Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Little "Update"

Hi Friends!

So, a lot has been moving and groovin' in the world of "Getting Amanda Employed". The life chapter that honestly, I feel like has been dragging on...and... on... and ... ONNN!

But, I think a few wheels are FINALLY moving forward, and I'm very relieved. God is working on a great opportunity for me somewhere. :) Patience has been the theme of my life for the year 2011, I don't expect much to change in the next 4 months either. I know I married the worlds second most patient man (Todd's dad takes the gold), but I'm quite certain he's who I'm supposed to turn to for an example and encouragement (other than the "Big Man" Himself).

Anyways... of all that, I had a GREAT interview today. I'm not holding my breathe, but I have a very good feeling about it. I'll share more as it comes. :) I promise.

Until then, here's a little inspiration for you gals...

This weekend I plan to write a lot! SO much has happened and I've got LOTS of coupon tips and ideas for you guys!! A few workout moves to try. More of Ginger... And a living in DC perspective.

Have a GREAT Friday! :)   <3

Monday, July 18, 2011

Turkey Burger Twist

Perfect and just in time for the summer peaches, I discovered this recipe out of my mother-in-law's Better Homes & Garden magazine about two months ago. It looked so good I had to give it a shot - plus, I LOVE PEACHES!

My guilty pleasure of a Turkey Burger combined with my favorite sweet summer pleasure...... SIGN ME UP! :)

This is from BHG online.

Turkey Burger with Peaches and Blueberries 

  • 4 small peaches
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 4 thick slices roasted garlic country bread or garlic bread, toasted if desired
  • Fresh mint (optional)
1. Finely chop one of the peaches; add ground turkey, salt and pepper. Shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties (if necessary, dampen hands first). Grill directly over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until no pink remains (165°F). Add cheese; cover and cook 1 minute more.
2. Meanwhile coarsely chop remaining peaches; combine in a large skillet with blueberries and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until heated through and beginning to have juices form.
3. Top each piece of garlic bread** with one patty and some of the peach mixture. Add mint and additional chili powder. Makes 4 servings.
** We used a fresh whole grain loft from a local bakery with Earth Balance & garlic powder spread on it. I also had 6 burgers by the time all was said and done... but no complaints here! :)

Nutrition facts: Calories464 Total Fat (g)25 Saturated Fat (g)10, Monounsaturated Fat (g)6, Polyunsaturated Fat (g)3, Cholesterol (mg)114, Sodium (mg)614, Carbohydrate (g)28, Total Sugar (g)11, Fiber (g)3, Protein (g)31, Vitamin C (DV%)14, Calcium (DV%)23, Iron (DV%)11, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Art of Building a Salad

For some reason, I'm still unsure why, I am frequently complimented on my salad making capabilities. Yea, weird I know... but I'm serious. Even in college when EVERYONE was eating from the same salad bar and all the same ingredients, I'd sit down at the table and 90% of the time someone would say something about how "pretty" my salad looks, or I always make them look "so good". A few people started asking me to make their salads too.

Occasionally, I still get this. Not as often... but every now and then.

I always think COLOR while creating a veg-bowl (aka: ensalada). Make your food pretty by adding a punch of color and DON'T cover it up with gobs of creamy dressing. Don't ruin your salad with liquid fat. It's supposed to be GOOD FOR YOU!

So - I found this neat guide on how to "build a tasty salad" on Women's Health. Maybe it will help you create a salad you actually LOVE!

 Happy crunching! :)

PS - Use something OTHER than that bagged shredded mess called "salad". ugh. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

Okay - The recipe everyone has been waiting for. No, I didn't create it... I modified it, yes, but what cook doesn't?

We looooove peppers! I always have them in our refrigerator for quick salad prep, hummus dippin', sandwich toppings and every now and then, TO STUFF! :)

Word of advice: GO FOR COLOR when picking out peppers. Green one's aren't bad, and they're cheaper... but "if your eyes like what it sees, it's probably BETTER for them" (your eyes).

Peppers are amazing super foods ... I truly believe it is a very underrated and under appreciated veg. These things are LOADED with the quintessential: Vitamin A. True fact - only 1/4th of a pepper contains 40% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA)!  Most people (unless you're pregnant or nursing, the exception to most dietary rules) need about 1500μg of this mega-vitamin a day.

Vitamin A is most known for it's role in our vision and more recently for it's "anti-aging" abilities as an anti-oxidant and it's conversion to retinol.  Vitamin A is absolutely necessary for our vision. As the primary "food source" for our retina's vitamin A consumption can directly impact our night vision as well as our color vision. 

Yes - I love my eyes and I want them to stay healthy forever, but for vanity's sake I also want to look young and amazing forever too. Okay, well... forever is a touch unrealistic, but let's hope? :) I chow down on my veggies to keep my hair and SKIN looking amazing. Yup.... seriously. I'd probably make a facial mask out of pureed peppers if someone said it worked! HA! Vitamin A (and other anti-oxidants) help to keep your skin cells reproducing in tip-top shape! Also a little tid-bit I learned in my research, retinol helps reduce the size of sebaceous glands (your sweat glands-ew!) and eventually the production of sebum (the oil and dirt combo that clogs your pores and causes black heads and nasty pimples!).

Hmmmm.... maybe I'm on to something with the pepper mask?

Until then, let's just keep eating them. Give this recipe a try this weekend. It's awesome. My modifications and Calorie/Fat/Protein/Fiber count is at the end.

Spicy Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4 as a main, 8 as a side
In a large saucepan, over medium-high, heat:
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
Add to hot oil and cook until soft (about 5 minutes):
  • 1  onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, finely chopped
When the onion and celery are soft, add:
  • 2 tbsp chili powder (or 1 tbsp chili and 1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
Saute for 1 minute. Then add:
  • 1 10-oz package of cooked spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove moisture
  • 1 28-oz tin diced tomatoes, drained
Cook for 5 minutes to remove a bit of the excess moisture. Stir in:
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups water
Cover and leave on medium-high heat until the ingredients come to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the quinoa is done, about 20 minutes.
Stir in:
  • 1 cup grated cheese (a spicy jalapeno Jack or TexMex mix is good)
  • generous grind of freshly ground pepper
  • salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 375F. While the oven heats, wash:
  • 4 large sweet peppers (any colour)
Cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the ribs and seeds. Fill each half with the hot quinoa mixture. Place stuffed peppers in a baking dish or roasting pan. Cover with foil and bake for 25 to 35 minutes* or until the peppers are beginning to get tender. You want them cooked but not falling apart.
Sprinkle each half pepper with:
  • 1 tbsp grated cheese (1/2 cup)
Bake uncovered for another 5 minutes or until the cheese melts and begins to bubble. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Doesn't it just make your mouth water reading it?! AHH! It's so good. 

- I didn't stir in the cheese (to keep the calories and fat down) but I did sprinkle some on top as directed. I didn't have chili powder - so I used a little red pepper. Next time I'll use more or make sure I've got some chili powder... I like a kick and I didn't quite have one the way I like.
- I also didn't have celery. I think the crunch would be awesome and I'll have it next time, but was still great w/o it.
- I also used fresh spinach vs. the frozen. I would say I used about 4-5 cups? I love spinach so I wasn't stingy.... just add some and when it wilts if you want more, add more. You can't have too much, right?! :)

Nutrition information from my calculations and using EVERYTHING this recipe calls for:
PER PEPPER w/o cheese: 458 Calories/11g Fat/ 20g Protein / 16.3g fiber <--- THAT'S an awesome dinner solution if you ask me!! And between all the fiber from the quinoa, carrots, spinach and peppers, you won't leave the table hungry.

With the cheese: 591 Calories/ 20g+ Fat/ 31.7g Protein/ 16.3g fiber.... Of course this differs based on what cheese you use and if you use EXACTLY what's called for. This calculation is based off of Kraft's 2% Mexican Cheese mix.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

God's Pharmacy

An email I got months ago but I love and HAVE to share! After all, you should know by now I believe in being good stewards of our bodies mainly for one reason: God.

Regardless which God or Goddess you worship - if we fail to care for our bodies the way He intended, how are we to do His purpose?

God's Pharmacy is an example of how no detail went unnoticed by our Maker. He created our "Incredible Machine" (our body) and provided us with the knowledge and tools to care for it, most in nature. Enjoy! :)

It's been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and  fish... All before making a human. He made and  provided what we'd need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw.   We're such slow  learners...

God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our  body!God's Pharmacy! Amazing!

A  sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The  pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... And YES, science now shows carrots  greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

 A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums.  Even the wrinkles or folds on  the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak.  These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.
 Avocadoes,  Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this?  It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow.  Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.