 2 atoms(or more), there is more energy but it takes longer for the body to break it down. (This is why athletes eat meals high in carbohydrates the night before a game or race).

Both structures (or my attempt at structures) are both very simple. Both are also foods (or foods similar) that are low in calorie and fat. They give our bodies good energy.

Now check out the structure of a triglyceride, or a food high in fat. I had to find one, because drawing one using a keyboard would have been impossible:

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See how many bonds that have to be broken before our bodies can even start breaking down the atoms for energy? Beyond that, the amount of energy created is more than we use up doing daily activities.

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So unless we workout or use up that excess energy it is stored in our bodies as fat. And we will probably eat ANOTHER meal, with more energy to break down, in the amount of time it takes to break down this energy.

Now, the bond above that I created for the rice might be a little bigger, just as the high fat structure might be a little smaller. However, I hope you can see the complexity of the high fattening food as opposed to the rice or the fruit.

For me, it made so much sense. I hope it did the same for you! I wanted to explain it without scientific jargon so ANYONE can understand. It is easier to grasp these concepts without having to look up every other word!

Like or comment if YOU learned something from this post 🙂

Dancing backwards in high heels

Ah, there is really nothing like driving to Cape Cod blasting old school Kenny Chesney. Totally invigorating!Image

I went down to the Cape yesterday for a surprise dinner for my dad’s 60th. We had already done another party and a dinner with Frank Sinatra to celebrate, so he was floored when 8 of his old teaching buddies were there to surprise him at dinner! We went to the British Beer Company and sat in a private room that looked like a greenhouse! It was a great time with a lot of laughs! Who knew they had gluten-free pizza dough? Note to self for the next time I go visit 🙂

I came home early to get my food shopping done. It always makes me smile when I go to check out and my entire carriage is filled with produce and no junk! (Especially when the fellow in front of me has not one vegetable in his ;))

For dinner I was inspired to make a mexican summer salad!!!

ImageI feel silly writing out recipes for salads! So here is my ingredient list

Yummy Summer Mexican Salad:

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Purple Onion
  • Plum Tomatoes
  • Scallions
  • Cucumber
  • Corn
  • Black Beans
  • Avocado
  • Chili Powder
  • Balsamic Vinegar

I won’t share how many bowls I actually had 😉

Hope y’all had a fabulous weekend. Im going to watch some videos about all the success stories from my fellow coaches on my Beachbody Team!!!! With some popcorn of course !

**Lentil and Black Bean “Meat”balls*

The other night I invited my mother over for dinner. My parents live on Cape Cod and she comes once a week to visit my grandmother. I like to occasionally invite her over so I can test some of my new recipes on her 😉

just kidding I enjoy her company as well!

But she makes a great guinea pig because she can be rather picky! All week I have been craving spaghetti and meatballs – a meal I physically cannot ingest!  SO I came up with an idea to make meatballs using lentils and black beans, both important staples in my vegetarian/gluten-free kitchen. When I create recipes I literally wing them. I have an idea of what I want to put in them in terms of ingredients and flavors but it is most of the time a crapshoot. For me, that is the fun of it 🙂

After we have the “meat”balls for dinner, I sent some home for my father to try. He isn’t as picky but holds nothing back when it comes to his opinions! SO here is the recipe – pickymom approved and opinionateddad approved 🙂

 

Lentil & Black Bean “Meat”balls

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs or ground rice chex
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil.
  2. Cook lentils using package instructions (Usually for green lentils, 1 cup uncooked lentils to 2 cups water, add lentils to boiling water, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes)
  3. While lentils are cooking, grind your rice chex in a food processor until fine and until you have one cup. Strain and rinse black beans.
  4. When lentils are finished cooking, stir in black beans while still on stove top to warm them up and make them easier to mash – about 3 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and transfer to large mixing bowl. Using potato masher, mash lentils and black beans until most are smooth but leaving some pieces of whole lentils.Add onions and scallions. Add oregano, cayenne, white pepper, minced garlic, and onion powder. Stir well
  6. Add your gluten-free bread crumbs or ground rice chex. Mix well.
  7. At this point I would taste your mixture to make sure you like how it tastes and so you can add any additional spices you desire.
  8. Combine the eggs with the mixture one at a time until mixed in completely. Note: the mixture will be sticky!
  9. Using a tablespoon, scoop out mixture one by one and mold into a ball with your hands. Place on cookie sheet in rows. Note: the meatballs can be as close to each other as needed since they do not expand when they are cooked!
  10. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until they are as crispy/browned as you like!

Makes roughly 20 meatballs.

I made mine HUGE 🙂

This recipe calls for black beans, however you can use any beans that can be mashed such as cannellini beans, kidney beans, etc. For those of you who are gluten-free, these are served well over white or brown rice and canned or homemade tomato sauce! I made my own tomato sauce with petite diced tomatoes and italian spices!

If you make these, please let me know how you like them 🙂

 

Have a lovely Saturday !!

30-DAY VEGETARIAN CHALLENGE!!!

Over the last couple of months I have done a lot of reading about the health benefits of a Vegetarian diet. For clarification purposes, a vegetarian is someone who does not consume meat but may occasionally consume dairy and/or fish. Different people are comfortable with different levels of consumption of dairy and fish and it is a completely personal decision. A vegan, on the other hand does not consume any animal products whatsoever.

Check out this quick video on the benefits of a vegetarian diet!

 

 

I have been consuming a vegetarian diet since this past January (almost 7 months) and I feel absolutely fantastic! Not only has my energy level skyrocketed, but being a foodie by nature it allows me to eat a ton a food every day!

Many doctors, like the gentlemen in the video above, are huge advocates for a vegetarian diet for many reasons. Some even promote being a vegetarian during the day and eating a meal with meat at dinnertime. Even that is said to increase health! The problem with switching to a vegetarian diet is most people jump into it without doing the proper research. We do get some valuable protein and iron from animal meat. These are two important nutrients that people seem to lack when they go meatless. However, they are very easy to replace with the right foods! When I first went vegetarian I had to do boatloads of research to ensure I was consuming enough calories every day, getting enough protein (which is actually a lot easier than it seems), and especially getting enough iron!

BUT  I am here to make this process a whole lot easier! I am starting a 30-day VEGETARIAN CHALLENGE! With my help, and the help of Shakeology, I challenge you to experience the health benefits of a vegetarian diet.

How does Shakeology help?

Shakeology offers a vegan option for two flavors of shakes; chocolate and tropical strawberry. They are dairy-free and soy-free! By purchasing and committing to Shakeology for one month, you are guaranteed at least one meal per day that is full of essential nutrients for a vegetarian. Shakeology also helps increase energy and aids in weight loss, if those are your goals as well.

How do I help?

Well, if this isn’t obvious already I will elaborate. I have DONE all the research and am living a much healthier vegetarian life! As your coach for this challenge I am here for support; nutrition tips, recipes, recipe ideas, along with all the encouragement needed to help you discover the benefits of eating vegetarian.

What do you need to do to join the challenge group?

  • Email me (cassimalec@beachbodycoach.com) or Facebook Message me (www.facebook.com/cassi.malec) to find out how to purchase Shakeology and join the private Facebook Group dedicated to this challenge.
  • Commit to eliminating meat for 30 days and drinking a Shakeology shake once per day.

Start Date: July 8th

Spots Available: 10

You Get:

  • One vegetarian meal per day – Shakeology
  • One – on – one guidance and support via the private Facebook Group (or via email if you do not have Facebook)
  • Group support from others also participating!
  • MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!! – if you are not satisfied with your results I will give you your money back for your purchase of Shakeology!
  • Nutrition advice, recipe ideas, my recipes, and other ideas/experiences that make the transition easier!

If you decide at the end of the 30 days that eating a vegetarian diet REALLY isn’t for you, there will be absolutely no hard feelings. I am not a preacher and am not trying to “convert” you by any means for any moral reasons whatsoever. I am only trying to give people an easy way to switch to a vegetarian diet without having to search all over the web for healthy replacements. Why reinvent the wheel? If I can help get YOU to a healthier YOU, that is all I am aiming for!

GO VEGGIES!! 🙂

email: cassimalec@beachbodycoach.com

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cassi.malec