Blueberry Muffin Smoothie

I like to make smoothies a couple times a week for breakfast and recently, I started adding in some oats. I had noticed that regular smoothies weren't keeping me full unless I also had a piece of toast or a snack when I get to work.  The addition of oats, nuts or seeds provide you energy and fiber to keep you satisfied longer but it is important to be mindful of the serving size as you might be unknowingly adding unwanted calories.  Stick to a handful of oats or a tablespoon of nuts or seeds as a guide. 
To make the flavors really pop in this or any smoothie, add in some citrus.  Lemon or lime juice brights the flavors of the fruits you already love. This smoothie beats out most blueberry muffins in a calorie contest (1 medium muffin averages 425 calories and 18g of fat!).  The other added bonus: smoothies are a lot less work to whip up than a batch of muffins in the morning!

Wild Blueberry Muffin Smoothie
Serves 1

1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries
1/3 cup oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions: Combine ingredients in blender until smooth.  Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts: 206 Calories, 6g Fat, 36g Carbohydrates, 5g Protein, 8g Fiber, 183mg Sodium, 362mg Potassium


Crab and Avocado Salad with Chive Dressing

I must be dreaming.  Spring is here and all I can think about is warmer weather and heading to the ocean.  The snow storm planned for this weekend is not exactly cooperating with my train of thought, however.  Once it warms up a teensy bit and some of the snow melts you can bet I'll be taking Penny to the beach for a walk!
This week I broke the Cardinal Rule and grocery shopped while hungry, starving really, after I just finished a Body Attack class.  I think it must have subconsciously motivated me to be healthy because I spent a small fortune on the healthiest, most organic and convenient things I could get my hands on.  We're talking coconut water, maple almond butter, and all the fruit and vegetables I could carry.  In the mix were some pre-sliced brussels sprouts (See what I mean?).  Anyway, I grilled them up that night on my grill pan and they were delicious!  With some of the smaller, left over leaves I have been throwing them into salads and they add some crunch and a really mild flavor. I encourage you to try them!  I have never been a fan of the frozen, boiled to death, mushy type brussels sprouts but the fresh ones I can get on board with!
I stumbled upon a similar recipe here and while I couldn't get down with anchovies in my dressing, I did know that I would need to recreate this.  This version is really light and fresh and the dressing really puts it over the top.  If anyone needs me, I'll be over here eating this salad and dreaming of the ocean and warmer days.

Crab and Avocado Salad
Serves 2

2 cups mixed greens
1/4 cup brussels sprout leaves
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, pitted and diced
1 6-oz can of crabmeat, drained (or 4oz cooked, fresh crabmeat)
1 piece of wheat bread
1 teaspoon olive oil

Chive Dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tablespoon chives, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Chili powder to taste

Whisk together ingredients for dressing in a small bowl. Set aside.
Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil on piece of bread.  Cut into 1 inch cubes and toast until golden brown.
On a serving plate, place mixed greens, brussels sprout leaves, cherry tomatoes and avocado.  Next, place croutons on top of salad and then gently flake crabmeat on top.   Drizzle dressing on top and serve.

Nutrition Facts:  495 Calories, 27.5g Fat, 50.5g Carbohydrate, 15.5g Protein, 14g Fiber, 858mg Sodium, 858mg Potassium


500 Calorie Salmon with Grilled Pineapple and Avocado

Confession time.  I am nothing short of obsessed with this meal.  I have made it at least once a week every week since the New Year and now that we are into March, the trend continues.  The vibrant orange, green and yellow colors are so visually appealing and you can be sure that this is one meal you can feel good about.  It's on the table in about 10 minutes which is half the reason I make it so frequently.   The other half is that it is low in calories yet high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.  I never get tired of the sweet and spicy pineapple combined with fresh avocado and slightly crispy salmon.

Salmon with Grilled Pineapple and Avocado
Serves 2

2 5-ounce portions of salmon (center cut portions cook evenly)
1 can of sliced pineapple, drained
cayenne pepper to taste
1 small avocado, sliced

Directions:  Heat a grill pan to low-medium heat.  Season salmon to taste and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, being careful not to disturb salmon while cooking.  Meanwhile, press pineapple slices with paper towel to remove excess liquid.  Sprinkle with cayenne pepper on both sides. (For less heat, just sprinkle one side).  Grill each side for 2-3 minutes.  Serve each portion of salmon with 2 slices of pineapple and half of the avocado slices.  Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts: 446 Calories, 26g Fat, 20g Carbohydrates, 31g Protein, 8g Fiber, 69mg Sodium 580mg Potassium


Avocado Toast with Tomatoes

Hello everyone! I am just back from vacation! I decided that if I was going to take a true vacation that meant a break from blogging, TV, etc. so my best friend and I stayed on a sail boat off the coast of Puerto Rico, read 3+ books each, snorkeled and beach-hopped for a week.  Low key and low cost since we made most of our meals on the boat and our time didn't revolve around shopping, restaurants or excursions.  I highly recommend an unplugged vacation if you can manage it.  It was just what this RD ordered :)
Ever since avocado toast has started "trending" (check Instagram if you don't believe me) I have been craving it and just haven't gotten around to making it.  So after an outside yoga class this past Friday I ordered it for brunch and it wasn't until after that they realized they were out of avocado! Anyways, needless to say the first meal I made when I got back was avocado toast.  I was not disappointed.

I decided if I'm being realistic, I probably won't make this with an egg on top during the week as I'm usually pressed for time trying to get to work at 7:30AM.  I topped the 9-grain toast with avocado, sliced rainbow tomatoes, cracked pepper, green onion and a drizzle of garlic olive oil.  It was crunchy, creamy and tasted so fresh.  It makes me hopeful for Spring since returning to chilly Maine after a week of 83 degree weather.  Happy to be back and blogging! See you back here soon!

Avocado Toast

1 slice hearty bread such as 9-grain or whole wheat
1/4 avocado
3 cherry tomatoes (I used organic rainbow cherry tomatoes), quartered
1/4 green onion, chopped
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil

Directions: Toast bread. Slice avocado and mash slightly onto toast with a fork.  Top with tomatoes and garnish with pepper, green onions and drizzle with olive oil.  Enjoy immediately.

Nutrition Facts: 275 Calories, 16g Fat, 30g Carbohydrates, 7g Protein, 10g Fiber, 95mg Sodium, 1124mg Potassium