Sunday, January 27, 2013

Treadmill Intervals

Recently I stepped on the scale and freaked out. I looked at the number and realized it was a solid 10 pounds higher than the day I got married. I thought to myself "What happened?!?" It hasn't even been a year!!

So, I panicked.

And I downloaded MyFitnessPal on my phone.

And I promised myself that I'd become friends with working out again.

And I started running again.

I have a love/hate relationship with running. I always feel really good after a run, but I never want to start one. And after months of ignoring the treadmill, I wasn't nearly in as good of shape as I thought. I tried my hardest to finish a 5k on it and nearly died making it in 43 minutes.

Needless to say, a plan needed to be developed. So, I put on my thinking cap and have been working on creating a series of Treadmill Interval plans. Intervals are easier for me because they give me a moment to catch my breath before picking up the pace. The one posted below definitely helped me start back up again. I'll be posting more of these throughout the week.

I hope you love this one as much as I do. This has kicked my butt, in a good way!

What do you do when you fall off the workout bandwagon and need to kick in in gear again?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Homemade Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread

This goes right along with the Simple Spinach Tortellini Soup from the other night. I truly enjoyed this, although my husband was not a huge fan. He doesn't always like wheat breads, and this is very wheat tasting. The bonus about this bread is that it made enough to last me all week long! I literally ate this with the soup for one dinner and five (count that, five!) lunches. And, I'm not gonna lie, I definitely had this for breakfast one morning, too, just because it was so good.

Anyways, the part I enjoyed most about this bread is that it is no-knead. It's not that I'm anti-knead, it just takes a long time and gets the kitchen very messy when I knead bread. Overall, there's really nothing on this recipe that doesn't scream easy, tasty, and healthy!

Homemade Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread 

3-1/4 cups flour
1 envelope rapid rise yeast
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup warm (not hot) water
Italian seasoning
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese
9x13 pan
Crisco/Pam for greasing

Step-by-step guide
1. Add flour, yeast, and salt. Mix well.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the water to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
3. Grease the 9x13 pan.
4. Add the dough mixture to the pan and even it out throughout the pan. If one section is thicker or thinner than the others it will cause baking issues later.
5. Cover with a towel and put in a warm area.
6. Wait 30 minutes.
7. By now, the dough should have risen and almost doubled in size. Poke holes throughout the risen dough and drizzle olive oil over the entire dough.
8. Sprinkle Italian seasoning and cheese over dough.
9. Cover with a towel again.
10. Wait 30 minutes.
11. Dough will have risen again. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. I'm just going to disclaimer that I live at a high altitude. I actually baked at 350 degrees for more like 35 minutes and it worked for me. I'm guesstimating for a sea-level baking time.

Serve when warm. Tastes really good when paired with more olive oil and Parmesan cheese for dipping. I can't eat too much cheese, but I tried it with just a bit and it hit the spot!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Start with some soup!

I've been telling myself for a long time now that I need to start a blog so I can remember what delicious dinners my husband and I make so that we can refer back to them on the days when we can't decide what to have. I finally worked up the courage and the time to start putting this together. And, what better way to start a blog than with a soup!

I love soup. Probably more than I should. But, being lactose intolerant, my soup choices are typically fairly limited. Any time we go out to eat if I see the words "creamy" next to a soup, I know what it means. There are so few good, non-dairy soups at restaurants, so I like to create my own. This one is similar to one I found on Budget Bytes. I've adapted it a little just because we didn't have everything required.

Simple Spinach Tortellini Soup 

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-1.5 cups chopped onion
2 tsps. garlic salt and/or garlic powder
1 can pasta sauce (at least 16 oz, preferably in the 20s)
1 can diced tomatoes (I prefer the no-salt added)
1-1.5 cans water (use pasta sauce after it's emptied)
1 heaping tsp. basil
1 heaping tsp. oregano
2 tsps. pepper
1 package tortellini
1 package frozen spinach  or 4 cups fresh spinach

Step-by-step instructions
1. Cut the onion into smallish pieces.
2. Put onion, olive oil, and garlic salt/powder in large pot and cook until onion lightly browns.
3. Add in pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, water, basil, oregano, and pepper. Stir together and turn heat to medium-medium/high until soup simmers (just below a full boil).
4. Add in tortellini and spinach (if frozen, no need to thaw). If using fresh spinach, you will want to cut it up into smallish pieces.
5. Cook until tortellini is tender. Add salt, if desired.

I like to top this with a bit of cheese, just enough to flavor, not enough to make my lactose-intolerance kick in. We also had a homemade whole-wheat focaccia bread with this. I'll be posting that recipe later.

Hope you all enjoy this as much as I do!