Friday, February 28, 2014

80--- Cajun Hummus with Roasted Sweet Corn and Collard Greens

This may be the first time that I have made a Mardi Gras recipe before Mardi Gras.  Here in the west we (I) are a wee bit out of touch with the Cajun happenings.

What I DO know about the South is quite a bit of their signature cuisine isn't the most healthful.  It's fried. And starchy.  I'm not judging......... but maybe they could use a bit more hummus?

Cajun Hummus with Roasted Sweet Corn and Collard Greens
Serves 8-10

1 can garbanzo beans (no salt added if possible), drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh sweet corn
3 large collard green leaves, stemmed and cut into 2" pieces
1/4 large yellow onion, sliced into thick slices
Olive oil spray
Dash salt and ground black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp fresh oregano
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray two baking sheets liberally with olive oil spray.  Place corn and onions on one sheet and spray again with olive oil spray, then dust with salt and pepper.  Roast on the lower rack for 20-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. 

On the other rack, distribute the collard green pieces evenly and spray with olive oil, then dust with salt and pepper.  Roast on the top rack of the oven for 4-5 minutes, then flip leaves and roast for additional 3-4 minutes.  Leaves should be cooked but not browned, so watch carefully!  

Place cooked corn, onion, and collard greens into a large food processor along with remaining ingredients.  Mix until a smooth puree is formed.

Cover hummus in a container in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours prior to serving.

Serve with crudites or rice crackers.

Nutrition Info per 1/4 cup: 87 calories, 3.4 g fat, 2.5 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g fiber

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WOW Workout Of the Week- Booty City


Isn't it amazing that one of the largest muscle groups in our bodies can get neglected?

Let's fix that.

Booty City

--start with a hip flexor stretch like this one.......

1. Side lying leg lifts- keep toe pointed down, lead with heel x 20 each side 

2. Clamshell x 20 each side (with band above knees for extra resistance)

3.  Hip lifts x 25 (or 12-15 each side if one legged)

4. Lifted hip marching x 25 total

5.  Donkey kicks (make sure to squeeze your glutes and not over extend your back) x 15 each leg

REPEAT before moving on to the next exercises


6. Goblet squats (weight of choice) x 20

7. Jump squats x 20

8. Resistance band side walks x 20 steps each direction

REPEAT the Big Guns before stretching

9. Crossover glute stretch - hold 30 seconds on each side

Monday, February 24, 2014

80--- Strawberry and Feta Salad with Mint Walnut Pesto

Who's ready for a taste of summer? Yes- your strawberries will be coming from South America.  But desperate times call for desperate measures. 

This dish will be sure to impress at your next get together! So fresh and delicious.  AND it's easy.

Strawberry and Feta Salad with Mint Walnut Pesto
Serves 4

1 1/2 lb fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed and quartered lengthwise
1 1/2 oz crumbled feta cheese
3 Tbsp crushed walnuts
5-6 baby spinach leaves (on the larger side), stemmed
12 fresh mint leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp honey
1 tsp walnut oil

In a small food processor, combine walnuts, spinach, mint, lemon, honey, and olive oil.  Mix until a smooth puree is formed.

Add strawberries and feta cheese to bowl, then add pesto and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour prior to serving.

Nutrition Info per 3/4 cup: 137 calories, 7 g fat, 4 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber

Saturday, February 22, 2014

WOW Workout Of the Week(end)

If you're like me, you typically reserve your weekends for "catching up" on some exercise that you slacked on during the week.  But then the weekend comes, and my hubby is home, and my baby is happy, and I really don't want to leave the house and go to the gym (and running outside here now is still pretty sketchy).

So a HOME workout it is!  Here is one of my favorites- and all you need is a set of stairs (10-15 steps preferably). 

File:Currituck Beach Light - stairs.jpg

Stair Workout

1. 10 sets running stairs (with a weight if desired)

2. 10 deep squats (place your heels against the bottom stair and squat down so that you tap the second stair with your rear)

3.  10 push-ups (feet on ground beneath bottom step, hands on 4th stair)


1. 20 stair jumps (squat and jump up one stair, then jump down)

2. 10 tricep dips (hands on 2nd stair behind you, feet on ground)

3.  10 bulgarian lunges each leg (toe on step back behind you- keep weight in the heel of your front leg, drop back knee down as you bend the front one too)


Finish with three alternating sets of 25 crunches + 1 minute plank.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

80--- Slow Cooker Vegetable Stroganoff

This is the perfect topping for whole grain pasta or brown rice on a cold winter day (oops- I went for the pretty pasta from Italy instead of the whole grain stuff.  Don't be like me).  It's heavy on vegetables and fiber (and flavor), but not heavy on calories.  Where's The Beef?  I don't know.  But you won't miss it!

Slow Cooker Vegetable Stroganoff
Serves 5

2 cups vegetable broth
12 oz sliced mushrooms
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 Russet potatoes, washed well and coarsely chopped
1 parsnip, coarsely chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp ground black pepper, more to taste
1 cup frozen green peas
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups light sour cream (substitute 2% Greek yogurt if desired)

Combine all ingredients, except for cornstarch and sour cream in a large slow cooker.  Cook on low for 6 hours.

Before serving, remove 1 cup of broth from the slow cooker.  Bring it to a boil in a small saucepan, and whisk in cornstarch.  Whisk until thickened, then add sour cream and return mixture to the slow cooker.  Allow to heat through for 30 minutes prior to serving.

Serve over whole grain pasta or brown rice.

Nutrition Info per ~1 1/4 cups: 204 calories, 6.5 g fat, 10 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 4.5 g fiber

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Things That I Know

1.  Kaufmann Merchantile is one of the best websites for gifts! They have unique finds like these hot sauces and these plates that are keepsake quality and special!

2. I need HELP!!! My hubby just got a new iPhone 5s- he joined the real world.  I am trying to transfer his 3000 songs from his 2nd Gen iPod (archaic) to his phone and am finding it impossible.  Computer gurus please help!! I'm not cut out for things like this.

3. Um, I'm wondering if vanilla toasted coconut cashew butter could ever NOT be tasty?

4.  I'm a wee bit late to the Valentine's Day party with these naturally colored red velvet whoopie pies.  Let's celebrate some more.

5.  You know me and whole grain breakfasts! I'm in on this quinoa porridge (I just love the word porridge).

Friday, February 14, 2014

80(ish)--- Pistachio Chia Seed Pudding

I am fashionably late to the chia seed pudding party.  I really do not care for pudding all that much.  Pistachio pudding, however, I LOVE.  But I really really wanted to try chia seed pudding.  Those glorious seeds delivering all of their fiber and omega-3 goodness in dessert form? How could you say NO to that?

Voila.  Pistachios + chia seeds = swooooon

Pistachio Chia Seed Pudding
Serves 6

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup raw sugar
2 cups vanilla unsweetened almond milk
2/3 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, finely ground (coffee grinder works great- or a food processor)
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup chia seeds

In a small saucepan, heat water to a boil.  Add sugar, stirring constantly to dissolve.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add in ground pistachios and remove from heat.

Pour sugar pistachio mixture into a glass container, then whisk in remaining ingredients.  Cover container and refrigerate overnight, stirring every hour for the first three hours.

To serve, scoop pudding into serving glasses and top with additional crushed pistachios, if desired.

Nutrition Info per 1 serving: 235 calories, 11 g fat, 12 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WOW Workout Of the Week Treadmill Hill Intervals

Ugh.  The treadmill.  Or as some say, the dreadmill.  But with the winter that we have had, it has been a lifesaver, or a run saver I guess.  I am one of those people who rarely spends more than 30 minutes on a machine.  I get SOOOO bored.  That changed recently when I had to do several, several, long runs on it for my half marathon training.  But I am happily back to my 30 minute max.  And I do intervals to pass the time. 

This is a running workout.  But you can certainly take the pace down and do the same workout walking!!  Or, obviously, if you are a fast runner you can certainly take the pace up!

Run Me Some Hills Interval Workout

Minutes 0-3
Jog at 5.8-6.0 pace at 0 incline

Minutes 3-4
Increase speed to 6.3-6.5 at 0 incline

Minutes 4-6
Increase speed to 6.8-7.0 at 0 incline  

Minutes 6-7
Increase INCLINE to 5.0, continue at 6.8-7.0 pace

Minutes 7-8
Increase incline to 8.0, drop to 6.3-6.5 pace 

Minutes 8-9
Increase incline to 10.0, drop to  5.8-6.0 pace

Minutes 9-10
Drop incline to 0.0, continue at 5.8-6.0 pace

Repeat 3 times 

Monday, February 10, 2014

20--- Super Soft Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies

For your sweetie pie.  Your cupcake.  Your love muffin.  

These cookies stay soft and cake-like for all of eternity.  Just kidding!! No trans fats = short shelf life = longer life for YOU.  That's why you should make your own cookies.  At least until the FDA actually puts their trans fats ban into place.  Which could be many many years from now.

Super Soft Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies
Makes 2 dozen cookies

1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup 2% or full fat Greek yogurt
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, use a mixer to combine butter and sugars.  Beat until creamy, then add vanilla and egg.  Continue to mix until well-combined.

In a separate smaller bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking soda.  Gradually add half of dry mixture to butter mixture and mix well.  Add half of the Greek yogurt and mix.  Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining yogurt, stirring well after each addition.  Stir in chocolate chips and dried cherries by hand until evenly mixed.

Use a medium cookie scoop to place ~ 1 1/2 Tbsp cookie batter in even scoops onto baking sheets prepared with parchment paper.  Space cookies 2" apart.

Bake each sheet separately, for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are cooked through and lightly browned on the bottom.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes prior to transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container when completely cooled (for up to 5 days).

Friday, February 7, 2014

80(ish)--- Smokey Corn Chowder with Garbanzo Beans and Kale

I am a corn chowder addict.  I know that I have a problem.  Admitting is the first step.

How do I deal with my addiction?  I make healthy additions and pray that it all shakes out in the wash.

Smokey Corn Chowder with Garbanzo Beans and Kale
Serves 6

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed and minced
6 oz baby kale leaves, stemmed and chopped
2 lb frozen corn kernels
2 cans low sodium garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 
2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 cup light sour cream
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 - 1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (to your liking)
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper 

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot.  Add garlic and onions and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add kale and continue to saute until leaves are wilted.  Pour in corn and garbanzo beans, then add broth and milk.  Bring to a boil and add in remaining ingredients, except for cornstarch.  Reduce heat to low.

Remove two cups of broth/milk mixture from the pot.  Pour it into a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat.  Add cornstarch and whisk continuously until thickened.  Transfer thickened mixture back into the pot and stir well to combine.  Continue to simmer for ~10 minutes, or until soup is thickened slightly.

Serve hot!

Nutrition Info per 1 1/2 cups: 413 calories, 9.5 g fat, 17 g protein, 57 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WOW! Your 1st Workout Of the Week!

I received overwhelming response to my Facebook question inquiring whether people would be interested in a weekly workout on Eighty Twenty!  Sounds like you DO, so here we go! 

These workouts are meant for individuals who are fairly experienced exercisers.  If you are NEW to exercise... welcome!  I strongly advise you to find a personal trainer in your area to assist you with getting started.

*Note: if you experience any health issues please seek the advice of your health care provide prior to starting with any exercise program.

February Olympic Ready Program 

This program was designed to cause muscle fatigue with strength and plyometric exercises.  Repeat each set of exercises three times, then move to the next set.  Please follow the links for a Google image of each exercise.  You will need some dumbbells for several exercises.

2. 15 push-ups (full or from your knees) + 10 burpees

3.  20 alternating curtsy lunges (each side is one) + 20 speed skater leaps (each side counts as one)

4.  20 bicep curls + 20 alternating plank rows (each side is one)

6.  25 abdominal crunches + 25 mountain climbers (each leg in counts as one)
Have fun!

Monday, February 3, 2014

80--- Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes

There are many, many reasons that people are choosing gluten-free foods.  One, the most significant medically, is Celiac disease, which is an actual allergy to gluten.  However, I do think that gluten intolerance is more widespread than we realize.  It can affect many functions of our endocrine and immune systems in my opinion.  It is also my opinion that these intolerances they may be dose-related.  Most Americans today consume far more gluten than we have in the past.  So, maybe it's not bread that's the devil.  But maybe it's the LOAF of bread that causes the havoc (hellllloooo Subway).

I have had many many requests for gluten-free baked item recipes.  This is my first endeavor.  They were DELICIOUS.  Even wee babe agreed.  Buckwheat is a naturally gluten-free grain with a very nutty, very organic flavor. No messy additions or expensive ingredients were needed.  Just the basics!

Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes
Makes 8-10 - 4" pancakes

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp honey
1 egg, beaten
1 cup + 2 Tbsp buttermilk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp oil of your choice
Butter or baking spray for cooking

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, vanilla, oil and honey.

Gently fold dry ingredients into wet until just mixed.

Prepare your skillet with butter or baking spray if desired.  Spoon ~1/4 cup batter onto the skillet.  Fight the urge to overly spread the mixture.  Cook until bubbles rise to the surface, then flip, cooking the other side until golden brown (no spatula flattening).

Keep the pancakes covered on a plate until ready to serve.  Garnish with fresh fruit and/or jam or powdered sugar.

Nutrition Info per 1 pancake (but you can have more): 70 calories, 1.5 g fat, 3 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber