Category Archives: Staying Fit

“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea…”

On Tuesday, I went to town in the kitchen making pan seared steak, garlicky shrimp and fresh asparagus. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to document the process–just this one photo exists– kind of a sad one because I had already started feasting.

Anyway, I thought I would share the how to and recipes here so you could take a stab at making this awesome meal (seriously, the reviews were literarlly that it was awesome… and yes I asked opinions beyond myself!) I have a lot of friends that are adhering to a low-carb diet, if you are as well, this is right up your alley.

Garlic Shrimp

  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined and butterflied
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 plain dry breadcrumbs

Preheat your broiler. Heat oil in large nonstick pan, with an oven proof handle, on medium-high heat. Add shrimp, garlic, salt and pepper. Add shrimp to the pan, stirring frequently, just as the shrimp begin to turn pink, about 3 minutes.

Add wine, broth, scallions, parsley, lemon juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered untl liquid begins to thicken slightly and the shrimp are just opaque in the center, about 3 minutes.

Top the shrimp mixture with the breadcrumbs. Place the skillet in the oven under the broiler and heat until the topping is golden, about 2 minutes.

 Pan Seared Steak

  • steaks about 1 inch thick
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

Marinate the steaks in olive oil overnight. Drain off any excess oil and salt the steaks on both sides. Heat a cast-iron skillet over a high setting. When hot add the steaks and sear on one side. Turn the heat down to medium and continue cooking for about 3 minutes for medium rare. Turn the steaks with tongs and turn up the heat to high.  Sear the second side of the steaks, then turn the heat to medium and cook for another 3 minutes to medium rare. Remove immediatley.

Now head to the grocery and then off to your kitchen and get cookin’!

*note- recipes modified from Weight Watchers

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Eggs… it’s what for dinner

A couple weeks ago I ordered an egg white and veggie omelet from the resturant downstairs at my office. Then that weekend my girlfriend was talking about her favorite egg white omelet. Thus, it was time to take a stab at my own.

I opted for lean chicken sausage, asparagus, red onions, mushrooms and about 1/4 cup of low fat italian cheeses.

Oh and of course some eggs– whites only

I started by cooking the sausage in a pan on the stove– once thoroughly cooked I sliced it up and attempted not to eat it right then and there.

 

I returned the sausage to the pan and tossed in the veggies

Once everything was nice and tender, I pulled the pan from the stove and set it aside. In a small bowl I whipped together 3 eggs whites and about a teaspoon of milk and poured it into a small non-stick pan.

As the eggs began to firm up, it was time to add the meat and veggie mixture. And then after a couple minutes I added the cheese (yum!)

Once the cheese was slightly melted and the eggs almost entirely cooked, I used a thin spatula to fold the “un-topped” side onto the other. (Sorry this was a two handed process and thus no action shots).

It turned out delish nonetheless– I did add a little salt and pepper and in the future might add some red pepper flakes. Now pull your pan out and get cooking!!! 

 

Going green

While I always do my best to get my “greens” this took it to a whole new level…somewhat unplanned.

On Sunday I headed back to Eli’s with a great group of friends and rather than opting for the Bloody Mary (typical), the Tomatillo Cucumber Bloody. I was intrigued. Expecting a fairly green drink I was surpised when it was delivered that it was more a shade of light yellow– almost resembling a mimosa, if you will. That is where the similarities stopped.

I am honestly unable to compare this drink to anything I have ever tried. While is a Tomatillo based drink the clean flavor of the cucumber took center stage. And in true bloody fashion there were some green beans for garnish– also unexpected, they were sweet.

 Then last night I strolled in after a long day of work and class to see my roommate and a friend chatting over a bottle of red wine. It looked delicious. I headed to my room threw on yoga pants and a sweatshirt and went to have a chat. When the girls had finished their glasses of wine our friend Laura asked if we had any mixers as she wanted to make something gin based. Funny enough, Ashlie and I don’t keep mixers on hand– at least nothing complex.

This did not phase our drink artist of a friend– she asked for the following, gin, 2 cucumbers, organic honey, fresh basil and ice. Lo and behold we had all of the ingredients (thank goodness for my garden) and a blender… she was set.

I am not sure what she calls this, so I will refer to it as “The Laura”. The drink was fresh, light and super delicious. It was the perfect combination of cool cucumbers and sweet basil. Best of all it was is pretty healthy AND a drink that Ashlie and I could make ourselves– trust us, we will!

Cheers!

“The most wonderful beans ever known…”

The first time… I have made a peanut sauce 

Two things to keep in mind going into this; I love pretty much all asian food but have never been a fan of peanut sauces. Secondly, I am constantly on the hunt to add healthy snacks to my repertoire and in moderation, this fulfills that criteria.

Back to business, recently my mom told me about this delicious peanut sauce that she made as an appetizer and served with – beans for the dipping. While our tastes may differ in some areas they are pretty spot on when it comes to asian inspired dishes, so I knew I had to try it— she never leads me astray.

WARNING!!! This is quick, easy and decadent…consider yourself warned!

Only a few ingredients needed… (I doubled the recipe)

Begin by trimming your green beans and giving them a good rinse– set them aside

In a medium-sized mixing bowl add 1/4 cup of your favorite creamy peanut butter

Add the following to the bowl: 1 TBSP sugar, 2 TBSP rice vinegar, 2TBSP soy sauce (reduced sodium), 1 TBSP vegetable oil, 1/4 Tsp red pepper flakes and 1 clove of garlic finely chopped

Set mixture aside. Peel about a 1 inch piece of ginger root. I used a vegetable peeler and then finely chopped the ginger– it should yield about 2 TBSP.

Gently fold everything together with a fork– it will look quite runny; no worries

Now it’s time for the beans. In a large pot bring about 6 cups of water to boil. Once the water is in a rolling boil, add the beans. Allow then to cook for about 4 to 6 minutes.

Once the time is up, immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process

Pop the beans in the fridge to cool. Now the final step on the peanut sauce is to grab a whisk and beat all ingredients together until it reaches a smooth consistency. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Once chilled, serve it up, and enjoy!

Happy dipping!

 

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“This one’s for the GIRLS…”

 

 

 

My first… wedding show (continued)

 

I owe huge apologies (I know you were all waiting with bated breath) but I forgot to post the wedding dresses that KG and I saw at the Unveiled wedding event a few weekends ago. Again, my apologies but here are some of the dresses we saw– also sorry that that there will be no pictures of KG trying on dresses as we must keep those under wraps!

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Gooey Deliciousness

My first time… cooking with Butternut Squash

On Friday, a friend from work was so kind to give me a Butternut Squash. I was so excited to make something with it, although to be quite honest, I wasn’t even sure where to start. Did I need to peel this? Does it taste like pumpkin? What could I possibly make with this thing?

First things first, I thought I better figure out the right way to prep the squash and find a recipe. So I took the the internet, found a recipe and then headed to YouTube to find out how to get going.

I began by slicing off both the top and the bottom of the squash…

Next it was time for the peelin’

I had to peel a few times around as the skin was thicker than I had expected. After making my way down the bright orange flesh, it was time to scoop!

Then it was time to cut open this little beauty

Once halved I then diced the squash– this large squash yielded about 10 cups total. Which is perfect because that is exactly how much I needed in order to make Butternut Squash Pasta Bake!! I lined a cookie sheet with foil and then lightly coated the foil in cooking spray

I then combined salt, pepper and fresh rosemary for seasoning…

and lightly sprinkled the squash until evenly coated.

With the oven pre-heated to 450 degrees I put the cookie sheet in the oven and set the timer to 45 minutes. In the meantime, it was time to tend to the shallots.

After the shallots were sliced I set them aside and heated a pan to begin cooking bacon

While the bacon sizzled away, I grated about 2 cups of provolone cheese and set it aside

Back on the bacon front, after cooking about 12 slices I discarded all but 3 teaspoons of bacon drippings– I then added the shallots to the leftover drippings. I let the shallots sautee for about 7 minutes

I also started boiling mini penne pasta

And worked at chopping the bacon

And once the pasta was done it was set aside

The timer went off soon there after, so I knew it was time to add the squash and bacon to the same skillet as the shallots

I pulled this from the burner and covered– to be used very shortly. Meanwhile, in a medium stock pot I whisked together whole wheat flour and skim milk.

Once it reached a rolling boil, I began folding the provolone into the mix

and stirred until cheese was melted and “drippy”

And then gently tossed the penne into the mix

After fully coated, I scooped the pasta mixture into a greased, 9×13 inch pan

In a spur of the moment thought I sprinkled some garlic powder over all of the noodles

I then added the squash, bacon and shallot mixture to the top of the pasta

Once covered I then topped the mixture with Asiago and Parmesan cheese

It was then time for the cookin’. With the oven set to 450 degrees I baked the pasta for about 15 minutes… and tried to resist the temptation to peek. My socks were BLOWN off!!!

 This this creamy dish is divine! The squash and cheese mesh so beautifully– this is now most certainly one of my favorite fall meals! Dig in!

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Ice Ice Baby!

My first…icing 

This week I have had a little “hitch in my giddyup”. Monday night after work headed to the gym. I ran on the treadmill, lifted some weights and when my friend Kacie said she had a few minutes left before she was done I hopped back on the treadmill… MISTAKE! While I was running I felt something pop– I stopped the treadmill, figured I had just overdone it, and headed home. Well, as the night went on and into the next day the pain became worse and worse. I am sad to report that I think I have a stress fracture… this does not excite me in the least and neither does the cure… ICING! I can’t take any anti-inflammatories, so this was my only option.

looks sooo cold

I was very, very hesitant, as I hate the cold. But I took the plunge!

COLD IT IS!

I must admit the first entrance provided a quick exit; I didn’t last more than 5 minutes. But I “sucked it up” and went back for a solid half hour.

frozen...no joke

While it is a less than ideal remedy I must admit it seems to be helping… hopefully it will heal quickly so I can stop this painful process. Until then, no running at the gym but I have found other things to do, don’t you worry!

Mary Mary Quite Contrary….

My first… Garden

Every spring when it is clear that summer is just around the corner, I begin to think of all the “summer” foods I can’t wait to eat. Corn on the cob, hamburgers on the grill, and one of my all time favorites, BLTs. Personally, I can think of nothing better than a huge slice of fresh tomato, straight from the garden and onto my BLT; the quintessential summer meal. So, this year rather than waiting around for tomato season, or purchasing them at the farmer’s market, I have opted to plant a garden of my own!

With a little planning, I began growing seedlings for tomatoes and peppers indoors about 8 weeks ago. A little love, and water helped to produce some hearty little guys, fit for the planting. I started by tilling (turning over the soil), weeding and removing rocks from the garden. It took a while but allowed me to see just how fertile the soil was; tons of worms!

After that it was time for planting. I had a wide array of things to plant, in addition to items that had re-grown from gardens past. I was super excited when I set eyes on these little garden markers, and knew I just had to have them.

Too cute, right?!

After labeling the garden markers, it was time to plant. I began by mapping out where I wanted to plant each seedling, including the items that were already grounded; then took to planting. Some of the items did not require seedling growth but rather planting directly in the ground.

Planted!

Hurry up!

Now I water daily and wait in anticipation for those big red tomato slices to put on my BLT!!! Hopefully they will come quickly!

“I’m here to PUMP you UP!”

Day 96: Somewhere you went today

I am pretty good about sticking to my workout routine but have to admit that it is very hard to get back in the groove of things after a free-for-all week on vacation. So I made it to the gym again today, might not have been the prettiest thing but hey, at least I made it. Plus I have to remember that some day (hopefully in the near future) it will be warm enough to put on my swimsuit here in Minnesota. My dad always joked that summer swim season in Minnesota was on July 4th from 2-4pm–let’s pray this is inaccurate this summer. BRING ON THE SUN!!

trying early morning workout tomorrow... wish me luck

Itsy bitsy tini wini…

Day 82: Something embarrassing in your closet

First and foremost, I am not easily embarrassed. That being said…

With swimsuit season just around the corner every girl needs a little inspiration. So around this time I usually pin a picture in my closet or on the fridge for a little inspiration. This the photo this go ’round. While it might be “embarrassing” it does prove to be effective!

"get to the gym"