Discovering Indoor Exercise and Roasted Vegetables

As much as I hate to admit this, being at my parent’s house was driving me crazy.  For some reason, being there makes me the most sedentary person on the planet.

Example: I watched every episode (5 1/2 season) of How I Met Your Mother in the nearly 3 weeks I was home.  Hilarious show! But that’s wayyyy too much TV.

The truth is, I feel better when I’m more active.  I like walking places and working out.  It just makes me feel better about myself.

So now that I’m in Ithaca, I’m trying to find ways to feel better about myself and my health… despite this:

I won’t lie.  The weather here can be terrible.  I walked to meet up with some friends and my toes were numb even though I was wearing tights, thick socks and snow boots.

But to keep myself moving, I present to you, my home gym:

Real state of the art, right?

Lately I’ve taken to doing circuits while watching episodes of last season’s The Biggest Loser.

Circuit 1: 25 Step ups
Circuit 2: 20 crunches
Circuit 3: 25 jumping jacks
Circuit 4: 20 bicycle crunches
Circuit 5: 25 bunny hops (back and forth over my computer charger)
Repeat

Not the most exciting work out ever but definitely better than sitting and doing nothing.  I’ve also recently discovered ExerciseTV online!

I made another discovery.  It’ll revolutionize lunch (or dinner… for me, at least).  Okay so I didn’t really discover it.  Rather, it’s new to me.

Roasted Broccoli

Who knew it could be so delicious.

What you need:

  • Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, etc.
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • baking sheet
  • oven preheated to 400F

Combine broccoli, other vegetables, olive oil, balsamic vinergar, salt and pepper.  Put it all on a baking sheet like such:

Roast at 400F for about 25 minutes.

Makes a wonderful side dish.  I’m so pleased!  Last night I went and bought more broccoli just so I could have it again.

Definitely recommend it if you haven’t tried it.

Off to try to get some work done, or at least move myself a bit.  Have a wonderful day!

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Honey Coconut White Chocolate Chip Ice “Cream”

Do you ever have those days where you spend the day doing random things and you don’t realize time went by SUPER fast?

Today flew by. I woke up late, I think it was 9:00am.  Had pie and cucumbers for breakfast (not together).

Went for a fantastic 5.5 mile run.

Hung out with this lady

Basically we were ridiculous (as we usually are).  We went by Six Mile Creek Vineyard for Sara to pick up some wine.

We also made ice cream (I’ll tell you about that one later in the week) but first let me tell you about this stuff I made at some point last week.

Honey Coconut White Chocolate Chip Ice “Cream”

2 cans of coconut milk**
1/2 cup honey*
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut

In a bowl mix together the honey and coconut milk.  Chill for a few minutes in the freezer or in the fridge for a few hours.  Pour into your ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions.  In the last 5 minutes of turning, drop in the white chocolate chips and shredded coconut.  Freeze for a few hours in a container before serving.

**I used one can of full fat coconut milk and one of light coconut milk.  You can also use two cans of full fat, which will make it taste even more delicious and the texture will be creamier.  I don’t suggest using two light cans.  I tried that and it turned out too icey.

*To veganify use agave nectar instead and vegan white chocolate chips.

Lovely and (almost) Dairy Free!

It also happened to go perfectly with the champagne brownies I made a few days ago, which by the way turn into full on FUDGE once chilled.

All sorts of amazing.

I need to give Slick Rick back his ice cream maker, ASAP!  There CANNOT be this much ice cream in my freezer!

What was the highlight of your weekend? I had a dinner party last night, super fun. Stay tuned for that!

Baked Falafel

Today was much better than yesterday.  I was still pretty lazy but not NEARLY as much as yesterday.

I got my butt to the gym as soon as it opened (12:00pm, isn’t that crazyyy late?!?).  I did a FANTASTIC interval work out inspired by this lady.  Actually I wrote this work out plan on a little piece of paper with the intention of taking it to the gym with me, but left it at home as I often tend to do.  Instead, I made up my own on the spot.

5 min warm up
3 sets: (9 mins)
1 min 6.0
1 min 7.0
1 min 4.0

3 sets: (9 mins)
1 min 5.6
1 min 8.0
1 min 4.2

3 sets: (9 mins)
1 min 6.5
1 min 7.5
1 min 4.5

3 sets: (9 mins)
1 min 7.0
1 min 6.0
1 min 4.0

3 sets: (9 mins)
1 min 8.0
1 min 6.5
1 min 4.2

5-10 min cool down

LOVED IT.  I was a sweaty mess at the end.  The work out just flew by!  Probably helped that I was listening to an old school playlist that I hadn’t listened to in a million years.  I hate to admit it but I like running on treadmills.

I’m excited to do this again sometime this week.  Next time, I’ll do her actual work out.  Definitely recommended!

Then I came home and made the most magical lunch ever!

Baked Falafel

adapted from Epicurious
1 cup dried garbanzo beans
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons flour (I used sorghum flour, so I think they were gluten free)

Soak beans overnight in plenty of water.  The next days, put the garbanzo beans and onion in the food processor and pulse to roughly chop.  Next add remaining ingredients and pulse until combine.  Refrigerate mixture for a few hours (this is when I went to the gym and did the above mentioned fab work out).

After the  mixture is chilled, pre heat your oven to 375 degrees.  Form garbanzo bean mixture into 20 walnut sized balls.  Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Turn and baked for another 15 minute.  Serve on lettuce with cucumbers, tomato and yogurt tahini sauce.

Yogurt Tahini Sauce

1/4 cup greek yogurt
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp water (more or less depending on how thick you want it)

Stir together in a bowl and drizzle over falafel.   This recipe makes enough to serve 4 or 5.

In case you’re curious, this is the nutrition information for each ball:

Pretty tasty!  I will say that they can be rather messy to eat, God forbid I use silverware!

Of course after lunch I watched the World Cup Final.  Big surprise (I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about it, but it’s over now).

Spain won! I’m pleased!

Alright now back to my book!  Have a great night!

The Thought Process of the Laziest Day Ever

I woke up and looked at the clock. 7:09am.  That’s a reasonable hour to be awake on a Saturday morning.   Sat up and looked out the window and wondered what I’m going to do today. Hmm I can go to the gym, it opens at 10am on Saturdays.

In the meantime, I’ll have breakfast. I hop out of bed, make coffee and waffles.  Blog a bit.

10am comes around.  Hm I’m still full.  I’ll wait it out a bit.  Oh wait, maybe I should go to the farmer’s market real quick to pick up my CSA share since they recommend going before 12:00pm.

So I go to the farmer’s market, pick up my share and I’m home by 11:30.  As I put away my CSA veggies, I have a bright idea to make something with some of last week’s veggies. They’re going to go bad, obviously they can’t sit in the fridge an hour longer while I go to the gym.

I made some Cilantro Lime Slaw.

Cilantro Lime Slaw

adapted from Epicurious

1/4 cup greek yogurt
zest + juice of 1 lime
few shakes of cayenne
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
black pepper
3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 an onion, thinly sliced

Combine all the ingredients together and mix well.  Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Then since it was sitting in front of me, I ate some Cilantro Lime Slaw.  Who else is going to eat that plate I just photographed?  I mean it can’t go back in the bowl that’s going in the fridge! I thought it was delicious!  When I was little my mom used to make cabbage with lime and salt, nothing else.  This tastes like a spicier, better version of that.  What can I say, I’m easy to please (…not true at all).

While I was at it I had some chips that my old roommate who moved out left behind.  Hmm now I’m too full to go to the gym.

Guess I’ll clean up a bit in the meantime.  As I clean, I see a bag of bread flour and have a bright idea!  Oatmeal bread!

Oatmeal Bread

adapted from King Arthur Flour

3 cups bread flour
1 cup oats
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp molasses (or honey or sugar)
2 tsp dry active yeast
1 1/4 cup milk, warm (microwaved it 30 seconds)
extra flour for dusting kneading surface

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In a small bowl combine butter, milk, yeast, and molasses.  Let sit for a few minutes until it gets foamy.  Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together.  Once you can’t mix it any more, turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.  Place dough in a greased bowl and put in a warm place to rise for an hour.  After the dough has risen, put it in a loaf pan and let it rise for another hour.  Once it has risen about an inch or so over the rim of the pan, bake at 350F for about 40 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before slicing.

So I started making that.  As the dough rises, I peruse the internet and look at the clock.  It’s about 1:30.  Oh the Germany vs Uruguay game is at 2:30, this gym doesn’t have a TV.  I better not go now, plus I’m still full.

Instead I took a nap while my bread was rising.  At 2:20, I woke up repositioned my bread into a bread pan and let it proof one more time.  Perfect timing the game is going to start!

At the half time, I put my bread in the oven.

45 minutes later.  Germany wins.  I’m bummed but life goes on.  My bread is ready.  I should probably take pictures of it.  In that process I ate two pieces (the rest is now in the freezer).  Again too full to exercise. And damn the gym closes at 5:30pm.

Around 6:00pm, I finally gave up.  Forget this, I’m not exercising today. Instead I took a shower and went to the mall for two reasons.

To watch this by myself:

and to buy this:

I’m a lonely, midwestern housewife. Don’t tell.

Eclipse was terrible.  No two ways around it.

Sure, Taylor Lautner was pretty, but the movie was horrible.  I laughed out loud a few times (not always at intentionally funny parts).  I’m glad I went alone, I think I would have been terribly embarrassed if I made someone go see that with me, especially a boy (not that I have one to go with).  There were a fair number of men in the theatre surprisingly.  You know I’ll still see the next one anyway…

So it looks like I have a date with my bed and the above mentioned book (10th Sookie Stackhouse book, I can’t say no).

I must confess: I love cheesy books.  They make me so happy.  Sookie Stackhouse fills that need for me.  For the record, the books really aren’t that much like the show.

This is the perfect example of why I need schedules (activities and meal times) and planning ahead.

I overspent both my monetary entertainment budget and my calorie budget.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

Vegetable Goat Cheese Risotto

Yesterday was another blazing hot day (and today will probably be the same).

As promised, I got up at 5:55am and got my workout out of the way before it started to get hot.  I think my early morning work out when it was still a reasonable temperature (70 degrees by 6:00am) made me underestimate the heat.  I did 2 things today I probably shouldn’t have done in this temperature.

1.   I thought it was cool enough to bake.

Surprisingly, my apartment was fairly cool.  Sadly, my creation didn’t turn out that great.  I thought I would make Peanut Butter Banana Blondies, but really they just turned out to be like Peanut Butter Banana Bread. Not bad, but not what I had in mind and definitely not worth the calories.    I hate wasting food but most of them went in the trash.

Usually I give my baked goods away, but if it’s not good enough then I won’t give it away.  Is that terrible?

2.  I made risotto for dinner with my roommate.

Delicious but stirring this thing for 20 minutes over a medium/high flame while my apartment was almost 90 degrees was probably a bad idea. Please make this on a cool day if you (like me) do not have air conditioning in your house!  But if it’s below 70F (or you can make your house that cool), then by all means make it ASAP!

Vegetable Goat Cheese Risotto

4 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion (or two small), thinly sliced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup peas, frozen
1 tomato, seeded and diced
4 oz goat cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (plus more for garnish)

Bring broth to a boil, turn flame on occasionally to keep warm until ready to be used.

In a pot or deep sauce pan, heat oil, add onions, garlic and arborio rice.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until rice is golden brown, about 5-10 minutes.  Add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until it is all absorbed, about 20 minutes.  Lastly, stir in peas, cheese, tomato and basil and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Top with extra basil and serve!  Serves 4-6.

We enjoyed our risotto on the back porch with cold drinks.

Diet Wegman’s brand soda with blueberries in it, because we’re classy…

Looks kind of fun, right?  Not to mention you have instant dessert (blueberries) when you finish your drink!

Feel free to do this with other adult beverages (gin and tonic?).  I’m pretty sure I will at some point.

Have a great day!

Edamame Hummus

I have about a million things I want to bake.  But it’s not happening.

It’s 90 degree out, 50% humidity.  I walked to and from the farmer’s market and was basically a sweaty mess.

So instead of baking, I made…

Edamame Hummus

1 1/2 cups shelled edamame (I thawed the frozen kind)
zest and juice of 1 1/2 limes
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic
2 tbsp tahini
1/4- 1/2 cup water (enough to reach a consistency you like)

Throw it all in the food processor.  Start with only 1/4 cup of water stream more in if you want it smoother and not as thick.  I used about half a cup.

Then came a cucumber, edamame hummus and cheese sandwich.

Not bad.

A few hours later, I was going stir crazy from sitting around all day working on my computer.  For some reason, I thought a run would be a good idea.  I made it maybe a little more than a mile before I stopped and walked home.  Way too hottttttt.  Honestly, I probably could have kept going but I just plain wimped out.

Note to self: early morning gym sessions will resume tomorrow morning due to the heat.

Have a great (sweaty) night!

Lentil Chili over Sun Dried Tomato Cornmeal Waffles

Ever since my friend Liz left me her waffle iron for the summer, I’ve had waffles on the brain.

It sits in the living room next to my basil plant and mini rose bush, because there’s no where in the kitchen to put it.

I basically think about waffle ideas all the time. In the shower.  On runs.  During movies.

Today was no exception.  It was kind of cold out today (low 60s), something warm and tasty was in order.

Lentil Chili

1 onion, diced
1 tsp garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 cup lentils
2 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 smart dog (or real hot dog if you eat meat), diced, optional
1/2 bunch of kale (about 7 leaves), cleaned, stemmed and finely chopped

Heat oil in a pot.  Add onions and cook for a few minutes.  Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add can of  tomatoes, spices, lentils, water and corn.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add kale and smart dog and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Serve over savory sun dried tomato cornmeal waffles

Sun Dried Tomato Cornmeal Waffles

1/4-1/3 sun dried tomatoes (about 10 pieces), rehydrated or packed in oil
1 cup buttermilk (or the old trickeroo 1 tbsp of vinegar + enough milk to fill up 1 cup, let sit for 10 mins)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 egg white
3 tbsp olive oil

Blend together rehydrated sun dried tomato and milk until smooth.  Add eggs pulse.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, parmesan cheese.  Gradually pulse in dry ingredients until just combined and smooth (make sure to scrape the sides of the blender).  Pour into a hot waffle iron, bake for 3 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.  Makes 2 huge belgian waffles and probably a few regular waffles.  Enough for 4 people.

Honestly, this might be one of the best things I’ve ever made.  Sort of like a better version of corn bread and chili, right?

Who knew savory waffles could be so good!

Not only was it ridiculous quick and easy, it’s pretty healthy!  The lentil chili is vegan and all sorts of healthy (because I put kale in everything) and the waffles… well we all need a little bit of carb and fat in our life.  We especially need sun dried tomato!  You could probably blend in some spinach or kale to sneak in some more vegetables.

You can also freeze the waffles if you have leftovers then pop them in the toaster oven when you’re ready to enjoy them again!

Try it.  You won’t regret it.

Well, I’m headed to the middle of nowhere NY to do some stuff for my internship then I’m headed out of town for the weekend!

Have a great 4th of July!!