Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Deconstructed Sushi Rolls- Tuna Sashimi Bowl

It is hard to believe I only have four weeks left of summer vacation- I know for a lot of people that's all they get in a year for vacation, but it just seems like it has flown by! I am glad I got to do things this summer with Charlie that previous summers I haven't... the pool and zoo are standards for us. :) Two of my favorite things were going to Suttons Bay and Sleeping Bear Dunes in Northern Michigan and sitting and watching a parade with her. Small town parades remind me of my childhood and since I live in a small town, getting to walk to the parade, pulling her in her red wagon just took me back- plus she loves firetrucks. 

Northern Michigan... one of those places that is not far away from me (less than 4 hours) but feels like you are in a different state completely. There's vineyards, small downtowns, and water everywhere. One day I would love a house up there for summers. I can dream, right? :) 

I'm going to have to go back to the dunes without her so I can hike a bit further... and also I hope the weather is warmer!

About the food!
This dish was inspired by two things... one, my friend Kelly had described something she made that sounded fantastic with a poached egg on top...and two, I really love sushi rolls and have been wanting to go, but besides the rice and edamame, Charlie would prefer to pass so we haven't gone. I have made rolls at home before, but it is so much easier to just throw the ingredients in a bowl- especially on a weeknight. Although this was for my table of one on a Monday night, I think it's pretty enough for a home date night? Or turn the ingredients into actual rolls if you are feeling fancy! 
When people say they don't like sushi I think they mean they don't like "sashimi"....
The word "sashimi" means raw fish that is thinly sliced. It is usually tuna or salmon and I know it can be hard to find in the average grocery store. I went to an Asian market/sushi restaurant (Noble Fish! <3) to get mine... salmon is cheaper, but I prefer tuna! 
"Sushi" is just short grain rice that is mixed with vinegar (and usually sugar)... "sushi rolls" don't have to contain any fish and it certainly doesn't have to be raw. 

Deconstructed Sushi Rolls- Tuna Sashimi Bowl

(Two Bowls)
- 1 Cup Cooked Sushi Rice (short grain)
- Rice Vinegar (or white)
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Japanese (thin) Cucumber or 1/4 English Cucumber (seedless)
- 6-8 oz Tuna Sashimi (or salmon)
- 1 Ripe Avocado
- 1-2 Sheets of Nori, or Roasted Seaweed, cut into thin strips or use as a wrap even!
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos (or gluten free soy)
- 1 tsp Fish Sauce *this can be omitted if you don't have it
- 1/2 tsp Wasabi Paste (more or less to taste)

1. Start your rice cooking, mine took 30 minutes.

2. Fake pickle your cucumber and carrot.... using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, shred the carrots and cucumber into thin strips. 

Place in a bowl with a few tablespoons of rice vinegar. Toss to coat. Let them sit while you prepare everything else, toss every now and then.

3. The Sauce... mix the coconut aminos, fish sauce and wasabi together. set aside.

4. Assemble... give each bowl 1/2 cup of rice....

top with the remaining ingredients....

oh boy... this tuna...

drizzle with the sauce...

 I wasn't even hungry and I couldn't stop...

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pesto Chicken Pizza

Update on Charlie- still sick... pooped her pants at Costco- that was an experience. I was mortified- stripped her naked in the bathroom, wiped her up, threw her clothes away and carried her out naked. The workers were really nice and rang up my stuff and brought it to me. Everyone feels bad for her, which I get, but she won't remember this... I on the other hand will never forget. 

A little over a week ago I competed in the Pure Michigan Open- last year this was an invite for the best individuals in Michigan (This is last year's post) this year it was teams- a lot of really good teams! Our team was kind of last minute, but we had two strong guys (Dave and Matt) and Mara and me. I had a blast- it's really fun competing on a team and the people I was with are the always supportive and positive types- we had some great workouts (won the rowing event) and some not so good events (1 RM snatch and C&J) and finished in the top half. Not too shabby. :) 

Mara and I teaming up for the toes to bar and dead lifts! We don't compete together a lot so it's fun when we do. 

I strive for recipes that are quick and easy... this is a perfect example of whipping up something tasty on a weeknight with things I usually have on hand. This one reminds me of my cousin Emily (happy birthday!!) because we made this several times with her basil plants while waiting for her first son to be born. :) I also am never opposed to tasting my own recipes when they involve pizza!

What did I have on hand? 

Rotisserie chicken!!! It has so many uses- I suggest you get one every time you go to the store, dead serious. It's easy to put on a salad, snack on with/without dipping sauce, use in any recipe that requires cooked chicken (I use the whole bird in my pad thai), or, in this case, as a pizza topping! 

Fresh basil... tis the season for this in Michigan. This is a great way to use all of that basil from your garden. You could also easily freeze it in ice cube trays and pop out a cube when you need pesto this winter!

Pantry items- my standard pizza recipe ingredients, since we make this at least once a week I always have this... and some sundried tomatoes packed in oil. 

Pesto Chicken Pizza

(serves 2-3 adults- about the size of one, small thin crust pizza)

Pizza Crust- 

- 1 Cup Potato Starch (** Not the same as Potato flour)
- 1/2 Cup Tapicoa Starch (flour)
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp Powdered Gelatin**
- 1/3 Cup warm Water

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
1. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients.
2. In a small bowl, or your measuring cup, mix the water and gelatin.** I have made this without the gelatin and it turns out fine.... but still use the water! :)
3. Combine the dry ingredients, olive oil, egg and the gelatin/water solution. Mix until combined... it will be a very soft- to runny dough. Pour it, or roll it, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, make it as thin as you want. 
4. Pre-bake 15-20 minutes.

Here's the macros on that in case you make it and top it with something else...

Basil Pesto- 

  • 3 cups Loosely Packed Basil
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • ¼ cups Pine Nuts
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • *A little raw parmesan would be a nice addition if you aren't going paleo*

Pesto:In a food processor, combine the remaining olive oil, water, basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse until the pesto is your desired consistency, adding more water or olive oil if needed.


- 1-2 Cups Rotisserie chicken, or cooked shredded chicken 
- 1 Cup Sundried Tomatoes, chopped
- 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese (optional)
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Putting it all together-
Keep the oven at 425 degrees...
 1. Top the pre-baked crust with the pesto...

sundried tomato...

chicken....and then the cheese and pepper flakes if you are adding those!

.......bake until the toppings are warmed/melted- about another 5-10 minutes
Viola! Beautiful! 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Crockpot Korean Short Ribs

This has certainly been a week for me. Started out super high and ended rather low. But that's the glorious thing about days and weeks... they end and you get to start fresh!

First of all, this week I learned that a sick child who is now potty trained is a completely different ball game when they get diarrhea. Charlie has been sick since last week... I was so excited to get her back after a weekend with her dad, but she came home with a terrible cough that is only in her lungs. She is coughing so hard she is throwing up, she can't sleep, won't really eat and has a low grade fever- all meaning I don't get sleep either. This is making both of us cranky and emotional- we are a fun pair to be around right now. :) I am trying to still play and get out as much as we can so we practiced our handstands in the yard with Henry as our spotter. 

The latest addition to this has been diarrhea- oh. my. goodness. I have to just laugh at this "shit" (hehehe) because most of the time we make it to the toilet but there have been times where we don't and she is standing in my parents' front yard paralyzed because "it" happened and green, runny stinkyness is running down her leg... therefore I have to strip her naked and hose her off. Neighbors must love us. I decided last night it was time for the pull-up diapers to make their appearance again. Because this has been going on so long, and I am afraid of dehydration, I took her to the urgent care clinic. The Dr. said she has all the classic symptoms of pneumonia. Since it has already been 7 days, and although I usually don't give her anything, we are going to attempt medication before exposing her to the radiation of a chest x-ray. Poor little thing. This is not fun. 

Secondly, this week I learned a hard relationship lesson - but I really think I needed to- things appear a lot clearer. When you love someone you want to see the best in them and give them the benefit of the doubt yet again. All the phrases like "love is blind" and "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me," etc. come to mind. I don't get why, in a relationship (especially without children), someone would continually lie/cheat, not be truly happy, and settle for "fine," versus leave, the arguably harder road I know, but take that giant leap of faith knowing that it can be so much better, honestly for everyone involved. As hard as that is to understand, it is not my problem, and I am divorced so I am obviously not afraid of jumping. :) Things tend to work out the way they are supposed to. I decided to get some extra lifting in while she napped because squats help the mind, even when tired, it's a fact.

Both of us will be doing a lot better after some sleep and a new week! Because this week has been so draining I decided to break out the crockpot again. I looked at what meat was on sale and looked at pinterest to see ideas on what to do with it. Short ribs were on sale this week so I grabbed one pack with bone-in and one without- because why not! I didn't know if I would make one recipe or two anyway. Short ribs come from the ribs of a cow and are a little more tender than the pork counterpart. I made some jasmine rice "sushi style" (with vinegar and coconut sugar) to go along with mine... tasty!

Crockpot Korean Short Ribs

- 3-4 lbs Short Ribs (bone-in is best, but without is fine too)
- 6 Dried Pitted Dates
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Aminos (or gluten free soy sauce)
- 2 tsp Fish Sauce
- 2 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1/2 Cup Beef Stock
- 3 Green Onions (scallions)
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves
- 3 tsp Fresh Ginger, grated
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (less if you want less heat)
- 1/2 Lime, juiced (about 1+ Tbsp)

1. Place the ribs on a baking sheet and sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes, turn and do this one more time until browned. You could also do this in a pan.

2. While you are browning the beef... In a high-powered blender, combine everything but the ribs. Blend until smooth. 

3. Place the beef in a slow cooker and pour the sauce over the top. Cook on low 9-10 hours. 

Remove the beef.

Let the sauce settle and skim off the fat. You can thicken it in a sauce pan with a little water and arrow root powder slurry, or just add a cup+ over top of the meat when you serve or store.


Stored and ready to go. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Chia Seed Blueberry Muffins (nut-free)

I have been close to a few girl friends (and my sister and cousin) for a very long time. Although when we are together it is like nothing has changed, we aren't together a lot anymore- my oldest friends have moved on to different cities, are married with children now, etc. and I have become closer with a new group of friends.

I give you my CrossFit girls... this new group of friends reminds me of all the friendship cliches- the Sex and the City type of friendship where no topic is off the table and we are very honest with each other. I know CrossFit has a "cult-like" impression to most people, but girls that lift like we lift are a different breed and I don't care what haters say anyway. Here is a summary of us- We don't go to the gym in cute pony-tails with makeup on, we wear lululemon like it is our job (to some it is lol) but we actually workout in it, and we are very impressed with how much the other lifted- to us that's hot. We often get criticized for our physique being too "manly", but we work out because we actually like it and get satisfaction in goals being met- working out is not just a way to be "in-shape" and look sexy for a guy. We ask each other to check out our "snatch" but we mean it in an Oly-lifting way (sometimes- there's always a joke there too), we range in age from 20 to 48, very few of us have children, some are in relationships/married and some aren't and when I put my phone down I can expect to look at it with 20+ new messages, snaps, etc. from all the groups of chats we are all in. Comments range from workout chat and PR celebrations to broken hearts- please don't let me talk to him to look at this mass amount food I am about to consume. Gains baby. #eatallthefoodliftalltheweight

It has become increasingly more apparent in the last few weeks how truly great this group of friends I have is. A couple of us have recently hit some rough patches in relationships- although break-ups are never easy, having someone to call and vent to, cry to, and lean on so you don't make the fatal mistake reaching out to the guy that will just hurt you more, makes it a lot easier. When one of us was just lied to and broken up with over text (I kid you not- like the Sex and the City post-it), one group message was sent and within the hour a bunch of the girls were at my house with wine and hugs to rally around our wounded sister- on a Wednesday night no less! "You're way better- ew- How could he leave you for that girl??... She doesn't even lift!!" :) I have honestly never had friends like this and I am incredibly fortunate. 

Speaking of gains... here is the food... I have a few recipes with chia seeds because they are so good for you (full of fiber, protein and antioxidants) and have a gelatinous-type quality when soaked or heated- making them a great option for jam or pudding. Why not put them in muffins??? These, warm, with some Kerrygold butter... devine.

Chia Seed Blueberry Muffins

(make 14-16 muffins)
- 1 Cup Coconut Flour (DO NOT sub other flours)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 6 Eggs
- 1 Ripe Banana, mashed
- 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 Cup Milk (any kind)
- 1/4 Cup Chia Seeds
- 1+ Cup Blueberries (I never measure these... dumb those babies in!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

1. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs through milk.
3. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients a little at a time and mix as you go so you don't have lumps.
4. Add the chia seeds and blueberries and stir gently. 

5. Grease a muffin pan really well- pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into each spot (about 3/4 full). Bake 22-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let them cool completely before removing from the pans. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Yogurt- Fruit Popsicles

One of our favorite summer activities is to go to the zoo. It opens at 9am which works well since we get up at 6am! It's fairly empty at that time, even on a nice day, and we are gone by 11am- beating school buses of kids that arrive then. Mornings feel long for me so it's perfect to get out for a few hours- she is worn out, she loves the animals, and I love that we are outside- I get asked a lot why I am so tan...this would be why... outside is the best place to be in the summer in Michigan. :) At the zoo, since we go every week, we try to visit different parts... Charlie's favorite part by far is the train... she would ride it all day and we have to go on it every single time we go. 

My only complaint with the zoo this year has to be the passes... we bought a season pass and the type that fit us most was the "single parent" pass. Now I may be being a little sensitive, but it hurts to see "single parent" printed on a card. I know that is what I am, but it's still not something that people look at in the best light (correct or not on their part) and I hate thinking it is a separate category- we aren't a "family" like the other passes. I asked another friend ,who is a single parent, and she agreed it was fairly insensitive. Just saying.

But it is what it is and I am what I am...and Charlie would be the first one to tell you that I'm her family- a family of two. :) 

We take a picture by the elephant every year so capture her changes.

Popsicles are a great summer treat and snack. It's strawberry season in Michigan and although we didn't pick any this year (oops!) I couldn't help but buy the local ones someone else graciously picked. Any fresh fruit would work in these, but why not stay seasonal and local? 

Yogurt-Fruit Popsicles

(Makes 6 popsicles)

- 1 Cup Greek Yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- 2 Cups Fruit (fresh or frozen)
- 1+ Tbsp Raw Honey (depends on your fruit and yogurt)
- 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder- You can omit this but why? :)
- 1/4 Cup Milk *More if needed to thin

1. Blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Taste to see if you need to add more honey. If you think it is too thick, remember it's going to be frozen so it's not a huge deal if it is... add a splash of milk and blend again.

2. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze 30min+. Run the mold under hot water when you want to eat one... I have broken a few molds not doing that!