Month: September 2015

NutritionFundamentals

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NutritionFundamentals is almost here! This Saturday Jersey Devil CrossFit is hosting a nutrition seminar by yours truly (that’s me). We’re covering best nutrition practices for active individuals and athletes. I want to give out some awesome info and to make sure I’ll have enough I’d love to get an idea of how many people are coming out to take the first step towards better nutrition and improved performance. If you think you might stop by let me know in the form below! Can’t wait to see everyone.

Sweet Potato Waffles

Sweet potato season is coming in hot. You’re gonna want some sweet potato centric recipes for the cool fall days ahead. Luckily for you guys, every season is sweet potato season in our house, so I’ve got plenty coming your way. Almost anytime I can add sweet potatoes to a recipe I’ll do it.

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And thus my adventure to find the perfect sweet potato waffle began. I tried to go paleo on these, experimented with coconut flour recipes and blah blah they all fell apart. It would have been fine if you’re into eating a pile of broken mushy sweet potato waffles (which doesn’t sound too bad right about now), but I had bigger plans for my waffles. I needed a sturdy waffle to hold up as the base for some turkey cobb sandwiches I had been dreaming up. So, I threw the paleo requirement out the window and went for these sweet potato beauties.

Sweet Potato Waffles

Makes 8-10 medium sized waffles

Adapted from Joy The Baker

Ingredients:

  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 T packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 T unsalted kerrygold butter, melted
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk (or make butter milk with just under 1 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice)

Directions:

To roast your potatoes, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place your sweet potatoes on a baking dish and rub with olive oil. Roast until you can insert a fork into the potatoes with no resistance. This could take anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes depending on the size of your sweet potatoes. Allow your potatoes to cool, remove the skin and mash in a medium bowl with a fork. This step can also be done in advance.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In another medium bowl or a standing mixer, beat together the brown sugar and eggs until well combined. Add in the vanilla. Whisk in the melted butter, syrup, and buttermilk.

Add in the sweet potatoes and all the dry ingredients, mix until combined. Allow this mix to rest as you heat up your waffle iron.

Spray your waffle iron and pour in 1/4-1/3 cup batter for each waffle for a medium sized waffle and cook according to waffle iron instructions. Serve however your heart desires. Mine served as the bread for a delectable sandwich. These also freeze well!

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toasted brown rice and mushrooms

Brown rice is a great side dish, especially if you’re looking for a healthy, gluten free, whole grain carbohydrate to make some gains after your workout. However it can be quite the challenge to cook. We’ve had our share of bland and undercooked brown rice disasters, but I finally found the perfect way to make brown rice a dinnertime favorite. In this recipe the rice gets toasted and cooked up with some flavorful onions and garlic, then sautéed with caramelized mushrooms and fresh herbs. What you get is awesome.

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Toasted Brown Rice and Mushrooms

Makes 3.5 cups

Recipe from cookin’ canuck

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves. minced
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 8oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant (don’t let them burn). Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. This toasts the rice and gives it a great flavor.

Stir in the broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cover and cook until all the liquid has absorbed, 40-50 minutes. Here is where you could break up this recipe. If you’re prepping this stuff then stop here, let your rice cool and keep it in the fridge to finish later. If making it all right now, keep on truckin’.

Heat your other teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and, stirring occasionally, cook until browning and fragrant (5 minutes). Stir in the thyme and cook for another 30 seconds. In the same skillet, dump in the rice, parsley, and some salt and pepper to taste. If you split things up and your rice is cold give it all some time to toast and heat back up, if not just toss together and serve.

paprika chicken and a white wine butter thyme sauce

Smoky paprika. White wine. Smooth butter. Fragrant thyme. And some big ass chicken breasts… oh baby my mouth is watering just thinking about it all again. This chicken dish is not your average chicken dish. It’s not run of mill or boring and overdone. This chicken is juicy and decadent. It’s leave you wanting more.. and more… and more kind of good.

 

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Paprika Chicken in a White Wine Butter Thyme Sauce

Serves 4

Recipe adapted from the kitchen paper

Ingredients:

  • 4 large chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 stick kerrygold butter (8 tablespoons)*
  • 1 handful fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 -5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 handfuls fresh spinach

Directions:

Season the chicken breasts with the paprika, rubbing evenly on all sides as well as some salt and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large pan or skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken, top side down, and cook for roughly 3 minutes or until golden and crisping. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes on the other side, turning down the heat to medium.

After the 3 minutes add in the remaining butter, thyme, and the garlic. Cook, the garlic and thyme for another 2 minutes before adding in the wine. Bring to a gentle simmer and allow to cook for roughly 20-25 minutes. The wine will reduce, so feel free to add more if you need (I did, probably added in another 1/2 cup about half way through).

Add the spinach and allow to wilt fully. Make sure your chicken is cooked through and serve. We ate ours with some toasted brown rice and mushrooms (recipe on the way) and it was delicious!

* We love butter in our house, well not just any butter. We love kerrygold butter, made from the milk of grassfed cows. We are firm believers that fat doesn’t make you fat so we have no remorse scarfing down a healthy fat dense dinner, but we know that not everyone feels the same way just yet (it’s something that might need to be eased into). If you don’t have good quality butter or you just can’t stand the idea of using a whole stick of the stuff yet, you can sub up to half of the butter with olive oil.

apple cider potato salad

Just when you though potato salad couldn’t get any better, this potato salad will make you want to throw your traditional mayo soaked potato salad right out your window. It combines oven roasted potatoes with a tangy mustard dressing for a lightened up take on the summer time staple. You can make this all in one shot or par-boil the potatoes and whip up the dressing early in the day, then finish the whole thing right before dinner!

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Apple Cider Potato Salad

Serves 4-6

Adapted from eat, live, run

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs red potatoes (skins on)
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, thin sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 oz course mustard
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup white or yellow onion, fine diced

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in potatoes and let cook until tender on the outside, but still IMG_5759firm inside (roughly 20 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes, I periodically tested mine with a fork). Drain the potatoes and allow to cool to room temp.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine the green onions, basil, lemon juice, apple cider, olive oil, paprika, pepper, vinegar, mustards, and onion. Allow to sit and macerate (if saving to assemble for later you can cover and put this mix in the fridge now).

Take the potatoes and cut them into medium sized chunks. If saving to assemble later, you can cover these and put them in the fridge. If making now, preheat your oven to 400′ F. Spread your potatoes on a baking sheet and toss in some olive oil. Roast in the oven until golden brown and cooked through (approximately 15-20 more minutes). Take them out and place all the potatoes in a large bowl. Pour the dressing mixture you made earlier over your potatoes (you may not need to use all the dressing depending on how dressed you like your taters) and toss to coat. Serve warm.

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korean style country spare ribs

BBQ is one of my absolute favorite foods. Hickory smoked pork slathered in sweet and tangy barbecue sauce elicits some kind of intense feelings in me, but every once in a while even I need to change things up. These korean style country spare ribs will do just that, left to soak in a tasty marinade all day and then quick grilled right before dinner. They’re rubbed in brown sugar, so they definitely shouldn’t make an appearance every night, but they really hit the spot on a treat yo’ self kind of day! This week, leave your bbq sauce on the shelf and try out these ribs instead.

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Korean Country Spare Ribs

Serves 5-6

Adapted from smells like home

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 lbs country style pork ribs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • small bunch chives, chopped (optional, for serving)

Directions:

Lay your ribs in one or two large deep baking dishes. Rub your ribs with the brown sugar (I only used as much as needed to lightly coat the ribs, definitely not the entire 1/2 cup). Set ribs aside while you make the marinade.

In a medium bowl whisk together soy sauce, water, rice wine, onion, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper. Pour your marinade evenly over your ribs. Cover and refrigerate for 6-12 hours.

Remove the ribs and allow to sit at room temp for 15 minutes before grilling. In the meantime, preheat a gas grill on high for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to medium. Grill the ribs 3-5 minutes on each side, until you get a nice sear and hash marks on each side (large ribs may need more time). Transfer the ribs to a serving dish, cover, and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped chives.

roasted citrus salad

Revamp your salad game to keep from getting bored towards the end of a salad filled summer. Roasted caramelized oranges are just what you need to add depth and complexity to mundane salads. Pair them with the bitter tang of arugula and smooth avocado and you get a salad that’ll feel sinfully gourmet.

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Roasted Citrus & Avocado Salad

Serves 4-6

Adapted from bon appétit

Ingredients:

  • 2 large oranges, peeled and sliced, seeds removed *
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 small red onion, thin sliced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

Directions:

IMG_5736Preheat your oven to 425′ F. Toss your citrus slices with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast your citrus, flipping occasionally, until you get a light char and a caramelized sweet scent (10-15 minutes). Let cool. **

 

Meanwhile, combine your onion and lemon juice in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, this will soften and mellow out the flavor of your onions.

In a large serving bowl, combine arugula, romaine, cucumbers, avocado, and roasted citrus. Pour onions and lemon juice over greens. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Toss to coat

 

* Don’t feel like you’re limited to oranges here. If you’ve got blood oranges or love the taste of grapefruit try those! You could even do lemons for more flavor.

** Feel free to make your oranges ahead of time and keep in the fridge. They stayed pretty nicely for me and were in the fridge all day.

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We ate this tasty little salad with some tangy korean ribs and potato salad (recipes to come), but it was great with some pesto chicken salad the next day too!