Archive for February, 2015

SWEET HOT MUSTARD CHICKEN

This is one of my favorite chicken dishes! I think it will be fabulous, too, on the BBQ when summer rolls around.

ingredients (serves 4) 1031037

8 small, skinless chicken pieces with bones (thighs, legs, quartered breasts)

¼ cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon dry mustard powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper

½ pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ onion, sliced into rings

1 teaspoon vegetable oil, or as needed

directions

Make 2 slashes crosswise into the meat of each chicken piece with a sharp knife, cutting to the bone. Cuts should be about 1 inch apart. Transfer pieces into a heavy resealable plastic bag.

Whisk the Dijon mustard, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, mustard powder, salt, black pepper, ground chipotle pepper, and cayenne pepper in a bowl until smooth. Whisk the garlic into marinade.

Pour the marinade into the bag over the chicken pieces and massage the marinade into the chicken, coating each piece thoroughly and working the marinade into the cuts. Seal the bag and refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight for best flavor).

Move a rack to the center position in oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly oil the foil. Scatter the onion rings onto the prepared baking sheet. Place the chicken pieces on top of the onion rings.

Roast the chicken in the preheated oven until the meat is tender, and the juices run clear, about 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer the chicken and the onions onto a serving platter and serve.

(Adapted from a recipe found on allrecipes.com by Chef John)


 

 

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DO WOMEN LACK COMMON SENSE, TOO?

Since I train and counsel primarily women, I listen to a lot rec-woman-neck-pain-master2-isp-10-17-11-mdof stories. Many women (including me) get frustrated at men for, how should I delicately phrase this, LACKING common sense. However, I’m realizing that we, too, are guilty of this.

I think most independent-minded, smart women tend to “push through” physical ailments. We somehow think, “It’s nothing”, or say, “I’m really OK”, or “I’m fine, this will pass.” Most of the time, we get lucky. But this CAN get us into big trouble!

I’m sure most of you know that the number one cause of death in both men and women is heart disease. So yes, that means women ARE having heart attacks. We also know that women present with symptoms that are very different than men’s symptoms. We don’t always get the crushing chest pain or the shortness of breath. Instead, we might feel like we’re getting the flu, or have some strange jaw or back pain, feel lightheaded or have an upset stomach including heart burn, nausea, and vomiting. I can see many of us (including me) not paying attention to this and marching right into. “I’m OK!”

So ladies, let’s pause and realize that we MUST  pay attention to our bodies and  not be dismissive. When it comes to our health, we need to have common sense!

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INA GARTEN’S ROASTED WINTER VEGETABLES

It is CLEARLY still winter so here is a wonderful, hearty side dish that you can add to any protein that you’re serving.

ingredients 7a9e51bd37792060392af3f253194129

1 pound carrots, peeled

1 pound parsnips, peeled

1 large sweet potato, peeled

1 small butternut squash, peeled and seeded (about 2 pounds)

2 tablespoons good olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, and butternut squash in 1 to 1 ¼ -inch cubes. All the vegetables will shrink while baking, so don’t cut them too small.

Place all the cut vegetables in a single layer on 2 baking sheets. Drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a metal spatula.

Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste, and serve hot.

(Adapted from a recipe found on www.foodnetwork.com)

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THE NEW “S” WORD

Many people get concerned about injuring themselves during  snow shovel-resized-600exercise—especially when they are weight training. However, most of the time, injuries don’t happen during exercise because we are tuned into our bodies and are paying attention to our form. Unfortunately, we are not as vigilant in our regular daily activities. Often, a simple task can lead to a major “OUCH”.

Now that the SNOW and ICE is upon us, I’m seeing a lot of injuries coming from SHOVELING. It’s the new “S” word! Shoveling heavy, wet, icy snow is extremely stressful on the body. So here’s what I think about the SHOVEL:
S: Shoulder problems

H: Hell on the upper back

O: OMG, what neck strain!

V: Very high intensity

E: Elbows aching

L: Lower back is in hell

I am all for being a strong woman. But I would rather skip a couple of dinners out and get someone to shovel for me so I don’t ruin my body. So please…………BE CAREFUL! A stubborn shoveling injury might derail consistent exercise, which is the last thing we need in the winter!

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ALTON BROWN’S LENTIL SOUP

I love cooking with lentils because they are one of the few legumes that don’t need soaking. This lentil soup is super easy to make a utterly delicious! It will warm you up for sure!

ingredients ea1015_soup1

1 T olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

½ cup finely chopped carrot

½ cup finely chopped celery

1/2  t kosher salt

1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed

1 (14.5-ounce) can chopped tomatoes

2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth

½ t freshly ground coriander

½ t freshly ground toasted cumin

½ t freshly ground grains of paradise

directions

Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately.

NOTE: I modified this recipe as follows: I used 1 cup of all the vegetables and only used ½ lb of lentils. I also made some brown rice and added it to the soup. DELICIOUS!

(Adapted from a recipe found on http://www.foodnetwork.com)

 

 

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WHATEVER YOU DO……..KEEP BREATHING!

Prior to the birth of my first child, which now seems like a breathlifetime ago, my husband and I attended a series of childbirth classes. And while I can’t remember much about the classes, one thing that the instructor said stayed with me for all of these years:

“Whatever you do, do NOT hold your breath. Your baby needs oxygen and you do NOT want to cut off that crucial supply.”

Years later, when I became a personal trainer, I realized the importance of breathing when exercising. We need to send that valuable oxygen to our working muscles. Breathing properly makes a huge difference in performance!

Now that I’m in my 5th decade, I’m realizing the importance of breathing for stress control. When we breathe, we send oxygen to our cells and we get rid of carbon dioxide by exhaling. When we are under stress, our breathing patterns change—we take in quick, shallow breaths. Unfortunately, this pattern disrupts the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our bodies—it can actually make us feel even more anxious and stressed. The best remedy to calm down? BREATHE.

There are many different breathing techniques. I personally like deep belly breathing, which takes some practice to get right. I found a great website, which not only explains the technique, but also demonstrates it. Please check it out!

http://www.anxietycoach.com/breathingexercise.html

The best thing about deep breathing is that it increases our feelings of calm and well-being. And let’s face it……..this is something that we ALL need!!!

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