As much as I love stocking up on Trader Joe’s super convenient frozen meals and popping them in the microwave for a quick meal, I’ve noticed that I don’t always feel my best when I eat that way day after day. So to kick up my healthy eating habits, this year I set a goal for myself to learn a few new quick-prep recipes that incorporate fresher and more nutrient-dense ingredients. The latest recipe I discovered online is a super healthy protein-packed quinoa and kale bowl – more on that below!
Not surprisingly, our dog Oliver enjoys fresh, preservative-free meals just as much as the rest of the family (and I equally enjoy feeding him them since they’re so much healthier and more nourishing than his typical dried food). This week, for example, we’ve been serving up Freshpet’s Beef Roasted Meals, and he can’t seem to get enough of the little morsels!
You may have come across Freshpet at your grocery store in the pet aisle, in little refrigerated displays. Unlike the typical dried food pet food, Freshpet’s recipes are made with only real, fresh, all-natural ingredients. Their Tender Beef Recipe, for example, is made with 100% natural, farm-raised beef and chicken, plus a ton of fresh, vitamin-rich veggies ranging from sweet potatoes, green beans, spinach, and carrots. It’s made locally too, right in my home state of Pennsylvania! Here’s a look at everything that’s inside:
Ingredients: Beef, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Ground Oats, Rice Bran, Eggs, Green beans, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Natural Flavors, Salt, Spinach, Calcium Carbonate, Vinegar, Beta-Carotene, Celery Powder (plus extra vitamins and minerals!)
I love seeing real beef and chicken at the top of the list! There’s no doubt that Oliver is getting all the high quality proteins he needs to stay strong, healthy, and energetic. You’ll also notice that there are no strange additives or fillers listed – like pre-processed meat powders, meat meals, or by-product meals – only healthy, fresh, and nourishing ingredients that keep our dogs feeling and looking their best. And to top it off, the recipes are completely free of preservatives – the fridge is all they need to stay fresh!
Freshpet is basically the closest thing to a home cooked meal for our pets, and even better, the meals involve almost no prep! The meals can be served straight out of the package (which is great because I barely have enough time to prep my own meals!).
As you can see, Oliver is absolutely loving his little beef nuggets this week! Straight out of the packet, you can see all the fresh veggies like full slices of carrots, green beans, and spinach. There are smaller veggie bits packed inside the actual nuggets too (just in case your dog is picky and tries to avoid eating their vegetables!).
The recipe smells so delicious too – Oliver goes absolutely crazy when he catches a whiff. It’s definitely one of his favorite recipes – he always looks around for more after he’s finished licking off his plate. 😛
Who knew clean, healthy eating could be so tasty, even for our pets!?
Ok, so now that Oliver is all happy and fed, let me show you how I put together a fresh, healthy, and tasty protein bowl for my breakfasts and lunches…
Egg, Quinoa & Kale Bowl
For this recipe, the base ingredients are kale & quinoa – two nutrient-dense superfoods. Quinoa is also especially high in protein, while kale is high in fiber. Add in a few extras as toppings plus seasonings, and you have a fresh, tasty, super healthy bowl that’s perfect for a morning or mid-day energy boost!
For today’s recipe in particular, we’re adding a fried egg for extra protein (this will serve as a dressing too), along with avocados for healthy fats and tomatoes for extra vitamins and fiber.
What you need:
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 egg
- cherry tomatoes
- 1 avocado
- 1-2 cups kale
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- sriracha/hot sauce (optional)
How to make it:
We’re going to start by cooking the quinoa. Measure out about a half a cup and rinse with cool water for 1-2 minutes in a strainer. Then add it to a pot and stir in 1 cup of water (or broth) and a little salt. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for ~15 minutes.
After it’s done cooking, remove the lid and fluff it gently with a fork. (If you see liquid at the bottom, if the quinoa is still a bit hard, cover again and cook it a little while longer on low heat until all the water has been absorbed.) Once it’s done, leave it to the side to cool slightly.
While that’s cooking, prep the cherry tomatoes by cutting them into halves, along with the avocado next.
Next, it’s time to prepare the kale mixture. Toss a little olive oil in a pan and cook the kale over medium heat until it wilts (~1-2 minutes). Add the cherry tomatoes into the pan, along with some red wine vinegar and a touch of salt. Let that cook for ~30 seconds, then remove from heat.
Next, coat a pan with a little olive oil and fry one egg over medium heat. Once the egg is done, it’s time to put it all together! Start by adding the quinoa to the bowl, followed by the kale mixture, avocado, and fried egg.
Finish it up with a sprinkle of pepper and a little hot sauce if you like it spicy. Cut open the egg, mix everything together, and enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know if you’ve tried making these healthy power bowls, and what ingredients you like to add in!
What are some of your favorite healthy recipes to make for you or your pets?