Carrot Fries

Good Evening!

Look who helped me with dinner:

Perfect for a Coach Potato Athlete, huh? I love this little guy. He helped me make Carrot Fries.

They turned out great! I love sweet potato fries, but I have a hard time finding good sweet potatoes this time of year. I’ve heard of using carrots before, so I wanted to give it a try.

Carrot Fries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel, wash and cut carrots (about 2 lbs worth) into 4 inch slices. Cut them down to the size of a regular fry.

Toss carrots with 1-2 tsp of canola oil in a large bowl.

Place foil or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Line up your carrot sticks and sprinkle with sea salt.

Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Here’s my plate with my salmon burger:

So delicious! J thought they tasted BETTER than sweet potato fries.

Tonight the plan is to relax, read and get to bed early. I already got my TurboFire HIIT workout in, and now it is time to dig into The Lovely Bones.

Question of the day: What is your favorite vegetable and why? What is your favorite way to prepare vegetables?

Big Mac & Cool Cucumber

Hi Readers!

What could be better than a Green Monster in a Big Mac glass?

Did you know that Big Mac is a police officer? I didn’t, until I got these glasses. J bought them for me for our first wedding anniversary. Yes, I said “them” – there is another glass that I may show you tomorrow…any guesses?

(source)

Who is that pirate guy and the guy in the lab coat? Hint: don’t guess either of those guys, I’ve never seen them before!

Well you all answered my pleas for cucumber recipes. I decided to go with something simple, and Alycia from Fit n Fresh gave me the perfect idea of using vinegar and sugar:

Cool Cucumber Salad

2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
I whisked together all the wet ingredients and then tossed the cucumbers slices in the mixture.

It turned out great! You could definitely play with the vinegar/sugar amounts to suit your tastes. I like a slightly tangy, vinegary taste.

So did you watch Top Chef last night?

Do you think that Alex “stole” Ed’s pea puree? I was watching the show/folding laundry/reading blogs at the same time, so I may have missed some key information, and I know how Bravo likes to edit their shows. I don’t really like Alex, so maybe he did do it!

Plans for later today:

-TurboFire HIIT
-Short run with J
-Dinner: salmon burgers and carrot fries
-Start reading The Lovely Bones (have you read this?)
-Watch Bethenny Getting Married (?)
-RELAX!

Question of the day: What book are you reading right now? Or, what book would you like to read next? I have been reading the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) books, but I decided to take a break and read The Lovely Bones. With all this Eat, Pray, Love hoopla going on, I may have to pick that up too.

Have a great day!

Holly

Top Chef and Top Baker

Hi Readers!

Thank you so much for all the suggestions for what to do with my beautiful cucumbers! I will definitely try something new tomorrow night.

And for those that asked, I live near St. Paul, Minnesota and the weather is always crazy here – you never know what you’ll get. Lately it has just been HOT. I can’t wait for Autumn.

Dinner tonight was Chicken Fajitas.

On the stove:

Chicken breast, green pepper, red pepper, onion

Mashed avocado:

My plate — notice the nice globs of avocado on the side. Avocados were MADE for fajitas.

I love making a quick and easy dinner but I wasn’t done in the kitchen just yet.

The original recipe is taken from this book:

But I changed a few things which are noted below. Have you heard of this book? J and I followed our blood type diet for a few months when we first got married, and it wasn’t easy to eat dairy-free, wheat-free, soy-free and have restrictions on certain fruits/vegetables. I really do admire those of you who do follow such dietary restrictions. I know it cannot be easy.

Banana Blueberry Oat Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
Ingredients:
1 cup oat flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup canola oil
½ cup brown sugar
1 mashed banana
1 egg + 1 egg white
½-1 cup blueberries or ½ cup walnuts or both!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pans with spray or muffin liners. Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl and all wet ingredients in another. Blend together. *Don’t overmix the batter like I did, the batter became very thin*Fill muffin cups half full and bake for 20-22 minutes.  

Check out the inside:

These are perfect treats for J because they are dairy-free and they taste delicious.

Tonight I felt like a Top Chef…and a Top Baker — dinner was great and the muffins were a success! I love how the whole house smells wonderful and warm. Yes, even when it is 90 degrees outside I like a warm house because of baking! (as long as the AC is working)

Are you going to watch Top Chef tonight?

Plans: Watch Top Chef (how many times can I mention this in one post?), say goodbye to M and T (moving to Texas tomorrow morning!) and get to bed early. J and I have a 5:30am running date!

Question of the day: Do you like to bake? What is your favorite cookie/bread/bar/pie/cake that you have made yourself?

Have a great night,

Holly

Frozen Berry Cloud

Hi Readers!
 
What a lovely day! I finally got my workout schedule all figured out: Well, I have this week figured out!

Sun: Fire 45/Stretch 10
Mon: Fire 45 EZ
Tues: Run 2 miles (AM) HIIT 20, FBB Strength (PM)
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Run 2 miles (AM), HIIT 15, FBB Strength (PM)
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Run 2 miles, Core 20/Stretch 40

 

I decided on having 2 full rest days. If I decide to do anything extra on those days, great, but there is no pressure. I’m already nervous about following this schedule the second week of August – my sister/niece/nephew are coming up from OK to visit us. What do you do when you have company over? Do you still make time to work out? I know that week will be a challenge for me.
 
I forgot to post a pic of my lunch earlier today. Here is my grilled chicken salad with Poppyseed dressing:
 

 
Minestrone soup:

 

 
So delicious. What do you like to eat for lunch?
 
Dinner was the always delicious Tilapia, brown rice and green beans:

Yes this is the same pic from yesterday — I ate my dinner too quickly before I had the chance to take a pic, but you get the idea!

Best part of the day: dessert/post workout snack:

Mixed Berry Cloud

You will need:

 3/4 cup almond milk

 1 cup mixed berries

 a small pinch of each to thicken it up

Throw it all in a blender (or a magic bullet in my case):

And here’s what you get:

I didn’t blend it completely, that way there were chunks of berries still inside. It is a freezing cold fruit sorbet. Thanks Susan for the recipe — it is adapted from Hungry Girl.
 
Tonight the plans are cleaning up the house, getting some TurboFire in, and getting to bed early. I stayed up too late last night and I’ve been dragging all day as a result.
 
Question of the day: When do you go to bed at night? I try to get to bed before 10pm because it takes me a while to fall asleep.

The Missing Banana Truck

Hi Readers!

I am so happy to see that I am not the only one who goes to so many grocery stores on a weekly basis. (and I’m also glad to see that I’m not the only one who has had odd results from VOO – I should just stick with the original recipe!) Here is where I go for grocery supplies:

Cub Foods (regular grocery store): basic cooking things (sugar, salt, almond milk, eggs, some produce, snacks for J)

Trader Joes: more produce (sweet potatoes, bagged lettuce, etc), granola bars, vitamins, almond butter, peanut butter, jam, frozen meals (orange chicken, egg rolls, frozen veggies, frozen brown rice, frozen berries), soups, bread, clif bars, larabars, trail mix

Healthy Ways (local health food store): protein powder, larabars, chia seeds, chia meal, flaxseed

Target: paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, etc), trail mix packs (only Target has the certain brand I like!), bottled water

Our Target did get produce, but not much. I was a little disappointed when I got there – they had 1 aisle of produce: grapes, blueberries, raspberries, bagged lettuce/spinach and baby carrots. Eek. I didn’t even see bananas! Now, this was their first day with fresh groceries, so maybe the Banana Truck didn’t make it up to MN yet. I’m hopeful!

I’m still working on my training schedule, does anyone have any tips? The running plan is only 3 days per week of running, FBB strength plan is only 2 days per week and then I wanted to sprinkle in a few TurboFire workouts throughout the week.

What is your workout schedule like? Or do you like to go with the flow and decide each day?

Lunch was really good today, I had a bowl of this soup:

And a sandwich made with turkey, veggie cheese and green peppers on whole wheat.

Look how gooey the veggie cheese got!

Dinner was equally amazing. I made Paula Deen’s Baked Tilapia. You know what that means: BUTTER.

 Here is the tilapia before it went in the oven.

I also made brown rice and some steamed veggies.

Here’s my plate:

So good.

I have brownies in the oven.right.now. I made them for J to take to work – pray for me that I don’t eat them all as soon as they are done!

Question of the day: What is your favorite treat? I love brownies, cookies and ice cream. And pie. And cake. Ok I love them all but I’d have to pick brownies as my favorite. Especially when they are really gooey on the inside.

Have a great night!

Holly

Top Chef and Salsa Chicken

I love checking my email first thing in the morning to see that readers have commented on my blog. That really means so much to me! And I know that with time, this blog will get better and better. I am always open to suggestions as well, so feel free to leave me a comment!

First things first: TOP CHEF. Who watched it, are you a fan?


Who do you like so far?

I’m having a hard time with this season, usually by now I have a few favorites (last season I really liked Kevin (with the beard) and Jennifer right away) – but this season it has taken me a while. I liked Angelo at first, but he was so cocky that I started to not like him anymore. I do like Kelly and Kevin, and I am starting to like Andrea more and more.

What did you think of the duck testicles?

Ew. I loved how they showed Padma and Michelle Bernstein taking a bite and everyone stood around and watched them eat that dish. Haha.

I missed Work of Art – too sleepy. I’ll catch it this weekend. I love their “Tim Gunn” guy on that show – his voice and appearance reminds me of a cartoon – he just can’t be real!

His double breasted suits are the best!

Breakfast this morning was the usual: Green Monster

In the mix: 1 cup almond milk, ½ banana, 1 handful spinach, 1 TBSP chia meal (ground up chia seeds), 1 scoop whey protein, ½ TBSP peanut butter

All mixed up in the magic bullet:

J has a GM with me each morning too, but he gets a little extra food:


I’m such a nice wife for making his breakfast every day, no?

I had to get gas this morning so I grabbed a coffee and wow do I feel the caffeine in me today! I have been weaning myself off of diet pop, so pretty much any caffeine really shakes up my body.

For a snack I brought some mixed nuts and green grapes, and here’s my lunch:

salad with chicken

a small piece of my leftover Salsa Chicken

That is one of my favorite recipes, and it is so easy:

Salsa Chicken (as I get more recipes, I’ll add a recipes tab up top)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar salsa
½ can black beans, rinsed and drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat baking dish with non stick spray.
Arrange chicken breasts in dish, try to leave some space between them.
Cover chicken thickly with salsa.
Sprinkle on black beans.
Cover dish tightly with foil.
Bake 35-40 minutes.
This tastes great by itself, or served over brown rice.

I think I will continue to post a recipe on Thursday morning, since I will be inspired by Top Chef the night before. 🙂

I’ll be posting my workout DVD reviews later today, be sure to check back!

I updated my “running tab” last night, with details of my first marathon, check it out!

Question of the Day: What is your favorite TV right now? Do you like reality shows more than sitcoms/dramas?