As part of a healthy lifestyle, I try to find foods that are beneficial in a multitude of ways.
Soybeans have been recognized as a plant food that is relatively high in protein. This is the reason that soybeans have historically been called “meat of the field” or “meat without bones.” It makes it a great option for vegetarians, but you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy it! Although I am not a vegetarian, I love filling my plate with the versatile nutritional powerhouse!
One of my favorite ways to enjoy soy is in the form of grilled tofu!
Here are a few simple tips on how to grill tofu!
First, use firm or extra-firm tofu. This is important so it will stay together during grilling. Make sure to always press your tofu well before grilling. I place my tofu on a plate with lots of heavy books on top all day long so that any excess water is removed.
Next, marinate your tofu in your favorite marinade for at least 30 minutes before grilling. I like to marinate it in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator. The longer you allow it to marinate, the more flavor you will get!
Lastly, make sure to preheat your grill and prepare it with nonstick cooking spray. Grill the tofu for about 6-7 minutes on each side, brushing occasionally with extra marinade.
Here are a few more ways to enjoy tofu!
A special thank you to The Soyfoods Council for the information regarding the benefits of soy!
Questions Of The Day
Have you tried tofu?
What is your favorite way to enjoy soybeans?
As I am away this week, I didn’t want to leave you hanging, so a few friends have been so kind to help me out. Today is one of my favorite bloggers! I stumbled upon Lindsay’s blog about a year ago, and have been an avid The Lean Green Bean reader ever since. Her blog is a great mix of healthy living tips, recipes, and balancing life!
Thank you Lindsay for spending the day on NBR and without further ado, here’s a great recipe!
Hello fellow Nut Butter Runners!
My name is Lindsay & I’m a Registered Dietitian who blogs over at The Lean Green Bean. I’m so honored to be filling in for M today! We connected via social media probably about a year ago and she’s a huge supporter of my blog. I love following her on all of her social media channels - hello! Have you SEEN her Instagram?! Makes me drool every time. Plus, we share an affinity for Sunday Food Prep :) So, when she asked me to share a recipe with you guys, I jumped at the chance. This is actually something I threw together for Eat the Rainbow day during our Elf 4 Health challenge. It’s a variation of this Tex Mex Barley Bake I posted on my blog several years ago…except I revamped it…and made it better. Now I’m calling it Cheesy Mexican Chicken Skillet. It’s packed with fiber, protein and tons of veggies. Plus it reheats well. I would know. I ate it for approximately 5 meals in a row after I made it! Here’s how you make it:
1/2 c farro, uncooked (quinoa, barley or pretty much any other grain would work as well)
1 Tbsp butter
3/4 c sweet potato, finely diced
1/2 c onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 c corn kernels
1 c black beans
1 1/2 c cooked chicken, diced
2 cups kale, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepepr
1 Tbsp flour
3/4 c milk
3/4 c shredded cheese
salsa & avocado, optional
1. Cook farro according to package directions.
2. While farro is cooking, melt butter in a large skillet. Add veggies and saute 7-8 minutes until softened.
3. Add beans, chicken, kale and spices and saute another 5 minutes.
4. Sprinkle with flour and add milk and cheese.
5. Stir continuously until cheese melts, add farro and reduce heat. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
6. Serve warm, topped with salsa & avocado (if desired) and a side of tortilla chips for scooping! If you’re not a meat eater, leave out the chicken and add some extra beans! That’s all there is too it, friends!
Last weekend I laced up my shoes and hit the trails for a 6 mile run.
I ended up doing 10 miles. My heart was telling me to keep going.
Around the second mile, two marines passed me and said hello. At mile 3, they turned around and told me to have a great run. I smiled and said thank you. While approaching the fifth mile, a guy said “great job” to me. This is just a small part of running that I love…the smiling, waving, and quick hello’s to strangers. It makes my morning, which ends up leading to a great day.
During my run, I started thinking about why I run.
I grew up in sports where running was more of a “punishment”. The days of “suicides” in basketball, running a mile in soccer for a missed shot, haunted my days. Once I got to college my days of team sports were over. That lead me to having all this energy and nowhere to expend it. My mom has always been a speed walker, while my dad had picked up running around this time. So based on the recommendations of my parents, I began to try out some gym classes. I ultimately found solace in spinning and running.
My family was going out to Disney World for a half marathon and when asked if I wanted to do it, I said “why not” and so it began.
As I think deeper into my inspiration for running, the answer is actually quite simple: my dad.
His very first race was a half marathon. Like father, like daughter. My first race was also a half marathon.
My dad fought for his health when he felt as if his running was no longer optimal…he begged doctors to perform a stress test. My dad is a very fit man who follows a very clean, vegetarian diet, so the doctors reluctantly agreed and what was found changed our lives.
One year ago, my dad underwent a voluntary heart surgery.
My dad ran 10 miles one week prior to surgery.
Then, heran 10 miles just six months afterwards.
The truth is, I believe I was born to be a runner.
In basketball, I was the first one to the other side of the court on a fast break.
In soccer, I played midfield. (In my opinion, this position does the most running as it requires playing offense and defense.)
I believe my dad got into running to inspire me to lace up my own shoelaces. I believe we are all placed on the planet with a purpose, and this is just one of mine.
I now could not imagine my life without running. Besides all of the health benefits of running, it most importantly makes me happy. It brings me solitude, gives me time to think, and provides me with a way to escape everyday life.
Hello and happy Sunday!
Yes, I am out of town today. Before jetting off last night, I did a little food prep for Matt. I spent about an hour Friday night and an hour yesterday morning getting things together. I also know when I get back later this week, my staples will be ready for me!
So here is what we have:
Can you believe after two Thanksgivings we managed to have no leftovers?
So I popped over to the grocery store and picked up a turkey breast. I placed it in the crockpot with chicken broth and seasonings, then sliced it up for us to have!
This is also way cheaper than buying deli meat, so you better bet your bottom dollar that it will be happening a lot more around here!
- Drained and rinsed black beans
- Butternut squash
I went ahead and made this when I made the quinoa stuffing for Thursday!
- Coconut muffins
I tried making them without applesauce and doubled the coconut yogurt since I ran out, The taste is still good, but they definitely don’t turn out as pretty!
If you’re looking for more food prep ideas, head over to Lindsay's page where you can catch my prep work from a few weeks ago, as well as other great prepping ideas!
I hope you guys are having a great weekend!
My friend Arman from The Big Man’s World recently began a new link-up party feature called “Spill It Sundays” where bloggers answer themed questions each week. I missed the first week since I was off traveling and my Internet failed to work, so I’m doubling up this week!
Week One Theme: General Information
What is your cultural background?
I am 3/4 Italian, 1/8 German, and 1/8 Irish. Ask me where I grew up and I couldn’t tell ya.
When was your most memorable birthday and why?
Probably my 21st. Amanda came in town to surprise me, Matt’s best friend (who was Matt’s best man in our wedding) and my childhood best friend all made the trip to Knoxville to celebrate with me!
What is your #1 thing you want to accomplish in your lifetime?
To make a difference in the world. Whether it be through helping patients by providing them medications, by creating some invention to make our lives easier, or just help someone smile.
Who was your childhood hero?
The 1996 USA Gymnastics team. Probably mostly Dominique Dawes and Kerri Strug. I was obsessed with gymnastics!
Photo: circa 1996 at my gymnastics birthday party
Week Two Theme: Travel
Name up to 5 of your post memorable places your travelled and information about each one. Why it was most memorable? Who you were there with.
Ever since I was born, my family and I have road-tripped to South Carolina for a week at the beach. The week includes nothing but sitting at the beach reading, playing games, cooking, and spending time together. As we grew up moving around a lot, this place has almost felt as comfortable as “home” to me. A huge piece of my heart, and a whole lot of memories will always be here!
In 2006, I traveled to Hawaii with my best friend in high school’s family and had the best time! My favorite part was having the chance to swim with the dolphins. It had always been on my “bucket list” growing up, and I finally was able to do it! Ironically, Matt went to Hawaii with his best friend in high school as well. We are determined to go back one day together and I want to swim with the dolphins again!
It was a graduation gift from my parents to go to Paris, Venice, and Switzerland. We spent about a week in Paris, 3 days in Venice, and 3 days in Switzerland. We walked around everywhere, saw all the landmarks, ate the most amazingly fresh food, and enjoyed every second of quality time I had with my mom and dad. It was the absolute best trip of my life!
Matt and I went on our honeymoon to St. Maarten so it will always hold a special place in my heart! We wanted a place to just relax on the beach, read a book, and sight see a bit. We ended up going on a day hike, having a picnic at the beach, and snorkeling. It was a great way to start our lives together!
Now it’s your turn!
Questions Of The Day
What is the most memorable trip you have ever taken?
Who was your childhood hero?
When was your most memorable birthday?
I know, I know…I don’t usually post on Friday nights since this is usually Matt and I’s “date night”, but I felt like chatting with you so here’s a little Friday night treat!
Last night Matt and I went down to his parents house for our second Thanksgiving. Once again, there was a plethora of food!
We also exchanged Christmas gifts at this time since we were all together. Guess who got more compression socks!? Oh yes. My wonderful sister-in-law knows me so well. Compression socks, superfood trail mix, a scarf and cute scarf hanger all graced my presence last night. Matt got lots of camping stuff, which he was really excited about, too. Our gifts suited us perfectly!
We also managed to take a few Christmas card photos. Once my mother-in-law sends them to me, I will be sure to share with you. They are quite hilarious!
This morning started with cleaning the house and getting ready to head out of town. I will be heading to Orlando, Florida tomorrow for about a week. I’m excited because I will get to see Maura, my brother-in-law Patrick, and Kendall!
I also did a P90X DVD for only the second time. Matt did the entire program a couple years ago and I had done the yoga DVD with him at that time. Today, I felt like working up a major sweat so running would have been my preference, but it’s been raining since yesterday morning and there are no plans of it stopping until tomorrow. Oh, and it’s changing over to sleet now, too. So…I broke out the P90X DVDs and grabbed CardioX.
Here are a few of my favorite exercises that it included:
It was a great workout!
The rest of the night includes relaxing by our Christmas tree before scooting out of town.
By the way, if you’re looking for a Christmas gift, I buy this candle every year from Bath And Body Works. It smells just like a real Christmas tree!
Here’s to a great weekend, friends!
Happy Friday, friends!
Today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite snacks this week. I’ve had these paired with soup, NuttZo, hummus, crumbled on top of yogurt, and of course just plain this week and have been loving them! These are dense muffins that are filling and tasty!
Makes 18 muffins
2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup Coconut Flour
1 (6-ounce) contaner Plain Coconut Yogurt
1/4 cup Applesauce
1 cup Silk Coconut Milk
3/4 cup Liquid Egg Whites (About 4 Egg Whites)
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Honey
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients.
3. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Pour batter into each muffin tin.
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Coconut Muffins (per muffin)
77 calories, 2.1g fat, 11.4g carbohydrates, 3.2g protein, 3.9g fiber
Good morning friends!
I had a request to do a “day in the life” type of post and had every intention of photographing my life throughout the day to share with you today. However I have been feeling quite under the weather since Monday and yesterday had me knocked down. So yesterday’s “day in the life” would have included a couch, Dayquil, tissues, hot tea, movies (Hallmark and Lifetime movies are the best when you’re sick!), and sleeping. So you can look for that in the future sometime!
I’m glad I let my body get the rest it needed because I awoke this morning feeling much better. I’m still not 100%, but good enough to have an appetite again! That’s great news for me since Thanksgiving celebration number two is tonight! Matt’s sisters and their husbands were not able to make the trip to Illinois so my mother-in-law decided to have our own quaint Thanksgiving! Everyone will be heading down there later today and I could not be more excited. I even made this quinoa stuffing off of my Pinterest board!
Another thing made off of my Pinterest board? Breakfast!
I used Arman’s basic recipe for a 5-minute flatbread to make a pumpkin spice flatbread! I just added 1/4 cup pumpkin with pumpkin spice, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to the mix, which was delicious!
I topped my flatbread with warm apples and cinnamon, almond butter, and Greek yogurt. This was so tasty! I highly recommend the flatbread…I mean, who doesn’t love breakfast in 5 minutes?
Now I’m off to babysit for the day! I hope you guys have a great Thursday!
I felt like starting off our post with a cute little photo this morning, so here we go!
You are bound to have a great day now, right?
And we’re back with our usual midweek happenings!
Weekly Wednesday Recap:
What I Ate
As part of Elf For Health 2013, yesterday’s challenge was to eat the rainbow. I figured what better way to feature this than with the What I Ate Wednesday party!
Red: Goji berries
Orange: An orange
Green: Tea (That counts, right?)
Blue: Blueberry oatmeal
Veggies + Hummus
Red: Peppers, Roasted red pepper hummus
Alexis’s Pomegranate, Quinoa, and Goat Cheese Stuffed Acorn Squash
Red: Cherries (I didn’t have pomegranate arils)
Yellow: Acorn squash
Brown: Grilled tofu
I don’t think I have to explain this one :)
"Fajita" Turkey Burgers
Green: Broccoli, Spinach
Brown: Turkey Burgers, English Muffin
White: Swiss cheese
Meg’s Ginger Spice Pear Chia Pudding
Red: Cherries (I didn’t have a pear)
Orange: Ginger (It appears orange?)
White: Greek yogurt
That’s it for me and my eats! Head on over to Jenn's page to catch some great daily eats and recipes!
As we are already a few days into December, it is time for our final November goals check-in!
Here’s a quick recap from the month:
Saturday, November 23
Activity: Pilates bootcamp DVD
Breakfast: Oatmeal raisin cookie oats
Sunday, November 24
Activity: 10 mile run
Breakfast: Apple cinnamon protein pancakes
Monday, November 25
Activity: Light circuit
Breakfast: Pumpkin raisin overnight oats topped with banana and peanut butter with a side of an energy bite
Tuesday, November 26
Activity: 3 mile speed work
Breakfast: Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, blueberries, pomegranate arils, and Kashi cereal
Wednesday, November 27
Activity: A new circuit that my Elf For Health buddy shared with me that Cori from Olive To Run posted
Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with pumpkin chili
Thursday, November 28
Activity: 4 mile run + turkey day pyramid burner
Breakfast: Peanut butter oatmeal cookie dough oatmeal
Friday, November 29
Activity: Turkey day pyramid burner
Breakfast: Oatmeal mixed with Greek yogurt and clementines
Saturday, November 30
Activity: 2 mile run
Breakfast: Oatmeal with peanut butter, Greek yogurt, and a hard boiled egg
Well that concludes the November challenges that I set for myself! I thoroughly enjoyed each day as it really was a challenge to have something new for breakfast each morning and be motivated to do some kind of movement each day. Although, it only takes 5-10 minutes a day to be active!
Now that we’re into December, my goal for myself was for daily exercise. I pretty much did this last month, but I am excited to continue this on for another month with Heather from Better With Veggies "Move Happy" challenge!
I’m also going to be holding myself accountable in cleaning out my Pinterest “closet”! I have so many recipes, fitness routines, DIY projects, and other random things pinned that I am going to be making my way through!
Questions Of The Day
What are your goals this month?
Do you set daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly goals?