Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Perfect For a Chilly Morning...

There is nothing more that I love than having the weekend off, especially those days where nothing is planned.  I forgot what it was like to actually have time for yourself after working myself to the bone for the past 2 years.  I’m still busy as ever, but have made it a priority to always make sure to save time for myself & those I love. 

But I digress…

I get bored with most recipes pretty quickly, so I’m always on the search for new recipes to try.  I kept reading about amazing egg breakfast dishes so I decided to finally give quiche a try.  This recipe is simple, hearty & full of veggies.  It was a freezing morning here as well (it got down to -15 that night) so I was looking for any excuse to use the stove and warm the house up.

Veggie Quiche

  • Pastry pie shell
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3/4 cup broccoli heads (fresh)
  • Handful of fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • Liquid egg whites
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375.  Also be sure that your pie crust is completely defrosted.

In small skillet, sauté the onion, broccoli, spinach and tomatoes with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil.  Sauté until the onions are slightly transparent. 

Once sautéed, place the veggies into the bottom of the pie crust.

Doesn’t this look amazing already?
Sprinkle with half of the cheddar cheese.
Beat 4 eggs well and mix in the rest of the cheese to the beaten eggs.
Pour egg and cheese mix over the veggies.
Add egg whites until pie shell is nearly full.  I would estimate it would be about a half cup of egg whites, but it varies depending on the amount of vegetables you use.
Place in oven & let bake for 30-35 minutes, until it is golden, puffed out and no longer wiggly in the middle.
We ate soon after it cooled and then nestled back into bed to catch up on reading and enjoy some movies on a freezing day.
The condensation on the windows made it so dark and gloomy in our kitchen.  It certainly makes it much harder to take pictures that aren't blurry or dark.
Winter wonderland out there!

What’s your favorite cool morning breakfast recipe? Have you had quiche before?  How do you like to spend your weekend mornings?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fast, fabulous & filling!

Want a quick & healthy recipe for those days where you have little to no energy to cook up dinner?  This is definitely one of my favorite recipes for days when I’m short on time or motivation (like today after studying all day).  It’s great because it’s very few ingredients and also uses few dishes for prep so clean up is a breeze.  Within 30 minutes you’re in and out of the kitchen with a fabulous, healthy meal to boot!

Balsamic Tilapia with Brown Rice

  • 1 cup instant brown rice
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tilapia fillets (any white flaky fish would work)
  • 1+ cup of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes (Italian seasoned are my favorite)
  • 1 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese


Heat oven to 375.

Assemble 2 sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil on a baking sheet with the sides slightly turned up (into a shallow bowl).  Pour 1/2 cup of brown rice into center of each foil. Pour 1/3 cup of water over each mound of rice. 
Spoon 1/4 of can of tomatoes on top of rice and then place tilapia on top of rice and tomatoes.
Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette dressing onto each fillet, then top with remaining tomatoes (including the juice).  Finally, pile high with plenty of fresh spinach. 
Doesn’t that look delicious?!
Once assembled, bring up foil sides.  Fold ends and sides up to seal (allow a little room for heat circulation).
Bake 25 minutes.  Cut several slits in the top of foil when you take out of oven in order to let steam escape.  Sprinkle with parmesan & enjoy!
I know this isn’t the most appetizing picture, but I promise you that it’s amazing & super simple!

What’s your favorite 30 minute and under meal?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Eye Opener

Yesterday was my first day of class in over 3 years.  It’s definitely interesting to head back to school after so long.  It gives you a different perspective and certainly will take me some time to get back into the routine of things. 

But anyways…

I head into my first class and the professor starts with the normal review of the syllabus and a little description of herself, which then lead into her wanting to get to know a little bit more about us.  She had already done her work.  For each and everyone of us, she had done an online search…and let me tell you: there were some incredibly embarrassed students in the class.  She had created a power point page for each and every one of the students in the class: 35 total.  One by one, each and everyone of us was broadcast on the screen: pictures, interests, quotes, beliefs, etc. that were pulled from our Facebook, Twitter, & blog accounts.  Talk about a first impression that was set for most of us.  You can bet that I was thrilled that I had recently set my privacy settings high on Facebook (not so great pictures could have been found), and as for Twitter, it’s in my married name (I go by my maiden name in school).  I would say that a good 50%+ of the students had items broadcast that most certainly were not things that most would want their parents, professors, or employers to see.


At this point you’re probably wondering what I’m getting at…

Be careful what you put out there. Utilize privacy settings. Think before you post. Would you want potential employers, family members, your children to see this?

Although many students left the class red-faced, it did drill home the point.  I think this is especially an important thing to consider if you are going into any health & education field.  Not only are you performing a job, but most of the time you are a walking role model.  You represent what you teach/promote.  Most, if not all, of my classmates are going into the public health field and emphasizing a healthy lifestyle, so the photos of alcohol and drug abuse certainly do not seem to go along with the ideals that they are pushing.  Think:


The pot calling the kettle black?

You may be wondering how to protect yourself.  Here are a few tips:
  • Google yourself – See what is out there about yourself and take steps to rid yourself of the negative things.
  • Utilize privacy settings – I don’t think there is a complete need to make everything 100% private, as some things can show your personality, skills & talents, but be aware that things could be misconstrued or viewed different by potential employers (more than 70% of employers now Google potential employees).
  • Take your online reputation seriously – If negative hits come up, crowd them with positive ones.  By doing so, all the good things about you will surface before negative ones. 
  • Claim the real estate on your name – Build accounts on social network sites, so no one else can build one claiming to be you and portraying you in a negative light.
The online world is great for many, many things, but just be smart about it.

Has anyone had any online postings bite them in the butt?  How about positive experiences? What would your professor/employer see if they looked you up right now?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Practice Your Battle Cry!

I finally did it…I signed up for Warrior Dash.  I remember looking at all the photos of it last year in Chicago and thinking how great it would be if there were one in Michigan.  Lo and behold, I tweeted about it & a friend of the hubby saw and tipped me off that there would indeed be a Michigan one this year.  After going back and forth about it, we signed up and we’re PUMPED!  I mean, there’s running….
LOTS of mud…
and fire...
Followed by lots of food, free beer & friends…
I’m really excited about it, although a bit nervous since I haven’t “ran” (the short gym warm-ups don’t count) since August.  This is perfect because not only does it help me to begin to complete my resolutions, but makes me start to get a move on and jumpstart my fitness plans for the year.  To make it better we are competing with a ton of friends so it should be a really awesome time.  I foresee lots of running and playing on the monkey bars/playground once the weather warms up a bit.  I’m doing this mostly for fun, but I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t want to totally kick butt doing so.
Has anyone ran this before or plan on doing so this year?  How about any other off the wall races?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mamma Mia!

Lately I’ve been craving veggies like it’s my job.  No matter what I do I can’t seem to get enough of them…what’s going on?  Whatever it is, I sure hope it keeps up.  Seeing as I was craving some yummy veggies and had some leftover chicken & pizza crust that needed used, I decided to throw it all together for an absolutely amazing pizza.  I’m not kidding, this is my new favorite!  This was perfect because we had so many things in the fridge that we had leftover and really need to use them.  Added them all together and poof! A tasty & healthy (-er) pizza!  I think it would be amazing without the chicken too if you wanted a meat free version (will probably use this for Meatless Mondays).
bbq chicken pizza
BBQ Chicken Pizza
  • Whole wheat pizza crust (pre-made or make your own)
  • BBQ sauce (I like Baby Rays)
  • Chicken
  • Black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • Corn
  • Veggies of choice (I added lots of red onion &  fresh tomatoes)
  • Low fat mozzarella cheese & cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Slather pizza crust with BBQ sauce, add your chicken, beans, corn and veggies of choice and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese (I went light on the cheese because I wanted a healthier pizza).  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until crust is browned.  Enjoy!
Ever since this little creation I’ve been searching for bazaar pizza’s.  There is a sauerkraut & kielbasa pizza I’ve got my eye on and might try this weekend. 
What’s your favorite pizza concoction?  Any interesting combinations that you’ve had?
On a side note, I finally signed up for Warrior Dash.  Super excited & hoping to not kill myself! 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy Hummus: Healthy Snack Favorite!

I’m a sucker for snack foods.  No matter how large of a lunch/dinner I have you can bet that within an hour or two I’ll be craving a snack.  I’m always on the lookout for new healthy foods to munch on so I don’t succumb to potato chips, cookies and other not-so-healthy foods.  For a long time we’ve been stocking up on hummus from the grocery store and spending way more than we should.  Finally, I decided to do a little research and partake making my own and boy, I’m sure glad I did! 
Hummus is super easy to make, affordable and chock full of fiber which keeps you full longer and great for keeping blood sugar levels from rising too fast (fabulous for diabetic, insulin resistant or hypoglycemic individuals).

Sun-Dried Tomato & Spinach Hummus:
    • 1/4  cup  water
    • 3 tablespoons  chopped oil-packed or vacuum packed sun-dried tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
    • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
    • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1  (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
    • 1 large handful of fresh spinach leaves
    • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (optional)
Mix all ingredients into food processor and puree until smooth.  If it doesn’t seem to mix well add a bit more water/oil and it should start to mix a bit better.  I like to dice the veggies beforehand to ease the work on the food processor.  This is excellent served with pita chips, tortilla chips and veggies (carrots, celery, peppers).
Nom, Nom, Nom! Yummy Goodness!
Have you ever made your own hummus?  What’s your favorite healthy snack?