Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Body Building and a Balsamic Reduction

This is my friend Laura. Isn’t she pretty? She has endured so much life in her short years on this earth – she is what I like to refer to as an “old soul”. Laura is beautiful, smart and extremely talented! As a result of a recent life event, Laura decided to train herself for a body building competition here in Minnesota. To show my support I wanted to do something special for her so while my husband was out of town for the weekend, I invited Laura over for brunch. Just us girls. She is on an extraordinarily limited diet and gave me a list of ingredients she can eat right now. Limited was an understatement but those of you who know me know I love a challenge in the kitchen! I prepped, chopped, steamed and roasted my way to a meal that Laura just loved. It was fun to sit and talk over our shared meal and fresh tulips that adorned the breakfast bar in my tiny kitchen.

Good luck on the competition Laura!! I’ll be in the stands cheering you on!

Laura’s Brunch Menu

Chicken Wraps with Balsamic Reduction – served cold

Dry sauté vegetables of your choice. I used mushrooms and peppers.

To dry sauté: use a heavy-bottomed pan and bring to medium-high heat. Place the vegetables in the bottom of the pan but don’t let them touch one another. This will prevent crowding which produces a lot of moisture. Moisture will not brown your food. Once the vegetables are brown on the bottom, turn them over to brown the other side. Remove to separate plate for later use. This can be time-consuming but well worth it for the flavor it gives the vegetables.

Steam asparagus.

To reduce balsamic vinegar for sauce: bring ¾ cup of chicken broth and ½ cup of balsamic vinegar to boiling and boil until the mixture is “reduced” to a syrupy consistency.

Wrap sautéed vegetables, snipped spinach and steamed asparagus in slices of chicken and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

Roasted Yam
Wash yam and dry it. Rub the entire outside with egg white and sprinkle with sea salt.
Place directly on oven rack and bake at 425 for one hour

Brown Rice with Lime and Cilantro
Cook rice in a rice cooker according to cooker directions.
To the required water, add juice of one or two limes.
Once the rice is done, add snipped cilantro and halved cherry tomatoes.
Salt and pepper to taste

Egg White Omelets
Heat pan to medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray.
Pour in egg whites and swirl to cover entire bottom of the pan.
Allow to cook until they are much less runny and more solid.
Add vegetables and flip side of omelet over, serve immediately to plate

Baked Apples
2 Braeburn apples, halved and cored
In the belly of the apple (where you took the core out) add ½ tsp vanilla and ½ tsp imitation butter flavor (found in the extracts/spices section at the store)
Sprinkle with cinnamon
Bake at 400 until apple gets soft


Mark said...

That totally sounds delicious and I bet that it was. I can't cook to save my life but I truly love the people who feed me.
Laura's a gorgeous girl and I wish her the best of luck in her competition.

Dee said...

Laura is beautiful and very healthy looking...I wish her good luck with her competition...your a good friend.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mark and Dee!! Tracy is an amazing friend and I love her to pieces! Her and Jeff have been amazing to me and even bought my competition jacket for me. Tracy is the first to ask if I am ok and how I am doing often! I hope someday I can pay it forward and show them even half the kindness they have shown me=)
Laura Ellingson
A.K.A Thunderguns!

Anonymous said...


You are a beautiful being and exceptionally uplifting. Your life has been extraordinarly trying, yet you just keep pushing forward.

Endless kudos to you for being a fighter on so many levels. Your light shines bright and it's impossible to miss. Thank you for sharing it rather than hiding it.

Love and well wishes to you.

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