Monday, July 30, 2012

Bananas for Breakfast

Is anyone else having trouble keeping up with their bananas these days?

I normally have the occasional banana that browns before I can eat it.  It ends up in the freezer patiently awaiting its day to become banana bread.

However, recently, with all this hot weather, my bananas have had much more success than me with brown skin!

Thanks to this fellow blogger, I have a new recipe to use my mushy bananas with!

I love how this recipe uses raw oatmeal!

Use the link to check out the recipe!  

I changed a few things...I used only 1/2 cup of sugar and regular vanilla yogurt instead.

I also think I will throw in some cinnamon next time!

These muffins are delicious with a light spreading of butter, jam, cream cheese, or just plain!  We had guests on Saturday morning, so they paired deliciously with fresh fruit, scrambled eggs and veggies, portobello and onion bread toast, turkey bacon, and coffee, of course!

Mmm...doesn't get much better!

Combine with a morning run, walk, or run/walk.  Beat the heat and get out there before the sun does!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cucumber Delight

It is officially the dog days of summer!  If your summer rolls like mine, your refrigerator is probably cooling your abundance of zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and cucumbers!  Now is the time for these veggies to shine!

It is supposed to be a whopping 97 degrees tomorrow here in Roanoke, and Mr. PT does not favor air conditioning.  It's a long story, something about not being in touch with the outside air??

Who knows.  All I know is it's HOT, and cucumber salad is a wonderful way to cool down.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and decided to add fresh grape tomatoes.  Without even prompting him, Mr. PT's comment after his first bite was...

"Wow, nice and cool!"

You will need:

-1-2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
-4-5 grape tomatoes, sliced
-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
-1-2 tbs fresh dill
-2 tsp honey
-2 tsp lemon juice
-salt and pepper to taste

 Combine vinegar, dill, honey and lemon juice separately.  Add to cucumbers and tomatoes in a medium sixed bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

I paired this with whole wheat linguini tossed with onions, peppers, kale, olive oil, fresh basil, and pepper.

Too hot to move fast?  Combine with a nice long stretch.  Try to hit at least 10 muscle groups.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Italian Duo

What could be better than an 8 mile hike rewarded with a fantastic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains?

Nothing, right?

Except, perhaps, an amazing dinner paired with delicious wine and great friends!

My cousin-in-law Noah started us off with some crusty bread dipped in garlic and herb infused olive oil.

He then took some whole wheat linguini and tossed it with basil pesto, chunks of mozzarella and cherry tomatoes. 

Then I roasted some vegetables in the idea I got from this blog! I made my own bread crumbs using garlic ciabatta in the food processor and used goat cheese instead of romano.  Mmm....

After a long day of hiking, this meal was exactly what we needed.  Fresh ingredients, not too filling...we called it our post-workout carb load!

Combine with an outdoor hike...your glutes and quads will thank you the next day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Lunches

As most of you know, I am a huge advocate for packed lunches.  By planning ahead, you can guarantee a lunch at your desk that includes all the major food groups, fills you up, and gives you adequate energy to finish your work day.

A much better option than hitting the streets for fast food or scarfing chips and soda from the vending machine.

The summer is a perfect time to pack your lunches with the many fresh ingredients that are growing in our back yards and filling up our farmer's markets.

These are two lunches I have enjoyed at home this week (the life of a teacher), however, they are very packable!

Flour tortilla filled with beef and cheese, heated with corn and black bean salad...topped with fresh avocado and chard lettuce.

Raw carrots and yellow wax beans dipped in hummus.

Take advantage of the fresh vegetables and fruits while you can!

Combine with an early morning workout to beat the heat.  Morning exercise is much more pleasant in the summer compared to the winter!  Get out and move for 30 minutes before hitting the shower and heading to the office.

Monday, July 16, 2012

And we're back

I apologize for my 2 week absence.  Mr. PT and I did not get our power back on until Friday!  A long six days of no lights, no air conditioning, no computers, and worst of all, no stove or oven!  We did our best to save our refrigerator but we lost a lot of food.  This was our picnic dinner in Mr. PT's office one night:

We still had a lot of veggies from Good Food Good People to use, so I steamed snap peas in the microwave, made cheese and lettuce tortillas with salsa, dipped broccoli and carrots in ranch, and munched on bread and cheese.  We ate peaches for dessert.

Pretty interesting, right?  Just goes to show that even if your environment changes, you can still stick to a balanced diet as best you can.

Last week I was on the Kipawa River in Quebec, Canada with my family having a blast fishing, swimming, playing volleyball, badminton, poker, and enjoying everyone's company.  Again, no electricity, however, we had propane tanks to light our stoves and keep our food cold.  It was a much better situation.

Now I am back!  I had a strong craving for my typical vegetable platter, so I whipped up this delightful mix:

I started with sweet corn that I cut off the cob and softened in a skillet on medium heat with olive oil, sweet onions, kale, yellow zucchini, and southwest seasonings (cumin, pepper, onion, garlic, etc).  I threw it in a bowl with black beans, fresh avocado (1/2 avocado), orange grape tomatoes (seeds removed), and goat cheese.  I sprinkled the whole mix with freshly squeezed lime juice (1/2 lime).

Wow.  How wonderful to make my own food after two weeks.  Especially with all fresh ingredients (minus the canned black beans).  It tasted like heaven.

Struggling with how to make small changes to your diet?  Remember, fresher is better.

Combine with some standing core exercises (leg lifts with straight and bent legs, standing yoga poses, alternating toe touches).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

When times are tough, read a food blog

The storm hit our part of Virginia around 9pm Friday night.  Mr. PT and I were in a restaurant sharing drinks with friends when the power went out.  

It has been out since then.

It might not be back on until Saturday.

Did I mention it's been about 100 degrees every day, and the heat will be sticking around for the next week or so?

*insert big long sigh here*

So Mr. PT and are trying to stay positive and make the most of the situation.  Starbucks has become our office, the YMCA is our bathroom, and Mr. PT's office is our dining room.  I'm mostly concerned about all of our wonderful vegetables struggling to stay cool!

When times are tough, it's important to focus on the positive.  Our house is safe, we are alive, and when depressing thoughts linger, I can find comfort in all my favorite food blogs!  The beautiful pictures and salivating descriptions are sure to lift any mood.

Before the power cut out, I was able to make a refreshing pasta dish created by this talented blogger.  It calls for fresh ingredients and tangy seasonings.  If you have the electricity to boil water, I suggest you not take it for granted and serve this for dinner tonight.

Again, see the recipe here!

The only change I made was with the lemon zest...I used lime zest instead with a squirt of lemon juice.  I also added mushrooms and sweet onions to the sizzling zucchini.

Don't take your refrigerator and stove for granted!  Get in that kitchen and cook!

Combine with the best way to cool your core body temp...jump in a pool, whether indoor or out.  Tread water or swim some laps for the best non-impact sport you can do.