Grovin’

i started saturday morning with a RUN!  yep, i stepped it on up and turned my power walk into a run. after a restful night i felt the urge and had the energy to do more for my workout.  and uhhh, my legs said GO but my boobs said NO.  ouch. so it definitely became more of a jog/walk kinda thing for about an hour or so. nice, early, humid workout nonetheless.

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 great support from both sports bras and regular bras is EVERYTHING when it comes to postpartum boobs.  all boobies are different but i am now back up to a D cup (k, double) after getting quite comfy and confident with my B’s post bikini comp last year.  my strongest, most supportive, ‘old faithful’ sports bra is so old actually that i can only find it used on eBay lol. it’s the Asics Athletic Seamless Racerback bra and has served me well, so i’m sticking with the Asics brand from here on out. it’s like a brand new bra after every wash- it tightens back up and provides maximum support.

*****

mama and papa stepped out for a hot date saturday night!  dates are good. dates are refreshing.  dates keep things going, exciting, and refreshing. dates give you something to look forward to.  we are going on 7 years of marriage this year!  i actually had something really cool planned that fell through….but i didn’t reveal it to Sonny yet cause i’m totally gonna try again.  so, we went to dinner anyway to just enjoy some kiddo-free time. and burgers.

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i chose the Grove downtown, and we got a nice big cozy booth to ourselves.

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repeat offender.  just one of those things Sonny has grown to ‘love’ about me.  even if we’re at a new spot- i always play it safe and order salmon, and then we argue on how to even say salmon correctly.

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excuse the disrespectful flash;  the lighting was super dim and sexy though so i needed it.  reminds me of my early IG pictures pics- i can’t stand looking at them!! uuuggggghhhh.

this was a spring mix salad with radish and tomatoes.  now that i think about it, our waiter didn’t ask me when kind of dressing i even wanted, so no idea there.  i was living life on the edge and didn’t get my dressing on the side this time.

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Sonny asked our waiter what the quickest appetizer to make was (kinda hungry, aye?) and he said the flash fried shrimp.

sweet, crunchy, and full of flavor.

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a tasty bacon burger and french fry combo for hubby,

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and a grilled salmon fillet paired with sautéed cauliflower, kale, and fennel for moi.

much needed!

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are they twinning or what?  Dego is much more social and aware these days which means more smiles :D

Q: what’s your favorite date nite with your S.O.?

Q: how often do you make time for them? weekly? monthly?

long as i’m eating good food i’m a happy camper; 2-3 times a month is ideal for us when going out. home movie/dinner/game dates are great ideas too!

le

zucchini pepperoni pizza poppers

Bey and J are performing in Houston tonight and guess who’s going!??!?! all of Houston!!!  except us. we’re at home eating zucchini pizzas and staring at each other.

IMG_20140718_174525these healthy, light snacks are bursting with Italian, cheesy goodness and make THE perfect party appetizers by the way! you just need to serve them immediately while they are hot and bubbling. else, the cheese hardens up. but i can eat cheese at any temperature. especially burnt cheese. yummy.

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Zucchini Pepperoni Pizza Poppers

the stuff:

  • 2 raw zucchini, coined 1/2 in thick
  • 1/3 cup homemade marinara
  • 1/4 cup turkey pepperoni rounds, chopped
  • no stick cooking spray
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice (vegan, dairy-free, cheddar, monterey  jack, pepperjack, mozzarella, etc.)

do this:

  1. wrap a large flat baking plan with foil and coat with no-stick cooking spray and set your oven broiler to high
  2. heat a large griddle to med-high heat  (i made pancakes for breakfast and the griddle was already out but you can use a very large skillet too) and coat it with no-stick cooking spray
  3. place as many zucchini coins flat on the griddle as possible and cook for 1 minute (you may have to work in batches)
  4. flip the coins over and cook for an additional minute
  5. transfer the cooked coins to the baking sheet lined with foil
  6. dab some marinara sauce on the top of each coin and using the back of a small spoon, spread mixture out
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  8.  sprinkle a few shreds of cheese on top of the sauce
  9.  sprinkle some chopped turkey pepperoni on top of the cheese
  10. place entire pan in your oven as close to the broiler flames as you can get and cook for approx. 5 minutes or until the cheese is melty and bubbly
  11. sprinkle with Italian seasoning. done.

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s/n: if you have more zucchini to use up, see if you can stretch your ingredients even further as you might have sauce/cheese, etc. left over.

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 i upgraded my fry cutter!  this is the Deluxe Fry Cutter from Bed Bath & Beyond and i got it for 13 bucks after using the 5 bucks off coupon that comes in the snail mail flyer.  great, affordable investment.  the only thing i did have to do first is peel the potato, then slice it in half.  the device only opens so wide, so you might have to cut the ends off to make it fit.  other than that, no microwaving needed before cutting!  sign up for their ads directly on their website to get their coupons.

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what a big helper! not just in the kitchen with me but with his little brother as well which is a huge answered prayer. many have asked how the transition with the boys has been and i can honestly say smooth.  putting Dego’s dirty diapers in the diaper genie for me is exciting to him. yeah, i’m milking that for as long as he lets me.

also, these are the delish, Spicy Smoky Sweet Potato Fries from my ebook!

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WHY didn’t i think of this sooner… Quest Bars help out big time with my sweet toof.  i really i only get them when i go to my gym, so now that i’m going almost regularly the bars are making appearances again. THIS time though, i’m going to GNC and buying an entire box. can’t keep buying them for 3 bucks at a time, pretty stupid and not cost-effective.  20g protein, 17g fiber, 170-180 cals. coconut cashew is one of my fave flavors! .

didn’t get to have my early gym rendezvous this morning so i went power walking this evening.

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 i strapped down the girls with two sports bras and hit the bricks.  let me tell you how much i appreciate working my back 2 or more times a week when i was preggo! the weight of these boobs right now….. whew.

le

4 weeks pp + Dego’s 1 month mark

last night i said i was going to get up at the crack of dawn this morning and not just get my treadmill interval workout in, but to pop up on my 5:30am class to say hi while i was at it! i made me some hot coffee and headed out, Beats and ipod in tow.

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i kinda forgot to factor in feeding my newborn before leaving though so i arrived way after class started.  it was SO good to see old and new faces all across the studio when i peeked my head in the door!  i caught up with some of my regulars after class finished and they only made me more anxious to put that mic on again.

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cardio killaaaaa. i was hoping to be cleared to lift this week, but my OB’s schedule is jam packed!!! huge bummer. still crossing my fingers to be worked in somehow. else i’ll just wait ’til next week.

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Chiso woke up and requested pancakes, so he got’em.  i made him a stack of my WW Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Birthday Cakes complete with dolphin sprinkles and he almost finished the stack by himself!  i gladly killed the rest. remember, you can also sub blueberries for the chocolate chips.

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who’s 1 month today? that guy! i asked Sonny does 4 weeks make it one month, or will July 17th make it one month… idk and too lazy to Google. close enough.  also up until today, smiles from Dego were only reserved for Chiso. i finally got mine :)

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our God is an awesome God.  i make an effort to praise Him for all things, both great and especially small.  after receiving and reviewing Dego’s newborn screening results in the mail a few days ago i began to thank Him repeatedly.  i was instantly reminded of the time in my life when my thoughts consumed me and convinced me that i was unable to bear any children, ever.  God has blessed us with healthy baby boy #2, and for that we give Him all the glory.

they willl find you

this is so funny because i actually remember doing this to my mom.  putting my face on the floor to see her feet while calling her name over and over again and everything.  well it’s payback time!  who am i kidding… once Chiso doesn’t give a flying hoot about my whereabouts i’m gonna have a mommy moment…

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grilled sirloin steak and taters for dinner tonight.  we’ve been outta sweet taters and they are exactly what i need to keep me feeling fuller longer between meals.  the steak was marinated in some Annie’s balsamic vinaigrette, pinch of sea salt and black pepper before i tossed it in my grill pan.  that delicious sauce is just Grey Poupon mild and creamy mustard (which is calorie free, sugar free, and fat free) sauteed with white mushrooms. it’s bananas!

Q: how do you like your steak cooked?  

blood = no bueno. can’t do it. well done, please.

le

 

40 weeks preggo + Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi Spaghetti Squash

 glory to God! we made it! 40 weeks in the bag.
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wednesday i had (what i hope to be) my very last routine check up with my OB before meeting Odego.

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did some reading to pass the time in the waiting area and my eyes were immediately drawn to “why it’s OK to get an epidural” after picking up this magazine, lol.  this birth plan is the same as my first… to give it my best shot  naturally, and call for the epi if i need it. God has already gone before me and everything is in His hands. everything.

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i love that my OB involves Chiso somehow at every visit.  especially when i forget to bring his ipad!  i just love her to pieces and thank God for connecting us.  according to Chi’s calculations, my belly is currently measuring at 39.7 cms (the number your belly measures in cms usually corresponds with your current week, fyi).  pretty happy to have progressed to 2 cms dilated without feeling a thing at that.  well, what i HAVE felt has not been painful at all, rather.

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so i left my appointment with JUST enough time to hit the gym for one last TKB (turbo kickboxing) class!!! i also just wanted to tell the best kickboxing instructor i know that i’d be seeing her in a few weeks, or whenever i’m cleared to come back.

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i started that day with lean turkey sausage, 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, the last of a ripe avocado, all over  a sweet potato hash i could have sworn i had already added  to my blog, sorry guys!! here are the ingredients i sautéed in my no stick skillet with 1 tbsp coconut oil:

  • 1 small peeled/cubed sweet potato (microwave for 1 min first to make it easier to chop)
  • 1 yelllow oinion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cubed zucchini
  • 1/4 cup cubed yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup  cubed red bell pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • sea salt (i used liquid aminos) & pepper
  • fresh chopped cilantro

and i scarfed down those rotisserie chicken breast deli sammiches on Sara Lee whole wheat 45 calories & delightful bread and raw carrots after the TKB class.

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here’s dinner from tonight with the recipe as promised:

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi Spaghetti Squash

the stuff:

  • 1 lb raw, de-veined, shelled shrimp
  • 1 roasted small – medium spaghetti squash  ( i throw the whole thing in my oven on 375 for 45 min)
  • 1/2 cup whole grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp or more lemon pepper seasoning
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon

do this:

  1. heat a large wok to med-high heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil.
  2. add 2 tbsp garlic and stir constantly so it doesn’t burn for about 2 minutes; add shrimp.
  3. season shrimp with 1 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning and black pepper; remove from wok and set aside.
  4. add in another tbsp olive oil and the remaining 2 tbsp of garlic; cook for about 1 minute.
  5. add bell pepper if wanted at this point and let it cook/soften for 2 minutes. if no bell pepper, just add cooked spaghetti squash into wok along with another tbsp or two of lemon pepper seasoning and black pepper. mix well.
  6. halve the grape tomatoes then add them to your wok along with the cooked shrimp and cilantro; mix very well.
  7. squeeze the fresh lemon over the top of everything and serve!

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nutritional stats coming right up, asap. as for now, the baby waiting game continues!  have a safe, fun, friday night :)

le

*updated* Zucchini Pizza Cruise Ships + we’re registered!

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had a bowl of organic rolled oats cooked in unsweetened vanilla almond milk, water, cinnamon, and vanilla before heading to my (now weekly) OB appointment this morning.   fresh blueberries, more cinnamon, more almond milk, and pure maple syrup went right on top.  i had egg whites w/ salsa on the side too. fueling up for some kickboxing a little later today.

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was running late and threw on whatever (but i was comfy though!)  and we made it just in time for my group b strep test and routine check up.  if only pap smears were that quick & easy-peasy!  all is well @ 35 weeks and i thank Him for another great progress report. and yes, i smacked Chiso right after he smacked me.

on to our new hospital to registerrrrrr!

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so the hospital where Chiso was born doesn’t do L&D anymore. i enjoyed the experience there and was saddened after hearing that!  however, the new hospital is literally 3 minutes away, so no biggie.  AND my favorite OB in the entire universe will be there to deliver Odego this time, Lord willing.  (she was out having her twins at the time Chiso was born :’(  ) .  i went ahead and registered juuuuust in case we have to pop up there sooner than expected, but i am coming back with Sonny to take a tour so we can be cheesy and take pics and stuff.  a date i am so looking forward too, again.  i hardly EVER buy overpriced convenience store food/snacks, but i was unprepared and Chiso got restless while i filled out paper work.  so i got him this Sabra pretzel and hummus dip along with a banana.

enjoy this updated recipe of last night’s dinner:

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*updated* Zucchini Pizza Cruise Ships

the stuff:

  • 4 large, raw zucchini, halved & seeded
  • 2 cups cooked and seasoned extra lean ground turkey
  •  1 cup homemade marinara (add more if you’d like and the recipe is below)
  • 8 turkey pepperoni, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup shredded almond or rice cheese
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced into coins
  • 2 tsp dried italian seasoning or parsley or fresh basil
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste

do this:

  1. set your oven to 350 degrees and coat a large baking pan with foil and no-stick cooking spray.
  2. after halving the zucchini, scoop some of the insides out using a small spoon.  they should look like empty canoes cruise ships once you’re done; arrange them flat and seed-side up on your baking sheet.
  3. mix the cooked ground turkey and the marinara sauce together, then spoon the mixture evenly into/onto the zucchini.
  4. sprinkle the turkey pepperoni, tomato, and italian seasoning on top of the cruise ships, and bake them for about 20 minutes.
  5. remove them from the oven and sprinkle shredded cheese on top. ( i used 2% colby jack cause that’s all i had. to keep this recipe dairy free, use almond or rice cheese.)
  6. let them bake once more for 7-10 minutes or just until the cheese melts to your liking.
  7. top with fresh basil or parsley!

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i thought i posted my marinara recipe in the Fit N’ Crispy Chicken Parm post but maybe it didn’t save like i thought?? can’t explain that one.  but here it is:

homemade marinara:

the stuff:

  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 6 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning blend (optional)
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste

do this:

  1. heat a large sauce pan to medium-low heat; once hot, pour in your olive oil.
  2. add onions & garlic and sauté until translucent…about 2-3 minutes.
  3. add in the rest of the ingredients except sea salt and cracked black pepper, stir, cover, and let simmer for 12-15 minutes.
  4. shut off heat; add mixture to your blender or food processor and blend on high until super smooth.

you can make this ahead of time and store in the fridge to be used for pizza sauce, wing dip, breadstick dip, whatever!

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happy hump day! hollaaaaaaaaa

le

8th month recap

group B-strep test is up next, guys.  HEY FIT FOODIES!  i’m gonna get in as much last minute preggo blogging as i can these last few weeks (or days, that’s cool too).  my 8th month has whizzed on by

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*bloop*

and i’m knocking on week 36 in like 2 days, praise God!

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O_o :P   >:( :’( :| #flipacoin

early AM workout classes & breakfast:

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so, getting up at 4:15am to teach my classes is only getting rougher.  but i’m hanging in there! that’s my automatic answer for my gym members every time they ask me how baby and i are doing, lol.  that’s really all i can say though, seriously.  sure i’d rather get those extra hours of sleep but i feel good after i get on up and most days and the urge to workout is still strong.

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mmhmmm, don’t forget that. aim to move every single day, even if it’s just walking around your hood.

i am asked how i am still doing HIIT training  this late in the game.  modifications! lighter dumbbells, monitoring my heart rate, using my knees instead of toes for pushups…just a few examples. see vid below!  plus i’m doing way more coaching/encouraging/motivating and ‘working’ the group exercise room more. the classes are NOT about me anyway- it’s all about the members!  i’ll do a quick demo of a high intensity/plyometric move though, then quickly modify it just so i can keep moving with the members.

 eating, on the other hand…. i know my appetite is flaky cause baby boy is growing rapidly and fattening up for his grand exit/entrance, but after breakfast and a small lunch (even after working out), i could honestly be done for the day.  the rest of my meals are pretty much forced since i’m still very active,  so WE need those cals and nutrients to keep coming. and they shall.  so i have my pre workout snack (usually banana w/ peanut butter) on the way to the gym, then tackle my real breakfast afterwards as usual.

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here are some breakfasts i’ve been rotating (clockwise starting from the top L):

1. spinach, tomato, and mushroom scramble (1 whole egg, 2 egg whites) with strawberries and blueberries

2.  4 egg whites over a whole wheat english muffin & topped with homemade guacamole w/ blackberries & a halo

3. spinach & mushroom egg scramble taco (La Tortilla Factory 80 cal light low carb, high fiber flour tortilla) w/ shredded part-skim mozzarella & pineapple salsa w/ berries

4. plain greek yogurt with strawberries & blueberries and dribbled with maple syrup (also a great post-workout snack)

 

individual workouts & lunch/dinner:

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i have been enjoying taking classes to the fullest these last few weeks!  why?

  1. i’m not up there teaching so i can stop at any time :P
  2.  i get ideas and inspiration for new moves i can use later in my own classes and just experiencing another instructor’s style, music, and motivational sayings
  3.  group fitness is FUN and keeps me motivated!  i look forward to it. period.

i do a combo of the following every week:

  • TKB – turbo kickboxing
  • Zumba
  • Barbell Strength (Lifetime Fitness signature formatted class)
  • Step (don’t knock it lol! keeps my heart rate nice and steady… great cardio workout vs. the boring treadmill and elliptical)
  • Weights – since i’m not lifting crazy heavy, i’ll do a full body workout in one day most times using basic exercises for each muscle group. 3-4 sets of 12 does the trick. looking forward to getting back to my postpartum 6 Pack USA workouts though.

 

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lunches and dinners (starting clockwise from top L):

  1. homemade Chipotle inspired salad (i cut the chicken into chunks and marinated it in Weber Kick n’ Chicken seasoning blend)
  2. Kick n’ Chicken pan seared chicken breast with pan roasted brussels sprouts and grilled pineapple
  3. pan seared whiting (cheaper than tilapia at Walmart right now so i gave it a try) grilled squash, and fresh coleslaw
  4. salmon & avocado deviled eggs sprinkled with sweet & smokey paprika and black pepper with raw sugar snap peas and sliced roma tomatoes on the side.

 

the bump and i will be walking down the aisle in my brother’s wedding this weekend! can’t wait to party and celebrate gaining another sister. fun times ahead. and cake.

—–> if you are preggo and need help with staying on track (or starting) a healthier workout and nutrition regiment for you and your little bundle-to-be, please check out www.pregnantnotpowerless.com and sign up!  even if you’re not preggo but know a woman who is, please tell her about this awesome program created by one of my inspirations and fellow fit mom @babyfatboss on IG. follow herrrrrr! <——

He is Risen!

Easter reminds us that there is an end to the suffering and a purpose in the pain.

Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

He triumphed over evil.

And He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

HE IS RISEN!

Risen

 Easter came and went and so did my window to type this post :o .

we spent our entire Easter weekend with FAMILY. my amazing cousins came over to hang out that saturday and you already know burgers were on the menu with toppings galore.  i had such a fun time just talking, eating, and laughing my face off with them about any and everything.  we hadn’t all gotten together since Thanksgiving of last year which is so unlike our fam.

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there it is.  the platter that made us late for church.  i envisioned cooking this up in my mind all morning while laying in bed…even had a couple of dreams about it while drifting in and out of sleep.  what i should have done was just GET UP cause when i went down to the kitchen we had absolutely no bread :/ .  so i jumped in the car (headscarf, glasses, pj’s – yeah, i took it there) just to get a loaf of bread. i know.  at least i didn’t see anybody i knew. that’s always next.

Nature’s Own whole wheat french toast, Applegate Apple & Chicken breakfast sausage links, scrambled eggs, and fresh berries. to-go :P

we went to see some of my younger cousins perform in an Easter play at my aunt’s church, then headed to dinner at her home which is always a treat. always.

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 Easter eats!  there was so much to choose from but here a few shots of some of what i had:

a big, fresh, veggie salad, fruit & dip, tortilla chips and  chunky shrimp salsa, and a plate of my mom’s chocolate chip cookies.

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and then we got down to BIDNESS. 
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go, Chiso, GO!!!!

happy belated Easter to you and yours <3

Q: what’s your family’s Easter tradition?

le

that’s amore – homemade whole wheat pizza crust + med ball moves

what.a.morning.

 i woke up at 2:30am randomly and just couldn’t get comfy again nor could i go back to sleep! daylight savings time + a kickboxing 27 week fetus = one tired mama.  praying & hoping this doesn’t become a normal occurrence.

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getting to 5:30am class was something like pulling teeth but we made it!  smiling up there in the pic cause my workout was finally over after that :lol: .  i taught Total Conditioning for 1 hr as usual and then did these exercises with the med ball and bands afterwards (listed clockwise):

  1.  medicine ball squat throws against the wall: 4 x 25
  2. med ball squats w/ explosive jack - band is optional but come ooooon! USE IT! 4 x 25
  3. burpees with overhead dumbbell presses. modify where needed! walk back if you are preggo or nursing an injury if you do not wish to jump. it’s your workout. 3 x 12
  4. 90 degree wall sits with extended med ball (see top pic).  hold this guy for as long as you can. your arms will most likely give out before your legs, so let them drop but stay up until you can’t take it anymore. HOLD until it burns ;)

i owe you a pizza crust recipe, don’t i!

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this was Chiso’s cheese pie hot outta the oven.

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the sauce is homemade too!!! i’ll share that recipe in a future post.

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and here’s the pie i made Sonny and i for dinner that night looooaded with goodies!

extra lean ground chicken, red onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, grape tomatoes, fresh cilantro,  homemade pizza sauce, and plenty of shredded provolone.

i’m saving my very special crust recipe for my homemade pizza cooking class so you’ll have to join me on March 25th to get that one!

homemade whole wheat pizza crust

the stuff:

  • 1 cup white whole wheat bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp coconut sugar (or agave nectar or honey or pure maple syrup)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • dash sea salt
  • 1/4th tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 envelope)

do this: 

ok, i actually had steps listed out for the beginning part ( :shock: i know) but SEEING it done is the easiest way to actually get it. i don’t want to scare you guys from making it and i haven’t created my own video yet, so i’m going to use a popular youtube vid that is very similar to what i did. also, i added the dry seasonings and garlic in with the wet ingredients.

  1. NOW you’re ready! let the dough rise for at least 2 hours minimum. (whip up a ball right after breakfast)
  2. preheat your oven to 500 degrees and put your pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven NOW.
  3. on a flat, clean, floured surface, drop your round dough ball in to the center.
  4. use your fingers to press the dough out as wide/thin as you’d like it. my Sur la table instructor advised against using a rolling-pin.
  5. sprinkle your pizza paddle (or a pan/cookie sheet with no edges) generously with dry, yellow corn meal
  6. pick up your dough and place it on top of the corn meal bed. is it slide-able? rock the pan back and forth and see.
  7. top your pizza however you’d like. (sauce, cheese, veggies, meat, cheese…but remember less is more! that doesn’t apply to cheese though)
  8. do a slide check one more time, then open your oven and transfer (rock vigorously back and forth til you’ve successfully moved it over) the pizza paddle onto the already HOT HOT HOT pizza stone or baking pan.
  9. needs to bake about 7-9 minutes at most. cooks super fast!

nutritional stats ONLY IF you use the entire dough ball and make a gigantic pizza cut into 8 slices:

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i find that cutting the ball in half first makes the perfect size pie for 2 people. in that instance, stats for 1 slice when cut into 8:

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you can refrigerate the other half for 2-3 days and even longer in the freezer.

1394561058yummmmmmmmmmmmmy!

make your own pizza at home, take a pic, and tag me @fitfoodiele on IG! also, if you send your pics to le@fitfoodiele.com, i will feature them on my Facebook Fan Page, blog, or IG. can’t wait to see the deliciousness you create!

 Q: what do you do when you can’t go back to sleep? read? watch TV? stare at your significant other in the dark? :shock:

le

hostess with the mostess – cheesy spinach and squash au gratin

my mom is a pre-K teacher and still on her holiday break, so she and my aunt (her sis-in-law) came over to hang out, sleepover, and keep Chiso company with us. which means, i get ta’ COOKIN’!  whipping up healthy, tasty food for my family gives me life (add that to the phrases we should stop using in 2014 :roll: ) but it best describes how i feel while i’m doing my thing in my kitchen.  now can i do all this again tomorrow?  you bet! playing hostess is FUN. what we chowed down on today:

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lean turkey burgaaaaaas for lunch!  super easy recipe can be found on my instagram post from earlier today (look for this same photo).

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i topped the patties with cheddar style rice cheese,

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and i found those sprouted grain buns at Sprouts Farmer’s Market recently.  i was looking for the Ezekiel ones but these were cheaper and by Alvarado Street Bakery.  heard a lot about them and was not disappointed.

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no lettuce or avocado in the house, womp. but i did have condiments, tomatoes, and plenty of pickles. stuff your burgers with your fave toppings and toast your buns (makes a big difference in taste and texture).  everyone enjoyed their burger except for you-know-who.

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he touched it like he was going to pick it up and then faked everybody out.  i’ll try again tomorrow.

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i’ve been playing around with a squash casserole type recipe for the past few days and finally just went for it today since i was all up in the kitchen anyway. turned out better than i imagined, whoa. 

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 Sonny says it tastes just like Boston Market’s squash casserole side and well, i won’t argue with him!

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cheesy spinach & squash au gratin

the stuff:

  • 2 large zucchini, raw, coined & halved (see pic above)
  • 2 large yellow squash, raw, coined & halved
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos
  • 1 cup frozen, thawed spinach
  • 1/2 cup cheddar style rice cheese
  • 1/2 cup skim mozzarella (you may use mozzarella almond cheese as well)
  • 1/8 cup light parmesan cheese

breadcrumbs:

  • 3 slices Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delightful bread, toasted until crispy
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 cup light parmesan cheese

do this:

  1. spray your casserole dish with no-stick cooking spray and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. make breadcrumbs by combining listed ingredients in your food processor and pulsing until you achieve a breadcrumb-like consistency.
  3. in a large skillet over medium heat, saute the garlic, onion, zucchini, and squash together for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
  4. add spinach, garlic powder, onion powder, liquid aminos, parsley, and cracked black pepper to pan; mix.
  5. cover pan and let cook down for 10 more minutes before shutting off the heat and pouring your squash mixture into your prepared casserole dish. set aside.
  6. in a separate bowl, whisk eggs.
  7. to the egg mixture, add 1/8 cup of parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of breadcrumb mixture, 1/2 cup of cheese, and the 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
  8. if your squash mixture has completely cooled by now, go ahead and add the egg mixture to it in the casserole dish and mix WELL. if it’s still warm, temper the eggs by adding a little bit of squash mixture to the egg mixture (in that order, please!)  at a time to prevent making scrambled eggs.  the cold almond milk should help cool the squash mixture down faster too. once all combined, set aside.
  9. add the last 1/2 cup of cheese to  1/4 cup of the breadcrumb mixture and sprinkle it on top of your casserole evenly.
  10. bake for 40-45 minutes or until the casserole no longer jiggles when you shake the dish.
  11. let it cool then dive in.

i divided my dish into 8 nice size servings and here are the stats for 1 serving: 162 cals, 6g fat, 14g carbs, 15g protein, 4 g sugar.

have a seat, Boston Market :lol:

lastly, for dinner, i heated up some leftover chicken & veggie stir fry and mixed it with some marinara sauce to revive the flavors. very yummy!  i also baked two pans of swai for tonight and for Sonny’s lunches tomorrow.  i don’t add ANY salt to the swai cause it doesn’t need it at all like tilapia.

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  i topped these with onion powder, garlic powder, and salt free Southwest seasoning from Mc Cormick (found at Walmart and HEB) and cooked them for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. that’s it!  roasted brussels sprouts on the side.
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 thinking about all the crazy business ideas in my head and on my heart for 2014 and it overwhelms me.  i’m determined to make 2014 NOTHING like 2013 though. one day at a time.  ok, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

le

fit n’ crispy chicken parm

Italian food. its been on my mind lately.

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i really wanted something heavy like a big pan of cheesy lasagna but this nipped that craving right in the bud.  it’s lean, it’s fit, it’s crispy, it’s savory, and it’s good.

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making your own bread crumbs is super simple and recommended.  i used some toasted Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delightful bread for mine.

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perfect. no frying needed! i had planned to sear the chicken on both sides in my cast iron skillet (before putting them into the oven to finish) cause i wanted that crispy, crunchy exterior, but omitting that step still produced the same results. SCORE.

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i used Classico all natural, fire roasted tomato & garlic sauce,

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and topped the breasts with a heaping tbsp of sauce, a few spinach leaves, and a big slice of mozzarella almond cheese.

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i know chicken parm is usually paired with some variety of pasta, but i had a big, unbaked spaghetti squash sitting on my counter i needed to use.

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tender, Italian juiciness.  recipe time :)

fit n’ crispy chicken parm

the stuff: breadcrumbs

  • 4 slices Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delightful wheat bread, toasted (can use gluten-free bread)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup light parmesan cheese (optional for a dairy-free dish)

the stuff: chicken

  • 4 large boneless & skinless chicken breasts (pounded and flattened)
  • 1/2 jar of all natural Classico Fire Roasted Tomato & Garlic sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread
  • 3 oz Lisanatti Mozzarella Almond Cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos

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do this: breadcrumbs

  1. toast slices of bread until crispy, not burnt but no longer soft and chewy.
  2. break them up into pieces by hand and toss them into your food processor.
  3. add the onion powder, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasonings.
  4. blend until you achieve a breadcrumb-like consistency and set to the side.

do this: chicken – preheat oven to 400 degrees now!

  1. pound and flatten thawed chicken breasts (under a towel, in plastic wrap, in a plastic bag, etc) with your mallet until about 1/2 in thick.
  2. place them into a large bowl and pour the liquid aminos and melted whipped butter spread over the top, coating evenly.
  3. spread out the breadcrumb mixture onto a large, flat plate.
  4. spray your baking pan with no stick cooking spray and set it on your work station.
  5. take each chicken breast and dip/press them into the breadcrumb mixture coating both sides evenly.
  6. place them neatly into your pan, flat.  if they are touching it’s ok but don’t overcrowd your pan.
  7. sprinkle cracked black pepper onto the breasts.
  8. place pan(s) into the oven and cook for 20 minutes on one side; flip, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  9. remove chicken from oven (make sure they are done in the center) and remove the breasts from the pan.
  10. pour tomato sauce into your pan, covering the bottom completely.
  11. place chicken breasts back into pan on top of sauce.
  12. top them each with 1-2 tbsp more of sauce, a few leaves of spinach, as well your cheese (you can shred it too, your call.)
  13. place back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until your cheese is all bubbly and melty!

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fyi, there was a little over 1/4 cup of unused breadcrumbs left.

per 4 oz serving of chicken: 240 cals, 7g fat, 12g carbs, 2 g fiber, 31 g protein

enjoy! make it, take a pic, and tag me on Instagram (#fitfoodiele) or to the Fit Foodie Le Facebook Fan page!

le