20 Minute Workout

I’ve been neglecting my CrossFit workouts…oh well. Yesterday was really hot out and I knew Clementine wouldn’t want to go for a run with me, so I made up a quick circuit workout! My neighbors probably think I’m so weird working out outside, but it was too nice out to be inside.

Outdoor Workout

This workout it awesome because it’s pretty quick, each exercise is only a minute long so you don’t get bored! You can do anything for a  minute! It’s also great full body workout if you don’t have any equipment or a gym, all you need is about 6 feet of space! You can even just pretend to jumprope if you don’t have one handy. I just used the timer on my phone.
20 minute Circuit

You can really do these exercises in any order, but I like to do them in the order they are written because it really works each muscle group effectively. The donkey kicks really burn! Fire hydrants are just side donkey kicks, like a dog peeing…you get the point. I’ll definitely be trying this workout again. It’s quick and I can do it anywhere!

What is your favorite “no-gym” workout?

How To Make Tofu: So that it doesn’t taste like rubbery nothing

Tofu! I actually enjoy eating tofu, but to many people it is really creepy, blobbery stuff that they would rather avoid. If made correctly, tofu can be a delicious source of protein for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. I did get my boyfriend hooked on the stuff (so much so that when I was away for a weekend it was all he ate…even I think that’s disgusting). This recipe is a simple, quick way to make a base tofu that can them be used in all sorts of dishes, on top of salads, or as a dish itself. Now everyone always says that tofu just tastes like whatever you season it with, which is true! But I think the texture also sends some people scurrying away. Of course, you can deep fry the cubes and it will taste good, because anything deep fried tastes good. We’re trying to keep it healthy, so this recipe still gives you a crisp exterior and delicious tasting tofu without submerging it in an inch of boiling oil. Gross tofu
Tofu might be the most attractive thing to photograph, ever.

Step 1:

Buy the tofu. Select organic and extra-firm varieties.tofu

I like Wegmans brand. Make sure you choose organic when buying soy products. Soy beans are one of the top genetically-modified organisms (GMO) in the United States. In fact it might be up to 85% of the soybean crop in the United States is GMO. Buying organic is the only way to ensure you are not buying anything genetically modified, since there are no labeling requirements in most of the U.S.

Step 2:

Drain very well and pat with a paper towel or clean dish towel.

Step 3:

Microwave for 2-3 minutes. Take the tofu out of the microwave, careful it will be scalding hot! Wait until it cools a bit and pat again with the towel. There might be some liquid on the plate or bowl, so be careful not to spill it down your arm and burn yourself, that’s not so fun.

Step 4: Chop it into bite size chunks.
Building blocksFood or weird, chalk-like, children’s building blocks??

Step 4:

Heat a frying pan. Pour 2 Tablespoons of olive oil into the heated pan. Pan fry 1 Tablespoon of very thinly chopped onions, or a Tablespoon of dried onions. Add the tofu carefully and swoosh it around in the pan for 20 minutes. Yea I know, 20 minutes is kind of a long time. You don’t have to be swooshing that whole time, just make sure that the tofu bits don’t burn on any side and cook semi-evenly.Yummy Tofu

Step 5:

After the tofu looks browned and a bit crispy turn the heat off. Add a dash of garlic powder, salt, pepper, and any fresh herbs you would like. I usually add 2-3 Tablespoons of chives.

That’s it! Let it cool and your ready to add it to any dish. I love it in fried rice, on top of salads, or dipped in my favorite condiment-aka buffalo sauce.Tofu salad

Happy Friday, Have a fantastic weekend! What is one food you just can’t stand the texture of, even if the flavor isn’t all that bad?

Cauliflower Crust Pizza (Easy version)

Keeping with the weekly menu, last night was Cauliflower Crust Pizza. One of my personal favorites. I love that I can get the flavor and feel of pizza without the greasy feel and guilt of most take out pizzas. Also, this is delicious as leftovers!Cauliflower CrustEveryone loves pizza, and most people know pizza is usually not the healthiest meal option out there. This might be the healthiest version out there! The cauliflower crust pizza craze has been all over the internet and pinterest. Some of the recipes I have discovered seem a little too time consuming, or down right difficult. This is the most simplified, yet delicious cauliflower crust pizza recipe out there! And it is gluten-free, vegetarian, and much healthier than most other pizza-y options.

Cauliflower

1. Cut up the cauliflower into chunks, taking off most of the stems. Place in food processor or blender, whirl until it its in 1/4 inch chunks, you want it to still be a little bit chunky, not fully pureed!

2. Place cauliflower into microwave safe bowl and microwave for 5 minutes, no need to add extra water! Careful it will be hot!!

3. While the cauliflower is cooking I quickly stir fry the mushrooms on medium heat until they are darker brown and soft.

4. To the warm cauliflower, add eggs, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and garlic salt. Stir mixture together until fully combined.

5. Pat out mixture onto sprayed pizza stone or cookie sheet.

6. Bake in preheated oven (400 degrees) for 15 minutes, or until slightly golden, and it will have an elastic-like feel to it.

pizza

7. Add sauce, extra cheese, and chosen toppings, put back in the hot oven just until the cheese melts and the toppings are crispy.

8. Let cool for a bit and set up, then enjoy!

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 Slice and Enjoy! 🙂

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You can make this pizza paleo by omitting the cheese and experimenting with other vegetable/meat toppings. [Updated 6/12/14]

Decadent Fudge Brownies

I think baking brownies can be somewhat intimidating to people. Cookies? No problem. Cupcakes? Yea we got that….but brownies? Don’t you have to melt chocolate and stuff for that? Yea…not for these ones! These brownies are almost as easy as making them from the box. And they taste a million times better, have real ingredients, and nothing questionable. They are so chocolately and delicious. Perfect will a cold glass of milk for dessert…

Fudge Brownies
 According to my menu I posted yesterday, stir fry was up next on the list, but that is boring, and I wanted to share our dessert with you guys instead! These are so simple and delicious, I can’t wait for you to try them! For the milk I used almond milk, but you can use any type you want. I believe you can easily make them gluten-free by substituting Bob’s gf flour or maybe even almond flour? (no promises with that one!) They can be made vegan by using almond milk and flax seeds instead of an egg. fudge-brownie-recipe.jpg

If you want a thicker brownie they can be made in an 8×8 baking dish, but they will need to be baked for 10-15 minutes longer.  They are so rich and delicious that you only need a small bite to satisfy your chocolate craving. And they are SO much healthier than most brownie recipes.IMG_6991

These brownies are easy to make, and a much better option compared to the boxed versions. For instance, Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Box contains:

Sugar, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour [Enriched With Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid], Malted Barley Flour), Powdered Sugar (Sugar, Corn Starch), Cocoa Powder Processed With Alkali, Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil). Contains 2% Or Less Of: Wheat Starch, Dextrose, Salt, Cornstarch, Artificial Flavor, Carrageenan, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate).chewy-fudge-brownie-recipe

 

The first ingredient is sugar, meaning that is the most abundant ingredient. These (and many other boxed brownies) contain hydrogenated oil. Which is a trans fat- meaning linked to causing heart disease, cardiovascular problems due to an increase in cholesterol. And the FDA has banned them in our foods…and they will (eventually) be taken out. Hopefully. At least the government is recognizing trans fats are not safe, I guess it’s one step in the right direction. A small one. The brownie mix also contains artifical flavor…read, anything we want to add. And the algae extracted carrageenan. Yea, totally a normal ingredient. I talk more about hydrogenated oils here, in my post about peanut butters. And natural and artificial flavors here, What is in my protein bar?!

So…Just make them yourself! It’s easy! And then they don’t taste like chocolate flavored oil, they don’t leave a big oily stain on your napkin, and they don’t give you high cholesterol….but most importantly of all, you know EXACTLY what is going into them. And I’m pretty sure most of us don’t have a bottle of carrageenan sitting in our cupboard…because if anyone did, it would probably be me.

So next time you want to whip up a batch of brownies, try this recipe instead of reaching for the box. You probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboard, if not they are available at most grocery stores! Boyfriend .jpg

But be careful! My boyfriend is such a sneak that he eats only the chocolate chip parts! Even though I told him there were chocolate chips throughout them, he thought it was necessary to cut out the parts with extra chocolate chips. Jeepers, worse than a little kid!

 

Quick and Easy Stuffed Peppers

This week on the dinner menu!DinnerMenu.jpg

This is the first time I’ve actually gone shopping and planned what I was going to eat. Usually we just go to the store and buy what we always buy and then when it’s time to make dinner we have no idea what to make. I was getting kind of bored with the same old recipes we were making. So I decided to actually make a plan! (Which we probably won’t stick to anyway). Oh well! Last night we made some delicious stuffed peppers. And I’m sharing that recipe with you today!

This recipe is much quicker, easier, and healthier than many I have found! And it tasted delicious!

Stuffed Peppers:

StuffedPeppers

Ingredients:

  • 4 bell peppers, any color…I even found a multi-colored one!
  • 1 pound ground beef, or sausage
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  •  1 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, I used our frozen marinara sauce
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheeseStuffed Pepper RecipeYou might need to put these on broil for just a couple of minutes to really get the cheese brown and crispy, but it’s really only a couple of minutes! Don’t burn them! We bought local, grass-fed, sausages from a farm a couple of miles away. These really had a delicious flavor and they were so easy to make. Suffed Inside.jpg
    De-licious! You can also use ground beef and season it however you like! If you would like the peppers to be softer you can leave them in the oven longer than just the preheat time, but I didn’t wanna wait that long and I don’t mind if they are a little crunchy! Hopefully, I will have the next couple of recipes later in the week! Enjoy!

200 Push-Ups…Such a great workout…except for it sucks.

Sorry, another arm workout, but I’m trying to get my arms toned for my sister’s wedding!!!!! I’m so excited! I can’t even contain it! So this seems like a pretty boring workout, but it’s so painful that it can’t be boring. Sounds awesome, right?! Haha well I thought it was. Best part is you can do this anywhere! You just need 100 feet of space for the running portion. You can do it right out in your yard and run down the driveway, at a park, at a large gym, around a track, in the woods…ya get the picture. So lace up and let’s go!

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There is a 20 minute time cap, try to Make sure you pace yourself. Don’t go all out right from the beginning and do all the push-ups you can in your first round. Do a smaller number so that your arms aren’t completely spent right from the beginning. This is a HUGE number of push-ups, make sure you work up to it. Do this workout with 75 push-ups, really listen to your body.

Correct Way To Do a Push-Up:

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Push-ups are actually a great whole body exercise. They should be working your abs and back if you are doing them correctly. When you are doing the push-ups try to keep your elbows in close not poking too far out to the side. Also, keep your body straight, don’t sag in your back! Hand should be pointed forward with your fingers slightly spread. Do not keep the weight in the back of your hands.

Good Luck! I just barely finished the 200 in 20 minutes. I had about half a second to spare. Get those arms workin!

Banana Bread Bars

BananaBreadBarMmm Peanut Butter Banana Bread Bars. Yikes! Sounds dangerously good. Don’t worry they are healthy and delicious! And they are a great way to use up those old bananas rotting away on your counter…

RottenBananasYea those…actually they aren’t even too rotten, but I just really wanted to make something with them. This is what I came up with! These are kind of like chewy granola bars- much lighter than regular banana bread, but still realllly good.
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These are great for breakfast or after a workout. They go wonderfully with coffee. If you don’t have natural peanut butter, I’m (pretty) sure that regular peanut butter would work. I used dark chocolate chunks on top, but any sort of chocolate chips would work, or peanut butter chips might be a great idea too. These can be made vegan by omitting the chocolate chips or using non-dairy chocolate chips.

BananaBreadBarsThey were eaten up pretty quickly! Happy Monday! What is your favorite way to start the morning?!