Saturday, May 31, 2014

Year of the 10K!

Some of you may be aware that I have been trying to get back in shape for quit some time and part of my efforts last year included training for, and running 5k's. I ran quite a few:

Thankful 5k


I started this program around the beginning of this year and finally finished it just before running my very first 10k with my lovely friend & training buddy!

We will be running another 10k at the end of this month before my family & I relocate to Dallas where I will be running another 10k on July 4th! I'm so happy and excited that I have finally reached this point! I was an athlete while growing up, I played soccer, volleyball, ran track and attempted cross country. I have always loved sports and was always in great shape - getting back in shape is incredibly difficult! I am currently about 15-20 lbs away from my goal weight but I consider the ability to run 6.2 miles (without stopping) a HUGE accomplishment! I am very much looking forward to my upcoming events and reaching my goals!


We did it! This race was pretty difficult, almost entirely in the sun and quite a bit of uphill but we did it!

Meatless May Summed Up!

I hope you enjoyed my "Meatless May" recipe series! I certainly enjoyed experimenting and sharing recipes; below I have listed all of the recipes from this month. Enjoy!!!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Artichoke Bean Dip

Here is a wonderful appetizer recipe (meatless of course) that is perfect for any party or get-together. It is super fast to put together and is delicious whether served hot or cold, enjoy!!!

Artichoke Bean Dip
1/2 C. plain yogurt (I use Greek)
1/3 C. light mayonnaise
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 C. grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp. dried parsley
Black pepper

-Preheat oven to 400 F & grease an 8x8" baking dish.

1. Combine yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice, salt, artichoke hearts, beans, garlic, 3/4 C. Parmesan, and 1 Tbsp. parsley in a large food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
2. Pour into baking dish, top with pepper and the remaining Parmesan and parsley. Bake for 25 minutes until dip is golden and bubbly. Let sit 15-20 minutes before serving. Serve with crackers and/or sliced cheese.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pasta with Tomato "Cream" Sauce

Ready for another easy, healthy meal?! Here you go! It's so simple and I use a cashew "cream" sauce instead of dairy cream, it's much better for you and still gives you the richness and creaminess of a typical cream sauce. Enjoy!

Pasta with Tomato "Cream" Sauce
15oz can tomato sauce
14.5oz can Italian tomatoes (blend in food processor for smoother sauce)
Dried parsley
Dried oregano
Dried basil
Salt & pepper
1/2 C. raw cashews, soaked in water for at least an hour before using
1/2 C. water
1 Tbsp. butter (vegan butter)
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 box penne pasta (1lb.)

1. Heat a large pan on medium heat and add tomato sauce, Italian tomatoes and seasonings. Bring to a light boil, reduce heat to simmer.
2. While sauce simmers bring a pot of salted water to a boil and begin cooking your pasta. Also, combine the soaked cashews (drain first), water, butter and cornstarch in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour into simmering sauce.
3. Once pasta is cooked drain and toss with sauce, serve!

-Serves about 6.

p.s. You can add mushrooms and/or spinach if you would like, simply saute them with a bit of olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic then proceed with the sauce.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sweet Potato & Brown Rice Burgers

Sweet Potato & Brown Rice Burgers
1 sweet potato, peeled & cubed
1 C. brown rice
2 C. vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno, seeded & diced
1/4 C. tahini
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. wheat flour
Olive oil
Buns & your favorite toppings (bbq sauce is perfect for these!)

1. Bring rice, broth, garlic and jalapeno to a boil in a small pot, cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer until rice is cooked (40-50 minutes).
2. While rice is cooking boil the sweet potatoes in a separate pot. Drain and mash in a mixing bowl. 
3. Once rice is cooked put 3/4 of the mixture in a food processor with the tahini and blend until decently smooth. Pour all remaining ingredients, except olive oil, in the mixing bowl with the sweet potatoes and mix until well blended.
4. Heat a large skillet on medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. Once the pan is hot spoon the mixture into the pan and form 8 burgers. Cook until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes on each side, and let sit on a plate lined with paper towels for a minute or two before serving with your favorite toppings.

-Serves 8.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Oven Roasted Corn

Here is another very simple and delicious recipe! We love corn on the cob during the summer months and I absolutely love roasting vegetables so I thought I'd combine the two!

Oven Roasted Corn
4 ears of corn, shucked & cleaned
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
Salt & pepper

-Preheat your oven to 375 F & line a baking sheet with foil
1. Place the corn on your baking sheet, drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Roast in oven 45 minutes, turning occassionally, until corn is golden brown. Serve & enjoy!

-Serves 4-8 (if you cut each in half).

Monday, May 26, 2014

Blueberry Almond Bars

These are seriously A-MA-ZING! I absolutely love them and they are incredibly simple to put together. Enjoy!!!

Blueberry Almond Bars
1/2 C. wheat flour
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/3 C. coconut oil (liquid is easiest)
1 1/4 C. quick oats
2 Tbsp. apple juice

1 Tbsp. honey
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp. wheat flour
2 6oz. containers blueberries
1/3 C. slivered almonds
(1/4 C. grated coconut optional)

-Preheat oven to 375 F & grease an 8x8" baking dish.
1. In food processor combine the first 6 ingredients and process until crumbly. Set aside about 2/3-3/4 C. of the mixture and press the rest into the bottom of your baking dish.
2. In a separate bowl mix together the remaining ingredients and pour over the crust. Top with remaining crumble. 
3. Bake 30-35 minutes, rotating half-way through, until the top is golden. Let sit for 10-20 minutes before cutting and serving.
-Makes about 9 servings.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Baked Taco Salad

Here is another very easy dinner! I am a big fan of baking rather than frying if I can, I love fried foods but my hips and belly most definitely do not! I hope you enjoy these!

Baked Taco Salad
1 recipe Garlic Rice
Salad mix or baby spinach
Your favorite salad toppings (beans, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, etc.)
White tortillas (one per person)
Olive oil or cooking spray
Plain floss or kitchen twine

-Preheat oven to 400 F.

1. You will need to cut two long pieces of floss or twine for each tortilla. Place the strands criss-cross style under each bowl, grease both sides of the tortilla, lay the tortilla over the bowl and tie your strands forming a taco salad bowl. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the tortilla shells on top. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and fill with your salad toppings. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Burrito Bowls

This is an extremely easy dinner and takes less than 30 minutes to make! Feel free to add whatever toppings and/or dressings you'd like!

Burrito Bowls
1 14-16oz. can black beans
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 C. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 avocado, seeded, peeled & diced

1. Heat a small pot on medium-high heat, pour in beans (don't drain), add 1 can of water (use the bean can), then add seasonings. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and let simmer while preparing rice and toppings.
2. Once rice is cooked assemble your burrito bowls and serve!

-Serves about 4.

Friday, May 23, 2014

(Half) Whole Wheat Pizza Dough & Pizza Sauce Recipes

I have been trying my best to eat healthier but sometimes you just need some yummy pizza!  I have played around with quite a few recipes trying to come up with a pizza dough that I love and is decently healthy compared to other crusts.  I love this recipe, it's simple, healthier than a standard white-flour-only crust, and doesn't take up too much of your day.  Hope you enjoy!!!

(Half) Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. honey
1 1/4 C. warm water
1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour (King Arthur is my favorite brand)
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour (King Arthur)
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1. Pour water in large mixing bowl, add honey & sprinkle yeast on top.  Let sit 10 minutes until frothy.
2. Add flours, salt and olive oil.  Mix with a spoon until dough forms.
3.  Knead on floured surface 5-10 minutes until dough is smooth & springs back to the touch.
4.  Rub dough with a bit of oil, place in bowl, cover & let rise in warm place until doubled - about 1 hour.
5.  Divide dough into 3 pieces and shape as desired.  Add sauce, cheese & toppings and place on parchment paper.
*If you do not have a pizza stone you can use an upside-down cookie sheet, just be sure to let it heat up in the oven while it preheats.*
6. Cook pizza at 475 F for 10-15 minutes until crust is browning and toppings are cooked.  Serve!

p.s.  My most favorite pizza to make with this crust is a simple Margherita Pizza.  All you do is brush the dough with olive oil, sprinkle with pepper, top with sliced tomato, fresh basil leaves & mozzarella cheese.  Incredibly simple and delicious!

Mom's Pizza Sauce
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. pepper
Dash of salt
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder

1.  Combine all in small mixing bowl.  Refrigerate until you need to use it - can last in an airtight container in the refrigerator 3-5 days.

Garlic-Butter Cheesy Bread - so yummy! Simply flatten your dough, brush with 1 Tbsp. melted butter, sprinkle with garlic powder, or minced garlic, pepper and your dried herb of choice (I love parsley or basil), top with cheese & bake!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

3 Bean Vegetarian Chili

I've been thinking about the "Eat." portion of my blog title for quite a while and now that the weather is getting nice & cold I've decided to kick things off with a yummy chili recipe!  I've made a few different vegetarian chili recipes but this is my base recipe.  And, please forgive me for not having any peppers!  I could not believe I was out of peppers!  My favorite to add to chili would have to be a Serrano pepper, seeded & diced.  Here's what you will need:

Large can of diced tomatoes
3 different beans, drained & rinsed
Onion, about 1/2 finely diced
Garlic, 2-4 cloves
1/2-1 C. frozen sweet corn
*Serrano pepper, seeded & diced
Tomato sauce
Vegetable broth (start with about 1 C.)
Chili powder

*Again, I was out of these so you won't see any peppers in the pictures.

1. Combine all ingredients in a crock pot & cook on low heat 6 hours or on high heat for 4 hours.  Taste every so often & adjust seasoning to your liking.  Serve!

Ideas for toppings/accompaniments:
-Corn bread
-Brown rice
-Sour cream
-Hot sauce
-Shredded cheese

Add-in ideas:
-1 sweet potato, peeled & cubed
-1 butternut squash, peeled & cubed
(I prefer the squash, it seems to not get as mushy as the sweet potato)
-Herbs: oregano, thyme, sage (a pinch of sage gives a nice, earthy flavor)

p.s. I'm so sorry that I didn't include a finished-project photo, this was gobbled up pretty fast!  And, seeing as it is chili season I will definitely be sharing my meaty chili recipe soon! :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Garlic Roasted Broccoli

This side dish is wonderfully simple and so very yummy!  I used to only enjoy steamed broccoli but I tried roasting my veggies once and I have a hard time not cooking them any other way!

All you will need:
1 broccoli crown, chopped into nicely-sized florets
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper

-Preheat oven to 350 F & spray baking dish with non-stick spray.
-Toss broccoli into baking dish, add garlic & oil then stir together.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
-Bake 40 minutes until crisp (stir every 10-20 minutes).  
Serves 2-4 as a side dish.

I let mine go a few minutes too long tonight but it was still delightful!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hidden Veggie Spaghetti

I know many of you parents out there struggle, as I do, with getting your kiddos to eat a variety of veggies. Well, here's a simple and tasty way to sneak some of those veggies right into dinner! My 4-year-old usually eats about 3 bowls of this :) Enjoy!

Hidden Veggie Spaghetti
1 spaghetti squash (cooking instructions)

1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 bell pepper, seeded & coarsely chopped
1 carrot, peeled & coarsely chopped
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 14.5oz can Italian diced or stewed tomatoes
Salt & pepper
1-2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1. While squash is baking blend the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and carrot in a food processor until finely chopped. Pour into large skillet on medium heat until bubbling, add tomato sauce and Italian tomatoes, season to your liking and bring sauce to a simmer. Let simmer at least 30 minutes, stirring often, before serving.
2. Once the squash is cooked (tender when poked with a fork), remove from oven and carefully use a fork to scrape out the "noodles". Top with sauce & enjoy!

-Serves about 4.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Potato Pepper Hash {Five Ways}

Here is another super easy meal idea that can be actually be used for any meal of the day. I've included a few other ideas as to how you can use this recipe, I love that you can do so much with it! Enjoy!

Potato Pepper Hash
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 bell pepper, seeded & finely diced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
5 medium-large potatoes, peeled & cubed
Salt & pepper
1/2-1 tsp. paprika
1/2-1 tsp. chili powder

1. Heat large skillet on medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. Add onion and pepper, saute until tender. Add remaining ingredients and saute, stirring often, until potatoes are cooked. Serve as is or with a fried egg on top!

-Serves about 4.

Simply grate some cheese, heat & grease a pan, place a tortilla in the pan, top with hash & cheese, fold over and brown on both sides. Easy peasy!

*****Soft Tacos*****
Fill soft tortillas with has and top with your favorite taco toppings (lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese, salsa, etc.).

Beat 8-10 eggs in a medium bowl, once hash is finished cooking pour eggs into pan and let cook until the bottom is solid (about 5 minutes). Top with cheese if you'd like and broil in the oven until the top is cooked and the cheese has melted.

*****Breakfast Burrito*****
Scramble some eggs and combine with hash and salsa then fill tortillas.