Monday, September 30, 2013

Avocado Macaroni & Cheese

Good Morning and Happy Monday! I hope you are all having a great day! The weather's on the gloomy side here on the island, but it's still a great day. I've taught three classes this morning and I'm about to head out for a shower and lunch. Before I do that, I wanted to share a recipe that I tried out a few weeks ago.
No, the title was not a typo. I really did mean to put the word Avocado in front of the Macaroni & Cheese part. If you don't believe me, just look at this green concoction...
Let me explain... When guests check out of their rental homes, they sometimes leave behind the uneaten food that they didn't eat. Sometimes they leave behind gross partially eaten things but that is another story in itself.
These two avocados were left behind. And these are $1.39 each at my grocery store, so they were definitely not going into the trash! I got brainstorming and decided that I wanted to use the smooth, buttery taste of these avocados in a pasta dish. Avocado Macaroni & Cheese it was!
10 ounces dry whole wheat or whole grain elbow macaroni
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 avocados, peeled and pitted (you could easily use just one avocado)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about one lime)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 cup milk (I used light soy)
1 1/2 - 2 cups shredded cheese (Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack would be great)
Bring water to a boil in a large pot and cook pasta as directed on package. Drain and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, place the garlic, avocados, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. Set the avocado sauce aside.

In a separate pot, make the cheese sauce. Place the butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and make a roux. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Stir until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy.
Place the macaroni in a large bowl. Pour the avocado sauce over the pasta and stir until well combined. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir until the past is well coated. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm.

Portion out into one-cup servings and enjoy!

This dish is best enjoyed the day it is made. The lime juice helps to keep this mac-n-cheese green. After a day, the avocado will turn brown (naturally) which is not really visually appetizing :) But it's still totally tasty as a leftover.
It's another busy week for me. We're hosting an American Red Cross Blood Drive at work tomorrow and I volunteered to bake something. Any ideas?
What's your favorite thing to bake for an event or fundraiser?

Friday, September 27, 2013

I'm back...

Hello, hello. I'm back and ready to blog. It's been quite a break! I'm still teaching 13 classes each week and I've just started assisting with teaching the children's dance program, which is a lot of fun. Four year olds in tutus and tiny ballet shoes = so precious!

While on my blogging hiatus, I've had the time to think about what's really important to me. I've been making some changes, trying to shed the bad habits, and hoping I can turn them into good habits.

1) I'm trying to un-plug. Meaning, spending less time on the computer (because I'm on the computer for work so much anyway) and a lot less time on my phone. I finally upgraded to a smart phone in August and it's kinda taken over a lot of my time. Email can wait. Text messages can wait. Time to start living in the present.

2) I'm trying to leave work at work. I'm the kind of person that has a hard time separating my work life from my personal life. I've found that even when I'm at home with my family, I'm still thinking about what I'll do in my next Boot Camp class or I'll be thinking about the new fitness calendar. We spend so much of our lives working; time at home needs to be enjoyed and spent with the ones we love!

3) I'm trying to put good in so that I can get good out. It's common sense really, but I've been struggling with this one for a while now. I'm trying to eat more fresh, unprocessed foods and trying to stay away from the sugary, fatty, and processed stuff. When I'm eating better, I feel better; it's not a coincidence. And as we're approaching a holiday season that is full of food, it's important to give my body the nourishment it deserves.

Now that I'm back in the blog world, I plan on posting at least two times each week, maybe more. I'm excited to share some recipes, workouts, crafts, and daily life snippets. I was trying to blog daily and it became a chore. Not fun! I'm doing this because I love sharing my life with all of you!

Thanks for the patience as I get back on course :)


I've seen this floating around the web for a while. It's currently handing in my bulletin board at work and thought you should have it too :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Banana-Coconut Wheat Muffins

Happy September! I'm so ready for fall weather, boots, scarves, and cool evenings!

I know I just posted about my Banana Muffin Tops a few days ago, but while the recipe was fresh in my mind, I played around with it to make it a little more "me". You need to make these right away. They are so good! AND, the best part, they are just 71 calories each!

PS- these muffins freeze beautifully and defrost in no time at all. Paired with a cup of coffee, one of these muffins make the perfect pick-me-up snack. Don't ask me how I know...

Banana-Coconut Wheat Muffins
Makes 12 muffins


1/4 cup light butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 375*F and line a muffin plan with cupcake tins.

In a small bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well incorporated. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until well combined.

Divide the batter among the tins and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.