Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

During this busy time of year, it is always nice to step back and enjoy the season, the lights, the music, the food, and most importantly the friends and family. For us, we celebrate the birth of our Saviour and all our many blessings. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Spaghetti Squash and Cauliflower

I do realize that spaghetti squash and cauliflower are a random combination.... However, they are two of our new favorite vegetables that we have been eating a lot of. Ryan loves them and tucher will eat the leftovers without question :) They are simple to throw as a side dish or make them a main meal. I don't have any pics however (by the time we eat at night, it is pitch black and the pics don't look that good in artificial light), but you will have to trust me in trying these!

Spaghetti Squash
Last night I made spaghetti squash for the 2nd time in my life. I tried it back in college when weight watchers kept adding it to everything. I hated it. I thought that I would rather not eat pasta than substitute this for pasta! However, last night it was amazing and we are eating spaghetti squash again tonight for leftovers.

Here is how to cook: Heat over to 400. Cut squash carefully in half lengthwise. Place on a lined baking sheet with cut side down. Place about 1/2 cup water in the pan with the squash. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes. Take out, allow to cool so you can handle comfortably. First remove the seeds, then take a fork and "strip" the squash out. Some of the pieces will be long and some short. Place in a container to use later or make a great dish with it.

picture from google images.... steamy

Recipe for spaghetti squash with shrimp:
1 eggplant - cut in large bite size pieces
1 large zucchini - cut in large bite size pieces
1/2 sweet onion - diced
1 pepper - cut in strips
1 garlic clove
Store bought marinara sauce or homemade marinara sauce (depends on your time)
1 pound shrimp - peeled

Combine eggplant, zucchini, onion, pepper, and garlic on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with seasonings of your choice (I did lemon pepper, shallot pepper, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes - you could just do salt and pepper :))
Place in oven at 400 and roast for about 15 to 20 minutes (stirring once or twice). Remove from oven. In a pan, heat the marinara sauce until warm, toss in the veggies and simmer. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
Toss peeled and deveined shrimp on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil and salt/pepper. Cook for about 4-5 minutes. Check the shrimp and cook longer if needed. Do not overcook the shrimp!
Plate the cooked spaghetti squash, then top with the veggies/marinara combination, then place cooked shrimp on top. I sprinkled with a bit of parmesan cheese to top it off. This meal was amazing!

Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is another vegetable that I don't really like. I am now convinced it is because I always try to eat it steamed in a vegetable medley which has NO flavor. This recipe has been made 3 times in the Pearce's Kitchen over the last week and a half and it is here to stay. I love the ease of it and I also LOVE the taste of it. We have had it alongside lemon parmesan chicken, triggerfish, and pork chops. Many possibilities!

Recipe for Golden Brown Roasted Cauliflower:

I head of organic cauliflower, cut into florets
~2 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper sprinkling

Heat oven to 400. Place cauliflower onto baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt/pepper, arrange in a single layer. Place in heated oven for 25-30 minutes until the cauliflower is a beautiful golden brown. Enjoy!

These are great side dishes or main meals (particularly the spaghetti squash being more of main meal). Next up are BRUSSEL SPROUTS! MY absolutely new favorite vegetable, and I am not kidding :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. Hope that everyone has safe travels and enjoys the time with family and friends. Remember to give thanks for all that you have.

This cartoon says it best.... enjoy Turkey Day then worry about Santa coming... I really try not to rush Christmas and give this day of thanks its own time.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Country French Vinaigrette

You have heard me talk multiple times about Penzey's Spices (here, here, here, here, here). I love all of their products and more importantly I love shopping at the store. I get lost in their store for hours and my un-creative mind even starts coming up with ways to use each spice. In the store you can smell each spice, which is a major bonus. Unless you smell a hot chipotle pepper seasoning and start sneezing your head off!

The Country French Vinaigrette has been my go to dressing base. I love how fresh it tastes, you have to rehydrate the spices for 5 minutes in water to accomplish this. The directions are on the back of the jar, making it easy to whip up the dressing in a hurry!

We not only use this as a delicious salad dressing, but also as a topping for broccoli, asparagus, steamed kale, and have even used as a marinade for fish. It works wonderful to create a complex flavor with all the foods I have used it on so far.

I love making Greek Salads with this dressing so here's an easy recipe

Greek Salad

1 head lettuce or 3 stalks romaine (I usually use whatever lettuce is in my fridge - in the picture above this was a mixed baby lettuce pack)
artichokes in a jar - sliced
kalamata olives (pitted) - halved
grape tomatoes - halved
roasted red and yellow peppers - chopped (you can either make them or buy a jar of them)
chickpeas - drained
sprinkle of parmesan cheese
feta cheese (or could use provolone cheese)
salami - chopped into small squares *optional
pepperocini peppers
Country French Vinaigrette - Penzey's spices (try to order this from penzey's or use a store bought greek dressing to substitute)

Mix all of the above together and you have a fresh lunch or dinner salad. I like to toss the dressing with the mixture but remember to start with a little dressing and add more as needed. This dressing is very flavorful so a little goes a long way. I love the ease of this salad. I usually can make 3-4 salads with a jar or can of each of the ingredients listed above. Or use the full jars/can and add some extra lettuce for a large salad to entertain guests with

Balsamic Chicken with Kale

Kale is such a versatile green. I use it in my green smoothies, in autumn soups, and sauteed with olive oil and garlic as a side dish.

{photo taken at night with bad lighting... sorry}

When I told Ryan we were having kale and chicken for dinner, he replied with "what did I do wrong?" Funny thing is that he enjoyed the dinner and have made this multiple times since then. Chicken with kale is a great light dish with a balanced flavor. You could serve this with a fresh salad if you like.

Balsamic Chicken with Kale

Recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger

1 TBS olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound of chicken breast (about 4 halved breasts)
8-10 ounces kale (can use a mixture of spinach, swiss chard, and kale)
2 TBS balsamic vinegar, use high quality
1/2 cup chicken broth
a pinch or two of red pepper flakes
1 can diced tomatoes with juice (I used Muir Glen roasted tomatoes)
2 cups grain (can use whole wheat couscous, quinoa, brown rice)

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan and cook through, this took about 5-7 minutes (depending on your thickness of your chicken breasts). When cooked through, set aside.

Cook your grain of choice according to the package. I love the Israeli Couscous or brown rice with this dish, but you could really use anything, or nothing at all and make it lower on the carbohydrate side.

Add the 10 ounces of kale (or greens mixture) to the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until wilted, then set this aside also.

Add the 3 minced garlic cloves to the pan and saute until the "garlic speaks". Then, stir in the chicken broth (1/2 cup) and balsamic vinegar (2 Tablespoons), which will allow you to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Then add in the can of diced, roasted tomatoes. Season with the red pepper flakes (couple of pinches) and simmer for 4 minutes, then add the chicken back to the pan, nestling it in to re-warm the chicken. Remember not to cook the chicken here, as it should already be cooked through.

To plate your dinner, place your grain on the bottom, then the kale or greens mixture, then the chicken with tomatoes on top. You could also add a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese, although I don't think that it is necessary (I say this because Ryan wanted some parmesan on top!)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Farro with butternut squash, walnuts, and goat cheese

Happy Fall!

Fall brings beautiful weather, colorful leaves, and autumn squash. I love acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and kabocha squash and find myself cooking with these on a daily basis. I had family and friends coming to town last week and decided this farro dish would be delicious with large roasted gulf shrimp (followed this recipe-just did the shrimp part) and a fall salad. I loved how great the goat cheese complemented the squash and how the butternut squash wasn't too soft so it stood out against the softer farro. I added a bit more balsamic vinegar with the walnut oil to make it a touch more tastier!

Farro with Butternut squash, walnuts, and goat cheese
recipe heavily adapted from 101 cookbooks

1 1/2 cup farro, rinsed and drained
2 tsp sea salt
5 cups water
3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch piece
1 red onion, chopped
1 Tbs fresh thyme, minced
3 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar, divided
3 Tbs toasted walnut oil (or you can substitute olive oil)
1 cup wanuts, toasted
1/4 cup Belle Chevre Goat Cheese, crumbled (support Alabama Goat Cheese!)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Combine the farro, salt, and water in a saucepan, and cook on medium heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the farro is just tender, about 30 minutes to an hour (If you are using pearled farro, the cooking time is around 30 minutes, longer for basic farro - best is to follow the directions on the back of your farro package for best results). You want to avoid overcooking the farro, it should retain its structure. Remove from heat and drain well.

When you are waiting for the farro to cook, toss the butternut squash, onion, and thyme with the olive oil, 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar, and a couple of big pinches of salt. Place on a lined baking sheet, being sure that the mixture is in a single layer, cook for 20-25 minutes until the squash is tender, but not mushy. Stir the mixture every 10 minutes to brown evenly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little.

Place the farro, butternut squash mixture in a large bowl and add the walnut oil, the other 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar, and the toasted walnuts. Taste for seasoning, add salt as needed. Once mixed together, add the crumbled goat cheese or you could plate your farro and garnish with the goat cheese, whichever you want!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thai Tilapia

My friend Sara always has talked about this dish, but I have never made it before. When I visited her, she made it for me and since I have returned home we have had it twice. It is one of those very easy meals to throw together. I love the ginger and curry...

Thai Tilapia
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets or other mild white fish
  • 2 stalks of broccolini
  • 3 cups hot cooked brown rice
  • 4 lime wedges


Preheat broiler.

Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute.

Add pepper and onions; cook 1 minute.

Stir in curry powder, curry paste, and cumin; cook 1 minute.

Add soy sauce, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and coconut milk; bring to a simmer (do not boil).

While this is simmering, place broccolini in a glass bowl and cover with a very damp paper towel. Place bowl in microwave for 4 minutes, so broccolini is steamed and tender. Cut broccolini in bite size pieces, roughly chopped.

Brush fish with 1/2 teaspoon oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve fish with sauce, rice, and lime wedges.

Remove the sauce mixture from heat; stir in cilantro and steamed broccolini.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Happy Friday!!!!!

Funny Sports Ecard: Let's workout really hard, then rehydrate with margaritas!

Have a fun weekend, and GOOOOO GATORS!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

It is amazing what a weekend at home can do... I feel caught up on cleaning, laundry, meals, lunch with a best friend, went to Church, and I got to watch a FULL day of football on Saturday along with a fun tailgating party!

Here is our Meal Plan for this week:

Monday lunch: Corn, Shrimp, and Crab Chowder
Monday dinner: Thai Tilapia with brown rice

Tuesday lunch: Black beans and brown rice (kelly) and SW chicken and rice (ryan)
Tuesday dinner: out to dinner (kelly), leftover chowder for Ryan

Wednesday lunch: Salads with toppings (chicken for ryan and beans/avocado for me)
Wednesday dinner: Vegetable soup :)

Thursday lunch: leftover veggie soup
Thursday dinner: King Salmon with daddy sam's salmon glaze, broccolini, and brown rice

Friday = Florida!!!!!!!!!!!! Saturday = TAILGATING at the SWAMP

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicken and Orzo with Broccoli

Life has been moving too fast... it always happens this time of year, I must mentally prepare for the fall. There is football, weddings, vacations, birthdays (30th bday in October), and holidays all packed into 4 months. As I said before, I haven't really gotten caught up, because how can you when you are on a plane or devoting one full day of the week to college football!?!? But, I love it and wouldn't change the fast pace for anything (well maybe a four month vacation to Europe or Hawaii!)

Anyways, time is not slowing down and I have a ton of recipes that I haven't shared. My blog feels neglected.... so here we go with a new recipe!

Chicken and Orzo with Broccoli

Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats

8 oz whole wheat orzo pasta, uncooked
2 chicken breasts (butterflied into 4 pieces)
2 tsp Herbs de Provence
1-2 tbs olive oil
1 shallot, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15 oz) can of diced tomatoes (if you can find the fire roasted one get that)
2 cups broccoli florets or 2 stalks of broccolini
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
10 basil leaves, julliened
salt and pepper to taste

Cook orzo according to package directions. Do not overcook the orzo, just until tender and still firm to the touch (no mush). Reserve some of the pasta water

Season both sides of the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and then evenly sprinkle the herbs de province on chicken. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook 3 minutes per side until golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium, add the shallot until slightly browned then toss in the garlic until it becomes very fragrant "Garlic Speaks". Add the can of diced tomatoes (with juices) and the broccoli florets (or chopped broccolini). Bring this mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to medium low to simmer. Test the cooking time (about 8-10 minutes) until the broccoli is tender but not limp. Stir in the cooked orzo, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed. If you think that your sauce is too thick, you can now add some of the reserved pasta water. Remove from the heat and toss in the basil. I like to add a bit of red pepper flakes at the end for a bit of a kick :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28 - September 4 Weekly Eats

I'm back and trying to get on a schedule! In the past week I have gone to Atlanta for a Pilates Workshop, then to visit my friend Sara in Columbia, SC and then to Santa Rosa Beach, FL for a fun weekend with friends! WHEW.... after all this have a fun Labor Day Weekend planned in NAPA! It is so hard to eat well and chart all of my foods when traveling and this is something that I need to get better at. I also find it hard to drive 5+ hours and find time to unpack and workout. So my workouts have been kind of bad lately. Anyways, hopefully this week will be better and I can keep myself accountable on this next vacation

Travel day back from Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Fruits: 0
Veggies: 2
Workout: 40 minute walk outside and wow it was a beautiful fall-ish feeling evening :)

Fruits: 0
Workout: 40 minute walk outside with Tucher and 55 minute core barre class taught by angel

Fruits: 1
Veggies: 2
Workout: 55 minute walk outside

Fruits: 2
Veggies: 4
Workout: 55 minute outside walk with Ryan and 55 minute advanced reformer

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shrimp and Crab Corn Chowder

I am not one that absolutely loves uploading pictures so you know when I immediately get done with dinner and upload one it is because the recipe is that delicious.... This was very refreshing for a different summer meal and I loved the ease of making it. Let me know if you try this dish

Shrimp and Crab Corn Chowder

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light (August 2011)

6 slices center cut bacon, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped (about 4-5 celery stalks)
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
2-3 cups fat free, low sodium vegetable broth
3/4 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
8 oz crab meat (I used claw meat but if you want to pay extra, use lump)
1/3 cup half and half
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt

Heat a large dutch oven over med-high heat. Add the bacon and saute for 4 minute or until the bacon is just browning. Then remove a handful of the bacon and set aside to drain. Add the onion, celery, thyme, garlic to the pan and saute for another 2 minutes. Add corn and cook for 2 minutes stirring as needed. Then add the broth (I added closer to 3 because I like it more "soupy" than thick) then bring to a boil and cook for another 4 minutes.
Place 2 cups of the corn mixture in a blender (I used my vitamix). Secure lid on blender and blend until smooth. Return the pureed corn mixture to dutch oven. Stir in the shrimp and crab meat and cook for about 2 minutes until the shrimp are done. Stir in the half and half, pepper, and salt. Crumble the reserved bacon over soup

This makes 4 servings (1 and 2/3 cup per serving) for a total of 294 calories, 7 g fat, 26 grams protein, 34 grams of carb, and 4.3 g fiber

To note: The Cooking Light Recipe did not call for crab meat but I had a friend make it before I did and added the crab. I loved it and would always add the crab from now on!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Weekly Eats August 15 thru August 21


Fruits: 2
Veggies: 3
Workout: 40 minute walk (outside and very hilly) around Highland Avenue and 60 minute level 5 reformer

Fruits: 2 Veggies: 2
Workout: 60 minute YCross Cardio Class

Fruits: 2, Veggies: 2
Workout: 55 minute core barre class (taught by angel) and 90 minute Bikram Yoga
The "quick add" calories under dinner was my shrimp/crab/corn chowder

Fruits: 3 Veggies: 2
Workout: 90 minutes at Dance Trance


Dinner at Rebecca and Scotts
Core Barre workout
Fruits: 3 Veggies: 2
Note that I did not put my food into the program today

Travel day to Atlanta for Pilates Workshop
Normal breakfast, falafel and chickpeas for lunch, amazing French food for dinner and 1 glass of white wine. A little bit of granola to munch on along with an amazing chair class taught by Rachel!!!

Pilates workshop day... amazing mat class taught by Rachel that had me SWEATING! I love PIlates!!! Best sweat is in mat for me:)
Starbucks egg white, spinach, and feta wrap and a coffee with milk and sugar. Lunch was at EL Figo in ATL which was a zucchini, portabella, pesto, and sundried tomato sandwich on ciabbata bread... Snacks included some Trader Joe's blueberries and gorgonzola crackers. Dinner was at Sara's house... Amy's Organic Margheritta Pizza (3 slices)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Weekly Eats August 8 thru August 14


Veggies: 4
Fruits: 5
Workout: 55 minute pilates chair and 60 minute dance trance class

Veggies: 2
Fruits: 4
Workout: 45 minute outside walk

Veggies: 4
Fruits: 3
Workout: 40 minute advanced mat and 55 minute jumpboard class
Girls night out at Dodiyos (still trying to master not overeating when in a large group or out to dinner!)

Woke up sick... think that I had some food poisoning... today was a minimal eats day with mostly an intake of bland carbs :)



4 mile, 60 minute walk outside at the beach!!!!

Travel day back from beach...
Fruits: 2
Veggies: 2

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Reads

I found these two articles while wasting time on the good old World Wide Web and wanted to share them with you.....

Rice and Pasta are so 2009.... First of all, I have been exploring with tons of new grains lately and farro and quinoa happen to be on the top of my favorites list. If you haven't tried them yet, maybe this article will give you that extra push to add them to your meals. The farro with mushroom and dill looks amazing....

One thing that aggravates me is how influential celebrities are. Jennifer Anniston has Smart Water on set, Madonna has coconut water drinks at an after party, Dora the Explored is printed on kid's yogurts.... the list can go on and on. Basically, a lot of health fads start in Hollywood with lots of marketing money to influence us on what we "think" we need. All this being said, Coconut Water has been all the rage lately and when I saw this article I had to pass it on. As a dietitian I do believe the coconut water can be a way to rehydrate, but not if the electrolytes are mis-labeled. This goes back to the fact that we have to be aware buyers and not always trust what the celebrities are doing to be "healthy". I still believe in Gatorade (possibly because University of Florida came up with this amazing idea and anything with "gator" in it makes me happy to be a Florida Gator!!!!)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ham and Cheese sandwiches

These are great for parties and for easy lunches that Ryan can take to work with him. We have made these several times and they are always a success! Very good to reheat and easy to take on the run.

Ham and Cheese Sliders
Recipe from Annie's Eats

12 full size buns (I like Italian bread - something a bit harder than hamburger buns which are soft) or 24 mini rolls (mini Hawaiian rolls are delicious)
24 slices of honey ham (I love Boar's Head)
24 slices of swiss cheese
1 1/2 tbs yellow mustard
6 tbs butter, melted
1 tbs onion, finely minced
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split the rolls in half and spread mayo on the bread (you can skip this step if you hate mayo). Fold the honey ham in half and add to the sandwich (Note if using the full size rolls, put two ham slices on, if using the minis- just use one slice). Add the piece of swiss cheese. Place the other half of the bun on top and place the sandwiches in a baking dish.
For the sauce, combine yellow mustard, butter, onion, and worcestershire sauce. Whisk to combine. Pour over the sandwiches and then sprinkle poppy seeds on top.
Cover with Aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted then remove the foil and bake for 2-3 more minutes. Serve warm or reheat.

We love these for fun appetizers or like I said for lunches. Personally, for me this is a bit too unhealthy for lunch, but Ryan loves them!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tabbouleh and Feta stuffed Pitas

Ina Garten does it again... she convinces me that another one of her recipes is sure to satisfy and always enjoyed. I would explain this recipe as "fresh". I see a lot of the reviews argue whether this is traditional Tabbouleh or not and to be honest, why can't we have more than one type of tabbouleh? Basically lebanese style has more parsley than bulgur wheat while Ina's recipe has more bulgur wheat than the traditional lebanese style does. Does it make it less delicious? I think not. So, if you want to make traditional tabbouleh, find another recipe but if you want a refreshing lunch then try this!

Tabbouleh and Feta stuffed Pitas
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

1 cup bulgur wheat
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (I don't like scallions so didn't use)
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 seeded cucumber, medium diced
2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
1 tsp pepper
3/4 lb good quality feta cheese, crumbled by hand (try to buy block feta not the pre-crumbled kind)
4 whole wheat pitas

Place the bulgur wheat in a large bowl and pour the boiling water on top and add the lemon juice, olive oil and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Stir all together and then leave at room temperature for 1 hour.
Then, add the scallions (if using), mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, feta, 1-2 tsp salt, and pepper. Combine all ingredients together well then cover and refrigerate. Stuff the tabbouleh into a pita and enjoy!

Note that the longer the tabbouleh sits in the fridge, the better the flavor enhances. I ate this for lunch for 4 days straight and it just kept getting better and better!

Weekly Eats August 1 - August 7

B: coffee prepared as normal and 2 tbs of granola in 1/4 cup milk
L: Black bean taco (1 whole wheat tortilla with 1 black bean patty with fresh tomato, cilantro, 1 tbs sour cream, 1 ounce cheese, and salsa)
D: yogurt with berries and granola and 6 honey graham crackers with fig goat cheese (my obsession is fig goat cheese and I just finished the last bit thank goodness!)

Workout: 1 hour dance trance class and 1 hour Core barre class (taught by Kaitlin)
Fruits: 3
Veggies: 1

Click on Tuesday to see what I ate!

Fruits: 4
Veggies: 4
Workout: 60 minute 3.5 mile walk OUTSIDE (supposed to be 110 today) with Mandi and Jake

Click on wednesday to see what I ate and calories consumed

Fruits: 4
Veggies: 3
Workout: First Time trying Bikram (hot) yoga and it was AWESOME.... sweated so much

click to see food diary

Fruits: 3
Veggies: 4
Workout: 45 minute dance trance breakdown and 60 minute dance trance class (love me some booty dancing)

Fruits: 3
Veggies: 4
Workout: 30 minute reformer
Bad day because we went to Mexican Restaurant (Cocina Superior) for dinner

Fruits: 1
Veggies: 4
Workout: 65 minute advanced reformer (whole level 5 work minus a few of the "secret" parts) and 20 minute walk in the HEAT to the pool!
Another bad day... drinks and the nacho splurge for snack is not a good combo.... gotta get the weekends back in order

Fruits: 2
Veggies: 0
Workout: 45 minute dance trance rewind and 60 minute 3.5 mile walk with Ryan outside

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Big Easy

Heading to the Big Easy for a Bachelorette Party for Kate and Stef Dawg!

In honor of New Orleans, I made Ryan some of the Cajun Chicken Pasta this week, if you need a bit of spice in your life, you should check this recipe out. Beware though, they guys called me "cayenne" after eating, so if you don't love spice, only put 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper in your recipe! Can't wait to get to NOLA with my florida girls and get some real cajun food!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Breakfast of the Champions - Summer Style

Berries are unbelievably delicious right now and I am taking in as much as I can while they are in season. The days are getting a bit shorter :( so I know that the season can only last for so long. This is my favorite quick and easy breakfast to use as many berries as I can. I love the granola from BlackBerry Hills. I get this granola at whole foods and it is the best I can find (Thanks Sharon for introducing it to me). Try this for a snack or breakfast and enjoy all that the summer fruits have to offer... this is more of an idea than a recipe but it is great.

Summer Berry Breakfast:

1 container of nonfat organic vanilla flavored yogurt (Whole foods brand is great)
1 ounce of Blackberry Hills granola (or whatever granola you love to use)
Fresh assortment of blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, even pineapple or fresh peaches is great.


Weekly Eats July 25-31

B: Nonfat yogurt with blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries and granola, with coffee (1/2 and 1/2 and agave nectar)
L: Grilled Shrimp salad (little bit of mayo with grilled shrimp and fresh dill with splash of white wine vinegar) served on 2 slices of rye bread
S: Iced coffee with no sugar from Starbucks and skim milk
S: cantalope form Jennjo! It was amazing cantalope. also had 1 square of chocolate graham cracker
D: 1 small whole wheat tortilla with cabot reduced fat jalapeno cheese and fresh tomatoes with side of salsa and 1 tbs sour cream (ate at 8:30 because that is what time I get home from work....)

Fruits: 3 Veggies: 0 BAD
Workout: 60 minute advanced mat taught by sharon (*it's tuesday am and I am dying in my abdominal and deep 6 muscles!) question is why I don't do mat more frequently!

B: Coffee with agave and 1/2 and 1/2, yogurt with berries and granola
L: 1/4 cup cajun chicken pasta, greek salad with cucumber, tomato, olives, roasted peppers, feta, and homemade greek dressing. Side of homemade hummus and small slice of rye bread
D: Kate's Salad (Rojo) which includes arugula and spinach, guacamole, black bean and corn salsa and cilantro vinaigrette
S: 5 sips of bud light and honey graham crackers with fig goat cheese

Fruits: 2 Veggies: 3 at least
Workout: walk 60 minutes outside with tucher

B: Normal yogurt with berries and granola, coffee with agave and creamer
S: 1 large and JUICY chilton county Peach!
L: 1 sour cream and chicken enchillada (homemade)
S: blackberries and honey graham sticks (6) dipped in fig goat cheese
D: Greek Salad with hummus and rye bread

Workout: 45 minute walk
Fruits: 3 Veggies: 2

B: Normal yogurt with berries and granola and coffee
L: Chris Z's with Holly and Hampton! Wheat bread with turkey and swiss with lettuce and tomato and 20 small shoestring french fries, side of chris z sauce (not sure what it is but it is good)
D: 1 regular size slice homemade pizza at Mandi's, 1 slice rye bread with coconut butter, 5 bites of cajun pasta, couple of bites of granola.

Workout: 40 minute walk outside with tucher who decided halfway thru the walk that he was over it and just laid down in a neighbor's yard!
F: 2 Veggies: 1

Friday: Travel to New Orleans for Bachelorette Party!
B: Starbucks cinnamon and raison bagel with 1/2 tbs cream cheese
S: mimosas when all the girls arrived!
L: Pat O'Brien's Hurricane then side of red beans and rice and veggie sandwich
D: Felix's Restaurant in New Orleans - Grilled shrimp Po Boy without the bread, 1 package of saltine crackers, small ceasar salad, sauteed squash
S: 1 bud light

Fruits: 0 Veggies: 3 (pretty darn good for vacation!)
no exercise besides walking around the french quarter

B: Cafe Du Monde - 2 beignets (dusted off as much of the powdered sugar that I could) with coffee au lait (love their chickory coffee - the best!)
S: Meltdown for the most amazing popsicle ever.... pineapple basil
L: Sake Cafe sushi.... we ordered an assortment of rolls and shared them all. Best sushi! We also had appetizer of edamame
D: 1 slice cheese pizza, and 1 piece of hotel chocolate (from turn-down service!)
Drinks: 4 bud lights

Fruits: 1 Veggies: 1
Workout: LOTS of walking around the French Quarter and Magazine Street

B: Another cinnamon and raisin bagel (at airport again) and large coffee with 2 sugars added
L: Ross Bridge Clubhouse - Salmon and Brie salad with pears and a lavender vinaigrette. Also had about 10 sweet potato fries off of Ryan's plate :) these make me very happy!
S: 2 small chocolate chip cookies left at my house.... this is why I don't buy sweets!
D: Morningstar Farms black bean burger on rye bread with 1 ounce of melted cheese
and a couple of honey graham sticks in fig goat cheese

Fruits: 1 Veggies: 2
Workout: Lots of cleaning for the Real Estate Open House :)

Overall this week was ok.... I had 12 servings of veggies when I am aiming for 22
Fruits were good and pretty much on target (my breakfast is helping with those)
Workouts were good considering it was such a busy work week and I left early am on Friday for New Orleans.... Still need to curb the snacking a bit though

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekly Eats July 18 - July 24

Monday: Started off today exhausted but made myself take a walk outside which really helped. Really long day at work, whole foods after work, cleaning and preparing for a family visit tomorrow!
B: Wendy's Crepe with raspberries and fig goat cheese, coffee with half and half and agave
S: 15 pretzels
L: V. Richards salad plate with tuna salad, caprese salad, tomato and cucumber salad and guacamole salad
S: blueberries
D: Eggplant Parmesan
while cooking ryan's lunch for the week, had several bites of cottage cheese and had to "taste" test the dish I was making for seasonings... just a few small bites but writing it down!

Fruits: 2 Veggies: 2
Workout: 65 minute walk outside, 55 minute advanced chair (taught by Sharon and it was killer), 2 x core barre arms (teaching)

B: coffee with agave and 1/2 1/2
L: black bean quesadilla homemade with light cheese and 1/2 avocado
S: 15 pretzels and a peach
D: 5 pita chips dipped in crazy feta, grilled halibut filet with side salad and farro side (with eggplant added into dish) dish, 3 glasses red wine

Fruits:1 Veggies: 2
workout: 60 minute ashtanga yoga

B: nonfat yogurt with blueberries, peach, and blackberries and normal coffee
S: 6 hashbrown coins from chik fil a and 9 pretzel sticks
L: Ate at Nabeel's - greek salad, hummos/tzaziki dip, soft pita bread triangles, gyro meat, tomato, feta
S: peach
D: Red Snapper in a creme fraiche/mustard sauce (unreal) with leftover farro salad (with added eggplant into recipe) and green beans
1 glass red wine

Fruits: 4 Veggies: 3
Workout: does chasing a 3 year old for the day count???

B: Yogurt with fruit and granola and regular coffee
S: 1 peach
L: Saw's BBQ - chicken with bbq sauce, stewed squash, and vinegar slaw with several bites of potato salad
S: fruit
D: Gian Marco's! Appetizer of caprese salad, tuna sashimi, 1 small piece wheat bread. Dinner: scallops with creamy polenta and side of grilled veggies. Dessert: 3 small bites of the best tiramisu! 3 vodka and soda water with lime

Fruits: 4 Veggies: 2
No workout - family in town and busy

B: yogurt with fruit and granola and regular coffee
L: Rojo black bean patty with melted cheese on top and side salad with cilantro vinaigrette
S: pretzel sticks and peach
D: Rojo (yes I love Rojo) for Jennjo's bday - Kate's Salad which includes lots of spinach and arugula, black bean and corn salsa, guacamole, feta, tomatoes, cilantro vinagrette and 2 glasses of wine with one beer

Fruits: 3 Veggies: 3
No workout - worked all day after family left and then celebrated jennjo's bday

B: yogurt with fruit and granola and regular coffee
L: 4 bites of leftovers from Gian Marcos (pork chop) and 1/2 chik fil a sandwich with 5 waffle fries (random I know but I ate lunch at 2:30)
D: Grilled Chili Lime Shrimp (see recipe index, these are the best shrimp EVER) with grilled veggies (patty pan squash, eggplant, onions, and peppers)
S: 3 vodka with light lemonade and 2 glasses of red wine

Fruits: 2 Veggies: 2
workout: 60 minute walk with Mandi around Ross Bridge

Not even going to go there.... Bad day with lots of very random munching.... felt blah
BUT, I did have a 55 minute outside walk with Jennjo!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Roasted Veggie Orzo

A perfect end to a busy busy week was spent grilling with our favorite neighbors! Last night we grilled on our Kamado Joe and enjoyed our Favorite Salmon. A last minute decision to make roasted veggie orzo as a side was such a perfect idea. This dish was amazing, love the fresh flavors and light dressing, such a great recipe for a warm summer evening spent with friends/family.

Roasted Veggie Orzo
Recipe slightly adapted from Ina Garten (of course)

1 eggplant, peeled and diced
2-3 zucchini, chopped
1 red bell pepper, 1 inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, 1 inch diced
1 red onion, peeled and 1 inch diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 lb orzo

for the dressing:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 1/2 to 2 lemons)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

remaining ingredients:
4 scallions (didn't use because I don't like scallions)
1/4 cup pignolis (aka pine nuts) toasted
1/2 - 3/4 lb good feta
6-12 fresh basil leaves (depending on how big your leaves are and how much you want to add) - cut into julienne

Preheat oven to 425

Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, onion, garlic with the olive oil, salt and pepper on a large baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. If you want to cook a bit longer (Ina suggests 40 minutes.... I think that would turn your veggies into mush because at 20 minutes they were already soft and tender) you can.

While the veggies are roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the orzo, cook for 7 minutes, until tender but not too soft... "al dente". Drain the water and transfer into serving dish.

For the dressing - combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine well.

Add the roasted veggies and the dressing to the pasta. Combine. Allow to cool a bit then add the scallions (if using), pignolis, feta, and basil. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Smoky Mozzarella Pasta Bake

I made this yesterday after a long weekend. We had driven 3 hours home, I had to ran to the grocery store therefore I wanted something quick for Ryan's lunches throughout the week (Still trying to plan better for lunches so we save $ and don't eat unhealthy stuff). This turned out yummy and reheats very well. Loved the smokey mozzarella with the pasta and broccoli. For vegetarians, easily omit the chicken and you could always add some artichokes or chickpeas (for some extra protein). Possibilities are endless for things to add, not that the recipe needs it but just offering some suggestions

Smoky Mozzarella Pasta Bake

3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbs butter, melted
1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 lbs) florets trimmed into bite size pieces and stalks cut off
10 ounces penne pasta
2 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup light cream
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 lbs skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bite size pieces
3 ounces smoked mozzarella, shredded
1 tsp red pepper flakes
8 ounce jar oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and melted butter, stir to combine well

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and stir in one tbs salt and the broccoli. Only cook for 1 1/2 minutes, no longer. You don't want to make the broccoli soft, you just want it to turn a vibrant green color. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Bring the water back to a boil and then add the pasta, cook until al dente (making sure not to overcook where the pasta is mushy). Drain the pasta when al dente and toss with 1 tbs olive oil. Sit aside

Wipe the pot dry that you used for the pasta. Add 1 tbs olive oil and return to medium heat until the olive oil is warm. Add the onion and cook until softened and slightly brown, about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add in the garlic and thyme, cook 30 seconds until very fragrant (garlic "speaks"). Add the flour, salt, pepper and cook stirring constantly until the mixture is golden, which takes about one minute. Slowly whisk in the broth and cream, bring to a simmer, and whisking often to prevent it from sticking. Once it has reached a simmer, add the chicken and cook about 6-7 minutes until cooked through. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and smoked mozzarella and combine well.

Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the pot and combine. Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased baking dish and sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and smells amazing in your home!

This made 6 servings and the servings were large to keep Ryan full throughout the work day!

Weekly Eats (July 11-17)

B: Wendy's Crepe, prepared as normal and coffee with agave nectar and coconut creamer
S: 1/8 cup sundried tomato pasta salad
L: 1 small pita stuffed with homemade tabbouleh and shards of feta. 1/2 container of nonfat yogurt topped with fresh raspberries, blackberries, pineapple, and granola
S: Arnold Smoothie (banana, almond butter, milk, protein powder, ice, cinnamon)
D: bowl of cereal with 1 % milk and glass of red wine

Workout: 45 minute walk outside with tucher and it was HOT, 20 minute core barre arms

B: Wendy's Crepe and coffee prepared as normal
L: 1 small pita with black bean burger and melted cheddar cheese, 1 tsp mayo on bread. 6 tortilla chips with salsa
S: 1 container of nonfat organic yogurt topped with pineapple, blackberries, and granola and 1 peach
D: Smoked mozzarella pasta bake without chicken and then to Mandi's house for Stella and Dot party where I ate 1 Icing on the Cookie cookie and 4 glasses of champagne (whoops maybe a bit much but this champagne was good!)

B: Wendy's Crepe and coffee - prepared as normal
S: 1 peach
L: Tabbouleh homemade with 1 1/2 small pita bread and sprinkle of feta cheese
S: 3/4 Icing on the Cookie Cookie.... and while shopping at Whole Foods I had 3 small cubes of cheese (little tasters)!
D: 5 tortilla chips dipped with Tabbouleh, 1 small glass red wine, grilled shrimp, corn salad

Fruit: 2
Veggie: 2
Workout: 50 minute advanced reformer (Sharon taught)

B: Wendy's Crepe and Coffee prepared as normal
S: half and half iced tea and 1 sample bite of sweet dessert at V. Richards and 9 pretzels
L: 1 nonfat organic yogurt with raspberries, blackberries, and pineapple with granola
S: 1 avocado with 1 tbs sour cream and 1 tbs salsa and fresh cilantro with 6 chips
D: Baked Eggplant Parmasan (I can't believe this recipe calls for over 16 oz of cheese, I used a total of 6 for the whole dish!) If you make this cut the cheese!

F: 3
V: 2
Workout: 40 minute walk outside with tucher

B: The normal wendy's crepe and coffee prepared as normal
S: 10 pretzel sticks
L: Eggplant Parmasan
S: 1 peach and 7 chips in queso dip (appetizer)
D: Amazing Daddy Sam's Salmon and my new favorite side - Ina Garten's Roasted Veggie Orzo.... amazing. and 2 1/2 glasses of red wine

Fruits: 3 Veggies: 3
Workout: 35 minutes on treadmill for 2.26 miles and 200 kcal burned plus 40 minutes core barre work (mostly arms)

B: Nonfat yogurt topped with pineapple, blackberries, and raspberries and granola with coffee prepared as normal
L: O'Carrs Mediterranean Salad (my favorite) - this salad is a huge bed of greens topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, roasted peppers, feta in a light olive oil and lemon dressing
S: 5 bites of the Ina Garten's Roasted Veggie Orzo and 1 peach
D: This is where it went down hill! We went to Sol Y Luna (which is a tapas style restaurant so the plates are smaller and meant for sharing) for Jared's bday party and I had 3 margaritas (they don't use a mix, all fresh juice but still highly caloric I'm Sure), Grilled veggie salad with 1/2 slice bread with melted cheese, sweet potato chips, couple of bites of guacamole (so fresh), 1/2 lobster taco, serving of chicken chiliquilies, and few bites of chili relleno. Please note that there were Baby Bites from Pastry Arts and I didn't eat one... just some icing off of a friends!

Fruits: 3 Veggies: 4
Work out: 3.3 mile walk outside with mandi and the doggies

B: nonfat yogurt with pineapple, peach, and blackberries and coffee with half and half and agave nectar
L: Chipotle - salad topped with black beans, pinto beans, chicken, little bit of sour cream, little bit of cheese, salsa, and vinaigrette
S: Cherries
D: Over to Alison and David's house for fresh salad (fresh cilantro was in the salad - so yummy), homemade grilled pizza (topped with chicken, arugula, cheese, bbq or pesto, grilled corn), and a few bites of fresh made cherry cobbler (thanks Jill!). Had this along with tres vodka and diet ginger ale drinks with a splash of lime

Fruit: 3 Veggies: 3
No workout :(

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekly Eats (July 4 - July 10)

Monday: Today was the last half day in Destin and travel day back to Birmingham...
Breakfast: cup of coffee with 1 packet raw sugar and splash of non dairy creamer
Lunch: 6 ounces grilled fresh grouper, 1/2 hamburger bun, cocktail and tarter sauce, 6 french fries, and 1/2 cup coleslaw. Half and half iced tea (From Dewey Destin's!)
Snack: 7 saltine crackers with smoked tuna dip (from Dewey Destin's!)
Dinner: bowl of 2% milk with cereal, 3 bits of buffalo chicken tender (off Ryan's plate), 1 graham cracker with 1/2 TBS goat cheese

Very random day, that is how traveling is for me! I did get to do 20 minutes of Paddle Boarding though in Destin!

B: 1/4 cup 2% milk, with 1/4 cup cereal and 1 tsp sugar. coffee with agave nectar and splash of coconut milk creamer
L: Amy's Organic cheese enchillada dinner (can you tell I haven't been to grocery store yet?)
S: 16 oz serving of the Arnold (Almond butter, soy milk, 1 banana, vanilla, cinnamon) Smoothie
D: cabbage, turnip greens, zucchini, 8 oz nonfat yogurt with blueberries, raspberries, and pineapple (Can you tell I was craving fruit and veggies since over the weekend I had 1 all weekend???)

B: Wendy's Crepe with raspberries, blueberries, and fig goat cheese. coffee with agave nectar and coconut creamer
S: 2 pieces of Perfect Pecan Granola bar, 1 can La Croix Mineral Water
L: Salad with sprinkle of cheese, vidalia onion vinaigrette, 1 1/2 chicken tender
S: 1 nonfat organic yogurt topped with blueberries, raspberries, pineapple and granola
D: 6 tortilla chips (appetizer!), 4 oz salmon with daddy sam's salmon glaze, grilled eggplant, grilled broccoli (topped with sprinkle of cheese), and a small glass of red wine

Workout: 60 minutes core barre (angel taught) and 50 minutes advanced reformer (Sharon taught)

B: Wendy's Crepe with raspberries, blueberries, and fig goat cheese. Coffee with agave nectar and coconut creamer
S: 3 pieces of granola
L: O'Carrs Mediterranean salad (Salad with peppers, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta and a lemon olive oil dressing)
S: 10 tortilla chips with salsa
D: 2 red wine glasses. Cheese quesadilla with black beans and avocado

workout: 55 minute advanced chair pilates workout

B: Wendy's crepe with raspberries, blueberries, and fig goat cheese, coffee with agave nectar and coconut creamer
L: Rojo Kate's salad with black bean burger (Spinach and arugula, salsa, feta cheese, black beans, cilantro vinaigrette) half and half iced tea
S: frito chips (BAD!)
D: Rehearsal dinner - salad with fresh fruit and dressing, 1 1/2 ounce prime rib, diced potatoes, vegetable medley, creamy spinach. 2 glasses red wine. 2 bites cheesecake and 1 bite chocolate eclair
after dinner drinks: 2 stella beers, 1 vodka and club soda

no workout, traveling today

B: no breakfast, just a cup of coffee with 1 packet of sugar and creamer
L: kaiser roll with deli chicken and cheese with buffalo sauce and 1 tbs ranch, half and half iced tea, small ceasar salad, 1/2 cup country green beans, 5 bites of banana pudding
D: wedding reception - shrimp cocktail with cocktail sauce (about 15 shrimp), veggies with 2 tbs ranch, plate of fresh fruit, 3 bites of rice krispie treat, 1 bite of strawberry cake, 2 stuffed mushrooms, 1 very small chicken tender, 3 glasses wine (2 white, 1 red)
S: 8 cubes of cheese

very random day, I don't eat at hardly any fast food restaurants so the 3 hour drive home to bham was a race to get back to some food!
L: Pinches tacos - 1 shrimp, 1 fish, and 1 chicken taco (No cheese or sour cream) just fresh cabbage slaw (no mayo) on top. I didn't eat the tortilla shells. Refried beans and rice on side with half and half tea
D: Ross Bridge Clubhouse nachos (shared with ryan)

no workout, on vacation....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wendy's Crepe - Breakfast

Wendy's Crepe cooking on stove!
Yes, in the Pearce's House, we eat our breakfast on paper! Easy cleanup and easy to get out of the house on time!

Even Tucher enjoys these crepes!

Wendy Chant was an author of the diet book called "Crack the Fat Loss Code" My mom achieved well at her weight loss by using this diet as her guide. I never met Wendy but I saw results in her diet plan first hand. My mom used to always talk about eating these "crepes" for breakfast and while at the beach, she whipped me up one. I think that I have had them every day since!

I love how quick and easy they are and the toppings are endless. I am using fresh fruit as my main topping since the season for them is in peak. Fall, winter, and spring can mean a whole new topping to explore!

So, in honor of Wendy, here is her crepe in my own version

Wendy's Crepe
Combine oats, egg whites, water, and protein powder in a bowl and stir well. Then add in cinnamon and salt. Stir again. Place small skillet on burner on medium to high heat. Spray the pan with nonstick spray, then add the oats mixture. Be sure to evenly spread out the oats into the pan. Top with the blueberries and raspberries or other fruits of choice. When the "crepe" begins to firm where the liquid is almost gone, flip the crepe over and allow to cook for about 1 more minute. basically this just allows the berries to soften and warm. Note that it is hard to flip over with the berries but try to just adjust them underneath the crepe so your finished product is even. Take off of burner and transfer onto plate. You can add the goat cheese if using. My mom eats hers without goat cheese, instead using maple syrup or a no sugar added syrup.... like I said, endless possibilities! I think that a nice nut butter would be equally as good or even a flavored cream cheese!

I love starting off my day with these. They keep me very full for sure

Watermelon Martinis for the 4th of July!!!

OH MY GOSH! Watermelon Martinis are amazing and this recipe does not fall short. I made these one day when heading up to the pool and they kept us refreshed. I like them because they are not overly sweet like some fruity martinis can be. Normally a mojito fan, it says a lot when I rave over a new drink! So, without further ado, here is the recipe:

Watermelon Martinis
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens June 2011 issue

  • 5 cups watermelon cubes (Rind and seeds removed, I bought a seedless watermelon from Florida)
  • 3/4 cup orange or lemon vodka (my favorite orange Vodka is 4 Orange Vodka made from Florida oranges!)
  • 6 TBS fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 3 TBS cointreau or triple sec (I was out of both of these so used a fresh squeeze orange instead and added a touch more vodka to compensate)
  • 3 TBS sugar or 1 1/2 TBS agave nectar
  • 6 basil leaves
Directions: In a blender, place the cubes of watermelon and blend until very smooth. Pour the watermelon puree into a pitcher and keep this very cold (could even get it a little frozen to make it icy like a slushee but not frozen).
To make 2 martinis: add one cup of watermelon puree, 1/4 cup of the vodka, 2 TBS of lime juice, 1 TBS of cointreau or triple sec, and 1 TBS sugar to the blender. Add in a handful or so of ice cuber. Blend until slushy and serve immediately...
To make all 6 martinis: Combine all of the ingredients listed above and blend with ice

I love the taste of basil in drinks so I added a basil leaf into the martini glass! And if you made these ahead, I would stick the basil leaf into the watermelon puree to infuse, but would not blend it (this makes it a bit to "basily")!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekly Eats (June 27-July 3)

Monday Daily Recap:
Breakfast: Wendy's Crepe with fig goat cheese, raspberries, blueberries
Snack: I small piece of Trader Joe's Five Seed and Almond bar
Lunch: Homemade brioche bun with grilled black bean burger and a sprinkle of melted cheese on top. Side of cucumber, tomato, and onion marinated in light zesty italian dressing
Snack: Red Plum, 2 pieces of granola bar, 5 cherries
Dinner: Eggplant Gratin, 1 chicken leg from our beer can chicken, blue moon, noodle bake (Wide mixture of foods I realize, but they were all leftovers and just had bits of each one.. well minus the beer, had the whole thing!)

Fruits: 3
Vegetables: 3

Tomorrow, I need more veggies! And less snacking on granola (P

Workout: 25 minute 1.75 mile walk on treadmill, 60 minute pilates chair workout (Sharon taught me), and 15 minute core barre arms

Breakfast: Wendy's crepe with blueberries and raspberries with fig goat cheese. Coffee with agave nectar and soy creamer
Snack: 1 piece of granola bar
Lunch: Homemade Brioche Hamburger bun with homemade curry tuna salad and a side salad with vinaigrette and light sprinkle of cheese, 5 tortilla chips (for crunch!)
Snack: cucumber, tomato, onion salad (in zesty light italian dressing), 1 piece of granola bar, hot tea
Dinner: Noodle bake and blue moon (late dinner)

Fruit: 3 Vegetable: 2 NEED MORE VEGGIES!
Workout: 60 minute Ashtanga yoga, 50 lap swim at YMCA (forgot to time myself but it was a great and speedy swim)

B: Wendy's Crepe with raspberries, blueberries, and fig goat cheese. coffee on the side with agave nectar and soy creamer
S: 1 small piece of granola
L: 1 homemade brioche bun with black bean burger, topped with a sprinkle of cheese and 1/2 TBS mayo on bun. Side of cucumber and tomato salad in light zesty italian
S: 1/2 avocado with cilantro, hot sauce, and 1 tbs sour cream (quick quacamole) and 5 tortilla chips
D: Roasted Shrimp and Orzo pasta with feta and a glass of 2 Buck Chuck Shiraz

F: 2 V: 2 Still need more veggies!!!
Workout: 40 minute walk/run outside for 2.7 miles (1.4 miles straight running)! 55 minute advanced reformer taught by Sharon (WHOA!)

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were kind of off the chain! I was packing and traveling which led to me not writing down my eats... not good but at least I got some days written down. Need to be better about making time to write it down and while on vacation being accountable for what I eat (cause I am sure that I ate a lot of good food).

Farro Salad

I recently made an amazing dish with farro as the base. Farro is a whole grain and unlike wheat, the husk adheres to the grain, which makes it high in fiber, vitamin B, and protein. It is considered the "mother of all grains" meaning that it is the original grain from which all others come from including rice, barley, rye, and wheat. It is estimated to have been around for more than 6,000 years! Why have I not been cooking with it more??? Add some beans and this would be a complete protein meal, or start serving it as a side dish for a different and healthy alternative to potato salads, rice, mashed potatoes, and even pasta.... etc.

Farro Salad with Farm Fresh Tomatoes
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

4 cups water
10 ounces farro (about 1 1/2 cups - farro is generally found on the pasta aisle)
2 tsp salt
1 pound farm fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives (I don't eat chives so didn't add)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh italian parsley leaves
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp pepper or more to taste

Turn oven on to high broil.
Combine the water and the farro in a saucepan and add 2 tsp of salt. Bring this to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium low once boiling and simmer until the farro is tender, which takes about 30 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a serving bowl to cool.

Combine the tomatoes, onion, and garlic on a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil lining the bottom. Toss the tomatoes, onion, and garlic in olive oil until evenly covered, add a bit of salt and pepper and place under broiler. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the tomatoes start to brown slightly and the onions are tender to the touch. This varies, but you just want to make sure not to burn the veggies, so keep a close watch on them!

When veggies are broiled, add to the farro, then add the parsley and toss to combine well (add the chives here if using).

In a small bowl, add the garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil and whisk these together well. Add the vinaigrette to the farro and toss to coat well. Enjoy hot or cold, we loved it both ways!