Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fitness Challenge: 'Fit' February

It's been a few months... but I am happy to report, the Monthly Fitness Challenges are back!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like most people, were holidays were crazy months for me... and unfortunately during that time my daily strength training routine suffered. But now that it's a new year and the festivities are over, I can get back to my Monthly Fitness Challenges!!!

I've been putting together these Monthly Fitness Challenges for over a year now. 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! If the workout is too easy, you can add more reps or do a harder variation of the exercises. If the workout is too hard, you can decrease the reps or do easier, modified versions of the exercises. You are in charge of your workout... and you can make it your own!

The February Fitness Challenge only consists of TWO exercises! But squats and push-ups are great exercises to tone up those gluts, midsections, strengthen your core, arms, and legs, and burn some calories. Last year, there was a squat challenge in January and a push-up challenge in February... so I decided to combine them this year! The results of the February challenge were pretty awesome last year.

results of the 2013 February Fitness Challenge

But DON'T FORGET THE CARDIO!!

So who's with us?! Since the exercises are standard and simple, there should be no excuses! Let's get fit together! #FitFeb



Click on the calendar to see full size and print.

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

You can find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest too!
#FitFeb #Fitness Challenge #sistersdofoodandfitness

LET'S DO THIS.

*Janel*

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Buttery Honey Beer Bread

I was browsing through my Pinterest account this morning to find a fun, new recipe to try out. Maybe it's because I've been trying to cut back on the carbs lately... but a recipe for Buttery Honey Beer Bread by Cookie Monster Cooking immediately caught my eye, the bread looked AMAZING! I read through the ingredients (there are only a few!) and just so happen to have everything I needed to make the bread. 

The batter was super easy to make, it only took a few minutes to throw together and pop into the oven. Within minutes the house was full of that warm, buttery, bread smell. I couldn't wait to get the loaf out of the oven, cut off a warm piece, and top it with some butter and honey!


This Buttery Honey Beer Bread turned out delicious. It has a crispy, buttery outer crust, while the center stays moist and chewy. This not a sweet bread by any means... you can really taste the beer/yeast in there!


Topped with a little butter and honey... WOW. I couldn't stop eating it. Butter... honey... beer... bread. I mean, really it doesn't get much better then that!

Buttery Honey Beer Bread
recipe from cookiemonstercooking.com
Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup bread flour*
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 bottle (12 ounce) your favorite beer
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together both kinds of flour, the sugar, baking powder and salt. Add in the honey and beer and mix until just combined. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. 


Evenly pour the melted butter over the top of the batter.


Transfer the pan to the oven and place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any butter that may drip from the pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean and the top is golden brown.

NOTE - 
*If you don’t have bread flour on hand, you can substitute all-purpose flour.


This is definitely one beautiful, golden loaf of bread!


I am sure the bread tastes a little different depending on the beer you use in the batter. In this case, I used Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat (one of Amy and my favorites!). Would be interesting to try this with a darker beer like a stout or porter.

Can't wait to try this recipe again!

The combination of beer and bread, butter and honey... yeah, it's a winner. :)

Enjoy!

Janel


Monday, January 27, 2014

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo

We eat spaghetti squash... a lot. In the last two months we've tried Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese, Spaghetti Squash Pizza Boats, and Mushroom and Spinach Spaghetti Squash Boats. I make a spaghetti squash dish about once a week. It's a hearty, healthy, low-calorie, low-fat one-dish meal that makes great leftovers. Although the spaghetti squash strands look like pasta, they do not taste like pasta... but they still give you that satisfied feeling you would get from eating a big bowl of it. I love being able to enjoy my favorite cheesy pasta dishes without all the bad carbs!

Here is yet ANOTHER recipe I made up using the wondrous spaghetti squash. Maybe we should change the name of our blog to Sisters Do Spaghetti Squash!?



My Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo is so easy to make!! I grilled the chicken breasts beforehand (while the spaghetti squash was baking), but you could use any leftover chicken in this dish. And if you wanted to use a different vegetable other than broccoli you could too! Buy any light alfredo sauce at the store or you can make your own. The great thing about these spaghetti squash dishes is that they are so versatile.


Yummm! I just love this stuff so much...


Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo

Ingredients:


  • 1 large spaghetti squash (about 3 cups cooked) 
  • salt and fresh pepper, to taste 
  • 1 1/4 cup light alfredo sauce 
  • 1 cup grilled chicken, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup broccoli florets 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 400ºF. 

Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Season lightly with salt and black pepper; bake about 1 hour (or longer if needed) on a baking sheet, cut side down. 
 


When spaghetti squash is cooked, let it cool for about 10 minutes keeping the oven on. 

When the spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to remove flesh, which will come out in spaghetti looking strands reserving the shells. Drain the squash on a paper towel to soak up any excess liquid. 


Toss squash strands with 1 cup of the alfredo sauce, chicken, and broccoli florets. Place the spaghetti squash back into the 2 shells and place on a baking sheet. 


Top each with remaining alfredo sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 


Bake in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes or until everything is hot and the cheese is melted.



I am already planning out my next spaghetti squash recipe... stay tuned!!!!

Enjoy :)

Janel

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Kiwi Frozen Yogurt

As you know, I love my desserts!!! My sister gifted me an ice cream maker (per my request) for my birthday this year... and today I decided to take it out on a test run. From browsing the instruction/recipe booklet that came with my ice cream maker, it seemed any fruit + yogurt + sweetener would make a frozen yogurt. Well, I just happened to have a handful of kiwis that were SUPER ripe needed to be used and a tub of non-fat vanilla yogurt. And instead of using sugar to sweeten the yogurt, I knew I could use honey!

I put all the ingredients into the ice cream maker and turned it on... I had no idea what to expect! But within 20 minutes I was standing over the ice cream maker with a big spoon, shoveling this light, soft, delicious Kiwi Frozen Yogurt into my mouth. It's sweet, but no too sweet. It's tangy, but not too tangy. It's creamy, light and airy. I can't believe how amazing this frozen yogurt turned out...



I know what I'll be making for dessert, like every single night... BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER! Thanks sister! :)


Kiwi Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients:

  • 6 green kiwi fruit, peeled
  • 2 cups non-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey


Directions:
Place all ingredients in a blender. Pulse until smooth.


Pour the mixture into a ice cream maker.


Churn, about 20 minutes or until frozen and creamy.


Serve as is, or freeze until more solid.


Oh so good, so refreshing..... 

Note:  If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can freeze the fruit/yogurt mixture and serve when chilled or frozen. (It just won't be as creamy)

I can't wait to try more frozen yogurts using other fruits!!

Enjoy!

Janel

Chicken Corn Chowder

You can never have too many Slower Cooker and Crock Pot recipes right?

My favorite, go-to slow cooker recipe is our Slow Cooker Corn Chowder... it's flavorful, hearty, packed with vegetables and so easy to make! In fact, I usually have the ingredients for it on-hand.  Today I picked up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, so I decided to try a version of the corn chowder using chicken instead of ham.



WOW!!!! I have to say, this Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Chowder is pretty amazing! The chowder is not too rich or buttery like many chowders can be. It's still creamy but not heavy. It's sweet but also savory. It has great texture from the chicken, corn and potatoes. Plus, I added enough black pepper to give it a little kick. And... the crispy, crumbled bacon on top takes this bowl of chowder to another level!!

Chicken Corn Chowder
based on a recipe from tasteofhome.com

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 2 cans (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn
  • 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 3 cups frozen corn
  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (I use a rotisserie chicken)
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3/4 cup baby carrots, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled


Directions:
In a large slow cooker, combine all ingredients except bacon.


Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Garnish with crumbled bacon.


Serve warm!


Basically, I love everything about this chowder. With that being said... I think I will go help myself to a second bowl. :)

Hope you enjoy this chowder as much as I did!! It would be a great addition to your Slow Cooker/Crock Pot rotation.

Janel

Monday, January 20, 2014

Low-Fat Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Here's another low-fat, delicious, and easy recipe to use your (over) ripe bananas in! No oil or butter... just bananas and applesauce make these hearty muffins super moist and chewy. You can feel guilt-free enjoying one (or two) of these Low-Fat Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins as a quick breakfast, snack, or dessert. 


Low-Fat Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins
recipe via food.com
makes 12 muffins

3 large bananas, mashed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats (instant is fine)
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Add sugar to mashed bananas and mix.

2. Add beaten egg and mix.

3. In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients.

4. Add dry ingredients to the banana mixture and mix well.





5. Mix in applesauce.

6. Add chocolate chips and Stir.

7. Spoon into medium size muffin tin (I use paper muffin cups so they won't stick) and fill 3/4's full.

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350.

Let muffins cool in tin for a few minutes then transfer to cooling rack.


Yummmmmm.....


These low-fat muffins are great for breakfast, as a snack, or dessert!


Enjoy!

Amy




Zucchini Bread Pancakes

I love using the weekends to experiment with new breakfast foods! This weekend I decided to try to make a healthy pancake... with zucchini! The recipe I found from smittenkitchen.com called for very little sugar or flour, most of the pancake batter is the shredded zucchini! I really enjoy finding ways to make breakfast indulgences healthier... these veggie loaded, hearty pancakes are definitely a great way to start the day!

These Zucchini Pancakes turn out extra moist, fluffy and delicious! You can barely taste the zucchini. I will definitely be using this recipe again... YUM!!


Zucchini Bread Pancakes
recipe from smittenkitchen.com
Makes 10 to 12 pancakes

2 large eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup reduced fat milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini (from about 9 ounces whole, or 1 1/2 medium zucchini)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Butter or cooking spray, for coating skillet

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine eggs, olive oil, sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in zucchini shreds. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir dry ingredients into zucchini batter, mixing until just combined.

Preheat oven to 200°F and place a tray — foil-lined if you’re into doing fewer dishes later — on a middle rack.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, melt a pat of butter in pan and swirl it around until it sizzles (or spray with non-stick cooking spray). Scoop 1/4-cup dollops of batter in pan so the puddles do not touch.


Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook another minute or two, until golden underneath. Transfer pancakes to prepared pan to keep warm as well as ensure that they’re all cooked through when they’re served. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm.


YUM, YUM, YUM!!!

I loved these Zucchini Pancakes, so did Amy... and I'm sure you and your family will too! Serve with maple syrup and a little butter. :)

Enjoy!

Janel

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mushroom and Spinach Spaghetti Squash Boats

If you liked our Spaghetti Squash Pizza Boats, you'll love these Mushroom and Spinach Spaghetti Squash Boats! These are a healthy, nutritious one-dish meal that will make you think you're splurging on a big bowl of pasta or lasagna... when I'm craving carbs for dinner spaghetti squash boats are my go-to. Note: spaghetti squash doesn't taste like pasta, it really just takes on the flavor of whatever you're cooking it with. In this case, you will think you are eating a warm, cheesy mushroom and spinach pasta bake!

Amy and I love these Spaghetti Squash Boats so much I make them once a week. The great part is, you can use all different sorts of proteins, vegetables, sauces and cheeses in them (great for cleaning out the fridge time!). And as an added bonus, they make some great leftovers...


You can prep this dish ahead of time, then put it on the oven just before you're ready to bake. You can also place the spaghetti squash mixture in a 9x9 baking dish instead of the shells to bake. So easy!!

Mushroom and Spinach Spaghetti Squash Boats
adapted from a recipe from Skinnytaste.com

Ingredients:
1 large spaghetti squash (about 3 cups cooked)
salt and fresh pepper, to taste
2 cups baby spinach
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/4 cup tomato pasta sauce
1/2 cup turkey pepperoni, chopped
2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Season lightly with salt and black pepper; bake about 1 hour (or longer if needed) on a baking sheet, cut side down.


When spaghetti squash is cooked, let it cool for about 10 minutes keeping the oven on. 

While spaghetti squash is cooling, heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add mushrooms, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until mushrooms are browned. Add baby spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.


Remove pan from heat. Transfer mushroom and spinach mixture to a paper towel to soak up any excess moisture.


When the spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to remove flesh, which will come out in spaghetti looking strands reserving the shells. Drain the squash on a paper towel to soak up any excess liquid.

Toss squash strands with 1 cup of the pasta sauce, turkey pepperoni, and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese. Add mushroom and spinach mixture. Stir until combined.


Place the spaghetti squash mixture back into the 2 shells and place on a baking sheet. Top each with remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes or until everything is hot and the cheese is melted.


Another spaghetti squash hit!!!!

So good. I can't wait for my leftovers tomorrow... :)

Enjoy!

Janel

Monday, January 13, 2014

Balsamic Roasted Portobello Mushrooms

I really like portobello mushrooms... they are meaty, hearty, and flavorful! One way I like to eat them is oven-roasting them (usually along with some other veggies). I decided to blog the super easy method/recipe I use for my portobello mushrooms after a chat with some friends who also eat portobello mushrooms, but prepare them totally different. It seems that everyone has a different recipe or method... some roast, some grill, some saute. But knowing a variety of preparation options is good. Eating something prepared the same way every time gets boring!!


I enjoy the combination of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and Parmesan.. and the portobello mushrooms really soak up the flavor! The Parmesan cheese on top of the mushrooms gives it nice texture and a little crunch. I also add cauliflower and broccoli to the mushrooms, as it makes for a tasty mixture of roasted vegetables!



Balsamic Roasted Portobello Mushrooms
based on a recipe from www.oprah.com

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 large Portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese


Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Mix all ingredients except mushrooms and Parmesan cheese together in a bowl; add mushrooms (and other veggies) and toss to coat.


Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, sprinkle mushrooms with Parmesan cheese.



Roast until brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm!

So simple, yet so delicious.

Green beans, brussel sprouts, or even small red potatoes would also work well in this one-dish meal or hearty side dish.

Enjoy!
Janel