Posts tagged #cooking

10,000 YouTube Subscribers and roasting a whole chicken

Thank you all so much for your support and for getting me to 10,000 YouTube subscribers! This is a huge milestone for me and I am so excited to share it with you. In case you have not subscribed yet... DO IT! I post at least one new workout video every week! They are all full length videos so all you have to do is follow along with me. It takes the thinking out of "what should I do for a workout??!" I am always taking requests, so feel free to message me!

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Last night I made a WHOLE roast chicken (for the second time in my life). I do not mind eating chicken, but when it comes to looking at and touching a raw piece of meat it kinda grosses me out. BUT I have to say that cooking a whole chicken is SO easy and actually tastes pretty darn good!

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Keeping the skin on when you roast a chicken is great because it gives the chicken so much flavor, keeps it moist, and you do not need to add any other sauces or dressings.  I take the skin off before I eat the chicken, though I think some people may eat it.

After over an hour of cooking... this is what happened!

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I looked up different recipes online and grabbed ideas from them.

I rubbed my chicken with salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence. I squeezed a little lemon on top and then stuffed the lemon up the chickens butt. That was the weirdest part for me!

For side dishes I blanched some broccoli, and in a separate dish I cut up some carrots, celery, and some cute little baby potatoes, seasoned it with salt pepper and a little EVOO. I put everything in the oven to cook together.

check out the blogs below on how to cook your bird:

Perfect Roast Chicken: Food Network

Making the Basic: Simple Roast Chicken (Annie Eats)

While your chicken is roasting how about you do this workout? It is awesome because you DO NOT need a mat and it is PERFECT to do in your kitchen while your meal is cooking.

Enjoy! And keep me posted on how your roast chicken came out. (Makes great leftovers too! Chicken on salad!)

Posted on July 25, 2013 and filed under food.

Fruits and Vegetables that take a while to go bad.

I love supermarkets!!!! 

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BUUUUT I hate waste, especially when it comes to food! It is hard, though, when you get excited and buy a lot of vegetables and fruit and then you realize there is not enough time to eat everything before it goes bad. I have a habit of buying too much, and sadly seeing things go bad and throwing them away.

Below are a list of fruits and vegetables that stay fresh for a long time (if stored correctly)!

Apples

Every day I have an apple, but sometimes I over buy and my apples do not seem as fresh as I would want them to be. In order to avoid your apples going bad store them at a temperate of 30°F - 32°F. If they are stored in a place that is just 10 degrees warmer, they’ll ripen twice as fast! Make apples last by putting them in a plastic bag in your fruit crisper drawer. Eat the largest apples first; they’re usually the first to go bad.

Beets

I love fresh beets! I make them often, and they are always delicious. Beets can last between 2 and 4 months in the refrigerator. First, cut off the greens if they’re still attached, and then store them in a plastic bag in your vegetable crisper. Stick a few holes in the plastic bag. I am making a fresh beet salad now, stay tuned for this blog post!

Carrots

Did you ever notice how carrots always seem wet? Carrots give off a lot of moisture and this is part of what cases them to rot more quickly. A tip would be to wrap carrots in a paper towel, so that it absorbs the moisture. And if you buy them in a plastic bag, stick some paper towels in the plastic bag and change the towels whenever they get too damp. This can keep them fresh for a few weeks to a few months.

Potatoes

Potatoes do not like light (makes them turn green) and the ideal storage temperate is 40ºF. If you have a basements put your potatoes there. This is a really good storage spot for potatoes. In good conditions they can last from 2-4 months. Sweet potatoes are a little different and do not last as long in storage so eat them within a week of purchase! 

Garlic

I used to keep my garlic cloves outside on a little plate. But I soon noticed that they did not stay too well. Teh garlic would start to sprout if I did  not use it within a week.

Garlic keeps longest when stored at 60º- 65ºF and moderate humidity. Garlic should be ok if you place it in a dark kitchen cabinet. You can also store whole bulbs in the fridge in a paper bag. The bulbs will last for months if you store it this way... score! But make sure your garlic is not cut or else everything will smell of garlic.

Take note that once garlic has been in the cold, keep it there! it will start sprouting within days after being brought to room temperature. So if you decide to store it in the fridge keep it there until right before you want to use it!  

Winter Squash

Pumpkins, butternut squash, and other varieties of squash will last between 2 and 6 months if kept in a dark cabinet. You want air to be able to circulate around the squash so make sure to keep them in a single layer with not much around them. 

Frozen Veggies

If your veggies always seem to go bad, you can try frozen! Frozen vegetables are frozen within hours of being picked, and can be even healthier than the fresh vegetables. You don't have to worry about them going bad, and storage is easy.. in your FREEZER! 

Do you have any tips on how to keep vegetables or fruit fresh longer? 

Cooking class in Vietnam

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20130516-231115.jpg Brandon and I took a cooking class today! As part of the class we went to a Vietnamese market and picked our own produce. The produce was abundant but there were also things in this market that I had never seen before. Out in the open were pig brains and every part of a cow you could think of. There are no fridges in the market, so everything is fresh and must be sold that day. We saw live fish having their heads cut off, and most shocking to me were frogs that were being slammed on a counter in order to kill them. I accidentally took a video of this, but have decided not to show it.

This is the culture in Vietnam, so I am being open minded. All very interesting.

Brandon and I have a driver/tour guide while we are in Saigon. His name is Hung!

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He is the sweetest! He is Buddhist and as part of his practice he and his wife buy a fish from the market twice a week and set it free in the Saigon river. He does not believe in killing animals, even mosquitos!

For our cooking class today we made 3 main dishes:

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I tried to take a video during class, but this was a little difficult. I did get a quick one though and will post later.

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First dish was a mustard leaf roll. Inside was carrots, onions, coconut stalk, lotus stem, lemon basil, mint, and some other green thing. Ill get that name later :)

This green wrap really reminded me of a wrap I made with Elyse from Lillybelle foods! Just a Vietnamese version.

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Next: sticky rice fritter aka fried rice balls

Inside these balls I chose not to put meat, rather I stuck with veggies.

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They were crispy on the outside and very dense. The chef said this is traditional Vietnamese street food. It's cheap and filling!

Last dish: fresh rice noodles with BBQ pork! I do not eat pork so I took a picture of Brandon's dish. I just made mine sans meat. There was not much cooking for this one other than making the sauce and grilling the meat.

The sauce was made of mostly:

Kumquats Garlic Water Fish oil Sugar Salt Chili peppers Pepper

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Sing Ciào! Off to De Lat tomorrow!

PS excuse any typos! This is all done on my phone!

Posted on May 15, 2013 and filed under food.

Cooking a whole chicken. Excuse me if you "don't eat no meat!"

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photo (58)

Today is the first time I bought and am going to bake a whole chicken; skin, bones and all.  I asked my facebook fans for advice and some chimed in with amazing recipes and tips:

  • " I like stuffing mine with lemon and thyme and roasting with root veggies around it."
  • "Use plenty of fresh herbs and put lemons on the bottom of the pan. Also, I cook mine at a higher temperature to get it crispy. 400 degrees for an hour."
  • Simple recipe where they do not use butter:  Her advice "watch out for your smoke detector b/c of the high temp... Also get twine and truss it! (this video is helpful)"
  • Herb Roasted Chicken Recipe
  • "Boil it and make chicken noodle soup. Its easy, just labor intensive. "
  • " I like to have a thin layer of water on the bottom of the pan too - keeps it moist  and baste, baste, baste!"
  • "Stuff it with lemon. Put sea salt, fresh ground pepper and a little bit of olive oil on top."
  • "I was scared the first time I cooked a whole chicken too but it's super easy. I use Ina Garten's recipe. Also I don't eat the skin (and I'm guessing you don't either) so I cook it breast side down and it stays super moist!"
  • Roast Chicken Magic, their secret is Citrus!

I have decided to cook my chicken tomorrow because I will not get home until 7:30 tonight and my chicken will not be ready until 8:30pm, which is kinda late for me.  Because I have the chicken today, but am not going to cook until tomorrow, I am thinking about brining the chicken in order to make it super moist. Have you ever tried this? Does it work?

I am looking forward to my adventure today when I brine, and tomorrow when I cook. I have no problem (usually) eating a nice cleaned chicken breast, but when it comes to touching the raw chicken it kinda grosses me out... anyone else?!  EW I am flinching just thinking about it. I have to over come my fear of raw chicken and cook it. I am going to cook it like a CHAMP!

One of my favorite movie scenes from My Big Fat Greek Wedding! Skip to 4:15 for the "eat no meat" reference.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3N5V9ml2VU

Posted on January 2, 2013 and filed under food, entree, savory.

Pumpkin Protein Pankcakes

protein pancakes

protein pancakes

Most of my clients are away for the holidays/New Year, so it is a very slow time of year for me. I am not complaining  and am actually embracing the time I have for myself. I will be able to blog, work out class formats, make videos, and COOK! I will say it. I am NOT a good cook. I try, I experiment, but I am really not that great. My mom and dad are both great cooks, and both my parents agree that my mom used to stink. So, I still have a chance.

My camera man is very critical of everything I make. Rarely does he say something is "GREAT". So when he says something is good, I know he means it. He always jokes that he is going to send me to cooking school. He says it so much that I am starting to think he is serious.

I woke up early this morning with a craving for pancakes. I remembered a friend/student of mine talking about  Carrots 'N' Cake Pumpkin Protein Pancakes, and how she loved them! Tina, from Carrots 'N' Cake took my ZUMBA class at Equinox a little while back. TIna was so sweet and down to earth, I loved having her in class.

carrots and cake pic

carrots and cake pic

I searched her blog this morning for the famous "Pumpkin Protein Pancakes (Wicked Good)" recipe. I was nervous I was not going to have all the ingredients since I definitely need to do some major food shopping.

Luckily for me the list was short! Phew:

  • 2 tbsp canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal

Look here at Carrots 'N' Cake blog for the recipe.

I changed a couple of things. I did not have nutmeg so I added a tiny bit of vanilla extract and some pumpkin pie spice. I also added a tablespoon of chia seeds into the mix.

protein pancake

protein pancake

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My first attempt was a fail. I think my pan was too hot and I flipped too early. It was stuck to the pan and fell apart.

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My second attempt was a success. It flipped easily and looked great. And the taste you ask? Delicious! I was surprised by these amazing little pancakes. They are "wicked good"!

Do you have a quick and easy homemade pancake recipe?

Posted on December 19, 2012 and filed under food, breakfast, sweet.

Butternut Squash.. DELISH!

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photo (35)

OK. Go buy butternut squash and bake it. It is so good!!!  Squash  is also rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins B6! My cousin from a far away land emailed me a salad recipe. One of the ingredients in the salad is baked butternut squash. I had intentions of making this salad and blogging about it, but could not get past step one in the directions! I could not stop myself  from  eating the warm, baked, butternut squash. It was SO GOOD! I put NOTHING on it. Just baked it at 375 degrees for about 30 min- to an hour (or until a fork will easily go through it). Do not rush the baking process.

I tried the butternut squash plain, and then I dipped it in my favorite ketchup. YUM!  Below is a comparison of sweet potato and butternut squash. They are both delicious and  healthy but have their differences!

                         Butternut squash 1 cup                   Sweet potato 1 cup

calories                        63                                                                         130

carbs                          16.4                                                                         33

fiber                              2.8                                                                          4

sugar                            3.1                                                                          7

protein                        1.4                                                                           2

fat                                   0.1                                                                       0.0

root vegetables galore

ROOTS!

ROOTS!

My mom once made this baked root vegetable dish, and it was quite awesome. Today we spent the morning together and decided to go to Russo's (an amazing produce place in Watertown, MA) and get everything we needed to make the "Root Vegetable Galore"!

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Ingredients: (pictured from left to right)

  • parsnips (eh it was OK)
  • sweet potato
  • jicama (never baked it, but SO good!!)
  • carrots
  • turnips
  • celery root
  • beets
  • fingerling potatoes
  • kohlrabi (forgot to get in "root vegetable shot", but separate image  is down below)
  • garlic
  • onion
  • EVOO
  • salt and pepper
  • rosemary (optional)
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directions:

  • pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  • peel and wash vegetables (no need to peel fingerling potatoes)
  • cut vegetables into cubes ( not too small, cut the beets a little smaller as they usually take longer to cook)
  • cut onions into small slivers
  • peel garlic and keep whole
  • cover everything with  EVOO,  add salt and pepper to taste. Mix around to make sure all is coated *when it comes to the beets, mix them in a separate container, then add to the mixture. Beets will discolor everything!
  • place vegetables, onions and garlic on a large baking pan and spread out
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  • bake at 400 degrees for about an hour. Mix around vegetables every 25 minutes. Each oven cooks differently, so use your own digression. Vegetables should be tender and delicious!  ENJOY!

Below we have kohlrabi. I have never cooked with this vegetable before, but it is great!

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Make sure you take off the stems and peel before you cut it.

If you make this dish let me know how it goes and if you made any changes! XO

The best GUILT FREE spaghetti

spaghetti squash 011

spaghetti squash 011

So I am not much of a pasta person. I lived in the North End, Boston (aka little Italy) for 2 years; I ate at a local Italian restaurant ONCE! People always tell me I should try Spaghetti Squash.  I finally came across this "spaghetti squash" at Trader Joes, and was excited to experiment and cook with this new found vegetable. I decided to make Spaghetti squash topped with an abundance of julienne cut vegetables, mozzarella, garlic and EVOO.

To start I cut the squash in half the long way and placed it in water and boiled it for about 20-30 minutes. I used thongs to take the squash out of the water and let it cool off a little before stringing.

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spaghetti squash 002

While the squash was boiling I julienne cut one red pepper, one yellow zucchini and one green zucchini, all with the help from a special peeler. Next time I will add some carrots!

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spaghetti squash 003

I warmed up a pan with EVOO and fresh crushed garlic. After the garlic simmered for a bit I added the julienne veggies and gave it a little toss. By this time the Squash was ready for the fun part... stringing!

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spaghetti squash 005

You have to string the squash the long way. It can be hot so be careful! Don't forget about the veggies... keep mixing!

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spaghetti squash 006

In order to spice up the veggies I added grape tomatoes cut in half, diced fresh mozzarella cheese, and a medley of ground up spices. It was such a filling dish, and I can not even begin to describe how buttery and delicious the squash tasted. I kept saying, "is there butter in this"? The best part it was ALL veggies!

Other methods to cook the squash:

Bake

 about an hour in the oven at 375 F.

Microwave

 10 to 12 minutes, then let stand for 5 minutes or so afterward to finish steaming.

Boil

 for about half an hour.

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot:

 Put it in with a cup of water and let it go on low all day (8 to 10 hours).

How do you make your spaghetti squash?

Posted on October 6, 2011 and filed under food, entree, savory.