Kale and Quinoa Salad

January 18, 2015

I was looking through photos when I came across a bunch for a blog post I never wrote. Whoops! Better late than never, right? This recipe is for a super healthy, super easy salad. I made it when I was in Michigan for Christmas. Since it’s not Read the rest of this entry »

Kale Chips…in the MICROWAVE?!

February 19, 2014

This post is about food, and I need to fess up and say that my eating hasn’t been great lately. I’ve been exercising like a madman, and while I want to be capitalizing on the calories I’m burning to lose a few pounds, it’s not happening. But I’m not beating myself up over it. Just trying to make better choices and do the best I can.

Moving on…

A few years ago, I had a little kale chip kick. I was making them left and right. Kale chips, which are simply kale leaves that are roasted until they’re crispy like chips (see how to make them here), are very satisfying and super healthy. But Read the rest of this entry »

A Roasted Vegetable BONANZA!

January 14, 2014

Remember all those veggies I brought home from the store last week? I used a lot of them over the weekend, and I’m going to show you what I did!

I got invited to a small little get-together to watch the Golden Globes on Sunday. I gladly agreed to contribute a vegetable, side or salad, and I came up with something that serves all those purposes. And it started with roasting a ton of vegetables.


Pictured above are Read the rest of this entry »

Holy Sh*t, It’s One Week Away!

April 15, 2012

My title says is all. My big stair climb is next Saturday and I’m terribly excited, for a couple reasons:

  1. So far, I’ve raised over $1,200 for an amazing cause, Whaley Children’s Center in Flint, Michigan. This is way more than I was ever expecting, and I’m blown away by the generosity of my readers, family, and friends. Your incredible donations spurred me to raise my goal on three separate occasions, and there’s still time to donate! Learn about my stair climb challenge and help me reach my ultimate goal – I’m $360 short – by clicking here!
  2. I’m ready for a little break from the StairMaster! My stair challenges have been ridiculously motivating, and all my time on the StairMaster certainly has made me feel prepared for them. But twice a week on a StairMaster, for two months, trying to outdo myself on every occasion… It’s exhausting.Exhausting in a good way, but still exhausting. I can’t wait to conquer next weekend’s stair challenge so I can give the StairMaster a rest for a little while!

I only have a week left to prepare for my second stair challenge, so yesterday I hopped on the StairMaster and had a great training session… and broke all my previous records, which were just a few weeks old!

  • DURATION: 36 minutes (previous best = 28 minutes)
  • CALORIES: 494 burned (previous best = 485)
  • FLOORS: 132 (previous best = 131)

This workout confirmed what I had already been thinking: If I’m going to make it 163 stories without stopping, I’m going to have to take is slow and steady. You’ll note that I only beat my floor record by 1 floor, but I stayed on the machine for 8 additional minutes, and that’s because I slowed down the speed and focused on endurance. After 36 minutes, I felt tired, but not collapse-to-the-floor tired (like I usually do), and that’s what I was shooting for.

And I get to add a new building to my Skyscraper Collection! Today’s tower is the fifth tallest building in the world, and in a country full of skyscrapers, but has yet to be represented in my collection. Say hello to the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong!

With 118 stories, the International Commerce Centre is the tallest building in Hong Kong. Most of the building is office space, but the top 15 stories are occupied by a super-swanky Ritz Carlton hotel. The 117th floor has their Presidential Suite, which is 4,000 square feet and comes with a personal butler. The 118th floor features the world’s highest bar (cheekily called Ozone), and the world’s highest swimming pool. I’d take a dip in this, wouldn’t you?

After finishing on the StairMaster, I spent another 30 minutes lifting weights, so it was a fantastic day at the gym.

I’m continuing to stay on track with my eating this week as well – the little pep talk I gave myself a few days ago seems to be working. And I got some lean protein from an unexpected source – free in the mail!

Over a year ago, I wrote a post about trying salmon jerky for the first time, and because I enjoyed it, I mentioned how I wanted to try ahi tuna jerky, which I had seen at the store by hadn’t purchased. Last week, the Itsumo Ahi Jerky company reached out and offered to send me some ahi tuna jerky samples! Hells yeah! 

This stuff is good! It’s smoky and flavorful but not overly fishy-tasting. Check out their website – they were kind enough to set up a coupon code for my readers, so if you wanna buy some, plug in KEEPITUPDAVID during checkout, and you’ll get 10% off!

Guess what else I had in my kitchen for the first time? Chard!

Chard is a leafy green that I’ve had in restaurants, but had never bought before. There are a variety of colors of chard, and last time I was at the farmers’ market, I picked up some red chard. I thought it looked particularly beautiful:

Chard is a nutritional powerhouse, and a green that you don’t eat raw. I removed the thickest parts of the stems and tossed ’em out, and later read that they’re edible, they just need to be cooked for a longer amount of time. Oops, my bad.

After chopping off the thick stems, I cut all the leaves into ribbons:

And I also chopped up a red pepper and a couple tomatoes, because I had them lying around:

I slicked my big skillet with non-stick spray, tossed in some garlic, and added the tomatoes and peppers. After a few minutes, I added the chard. I added a bunch of purple kale that I also picked up at the farmers’ market, because I wanted to use it up. That, too, was cut into ribbons:

I let it all cook for about 4-5 minutes, and then added some non-fat, low-cal balsamic vinaigrette and popped the lid on the skillet, so it would steam a little bit. After a few minutes more, my meal was ready! (If you haven’t cooked greens before, get ready – they wilt down dramatically. What seems like a lot of greens on your cutting board doesn’t amount to nearly as much when it comes out of the pan.)

A healthy, easy, delicious side dish! I should cook greens more often – I’d forgotten how much I like them!

Keep it up, David!

Roasted Vegetable Bonanza

March 23, 2012

When I looked in the fridge this morning, I noticed a ton of veggies that I needed to eat. They hadn’t gone bad quite yet, but the time was approaching quickly. I decided to turn on the oven and roast as many of them as I could!

First up, I still had some of the kale that I had purchased at the farmers market nearly two weeks ago. I had made kale chips with half of the kale last week (although I never blogged about it), and I thought it’d be easy and delicious to turn the rest of the kale into chips as well. Click here for my kale chips recipe. So, I piled the kale onto a baking sheet. You’re supposed to make sure they’re in a single layer, but I really wanted to keep the kale all on one pan.

Next up, two other veggies purchased at that same farmer’s market: asparagus and brussel sprouts. I halved the sprouts, so they were bite-sized.

Finally, some odds and ends: three zucchini, one red pepper, and one watermelon radish. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a radish of any kind cooked. My friend Debbie once sent me a cooked radish recipe, but I never made it, and I think I lost the recipe. Anyway – I had no idea if a watermelon radish would taste any good after a stint in the oven, but I was willing to give it try.

All three trays went into the oven, preheated to 425 degrees, at the same time. I lined all the trays with foil, for easy clean-up, and sprayed the foil with a little nonstick spray. I didn’t add any other ingredients or oil, except for a little Spike (salt-free seasoning).

After 25 minutes, the kale chips were crispy and done, and the rest of the veggies had great color and were cooked through. I took a little bit of everything and made up a plate as part of my lunch:

The kale chips were light as air – and I mean that literally, because I took the plate to my balcony for the photo shoot, and the wind carried a bunch of them off. Oh well – I hope the neighborhood birds and squirrels and feral cats like kale!

Everything was delicious, except the watermelon radish, which was good but not my favorite. And I have two Tupperwares full of leftovers in my fridge!

Keep it up, David!

PS – Just realized that five of my last six posts were food-related – that might be a Keep It Up, David record! Did you read the other four?

Birthday Lunch AND Farmers Market

March 13, 2012

Over the weekend, I shared a few photos of food I’ve been eating lately – check it out if you missed it. Consider this post an addendum to that one, because I have more food photos to share!

Even though my birthday was on March 5th (read about the fitness challenges I gave myself as a birthday present), I didn’t get together for a family birthday celebration until two days ago, when I headed out to my aunt and uncle’s place for lunch with them and my cousins. Annie made a delicious meal that was light and healthy, and built around a protein that I had suggested: salmon.

Annie baked the salmon with salt, pepper, and lemon, and also sauteed brussel sprouts (lower left), and mushrooms (lower right), which went over quinoa (also lower right, under the mushrooms). A big ol’ salad (top), that I ate without dressing, completed the meal. Everything was fantastic, and I went back for seconds, without a second of hesitation or guilt.

For dessert, Annie made carrot cupcakes from scratch. Annie is an excellent baker, and it’s one of her favorite pastimes – so when she asked what kind of birthday cake I wanted, I opted for cupcakes, mainly for built-in portion control reasons.

I hope, by the way, that Annie is enjoying this post, because she only asked on about four separate occasions if I was going to blog about her meal. “Am I going to be in the blog, David? Because I really want to be in the blog.” “Are you taking pictures for the blog, David? It’d be so cool to be in the blog.” “If my face is going to be in that shot, than I should put on a little lipstick. I want to look my best for the blog.” You get the idea.

I ate one of the cupcakes, and it was delicious – moist and fluffy like cake should be, with big chucks of carrots, walnuts, pineapple, and golden raisins. Here’s what they look like on the inside:

“Are you getting my finger in that shot, David? I just did my nails – they’ll look really good in the blog.”

My birthday lunch was fantastic (thanks again, Annie!), but it’s not the only delicious food from that day – that morning, I went with a friend to the farmers market! It’s actually been over a year since I’ve been to a farmers market, and it was good to be back. So much gorgeous produce! I didn’t need much, but I still picked up a few things:

There are brussel sprouts at the top, asparagus to the right, a bag of sprouted mung beans, fenugreek, and wheatberries in the center, and a type of orange on the left that I’d never heard of before, called cara cara oranges. Like satsuma tangerines, cara cara oranges are sold with some of the leaves still attached, which makes them a beautiful addition to my fruit bowl. I’ll let you know what I think after I bust one open.

If there’s one thing that always catches my eye, it’s oddly colored vegetables, like the purple cauliflower I picked up recently. And the was definitely something that caught my eye at the farmer’s market… purple kale! And there were two varieties! There was this kale, that has purple veins:

And there was this kale, where almost the entire leaf was purple (I learned this variety is called nagoya kale):

I couldn’t choose which kale to buy, so I bought both. I think I’ll make kale chips with some (or all) of my purple kale bounty!


Simple Kale Saute

November 12, 2011

Can I start with a few quickies? Thanks!

1) Thank You! Lots of gratitude to all the generous folks who opened their wallets and purses and contributed to my 10k fundraising. My friend Felise’s donation brought me to the magic number – $500 – but you can still give, so click here! All the money goes to weSPARK, which supports cancer patients and their families in the Los Angeles area.

2) Training is Complete. I’m writing this on Friday evening, and it’s official: my training for the aforementioned 10K is now complete! The race is Sunday morning, and Saturday will be a rest day. Today, I hit the gym, did 5 minutes of cardio warm-up, then 30 minutes of weights, and then I hit the streets again (mountain lions and bears be damned) for my final hill-training run. I stuck to the same hilly part of Burbank that I ran in the other day, but this time, I drove up and parked at the top of the hill, so my run would better replicate the route on Sunday, which involves running down a big hill first, and then running up it. In total, I went 2.1 miles in 23 minutes, and the uphill portion was .9 miles – whew! (Yep, I updated my running chart!) The next time I exercise, it will be at the race. Can’t wait! Oh, and I’ll probably be too beat to post on Sunday, so look for the race recap on Monday!

Onto the main event!

In the spring I went on a little kale kick. Kale was relatively new to me, and I fell in love with kale chips (which I talked about in this post and this post), and also created a pretty tasty kale and asparagus salad, too.

I haven’t eaten much kale since that kick wound down, but I picked some up recently, and thought I’d share my simple kale saute recipe. It’s based on Bobby Flay’s recipe, but with a modification or two.

Get a big skillet, spray it with some nonstick spray, put it on medium heat, and toss in half of a red onion, chopped, and 2 minced garlic cloves:

Let them cook for a few minutes, until the onion starts to get soft. Meanwhile, I hope your kale is already prepped! If you have a bunch of kale, clean it and dry it, and cut out the major ribs and stems. Or, save yourself the trouble, and buy a bag of pre-washed, pre-chopped kale, like I did:

This brand includes a little bit of shredded cabbage and carrot, but I don’t mind. I threw in 1/2 the bag – about 4 ounces – and then added about 1/2 cup of water:

I gave it a stir, so all the kale got a little wet, and then covered it. Since I wasn’t thinking and used a skillet that I don’t have a lid for, I used a baking sheet. Martha Stewart would be appalled, so don’t tell her. Pretty please.

The lid keeps the moisture in, so the kale will both saute and steam – which reduces your cooking time! In about five minutes, the kale will be done. Just like spinach, kale wilts down to barely anything, but what’s left is delicious. Transfer it to a bowl, and hit it with a few tablespoons of vinegar (I used balsamic). The finished product:

Healthy, easy, delicious. It’s a triple threat!

Keep it up, David!