Sausage & Peppers

by Koko on March 7, 2016 · 0 comments

in Cooking, Main Course

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According to Q, my usual dinner is: “grains, some protein, veggies, and some sauce.” I told him that when he puts it that way I sound like a really boring chef! So while I was home last week, I decided to try something a little different. I looked at what we had in the freezer and saw 2 dozen sausages (I don’t know why, but those Costco testers convince me to get sausages every visit!). So I decided to use what we had, plus some peppers and onions and make this simple dish.

I served Q’s in whole wheat hot dog buns, and I put mine over brown rice. This recipe turned out GREAT, and made enough for 8 portions (hello freezer meals!). It’s a little different than usual Sausage & Pepper recipes because of the addition of the Marsala wine, which makes for a great flavor.

Sausages & Peppers

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 pre-cooked sweet Italian turkey sausage links (I used a mix of sausages that we had in the freezer and they all worked well)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 8-10 small sweet peppers, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • Sandwich rolls (optional)
  • Brown rice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on both sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain.
  2. Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the peppers, onion, salt, and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, basil, and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the Marsala wine, tomatoes, and chili flakes, if using. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the browned bits. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Cut the sausages into 4 to 6 pieces each, about 1-inch cubes. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.
  5. Serve in bowls. Or, if serving as a sandwich, split the rolls in half lengthwise, fill with mixture.

 

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Greek Yogurt Coleslaw

by Koko on February 24, 2016 · 0 comments

in Cooking, Recipe, Sauces/Dips, Side Dishes

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I am NOT a mayo girl. Even the word makes me cringe. If I eat half of a sandwich and think it is delicious and then see the sandwich actually has mayonnaise, I won’t eat the second half. I’m weird like that. So when Q asked for some fancy coleslaw to eat with his sandwiches, I knew I had to turn to my old friend Greek yogurt to help me out. And honestly, neither of us missed the mayo (or really noticed its absence) in this slaw.

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Coleslaw is pretty basic, so I spiced ours up a bit by adding some dried cranberries and chopped spiced pecans. Totally up to you, but I like the sweet addition of the dried fruit and the crunch of the nuts. I used a broccoli coleslaw mix from Publix, but again, any will do. (And yes, I totally cheated and bought the pre-chopped bag instead of chopping myself).

Greek Yogurt Coleslaw

Makes about 5 cups depending on how long it sits 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2½ tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces (about 6¼ cups) bagged coleslaw blend or shredded cabbage
  • 1/8 cup chopped roasted pecans (I used these spiced ones from Trader Joe’s)
  •  1/8 cup chopped dried cranberries

    Directions:

    1. In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper and whisk until smooth and thoroughly combined.
    2. Place slaw blend/cabbage, pecans and cranberries in a large bowl and pour Greek yogurt dressing mixture over top. Stir to coat cabbage thoroughly.
    3. Cover and refrigerate until using (preferably at least 30 minutes).

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Classpass Favorites

by Koko on February 11, 2016 · 0 comments

in Exercise

Six months into Classpass and I’m still a HUGE fan. I love the variety of classes/location and time options/monthly price. My girlfriend Jess and I definitely have our favorite studios and try to incorporate those into our weekly schedule. Here are a few of our favorites studios:

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Training Mate: Run by two Australian ex-rugby players, this is a bootcamp-esque class where you go to 9 stations 3 times each for 1 minute at a time. The stations are things like kettleball side lunges, walking planks, tricep dips over weights, rowing machines, spin bikes, etc. It flies by and ends with 9 minutes of ab work. The instructors are hysterical and keep the class light-hearted.

Burn60: My favorite class by far. It mixes treadmill time with free weights on the floor. It is fast-paced, and always a surprise (sometimes 5 minutes each round, other times 12 minutes, you never know what you are going to get). I always leave feeling like a got a great full-body workout in.

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Barry’s Bootcamp: This is an old favorite and has been around for a while now, but there is a reason it is so popular! Similar to Burn60, there is a treadmill element and then weights on the floor. The intervals change with each class, so you never know what you are getting into! One day it is 30 minutes straight on the tread and the next it is 5 minute rounds. I always leave drenched with sweat.

Prevail: A boxing class built around circuits (a few on the bags, one punching an instructor, and a couple others like lunges, ab work, cardio bursts, etc.). This is a super fun class to do to get out any stress during the week because who doesn’t like punching a bag with huge gloves on? The instructors make the class fun, and it really is for all levels of ability.

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The Phoenix Effect: This is another fun bootcamp that Jess and I like to go to on Saturday’s. There are a variety of different stations focused around one area (booty/abs/etc.), and in between every few stations you take a run around the block. Super fun to go with a partner!

Club Pilates: The class I’ve taken here is one that involves the springboard, which you don’t think is THAT hard until you start doing it, and then your abs hurt for days afterwards!

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LIT Method: This class is rower hell (but in a good way if that’s possible!). I took this class when they first opened their studio and wasn’t sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. It all starts with the row machine and then moves to the TRX machine and some resistance bands on the floor. You jump back on the rower for quick intervals and to get your heart rate moving. This class was hard, but went by super fast.

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On a non-Classpass note, I’ve been going to Orange Theory, which is another studio I love. The class is built around wearing a heart rate monitor and the concept behind Orange Theory is that if you spend 12-20 minutes in the Orange Zone (85%-100% of your heart rate) then you have an “after-burn” of 300 calories for the next 24-36 hours. Your heart rate and colored zone are put up on a monitor for you to watch while you work out, which is fun. You jump between the treadmill, the rower and free weights for the hourlong class, watching your zones as you go. I love this studio so much that I paid for a membership outside of my usual Classpass.

Did I miss anywhere that you guys love?

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Favorite Trench

by Koko on February 3, 2016 · 0 comments

in Clothes/Shoes/Bags, Fashion

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There are some staples that are a must for your closet. I am a firm believer that a fabulous trench is one of them. I’ve been searching for a while for a great one and eventually found one at my happy place, J. Crew. No surprise there. I love the fit (girly, not too straight) and it looks fabulous belted and open (definite win). Oh and it’s 25% off $300 right now!

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