I’ve got the beet I’ve got the beet….yeah!

No, I’m not a terrible speller…I know that song is talking about a beat, not a beet. But I couldn’t resist. Our last CSA box contained a bunch of  beets. I’ve eaten pickled beets at Christmas and Thanksgiving, but I’ve never tried cooking my own beets before.  I was a little hesitant about dealing with raw beets, but I found an EASY recipe to try, and it was DELISH. I had it for lunch this week, but apparently was too excited to eat my beet salad to take time to take a picture – sorry!  : D

Easy Beet Salad

1 lb beets
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pinch cinnamon
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt to taste

Cut off the tops, leaving a stalk of about 1 1/2 inches.
Boil, covered, until tender. (~ 15 minutes)
Strain and let cool. Slip off the skins, trim off the tops, and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over beets.
Let marinate 1 hour before serving.

Beets are also super nutritious! They contain lots of magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, fiber, biotin, and folic acid.  Beets are a “cardiovascular health” veggie. All those nutrients are great for improving/maintaining cardiovascular health. That can make you healthy, and also improve your athletic performance!

I had no idea beets were to easy to prepare! This salad is a great way to get some serious reds/purples into your diet! Although I normally think of beets as more of a holiday season food, cold beet salad is really refreshing in the summer! Perfect for packing in your lunch or serving to guests!

What do you think? Do you have favorite beet recipes of your own? I’d love to hear about it!

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Beat the heat – Watch what you eat!

Here are some tips and tricks for staying cool when the weather is hot…and I’m not talking about freezing your sheets!

What to Eat to Beat the Heat:

YES: hydrate hydrate hydrate. You’re  loosing lots of water through sweat.

YES: eat small meals more often. Eating a big meal will slow down your circulation.

NO:  high protein meals – protein increases metabolic heat.

YES:  spicy food – it enhances circulation and causes sweating, which cools the body down.

NO: alcohol – as good as a cold one sounds, it dehydrates the body!

NO: caffeine – it increases metabolic heat. Yes…even an iced coffee!

YES: chrysanthemum tea – it’s said to be a cooling herb which clears the head.

YES: coconut water – it has more electrolytes than Gatorade and is an excellent source for energy, hydration, and potassium! Plus, it’s delish!

YES: fruits & veggies with high water content (lettuce, cucumber, watermelon, corn on the cob and squash)

NO:  ice cream – anything ingested that is significantly lower than actual body temperature will initially produce a cooling effect but after 15-20 minutes, the body will physiologically respond to energy (i.e. heat) loss by increasing blood flow to the ‘cool’ region and bring the temperature back up to a physiological ‘body temperature (98.6 degrees).

 

Have a happy healthy day, and stay cool!

Caitlin

Getting to the root of things…

I used to think that the only root vegetables that were semi-edible were potatoes and carrots…but after 5 weeks of CSA shares, I’ve learned to expand my horizon, or “spread my roots” when it comes to root veggies.

Meet: Kohlrabi. It has a spicy/sweet taste and a crisp crunchy texture. I’d compare it to a cross between a radish and an apple. It’s great cut up into chunks and eaten raw, dipped in humus, or sliced on top of a salad.

Health Benefits: Hight in vitamin C and potassium, helps with iron absorption, and is a good source of folic acid. Helps with energy, circulation, and blood sugar imbalances.

Meet: Turnips. Not just any turnips, but baby white turnips. Turnips are not giant mystery roots that your grandma forces on you when you come over for dinner. They are actually delicate, delicious little veggies, when eaten the right way! They are best in the spring when they are still small and sweet. I like to add them to salads or put them in a foil pouch for grilling.

Health Benefits: Low calorie and a great source of vitamin C, various antioxidants, and fiber! If you eat the greens (throw them into the salad) then you’ll also get a bonus haul of vitamin A, K, and folate!

Meet: Radishes. I’ve tried radishes from the store before. Usually I end of throwing over half of them away because they are woody or mushy or gross. Fresh, locally grown radishes are a whole different story. They are crunchy, spicy, and surprisingly sweet. They are fantastic on their own, dipped in humus, or in salads. I could eat these every day!

Health Benefits: Great source of vitamin C (seeing a pattern here with root veggies???), potassium, copper, and folic acid. Radish greens can be eaten too, and will give you loads of protein and calcium. Suprising!

Getting sick of lettuce salads topped with the standard tomatoes and carrots? Try throwing in some root veggies (and their greens!) for a new kick to your salad (both taste and health wise)! Root veggies are pretty cheap, and if you use the greens, can be multipurpose as well! Your body and your wallet will thank you! Pick up some new root veggies next time you visit the farmers market or the store. Let me know what you think!

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

Roughing it without ruining your diet!

When I think of camping, I think of beer, s’mores, and hotdogs. Fun? Yes. Healthy? No.

We are going camping this weekend at beautiful Lake Wazee in WI and I am determined to not only have fun, but to eat healthy too. BUTTTT, I don’t want to pack up half of my kitchen just to go camping for the weekend. So, here’s what I’ve come up with for EASY, HEALTHY, camping food!

Raw fruits and veggies that pack/keep well:
Apples
Grapes
Pears
Blueberries
Radishes
Carrots
 Turnips 
 
Veggies for cooking over the fire/grill:
Corn on the cob (grill before peeling)
Zucchini (cut in half, olive oil + S&P, grill)
Potatoes (foil pouch + olive oil + S&P)
Portobello mushrooms (grill upside down with olive oil + S&P)
Broccoli (foil pouch + olive oil + S&P)
 
More healthy food:
Jerkey (very low-fat, high protein)
Banana bread
Chicken or venison dogs (instead of the Oscar Meyers)
Hand made trail mix (go browse your bulk section!)
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Turkey Pepperoni
Dried fruit/nuts
Air popped popcorn (pop at home)
 
 Drinks
For those of us that need our morning dose of caffeine, try bringing a big pre-made jug of tea or coffee. For the first day or so, add ice from the cooler for iced beverages, and when the ice runs out, it’s still drinkable at room temp, or try heating it over the fire in a tin can or mug!
 
Beer is a MUST when camping, but what about the 2nd or 3rd night, when the ice is melted? Who wants to drink warm beer? For the last part of the trip, pack red wine! Is supposed to be consumed at room temp! (but make sure to bring a bottle with a screw off top, or a bottle opener!) Cut up some of your fruit to make a red wine sangria for some extra fun!
 
All this healthy food, and the only equipment I need to pack is a knife, tin foil, olive oil, S&P, and disposable plates/cups/sliverware. Not bad!
 

What are your favorite healthy camping foods???

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

New Eats and Old Friends

This week has been full of healthy surprises, both old and new!

NEW: Weekly TSA Box

This year we signed up for a TSA share. It’s similar to CSA (community supported agriculture) but the farm we signed up with calls it TSA (tribally supported agriculture). The Star Tribune did an article about it this week  if you are curious! startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/124298393.html Every week we get a big box of organic, locally grown veggies. What I really like about it is that we get veggies we’ve never tried before, and probably wouldn’t pick out at the store. So far, the new veggies that we’ve gotten are kalorabi (LOVED it), turnips (Liked it), garlic scapes (ehhh), swiss chard (haven’t tried it yet), and lots of different varieties of heirloom lettuce (LOVE). This summer we will definitely be having a very diverse and healthy diet!

OLD: Swimming

The doctor approved me to do some swimming, so i’m finally back to getting some real cardio into my routine! I won’t be able to run for another 3 months, so me and the pool are going to become very good friends. I used to swim in highschool, and I am SO glad that I know how to swim. If I wasn’t a swimmer, I wouldn’t be able to workout for 3 more months! But it’s been a while since I’ve done any serious time in the pool and It’s pretty weird/hard getting back into it! This week I peaked at an 1800 meter workout (pretty pathetic if I think about how much I’d swim in one swim team practice…so I try not to think about it!). Next weeks goal is to get up to 2ooo in one workout!

NEW: Underwater MP3 Player

This is possibly the best investment I’ve made in a while! I think the reason I stopped swimming on my own was because it was just so boring, compared to running/working out with my iPod. But swimming with music? It’s even more fun than running with music! The player I chose is called the SwiMP3 player and it doesn’t use earphones but rather transmits sound through vibration. It works great, even if I do look extremely dorky when I use it! I can’t wait to go swimming again today after work!

I look forward to posting new recipes using NEW veggies this summer! And I encourage you to investigate buying a CSA share next year, its definitley worth it!

Have a happy healthy 4th of July weekend!

Caitlin

Success!…Limoncello and a Gimp Workout (not together!)

I finished my Limoncello last night, and I’m happy to say, it turned out great (in my opinion)! SO, here’s my recipe for making this delicious Italian lemon liqueur:

Caitlin’s Limoncello:
20 Organic Meyer Lemons
2 Bottles of Everclear (the real stuff, not the kind you get in MN)
7 C. Sugar
6.5 C. Water
 
~ Wash the lemons really really well.
~ Peel JUST the yellow part off the lemon.
~ Soak the lemon peels in the Everclear for 1 month in a well sealed glass jar or container.
~ 1 month later…make a simple syrup by boiling the water and stirring in the sugar. Mix WELL. Let cool.
~ Take the lemon peels out of the Everclear (I used a slotted spoon)
~ Add simple syrup into Everclear mixture and let it sit overnight.
~ Filter mixture (use a coffee filter or a Brita pitcher…the brita method worked better for me)
~ Pour into sanitized bottles
~ Enjoy chilled!
 

Usually Limoncello looks a lot lighter…I used natural sugar, which is why mine kind of looks like pee. But it still tastes great! But if you want that light yellow look…definitley go for the regular old white sugar. This stuff is very strong, so enjoy with caution!

This week I also experimented with a wimp gimp workout. I’m not exactly satisfied with it, but at least it’s something!

Workout with a Broken Foot:
 
Day 1:
30 min. on the elliptical, one footed (no I’m not joking…)
20 reps of leg extensions x3
20 reps of 1 legged squats x3
20 reps of 1 leg extended triceps dips x3
20 reps each side fire hydrant drill x2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koh2eoSdG2Q
20 reps each side donkey kicks x2
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/exercise/glutes-exercises.htm
20 triceps kickbacks x2 (standing on 1 foot)
Abs – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jh1Ol3RpOEc
Stretch
 
Day 2
30 min. elliptical, one footed
20 reps bicep curls x3 (on one foot)
10 reps side arm raises x3
10 reps lateral arm raises x3
1 min. plank, one foot lifted
20 push ups (on knees) x2
20 staggered push ups (on knees) x2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z8fCEYz1qQ
20 reps lat pull-down x3 (if you have the equipment)
Stretch

I also tried one footed yoga this week. All I can say is that I am going to be very imbalanced when I finally can use my right foot again! I go back to see the foot specialist on Monday…so hopefully they have good news for me! I would love to be allowed to swim for my cardio!

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

 
 
 

When life gives you lemons, make mojitos???

 

Life has given me a couple of lemons lately…both literally and metaphorically speaking. Last weekend I broke my foot (no, there’s not even a crazy fun story to go along with it) and so, for the next 2 months I won’t be able to drive or walk on it, let alone compete in any of the races I was slotted for this summer.

I also had a bunch of lemons, literally, sitting in my fridge. 25 to be exact. Why did I have so many lemons you’re asking? I decided to make homemade limoncello. I bought 25 Meyer lemons (they are organic, and much sweeter than normal lemons), and the recipe for limoncello uses only the yellow part of the lemon peel. Hence, I was stuck with 25 peel-less lemons that needed to be used.  I like lemonade, but seriously, that’s a lot of lemonade. I’ve been craving a mojito lately, so I decided to try making mojitos with lemons instead of limes. Surprisingly, it turned out great! I may just make all my mojitos with lemons now!

Heres (roughly) the recipe I used! Sorry, no measurements!  : )

Good quality light rum
lots and lots of fresh mint
juice of fresh Meyer lemons
organic white sugar
club soda

 

Making limoncello is a loooong process. I’m still waiting in phase one. I peeled the lemons and now I have to let the lemons soak in grain alcohol for about a month. The peels have been soaking for a while…I plan to check on them this weekend! The next phase involves removing the lemon peels, making simple syrup to combine with the lemon mixture and then letting  it “age” some more. Patience is not one of my strong points…I can’t wait to taste it, hopefully it turns out!

SO, when life gives you lemons, make limoncello OR mojitos! This weekend I’m also going to think of some creative ways that I can work out without using my right foot, wish me luck! I should have a very innovative workout routine to tell you about next week!

Have a happy health day, and take advantage of life’s lemons!

Caitlin

 

Fish Tacos… I’m “hooked”!

I hope you had a lovely weekend, mine was fabulous thanks to an awesome hubby and beautiful weather! On Friday at work, there was a duathlon sprint challenge and I managed to run 1.96 miles in 15 minutes…thats a 7:39 mile pace! Saturday I went to Core Power Yoga for my first ever core power class. I tried the yoga sculpt…omg I’m pretty sure I lost 5 pounds just from sweating! I don’t think I’ve ever sweat so much! Sunday I went back again for another class and I officially LOVE Core Power! Sunday after yoga, I (well, actually my husband) got my bike out, dusted it off, and put air into the tires for the first time this year. I rode over to my parents, a 14 mile ride, and relaxed by the pool for the rest of the day! Finally getting that summer tan going!

But, all that has nothing to do with what I actually wanted to post today. My dad loves fish tacos and orders them if we go out to a good seafood/mexican restaurant. As a relatively adventurous eater, I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never tried a fish taco. WELL, this past week we had leftover grilled wahoo and tuna steaks that needed to be eaten, so I decided to make fish tacos. I looked online for recipes and they were all unnecessarily complicated. So I decided to go out on a limb and throw together my own recipe (pretty daring, considering I’ve never had a fish taco, no?). I wanted something healthy and fresh, and EASY.

Caitlin’s Tropical Fish Tacos:

Leftover grilled fish (Wahoo, Tuna, or Mahi Mahi are best)
Mango, diced
Avocado, diced
Tomatoes, diced
Fresh Cilantro, minced
Hot Sauce (optional)
Flour tortillas
 
It’s pretty self explanatory…
 
Chop all the fresh fruits/veggies
Heat up a tortilla on the stove (not necessary, but it’s nice!)
Mash/chop the fish and heat it up (I microwaved it…don’t judge).
Pile everything on and enjoy!

The verdict? I LOVE fish tacos! I used a tropical hot sauce that we bought on Tortola while on our honeymoon, but any hot sauce will work if you want to heat it up a bit! Next time you have leftover fish, you know what to do!

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

 
 

Long Weekend <3

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend! Who doesn’t love a long weekend? I especially LOVE Memorial Day weekend because my birthday is May 30th, so I always get a 3 day weekend near my birthday! Can’t complain about that!

Needless to say, this weekend was a notably UNhealthy weekend. But, what it lacked in health it made up for in fun, friends, and family. Sometimes you just need a weekend like that! I ate lots grilled grub, had a few too many mojitos, and sat out by the pool all weekend long. But now that its Monday Tuesday, I’m more than ready to get back on the band wagon and get my butt into gear! Lucky for me, the sun is shining today, and as soon as the work day is done, this girl is going for a run outside, and then rock climbing!

My super awesome hubby got me the best birthday present ever this year…he got me a membership to Core Power Yoga! I’m going to go in for my first class this Saturday, and I am beyond excited! I’m sure I will get shown up by all the super amazing yogi’s that go to Core Power, but you gotta start some place, right?!

I have more exciting news for you! I am officially signed up for a sprint triathlon! Now I have some sort of race each month! I have the 5k in June, the Warrior Dash in July, and the Tri in August! I’m pretty excited about the triathlon! I’ve never done one before, but I swam for a few years in high school, and ran cross-country and track, so I think I should be ok. But I definitely WILL be doing a training program for it! More to come my triathlon adventure as I start training!

And in other news…it’s RHUBARB SEASON! I love LOVE rhubarb. Lucky for me, my birthday happens to be during rhubarb season. Rhubarb pie/crisp/cake/bars/cookies/muffins (ok get the idea?) are my favorite foods EVER. It’s an addiction. Did you know that the rhubarb capital of the country is in Minnesota? Apparently rhubarb is a Minnesotan thing…many outside the state have never heard of it! If you’ve never tried rhubarb, go to the store tonight and get some. You don’t know what you’ve been missing!

Some health facts about rhubarb (because I’m sure rhubarb crisp is really really healthy, right?!)

  •  1 cup of rhubarb = only 30 calories
  • when baked, contains polyphenols that destroy cancer cells
  • 1 cup = 10% of your daily calcium
  • good source of lutein – eye and skin health!
  • good source of lycopene – a very beneficial antioxidant

Whats your favorite rhubarb recipe?  : )

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

Easiest. Dinner. Ever.

Its true. It’s hard to eat healthy when your busy. I know that my life is simple compared to others…all I have to keep on top of is work, the house, and the dogs. No kids, no huge committments…but I still feel like I’m really busy! And I don’t think I’m alone in this! After work I usually head to the gym to work out (if I don’t have errands to run or something else more important to do) and by the time I get home it’s already 7 or 8pm! And then I have to try to cook something healthy for myself (luckily my hubby usually makes his own dinner or else I’d really be in trouble!).  I could really use a few more hours in the day sometimes! That is why I was SO excited when I discovered this recipe. I found it on another site and tweaked it a little. This really is the easiest [healthy] dinner EVER! It takes under 3 minutes to prepare, you can pop it in the oven, take a shower or do something else for a few minutes while it cooks, and before you know it you’re eating a delicious, healthy, HOT meal!

Crustless Quiche

 Ingredients:
any veggies you want (I used cherry tomatoes, red peppers, and mushrooms)
6 eggs
splash of milk
salt
seasonings (optional) ( I used Emeril’s original seasoning, onion powder, and parsley flakes)
grated cheese (optional)
 
Instructions
Cut up veggies. It doesn’t have to be pretty. The chunks can be big.
Put veggies in a round cake pan
Beat together the eggs,milk ,and seasonings
Pour over the veggies
Sprinkle cheese on top if you want
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes
 
Bonus: This reheats really well for an easy breakfast or lunch!
 

Next time your feeling crunched for time, try this recipe! I guarantee you have some type of veggies and eggs in your fridge at home!

Have a healthy happy day!

Caitlin

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