Friday, December 22, 2017

Fit Friday - Christmas Edition

Merry Christmas!! Thanks so much for everything... we will be off until Jan 5th so Happy New Years too!!!!
Turkey, Pomegranate, and Ricotta Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette is an awesome lunch for after the feasting!  Turkey, Pomegranate, and Ricotta Salad is an awesome lunch for after the feasting! #turkey #cookingwithruthie.com Turkey, Pomegranate, and Ricotta Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette is a scrumptious salad that you can put together in a few minutes for your friends and family to enjoy this Christmas season! This is the easy delicious after Christmas dinner meal that everyone will enjoy! Turkey, Pomegranate, and Ricotta Salad is an awesome lunch for after the feasting! #turkey #cookingwithruthie.com
 Turkey, Pomegranate, and Ricotta Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette is perfectly crunchy and wonderfully flavored! We love the texture that the pomegranate and walnuts add to this salad!!  You may also enjoy our Baked Goat Cheese, Pomegranate, Orange Salad with Orange Balsamic DressingHarvest Chicken Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing, or Blueberry, Almond, Chicken Salad with Lemon Honey Vinaigrette! Turkey, Pomegranate, and Ricotta Salad is an awesome lunch for after the feasting! #turkey #cookingwithruthie.com Turkey, Pomegranate, and Ricotta Salad is an awesome lunch for after the feasting! #turkey #cookingwithruthie.com


 
Turkey, Pomegranate, and Ricotta Salad
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches romaine lettuce
  • 1 turkey breast, sliced 1/4 thick
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3/4 cup candied walnuts, rough chopped
  • 1 rosemary sprig, rough chopped
  • Cranberry Vinaigrette:
  • 1/2 cup of cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of half and half
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or agave
Instructions
  1. Divide romaine leaves between 4 serving plates.
  2. Evenly arrange turkey and ricotta cheese on beds of romaine leaves.
  3. Sprinkle candied walnuts and pomegranate seeds over salads.
  4. Garnish with rosemary.
  5. Cranberry Vinaigrette:
  6. Add all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  7. Drizzle over salad. Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator.
  8. Enjoy!

Let our yummy Turkey, Pomegranate, and Ricotta Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette be apart of your Holiday Season! 

  Christmas is almost here and the countdown is on, I should probably start wrapping some presents to put under the tree pretty soon. On top of getting presents wrapped I still have a couple people that I am clueless on, if you are in the same boat I wanted to share some fun healthy and fitness related ideas that you can give to that last minute person.

I need to give a caveat here; you need to think of the person you are giving the gift too. A fitness or health related gift doesn't make sense for some people and can cause I lot of hurt feelings and stepped on toes. Be smart about it and think about who you are giving the gift to.

1) A race entry. This is one that I have done in the past and it is in the works for this Christmas as well. In the past it has been a race that has been asked for. This year it is also for a runner and family. This year it is a gift not only of a race but of some family time together.

2) A fruit basket. We all love those adorable and delicious treats, but think of some treats that go beyond the cookie recipes.

3) A nice water bottle. This is one of my favorite gifts to get and to give.

4) Workout clothes. We all love cute and comfy workout clothes, whether or not we actually like to workout.

5) Awesome headphones. This is another one of those gifts you love whether you workout or not. A great pair of head phones can definitely help with a perfect run or great workout, but can also be great on the plane or walking through the grocery store.

These are just a few ideas that I have loved to give and to get over the last few years. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to all!! 
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole & Ruthie

Friday, December 15, 2017

Fit Friday - Holiday Oats with a Holiday Workout

Holiday Overnight Oats are a simple to make breakfast that I totally adore! 
Just mix a hand full of fabulously-healthy ingredients together and then throw in the fridge.  Let it sit there for at least a couple of hours but preferably overnight. . . and when you wake up in the morning it’s all ready to go!  Holiday Overnight Oats are a simple to make breakfast that I totally adore! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 Holiday Overnight Oats are packed with so many super healthy ingredients . . . whole grain oats, chia seeds, dried cranberries and golden raisins, apples and oranges, pecans and pistachios!  It's an awesome breakfast or snack during the day.   Holiday Overnight Oats are a simple to make breakfast that I totally adore! www.cookingwithruthie.com
I love overnight oats or swiss muesli is the more accurate name for it but whatever we wanna call them, they ARE a favorite at our house! Here are a few other takes on the overnight oat:  Fruit and Nut Steel Cut Oats Lemon Coconut Overnight OatsSwiss Muesli, Apple, Orange, and Cranberry Overnight Oats too! Holiday Overnight Oats are definitely happening again soon~ they're amazing. :)  Holiday Overnight Oats are a simple to make breakfast that I totally adore! www.cookingwithruthie.com Holiday Overnight Oats are a simple to make breakfast that I totally adore! www.cookingwithruthie.com

Holiday Overnight Oats
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 fuji apple, shredded
  • 1 orange, cut into 1/2 inch sections
  • 2 cup low fat milk or almond milk
  • 1 cup low fat plain kefir milk or yogurt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chia seed
  • 2 cup rolled whole oats
  • 3 tablespoons pistachios, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup honey or adjust according to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 fresh orange juice (approx 3/4c)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • additional fruit and nuts to garnish, if desired
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl with a lid; shred pear and apple.
  2. Add milk and yogurt; gently stir to combine.
  3. Add dry ingredients; stir until incorporated.
  4. Rest Muesli in fridge for at least 1-2 hour or allow sit over night.
  5. Adjust moisture with additional milk if necessary.
  6. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with additional fruit.
  7. Enjoy!
  Holiday Overnight Oats are a sure win for the whole family during the holidays! 

Happy Fit Friday!  The holiday chaos is in full swing, are you sticking with your workouts? I know that there have been a couple of days when getting it in has been a a bit tricky, or I have just been too worn out to really want to try too hard. One of the things I have learned in the past is that I need to keep it fun, both for myself and with my classes. So today's workout we are keeping in with the holiday fun and doing a 12 Days of Christmas workout.

Throw on some fun Christmas workout music and have yourself a holiday workout party!


Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Friday, December 1, 2017

Fit Friday - Omelettes and Jump Rope Circuits

Open-faced Mushroom and Blue Cheese Omelette is a healthy and deliciously simple breakfast for you and your family!  Open-faced Mushroom and Blue Cheese Omelette is a healthy and deliciously simple breakfast for you and your family! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 We are so very excited to share this scrumptious Open-faced Mushroom and Blue Cheese Omelette with you all today! My daughters love omlette's and can never seem to get enough of them! My oldest loves to make her omlettes with all egg whites or with all egg whites except for just one normal egg!  Open-faced Mushroom and Blue Cheese Omelette is a healthy and deliciously simple breakfast for you and your family! www.cookingwithruthie.com Give our Open-faced Mushroom and Blue Cheese Omelette a try with egg whites, just one regular egg and egg whites, or normal with all regular eggs and see what you and your family like best! Oh, and just so you know, the Cranberry Orange Quick Bread recipe in the photos tastes amazing and will be coming soon! Keep your eyes peeled! While your at it, try some of our other breakfast favorites-- Root Vegetable Frittata and Ham and Broccoli Frittata --Enjoy!! Open-faced Mushroom and Blue Cheese Omelette is a healthy and deliciously simple breakfast for you and your family! www.cookingwithruthie.com   Open-faced Mushroom and Blue Cheese Omelette is a healthy and deliciously simple breakfast for you and your family! www.cookingwithruthie.com
Open-faced Mushroom and Blue Cheese Omelette
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl whisk together egg whites, whole egg, salt, and pepper; set aside.
  2. Over medium high heat add half of olive oil to small skillet and coat pan, once hot add eggs.
  3. Drizzle water around outer edge of eggs, cover, turn to medium low; cook for 3 minutes or until eggs reach desired doneness.
  4. In additional small skillet, heat remaining olive oil, add onion, and saute 2 minutes; stirring.
  5. Add garlic to skillet and cook 1 minute; stirring.
  6. Add mushrooms and cook 2 minutes until golden.
  7. Meanwhile when omelette is cooked place on serving plate, top with mushroom and onion mixture.
  8. Sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles and thyme leaves.
  9. Serve and Enjoy! 

Open-faced Mushroom and Blue Cheese Omelette is the breakfast that your whole family needs!!

December is here and my house is very focused on the Christmas holidays. The calendar is getting full of family fun and chaos. I love it all!

Last week I hit a few holiday tips to keep in mind. Today we are adding a great sweat sesh to your workouts. With all of the family fun going on you need the sweet sweat sesh to keep your body, brain, and soul in balance.


Embrace the jump rope today! Time workouts are not my favorite, I have to push a bit more mentally because my mind loves to know that as soon as I hit the needed reps I am done but with this workout the clock determines when you are done.

Happy Fit Friday!! 
Much Peace and Love~ Nichole and Ruthie

Friday, November 24, 2017

Fit Friday - Post Thanksgiving

Post Thanksgiving and loving life! 

Hummus Steak Sandwich is hearty enough to keep you full and happy in a healthy way!  Hummus Steak Sandwich is hearty enough to keep you full and happy for hours! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 We thought you might be looking for a healthy sandwich for your family that's NOT turkey. . . Hummus Steak Sandwich is a great way to switch up your after thanksgiving week menu!   Hummus Steak Sandwich is hearty enough to keep you full and happy for hours! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 Hummus Steak Sandwich is made with our favorite Herbed Flank Steak recipe- if your grill is off for the season then use the broiler in your oven to achieve the same lovely char on your beef!  Hummus Steak Sandwich is hearty enough to keep you full and happy for hours! www.cookingwithruthie.com



Hummus Steak Sandwich
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 package whole wheat sandwich thins (8 counts)
  • 1 cup hummus
  • 8 slices provolone cheese
  • 1 pound flank steak, cooked and thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • Herbed Flank Steak:
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • ¼ shallot (1/8 cup)
  • 10 thyme sprigs, stems removed
  • 10 oregano sprigs, stems removed
  • 10 basil leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1- 2 pound flank steak
Instructions
  1. For each sandwich spread hummus, layer cheese, beef, red onion, tomato, and spinach.
  2. Top with bread and serve.
  3. Enjoy!
  4. Herbed Flank Steak:
  5. Combine all ingredients in blender- excluding steak.
  6. Pulse until herbs are minced.
  7. Place flank steak in ziptop plastic baggie or container with a lid.
  8. Add herb marinade, coat meat, place in fridge for 3-6 hours.
  9. Heat on grill to medium high, cook 5-7 minutes per side or until desired doneness is achieved.
  10. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, slice and serve!
  11. Enjoy!

Hummus Steak Sandwich is going to hit the spot for lunch or dinner!

  Thanksgiving is done and we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the holidays! We of course start with hitting multiple houses on Thanksgiving....so much food! I know most of us have heard various tips over the years to stay healthy over the holidays and not get too out of control. Today is a refresher on some of my favorite tips.

1) Relax! The holidays are meant to be enjoyed, just do so in moderation. I know too many people that chew on their fingernails for the first couple of weeks then lose all control the next few weeks.

2) Don't skip meals. This is one that is repeated often, yet often forgotten. If you walk into that dinner party starving you will leave that dinner party asking yourself what happened.

3) Pay attention to what you are eating. Appetizers and all those yummy little bites add up.

4) It is a fun time to pop the cork on an extra bottle with the family. Keep the drinks in moderation and keep downing the water.

5) Hit the gym early. I have said before and I will say it again, morning workouts are ideal for those crazy schedules.

6) You still need your sleep. You can't burn the candle at both ends for the next 6 weeks. Everything will fall apart.

7) And for your mental health...take Facebook and Instagram with a grain of salt. The rest of the world is not having the picture perfect holidays they are presenting.

Have an awesome Fit Friday!  
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fit Friday - Festive Smoothies and a Time Efficient Workout

Fit Friday as the holiday season begins. Ruthie has brought a healthy and awesome smoothie that will fit right into this holiday season. And I am sharing one of my favorite Tabata workouts. Enjoy!

Asian Pear and Pomegranate Smoothie is healthy and festive beverage for the holidays!  Asian Pear and Pomegranate Smoothie is healthy and festive beverage for the holidays! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 I'm sooo excited to share this scrumptious smoothie with you all today! Asian Pear and Pomegranate Smoothie is one of my favorite smoothies. My daughter loves to drink this after she goes to the gym since it's full of protein and tastes great! Asian Pear and Pomegranate Smoothie is healthy and festive beverage for the holidays! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 Asian Pear and Pomegranate Smoothie is a perfect meal replacement during the busy holidays! When my kids were in high school, I'd make them protein smoothies in the morning and they would grab one on their way out the door to enjoy during their drive to school! Asian Pear and Pomegranate Smoothie is healthy and festive beverage for the holidays! www.cookingwithruthie.com

Asian Pear and Pomegranate Smoothie

Recipe Type: Beverage
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 cups plain kefir cultured low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 asian pear, seeds removed
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into two serving glasses.
  3. Enjoy! 

Asian Pear and Pomegranate Smoothie is a nutritious and fun way to start your day!  

  The holiday season is upon us, for many that means hectic lives and crazy schedules. We all still want to be healthy and over the next few weeks, which means workouts can't just disappear. Instead we are going to become efficient workerouters (it's a word...I promise) and we are going to practice that efficiency first thing in the morning, before all the obligations take over.

Tabata is a favorite interval style workout of mine. Quick refresher/introduction; Tabata is a four minutes comprised of eight 20 second rounds with 10 second recoveries. During those 20 seconds you are to go ALL out.

In this workout there are a total of five rounds. Take a one minute breather between rounds. That will end up being 25 minutes of solid workout, be sure to include a warm up and cool down. If you are strapped for time take out a round, do not skip the warm up or cool down.

As always, work hard and enjoy!



Happy Fit Friday!! 
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Friday, November 10, 2017

Fit Friday - Hot Sauce and Treadmill Time

The weather is getting a bit chilly on this Fit Friday. Ruthie and I have conspired to heat up your Friday. Miss Ruthie is adding some heat with this fantastic hot sauce and I am pushing your butt to the treadmill. Enjoy!

Achiote Hot Sauce will take the hot-meter to a whole new level. . . it's got some serious kick!  Achiote Hot Sauce will take the hot-meter to a whole new level- it's got kick! www.cookingwithruthie.com
Achiote Hot Sauce is a scrumptious homemade tabasco sauce for all you tabasco sauce lovers out there!  Achiote Hot Sauce will add a little spice to your life! We love to put it on almost everything! It is super versatile. :)  Achiote Hot Sauce will take the hot-meter to a whole new level- it's got kick! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 We especially love it on our Egg White Cabbage Bowl and Shredded Beef Taco Salad! Keep a jar of Achiote Hot Sauce in your fridge and enjoy it through out this winter!  Achiote Hot Sauce will take the hot-meter to a whole new level- it's got kick! www.cookingwithruthie.com

Achiote Taco Sauce

Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 5 guajillo chilies, seeded
  • 1 chili de arbol
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • ⅜ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar or agave
  • 1 tablespoon Achiote Paste
  • 2 tablespoon yellow onion
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients together.
  2. Ingredients should look minced.
  3. Allow to sit in fridge 1 hour before use. 

Achiote Hot Sauce is our homemade tabasco sauce that will add just the right amount of spice to your life!

  That cold weather is creeping in. I finally gave in and turned on the heater at my house. The kids have started pulling out thicker coats and favorite hats for mornings at the bus stop. And the other sign that the weather is getting colder; the fight for the treadmills is on. Now some of my friends are braver than others and will run outside all year long, but for those that are moving inside let's talk about ways to avoid treadmill boredom.

1)  Running buddies! When you are running on a treadmill you can run with any running buddy you want. Speed doesn't matter. You like to move a bit quicker than your friend that just had a baby. Fine! Your speedier friends that generally leave you wheezing in the their dust...no dust here!

2) Get caught up on your favorite show. The joy of all those awesome streaming options means that you always have Netflix close by to grab your attention. We have all experienced some binge watching, now just move that binge watching to a treadmill, elliptical, bike, etc. I am currently finishing up Blacklist. I have learned I need shows that really grab my attention not just fluff shows.

3) Mix it up. Doing intervals allows for constant change, no time for boredom. For example; bump the speed up a notch every 30 seconds for 5 minutes then drop back down to your starting pace and recover for 2 minutes. The trick is to slow down your run for recovery not just jump off the belt. You can also work on hills if you aren't feeling speed. One of my favorite hill workouts is to go up 2% on the incline every minute up to 10% then reverse it the same way. The trick is to not hold on, that is cheating. You certainly have nothing to hold on to outside.

4) Throw in resistance to the mix. Run hard for .25 miles, jump off and pull ups/push ups/walking lunges, etc. The treadmill adds some great ways to get in a circuit workout. Below is one of my favorite treadmill circuits, enjoy.



Much Peace and Love 
~Nichole and Ruthie

Friday, November 3, 2017

Fit Friday - Cornbread and Your Powerhouse

Fit Friday on this beautiful November Friday. Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween and a fantastic start to this new month. Ruthie has brought us another fantastic recipe to add to you list. She is bringing in some great fall flavors today with a yummy cornbread recipe. Then check out my powerhouse workout.

Jalapeno Honey Cornbread is the perfect side dish to your soup as the cold weather sets in!  Jalapeno Honey Cornbread is the perfect side dish to your soup as the cold weather sets in! www.cookingwithruthie.com
Jalapeno Honey Cornbread is fast and easy to make, but tastes like you spent oodles of time on it! The bit of jalepeno kick in this recipe makes it taste amazing.  It takes it right over the top! :)  Jalapeno Honey Cornbread is the perfect side dish to your soup as the cold weather sets in! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 Jalapeno Honey Cornbread is great with all kinds of chili's! Some of our favorites with it are: Elk Chili, Green Chili Black Beans, Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken Chili. Enjoy making this Jalapeno Honey Cornbread in either a cast iron skillet for family style or muffin tins for individual servings! Jalapeno Honey Cornbread is the perfect side dish to your soup as the cold weather sets in! www.cookingwithruthie.com
Jalapeno Honey Cornbread
Recipe Type: Appetiser
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon sweet n spicy jalapenos, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet until hot and coats the skillet.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add all remaining ingredients; stir until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into hot skillet and bake 12-18 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter, if desired.
  7. Slice and serve. 

Jalapeno Honey Cornbread is not your average cornbread recipe! It has a fabulous jalapeno kick that takes it over the top!

  All right folks, let's talk power house. Why? Because we use our power house, our core, for every movement we do. When I talk core I am not talking about ripped abs and fitting into those perfect jeans. I am talking your power house, I am talking about the spot where all of your energy and movement stem from. Of course those skinny jeans are a bonus, they just aren't the most important reason to do core. I do core to run faster, play longer, pick up my littles ones easier, bring in the groceries, the list goes on and on.

I love power lifts and I know that those strengthen all through my core. But I also will throw in a solid core workout at the end of my run or spin class at least once a week. And when I say a core workout I don't mean 5 minutes of plank and 100 situps, I get bored way before that. I need variety and I need stuff that gives me a challenge I enjoy. Which brings me to the workout for this Fit Friday.

For today's core workout you need 10 minutes and a weighted ball:


Happy Fit Friday!  
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Friday, October 27, 2017

Fit Friday - Healthy Fudge Brownies and Having a Healthy Halloween

Fit Friday is here on this Halloween weekend! If you are wanting a healthier treat this weekend Ruthie is giving you a fantastic option, Healthy Fudge Brownies. Check it out along with some tips to stay on the healthy side of this Halloween.

Healthy Fudge Brownies have only 4 ingredients and are packed with protein and antioxidants!  Healthy Fudge Brownies is only 4 ingredients and packed with protein and antioxidants! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 Healthy Fudge Brownies are packed with all kinds of wonderful health benefits! The cacao has antioxidants that help our bodies. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused from harmful molecules that are called free radicals. Healthy Fudge Brownies is only 4 ingredients and packed with protein and antioxidants! www.cookingwithruthie.com
The Healthy Fudge Brownies also have protein in the almond butter that will help fuel your body! These brownies are so fudgey delicious and decadent while being healthy for you at the same time! Who would or could say no to that?!  Healthy Fudge Brownies is only 4 ingredients and packed with protein and antioxidants! www.cookingwithruthie.com Healthy Fudge Brownies is only 4 ingredients and packed with protein and antioxidants! www.cookingwithruthie.com



Healthy Fudge Brownies
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • 3 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups baking cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup carob chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Coat 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine pumpkin, cocoa, almond butter, coconut sugar; mix until combined.
  4. Add carob chips; mix to incorporate.
  5. Press into prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick removes mostly clean.
  6. (meaning a small amount sticking to it but not the whole toothpick covered)
  7. Allow to cool on cooling rack.
  8. Once cooled melt garnish chocolate in a microwave for 20 seconds, drizzle over brownies, allow to set, then cut and serve.
  9. Enjoy!

Healthy Fudge Brownies are THE brownies you need in your life. The secret is, they are healthy and still taste amazing! 

  It is Halloween time, that means parties and candy are becoming the norm over the next few days. At my house it is even amplified a bit with a kiddo that was my Halloween treat 5 years ago, so we add an extra party and some birthday cake to the mix. With that in mind today I have some Halloween Healthy tips for you, the goal is to make it to Wednesday  not feeling too far off the mark.


Much Love and Peace

~ Nichole and Ruthie

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fit Friday - Perfect Fall Salad and Hitting the Trails

Happy Fit Friday on this gorgeous fall day. I just got back in from a beautiful run out on quiet leaf filled streets with my dog. Now it is time to enjoy the rest of this beautiful Fit Friday day!

Apple Cucumber Tossed Salad is a healthy addition to any meal and perfect for fall!  Apple Cucumber Tossed Salad is a healthy addition to any meal and perfect for fall! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 Apple Cucumber Tossed Salad is a simple yet delicious side that can be ready in minutes! If it were me, I'd first make it to compliment the main dish at dinner and then eat the leftovers the next day for lunch! I would add chicken or salmon and just enjoy the rich flavor while eating a healthy meal that is good for you! Let the meal love you back!  Apple Cucumber Tossed Salad is a healthy addition to any meal and perfect for fall! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 Apple Cucumber Tossed Salad goes great with our Red Wine Dijon Vinaigrette or our Apple Cinnamon Vinaigrette dressing! We hope you enjoy this salad and our dressings as much as we do!  Apple Cucumber Tossed Salad is a healthy addition to any meal and perfect for fall! www.cookingwithruthie.com



Apple Cucumber Tossed Salad
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Tossed Salad:
  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 1 fuji apple, seeded and medium diced
  • 1 english cucumber, 1/4 inch sliced
  • 1/3 cup golden berry blend (dried blueberries, cranberries, cherries, golden raisins)
  • 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
  • Apple Cinnamon Vinaigrette:
  • ¾ cup dijon mustard
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup red onion, minced
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juiced
  • 1½ cups olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoons agave
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine all salad ingredients in a large serving bowl; toss to distribute.
  2. Serve with dressing.
  3. Enjoy!
  4. Apple Cinnamon Vinaigrette:
  5. Place the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, cinnamon, some salt and pepper, and vinegar in a blender.
  6. Blend and slowly drizzle in oil to emulsify.
  7. Allow to continue blending and slowly add the apple cider and agave as it thickens.
  8. Add additional seasonings if needed.
  9. (Add more cider to thin it out if needed.)
  10. Enjoy!

Apple Cucumber Tossed Salad is a nutritious side that your body will thank you for! 


Fall is here and the leaves are gorgeous! I live in Utah, beautiful mountains just a few minutes away, it is a bit of heaven. Although I will admit, fall in Ohio and back is east is pretty gorgeous too. I went to college in Ohio, I hated the winters and summers there but fall was breathtaking with all of the trees. With all of that said today we are talking about trail running.

Trail running gives us a chance to change up your scenery and enjoy a little more of this world. It also gives you some other benefits:

1) The softer surface is good for you body. Less impact on your knees and joints is nothing but good!

2) It is great for your core. More stability means you are using more muscles.

3) All over balance...and I don't mean physical balance. I am all about a well balanced life, that means body, mind, and spirit. Nature and being outside connects our spirit to something greater than ourselves. The trails will bring you much needed balance in life!










So, get outside and enjoy this beautiful weather!

Happy Fit Friday! Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie


Friday, October 13, 2017

Fit Friday - Healthy Poppyseed Chicken and 30 Days of Core

Happy Fit Friday everyone! Our favorite Ruthie is here with a healthy spin on one of my favorite childhood dinners. Check it out along with our 30 days of core.

Poppyseed Chicken with Rice is a family favorite made healthier with some of our favorite "healthy tricks"!  Poppyseed Chicken with Rice is a family favorite made healthier! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 Poppyseed Chicken with Rice is one of our most used recipes in our family recipe box! Even my son, who has always been my pickiest eater, loves it. This is actually his favorite meal and we often make it for his birthday!  Poppyseed Chicken with Rice is a family favorite made healthier! www.cookingwithruthie.com
Here's how I reduced fat and calories from the original recipe of Poppyseed Chicken with Rice and "skinnied" it down to make it healthier! Let's get to it. . . I used light sour cream instead of regular sour cream, whole wheat ritz crackers instead of the normal ritz crackers, and fat free cream of chicken soup instead of the full-fat cream of chicken soup. The original recipe also called for 1 cup of butter in the sour cream cream of chicken mixture but I took that out completely. In the ritz cracker mixture, it called for another 1/2 cup butter which I reduced to 1/4 cup. I love our "skinnied" version of Poppyseed Chicken with Rice tastes amazing and you can't even tell that any changes have been made!! Poppyseed Chicken with Rice is a family favorite made healthier! www.cookingwithruthie.com



Poppyseed Chicken with Rice
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4-5 chicken breasts, boneless/skinless
  • 1 (16ounce) container of light sour cream
  • 1 (22.6 ounce) can of fat free cream of chicken soup
  • 2 sleeves of whole wheat Ritz crackers
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon poppy-seeds
  • 6 servings brown rice, prepared according to directions
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Brown and cook chicken in a frying pan.
  3. Once chicken is cooked all the way through, cut into small cubes or shred.
  4. Meanwhile combine sour cream and cream of chicken soup in a mixing bowl; mix to combine.
  5. Put the 2 sleeves of Ritz crackers, butter, and poppy-seeds into a gallon zip top plastic bag.
  6. Seal the bag and crush the Ritz crackers.
  7. Place chicken in the bottom of 9x13 baking pan.
  8. Add the sour cream and cream of chicken mixture.
  9. Top with the Ritz cracker mixture.
  10. Do not cover and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and the top is golden brown.
  11. Serve over brown rice.
  12. Enjoy!

Poppyseed Chicken with Rice is healthy, quick and easy meal with only 6 simple ingredients!

  I teach an awesome boot camp class twice a week. One of the reasons I love this class is because the people that come are dedicated and always up for a challenge. So that is what we do, we take on new challenges every 30 days, a fitness and a nutrition challenge.  We talk about ideas and get a feel for what people are needing, especially for the nutrition challenge.

One of my favorite ways to take on the fitness challenge is 30 days of different exercises. These aren't overly challenging moves, but they force everyone to think about moving everyday. Getting in exercise doesn't need to be overly challenging and complicated, but it does need to be consistent and often (more days than not).

Here is one of my favorite challenges so far. Thirty days of core.


30 situps
3x30 sec. planks
30 bicycles (each leg)
30 leg drops
30 v-ups
30 russian twists
15 situps
15 pushups
30 sec side planks each side
30 weighted situps
30 single leg drops
15 v-ups
15 bicycles each leg
30 plank with jacks
30 straight leg situps
30 windmill situps
30 russian twists
3x30 sec planks
30 situps
15 v-ups
15 plank jacks
30 single leg drops
30 weighted situps
30 v-ups
30 pushups
30 russian twists
30 straightleg situps
30 windmill situps
30 leg drops
30 v-ups
30 bicycles each leg
30 plank with jacks
10 v-ups
10 pushups
10 v-ups
Thirty days of consistently doing something for your core. Not just for that awesome flat-toned belly but in order to make sure your power house is ready for any future challenge you want to take on.

Much Love and Peace~
 Nichole and Ruthie

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A World of Hope Among the Hopeless

It has been along time since I have posted much besides Workout Wednesdays and Fit Fridays but today I decided it was time.

Last night my husband got home from work and I told him I needed a long run. I needed a therapy run. A run for my soul. A run for my mind.

This morning I headed out the door. Instead of turning on my book and getting lost in someone else's world I put on some chill background music and got lost in my own world. I let my thoughts go where ever they needed with a slight hope that by the time I got back to my door I would have all the answers I needed, it didn't happen that way but I did have some thoughts that were strong and made me grateful for who I am now.

In today's world hopelessness is in abundance, we see it every where around us, we see it every time we turn on the news. I have shed many tears in the last couple of weeks for those that have succumbed to that hopelessness. Those souls that were in so much pain and so lost in the dark that they couldn't find their way out.

But we also live in a world where there is hope and love. A world where one will risk it all in order to save another. I have been heart broken that not everyone can live in this world of love and hope that I strive to raise my children in. A world I wish I would have grown in.

As I ran today I only stopped once, the tears slowing my pace as I realized what an amazing man I married. A man that I know can not only help raise my children in a world of love and hope, but he can also teach my children how to spread that hope.

The question I came home with, the one I ask all of you....how can I spread hope?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fit Friday - Heirloom, Tomato, Steak and Blue Cheese Salad and Basic Nutrition Tips

Fit Friday is bringing a yummy salad to the table and some basic nutrition tips. Enjoy!

Heirloom Tomato, Steak, Blue Cheese Salad is a hearty salad that'll keep you full and happy for hours!  Heirloom Tomato, Steak, Blue Cheese Salad is a hearty salad that'll keep you full and happy for hours! www.cookingwithruthie.com Heirloom Tomato, Steak, Blue Cheese Salad goes beautifully with our Red Wine Dijon Vinaigrette from Wednesday!  We love this Herbed Flank Steak recipe so we got two meals out of it. . .  dinner one evening and then lunch the next day on this Heirloom Tomato, Steak, Blue Cheese Salad is the perfect way to use up those steak leftovers and have a nice lunch too! Or grill some steak just for this salad and enjoy an amazing dinner that will fill you up!  Heirloom Tomato, Steak, Blue Cheese Salad is a hearty salad that'll keep you full and happy for hours! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 Heirloom Tomato, Steak, Blue Cheese Salad is the perfect salad to make with steak leftovers! My family could not get over how yummy the tomatoes were! They really are as good as they look!! They added so much flavor and went along great with all of the other ingredients!  Heirloom Tomato, Steak, Blue Cheese Salad is a hearty salad that'll keep you full and happy for hours! www.cookingwithruthie.com



Heirloom Tomato, Steak, Blue Cheese Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 3 cup mixed salad greens
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, thick sliced
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/3 cup pinenuts
  • 1/2 cup [url href="https://cookingwithruthie.com/2017/10/02/red-wine-dijon-vinaigrette/" target="_blank"]red wine dijon vinaigrette[/url]
  • 2 tablespoon fresh thyme to garnish
  • 8 slices herbed flank steak
  • [url href="https://cookingwithruthie.com/2017/07/19/herbed-flank-steak/" target="_blank"]Herbed Flank Steak:[/url]
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • ¼ shallot (1/8 cup)
  • 10 thyme sprigs, stems removed
  • 10 oregano sprigs, stems removed
  • 10 basil leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1- 2 pound flank steak
Instructions
  1. Divide greens between two serving plates.
  2. Divide remaining ingredients onto each salad.
  3. Serve with Red Wine Dijon Vinaigrette.
  4. Herbed Flank Steak:
  5. Combine all ingredients in blender- excluding steak.
  6. Pulse until herbs are minced.
  7. Place flank steak in ziptop plastic baggie or container with a lid.
  8. Add herb marinade, coat meat, place in fridge for 3-6 hours.
  9. Heat on grill to medium high, cook 5-7 minutes per side or until desired doneness is achieved.
  10. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, slice and serve!
  11. Enjoy!

Heirloom Tomato, Steak, Blue Cheese Salad is a flavorful way to enjoy a healthy lunch or dinner that tastes amazing! 

  Last week we talked about some of my favorite general fit tips, as promised, this week is some awesome nutrition tips. We are sticking with the basics for these tips, far too often the basics get lost as we try to over complicate in hopes of finding some secret answer.

Nutrition Tips

1- Drink your water! We all know this one and yet it seems to be forgotten or pushed to the side a lot. This doesn't mean that you need to walk around with a gallon jug all day. But do be aware and strive to get a minimum of 64 oz/day. That is a minimum folks.

2- Learn to read labels. You need to be aware of what you are eating. My clients are often surprised when they read the labels to their favorite foods.

3- Avoid eating out too often. This is a big one for a lot of my clients. Lunch is often grabbed at the closest place to work and dinner picked up on the way home. These days that doesn't mean a bunch of fast food, that is how many of my clients justify eating out 5+ times a week. You still don't know what exactly is in your food.

4- Produce is a must! I don't care if you love your veggies or fruit, learn to love them and eat them.

5- Avoid the box as much as possible. I realize that it isn't always possible. I am a mom of four kids. Kids with picky eating habits and busy schedules, sometimes the box and the microwave are a life saver. But limit it.

6- Plan and prep! This is important for every single one of you. Plan out menus so that you aren't left wondering what to eat when you are starving and your stomach is talking louder than your head. Keeps snacks handy. And if you are a Sunday prep fiend, stick with it and get it done. If you are struggling with the day to day you need to learn to become the Sunday prep fiend. It can save you!

We can't all be pros in the kitchen like our own miss Ruthie, but that shouldn't stop you from becoming a nutrition pro.

We can't all be amazing in the kitchen like miss Ruthie.

Have a great weekend!
 Much Peace and Love ~Nichole & Ruthie

Friday, September 29, 2017

Fit Friday - Egg White Cabbage Bowl and Some Basics to Remember

Hello Fit Friday! Ruthie has come to play with a power recipe today. And I am reminding everyone of some of those all important basics when it comes to fitness.

 Egg White Cabbage Bowl is a power breakfast or lunch!  Egg White Cabbage Bowl is a power breakfast or lunch! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 Egg White Cabbage Bowl will start your day off right! I love how quick and easy this is to make! I personally just love to eat this before I go to the gym. I find that it sustains me through my amazing work out that Nicole has planned for me! She always reminds me that protein is one of the best things that I can give to my body! Egg White Cabbage Bowl is a power breakfast or lunch! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 The Egg White Cabbage Bowl gives you the protein you need to fuel your body and will leave you feeling perfectly energized! This healthy meal will keep you going through out the day and feeling great!
 Egg White Cabbage Bowl is a power breakfast or lunch! www.cookingwithruthie.com   Egg White Cabbage Bowl is a power breakfast or lunch! www.cookingwithruthie.com

Egg White Cabbage Bowl

Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 leaves of green cabbage
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup white onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper sauce
  • 1 cup egg whites or egg replacer
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place 2 cabbage leaves on each serving plate.
  2. In a small saute pan scramble egg whites, salt and pepper to desired doneness.
  3. In a small bowl combine cilantro and onion; mix.
  4. Divide egg whites between cabbage bowls, top with red pepper sauce and cilantro/onion mixture.
  5. Serve and Enjoy!

Egg White Cabbage Bowl will sustain you through anything! Eat it before a work out or a big day to keep you going and feeling healthy!

  I am starting a new session of boot camp and I have had a few new clients with the start of the new school year, the school year is a slightly smaller version of New Years. With new clients, new groups, new fun I have also taken a step back into some of the basics. Today I am going to share 5 of my favorite general fitness tips. These are going to be exercise geared tips, next week I will talk some general dietary tips.
1. Move your body every days of the week. Notice I didn't say exercise every day of the week. We should exercise more days than not, but that doesn't mean on the "off" days that we sit in front of the t.v. all day. Instead you should still stretch, walk, play with your kids, etc.

2. Schedule exercise like an appointment.  Along that same note, get it done in the morning. It will be easier to keep that "appointment" if there isn't a bunch of other stuff to get in the way of it. It is also a fantastic way to start the day!

3. Don't skip out on the muscle building activities. I like to run, and if I have to pick something when time is limited I generally lean towards running. But I know my body looks, feels, and functions better when I am also getting the resistance work in.

4. Ramp it up slowly. Just because you ran marathons pre-kids doesn't mean you should head out on a 10 mile run today. And just because you used to squat a house doesn't mean you should try that today. Instead run a mile or two and slowly add a bit each week. And maybe just start with squating a tent.

5. Circuit train. Circuit training mixes in weights and cardio. It is a great way to get a lot done with limited time. You have to keep moving and keep your heart rate revved. It is also a great way to throw in cross training. If you tend to stick to the bike, running, or other grab some weights and some new movements.

Remember, these are just general tips but they are important whether you are a beginner or an expert you need to be smart.

Happy Fit Friday!! See you next week. :) 
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie