Roasted Peaches

Even though I am completely biased, nothing beats summer in Colorado. There is so much to do, and while it can be hotter than hell sometimes, at least there is no humidity here. For example, one day it was particularly uncomfortable outside and even more miserable inside my AC-free apartment. I could have swore that the humidity was at least 60% but after looking at my weather app, it turns out it was only 40% humidity. I guess I am a tad spoiled here haha. Anyways, any decent summer in Colorado HAS to include Palisade peaches. Pies, crumbles, you name it, I’m down. So my version of home-grown, Colorado deliciousness is roasted peaches. Here’s how it’s done:

Ingredients

1 peach per person

Honey drizzle

Cinnamon sprinkle

(seriously, that’s it!)

Process

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit

2. Halve and pit peaches, place on oven-safe dish. Drizzle local honey over peach halves and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until cooked throughout

Final Product

Roasted Peaches
Roasted Peaches

Sarah Boggs got to enjoy this delicious dessert with me. We both agree it’s pretty fantastic!

-Sarah

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Grilled Tilapia with Avocado Salsa

I needed this meal! I eat a lot of leftovers at work (good leftovers, but leftovers nonetheless) but I needed to make something to make my taste buds wake up again!! I found this recipe on Pinterest (link here) and used tilapia because that’s what I had on hand. It made approximately 3 servings. I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

1lb Tilapia (this would also be good with chicken breast)

1 tsp EVOO

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp fresh pepper

1 avocado, sliced

1/2 small red onion

1 lime

1-2 tsp finely chopped cilantro (more or less depending on your taste for cilantro)

1/2 tsp salt

Process

1. Chop up avocado, onion and cilantro; mix in a bowl and add lime and salt to taste. Mash up and set aside in the fridge.

2. Mix salt, cumin, paprika, onion powder, chili powder and pepper in a small bowl. Cover tilapia with EVOO and sprinkle spice mix over fish. Cook approximately 2-3 minutes per side (I used a George Foreman Grill) until tilapia is white throughout.

3. Cover tilapia with avocado salsa and a bit of lime zest

Final Product

Tilapia with Avocado Salsa
Grilled Tilapia with Avocado Salsa

Paired with quinoa and Dry Dock Vanilla Porter. So so so good! The red onion added a nice crunch to the meal. I will definitely be pulling this recipe out again soon! Enjoy!!

-Sarah

Magic Stir Fry

I call this the Magic Stir Fry, not because it’s loaded with antioxidants or will grant you three wishes, but because it contains two items that are simply magical to me! Magic Item #1 are leeks. Leeks are in the same family as onions and garlic, produce a mild onion flavor, and really add an interesting texture to any dish (here’s a video that shows how to clean and cut leeks), They are delicious cooked, but taste horrible uncooked (hence, the “magic” part). Magic Item #2 is ginger. Ginger, like leeks, has a really strong flavor when it’s uncooked, but adds a nice spiciness to any Asian-themed cuisine (here’s a video that shows how to prepare ginger). The final hint of magic in this dish stems from the fact that stir fry has unlimited possibilities; YOU get to add what YOU want! This was the magical stir fry I created:

Ingredients

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, chopped

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I would have used coconut oil, but I could not get the jar open; yes, really!)

1 medium sized leek, chopped 1/2in slices

1 small jicama

10 baby carrots, chopped

1 small zucchini

16 large shrimp (not a shrimp fan? Try chicken or pork in this recipe)

1/4 cup dry brown rice, cooked

1 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos (soy sauce substitute)

Process

1.  Pour oil and chopped ginger in a large non-stick pan. Add carrots and jicama; sautee for about 5 minutes. Add zucchini leeks and sautee until they start to soften. Pour vegetable mix into a bowl and place aside (note: the veggies should not be fully cooked at this point)

2. Add shrimp to pan and cook thoroughly (note: I used leftover shrimp from this recipe. It actually made for a very nice seasoning to the dish overall)

3. Add vegetables back to pan and finish cooking to individual preference

4. Serve over brown rice with Bragg Liquid Amnios or soy sauce

Final Product

Magic Stir Fry

Paired with a white table wine and chopsticks of course!

*If you are someone who likes a ton of teriyaki flavor, it might be beneficial to use a bottled sauce over the top of this recipe. I really enjoyed the freshness of the vegetables and the strong ginger flavor, but it might not be enough for everyone!

-Sarah

Almond & Honey-Butter Cookies

My friend (and healthy-cooking Jedi master), Erin, sent me this recipe and it’s a good one. I adapted this recipe from an EatingWell.com recipe (found here: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/almond_honey_butter_cookies.html)

Ingredients

2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup almonds, finely chopped with food processor (I bought sliced almonds to make it easier)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup honey

1/3 cup coconut oil

3 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature, divided

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

Process

1. Chop almonds in food processor (or blender) until finely ground (yields 1 1/4 cup chopped)

2. Combine almonds, whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; stir until combined. Beat honey, coconut oil, butter in a mixing bowl until well combined; add egg and vanilla and beat until well blended. Combine “wet” ingredients with “dry” ingredients thoroughly. Refrigerate for dough for 1 hour

3. Preheat over to 350 degrees; cover baking sheet with cooking spray or parchment paper

4. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, place two inches apart; flatten with finger; cook 13-15mins. Yields about 3 1/2 dozen

Optional 

Mix 1 tbsp butter with 1/4 cup honey until creamy; fill each cookie with approximately 1/4 tsp and garnish with shredded almonds

Final Product

Almond & Honey-Butter Cookies

These are my favorite (less) guilty cookie! Enjoy!

-Sarah

The DeCaLiBron- July 2015

So I can now say that I checked off two more official Colorado 14ers from the impressive list of 53 (I hiked Grey’s with my dad in 2010). To qualify as an “official” 14er, the mountain needs to drop by at least 300ft at the lowest point between the saddle of two peaks. The DeCaLiBron is a trail loop that includes Mount Democrat (official; elevation: 14,148ft), Mount Cameron (unofficial; elevation: 14,238ft but only rises 138ft from the saddle with Mount Lincoln), Mount Lincoln (official; elevation: 14, 286ft) and Mount Bross (official; elevation: 14,172ft).

I started the day intending to do Democrat, Lincoln, and Cameron; poor signage and a rookie mistake landed me on top of Mt Bross (which is technically closed to the public because it is privately owned). So I instead completed Bross, Lincoln and Cameron! It was a happy mistake no less, and someday I will be back to conquer Mt Democrat!

There were some absolutely stunning views, especially from Lincoln, which looked out over Fairplay/South Park and what I believe to be the Mosquito/Tenmile Mountain Range. It was a very challenging day of hiking, including a small bout of altitude sickness and dehydration. I powered through and definitely feel more accomplished now that I have had plenty of water. I am inspired to keep up with my healthy lifestyle so I can continue to hike 14ers (hopefully all of them someday!) for a very long time! Here are a few of my pictures from the day!

whoopsies!
Whoopsies! Rookie Mistake?
Conquered Mt Bross
View from Mt Lincoln
View from Mt Lincoln
Mt Lincoln: CHECK
Mt Lincoln: CHECK
Mt Cameron, Completed
Mt Cameron, Completed
Did I mention I live in the most beautiful place ever?!
Did I mention I live in the most beautiful place ever?!

Only 50 more to go!

-Sarah

Chicken Fajita Bowl

The original recipe I based this meal off of was supposed to be Chicken Fajita Tacos, but in an effort to make this meal more portable for work, I threw the meal over my go-to brown rice and called it a day. I probably cooked it a bit too long, but the spicy favor was delicious whether it’s the first (or fifth) time I ate it!

Ingredients 

2lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 green, red, orange, and yellow bell pepper

1 large yellow onion

1 can of Rotel

3/4 tsp ground coriander

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

2 1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp paprika

3/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp cumin

1/4 cup dry brown rice, cooked

Process

Cut up the bell peppers into 1/3in strips and put about a third of them in the bottom of the crock pot along with half of the onion, also sliced into 1/3in strips. Layer the chicken breasts on top of the pepper strips and cover with the dry seasoning mix (coriander, chili powder, paprika, pepper, and cumin). Pour a can of Rotel over the chicken breasts along with the garlic, honey, and lime juice. Cover with the remaining bell peppers and onion. Cook on high 3-4hrs or low for 6-7hrs. Longer times make the chicken shred-able while shorter times allow for the chicken to be cut into strips.

Possible serving additions include: corn/flour tortillas, black beans, cilantro, avocado, pepper jack cheese

Final Product

Chicken Fajita Bowl

It paired beautifully with a 2012 De Loach Chardonnay; YUM!

-Sarah

North Table Mountain

Hello, Golden!!

On Tuesday, I decided to hike up North Table Mountain. I hiked up there once with my family in elementary school, but that was way back when I was bitter after moving here and definitely didn’t enjoy it! Tuesday was very different! I probably hiked about 4 miles to break in my new boots (T-minus 11 days until the Decalibron!!), got a wicked sunburn from the one place I missed with the sunscreen, and some bizarrely located blisters. But on the upside, I got to watch a beautiful afternoon shower roll in (I was safely in my car when it actually started) and I snapped this great pic from the cliffs overlooking Golden! You can sorta see the School of Mines “M” on the foothills behind me! Great day and a great workout outside!!

-Sarah

The Everything but Meat Bowl

A few weeks ago, while wandering around the grocery store with a friend, I grabbed this pre-made side to eat as a snack as we sat around the pool all day. It had yellow and red bell peppers, black and garbanzo beans, edamame, and some red onions covered in a light vinaigrette dressing. As I munched on it, I realized I could totally make this at home, and for way cheaper than the $4 I paid for maybe two servings. So needless to say, when I got home, I started throwing stuff in a bowl to see what would come of it!

Ingredients

1 can of organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can of Rotel, mostly drained (I added some of the juice for moisture and flavor)

1 package of Trader Joe’s Frozed Shelled Soybeans

1 cup of cooked green lentils

1 stalk of sauteed leeks, prepared with coconut oil

Process

I wish I could say this was a labor of love that took me the whole afternoon to create, but alas that would be a lie. Essentiallythe only actual “cooking” I did was sauteeing leeks, cooking lentils, and boiling some brown rice. Everything else was thrown into a bowl and mixed!

Final Product

The "Everything but Meat Bowl"
The “Everything but Meat Bowl”

I put the mixture over brown rice, but this is seriously delicious without it! Absolutely amazing and chock full of protein. I am definitely going to make variations of this in the future.

-Sarah