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Posts Tagged ‘peppers’

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So, things are going to be getting a bit healthy up in this joint, I suspect. Last week, my co-worker, friend and fellow blogger, Rachel, joined our company’s fitness challenge, Team Lean Challenge. Neither of us were too interested in joining but we both made New Years Resolutions to hit the gym harder and we thought this would be a great way to stay on track.

Team Lean Challenge is a 12 week competition where teams of 2 compete to lose the most BMI/weight. They tweaked the rules a little this year so I’m not 100% sure how everything factors in but it’s been fun! You really stop and think about what you eat and how you exercise knowing someone else is going to be effected. Yesterday, instead of just running on the treadmill, I added some weights and attempted to jump rope. Hey, know what’s really difficult? Jump roping when you’re 27! That shit was easier when you were close to the ground.

Anyway, so I will be competing in this challenge so I can’t binge on cookie dough truffles, Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes or Deep Dish Cookie pies (all which would go be great for Valentines, btw). Nope! Things are going to get way healthier up in here!

Um…right after I provide you with the 2-4 Valentine’s desserts I have tentatively planned…THEN, things will get serious.

Today  I do have a relatively easy and healthy recipe for you- Roasted Veggies. I know this is sort of a cop out recipe but I have to tell you, this is one of my favorite cooking tricks lately. You just roast a ton of veggies one night and then you have yummy vegetables to be served with your meals for a week! It cuts down on prep time if prepared ahead and it gives you a healthy cornerstone for several meals.

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Roasted Vegetables, Taralynn-style:
from Undressed Skeleton

  • 5 Mini Purple Potatoes
  • 4 Mini Honey Gold Potatoes
  • 2 Large Yellow Bell Peppers
  • 1/2 Box Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 3 Large Zucchini
  • 3 Large Summer Squash
  • 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes

Cook in oven for 1 hour on 350 degrees. Stir every 15 minutes.

This first recipe is a great blank canvas. You can have the veggies as is or you can prep it different for each meal. For instance, because the veggies were just cooked with veggy broth, if you are having taco night, you could toss a serving or two with a little taco season or fajita seasoning, reheat them at 350 for a few minutes, and serve them along side or even in your taco. But, if the next night, you are having spaghetti, you can toss a couple servings with italian seasoning and serve it along side a different meal. Then, on Saturday morning, you can sautee them in a skillet with an organic, cruelty-free egg or tofu and make a breakfast hash (this was my favorite way to eat them). It’s flexible and keeps you from getting bored.

It’s also super customizable with veggies. I found that the above recipe was good but a bit too starchy with the food I was making. Plus, it was meant to serve two for a week so I had a hard time finishing all of them. So I made this recipe:

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Roasted Veggies, Erin-style:
seasoning from Healthfulpursuit.com

half a butternut squash*, cubed

1 punch of asparagus

1 red pepper

2 summer squash

2 zucchini

2 carrots

2 TBSP of coconut oil

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

2 pinches of cayenne pepper

*Apparently, at Whole Foods, if you only want half a butternut squash, you just have to ask the cute hipster boys and they take it in the back and cut it up for you. Seriously, why did I ever shop at Stop and Shop?

Preheat oven to 350.

Keep the butternut squash separate from the other veggies. They take longer to cook so you want them on their own. Toss the veggies with about 1 TBSP each of coconut butter, 1/4 cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne (1 TBSP of coconut oil, 1/4 cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne for the butternut squash, same for the other veggies). Place the butternut squash in the oven first, let cook for about 15 minutes and then put the other veggies in for 20 minutes. If you are feeling lazy, you can roast everything together but your veggies will be soggy by the time your butternut squash is done.

I ate this plain with just the maple dressing from Healthful pursuit, with quinoa and again, as a breakfast hash. Slightly less versatile with the spices but no less delicious.

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Alright, I’ve worked out some frustrations on the elliptical AND plie-ed my ass off in ballet today so I’m hitting the hay. Let me know if you try this and with what veggies!

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I know that there has been a lot of groaning about the weather on this blog lately due to the fact that I seriously dislike the summer. It’s all hot and sticky and I’ll all sweaty and cranky. It’s not my favorite season.

But, I will grudgingly admit, summer has its perks. Ok, maybe just one- fresh produce! I am loving going to the farmers markets on the weekend and getting fresh fruits and vegetables. Even the grocery stores have more selection. I went into Whole Foods this weekend and the produce area was packed. It was like a Produce Utopia! I had to fight to stick to my very specific grocery list  and not buy one of everything, which was really really hard!

With that said, I’ve been eating a ton of salads. It’s so easy just to cut up a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies and dump them in a bowl. This means I’ve been seriously slacking in the hot meals area lately. The closest I come to my stove is to make a big pot of grains to get me through the week and then I avoid it like the plague.

But last week, my new favorite blog, Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth, posted this recipe and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I don’t know why- It’s just a stir-fry. But I think its close enough to my “cut-produce-up-and-dump-in-bowl” theory that I was convinced I needed to make it.

And I’m SO glad I did. It is insanely delicious.

Cashew Ginger Rice Bowl
from Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth

 Serves 1

1/2 cup cooked brown rice ( I used brown Basmati Rice)
1/2 cup unshelled edamame
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced (approximately 1/2 of the pepper)
1/2 cup onion, diced (approximately 1/2 of the onion)
1/2 cup carrots, shredded (approximately 1 large carrot)
1/2 cup spinach
1/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth (I use Pacific)
2 Tbsp chopped cashews
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce or tamari
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger

Cook brown rice according to package instructions.

In a medium pan, combine the vegetable broth, soy sauce, and ginger together over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, onion, carrots, and the spinach. Cook the vegetables until they absorb most of the cooking liquid and become tender. Add in the unshelled edamame and stir until cooked. Add the cooked brown rice and gently mix into the vegetables. Top with chopped cashews. Serve hot.

I can’t tell you why I love this recipe so much. Maybe it’s simply because I was craving something hot. More likely though, this recipe just has the right mix of veggies. All the health articles I read say you should eat lots of different colored produce so your getting all sorts of nutrients and this recipe definitely has color!

And if you haven’t checked out RFFMBT, yet, definitely do so. Catherine has a great story to share, yummy recipes and a revamped food pyramid that I love. She also has a section that shows what you should be eating for each meal and what 1 portion equals. For instance, one portion of quinoa is not a bowl full- it’s actually only 1/2 cup. Definitely good to know!

And make sure to keep checking in this week. I was very productive this weekend and managed to actually make more then one thing! Yeah for regular posts on WV again =)

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Hot Veggie Salad

Here’s the thing: Blogging can be hard!

Sometimes, it’s late Sunday night and you should be posting recipes but you are sitting in the Cheesecake Factory shoveling the 800th guacamole-ladened tortilla chip in your mouth with a friend under the pretense of “planning your week”. Ok, whatever…do we get free refills on the guac?

Other times, it’s a freezing cold Thursday and you should be posting recipes but you are at a friends soaking in the warmth of their apartment under the pretense of lending an ear to their woes. “oh man, that’s awful! Why don’t I just stay here a few more hours to comfort you…”

Or sometimes, I just plain forget! I take pictures of all my meals, I plan out my week for when and what I’m going to post, and then I just forget. It’s kinda pathetic.

But this recipe is amazing for lunches, so if you can pull yourself away from restaurant eating/socializing/whoring-yourself-out-for warmth, I would seriously recommend preparing a batch of this to be consumed throughout the week. It comes together pretty fast.

Hot Veggy Salad
from Healthful Pursuit

makes 2 cups (I tripled the recipe so I could have it for lunch during the week. )

Ingredients

Rice

  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup brown basmati rice, uncooked (the original recipe called for wild rice but I just used what I already had)

Cayenne roasted veggies

  • 1 yellow pepper, diced small
  • 2 carrots, diced small
  • 10 asparagus spears, diced small
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne (the cayenne is SO subtle. If you want spice, you definitely will need more)

Maple dressing

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp unpasteurized apple vinegar
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Herbamare or salt
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (if you are making this ahead of time like I did, keep the sunflowers to the side and add them right before you eat so they don’t get soggy)

Directions

  1. Prepare the Basmati rice (or your rice of choice) according to the package
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F.
  3. Place pepper, carrot, and asparagus in a large bowl. Stir in the coconut oil until all the veggies are coated. Your veggies will not taste like coconut. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cayenne. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender. (Alternatively, healthfulpursuits.com says you can do this on a stove top, cooking on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, but I like the taste of baked-in-the-oven veggies more, I don’t know why…)
  4. Remove veggies from oven and place in the bowl with rice.
  5. In a small dish combine olive oil, maple syrup, vinegar and mustard, salt and pepper. If you are making this head of time, store separately from the salad. I used an old, glass olive oil jar. It worked perfectly!
  6. When ready to eat, microwave the rice and veggies for a few minutes. Pour the dressing over the salad, stir, and top with sunflower seeds.

Aren’t the colors super pretty in this salad?! I was super excited for this recipe because I wanted something loaded with vegetables that wasn’t your standard romaine lettuce/carrots/dressing salad. That gets so boring after a while. Plus, its warmth and color helps fight off the winter blues, which has definitely hit Boston- finally. But all the colors in the world won’t motivate me to eat this if it isn’t easy and yummy, which it was. I was able to package this up into servings for lunch and just grab it in the morning! Love how easy that is!

Reused Olive Oil bottle works excellent for home made dressings!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make a few phone calls to see who with heat I can bribe with cookies in exchange for letting me crash on their futons/couches. It’s an icebox in my house!

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