Friday, November 1, 2013

The Scarecrow

I am already in love with Chipotle Mexican Grill, but this makes me love them even more. Take time to watch the video - it's only three minutes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Vitamix And Other Fun Things

My dreams of owning a juicer are now on hold for a couple of months. As I have been researching the best juicers on the market I came across a lot of positive reviews about the Vitamix blender. I have always wanted a really awesome blender to make smoothies, but little did I know you could juice and make soups, sauces, dips, and a ton of other concoctions in one of these amazing machines. Sold! I found a local Costco that was having a Vitamix roadshow and ran down to ask questions and see how it worked. The Vitamix representative made us smoothies, italian ice, and hot soup (yes, it makes HOT soup) in less than 10 minutes. I also met a Utah food blogger (My Good Clean Food) while I was there and if I wasn't already sold on buying a $500 blender, she sold me. She said she used hers up to four times a day to make everything from baby food, smoothies, mayonnaise, nut butters, ice cream, and so much more. It was a lot of fun to talk to her and the Vitamix rep about all the things you could make. 

Since buying it just yesterday, I have already made a couple of smoothies, my husband made a milkshake, and I made homemade hot macaroni and cheese sauce for my daughter. I am so in love! So, for now you can find me in kitchen whipping up green smoothies and juices, salsa, hot soup, ice cream, and more. 

I love Spring! The temperature is almost perfect for walking and playing outside. The spring flowers are starting to bloom. I always look forward to going to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point. Also, this year I registered to do the Race For the Cure 5K in May. So many fun things to look forward to. 

Last, I thought I would share a couple of my favorite things that I am loving right now: 

They are organic cold-pressed juices that come in many flavors. They are pure heaven full of vitamins and nutrients. You can find them at Whole Foods

BB Creams are so popular right now. BB stands for beauty balm and they got their name for being an all-in-one product. I love Tarte because it is natural, eco-friendly make-up. The Tarte BB Cream has a primer, moisturizer, light foundation, anti-aging treatment, and sunscreen all in one. It is perfect for quick, easy cover-up that you wear everyday. 

Hands down this is my favorite popcorn in the world. Be careful with this stuff - it is super addicting! I can finish a bag without thinking much about it. It is so savory and delicious (and low-cal if you don't eat the whole bag at once)!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Traded The Gym For A Juicer

A couple of weeks ago I received a letter from my gym stating that I only had a short time to renew because my 2-year membership would be ending. At that time I wondered if I should renew or look for a new gym to join. One afternoon I stopped by LifeTime Fitness to see what a membership would cost. LifeTime is a massively huge and beautiful facility that has everything you could ever want in a gym. During the tour I started to feel very anxious. I don't know if it was the used car salesman I was walking around with or the women working out in full make-up that made my dream gym feel so fake. After the tour, the salesman took me into the little room with no windows to talk about my contract. The panic really started setting in. After he told me it would ONLY cost $71 per month, I respectfully declined the membership and ran out of the gym. 

After that I decided I would just renew my less expensive membership at 24-Hour Fitness and try and go over and work out more than once per month. But after renewing, I just didn't feel like that was the right decision for me either. I didn't use my last membership as much as I should have. Having a two-year-old makes it difficult to go anywhere. I cancelled my membership and decided that I would purchase a Breville Juicer with the money I saved. I also had enough money left over that I could buy Les Mills Body Pump for home. Body Pump was my FAVORITE class at the gym and now I can do the same workout at home. I am so excited! I feel like this was the perfect decision for me at this time. 

Product reviews coming soon.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Healthy Oven-Baked Chicken Parmesan

One of my favorite magazines that I look forward to getting in the mail every month is Clean Eating. I love all of the advice, product ideas and finds, and of course, all of the recipes. They are all clean, healthy, and for the most part, really easy to make.

One recipe that I made tonight out of the March 2013 issue was Oven-Baked Chicken Parmesan. It was so delicious and flavorful that I had to share it with you. I made a few changes to the recipe and I also used mostly organic ingredients. I served it over whole-wheat capellini pasta (angel hair) with sauteed zucchini as a side dish. It's a meal your whole family will love.

Healthy Oven-Baked Chicken Parmesan

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp Italian seasoning
28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I used Kirkland Organic Crushed Tomatoes in the glass jar, 24 oz)
1 large sprig of basil
1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup panko crumbs
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves

Prepare sauce: In a medium saucepan on medium, heat oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and slightly browned (about 6 minutes). Add tomato paste, garlic, and Italian seasoning and stir until combined (about 1 minute). Add tomatoes and sprig of basil. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally (about 20 minutes). Discard basil and add salt. Set aside.

Prepare chicken: Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with cooking spray). Set up three plates/bowls for dredging the chicken - to the first one, add flour; second one, add egg, egg white, and black pepper and whisk to combine; and third, add panko, parmesan, Italian seasoning, and rosemary and stir to combine. Dip each piece of chicken in flour, then in egg mixture, and then into panko, flipping to coat both sides. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from oven and turn on broil setting.

Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Add chicken in a single layer. Spoon about 1/3 cup sauce over each piece and pour remaining sauce around chicken. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of the chicken. Put the pan in the oven and broil until cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes (watch closely). Sprinkle with chopped basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over whole-wheat pasta for a complete meal.

Serves 4

Recipe adapted from Clean Eating Magazine