Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mexi-Quinoa Lime Salad

Ahhhh, finally I feel like spring is springing! Which means it is time for new, not-so-hearty, healthy recipes! I LOVE SPRING. And I also love Mexican food. The yummy protein-packed-quinoa combined with a lime-olive oil dressing is refreshing and nutritious. So this recipe is a winner in my book!

Mexi-Quinoa Lime Salad
This recipe is not only delicious, but ridiculously simple to make. Here is what you'll need.
 -2 c. uncooked quinoa (~4 c. cooked quinoa)
-1 red pepper, diced
-1 jalapeno (or any spicy) pepper, diced
-1 can corn, rinsed
-1 can black beans, rinsed
-1 bunch scallions (~6-7) chopped
-1/2 bunch cilantro (1/4 c.) finely chopped
-Juice from 4 limes
-2/3c. olive oil
-salt, pepper, cumin to taste
First, RINSE your quinoa thoroughly with water. If you have ever omitted this step... you most likely suffered the side effect of having a terrible stomach ache after eating... yes this happened to me. So begin by rinsing! I have yet to find a better way to do this because quinoa falls through the strainer, so I used the cover to my pot and tried not to let all the quinoa fall out.
Look at the nasty bubbles that form (now imagine if you didn't rinse it)
If you are using 2 cups uncooked quinoa, add 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. When it reaches boiling, turn the burner down to "low", cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until all of the water has evaporated.

While you are waiting, dice up all of your vegetables (as pictured above) and drain and rinse the cans of corn and black beans. I tossed this all into a big bowl. When the quinoa is done, allow it to cool before adding it to the mixture! You can begin preparing the dressing.
Squeeze the juice of 4 limes and it should be ~1/3 cup. Add salt and pepper, and about 2/3c. of olive oil! You can add cumin (2 t.) but I didn't have any and my recipe tasted fine! I did add some ground white pepper "in place" just because I found it in the cabinet.
The simple final product: your dressing!
Cover the salad with the dressing, stir, and that is it! You are done!
There is nothing unhealthy about this recipe so I love it. You can serve it hot or cold, as a side-salad OR try adding some shredded chicken into the mix for a more filling entree! Wouldn't it be delicious to add shredded chicken covered in some taco seasoning? This provides about 8 one-cup servings.

ENJOY! And stay healthy my friends!
Swimsuit season is JUST around the corner (finally)!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Buffalo Cauliflower

With the Super Bowl last weekend (and trying to stay on track and be healthy) I decided to finally try Buffalo Cauliflower. I do admit it was a good way to get that spicy craving in without all of the calories and fat from fried buffalo wings!
Buffalo Cauliflower
But just to forewarn you: if you are a whimp with spicy stuff (like I am), I might suggest finding an alternative to Ranch Dressing to "cool off" the flavor. I chose not to buy any dressing, as I said I am trying to be healthy and ranch is potentially as unhealthy as it gets with those empty calories and fat......... but when I found myself sweating my brains out, taking off my sweatshirt and socks, and chugging 3 glasses of water later... I sure wish I had some ranch dressing. Guess that will need to be my next blog topic! (And if you really can't stand spice- try this alternative found here: Coriander Cauliflower)

But ANYWAY. First off, I need to thank you, whoever you are, for reading my blog! I've surpassed 755,000 viewers and I never even dreamed this would happen! Next stop: more healthy readers and 200,000 viewers. Love it.

So lets get started!
- Head of Cauliflower
- Bottle of Buffalo Sauce
- 1 T. Olive Oil
- Pepper
Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees, washing the cauliflower, cutting off the base, and then chopping the cauliflower in any strategy you want to get it into bite size pieces like this:
Next, toss all of your cauli (such a cuter name) into a large ziplock bag, add the 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and pepper and shake the bag until the cauli is evenly coated.
Mission accomplished. Now evenly spread the cauliflower on a cookie sheet which does not need to be greased. 
Toss it in the oven for about 20 minutes or until soft enough to bite and crispy to your liking. While you're waiting, stir it so the edge pieces don't burn. Once it is complete, put your cauli in a bowl!
While warm, add the goodness- buffalo sauce. I only did enough to make 1-2 servings and put the other cooked cauliflower in the fridge for leftovers.
Toss the cauli around and YAY YOURE DONE!
Enjoy your appetizer or snack, try your best not to give into that ranch craving, but remember that regardless, you have already made a super healthy choice by using CAULI instead of fried wings to satisfy your craving (okay, I'll stop saying cauli now).

Enjoy :)
 GET HEALTHY <3 Morgan

Snow Day Home Workout!

Ohhhhh the good old winter. With all of this lovely snow that has been falling in Boston (okay, I'm from Minnesota so I realllllllly should not be complaining...) we have received so many snow days! And with a snow day usually comes laziness. The first thing I said last night when I heard that my gym would be closed today was "well crap, now I can't get my workout in!"

Although with my "no excuses" motto, I found an easy way to fight the winter blues and got a nice sweaty workout done in the comfort of my own room. Yes, the woman who lives downstairs probably hated every minute of that hour while I jumped on our old wood floor with my jump-squats and burpees.... but did I care? Not really :) It felt great!

So snap out of your winter-time lazy mood, blast some jams, and start sweating! Here is a simple workout that is sure to torch calories and boost your mood:
First, start off with a warm up! I used 1-2 songs to stretch out, did a bunch of high knees, butt kicks, and jumping jacks until I felt warm.

Next, accomplish the "10-1" Workout. This consists of doing each of the 5 exercises, starting with 10 reps of each: jump squats, push ups, lying leg raises (lay on your back and use your abs to bring your legs down to hover the floor, and back up), plank jacks (like jumping jacks but in a plank position on the floor), and burpees. Once you finish that first set, move onto doing 9 reps of each exercise. Continue this by doing 8 reps, 7 reps, 6 reps, until you have completed the "10-1" workout! This will get your heart pouding. Try to do this with as few breaks as possible, don't hesitate to grab some water between each set, but keep that heart-rate up!

After completing that, pat yourself on the back and move on to doing 3 planks. Do them each as long as you can! To give you a target, I did 45 seconds, 45 seconds, 40 seconds.
Then, work those abs with 4 rounds of 10 each of crunches, leg raises or V-ups, mountain climbers, and bicycles! This round shouldn't feel nearly as difficult as the 10-1 ladder, and you should really concentrate on your abs- NOT pulling your neck up!
If you still have the motivation after rocking out those abdominal exercises, raise that heart rate one more time with some high knees and oblique tilts to each side!

With that, YOU DID IT!!! Feel proud that you did more than the average person did on your snow day, give yourself a good stretch, and of course- DRINK PROTEIN :)

And if you are feeling super ambitious, try on your old Miss Boston evening gown and see if it still fits....
.... Then breathe a sigh of relief when you can still zip it up. Hey, who cares if it is a little (or a lot) tighter now? It gave me the exact motivation I needed to work hard again tomorrow, whether I'm at the gym or in my own room again :)

Stay healthy!