Team Slender: Zucchini Fries

Today Cara, our Team Slender junior, is here to share a side dish recipe that’ll have you questioning all of your foundational food beliefs– Are vegetables boring or awesome? Can I bread something other than chicken? I don’t have to fry my food to make it hot and crispy and sexy and delicious? Team Slender, blowin’ ya mind.

Oh, and after you get your on head straight, be sure to come back tomorrow for a cilantro ranch dressing recipe that’s perfect for dippin’ these fries into.

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Zucchini Fries from Cara of Team Slender | The Slender Student

Zucchini Oven Fries
Makes: 4-6 servings | Calories per serving: 85
Fat: 3.5 g (Sat Fat: 1.0 g) | Carbohydrate: 9.0 g | Fiber: 2.0 g| Protein: 5.0 g

ingredients:
2 (12 oz.) zucchini, cut into 3-inch sticks
1/2 C panko bread crumbs
1/4 C shredded Parmesan
1/8 t ground cumin
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t dried oregano
1/4 t paprika
1 t kosher salt
2 t olive oil
2 egg whites

directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 450°
2. In a bowl, mix together panko bread crumbs, Parmesan, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, paprika and salt.
3. Add olive oil and mix with fingertips until well combined
4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until frothy.  Toss in zucchini sticks and coat with egg whites.
5. Transfer sticks to bread crumb mixture, press crumbs onto zucchini and place on a baking sheet.
6. Bake until golden and just tender, about 12 min.  Serve immediately as an appetizer with marinara dipping sauce, tomorrow’s dressing recipe, or serve with an all-star burger!

adapted from Ladies’ Home Journal magazine

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Team Slender: A half that makes you whole.

Did you miss yesterday’s giveaway? It’s not too late to enter!

Thank goodness for Cara from Team Slender. She’s here today with her half marathon training guide, something that this self-proclaimed non-runner is unlikely to ever commit to… Though after this post, I’m giving it a second thought.

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A half marathon training guide from Cara of Team Slender! | The Slender Student

Last August, I registered for the Livestrong Austin Marathon, uncertain of my abilities and merely in the shadow of my pro-runner father. He signed up for the race as his “sweet sixteen”—16th full, 26.2 mile marathon—and at that point, I could attempt to run approximately one mile before huffing and puffing in exhaustion.

My goal? To finish. I knew that once I crossed that finish line, my world would be transformed. And that feeling is what pushed me to get out of bed every morning, put on my running shoes and step outside.

Living in Austin, I found that the city’s grid-like foundation allows easy mileage tracking—the street’s stoplights are almost perfect mile markers. I also used RunKeeper, a free iPhone app that uses GPS to track your mileage, routes, pace, calories and time. Download it right now.

I molded my personal plan from Shape’s guide, which I found very practical. Many publish 10- to 12-week plans, but I believe that the acclimation process to a running lifestyle is easier if you begin earlier.

My key focus is consistency. Stay true to your final mileage every single day. When I first decided to take running seriously, I couldn’t run a 5K. Instead, I would walk and run a total of those 3.1 miles. I wouldn’t let myself go back home until I completed the 5K. After a few weeks, I ran a 5K at a steady 10-minute mile pace without hesitation; and once I reached that comfort level, I could move on to mastering further distances.

{Hint: Self motivation requires some self reward. After mastering your first 5K, 10K or 10 mile run, pick out a new running accessory at Lululemon. You’ll know that you deserved it!}

After four challenging months of training, questioning my intentions, many pep talks from friends and family and too many trips to Lululemon for the perfect running outfit (oops), I was ready.

The triumph in training for and finishing a half marathon is enough to prove that self-motivation is sufficient, that consistency is key, that completion is glorious, that passion is everything.

So, I’m telling you—you can do it. Your passion will move you through training and toward the finish line. You can certainly run 13.1 miles, a half that will make you whole—mentally, physically, and spiritually.

A half marathon training guide from Cara of Team Slender! | The Slender Student

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Amazing, right?! Don’t forget to check out Cara’s blog!

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