Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fitness Challenge: 'Skinny Jean' September

I've been putting together these Monthly Fitness Challenges since the beginning of last year; yet it feels like only yesterday I came up with the concept. The idea behind the monthly fitness challenge started because I needed a way to be held accountable for strength training exercises on a daily basis (not just telling myself "ok Self, today we do 100 sit-ups"). So I made up a calendar with a list of exercises I had to complete daily... and the first Monthly Fitness Challenge was born! Before long, the idea had grown, was shared on Facebook and Pinterest, more people joined the challenges, and now we were all getting the the challenge and push we need to get fit together!

The great part about the monthly fitness challenges is that they are made up of strength training and core conditioning exercises... without any equipment! You can use you own body weight, in the comfort of your home!

The September Fitness Challenge is a great high intensity, interval training type workout (HIIT) designed to burn calories, get your heart rate up and get you back into your skinny jeans this fall!!! Time to tighten up those midsections, strengthen your core, arms, and legs, and burn some calories... who's with us?!

Go here to print full size calendar!

To get updates and information on the challenge, make sure to go to our Facebook page and "Like" us: https://www.facebook.com/SistersDoFoodAndFitness

Find us on Instagram at: sistersdofoodandfitness #sistersdofoodandfitness

Don't fear the skinny jeans this fall. September.... let's do this together!
#SkinnyJeanSeptember #FitnessChallenge

- Janel

Monday, August 25, 2014

Quinoa Tuna Casserole

Ok, you're probably thinking "another tuna recipe?!" Yes, this is a recipe for fresh or canned tuna... HOWEVER, you could use any protein in this casserole (chicken, pork, sausage, etc). The shining star of this recipe really isn't the tuna, it's the quinoa! If you have never tried quinoa before, it's a versatile, healthy grain with lots of nutritional benefits. It's light and fluffy like rice... you'd never guess it's packed full of protein and fiber! Quinoa makes a great side dish or addition to a main dish... and you can even make baked goods out of it (see Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins recipe).


This Quinoa Tuna Casserole is a very light, but filling, one-dish meal. Tuna, broccoli, mushrooms, and melted cheese combine perfectly with the fluffy quinoa and crunchy panko topping. You could even assemble the casserole beforehand to save on time!

This isn't your standard, traditional tuna casserole... it's not heavy, soupy or creamy. This Quinoa Tuna Casserole is a fluffy, veggie and protein loaded casserole perfect for those who like a lighter meal. If you wanted it a little creamier, I think you could just add some reduced fat cream cheese!

I'm looking forward to my leftovers tonight. I mean, that's what casseroles are great for, right? I love the fact you can usually get more than one meal out of a casserole... then during the busy work week there is only re-heating required!

Quinoa Tuna Casserole
based on a recipe from allrecipes.com

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 1/4 of an onion, diced 
  • 3 cups quinoa, cooked
  • salt to taste
  • 3 (5 ounce) cans tuna, drained or 10 oz. fresh tuna, cooked and flaked*
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, or as needed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir mushrooms, broccoli and onion in hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

* If you are using fresh tuna, season tuna well with salt and pepper. In the large skillet, cook tuna over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes on each side (or until cooked through). Remove from heat and set aside. When tuna is cool, flake into pieces using a fork.

Mix mushrooms, broccoli, onion, and tuna through the quinoa in a large bowl; season with oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper to taste. Stir 1/4 cup melted butter, shredded cheese, egg, and flour into the quinoa mixture; transfer to a greased 9x13 casserole dish and top with bread crumbs to cover.

Bake until the top is golden brown and the center is hot, about 30 minutes.


I can't wait to try this recipe with some shredded chicken or smoked turkey sausage!

- Janel

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins

Have you tried quinoa? High in protein and fiber, quinoa [KEEN-wah] is not only healthy and versatile, it also tastes wonderful and has a nice crunch. I like quinoa because it's a light and fluffy grain, but it's also very filling. Last night I made a big batch of it to use in a Quinoa Tuna Casserole recipe. If you have never made it before, quinoa is super easy to make; you cook it just like rice! I had some quinoa left over so I decided to try a new, healthy recipe for muffins. 


Yes, MUFFINS! I have used quinoa as a side dish or in dinner recipes, but this was my first time using quinoa in a baked good so I really had no idea what to expect when I made these muffins...

But I was pleasantly surprised, as these Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins turned out delicious! They are hearty and filling; the perfect grab-and-go breakfast or snack. Quinoa is packed full of fiber and protein so these muffins will keep you full and going strong all day. There is no butter or oil in this recipe, so you can feel better about enjoying one (or two) of these little guys! Heat up in the microwave a few minutes for a warm, tasty treat...


I just love how versatile this healthy grain is... you can eat quinoa plain, in dinner dishes, side dishes, and even baked goods!

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins
based on a recipe by www.yummyhealthyeasy.com
makes about 1 dozen muffins

2 cups cooled, cooked quinoa
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup packed light-brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup soy milk
2 large eggs
¼ cup plain non-fat yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, mini chocolate chips and quinoa. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, egg, yogurt, and vanilla.

Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir just until combined. Divide among muffin cups.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.


What are your favorite ways to eat quinoa?

- Janel

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fresh Ahi Tuna Melts

It's been a epic tuna fishing season here in San Diego... and we still have a few months left! Last weekend, Amy went out on an overnight fishing trip and came home with 3 more big, fresh yellowfin (ahi) tuna. Just look at those beauties!

To keep up with the seemingly-endless bounty of tuna (the freezer can only hold so much!), we are constantly trying to come up with new recipes and ways to eat our catch! 

Tonight we decided to see if we could take your regular old tuna melt to the next level by using fresh ahi tuna instead of the canned stuff. Ummm WOW, it sure makes a difference... this Ahi Tuna Melt was crazy delicious!! I was so ready to dig into this warm, melty, cheesy sandwich that I barely got enough shots to blog the recipe. Haha!

Another great tuna recipe for all our fellow fish-lovers out there... :)

Fresh Ahi Tuna Melts
recipe via www.asweetpeachef.com
make 2 melts

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 10-11 ounces fresh ahi tuna steaks
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 dill pickle spear, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. dill pickle juice
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise 
  • 4 slices bread (we use 100 cal. sandwich thins)
  • 2 slices american cheese
  • 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced (optional)

Preheat oven to low broil.

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of tuna steaks with generous amounts of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook tuna steaks until browned on each side and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side (it's helpful to break the tuna steak into smaller pieces to speed up cooking process). Let cool.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine onion, garlic, pickle, celery, oregano, lemon juice and pickle juice. Chop tuna and add to bowl. Add the mayonnaise — enough to moisten, but not drown the mixture (depending on your tastes). Season with salt and pepper.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray generously with cooking spray, then lay the slices of bread flat. Spread approximately 1/2 to 1 tbsp. mayonnaise on top of each slice of bread. Top two pieces of the bread with a serving of the tuna salad. Layer one slice of cheese over the tuna salad. 

Place under the broiler and heat until cheese is melted and the tuna salad is heated through, about 5 minutes. If you’d prefer, you can toast the bread in a toaster and then bake the melts at 375 degrees for approximately 3-5 minutes (we did this!).

Top melted tuna salad and cheese with sliced avocado and then other slice of bread. Cut diagonally and serve. 

This Ahi Tuna Melt is delicious with a dill pickle spear on the side... Yum!!!


- Janel

Monday, August 11, 2014

Easy Egg Muffins (Gluten Free)

I have never been a 3-meal-a-day kind of girl... I eat something small every hour or two starting from when I wake up in the morning until dinner time! I have found snacking instead of eating large meals keeps me going all day and I never get too hungry or too full. So for a "snacker" like me, these Easy Egg Muffins make the perfect mid-morning snack!


And I bet you'd never believe one of these delicious cheesy, bacon-y, savory egg muffins is less than 100 calories?! Yup... believe it! Each of these little protein-packed, healthy egg muffins are less than 90 calories, have 6 grams of protein AND they are gluten free!

The great part about these egg muffins is that you could use so many different fillings in them... and you can make them in advance to grab on the go! Just warm a couple muffins up in the microwave for about 30 seconds and you’ll have a delicious, light and healthy breakfast (or snack) to start your day.

Easy Egg Muffins (Gluten Free)
original recipe from thescienceofeating.com
makes about 12 muffins

6 eggs/12 egg whites
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
4 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. onion, finely diced (I use 1/2 tsp. onion powder)
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp. turkey bacon bits
1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tbsp. non fat plain greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. pepper (or to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large pan, heat olive oil.
3. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Then add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2-3 more minutes. Mix in the bacon bits & set aside.

4. Place spinach mixture on a paper towel to soak up any excess moisture.
5. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs/egg whites, greek yogurt, & cheese. Season with the salt and pepper.
6. Add the spinach mixture and stir until well-combined.

7. Either use a silicone muffin pan or lightly spray muffin pan with non-stick spray. Evenly distribute the egg mixture amongst each muffin tin, fill each about ¾ of the way full.

8. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops of the muffins have turned a very light golden brown.

9. Remove muffins from oven, let pan stand for a few minutes. Place egg muffins on rack to cool completely, then refrigerate to store.

Other Ingredient Options:
Red or Green Peppers, Pepperjack or Swiss cheese, Red pepper flakes

These egg muffins taste just as delicious as they look... you'd never know you were eating a nutrient-rich, low-carb, high-protein muffin! Yuuuuuummmmm.... such a light and healthy breakfast. A great way to start the day :)


- Janel

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ahi Tuna Burgers with Sriracha Mayo

Over the weekend our family went fishing... and we had a very successful trip! That means we have pounds of fresh Yellowfin (Ahi) Tuna to eat this week. Last night we made Seared Ahi Tuna with Soy Dipping Sauce with our catch... it was absolutely delicious. Tonight we decided we would try something different and make burgers out of our fresh tuna!


I also made a batch of our healthier, yummy Oven Baked 'French Fries' to go with the ahi burger!

Wow, this Ahi Burger with Sriracha Mayo was AHI-mazing! The fresh tuna is chopped up and mixed with a few ingredients that make the patty so flavorful... then the patty is just lightly seared to perfection. You could eat the ahi burger plain, but when it's topped with the spicy sriracha mayonnaise, some ripe avocado and put into a soft wheat bun it becomes a burger that is totally OUT OF THIS WORLD.

I am making this burger recipe again... tomorrow. Yum.

Ahi Tuna Burgers with Sriracha Mayo
based on a recipe from scalingbackblog.com
makes 4 servings

Ingredients - 
For the Sriracha Mayo:
¼ cup light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Sriracha
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon lime juice

For the burgers:
½ pound sushi grade ahi tuna cut into ¼-inch dice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the slaw:
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
½ cup shredded carrot
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon cilantro, chopped
a splash of honey and or/ soy sauce (optional)

For burger assembly:
4 whole wheat buns
1 avocado, sliced
cilantro, chopped (optional)

Directions -
For the Sriracha Mayo:
Combine all the ingredients for the mayo together in a small bowl. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.

For the tuna burger:
Combine the tuna, soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha, lime juice and sesame seeds in a bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine.

Using your hands, divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and lightly press into a patty. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Make sure the pan is nice and hot before you sear the burgers. Add the burgers to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, gently flip the burgers over and cook for another 1-2 minutes, the burgers should just be seared on the outside but pink on the inside.

Watch them carefully and make sure not to overcook them!

For the slaw:
To make the slaw, combine the cabbage, carrot, sesame oil, rice vinegar, lime juice and cilantro in a small bowl. Add a splash of honey and soy sauce to taste (optional). Season lightly with salt and pepper.

To assemble the burgers:
Place patty on toasted the toasted bun, top with the Sriracha Mayo, avocado, and chopped cilantro (optional).

Serve burger with a side of slaw... or use slaw on top of the burger!

This burger was so good... so, so, so good. Another great Yellowfin (Ahi) recipe from our weekend pull! I just love fishing...



Sunday, August 3, 2014

Seared Ahi Tuna with Soy Dipping Sauce

Our family had a great fishing trip this weekend! We pulled five, beautiful 15-20 lb. Yellowfin Tuna out of the water...

What a fun and exciting experience tuna fishing is! You have to fight these guys hard... they really make you work to get them out of the water. We are so lucky the season started so early here in Southern California, there will be many more trips for tuna to come. And the best part about tuna fishing is, getting to enjoy our fresh catch...

Tonight we made Seared Ahi Tuna with Soy Dipping Sauce. The tuna is already so tender and delicious raw, you only need to cook it a minute or two on each side. The sesame seed and panko coating give the tuna a nice, crunchy contrasting texture...

This soy dipping sauce is the perfect compliment to the seared tuna. It's salty, sweet, and spicy! This recipe is a great way to enjoy a fresh, beautiful piece of tuna. The integrity of the fish is not compromised at all. Wow... yum. Just be very careful cutting the tuna, it is delicate so you will need a sharp knife!

Hopefully we will be making this tuna dish many times this season...

Seared Ahi Tuna with Soy Dipping Sauce
makes 2 servings

Tuna -
2 (5 ounce) ahi tuna steaks
1/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
1/4 c. black sesame seeds
1 tbsp. sesame oil

Soy Dipping Sauce -
1/2 c. soy sauce
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. Sriracha (or red chili sauce)

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the soy dipping sauce. Place in refrigerator to chill.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. sesame oil over medium-high heat. 

Combine panko and black sesame seeds in a large bowl. Roll the ahi tuna steaks in the panko mixture to coat.

Gently place the crusted tuna in the skillet and cook to desired doneness, 1 minute per side for rare.

Remove from skillet, then cut gently tuna steak into slices. Serve with the chilled dipping sauce.


This soy dipping sauce tastes great on just about anything from rice to steamed vegetables too... :)

- Janel