The Best Calamari I’ve Ever Made.

A few months ago, B made paella. Damn it was a beautiful thing.  After prepping the seafood for the paella, we realized we had WAY too much seafood.  Instead of overwhelming the dish we decided to put the extra squid aside and use it for an appetizer the next day.  I figured a great way to use it would be a delicious grilled calamari appie. I am the queen of appies and had never actually grilled my own calamari before so I thought this would be fun.

I didn’t marinate it very long because I couldn’t wait to try it. Don’t worry, you don’t need to let it sit for 2 hours, if you only have 30 mins to let it rest in the marinade, do it. It’s still good to go. 😉  I sprinkled a bit of Emril’s Essence seasoning on top because I always have a small batch of that laying around.  The result was the best calamari I have ever made.

Ingredients:

  •  1 1/2 pounds cleaned squid (about 3 pounds whole) tentacles separated from the bodies, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Chopped parsley, garnish
  • Lemon wedges, garnish

Directions:

  1. Cut the squid bodies along the sides to open flat. With a thin sharp knife, lightly score the insides, being careful not to cut through all the way.
  2. In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Add the squid bodies and tentacles, toss to coat, and marinate for 2 hours, refrigerated, turning twice.
  3. Preheat the grill to high heat.
  4. Grill the squid, turning until opaque, slightly golden, and just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the squid to a cutting board and slice into strips. Slice the tentacles if desired. Give a squeeze of lemon and garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

You can thank me later.

No Gym? No Problem!

I used to be of the mindset that I had to be at the gym to workout.  I am not a runner and don’t enjoy it, so that reeeallly obvious workout wasn’t something I would turn to when I couldn’t get to the gym. Even though I don’t like it, and get incredibly bored doing it, I am more likely now to run just because it’s a great burn and I like the challenge.  Sometimes.

I started working out a few years ago. Before that, I never had to worry about gaining weight or a muffin-top. Ah, those were the days. Reality now, is that I literally have to work my ass OFF. It has taken me a few years to figure out what exercises I enjoy, how long I can mix it up and stay engaged. For most, they get bored, hit a plateau and throw the gym to the wind. Although I’m impatient when it comes to seeing results, I have managed to stick with it and have seen some good results. At one point, I had decreased my total body measurements by 40 INCHES!.  I have now gained muscle mass and although I haven’t lost any significant weight, I have been able to maintain my weight. I am thinking that my body is just happy at where it is and I’m okay with that.  I’d rather be happy and at a healthy weight than constantly depriving and fighting with myself. I do try to eat clean and healthy, but I love the occasional glass of wine and chunk of cheese. Those are two things I will never give up, they’re just too damn good.

So I wanted to share a few great exercises and apps that I have tried over this past year which have helped me stay engaged even while away from the gym.

Hundred Push-Ups –  (iTunes) – This app is awesome. It guides you through a workout plan that helps you get to finishing 100 push-ups over a number of weeks.  If you’re weak like me, I could barely do one proper push-up so I needed to start at the beginning. It shows you proper form and has a planned workout with reminders. Very cool.

Fitocracy – (iTunes) – This app motivates and empowers you to succeed a fitness. It’s kind of like Yelp, where the more you track and log, the more badges you unlock, earn points and beat quests. It’s a whole community that empowers you to be the fit person you were meant to be.

MyFitnessPal (iTunes) – I’ve been using this app for a year now. It started with a work fitness challenge and now we are all on it. I use it to track my daily food calories and fitness calories burned. You can see other’s food logs (if they allow it) and you can comment on people’s progress as they can yours. Great forums and chat topics and overall support from the community.

There are a whack of great body-weight exercises you can do at home which require very little space:

(images courtesy of Women’s Health Magasine)

T Stabilization – T Stabilization

Squat Jump– Squat Jump

Seated Rotation – Seated Rotation

Plie Squat– Plie Squat

  • One of my favourite exercises is the Mountain Climber: Starting on your hands and knees, bring the left foot forward directly under the chest while straightening the right leg. Keeping the hands on the ground and core tight, jump and switch legs. The left leg should now be extended behind the body with the right knee forward. Next up? Everest.
  • The Plank: Ohhh how I used to hate the plank. Now I can hold it for a minute, but when I first started I could do maaaaybe 10 seconds. There are many variations, which is great because there’s always a new challenge. I also really love this one for strengthening me for low-plank in yoga. Now that’s an awesome move. 

What are some of your favourite body-weight exercises? Do you have an app that you can’t live without? I’d love to hear about it! Sharing is caring, please leave a comment 🙂

Cheers!

Thai Pork Satay & Spicy Mango Salad

We ADORE Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Tibetan food in this house and we usually make 2-3 dishes a week from one of those cuisines. We love the flavour, scent, texture and lovely spices they incorporate. Last night, we planned to have Thai Pork Skewers with Mango Salad, or some variation of it.  I picked up a whack of mangos on Spadina on Sunday and we were just waiting for them to ripen so we could make the salad.

I turned to my favourite site, Pinterest to get inspiration for recipes. I have made mango salad before but couldn’t remember the ingredient measurements so I needed some help.  I was also looking for something a little more exotic than a soy sauce-based marinade for the pork as well, so off I went.

I came across these two recipes, which I need to share with you because they were spot on and the pork was some of the best I’ve ever had. I used fresh grated turmeric instead of ground (because I had some left over from that chicken soup I made), and used some leftover frozen grated lemongrass with chili that I had bought at the Asian market a few months ago. I had just the right amount left for this recipe. I also picked up a big jar of coconut oil yesterday because I wanted to start Oil Pulling with it (I like coconut oil MUCH better than cold pressed olive oil, coconut oil is much easier to deal with first thing in the morning).

Mmm so fresh!

The only addition I made to the mango salad was to add chopped up kale (from the other day when I chopped off my finger. I was too mad to eat it that night). The kale was a perfect addition which added a different texture than the salad greens (they were on sale at NoFrills for $2 for a BIG box! Woot!).  Mint is essential to this dish, it really brings out the sweetness of the mango and brightens up the colour.

Fresh mint, makes it!

These two recipes are keepers and it’s a nice way to use stuff up and incorporate some of the cheaper cuts of meat when they go on sale.

Muu Satay (Thai Pork Satay) Recipe – Saveur.com

Thai Mango Salad recipe – Canadian Living

Enjoy friends, and have a fantastic day!

Chopping Without Knives

Ugh. I did it again. I managed to cut myself while chopping kale for a salad. I cut myself last week too, tip of my pinky finger. Yesterday was much worse. I’ll spare you the details, but basically I managed to cut straight off the tip (on an angle) my left index finger.  I am managing to type pretty well, huh?

Yes I am clumsy, yes I rush. Okay, fine, I wasn’t paying attention, either. I frantically ran around the house looking for the first aid kit. Forgot that I had packed it in the camping bin and didn’t return it to the apartment. Perfect! I managed to bandage it up and call B, all out of breath.

“What did you do now?” He asked.

“Umm.. I cut off my finger. Really badly.”

Jesus.. you have to be careful! What finger haven’t you cut? That’s it, you’re not allowed to chop with knives anymore”.

Uhh, well that’s going to make for an interesting cooking experience. I am all for trying new things but…

I love being in the kitchen and I cook 80% of our meals. I am addicted to the grocery store and am obsessed with making things from scratch. NOT using a knife is not going to work for me.  Seriously though, I have to (as a fellow blogger put it in her post this AM ) get it together, already! I cannot keep injuring myself like this! What the hell is wrong with me. Is it that I really can’t master the knife?

hold a knife

B has showed me how to properly chop, and I am sure that I am doing it but somehow a finger pokes out and gets hit. I started searching online for tips and hope that you’ll enjoy the comedy of this all. I’m off to the Dr. this afternoon to see if I really should be going to the hospital. *Sigh*

I joke over and over that I could never be on “Hells Kitchen” or “be a “Top Chef”, that’s for sure. Dammit, I wasn’t even drinking 🙂

butter-knife-blog-joke

hide knives

cook with wine