Cooking with Tyler – Week 1

So anyone who knows Tyler, knows he loves a recipe for an idea THEN he basically throws it away midway through preparing the meal and runs with the rest of the dish how he sees best fit. Let’s be real, sometimes this makes something that would be good — AMAZING… and other times, well it ends up with whole lot of love, some crazy flavor, and maybe even a run to Taco Bell.

So for our first recipe we made Avocado Toast with Miso Fast Greens from Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky’s cookbook, Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. Sounds like a simple recipe but trust me, Tyler found his ways to mix it up

Ingredients:

  • whole grain bread – Nope, Tyler doesn’t like whole grain so Italian bread fo us
  • avocado
  • greens – Tyler used kale
  • eggs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • miso butter
  • garlic – Tyler used pre minced from the jar
  • red peper flakes
  • sesame seeds – I forgot to buy (oops!)
  • everything bagel seasoning – added by Tyler
  • balsamic vinegar – added by Tyler

And notice, I did not put the amount for anything…. Tyler eyeballed from the start today.

Step 1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat then add greens, stirring frequently, until wilted – done to perfection!

Step 2. Add miso butter, garlic, and red pepper flakes and saute – after a look of disgust when opening the miso butter, he completed this step to perfection… minus the measuring part.

Greens Complete….oh what there is more! Batch 1 turned out perfect and there is so much kale left over, now lets skip the miso and add balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper! Check! Oh wait, there is even more! Now lets make them with just olive oil. Thank goodness Tyler liked the extra special flavors… because nope, that was a funky combo of flavors (and yes, he used the same pan from the first perfect batch through his specialty concoctions…Hello Flavor!)

Step 3. Toast the bread, scoop half an avocado on each slice, smashing the avocado with the back of the fork onto the toast – sous chef to the rescue! My only appearance till clean up has been made. Done to perfection if I do say so myself!

Step 4. Place greens on top of layer of avocado – we had two pieces of toast each, and the mystery greens were a thing. Tyler didn’t tell me which piece had which of the specialty greens so the first bite sure was interesting. Hint, it wasn’t the delicious Miso Greens!

Step 5. Make the perfect fried eggs and place on top of greens- I have to give Tyler credit, he made 4 perfectly cooked, runny eggs. Bravo, Chef!

Step 6. Garnish with red pepper flakes and sesame seeds – not a chance! Garnish by Tyler was Everything Bagel Seasoning — this was actually a great choice! The extra salt was the perfect addition.

So all in all, we ended up with something that was pretty similar to the original recipe, only a few twists and turns. Judge Kathryn (me) gave Tyler a score of: 8. Would have been a 9 but he used too many unnecessary dishes (that I had to clean up).

See below for the original recipe and let me know if you decide to give the Pros or Chef Tyler’s version of the recipe a try!

Happy Cooking!

xo, Kathryn

Raw Generation Protein Cleanse

A couple weeks ago I gave my first “juice cleanse” a try. Being as I had never done one before I was a little nervous so I did a lot of research before landing on this particular cleanse. I had no idea there were so many out there! Seriously, it took a while to pick the right one for me and I highly suggest you do your research to pick the right one for you if it is something you’re interested in.

Here is why I picked the Raw Generation Protein Cleanse:

  • PRE-MADE, ready to go, no work on my part! Sounds lazy but I am a woman on the move. I already have to schedule sleep in my planner so I didn’t want to now have to take to the cutting board and blender for hours a day. Plus this made it easy to take multiple juices with me.
  • Throughout the day you are getting to mix things up, there are three true juices and three that are more like protein shakes. Unlike traditional juicing I had multiple flavors throughout my day.
  • This cleanse actually had calories. Each day was about 950 calories. A lot of the other cleanses I looked at only had about 400-500 calories per day. I don’t know about you but that is not nearly enough for me.
  • I didn’t have to give up caffeine. The cleanse allows for black tea or coffee.
  • If you need a crunch, raw veggies are allowed.
  • Options! They had a 3, 5, and 7 day cleanse option. I ended up opting for the 5 day cleanse but bought shakes for 7 so I could taper off.
  • They can be bought through Amazon Prime (let’s be real, the deal was sealed when I found this out)

How it went:

Fantastic! My goal was 5 days but I ended up doing a 4 day cleanse and tapered day 5 and 6. I was never once hungry (except the time I left my last juice of the day at home and ended up working till almost midnight…so my fault!), ended up with a bunch more energy, lost 5.8lbs and several inches around my lower abdomen, and overall just felt much much better. I feel like it gave my gut the kick start it needed after all the junk I had been eating ((and no, I did not spend all 5 days in the bathroom ūüėČ )). Also, another added perk, it MADE me drink water. I hate water but with this cleanse since I wasn’t eating a bunch of snacks, I filled that snack void with water. Finally, the best part, it actually tasted good! I really really liked 4 of the 6 and the other two were still good, just not my favorites.

Overall Impression: A+!! I will definitely be doing it again in the future and would highly recommend this cleanse to anyone, but especially to someone taking on their first cleanse.

Holy Moly Grilled Cheese

Howdy, Hello friends!! How are you?! Hopefully staying dry and warm on this nasty evening. Here in Charlotte you’d think we had a blizzard coming as the shelves are empty in the grocery stores and the lines for the gas pumps leak into the streets. Yes, Northerners we are well aware that we are pathetic. However,¬†regardless of how pathetic we are, the cold requires some delicious and warm comfort food. For me, that meant Grilled Cheese!! A long time favorite but this weekend it was taken up a notch….

Ingredients:

1. Butter…. sorry never said it was healthy ūüėČ

2. Fresh Baked Farm Bread. So delicious. Can’t say I made it on my own but I can say Whole Foods bakery is awesome!!

3. Gooey, stringy Fontal Italian Cheese. The lady at Whole Foods really sold us on this one when we mentioned we wanted to make “yummy grilled cheese” and I have to say it was a great choice.

4. Baked chicken seasoned with salt and pepper.

5. Sliced Tomato

Butter the bread, melt the cheese, layer on the tomato and chicken and Boom! Holy Moly Grilled Cheese!!

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What tasty grilled cheese creations have you made? Please share in the comments below.¬†¬†I’m thinking adding avocado would be another great addition. Stay warm this evening friends!

Happy Monday!

Super Bowl Yummies

Hey Y’all! How are you doing? Even though its already Wednesday night, lets back it up to Super Bowl Sunday when Alexie¬†and I headed over to my parents house for a relaxing evening of food, drinks, laughing, and football watching. The commercials were good, the game was great, the company was awesome, and the food was fantastic! So in today’s post I want to take you through a few of the yummy highlights…. (PS just so we are clear, I can’t take credit for any of these, they were all chef mama bear and papa bear’s)

1. Barbecue Chicken Bites.

Basically healthier boneless BBQ chicken wings.¬†We all loved the chicken but weren’t so sure about the dipping sauce. The sauce was much hotter than we had all anticipated.

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4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs {They used only the white meat to further reduce the calories and fat} 18-ounce bottle barbecue sauce 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 cup panko breadcrumbs Kosher salt and ground black pepper For the dressing: 1 cup sour cream 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapenos 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon onion powder Hot sauce, to taste Kosher salt and ground black pepper. TRIM any visible fat from the chicken thighs, then cut each into 2-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl and stir in 1 cup of the barbecue sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. WHEN ready to cook, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the smoked paprika and breadcrumbs and cook until the breadcrumbs are toasted, stirring continuously, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. MAKE dressing: In a small bowl whisk together the sour cream, jalapenos, chives, garlic powder and onion powder. Season with hot sauce, salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside. HEAT broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.USE a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the barbecue sauce, allowing any extra sauce to drain away. Discard the excess marinade. Arrange the chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet. BROIL chicken about 6 inches from the heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Brush the remaining barbecue sauce over the tops of the chicken bites, then sprinkle all over with the toasted crumbs. Serve with the dressing for dipping.

2. Baked Parmesan Zucchini

This was probably my favorite of the night. I don’t know what to compare it to but I promise it was really good. And according to chef papa bear it was super easy to make.

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Ingredients –¬†4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise,¬†1/2 cup grated Parmesan,¬†1/2 teaspoon dried thyme,¬†1/2 teaspoon dried oregano,¬†1/2 teaspoon dried basil,¬†1/4 teaspoon garlic powder,¬†Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste,¬†2 tablespoons virgin olive oil,¬†2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves.¬†Instructions –¬†Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet; set aside.¬†In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste.¬†Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan mixture. Place into oven and bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the crisp and golden brown.¬†Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.¬†This recipe is from¬†damndelicious.net.

3. Cilantro Lime Shrimp

If you like shrimp, lime, and cilantro, you will like this. It had me going back for seconds which is saying a lot since I am typically a plain jane, just give me boiled shrimp kind of girl so I was pleasantly surprised.

IMG_9233

Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp, 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, 5 garlic cloves, crushed, 2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 medium lime), 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro. Directions: Season the shrimp with cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil to the pan, then add half of the shrimp. Cook them undisturbed for about 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp over and cook until opaque throughout, about 1 minute.  Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and the remaining shrimp to the pan and cook, undisturbed, for about 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp over, add the garlic, and cook until the shrimp is opaque throughout, about 1 minute.{cooking time was a bit longer than this, maybe a total of 7-8minutes according to chef papa bear} Return the first batch of shrimp to the skillet, mix well so that the garlic is evenly incorporated and remove the pan from the heat. Squeeze the lime juice over all the shrimp. Add the cilantro, toss well, and serve. This recipe is from skinnytaste.com.

There you have it, the yummies of my Super Bowl Sunday. What were your Super Bowl favorites? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Eating! 

Yummy in my Tummy

Hey! I hope each of you had a fun filled weekend. I made it down to Atlanta for a quick 24hr trip to visit a good friend. I’m a little exhausted now but it was well worth it. I will be sure to give you a more in depth update of that in the coming days. But for now, I wanted to share a couple easy meals to help you get your week started off on the right foot.

1. For an easy, high protein breakfast:

waffle

Grab 2 frozen whole grain waffles, some almond almond butter, raisins, and a few chopped walnuts. Toast the waffles, smear on the almond butter, and sprinkle on the raisins and walnuts and you’re ready to go. I cut up an apple to go along with this. It was super filling and very delicious.

2. For a quick snack:

smoothie

Grab the blender, throw in a banana, some greek yogurt, a handful of frozen strawberries, a little water and ice, hit blend and you are good to go. I like to add a few chi seeds in the mix as well, but not necessary.

3. For a complete lunch or dinner in minutes:

loaded potato

All you need is a sweet potato, frozen broccoli, pre-cooked chicken (I bake a couple chicken breasts at the beginning of each week to have on hand), and some low-fat shredded cheese. Stick the potato in the microwave for about 7min, steam the broccoli for about a minute in the microwave, and warm up the chicken for about 30seconds. I put it together like a loaded baked potato and finish it off with a little bit of cheese on top. This last time I added half an avocado to the mix for a little something extra.

So what are some of your easy, go to meals? Please share in the comments below.

I hope you week gets off on the right foot! 

Spaghetti & Meat Sauce with a TWIST

As colder weather sets in I don’t know about you, but I crave warm, hearty meals which unfortunately aren’t always the healthiest. Here, however, is a spin on a traditionally high calorie, comfort food to make it a good bit healthier but still just as delicious.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND TURKEY MEAT SAUCE:

Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash
Olive oil (tiny amount)
Salt and Pepper (tiny amount)
A low sugar pasta sauce — Prego that has a few that are pretty low
Lean ground turkey — I usually get the 97% lean

Directions:
Preheat over to 400

Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half long ways. I promise this is the most difficult part of the entire meal.

Scrape out the guts….the seeds and stringy parts.

Coat with a a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper, and place face down on a cookie sheet (they should be laying flat)

Bake about 40min.

Brown turkey.

Add sauce to browned turkey and simmer.

Remove squash from the oven and very carefully turn them over to cool for a few minutes …. WILL BE VERY HOT!!!

Once you can safely handle it, using a fork scrape the insides of the spaghetti squash. It will start to look like noodles.

Serve just as you would regular spaghetti.

Enjoy!

Macaroni and Cheese

Yesterday, as we were all iced in, all I could think about was wanting some warm comfort food to go along with my lazy day on the couch. However, I wanted to make it at least somewhat healthy since after all I was being super lazy (on my off day from training) and had no intentions of getting outside even to walk. That is when I came across a “healthy” mac ‘n cheese recipe. I will admit, it isn’t quite as good as the real thing but it definitely fit my craving.¬†

Ingredients: 
Whole wheat elbows (or whatever kind you like)
2 cup 2% or low fat shredded cheese (I recommend using sharp cheddar)
1/2 cup plain low fat greek yogurt
Salt and Pepper to taste
Onion Powder and Garlic Powder (I used a very minimal amount but it is up to you)
Directions:
1. Cook pasta according to box directions. 
2. Drain pasta but save about 1cup of the drained water. 
3. Place pasta and about a 1/4-1/2cup of the water back in the pot.
4. Stir in cheese till melted. 
5. Add greek yogurt and seasonings. 
5. If too thick add a little more water, if not, serve and enjoy! 
I added a turkey sausage and a little fruit on the side to make mine a more complete meal. 
Happy Cooking! 

Crockpot Fajitas

This past weekend I used the crockpot for the first time ever. I made crockpot fajitas (well the meat went in the crockpot) for my family when they were in town and it turned out great! And even better yet… They were super healthy!¬†

Time: 15min prep. 8hrs cook time. 
Ingredients: (enough to feed 6 people) 
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cup fresh salsa
2 cup salsa verde
2  tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons paprika
Lettuce 
Green pepper
Yellow pepper
Red pepper
Onion
Avocado 
Directions: 
1. Mix the salsas and spices together. 
2. Put chicken and salsa mix into crock pot and turn it on low. 
3. Chop peppers and onion and place in ziplock. 
4. Return 7 hours and 45min later to sauté the peppers and onions until they are carmalized. You can add some of the spices to give the peppers a little extra flavor. 
8. Shred chicken with fork (it will practically fall apart). Wash lettuce and chop avocado. 
9. Make your fajita using the lettuce as your tortilla. 
10. Enjoy! 

Whole30 Challenge…

Failed. This Sunday morning I came to the conclusion that the Whole30 Challenge was not the healthiest option for me. As you read in last weeks update I was struggling with low energy and headaches as well as some digestive issues, while at the completion of week 2, the same issues were still present. I was constantly low on energy, was still waking up with throbbing headaches and my digestive system was completely twisted and causing some extreme discomfort. I think a lot of the digestive issues came from the large quantities of protein I was consuming as well as the large amounts of fiber from all the fruits and vegetables. The headaches and low energy I believe are on account of the great amount of training that I am doing as I prepare for my next half ironman. Most of my headaches felt like they were a result of low blood sugar. Even though I “failed”, I want to share what I have learned during my experience, as this still may be a great route for you to try:

1. The cravings for “bad” foods did decrease. Be patient through the first couple days, no doubt it is tough. Keep in mind, you aren’t a dog. You can say no to food.

2. I thought it was a great kick start towards getting back on track to eating healthy. Because what you can eat is laid out so clearly it made it easy to choose what to eat and stay on track.

3. You must like eggs and sweet potatoes to complete the challenge. These will be your staples.

4. Guacamole tastes great on just about anything.

5. If you are trying to lose weight, I can see how this would be very a beneficial way to start. Fruits and vegetables do not have nearly as many calories as other forms of carbohydrates making it so you can still eat quite a bit.

6. If you are doing a good bit of exercise, especially high volumes of cardio, it may be beneficial to make slight adjustments to the plan and add some form of a grain carbohydrate to help keep your glycogen stores up.

7. Be prepared to do a lot of cooking. Fruits and vegetables will not keep you full as long as you are accustomed to with your more traditional snack options.

8. It is a great opportunity to learn to read the ingredients list on packaged foods. It will defiantly be an eye opener to the large quantities of sugar and crazy number of chemicals present in the foods we are eating on a regular basis.

9. It got me to eat a lot more protein. Although this wasn’t ideal for my digestive system, it was beneficial to my muscle recovery.

10. I tried and enjoyed quite a few new foods. When you venture from your typical way of eating you get the opportunity to try quite a bit more and this was a fun way to experiment in the kitchen.

For those of you who have done it, what did you learn? And for those of you who are considering it, what questions do you have?

Take care and have a great Monday!

Whole30 Week 1

A week ago today I started the Whole30 Challenge. For those of you who aren’t familiar, it is a 30 day cleanse of processed foods, added sugars, leguems, grains, dairy, and alcohol. AKA anything super delicious… Don’t even think about it!!¬†

Update: 
Days 1&2 were pretty rough, I was always starving. I couldn’t seem to eat enough calories. Day 3, I noticed my energy was up but eating so many fruits and veggies defiantly caught up to my digestive system if you know what I mean… Day 4&5, a lot better. I started to get the hang of eating a lot more protein. Day 6&7, rough again. I had a long run on day 6 and a long bike on day 7 (10miles on day 6 and 2hrs on the bike on day 7). This is when my lack of carbohydrates caught up to me. My run was good but I did notice I was getting a headache and a slightly dizzy feeling by the end, like my blood sugar was low. Day 7, my legs felt like lead, my head ached, and I had zero energy. I ate 2 Lara Bars (190 calories each) before beginning and I was only able to make it to 20min before calling it quits so I could eat some more and potentially recover a little more from my previous days run….
…because of this issue and the amount of training that I am doing I will be adding some whole grains to my diet for the coming week to see if that makes a difference. From what I have read, many other triathletes had to alter the plan as well to be able to maintain their training appropriately. Even though I hate to make alterations to the challenge..¬†Fingers crossed it works!
What I’m Missing Most:¬†
Tortilla chips and cheese. I didn’t realize how much I loved each of these until I could no longer have them.¬†
Best Meals So Far: 
Valentines Day Dinner: zucchini pasta, shrimp and scallops and some kind of other squash. It was delicious and all thanks to my Valentine ūüėȬ†

Mushroom stuffed with ground turkey and guacamole and a side of clementine. 

What I’ve Learned So Far:¬†
You must like eggs, sweet potatoes, and avocado to survive the challenge. These are the staples to my diet. 
A few more thoughts to close out week 1…For as tough as this “diet plan” is to follow, I am enjoying mixing it up and trying some new things. It is also forcing me to cook more often which isn’t always a bad thing either. Hopefully I will learn a couple more good dishes for you to try as well.¬†I’ll be back again next Monday for week two update.¬†

Happy Monday Y’all!¬†