Monday, February 28, 2011

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers
from Clean Eating Magazine
Ingredients for Stuffed Peppers:
2 ORGANIC bell peppers (any color), halved and seeded, stems intact
1/2 C uncooked quinoa
1/2 C chicken broth (I think I used about a cup)
7 oz diced tomatoes (you may notice I have no red in mine...I did not have canned tomatoes on hand)
5 oz spinach or kale (I used kaled and of course, I used more than this...probably a cup or two shredded)
1 T pine nuts
I cheated and used store bought, but if you choose to make your own...
2 cups basil or spinach
1/2 clove garlic
1 1/2 T Parmesan cheese (fresh is best)
1 T pine nuts
1 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 pinch fresh ground black pepper
Prepare peppers: preheat broiled to high. Place bell peppers, skin side up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil until bell peppers start to soften, about 10 minutes. Keep a close eye so you don't burn!
Meanwhile, combine quinoa, broth, and tomatoes in medium pot. Bring to boil on high heat,then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Add handfuls of spinach to quinoa mixture and stir to combine. Fill bell pepper halves with quinoa-spinach mixture, divide evenly. (before filling, I combined the pesto and quinoa so it was dispersed can choose to do this or serve pesto on side)
Prepare pesto:
Add basil, garlic, cheese, pine nuts, oil, salt, and pepper to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add 2-3T water as needed to thin pesto. Top stuffed peppers with pesto (again, see thoughts above).
Nutrients for 2 peppers:
388calories, 18gfat, 43gcarbs, 9gfiber, 14gprotein

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Friday, February 25, 2011

Big City Burgers and Greens

I'm pretty excited to give this new Eat Village restaurant a try! Thought I would spread the word!

Big City Burgers and Greens is founded on the idea that food can be healthy, socially responsible and fun.
We purchase local meats and greens whenever possible to support our local farmers. We use organic, antibiotic and hormone free beef and free-range poultry and fry in 100% trans fat free canola oil. We are also proud to be one of Iowa’s first 100% compostable restaurants.
Our dine-in, call-ahead and online ordering options make dining with us easy too. We are conveniently located in the Capital Square Building in Downtown Des Moines, and offer lunch Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Our space is available for evening and weekend rentals, or we can cater your next event at your home, business or in the ‘burbs.
Check it out at:

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Seared Scallops w/ herbs and grapefruit

I heard a great thought from Dr. Oz the other day....what do you see when you look in your medicine cabinet?
I see the rainbow....apples, blueberries spinach, kale
and lean proteins...Omega 3 eggs, free range chicken, grass fed beef, Greek yogurt
and whole grains...Ezekiel sprouted grain bread, whole wheat flour, cooked quinoa
and healthy fats...ground flaxseed, a leftover smoothie with chia seeds, walnuts
that's right, I'm talking about your fridge! Practice preventative medicine with a nutrient-dense diet
and for those who say "healthy" food is too expensive, I say....PAY NOW OR PAY LATER!

The other night I prepared one of J's and I favorite recipes for scallops:
Seared Scallops
w/ herbs and grapefruit

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Friday, February 18, 2011

Trey Lee Schwertfeger

J and I are so happy to welcome Trey Lee Schwertfeger into our lives. At 8lbs and 20.5 inches, he came into our world true Sara a rush.
A little recap on how it all went down:
I finally felt my first contraction after demoing hurdles to the Solon girls at practice Wednesday night. When I got home I mentioned something to J but we decided to make dinner and then look back into it....
After a little tuna noodle casserole and the contractions continuing, we decided to start timing them.
They began intensifying and getting closer together. After sitting in the tub, calling labor and delivery and J hearing me grimace and brace through a big one he decided it was time to head to the hospital. We didn't think we were in a huge hurry so we passed up the ER parking and drove around to the garage. As we walked the 2 blocks towards the hospital I started thinking....these contractions are REALLY getting close together...we gotta get in there!
The nurses at Mercy quickly got J and I situated in a room and me gowned up. They asked if I wanted to go natural or thoughts on this throughout pregnancy were to keep an open mind and take labor how it came. I had a desire to try to go natural (no drugs) and knew staying at home as long as I could would help with this. What I didn't expect was to show up at the hospital already at 9cm dilated! That's right. I literally got in my gown and started pushing. So with no drugs in sight and just 11 minutes of pushing a beautiful and healthy Trey Lee was born. Thank you Dr. Smollen, all the nurses, and of course J for helping Trey and I through it all.
God as truly blessed us and made my first :) pregnancy one to remember.

a gift from Heaven

our little Ironman

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How to Choose the Right Energy Bar

How to Choose the Right Energy Bar
this is a great article from, pictured are some of my favorite go-to bars
by Selene Yeager
We spend more than $1.5 billion each year on food bars—carbohydrate, protein, meal-replacement, even gender-specific. Is the dough being spent a huge waste, or worse, creating huge waists? "The problem is, people don't count the calories they're taking in and will eat an energy bar or a recovery bar or both, then eat a meal on top of it," says Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD, coauthor of The Ultimate Diet Log. "Bars have their place," she says. "But you have to consider what kind of rider you are and what you want the bar to accomplish."
This guide outlines different bar types and how they can help, or hurt, you.
BAR: Energy (AKA Carbohydrate)
THE BASICS: The most crowded category in sports foods—it grew nearly 24 percent in 2004 alone. Easily digestible and specially formulated to deliver a big hit of carbs (about 40 grams—70 percent—of the bar's calories).

PURPOSE: Provides a steady stream of carbohydrates during your workout so you don't bonk. After your workout, such bars can replenish the glycogen that you've spent.

LOOK FOR: A high carbohydrate count and fewer than 2 grams of fiber. Your best choice is one that contains B vitamins, which are needed in combination with carbs for optimal performance.

WATCH OUT FOR: Too many calories—energy bars can pack 350 or more. Unrecognizable ingredients, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol or maltitol, which are hard to digest and can cause stomach discomfort.
BAR: Recovery (AKA Protein)
THE BASICS: High in muscle-building protein, these bars are marketed as much to the Gold's Gym bench-pressing crowd as to pedal-pushing cyclists looking for post ride and post-training recovery.

PURPOSE: Helps usher carbs back into your muscles after a hard ride, and provides amino acids to rebuild your muscles. These supplements work quickly so your body begins recovery immediately.

LOOK FOR: Quality protein in the form of whey, milk and soy. There is much debate over which is best, but many bars contain a blend, which may help deliver the benefits of each.

WATCH OUT FOR: Again, too many calories—some as many as 500. These bars are essentially a small meal—one can have as much protein as 3 ounces of chicken and as many carbs as a cup of brown rice.

BAR: Women's
THE BASICS: Usually containing ingredients purportedly good for a woman's general health—calcium, folic acid, iron, soy protein. Generally lower in calories and often the go-to choice for skinny male cyclists.

PURPOSE: Provide women (as well as smaller riders) with the vitamins and minerals they need, in a low-calorie, reasonable portion.

LOOK FOR: Bars with fewer than 200 calories. Or minibars-half-size versions of popular bars—which usually go down in 2 or 3 bites and serve up about 100 calories.

WATCH OUT FOR: Packaging waste. Unless you need the extra calcium, iron or other women-specific nutrients, you can simply cut your regular energy bars in half.

BAR: Meal Replacement
THE BASICS: These "miscellaneous" bars, whether it's because of their carb count, protein content or marketing, don't fall into other categories.

PURPOSE: An easy way to get carbs, protein, fat and calories in one convenient package. Some people use them as a prepackaged meal and a way to prevent mindless overeating.

LOOK FOR: Natural ingredients. Bars made from grains and fruits do a better job of simulating the nuances of a meal, including antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

WATCH OUT FOR: Relying too heavily on them. Bars are a great way to fit in a meal on the go, but real food offers more variety, a wider range of nutrients and antioxidants, and will tend to be more satiating.
Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Monday, February 14, 2011

Butternut Squash Ravioli w/ Brown Butter Sauce

As much as I would have loved to make up my own ravioli, sometimes convenience rules...especially when it's on sale. A couple weeks ago I picked up a few varieties of Rising Moon Organics Ravioli (found in your freezer aisle at New Pioneer Coop or HyVee Health Market). These are perfect for nights when you're in a pinch but still craving something a bit more satisfying than a PB&J. Pull one out of your freezer, add sauce, and viola!

I choose to dish up the Butternut Squash variety and made a succulent brown butter sauce to go with. Literally, it was one of those nights where J and I had just gotten done working out, time was getting late, and he was probably expecting me to say something boring like...eggs when he asked what's for dinner....he definitely didn't expect my response of Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce and a side of Sea Salt Edamame :)
Brown Butter Sauce:

3/4ish stick of butter (can choose to use an alternative such as Land O Lakes Natural Whipped)
I cut down the butter from a stick and half so added a Tablespoon or so of olive oil.
2 tablespoons torn fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (I used pine nuts as I did not have walnuts on hand)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, or chopped dried cherries, or mixture of both
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (fresh is best...adds so much more flavor for less amounts)
Melt the butter (and olive oil) in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.
Add the sage, walnuts and cranberries and let cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Top ravioli with the brown butter sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
I told you it was simple.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Webinar - Yes You Can!

Learn some great nutrition tips from me, Sara B, about athletes, weight loss, and pregnancy!Click link: Yes You Can, scroll down page and head to page three of videos or until you see my picture or the video entitle Yes You Can.
Webinar hosted by Loran Storts, owner of Ironwork Triathlon Coaching.

Until next time...
look good, feel good do good

Baby S Update - Week 38

Week 37
Baby Shower #1
A few weekends ago J and I's wonderful friends Ryan & Robin threw us a couple's baby shower at Cedar Ridge Winery
Robin has a great write up about it on her blog: Indulge
It was a very enjoyable time with a group of our Iowa City friends
almost too pretty to eat

a personalized "Baby S" bag
Baby Shower #2
With the help of my girlfriends and Mom, my sister Kelli threw me a great shower on Sunday
It was awesome to see so many fabulous friends and family in one place. I can't wait for them to all have a special part in Baby S's life.
family, college friends, high school friends, and childhood friends!

everyone took on the challenge of designing a personalized bib for Baby S
the winners: Morgan with her bib saying "a doctor or apple a day keeps the doctor away, "Jess with her perfect drawing of Elmo, and Heidi with her "no high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, saturated fats, sugar, enriched flour" bib

my pal Amy served up this adorable diaper cake
complete with washcloth cupcakes

of course we had plenty of "real" cupcakes to enjoy as well
Rachel dished up jello/ice cream cups...simply mix one packet of jello with hot water and combine with vanilla ice cream...easy and delish

funny story:
post party, Leigh and I decided to try our hand at Kinect (a remote free video game J brought home from work)
we were playing volleyball and apparently I was really getting into it and went up for a spike and BAM...hit the light, which fell to the floor and shattered....luckily no one was hurt and it turned out to be a good laugh
still doing what I can....
do squats bring on labor!?
Until next time....will two become three?!
look good, feel good, do good

Monday, February 7, 2011

Nesting - Casserole Mania

Nesting, pleaseeee...who said I was nesting!?

ok...judging by the stack of casseroles now in my freezer, I would say I had a little "food nesting" the other weekend.
I just decided it would be nice to designate a few hours one Sunday to preparing 4 wholesome, healthy casseroles that would be easy for J and I to bake up after the baby arrives (any day now).
After preparing them, I thought to myself...why not do this more often (Super Sized Sundays as I like to call them)...make your master list, head to store, cook up a storm, make one giant mess, package up, clean up, freeze, and have great meals for the month to come! This is great for those that have on the go schedules.
Grass Fed Beef Lasagna (click for recipe)

Chicken Enchiladas packed with veggies
(click for recipe)

BBQ Chicken Casserole - recipe to come

Chicken & Biscuit Pot Pie - recipe below

recipe from Ellie Krieger (dietitian) on Food Network
watch a video of the chicken pot pie preparation here
For the filling:
Cooking spray
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups lowfat milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup peas, thawed if frozen
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
For the biscuit crust:
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large shallow casserole dish, or 6 individual casserole dishes with cooking spray.
Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the chicken with its juices to a bowl. .
Add 2 more teaspoons of oil to the same pan and heat it over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the green beans, garlic and remaining salt and pepper and cook for 2 minute more. Add the milk. Stir the flour into the broth until it is completely dissolved and add to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes more. Return the chicken with its juices back to the pan. Add the peas and thyme and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish or individual dishes.
To make the crust: Put the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse about 12 times, or until pebble sized pieces are formed.
Add the buttermilk then oil to the food processor and pulse until just moistened. Do not over mix. Drop the batter in 6 mounds on top of the chicken mixture (1 mound on each individual dish, if using) spreading the batter out slightly. Bake until filling is bubbling and the biscuit topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Nutritional analysis per serving
Calories 400
Total Fat 17 g
(Sat Fat 5.7 g, Mono Fat 7.7 g, Poly Fat 2.7 g)
Protein 31 g
Carb 31 g
Fiber 5 g
Cholesterol 82 mg
Sodium 600 mg

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Friday, February 4, 2011

Product Review - Real Coconut Water

Taste of Nirvana
Coconut Water
Healthified Gatorade as I like to call it; coconut water is the newest craze in the health/sports world. So what's the scoop? Coconut water contains 5 essential electrolytes: potassium,magnesium, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus. These nutrients are key players in rehydrating our tired and dehydrated bodies during and after sweaty, endurance work. An athlete will appreciate the prevention of muscle cramping and aid in recovery. You typically can find the same electrolytes in your commercial sports drinks as well as added sugars, dyes, and ingredients.....YUM!
Some other brands include: Zico, O.N.E.
The flavor of the water is....different. Sometimes I enjoy straight up and other times I find it to be a tasty addition to my protein/fruit smoothies after a sweaty bout of exercise.
Price varies: around 1-3 dollars/drink
Nutrient facts for 1 bottle (9.5fl0z):
Calories 50
Fat: 0g
Sodium: 42mg
Potassium: 600mg
Carbs: 10g
Sugar: 9g (no added)
Protein: 1g
magnesium 9%
calcium 4%
vit C: 6%
iron 2%
Ingredients: natural coconut water

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lemony Lemon Bars

This is by no means a "healthy" recipe, but it falls in step with one of my Sara B Principles...schedule treat time.
When J said he was craving something lemony and left a subtle hint of a lemon bar recipe on my computer, I knew I had to make these scrumptious bars during his "birthday week." (his B-Day was Jan 20th!)
Needless to say, they turned out amazing!
Lemony Lemon Bars

recipe from Barefoot Contessa on Food Network
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour - used about 1/3 white whole wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar - I usually manage to cut this down a little, say by a 1/4 a cup or so
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners' sugar.
Lesson today: When life gives you lemons....make lemon bars!
Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good