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Memorial Weekend Wrap Up

Fireworks Recap
I'll try to keep the recap of last night short. I feel like this is a long enough post as it is. We had some VIP passes to watch the Riverfest Fireworks from an observation deck at the Peabody Hotel. The passes also meant free wine and beer and a dessert buffet. Plus, if it rained again, we could still watch the fireworks and stay dry. We got there at about 7:45. While I'm typically not a big dessert fan, I definitely oggled this buffet. Thankfully most of it was chocolate. Why thankfully? I don't care much for chocolate so that meant far less indulging!

The fireworks show lasted for a full 30 minutes. Jason was so excited. He seriously loves firework shows, and this is definitely a good one. Sorry the pics aren't very good. We just had the point and shoot with us.
 Lifting & Punching
This morning I got up and did my leg workout. It was Pyramid Lower Body. The pyramid legs was pretty much like yesterday's upper body, but without supersets except for squats into plie squats. So you do 12 sets at lightest weight, increase weight, at 10 reps, increase weight for 8 reps, then decrease weight for 10 reps, decrease weight for 12 reps.

Step Ups
Static Lunges
Squats into Plie Squats
Calf raises

After the leg workout, I decided to do Cathe's MMA Boxing. I have only done this one a few times and each time I remember how much fun it is. This one needs to make it's way into my workout rotation more often. It consists of a warm up, 3 boxing (punching) combos each followed by an upper body then lower body drill. If you like to punch things, this is the ideal workout LOL.

Lounging & Weeding
I decided to take advantage of my last day off and the sunshine for a bit more lounging and reading. I was also determined to enjoy a day at home finally. No makeup, no hair styling. Just some relaxing. However, I really needed to be productive too, so after the patio time indulgence, I did some major weeding, deadheading of the roses, and planted some more flowers. 

Thankfully, Jason got the pool ready for us because it was HOT. The pool has never felt so good! I only splashed around a little bit. It still needs to be vacuumed out again, plus I felt like I might be starting to burn. 50 spf only goes so far.

Since I felt that I had been out in the sun and heat too long, I decided it was time to get in the kitchen and get the veggie burgers made and in the freezer. I plan to take some with us on vacation next week. I had some leftover quinoa so I made a Black Bean & Quinoa Burger. While I was making the burgers, I also decided to make some Chikn' Seitan. I started with the basic recipe I made a few weeks ago, but changed the seasonings.

Black Bean & Quinoa Burger
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2-3/4 cups cooked quinoa
2 carrots, large chop
1/2 white onion, large chop
Flax egg replacer (or 1 egg)
Rolled oats
To taste: salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, chili powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In food processor, pulse carrots and onion. Add in beans, quinoa (reserve about 1/4), spices and puree until mostly smooth. In large bowl combine bean mixture with remaining quinoa, oats, and flax egg replacer. Mix by hand until all ingredients combined.

Form into patties and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake approximately 30 minutes then flip and bake another 30 minutes.

Chikn' Seitan
2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground thyme
1 1/4 cups hot water
1 vegetarian chicken flavored bouillon cube
Few dashes of liquid smoke

Simmering Broth
4 cups water 
2 vegetarian chicken flavored bouillon cube
Liquid smoke (sorry, just added and didn't measure)

Add garlic powder and thyme to flour and stir.

Mix liquids together and add to flour mixture all at once. Mix vigorously with a fork. When it forms a stiff dough knead it 10 to 15 times. (it forms a dough very quickly)

Let the dough rest 2 to 5 minutes, then knead it a few more times. It will be rubbery. Let it rest another 15 minutes then cut into chunks, strips, or patties.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil and add in the bouillon cubes and liquid smoke. Drop in the seitan pieces, cover, and simmer 45 to 60 minutes. Let seitan cool in the broth.
This turned out so good. So much better than any store-bought "chicken" substitute. I will most defintely be making this more often. 
For dinner, I decided to use the Chikn' Seitan for Chikn' Quesadillas. It is technically Mexican Monday after all. The filling included the Chikn' Seitan, sauteed onions, red and green bell peppers, and spinach and ooey gooey Cheddar Daiya Vegan Cheese.
So, this was the finale meal for an absolutely fantastic Memorial Weekend. 


  1. Yum, recipes look great naturally ;-) I haven't yet tried Cathe MMA (for fear of screwing my my "group kick brain!"), but now I'm tempted. Sounds like a goodie! Great pics of the fireworks btw!

  2. Jolene @ To Be Determined Oh you have to try the boxing! I so wish I had a bag to do the heavy bag workout too.

  3. how do u get ur hair that straight! wow.. lovely <3 and HOW AMAZING ARE THOSE FIREWORKS! you americans sure know how to get'er'done. love my neighbors to the south hehe <3

  4. I've been craving a quesadilla for days because of your last one, and now the craving is back! Both you and the fireworks are beautiful. :)

  5. AnonymousMay 31, 2010

    What an awesome way to end the long weekend! I am so sad it's almost over, though! PS. I had to smile when you said you couldn't wait to have a day at home, no hair or makeup. That's exactly what I did today too and it was divine. :-)

  6. Looks like you had an absolutely fabulous weekend!


  7. Free wine + dessert sounds heavenly! What a good way to enjoy the fireworks. :)

    Boxing sounds like such a fun way to workout! I've never really done an exercise video before.

  8. I have so much quinoa to use so I may be trying these burgers of yours! And I love fireworks in the summer :)

  9. AnonymousMay 31, 2010

    I love fireworks!!!

    I'm glad you got to relax by the pool some! Sounds like perfection...sigh. :-)

  10. your weekend sounds truly glorious!

    read your commment on kris i heart's site re sneaking in m & m's. girl, if that's your biggest offense in life, you are going straight to heaven LOL
    I have brought entire meals into restaurants before. I prefer to eat something i can tolerate than pick at iceburg lettuce. Plus with kids, one always travels w/ 17 diff snack options at the ready :)

  11. Looks like you had an awesome holiday! You reminded me that I need to weed tomorrow. Hopefully it's nice weather! Have a great rest of the week!

  12. Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel My hair is flat and straight as a board. I use a ton of products to try to get any oomph at all! LOL

    Krystina @ Organically Me Thanks girl! If I could, I would gladly send you a quesadilla :-)

    Jessica @ EatDrinkBreatheSweat The weekend definitely flew by! I guess great minds think alike on the stay at home no makeup days huh!!??

    Erica @ Fashion Meets Food I truly did.

    Chelsea @ The Healthy Munchkin Yep, not a shabby way to watch fireworks I must say. I love my workout DVDs. Makes it so convenient to work out.

    Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries I always make way too much quinoa. It does freeze very well by the way.

    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg Oh I am sooo happy about the pool situation LOL. Now if I could just not work and spend all summer out there ;-)

    Averie @ Loves Veggies and Yoga You crack me up. I have brought in beans or other protein sources for salads, but never an entire salad!

    Jenna @ Healthy. Happy. Well. Thanks girl - hope you have a great week too!

  13. AnonymousJune 01, 2010

    I really need a pool!! The closest I've gotten lately is a babypool, haha, and I don't have children ;-)

  14. What a fabulous weekend you had. We opted out of fireworks here because it was so darn hot and humid. Glad you finally had time to get into the garden since you have been wanting to get that done.

    Great description on the pyramid workout. I am going to give that a go as soon as I finish P90X.

    talk to you later,

  15. AnonymousJune 01, 2010

    heather, it does look like you had a fantastic weekend! love are so cute in your pic too. you look so much like a friend of mine :) back to the grind today-happy tuesday!

  16. 30 minutes is a long fireworks show! That's always been my favorite part about Fourth of July and New Years Eve. We don't do them for Memorial Day here though. :(

  17. jealous! I turn into a big kid during firework shows!!

  18. Your quesadillas look so much prettier than the ones I try to make! Hehe :) Great post girl! It looks like you had a wonderful time!

  19. Jill @ My So Called Healthy Life I think a baby pool is just fine! It does the trick of cooling you off right?! Thanks for stopping by!

    Alicia @ Vegan Epicurean We had another thunder storm that helped to cool it down so it was really quite pleasant. They had it freezing inside, so it was actually nicer outside. I like doing the pyramid styles, but only for a few weeks at a time.

    Kalli @ Fit and Forty Something Thanks so much for the compliment! It was indeed a good weekend.

    Lindsay @ Pancakes N Pajamas Not sure how many other firework shows were going on, but this one is mostly done as the close of Riverfest (that just happens to fall over Memorial Weekend). It was a long show!

    Kelly @ Healthy Living with Kelly LOL - my husband is like a big kid when it comes to fireworks too!

    Amanda @ Eat Spin Live Thanks so much for stopping by. I look forward to checking out your blog now!

  20. Now that is the way to watch a fireworks show!

    Sounds like a really nice weekend.

  21. Nice! We didn't fireworks here. Bummer. Whats fourth of July like there? Crazy fireworks galore???! Fun times!

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Looks like you had a great weekend! Those black bean burgers look like a perfect candidate for this cooking project I'm doing on my new blog. :) The bf would freak out if I made him something without meat (sigh), but I'll make them for myself for lunch one day. Thanks!

  24. AnonymousJune 01, 2010

    I love the presentation of the cakes on those stands; are they glass? it looks irresistible. I'm so glad you had a real celebration for M-day

  25. What a great weekend! And man do I wish I didn't like chocolate :)

  26. I am so with you...if chocolate is the dessert, I will pass. However, if you put out fruit...I am all over that table! I love black beans burgers with quinoa...I am killing a batch of those I just made. In fact, I believe that is dinner tonight! Enjoy your evening!

  27. Karen @ Fitness: A Journey Not a Destination Very much agreed!

    Lindsay @ Cotter Crunch LOL - we do like our fireworks around here! ;-)

    Eunice @ Food 4 Fitness Let me know how they turn out and if you like them!!! Love the new blog btw.

    Katherine @ What About Summer I am pretty sure it was glass. I thought it was really pretty too!

    Alyson @ Nourished Fitness But at least chocolate is supposed to have some health benefits right???? ;-)

    Sarena @ The Non-Dairy Queen Oh I would have just pulled up a chair to the table had it been loaded with fruit!

  28. What a beautiful sounding weekend! I would have been all over that chocolate goodness ;) I love lounging days in the sun!

    Your dinner always, always, always looks perfect!


  29. AnonymousJune 01, 2010

    What a good idea to combine black beans and quinoa for a burger. I always use chickpeas and oats as my main ingredients, but I'd like to try this to change it up a bit.


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