Time for some SHiFTing in the Kitchen.

This time of year is marked by meal making. Family, friends, football, so many occasions where we can turn on the fire and feast! As the sun sets sooner and we are summoned to the stove, let’s try to cultivate some culinary creativity.

Leave it to our Rockstar Team at SHiFT to help us find some inspiration in the KiTCH.

Image Michael Hoepp

Michael Hoepp: Simple Cobb Salad
Michael is an uber athlete. Every time you take his class, you become one too! Understanding that you can love fitness and food, Michael fuels his body with delicious food that fuels his epic workouts. Here is a way he SHiFTs the way he approaches his Sunday football watching munchies:

1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
1 hardboiled egg, minced
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
½ avocado, sliced
1 green onion, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup Kalamata Olives (replaces salt from the usual bacon)
Cubed light goat cheese

Plate all ingredients together and dress with a light dressing of your choice.

kaila

Kaila Maus: Homemade Chicken Nuggets
This red haired beauty is the front-of-the-house maven in our New Haven studio. Kaila learned as her years as a Nanny that fun foods don’t need to be stigmatized, they just need to be re energized. SHiFT how you feel about chicken nuggets with this amazing recipe. Fun for kids of all ages:

1 lb ground chicken
¼ cup old-fashioned oats
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning, divided (optional) sub paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¾ cup breadcrumbs

Instruction
In a large bowl, combine chicken, oatmeal, half the grated parmesan (1/8 cup), half the Zatarain’s seasoning (or paprika) (1/2 teaspoon), garlic powder and pepper. Knead dry ingredients into ground chicken.

Moisten hands to prevent sticking and form 1 tablespoon of chicken mixture into a ball. Press into a cookie cutter for shaped nuggets or flatten with fingers for a basic nugget shape.

In small bowl, combine breadcrumbs with remaining Zatarain’s seasoning and grated parmesan.
Press nuggets into bread crumb mixture and turn over, patting crumbs into surface to coat evenly.

At this point you can freeze—or

To bake: Preheat oven to 375° F. Arrange nuggets on cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Lightly spray nuggets themselves with cooking spray or olive oil for a crispier coating (optional). Bake 15-20 minutes, turning once, and checking – don’t overcook! These baked nuggets will not really brown (unless you pan fry in oil) – if browning is desired, place under broiler for a couple of minutes at the end of cooking.

SHiFT Cycling Instructor Nichole Boucino

Nichole Bouchino: Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
With fans all over the Shoreline, SHiFTers flock to Nichole’s classes and chat about her playlists and infectious energy. As a beacon of SHiFTing towards fitness, Nichole makes healthy choices in her kitchen without sacrificing on the fun or flavor. Her family loves Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. Maybe now we can all tap into that well of Nichole energy!

1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
6 small bell peppers, mixed colors, seeded and halved
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small firm eggplant, trimmed of half the skin, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 fresh chili pepper, such as Fresno, thinly sliced, or 1 teaspoon dried crushed pepper
1 small to medium firm zucchini, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup mint leaves (a handful), chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup crumbled feta or ricotta salt cheese

Instruction
Pre-heat the oven to 450°F.

Bring the quinoa and stock to a boil. Cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the grain looks translucent, 12-15 minutes, then fluff with a fork. You will have about 4 cups of cooked grain.

Drizzle the bell pepper halves with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Roast cut-side down until the skins begin to char and the peppers are just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature, then arrange in a baking dish cut-side up.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil, three turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, eggplant, onions and chili peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook, partially covered, to tender, 10-12 minutes. Add the herbs and tomatoes and combine with the quinoa.

Fill the pepper halves with the quinoa and vegetable stuffing and drizzle with olive oil. Cool and chill for a make-ahead meal. To serve, roast in a 375°F oven until the peppers are hot through. Serve the pepper halves topped with lots of cheese crumbles.

Food tastes better when we feel good about what we are putting into our bodies. Nourish and Nurture your body and make every SHiFT in the Kitch one to savor!

Written by SHiFT Instructor and Blogger Emily Webster.