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kale chips

Is anyone else exhausted today?!  I’m not sure what it is, but it has been a long day…and I feel so tired!  So, I turned today into my rest day, and skipped my workout.  The thought of getting out of my bed this morning was like torture. 🙂

Brant and I were finally both home at the same time tonight, so we got to make dinner (or I watched Brant make dinner). 🙂  We had some veggies to use up, so he made up a veggie pasta dish and kale chips for us.

Our veggie pasta had the following:

  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 head of brocolli
  • 12 spears of asparagus
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 pound whole wheat shell pasta
  • 1 jar sun-dried tomato basil pasta sauce

Mix it all together and serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese!

On the side, we snacked on some kale chips.  If you haven’t tried them, definitely give them a try!  They are crunchy, salty and delicious (just like real potato chips – kind of…)!

Kale Chips

  • Take some kale, wash it and tear into small pieces

  • Place it on a cookie sheet

  • Spray or drizzle with olive oil

  • Sprinkle with salt and parmesan cheese

  • Place in the oven at 400°F for about 10 minutes, until crispy and browned on the edges.

Enjoy by themselves, or dip in ketchup like I do!  Yum!!

For dessert, I tried a new vegan organic turtle that was sent to me by Futters Nut Butters!  It’s a new treat that they are adding to there already amazing line of nut butters and treats.  It is right up my alley – no butter, no corn syrup, just all natual ingredients!!  Yum yum yum!!

oatbran & orzo

Sorry about my lack of post yesterday!  I was way to tired after dinner and crashed!

Before my morning workout, I snacked on a new bar that I found.  They are marketed as all raw bars, but this one was only about 89% raw.  Still more raw than any other bar out there though!  I loved it!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

It tasted somewhat like a Larabar, but not as dry.  And, it had mini chocolate chips in it, which was obviously a big seller for me. 🙂  It had 200 calories, 10 grams of fat and minimal ingredients, which was also a big seller for me.  It kept me going throughout my workout.

Anyways, on to the workout.  Today was Day 3 of my weight routine – Back & Biceps.

I started with a 6 mile easy run on the treadmill (60 minutes) to get in my cardio and miles, and then headed to the weights.  Here is what I did today:

Back & Biceps

  • Lat Pulldown (3 sets of 12, 50 lbs)
  • 21’s (3 sets, 10 lb dumbbells)
  • Hammer Curls (3 sets of 12, 10 lb weights)
  • Bent over Dumbbell Fly (3 sets of 12, 7.5 lb weights)
  • Back Extension (3 sets of 10, 10 lb weight)
  • Seated Row (3 sets of 12, 35 lbs)
  • Pushups (2 sets of 15)

Skipped the corework today due to time, I’ll have to add that in at some other point this week!

My breakfast yesterday was oatbran instead of oatmeal.  It’s nice to change it up once in awhile.  I think I went on oatmeal overload and I need a little break!  Oatbran is basically oatmeal in a different form (more ground up), but it feels different to me!  It doesn’t feel as hearty, even though it fills me up just the same.

Normally, I eat thick rolled oats for breafkast.  Thick rolled oats are steamed whole oat groats that are rolled into a thick flake, which gives them the texture of a steel cut oat, but one that cooks faster.  They are thicker than old fashioned oats (like quaker) and are a bit chewier and heartier.   Because of their thickness they take a little longer to cook, are very filling and take longer to digest, thus keeping you full and satisfied for longer.  I buy mine in the bulk foods section at whole foods.

Oat bran is made from whole oat groats, as well, but they are ground into a fine oat meal and then combined with some of the outer bran or husk of the oat.  Adding the husk increases the amount of fiber (oatbran = 6 grams of fiber, rolled oats = 4 grams of fiber).  Oat bran cooks fairly quickly and has a smoother texture than my normal thick rolled oats.  I prefer the taste and texture of rolled oats, but I do like to change to oatbran one in awhile.

Anyways, on to my breakfast of oats in a jar!  I usually eat my oats with a spoonful or two of nut butter, so when my peanut butter jar was almost empty, I new it was the perfect portable container for my oats!

I cooked my oatbran just like my oatmeal, with a banana and a scoop of ground flaxseed.

Boil 1 cup of water in a small pot on the stove, then add in your ingredients: 1/3 cup oatbran, 1 tbsp ground flaxseed and 1 ripe banana.

Cook the oatbran for a few minutes, until it creates a creamy oatmeal (almost like a cream of wheat consistency).  I like to whip up my banana while it is cooking to make it all blend together.

Then, I scooped my oats into my almost empty peanut butter jar!

And added a spoonful of chocolate peanut butter, just for fun!

And, off i went with my oats in a jar and spoon. 🙂

Fast forward to dinner!  Victoria was in town for the night, so I needed to find something quick and yummy for dinner!  I decided on 101cookbooks Orzo Super Salad which I have made multiple times before!  Because I have made it so many times, I kind of just made up the recipe as I was going along, but it obviously came out very similar.

I used asparagus, brocolli, a huge cucumer, bean sprouts, and a Florida avocado for my veggies.

You might be wondering what a Florida avocado is?!  Well, I saw these huge avocados in the grocery store this week, and was intrigued.  They were marketed as a Slimcado with half the fat.

Now, normally I would not be intrigued by something like this, because avocados have healthy fat and we should not be cutting that out of our diets.  Plus, I rarely buy anything that says low-fat or fat-free because of all of the unhealthy additives that go into them.  Anyways, I needed an avocado for this recipe and this was all that they had at the grocery store I went to.  So, I decided to try it out.

I did some research online when I got home to see what all of the fuss was about, and found out that Florida avocados are grown in more tropical climates with lots of rain, while regular avocados (like Hass) are grown in extremely hot and dry areas, like South America.  Therefore, the Florida avocados retain more water, making them have less fat.  Interesting, I thought…

So, I opened this baby up…and found this…

…a HUGE pit!!  Well, no wonder these Slimcados contain half the fat?!  There is half the avocado meat in there!  Jeez!  Marketing…it will do crazy things to the mind. 🙂

But, the avocado did still taste great!  And, it looks the same once it is all cut up.

While I was chopping up my veggies, the orzo was cooking on the stove.

Once it was done, I drained it and added all of my veggies along with some toasted walnuts and feta, and mixed it all up.

Instead of making up the dressing that Heidi Swanson recommends, I just squeezed a lemon and drizzled some olive oil over the whole salad and mixed it up well.

As usual, it was a hit!  This salad is great for a potluck or a summer BBQ!  It is always a crowd pleaser!

Orzo Super Salad

from 101cookbooks.com

Serves 4 (so it says – this recipe makes a lot!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried orzo pasta
  • 10-12 medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments
  • 1 medium head of broccoli, cut into small trees
  • Small handful of cilantro (I omitted this, I don’t love cilantro)
  • 1 small clove of garlic (I cooked this with the orzo)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I just used a drizzle)
  • a small handful of sprouts
  • 1/3 cup almonds, toasted (I used walnuts)
  • 1/2 small cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (I doubled this)
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup feta, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously (and add garlic) and boil the orzo per package instructions.
  2. About 30 seconds before the orzo is finished cooking stir the asparagus and broccoli into the orzo pot. Cook for the final 30 seconds, drain and run under a bit of cold water. Just long enough to stop the cooking.
  3. In the meantime, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and more salt (if needed) into the dressing. Set aside. (I omitted this step and just squeezed the lemon and drizzled the olive oil over the salad once mixed)
  4. Toss the orzo, asparagus, broccoli, and cilantro.
  5. Now add the sprouts, almonds, cucumber, avocado, and feta. Very gently toss a couple of times to distribute those ingredients throughout the salad and serve.

It is great served warm, roomtemp or chilled!!