Hawaiian Burgers + WIAW #29

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

I’m typing this up on Tuesday night when I really should be reading for Book Club…  I still have another 200+ pages to finish by Thursday!  So let’s just jump right into this weeks ‘What I Ate Wednesday Sunday’ post. :)

Pre-Breakfast Snack – 6:45 am

larabar

Mike and I had plans to go on an early 3 mile power-walk (in which I had killer shin splints, wtf?), so I ate a larabar before we took off.

Breakfast – 9ish am

A bowl of mixed berry greek yogurt, raspberries, blueberries + GoLean crisp cereal.  Plus, Dunkins hazelnut coffee with unsweetened almond milk.

Lunch – Noon

Lunch was whatever I could quickly throw into a cooler for the beach…   including freshly cut-up pineapple (addicted!) and a peanut butter, banana sandwich.

Afternoon Snack – 4ish pm

My favvvv snack plate: cheese, pretzel crackers, grapes + wine! Yep, I enjoyed 1/2 glass of chardonnay and it was delicious!

Dinner – 7:30 pm

Hawaiian Burger

Mike prepared an amazing dinner consisting of steamed green beans and Hawaiian burgers.  I believe I ripped the recipe out of an old ‘Better Homes & Gardens’ magazine but I can’t recall?  And Mike just tweaked it a bit.

Hawaiian Burgers

Ingredients for 4 servings 

1 lb lean ground, grass-fed beef
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped pineapple (canned or fresh)
a few pieces of diced deli ham
a few dashes of sea salt + ground pepper
4 slices of cheese (we used cheddar)
4 whole wheat sandwich thins (or burger buns)
Optional toppings: lettuce, tomato, onions, ketchup, mustard, etc.

Directions

Combine beef, blue cheese, onions, pineapple, ham, salt + pepper together in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Shape the burgers into 4 patties, cook over medium heat on the grill + add the sliced cheese right before they’re done.  Enjoy the burgers on a sandwich thin or bun with whatever toppings you’d like!

You guys, these burgers were SOOO flavorful – you have to try ’em! :)

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What do you usually pack to eat @ the beach?

What’s your favorite type of burger + toppings?

 

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Wild-Salmon with Avocado Mango Salsa

I love, love wild-salmon.  Not only is it such an easy dish to prepare but it also has tons of health benefits including:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • High Quality Protein
  • Essential Amino Acids
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin E

In the past, Mike and I usually ate salmon a couple of times a month but since I’ve been pregnant we’ve really made an effort to have it at least once a week.  Salmon is loaded with DHA which is a fabulous fat for boosting the babies brain power.  Heck yeah!  

And I know it may be tempting to buy the farm-raised salmon since it’s so much cheaper (like $10 per lb cheaper!) but as I’ve mentioned in other posts, it’s really not worth it.  On the days we’re having salmon, I usually look online to see if any local grocery stores (Shaws, Stop & Shop, Whole Foods…) have salmon on-sale.  If they don’t, then I just remind myself of all the health benefits we’re gaining by eating the fresh, wild fish instead of the gross farm-raised fish.

Alright, and now on to the simple, quick, delicious, and so flavorful recipe…  

avocado mango salsa

Wild-Salmon with Avocado Mango Salsa

(2 large serving sizes)

Ingredients for the salsa:

  • 1 medium diced avocado
  • 1 ripe diced mango
  • 1/4 cup diced orange bell pepper (or any bell pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons diced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced onion (optional) 
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Ingredients for the salmon:

  • 1 lb wild-caught salmon
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Sea salt

Directions:

1) Combine the ingredients for the salsa (avocado, mango, orange bell pepper, onions, fresh cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, salt + pepper) in a medium bowl.  Lightly stir and crush with a fork to mix up the juices then set aside.

2) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easier clean-up) and place the salmon on the foil.  Drizzle the olive oil on the salmon and add salt and pepper to taste.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.

3) Serve the salmon with the salsa spread on top and enjoy!

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By the way, want to know how to buy a ripe mango?

I was at the grocery store yesterday staring at the mix of red and green mangoes and realized I had no idea how to figure out which ones were ripe…  Somehow I’m 31 years old and I’ve never bought a mango before?  So I pulled out my cell phone, googled ‘ripe mango’ and here’s what I learned:

  • Don’t focus on color. It is not the best indicator of ripeness.
  • Squeeze the mango gently. A ripe mango will give slightly (similar to an avocado).

I also wasn’t exactly sure how to cut-up the mango so I quickly checked out this site for easy step-by-step directions. :)

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Do you enjoy salmon?  

How do you usually prepare it?

Roasted Salmon w/ a Grapefruit Glaze

Happy Friday, friends!

Let’s start with last nights dinner before moving on to today.

I really wanted salmon for dinner but I also couldn’t stop thinking about the super juicy, delicious grapefruit I had with my breakfast so I figured why not add the grapefruit to my dinner?  So I did. :)  

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Layer a baking sheet with aluminum foil and then add the wild caught salmon with EVOO {extra virgin olive oil}, a little ground pepper and place it in the oven for 16-18 minutes.  While the salmon is cooking, add a little EVOO into a skillet and warm it up over low heat.  Then add some lemon juice, raw honey, salt & pepper and the juice from a fresh grapefruit and let it all heat up in the skillet.  About 5 minutes later, add the pieces of cut up grapefruit to the skillet and stir everything together for a few more minutes.  Once the salmon is ready, pour the grapefruit mixture on top and serve.  

1 bowl for the grapefruit juice and 1 bowl for the pieces of grapefruit.

 I also added 90-second wild brown rice and roasted broccoli to the meal.  Dinner in 20 minutes!

Today

I woke up at 5:15 so I could do the Jillian Michaels yoga INFERNO DVD before work.  I tried out workout #2 on the DVD which incorporated light weights into the yoga moves with cardio bursts in between each set.  Although it wasn’t as hard as workout #1, it was still a challenging full body workout.  

After the 30 minute workout, I showered, grabbed my green smoothie {which I prepared last night} and took off for work.   I made the smoothie with a banana, frozen strawberries, spinach, peanut butter, and almond milk.

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Annnnnnd before logging off for the night here’s some fun things I wanted to share:

1) 43 Things That Will Make You Feel Old.  Man, oh man, did this make me feel old!  I still can’t believe the Full House cast had their 25th Anniversary last year?!?  Hoooooow is that possible?  And how is JTT an adult?? 

2)  Compilation of Cats Stealing Dogs Beds <—- Such a cute video! :D

 

Clean Eating

Boy, oh boy, did I eat a lot of crap and drink way too many beers over the weekend.  I guess that’s what happens when you’re in DC for 3 days with friends?  Since I spent the majority of yesterday hungover/ barely functioning, I couldn’t wait to wake up this morning and start feeling like myself again.  And in order to do so, I need to start eating a cleaner diet.   No more pizza at 10 pm or late night diner stops for grilled cheese and fries.  This week it’s all about healthy good eats.  

First up?  A green smoothie for breakfast.

‘PB & J Green Smoothie’

In the blender:

  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 spoonfuls peanut butter
  • 1/2 – 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 medium banana
  • handful of kale (<– I’m def using spinach next time)

I packed up the smoothie and brought it to work with me. 

Maybe it’s just me but I was not lovin’ the kale as much as I like spinach in my green smoothie.  It had a really strong taste that overpowered the other flavors. :(  Do you guys like kale in smoothies?? 

Lunch

I didn’t have any ‘lunch foods’ at home so I took a quick break and headed over to Whole Foods.  I made a salad with with romaine lettuce, green beans, peas, corn, shredded cheddar cheese, 1 hard boiled egg, grilled tofu, and olive oil vinaigrette dressing.  Such a tasty, satisfying meal.

Dinner

Wild haddock with some EVOO, ground flax seed, and pepper on top.  And on the side I had roasted asparagus and butternut squash.  Although the haddock wasn’t my favorite and I kinda wished I splurged and went with the wild salmon, it was still an awesome dinner.  The butternut squash was very ‘fall’ tasting and delicious!

I also snacked on trail mix, green tea, and this Suja drink:

For real, eating healthy was pretty easy today so I’m hoping that feeling continues all week.  I have less than 4 weeks ’til my wedding/honeymoon in Aruba/bikini-time so I really want to be as healthy as can be!  

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And to switch gears for a bit, lets talk workouts for the week.  Here’s my plan:

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 3 mile run + tabata workout (I’ll post the workout tomorrow)

Wednesday: 6 am Power Vinyasa class + weekly 5K road race @ 6:45 pm

Thursday: 4 mile run w/ hills

Friday: 6 am Power Vinyasa class

Saturday: Long run (maybe 10-12 miles)

Sunday: Easy 4 mile run

Off to catch up on the Kardashians and face plant in bed….    g’night, everyone!

Book Club and Mini Chicken Pot Pies!

Happy Friday!!!

So I’ve been in Book Club for 3 months and so far I’m 0/3 with finishing the books.  Also, during those 3 months I joined a library and have lost 1 book on a plane and kept another one out way past the due date.   I’m so not cut out for adult life.

But on a good note, I am cut out for {Boooozy} Book Club!

Here are some pic’s from last night:

It was my turn to host so I poured myself a glass of sauvignon blanc and got to work in the kitchen.

First up, Mini Chicken Pot Pies!  I discovered this amazing recipe the other night and couldn’t wait to try it out.   Seriously guys, you have to make them!  With only 4 ingredients, they were so easy to make and were such a hit last night.  I mean who doesn’t love a mini chicken pot pie? :)

Oh, so good.

Pumpkin beer with the works {I went a lil overboard with the cinnamon, sugar rim}

The rest of the menu included fresh pineapple and watermelon slices, veggie’s and dip, mozzarella and tomatoes with a pesto dip, sweet potato chips, an assortment of cookies and brownies from the bakery {not pictured}…..

And a delicious chocolate wedding cake {for me!  5 weeks until the BIG DAY!!}.

Now it’s time for Grey’s Anatomy and some relaxation.  I’m going to attempt a 15 mile run in the morning so I’ll probably be in bed by 9pm….    Enjoy your evening!

Bring on the hills

Do you know what’s a hard workout?  

Hills.

And more hills.

As soon as I arrived home from work yesterday, I changed into running gear and ran 1.5 miles towards Breakheart Reservation.  I’ve run the 3 mile loop around Breakheart many times but yet those hills always get me.  They don’t look crazy at first but as soon as you reach the top of a hill, you realized, oh there’s another one just waiting for ya.

Thank god it was a gorgeous weather – 60’s and sunny – and the route itself is always so nice and peaceful.

There were multiple times when I wanted to stop and the bad part of me kept thinking ‘hey, it’s a Monday.  I’m tired.  Walking is better than nothing….. ‘   But the better part of me, pulled through and repeated positive mantra’s to keep me going (<– seriously, they work!!)  Besides my usual ‘NO REGRETS’, I also repeated this one:

And I kept thinking about….

How AWESOME I’ll feel after completing a hard workout!

Dinner

After my run, I stretched, showered, and hung-out with this lil’ stud before making dinner. 

 Lately, I just haven’t been in the mood to cook much for dinner, plus Mike was away so I quickly threw together a tasty bowl of pasta.  In the mix: whole wheat penne pasta, frozen green beans, crumbled feta cheese, EVOO, and ground black pepper.  Done and done. :)

And this is how I really eat dinner 85% of the time:

Plopped on the couch in my sweats while watching the nightly news (or celebrity gossip depending on the time).

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Do you run hills?  How often?

What’s your easy, ‘go to’ dinner?

A run, a grilled dinner, and a workout plan for the week.

Good morning!

Welp, I finished my 11 mile run over the weekend.  It wasn’t a pretty run (except for the views) but I did it with an average pace of 8:40/mile.

 

I ended up running out to the left for 3 miles and back to my car for a water/energy gu break (at mile 6).  And then I ran down the path in the opposite direction for 2.5 miles and back again.  I had a little running water bottle with me but was it was still nice having my car as a pit stop half way through the run.   

 

After the run, I stopped at Dunkin’s for an iced coffee, water and the egg white chicken sausage flatbread.

So why did my long run suck?? 

No idea!  My legs felt OK, it wasn’t super hot/humid, I had plenty of water, no stomach issues, I slept alright the night before……  but for some reason I couldn’t zone out and just enjoy the run.  Every mile felt painfully boring and never-ending.  I also ran without my iPhone so I didn’t have my Rihanna Pandora station to jam out to.  So maybe that was my problem??  Must bring my girl, Rihanna on every future long run to PUMP ME UP!

Dinner

I have to tell you guys about dinner last night since it was so easy and delicious.  Easy for me because Mike made it but I’m sure it’s a super easy dinner in general.  It was all centered around Mike’s pesto and the grill. 

We had sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and chicken all prepared right on the grill.  Gotta love summer cookin’ (and eating while watching 60 Minutes) :)

We layered the chicken with the creamy, heavenly pesto and also used it as a dip for the sweet potatoe wedges.  The brussel sprouts look burnt in these pic’s but they actually came out tasting amazing. :)

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Workouts For The Week

(based off  Week #7 of this marathon training plan)

Monday: 3-4 mile run + strength training

Tuesday: Cross-train day! (Spin class or this workout)

Wednesday: 6 mile run

Thursday: 4 mile run + strength training

Friday: Off

Saturday: Long run = 12 miles

Sunday: Off

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Do you grill a lot in the summer?  Favorite food to grill?

What’s your workout schedule for the week?

WIAW #3

Hey guys! 

You all surviving this heat wave?!  I feel like we just had one in Boston (did we even get out of it?)  Oh well, I’m just going to ignore the fact that I’m sweating on my couch and instead think about how in 3 days I’ll be on the beach and can plop around in the cool refreshing ocean all day long, ahhhhh! :)

Alright, let’s get to it!  Here’s ‘What I Ate Wednesday Tuesday’:

Breakfast

Toasted almond w/ a turbo shot and skim milk iced coffee from Dunkin’s (I was up at 5am for my morning run so the extra shot of caffeine was much needed… )

And my favorite organic protein shake (15g of protein)

Morning Snack

I added a sliced banana & a big scoop of almond butter to a mug and microwaved it for 20 seconds (love this snack)

Lunch

A tuna fish sandwich w/ a slice of cheese and romaine lettuce on a whole-wheat sandwich thin.

And a bowl of strawberries w/ a couple blueberries.

Afternoon Snack

A bite size bag of cheddar cheese crackers.

Dinner

A big, awesome salad! 

In the mix:

  • 50/50 blend lettuce (baby spring mix & baby spinach)
  • corn
  • tomatoes
  • sliced cucumber
  • crumbled goat cheese (YUM)
  • Trader Joe’s Thai Lime shrimp

I topped the salad with all natural zesty ranch dressing and then poured myself a glass of Chardonnay.

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**Don’t forget to head on over to Peas and Crayons to read more WIAW recaps! 

Peas and Crayons

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What’d you guys eat yesterday? 

Anything fun on the menu for today?

 

2 things that make summer running a 100x better/easier/more doable:

1) A great, UPBEAT playlist or station on Pandora.  My go-to is always my girl, Rihanna on Pandora. 

Yesterday, I tried waiting for the weather to cool down but it didn’t so I finally headed out for my run around 6:45 when it was still 88 degrees.  Everytime I got hot and wanted to walk, I turned up my music and tried to zone out to Rihanna, Beyonce, Usher, Pink, etc.  All the upbeat music made me get into a groove and just go with it.  Seriously, it works.

2) Running with a water bottle or along a route with water fountains.

If I run around the lake or Castle Island I know I’ll be A-OK since there’s a bunch of conveniently placed water fountains along the course.  But when I’m running around my neighborhood there’s no water so it makes a HUGE difference if I run with my little water bottle.  This morning it wasn’t too hot but the humidity levels made it hard to breath and that’s when the water comes in handy!  It makes it possible to keep going and get a decent workout without throwing in my towel and calling it a day.  

Also, in case you’re wondering, I barely even notice the water bottle while I’m running.  It’s so lightweight, small, and easy to hold. 

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Dinner

After my super slow run (aka jog) around the lake, I came home to a delicious grilled pizza courtessy of Mike. 

I may be going out on the limb but I think this is our favorite meal of the summer!  (I know it’s not the healthiest but it’s oh sooo good.  Besides, I ate healthy all day (yogurt parfait, mixed nuts, salad for lunch, fruit) so pizza for dinner is fine by me :D)

Ham, Arugula, and Gorgonzola Cheese Grilled Pizza

Ingredients:

  • store bought pizza crust or you can make your own
  • tomato sauce
  • chopped slices of ham
  • crumbled gorgonzola cheese (or any cheese you like)
  • fresh arugula

Directions:

1) Place a pizza stone on the grill and wait for it to heat up.  While the stone is heating, lay the pizza crust on a baking sheet and add tomato sauce, chopped ham, and crumbled gorgonzola cheese. 

2) Transfer the pizza to the hot stone and grill for about 8 minutes.

3) Remove the pizza stone and place the pizza directly on the grill (to make it crispier) for about 2-3 minutes.

4) Remove the pizza from the grill and add the arugula on top.  Enjoy!

(Btw, I just noticed our pizza was slacking with the arugula :(  We usually add a lot more on top.)

There’s something about grilling a pizza that makes it so much tastier!

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What are the 1 or 2 things that make your summer running better/easier?

What’d you eat for dinner?

Mike’s Perfect Pesto!

Yesterday after work Mike and I headed over to Breakheart Reservation for a 3 mile power-walk through the hilly, shaded paths.   It was a rest day from running so I figured we might as well walk and enjoy the summer weather since it finally ‘cooled down’ to the 80’s.  Halfway through our walk, we stopped over at the lil’ fitness playground for some push-ups, dips, and crunches.

And also a bunch of ‘bench step-ups”.  Gotta work the butt muscles whenever & wherever I can.

And yes, we have to work on our iPhone action shots but you get the picture….  Just step up and down as many times as you can. :)

Dinner

Dinner last night centered around the amazingggg leftover pesto from Sunday evening.  Let me tell you, homemade pesto with fresh basil from the garden is so freakin’ GOOD.  And I’m not even a huge pesto lover.  Mike has made great pesto in the past but nothing as good as the batch he whipped up on Sunday night.  What’s so great about it?!  He added cottage cheese to make it a creamier, yummier texture (plus, he used less garlic since I’m not a big fan).  He’s such a smarty, right?

This homemade recipe is healthy, delicious, and only takes minutes to prepare!

Ingredients:

(Rough estimates – flavor to taste)

  • 2 bunches of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic <— add more if you really like garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese w/ chives <— I’m sure low-fat cottage cheese would be great, lighter alternative

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

This pesto was perfect on grilled tilapia (our dinner from Sunday night) and also mixed with veggie pasta, grilled chicken and cherry tomatoes (dinner from  last night).

You could even use it as a spread on a sandwich or add more cottage cheese to make it a creamier texture and turn it into a delicious pesto dip! The possibilities are endless :)

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Do you grow basil?  What do you make with it?

What’s your workout today??

-I ran 4 miles earlier this morning and thankfully it was overcast and drizzling (my ideal running weather!)