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Tag Archives: Seafood

For the Love of Food: Tuna Burgers (aka: how NOT to alter a perfectly good recipe)

Posted on by Alycia

In general, when we find a recipe we like, we have to remove a few non-whole foods (dairy, cheese, bread, rice, corn, etc). We also usually find a way to add in some extra vegetables to the dish, to make it even more nutritious.

There are a few times, however, where adding random ingredients, especially vegetables that give off water when they cook, results in a (temporary) culinary misstep. But not to worry – in our opinion, if it still tastes good, we just eat it anyway!

Here’s an amazing recipe that was link off of another CrossFit recipe blog ( I’m still searching for the recipe’s original author…I WILL find it and link here!).

Cook about 4-5 slices of bacon on the stove top.

While that’s cooking, mix together an avocado, 1/4 white onion, paprika, chili powder and some fresh lime, if you have it. Mix together until it looks like guacamole. Feel free to add a tomato in there.

This is the part where I derailed.

Mix together 4 cans of tuna, about 1/4 cup of almond meal, the chopped up cooked bacon, some white or red onion, and the leftover bacon fat. Also sprinkle liberally with garlic powder and paprika.

I went ahead and added broccoli and red peppers here as well.

Now, it becomes a “choose your own adventure”. Will you stick with the original recipe, which yields yummy looking tuna burgers? Or add in some more veggies ( doesn’t have to be broccoli and peppers – just use whatever you have)?

Still looking good

Total meltdown

Mix all of the ingredients ( minus the avocado spread) together in a bowl, form patties, and cook the patties, just for about 2 min on each side, or until warmed all the way through.

Even though the patties fell apart in the pan, the meal came out amazing!

Try it for yourself, and alter the recipe, or not  :)

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For the Love of Food: Mussels with Garlic and White Wine

Posted on by Alycia

After pondering over the perfect corny “muscles” versus “mussels” joke, I gave up and decided to leave it to the pro’s. Here’s  a gem, from Paleoblocks:

Fry up a few pieces of bacon ( about 4 slices). If you choose to omit the bacon altogether in this recipe – no problem  – its still delicious without it. But, as you know, the Golden Rules says, “Eat your bacon at every meal”.  Or something like that.

Saute about 1/4 white onion (cut into strips) and 4-5 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced) in 1T of butter. Once the onion turns translucent, add about 1 cup of dry white wine and add 1lb of mussels to the pan. We found these pre-steamed ones for $5/lb at Whole Foods.

Cook the mussels for about 5 minutes or so and sprinkle with a little black pepper and garnish with fresh parsley, or sprinkle on some italian seasonsings to taste. Add the bacon and remove the pan from the heat. Pour the ingredients into a bowl. Enjoy with friends!

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For the Love of Food: Baked Salmon with Creamy Avocado Spread and Swiss Chard

Posted on by Alycia

Salmon is one of the few foods that has the creamy, delicious goodness of a gourmet dish, even when prepared using the simplest methods. Whether pan fried or baked, with toppings or without, salmon is a filling and very flavorful dish that can be enjoyed at a restaurant for $28 or at home for about $5- $6 per serving. As long as you are buying your fish from good sources, you will be able to avoid overcooking without any paranoia about eating raw fish. The salmon meat should flake apart when cooked, rather than looking like a tuna steak.

Rinse, remove stems and cut a bunch of Swiss chard into 2-inch squares or so.  Chop 1/4 of a red onion into long slivers and dice another 1/4 of an onion as well as 1/4 of a red pepper.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and place about a pound and a half of salmon, cut into 3 pieces, on a baking sheet. Line the sheet with parchment paper so that the salmon skin doesn’t stick to the pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. When the salmon is done, it should be oozing a little fat (this looks white).

While the salmon is cooking, place the following ingredients into a food processor.

1 ripe avocado
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4 red pepper, diced
Garlic powder (about 5 shakes)
Paprika (3 shakes)
Red pepper flakes (2 shakes)
Salt and pepper (a little bit of each)

Pulse for about 30 seconds, add 2T of water, and pulse until all ingredients are blended together.the color might be a brownish green. That’s ok. It’s less about how it looks and all about how it tastes.

Pour some olive oil into a large pan and sautee the sliced red onions until they get soft. Add the Swiss chard and cover for 5 minutes. Uncover and, stir, cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Don your finest ‘around the house clothes’ and pair with a glass of your favorite wine.

You’re in for a gourmet treat tonight!

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For the Love of Food: Summertime Party Tips and Bonus Recipe!

Posted on by admin

Those of us have tried to make positive changes to their diet know that weekdays are always easiest. That’s because weekdays are filled with trips to the grocery store, lots of cooking, eating leftovers, and packing lunches. Buy good food, cook good food, eat good food, repeat.

It’s on the weekends, holidays and parties when we totally forget how to eat.  Social gatherings hold a special place in our brains – they signal a “letting loose” that involves doing things you might not normally do on a typical day, or indulging in things that you wouldn’t have had if you were at home. Unfortunately, one indulgence at a party might send some of us on a depressing downward spiral back to our old eating habits.

Sure, there are a ton of reasons as to WHY you over-indulge or make bad decisions at parties…

‘I ate four slices of pizza because that’s all there was to eat at the party.’

‘My friend had a cheese steak and then dessert and she’s so skinny, so I figured that I could eat it, too’

‘It was a birthday party. I HAD to eat cake.’

Sure, those excuses are real. But they’re lame, and can be torn apart in a second.

With 4th of July and summer BBQs right around the corner, here are a few tips for avoiding having to make excuses for your bad decisions. These suggestions should help you stay on track and still enjoying the summertime cookouts, birthday parties, happy hours, and holidays.

If the party is serving bad foods ( ie: processed foods or meats, sweetened sauces, chips and sour cream dips, cake), try these tips:

Make it a Potluck: A great way to ensure that you can eat right and avoid bad foods without offending the host is to offer to bring a dish of food to share with everyone, even if it’s not a potluck. Baked or grilled chicken wings, meatballs, grilled veggie platter,  fruit salad, salsa or guacamole are great options that just about everyone likes. Fill up on your own dish early into the party, making you less likely to ‘graze’ or make bad decisions later. (remember, spacing out your four brownies throughout the party doesn’t make it any less of a cheat).

Play With Your Food: Just because the host of a party is serving certain foods contain bad things like bread, tons of cheese, or sugary sauces, doesn’t mean that you can’t touch them. Actually, you have to touch them a little more. Go ahead, take the burger out of the bun, scrape the mystery sauce off the chicken, and remove the layer of cheese that’s covering the veggies. It’s not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. And you might get some weird looks, but who cares? You look good and feel good. Give them a weird look back.

Use the Buddy System: Life is hard to do on your own. Having someone there to help celebrate your victories, to ease your pain when you are down, and to help you get through the tough times, is sometimes the only way we get by. Casually communicate your eating habits to your friend, significant other, or someone that you plan on seeing the entire night. By telling them what you are and aren’t going to eat, it makes you more accountable for your actions, and it put someone else on your side. If they aren’t supportive or if they make fun you, then ditch them. If they are your friend, they’ll help you get through the evening’s food choices, and you’ll be able to share your accomplishments with another person.

Pre-Game! Chances are that you know about a party before it happens. On the morning that you are planning to go out, pack an extra meal. Before you leave for the party, eat that meal. Even if you’re not super-hungry. That way, when you walk past the table of horrible of food choices, you will be relaxed and satiated, not ravenously hungry and suddenly nervous. It’s much easier to make a good food decision when you’re not hungry (kind of like that rule about not going to the grocery store when you’re hungry).

Starve to Death: If you do  find yourself out without a single food option that looks remotely normal, show off that self-control that allowed you to make the decision to eat better in the first place. Skip this meal and eat a real dinner later when you get home. No one has ever ‘starved to death’ because they didn’t eat pigs in a blanket or ice cream at a party. Indulge in the juicy gossip, the cool atmosphere, or the cute guy/girl you just met, and save the good food for later.

If you make a bad decision, it’s not the end of the world. It is, however, a decision on your part, and not a ‘mistake’. Being accountable for your actions will help your success in the long run.

Turn it around: You see the plate of cookies. They seem to be calling your name.  You eat a cookie. You immediately feel a little guilty. Well, as long as you’re already guilty, you might as well keep going—- wait, what? No! If you make a mistake, its OK. It’s not going to change anything in the long term.  ‘Cheating’ by eating a cookie is one thing, but cheating by eating an entire platter of cookies, and then some cake, is another. If you make a bad decision, turn yourself around and head back toward your goal of making the night a success. Don’t harp on it and turn it into a worse decision.

Try, try again: So this party was a disaster. You drank your weight in sugary margaritas and you binged on the seven layer taco dip. If your intestinal discomfort the next day isn’t enough to make you change your ways, be sure to change up your tactics for the next party. The only way to change the outcome is to change your actions. If the potluck idea didn’t work, then try eating more before you go, hanging out in a place where you aren’t staring at the food table, or bringing more varied food selections, so you’re covered in the beginning, middle and the end of the party.

DIY: If you want something done right, do it yourself! If you want to indulge in creamy guacamole, spicy deviled eggs, juicy steaks and burgers, marinated chicken or pork, grilled shrimp, roasted veggies, juicy fruits, and dark chocolate, then make it happen! Host the next party, and you’ll really have no excuses. Cook foods that appeal to the majority of people at the party, buy hamburger buns for people who can’t comprehend eating meat with a knife and fork, and relax! Eat until you are full, and enjoy the leftovers. No one will miss the bad stuff, as long as you are filling them with the good stuff!

We hope you find these tips useful for your next party. If you tried them, and they worked, or you failed miserably, let us know! We’re work with you until you get it right.

Here’s a bonus recipe for a 4th of July Tuna Salad that won’t go bad in the sun (or in your belly).

Chop up 1/4 white onion, a small yellow squash and1/2 of a green pepper, into small squares. ( a little larger than ‘diced’)

Open, drain and dump the contents of 3 cans of tuna into a large bowl that has a sealed lid. Add the chopped veggies, about 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, ample amounts of olive oil, black pepper and garlic powder.

Put the lid on the bowl and shake the bowl around until the tuna has mixed with the other ingredients. Leave the tuna in large chunks instead of shredding it small, like in traditional tuna salads.

The image above is not very glamorous, it’s a fresh and colorful dish that tastes great!!

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For the Love of Food: Eat This, Not That.

Posted on by admin

So…we’re your personal trainers. You pay us to make you sweat a lot, lift heavy things, and push your body really hard.  What you DON’T pay us for is our advice and suggestions for a healthy lifestyle outside of the gym. That part we give away for free. ( lucky you!)

Why do we do this? Why don’t we just work you hard and send you home? You sweat a lot while you were here, so that must mean you are getting healthier, right? Kind of. Just about everyone who does CrossFit notices a positive body composition change and an increase in aerobic capacity and strength within the first few months, which is great, but it’s not everything. By only concentrating on what you do in the gym, you’re only reaping some of the benefits of the whole experience.

When you pay close attention to what you are putting into your body, and how your body reacts when that happens, you will be able to tweak your diet to ensure that you will have full nights of sleep, energy all day, and make significant progress in the gym. After all, food is a drug for your body. Food can only hurt or heal your body. And why would you want to hurt your body after you’ve spent your time and money to whip it into shape?

Here are a few guidelines for choosing foods that will help you Feel Good, Look Good, Perform Better and Live Long.

1. Only eat real foods. If you can pick it from the ground or a tree or hunt and cook it, it’s probably a safe bet that it’s a real food.  Examples of real foods are vegetables, herbs, beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, and olive oil and coconut oil. Edibles that seem like real foods but are NOT are things that require processing before eating, such as grains and legumes (peanuts, beans and things made from beans such as tofu). Also, anything that contains a nutrition label or a list of ingredients isn’t a real food. For example, frozen dinners and pre-made dips and sauces might be made from real foods, but probably also contains some nasty chemicals, fillers and sugars – in which case, you’re better off just making that food at home. Also fruit, nuts and seeds are real foods, but don’t constitute a well-rounded meal. Instead, consider these your real food snacks.

2. If you eat meat, make sure it’s Grassfed and raised on a small farm. Small farms that let their cows and chicken roam free and eat what they are supposed to eat ( grass, seeds, etc)  produce high quality meats that you can feel good about eating.  Plus, if you are choosing not to eat grains, you are shortchanging yourself by choosing meat from factory farms, where the cows are fed grains (ie: you’re just eating grains that have been processed through a cow. yucky.)

3. End your love affair with sugar. We’re talking all added sugar, honey, stevia, agave nectar, etc. All sugars, even the kinds made from plants, are highly addictive and are out to hurt, not help, your body. Your doctor would never recommend increasing your sugar levels to increase your health. So why do we eat them? Ingesting sugars will raise your blood sugar levels, causing an insulin spike, which signals the body to store away the sugar in your fat cells, rather than using it as energy. The only sugars you should be eating come from fruits, and we recommend to only eat a single serving of fruit per day.

4. No Grains. Ever. At all. We learned from #1 that grains aren’t included in the “real foods” category, but it bears repeating because it’s simple to forget some of the foods that contain grains, such as all breads, cereals, crackers, chips, sandwiches, and anything that contains flour, breading, or the words ‘whole grain’.

Gluten is a protein found in grains that causes some really nasty side effects upon consumption. These sharp little proteins don’t get broken down completely upon digestion, and cause small tears in the lining of the small intestines. This allows nutrients from your intestines to float out into your bloodstream. When this happens, your body doesn’t absorb the nutrients of the food you just ate, and your body recognizes the free floating food particles as foreign bodies, inflammation occurs, and your  body’s  autoimmune response kicks in to help bring things back down to a normal state. Therefore, people who are sensitive to gluten, and even those of us who don’t notice much of a difference either way, are constantly engaging in an internal battle to return your body back to it’s normal state.

Plainly put, our bodies aren’t equipped to digest gluten. More on this here from Whole9, if you’re interested.

5. Beware of dairy. Dairy contains a protein called casein, that acts a lot like gluten and does some pretty bad things to your body. Also, milk contains sugar, which we know is bad for the body. The one exception to this is breast milk, which babies thrive on. Heavy cream and butter from pasture raised cows ( try Kerrygold) contain milk fat, but none of the proteins or sugars that are found in milk, so they are OK in our book, too.

6. Drink Water. And only water. And a lot of it.  It’s the only beverage that will truly quench your thirst without giving you any extra calories or weird chemicals. It should go without saying that all sodas and juices are out, but  sneaky advertising has made many people falsely assume that diet sodas and iced teas are fine, natural, or ‘good for you’. They aren’t. Just stick with water and you’ll start to see differences right away. If you’re attached to the fizz of sodas, try sparkling water. And if you love the sweetness of juices or sweetened iced teas, then squeeze a lemon, lime, watermelon or orange into your water. (Coffee and tea, are also OK in our book. Just don’t overdo it on the caffeine!)

7. Go food shopping often and cook your food every day. Try a new vegetable each week and find a recipe online for how to cook it. Use a slow cooker for meats (they are designed for people who can’t cook or people with limited time). Experiment with new recipes and how to cook and eat meals only using real foods. We have a lot more on the topic of cooking, but for now, we’ll just say -DO IT. It’s surprisingly easy and delicious!

If you’ve gotten this far in the post, you’re might be freaking out a little right now. Maybe you have a ton of questions, of you’re wondering why we recommend you eat this way,  you don’t think this applies to you, or you think it will be impossible to stick to.  Well, the good news is that you don’t have to make the big switch over to this style of eating all in one step.

Over the next few months, we’ll be posting “Baby Steps” to help you through the transition from what you’re eating now, to what your body actually wants.  We’ll explore unhealthy relationships with food, and explain the thinking behind this way of eating.  Finally, we’ll discuss ailments (everything from acne to bloating) and how they can be remedied by eating the right foods.

Now that’s you’ve seen our general diet suggestions, take a moment to read everything over again, absorb the information, and formulate your questions. Post them to the Comments, or email Alycia@crossfitaspire.com for some one-on-one Q&A.

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For the Love of Food: Shrimp, Bacon, Kale and Sweet Potatoes

Posted on by Alycia

YES! This  recipe contains the magical ingredient – Bacon.

Would you think anything less of us for our first recipe on the website?  :)

Peel and cube a few sweet potatoes (figure you’ll need about 1/4 to 1/2 per person tonight, and save the rest for tomorrow as a snack). Stick them into a pot of boiling water for 20 min. Meanwhile…

Cook 2 thick strips of  nitrite and nitrate free bacon (we got ours at Whole Foods)  in a frying pan until crispy. Halfway through the cooking, pour some of the bacon grease out into the pan that you’ll cook the kale in later. You’ll be happy you did that.

Chop up some broccoli into really small florets and steam on the stove  for just a few minutes.  While those are steaming, cut a bunch of kale into squares ( remove the thick stems) and rinse. Add the broccoli and kale to the pan with that leftover bacon grease. Add the kale in small portions to make sure it all gets coated with the grease.

Once the bacon is just about done, put the peeled and rinsed shrimp into that pan to soak up the bacony goodness, and to cook briefly ( 1-3  min on each side).

Once all of the kale is coated and cooking ( about 5 min after all of the kale is in the pan),  then grind some pepper on it and add some raisins, if you’re so inclined. It’s up to you.

Drain the sweet potatoes and sprinkle with cinnamon.

DINNER IS SERVED

*There’s another side dish of green beans shown here. Those are leftovers from another night. We’ll save that recipe for another day.

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