Skinny Sangria Popsicles

It’s been a hot month here in the Hamptons! If we aren’t at camp or the beach, you can definitely find us trying to cool off. And, what’s better than your favorite cocktail after a long and hot day in the sun? Your favorite cocktail…in popsicle form. The rule is if you can drink it, you can freeze it. I’m obsessed!

If you’ve been following me on social media, you can probably see that we have been entertaining in the backyard quite a bit. I prefer that over anything. It’s super low-key and the kids are able to have room to run around.

The kids obviously love their popsicles so I thought it would be fun to make some for the adults, too. I recently found this delicious sangria popsicle recipe online that we loved. The fresh fruit and the icy coldness together is so refreshing! It also doesn’t hurt that you get a nice little wine buzz while you’re at it. Best of both worlds. Am I right!?

Scroll down below for all the ingredients and directions. It’s super easy and all it takes is TWO STEPS! Make ahead of time and keep in the freezer for your backyard bbq or…whenever the craving hits. No one is judging. It’s summertime! 

Ingredients: 

2 cups red wine

1/4 cup triple sec

2 cups club soda

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup honey

1 cup frozen mixed berries

1 kiwi, peeled and sliced

1 nectarine, cut into small slices

…or any fruit that you prefer!

Directions: 

1. Mix together wine, triple sec, club soda, orange juice, and honey. Fill 8 popsicle molds with an equal amount of fruit to each, then fill with wine mixture.

2. Insert sticks and place in freezer overnight, or until frozen through. Enjoy!

Another option? Freeze the same recipe in an ice cube tray, blend it up, and you have yourself a sangria slush! So good.

Like I said, you can make any cocktail into a popsicle. Here are some recipes I found online that would be a great option if Sangria isn’t your thing:

Cucumber Gin & Tonic Ice Pops // Boozy Campari Citrus Pops // Creamy Margarita Popsicles // Bloody Mary Popsicles // Watermelon Mint Julep Pop

Pamela Salzman’s Grilled Herbed Chicken With Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

We spend every 4th of July in the Hamptons which means I’m in complete entertaining mode. Usually, we have friends drive up from the city and it’s our way to officially kick off the summer.

This year, at our BBQ, I’m letting the guys grill out and I’m preparing this delicious Grilled Herbed Chicken with Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette from Pamela Salzman. I’ve already given it a test drive and it barely lasted minutes at our house. Everyone dug in right away!

Scroll down for the recipe if you’re looking to prepare something for the holiday that will really impress your guests. It’s as beautiful as it is delicious! And, as we know…it’s all about the presentation!

Ingredients: 

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 Tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

2 Tablespoons minced fresh oregano

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette:

3 Tablespoons cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 medium shallot, minced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

pinch sea salt

black pepper to taste

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 Tablespoon finely sliced fresh basil

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

A few handfuls of arugula

Directions: 

1. Place the chicken breasts one at a time in between to pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound to a ¼-inch thickness. You can use a meat mallet or a rolling pin.  The idea is to get the chicken to an even thickness all around.  Set Aside.

2. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper in a glass baking dish.

3. Place the pounded chicken in the dish with the marinade and coat it thoroughly. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours or allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes if you’re in a hurry.

4. Heat the grill to medium.

5. In the meantime, prepare the vinaigrette: In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the shallots until tender and translucent. Add in the tomatoes and salt and sauté until they start to loose their shape, about 2-3 minutes, as your sautéing, try to mash the tomatoes slightly with your spoon. Turn off the heat and whisk in the Dijon mustard, remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil and the vinegar. Set aside.

6. Remove chicken from marinade and grill a few minutes on both sides until golden brown.

7. Place the arugula on a large platter and place the chicken on top. Top with the tomato vinaigrette and serve immediately.

For more of Pamela’s recipes, make sure to pick up a copy of her new cookbook, Kitchen Matters (here!) and visit her on her blog.

photo credit: Erica Hampton Photography

Skinny Watermelon Mojito

I cannot get enough watermelon this season. Every time I go to the grocery store, I set it out on the countertop and it’s gone in an hour. Luckily, there are much worse things I could be binging on…so I’m giving myself a break here.

Since I’m all about a cocktail, I decided to add one of my favorite summer fruits into the mix. The best part? The watermelon is sweet enough so you don’t have to add anything extra that would bump up the calorie count.

Scroll down for the recipe and serve up a pitcher this weekend at your pre-4th of July celebrations. Trust me, it’s delicious!

Skinny Watermelon Mojito

Ingredients:

1 cup watermelon, seeded roughly chopped

½ lime, juiced

4 mint leaves

a splash of club soda

1 fl. oz. white rum

ice

Instructions:

1. Blend the watermelon in a blender until smooth. Pour into a glass and set aside.

2. Muddle the fresh lime juice and mint leaves together. Pour over the watermelon. Fill the glass with ice and top with rum and club soda.

3. Garnish with mint leaves or a slice of fresh watermelon. Enjoy!

Pamela Salzman’s Apple-Blackberry Breakfast Crisp

There’s nothing wrong with a little something sweet in the morning especially if it’s low-sugar and high-protein. That’s why Pamela Salzman’s Apple-Blackberry Breakfast Crisp from her new cookbook, Kitchen Matters is so amazing!

Scroll down below for the recipe that doubles as both breakfast…and a dessert: 

photo credit: Erica Hampton Photography

Ingredients:

For The Filling:

1 pound of apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly (about 4 to 5 small apples)

12 ounces fresh or frozen/defrosted blackberries

juice of half an orange (about 3 Tablespoons)

1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder

For The Topping:

11/4 cup almond meal or almond flour

3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

2/3 cup raw pecans, chopped

6 Tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes

5 Tablespoons pure Grade A maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of ground nutmeg

1/2 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil at room temperature, or unsalted butter

Greek yogurt, for serving if desired

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Prepare the filling: combine the apples, blackberries, orange juice, and arrowroot in a bowl and pour into a 9 or 10-inch pie plate or cast iron skillet and spread evenly.

3. Prepare the topping: combine all the topping ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until no longer dry, forming small “nuggets” of topping. Alternatively, use an electric mixer to combine everything. Using your hands, arrange the crisp topping on the filling and place the baking dish or skillet on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until the fruit is soft and bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm with Greek yogurt, if desired.

Crisp topping can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept refrigerated.  Remove from refrigerator and break up into pieces and arrange directly on top of fruit.  Topping can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

For more of Pamela’s recipes, make sure to pick up a copy of her cookbook, Kitchen Matters. Purchase here

Pamela Salzman’s No-Churn Strawberry Gelato

I’m a huge sweets person so when Pamela shared she had a guilt-free gelato, I had to try it. And, it’s so easy! Even the most kitchen incompetent in the bunch can ace this recipe.

All you need is a food processor and a few simple ingredients. This gelato has the creamy texture of the classic Italian dessert but without all the sugar and cream. All you need is the sweetness of the berries and some healthy extras.

Scroll down to get the recipe from Pamela’s new cookbook Kitchen Matters:

photo credit: Erica Hampton Photography

Makes 1 quart

Ingredients: 

2 pounds strawberries, stems removed and cut into ½” pieces

3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

½ – 2/3 cup granulated sugar or honey, or half honey/half sugar*

¼ cup whole unsweetened Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, toss the strawberries with the orange juice. Pour mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread out into one layer. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours.

2. Break up the frozen berries so you can fit the pieces into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and Greek yogurt and puree the mixture, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides. This might take 4-5 minutes. If the mixture is not turning creamy, allow to sit in the food processor a few minutes and then try blending again.

3. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in a covered container in the freezer. It will freeze solid, so to achieve creamy consistency again you’ll have to thaw it for a few minutes and then break it up into pieces and re-blend in the food processor.

Stay tuned for more of Pamela’s recipes here on the blog over the next few weeks + make sure to order your copy of Kitchen Matters here. It hit shelves yesterday! 

Pamela Salzman’s Saturday Chopped Salad

My dear friend and hot momma, Pamela Salzman has come out with her own cookbook, Kitchen Matters. I am soooo excited! This woman has literally taught me so much in the kitchen over the past few years. Her recipes are always a hit at our house!

Recently, we all got together for a launch party to celebrate Pamela at Jenni Kayne’s store in Brentwood Country Mart. Such a fun night!

I wanted to give you guys a sneak peek by sharing one of her new cookbook recipes that I’m obsessed with. No, seriously..call me crazy but I think I’m addicted to a salad. Scroll down for the recipe below!

photo credit: Erica Hampton Photography

Pamela Salzman’s Saturday Chopped Salad

Ingredients:

1 head romaine lettuce, finely chopped, about 6 cups

3 cups diced red cabbage (or a mix of cabbage and chopped endive)

3 radishes, finely diced

½ pint cherry tomatoes, quartered (optional)

1/3 cup pickled red onions, diced (see below) or 5 pepperoncini, seeded and finely chopped

½ bunch chives, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely diced or julienned and finely chopped

2 Persian cucumbers, finely diced

2/3 cup Everyday Salad Dressing (see below)

1 avocado, diced

3 ounces feta, preferably goat milk feta, crumbled

Additional protein: quinoa, diced cooked chicken, tuna in olive oil, canned salmon, chopped hard boiled egg, chickpeas

Directions:

1. Combine lettuce and cabbage in a large bowl. Add radishes, cherry tomatoes, pickled onions, chives, and carrots. Toss with enough dressing to coat lightly. Add avocado and feta and drizzle with a small amount of dressing. Toss very gently with your hands to incorporate into the salad without smearing avocado and feta everywhere.

Everyday Salad Dressing:

1 small shallot minced, about 2 teaspoons

¾ to 1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons raw honey or pure maple syrup

2 Tablespoons raw cider vinegar or red wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

¾ cup unrefined olive oil or ½ cup olive oil + ¼ cup flax oil

1. Whisk together in a bowl or shake in a screw-top jar until emulsified.

Pickled Red Onions:

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon cane sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1. Combine 1 cup of water and the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Add the sliced onions and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the liquid and set aside to cool.

Other variations:

Chopped oranges instead of tomatoes and toasted sunflower seeds instead of cucumbers in the winter and spring

Radicchio and endive in place of some of the romaine

Fresh or grilled corn in place of the carrots

Stay tuned for more recipes I’ll be sharing from Pamela over the next few weeks and make sure to preorder her cookbook here! You won’t regret it. It’s amazing! 

Bikini Ready Recipes: Peanut Carrot Salad With Spicy Shrimp

IT’S OFFICIALLY WEEK 12 OF #BIKINIAFTERBABY (aka the final week!) I’m happy to say that I’ve completely shed all my baby weight just in time for summer. Was it easy? Hell no. Losing weight (especially after giving birth) can be a struggle, emotionally and physically.

In my experience, I’ll end up ditching a diet or healthy meal plan if I don’t feel satisfied. I think we are all like that especially when hormones and stress post-baby are involved. That’s why I wanted to really concentrate on eating strictly for my health, not just weight loss, this time around. It is possible to prepare dishes that are light and healthy but still leave you feeling fulfilled.

These 12 weeks have definitely been worth it following my nutritionist, Kelly LeVeque‘s Fab 4 meal plan.

Don’t feel like you can’t take advantage of these #BikiniReady recipes…even if you aren’t post-baby. They are super delicious and my husband even loved them! (Find them all here!)

Here’s one more delicious Fab Four recipe to try out. I’m obsessed! Also, make sure to tune in next Monday (6/12) to catch Kelly and I live on my Facebook page! We’ll be discussing my progress + a few extra tips before summer! 

Peanut Carrot Salad With Spicy Shrimp:

Ingredients:

5 medium carrots

1/4 to 1/2 cup lemon tahini dressing (I used tahini and a squeeze of lemon juice)

4 oz snow peas, washed and trimmed

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 red fresno chile

1/2 jalapeno chile, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)

1/4 cup chopped basil

1/4 cup cilantro

1 tsp salt-free garlic powder

1 tsp salt-free chipotle chile powder or salt-free chile powder

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

12 extra-large frozen shrimp with tails, thawed, peeled and deveined

Coconut oil for grilling

1/4 cup salt-free chopped peanuts

1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

Directions:

1. Use a vegetable peeler to make carrot ribbons. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add 1/4 cup of the dressing. Toss to coat well; taste and add more dressing, if desired. Add the snow peas, green onions, fresno chile, jalapeño, basil and cilantro. Set aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the garlic powder, chipotle chile powder, and pepper until combined. Add the shrimp and toss until coated with spice rub.

3. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a large sauce pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp in batches, and cook on both sides until nicely seared and the shrimp are pink (about 3 minutes per side). Remove the shrimp to a plate and set aside. Repeat until all shrimp are cooked.

4. Serve the salad, with the shrimp and garnish with peanuts and lime wedges.

For more of Kelly’s #BikiniReadyTips, check out these links: 

My Hacks To Eat Healthy At Home // Healthy Swaps While Eating Out // Healthy Swaps While Traveling // Healthy Carbs Decoded // Healthy Proteins Decoded 

Bikini Ready Recipes: Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup

IT’S BIKINI AFTER BABY WEEK #10! I’m happy to say that I’ve lost almost all of my baby weight following Kelly’s plan. I’m one happy girl!

Here’s another delicious Fab 4 recipe that will keep you full and satisfied while shedding off those last few pre-summer pounds: 

Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup

Ingredients:

4 cups chicken bone broth (vegetable broth optional)

2 Tbsp avocado oil or algae oil

1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee (avocado oil optional)

1 cup of chopped onion

2 cloves of minced garlic

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/8 tsp dried oregano

1 1/2 cups chopped Tuscan kale (ribs removed)

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

1 can whole peeled tomatoes (chopped with seeds removed)

2 cans cannellini beans

1 lemon, juiced

salt to taste

Directions:

1. Heat the avocado oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add thyme and oregano and salt and stir for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add the broth and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add the kale, tomatoes, carrots, celery, white beans and the broth. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are warm, approximately 20 minutes.

For more of my favorite Fab 4 recipes of Kelly’s, check out these links here

And make sure to stay tuned for more tips from Kelly on both my blog and Kelly’s, Be Well By Kelly. WEEK 11, HERE WE COME! 

Bikini Ready Tips: Protein Bars Decoded

When I first started working with Kelly, she took one look at my protein bars and threw them in the trash. No, she’s not a monster! All of my options were actually really, really high in sugar. I was eating protein bars to give me a boost of energy when I needed it but the sugar was making me crash. I seriously had no idea. There are so many choices at the store but how do you know which one to pick!?

That’s where Kelly came in. She ended up replacing them with some healthier options.

Read below for Kelly’s tips on how to pick the right protein bar:

Nothing will compare to a real meal of fresh produce, wild proteins, and healthy fat but sometimes a quick convenient protein bar will help you get through after school pickup, a road trip or a long flight. Unfortunately, not all protein bars are created equal so it’s important you know how to pick the perfect bar.

Here is a quick checklist to choose your next protein bar:

  1. Do you know the ingredients?
  2. What is the carbohydrate content, fiber content and net carb count?
  3. What is the protein source and grams?
  4. What is the fat source?

1. Ingredients:

Per food labeling laws, the ingredients in your protein bar are listed in order of amounts; the first ingredient on the list has the highest weight and the last has the lowest weight. You should ideally know every ingredient in your bar, but at least the majority. Further, avoid bars that have sugar in the first few ingredients, and remember sugar can come in many forms including brown rice syrup, dried cane syrup, tapioca syrup, chicory fiber syrup, fructose syrup, beet syrup, corn syrup, molasses powder, glucose syrup, honey, agave and even dates. Preferably, your “protein bars” ingredients should start with protein.

2. Net Carbs:

A quick way to determine what of your food will break down to sugar is to subtract fiber from carbohydrates. Fiber is fermented by your gut bacteria or passes through your body instead of spiking your blood sugar so the higher in fiber the lower in glucose, and the less blood sugar your body needs to store. Take a look at your label and ensure the net carbohydrates grams are less than the grams of protein and fat. This quick trick helps ensure your bar is mostly protein, fat, and fiber not a blood sugar bomb that will make you crave more sugar later.

3. Protein Source:

The protein should come in the form of protein isolates like rice, pea, collagen or whey protein. Avoid soy isolate protein it is loaded with phytoestrogens and 90-95% produced in the United States is GMO. If you want to avoid isolates all together and eat more whole foods look for protein bars that include almonds, walnuts, cashew butter, egg whites, almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. The good news, most of these also provide fiber and healthy fats. If the bar is a snack aim for 10-15 grams of protein, meal replacement bars should average 20 grams or more to calm hunger hormones.

4. Fat Source:

Avoid industrial seed oils such as palm kernel, cottonseed, soybean oil, safflower and sunflower oil oxidize easily and are almost exclusively omega 6, both of which are inflammatory and can throw off the omega 3 to 6 ratio in your body leading to inflammation and elevated cortisol levels. Chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain, an inability to lose weight and stress on the body.

Kelly’s Protein Bar Picks:

Primal Kitchen 

Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bars

For more of Kelly’s #BikiniReadyTips, check out these links: 

My Hacks To Eat Healthy At Home // Healthy Swaps While Eating Out // Healthy Swaps While Traveling // Healthy Carbs Decoded // Healthy Proteins Decoded 

Bikini Ready Recipes: Green Apple Smoothie

Smoothies have always been my go-to. The only issue? Many of them are loaded with sugar and hidden calories. Some store bought options are fine but I’ve always found it better to make them at home so I know what’s exactly in them.

My nutritionist, Kelly LeVeque is all about a smoothie. A Be Well Smoothie, to be exact. Before I share one of my new sweet favorites with you, here’s a recap on what makes a good smoothie for both weight loss and health. It all comes down to a simple formula so it’s easy to mix and match with whatever your taste preferences are.

BeWELL SMOOTHIE: 

1 serving PROTEIN + 1 serving FIBER+ unlimited GREENS + 1/4 cup FRUCTOSE +2 tbsp FAT + LIQUID + SUPERFOOD 

Protein: Look for a clean sprouted vegetarian protein or an organic grass fed whey. Servings will vary depending on your selected protein, read the directions and add one serving per smoothie.

Fiber: Raw fiber powder, chia seeds, flax seeds or avocado are great choices. Kelly recommends keeping your smoothie psyllium husk free.

Greens: Get creative, anything green! Kale, spinach, romaine, basil, cilantro, parsley, cucumber, fennel or any other vegetables, herbs or leafy greens. The list goes on and on.

Fruit/or High Fructose Vegetables: Berries, lemons, limes, mango, banana, pears, peaches, beets or even carrots. Frozen fruit is a fun option to replace ice if you like your smoothie thick and chunky. Slice your bananas and freeze them so that you can easily grab a 1/4-1/2 cup and don’t over do it. Limit items that contain Fructose/Glucose to keep blood sugar manageable.

Fat: Avocado, Coconut Oil, MCT oil, Nut Butter, Walnuts, Coco Butter, Cocoa Butter or Ghee at room temperature.

Liquid: Water, Almond Milk, Coconut Water, Cashew Milk, Flax Milk, Walnut Milk, Hemp Milk or cold pressed green juice. Take note of the sugar content in your green juice and avoid added fructose. Depending on your preference for a thin or thick smoothie you can add liquid accordingly. Sometimes it takes one cup to get the blender moving.

Superfoods/Additives: Greens powder, Collagen, Tumeric, Bee Pollen, Goji Berries, Raw Gluten Free Granola, Cocoa Nibs, Ginger, Chia Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Coconut flakes, Sea Salt. Superfoods can be used as a fun topping or add to your smoothie for supplemental needs. Many of these additions can be glucose spiking and change the nutritional makeup for our formula. Take caution to avoid the blood sugar spike.

And, now for the recipe…

Green Apple Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 serving Vanilla Protein powder

1-2 tbsp coconut oil

1-2 tbsp chia

1 tbsp Best of Greens Green Apple Powder

1 c nut milk

Directions: 

1. Blend ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth

For more of Kelly’s Be Well Smoothie recipes, check out the links below: 

Mojito Smoothie // Blueberry Muffin Smoothie // Green Acai Smoothie // Spa Smoothie