Pieces in Progress: Living fit, healthy, & happy!

Living in New England, I’ve gotten a bit spoiled about my produce- specifically zucchinis. They get to be HUUUGGGEEEE and seem to be easy to grow, so much so that farmers around here sell them by the piece not the pound. Luckily for me, that combination leads to jumbo 2lb squashes that cost just 50 cents a piece and at that price I tend to work zucchini into as many meals as possible and so we have this: ooey-gooey cheese zucchini breakfast pie. It’s loaded with fresh zuccs but then lightened up with a mixture of whole eggs and egg whites for extra protein. Top all that with some good sharp cheddar (bonus protein!) and you’ve got a delicious breakfast you can really fill up on!
Get this super easy, protein packed recipe here!

Living in New England, I’ve gotten a bit spoiled about my produce- specifically zucchinis. They get to be HUUUGGGEEEE and seem to be easy to grow, so much so that farmers around here sell them by the piece not the pound. Luckily for me, that combination leads to jumbo 2lb squashes that cost just 50 cents a piece and at that price I tend to work zucchini into as many meals as possible and so we have this: ooey-gooey cheese zucchini breakfast pie. It’s loaded with fresh zuccs but then lightened up with a mixture of whole eggs and egg whites for extra protein. Top all that with some good sharp cheddar (bonus protein!) and you’ve got a delicious breakfast you can really fill up on!

Get this super easy, protein packed recipe here!

Working throughout college in a coffee shop, I gained (aside from my co-manager husband) a deep love for coffee & tea. This has been both a blessing and a curse. On the up side, I know exactly how I like my caffiene, but on the downside… I know exactly how I like my caffiene! Over time I’ve experimented with just about every way to make a latte, cappuccino, fresh iced tea, you name it, but the biggest innovation I had in my coffee skills actually came from making ice cream…
Get the recipe and read the whole story on my new domain here!

Working throughout college in a coffee shop, I gained (aside from my co-manager husband) a deep love for coffee & tea. This has been both a blessing and a curse. On the up side, I know exactly how I like my caffiene, but on the downside… I know exactly how I like my caffiene! Over time I’ve experimented with just about every way to make a latte, cappuccino, fresh iced tea, you name it, but the biggest innovation I had in my coffee skills actually came from making ice cream…

Get the recipe and read the whole story on my new domain here!

Grilled Eggplant Steaks with feta & olive salad
It might be back-to-school time but the summer isn’t gone yet so get those grills going with one of my all time favorite summer ingredients: eggplant! The meaty texture holds up well with grilling but also allows it to really soak up whatever flavors you give it. In this recipe I used garlic oil for just that reason! The eggplant absorbs all that fantastic garlic flavor so on it’s own it’s rich and flavorful but then topping it with a Mediterranean inspired salad makes this side dish into a star.
The recipe is available exclusively in my e-cookbook Summer Fresh. The book is filled with 25 unique recipes (and a few bonuses) that are easy, healthy, and vegetarian (and gluten free!). Please consider supporting my blog and check it out! I promise if you like my blog will love these recipes. :)
 

Grilled Eggplant Steaks with feta & olive salad

It might be back-to-school time but the summer isn’t gone yet so get those grills going with one of my all time favorite summer ingredients: eggplant! The meaty texture holds up well with grilling but also allows it to really soak up whatever flavors you give it. In this recipe I used garlic oil for just that reason! The eggplant absorbs all that fantastic garlic flavor so on it’s own it’s rich and flavorful but then topping it with a Mediterranean inspired salad makes this side dish into a star.

The recipe is available exclusively in my e-cookbook Summer Fresh. The book is filled with 25 unique recipes (and a few bonuses) that are easy, healthy, and vegetarian (and gluten free!). Please consider supporting my blog and check it out! I promise if you like my blog will love these recipes. :)

 

With the start of a new academic year, September is a great time to start up new healthy habits so I made this challenge to help you try out a few of my favorites! You’ll only do each different challenge a few times but if you like it stick with it! I hope you can use this challenge as a motivation, a kick start, for things that will help you build & sustain a healthy lifestyle. And feel free to customize! You can add in other challenges, swap them around, make this work for you.

 I would LOVE to see how you all use the chart so if you do tag me in it here or on my instagram @ piecesinprogress !! :)

Fresh Start September Challenge Instructions:

  1. Print out both sheets (blow up as an image in Microsoft Word).
  2. Cut out daily challenges and put each piece of paper in a challenge bowl (you can decorate this too!)
  3. Every day pick out 1 new challenge from the bowl.
  4. Once you complete that day’s challenge tape it up on the blank chart.

Optional: set prizes for completing certain numbers of challenges!

For more health/fitness inspired challenges go here! :)

What do YOU want to see on Minute Kitchen next?

Right now I’m debating between: Zucchini Oatmeal Mini Muffins, Cheesy Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes, Chocolate Coconut Magic Bars, or Farm Fresh Roasted Veggies (all gluten free) but I’m completely open to other requests too! I’m cooking in the morning so what do you want to watch? :)

Have you seen Minute Kitchen yet? What do you think! It’s my new video series showing you how to make delicious, easy recipes that just happen to be great for you too all in 1 beautiful minute!

Risotto has always been one of my favorite “health” dishes because it is so delicious and creamy and satisfying that it feels like you’re eating something rich when really you’re eating a nutrient packed veggie-delivery-system! The great thing about risotto is you can really add whatever veggies you like/ can get locally. This is a great time of year to get zucchini (I actually only needed 1 zucchini to get all 3 cups worth!) so that’s what I went with but feel free to swap in whatever you like. Another great thing about risotto is it travels phenomenally well and tastes great fresh and as leftovers for the next few days. It’s so convenient I’ll often make a jumbo batch on the weekend then store it in single serving (16 oz) Mason Jars to grab and go with all week! It does take attention but it is so  worth the effort to have something this healthy AND this tasty!
Traditional risotto recipes call for stock (veggie stock in my case) not water, but I prefer water because the flavor of the stock can overwhelm the freshness of the veggies. If you have a stock you love the taste of though go ahead and use it! The rice will absorb the flavors of whatever it’s cooked with.
Here’s 5 more risotto flavor combos:
Lemon, zucchini, shiitake mushroom
Asparagus & oven roasted tomatoes (add them towards the end)
Arugula (add at the last minute), lemon zest, peas
Butternut squash & carrot (try adding a tiny bit of cinnamon & cumin to this one!)
Cherry tomatoes, green beans, lemon zest, & almond slivers
For more healthy, delicious (and gluten free!) one pot meals go here! :)

Risotto has always been one of my favorite “health” dishes because it is so delicious and creamy and satisfying that it feels like you’re eating something rich when really you’re eating a nutrient packed veggie-delivery-system! The great thing about risotto is you can really add whatever veggies you like/ can get locally. This is a great time of year to get zucchini (I actually only needed 1 zucchini to get all 3 cups worth!) so that’s what I went with but feel free to swap in whatever you like. Another great thing about risotto is it travels phenomenally well and tastes great fresh and as leftovers for the next few days. It’s so convenient I’ll often make a jumbo batch on the weekend then store it in single serving (16 oz) Mason Jars to grab and go with all week! It does take attention but it is so worth the effort to have something this healthy AND this tasty!

Traditional risotto recipes call for stock (veggie stock in my case) not water, but I prefer water because the flavor of the stock can overwhelm the freshness of the veggies. If you have a stock you love the taste of though go ahead and use it! The rice will absorb the flavors of whatever it’s cooked with.

Here’s 5 more risotto flavor combos:

  • Lemon, zucchini, shiitake mushroom
  • Asparagus & oven roasted tomatoes (add them towards the end)
  • Arugula (add at the last minute), lemon zest, peas
  • Butternut squash & carrot (try adding a tiny bit of cinnamon & cumin to this one!)
  • Cherry tomatoes, green beans, lemon zest, & almond slivers

For more healthy, delicious (and gluten free!) one pot meals go here! :)

Mediterranean Quinoa Jars- vegan, gf, & dorm room ready!

It’s back to school time and you asked for a dorm friendly meal so here’s my favorite! All you need is a microwave & cutting surface. I recommend checking out the local farmer’s market for the cheapest (and freshest!) produce then making these the same day. They should last about a week in the fridge! Of course you can customize them to have your own favorite veggies- this is ESPECIALLY good with oven roasted veggies if you have access to an oven! Best of all these jars are vegan, gluten free, and taste great at any temperature so go ahead and grab it on the run!

MAKE SURE you put the dressing at the bottom and quinoa on top so that it doesn’t absorb the dressing! Using less absorbent ingredients like peppers, onions, & tomatoes at the bottom will help prevent this.

Typed out ingredients & directions are on the youtube page here.

MAKES 3 SERVINGS (this will change based on the cheese you use! I use My Fitness Pal to calculate the recipe)
353 calories, 13g fat, 48 carbs, 14g protein

For more Minute Kitchen video recipes go here!

Minute Kitchen episode 4 is here! It’s back to school time so this week I decided to take a request for an easy, healthy, dorm ready recipe and this is it! The great thing about this dish, besides being vegan and gluten free, is that all you need to make it is a microwave and a cutting surface! The jars are totally customizable to your favorite veggies and will last about a week in the fridge so make them ahead and you’ll have amazing grab & go meals every day!
Each jar is 353 calories, 13g fat, 48 carbs, and 14g protein.
WATCH THE VIDEO & GET THE RECIPE HERE!
Minute Kitchen is my brand new cooking show. It teaches you how to make an easy, delicious recipe that just happens to be great for you too all in just 1 beautiful minute! Check out all the videos here, new videos go up every Wednesday!

Minute Kitchen episode 4 is here! It’s back to school time so this week I decided to take a request for an easy, healthy, dorm ready recipe and this is it! The great thing about this dish, besides being vegan and gluten free, is that all you need to make it is a microwave and a cutting surface! The jars are totally customizable to your favorite veggies and will last about a week in the fridge so make them ahead and you’ll have amazing grab & go meals every day!

Each jar is 353 calories, 13g fat, 48 carbs, and 14g protein.

WATCH THE VIDEO & GET THE RECIPE HERE!

Minute Kitchen is my brand new cooking show. It teaches you how to make an easy, delicious recipe that just happens to be great for you too all in just 1 beautiful minute! Check out all the videos here, new videos go up every Wednesday!

Piecesinprogress on Instagram! It has daily updates with recipes, grocery shopping, cute pictures of Joey (usually behind the scenes with her investigating my food photography haha!) and more! Come say hi! :)

Piecesinprogress on Instagram! It has daily updates with recipes, grocery shopping, cute pictures of Joey (usually behind the scenes with her investigating my food photography haha!) and more! Come say hi! :)

Here it is, the monster of at home workouts. It might look like your average equipment free, do anywhere plan but trust me, this one is a killer! I originally intended this to be 3 repetitions of the first cycle but as I led my XC team through this plan, I quickly realized that was pushing it haha. You can certainly attempt to do the longer version and as always modify this to meet your body’s needs!
This is designed to have 1-2 minutes of rest between each cycle but try to keep rest between exercises to 15-30 seconds (at most).
(And all my college friends out there, if I hadn’t made this for my team I would say this was made for you because it is perfect for dorm rooms! You can do it with minimal space, there’s no jumping to bother neighbors, and you can adapt the length of time to fit your schedule!)
For more at home, equipment free workout plans go here!

Here it is, the monster of at home workouts. It might look like your average equipment free, do anywhere plan but trust me, this one is a killer! I originally intended this to be 3 repetitions of the first cycle but as I led my XC team through this plan, I quickly realized that was pushing it haha. You can certainly attempt to do the longer version and as always modify this to meet your body’s needs!

This is designed to have 1-2 minutes of rest between each cycle but try to keep rest between exercises to 15-30 seconds (at most).

(And all my college friends out there, if I hadn’t made this for my team I would say this was made for you because it is perfect for dorm rooms! You can do it with minimal space, there’s no jumping to bother neighbors, and you can adapt the length of time to fit your schedule!)

For more at home, equipment free workout plans go here!

It has been a LONG day- teaching a 6 AM yoga class then a full day of cross country coaching (I have an amazing at home workout for you guys based on the core routine I made for my kids today!), and my first day of grad school- and I am exhausted. I’ll be back tomorrow with one of the best total body at home workouts I’ve pulled together in a while BUT if you’re looking for some healthy food inspiration tonight check out Minute Kitchen! These videos are my pride and joy haha! A new recipe is going up on Wednesday- completely dorm friendly (read: all you need is a microwave) lemony Mediterranean quinoa salad jars!

What’s Minute Kitchen you ask? My new series of 1-minute cooking videos teaching you (beautifully) how to make my favorite easy, healthy recipes! Click the links to check out the video! I’d love your feedback so I can keep improving them each week!

imageVideo Here— Nutrition per brownie: 80 calories, 2g fat, 12 carbs, 5g protein

image

Video Here— Nutrition per 2 Tbsp: 30 calories, 2g fat,  3 carbs, 1g protein

image

Video Here— Nutrition per serving: 290 calories, 5g fat, 52 carbs, 8g protein

It’s time for another smoothie roundup! This time it’s all about classic, creamy banana based protein smoothies. I purposely didn’t put a specific type of protein powder in because you should use the one that you like best! Personally, I usually use Tera’s Whey but when I want a vegan options I go for Vega One. Sadly they are both very expensive so if you want to skip the powders all together but still want the protein add in your favorite Greek (or soy) yogurt instead! It’s cheaper but still gives you tons of refueling protein.

For more delicious, healthy smoothie ideas go here!

These brownies are the triple  threat: they’re filled with chocolatey deliciousness, get double the protein from both beans and protein powder, AND are a snap to make (confession: I usually just make them entirely in the blender haha). Oh and did you notice they’re gluten free too! It’s a great recipe for picky eaters or just anyone who wants a tasty treat that’s sneakily good for them too!

Makes 16 Brownies
80 calories, 2g fat, 12 carbs, 5g protein

Minute Kitchen is my brand new youtube show dedicated to teaching you how to make easy, delicious recipes that just happen to be great for you all in 1 beautiful minute! New videos go up every Wednesday so let me know if you have requests!

Minute Kitchen episode 3 is here! Check out this awesome recipe for (gluten free) black bean protein brownies. So easy, absolutely delicious and with 5g of protein per 80-calorie brownie they’re actually pretty good for you too!
Have you watched my new cooking series Minute Kitchen yet? What do you think of it so far? Any requests for next week’s episode? Let me know, new videos will be posted every Wednesday!

Minute Kitchen episode 3 is here! Check out this awesome recipe for (gluten free) black bean protein brownies. So easy, absolutely delicious and with 5g of protein per 80-calorie brownie they’re actually pretty good for you too!

Have you watched my new cooking series Minute Kitchen yet? What do you think of it so far? Any requests for next week’s episode? Let me know, new videos will be posted every Wednesday!