learning to eat, cook, and live healthier one day at a time.

Monthly Archives: June 2014

Greetings!

It’s a beautiful night in Sioux Falls and I have just had a great weekend so far. Mike was here this weekend, which always makes things exciting. We had a full but very fun weekend. Check it out.

Friday:

Mike got in around 8:30 Friday night and I was ready to get a special dinner going.

My dad is a big hunter and fisher, and last time I was home he stocked up me with tons of wild meat. I’ve been saving the walleye he gave me for a weekend when Mike was here. If you’ve never had walleye, you should. It’s a staple in Minnesota and I’ve grown up eating it fresh my whole life. It’s a pretty mild fish and is good just about any way you cook it, but I prefer mine battered and panfried. Not the healthiest, I know.

I cooked just over a pound of fish Friday night. I washed the filets, dipped them in egg wash, and coated them in Shorelunch breading. I then cooked them in canola oil for about 4 minutes on each side.

Walleye

Walleye

Fish fry dinner

Fish fry dinner

Sides included roasted green beans and sweet potatoes. It was a real good Friday fish fry. And I have leftovers still. I know what’s for dinner tonight!

Moving on.

Saturday was super crazy because I worked. Mike always shadows me when I have to work on Saturdays which makes the day go by much faster. As soon as I got off we headed to the Sioux Falls Canaries game to watch some baseball. After the game it was time to head to a bar for a co-worker’s going away celebration. Crazy day.

Sunday:

Like I said before, it is a beautiful night in Sioux Falls and it was also a beautiful day. Mike and I took advantage of the weather by heading out for a 14 mile bike ride shortly after breakfast this morning.

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We stopped after about 7 miles to rest and take in the scenery. The Sioux Falls Greenway is gorgeous. It covers pretty much the entire city, but we stuck to just the southern part of the city today. It follows the Big Sioux River which makes for some excellent wildlife sightings. We saw a deer along the water today! So cool.

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I actually got a great workout from our bike ride. There were a good amount of hills along the part of the trail that we covered, and I was able to get my heart rate up.

Every good workout deserves a good treat, right? Wrong. But hey, every once in a while is okay. Which is why we decided we needed to stop at Sonic during our ride back to my apartment.

Sonic date

Sonic date

I love when fast food places have ‘mini’ or ‘snack size’ ice cream treats. However, Sonic’s mini shakes aren’t that mini. I ordered a strawberry shake and it was more than enough for me. We also split an order of chicken strips. They were decent, but the strawberry shake stole the show.

Strawberry shake

Strawberry shake

Cold and creamy. Perfect on this hot summer day!

The rest of the day was spent lounging by the pool and taking a quick cat nap before Mike had to head back to Minneapolis. Never easy to say goodbye after such a fun weekend, but I know it’s only a matter of time before our next great adventure in Sioux Falls!

Alright, now I’m off to enjoy some walleye leftovers. Woo!

 

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Good morning! It’s a gloomy day in the Sioux Empire, but Mike is coming to visit tonight so I’m excited!

I have some pretty good favorites this week. Let’s kick things off on this Friday morning.

Friday Favorites

1. Tropical Smoothies

Smoothie

Smoothie

I’ve been really into tropical flavors in my smoothies lately. I bought a few mangoes this past week and those little devils have been making their way into breakfast, lunch and snacks all week. The above smoothie was made with mango, banana, strawberries, vanilla protein powder and plain greek yogurt. Tropical fruits like mangoes or pineapple just always make me feel like I’m on vacation. Love it!

2. Mike’s LITE Hard Lemonade

Mike's LITE

Mike’s LITE

I’ve been a big fan of Mike’s Hard Lemonade ever since my Mike turned me onto it when we first started dating. My favorite flavor is the black cherry, but honestly I love them all. I can usually only handle drinking one since there is so much sugar in the traditional Mike’s Hard Lemonade. I get pretty bad headaches from too much sugar, especially when it’s mixed with alcohol. That’s why I’m diggin’ the lightened up version of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. It tastes just as good to me, but I definitely noticed how much better I felt after drinking it compared to when I drink a whole regular one. Plus, it’s lemonade with alcohol. Perfect for summer!

3. Sweet Grass 

Sweet Grass Restaurant

Sweet Grass Restaurant

If I was ranking my favorites in order, this would be at the top. This cute little cafe is in Wessington Springs, the small town I’ve been spending a lot of time in lately due to the horrible tornado damage they sustained last week. If you’ve ever spent time in a small town, you’ll know there aren’t typically a whole lot of decent dining options. Sweet Grass completely wipes out any idea I’ve ever had about small town restaurants. Everything they make is fresh, delicious and simple. All the salad dressings hare homemade and the prices are good as well! I’ve eaten here four times in the past week and have yet to have a bad meal. My most recent eat was a chicken salad sandwich on wheat bread and a side salad with house made strawberry vinaigrette. Of course, they make their chicken salad in house.

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Chicken Salad Sandwich

4. Karen Cookies

Chocolate Chip "Karen" Cookies

Chocolate Chip “Karen” Cookies

During my time as a nanny in college, the mother of the kids I watched, Karen always made the same chocolate chip cookie recipe. I got pretty comfortable with the recipe myself, and now it is my go-to chocolate chip cookie. I call them “Karen Cookies” since they will always remind me of her. I made a batch last night for my co-worker’s going away celebration today. I like these cookies because they’re soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. I will most certainly share the recipe on her sooner than later.

That’s all! Weekend time!

 


I make protein pancakes a lot. Sometimes they’re delicious, and sometimes they’re kind of a fail. It can be tough to get the perfect texture, especially when you’re using protein powder. They can dry out easily and even get a little crispy. Not good.

This morning’s blueberry protein pancakes were a success! And like all my protein pancakes, they’re super easy to make.

Blueberry Protein Pancakes

Blueberry Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbs ground flax
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or any other kind of milk)

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender until batter is smooth.
  • Cook half the batter in a heated skillet, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes per side, repeat with other half of batter.
  • Top with more fresh berries, nuts, but butter or syrup.
cakes

cakes

I almost always top my pancakes with PB2 when I have it on hand. I like to add a little extra water to give it more of a peanut butter sauce consistency. I also added fresh blueberries that I heated in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

The texture of these pancakes was about an 8 on a scale of 1-10. To me, that’s a success. They would be perfect with maybe a little cottage cheese added to the batter to moisten them a bit. Next time!

The rest of my day has included catching up on some news events, hitting the gym, and grocery shopping for the week. Mangoes were on sale today and I felt compelled to buy a couple. I don’t remember the last time I bought a mango.

Mango lunch

Mango lunch

I’d almost forgotten how amazing mangoes are. For lunch, I cut one up and added it to some plain greek yogurt with chopped pecans, protein powder and lots of cinnamon. So good! I’m feeling tropical now. Which is perfect, since I’m about to go lay out in the sun for the rest of the day!


Big news! I ran for the first time in three weeks today!

I’ve just been doing interval work since my half marathon got cancelled three weeks ago, but today I finally felt compelled to head out for a real steady pace run. Three weeks off sure does make you rusty.

rusty run

rusty run

I decided to keep things easy and just did three miles. It is hot in South Dakota. That’s the beauty of the midwest; freezing in the winter and grossly hot in the summer! Can’t catch a break.

Sweatin' post-run

Sweatin’ post-run

It’s amazing how big a difference three weeks off makes. My pace hasn’t changed or anything, but I just felt more fatigued than I would have a month ago. I’m running the Sioux Falls Half Marathon in September, and will probably start training within the next few weeks. Hopefully that one doesn’t get rained out, too.

I’ve been wondering how I should go about training for this race. I usually follow a training plan created by someone else, but I’m considering coming up with my own plan. I’m no expert runner and I’m not sure if there’s some magic formula I need to be following to get the best results. I’ll probably just focus on what has worked for me during past training plans and go from there.

I followed my hot run with a nice cold smoothie.

post-run smoothie

post-run smoothie

Smoothie in a beer mug. Classy, right? Not sure why it looks brown in this picture. This smoothie was simple but delicious. I threw the following ingredients into the blender:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3 frozen strawberries
  • handful frozen blueberries
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/3 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • handful fresh spinach

Full of fruit! I usually like to use greek yogurt or cottage cheese to thicken my smoothies a little bit. I didn’t have any on hand today so decided to throw some egg whites in instead. I’ve done this in the past so I knew it wouldn’t taste too funky. Also adds even more protein!

I’m off to watch some Netflix and enjoy a relaxing Sunday night!

 

 


I survived my first 60 hour work week!

I don’t even remember getting into bed last night I was so tired. I slept for 9 hours straight and am feeling like a whole new person!

I love making a special breakfast on Sunday mornings. This morning a scramble was sounding real good, and I knew I had a couple slices of turkey bacon that needed to be cooked sooner than later. The sweet potato & turkey bacon scramble was a success and I’m excited to share the recipe!

Sweet potato & turkey bacon scramble

Sweet potato & turkey bacon scramble

Sweet Potato & Turkey Bacon Scramble:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 sweet potato, cubed
  • diced onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • fresh spinach
  • 2 slices turkey bacon, cut into pieces
  • 3 egg whites
  • feta cheese
  • salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

Directions:

Scrambles are pretty self-explanatory. Throw everything but the egg whites, cheese and seasonings into a skillet with a bit of olive oil over medium heat. Cook until potato and veggies soften, throw in seasonings. I cook my eggs in a separate pan, then mix into the vegetables. Top with feta cheese and any other seasonings you’d like! I always throw a little sriracha on mine.

Scramble close-up

Scramble close-up

Now onto some pressing matters.

Does anyone ever try to eat salads while driving?

salad on the go

salad on the go

I’ve been really pressed for time at work this week, and haven’t had much time to sit down and enjoy a mid day meal. During my two hour drive back to the station yesterday, I did my best to balance a ‘strawberry fields’ salad from Culver’s on my lap while simultaneously watching the road. Not an easy task! But sometimes you’ve got to get creative when you’re trying to eat healthy on the road.

P.S.- This is by far my favorite fast food salad. I order it with grilled chicken and it’s delicious!

My Sunday plans include lounging, cleaning, and watching a lot of mindless TV. Just what I need after a crazy stressful week!

 


Good evening or good early morning!

It’s still Friday on the west coast, so we’re going to let my ‘Friday Favorites’ tardiness slide.

Dinner

First off, I got home from work around 10:00 tonight and was craving pizza and breakfast. I was really struggling to decide which one I wanted most, so I decided to combine them to make a breakfast pizza!

breakfast pizza

breakfast pizza

This little creation hit the spot. I topped a toasted Flatout Flatbread with 3 cooked egg whites, 2 slices turkey bacon, chopped red bell pepper, spinach, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, and popped it in the oven for about 6 minutes at 400 degrees. Oh! I also used Sriracha as the ‘sauce’ for the pizza. Good call.

Like I said in my last post, this week has been nuts. Which brings me to my list of Friday Favorites!

Friday Favorites 

Five tornadoes touched down in South Dakota on Wednesday night, and one really tore up a small town in the central part of the state. I’ve been covering the damage out there for the past two days. The experience has been absolutely unreal and it’s something I’ll never forget. That brings me to my first ‘favorite’:

1. South Dakota Weather 

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I know this shouldn’t be a ‘favorite’, but let me explain. As a reporter, there’s really nothing like covering natural disasters. This week has been full of floods, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. Thankfully, there have been no serious injuries and things are starting to slowly get better throughout the state. Covering all these storms has been exhausting, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything right now.

2. Overnight Oats

overnight oats

overnight oats

Like I said, this week has been crazy. I haven’t been getting much sleep, and getting adequate nutrition has also been a struggle. It’s times like these that overnight oats really come in handy! I’ve been preparing overnight oats the night before I know I have to wake up early for a story. This morning I was up at 4:30 a.m. to head out to cover tornado damage. I knew there was no way I would feel like cooking breakfast that early, so I whipped up a batch of overnight oats last night! This bowl was made with 1 container Dannon Greek Light and Fit blueberry yogurt, 1/3 cup raw oats, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 tbs ground flax, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, plus banana, blueberries, and Kashi cereal for toppings.

3. Boom Chicka Pop Caramel & Cheddar Mix

BOOM CHICKA POP!

BOOM CHICKA POP!

This popcorn is TOO good. I’ve been getting home reeeeal late these past few days, and have been digging into this bag each night for a little pick me up. This mix is my absolute favorite. I’m a big fan of the sweet and savory combo when it comes to food. The cheddar with the caramel is the perfect pairing if you’re a sweet + salty person. Just be careful once you open a bag of this stuff because it’s tough to stop stuffing your face.

4. True Blood Final Season 

trueblood

I True Blood still cool? I don’t care either way. I’ve watched this show since season 1, and have been a fan through and through. I can’t believe the final season starts this Sunday! I plan on spending my Saturday night re-watching the previous season to jog my memory. I’m not a big vampire person, but I love the way True Blood fits real world social issues into the show. I’ll be sad to see it go!

That’s all! I need to get some sleep. I’m heading back to tornado town bright and early in the morning!


Yo!

There are currently tornadoes on the ground here in South Dakota. The weather is absolutely psycho, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Let me just say that I love summer salads.

Summer Salad

Summer Salad

For dinner this evening, I fixed myself a simple summer salad with romaine lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, grilled chicken, chopped pecans, feta cheese and acai raspberry vinaigrette. YUM! I know a lot of people are anti fruit in salads, but I am not one of them. Bring on the berries.

In other news, I met Tom Brokaw last week!

With Tom Brokaw

With Tom Brokaw

This was such a great experience. I had the chance to interview him one-on-one for about 15 minutes. He was a great speaker and truly loves his home state of South Dakota!

Moving on.

This past weekend was nuts. I drove home through pouring rain and tornado warnings on Saturday night. Luckily, Mike was kind enough to take me to Applebee’s for nachos and beer when I arrived in Minneapolis around 10:00. Nachos make everything better.

Sunday morning I was off to one of my favorite places in the world to celebrate Father’s Day.

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Lake Vermilion

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I’ve been going to Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota since I can remember. My dad’s side of my family has had a cabin on the lake since the 1960s. I rarely get up there anymore since I live so far away. Every time I get the chance to go there even just for a day I love it. Too bad the weather was absolute crap this time.

I also got to see this little baby while I was there.

Marshy

Marshy

I love my dad’s cat, Marshy. What a beauty. And she likes to sit in the sink?

Anyway, my trip north was short. I was back in Minneapolis Monday morning, and had planned to drive back to Sioux Falls that evening until all hell broke loose. Like I said, the weather here is psycho. A majority of the towns around Sioux Falls are under water thanks to extreme rain, and tornadoes have been sweeping across the area all week.

South Dakota Flooding

South Dakota Flooding

What’s scary is this isn’t even the worst of it. South Dakota and the neighboring states have been getting hit by strong storms since the weekend. The weather is all we have been covering at work, and I am totally enthralled.

One of the downsides of losing myself in my job a little too much is I lose sight of other things that are important to me, like working out! I hate to say that I haven’t hit the gym once since Saturday. I know four days isn’t the end of the world, but I just feel off when I go too long without a workout. I’m really hoping this lack of motivation to get to the gym will end once the weather starts to settle down.

I’m telling myself I am going to workout tomorrow morning, but tornadoes are expected to hit Sioux Falls late, late tonight, and I want to stay up and watch like a 5-year-old.

 



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