Simply Perfect Add-in to any Cookout

Asparagus Pasta with Pan Fried Garlic & Lemon Cold Tomato Zucchini Pasta Salad with Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette

I created this pasta salad for my brother Steve’s Independence Day barbecue. I needed to bring a side dish that could sit out safely in the hot sun for several hours, and also fit in well with an American style cookout. An additional benefit is it gave guests a vegan option, and me an excuse to eat lots of cold pasta salad.

The vinegar base in this recipe would pair well with homemade buttermilk fried chicken, or even a store bought rotisserie chicken.

Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/4 cup Sherry Vinegar 1 Shallot, chopped 1/ 2 clove Garlic, chopped 1/2 teaspoon Salt Lots of fresh ground black pepper to taste

Puree the ingredients together in a small processor or blender. Set aside.

Tomato Zucchini Pasta 1 pound riccioli shaped pasta, or any favorite shape 2 medium sized zucchini, or 1 large thinly sliced into half moons 1 cup chopped scallions 3-4 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped 1 tablespoon dried parsley 1 recipe Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette Salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil the pasta according to the package directions in heavily salted water. Drain and rinse in cold water.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette.

3. Toss the pasta together in a large bowl with the dressing and the rest of the ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator until chilled.

Notes: Next time I might throw in some dried or fresh parmesan, and a handful of sliced olives to add another element of flavor. Shredded asiago cheese might also work well.

Posted from my Android ~ Ami

Squeezing Daily Exercises Into Your Ever So Hectic Lifestyle

Too Tired, Too Busy, or Too Bored to Work Out?

Whatever your excuse is for skipping exercise, one of these plans will get you moving.

I Have No Time

Feel like you don’t ever have time for a proper workout? Robert Kram, personal-training manager at the Reebok Sports Club                              in New York City offers these solutions.

  1. Take more brisk walking breaks during the workday.                               
  2. Do belly braces throughout the day. Draw in your navel as close to your spine as you can without holding your breath and hold                                 until you can’t anymore. You can do this anytime and anyplace―while waiting in line, driving, or sitting in a meeting. This                                 simple move will help strengthen your abs, improve your posture, and flatten your stomach.                               

Add a 10-minute strengthening routine in the morning. In the course of a few months, you should build up to 15 minutes, then  20. These exercises will help you feel and look more toned.

Strength-Training Routine 1

  1. Strapped for time? Aim for 10 to 20 minutes every day, doing two complete sets, with 10 reps of each exercise.

    • Arm circles: With arms out to the side, make dinner plate-size circles with your fists. Do 10 in each direction and repeat.                               
    • Simple squats: Place your hands behind your head. With feet shoulder-width apart, lower yourself as if about to sit in a chair. Do two sets                                 of 10 repetitions.                               
    • Knee push-ups: Lie on your stomach, hands under your shoulders, knees bent, and feet together. Push up, then lie back down. Do two sets of 10 repetitions.                               
    • Reverse crunches: Lie on your back, knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands behind your head and bring your knees toward your face while exhaling. Do two sets of 10 repetitions.

I Hate to Exercise

You can’t swallow a magic pill to make you love exercising―but you can find ways to incorporate it into your daily life. If you are not used to exercising, start slowly. Melanie Webb, personal trainer at Sports Club L.A. in Washington, D.C., offers these suggestions.                            

  1. Take two brisk 10-minute walks on your busiest days.                               
  2. Walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes once a week, twice a week if possible.                               
  3. Do a 15-minute resistance-training routine twice a week to strengthen the core muscles and help reduce back pain and improve posture (see The Strength-Training Routine, next slide).                               
  4. Make an exercise date with a friend or your spouse twice a month―hiking, playing tennis, bowling, or biking, complete with a backup plan in case of bad weather.                               
  5. Replace your office chair with a stability ball, which will require you to engage and strengthen your abdominal, gluteal,  and lower-back muscles.

Strength-Training Routine 2

Aim for 15 minutes twice a week.

  • Transverse-abs activation: Lie flat on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Contract your abdominals and visualize pulling your navel in toward your spine. Repeat up to 30 times.                               
  • Pelvic bridges: Lie flat on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and abdominals engaged. Pushing down into the floor with your feet, lift your pelvis while contracting your glutes until your body forms a straight line, like a bridge. Repeat up to 30 times.                               
  • Ball squats: Stand against a wall with a stability ball that fits comfortably between the small of your back and the wall. Position your feet hip-width apart and walk them out away from the wall, as if you’re sitting down. Keep constant pressure against the ball with your back. Lower your body until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Contract your glutes as you push through your heels and return to a standing position. Repeat 15 to 20 times.                               
  • Ball push-ups: Lie down with your stomach on top of a medium-size stability ball and walk your hands out to a push-up position with your lower body supported by the ball. Gently bend at the elbows, lowering your upper body toward the floor. Keep your abdominals and glutes engaged. Push up against the floor to bring your body back to a neutral position. Repeat up to 15 times.                               
  • Ball crunches: Lie on a stability ball large enough so your head doesn’t touch the ground, with the small of your back on the middle of the ball, feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest and, without moving your hips or legs, engage your abs to slowly lift your upper body off the ball. Repeat up to 15 times (or until fatigued).                               
  • Hamstring stretches: At the end of the workout, lie on your back and lift one leg up toward the ceiling. Gently pull the leg toward you, with your arms behind your thigh until you feel a slight stretch in your hamstring. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch legs. Repeat three times.

8 Sophisticated Italian Pasta Recipes |