Fitness Therapy

I forgot to mention yesterday, but WOW! You guys eat early! Maybe I should do a New Year’s Resolution to start eating earlier?

Ooh and I had fun reading about your eating styles! Glad to see I’m not the only one who gets skittish when it comes to ordering meat at a restaurant. Unless the restaurant states they source quality meats, I assume it’s factory. Ew.

On to today’s eats…

IMG_2904_edited.jpg

I had a hard time thinking of something interesting to eat today, but finally came up with a simple yet savvy concoction.

IMG_2892_edited.jpg

Of course, breakfast wouldn’t be complete without lovely, hot, comforting coffee in a Christmas mug. I love the shape of this mug!

IMG_2899_edited.jpg

I ended up making french toast with Great Harvest Whole Grain Goodness.

IMG_2908_edited.jpg

I made a quick apple-maple topping.

Quick Apple Topping Non-Recipe: add 1 small-chopped apple (remove skins if you want, but they have a lot of nutrition), 1/4 cup water, 2 – 4 tbsp maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want), and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Cook over medium heat to a boil, then simmer till apples are tender and sauce is reduced to your liking. Serve over french toast, pancakes, etc.

IMG_2912_edited.jpg

Hubby and I had leftover baked ziti and homemade focaccia for lunch.

IMG_2923_edited.jpg

Mmm…re-baked focaccia. :)

IMG_2925_edited.jpg

IMG_2928_edited.jpg

I had a simple salad for some veg – organic baby spinach with red quinoa and balsamic vinaigrette. I’ve put grains, like wheat berries, in salad before, but I first saw quinoa in salads at Foodbuzz at the Fresh Express tasting table.

IMG_2933_edited.jpg

And I had some steamed edamame a little later.

IMG_2942_edited.jpg

Lookie what I got! The new ZLife, whic is the Zumba magazine.

IMG_2945_edited.jpg

Speaking of Zumba, I taught a fabulous class tonight. I busted out a new song I choreographed, called Mira. :mrgreen:

IMG_1874.jpg

Once upon a time, I went with some friends to a cool club in Miami called “Mango’s Mambo Bar.”

IMG_1877.jpg

There, I saw girls in skimpy outfits dancing to hot Latin tunes, from Merengue to Reggaetton. The girls were hot, but to me…the dances were hotter! I used inspiration from that trip to choreograph my new Zumba dance – Mira by Fulanito (featuring Truko). My class loved it, and I had fun teaching it! Woohoo!

IMG_2934_edited.jpg

I’m still working on my crochet ripple blanket, but I have a few other things in the works.

IMG_2940_edited.jpg

Any guesses what this is?

Fitness Therapy

I tweeted this earlier today:

Picture 22.png

I feel like workouts can be so therapeutic. I like getting different therapeutic value from different styles of exercise. I’ve found comfort and a feeling of refreshment from yoga. I’ve found freedom and endurance in running. I’ve found empowerment and excitement in Zumba. I wonder what other people think about how their workouts make them feel. I had a few people tweet back at me with their versions of therapy, but I’d like to hear from you guys, too…

What’s your fitness therapy? How does it make you feel during or after?

Savory Chickpea Spinach Crostata

Saturday was busy with shopping.

IMG_9275.jpg

Sunday was busy with kitchen experiments!

IMG_9159.jpg

Here’s a preview of my first experiment. Any guesses what I made?

IMG_9139.jpg

Since I had such luck with the apple crostata the other day, I decided to make another one, but this time…a savory crostata. This would serve as lunch and my second experiment of the day.

IMG_9200.jpg

For the filling, I wanted to use leftover veggies and pantry staples.

IMG_9201.jpg

IMG_9211.jpg

IMG_9221.jpg

Filling the crostata this time was much easier and just so fast.

IMG_9229.jpg

After a quick trip to the oven, my home was filling with the delicious aroma of home-baked goodness in the form of my chickpea and spinach crostata.

IMG_9246.jpg

I tried healthifying the crust with some substitutions, which yielded a drier crust, but the overall flavor was still really great.

IMG_9257.jpg

Savory Chickpea Spinach Crostata

NOTE: You may be able to make this vegan by finding a vegan crostata dough or adapting the one linked below and skipping or finding a substitute for the egg wash.

Ingredients:

  • 1 prepared crostata dough (I used an adapted version of this one, but I’m not quite ready to share the recipe yet)
  • 1 15-ounce can rinsed, drained chickpeas
  • 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions (I used frozen)
  • 2 garlic cloves (use 1 if you don’t like a strong garlic flavor)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • dash pepper
  • dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp EVOO, plus a little extra for drizzling

Directions:

NOTE: Prepare dough as directed. While dough chills, preferably closer to end of chill-time, prepare filling as follows:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add EVOO. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add garlic and cook till fragrant, about 60 seconds.
  3. Add spinach, chickpeas, dill, salt, pepper, and red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, till spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add lemon juice, stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Remove from heat.
  5. When dough is ready, roll out to an 11 inch circle. Add filling to center, leaving a 2 inch edge (you may want to bury the spinach under the chick peas as it will burn more easily). Fold edges over the chickpea filling. Edges may overlap and center of crostata will remain open. Smooth out cracks as needed.
  6. Whisk egg white and water together lightly. Use egg wash to brush edges of crostata. Drizzle a little EVOO over the chickpea center.
  7. Bake crostata 38-42 minutes, till crostata is golden brown.
  8. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. (Careful, it’s hot!)

IMG_9267.jpg

Bon appetit!

Morphing Soup + Broccoli Cheddar Individual Breakfast Casseroles

I know you guys are probably tired of seeing these, but I can’t help myself! I have half a loaf of bread I need to finish asap (and I don’t want to freeze it), and I’m having a blast trying different flavor combinations out for you guys!

Yes…I made more TCL Breakfast Cups aka Individual Breakfast Casseroles. Things in small versions are just more fun to eat, no?

IMG_5557.jpg

Today I went meat free with…

IMG_5539.jpg

Broccoli cheddar!

IMG_5547.jpg

Fresh out of the oven.

IMG_5554.jpg

Golden and dee-licious!

IMG_5551.jpg

Perfect with a nice, safe apple.

Broccoli-Cheddar Breakfast Cups (for 2)

*Recipe makes 4 breakfast cups for 2 people, but can easily be tripled (or multiplied further) to feed a crowd*

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices bread, cut into cubes/chunks (I used hearty whole grain bread)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup broccoli, chopped (fresh or frozen should work)
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese (chopped small or shredded)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground mustard
  • dash garlic powder, pepper, turmeric (optional)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a muffin tin with non-stick spray (4 cups for the original recipe).
  2. Whisk egg, milk, and spices in a medium bowl.
  3. Add bread pieces, stir till bread is equally covered.
  4. Gently mix in broccoli and cheese and let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Distribute equally into 4 muffin cups, pressing mixture gently into the cups.
  6. Bake for 24-28 minutes, until tops are golden brown and egg is cooked through.
  7. Let rest 5 minutes, or until safe to touch, before serving (careful, they’re hot!).
  8. Enjoy!

***

And for lunch, I had another leftover hodge-podge.

IMG_5559.jpg

I decided to use up some of the failed-tofu (trying to make lemonade out of lemons, ya know?) and some spinach.

IMG_5560.jpg

I re-heated some of that 3-bean veggie soup I froze into individual servings earlier this week and then added in the tofu and spinach one the soup was hot to heat the tofu through and wilt the spinach.

IMG_5567.jpg

I must say, I was really pleased with my work.

IMG_5580.jpg

I even re-heated the sweet potatoes and they were pretty good the second time around.

IMG_5578.jpg

This lunch was MUCH better than yesterdays…hooray!

Do you morph soup? I like to throw in leftover ingredients, especially cooked veggies and grains. What are your favorite ways to morph your soup?

Green Monster Muffins Recipe

It’s heeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrreeeeeeee!!!!!!!

IMG_8405.jpg

Green Monster Muffins batch #1 came out dry, but this time I think I’ve got it!

As a reminder, I loved the idea of using a vegetable in sweet muffins/breads when I made zucchini bread recently. What other veggie is often used in sweet recipes? Spinach – the main ingredient in the very popular Green Monster smoothies! Inspired by the Cooking Light zucchini bread, I worked hard to develop a recipe that would work with spinach.

Here are a couple things to note with the recipe.

IMG_8380.jpg

IMG_8383.jpg

#1 – when you measure the cup of packed spinach, make sure you pack the spinach is real good. I mean press down on it really hard in your measuring cup. You want it to be about 1 cup after you process it, not before.

In fact, my spinach was bursting out of the top just a bit.

IMG_8387.jpg

#2 – when you process your spinach it will start out looking like quite a bit of spinach.

IMG_8388.jpg

See – after you process it, it reduces in size quite a bit. And pretty much you process it till the food processor stops chopping the spinach. At some point, the blade really doesn’t chop the spinach any more size the volume is so reduced.

IMG_8391.jpg

And in case you’re curious, here’s about what the texture of the spinach looks like when it’s done processing.

#3 – Don’t skip the lemon zest (unless you just don’t like the flavor of lemon)! I feel like I often skip zest on recipes because I don’t think you’ll be able to taste it, but you totally do and the zest adds great flavor!

IMG_8395.jpg

In my recipe, I suggest stirring walnuts into the batter, but since I had someone with a walnut allergy taste-testing later I only added some to the top of half my muffins.

Pre-baking

IMG_8397.jpg

Post-baking

IMG_8401.jpg

Last time, the muffin was dry, but this time it was quite most! I may tinker with adding a wee bit more flour to see what happens, but I’m happy enough with it to share the recipe this time.

PS Next up I’m going to work on vegan and gluten-free versions so everyone can try them! :)

Green Monster Muffins Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This is the original green monster muffin recipe! Most spinach muffins are savory but these are sweet! Forget artificial colors, these muffins are naturally a beautiful, vibrant green color thanks to the surprise ingredient – spinach! Sneak vegetables into your loved ones eats with this easy muffin recipe. The green color makes these great for Halloween or St. Patrick’s Day!

Click here for the Vegan Green Monster Muffin Recipe
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients:
  • ¾ cup oat flour (note: you could probably sub flours of do 1½ cups total of a single flour, instead of 2, if you’d like)
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 single serving applesauce (or ½ cup)
  • 1 cup PACKED, triple washed baby spinach, chopped by food processor into small bits (see photos above)
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ – 1 tsp lemon zest (depending on how lemon-y you want it)
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, plus extra for topping, optional ingredient
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  2. Add dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk together.
  3. Whisk to beat egg and sugar together till light (I did this by hand for just a couple minutes).
  4. Whisk in the rest of the wet ingredients.
  5. Pour dry ingredient mixture into the wet ingredient mixture, add ¼ cup walnuts if desired, and stir gently just to combine – do not over-mix.
  6. Pour muffin batter into muffin tin cups – about ¾ full each. If using walnuts, sprinkle walnuts on top of each muffin.
  7. Bake for 14-17 minutes until centers set or a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  8. Cool until safe to touch and enjoy!
Notes
Check the comments below for some great mixin and substitution ideas by readers! My favorite suggestion is to add blueberries. Yum!

Don’t skip the lemon zest for the best flavor!

***
IMG_8403.jpg

Enjoy!

Sneaky way to get the kids to eat their greens, no?

I actually think these muffins look really pretty because of the vibrant green color

Plus, these would be super festive for either Halloween or St. Patrick’s Day!! :)

I Can’t Believe I Like Eating This Now!

I LOVED reading everyone’s “I Can’t Believe I Used to Eat That!” foods. I think I was guilty of most of the same. lol

Here are some examples:

  • Diet Sodas
  • Chicken fingers (with a soup terrine of honey mustard!)
  • Fast Food
  • Hot Dogs
  • Ramen
  • Spagettios
  • Livermush
  • Snickers Ice cream
  • Fake parmesan

We’re much better off nowadays, right?! *high five*

I was thinking today, the opposite of “I Can’t Believe I Used to Eat That!” foods would be “I Can’t Believe I LIKE Eating This Now!” foods. Sure you used to love your diet Dr. Pepper, but did you ever think you’d LOVE brussels sprouts?! If you had told me 10 years ago that today I’d really look forward to eating a big plate of brussels sprouts, or kale chips, or tempeh, I probably would have laughed in your face. But here I am, and I’m eating healthy foods and finding them delicious!

I’m surprised I now like:

  • vegetables in general (I really do love them now but could care less for them when I was a kiddo)
  • tofu
  • tempeh (didn’t even know what this was until a couple years ago)
  • kale chips
  • spelt flour
  • quinoa
  • vegan and vegetarian entrees (I used to think I had to have meat in a meal for it to be complete – now I just want a protein)
  • non-dairy milks (almond, soy, hemp)
  • chia seeds
  • goji berries
  • veggie juices

What are your “I Can’t Believe I Like Eating This Now!” foods?

IMG_4899.jpg

I started today with a big bowl of banana oats in my gorgey light turquoise handmade bowl.

IMG_4905.jpg

IMG_4910.jpg

The bowl also contained chia seeds, almond milk, coconut flakes, flaxseed meal and White Chocolate Dreams.

IMG_4912.jpg

I used my last 2 farm-fresh eggs (from my first carton – I have a new one already!) to make lunch today.

IMG_4914.jpg

On the menu: Toasted Wraps with Sloppy Scrambled (aka Hubby Scrambled) Eggs.

Where might the name come from? Well, one of the first things hubby ever cooked for me was scrambled eggs. They were easy and safe. I like scrambled eggs. I have fond memories of making scrambled eggs with my family. My parents would carefully crack eggs into a large bowl, add salt and pepper, and a dab of milk, then whisk everything together till the yolks and whites were well-mixed. Imagine my surprise when I saw hubby cracking the eggs directly into the pan! The horror! How would the yolks and whites incorporate properly? Turns out they wouldn’t…but I kind of liked it that way. There was something to that mix of yellow and white in separate, distinguishable colors and textures. I really enjoyed it.

These days, I switch between scrambling my eggs in a bowl or directly in the pan. I think each style has its own pros and cons, but the Hubby Scramble definitely means easier clean-up with one less dish to wash. (probably why I lean towards his method when I’m feeling lazy…heehee).

Sloppy Scramble How-To:

Step 1. Crack the eggs into a prepped pan (I spray non-stick in the pan) – don’t worry if the yolks break.

IMG_4918.jpg

Step 2. Lightly stir the eggs so the whites and yolks are evenly distributed but not well-mixed.

Step 3. Continue cooking as you would regular scrambled eggs, flipping etc to ensure the eggs are cooked through.

IMG_4921.jpg

Today I also used the same pan to saute some baby spinach.

IMG_4923.jpg IMG_4925.jpg

IMG_4926.jpg IMG_4929.jpg

I spread the egg onto two small WW tortillas, then added spinach, feta, and a wee bit of tomato juice. I think sun-dried tomato pesto or tomato paste would have been better, but I had the juice leftover from Sunday’s brisket so it seemed like a good idea. It turned out to be a bit watery…oops!

IMG_4932.jpg IMG_4937.jpg

I wiped out the saute pan and used it to toast my wraps. I love that lightly crispy outside.

IMG_4946.jpg

Beautiful colors inside! Tasty too! I loved the tender/crispy tortilla/wrap outside with the warm eggs and spinach. I think a cheese that melted better may have been more up my alley, but it’s nice to change up my flavors…I almost always do a more cheddar-type cheese with my eggs.

IMG_4956.jpg

Nice and crispy and tasty dipped in ketchup.

***
This must have been a longer week than I thought. I ended up falling asleep on the couch for about an hour. I usually don’t nap unless I’m really stressed or sick/getting sick. I hope it’s not the latter!

IMG_4962.jpg

My impromptu nap + an impromptu thunderstorm outside got me craving comfort food. I turned to some of mom’s soup stashed away in the freezer – Beef + Bean. I freshened up my bowl with some parsley from my herb garden. The soup was hot and cozy and hit the spot with brothy bites of tender beef and beans. So delish!

IMG_4969.jpg

Plus a piece of buttered WW toast on the side. I love great bread with my soup. It’s so superior to crackers!

IMG_4972.jpg

I decided dessert would be a good idea, too. Keeping with my comfort food theme, I thought a lovely berry crisp would be perfection.

I chopped up the last of my organic strawberries for tonight’s dessert. They were not as ripe as the others I’ve already eaten and weren’t looking their freshest. I figured baking them would help make them taste their best.

IMG_4974.jpg

IMG_4975.jpg

I busted out some Organic Tapioca starch to try out in place of corn starch.

IMG_4976.jpg

Ingredients.

IMG_4978.jpg

IMG_4987.jpg

Fresh out of the oven. Gosh it smelled like heaven!

IMG_4984.jpg

I enjoyed a big piece whilst catching the end of Part 1 of the Real Housewives of NY reunion. I can’t believe they have 3 parts! It must be juicy!

Mixed Berry Crisp/Crumble

Note: I like a lot of crumbly topping so I went a little heavy on the toppings. Serves 2. (vegan) (can be gluten free too if you ensure the oats and spelt are GF)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups mixed berries (I used fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries)
  • 1/2 tsp tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup oats (I used rolled oats)
  • 1/4 cup spelt flour (or use whatever flour you have)
  • heaping 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup EarthBalance (or butter)
  • dash cinnamon (or 1/4 tsp)
  • pinch salt

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and prep a small baking dish (mine was 4 1/2″ x 7″) with non-stick spray.
  • In a medium bowl, mix berries, tapioca starch, and sugar. Pour into baking dish.
  • In another medium bowl, mix oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Use fingers to mix EarthBalance into the dry ingredients. Pour the topping over the fruit and use fingers to spread evenly.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is just browning and the sides are starting to bubble.
  • Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

Remember to tell me your “I Can’t Believe I Like Eating This Now!” foods.

Can’t wait to see what you guys have to say about this one! :)

Mini Spinach/Rice Frittatas + Theo Orange Dark Chocolate

I LOVED hearing about all you intuitive eaters out there! From the experts to those just starting out – you’re amazing! Keep up the good work!

Here are a couple of my fave comments:

  • Faith – “once I get to a certain point of hungriness, I start eating to stop the hunger but generally don’t stop once I’m adequately full – it’s like I’m overcompensating. Because of that I try not to let myself get past say, a 3 on a 1-10 hunger scale.”
  • Jessica – “I always eat when I’m hungry and usually try to pack a snack with me everywhere I go, just in case. You don’t want to see me when I get too hungry cause that turns to hangry really quick! If I want to feel good and have energy all day I need to eat!
  • Joy – “I just started, but I must say it is very liberating! I haven’t been overeating because I know that if am hungry again, I will eat. Nice work on listening to your body! It knows you better than anyone else.”

Thank you everyone who commented – you guys made me smile!

IMG_2121.jpg

IMG_2124.jpg

IMG_2131.jpg

This morning, I whipped up some mini frittatas to use up that leftover pilaf from the other night. I don’t know if they sound difficult, but they are SOO easy!

IMG_2138.jpg

IMG_2144.jpg

IMG_2148.jpg

IMG_2150.jpg

IMG_2153.jpg

So easy and satisfying – these had protein, grains, and even a lil bit of a veggie – baby spinach!

Mini Spinach, Cheese, and Rice Frittatas

NOTE: These are a good way to use up some leftover rice or other grain pilaf. Inspired by this recipe by Giada DeLaurentiis.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cooked grain – rice or blend (mine was rice, barley, and spelt)
  • about a dozen baby spinach leaves rinsed and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F and prep a mini tart/frittata pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Whisk eggs and milk in a bowl. Stir in cheese, spinach, salt, and pepper.
  3. Use a mini ice cream scoop (or melon baller) to fill tart/frittata cups about 3/4 full.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes until the eggs are cooked through (I usually wait till the tops are just starting to brown lightly).

IMG_2154.jpg

IMG_2155.jpg
Bailey practiced some tricks this morning. He used to HATE when we made him sit up, but now he LOVES it! :)

IMG_2177.jpg

Teavana Mate Vana + Rooibos Macadamia + honey = wonderful.

IMG_2185.jpg

IMG_2182.jpg

For lunch, I started with a GIANT salad: baby spinach, romaine, farmers market tomatoes, cucumbers, pepitas, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, blueberries (yes! try them – they rock in salads), and TJ’s poppyseed dressing. Great combo!

IMG_2188.jpg

I also had some TJ’s breaded halibut with tartar sauce and a micro-roasted sweet potato with butter and brown sugar.

Theo Orange Dark Chocolate Review

IMG_2193.jpg

I had a hankering for something sweet after lunch today, so I broke into the sample I requested from Theo – Orange Dark Chocolate.

IMG_2194.jpg

This bar is Organic and Fair Trade – both wonderful features I look for in my products – food and otherwise. And did you know Theo was the first North American organic and fair trade bean-to-bar chocolate maker? Yea…says so on the bar. ;)

IMG_2195.jpg

Check out that ingredient list! It’s wonderful – short, readable and with good ingredients.

Nutrition info, too.

IMG_2197.jpg

IMG_2199.jpg

The verdict: the dark chocolate was lovely and smooth. I thought it had a good balance of dark chocolate and orange flavors. The orange was noticeable but not overwhelming. Also, I didn’t think I liked the combo of chocolate and citrus, but this bar was very enjoyable. Overall, I would love to buy more Theo bars to support the company for 2 reasons: 1. the chocolate is tasty and 2. the company is amazing and does great stuff for our planet! Go Theo!

What’s your favorite chocolate flavor pairing? (It’s ok if you like your chocolate plain)

Related Posts with Thumbnails