Meals on the Goga - Oct 2015
There’s a lot of delicious cooking to get to here, so I’ll keep this short. Meals on the Goga is a monthly installment of a work-week of healthy, easy, and affordable meals. Eating clean is not hard or unsatisfying if you know a few easy tips and tricks. It’s also possible to eat healthy, while still eating a few meals out.
These recipes and food suggestions are a way for you to get your gears moving, try something new, and maybe inspire you to come up with some recipes of your own! If you like these recipes – please share them! They’re for everyone. Inspired to try a recipe? Snap a picture and tag @onthegoga. Once a month one winner will score some sweet On the Goga goodies. Alright, chefs hats on*, aprons tied*, lets get cooking
*Note: chefs hats an aprons not required, but recommended if you want to look totally legit
Breakfasts are the first meal of the day. Your stomach is empty and ready to do some serious nutrient absorption. You’re also in need of carbohydrates to energize you, and protein to keep you going till lunch.
MONDAY: Greek Yogurt and Fruit (to go)
- 1 Fage Greek Yogurt (any flavor, 0% or 2%)
- Literally just eat both of these things
Greek yogurt is an amazing source of protein. Fage weighs in at a whopping 18 grams per 7oz cup! Pair this with the natural carbohydrates in the fruit, and you’ve got something better than that Pumpkin Spice Latte to wake you up. The carbohydrates are easy for your body to break down, so you have pretty immediate access to that energy. Protein takes longer for your body to process, so it continues to give you energy throughout the day, keeping you full till lunch.
Did I mention this was easy? Toss the excuse of “I don’t have time” out the window when it comes to eating healthy. Nothing could be quicker than stocking your fridge with Greek yogurt and fruit.
TUESDAY: Pumpkin Pie French Toast
- 1 slice of whole grain bread
- 1 egg + 1 egg white
- 1 ½ Tbsp of almond milk (can be substituted by any type of milk)
- ¼ tsp of vanilla extract
- Dash of Cinnamon
- 1/3 can of pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 oz raisins (optional)
- Dash of pumpkin pie space (to taste)
- 1 Tbsp pecans or walnuts
- In a shallow, flat dish (I used a 8x8 cake pan) whisk the eggs, almond milk, vanilla and cinnamon
- Poke holes in the toast with a fork and soak it in the egg mixture, flipping sides and getting as much of the egg mixture absorbed as - possible
- Heat a pan on medium high heat, grease with a little bit of cooking oil (you only really need about a tsp)
- Place egg soaked bread on the pan and cook until it is golden brown on each side
- While the toast is cooking, mix all the ingredients for the pumpkin pie topping and heat in the microwave for 1 minute
- Remove the toast, top with pumpkin pie topping and nuts, and serve!
Aside from the benefit of being totally delicious, French toast combines protein (eggs) with carbohydrates (bread), and the topping gives you the chance throw in a serving of fruit in the morning. Make sure that the whole grain bread you buy doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, additives or preservatives, cause those actually make you hungry instead of satisfied. And it’s not fun to be hangry. Try the brand Ultimate Grains, or use their Ancient 12 grain bread as a reference.
This is a very easy, healthy comfort food. It only takes about 15 minutes to make, and you can really throw anything you want on it. Like peanut butter and jelly? Try out berries and some nut butter. Banana fan? Try bananas and maple syrup.
WEDNESDAY: Tropical Green Things Smoothie
- Fage 0% mango guanabana greek yogurt
- 1 frozen banana (pre-frozen in small chucks)
- 1 handful of kale, washed
- 1 oz chia seeds
- 1 oz coconut milk (from the can)
- Water or almond milk as needed for texture
- Blend up everything!
Carbohydrates from the fruit, protein from the yogurt - seeing a trend here? Also, don’t be afraid of a little bit of fat. “Healthy” fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats) serve purposes in moderation, including helping you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients from the fruits and veggies that you’re putting in your smoothie.
You can really substitute any milk in here. I choose to use almond milk because I like it! There’s a lot of good information and bad information on the pros and cons of cow milk v. almond milk v. soy milk. When it comes down to it, that golden rule of everything in moderation always comes back for me. Do your research, and then find the one that works for you.
THURSDAY: Greek Yogurt and Fruit (at home)
- Fage 2% Honey Yogurt
- 1 medium/small orange
- ½ honey crisp apple
- Chop up your fruits
- Plate it up and serve
Yes, sometimes we're inevitably on the move, but designating the time to sit down to eat allows you to focus on and enjoy what you're eating. The yoga of food! Being present to what you're eating actually causes you to eat less.
This meal is great if you’re on the move, but if you have time to sit down and eat it, take the time to make the presentation beautiful. It’s a satisfying feeling to create a beautiful meal, and it’s not complicated.
FRIDAY: Red Velvet Green Smoothie
- 1 handful fresh spinach, washed
- 1 cups almond milk (can substitute alternative milk)
- 1-2 cups strawberries
- 4 dates, pitted
- ¼ cup diced raw or cooked beets (for the love of god don’t use pickled beets)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- You guessed it – blend away!
Even though the beets are used mostly for color here, they contain high amounts of folate (vitamin B9) which, among other things, aids in your cells daily functioning. Meaning those beats you’re eating are literally helping you function better all the way down to the cellular level. I’m telling you – better than the caffeine from that Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Only drink this if you love dessert. Cause it’s amazing. This awesome recipe was inspired by simplegreensmoothies.com.
If you’ve ever seen the 5 hour energy commercial, you know that 2:30pm blues, so you probably understand why lunch is important. When the afternoon rolls around, we’re often tired and hungry. Lunches should have complex carbohydrates to give you instant energy, and protein to keep you going. If you’re going to go carb-heavy on a meal, lunch is a great one cause you still have the rest of the day to use up that energy, as opposed to letting your body store it as fat for the apocalypse. Classic survival mechanism.
MONDAY: Spinach Power Veggie Salad with Mozzarella
- 1 handful of Spinach (or any other dark salad green), washed
- ½ a package of The Sproutman’s Protein Power Salad mix (Includes: Alfalfa, arugula, sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans, lentils, green peas and azuki)
- ½ Medium ball of mozzarella (stored in olive oil with rosemary and basil)
- 1 ½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Rinse the spinach and mix with power protein salad mix
- Use your fingers to shred the mozzarella cheese over the salad
- Mix oil and vinegar together and cover salad
Adding more than just greats, but lentils, beans, and seeds to a salad boosts up the protein level, meaning you won’t get that “I-just-ate-a-salad-am-I-supposed-to-be-full?” feeling. Also, it makes it look nice. Always a plus.
As funny as it sounds, salads can seem daunting to make. There are so many options and flavor combos to choose from. You know the pain if you’ve ever gone to a restaurant like Sweet Green and made your own salad only to try it and think “Why did I try to mix grapes with teriyaki carrots?” But in grocery stores like Trader Joes and Whole Foods, there are SO many pre-packaged veggie combinations. Even ones marked for stir-fry are awesome for salads. Don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t feel like it.
TUESDAY: Quinoa Burger and Orange (Dining Out)
Healthy Dining Out: Sandwiches
Sometimes, we go out for lunch. Whether you’re at work, or at school, it’s nice to be able to go out to get food with friends and not have to bring your own brown paper bag. Contrary to popular belief, eating food at restaurants is not the enemy of a healthy lifestyle. In fact, a healthy lifestyle implies that you incorporate healthy eating into the things you enjoy. Here is how to pick a healthy sandwich out from the crowd:
Start with the bread
wheat > white
wrap > big old bun
fresh > packaged
Fill up on the insides
Fill your sandwich up with what’s on the inside. Go for sandwiches that have lots of veggies in them. The more volume of veggies, the more filling and leave you fuller longer. Also, opt out of the cheese when possible.
Not all spreads are created equal
Lets be real, sandwiches taste better with a spread. Opt for spreads that have no animal fats. Hummus over mayo, pesto over cream cheese
Ditch the side of fries
Seems obvious, but ditch fries! Replace it with a side salad if you’re worried about being full. It is a lie that fruits and veggies don’t fill you up. I dare you to eat a whole bag of carrots and tell me you’re not stuffed.
WEDNESDAY: Revamped Grade School Lunch
- 2 slices, Whole grain bread
- 2-3 Tbsp powdered peanut butter, mixed
- ½ Banana
- 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 Handful Terra Potato Chips
- Slap the peanut butter on one half
- Bananas on the other
- Drizzle with maple syrup
- Sandwhich those sides
- Chips on the side
I would classify this meal as a healthy comfort food lunch. Not too many fruits and veggies (although adding strawberries to this is amazing), but healthy carbohydrates and a little bit of natural sweetness. Eating foods you like and finding ways to make them healthy are crucial to making a lifestyle change.
PB2 is a powdered peanut product. Essentially, the peanuts are pressed so that all the oil is removed, taking with it the fat and a good portion of the calories. Now, peanut oil is good fat, but if you’re looking for the peanut taste without the 100 calorie per Tbsp, PB2 is an awesome substitute.
Thursday: The Under 500 Calorie Chipotle Burrito
- 1 Flour Tortilla
- Black Beans
- Fajita Veggies
- Mild Tomato Salsa
- Order politely and let the masters do their work
Chipotle. What else is there to say? But really, Chipotle’s food is GMO-free, grown locally and sustainably, and their meat is raised without hormones or antibiotics in humane conditions. Knowing where you food is coming from is huge, and Chipotle is one of the only fast food restaurants that can allow you to rest easy.
Don’t be fooled, Chipotle burritos come with a high sodium price tag. This one weighs in at 1330mg. If you’re trying to stay low on the salt, stay away from Chipotle in general. But if salt isn’t a major concern, just be sure to keep your sodium levels low for the rest of the day.
Friday: 'Everything but the' - Super Veggie Salad
- Handful of spinach, washed
- ½ medium tomato, diced
- 1/3 Cucumber, sliced
- 1 oz Hummus
- 1 Tbsp pine nuts
- 1 Tbsp slivered almonds
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 small handful of golden raisins
- 1 small handful of alfalfa sprouts
- Lemon wedge
- Mix, dress with lemon wedge and eat!
This salad is totally free of simple carbs, just pure, nutrient dense foods with protein from the hummus (made of chickpeas), seeds and nuts.
If you want a little more moisture, add 1 ½ tsp of olive oil
The basis for dinner: Lean protein and veggies. Tons of carbs really aren’t needed at dinner because we don’t burn as much in the evenings as we do up and about throughout the day. Love spaghetti? No problem. The trick here is to switch the role that many of us hold in our mind about the carb to veggie ratio of dinner. For example, instead of a bowl of pasta with some veggies, try a bowl of stir fried veggies with a small portion of pasta. Fill up on the stuff that gives you nutrients, not calories. All those good nutrients in vegetables help your body recover, and even sleep better.
Monday: Portobello Pizzas
- 2 portobello mushroom caps
- 1 handful of spinach, washed
- ¼ Cup Trader Joe’s artichoke spread
- 4 Tbsp Crumbled goat cheese
- 4 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- Wash the portobello mushroom caps and remove the stalks
- Place them in a pan, lightly oiled over medium heat, cap side down
- Poke several holes in the mushrooms with a fork, to let the balsamic get in
- Pour 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar over each mushroom
- Cover mushrooms with a lid and let cook until the balsamic is soaked in, about 5 min
- Uncover and add toppings
- Let the caps cook, covered, over low heat until the cheese is melted
- Serve while hot
This is an extremely low carb dinner that doesn’t taste like it at all. Another benefit, this meal pairs great with red wine. So, maybe not on a Monday, but at least you have options.
You can really throw whatever you want on these bad boys. Classic tomato and mozzarella, olive pesto and arugula, let your pizza brain take over.
TUESDAY: Garlic herb chicken drumsticks & veggie-mozzarella stir fry with chia seed pasta
For the Chicken:
- 3 Chicken Drumsticks, hormone/antibiotic free
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp dried sage
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
For the Stir Fry:
- 1 small handful of BoneChia fettuccini
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ Zucchini
- 6 stalks of asparagus
- ¼ onion
- 5 sundried tomato halves
- ½ medium ball of mozzarella, shredded with fingers
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Mix all the herbs together for the chicken, and rub the herbs all over the drumsticks
- Place drumsticks on a lightly greased cookie sheet, and place in the oven
- Cook for 30 minutes, flipping the drumsticks over ½ way through
- While the drumsticks are cooking, get your stir fry together!
- Boil water for the pasta
- Chop up zucchini, asparagus, onion, and tomatoes into bite sized pieces
- Finely chop or grate your garlic and add it to a medium sauce pan with 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium/high heat
- When the garlic starts to sizzle, add your chopped veggies
- Let them cook covered for about 2 minutes, then uncover and cook for another 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently
- When the water is boiled, add your chia seed pasta and cook for 3 minutes, or until soft, drain
- Mix stir fry and pasta in a bowl and top with mozzarella
- Remove drumsticks from the oven and serve!
Loading your stir fry up with veggies, instead of pasta, is a great way to keep the calories low, but still get all the flavors and textures you want in a dinner. You’ll fill your stomach up with the veggies, and you won’t even miss the extra pasta.
To keep the fat down in your chicken, remove the skin before adding the herb rub and cooking. Also, you can add any veggies you like to this meal. Go seasonal and local when you can!
WEDNESDAY: Roast Chicken and Butternut Squash
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 1 butternut squash – halved and seeded
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 2 clove of garlic, minced or grated
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp rosemary
- Salt, pepper (to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Mix basil, rosemary, dash of salt and pepper and rub on chicken breasts
- Mix garlic, 2 tsp olive oil, dash of salt and pepper, run on butternut squash
- Place squash on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 mintues
- Remove cookie sheet, add 1 tsp oil to grease one side, and add chicken breasts
- Cook for another 18-20 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink inside and squash is soft
- Remove and serve
One cup of butternut squash provides 437% of your vitamin A needs and 52% of vitamin C. It’s also a better source of potassium than a banana. What does that mean you might ask? Vitamin A is great for your hair and skin, and helps regulate your blood sugar. Vitamin C helps protect your cells and keep them healthy, especially during those times of year when colds are floating around. And Potassium helps with everything from blood pressure control, to fluid regulation, to bone health.
This dinner is incredibly easy, and very low carb. If you prefer a slightly different texture for the squash, try mashing it up like mashed potatoes.
Thursday: Tofu Peanut Stir Fry with Snow Peas, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Carrots and Onion
- 1/2 a 14oz block of Firm Tofu
- 1 clove of garlic, minced or grated
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ C snow peas
- ½ C broccoli
- 3 mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small handful shredded carrots
- ¼ onion
- 2 Tbsp PB2
- ¼ Cup of Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp peanuts (optional)
- ½ lime (optional)
- Slice the Tofu length ways into about 1cm thick pieces
- Lay on a paper towel and press out as much excess water as possible
- Add 2 tsp olive oil to a medium sauce pan and place over medium/high heat
- Add garlic, cook till it sizzles
- Add tofu and cook till golden brown on the first side
- Flip tofu and add other vegetables, add final 1 tsp of olive oil if needed
- Cook veggies over medium/high heat, stirring occasionally
- While veggies cook, combine PB2, soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar into a sauce
- Right before the vegetables are done (about 4 or 5 minutes), add the sauce and remove form heat
- Coat the tofu and veggies in the sauce, transfer to a bowl and top with peanuts and serve with lime
FRIDAY: Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- 2 Bell Peppers, tops cut off, stemmed and seeded
- 1 cup Cooked Quinoa
- 10 Sundried Tomato Halves, Diced
- 1/2 Onion, Diced
- 1/3 Cup Kalamata Olives, Diced
- 4 Scallions, diced
- 3 Cloves garlic, grated or minced
- ¼ Cup Crumbled Feta
- 2 tsp onion powder
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 baked chicken breast, diced (I used leftovers from Wednesday)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Line baking dish with parchment paper (or grease if you don’t have parchment)
- Combine everything except the feta cheese and peppers in a bowl and mix together
- Fill your peppers with the mixture, and place on baking sheet, stuffing side up
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, adding cheese 10 min before you’re done
These peppers are chalk full of protein, veggies, and healthy grains.
You can really fill these bad boys with anything you want. Even leftover stir fry!
SATURDAY BONUS: Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes and Orange
- 1 Ripe Banana, mashed
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
- Dash of Cinnamon
- 2 tsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Coconut Oil
- 2 tsp Mini Chocolate Chips
- 1 Orange
- Mash the ripe banana in a small bowl
- Crack the egg into the banana and whisk
- Add Chia Seeds, Cinnamon, and 1 tsp Maple Syrup and mix together
- Heat a small pan to medium heat and add 1 tsp Coconut Oil
- Add ½ the banana mixture, and cover, cooking until bubbles form and leave small craters in the top of the pancake
- Add Chocolate Chips
- Flip gently!
- Cook for another 90 seconds and transfer to a plate
- Repeat for 2nd pancake
- Slice up that orange and enjoy!
All of the pancake, none of the flour. These pancakes boast 9 grams of protein and the whole meal is only 400 calories.
Feel free to do these pancakes as you would flour pancakes. Add blueberries, strawberries, even a little bit of coconut whipped cream if you’re really feeling that sweet tooth.