Hearty Lunch Salad Ideas

One of the things that I love to have for lunch is a hearty salad. It just makes my body feel good when I nourish it with some good veggies for lunch. You can get creative with your own salad to use up leftovers you have in the refrigerator. I want to share just a few of my favorite combinations today.

Mexican Salad


  • Spring mix
  • Baked sweet potato, cut into chunks
  • Black beans or pinto beans
  • Avocado
  • Salsa
  • Brown Rice

Layer ingredients in a bowl and enjoy. This is one of my favorite combinations. If you have a little cashew cream, that is a delicious addition as well. Just drizzle it on the top. No need to add dressing to this salad. It’s delicious with all of these wholesome salad toppings.

Mediterranean Salad


  • Spring mix
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Avocado
  • Slivered almonds
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Lupini beans

These are the Lupini beans that I like to use and they are delicious for snacking too. They are very flavorful and again, no need for dressing. They flavors together are delicious. I would love your feedback if you try these salads. Please tag me @itsapegslife.com if you instagram a recipe made from my blog. Enjoy 🙂

1-Hour to Delish Vegan Roll Recipe

I was inspired to make these rolls after making a trip to my favorite bakery to buy rolls (Great Harvest) and they were out. Of course, it was because of the CoronaVirus and everyone panicking to buy bread. Their bread and rolls were sold out by 11 a.m. that day. SERIOUSLY PEOPLE!! All was not lost, however, thanks to my mama teaching me her mean bread making skills. We always had homemade rolls every Saturday. Ohhh how I love the smell of homemade bread. It brings back so many fond memories for me.

As most of you know, we try hard not to eat any oil, so I made this recipe as oil free as I could possibly could (minus the non-stick cooking spray that I sprayed in the pan to keep the rolls from sticking). I hope you love them as much as we did.

1-Hour to Delish Vegan Roll Recipe

  • 1 c. Almond Milk
  • 1/2 c. Water
  • 1/4 c. Honey (I know, I know honey isn’t vegan) or Agave
  • 1 T. Active-Dry Yeast
  • 3.5-4 c. All purpose Flour
  • 1 tea. Salt
  1. Prep your oven and baking dish.  Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray, and set aside.
  2. Warm the liquid ingredients.  In a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, stir together the water, milk and honey/agave.  Microwave the mixture for 1 minute, and give it a stir.  Continue microwaving the mixture in 15 second intervals, until it is very warm to the touch but not hot or boiling (anywhere between 95°F-115°F), and the butter is completely melted.  The temperature of the water is important here, because if it’s too hot (120°F or more), it will kill the yeast.  If it’s too cool, the yeast will not activate.  Just think — a little bit warmer than your body temperature.
  3. Add yeast.  Pour the liquid mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer.  Then sprinkle the yeast evenly on top, and give it a quick stir with a fork to combine.  Wait for five minutes, or until the yeast is foamy.
  4. Add dry ingredients.  Then add in 3.5 cups of flour (not all of the flour) and the salt.
  5. Mix.  Using the dough-hook, mix on medium-low speed until the dry ingredients are combined.  If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add in 1/4 cup more flour at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is only slightly sticky to the touch.  (Only use up to 4 cups of flour total.)  Continue mixing on low speed for 4-5 minutes.  Then form the dough into a ball with your hands and transfer it to a greased bowl.
  6. Let the dough rise.  Cover the bowl with a damp towel or paper towel, and let it rise briefly for 15 minutes in a warm place.
  7. Form the rolls.  Gently punch the dough down and divide into 15 equal-sized pieces. Form each piece into a ball and place the dough balls in a pan sprayed with nonstick spray (9×13-inch baking dish).  Cover the dish again with a damp towel or paper towel, and let the dough balls rise for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  8. Bake.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly golden brown on top and cooked through.
  9. Remove the rolls from the oven.
  10. Serve warm.  And enjoy!


*I buy my yeast in bulk.  But if you’re buying the packets, note that 1 packet contains 2.25 teaspoons yeast.  So this will call for a little more than 1 packet.

Vegan Huevos Rancheros–Another Favorite!!

If you are looking for an amazing breakfast, look no further. This is one of my creations that is so full of flavor and whole food plant-based goodness that it will knock your socks off. It definitely scored a 5/5 with my family. Enjoy.

Vegan Huevos Rancheros

This is such a delicious breakfast. Full of flavor and protein and simple goodness.

Source: Peg

Cuisine: Mexican

Main Ingredient: Tofu Eggs

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Total Time: 30 min

Serves: 4


  • For the Tofu Eggs:
  • 1 16 ounce extra firm tofu (must be EXTRA FIRM)
  • 2 1/2 T. Nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tea. Tumeric
  • 1 tea. Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tea. Onion powder
  • 2 tea. Soy Sauce
  • 2 T. Unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • Black salt to taste–A must!!!!
  • Salt and Pepper

  • Remaining Ingredients:
  • 2 large sweet potatoes Optional (Cooked 4-5 minutes in the microwave)
  • 1 can refried beans black beans, or pinto beans, warmed (We like both refried beans (no oil) and pinto beans)
  • Brown rice (I like the quick cook kind from Costco)
  • 1 can sweet corn warmed
  • Pico (I love Harmon’s jalepeno fresh salsa, if you live in Utah)
  • Cashew Cream (homemade, recipe below)
  • 1 avocado sliced in thin slices
  • Corn Tortillas warmed on the griddle just before serving


  1. For the tofu:
  2. Crumble up the tofu with your fingers and put in frying pan. Turn heat to medium high and warm up tofu–about 7 minutes
  3. Mix nutritional yeast, turmeric, onion salt, garlic salt, black salt and regular salt and pepper together sprinkle on warmed tofu and mix into the tofu throughly.
  4. Mix soy sauce and unsweetened non-dairy milk together and pour on tofu mix. Continue heating for a few minutes and serve immediately.
  5. Prepare remaining ingredients as instructed.
  6. Serve order:
  7. corn tortilla
  8. beans — refried first and then pinto
  9. brown rice
  10. sweet potato
  11. tofu eggs
  12. corn
  13. avocado
  14. pico
  15. (cashew cream would be yummy drizzled on this as well)

Cashew Cream

1 C. Cashews

1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar

1 teaspoon Lemon Juice

1/2 teaspoon Salt

Just enough water to cover the cashews. Blend in high speed blender until well blended. If you don’t have a high speed blender, boil the cashews for 20 minutes, drain off the water and proceed with recipe.

Peg’s Three Bean Soup

This time of year makes me crave some good soup! The other night I came home from work and started throwing some deliciousness in a pot thinking that it wouldn’t be all that great, BUT it was so so good! Enjoy!

Sauté together:

1 yellow onion

1/2 jalapeño

3 garlic cloves

1 teas. cumin

1/2 teas. chili powder

Salt and pepper

A little vegetable broth for sautéing.

After the onion is translucent, add the following:

1 large 25 oz can pinto beans

1 15 oz can garbanzo beans

1 15 oz can black beans

4 c vegetable broth

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

1 15 oz can of sweet corn or you can use frozen corn as well

Simmer for approxima 30 -40 min and serve with Costco uncooked Tortillas, cooked of course :), avocado, vegan sour cream, and fresh green onion on top.  You may want to add more cumin and salt and pepper as well to taste.


How’s the Whole Food Plant Based Diet Going and What Is It? 

Okay folks, many of you are asking me how the whole food plant based lifestyle is going, so let me tell you–IT’S GOING AWESOME, even while we were on vacation to New York City for the NY Marathon, we had a great time seeking out restaurants that fit our new lifestyle. It was like looking for a treasure every day and so fun! I’ll write more about that in another post. When I say whole food plant based diet, I mean lots of veggies, whole grains, beans and legumes, a little fruit and nuts, so we don’t have any dairy, meat or eggs.  The next question people usually ask is…… “What do you eat?” or say to me “I could never do that!” haha Well, let me tell you, that YOU CAN DO IT!!!  I like to focus on what I can eat and less on what i can’t eat and then pretty soon, a whole new world opens up to you and it’s AWESOME and you will notice a difference in how you feel!!

The learning curve…… and I’m still learning. I have to openly admit, I’m not to the point where I can just make up a recipe and roll with it YET. With the mainstream way of eating, I could totally make things up as I went and my meal would come out delish, but with this new vegan diet with no oil, I have had some pretty awesome failures lol. Are failures awesome? Seems a little ridiculous. 😂 I don’t want to get into that part of it because I am a food blogger and suppose to know what the heck I’m doing. 😂  It’s been awesome though and I love learning new ways of cooking so this is fun. Some observations I have discovered when cooking and since adapting to this new way of eating.

1.  When using an Instant Pot for beans and lentils, use the lesser number for cooking time after soaking them over night instead of the greater. You know the instructions that the Instant Pot comes with? It instructs us to cook beans for 20-25 min. I tend to go with the 25 number, but I’m learning to go with the 20 number. I’m not a fan of soggy beans I’ve learned. Ha.

2.  Your tastebuds do change. I don’t want to say this one in a negative way at all. It’s a great thing and believe me, I love good food! Eating my favorite calorie laden chocolate chip oatmeal cookies nearly blows my head off now haha. I never thought I would say that😜.

3.  I’ve man some pretty bomb vegan recipes, like the AMAZING CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE. I adapted from the cookbook, “Isa Does It.”  I’ve shared that in a recent post. Seriously, it’s so incredible that you would not know that it had no oil nor would you know that it was vegan.

4. When sautéing veggies in a pan with no oil…. put the veggies in the pan on med high and cook them until they brown a bit. (be attentive here and don’t get distracted, which is my problem) Now add a tad bit of vegetable broth, like you would add some oil–not too much but just enough :), put the lid on for a few min, stir, and cook until the desired doneness.  When roasting, put veggies on parchment paper and salt and pepper. Mix up about 1/4 c vegetable broth (I like using the “Better than Vegetable Broth”) and drizzle it on the veggies. Rub them with it a bit to get it all over. Bake in hot oven at 425 degrees for about 10 min and stir. Put back in and cook another 7-10 min. They are so good!

How Does My Body Feel?

I seriously feel SO GREAT! I’ve been doing a lot of different endurance events within the last month, most recently the ​New York Marathon, St. George Marathon, a 78 mile bike race with my daughter, and two biking events in the Huntsman World Senior Games. My recovery from each event has been so much quicker than previous years of just running St. George Marathon . My muscles seem to be more healthy, faster recovery time and stronger with the Plant Based diet. Three days after completing the St. George marathon, I did the World Senior Games hill climb event, where I was timed climbing up 886 feet for 3 miles. I was worried about my legs still being tired from the marathon but they felt GREAT! The following day I did a 12 mile time trial and felt GREAT pushing it and 10 days after this event, I did a 75 mile road bike race with my daughter and felt GREAT! Enough said about all of my crazy addiction with endurance, but this new way of eating works. It’s fueling my body with the nutrients it needs to recover and with no injuries (knock on wood😜). 

About eating animals…….

I have to say, I have a new outlook on meat these days. Why do we eat some animals and not others? Isn’t it weird to think about? Why do we eat chicken and not cats or why do we eat cows and not horses? It’s crazy when you don’t eat meat, the way your mind switches gears. To me, man was meant to eat grains, plants and lentils and beans. It’s so easy to do and our body loves it!

There are a million recipes for eating vegan and cookbooks. Here are a couple of my favs.  We are doing no oil so I look up substitutions for different recipes because it is a different substitution if your roasting veggies than if your baking something. It’s so easy to figure out substitutions with Pinterest on our side 🙂 and with the resources we have online.  This way of eating doesn’t limit you, it’s just a different way of adjusting eating. By not consuming meat, you’re freeing your body of the inflammation meat causes and lowering your cholesterol, among many other benefits such as weight loss. You feel the difference in the first week of going Plant Based. I feel less bloated and I feel very satiated and I’m losing about 1/2 lb a week. My DH however, is losing more like 2 lbs a week and looks amazing! If you have any questions or comments, please email me at itsapegslife@gmail.com and I’m happy to share more about I with you. Until then, happy Plant Based Eating :).

Check out these videos that talk about eating plant based:

Netflix:  Forks Over Knives, What The Health

YouTube:  Plant-strong & healthy living: Rip Esselstyn at TEDxFremontwww.youtube.com/watch?v=AAkEYcmCCCk&t=38s,

Power Foods for the Brain | Neal Barnard | TEDxBismarck at www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_ONFix_e4k&t=796s

Just key in Plant Based Whole Food Diet in the search bar on youtube and you’ll find a ton of info about it.  You’ll be amazed at what nourishing your body with good whole food will do for your overall health and well being.



Today my guest is one of my sisters (I have 3 AWESOME ones 🙂 , Evon Seely!! Evon is the oldest sister in our family of 6 children. I apologize for getting a little personal here but I LOVE MY FAMILY! #sorrynotsorry😜

The Rose Family :).  First pic is of our brother, Bruce, who was killed by a drunk driver at the young age of 24. It was heartbreaking for our family. I was just 8 years of age at that time and he left behind a wife and baby girl. My other brother, Larry, was on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the time and Evon was due with her firstborn.  The second pic is an older pic—me (enormously pregnant with our 4th child), Evon, Larry, Janis, Joanne (front) our dear dad and mom. 

Evon lives about 6 miles from me. She has always been there for me through hard times and good times. One of the memories that touches my heart was when my husband was going to chemo and my 5 children were young, she would drop everything and watch my sweet little darlings so I could be with my DH when he was so terribly sick. She is just that kind of person to everyone. I’m so grateful to have her in my life and so grateful for family. As Princess Diana said, “Family is the most important thing in the world.” And with that, I bring you my sister, Evon!❤️ Isn’t her family so beautiful!!

I am excited to contribute to Peg’s blog. When I was a teenager, I was driving my mom over to Panguitch quite frequently. At last, she asked me if I knew why we were going there so much. I told her no. She then told me that we were going to have a baby. I was so elated and excited! I told her that was great news as I had been praying for a little sister. Mom was about 41 years old at that time and wasn’t overly excited about the event. Peg is the baby of our family and has been adored and loved by her parents and all five of her older siblings. We have wonderful memories of her as she was growing up. She was such a blessing to our family. In fact, our Dad didn’t want “that dentist” to steal away his little Peg! Nevertheless, Peg and Dane did get married and Mom and Dad grew to love him very much too!
When Peg and Dane had children, we were so excited about them! We have many fun and special memories of them. Particularly, I remember the fun the kids had on Princess (the horse) and the day she ran away with Brianne and Nat; then Brance telling me he didn’t know I could run so fast! I love the photo of Brianne, Nat, McKelle and Brance on Princess. When they were little they also liked to run in circles on the blue living room rug. Hilarious! We enjoyed having the kids at our Santa Clara house jumping on the trampoline with their cousins. It was so cute when Caden became confused because his siblings called me aunt and our grandchildren called me grandma, so his name for me was “Aunt Grandma”. I loved tending the children when Peg and Dane went to dental conventions. We would have the grandest times! We have so many precious memories! We dearly love Peg and Dane and their delightful family!

Now, about the recipes . . . Most of my life I have suffered with stomach troubles. Finally, in 2014 I had a colonoscopy-endoscopy and found out that I had celiac disease and some of the complications that are caused by that disease. After learning more about it, I had to give up some of my favorite treats and thought I would never be able to enjoy licorice, breads, cinnamon rolls, etc. After trying some of the expensive (tasteless) commercial treats I decided that I needed to learn how to bake some of them myself. I purchased the book, Gluten-Free Family Favorites by Kelli and Peter Bronski. I liked their Artisan flour mix because it had more grains in it than some of the other mixes and the recipes had less fats. 

Artisan Flour Mix: 

1 1/4 c. brown rice flour

 ¾ c. sorghum flour

 2/3 c. cornstarch

 1/3 c. tapioca flour or tapioca starch 

1 teaspoon xanthan gum. 

Combine all ingredients and whisk well to mix thoroughly. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months in the pantry or 6 months in the refrigerator.

One of my favorite recipes to make with it is Banana Mini Muffins. 

Banana Mini Muffins

3 medium-size ripe bananas

 1 egg

 ½ c. honey

 ¼ c. applesauce

 1 teaspoon GF pure vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients: 

 1 ½ cups Artisan GF Flour Blend

 1 teaspoon xanthan gum

 1 ½ teaspoons GF baking powder

 ¼ teaspoon baking soda

 ¼ teaspoon salt

 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. (I like them spicy, so I add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg and sometimes a few nuts on the top.)

 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the cups of a 24-cup mini muffin tin with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Place paper liners in the greased muffin cups, if desired.

2. Mash the bananas in a large bowl until mostly smooth with a few large lumps. Mix in the egg, honey, applesauce and vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, whisking to mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and mix at low speed just until combined, 5 – 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix at high speed for about 5 seconds, until the batter is thoroughly mixed.

4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. A cookie scoop works very well to transfer the batter. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the muffins spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick comes out clean. The muffins should be slightly golden brown on top. Let muffins cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove and serve.

Me talking again :)— YUM!!!!! Thanks for sharing with us today, Evon! Love you!

Vegetarian Open Faced Sandwich 

Have you noticed that I’ve been posting a lot of vegetarian recipes lately? My DH and I decided that we need to cut down on our meat consumption and it’s been so great!! Our daughter, Brianne, who did a guest post for me, is a dietician and she has been trying to convince me for years to not eat so much meat and guess what?? I listened–FINALLY!  It’s like I’m the teenager and have grown into adulthood haha. More about this subject in a later post, but today I want to share a quick lunch idea or dinner, whichever you prefer. Honestly, it takes 5 minutes to prepare if you have boiled eggs on hand, but if you don’t, it takes 15 minutes and it’s full of a lot of goodness and very filling. 

Peg’s Open Face Egg/Avocado Sandwich 


2 boiled eggs, peeled and cut up into cubes

1/2 avocado, ripe, peeled and cut up into cubes

A bunch of cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters 

One leaf of lettuce (optional, if you want to put this directly on the bread underneath all the goods, or you can make a lettuce wrap too)

Salt and pepper 

1 slice toasted Dave’s Killer Bread (I like the Good Seed kind)

Mix together boiled eggs, avocado and cherry tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.  Then place on toasted bread or in a lettuce wrap. Easy and yummy!


If you know my dear friend, Anji, YOU LOVE HER!! She is one of the most kind and thoughtful friends that you will ever meet. She is an amazing runner and athlete. Not only has she run many marathons, but she has completed a couple of 140.2 Ironman’s and several Half IM’s. Anji has spunk that is just SO FUN and always has a smile on her face. She is an RN and works at our local regional hospital and is very knowledgeable about many things, including diet. Today she is sharing part of an eating lifestyle that has worked for her. This post is different from other Friend Friday posts, but I think you will find it very informative and interesting. Thanks so much for sharing with us today Anji! Love you, girlfriend!

My name is Anji Stephens. I am a wife, a mom to two little boys, and a dog! Most people who know me know that I love running, biking and almost anything active!

This last year, a friend at work introduced me to a new eating pattern known as Intermittent Fasting. Intermittent Fasting works for me but I don’t know if it’s for everybody. Peg is a wonderful friend and running partner and because she has invited me to, I am happy to share what I have learned on her amazing blog!

The first time I heard of Intermittent Fasting, the only word I heard was “FASTING” and the only thing that went through my brain was “NO WAY….I LIKE TO EAT”! However, as I learned more about this style of eating, I learned that not only would I still get to eat my three meals a day including snacks, but I didn’t need to cut calories….YEAH!

So, exactly, what is Intermittent Fasting??? Basically, it is an eating pattern, NOT a diet. Without being too scientific, it is bunching your meals into a shorter time period during the day. The theory behind Intermittent Fasting is that your body cannot burn fat when it is in a “fed state”. It takes approximately 12ish hours after your last meal to exit the fed state and enter the “fat burning state”.

My day of eating would go something like this….I would eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in a 8 hour time period and then fast for the next 16 hours. Therefore, after the first 12 hours of fasting (mostly done while sleeping), my body would enter the fat burning state. The next 4 hours prior to eating again, I was burning fat.

Why did this work for me? Being a marathon runner, it can sometimes be hard not to gain weight during marathon training. I am not sure why this is, but I always blame it on the fact I am hungrier when I exercise more. So, in the past, I would try to cut back on calories while training in hopes not to gain weight. This would always prove disastrous. I felt like my health, energy or running would suffer. With this style of eating, I was able to drop a few pounds as well as inches while eating enough calories to sustain me for marathon training.

There are many things I loved about Intermittent Fasting. I loved that I didn’t have to count calories and I could still eat delicious food! I could still eat carbs..YUM! (which is necessary for running). I dropped inches and still had energy to train and run a PR (personal record) marathon! I also found myself drinking more water (which I did a lot during the fasting period)!

In the research that I have done, I have found that there are a number of health and hormonal benefits with Intermittent Fasting. I did not discuss these on the blog, however with a quick search on the internet, you will find an array of health benefits to further entice you to enjoy the benefits of an empty plate and a tall glass of water, Yummm….I’m stuffed!


Tiffany is an amazing athlete. The first time I met her, she was just finishing up a swim at the lake, training for the St. George, Utah Ironman. My husband and I just arrived and I chatted with her for a minute and I was thinking, “Wow, she looks like an IM pro.”  You could definitely tell, she knew her stuff about IM training.  My husband and I were training for our first IM, so she was quite an inspiration to me.  Her accomplishments “WOW” me, especially with the obstacles that she has overcome………… AND she is my sister’s neighbor and she speaks very highly of her. I’m so very excited for her post today. She is going to share with us some inspiring accomplishments about herself, a family favorite recipe and some really great fitness tips. Thanks so much Tiffany for sharing with us today. Also, for those of us who live in the STG area, Tiffany can help you reach your optimal performance at the Dixie Regional Health & Performance Center. They have a sports package that includes a Bod Pod (calculates body fat %), VO2 Max, and basal metabolic testing that would be very helpful for training. I am looking forward to getting tested. STG Marathon and NY are right around the corner! Okay, so let’s get to it! Here’s Tiffany………………..❤️

I guess you could say that I am a wellness nerd. I graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Dance. I love to learn, so I decided to go back to school and get my Master’s in Sports Nutrition. I have to admit that my grades are much better now that I’m older and understand the value of education. Who would have thought that I could get a 4.0 GPA? HAHA!

My job as an Exercise Physiologist at Intermountain Live Well allows me to share my passion for wellness with others, and the rewards of seeing clients pursue a healthy lifestyle is priceless. I also empower others to chase their dreams as owner of TG Triathlon and Fitness. As a World National Olympic Distance Age Group Qualifier in 2012-2016, I have been chasing my own dreams by competing in over 175 triathlons, including 16 Ironman finishes. From 2012-2016, I received Ironman All World Athlete by placing in the top 10% in the world for my age division. (I’m old…. hitting 50 on my next birthday). J

Despite my accomplishments in 2010, I suffered 3 strokes which lead to heart surgery. These obstacles have lead me to have a great desire to infuse balance and gratitude in my life. When I’m not training or races, I enjoy hiking, cooking, sewing, reading and SUP. My greatest accomplishment is being a wife and mother of three kids ages 25, 20, and 14. My family is the heart of my success.

This recipe is one of my family’s favorite. I will usually double the recipe so that we can have left overs. It can be used in whole wheat tortillas, taco shells, on tops of nachos for a hearty meal, or on top of mixed greens for a yummy salad. (That’s my personal favorite) J

One Pot Quinoa Taco Dinner


• 1.25 lbs. of Ground Turkey or Beef (You can leave this out for vegetarian option)

• 2 Bell Peppers Diced

• 1 Onion Diced

• 2 Tomatoes Diced canned or fresh from the garden

• 1 Can of Corn (drained) or Frozen works great too

• 1/2 cup salsa

• 1 cup Canned Black Beans (about half a can) I like to rinse them off first

• 1 cup Water

• 1 cup Beef or Vegetable Stock Low Sodium

• 1 cup Long Grained Rice (not minute rice) or Quinoa

• 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of Cumin

• 1 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 teaspoon chili powder

• 1 cup Cheddar Cheese

• Taco shells, whole wheat tortillas or mixed greens (depending on what your family enjoys)


1. Begin browning meat in skillet. Drain the fat. (I like to add crushed garlic too).

2. After slightly brown, add diced onion and diced peppers and cook until meat is completely browned.

3. On medium heat, stir in water, beef stock, beans, and rice or quinoa. (I’m added both rice and quinoa sometimes)

4. Stir in cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder.

5. Add in the corn and tomatoes

6. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, (quinoa takes a bit longer 20-25 minutes) or until rice is completely cooked and liquid has absorbed.

7. Stir in the cheese and top with your favorite taco toppings! We love adding sour cream and guacamole to ours. Enjoy!

I love this recipe because you can adapt it to what your family likes. If you are vegan leave out the meat and switch the beef broth to vegetable. If you have fresh garden tomatoes, use those. I can’t really say where I got this recipe from, because I adapted it from an original and made it fit my family and their needs. One word of advice is you should do just that. Look at a recipe and make it fit your taste and your family. Same way when you eat out. If you don’t something on the menu, as if they can create something for you based on what ingredients is found in the other menu items.

 Fitness Tip-

“Start where you are, don’t compare yourself to others, and enjoy the journey.” Tiffany Gust

There is no magic bullet for optimal health. Just eat real food and then you don’t have to worry about all the fads and diet craze. Listen to your body and try to make movement a part of your everyday life. Engage in activities that you enjoy and encourage those around you to become active with you. Spending time with family and friends can make movement and exercise enjoyable and rewarding, while building the bonds in the relationship.

If you struggle to enjoy fitness, then learn to enjoy the feeling of success when you have completed a hard workout. Enjoy the freedom you feel when the endorphins have amped up your energy. Work around your limitations if you are dealing with health issues or an injury. Trust me, I know how it feels to have your whole life flipped around and going from being a successful athlete to having health issues that only allow you to go for a walk or a short swim. Don’t focus on what you can’t do, focus on what you can. Bask in the gratitude that you have for still being alive and well. Anchor into the moments that can get you through those hard times. Do things that will allow you to feel success and make your heart smile. Find ways to enjoy nature and peace in your life. Now, go out and CHASE THOSE DREAMS!!! J



I’m so excited to have my sweet friend, Amber Green, as a guest today. Not only is she an incredible runner (like winning marathons kind of incredible:), she is such a ray of sunshine to all who comes into contact with her. She has a love in her heart for everyone, even her competitors. I’ve always admired that about her. She is not threatened by her competition, but she embraces the challenge. A great example for us all to follow. Amber adores her family and is such a dedicated wife and mother AND she is an awesome cook!! Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share with us, Amber. Love ya!

Hi, my name is Amber Green. I’ve known Peg for many years, mainly through running, and have ALWAYS admired her zest for life! I”m excited to be a guest on the blog and want to share a recipe with you that I make often that meets the criteria of both delicious and nutritious. I like any way to sneak veggies into foods, and this recipe utilizes the abundant summer zucchini.

First a quick intro: I was born and raised in St.George, Utah, and I could live in this beautiful place forever. Let’s just say I don’t mind the heat 🙂 Bring it! My husband Matt and I have three children, all boys for us – ages 13, 11, and 9. I am a full-time Mom and a part-time Fitness Instructor at Summit Athletic Club. I also LOVE to RUN (and like to pretend that running is my “other” job even though it is not hehe). I have run nearly 40 marathons, placing first in many including the St.George marathon 3 times. I have been privileged to compete in the Boston marathon numerous times as well as the Olympic Trials marathon in 2016. Running is one of the highlights of my life….which leads quite nicely into eating don’t you think?

This recipe comes out of the new cookbook “Run Fast, Eat Slow,” by elite distance runner Shalane Flanagan and her co-author Elyse Kopecky. As an athlete, I am always trying to perform at my best, and nutrition plays a huge role in optimizing performance. Shalane and Elyse offer this recipe which is gluten-free and I think very delicious. Enjoy!

Superhero Muffins

2 cups almond meal

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if sensitive)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1/2 cup raisins, chopped dates, or chocolate chips (optional)

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 zucchini)

1 cup grated carrots (about 2 carrots)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup dark amber maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

2. In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, and walnuts, raisins, dates, or chocolate chips (if using).

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, zucchini, carrots, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. The batter will be thick.


4. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each to the brim. Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean, 25-35 minutes.
The recipe also gives a hint about how to make your own almond meal.

“If you have a high-powered blender, you can grind your own almond flour. For 2 cups of almond flour, pulse 10 ounces of whole raw almonds on high speed until finely ground.”

I, (and I’m guessing many of you) like to play with the recipe and mix it up. With this particular recipe I have tried adding mashed banana, applesauce &/or coconut oil in place of the maple syrup and butter. It’s a little less sweet this way, but still delicious. Pecans are also a nice addition or replacement for walnuts. And with the addition of chocolate chips, you may even get the approval of the kiddos! Overall, this is a great recipe as is, that I like to make and have on hand to have for breakfast with a smoothie, on it’s own with some almond milk, or as a quick snack.