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Challenge

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Margarita Shrimp

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You guys know we love some shrimp skewers. Shrimps are tasty, quick cooking, and a great lean protein source! These margarita shrimp make a great topper to your lunchtime salad, pair perfectly with some cilantro rice post workout, and make for a great midday leftovers protein snack right out of the fridge. What we’re trying to say is that you need these shrimp in your life.

Margarita Shrimp

  • 1 lb large raw shrimp, peeled & deveined

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

  • 1 tsp coconut sugar

  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • wedges of fresh lime

  1. Place your shrimp in a large gallon ziplock bag.

  2. In a small bowl combine olive oil, garlic, red pepper, coconut sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, & black pepper. Whisk well to combine.

  3. Pour marinade over shrimp in bag. Seal tightly and shake so shrimp are covered in spice and olive oil mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes - 2 hours.

  4. When ready, thread all your shrimp onto skewers.

  5. Heat your grill to medium high. Place shrimp kebabs on grill grates and grill for 3-4 minutes per side or until shrimps are pink and have nice grill marks on the outside. Remove your kebabs, place on a platter, and sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro & a squeeze of lime.

If you want to make these shrimps challenge friendly, just leave out the coconut sugar!

Check out the whole blog post over at www.getrealrd.com/getrealblog

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Switch Up Your Slice

Looking for a great way to mix things up when you’re getting sick of the same old salads or veggies??

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Switch Up Your Slice!

Something as simple as switching up the way you slice your veggies in your stir fry or salad can spice things up. My salad base always has cucumbers, carrots, and red bell peppers in it. Doing something as simple as thin slicing veggies into strips instead of the normal chunks or vice versa can make your salad feel a little less mundane and a little more exciting any day of the week! Top it all off with some grilled shrimp, sweet potato fries, oil, oregano, & white balsamic vinegar.

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Pre Workout Snack

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Today’s post isn’t super sexy. It’s actually pretty plain, but for good reason. We’re talking pre-workout snacks. Before you say, “oh I’m one of those people who can’t eat anything before I go to the gym!” just hear me out.

Pre workout snacks are important, especially for those of us who work out in the afternoon or evening. There have been studies done showing that athletes can perform better longer when they’ve had some pre-workout nutrition versus those who haven’t. That’s science!

Now, when I talk about a pre-workout snack, I don’t mean like things you chomp on as you’re pulling up to the gym. A good pre-workout snack should be had 1-2 hours before your workout and it should meet a few criteria…

Things to look for in a pre-workout snack…

  • Protein - Your pre-workout snack should definitely have some protein in it. This will keep your body from breaking down your muscles when it needs proteins during your workout. We want to preserve the muscles we got!

  • Carbs - Carbs give us energy. We want the energy. We especially want the energy when we’re about to do a grueling crossfit workout programed by the evil coach Rick.

  • Little to no fat - Fat slows absorption and we’re not really looking to do that right before or right after an intense workout. It’s better to save added healthy fats for meals further away from your workout so it might be a good idea to keep the peanut butter and full fat milks to minimum here. Also if you think about it, something real fatty like a big greasy meatball sandwich or plate of french fries is not going to be sitting well when you’re on that fourth row sprint. If you’ve gotta have that peanutty taste pre workout, PB2 is a pretty good option to stir into something like the pre-workout oatmeal I talk about below or to mix with water and slap on a banana.

  • Keeps you full, but not too full. This comes with a little trial and error because everyone is different and it has to do with both quantity and timing of your snack. You don’t want to eat so little that you’re hungry again before you even workout, but you also don’t want to eat so much so close to your workout that you’re too stuffed to do burpees.

Here’s what works for me…

Pre Workout Oats.

  • 1 serving (40g) old fashioned rolled oats

  • 50g liquid egg whites

  • chopped fresh peach (~1/4 peach)

  • fresh blueberries

  • cinnamon & a splash of vanilla

Put your oats and 3/4 cup of water into a microwave safe bowl (this girl is busy and doesn’t have time for stovetop cooking before the gym). Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Add in egg whites and peaches, stir and microwave for another 45 seconds. Top with a few fresh blueberries, cinnamon, & a splash of vanilla extract. It’s hot AF so I throw in a couple ice cubes… because again I’m usually making & running… stir it up & get eatin! The oatmeal & egg whites keep me full, feeling strong & ready to go without being too much. I usually eat this 1 hour or 1.5 hours before I workout.

Try it out, let us know what you think! Or let us know what your favorite pre-workout snack is!

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Be Better Cookbook: Blueberry Loaf

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We just had to repost this blueberry loaf from Get Real Nutrition, LLC. It’s literally everything we’re looking for in a loaf. It’s made from oats, sweetened with bananas, and studded with big ol’ blueberries! It that’s not the perfect sweet treat then we don’t know what is.

This bread can get whipped up in no time with ingredients that you probably already have. You pop it in the oven to bake for just under an hour, do your thang in the meantime, and come back to a delicious smelling baked oatmeal loaf. It would probably be good as little muffins too, but you’d have to adjust the cook time.

We ate ours as a post dinner treat, but since this bread is basically baked oatmeal, having a slice for a quick grab & go breakfast with a hardboiled egg or some other quick protein source would be great too!

Blueberry Loaf

  • 2 eggs

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

  • ~ 1/4 cup coconut sugar (you can omit this entirely if you want a loaf with no added sugars)

  • 1 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats

  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour (made from blending oats in a blender)

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 heaving cup fresh or frozen blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a bread pan with coconut oil spray.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, bananas, peanut butter and coconut sugar. Stir together with a fork or whisk until well incorporated.

  3. Stir in oats, oat flour and baking powder until batter is incorporated, thick, and free of clumps.

  4. Fold in your blueberries.

  5. Pour the batter into the sprayed bread pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Sprinkle on some additional blueberries on top for that gorgeous blueberry studded look!

  6. Bake for 50 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out cleanly. Remove from the oven and let sit up on a wire rack until cooled. Slice into thick pieces.

  7. Store this beautiful bread in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze.

NOTES:

*If you don’t like peanut butter or want this baby peanut free, you can sub any natural nut butter instead.

Recipe adapted from Flora and Vino

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Be Better Cookbook: Quinoa Rainbow Salad

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GET YOUR VEGGIES PPL!! I heard a new term the other day that I loved… plant forward eating. Claps and snaps for that one. Plant forward eating doesn’t mean plant only, it just means incorporating more veggies into your day to day eating… and srsly almost everyone could stand to do that! This Quinoa Rainbow salad is the perfect place to start your plant forward journey.

This salad could be an awesome side dish or vegetarian lunch with just the veggies, quinoa, and dressing or you could make it a little more hearty with the addition of 3-4 oz of your favorite protein! Check out my full post on The Get Real Blog.

Rainbow Quinoa Salad

  • 1/3 Carrot, thin sliced

  • 1/4 cup thin sliced Red Cabbage

  • 1/4 cup thin sliced Sugar Snap Peas

  • 1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper

  • 1/3 cup cooked Quinoa

  • 1 tbsp Chopped Peanuts

  • 1/2 Green Onion (Scallion), thinly sliced

  • Peanut Sauce (recipe for my favorite healthy & easy peanut sauce here)

  • 3 oz. Protein of your choice - I’ve used chicken & shrimp (both were delicious!)

  1. If you don’t already have cooked quinoa, bring 1 cup uncooked quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil in a covered pot. Reduce to a simmer and cook until water is all absorbed. Remove from the heat, let sit for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.

  2. Chop and slice all your veggies for your salad. Add everything (veggies, peanuts, chopped scallions, and protein) to a nice big bowl and toss with enough peanut sauce to coat (1-2 tbsps).

Recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate.

**Disclaimer … most peanut sauces do include processed foods and added sugars! The one linked here has some gluten free soy sauce and honey, but by far not as much as most peanut sauce recipes. Healthy eating is all about balance, but if you need the points during challenge szn then I suggest some melted creamy peanut butter and a few splashes of white balsamic vinegar instead!

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Be Better Cookbook: Barbacoa Beef

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Tender, juicy shredded beef is always a good idea. This Barbacoa Beef recipe is perfect for crazy, hectic lives and busy gym goers because the crockpot does all the work, all you have to do is a little prep work the night before or the morning of and some shredding right before eating. We ate ours in burrito bowls with lettuce, coconut rice, pico de gallo, and avocado, but this stuff would be good slapped on just about anything. You could also…

  • Serve with small corn tortillas or bibb lettuce cups and top with cilantro, fresh sliced radishes, and avocado sauce as tacos

  • Serve sandwiched between two tortillas with some mexican cheeses and fresh diced tomatoes for a tasty quesadilla

  • Serve over a taco salad with roasted sweet potatoes, tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, carrot and shredded red and green cabbage

Check out the whole write up on The Get Real Blog for tips & notes!

Barbacoa Beef

  • 2 large chuck roasts

  • kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper

  • olive oil

  • 2.5 cups beef broth, divided

  • 2 chipotle chilies in adobo

  • 8-12 garlic cloves

  • 3 tbsp ground cumin

  • 2 tbsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp ground cloves

  • 5 bay leaves

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

  1. Cut your roasts into smaller portions (5-6 portions per roast), trimming any large pieces of fat. Heat some olive oil in a large sautee pan.

  2. Pat your chuck roast portions dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Sear in your pan in batches until just browned and transfer to your slow cooker. Try not to overcrowd your pan and feel free to add a little more olive oil before searing each batch.

  3. In a food processor, pulse together the chilies, garlic, and 1/2 cup beef broth until pureed.

  4. In a small bowl whisk together the chili mixture, cumin, oregano, cloves, and the rest of the beef broth. Pour the mixture over the chuck roast in the slow cooker and slip bay leaves between the pieces.

  5. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours.

  6. Strain liquid from your beef and eat!

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

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Be Better Cookbook: Greek Chicken

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Just because The Be Better Challenge is over, doesn’t mean we’re going off the deep end and eating fried chicken and ramen noodles for every meal! No way, we’re sticking to our healthy eating habits and growing the Be Better Cookbook over here at Jersey Devil CrossFit!

This recipe is a homerun in the world of meal prep marinades. It’s juicy, flavorful, and clean. No processed foods, no added sugars. That’s why we love it.

We use chicken tenders because they’re small enough so that the marinade gets to cover as much chicken as possible and they are so easy to throw on the grill and cook up in no time!

Greek Chicken:

  • 1 family pack chicken tenders

  • 1.5 tbsp dried oregano (or 3 tbsp fresh)

  • 1 tbsp minced garlic

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • juice of 1 large lemon

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1 tbsp dried parsley (or 2 tbsp fresh)

  • 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (depending on how much kick you like)

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  1. In a large seal-able ziplock bag, add chicken and all of your ingredients. Seal and shake it all up so that the marinade is well distributed all over the chicken. Put the bag in the refrigerator and let chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat your grill. Grill your chicken on medium high heat, flipping half way through, until cooked through and juices run clear. Since the tenders are thin, these don’t take long to cook at all.

  3. Remove from the grill and serve with rice and grilled vegetables or over a big salad!

NOTES:

*Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

*If you’re going to do skewers: Marinate your cut up chicken cubes first for at least 30 minutes, then slide onto your skewers and grill until cooked through!

Recipe adapted from Chef De Home

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Challenge Winners!

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JOE HAUBRICH!!

Joe is the overall winner of our Be Better Challenge based on his points, consistent logging, and dedication to adopting healthy habits this month!

Not only did Joe rake in the points during our challenge, but he had a great attitude about making positive healthy changes the whole time!

Honorable Mention: Dana Grasso & Kellie Adamucci!

Dana did an amazing job in the Challenge AND she did it all while taking care of 2 little boys at home. She’s a supermom and we’ve gotta give her some props for that!

Kellie was one of our point leaders and almost caught Corie for the point lead! We couldn’t give her the win though because she lives with a registered dietitian ;P

Frequent Logger Awards: Eric C., Shawn & Maureen M., & Tracy E.

These guys logged their points consistently all the way till the end!

Congrats to all our winners! Stay tuned for pics and prizes!

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Be Better Cookbook: Homemade Taco Seasoning

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Our Be Better Challenge is almost done!

Can you even believe it? Of course we can’t leave you guys hanging for the last weekend of the challenge. Here is an insanely easy recipe for the best homemade taco seasoning. We recommend making a big batch and keeping it in a mason jar or a sealed tupperware container all mixed up so that you can throw this stuff on EVERYTHING because believe me… you’re gonna want to. Your first order of business after making it is going to be these ground beef lettuce tacos with mango salsa and avocado spread. There’s a little prepping involved, but if you’re pressed for time you could always sub any of the homemade toppings for an already prepared topping of your choice! Not only are they easy, but they’re fun. You’ve gotta love a good dinner time taco assembly line!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

  • 4 Tablespoons Chili Powder

  • 2 Tablespoons Cumin

  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika

  • 1 Tablespoon Salt

  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano

  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika (optional)

Mix all your spices together in a container. Seal & shake. Season chicken, beef, steak, fish, veggies, etc. generously!


Beef Lettuce Tacos

For The Beef

  • 1/2 Small Onion, chopped fine

  • 2 lbs Lean Ground Beef (we use 90/10)

  • Homemade Taco Seasoning (See above)

  • Olive Oil

In a large sautee pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add in chopped onion and sautee until translucent & fragrant. Top with ground beef & break apart into smaller pieces with a spatula. Season the ground beef & onions generously with taco seasoning and cook to desired doneness stirring occasionally.

For The Salsa

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Mango

  • Red Onion

  • Red Bell Pepper

  • Lime Juice

  • Salt & Pepper

This salsa can be made quick while your ground beef is cooking or you can easily make it ahead of time and let the flavors intensify in the fridge! I didn’t put amounts for all the ingredients because I think that everyone likes their salsa differently. I like lots of tomatoes and less red onion, my mom likes barely any red onion and lots of red bell pepper, and my dad digs the mango and could do without the tomatoes altogether. There’s really no wrong way to salsa! Just chop up all your ingredients small (I like to do cherry tomatoes in quarters, small dice on the mango, and really fine chop on the onion and bell pepper). No matter what your ratio, don’t go too heavy on the red onion unless you don’t mind warding off other humans all night with onion breath ;) Put it all in a bowl, squeeze in lime juice, stir, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

For The Avocado Sauce

  • 2 Ripe Avocados

  • Lime Juice

  • Salt & Pepper

To make your avocado sauce peel and pit your avocados and blend with enough lime juice to make your avocado sauce a smooth and fluid consistency. I used an immersion blender and did mine right in the bowl I was serving in. This would also be good just smashed with a fork if you like your avocado chunky! Season with salt & pepper to taste. If you really want to get crazy you can blend in some pineapple for a splash of sweet!

For The Tacos

  • Taco Beef

  • Salsa

  • Avocado Sauce

  • Thin Sliced Radishes

  • 1-2 Heads of Butter Lettuce

Tear off the pieces of your butter lettuce so you have your own mini taco shells. Fill with ground beef and top with salsa, sauce, and a few sliced radishes. We served ours with some coconut rice and we ate until there was nothing left :D


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Be Better Cookbook: Citrus Chicken

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Are you looking for finger lickin’ good chicken that’s moist, herby, and flavorful?? Wow that’s so weird, we totally read your mind. This chicken is all of those things and it can be marinated ahead and just thrown in the oven an hour before dinner time. It cooks up even shorter if you use boneless pieces or chicken breasts!

We had quite the Easter weekend, full of ham pies, homemade raviolis, and carrot cake… oh how we love carrot cake! We’re ready to get back into challenge mode though and this chicken is the perfect way to kick things off!

Citrus Chicken

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 2 whole lemons, one juiced and one sliced

  • 2 whole oranges, one juiced and one sliced

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • salt & pepper, to taste

  • ~ 4.5 lbs bone in chicken pieces (12-14 pieces)

  • 1 small onion

  • dried or fresh thyme

  • dried or fresh rosemary

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, orange juice, paprika, onion powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. If you’re going to cook right away, split the chicken up between two 9 x 13’ glass baking dishes and pour mixture over evenly.

  3. If you’re marinating the chicken, then split the pieces up evenly between two gallon ziplock bags and pour the mixture evenly over the chicken into the bags. Shake them up and put in the fridge. When you’re ready to cook, dump each bag with all its contents into it’s own 9x13 baking dish.

  4. Right before cooking, arrange thin sliced onions, lemon slices and orange slices over your chicken. Then season with a generous helping of thyme and rosemary.

  5. Cook in the oven for 1 hour uncovered or until chicken is cooked and juices run clear.

  6. EAT UP.

We served our chicken with roasted potatoes and a fresh salad, but this chicken would be good with rice or mashed potatoes too!

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