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Diet and Nutrition

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Cooking With Sensei – Black Bean Salad with Chickpea Fritters

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Today on Cooking with Sensei, we’ll be making a black bean salad with crispy chickpea fritters. This vegetarian dish is packed with protein, carbohydrates & lots of great flavor. Let’s give it a try!

Cooking With Sensei – Black Bean Salad with Chickpea Fritters

Ingredients

Black Bean Salad

  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and strained
  • 1/2 cup of frozen corn
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

Chickpea Fritters

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • coriander
  • cayenne
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • cumin
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • one egg beaten
  • 3 tablespoons of whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, spiralized (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine black beans, corn, chopped cilantro & shallot then season with salt, pepper, EVOO, garlic powder & white wine vinegar.
  2. Mix it all up and stick in the fridge to marinate and absorb all that flavor.
  3. In a food processor, pulse together chickpeas, parsley, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt, and pepper until combined but still chunky.
  4. Then spoon chickpea mixture into a bowl and stir in egg and flour.
  5. Using your hands shape mixture into eight balls and transfer balls on to a baking sheet and flatten slightly to form patties.
  6. In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat use 2 tablespoons of olive oil to fry chickpea patties until golden brown about 3 minutes per side transfer to a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  7. Serve chickpea patties topped with the black bean salad and garnish with spiralized zucchini noodles.

 

Sensei’s Tips

Eat a well-balanced, nutrient-dense meal within 90 mins of exercising.

Re-fueling appropriately can help aid your body’s recovery and maintain the ability to train again sooner.

Eat the rainbow!

By eating a variety of whole, plant foods in as many colors as you can, you’ll likely get all of the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, protein and essential amino acids you need.

Use this recipe for the perfect combo of protein and carbs!

Carbohydrates can help athletes by delaying muscle fatigue which allows them to compete for longer periods of time. By eating enough carbs, protein can be free to do its main job of repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue, which maximizes muscle gain.

Motivational Quote

Slow progress is better than no progress.

 

Check me out on on IG at @tsmmaglendale  | @chris_iavarone and make sure to tag your healthy meal photos with #My90Day

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Cooking With Sensei – Vegetable Jambalaya

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Cooking With Sensei Vegetable Jambalya

Today on Cooking with Sensei, we’re going vegetarian style with a veggie jambalaya! This dish is filling and packed with great carbohydrates, protein and more. It’s gonna knock your socks off!

Cooking With Sensei – Vegetable Jambalaya

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of peeled and diced eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of paprika
  • pinch of freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt-free Mrs. Dash
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/2 cup of diced onions
  • 1/2 cup of diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of diced zucchini
  • 1/2 cups of diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup sliced bell peppers
  • 1 clove of minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup of cooked & rinsed black beans
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon of paprika
  • Another pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 2 cups of cooked brown rice
  • 3 cups of black eyed peas boiled and drained

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350, then lightly coat baking sheet with a small amount of olive oil.
  2. Dice up the eggplant into cubes.
  3. In a large bowl combine eggplant, olive oil, paprika, cracked pepper, sage, Mrs. Dash seasoning, cayenne pepper and ground sage. Mix well.
  4. Spread the seasoned eggplant mixture evenly over the baking sheet and roast about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
  5. Dice up onions, celery, zucchini, tomatoes, bell pepper and mince the garlic. 
  6. In a large pan, sauté the onions and celery until translucent in olive oil. Then add zucchini, tomatoes, bell pepper, garlic and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Now stir in beans, vegetable stock and paprika, cayenne, thyme, salt, saffron, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Lastly, stir in eggplant mixture and rice into sautéed vegetables.
  9. It’s time to serve it up 3/4 cup of mixture in a soup bowl with half a cup of warm black eyed peas. Boom! A healthy, delicious meal, enjoy!


Add legumes to your meal for an excellent source of plant-based protein!

One cup of black eyed peas contains approximately 14 grams of protein! Chickpeas, lentils, peas, kidney beans and black beans are other great options for plant-based protein.

Check out the full video for my trick to dicing onions and tomatoes easily!

It’s super easy and if I can do it, anyone can do it!

Motivational Quote

You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.

 

Check me out on on IG at @tsmmaglendale  | @chris_iavarone and make sure to tag your healthy meal photos with #My90Day

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Cooking With Sensei – Sesame Crusted Chicken with Brown Rice and Broccoli

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This week on Cooking with Sensei, we’re cooking up a super easy recipe; sesame crusted chicken with brown rice and broccoli. This recipe literally has seven ingredients and is such a great satisfying meal to continue this 90 Day Challenge of eating healthy! Let’s try it!

Cooking With Sensei – Sesame Crusted Chicken with Brown Rice and Broccoli

Ingredients

  • Brown rice
  • Head of broccoli, washed and cut into florets 
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Cook the brown rice according to packaging.
  2. Blanch the broccoli florets in salted boiling water until tender, about 4 minutes.
  3. Pound out the chicken breasts with a mallet. When doing this, I like to cover the mallet with aluminum foil and put the chicken breasts between wax paper to make an easier clean up.
  4. Cut the pounded chicken breast into smaller pieces and put in a bowl.
  5. Sprinkle the sesame seeds, salt and sesame oil over the chicken and mix it up.
  6. Sauté the chicken in a pan with sesame oil over medium heat. Cook chicken breast until golden brown about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. The juices should run clear when meat is pierced with a fork.
  7. Serve the chicken with brown rice and broccoli. Keep up the healthy eating everyone!

 

Sensei’s Tips

Swap white rice for brown rice.

Brown rice supports a healthy body can reduce the risk of getting arthritis and heart disease.

Get your source of vitamin C & antioxidants by eating broccoli.

By consuming more foods high in vitamin c and antioxidants, you may have a reduced risk of chronic diseases.

Try to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day!

Drinking this much water is proven to provide energy, flush out toxins and boost the immune system.

 

Motivational Quote

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

 

Check me out on on IG at @tsmmaglendale  | @chris_iavarone and make sure to tag your healthy meal photos with #My90Day

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Cooking With Sensei – Turkey Breast Medallions with Blackberry Sauce

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This week on Cooking with Sensei, we’re continuing the 90 Day Challenge by creating a delicious and nutritious dish that’s perfect for spring. We’re making some beautiful turkey breast medallions and pairing them with a tasty blackberry sauce reduction. It sounds complicated but I promise you, it’s not. Let’s give it a try!

Cooking With Sensei – Turkey Breast Medallions with Blackberry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of all purpose or whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of cornmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 pound of turkey breast, sliced into 2 ounce cutlets
  • 1.5 tablespoons of butter
  • Greens for garnishing

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/2 cups of chicken stock
  • Drizzle of canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons of diced shallots
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup crushed fresh blackberries 

Instructions

  1. First things first, let’s start with sauce. In a small sauce pan bring the chicken stock to boil until it’s reduced by half.
  2. Combine all your dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Next drizzle some oil in a larger sauce pan over medium-high heat and sauté the shallots. Let those soften a little and then add the white wine.
  4. Crush or gently pulse the blackberries.
  5. Add the reduced chicken stock and crushed blackberries to the shallot wine mixture. Reduce sauce and set it aside keeping it warm.
  6. Pound out the turkey cutlets with a mallet.
  7. Dredge the 2 ounce turkey cutlets with the dry ingredient mixture.
  8. Heat up the butter on a pan and cook the turkey cutlets until they’re cooked all the way through.
  9. Lastly, serve the turkey medallions with the blackberry sauce. Feel free to add any greens you have laying around; I used broccoli. This should hit the spot…enjoy!

 

Sensei’s Tips

Spring is the perfect time to incorporate fruit into your dinners.

With the seasons changing, be sure to take advantage of all the delicious fruits that will be in season for spring and summer!

Blackberries are a great source of antioxidants.

Blackberries contain high levels of antioxidants which help people to fight against health conditions, such as cancer and heart disease.

 

Motivational Quote

A healthy outside, starts on the inside.

 

Check me out on on IG at @tsmmaglendale  | @chris_iavarone and make sure to tag your healthy meal photos with #My90Day

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Cooking With Sensei – White Cod over Avocado Sauce with Rice

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Today we’re going to create a healthy, flavorful dish. White cod over avocado sauce with rice is the perfect meal for people who want to shake things up from the traditional chicken and steak sourced protein. Fresh wild fish provides lots of benefits like supporting heart health, reducing the risk of strokes, controlling high blood pressure & more! Avocados offer almost 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving making them an excellent super food to incorporate into your meals. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Let’s give it a try!  

Cooking With Sensei – White Cod over Avocado Sauce with Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup of nonfat or reduced fat sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon of hot sauce, I like Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine, I used sauvignon blanc
  • 1 white cod filet
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 1 cup of jasmine rice
  • Fresh parsley for garnishing (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare your jasmine rice according to the packaging.
  2. Throw the avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, cumin, lime juice, and white wine in the blender or food processor. Blend and set aside.
  3. Cut your cod into 6-8 ounce pieces and season the fish with a pinch of salt.
  4. Next coat your pan with a little bit of oil and get it nice and hot.
  5. Cook the fish 5 to 7 minutes on each side until it’s cooked through and no longer translucent.
  6. Place the fish over the avocado sauce, serve with rice and garnish with parsley. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did!

 

Sensei’s Tips

To find out if the avocado is ripe, remove the stem!

Hollow & brown = rotten. Yellow-green color = ready to eat.

When buying cod, the meat should look fairly translucent.

If it is very opaque and extremely white, it’s a sign that the flesh is not fresh. 

 

Motivational Quote

When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.

 

Check me out on on IG at @tsmmaglendale  | @chris_iavarone and make sure to tag your healthy meal photos with #My90Day

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Cooking With Sensei – Vegan Tofu with Asparagus and Quinoa

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As the 90 Day Challenge continues to roll on this week we’re going to create a delicious dish that packs both flavor and nutrition. Vegan tofu with asparagus and quinoa is the perfect dish for veggie lovers or anyone in the mood for a delicious meat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free dish. This balanced recipe provides protein from a plant based source paired with a healthy carb choice by using the quinoa. Quinoa and tofu also contain all nine essential amino acids and have many other beneficial properties. Hungry yet? We’ll its time. Let’s go!  

Cooking With Sensei – Vegan Tofu with Asparagus and Quinoa

It’s easy to get all the protein and nutrients you need in a meat-free, dairy-free and gluten-free meal! Don’t worry, you don’t have to compromise on taste either. Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Handful of sliced almonds
  • Handful of cranberries
  • Asparagus, chopped
  • 1 package of tofu, cubed
  • Olive or canola oil
  • Spring onions, chopped
  • 1 3-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • Chili sauce (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Sauce Ingredients

  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup or coconut sugar, sesame oil, corn starch

Instructions

  1. First thing you need to do is get your quinoa cooking on the stove top.
  2. While that’s cooking, brown the cubed tofu in the pan with some oil until it’s a nice golden color. 
  3. Next step is to set the tofu aside and start sautéing your chopped asparagus using the same pan to keep the flavor. Make sure you don’t over cook it, just make it a little bit soft.
  4. Grate the ginger into the pan of asparagus and add spring onions to add some extra flavor.
  5. I like eating plain quinoa but let’s make this one more exciting! Now is a good time to add the almonds and cranberries to the quinoa. The quinoa should be done cooking soon!
  6. Now it’s time to make the sauce. We’re going to create a mixture of water, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, corn starch and garlic. Have fun with measurements here and adjust based on preferred taste.
  7. We’re going to add tofu to the asparagus and pour in the sauce we just made. You can even add some chili sauce to kick it up a notch.
  8. All that’s left to do is let those flavors elevate by cooking them down for a few minutes.
  9. Then it’s time to plate. Garnish with some sesame seeds and enjoy!


Sensei’s Tips

Try substituting tofu for meat!

Tofu is a valuable source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese, selenium and phosphorous. It’s also a great source of copper, zinc, magnesium and vitamin B1. 

Incorporate more quinoa if you want to avoid gluten!

Nowadays more and more people are discovering gluten allergies. Quinoa is an awesome GF substitute that’s high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin E.

Motivational Quote

Never be afraid to try something new, because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know.

 

Check me out on on IG at @tsmmaglendale  | @chris_iavarone and make sure to tag your healthy meal photos with #My90Day

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Cooking With Sensei – Herb Roasted Turkey Breast Cutlets

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Cooking With Sensei - Herb Roasted Turkey Breast Cutlets

Here’s a quick and easy holiday meal without all of the fuss!

Quick & Easy Herb Roasted Turkey Breast Cutlets Recipe

    • Preheat the oven to 375°
    • Rinse turkey breast and pat dry
    • In a small bowl combine the oil, garlic, herbs, salt,pepper and rub the mixture into the turkey breast cutlets. 
    • Transfer cutlets into a roasting pan and roast until the cutlets have an opaque color after 20-30 minutes. 
    • Serve with a healthy side of veggies or a lighter carb. 



Ingredients For Herb Roasted Turkey Breast Cutlets

  • 4 half-inch thick turkey breast cutlets
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 4 teaspoons of chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
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Cooking With Sensei – Purple Sweet Potato Pie

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Cooking With Sensei - Purple Sweet Potato Pie
This week we are going to be taking advantage of one of the most beautiful root vegetables – the purple potato to remake a holiday classic.  We’re spicing the classic sweet potato pie with a little twist. First we’ll substitute sweet potatoes for colorful purple potatoes, and for the grown folks – we’re going to add a shot of brandy which adds another layer of seasonal flavor.

Making your own pie crust could be very rewarding but very time consuming, so in order to save time we used a whole wheat pie crust we bought from the store. This gave us plenty of time to focus on the pie filling. 

Purple Sweet Potato Pie Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ pounds of purple sweet potatoes scrubbed and washed -1 can of low-fat evaporated milk
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter cooled
  • 2 tablespoons of brandy
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground allspice
  • ½ a teaspoon of salt

Sensei Tip: Serve this pie with the dollar lightly sweetened with cream. 

Quick & Easy Recipe For Purple Sweet Potato Pie

  • Start with pricking sweet potatoes all over with a fork and microwave on high until tender all the way to the center 10 to 15 minutes OR If you feel more comfortable baking them in the oven 425 degrees for about an hour until tender all the way to the center.
  • Scoop out the potato into a food processor and discard the skins. 
  • Pulse until smooth and add evaporated milk, brown sugar,  eggs, butter, brandy, vanilla,nutmeg, allspice and salt. 
  • Puree until very smooth scraping down the sides as needed. 
  • Pour the filling into the crust and bake the pie until puffed and just firm in the center for about 50 to 55 minutes. 
  • Lastly let the pie  cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.   
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Cooking With Sensei – Swedish Meatballs

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Cooking With Sensei – Swedish Meatballs

So you’re heading to a party, you need to bring a dish –  look no further! We  have the perfect-for-every-event dish to bring – Swedish Meatballs.  Even if you never made them before you are going to love them. They’re easy to make and truly a savory treat.  They true beauty in this dish is that they can be served either with a toothpick (KETO!) or even over noodles or brown rice in a small serving bowl.  

These little babies are protein packed and deliciously impressive! Let’s get started!

Quick & Easy Recipe For Swedish Meatballs

  • In a large, deep sauté pan heat the oil on medium heat and then add the onions for about 3 minutes. Next add the garlic to your onions for approximately another 1-2 minutes, (you should see the onions becoming translucent and the garlic gently browning. Be careful not to burn your garlic.) 
  • Now add the celery and parsley and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Set it aside and let the mixture cool.     
  • Then in a large bowl combine the beef, egg, cooled down onion mixture you just made, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and the allspice.   
  • Now you’re ready to mix everything together and form the meatballs in your hands. (You should be visualizing them about the size of a whole walnut.) You’re looking to get about (24) small meatballs out of your mixture. While making them, it’s easiest to temporarily lay them down on a parchment lined cookie sheet so they won’t stick. 
  • Begin heating the beef stock on the stove top in the original pan. Bring it to boil and then reduce heat to medium low once its reached temperature. Now slowly drop in meatballs. Cover meatballs cooking in stock for about 20 minutes.  
  • Once cooked remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon and set aside in a serving dish.
  • Now strain the stock to clear and prep it for a sauce base. Add both stock and cream cheese to a blender. Pulse until smooth. Return the stock to pan, simmer a few minutes to thicken. Once thickened, pour your sauce over meatballs already plated in serving dish.
  • Lastly, garnish with your finely chopped parsley and serve. Remember, this dish can be served two ways: either over egg noodles for a small savory starter or simply with tooth picks if you prefer to set them out as a simple appetizer.



 Swedish Meatballs: The Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon – extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion – minced
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1 celery stalk – minced 
  • 1/4 cup parsley – finely chopped (leave aside a pinch or two for garnish)
  • 1 pound – lean ground beef 
  • 1 jumbo egg 
  • 1/4 cup – seasoned breadcrumbs (make your own or store bought, whichever is more convenient)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon – allspice 
  • 2 cups – reduced sodium beef stock 
  • 2oz – light cream cheese 
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Cooking With Sensei – Basil Pesto Crostini

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Cooking with sensei's basil pesto crostini
Nothing beats the smell of fresh chopped basil & freshly baked bread! Two main ingredients in our recipe this week … Basil Pesto Crostini.  The perfect accompaniment to any meal; soup, salad, steak – freshly baked crostinis make for the perfect pairing. In addition to how good it tastes – you might be surprised how fresh and pretty it looks on the plate. With its rich aromatic scent and vibrant colors, it really is an inviting dish. Trust me, your friends will love it


Quick & Easy Crostini Recipe

First off, we’re here to make your life easier, so let‘s break out the food processor for this recipe.

To make the Pesto, all we need is the first five ingredients; 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup pine nuts, 3 cloves fresh garlic. Pulse them while slowly adding the olive oil. Once blended together, we should have a thick aromatic mixture that will make your kitchen smell lovely! Don’t forget to season the mixture with salt and pepper! (Always taste to make sure it’s to your liking).  

Now that the mixture is done, put aside. Slice your baguette into 1 inch diagonal slices. Lay the slices flat, toast in the oven or toaster oven to a light golden brown on the edges. (Be careful not to over toast the bread). Spread 1/2 a teaspoon of that pesto goodness on each slice of toast and top with the diced tomatoes and finish by adding a spoonful on top of each crostini toast.

Easy, right?!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup  – cherry (and/or) sungold cherry tomatoes 
  • 2 cups – fresh basil leaves 
  • 1/2 cup – freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup – pine nuts 
  • 3 cloves – fresh garlic 
  • 1/2 cup – extra virgin olive oil 
  • salt / pepper (to taste) 
  • 1 loaf – French baguette