Top 13 Recipes of 2013

Hey guys! Can you believe it is the LAST day of 2013? When I sit here and think back to the last day of 2012, I am stunned to realize how fast time has passed by and how much has happened in the last 365 days. This year has been one of growth and change for me (I hope I can say that about most years), and I am so excited to see what lies ahead in 2014.

Starting this blog was one of the most out-of-the-ordinary things for me to do, and I’ve truly enjoyed sharing with you guys my favorite healthy (for the most part) recipes, some parts of my fitness routine, and my love for running. As the year comes to a close, I thought a round-up post of your favorite recipes I’ve put on the blog would be a fun post to do. So here goes!

1. Homemade Tortilla Chips

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2. Bang Bang Shrimp – Lightened Up!

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3. Homemade Pizza

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4. Balsamic Chicken Caprese

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5. Minestrone

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6. Mango Strawberry Banana Smoothie

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7. Honey Vanilla Overnight Oats

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8. Blackened Tilapia Tacos

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9. Peanut Butter Granola

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10. Hummus at Home

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11. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

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12. Baked Chicken, Penne and Vegetable Pasta

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13. Banana Walnut Loaf

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I wish you all a safe, happy and healthy New Year!

Sweet Potato Nachos Recipe

Hey friends Happy Hump Day! Tuesday was a long one for me, that started with hitting the snooze button instead of heading out for a morning run. I was a little disappointed in myself with the lack of discipline I had, but it ended up being for the best as I was able to run after work and attend a CXWorx class. My typical runs lately have been even paced and long, but since I was crunched for time yesterday, I completed an interval run that looked a bit like this:

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My plan was to complete the entire run, but I cut it short after the 30 minute mark because I was pressed for time!

Other than that, the day was all work and no play, and I know I will be worn out by the time the weekend rolls around!

I didn’t have time to cook on Tuesday and so we all had leftovers for dinner, as well as a giant salad filled with apples, grapes, almonds, and goat cheese. Not very fall-ish of us, but still delicious….

 

salad but I have a tasty recipe to share with you from Monday evening. We made ours with chicken, but the meat can easily be left out for a vegetarian friendly meal!  It goes a little bit like this:

Sweet Potato Nachos

Ingredients

4 sweet potatoes

2 chicken baked or grilled chicken breasts, cut into cubes

1/2 orange, red or yellow onion, sliced

1/2 cup reduced fat crumbled feta cheese

1/3 cup reduced fat spicy pepper jack cheese, shredded (I used Cabot Jalapeno Light)

1 cup diced tomatoes

1/2 cup diced scallions,

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tbsp pepper

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp vegetable oil

cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut sweet potatoes in half length-wise, and place cut side down on cutting board. Cut sweet potatoes into wedges – about 6 wedges per 1/2 sweet potato.

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Combine sweet potato wedges, vegetable oil, garlic powder, pepper and red pepper in a large bowl, and toss to coat sweet potatoes. Spray a baking sheet/baking dish (or 2) with cooking spray, and bake wedges in a single layer for 15-18 minutes.

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Remove trays from oven, and top sweet potatoes with scallions, tomatoes, pepper strips, and cubed chicken breasts, if using, and return to oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven once more, and top with cheeses. Continue baking for 2 minutes, remove from oven, and serve immediately.

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If y’all try it out, let me know what you think!

Today I’m excited to get together with several friends for dinner – nothing like a mid-week wine, girlfriends, and food treat!

Back to Bodypump + Healthier “Bang Bang” Shrimp

Hola, friends! Happy Tuesday and happy October! Does anyone else say “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” right when they wake up on the first day of every month? One of my roommates in college convinced me it was good luck, so I’ve been trying to do it for a couple of years now, usually with no success!

Anyways, please sit back and relax as I walk you through my super exciting day. This is the price you have to pay to receive the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: the recipe to a healthy bang bang shrimp!

I started my morning with a bowl of apple walnut cinnamon oatmeal. We were totally out of all milks: regular, skim, almond.. you name it, we didn’t have it. So I left out the splash of almond milk I usually go with, and started the morning sans coffee as well.

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Louie was sad to see me leave in the morning. At least I’d like to hope he was, because I hate leaving his furry face.

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For lunch at work I had leftovers from dinner the previous night, which included salad and some of the aforementioned bang bang shrimp. There was no picture taking at lunch. I’m trying to make friends at work, what did you expect?!?!

I made it back to my gym after a 2 week hiatus following the work day, and I have to be honest, I really missed it there.. While the gym at my hotel the last couple of weeks was pretty awesome for a hotel fitness center, it definitely doesn’t compare to my gym and all the fitness classes offered there.

My legs were a bit tired from the race on Saturday and our 5 mile run on Sunday morning, so my warm-up on the treadmill was a seriously slow 3 miles of walking and jogging. After gettin’ all my muscles ready to go, I headed to the fitness room for a Bodypump class. Boy did I miss that 55 minutes of toning madness. I plan to get to the gym as much as I can this week, as work will get a bit busier for me in the weeks to come.

Now that you’re all filled in on the details that comprise my little life, here is the recipe I promised you!

A few weeks ago I made shrimp skewers for some guests we had over to watch a football game. I served the skewers with a “bang bang” type spicy sauce, and while the end product was tasty, it didn’t feel as satisfying as an order of Bang Bang Shrimp from Bonefish Grill.

I couldn’t give up on my efforts to recreate this dish, so I tried it a different way for dinner this weekend. Here is my version of bang bang shrimp, lightened up a bit!

Healthier “Bang Bang” Shrimp

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Ingredients

(Serves 4-5 as an appetizer, or 2 as a main dish)

1 lb. medium pink shrimp, tails removed

3 tbsp thai sweet chili sauce

¼ cup light or fat free mayonnaise

2 tsp sriracha sauce

1 egg white

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tbsp olive oil or cooking spray

1 tsp crushed red pepper

2 cups romaine lettuce

Directions

Place egg white in a large bowl, and bread crumbs and crushed red pepper in another large bowl. Dip shrimp in egg and then cover in bread crumbs and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, and thai sweet chili sauce until fully mixed.

Heat olive oil or cooking spray over high heat in a large sauté pan, and add in coated shrimp once oil is sizzling.

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Cook for a couple minutes (3 minutes for pre-cooked shrimp or 5-6 minutes for uncooked shrimp) until shrimp is pink and breadcrumb coating is toasted. Remove from heat and toss with thai sauce. Serve immediately over romaine lettuce.

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My recipe left out the scallions that typically appear in bang bang shrimp, and I lightened it up with lite mayo and panko bread crumbs, while also eliminating butter. The dish ended up being exactly what I wanted, and tasted pretty darn close to the restaurant version 😉

Are there any restaurant dishes that you love to recreate at home?