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!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Goal Setting

I am not one to write down goals, which is likely why I feel like I have all of these goals that I want to accomplish but they seem to never get "checked off". I am amazing at procrastination, looking back over my college study habits I think that I can honestly say that procrastination was my key to success! However, I am finding that without a deadline (like I had say back in college) things just keep adding up. Therefore, inspired by Fitting Back In I am going to write down weekly goals and some monthly goals (monthly goals are a stretch so I am not even going to do a yearly one!) and see how this works for me.

Weekly Goals:
1. Make lunch for Ryan and I Monday thru Friday (this helps save on $ and prevents unplanned high caloric intake out at restaurants)
2. Post a meal plan for all of our meals for Monday thru Friday (will tackle weekends later!)
3. In efforts to analyze and identify my food "culprits" I am going to write down EVERY SINGLE THING I eat (this is going to be hard but it will help identify what my diet is lacking or exceeding)
4. Work Out: I love working out, it makes my day so much better. Instead of just saying I am going to work out five days, I am going to make a plan. While I know that plans can change I am at least going to have a temporary one set out.
5. Blog Daily (Monday thru Friday)! OH MY GOSH this is going to be so hard and time consuming but I love blogging and this should help to keep me accountable. I have so many recipes that I have made lately that haven't gotten posted on here so this should help to get them out to you!

Monthly Goal: To have accomplished at least 3 of the 5 above for one month (PRESSURE IS ON)

and FINALLY, have fun and thanks to you guys for reading this boring subject matter!

I accept any other ideas on Goal Setting... if you google goal setting it is a little insane how much information is out there on what is the best way or the worse way....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

When Food Kills - Know what you are eating

When Food Kills

Here are some highlights from a wonderful article that anyone who consumes food should read. I am not just speaking to those who eat meat, but also to vegetarians.... EVERYONE!


Antibiotics are recklessly stuffed into healthy animals to make them grow faster.

The Food and Drug Administration reported recently that 80 percent of antibiotics in the United States go to livestock, not humans. And 90 percent of the livestock antibiotics are administered in their food or water, typically to healthy animals to keep them from getting sick when they are confined in squalid and crowded conditions.

The single state of North Carolina uses more antibiotics for livestock than the entire United States uses for humans.

We would never think of trying to keep our children healthy by adding antibiotics to school water fountains, because we know this would breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It’s unconscionable that Big Ag does something similar for livestock.

“These statistics tell the tale of an industry that is rampantly misusing antibiotics in an attempt to cover up filthy, unsanitary living conditions among animals,” Slaughter said. “As they feed antibiotics to animals to keep them healthy, they are making our families sicker by spreading these deadly strains of bacteria.”

Vegetarians may think that they’re immune, but they’re not. E. coli originates in animals but can spill into water used to irrigate vegetables, contaminating them.

We need "more public education". Take a second and know where your food is coming from. Are you supporting agriculture that encourages antibiotics or one that could possibly harm you and your family?

Here is the link again....

Thoughts and comments appreciated

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Daddy Sam's Salmon

Salmon is one of those fishes you either love or hate. I personally love it, but Ryan hasn't always been a fan. It is in season right now and when you go to your fishmonger they are offering about 5 different types of it. I love the King Salmon, but the Coho and Sockeye are also delicious. I don't care for Keta however, a bit too mushy for me. It used to be that when Ryan asked me what we were having for dinner and I said salmon, he would ask what leftovers we had in the fridge. However, once I started basting our salmon in Daddy Sam's Slap in on Salmon Sauce, he started loving it! It also helps that we cook it on our Kamado Joe on a Cedar Plank....

Daddy Sam's Salmon
From the Pearce's Kitchen

2 salmon filets (about 6-8 ounces each)
4 tablespoons Daddy Sam's Salmon Glaze
1 cedar plank (presoaked for at least 1 hour)

Preheat grill to 350 degrees. Place the salmon on the cedar plank and top with the salmon. Smother the salmon in the Daddy Sam's Salmon Glaze. Cook for 12-15 until flaky but not overdone.

*Note, you can also put this in the oven and bake it at 350. Just place the salmon on a baking sheet, top with the daddy sam's sauce and bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes (depending on the thickness and size of your salmon)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Grilled Chile-Lime Shrimp

I served these Grilled Shrimp with the Corn Salad from the last post. These were AMAZING. I could have eaten 1 pound.... make them asap.

Grilled Chile-Lime Shrimp
From Better Homes and Gardens (June 2011 issue)

1 tsp finely shredded lime peel (or zest)
1/4 TBS lime juice (about 1 1/2 limes)
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
1 TBS garlic, minced
2 TBS low sodium soy sauce
3 TBS olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 TBS cilantro
1 TBS honey
1 1/2 lb large shrimp


Get your grill hot (we used our Kamado Joe), around a medium high heat (375-400). Combine all of the ingredients, except the shrimp and stir well. Peel shrimp, leaving the tail on, and devein. Rinse well and pat the shrimp dry with paper towels.
Place the shrimp in a large ziploc bag, add marinade, and cover the shrimp well with the marinade. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, but do not marinate longer than 20 minutes or else the acidic lime juice will cook the shrimp...ceviche anyone?
Place shrimp on surface and skewer the shrimp. I used two skewers to hold the shrimp so that they lay flat and turn easily on the grill.
Place shrimp on oiled grill and cook 2 minutes per side, or until opaque.
Be sure not to overcook.

Enjoy the spice and perfection of this recipe!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Grilled Corn Salad and Vacation in Long Boat Key

Beautiful.... this guy liked me because I fed him one of the whiting that I caught

Johnny and his Grannie

Ryan and I

Memorial Day was spent at the beach. Long Boat Key is in my top 2 Florida beaches (Sanibel Island is the other). The water is so clear and there are lots of shells to find. I think one day we found 75 sand dollars along with a lot of olives and conchs. I also did a little bit of fishing and caught several whiting. Of course we did a lot of Seafood Eating. Our favorite restaurants include Crab and Fin, Salty Dog, AP Bells, Tommy Bahama, and Moore's Stone Crab. After spending a week in Long Boat Key, Florida with my family, I was ready to get back to Birmingham and try some new summer foods. The fresh vegetables and in-season fruits are about to be at their peak and this excites me!

Saturday and Sunday we cooked up lots of fresh food, most of which was cooked on my favorite "kitchen" tool, the Kamado Joe.
Fresh from Florida Corn
Grilled Corn Salad
Grilled Corn Salad
Recipe from Better Homes and Garden (July 2011 issue)

8 ear corn, shucked
6 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped (if you buy regular cucumber, make sure to seed it)
2 green onions (optional, I didn't use)
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
4 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
3 Tbs Olive oil
Cayenne pepper to taste (as desired for spice)

Heat grill to medium high, around 375-400 degrees. Brush corn with a little olive oil. Grill corn until lightly browned, being sure to turn often. When cool, cut corn from the cobs.
Toss the corn with tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, vinegar, and the 3 TBS olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add a shake or two of cayenne pepper for a bit of spice! Toss together and marinate for 2 hours in the fridge.

This week I will be posting awesome shrimp kebabs that are to die for!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mexican Flat Breads

Black Bean Flat breads

This recipe is one that is a go to for me when I want a quick and easy Hot lunch. Lunch is always one of those meals that I always dread because I usually want something hot but don't have time to fix it (i.e. sandwiches and salads start to get boring to me). This one meets both of those requirements and I love it.

Mexican Flat Breads

Recipe from the Pearce's Kitchen

1 whole wheat flour tortilla
1 can organic black beans
1 small can diced green chilies
1 cup prepared salsa
1 ounce shredded cheese (I love Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Jalapeno Cheddar)
Additional toppings of choice - sliced avocado or guacamole, fresh cilantro, fresh jalepenos, sour cream, fresh tomatoes

Heat oven to 400. Place tortilla on baking sheet sprayed with nonsick cooking spray. Allow to cool until almost crispy, just past where it is soft. This takes about 4 minutes. In the meantime, cook the black beans, green chilies, and salsa in saucepan until warm. Then take the tortilla out of oven, turn onto the other side and top with the black bean mixture. Top with the shredded cheese and place back in the oven until the cheese is melted. Remove and top with any toppings that you would enjoy!

Easy as that! I do like to serve mine with a nice salad and of course guacamole is always on the side for me! I also save the black bean mixture for another 1 or 2 meals!

I am loving this cheese! Kelly from Fitting Back In/Healthified Kitchen Loves Cabot cheeses and encouraged me to get on the bandwagon! I always steered clear of reduced fat cheese because it usually doesn't melt well, but this gem is AMAZING! I am slowly becoming obsessed with Cabot Cheese!