Roasted Vegetables

Last weekend I went to a really great Argentinian restaurant. Strangely enough, one of the highlights of my meal was the roasted vegetables I took from my boyfriend’s plate. Ever since, I’ve had roasted veggies on the brain. So after a good workout at the gym, I jumped into the kitchen.

Roasted Vegetables
Inspired by The Wednesday Chef

Ingredients

1/2 tomato, peeled and chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
4 baby gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small crown of broccoli, chopped
1 Japanese eggplant, peeled and chopped
6 white mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
Sage, rosemary, salt, and pepper
Olive oil

Directions

1. Place veggies, seasonings, and a few drizzles of olive oil in a casserole dish. Roast at 375 degrees F for approximately 45 minutes. Mix every 15 minutes.

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Sage Chicken, Salad and Balsalmic Vinegarette

Adult life is all about balancing priorities. With my career taking the majority of my time and energy, it’s a challenge to decide what deserves whatever time/energy/patience/care I have left to give.

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Fitness and nutrition are high on my list. And I am just starting to realize they always need to be for the rest of my life.

After a good workout session at the gym, I made another chicken and salad combo that I love.

In this salad, I put iceberg lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, onions and feta cheese. But not just any feta cheese will do for this lady. I’m talking about delicious, full fat Turkish feta.

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I managed to find some at a middle eastern grocery store in the valley. Totally worth the drive!

I’ve been looking for the perfect balsalmic vinegarette recipe and I think I found it on allrecipes.com.

I adjusted the amounts from the original recipe but this is still enough for 4 people or 2 different meals. Make sure to refrigerate if you plan to serve the next day!

Balsalmic Vinegarette

Ingredients
1/3 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsalmic vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 shallot, minced
Garlic salt and pepper

Directions

1. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle over salad when ready to eat.

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I also pan seared some sage chicken. All you need is some sage, a little basil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the spices on each side of the chicken, pressing it gently with the knife to keep it from falling off the chicken. Heat canola oil on a pan and cook. Easy!

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Working on my Fitness

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been trying to work out almost every single day. There are several things that I have motivated me to make fitness a priority in my life now:

1. I have Scoliosis (my spine has an s-shaped curve).
I used get excruciating back pain because of it. Keeping my core strong prevents that pain from coming back.
2. I’m almost 30.
I want to slow the aging process as much as possible.
3. I want to love the way I look.
I’m at my ideal weight, but I’d like to have a more toned and defined physique. 🙂

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I just started a preworkout and postworkout routine to help me reach my goals.

Before I workout, I drink a small cup of coffee and take a 5-HTP and a Vitamin B supplement. The combination ramps up my energy and lifts my mood; making it much easier to workout.

After working out, I drink a protein shake. Drinking the protein should help me to build muscle faster.

I also drink green tea whenever I can. It’s full antioxidants and other good stuff.

I can already feel a difference!

Spicy Pan-Seared Chicken

I have been concentrating on making major improvements in my health. I’m exercising almost everyday and trying to watch what I eat. It’s a daily battle, but it gets a little easier with each passing day.

Tonight I decided to make a super lean meal: chicken, mushrooms and salad. But as healthy as it was, it was also full of flavor.

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Spicy Pan Seared Chicken serves 1 to 2

1 chicken breast (cut in half, lengthwise)
Buffalo sauce
Cayenne pepper
Chili powder
Red pepper flakes
Black pepper
Salt
Canola or vegetable oil

Directions

1. Cut your chicken breast in half, rinse and pat dry.
2. Sprinkle the spices over each side of the chicken.

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3. Put a couple dots of buffalo sauce on one side. Spread evenly with a pastry brush. Repeat on other side.

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4. Heat your oil on a large pan. Once oil is hot, cook your chicken. One chicken breast will take roughly 15 minutes to cook, but this will vary depending on its weight.

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Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Soup

Long time no see, fellow bloggers! I can’t believe how busy I’ve been the last few weeks. Hope you can forgive me. I made this soup a few Mondays ago, but never got around to sharing it with you.

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Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Soup

Ingredients
1/2 cup red lentils
5 baby gold potatoes
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
4 mini red peppers
1 large spoonful of tomato paste
6-8 cups of water or vegetable broth
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes
Parsley

Directions

1. Cut the tops of the red peppers. Remove the seeds and rinse with water. Roll in olive oil and broil in the oven until slightly charred. Remove from heat and set aside.

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2. Boil red lentils in a small to medium sized pot until soft. Lower heat to simmer.
3. Saute onions, carrots, and potatoes in olive oil. Once transparent, mix in the tomato paste. Pour mixture into the pot with the lentils.

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4. Continue to cook another 10 minutes, then add the roasted red peppers and seasonings.
5. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

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I love how creamy this soup was without a single drop of actual cream. It was also very filling and tasty.

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Honey and Beer Glazed Chicken

I haven’t been sticking to my resolution to make weekly meal plans. So like many other nights, I found myself at the grocery store with no list, no plan.

Whenever I find myself in this place, I open my Pinterest app and check my “food to make” board. And viola…a perfect recipe appears. Isn’t technology great?

The original recipes comes from The Beeroness.

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Honey and Beer Glazed Chicken
Ingredients
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup Stout beer (I used Guinness)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large shallot, chopped
2 chicken breasts (sliced in thin halves)
Green onions
1 tbsp canola oil

Directions

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, red and black pepper, beer and mustard. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
2. In a small pan, saute the shallot until translucent.
3. Heat the canola oil on a large pan. Cook one side of the chicken, then flip over. Pour the sauteed shallots over the chicken. Cover the pan and continue to cook on high heat. Half way through, pour a little more of the marinade over the chicken. It should be ready in about 20 minutes.

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Mini Rotini with Zucchini Cream Sauce

Like many of my dinners recently, this recipe is the result of what I had left in my fridge. But despite being thrown together, it was pretty yummy.

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Mini Rotini with Zucchini Cream Sauce
Ingredients
3 small zucchinis
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup half n half
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp cream cheese
Thyme
Salt & pepper
Red pepper flakes
1 tbsp olive oil

Directions
1. Make pasta per package directions.
2. Begin making the zucchini sauce while water for the pasta is boiling.
3. Grate zucchini using the large holes of a cheese grater. Scoop into a sauce pan and cook with olive oil until the zucchini’s water is released. Stir occasionally.

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4. Using the small holes of your cheese grater, grate your garlic cloves and add to the zucchini. Continue cooking for another 1 minute.
5. Add the chicken broth, half n half, cream cheese and seasoning. Cook until the mixture begins to bubble.

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6. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender. Return to heat and boil for another few minutes.

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7. Pour over pasta and enjoy.

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Bonus: Add a tbsp of butter and a little more red pepper flakes.

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What did you make for Meatless Monday?