Sunday, April 26, 2015

Make-it-Your-Own Breakfast Bake

Here we go again... back to having strength in the schedule. Every week we do a 20 rep backsquat- I am doing this 3x a week because I am terrible at them and, as noted with the open posts, I need to get stronger, badly. I have gone up 20lbs in 1 week- it is completely mental. My friend Amber and I were discussing that it seems to suck about the same as you go up in weight so we might as well go up. She is currently 20 repping my pr... I think that means I need a higher pr. :) I also pr'd my jerk this week- I don't jerk from a rack or block very often, but as you can see from my smile there's a really good feeling that comes from hitting a lift. Like really good. My jerk is not high compared to a lot of people, but as my sister reminds me, "up is up" and as long as it is going up I really can't complain! 
The before and after. 

 This dish was inspired by my frittata few weeks ago combined with something my mom made for Easter- one of those sit-overnight type of egg dishes. Hers was made with the frozen or refrigerated hash browns, I decided to make mine myself. I wanted something that could last me through the week. I can cut this into six, large pieces and it is perfect to heat up and go. I have made two different versions so far- hence "make it your own" but they all start the same way. Enjoy!

HINT! The sweet potato hash browns can be thrown in a pan with a little oil to be crisped up and they become like restaurant hash browns... delish!

Make-it-Your-Own Breakfast Hash

- 12 Eggs, whisked
- 1 Cup Milk (any kind)
- 1/2 Sweet Onion, finely chopped
- 2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and grated
- Salt and Pepper
Toppings of your choice! 

Ham and Egg

- 12-16oz Cooked or Honey Baked Ham diced

Artichoke and Spinach

- 10 oz Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and drained
- 14 oz Can Artichoke Hearts, chopped
- Feta (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
1. Put the grated sweet potato in a greased, 9x11" glass dish. Bake 15 minutes. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, saute the onion in a skillet over medium heat until translucent, 7-10 minutes. Set aside.

3. Whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper, onions, and your toppings together. Pour over the potatoes. At this point it can be put in the fridge overnight until you are ready to bake it, or can be baked immediately. 

4. Bake 45 minutes-1 hour until the eggs are set. If you are baking from overnight it will take closer to an hour. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Creamy Curry Broccoli Salad

New week, positive attitude...go!  :) This morning I went to the gym at 6am because I couldn't sleep and was prepared for work already. I usually go into work early on Mondays because Charlie is with her dad, but I figured since I wasn't sleeping anyway, getting a workout in when I normally wouldn't, even that early, was better than none. I usually workout after work when I have eaten several times, hydrated and been on my feet all day, being that I am not used to lifting at 6am, when I do it's harder than normal- weights feel heavy, snatching seems impossible. I didn't have a bad workout, just wasn't great either, but it was definitely more effective than not at all and a positive way to begin a new week! Hardest step is the one out of bed.

This weekend we went to MSU's Small Animals Day. They have all the baby animals out and you can feed them and pet them, milk the cows, hold a baby chick, etc. 

Charlie loves animals so it was a great day for us. Plus I need to start brainwashing her to go to MSU. :)

The idea for this dish came from the abundance of broccoli in my fridge- I buy the big bag at Costco in the produce section. I went with the warmer Thai flavor yellow curry because I wanted something different and personally like curry... if you don't, then add whatever seasoning you like to the mayo... or try a bit first before wasting all of your ingredients on something you don't care for. I bought my yellow curry powder, but you can make it using turmeric (hence the yellow color), cumin, coriander, mustard seed, chili flakes, and ginger (sometimes a pinch of clove)- recipes are all over the internet. It is mild as far as the heat of curry spices go, but makes this dish more unique than typical mayo-dressed broccoli salads. The raisins are also something I distinctly remember from my time overseas in South East Asia, so I added those for some sweetness. I tend to cook nut-free, but salted cashews instead of the sunflower seeds would be yummy in this. 

Creamy Curry Broccoli Salad

(Printable Version)

- 5 Cups Broccoli Florets, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 Heads)
- 1/3 Cup Raisins (or cranberries)
- 1/3 Cup Raw or Dry-Roasted Sunflower Seeds
- 1 Shallot, finely chopped (or 1/4 cup Red Onion)
Curry Mayo-
- 2/3 Cup Avocado Oil (or Olive Oil)
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 tsp + 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice (divided)
- 3 tsp Yellow Curry Powder
- 1-2 tsp Raw Honey
- Salt and Pepper

1. Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Add the broccoli, raisins, sunflower seeds, and shallots to a large bowl.

2. Make the Mayo- either in a bowl, or a mason jar, combine the oil, mustard, egg and 2 tsp lemon juice. 

Whisking vigorously or using an immersion blender, whisk or blend until a light yellow mayo is formed. 

Add the curry, honey, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and salt and pepper and mix again.

3. Add the mayo to the broccoli, toss to combine. Taste or salt. Serve immediately or chill and serve later.

Servings 5.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 345
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 31 g47 %
Saturated Fat 3 g17 %
Monounsaturated Fat 20 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 37 mg12 %
Sodium 127 mg5 %
Potassium 397 mg11 %
Total Carbohydrate 18 g6 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g13 %
Sugars 10 g
Protein 5 g9 %
Vitamin A13 %
Vitamin C133 %
Calcium6 %
Iron11 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Mug Cake

Coming off of spring break most teachers can see the end in sight... 9 more weeks... we can do it! It is almost a tease to spend a week at home with my daughter only to have to go back for a couple more months of work. I know, I am lucky I am a teacher and I get that time... anyone could have been a teacher so if you chose not to be then don't complain... I'm kidding. :) My spring break was fairly uneventful- time spent at the gym and at the pool with Charlie girl. My last weekend of the break, however, changed things. After my divorce I was at peace with reality that I could possibly not have any more children and I may spend a lot of time single- but last summer I dated someone and was truly happy- crazy to think I could meet someone sooner than expected. In the winter things with Rudy went south for various reasons, and we decided take a break. We had our ups and downs, still saw each other at the gym, hung out weekly, talked and whatnot, but that is now decidedly done, something had to change. I am now faced with the reality of picking myself back up again- It is over a year later, I am 30, Charlie is almost 3, and I may be single for a while meaning possibly no more children. I know- chances are I will eventually meet someone and if I only have one healthy child I should be grateful- I am. I just think it is harder this time because it was my first relationship since my marriage and as she is older the thought of having kids far apart and starting over is just not easy to grasp. I can say it- this is for the best, I do not want to have another child with the wrong man again, but that doesn't mean it isn't hard and doesn't hurt. Any time you have to start over with a job, new city, relationship it isn't always easy - but every time there's a major change I seem to learn more about myself. Obviously I do not know what my future will be, I am fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of really good friends who understand, want the best for me and have my back. So for now I will be focusing on Charlie girl, spending time with my friends, trying to be positive, and lifting heavy shit. Squats on squats... we squat 8 days a week. :) 

After coming up with so many mug cakes that are popular with so many people I feel like I need to test these in a ramekin in the oven for my friends that don't use a microwave! I am thinking something high heat and not long because the microwave simulates that. Stay tuned anti-microwave friends! 

I am one of those people who struggles eating when I am sad. I just lose my appetite... what is worse than losing my relationship is losing my gains so I need to eat. These little cakes are always appealing to me and I ate mine with ice cream! 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Mug Cake

(Printable Version)

- 2 Tbsp Nutbutter, Sunbutter, Peanutbutter... whatever you want
- 1 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Tbsp Raw Honey (or a little less)
- 5 Tbsp Milk (1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp )
- 1 (heaping) Tbsp Coconut Flour
- Pinch of Salt

1. Mix everything in a microwave safe- greased if you want- (large) mug until smooth. 

2. Microwave 90 seconds to 2 minutes. The cake will pull away from the sides when it is done. Careful! These babies are hot!!

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 325
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19 g30 %
Saturated Fat 3 g17 %
Monounsaturated Fat 11 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 6 mg2 %
Sodium 836 mg35 %
Potassium 207 mg6 %
Total Carbohydrate 34 g11 %
Dietary Fiber 8 g33 %
Sugars 24 g
Protein 12 g23 %
Vitamin A3 %
Vitamin C0 %
Calcium18 %
Iron18 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Orange Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

It is spring break...yay!!! The perks of being a teacher. :) I know other parents can relate- staying at home all day with a child is not much of a break from working. I wouldn't say one is harder than the other, they are just both fatiguing. I think my biggest challenge with staying home with her is the lack of adult interaction and relentlessness- I have been lucky my mom and sister babysat so I could go to the gym three times this week- but the rest of time it is just me. No break. No home comes home to help. No one is here to entertain her. I am it. And oh-my-gosh is she into EVERYTHING. I can't turn around, go to the bathroom, make dinner, etc. without her getting into something or wanting to "help" which makes the process slower and messier. Phew! I need a break from my break! 

As with anything in life you can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Things have to change if you are not satisfied with how they currently are--- this applies to relationships, work, fitness, etc. I know I could tell myself this about many things in my life, but as far as food is concerned I know I need to make a change to make my fitness better. I have said it before- I need to eat more, bottom line. I have started tracking what I eat, again, something I hate doing, but it is necessary for me and eye-opening to how little I eat in a day sometimes and why some days I feel more fatigued then others. I am following something written by my friend, dietician, and CrossFit athlete, Josh, and my friends Amber and Mara are doing the something similar for their body-types/goals. It is always good to do something like this with friends to hold yourself accountable. I am using MyFitnessPal to track everything and I completely changed the settings (see above) :) I currently weigh 115lbs, am 30 years old and 5'2".... I want to weight 130lbs. I am hoping taking my eating as seriously as my workouts helps! 

Wild caught salmon that was previously frozen was on sale at Whole Foods so I had to get some. Charlie eats fish also so I thought this light dinner would be perfect for the two of us. :) Pineapple that was already cored was also on sale- the expiration date was a day away, but since I was making this tonight who cares!! The honey makes the salsa more palatable for her because of the heat-factor, but my child is definitely mine because she can take some heat! 

Orange Salmon with Pineapple Salsa 

(Printable Version)

- 2 Salmon Filets (about 5 oz each)
- 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 Orange, juiced, zested
- 1/2 Pineapple, cored and diced into cubes
- 1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 2 Tbsp Red Onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp Raw Honey (optional)
- Salt and Pepper

Preheat Oven to 450 Degrees. 

1. Pineapple Salsa- Mix the pineapple, jalapeno, red onion, 1/2 orange juice/zest, honey (optional), pinch of salt and pepper. Set it aside. (if you have any lime, a squeeze of that would be good too!)

2. Salmon- Mix the mustard and the rest of the zest/juice. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper then pour the marinade over it. I baked mine in the same pan I did this in. Skin-side down. Bake 12-15 minutes. Salmon should be the same firmness throughout and flake easily. Serve with the pineapple salsa. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sweet Potato Tuna Cakes

As the final scores of the CrossFit Open come out it is always tempting to compare yourself to your friends, teammates, other people you know from competitions or other boxes, etc. I am guilty of the same thing. Obviously looking at scores and thinking you should have done this, they are better at that, in any other competition you would have beaten them... whatever analyzing you do... is going to happen, but I need to remind myself of this (and I am guessing so do a lot of people)... They will never be you and you will never be them. We all have different strengths, weaknesses, body shapes, mental drive, etc. and that makes us all different athletes. Even compared to my twin we have different strengths and weaknesses fitness-wise. Competition is a big part of CrossFit- either against yourself, the clock, your friends, but keep in mind this is supposed to be fun... and comparing yourself to others constantly will not make you a better athlete- you know you best so work on you- and lean on your friends for support because your real friends want you to succeed and will help you.  :-)

I have mentioned these cakes before...they are a copy-cat recipe from Nom Nom Paleo - Spicy Tuna Cakes. I have made them a lot now because they are delicious, but I have found that I pretty much never have all of the ingredients which is where my version of the recipe comes from. I simplified the original recipe and had to increase how many "cakes" the original recipe made because it wasn't enough. :) I have also put in the recipe for my spicy mayo dipping sauce... can't have the without that! 

Sweet Potato Tuna Cakes

(Printable Version)

(Makes 24 Cakes)

- 2 Baked Sweet Potatoes
- 4 Eggs
- 2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 4 Green Onions, Chopped (These I often don't have and therefore omit)
- 3 7-oz Cans of Tuna in Water (drained and flaked- 20+ oz total would be your goal)
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Melted Ghee or Butter
- Siracha (Optional)

1. Bake the sweet potatoes- poke them with holes with a knife and bake at 400 degrees for 45min-1 hr. Let them cool until you can handle them- then peel and mash them in a large bowl.

2. In the large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, except the butter, to the mashed potatoes. Mix until well combined. (Use your hands, get in there!)

3. Melt the butter, using a brush or your hands, grease a 24 muffin tin. Add any remaining butter to mixture. 
4. Scoop about 1/4 cup of the mixture into each of the 24 muffin tin spots. Press down slightly with your hand or a spatula so each tin is about 1/2 full.

5. Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool before removing. Serve with the dipped sauce below!

Servings 24.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 54
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2 g3 %
Saturated Fat 1 g4 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 42 mg14 %
Sodium 113 mg5 %
Potassium 109 mg3 %
Total Carbohydrate 2 g1 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g2 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 6 g12 %
Vitamin A40 %
Vitamin C6 %
Calcium1 %
Iron1 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Spicy Mayo

- 2/3 Cup Avocado Oil (or Olive Oil)
- 1 Egg
- 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- Pinch of Pepper and Salt
- 1/4 Cup Hot Sauce (I used Frank's)

Combine the avocado oil through salt and pepper in bowl or mason jar. Using an immersion blender or your very strong arm- mix the ingredients until a mayo-type consistency is formed. Add the hot sauce and mix again. Some mayo recipes call for you to add the oil slowly but I have never had this fail by adding everything and mixing on high. :) Lazy.