Friday, October 26, 2012

Soft Serve Ice Cream

Today, I have a few variations of a recipe I have been making for the past 2-3 years. BANANA SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM. Yes, that is correct. It is exactly like the soft serve ice cream consistency but it's made with bananas! Some of you have possibly made or heard of it before, but I will remind you of how awesome this invention is...

Soft Serve Ice Cream Base

2 frozen bananas (chopped into chunks)

2 Tb. almond milk

Place banana into food processor and add the 2 tablespoons of milk. Blend until you have a soft serve ice cream consistency.

Okay, so this standard recipe is a bit boring, at least I think it is. So I have some variations...

Pumpkin Soft Serve Ice Cream 

2 frozen bananas (chopped into chunks)

2 Tb. almond milk

1/3 c. pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)

dash of pumpkin pie spice

dash of cinnamon

Blend into the food processor until the correct consistency. How appropriate for Fall, right?!

Almond Butter Soft Serve Ice Cream

2 frozen bananas

2 Tb. almond milk

2 Tb. almond butter**

1/2 tsp. almond extract

dash of cinnamon

Blend into the food processor until the correct consistency.
**You can use peanut butter instead to make peanut butter and banana which would be fabulous! However, I would switch the extract to vanilla.

As you can tell  I added some Reese's on top of mine. Mmm.

Apple Pie Soft Serve Ice Cream

2 frozen bananas

2 Tb. almond milk

1-2 Tbsp. apple butter** (my granddad makes the BEST  homemade apple butter)

1/2 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Blend into food processor until correct consistency.
**For this recipe you can actually use any kind of preserve you would like. Try it out and let me know how it is! 

There you have it! A few variations you can try out next time you have the craving for a small sweet treat. You can add just about whatever add ins you would like. For example, candy, nuts, fruit, nut butters, syrups, etc.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Spaghetti Time!

Hello my lovely friends! This weekend was pretty low key, besides Friday night when DB and I went to the Zac Brown Band concert!!!! I was just a bit excited for this concert! They are by far one of my favorite bands ever, and they sounded better live!

I have a slight crush on the violinist...he is awesome!  

Okay, so enough about that. Since I had a low key weekend I made some delish pasta sauce for dinner Sunday night. My mom makes THE best pasta sauce and of course I asked for her recipe a few years ago when I began cooking.

However, I somehow never have the appropriate ingredients when it comes to recipes, so of course I did a spin on the recipe.

Remixed Mom's Spaghetti Sauce

1 lb. very lean ground turkey (I used Trader Joe's)

1 can organic tomato sauce

1/2 c. water

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder (omit if you are not into garlic, crazy)

1/2 tsp. red peper flakes (depending on your spice level)

Dash of salt and pepper

10 fresh basil leaves

1. Brown ground turkey with the garlic until fully cooked. You shouldn't have to drain the turkey since it is very low in fat. However, if you use regular ground turkey you will need to drain at this point.

2. Add the tomato sauce, water, and all spices besides the basil. Cover, and let cook for 1 hour. Stir occasionally while the sauce is cooking. **This sauce is very heavy on the meat so if you want a thinner sauce add an extra half to a whole can of tomato sauce.

Once the sauce is done, add in the fresh basil leaves. It is now ready to be served over pasta of your choice or spaghetti squash! Enjoy!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Faux Lara Balls and Swim Workout!

Today I had the day off thanks to Columbus. Therefore, it was kitchen time. I also got to workout on my own time which meant swimming with all the old people at the pool. We had a good time chatting...old people are so awesome. I didn't talk the whole time unfortunately. Here is the workout I did:

600 warm-up choice
6x75 (25 kick, 50 swim)
6x50 (Breathe 3-5-7 x 50)
3 x( 25 FAST/ 50 easy
        50 FAST/ 75 easy
        75 FAST/ 100 easy)
2x200 Kick choice build
200 cool-down
Total: 3075

Short and sweet! Besides the lovely swim I also made a version of a recipe I saw online the other day...I call them...

Faux 'Lara' Balls 

24 Dates, chopped

1/2 c. unsweetened dried coconut

1/4 c. whole almonds

2 Tb. cocoa powder

2 Tb. almond butter

1 tsp. vanilla

dash of sea salt 

Place all ingredients into a food processor and let it go for about 2 minutes. Stir and let it go for another minute. The mixture will be crumbly.

 Make into uniform balls. 

Store in the fridge, this makes about 14 balls. These are great for a quick pick-me-up snack or treat!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins for All!

Okay, I know. Where the heck have I been? Well summer has come and gone. Therefore, I will be in the kitchen more since it will be too cold to be outside. The weather change from south to the north is tough. I do not think I am ready for this "bad" winter or whatever people are saying it is. However, it is not a bad thing to be back into the kitchen making some new recipes.


You know it's Fall when every other day you think about what to make next with the multiple cans of pumpkin in the cupboard. Of course I have to begin with muffins because really who doesn't like some baked goods??!! Muffins actually remind me of the "Muffins" YouTube video HA! This is a really random video. Here it is if you have not seen it...Muffins

I made a variation of these muffins but made a few adjustments because my lack of ingredients.

Pumpkin (Prune) Muffins

1 cup almond meal

1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)

2 eggs

2 Tbsp. almond butter

1/8 c. honey

1/8 c. maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2-3/4 c. chopped dried prunes**

**Or any other mix-in (raisins, chocolate chips, nuts, etc)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients except dried prunes/mix-in together in a large mixing bowl.
3. Gradually fold in the prunes/mix-in until combined.
4. Spay muffin tin or use liners and scoop in batter evenly.
5. Bake for 34(ish) minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
6. ENJOY! (Store in an airtight container) Makes 6 muffins.

I know you are thinking what the heck Kayla why prunes??!! UGH! Well, I honestly had no other mix-in and I always like a little something else in my muffins so I thought, why not?! These are delicious and turned out really well. The prunes taste much like raisins, don't knock it til you try it! 

I'm leaving you with a cute picture of my pup, Toby because he really wanted to say HI to some of my friends! Have a delightful evening!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Quinoa Fried Rice

It's almost Friday y'all! I know it has been a while but I do have a good recipe for you! I have a love for fried rice, and the other night I was in the mood to make some. There was only one rice. However, I did have quinoa. What is quinoa you say?? First of all it's pronounced "KEEN-wah" and it is known as a complete protein. It contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds as well. Quinoa is prepared like other grains such as rice or barley. This is the reason I used it in place of rice for this dish! 

I began by preparing the quinoa. This is a 2:1 ratio of water/broth to quinoa. In a saucepan, I mixed the vegetable broth, quinoa, and a few spices (salt, pepper, and a 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seed oil). Bring this to a boil, and once it boils turn to low, cover, and let it cook covered for about 10-15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Set this aside for later.

Next, I cooked up the vegetables. Now I went the easy way because it was a late night after work, so I used some frozen veggies that were in the freezer. I defrosted them for about 2 minutes then popped them into a pan with a light coating of sesame seed oil. I cooked them until tender and added some spices (pepper, red chili flakes, and toasted sesame seeds).

After the vegetables are done, add the quinoa to the vegetables. Also, add some soy sauce to coat.

Once the soy sauce is mixed in it is now time to add and cook the eggs. Therefore, I moved the mixture to the sides of the pan and added two eggs to the middle of the pan and cooked them until set.

After the eggs are set, mix the eggs in with the rest of the mixture until all combined.

Now you may enjoy! :)


1 c. quinoa

2 c. vegetable broth

2-3 c. frozen mixed vegetables of your choice

dash of salt and pepper

1/2 tsp. red chili flakes

1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

1 tsp. sesame seed oil (or EVOO)

2 Tbsp. soy sauce (or more depending on your liking)

2 eggs

I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Olympic Pancake

The Olympics are in full effect right now and would you happen to know my cable is not working since moving into the new place. I have to rely on the internet and Facebook for pancakes were on the menu to distract me from all the Olympic craziness. I can't mention the words I have been saying to my cable box so I will give you a recipe instead.

The Olympic Pancake

2 egg whites

1 1/2 Tbsp. nut butter of your choice

1 Tbsp. oats

1 Tbsp. coconut (optional, add an extra Tablespoon of oats if omit)

3 Tbsp. almond milk or skim milk

1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

Directions: Mix all together and place into a sprayed pan. When pancake begins to bubble flip and cook the other side until browned.

Optional toppings: More nut butter, bananas, strawberries, jelly, chia seeds, maple syrup, yogurt, etc. 


Thursday, July 26, 2012

KWOD 7.26

Hello long lost friends! I do have an excuse for my is called moving. Yes, the past 2 weeks have been all about moving and it took up a lot of time. But in the long run it was worth it. We are much closer to the city now :)

Anyways, I have a great workout for you all this evening. I actually completed it a few weeks ago. It goes a little something like this...

KWOD 7.26

5 Minute Warm-up (treadmill walk/jog)
1. 30 Dive Bombers
2. 20 Burpees
5 Minutes of 1 Minute intervals (run/jog)
1. 20 Squat Jumps
2. 30 Alternate V-ups
5  Minutes of 30 second intervals (sprint/jog)
1. 20 Lung Jumps
2. 30 Plank Toe Taps
5 Minutes of 30 second intervals (sprint/jog)
1. 20 Side Lunges
2. 30 Hanging Leg Raises
5 Minute Cool-down

Yeah, so this was a good workout. Can ya tell? Sweaty.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's Tabata Time

Today we are focusing on the type of training called Tabata! Some of you may have heard of it, others may have not. Therefore, I am going to explain a bit about this type of workout. 

Why is it called Tabata?
It is named after a Japanese scientist, Izumi Tabata. He researched Olympic speed skaters workouts to compare moderate and high intensities. He found that with the higher intensity workout increased the anaerobic and aerobic capacities of the skaters.

So just to go through a few things for you all. Tabata is a high intense interval based type of workout. It combines both anaerobic (without oxygen) and aerobic (with oxygen) systems. The glory of this type of workout is that it can be completed in a short period of time...less than 30 minutes!

The original Tabata protocol:
**5 minute warm-up
**8 intervals- 20 seconds of all out work and 10 seconds rest. This is a total of 4 minutes.
**2 minute cool-down/stretch

There are numerous types of exercises you can use for this workout. Here are a few examples:

-Push Press
-Curl to Press
-Medicine Ball Slams
-Plank Jacks
-Kettlebell swings
-Jump Rope
-High Knees
-Skater Jumps
-Tuck Jumps
-Box Jumps
-Bench Hop Overs
-Side Lunge Touch
-Prisoner Squat Jumps
-Russian Twists

I have found with classes it is good to mix strength exercises with cardio exercises. This gives the members an opportunity to get a break from the strength and focus on cardio, and the other way around. Although you do not have to do this format, it all depends on your current fitness level and goals. However, I would recommend trying to incorporate exercises that target most of the body. You can look up these exercises on YouTube I know there are some good videos that describe each.


Directions: Set timer to 8 rounds of (:20 /:10 seconds). Alternate between the two exercises.
2.Jumping Jacks

There are other formats you can create that are similar to the Tabata style. Below is an example I did this week in class:

2x4 Workout (16 minutes total)

Circuit #1 (4x through :20 seconds work/:10 seconds rest)
1. Burpees
2. Thrusters
3. Side Shuffle Touch (3 Small lateral jumps then touch the ground)
4. Dive Bombers

Circuit #2 (4x through :20 seconds work/ :10 seconds rest)
1. Dumbbell Push-up Rows
2. Ski Downs (Side to Side Jumps)
3. Mountain Climbers
4. Russian (Mason) Twists

I use the GymBoss Interval timer in class and on my own at the gym. This device is very easy to use since you can adjust the intervals and rounds with your workout. There are also interval apps you can get on your phone that work the same way!


Hopefully, you will give it a try and you can incorporate it into your weekly workout routine!

Monday, July 9, 2012

How Do You Do Vegetables?

I have a slight biased towards broccoli. I absolutely love it...a bit ridiculous I know. And I love baking broccoli and all types of vegetables. So I was thinking why not dedicate a post towards baking broccoli...I mean vegetables :) I know many of you are rolling your eyes reading this. But if you really want to try to like vegetables this is a way to do it...

Spices: I am talking all kinds and varieties of spices. A little salt and pepper will work great but if you want to be creative try adding some minced garlic (even if powder form if you must), All-Purpose seasonings (Mrs. Dash has a great variety **salt free (bonus!), red pepper flakes, all types of herbs (thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley, etc.).

Baking Sheet: Ensure your baking sheet is appropriate size for the amount of vegetables you are preparing. The more surface area the more caramelizing of the vegetable (which you want).

Olive Oil: You will need some to prevent sticking and to give the vegetables a crisp texture on the outside.

Temperature: High heat is needed to caramelize the vegetables. I know it is really, really hot outside right now but the oven won't be on for long!

Okay, so now you know what you need, next is the preparation. I prepare all types of vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, peppers, asparagus, squash, etc. But you can really do whatever ones you would like!

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare your vegetables (wash and chop). Spray or oil a baking sheet with olive oil. Spray or toss the vegetables with a light coating of olive oil. At this point you may add whatever seasonings you want either when you are tossing them in a bowl or on the baking sheet itself. Now place the vegetables on the baking sheet making sure they are spread apart and not bunched together. They need space to caramelize!

2. Place into the oven. Next you set the timer for about 10 minutes. After those 10 minutes you will use a spatula or spoon to move around the vegetables, again making sure they have their space and are not bunched together.

3. Set the timer again for 10 minutes and let them do their thing. After the alarm goes off check on them, if they are slightly browned they are ready for EATING! Take out of the oven and place the baking sheet on a cooling pad and serve!

Spicy Garlic Broccoli

1-2 large heads of broccoli

1-2 Tablespoons of garlic (depending on how much you like it!)

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (or less if you don't like too much spice)

1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of salt & pepper

I served my broccoli with a black bean burger, salsa, and avocado on top! Yum-o!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

S'mores Cookies, Oh My!

I'm back! This past week a storm hit NOVA and the DC/MD area. Therefore, I did not have electricity for 4 days! I was left thinking during that did people live when there was no electricity? We rely so much on technological and electrical items these days it is crazy how we freak out when power is lost. But all is well now :)

On to more important things, how was everyone's holiday? I hope everyone had a fabulous Independence Day where you were able to see some awesome fireworks and enjoy time with your loved ones. I did not do too much besides get a sweaty run and lift in, and head to the pool for a dip. I was not in the mood to fight the crowds in D.C. to watch the fireworks. I also had some time to do some baking for Friday which is when I get to my family!

I am sharing with you a yummy recipe. These cookies are so very delicious, easy to make, and require very few ingredients. However, they are not healthy cookies but but we all need a treat every now and I right?! I used a variation of Picky Palate's recipe...Peanut Butter S'mores Cookies.


-1 box yellow cake mix

-8 Tbsp. butter, softened

-1 egg

-1/2 cup peanut butter

-A few hand fulls of mini marshmallows

-24 small squares of Hershey's Chocolate bar

1. Preheat oven  for 350 degrees. Place butter and egg into the mixer and cream together. Add peanut butter until combined. Next, add cake mix one half at a time. Keep mixing until all is combined (you may need to finish by hand).

2.  Use a cookie scooper to scoop dough out of the bowl and place on ungreased baking sheet about 1 1/2 in. apart, and flatten.

3.  Place a piece of chocolate bar in the middle of each cookie and put marshmallows around the outside of the chocolate bar on the cookie.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned and place on cooling rack. Makes about 2 dozen cookies. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Have a fun weekend continuing your festivities :)