Spicy Corn Salsa

Maaaaybe we should start calling this blog “…Makes all the Recipes from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook,” because it is AWESOME and everything we’ve made so far from there is delicious.

For some reason I have really been craving Mexican food lately. Ok – I am always craving Mexican food. In college I would eat Chipotle multiple times a week. Those were the days.

I originally wanted to make this recipe because I had a bunch of frozen corn in the freezer and figured I could use it up with this. Of course I got all pumped up to eat it and then realized you need to use fresh, NON FROZEN corn. I don’t really know why, the directions just ominously decree it. I obeyed and bought some fresh corn – even husked it and everything!

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Makes approximately 2 cups of salsa.  For a party size, double the batch. Eat with tortilla chips, on a burrito, atop a romaine salad – the list goes on!

You will need: paring knife, 12 inch nonstick skillet

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ears corn (slice of the kernels with a paring knife)
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped (if you want it extra spicy, add the whole thing)
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat for until warm.

Carefully add the corn and cook. Stir on and off until golden brown for about 6 to 8 minutes.

Dump the browned corn to a large bow.

Stir in everything else.

Recommended but not necessary: cover and refrigerate for an hour or so – this will blend the flavors better!

Store in the fridge. Keeps for several days.

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Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Friday’s Five

dark chocolate from Paree

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a mad amount of  weekly food prep

madfoodprep

traumatic ipod incident in which I thankfully found my shuffle exactly where I left it 24 hours later

traumaticipodincident

some delish pasta salad

italianpastasalad

thinking of Boston and getting excited to watch the marathon on Monday

Happy Friday! I hope you have a fabulous weekend…and thanks for reading!

Tell me: what is ONE healthy thing you did this week?

Healthy(ish) Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was lucky enough to receive a hand-me-down cookbook and kitchen-aid mixer last week, it meant I needed to do one thing.

MAKE COOKIES!

In order to have more cookies and less guilt,  it’s necessary to modify the classic chocolate chip cookie to be healthy(ish). How is this recipe better for you than usual? The cookies are a teensy bit smaller, have A LOT less butter, and substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips for dark chocolate ones.

Because dark chocolate’s good for you.  :)

Tuna gave his stamp of approval – BEFORE I told them they were healthy. “They’re HEALTHY???” he asked in disbelief.

Well – healthyish.

All this cookie talk is making me hungry. ‘Scuse me while I go grab another…

 

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This recipe was adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Make sure oven rack is in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Melt 3 tbsp of the butter in a small skillet on medium/high heat for 3-4 minutes until it starts turning brown.

Pour the browned butter into a large bowl and mix in the remaining 2 tbsp of butter until it’s all melted.

In the large bowl with the butter, combine white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.

Whisk in the egg. Let the mixture set a few minutes, then whisk again for 30 seconds. Repeat a few times to firm up the dough.

Stir in the flour mixture from the medium bowl and add 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips.

Scoop out a heaping tablespoons of the dough (one at a time) onto the baking sheets to form your cookie balls.

Press in a few chocolate chips on the tops.

Bake one sheet at a time, about 9-10 minutes. Rotate the sheet in the oven halfway through (after 4-5 minuteS).

Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 more minutes, then transfer onto a cooling rack.

DEVOUR!

 

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 Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Getting Back into Shape

As you know, I’ve been trying to make some healthier changes lately in the spirit of spring. Meaning…. I really need to get back into shape after taking the winter off.

Who would have thought that it is HARD to get back into shape!? Makes me wish I had put a little more effort in during the winter. But whatever, I’ll just have to put the effort in now.

In pursuit of training with more effort – I also want to trainsmarter. I have been constantly re-evaluating my training priorities of what works – but what is also realistic (for me).

The Gym Sitch:

For starters, I haven’t been to the gym in months. (When I run, I have been running outside.)

When my outdoor run last week was nixed due to a crazy downpour, I decided I needed a better plan B to outside. Though I could drive to my gym before, it was still about a 10-15 minute drive away – and let’s be honest, that can seem like a pretty big hurdle when on the couch. ;)

I moved in November and now in my new neighborhood there is a gym right down the street from me. So last week, I finally bit the bullet: quit my old gym and  joined the new one! And it’s $10 bucks cheaper than my old gym, so that’s not another pro! I’m already so glad I joined the new gym because I can walk right to it and there’s tons of cool classes. Plus, outdoor runs may be coming to a close soon as the pollen reveals its evil self…

The Goal Sitch: 

I say goal instead of race…because I get weirded out about races. I am a slow-ass-runner, and races stress me out. As far as running goes, I still have a lot to learn after the handful of races I’ve done in the past two years. After my last half marathon, I was beginning to lose sight of why I started running in the first place: for my health (both physical AND mental).

When I started to resent training on an exact schedule and beating myself up for not being an Olympian speedster, I swore to zen running.  I needed to stop obsessing over the lap times on my Garmin and just have fun. I thought that would happen when I took races out of the equation.

The problem is – when I take races out of the equation, I don’t have a goal. And when I don’t have a goal, I don’t run.

Luckily, my friend Stephy reminded me that the Capitol Hill 10K is coming up next month.

I loved running it last year and am thinking it is the perf race goal to get me back into the running groove. My goal is the usual: run the whole thing and don’t die!

In the meantime, I have been running 3 miles several times a week and and plan bumping up the mileage each week according to Hal Higdon’s novice 10K training plan.

 

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Here’s to getting back into shape this spring!

Do you have any races coming up?

Is your gym close by to where you live? 

Friday’s Five

awesome hand-me-down cookbooks

allrecipescookbook

smoothie season

smoothieseason

healthy weekend eats

healthyweekendeats

green juice to go

greenjuicetogo

the most beautiful shoes in the whole wide world

bestshoeseverbrookspurecadence2main

Hope you have a GREAT weekend!

What is one healthy thing you did this week?

Do you have any special plans?  One of my BFFLs from college is coming to visit this weekend! So excited.

Tomato Basil Quinoa

I am all about quinoa right now. I can’t get over how easy it is to make and how versatile it is. It’s good as a side dish with chicken, alongside crackers as a snack, or plopped on a bunch of salad for lunch. That’s pretty much the order I ate this in. ;) Tuna has decreed it into the usual rotation, so I’m excited to eat it lots this spring and summer!

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Serves 2 (main) or 4 (side dish)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 oz grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 cup basil leaves, chopped and for garnish
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Add water and quinoa to a medium/large pot.

Add in garlic, onion, tomatoes, salt, and red pepper flakes.

Heat the uncovered pot to a rolling boil.

Cover, reduce to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove from burner and let cool for 5 minutes.

Toss in basil and olive oil to serve.

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Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

One Small Change at a Time

As spring quickly approaches, I am starting to get nervous about taking off my winter cardigan…

….sooo to get back on track I am trying to focus on portion control. I’m getting to the point where I know what’s healthy and I try to eat a lot of nutrient-food. But it can be hard to stop at half of the bag.

One small change I’ve been working on lately is to split food items into small snack sized portions.

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Just think of it as  200 100 calorie snack packs. :)

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A second small change: my new visual for mealtime presentation.

I’m training my brain to think of  dinner portions like how they would be served at a fancy restaurant. Less food for me, please.

 

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Sometimes it’s easy to get down on yourself for not following a diet 100% exactly like you think you should: i.e., number of calories, cutting out food groups or certain ingredients. When that becomes overwhelming (like it has been for me a little bit this winter) it’s important to change your perspective. Like focusing on a healthier lifestyle with one small change at a time.

Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

What are some healthy food habits you’ve been into lately? 

Does your diet go through phases or are you pretty good about sticking to it?