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Mediterranean Zucchini Boats…Delicious

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A couple of weeks ago, I saw a recipe for zucchini boats in a magazine, and book marked the idea away in my brain until a later date.  Earlier this afternoon, I was just feeling kind of not like doing much…including cooking dinner, when suddenly this recipe idea popped in my head.  I decided to give it a try…and it was a success!

Zucchini is such a summer vegetable to me.  I love it raw with dip, steamed with salt and pepper, baked with cheese on top, mixed in with marinara sauce, cooked into a quiche, and baked in bread.  Just about anyway you can prepare it, I will eat it.  With the summer weather lingering here in Indiana, a zucchini dish seemed perfect.

Mediterranean Zucchini Boats

Yields:  4 total boats, 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 small-medium zucchinis
  • a splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of garlic salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/5 block of tofu (pressed and cut into small pieces)
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat feta

Directions:
Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees.  Cut each zucchini length wise, and scoop the center out of each half of the zucchini.  Place on a baking sheet.

In a medium skillet heated to medium high heat, place the balsamic vinegar, bell pepper, tomato, tofu, garlic salt, and basil until slightly browned.

Once browned add in the spinach and allow the spinach to wilt.  Once the spinach is wilted, add in the cottage cheese and combine thoroughly.

After the cheese, tofu, and vegetable mixture is thoroughly combined, scoop even portions into each zucchini boat. Top each zucchini boat with the feta cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  This meal was delicious, light enough to be summer meal, but filling enough to be a dinner.  Quinoa makes an excellent side dish with this meal.

Nutrition per 2 boats:

Calories–163  Fat–8.2g  Carbs–14.1g  Protein–18.4g

Go ahead…give this meal a try 🙂  You won’t regret it!

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No Show

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This morning, I was scheduled to sub teach a spinning class, but no one showed up!  With the beautiful weather outside and the Indy 500 occurring this weekend, I can’t say that I blame people for not wanting to be indoors.  Since I was already at the gym and everyone in my class was a no show, I decided to make the best use of my time and did a strength training workout focusing on chest, back, abs, and I finished off with a good and much needed session of foam rolling.

I then headed home, made myself a smoothie, put on my bathing suit, and headed out to the pool to soak up some more rays.

Today’s smoothie included a bit of frozen peaches and bananas, Greek yogurt, protein powder, water and ice, spinach, and a touch of peanut butter.

Cold and refreshing!

Some friends showed up at the pool a couple of hours later.  Matt, one of our good friends getting married this summer, was heading out on a run, but didn’t have anyone to go with. So, I quickly threw on a running outfit, laced up my shoes and headed out for a quick 2 mile run with him.

It was very hot, and we chatted the whole time.  So, even though it was only two miles, it still felt like a good workout!  We ended up completing the run with a pace of 7:55…not too shabby!

After that, it was back to the pool and time to hydrate.

Yesterday, I bought myself a little coconut water treat.  This was my first experience with Vita Coco and it was very tasty!  Instead of just trying the regular flavored coconut water, I decided to try Tropical Fruit.  While I did enjoy the flavor of the Tropical Fruit Vita Coco, I think I would like the regular better.  I really enjoy the taste of coconut water on it’s own, so I think for future reference I will either choose plain or chocolate 😉

We then laid in the sun, read magazines, and just relaxed for the rest of the day.  Eventually, I was in need of some cooler air, ice water, and dinner.

I made a delicious batch of Spinach Salmon White Wine Pasta, not only as a tasty dinner but for part of a fun project that I am working on.  More details to come later…

I hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day tomorrow!

Oh What a Day (and Night)

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Yesterday was seriously packed with so much fun!

After running my first half marathon distance yesterday, Mom and I headed to the grocery store.  I know that some people really view grocery shopping as a chore and try to avoid it at all costs, but to me it is just therapeutic!  Mom and I get to chit-chat and just hang out 🙂  In high school, I always went to the grocery store with mom and when I would come home during college that would be the one thing I would always look forward to…so yesterday wasn’t any different.

We came home from the grocery store ready for a light lunch.  Mom had just bought a ton of tomatoes from an Amish farmer’s market, so I just HAD to try one!

My favorite thing for lunch…veggie tasting plate 🙂 I wanted it to be super light because I had a large snack after running, Mom and I were going to Sam’s Club (and we both love samples and can’t say no to anything free), and we were hitting up the Taste of the Arts.  Long story short, we needed to save room!

We then headed to the bridal shop to get my bridesmaid dress for Chelsea’s wedding!  I honestly think that I have the weirdest body shape.  The dress fit slightly loose in the chest and hips region, but had to be let out in the middle region…I just do NOT have that hour glass figure everyone longs for…I guess you could say I am either “boy-shaped” or a “ruler.” (at least that is what the magazines label my body type!)

source

At the wedding shop I tried on my first wedding dresses!! Mom and I were there surrounded by beautiful gowns…how could we not take advantage of the situation???  My favorite was the very first one that I tried on, but I also tried on a Kate Middleton replica just for fun!  That thing was heavy!!!  It was super pretty, but I am just not a fan of the sleeves.

We then went to Sam’s Club to get my new camera!!  I haven’t used it yet because it is charging right now.  I am hoping for the best!

After Sam’s it was time for Taste of the Arts.  Mom and I had never heard of this event in  Fort Wayne before so we were really excited to check it out since our family really supports the arts, and loves to try new food!  After talking to some of the people working at the booths we actually found out that this event had been going on for 10 years!! I couldn’t believe that I had never heard of it, but it was seriously so great.

Mom and I shared everything so that we could try more stuff without feeling too full.  I was really glad that I had run 13 miles earlier because that literally made my stomach feel like a bottomless pit…literally I wasn’t full all day.

We started off with a Tropical Smoothie from Smoothie King.  I have seen Smoothie King’s before, but I had never tried it.  It was so tasty and the perfect way to start our little sampler platter in the afternoon heat.

We then headed to the Biaggi’s table to try the caprese salad….I think this was my favorite dish of all!

My hands were getting full

The next stop was for a chocoholic ice cream sundae…chocolate ice cream, oreo crumbs, m&ms, and chocolate sauce…so good!

Next stop was at another little restaurant  that I can’t remember the name of to try a tuna nacho.  It had raw tuna, veggies, and wasabi sauce.   So yummy!

We then walked around the little art booths to see what was going on.

Kids crafts

He's got no head!

We then headed to Chelsea’s bridal shower.  Her new house is so amazing, and it was so great to see old friends!  We then realized that so many of our friends are engaged…this is me, Chelsea, and Katie (another high school friend).

After the shower, I had to head home to get all dressed up for our night out for the bachelorette party…needless to say, it was a blast!!!

Me and the Bride-to-Be!!

This Morning

So, because last night was so fun I was feeling a little under-the-weather this morning.  But after my mom made me a yummy breakfast I felt tons better…and some water and excedrine 😉

Cream Cheese and Sugar Free Blackberry Jelly on an English Muffin...hit the spot

Now, it’s time to pack up and head back to Indy!

Nashville Recap

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After finally packing (that is al that Brian and I took!!) we finally hit the road.

We made a quick pit-stop for dinner at O’Charley’s.  It was kind of nostalgic for me to be there because I used to work at an O’Charley’s (or O’Chux as we called it) in Fort Wayne and by Butler for most of college.

We got all spruced up once we arrived in Nashville and decided to hit the town, which was literally right outside of our hotel!

There were musicians of all kinds everywhere! (The one above was a rapper and the one below was country!)

I found my cowboy boots!

There were also a TON of Elvis statues everywhere, they were even on some rooftops.

After a fun night we all headed to bed.  For some reason, I am usually able to wake up super early…always.  The next morning wasn’t any different.  I woke up way before everyone else, giving myself time to workout, shower, eat breakfast and explore Nashville a little on my own 🙂

Once everyone was ready, we all headed to a little, cute restaurant called Diana’s.  It was old-fashioned looking and had hand scooped ice cream, fudge, and delicious food.

I got a veggie sandwich on whole wheat bread with field greens tossed with vinegar on the side.  The sandwich had hummus, cucumber, tomato, red onion and roasted red pepper…it tasted amazing!

They had the world’s only self-playing violin that asked for a quarter in order to make it work.  I found a quarter in my wallet so that we could try it out…and it ate my quarter 😦

But we made up for it by trying Caitlin and Kegan’s chocolate strawberry milkshake…deelish.

We then just wandered around Nashville, and realized that it literally has everything.  Balloon makers on the street:

A Charlie Daniel’s Band Museum:

On the way down, we all did our impersonation of the Charlie Daniel’s Band “Devil Went Down to Georgia” so we had to stop in to see what the museum had to offer!

Nashville is just such a cute little town.

We then headed back to the room to get ready for the reason we were in Nashville to begin with…the wedding!

Because we were all from out of town the bride and groom got a shuttle for us to the ceremony and the reception!

The ceremony was heartfelt and beautiful.  We then headed to the reception which was in a carriage house at a plantation.  The decorations and atmosphere were amazing.

The food was Southern and delicious!  I think my favorite part was the shrimp and gouda gritz because it was so unique and so tasty!  They had a couple of other interactive food stations with cold vegetable salads and cornbread, meat, roasted vegetables, and salad.  It was all wonderful!

After dinner, we all got to dancing to the live band and didn’t stop once…it was a blast!!

The bride and groom (Mr. and Mrs. Mull) drove away at the end of the reception in an old fashioned car while the band played “Oh When the Saints.”  It was the perfect ending to their special day.

One of our friends has been in Germany for the past year, and we were literally driving through her hometown on our way home…so we surprised her for lunch!! She had no idea, and it was so great to see her 🙂

Lunch was great too!  Turkey burgers, homegrown corn on the cob, caprese salad, and green beans…all delish!

The gang:

It feels good to be back home, and now I have to prepare for the week…there will be a lot of driving back and forth to Fort Wayne this week.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Last Day of Summer

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Today was the official last day of nannying and the official last day of my group fitness classes at Butler, and I must say that I couldn’t have asked for a better day!

We started off the day with an early lunch to Qdoba. When I was asking the kids about what things they wanted to do at the beginning of the summer, Qdoba was brought up many times as a favorite lunch spot they went to with their nanny last summer.  When I asked the kids what they wanted to do their last week of summer, we realized that we had not yet been to Qdoba together once the entire summer!  We decided that as a treat on our last day we would have lunch at Qdoba.

Because Jeremy had a meeting at school at 11am, and they each had a French lesson at 1pm we had to eat lunch before Jeremy’s meeting.  We arrived so early that Qdoba was still serving breakfast, so while we waited Jeremy showed the worker card tricks.

When it was lunch time, I opted for a naked burrito with no rice, pinto beans, grilled veggies, lettuce, a little cheese, pico de gallo, and spicy salsa.  It was so yummy!

Qdoba lunch

After Jeremy’s meeting we spent the day playing the board game Life and doing French lessons…well they were doing French lessons, I made the grocery list (more on that later 😉 )

We then loaded up in the car once more and headed to one of my favorite fro-yo places…Red Mango.  Jeremy and Sarah had never been there before, but quickly fell in love once they tasted their treats!!

Black Cherry Fro-Yo Topped With Strawberry and Chocolate Sauce

Black Cherry Fro-Yo Topped With Raspberries

My Fro-Yo...Original Topped with Granola, Bananas, and Honey

Workout

I then went to teach my final Cycle 45 class, and I had a special visitor!!

Nice and schweaty! This picture was taken after class...so disregard the improper posture

Here is our workout:

Warm Up (5 minutes)

Seated Flat Road (5 minutes)

Sprint Pyramid (7 minutes)

  •   40 second sprint—20 seconds recovery
  •   30 seconds sprint—30 seconds recovery
  •   20 seconds sprint—40 seconds recovery
  •   10 seconds sprint—50 seconds recovery
  •   20 second sprint—40 seconds recovery
  •   30 second sprint—30 seconds recovery
  •   40 second sprint—20 seconds recovery

Hill Climb (4 minutes)

  • Increase gear every 30 seconds

Recovery (2 minutes)

Sprint Pyramid (5 minutes)

  •   30 seconds sprint—30 seconds recovery
  •   20 seconds sprint—40 seconds recovery
  •   10 seconds sprint—50 seconds recovery
  •   20 second sprint—40 seconds recovery
  •   30 second sprint—30 seconds recovery

Hill Climb (3 minutes)

  • increase gear every 30 seconds

Recovery (1 minutes)

Sprint Pyramid (3 minutes)

  •  40 second sprint—20 seconds recovery
  •  30 seconds sprint—30 seconds recovery
  •  40 seconds sprint—20 seconds recovery

Hill Climb (2 minutes)

  • Increase gear every 15 seconds

Sprint Pyramid (3 minutes)

  •   30 seconds sprint—30 seconds recovery
  •   20 seconds sprint—40 seconds recovery
  •   30 seconds sprint—30 seconds recovery (COOL DOWN)

again....disregard the bad posture

Dinner

We then came home for a quick dinner.  Smoothies and curry roasted cauliflower!

In my smoothie:

  • 1/2 cup Myoplex (got it for free at a race)
  • 3/4 frozen banana
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • pinch of xanthum gum
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 2 packets of splenda
  • 4 ice cubes and a little water for volume

It's not easy being green...

Purple Cauliflower

I guess dinner kind of looked like Barney! Oops!!
Brian and I are headed to Nashville this weekend for a friend’s wedding.  It should be really fun because there are so many friends going, but I still have to pack!  Good night!!!

Family Reunion Weekend Update

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Warning:  This post is going to be a long one 🙂

 

Heading to Michigan

After finally packing, Brian and I hit the road to Fort Wayne to drop my car off at home, and then all the way to Michigan.

I packed some healthy snacks for the road since we were driving for 6ish hours.

Brian was the navigator with the GPS and I actually drove the majority of the way (that never happens).  Since Brian has his first exam of the semester in dental school, I thought I would be nice and let him study.

The driving went surprisingly quick and smooth and the next thing we knew we were at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, MI.

We were greeted by family and tasty snacks made by Mom and Grandma!

And boxed wine 🙂

I decided to call this kettle corn “crack corn” because at the end of the two day reunion….

Nothing was left!  It was the perfect combination of sweet and salty.

The room was decorated with Norwegian family decorations.

My sister and I’s favorite family decoration.  Lutefisk is apparently not very tasty and is a type of dried cod….we have never tried it, but I think it sounds kind of good!

For the rest of Friday night we just visited and mingled with family before heading to bed to prepare for the next day.

Saturday Reunion

Grandma started off the morning with a Norwegian cooking lesson of the dish called lefse (pronounced l-ehf-suh).  It is kind of like a Norwegian crepe made from left over mashed potatoes and flour.

Grandma had so many great stories to share, and allowed for crowd participation!

Grandpa was a great little helper 🙂

I even got to make one!

One of the stories explained how lefse came to be, and mentioned that the Irish played an important role…it just so happens that Brian is Irish!  Looks like we were meant to be together 🙂

Grandpa was the expert lefse turner.

I then topped the lefse with various toppings such as cinnamon and sugar (my favorite), a Norwegian goat cheese, ham and mustard, and lingonberry jam and cut them into little pieces for everyone to sample.  They were all so tasty!

After the cooking demonstration, I set up my station in the auction room allowing family members to sample my products before deciding to bid in the auction.

Brian, Mom, and me at lunch.

After lunch, everyone browsed the auction room deciding what they wanted to bid for.

Roberta and Melanie are two of my relatives that have been the auctioneers the past couple of years.

There job included modeling some of the merchandise this year.  Last reunion, Brenna and I were the models but this year we just wanted to enjoy the show!

Brenna got something!

 

We all got “redneck wine glasses” which were wine glasses made from Ball jars!  Super cute!

After the auction, Brian had to head back to Indianapolis so that he could have a full day of studying before his exam on Monday.

 

 

My grandparents are HUGE card players, so after hanging out around a bonfire by the water we all came in to play a game of hand and foot! My family is slightly competitive….

We formed teams:  Mom, Dad, and Grandma vs. Brenna, Tara, and Granpa (aka BTG)…needless to say, BTG dominated.

The Trip Home

After packing up everything and attending a short family prayer service, we hit the road.  The car ride home was veerrry interesting for several reasons.  #1.  We no longer have a van and now have a regular sized car.  #2.  There were 4 adults driving in a car for 6 hours.  #3.  We brought our two huge dogs.  We all survived, but it was a little rough at first.

We stopped at Subway for lunch, and I got a veggie delite salad!  Spinach on the bottom topped with cucumbers, tomatoes, banana peppers, black olives, red onion, and extra extra pickles.   (My family loves pickles)

We finally arrived home, and I knew that I needed to run because I had been sitting in a car for a million hours and because Sundays are my long run days.  Today, I was scheduled to run 8 miles, and Mom thought she had the perfect route for me that she usually bikes…well, I ran the route and got done in just over an hour.  I knew that I hadn’t run 8 miles…and I was right!  Mom miscalculated, and I only ran 6.5…so tomorrow I will be running the FULL 8 🙂

A couple of things went wrong while running, my shorts began to chafe mid run (so if you know of any non-chafing remedies…please pass them on!) I tripped 3 times, and I needed water.  Hopefully these problems are solved tomorrow.

Will this help with chafing?

Will this help with chafing?

Mom made an uhhhhmazing dinner, salmon with steamed zucchini from the garden, steamed broccoli, and tomato and cucumber salad from the garden.  It tasted like pure summer and totally hit the spot after my hot and sweaty run.

Brenna then trimmed my hair.  It sure does pay to have a hair stylist as a sister!

She also taught me how to round brush 🙂

 

Now, I’m watching Next Food Network Star with mom.  Hope your weekend was amazing!!

Sushi on the Rocks

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Before I left for work, I had a lunch of what I like to call a sampler plate.  On today’s plate was a slice of tomato, cucumber, celery, carrots, 2 garlic stuffed olives, and 3 little date treats made of dates cut down the middle stuffed with peanut butter and topped with three chocolate chips each.

It was very satisfying!

 

Work

Today, I fit helmets on children at the Marion County Fair.  It was hot, sweaty, and just what you would expect a fair to be.

Of course I didn’t leave the place empty handed….I got free sunglasses and a snack!  Not just any snack though…Funky Monkey snacks!  These are 100% organic dehydrated fruit snacks, so they are super crunchy and taste just like the fruit you are eating.  I had bananamon which is dehydrated bananas with cinnamon.

 

Date Night

After work, I changed my clothes and freshened up a bit because tonight is date night for Brian and I.

We walked to a restaurant downtown called Sushi on the Rocks.  We each started off the night with a drink.  I had Gewurztraminer wine which was slightly sweet like a Reisling and oh so yummy, and Brian started with a Bud light (his favorite 😉 ).

We then started with edamame as our appetizer. I love edamame because it is so salty!

We ordered three rolls to share and I honestly do not remember what each of them were, but my favorite had mango, cream cheese, asparagus, and tempura shrimp…it sounds weird but the flavors just worked so well together…and of course we added sriracha 🙂

Somehow, we still had room for dessert so we had tempura bananas with ice cream…soooo good!

Now, it’s time for more wine and a movie!  Hope your weekend is going well!