Sweet Potato Burgers & Kale Chips

About once a year I crave a big juicy beef burger.  All the other times I crave veggie burgers, because I love veggie burgers.  Last night we tried Sweet Potato Burgers for the first time, which were a big hit and now we have another type of burger to whip up!  I was worried they wouldn’t be very “solid” but they actually stay together really well and are pretty dense, and I was full after just one.  You can find the full recipe here! We used the greek yogurt as the base to the cream sauce, and I liked it, even though Chris wasn’t a huge fan.  I think it’s even better the second day, because this recipe made five burgers and my leftover lunch was de-licious.

FullSizeRender (16)

On the side, I made some kale chips because organic kale seems to always be on sale at King Soopers (99 cents!). I’m not sure where I found the recipe for them, but I want to share because we make them quite often and they are SO quick and easy- not to mention fairly healthy.

Kale Chips

Ingredients

  • One bunch of kale
  • EVOO
  • Salt
  • Sesame Seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Break off kale into roughly 2/3″ pieces. Try to keep them all consistent as much as you can.
  3. Drizzle with EVOO (I use roughly 2 teaspoons)
  4. Shake a little bit of salt over the kale (I eyeball this- maybe 1/2 tsp)
  5. Sprinkle sesame seeds- I usually go overboard with these because I love them
  6. Scrunch everything up to even out the EVOO.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes- until a little browned.  I check around 8 minutes to see how they look. You want them a little crunchy, but not completely burnt.
FullSizeRender (18)

                  Enjoy!

Exercise & Etsy

It has been snowing here all weekend.  Beta and I got in a quick hike at Red Rocks on Friday before it started because according to the weather, it may be a couple weeks before we can get another one in.  It’s crazy how suddenly the temps & weather can change here.

IMG_1469

Friday….and then Saturday.

I wanted to give an update on 21 Day Fix Extreme as well- I’ve only missed one day, and that was substituting yoga fix for a 3 mile hike!  Don’t worry, I doubled up the next day with Plyo Fix and yoga 😉  Seriously you guys, I’m addicted. I have been doing a terrible job eating well, but regardless I still feel good and strong!  Today I tried the Fix Challenge and I LOVED it.  It’s the “bonus” exercise, which intimidated me.  This exercise is 13 exercises, no stops, four reps of each exercise.  You start with exercise 1, then 1 & 2, then 1 & 2 & 3….etc.  It’s pretty intense but really fun! I have to say though, really tough when your dog wants in on the excitement as well.

Beta doing some worms with me ;-)

Beta doing some worms with me 😉

So onto my other hobby : crocheting. This weekend I made four hats!  Four! It’s crazy how quick I’ve gotten since I started making hats a few months ago. I have about 20 adorable items hanging out on our bookcase.  With that being said, I am so close to getting an Etsy shop open, so keep your eyes open for that 🙂  Hopefully within the next month- once I make some tough decisions, like the name of my shop being the biggest hurdle! Exciting times!

FullSizeRender (15)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Tenderfoot Trail

Last year I hiked a total of 31 times, which was impressive considering our wedding and other craziness we dealt with.  This year, I set my goal to 40, which seems like a lot but we’ve already been on 7 hikes just this year!  🙂

On Friday Chris had a half day, and it was 70 degrees, so we took a little trip up Flagstaff to check out Tenderfoot Trail.  We may have done this trail once before, but we couldn’t remember.  If we did- it certainly wasn’t as pretty as it was Friday!  Clear skies, sunny.  AH- my favorite.  We do a lot of hikes that are pretty open, but my favorite hikes are (at least) partially in the woods.

This hike (the head at Realization Point)  starts pretty wooded but within a 1/4 mile, this is your view popping out between the trees. I’ll take it.

 FullSizeRender (10)

It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen this view, I’m always taken aback.  How can this just be a short 20 minute drive from our apartment??

After getting out of the “woods”, this is your view. Sometimes I can’t even deal with living here. How I don’t trip and fall down the mountains while hiking is beyond me.  I mean, there has been a couple close calls…but can you blame me for not watching where I’m walking?

FullSizeRender (11)

FullSizeRender (12)

Admittedly we didn’t do the entire loop.  We just hiked to the Divide Overlook and back, which I’m guessing was a total of (roughly) 2 miles.  It seemed pretty flat, so we weren’t expecting the incline on the way back.  It wasn’t too tough though, don’t let Beta fool you.  She may seem distressed, but she loves it.

One of my favorite Beta pictures!

One of my favorite Beta pictures!

I do recommend this trail to everyone; It’s fairly easy, and gorgeous.  Just make sure if you go on the weekend you get there earlier or in the afternoon due to parking on Flagstaff.  I can’t wait to get back out there and try the whole loop!

Sriracha Shrimp and Zucchini Lo Mein

Valentines Day for us doesn’t mean flowers or chocolates or gifts- it means we have an excuse to buy shrimp. Woo!  I always feel like it’s better quality around the holidays.  It’s so hard for us to buy shrimp out here since we are spoiled New Englanders; it’s just not as good as fresh off the Maine Coast shrimp.

This Valentines Day, we found a Spicy Sriracha Shrimp and Zucchini Lo Mein Recipe (see full recipe here).  A few years ago there was no way I would have been able to eat this, but lately I’ve been really into spicy foods because it helps me sloooow down and not eat so much.  And it helps me get in my daily water intake!!  Win all around!

We did alter the recipe just a tiny tiny bit, and I thought I would give a shot at recipe writing.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz lo mein noodles (we used pad thai- ready to serve )
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbspn butter
  • 1/2 lb of peeled shrimp (we get pre cooked shrimp from the seafood section)
  • 2 sm/med zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 8 stalks of thin asparagus, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 lightly beaten eggs
  • 1 tbspn light brown sugar
  • 21/2 tbspn soy sauce
  • 2 tbspn of sriracha
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine ingredients to make spicy sauce: brown sugar, soy sauce,srircha, and sesame oil.
  2. In a wok or pan, heat up the butter and red pepper.  Then add the eggs and scramble.  When cooked thoroughly, remove and put on small plate.
  3. Heat up olive oil, and throw in asparagus and zucchini until cooked through. Then add in eggs, shrimp, sauce, and noodles.
  4. Mix well and then remove from heat and ENJOY! 🙂
I love a colorful meal!

I love a colorful meal!

Final Presentation!

Final Presentation!

It was very good and very spicy!  I drank about 3 glasses of water and probably only consumed (not even) a cup of food. Also, whenever I eat spicy foods my eyelids sweat, which everyone thinks is weird. Does anyone else’s body react like that?

I'm not lyin'!  That's my mascara melted off after dinner.

I’m not lyin’! That’s my mascara melted off after dinner.

Brussel Sprout Pizza & (Cauli)Tots

Happy Hump Day!

I am SO excited to share these two recipes with you!!

Lately some of my favorite meals are traditionally unhealthy dishes that I’ve found a healthier version for.  Chris does not like to be surprised (scarred by a young Chocolate Zucchini Bread incident), so I’m not allowed to call Cauliflower Tots, Tater Tots, because “that’s not what they are”. 🙂 As long as I’m honest upfront, he’s game for (almost) anything.

So, speaking of Cauli Tots, you’ll find the link to the recipe here.  I am addicted.  I have no idea how she made them look perfect, though.

Just a few tips & tricks- I steamed a head of cauliflower for about 15 minutes in this steamer my mom gave me that has to be at least 10 years old.  It gets the job done 🙂

.IMG_1171

This amount makes about 2.5 batches.  I only pulsed the blender about 6 times and the cauliflower blended nicely into a rice consistency. The only cheese we had was Mexican blend, and I’m not sure it really mattered that much- there was cheddar in there, somewhere 🙂 I also didn’t use parsley because a couple years ago we grew too much, and I tend to leave it out of recipes now because I’m still not over it…

But anyways, these are WAY better than tater tots, no doubt. They do take a little while to prepare and are a little messy, but completely worth it.

IMG_1214

To go with the cauli tots, I found this Brussel Sprout Pizza on a blog I follow. The blog is called A Beautiful Mess– it’s a really awesome blog of crafts, home improvements, fashion, food, etc. It’s awesome & you should follow it too! Anyway… we’ve made this multiple times in the last couple months.  Maybe once a week…I’m not even ashamed, because I LOVE brussel sprouts. And pizza. And BBQ sauce.  Sooooo, it’s basically perfect.

We follow the instructions completely on this recipe.  It’s the best pizza dough I’ve ever made, and I always freeze half for the following week.  We don’t use a whole lot of cheese as you can see below, because I’m all about the veggies.  I don’t usually just like a couple toppings on my pizza- I love variety.  Give me veggie lovers over pepperoni any day. But this, with only a couple ingredients, is amazing as is.

IMG_0624

IMG_0628

Anyone else out there have a serious addiction to brussel sprouts? I don’t know why they were labeled the “gross” vegetable for children. I wish I had discovered them before I was 27!

New Workouts!

So this weekend I had a dose of hangover that lasted my entire Sunday. Ugh.  I am coming to the conclusion that red wine and I are no longer friends.  How I crave my 22 year old tolerance….

With that being said, I am proud that I did not vomit during my first bar class at The Bar Method in Boulder (just a little dizzy) on Sunday morning.  It was a sorry sight I’m sure, but I forgot how much I love classes.  I’m not much a gym goer- I prefer to run/hike outside, and workout DVD’s but I do enjoy a good high energy class now and again.  For a beginner class though, it sure was tough!  The workout focuses a lot on alignment and strength.  You’ll hold a lot of positions, but pulse the whole time, which helps keep you distracted from the pain of your legs wanting to fall off.  I felt muscles I haven’t used in a while! But it was really fun and there was an assistant who went around and she and the instructor came around and corrected our form, which was SO helpful.  I can see why it was so popular- I can’t wait to go back and try again without the spins and nausea!

I also started the new 21 Day Fix Extreme today!  I wanted to start yesterday but I could barely get off the couch.  I started with the Plyo Fix Extreme, which I thought was fantastic.  Most of the exercises were in 30 second increments which was great because they were tough and I’m not sure I could do them for 60 seconds- most I could get halfway through before having to shake my legs out.  I wanted to share my favorite exercise, but I loved too many to remember one specific one. When the half hour was over I was shaking!  And gross, but I still had energy 🙂 I hope I love the other dvd’s as much.

IMG_1149 (1)

After a quick shower Beta and I went up to Coot Lake and the Reservoir for a 2.5 mile walk.  It’s becoming my new favorite place to walk- and I still can’t believe this is less than two miles from our apartment. There are miles of open space to walk and the view is phenomenal so 2.5 miles only feels like 1 mile! We played a little in the water for the first time too (because all the big cool dogs were doing it) and now Beta is wiped.out. 🙂  Hope everyone had a great Monday!

IMG_1164

IMG_1158

Small Dog Meet Up

Well, we had quite a chaotic morning (TGIF?).  We ended up at the vet after a little blood in Beta’s urine…Seriously?  This poor girl has been under so much stress; being ripped from her home twice within the last couple months, I think it’s really doing a toll on her body.  We can’t wait until she starts getting more comfortable and less anxious so we can stop getting so many gray hairs!  Well, $300, and antibiotics and probiotic meds later we’re hoping this helps clear up her UTI.  Thank goodness for Pet Insurance.

After that fiasco, we attended our first Small Dog Meet Up at Foothills Community Park!  I was SO nervous.  First time off leash, and first time around all these pups.  We met a lot of really nice people though &  Beta made a couple friends (a couple that liked her a little too much, if you know what I mean). Just so many adorable pups!!   There was a lot of barking, and Beta got a little overwhelmed a couple times.  Maybe staying an hour was too long, BUT overall I’d say success!  She responded very well, and when I got her away to relax for a minute she even did a few tricks while she was distracted!  Proud Mommy moments. This meetup comes together multiple times a week, and we will definitely go back (as long as she keeps on behaving).

If any of you want to join let me know!  I’ve joined about 5 different meetups online this week (www.meetup.com), and I can’t wait to check out some of the others- it just validates how awesome this community is 🙂

Alright, time to rest before Dog Manners Class tonight!  We are both pooped after this morning!

FullSizeRender (4)

Granola Bars & PB2!

Do you do breakfast most days “on the go”?  Chris isn’t usually hungry in the mornings before work, so he’ll have a little oatmeal or toast if it’s available, but mostly he just grabs a granola bar for the car.  So today when I found this granola bar recipe (http://www.deliciousasitlooks.com/2014/02/pb2-quinoa-granola-bars.html?m=1) , I had to try it.  Of course to make a tasty treat AND because I have recently discovered PB2 and LOVE it. I’ll go into details in a minute 🙂

These are SO easy and I had everything to make them in the cupboards! I used semi sweet chocolate chips, but next time want to dry some dark chocolate instead.

 IMG_1035

I gave them about an hour and a half to cool in the fridge.  As you can see below, I didn’t do a great job of keeping it even, but that’s ok because once you cut them you’ll be able to shape them into more even bars.  I had to try one before I let Chris have them (of course) and I could have eaten all 8! Go make them right now 🙂

IMG_1037

IMG_1039

Alright, SO PB2.  I read about it online and now I use it all the time (it’s funny- all three of us have our own peanut butter in the cabinet!).  It’s a peanut butter powder with 85% less fat calories, and still tastes great!  I use it in my Shakeology, salad dressings, and am on the prowl for new recipes to try (like the granola bars)!  You can buy it at any grocery store; here in Boulder it’s about $3.50, so a little more than regular peanut butter, but worth the little splurge!

If you decide to go out & try, let me know what you think 🙂  And if you’re already on the bandwagon, please share any recipes you have!

IMG_1048

Pad See (Not at all) Ew

When Chris and I lived in Burlington I fell in love with Thai food (RIP Parima).  When we moved to Boulder we would go to Buddha Cafe, which I consider to be a hidden gem we could walk to in about 5 minutes.  I always get Pad Thai with tofu because I can’t break away from my favorite.  Chris most of the time gets Pad See Ew, and I always eat his leftovers.  Lately I’ve been trying to whip up my own *a little healthier* versions of Chinese takeout, and when I found this Pad See Ew recipe I knew it couldn’t be that hard.

You can find the link to the recipe here: http://www.recipetineats.com/thai-stir-fried-noodles-pad-see-ew/

Now, this is the first time I’ve ever cooked with Bok Choy.  What took me so long???  I love it!  My question is though, am I chopping it correctly? It doesn’t look quite right, but I can’t put my finger on it….

IMG_0982

For the dark soy, we just boiled 2 tbsp of dark brown sugar and 2 tbsp of soy sauce.  After the sugar dissolved we removed from the heat and mixed the rest of the sauce ingredients.

We used pad thai noodles instead of stick noodles because our selection is pretty limited at King Soopers, but I think it came out great!  it made a LOT, and am slightly embarrassed to admit how little is left.

FullSizeRender (2)

The next time I make it I will add another egg and more bok choy.  Hopefully I’ll plan ahead too and try to find better noodles and peanut oil.  Regardless, we both loved it, and I feel better after eating it than I do when we go out! Win win!!

I hope everyone has a great Saturday night! I’ll be on the couch snuggling while watching Harry Potter with my two favorite hairy babes!! 🙂

FullSizeRender (3)