Category Archives for "Recipes"

You Need to Try Cowboy Caviar

I'm always looking for new recipes. I like variety and I'm always up for new dishes to become family favorites. When Coach Dean sent me over this one I knew it was going to be good. I tweaked the original recipe to match what I had on hand and voila!

Cowboy Caviar

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 onion , diced
  • 3 tomatoes , diced
  • 1 jalapeno, (optional) diced 
  • 1 bunch of chives, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 can corn, or fresh cooked
  • 1 can black bean, or 1 cup cooked
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or white

Rinse the quinoa well. Add it to the two cups of water and bring to a boil. Once its boil cover your pot and continue cooking the quinoa in low heat for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat, remove lid and let it cool down.

While it is cooling down, add all your veggies diced to a large mixing bowl. This makes a lot so make it a big bowl. Add the cooled quinoa and blend well all together. Season with red wine vinegar or white, olive oil, and salt all to your preference of taste. And last add a handful of chopped up cilantro and blend all together one more time. Bonn appetite! Best to chill for several hours before eating.

NOTE: This could be done with any color quinoa

I served this along side chicken enchiladas. The next evening I served it on top of Papa Dean's Spicy Blend.

Click here to find the original recipe. 

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Pumpkin Recipes for Every Occasion

Cr8 Fitness has the best peeps ever! In the last week, I've been given a joke book to fill our days especially Tuesdays with laughter, a pair of socks, and two pumpkins. I'd like to thank everyone who trains with us. You make my days easier and full of family. Since I've been able to share the joke book I also wanted to share some recipes to help make your Fall festive and healthy. If you've been blessed with a pumpkin you might be able to use that in some of these recipes. A can of pumpkin from the store will work amazing as well. I'm working on ideas to share my socks with everyone. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • ½ cup pumpkin pureé
  • 1 scoop Beverly Vanilla or Graham Cracker Protein
  • pumpkin spice (for topping)

Mix together all ingredients (except pumpkin spice) until well combined. Place into molds, I used the small silicone muffin pan. Ice cube trays work great too! Sprinkle with pumpkin spice and place in freezer until firm (about 2 hours). Let thaw a couple minutes before enjoying.

I wonder what Angel Food Cake would taste like here.

Pumpkin Bars

  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • ½ cup butter

  • ½ teaspoon cloves

  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups milk

  • 3 eggs

  • 5 scoops UMP Vanilla

  • 2 cups pumpkin

Heat oven to 350. Place butter into a 9×13 pan and let melt in oven while it is preheating. In the meantime mix the oats, flour, and the brown sugar. Pour over the melted butter and press down with a spoon. Bake for 12 minutes. While crust is baking, scald milk and the spices. Stir in the pumpkin and then the eggs followed by the protein powder. Pour this over the crust and bake for another 20 minutes or until the pumpkin filling is firm to the touch.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

  • 1/3 cup pure pumpkin, canned
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or walnuts, almonds, flax, chia, etc)
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Ice 

Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth and creamy. Pour immediately into a large cup. Eat with a spoon or a large straw. 

Pumpkin Overnight Oats

  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats (do not substitute quick cooking, instant, or rolled oats)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups milk, any kind you like (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal (or swap an equal amount of chia seeds, hemp seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For serving: chopped toasted pecans, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, peanut butter, or any other mix-ins you enjoy with pumpkin

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 scoop UMP Vanilla protein powder
  • 2 TB almond butter
  • 1 TB raw honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • Sea Salt, a pinch

Blend all ingredients, except chia seeds, until smooth. Place the blended mixture into a reseal-able large jar (or 2 smaller jars) then add chia seeds. Seal jar and shake.

Place in refrigerator overnight or for at least 3+ hours. Feel free to shake jars once or twice in between to make sure they didn’t become too gelatinous. Breakfast, snack or post workout recovery is served!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced, green
  • 6 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 1/2 pound ground beef, or bison
  • 1 28 -ounce can crushed tomato
  • 1 6.5 -ounce can can tomato paste
  • 1 14- ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup chicken broth, or water
  • 2 ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cayenne, optional
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ - ¾ tsp. sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil and saute the onions and peppers, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until onions start to soften. Then add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Add the ground beef. Use a spatula or spoon to break it up as it cooks. Cook until meat is nearly cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.

Transfer meat mixture to the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Set heat to LOW and cook for 6-7 hours. 8. Serve with desired toppings such as: Lime wedges, diced avocado, fresh cilantro and/or hot sauce.

Enjoy Fall and Enjoy Good Food.

Thank you for being in my life,

Coach Nancy


Reminds Me of Thanksgiving – Chicken With Apples and Onions

This year's apple crop is fantastic. We have two trees and they are loaded with apples. One of the reasons Fall is my favorite season is because of apples. For the next month or so, my family will be eating a lot of apples. Another reason Fall is my favorite season is it ends with Thanksgiving. This recipe has both, apples and the flavor reminds me of Thanksgiving. 

Chicken with Apples and Onion
2 tablespoons almond meal
salt and pepper
2 boneless chicken breast
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 onions, sliced
3 apples diced
1 teaspoon dried marjoram or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 sprigs sage
Place almond meal, salt, and pepper in a Ziplock bag, add chicken, seal bag and shake to coat. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick frypan over medium high heat. Add chicken, saute 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan, keep warm. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add onion, saute for 5 minutes or until browned. Add apples, spices, and sage, saute for 5 more minutes. Add the chicken, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. If you feel you need a bit of liquid while cooking add in water or apple cider. (about 1/2 cup) My apples cooked down so I didn't add it to mine. 

Since I have apples, apples and apples, I'm going to be making applesauce and Graham Cracker Applesnack and Applesauce Overnight Oats. If you have a favorite way to eat apples, send the recipe my way, I'd love to give it a go. 

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

Over the Top Stuffed Acorn Squash

I enjoy meals that are contained in one dish. It just seems easier to me. It helps me to keep things simple. And the clean up goes faster too. This meal could be made ahead of time and then put in the oven when you need it. It's another bonus when the whole family is busy. 

Over the Top Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 2 acorn squash, small
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cauliflower rice
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 2 apple, chopped


Preheat oven to 400°. Cut each squash in half. Use a spoon to remove seeds and brush all over with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast until tender, 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile, make filling: in a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage. Breaking up with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally until golden and cooked through, 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, and apple. Cook until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.

Add kale and cook, stirring frequently. Add cauliflower rice and sausage to skillet with vegetables and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Divide mixture among the 6 squash halves. Switch oven to broil and broil until tops are golden and filling is warmed, 2 to 3 minutes.

You can add variety by adding in mushrooms, green peppers or both to this as well. I ended up with extra filling. My family didn’t seem to mind as it disappeared before dinner was over.

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

So Easy Salmon Cake Recipe

These are a cinch to make from start to finish. These salmon cakes are healthy, fast, and delicious... and can be served for lunch with a salad or for dinner with a side of vegetables. Plus they are a cinch to make from start to finish.  I mixed them up a few hours before dinner this week. Coach Dean was able to coach his soccer team and have dinner ready when I came in from the gym. Now that's teamwork. 

Salmon Cakes

  • 1 can wild Alaskan Salmon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup almond meal

Empty the wild Alaskan salmon into a bowl. Add an egg, one Tablespoon lemon juice and a ½ cup almond meal. Mix everything together and shape into patties.

Sauté over medium high heat and serve with a wedge of lemon.

Homemade Tartar Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together. Best if made a day ahead. Store in refrigerator.

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Lemon salmon is another favorite recipe with only three ingredients you need to check it out. Find the recipe here. 

When You Don’t Really Want Chicken Recipe

Staring into an open refrigerator didn't help me much yesterday. I knew there was chicken inside that I had on the menu to cook. I just didn't feel like chicken. Actually I just didn't feel like cooking. Coach Dean does most of the cooking yet I take over a few days a week. Today was my day and chicken was supposed to be on the menu. Yuck. 

I am sure that has happened to you at times too. Since I couldn't change my fate about a chicken dinner, I decided to change my mind. I spent a few minutes decided what type of food I was in the mood for and then went to my cookbook. I love Thai food and Mexican food. Probably because both have a bit of spicy hot to them. I went with Thai. 

I'm going to post the recipe as it is written but hang onto your hats because I changed it up drastically. Here's the original. Which by the way is fantastic, I just didn't have crockpot time yesterday. 

Chicken Pad Thai

  • 2 pound chicken thighs, skinless you can also use chicken breasts
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoon sunflower seed butter, (Sunbutter)
  • 1 tbsp. coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp. of fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger (or 1 tbsp. freshly minced ginger)
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 bunch green onion
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp Chopped cashews
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro, chopped

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and a little bit of the cayenne pepper and ginger. Add coconut milk and chicken stock to a crockpot and stir well. Add sunflower seed butter, coconut aminos, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, 2 chopped green onions, cayenne pepper, and red pepper. Stir well until sunflower seed butter is completely dissolved. Place chicken breasts or thighs into the base liquid.Using a spiral slicer turn the zucchinis into veggie noodles, and shred your carrots in a food processor. Toss the zucchini noodles and carrots together to mix them well. Place these on top of the chicken in the slow cooker. The goal is for them to be steamed, not stewed.Cook for 3.5 to 4 hours on low if you are using a 4-quart slow cooker. Cook for 5 to 6 hours on low if you are using a 6-quart slow cooker. To serve, place veggie noodles on each plate and top with . chicken, then garnish with green onions, chopped cilantro, and chopped cashews.


All good stuff right?


Now here is what I did instead. 

Coach Nancy's Chicken Pad Thai (Take 2)

  • 2 pound chicken thighs, (skin on bone in)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoon sunflower seed butter, (Sunbutter)
  • 1 tbsp. coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp. of fish sauce
  •  1 tbsp. freshly minced ginger (2 tsp. ground ginger)
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 bunch green onion
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp Chopped cashews


Place the chicken in a 9 x9 cooking dish. Add the coconut milk, sunflower seed butter, coconut aminos, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, 2 chopped green onions, and red pepper flakes. Stir well until sunflower seed butter is completely dissolved. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 until temperature reaches 160. (about an hour)

Using a vegetable peeler turn the zucchinis and carrot into veggie noodles. Toss the zucchini noodles and carrots together to mix them well. Don't use the inner soft seedy area of the squash. Sauté the veggie strips in a pan heated to medium with melted coconut oil for about 3 minutes until soft. I used the recipe for Vegetable Fettuccine as the base for the Chicken Pad Thai.

To serve, place veggie noodles on each plate and top with chicken. Garnish with green onions and chopped cashews.

I loved the new take on this recipe for one reason, I liked how the skin on the chicken crisped up and the flavor from the liquid it was in stood out. It was a bonus how sensational it looks in the picture.

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

I have different Chicken Thai recipes. Click here for one that uses broccoli slaw and lime juice. 

Sunflower Shoots, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Salad

Microgreens are the new thing when it comes to salad. At least they are in the Carlson house. Sunflower shoots are one of the six different kinds of Microgreens grown by Papa Dean. Sunflower shoots have a slight nuttiness to them and a bit of a crunch which provides a great texture. According the Riegl Palate; “Farmers originally started growing them in greenhouses to provide a supply of winter greens. They’ve become such a popular microgreen that they’re now grown all year round and available at many farmers markets. Microgreens contain up to 100 times the enzymes found in full grown greens allowing your body to more easily assimilate vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (substances found in certain plants that are believed to be beneficial to our health and help prevent various diseases).” My favorite reason to eat Sunflower shoots? I really like they way they taste. 

Sunflower Shoots, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Salad

  • 1 small head green leaf lettuce, I’m going to use Papa Dean’s microgreens 🙂
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, each slice rolled up and cut in half
  • 3 ounces goat cheese, sliced and cut into quarters
  • 14 cherries, pitted and sliced in half
  • 2 cups sunflower shoots (loosely packed)
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Divide the microgreens between 2 plates. Arrange prosciutto, mozzarella and cherries on top of lettuce.

Top with sunflower shoots.

Lightly drizzle rice wine vinegar and olive oil over salad – you may not need the full amount of either. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Serve immediately.

Whatever reason you pick to eat Sunflower shoots I hope you purchase them from Papa Dean.

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Watermelon Microgreen Salad – Better than Yum!

It's about 420 degrees outside. The humidity level is around a zillion. The end of June is here. Summer is in full swing for the next few days. It's a perfect for watermelon. 

When I polled everyone recently the top food to eat when it is hot outside is watermelon. Salad was a close second followed by a cold dessert. I have solutions for all of that plus more. 

Watermelon is delicious and delicious for you. 

Nutrition Facts  -  Serving Size: 1 cup of diced

  • Calories 46
  • Total Fat 0.23g0%
  • Total Carbohydrate  11.48g4%
  • Dietary Fiber  0.6g2%
  • Sugars  9.42g
  • Protein  0.93g

So eat up.

I just made this salad yesterday. It was refreshing and sweet at the same time. Plus it took no time at all to prepare.

Watermelon and Papa Dean's Microgreens 

1 cup watermelon

2 Tablespoons feta cheese

1 large fistful of Papa Dean's Spicy Mix Microgreens

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

Lay the greens in your bowl, add the watermelon and cheese, drizzle the balsamic vinegar on top. Enjoy

Here's some ideas to enjoy more watermelon in your day.

Grilled Watermelon  - click here

Watermelon Pops - click here  

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Raspberry Summer Salad With Microgreens

I'll admit it, I'm in a rut. I just can't seem to stop making and eating this salad. It tastes so good and it is amazing to look at. The raspberries make me happy. Try it and let me know what you think. 

Raspberry Summer Salad with Microgreens

  • 1 box Papa Dean's Microgreens Sunny or Spicy blend
  • 1/2 cup Raspberries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red raspberry jam (with seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup walnut or olive oil

Toast walnuts in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until nuts begin to brown.

In a large bowl, toss together the greens, walnuts, blue cheese, avocado, and red onion.

In a small bowl, whisk together jam, vinegar, walnut oil, pepper, and salt. Pour over the salad just before serving, and toss to coat. Garnish salad with the fresh berries.

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Wilted Pea Shoots, Caramelized Garlic, and Shrimp

I am so excited about this recipe. Pea shoots raw in a salad are fantastic. Lightly sautéing them is kicking it up a notch. WOW- Fabulous. You have got to try this. Your taste buds will thank you. 

Wilted Pea Shoots, Caramelized Garlic, and Shrimp

  • 1 box Papa Dean's Microgreen Pea Shoots
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ pound shrimp
  • Lemon zest (optional)
  • Peeled garlic cloves
  • Olive oil

Place as many peeled pieces of garlic as you wish in a saucepan. Cover with olive oil. (I sliced the garlic thin so I didn’t have to use as much oil.)

Simmer on low heat until the garlic is a deep brown. Turn off heat. This is a 20 minute process but can be done on food prep day.

When the oil has cooled, separate garlic cloves and oil with a sieve, reserving both oil and garlic in separate containers.

Place a tablespoons of garlic oil in a hot pan over medium heat.

Add a box of Papa Dean’s Microgreen Pea Shoots to the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Stir just until wilted.

Toss in a handful of caramelized garlic cloves.

Serve as a side dish.

For the Shrimp:

Heat a skillet over a medium-high flame. Add olive oil  and shrimp make sure there is space between each shrimp.

When shrimp are light pink on one side, quickly turn over. Turn off heat. They’ll finish cooking while you get your plates ready.

Place shrimp on top of pea shoots and garlic. Zest a little lemon on top of scallops. Serve.

Coach Dean made a cauliflower rice recipe to go alongside this recipe. I'll have to pin him down so I can get that recipe to you as well.

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

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