Thursday, July 31, 2008

Shrimpy Pasta

Happy Thursday! I decided to take tomorrow off work so I guess today is my Friday! After work today, I taught Body Step. Class went much better than Turbo yesterday :). For dinner tonight, I took inspiration from this Giada recipe, but made quite a few adjustments:

Shrimpy Pasta

1 lb shrimp (uncooked, peeled, deveined, and tails removed)
1 lb whole wheat pasta
1 15-oz can mandarin oranges (stored in water not syrup)
desired amount of fresh spinach
desired amount of Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
Favorite seasoning (salt, pepper, whatever you like- I used Cavenders seasoning)

Boil two large pots of water. In the first pot, add the pasta and cook as directed, reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid, drain pasta. In the second pot, add the shrimp and cook until fully pink, drain. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together olive oil and lemon juice, add in desired amount of seasoning, add in pasta, shrimp, fresh spinach, mandarin oranges, reserved cooking liquid and mix until everything is fully coated with the dressing. Top with Parmesan cheese! Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Whole Wheat Honey Pancakes

I'm so glad that we're officially more than half way through the week! Hooray! Do you guys have any good weekend plans? Our 1 year wedding anniversary is Monday so we will probably do some celebrating this weekend! Tonight I taught class for the first time in a week and a half. My goodness, during my vacation I ran and swam a ton, but apparently that didn't keep me in teaching shape! By the end of class I was pretty red and totally exhausted! Phew! Hopefully teaching Body Step tomorrow is a little easier after today's Turbo Kick! After class I came home and made some banana chocolate chip bars that I posted about here for Josh. I put these in the fridge and they are pretty tasty!

I was planning on making shrimp pasta tonight, but Josh had a late softball game so we opted for pancakes instead. I was really excited to try this recipe for Honey Whole Wheat Pancakes I found on this blog. Boy were they delicious! I made banana pancakes and I made a few banana chocolate chip. I topped all of the pancakes with some additional banana slices. I ate one large and one smaller pancake and Josh ate three and some egg whites. These pancakes are soooo filling! The recipe is as follows:

Honey Whole Wheat Pancakes from Food for Laughter

1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup honey
2 egg whites
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 T olive oil
1 tsp vanilla
Optional, as desired: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, or 1/2 cup peanut butter, or 1/2 cup pecans, or 1 cup blueberries


~ Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
~ In a second, larger bowl, whisk together the egg whites, buttermilk, and honey until well blended.
~ Pour the flour mixture in to the egg mixture, and stir until just combined.
~ Stir in the olive oil and vanilla, again just until combined. Fold in any of the optional additions, if desired...
~ Heat a large, non-stick skillet, coated with cooking spray, over medium heat. Pour pancake batter onto skillet in individual "pancake" portions about 1/3 cup each. Cook until lightly browned on each side, turning once. Between each batch of pancakes, re-coat the skillet with cooking spray.

Enjoy your Thursday!

Pad Thai and Organic Frozen Yogurt

Since I got my workout in yesterday morning, yesterday night was much more relaxed than usual! I gave the dog a bath, cleaned the house up a bit, and then Josh and I rented Harold and Kumar 2. I'm not sure if any of you have seen the first one, but I thought it was HILARIOUS! I was super excited to see Part 2 and it definitely delivered! If you liked one, I guarantee you'll like part 2! A few weeks ago Tina posted a dinner that used a Taste of Thai and it looked awesome! I decided to give it a go and last night made the Pad Thai for two. To my Pad Thai I added chicken, broccoli, water chestnuts, and sprouts. I also topped it with sesame seeds. The dinner was delicious! I added a little extra soy sauce to mine, I think because I had put in SOOO many vegis, I needed a little more sauce. I would definitely buy this product again, it is delicious!
(sorry I forgot to take a picture during dinner, this is our container of leftovers :)). When we went to rent the movie (from red box, which is awesome), I picked up some Stonyfield Farm Organic frozen yogurt. Jenn always posts about these products, so I HAD to give them a try. I bought the java and minty chocolate chip. I gave each a little try and let me tell you, they are incredible! I can't believe that 1) they're organic, 2) the java is fat free and the minty chocolate chip is low fat.....fabulous! I am going to buy these all the time now! What would I do without all of you wonderful bloggers posting about products? Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Skinny B*tch - my review

So I finished Skinny B*tch during my vacation. I promised you I'd write a mini review, so here it is (please keep in mind I went to school for engineering, I'm not exactly what you may call an "eloquent" writer):

The book is an easy and quick read. I think it provides a lot of great information about the benefits and drawbacks of many different types of food. Skinny B*tch provides convincing reasoning behind adopting a vegan diet. However, I don't think the book examined the multiple sides of various food issues. For example (as I noted in an earlier post), they discussed why you shouldn't drink coffee and some of the drawbacks but didn't really address all of the studies that examine the positive impacts of coffee. The book had a big impact on my thoughts about the meat industry. I nearly cried when I read the chapter that addressed the slaughtering of animals. I think one of the more helpful pieces of the book is the list of suggested food products near the end of the book. All in all, its an inexpensive book thats a quick read. I think its worth reading but that you should understand that one persons word isn't the be all, end all. I am now starting to read In Defense of Food, a book Tina recommends.

Blog Slacker

Good Morning

Sorry I slacked on the blogging for a day! Just to catch up on the last two nights dinners, on Sunday night we had taco salads. Mine is on the left and contains romaine, tomatoes, low fat Mexican cheese, black beans and corn (heated) and tortilla chips. Josh's is on the left and contains spinach, low fat mex cheese, chicken, black beans and corn and chips. I mixed chili seasoning in with the black beans/corns when I heated them up and they were delicious!

Last night after Josh's softball games I made egg roll ups with egg beaters, spinach, and a little cheese. I also topped mine with Newman's Own Black Bean and Corn Salsa...I learned about this stuff from Becca. It is seriously the best salsa ever! I served our roll ups with fruit (strawberries, mandarin oranges, and peaches) and a little bit of yogurt/Sarah's granola.

I worked out early in the am on Monday and today. I got in about three miles on the treadmill each day (I varied the elevation and speed throughout the workout), 20 minutes on the elliptical, and a little bit of Body Step practice. I really enjoy working out in the am! What do you all prefer, am or pm workouts?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back at it!

Hey all

We are back from vacation! Vacation included a visit from my parents and a trip to Hilton Head! I have attached some pics below. The food in Hilton Head was delicious! I ate mostly shrimp and crab on salads or alone! I will hopefully have a food post up later today!

My parents:

Josh and his brother celebrating Jer's 21st birthday:

Josh and I on a very windy beach!

Jer, Josh, and his dad:

Josh's parents:

The bunch of us (minus Justin)
Me, Jenny, and Josh's dad:

Monday, July 21, 2008


Hello Everyone!

Hope you had a good weekend! We had a lovely time with my parents! We went out and got crabs for dinner on Friday and ate at a wonderful restaurant on a pier on Saturday. We went to the pool both days and my mom took two of my classes! It was a blast. I took a couple pictures but forgot my camera/computer cord so they will have to wait! Josh and I are currently in SC and ready to start our vaca! Have a great week!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Baking time

I am so excited because tomorrow starts my week and a day long vacation! My parents are coming tonight and my mom will be taking one of my group fitness classes for the first time! In preparation for their visit, I made a few goodies:

Corn Muffins:

Original recipe can be found here.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt (I used vanilla light and fit)
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 tablespoons fat-free milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 375°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
Combine flour, granulated sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in
a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center of
mixture. Combine yogurt, melted butter, milk, and egg, stirring with a
whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Place 12 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups. Divide the batter
evenly among cups. Sprinkle batter evenly with turbinado sugar, if
desired. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted
in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

(sorry for the too bright picture)

Next I made Sarah's granola. This time I used sugar free maple syrup and it turned out awesome!
For dinner I made eggs, oven roasted potatoes and I cut up some fruit. Here is a picture of Josh's plate (I added spinach and cheese to his eggs):

I also pre-made a batch of the manicotti I posted about here for dinner tomorrow night!

And heres a sweet picture of Frank's flat face...I love this little guy :)

Hope you have a great Thursday!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Sorry I've been a blogging slacker! For the record, two nights ago I had a big salad topped with tomatoes, corn, black beans, light mexican cheese, a little olive oil and red wine vinegar. It was delicious! I couldn't find my camera to take a pic. Last night was great! I went to the gym and ran two miles and then taught Hip Hop. I came home to do some work around the house and then made turkey sausage with fruit and green beans. Below is a pic of Josh's plate:

I purchased the 2/3 less fat Oscar Mayer Turkey sausage and they were INCREDIBLE. I never want to truly know what goes in those things. In one of my engineering safety classes we had to watch a video about safety in the meat packing industry and that was more than I needed to know haha.

We are going on vacation next week and I am soooo excited! I am ready for a break from work! Is anyone going anywhere exciting this summer?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend/Skinny B*tch

Hey all

How was your weekend? Mine was very nice. We had our first kickball game on Saturday. It was tons of fun (even though we lost!). I was a much better kicker than I thought I would be, which is great! Tonight I started reading the book Skinny B*tch. I'm only 5 chapters in but I'm pretty disappointed. I'm totally ok with people stating what they think works, as long as they truly examine the other side. I can understand their point on meat, but coffee? And basically saying its horrendous, what about all those studies that discuss the benefits? Did they even look at those? Am I being defensive because I <3 the coffee? Has anyone else read this book, thoughts?

Hope you have a nice Monday :)

Friday, July 11, 2008


I was slightly alarmed by this article on Tilapia, so I figured I'd pass it along:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Random food day

Yup thats right, I have decided that today is national random food day (more information to come keep reading). Tonight was alright- I taught Body Step and then ran to Lowe's for some home needs (ya know maybe a little bed, bath, and beyond...I dunno if we'll have enough time haha). I then came home and made a random assortment of food. My meal was inspired by a few recipes on this blog. I made....

Salads- Josh loves spinach but I'm more of a romaine fan. We also love different toppings so we had different salads :) :

Second, I grilled some potatoes! I chopped them into (somewhat) even sized pieces. I then coated them with a little bit of olive oil and a little salt and cooked them up on the grill...

Third, I made a Spinach and Artichoke dip. My picture below is terrible but it actually turned out really well (I couldn't stop eating it!). I mixed a few recipes to get this:

Spinach and Artichoke Dip (HEALTHIER version):

Fresh spinach- bowl full (or desired quantity)
2 15-ounce cans of artichoke hearts
1 15-ounce can of white beans (whatever white beans you can get your hands on)
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
chopped garlic (desired amount)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/3 cup
Parmesan cheese (+additional cheese to top dip)


Preheat oven to 350

On the stove over medium/medium low heat, wilt spinach in a little bit of olive oil. In a food processor or blender, mix together wilted spinach, drained artichokes and white beans, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper and
parmesan cheese. You can either blend until smooth or leave some chunkier pieces (however you like it!). Place mix into baking dish (I used a pie dish), top with additional cheese. Bake for 45 minutes. Enjoy with vegis, tortilla chips, or pita chips.

Everything together. It was a deliciously random meal.

I found these incredible Kraft 25 calorie packets of lite italian dressing(picture to come). I know that individual packages are somewhat wasteful, but these are just perfect to throw in a lunch bag.

What is your favorite salad dressing?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Food Kryptonite

I had one additional thought I wanted to add. Tonight I had to run to the store because i forgot the teriyaki sauce when I went food shopping this weekend. While I was there, I saw a bag of what I consider to be my food kryptonite, dried pineapple. Mmmm. I am usually really good at resisting the urge to purchase it because 1) its full of calories and 2) its somewhat expensive (its dried fruit, seriously... $4?). Tonight I decided to treat myself but forced myself to read the nutrition label so I knew how much was in a serving. What is your kryptonite food?

Super Sweet Sesame Chicken

Tonight was great. I took Body Pump and then Jill and I team taught Turbo Kick! It was an intense class! Afterwards I made some sweet sesame chicken from this amazing blog. I altered the recipe a tad (just because I didn't have the right spices)!

Sesame Chicken

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, divided

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp ground red pepper

1/8 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp fennel

2 chicken breast halves, cut into bit sized chunks

1.5 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons low sodium teriyaki sauce/marinade

In a ziplock bag(or bowl), combine flour, 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, ground red pepper, cumin, fennel, and black pepper. Add chicken pieces and shake (or mix) until coated.

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook through.

Add remaining sesame seeds, teriyaki and honey and desired vegis and stir until thickened.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Grilled chick/baked zuch/amish corn

Only three work days left! Thank goodness :) Yesterday, after I taught Body Step, one of my awesome participants brought me a bag of Amish corn. I was so excited and couldn't wait to cook it up today. I cooked up the corn along with grilled chicken and baked zuch. I baked the zuch like Tina baked it here. Tonight I also did a chunk of cleaning and practiced Turbo and Hip Hop. It has been a couple months since I taught Hip Hop so I am excited to teach it again this Saturday!

Nashville, Lower Carb Mix, Roasted Chickpeas

Hello! I feel like I've been gone forever! Sorry this post took so long to get up! Josh and I had a wonderful weekend in Nashville with Josh's family! On Friday all of the girls went and got our toes done, then we went to the gym, and then had a relaxing evening which included a massage and dinner at one of my favorite places the Cheesecake Factory!

Saturday we got up early and headed out! Josh's parents rented a party boat and we went out on it for the whole day! It was an absolute blast! The weather was just perfect! The boat had a slide on it and a top deck that you could jump off of. Josh's parents also rented a big tube and we went tubing. Here are a few pics from the boat trip (Josh and I, the boat, me doing a cannonball, and Josh and I on the tube):

Sunday was a relaxing day. We headed to the airport and our flight was delayyyyed due to weather. We didn't end up getting in until around 3 am and so I took yesterday off of work. I cleaned up around the house and picked up Frank. I also made a random lower carb mix of turkey, green beans, white beans, whole wheat pasta and a little bit of stirfry sauce and cheese. It was pretty delicious.
I also tried this incredible recipe from Esi for Spiced Roasted Chickpeas. What a great snack!

Spiced Roasted Chickpeas

1 15 oz can organic chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans)
1 tsp organic olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
few dashes of cayenne pepper
1 heaping tsp cumin

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and pat dry. Place chickpeas on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Shake sheet (carefully) about halfway through.

Take out chickpeas and place in a bowl. Add oil, salt, cayenne and cumin and mix well. Turn peas back onto the baking sheet and place in the oven for 5 to 15 minutes until bronzed and crunchy.
Did you have a good fourth?

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I received the new Williams-Sonoma catalog yesterday and saw some INCREDIBLE products. I love this store and figured I'd pass on a few of the very cool things I saw:

The multi chopper

The corn stripper

Pizza Grill

I have seen Jenn talk about this product and I must have it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Almossssssssssssssst the weekend!

Horray for a four day week! Tonight I taught some Turbo Kick and finished packing it up. I also made the beef and broccoli recipe I posted about here. Here is a steamy picture of dinner cooking up.
May be MIA for a few days again. I promise to post up some sweet pics on Monday!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Chicken Non-Polenta Bake

Tonight I cleaned the house and taught Body Step. It was a big class which is always so much fun! I think everyone got an awesome work out (based on the red faces :)). Afterwards I cooked up this delicious dinner:

A while ago, I made this Chicken Polenta bake. I enjoyed it but I'm not the biggest polenta fan. Tonight I decided to make the bake minus the polenta :). I layered two tortillas in the bottom of my bake dish (which is a great way to avoid spraying the dish and its edible/delicious :). On top of the tortilla I put a layer of refried beans (fat free). Next I mixed in a separate bowl:

15 ounce can black beans (drained)
15 ounce can corn (drained)
15 ounce can peas (drained)
2 chopped up pre-cooked chicken breast (I cooked them in boiling water earlier)
2 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1/3 container of salsa

I placed this mix on top of the refried beans and then topped everything with low fat mexican mix cheese. Baked for 30 minutes at 350. I served mine with organic tortilla chips mmm.

Awesome Articles/Product Review

Tuesdays almost done with and there are only 2 work days left this week! I'm thrilled- anyone doing anything cool for the 4th? We are going to visit Josh's family in Nashville which should be a blast!

I was doing my usual blog reading today and came across this really sweet posting on Mark's blog. I think both of these stories are incredible (I am especially fascinated with the story about the swimmer- what a bod!).

Second, I had sort of a disappointing lunch today. I debated whether or not to blog about it because I just hate the idea of giving a company a bad review. However, when I was halfway through my Muir Glen soup, and was disappointed with both the flavor and the nutritional contents, I decided I had to give the review. I purchased their Minestrone organic soup at the market. Not thinking, I didn't turn the can over to look at the nutritional stats. I guess I was thinking, its organic- how bad can it be? Well, before I cooked said soup today, I flipped the can over and saw that it read 40% of your daily sodium requirement in each serving (two per can). I was shocked- 80% of the recommended amout of sodium for a whole day was found in this can. Irritated, but without another lunch option, I cooked it up. The taste...well shockingly- salty! The vegetables were also not very good. Overall I have to give this soup a D rating. Oh well...lesson learned!