Zesty Turkey Chili

Warm yourself up this winter with my veggie-licious turkey chili. Packed with lean meat, legumes, and Autumn harvest vegetables, your stomach will be left full – and content!

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Ingredients

1 1/2 packages ground turkey (30 oz.)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 oz. can)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed in colander (15 oz. can)
3 cans fat-free low sodium beef broth (14.5 oz. can)
1 large green squash, cut into small pieces
1 large yellow squash, cut into small pieces
4 stalks celery, scraped and sliced
2 green peppers, cut into small pieces
1 package low sodium McCormick chili seasoning
Optional: Parmesan cheese for topping

What you will need

A large pan
A large cooking pot
Paper towel
A large stirring spoon

Directions

1. Place olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat.
2. Break ground turkey into small pieces and add to large pan. Cook for a few minutes, frequently mixing, until no longer pink.
3. Use your spoon to remove turkey from heat. Place turkey onto multiple sheets of paper towel. Blot to drain the liquid from the meat.
4. In a large pot, add cooked turkey and all other ingredients. Cook on high until it boils, then lower heat and let simmer for 45 minutes, mixing occasionally.

Chocolate Blueberry Crunch

Chocolate, blueberries, and nuts? This super sweet pre-workout power snack will re-charge your energy and get your muscles ready to pump some iron!

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Ingredients

1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup walnuts
12 almonds
1 tablespoon Hershey’s dark chocolate chips

Directions

1. Mix all your ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!

The Fifteenth Amendment

The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution
prohibits the federal and  state governments from denying a citizen the right to
vote based on  that citizen’s “race,  color, or previous  condition of  servitude.”

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In America, the first Tuesday of November grants us the opportunity to speak our minds through our power to vote. Whatever our opinions, whether democratic, republican, liberal, or something else, we deserve to be heard. The only way to project our voices is to get to the polls. It is especially important for us crazy millennials to do so, as our own future is in our hands.

Today, I challenge you make your opinions actionable during the 2014 Midterm Elections. Do your research, remain open-minded, and choose the candidates that will best represent our towns, states, and country as a whole. Take advantage of your freedom of speech and I promise you will be heard (and receive an awesome “I Voted Today” sticker). If decoding politics isn’t your thing, let me direct you to a few chicks who are really good at breaking it down: TheSkimm. They can help you understand the issues at hand and explain each party’s stance.

Oh, and don’t be afraid to show off your voter’s pride! That’s what those silly stickers are there for anyways, right? I shared my pride with a little American-inspired sketch in my Kate Spade New York Planner. (Side note: This planner was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. If you’re an organization freak like me, I highly encourage you to check out her agenda line here.)

America!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Garlic Aioli Dip

Who ever thought Brussels sprouts could taste so good? Smothered in garlic with a crisp outer shell, this veggie appetizer is sure to get your guests double dipping.

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Ingredients

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
2 bags of Steamfresh Brussels sprouts
3/4 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Garlic Aioli
6 tablespoons of Helman’s low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dry parsley

What you will need

Cookie sheet
Aluminum foil
A medium-sized bowl (for mixing)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line your cookie sheet with a piece of aluminum foil.
2. Place Brussels sprouts on the cookie sheet and drizzle with oil. Mix around the sprouts on your now greased pan to make sure they are evenly coated in oil. Sprinkle Brussels sprouts with garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
3. While the sprouts are roasting, make your garlic aioli. Mix mayonnaise, garlic, parsley, and lemon juice together in your bowl.
4. Once your Brussels sprouts are done cooking, start dippin’!

Roasted Garlic Chickpea Zoodles

Guilt-free noodles: They do exist! So what is a “zoodle?” A zoodle is a zucchini noodle! You can make them at home with a Veggetti – a very inexpensive kitchen tool used to turn veggies into delicious spaghetti. The best part? Zoodles have less calories and more nutritional benefits than regular or whole wheat pasta.

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Ingredients

1 can of low sodium chickpea/garbanzo beans
2 medium-sized zucchinis
Garlic salt to taste
1/2 – 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Optional for topping (for some added protein): 1/4 tablespoon of fat-free cottage or 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese

What you will need

Can opener
Strainer
Aluminum foil
Veggetti
Cookie sheet
1 medium-sized microwave safe bowl
1 medium-sized serving bowl

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Remove lid from garbanzo beans using the can opener. Poor beans into strainer and rinse with water, then drain. Pour garbanzo beans on the cookie sheet. Coat evenly with oil so they are smothered, then spread out beans in a single layer on the cookie sheet. Top with garlic salt to taste. Once oven reaches desired temperature, bake for 23-25 minutes, or until crunchy.
3. While your garbanzo beans are cooking, rinse your zucchinis and cut off the ends. Place your bowl in front of you on the counter. If you are right handed, place Veggetti in left hand and 1 zucchini in right hand so that one end is inside the Veggetti. Hold Veggetti still while slowly turning your zucchini in a circular motion facing away from you (make sure you are pressing the zucchini into the Veggetti while turning). If you are doing it right, you will start to see “zoodles” falling into your bowl. Continue “zoodling” until your zucchini can no longer rotate through the Veggetti. Repeat the same process with the second zucchini.
4. Once you’ve got 2 zucchinis-worth of zoodles, place the full bowl in the microwave for 2 minutes. Remove zoodles from the microwave and place in strainer. Drain as much water from them as you can, using both hands to squeeze out the liquid. Set aside zoodles in serving bowl
5. Once garbanzo beans are done roasting, remove them from the oven. Let them cool for about 5 minutes, then top your zoodles with the garbanzos. At garlic salt to taste. If desired, top with cottage cheese or Parmesan cheese.

The Power of a “Thank You”

“Thank you.”

Insignificant at first glance, but memorable to say the least.

An unexpected visitor stopped by my cubicle today: A fellow employee who is not only outside of my department, but who also works remotely. I’ve worked directly with her on projects here and there, but because we don’t interact on a daily basis, we haven’t really formed a personal relationship. In fact, I wasn’t even sure she knew I existed outside of my ‘phone voice.’

Well I was wrong. Not only does she know my name, recognize my face, and remember where I sit in the office, but she also values the work that my team & I do. And made it a point to stop by and tell us. It struck me because “thank you’s” in the work place are very far and few between. Not that any of us need a constant pat on the back every time we do something grand or worth mentioning, but it’s always nice to hear that your work has not gone unnoticed.

Give it a try. You’ll be surprised to discover that sometimes giving a “thank you” is even more gratifying than receiving one. Now get out there and make someone’s day!

Peanut Butter ‘Mallow Toast

Simple and scrumptious? You’ve got it! This sweet snack gives you the fire-toasted marshmallow taste we crave in late Autumn. And don’t forget the most important part: pairing it with an ice cold glass of milk.

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Ingredients:

1 Ezekiel English muffin
3/4 cup mini marshmallows
2 tablespoons Teddy’s flax peanut butter
1 cup skim milk

Directions:

1. Toast slices of bread in a toaster oven or regular toaster until slightly browned.
2. Evenly spread peanut butter atop both slices. Then, cover with mini marshmallows.
3. Place slices of bread back in the toaster until marshmallows appear to be fire-toasted, giving them a warm, gooey inside. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spiced Ezekiel French Toast

If you’re looking for the gourmet taste of french toast with all the benefits of a health-conscious breakfast, give this unique & delicious toast a try. Filled with healthy fats, the crunchy texture and smooth caramelized fruit will leave your mouth unsure of what just hit it!

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Ingredients

2 slices (low sodium) Ezekiel bread
1 egg
1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
1 tbsp brown or white sugar
Pumpkin spice to taste
Cinnamon spice to taste
1 medium banana
1/4 cup Aunt Jemima’s Lite Maple Syrup
1/8 – 1/4 cup walnuts
Non-stick butter spray

What you will need

A medium-sized bowl
2 stove top pans: 1 small & 1 large
Cutting board

Directions

1. Heat two separate burners to medium-high heat. While burners are warming up, mix egg, almond milk, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon spice together in a bowl. On your cutting board, slice your banana into 1/4-inch pieces. Put banana slices aside.
2. Dunk slices of bread in mixture so that they are completely soaked on both sides. Coat large pan with butter spray and begin to cook slices of bread until golden brown, flipping often so that they are cooked equally on both sides. Once browned, transfer bread onto a dinner plate.
3. Coat small pan with butter spray and add banana slices, a few shakes of pumpkin spice, and 1/4 tablespoon of sugar. Flip slices every few minutes to ensure they are completely coated in pumpkin spice and sugar. After 5 minutes, remove from heat.
4. Top your Ezekiel bread slices with the remaining 3/4 tablespoon of sugar, maple syrup, walnuts, and caramelized bananas!

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Flat Out Pizza

Who says pizza can’t be delicious and healthy? This veggie-rich dish offers a unique take on the classic American breakfast. The eggs and turkey bacon add extra protein to this crunchy thin crust pizza, making it an energizing brunch plate or a rejuvenating post-workout meal.

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Ingredients:

1 Multi-Grain (with flax) Flat Out Wrap
1 egg & 2 egg whites
1 large handful of spinach
1/2 medium onion
1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese
2 strips of Butterball Thin & Crispy Turkey Bacon
Non-stick butter spray (to coat the pan & baking sheet)
Salt and pepper to taste

What you will need:

Cookie sheet
Cutting board
2 stove-top pans: 1 small & 1 large
Aluminum foil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While you wait for it to heat up, cover a cooking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick butter spray. Place Flat Out wrap on the cookie sheet. Once oven reaches the desired temperature, place cookie sheet in the oven for 5 minutes or until slightly browned & crispy.
2. Heat a burner to medium-high heat. Spray a small pan with non-stick butter spray and place your 2 slices of turkey bacon on it. Cook bacon for 4-5 minutes, or until browned, occasionally flipping the slices.
3. Heat a separate burner to medium-high heat. Spray a large pan with non-stick butter spray and begin to cook your spinach. Chop onion on your cutting board & add it to the spinach mixture.
4. While veggies are cooking, mix egg & egg whites together in a smaller bowl. Once spinach becomes slightly browned and onion slightly translucent, add eggs to your large pan. Then, add cottage cheese and salt & pepper. Scramble your eggs, veggies, and cheese until fully cooked and slightly browned.
5. Top your (now toasty) Flat Out wrap with the egg scramble, evenly spreading it throughout. Feel free to leave a small lip for the crust. Break your 2 slices of turkey bacon into bite-size pieces and sprinkle atop the egg scramble. Bake in oven for 5-10 minutes or until slightly browned.
6. Indulge in your diner-inspired guilt-free breakfast pizza!

Granny Apple Crunch

“Treat” yourself with this guilt-free, nutrient-packed afternoon energizer. Stacked with super foods, including fruit, nuts, and decadent dark chocolate, this tasty treat will leave your belly full and your mouth watering for more. If you’re health conscious, don’t let the dark chocolate scare you away! Remember – everything is okay in proportion. A little dark chocolate can go a long way for your heart’s health!

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Ingredients:

1 granny smith apple
1/4 cup mixed nuts (I use almonds, walnuts & pecans)
1 tablespoon Hershey’s dark chocolate chips
Optional: 1 tablespoon of warm nut butter for topping (I recommend either peanut butter or almond butter)


What you will need:

1 medium-sized bowl

Directions:

1. Slice apple into small, bit-sized pieces. In a medium-sized bowl, mix apple slices, mixed nuts, and chocolate chips. Top with warm nut butter. If you don’t plan to eat immediately after preparing, add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to retain the fresh, juicy taste of the apples.