Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Salad and Weekly Meals and Workouts

I made a big bowl of my “Summer Salad,” and it will make an appearance in numerous lunches and dinners this week. I had originally planned on using fresh corn and cooking my own beans, but it didn’t happen. Next time…

Summer Salad 

  • 2 cans black beans
  • 2 cans corn
  • 2 cucumbers, diced
  • 7 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Directions: Mix all ingredients together and let salad marinade for at least 30 minutes before eating it.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10

Weekly Menu: 

Meal 1: Vegetable fried rice and summer salad
Meal 2: Organic hot dogs made with grass-fed, local beef and summer salad
Meal 3: Korean spicy cold noodles with lots of cucumbers and carrots (my own version of naengmyeon)
Meal 4: Teriyaki glazed salmon and a salad

Jenn from Girl Heroes also plans meals, and her husband created a cool meal planning sheet that I wanted to share with you. I printed out my own copy.

Click here to read Jenn’s post and to get your own copy. I love that Jenn always reminds us that we all are girl (as well as boy) heroes! How great to have that message on a meal planning sheet!


Tuesday: Barre workout
Wednesday: Long hike
Thursday: Weight workout
Friday: Yoga and HIIT

Questions: What meals are on your menu this week? What’s your favorite summer workout? I’m looking forward to adding some swimming to my workouts.

Be well,

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Weekend Fun, Snow, Perfect Food, and a New Swimsuit

We decided on an impromptu two-night getaway to South Lake Tahoe. One of the highlights was definitely the “snow” (well, more like icy slush) we saw on the way. It was the first time for the toddler to see “snow!” I hadn’t realized how special seeing snow would be for the toddler (as well as for hubby) as I grew up in a cold climate with plenty of snow. I can honestly say that I don’t miss snow much, but I would like to ski again some time…

Here is some of our fun in pictures:

We also discovered a wonderful place for breakfast, Sprouts Natural Foods Café.

And the trip got even better when we stopped by the outlets on the way home, and I scored a Tommy Bahama swimsuit for 70% off.

Question: What has been the highlight of your weekend so far? 

Be well,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Frozen Treats

Even though the weather has been so-so lately, I have been enjoying a lot of frozen treats.

There have been lots of pumpkin pie banana soft serves made with frozen bananas, Greek yogurt, and pumpkin pie spice. The key is not to use too much of the pumpkin pie spice as a bit too much turns it from fabulous into not so good.

I have also been enjoying frozen banana slices right out of the freezer. They taste so sinfully creamy and rich. Another favorite is frozen grapes.

And I made hubby, the toddler, and Uncle Roy VERY happy when I picked up some Mangum Ice Cream bars for free with the coupon I received through the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program. I had a little bite too, and they were very good.

Questions: What was your last frozen treat? What’s your favorite frozen treat? 

Be well,

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend Fun and Weekly Meals and Workouts

We had a nice weekend despite some car troubles, which luckily got fixed rather quickly and didn’t hurt the wallet too much. Thanks hubby for taking care of it!

There was quite a bit of walking, some hiking, and exploring Boogie on the Bayou.

Now on to our weekly meals:
Meal 1: Grilled salmon with grilled veggies.
Meal 2: Fake baked potatoes with extra black beans and a salad.
Meal 3: Chicken enchiladas.
Meal 4: Eating out.
Meal 5: Eating out.

We usually don’t eat out during the week, and eating out can be trouble, well at least it was for me at one point in my life... Here are some of my eating out “rules:”
  1. If possible, research the restaurant online and come up with a plan before you go.
  2. Don’t be starving. Eat a snack before you go out.
  3. General, healthy eating guidelines still apply. Eating out is NOT an excuse to eat “whatever.” A few years ago my “special occasions” attitude got me in a LOT of trouble.
  4. Only have bread if you really want it and account for it.
  5. Carefully choose your meal and make sure you include enough veggies and salad without fatty dressings and sauces.
  6. Be mindful while you are eating so that you won’t overeat.
  7. If you have some wine or beer stop at one glass.
  8. If you choose to get dessert, split it with several people. Decide after the first bite whether it’s truly worth it to eat more. Often it really isn’t…
  9. Focus on the company and make having a great time with friends the focus of your evening, not the food.
And here are the workouts I have planned for this week:

Monday: Full body weight workout.
Tuesday: Cardio intervals and yoga.
Wednesday: Barre-type workout.
Thursday: Full body weight workout.
Friday: Hike.

Questions: What are your eating out “rules?” What was the highlight of your weekend?

Be well,

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What’s Your Favorite Form of Exercise?

I truly believe that you have to find forms of exercise that you love, or you won’t stick with them. Plus, exercising won’t have all the physical and psychological benefits it can have when you don’t like what you do. My favorite form of exercise is definitely hiking, followed by barre-type workouts. Hiking is my favorite form of exercise because I love being out in nature, and I love the accomplishment I feel after making it up a steep hill. Hikes are truly good for my body and soul. Barre-type workouts help with strength, balance, and flexibility. I’ve been getting some questions regarding my barre-type workouts, and I will post about them soon.

After a hiking hiatus, I’ve been able to hike a bit more again lately. Here are some photos from one of our recent hikes:

Questions: What’s your favorite form of exercise and why? What have you been doing/will you be doing this weekend to be active?

Be well,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Veggie Chickpea Stew

We started eating less meat several years ago and cut back to no more than one meat or chicken meal per week about a year ago. Ever since, veggie stews and soups have been our go-to meals. On the weekend, I usually make a big pot of soup or stew that is enough for one or two dinners and several lunches.

I often add beans or lentils to my soups and stews for extra protein. I prefer to cook my own beans and lentils, but when time is scarce, I use canned beans. (I’m sure some planning on my part would actually help, and I think I’ll try to cook my beans and lentils on Saturday morning from now on.) When using canned beans, I make sure to rinse the beans very well, as they often contain quite a bit of salt.

Veggie Chickpea Stew

  • Olive oil
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 5 celery stalks, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 carrots, sliced
  • 2 paprika sliced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed very well.
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes in tomato juice
  • Veggie stock (1 –2 cups, or more, depending on how “liquidy” you like your stew)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dill
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  1. Spray a large pot with some olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, celery, carrots, and paprika. Sautee for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté a few more minutes.
  3. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and veggie stock and cook for about 20 minutes, until the veggies are slightly soft.
  4. Season the stew with salt, pepper, dill, and the juice of two lemons.

Questions: What’s your favorite go-to meal? What’s your favorite dish with beans? Feel free to link in the comments! I may do a “bean recipe round-up” post if there are enough links.

Be well,

Monday, May 16, 2011

Weekend Fun and Food

On Friday, we got another CSA box. Here is what we got:

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Fava beans – I got introduced to cooking fava beans last year when they showed up in my CSA box. After doing some research, I learned that they have to be peeled twice. That’s what I did, and they turned out great. I’ll use my fava bean recipe from last year to prepare these.
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Lettuce
On Saturday evening, we attended a wedding of one of hubby’s cousins. It was a beautiful wedding with lots of room for the toddler to run around; he seemed to have a never-ending amount of energy that night... The only problem was that it was an outdoor wedding, and it was quite chilly. I’m really glad hubby convinced me to wear my coat over my dress. I ended up never taking the coat off, and I was still cold all night…

I indulged in a bit too much food at the wedding, so I wanted something fresh and healthy for lunch on Sunday. I made a simple TLC (Tomato/lentil/cilantro) salad.

TLC (Tomato/Lentil/Cilantro) Salad

  • Cooked lentils
  • Grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • Cilantro
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Lots of lemon juice
Mix all ingredients and enjoy!

Questions: What was the highlight of your weekend? What was your favorite thing you ate over the weekend? 

Be well,

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Zucchini Noodles with Tomato/Basil Sauce

I haven’t used my spiralizer in a long time. But when I got more zucchini in my CSA box, I knew I had to use it to make some zucchini noodles. Now, in my opinion, the “noodles” sort of look like noodles, but they don’t taste like noodles. But it’s a very fun and tasty way to eat zucchini.

I started by spiralizing the zucchini.

Then I made a simple tomato/basil sauce.

Tomato/Basil Sauce

  • Tomatoes (I used about a cup of grape tomatoes)
  • Basil (I used 5 big leaves)
  • Garlic (I used 1 clove)
  • Olive oil (I used 1 teaspoon)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Feta cheese, to sprinkle over the finished dish
I put all ingredients, except the feta cheese, in a food processor and pureed them.

Then, I topped the zucchini noodles with the tomato/basil sauce and a little feta cheese.

The tomato/basil sauce was very flavorful and went really well with the zucchini noodles. It was a quick, fun, and tasty lunch! I see myself eating this dish a lot during the summer!

Questions: Have you ever made “vegetable noodles?” If so, did you like them? I have mainly made zucchini noodles with my spiralizer, and I like them a lot. While they do not taste like noodles to me, it’s a delicious and fun way to eat zucchini. What would you like to see me spiralize next? I need some ideas…

Be well,