Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easy Southwest Turkey Salad

Kid tested, everyone approved!
I love using frozen fruits and vegetables. Besides the fact that they're always nice for a quick, easy dinner, here's an article with a little more explanation why:
On that note, tonight's dinner was centered around this little gem:

Easy Southwest Turkey Salad (it's not really a salad, but we likened it to a “taco salad”)
Serves 6


1 T oil (I used olive)
1 tsp minced garlic
14 oz package Birds Eye “Ultimate Southwest Blend” (corn, black beans, poblano peppers, onions and red peppers)
1 lb ground turkey
¼ C water
1 avocado, diced
3/4 C salsa (there are usually great deli salsas in most local grocery stores, which are fresh and clean)
Fresh cilantro (optional)
Corn chips or brown rice


Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add vegetable blend and cook until heated through, making sure to stir often to keep from sticking.
In a separate skillet, cook ground turkey until thoroughly cooked. Add taco seasoning and water and cook an additional 2 minutes.
In a blender (I used my trusty magic bullet), combine avocado and salsa and blend until most of the avocado is blended.

Spoon avocado over turkey/veggie mixture and sprinkle fresh cilantro over top.
Serve with corn chips or over brown rice.

Eating clean on a budget!

I hear a lot of people complain that they simply can't afford to eat healthy, or clean.

Today I was looking for ways to debunk this myth, and found this great post on
The poster has some GREAT tips for ways to shop and plan your meals. I'm going to put some of these, ones I wasn't using before, to use this month and see how I do, I definitely think it can be done!

Here are a couple other sites with helpful tips or recipes for budget clean eating: (how great is this website name?! haha!)

Let me know any tips or tricks you have for eating clean on a budget, I'm always on the lookout for more!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Deep Dish Cookie Pie (Clean)

I got the original recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie (I think the sucanat turns it a darker color than Katie's using brown sugar, just a disclaimer), and tweaked it a little to make it "clean". The only major thing I'd change about this recipe is to get rid of the oats somehow (I have oat allergies, and I think it would be yummier without the oat flavor, but that's just me). If I figure out a way (maybe just wheat flour?), I'll post it for sure! :)

Reviews: My kids all LOVED it, Nate didn't (although he only ate one bite), but he doesn't love chocolate chip cookies either. Let me know what you think if you try it!!

Deep Dish Cookie Pie (Clean)

Here is my altered recipe:

Deep Dish Cookie Pie (Clean)

  • 2 cans white beans or garbanzos, drained and rinsed (don't tell anyone, I promise they won't know!)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tbsp oil of choice
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ C sucanat (I think I would only use 1 cup if I made it again, it was too sweet for me)
  • 1 C Chocolate chips*
Blend everything (except the chips) very well in a good food processor (results in a much smoother texture than a blender). Mix in chips, and pour into an oiled pan (I used a regular deep dish pie pan). Cook at 350F for around 35-40 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. (I ended up cooking mine only 30 minutes, but it was a little gooey, but oh so good still!)
*Here are two sites with recipes to make your own clean chocolate chips

Friday, March 29, 2013

Indian Dahl with Spinach

I got my recipe for the Indian Dahl on, making just one or two changes to make it more clean and healthy (omitted the butter, and used canned lentils for the sake of time) but it was pretty healthy to begin with! Quick and easy, start to finish (minus cooking the brown rice, which I did in the rice cooker) was probably 15 minutes!

Indian Dahl with Spinach

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kickin' Turkey and Peppers (clean)

This dish gets its kick from jalapenos and cayenne pepper, which can both be adjusted to suite your 'spiciness level'. Super easy and quick!

Kickin' Turkey and Peppers (clean)

Serves approx. 8 (depending on how much filling you use)


1.5 lbs ground turkey
1/2 tsp garlic powder, or 1 tsp minced garlic
1-2 T dried, diced jalapeƱos (you could definitely use fresh, just used what we had on hand)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 bag frozen peppers (again, you could use fresh, just what we had on hand)
1 tsp dried cilantro


Heat a large saucepan to medium heat and cook peppers just until tender. Remove from pan and set aside. (You could easily do this part in the microwave as well, 6 minutes covered.)
Adjust heat to medium-high and add the turkey, salt, paprika, cayenne and jalapeƱos. Cook until turkey is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add peppers and cilantro and cook for another 3-4 minutes. 

Serve in warm, whole wheat pitas, with a little Greek yogurt inside, if you typically like sour cream.
The rest of my family used sour cream and cheese. The filling is even yummy just by itself!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Clean Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

I needed to make something easy tonight as I was running out the door, so I decided to throw these little guys together. They're ideal for a lower-fat meatloaf (and taste even better in my opinion!). I got the idea from Jamie Eason's recipe, but made a few changes to fit our tastes better. I think I've found a new favorite!!

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins


Turkey meatloaf muffins


  • 2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup oats (I'm allergic to oats so I subbed with 1/2 C wheat bread crumbs)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 diced onion or 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 diced celery stalks (optional, I don't like chunks of stuff in my meatloaf so I omitted)
  • 2 T ketchup (all natural, HFCS-free) or tomato sauce


Preheat oven to 375 and spray muffin pay with some cooking spray (or coat with a little olive oil) .
Mix all the ingredients in one large bowl until well combined.  Roll the mixture into balls and place each one in the muffin pan. (She says each one should be about the size of a racquetball). If desired, add more ketchup or tomato sauce on top of muffins before baking.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until cooked through.
Makes 12 muffins.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tikka Saag Recipe

We love Indian food at our house. This is one of our favs, so I adjusted a few things to make it "clean". If you want to add meat you can add cooked, diced chicken when you stir in the spinach. Let me know how you like it, if you try it!

Clean Tikka Saag

1 lb frozen chopped spinach
1/4 cup water
2 T oil (coconut or olive)
2 large onions, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger root, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk of choice (coconut would be great, I just used skim, if you're not eating clean, cream would be great)
1 teaspoon garam masala

Place the spinach into a large pot with 1/4 cup of water, bring to a boil, cover the pan, and remove from heat. Allow the spinach to steam for about 10 minutes, then place into a blender, and blend until very finely chopped. Set the spinach aside.

Place the onions, garlic, and ginger, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, garam masala and turmeric into the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until tender, about 10 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes and salt and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Pour in the milk, stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and add the spinach. Stir the spinach in and cook until the spinach starts to stick to the pan, about 5-10 minutes.

Serve over hot brown rice.

Clean Chocolate Mug Cake

My totally unpretty (it's a word), Clean Chocolate Mug Cake. Yum!

This recipe is from The Gracious Pantry (her picture is much prettier as well!). With only a couple small changes I made, here is the recipe:

Clean Eating Chocolate Mug Cake

(Makes 2 servings)

NOTE: You’ll need a large mug (a small or regular sized mug won’t cut it) or bowl


  • 4 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
  • 6 tablespoons coconut sugar (I used Sucanat)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons non-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon safflower or coconut oil


  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in your mug. Be sure they are well combined.
  2. Add the wet ingredients and mix well again.
  3. Microwave for up to 5 minutes on high. (3.5 was perfect for mine)
Note: The cake will rise up over the mug during cooking. Don’t panic.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

'This is me' challenge: Children

'This is me' challenge: Children!

I love my kids. They teach me new things every day. I'm definitely not the most patient mom, and I'm probably more sarcastic and silly than sweet and gushy, but I'm pretty sure they like me a little too. :)

*Give your children's names, birth dates and places.
Thor is 13, Erik is 11 1/2 (that half always counts!) and Annika will be 7 in a month. They were all born in different hospitals in Utah County.

*How did you choose their names?
We wanted them to be Scandinavian names. Thor was named after a great friend of Nate's named Thorval who died just before our Thor was born. Erik was what we had planned from the beginning and it just fit perfectly. When we finally found out we were having a girl we had a few different names we were playing with (we had always wanted a Bridget but she just wasn't one!), but Annika fit perfect when we met her.

*What were the circumstances of each child's birth?
Thor was 4 days late, and huge. So they induced me. He was 9 lbs 2 oz and 21 inches.
I was induced with Erik 1 week early and he was 9 lbs 4 oz 21 inches.
I begged them to induce me as early as possible with Annika, so she was 10 days early and was 9 lbs 6 oz 21 inches. 

*What are some funny/interesting things about each child?
Thor used to be completely OCD as a child. He would always line every thing up, from shoes, to toys, all in specific orders. We have some funny pictures of this I'll have to dig up! He was probably the cleanest kid in the world, would never get his hands dirty or his face. (If only that lasted ;)
Erik was our tough baby. He got really, really sick around 18 months old and was in the hospital for 10 days, had surgery at Primary Childrens, and had to learn how to walk all over again. He was so amazing through the whole thing. When he was first sick we didn't even know it, because he was so happy and good!
Annika is Daddy's little princess of course, and 6 going on 16, as they say.

*What do you love most about each child?  What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Thor, being the oldest, is definitely my best helper because I know I can rely on him to do things. He is becoming a really sweet buddy to have around. I think it comes from being the oldest, but he is extremely bossy. He's a great babysitter though!
Erik is very kind and sweet, and always willing to help, he's just a little (okay a lot) spacey and forgets what he was helping with seconds after he was asked ;) He is such a sweetheart and always right there when you're not feeling good or something.
Annika keeps me on my toes. She is very outgoing and adventurous. But she always wants her way, so I have learned I have to be consistent (still working on that!) with her so she doesn't end up being a spoiled stinker like those darn 'babies' always end up being ;) (I'm the baby of 8...I get told that all the time from my siblings!)

*What are your children involved in?
All three kids are yellow belts in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu and love to sing.
Thor plays Junior Jazz basketball, and hopes to play his freshman year as well, and is already in the pre-football camp for Provo High.
Erik isn't all that into sports, but his favorites are football and running. He loves to draw and do anything science related, he's very creative.
Annika loves running and dance. She's always making something, out of paper or fabric, always designing new clothes for her dolls or crowns or cards.

*How do you spend your time with your children?
On a typical day, homework, chores, cooking (my kids love to watch/help me cook, and Thor is becoming quite the baker already), reading, and some quality Jeopardy time. Haha yes, Jeopardy! We love to learn the answers, and feel awesome when we already knew them ;)

*What are your favorite family activities?
All of the above. We love to play outside together, workout together, read great books (Nate is known for reading The Hobbit to everyone), cooking and baking. We haven't had too much opportunity for many family trips because of Nate's job in the past, but now that it has changed hopefully we'll be able to add traveling to this list!

Clean birthday cake!

No, we didn't have a birthday... I just wanted to bake, and be able to eat it too! :)

I decided to try this recipe from The Gracious Pantry (SO many great, clean recipes here).

Everyone seemed to love it, even my cake-hating husband, so I give it 5 stars!
I made the recipe as is, and topped with simmered frozen berries with a drizzle of honey on top.
Next time I think we'll try it with some chocolate frosting from Chocolate Covered Katie!

Clean Eating Birthday Cake

(Makes 8 servings)NOTE: This recipe makes 1 layer. Double it (using 2 cake pans) if you want a layered cake with filling in the middle.


  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (I used olive oil, could use coconut, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Then spray the inside of the pan, including the parchment with a light coat of oil from an oil sprayer.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder until well combined.
  4. Whisk in all other ingredients.
  5. Pour batter in to cake pan and bake for 26-30 minutes. A knife or cake tester should pull our clean.
  6. Allow to cool. Run a plastic knife around the edge to separate cake from pan and then remove.
  7. If you made a second layer, cover one cake with filling or frosting and place the second cake on top.
Nutritional Content:
(Data is for 1/8 of the recipe – single layer)
Calories: 127
Total Fat: 2 gm
Saturated Fats: 0 gm
Trans Fats: 0 gm
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 135 mg
Carbohydrates: 26 gm
Dietary fiber: 2 gm
Sugars: 14 gm
Protein: 3 gm
Estimated Glycemic Load: 13

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mmm Mmm Mmm!

I'm loving trying out these new recipes on my family because they all have different tastes and everyone still loves them (even Nate, who doesn't normally like dessert because they're too sugary!). Here is tonights treat if you ate all of your veggies ;)

Clean and Simple Blueberry Cobbler - single serving

  • 3/4 cup blueberries (or any fruit of your choice)
  • 1 T sucanat
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 T sucanat
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (I know that's not real clean, but I didn't have an alternative on hand)
  • 1 T oil (I used olive, I'm sure coconut would be even yummier)
  • 2 T milk of choice (I used skim, almond milk would be great too)
  1. Add berries to a mug/bowl (if using a bowl make sure the sides are high enough to allow for the cobbler to rise some). Add sucanat, stir to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, add the flour, sucanat, baking powder and mix to combine. Add the oil and milk and stir with a fork until combined.
  3. Add the dough to the top of the berries.
  4. Microwave on high for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. (Mine took 2)
  5. If you're still working on that sweet tooth, you can drizzle some honey on top, but we found it was perfectly sweet as is!

                      Straight out of the microwave with a little honey

Monday, March 4, 2013

Clean eating challenge (and The Butt Book!)

Some people have asked me what this is all about, so here it is:

I really love working out. I go to Zumba at least 5 times a week, and lift weights at least 4 days a week. I also have the best lifting partner (my husband! Date night at the gym anyone? haha) who knows a lot about weight training and eating right, but between health issues or just not maintaining a great diet, I still have about 10-15 lbs to lose to be totally happy and healthy.
So in a renewed effort to ditch those pounds, I have decided to start a clean eating challenge. (Disclaimer: I have to tailor it a tiny bit to meet my kidney/allergy needs, but overall I can do it as is!)
I'll be honest, I got the idea from my current library book, The Butt Book: How to Build a Non-Cellulite & Fat-Free Butt in 9 weeks! Laugh at the title, I did ;) But it has some great exercises for the glutes, and the diet info to boot.

Basically, it's a diet plan of unprocessed, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and void of artificial ingredients, preservatives, "chemically charged foods," sugars, saturated fat, and trans fat.
To make it easy, you essentially only shop on the outskirts of the grocery store (that's almost always where the fruits/veggies, dairy and meats are, the processed junk is inside), minus the bakery section ;) 

"Foods allowed include a variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nonfat dairy, and healthy fats -- preferably organic and eaten in proper portions every few hours.
The Eat-Clean Diet recommends avoiding all saturated fat, trans fats, overprocessed, refined foods -- especially white flour, sugar, sugar-loaded colas, juices, and alcohol.
The plan's guiding principles:
  • Each meal should be between 200-300 calories.
  • Eat a complex carbohydrate with protein (20-21 grams) at every meal.
  • Drink at least 8 cups of water daily.
  • Never miss a meal, especially breakfast.
  • Consume adequate healthy fats each day."

Some of the clean diet lists say to avoid any type of sweetener all together, but I find that impossible with a few things (oats, bleh!). From what I've read (I've tried to research quite a bit about this way of eating so I can learn what's good, true or just unhealthy), some sweetener options are honey, pure maple syrup, and sucanat, making sure to account for those calories if you're keeping track.
Ideally, you eat every 2-3 hours, never longer than 3. The caloric limit depends on your body of course, so you plan according to that, typically 6 meals a day, for me.

A lot of people have asked for recipes, so I'll post those as I go along too (okay, I'm not promising, but hopefully I'll remember!).

Some of the things on my food list today:
Oats with berries, cottage cheese on the side
Kirkland nonfat Greek yogurt
Granny smith apples
Veggie Frittata: Turn your oven on to broil. Heat 1 T. olive oil in skillet (olive oil is recommended, but you could use cooking spray for zero calories and cheat, it's not "clean"). Throw in your veggies, I used broccoli and peppers. Cook until tender. Add 3 beaten eggs (most of the diets recommend just whites, but for my kidneys I need the yolks as well and less whites), salt/pepper, and nonfat cheese if you want, and mix those up. Let it sit for about 4 minutes until it's set on the bottom and the top is just starting to set slightly. Throw the whole pan in the oven on Broil for about 3-4 minutes until golden, and you're ready to eat! So easy, delicious, and super filling - I was still full when it was time for my next meal! It's pretty much adaptable to whatever you like, just keep in mind the calories of what you're putting in!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

This is me challenge: marriage

*How did you meet your spouse?  Was it love at first sight or did it take some time?
When I was 17 I was visiting my sister, Sheryl, in Oregon. Nate was serving his mission and was in my sister's ward. Her family was very close with all the missionaries, and her husband Ben was the ward mission leader. I saw Nate at church and thought he was so cute! After I went home we wrote a few times but that was about it... Until later!

*How long did you date before you got engaged?  How long was your engagement?
We both ended up going to Sheryl's for Thanksgiving, 2 years later, (without knowing the other would be there!) and went on our first date that week! We got engaged on Christmas Eve, so only about a month of dating! We had a very short engagement as well, only 2 months!

*How did you get engaged?  (The story)
The first time Nate asked me he hadn't been intending to, we were exchanging Christmas presents and he just decided he couldn't live without me ;)  lol
Later on he had made an awesome treasure hunt with roses, and at the last clue I turned around to find him on one knee with the ring. So cute!

*Who did most of the wedding plans?  Who helped?
My mom and dad, and Sister Leeann Powell, a lady in our ward who had done my sister's wedding as well.

*Who were your bridesmaids/best men? 
Katie Manning and Codilyn Kendall were my bridesmaids, and Nate's best men were his older brother Gerrit and my brother-in-law Ben Mildenhall.

*Describe the details of your wedding:  the colors, the cake, the decorations, etc.
Colors: Dark green and ivory
The cake: It was white with raspberry filling, with roses trailing all over. Of course we had to have something silly amidst all the serious and pretty, so we decided to put a cow and pig cake topper that we'd found at the cake shop, that were in wedding clothes! The bakery made a cute little fence with hay and mud around them! Probably one of my favorite parts of the wedding :)

*Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We couldn't take much time off work so we decided not to go far. We stayed in a cute little B&B called Hines Mansion for the first night, then we went to SLC and stayed up there for a few nights and just played around the city.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This is me: Work


*What jobs have you had? 

  • My very first job when I was 16 was at The Wirthlin Group in Orem (one of the many names it's had!). I did telephone surveys. I was pretty good at getting people to answer and keep them long enough to get the survey done!
  • After that I worked at Modus Media in Lindon (again, one of the many names). I worked in the call center for a number of different technology companies (Compaq tech support, customer service/returns, etc.)
  • Then when I was 19 Nate and I both started at Circuit City together, while we were engaged. He worked in the Electronics department. I worked in the Computer department. We transferred to Portland CC and I worked in computers as well as Customer Service Manager training. I worked at Circuit right up until I had Thor.
  • Then when Thor was about 6 months I went back to Modus Media (I was done with retail!) until about a year after I had Erik.
  • Now I work for myself, I own and manage a residential cleaning company called All Purpose Cleaners.

*What did you like/dislike about each job?
I liked working with people and being able to solve problems for them.

*What did you learn at each job?
I learned how to deal with angry, upset people, and how to make them feel happy, even if the situation still wasn't how they would have liked.

*Have you used any of that knowledge in later years?
I still do this in my job now and then, if someone isn't happy with a cleaning or if they've had a bad experience in the past with another company. Plus, I think everyone uses this skill when they have a family, almost every day!

*How did you get along with your co-workers?
My favorite co-workers were at Circuit City. They were a lot of fun and great people. Plus, I got to work with my husband in one department over ;)

*Which was your favorite job?
I really don't think there was a favorite, I learned so much at each job and I don't regret my time spent at any of them.
My "job" now is probably my favorite because it just seems to be another part of my life, it doesn't always feel like a job. I hire people (and unfortunately fire people), I am the secretary, the accountant (Nate definitely helps me with that, and he's taught me a lot), the customer service agent, the debt collector, I do it all. Sometimes I feel like a failure, but when things are running smoothly it does give a great sense of accomplishment!

*How many years until you retire?
I guess I could retire any time I want to, but in the end we'd like to keep our business running successfully so that it can just run itself or our kids can take over.

*Do you have any big plans for your retirement?
I would love to travel with Nate, and go on a mission together.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

This is me: College Years

College years:

*Did you attend college or a trade school of some sort?
After high school I decided to just take institute classes at the Orem Institute of Religion. I was also in the Latter-day Celebration show choir with Brother Brenchley. I made some amazing friends there.
I finally decided to get back into school, and I had my heart set on going to cosmetology school, so I signed up at Von Curtis (now Paul Mitchell academy or something?). Shortly after I started and had learned all the basics, Nate and I decided to move to Portland. I was planning on transferring to a school there but instead I found out I was pregnant and VERY sick.

*What did you think was the hardest thing about your chosen profession at that time?  Did it turn out that way?
I didn't think it was hard, but it wasn't exactly what I had thought it would be when I dreamed of doing it all my childhood.

*What dumb things did you do during those years?
I wouldn't change anything I did, but I might have waited a little longer to get married so I could grow up first ;)

*What good things did you do?
Being in Latter-day Celebration was such a huge part of that time in my life. We were able to perform all over and travel to Texas for our tour. There were so many wonderful experiences during that time.

*Did you live on your own?  How well prepared were you for that?
I didn't live on my own until we got married, but I think we made it work. We had no family close by so we had to rely on each other. We worked hard (we worked at the same place so we had plenty of time together!) and had lots of fun on our days off.

*What life lessons did you learn?
My testimony was definitely strengthened during those years in Latter-day Celebration. I learned a lot from cosmetology school that has been useful in helping my own family/friends with hair and makeup, etc. And I have some wonderful memories of my mom even though she wasn't close by. She had an 800 number at her work that I could call her on, so we could chat often and keep up on everything that was going on.