Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WIAW #41: Sprucing Up Canned Foods

Oh my, I DID NOT mean to disappear on y'all again!  Things at work picked up, and I just pushed blogging to the back burner again.  Plus, our weekend was much like last weekend (minus the wins for our teams), and I haven't been taking many pictures lately.  Bad, bad blogger.

HOWEVER, I'm back today with one of my favorite traditions in the blogging world....
Brought to you by Peas and Crayons

This week's What I Ate Wednesday post is going to be a little bit different.  Instead of looking at a day's worth of eats, we're going to talk about how to make something I eat rather frequently much more tasty and exciting!  As always, thank you to Jenn for the link-up!  Head over to Peas and Crayons to find out more about WIAW and to check out what other bloggers are eating!

How many of you buy canned vegetables?  How many of you LOVE the taste of them right out of the can?

Not many of you?  Yeah...I don't either.  So today, I wanted to share with you some ways that I use to spruce up canned vegetables to make them taste better (and more them more healthy, too)!

Mix them in to another dish

I've shared this tip before, and it works well for making canned veggies taste better, as well as hiding vegetables from picky kids and/or non-vegetable-loving husbands (like mine!).  Whenever I make a boxed dinner, I'll mix in a can of vegetables to up the nutritional value of the dinner AND mask the taste of the veggies.  It's really a win-win situation!

Season them

This is a pretty obvious one, but I wanted to share some of the things I personally like to do!

One of my favorite things to do is to mix dried chopped onions I found in the spice aisle into the canned vegetables as they are cooking (as seen above).  It makes the canned vegetables actually taste a little more like fresh vegetables, plus I love the flavor of onions.  

Other times, I'll try to match the flavor of the main dish with various spices and seasonings added to the veggies.  Examples of those spices/seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic salt lemon pepper, onion powder, basil, and oregano.  Over time, you'll come to find out which seasonings you prefer on which vegetables.

Mix in some fresh vegetables

I tried this recently, and both Joe and I loved it!  If you have a can of vegetables you plan to use, see if you have a fresh vegetable that you can cook with the can.  

For example, I'd previously seen canned green beans with red peppers mixed in at the store.  One night, I had a can of green beans I was making and a fresh red pepper I needed to use.  So, I sliced up the pepper and sauteed it in a little olive oil.  After doing that, I mixed the pepper pieces in with the can of green beans and let them simmer for a few minutes.  I had a great veggie mixture to serve for dinner after a few minutes!

Other good combinations I thought would be good to try: canned peas with fresh steamed carrots, canned spinach with sauteed peppers or onions, and sauteed onions with canned green beans.

Question for you: What do you do to make your canned veggies taste better?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Football Weekend Recap

Hey guys!  I hope your Monday is off to a wonderful start.  I can't believe the weekend's over already, but what can you do?  We had a pretty goodweekend around here, so let me tell you about it!

This weekend, we were dog-sitting for one of Joe's friends.  Tequila was so happy to have Finn in the house.  We like to call him her boyfriend since, when they are together, they play and love on each other ALL THE TIME.
It was pretty fun to watch them play, but we also had to give them a break by physically separating them.  Funny puppies!!

After work, Joe and I went to our usual Friday night dinner spot for some Mexican food!  We hung around for a bit with some friends and had a good time.

We decided to have a low-key evening (Joe has boards to study for, and it was raining so I was feeling lazy) and so we watched some Dexter.  For those of you who have seen it--we just started Season 6.  Not to spoil it for anyone else, but this snake thing going on is just weird!

I started the morning a little early and began with working on my Bible study homework!
I'm already a little behind, but I'm glad that I'm still getting it done this time around.

After that, I made my return to BodyPUMP!
It was a great workout, and I'm so glad I went.  But, I am QUITE sore still, which made me realize I need to keep going regularly so it doesn't hurt this much!  It's a good hurt, though :)

The rest of Saturday was spent watching football, running some errands, and cooking for the evening.  We were having people over for the Virginia Tech vs. Ohio State football game, so I tried two new recipes (this pesto pasta and chipotle black bean dip) to feed our guests.  Both turned out really good, and I plan on enjoying the leftovers for lunch this week!

We had a great time with our guests, and to make things even better, THE HOKIES WON!  Now, if you are not an avid Virginia Tech football fan, you might not know that we always struggle when playing these big games.  HOWEVER, we looked AWESOME on Saturday night, and I was incredibly proud of the way our team played!  I'm still kind of in disbelief that we actually won, and I'm really excited about the rest of the season!
Tequila was excited, too!
Ok, done with football talk :)  After celebrating the win, Joe and I cleaned up and went to bed.  I continued to dream about the win.  How awesome!

As Joe and I were heading to church, the sky opened up and continued to rain pretty hard all day.  It's been quite the rainy weekend!  Anyway, we had a good time at church, and afterward, we headed to the grocery store.

The rest of the afternoon was spent watching NFL games, doing laundry, and basically being lazy.  The rain always makes me so unmotivated to do anything but sit around the house and watch TV.  I wasn't the only one that seemed to feel that way!

Well, that was my weekend!  Lots of football, puppies, and rain.  Good times!

Question for you: Did your football team win this weekend?  What was the weather like for you?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back to Blogging!

Hey guys!  I'm back!

I really didn't mean to take almost three weeks off from blogging, but quite honestly, I needed to.  Blogging started to feel like a chore to me, and that is NOT what I wanted to feel when writing a post.

Plus, I was personally in a little rut over the last few weeks.  I was bummed out that my knee was bothering me again after the ZOOMA Chicago Half Marathon.  Instead of working to get that injury taken care of, I let my disappointment get to me and that resulted in being lazy.  Also, getting back in to the swing of school proved to hinder my workout and healthy eating routine.  Instead of using the set schedule to help my healthy living, I used it as an excuse to sit around and eat poorly.

So, what have I been up to since I last blogged?

-Well, I went sky diving in Seattle.
Speaking of being in Seattle, I had a GREAT time visiting Kristie and Joe and getting to see other friends from college Brad and Marie while I was out there!  I LOVE getting to see those people that I spent so much time with back in college.  I miss them so much.

-My mother- and sister-in-law came to visit for Labor Day weekend.  We ate Mexican food, spent time on the beach, watched some baseball, and just enjoyed some catch-up time.

-Joe, Tequila, and I are loving that it's football season.
Both of our teams (University of Georgia for him, Virginia Tech for me!) won their games.  I LOVE watching college football and can't wait to watch this week's game where my Hokies take on #5 Ohio State.  I think we have a shot...but maybe I'm just being overly optimistic :)

-I started another Bible study on Wednesday nights.  We're actually doing the Beth Moore Bible study I started this summer but only completed one week of.
I'm excited to be back in Bible study with this group of great women!

-And I've been enjoying my do-nothing time when I get home from work.  So has Pablo.
School always wears me out the first few weeks, but now that I'm really back in the swing of things, I'm ready to kick myself back in to gear as far as being healthy goes.  My focus for the rest of the week is to get food prep done this weekend, get in at least 3 workouts before Monday, and get back on the whole drinking-water thing.  I'm also going to plan out next week's workouts in my planner so that I can schedule them around meetings and other commitments.

I'm happy to back here on the blog with y'all!  Hopefully I won't fall off the blogging train again any time soon :)

Questions for you: What have YOU been up to since I last blogged?  How do you re-start your healthy lifestyle after being in a rut?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five Things Friday 8/15

Another unintentional blog hiatus.  Sorry, y'all!  School got started again, and things have just gotten crazy.  Once I get back into the school year routine, I'll be around more regularly.

Since it's Friday and my brain is all over the place, I'm just going to share five random things with you.  Hopefully next week I'll be back into the routine and have more exciting posts to share with y'all!

1. Teacher Pre-planning week = LOTS of free food.  And let me tell you, being at two different schools, I worked it PERFECTLY to get in on each school's free breakfast and lunch.  That may or may not have determined where I was each day ;)  Check out these adorable cookies we had at the welcome back lunch on Tuesday!
2.  Tequila is chewing up EVERYTHING lately.  If anyone has any ideas on how to train her to stop, please let me know!
3.  My routine has really been thrown off--I haven't even gotten in a workout in the last two weeks!  It was tough to do while our guests were here last weekend, and I just haven't gotten back in the groove since we returned from Chicago.  My goal for this coming week: write workouts in my planner again (check!) and DO THEM!
4.  Next weekend, I'm going out to Seattle to see Kristie and Joe!  And...guess what we're going to do??  Skydive!  It was one of my goals for 2014, and now it's actually going to happen!  I'm really excited, nervous, anxious, and scared all at the same time.  But, it should be fun!

5.  Finally, I have a pretty big announcement for y'all.  You know how I signed up to run the Rock 'n Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon again this year?  Well, as you might know, my knee started hurting during the ZOOMA Chicago half, and it hasn't fully recovered.  I still haven't run since then, and I don't want to cause more serious problems.  So, I won't be running RnR VB :(  This was a REALLY tough decision for me, especially because I was going to get to see my good friend Krista and her husband Josh AND go to the Virginia Tech football season opener!  But, for the sake of my health, I think it's the right decision.  Sad day, but hopefully it'll mean many more happy runs in the future.

Hope you have a great weekend!  I'll do my best to make things more exciting around here next week.

Questions for you: How do I make my puppy stop chewing everything up?  Have you ever had to withdraw from a race?