Starting 2014 Off Right... for now!

So with 2014 being here I of course jumped on the bandwagon of eating healthier and exercising and all that jazz

Fair warning this is a long wordy post!
But I promise you, both recipes are worth it!

Today I am going to share 2 recipes I have tried so far.

The first is the green smoothie you see below:
 photo 1507528_778579893121_1505371791_o_zpscc30ce2a.jpg
The original recipe came from danielleburkleo and I had to tweak it a bit due to my allergies.
So here is my final recipe:

2 cups packed spinach (didn't use baby cause I had regular on hand)
1 cup semi packed green leaf romaine (cause it was in the fridge and needed to be used)
1 tsp chia seeds
1 not totally full tbsp of sunflower butter 
1 cup whole frozen strawberries 
1 banana
1 cup coconut milk and ice

The results -- it was not that bad honestly.  
I probably won't be craving it but it filled me up, it was pretty tasty and the texture was not bad at all.
Oh and I am already planning on making myself one tomorrow too!

A few things I found out:

-add the liquid and frozen stuff to the bottom of the blender then the greens as it took forever to blend when it was all dry greens at the bottom of the blender.

-it was high in calories (600+) mostly due to the coconut milk I used (300+) - this may not be the case with the almond milk it called for - but I think tomorrow's will be 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water + ice

-the sunflower butter was very overpowering in the taste - which tends to happen with sunflower butter so tomorrow I will not add it in at all and see how much it changes

-i used strawberries as they were $2 cheaper per bag at the grocery store and worked fine but may be higher in sugar than blueberries so something to keep in mind

But overall I get the whole "green smoothie" concept.
I got a few servings of leafy greens in, an entire serving at least of fresh fruit, water, etc and it replaced my normal bagel.

Now on to my second recipe...
Sorry no pics on this one
We will call it: artichoke, lemon, spinach and asparagus abundance!

What you will need:

1 jar artichoke hearts in seasoned oil/brine
2 chicken breasts
couscous - I used non flavored
1-2 lemons
fresh spinach
garlic
asparagus
salt
pepper
a touch of olive oil
chili powder

How to for chicken:

Split chicken breasts or tenderize them
Salt and pepper your chicken
Heat up 2/3 of the oil from the artichokes in a pan along with a bit of olive oil (if needed)
Add chicken and cook
Add lemon juice and lemon zest directly to pan while cooking
Add chili powder to taste
Once chicken is about half way done, add in half of the artichokes - break up by hand before tossing in the pan - just to warm them up
Once you turn off the heat add 1-2 handfuls of spinach but keep an eye on it if you don't want it to turn that unattractive dark green 
Then just let sit until you eat

How to for couscous:

Start water as directed on box but use the last 1/3 of the oil from the artichokes plus water and lemon zest and juice
Season water/oil as directed with salt/pepper and extra olive oil (if you want)
Cook couscous as directed
Once you take it off the heat to finish cooking add in more lemon juice, artichokes - broken up and 1-2 handfuls of spinach
Let sit covered and absorb all those flavors

How to for asparagus:

Normally I would (done what the originally poster of this recipe did and) tossed them in olive oil and salt, pepper and garlic and placed in the oven but we were on a time constraint so instead I...

Cut them into quartered pieces
Placed in microwave safe bowl with enough water to cover
Covered tightly with plastic wrap
Place in microwave 4-5 minutes or until tender

I then added half without anything on them to the couscous 

The other half I tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic to taste

I took about 3 recipes I had found, I used 1 entirely to make the couscous - found here and my chicken recipe was supposed to be a stuffed chicken but once again we were on a time constraint so I created something with the same ingredients needed for the stuffed chicken. 

The other 2 recipes were where I had gotten the idea for stuffing my chicken with: artichokes, mozzarella cheese and asparagus.

So the verdict -- OMGosh so delicious!!
The hubs and I devoured this for dinner last night and lunch again today!
Totally awesome and only took me about 30 minutes total to make it all!

Some things I would change -
-put the spinach in chicken later so it doesn't turn so ugly in color (taste was fine)
-make wayyy more couscous
-cook asparagus longer or cut thinner
-add more lemon (I love the flavor it gives)
-added more garlic to the chicken (I figured there would be enough in the artichoke brine/oil)

But overall I am definitely planning on making this one again!!

So happy 2014!

Please share any healthy/fun recipes you have found so far!

And please let me know your thoughts on these two. 
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