You guys!! We are on the cusp of one of my favorite times of year – summer! In Texas, the later months of summer are waaaay too hot to enjoy much of anything, so this beginning part sure is something to celebrate.
Before my Vegas vacation, I know I talked a lot about my efforts to eat right, exercise more, and drink less. And I did! Honestly, I still felt a little pudgy in my bikini, but… 31. I ate and drank pretty much everything in sight on vacation and then got back on my healthy eating once I returned.
Ever since, I’ve been feeling better and am starting to see a little bit of a difference in my figure, but being healthy and feeling good is my top priority. It’s still a constant struggle, though, to find recipes and things to cook at home that make me excited to eat healthy.
I have been eating 1 hard-boiled egg, an oatmeal English muffin (it has double the protein), and half a bottle of Naked juice for breakfast for the last three weeks and I’m still not sick of it. In week’s past, I’ve made vegan chili, veggie rolls, sausage and grits, and Hawaiian chicken sewers, among other things for lunches and dinners.
But I wanted to find some festive, special things to cook this weekend to deter me from eating out (I am still letting myself have a cheat meal at the Drafthouse to see “Baywatch”). So, I am really excited to share with you these two recipes I found on Pinterest. Here goes:
I was really excited when I saw this recipe – it was in a collection of recipes that all involved a foil packet. I have been craving some Louisiana food, and this is a really easy way for me to fulfill my wishes while still staying healthy. I think I’m going to eat this as-is, but it would also been good served with brown rice, or other veggies such as asparagus or okra (yum!).
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (12.8-ounce) package smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced
2 ears corn, each cut crosswise into 4 pieces
1 pound baby red potatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons cajun seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill over high heat.
- Cut four sheets of foil, about 12-inches long. Divide shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes into 4 equal portions and add to the center of each foil in a single layer.
- Fold up all 4 sides of each foil packet. Add olive oil, cajun seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste; gently toss to combine. Fold the sides of the foil over the shrimp, covering completely and sealing the packets closed.
- Place foil packets on the grill and cook until just cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.*
- Served immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
Note: This can also be baked for 15-17 minutes at 425 degrees F.
I really love a good burger, especially in the summer. While a regular burger is perfectly fine, I have been making a conscious effort to eat less meat and focus on plant-based foods. I’m hoping this recipe turns out great – I’m planning to add a little cheddar to my burger, and serve it with sweet potato fries and maybe some watermelon!
1 flax egg (1 TBSP ground flax + 3 TBSP water) or 1 egg
1 cup mashed black beans [refried black beans work too!]
1 cup pureed butternut squash
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced celery
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
1 TBSP olive oil [or butter]
3/4 tsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend [like mrs. dash]
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried parsley [or fresh if you have it!]
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1.5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats [not instant]
Optional toppings: 4 burger buns (I used a bakery poppy seed onion bun – amazing!), 4 slices of pepper jack cheese, romaine lettuce, fresh baby spinach, mayo (store-bought or homemade) mixed with sriracha chili sauce
- Whisk together 1 TBSP ground flax with 3 TBSP water and pop it in the fridge to set.
- Next mash black beans in a large bowl and set aside.
- Add your butternut squash to the beans and set aside.
- Next saute onion, celery, and garlic in olive oil until tender and near-translucent, adding the minced garlic towards the end to prevent burning.
- Season the veggies with your Italian seasoning blend, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and parsley and stir to coat.
- Add the freshly sauteed veggies to your beans and squash and stir in your oats.
- Remove your flax egg from the fridge and add it to the bowl.
- Stir to fully incorporate and roll mixture into four balls.
- For optimal burger shape, cup each ball in your hands and squeeze tightly, rotating as you gently, but firmly, press it into a disc.
- Giggles aside, pop your burgers onto a plate, cover with foil or cling wrap and refrigerate as you prep your buns [or lettuce wraps!] and toppings. This will give them a little while to set. You can even leave them overnight and cook them up the following day.
- Pour a tablespoon or two of oil in a skillet and heat to medium-high, so the burgers sizzle when you add them to the pan!
- Cook for a few minutes on each side until you’re left with a golden crust. and a warm center. Repeat for each burger, or cook two at once if you have a big enough pan!
- Slather your buns with sriracha mayo, pile them high with lettuce, spinach, pepper jack and top each with a yummy butternut burger.
That’s what I’ll be cooking up on this gloomy, rainy weekend – I’d love to know what recipes you’re looking forward to this weekend, or this summer!