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

one…two…THREE #may27th

saturday, this boy woke up singing ‘because i’m happyyyyyyyyy!’ :P  he knew it was finally party day.

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we threw a joint birthday pool party with friends of ours, Kristina and Allen; their daughter, Celén, was born on May 28th.  the location was at my gym, Lifetime City Centre! it was special to me because i had part of my 30th birthday celebration there, Chiso was finally able to come gymming with me when he turned 3 months old, and now he has celebrated his 3rd birthday there.

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excited and picking up the Mickey and Minnie Mouse cakes the morning of.

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the guests of honor! and why do they look like long-lost brother and sister?! LOL

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but before their guests arrived, we put them to work stuffing their favor bags. we paid them in food, no worries.

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on the menu:

 cheese, pepperoni, & BBQ chicken pizza (provided by the Lifetime Cafe), an assortment of subway sammiches, a variety of chips, cake batter rice crispy treats, strawberry-pecan-spinach salad, juice, water, and cake.20140524_133508_1

right on time, Papa, thanks.

we played gym games upstairs on the 3rd floor before hitting the pool. 

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does that parachute give you a nostalgic feeling too?

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they had some parachute fun, bowled, played scooter races, and there was even a real live Angry Birds game… pretty neat.

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Chiso had all the pretty girls to himself before his guys friends arrived ;)

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my girlfriend, Michelle (bottom L corner), put her super long legs to work and dusted EVERYBODY in the scooter race! her daughter, Lyonna, and Chiso share the same birthday.

now for the part the kiddos had been waiting all day for-

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it’s time to SWIM!

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the party ended at 4, but we were in that pool from about 2:45 to 6:15.  he just didn’t want to leave! you know where to find us this Summer.20140524_150546_1

this picture cracks me up- i was just trying to get their attention for the picture and i have no idea what i even said! but ummm, they look so annoyed. ROTFL.

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splish, splash <3

i didn’t get pics with everybody, but i’m grateful some of my family and friends were able to come celebrate with us!

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my cousins Angie and Gerrilyn and their kiddos,

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my sorority sister Trashina took a dip with her adorable boys,

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and my friend Krystal was on double duty and held it down! i tell her all the time what a huge inspiration she is to me.  i feel like i’m starting all over balance-wise with Odego on the way and all… heck i feel like i JUST got into a groove with one kiddo (remembering to add an event to my calendar, getting there on time if at all, making sure he has pants on, etc) and she always encourages me that i can. experience is the best teacher and i believe you, girl. alright *clears throat*

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let’s sing! make a wish, Celén.

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your turn, Chi!  he would not put that pizza down.

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before & after.

 asleep in the car by 6:30pm and didn’t wake up til the next day. party POOPED.

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all four of us were! happy, HAPPY, 3rd birthday to our Chiso <3

thanks for reading!

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

3 SPOTS LEFT – HOMEMADE PIZZA COOKING CLASS!!!

it’s finally time… TO MAKE PIZZA!!!!!

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only 3 spots left for THIS coming Tuesday’s class (March 25th) so sign up right here!  remember, there are now 3 options to choose from.  bring a buddy and save.

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be prepared to WOW your little ones, significant others, look, your ENTIRE family will be happy you came ;)

email me directly with any questions whatsoever at:

le@fitfoodiele.com

happy sunday to you and yours!

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

friday fun – what NOT to say to a preggo woman

it’s fridaaaaaaay!

 i subbed a 10am Total Conditioning class (it’s now called Total Conditioning Extreme or TCX)  for a Lifetime Fitness instructor friend this morning and it was AWESOME teaching my fave class ever in the real day time, lol!  it’s still dark when my tuesday and thursday classes are over at 6:30am. i had so much more energy too since i’m unable to drink coffee in the early mornings anymore :lol:

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a 6 month sweaty mess.

soooo since my little man and i were in the area, we hit up Ruggles Green for lunch and ordered what we always order:

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the Atlantic Salmon Salad for me, a fire-grilled cheese pizza for him (he couldn’t wait for the pic but at least he prayed first) and some organic roasted butternut squash that i’m hoping Chiso will eat a spoonful of ONE day!! until then i’ll gladly continue to kill it myself. i’m enjoying this solo time with Chi as much as possible before baby #2 arrives in less than 4 months. 4 months. whoa.

for kicks:

stuff not to say to or ask a preggo woman!

  1. wow, you sure were hungry! translation: you just ate enough to feed a small city. of Jabba the Hutts.
  2. omg are there twins in there?! translation: you’re huge.  however far along you are.
  3. sleep all you can — NOW. well thanks for the reminder!
  4. do twins run in your family? translation: did you use fertility drugs? does it matter?
  5. how much have you gained so far? i personally don’t mind this one and will share that unknown number just before i deliver.
  6. if cavewomen gave birth without drugs so can you. it’s a personal choice.
  7. can i rub your belly? some people don’t even ask! another one that doesn’t bother me one bit. #imatroll #rubmybelly #itsalllove
  8. i was ripped from end to end. omg! i had an episiotomy too but i would never be that graphic and scare another mom-to-be, ROTFL
  9. are you still with the father? really, REALLY personal… like best friend personal. however if they’re your BFF then they should already know that answer :shock:
  10. Moooooooo. 

comment below and add to the list!

le

Perfect Pizza @ Sur la table: a Benihana-like experience

well what a glorious, gluten-filled afternoon i had yesterday at Sur la table!

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amazing instructors produce amazing classes. i loved Amanda’s personality and she was so dang funny and entertaining! like genuinely funny,  not corny, forced funny.

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i referred to this as a ‘Benihana-like Experience’ because depending on how big your party is, you have to sit and eat your meal in close proximity with people you’ve never met before.  you know how it’s kinda awkward and quiet when you first start/sit down (it was only 4 of us) but by the end you’re laughing, high-fiving and taking pics with each other.  same difference.  food DOES bring people together.

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Amanda was very detailed & thorough with all of her demos.  she showed us how to prepare the pizza dough and chop fresh herbs and onions correctly early on.

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she introduced this little gadget here, a garlic peeler. i loved it so much i told myself i wasn’t leaving without one.  you throw a bulb of garlic in this plastic, regular looking tube, apply pressure, and roll it over on itself a few times and boom! clean garlic bulb. i know i could prolly make one using something random at home but i went ahead and got a cute one for my kitchen.

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seven minutes after we watched Amanda assemble the very first pizza, it was hot and ready. and so were we to gobble it up.  after that tease, it was finally time for us to make our own!

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not too bad, right!? the pizza was so good i couldn’t even put it down for the pic. DELICIOUS.

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 i am totally ready to duplicate this at home!!!

for the next round of pizzas, we incorporated a semi-homemade pizza sauce.  yeeeeeeeah i’m gonna chill on buying the jarred stuff for now since this was so darn easy and tasty.

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 an immersion blender is on my kitchen gadget list man! not having to wait until my pot cools slightly before adding a mixture to my blender or food processor THEN put it back in the pot to reheat was pretty convenient.  i took a turn and helped turn our chunky tomato sauce smooth.  it was magical.

whats in there:

  • 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2-3 minced cloves garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • S & P to taste
  • oregano
  • pinch of sugar

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my 2nd pizza had italian sausage, pizza sauce, blanched broccoli rabe, sliced roma tomatoes, and all three cheeses. all of them. i guess you could say i’m craving cheese this pregnancy. every single day.

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isn’t he handsome? my station was right next to this guy and he is still on my list too. in due time.

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my pizzas were shaped like Florida. or Italy. or something.

takeaways:

  • per Amanda: to incorporate whole wheat into your dough, use whole wheat pastry flour as it is lighter in texture than ordinary whole wheat flour.

  • if recipe calls for 1 cup of bread flour, use a  1/2 cup bread flour & 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour ratio and so on.

  • use a generous amount of corn meal underneath your pizza to make it slide-able when transporting the pie to the pizza stone.

  • buy a pizza stone.

  • as your oven pre-heats, the pizza stone should be sitting in there doing the same. it needs to be SUPER hot.

  • buy a garlic peeler.

  • hurry up and teach my cooking class as this was so much FUN!!!! i can’t wait to share this experience with others interested in eating healthier at home without compromising flavor. details to follow soon.

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i had to pick the broccoli rabe off and eat it myself first but Chiso tore this UP when i got home.  incorporating the whole wheat pastry flour is next and i hope it doesn’t change the light, chewy/crunchy texture too much. we’ll see.

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i left with a garlic peeler, a metal scraper thing that doubles as a ruler, dough cutter (among other things), and some cookie cutters that were on sale for 76 cents each. i got all our first initials! happy friday!

Q: what kitchen gadget can you not live without?

Q: do you have a garlic peeler?

Q: why didn’t you tell me about it :shock:

le

light whole wheat pineapple upside down cake & home HIIT moves

i had a little cabin fever Tuesday after my Total Conditioning class was canceled cause of the freezing temps and icy Houston roads. i have to be honest with you guys… home workouts are still hard for me to get through :shock: . being up in front of my class at the gym is my motivation to keep going and never quit. i know my members are looking up to me for motivation but they provide the exact same thing for me.  i’m 58 times more likely to stop when it burns when i’m at home. when i’m up on stage i don’t feel a thing. i just look at my HR watch an hour later and it says 800+ calories burned :lol: . anyway, i make up my class routines the night before so i pretty much did the whole thing without a step bench in my dining room and got a really good sweat going.

got the job done. try some of these exercises for getting your heart rate UP.

HIIT is great for burning fat while keeping all your hard-earned muscle, e.g. like sprinting on a track or treadmill.  you can only hold this high rate of intensity for so long, so you give it all you got for 30 seconds – 1 minute then recover. i do it gradually by starting with a basic exercise move then building on it from there (see example vid above).  my heart rate has to stay in the safe range of 140-150 since i’m preggo, so i don’t go full throttle anymore. but YOU can! if you’re not preggo.  if you have never taken Total Conditioning at Lifetime Fitness, YOU MUST.

on to one of my favorite cakes to eat growing up.  i don’t have it often at all and i didn’t want to have to resort to a boxed cake mix (even though they taste awesome too) so i created this one. finally got it right on the 3rd try.

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light whole wheat pineapple upside down cake

the stuff:

  • 1/3 cup coconut crystals (or organic brown sugar or sucanat)
  • 2 tbsp organic whipped buttery spread (i used Earth Balance)
  • 7 fresh or canned pineapple slices
  • 3.5 **maraschino cherries
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/3 cup fresh pineapple juice (you can use more milk if you’d like)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour OR cake flour (i used King Arthur)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup coconut crystals (or organic brown sugar or sucanat)
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

do this:

  1. preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. coat a 9 inch round or square pan with no-stick cooking spray.
  3. melt and coat the bottom of your pan with whipped butter spread until even.
  4. next, sprinkle 1/3 cup of coconut crystals in the bottom of your pan on top of the butter.
  5. lay pineapple rings flat in bottom of pan; place cherry halves in center of the rings.
  6. mix egg, 2/3 cup coconut crystals, coconut oil, milk, pineapple juice, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl.
  7. in a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder well.
  8. slowly add your wet mixture to your dry and stir until all combined, no lumps.
  9. pour batter on top of pineapple rings evenly.
  10. bake for 30-33 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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let it cool, then flip the pan over and convert it onto a plate. see below.

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 ta-da.

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**let’s chat. maraschino cherries are not healthy. no way around it.  i used them cause they just go with the standard pineapple upside down cake recipe. they just do. it’s not the same without them. you don’t have to use them though! chances are you don’t even have any in your fridge anyway. you can actually make them yourself using fresh cherries, or find another fruit to use. be creative.

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i equate the area under the individual pineapple slice as one serving, so there are seven up there.

per 1 serving: 264 calories, 10g fat, 38g carbs, 4g protein.

not too shabby when compared to Betty’s stats ;)

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so i’m taking my very first cooking class at Sur La Table tomorrow, aaaagggghhh!!!! and guess what we’re making?! the best food ever on earth. homemade PIZZA.  this class had my name all over it.  i plan to start teaching my own cooking & exercise classes as early as next month so i’m getting all the tips, info, and advice i can stuff into my brain. more details to come VERY soon- it’s pretty much February already :shock:

le