Oven-Roasted Onion Garlic Green Beans

I love vegetables, but sometimes… out of sheer laziness… I eat less veggies. (How about that for #transparenttuesday)

As mentioned yesterday, I’ve 100% determined that food prep is incredibly key to my success.  I’ve been working hard to bag up my veggies and to plan when I’ll be eating them.

Pinterest continues to be a huge tool to help me stay on track in the veggie department.  I am endlessly pinning pics of my favorite veggies transformed into delicious dishes.  I tend to lean toward green beans, beets, broccoli, and spinach on the cooked veggies side of the house.  So, when I spotted today’s recipe, I knew it was one to be pinned.  Months later, I’m finally trying it, and holy yum!!!

Oven Roasted Garlic Onion Green Beans | No Thanks to Cake

These beans are incredibly flavorful and the roasting really transforms their flavor, caramelizing them and exposing their rich flavor.  As a bonus, they’re incredibly easy to make…

Roll that beautiful BEAN footage… 

Roasted Onion-Garlic Green Beans

Adapted from Overtime Cook

Serves 3

INGREDIENTS

Oven Roasted Garlic Onion Green Beans | No Thanks to Cake

1 lb. green beans, ends trimmed

1/2 medium onion, finely diced or minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

salt

black pepper

cooking spray

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat the oven to 425. Coat your baking sheet with cooking spray.

2.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, tossing well to evenly distribute everything.  Note:  I used Pink Himalayan salt for the first time in this recipe.  I simply grinder a few twists of the salt onto the beans prior to baking, and also added freshly ground pepper.  Salt and pepper tends to be a personal choice, so season as you see fit.

Oven Roasted Garlic Onion Green Beans | No Thanks to Cake

Oven Roasted Garlic Onion Green Beans | No Thanks to Cake

Oven Roasted Garlic Onion Green Beans | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer as possible.

Oven Roasted Garlic Onion Green Beans | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Bake at 425 for 30 minutes (depending on how well done you like your green beans). Stir halfway through.  Serve hot, and enjoy!

Oven Roasted Garlic Onion Green Beans | No Thanks to Cake

Oven Roasted Garlic Onion Green Beans | No Thanks to Cake

Per 1/3 recipe serving:

CAL 81; CARB 14g; FAT 3g; PROT 3g; FIB 5g; WW Points Plus: 2

DividerIf you love green beans like I do, here are a few more NTTC recipes to try… 

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

Lightened Up Green Bean Casserole | No Thanks to Cake

Weight Watchers Green Beans with Mustard and Country Herbs | No Thanks to Cake

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3 Things I Learned from Menu Planning

After a summer of eating out, grilling out, and spending time on vacation, I used labor day weekend as an opportunity to get my “life” back in order.  

I woke up on Labor Day feeling out of sorts.  In my head, I had deemed September 1st “the first day of the rest of my life.”  And, as an important “start-over” date.  Despite all these great intentions, I just felt nervous.

Would I be able to stay on “plan” this time?  

Would I be able to curb my night-time eating that had been spinning out of control?

How would I incorporate all my work-related dining out activities?

Could I make this work again?

In the midst of all the fears that were running through my head, I realized more than anything that I didn’t have a plan.  I did what any girl in 2014 does, I jumped on Pinterest to find a meal planning resource that would help me along my way.  First and foremost, I wanted to decide what it was that I would be eating for the next week, and food-prep the crap out of my Monday afternoon.

I found several different meal planners out there, some that tracked daily meals, many that focused on family dinners, and only one that tracked all the meals and snacks I wanted to plan.  This one ended up being my favorite, and I have plans to create my own on a rainy day.  We’ll see…

In filling out the squares last week, a lot of lightbulbs went off and I learned more than I ever could have imagine.

3 Things I Learned from Menu Planning | No Thanks to Cake
1.  Without a plan, I had no plan.

We’ve all heard that saying “failure to plan is planning to fail.”  When you write everything down that you plan to eat on paper, you realize this very quickly.  I quickly began to reflect upon how previous weeks had gone.  I had to make healthy choices every single day, and competing with those healthy choices were their unhealthy cousins… unhealthy meals.

I was counting on my will-power to help me make it through the week.  When co-workers asked me to join them for lunch, I could easily say yes… because I was hungry.  I hadn’t had a snack all morning and was ready to eat anything I could find.  When friends suggested dinner out, I didn’t have a plan otherwise… so, why not join them for Mexican food?  And, then, sitting at the table, I’d have to once again make healthy decisions.  To stay on my “virtual” plan, I’d need to muster up the willpower to skip the chips and salsa, and to forgo the quesadillas in lieu of a simple grilled chicken salad.  Sometimes I did well, other times, not so much.

In the end, there were too many decisions to be made every single day, and too many opportunities to slip up.  With a concrete plan in place, I found myself with structure, convenience, and peace of mind.  I’m not saying I executed the plan perfectly, but I was about 150% better than weeks without a plan!

2.  My kitchen was snack-deficient.

By the time I filled out my meal plan, I had already gone grocery shopping for the week.  Now, I was sure I had healthy foods busting out of my fridge and cupboards; however, when I looked at the food I had planned to eat, I found out very quickly that I was completely deficient in the snack department, and I made plans to correct it immediately.

Why are snacks important?  Because in those moments where you get hungry, you define your day.  Do you reach for a bag of carrots and Laughing Cow cheese (a favorite snack of mine) or do you start digging through the cupboard for something-anything that might be tasty?

I had healthy snacks on hand to get me through maybe Wednesday, but I needed snacks for a full seven days.  Outlining what I would eat each day shone a flashlight on the situation and helped me make sure that I had plenty of snacks on-hand, pre-packaged, and ready to go.

Food Prep | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Having a Plan Reduces Stress

Overall, I felt much less stressed throughout the week when it came to making healthy decisions.  I was able to anticipate the needs that came up throughout the week, both planned and unplanned.  I was able to travel out of town and stay completely on-plan with oatmeal from home and a build-your-own salad at a pizza place.

Meal Prep | No Thanks to Cake

My schedule is also nuts.  By the time I get home, I’m tired and hungry.  Having a plan of what was for dinner… and having those foods on-hand and ready to eat/prepare made things so much easier!  And, again, kept me on track…

I felt at-ease, knowing that this area was all planned out… all week long!  One less things to worry about!

I’m going into the this week and have once again written up my plan.  It may change a little bit.  I may eat Subway on Tuesday, and eat chicken on Monday.  Who knows… but I’ll stay within this framework and make good decisions.

3 Things I Learned from Menu Planning | No Thanks to Cake

Mostly, I’ve got all the foods I’ve outlined in my home… prepped and ready to go.  Even if I hit 80% to this plan, I’d call that a win!  I love the feeling of being prepared to be healthy for the week, and I plan on doing just that!

Have you considered meal planning? 

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Wear Teal Day: September 5

I hope you woke up this morning and chose to wear teal, like many Americans will today.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month | No Thanks to Cake

September is National Ovarian Cancer Month, and a month dedicated to a cause that’s near and dear to my heart.

A little over 4 years ago, my friend Bev got diagnosed with Ovarian cancer and cancer made its appearance amongst my peers for the first time.  While I lost my grandparents and many family members to the terrible C, I always saw it as a disease that hit the elderly, those who had lived a rich life already.  When Bev was diagnosed, the reality that cancer is everywhere… and that it truly doesn’t discriminate.

Team Bev Jodi's Race for Awareness | No Thanks to Cake

When a friend is diagnosed with cancer, it sucks.  You don’t know what to do.  You don’t know how to help.  And, well… you just want it to go away.  Thankfully, Bev was strong enough for all of us… and all we had to do was be there to support her.  She plowed through chemo with grace and came out on the other side, free from this terrible disease and with a fantastic outlook on the rest of her life.

A group of friends and I found the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance, and immediately looked for ways to get involved.  We signed up to walk/run in their Jodi’s Race for Awareness in 2010, and we’ve been participating as Team Bev ever since!

Team Bev Jodi's Race | No Thanks to Cake

Here is part of our rowdy bunch, but we’re missing quite a few from this pic.  Our first year, we might have had 20 people.  This year, we were well over 50… all for that great lady in the center wearing the teal tiara.  We walk in support of Bev, still cancer-free 4 years later!!

Team Bev Jodi's Race for Awareness | No Thanks to Cake

Now, walking as a team and inviting my friends to participate raises awareness… wearing teal today draws attention to Ovarian cancer month, and donating money helps fund programs for the diagnosed and support research.

To me, I recognize that I have a audience made up predominantly of women, and as such… I’m going to share some information about the symptoms associated with Ovarian Cancer.  After all, there is no life more important than yours.  There is no one who knows your body like you do.  It’s important that you know the symptoms… so that you too can live a rich, full, healthy life like my friend Bev…

Wear Teal Day | No Thanks to Cake

Divider

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms  | No Thanks to Cake

Source: Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance

Statistics show that 95% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer had 1 or more of these 4 common symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Urinary urgency or frequency
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly

Often known as the “silent killer”, ovarian cancer often goes undetected due to the subtle nature of its symptoms.  If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, please seek medical attention.

Why is ovarian cancer so misunderstood?

  • Annual gynecological exam does NOT check for this cancer
  • It’s NOT rare! 20,000 Americans/330 Coloradans diagnosed annually
  • It does NOT happen only to older women – all women and girls at risk
  • There’s NO specific screening tool for ovarian cancer – undefined symptoms are key
  • Majority of women with ovarian cancer had no family history of it
  • The medical community often misses diagnosing this cancer
  • While nicknamed “the silent killer,” the latest research shows OC is NOT silent, with 4 common symptoms

How can women become aware of ovarian cancer?

  • Know the symptoms – listen to your body – Know the 4 common symptoms!
  • Advocate for yourself in your doctor’s office – Missed diagnosis is common
  • DON’T WAIT!  If you’ve had one or more symptoms for more than a few weeks, see a gynecologist, ask about ovarian cancer and request a CA125 blood test, a pelvic/rectal exam and a transvaginal ultrasound

Disclaimer:  I am not a physician, just a woman who loves her friends… and wants us all to live long, healthy lives.  For full detailed information about Ovarian Cancer, please seek information from a medical professional.

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Easy Pico De Gallo

I absolutely love pico de gallo.  And, it’s hard to believe that I’ve never made it before now.  That’s just plain crazy!

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

Being that it’s tomato season, and that I can’t get enough of these red beautiful bad boys… it was prime time for me to try to make my own pico.

I got inspired to make this chunky salsa after enjoying Cafe Rio again on Saturday.  I always get what I like to call a “mexi-salad” there.  The Cafe Rio Salad comes with way too much on it, so I change it up quite a bit… I remove the tortilla, the beans, the rice, and most of the toppings to make room for grilled chicken, guacamole, and what I like to call an obscene amount of pico de gallo.

Cafe Rio Salad | No Thanks to Cake

Yep… it’s a little excessive, but when you remove everything else… you might as well load up on what you like, right?

Knowing I had a few fresh tomatoes leftover from last week’s haul at the farmer’s market, I decided to get chopping and create my own at-home pico.  I also had just picked up a new citrus juicer that I was dying to use….  great excuses to make some great pico!

Easy Pico de Gallo

Makes 2 1/2 cups

INGREDIENTS

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

4 hot house tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 small onion, diced

1 jalapeño, diced with seeds and stems removed

1/4 bunch of cilantro, chopped

juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Dice your tomatoes, taking care to remove the seeds.

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Dice your onions next.  Note:  I took this as an opportunity to use my onion chopper from Williams-Sonoma.  I wish I had used this for the tomatoes too, as it created the most perfectly uniform dice!

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Dice your jalapeño next.  Note:  I put the jalapeño into the vegetable chopper for a fine dice… in seconds!

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Chop your cilantro and add it to the mix.

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Squeeze 1/2 of a fresh lime into the mixture.  Note:  I used my Lemon Press from Williams-Sonoma to squeeze the lime.  If you don’t have one of these yet, I highly recommend it!

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Add the salt and pepper.  Mix to combine and refrigerate immediately.  Flavors will begin to combine, and create the most delicious pico.

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

7.  Serve with baked chips, over grilled chicken, or with a spoon!

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

Divider

If you like this recipe, you may also enjoy these yummy sauces from NTTC.

Restaurant Style Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Ranch Dressing | No Thanks to Cake

The Very Best {EVER} Guacamole | No Thanks to Cake

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