Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Winner! Stuffed Shells Two Ways, Ricotta Veggies

Hows your week going? Mine is going very well! It is already Wednesday!! Quick review of the last couple days:

Monday: Work, Body Step launch at the second gym I teach at, yummy dinner (more on that below)

Tuesday: Work, cleaned, taught Body Step (too much step for me this week!), relaxed!

Today: Took Body Pump this morning, work, maybe a little shopping??

I decided to make a few takes on Stuffed Shells this week. The first followed my usual recipe (prior to sauce topping/baking...not sure why I didn't take any finished pics?):

The next was my take on Rachel Ray's Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Shells.

1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta
3/4 cup shredded part skim mozarella
1/4 cup parmesean cheese
1 egg or equivalent in egg whites (I went with the whites)
Cooked spinach (I took 2 cups fresh spinach and put it on the stop with a little olive oil for a few minutes until wilted)
1/2 a 15 oz can artichoke hearts chopped
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 box large shell pasta, cooked
Pasta sauce


Preheat oven to 350. Place a layer of pasta sauce in the bottom of baking dish. Mix together first 7 ingredients. Stuff shells with mixture, top with more sauce. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Picture, pre-sauce and bake:

I wasn't in the mood for pasta so I also made a veggie bake. I mixed together 1 cup fresh spinach, 2 cups chopped peppers, artichokes (from can), 1/4 cup part skim ricotta, 1/2 cup pasta sauce. Baked at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Doesn't look very pretty but tasted AWESOME!

Ok, ok now for the winner of PETA's Vegan College cookbook determined based on a random number generator:

LilVeggiePatch!! Who noted: "I love vegan chocolate chip pumpkin bars... I made them at least five times this fall! I've also wanted to try out the vegan marshmallow fluff that MIA-Erin used to rave about." Congrats! Send me an email (itzyskitchen at gmail dot com) and I will have your prize to you.

Have a good one

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Esi's Chipotle-Lime Glazed Shrimp

Hello :) How was your Sunday? Mine looked a lot like this, so it was VERY nice...

Josh and I headed over to the beach and lounged for a couple hours. Then we headed home for some work around the house. For dinner tonight, I made Esi's INCREDIBLE Chipotle-Lime Glazed Shrimp. The sauce was so good that I plan to make this again next week with lots more shrimp and lots more sauce! I will mix my veggie's into the sauce next go round. My plate:

And the recipe:

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 pound large shrimp
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Small pinch of sugar
2 chipotles in adobo, minced
2 teaspoons adobo sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped (I used parsley)

To make the glaze: Stir together chipotle chile, adobo sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and cilantro in small bowl.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until smoking, Meanwhile, toss shrimp, salt, pepper, and sugar in medium bowl. Add the shrimp to the pan in single layer and cook until spotty brown and edges turn pink, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; using tongs, flip each shrimp and let stand until all but very center is opaque, about 30 seconds. Add chipotle mixture to pan, and toss to combine. Cover skillet and let stand until shrimp are cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Josh's plate (he also had a potato):

This is seriously such an easy and delicious recipe!
Don't forget to enter my contest for a free cook book.
ALSO - Sammie is having an awesome PB giveaway!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cook Book Giveaway, Randomness

Hi All! Hope you're having a great weekend! Mine has been wonderful. Here is what I have done/plan to do:

Friday- Taught Body Attack, made Ellie Krieger's Creamy Corn and Vegetable Soup (Yum!), made Blondie's for the other Body Step instructors
Saturday- Body Step launch!, food shopping, work around the house, out to dinner with friends
Sunday- BEACH!

I have gotten a few requests for some Franky pictures, so here they are:

Here are a couple pics of the Blondie's

Today, I also made Tina's Buffalo Fries for Josh. Tina- he LOVED them!

Ok, NOW for the giveaway! Carrie at Sourcebooks, Inc (publishing company) sent me a copy of Peta's Vegan College Cookbook! This cookbook is set to come out on May 12. During the week of May 11, I will be doing a week of Vegan lunches from the cookbook so you can see how wonderful the recipes are! BUT- you may not have to wait!! Carrie also sent me a copy to give away to one of my fabulous readers. So how do you win? Leave a comment telling me what your favorite vegan meal is OR a vegan product you have always wanted to try. I will close the contest Monday night at midnight. The winner will be chosen at random. For more info, check out this link.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rachel Ray's Hot and Cold Sesame Noodles

Hi Guys :) Thank you for your sweet comments about my baked goods in my last post! Did you have a good day? Mine went pretty well. Work was semi-slow but when I got home I picked up the pace and got the whole house cleaned! I was super excited to get this done in one shot! Then I ran off to the gym where we launched the new Body Attack. The launch went well

For din din tonight, I tried a slightly adjusted version of this Rachel Ray recipe. This is VERY delicious (although I think its a love it or hate it flavor)!! Unfortunately, there is a lot of sodium in this meal, so I recommend you use no salt added PB and low sodium soy sauce if possible. I also added extra veggies to my serving which thinned out the sauce a bit and helped out the nutritional stats. I added chicken to Josh's for extra protein and to help fill him up! Here is the recipe:

Rachel Ray's Hot and Cold Sesame Noodles (slightly adjusted)

1/2 lb spaghetti
1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
1/4 cup creamy PB (no salt added)
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon veggie oil
1 large package of fresh veggies (broccolini, broccoli, sugar snap peas...whatever you want!)
Sesame seeds

Cook pasta according to package directions, rinse under cold water. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, melt the PB in the microwave just slightly. Add in all other sauce ingredients (soy sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, veggie oil) and mix until well combined. Add spaghetti and veggies and stir until well coated. Top with sesame seeds. Serve!

Here is a pick of Josh's bowl:

I didn't get a pic of mine but just imagine thinner sauce and tons more veggies/less noodles ;)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Baking it Up- Cookie Time!!

Hope your Monday went well! I can't believe the weekend is already over!! Why does it go by so fast??? My weekend went a little like this:

Saturday- Ran 2.5 miles, went to Charleston farmers market/lunch in Charleston, stuff around the house
Sunday- Ran 6 miles, did 1/2 hour of Body Attack, Beach, housework and LOTS of baking

I had a few care packages I wanted to send out this week and all of my recipients have similar needs- less white flour, less sugar! So I made the following and tried to adjust the recipes to meet these needs

Almost Vegan Pumpkin Oatmeal Chip Cookies (I used regular chocolate chips) based on this awesome recipe:

Nutty Stacks:

Phew! Tonight, I took body pump and then baked up some fish and served it with fresh green beans and strawberries! Yum! What did you have for din din?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Last Day of Clean Month/Fun Packages

Hi everyone! I know you are feeling the TGIF as much as I am! Today is the last day of clean eating month! I had written up a great post about this month on my laptop, but it is STILL not fixed :(. So here is just a quick summary:

I have really learned a lot this month about what more natural eating can do for your body. My tummy has been functioning VERY well and I never felt that "overstuffed" feeling after meals. I also (bonus) lost a few pounds. I think the biggest surprises for me were how easy it was to give up bars (which had become a very regular part of my diet), that Starbucks treats do not require flavored syrup to taste good, and that natural, healthy snacks are much more filling than their faker packaged counterparts. I am definitely going to be increasing the percentage of my eats that are "clean" and am hoping to have 85-90% clean days. I have been missing packaged pasta and a few of my other favorite "treats." To finish up clean eating month, I will be having a clean din din tonight of eggs, asparagus, fresh fruit, and potatoes!

Ok- I received two fun packages yesterday. First, POM juice- I can't wait to review this juice and use it in some recipes:

And....the BEST baked goods ever from Gina.

Macaroons, chocolate macaroons, and super charge me cookies!!! She also included a VERY sweet card. Let me tell you- I had a nibble of a macaroon yesterday and it is clearly the BEST cookie I have ever tasted! I plan to gobble another few tomorrow after clean month ends! Thank you so much Gina!

Today will be filled with work, teaching body step, enjoying my clean eating and relaxing! What is your Friday looking like?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Strawberry Bread/Real Housewives of My Neighborhood

Hope your week is going well. Thank you all for your sympathy on my laptop! Unfortunately, since I work mostly with spreadsheets, a Mac is not really an option (I'm a PC!). They're supposed to get it fixed tomorrow. The upside to all this is I have been "forced" to work from home for two days. This allowed me to get in two morning workouts- yesterday I did a full Body Attack practice at home (we have a launch next week) and this morning I did 1/2 hour of Body Attack, 1/2 hour run outside. Hooray!

Last night my neighborhood had a "ladies night" get together aka- a real housewives party. They have one about every month. It is basically appetizers and wine and chatting. Since I don't know anyone in the neighborhood yet, I did a quick half hour run in/out. All of the ladies were VERY nice and I am excited to get to know them more. I brought a platter of chocolate chip sweet bread and strawberry bread that I made based on this Joy of Baking recipe (I used egg whites instead of eggs and less sugar than what was called for). Both breads turned out really well, or so says my taste tester Josh (I may have to save some of the strawberry bread for after clean month so I can try it!).

Last night I also made a little veggie dish for din din based on this 101 cookbooks recipe (I subbed brussels for the asparagus).
Very yum!

Weekend plans??

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Asian Turkey Burgers

We've made it to Wednesdays folks! Yayyyy!! My Monday and Tuesday were busy but good. They went a little something like this:

Monday- Work, 6 Mile run, Caught up on BBBC exercises, cleaned
Tuesday- Work, taught Body Step, tricep dips, made delicious Rachel Ray din din!

I made Rachel Ray's Asian Turkey Burgers and lightened them up just a bit. They were delicious! I love the crunch of the water chesnuts. They are a little "unclean" due to the sauce mixed into the burgers but.... ;)

  • 2 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into pieces
  • 12 ounces lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place bread in a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl. Add ground turkey, water chestnuts, hoisin, scallions, ginger, and garlic; mix well. (The mixture will be moist.) With dampened hands, form the mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.

Place aluminum foil on cookie sheet and spray with Pam. Place burgers on foil and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side. Check to make sure burgers are fully cooked and no longer pink.

Here is Josh's plate:

My plate:
I also had an apple with a little PB. Great dinner!

Sooooo...my work laptop has a giant virus. I am hoping I get it fixed soon! Wish me luck! Have a fabulous day!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake/Happy Easter

Hello and Happy Easter to all (who celebrate ;)). Did you have a good weekend? Mine has been very nice! Yesterday I taught Body Step, went food shopping, went to the beach, and then got my baking on! I made another loaf of whole wheat bread, made up some creamy scones for my Easter strawberry shortcake based on this recipe from Joy of Baking:
And made up some Suite Apple Pie Granola:

I also put my pork in the crock pot in preparation for making Aggie's pulled pork (which I also brought for Easter din din-sorry no pic!).
This morning, I got up and finished putting together the pulled pork and then Josh and I headed out the door to my Aunt's house for Easter dinner. I packed some of the food up in my Easter basket that one of my other Aunt's made me when I was little.

Dinner was great! The spread included ham, my pulled pork sammies, sweet potato casserole, scalloped potatoes, coleslaw, applesauce, and green beans. I tried to be as good as I could be! Dessert was my strawberry shortcake:

And a pudding/fruit/cake mixture my cousin's girlfriend made. I didn't eat a full dessert and instead just had a bite of Josh's (to make sure the shortcake turned out well ;))! I also had a few malted milk ball type Easter candies (YUM!)

Now I'm trying to relax and enjoy my day off from the gym, but am instead thinking about going for a run! Doesn't anyone else get super antsy on their days off from the gym/working out??
What is your favorite Easter tradition in your family?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Restaurant Review: Crave, Mount Pleasant, SC

Hey guys! Happy Friday :) So thrilled that it is finally the weekend! After work today I taught Body Attack and got an AWESOME package filled with my coconut cream spread that I won from Krista. In English-

Or French ;) -

Thank you so much Krista-I cannot wait to try it!! After getting showered, Josh and I headed out to a new place for dinner- Crave in Mount Pleasant.

Coolest things about Crave- they have Gluten Free and Low Fat menus available. They also use fresh, local, organic produce. Since I have been eating clean for THREE WEEKS (!), I decided to treat myself to a little something special tonight. I ordered the Spinach and Tomato Grilled Cheese. Description from the menu: "Slices of artisan bread layered with mozzarella, goat cheese, spinach and tomato slices grilled to a golden brown." It was heaven! I ate half of it with a side salad and a few of Josh's fried pickles. YUM! The restaurant has a very modern design but was a little dark. Given this, I took a picture of my leftover half:

I haven't eaten cheese in three weeks, so I am hoping this cheesy deliciousness doesn't make my tummy upset! What are you up to tomorrow?? I am teaching Body Step, food shopping, and then am headed to the beach to soak in some Vitamin D ;)
In case you haven't heard, Zesty has launched a clothing line and all profits from the clothing line will go directly to the food bank. He is also hosting a giveaway! Please check it out!! Have a fab Friday night.

Crave Kitchen & Cocktails on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Two Pea's Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

As you all know, I love the blog Two Peas and Their Pod! Maria is always making the most DELICIOUS looking cookies. When I found out that my Grandma, Aunt, and Mom would be stopping by for a real quick visit- I knew I had to throw some cookies together (given we only really have veggies and lean protein in the house right now ;)). I ran to Maria's blog and found this awesome recipe for coconut oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! Given clean month, I won't be sampling these delights- but they smell AMAZING!

Are you guys having a good week? Mine has been pretty good :) Getting your workouts in? My workouts this week have gone a little something like this: Monday- 6 mile run, tricep dips for the BBBC, Tuesday- Taught Body Attack, Abs for BBBC, Wednesday- Body Pump and I plan to do my BBBC push ups later. Anyone looking forward to the weekend already ;)?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

2 Weeks Clean/Steak Marinade/Blogging Schedule

Hi All! Sorry for my long time absence. I have made the decision to cut back on blogging a bit because I was getting a little overwhelmed! I will also be returning to my original blogging roots and will be posting more recipes! Hope you're all ok with this!!

Ok, so this past Friday marked 2 weeks of clean eating! I have done VERY little cheating and am feeling fabulous. These upcoming two weeks, I am going to try to continue MOSTLY clean eating while starting to test bringing a few of my favorite more processed foods back into my life. I want to find a nice balance so that when the month is over, I am eating about 85-90% clean. Tonight was one of those tests!

I made up the following steak marinade using this recipe (I only adjusted the amount of vinegar):

1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce (my un clean ingredient)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

I put the steak in the marinade about 4 hours prior to dinner and stuck it all in the fridge. It was probably twice as much marinade as we needed, but the result was awesome! Josh had tons of steak and brussels:

While I had tons of veggies and just a few pieces of steak (haha):

Did you guys have a good weekend? It was SO nice here! We went to the beach for the first time and the weather was just perfect! I got some nice color! I also taught Body Attack on Friday and Body Step yesterday. Today was a mostly relaxing day with some errands! Talk to you all later this week!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Reversed Day

Happy Wednesday! We’re more than halfway through the work week! Since Josh and I have tons going on this afternoon/tonight, I switched my day around and took Body Pump at 5:45 this morning. It was a great way to kick off the day! I then came home and had an apple with peanut butter and a little granola and coffee.

My initial lunch plan was sweet potato based (after seeing Jenn’s awesome looking sweet potato fries). However, I soon realized I have tonssssssss of salad stuff and I don’t want it to go bad, so…I had the usual salad (romaine, carrots, tomato, corn, black beans, olive oil, balsamic vinegar).

I also had (ANOTHER) apple with cinnamon

For a snack this afternoon, I am planning either a banana or a piece of whole wheat bread and potentially some more coffee… We are going out to dinner tonight with Josh’s parents, so I will try to take some pics and post them up tomorrow. I also plan to do 3 sets of push ups and some more stretching (for BBBC). Have a great night (Lost is on!!)