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Kyle and Bruce Made Dinner!

With my three boys all being home and doing online school, they have a lot of free time. What better way to fill that free time than with chores :-)  Last weekend, Kyle and Bruce made Pasta Salad, Bison Burgers and Homemade Buns. Everything turned out delicious.  If you’re wondering what Roy was doing . . . he was supervising.

Here are the 3 recipes. Enjoy!

 

Bruce’s Pasta Salad

Ingredients

16 ounces whole wheat Penne pasta, uncooked

1 cup broccoli, chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup black olives, sliced

3 ounces sliced pepperoni

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, crumbled

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. In a large pot, add 4-5 quarts of water and bring to boil. Add pasta and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until al dente. Strain pasta and rinse under cold water to stop cooking process.
  2. In a large bowl, add the cooked pasta, broccoli, tomatoes, olives, pepperoni, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss gently. Sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

 

Kyle’s Hamburger Buns (from AllRecipes.com)

Ingredients

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast. (If you have a jar of yeast, use 2 1/4 tsp)

1 pound all-purpose flour, divided

1 cup warm water (105 degrees F)

1 large egg

3 tbsp butter, melted

3 tbsp white sugar

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp olive oil

1 egg, beaten

1 tbsp milk

1 tsp sesame seeds

 

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place yeast into bowl of a large stand mixer; whisk in 1/2 cup flour and warm water until smooth. Let stand until mixture is foamy, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Whisk 1 egg, melted butter, sugar, and salt thoroughly into yeast mixture. Add remaining flour (about 3 cups).
  4. Fit a dough hook onto stand mixer and knead the dough on low speed until soft and sticky, 5 to 6 minutes. Scrape sides if needed. Poke and prod the dough with a silicone spatula; if large amounts of dough stick to the spatula, add a little more flour.
  5. Transfer dough onto a floured work surface; dough will be sticky and elastic but not stick to your fingers. Form the dough lightly into a smooth, round shape, gently tucking loose ends underneath.
  6. Wipe out stand mixer bowl, drizzle olive oil into the bowl, and turn dough over in the bowl several times to coat surface thinly with oil. Cover bowl with aluminum foil. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.
  7. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and pat to flatten bubbles and form into a slightly rounded rectangle of dough about 5×10 inches and about 1/2 inch thick. Dust dough lightly with flour if needed. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a round shape, gently tucking ends underneath as before.
  8. Use your hands to gently pat and stretch the dough rounds into flat disc shapes about 1/2 inch thick. Arrange buns about 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Dust buns very lightly with flour. Drape a piece of plastic wrap over the baking sheet (do not seal tightly). Let buns rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  10. Beat 1 egg with milk in a small bowl, using a fork, until mixture is thoroughly combined. Very gently and lightly brush tops of buns with egg wash without deflating the risen dough. (You might have extra egg wash.) Sprinkle each bun with sesame seeds.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned on top, 15 to 17 minutes. Buns will stick together slightly where they touch. Let cool completely, tear the buns apart, and slice in half crosswise to serve.

 

Bruce’s Bison Burgers

Ingredients

1 pound ground bison burger

4 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, sliced

 

Directions

  1. Heat oven, griddle, pan or grill. We used a George Foreman Grill.
  2. Form ground meat into five 3-ounce bison patties. (Someone must have gotten a 4-ounce burger. I think it was me.)
  3. Cook on Foreman Grill for 4 minutes. (Remember a Foreman Grill cooks food on both sides at the same time.)
  4. Remove patties from grill and immediately top with sliced cheese. Heat of burgers will melt the cheese.

 

Chefs Bruce and Kyle

Kyle and Bruce Made Dinner!2020-05-22T16:26:46-05:00

10 Best Dumbbell Exercises for All Levels

Getting in shape doesn’t require a membership at an exclusive health club or the use of expensive fitness equipment. You’ll be amazed at what you can do with just a pair of dumbbells. Watch my video and learn 10 of my favorite dumbbell exercises that you can do today. Enjoy!

10 Best Dumbbell Exercises for All Levels2020-05-14T08:10:48-05:00

Wisconsin Stone Soup Recipe

Do you ever feel like you’re cooking for an army? In my house, with five very active individuals, it sure feels that way. That’s where soups and stews come in handy. They are often easy to prepare and make plenty of servings.  If you’re more of a crock pot person, this recipe will work great too. And remember, you can always adjust amounts of ingredients for personal taste. Since we used a smoked ham hock, for example, we didn’t add any herbs or spices other than two bay leaves. Enjoy this delicious recipe! (This recipe was adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Magazine.)

Ingredients

1 cup dried black-eyed peas 

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups onion, diced (1 yellow, 1 red)

1 cup carrots, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

6-8 cups chicken stock

1 meaty ham hock (approximately 1 pound)

2 bay leaves

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 cups cubed pumpkin

1/4 – 1/2 cup rice, uncooked

2 cups hearty greens (kale or collards, fresh or frozen)

 

*Optional

1 cup cubed rutabaga

salt and pepper to taste

ham instead of ham hock

If you don’t have pumpkin, you can use squash, sweet potato or other root vegetable.

 

Directions

1. Soak and cook dried beans according to directions. Rinse well. If using canned beans, open and rinse well. Set aside.

2. In a large stock pot, set heat to medium and add olive oil.  Saute garlic, onion, celery and carrots until soft.

3. To pot, add stock, ham hock, bay leaves, diced tomatoes, cubed pumpkin and rice. Bring to boil briefly. Then cover and simmer for one hour.

4.  Add cooked beans and hearty greens. Cook until beans are warm and greens are wilted. Approximately 10 minutes. 

Serve and enjoy!

 

Wisconsin Stone Soup Recipe2020-05-11T11:56:38-05:00

10 Best Standing Static Stretches

Trying to loosen up your muscles? Stretch. Trying to improve flexibility? Stretch. Trying to cool down at the end of a workout? Stretch. Trying to reduce injuries? Stretch. Watch my 6-minute video and learn 10 stretches that you can do every day.

 

 

10 Best Standing Static Stretches2020-04-16T11:16:17-05:00

Learning Speedbag Boxing Basics

Looking for an exercise that you can do at home? Laugh and have fun learning speedbag boxing basics with Eric Foxman. Enjoy!

Learning Speedbag Boxing Basics2020-04-02T08:38:44-05:00

Pearl Couscous Salad

Looking for an alternative to rice, pasta or quinoa? Then check out our Pearl Couscous Salad that we made yesterday. Makes for a great appetizer, side dish or a snack on its own. Super tasty and filling. Every bite is flavorful and the couscous has a pleasant chewy texture.  The prep time is only 20 minutes, and the cook time is just 30 minutes. You can do that. (Adapted from Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

3 tbs olive oil, divided

2 cups pearl couscous

2 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup French lentils

2 tomatoes, diced

1 small cucumber, diced

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup dried goji berries, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes to hydrate [original recipe called for 1/2 cup dried cranberries]

1 tsp dried chives

1 tbsp fresh flat parsley, chopped

1 tsp ground sumac

Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp honey

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir couscous in the hot oil until toasted and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups water to couscous and bring to boil; cover skillet and cook until couscous is tender, about 10 minutes. Rinse couscous in a colander with cold water and transfer to a bowl. Mix 2 tbs olive oil into couscous and stir to coat.
  2. Place lentils in a small pan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and rinse lentils under cold water in a colander; add to couscous
  3. Mix tomatoes, cucumbers, raisins, goji berries, chives, parsley, and sumac into couscous-lentil mixture.
  4. For dressing, beat 1/4 olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper together in a bowl; pour over couscous-lentil mixture and stir until coated. Refrigerate salad for flavors to blend, 8 hours to overnight.
Pearl Couscous Salad2020-03-12T14:22:56-05:00

Chicken and Barley Soup with Root Vegetables

It’s cold, overcast and I’m hungry. Plus I have another child home from school with a cold. I hear my mom’s voice in my head. She says “Make chicken soup. The broth is good for them.” Mom’s Jedi powers are strong. I defrost some chicken, chop up some veggies and we’re good to go. Chicken soup is simmering on the stovetop, and Heather just said “It smells soooo good.” Thanks, Mom. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1.5 pounds chicken meat (breast and/or thigh), chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium rutabaga, chopped

3 parsnips, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, diced

8 ounces brown and white mushroom, chopped

10 cups chicken broth

1 tsp parsley, sage and thyme

1 whole bay leaf

1/2 cup pearl barley

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

Add olive oil to a large soup pot. Set heat to medium-high, then add chopped chicken meat. Stir frequently to make sure chicken is thoroughly cooked and does not burn. Once chicken is no loner pink (about 10 minutes), add onions, garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, parsley, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once onions begin to sweat, add the rutabaga and parsnips. Then add the chicken broth and bay leaf and bring to boil. Once boiling, set heat to low, add barley, stir and cover. Let cook for 30 minutes. Ready to eat!

Another fantastic one pot meal!

Chicken and Barley Soup with Root Vegetables2020-01-30T13:33:18-06:00

Mung Bean Soup Recipe

 

Looking for a warm, filling and delicious recipe on a cold winter’s night? Then check out this Mung Bean Soup Recipe (adapted from PinchofYum.com).

Ingredients

2 cups dry mung beans, monggo beans or green lentils

8 cups vegetable broth

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 cup coconut milk 

1 cup chopped spinach

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot. Add the rinsed mung beans and cook, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. * You can also add the broth and beans to the pot at the same time and then bring to a boil. Since this was the first time preparing the dish, I wasn’t sure what consistency to aim for. I have prepared both lentil soup and split pea soup before. With lentil soup, the beans are still intact (just soft), and with split peas, they often dissolve and it turns into more of a porridge.  
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, and ginger in the oil until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add to the mung pot and allow the mixture to simmer together for a few minutes.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk and chopped spinach. Serve over rice or plain.

Apparently this was so good that my oldest son asked to bring some for his school lunch today!

Mung Bean Soup Recipe2020-01-28T11:50:03-06:00

My New Favorite Protein Powder

A question I often get asked is “Should I be drinking a protein shake or take some kind of protein/amino acids supplement?” You already know my answer.  “It depends.” How many meals and snacks are you eating each day? Do you have a balanced diet? Are you a vegetarian? What are your health and fitness goals? How often, how intense and how long are your workouts? You’ve heard this routine of mine before.

Over the years I have run across all sorts of formulas to help calculate how much protein people need. Anywhere from 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight to over 1 gram per pound of weight. That’s a huge difference. Often these calculations are purely arbitrary. Having done extensive reading and research over my 24+ years of Personal Training, I’ve come to realize that the average person doesn’t require nearly as much protein as the high level elite athlete. Someone who is constantly breaking down muscle tissue and needs to repair, recover, prevent/reduce injury and improve his/her performance. That’s an entirely different thing all together. Just remember, though, that protein is just one part of your dietary equation. That’s why it is key to keep a journal of your food intake and workouts. The tendency is to focus on the workouts, specific training routines, amounts of weights, etc. When in fact, that should be secondary to a diet that complements your exercise program and will lead you to your health and fitness goal(s). 

So why do I have a pic of me holding a tub of protein powder? To promote it? Partially. To educate you? Yes, that too.  My wife, Heather, recently picked up a container of Orgain Protein Powder from Costco.  She knew that I liked to make smoothies and thought this would be a tasty and healthy addition. My typical smoothie (without any protein powder) consists of 1/2 cup plain or Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup dairy, soy or almond milk, 1/2 cup frozen fruit, a couple kale leaves chopped and one medium size banana.  The reason for these amounts is that it fits in the 16-ounce cup of my Ninja Blender. I looked at the protein powder ingredients and was pleasantly surprised: Organic vegetarian protein blend (organic pea protein, organic brown rice protein and organic chia seed), organic acacia, organic high oleic sunflower oil, organic rice dextrin, organic rice bran extract, organic rosemary extract, organic erythritol, organic alkalized cocoa, organic acacia, sea salt, organic stevia, organic guar gum, natural flavors, xantham gum and probiotic (bacillus subtilis). Plus it has 21 grams of protein per serving, 6 grams fiber and 255mg of potassium.   I added the protein powder to my regular smoothie ingredients and blended it up. Since it was a little thicker than usual, I needed to add a bit of water. Now came the official taste test.  Drum roll please. It was delicious, and the chocolate flavor did not have an artificial/synthetic taste. I’m a bit of a chocolate snob. The fiber made it filling too. Overall, I really enjoyed it and felt satisfied. Best of all, I had no gastrointestinal issues with it. And let me tell you, over the years, I have tried many supplements: protein powders, shakes, pills, meal replacement shakes, pre and post workout powders, etc. Many of them would absolutely rip my insides apart. 

After drinking the shake, did I feel a surge of power like when Popeye eats his spinach? Nope. This is not a pre-workout drink loaded with caffeine and other stimulants.  For me it’s an excellent accountability and motivation tool. . . and I get my chocolate fix. It’s like buying a new pair of athletic shoes, purchasing personal training sessions or picking up a healthy recipe book, they all encourage you to make healthy choices. Each time you look at those athletic shoes, hopefully you’ll think of exercising and doing something good for yourself. When you see your PT appointments in your calendar you’ll be motivated to stay on track between workouts. That healthy cookbook sitting on your kitchen counter is just begging you to open it and try a new delicious recipe. For me, this protein powder is a keeper.

My New Favorite Protein Powder2020-01-22T10:47:56-06:00

How to Make Time for Exercise

We are all busy, and sometimes it can be challenging to carve out time for yourself for exercise. There’s work obligations, family commitments, social events, etc. Days fill up fast, but what’s left for you? Watch my 12-minute video and learn step-by-step how to free up your schedule and make time for your health and fitness. Enjoy! 

How to Make Time for Exercise2019-12-19T08:45:32-06:00