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Archive for the ‘nutrition’ Category

Last chance for a Recipe Friday this year! So… here it is! I made this yesterday, and it’s wonderfully warm comfort food. Healthy, too: lots of good-for you fiber, anti-inflammatory turmeric in the curry, and the peas are a great vegetarian protein source.

Now, I grew up with grandparents who loved their split pea soup… but that was back in the day when bean soups and split pea soups were merely a bacon or ham flavor delivery mechanism. I had a container of dried split peas, but not being a bacon fan (please don’t stop reading my blog, I promise I’m still cool) I wanted something different. I didn’t have to search far to find this yummy alternative.

Curried Split Pea Soup
based on Alton Brown’s recipe

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 c chopped onion
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 c split peas, rinsed and picked through
5 c vegetable or chicken broth
1 tbsp curry powder

1. Place the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and a large pinch of salt and saute for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and continue to saute another 1-2 minutes, making sure that neither onion nor garlic brown.

2. Add curry powder and saute for an additional minute to lightly toast the spices in the oil. Then add peas and broth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until peas are tender and no longer hold their shape.

3. Using either an immersion blender or blending in batches in a regular blender, process soup until smooth. Adjust seasoning as desired.

This is such yummy comfort food… trust me on this one! Some cultures ring in the new year with black eyed peas for good luck… why not try split peas?

Start thinking about goals for the coming year! I’ll be back in a few days to talk more on that!

Happy Post-Halloween!

Unfortunately, we live on a long dead-end (bwa-ha-ha… appropriate) and get no trick-or-treaters. I went to a few events, both yesterday evening and Saturday night, though, and rocked my punny costume: I bought a bag of Smarties and taped some to my pants, making me… wait for it… Smartie Pants! Ha ha!!! (Best of all, it was a cheap costume, and one we could eat afterward!)

Anything fun that you all did for Halloween?

I continue on my rehab path… (which one? you ask. recovering from the hip surgeries is the most straightforward one.) I set a pretty lofty running goal at the beginning of October, and I met it on Saturday! Go, me! I remember at the beginning of September, I hadn’t even tried running (post-op) at all, and I didn’t even know if it was an option anymore. Now, after only 6 weeks back at it, I’m able to finish 30 minutes of run 4 minutes/walk 1 minute intervals!! It’s not easy, but I also imagine I’ll be able to run 30 minutes nonstop before the end of the year… just set your mind to it, and you can do it!!!

The holidays are soon upon us!! (for better or for worse…) My link list today is all food-oriented, but with a healthier spin. Let’s all vow to not gain the Holiday 10!

1. This is a Mark Bittman article that I have printed out as a reference on my cookbook shelf… 101 Simple Salads. It also teaches you to cook by eye and by taste, as he doesn’t give precise proportions. Trust your brain and tongue!

2. Halloween may be over this year, but this is one I’ll have to remember for next year, because it’s so darn cute: Frozen Boo-nana Pops

3. Can’t avoid pumpkin spice lattes during the holiday season? This healthy pumpkin spice latte looks yummy!

4. It’s totally soup weather (just went for an 11am run, and it’s in the high 30’s outside!), so here are a few healthy soup recipes.

5. And I’m intrigued by this one. If someone tries it before me, let me know what you think… ??? 100 calorie moist chocolate cupcakes It looks like they’re bigger than a thimble, so that’s not how they get away with the calorie count.

Finally… for those who have done any traveling like me, if you have been to the Cinque Terre in Italy, sadly, two of the towns were devastated by flooding last week (see photos here). I’m thinking the restaurant and the market were ones I visited and enjoyed. One more reminder to go out and see the world while we still can.

Stay strong and healthy!

Hello hello! Well… forget about all those gloomy whines I logged earlier in July about “where’s summer?” It’s apparently showing up late to the party. I’m usually such a stickler for punctuality, but in this case, I’m not turning summer away!

We’ve had glorious, sunshiny days in the high 70’s around here for about a week now! Alert the media! (Wait… the media probably have been alerted. This is pretty darn unusual for us.)

A few of this week’s interesting and goofy links are even food-oriented. One–gasp–is healthy food-oriented. Can you believe it? (And it’s really full of useful information. I’ll be making good use of it!)

So, here they are:

1. Cute ribbony bookmarks!

2. Chalkboard menu wall! This blog author “menued” the side of a black armoire in her kitchen. Looks great!

3. These look cute! A healthier pizza in large portobello mushrooms.

4. What a fantastic list! Eighty healthy recipe substitutions, most of which look easy to find at regular grocery stores!

5. This is oh so true…. 🙂

OK, gang. I got up early so that I could be stationary biked, bodypumped, treadmilled, and Pilated (ack, I feel like I’m defiling his name without the S, but I can’t quite say Pilatesed?) before the bulk of the sunshine. And now, I have this post out to you all! Go out and enjoy!

Recipe Friday is back! Did you miss me???

How’s that for a last hurrah of the summer? Summery roasted corn and garlic goodness, y’all! Yummmm! Customizable to your own level of spiciness and everything!

With no further ado (I’ve been a little rambly lately), here’s the recipe.

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad
adapted from The Best Recipes In The World (Bittman)

2 tbsp olive oil
4 ears corn, husked and stripped off their kernels
**OK. I admit that I’ve made this off-season and used 12 oz thawed frozen corn. Culinary police, I give myself up to you!
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 (or more) garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 c cooked (or canned/drained/rinsed) black beans
1 ripe tomato, cored and diced
1 tsp minced jalapeno (or other small chile)–or add more for additional heat!
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
I also like adding a dash of cumin
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

1. Put the oil in a large nonstick skillet and turn the heat to high. Add the corn, along with a large pinch of salt and some pepper, and cook, shaking the pan or stirring occasionally, until the corn is lightly charred, 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more, stirring.

2. Combine the corn with all the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve, or cover and refrigerate for up to a couple of hours, then bring back to room temperature before serving.

There! Simple, fresh recipe. Works as a complete light lunch. Short and sweet! Enjoy!

Happy Labor Day–I’m headed out to enjoy the sunny day! I hope the weather is great where you are. Let’s all make the best of it, and I’ll see you next week!

Hi!

It RAINED here yesterday. What, do I live in Seattle? (ahem. OK, so I do.) Lots of rain.

But you know what? It had actually been sunny for a few weeks. (Alert the media! The Great Wet Northwest was sunny! Wait, it had been alerted. It was in the news.) And to me, the few days’ break in the sun is nice.

In life, we learn to find the joy in the sunny days as well as in the rainy days.

This past weekend, I attended Pilates On Tour, a continuing education conference for Pilates instructors (and practitioners) put on by Balanced Body Pilates. This was my first time at this type of event, and I was impressed! If you’re as much of a geek as I am about kinesiology, movement, and Pilates, you can get a small taste of what it was like to take courses from the gurus by watching podcasts at the Balanced Body website. I’m looking forward to the next Pilates On Tour!

And now, a few interesting and informative links for your entertainment (while I still have a network connection):

1. These chocolate bowls look easy to make, and would be great filled with ice cream (sinful) or sliced fresh fruit (better)!

2. Periodic table of heavy metal artists.

3. Fantastic idea: spiff up your ordinary cork board/message center with some vintage frames.

4. Here’s something I could definitely use: a vegetable cooking cheat sheet. Tells you how long to boil, steam, or saute a variety of different vegetables!

5. Have I mentioned Katie’s Snickerdoodle Pancakes before? If I haven’t, they’re amazing. Make them NOW. I’m going to try them in my mini Belgian waffler next. So tasty, you don’t need butter or syrup.

And with that… we’re having utility work done in our neighborhood in a matter of minutes, so I’m signing off while I still have a network connection! See you soon…

Howdy! What’s up?

So it seems like I’ve been working my way through Mama Pea’s reciPea list recently, trying to find new uses for nutritional yeast (it’s good’n’good for you!). I found another yummy one last night, and I’ll be making another batch to share over the weekend!

This one is Pizza Quinoa Casserole. The base starts simply with quinoa cooked with veggie broth. Then, it gets mixed with a luscious, tomatoey, rich sauce containing my precious nutritional yeast and a few other seasonings. Bake it, top with whatever pizza toppings you prefer (keep it vegan or use real cheese), and… in less than an hour, you’re good to go! Cheesy, high protein, nutritious… best yet, really tasty!

Here’s the recipe, straight from her website:

Pizza Quinoa Casserole

I’m spending this weekend (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) in downtown Seattle at Balanced Body’s Pilates on Tour! While I’m doing this to earn continuing education units to keep my certification current, I’m excited to deepen my understanding to use Pilates in a rehab setting.

Or am I a complete dork for being excited about a professional conference? (I’m sure someone out there is, right?)

So it’s not Friday…. but I’m sugar-hungover from the not-surprise birthday party my friends had for me last night (long story… one of the group accidentally got phone numbers mixed up on the group text invite. All in good fun, though!) Since I knew all about it ahead of time, it meant I could try out these cookie cupcakes from Jessica’s blog. I think the cookie recipe will become my go-to chocolate chip recipe!

(I now have enough leftover frosting to frost an army. Anyone care to join my army??? Really. I’ve had it with sugar!)

To offset the OD on sweets, I tried something MAGICAL this past week. It’s a sauce that comes together in your food processor in less than 5 minutes. It’s vegan, it’s healthy, it’s a good source of B-12 if you are vegan… and it’s DELICIOUS. I swear to you, it’ll get you to eat mounds of veggies, so long as they’re covered in creamy, cheezy, lightly curried Mmmm Sauce.

I don’t want to steal Mama Pea’s thunder, so I’ll post the link to her blog right here:

Mmmm Sauce

So, what do you do with it?

Dip veggies. Dilute with a little water and use as salad dressing. Use its healthy goodness as a dip for fries. (I won’t tell.) It would probably make a great spread for sandwiches in place of mayo. Heck, the first batch I made went straight onto a whole bag of romaine! (sauce delivery mechanism.)

Caveat: do be sure to find and use nutritional yeast for this recipe. It’s an inactive form of yeast, and lends this (and other) recipe a nutty, cheesy flavor–while staying vegan. This is a relatively new ingredient in my world, and I’ve really enjoyed its flavor! Try looking for it in the bulk section of your health food store or Whole Paycheck.

Once you try this, there’s no turning back! It earned its name with good reason. I always have to have a batch of this sauce in my fridge. (And it’s savory, so it really counteracts all of the overly SUGARY from yesterday.) Make it, and tell me how you’ve used it! 🙂

Happy Tuesday! Hope all is in tip-top shape. I got trounced playing Settlers of Catan last night. I’ll blame it on having to take over someone else’s hand, so that I had to keep track of two players. Yeah. That’s it.

Anyway, here are a few nifty things I’ve seen floating around the web space recently…… some health and fitness related, some not.

1. If you’re somewhere in the world where there’s a heat wave going on, be sure to check out 50 homemade popsicle recipes. I’m sure some of them would also make great smoothies!

2. Make a decorative serving tray! Easy, quick project!

3. Brilliant! An easy way to make a heart-shaped cupcake.

4. How to make and store salad in a jar that will keep for days. Lots less prep!

5. Tea infuser that looks like a shark. Especially if you use a red berry-based tea, the design is cute.

6. Nothing to do with fitness, but a selection of gorgeous handwriting on envelopes. Unfortunately with our lives giving way to so much texting and email, we’re missing out on script. A lost art that hopefully won’t die out entirely…

Hope you all are enjoying summer! We had our three days last weekend, and have since moved on to fall. There’s always hope for next year, though, right? 😉

(Ah, yes, it’s the time of month where I need to take and post pictures of myself–I’ll get to that before the end of the week! Look out!)

So, I’ll ask: what’s your favorite smoothie combination? (I started playing around with a new combo the other day, and I’ll post about it on Friday. It’s something that helps me imagine that there’s sun!)

(well… aim better!)

I know, I know… keep my day job. Friends, I have had little interest in food, exercise, living…. for over a week now, due to The Worst Sinus Infection In Years. After 10 days, I think I’ve finally turned a corner (the overall achiness, fever, etc are gone, and the more peripheral symptoms are all that remain), so I finally have enough energy to post something.

Worst of all, I’ve had no sense of smell or taste for over a week. So that bulgur salad I posted on Tuesday that I love? That was all for you, and just a tease for me. Each day has become more and more torturous, as I keep on wanting to cook, but realize–what’s the point? I’m just eating the bare minimum to maintain nutrition, right now.

Meanwhile, I sit around, feeling like a useless blob trying to rest up, and unfortunately I’m tempted by lovely pictures in food blogs such as this one:

Savannah Buttermint Ice Cream

Nope, it’s not “You Can Get Fit” food, but just maybe I can tweak the milk:cream ratio and maintain the buttery, minty goodness. Looks divine, eh?

And if you probe a little further, the article is promoting the recipe author’s new cookbook, which talks about how to make ice cream at home. When I looked at the site for her ice cream shop, wow–holy flavor inspiration! I really want to try making a bunch of frozen yogurts, now. (Those are healthy!) Lime cardamom! Especially now that we occasionally see temperatures that start with a 7.

Okay, so, here’s to hoping that sometime within the next week, I’ll be able to taste something again!!

Meanwhile, help me with frozen yogurt ideas: what flavor would you like me to try to make?

Happy Father’s Day! I hope you all are doing something nice. I was raised by my grandfather, so I just posted some fun memories of him on Facebook. He was a small business owner, too, and taught me a lot!

The past two days’ Trust30 prompts have also been about “the one goal you want to accomplish in life”. Perhaps if they want to hold this challenge again, they should take a read through the prompts for redundancy prior to publishing them… unless one of them is totally different, I’ve had it!

So now, remember my goals lists from before? (Those were so long ago! part 1 part 2) I’ve been listing these in parts, so that I can tell you why each one is important to me. So, here goes with the next 10!

Goals 21-30
21. Post (and hopefully sell) and item on etsy.com I’ve done a bit of fairly simple painting and artsy things here and there, and recently, I’ve gotten ideas for how to create products/monetize my talents. Why not at least try? What does it hurt?
22. Finally finish the plan at 100pushups.com This was a fad on a lot of the running and fitness message boards for quite some time. I’ve tried so many times and give up partway through, because about halfway through, their plan ramps up too quickly (unless you’re an 18-year-old boy). This is not only a lesson in strength, but also a lesson in patience. I need to learn that it’s OK to repeat weeks in the plan.
23. Create videos for Pilates project… Not saying too much about the project yet, but I’ve gotten some advice about videocameras that are good to use. I’ve made progress on this goal!
24. Compete in a Sweet Adelines competition Nerd alert! OK, I sing with a young, vibrant female barbershop chorus. They compete each year, and I missed this year’s due to my surgery. I want to go to next year’s, so this goal should be easy! The only thing that I imagine might hold me back would be money… so, work work work!
25. Attend a unique small-town festival Kinda vague, eh? And I haven’t put my finger on it. I went to the Fremont Solstice Festival yesterday, but other than some naked folks in the parade, it didn’t feel that unusual.
26. Finally finish the kitchen remodel This will make me happy, to have a space that looks complete.
27. Make a list of “10 things that made me happy” every week for 3 months Awww, crap. I guess I have to start this, now, eh? (how’s that attitude? hee hee!!)
28. Eat vegan for a week See, my gut would LOVE for me to eat vegan. It’s not quite happy with dairy, and also not thrilled with meat. But I like these other foods… (and I believe that humans need nutrition from omnivorous sources) I’d like to challenge myself to plan my nutrition from vegan sources for a week. This will probably be one of the hardest of the 40 goals.
29. Participate in the Global Reading Challenge—start with easy I realized that most of my–and probably most Americans’–reading is American/European. I’m trying to expose myself to more and different viewpoints.
30. Take a trapeze class Both from a “facing fear” and an “it looks fun” viewpoint–and also, because my body can do it!

Now, since the first 20 have been out there for a month, what have I done?

  • I’m in the middle stages of planning a yoga/Pilates retreat for late August!
  • I’ve been working on losing 10 pounds. The scale fluctuates between 1-3 pounds down, but my clothes are definitely a lot looser!

I guess that’s all I’ve done, so far. I’ve had lots of business-growing tasks that have overwhelmed my life–also not a bad goal!

How are all of you doing with your goals? List them here, on your own blog, or somewhere public–be accountable!

Finally–again, happy Father’s Day!


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