Nutrition Fact Friday: Spinach

Hey ya’ll! It is that time of the week again. Nutrition fact Friday. Definitely one of the best days of the week. I’m thinking of even revamping it more and making it a link party in which fellow bloggers make a recipe based on that weeks topic. That would be fun. Until then lets talk about today’s topic, which is one of my favorite vegetables: SPINACH! I seriously love spinach. You can do so much with it and it provides tons of nutrients, so lets get this nutrition education lesson started!

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Look at that delicious bowl of spinach. Doesn’t that make you hungry? When most people think of spinach, they think of two things: Popeye and a slimy green vegetable that tastes disgusting. What?!? Those people are seriously delusional because spinach is great. You can have it fresh, frozen, or from a can. It really depends on what you want to do with it and what your budget is. So lets check out the nutrients that are in spinach. One cup of spinach (fresh or cooked) packs a mean load of vitamins to meet our daily requirements. It meets over our daily intake for vitamin K and vitamin A. It is also a good source for manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, and vitamin C. It also has some significant amounts, 5-25% of our DI, of other vitamins and minerals. Therefore by just consuming spinach at one meal, such as in a salad, you are already getting a good amount of nutrients. It is always important to try to have a balanced diet to meet these daily requirements since each vitamin and mineral provides specific health benefits.

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Since spinach is packed with tons of nutrients that means that it also has a ton of health benefits associated with it. Spinach is pretty much a super food or as we nutritionists like to call it a functional food. So lets discuss all the things that spinach can do for you and maybe you will change your mind about this “icky” vegetable. Spinach contains a lot of flavanoid compounds, which means that it has an anti-cancer effect by providing an anti-inflammatory effect. Excessive amounts of inflammation can lead to the development of cancer, so therefore having something that fights against this inflammation means that it will help decrease the risk of cancer. These flavanoids also act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body against oxidative stress, which is a stress that leads to various problems throughout the body. For example, oxidative stress causes damage to our blood vessels, so the flavanoids from spinach come in to help decrease atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. Spinach also contains carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which focus on eye health. With the consumption of spinach, you have a significant increase in lutein, which is good in prevention of macular degeneration. Also due to these carotenoids, spinach provides an immune protection function.

So what is the benefit of having way over the amount of vitamin K? Let me tell you! Vitamin K is important for maintaining bone health, which is nice since most people think that only dairy products are used for bone health. Get in your spinach to help your bones. Specifically vitamin K helps prevent an overproduction of osteoclasts, which are specific cells that are used to break down bones. Spinach is one of the only vegetables that packs this much vitamin K, so therefore if your diet is lacking then spinach is the go to choice. Get on the spinach train now! Now time for the fun part: THE RECIPES!

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One of my favorite blogs, Skinny Taste,  has a delicious recipe of stuffed chicken with spinach and feta. A good way to make spinach more edible for those palates that don’t particularly like the texture or taste is to mix it with something creamy. Trust me when I say that these Skinnytaste recipes are amazeballs. Try this one out and then go through her blog to check out her other recipes because they are the bomb!

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Check out this delicious recipe from a Tasty Love Story. It is a recipe for creamy spinach with fried eggs. Once again the recipe is utilizing a creamy texture in order to make the spinach more edible, but I like that it uses spinach in other ways rather than just a salad or a topping on a sandwich. You can definitely incorporate spinach into breakfast. You can put it in omelets or even make some spinach pancakes. To make this dish healthier, instead of using the cooking cream, I would opt for greek yogurt. That way you are getting more protein and lower calories.

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A typical route to always go with spinach is through a salad. This is a delicious salad from Recipe Girl. This is a simple spinach salad with chicken, avocado, and goat cheese. The good thing about salads is that you can not only get tons of the benefits from spinach, but you can also add tons of toppings that pack a nutritious punch. Ideas would be pomegranate seeds, red onions, tomatoes, nuts, and avocado. You can get a source of protein by adding chicken or tofu and a source of fat by having the avocado, cheese, or a healthy oil for dressing.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks nutrition fact Friday! Now go out and buy some bags of spinach. You definitely won’t regret it and neither will your body.

What is your favorite way to use spinach?
What would you like to see for nutrition fact friday?

The Perfect Roommate Date

Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone has had a pretty great weekend. Mine has been awesome even with all the studying and paper writing that I have had to do. One of the highlights of the weekend was going on my roommate date. My roommates and I decided that we have been having and still will have this graduate school hell weeks that we needed a nice night out. We decided to get sushi for this roommate dinner, so I looked up places and found a delicious one that would suit all our needs. I ended up making reservations online at Open Table, which was a smart idea because this place was crazy when we got there.

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This place was amazing for many reasons, but one of them was for the drinks. They had a happy hour from 5-9 pm that had 2 for 8$ cocktails. That is a steal. Seriously. The first weekend I went out in New York, I ordered a vodka and tonic, and had to pay 12$ for one small drink. WHAT? This is not the world that I want to be buying drinks in, so getting two for that price was amazing. These drinks were strong too, so we were feeling a little buzzed. This was a grapefruit cocktail that my roommate got. We all enjoyed our drinks so much.

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I got a drink called the Rainbow. It had citrus vodka, blue curaco, and pineapple juice. It was delicious. After one drink, I wasn’t really sure how I was going to have another, so I’m glad that the waiter didn’t come back to get our second drink order until after we had gotten some sushi in our stomachs. We were in drink heaven though. This would definitely be a good place to go if you just wanted drinks too, but the food was just as amazing. Not to mention the awesome staff.

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One of my roommates is a vegetarian, so she ordered vegetable tempura as her appetizer. It was cool because you could specifically pick what vegetables or items you wanted as tempura, it came with two pieces, and depending on the item it was only 2-3$. She let Carrianne and I split the zucchini piece and it was delicious. It was perfectly fried on the outside and the vegetable was soft on the inside. She ended up getting broccoli, asparagus, and zucchini. The pieces were so large though, so you definitely needed to cut them up. Also they only give you chopsticks here, so if you aren’t good with them, definitely ask if you can get a fork and knife.

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Carrianne and I ended up splitting an appetizer. We got bacon wrapped scallops. These were so good. The bacon was so smoky, so it enhanced the simple flavor and texture of the scallop. The sauce on top was delicious. It was a sweet flavor mixed with a hint of the green onion. It was a nice light way to start the meal. It definitely didn’t provide any substance in our stomachs as we threw back our drinks.

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Hello to sushi heaven. Did I order way too many rolls? Yes, but oh well. I managed to eat almost all of it. I attribute this to the alcohol in a small way and my determination to consume some of the best and affordable sushi that was available. On this plate is a pumpkin tempura roll, a heart throb roll, and a bagel roll. Lets talk about how cheap this sushi was. The pumpkin tempura roll was only 4.50$! The heart throb was 12$ and the bagel was 10$. In my opinion that is pretty good for crazy specialty rolls. Some places can charge up to 15 for just your basic specialty roll, so I was excited to see that there were so many affordable options.

photo 2(1)The heart throb roll was definitely my favorite. It had spicy tuna wrapped around the roll. Inside was eel crabmeat, avocado, and spicy tuna. There was also a spicy mayo drizzled all over the roll. The fish was extremely fresh. I love when a roll is wrapped with fish on the outside because it gives it a meatier taste. The sauce gave it a nice creamy texture along with the avocado inside. I finished this roll like a champion.

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This was the pumpkin tempura roll. It was just your simple pumpkin tempura along with some small things inside. It was so delicious. The fried texture gave a nice crunch to the roll while the pumpkin was smooth and creamy. It was a savory and sweet kind of roll. I am obsessed with all things pumpkin right now, so this roll definitely hit the spot. Plus it was only 4.50$. I probably could have survived on a few of these rolls and only paid 13$. That would have been pretty awesome, but I like to try different things.

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Bagel roll. You know when we Jews see the word bagel we are instantly attracted to it. I think that is pretty much why I ordered the roll. Besides the fact that cream cheese and salmon is like the best combination (just another Jewish obsession). It was lightly fried on the outside, which was awesome. The roll also had spinach and asparagus inside. I think it could have done without the spinach, but it was still appetizing and delicious.

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Hello to Carrianne’s plate of sushi. The funny thing was when she ordered her food, the waiter said that she needed to stop ordering because that was too much food for her. She was gonna get a third roll, but then she just decided to go with what she got. Smart girl. I wish the waiter would have said the same thing to me and my other roommate because we were so full by the time we tried to eat all our sushi. She got the pumpkin tempura roll too along with a piece of salmon nigiri. Also a roll with salmon and jalapenos. She enjoyed all of hers.

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Here was my other roommate’s plate of sushi. She ordered all vegetarian rolls. The cool thing was that they had about 20 vegetarian rolls on the menu, which is definitely a nice thing for vegetarians and people that are more health conscious (not that sushi is that unhealthy for you). She got the sweet potato tempura roll, which looked just as good as the pumpkin one. Since she ordered three rolls too, she was about to burst. We were both in a sushi coma.

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For our second drink, we all three got something called the Asuka-tini. Oh man. How strong was this thing? I thought I was going to die. It was tequila, sake, triple sec, and grenadine. I was like oh man. Plus it was super salty. I should have asked for mine without salt on the rim because I ended up knocking half the salt into the drink. I powered through and drank all of it. I was feeling a good buzz at this point and we decided to get jello shots for us. They were raspberry flavored and probably the best jello shots I have ever had. It tasted like real raspberries were in it. The waiter was so nice too. He gave us a free jello shot on the house. Overall it was a really great experience, and we will definitely be going back here many times.

What is your favorite date food?
Have you ever had crazy sushi rolls?

 

 

 

WIAW the Art of the Party

Hey ya’ll! We are halfway through the week. Exciting. Today is the first day I woke up and was not sore. Success. I’m on my 4th day of Insanity and 2nd day of Hip Hop Abs. Shaun T does both of these workouts and it is quite funny to see the difference between him in both of them. In Hip Hop Abs he is super cheesy and hilarious while in Insanity he is super intense and motivating. I gotta love those workout videos. I think I like them because I can do them on my time and get an intense workout. I really hate the whole idea of driving to the gym, etc etc. Anyways today is my favorite day of the week, What I ate Wednesday. Thanks Jenn for hosting such a fantastic day every single week! Today mine has a special theme, ART. I love art and Austin is surrounded by art as you will see throughout my post.

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In Austin there is this really cool place called Hope Garden (although the name may have been changed) where graffiti artists can come and express themselves on the walls of this place. There is this huge castle behind all the walls too, so I think the name may have something to do with a castle. This was one of my favorite pieces at the place. I took my best friend when she was in town from Boston and it was cool seeing so much artwork in one space. I love graffiti to be honest. I really don’t think it should be illegal if it is like this or Banksy style.

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For breakfast I had chocolate blueberry flourless pancakes. These were delicious. I made a blueberry compote for the topping. Such a good idea. I will definitely be sharing this recipe with you tomorrow. I ended up making two servings of it. That was probably because I used egg whites this time instead of just a regular egg. I probably would have had even more if I used a 1/4 c to scoop out the batter, but last minute I was like why not use a 1/3 cup. I made 8 pancakes total. I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow!

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Healthy snack alert! I made kale chips. I am obsessed with kale chips. Usually my roommate makes them and they are so crispy and delicious, so I thought why not create my own. I think I put too much kale on one pan, but they still came out crispy. I topped mine with nutritional yeast, Parmesan, and olive oil. Such a winning combination. Kale is really good for you, so I definitely recommend making these or making a salad of kale in order to get a large amount of nutrients.

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I was walking town lake in Austin when I saw this one. We were just about to go across a bridge to walk the other side of the lake when I noticed this. I love shoes, so obviously I had to snap a picture of this. I love that small little things like this are just hidden all around the city waiting for someone to discover it. I think it just makes us more unique. Keeping Austin weird.

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You know I had to throw a salad into the mix. This one has spinach leaves, veggie patch falafel, and slices of mushrooms that I stole from my brother. He wasn’t using them anymore, so I thought why not throw them in my salad. These falafel balls are amazing. They are from the same company that made the meatballs I used in my meatball sub recipe, so you should definitely check out all the products they have to offer. I swear vegetarians get the best frozen food products. Noms.

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My favorite banana truck has been open for a little while now for the new season, so I obviously had to go get me one of these bad boys. I just got a plain one. It had dark chocolate and was rolled in sprinkles. I follow them on instagram and they have specials occasionally, which I’ve been really wanting. One of them was called an Almond Joy. It had chocolate, caramel, coconut, and chopped almonds. It looked like a banana heaven on a stick. I can’t wait to check out what this week’s special is.

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This is what I am probably obsessed with most in life. Cauliflower crust pizza. Ever since I made it for the blog, I have been eating it non-stop. This has honey bbq sauce, sliced ham, pineapple, and low moisture mozzarella. It is so good. I think I cooked the crust perfectly this time. It was crisp and browned just the way it should be. The honey bbq may be the best sauce to put on the pizza. It is sweet yet tangy. It goes well with the citrus flavor of the pineapple and the saltiness of the sliced ham. This recipe is my best friend.

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This is an iconic graffiti in Austin besides the I love you sign. It says never give up and has pacman next to it. This is on town lake too. I think it is super cute and motivational especially for the runners and bikers that always go past it on the trail.

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Since summer is upon us, my mom and I decided to get some fresh fish. Halibut is our favorite and it was on sale at Central Market, so we were like why not? We also ended up buying a spicy soy glaze for the fish. It wasn’t spicy at all and had just the right amount of flavor. The halibut was meaty and cooked perfectly. The meat just flaked off as you dug your fork into it. I made a side of green beans for it. Yep, canned green beans. Can’t live without them.

I hope you all have a fantastic WIAW!

What do you think of graffiti? Is there a lot around you?
What is your favorite kind of art?

WIAW (just your average party)

Hey ya’ll! Today I’m flying back home to Austin, so I’m super depressed. Luckily today is my favorite holiday, What I Ate Wednesday, so thanks to Jenn I’m not as sad. These eats are pre-Boston trip because every day starting tomorrow I’m going to recap my trip and share a few awesome things about Boston.

Chocolate Berry Oats are definitely the way to go in the morning. This is like fiber overload, but in a good way. Tons of fruit, raspberries and blueberries, plus gluten free oats equals one happy tummy. Plus piling on all of the chocolate chips makes it better too.

So when I went to Trader Joes a while back, I ended up getting these frozen salmon burgers. Oh how great they are! I decided to pan fry mine and then cut it up to put on top of a salad. My salad was spinach leaves, onions, tomatoes, shredded carrots, salmon burger, and guacamole. I think guac makes almost everything better.

Kim’s magic pops are the best snack. It is like practically no calories, so you can top it with tons of goodness. I put dark chocolate syrup on mine with whip cream and tons of halloween themed sprinkles. This is a sweet treat for little amount of calories. Definitely winning with this snack choice.

Peaches are definitely one of my favorite parts of summer. They are so juicy and delicious. These peaches were no exception. The perfect snack when refrigerated.

So I was actually stir frying some vegetables to put in a pita with hummus, but then I discovered that our pitas had been covered with mold. Freak out. I had no idea what to do for dinner. However I looked in the cupboard and found some leftover whole wheat pasta. An instant dish thrown together. It was actually pretty delicious too and filling since the good amount of fiber in the whole wheat pasta.

This is my new favorite snack: A baked apple. Pretty much you cut up an apple into tiny slices, add about 1 tbsp of brown sugar, a dash or two of cinnamon, and then cover it with plastic wrap. You place it in the microwave for 3 minutes and 50 seconds, and then be careful when you pull the plastic back because the steam can burn you.

I top mine off with tons of whipcream. It is amazing because the coolness of the whipcream tastes good against the heat of the apple. Plus the syrup from the brown sugar adds a nice texture to the softened apples.

Happy WIAW!

 

 

Product I love

Hey ya’ll! I’m probably on my way to Galveston right now to soak up the sun with my volleyball girls and the other athletes and coaches from Team Austin. We are taking two huge buses down, having Shabbat in Houston, eating dinner, and then going to Galveston to our hotel. I’m pretty excited. I made an awesome surprise for my girls:Aren’t these cute? I got water bottles at Walmart and used puff paint to put the girls names on the bottles. Each one is different, so they can’t fight about it. They probably will anyways, but oh well.

Anyways today’s post is going to focus on a product that I have recently discovered and am totally in love with: Flatout Flatbreads.
These things are amazing. They are really large, which is really handy. They contain a large amount of fiber and come in different flavors. You can make wraps with them or use them as a pizza crust (I have yet to do this, but once I get back from my trip you can bet I’m gonna make some amazing pizza combinations on them).

Since I’ve gone pescatarian (I only eat fish about 3 times a week, the rest of the time I’m a veggie head), I have been trying to think of good lunches. Thanks to the Flatout Flatbreads, I’ve been able to create an amazing vegetarian wrap that is filling and provides tons of fiber from the bread and the vegetables.

My wrap ended up being very large because I overfilled it with tons of vegetables. I had spinach leaves, tomato slices, red onion slices, mushroom slices, peppers, shredded carrots, shredded Mexican blend cheese, and some Paula Deen’s Honey Mustard. This was perfect.

This wrap is perfect for a lunch on the go too. I plan on making a ton of these once the school year starts because they are portable and will fit into my lunch boxes (wait till you see them because they are pretty awesome).

This is my product of the week. Each week I will share with ya’ll a new product that I have recently discovered. I hope you enjoyed this weeks, and I look forward to finding something for next week.

Have an awesome Friday!