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My Healthy And Quick Salad Recipe

Since sharing my journey to get back in shape and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I have received several messages from my followers on Instagram asking me to post more recipes. So here we go!!!  This has been my go-to salad recipe that I make for lunch or dinner. It can be used as a side dish or you can easily add any protein to it, like salmon or chicken.

It is quick, only requiring five ingredients and is so simple that even Willow knows how to make it (she also loves to eat it…#momwin).

Ingredients:

  • Tomato
  • Cucumber ( I use English or Persian cucumbers depending on which is in my fridge)
  • Avocado
  • Lemon
  • Salt


Directions:

  1. Cut cucumber into halves
  2. Dice tomato
  3. Cube avocado
  4. Add all ingredients to bowl and mix
  5. Squeeze half a lemon over entire contents and stir
  6. Salt to taste!

Let me know if you try it and tag @thechicmamas so I can see your yummy salad!

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Low Calorie Summer Cocktail With Healthade Kombucha

Summer is my favorite time of the year!  There is something so relaxing about having your toes in the sand and a drink in your hand. It’s going to be a hot one this year and LA already hit 103 degrees today! With the rising heat nothing sounds better to me than a refreshing, cool cocktail. The only problem is so many of these delicious drinks can really rack up the calories without you even noticing, and let’s be honest I’m definitely trying to work on that summer bod.

So this summer I will be whipping up and sharing my favorite healthy versions of some traditional summer cocktails that you can enjoy virgin or a little tipsy (always in moderation of course… because hangovers are not welcome here anymore). Since getting in shape post twins, I find that foods or drinks with a high sugar content really make me feel terrible these days. So recipes like this one, don’t make me feel bad or guilty since they have such a small amount of calories and sugar! And Mama deserves a drink right??

One of my favorite drinks during the summer is a Moscow Mule, they are so light and refreshing. I almost fell out of my seat when I looked up the calories one day!! A Moscow Mule is usually made with vodka and ginger beer (which is non-alcoholic). The average glass of ginger beer has 110-128 calories and are you ready for this…. 38.5 grams of sugar… that is equivalent to 8 teaspoons of sugar!!!

Thus my Healthade Kombucha Moscow Mule was born. If you’re unfamiliar with Healthade Komucha it is made from a probiotic, fermented tea. Healthade Komucha comes in so many amazing flavors, and for this recipe we are going to use their ginger-lemon flavor that tastes a lot like ginger beer, just a little less sweet. Plus an entire bottle of Kombucha has only 35 calories and 5 grams of sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 6oz Lemon-Ginger Healthade Kombucha
  • 1.5oz Vodka (of your choice)
  • 1 juiced lime
  • Mint for garnish
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Instructions:

    • Fill copper mug with ice
    • Add vodka
    • Add Lemon-Ginger Healthade Kombucha
    • Add lime juice
    • Garnish with mint and lime wedge
    • Drink your low calorie Moscow Mule like a champion

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Enjoy!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Super Bowl Sunday Nachos

 

I know most gals yesterday could attest to “I came here for the food”, I understand! Although Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone, the good news is that football food sticks around all year long! One fan-fare guilty pleasure of mine is a good plate of nachos! Not the healthiest… but delicious! Here’s my quick & easy nacho recipe!

 

Ingredients

Nachos

1 bag of chips

1-2 grilled chicken breasts (diced or shredded)

1-2 cups of thickly shredded cheddar cheese

1 small can of black beans

1 small can of sliced black olives

1/4-1/2 cup of salsa (I like to use a medium heat roasted salsa + a pico de gallo)

1 tsp of cilantro (finely chopped)

1 jalapeno (chopped)

 

Chipotle Crema

3/4 cup of sour cream

3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream

1 tbsp of hot sauce (your favorite!)

2 tsp of lime juice

1 tsp of chipotle seasoning

 

 

Directions

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a bowl, mix together all crema ingredients until smooth and set aside
  3. Line baking sheet with chips, layer with half amount of cheese
  4. Top with diced chicken and beans
  5. Sprinkle on remaining cheese
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted
  7. Remove from oven and top with salsa(s), olives, jalapeño, cilantro, and chipotle crema

Enjoy and watch the game! (or just enjoy!)

 

 

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Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

I love this recipe since it’s a super healthy snack that packs a lot of nutrition in but is also SO EASY to make! Willow also loves it! Chia seed pudding is a great way to sneak fiber into a kid’s diet. Also, it’s surprisingly filling for a pregnant mama who needs to eat often! Plus, you can always add in granola or other fruit to make it a heartier meal for breakfast/lunch.

Ingredients: 

2 cups   Homemade almond milk

1/2 cup   Chia seeds

2 tsp   Vanilla extract

Berries for toppings

Dash of Cinnamon

Directions: 

  1. Mix almond milk with chia seeds in a bowl and stir.
  2. Add in vanilla extra and stir.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge to set (usually takes 2+ hours or better yet, leave it overnight)
  4. Serve and add your favorite berries and cinnamon to taste!

Easy, right?

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A Busy Mom’s Extra Green Pesto Pasta

I know I’m not alone when I have that “UGH” moment after a long day at work when I’ve just arrived home and I’m about to let out a sigh of relief when I can finally put on my comfy clothes and let the stress of the day fade away BUT then I remember that I haven’t made a plan for dinner yet. The worst. Exacerbated by the hungry faces asking me what’s for dinner.

This is usually when my savvy mom skills kick into gear and I get creative with stuff that’s in the fridge, however, one of these instances has led to one of my favorite meals that’s perfect for when you’re busy with returning back to work after the holidays and still wanting to stay true to the cutting back on takeout and unhealthy foods resolution.

Cue: A Busy Mom’s Extra Green Pesto Pasta!

SO easy! So realistic after a busy day! With the help of some go-to grocery store items, this dish is ready in the amount of time it takes to boil some pasta.

Ingredients:

1 package of pasta (Willow loves bowtie but any work!)

1 jar of pesto sauce (my favorite is from Trader Joe’s)

1 handful of fresh cherry tomatoes (feel free to add in more! They’re extra sweet and juicy after being warmed from the pasta!)

1 bag of spring lettuce mix

3 tablespoons of salt (for boiling water)

Half a lemon

Parmesan cheese & favorite Italian spices to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring pot of water + 3 tablespoons of salt to a boil
  2. Throw in pasta & follow cooking instructions on bag
  3. In the meantime, cut cherry tomatoes in halves
  4. When pasta is al dente, strain and place back in the pot
  5. Add pesto and Italian spices to pot of pasta
  6. Add fresh cherry tomatoes and squeeze lemon juice on pasta
  7. Stir! (This is the hardest step ;))
  8. Serve on a bed of fresh spring mix lettuce and add parmesan if you’re inclined for some cheese
  9. Enjoy the happy faces and well fed family!
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Christmas Morning Recipe

Every one has their favorite Christmas memories while growing up. I still remember mine as a little girl waking up early to peek down at the tree lined with presents and smelling breakfast waiting for me. I now try to instill some of those same traditions and memories with my family. One of my favorite things on Christmas day that has become a family favorite are my breakfast cinnamon rolls. It may be a simple recipe but with a few extra ingredients these rolls take on a holiday twist that will sure become a winner in the household.

Ingredients: (makes about 4 dozen rolls)

11 to 12 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

3 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast

3 teaspoons salt

3-1/2 cups water

1 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

Filling:

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup sugar

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup raisins

Frosting:

1/4 cup butter, softened

3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

3 to 4 tablespoons water

Directions: 

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine 8 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
  2. In a saucepan, heat water and oil to 120°-130° and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until it is all incorporated and moistened. Then add the eggs and mix until smooth. Stir in the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  3. On a hard surface knead the dough until smooth and elastic for about 5-10 minutes. Then cover and let the dough rest for 15 minutes. After turn the dough onto a hard surface again and divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a 24 in. x 15 in. rectangle. Brush it with butter and combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the dough. Roll it up jelly-roll style and pinch seams to seal.
  4. Cut dough each into 24 rolls. Place the rolls cut side up in a 13×9 in baking pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
  5. Bake at 425° for 18-22 minutes until golden brown.In a small mixing bowl, combine frosting ingredients. Spread over warm rolls. Cool on a tray.

The aroma of the rolls will fill up the entire house and make you want to bake another batch!

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#AskAbby: What cookie recipe did you make with Cat Cora?

I’m so happy chef Cat Cora gave me her recipe to share with all of you! We had so much fun making it on Facebook live! Make sure to keep your eye out for more cooking videos!

Lemonade Sugar Cookies 

Makes 4 dozen cookies

1 6-ounce Can of Frozen Lemonade Concentrate
½ Pound Unsalted Butter (2 sticks) (Softened)
1 Cup Sugar (Plus extra red and green colored to sprinkle over the cookies)
2 Teaspoon Lemon Zest (Finely Grated)
2 Large Eggs
2½ Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/8 Teaspoon Salt

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Fill a large bowl with warm water and plop in the unopened can of lemonade to thaw while you mix the cookie dough.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer. Add the lemon zest, if desired. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until the mixture is light and creamy, 4-5 minutes, then set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Measure out 1/2 cup of the thawed lemonade and set the rest aside. Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Stir, then add about one third of the 1/2 cup lemonade. Continue adding the flour and lemonade alternately, stirring after each addition, until the mixture shows no streaks of flour. Beat on low speed with the mixer just until all the ingredients are combined.

Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of the dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake the cookies, checking them after 8 minutes. When the edges are just starting to brown, remove the cookies from the oven. (The centers will still look soft.) Using a pastry brush, immediately brush the top of each cookie very lightly with a little of the remaining lemonade concentrate, then lightly sprinkle with the colored sugar. Transfer the cookies to a rack and allow them to cool completely.

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Healthier Hot Chocolate

Most of the country is being drenched in snow right now while California is still enjoying 80 degree temps! Though the warm weather is always pleasant… sometimes it can be hard to get into the holiday spirit when you still have your beach gear out!

 

One of our favorite ways to help get ready for the holidays is with some classic holiday treats! Everyone in the family LOVES hot chocolate but the powdered pre-made stuff is never as satisfying as the real deal… and even better… it’s super easy to make your own hot chocolate that is A LOT healthier than traditional recipes. Dairy-free makes this hot chocolate easier on tummies and minimal sugar is useful when Willow wants some at night.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups  Your favorite almond milk – plain/unsweetened vanilla works! (Better yet, you can also make your own! See my post on how to make your own almond milk HERE)

1 tbsp Unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tbsp Semi-sweet/dark chocolate

2 tbsp Raw sugar/stevia/honey/maple syrup  

¼-½ tsp Vanilla extract/peppermint extract (or a candy cane/cinnamon stick if you’re going crazy!)

 

Directions:

  1. Warm almond milk in a small saucepan (you want it hot but not boiling)
  2. Melt in the chocolate while whisking
  3. Whisk in cocoa powder, the sweetener, and extract
  4. Optional: place in blender or coffee press and blend or pump (this should be done quickly to mimic a blender) until frothy

 

Notes: Hot chocolate is super customizable so feel free to add/detract ingredients depending on how you and the family like it!

 

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How To Throw An Easy Friendsgiving

This year I planned a Friendsgiving for some of my close girlfriends, and after sending out the invites I was having second thoughts. Preparing a whole meal for 6 people while pregnant was starting to feel quite stressful, and let’s just say I am not the greatest cook! I was definitely looking for some cooking hacks that would help me out in preparation for the big feast.

I found a Farmer John Gold Wrapped Whole Ham that comes pre-cooked and is easy to heat in the oven. I added a brown sugar-agave glaze to it just before it was done cooking and it was perfection (I was pretty proud of myself that I didn’t burn it or myself!). See the simple recipe here:

 

FARMER JOHN® Whole Ham  (instructions also come printed on the wrapper…so easy!):

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 325°F (my ham was about 20 pounds so I increased my temperature to 350 degrees).
  2. Remove ham from package and discard the bone guard.
  3. Place ham cut side down in baking pan and cover ham with foil.
  4. Place ham in oven and heat for approximately 15 minutes per pound until warm. Do not overcook. (I cooked mine for a little over 5 hours until a food thermometer inserted into the ham read temperature of 140°F).
  5. With 30 minutes left pour glaze over ham (simple recipe below) and continue cooking 30 minutes more, basting at least twice with the drippings to ensure the ham does not burn.  
  6. Allow for the ham to stand covered for 5-10 minutes before carving.

 

Brown Sugar Agave Glaze:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups packed, light brown sugar
  • 1 cup agave

 

Directions:

  1. Combine the brown sugar and agave in a saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is smooth and the brown sugar has dissolved.
  3. Pour the brown sugar glaze over the ham and continue cooking 30 minutes more, basting at least twice with the drippings to ensure the ham does not burn.  

 

The ham came out beautifully and was a favorite among my guests! Now, I am definitely a sides kind of girl, but recently I’m really into the desserts (it could have something to do with these twins!). I went for a non-traditional pie this year, and did a dark chocolate brownie cake topped with FARMER JOHN® All-Natural Bacon bits. Pro Tip: You can totally cheat and use a boxed brownie mix like I did for this!!

Dark Chocolate Brownie Cake

Ingredients:

 

Directions:

  1. Follow instructions on boxed brownie mix and cook as directed.
  2. While brownie cake is cooking, cook about 5 slices FARMER JOHN® All-Natural Bacon until well done. I like them crunchy.
  3. Let brownie cake cool, then, ice with dark chocolate icing.
  4. Chop bacon, sprinkle chopped bacon bits onto icing.
  5. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

*This post is sponsored by Farmer John, but the opinions and excitement are all my own!

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Spaghetti Squash Recipe

This recipe is a MUST HAVE for Mom’s looking to feed the whole family a super healthy meal but don’t have a lot of time for labor intensive meals. It’s also a crowd pleasing dinner that sneaks in veggies where heavy carbs usually are. A win-win for parents and the kids!

Wash the outside of an organic spaghetti squash. Pierce the skin with a knife several times.

Put 1/2-1 cup water in the bottom of a crockpot.

Place squash in crock pot and set on high for 2 hours.

Prior to squash being done sautée turkey meat in skillet. Heat marinara sauce in sauce pain until hot. Mix sauce with turkey meat.

Remove squash from crockpot, let cool. Cut into 4’s. Scrape out seeds from center.

Add salt and pepper to taste, along with butter.

Use a fork to remove squash from skin and into plate. Cover with marinara sauce and turkey. Sprinkle with cheese.

 

Photo credit: Kate Hauschka Photography