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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Weclome to Uber-Fit

I have not been blogging about food much lately, not because I have lost my passion for it, I love food and photography more than ever. It is just that the summer has been crazy busy, I am sure most of you can relate to that. In addition to being busy with summer activities my husband and I have slowly but surely been working on a new blog.

We are both outdoor and health enthusiasts. Between the two of us we have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to training for activities like running, hiking, strength training and nutrition. We therefore decided to start a blog in which we discuss these topics both generally as well as provide more specific training tips and programs for running (i.e. half marathon), hiking and strength training. The blog will include a section on injury prevention and nutritional information for optimal performance (as well as general health). We will post about our own personal races & accomplishments, hikes, travels and discuss the goals we are striving for in an attempt to keep us and perhaps others motivated.

A major focus of the blog will be on our goal of completing the 46ers in the Adirondacks (ADK) in New York State. The posts will provide detailed trail information for others to use as a guide. Overall we are hoping the blog will be both informational and enjoyable to peruse especially with the endless scenic photos we will be posting.

So without further ado I present the first post for

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quesadillas

The other night I made a new version of my sweet potato & spinach quesadillas. I found this version in the new LCBO Food & Drink magazine, summer 2009 edition. Rather than mash the sweet potatoes up the potatoes were diced into small cubes and cooked in a skillet only for about 10-15 minutes, along with other ingredients and spices. The diced potatoes added a nice texture to the quesadillas. It made enough for 3 small tortillas (8”) and 2 large tortillas (10”)

1 T olive oil
4 green onions, sliced
1 celery, diced
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
½ cup black beans (drained and rinsed if using canned ones)
1 red pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced and seeded
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
¼ tsp chili powder
Dash cayenne
Feta cheese, crumbled
4 whole wheat 8-10” tortillas

Prepare all the vegetables in advance. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and let heat. Add the green onions, celery, sweet potatoes, black beans and spices. Let cook until onions are soft. Then add the jalapeno and red pepper. Cook for 10-15 min more. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile preheat the grill to med-high. Make sure to grease it first as you do not want the quesadillas to stick.

Spoon the sweet potato mixture onto half of the tortillas and sprinkle with feta cheese (or cheese of your choice – however feta is amazing on these). Fold the tortillas in half and place on the grill for a total of 5 minutes (2.5 minutes per side). Use the back of the spatula to press them down, but beware ingredients will tend to squeeze out if you really filled them like I did.

Remove from grill and serve immediately with sour cream and salsa.

Try these quesadillas recipes:

Black bean & Corn Quesadillas

Sweet Potatoe & Spinach Quesadillas

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Caribbean Chicken

I really enjoy spicy foods, so when I saw an episode of Guy Big Bite’s on Food TV in which he made a spicy caribbean chicken I was anxious to try it. In the show he actually used the seeds of the jalapenos, and in the recipe it called for a seeded jalapeno. I seeded the jalapenos and regretted it, as I found the chicken could have been spicier. So if you like heat, try adding at least half the seeds of the jalapeno.

Apart from that, the flavors of this jerk recipe are incredible, the allspice stands out, but is not overpowering and rest of the flavors are nicely balanced. Guy also puts his in the oven for about 15 minutes, but I cooked them the entire time on the grill. They were still moist and had that great grilled aroma.

1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice, fresh
1 tablespoon lime zest
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons jalapeno, seeded, diced
2 teaspoons freshly grated or chopped ginger
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper
4 chicken breasts, bone and skin on
Lime wedges

Puree all ingredients except chicken in food processor. Add marinade and chicken to re-sealable plastic bag, mix thoroughly and let marinate, refrigerated, for 4 to 8 hours.

Heat grill to high, remove excess marinade from chicken and place on grill. Grill each side of chicken for about 10 minutes (or until internal temperature is 165F) and chicken is white.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tomato-Feta Orzo Salad

This simple orzo salad is perfect for summer at the cottage or picnics. It took me no time to make and was a popular hit on Canada Day. If you want to improve the flavor you could grill or roast the tomatoes first, but it is good just as is. I am going hiking this weekend and will likely make a large bowl of this to take with me and help energize me through what might be a long long hike.

2 cups orzo
3 cups cherry tomatoes halved
2/3 cups feta
1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped
1/2 cup fineldy diced red onion
4T red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta, rinse and drain it. Pour pasta in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss well. Place in fridge and take out 5-10min before serving.

Another great orzo salad is Orzo Salad with Dill & Feta (Roasted Shrimp Optional)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Canada Day Vanilla Buttermmilk Cupcakes

Canada Day turned out to be a beautiful day without any T-storms. Many of my friends contributed to the BBQ with salads, cheese platter, and some very impressively decorated cupcakes (very creative M&D), making the BBQ a success.

In keeping with the theme of Canada Day we played a Canadian Trivia game – the winner received a nice ceramic bottle of a local Canadian beer (Beau’s) and the loser was given ½ a six pack of cheap American beer. The rest of the night was spent chatting, sipping margaritas and indulging in copious amounts of food.

The vanilla cupcakes, made by my friend Michelle were topped with strawberries and cut to look like maple leafs (well done Damien). A great idea - the were just as delicious as they looked.

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt1 cup sugar
¼ cup butter, room temperature
1 large egg1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ tsp almond extract
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F. Place liners in a 12 cup muffin tin.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until it looks creamy. Beat in the egg and the vanilla and almond extracts until mixture is smooth.

Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until almost combined. Add buttermilk and stir, again, until almost combined. Add the rest of the flour and stir until all ingredients are mixed in.

Divide batter evenly into muffin cups.
Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350F, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.Let cupcakes cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the muffin pan.

Cool completely before frosting.
Makes 12 cupcakes

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup margarine of butter, softened
1.5 tsp vanilla1-2 tbsp milk

1. Mix powdered sugar and maragarine/butter in medium bowl. Stir in vanilla and milk.

2. Beat until smooth and spreadable.
Frosts one 13X9" cake, about 24 cupcakes, or one 8 or 9" two layer cake.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

...............Happy Canada Day!

Canada Day in the nation's capital is always an exciting event. This year I will not be venturing down to parliament hill, but rather enjoying my backyard with some friends and family - let's just hope the T-storms hold off for the day.

Off course it would be un-Canadian not to have BBQ on Canada Day. However, I am going with a twist and serving up some Canadian BBQ with some mexican flare. Dinner with consist of marinated steak fajitas with all the fixings (grilled peppers & onions, caramelized onions, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, refried beans, cheese, jalapenos), served with salads and margaritas. On the traditional side there will be lots of cold beer ready for consumption.

Here are some great Canada Day Ideas!

Spicy Mussels in Wheat Beer

Beer Butt Chicken

Grilled Ribs in Bourbon Sauce

Spinach Strawberry Salad

Rhubarb-Strawberry Galette