Scallops, Cauliflower Mash, Spinach, & Roasted Brussel Sprouts for Dinner

Hope everyone had an amazing Christmas!

This year’s holiday has been especially wonderful because I am back in the state of Florida with my family. I love being able to celebrate the season with the ones I love.

Since we held Christmas Eve dinner at my parents house this year, I volunteered to do the cooking. I wanted to do something a little fancy, so I opted to make scallops, cauliflower mash, sauteed spinach, and roasted brussel sprouts. Might not sound like the most festive meal, but it sure did taste like heaven!

Christmas Dinner

Looks yummy right? My dad is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of guy and he was raving about the meal! The cauliflower mash tastes a bit like mashed potatoes, so try this one out on your friends/family and see if they can tell the difference. You will also notice my small glass of whiskey & sprite with the meal… The perfect drink to warm up the soul over the holidays!

And here are the recipes so you can make this meal yourself!

Cauliflower Mash

Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients:

1 Can Low Sodium Chicken Broth

1.5 Cups Water

2 Garlic Cloves

1 Large Head of Cauliflower or 2 Bags of Cauliflower

Pepper

Instructions: 

First mash the garlic cloves. Then pour the chicken broth, water, and garlic into a large pot on the stove. Bring to a boil and add the cauliflower. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft.

Then drain the liquid and put the cauliflower into a bowl. Top with pepper and use an electric mixer to bring the veggie to a mashed potato-like texture. (I recommend keeping some of the chunky pieces — gives it a nice texture.) Serve right away!

Sauteed Spinach

The Best Sauteed Spinach - Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Large Bag Spinach (the biggest one you can find)

1 Medium Red Bell Pepper (Finely Chopped)

1/2 Red Onion (Finely Chopped)

1 Mashed Garlic Glove

Juice from 1/2 Lemon

Instructions: 

Put the olive oil, red bell pepper, onion, and garlic in a large skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Once the onions start to brown, slowly add the spinach by the handful. Using a spatula to continuously stir the mixture. Add more spinach once it cooks down. Squeeze the lemon juice over mixture before serving. (This recipe takes about 10 minutes total).

Healthy Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Easy, Healthy Roasted Brussel Sprouts - Serves 4

Ingredients: 

1 Bag of Brussel Sprouts

Cooking Spray

Sea Salt + Pepper

Instructions: 

Pre-heat the oven for 400 degrees. Cut the stems off the brussel sprouts and slice in half. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place the brussels. Generously sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Spray the veggies with the cooking spray then use your hands to toss them around to make sure they are all coated with seasoning.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Scallops

Pan-Seared Scallops - Serves 4

Ingredients: 

16 Scallops

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt + Pepper

Instructions: 

Using two flat pans, place 1 tablespoon of olive oil on each pan. Spread evenly. Then place 8 scallops on one pan and 8 on the other. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cook on high heat. These will take about 4 minutes per side.

Christmas DinnerWhat’s your favorite holiday meal?

Muscle Toner Workout

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! I apologize for slacking on posting lately — the holidays have been a bit crazy, leaving me no time for anything. Anyone else feeling the holiday stress?

One thing I have been keeping up with is my workout regime (especially because there has been lots of feasting this December). I did this workout on Thursday and I am still sore! Hope you all enjoy it!

Muscle Toner Workout

Muscle Toner Workout

Warm-Up: 20 Minutes of Cardio (Elliptical or Light Jog) 

15 x (per side) Plank to Row

15 x (per leg) Single Leg Bentover Rows

20 x Squat Jumps

15 x (per side) Side Bends with 25 lb. Dumbbell

15 x (per leg) Reverse Lunge to Curl + Overhead Press

70 x Mountain Climbers

20 x Push-Ups

15 x (per side) Plank to Row to Extension

20 x Dips

20 x Squat Jumps

*Repeat Entire Workout 2 or 3 Times

How are you spending your weekend?

What I Ate Wednesday

What I Ate Wednesday – 12/4 Edition 

HAPPY HUMP DAY!

Hump Day

Is it just me or do the “hump day” jokes never get old? I love them.

Anyways, it’s been a couple of weeks since I have participated in the “What I Ate Wednesday” link-up with Peas and Crayons, but I decided to jump back on the bandwagon. Here is a recap of my eats on Tuesday as I attempt to detox from the holiday break.

Overnight Oats

Breakfast: Overnight oats topped with fruit and Fiber One cereal.

Lunch

Lunch: Salad made with romaine & spinach lettuce, scallions, carrots, tomato, broccoli, grilled chicken, and balsamic vinaigrette + apple

Snack

Snack: Cottage Cheese + Fruit (Grapes & Strawberries)

Dinner

Dinner: Egg, veggie burger, tomato, & onion scramble + baked potato fries + roasted brussel sprouts + salsa for dipping

Pumpkin Mug Cake

Dessert: Pumpkin mug cake with vanilla frozen yogurt (thanks to Running with Spoons for the recipe!)

Anyone else have a yummy Mug Cake recipe to share?

Hope you have a good day!! <3

Sweet & Skinny Chicken Salad

Sweet & Skinny Chicken Salad

I’m a fan of traditional chicken salad with celery, egg, and onions, but when the traditional flavors get boring — here is a way to mix it up! This chicken salad uses healthy greek yogurt and dried cranberries for a great “sweet & skinny” flavor combination.

Ingredients:

(Makes 3-4 servings)

1 x 9.75 oz can of white meat chicken

1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion

8 green beans chopped

Salt & pepper

Sweet Chicken Salad Ingredients

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl using a large fork to break up the chicken. Once the ingredients are evenly distributed, it’s ready to eat!

Sweet & Skinny Chicken Salad

The chicken salad is perfect for all kinds of lunch-time meals — eat with whole wheat crackers, in a sandwich, on top of a salad, or just by itself. Easy, healthy, and yummy!

What is your favorite chicken salad ingredient?

Chicken Quinoa Salad Bowl

Chicken Quinoa Salad Bowl

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Rather than posting a typical Thanksgiving dish, I am posting a normal dish… But it is a nutrition power-house and very very delicious! The best part about this one is the quinoa.

Here are some awesome stats about quinoa to encourage you to eat more of it!

  • Protein! It is a complete protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids.
  • Fiber! Has twice as much fiber as most other grains.
  • Iron! Increases brain function, regulates body temp, and aids in your metabolism.

(Source: MindBodyGreen)

Chicken Quinoa Salad Bowl

Ingredients:

(Serves 2)

1/2 Large Sweet Potato

1/2 Zucchini

1 Cup Quinoa (dry)

1 Cup Chicken Broth

1 Cup Water

2 Chicken Breasts

Romaine Lettuce

Seasonings: Blackening for the chicken (I used Old Bay Blackened Seasoning)

Optional Toppings: Diced tomatoes and onions

photo 1

Chicken

Quinoa

Instructions:

1. Wrap the sweet potato in saran wrap and microwave for 2 minutes. Let it cool a bit before removing it — it will be super hot!

2. Diced the 1/2 zucchini and the sweet potato.

3. Place the chicken breasts in a pan coated with non-stick spray. Coat the chicken with the blackening seasoning and cook on high heat.

4. Grab a pot and fill with quinoa, chicken broth, and water. Cook the quinoa as directed on box.

5. While the quinoa and chicken are cooking, assemble two dishes with chopped up romaine lettuce.

6. When the quinoa has about 2-3 minutes left to cook, add the diced zucchini and sweet potato to the pan.

7. The chicken breasts should take about 5 minutes each side.

8. When everything is cooked through, top the romaine lettuce with quinoa mixture, then top that with the chicken.

Romaine

Chicken Quinoa Salad BowlThis is one of my favorite dinners. The flavors of the quinoa and chicken pair really nicely and the romaine lettuce adds a great crunch to the meal. Perfect meal for date night!

Fitness Friday

Fitness Friday!

Today’s Friday post is all about one of my favorite things – fitness! Woo-hoo. Hope you enjoy this one!

Workout

First up, I’m going to share an awesome workout I did this week. If you really want to sweat and burn some calories, do this treadmill workout. It takes 35 minutes and you’ll complete a little over 3 miles of work.

Over the Hills Treadmill Workout

Over the Hills Treadmill Workout

Minutes 1 to 10 – Switch between running at 6.0 and 6.5 every 2 minutes.

10:00 – 7.0 mph at 3 incline

11:00 – 6.5 mph at 4 incline

12:00 – 6.0 mph at 5 incline

13:00 – 6.5 mph at 1 incline

14:00 – 6.0 mph at 1 incline

15:00 – 7.0 mph at 5 incline

16:00 – 6.5 mph at 4 incline

17:00 – 6.0 mph at 3 incline

18:00 – 6.5 mph at 1 incline

19:00 – 6.0 mph at 1 incline

20:00 – 7.0 mph at 3 incline

21:00 – 6.5 mph at 4 incline

22:00 – 6.0 mph at 5 incline

23:00 – 6.5 mph at 1 incline

24:00 – 6.0 mph at 1 incline

25:00 – 7.0 mph at 5 incline

26:00 – 6.5 mph at 4 incline

27:00 – 6.0 mph at 3 incline

28:00 – 6.5 mph at 1 incline

29:00 – 6.0 mph at 1 incline

Minutes 30-35 Walk to Recover

Fitness Inspiration!

This picture is from Bodyrock.tv. Definitely check out their website. Great workouts plus the fitness models are super motivating.

Body Rock TV

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 1.04.11 PMFrom Back on Pointe – Everyday is a good day to workout.

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 1.05.35 PM

Get motivated!

Get motivated!

Cute workout clothes are definitely a great way to trick yourself into getting a workout in.

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 1.10.21 PM

Great Reads to Get Fit

  • Such great motivation for when you get home from work and the last thing you want to do is work out…Motivational Tips for Home Workouts by Nutrition Nut on the Run.
  • We all want great abs. Get closer to a 6-pack with this workout from Fit Sugar – Plank Circuit Workout.
  • I am dying to buy some kettlebells! I read in a magazine that you burn “70 percent more calories than a typical strength routine.” Wow. No wonder I feel so sore after using them… Check out this 15-Minute Kettlebell Blasters Workout from Fitness Magazine.

And to close, here is an amazing poster I came across – “Don’t forget to be awesome!”

Awesome Poster

Guest Post from Creating Better Tomorrow

Today’s post is extra special – it’s a Guest Blog! 

Sarah blogs at Creating Better Tomorrow where she writes about positive living, health & fitness, and much more. Her bright outlook on life is so inspiring and I am so happy that we have been able to get to know one another through the world of blogging. 

And now here’s her post! Enjoy!!

Thanks so much to Shelby for asking me to guest blog!  I love following Shelby and living here in Indiana this time of year – any type of connection to sunny, warm Florida is terrific.  We ‘met’ through my blog over at Creating Better Tomorrow. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know her.  So Shelby guest posted for me, then asked me to do the same, I was excited BUT I had the hardest time thinking of just what I wanted to share with all you Shelby fans but then I thought to myself – be real, be genuine, be me.

Like Shelby I’m huge into health and fitness, I love sharing my passion with my followers.  And I love sharing the raw, honest truth about me!  You see I haven’t always had the healthiest relationship with HEALTH.  Confused?  Not sure how that could be?

Throughout college I struggled with an eating disorder and definite over exercising.  You see when any healthy thing becomes an obsession it isn’t healthy!  So to make a very long story short, I went through treatment for my eating disorder and though it is a constant battle some days, I am so grateful to say I am NOW at a much better place.  I learned so much about healthy foods and healthy nutrition throughout my treatment….it got me really hooked on it!

Then about 2 years ago, I signed up for a challenge – a Shakeology challenge! (you may have seen Shelby herself has become a Shakeology fan).  This challenge that incorporated Shakeology and Beachbody changed the way I look at nutrition and exercise forever! Even after treatment I had a LOT to learn about my personal goals and nutrition.

shakeology

Through the challenge, I got my very own coach, she provided me motivation, nutrition tips, workout tips, it was like having a my own personal motivator in my inbox and on my phone (yep she even sent me texts to check in!).  I still have her as my coach.  Now don’t think it is all fun and games, this coach tells you how it is, my coach calls me out when I need it (even if I don’t want to hear it).  She’ll push me hard even if I don’t want it J  Right now – I have an email in my inbox pushing me to step up to the plate with Beachbody, and quite frankly just telling me I need to commit to what I’m passionate about.  Think Biggest Loser coach, sort of, in the sense that it isn’t always butterflies and sunshine – the coach is REAL.

coaches

So back to the challenge – I completed it and now won’t miss a day of my Shakeology.  It is so much more to me than a ‘protein shake.’ Shakeology has all over 70 superfoods in it, along with all my vitamins for the day.  Beachbody and Shakeology has also taught me so much.  I now understand that quality not quantity is what matters with nutrition and fitness.  If you choose good , clean food – your body is happier.  If you choose good, effective workouts – not long, cruddy workouts your body is happier.  Beachbody taught me to honor my body.  My body is truly my temple and I look forward to honoring it each day.  My Beachbody coach was the catalyst to this all, I am so thankful for the one on one attention that you get from day #1 with Shakeology.

Then comes the best part – through Beachbody I learned that the most rewarding part of health and fitness is SHARING it with others.  Just like Shelby it was one reason I started my blog – I want to share and help others see that THEY HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE THEIR BEST TOMORROWS.  I now run Beachbody challenges and provide that same one on one focus with each of my challengers.  I urge you to find someone to hold you accountable.  I start accountability groups constantly and hope to tell you all more about them!  If you want to find out more, contact me and I’ll get you all the good stuff and send some Shakeology your way!

Figgy-Vanilla Overnight Oats

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Today I have my new favorite breakfast recipe to share! Figs and vanilla is such a great combo.

Here’s my new take on “overnight oats”…Figgy Vanilla Overnight Oats

Figgy Vanilla Overnight Oats

Figgy Vanilla Oats Ingredients

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Vanilla Protein Shake – (I used Total Lean by GNC, but you could use other shakes like Muscle Milk Light or Special K Vanilla Protein Shakes.)

1/2 Cup Quick Cooking Oats

1/3 Cup Water

1/2 Sliced Banana (plus more for topping) – And I used a ripe banana because I like the sweetness, but a normal banana works great too!

1 Dried Fig (Chopped Up)

Instructions:

Assemble all the ingredients in a small bowl. Try to mix up the banana and figs so that the fruits are evenly distributed. Cover the bowl with a lid or saran wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. When you are ready to eat, splash with milk (I used almond milk) and top with more banana slices or even some crunchy granola. If you are looking for a warm breakfast, this one tastes just as good heated up in the microwave. Just be sure to cover the bowl with some paper towel while heating, so nothing splashes around in the microwave.

overnight oats

Here’s a shot of my bowl all mixed up. Not so pretty… but SO GOOD!!

figgy vanilla overnight oats

Weekend-ing

Despite the gloomy, rainy weather here in Florida, I have had such a great weekend!!

For today’s “I’m thankful for” post, I am thankful for a nice glass of wine (because it’s the best de-stresser).

Here are a couple weekend highlights:

Celebrations

Friday night I celebrated my best friend’s acceptance to UF’s PA school on Park Avenue. One of the best parts about moving back to Florida is being able to reconnect with people from my childhood and high school — it’s seriously awesome that so many of these people are back in O-town!

weekend

Bummin Around

I had a much needed lazy Saturday with football, lunch at The Greek Corner, more football, and dinner and drinks with my man.

Greek food is seriously tasty.

Weekend 2Worship & Shopping

I started my Sunday with a jog around the neighborhood, then went church at Summit, ate brunch at Briarpatch, shopped with a girlfriend, and finally, sat down to dinner with my whole family.

Today’s sermon was about “The Race” that is our lives. The preacher used his experience running a marathon as a metaphor to living the life that He calls you to, and how the only way to run your race is to look to Jesus to find the road that is marked for you. Such a great lesson, I can’t stop thinking about it…

“We all have a race to run, and we are called to not only participate, but to finish well. Are you running, or are you standing on the sidelines?”

Screen shot 2013-11-17 at 7.15.37 PM

Amusement

omg. Is this not hilarious? It’s a wine stopper! Spotted this guy at Nordstrom Rack if you’re interested. :)

Weekend 1How was your weekend? 

Friday Favorites 11.15

Happy Friday! It’s time to link up with Heather at Housewife Glamour to share the awesome things going on this week!

Housewife Glamour

Only 13 days until Thanksgiving! Today I am thankful for girls night! I am looking forward to celebrating my best friend getting into PA school tonight with dinner, drinks, and a great night on the town.

fri-favs

…And now to my Friday Favorites. 

  • Cooking for family. Last night I cooked dinner for two very important men in my life – my dad and my brother. For some reason cooking for men is especially fun for me because they seem to appreciate a home-cooked meal way more than females. Am I right?

Tilapia & Quinoa Greens Bowl

Thursday nights meal was baked tilapia served over a bowl of crunchy romaine lettuce and quinoa with cucumbers, sweet potato, broccoli, and cauliflower. I topped mine with diced tomato and onion. I’ll whip this up again and share the recipe on the blog. I am calling this one - “Tilapia & Quinoa Greens Bowl.” 

  • Heads in Beds. I couldn’t put this book down and have been raving to all my friends about it. Jacob Tomsky has been in the hotel industry for years, and with his memoir, he shares his experience with all kinds of guests from celebrities to average Joes… You’ll learn secrets of the industry and how to get just about anything you could want while staying at a luxury hotel.

Heads in Beds

Here is a summary from the author’s website:

“Jacob Tomsky has worked in hotels for more than a decade, doing everything from valet parking to manning the front desk. He’s checked you in, checked you out, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, tasted your room service, cleaned your toilet, denied you a late check out, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. And in Heads in Beds, he pulls back the curtain on the hospitality business, revealing the crazy yet compelling reality of an industry we think we know. Prepare to be amused, shocked, and amazed as he spills the unwritten code of the bellhops, the antics that go on the valet parking garage, and the housekeeping department’s dirty little secrets.”

  • Puffins Peanut Butter and Chocolate cereal. This stuff doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value, but my oh my, it’s tasty. Pour some warm almond milk over this stuff and it tastes like dessert.

Puffins

  • Walking the dog. The weather is Florida is so beautiful lately. Not too hot, not too cold. I can’t get enough of being outside. Being able to walk my boyfriend’s dog, Ozzie, is a perfect excuse to spend time outdoors.

dog walking

  • Dandelion Cafe. This place reminds me why I followed a vegetarian diet for about 2 years in college. I recommend their Henry’s Hearty Chili — it’s filled with beans, corn, tempeh, and spices. Mmm. I had a cup of the chili along with their Abundant Harvest salad with green goddess dressing and tortilla chips. (sorry my lunch is half-eaten in the picture.)

Dandelion Cafe

Links I’m Loving: 

What are you Friday favorites?