• Feeds

  • Advertisements

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!!

Advertisements

quinoa stew and macaroons

My yogurt maker made delicious yogurt!  I’ll post towards the end of the week with some ideas and uses for it. 🙂

It was Day 2 of my weight training today, so I worked out my Legs & Abs.

5 minute warmup – jumping jacks

Legs

  • Lunge & Lift – 3 sets of 12
  • Stability Ball hamstring curl – 3 sets of 12
  • Mountain Climbers – 1 minute
  • Calf Raises with 10 lb weights – 3 sets of 12
  • Squat jumps – 1 minute
  • Deadlifts with 10 lb weights – 3 sets of 12
  • Step-ups with 10 lb weights – 3 sets of 12
  • Burpees – 1 minute
  • Leg lifts – 2 sets of 12

Abs

  • Crunches – 3 sets of 15
  • Reverse Crunches – 3 sets of 15
  • Bicycles – 3 sets of 20
  • Frogs – 3 sets of 10
  • V-ups – 3 sets of 10

5 minute cooldown – jumprope

Tough workout tonight, my legs were burning during those squat jumps and burpees!  I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow, but it was worth it!

Then, it was time for dinner and baking!

Tonight on the menu was our favorite – quinoa!  You probably think that we eat quinoa all the time.  Well, we do!  It is a delicious grain (actually, it’s a seed) and it pairs nicely with any type of vegetable.  Quinoa is about 15% protein, which is very high for a grain, so we rarely eat much other protein with it.

We used a recipe out of one of the Moosewood Cookbooks tonight.  These cookbooks are great, especially for vegetarians.  They make all sorts of delicious recipes.

Quinoa cooks like a couscous does, very quickly.  I started dinner by rinsing 3/4 cup of quinoa (it is important to rinse the quinoa because the seed produces a natural coat to protect itself from insects and you want to rinse this bitter coat off) and placing it in a pan with twice as much water to boil.  Once it boils, you just reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.  A few minutes before the quinoa was cooked, I added some corn to the mix.

Meanwhile, I chopped up my veggies: garlic, onion, green pepper, zucchini, summer squash and tomatoes.

Add the onions and garlic to a pan heated with olive oil and cook until tender.  Then, add the pepper, zucchini and squash and cook until a little browned, 5-10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes along with 2 cans of diced tomatoes and a tablespoon of thyme and cover, simmering until the veggies are all tender.  Then add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.  We like our food a little on the spicy side, so I added extra pepper flakes!

Serve the stew over a scoop of the quinoa mixture!  The quinoa really works nicely with the stew.  It is a much lighter dish that it would be with a rice.  Delicious!

Quinoa with Vegetable Stew

adapted from Moosewood Restaurants Low-Fat Favorites

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 summer squash, chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Rinse the quinoa and add to pan with water.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender and fluffy.
  2. When quinoa has cooked for about 10 minutes, stir in the corn, and continue to cook.
  3. Meanwhile, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat, until the onions soften.
  4. Add the pepper, zucchini and squash; cook until slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and thyme.  Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until veggies are tender.
  6. Add red pepper flakes, then salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Fluff the quinoa mixture, spoon it onto individual serving plates and ladle on the vegetable stew.

Nutrition Facts: About 300 calories per serving.  9.2 grams of protein and 6.5 grams of fat.

My dessert creation of the night were some delicious Almond Coconut Macaroons and Chocolate Almond Coconut Macaroons!  We are having some friends over for dinner this week, so I needed to try some things out.  I can’t serve just any old thing to my guests. 🙂

I got this recipe from another foodie’s blog and they came out perfectly.  Plenty of almond and coconut flavor.  I added extra sun-grained chocolate chips to the chocolate ones which makes them much more chocolaty and sinful!

I buy my raw almonds and raw coconut whole because you get more bang for your buck, so my first task was to chop them all up.  I ground up the almonds in my food processor until they were almost to a flour-like texture.  I did the same with the coconut, but made sure it had more texture.

Once chopped, I mixed all of my ingredients together and formed them into ice-cream scoop sized balls.  These are supposed to be placed in a dehydrator, but mine isn’t large enough, so instead I turned my oven on to 170°F (the lowest it will go) and “cooked” them for about 4 hours.

Almond Coconut Macaroons

borrowed from Joggerslife.com

makes 9 macaroons

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Raw Almonds, ground (flour-style)
  • 1 Cup Raw Ground Coconut
  • 2 Medjool Dates, spun in food processor
  • 1/8 Cup Raw Agave Nectar
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond Extract

Double Chocolate Almond Coconut Macaroons

borrowed from Joggerslife.com

makes 9 macaroons

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Raw Almonds, ground (flour-style)
  • 1 Cup Raw Ground Coconut
  • 2 Medjool Dates, spun in food processor
  • 1/8 Cup Raw Agave Nectar
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Sun-Grained Chocolate Chips

Directions for both recipes:

  1. Preheat oven to 170°F. (or use a dehydrator at 105°F for 6-8 hours)
  2. Combine all ingredients.  You’ll know it’s perfect when everything sticks together easily.
  3. Form batter into round balls, and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  4. Allow to stay in oven for 3-4 hours, or until macaroons are firm to the touch. (mine took 4 hours)

These babies are so good.  I could eat them all day long!  They would be great topped with a little almond butter, or even broken up over some coconut ice cream!

I will be making these for family and friends in the very near future!  They just might be the 2010 Christmas cookies!  By then, maybe I’ll have a bigger dehydrator. 🙂

stuffed peppers

Last night we had some friends over for dinner, and I made my most favorite dish – stuffed peppers!

 

It is a fun, easy, and pretty dish to serve to guests.  I like mine a little on the spicy side, so I kicked them up with some spices, but you could omit them if you like your food on the milder side.

There were 4 of us for dinner, but I made an extra pepper just in case someone was a little hungrier.  Turns out, it was a good idea I did!

We started with some chips and salsa to get us in the mood while I cooked.

And, drank some wine of course!

Which was from Spain…

…and delicious!

 

One of our Christmas gifts this year was a rice cooker from my brother and sister-in-law.  This was only our second time using it, but it did not disappoint!  This cooker is definitely idiot proof and cooks the best rice ever!  I put 2 cups of rinsed brown rice into the cooker, filled it to the #2 line (for the 2 cups of rice) with water, closed the lid and pressed start.  One hour and 30 minutes later, my rice was cooked to perfection!

While our rice was cooking, and our guests were enjoying their chips, I got all of our ingredients ready to cook.

I started with 5 peppers.

 

We like to use a variety of colors to up the wow factor :).

and cut the tops off of each one.

I chopped up those tops to add to the filling once ready.

Also in the mix were onions, garlic and spinach.

 

I added some olive oil to a medium sized saute pan over medium heat until hot.  I chopped the onion and garlic and added them to the pan.  They sizzled as the cooked.  Unfortunately, my camera decided to take fuzzy pictures of the steps, so I didn’t include them here…oh well, I think you get the idea. 🙂

After a few minutes, I added the peppers, some paprika, essence (which is a blend of salt, pepper, garlic and chile powder), and salsa and cooked until done.

By this time, my rice cooker was singing to me that it was done (no, really – it plays a song to tell you it is done)!  So, I added 2 cups of rice along with the spinach and mixed everything together until the spinach was wilted, a few minutes.  One cup of mexican cheese was added as well.

Viola!

At this point, I filled the empty peppers with the rice mixture, topped them wich mexican taco cheese, and placed them in my preheated oven (at 375°F).  Cook the peppers for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted, and the peppers are tender.  (Tip – I precooked my peppers while I was preparing the rice mixture to get them a little more tender.)

Once done, I pop the peppers under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until the cheese gets browned and bubbly.

 

You can make this your own recipe and add any kind of veggies you want to the mix.  In the past, we have added corn, peas and broccoli.

Alongside the stuffed peppers, I served warm crusty bread.  I took this whole wheat bread, sliced it, brushed each slice with a little olive oil and sprinkled it with italian seasoning.

Wrap in tinfoil, and place in the oven while you cook your peppers.  It will come out warm, crusty and delicious!

Our meal was a thumbs up from all 4 of us!  Give it a try sometime, you won’t be dissappointed!

 

Spicy Stuffed Peppers

Serves 5-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown rice (any other grain will work as well)
  • 6 medium peppers (any color)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 package baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1-2 tablespoons essence, depending on spiciness!
  • 1/2 cup medium salsa (or hot, or mild…)
  • 1 cup cheese, any you like!
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook 2 cups of brown rice according to package instructions.  If you have a rice cooker, definitely use it!
  3. While the rice is cooking, prepare your vegetables and if desired, place peppers in the oven for a few minutes to pre-cook (I find that this makes the peppers more tender).
  4. Wash peppers, and cut tops off of each.  Chop up tops.  Set peppers aside.
  5. Chop onion and garlic.
  6. Add olive oil to a medium saute pan over medium heat.  Once heated, add onion, garlic and a pinch of salt.  Cook until onions are tender.
  7. Add the chopped pepper tops, paprika and essence (or other spices).  Cook until mixed and peppers are a little tender.
  8. Once rice is cooked, add it to the saute pan mixture.  Also add salsa and spinach.  Mix and cook until the spinach is wilted.
  9. Mix in 1 cup of cheese.
  10. Spoon rice mixture into the peppers and top with a little cheese.
  11. Place in a baking dish and bake for 10 minutes, until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.
  12. Place under broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown the cheese.
  13. Serve immediately with warm crusty bread.
  14. Enjoy!

If you have any other fabulous stuffed pepper recipes, please pass them my way!  I am constantly making varieties of this recipe, because we love them so much!  I have been told to try them with poblanos…maybe next time!

vegetable quinoa

We love quinoa!  It was one of those grains that we had never tried before, but had read a lot about.  Once we bought some from the bins at our grocery store, and tried it for the first time, we were hooked!  It is super easy to cook, and pairs well with any type of vegetable you could imagine.

Tonight, we picked up a few veggies for our Vegetable Quinoa: peppers, onion and broccoli.  We liked our stuffed peppers so much last week, that we tried to make up something similar.  They ended up having similar ingredients, but definitely tasted different!

Vegetable Quinoa

serves 4 (or 2.5 for us 🙂 )

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 red pepper (really, any color will do)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup toasted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup feta (or more if you like it cheesier)!
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots (I prefer them without sugar)
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

– Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.

– Chop up the onion, pepper and broccoli into bite size pieces and add to the pan, along with the garlic and thyme.

We added the ingredients as we chopped!

IMG_0079

garlic, onion and pepper

IMG_0081

broccoli and thyme added

– Cook for approximately 4 – 5 minutes, or until onion is tender.

– Meanwhile, toast the pistachios (we used our toaster oven).

IMG_0080

shelled pistachios (much easier to work with!)

IMG_0082

toasting!

– Once the onion is tender, add the quinoa and cook until a little browned to combine the flavors.

IMG_0083

rinsed quinoa

IMG_0084

'toasted' quinoa

– Once browned, add 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until tender.

– You will know that quinoa is tender, when the little curly-cues come out!

– Once cooked, add pistachios, feta cheese and diced apricots.

IMG_0089

feta cheese

– ENJOY!

IMG_0090

Vegetable Quinoa ready to eat!

This recipe turned out delicious.  It was very flavorful and the cheese became a little gooey.  We served this dish with some warm french bread and white wine!

IMG_0088

Sustainable White Wine

IMG_0086

served in a fancy glass!

Sustainable White has crisp, clean aromas and flavors of citrus and tropical fruit.  

This was a new white wine that we tried.  It is made through a completely sustainable winery in Mendocino Country, CA.  It was great!  The one that we tried was a refreshing blend of sustainably grown Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Tokai, and Viognier grapes from Mendocino County.  Below are the perks of the sustainable winery written on the bottle:

– locally owned and operated

-grapes from family farms

-sustainable farming practices

-100% green power

-earth friendly packaging

-1st US carbon neutral winery

I checked out their website in order to find out some more about this winery since I love the idea of drinking sustainable wine.  Their main goal is to have a respect for the environment and to help local farmers.  I love everything about it!!  I can’t wait to try their other varieties.

pumpkin pie, coconut water & stuffed peppers!

Coconut Water

I was up super early for a run this morning before work – 10 mile tempo run.  It is one of the few longer runs I have left for this training and I am psyched!  I am definitely going to miss being on a strict schedule (because I like to be on a schedule!), but it will be nice to take a few mornings off when I feel like it :-).

I am usually famished after these 10 mile runs, but before snacking I love to sip on my coconut water while I get ready for work.  I only recently discovered coconut water after I was trying to find a replacement to Gatorade.  I would rather drink something more natural, and I do not love the taste of Gatorade, but I know that I need the salt and electrolytes to replenish after the run!  I have heard such mixed reviews about the water, but personally I love it, especially when it is cold.  It doesn’t have much of a coconutty flavor, but you can taste a hint of it.  I have tried a few brands, but my absolute favorite is ONE!

IMG_0010

Yummy Coconut Water!

I had some extra time today, so I searched for articles about coconut water and found this great one that highlights all of it’s great benefits!  Check it out here.  And, some benefits from the article listed below:

  1. Keep the body cool and at the proper temperature.
  2. Orally re-hydrate your body, it is an all natural isotonic beverage.
  3. Carry nutrients and oxygen to cells.
  4. Naturally replenish your body’s fluids after exercising.
  5. Raise your metabolism.
  6. Promote weight loss.
  7. Boost your immune system.
  8. Detoxify and fight viruses.
  9. Cleanse your digestive tract.
  10. Control diabetes.
  11. Aid your body in fighting viruses that cause the flu, herpes, and AIDS.
  12. Balance your PH and reduce risk of cancer.
  13. Treat kidney and urethral stones.
  14. Boost poor circulation.

I didn’t even know it had all of these benefits when I started drinking it, but it looks like it’s worth it for me :-)!

 

Pumpkin Pie

I guess my post for the day is a little random, but I was very excited to try out this new Seasonal Flavor yogurt from Stonyfield today!  I love the fall, and it is just not complete without some pumpkin pie!!  I decided that it would be my dessert after lunch, so I scarfed down my lunch in order to try it.

IMG_0015

Stonyfield Pumpkin Pie

Well, I was very disapointed :-(.  I thought that it tasted a little artifical and more spicey than pumpkiny and I was bummed…and felt a little silly for going balistic when I saw it at whole foods last weekend.  Oh well, live and learn.  🙂  Normally, I love Stonyfield Yogurt, so don’t get me wrong.  Their summer yogurt was strawberry lemonade and was delicious…and their Banilla (banana + vanilla) is to die for, especially in smoothies!

 

Stuffed Peppers

Dinner tonight was stuffed peppers from Everyday Food Magazine.  It was a new recipe for us, and I was so excited!!  They came out absolutely delicious and had so much flavor.  In fact, they were so good that we ate too fast before I could snap a picture!  We substituted cheddar for the provolone since that is what we had in the house.  A definite must try!

IMG_0004

Stuffed Pepper Recipe

Goodnight!