The path less traveled

Where would this path lead you? 

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Friday faves- workin’ on my fitness

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I have been working to lose weight since finishing my dissertation.  While I’m proud to report that I’m about 20 lbs. down, there’s more work to go.  I have been religious about the on campus gym since starting this position, increased my yoga for health and mental well being, and have recently started running intervals as a way to mix up my routine and build some endurance. I switch it up between running/walking and yoga and use some light weights a few times a week.

I started to have some knee pain about a week ago.  Upon taking it easy, I increased my stretching regimen, and was trying to figure out why it was so sore! After consulting with some friends and colleagues who are also avid runners and process of elimination, my IT band appears to be tight! Consulting the ‘ever knowing’ oracle AKA: the Internet, told me that perhaps a foam roller or pool noodle could assist with the issue at hand.

I’m in LOVE with this product: Gaiam foam roller.  I realize I probably overpaid but today, I don’t care. So much less pain in my knee!

Here’s what else I find useful for working on my fitness:

Old Navy capri pants with pockets–perfect for spring walks, the pockets are a plus for keys

Adidas shorts–old school but loving it!

Champion v-neck tees from Target–great cut and lots of give

Asics sneaks

Pandora on my iPhone

 

Crustless ham-n-cheese quiche

The weekend was made for breakfast lovers.  It’s the time when you have time to actually make breakfast.  While I rely on the Green Monster during the week, I always look forward to eggs on the weekends.  I had some left over ham in the freezer from Easter, so I pulled a few slices out for this breakfast.  In true form, I made this and put it in the oven so I could drink coffee and watch bad tv.  As usual, feel free to make your own adjustments and enjoy the fruits (or eggs)  of your labor! 

You’ll need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • pepper
  • 1 slice of ham chopped fine (or about 1/2 c.)
  • 2 slices of havarti cheese
  • non-stick spray
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Spray ramekins with non-stick spray
  3. Scramble eggs with milk, pepper, ham and cheese.
  4. Split egg mixture between the two ramekins
  5. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs to set up.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!

Greek turkey burger

Everything tastes better on the grill. That is the truth! These turkey burgers put most of the toppings inside the burger, allowing you plenty of room for other fun toppings and keeping the meat nice and moist.  I love ground turkey because it tastes so good and is a great alternative to red meat, but I find it does dry out awfully quick on the grill so adding all of the ingredients gives it a helping hand on the hot grill.

You can skip the bun altogether to save some carbs for something better. Might I suggest some Mediterranean orzo salad?

You’ll need:

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 green onion chopped
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 T. parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c. feta crumbles
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 t. crushed garlic
  1. Mix all ingredients with hands and form four patties.
  2. Grill about 4 minutes on each side.
  3. Top with fresh tomatoes, olives, or dare I say: more cheese???

No boil mac & cheese

I saw a two recipes from Plain Chicken (recipe 1) (recipe 2) and thought they sounded divine. Then, I didn’t have any cottage cheese.  And I was too lazy to go get some. But I did have some ricotta in the fridge.  I figured that if it was awful, I’d still eat it.  How can anything with a pound of cheese be BAD??  I combined my efforts and this is what we’ve got!

Enough for a 9×9 or 8×8 pan is plenty for a house of two with plenty for lunches the next few days.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups milk (not skim)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated (leave some out for the topping)
  • 1/2 pound elbow or shell pasta, uncooked
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (corn flakes, crushed crackers, or anything crunchy is acceptable)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, blend milk, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper together.
  3. Reserve 1/4 cup grated cheese for topping and toss with bread crumbs.
  4. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta. Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.
  5. Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and bread crumbs.
  6. Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes more, until browned. Let cool around 15 minutes before serving to let cool and let the cheese set up.
  7. One might ask: why stir after 30 min?  When I gave mine a stir, it had formed some of the delicious brown crusty bits on the edges. Stirring things around will make more of those delicious bits of yum!

Rolling in the deep: Deep dish pizza

Since moving south I have learned one overarching truth: it’s really hard to find good pizza.  REALLY HARD. Non-existent might be a better word….it’s a pizza desert.

Growing up, Friday meant pizza.  Whether it was homemade, bought from one of the local (awesome NY style) pizza joints, or however it came–Friday = pizza. Wings also were served in true NY fashion with lots of blue cheese.

This has been excellent for my wallet, eating out adds up, but like a moth to a flame and carbs to my mid-section: I love pizza.  Friday rolls around and I want some of the good stuff.  Thankfully PIC shares my (and tolerates my) pizza adoration and plays along. We take turns providing pizza and when it’s your ‘turn’ you can get it hot and ready however you want, as long as something pizza-like lands on the plate.

This week: DEEP DISH. (said in a really low and robust voice like a sports announcer)

I used a 9-inch cake pan for this, but any pie plate or dish-like object will do. My crust was homemade from The Pioneer Woman because I love the olive oil in her crust.

You’ll need:

FOR THE CRUST (MAKES TWO CRUSTS):

  • 1 teaspoon Active Dry Or Instant Yeast
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. italian seasoning blend
  • **the garlic powder & italian seasoning aren’t necessary but man, do they make a flavorful crust!
  1. Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water.
  2. In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined. (I do this by hand and it turns out great every time).
  3. Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you need it. ***It’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.

Toppings:

  • Marinara/pizza sauce
  • Sliced or shredded mozzarrella (1 ball of fresh or about 2 c. of shreds)
  • Anything else you can think of!
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Once dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and punch down several times.
  3. Press into a greased cake pan, pressing dough against side of pan to form short edges.
  4. Cover pan with a cloth and let sit for 10 more minutes.
  5. Cover base of the dough with sauce then sliced mozzarella, followed by tomatoes and a sprinkle of oregano.
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 425 and bake for 15 minutes, or until crust has just started to get golden.
  7. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve.