Happy Friday Friends! Ok, so dramatic title much? I agree it is a little alarming but what is even more alarming is that it is true! Take a look at this great graphic style article showing us just how much damage we are doing by sitting all day. (Click here to read.) Don’t worry it also gives some advice on how to break up an all day sitting spree 🙂
(image courtesy of Google images)
Also this will be our last post until the New Year! Say wha? So have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all! Enjoy time with family and friends, get out and do some sliding, skiing, snowshoeing, whatever activity you like to do. (eating and drinking may make its way onto the agenda as well ;D all in moderation folks! )
My apologies for my late posting for our Vlog of the week….I actually have been feeling quite under the weather this week (like most people it seems like…must be something going around!) and so this week I am featuring a Vlog from another Studio, one close to our hearts I might add ;). Body Harmonics is an amazing Studio in Toronto (2 locations) and they have a wonderful channel on YouTube featuring great Vlogs every week. I am sharing with you one that prepares you for the plank exercise in preparation for our next Vlog (which will be January 7th) in which we will add a little challenge to the plank. Click here to check it out!
(Image courtesy of Google Images)
• 1 pound frozen or shelf-stable gnocchi
• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 cups thinly sliced peeled butternut squash or unpeeled delicata squash (1- to 2-inch-long slices)
• 1/2 cup sliced shallots (1-2 medium)
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
• 2 tablespoons currants
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried rubbed
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 8 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
• 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar reduction or 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (see Note)
1. If using frozen gnocchi, cook in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, rinse and pat dry. (If using shelf-stable gnocchi, skip this step.)
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, squash, shallots and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in broth, currants, sage and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring, until the squash is almost cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add spinach, chickpeas and the gnocchi and cook, gently stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes more. Serve drizzled with balsamic reduction (or balsamic vinegar).
Tips & Notes
Note: Balsamic vinegar reduction, simply balsamic vinegar that is cooked down until thick and syrupy, is sometimes called balsamic glaze or balsamic drizzle. Look for it with other vinegars in well-stocked supermarkets. Or make it yourself: Bring 1 cup balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until syrupy and reduced to about 1/4 cup, 10 to 14 minutes. (Watch the syrup carefully in the last few minutes of reducing to prevent burning.)
Per serving: 458 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 4 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 88 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 15 g protein; 10 g fiber; 620 mg sodium; 597 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (225% daily value), Vitamin C (53% dv), Folate (33% dv), Iron (28% dv), Magnesium (19% dv), Potassium (17% dv), Calcium (16% dv).
Carbohydrate Servings: 5
Exchanges: 5 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 fat
So who doesn’t like bananas? Okay there are probably some people out there who don’t like this convenient and yummy snack, but they may change their minds after reading this little article about all the benefits of the yellow fruit! And for those of us who already love bananas….check out the article for even more reasons to eat it! Click here to check it out 😀
Makes: 6 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
• 1 pound prepared crust (whole wheat) or homemade and prepared Pesto or Homemade
• 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
• 1/4 cup water
• 5 ounces arugula ,any tough stems removed, chopped (about 6 cups)
• Pinch of salt
• Freshly ground pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup prepared pesto
• 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1. Position oven rack in the lowest position; preheat to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about the size of the baking sheet. Transfer to the baking sheet. Bake until puffed and lightly crisped on the bottom, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook broccoli and water in a large skillet over medium heat, covered, until the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in arugula and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Spread pesto evenly over the crust, top with the broccoli mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until crispy and golden and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
Per serving: 323 calories; 13 g fat (4 g sat, 7 g mono); 19 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 3 g fiber; 511 mg sodium; 241 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (45% daily value), Calcium (34% dv), Vitamin A (31% dv).
Carbohydrate Servings: 2
Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 medium fat meat, 1 1/2 fat
This week we have a great article by Leo Babauta (found on Stumbleupon website) Great tips that we can all start to incorporate into our lives 🙂 Some you may already be doing! High fives for everyone 😀 Have a great weekend everybody….keep it safe and fun! Click here for the article.
Caroline’s Energy Cookies
• ¼ cup (approx.) organic coconut oil
• ¼ cup black strap molasses
• 1 cup presoaked sunflower seeds (can soak 1-4 hours)
• 1 cup brown rice flour
• 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup date paste (or dates soaked and mashed)
• Handful pumpkin seeds
• 1 cup brown sesame seeds
• Handful raisins (optional)
• Dash cinnamon
• Small sprinkle sea salt and baking soda
• Drizzle maple syrup
1. Combine coconut oil and molasses and then add and combine all other ingredients in order listed.
2. Form into balls, add water if necessary for smoother consistency.
3. Place on greased cookie tray and flatten each ball with a fork.
4. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 7-8 minutes.
5. Turn oven off and leave in oven with door closed for at least half an hour. Enjoy! (Can freeze)
Look for my “Vegan Tales of Improvising In The Kitchen” in the near future!!