HELP! I ate way too many peppermint chocolate truffles and spent all my damn money over the holiday break. I’m a hot mess.
Oh sister, we hear you!
And to help, we called our good (and super hot) friend Monica Nelson (aka Moni) to create a New Year clean food cleanse that is easy, delish, and cheap as hell. If anyone could pull this off, it’s Monica. This bad ass babe is a health & fitness expert, a model, a healthy foods chef, and a LOVER of all things tasty! Monica told us, “my mission is to teach everyone that healthy foods can still be decadent and delicious.”
It’s so easy to over-eat and over-spend during the holiday season. If this was you, don’t beat yourself up! Instead, start fresh, let go of that guilt, and move on. Moni’s meal plan gives you 5 healthy recipes that are EASY, CHEAP, TASTY, and ONLY use real food ingredients, helping you get your body back on track and your bank account replenished.
“I have put together 3 meals and 2 killer treats/snacks that are very affordable and can be reinvented for many meals to enjoy for the entire week. Most importantly these recipes are insanely delicious.”
Are YOU ready to begin Moni’s Poor Man’s Cleanse? WE ARE!
**This was our 2013 New Year cleanse blog! If you want to see what we are doing to ring in 2014 check out THIS post**
Moni “Get Back on Track” Kale Omelette
Here is my
super healthy SUPER FOOD meal that is full of nutrients (kale is one of my top super foods-as you will learn!), full of protein and it is super delicious! I am not going to lie, I ate pretty great this holiday season- not one Christmas cookie left! I did not over due it TOO badly, but I am definitely craving some good-for-you meals that make you feel good as well.
That is how this omelette came about. I wanted to get back on track and give my body a chance to as well! Plus, I already had all of these ingredients in my kitchen. You may find that you already have them as well, but no worries if you don’t. These ingredients are affordable and can be used as staples for your meals all month long. They offer the perfect combo of “good for you” fat, protein, and carbs.
So what can you expect? A super easy, fast, “healthy-as-you-can-get,” and seriously really tasty meal. Plus BLD- Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner. Sold yet? Real food, real ingredients AND oh so scrumptious to keep you energized all day long. Enjoy!
Ingredients & directions (makes 1 omelette)
- 4 organic eggs, or 1/2 cup of organic egg whites
- 1 bunch of kale, pre-steamed
- 1/2 cup tomatoes, cherry, grape, or diced tomatoes
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Hot sauce (optional) but a must for me!
1. Mix eggs, pre-steamed kale, tomatoes, scallions, and salt and pepper in a large bowl; whisk together.
2. Coat pan with olive oil and pour in egg mixture. Cook 2 mins and then flip over to make an omelette.
3. Put on a plate and drizzle with olive oil and hot sauce to finish.
Moni Peanut Butter and Banana Quesadilla
Once again my peanut butter and banana quesadilla is EASY, DELICIOUS, & you may find that you have all of the ingredients already! This is your perfect afternoon snack, your (pre-or -post) workout treat, or even your healthy “keep me full” breakfast. Treat this as a “treat” and you will still be eating healthy without feeling deprived OR worn down. Hits the spot every time!
Grilling the quesadilla is what makes this super special as the inside becomes “gooey” deliciousness. I love to dust mine at the end with a hit of cinnamon too. Enjoy!
Ingredients & directions (makes 1 “gooey” quesadilla- 4-5 slices)
- 1 big whole-wheat tortillas, I love Tortilla Land
- 2 tbs of peanut butter, almond or cashew butter (I am a peanut butter gal)
- 1/2 banana, sliced
- 3-5 dashes of cinnamon
- Drizzle of agave, maple syrup, or honey, I use vanilla agave (all optional)
1. Spread peanut butter evenly on only half of the tortilla. Next, evenly divided your sliced bananas over that. Fold over the other half.
2. Pre-heat a skillet over medium heat with some cooking spray and put the quesadilla on. Cook on both sides for about 2 mins until golden.
3. Put on a plate and sprinkle cinnamon all over. Cut into about 4-5 slices. Drizzle honey, agave, or maple syrup over if using. Serve warm and Enjoy!
Moni Kale Salad
Kale. I love it. The most nutritionally dense produce and super food! You can serve this warm, cold, or as a side dish, or maybe even add a protein like a hardboiled egg to make an omelette, and call it a meal.
It is the dressing and sesame seeds that I use that really makes this amazing though. The secret for great taste is to massage your greens with some flavor – that really gets what you want/need out of them! If you love kale, then you are an easy sell and you’ll love this. If you are new to kale, you will also love this because the dressing is there to warm you up!
Ingredients & Directions (makes 2-3 servings)
- 3-4 bunches of organic kale (about 8 oz)
- 2.5 tbs olive oil- remember good fats are GOOD and essential for you!
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbs sesame oil (secret ingredient!)
- 1 tsp sugar (or use sweetener of choice)
- 2 tbs toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1. Toss all the ingredients together and let sit for about 30 mins so the flavors can savor each other. So easy and you can make this a day ahead too. Serve when ready! This will hold for about 2 days in the fridge.
Moni Dark Chocolate Dipped Oranges
Great for that afternoon pick me up or makes for a “sassy” snack or dessert anytime too. Talk about EASY! All you need to do is purchase a bag of dehydrated oranges (or make your own if you have a dehydrator) and then melt your favorite chocolate ( I go for dark!) and you have a treat that will not destroy any of your efforts.
I always buy a bag of dehydrated oranges and apples from the Farmers Market but you can find these at a Trader Joes or any health foods store too (organic of course). I recommend using a dark chocolate, 70% or higher, providing higher antioxidants and I also like the flavor too. So you just melt, dip, let sit, and indulge away. I do consider this still to be a healthy snack or treat, but again in MODERATION. No reason you can’t have these in your life this NEW YEAR. ;) Enjoy!
Ingredients & directions (serves 6-12)
- Dehydrated orange slices- however many you want
- Chocolate-you can use chocolate chips, squares of chocolate. I like 70% Dark. I say melt more than you might think you need so you can make the dipping process easiest.
1. Place out parchment paper on a cooking sheet.
2. Simply melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20 sec intervals. You don’t want to burn the chocolate & stir will.
3. Dip a half of each orange slice in the chocolate and then place on the set up parchment paper. When they are all dipped, place in the refrigerator for really only 5-10 mins. Then they are done!
Moni Homemade Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti Squash “Mash”
This homemade tomato sauce recipe loaded with veggies tastes like Marinara sauce meets a big bowl of spaghetti squash (instead of that heavy pasta!). Heaven! I call it the “Moni Spaghetti Squash Mash Meal!” It is so tasty and not to mention good for you and friendly on the figure.
Now I always prefer a homemade sauce to a store bought brand, but if you want to make this even easier you can buy a good store bought brand.
I love this recipe because not only do you get a way to indulge without a plate of pasta, but you get a killer red sauce out of it too that can be used to make additional meals. And we all know everyone loves amazing leftovers too!
This meal is easy, fast, and super healthy. You could even toss in some chickpeas, an egg or two, or any protein of choice. I get fresh herbs at my farmers market so I throw in rosemary AND basil together. It may seem like a weird combo but for me it does the trick. Just remember that you could add so much more to it, so knock yourself out! Enjoy this hearty and healthy meal all year long!
Ingredients & directions (2-3 servings)
- 1 14 ounce can whole peeled plum tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes is even better
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 tbs of garlic, minced
- 1 tbs of Italian seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1-2 tbsp sugar, depends on your level of sweetness
- 5-10 organic baby carrots (or 2 large carrots), minced
- Celery, chopped -optional but I love the crunch and why not
- A dash of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp mild curry powder, so good for you too-mainly why I add
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 cups pre-cooked organic spaghetti squash,
- Garnish with fresh rosemary and/or basil, both optional
- Parmesan Cheese (optional)
- Additional add-ins: protein of choice, chicken, chickpeas, or and an egg or two!
1. Carefully pour the tomatoes from the can (or use fresh) into a large soup pot. Then take the tomatoes out one by one and gently squeeze the liquids out into the pan. Then pull the whole tomatoes apart into bite-sized pieces (you can use your hands) and add to the pot. Add the broth, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, vinegar, carrots, celery, red pepper flakes, curry, and fresh herbs if using.
2. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook your spaghetti squash.
3. Taste the tomato sauce, if it is too acidic, add sugar as needed. Stir and cook for 5 more minutes. Fish out the bay leaf and add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Place cooked spaghetti squash into a bowl-just slightly more than half way. Next, laddle the tomato sauce over and serve with fresh Parmesan and fresh herbs, if desired. Or add in your protein and enjoy!
NOTE: It is best if you store leftovers separately (squash in one container, soup in another).
Our (Alyson, Angela, & Monica’s) tips & tricks
Alyson’s biggest tip is to add whatever ingredients you know you always enjoy. I love putting my own spin on recipes I find by adding ingredients I KNOW I LOVE already. I add strawberries to the peanut butter & banana quesadilla. I also LOVE grilled onions so I add them to the omelette, kale salad, and spaghetti squash.
My (Angela) biggest tip is to eat what you LOVE! Just don’t over do it. Don’t go cleanse crazy. Clean up your act, scale back your portions, up the water intake, and don’t get extreme. You and I both know that shit doesn’t work.
Monica’s biggest tip is to try to buy your ingredients from your local Farmer’s Market. Not only will you save the most money there, but you will get the freshest ingredients, support your community, AND also this will set you up for a healthy lifestyle habit for the future. So let’s DO THIS!