Breakfast frittata with Pico de Gallo

Egg white frittata with fresh chives from the garden pico de gallo black beans for fibre and added protein and ripe avocado for healthy fat

#eatbreakfasteveryday#addherbsforflavour#keepitlite#deliciouslybalanced

Start with one whole egg and add 3 egg whites.
Scramble.
Chop fresh chives. Add to eggs
Heat virgin coconut oil in a fry pan.
Pour in egg mixture. Maybe just a pinch of salt.

Cook over medium high heat, fold in half until cooked through.
Serve with fresh avocado, black beans and Pico de Gallo, or salsa fresca.

PICO DE GALLO

1 large hot house tomato chopped
1 medium sweet onion chopped
1/2 chopped jalapeño
1 tbsp pickled chopped jalapeño
3 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
Juice of one lime
Pinch of salt

What does your breakfast look like?

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This is one of my favourite ways to start my day.
3 egg omelet with at least 1 cup of veggies and 1/2 avocado
( this one is asparagus, onion and red pepper)

What’s yours?

Breakfast Sausage Patties

Here’s another one of my favorite recipes. It’s quick and easy and only requires a handful of ingredients.
This recipe is from Cuisine at Home, however, I have omitted brown sugar because we are sweet enough 😉

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb ground chicken (or turkey)
1 grated apple (skin on)
1/2 c minced or grated onion
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tsp each kosher salt and pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
eggs (one for each patty)
parsley or thyme to garnish (optional)

PREPARATION:

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Careful not to overmix. Heat oil in a skillet and using an ice cream scoop place the rounds in the skillet.IMG_6037

Then gently flatten the patties down leaving a small well in the centre for the egg. Cook until browned or about 5 minutes, then flip them and cook another few minutes. ( if you decide NOT to add the egg then continue cooking and remove from heat).* see note below
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If you are adding the extra protein (egg) you will gently crack the egg into the well of each patty, cover the pan and continue cooking over med-low heat for about 7 minutes ensuring the whites are set and the yolks have begun to thicken. Add chopped parsley or thyme to garnish.

* another option is to prepare the patties ahead without the egg and store for another meal, then cook your egg separately and simply place your cooked egg over your re-heated patty.
Serve these up with a large spinach salad and 1/2 an avocado for lunch or dinner as well.

Mini salmon burgers

Mini salmon burgers

These bite-size burgers are so versatile. You can eat them hot or cold. Dress them up and serve them as
hors d’oeuvres, have them for breakfast lunch or dinner.

The original recipe is courtesy of Bon Appetit. I’ve never made the original recipe which calls for 3 cups of fresh breadcrumbs. I’m feeling a bit bloated just thinking about all that white bread.
Bottom line….skip the bread and do it my way.

Ingredients:

5 tbsp olive oil (or more)
3 large shallots (3/4 cup)
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1- 4 ounce jar caper, drained and chopped ( I prefer salted capers-1/4 cup rinsed and chopped)
2 lbs chilled skinless salmon fillets (organic or wild preferably) cut into 1″ pieces and bones removed
2 large eggs, beaten
3 tbsp chopped fresh flat parsley or dill(your preference)
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground pepper

Preparation:

Heat 4 tbsp of the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add white wine, lemon juice and drained capers cooking about 12 minutes or until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Transfer this mixture to large bowl and refrigerate 30 minutes.
In a food processor, add salmon pieces and pulse (turning off/on) about 5 to 6 times. Add salmon to shallot mixture. Mix in beaten eggs, parsley (or dill), salt and pepper.
Form patties using a medium size ice-cream scoop. Place the patties on a baking sheet. (At this point the patties can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 6 hours)

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add salmon patties, cooking 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Try them with this wasabi aioli.

Wasabi aioli:

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp wasabi paste ( look for it in a tube)

a glass of green goodness

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Enjoy this smoothie today and everyday
Ingredients:

700 ml of organic coconut water or coconut milk
1 scoop whey isolate (vanilla)
1 large handful of spinach
2 celery stalks
1 tbsp maca powder
1 tbsp cacao nibs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 whole lemon squeezed (optional but good)

Blend and enjoy. This is one serving. Consume one hour prior to working out.

17 Minutes of my yesterday

Yesterday marked the first day of the Reebok Crossfit Open competiton. The competition is open to anyone and everyone in the world. Over 110,000 people have signed up to compete this year. If you are part of a Crossfit affiliate then you know exactly what I’m speaking of. If not, you can check out this link http://games.crossfit.com for a full description.
With every day leading up to this competition many athletes speculated on what Crossfit HQ would throw at us for a first workout or WOD13.1. Here it is:
Workout 13.1
17 minute AMRAP( as many reps as possible) of:
40 Burpees
30 Snatch, 75 / 45 lbs
30 Burpees
30 Snatch, 135 / 75 lbs
20 Burpees
30 Snatch, 165 / 100 lbs
10 burpees
Max rep Snatch, 210 / 120 lbs

Yay burpees!! Not so much. I don’t know a lot of people who enjoy burpees, or snatch. For a description of what a power snatch is you can check this out. (http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/OlympicLifts/PowerSnatch.html)

I had decided to complete this workout yesterday. Was I nervous? Duh?, yes I was! Broken and taped together,( a fact, not a plea for sympathy) I gave it my best shot. It’s done. Sigh!! Could I have gone faster, could I have completed a few more reps? What could I have done differently? Oh, so many questions. In the end I’ve ascertained that I did do my best on the day. Would the competitive me have wanted to squeeze out a few more reps out. Hells ya!
Upon reflection, I know that I’ve done what I could do to prepare for this. This past year, my body has been breaking down from time to time. I know I’m not the only one facing the challenges of being an older, well, I prefer ‘seasoned’ athlete. I have to trust that my training has prepared me for anything or any workout this competition throws at me. If I haven’t prepared properly, it’s too damn late now to worry about it.
I’d rather celebrate it. 🙂 Now, it’s time for me thank my body with a good long therapeutic massage. And a good glass of wine. Cheers

Grilled salmon alla pizzaiola

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Pizzaiola owes its name to the fact that it contains similar ingredients to a pizza topping-tomatoes, garlic and oregano. It is a specialty of Naples however it is common everywhere and there are variations on this sauce. The usual ingredients are plum tomatoes, capers, anchovies, lots of garlic, olive oil and parsley. For this application, I decided to use shallots instead of garlic for a milder flavor. I’ve also added red wine vinegar as it adds a nice acidity. Just my little twist 🙂

INGREDIENTS FOR PIZZAIOLA SAUCE:

12 cherry tomatoes (split in half and seeds squeezed out)
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp salted capers ( or brined capers, rinsed under water)
1 medium shallot chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp anchovy paste
1 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste if necessary (careful as the anchovy paste and salted capers are already salty)
TASTE BEFORE ADDING SALT!

PREPARATION:

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and shallots, saute about 5 minutes, add capers, seeded tomatoes, tomato and anchovy paste and vinegar. Cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chopped parsley. This sauce is enough for 3 salmon fillets.
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Grilled salmon fillets:

Heat bbq or grill. Place salmon skin side down. Grill 5-6 minutes, until the skin begins to crisp, then carefully turn to grill the other side another 5 or so minutes. Remove the skin. If you like your salmon less cooked then remove it from the bbq or grill and plate it. If not turn it one more time and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Plate and pour pizzaiola sauce over salmon fillets. Add some chopped parsley and enjoy!

Role Models

Positive role models:  

 I have to admit,  I’m not one for holding people up on a pedestal.  Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that I grew up in a family with two sisters and one brother, the latter who never committed a wrongful act(or at least was never accused of it). It’s an Italian thing I suppose.  I was just born this way.  It’s not my fault.  And I wished I was a boy, because life would have been so much easier. The boys in Italian families get away with more.   It’s just a simple fact.  With that said, my big brother did have a very positive impact on my life.  As a young boy, he would have liked to play hockey, the National sport of Canada, however our family didn’t have the means to support this so he borrowed some skates from a neighbourhood friend and taught himself how to skate on a local pond.  I followed by borrowing a pair of skates which were too small and skated for hours in the bitter cold until I couldn’t feel my toes.  I remember this day as if it was yesterday.  There I was, 7-year-old me, screaming in pain while my father rubbed my feet.  He thought he was helping.  If you’ve ever had frostbite you know that this would NOT be the course of treatment.  

So back to my brother.  Growing up his little sister, I watched him get into any sport he could.  He had such a passion for sports.  He played basketball, football, tennis, track, pond hockey and even raced annually in our neighbourhood soap box derby.  He excelled at everything he did because he had heart and passion and dedication.  He wasn’t the most gifted athlete,yet still managed to become the most valuable player in every sport he played.  He really was a great athlete and continued to be well into his 40’s, playing touch football at the National level with men half his age. 

It wasn’t easy to follow in his footsteps.  I did the best I could do.  When he trained for football and basketball I would run with him and participate in speed and agility drills.  He pushed me and I pushed myself even more because I wanted him to be proud of his little sister. 
Several years later as adults he once told me I would have been a great athlete had I not discovered boys. hmm… I took it as a compliment. More to the point, was his positive influence on me.  No matter what I do in sport or otherwise, even though I may not be the best  or most gifted I will always try my best.  

 

My husband is the most important role model in my life.  He too, grew up in hard times.  Worked as a child on the family farm.  Was operating a tractor at age 8, hauling bushels of grapes during wine season every day after school.  Even though he would have liked to be playing soccer with his buddies. 

 He’d try escaping his chores during football and soccer season. Knowing full well that he had chores, he would stay after school to participate in a practice session when his father would show up, and with one whistle he’d drop everything, run to the car go home and do his chores.  There were no exceptions or choices.

Somehow, he managed to play and excel at sports and academics.  The evidence is in the multiple trophies and awards his mother gladly packaged up for me when we wed.  With so much being demanded of him, he learned how to manage his time at an early age.  

When our first son was three we enrolled him in a house league soccer team. The teams were mixed and many of us moms did a lot of hand holding on the field.  Some kids were more interested in picking dandelions.LOL  But as the years passed, they too learned how to pass a ball and work together as a team. My husband has played an active role in coaching both our boys. They both started playing soccer at the tender age of three. He has always found the time in his hectic schedule to dedicate and share his passion and knowledge for soccer.  Over the years, he has taken boys of no skill whatsoever and has instilled in them the confidence they need to play with more naturally talented boys.  No easy feat.

It’s exciting for him to see his players articulate those skills in a game which he has taught in practice sessions.

In one particular indoor soccer season, he was allotted a group of mixed talented twelve-year-old boys, a few of which had never had contact with a soccer ball.  With every week that advanced, we witnessed the growing confidence of these boys.  My husband received several thanks from parents both during and the end of the season.  One particular thank you stood out and spoke volumes.

 “Dear Coach Terry,

Jason has been having a great season – I really appreciate how you make the practices fun, emphasize the importance of good sportsmanship and also the positive reinforcement.

There are lots of lessons in not winning and giving it your best shot. It has been pretty pleasing to watch the boys continue to try to work together even when things aren’t going their way.

Thanks for giving of your time.”

If you have a story of someone who has positively influenced your life, share it with me.