Now that you had a chance to read about Claire and purchase our delicious to_go boxes I figured it’s time for me to introduce myself.
Growing up I have always participated in some kind of sport: baseball, football, wrestling, track & field but when my high school days were coming to an end it was clear there was one sport that I excelled at: football. I decided to continue playing football in college and that is where I really learned about my passion for fitness.
Entering college I thought I wanted to be a graphic designer. It only took a semester to realize my artistic abilities are comparable to my 3 year old, so I knew I needed a change. While training in the offseason we had a strength coach who was also the exercise science department head. I struck up a conversation with him and asked about his job. From that point on I knew I found my calling.
After graduating college I did a summer internship with the Houston Astros as a minor league strength and conditioning coach. I had the opportunity to travel with the team, prepare them for games, and learn about professional baseball. There are still philosophies in my training that have been with me since those days 10 years ago. Two summers with the Astros was a wonderful experience but I needed more.
I was fortunate to get my first collegiate experience as an intern at Marquette University. Working at Marquette taught me the difference in working with males and females. Prior to that I had only trained male athletes but I soon realized I was able to connect with females and motivate them without the screaming and yelling.
When my time at Marquette was up I enrolled at Ball State University to earn a masters in sports performance. My time at Ball State gave me the opportunity to work with athletes of all different backgrounds, sports, strengths and weaknesses. It was there I truly understood what it took to motivate the individual and further study the science behind what we do from a fitness standpoint.
Upon completion of my graduate degree my wife, Emily, and I packed up and moved back to the Milwaukee area. We have planted our roots here and are now raising two wonderful, happy, healthy, challenging, and fun boys.
I believe in balance in everything we do. I balance working long days and odd hours with savoring the time I get to spend with my family. I balance eating healthy with a “cheat day” here and there. I balance my workouts with things I like to do and things I need to do.
I can’t wait to help you find balance in your life and achieve your fitness goals!
Back in the early days of Girlchef, we took a month long trip starting in Omaha, winding up to Seattle and then down the California coast and back east to Kansas. We stopped at state and national parks the entire way. One thing that emerged from that trip was a series of spice blends designed to compliment the different foods we found in those regions.
This one is a modern take on Harissa, a Tunisian chili paste. Ours is unique because it integrates Urfa Biber, an dark red Turkish pepper that has an almost raisin taste to it. These peppers are covered with fabric when they are dried, which gives them a unique, more robust flavor. Because they "sweat" under the cloth they retain a moisture that gives this pepper a more mellow heat that sun dried peppers like guajillo. Of course, we throw in some ancho and a bit of coriander, which gives this spice blend a floral note.
I personally love this as a dry rub on flank or sirloin. However, it's great on seafood and vegetables as well. It's not very spicy, but it does add a bit of heat to whatever you put it on.
I love pasta and pizza, but marinara gets old sometimes. This sauce is incredbly easy to make and can be used with pasta, in lasagna (like last week's butternut squash and spinach lasagna), or on top of pizza. Honestly, it's so easy to make, and holds up really well for about a week in the fridge, or freeze it for later use. And... it's vegan! Pairs really well with pinot grigio or a hard cider.
Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
1 Butternut Squash; peeled, seeds removed, and chopped into pieces
1Tbsp Rubbed Sage (you can use fresh if you like)
1 Tbsp Garlic; minced
1 Tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
Put the squash into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until squash is well done (approximately 15 minutes). Drain, and save the cooking liquid. In a food processer place the cooked squash, sage, garlic and salt. Add about one cup of the cooking liquid and puree until well mixed. You can add additional cooking liquid if you prefer a looser sauce, but we like our thick.
Keeps for about a week in the fridge, or it can be frozen for longer storage.