Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Veggies Galore

I'm always looking for ways to add extra servings of veggies into my diet. I love salads, and try to eat one salad a day, chock full of fresh veggies.

Here's my recent favorite combo: (I measure my salad ingredients by hand, so the measurements are not very precise)

2 big handfuls of lettuce, I use a mix of romaine, field greens, and spinach
1 carrot, shredded
1 small handful shredded red cabbage
Half of a small red bell pepper, diced
Handful sliced mushrooms
1/4 avocado, diced
1 small tomato, diced or a handful of grape tomatoes
2-3 strawberries, sliced
1/4 cucumber sliced
Balsamic vinaigrette

I drink a smoothie for breakfast or an after workout snack at least twice a week. I have recently discovered that adding fresh spinach to my smoothie adds an incredible nutrient boost.

Spinach is a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Manganese, Folate, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, Calcium, Potassium, Tryptophan, Vitamin E, Dietary Fiber, Copper, Vitamin B1, Protein, Phosporus, Zinc, Choline, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin B3, and Selenium. Wow! That's a mouthful!

It may sound kinda gross if you haven't tried it, but you really can't taste the spinach when you mix it with berries, banana, and whatever else you like in your smoothie. Here's what I like to put in my smoothie:

1 cup milk, either fat free milk or light soy milk (depends on my mood whether I buy soy or dairy milk)
1 scoop whey protein, vanilla flavor
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen fruit (berries, peaches, mango, or whatever I'm in the mood for)
1-2 Tbl ground flax seed
1-2 cups fresh spinach (really I just grab a really big handful!)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Baked Strawberry Banana Oatmeal

This Made my whole house smell like heaven! Yummmm!!!

Baked Strawberry Banana Oatmeal

1 1/2 very ripe bananas, cut into 1/2" slices
1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1 cup skim milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 8"x8" baking dish with baking spray.

Spread banana slices in single layer in dish. Top with frozen strawberries. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and drizzle 1 Tbl honey over fruit. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix oats, remaining cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In a second bowl, mix milk, remaining honey, vanilla, and egg.

Remove fruit from oven. Top with oat mixture. Pour milk mixture evenly over fruit and oats.

Bake 30 minutes, or until top is golden.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 161
Fat 2 g
Carbs 34 g
Fiber 3 g
Sugar 19 g
rotein 4.5 g

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Baked Avocado Fries

Warning: Extreme Yumminess!!

I just made these for my employees, and they were gone in less than five minutes.

2 large, ripe avocados
Flour, for dredging
3-5 eggs
Bread crumbs (I make my own with sliced whole wheat bread. Just toss it in the food processor.)
Kosher Salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Set up your breading in three bowls. One with flour, one with beaten eggs, and one with bread crumbs.
Peel and slice the avocados into 1/2-inch strips.
Coat them in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.
Lay them out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle some salt on top.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Serve warm with whatever dipping sauce you like. We all agreed ranch is where it's at.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and thought it sounded so delicious. We were really slow at work the other night, so I decided to make it. Well, wouldn't you know it, I didn't have a loaf pan, or a muffin tin. So, I used 8 oz porcelain soup cups to bake cupcake sized tea cakes.

Lemon-Blueberry Yogurt Cakes

For the cakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
For the Lemon Syrup:
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
For the Lemon Glaze:
  • 1 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin (or soup cups :P) with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing cakes to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
  5. While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside.
  6. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops of the cakes. Brush the tops with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.
  7. To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each cake. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.


I got bored the other day and really wanted a soft pretzel. I've been on this serious nutrition and exercise plan since August, and have been looking for healthy alternatives for my favorite foods. So, I made Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels.

Here's the recipe:

1/4 ounce active dry yeast (1 packet)
1 tablespoon honey
3 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sea salt

Cooking Spray
  1. Combine 1½ cups lukewarm water (110 to 115 degrees), yeast and honey in a large bowl; stir to combine. Add the wheat flour, all-purpose flour and salt. Mix in stand mixer until dough is mostly together.
  2. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 12 to 15 minutes, adding up to ¼ cup all-purpose flour if needed, until the dough is soft and smooth but not sticky.
  3. Spray the inside of a bowl with cooking spray. Shape the dough into a ball, seam side down, and transfer to the bowl. Spray top of dough with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise in a warm spot for up to 90 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  4. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Punch down the dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 12 pieces. With your hands, roll one piece into a snake with thinly tapered ends, about 16 inches long. (Cover remaining pieces with plastic wrap while working.) Transfer to prepared baking sheet, looping one end, then the other, over the midpoint of the roll, making a pretzel shape. Repeat with remaining dough. Let the pretzels rest 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, placing two racks in and above the center of the oven. Meanwhile, bring 10 cups water to a boil in a large pot. When the pretzels are ready, stir about a tablespoon of baking soda into the boiling water. Gently lift 2 or 3 pretzels, depending on the surface area of your pot, and slide them into the bath, knot side down. Poach for 30 seconds, turn them over and poach 30 seconds more. Using a long-handled mesh strainer, transfer the pretzels to a kitchen-towel-lined sheet tray to drain, then return them to the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle freely with course sea salt. (I skipped this step since I don't like my pretzels so salty.) Repeat with remaining pretzels.
  6. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, turning the trays halfway through, until dark brown. Transfer to a cooling rack until just cool enough to eat. Serve with mustard.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Moody Blues

I am going to see the Moody Blues again tonight. I called the last concert the best birthday present ever. I think tonight will top that. Thanks to my family, my dad and I got second row seats right in the middle. I am sooooo excited. More about it tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Balcony Gardening

I've decided to start a garden on my apartment balcony. I have no idea how to do this, so any pearls of wisdom are greatly appreciated. I have found a few cool blogs from other people that might give some good info. I'll keep you posted on how this is going. (I'm actually probably going to wait until next month to begin this as I am about to move, and see it completely pointless to start my garden now and then move it in a month.)