5 Ways to Get Rid of a Muffin Top - Tip #3 

Tone Up

Although you can’t spot reduce specific areas of your body by only doing strength training exercises, when combined with cardio, back exercises will help tone that area of your body, resulting in a slimmer and leaner you. Here are some moves you can add to your routine:

www.fitsugar.com

3 Full-Body Moves That’ll Work You From Head to Toe

Speaking of things Warming Up..

.. why not throw on some shorts and start burning calories? Fitness is a critical part of our lives and helps us keep in shape..but also helps us feel good about ourselves.

Coming Up Next : Fitness Ideas and Strategies

Things are Heating Up Over Here at the Mag

The team is getting bigger and the times are getting warmer. We’re interviewing random people and asking them what they believe wellness means and what they’re passionate about in life. Not only this, but we’re doing a lot of integrating too - it’s not easy getting everything on the same level, but when you’re motivated and inspired, you can do just about anything. 

Good Morning Wellgoers!

Today looks like a great day to start doing something new! Why not take a walk and enjoy the scenery? Or take a run into the park and take random photos of random things? Happiness and well-being are what you make of it..so explore something new!

Food…Eating..Munching..Crunch…..Happy.

FOOD!

There are a lot of us who jump into the air at the mention of this simple word. Yet, when you think about it, food is anything but simple. There are a plethora of recipes for one single dish, a thousand different taste sensations, and a million ways to share. If you love food, and you can say that it is your passion, then it is apart of your wellness! Whatever contributes to your well-being is apart of your wellness.



Garlic Fries Adapted from: Lottie + Doof
8 garlic cloves, minced6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil3 russet potatoes (about 8oz each), each cut into 12 wedges3 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper½ tsp garlic powder1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 225°C/440° F.
Combine the garlic and oil in a large bowl, warming it until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Transfer 5 tablespoons of the oil (leaving the garlic in the bowl) to the baking sheet, coating it well.
Add the potatoes to the bowl with the garlic mixture and toss to coat. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and microwave on high power until the potatoes are translucent around the edges, 3 to 6 minutes, shaking the bowl to redistribute the potatoes halfway through cooking.
Combine the cornstarch, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the hot potatoes and toss well to coat.
Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake, turning once, until deep golden brown and crisp, 30 to 40 minutes.
Serve with ketchup, mayo or sour cream.
Update: Given that I do not like to use the microwave for cooking, and plastic cling wrap is a little scary to use, I have tried making these garlic fries by par-boiling the potatoes and then letting them steam dry by laying them in a single layer on kitchen napkin. I proceeded with step 5 and it turned out to be SO GOOD!

Garlic Fries 
Adapted from: Lottie + Doof

8 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 russet potatoes (about 8oz each), each cut into 12 wedges
3 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 225°C/440° F.
  2. Combine the garlic and oil in a large bowl, warming it until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Transfer 5 tablespoons of the oil (leaving the garlic in the bowl) to the baking sheet, coating it well.
  4. Add the potatoes to the bowl with the garlic mixture and toss to coat. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and microwave on high power until the potatoes are translucent around the edges, 3 to 6 minutes, shaking the bowl to redistribute the potatoes halfway through cooking.
  5. Combine the cornstarch, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the hot potatoes and toss well to coat.
  6. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake, turning once, until deep golden brown and crisp, 30 to 40 minutes.
  7. Serve with ketchup, mayo or sour cream.

Update: Given that I do not like to use the microwave for cooking, and plastic cling wrap is a little scary to use, I have tried making these garlic fries by par-boiling the potatoes and then letting them steam dry by laying them in a single layer on kitchen napkin. I proceeded with step 5 and it turned out to be SO GOOD!

Easy Parmesan Knots
1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits ( I used Pillsbury Golden Layers Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits)
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (I did use the green can stuff)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
Roll each biscuit into a 12-in. rope and tie into a knot; tuck ends under. Place 2 in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; brush the warm knots with the mixture. Yield:10 knots.

Easy Parmesan Knots

  • 1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits ( I used Pillsbury Golden Layers Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (I did use the green can stuff)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  1. Roll each biscuit into a 12-in. rope and tie into a knot; tuck ends under. Place 2 in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; brush the warm knots with the mixture. Yield:10 knots.
MOZZARELLA STICKS WITH BUTTERMILK DIP
The secret to getting restaurant quality mozzarella sticks at home is using panko-style breadcrumbs and making sure that each piece of cheese is double dipped for an extra crispy crust that is free of any holes for the cheese to escape from during frying.  Freezing the mozzarella sticks prior to frying ensures that the crust has time to adhere to the cheese in the dry environment of the freezer.  As with all frying, make sure to carefully monitor your oil temperature and allow it to rebound in between batches.  Because the mozzarella sticks are frozen, it might be a good idea to make a double batch to keep on hand for any last minute game day parties.
INGREDIENTS:
For the Mozzarella Sticks:
12 stick s of string cheese or 12 pieces of mozzarella cut into 4 x 1/2 inch sticks
1 1/2 cups panko-style breadcrumbs (or Progresso Italian-style Panko breadcrumbs)
4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 eggs
1 cup of all-purpose flour
Canola oil for frying
For the Buttermilk Dip:
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced green onions
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of table salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
METHOD:
Dredge the mozzarella sticks: Spread the flour and breadcrumbs on separate plates (pie plates work well for this).  Add the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the breadcrumbs and mix well.  Place the eggs in a small bowl and beat them lightly.
Drop a piece of cheese into the flour and roll it around until it is well covered.  Shake off the excess flour and dip the cheese into the egg mixture before rolling it in the breadcrumbs until well coated.  One last time, dip the breadcrumb coated cheese back into the beaten egg and roll again in breadcrumbs to create an extra crispy coating.  Set aside on a clean plate and repeat with the remaining cheese sticks.  Once all of the mozzarella has been breaded, place the plate into the freezer uncovered and freeze until the breadcrumb coating is firm, at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the buttermilk dip: In a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together until well combined.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Fry the mozzarella sticks: Pour enough oil into a large heavy-bottomed pot to come to a depth of at least 2 inches.  Using an candy thermometer, heat oil until it reaches a temperature of 350°.  Fry the mozzarella sticks in batches, being careful not to overwhelm the oil, until crispy and browned on the exterior, about 5 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.
Repeat with remaining mozzarella, allowing the oil temperature to rise back to 350° between batches.  You can place the finished mozzarella sticks in a 200° oven to keep them warm while the others fry.
Serve immediately with buttermilk dip.
Serves 4

MOZZARELLA STICKS WITH BUTTERMILK DIP

The secret to getting restaurant quality mozzarella sticks at home is using panko-style breadcrumbs and making sure that each piece of cheese is double dipped for an extra crispy crust that is free of any holes for the cheese to escape from during frying.  Freezing the mozzarella sticks prior to frying ensures that the crust has time to adhere to the cheese in the dry environment of the freezer.  As with all frying, make sure to carefully monitor your oil temperature and allow it to rebound in between batches.  Because the mozzarella sticks are frozen, it might be a good idea to make a double batch to keep on hand for any last minute game day parties.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Mozzarella Sticks:

  • 12 stick s of string cheese or 12 pieces of mozzarella cut into 4 x 1/2 inch sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups panko-style breadcrumbs (or Progresso Italian-style Panko breadcrumbs)
  • 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • Canola oil for frying

For the Buttermilk Dip:

  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons minced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of table salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

METHOD:

  1. Dredge the mozzarella sticks: Spread the flour and breadcrumbs on separate plates (pie plates work well for this).  Add the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the breadcrumbs and mix well.  Place the eggs in a small bowl and beat them lightly.
  2. Drop a piece of cheese into the flour and roll it around until it is well covered.  Shake off the excess flour and dip the cheese into the egg mixture before rolling it in the breadcrumbs until well coated.  One last time, dip the breadcrumb coated cheese back into the beaten egg and roll again in breadcrumbs to create an extra crispy coating.  Set aside on a clean plate and repeat with the remaining cheese sticks.  Once all of the mozzarella has been breaded, place the plate into the freezer uncovered and freeze until the breadcrumb coating is firm, at least 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, make the buttermilk dip: In a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together until well combined.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Fry the mozzarella sticks: Pour enough oil into a large heavy-bottomed pot to come to a depth of at least 2 inches.  Using an candy thermometer, heat oil until it reaches a temperature of 350°.  Fry the mozzarella sticks in batches, being careful not to overwhelm the oil, until crispy and browned on the exterior, about 5 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.
  5. Repeat with remaining mozzarella, allowing the oil temperature to rise back to 350° between batches.  You can place the finished mozzarella sticks in a 200° oven to keep them warm while the others fry.
  6. Serve immediately with buttermilk dip.

Serves 4

Oven-Baked Chicken Risotto16 chicken portions - roughly 1 thigh and 2 drumsticks per person2 large onions - roughly chopped5 large carrots - roughly chopped1 punnet of closed cup mushrooms (works out to roughly 3 per person) - roughly choppeda large hand-ful of frozen peas2 glasses of white wine or a splash of sherry500g risotto rice - arborio rice is good4 pints vegetable stock- place the chopped veg into an oven roasting dish and lay the chicken pieces on top.  Don’t over-crowd the pan, it’s better to use two dishes. season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with mixed herbs of your choice and a generous glug or two of olive oil.- roast in a hot oven (190C) for 40 minutes but turn the chicken halfway through at which point add the wine or a splash of sherry- after 40 minutes check that the veg has started to roast and the chicken is browning, it may need another 5 to 10 minutes or so and should be full of lovely chickeny juice.- add the rice, shimmying the chicken aside to make sure all the grains are coated in juice, then add enough of the stock to cover the rice but not all the chicken.  You want to retain some stock for later.- place the dish back into the oven and roast again for another 30 - 40 minutes or until the rice is tender and the chicken is golden… keep your eye on it as you don’t want it to dry out, so keep it topped up during the last 15 minutes or so.- take it out of the oven and throw in the frozen peas and give it a final stir before serving.eat and of course, enjoy!

Oven-Baked Chicken Risotto

16 chicken portions - roughly 1 thigh and 2 drumsticks per person
2 large onions - roughly chopped
5 large carrots - roughly chopped
1 punnet of closed cup mushrooms (works out to roughly 3 per person) - roughly chopped
a large hand-ful of frozen peas
2 glasses of white wine or a splash of sherry
500g risotto rice - arborio rice is good
4 pints vegetable stock

- place the chopped veg into an oven roasting dish and lay the chicken pieces on top.  Don’t over-crowd the pan, it’s better to use two dishes. season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with mixed herbs of your choice and a generous glug or two of olive oil.

- roast in a hot oven (190C) for 40 minutes but turn the chicken halfway through at which point add the wine or a splash of sherry

- after 40 minutes check that the veg has started to roast and the chicken is browning, it may need another 5 to 10 minutes or so and should be full of lovely chickeny juice.

- add the rice, shimmying the chicken aside to make sure all the grains are coated in juice, then add enough of the stock to cover the rice but not all the chicken.  You want to retain some stock for later.

- place the dish back into the oven and roast again for another 30 - 40 minutes or until the rice is tender and the chicken is golden… keep your eye on it as you don’t want it to dry out, so keep it topped up during the last 15 minutes or so.

- take it out of the oven and throw in the frozen peas and give it a final stir before serving.

eat and of course, enjoy!


Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs1 lb ground beef1 lb ground pork or mild Italian sausage1 cup breadcrumbs1 TBSP Italian seasoning3 eggs3 garlic cloves, minced1 tsp salt1/2 tsp pepper1/2 lb mozzarella, cut into cubesOlive OilMarinara (jar or homemade)In a large bowl mix beef through pepper. Form into 2” balls. Press a cheese cube in the middle and seal the meat around it.Heat 1/2” olive oil in a large skillet. Brown meatballs and then set aside on plate. Pour marinara sauce into pan; bring to a simmer. Add meatballs and simmer until cooked through, about 30 minutes.Serve over spaghetti or on top of a hoagie.


Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork or mild Italian sausage
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
3 eggs
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 lb mozzarella, cut into cubes

Olive Oil
Marinara (jar or homemade)

In a large bowl mix beef through pepper. Form into 2” balls. Press a cheese cube in the middle and seal the meat around it.

Heat 1/2” olive oil in a large skillet. Brown meatballs and then set aside on plate. 

Pour marinara sauce into pan; bring to a simmer. Add meatballs and simmer until cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Serve over spaghetti or on top of a hoagie.