Cilantro-Lime Halibut Tacos & Fresh Guacamole

halibut-cilantro-fajitas-tacos-guacamole

halibut-cilantro-fajitas-tacos

Fresh, bright green cilantro cooked with flaky halibut and tangy lime = heaven in my mouth. Add in a huge dollop of creamy guacamole and I’d say you’ve reached border line foodporn. This spread is particularly great for group gatherings, since everyone can sort of pick and choose which ingredients they want to throw into a tortilla. Plus, halibut is a totally lean protein machine and people usually don’t even realize they’re “eating healthy.” Lastly, I’m not the best at sharing food, so I totally get it if you end up not sharing at all and saving the whole thing for yourself. #nojudgements

Estimated Time: 1.5 hours; includes 1 hour to marinate the halibut

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

Cilantro-Lime Halibut

  • Fresh Halibut: 12-15oz
  • Cilantro: 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Garlic Cloves: 2 cloves, minced
  • Lime Juice: 2 fresh limes, squeezed
  • Olive Oil: 1 tsp
  • Taco Seasoning: 2 tbsp
  • Cayenne Powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Ground Cumin: 1 tbsp

Fresh Guacamole

  • Avocado: 2 fresh
  • Red Onion: 1/8 cup, chopped finely
  • Cilantro: 1/8 cup, chopped finely
  • Lime Juice: 1/2 lime, squeezed
  • Garlic Powder: 1 tsp
  • Salt: 1 tsp

Additional Buffet Items:

  • Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • Fresh Pico De Gallo
  • Chopped Lettuce
  • Fat Free Cheddar Cheese
  • Fat Free Sour Cream
  • Low Fat Tortilla Chips

First, you’re going to want to marinate the halibut for about an hour. Cut the halibut up into small bite-size pieces and mix all the ingredients together in a large ziplock bag. Place the halibut in the fridge and let marinate for about an hour. While those flavors are blending, work on the guacamole. Simply combine all the ingredients together and mix well. Add/subtract salt and garlic powder according to taste. Don’t forget to leave the avocado bulb in the bowl with the guacamole: it keeps the guac from turning brown!

Once the fish has marinated for about an hour, spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat it up on medium heat. Add in the fish and cook for no more than 5 minutes, stirring often. The halibut should cook quite quickly, and you don’t want to overcook. You’ll know it’s done when the pieces turn white and easily flake apart. Serve immediately amongst all the other ingredients.

B-fast On The Go: Cottage Cheese & Tomato Toast

Cottage Cheese and Tomato Toast

Need to grab a quick bite to eat before running out the door this morning? This quick and delicious breakfast will only take a couple of minutes to whip up, and its packed with lean protein and fiber.

Estimated Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • Whole Wheat Toast: 1 slice
  • Fat Free Cottage Cheese: 1/2 cup
  • Tomato (any type): 1/4 cup in slices
  • Sea Salt: 1 pinch
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper: 2 cranks

This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but if you’re really in a rush – here’s how I maximize my every second. First, pop the bread in the toaster. Meanwhile, start slicing the tomatoes, set aside. Take out the cottage cheese, measure out half a cup and the toast should be ready right about now. Spread the cheese, top with tomatoes and finish it all off with salt and pepper. Done in 2 minutes. 5-6-7-8 Go.

 

Weekend Bike Ride: SF-Tiburon Route

biking-tiburon-san-francisco

biking-tiburon

Nothing screams awesome workout like a 40 mile bike ride on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Yep, that’s what I did last weekend, and it was so nice. The above map shows the route that we took, and it really isn’t too bad. We biked pretty much all day, stopping in Tiburon for a hard-earned lunch as well. Easy, right?

Okay, so here’s the REAL story of how things ended up that day. First off, I was hungover Saturday morning…like, real hung over.  Like, definitely in no shape for a 40 mile bike ride hang over. I know, that’s so #unhealthybex of me, but all I can say is that I am human and those cocktails were a TGIF necessity. Nonetheless, I gathered myself and got myself on my bike anyway. Originally, I planned this ride with my friend, Tim. It was supposed to be a casual, relaxed opportunity for us to do something fun together. We were supposed to meet at 10am at the Golden Gate Bridge (and naturally, I was late because well, remember I was hung over). I show up to find that Tim is with what he calls a “casual group of riders.” What Tim really meant to tell me (and forgot to mention) is that this is actually a quite serious group of riders…I’m talking everyone in padded bike shorts, sponsored shirts, fancy expensive bikes, you get the picture. Here I am, showing up in my T-shirt, Northface jacket, cute capri leggings and makeup from the night before. All I could think of was: THANK GOD I BOUGHT THOSE CLIP-IN SHOES. Ha, so let’s take a moment to talk about those clip-in shoes. Those things have been the biggest blessing and curse. I love love love wearing them as I climb hills; the truth is that despite the TGIF drinking, I was feeling really good climbing up the hills thanks to my new shoesies. Like, the endorphins suddenly kicked in and I felt 100% again, which is pretty freaking awesome. See ya, hangover. Okay, the curse part. Basically, your feet are glued to the bike, and you have to consciously know ahead of time when you’re going to need to put a foot down. You must unclip in advance. I will honestly admit that I fell not one but two times on this bike ride because of those stinkin’ shoes. I can’t describe it, but there’s a huge learning curve for me. Clipping out has to become second nature when you need to stop, and I’m just not there yet. The first time I fell was because Tim suddenly stopped and I wasn’t expecting it, so then I suddenly stopped and I didn’t have enough time to consciously unclip before trying to put my feet down. Thar she tips over. FML. Second time was probably my mistake (“probably” ha, who am I kidding….) I was trying to manuver through this tiny island and suddenly lost my balance on the foot that was still clipped in. Epic fail in front of a group of people. FML. Makes for a good laugh though. “Hey, did you see that girl just fall over on her bike? Bummer.”

So that’s been my experience with the clip-ins so far. When I’m moving, I’m perfectly fine…it’s just the stopping and being stationary part that is tricky. I estimate perhaps 5 more solid falls before I finally get the hang of ’em. They’re totally worth the embarrassment though, and the falls never really hurt. Still going to keep riding and trying. Thinking about joining some local bike groups – ride on, baby!

Paleo Sliders with Mango Salsa, Pineapple and Avocado

Paleo Sliders with Mango Salsa, Pineapple and Avocado
Paleo Sliders with Mango Salsa, Pineapple and Avocado
First off, don’t let the word Paleo scare you away! You see, two of my closest friends, Stephen and Alisa, just moved into their new home and invited me over for lunch this weekend. They recently started the “Paleo lifestyle” and instead of searching for a healthy restaurant, we decided to cook our own fancy lunch instead!

No, I’m not going Paleo. But, I love learning new things, and I love experimenting with food. This was the perfect opportunity for me to learn what all this Paleo jibber jabber is all about, and between the three of us, we managed to find a recipe that was healthy, nutritious and delicious. As for the diet in general – I’m not sure that Paleo is for me, as I love my rice, quinoa, beans and cottage cheese way too much. Plus, not sure I could hang with all the oil and bacon.

Okay, back to the slider recipe – all I can say is that this lunch was bomb.

Estimated  Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  • Lean Ground Beef – 1.25 lb
  • Yellow Onion, chopped – 1 medium
  • Fresh Pineapple – 1/2 medium
  • Avocado – 1 large
  • Iceburg Lettuce – 4 large leaves
  • Mango – 1 large
  • Vine Tomatoes, de-seeded – 4 small
  • Red Onion, chopped – 1/4 cup
  • Fresh Cilantro – small handful
  • Garlic Powder – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Cooking Spray – 2 sprays

Start with beef sliders first. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix yellow onions, ground beef and garlic powder together. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, and make small 2-3 oz slider patties; place the sliders on the sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until desired center is achieved.

Next, cut the fresh pineapple into halves. To learn how to cut up a fresh pineapple, click here (we didn’t know how either). Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and begin to grill the pineapple. Cook on medium/high for about 10 minutes.

Next, work on the mango salsa. De-seed and chop the tomatoes, and then combine the fresh mango, red onion, cilantro and salt in a blender. Lay a bed of iceburg lettuce down on each plate, and then layer the pineapples, sliders and mango salsa on top of one another. Add avocado as desired. Done! Either wrap the sliders with the lettuce or try it with a knife and fork. Both are delish!

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 8 points per serving (yields about 2 sliders per serving with 1/4 avocado)

Hearty Cauliflower & Lentil Curry

cauliflower-lentil-curry

Looking for a hearty lunch or dinner with some ethnic flare? Packed with protein and fiber, this light non-spicy lentil curry will keep you feeling fuller, longer. Try this blend of tomato, cauliflower and lentils over a bed of lettuce or brown rice. Or, pair with with warm whole wheat pita bread. The recipe serves 8, so I’d recommend portioning out the dish into individual zip-lock bags and freezing them for when you need a quick bite to eat.

Estimated Cooking Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • Cauliflower: 1 large head, chopped into small pieces
  • Dry Lentils: 1 cup
  • Water: 4 cups
  • Onion: 1 large, chopped
  • Canned Stewed Tomatoes: 2 cans
  • Canned Green Chiles: 4 tbsp
  • Garlic Cloves: 6 cloves, minced
  • Fresh Ginger Root: 3 tbsp
  • Curry Powder: 4 tsp
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Tumeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Powder: 3 tbsp
  • Cayenne Pepper: 1 tsp
  • Lemon Juice: 4 tbsp
  • Olive Oil: 2 tbsp

Combine lentils, water, onion, curry powder, salt and tumeric in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 45 or until lentils soften up. Once the mixture has thickened, add in the cauliflower, tomatoes and green chiles to the pot and cook for about 10 more minutes.

When the cauliflower is about 90% soft, start working on the oil mixture in a separate pan: combine the olive oil,  cumin, garlic and ginger over medium heat and cook for about 1 minute. Once the garlic is browned, add in the cayenne pepper. The lentil cauliflower pot should be done by now, so immediately add the oil mixture to the lentil/cauliflower mixture. Lastly, add in the lemon juice and stir everything together.

Serve immediately over a bed of lettuce, brown rice or pita bread.

Weight Watchers Point Plus: 4 points plus per serving

 

 

Hiking Marin: The Dip Sea Trail

dip-sea-hiking-marin-redwoods

Celebrate a Healthy Friends Day this weekend! I did this 7 mile hike a few months ago – and since Spring has officially sprung –  it’s definitely worth exploring now more than ever! This particular hike is located in Marin, past Muir Woods, and combines the Dipsea Trail, Matt Davis and Steep Ravine trails into a sweat-bustling 7.3 mile loop hike. The adventure offers a wide range of scenery and terrains: from waterfalls to redwoods to oak forests to spectacular ocean views. It’s moderately challenging, as it has a 1,60o ft elevation change, and it takes about 4 hours depending on how fast you walk.

Getting There (taken from BAHiker.com):

From US 101 in Marin County, exit CA 1/Mill Valley/Stinson Beach and drive on Shoreline Highway to the junction with Almonte, about 1 mile. Turn left, remaining on Shoreline, and drive about 2.5 miles to the junction with Panoramic Highway. Turn right on Panoramic and drive about 1 mile to the junction with Muir Woods Road; stay straight on Panoramic (right lane). Continue about 7.5 miles (past Pantoll) to the junction with CA 1, just before the town of Stinson Beach. Turn right, drive about 0.2 mile, then turn right (at the fire station) onto Belvedere Avenue. Look for parking on the left side of the road before the “do not enter/wrong way” signs.

The Hike:

From Stinson Beach’s Belvedere Avenue, start with the Matt Davis Trail. Continue along this trail and bear left to remain on the Matt Davis trail when you reach the unsigned junction at the Panoramic Highway. The Matt Davis trail will go through creeks and zigzag up the mountain. At 2.5 miles, the Matt Davis Trail meets the Coastal Trail – bear right to continue along the Matt Davis Trail. At 4.2 miles, you’ll find yourself back at the Panoramic Highway near the small Pantoll parking lot. Cross the road and head toward the parking lot. Water/food break! From here, look for the Steep Ravine trailhead (near the bathrooms). Continue through the redwoods and at about 6 miles, you’ll finally reach the Dipsea Trail. It heads left over a bridge, departing from a signed junction. When in doubt, continue straight to follow the Dipsea Trail. You’ll finally reach the Panoramic Highway once again, where you’ll cross then pick up the signed trail again on the opposite side. Continue ’till the end, where the Dipsea drops you on the side of CA 1 – where you’ll walk along the side of the road towards Belvedere Avenue. Congrats! You did it!

For your reference: here’s a map!

 

 

Eating Clean: Avocado, Apple & Salmon Salad

Eating Clean: Avocado, Apple & Salmon Spinach Salad

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m going nuts over the fresh salmon my dad recently caught. I had some leftover fillets and decided to make myself a clean fruit & salmon salad. You’re getting plenty of healthy fats from the avocado and salmon, and the chopped apple really adds a nice sweet flavor when positioned against the spicy salsa. I put tons of spinach and kale in there, so it ends up being a large salad- big enough for dinner. This is also a great lunch salad; sometimes I’ll make and pack it at night and take it to work with me the next day.

Estimated Time (15 minutes):

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • Spinach & Baby Kale Mix: 2-3 handfuls
  • Fuji Apple (chopped): 1/2 small
  • Avocado: 1/4 medium
  • Roma Tomato (chopped): 1 small
  • Carrot (chopped): 1 medium
  • Lemon: 1 slice
  • Pico De Gallo Salsa: 2 tbsp
  • Grilled Salmon: 4 oz

Place all ingredients in a bowl and squeeze all the juice out of the lemon.  Toss lightly. The pico de gallo salsa and lemon juice are used as dressing which helps keep the fat content down. It’s light, fresh and super good for you.

Weight Watchers Points: 7 points plus

 

 

Skinny Baked Chips & Salsa

Skinny Chips & Salsa

I get chips and salsa cravings all the time, and it’s easy to go overboard real fast at the Mexican restaurant. So, here is my healthier version of chips and salsa that’s sure to fill you up with ingredients that are actually really good for you. The chips are high fiber wheat tortillas baked with sea salt in a small conventional oven. And, I’ve added fat-free cottage cheese to the mix so that I feel like I’m actually eating a snack with significant substance. Packed with protein and fiber, this snack will leave you feeling fuller longer.

Estimated Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (serves 1):

Cut up the tortilla into bite-size pieces and place on a piece of tinfoil. Spray the tortilla pieces with a dash of cooking spray and sprinkle sea salt on top. Pop in the conventional oven and set to “Toast” for about 10 minutes or until the chips are crispy (time may vary based on oven). In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese and salsa. Use the oven-baked tortilla strips as chips and enjoy the dip!

Though, if you don’t have time to make your own chips, no worries! Opt for some low-fat tortilla chips from the store. And to be frank, I eat the cheese and salsa alone all the time as well 🙂

Weight Watchers Points: 4 points plus

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The Infamous Juice Cleanse Detox

detox juice cleansebex-juice-cleanse

Yep, I did it. I tried it. I gave it my all. I was committed. I didn’t cave to solid food. I wasn’t even “starving.” Yet, I both succeeded and failed at the infamous juice cleanse detox.

Why’d I do it? Well, despite my very healthy weekday meals and activities, I had spent the last few weekends with a lot of alcohol and I just felt like I needed to cleanse my body from all the toxins. I had heard about juice cleanses in the past, and had read that they often make you more productive, energetic and happy. This sounded like fun! After all, a new cold pressed juice shop just opened up down the street from my house. Why not give it a go? I signed up for a 3-day cleanse.

Here’s the truth about these juice cleanses: they’re different with each person. For me, it was a fucking disaster. Pardon my language, but this one merits some serious passion. Let me recap how it all went down with the JC:

  • Day 1: “This is fun! Sip on a juice every two hours…easy!” I was feeling confident and excited by this new project. I even went to the gym and did some cardio and weight resistance training. The juices tasted pretty sweet to me, but I wasn’t hungry or starving at all. I went to bed feeling excited to start Day 2.
  • Day 2 Morning: “Alright, let’s get to that first juice. Looking forward to a productive day of working out and running errands.” Got through juices 1-3 and completed a pretty good cardio spin class workout. Was running on endorphins around noon and felt great. Still no cravings for solid food. Go ahead and be fooled by the smile in the photo above, that’s when I thought all was bright and chipper!
  • Day 2 Afternoon/Evening: “Oh wait, I have a headache. Actually, I have like a REALLY bad headache.” I don’t know what happened here but this is where things started to spiral downhill. I completed the rest of my juices for the day, confused by what had happened to me. Honestly, it felt like I was REALLY hungover (and I didn’t even get a single glass of wine out of it! psst). Still no food in my body, but I figured it would go away with sleep.
  • Day 3: “Okay, now my head and my joints hurt. Maybe this isn’t for me.” By day 3, I decided to opt out of the juice cleanse. From here, I eased back into raw fruits and vegetables. And I was tired. Really tired.
  • Day 4: I’ve never been more excited for a kale and eggwhite scramble in my life. I made a delicious zucchini noodle and bay shrimp marina dish for dinner (stay tuned for the recipe!), and the headache was finally starting to go away. THANK G.

What happened to me? Not quite sure. But, my body was definitely communicating with me and I’m glad I listened to it. I had read that headaches are a common side effect, but these side effects were so severe that this juice cleanse only made me feel more lethargic, unproductive and sleepy. Not to mention, I don’t think my body was used to all the sugar from the fruit juices. However, this is how my body reacted to the cleanse; my sister-in-law did the cleanse with me, and she felt great the entire time. Different for everyone.

Hey man, at least I tried it: I both succeeded and failed at the infamous juice cleanse detox.

Soulcycle Spin Class – San Francisco

soulcycle-san-francisco-window

souldcycle-find-your-soul

Everyone’s ranting and raving about SOULCYCLE these days, so I figured I’d see what all this hype is about. It was really fun! I went with my sister-in-law and a friend and all three of us enjoyed the 45 minute, music-blasting cardio spin class.

You basically spend the first 30 minutes spinning with cardio music, alternating between sprints, climbs and push-ups in various saddle positions. Then you spend about 10 minutes using 2-3 lb weights on arms (while still slowly spinning simultaneously). And then the class ends with a cool-down stretch sequence. I didn’t really “find my soul” but I definitely got a good sweat going.

My review: It was fun, I liked the overall energy and music. But it was PACKED to the brim. One class is $30 which is kind of crazy considering the overall format wasn’t that much different than other spin classes. Truthfully, my highlight of the class was getting to spend time and exercise next to my bestie!

If you’re new to spin: I would definitely recommend SOULCYCLE just because they’ve created a fantastic culture of enthusiasm and positive energy. Plus, they make you wear clip-ins!