Ginger Shrimp Potstickers..Oh My

Well I couldn't resist. I absolutely love this recipe and I could not pass it up this morning. Especially when I have been talking up the recipe for over a month now and neither Carolyn nor Rebecca had ever made potstickers.

So just me standing in front of yet another skeptical looking class while I once again cower as they stick up their noses and purse their lips. A different but exciting recipe. No greens, no grits, no garlic powder and the biggest complaint of all no salt.

Result: Exciting.

I even got a "This is the best recipe we've ever made in here."

I can't take credit for the recipe, but I can take credit for the influence I made on the class and the enthusiasm behind the excitement of using your hands as a tool in the kitchen. Won't cost you a dime and those two hands you have are one of the best tools you can ask for.

Its fun to get in their and use more than just our sense of taste: first we see the beautiful pungent color of the purple cabbage, then we smell the bitterness of the ginger, then we touch the chalky texture of the wonton wrapper and finally we taste the spicy fusion of Asian flavors in a perfect bite size potsticker.


Click for Recipe

Pre-Run Breakfast

john cena 

Breakfast: 2 eggs with spinach and Greek Yogurt topped with berries, toasted coconut and local honey.
Weather: 40 (Feels like 33) and cloudy. But least no rain
Run: 18 miles
Route: 5.5 mile loop Central, East Parkway, Union and Cleveland. Repeated three times with a little extra at the end
Desire to run: 6ish/10


Gluten Free Breakfast Burritos and Rain

I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin',
Singin' in the rain

When we were little my mom would take us out in our rain boots and we would sing in the rain and splash in every puddle. I still remember the blue and I think pink and white big umbrella. Very early nineties style.
john cena
Gluten Free Breakfast Burritos

Listening to Glee and enjoying the first big spring storm (I will not continue to enjoy these storms as spring progresses, but right now it is wonderful). I am so happy to finally have a weekend that I do not have any out of town guests and I'm not an out of town guest. I hope to sleep, eat and run. Nothing more and hopefully nothing less.

So far my run will have to be postponed until tomorrow. I woke up to house shaking thunder and lightening. But I did get up and make some delicious breakfast burritos and a little morning dessert. (I was quite hungry this morning!) Plantain chips topped with cinnamon coconut and honey.

Now I'm back in bed blogging. What a perfect day. Some days you just need rain. Somehow I have this guilty conscience that will not allow me to watch movies or TV if it is sunny outside (something our mother instilled in us). So I am so thrilled that with the rain comes watching movies and lounging all day long. 

My ImageMy Image

A few updates on last weekend. Thursday-Saturday my mom came intown to celebrate her 53rd birthday. What should have been a relaxing weekend was somehow filled with very little sleep, lots of food, Glee catch up session, pedicures and manicures, wine and of course Muddy's Cupcakes.

Sunday I ran the Germantown half marathon and I hate to say it but I think I'm still hurting from that. My time was just over 2 hours breaking down to 9:14min/miles! I was very proud of myself. But I think I did push myself too hard especially on a weekend that should have been considered a scale back/rest weekend to get me ready for this weekends big 18! So I am nursing my poor hip with rest, alleve, yoga, massage and strength training. I only got in 2 runs this weekend (a 3 miler and a 5 miler). I completely missed my 9 miler. But sometimes its better to rest than push through those runs. It is a very fine line and a skill you can only learn through past mistakes of when to push more and when to stop and rest. But what I've found is if its a question rest is normally the answer. Especially when EVERYBODY will be meeting in Nashville for the race. I'm so excited that it turned out that my sister and her finance, my mom and fingers crossed my brother and sister in-law will all be there! (poor father will be preaching instead)

Now lets just hope for good weather this year and no more injuries.
john cena
Plantain Chips

john cena

Click for Recipe:
Gluten Free Breakfast Burritos
Plantain Chips

It's not easy being green

Or should I say not being green. Of course I forgot to wear green today.Maybe this Ode to Green will make up for my absentmindedness. 

the best of all!
So how easy is it being Green?
So Many contradicting things associated with the color:

witchcraft, Ireland, money, greenhorn, illness, the green movement, a green thumb, freshness, a green light, jealousy, green around the gills, safety, the green room, Egyptians wore green eyeliner due to green "eye healing power," the emerald city, greener pastures, camo- gear, hope, green veggies, envy, nature, green party, energy, green tea, color of Islam, growth and most of all St. Patty's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Only been pinched once!

What does green mean to you?

How to Get the Crunch without the Fat?

So which came to your mind first? The muffin top burn from an ab work out (aka crunches) or the real topic of the post...Kale Chips. Crunchy, Salty and only 33 calories per 1/2 cup. That is what I call a steal.

I love my job. The best thing I've found so far here in this landlocked city of Memphis, TN. The best kept secret called The Church Health Center Wellness. Each day I get to interact with a colorful arrangement of people: kids, adults, teenagers, low income, wealthy, diabetic, healthy, overweight, that all have the same constant nagging in their head that is buzzing: FOOD OBSESSED!

We all are. The kids that come at night can barely keep from sneaking a green pepper into their mouths (not realizing they most likely won't like it..only thinking hey foooooddd..) before I can finish reading the ingredients lists. The adults get squirmy if the muffins take 2 minutes longer than expect. We just can't wait for that food to be done and in our bellies.

If you are now confused. Let me back up slightly. I teach healthy cooking classes everyday all day (well 4 days a week, but long days = every day). I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I eat, sleep, watch, blog, write, type, research and teach food. That is what I do every day and all day. And I love it.

Today we made Kale Chips and Sweet Potato Chips.

Picture: 6 cooking stations. Front three kale, back three sweet potatoes. 2 males, 18 females, 1 thirty something, 1 middle age, 18 elderly (I know someone is going to ask what is elderly..let's say 40% of the 18 are 77+ and still rockin' it at the Wellness Center). 2 teachers and 1 dietitian. 9 potatoes, 3 bushels of kale.  AND 22 skeptical faces with the mention of "kale" chips.

I had faith that they would be good, but I normally cook the recipe in advance and just didn't have time this go round. To my great relief they were outstanding. Even some of our biggest critics left with a smile and a full belly. They liked the salty crunch that was low sodium (most are diabetic or hypertensive) and low calorie. Some even went straight to Kroger to make them tonight. What a weight off my shoulders (and hopefully of their bellies). Some days it is just easier to sit back and let my other two co-workers take the heat for the strange ingredients we try and subject them to.  But they are loyal and they keep coming back. So, we seem to be do something right?

Each table got to pick a different variety. Will post recipe on recipe page. But my favorite sweet potato trick was using a peeler to peel the potato into strips making it very thin so that the chips get crunchy and crispy. Also, sweet potatoes have a higher water content that regular potatoes so it is a challenge to get them crispy. A great tip is to place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and then the potatoes on top of the cooling rack. This way air circulates and cooks the potatoes from every angle. Result = outstanding.

Best Kale Chip Combo: Salt and vinegar w/ a dash of red pepper!

Just in case you started reading the post in hopes for a good ab work out. I'll give ya one:

Starting Position: Plank on hands. Move to Side plank on right side (can drop lower leg if needed). Reach  left hand to sky and curl left arm underneath your right oblique and back up towards sky. Return to plank and 1 push up. Repeat on left. =1 repetition. Complete 12 reps! Killer ab work out!

Broccoli Butternut Mac 'n Cheese and Lemon-Mushroom Kale with Sweet Bits

"Don't you realize? The next time you see sky, it'll be over another town. The next time you take a test, it'll be in some other school. Our parents, they want the best of stuff for us. But right now, they got to do what's right for them. Because it's their time. Their time! Up there! Down here, it's our time. It's our time down here. That's all over the second we ride up Troy's bucket. " -Mikey: The Goonies 

Kale and Butternut Squash 

Mulling over the wise words of good 'ole Mikey made me start thinking... It is hard to find time to do things you love somewhere in between work, friends, exercise, eating, and sleeping. 
What works great for me is that I love many of those things, so I normally do have a place for "my time down here."
Broccoli Butternut Mac 'n Cheese
But recently I've been stretching myself thin and pushing every level of my time to the max. Somewhere between only getting 5 hours asleep over Mardi Gras, running 2 hours and 35 minutes to complete 16 miles, trying to think of creative blogging recipes and spending quality time with friends from college, Memphis and home i found that "my" time was getting very convoluted. my run wasn't as enjoyable, I was antsy around my friends, I coasted through the work week and haven't posted a blog or cooked anything in over a week. So what is the remedy? 

Things in life that i know i need to be happy:
1. sleep
2. good food (probably a hefty dose of chocolate in there)
3. exercise 
4. and close relationships with friends and family.

Quinoa Tri-Colored Pasta
However, it is not physically possible to be wonder woman (even though   often i think I am). Sometimes we lose our wallets, sometimes we slip up and eat pizza, sometimes we miss a run and sometimes we go for the quick fix of superficial "Troy-like" compliments rather than spending time with true friends. It is hard to realize, but no one likes people that do everything right all the time. We have to slip up sometimes so that we can find those people who are willing to be locked in an ice cream freezer, willing to set booty traps, willing to seek out treasure,willing dance with an octopus and most importantly willing to admit with pride they are a Goonie.   
Lemon Mushroom Kale with Sweet Bits

So I am trying to figure out which things I'm ready to send up in Troy's bucket and which things I'm going to deem as my treasures. And that is exactly what I'm ready to spend this journey of the Lenten season seeking out. Finding out where "down here is" and what "treasures" I need to have in order to make me happy. 

So far my tummy is very happy with these delicious recipes.
Click For Recipe:
Broccoli Butternut Mac 'n Cheese 

**Butternut Broccoli Mac 'n Cheese inspiration from