Oven Roasted Garlic Broccoli

I go in stages with food. I’ll find something I love and then I’ll make it in large quantities and eat it every day until I finally get sick of it. Broccoli is currently that food. Growing up my mom would always make broccoli either boiled, or “fresh” from the freezer aisle. While there’s nothing wrong with broccoli in that form, it definitely wasn’t my favorite way of eating it, I wasn’t a huge fan of the mush factor.

Until recently I would usually just eat broccoli raw, but then I decided to experiment with roasting vegetables and broccoli was the most recent attempt, and I’m hooked! I love the crispy bits that come from roasting, and how the broccoli keeps its crunch. My roommate loves it too, I’ve definitely come into the kitchen to find her munching on some freshly roasted broccoli. I don’t blame her, this stuff is delicious!

It took me a while to figure out how to properly roast broccoli though, I experimented with different oven temperatures and have ultimately decided that 425 for about 10-15 minutes is best. It leaves you with the crispiest broccoli possible.

First cut your broccoli florets off the stem. I prefer buying broccoli crowns because they’re cheaper and there’s less stem to throw away.

Chop up some garlic cloves. The more the better! Mmmm garlic!

20140605_203207

Mix your broccoli, garlic and some Avocado Oil (or whatever oil you prefer) in a bowl and then place on a baking sheet. Don’t crowd the baking sheet (as I have been known to do) you’ll get steamed broccoli instead of roasted.

20140605_203500

Bake for 10-15 minutes, checking periodically to make sure your food isn’t burning. It’ll be done once the broccoli is slightly browned and there are delicious crispy bits on the end.

20140605_205452

Enjoy! This is best eaten right away, although I will make it to eat for later as well, if you have it for leftovers it’ll retain its flavor but it’ll lose it’s crispy bits.

 

Oven Roasted Garlic Broccoli

2-3 bunches of Broccoli crowns

3 cloves of garlic chopped

Avocado or Coconut oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.

Cut broccoli florets off of stem and toss in a bowl with oil and chopped garlic until lightly covered

Spread broccoli florets over a baking sheet being careful not to crowd them.

Bake in oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once after about 6 minutes.

Broccoli is done when it is slightly browned and the ends are crispy.

Non Scale Victory Friday!

It’s been a busy week, both at work and in my personal life all starting with spraining my ankle on Saturday meaning I missed my race on Sunday Morning. I was disappointed for sure as I talked about here, but my boyfriend made up for it. Tuesday night, I went to his house after work and he surprised me with a rose, to make up for the rose I didn’t get when I would have crossed the finish line.

rose
Definitely helped my disappointment in missing my race!

 

Anyways on to Non-Scale Victory Fridays. As always share your non scale victories in the comments below! Let’s celebrate those healthy habits!

  1. I met up with a friend for an early morning Saturday run and brunch with a close friend in Baltimore.
  2. My ankle is feeling better! After a week of rest it doesn’t hurt and isn’t swelling. I’m hoping by Monday I’ll be able to ease back into running again, just in time for the Arbutus Firecracker 10k on the fourth.
  3. I was so productive! I didn’t realize how much of my evening gets eaten up by running after work. I had so much time to cook, relax and stretch. Now I know why I could get so much done when I wasn’t working out!
  4. I haven’t lost my motivation to run! This is huge, if you don’t remember I had an unexpected week off of running due to my schedule a couple weeks ago. So, in the last 3 weeks I’ve only been able to run one week. It would be easy for me to lose my momentum and become lazy, but I’m ready to get back out there on Monday!

That’s all for now, have a great weekend, and share your victories below!

Mimosas, Running, and Injuries, OH MY!

I am extremely clumsy and I have weak ankles, so when I started running I was sure it would only be a matter of time before I had an injury. Running injuries are fairly common, but it was something I wanted to try my hardest to avoid. I bought the right (expensive) shoes, I’ve seen a podiatrist, I don’t push myself too hard, I know my limits and I listen to my body, but sometimes all that work is no match for the sidewalk.

This past Saturday I was excited to go running and get brunch with my friend Ana in Baltimore. We chose a park in Federal Hill and then grabbed brunch at the delicious Regi’s American Bistro. It was fun except for when I sprained my ankle when I landed on the edge of a pothole. No fun at all. Luckily we were right in front of Regi’s so I only had to hobble about 50 feet to a outside table and enjoy a mimosa and brunch.

Brunch was delicious I got the New Yorker, which was a bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomato, egg and swiss cheese (No picture, because I am the worst at taking pictures of my life. Note to self, work on that now that I have a blog). Just what I needed, and by the time we walked back to our cars my ankle still hurt but was feeling better.

I spent the rest of Saturday trying to figure out whether I would run in the Baltimore Women’s Classic on Sunday or not. The Baltimore Women’s Classic was the first race I ever did so I have a certain affinity towards it and I was really looking forward to it. Plus you get a rose and a medal when you cross the finish line! I LOVE ROSES AND MEDALS!

My thought process went from “I’m pretty sure I can run the 5k tomorrow, my ankle doesn’t feel that bad…Well maybe I won’t run all of it…I’ll run until it hurts and then walk until it doesn’t…Actually, I’ll just walk the whole 5k….Maybe I should just sit this one out.” Ultimately I decided to let my ankle rest and not run the 5k, which I think was the best decision. It’s three days after my injury and my ankle is still bothering me, although it is definitely improving.

I always promised that I would be careful with my running. When things start hurting I don’t ignore it. I don’t want to form a healthy habit only to end up with more issues because I hurt myself and didn’t listen to my body. It was a tough decision, and I am definitely disappointed, but I think it was the right one. Besides, now I know my ankle will be strong and ready to run all the other races I have coming up this summer!

Non Scale Victory Friday!

It’s Friday, and you know what that means! Time for the non-scale victories of the week. So without further ado:

  1. I got out and ran on Monday and Tuesday after an entire week off from running last week, despite the heat it was great to get out and run.
  2. I tried a new recipe on Monday! I made pizza with a yuca root in the dough. Don’t know what a yuca root is? Well it looks like this:
My boyfriend said I can always be trusted to find the weirdest items when grocery shopping
My boyfriend said I can always be trusted to find the weirdest items when grocery shopping

And my pizza looked like this:

Brussels sprout and broccoli white on the left. Chicken and artichoke on the right.
Brussels sprout and broccoli white on the left. Chicken and artichoke on the right.

And it was delicious! I got the recipe from this amazing blog here!

  1. After making delicious, healthy pizza I met up with a friend on Wednesday for delicious, greasy, unhealthy pizza. I got pepperoni, I enjoyed every bite and I didn’t feel bad about it at all. Yay for not feeling guilty for the occasional indulgence.
  2. Made plans with a friend to go running on Saturday morning in Baltimore followed by brunch. I HATE running in the morning, but I’m excited to start Saturday off early and healthy, not to mention the girl time!

That’s all for me! Enjoy your weekends, and as always share your non scale victories in the comments below!

It’s HOT But I’m Still Running!

After not getting to run at all last week I was so excited to get back into my routine this week. Yeah, you heard me right, I was excited. A year ago, I would have been excited about the week off from running, and that week off would have completely derailed my routine. In fact, I was often looking for excuses as to why I couldn’t run or workout.

“I am so behind on my TV shows! It would be irresponsible not to catch up!”

“My roommates want to get frozen yogurt? It would be rude to decline the invitation, roommate bonding time is important!”

I know I’m not the only one that has tried similar “excuses.” Don’t get me wrong, the mini running vacation was nice last week, and there was one day that I could have gone running but I chose to stay in and cook as I had run out of food. Still I missed running.

Let me repeat that: I MISSED running. I don’t think I realized how much I missed it until yesterday. Monday was rough. I went in to the run knowing it would be more of a run walk, but in case anyone in Maryland hasn’t noticed, it is HOT outside. My run walk turned into more of a walk run. I had forgotten how much the heat can affect you and I certainly hadn’t hydrated enough. Still being outside and moving is better than nothing and I didn’t let it discourage me.

Yesterday, however, was great! I didn’t reach my goal of running five miles because at 2.5 miles I felt exhausted and I was genuinely nervous about heat exhaustion. I had to sit down after my run before I stretched out. Still, I ran the entire 2.5 miles, and I’m not stressed about not getting the distance in, I have some time before my 10k on July 4th.

After my run, literally the only thing I could think about was frozen yogurt, my favorite summertime treat. So despite trying to watch my sugar intake I decided it was worth it and treated myself to some fro yo. I did forgo my usual candy toppings and stuck with just fruit. It was delicious, perfect, and cooled me right off!

Post run fro-yo selfie. It was delicious!
This is the face of someone who is excited for fro-yo!

Here’s to not letting one week off ruin a healthy lifestyle!

Brussels Sprout Chips

I am not a fan of kale in any shape or form, but I am an adventurous eater and am always willing to give foods a second chance. So when kale chips became THE thing to make and eat. I gave them a shot. I did not think, contrary to popular belief, that they tasted better than or equal to potato chips. I didn’t even think that they tasted different but still good. I thought they possessed every trait of kale that I disliked about it in the first place. I still however liked the idea.

Fast forward to this past spring when I did Whole 30. I was making a lot of brussels sprouts and I didn’t like that every time I cooked them I was throwing away so many leaves. I’m cheap, I don’t like buying vegetables only to throw away perfectly good parts. Then I remembered kale chips and thought making brussels sprout chips can’t be that different. Added bonus? I actually LIKE brussels sprouts.

Well, I love brussels sprout chips, they’re the perfect snack to munch on. Now I am not going to say “OMG THESE ARE BETTER THAN POTATO CHIPS.” This is because I am not a liar. These do not taste like potato chips. I don’t even consider these a substitute. If you want potato chips, then eat potato chips. These taste like crispy brussels sprouts, because they are, and I love them.

Remember when I made brussels sprouts with bacon and I told you to save the outer leaves? Well this is why! I like to save the outer leaves in a plastic bag with a paper towel to help with the moisture. They’ve kept in my fridge for as long as 2 weeks before I’ve cooked chips with them which is good, because I never feel like making these chips when I’m doing a lot of cooking.

Preheat your oven to 400. Drizzle your brussel sprouts with a healthy oil and mix mix mix! I am recently obsessed with Avocado Oil for it’s high smoke point and numerous health benefits, but choose whatever sounds good to you (hint hint these taste amazing with coconut oil too!).

20140613_175716

Arrange as many leaves on a baking sheet as you can, help them to be friends. You do want a single layer so make sure they’re not stuck together. Add whatever seasonings you want, salt, garlic powder, pepper. Whatever makes you happy.

20140613_180000

Put your brussels sprouts into the oven for 10 minutes. DO set a timer. DO NOT tell yourself you will remember to check on them periodically because you are going to be in the kitchen for a long time anyways. If you do this you will remember you wanted to read that interesting article your friend posted on facebook earlier today. So you will go upstairs to check it out on your laptop and then get distracted on Facebook, and start talking to your best friend and OH YEAH I put the brussels sprout chips in the oven 45 minutes ago…..If you do this, you will burn them to a crisp and ruin everything, so Don’t. Do. It.

20140613_180958

They’re done when they look like this! I love dipping these in a little homemade mayonnaise (flavored or plain) but my favorite way is just plain, they’re delicious as is.

20140613_181126

Non Scale Victory Friday

This was one of those weeks that felt like it would never end, and yet at the same time I can’t believe it’s already Friday! I was so busy and things just got away from me. Proof, I didn’t go running once this week. I don’t usually let this happen but from realizing on Monday I had left my only sports bra at my boyfriend’s place, to having plans after work every other night of the week there didn’t end up being time. I’m just going to tell myself the universe was trying to tell me that if I ran this week then I would have injured myself or been struck by lightning. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Enough talk! Onto the Non-Scale Victories!

  1. Stopped procrastinating and finally registered for the Baltimore Women’s Classic on June 22nd. This was the first race I ever ran and I’m super excited to do it for a second year in a row!
  2. I had to stay late at work yesterday so I could attend orientation for graduate school (How scary/exciting/nerve wracking/I forgot how to study!) and I planned ahead and packed a healthy dinner so I wouldn’t starve. I’ve developed a habit of packing lunch, but I always seem to forget to pack enough for dinner for the few moments I need it!
  3. Despite not being able to run this week I ate so healthily! Lots of fruits and vegetables. LOTS of fruits! It’s strawberry season, my favorite and they’re so sweet! The cashier at the grocery store remarked after ringing up my 2 pounds of strawberries, 16 ounces of blackberries and pint of blueberries “I would be healthy if I ate all that!”

Anyways that’s all for now! Don’t forget to share your personal NSVs below! I love reading them!

 

I Weighed Myself!

Yesterday I broke my no scale rule, stepped on a scale and weighed myself!

Calm down it isn’t that serious! I didn’t actually break any rules, I had a visit to the doctor and it was just routine. There is no point in trying to avoid the scale at a doctor’s office and I made sure not to look at the number on the scale when they were weighing me.

However, I was told by my doctor that I had dropped 11 pounds since I had last seen her. Even though I’m not focusing on my weight or the scale that is still very encouraging. I explained to her that I had gone down a couple dress sizes even and she said that’s a better measure of health anyways. Loved hearing my doctor say that and further confirming what I already suspected. The scale is an arbitrary measurement of health anyways. Win one for me!

Spanakopita Stuffed Chicken

I can distinctly remember when I started liking spanakopita as a kid. It was the first food I can remember going from hating to loving. Until I was around nine years old I was turned off by the fact that it had spinach in it which I deemed “yucky!” Every time my mom made spanakopita she also had to make tiropita so that I would eat something.

Now Spanakopita is one of my favorite foods, but I don’t have it very often. With my schedule it’s not something that’s quick to make, and the filo used doesn’t make it the healthiest option for me outside of special occasions.  This recipe was born out of wanting the taste of spanakopita in a healthier version.  On the plus side it’s one of my boyfriend’s favorite dishes! I think the spinach and feta keep the chicken from getting too dried out

The weather was perfect this weekend so I cooked this up with my boyfriend, along with some skewered red potatoes on the grill. It was my first time cooking it on the grill and it turned out perfectly, (despite some of my shoddy grill skills which I won’t document here). My boyfriend has a lactose intolerance so I just made his without feta and it turned out just as good.

Thaw your frozen spinach and squeeze out the excess water.  Then combine with the feta.

Mix it up! YUM!
Mix it up! YUM!

Cut a slit in the chicken breast. This isn’t an exact science but my slits were about 2 inches deep and maybe 3 inches wide? I like to get as much stuffing in them as possible though. That’s the yummy stuff!

20140607_205559Stuff your chicken, enough to fill it up but not so much that it will spill out. I did have some spillage on the grill but nothing too bad. I forgot to get a picture with the chicken seasoning. 20140607_211036

Heat up your grill to medium heat and place breasts on the grill. Let them cook for about 15 minutes on each side. Definitely check that it’s done before you take it off though, there’s nothing worse than raw chicken! I usually just slice in and see if it’s cooked through for peace of mind

20140607_213119

Serve and Enjoy!

20140607_221431

Spanakopita Stuffed Chicken

8 oz Frozen Spinach, thawed and drained

½ cup Feta, or more! More feta is always good 🙂

6 Chicken Breast

Parsley, Oregano, salt and pepper to taste

Heat grill to Medium heat

Combine frozen spinach and feta in a small bowl

Cut a pocket in the side of the chicken breast

Stuff Spinach/feta mixture into chicken breast. Season with parsley and oregano salt and pepper to taste

Once grill has heated place chicken on the grill cook for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and repeat on other side.

Serve and Enjoy!

Non Scale Victory Friday!

It’s Non-Scale Victory Friday! I had a lot of positive things happen this week. You can find the first Non-Scale Victory Friday here, and so without further ado!

  1. I went shopping last night after my run and bought so many whole foods and then proceeded to cook most of it into healthy meals for the upcoming week. My fingers still smell like garlic this morning!
20140605_202345
My grocery haul for the week. So yummy!
  1. I ran the ZOOM Annapolis 10k on Saturday! I already wrote about that, but the bit thing was that I classified the race as “fun!” I was talking about it to my boyfriend after and he stopped me and said “Do you realize you’ve never described running as ‘fun’ before?” He’s right too! So yay for running being fun!
  2. My church had their annual Greek Festival this past weekend. After jet skiing I was starving so I stopped by and got some food. Once there I was craving french fries much more than usual (I think it was the salt). I bought a serving of them and enjoyed about ten, and then I stopped! I LOVE french fries, they are easily one of my favorite foods, but so unhealthy, so I try to avoid them. Still I’m so glad that I didn’t deny myself a craving, I let myself thoroughly enjoy every unhealthy bite, and then, most importantly, stopped when I’d had enough.
  3. I was so sore on Monday after running, jet skiing, and water skiing the previous Saturday, but I still managed to go for a short two mile run! After those two miles I had to stop though. My legs were so mad at me!

What were your non-scale victories this week? Share them in the comments below, and have a great weekend!