Try this quick and healthy dish

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Now that I am retired, and although I am not quite settled,  you can expect to hear more from me more than you ever did in the past. Yay!

I want to share my lessons with you and to improve my writing. One way to get better is to write more frequently.

Sleeping past 4:30 a.m., my old morning ritual, is doing my mind, body, and spirit well.

After the gym, I felt a strong urge to whip up a nutritious meal in the kitchen.  Of course, my new kitchen is fabulous and enhances my cooking experience. I thank God every day.

If you keep vegetables in the fridge, you can always put together a fast meal.  Even if you think you can’t cook, I betcha that you can do this!! 

When I opened the fridge, I did not know what I was going to cook.  That said, check this out…

Mushrooms, sweet onions, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, crushed red peppers, and olive oil sautéed in a pan.


My new and simple toy. A George Foreman grill.


Unseasoned natural turkey patties. I buy them when they are on sale and keep them in the freezer.

Since I am shopping in a new community and at new grocery stores– Kroger and Publix, I am feeling my way through the aisles, looking for healthy food items at the best prices.


I recommend buying meat unseasoned because you can control the amount of sodium and other ingredients.  Here I sprinkled freshly ground pepper, a dash of sea salt and a little Cheyenne pepper.


I planned to make a kale salad, so I had a bunch of kale already cleaned in the fridge. I grabbed two handfuls and tossed them in a pan with onions. Sprinkled with the same seasoning, except the Cheyenne pepper, they cooked for less than 10 minutes.


Finished product- two turkey patties smothered with mushrooms and Vidalia onions (no gravy, sauce or additional condiments needed), next to freshly sautéed kale.

There is no way possible that you can convince me that you can’t cook this. Give it a try and please tell me how you made out.

Besides this dish is an ideal post-workout meal, it’s an easy meal prep idea, as well as dinner.  I could take this turkey patty to a new level but the idea was to be simple.

If you don’t eat turkey, sub with beef or seafood. If you’re a vegan, have the mushrooms over quinoa.  There are always options, the main idea is to put your creative hat on and have fun.  Cooking shouldn’t be serious.

After lunch, I unpacked more boxes.

As I write this from my cell phone, I’m getting a much-needed pedicure. My feet are tired.

I worked legs this morning at the gym and the hardwood floors at home make the bottom of my feet and ankles hurt.  I recovered a few years ago from a severe case of plantar fasciitis. I should not be walking barefoot on hard surfaces but I am a woman with island roots so I love to walk barefoot!  Hahah! But no more. Tomorrow I’m buying footwear that is it strictly to wear at home.

Try Something New!

I like to challenge myself. I like to learn – so I like to try new things and try to keep growing.

-David Schwimmer

I loooooove to try new things; it’s scary and fun!

If you are on a journey to live healthier, whether it is to eat better foods, get into better physical condition, or just to adapt a healthier lifestyle, it begins with having the courage to be open-minded to trying new things and a willingness to view life through a different lens.

I am so excited! Why? Because today I am trying not one, but two new recipes!! Heeey! I’m dancing around the kitchen. Lol!

To eat healthy and clean (as clean as possible), you have your staple food items (avocados, leafy greens, brown rice, quinoa, and more). However, the six meals a day can get boring really quick, so just like fitness, you’ve gotta mix it up!

This is suppose to be a quick post, so I’ve got get back to cooking, but check out the ingredients. I forgot to include the black beans and two other spices in the recipe, but everything else is included in the picture.

These ingredients may not look like much, but oh… wait until you see the results!

ingredients

I’ll chat with you later!  🙂

 

 

Finding Balance

Happy Sunday!

If any of you are Philadelphia Eagles fans, I feel for you!  My hubby, a long tine Eagles fan is catching hell from his so-called friends today.  Oh my!  Being an Eagles fan is not easy.

Today is rest day for me.  Well… not exactly rest from everything, but rest from weight training and CrossFit.  Yesterday was leg day at the gym and I am a little sore.  I know my legs are the strongest muscles on my body.  At their sorest (if there is such a word) they are never as sore as my arms and shoulders post workout.

My blog description talks about trying to find “balance” in my life.   It’s tough, but I am not complaining.  I just make it work.

Though I woke at 8:30 a.m. this morning, I lounged around for a few and cleaned out my junky nightstand draw.  The “lounging” around set me back, but I’ve come to accept the fact that setbacks are simply part of my norm.

Typically it goes something like having a to-do list of about 10 items or more. There’s no way in hell, everything is getting crossed off the list.  So I prioritize what’s most important and chip away at it like that.  Whatever is left on the list, I will tackle another day.

Lounging recharges my battery.  One good night of 7-8 hours sleep and waking without an alarm clock at 4:30 a.m. puts me in the energy bunny mode.  I go on and on and on….  Lol!

As I write this, I am also cooking my meals for the week and figuring out tonight’s dinner for my family.

Parts of my “mini” grocery haul still sit on the kitchen counter.

Mini grocery hall

Mini grocery haul

While shopping this afternoon, my son discovered this nail in my tire.  I need to get his fixed ASAP!

While shopping this afternoon, my son discovered this nail in my tire. I need to get his fixed ASAP!  I hope my tire isn’t flat tomorrow morning.

SuperSoul Sunday plays in the background and I leisurely move from computer to stove, to oven, to fridge and so on…. Y’all cookers out there know exactly what I’m doing.

I just finished tossing my steel oats in the crock-pot, white baked potatoes (for my peeps) and plain sweet potatoes (all mine) in the oven.

Next on the list…. Ugh! Chicken drum sticks for my family and boneless, skinless chicken breast for me.  Ugh, because of the clean up after I’m done.  I bleach out every part of the kitchen sink and around it.  There will be no cross contamination in my kitchen!

I  haven’t made zucchini cakes in about a month, so I picked up four decent size ones at the produce store. During the winter months, medium to large size zucchini are hard to find in South Jersey.

What else?  Broccoli, broccoli rabe, mixed vegetables, a pot of quinoa, brown rice, and small whole wheat buck wheat pan cakes–  No syrup thank you.  A friend recently hipped me to these.  Yum!

I think that’s it.  There’s so much stuff on the counter, I could be missing some food.  🙂

Oh yeah, I have to slice up two fresh pineapples.  I hate doing this, but I like to keep fresh pineapples in the fridge.  They are great in smoothies and are good for you.  Read more about pineapples here. 

Well, I really need to get back to my cooking.  I will chat with you later.  Tomorrow is a busy day.  After work, I’m headed straight to the gym, then later, B’Dazzle (my son) has a basketball game.  The holidays are over and it’s back to the grind.

Talk to you later and thanks for stopping by!

Breaking Thanksgiving Tradition

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Thanksgiving 2013 was probably the first in umpteen years that I didn’t start my day with a 10 mile run or an intense workout.

Finally the moment arrived when I had to decide which was most important– finishing dinner for our small gathering of 10 or heading to the gym for about an hour a half to work out. LOL!

Honestly, the gym is what I wanted to do more than anything else. But I realized that I’d be more stressed after the gym trying to complete dinner.

Our holiday dinner yesterday was different from any other. Why? The sudden death of my aunt took a lot of my family to Tennessee. My mother is one of nine sisters. Aunt Gatha was the baby. Auntie was hilarious and made my childhood years so colorful.

Traditionally our Thanksgiving and holiday dinners serve 30+ family, friends, and anyone in need of a meal or just a warm loving environment.

So this year we celebrated Thanksgiving dinner with absence of the family matriarchs with a small intimate group of cousins. This was the FIRST time in my 40+ years that we’ve done this.

For different reasons, we’re all consciously watching our waistline. We decided to break Thanksgiving tradition and skip the turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and a few other staple items.

Instead we created out own little seafood fest! Why? Just because and to create new memories. Also, we love seafood. Life is short… Live it well!

The eve of Thanksgiving was so relaxing.  Unaware of my actions, I captured B’Dazzle enjoying some quiet time.

Both ovens are full and the stove top is in full gear.  Just waiting...

Both ovens are full and the stove top is in full gear. Just waiting…

Usually this table is set for the family elders.  My cousins and I got to  eat at the big table this year.

Usually this table is set for the family elders. My cousins and I got to eat at the big table this year.

While dinner was smaller than usual, I still enjoyed the time with my family.  We chatted and laughed about old times and gave thanks for our blessings.

Me and my favorite little cousin Dom. Love her!

Me and my favorite little cousin Dom. Love her!

I am especially grateful for my wonderful, lifelong, and endless blessings.  Being able to open my home to my family, loved ones, and with others who are in need make the holidays all the more special to me.  No Thanksgiving shopping for me!

Be blessed and enjoy the weekend!

8-Ball Mouth Watering Squash

During the summer, I don’t usually spend much time planning dinner.  About an hour or so before 5 in the afternoon, I peek in the fridge to see what is grillable. My only plan is to light up the grill and avoid the stove and the oven.

Today after perusing through Pinterest and looking over my healthy eating board, I became inspired.   I craved for something a bit more creative– Something different from the norm, so I decided that after picking up my son from camp, that I would visit my favorite roadside market; Reed’s Farm Market.

I didn’t feel like dealing with the traffic and lines at Shoprite and knew that Reed’s would have fresh produce that I could toss on the grill.  I brought zucchini, Jersey tomatoes, cucumbers, red and sweet onions. I also brought two beautiful 8-Ball Squash!  Cool right!  This attractive round squash has the same flavor (to me) as the more traditionally shaped squash (zucchini), but the shape inspires creativity. The roundness of it screams, “stuff me!” Already I have ideas for the next ones that I buy.

8-Ball Squash

8-Ball Squash

I wasn’t certain about how to cook them on the grill, so I did the following:

– Thoroughly wash

– Cut into round slices

– Place on a large greased cookie sheet

– Mince 8-10 (I didn’t count) garlic cloves

– Drizzle with olive oil (next time I will brush both sides with garlic roasted olive oil)

– Douse with freshly ground black pepper (I didn’t measure)

– Sprinkle with Cayenne (I didn’t measure)

Toss in the oven…YES THE OVEN!  It wasn’t hot today and the air conditioning was on, so it wasn’t too bad. I broiled them on low for about 15-20 minutes

The result? They were too soft. I like squash with a slight crunch, but the flavor was intense.  Also, next time, I’d sprinkle the squash with a tad bit of garlic roasted cheese (I buy from the Shops at Smithville), but you can probably find it somewhere in your home town.

Before the oven

Before the oven

My  second experiment was broiled tomatoes. Yup! Ohhhh My Gooooodness!  If you love, notice I said, LOVE tomatoes, you have to give this a try.

Beautiful ripe tomatoes

Beautiful ripe tomatoes

– Thoroughly wash 1 large (Jersey) tomato

– Slice the tomato into medium-sized circles

– Place on a large greased cookie sheet

– Coat with minced garlic (I didn’t count)

– Olive oil? (I can’t remember, but think I drizzled a little on)

– Chop a handful organic fresh baby spinach

– Grind fresh black pepper

Toss in the broiler (on low) for about 20 minutes

Mouth Watering

Mouth Watering

 

Hurry and eat the veggies while they are warm.  The flavor is amazing!!  Hubby, my son, and my mom, all especially like the tomatoes.

Now, I have to figure out how to cook them on the grill.  If you know how to please do share!  Several hours later, I’m still licking my lips!

Talk to you later!

Thanks for visiting!