Stuffed Zucchini.

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What you’ll need:

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large zucchini
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked rice (I like to use spanish rice)
  • 1 cup salsa (optional-I didn’t; use)
  • 1/2 red onion [diced]
  • 1 red bell pepper [diced]
  • mushrooms [diced]
  • 1/2 cup corn1 jalapeno (or poblano pepper), cored and diced
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • avocado [sliced]
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese
  • queso fresco [crumbled]

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Start by greasing a cookie sheet with olive oil and place to the side. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise[DON’T cut off the ends (I made the mistake of doing that!). Using a melon baller or metal teaspoon, hallow out the center of each zucchini. Lightly brush the tops with one teaspoon of olive oil then place them skin side down in the casserole dish. I reccomend dressing the zucchini with a little salt and pepper before filling with everything.
  2. Next warm the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the peppers until coooked through. Then add the rice, corn, and beans along with the salsa, chili powder and cumin. Stir everything together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes then remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F and then stir in 1/4 cup of the cilantro and salt to taste to the filling. Spoon the filling inside of each zucchini until they are all full. Sprinkle each half with cheese then arrange them in the dish and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes then remove the foil and set the oven to broil. Cook them for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  4. Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes then top with fresh cilantro, avocado and queso fresco and serve.

Thank you Making Thyme For Health for this recipe! There were a few modifications but it was delicious!!

*This recipe can also be made without cheese and would be just as good. Anything with avocado and salsa you can’t go wrong! Enjoy!

Juice-licious.

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How good does this look? I’ve said it before and will say over and over! It’s not a matter of having time for anything – it’s really a matter of making it. Yes, juicing can be messy and take 7 minutes of your time, but really…if you think of the amount of time you spend trolling though facebook, instagram, watching tv. etc everyday I think you can take a few minutes to juice it up! Not to mention, these store bought juices can be a litttttle pricey. Actually, let’s be real here, A LOT of pricey!!! This weekend I made a quick juice for some extra nutrients and energy. I used:

  • raw beets (sliced, not cooked) [pottasium(essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas).]
  • green apple[antioxidants lessen your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke]
  • lime [weight loss, skin care, improved digestion, relief from constipation, eye care]
  • kale [great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content]
  • ginger [relieving digestive problems such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain]
  • carrots [beta carotene and fiber content. This root vegetable is also a good source of antioxidant agents]
  • cucumber [ decreasing swelling and irritation of the skin and providing vitamin K]
  • grapefruit [vitamin c/maintain healthy heart]

It’s important to remember to have more veggies than fruit but whatever gets you going is better than nothing at all in my eyes. For 2 days worth of juice it was $11. That’s 5.50 a juice. Can we stay steal!?

My kind of Football Sunday.

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Happy Monday! This weekend was pretty low key. I didn’t really do much besides get a great workout in on Saturday/Sunday morning  and of course enjoying football Sunday! What a game with the Broncos VS. Patriots. It’s even more exciting that we will be hosting Superbowl 50 in our very own backyard in just a few weeks. Although the Niners didn’t quite make it to the championship, it is still something to look forward to! I have given up drinking for the month of January which concludes week 3 of 52! Most of you will be either hosting or going to a Superbowl party or maybe even hitting up your local joint for the festivities. I know this is sometimes and excuse to splurge on not so healthy food- but if you want to keep it on the healthy side (while remembering your new year resolutions) I think I can help. This weekend I made a 7 layer bean dip as well as a garbanzo bean salad. Guess what? My friends LOVED it! There were also chicken wings and pizza but adding a little healthy snacks to the mix never hurt anyone.

7 layer Bean Dip:

  1. Mashed Black Beans
  2. Sour Cream
  3. Shredded Cheese ( I use jack/cheddar combo)
  4. Mashed Avocado (I made guac/lemon/salt/pepper/tomato)
  5. Black Olives
  6. Red Onion (Diced)
  7. Tomato (Diced)
  8. Jalapeno (Sliced/Optional)

This is a simple recipe. All the ingredients are listed in order starting from the bottom of the pan to the top layer. Beans are always first and remember to heat them before putting them in the pan. I used corn tortillas/cut them in 4 for the chips. I bake them on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes (flipping half way in between). Cut them before, drizzle with olive oil and cook on 450 degrees. When you remove them from the oven you can dash some sea salt on for extra flavor.  Good Luck!

 

 

 

Cauliflower Fried Rice.

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This recipe is always a go to favorite when you are craving rice but don’t want the extra calories. I think some people might be skeptical of this, but it’s actually pretty good. I have been on a cauliflower kick as of late (cauliflower mash, baked cauliflower w/ parmesan cheese) it’s easy, cheap but still a member of the cancer-fighting cruciferous family of vegetables. This is one vegetable that deserves a regular rotation in your diet, however, as it contains an impressive array of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (about 2 1/2 cups chopped in a food processor)
  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas/carrots (I prefer fresh carrots over frozen)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp chopped green onion (optional)
  • salt/pepper to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. Rinse and chop the cauliflower into florets and put in the food processor. (If you don’t have a food processor you can easily chop up cauliflower into small pieces.) Pulse the cauliflower until it’s small and resembles rice.
  2. Preheat a large skillet or wok to medium heat. Pour some sesame oil in the bottom. Add white onion and peas/carrots and fry until tender.
  3. Slide the onion, peas, carrots to the side. Using a spatula, scramble the eggs. Once cooked mix the egg with the vegetable mix.
  4. Add the cauliflower to the veggie an egg mixture. Pour the soy sauce on top. Stir and fry the rice and veggie mixture until heated through and the cauliflower is tender. Add chopped green onion if desired.

*I have made this before but instead of peas I used grated zucchini and grated carrots. I prefer to add the zucchini because the texture absorbs the flavor of the soy sauce.

*This recipe would be great with some pieces of diced organic chicken or shrimp.

Good Luck!

I found this recipe at The Recipe Critic dot com.

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup.

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It’s funny whenever I post a picture of something I make that’s vegetarian the usual comment is, “Where is the meat!” I have been vegetarian for well over 7 or 8 years now and yes, when switching over it was a bit of a challenge. The basic things like chicken & rice/steak & potatoes weren’t so basic anymore. It hit me that I might actually need to explore the produce section a little more and perhaps pick up a cook book to get motivated and learn how to cook something new! Don’t get me wrong there are times when meals like Chicken Tortilla Soup or Pozole get lost in this rotation because they are not vegetarian but guess what – I have found a solution! Thank God for Pinterest (obviously)! I know I mention all the time that I go on there to browse and get inspired for what I should make next… but really, it helps when your brain is too tired to think after work @ 5m. This soup was SO good (I am not just saying that) and you can always add some ORGANIC chicken if your little heart desires.

My only request other than Pinterest being amazing is for someone to invent all the right ingredients at ONE grocery store! Wouldn’t that be life changing?! I usually frequent two grocery stores and the farmers market for my weekly food. It might seem like a lot but when you find bargains you realize it is worth the trek.

What you’ll need:

[Produce]

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 14-ounce can Black beans
  • 1 Chili pepper or 1 poblano pepper, dried smoked
  • 1 handful Cilantro, leaves
  • 1 14-ounce can Hominy (or you can substitute corn)
  • 1 Jalapenos, medium
  • 1 Lime
  • 2 Radishes
  • 1 White onion, medium

[Other]

  • 32 oz Vegetable stock
  • 1 14-ounce can Tomatoes or chunky tomato sauce
  • 1 Sea salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin, ground
  • 6 Corn tortillas (6-inch2 oz Queso fresco or feta cheese

 

[Instructions]

  1. Prep work: Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Stack the tortillas and slice them into ½-inch-wide, 2-inch-long strips. Remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapeno (and poblano, if using) and chop the peppers. Wash your hands. Pit, peel, and medium dice the avocado, then squeeze some lime juice over the avocado to prevent browning.
  2. Bake the tortillas: Coat a baking sheet with a thin layer of oil. Toss the tortilla strips in the oil to coat and arrange the strips in a single layer. Bake 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown. While the strips are hot, season them with salt.
  3.  Toast the chili pepper: Place the dried chili pepper directly on the oven racks. Bake for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or just until the pepper is warmed through. When cool enough to handle, cut the pepper open and remove the seeds. (Wash your hands afterward and avoid touching your eyes!)
  4. Make the soup: In a medium pot or Dutch oven, heat some olive oil on medium until hot. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno and poblano peppers (if using). Cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cumin, then the canned tomatoes and vegetable stock. Simmer for about 3 minutes, then add the hominy, black beans and the seeded chili pepper. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve the soup: First, discard the dried chili pepper. Place some of the avocado, radishes, tortilla strips, and queso fresco (or feta) at the bottom of 2 to 4 bowls. Divide the soup between the bowls. Top the soup with the remaining avocado, radishes, tortilla strips, and queso fresco (or feta). Garnish with some cilantro and serve with lime wedges and hot sauce, if desired.

Thank you Cookie and Kate for this recipe!!

Soul Cycle Sundayz.

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Happy Monday! I had such a great weekend! It’s not often that I am able to relax and have some down time, but this weekend I managed it quite well. I usually workout both Saturday and Sunday because #1 I love it and #2 I want to be efficient with at least 4-5 workouts per week. Sundays are for something different away from the usual circuit training. Soul Cycle has been on the rotation for quite some time. I set the alarm for 7:30- leave by 8 and hit the class at 8:30. Every week I always ask my friends if they are interested in going and the typical response is,”you are crazy- we want sleep!” I get it but for some reason this week they wanted to join. Would I ever say no to that?? NEVER! I signed them up on Monday when the classes were released and so from 12pm on was a 6 day countown. They made it! Got their butts up, hustled in the class and let’s get real they actually enjoyed it! It might not be something they wake up early for every Sunday but at least they incorporated something new in their weekly routine. After class we headed to Local Union 271 in downtown Palo Alto. The food was great…local and organic. What more can you want? The rest of the weekend was spent at the farmers market, cooking and lounging watching football.

While I hope you all have a great week, remember this:

“You create your thoughts, your thoughts create your intentions and your intentions create you reality.”-Wayne Dyer

Zoodle Scampi.

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Thank you Just a Taste for this recipe! I was browsing Pinterest yesterday and came across this recipe. If you have read my posts before you know I love Pinterest! Even if you don’t make exactly what is shown it is nice to have a platform to gather ideas from and make whatever it is that you like. I love zucchini and squash (and usually have it in my fridge all the time) so I went to Target last night after my workout and picked up this gadget to make the “Zoodles”! You guys, this was so easy. If you don’t like prawns, use chicken or just add extra veggies. Let me know if you have any questions and good luck on your Newtritionsavvy quest!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into noodles (See Kelly’s Notes)
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Place a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and heat it for 1 minute. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook them for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook them, stirring as needed, until they are cooked throughout and pink on all sides, about 3 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and then using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a bowl, leaving any liquid in the pan.
  3. Increase the heat to medium. Add the white wine and lemon juice to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, cooking the wine and lemon juice for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Return the shrimp to the pan and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, garish with parsley and serve immediately.

NOTE: I did add a little parmigiano reggiano when the white wine/olive oil was done reducing and veggies were added. *butter optional (don’t get crazy with it)

5 Things This Week.

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5 Things This week.

5.New Year, First Week. We survived! I hope all of you have had a chance to get your goals in tact because I have. This is definitely a perfect opportunity to reflect on all the thing we can ADD into our lives to be more successful on a daily basis.

4. Made some yummy cannellini bean soup. It’s been raining this whole week so if you’re in a rush for the week soup is a great meal to have for leftovers.

3. Mushroom medley tacos. Add some cumin, salt, pepper, lime and garlic powder and BOOM! They were bomb.

2. I will have managed 5 workouts this week. Some circuit, one yoga class and I will hit up Soul Cycle on Sunday to end my week on a positive note! Feels good to start off the year on the right note.

1. “Don’t Be Busy. Just Be Productive.” It’s such a thing that we create this “too busy” for our lives, tasks and people around us. Are we really too busy, or just wasting time on non essential things? I am going to go with the ladder. New goal: Be Productive! Get things done NOW!

Hope you all had a great week!

 

The Sweetest Goodbye | HELLO 2016!

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Outside Lands 2015

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Kent Avenue Photography

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Hawaii

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Putting in work creates results! Boom!

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T-Swift

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Entering 30 with my favorite chicks

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First Barry’s Class

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Highschool Besties

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Free Passes to Disneyland…score!

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Brophy Bros. for lunch!

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New Years Day Sunset 2016

 

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Ok, let me just start off by saying this was an AMAZING year! I traveled all over, made new friends and lived through the first year in my 30’s!!! YES! Looking back trying to gather all these pictures really puts into perspective how lucky I am. Don’t get me wrong, I hustled my ass off when it came to work and I can’t tell you how many times people would ask over and over if I even worked! YES! I worked, alot but so worth it when I look at all these amazing pictures. I love to travel and I love to enrich my mind of positive things. If anything I have learned this last year is that time really is money and when you don’t have it you make the most of it. I don’t recognize my friends enough that make me laugh on a daily basis or my family that is always there to create a great support system that comes in handy during the 365 days of each year. Take a minute and take a breath to say thank you for everything that occured in 2015. Good AND Bad, because without the bad we aren’t challenged to be better.I have learned, I have loved and most importantly I am a wiser me because of these things.

10 New Things I did in 2015.

10. Went to New Orleans for a Bachelorette…best beignets EVER!

9. Committed in June to serious workouts.(You know what I mean, there is working out to say you went, and then there is dialing in and really hustling to the max capacity and let’s not forget eating clean in addition). Jillene and I sort of found each other after running after class a couple times and decided we would work as each others accountability partners. I have two jobs so it’s not always easy to get to the gym ALL the time, but commiting to 4-5 days a week made a huge difference.

8. Traveled to Hawaii for my first time. It was a week of bliss for the mind and soul. I can’t wait to go back!

7. Discovered that alternate workouts like Soulcycle are good for exactly that…your soul. I enjoy waking up early on Sundays and getting my day started with the right mindset.

6. While in Hawaii I jumped off a 20 ft cliff. This was beyond scary and like anything the more you wait to do it the more anticipation you build up in your head that is totally unncessary. Life lesson learned: JUST DO IT NOW!

5. Went on another bachelorette to Miami with my best friends from highschool. Aside from the celebration aspect it was so nice to get together to reminisce as well as be with my girls as we are entering our 30’s. Comparing stories and realizing we aren’t the only ones going through struggles. Between families, careers, relationships and where society tells us we are supposed to be…don’t believe it! Be YOU….the BEST you!

4. I discovered Cheryl Strayed. She wrote the most amazing book, “Tiny Beautiful Things” and I reccomend every person read this book. Life, lessons, imperfection, growth and satisfaction. If you feel any discontent in your life or are looking for a good read check it out. It’s beyond awesome!

3. Went to Boston and climbed the Bunker Hill Monument Steps. Also visited Harvard University….Talk about inspiration!

2. Did my first photoshoot with Kent Avenue Photography. Tara, you are amazing and your ability to capture natural beauty is insane. I have never been happier with photos of myself…you are magical.

  1. The best thing I learned and did new was practice that perfection is not reality! I am letting go and have let go of the idea that being perfect is of any kind of normal. What is normal anyway? To me it’s putting in the work. Like I said before I have two jobs beacause I LOVE to travel- and well, with that it’s expensive. I also love to be busy and keep my mind motivated. This last year I have become extremely fond of Brene Brown and her life lessons. Perfection is a sign of insecurity and at the end of the day we only have control over ourselves and ourselves only. What you see online daily:Facebook, Instagram, Bloggers pretend lives are not real it’s only a perception. Just put in work in YOUR life and you will most definitely see the results you want to see. I say this with the upmost honesty and integrity. It’s not always easy. Some days I am tired, some days I really wish I had a million dollars and could do whatever I wanted. Some days, lets get real I wish I was born with a supermodel body but guess what? I don’t have a million dollars or that body (I love cheese and chocolate too much) and depending on our life some days are good and some are REALLY good! It’s all about perspective. Can’t emphasize that enough. Thanks to all the people apart of my 2015.

“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.” -Brene Brown

 

 

Vacation Throwback.

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Hard to believe it’s the NEW year and Christmas was already two weeks ago! I have been MIA as most everyone has with their time off, but lets just say the 2 weeks off work was beyond amazing. Christmas was a full house with about 35 people…cousins, aunts, uncles and friends! Per usual I cooked and made that potato casserole I posted about a few weeks ago. It was DELISH! If you are stumped as what to make for dinner and need a quick recipe I highly recommend this. It was gone in less than 10 minutes. As we are entering the first week of the near year it’s all about goals and resolutions. Despite most people forgetting about these intentions come February, I do actually enjoy seeing people check in to the gyms, drinkin’ their organic juices or simply getting active outside of their comfort zones! I am excited to dive into 2016! Are you? Look for more pictures from my trip to Disneyland and Santa Barbara tomorrow. Oh, also- did I mention I am doing 30 days no alcohol!? Bring on the challenge! See you all manana!