Kitchen Adventures || Football + Wings = <3

It’s football season! There is a long menu of football friendly foods, but when I think football, I think wings. I’m here to tell you though, you can make a healthier version and even have the ranch! All of this is whole life compliant (for performance level too if you find a clean one or make your own mayo!)

This is definitely more work than ordering from your favorite wing place, but it’s so worth it if you’re trying to stay clean. You can chow guilt free knowing what’s exactly what’s on your plate while you’re watching your favorite team. I can’t help you with the beer… you’re on your own there 😉  (although, topo and lime is a great substitute if you just want something cold and fizzy)

 

BUFFALO WINGS

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup compliant hot sauce (I use Louisiana)
  • 2-4 TBSP Organic butter (to taste)

DIRECTIONS

I use an air fryer for mine (which I totally recommend buying one if you don’t have one!) but you can also just bake these in the oven. I’ve included directions for crispy oven wings below.

  1. In a gallon sized zipper bag place the chicken wings, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and lemon juice. Toss to combine making sure to massage the marinade into the wings well.
  2. Marinade for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat your air fryer to 360°F. (SEE BELOW FOR OVEN INSTRUCTIONS)
  4. Place the chicken wings in a single layer in the fry basket and insert into the air fryer.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove the wings from the basket.
  6. Repeat this process with the remaining chicken wings.
  7. *Optional -While wings are cooking- To tone down the spice of your buffalo sauce, melt 2 TBSP of butter in a sauce pan and combine with 1/4 cup of hot sauce. Simmer on low for 3-4 minutes. Add more butter to bring down the spice.
  8. In a bowl place the fried chicken wings and hot sauce and toss to coat.
  9. Serve immediately.

Oven Directions –

Pat wings dry with paper towels after marinading; Bake at 250F for 30 minutes, then at 425F for 40 – 50 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

 

RANCH DRESSING

There will be a couple of steps to this. First we’ll make the seasoning mix. You’ll need 3/4 – 1 1/4 TBSP of seasoning mix, but this recipe with make enough that you’ll have some to store! Once we’ve made the mix, we’ll talk about combining it with different ingredients to your liking.

Seasoning Mix –

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill weed
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon freeze dried chives 
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Toss all the ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. Use your fingers to gently massage the spices together until mix well.
  3. Store in a sealed container until ready to use.

MAKING YOUR DRESSING

To make Dairy-Free, Paleo, WLC compliant Ranch Dressing mix together –

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise – you can make your own compliant mayo with this recipe
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk (regular not lite in a can, not the kind you drink – check for sweeteners!)
  • 1 – 1 1/4 tablespoon ranch seasoning mix
  • Mix all the ingredients together until combined. Start with using 3/4 tablespoon dried seasoning mix. Add more if desired.

Alternate option to mayo – I really like this with 1/3 cup of plain Greek Yogurt instead. That would be lifestyle compliant, but kicks it our of performance so choose accordingly!

Ok, guys! Like I said, it’s more work than ordering in, but so worth it! I hope your teams wins this weekend. Unless they are playing one of mine. Then I hope they lose 😉 Enjoy your wings!

Kitchen Adventures || Green Machine

 

The sun is shining again! I couldn’t believe it Monday when we went ALL DAY with no rain! I knew I had to go get in the river though, so I took my workout outside. I ran from home to the river, did some rounds of Cindy on a playground, and then jumped in that cold clear water and forgot about everything else for a bit!

I made it down there before everyone was getting out of school and work so I had the place nearly to myself. Being down there, surrounded by green life, being submerged in a life source… Man, it’s one of my favorite things.

Speaking of green life… ya like that smooth transition? 😉 Anyway, this week’s recipe is full of all kinds of good green stuff. This recipe is a variation of a simple concept that has endless possibilities. Very basically, this is a grain bowl. A grain bowl is layered with some sort of grain of your choice, a protein, and any combo of your favorite veggies! I’ve done many versions in the past, but I really love how this one turned out so here we go! I don’t go by a particular recipe when I make these so take these measurements with a grain of salt.. (or more to taste 😉 )

 

Green Machine Grain Bowl 

Ingredients:

1.5 lb Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast
2 cups (cooked) grains of your choice – I used a mix of brown rice, freekah, quinoa, and bulgar to complete 2 cups cooked
1 15 oz can of chickpeas
3 cups raw spinach
3 cups raw arugula
2 pears – pre-sliced OR slice upon serving
4 stalks of celery – chopped
1 bunch green onions – chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts
1-2 TBSP Lemon Pepper Seasoning – if you struggle with finding one that does not have added sugar, make your own! 
Olive oil and lemon juice to drizzle (or you can use a lemon vinaigrette dressing if you prefer!)

Directions:

Coat your chicken breast in olive oil and season generously on both sides with lemon pepper seasoning. Cook it up however you like! Sometimes I’ll bake mine in the oven at 350 for about 25 minutes (or until cooked through) but this time, I cooked in in a skillet on the stove. Either way… season those puppies up and make them not raw..

You should have about 2 cups of cooked grains. If you measure out two cups dry you’ll end up with way too much. Check the packaging of whatever you choose to use and it will give you proper measurements.

Rinse and drain your chickpeas. *Optional* You can saute these in a skillet to give them a bit of a toasty flavor.

The rest is easy! This amount made 4 bowls for us. Divide your grains (about 1/2 a cup per bowl), chickpeas, and chicken into 4 bowls. This will be the “hot” ingredients.

I just used zip locks for the “cold” ingredients. Divide your spinach, arugula, celery, and green onions into 4 separate containers. As for the pears, I’d suggest you leave them whole until you’re ready to eat, but you CAN pre-slice and put them in a separate container.

Serving:

HOT STUFF                                         COLD STUFF                                 ASSEMBLED

 

Heat your bowl with the “hot” stuff. Then you can assemble right in the bowl if it’s large enough. Mine aren’t so I transfer it to a plate, dump the bag of “cold” stuff on it. Add the pears, sliced avocado, and walnuts and then drizzle either with your lemon vinaigrette or just a little olive oil and lemon juice and chow down!

Like I said, the beauty of a grain bowl is that there are endless combinations. It’s easy to cook, easy to assemble, and easy to clean up. I was so happy with the way this one turned out. I know I’ll be making it again soon.

 

Happy chewing!

September Athlete of The Month || Marco Ramos!

Each month we spotlight a different CFA athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are. What is it that makes up an Athlete of the Month? It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, Rx’s every WOD, or gets a PR every time they walk in the gym. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up, gives their best every time, and then gives a little more. They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. They support their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals. This athlete embodies what we believe the CrossFit Austin Community should be about.

Our September Athlete of the Month is Marco Ramos! Marco has been a part of the CrossFit Austin Community for about a year and a half! From day one, he’s been a happy and welcoming guy in class. He gets in here and works hard in every single class. Marco is a perfect example of using his fitness outside of the gym with all the awesome activities he does too! He’s and outdoors man of many sorts and the training he does here, helps him enjoy that even more. Marco exemplifies so many of the qualities we look for in an AOM and has shown some awesome progress in his time here. Marco, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our September Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. Thanks for your all your hard work and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the years to come! Congratulations!

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State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Marco Ramos


Words to live by?
Slow but steady wins the race.  

What is your fitness background?
My background is fairly new. I started my fitness journey 10 years ago. I began as a runner and completed 3 full marathons. I have done my share of workout videos such as P90X and Shaun T’s Insanity. I joined my first CrossFit gym in 2014.


How long have you been CrossFitting?
4 years 

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I was lost in my first class.  The coach spoke in a short hand and now makes sense.  This shorthand were words to describe the work or the movements.  It was the first time I saw AMRAP, EMOM, cleans, and thrusters.What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?

My favorite part is the Community. Everyone is supportive and wants to you succeed. 

Current Training Goals/PRs?
I am happy with slow growth.  I am trying my hardest not to get injured.Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor 

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
I would suggest to commit for one year and attend consistently.  Don’t eat before class. 

What is your cheat meal go to?
I don’t have a go to cheat meal. If I am going to cheat, it’s going to have plenty of calories and have no nutritional value. 

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
I use my fitness in hiking, maneuvering in a tight space when I go caving, running town lake, around the house, or opening a jar.  

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
My proudest moment in CrossFit was my first RX WOD.   

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
I wouldn’t know where to begin.
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What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I like to explore and travel. I can dance East Coast Swing, Lindy hop, and Blues. I am learning how to cook.  

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I have a level 1 sommelier, but I drink beer and spirits. I searching for the perfect Negroni recipe. I enjoy festivals such as Okterberfest. My favorite holiday is Halloween. 

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
“Make it so, Number One. ” -Jean-Luc Picard

Kitchen Adventures || Gimme dat soup (Whole Life Compliant!)

Hey friends! How’s everyone doing? You guys making it through all this rain? I don’t know about you, but this rainy, cloudy weather has definitely impacted my menu. I very quickly turned from cold salads and embraced the fall recipes with all the warm feelings in my heart. Y’all….. I love soups. I love stews, crockpot meals, all the cozy stuff that gives you the warm fuzzies and a full belly. I know we’re probably not really there yet and it’ll go back to just being HOT once the rain clears, but for now, I’m in it 100%.

If you haven’t heard me blabbing or seen me posting about it for weeks, 1) Pull your head out of the sand because I don’t know how you could miss my incessant reminders, and 2)…Whole Life Challenge is starting in a couple of weeks! 🙂

I’ll save you the full explanation and let you read my info post HERE, but I do want to tell you about a couple of fun additions that we will have for this challenge!

First off, we are honored to welcome Coach Dylan’s lovely girlfriend, Erika to our WLC crew. She will be graduating in the spring with her degree in nutrition and has graciously agreed to join our team as a resource to answer questions and give some informational presentations on basic nutrition (more in depth for those interested) to help us get the most out of the nutrition portion of the challenge! She’ll be at our Kick Off Info meeting// Q&A this Saturday (Sept. 15 @ 10:15 am) so if you have any questions she’d love to answer them. She’s going to be planning her talks on the things you guys want to know most, so come help us out!

Secondly, we are SO excited to test out a new service for those folks on our Whole Life Challenge team. Tim’s bother Jon, if you don’t know, is a chef. He’s currently testing out some recipes and putting together menus to offer PREPARED MEALS as an option to WLC team members! Meal prep is something we all struggle with. Even if it’s part of your weekly routine, you can still find yourself needing a little help from time to time. This beta-test will be for Whole Life Challenge members only so if you want in on the fun (and the eats), join the team!

Ok, on to the recipe! This one is compliant for all 3 nutrition levels as long as you use an adobo sauce without sugar. If you can’t find one in

your grocery store, here is an easy compliant recipe to make your own! 

*Pro-tip! If you plan ahead, Thrive Market has a ton of amazing, compliant products that don’t include a lot of the ingredients you find in regular grocery stores. Stock up before the challenge on things you use regularly like broths, sauces, etc…. it will make life so much easier!

Crockpot Chipotle Chicken Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb. boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chicken stock (check for added sugar!)
  • 1 15 oz. can full-fat coconut milk (unsweetened – no guar gum for Performance)
  • 2 cups ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1 16 oz. bag of fresh spinach
  • 3 TBSP chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – more or less to taste (sauce only)
  • 2 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • Optional Toppings: chopped cilantro, diced avocado, lime wedges, fresh jalapeno slices, green onions….

Instructions

  • Turn slow cooker to low heat setting and add chicken breasts, tomatoes, onion, chicken stock, chipotle sauce, cumin, smoked paprika and sea salt. Cover and cook 5-6 hours.
  • Remove chicken breasts and shred with 2 forks. Add chicken back to slow cooker and stir in coconut milk. Cook an additional 20 minutes, uncovered, to reduce slightly.
  • Add the spinach and allow to wilt (appx 5 minutes) before serving.
  • Ladle soup into bowls and serve with toppings of your choice and light one of those wood wick candles so you can pretend you’re sitting cozy by a fireplace 😉

We absolutely love Siete Foods tortillas and chips (found at Whole Foods, HEB, and also on Thrive Market in addition to their own site) so I served this up with some lime tortilla chips.

Kitchen Adventures || Keepin’ it easy – One pan veggies & sausage

Happy Hump Day! I hope you guys had an awesome Labor Day weekend! We spent most of the day traveling home from Arkansas (in the rain), but we got to enjoy some relaxing time at my grandmother’s ranch, fishing, doing some yard work, and chatting with her. She is going to be 98 years old next month! She still lives on her own and does a great job taking care of herself. I’m 100% certain that she’s doing so well at her age because for most of her life, she’s eaten from her own (or her neighbor’s) garden/farm and she STILL gets up every morning and moves her body. She stretches and “takes exercises” and keeps herself active physically and mentally every day. Her movements have adapted over the years, but she listens to her body and makes it a priority. She’s walking proof that longevity is achievable!

Y’all she’d kill me if she knew I was posting a picture of her in her robe, but I had to share!

 

 

Anyway, on to the recipe. This is one that’s so easy and FULL of good veggies. Because we were driving, I didn’t have my normal meal prep day, but this takes like 30 minutes to throw together and it tastes great. Even better if you can pull from your own veggie garden 😉 Enjoy!

***FOR THOSE OF YOU DOING WHOLE LIFE CHALLENGE – This is one that is SO easy to make compliant for all nutrition levels – just check the ingredients on your sausage or substitute chicken (or steak, shrimp, etc!!) if you can’t find compliant sausage.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Smoked Turkey or Chicken Sausage (You can also pre-cook raw sausage of your choice to add to this)
  • 2 cups sweet potatoes diced into 1/2” cubes
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups fresh green beans (ends trimmed)
  • 1 cup bell pepper chopped (any colors you like)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (or your favorite spice blend!)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

(Other options for veggies that I’ve tried – asparagus, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, onions, carrots…. you can really choose anything you like!)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
  2. Slice the smoked sausage into 1” rounds. Dice the sweet potatoes into small 1/2” cubes. Chop/prep the rest of your veggies to your liking/as needed.
  3. Add the sausage, veggies and minced garlic to a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the Italian spices or your favorite spice blend. Seasoning with salt and pepper. Toss veggies with your hands until they are fully combined and coated with olive oil and spices.
  4. Bake for appx. 20 minutes, flipping halfway. You can portion this out on it’s own or if you want to serve it over brown rice, or quinoa, even on top of a salad, it’s extremely versatile!

And…. just because I still can’t stop watching it – Here’s the friend we made this weekend  😆

Kitchen Adventures || Bell Peppers for Breakfast

 

Let me begin by saying, I love stuffed peppers. I’ve tried several recipes for stuffed peppers in thepast, but they’ve definitely catered more toward lunch/dinner options. The first time I made these breakfast peppers, I was hooked! This is another recipe that is so easy, you guys won’t believe it. The best part is that you can put any combo of meat/veggies you like to make it exactly how you want it.

I portioned these guys out into meal prep containers with some kale sauteed in coconut oil with a touch of sea salt. Enjoy!

 

  • Pro-Tip – LEAVE THE STEM ON THE PEPPER… The first time I did this, I cut it out…. and all my stuff fell out…. By leaving it intact, it turns the pepper into a perfect little “bowl” and keeps all your stuff in place 😉

Other helpful notes:

  • Try to choose peppers that will be relatively when you lay them in the dish – Less likely to spill!
  • Mix up your veggies, meats and cheeses as you desire — or make several different versions in the same dish and just pour the whisked eggs right over top!
  • These stuffed peppers keep well in the refrigerator for a couple of days but aren’t great from the freezer — unless you are okay with your peppers being totally soft and mushy!

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 bell peppers halved and seeded (leave those stems on!)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese divided
  • cooked meat of your choice – I used sausage *I went ahead and made the whole pound. I had a little left over, but it depends on the size of your peppers…

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Brown your sausage in a pan just until it is no longer pink.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk and salt until combined
  4. Lay your peppers in a lightly greased baking dish (whatever size works — you want them to be a little snug so they don’t move too much and spill).
  5. Begin filling your peppers with your cooked meat, layering in your cheese, onions, and spinach (or whatever you decide to fill them with) Reserve some cheese to layer on the top to achieve a nice golden crust!
  6. Divide your egg mixture between your peppers and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until eggs are set.

 

Night Of Champions || Back To School!

Night of Champions is our in house partner competition that offers our members a chance to compete, have some fun, and help the gym all in one night! Partners join together to give their all in this two part competition in hopes of snagging a podium spot! Don’t have a partner? Post in the members page and make a new friend! This NOC theme is “Back to School!” Grab your partner and hit the books (or the training floor 😉 )!

Teams of 2 – Male/Male or Female/Female
Rx & Scaled Divisions available!
Night of Champions will consist of 2 WODs
PART 1 – A test of skill & strength

PART 2 – A test of teamwork and conditioningMovements will be announced 2 weeks out and final workouts announced 1 week out. Stay tuned!

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 14
6:30 pm – Athlete Check-In
7:00 pm – PART 1 Start Time

REGISTER HERE

$50 per Team (this includes registration for both team mates) Only 20 spots available!

(Only 1 registration per team needed – We’ll send an email to get division and partner name)

***Proceeds from Night of Champions will go toward new equipment for the gym!***

 

JOIN US AFTERWARD AT AVIATOR PIZZA TO CELEBRATE OUR SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS!

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