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Kohlrabi Noodle Bolognese

May 19, 2016
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Hubs went with me to pick up my CSA this week. As I was putting the produce in my bags, he crinkled his nose and said “what’s THAT?!” It was kohlrabi, friends. I only knew this because of previous CSAs and I remembered liking it so I was happy to see it included.

Unrelated: Can we discuss zucchini noodles? I cannot get into them. I mean, I’ll eat them… but I feel like I’m forcing myself to do so. What is that about? I like zucchini… so, maybe it’s a texture thing? If anyone has a zoodle recipe they die for, I want to hear it! I digress.

What I DO love is the idea of making veggie noodles. I’ve never been a pasta fan (thank goodness), so these are a perfectly acceptable “substitute.” I picked up a Vegetti the other day and thought I would give the ol’ kohlrabi a spin in the spiralizer. Talk about making short work in the kitchen!

Ingredients:

  • 1 kohlrabi, trimmed and peeled
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 large mushrooms, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1lb grassfed ground beef
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 can of unsalted Rotel
  • 4 leaves of kale, washed, de-ribbed and chopped (for pre-prepped kale, use a couple of handfuls)
  • fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Trim kohlrabi of leaves (if any) and peel. Cut in half and discard stem/root. Make noodles using spiralizer. Be sure to run a knife through your noodles, otherwise you will be in for some “Lady & the Tramp” moments!
  2. Heat a couple of teaspoons of oil (I use unrefined coconut oil) in a large pan. Saute your diced onion and while that is cooking, peel and dice your carrots. Stir together and while those are cooking, dice your mushrooms. Stir together with garlic and tomato paste, making sure the vegetables are well-covered with the tomato paste.
  3. Incorporate the ground beef and cook through till brown. Incorporate tomato sauce, your drained Rotel, and oregano.
  4. While this continues to cook over medium heat, prep your kale (and stir in till wilted).
  5. Let this simmer and oil another pan. When heated, pour in your noodles and saute with salt and pepper for 5-7 minutes till “al dente.”
  6. Plate noodles first, and spoon bolognese on top to serve.
  7. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve immediately!

Serves 4 (I initially made this for hubs and myself… but hubs went back for seconds and I packaged up half of mine for lunch tomorrow.)

 

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

April 19, 2016
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A friend and I have been having this back and forth banter over spaghetti squash. For her, the texture is a total turn-off. Hey, I get it. There’s not much I don’t like to eat, but mushrooms? NOPE. In fact, I can’t remember a time ever liking mushrooms… although, I can’t pinpoint why.

Back to the spaghetti squash. My husband purchased two on a whim one day, to which I said “challenge accepted!” Only, after we’d cooked and eaten one, he brought home two more. After cooking and eating the fourth and final spaghetti squash last night, TRUST ME. You can do a whole lot with those guys. More than I initially thought.

In this squash run, we cooked “Spaghetti” and Meatballs, Sausage-Spinach Spaghetti Squash Boats, Buffalo Chicken Casserole… and this: Spaghetti Squash Carbonara. I have certainly saved the best recipe for last!

First, let me introduce you to The Endless Meal’s Dreamy Cauliflower Alfredo. Go ahead and make it. I’ll wait.

It’s legit, right?!

Here’s where I take it from there:

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook your spaghetti squash! If you’re reading this at breakfast and planning for dinner, I have a foolproof cook method I swear by: put the entire spaghetti squash in a crockpot, turn it on low and walk away for 4 hours.
  2. Take a large pot or pan (I used the one I steamed the cauliflower in) and cook the bacon. We like ours super crispy which also works well for crumbling. While this is cooking, dice your veggies.
  3. Now that your bacon is cooked, set aside and toss your diced veggies in the bacon fat. While the veggies are sauteing, crumble your bacon and cut your spaghetti squash in half.
  4. Take a fork and de-seed the squash, then work the threads out of the squash and into the pan with the veggies. Do this for both halves.
  5. Mix the squash with the diced veggies and pour in your cauliflower alfredo, stirring well. (I used half the batch and froze the rest.)
  6. Stir in half the crumbled bacon. Use the other half as a garnish to sprinkle on top.

I split this meal into three servings: 1 for hubs, 1 for me, and 1 to enjoy again at lunch the next day!

Well, this is awkward.

April 5, 2016

I’m not sure what prompted me to dust off this ol’ blog, but here we are… six years later to the day! Imagine my creeped out surprise when I saw the last blog post-dated April 5. Kismet?

To say a lot has changed in 6 years would be an understatement, so maybe I should start by saying little has stayed the same. From a laparoscopy procedure in 2009, fighting depression in 2010, a freak hospital stay in 2011 (which led to countless visits with hemotologists, oncologists and a lot of other -gists leading nowhere), to quickly being followed by a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis in 2011 and prescriptions of steroids and biologic injections in 2012 (whew)… things finally started looking up in 2013 when my pain became manageable and my wonderful (patient!) husband and I were married in October.

Fast forward three years later when my weight has yo-yo’d up and down for a good majority of life (no thanks to the bevvy of meds), I am now in my mid-30s and I am cringing about things I posted on Amanda Lives Well. To think about how obsessed I was with numbers and counting calories… and wondering why no one stopped me. Life is too short to treat yourself so harshly.

Today, my husband and I eat paleo. For me, I have discovered that stress and gluten are autoimmune triggers and this lifestyle complements my body well. I love to cook and enjoy spending time researching real food substitutions for recipes that accommodate paleo-ish standards and the dietary concerns of my friends who are gluten/soy/dairy/egg-free. Yes, we own a scale, but as for importance of numbers? Blood pressure > BMI. Cholesterol > Calories. I’d rather be HEALTHY than “normal” by society’s standards.

And there’s your introduction to Hip Nomelson! Rather than tearing apart calories and processed shortcuts, I am refocusing on Real Food solutions. And writing about my journey here.

Starting the week off with limbs of jello

April 5, 2010

With “workout” on my to-do list for Monday, I had no solid plans of fitting one into my schedule until I received a text from a friend at 9:30 Sunday night saying “See you at the gym at 6:30am?” I groaned, because working for myself usually means waking up naturally and starting work (still in pajamas, of course) while leisurely sipping on a cup of coffee. But at any rate, I agreed.

I showed up a few minutes late and somehow ended up missing my friend all together. It ended up being fine though, because I was there and that’s honestly half the battle for me.

After finding a locker and securing my belongings, I headed to a treadmill and started walking at a warm-up pace. I’ve been using my C25K app and staying within the first week… not because I want to continue “training,” but rather because I find it’s really helpful for walking/running cues. Plus it integrates music into the app and nothing gets me in a running zone quite like Groove Armada’s I See You Baby. After 30 minutes and a little over 2 miles, I cooled down, stretched, and headed to the weight machines we’d covered in my first 3N1 meeting.

My trainer said since I want to create more toned muscles I need to do more reps with less weight. He suggested three reps of 10-15 on each machine. After the first two reps on the first machine though, I realized how tired I was and decided to only focus on upper body today and save the lower body machines for tomorrow. My accomplishments this morning consisted of 30 lat pulldowns, 30 chest presses, and 30 overhead presses. The rowing and ab machines were occupied at the time so those will have to wait till later, too.

Between that and the backs of my thighs still a bit sore from Saturday’s yoga work, I’m feeling like my limbs are made of jello. Worth it!😉

3N1 and Orphan Easter

April 2, 2010

I have pressed ‘snooze’ on my blog reminder for almost two weeks now. Do I even need to write about my continued attempt at balance?

I think it’s safe to say that Spring has finally sprung here in Nashville. We’ve had the most beautiful week of weather. Of course, with that comes high pollen counts and allergies that kept me out of commission for the most part of last week.

The only active thing I did last week (besides attending business meetings) was my yoga class on Saturday. And to describe stifling a runny nose in downward dog as challenging is, well, the understatement of the year. But I’ve grown to really enjoy and look forward to this class. If for no other reason than I get to quiet my mind for 90 minutes and focus on releasing the stresses of this world. Ah, peace. (The longer, leaner muscles are just an added bonus!)

This past week, I began a program at the Y called 3N1. The description off their website:

3N1 Fitness is a personalized wellness program designed to place you on the path to achieve your health and fitness goals. This program design runs its course over a three month period. The plan consists of three phases. In each monthly phase you will meet with a wellness coach for your consultation and workout plan. The program is a combination of strength and cardio training which increases in each phase to build your cardio and strength endurance.

On Wednesday, I met with a trainer and we discussed my fitness goals. I gave him the short version of Amanda Living Well (weighing 250+lbs, losing 70lbs, having surgery, gaining some back, and now being so sick of it all and just wanting to be healthy) and we laid out a program. He took me around to about 10 different machines (about half focusing on upper body and the other half on lower body), showed me how to use them and marked my settings (seat height, amount of weight to use, etc.) on a chart that I will be able to pick up every visit and take around with me. I’m excited about incorporating a real strength training program into my workouts since that’s always been hard for me to determine on my own.

Next Wednesday, I’ll be taking what’s called a “Microfit” test which will tell me how I fair fitness-wise and hopefully give me a better idea of what I need to work on. The test will show my cardio and flexibility capability as well as my body fat percentage, among other stats. I’m preparing myself more mentally for that than anything.

And finally, this is Easter weekend! Hard to believe!! We’re all getting together at our friends’ house for an “Orphan Easter” (since none of our families live here) pot luck and egg hunt. My assignment is Squash Casserole and I’m thinking I might just try this recipe off SparkRecipes.com.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 summer squash
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup 2% Kraft shredded colby jack cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp light Daisy sour cream
  • cooking spray
  • Add: salt, pepper, & cumin for taste

DIRECTIONS:
Coat pan with cooking spray – add diced mushrooms, garlic cloves, and onion. Saute until tender. Cut both zucchini and squash into thin slices. Add to a pot w/ one tsp water and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Then remove from the stove and add onions to the pot. Mix two eggs with 2 tbsp sour cream. Coat baking dish w/ cooking spray. Evenly distribute squash mixture to bottom of pan. Add half of ricotta cheese, half of egg mixture, and half of shredded cheese. Layer the other half of the squash mixture on top and use the rest of the ricotta and egg mixture. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, remove foil and add the rest of the shredded cheese. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Lastly, turn oven to broil and let broil for 2-3 min so cheese topping become crusty. Let cool for 10-15 minutes and enjoy. Makes 9 servings; 90 calories and 4g of fat per serving.

I’ll report back when I get reviews!

EDIT: After setting the casserole out, eating, and then coming back to check on it, I saw there was only ONE serving left! I think it was a hit.🙂

There’s no place like Om

March 20, 2010

After my very first yoga class last weekend, I was looking forward to my second one all week. Especially after this week.

As we get closer and closer to my benefit event on April 17, I can feel myself carry the stress of balancing work, charity involvement, professional organizations and everything else in my shoulders. Being able to dedicate 90 minutes on Saturday mornings to just me is pretty much heaven.

I arrived a little late this morning and quickly spread out my mat by the door. We had a new teacher this week (though I think she’s actually the regular and last week’s was a sub) and while I really liked her, I found her sometimes challenging to keep up with. She did run through the series of poses several times, so it didn’t take long to catch up.

Over the past week, my throat has started to feel scratchy. I’ve gargled with a lot of hot salt water (mom’s orders!), taken a lot of Airborne, vitamin C & echinachea and I still feel it progressing deeper into my throat. We’ve just started having things bloom here, so I’d be willing to bet it’s just allergens in the air. Either way though, I want this to impact my new fitness routine as little as possible.

I had minimal coughing in the class today, until the last 15 minutes when we went into a restorative corpse pose. The most meditative pose all class and of course, that’s when the coughing fit hit. I broke my concentration twice, getting up for water and that seemed to do the trick. Very frustrating though.

Tonight, my friends and I are gathering about 30 minutes outside Nashville at another friend’s house for a dinner party. Back in January, we started a Supper Club where we take turns hosting everyone and each person brings a different dish/side/dessert to share with everyone else. This month, I signed up for dessert and made a faux lemon meringue cake. Instead of actual meringue, it uses light cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice and fat-free whipped topping. The filling is made from fat-free whipped topping, sugar-free instant lemon pudding mix and skim milk. I’ll be sure to report how the Supper Club likes it!

Happy Saturday!

The wheels on the bike go ’round and ’round

March 17, 2010

Dear Spinning,

I have heard so much about you! My friends love you and I was sure that I would come to know you as they do. But today. Oh, today. Maybe you and I just didn’t get off on the right foot. How ’bout we try again next week?

Love, Amanda

My alarm went off promptly at 6am, and I surprised myself at how fast I scrambled to find my workout clothes and be out the door in 10 minutes. At 6:40am, I met my friends, Paul & Kim who braved the early morning spinning class with me.

We refilled our water bottles and found three bikes up against the wall. I adjusted my seat and noticed how uncomfortable it felt to sit right away. I remember thinking “this is not going to feel any better after an hour.” And it didn’t. Finally after a little warming up, a tiny girl wearing green made her way to the front of the room and started the class. With it being St. Patrick’s Day, she played all Irish music, which I actually loved!

As the class really got going, the instructor called for a lot of “out of the saddle”, which basically means you’re biking standing up. With my legs already a bit sore from kickboxing, this was TOUGH. She had the class standing up for 10 minutes at a time, but I could only push myself to do maybe 5-10 seconds. Instead I made my own intervals throughout the class and didn’t give up, which made me feel a little proud. I don’t think I’ve ever sweated so much.

When we noticed it was 8am, we checked out early. Work was calling Kim and I had meetings to attend, so I’m not sure how it actually ended.

My favorite part? Trying to walk down the stairs after the class. HILARIOUS. All three of us had noodle legs and were holding on to the railings for dear life.

All in all, I’m still undecided. Maybe it’s because it was so physically challenging, maybe it bothers me that I was watching the clock and thinking about everything going wrong. Different workouts work for different people… so maybe I’m not a spinning girl. I’m definitely giving it another shot though. If I don’t love it, then I’ll find something else.