3 Cheese Stuffed Shells

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Hi Friends! While this recipe is not exactly on the healthy spectrum of most people’s January goals, it is still delicious if you are in the mood for some pasta. I have made them about 3 times and the third time around was the best. It’s important to remember just because a recipe says A,B, C doesn’t meant you can’t add to the mix!

Here is what you need:

  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • Italian Parsley
  • 1 1/2 cup spinach (fresh)
  • 1 egg, large
  • 12 pasta shells
  • black pepper
  • sea salt
  • Italian seasoning
  • Mozzarella
  • 15 oz whole-milk ricotta
  • 1/2-3/4 cup cottage cheese

Pasta Sauce: (you can always use a jar but I like to make everything from scratch)

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • salt/pepper/ Italian parsley
  • olive oil
  • (SIDENOTE: You can always add meat to the sauce for more flavor)

To make:

  1. You need a pan w/ olive oil and garlic. Cook garlic until almost brown (low-med heat)
  2. Add can crushed tomatoes
  3. Season salt/pepper to taste
  4. Add Parsley
  5. You can always add more salt/pepper after it simmers for a bit- remember a little goes a long wayIMG_4182.JPG

For the shells:

  1. Cook the pasta shells according to instructions on the package. Drain, keep warm.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Spread pasta sauce on bottom of backing dish- set aside.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and cottage cheese, egg, garlic, seasoning, salt, pepper and chopped spinach.
  5. Fill each pasta shell with cheese filling and arrange in the sauce.
  6. Sprinkle additional mozzarella cheese over each shell.
  7. Back for 20-25 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling on the edges.
  8. Let sit for 10 minutes in room temperature before serving.

This recipe is pretty easy and delicious.

 

 

Brown Butter Carrots…Yum!

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Produce

  • 1 lb Carrots (or however much you want there is no rule ๐Ÿ™‚ )
  • 4 cloves Minced Garlic 
  • 1 tsp Thyme or parsley

Condiments

  • 1/2 tbsp Honey

Baking & Spices

  • 3 dashes Black pepper, ground
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Dairy

  • 4 tbsp Butter, unsalted

This recipe is so easy!!!

Directions:

Warm the butter up in a pan with the garlic on med-high until butter starts to brown. Once brown mix carrots in with the butter, garlic, add parsley and honey +pinch salt and dash of pepper. Spread out on baking pan- Cook on 400 degrees for 15-20 min. (Every oven is different- mine cooked quickly and carrots were soft after 12 minutes so keep an eye!!

Enjoy and Tell me how you like them! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

xo Sarah

Evolve.

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Some things I learned in 2016. It’s not always perfect or the way you want things to be. Sad fact of life, this is how we learn and this more importantly how we grow.

  1. Work hard and success will follow. It’s no surprise that the more work and dedication you put into anything the better you will master your craft and reap the rewards.
  2. Life goes on when you fall in love and then fall out of love. It all seems so devastating when it’s happening – like we are never going to love again. But I actually believe that the more you love the better you are able to love the next person. Trust your heart and be as rational as possible. Not everything we think we want we are meant to have.
  3. If you want to fly you have to give up the things that weigh you down. Friends, Relationships, Job, Habits and most importantly FEAR!!! If it is not making you a better person and causing joy in your life it’s time to let it go.
  4. Surround yourself with people who awaken the best in you. When you have a good tribe you become smarter, like minded, and stronger instantly.
  5. Trust the timing of your life. If it is happening to you it’s because you need to learn from it. If it’s happening to you again- it’s because you HAVEN’T learned from it.
  6. RESPECT YOUR HEALTH. Respect your body. Stop treating it like shit. You’re not getting any younger and your body will not get any healthier unless you take care of it. Everyone wants to live the invisible life until illness happens to them.
  7. Practice the attitude of gratitude. The more time you spend on the good you find less time to focus on the negative.
  8. Have a plan. It’s easy to say we want something but doing it is another. If you want to travel book a trip. If you want to fall in love- let the old love go. Execution is what we focus on in 2017. DO IT!
  9. Love yourself more. Instead of wishing for someone else’s body, or someone else’s job or someone else’s life- respect and love yours more. After all, it’s your choice and your choice only to make better.

The most important one: I read this today.

10. Give up your need to control everything. Detach from the things that you cannot change and focus on the ones you can & know sometimes the only thing you are going to be able to control is your attitude towards something or someone.

“Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us.”

Happy 4th day of 2017 ya’ll!

xo,

Sarah

 

6 Months in and Killinnn it!

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I am happy to report that it is now June 14 and I am beyond pleased with my fitness routine the last 6 months. It’s amazing the changes that happen to your body when you put the time and effort it. It’s hard…..like really hard. Sometimes I am really tired from work, and other times I would rather just go home and cook dinner instead of get home at 8 and try and manage a few hours before bed. But guess what? I love it. If I didn’t I would’t do it. Fact. I think the most important key component to a successful everyday life is to simply GET MOVING! Don’t think of it as an extravagant workout but rather you are just getting out of the house or work for a bit.

  1. CHANGE it up!
  • walk
  • play basketball
  • spin class
  • circuit training
  • go for a run/hike

2. Meditate

  • Take 5 minutes of your day to separate from all the chaos we go through daily. Between work, school, kids, bosses and heck at this point world news, we can all be a little stressed out here and there. Acknowledge your distractions and pay attention to your breathing. It helps.

3. NEWTRITION!

  • Think 80/20. Start with the basics. Don’t eat processed foods. Fruits, veggies and grains are okay but make sure they are good quality. Nourish your body so that you can in fact maintain a healthy/active lifestyle. On the flip side- don’t ever not enjoy yourself. It’s ok to splurge ONCE-IN-A-WHILE. Don’t get crazy and ruin every single workout but know it’s ok to have a great dinner and glass of wine here and there. We are all about moderation here.

4.Workout Partners

  • This is so important! Find that person that will motivate you and kick your butt. If you’re like me you aren’t exactly a fan of partner workouts. I know, it’s just who I am….and mostly because I am the least competitive person (in terms of working out). ย Although I would rather workout by myself I know that if I do go to the gym by myself I am not going to get even half the workout I should be doing. Accountability is necessary. I am sure of it. The picture above is this last Sunday of our “Run Club”.ย We tackled an interval workout. 5 minutes run hard- 1 minute rest. 4 minutes run hard- 1 minute rest and so on until 1 minute and then on the way back it was the same- 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. I encourage you to try this….it’s a burner!

 

Parmesan. Broccoli. Potatoes.

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You’re going to love this one.

What you’ll need:

  • 16 oz Baby potatoes
  • 24 oz Broccoli florets
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Onion powder
  • 2 tbsp Parsley, fresh leaves
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • Sea Salt/Black Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan

Directions:

This recipe is so easy. If you’re in a pinch and don’t know what to make I recommend this along with a chicken breast or whatever protein you like. Cut the veggies, dress them, wrap in foil and bake.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning and onion powder; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Cut four sheets of foil, about 12-inches long. Divide broccoli and potatoes into 4 equal portions and add to the center of each foil in a single layer.
  • Fold up all 4 sides of each foil packet. Spoon the garlic mixture over the broccoli and potatoes. Fold the sides of the foil over the vegetables, covering completely and sealing the packets closed.
  • Place foil packets in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until tender, about 12-14 minutes.*
  • Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan and parsley, if desired.

I found this recipeย here.

Feel the Rythym.

Sarah Sunset

“Yoga is like music: the rythm of the the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.” – B.K.S. Lyengar

Ladies and Gentleman I present to you a new chapter of my life. It seems like we are constantly growing, moving forward in life (most of us) with the next best adventure or even the next challenge we could never imagine would arise.Let’s face it, time passes by whether we go with the flow or try to resist. I have learned a lot about myself in 2016. I made the decision (for myself) in the beginning of the year that I was going to simply COMMIT. There were some goals I set and I was not going to give up when things don’t “go my way.”ย  Does this sound familiar? It’s so easy to set a goal and then when you don’t see results talk yourself down and eventually just give up. Well…not this year, this is not the case. I dialed into my workouts and promised myself I would find a new job. I was going to work everyday not loving it, not loving the people or the energy the brought into my life. Little did I know this was draining my personal life and limiting my expectation for myself. You always hear the saying, “Surround yourself with greatness and you will be great.”….Well, in this case it was the total opposite! The majority of my day was spent with people who also hated their jobs, and weren’t satisfied with their life- so I literally woke up one day, and I made a choice to change it. I spent a few months searching for a new career (waaaay harder than I thought), going on a couple interviews only to be rejected but low and behold a great opportunity came up. Literally, overnight. Phone interview Thursday, in person Friday, Offer on Monday. I thought to myself, “Is this real?!” haha, yes it was REAL! I am naturally a busy person, but I can’t tell you how much a change of everyday environment has not only made me feel lighter in regards to stress, less emotionally drained and just happier to go to work everyday. How is this possible that I lasted so long in this negative situation. If this is you, wake up! There is better out there.

The moral of the story: Believe in yourself. Talk yourself up instead of down and really create a vision for what it is exactly that you want. If you want a new career, decide what it is that you want and what it is that you’re willing to put forth in honor of obtaining this change. Use your resources and know that it is possible to have a job that doesn’t feel like work! Out with the old, in with the new. Life is too short to not wake up and be happy everyday!

Happy Friday!

 

Bare Bowls.

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My friends! If you have never been to Bare Bowls in Palo Alto is a MUST. I have had the last week off of work in between changing jobs which means I have worked out more than usual (double days). Usually I head to Soul Cycle on Sundays and make it a once a week treat, but when you have lots of time on your hands why not pick up a few extra classes in between. Bare Bowls is 5 minutes away from the Soul Cycle in Palo, so needless to say it’s a great snack or lunch after your class. This one pictured above is called the Trailblazer. This includes: handmade almond butter, Acai base, strawberry, banana, and dates. Seriously, it was so good I went two days in a row!!!! There is a also a location in Burlingame if you are closer to San Francisco! Get in there….SO delish!

Chipotle Roasted Cauliflower Tacos.ย 

  


   

  

  

      

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What you’ll need:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzle
  • 2 chipotle peppers from canned chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 8 tortillas warmed or grilled
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chipotle Yogurt Sauce

  • 7 oz full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 choptle pepper (from the can used above)
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400F:

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (I didn’t have parchment so I used foil). Add the cauliflower and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Working over the baking sheet, use your hands to break up 2 chipotle peppers, along with some of the adobo sauce. Toss again to coat the cauliflower and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. 
Make the chipotle yogurt sauce: In a small food processor [i used my vitamix] combine the yogurt, chipotle pepper, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, honey, and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings adding more salt, pepper, and lime juice as desired. 
Fill each tortilla with a spoonful of sauce, the roasted cauliflower, and a slice of avocado. Serve with the cilantro and lime slices on the side. 

This recipe was so easy and also the first time I have ever cooked with chipotle peppers! And note to self: if you are a meet water you could always cook some organic chicken or steak with the chipotle peppers and lime juice! Good luck!
I found this recipe at Love & Lemons.

Chipotle Flavored Breakfast Burrito.

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Happy Monday! Ok, for starters I was on a roll with cooking this weekend. It was rainy, cold and one of those weekends where you just want to lay in bed and do nothing all weekend. If you have read any past posts you know by now that it’s really hard for me to slow down, so instead I headed to the book store and picked up a new cook book! Saturday I made Chipotle Roasted Cauliflower tacos (which were SO good) and so on Sunday I used the leftover cauliflower, whipped up some breakfast potatoes with the chipotle chilis in the adobe sauce and Wa La! I had myself a delicious brekfast burrito. So many times when I buy vegetables (because it’s just me) I have leftovers which leads to being a little creative otherwise I am eating the same meal for 3 days. Who wants that? Not me! Anyway, get creative and use your left overs for something new.

In this burrito I used:

  • chipotle roasted cauliflower/corn
  • breakfast potatoes with chipotle pepper sauce
  • eggs [scrambled]
  • avocado
  • chipotle sauce (made with fresh greek yogurt)
  • diced tomato
  • flour tortilla

Are you a fan of breakfast burritos? What do you like to put in yours? Remember, if you are a meat eater you can always scramble up some sausage or bacon with those eggs. Good luck!

 

 

Better For It.ย 


It’s no surprise that if you put in the work, you get results. An easy way to keep yourself accountable is to workout with someone that will push you to the limit you don’t even see for yourself. You MUST lift the heavier weight, do the extra sprints post workout, experience what it means to become uncomfortable because getting results is not always comfortable. (I can vouch for that!)There is no such thing as shortcuts, wraps, cleanses, or anyone that is going to create real results for you if you don’t change your lifestyle long term. This includes the food you consume everyday, or the workouts you don’t really want to go to but make the a priority even when you’re tired, busy or simply not motivated. Sure, these short term alternatives might be easier and seemย to work for a hot second- but are they sustainble for long lasting results? Negative. The best part about this process is that when you do start to look better, feel better and become stronger you know you did everything in your power to get that way AND you are better for it!