Veggies, Veggies, and More Veggies!

It’s no secret that I am a veggie fan!

I sometimes choose them as my main and only entree, because they are filling, nutrient filled, and DELICIOUS!

I thought to myself, as I roasted a pan of baby squash and a pan of brussels sprouts yesterday, “I should do a post with all my veggie recipes!” Then I realized, “Oh, too bad it’s not an actual measured recipe!”

I’m that girl who just tosses things into the pan with olive oil-I eyeball it! So, I compiled a list of links to some amazing veggie recipes from my friends at Greatist.com, BuzzFeed Food, and others….so you can do it the “right” way.

29 Ways to Eat Vegetables That Are Delicious

Brown Bag Salad Recipes

SkinnyTaste Oven Roasted Cauliflower

Martha Stewart’s Baked Eggplant Parmesan

9 Mouth-Watering Spaghetti Squash Recipes

51 Easy and Healthy Veggie Sides

If you’re interested in what seasonings I do use for dishes like these:

10960733_10204481038520008_1116741649_oI source most of these things from Costco and Trader Joes, FYI.

Kirkland Organic No-Salt Seasoning

Lawrys Garlic Salt

Dorot Frozen Crushed Garlic

Dorot Frozen Basil

Red Pepper Flakes

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Your favorite balsamic vinegar (toss roasted brussels in it after they’re done, or boil it down to a beautiful reduction to glaze them with-also makes a pretty presentation for company)!

It’s that easy! I hope this gave you some ideas to incorporate more veggies (and healthy deliciousness) into your meals! If you have your own favorite recipes and links, send them my way at SeeSondraSlim@gmail.com, or leave them in the comments! Can’t wait to see what you try!

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Clean Eating Challenge: Days 4, 5, & 6!

The Buzz Feed Clean Eating Challenge has been really good to me so far!

I have no complaints, actually. The food isn’t boring. It isn’t super hard to prepare. It’s not outrageously expensive (thank you, Sprouts for having a bulk section).

I especially enjoyed making asparagus under the broiler, and got a little naughty. I used some leftover prosciutto in my fridge (so it wouldn’t go to waste. And because I’m italian…and partially because I lack some self control!)!
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Days 4, 5 and 6 have been delicious, thanks to all the recipes!

Check them out at these links!

Buzz Feed Clean Eating Challenge Day 4

Buzz Feed Clean Eating Challenge Day 5

Buzz Feed Clean Eating Challenge Day 6

I did totally “cheat” on Sunday, and got some frozen yogurt at FroYoLove by my house…I was having cravings for something ice cream-like. The good news is, I had sugar free, dairy free cherry with raspberries and blueberries in one half of my cup, and dairy-free pineapple with strawberries and kiwi in the other half!
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So overall, I didn’t do too badly…and I skipped the after-dinner snack to compensate somewhat.

As of this morning, I am down 3 pounds, which is pretty awesome. My 4 mile jog/walk around my neighborhood on Sunday probably helped with that! 🙂

I go shopping today with the Week 2 Grocery List, and then tomorrow will be the Day 7  mark!

Pretty excited to continue with this eating plan, and keep feeling and seeing results! I love that it’s not a “diet” so much as it is a better way to fuel your body.
More soon!
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Join me on the Buzzfeed 14 Day Clean Eating Challenge!

Let’s be real: When you hear the words “gluten free” or “low carb” in relation to eating or dieting…it’s an instant turn off! I love the Buzz Feed 14 Day Clean Eating Challenge concept,  mainly because the disclaimer that it’s both of those things didn’t fully register until AFTER I got super excited about it!

When you see the methodical, practical, and easy to follow guidelines for this challenge, it seems so EASY! The photos of food that had me salivating in all of their delicious looking glory didn’t hurt, either!

Buzz Feed has done all of the hard work for us. They’ve split the grocery list into two weeks, broken down each day into menus AND recipes with step by step instructions and photos,  and even gone so far as to provide guidelines for meals that you end up replacing with eating out!

I started my grocery shopping on Sunday, getting most of my dry ingredients, and today I got my meat and produce to start meal prep this evening and officially begin the challenge tomorrow. What I love is how flexible this challenge actually is. While you need to follow the menu day by day (leftovers are used for the next day withe most of the daily menus), you don’t have to start Sat/Sun as it does.  I tailored it to fit my payday schedule and the schedules of those doing the challenge with me!

So, today is “Day 0,”  and I followed instructions accordingly for prep.

I’ll be posting daily with the link to the corresponding day of the challenge,  so you can check out the ingredients and recipes…maybe you want to do the whole challenge, maybe you just want some new healthy ideas for meals.

We will be following some of the #tiu Tone It Up workouts while we go, with 4 scheduled work outs per week, also! Plus, walks and stairs at the beach! That new bikini I ordered from Swimsuitsforall.com better watch out! 🙂

Wish me luck! I’m hoping not only for a few pounds lost,  but for some new energy and excitement, too!

Check out tomorrow’s lunch and snack!
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What are some of your favorite resources for healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle on a busy schedule?

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Simple Broiled Salmon and a Side Dish to Die For!

Tonight was good eats, for sure!

Simple Broiled Salmon

What You Need:

Salmon fillet(s) (I bought one that was just short of 1 lb. and ended up getting 3 portions from it. You could do it individually, if you prefer)

Fresh chives (chopped)

Cilantro (chopped or dried. I used dried because I had it on hand)

Garlic Salt

Fresh ground pepper

1 lemon (juice of half, and slice the rest)

What You Do:

Season salmon fillet(s) with garlic salt, pepper, chives and cilantro. Squeeze your 1/2 lemon over it, and put in heated skillet (I had mine on medium high for about 3 minutes before hand to get it really hot). You want to get a pretty crust on both sides of the fillet… for the size of mine, it was about two minutes per side, put lemon slices on top of fillet, and then transfer skillet to oven. I preheated the oven to a broil on 375 degrees.

Broil fillet for about 5-7 minutes (time may vary depending on size of fillet. Keep and eye on it to make sure!). Fish is ready when flaky and has a soft pink color (not as bright and salmon-y colored, in other words).

Hungry?!

Hungry?!

This salmon is great with salad, or on it’s own.

If you’re feeling adventurous and looking for delectable side dishes, look no further.

I am trying to get into this quinoa craze. It seems like a no-brainer for people like me, because it’s a protein packed seed, versus a whole grain. It is actually ridiculously versatile, as well, which helps make it not be a boring complement to your favorite dishes!

Tonight, I used some pantry staples and a little produce I picked up to doctor some quinoa into a delectable side dish to make my salmon, and my tummy, happy!

Sondra’s Super Quinoa Salad

What You Need:

8 oz quinoa, cooked (I use the pre-cooked organic kind from Trader Joe’s in the freezer section It’s 3.99 for (2) 8 oz packages and just needs 4 minutes in the microwave. Presto! You’re a magician)!

1/3 cucumber, peeled and diced

2 tbsp. Sundried Tomatoes, chopped coarsely

2 oz roasted bell pepper (I used some from a jar of red/yellow mix I got at TJ’s packed in water for $1.99), chopped

Garlic Salt

Fresh ground pepper

1 tbsp. EVOO

1 tsp. Lime juice

1 tbsp. Mixed garlic

What You Do:

Basically, all you need to do is mix this all up in a bowl.

Boom. You’re done. Thank me later.

Super Simple. Super delish!

Super Simple. Super delish!

Super tasty, really good for you, and this made about two servings for me. I put some in my container for lunch with the salmon, and some in a container in the fridge for dinner later. It’s great warm or cold, and you could easily multiply the recipe for a crowd… it’d be awesome for a get-together, a vegetarian option, or a snack! I am actually in love with it… and I’m not big on quinoa to begin with!

What else did I pack with it? A couple of Cutie mandarin oranges. I am slightly addicted lately, and I don’t mind, because they’re a great alternative to the other sweets I could be inhaling. Besides, all the Vitamin C should keep me from getting sick anytime soon!

That’s all for now, but I have more yummy recipes, fun news, and more coming your way!

If you try these recipes, or even put your own spin on them, share with me!

You can post your photos to the wall on the SeeSondraSlim page on Facebook, or use #SeeSondraSlim on Instagram and Twitter to catch my attention! I would LOVE to see what you come up with!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

Nature Box Review (and 25% off for YOU)!

I am super excited to tell you all about one of my new FAVORITE Subscription Boxes.

I learned about Nature Box recently, and after seeing it all over Twitter and other blogs, I decided I needed to give it a shot! My first Nature Box arrived last week, and it came with the standard five snacks, plus a bonus “Welcome Snack!”

NatureBox

For just $20 a month (don’t you hate when people say “just” and practically spend your money for you? LOL), you will receive 5 Nutritionist- approved, healthy snacks delivered right to your door! From what I gather, there is typically a 6th one snuck in there, as well. 🙂

For the August Box, it was a “Back to School” theme. In the box, I received the following snacks:

1. Santa Fe Corn Stix: These crunchy little sticks taste like salsa! I am not typically a fan of these types of snacks, but these are just zesty enough to satisfy a salty craving, with flavors of tomato, green pepper, and onion.

Serving size 1/3 cup (about 5 servings per package). 140 calories, 6 g fat, 250 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein, 20 g carbs

2. Sweet Blueberry Almonds(Vegan): I initially wasn’t sure how I felt about these, but they are delicately sweet, with all the health benefits of yummy almonds! Nature Box suggests whirring 1 cup of these babies with a pinch of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of honey for a sweet and delicious almond butter! That would be fun to use in a smoothie, or for a twist on a PB and J!

Serving size 1/4 cup (about 4 servings per package). 170 calories, 13 g fat, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein, 6 g sugar, 9 g carbs

Teriyaki Twists(Vegan): These crunchy rice crackers are flavored with soy and paprika. I am honestly not a huge fan, but if you like those trail mixes with peanuts and the little salty soy crackers, you’d enjoy these!

Serving Size 1/2 cup (about 5 servings per package). 110 calories, 0 g fat, 1 g protein, 190 mg sodium, 3 g sugar, 26 g carbs

4.Cherry Berry Bonanza(Vegan): I did a little happy dance when I saw these!! A delicious mix of dried cranberries, cherries and blueberries make the perfect topping for oatmeal, salads, baked goods, and more!!

Serving Size: 1/2 cup (3 servings per package). 130 calories, .5 g fat, 5 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 30 g sugar, 33 g carbs

5. Cocoa Waffle Wafers: I was also delighted to find these bad boys in my Nature Box, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed in these! They are very subtle on sweetness, but they’d be a perfect complement to a scoop of gelato or ice cream, or even peanut butter (cookie butter, if you’re like me and can’t get enough of it at Trader Joes)!

Serving Size 28 g (about 22 wafers, 2 servings per package). 110 calories, 2.5 g fat, 125 mg sodium, 4 g protein, 1 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 19 g carbs

6. Cheddar Pub Pretzels (Welcome Gift): Now these are tasty!! I wasn’t expecting to like them so much, since I am more into sweets these days (I blame anesthesia), but they are really tasty and would be great for a get-together where you set up some savory snacks to pair with your favorite brew or cocktail!

Serving Size: 9 pieces (5 servings per package). 120 calories, 3 g fat, 320 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 21 g carbs

Although all the snacks weren’t 100% winners for me, one thing that really appealed to me with Nature Box is that after your first shipment, you can customize your snacks and pick what you want. As a person with a lot of food allergies (mango, coconut, banana, avocado) it’s nice to be able to choose rather than get something I can’t enjoy!

All in all, I am really impressed with this Subscription Service! I love the convenience, and I am excited to maximize what I am sent. I know they are part of a balanced diet, and I am going to divide the snacks up into small snack baggies. Based on the serving sizes, I will have snacks for the work week for 3-4 weeks! Totally economical…and affordable!

Ready to sign up for YOUR first Nature Box and see what I am raving about? Click here, and use code “REFER25” for 25% off your first order! That is a savings of $5, on the basic $19.95 package, or more if you have more people in the house and opt for a package that has more goodies arriving to you!

What are some of YOUR favorite healthy snacks? Do you think Nature Box is right for your healthy lifestyle? I want to hear all about it!!!

*This post contains affiliate/referral links that may benefit me as a consumer/subscriber/reviewer. Feed the bloggers, and please use my links if you decide to subscribe!*

That’s all for now, but I have Subscription Box fever, and more to share soon!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO