Strawberry, Avocado, Quinoa Salad

This salad is so good I don’t know where to begin! Have you ever wanted to eat guacamole with a spoon and then thought, no, I really shouldn’t? Well this salad is like that, except you can eat it by the spoonful! It is also delicious as a dip with tortilla chips or you can spoon it over a big bed of lettuce as a main course salad, it doesn’t even require extra dressing! And to make it all more exciting it’s loaded with protein and veggies! Don’t be afraid of the kale, it just looks like cilantro and I promise it will not make you gag (you won’t even taste it)!

Ingredients:
1.5 cups cooked quinoa
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans
1 cup strawberries, quartered
2 avocados, diced
3 branches of purple kale, about 2-3 cups (just the leaves, not the stem)
1 bunch of cilantro
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
6 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons hemp oil (or grapeseed or olive oil)
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon salt

In a medium mixing bowl stir together the onion, garlic, lime juice, mustard, oil, agave nectar and salt.
Next, use a food processor to process the kale and cilantro (stem and all) into tiny pieces. Add the kale and cilantro to the mixing bowl and stir.
Last, fold in the quinoa, beans, strawberries and avocados and stir to incorporate.
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed on to the salad so the avocados don’t turn brown.

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When storing in the fridge press plastic wrap down like so:

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It turns out Lilly really loves kale too! I caught her sneaking a piece out of the garbage, ha!

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Look how fast she was eating it! Her head is a blur! I’m pretty sure this is the fastest Lilly has ever moved!

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Guacamole

Well, its march in Salt Lake City and I feel like summer is officially here!! Well, maybe not officially, but it sure has been warm! Nothing says summertime like guacamole!
I had never made guacamole from scratch before, I have always just bought the overpriced pre-made stuff from the store. So imagine how delighted I was when I learned how easy and inexpensive it is to make! And did I mention, DELICIOUS?!

Ingredients:
3 avocados
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced cilantro (stems and all)
2 roma tomatoes, diced (optional)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice & salt. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and stir to incorporate everything. Refrigerate for an hour before serving for the best flavor, or inhale immediately.

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Now, when you store your guacamole in the fridge you do not want it to turn brown. I suggest covering it with plastic wrap and then smashing it down tight around the guacamole so no air can get in.

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Penne Pasta with Broccolini and Spicy “Sausage” Crumbles

This is actually two recipes in one! The first one is “sausage crumbles” which are absolutely delicious in pasta or on pizza. The second part is a simple, easy, healthy pasta with broccolini (aka broccoli rabe). I must admit I’m not a huge fan of broccoli, but broccolini has a nice flavor and texture which I really enjoy. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients. This throws together pretty quickly!
Adapted from Veganomicon and Vegan with a Vengance

Sausage Crumble Ingredients:
2 8 oz packages of tempeh
2 tablespoons fennel seed
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried sage
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (bottled lemon juice is fine!)

Pasta Ingredients:
1 lb brown rice penne pasta (or your pasta of choice)
2 tablespoons olive
10 cloves of garlic, minced
2 pounds broccolini, stems removed, chopped
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by cooking your pasta in a large pot. While the water boils and the pasta cooks, start making the sausage. When the pasta is done rinse it and set it aside.

Next, start making the sausage crumbles. Crumble the tempeh up in a large skillet. Add just enough water to the skillet to almost cover the tempeh. Cook over medium high heat until most of the water has been absorbed (12-15 min). While that cooks, combine the remaining sausage ingredients in a small bowl. When the water has been absorbed add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. While you wait for the sausage to brown start preparing the pasta ingredients. When the sausage is done put it in the pot used to boil the pasta.

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Sausage crumbles cooking

Now prepare the broccolini. Heat the oil in the skillet used for the sausage on medium heat. Add the garlic and let it sizzle for about a minute. Add the broccolini, sprinkle a little salt and pepper on, stir it around a little, then cover it and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the water and steam it for about 8 more minutes or until it is nice and bright green.
Now combine the pasta, sausage and broccolini in the pasta pot, sprinkle on the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

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Yum!

Quick and Easy Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

I eat a salad for dinner most nights of the week. I know that sounds really boring huh? And it is boring if I don’t have any good stuff to put in it! I really like to crumble veggie burgers in my salad. They add flavor, texture and protein, plus they fill me up better than a big bowl of just lettuce! But store bought veggie burgers aren’t all that good, and they are expensive. Home made veggie burgers are great but they leave me with a ton of dirty dishes and a trashed kitchen.
Enter the Quick and Easy Black Bean Quinoa Burger!
You only need 1 big mixing bowl and a baking sheet. That’s it! No sautéing, no trashed kitchen! And it will only cost a few bucks to make about 15 burgers!

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, minced (not the kind packed in oil) optional
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced

Pre-heat oven to 350 and generously coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
First, prep all your ingredients. Next, smash your beans a little. I use my food processor and pulse a few times to get them a little smashed. You want some whole and half beans, you do not want bean purée. If you don’t have a food processor just use a fork or potato masher.
Next, mix all ingredients together in a very large mixing bowl.

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I know, that looks so appetizing, right?
Form the mixture into burger patties and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for 10 minutes on the other side. Be gentle when flipping them and use the spatula to re-smoosh them if they start to break apart.

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88 Songs to Run, Workout or Shake Your Booty To!

It can be so overwhelming to create workout playlists! Here is a list of songs I use for running and working out. There is probably 5 hours worth of music here. I hope you enjoy!

T.H.E by will.i.am
5 O’Clock by T-Pain
International love by Pitbull
Airplanes by B.o.B
Stereo Hearts by Gym class heroes
Last Friday Night by Katy Perry
Born This Way by Lady GaGa
Get Low by Lil John
Don’t Trust Me by 3OH3
Ooh Ahh by Grits
Get Away by Hed
Whip my Hair by Willow
A Walk by Bad Religion
Bat Country by Avenged Sevenfold
Boys Boys Boys by Lady GaGa
Marry You by Bruno Mars
Stronger by Kanye West
You Make me Feel by Cobra Starship
Almost Easy by Avenged Sevenfold
Baby Got Back by Sir Mix A Lot
I Can Transform Ya by Chris Brown
Everytime We Touch by Cascada
Afterlife by Avenged Sevenfold
American Boy by Estelle
Country Song by Seether
Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5
Buried Alive by Avenged Sevenfold
So Far Away by Avenged Sevenfold
Welcome to the Family by Avenged Sevenfold
Imma Be by Black Eyed Peas
Regulate by Nate Dog and Warren G
E.T. By Katy Perry
Victim by Avenged Sevenfold
Meet Me Halfway by Black Eyed Peas
Good Feeling by Flo Rida
Da Funk by Daft Punk
I Don’t Wanna Stop by Ozzy Osbourne
3 by Britney Spears
Marry The Night by Lady GaGa
Nightmare by Avenged Sevenfold
Boomerang by DJ Felli Fel
Low by FloRida
On the Floor by Jennifer Lopez
Shake Señora by Pitbull
Scream by Avenged Sevenfold
Blow by Kesha
Hey by Lil Jon & 3OH3
Hypnotize by The Notorious B.I.G
Krazy by Pitbull
Shake My by Three 6 Mafia
Starstrukk by 3OH3
Take Over Control by Afrojack
Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO
Tik Tok by Kesha
Boom by Snoop Dogg
Sail by AWOLNATION
Rain Over Me by Pitbull
Holler Til You Pass Out by 3OH3
Till the World Ends by Britney Spears
Hold it Against Me by Britney Spears
Hey Baby by Pitbull
S&M by Rihanna
Bottoms Up by Trey Songz
Only Girl by Rihanna
Sexy Chick by David Guetta
More by Usher
Drop it Low by Ester Dean & Chris Brown
Down on Me by Jeremih
The Time by The Black Eyed Peas
Club Can’t Handle Me by Flo Rida
DJ Got Us Fallin in Love by Usher
Gettin Over You by David Guetta
OMG by Usher
Take it Off by Kesha
Dirty Picture by Taio Cruz
I Like It by Enrique Iglesias
Dynamite by Taio Cruz
Hard by Rihanna
Piece of Me by Britney Spears
Revolver by Madonna
Shut it Down by Pitbull
Carry Out by Timbaland
Telephone by Lady GaGa
Rock That Body by Black Eyed Peas
I’m in Miami Trick by LMFAO
Bad Romance by Lady GaGa
New Divide by Linkin Park
Glamorous by Fergie
Undead by Hollywood Undead

8 week 1/2 marathon training program – week 2

This is my running schedule for week 2 of my 1/2 marathon training. My legs are starting to come back to me a little bit and I was surprised at how good that 8 mile run felt. Plus I had my “magic pants” and the weather was soooooooo nice and sunny! It’s amazing how good it feels to only have to wear 1 shirt when you are used to wring several!

Here is the schedule:

Tuesday: 40 minute easy recovery jog

Thursday: 3 1 mile repeats. Remember that number from last weeks training? The “x” number? That’s our goal pace for this run. Try to hold that pace for 1 mile, then jog for about 800 meters, then repeat 2 more times.

Saturday: 8 miles at x + [45 seconds to 1:45]

And my favorite piece of running equipment this week was definitely my magic pants.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats (vegan)

I seem to be posting an awful lot of treat recipes lately. I can’t help it, I LOVE treats! Especially treats that involve chocolate, peanut butter and that you can throw together in a few minutes!
Adapted from http://www.ohsheglows.com

Ingredients:
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup vanilla almond milk or 1/4 cup plain almond milk with 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 cups crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (or non-vegan, your choice)

Peanut Butter Fudge topping ingredients:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
In a medium sized sauce pan stir together the peanut butter, agave nectar, almond milk and vanilla. Once sauce is smooth, add in the cocoa powder and stir to combine. Remove from heat and add in the crisp rice cereal and combine. Then gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Press mixture into 8×8 pan and place in the freezer to cool off.

When you are ready to add the PB fudge topping, just place the peanut butter and chocolate chips in a sauce pan and heat over medium-low heat until you have a smooth sauce. Pour the sauce over the treats and spread it out evenly.
Return the treats to the fridge or freezer to firm up. Store in the fridge or freezer.

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Compression Tight Fever

I’ve heard a lot about the benefits of compression tights lately. They reduce recovery time, reduce muscle fatigue and improve performance. Then my brother tells me he has a pair and loves them, in fact, he can’t say enough good things about them! And my brother is not the kind of guy who would wear tights unless they have legitimate benefits.
I wanted to try some out for myself so I tried on a couple pairs and instantly loved the CW-X Pro 3/4 tight.

Putting them on is a bit of a challenge, squeezing my thighs into the pant legs was a bit like trying to stuff an owl into a snake, but once they were on they felt amazing! My sore legs felt supported and didn’t bounce when I ran!

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My hamstrings normally ache, but I after running 8 miles my legs felt great! I am so sold on these things I want to get their pants and shorts too! Maybe even the sports bra!
I now call these my “magic pants”.
They are a bit pricey at about $85, but did I mention nothing bounces in them? That alone is priceless!
Normally after running 8 miles I would feel like this:

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But instead I felt great! That’s my pug Lilly by the way. She pretty much always looks like that.

Workout of the week!

This is an amazing workout! This is a great workout to start out with since it uses a lot of my standard exercise moves, but it is still super hard! And the best part is, you don’t need any equipment!
Here is how it works: 10 exercises. You will do each exercise in order for 30 seconds each working as hard as you can in that 30 seconds. Yes, you might have to take a break from time to time, that’s ok. Even if you can only do 2 reps of everything, that’s better than doing ZERO! You get only 10 seconds in between moves to rest and get in place for the next. You will go through this 3 times without stopping. Got it?
Set an interval timer for 30 seconds (work) and 10 seconds (rest) for 30 rounds. Yee-haw!
Exercises:
Squat jumps
Scorpion
Lunge jump switch
One arm press up
Jack in the box tuck jump
Plank jumps
Burpees
Pushups
Swimming
Prison squats