Monthly Archives: May 2017

Lagree Pilates at Core40 SOMA

Before I begin, I just want to point out that I realize the photos of me on the machine are extremely dorky. Hey man. Take me as I am. So, I’ve been going to Core40 in San Francisco for about a year now, and it’s one of my favorite studio classes to take because its quick, efficient, and fun. Only 40 minutes of intense muscle burn! The Core40 Studio has both spin classes (shoutout to my sister-in-law, Stephanie Jensen, one of the BEST spin instructors!) and lagree pilates classes on the M3 Megaformer.

So what exactly makes lagree different that traditional pilates? Simply put, lagree is much more intense, with more weight resistance and increased targeting on more muscle groups at one time. For example, I can be in an “elevator lunge” and be working my legs, core and arms all at the same time. From Core40.com:

In Pilates, you typically take breaks between each set of exercises (similar to a Yoga class). The Lagree philosophy is that shorter transitions lead to a quicker burnout and a shorter workout (less time, more intensity).Use slow movements (to target slow twitch muscle fibers, scientifically proven to burn more fat), resistance training (to build muscle strength), continuous tension (via spring resistance) and constant engagement of your core (on a moving platform) to push your muscles to maximum exertion and keep your heart rate elevated throughout.

There are several studios in San Francisco, but I love the SOMA studio because it offers special “Ramped” classes which is even harder. The reformer basically has an electric ramp attached, and it changes the angle of the exercises, creating more intensity and a bigger burn. YAS please.

Nova Lox Eggs Benedict

If you’ve got an insatiable hunger to impress your friends with killer #brunchvibes, I got your back. A fancy twist on a traditional eggs benedict, this alternative is different, fun and simply delectable. My dad is an avid Monterey Bay fisherman, so I grew up around all types of fish. Nova lox is one of my favorites, which is basically cold smoked salmon, cured in salt and thinly sliced (different than traditional smoked salmon, which is often hot smoked). Despite the fact that hollandaise sauce is not the healthiest delicacy on the planet, I still kept it in my recipe. I’d recommend just a small drizzle, but this is where it’s up to you decide how healthy you want to be. Just remember, everything is okay in moderation.  This tasty dish pairs well with a side of fresh, fragrant berries. And a mimosa. Or glass of rose. Or both. No judgements. You do you b00, it’s the weekend.

Estimated Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • Nova Lox Salmon: 8 oz packet
  • Whole Wheat English Muffins: 2
  • Farm Fresh Eggs: 4
  • Asparagus: 4 spears, cut in half
  • Salt: a few dashes
  • Cooking Spray: a few sprays
  • Paprika: 1 tablespoon

Hollandaise Sauce (serves 8, so you’ll have extra):

Turn on the oven onto broil. On a baking sheet, line with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Place the asparagus on the sheet, spray the greens with cooking spray and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for about 2 minutes, flip over, and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until it turns bright green. Concurrently, toast your english muffins in the oven as well, by placing them directly onto another rack (no butter) for about 2-3 minutes. Keep a close eye on both while they cook. Set the english muffins and asparagus aside.

Next, start working on the hollandaise sauce. Melt the butter in small saucepan on medium-low heat, then add in the cold water and hollandaise sauce packet with a whisk. Stir frequently, and continue to cook on medium heat until it starts to boil. Reduce the heat to low and then begin arranging the dish.

Each plate gets two toasted english muffin halves. Stack about 1-2 slices of nova lox and 2 halves of asparagus on each english muffin slice. Finally, it’s egg time.

For the eggs, you will need a medium skillet and an empty wine glass. Fill the skillet with about 2 inches of water, turn to high heat and when the entire bottom of the saucepan is covered in bubbles and starting to boil, sprinkle just a few dashes of salt into the pan. Crack one egg, place it into the wine glass, and then slowly and gently pour the single egg directly into the skillet. Continue, one at time, cracking each egg into the wine glass, and gently pouring each egg in a clockwise arrangement. Each egg needs about 3 minutes to cook, so the first egg should be close to done by the time you’re finished cracking all 4. You’ll know it’s done when it turns white and the yoke begins to float. With a slotted spoon, carefully lift each egg, drain completely, and place on the english muffins. Drizzle with a small bit of hollandaise sauce, and then sprinkle just a small dash of paprika to finish it off. Congrats! You did it!

Best Ever Turkey Zucchini Burgers with Avocado

Looking for a super moist turkey burger that’s full of flavor? These burgers are fiance-approved, and refreshingly light on the tummy. By substituting cheese with fresh avocado and vine-ripe tomatoes, we’re adding tasty colors to this best-ever turkey patty. Ah yes, that turkey patty, the star of the show. No ketchup, mustard or mayo needed on this number: I’m giving away three secret ingredients that make this turkey patty stand proud on it’s own: fresh basil (for impeccable flavor), Worcestershire sauce (you’ll taste why) and zucchini (for moisture and nutritional content – double bonus!). Get excited.

Estimated Time: (1 hour 20 minutes, which includes 1 hour of marinating time)

Turkey Patty Ingredients (serves 5):

  • Lean Ground Turkey: 16oz
  • Raw Zucchini: 1 medium, shredded
  • Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs: 1/4 cup
  • Yellow Onion: 2 tbsp, minced
  • Garlic: 1 clove, minced
  • Fresh Basil: 2 tbsp, minced
  • Worcestershire Sauce: 1.5 tsp
  • Salt: 2-3 dashes
  • Pepper: 2-3 dashes

Burger Ingredients:

  • Hamburger Buns (wheat or white): 5 buns
  • Hass Avocado: 1 large, sliced
  • Vine-Ripe Tomato: 1 large, sliced thick
  • Yellow Onion: 1/2 large, sliced
  • Iceburg Lettuce: 5-6 large leaves

Start by preparing the turkey meat. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix with clean hands. Note to engaged women: unless you want raw meat in it, take off your engagement ring. On a large plate or baking dish, split and create 5 patties, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Once you’re ready to grill, start up the barbecue and clean off any old residue. Grill the turkey patties for approximately 8 minutes, flip, and cook for another 5 minutes or until the meat is cooked all the way through. Meanwhile, using cooking spray, sauté your onions in a small skillet via kitchen stovepot on low heat while the burgers cook. Onions will take about 10 minutes. Once the burgers are close to being done, toast the hamburger buns on the grill for light crunch.

Stack all the ingredients onto the bun and you’re done! Also optional to eat your burger “naked” by substituting the hamburger bread with fresh crisp iceburg lettuce. Hope you enjoy it!

Spicy Sausage Zucchini Pasta

Crumbly, hearty sausage bits simmered with grape tomatoes spilling over a bed of light, fresh zucchini noodles…you gotta try this. If you’ve never tried zucchini noodles, I urge you to give it a go. And while yes, it is not real “pasta,” it still gratifies the mind with every twirling bite. I use my spiralizer at least once a week with no regrets because it’s so easy to use and it whips out noodles of all sorts in a matter of 2-3 minutes.  By using spicy sausage, this dish delivers a spicy punch which actually pairs nicely with the subtle, accommodating features of the zucchini.  Not to mention, this tasty meal is super friendly on the calorie budget.

Estimated time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • Hot Italian Sausages: 3 links (I recommend New York Style Sausage Company)
  • Raw Zucchinis: 4 medium
  • Grape Tomatoes: 3 big handfuls, cut in halves
  • Low Sodium Chicken Broth: 1/2 cup
  • Cooking Spray: 2 pumps
  • Fresh Oregano: leaves from 2 sprigs
  • Parmesan Cheese: 2 tbsp

Using your spiralizer, spiralize your zucchinis first. Spread the noodles out on a cutting board, and cut the noodles in 5-6 inch increments (the noodles can get very very long if you don’t cut them up a little bit). Next, spray a large non-stick skillet or wok with cooking spray and warm to medium/high heat. Cut the casing off the sausage and throw all the meat in the pan. Dispose the casing. With a wooden spatula, break apart the sausage into smaller crumbles as it cooks. Once the sausage begins to brown, add the grape tomatoes halves, chicken broth and oregano leaves. Reduce heat to super low and simmer for about 5-7 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed into the meat. Add in the zucchini noodles and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. The zucchini will release more water into the mixture, giving you back some sauce. Be careful not to overcook the noodles (the noodles will keep cooking even after you turn the stove off) – you’ll want to keep a bit of crunch upon serving. Turn the stove off, plate the dish, and top with a tablespoon of parmesan cheese. Tasty!

BBQ Pork Pizzas

This pizza is totally guilt-free. And while cauliflower crust is sort of cool, this barbecue pizza is waaaaay cooler in my opinion, and much faster to make. We had some left-over ribs in the fridge that I didn’t want to go to waste, but you can totally substitute with any other type of meat. Imagine this in your mouth right this second: light tender pork, tangy barbecue sauce, crisp red onions, fragrant herbs cut fresh from the garden, and delicious mozzarella cheese. So much yes.

Estimated Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • Grilled Pork Ribs: 4 pork ribs, deboned and shredded with fork
  • *Substitute Grilled or Baked Chicken: 6 oz, shredded with fork
  • La Tortilla Factory Low Carb, High Fiber Tortilla – 2 large tortillas
  • Cooking Spray – 2 pumps
  • Barbecue Sauce: 1/4 cup
  • Red Onion: 1/3 cup, chopped
  • Cilantro: 1/3 cup, chopped
  • Green Onions: 2 large stocks, chopped
  • Low Fat Mozzarella Cheese: 2/3 cup, shredded
  • Red Pepper Flakes: 2 dashes, optional

 

Using a small convection oven or large regular sized oven, preheat to 350. If using a small convection oven, you might have to do one pizza at a time (which is no biggie because these bake fast). Spray the topside of each tortilla with cooking spray and toast the tortillas for approximately 2-3 minutes depending on your oven. You want the tortillas to be just a bit more firm than when they started.  Now, spread the barbecue sauce evenly across the two tortillas; the trick is spreading all the way to the edge of the tortilla so that you get enough sauce in every bite. Distribute and layer all of the remaining ingredients onto the pizzas and bake for about 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with red pepper flakes if you’re feeling spicy. Pair with a spinach salad and call it a night!