Bikini Ready Recipes: Saucy Paleo Meatballs + Blueberry Muffin Smoothie

In my experience, the main reason I quit a diet or healthy eating plan is because I don’t feel satisfied. Well, guess what? That’s no longer an excuse! It is possible to prepare dishes that are still light and healthy but still leave you feeling fulfilled.

This week, Kelly is sharing two hearty and healthy options that even your kids will love! Scroll down for the recipes!

Saucy Paleo Meatballs:

To cut the carbs, switch out the noodles for zucchini noodles aka zoodles. You won’t be able to tell the difference!

Ingredients: 

Makes 8 meatballs, for 2 servings

1 pound 100% grass-finished ground beef (or protein of your choice)

1 large egg

¼ cup ground flax meal

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1½ teaspoons pink Himalayan salt

1½ teaspoons onion powder

2 tablespoons fresh minced or dried parsley

1 (16-ounce) jar of your favorite marinara sauce

Grated goat’s- or sheep’s-milk Parmesan cheese or yogurt, for serving (optional)

Zucchini or squash zoodles (directions here!)

Directions: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, use your hands (or a wooden spoon) to combine the beef, egg, flax meal, garlic, oregano, thyme, salt, onion powder, and 1 tablespoon of the parsley. The mixture should be smooth, but don’t overmix.

3. Form the mixture into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and place them on an ungreased rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.

4. Transfer the meatballs to a decorative oven-safe baking dish. Pour the marinara over the meatballs to cover. Bake for 5 minutes to heat and thicken the sauce.

5. Sprinkle Parmesan over the meatballs and garnish with the remaining parsley. Serve warm, with a side of pesto covered zoodles.

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie:

Skip that sugar-loaded muffin and try this sweet smoothie instead. The nut butter and blueberries pair nicely to re-create the comforting flavor of a blueberry muffin.

Ingredients: 

1 serving vanilla protein powder

1 to 2 tablespoons nut butter of choice

1 serving raw fiber powder

¼ cup frozen or fresh blueberries, plus more for garnish

2 to 3 cups unsweetened nut milk

Hemp seeds, for garnish

Directions:

1. Place all the ingredients except the hemp seeds in a high-speed blender and blend to the desired consistency. If you use fresh blueberries, add a few ice cubes before blending to cool.

2. Garnish with hemp seeds and blueberries.

Stay tuned for more tips from Kelly on both my blog and Kelly’s, Be Well By KellyFor 12 weeks, we’ll be sharing recipes and tips to help you get ready for bikini season…post-baby or not! 

Bikini Ready Tips: Healthy Fats Decoded

Remember when every diet and weight-management program seemed to say we should any and all fat?! I used to try to eat absolutely no fats, no exceptions. Then I’d go and eat rap food. Not anymore. Now I know how crucial it is to have fats in our diet. Not just any fats–good fats. Today, my #BIKINIAFTERBABY guru, Kelly LeVeque is helping us decode the “good, the “bad”, and the “ugly” when it comes to fats, a micronutrient must-have! Read below for all the details:

Fat provides the building blocks of the brain, cellular membranes and hormones in the body, it is deeply hydrating and essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, K and E. It is absolutely my favorite macronutrient and the most powerful anti-aging beauty food used both internally and externally. When consumed, fatty acids help stabilize blood sugar – allowing your body to release fat, protect lean muscle, and surge with energy. Fat can take a meal from fuel to satisfying helping you to snack less on processed foods and focus more on whole food meals rich in fibrous leafy greens, wild proteins and healthy fats.

For cooking, choose oils with a high smoke-point, for salad dressing, smoothies and dessert enjoy organic cold pressed oils. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Oils Decoded:

Avocado Oil:

Avocado oil is the new olive oil with a higher smoke point; this MUFA is loaded with oleic acid, a fat linked to a reduction in inflammation with anti-cancer benefits. If you are looking for a great all around fat this is the winner! (Primal)

Coconut Oil:

A great fuel source for the body, coconut oil includes a special type of saturated fat called medium chain triglyceride (MCT). Unlike other fats, MCTs do not require bile acids for digestion. This means they are easily absorbed in the upper part of the small intestine as energy.

Algae Oil:

Algae oil is anti-inflammatory and the highest source of monounsaturated fat, the good fat. In fact, one tablespoon alone has as much monounsaturated fat as an avocado. Coined MUFA, these fats are known for decreased risk in breast cancer, lower cholesterol levels, aid weight loss and a decreased risk of heart disease and stroke. Algae oil is best used for high heat cooking (like stir-fry’s) because of its 485-degree smoke point and super light taste. (Thrive)

Ghee:

Ghee is clarified butter. The milk solids have been removed so it’s very low in lactose and is almost entirely fat – mostly saturated. It has a grass fed salt-free butter taste with a higher smoke point. This is a savory fat good for sautéing, browning meat and cooking eggs.

Olive Oil:

When it comes to olive oil quality is everything! Reports in the last few years have exposed that many olive oil producers cut olive oil with soybean and other cheap oils so ensure your olive oil is truly 100% olive. For dressings, choose organic extra virgin olive oil (this variety contains the highest level of antioxidant polyphenols and oleic acid) and when it comes to roasting reference the smoke point chart to ensure you.

How To Use Them:

Healthy High Heat Oils for Cooking:

Type of Fat + Smoke Point

Algae Oil  | 485°

Light/Refined Olive Oil | 465°

Clarified Butter (Ghee) | 450°

Macadamia Nut Oil  | 390°

Avocado Oil (Virgin) |  375-400°

Butter | 350°

Coconut Oil | 350°

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil  | 325-375°

MCT Oil | 320°

*note the difference in olive oil smoke points

Hot Uses: 

Non-animal fats, organic, unrefined forms are ideal:

Coconut

Algae Oil

Avocado Oil

Animal fats, from pasture-raised/grass-fed & organic sources are ideal:

Butter

Ghee

Lard

Tallow

Lamb fat

Duck fat

Eggs, meat & seafood

Olive Oil Extra Light (high smoke)

Cold Uses:

Organic, extra-virgin and cold-pressed forms are ideal:

MCT Oil:

MCT, or medium chain triglyceride (like in coconut oil) can be purchased in its concentrated form to be added to your morning Be Well Smoothie or blended with a cup of hot coffee or tea instead of creamer. MCT is easily digested and has been shown to promote fat burning and increase energy expenditure. Be aware this oil is delicate with a low smoke point and shouldn’t be used for high heat cooking.

Olive Oil – check smoke point

Sesame oil

Nut oils (walnut, pecan, macadamia):

Flaxseed oil (higher in omega 6; use in moderation)

Nuts & seed butters (including nut & seed butters):

Snacking on nut butter like, almonds, cashews, walnuts or brazil nuts, can pack your diet with filling protein, fiber, unsaturated fats, and important vitamins and minerals like magnesium. Not to mention, they have been linked to lower cholesterol, better heart health, weight control, and even a lower cancer risk.

What To Avoid:

Sunflower

Safflower

Corn

Vegetable

Cotton Seed

Stay tuned for more tips from Kelly on both my blog and Kelly’s, Be Well By Kelly.For the next 12 weeks, we’ll be sharing recipes and tips to help you get ready for bikini season…post-baby or not! 

Bikini Ready Recipes: Chicken Fab Pho + Spa Smoothie

So, this momma is officially getting back to business. And, by business, I mean getting into a bikini after having my baby! Now that it’s my third kid, I definitely know how to take care of my body during pregnancy so it’s not such a struggle to lose the weight afterward.

With that said, there’s still a bit of weight I’d like to lose before the summer bikini season. I’m definitely not as big as I was after having Brooks (I gained 80 pounds due to a thyroid condition!) but there’s still some pounds I’d like to shed. I’ll be honest–my Sports Illustrated photos are currently hanging on my wall for inspiration. I mean, hey! Whatever works.

To lose these pounds the healthy way, I hired Los Angeles-based nutritionist, Kelly Leveque to guide me along the way. You may also recognize her from her blog, Be Well By Kelly and her YouTube channel. Also–her Instagram is where food dreams are made of!

Even if you haven’t just had a baby, follow along with us. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get a little healthy and fit before bikini season! For 12 weeks, on both of our blogs, Kelly and I will be sharing some healthy recipes every Monday followed by some healthy facts on Wednesday. We’ll also be sprinkling some Facebook Live videos in there so you can see us whip up these recipes in real time.

Weight loss is all 80/20 meaning 80% of your successful weight loss will come from what you are eating. The other 20% is exercise (which is still important!) With that said, all of Kelly’s recipes that we’ll share will help tone you up and lose those pounds. It’s all delicious, too!

For the first recipe, we’re kicking it off with some warm and cozy Pho before the weather gets a bit warmer. This recipe is a great example of Kelly’s “Fab Four” approach to health. That means it includes protein (ups collagen, muscle tone, and metabolism), fat (benefits hormones, skin, cellular health, and doesn’t store in your body like carbs do), fiber (for gut microbiome proliferation and detoxification), and greens/veggies deep in color (cancer and inflammation fighting phytonutrients)

Chicken Fab Pho

This recipe calls for a store-bought rotisserie chicken; try to choose one that is organic and not heavily spiced so you can add your own flavor.

Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 quarts chicken bone broth (see below) or chicken stock

2 tablespoons coconut aminos

2 zucchini, zoodled (see below)

2 summer squash, zoodled (see below)

4 small bok choy

1/2 cup bean sprouts

1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, meat shredded

Fresh cilantro

Fresh basil

Red pepper flakes

Directions: 

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes

2. Add the broth and coconut aminos, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cooked through.In shallow bowls, layer the veggies and top with the shredded chicken. Top with broth

3. Top with cilantro, basil, and red pepper flakes

Note: I love my zoodler (also known as a spiralizer), but you can also use a vegetable peeler to make long, flat strips of the vegetables.

Bone Broth

This richly textured, deeply delicious broth is a supreme immune support and overall anti-inflammatory. An elixir you will enjoy!

Ingredients: 

About 2 pounds grass-finished beef or pasture-raised chicken bones

1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar

1 medium organic carrot, peeled and chopped

1 medium organic onion, chopped

1 organic celery stalk, chopped

3 organic garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

Directions: 

1. Place the bones in a 3-quart slow cooker. Fill the cooker to the top with filtered water and add the salt and vinegar.

2. Cook on low for 18 to 24 hours (The more time, the more flavor, so if it tastes good at 18 hours, you’re good to go!)

3. Strain the broth through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer and cool.

4. Store in a glass container in the fridge.

Spa Smoothie

Chill out, hydrate, and refresh with this spa-day smoothie. It’s the perfect way to add a little Zen to your morning.

Ingredients: 

1 serving vanilla protein powder

¼ to 1/2 cup diced avocado

¼ to 1/2 cup diced avocado

1 to 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Juice of ½ to 1 lemon

Fresh mint leaves

Spinach

1 small Persian cucumber

2 cups unsweetened nut milk

Directions: 

Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend, adding water as needed to reach the desired consistency.

Stay tuned! This Wednesday, Kelly will be sharing the facts about a micronutrient must-have, FAT. And, no–it’s not something to be scared of!

Double Chocolate Matcha Bark

photo credit: Erica Hampton Photography

I may be trying to lose my baby weight but that doesn’t mean that I can’t splurge from time to time. Since St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow, I thought it would be the perfect time to share this delicious recipe with you!

I’m all about adding a healthy ingredient to any recipe if I can–even dessert. For this festive “leprechaun bark”, the health benefits and the color come from everyone’s favorite superfood, matcha. Matcha powder is FULL of antioxidants and has proven to increase energy levels (which I desperately need!)

Matcha naturally has a more earthy flavor but when mixed with chocolate you can’t tell. Your kids will just think the green color is magic, not a superfood.

For this recipe, you don’t even need an oven. It’s super easy and only takes up to 20 minutes. Check it out below!

You’ll Need: 

  • 1 12 oz. bag of white chocolate chips
  • Chocolate chips or cacao nibs
  • 1 tsp. matcha powder
  • Sea salt

Directions: 

1. Melt the white chocolate chips on a stovetop or microwave until melted. Mix in the matcha powder.

2. Pour mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle chocolate chips and sea salt on top.

3. Place baking sheet in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. When fully hardened, take out and break into pieces. Voila! A dessert with some added health benefits.

Looking for more matcha recipes to try? Check out these links: 

Matcha Green Tea Coconut Pancakes | The Healthy Foodie // Matcha Truffles | My Whole Food Life // Matcha Latte | Bon Appetit

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Watch: My Favorite Spicy Margarita

photo credit: Erica Hampton Photography

Who doesn’t love a good spicy margarita!? It’s one of my favorite drinks to serve when I’m hosting my friends. Everyone loves them! Also, let’s be honest–this momma needs a drink!

Click on the video below to get my recipe! 

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Casamigos Blanco
  • 1 oz. Fresh lime juice
  • .5 oz. Orange infused syrup
  • 2 Cucumber slices
  • 8-10 Cilantro leaves
  • ½ Rim sugar, cilantro + salt
  • 1 Cucumber + 1 Serrano slice for garnish

1. Combine all ingredients into a shaker. Make sure to do tequila last just in case you mess up! It’s always better not to have to dump the most expensive of the ingredients.

2. Muddle fruit and herbs.

3. Add ice and shake vigorously for 8-10 seconds. Chilling the cocktail and water is an important element in any drink!

4. Before pouring, rim the rocks glass with a fresh grapefruit to add moisture for the salt.

5. Strain into rimmed rocks glass. Add fresh ice (fresh ice prevents the cocktail from diluting quickly.) Garnish with cucumber and pepper.

For more fun recipes for entertaining, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here

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Momma Must Have: One Potato

One Potato

I used to love grocery shopping…until I had kids. It can be terrifying, to say the least. Brooks is pulling things off the shelves, Scarlett is whining for a cookie, and I’m losing my mind. This doesn’t happen every single time–but it definitely happens more often than not.

That’s why I either leave them with Scott or drop them off at a friends house for a bit. I’ll take 1 kid at a time but both of them together? Forget about it. I’ve had way too much experience to know that’s never a good idea.

So, what do you do if there’s no one to drop them off with? No worries. There are definitely other options!

Introducing…One Potato. It’s basically the only fresh-to-your-door meal kit that can feed the entire family. All ingredients are organic and come pre-chopped and prepped in a refrigerated box. All you need to do is throw in the pot or oven. Um, talk about an easy dinnertime hack. Right!?

One Potato was started by the founder of Weelicious, Catherine McCord. So you know it’s good! She’s the guru when it comes to anything kid food related.

ONE POTATO

Scroll down for more information on how One Potato works and how you can get started! I’m also sharing some fun photos of Scarlett and I making our favorite recipe from the box!

How It Works:

Sign up with size of your family (# of adults and # of children), and any dietary restrictions you may have (i.e. poultry, red meat, pork, fish, shellfish). They offer vegetarian, nut-free and gluten free meals as well. Then, you’ll receive an email with pictures and recipes of the delicious dinners you’ll be cooking the following week. Depending on the number of kids you have, they will send smaller portions so there’s no food waste.

Each Tuesday, a box of fresh, organic food arrives at your home, packed in a cooled, insulated box and measured and semi-chopped, ready to prepare. The box includes three meals, customized to your family. There’s also a special surprise dessert every shipment!

If you are going out of town or are unable to cook that week, just cancel that shipment. There is no membership fee and no minimum commitment.

One Potato 1

What It Costs:

Meals Per Week: 3

Price Per Adult Meal: $11.99

Price Per Child Meal: $4.99

Shipping is always free!

The Recipes:

The recipes change every week and you have your choice of what you’d like to prepare. If you don’t like what you see, you are able to cancel that week.

Here’s an example of what’s available for this week:

As you know, Scarlett LOVES to EAT! Literally, more than any child I’ve ever seen. It’s not uncommon to see her double fisting chicken nuggets at the dinner table. When we got our first box, we dove right in and started cooking some yummy Corn Chilaquiles. It was so fun and easy! I’m not joking you–even if you are the worst cook in the entire world, you will NOT mess this up. And, shhh…no one is going to blame you if you pass it off as your own special creation to your husband!

Lovin’ this easy dinnertime hack. A DEFINITE MOMMA MUST HAVE! We all look forward to our shipment every Tuesday. For more information on One Potato and to order, visit their website here! And for $20 off your order, enter the code MOLLY20 at checkout!

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Watch: Baked Funfetti Donuts

baked confetti donuts

photo credit: Allen Daniel Photography

Donuts aren’t the most nutritious food to eat…but they sure are delicious! That’s why I love this baked funfetti donuts recipe. It’s not “healthy”, but it’s not as bad as your typical deep-fried variety. I love making these with the kids when I have a craving for something sweet and I promise you’ll love them too!  Watch my latest video to see how to make them now:

The Recipe:

baked confetti donuts

Ingredients:

baked confetti donuts

FOR THE DONUTS
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup milk (any)
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt (regular, Greek, or any fat %)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup sprinkles
FOR THE GLAZE
  • 2 Tablespoons milk (any)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
FOR THE DONUTS:
1. In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, butter, milk, yogurt, and extracts and combine until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and blend until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Gently stir in sprinkles.
baked confetti donuts
3. Transfer batter to a large zip top bag, snip the corner off, and pipe batter evenly into donut wells, filling them ⅔ to ¾ full. You may also use a spoon.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges just start to brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before dipping in glaze.
FOR THE GLAZE
1. Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and dunk donuts into glaze one by one. Transfer to wire rack over a baking sheet or wax paper to catch glaze drippings.
2. Dunk donuts a second time with remaining glaze. Decorate with more sprinkles, if desired.

baked confetti donuts

baked confetti donuts

For more fun recipes, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here!

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Fresh Rosewater + Grapefruit Cocktail

rose petal cocktail

photo credit: Erica Hampton Photography

I’ve always been a little obsessed with rosewater. Recently, I realized how easy it was to make at home. Not only is it a natural beauty staple but I love the flavor, too. You can drink it plain or add it to smoothies and cocktails.

Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, a rosewater cocktail definitely fits the occasion. I added a little grapefruit juice for some tanginess which paired perfectly.

The best part of this recipe? If you make a big enough batch of rosewater, save some in a spray bottle in the fridge and use as a refreshing mist all week!

The Recipe:

rose petal cocktail

rose petal cocktail

Fresh Rosewater: 

This recipe can be made with either fresh or dried rose petals. I prefer the dried version because they are easier to work with. I bought mine on Amazon here but you can also find them at most health food stores or tea shops.

Bring a pot to a boil. Start sprinkling the petals in and gradually turn heat down to low. Cover and let it sit. After about 15 minutes, you’ll start to notice the petals turn a pale white and the water getting a rosy color. Once that happens, turn the heat off.

Place a strainer over a jar or pitcher and pour the water through. Place in the refrigerator to cool. The rosewater should stay fresh for about a week.

rose petal cocktail

Once the rosewater is cooled, you can start preparing the cocktail.

You’ll need:

  • 2 oz. of vodka
  • 2 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 2 oz. fresh rosewater
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 4 oz. tonic water
  • Dried rose petals, for garnish

Combine all ingredients (except rose petals) to a cocktail shaker. Serve over ice or in a chilled glass. Garnish with rose petals and finish off with another splash of lime juice.

rose petal cocktail

Want more information on the benefits of rosewater? Check out this great article from Elle Magazine here

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Watch: DIY Valentine’s Day Cake Pops

valentines day cake pops

photo credit: Erica Hampton Photography

My kids LOVE cake pops! We can’t even walk into a Starbucks without them begging me for one. Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, we decided to make our own heart shaped cake pops at home! It’s super easy and Brooks and Scarlett loved helping out. You can even make them gluten-free!

Get the recipe here: 

valentines cake pops

valentines day cake pops

valentines day cake pops

Scarlett Cake Pop copy

valentines cake pops

For more fun recipes to make with your kids, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here

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Skinny Zucchini Nachos For The Superbowl

skinny nachos

photo credit: Erica Hampton Photography

IT’S ALMOST TIME FOR THE SUPERBOWL!!! We are excited. It’s always an occasion in our household. This year is even more special considering our Patriots may be taking it all the way. Fingers crossed!

Even though I just had a baby, we are still hosting a party. I know, I’m a little insane! Last year, I made healthier versions of classic Superbowl snacks for the guys. I was a little worried when I tried to pass off cauliflower buffalo bites as the real thing–but it was a success! The quinoa stuffed peppers were a hit, too!

This year, I’m preparing a healthier version of a classic nacho dish. Instead of tortilla chips, baked zucchini slices are a great substitute. They have that same satisfying crunch but with half the calories.

Get the recipe below:

Zucchini Chips:

Skinny Nachos

  • 2 zucchinis, cut into slices
  • Parchment paper
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by slicing your zucchini. Depending on how many people you are preparing for, I would say 2 or 3 zucchinis should be a good sized dish.

Lay the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Bake in your oven for 30 minutes at 375 F. If they start browning, it’s a good indication they are ready.

Once the slices cool, it’s time for the toppings….

skinny nachos

The toppings you choose are up to you but I kept it pretty simple:

  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Green onion, diced
  • Reduced fat shredded cheese (go dairy-free for an even skinnier option!)
  • Fresh lime juice

Skinny Nachos

Skinny Nachos

TIP: A skinny margarita and low-calorie dip pair perfectly with this recipe! Check out these links below: 

Skinny Creamy Avocado Dip | A Few Shortcuts // Fresh Mango Salsa | Cookie + Kate // Skinny Mexican Street Corn | The Cookie Rookie // Skinny Queso Dip With Greek Yogurt | With Salt & Wit

Skinny Margarita With Agave + Lime | Well Plated // Cucumber Margarita | Muy Bueno Cookbook // Spicy Watermelon Margarita | Sweet Life