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Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree

20 Apr

Picture this: it’s 10 PM and you’re so hungry that your growling stomach is sure to keep you from falling asleep. So you grab some chocolate, or a handful of trail mix, or pretzels. Sound familiar?

But is 10 PM really the right time of day to eat? Most would argue it’s not wise. But do you understand the science behind it?

Today’s guest, Kevin Jones, shares how to determine when you should be eating. The recipe that follows is a great example of what you should be eating – a healthy, high-protein, dairy & gluten free dinner that’s perfect following a workout or simply a busy day at work!


Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Breaking Down the Details on the Best Times of the Day to Eat

About The Guest Author: Kevin Jones writes for a number of sites across the web, sharing his wisdom and expertise in the health and fitness industry. He has written extensively for NordicTrack and ProForm, offering out-of-the-box workout plans and nutritional advice. During his free time, he likes to be very active with his wife and two children, hitting the slopes of Park City, Utah or chasing down Salt Lake City’s Korean food trucks. Connect with him online; LinkedInTwitter.

My grandmother – a very opinionated woman – has always been very vocal about the way you should eat, and when. Her philosophy, passed to me in my formative years, was that you eat heavy in the morning, heavier in the afternoon, and light in the evening. “And none of that silly no-fat nonsense…give me my butter, or lose a hand!”

For a long time I ignored these lessons, eating with the gusto and carefree nature of youth. Now that I am older, and I have to think of weight gain, heart health, and indigestion, I have started wondering if she was right.

We all know that healthy food is good food. But what are the best times to eat it?

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Erratic Diets and The Harm They Do

Eating irregularly is bad for you. That might seem like a drastic statement, but it has been shown to be true again and again. A study by Harvard University found that just a few days of eating on an opposing schedule could cause serious sugar and insulin spikes where none had been present before.

Another study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that nighttime eating could cause an increase in weight gain. Still another found that late eating impacted circadian rhythms and disrupted sleep patterns.

So, to recap, eating late at night, or just in a way that is different than your usual pattern of meals, can screw with your blood sugar levels, your sleep, and even make you fat. That seems like a pretty serious thing to me.

Eating Post Workout

Another factor to keep in mind is when working out. Exercise taxes the body, eats up all the food-provided energy in the system, and puts strain and tears within muscles that need to be repaired. Protein rich snacks or meals following intense activity are crucial for the body to function properly.

But did you know dehydration may keep you from getting the nutrients you need? Long distance runners are familiar with runner’s trots. But anyone can experience diarrhea following a workout, often sparked by improper hydration.

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

What All This Tells Us

We can make a couple of assumptions about diet based on the above facts. First, eating late at night is a no-no. Second, proper hydration is crucial for proper nutrient retention. Third, our bodies are delicate tools that have to be properly balanced.

Eat well, eat often, and don’t eat too late. Oh, and keep drinking water. While the eight glasses a day rhetoric may be a myth, the need for keeping ourselves nice and hydrated is not.


Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

With that in mind, here’s a protein rich meal that’s great for dinner! Tofu’s texture is not for everyone, but when pressed and roasted, it’s much more palatable! Pair this with a simple puree of roasted vegetables, and you’ve got dinner in the bag. Enjoy!

Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 block firm tofu, drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 large stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper – to roast
  • 1/2 C vegetable stock, warmed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Roasted pepitas, to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and spray with oil.

Wrap the drained tofu block in a clean tea towel and place a heavy object on top of it, like a heavy pan or book. Let this sit while you prep the veggies.

Chop all the veggies – neatness doesn’t count in this recipe! Lay them out on one of the baking sheets with the garlic and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Stir a bit and make sure the veggies are in a single layer. Roast at 400 for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Slice the pressed tofu into long, thin strips. Place in a single layer on the second baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, until dry and crispy. It’s best to put the tofu in the oven 10 minutes after the vegetables have been in.

Once the vegetables are roasted, transfer them to a blender, along with the warmed vegetable stock, seasonings, and vinegar. Puree until smooth, taking care to let steam escape from the lid by removing the middle piece and holding a towel loosely over the top. Taste and adjust as desired.

Pour the vegetable puree into four bowls. Top with the roasted tofu strips and garnish with roasted pepitas. Enjoy hot!

Guest Post: Katie’s Homemade Alfredo Sauce

8 Feb

From Christina: Today’s recipe comes from my long-time friend, and fantastic writer, Katie Axelson! I’ve known Katie since Kindergarten, when we were Daisy Girl Scouts together (wow, that’s nearly 20 years ago!). We have since parted ways geographically, but maintain contact via the magic that is social media and email. She recently asked on Twitter if anyone would like to do a guest blog post for HER website, and I suggested that we trade guest posts! This blogging stuff is fun. I challenged her to whip up and document one of her favorite recipes, keeping in the theme of my blog, and I dare say she’s done a much better photography job than I have yet! Teach me your ways, Katie.

Pasta with homemade Alfredo sauce

Ladies and gentleman, I present: Katie’s recipe (insert drum roll here) :

Cooking is not my strength. But when it comes to Alfredo sauce, store-bought just won’t do. I love that my mom’s recipe is so simple. In fact, I make Alfredo from scratch faster than it takes the water to boil for my pasta.

Mom’s Classic Alfredo Pasta Sauce

Makes A LOT (but if you don’t have that line on your standard measuring cup, I’d say it makes just over 4 cups of sauce)

Alfredo sauce ingredients

Ingredients

  • ½ C unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8oz. package of reduced fat cream cheese
  • 2.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 C skim milk
  • 6oz grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 tsp cracked black pepper

Melt butter in a large, non-stick sauce pan over medium heat.

Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth.

Melted butter, cream cheese and garlic

Add milk a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. It helps to whisk with one hand and pour with the other.

Add milk to sauce

Stir in Parmesan and pepper.

Add cheese to sauce

Keep stirring so everything melts together.

Mixing cheese into sauce

Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. If you like thicker sauce, leave it on the heat longer than if you like it thinner.

Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce

I tend to under cook mine but if you overcook it, it’s going to thicken rapidly. If this happens, you can thin it with more milk.

Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce

The recipe makes a lot! Since I’m usually only cooking for one, I like to make just enough pasta for that one meal. I then store the leftover Alfredo and use it little by little so I can mix up what I’m having with it. My favorites are some combination of chicken, pasta, and broccoli. Having Alfredo ready in the fridge is also handy if unannounced guests show up or you make spontaneous plans.

From Christina: Katie Axelson is a writer, editor, and blogger who’s trying to live a story worth telling. You can find her blogging, Tweeting and Facebook-ing.

Because this is a guest post swap, check out my post about stepping out of one’s comfort zone on Katie’s page! Not only will I be trying out this recipe in the very near future for myself (LOVE me some Alfredo sauce!), but I’m going to try to healthify it with a few substitutions…I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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