month 1 approved

Banana "Nice" Cream

Banana “Nice” Cream

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 3 frozen bananas, chopped

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk

  • 1 tbsp almond butter

  • ⅓ cup chocolate plant-based protein powder

  • Optional: 1/2 tbsp cacao nibs

Instructions

Place bananas, almond milk, almond butter, and protein powder into a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth and creamy. You may need to turn off the motor and stir the mixture a couple times while processing. Add in cacao nibs (if using) and pulse once more. Scoop/spoon ice cream in to a bowl and enjoy!

Note: Freeze for an hour to make easier to scoop. If making in advance, just thaw for 10 minutes or so to make it easy to serve.

Butter Cinnamon Apples

Butter Cinnamon Apples

healthy+cinnamon+apples+recipe+shed+for+the+wed

Ingredients

  • 1 honeycrisp apple, diced

  • 1 tbsp grassfed organic butter

  • Cinnamon

Instructions

Melt butter in a small nonstick pan. Add apple pieces. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. Saute for about 5 minutes or when apples begin to get a bit softer. If you like them super soft keep going until they reach the consistency you like! Serve on their own or in a a bowl of oatmeal with organic peanut butter (shown!). A perfect treat while you are in month 1 of your shedding journey!

Note: I don’t peel the apples for an added nutrient and fiber boost. If you prefer the more traditional peel go for it!

Avocado Pineapple Popsicles

avocado pineapple popsicles shed for the wed healthy dessert

Avocado Pineapple Popsicles

Well there has been a lot of debate over these bad boys. My first bite I was apprehensive, but by the time I finished, I thought I wouldn’t change a thing. Others thought it needed more sweetness. Others thought lime would be a good addition. I’ll let you try them and you decide for yourself! This is a perfect maintenance #treatyoself! It won’t hinder your wedding bod and is a super satisfying treat! .⠀

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado 🥑 ⠀

  • 1 20oz can of pineapple 🍍 chunks in juice

  • A quick squeeze of 🍋 ⠀

Instructions
Blend ingredients. Pour mixture into popsicle mold and freeze overnight (you probably just need a few hours but I’m not actually sure). ⠀

Buffalo Quinoa

franks hot sauce quinoa healthy recipe super bowl

This is one of my favorite healthy meals that really feels like it’s not. Hot sauce creates the impression that the food is indulgent, but sneaky- you’re eating QUINOA AND BROCCOLI! It’s perfect to hit your Super Bowl junk food craving this weekend! I’ve been making this for years and this is a 100% #shedapproved variation. It only takes 20 minutes to make AND it’s #vegan if you skip the cheese! Feel free to improvise with adding any other veggies you love! I will warn you, this dish does pack some heat, so if you are sensitive to spice, you may want to skip this one. Enjoy! -AHS


Buffalo Quinoa

Buffalo Quinoa shed for the wed healthy recipes

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa⠀

  • 2 cups water⠀

  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce (original - NOT the wing sauce - it’s not Shed approved)⠀

  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced⠀

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (plus a drizzle)⠀

  • Salt to taste⠀

  • 2 cups frozen broccoli ⠀

  • Optional: sprinkle of feta or blue cheese (month 1 only)



Instructions

In a medium size pot, add quinoa and water. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. ⠀

Meanwhile, add olive oil to a small pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until they are nicely browned. Add salt to taste. ⠀

Steam broccoli in the microwave. You could use steamer bags or I just put the florets in a bowl with a little bit of water and microwave for 4 minutes. Be sure to drain any excess water.

When quinoa is ready add Frank’s and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix in onions, broccoli, and optional feta/blue cheese. Serve warm. ⠀

#ShedApproved Ribollita

bon appetit basically ribollita healthy recipes shedding for the wedding

YEP. I think it’s safe to say we are deep into winter. Because of this “once in a generation” level of cold, I have been craving something super cozy. Since meat has been tough on my stomach to prepare, I’ve been looking for protein packed vegetarian meals. I was deep in Instagram stories, and saw the folks at Basically (by Bon Appetit) making this dish–it fit the bill perfectly.

I used a crusty sourdough loaf and Ezekiel bread- but the original recipe calls for a crusty country bread (mmm yummy!), but to make it Month 1 #shedapproved just use Ezekiel. I honestly barely noticed the difference between the Ezekiel and sourdough once it was all together! I would skip going back for seconds if you are shedding, but doubtful you would even want to! It is incredibly filling!

Other changes I made: I skipped the beginning steps and just used Trader Joe’s amazing Mirepoix. Easy > Everything. Also, I had thought I had a chunk of parm at home, but it turned out to be Romano, so I ended up a bit of pre-grated parm and Romano early on instead of the parmesan rind, however, if I hadn’t of needed to I wouldn’t have skipped that step. I’m sure the rind really adds depth!

This recipe was perfection, and did not disappoint! While this is essentially a bread soup, it is guilt free! Loaded up with kale, tomatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and beans it packs a nutritional punch! It is the perfect #hygge meal for these soup belly kind of nights! Now, mangia!! -AHS


#Shedapproved Ribollita

ribollita healthy recipe lose weight before wedding

Serves 4-6

Adapted From Bon Appetit (I highly recommend going to the original recipe- they have lovely step by step visuals!)

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion (or use Mirepoix from Trader Joes)

  • 3 medium carrots (or use Mirepoix from Trader Joes)

  • 2 celery stalks (or use Mirepoix from Trader Joes)

  • 8 garlic cloves (I used 6 because they were massive)

  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale

  • 1 small wedge of Parmesan with rind - adapted - used 2 tsp parm/romano mix

  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes

  • ½ loaf Ezekiel bread (about 10 oz.) (adapted to make #shedapproved)

  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 14-oz. can cannellini beans

  • ¾ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 450°. Time to prep your veg! You are going to make a mirepoix, which is just a fancy French word for the combo of chopped onions, carrots, and celery that form the flavor base for a lot of European dishes. First, cut 1 large onion in half through root. Peel and discard skins. Finely chop and transfer to a medium bowl. If using TJ’s Mirepoix skip to step 4.

  2. Wash, peel, and trim 3 medium carrots. Cut in half (or in quarters lengthwise if they’re large), then cut crosswise into ½" pieces. (You can also just chop the carrots down into coins if you don't mind larger pieces of veg in your soup.) Add to bowl with onion.

  3. Chop 2 celery stalks crosswise into ½" pieces. Add to bowl with the rest of the mirepoix.

  4. Smash and peel 8 garlic cloves with the back of your knife. If any of them are left more or less intact after that initial smashing, give them another good wack with the back of your knife so they really open up and start to break apart. Add to bowl, also.

  5. Strip stems from 2 bunches Tuscan kale and discard. Wash if they're gritty or you really care about washing vegetables, then tear leaves into 2" pieces; set aside.

  6. Cut rind off of 1 small Parmesan wedge; set aside.

  7. Place 28 oz. canned tomatoes and their juices in a strainer set inside a medium bowl. (You need that bowl to collect the juice, which you're going to use later—don't throw it out!) Squeeze tomatoes and crush them with your hands while leaving them submerged in their liquid so they don’t squirt.

  8. Tear ½ loaf crusty country bread into 1½" pieces.

  9. Heat ⅓ cup extra-virgin oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium. Add bowl of mirepoix and 2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but not browned, 8–10 minutes.

  10. Lift strainer full of tomatoes and give it a few shakes to remove any liquid. Add tomatoes (but not juices!) and cook, stirring occasionally, until some of the rawness is cooked off, about 10 minutes. Giving those tomato solids a chance to caramelize before adding the liquid back in helps to add a lot of flavor to the stew. (Remember: Reserve the juices, you’re going to use them!)

  11. While tomatoes are cooking, drain and rinse 14 oz. canned cannellini beans in the strainer you just used, then add to pot along with Parmesan rindtomato juices¾ tsp. red pepper flakes, and 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer.

  12. Add kale in two additions, stirring often and allowing to wilt in between.

  13. Add about one-third of torn bread (no need to measure, just eyeball it) and cook, stirring occasionally, until coated and warmed through, about 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  14. Remove from heat. Place remaining torn bread chunks on top of stew. Drizzle generously with olive oil.

  15. Transfer pot to oven and bake stew until thick, bubbling, and bread is golden brown on top, 10–15 minutes.

  16. Ladle stew into bowls, drizzle each generously with olive oil, and grate lots of Parmesan over.

Spicy Taco Zoodles (Cookbook Preview!)

spicy taco zoodles healthy recipes shed for the wed

I'm giving you a preview from the soon-to-be released Shed for the Wed Cookbook today! There is a whole section dedicated just to spiraled veggie noodles. I love them! You get almost all of the satisfaction of a hearty pasta dinner without the refined carbs weighing you down.  Do you want to know the secret behind why they are so great? It's the sauce! If you have a good sauce, you do not miss regular noodles. Don't believe me? Try it yourself!

They key here is finding the right marinara. You want to make sure its lower in sugar (the guideline I go off of is 4g or less of sugar per serving). My favorite is Trader Joe's Organic Tomato Basil.  You most definitely can make your own, but it will add on a couple hours to the endeavor. 

I hope you give this recipe a shot! It's a real winner. Scroll to the bottom for the recipe. :)

Also, if you haven't downloaded the FREE food & wellness journal yet, be sure to sign up for emails from me and download it here! I love this freebie because it is what I actually encourage my clients to use! Use it to get a clear impression of your normal habits, and then you can transition to keep you accountable to your lifestyle goals! -AHS

Name *
Name
Wedding Date
Wedding Date

Spicy Taco Zoodles

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1⁄2 lb ground turkey

  • Fajita seasoning (Simply Organic is a good brand)

  • 3 medium zucchini, spiraled*

  • 1⁄2 jar marinara sauce**

  • Optional: sprinkle of cheddar cheese

Instructions

Heat olive oil in a medium pan. Add ground turkey. Lightly coat meat with fajita seasoning and stir. Cook until browned. Mix in spiraled noodles and marinara. Serve with an optional sprinkle of cheddar cheese.

*If you don’t have a spiralizer, never fear! A box grater also works as well as buying them pre-noodled.

**Jarred marinara shouldn’t have more than 4g of sugar/serving.

spicy taco zoodles healthy recipes shredding for the wedding

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Pancakes (GF, DF, & Sugar-Free!)

pumpkin spice glutenfree sugarfree dairyfree pancakes with blueberries
My mom's pup frolicking in the snow. Is this not the most joyful picture you've ever seen??! Photo courtesy of Marju Eisenberg. 

My mom's pup frolicking in the snow. Is this not the most joyful picture you've ever seen??! Photo courtesy of Marju Eisenberg. 

Last weekend it was snow heaven. So much snow. Schools were canceled. I measured the snow sitting on top of our flower beds- we ended up with 13 inches! People were cross country skiing in the parks. And yes, I live in Chicago, this should not be shocking. But it was a legit magical snowfall. I don't complain about the snow- I am a weird breed of Chicagoan that gets upset when people complain about the weather all the time. "It's too hot. It's too cold. There's too much snow." Move to LA or take some vitamin D. But really, I have had a garage for the past 4 years so I do not stress about snow. #blessed Chicagoans are kinda crazy with the street parking. Dibs is very real and I have no interest in getting involved in any of that! 

Anyways, so it was snowy and cozy and you know what that means! Fun in the kitchen! I experimented with quite a few cozy winter recipes that day (more to come soon!) basically because the cold makes me crave carbs. It seemed like a great day to make the oatmeal pancakes from the Shed plan. But because I am incapable of following a recipe to save my life (even my own!) - I ended up improvising and coming up with a new fun variation on the traditional recipe. These pancakes are #shedapproved for both month 1 and 2! 

I think what I liked most about these was that compared to my favorite banana pancakes, these hold together beautifully. The combination of the oat flour and the pumpkin really make a nice batter! I probably didn't need the eggs- but I'm always glad to include some protein in breakfast! 

I am also crazy about nut butter and berries. I learned this when I used to work at a juice shop. It is a life-changing combination. 

The pancakes aren't sweet on their own, so the blueberries really add an extra something to them! 

Having treats like this that are #shedapproved are really what makes living a healthy lifestyle something that you can do consistently! I highly recommend you make these bad boys. They may just change ya life! 

Stay cozy, friends!

AHS


pumpkin spice oatmeal pancakes with blueberries and peanut butter

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 15 oz can of pumpkin puree 
  • pumpkin pie spice (use liberally)
  • olive oil spray 
  • 1-2 tbsp organic peanut butter 
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries (or fresh if they are in season)

Instructions

Blend or pulse oats in a blender or food processor until oats have the consistency of flour. Transfer to bowl. Add eggs, vanilla extract, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to bowl. Mix thoroughly (I used a hand mixer, you could use a tabletop mixer as well).

Heat a nonstick skillet lightly coated with olive oil spray over medium heat. Ladle batter into skillet to form pancakes. Cook for about 3 minutes. When they look like they have a solid base, flip. Cook for an additional minute or so until they have firmed and are golden brown. Serve with peanut butter and berries on top. 

Notes

  • While all oats should be gluten-free, due to how they are processed in the U.S. - often times they are not. Check the label to ensure they are gluten-free!
  • I don't keep my food processor out all the time. So if you want, you can pulse extra oats to make this task easier for the next time. Do it in small batches, the food processor will not work as well with large quantities. I store my leftover oat flour in a sealed container in the fridge. 
  • Alternatively, you can use butter on the skillet and on the pancakes if you aren't into the peanut butter berry combo. Note: this makes them only #shedapproved for month 1.  

Three Sisters and Feta Spinach Quinoa Cakes

three sisters and feta spinach quinoa cake

There was a restaurant near my old job called Moxee. It recently closed (shame, it was really good!), and they had a dish called the "Three Sisters." To be 100% honest with you, I never had ordered it because 1) beans cause indigestion for me - and I didn't want to eat them at work and 2) typically work was paying, and I went for a higher priced item, like a blackened salmon salad. That being said, this was a favorite for a lot of my colleagues (apparently they didn't have the same issue with beans... *side eye*).  I was asked recently to try and recreate it. The humor in all of this is that I had never eaten it. So I basically I took the ingredients and made my own #shedapproved version. 

But first, I was intrigued, I hadn't heard of the "three sisters" before this, so I did a quick google, and I was fascinated by my findings. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, apparently, the three sisters are the three main agricultural crops of various Native American groups in North America: winter squash, maize (corn), and climbing beans.

"The three crops are planted close together and benefit from each other. The maize provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other plants use, and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, helping prevent the establishment of weeds. The squash leaves also act as a 'living mulch', creating a microclimate to retain moisture in the soil, and the prickly hairs of the vine deter pests. Corn, beans, and squash contain complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, and all eight essential amino acids, allowing most Native American tribes to thrive on a plant-based diet."

I mean, I don't know about you, but I think that this is pretty much the most amazing thing ever. How cool that the Native Americans figured this out: 1) From an agricultural standpoint and 2) from a biological, nutritional perspective. This inspired me to do the dish justice. I got to work. 

Here was the menu description: "Vegetarian hash with roasted butternut squash, corn, and pinto beans (3 sisters) topped with sweet peppers, onions and a light roasted garlic sauce with a grilled herb polenta cake."

Well, no knock to polenta, but it's not shed approved, so it was out. To give homage to our South American Native Americans (hello Incans!), I thought quinoa could be a good substitute. As I had never made a "quinoa cake" before, I looked to pinterest for inspiration. It did not disappoint. I found a recipe from the Domestic Superhero that seemed would work perfectly. There was a catch, she had used breadcrumbs in her recipe (not Shed approved) – would it still work? Well spoiler alert: it worked just fine without them. Didn't miss them either! 

Also, I made one other big change to the original menu item - the light roasted garlic sauce became tzatziki. This gives it a bit of a mediterranean flair (I'm Lebanese, what can I say, can't help myself!). The lemon zest and feta were just asking for the tzatziki. While these vibes seem to not be the same, I can tell you, the flavors complimented each other beautifully.  

The rest of the recipe seems to speak for itself. I hope you try it- it's perfect for #meatlessmonday! Have a great day, beauties! 

-AHS


Three Sisters 

Ingredients 

three sisters feta spinach quinoa cakes 2
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb 5 oz butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp liquid aminos 
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can sweet corn, drained (it's winter- in the summer I would use fresh!)
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped 
  • 5 small sweet peppers, deseeded and sliced horizontally

Instructions

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add butternut squash, cook for a couple minutes. Add garlic and add liquid aminos. When butternut squash is 75% finished (softer, but not cooked all the way through), add pinto beans and corn. Mix well. Cook until butternut squash is soft. 

While butternut squash is cooking, in another skillet heat 1 tbsp olive oil over low heat. Add 1 cup chopped onion and sweet peppers. Cook until onions are browned and peppers are soft. 

Serve onion and pepper mix on butternut squash mixture. Pair with Feta Spinach Quinoa Cakes. 

feta spinach quinoa cakes

(Adapted from Domestic Superhero

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 ounces chopped baby spinach
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Tzatziki sauce

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium-size bowl.

Add the eggs, quinoa, feta, lemon zest, and 1/4 tsp black pepper and mix well. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to allow the bread crumbs to absorb some of the moisture.

Wipe out large skillet, and add extra virgin olive oil. Heat for a few minutes.

Form quinoa patties about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Place the patties in skillet, in batches if necessary. Cook the patties until they’re browned on the outside, 4 to 5 minutes per side, and then flip.

Serve with a dab of Tzatziki sauce on each patty. 

Notes

  • I eliminated breadcrumbs, a homemade sauce, and dill from the original recipe. 
  • Breadcrumbs were eliminated because they are empty calories. The recipe works without them, but I’m sure it would be great with them as well. 
  • To make life easier I thought it best to use pre-made Tzatziki which already has dill in it. Thought doubling up on dill was unnecessary. 
  • Lastly, you could try baking the patties as well to time the meal better. 

Update 2/13/18: The first version of this post was missing the measurement for butternut squash. Error is now corrected. 

Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

spaghettisquashbolognese

I really don't have much to say about this, except for that rarely I give myself a 10/10 on a recipe, and this meal 100% gets a gold star.  Please make it. You deserve this dinner. It's so freaking delicious.  You may think you don't need to eat the full serving, but I'm telling you in advance, you will eat all of it. 

Be sure you pick a marinara sauce with less than 4gs of sugar per serving. I used Trader Joe's Organic Marinara. It has 3gs of sugar per 1/2 cup. This marinara also has parmesan in it (missed that at the grocery- which would make it month 1 #shedapproved. I would recommend a marinara sans cheese so you can make it throughout the duration of the program. Also skip the Romano at the end as well, if you are a month 2 shedder!) 


Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash

  • 2 tbsp(ish) olive oil

  • salt and pepper

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 lb ground turkey

  • 1/2 25 oz jar of marinara sauce

  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Deseed with a spoon. Coat basin and sides with 1 tbsp olive oil. Place on a shallow baking tray greased with olive oil. Salt and pepper. Place in oven. Cook for 50 minutes. 

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic to pan. Stir occasionally until garlic has a bit of color. If it is browning too quickly turn heat down. Add ground turkey to the pan. Use your spatula to break it up into smaller bits. Keep cooking on low, stirring occasionally, so it is nice and brown. 

Remove spaghetti squash from oven (at 50 mins) and let sit. (I was impatient and waited 5 minutes and used a mitt to hold it.) Take a fork - scratch to create “noodles”. Add noodles to ground turkey mixture. Add 1/2 jar of TJ’s organic marinara. Add in almost all the Romano in (saving a bit for garnish) stir to coat. 

Serve back in the squash (I prefer this way because you maximize the amount of squash you can eat!)  or in a bowl. Top with remaining Romano as garnish.