A New Take to Leftovers

Ugh. What a miserably cold, windy and rainy day! I am still not sure why I decided to wear tights and straighten my hair today (really, I had no real reason to do either of these things… except I didn’t wash my hair yesterday since I didn’t work out, so straightening it was the best option I had… shhh it’s not that gross!).  At least I had my cute Sperry Rubber Slip On’s on (does that make sense? I hate when 2 of the same words are next to each other in a sentence):

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That’s really all I had going for me this morning, though. The T was delayed and the masses of people ON the T was horrific. I don’t plan on going outside for the rest of the day:)

Anyway, I need to tell you about my dinner last night! Tuesday’s are my “rest” days from the gym, so last night I went home, did 30 minutes of self-practice yoga in my room and then thought about what I could have for dinner.  I wasn’t really in the mood for stuffed peppers or taco salad, but I did want to use some of the leftover pepper stuffing.  Enter: a “Taco” Quesadilla! This week, I ended up buying these wraps. They are the perfect size (most are so big!) and really low in calories so it’s a great way to get a little carb fix in without feeling too guilty about it!

All I did was layer a little shredded cheese on half of it, some of the taco mixture from Sunday and then a little more cheese.

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And, voila! A delicious and relatively healthy weeknight meal.  I didn’t even feel like I was eating leftovers- that’s the best part!

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Now, if only I had something a little more exciting for lunch… This week I have been getting back to the basics with healthy salads, greek yogurt and fruit. My coworker and I call this “Moe’s Leaning Tower Lunch”.

001It’s quite the struggle carrying all those containers from the kitchen to the lunch room (it’s a much farther walk than you would think!).  Broken down, it’s a salad with veggies, quinoa and goat cheese, dressing, greek yogurt (really liked the Hannaford “Inspirations” brand!) and strawberries. Yum, yum, yum! (and, when I have a salad for lunch, I feel like I don’t have to worry about eating as many vegetables at dinner time… please tell me I am not the only one who uses that type of rationalization…)

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I am excited to teach UXF Burn tonight- Hoping I have a huge turnout like last week.  I am feeling MUCH better and I am ready to kick people’s butts tonight:)

Hope you’re all staying warm and try!

Questions for you: Leftovers: love ’em or hate ’em? How is your week going?

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My “Farewell” TBC Workout!

As I mentioned earlier, I taught my last TBC class at the Allston BSC on Saturday morning. Since the workout was a good one (and sure to make your glutes scream a little lot the next day!), I thought I would share it!

This workout is definitely more designed as a “class” type of workout due to the length and format, but if you’re familar with taking classes (and even if you aren’t!), you can totally do this workout on your own or with some friends!  As always, honor your body and listen to it- I want you to push yourself, but I want you to be safe as well.

Farewell Workout!

Equipment: BOSU ball, Body Bar, Heavy & Light Weights, Mat

Please note: If you do not have access to all of these pieces of equipment, that is fine! As long as you have weights, you can still do this. Perform the moves working from Set 1 to Set 3, OR, you can pick a set and go through it 3 times if you prefer. Your choice!

Farewell workout set 1 Farewell workout set 2 farewell workout set 3

I apologize that these are a little hard to read, but if you click on them, they will appear in a new window where they will be clear and ready for printing!

Questions for you: What is your favorite gym “tool” these days? Exercise you’re loving at the moment? For me, I’m loving the Dynamax Ball and BOSU balls. Favorite exercise? 1 legged & 1 armed rows- holy core work to balance!

Stuffed Peppers and Taco Salad

Hi there! I teased all of you with some pretty tasty looking pictures from our dinner last night, so I thought it was only fair to share the recipes with you!  Per usual, I did not follow a recipe and did not measure anything out, but hopefully you can follow along from the pictures and “make it your own” with some of my suggestions!

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Stuffed Peppers

I chose to use 3 peppers today.  I washed them, cut the tops off and cleared out the seeds. I decided to steam the peppers tonight, versus baking them or using the crock pot. I steamed them for about 10-12 minutes (I just went until they seemed to be getting soft… use your judgement!)

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While the peppers were steaming, I cut up the veggies.  Tonight, I decided to use peppers (didn’t want the top part to go to waste!), onions, broccoli and mushrooms. I sauteed these with a little EVOO, salt & pepper… and wine 😉

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017Once the veggies were 95% cooked, I added in some frozen corn.  After all of the veggies were cooked, I moved them to a bowl and started to cook the ground chicken (1 lb).  We found low sodium taco seasoning which helps to make this meal even a little healthier than it already was!

019Adding in some black beans is a great way to get in some extra protein! Once the chicken, beans and taco seasoning are finished cooking, add this mixture to the bowl with the veggies and mix everything together.

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At this point, you’re all ready to stuff your peppers! I topped mine with a little cheese and baked for about 15 minutes at 350*, finishing up with a little broil action to get the nice, toasted cheese on the top!

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Don’t they look so delicious?!  You’ll notice that the one on the left looks a little different… that is because instead of using the taco chicken and veggie mixture, I simply used some of the veggies (before I mixed in the taco chicken and beans), quinoa, goat cheese and marinara.  Lately, I have been making a batch of quinoa on Sundays so I can have it handy throughout the week to add to salads and other things, so I thought I would use some in a stuffed pepper.  I have to say, my sister and I both really liked this vegetarian version of the stuffed peppers!

Taco Salad

Simply take the veggie, chicken and beans taco mixture that you made for the stuffed peppers and serve atop a bed of lettuce. Top with some salsa and tortilla chips and you’ve got yourself a tasty, healthy taco salad!

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So, there ya go! This meal did not take long at all to put together and the cleanup was also minimal- loved it! Let me know if you make it, and feel free to shoot me an email if you want more specifics on anything! Enjoy:)

Weekending…

Happy Sunday! Hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Mine, as always, seemed to go by WAY too quickly.  I am just now sitting down and “relaxing” (aka blogging and putting off studying) and it’s 4:30pm! Where did today go?! I’ll get to that, but let’s back up a minute…

Yesterday I taught my last TBC (Total Body Conditioning) class at the Allston BSC.  I was offered a position to teach Cardio Kickboxing at the Oak Square YMCA every other Saturday at 10AM (vs every Saturday at 9am like I was doing at the BSC) and I accepted that position starting in March!  I used to go to that 10AM Kickboxing class every Saturday for the 3.5 years I lived in Oak Square so I am REALLY excited to have the opportunity to go back there and start teaching it:)  However, yesterday’s last class was definitely bittersweet.  My sister, Lauren and Jess came and that made it so much fun! I always like to hear feedback from honest sources (they may be friends and family, but I do trust them to give me their honest opinions!), so it was funny to hear them ask what the heck I was doing teaching a class that hard… what can I say?! I want to make people feel like their time at the gym was well spent!

Post workout, I met up with a new fitness friend for brunch at Russell House Tavern to talk all things fitness… twist my arm, will ya?! And, to make things even better, they had wine on tap?!

002I had to use some serious self-restraint as wine on tap for any member of the Gagnon family is risky business! Instead, I enjoyed a nice beer and this delicious omelet:

003Yum! I don’t really “do” brunch (I am always starving when I wake up), so this was a really nice treat, and well deserved after a tough morning class!

The rest of my Saturday was really not very exciting. I faced the masses of people at Market Basket for my weekly grocery shopping trip and then spent the rest of the night like this:

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Don’t let that book fool you… I “pretended” to read/study, but in all honesty, I couldn’t pull myself to actually DO any reading or studying.  My kickboxing exam was originally scheduled for the weekend of the blizzard and has been rescheduled for next Saturday. Mentally, I am so checked out and bored with this studying, which is not something I am proud of, but hopefully I’ll get my act together and get my head back into the game this week.

Since I went to bed at 11pm (yes, I am 27 going on 67), I was wide awake at 8Am. Perfect! There was a boot camp at the Davis Square BSC at 10 that I would be able to go to. What a thought- me, taking a class that someone else was going to teach?! It had been far too long.

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The class started out great (loads of cardio), but then we switched to partner type of work and it was really unorganized and the instructor was mean and almost rude and I really didn’t end up having that much fun. I am all about pushing people in class and yelling (anyone who has come to a class knows this), but he was straight up rude and did not offer any type of encouragement. He almost had an attitude where he was looking down on us. I was so disappointed because he had covered some classes for me when I was dying sick with pneumonia and I thought he seemed so nice, but I saw a different side of him that I was not a fan of. Anyway, it was a good thing for me to do and I did get some new cardio ideas so I guess it wasn’t a total waste of time (and, we did a ton of upper body stuff so I will be sore tomorrow!).

Similar to yesterday, post workout, I went to brunch (again! Twice in one weekend- who am I?!) with Lauren and my sister. We went to Back Bay Social Club and had a great time catching up! A glass of Prosecco was juuuust perfect for post workout refueling, right?

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To eat, a delicious Turkey Sandwich with lettuce, tomato and avocado on wheat bread. Unfortunately, the bread was very buttery, but the turkey made up for it! So good!

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Since it took so long to get our meals, the manager gave us a free round on the house… again, twist my arm! I really appreciate when restaurants do things like that because it definitely makes me more likely to go back soon!

I am about to set up an email account, Facebook account and Instagram account for Burpees to Bubbly… big steps for the blog this weekend and it makes me excited!! I appreciate everyone who has been reading and following along… it’s been a really fun couple of weeks!! For dinner: Stuffed Peppers (2 ways) and some type of taco dish… be on the lookout for a recipe early this week!

Questions for you: Are you a “bruncher”? What was your favorite thing that you did this weekend?

Friday Night=Homemade Pizza Night!

Hello again! Two posts in one day… how fun! I teased you in my post earlier today when I mentioned homemade pizza night, so I thought it was only fair to blog about it as soon as we finished eating.  For those of you who are Facebook friends and follow me on Instagram (Mgagnon85 if you want to follow me!), you’ve seen LOTS of pizza pictures.  Guilty as charged: we LOVE making pizza. In fact, on Christmas Eve, we have a bunch of family friends over for a BIG pizza party… few pics from this past Christmas Eve:

Cooking at the Gagnon's is NEVER done without wine in hand!

Cooking at the Gagnon’s is NEVER done without wine in hand!

Mahoney boys and Gagnon girls. Wouldn't be Christmas Eve without this crew!

Mahoney boys and Gagnon girls. Wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without this crew!

While I was home in Maine last weekend, I went grocery shopping with my mom. Hannaford carries Portland Pie Company pizza dough, which is by far the BEST pizza dough (unless my dad makes his pizza dough because, really, nothing beats homemade pizza dough), so I grabbed the Garlic one to bring back to MA with me.

If you don’t have access to this delicious dough, you can usually find a store brand dough in the deli section at the grocery store… they work juuuust fine.

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 450*. Sprinkle some flour onto your clean working surface and start to spread out the dough. I do this by hand to start and then use a rolling-pin if I need to.

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2. We have a pizza stone, which is one of my favorite kitchen items! I usually cook the dough a little before adding toppings.  This isn’t necessary, but it helps to eliminate soggy pizza:)

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3. Top with sauce, cheese and any toppings of your choice! We always add a little oregano to the sauce… it really makes a difference! If we top with veggies, we usually sautee those a little before putting them on the pizza.  Tonight we went simple and just put peppers on one half, and turkey pepperoni on the other half.

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4. Pop into the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese has browned up a little.

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Make sure your cat doesn’t get stuck in the fridge since you’re in and out of it so much (my sister had the camera and caught this- I was not happy about it!)…

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Personally, I like to enjoy my pizza with some veggies or a salad, pita chips and hummus, and wine- of course! Enjoy!