Spring Recipe #2: Shrimp Fajitas 

Ingredients

• 1 Bell Pepper, sliced
• 1 small Onion, sliced
• 2 handfuls Mushrooms, sliced

• Shrimp (around 24 for 2 people)
• 2 Tbsp Olive oil
• 2 cloves Garlic
• 1 tsp Chili powder
• 1 tsp Basil
• 1 tsp each Salt and Pepper

• Avocado Dream Dressing (recipe here)
• 1 Lime, wedged
• Tortillas

Directions

1. Sauté veggies on med-high heat until softened, set aside
2. In a bowl mix shrimp, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, basil, salt and pepper. Sauté on med-high heat and stir until just cooked, set aside
3. Serve veggies and shrimp along side with limes, dressing and tortillas and let everyone build their own 🙂

Enjoy!

Your,
Natural Groove Gal

Morning Step #3: Protein 

The final step in my breakfast routine is protein. 

After a detoxing elixir and nutritious smoothie, the digestive system is awake and cleansed, a great time to consume protein for the body to digest and eventually provide energy into the day. 

**Make sure to wait at least 20 minutes after your smoothie (or fruit) before you eat protein. A lot of gases can be produced in the stomach while digesting fruits (especially whole vs. blended) – you will notice a lot more burping when you start off with fruit – So you don’t want to consume more foods immediately or else you’ll run into some serious indigestion!! **

Here are a couple of options I look forward to putting in my belly…

1) Hard-boiled Eggs with Cheese and a little Tobasco, and half an Avocado

Benefits:

Eggs – protein, vitamin B12 and Dan

Avocado – fibre, foliate, vitamin E, iron, zinc and all 18 essential amino acids to produce proteins which is readily absorbed because of the fibre content 🙂

Both are a great source of essential fatty acids such as omega 3s and 6s.

2) Granola with Vanilla Yogurt, Nut Butter and a sprinkle of Hemp Hearts

Benefits:

Yogurt – calcium, vitamin B12, potassium and magnesium 

Granola – fibre, numerous vitamins and minerals 

Nut Butter – fibre and omega 3s and 6s

Hemp Hearts – fibre, omega 3s and 6s, iron and calcium

Try to stay away from meat options. They are harder on your digestive system and you’re looking for efficiency in the mornings!  Save those for a later meal.

Either of these should have you feeling full all the way until the lunch hour and prevent those snacking temptations on unhealthy/convenient foods!

If I’m in a huge hurry, a big spoonful of nut butter usually does the trick!

So there it is. The end of my morning routine/breakfast. Please feel free to share your morning breakfast choices or an alternative protein option 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Your, 
Natural Groove Gal 

Chicken n’ Shrimp in Veggie Sauce (yes, hidden veggies!!) with Kale Pesto Rice

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Ingredients:
2 Chicken Breasts
20 Shrimp (I used 1 frozen package)
200 g Pancetta, thinly sliced
1 cup Rice, cooked

For the Sauce:
4 -5 Tomatos, medium
3 Carrots, large
1 Onion, large
3-4 cloves Garlic
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

For the Pesto:
Check out my blog Kale Walnut Pesto

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Preperation:
For the Sauce:
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Chop all ingredients roughly and place in a roasting dish.
3. Drizzle olive oil all over and toss ingredients well.
4. Roast for 20-30 min. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
5. Blend in a food processor until desired texture.

For the Dish:
1. Defrost shrimp in cold water.
2. Meanwhile heat saucepan on medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook until just crispy. Remove and set aside.
3. Cut chicken into desired pieces. Add to saucepan and cook chicken, stirring occasionally.
4. Add shrimp when chicken is almost cooked. Add veggie sauce and sitr to combine. About 3 minutes.
5. Take cooked rice and pesto. Mix until just combined.

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Enjoy!!

Your,
Natural Groove Gal

Kale Walnut Pesto

Ingredients:
1 bunch Kale, hard stocks removed, chopped
1 large bunch Basil leaves
3 – 4 cloves Garlic
1 cup Walnuts, toasted

1/2 cup Olive Oil (approx.)
1/2 Lemon, juiced
Salt & Pepper
1/2 cup Parmesean, grated

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Preperation:
1. Saute kale in a heated saucepan with some olive oil, 3-4 minutes
2. Add to a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients (don’t be shy with the salt and pepper!)
3. Blend until well mixed or desired texture is reached
4. Transfer into a serving dish or a resealable container for future use. 

Enjoy!

Your,

Natural Groove Gal 

Simple and Delicious Coleslaw

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Ingredients:
1/2 head of Cabbage
About 3-4 Carrots (or enough to equal the amount of cabbage)
1 cup Apple Cidar Vinegar
1 cup White vinegar
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Salt
Pepper – how ever much you like
1/2 cup Mayonnaise (if you like it really creamy add more)

Preperation:
1. Shread the cabbage and carrots and put in a mixing bowl
2. Add all other ingredients except mayonnaise and marinate for 30 minutes
2. Drain well. Add mayonnaise and toss

That’s it! Everyone will love the crunch and flavour…it’s the perfect side dish for that last summer bbq or cottage getaway.
And it’s super fast and super easy to make!

Your,
Natural Groove Gal

Last Minute Chicken

So I grabbed some chicken drumsticks on the way home and decided to wing it in the kitchen with the procedure. Thank you Pinterest! (Can you tell it’s is one of my favourite apps??) As always I checked out a few recipes and tweaked them to create my own.

And here you go, my new recipe 🙂

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Dijon
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 cup White Wine
1/4 cup 35% Cream (sub coconut cream for non dairy option)
1/4 Red Onion, chopped
1 tbsp Apple Cidar Vinegar
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp Salt

4-5 sprigs Thyme
6 Drumsticks

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Directions:
1) Set oven to bake @400F.
2) Combine all ingredients in a bowl (except drumsticks and thyme) and mix well.
3) Place drumsticks in a dish and pour mixture over evenly. Mix in the thyme in the sauce and on top of the chicken.
4) Place in the oven for 25 minutes, turn, and bake for a remaining 10 min.
5) Switch the oven to broil (high) and bake for another 5 minutes, or until chicken starts to brown on top.
6) Remove from oven and let sit for a couple of minutes. Serve with your favourite sides. (I used rice and steamed veggies.)

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Enjoy!

Your,
Natural Groove Gal

Fibre, Gut Bacteria and Cholesterol

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The Recipe: granola bars
The Talk: fibre, gut bacteria, and cholesterol

Fibre is defined as a carbohydrate that humnas are unable to properly digest. There are two main types:

1) Insoluble – helps with constipation (good at absorbing water) and increasing digestive process (stimulating muscle movement)

2) Soluble – provide support for blood sugar levels, cardiovascular health and aids in the feeling of “fullness”
a) Viscous – a gel forming fibre that regulates the relase of food from the stomach and therefore keeping our blood system from absorbing too much sugar
b) Non viscous – has the same abilities but not as productive as viscous

Fermentable Fibres (which can be both soluble and insoluble) contribute the most in the large intestine in regards to cholesterol and gut bacteria.

Cholesterol – viscous soluble fibre is able to bind to excess cholesterol which then is eliminated by the body. They can also supress cholesterol synthesis in the liver therefore reducing LDL cholesterol in the blood system.

Gut Bacteria – the “good” bacteria in our gut is able to break down the fibre with very specialized enzymes and thus use this fermentation to grow and flourish – which is good news for us because “good” bacteria keeps balance in our colon maintaining a healthy environment for digestion to occur, and keeps “bad” bacteria at bay decreasing digestive stress (which would lead to many conditions and diseases).

So to sum up, soluble fibre is more benficial but you do need ALL types of fibre in the system so try and get a variety of fibre from different foods. Here is a list of high fibre foods:

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Thanks to World’s Healthiest Foods for the exensive list. Please check out the full chart here.

Variety is key here! Pick foods from each category below focusing more on the right side of the spectrum:

Grains – Seeds – Nuts – Legumes – Vegetables – Fruits

Here is a recipe for homemade granola bars – fibre and protein packed!

Ingredients:
3 cups of a mixture of nuts, seeds and dried fruits (I used walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, ground flaxseed, dried cranberries, dried coconut)
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp of butter
1 Tbsp of coconut oil

Directions:
1) Throw dry ingredients into a mixing bowl
2) place honey, butter and coconut oil in a saucepan and heat up until just combined. Remove from heat and let cool for 2-3 minutes
3) Pour wet mixture into dry ingredient bowl and mix until all combined
4) Empty bowl into a parchment lined 9×9 baking pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight

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Enjoy!

Remember, there are TONS of conditions and diseases that result from a unhealthy gut – so take care of yours well!! You deserve it 🙂

Your,
Natural Groove Gal