Kitchen Adventures || Cleaned up Strawberry Cupcakes

I know it seems like I have a major sweet tooth right now. I’ve been posting all these desserts and treats and it seems like I’ve gone into overdrive with the sweets, but I promise we’re still eating our veggies 😉

Baking is something that has always intimidated me. As bad as I used to be at cooking, I was even worse at baking. It’s wild because baking really is like a science. Measurements must be exact. Where I’ve run into the most trouble with baking is the actual temperature of my oven. It seems like even if I follow a recipe to a T it always seems to over bake in my oven. I’ve come to understand that so whenever I put something in the oven, I stay on the shorter side and just “snooze” the timer for a little longer if needed.

I would love to get more into baking. I have always loved the idea of it. But, I would love to get into baking in a way that doesn’t introduce all the extra sugars into my diet. That’s why I tried my hand at a SUGAR FREE, GLUTEN FREE, LOW CARB cake. You heard me. Now, those of you who don’t handle dairy well…. unfortunately the icing won’t work for you, but otherwise, this is a very clean dessert.

My second try, I made it as cupcakes which actually turned out a little better. I’m presenting you with that recipe, but you can absolutely do this in a 9×9 glass dish as a cake.

Not only is this clean, it’s healthy and way easier than I thought it would be. It’s a perfect, light and fresh dessert for the summer! I’d love to hear from you if you make it!

INGEDIENTS

For the cake:
1/4 C almond flour
1/4 C coconut flour
1/4 flax meal
2/3 cup Swerve sweetener (this is a relatively new product, but I’m a believer y’all. It doesn’t have a weird aftertaste at all and it measures CUP FOR CUP like sugar)
1/3 cup protein powder of your choice (I used SFH Fuel in both strawberry and coconut… delicious – and we carry it in the front office)
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink sea salt
1/3 C melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1.5 C fresh strawberries (roughly chopped – you’re going to puree them)

For the Frosting:
8oz Cream Cheese – softened
1/4 C heaving whipping cream
2 TBSP Swerve
1 tsp Vanilla

To Top:
Fresh Strawberries – washed and sliced
Fresh Blueberries

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake tin with liners (or grease a 9×9 pan)

For the cake(s) – While the oven preheats, mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a blender or a food processor, blend the strawberries until pureed and then add the puree to the dry ingredients.

Add the melted coconut oil, vanilla, and eggs to the mixture and mix well until combined. Transfer the batter to your cups or dish. Be careful not to overfill the cupcakes.

Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the top center of the cake is cooked. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting – With a hand beater, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Add the heavy whipping cream, swerve, and vanilla and continue to beat until it becomes thick and fluffy (1-2 minutes). Once your cupcakes (cake) has cooled completely, frost and top with fresh berries!

This was another recipe I made for my mom’s birthday so she could enjoy a treat, but we liked it so much we took this to a potluck party too!

 

July Athlete of the Month || Ally Salcido!

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 July Athlete of the Month is Ally Salcido! Ally came to us in the fall of 2017 and we’re so glad she did! She always has a big smile on her face and a friendly “hello!”  Ally bounces around in class times a bit due to her busy schedule as a nurse (saving lives!!), but she’s mostly an evening gal. No matter what time she’s here, you’ll see her working hard and pushing herself to be better every day. Ally exemplifies so many of the qualities we look for in an AOM and has found a place both in our hearts and in our community. Ally, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our July Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this team. Thanks for your all your hard work and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the years to come! Congratulations!

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
So my real name is Allyson, but I am sooo not an Allyson, I usually just go by Ally.

The only nick name that anyone has every called me in recent years is Ally Bunz 

Words to live by?
The Just shall live by his faith.

What is your fitness background?
In high school I played almost all the sports my little school had to offer. Volleyball, basketball, track, and softball. In college I played intramural sports like co-Ed and woman’s flag football ,club volleyball, and softball. 

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I’ve been Crossfitting for 5 years now. I took a year break when I moved to Austin and then started back up here at Crossfit Austin thanks to Kristy Marsillo.

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
So I only went because my friend wanted me to go try out classes with her. I had never heard of Crossfit, but I remember the bar being super heavy and it was something super complicated like thrusters or something. I knew I was going to like Crossfit after that first workout because I’m so competitive. Oddly enough, I ended up sticking with it longer than my friend did. Compared to today’s workouts I’m not nearly as weak as I once was. I’ve grown to learn how to love not just the workouts, but the community behind it all.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
My favorite part of Crossfit Austin is how friendly all the coaches are. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to tell if a coach is having a bad day, they always have a good attitude. I appreciate them being super friendly towards me, even though I’m always half asleep when I show up to the gym. Haha 

Current Training Goals/PRs?
My current training goal is just to try and be as consistent as I can by staying active wether it’s being at the gym or going for a run. Also I had a lot of PRs before I took a year break from CrossFit so I want to be able to hit those PRs or even better. 

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
My advice for anyone is to not be afraid to just walk into the gym and try a class out. Take a friend and you WILL be sore,  but embrace it. I always tell everyone it’s 100% worth it too if you want to see more muscle tone on your body. 

What is your cheat meal go to?
Food is life and I feel like I have many cheat meals but I can always do a bomb burger and fries with a Dr. Pepper

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
I’m always on my feet at work; and occasionally lifting patients up in their bed or out of wheel chairs.

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Finishing my first CrossFit competition back in 2016. I felt the most proud of myself for finishing all the workouts. There was a squat clean ladder as one of the strength workouts and I completed the ladder after not being able to during practice, so that was really cool and I was pretty pumped/proud of that.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
Name: Night nurse life

15 AMRAP
50 double unders
25 situps
15 power cleans 

Then as Cash out: a shower and a nap 

What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
My boyfriend usually pushes me to go to the gym whenever I’m feeling super tired or lazy and I appreciate him for that. My workout environment reminds me on a daily basis how important it is to take care of yourself, your body, and enjoy life like there is no tomorrow.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Hmmm outside of Crossfit, I love to go dancing with my friends. Music is life so I usually want to break out and dance but I contain myself if there is music playing. I like to listen to Podcasts, Hanging out with my boyfriend, family, and friends. Oh and eating good food, Haha I love trying out new restaurants.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I whistle almost all the time, especially if i can’t hit a high pitch in a song by singing I just whistle it out. Haha

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
You guy are awesome! Keep up on grinding I’ll see y’all at the gym 

Murph Day 2019 || June 29

CrossFit Austin will be hosting Murph Day Saturday (6/29/2019) honoring the memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy and all fallen veterans. Lieutenant Murphy was killed in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005. This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he named it “Body Armor”. We will honor a focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

REGISTER HERE

“Murph”

For time:
1 mile run
1
00 pull ups
200 push ups
300 squats
1 mile run

*Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed.
**Teams of 2, 3, or 4 are welcome.
***All movements can be scaled.
****Be sure to wear your twenty pound vest or body armor if you have it.

 

EVENT SPECIFICS:

Event Registration + Shirt  (CLOSED)

  • $40 for participating athletes
  • Athlete entry fee includes registration & t-shirt costs and donations

Event Registration without Shirt

  • $25 for participating athletes
  • Athlete entry fee includes registration costs and donations

***T-Shirt ONLY (non-participant) (CLOSED)

  • $25

THE DETAILS

  • This event is open to all – members and non-members
  • Athletes must arrive 30 minutes prior to their heat to warm-up, sign-in, and pick up shirts
  • Heats times start at 8 am, 9 am, and 10am
  • Spectators are welcome
  • Donations are welcome and can be made through eventbrite, Navy SEAL Foundation, or on site during the event.

The proceeds from your registration will be donated to the Navy SEAL Foundation in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy.

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” – Vince Lombardi

Kitchen Adventures || Peach Blueberry Cobbler

“Woah…. isn’t Kitchen Adventures supposed to be stuff that’s good for you?”

Ok, ok…slow down y’all. While this isn’t something you would want to go crazy on every week, it’s actually a very cleaned up version of the traditional treat. You see, today is my mom’s birthday. She grew up in the south with southern cooking (and let’s be honest, so did I) and cobbler is just one of those things you don’t say no to.

As we’ve both gotten older, we’ve become much more health conscious. Our diets have evolved and we are both eating much cleaner these days, but sometimes you just have to have a little treat!

The cool thing about this cobbler though is that it is that it’s gluten free, low carb, and sugar free! If you have a potluck coming up for the 4th…. everyone loves cobbler, right?

Anyway, happy birthday to my mama!

 

Cleaned up Peach Blueberry Cobbler 

INGREDIENTS

Filling:
3 cups – fruit of your choice. Chopped into 1 inch pieces if you use larger fruit (peaches, pears, etc..) I did Texas peaches and blueberries, but you could easily do cherries, strawberries, pears, blackberries, raspberries… whatever you want.

2 TBSP Granulated Swerve (or equivalent of the sugar alternative of your choice)

1 tsp Cinnamon (more to tase)

Pinch of pink sea salt

 

Crust:
1.5 Cups Almond Flour

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 TBSP granulated Swerve (or equivalent)

4 oz (1 stick) of grass fed butter or ghee, softened

 

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Place chopped fruit or berries in a 10.5″ inch cast iron skillet and toss with the cinnamon, Swerve, and sea salt.

In a bowl, mix the softened butter, egg, vanilla, and swerve with a hand mixer until well combined. Add the almond flour in until it forms a dough. Carefully spread on top of the fruit filling.. This took some figuring out for me, but I placed small amounts all around and used a rubber spatula to VERY GENTLY spread it out.

Pop the whole thing in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the crust on top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling lightly around the edges.

Serve with your favorite ice cream or ice cream alternative to keep this on the healthier side! 🙂

Kitchen Adventures || Frozen Yogurt Treats!

Y’all….. it’s Texas hot….

Summer truly is upon us. We’re in the days of upper 90s with “feels like” temps well into the 100s. We’re in the days of not being able to sit too long on a vinyl/plastic/leather chair because you’re legs will stick so bad that when you get up you think you ripped your skin off. We’re in the days of a constant slow drip of sweat runs down your back. We’re in the days of sweat, cool down, sweat again and you end up feeling like you have an outer layer on your skin..

Ok, this is getting gross. But, I have some reprieve! I bought all the stuff to make little parfaits for the week, but I took a different route and I’m SO GLAD I did… I wasn’t entirely sure how this was going to turn out and I feel like there is still some room to improve and perfect my technique, but for now, this’ll do.

Yet another highly customize-able treat, this recipe is a base, but feel free to fill it with whatever you like! I’d love to hear some of your combinations if you make them!

 

Frozen Yogurt Parfaits

INGREDIENTS
1 Pint Greek Yogurt – I used vanilla, but you could go wild
Fresh berries – I used strawberries and blueberries
Chia Seeds

DIRECTIONS
Wash your produce and dry it a bit (if it’s too wet, you’ll end up with little ice crystals in your cup!) If you’re using larger berries like strawberries, chop them up into smaller pieces.

Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners – I definitely recommend the metal ones as paper tend to disintegrate.

Spoon the yogurt evenly into each cup. Use a toothpick to push pieces of berries down into the yogurt. It’s fine to have some exposed too. Sprinkle with chia seeds. Other options – black berries, peaches, raspberries, any fruit really! You could use flax seed, nuts, granola, anything you like in a parfait!

Carefully cover your muffin tin with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. I let mine sit overnight, but a few hours should do it. Store in the freezer in a container with a lid. When you’re ready to eat, just grab one and enjoy!

Kitchen Adventures || Barbacoa Pulse Bowl

I learned something new this week. I learned about pulses! Not the kind that you check to see if you’re still alive or if your heart is going to explode after a workout 😉 No, I learned about the edible kind. Pulses are the dry, edible seeds of plants in the legume family that include chickpeas, lentils, dry peas and beans. They are different than legumes in that they are lower in fat and higher in fiber and protein and from what I understand, they are environmentally friendly crops. Sounds pretty good to me!

Ok, so it’s not like I JUST learned what beans and peas are… I just had never heard them referred to as pulses… So, without further ado, here’s this week’s recipe! I know this looks like a long list, but it’s really not so tough. Plan accordingly for the cook time, but once the meat is in the pot, everything else is quick and easy!

The barbacoa for this is written as an instant pot recipe, but I’ll include directions below for a slow cooker as well.  If you are short on time, this could easily be done with chicken or pork… Or meatless if you want!

Barbacoa

INGREDIENTS

2/3 cup beer (sub beef broth or water)
4 large cloves garlic
1 small yellow onion onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
2 chipotles in adobo sauce + 1 tsp sauce (or more, to taste)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano (or regular oregano)
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 pounds beef chuck roast* (fat trimmed)cut into chunks
3 bay leaves

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor – blend all ingredients EXCEPT for olive oil, bay leaves, and meat until smooth. Set aside.

Instant pot – heat oil on saute function. Once oil is hot, add meat and brown on all sides. Once browned, hit “cancel” to turn off saute setting. Add the bay leaves and the pureed mixture. Put the lid on and close the vent to the sealed position. Use the high pressure manual setting and set to 60 minutes. Let it cook!

When the 60 minutes is up, carefully release the vent and once the release valve has dropped remove the lid. Discard the bay leaves and shred the meat. Mix some of the sauce in for flavor and you’re done!

Slow Cooker – combine all ingredients and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4. The beef should be tender and pull apart easily. Once cooked, shred with forks and allow it to sit in the sauce for 10 minutes.

Pulse Salad

INGREDIENTS – I used canned beans, but you could take the extra time to do dry beans if you want. Cook accordingly….

1 can dark red kidney beans – drained and rinsed
1 can black beans – drained and rinsed
1 can navy beans – drained and rinsed
15 oz sweet corn – I used frozen – defrost first 😉
1 jalapeno – finely diced
1/2 medium red onion – diced
1 small bell pepper – color of choice – diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup roasted pepitas
1 lime
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well combined. Simple as that!

Roasted Chickpeas

1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) – drained, rinsed, and dried – Don’t skip the drying part! You can use paper towels to pat them dry.

Coat in olive oil and roast in the oven at 400 degrees until crispy! 20-30 minutes. Season as desired after roasting.

TOPPING – Serve with your choice of plain greek yogurt, cheese, cilantro, lime juice, avocado, hot sauce… whatever you like!

June Athlete of the Month || Michael Surges!

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 June Athlete of the Month is Michael Surges! Michael wrapped up his Fundamentals sessions at the end of July 2018 and dove head first into classes. His fun personality and his determination to finish strong has kept him on the growth track from day one.  Mikey is another member of the  “coffee crew” at 7:30 am (that class is killing it!) Michael has made some serious changes in his life since starting his training here. It all comes from his focus and his dedication to putting in the extra work. He understands the importance of a solid foundation and is quickly building his fitness empire to tackle the competition side of things. Michael exemplifies so many of the qualities we look for in an AOM and has truly become a pillar of the community. Michael, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our June 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!

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Michael Surges, Mikey

Words to live by?
Comparison is the thief of joy.

What is your fitness background?
I started racing BMX at 4 and got into serious competitions around the age of 8-14. During this time I also played baseball, wrestled, and played football. Once I got into high school I stuck with football and wrestling, and eventually went on to play football in college for a couple years. I’ve always loved the off season and the training that goes into performing at a high-level.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I think June or July will be my one year anniversary.

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I GOT SO NERVOUS! like butterflies and nausea nervous. There were so many things I had in my head that I thought I couldn’t possibly do. Now, I still get nervous as all hell, but I try my absolute hardest to not compete with anyone and just do my best.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
EVERYTHING!! are you kidding me!? It’s soo much fun. I love working with the coffee crew and seeing the same faces every morning. We all build each other up and cheer each other on for PR’s and finishing strong.They put up with me, I love them. It’s hard to not be inspired by the people I get to train with every day.

Current Training Goals/PRs?
I want to qualify for a competition. I don’t know where, at what level, or when, I just know I’m going to qualify for a competition.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Dive in. Drink the kool aid, and make an effort to be coachable. I know it had been a while since I’ve had a coach, but it’s a worthwhile adjustment to make.

What is your cheat meal go to?
Twix, coca-cola, and frozen pizza. I’m not even kidding.

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
Well,I carry all the groceries up in one trip and I move kegs around a lot at work. I wish I could say hiking or something cool, but I’m too scared of snakes.

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Just being able to breathe during the wods since the clots. I had a year of really restricted activities when I was first diagnosed and felt like I lost everything physically. It was a great feeling to surpass where i was before I got sick.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
‘Dorthy’ 95# bar
100m run
10 bar facing burpees
15 OHS
200m run
10 bar facing burpees
15 OHS
300m run
10 bar facing burpees
15 OHS
400m run
10 bar facing burpees
15 OHS

What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
Training is my absolutely favorite thing to do, i’m usually pretty hungry to get back into the gym. Being far away from my goals really keeps me motivated to keep at it.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I love watching stand up comedy, listening to music, and playing video games. I don’t know if it’s a talent worth having, but i can make a damn good cocktail.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I’m deaf in one ear. It’s loud at the gym and i promise if you think i’m ignoring you, i’m not. I was born completely deaf in my right ear, and I can’t hear shit!

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
I would just like to say thank you to everyone i’ve met over the past year. I’m constantly inspired by y’all and i appreciate y’all letting me be apart of this big family. I’m excited to see what the rest of the year has in store for us.

Kitchen Adventures || Pistachio Energy Bites

Hey y’all! It’s HOT! Summer is definitely upon us. I don’t know about you, but when it’s hot my appetite drops. I don’t like to eat big meals in the summer, but sometimes that leaves me needing a little extra boost throughout the day. I honestly cannot believe I haven’t shared this recipe yet. This is one of our favorite snacks. Tim asks for it pretty regularly and if you make them, you’ll understand why.

Not only do they taste amazing, but they are extremely easy to make (like everything I do) and they are a perfect like pick me up if you need something before or after a workout… Or like around 2:30 pm when you start getting that afternoon lull. 😉

I’ve done these in several different forms. I have made bars, little bite sized squares, rolled them into balls (which wasn’t the most successful, but you do you) and I’ve even put them into a mini muffin tin form. They’ve held up best for me in a bite sized square, but you do have lots of options.

**Quick note** These will be ok without being refrigerated if you’re taking them with you somewhere, but to store for multiple days, keep them in the fridge. They’ll last longer, but also when they get warm they tend to fall apart. It all has to do with the coconut oil in them!

Ok, here ya go!

INGREDIENTS
9-10 soft, pitted medjool dates
1 Cup hulled pistachios – You can use raw or roasted – If you use salted pistachios, skip the salt in the recipe
1 Cup hulled pumpkin seeds – same notes
4 TBSP coconut oil – liquid form (you can just zap it for a few seconds in the microwave if needed)
3/4 tsp cardamom – I actually like a full tsp, but if it’s a new flavor for you start with less and add to taste
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of sea salt – skip if using salted nuts
Optional – 1 tsp Matcha Powder – if you have trouble with caffeine skip this. These are still a great little energy bite without the added caffeine

DIRECTIONS

Add pistachios, seeds, salt (if using), cardamom, and matcha powder to a food processor. Pulse a few times to begin mixing and chopping, but don’t over do it. Add the dates, vanilla, and oil. Pulse until all of the ingredients are combined and it begins to clump together.

Once your mixture is ready, decide what form you want your bites to take. For bars or squares, line a pan (I use a glass 9×9 dish) with cling wrap leaving enough over the edges that you can cover your entire mixture. Transfer the mixture into the pan and press it nice and flat so that it becomes very compact. Wrap the plastic wrap over the top and chill it in the fridge of freezer until firm (about 10 minutes in the freezer or 20 in the fridge).

Unwrap it, cut into bars or squares and then transfer it into a dish with a lid to store! Like I said, they will fall apart a bit if the coconut oil heats up so keeping them refrigerated is best, but they won’t last long anyway because they taste so good!

Food Facts: * If you’ve never used cardamom, it has a very unique flavor. Interestingly enough, it is in the same family as turmeric and ginger and has some really amazing health benefits as well! Cardamom is great for digestion. It works as an aid for nausea. It’s a diuretic and works as a liver cleanser. It’s used as a breath freshener and also has amazing antioxidant properties that are used to prevent and treat cancer. Hooray cardamom!

Kitchen Adventures || Mango Chicken Bowls & a little something to think about

Happy Hump Day! Ok, real talk for a moment… Yesterday, as I was getting ready to coach class, I said hello to everyone as they were coming to check in and asked how they were doing. I got a variety of answers, but most were along the lines of “Tired,” “Stressed,” “Had a rough week so far…” Don’t get me wrong, I find myself in that boat more than I’d like to, but I was really feeling for my class yesterday. I had 10 people and maybe one answered back with, “I’m good!”

It made me sad that on TUESDAY, everyone was already having a really rough week. People were beat down, their minds elsewhere… I know sometimes you can’t help that. Life tends to air on the side of difficult, BUT I hope that when you guys come into the gym that you’re able to set that stuff aside and take the hour for YOURSELF. All of those things you’re worried about… they’ll still be there to deal with after class. It’s going to affect your training, your focus, and your mood if that’s where your mind is when you’re in class.

Do yourself a favor when you come into the gym. Leave your phone in the car or stashed in your bag. Set all that “life stuff” outside and give yourself an hour to just BE when you come in here. Take a mental body scan when you walk in to refocus yourself. Take a deep breath to let that stuff go for a bit and just be present. You’ll feel better, you’ll be more productive, and your training will go better too.

Additionally, I’m a pretty good listener if you need to get something off your chest 🙂 We love you guys and want to be a source of relief and happiness so let us be that!

Ok, food! Warmer weather, sunny skies (for a minute…) I wanted something bright and fresh and I’ve been getting some AMAZING mangoes lately so I went for something a bit more tropical this week and I don’t regret it at all. This is another one of those ‘heat part of it and add the cold stuff after,’ but what can I say? I love dishes like that… Anyway, so so so easy and full of flavor. I hope you enjoy!

 

Mango Coconut Chicken Bowls (made 4 bowls)

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups dry jasmine rice
2 Mangos – 1 peeled and pitted to go into a food processor,  the other peeled and diced
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast – cut into large chunks – make sure none of them are too thick
Unsweetened shaved coconut flakes (for topping)
Avocado (for topping)

Mango Puree – 
Peeled and pitted mango for food processor
2 TBSP Olive Oil
2 TBSP Lime Juice
3 tsp Honey
1 TBSP Sriracha
2 garlic cloves – peeled
1 tsp salt

Corn Salsa –
The diced mango
1 can black beans – drained and rinsed
1.5 cups sweet corn (off the cob)
1/2 red bell pepper – diced
1 jalapeno – *optional – finely diced
1/2 red onion1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 TBSP lime juice
1/2 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook rice according to package. While that’s simmering, combine all ingredients for puree into a food processor and blend until smooth. Reserve 2/3 for topping. In a large bowl, pour the other 1/3 of the puree over your raw chicken to marinate for appx. 10 minutes.

While your chicken is marinating, dice the red onion, jalapeno, bell pepper & mango, and chop the cilantro to your liking. Mix in a bowl with the corn, black beans, lime juice, and salt. Let sit until ready to serve or put it in the fridge if you’re using it later for meal prep.

Heat a cast iron skillet (a regular skillet will do, but I love cast iron…) on the stove over med-high heat with a little bit of oil. Place the chicken in the pan, but be careful not to crowd it. Leave it alone for 3-4 minutes and then flip and cook until it’s no longer pink in the middle (usually another 3-4 min depending on thickness)

To build your bowls – Divide the rice into 4 bowls. Evenly divide your chicken on top of the rice. With the remaining 2/3 of your mango puree, drizzle over the chicken and rice. This will be the portion you reheat.

Keep the corn salsa, avocado, and coconut flakes separate to use as a topping after you’ve reheated your bowl!

This is a very simple recipe and took about 30 minutes to put together. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal or something that will brighten your day at lunch, this is a good one to add to the rotation. Enjoy!

Kitchen Adventures || Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

How’s your week been? This week has been one that I felt like I started off behind and I am struggling to keep up. This past weekend was busy for us. Awesome, but busy. Monday came very quickly and almost felt like a break from how fast paced the weekend was!

What I did not fall behind on however, was meal prep. And that God for that! If I hadn’t gotten our to our meals for some reason this weekend, this “I can’t catch up week” might feel even crazier. It’s amazing how much better life is when I don’t have to think about food through the week. Kudos to meal prep. It’s an awesome concept.

Anyway, I have things to do so I’m going to stop wasting time blabbing about how busy I am so I can actually get back to being productive!

I have another breakfast recipe for you that I didn’t expect to like all that much, but I honestly love it. Enough that I’ve made it twice now. Usually, I like to mix quinoa with other grains for texture and I’m not a fan of boiled eggs, but I’m also not sure I’ve ever eaten a soft-boiled egg before this. They are way better than hard boiled eggs! I left these bowls without any bacon or sausage, but you could add it if you want.

This is really easy to throw together, filling, and customizable to your liking.

The measurements below made 4 bowls for us.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Cups dry quinoa – cook to package instructions
4-8 Eggs (depending on how many you’d like in each bowl – I like 2 eggs for each)
1 Pint small tomatoes (cherry, rainbow, etc..) – quartered
1/2 Red onion – diced
1 Jalapeno – diced
1 clove garlic – finely minced
2 TBSP chopped cilantro
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive Oil
Avocado to top

DIRECTIONS:

Cook the quinoa according to the package. When it’s finished, fluff with a fork, at 1 TBSP olive oil and salt to taste and mix well. Divide quinoa into 4 containers.

While the quinoa is cooking, make your pico. Quarter the tomatoes, no need to deseed. Chop the onion, jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro. Mix all of your ingredients in a small bowl. Add 1 TBSP of olive oil, the lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

For dang near perfect soft boiled eggs – Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower the eggs into the water. Keep the heat high enough for a boil and set the timer for 6:30. Immediately transfer the eggs to a large bowl filled with ice water for appx. 2 minutes or until they’ve come back down to room temp.

Once cooled, slice eggs in half and place them in your bowls. Keep the pico and avocado separate until you’re ready to eat.

Reheating – depending on the “doneness”of you eggs and whether you like them warm or cold you can leave them on or take them off when heating the quinoa. Heat in the microwave for 1:30 – 2:00. Add pico and sliced avocado and enjoy! It’s simple, but tasty and filling!

 

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