April 30 Days of Fitness Challenge

Even though it doesn’t feel like it in DC- Winter is almost over and summer is right around the bend.  With Lent having just ended, I decided I needed a new challenge for myself.  This April I am challenging myself (and you to join me) to incorporate some type of activity into each day in April.  So, whether it’s a run through the neighborhood, a new yoga class or a weekend hike with friends- challenge yourself to fit in at least 30 minutes of activity each of the 30 days of April and track your progress.  If you need a great app to motivate you to run longer and track your strides, I highly recommend the Nike + Running App.  Or– if you need some new workout clothes to inspire you to get out there in style, I am obsessed with the Lululemon Speed Short.  Join me in my challenge & I’d love to hear about your results at the end of the month– goodluck!

runimage via pinterest

Soy Garlic Salmon with Crispy Brussels

20130319-224922.jpgThis recipe is a great weeknight go-to in my house (apartment).  I love it because it’s healthy and can be thrown together in no time at all!  Tonight, it was the perfect meal after an evening run through the city.  I usually whip up boxed rice to go with– tonight I happened to have a box of Near East Rice Pilaf in the cabinet and so that completed the plate.  Bon Appetit!

Ingredients:

  • Two fresh salmon fillets from your local fish marketphoto (48)
  • 1/4 c low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbs brown sugar, packed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch or package of brussels sprouts
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Salmon:

  1. Preheat the oven to broil
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, brown sugar and one clove of garlic
  3. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray before arranging the fillets on the foil
  4. With a pastry brush, brush the marinade onto the salmon fillets
  5. Broil the salmon for 7-9 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets until just cooked through, re-brushing the fillets with the marinade at the halfway point

Brussels Sprouts:

  1. photo (49)Trim the ends of the brussels and cut each in half
  2. In a medium sauce pan, steam the brussels until just tender, about 6-8 minutes
  3. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 garlic cloves until the garlic is fragrant (about 2 minutes)
  4. Transfer the brussels from the steamer to the skillet and saute, stirring occasionally
  5. Gradually add butter for browning (spray butter works as well if you’re trying to be lighter) and season with salt and pepper to taste
  6. Saute for 10-15 minutes until browned and crispphoto (47)

Skinny Enchilada Soup in the Crock

I’ve been trying to fight off the cold that’s been hanging over DC the last few weeks– so there have been many soups on the menu lately.  This recipe is one of my FAVES as it is super easy (super low calorie) and makes use of my shiny brand new crockpot that we got as a wedding gift from a favorite Pi Phi of mine.  Adventures in cooking have proven to be easiest when you can throw everything into a crockpot and let it do the work for hours on end– while you online shop go to work or hit the gym.


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Ingredients:

  • 1 package of chicken breasts
  • 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 4-5 tsp. of chili adobo sauce
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 package of frozen corn
  • 15 oz. can of black beans
  • 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatos
  • 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped scallions, for garnish
  • cheese, sour cream, avocado for topping

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Directions:

  1.  Heat oil in a saucepan and add the garlic and onion, saute until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes)
  2. Add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and chili adobo sauce and bring to a boil
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes, adding the dried seasonings
  4. Pour the mixture into the crockpot and add the cilantro, raw chicken, corn, and black beans
  5. Cook on low for 4-6 hours
  6. Remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred *be sure to check out my tips on shredding chicken below!
  7. Replace the shredded chicken into the crockpot and season additionally to taste with salt/pepper/oregano
  8. Serve topped with scallions, sour cream, cheese, or avocado- whichever you prefer, it’s great any way!

I have the BEST TIP for shredding chicken and it involves my favorite appliance- the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for this brilliant idea, as a dear friend shared it with me– but it’s too good not to share with you.  When you remove the chicken from the crock, immediately toss it in your Kitchen Aid bowl and using the flat beater attachment, and on a LOW setting, shred the chicken.  This works wonders, but be sure to keep an eye on it, as it shreds it quickly and you don’t want to shred it too finely.  This is great for this recipe, or anytime you need to shred chicken.  It is my go-to now and I use it all the time for chicken salad, AND who doesn’t love a new use for their stand mixer?

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Does anyone have any unconventional uses for their Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer? OR any great crockpot recipes? I’d love to hear about it! Bon Apetit!

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