Why, hello all! I was originally going to do the latest installment of the 30-Day Challenge today, but I’m sore and lazy, so I will post the recipes as promised, and you will most likely see my half naked body in the next day or two. 🙂 I have been drinking water like my life depends on it (wait…..) as of late, and trying to cut out all juice and other sugary beverages, hence this post’s title. It seems to be going pretty well! I carry hard cups with me everywhere, and I drink at least 32 oz at bootcamp, and at the gym. At this rate, I should be see-through any day now!
….on to the good stuff!!
To start, some of you may have noticed I really like pesto. I recently decided to make my own pesto, instead of buying store bought. I use my old Trader Joe’s pesto jar to store it in, and voila! Pesto on demand when the mood hits me!
I use my handy dandy Magic Bullet blender, but you can easily use a food processor instead. Not gonna lie…I don’t really measure things. I usually just need enough for one meal or one serving, and I put enough ingredients in the “tall cup” attachment to make it.
Sondra’s Presto Pesto:
Fresh Basil Leaves
Pine Nuts (I just buy the amount I need at Sprouts. More economical, less wasteful)
Shredded Parmesan Cheese ( the hard stuff!)
What You Do:
Add all ingredients to blender, pulse for about 45 seconds, or until it develops a coarse grainy texture……and you’re done.
If you don’t own a Magic Bullet, that probably made you reaaaallllly want one, huh? Lol.
With this pesto, I made a yummy shrimp dish last night:
Sondra’s Pesto Shrimp Scampi with Broccoli and Parmesan:
What You Need:
1 lb whole, raw, peeled shrimp
1 bag broccoli florets (I prefer the Fresh and Easy steamer bags. They were recently on sale for 99 cents, and I just stick in the microwave for 2.5 mins and they’re cooked perfectly for this recipe!)
2 tbsp garlic, diced
2 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp pesto
Vermicelli pasta (you could also use spaghetti or fettuccine….I just had vermicelli on hand)
What You Need to Do:
First, get your water started for the pasta. I had the water going while I cleaned and prepped ingredients, so that by the time it’s ready to strain, the main part of the meal is ready to go. Add half your EVOO and some salt to taste to your pasta water (I use garlic salt).
In a sautee pan, you want to get your EVOO heated up. Coat pan, and add garlic, pesto, and butter. Add shrimp, and sautee on medium heat. Shrimp cook quickly! When you see the pink start to form, flip them to the other side, and add broccoli. Flip pan a few times to evenly coat all ingredients, and turn heat off. Add parmesan, and let it start melting while you strain the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste, if you like. I typically add EVOO and garlic salt to my pasta after straining.
Next? Simply put some pasta in a dish, top with the scampi, and it’s DINNER TIME! I typically do not indulge in pasta, but I made dinner for Josh and Alex as well. You could easily eat this without any pasta, and it’s actually really great cold the next day! Great source of protein, a good amount of vegetables and healthy fats, and it’s deliciously rich without excessive cream sauce or ridiculous amounts of butter.
Tonight?? Tonight was pork roast!
I caught a great sale on Pork butt roast at Fresh and Easy yesterday, and decided to try my hand at a roast. It’s so hot outside, that I definitely have my regrets….but I am excited!
Sondra’s Bootylicious Pork Roast (Get it?!)
What You Need:
2-3 lb Pork Butt Roast (Or whatever cut you want. I’m no expert!)
Whole garlic cloves
What You Do:
In a small bowl, mix equal amounts of mustard and pesto ( I eyed mine to the size of my roast, which was 2.95 lbs). Add all seasonings, and stir in a bit of EVOO until smooth.
Trim fat off roast, and put in the center of a roasting pan. I coated it in EVOO and garlic salt like the package suggested, and then rubbed my mixture to coat all sides as well. I added some whole cloves of garlic on top, because roasted garlic is a favorite of mine! Also, when trimming the fat, I put a couple of cloves in the fold of the roast, near the bone. The package recommends cooking the roast 20 minutes for each lb.
Typically, you want to let a cut of meat like this “rest” for about 20 minutes before you slice and serve.
For sides, I used Fresh and Easy’s new Kitchen to Go line. From the Italian family, I got the Garlic Potatoes: Baby new potatoes with garlic, rosemary, lemon and onions! As a BzzAgent, I was recently chosen for a Fresh and Easy campaign, and I used my $2 off coupon on the potatoes, and only paid $2 for them! This new line of practically ready-to-eat meals is not only on a gournet-level, but you have the choice to pick just a side, or create an entire meal for four.
Often times, you can create a whole meal for a family of four for under 15 dollars, in less than 20 minutes! Does it get much better for a bootcamp going, recipe-blogging diva on a fitness mission? NOPE! The dishes are preservative free, nutritiously conscious, and amazingly delicious. Don’t even get me started; Ashley (yup! YOU MADE IT TO A THIRD BLOG ENTRY!) and I have our routine that we call “Gym ‘n’ Easy.” When we hit the gym Weds-Fri at lunch, we hit Fresh and Easy right after! They have $6 cold lunch combos wtih options like gourmet cheese and fruit protein boxes, delectable BBQ chicken salads with fresh fruit and greens….plus you add a drink and a side like chips, apple slices, or a mix of pineapple and strawberries….for six dollars. And then there’s the clearance section where we tend to find a tasty dessert for under $2. It’s delightful! Plus, F&E stores use 30% less energy than typical stores, and with things like self-check out, store-brand fresh and inventive products, and helpful knowledgeable staff? Fresh and Easy has set a new standard for green and efficient stores across the board.
One last gush about Fresh and Easy? They, like most stores, have started a new loyalty program called the “Friends Card.” You get points for every dollar spent, and 2-3x points for select items periodically. You can also load special savings onto your card easily from their website, and 500 points=$5 to shop with! I currently have $7 in points that I am saving. Once I get to a big dollar amount, I think I’ll make a fabulous dinner for Sean and I, to celebrate our success in our new fitness endeavors! And, it will be a ridiculously healthy meal!
Check out the selection and the amazing differences that Fresh and Easy brings to grocery shopping here!
Speaking of these new fitness endeavors, those of you who’ve known me for awhile know that I am not a fan of eating breakfast. I drink protein smoothies or pre-made protein shakes, because the thought of eating in the morning typically makes me feel really sick. Lately, knowing that I’m waking up early for boot camp (which, I might add, is kicking my BUTT), I have been making a conscious effort to wake up thirty minutes earlier, and make myself a protein-packed, real breakfast. You need feul to kick ass, right?
Today? I used a whole wheat sandwich thin (I like Splitz brand, which I grabbed an 8-pack of at F&E for $2.99), and toasted it. While it was toasting, I got one egg in a small skillet, and hard cooked it with salt and pepper, topped it with a slice of F&E sliced mild chedddar (they were on sale 2 for $6 Monday!) and then topped the sandwich thin with it, and voila! 15 grams of protein, 290 calories, and the perfect feul to get me through the morning. I took a protein shake to work in case I was hungry when 12pm came around, but I was still feeling great, and didn’t even end up drinking it.
Well folks, that’s all for now. But I really am trying to make more of an effort to share my recipes on here; I really just throw ingredients together, and my ideas fortunately come to good conclusions. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be dreadful, hard, or expensive. It can be efficient, delicious, and affordable! I’m here to help!
Hopefully, you see something that you like, and you try something new. If you try my recipes, or you try Fresh and Easy, let me know how it goes! Time for me to eat my dinner, soak in some more epsom salts, and get ready for bootcamp in the morning, and the gym at lunch!
‘Til Next Time!