An Extra Rest Day? The Struggle Is Real.

Go squatThis morning I woke up with a headache, and a bit queezy. I was seriously considering skipping my Monday workout.  (However, I worked a double yesterday, and couldn’t use the evening as workout time because I had crab legs, a bottle of wine and “The Walking Dead” calling my name. ) So there was my rest day. Plus, don’t all gym rats know that you should “NEVER SKIP A MONDAY” because it sets your precedent for the rest of the week?  BLA BLA BLA. Ok. I’ll go.

So to motivate myself, I looked through my little stash (don’t laugh- they really do inspire me!0 of fitspo memes and got myself jazzed. ( I may have also cruised the internet for some pictures of nice booties to get motivated too). Plus it’s my fave day- LEG DAY!!! That ass ain’t gonna work itself out! So, gym it is. I may not be able to go 100% today, but at least I will be able to say I did it.

Just a little Monday reminder for you all that even though it’s Monday and it’s going to be a crazy week with the holiday- YOU CAN DO IT! Squeeze your workout in and you’ll be glad you did! I know I will!

Below is my leg workout for the day. DO IT!!! This is week 4 of the fitness challenge I’ve created for myself (and a few of my workout partners). I modeled it after Jamie Eason’s 12 week challenge, but always alter the workout. I like her set up of muscle groups and the schedule gives me a good template to work off of. I’ve been eating healthy, drinking less and working out faithfully. Although I haven’t lost a lot of weight, I can see gains and tell my clothes are fitting differently. One of my biggest struggles is not looking at that number on the scale. Remember, those numbers don’t necessarily mean anything!

week 4, day 22

Now go get ’em! Kells

Spinach Pesto Salmon and Vietnamese Green Beans

Spinach pesto salmon-final

Another healthy meal I made today to go along with my 12 week challenge (if anyone has any questions about my fitness challenge- I’d be happy to post that too!) Got these goodies at Fresh Thyme, a new grocery/farmers’ market in town and I am OBSESSED. Everything looks so awesome- the presentation is killer and its the best seafood/butcher counter in Indy. (Besides Goose but that’s in a league of it’s own).

This recipe was easy and quick, and I prepared the salmon while waiting on my turkey meatloaves to cook earlier. You could prep this ahead of time and even freeze it, then pop it out when ready to cook and thaw.

I made the  salmon recipe up, but the green bean recipe came from a recommendation from my nail girl- Kim, who is Vietnamese. We were talking about food earlier today and she was surprised I like to cook. I was really interested in what she cooks at home, and (forgive my ignorance) but asked her what the main differences between Vietnamese and Thai food were. She explained that Vietnamese isn’t quite as spicy, and she says she likes to use a lot of garlic, but all in all they are quite similar. I asked what her favorite thing to make is, and she told me green beans. LOL. Anyway, the way she described it it sounded really good, and I needed a green to go with my salmon, so here I am.

Kim’s Vietnamese Green Beans

  • 1 lb green beans
  • 6 cloves pressed garlic
  • 1 shallot (she recommended a green onion, and to add it at the end, but I didn’t have one so I used a shallot and it turned out great)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp Hoisin sauce (I added this, its like a sweet dark Asian sauce with lots of garlic)
  • a couple shakes soy
  • 1 tbsp sugar (I omitted this since the hoisin sauce and the fish sauce both listed sugar in the ingredients)
  • salt and pepper

Sautee garlic  (and shallot of you are adding one) in HOT wok until it starts to turn yellow on the verge of crisping. Add 1/4 cup water, add green beans. Turn and cook for a few minutes.

Add fish sauce, Hoisin, soy and salt and pepper. Add lid and steam for 3-5 minutes. You’re done!

These beans have a ton of flavor and I like mine aldente- with a little crunch. I could eat them for an entire meal.

Now for the salmon- What You’ll Need:

Spinach pesto salmon-1

  • 1  1/2 cups chopped raw spinach
  • 1 lemon,  zest and juice
  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • Himalayan sea salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in food processor. Zest the lemon, and squeeze the juice out of the entire lemon. Do not add anymore liquid. You’ll want this to be more of a paste than an actual pesto (minimal liquid on this recipe!).

It should look like this:

Spinach pesto salmon-2

Now shmear that shtuff on the salmon filets (I purchased 1, both about 1/2 lb each- North Atlantic Salmon- don’t buy that farm raised shit!) And sprinkle with a bit of parmasean cheesey.

Spinach pesto salmon-3 TA-DA!

Cook for 25 minutes at 375, then broil until the parm starts to turn a teensy bit cripsy, and the pesto is bubbling. (I personally like my salmon medium, to medium well. I don’t like it dried out.)

Spinach pesto salmon-4

And here is the finished product- fish n’ beans y’all. I have to say it was pretty damn good for how simple and easy it was. Boyrfriend liked it too. And he’s quite the food snob. The spinach pesto formed a nice barrier in the broiler and sealed the moisture into the fish making it nice and NOT DRY. (I wont say the “m” word.”) We had left over and I’m excited to have it for my mid afternoon lunch tomorrow. The beans complimented the citrus of the salmon nicely, slightly sweet and salty. Overall, it was an awesome, FILLING and guilt free meal.   I’ll be making this again!

I’d love to hear from anyone who’s tried any of my recipes. What do you think?

xoxo Kelli

Southwest Protein Muffins- Mini Turkey Meatloaves

Mini Turkey Meatloaves- Protien!So I’m on week 3 of my 12 week fitness challenge and I wanted to make something to help me with meal planning for the week- so I prepped these today.

This recipe made about 20 “muffins”, and I put half of them (cooked) in a  Zip-loc in the freezer for a few weeks from now when I’m feeling bored with my post-workout snack again.

These were super easy- and I wanted something protein packed. Typically the mini meatloaves I’ve tried before have been bland and dry. (Turkey has less natural fat than beef, is therefore leaner, and produces a less juicy end result).

So, I modified my original recipe. These aren’t the prettiest things I’ve ever made, but they satisfied my snack craving and will be great for snacks/pre or post workouts all week.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of ground Turkey (or chicken)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 Ranch dip seasoning packets
  • 1/3 cup corn
  • 1/3 c black beans
  • 1 c cooked Quinoa (You can substitute quick oats, but I thought quinoa would give a better texture.  Squeeze excess water out! Quinoa also has a slightly higher level of protein than oats!)
  • 5 cloves pressed garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • (If you’re feeling naughty add some shredded cheddar!)

Slop all the ingredients into a bowl and mix with hands, OR toss into your Kitchen Aid mixer (my favorite kitchen gadget EVER).  Scoop into greased muffin tin. Your scoops should be about the size of a racquetball. (if you want them to look prettier than mine, use an ice scream scoop).

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. YUM.

Some Quinoa Fun Facts:

( That I betcha didn’t know!)

Here is the nutrient breakdown for 1 cup of cooked quinoa, or 185 grams (2):

  • Protein: 8 grams.
  • Fiber: 5 grams.
  • Manganese: 58% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 19% of the RDA.
  • Copper: 18% of the RDA.
  • Iron: 15% of the RDA.
  • Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
  • Over 10% of the RDA for Vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
  • Small amounts of Calcium, B3 (Niacin) and Vitamin E.

This is coming with a total of 222 calories, with 39 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fat. It also contains a small amount of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Quinoa is non-GMO, Gluten Free and usually grown organically. Even though not technically a grain, it still counts as a “whole grain” food.

NASA scientists have been looking at it as a suitable crop to be grown in outer space, mostly based on its high nutrient content, ease of use and how easy it is to grow  HOW COOL IS THAT?!?

Source: Forbes.com- “ 7 Benefits of Quinoa,  The Super grain of the Future” (even thought technically Quinoa is a seed, heheh)

I also thought about making these little fellas Thanksgiving themed- I was going to put sweet potatoe cubes, spinach and cranberries in them. It’s a modification that I’ll have to try next time.

I hope you like them!

Kelli

Chipotle Copy-cat Sofritas

sofritas- COVER PHOTOLet me start this post by saying- this dish is SPICY. I just reminded myself of that by sticking one of my fingers in my right eye, and I’ve subsequently been blinded. (I’ve even washed my hands several times and did dishes!)

The age old debate- Chipotle or Qdoba? I do have to say- while I like Qdoba, I’m a Chipotle girl all the way. I had never been until they put one in downtown Indianapolis. One sunday, the bf and I were out and about, and stopped in for a quick lunch. On the menu, the choices were: been, chicken, pork and sofritas. “What are sofritas?” I asked. The girl explained it was basically spicy tofu and gave me a sample.  OH EM GEE- I’ll tell ya what! I could eat that stuff plain- all by itself. Also, I’d like to mention that I am NOT a vegetarian or a vegan. I purchase organic and hormone/free meats when cooking at home, and am typically not super gung-ho over tofu. I really only like it if it’s prepared with awesome sauce. So, carnivores- TRY THIS. You won’t be disappointed!

The next time I had taco night, I scoured the internet for a copy cat recipe for sofritas. This is the second time I’ve made them, but added a few of my own little tweaks.

sofritas 1What You’ll Need:

  • 2- 14 oz packages organic tofu, sliced and cubed
  • 1 Chipotle pepper
  • 1 Poblano pepper
  • 1 can of Chilis in Adobo sauce
  • 6 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c maple syrup (or
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • salt, and pepper
  • 1 brown paper bag

First- Let’s start of by putting those peppers in the oven  (Broiler at 400 degrees) /on a foil lined pan. sofritas- peppers A

Turn the peppers once they start to bubble. Bubble those pups all over. It’ll take about 20 minutes to get them bubbly enough.  They should look like this:

sofritas- peppers B

Immediately put the peppers into a brown paper bag and seal it up. Let the peppers cool for about 20 minutes. When you take them out, the skin should peel off easily.

sofritas- peppers C
(I mean duh- it’s a brown paper bag, but I find that all you ADD kids like me tend to skip the words, and look straight at the pics. This is for you.)

Peel and de-seed the peppers.

sofritas- peppers D
Peel those suckers.
sofritas- peppers E
De-seed and chop ’em up.

Add all ingredients for the sauce in a food processor:

  • Chiles in Adobo sauce (Plus all the sauce- empty the whole can in)
  • seasonings (cumin, salt and pepper) (I even added a little garlic powder, because let’s be honest; you can never have too much garlic)
  • garlic
  • the peeled and chopped peppers
  • tomatoes
  • maple syrup

Blend. Set aside.

In a HOT wok, add onions. Brown in olive oil. Then add cubed tofu. I personally like my tofu a little more chopped up, as you can see in the first picture. Some recipes I’ve seen leave the tofu cubed. ( You should follow your heart here. <3)

I used a wok because A. it's the largest pan I own, and B. I'm a sloppy cook and it keeps me from flipping the tofu all over the stove top while doin' the choppy choppy on that stuff.
I used a wok because A. it’s the largest pan I own, and B. I’m a sloppy cook and it keeps me from flipping the tofu all over the stove top while doin’ the choppy choppy on that stuff.

Add the sauce  and toss. Sauce n’ toss, sauce n’ toss.

sofritas- sauce and toss
Chop the tofu with your spoon, and add the sauce in. Voila! Sofritas done.

ok, so from here you’re going to want to add some goodies, right?

So good, so filling, and guilt free!
So good, so filling, and guilt free!

I put the sofritas on/topped it with:

  • Lime and cilantro jasmine rice (recipe upon request, but I think y’all can figure that one out).
  • fresh avocado and lime zest
  • shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Blackbean, corn, onion, cilantro salsa with honey, lime, and lime zest
  • pineapple
  •  Tofutti’s  vegan sour cream (I got this at Kroger) – surprisingly good!

Top with whatever you like- build your own salad! I really enjoyed the pineapple and Tofutti’s- it helped to keep the heat a bay. Like I said- this is SUPER spicy, so a little sweetness added just the thing!

And now my fit foodie friends, a glass of wine is calling my name. Outie 5,000. Enjoy!

xo Kelli

Easy Orange and Almond Salad

easy orange and almond salad

So typically, when I make a salad, it’s not off of a recipe. I mean- almost every salad I make is a garbage salad- just a bunch of minced veggies and a small amount of greens tossed with a homemade vinaigrette.

Well- according to the boyfran, that’s not a salad- he want’s more lettuce. So I bought some . . . DA NUH NUH. . . ICEBERG LETTUCE. WHICH- I never buy because compared to Kale and Spinach, has NO nutritional value. However, I figured an iceberg salad is better than a coney dog topped with a slice of pizza. (Which is something that sounds good to me and probably something he would both bask and bathe in).

Looking through the pantry and fridge, trying to figure out what I had that I could make an iceberg salad with, I remembered a recipe that a work friend had give to me when I was still in high school.( I was a pretty rad 17 year old and worked at a scrap booking store with lots of part-timer Moms, and 60 year old women. ) Just so happens one of these  super-scrappin’-grannies gave me this recipe and I ate it religiously for 873 days in row. Can you say, obsessed? It was so simple and addicting. Salty, sweet and crunchy.  I hadn’t made this salad in about 5 years, so naturally I ate an entire bowl full tonight. Not like a soup bowl- like the largest size mixing bowl I own.

STATUS: currently washing it down with a nice bottle of cab. #sorryimnotsorry

So- I know these ingredients aren’t the healthiest- granted there’s no bacon, croutons or cheese, but the sodium from the olives isn’t really considered great for you. PLUS, I’m a bit of a salt-whore sooooo there’s that.  So pretty much this salad has hardly any nutritional value, but if you eat a gargantuan mixing bowl of it (raising my hand) it’ll fill ya up and make you glad you didn’t eat an entire pizza. Lesser of two evils. YUMMMMM. Recipe is as follows:

  • 1/2 head of shredded lettuce
  • 1 can Mandarin oranges (get the kind with no added sugar or corn syrup!)
  • 1/3 c chopped almonds, or sliced almonds
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened coconut (that was my little add in that made it fancy- you already know. . .)
  • 2 tbsp Cha Cha Chia!!!! seeds
  • sliced white onion. I just threw some in. (I never measure and these are all approximations- again, I’m not the most organized person).
  • 1/2 can black olives. Slice ’em in an egg slicer. BOOM.

Dressing:

  • 12 shakes of hot sauce of your choice (For this dressing I like Franks Red Hot, or Green Tabasco- my favorite hot sauce  EVER)
  • 1 teensy eensy baby squirt of Dijon (You don’t want to much of a mustard flavor in this, I just use it as a binding agent for the dressing)
  •  1 Tbsp of sugar, or honey
  • Seasoning of your choice (I like garlic salt and chili lime for this recipe)
  • Chopped parsley if you have it (I didn’t)
  • Rice vinegar
  • taragon vinegar
  • olive oil or salad oil
  • Salt and pepper

I typically use 1/4 c vinegar to 3/4 c oil when making dressing.

Toss that shit up and enjoy motha suckas! (Wine’s got me sassy!)

xoxo Kelli

Coconut Cream Pie Shakeology- D- LISH!

Coconut Cream pie shakeology

So- I know there are tons of recipes out there for your Shakeology and protein shakes.  But I’ve been drinking a lot of coconut milk and thought- why not use that in my vanilla shakeology? (You can substitute any vanilla protein powder in this recipe too- however the health benefits will differ- obvi.)

I made one, then tasted it.  A-W-E-S-O-M-E! (I just did the cheer that goes along with that.) Immediately I called two of my workout buddies and make them stop by and try one- so I made them each one too!

Here it is:

  • 1 packet or 1 scoop vanilla shakeology
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • splash Coconut Extract
  • splash Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened raw coconut (optional-this adds textures so if you don’t like that, leave it out!)

Blend with ice! (I like mine with only two cubes- I don’t like that heavy milkshake texture, and it takes me forever to drink it!)

Filling and delicious! I had this for lunch with some veggies  and that was it!

xo Kelli

Easy Cauliflower, Chick Pea and Kale Skillet

Cauliflower, chick peas, and kale skillet

Yet another kale recipe. . .#sorryimnotsorry . . . What?! I threw together some ingredients I had in the fridge- don’t hate.

So I have to say- this was so awesome I am making it a side dish for a family get together I’m hosting tomorrow. This was quick, easy, and NO GUILT! (Well besides the tiny bit of cheese I threw in- but hey- a lil’ cheese never hurt nobody. . .unless your lactose intolerant and that’s a whole other ball game.)

I made this in about 10 minutes, post workout. It was filling, flavor packed and the left overs warmed up great too.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped up
  • 1 cup kale (I just tore it up with my hands)
  • 1/2 cup chick peas (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 Tbsp of finely chopped almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small handful shredded cheese (I used an Italian blend) If you’re being really good- omit the cheese. This still has enough flavor to still be yummy without it.
  • habanero seasoning, or some other spicy/hot pepper seasoning
  • Tumeric (or seasoning of your choice)
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper

Brown cauliflower and chick peas in hot olive oil. Add kale, almonds and garlic, and sautee until kale begins to wilt. Add habanero seasoning and cheese. Toss over heat until the cheese begins to melt. Salt and pepper.

It always amazing me how such a basic combination of items can be transformed by seasoning and spices. A girlfriend of mine and I were talking the other day- why do people think that healthy choices have to be bland and flavorless? I don’t get it!

I have friends who are trying to cut calories, and prepare for fitness competitions and I see what they eat- plain broccoli, plain rice and plain chicken. WHY?!?!? There are tons of options to spruce these meals up! I feel like this is going to be an up and coming blog for those of you who are trying to prep for a show, or who want to eat clean but not boring. Stay tuned!

Kelli