Sunday, March 31, 2013

Huevos Rancheros To Go!

Happy Easter everyone!!! One of my favorite Easter traditions as a kid was dyeing eggs. My family would boil a dozen or so eggs, scribble with crayons on the shell and dip them into food coloring to make some pretty spectacular (and some pretty awful) decorated eggs. These eggs were for eating in over the next few days, they weren't for the Easter Egg Hunt. The Easter Egg Hunt has always been, and still is, for little plastic eggs full of candy. Now that my siblings and I are "grown up", we hunt for the eggs at night with flashlights.

Speaking of hard boiled eggs... did you know that your hard boiled eggs will peel easier if you throw some baking soda in with the water? There's also a way to get your egg out of that pesky shell without actually peeling it. You're sitting there going "WTF", I know, I get it. Find out more here.

In honor of this most eggscellent holiday (yuk-yuk), I decided to make a new egg muffin recipe. Last week, I made some huevos rancheros that were pretty stellar. Dr Boyfriend loved them as well and we lamented the fact we didn't have time to make them each morning. After letting the idea marinate for about a week, I think I know how to make this brunch for breakfast every day wish a reality.

Also... can you tell that I love the heck out of my muffin tins? They're perfect for making fist-sized (about 1/2 cup) servings of food. Kind of like the select-a-size roll of paper towels, that makes it easy for me to grab a snack (1 muffin) or a meal (2-3 muffins) from the fridge. Easy-peasy.

Since these are on the lower carb side, I would suggest pairing these with a piece of fruit for breakfast, maybe an orange. Did you know that Vitamin C helps your body to absorb iron? Bonus fun fact, each of these huevos rancheros muffins contains 7g of iron!

Here's everything I used for this recipe: 1 doz eggs ($3.49), cheese ($2.18), beans ($1.25), guac ($2.50), salsa ($2.50).
If you add taxes, these muffins cost $1.01 each, not too shabby.
Huevos Rancheros Muffins (12 muffins), ~40 min
1 dozen eggs
15oz can of reduced sodium black beans
1 cup of shredded Mexican blend cheese
12 T Guacamole
12 t salsa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease your muffin tin
Separate 6 egg whites from yolks in a bowl
Add 6 whole eggs
Drain and add the can of black beans
Add the cheese and mix well
Divide egg mixture between 12 greased muffin wells
Add 1 T of guacamole to each well
Add 1 t of salsa to each well
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

How super delicious does that top right photo look? :p
Nutrition Facts per muffin (I got these by entering the ingredients into MyFitnessPal)
118kcal, 7.4g carbs, 6.7g fat, 9.4g protein

Just gobbled up one of these babies as a snack. Super delicious!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Banana Bread Muffins

I came home to find seven extremely spotty bananas in my fruit bowl. I normally eat my bananas when they still have a bit of green on them, so I had to find a way to bake these into something delicious. I allotted three bananas to be frozen and later made into ice cream, which left four for some sweet baked treats.

I have always loved the fun stickers that Chiquita puts on their bananas. My favorite is the "put on forehead and smile" sticker. I always put banana stickers on my forehead when I was a kid!

I've been craving banana bread something fierce the past few weeks and the recipes I was finding weren't quite cutting it, so I tried my hand (flew by the seat of my pants...) at making some banana bread muffins with my own recipe. They turned out pretty great!!! I ate one about 5 minutes post-bake and I'm fighting the urge to go back for five more. ;)

Before going into the oven...

Delicious, delicious after!

Banana Protein Bread Muffins (Serves 16), ~35 minutes

4 ridiculously ripe bananas
7-oz container of Fage Total 2% Plain
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Custard Egg Protein)
2 T oat flour
1/2 C rolled oats
1 t baking powder
1t baking soda
1/2 cup egg whites
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350º
Mix all ingredients in a bowl (or stand mixer with paddle attachment) for 2-3 minutes until well combined.
Line your muffin tin with paper liners and give the paper liners a generous shot of nonstick spray!!! If you skip the non-stick, you'll be peeling your muffins and losing a good amount of treat that way. 
Fill each liner 3/4 of the way full. I ended up with 16 muffins using the above recipe which means 2 empty wells leftover. Fill those empty wells half full with water to make sure that your muffins bake evenly.
Bake the muffins at 350º for 20 min.

Nutrition Information per muffin (I got this information by entering the ingredients into MyFitnessPal)
67 cal, 10g carbs, 1g fat, 6g protein

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Moroccan Quinoa Salad

I moved into a new apartment at the beginning of March and have been slowly getting everything arranged and settled into its, and my, new home. I feel like it has come together and had a few girlfriends over Friday night for a small housewarming party!

My new digs are close to a fun downtown area with a couple fun bars my friends and I know and love, so we figured a little dinner followed by dancing was in order! To fuel up for a fun night of music that was straight out of middle school, we noshed on moroccan quinoa salad with some chicken paired with a lovely red wine and followed it up with a few brownie bites. :) All in all, it was a wonderful Girl's Night Out.

I ate the leftovers as lunch on Monday. They may have been even better as leftovers, the flavors really got a chance to settle after being in the fridge for a few days.

Moroccan Quinoa Salad (Serves 6), ~20 minutes

1 clove chopped garlic
1 1/4 C quinoa
1 1/2 cups chopped kale
1 1/4 C seedless raisins
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 T rosemary leaves, crushed (I used my fingers to crush the leaves, it doesn't take too much force)

Mix quinoa with equal parts water, bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes (or according to package), while that is cooking...
In a sautee pan, heat the EVOO
When oil is hot, add garlic and quinoa, stirring for about 5 minutes
Add raisins and seasonings, continue cooking for 5 minutes
Reduce heat to low until quinoa is finished
Add quinoa to pan and heat over medium-low for about 5 minutes

Nutritional Information (I got this by entering the ingredients in MyFitnessPal)
270 cal,  5g fat, 54.5g carbs, 6.6g protein

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Killer 25

That's what I'm calling this bodyweight circuit I just created. I'm sure I'll make some tweaks to it over time, but it was exactly what I needed now and it was effective. My heart was racing, it still is! I finished about 5 minutes ago and my heart rate is hovering at 105bpm, a good 40bpm over my average resting heart rate!

It was a nasty circuit and I cannot wait to do it again! I want to use my Health Coach Certification to help people reach their fitness and health goals and a big part of that is promoting physical activity, especially hearth-healthy cardio.

I was talking with one of my friends earlier today and suggested that we get all the girls together once a month or so and do a bootcamp style workout in one of the bay area's beautiful parks. Many of my friends are active, like me. She loved the idea! I figured why not start practicing workout planning now? After all, there is no time like the present.

Before the Killer 25

The Killer 25!
[included exercises: burpees, jumping jacks, bicycle abs, bodyweight lunges, bodyweight squats, crunches, push-ups, and a plank]
I did this barefoot in my tiny apartment living room
you don't need any special equipment or a wide-open space, that said... please use common sense and do this somewhere other than your walk in shower or subway kitchen!

10 burpees*
20 jumping jacks*
10 burpees*
20 bicycle abs (you have to hit each knee for one rep, you should count 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, etc.)
20 burpees (I know these suck, but just think of all the amazing things they're doing for your body!)
20 jumping jacks
15 bodyweight lunges (step forward with first leg, push back to standing, step forward with second leg, push back to standing for 1 rep)
20 burpees
20 jumping jacks
30 bodyweight squats (you want to go A2G, ass-to-grass, get that booty down near the floor and squeeze it hard when you come back up!)
20 burpees
20 jumping jacks
30 crunches
5 push-ups
20 burpees (LAST SET!)
20 jumping jacks
30 second plank

*consider this your warmup and try to get through it without taking any breaks
if you need to take a few seconds to catch your breath, by all means do it! I had to pause a few times, especially after those burpees

After the Killer 25, you can't see the sweat rolling down my face, it was SO awesome/gross!!!

Those amazing burpee benefits I mentioned earlier? Besides the obvious cardio factor, there is no muscle group in your body that isn't hit in a burpee; legs, chest, shoulder, abs, arms, back, everyone gets invited to the burpee party.
Read more about it here:
Burpee Conditioning - No More Nonsense! By Russ Enamait
(^Russ' article on burpees is one of the best fitness articles I've come across in some time)