21 Day Fix: Poached Eggs over Turkey Sausage and Wilted Spinach

Here’s another great breakfast or lunch recipe that works while on the 21 Day Fix! I have eaten this the past two days for a late lunch since my morning Shakeology shakes have been keeping me so full and energized.

My roommate and I LOVE poached eggs so no surprise that one of our favorite dishes is Eggs Benedict. While the original is tasty, this 21 Day Fix-approved version cuts out all of the butter, salt and bacon and while still being packed full of flavor. Plus, eggs are a great source of protein and they keep you full. Poaching is the healthiest way to cook them because you don’t need any fat or oil.

Put a runny egg on anything and I’m sold!

Poached Eggs over Turkey Sausage and Wilted Spinach

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • 2 Banquet Brown’N Serve Turkey Sausage Patties, frozen  0.5 red
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 2 large fresh eggs  1 red
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped onion or shallot  **I counted this as part of my 1 green
  • 1 cup of fresh baby spinach  1 green
  • Paprika
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

 

Preheat your oven to 250F.

Place the 2 frozen Banquet Brown’N Serve Turkey Sausage Patties in an unheated skillet with a lid along with the 3 tablespoons of water. Cover and heat over medium for 5 minutes. Uncover, flip the patties, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the second side has browned. Wrap loosely in foil and keep warm in the oven.

Fill a shallow fry or saute pan (preferably metal, not non-stick) with 1.5-2″ of water and bring to a boil.

In a separate skillet heat 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil over a medium heat. Add your chopped onions and turn the heat down to medium-low so they do not burn.

Once the water for your eggs begins to boil reduce to very low simmer. Add 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar.

Crack your eggs one at a time into a small bowl and gently slide them into the simmering water. Use a spoon to gently nudge the egg whites back towards the yolk.

As soon as your eggs are in add the 1 cup of spinach to the skillet with the onions to cook just enough so it begins to wilt.

Let your eggs cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel.

Take your turkey sausage patties out of the oven. Place the spinach and onion saute down on a plate. Top with the turkey sausage and poached eggs. Add a pinch of paprika and freshly cracked black pepper before serving.

Poached Eggs over Turkey Sausage and Wilted Spinach

Poached Eggs over Turkey Sausage and Wilted SpinachPoached Eggs over Turkey Sausage and Wilted Spinach

21 Day Fix: Shrimp with Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

A few friends and I decided to try out the 21 Day Fix after a very overly indulgent summer.

The 21 Day Fix is a meal and exercise plan that helps with portion control, clean eating and daily exercise promising that you will see weight and inches lost within the 21 days.

I have to admit I was hesitant because:  1) It was a lot of money,  2) I don’t believe in any fad diets because I feel the pounds just pack on right after, and  3) after I spend all this money will I be able to stick to the plan or would it just be a waste?

When your challenge pack arrives it is overwhelming.

Each kit comes with: A start guide,  an eating guide, exercise DVDs, color coded food portion containers, as well as a month supply of the Shakeology and a Shakeology cup.

Shakeology is superfood-packed protein drink that while trying to lose weight you can use as a meal replacement. It comes in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and greenberry. Again, I was hesitant because I have never had a protein shake before and was worried it was going to be gross. I ordered the chocolate flavor and I am happy to say it is DELICIOUS! I make mine with either frozen banana and nutella or a scoop of natural peanut butter and I look forward to it each and every morning.

Shakeology is a lot more expensive than store bought protein powders so I compared the ingredients looking for an alternative and could not find one as nutritious. It is worth the money to me because of how energized I feel all day after drinking it. It has replaced my morning coffee and truly does help reduce cravings. After only 13 days I can’t imagine starting my mornings without it. Besides, if you do the math is comes out to a little over $3 per day – I would spend more than that at Starbucks!

While we have a gym membership we have taken this 21 days to try out the daily 30 minute exercise DVD’s with celebrity trainer Autumn Calabrese –  read her blog she is adorable, funny and has worked so hard on this program! These DVD’s range from cardio, to upper and lower body toning, pilates, yoga and even a bonus 10 minute abs. After the classes we take at the gym I thought these would be easy and I was SO wrong. The first day of the challenge we did ‘Total Body Cardio Fix’ and I couldn’t walk for 2 days. Now we already feel stronger and can get through the tough parts of the workouts that we struggled with in the first week. Starting next week we are going to being incorporating our gym routine back in as well as we do our DVDs in the morning before work.

Who are we working out Saturday AND Sunday each weekend?? Never thought I would see the day :)

The part I love most about this program is the eating plan. I like to call it “Clean Eating for Dummies”. After looking up 21 Day Fix recipes on Pinterest I was saddened by the lack of creative and flavorful dishes that were out there – I can only eat so much salad and chicken in one week!

It has become my project these past two weeks to come up with recipes that work in the eating plan but have tons of flavor and don’t leave you hungry. You will be amazed how flavorful your food can still be while omitting salt, sugar and any kind of artificial ingredients.

The first day of the challenge you take your weight and measurements. Based off of that you are able to find out what calorie bracket you fall into so you know how many of each color food containers you get every day. When I first saw the containers I was shocked how small they are but if you fill them up and then put your meal on a plate I promise you it is a lot of food. It’s a good lesson in what actual portion control should be as well.

Each day I get the following:  3 green (vegetables), 2 purple (fruit), 4 red (protein), 2 yellow (carbs), 1 blue (fats and cheeses), 1 orange (seeds and oils), and 2 teaspoons (cooking oils and nut butters).

All spices (except salt), fresh herbs, vinegars, mustards, garlic, ginger, lemon and lime juices, tabasco and flavor extras are all considered “free foods” so use these as much as you want.

Working withing these guidelines and having a shake every day for breakfast I have been able to come up with some great recipes I am excited to share! I am shocked at how great I feel from eating clean and how much my energy has skyrocketed.

You are really supposed to cut out almost all alcohol which is VERY hard to do. While we have cut back we are still having a vodka soda here and there on Saturday night – we would go crazy if we didn’t have a social life for 21 days!

For my first 21 Day Fix recipe post I am sharing Shrimp with Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes and Goat Cheese. My roommate came up with this dish and it has been our favorite dinner so far. I make this at least once a week.

I want to give a big THANK YOU to our Team Beachbody Coach Colleen who as kept us on track these past two weeks by creating a fun facebook group where we talk about our progress and share recipes and tips. I am excited to say I was down 5lbs in the first week and am already looking forward to round 2.

EEEK!


Shrimp with Asparagus, Tomato and Goat Cheese

 

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • Whole grain penne  2 yellow
  • 6 large or jumbo shrimp, uncooked (fresh or thawed if frozen)  1 red
  • Mrs. Dash seasoning, pinch
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (or olive oil)  1 spoon
  • 10 asparagus, chopped  1 green
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved  0.5 green
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of crumbled goat cheese  0.5 blue

 

Cook the whole grain penne according to the package directions.

Remove the shells and/or tails from the shrimp and season with a large pinch of Mrs. Dash seasoning.

Heat 1 tsp of coconut oil over a medium heat. Add the chopped asparagus. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the halved tomatoes, minced garlic and red pepper flakes (optional) and saute for 1 more minute.

Add the shrimp and a squirt of lemon juice. Cook for 2-3 minutes until shrimp is pink and fully cooked, flipping the shrimp over halfway through.

Drain the whole grain penne and add to the skillet (measure out 2 yellow if cooking a larger portion of penne).

Top with the crumbled goat cheese.

Shrimp with Asparagus, Tomato and Goat Cheese

 

See I told you it would be a lot of food!

Gather: An Innovation in Dining

After a crazy busy, yet beyond fun summer in Newport, I am happy to be home and getting back to a routine and all the fun activities the fall season has in store! I took a break from posting to enjoy warm weather but did sneak in a few new restaurants that I have been wanting to try. This post is from dinner with friends at Gather, a new restaurant that opened this year in Boston’s Innovation District within District Hall.

District Hall is a dedicated civic space encouraging people to come and collaborate in beautifully designed building where you will find open work spaces, classrooms and assembly spaces.

Take the online virtual tour to get a better look inside the space. I am looking forward to working from here – I think it is the perfect spot to get the creative juices flowing!

District Hall

District Hall

When we arrived at Gather we were lucky to get a table on their patio. Before I even opened their menu I knew I was going to like it there!

Menu

As we looked everything over we all sipped on the Contemporary Art: The ICA Cocktail. This refreshing drink of muddled mixed berries, Stoli Strasberi Vodka, Pom and lemon juice is a fitting drink for the restaurant as the ICA is located so close by.

ICA Cocktail

ICA Cocktail

We decided to share some appetizers and while all options on the menu looked interesting to me we chose the meatballs and the hummus and olive tapendae plate.

I could eat 100 of these meatballs made from a veal and pork blend smothered in a roasted tomato sauce and topped with fresh parmesan cheese. We cleaned this plate in 2.5 seconds flat. I will dream about these meatballs.

Meatballs

Meatballs

The hummus and olive tapenade plate with grilled naan bread and veggie chips was not an option I would have chosen but I am so glad my friends suggested it. The naan was so fresh and was the perfect dipping vehicle for the hummus and olives (and for the extra sauce from the meatballs!). The portion size was perfect for sharing and did not fill us up before our entrees arrived.

Hummus & Olive Tapenade Plate

Hummus & Olive Tapenade Plate

One of my friends ordered the steak frites that came with a house made steak sauce. Look how perfectly that meat is cooked with the warm pink center! The fries were well seasoned and cooked just enough to give a crunchy bite with a warm center.

Steak Frites

Steak Frites

My other friend chose the sweet and savory chopped salad with chicken. I find chopped salads easier to eat and would love to go back to Gather and get this beauty for lunch one day. Look at all the yummy ingredients they pack in here: mango, feta cheese, cucumber, tomato, apple, avocado, grilled corn, lemon and basil.

Sweet & Savory Chopped Salad

Sweet & Savory Chopped Salad

Based off a recommendation from a coworker I chose the braised short rib gnocchi with apple slaw and ricotta salata. While I am still not exactly sure what ricotta salata is, I have been seeing it around a lot and really enjoy it.

Braised Short Rib Gnocchi

Braised Short Rib Gnocchi

The short rib was so juicy and the gnocchi were nice and tender. The apple slaw gave just the right amount of kick to the dish as well. I was shocked at how large the portion was and by the time I was full it didn’t even seem like I made a dent! I was able to take home most of it and enjoy it again the next day.

Braised Short Rib Gnocchi

Braised Short Rib Gnocchi

As the sun set the hanging pendant lights from the restaurants interior were glowing through the glass.

Lights

I am looking forward to my next trip to District Hall and meal at Gather.

Have you been yet?

Gather
75 Northern Ave.
Boston, MA 02210

617.982.7220

Thames Street Kitchen

I am embarrassed to say this is my SECOND summer living in Newport and I have just now made it to Thames Street Kitchen (TSK). I have heard many fantastic review of TSK from friends familiar with the area and had been eagerly awaiting a visit of my own.

TSK opened in 2011 serving farm to table dishes with ingredients that are locally sourced and a menu that changes weekly. Located towards the end of Thames Street this small cozy restaurant is also BYOB so make sure to grab some beers or your favorite bottle of wine from the liquor store nearby before settling in at your table.

How cute are these fresh flowers that were placed on every table?

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Each week TSK develops a new menu using whatever local ingredients are the freshest.

Here’s what the menu looked like the night we went in July: IMG_3824

While we looked over the menu the waitress brought out warm bread and butter.IMG_3827

To start the meal we shared a squash blossom which was fried in a tempura batter and filled with ricotta and smoked tomato aioli. The tempura batter was nice and light and did not over power the squash. I love ricotta and the filling on this appetizer was so warm and creamy.

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For my entree I chose the whole black sea bass with chili sauce and ginger. I have never eaten a fish cooked whole like this and it did not disappoint. The bass was cooked perfectly and the sauce had just the right amount of spice. I would order this dish again in a heartbeat!

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My friend Jaime chose the beef tartar with caper berries and artichoke.

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My other friend Jen chose the beef chuck flap with miso and peach.

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Amanda had the smoked half chicken with eggplant and tomatillo. I love how crispy the skin was and the meat was so juicy from being cooked on the bone.

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As a side we ordered some basmati rice cakes with scallions. I would never think to make a dish like this with rice but I loved how crispy the outside got while the inside still stayed warm and fluffy. These are rather large in size and come 3 to an order so they are good to share with a group.

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If you are in the Newport, RI area Thames Street Kitchen is worth a visit. I know I will be back and am excited to see what the menu for my next visit will have in store!

Don’t forget to BYOB!!

Thames Street Kitchen
677 Thames Street
Newport, RI 02840

401.846.9100