Friday, September 6, 2013

Fall is coming...

So enjoy those nectarines and sweet corn while you still can!

Fry some bacon and remove. In the same skillet, sauté onions, mushrooms, corn, and zucchini. While they are softening, cook 1-2 cups quinoa as directed. When finished, add the quinoa and bacon to the veggies and fry for 5-10 minutes. Add your favorite seasoning.

Serve with the juiciest, freshest nectarine you can find!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New recipe!

Corn and quinoa! I found this recipe on Pinterest and it sounded so light and fresh, perfect for a rainy summer dinner at home.

Mr. PT and I ate this alone as a main dish but it would also serve as a tasty side dish!

Find the recipe here:

Cooking dinner is trickier now with our little peanut but with adequate planning and an extra pair of arms for baby snuggling, it can be done!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer snacking

Did your mom ever buy you those fun, individually packaged Lunchables with the cute little squares of lunch meat and the chocolate hoho-like dessert?

Yeah, mine didn't either. Oh well, looking back, that was probably a smart choice.

However, the concept is good! Try making your own Lunchables at home using a few simple, fresh ingredients!

I made these using whole grain crackers, colby jack cheese, roasted turkey slices and fresh basil. I have also thrown on a slab of avocado in the past. This makes a perfect snack or
lunch paired with fresh fruit and yogurt!

Also, see the sleeping beast that finally allowed me to write this post today...:)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer sandwiches

I love sandwiches in the summer! Something about the simplicity of fresh ingredients on toasted bread makes me want July to never end. Try this one tonight!

The classic BLT with a little extra summer love:
Toast an English muffin. Sandwich it with 2-3 slices of bacon, iceberg lettuce, a fresh slice of tomato, and fresh avocado. Lightly dab on some chipotle ranch for a little extra kick! Forget this step if you are watching calories, the sandwich will still have marvelous flavor.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Meat and vegetables

After a long day of unpacking and house projects (yes, we were crazy enough to buy a house and move within a week of Baby K due!), plus a few hours of pool time for Mommy, Mr. PT and I were famished last night!

Since it is never a good idea to go to the grocery store hungry, you would be smart to keep your fridge stocked with some lean meat and green vegetables you can easily prepare.

I started with some fresh kale from the farmer's market. I boiled it in water for about a minute, strained it, then threw it in a skillet with olive oil and sliced squash (green and yellow). I seasoned the veggies with a touch of salt and a lemon, peppery mix of spices.

While those were browning, I took some chicken cutlets, dipped them in egg and coated them in a breadcrumb-herb mixture. If you have the time, breadcrumbs are pretty easy to make, but if you are in a pinch, try to buy crumbs without trans fat. It can be done, you just have to search a little. I like the Japanese style crumbs because they are thicker and chunkier. You can add pepper, parsley, lemon peel, ginger, whatever spice you like to the crumbs!

I browned off and cooked the chicken through in a hot pan with olive oil. I always check the chicken pieces with a meat thermometer to ensure they are not undercooked (aim for 165-170).

Served together, this type of meal may give new meaning to a meat and vegetable dish!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Remember this?

This one is too good to not post again!! Check out the original post at

This time we toasted our bread then put a layer of avocado on before the salsa mix. It definitely complimented the flavors well!

Enjoy! One week till due date!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Back porch salad

Glenn and I were meandering the local farmers market recently with my mom and we stumbled upon an amazing invention! The salad pot! A large pot filled with planted lettuce, chard, and spinach! It's so convenient! It sits on our front porch, so when we want a salad, all we have to do is chop off a few stalks and throw them on a plate! Amazing!

I must say! The lettuce is much more flavorful than the store bought stuff. See of you can find one of these, or better yet, plant your own!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Slow cooker flautas!

Today was Mr. PT's first official day of summer vacation, so what do I tell him to do while I'm at work? Make dinner of course!

Luckily for him, I already had a plan.

Into a slow cooker, he put:
-a 1 lb roast
-1 green pepper, quartered
-1 red pepper, quartered
-1 red onion, quartered
-an almost full jar of mild salsa
-a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper

He cooked this on low (while lounging around the house) for about 7 hours. By the time I got home it was deliciously marinated in salsa and pull-apart tender. Yum!

I shredded the meat and sliced the gooey vegetables. Then I filled whole wheat flour tortillas (no lard, no trans fat) with the meat mixture and cheese.

I heated a skillet with olive oil and browned off the little burritos...flautas!

We ate these with salsa and homemade guacamole. Yum! I browned five of them for dinner and put the uncooked ones (about 12) in the freezer for crazy baby days.

Happy summer to Mr. PT! 6 more weeks till baby!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Simple goodness

Need an easy, healthy meal?

Not to mention cheap?

Wash a russet potato and rub in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake in a 425 oven for about an hour.

Meanwhile, wash and drizzle some asparagus with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Put on a pan and cook in the oven with the potatoes for the last 20 minutes or so.

When all is cooked and ready, throw on a plate, dress your potato as you wish and enjoy! A simple dinner!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Lemon gingerness

Asian cooking is not a strength for me. However, when I saw a recipe for lemon ginger chicken, I couldn't help but taste the delicious poultry paired with fried rice and broccoli!

Cook 2-3 servings of rice as directed and set aside. Steam a heaping handful or two of broccoli florets and set aside as well. Heat a skillet with about a tbs. olive oil. Squeeze 1/2 lemon's juice in a bowl and whisk with 1 tsp ginger. In another bowl, mix 1/3 cup breadcrumbs with about 1 teaspoon of your seasoning of choice (I used a mixture of salt, lemon peel, garlic and pepper). Dip chicken in lemon-ginger liquid then dip and dip and cover with breadcrumb mixture. Cook in the hot oiled pan until crispy and cooked through.

When chicken is done, remove it from the pan, place on an oven safe plate and keep warm in a 250 degree oven.

With the oil and chicken bits still in the pan, add the rice and broccoli. Cook rice and broccoli with 1/4 cup low-salt soy sauce (more or less to taste) and a tsp ginger. Season with pepper if you desire. Cook the rice until browned.

Throw it all together on a plate and enjoy!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cheesy creamy pasta...

Sounds pretty unhealthy, right? It doesn't have to be!

Start with 2-3 tbs olive oil in a hot skillet. Throw in your favorite chopped veggies.

I used sweet onions, yellow squash, mushrooms, red pepper, and baby spinach.

Season with your desired seasonings and sauté until soft.

Meanwhile, in a small pot, mix 2 tbs flour, 1/4 cup milk, 1 tbs butter, 1 tbs lemon juice. Whisk while this thickens, then slowly add about 1 cup chicken broth. Continue to whisk over medium heat until it reaches a nice thickness. Play around with broth and flour if it is too thick or thin. Season with similar seasonings you used for the vegetables.

Boil your favorite noodles and put them in a baking dish. Toss with cooked vegetables, creamy sauce, and about 1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated, not the powdery stuff). Throw in some sliced cherry tomatoes before you cover the pan and bake at 300 for 20-30 minutes.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter!

Blogging from the iPad this morning! Let's see how this goes!

Mr. PT and I had a wonderful Easter here in Roanoke. My mom came in town to celebrate Holy Week with us at our church. I'm in the choir so my vocal cords are still recovering from all the singing!

Mom is trying desperately to keep her cholesterol number down these days without the support of prescription medicine. I am so proud of her because she has dropped almost 40 points with healthier eating and exercise only. Way to go Mom! Specific changes she has made include...

-eating meat only 2-3 times a week
-eating vegetarian meals with whole wheat pasta or rice
-salad with fresh fruit and baked chicken
-eating out at restaurants less
-cutting back on diet soda
-only drinking alcohol on the weekends
-walking to the gym, working out, walking back 2-3 times a week
-using her exercise bands daily for a 20 minute strength workout

As you can see, they are not huge changes that have drastically changed her life, but they are simple, consistent changes that she has gradually embedded into her daily routine. The results are evident! She looks thinner (she has lost between 5-10 lbs), her clothes fit better, she has more energy, and she is much less winded when we exercise together!

With the extra 20 lbs I'm hauling around these days, I am more winded and tired than her!

Anywho, we ate some great meals while she was in town. Try this one I found on Pinterest! It had a great flavor and made awesome leftovers!

We also had a dinner of fresh fruit, hummus, crackers and cheese one night.

On Saturday we made blueberry pancakes (of course) and ate dinner at a fantastic farm-to-table restaurant here in Roanoke called River and Rail. Mom ordered a plate of perfectly roasted vegetables with grits. Yum!

In between breakfast and lunch we snacked on apples, Lara bars, and cheese!

For Easter dinner, Mr. PT and I were alone but we did not go hungry! A friend from the church choir made us some authentic egg rolls to brown off and dip in her homemade duck sauce. Wow, were those good. We munched on fresh pineapple and strawberries as well.

Happy Easter everyone!

Monday, March 25, 2013

More Pancakes!

Mr. PT and I have yet to think of a name for our little one yet, but I'm considering giving her the nickname "pancake girl."

Or maybe we'll call her Maple?

Mr. PT suggested Mrs. Buttersworth but that is too much!

Long story short, I am loving pancakes.  In my first trimester, I ate waffles for dinner 4/7 nights a week because it was one of few things that didn't sound revolting.  Now, I dream about pancakes and waffles and french toast.  But mostly pancakes.  

Breakfast, in general, is a pretty amazing meal.

Mr. PT and I headed out of town last weekend for a conference he was a speaker for and we found two awesome diners to eat in!  

Diner #1, with blueberry buttermilk pancakes

Diner #2, with scrambled eggs, toast...and a side of pancakes

Am I obsessed?  Yes.  Do I feel bad about it?  Not really, because at this point baby Kent is in control and if she wants pancakes there is not a whole lot I can do about it.** 

However, I can help my wallet and my blood sugar by making healthier pancakes at home!  So this morning, when I was home due to snow, I made the PT version of pancakes, with oatmeal, fresh bananas and strawberries (no picture, sorry).

For lunch, I had leftover pancakes with homemade peanut butter, bananas, and a drizzle of honey.

Talk about a slice of heaven.

My amazing friends in Roanoke even agreed to throw me a baby shower and serve brunch...WITH PANCAKES!!!

**Tonight for dinner, we are having zucchini, eggplant, red pepper paninis.  I'm not completely nuts!

Combine with some sprints in your workout routine...if you're in the pool, watch the clock and do a lap every 60 seconds (do 5 reps).  If you're running or walking outside, walk the length of the street and sprint the sidewalk to the next block.  It will get your heart rate going and make you faster!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The BIG 27!

I recently celebrated 27 years here on earth!  Mr. PT got me an Ipad which I have been obsessing about in the past week...hence my lack of blogging.

But I have been wanting to share this amazing chicken dish Mr. PT cooked up for me!  (I only helped a little...)

It was really healthy, incredibly delicious, and quite light!

He started by softening 1/2 red onion, sliced, in 1-2 tbs of butter in a hot pan.  He set this aside.

Then he lightly breaded 4 chicken breasts with whipped egg and breadcrumbs and cooked them in a hot pan with olive oil.  When the chicken was cooked through, he wrapped the breasts in aluminum foil and tucked them into a low-heat oven for safe keeping.

To the chickeny-oily mixture in the pan, he added 1/4 cup white wine, 2 tbs butter, salt/pepper, and 1/2 squeezed lemon.  He reduced this to a nice sauce.

While this was reducing, he put about 4 heaping handfulls of spinach leaves in a large bowl with 4-5 tbs of water.  He covered the bowl with plastic wrap and microwaved it on high for 5 minutes.  This steamed the spinach.

To the steamed, drained spinach, he added 1 tbs butter and the other 1/2 of the lemon juice (squeezed), with a dash of salt/pepper.

To put it all together, he spread the spinach on the plate, topped it with a chicken breast, topped THAT with onions, and topped THAT with the wonderful wine-lemon sauce.


It was a wonderful dinner and a wonderful birthday.  27 is going to be a great year!

Combine with a challenging walk/run...tackle that hill you normally avoid!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mr. PT gets fishy

Mr. PT has been doing a great job keeping up with his Thursday night dinners.  And I will admit, there are several things he makes better than I do:

-pancakes (the griddle part)
-hamburgers (major fail on that one yesterday)

I don't really cook fish that much because he always takes over!  It was one of the first things he made for me when we started dating so it's kind of a tradition.

Last week he got a nice cut of Salmon from Fresh Market.  He cut it up into thirds, put it on a rack above a baking sheet, seasoned them with a little olive oil, salt/pepper, and lemon, and broiled them on both sides until cooked thoroughly.

He also baked up some nice asparagus (dressed the same way, except with some powdered garlic) in the oven.  This takes slightly longer to bake so stick them in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes before you put the fish in to broil.

Simple and yummy!

Salmon is full of those great "fatty acids" we hear so much about.  They reduce inflammation, prevent obesity, clear your arteries...they're just awesome.  If you're pregnant, they give a nice little boost to your baby's developing brain.

Not a fish lover?  Fatty acids are also in walnuts, flax, and sardines.

Asparagus is your average amazing green vegetable.  Full of nutrients such as Vitamin B, calcium, name it.

The research is still out there, however, I think you are better off eating foods like these that are naturally full of "good stuff" rather than trying to supplement your body with vitamins.  Vitamins and supplements are man-made, and can only do so much.  Besides, our bodies were meant to eat food, break it down, and absorb the nutrients...not swallow pills.

Am I taking a prenatal vitamin you wonder?  Yes!  But am I still trying to keep my diet full of all this "good stuff?"  Of course!  

Combine with a good stretch...back pain can be a pain.  Striking a pose like downward dog and child's pose may relieve you of that ache in your arch.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A perfect day of eating...kind of

If you could have a perfect day of eating, what would you eat?

I would prefer a perfect week of eating, but wouldn't we all!

I was going through my most recent food photos and realized I had shots of breakfast, snack, and dinner that I could eat every day if I had to!  Well, I would probably get tired of them eventually, but, you get my point.

Let's start the day off with breakfast.

French toast with fresh fruit.  Mix 3 eggs, 2-3 tbs of milk, and your favorite flavors.  I go crazy with vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg.  Toast your bread crusty, soak in the egg mixture, and cook in a non-stick skillet until brown.

Go to work, the gym, whatever you need to do to build up an appetite.

Mix 1/4 cup peanut butter with 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt and your favorite granola (I had some blueberry flax granola!).  Nosh on a banana and bar of some sort.  Today I treated myself to an organic blueberry poptart.  This is not a regular in our house, but it was leftover from our cabin weekend, so, what they hay!

If you have not tried mixing peanut butter and yogurt yet, try it!!

Before you know it, it's time for dinner!

Homemade pesto with whole grain spaghetti!  In a food processor, blend a handful of walnuts (or pine nuts) with 1 1/2 cups of loosely packed basil leaves.  Add a handful of parmesan cheese, 2-3 cloves of garlic, and enough olive oil to make it your desired consistency...less if you like it chunky, more if you like it runny.  Experiment with this one and add more of any ingredient to get the pesto you like.  You really can't go wrong, unless you forget something!

So what do you think?  Could you eat this every day?  What have you made recently that you are loving?

Combine with a swim.  Do 10 laps to warm up, 6 laps of kicking, 6 laps of pulling, and 8 laps of alternating breaststroke/freestyle. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cabin fever!

Mr. PT and I decided to slip away from Roanoke for the weekend and drive about an hour south to Fairy Stone State Park.  For the Fairy Stone legend and history, see here!

We rented a cozy little one bedroom cabin right on the lake.  It was the perfect kind of camping for me because we got away from cell phones, computers, and televisions but still had a hot shower and a stove!  Perfect!

Friday night, we unpacked and explored our little cabin which took all of 10 minutes.  We decided to snack for dinner on cheese, fresh bread, and fruit.

Mr. PT drank a dark beer while I sipped my San Pellegrino.  Wine would have been amazing but...higher calling these days.

Saturday morning, to further satisfy my hunger for pancakes these days, Mr PT made fresh blueberry pancakes with bacon...and coffee for me, of course!

Ohhh yummy.  We used the rest of our organic pancake mix with buckwheat flour, extra milk, a splash of olive oil, and fresh blueberries.  So good.

Saturday afternoon was chilly, but we were determined to see the park!  So we bundled up and hiked 3 different trails, seeing only two other hikers in the quiet woods.  It took us about three hours but it was worth it.  We got a great workout and saw some beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

After our hike, I was totally worn out.  Exercise with a 25 month old baby (fetus) is doable but my stamina is not what it used to be.  I get what they call "round ligament pain" which basically feels like a cramp in my side.  But it was fun toting baby around the woods!

For dinner, we brought some pre-made pizza dough made by our favorite local bakery and the makings for calzones!  I filled Mr. PT's with tomatoes, cheese, peppers, onions, pepperoni, and basil.  Mine had tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, and goat cheese.

Double yum!

Saturday night Mr. PT crushed me at both rummy and Bananagrams so I made him give me a 20 minute foot rub.  Ha!  We read for a little bit in front of the fire and then crashed.

Sunday morning, we knew we had to be out by 10am, so Mr. PT got crackin' on breakfast.  Literally, with scrambled eggs, toast, and bacon.

We don't eat bacon often, but when you are camping, it is kind of essential.  And if you are making bacon, you might as well cook your eggs in bacon grease.  Then you really feel like you're living!

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend getaway.  If you are feeling the winter doldrums getting you down, I encourage a weekend away, whether it's in a cabin or a beach-front hotel.  Who cares if it's not swimming weather?  Sometimes a change of scenery and foreshadowing of warmer days is all you need to get through the next snowstorm.

Combine with an outdoor exploration!  Don't worry about how much cardio or reps you're getting.  Get to a park and explore for a few hours.  You may just e a bit sore the next day!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My new favorite snack

I'm kind of going through a blueberry thing right now...

 whole wheat bread with cream cheese and fresh blueberries

Another perfect snack.

Combine with a fitness class...I've been enjoying the PUMP classes to build up my arms and legs for spring!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mr. PT cooks again!

This time, I came home from a buddy workout of walking/bands to dinner on the table!  Wow!  Talk about royal treatment!

How does he do it?!

Well, he heats up canned black beans on the stove.  Then he chops up tomatoes, avocados, and cilantro.  Finally, he piles them on a warmed, corn tortilla with some cheese and salsa.

Sounds complicated, huh?

So simple, so delicious, so nutritious.  Momma and baby PT thank you from the bottom of our stomachs.

Try this one at home!

Combine with a brisk 25 minute walk followed by resistance bands.  45 minutes later, you're done!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Good morning!

One of my favorite ways to start the day.

Whole grain cereal (in this case, Life + Grape Nuts) topped with fresh blueberries, drowned in vanilla almond milk.


Combine with a workout today.  Just do it.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mr. PT Cooks

Mr. PT is officially in charge of making dinner on Thursday nights.  Thanks Mr. PT!  

If you are the primary "meal preparer" in your house you know how wonderful it is to come home from work and NOT think about making dinner, even if it's just once a week.

And I can always count on Mr. PT for keeping it healthy.  He knows I've been craving protein lately so he whipped up this delicious plate of chicken and broccoli!

With apples, of course!

He made this so quickly I was almost in disbelief when he said it was ready.  

He took boneless chicken breasts and dipped them in egg, breadcrumbs, and herbs.  Then he browned them off in hot olive oil and let them simmer until they were cooked through.

The broccoli was just steamed with a touch of butter!

This was delicious!  So simple, yet so fulfilling.  

Feeling overwhelmed in the kitchen?  Try to keep it simple.

Combine with a group workout.  There's something about having your friends around that makes you work harder.  If you are alone in the gym, pretend you are competing with the person next to you!  You'll be surprised how you're more motivated to do that extra rep when you think someone is watching!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Purple Power

It's time to get serious...about eggplant.

How did I not know about the deliciousness of eggplant until I was in graduate school?

Who knows, but I am really enjoying getting to know this purple plant.

In fact, I made an eggplant dish twice this week!  They were very similar with a few different tastes.

Eggplant by itself might be a little much, but serving it on top of whole wheat pasta with cheese and sauteed vegetables might be more palatable to you.

You will need:
-1/2 box whole wheat pasta
-3-4 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
-1/2 red onion, sliced
-1/4 cup feta cheese
-olive oil
-1/2 eggplant, peeled and sliced 
-1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
-1 cup flour
-1 egg
-favorite seasoning (I used a mix of garlic, pepper, parsley, and lemon peel)

Boil your pasta and set aside in a 9x9 baking dish.

Heat your oil in a pan and add sun dried tomatoes and onions.  Saute until soft.  Add all contents of the pan (including the oil) to the noodles.  Mix in feta cheese.

Heat more oil in your pan.  Add seasonings to flour.  Dip eggplant slices in egg, cover in flour/spice mixture, and add to hot, oily pan.  Brown the eggplant on both sides and place on top of noodles.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Pretty delicious, huh?  And this made great leftovers for lunch the next day!

Tonight, I tweaked the recipe a bit and tossed the noodles with sauteed onions, lemon juice, and mozzarella cheese only.  I also coated the eggplant in breadcrumbs instead of flour. 

The three of us were quite happy after this meal!

Combine with a walking interval workout, outside or on the treadmill.  If 1 is super easy and 5 is hardly breathing...
First 5 minutes on a 2
Next 5 minutes on a 3
Next 5 minutes on a 4
Peak 5 minutes on a 5
Active recovery for 5 minutes on a 4
Cool down for 5 minutes on a 1-2.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Eating Cincy Style

Mr. PT and I spent last weekend visiting friends and family in Cincinnati, OH.  We held a lot of babies, drank/smelled a lot of beer, and of course, ate some excellent food!

I wish I had done a better job with documenting, but a major highlight of the weekend was visiting the local brewery 50 West.  We grabbed some pizza from across the street and enjoyed the cozy atmosphere of the tasting room.

I had a wood-fired bianca pizza (olive oil instead of red sauce) with roasted peppers and arugula.  It was delicious!  Me and baby ate the whole thing on our own, haha. 

I was a major fan of this event.  The pizza was incredibly fresh tasting and the beer, so I heard, was delicious.  I did take a little sip of the Speedbump Kolsch, which was quite tasty!

My awesome mom also showed up on Saturday with two homemade chicken pot pies.  I unfortunately did not get a picture of these before they were devoured by the crowd, but I will tell you that I have a mental image of Mr. PT eating scraps out of the pie dish after dinner.  They were that good.

See her recipe here.

I love traveling and eating amazing food!!

Combine with driving to a walk.  Tired of walking in your neighborhood, seeing the same houses with the same barky dogs?  Hop in your car, drive to a new neighborhood, and walk there!  Maybe visit a friend's neighborhood and have him/her lead the way!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I love spinach.

I'm not sure if it's the kelly-green color, the blood-boosting iron, or the myriad ways to cook's just a great vegetable!

Actually, I love the way you can add it to hot dishes and it magically disappears among the other ingredients.  

Did you put the spinach in already?  Maybe not, better add another handful.  

Five minutes later, you'll wonder the same thing until you've added five handfuls of spinach without overwhelming the dish.

This is what I did with the zucchini pasta dish I found on Pinterest.  After melding all the ingredients together in a deep pan, I started adding spinach.  This dish contains three heaping handfuls of spinach, but you would never know it!

Am I right?!

My recipe was slightly altered from the one I found on Pinterest, so here you go:

-1 box of whole wheat pasta
-2 small bags (or one big bag) of frozen shrimp
-1 zucchini, diced
-1 red pepper, sliced
-1/2 red onion, chopped
-olive oil
-1/2 bag baby spinach leaves
-Mediterranean seasonings (garlic, lemon peel, thyme...)

Heat a deep pan with olive oil (I used garlic-lemon infused oil I got for Christmas, but you can use regular...add garlic and lemon juice for extra flavor if you want!)  Toss in any size shrimp you want.  I used 2 small frozen bags of salad shrimp.  Allow the shrimp to defrost and soak in the flavors of the oil.  Spoon the shrimp out and set aside.

Meanwhile, boil water for whole-wheat pasta.  Cook the pasta as directed and set aside.

To the watery-oil mix in the pan, add chopped zucchini, red pepper, and onion.  Add seasoning.  Cook the veggies on medium-high until soft and most of the water has evaporated.  Add the cooked pasta and shrimp and toss.  Add more olive oil (1-2 teaspoons) if it's too sticky or dry.

Now start adding spinach, one handful at a time.  Allow the spinach to cook down and "disappear" before adding the next handful.  Really, you can add as much as you want!

Allow all the ingredients to simmer for at least 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Combine with a new weight lifting routine.  I took a friend to a Body Pump class today and although she was nervous, she enjoyed it!  Hope she's not too sore tomorrow!  Although they say "sore is the new sexy!"

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekend Eats

Mr. PT and I trekked through the blizzard to visit my sister and brother-in-law in the Richmond area this past weekend.  Man, was it worth it!  We did a lot of laughing, eating, watching stupid TV and funny movies, and beer/wine drinking.  Well, they drank.  I mostly tasted and chugged water.  Higher calling these days!!

We ate some really tasty meals!  Friday night we headed to a Thai restaurant and had sushi and vegetable lo-mien (guess which one I ate).  Saturday night my brother in law grilled some chicken and we made quesadillas on the George Foreman!

These were filled with sauteed onions and peppers (in olive oil and taco seasoning), Mexican rice, grilled chicken and cheese.

Dipped in your choice of toppings!  Guacamole, lettuce, sour cream, salsa...

Saturday morning, my sister Kelly felt adventurous and made a fantastic vegetable quiche!

She sauteed onions, peppers, and spinach in olive oil with a pinch of salt.  She pre-baked the pie shell for about 10 minutes then filled it with the vegetable mixture.  On top, she spread 4 eggs mixed with a touch of milk and cheddar/mozzarella cheese.  This baked for about 30 minutes.

Delicious! So much good food!  So much fun!

Combine with...traveling exercise!  Don't know what to do?  Offer to take the family dog on a walk.  You'll get a good workout while giving your hosts a break for the day.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thinking of warmer times

Remember back in the summer, when we went on a long hike up a mountain in tee shirts and shorts?  Remember when we came home and sipped on cold beer and cool wine?  Remember when we made a fantastic dinner filled with fresh ingredients?

Well, those days are in hiatus until June.  However, I try to bring some summer memories into the kitchen in the dead of winter just to keep our spirits up.  Recipes usually come out differently when the temperature is 15 rather than 85, however, we still end up saying "delicious!"

Last night I served a warm vegetable pasta dish with a side salad.  I started with garlic-lemon infused olive oil in a pan with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.  I boiled 1/2 bunch kale then drained and added it to the pan.  I boiled 1/2 box of whole wheat spaghetti and added this to the mix.  I topped our bowls with feta cheese (cheese makes any dish amazing!).

This pasta reminded me of the summer when we got bunches and bunches of kale from our vegetable share.

Tonight, we ate leftover veggie pasta alongside a winter version of the zucchini tomato gratin.  I started with regular olive oil in a medium heat pan with most of one red onion (sliced) 3-4 sliced mushrooms, one sliced zucchini, and 3-4 chopped sun-dried tomatoes (I'm kind of obsessed with these right now!).  I took1-2 cups of bread crumbs and toasted them in a 350 oven for about 15-20 minutes.  Once the veggies were soft and bread crumbs were crunchy, I split the veggie mixture in half, leaving half in the pan.  I spread them evenly on the bottom of the pan and topped with half of the bread crumb mix and a hefty sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.  I topped the cheese with the other half of the veggies, the rest of the bread crumbs, about 1 tbs. of dried basil, and more cheese.  Then I baked the whole darn thing at 350 for about 25-30 minutes.  

Watch so it doesn't burn!!

So a little different, some would say less fresh than the summer version, but still incredibly healthy and awesomely yummy.

What's your favorite summer recipe?  How can you alter it to make it a runner-up in the winter?

Combine with a free-weight or band exercise at home.  Hit biceps, triceps, back, chest, and shoulders.  Add a few squats and lunches to hit the caboose.