Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quick & Easy Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

I grew up eating ceviche. Depending on where you live, you may not even know what it is.  Ceviche is commonly seen in Central and South America and more popular in the coastal regions. This seafood dish is typically made from fresh raw fish or shrimp soaked in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime.  It can be served as an appetizer or a main dish. We had it for dinner tonight. It is a refreshing meal great for the end of summer. 

Shrimp Ceviche

The ingredients are pretty simple but have a lot of flavor. For this recipe you can either choose fresh shrimp or frozen. If you choose to buy frozen you will just have to thaw the shrimp before starting.  Don't use warm water. Cold water is fine. It will only take about 10-15 minutes to defrost. If you use warm water the shrimp will start to cook. 

While my shrimp were defrosting, I started chopping up my veggies. I cut up everything except for my avocado. I waited until the very end to mix that in.

Once the shrimp were defrosted I cleaned them out and deveined them. Then I added a whole bunch of freshly squeezed lime juice (enough to evenly coat). You can also do the store bought lime juice but to me it just isn't the same. Then I added the onion and salt and placed mixture in the fridge for about 20 minutes or until evenly cooked. You'll know it's fully cooked when shrimp turns pink.

Once my shrimp was fully cooked I added the remainder of the ingredients. I mixed everything together and let it marinate for a few minutes before serving.

I love making this recipe. Like I said I grew up eating this stuff.  Seafood isn't for everyone but I love it. It is especially great during those hot summer nights. So if it is still hot where you live, give the recipe a try.  Let me know what you think.

September Summary

I can't believe today is the last day of the month!  Not only did summer officially end, but fall is slowly creeping in. The nights are getting darker and cooler and we actually got some rain this past weekend. I love September because it is my birthday month, but I always get excited towards the end of the month because you start to see a season change. Here are some of my favorite things from this month: 

Favorite Running View:
I would have to say was this morning...the sunrise was breathtaking. I had to stop to capture the moment but honestly sometimes pictures just don't do justice. 

Favorite Song:
It would have to be a tie. The first one is by OneReblic - I Lived.  The music video is a wonderful tribute to Cystic Fibrosis Awareness.  I was in tears the first time I saw this video.  I lost a patient to Cystic Fibrosis this month, so it hit close to home.  

The second song would have to be by Meghan Trainor - All About That Bass. This song is just so damn catchy! Every time I hear it on the radio, I can't help but bust some moves in my car. If I hear it at the gym on my Pandora playlist, I have to refrain from making a fool of myself by dancing so I just bop my head. 

Favorite Run:
I would have to say this past weekend was my favorite run because it was raining.  I love running in the rain. And since we are in a drought I was happy to see the pavement wet! It didn't last long but it was enough to enjoy a 6 mile run before church.

Favorite Recipe:
Man this one is a hard one since I tried so many new recipes this month. They all were good, but my absolute favorite was probably Chicken Enchilada Soup.  I know it was still a bit too hot when I made this but I just couldn't help myself. This one will definitely be made again during winter season.

This month I set a few goals for myself to achieve. I kept track of how I was doing and overall I think I did pretty well. I logged in over 50 miles...61.47 miles to be exact! Happy to report I am injury free too.  I am going to slowly increase mileage in preparation for my race season to begin. I increased my water intake and it helped with my headaches in the morning. I tried at least one new recipe a week. My husband pretty much benefited from this one. I also implemented a treadmill workout every week. This definitely helped to actually enjoy my runs on that machine!  And probably the most important one of all was increasing my hours of sleep. Rest is crucial and in the past I have neglected this. Happy to report I am sleeping at least 7 hours and feel well rested in the mornings.

Tomorrow starts a new month and with a new month start new goals. Bring on October!

What was your favorite thing about September?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Arm/Shoulder Workout On A Bad Monday

This is how my Monday was...

It started off waking up to a completely dead phone. I mean absolutely dead while it was "supposedly" charging overnight.  Last night my phone just kept saying I needed to plug in the original charger...IT IS THE ORIGINAL CHARGER!!  By the time I went to sleep it was charging but I guess I was wrong.  I was so frustrated this morning.  I feel naked when I don't have a working phone on me.  

So I headed out to the gym to workout my frustrations...or so I thought.  Well when I got to the gym I realized I forgot my towel! Ugh...so annoyed at this point.  I had no time to head back home for a towel so I made the executive decision to do a quick arms/shoulders workout anyway.

Proud of myself for still getting this workout in.  Most people would have said, "Screw this!" and call it a day.  But I knew I had to burn off my frustration somehow.  When it came time to shower, I had to get a bit creative. Yep...you guessed it.  I dried myself off with a ton of paper towels. Pretty wasteful on my part, but to be fair I was doing all my co-workers a favor. Last thing they would want is to smell my stinky body after working out.

By the time I was done and ready to head to work, I realized something else. I forgot my badge! Definitely didn't have time to go get it at this point so I had to head to work and wait for someone to let me into the hospital. Off to security I went to get my temporary badge. 

At this point I was telling myself, don't worry you have brownies to eat that are going to change your mood. Oh wait...you mean those healthy brownies you forgot on your kitchen counter?? Yeah those...ugh. And then just when I thought it couldn't get any worse...my actual workday started off with a bang. Happy to report that I made it through my 12.5 hour shift. Now it's time to shake it off and get ready for what Tuesday has in store for me! Can't get any worse right??? 

How was your Monday?
Do you leave the gym if you forget something?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Healthy Black Bean Avocado Brownies

I noticed my avocados were getting pretty ripe and rather than let them go bad I wanted to find a recipe to use them. Lately I have also been craving brownies so I went out looking for an avocado brownie recipe.  I know it sounds disgusting but they do exist. Of course there are hundreds of different avocado brownie variations out there.  All I wanted was for my brownies to still taste like brownies and potentially be healthier than the Starbucks brownie I get at work.  Those that know me know how much I love brownies. It is my splurge at work when I am having a bad day.  My end result got a thumbs up from my husband so thought I would share my little recipe for a healthier brownie.

Black Bean Avocado Brownies

I had the majority of the ingredients in my pantry already so this recipe was pretty easy to make.  The only thing I had to go to the store to get was honey. I had ran out from a previous recipe I tried a few weeks ago. 

To be honest, I was rather skeptical about adding black beans to my already weird brownie mix. But then I thought this recipe is meant to be healthier than your average brownie recipe. On top of that it is going to be loaded with protein and fiber.

The initial puree was actually pretty good. At this point my husband started asking what was my newest concoction. I told him brownies but I skipped out the part that they had black beans and avocado as a main ingredient. I wanted that to be a surprise. 

I transferred the puree into a large mixing bowl and started adding some of the other ingredients. Once that was well mixed I added the remainder of the ingredients. One of my favorite things about baking is tasting the cookie/cake/brownie mix. Surprisingly not disappointed!

I added a few extra chocolate chips on top right before my brownie mix went in the oven. It took a bit longer than I had anticipated but the end result was still good.

Voila! Healthy Black Bean Avocado Brownies!

At the end I finally told my husband that the recipe asks for black beans and avocados. He looked at me in shock and said all he could taste was a normal brownie. Recipe success!! Try it out and see for yourself.

Sunday Reflections

I woke up to the wonderful sound of rain! I was so excited since we are in a drought. Every little bit helps us out.  I got a text early in the morning from my running partner asking if we were still going running. Of course I said yes! Running in the rain is my absolute favorite.  It was pouring for the first 1.5 miles but after that it was just nice and cool. 

The trail was pretty much empty at the beginning. Everyone was probably snuggled under their blankets. So we took advantage of running by ourselves.

I couldn't help but take many pictures. I forgot my Garmin, but my run felt amazing.  I pretty much kept my normal pace, but not having the sun and heat made a huge difference. Even my running partner thanked me for pushing her to get up and go run!

By the time we were done running our 6 miles at Woodward Park, we noticed the clouds were parting and the sun was starting to peak through. Luckily we were able to get our miles in when it was still cool.  Even though it was cold outside, while I was running I was still burning up. Wanted to rip my long sleeves off! 

So then I took a selfie, because well...why not?

So how was your week? Mine was quite busy since my husband was out of town for the majority of the week. I also had to work a lot so my fur babies were pretty neglected. Felt bad about that..but they still love me so all is good in the world. Now for my Sunday Reflections:

  • Running: I am happy to report I have surpassed my weekly goal again. I am almost positive that I have exceeded my monthly goal too.  Still have a few more days to go for this month, but it is nice to know I have met this goal.
  • H2O: Not even having a problem with this one anymore. I am carrying a water bottle with me at all times and remembering to hydrate.  I am still short in my water intake for today but I still have a few more hours to go.
  • Recipe: I absolutely loved trying out my new recipe.  I love quinoa so coming up with this casserole dish was amazing.  Even my husband enjoyed my Quinoa Black Bean Enchilada Casserole! It is filled with veggies and protein loaded!
  • Sleep: Every single day this week I got my seven hours! It felt amazing. What a difference an extra hour of sleep makes.
  • Treadmill Workout: I had a good workout with my Hill/Sprint Interval Circuit. Definitely got my heart pumping and I broke a serious sweat. Starting to really enjoy running on the treadmill when I do these sort of circuits.

The month is almost over, so it is time to start thinking of new goals to achieve for the next month. I am happy fall is slowly starting to creep in. Looking forward to scarves, boots, cooler weather, and warm tea! 

How was your weekend?
Try any new recipes?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Quinoa Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

Looking for a new casserole to make? Looking for a healthy recipe filled with protein and veggies? Then this is the recipe for you.  I had first seen a similar recipe on Pinterest, but like many other pins I've posted, I just filed it away.  Since today was my day to cook a new recipe, I decided to cook something with quinoa again. Quinoa is just so easy to make and so healthy for you that I couldn't resist.  My husband was hesitant at first in trying this because it doesn't have any meat.  Once again though, he was not disappointed. This recipe is filled with flavor and a guaranteed hit in your home.

Quinoa Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

I gathered all the ingredients and began the prep work. I knew I had to cook the quinoa first and let it cool down afterwards, so I started with that first. This takes about 15 minutes. I also preheated the oven to 350 degrees F.

While the quinoa was cooking, I started chopping all my veggies on the chopping block. This recipe has so many colors. It's like I am eating the rainbow!

I warmed up a large skillet and placed the onion, garlic, and jalapeño. The smells that filled my kitchen were amazing.

Once my initial veggies were sautéed, I added a few more ingredients to add to my colorful skillet.

I then mixed all the ingredients together.

Last thing I added was my home made enchilada sauce and cheese.  

I placed everything in the casserole dish and added some additional cheese on top. Then I placed my casserole in the oven to start baking.

Total time in the oven was 30 minutes.  

And this was my final product after letting it cool down 10 minutes.  I garnished it with chives, but tomorrow I am going to add avocado. Since it is just my husband and I, we are definitely having leftovers!


Saturday Shenanigans

My Saturday started off with a horrible run. Felt absolutely nauseous and super lethargic.  Couldn't shake it off and at one point I really thought I was going to vomit. I blame it on my stupid flu shot I got yesterday at work.  Flu shots are mandatory at my hospital and every year I take it I just feel crummy afterwards. On top of having arm pain from the injection site, if I don't get ibuprofen afterwards I am doomed. At least I was still able to get six miles in...slowly.

Afterwards my husband and I walked our fury babies for two miles. Before we knew it we were starting to get "hangry."  We hadn't eaten out in quite awhile so we decided to treat ourselves to a new place. My co-worker had recommended a new place in the Fig Garden Village. Super trendy and very hipster...Jack's Urban Eats.

It's kind of like Chipotle in which you go up to the counter and order either a sandwich or a salad. They actually have great healthy options to choose from. I was craving a sandwich so I ordered the Turkey Club and a salad instead of the fries that comes with it.  I only ate half of my sandwich just to watch my portions. 

My husband on the other hand went a little overboard. He ordered the tri-tip with mashed potatoes and corn. On top of that he ordered some garlic fries. Mind you he ordered the "small" size. I would hate to see what the "family size" looks like. This place does rave about their garlic fries.  I'll admit it...I tried them and they are delicious. Definitely a splurge on my husband's part because he was so full from just his plate alone that he didn't even finish the fries. 

Overall I was pretty impressed. Pricing was around $8-$15 per plate. Sides are extra and drinks as well. Our grand total was approximately $30. Customer service was really good. They greeted us as we walked in and explained their menu to us. It was nice to try this new restaurant.  Would highly recommend if you are looking to try something new.

Afterwards we decided to walk around the shopping center to let the food settle. Stopped at Starbucks and got some refreshments.  My husband was away all week on business so it was nice to just sit and catch up. We both have pretty busy schedules but we still make time for little one on one time.  


While walking around we ran into an expo...not just any expo a Gluten Free and Wellness Expo sponsored by Whole Foods.  It was located in the parking lot in front of Whole Foods.

It was a small cute little expo that had everything from food, soaps, teas, coffee, etc.  I really wanted to get organic honey but I had no cash on me. The samples that we did try were pretty good especially the cookies. There was this Indoor Rock Climbing/Fitness Gym booth and my husband I scored a two person day pass for free! I was pretty excited since I had been wanting to try it out lately. Can't wait to book this...great way to cross train!

Tonight for dinner I am trying a new recipe so check back for the recipe! Hope everyone is having a great Saturday.

Did you try a new place this weekend?
Do you ever get sick from the flu shot?