Friday, September 26, 2014

Simple Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa Soup

Possibly the easiest and tastiest soup you'll ever make! 

Okay you guys, this may well be the easiest—and one of the tastiest—dishes I've come up with in a loooooong time. Just six ingredients that you probably already have on hand and a crock pot. It really couldn't be simpler.

I was running short on time and inspiration yesterday and I needed a fast meal that I didn't have to do much (read: any) prep for. My friend Kristen shared this yummy recipe for a five-ingredient white chili on Facebook, but I didn't have the right beans and the crushed tomatoes were calling my name. Plus, let’s face it, any meal that can be cooked in a crock pot in my house will be.

So I went the pantry (a.k.a a plastic shelf in my garage), pulled out the ingredients, tossed them in the slow cooker, and walked away. Here’s what went into the pot:

Simple Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa Soup

Serves 6-8


2 (15-ounce) cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 (12-ounce) jar salsa verde (green salsa)
1 (28-ounce can) crushed tomatoes in juice
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
1 tablespoon ground cumin

Place all ingredients in crock pot and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours. Easy peasy.

I already told you that this soup turned out tasty. But it’s a true testament to yumminess when I’m eating leftover piping hot soup…at 10 AM…when it’s already in the mid-80s outside…and the AC is blasting. Southern California has not gotten the memo that it’s supposed to be FALL and it’s killing me. I think I’ll go light my pumpkin spice candle in protest.

Seriously though, the hubs gave this one the thumbs up and I’m eating it for breakfast, so yeah, rave reviews all around. It’s clean too, so totally AdvoCare approved. Woot Woot! Double bonus.

You could garnish this soup with all sorts of stuff like cilantro, green onions, lime wedges, and—if you're being indulgent—cheese and tortilla chips, but I promise you, it’s delicious as is. Enjoy!

Until next time,

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Slow Cooker Curried Pineapple Chicken

Who knew clean eating could be this tasty?
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a new recipe. Summer is a busy time around here. I’ve been juggling working part-time, ramping up my AdvoCare business, and keeping the kiddos entertained while they are on break from school. Which leaves me little time for coming up with—much less testing—new dishes.

Usually I get my inspiration from Pinterest but I came up with this little gem after noticing a can of pineapple on my pantry shelf and wondering what the heck I was going to do with it. Slow Cooker meals are so convenient. I mean, toss all the ingredients in the pot and forget about it for a few hours? Done!

Why curry? Well, first and foremost, it is delicious. Better still, curry powder contains turmeric, an ancient Indian spice with tons of health-enhancing properties….so it’s good for you. Another bonus? This recipe contains veggies and protein so there’s no need to make a salad or other vegetable side dish. Sold!

I served this over brown rice but shirataki noodles would be a great low-carb option. Basically, Slow Cooker Curried Pineapple Chicken = perfection in a Crock Pot. Okay, perfection might be pushing it a little. But it is pretty darn good.

Anyhoo, here’s what I came up with. (Note, this recipe is clean and okay for both the 10-Day Cleanse and 24-Day Challenge.)

Slow Cooker Curried Pineapple Chicken

Serves 6
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 (20-ounce) can of pineapple chunks in 100% pineapple juice
1 small white onion, chopped (or ½ of a large onion)
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
2 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
1 tablespoon dried curry
1 tablespoon dried coriander
Cilantro (for garnish, optional)

Place all ingredients except cilantro in slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-5 hours. (Cooking times vary depending on size, make, and model of slow cooker.) Shred chicken just prior to serving with two forks. Spoon Slow Cooker Curried Pineapple Chicken over brown rice, shirataki noodles, or enjoy on its own. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.


If you like a sweet and savory dish and/or love pineapple, this is the recipe for you. It is definitely on the sweet side so if you’re a fan of adding a little heat to your curry, grab some Sirracha, chili garlic sauce, or red pepper flakes. The heat is the perfect complement to the pineapple flavor.

The hubs and I are getting ready to kick off another 10-Day Challenge on 8/11/14 and there’s still time to join us if you would like a little extra support. Just email me at  for complete details.

Until next time,

Monday, May 5, 2014

Crunchy Coconut Broccoli Brown Rice Bowls

Crunchy, clean, and delicious! 

The other day I was eating a salad with garbanzo beans a.k.a. chickpeas in it and the scavengers (aka my 2- and 4-year old) came over asking for bites. They were obsessed with the chickpeas! Score! I opened another can, rinsed those bad boys, sprinkled them with a little sea salt, and let the kiddos snack away. Winning!!!

A few days later, I mixed brown rice, garbanzo beans, and peanuts in small bowls and served it to them for dinner with a little sea salt for seasoning. Again, it was a hit. Being picky toddlers, they didn’t eat everything I served them, so naturally I had a few bites. (I HATE wasting food!) It was good. Like, really good. And it got me thinking about a grown-up way of incorporating these ingredients into something the hubs and I could eat as a main meal.

My goals were to keep it clean (I’m in the middle of my second 24-Day Challenge) so the healthy eating is a must and, of course, make it delicious. This recipe also happens to be vegetarian (pretty sure it’s vegan too!) and it’s nice to have a few meatless options in the rotation.

Here’s what I came up with after scouring the Internet for inspiration.

Crunchy Coconut Broccoli Brown Rice Bowls
Serves 5-6

1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ red onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
¾ cup unsalted peanuts, shelled and
1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon dried ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon coriander
3 cups brown rice, cooked*
Cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Sriracha, other hot sauce, or red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

*Trader Joe’s sells organic brown rice in packs of three in the freezer section. Toss them in the microwave for a few minutes and you’ve got instant steamed brown rice. They are a HUGE timesaver and I use them several times per week for convenience.  


Heat coconut oil in a medium-to-large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.

Add onion, bell pepper, and broccoli, and sauté until veggies begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in chickpeas and peanuts and continue to cooking, about 2-3 minutes.

Pour coconut milk into a small bowl and add the dried ginger, curry powder, garlic powder, and coriander. Stir well.

Add milk and spice mixture into the skillet or wok and stir to combine.

Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Just prior to serving, stir in cooked brown rice.

Spoon into individual serving bowls and garnish with cilantro and hot sauce or red pepper flakes if desired.


This recipe turned out awesome. Served alone, it has a subtly sweet flavor with hints of curry and ginger and the crunch of the peanuts adds a great texture. It’s really mild making it great for kids or people who don’t like spicy foods. If you really want to dial the flavor—and the heat—up a notch, add the cilantro and Sriracha (or red pepper flakes if you’re on the challenge, as most hot sauces contain a lot of sodium).  

The hubs and I really enjoyed this dish and it will be making the rounds again soon. I want to see if the kids will eat it too—sans the hot sauce, of course. I’ll report back on that one soon.

Until next time,

P.S. For more information on AdvoCare or the 24-Day Challenge, please visit You can also email me anytime at Hope to hear from you soon! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Clean Quinoa and Berry Breakfast Bake & AdvoCare Update

A Berry-Licious Healthy Breakfast Option
If you're eating clean and tired of scrambled eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, I have the perfect recipe for you: this delicious berry and quinoa breakfast bake. It’s AdvoCare friendly (for both the Cleanse and Max Phase) and my kids and hubby loved it too, win-win!!!

I know I've been talking about AdvoCare a lot lately—but I can't help it. I love the products and the program and it’s been so exciting for me personally to see the positive changes AdvoCare has made to my body and my life. And even BETTER, I've seen how much happier and healthier it’s made several people that are near and dear to me.

I don't just talk the talk, either. I’m a firm believer in practicing what you preach. I just wrapped up my second 10-Day Cleanse mid-February to get rid of that last bit of holiday “fluff.” Here’s my before/after pic. Not too shabby for 10 days, right? Total belly buster! (To learn more, visit or email me any time at

10-Day Cleanse complete! I'm 4 pounds lighter, 2.5 inches smaller, and leaner with less mid-section "fluff." I'll take it!

Now, on to that yummy recipe!!!

Clean Quinoa and Berry Breakfast Bake
Serves 12

2 cups dry quinoa
4 cups water
Coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil spray (I used coconut)
½ cup egg whites
1½  cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (alcohol-free preferred)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 packets of stevia powder (about ½ teaspoon)
1½  cup blueberries, washed any stems removed
1½ cup strawberries, washed, stems removed, cut into small chunks

Rinse quinoa in cold water, unless already pre-rinsed. (A mesh strainer works well for this step.)

Place rinsed quinoa and water in a medium-to-large pot with a lid. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook until all the water is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it becomes soft and translucent and the germ ring becomes visible along the outside edge. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish (I used glass) with coconut oil spray or olive oil spray. (Coconut oil will taste better with this recipe.)

In a large bowl combine, egg whites, coconut milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and stevia. Stir well.

Add berries, mashing them a little as you stir.

Fold cooked quinoa into the berry mixture and stir until evenly distributed.

Pour quinoa/berry mixture into baking dish and use a spatula or large spoon to make sure it is evenly distributed in the dish. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired.

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees until the edges begin to brown and the eggs whites set.

Spoon onto plates or into bowls and sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon and stevia powder just prior to serving. 

Fresh out of the oven. Yum!!!

I’m not gonna lie…this smells too good to be good for you
especially while it's cooking in the oven. The scent is like cinnamon-berry cobbler or pie—or both—mooshed together. Divine!

There’s a lot of wiggle room with the different ingredients you could try in place of the berries here (I’m thinking my next test will be a peanut butter/banana/cinnamon version).

But if you want a berry-licious, healthy, protein-packed breakfast—that isn't plain eggs—this will hit the spot. It makes a great afternoon snack or good-for-you dessert, too. 

Let me know what you think, and if you come up with variations of your own, I'd love to hear about them. 

Until next time,

P.S. If you've been on the fence about giving the 24-Day Challenge a try, now is a fantastic time. The 24-Day Challenge Bundle is now customizable so you can choose energy drink and shake flavors and pick which vitamins are right for you (which is really exciting)! Just email me at and I can share my favorites and help walk you through choosing which products best suit your needs. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chicken Sausage Jambalaya

Hearty, Delicious, and Healthy!

If there are any die-hard traditional jambalaya fans out there, I apologize in advance: This recipe might disappoint you. This version only contains clean chicken sausage (I don’t care for shrimp and didn’t have chicken on hand when I made it), I used brown rice instead of white to make it acceptable for those doing the 24-Day Challenge, and I threw it all in the Crock Pot, which goes against the preparation methods of true jambalaya.

But, if you are looking for a savory, slightly spicy, good-for-you meal that will stick to your ribs but not your waistline, you’ve come to the right place.

When you shop for clean sausages, look for those with no additives, fillers, preservatives, etc. I like to take the casings off before I slice mine. It makes them even healthier, however, it’s not a necessary step.

I used the Crock Pot (surprise, surprise!) for this dish but a Dutch oven or stockpot would work equally well. Here’s what I came up with:

Chicken Sausage Jambalaya
Serves 6

3 cups chicken stock or broth (organic preferred)
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chile
1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained & rinsed
4 chicken sausages, sliced (I used the spicy Italian ones from Trader Joe’s and removed the pork casing)
1 cup brown rice (I used the frozen, already cooked version from Trader Joe’s)
1 bell pepper, chopped (I used yellow but have used orange in the past too)
1 cup celery, chopped (approximately 4 large celery stalks)
1 small red onion, chopped
1-2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning (for a lower sodium version, use Cajun seasoning just omit the salt)

Toss all ingredients in the Crock Pot (or Dutch oven or stock pot) and cook on HIGH for a MINIMUM of two hours. Soups always taste better the longer they simmer but since the chicken sausages I used were pre-cooked, I was really just waiting for the veggies to soften and the flavors to mingle.


I’ve made this several times in the past few months because it’s such a tasty and easy go-to meal. The hubs is obsessed with Old Bay seasoning (he went to high school and college in Maryland—Go RAVENS!!!) so I’m pretty liberal with this seasoning in this particular recipe. As noted above, if you want a lower sodium alternative, make your own Cajun seasoning and leave out the salt.

I had it for lunch the day after I made it and I’m not gonna lie—it’s even tastier as leftovers. This dish is definitely in our regular rotation and I hope you enjoy it as well.

Until next time,

P.S. For more information about AdvoCare and the 24-Day Challenge, email me at or visit

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Crock Pot Chicken & Chickpea Clean Green Stew

Hearty, Healthy, Green and CLEAN!!!

A lot of my AdvoCare friends have either just finished or are getting ready to start their 24-Day Challenges so I wanted to get another yummy (and easy!) clean Crock Pot recipe out there. I’m starting my second 10-Day Cleanse on February 3rd so I’ve spent a lot of time this week planning out some really healthy meals that are so tasty that it’s hard to believe they are actually good for you. Which brings me to today’s steamy bowlful of deliciousness.

There is simply nothing better than a hot and hearty soup or stew when it’s cold outside. It actually rained here yesterday, so having food that warms you from the inside out was an extra bonus. (Yes, I realize that in Southern California what we call “rain” equates to “a light sprinkle” pretty much everywhere else in the country, but hey, it’s all relative, right?)

My friend Whittney sent me a picture of the white chicken chili she was making for dinner the other night and that got my wheels spinning. I went to the cupboard and fridge, pulled out everything I had that was green, and came up with this recipe. I usually make these types of dishes with black, kidney, white, or pinto beans, but I had several cans of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) on hand, PLUS the label was green so it fit in with the color scheme. I’m weird like that.  If you’d prefer to use white beans instead, please feel free.
Look at all that yummy green goodness!!!

Crock Pot Chicken & Chickpea Clean Green Stew 
Serves 6


Olive oil spray
1 small onion, coarsely chopped (I used ½ white and ½ red because that’s what I had in the fridge)
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or two breasts, aim for about a pound (organic preferred)
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 (12-ounce) jar green salsa (look for a “clean” brand without sugar, preservatives, etc.)
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chile
3-4 cups chicken broth or stock (organic preferred, use less for a thicker consistency)
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 avocado, cubed (garnish)
Cilantro (garnish)
Green onion (garnish)
Lime wedges (garnish)


Lightly spritz the inside of the Crock Pot with olive oil spray. This step is not necessary, I just find that it makes clean up a little easier.

Place chopped onions in Crock Pot. Place chicken on top of onions. Add garbanzo beans, salsa, diced chile, chicken stock, and spices. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.

Just prior to serving, ladle out about a cup of the stew containing the chickpeas/chicken/onion mixture. Using a blender, food processor, or hand mixer, pulse until smooth. Add pureed mixture back into the crock pot and stir. NOTE: This step is completely optional. I wanted a little creamier texture. Omitting the blending step will result in a more broth-y soup and I was going more for stew.

Ladle chili into serving bowls. Garnish with avocado cubes, cilantro, green onion, and lime wedges and serve immediately.

If you have the time, cook this on low ALL DAY LONG. Your house will smell AHHHH-mazing and the longer you let this simmer, the better it tastes!

And speaking of taste---OMY!!! You read that right…oh my YUMMY! So flavorful! The hubs and I gobbled this up went back for seconds. I’m pretty excited about the leftovers for lunch today, too.

Could you do this on the stove? Absolutely. But the beauty of the Crock Pot is that you literally throw all the ingredients in and walk away. No fuss, no muss! If you don’t have a Crock Pot, go out and get one—immediately. They are pretty inexpensive at places like Wal-Mart, Big Lots, Target, etc. and they will save you tons of time and provide lots of leftovers.

Until next time,

P.S. For more information on AdvoCare, the 24 Day Challenge, or the 10-Day Cleanse, check out A HUGE group of people just finished the challenge and another large group is getting ready to kick off their challenge the day after the Super Bowl. Pictures speak louder than words. Check out these impressive before/after images. (That’s me in the purple tank top with the peacock feather in the background!) If you have any questions, feel free comment below or email me at

Monday, January 20, 2014

Clean Crock Pot Chicken and Lentil Curry

Who knew eating clean could taste SOOOO good?!?
I know, I know. It’s been SIX months since my last post. In my defense, I've been a pretty busy girl. I started working again part time, started running A LOT and training for my second half marathon, and started attending an EARLY—5:30 AM early—morning boot camp 2-3 times a week to build a little muscle and tone up after my 22-pound weight loss last year. (More on that here.)

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to “Eat clean in 2014.” And though we’re only three weeks in, so far I’m doing awesome. If you would have told me six months ago that meals made without cheese, processed carbs, and fat could actually taste AMAZING, I would have laughed at you. But it’s true…and I can honestly say, my view on eating has changed considerably. I also have the hubby on board with the new philosophy, which is always helpful.

Recipes by Ryann
is about to take a turn for the healthier. Most of the recipes I've posted in the past qualify as “good for you.” But I want to take clean eating to a new—and even tastier—level. I want to share meals that will fill you up—not out—and delight your taste buds at the same time. Healthy, clean, and delicious…that’s the new motto. I also want to make sure that everything I post is acceptable for those participating in the AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge or 10-Day Cleanse. (I’m happy to share info about the AdvoCare programs/products with anyone who is interested. Just visit or email me at

But I digress. One of my favorite cuisines is Indian. I've found lots of different curries and simmer sauces at several local stores. Problem is, they are LOADED with excess salt, artificial colors and flavors, and sugar. The solution? Come up with my own from scratch using clean, healthy ingredients! I did some research, cobbled a few different recipes together, and came up with this:

Clean Crock Pot Chicken and Lentil Curry

Serves 6


Olive oil spray
½ onion, chopped (I used red)
1 small bell pepper, chopped (I used red)
1 large zucchini, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup uncooked lentil beans (I used red split lentils from Trader Joe’s)
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (organic preferred)
3 cups chicken broth or stock (organic preferred)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (careful, these are hot!)
Fresh cilantro (for garnish)

Spritz the inside of the Crock Pot with olive oil spray. (This step isn't necessary, but it does make cleanup easier.)
Fresh veggies, ready for the Crock Pot!

Place veggies and minced garlic in the bottom of the Crock Pot.

Add lentils.

Place uncooked chicken breasts on top of veggies and lentils.

Pour canned tomatoes—with juice—over chicken breasts.

Add chicken stock (or broth) to Crock Pot.

Sprinkle seasonings over the top.
Spice is nice!

Cover and cook on “low” for 8-10 hours or on “high” for 4-6 hours.

About half an hour prior to serving, remove lid and shred chicken using two forks or tongs.

Garnish with fresh cilantro after curry is plated.

You guys…seriously….my house started smelling delicious after only an hour of cooking. I was short on time so I opted to cook it on high for about 5 hours. The “fast cook” works great, but for stews, soups, chili, and other similar dishes, I’m also a big fan of simmering on low all day so the flavors can really mingle and the consistency becomes a little thicker.

The “not-so-secret ingredient” cinnamon, lends a little sweet spice to an already delectable and hearty curry. I served this as more of a soup but it would also be great ladled over brown rice (or quinoa for a protein-packed alternative). If low-carb is your goal, spooning it over leafy greens as a salad topping or using it to stuff lettuce leaves would also be an option.

I like my curry SPICY so I did add a tiny dash of hot sauce. Sprinkling in a few additional red pepper flakes—either in the Crock Pot prior to cooking or as a garnish afterward—would also dial the heat factor up a notch.

The hubs and I both gobbled this up. And okay, I admit it, we both went back for seconds!

I hope you enjoy this curry as much as we did. It feels GREAT to be sharing recipes with you all again. I’ll be back soon with another healthy, tasty, and good-for-you dish. I promise!!!

Until next time,

P.S. For more information on AdvoCare or the 24-Day Challenge, feel free to email me at or visit