Monday, September 24, 2012

Russian Radish Salad (Makeover)

I picked up some radishes from Whole Foods this weekend without even thinking of what I was going to use them for.  A little bit of Google-ing produced this recipe that I made over.  I made half a batch and wish I would have doubled it.  Super yummy!

Instead of the traditional sour cream dressing, I made a lemon-dill vinegarette. 

Veggies:  Thinly slice...
1 honeycrisp apple
1 small english cucumber
8-10 radishes

Dressing:  Whisk together...
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tblsp olive oil
1 Tblsp apple cider vinegar
Seasoning (to taste) sea salt, black pepper, dill

- Note: the orig recipe calls for 2 tblsp fresh dill.  I had dried onhand and used about 1 tblsp.  Depends on how much you like dill... remember... it will become more potent as it marinates.

Toss the veggies together and pour over dressing to coat.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Paleo Pizza?

I tried the paleo pizza crust from Everyday Paleo this week. A weird thing happened - I knew/expected that the crust would be the way it was, yet - I was still a little thrown off when I ate it. Also - I put cheese on it for a cheat. I wish I didn't.
She gets it right on her site, so go to her link. She uses sausage (flavorful) and tons of veggies with lots of flavor/different textures.
Where I went wrong - thinking of it as a one for one replacement for pizza. You have to enjoy it for what it is. The crust IS really good! It's just not like the pizza you grew up eating.
I also like that she talks about using the crust like a cracker. I've been known to get down on some baba ghanouj and now I can have an alternate to just veggies as a treat.

Chicken Lettuce Cups - Thanks JP!

On St. Patty's Day at work we had a pigout where everyone was asked to "bring something green". You could imagine... lots of green frosting. :) The lovely JP made these chicken lettuce cups - Jimi and I went GAGA for them. (She let me take the leftovers home - double awesome).
This recipe came from a magazine she loves called Cooking Light. The only thing in them that "isn't allowed" is mozzerella cheese. I'm going to make them this week leaving it out.

Here is what you will need:
1LB ground chicken (if you're buying from whole foods - they separate all white and dark ground chicken - the white is VERY DRY. Get 1/2 lb of both)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup diced tomato
1 tblsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tblsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
10 pitted green olives, chopped
1 tblsp fresh lemon juice
8 bibb lettuce leaves

**JP added (to taste): fresh garlic, cayenne pepper - also, she cooked off the red onion instead of adding after cooking. It was delish.

1. Heat nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Sweat garlic and onions. Add chicken, pepper, cayenne and salt. Stir in artichoke, tomato, oregano, parsley and olives. Cook until chicken is done.
2. Stir in juice.
3. Spoon mixture into lettuce cups.

**If you eat cheese, it calls for 1/2 C fresh mozzarella (about 3 oz). Stir it in the pan at step 2.


Southwest Turkey Sliders w/Avacado Slaw

This is another PaleOMG recipe - she is definitely keeping me busy! I did make a few tweaks to this one that I wanted to share.
1. First make the slaw. It gives it a chance to soften/incorporate a little while you get the burgers together.
2. I only had one avacado AND I am a little bit of a cole slaw purist (thanks for all the cooking lessons, Gram B!). Instead of one of the avocados, use 1/4 cup of mayo + 2 tblsp white vinegar. Everything else is the same. I did sprinkle a tiny bit of salt overtop and mix together to help it to macerate.
3. While magical things are happening there, work on the turkey patties. The only tiny tweak was to add 1/8 cup almond meal, garlic powder to taste and a 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika. Adds a little different type of kick. Because the ground turkey that was available was so low fat (and a little drier than the meat we're used to) I topped the patties with spicy salsa.
So far, I have not tried a recipe from PaleOMG that I wouldn't make again. Already looking forward to leftovers!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Keeping an Open Mind (on skinning cats)

Let me set the scene: I'm an on again off again person. Up until this point, I've been on a constant "cycle" - having a baby, getting ready to have another baby, interviewing, getting acclimated to a new job, moving, settling... you get the picture. This has been ongoing for YEARS. I'm sure tons of people can identify. Well, then I got hit with the big C. That definitely impacted my perspective and helped me sort some things out about how I feel about spending time with my kids, taking care of myself, balancing life and work, eating better and working out - but putting my new belief system into practice? That's taken me a while. So I finally feel that last click into place... home, work and balancing rest and health - it all starts humming along. I'm feeling tons better. I'm getting rest. We're finding things we all like to do as a family and enjoying being together. Naturally, I've been getting pretty gung-ho about CrossFit and eating Paleo. I've been back at the gym for about 8 weeks (mostly light duty in the first 4 weeks or so). For the past few weeks I've been Paleo-almost-perfect and have noticed huge gains all over the place (weight, speed, endurance, etc.). I still have a long way to go, but I'm fitting into old clothes, bought a new bathing suit and actually was THE ONE who dragged my family to the gym this Sunday. For those who don't know - it's usually me who goes kicking and screaming.
It's been a pretty exciting process so far. It's been so long since I've been at the gym that I've had to wake up muscle memory, ask for extra help... fret at the whiteboard over what I'm going to do - scale rounds or weight? Chop down the distance on the runs? Sub in movements for things I can't do... At the same time, every workout I finish is a victory. A little aimless, but a victory.
What I mean by that is my goal right now is just to finish the workout. I'm resetting my baselines. I don't know what my one rep maxes are. I'm a little bit lost in the sauce. I didn't realize this, though, until the other day.
I walked into the gym and saw this:
The coaches call a huddle and everyone is brought up to speed. If you struggle with a move/part of the workout (starting with competition) then you should step over and do fitness. Hubby is one of the coaches and knows that I am still working on running and pushups and that I do not have a pull up yet. He tells me I'm in the wellness group today.

I'm immediately pissed off. OK - so all this work over the past few weeks and I have to do the kiddie workout? I can scale the pullups, right?! I can do ring rows - I'll get through it!

I stopped myself and realized what I was doing. I'm in a Leadership role (in my professional life). Sometimes I have access to a little bit more of the big picture. My job is to support what is best and help drive results toward a goal - help the people and the business become successful. Isn't that what my coaches and husband's goal is, too?
I bit my lip as Jim gave me a few final words of encouragement - "do it and I'll guarantee you'll be smoked - this is where you give it your all and try to crush the workout. sprint the runs. do the best pushups you can do." I realized as I was digesting all of it that I scale so many workouts, I really don't know where I've made progress. I can't really best myself. I'd be spending the next year trying to dig out of my scales before I ever hit an RX'd workout.
I started reading about different approaches here. So some believe they know best, some trust the coach... some train/eat/sleep "prescribed". We all know there is more than one right way to do something and there is no one 'right way' to program.
All in all, I'm really excited about the progress I've made. I couldn't have gotten this far without my coaches. The trust I put in them to help me dig out of my rut and the motivation they've given should be enough for me to be open and accepting to their direction, right?
I've decided I'm not the expert here. CrossFit is lovely in that way that everything is available to everyone and lots of folks feel like they know best. BUT - each gym owner and coach has something that we pay them for - a vision for the direction of their box and the success of their athletes.
Right now, I'm going to remind myself of that and enjoy the journey. I'm not on a plan to get to the games this summer - I am here to be the best I can and put my money where my mouth has been for the last two years. My coach is here to help me do just that. I'm sure you'll find that whatever your goal is - your coach is there to help you reach it.
It just might not be exactly the way you envisioned it.