Roasted Chickpeas &Veggies

What a fabulous day!  It was warm, windy and smelled of spring.  Just love it!  I was so happy to have taken the day off and spend some time outside.  My flower garden is now cleaned up and ready for blossoms, I can see a little peek of green already in some areas 😀. Got my 4.3 mile HR zone 3 run in, which was tough.  It was windy and I really had to focus to keep my heart rate near the zone. 

I even checked out Pinterest for a new sewing project…Upcycled an old shirt into an apron.  This is my 2nd sewing project and I couldn’t be happier with it!

So now that I have an apron, I need to cook!  As usual I was thinking something easy peasy and yummy.  I hadn’t had roasted chickpeas in awhile so I thought I would pair it with some veggies and basmati. Boom!  Complete meal right there.  It’s seasoned with a bit of lemon- olive oil & a few spices because that’s what my flavor book said would pair well with all of the veggies I chose.  I have to be honest, I didn’t measure anything but the rice & chickpeas.  I don’t believe in measuring veggies & sometimes spices should just be sprinkled, not measured.

I will be making this for 3 days (1 can of chickpeas feeds me for 3 days).

Roasted Chickpeas & Veggies

1 can rinsed chickpeas (split into 3 servings)

1 Tbl + 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Thyme

Himalayan pink salt

Black pepper

Dried (or fresh) oregano

Dried (or fresh) basil

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Crushed red pepper

Onion powder

Garlic powder

~5 asparagus spears, cut into 1″ pieces

~1/2 cup broccoli florets

~1/2 cup chopped cauliflower

~1/4 cup chunked red onion

Cooked basmati rice

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Mix your chickpeas with 1tsp oil, 1tsp lemon juice and sprinkle with spices.  Put them on a pan covered in foil and pop in the oven.  Set timer for 7 minutes.

Add your veggies to the same bowl, add the remaining oil and lemon juice with an extra sprinkle of spices, mix well.

Add your veggies to the pan and toss with the chickpeas.  Set timer for 10 minutes, toss and set for another 7.  

When it’s done, spoon your roasted goodness over a serving of basmati rice.  I’m not going to tell ya how much rice to eat 😉. I pre-cooked some rice so that I’m getting about 1/2 cup per serving.

Enjoy!  You could add other veggies if you like, brussel sprouts would be great, as well as mushrooms.  

Cheers!!

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Winter Citrus Salad

It’s that time of year when we crave some sunshine, warmth and summer.  At least I do.  It’s also a vital time to take in lots of vitamin C to boost our immune system and ward off funk.  I had been pondering just how to do this.  Generally during the winter I don’t crave or desire salads, but prefer something warm and comforting (without putting on extra weight in an ideal world).  I decided to do some googling to see what fruits were in season and lone behold citrus fruits are.  Bonus, I love citrus especially grapefruits and tangerines.  Mmmmm!  

I love a fresh fruity salad in the summer, it always makes me feel light and energetic.  How lovely it would be to have the same effect in winter. Though I haven’t been diagnosed, I do feel “blue” in the winter (SAD).  The days when the sun is loath to shine and the temps hardly tickle the freezing point puts me in a slump and I’d like nothing more than to sit under a huge comforter and knit.  That’s obviously not a realistic choice so I usually fight, compromise or trick myself into staying active & eating healthy with a range of strategies (motivational pics, rewards, yes, rewards, review my Why, etc).  

So here comes the salad and my hopes to pack myself full of healthy goodness and boost my spirits.

Serves 1

Vinaigrette (makes extra):

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp raw honey

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp minced fresh basil

1/8 tsp minced fresh ginger

Dash pink Himalayan salt

Pinch Chile powder

1/2 tsp minced shallot

1 Tbl roasted almonds

1/3 cup rinsed chickpeas

Organic baby spinach

1-2 tangerines

1/2 chopped red and yellow bell pepper

Whisk all of the vinaigrette ingredients together.

Place your spinach, chickpeas and pepper in a bowl.  Toss with a heaping tablespoon of vinaigrette.  Top with slices of tangerine and toasted almonds.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.  Was delish with mango-peach sparkling water or a Sauvignon Blanc 😉
Cheers

Sweet Potato Packet

Greetings!  I’ve been so tardy on posts and I have no excuse.  I finally had the Morton’s neuroma surgery in November and to be honest, I’ve been in a knitting and reading frenzy since. (I can’t help myself, but I’ve read about 4 books and knitted several washcloths, 3 scarves, a hat and started fingerless gloves and a crochet blanket.)  Needless to say I’ve been on a bit of a fitness hiatus due to the surgery, some very modified yoga, weights and a few short stationary sessions but that’s about it. Until a couple weeks ago; I’ve finally been able to get back into a fitness routine.  The left foot is still not 100% but it does seem to be improving.  I have a run/walk for triathlon base training this weekend and I’m excited, nervous and a smidge anxious.  This will be a big test regarding how well the surgery went as well as recovery.  Fingers crossed!  I miss that runners high, the scenery, fresh air, I don’t need to keep going.

All that being said I’ve still been on the meal plan and prep train.  I can’t function without it and I have no idea how people do! 😀. I have been in a bit of a food funk though, no big cravings for anything in particular.  I knew I wanted something with minimal prep and cooking (more time to knit, bahaha!).  I also wanted something comforting since the cold has finally befallen us this January.  It’s a whopping 3°F with a windchill of -5, wait, -5 isn’t as bad as I thought.  It’s still freaking cold.

All of those thoughts bring a Sweet Potato Packet to mind with portobello mushrooms, leeks, walnuts and a sprinkle of cheese.  I hope you enjoy.

Serves 1 

1 sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced

1 leek, sliced

4-6 mini bellas, wiped clean and sliced

2 Tbl walnuts

Shredded Gruyere cheese

1/2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp fresh minced basil and oregano (or 1/2 tsp dried)

Sprinkle of red pepper flakes, sea salt & pepper

1Tbl extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F.  

Note on leeks (I learned this from Real Simple). To prep, slice off inedible green part and root.  Slice leeks and place in a bowl of cold water, swirl.  The sand falls to the bottom & your leeks float.  How cool is that?!  Then just strain, or I fished them out and gently squeezed to remove the water (since I’m only working with 1)

Toast your walnuts for about 3-5 min at 350, be sure not to burn.

Toss the potato, leek, bellas & spices in a bowl with the olive oil.  Be sure all of your goodies are evenly coated.

Take a piece of parchment paper approx size of a baking sheet and fold in half.  Place your veggies on the paper, top with roasted walnuts and about 2Tbl shred Gruyere.  


Fold paper over and fold all the way around.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, unwrap and enjoy!  It’s that simple!  The mushrooms are a bit roasted and the potatoes have a lovely sweet and spicy flavor (thanks to the red pepper). This paired well with white tea, carbonated water OR a glass of Sauvignon Blanc 😉


Wonderful additions would include Swiss chard or baby kale.  
Cheers!

Finding Balance and Baked Oatmeal

Yesterday was fabulous!  I got some chores done (laundry, weeding and the continued battle with this spikey green plant from hell).  My hubby and I ran errands on the motorcycles, which just makes running errands all the more fun.  We had a lovely afternoon visiting my twin via skype, enjoyed an epic cheat meal and more family time with Skype and FaceTime all the while enjoying a few craft drinks.

This morning I woke up a bit groggy, thanks to a great Olympic beach volleyball match at 11pm and thanks to ChoChi for informing me with a head butt & chase around the bedroom at 2:30am and again at 5:00am that she was famished.  Nonetheless at 6:30 it was time to get my Sunday going.  I love Sundays, it’s my day to reassess and recharge.  I completed my personal development reading while sipping perhaps the  most amazing almond milk latte on the planet (I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I was still tired) and then off to my office to get my Preparation Sunday going.  Here’s my rundown in a nutshell and it works: Assess the previous week, what went well/what didn’t & adjust for this week, plan my meals (in conjunction with my work schedule), schedule my workouts (with a back-up time), schedule my coach power hour, and create my Foundation To-Do list to add daily to my CCDM to-do.  It’s shear genius!  Since adopting this strategy I get more done and feel less stressed.  Not to mention I’m beginning to get “life balance” down.  Identifying what’s important to me and making that a priority while still enjoying other aspects of life.  I think one of the biggies here is health and fitness.  It’s something most people struggle with; how to enjoy life & social time and still stay healthy and fit.  Here is my two cents on that.

The first step is to Decide that being healthy is really what you want and it’s Your Priority.  Then tell yourself Why it’s important, this is uber critical, it’s what keeps you focused.

For example: the more I have been training and eating well, the more results I have seen (duh), when I eat like shit and drink too much, I don’t train for shit and don’t see results (duh again but sometimes it takes careful tracking to come to this very simple conclusion.  Something I work through with my challengers).  It’s important to me to workout and progress so eating better and not drinking as much as I used to is my priority.  I still enjoy cheat meals and social time with family and friends, I just try to keep things in check….balance 😀

As an ode to balance and my sweet tooth here is a healthy Peach Oatmeal Bake Recipe that tastes as good as dessert. It’s a modified version of a Cookie and Kate recipe so many many thanks to her blog and creativity.

Serves 1 (just double or triple for more)
Ingredients:
1/3 cup rolled oats
pinch of baking powder
dash nutmeg
dash cinnamon
pinch of Himalayan salt
1 sliced peach
2 tsp melted virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 flax egg (1 Tbl chia/flax, 2 Tbl H20)
1/4 tsp pure maple syrup

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Preheat oven to 375F.  Combine your dry ingredients.  Use extra coconut oil to grease a small baking dish.  Combine your milk, egg and syrup.  Place your sliced peach around the rim of the dish.  Stir the melted coconut oil into your oats and spoon the mix into the dish over the peach.  Pour your milk mixture over the oats and smoosh around to evenly coat/soak the oats.  Bake at 375F for 25 minutes.
Optional: sprinkle toasted pecans over the top.

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Enjoy with an espresso on your deck with your furbaby 🙂

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Have an amazing day!

Fueling for Day 3: Roast Asparagus & Tofu with Spicy Pesto Pasta

Day 3 of the P90X3 challenge.  Another nutty day but it’s okay!  It was nice to unexpectedly be home for lunch. That meant some kitchen creation time. Sometimes it’s stress relieving to put on some good music and cook over your lunch hour.

I meal planned on Monday so homemade pesto using my Spicy globe basil from the herb garden was on the menu.  Here ya go!

Pesto

3/4 cup packed Spicy globe basil

1 Tbl roasted red pepper

1/4 cup cashews

2 garlic cloves

2 1/2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbl nutritional yeast

Dash sea salt

 

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Place all ingredients are in a food processor and process until smooth.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Press tofu, cut into cubes and bake on parchment paper for about 20 minutes until golden and puffy.  Toss about every 5 minutes.

I also roasted asparagus with the tofu. To prep: rinse and cut spears into 1-2″ pieces.  Toss the spears with 1tsp EVOO, 1 chopped shallot & sprinkle a little sea salt and black pepper.  Roast about 7 minutes.

I boiled some brown rice pasta I had in the pantry. It equaled about 1 cup total.

Toss the pasta with pesto to taste.  If you’re like me and have no control when it comes to pesto, I added about 1 heaping teaspoon per cup of pasta.

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Sit down and enjoy!

This evening I finished the Day 3 workout, thankfully yoga 😊. I needed it. Chochi joined as she usually does during my yoga practice.  It’s usually cute but there have been times when she’s thrown a toy at my head or nibbled on my hair.

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Time to relax…

Cheers!

Roasted Sweet Potato Bowl

Greetings!  I have been terrible about blogging food lately.  I will keep this short and sweet.  I typically make a sweet potato bowl similar to the Engine 2 Diet but wanted to make it  more robust and flavorful.  I figured tossing the potato and peppers in extra virgin olive oil and some spices, roasting it would do the trick.  I will admit, I used a home made taco spice because I was in more of a southwest mood and for the life of me I can’t find the exact recipe.  I have added spices to this recipe which will get you close, I typically play with spice mixes anyway, sniffing them until I like what I smell.  Weird I know, but it works.  This recipe makes 1 serving.

Ingredients:
1/2 Tbl EVOO
~1 tsp ground cumin
~1/2 tsp ground garlic
~1/4 tsp smoked paprika
dash sea salt
~1/4 tsp ground chile pepper
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 chopped red pepper
1/2 chopped green pepper
1/3 cup seasoned black beans
2 green onions, sliced
1/3 avocado, diced
Chopped fresh cilantro to taste

Preheat your oven to 425F.

Toss your sweet potato and spices in a bowl until well coated.  Place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper in a single layer.  Bake for 20 minutes, tossing about every 5-7 minutes to evenly roast.

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In the meantime, add your bell peppers to the same bowl as the potatoes and toss to coat with remaining oil and spices.
Heat your black beans in a small pot over medium low heat, stirring often.

When there is about 12 minutes left, add the bell peppers to the pan with the sweet potatoes.

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Stir the peppers and potatoes with about 6 minutes left to continue roasting.

Add your roasted peppers to the bowl, then your peppers.  Top with black beans.  Sprinkle the green onion, avocado and cilantro.

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I LOVE this recipe.  I couldn’t believe  how much flavor there was and I’m not embarrassed to say that I kept telling my husband how good it was as I ate it 🙂  I enjoyed leftovers for the next 3 days, though when I say leftovers I mean that I cook it fresh nightly, just using up the extra ingredients.

Cheers!

 

 

Vegetarian Lasagna Rolls with Arrabiata Sauce

I’d just like to say thank you to my food cravings.  Honestly, if I wasn’t the type of person with such strong cravings I wouldn’t be as inspired to hop into the kitchen and make stuff.  The craving thing does have a down side…you know, cravings, so when I have a hankerin’ for sweets, I also generally end up concocting something in the kitchen to fix the sweet tooth or worse, trying new Ben and Jerry’s flavors like chubby hubby.  Anywho, I’m usually on the lookout for healthier versions of the food I love or at least trying to make something a bit healthier and just as tasty.  This goes hand in hand with my love of being a health and fitness coach and the fact that I love craft beer…gotta watch those calories. 😀  Life is about balance…

Back to the subject at hand, I’ve been craving Italian food.  I ran through my mental craving checklist:
I didn’t want anything super heavy.
I wanted vegetarian (obviously).
I wanted something spicy.
I also wanted pesto.

Off to the kitchen to check what the fridge and pantry offer.  I found some lasagna noodles, check.  Oooh!  Fire roasted diced tomatoes, mmm.  Then it occurred to me how much I love minced mushrooms and spinach (not sure why at that moment I came to that realization but there you have it). 

Later that day I was on the stationary bike when my exercise epiphany brought my food craving idea to completion: Lasagna Rolls with Arrabiata Sauce!!  I planned for 3 nights since I don’t like leftovers more than 3 nights in a row and added it to my meal planner for the week.

Ingredients: (makes 8-10 rolls)
8-10 lasagna noodles

Filling:
1 pkg baby spinach, chopped
4 oz mini bellas, minced
1 pkg organic silken tofu, I lightly rinsed it
2 Tbl pesto (if you want to go vegan, make vegan pesto.  I didn’t have the stuff & forgot to add it to my list)
Dash sea salt
Dash black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
**I didn’t add the following but when I make it again, I will:
~ 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Arrabiata sauce:
1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, NOT drained
2 tsp EVOO
3 shallots, minced
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 Tbl lemon juice
1/2 Tbl sugar
1/4 cup dry red wine
1-2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 Tbl Italian seasoning or 1 Tbl fresh basil/oregano, minced
1 Tbl tomato paste

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And we’re off!

Fire up a big pot of salted water.  Once it’s boiling, add about 4 lasagna noodles at a time.  Only cook for 3-4 minutes!  Then, place the noodles on a piece of foil that has been sprayed lightly with Pam or the like.  Don’t worry, the noodles will finish cooking in the oven, you just want them pliable. 🙂

Next, you should know that I cheat when I blanch spinach.  I chop it, dump it in a colander, fire up the tea pot and pour boiling water over my spinach.  Then drain and lightly dab with paper towel to remove some moisture.  Honestly, works fabulously!

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Get your sauce going:

Heat the EVOO over med heat.  Add the shallots and garlic, saute a few minutes until soft.  Then add the rest of the goodies, stir well.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes.  Taste and add a bit of sea salt if desired.

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It’s filling time and you might as well get that oven preheating to 425F!
Place your tofu in a large bowl.  Whisk it.  Add your pesto, whisk some more.  Add your spinach and minced mushrooms…yup, whisk some more until well combined.  If you’re going to use nutritional yeast, add it with the pesto.

    

Now is the super fun part, putting it all together.

Place 1/2 of your sauce in a glass baking dish.

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Then, spread your filling onto each of your lasagna rolls and roll ’em up.  Placing them in the dish over the sauce.

    

Pour the rest of the sauce over the top of the noodles and bake for 25-30 minutes.

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I also steamed green beans and sprinkled sea salt, black pepper and nutritional yeast over the top. 

NOW, pour yourself a glass of delish white or red wine, you totally earned it! 

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I think you’ll find this recipe pretty darn easy and fast.  It’s my style 🙂  I love cooking but I don’t have a lot of time, check that, I don’t make a lot of time to cook extravagant or complicated meals (though I totally should more often).  If you try it and change it up a bit, please share!  This is the first time making it and I’d love to hear what you do with it.

Cheers!