Sweet Summer Time Delights!

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I love warmer weather and cooking out with my friends. Every year I always try to find new recipes to try. Now, I LOVE fried green tomatoes, fried zucchini, squash, etc. so I always try to do a dish like one of those or with similar ingredients. The other day I ran across this yummy recipe for fried green quinoa balls and thought I would share with you!

Fried Green Quinoa Balls

Ingredients

· ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

· 1 sweet potato, cubed

· 4 green onions sliced

· 1 handful of baby spinach, kale, or any other dark leafy green veggie that you like

· ¼ cup of chopped oregano

· ¼ cup chopped basil

· 2 pinches of red pepper flakes

· 1 tsp of oil of your choice, recipe calls for coconut oil (I use olive oil when I can)

· Black pepper

· Salt

Instructions

· Place quinoa in a sauce pan and cover with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low. Keep it covered while simmering. As soon as the water is absorbed, turn of the heat and leave the lid off. You want the texture to be sticky!

· Steam one whole, peeled and cubed sweet potato. You do not want this to be too soft or overcooked because it will be mushy.

· Add the sweet potatoes and quinoa together and then add in the green onion, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Use a wooden spoon to mix ingredients. If it is not blending together well, this is where you will add in 1 tsp of oil.

· Once blended together, roll into equal size balls. You do not want to make the balls too big or they will fall apart when you cook them.

· Place oil in a frying pan, heat to medium heat. Once the oil is hot, place the quinoa balls in the pan and let them brown before flipping them.

· Once browned, place on a plate, let cool and they are ready to serve!

Don’t be vicious at your next cookout or get together, be nutritious with this delicious recipe. I hope you all enjoy the Memorial Day weekend and maybe you can add this recipe to the outdoor festivities!

What is your favorite cookout dish?

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Strawberry Spinach Salad

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2 weeks ago the employees here at the Rec were treated to lunch as part of a “de-stress”day. We had lunch, afternoon yoga and chair massages, so the students were treated to an extra special day to relax while finals were going on. Prostaff was responsible for providing lunch, so when I was asked what I would be bringing, I immediately thought of my go to summer salad from my Pampered Chef cookbook, Strawberry Spinach Salad.

To me this salad just embodies summer. It’s refreshing, sweet, colorful, and easy to prepare. Everyone at the lunch said it was really good, so I’ll take that as a win!

Here’s the recipe:

Dressing:

1 lemon

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Salad:

1/4 cup natural almonds, toasted

8 oz. (1 1/2 cups) strawberries, hulled and quartered

1/2 medium cucumber, sliced and cut in half

1/4 small red onion, sliced into this wedges (I usually skip this, just sayin’)

1 package (6 oz) baby spinach

How to:

1. Zest the lemon to measure 1/2 ts of zest. Juice the lemon to measure 2 tablespoons of juice. Combine zest, juice, vinegar, sugar, oil and poppy seeds, and whisk until blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds in a single layer in a small pan and bake 6-8 minutes until lightly toasted. make sure you watch them, I have burned countless almonds!

3. Meanwhile, hull the strawberries and cut into quarters, score the cucumber lenghwise and remove the seeds. Slice the cucumber, and cut onions into this wedges.

4. Place the spinach in a large serving bowl, add strawberries, cucumber and onion. Whisk the dressing and pour over the salad, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with almonds and serve immediately.

If you aren’t serving it right away, not worries. Just don’t add the almonds and dressing until you are ready to enjoy.

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Give Pampered Chef some props, this is their creation. They also have a ton of cool kitchen tools to make this recipe a snap!

What’s your go-to summer recipe?

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Shutdown Week Recap

So in case you guys tried to use the Rec last week, we know you were disappointed. But I’m here to tell you DON’T BE. Shutdown week is necessary to always give our members the best possible facility that we can. So you had a week of at-home workouts (use Pinterest!) and it was hot and you may have had to run outside. We know this stinks, but in the long run you’ll thank us.

This morning you were welcome back into the cleanest facility in all the land. You could practically eat off the floor! We are super excited that it is a full year until we have to do it again. Enjoy some photos of our hard work, we hope you notice a difference too!

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Before and after pictures of the walls in the pool- they needed a fresh coat of paint.

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We scraped gum off the sidewalk, cleaned them, and YES…windows….

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Cleaning the bathrooms on the 3rd floor. Chelsea hates this picture, hahaSmile

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We have to climb up there to get all the holds down. Talk about hanging around all day! Dumb pun intended.

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Drained the spa and painted the walls. It looks so good with a fresh coat!

 

We hope you like our rejuvenated digs!

What did you miss the most about the Rec last week? We definitely missed our patrons and we are so glad to have you back!

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Take a trip to modern day Mexico!

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For the past week or so I have heard nothing but great things about this new restaurant in Barboursville called the Tortilla Factory. So, I went to check it out with a friend of mine. Let me just say, I was NOT disappointed!

The first thing I liked about this establishment is that it is a family owned business. As soon as I walked in the door I was immediately greeted with a friendly welcome and nice refreshment. The entrance way is stunning! There is beautiful Spanish tile on the floor surrounded by freshly polished wooden floors. The décor in the main dining room was impeccable as well.

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Another thing I really enjoyed was the modern décor with elements of traditional décor and beliefs. There is a tortilla maker in the back corner and two wooden chairs hanging above it. The owner told me the two chairs were her husband’s grandparents and they were brought here from Mexico. Another nice genuine touch I liked was the pictures on the wall. If you look at them left to right, they show you how to make a tortilla from scratch!

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Other than the stunning décor, clean tables, and super nice staff, the food was YUMMY! Typically when I go out to eat I am a pretty predictable person; I order the same thing everywhere I go. However, their menu made this difficult for me because there were so many great items to choose from and they were all extremely affordable! I ended up going with the chicken fajitas and I did not regret my choice.

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If you want a high end experience at a modern day/traditional Mexican restaurant, with an affordable menu, visit the Tortilla Factory. Oh! If you do visit, go visit their gift shop as well. They had Day of the Dead dolls and lots of other great gifts shipped directly from Mexico!

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For more information on this establishment visit their Facebook page Tortilla Factory A Mexican Kitchen.

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Happy Mother’s Day

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I know Mother’s Day is not until Sunday. However, I wanted to wish all of you mommas and mommas to be a wonderful Mother’s Day! I am expecting a little boy in October. Let me just say that this whole experience up to this point has made me appreciate my mom more than ever before. For all of you that are not mommies, Sunday is a day to show your mom you appreciate and love her. Sure you can buy her flowers or a nice piece of jewelry. But, what about preparing a meal for her and spending that time with her?

Here are a few healthier brunch ideas that mom will enjoy!

· Whole Wheat Pancakes- add blueberries, strawberries, pineapples, etc.

· Sun-Dried Tomato, Goat Cheese and Basil Frittata- add kale for extra nutrients or make a kale frittata

· Parfaits- grab low-fat vanilla yogurt, granola and your favorite fruit and build however you like

· Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins- if you don’t like raspberries, swap out for your favorite fruit

 

Here is a recipe for Crepes with Peanut Butter and Jam:

o 4 large eggs

o 1 cup whole milk

o 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

o 1 tablespoon sugar

o 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

o 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 10 cubes

o 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature

o 1/3 cup strawberry or raspberry jam

o 1/2 cup (2 ounces) fresh blueberries

o Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

 

1. In a blender, combine the eggs, milk, flour, sugar and salt. Blend until the mixture forms a smooth batter.

2. Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Melt 1 cube of butter in the pan. Add 1/4 cup of batter and quickly tilt the pan to form an even coating of batter on the bottom of the pan. Cook for 1 minute, until set and slightly browned. Using a heat-resistant spatula, carefully loosen the sides and gently flip the crepe over. Cook for 1 minute. Repeat with the remaining batter and butter, stacking the crepes on top of each other on a plate as they are ready. You should have 8 or 9 crepes total.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter to each crepe and, using the back of a spoon, spread evenly over the crepes, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Spread 2 teaspoons of jam over the peanut butter. Line 5 to 6 blueberries along the center of each crepe. Fold the crepe in half over the blueberries. Fold the two ends inward and continue to roll into a tube shape. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

4. Cut each crepe in half horizontally and arrange on a platter. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

 

If you are not super confident that you can prepare your mom a nice brunch, no worries! Huntington has a lot of really nice, locally owned restaurants. Here is a list of a few places you can take mom for brunch!

· Wedge- Located in Lavalette, WV; not too far from Huntington. I went here not too long ago. Super nice place. The wait staff was very polite and it was very clean. Plus the food was DELICIOUS!

· Le Bistro- Located on 3rd Ave. of Huntington. They are hosting a Mother’s Day Brunch and are taking reservations. Call to reserve one of your seating time for 11:00, 1:00 or 3:00. Their number is 304-523-2012.

· River and Rail Bakery- Located on 11th St. in Huntington (Heritage Station). This establishment has good coffee, sandwiches, and soups. The staff are nice and there is a cozy seating area outside.

If you and your mom are not hungry, but would like some coffee, check out Bittersweet Coffeehouse.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Mother’s Day! Don’t be vicious to your momma, help her stay nutritious and fit! Come see us at the Rec Center. For more information on nutrition education and fitness plans, call us at 304-696-4REC(4732).

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The Spring Breakaway Challenge

Last year, I blogged about the new Expresso bikes that the Rec had purchased for the 3rd floor. (See that post here) Since this bike is hooked up to Internet (what isn’t these days, right?) it has all these amazing features that you just can’t get from a recumbent bike. The company behind these bikes is always setting up monthly challenges to the riders and gyms so that they can motivate patrons to not only ride the bike, but work a little harder when doing it.

When they announced the Spring breakaway Challenge, we knew we had to do our best to try and win. After all.. we’re Marshall, right? We are known for perseverance!

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The challenge worked like this: create an account on the Expresso bike and log into the website at www.expresso.net to complete the registration. Then go log miles on the bike. Simple, right? Expresso tallies up all the miles from your school, and you can see which other schools across the country are riding as well and how many miles they have. The list looked like this at the end of the week:

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We knew Marshall could do it! A big shout out to Francisco Garcia who rocked out 158 miles that week and was on the top leaderboard for the whole country!

They gave the challenge a rest for a week, and then last Monday we were back in the saddle again!

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This time we didn’t do quite as well, but look at the winning team from Houghton! 2,418.3 miles in 5 days is insane. They must have had someone riding every bike from open to close every day. Not a total bummer though since Marshall was able to walk away in 6th place, and this was our first collegiate challenge.

Again, I have to give props to our top riders Todd Bledsoe, Brian Groves and Taylor Sprye. They all logged over 100 miles in 5 days and will walk away with a custom T-shirt. Great job, guys!

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Expresso will be doing a bracket type Challenge called the Fall Frenzy toward the end of the year, and we are already looking to see what we can do when we put our minds to it. If you haven’t tried out the Expresso bikes, make sure you get up to the 3rd floor to check them out. There are a ton of challenging rides that you can take. Some of them will make you good and sweaty! It’s set up much like a video game, so you steer clear of other riders and go up and down his. Bottom line, this bike rocks.

Southeast Regional Champs

Thanks again to all the riders that came out and rode the bikes. For many of you it was your first, but it won’t be your last! GO MARSHALL!

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On the go? Drink H2O!

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As we enter warmer weather, outdoor activities will be more and more popular. While it is important to stay properly hydrated during any type of physical activity, it is especially important to keep hydrated during outdoor activities. Why is it so important? Well our body is 60% water! That is a lot! Plus becoming dehydrated is no fun and it is dangerous.

How much water do you need? On average females need 9 cups and males need 13 cups a day. This amount will vary depending on the type and amount of physical activity you are doing, if you are pregnant, or if you are sick. We have daily needs because we lose water just by breathing! We also lose our water by sweating and waste excretion.

How do we know if we are dehydrated? Here are a few signs of dehydration: dry mouth, tiredness, thirst, decreased urine output, dry skin, headache, constipation and dizziness. Your urine can also tell you if you are dehydrated or not. Typically, you want your urine to be a pale yellow. If your urine is dark yellow, you might be dehydrated.

How do we hydrate? Here are some tips on ways to stay hydrated: instead of drinking energy drinks or sodas, drink water! Fruits and veggies contain water, so you can eat more of those to help with hydration. If you worked out or are in the heat for a long time REPLENISH your body with water. If you do not like plain water, infuse your water with fresh cut fruit. Check out this previous post about infusing your water!

Don’t be vicious to your bodies, stay nutritious and hydrated! Come see us at the Rec Center. For more information on nutrition education and fitness plans, call us at 304-696-4REC(4732).

How do you hydrate?

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