Archive for January, 2010

cooking with shrimp!

Today was the first time I ever cooked with shrimp!! mark it down in your calendars haha….I never used to like shrimp very much but recently I have found a love for it….anyway… I was perusing around the blog world and saw Matt’s Recipe for Shrimp, Broccoli Rabe, and Feta….and so I decided to make my own version of this dish ūüėČ


  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • shrimp (I used frozen- I purchased it in bulk from whole foods)
  • broccoli
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar (didnt have red in the apartment so I used white instead)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes (dont use too much! a little goes a long way!)
  • crumbled feta cheese


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add shrimp; cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, which will only be a minute or two. Transfer the shimp and any juices to a plate; cover to keep warm.
  2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add chopped garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not brown, about 30 seconds. Add broccoli and cook, stirring often, until bright green and just wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, vinegar, salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are beginning to break down, 2 to 4 minutes. Return the shrimp and juices to the pan, add feta cheese and stir to combine. Cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

I really enjoyed this dish!! I thought the the red pepper flakes were a nice a touch. ¬†and I liked how the feta melted into the juices….gave it a great flavor. ¬†I will definitely be making this again! ¬†Matt make garlic bread to go along with this meal…I think next time I will try that out


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  • Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower elevated blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke. One medium portabella mushroom has even more potassium than a banana or a glass of orange juice.
  • Mushrooms are a rich source of riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. Male health professionals who consumed twice the recommended daily intake of selenium cut their risk of prostate cancer by 65 percent.
  • Good for cardiovascular health
  • Strengthens immunity:¬†Mushrooms are capable of strengthening the immune system. In traditional Japanese and Chinese medicines, Shiitake mushrooms are used for curing flu and cold. Lentinan, a form of beta-glucan, present in Shiitake mushrooms strengthens the immune system. Mushrooms, especially Crimini mushrooms, are a rich source of zinc. Zinc is mostly needed to build the body‚Äôs immune system.
  • Anti-aging property:¬†Mushrooms contain ergothioneine, an antioxidant necessary for healthy eyes, kidney, bone marrow, liver and skin. Mushrooms are also rich in riboflavin and selenium. These chemicals by strengthening the immune system, prevents the action of free radicals in the body, consequently reducing the aging process.
  • ONLY item in the produce section with a natural source of vitamin D!

my sister’s boyfriend, Todd, works for To-Jo Mushrooms

For 4 generations the D’Amico family has grown mushrooms in Southeastern, Pennsylvania. The family business began with a small mushroom farm that was capable of producing 50,000 pounds of fresh mushrooms annually. 77 years later To-Jo remains family-owned and operated and produces approximately 40 million pounds annually; offering both fresh and prepared products.

become a fan of  To-Jo mushrooms on Facebook to share mushroom recipes, take part in contests, and learn more about mushrooms!!!

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help needed!

I am trying to come up with a new spinning playlist for my classes this week…but I cannot seem to find good songs!! ¬†I need your help….

what are your favorite workout tunes?  I am looking for fast pace (for sprints) as well as slower songs (for endurance/hills)

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back to business

hey everyone! ¬†sorry I havent been posting in awhile— the spring semester just started up and I have been trying to get myself back into the swing of things….not an easy thing to do. ¬†All I want to do is blog, spend time with my family and friends, run, workout, eat christmas cookies, eat other food, and sleep in. ¬†But all good things must come to an end. ¬†I am actually looking forward to this semester. ¬†Should be a good one…I hope at least!

anyway… Spinning is starting up tonight!!! ¬†So I decided to share my playlist and class profile with all of you!!!

Run this Town

  1. United State of Pop 2009- DJ Earworm (4:45): warm up song. ¬†Low resistance. Start on a flat road (seated position), run in out ¬†in position 2, drop down and climb in position 3. ¬†Keep switching from running in 2 and climbing in 3. ¬†Back to seated flat road, end the song jogging in 2. ¬†goal of this song is to get the heart pumping, start sweating just a little….getting ready to start the class.
  2. Run This Town- Jay-Z (5:08)- Climb (increasing the resistance 4 times throughout the song)- the first two turns of the resistance knob is seated position and the second two are climbing in position 3
  3. B.O.B.- OutKast (5:04)- sprints (bursts of random times- no more than 30-40 seconds)
  4. Let Go- Frou Frou (4:14)- flat road (last 45 seconds stand up and run in position 2)
  5. The Saga Continues-  Black Rob, G. Dep, Loon & P. Diddy (3:51)- climb- lots of resistance.  stop a couple of times and work your leg muscles by using only your lower body- keeping your upper body completely still- hovering over the seat)
  6. 4 Minutes Workout Remix- Power Music workout (5:00)- pyramid sprints… 20 seconds-25s-30s-25s-20s
  7. dollhouse- Pricilla Renea (3:42)- seated flat road– when song picks up do jumps- then back to seated flat road
  8. Forever- Drake- Kanye West (5:57)- seated climb…last minute stand up and climb in position 3
  9. Explosive- Bond (3:11)- sprints- random times (no more than 30-40s)
  10. Till I collapse- Eminem (4:58)- climb in position three- last 90 seconds climb in seated position
  11. Russian Privjet- Basshunter (4:08) sprints
  12. Obsessed- Mariah Carey (3:44) climb (seated)
  13. Lovers in Japan. Reign of love (6;51) easy climb standing in three, with three minutes left start the cooldown

total workout time= 1 hour

Im moving on- Rascal Flatts (4:05)- cooldown

Well there you have it! ¬†What I like to do is download the playlist to my ipod and write down the workout on a 3×5 note card. ¬†When I ¬†go to the gym…I ask to be let into the spinning room so I can have do my own “private” spinning class. ¬†Having a set class profile to follow really helps the time to fly by- and its alot of fun- I really get into all of the songs…. ¬†Try it out for yourself!

have a nice wednesday!!!

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Hello Mindful Living readers!  This is Mary from Food, Fit, & Fun.  I was very happy when Christina asked me to write a guest post.  Christina is in her first week of the spring semester so I know things are probably very busy for her right now.  I contemplated the topic that I wanted to write about.  Christina suggested that I write a post about a recipe that I have made a few times that she has wanted to try.  So I went with that!

I present you with Pasta e Ceci.  I originally saw this recipe in Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, Jamie’s Italy.  I love chickpeas and I love pasta so this recipe was one that I definitely wanted to try.  Here is a short excerpt from Jamie’s book:

It can be argued that this is both a soup and a pasta dish but I think it leans slightly more toward being a soup ‚ÄĒ so I‚Äôve put it in this chapter! Its cousin, pasta e fagioli, is a thicker, redder bean soup, but I think that this simple, delicious dish, which uses chickpeas as its base, is what Italian food is all about‚Ķ

After making this dish a few times, I absolutely understand the difficulty Jamie had categorizing this dish as either a soup or a pasta dish.  This recipe is NOT a brothy soup.  Rather, it is thick and will certainly fill you up!

Pasta e Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas) Serves 4.

–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1 stick celery, trimmed and finely chopped (I used 2)

–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped (I used 2)

–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Extra Virgin Olive Oil

–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† A sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped

–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 2 14 oz. cans of chickpeas (my cans were 15.5 oz.)

–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 2 1/4 cups of chicken stock

–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 3 1/2 oz Ditalini (small pasta)

–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Salt and freshly ground black pepper

–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Optional: handful of fresh basil/parsley, leaves picked and torn (I used Basil)

I also added some fresh lemon juice using 1/4 of a lemon.

1) Put the finely chopped onion, celery, and garlic into a saucepan with a little extra virgin olive oil and the rosemary and cook as gently as possible, with the lid on, for about 15-20 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft, without any color.

2)Drain your chickpeas well and rinse them in cold water, then add them to the pan and cover with the stock. Cook gently for half an hour and then, using a slotted spoon, remove half the chickpeas and put them to one side in a bowl.

3)Puree the soup in the pan using a handheld immersion blender. If you don’t have one, you can whiz it up in a food processor instead, then pour it back into the pan. Add the reserved whole chickpeas and the pasta, season the soup with salt and pepper, and simmer gently until the chickpeas are tender and the pasta is cooked.

4)At this point, if the soup is a little thick, pour in some boiling water from the kettle to thin it down, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve drizzled with good-quality extra virgin olive oil. Lovely sprinkled with some freshly torn basil or parsley. A real treat.

This soup is absolutely delicious, simple, and healthy.  This soup is loaded with fiber-filled Chickpeas.  Chickpeas are on the list of the World’s Healthiest Foods, click here to learn more about their health benefits.

If you are looking for a simple dinner recipe, this is it.  Please give it a shot and let me know what you think!  Enjoy J
Have a nice day and thank you again Christina!

what are your favorite soup recipes?

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Hello everyone!! ¬†Well I am now back to school- I have a whole new set of roommates (minus my direct roommate) since my other roommates went abroad (to New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland). ¬†So far it is working out great!! ¬†I am having a lot of fun and I honestly kind of like being thrown into a unfamiliar, new, strange situation…. anyway… I STILL have to take my microbiology final tomorrow at 8 am (I couldnt take it due to the big snow storm we got back in december). ¬†So I am kind of stressing about that- just excited for it to be OVER WITH!!!!! ¬†and then I can enjoy the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend ūüėČ

anyway….. onto the title of today’s post.

My Poppop says this phrase a lot (except in italian of course)- “a day without pasta is like a day without sunshine”- I am not sure how to say this in italian, though. ¬†Mommom- if you are reading- do you know how to say this??

Anyway- I couldnt agree more with this statement. I LOVE PASTA (especially when it is fresh and homemade!) ¬†and i loveeee tomato sauce. ¬†I could eat it everyday and not get sick of it. ¬†and so, I decided to share my family’s recipe for pasta sauce with all of you!! ¬†Before I do this, however…make sure you use San Marzano Tomatoes (a variety of plum tomatoes that are considered by many chefs to be the best sauce tomatoes in the world— thanks wiki ;)).

  • large can of San Marzano Tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1 can of Tomato Paste (6 oz)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)- can use more if you want! i like to use a lot
  • 1 large can of water (28 oz) or half of the can depending on how thick you want your sauce
  • basil (fresh or dry)
  • parsley (fresh or dry)
  • salt to taste
  • EVOO
  • Put the chopped garlic and EVOO in a large pot (enough EVOO to just cover the bottom of the pot so the garlic does not burn). ¬†Saute the garlic and then add the can of tomatoes, water (use the empty can of tomatoes and fill with water), and tomato paste. Mush up the tomatoes with your hands!! I like my sauce chunky so I dont crush it too too much. ¬†Add in basil and parsley to taste. bring to a boil then lower the heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes or so….stirring occasionally (you can simmer more or less depending on the amount of time you have!). ¬†I transfer the sauce to small containers and freeze some!

how do you make your tomato sauce?  do you add anything different to it (sugar, honey, etc.)?  What is your favorite pasta combination??

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Megan from Be Fit. Be full awarded me with the beautiful blogger award….thanks meg!!! ¬†If you havent checked her blog yet….do so PRONTO. ¬†Be Fit. Be Full. is a GREAT blog and Meg seems like she is such a nice girl..which makes you want to read a person’s blog even more, does it not? haha…anyway….I am going to share 7 facts about myself that you didn‚Äôt know and then pass it on to 7 other bloggers!


I am the youngest of three siblings- all girls


I ran my first (and only) marathon (the philadelphia marathon) back in November. ¬†I finished in a time of 3:39.12 and qualifed for the boston marathon!! ¬†too bad boston is all filled up and I couldnt get in through a charity- looks like ill be on the sidelines watching my sister run it this year! ¬†there is always next year though…


I am a certified spinning instructor. ¬†I teach at my school’s Fitness and Aquatic Center (where Michael Phelps gets his swell on, P.S.) and at a gym down the shore in the summer.


I am in Junior at Loyola University. ¬†I am a biology major and plan to attend Physician’s Assistant school when I graduate (if I can get in!!)


I rowed for my high school’s crew team. ¬†When I went to college, I really did not like the team at Loyola and gave up crew. ¬†I miss it so much. ¬†Crew was a hugeeee part of my high school “career”. ¬†I dedicated so much of myself to crew (and had to wake up at 4:20 AM for practice everyday!)…it honestly has made a huge impact upon the person I am today (as silly as that may or may not sound!)

really easy to spot me....just look for the shortest person in the photo. yup thats me all the way on the right ( and no not the brother in the black)


In the summer- I work down the shore for my town’s police station as a PVO (parking violotions officer- aka METER MAID). ¬† Yes I look like a man in my uniform. yes I have gotten cursed off several times. ¬†and no I am not a mean PVO- I let people off the hook all the time. its a great job, I get paid well, and it’s easy…and I have met a lot of nice people through it!


My family and I are huge philadelphia flyers fans (as well as eagles).  We went to the winter classic this winter up in boston.  I had the time of my life.  anddddd I cannot wait for the day that the flyers win another stanley cup!!!!!

I pass this award on to

Taylor- Taydor Tott

Mary- Food Fit and Fun

Holly- Healthy Everythingtarian

Caroline- Boston Runner

Healthy San Diego Living

Erika- Dr. Tri Runner

Nicci- Nifty Eats

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