Zucchini Stuffed With Spinach, Potato & Cheddar

ImageAdapted from from Silvia Bianco’s recipe on Mind Body Green

*Please note that the inner flesh of zucchini is watery, so regardless of what you decide to add to it, one of the ingredients needs to be something that acts as a binder. It could be mashed potatoes (as in this recipe), or cooked rice, polenta, bread crumbs, mashed chickpeas or beans, quinoa, lentils, cooked and chopped meat… you get the idea.

Ingredients:

·        2 medium zucchini, cut in half vertically

·        2 cups of mashed potatoes

·        Handfull of fresh spinach

·        Handfull of fresh collard greens, kale or another dark leafy green

·        1/2 cup of diced sweet onion

·        2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped

·        3 tablespoons coconut oil

·        1/4 cup shredded cheddar (or any other cheese you like ..brie cheese is also a great one)

·        4 tablespoons of panko (Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb traditionally used as a coating for deep-fried foods such as tonkatsu. The biggest difference between panko and standard breadcrumbs is that panko is made from bread without crusts)

·        8 grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half vertically

·        Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

·        Roast zucchini: Cut in half vertically and roast (cut side down) at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, or until the inner flesh is soft but the outer skin holds it shape

·        Make mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese mixed in

·        Scoop out the flesh of zucchini and puree it: A few seconds in a food processor or mixer then add mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese for another quick mix.

·        Place a medium 11” saute pan over medium heat. Add oil and heat until hot but not smoking.

·        Add the onions and cook until softened (about 3 minutes).

·        Add garlic, cook for a few moments, just until it begins to color and add the spinach and kale.

·        Cook for about two minutes or just until it wilts. Add a splash of water if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

·        Add the puree from the zucchini and the potato, season and stir.

·        Fill each of the 4 zucchini boats, top each with 4 half tomatoes, sprinkle with panko and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or just until the panko browns to a golden color.

·        Serve whole or in segments as an appetizer, side dish, or entree.

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Where are the Men?

Where are the Men?
By Lisa Goddard BA, BScOT, Certified Pilates Instructor, Co-owner of Balanced Motion Pilates and Yoga

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When I look around the room in any class at Balanced Motion inevitably I see mostly women.  Occasionally a man will join the class and really find the benefits of this practice.  I have heard from some men that they do that “sort” of exercise in the privacy of home.  Many times I hear men identify Pilates as women’s exercise.  I have to ask myself why?  From my perspective as a Pilates Instructor and movement educator there are no gender biases for Pilates being more appropriate for women than men.  And yet, the mats and reformers are filled by women.  When I read journals dedicated to men’s health, I note that there is a large focus on “core” strengthening and the exercises are largely Pilates-based.  Yet there is no mention of Pilates….is there a bias with the name “Pilates”?

Pilates was created by a man. Joseph Pilates’ clients were very athletic and he trained as many men as women.  Pilates offers huge benefits for men interested in fitness, especially in regard to gains in functional, deep strength, flexibility and coordination. But above all, Pilates helps develop the mind/body connection, which can open the door to huge benefits for harnessing the power of the mind. Not totally as an aside, Joseph Pilates was adamant that a regular Pilates practice would improve the practitioner’s sex life.

Pilates offers the opportunity to take your performance in your favourite sport to the next level by strengthening your centre, improving your awareness of your body and mind/body connection. Learning or Re-learning where to move from in your body for maximum power, balance and flexibility.

Sounds appropriate for all athletes…right? So…where are the men?  It is true that the surge of popularity that Pilates has enjoyed in recent years has been powered largely by women instructors and participants.  Perhaps this is unappealing or daunting for men in the group setting? I encourage men to try private (one-to-one) instruction initially for a few reasons.

With anyone, it often takes a few sessions to establish the mind/body connection required to access the deeper unit of stability muscles we focus on in Pilates.  There is none of the “just power through” attitude that men might relate to from the gym.  Additionally, the cueing used with men should be different than that used with women. For instance, some of the imagery that has become accepted part of the Pilates lingo speaks specifically to the female population and would fall on deaf ears to many men. For all of these reasons, a few one-to-one lessons help to key the client into body awareness and lingo so that, in the class, he can feel connected to the workout.  For a client recuperating from injury or illness, individual instruction is his best option for the personal and specialized programming that is possible in that setting.

I would love to hear from the men out there!  Give me your opinions, feedback and experiences related to Pilates.  Here at Balanced Motion, we know we have an amazing practice that can benefit everyone…so where are you?

Raw Spring Rolls With sweet & Spicy Nut Dipping Sauce

Spring Rolls

Ingredients:index

  • spring roll wrappers(Rice Paper) – available in the Asian section of your local grocery/health food store
  •  assorted veggies cut into very thin strips – I used thinly cut carrots, cabbage, cucumber, avocado, and arugula
  • smoked salmon – if you want the roll to be vegan than skip the salmon

Directions:

·        Submerge 1 spring roll wrapper at a time in a bowl of hot (not boiling) water until soft, about 15 seconds. Use your hands to remove your wrapper from the water, shaking off any excess liquid.

·        Lay your wrapper on a flat surface like a cutting board. Begin layering your vegetables in the bottom center of your wrap. Use less than you think is needed, these wraps fill up fast and it’s much easier to wrap a smaller roll than a larger one!

·        Fold the bottom of the wrapper up over the vegetables and then fold the left & right sides in like a burrito. Continue rolling the spring roll from the bottom up towards the top of the wrapper, pressing firmly to seal.

·        With a sharp knife, cut spring rolls in half on a bias and serve with Sweet & Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce listed below.

Sweet & Spicy Nut Dipping Sauce:    (adapted from The Raw Food Detox Diet)

Ingredients:   

  • 1 cup raw almond butter
  • 4 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs Tamari (in the Asian section at your local grocery/health food store)
  • 2 Tbs fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water to thin
  • 1/2 serrano or jalapeno pepper (optional, add more or less based on spice preference)
  • 1 tsp Hot Pepper Sesame Oil (optional,  in the Asian section at your local grocery/health food store)

Directions:

·        Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender, slowly adding 1/4 – 1/2 cup water until smooth consistency is reached. Taste and adjust flavors to taste. This will make about 12oz.

By balancedmotionblog Posted in Recipes