Monthly Archives: October 2013

My Favorite Ways to Eat Apples

Happy Halloween friends!

dog costume

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I SO should have made Harley wear this for the occasion! I don’t even attempt Halloween costumes because she hates clothes on her and I do admit that the idea is totally ridiculous, but something like this I might be able to get away with. I’m keeping it in my mind for next year, since she’s already a satellite dish as I mentioned in my last post. Ha!

apples

Well, in about 10 days my hubby and I managed to eat all of the apples we picked (and also the 6-8 apples that we already had in the house!). Last night I went off of this recipe from Sarah at Making Thyme for Health to use the last of them to make BBQ tempeh burgers with cheddar + apple & radicchio slaw:

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It’s safe to say that we’re quite apple obsessed this fall. There are a lot of different ways to incorporate apples into your diet. Here’s a look at my current favorite ways to eat the fruit:

Paired with Nut Butter – It only makes sense that I’d combine one food obsession with another right?

Almond butter […and banana and Kashi cereal] :

almond butter apples

Peanut butter & cinnamon:

pb-apple

And the newest addition, cashew butter [& banana & more Kashi cereal]:

cashew-apple

In oatmeal – I love adding chopped apples to with my oatmeal and letting them cook together. The apples get all tender and hot, and it reminds me of apple pie – only healthy, and in the morning for breakfast! This particular meal also had slivered honey almonds & a chopped up honey apple raisin muffin:

oatmeal apple

Topping sweet potatoes – I first got the idea to top sweet potatoes with warm apples after seeing it in this post from Oh My Veggies. It just sounded like an obvious brilliant pairing that I hadn’t thought of yet, and it turned out to be just that. I simply sautéed chopped apple with a bit of butter + honey + cinnamon, and topped a cooked sweet potato with the apple mixture. Delish!

sweet pot apples

Apple Chips – These are insanely easy to make and a perfect healthy late-night snack. I just thinly slice the apple, place them on a baking sheet coated with baking spray, sprinkle a brown sugar/cinnamon mixture on top, and pop them in the oven to bake until lightly crispy.

apple chips

Do you like apples? If so, what’s your favorite way to eat them? 

Focusing on the Positive

Well, we’ve figured out a Halloween costume for my dog.

cone-head

She’s a Cone Head. Or, as my hubby’s referring to it as, a Satellite Dish.

I kid, I kid. Harley has had this rash-y looking kind of thing on her tail that she won’t stop messing with, so I took her to the vet today to get some medicine and the dreaded cone. They think it’s an allergic reaction, which is weird because I was just at my doctor last week for a rash due to my never-ending allergies. So we both have annoying allergies!

I felt bad leaving her alone after our traumatic doctor experience, so I did an at-home workout instead. A few minutes into my workout, I turned around to see her creepily staring at me. A little while later, she moved really close to me and, I swear, continually gave me dirty looks.

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If that’s not a pssted off face on a dog, I don’t know what is.

I think it’s safe to say that the cone is depressing her, but I plan to overcompensate by feeding her lots of treats until her rash subsides and the cone can come off. 😉

Week 2 Recap

Onto my eats & workouts from the past week….

I had 2 goals that I mentioned last week:

#1 – Juice at least twice: Mission accomplished! I used my juicer to make a couple of vitamin-packed drinks.

#2 – Lose another 2 pounds last week: Whomp, I did not meet my weight-loss goal. I did really well all week long, but after mountain biking on Saturday night, I came home and was all, Screw it, I just burned 1,000 calories working out. I just want to eat cheese and drink wine!

And so I did. But the fact of the matter is, I have a slow metabolism and I can’t really overindulge and expect to still lose weight, no matter how much I’m working out. I felt guilty the next day and was all annoyed with myself, but you know what? I’m over it. I think that us women can be so hard on ourselves, dwelling on our mess-ups and not giving ourselves enough credit for the things we’re doing well. Instead, I want to learn from it, leave the guilt out and focus on the positive.

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Lesson to keep in mind: I can drink a few glasses of wine one night, eat cheese without measuring out a serving, or have dessert as a treat when I’d like, but I can’t do all in one night and lose weight. If I want to choose indulging over losing weight one week, that’s fine. But if I’m really trying to tone up, I need to be more diligent with not overindulging. I happen to just read of a recent survey in Self magazine that found that 3 in 5 women overeat in a big way at least once a week, so I’m certainly not the only one who drank more wine than intended last weekend. It’s just a matter of choices, and I have the power to make whatever choices will make me happier.

Positives: While I didn’t keep on track with my eating over the weekend, I did great in other areas.

My workouts were awesome: 

weekly workouts

ZzzZz Time: I got 7 hours or more of sleep each night last week. 

Fruits & Veggies: Each day, I ate between 6-10 servings of produce.

Instead of wasting time being mad at myself, I’m choosing to instead give myself kudos for these healthy habits. At the end of the day, we all veer off course sometimes. But I’m not giving up on my goal, so I’m back at it with the same weight loss goal for the next week and feeling confident about it. Stay tuned for updates next week!

Do you ever get down on yourself when you don’t exercise as much or eat as healthy as you’d like?

Weekend Awesomeness


monday

Yup, another weekend has sped on by.

Besides doing a couple of hours of freelance writing work, my weekend was obligation-free and fabulous. Here are some snapshots of the bits of awesomeness that made up my Friday night, Saturday and Sunday.

Caramel apples make my dog very attentive:

caramel-apple

On Saturday evening, my hubby and I had a mountain biking date at our favorite spot around here. The views are gorgeous, there are lots of animals around, and because it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere, the park is never in the least bit crowded.

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Adam took a few shots of me riding… which I wasn’t even aware of because he’s always like a mile ahead of me. Damn his strong legs!

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As you can kind of tell, there’s a steep drop if you steer off the path, and the path is not all that wide. I’m always a little paranoid that I’ll somehow lose control and go flying down the side of the mountainous terrain. Because of this, on Saturday I hugged a turn a bit too much and kind of slammed into the side of a big hill. Whoopsies. (accident #1 of the weekend)

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We found ourselves near a lot of deer and cows, including cute and awkward little calves:

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calves

On Saturday we wound up at a farmers’ market in San Jose for the first time. It wasn’t huge, but the vendors brought some nice stuff. I nabbed these gorgeous flowers for $4….

flowers

…and also bought some grapes:grapes

Some of the grapes were eaten as part of an easy, snacky Saturday night dinner. The meal also included this locally made, hormone free amazingness:

sonoma-jack

Sonoma Jack = delicious cheese!! For any cheese lovers living in the area, you seriously need to find some of this stuff and try it. They also have a pesto flavor that is yummy.

Dinner also included apple cinnamon goat cheese, crackers, guacamole and tortilla chips.

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dinner

And then, there was dessert: chocolate peanut butter fruit dip with apple, banana & more grapes. Nom.

fruit-dip

This weekend we made our first fire of the season. I loveeee fires and find them to be so cozy and relaxing. At this time we figured out a new weird phobia of Harley’s: newspaper. When my hubby took out some for the fire, she quickly turned around and bolted out of the living room, hitting me at full-force in the knee with her head (accident #2 of the weekend). Ouch.

fireplace

The fire crackling and that great fire smell permeating in my house got me so relaxed, I passed out in front of it on the floor Saturday night. 😉

And speaking of snoozing, Harley cuddled with me very cutely this weekend. She only likes to cuddle with me when I’m wrapped in a blanket, but I’ll take it!

harley-sleeping

And then there was lots of Sunday football! The NY Giants won their second game in a row (and of the season, but hey, things are looking up!), and I forced Harley to wear her good luck-charm bandana during the game:

harley-bandana

There were a few green monsters made this weekend…

green-juice

Vitamins and nutrients, get in my belly!

And then there was accident #3 of the weekend: slicing my finger while carving a pumpkin. I find it funny that even though I’m a pretty big klutz, I hardly ever cut myself cooking (*knock on wood*) yet I managed to slice myself carving a pumpkin. Whomp.

cut finger

Adam and I carve pumpkins together every year and have a little contest of sorts. I majorly screwed mine up this year, so I’ll concede that his owl carving beat my spider pumpkin.

pumpkin carvings

We carved them while watching my favorite Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus.

Booo-ooo-kkkk!!

And lastly, this is my first autumn in the Bay Area, and I must say that I’m surprised. It’s really autumn here — leaves changing color and falling off and everything! The temperature drops have been insane: 40 degrees at night and doubling during the day to the mid 80’s all last week.

autumn leaves

Harley, I don’t think we’re in San Diego anymore.

What makes for an awesome weekend for you?

Italian-Style Stuffed Peppers

To a lot of people, including me, food is more than just what you eat to keep your body nourished. It’s also an aspect of life that brings people together, brings them joy and creates long-lasting memories.

Some eats bring me back to certain times in my life. A meal I created the other night made me think of when my hubby and I first lived together. Our first months of living together, we were temporarily located in Florida while my Marine went to a specialty school there. I remember having fun creating our first dinners as a married couple, and one of my first meals for us in Florida was stuffed peppers.

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I used to stuff them with soy crumbles, veggies and cheese, so while these stuffed peppers are more inspired by Italian ingredients like bread crumbs, mozzarella, parmesan, fresh basil, and San Marzano tomatoes, the concept is the same: Halve big red sweet peppers, pack them with goodness, and bake them until lightly crispy and tender.

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The pepper filling includes one of my staple kitchen ingredients: instant brown rice. Whenever I need something quick and easy, I break out this rice and cook it in 5 minutes flat, mix it with some veggies, and have a simple meal ready in a jiffy.

peppers-1

One of my secrets to simplify things is to add chopped veggies to the boiling water, then cook with the rice. For this recipe, I cooked zucchini with the rice.

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After the rice and zucchini were done cooking, I mixed them with tomatoes, bread crumbs, basil, onion, cheese and Italian seasoning.

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I stuffed the peppers with the mixture, topped with more cheese, then baked until the cheese was bubbly and the peppers were tender.

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Italian-Style Stuffed Peppers
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 4 red bell peppers, tops removed, seeded and cored
  • 1½ cups whole grain instant brown rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup San Marzano tomatoes (cherry or vine ripe will work too)
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs Italian-style
  • 1½ cups part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • ¼ yellow onion
  • 1 TSP Italian seasoning
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Dice zucchini and tomatoes, chop basil and mince onion.
  2. Cook rice according to directions, also adding zucchini into the pot when you add the rice.
  3. Once done cooking, place in a large mixing bowl. Add parmesan, 1 cup of the mozzarella, onion, tomatoes, ¼ cup plus 2 TBSP of the bread crumbs, basil and Italian seasoning, and mix to combine well.
  4. Place the red peppers on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spoon the rice mixture evenly into each pepper. Top with remaining mozzarella and bread crumbs.
  5. Cover with foil and bake at 350 until cheese is bubbly and the peppers are tender, around 25 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Per stuffed pepper half, Calories: 180, Fat: 7 g, Saturated fat: 3 g, Carbohydrates: 23 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 10 g

 

In other food news, today was a rare occasion for me: eating breakfast out. I hardly ever go out to breakfast – except when I’m in my hometown, in which case my grandma and I wind up at our favorite breakfast joint. Late morning we headed to a (very crowded) San Jose place called Bill’s Cafe. I ordered buckwheat pancakes with blueberries, and drizzled them with my favorite pancake topping, honey:

pancakes

They were pretty good, but I think that my blueberry oat pancakes has em beat. 😉

Do you frequently dine out for breakfast? What’s your favorite breakfast meal?

Pancakes are definitely my favorite “special” breakfast, but I love to eat a bowl of fruit or yogurt topped with all kinds of goodness most days.

Life is Too Short to Wait

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So often I hear of tragedies happening and people dying and I think of how crazy and short life can be. 

This happened a few days ago when that teacher in Nevada was killed by a 12-year old gunman. And the thought of life being unpredictable has been weighing heavy on my mind today, since finding out that my great aunt passed away this morning.

I wasn’t really close with her, but she was family. The last time I saw her we were relaxing on beach chairs in the early evening, feet in the sand, plastic cups of wine in our hands, just chatting about life. She always seemed healthy, until recently when she was diagnosed with cancer in multiple areas of her body. After that diagnosis came, it all went downhill for her, and a prognosis of having months to live turned into days.

I never can seem to easily grasp the idea that one day a person is alive and well, then the next day they’re gone – even when it happens this way after a progression of sickness.

now

Feeling kind of blah, this afternoon I decided that a yoga class would be good for my spirit. The yoga instructor spoke of mindfulness — paying attention to being right here, right now, free of worries of what will happen or what has happened.

I think that really being present in the “now” and focusing on being the best version of you today are major keys to fulfillment and happiness.

life-is-what-happens

We don’t know how long we’ll be on this earth. Don’t wait to truly live. 

So spend time doing what you’re passionate about. If you don’t have the time, make the time.

Don’t waste time worrying about petty things and people. It takes up too much time and energy, and distracts you from the positive things you’re probably ignoring.

Be kind to others…and yourself.

Take chances. Do things that scare and challenge you.

Follow your heart and believe that all the answers can be found within you.

If you’ll laugh about it in a year, don’t let it ruin your day now.

Tell the people close to you that you love them often… I did so with every loved one I spoke to today.

And do what makes your heart smile because…

too-short

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Are you? 

How Much Exercise Do You Fit in Weekly?

Hi and Happy National Nut Day (I kid you not)!

cashews

I always find random food holidays to be amusing, and this morning I found out about today’s holiday via Twitter. Cashews and almonds are my favorites! I love to top my yogurt bowls with them or eat nuts with fruit for a snack. On National Nut Day I can’t forget about my nut butter obsessions. Peanut butter, almond butter, hazelnut butter…. I never get sick of them!

PBdreams

I actually just bought cashew butter to try, and I’m a little afraid of how much I’ll probably love it given my fondness of cashews in general.

Week 1 Recap: Eats 

Since talking about my plans to shed a couple of pounds last week, I decided that I’ll do a weekly recap as a way to share my journey with you all. I’m happy to say that my first week went really well. Since I usually eat  lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, the big change has just been cutting down on portion sizes, sweets and wine.

I was down 2 1/2 pounds yesterday versus last Monday, which is on the high end of my weekly weight loss target of 1 1/2- 2 1/2 pounds a week. I ate between 1,300-1,400 calories a day, except for Saturday when I ate a couple hundred calories more. To keep things in moderation, I think I’ve got to have a bit of a “cheat” day every week or two!

Goals for the next week: Recently I kind of got out of the routine of making green juices. Last weekend I made my first juice in awhile, and I want to make an effort to drink them more often again. Goal #1: Make green monsters at least twice.

Harley-green

I recognize that this past week was great in terms of weight loss, and that I probably won’t continue losing 2 1/2 pounds every week, but I can certainly try! Goal #2: Lose another 2 pounds in the next week. 

Week 1 Recap: Workouts

Since I’m already good about making exercise a priority, the main thing I can do to tone up is to step my workouts up a bit in terms of intensity. Maybe in a couple weeks once I get close to my goal, I’ll also step it up in terms of length of workouts, but for now I’m keeping it the same since I log in a lot of weekly exercise time already. Here are last week’s workouts:

  • Sunday – 60 min cardio/conditioning at-home workout (while watching football of course)
  • Monday – 45 mins of triceps & chest strength training & 20 mins of rowing
  • Tuesday – 20 mins of stretching and abdominal conditioning & a 40 min interval rowing workout
  • Wednesday – 20 mins of boxing in the AM & 60 mins of Vinyasa yoga in the PM
  • Thursday – 40 min cycling interval workout & 20 mins stretching & conditioning
  • Friday – 90 min hike
  • Saturday – 45 mins easy yoga in the AM & 30 min easy bike ride in the PM

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I never really lay out my workouts like this, and doing so made me think about how much time I exercise per week. The American Heart Association recommends that Americans get 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity a week, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. Last week, I logged in about 500 minutes! And that’s not even counting my usually daily 30-minute walks with Harley, as I wouldn’t define those as moderate intensity for me. Not all weeks are as consistently awesome as this, but I’m giving myself credit for making exercise such a priority. Snaps for me!

How many minutes would you estimate that you exercise per week? 

What are your favorite kind of nuts? 

Honey Apple Raisin Muffins

If there’s anything that screams autumn, it’s apple picking.

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After last weekend’s failed attempt at visiting an orchard, yesterday was a successful afternoon of apple picking. My hubby and I journeyed to the town of Watsonville to check out Clearview Organic Orchards. Unfortunately we always seem to be a little late in the game when it comes to picking apples, and the trees were pretty picked over. We still found some good apples, and supplemented the rest of our bag with apples that had already been picked from the trees earlier.

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apple picking-2

When the guy at Clearview Orchards told me that he “robs” the bee hives every week to get the raw local honey that they sell, I knew I’d want to nab a jar for myself. I put honey on everything lately! You may have already noticed this with my recent recipes – including the one I’ll be talking about in a moment today. 🙂 

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They also had ginormous banana squash. I’ve never cooked with banana squash before, and would totally have gotten one to experiment with had we not taken my hubby’s motorcycle to the orchards. I was already worried about the heaviness of a backpack full of apples on the ride home – let alone with one of these babies added to the mix!

butternut-squash

What we did come home with was the honey, a butternut squash, and quite a bunch of Fuji and Granny Smith apples. Adam and I both love apples, and I have no doubts that we’ll easily eat em all.  apples

Upon coming home with 10 pounds of apples, I couldn’t contain my foodie excitement and got right down to making a couple of recipes with them. Today I’m sharing this one with you:

apple muffins-4

I got the idea to make apple raisin muffins from Jazzy Vegetarian Classics, a cookbook I mentioned last week that I was recently sent to review. More on that at a later date, but its healthy apple muffins sounded like a great idea to me. I made some modifications to the cookbook’s original recipe, including subbing maple syrup for some of my new honey, adding ground flaxseed to the mix, nixing pumpkin seeds and changing a few of the ingredient amounts.

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apple muffins-1

Do any other bakers out there find that muffin recipes tend to underestimate the amount of servings that it will make? Even though I changed some things up from the original recipe, it should have still made the same amount of muffins. The cookbook says the recipe will make 6 muffins, and I wound up filling 12 cups with muffin batter! I wonder if there are giant muffin tins out there that everyone’s using, or if my muffin tin is mini sized and I just don’t know it…. Anyways, having 12 now 10 of these around this week is fine by me!

apple muffins-5

I love how clean and healthy these muffins are. They turned out subtly sweet, making them good for any time of day: as part of breakfast or lunch, or as a snack or dessert. I ate them plain today, but have a hunch that they’d be awesome toasted with a touch of butter or with some TJ’s pumpkin cream cheese spread.

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I was in love with this spread last year and couldn’t resist buying it last week. Fall = pumpkin obsession for everyone and their mother, including me. And now, here’s the recipe:

Honey Apple Raisin Muffins
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 5 small apples (I used Fuji)
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed meal
  • ½ cup almond milk, plus more as needed
  • ½ TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest from ½ small lemon
  • 2 TSP baking powder
  • 1 TSP ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ TSP sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin cups.
  2. Peel, core, and roughly chop the apples. Puree them by placing in a food processor and blending until the consistency of apple sauce is achieved (Don't completely liquefy).
  3. In a large bowl, place flour, flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and stir to combine.
  4. Add the raisins and apple puree, and mix with a wooden spoon to combine.
  5. Stir in the lemon juice, zest, honey, and almond milk, and mix just until incorporated. The batter should be thick, but if it seems overly dry, you can stir in more almond milk until the mixture is moist.
  6. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake until golden and a tooth pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, around 30 minutes.
  7. Place muffins on a wire rack to cool before enjoying.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin, Calories: 135, Fat: 1 g, Carbohydrates: 31 g, Sugar: 17 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 3 g

New Scenery for My Practice: Be the Change Yoga & Wellness

In honor of National Yoga Month in September, The Yoga Health Foundation has been offering
yogacoupons for one free week of yoga at 2,000 participating studios nationwide. Even though I often practice yoga either on my own, through following DVD/YouTube videos, or with the recent addition of Fitness OnRequest at my gym, by choosing one of those classes, I had yet to go to a studio since moving to the Bay Area. After looking around at the options in my area, I decided to try out a place in San Jose called Be The Change Yoga & Wellness.

After convincing my hubby that yoga may help improve his constant lower back pain, he has been joining me a bit for my at-home yoga sessions lately. He was interested in coming with me to try a class as well, so earlier this week, we had a mid-week date night that involved soup for dinner at Panera Bread, then a yoga session at Be The Change.

The studio sits right in the middle of downtown, and is a cozy, cute space. One of the reasons that I chose this yoga center is because of its name. Dead center on the wall in the studio reads one of the most well-known Gandhi quotes:

BTC-Yoga

I used to only enjoy fast-paced yoga – the kind that got me sweating and felt like a “real” workout. In recent times, I’ve kind of shifted that mindset and allowed myself to look at the perks of lower impact yoga. I find it great to practice the gentler styles of yoga the day after I’ve had a hard workout, if I’m feeling sore, and/or if I really am in need of some relaxation. Yoga helps to put things into perspective, and I always feel lighter and more relaxed after practicing it.

The Vinyasa class I took at Be The Change Yoga was more of this style, and I really enjoyed it. The instructor Libby seemed really nice, and I definitely liked the atmosphere of the studio. Be The Change Yoga is donation based, meaning they have a suggested price for classes ($10), but it’s not set. This is a nice change of pace compared to other yoga studios and specialty exercise spaces around, which are charging double that at a flat rate. Since I have a gym that I already pay for, I have a hard time justifying spending a lot on additional classes, but spending $5 or $10 for a yoga session once a week? No biggie. This makes me much more likely to attend!

So when I found out that Be The Change Yoga was holding an outdoor yoga session this morning at Veggielution, a 6-acre non-profit community farm that uses sustainable practices, I thought it sounded like a great way to start off my Saturday. My friend Gina, another Bay Area blogger, joined me for the class.

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When I got to the farm, I couldn’t help but laugh. It’s literally in the middle of San Jose next to major highways, yet when you get onto the property, it seems like its own little world. There were chickens running around the parking lot!

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The class was held under this pavilion on the farm, and it felt great to practice yoga outside on a beautiful, brisk morning.

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Afterwards, Gina and I wandered over to their farm stand. They were selling veggies like chili peppers, kale, and lettuce, and I nabbed some Thai basil to take home.

A lot of volunteers were gathering to start working on the farm, which is definitely something I’d like to do one of these weekends. I think that Veggielution seems like an awesome place, and I’m glad that I know about them now!

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I’m happy that I’ve found a nearby yoga studio I like that I can drop in for a class at here or there. Be the Change Yoga & Wellness, I’m now a fan of yours!

And by the way, if you missed my author interview & book review (& giveaway) on Warrior Pose: How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life you can check out the post here.

Yogis: Do you generally take classes at a studio or practice at home? Have you ever participated in a yoga class outdoors?  

Marsala Wine Portobello & Tomato Pizza Pockets

To me, Sundays are the best for experimenting in the kitchen. Whether I wake up with a growling belly and a breakfast idea on my mind, have some time to leisurely play around in the afternoon, or spend part of my evening whipping up a dinner recipe, many of my Sundays involve the creation of a recipe or two.

Last Sunday, dinnertime was my chance to get a little creative with food, and this is what I came up with…

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What is this doughy, cheesy ball of goodness you ask?

It’s a yummy recipe that was born out of my desire to make a pizza-like dinner, yet not exactly be typical pizza.

I’ve deemed them Marsala Wine Portobello Mushroom & Tomato Pizza Pockets.

It all started when I had a couple of mini portobello mushroom caps left over from a risotto dish I made the week before that I wanted to use. I also picked up gorgeous San Marzano tomatoes a bunch of days before that needed to be used soon, so this produce became the centerpiece of my meal. I spotted Marsala cooking wine that hadn’t been opened yet, and decided to use that instead of my usual olive oil or white cooking wine for sautéing.

Port-Pockets

After sautéing onion in a pan, I added the chopped mushrooms and cooked them in the marsala cooking wine. I then added the chopped tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and cooked for a bit more.

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Meanwhile, a whole wheat pizza dough was sitting on my counter after being dusted with whole wheat flour. I shaped it into a log, and used a knife to cut it evenly into 6 pieces.

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Next, I shaped each dough piece into a ball, then rolled them out into thin circles.

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Once the veggies were done cooking, I spooned them evenly onto the dough circles, then sprinkled shredded Italian blend cheese on top of each. I folded each one over sort of criss-crossing them as I went but not being too neurotic, which is why each one turned out a little bit different. Fine by me!

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I baked them on a pizza pan until lightly browned, then my hubby and I enjoyed them for dinner while watching Sunday night football.

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The marsala wine really adds a flavor twist to these babies. I loved it, and will definitely be making these pizza pockets again soon!

Marsala Wine Portobello & Tomato Pizza Pockets
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 precooked whole wheat pizza dough
  • 1½ cups Italian blend (mozzarella, provolone, asiago, parmesan) shredded cheese
  • 3 cups portobello mushrooms (equal to 4 mini portobello caps)
  • 1 cup San Marzano tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
  • ¼ yellow onion
  • ½ cup Marsala cooking wine
  • ½ TSP salt
  • ¼ TSP pepper
  • ½ TSP olive oil
  • whole wheat flour for dusting and rolling
Instructions
  1. Place dough on a counter, dusting with flour.
  2. Chop onion, tomatoes and portobello mushrooms.
  3. In a medium saute pan over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add onions, and cook until lightly browned.
  4. Add chopped portobello and marsala cooking wine. Cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper to pan. Cook until tomatoes are softened, 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Shape the dough into a log, and cut into 6 equal pieces. Using a rolling pin dusted with whole wheat flour on a floured surface, shape each piece into a thin circle.
  7. Spoon veggies evenly onto each piece of dough. Add ¼ cup shredded cheese on top of each.
  8. Make the dough into pizza pockets by folding the corners of each onto its top, kind of criss-crossing as you go. Place the pockets onto a pizza pan or baking sheet.
  9. Cook until dough is lightly browned and cheese is bubbling, around 15 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 pocket, Calories: 335, Fat: 10 g, Saturated fat: 4 g, Carbohydrates: 44 g, Sugar: 5 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 14 g Cholesterol: 20 g

WIAW: Still Loving Apples, Cashews & Lentils

Hi and Happy Wednesday, though most of your days have already come to an end! I feel like this week has been zipping by.

Thanks to you ladies for your sweet comments on yesterday’s post. Like a few of you mentioned, what matters most is how I feel in my own skin. Living healthily and happily is a constant balancing act, and I’m just trying to find that (almost) perfect balance that makes me feel best — although I must add that I feel pretty happy and healthy already!

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With that being said, today I’m joining the Peas and Crayon linkup party for a What I Ate Wednesday post. It’s actually all of my eats from yesterday, and includes a few of my recent food loves: apples, cashews and lentils.

Breakfast: chopped apple sprinkled with cinnamon + almond butter + Kashi Go Lean! Crunch cereal

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Lunch: I sautéed a veggie burger and combined it with avocado and lentils. I’m still diggin’ TJ’s precooked lentils.  

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Snack: Pre-workout I had a snack of a Zing protein bar and some cinnamon almonds. I haven’t bought a 100-calorie snack pack in awhile since cutting out most overly processed snacks like the typical 100-calorie ones, but I nabbed a box of these 100-calorie cinnamon almonds because it seemed convenient to grab on-the-go. Plus, I’m obsessed with cinnamon!

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Dinner: My last meal of the day was kind of two-part. First, I steamed local yellow beans that I had nabbed at this quirky health food store in my town called People and Planet. They’re cool because not only do they sell a lot of great brands that I might not necessarily know of (they’re where I found, and now regularly buy, my Zing bars!), but they also sell local produce. I also made mini whole wheat cheese quesadillas.

Secondly, I made a recipe from Jazzy Vegetarian Classics for white bean cashew dip. The cookbook was recently sent to me to review, so stay tuned for a full post on it once I try a bunch of its recipes, but this was the first recipe I made out of it. I give it a thumbs up! It was a bit nutty with a lemon zest and a garlic kick, and my hubby liked it too. We ate some the dip with baby carrots and crackers.

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And that’s all she wrote for yesterday’s eats. Good night!