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!

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A Day of Rest

Sunday was a day of rest for me. After church, the busy-ness of the weekend caught up with me and all I wanted to do all day was rest. I spent the afternoon on the couch with my mom going through wedding magazines and Pinterest – which unsurprisingly is an activity not so different than what I used to do before we got engaged.

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Parker and my dad were playing outside and Louie went for a swim as well – this was his first time in the pool and he’s lead me to believe that Yorkies/Chihuahuas are part fish. I’m the proud mom of a natural swimmer!

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When I finished my hard-core lounging, it was time to start on dinner. And I was in the mood for capers. Anyone else addicted to these flavor-packed little balls of deliciousness? I made a healthy version of Chicken Piccata and served it with whole wheat penne with tomato, arugula, and walnuts. I thought we’d have tons of leftovers, but apparently Parker and Derek haven’t eaten in years and were starved.

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Chicken Piccata

Ingredients
1 lb. lean chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon panko bread crumbs
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Baby arugula

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon panko bread crumbs.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot; cook chicken until done, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a serving plate.

Add the remaining teaspoon oil and garlic to the same skillet; cook for 1 minute. Mix together the broth and lemon juice and add to the pan. Simmer sauce until thickened. This should take 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar and capers, simmer for 1 minute.

Pour the sauce over the chicken platter. Serve with baby arugula on top.

Chicken Piccata 2

Penne with Tomato, Arugula, Walnuts (spin off of a Giada recipe)

Ingredients
Sauce:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pasta:
1 pound whole-wheat penne rigate pasta
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature
4 cups baby arugula
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
Directions
For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until smooth. Set aside.

For the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a high-sided skillet, whisk the butter over medium heat until melted. Simmer until foamy. Continue to cook until the butter has a nutty aroma and turns a caramel color, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the pasta, sauce, arugula, tomatoes, Parmesan, and capers. Toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time to loosen the sauce, if needed. Top with walnuts. Transfer to a large bowl and serve.

Penne may 19Happy Monday, everyone! Make this week a great one!