Everything looks SO amazing, Sar! I'm sorry I've been so MIA, but being in Thailand sort of hampers my blogging. Anyways, keep up the cooking for me!!!
Oh, for the record, I've been eating LOADS of curry, rice and noodles. Its heaven. I'm hoping to come back with lots of new recipes under my belt!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Dinner tonight was something classic that I haven't had in so long. A hamburger. I really can't remember the last time I had a real hamburger. The majority of the time I either have veggieburgers or turkey burgers. Tonight was the real deal (well almost---we didn't have the buns or traditional condiments) it was topped with a TON of caramelized onions and some red peppers. I realize the photo looks completely unappetizing and frankly not even like food, but it was actually good! I adore caramelized onions and could eat them plain, which I pretty much did, there were so many! It was a really good, very filling meal.
And I'm legit cracking up at how ridiculous this photo looks.
Along with the onions (and burger) we had an amazingly fresh, delicious, and colorful salad. I think the beauty of this photo more than makes up for the awkwardness of the last one.
Today was a crazy busy day. After work I went straight to my grandparents house (eating my lunch in the car---which is a shame because I wasn't able to fully appreciate it's wonderfulness) and helped them out by grocery shopping. They were very impressed with how quickly I ran all their errands. I tried to explain to them my love for the grocery store and how I should probably be a professional grocery shopper (if only there was such a career, sigh). Then with rush-hour traffic I had to start on dinner right when I got home. Therefore, no exercise.
I thought about just calling it a rest-day but tomorrow will probably be one since I'm working (on my feet) 11-8, so I didn't want to skip out on today. So...I worked out AFTER dinner. For the first time, like ever. For some reason I always sort of had it in my mind that if I didn't exercise in the morning/afternoon it was just too late.
Well, I sort of understand my reasoning now. Even though I waited a good hour and a half, I was still way too uncomfortably full and didn't have a good workout at all. Any advice for night-time exercisers?
Now I'm off to shower and watch some Food Network ; )
Late-night snacks: kettle corn and ice cream bar
This is one of those Skinny Cow Mint Dipper Bars. They are SO good! They are really creamy and basically just all around amazing.
I dedicate this to Jenn for introducing me to Peanut Butter & Co Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter. Some of that on an Ezekial Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin = perfection.
This baby was the only thing getting me through my long work day. I just kept thinking about how amazing it was going to be, and it certainly lived up to my expectations.
I am totally a creature of habit. When I find something that works for me, I repeat it. Over, and over. For this reason I have a rotation of 3 breakfasts and I choose between them based on what my day entails. Luckily they are all healthy and delicious.
1) Banana Oatmeal for days that I don't have anything going on in the morning and I have plenty of time to make and eat breakfast.
2) Cold Cereal when I am off to morning yoga or planning a run early in the day.
3) Yogurt mix for days that I am working and/or won't be eating lunch until much later and need a solid breakfast that will hold me over for a long time.
In my yogurt mix I put together: Fage, a pear (usually red because they're my favorite but the grocery store was all out! gasp!) fiber one, and some flax.
This is seriously the perfect, nutritionally balanced meal. The protein from the yogurt, fiber from fruit and cereal, and fat from the flax keep me full and energized for hours!
Here we have it all mixed up alongside my mandatory cup of coffee (the first of many today, I have a feeling):
Too bad in the life of a retail worker, weekends don't exist : (
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I took the easy route with eating today, and didn't do anything too extravagant. Don't worry, it was delicious nonetheless.
Breakfast was the usual: banana wheatberry oatmeal. This time made with unsweetened chocolate almond milk as well as skim. This made it extra creamy and gave it a really nice hint of chocolate.
Unfortunately, even with my magical wheatberries, my stomach wouldn't stop growling all day. Here's my theory: When I exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (like today) and then eat breakfast, I am always starving the entire day. Even right now, at 10pm after a full day of eating, I still feel like a bottomless pit. If, on the other hand I eat, wait, then exercise, I'm fine. Unfortunately scheduling doesn't always allow for this. Maybe I'll try eating something small (aka mini clif bars which were last week's obsession) and then having a little bit smaller of a breakfast afterward? We'll see.
After lots of errands, including a trip to the grocery store (the employees are starting to know me there, it's a little embarrassing. Especially with the people giving out samples. I hope they don't think that I just come in to get free food, which really is only party true...) Anyway, I was really hungry for lunch and for some reason eggs seemed really appealing (easy and quick!). I had some scrambled eggs with cheese, basil and cilantro flakes, alongside an Ezekial Cinnamon Raisin English muffin.
This was my first time trying these and OMG are they good! A million times better than silly Thomas EM. The flavor was great, the texture was great, and the raisins were super sweet and chewy. What a perfect, simple lunch.
And then I forgot to photograph the rest of my food. oops, I'm still new at this!
Snack was fruit and yogurt (back to the gala apples though--I need to go to WF and get more of those Jazz babies)
My tummy was grumbling all during yoga (it was a little embarassing when everyone is quiet and your stomach is yelling) and I was just not in the mood to go home and make an extravagant meal. So instead I made a 2nd trip to the grocery store (quick hello to Barb, the watermelon sample lady) and picked up a salad from the amazing salad bar. Seriously this thing is great, I'd say it's about 88% as good as the WF ones.
Dessert was my absolute favorite treat, but I'm a little ashamed to admit it. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE rich chocolate cake, fudgey brownies, and moist carrot cake, but save those for special occasions. For just an average night: Dairy Queen Soft Serve Vanilla. I don't know what it is, but that stuff just tastes so good to me. I'm sure it's filled with all sorts of artificial crap that I don't really want in my body but I just can't contain myself around it. If I'm feeling really adventurous I'll add on cookie dough pieces, but usually plain is perfect. I know I'm crazy, but it's an obsession.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
First of all, breakfast was a success! My wheatberry/cereal mix lasted me throughout all of yoga (without feeling too stuffed and uncomfortable) and well through the morning. I didn't get hungry for lunch until 1:00ish, a good 5.5 hours after breakfast. This will definitely become a staple in my breakfast choices.
When I was ready for lunch though the hunger hit, and fast. I didn't feel like making anything time consuming so I settled for one of my favorite go-to meals: tuna. I buy those little tuna in a pouch things and I love them. You don't even need to drain it, just tear open the pouch and you're good to go. Tuna is great because its loaded with protein and you get a good amount of food for the calories. I like to mix in dijon mustard, lots of veggies, and curry powder. Yum, yum.
Also, I found the absolute BEST apple at Whole Foods. It's called a Jazz apple and I think it's from Australia or New Zealand or something. Unfortunately the only place I have found them is at WF, so I guess i'll have to be going there more often. These apples are similar to Gala but SO much better. They are really juicy and incredibly sweet---it's like eating candy!
This afternoon after I rode my exercise bike for a while I was hungry for a snack. I wanted something light and refreshing so I had some strawberries, a peach, and plain, nonfat yogurt. This yogurt is WF brand and it is a million times better than Dannon. I don't know what it is about it but it is so creamy and smooth, and not quite as tangy as other plain yogurts. DELICIOUS.
Now this is what I was looking forward to all day:
Last night after an extremely sweaty hot yoga class I came back ready for some good food. I made this Quinoa Risotto with just a few modifications. I halved it, omitted the artichoke hearts (because I don't really like them), used all baby portobellos, and only 1 T olive oil. The result: absolutely amazing. SO creamy and cheesy. My dad even said it was one of the best meals I've made. I will definitely be making different variations of this in the future because I LOVE risotto but find it sort of a pain to make with arborio rice---you have to constantly stir or else it will stick. I had no problem whatsoever with this sticking to the pan and I definitely was not constantly stirring!
Sorry the picture isn't the greatest. I'm luckily having leftovers for dinner tonight so I'll try for a better one then. I was just too excited to eat last night that I snapped a quick picture and dug in!
Next up: Wheatberry Cereal
I'm going to the morning yoga class this morning which means cold cereal for breakfast. Not only is it fast to make, but it's one of the few breakfasts that I can eat which will sit ok in my stomach during the class.
Usually I have a mix of fiber one, kashi go lean, banana, skim, and flax but today I decided to switch it up and add my new favorite food: wheatberries. I subbed them in for the banana and the result was amazing. I'm fuller than I usually am right after eating (which might not be a good thing for yoga---we'll have to wait for the verdict on that). The thing with cold cereal is that it usually doesn't hold me over very long and I'm usually starving about 2.5-3 hours later whereas my other breakfasts usually hold me over a good 4-5 hours. So we'll see how the addition of wheatberries plays into the cereal's staying power.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Diet desserts suck. End of story. I mean, how many years of trying to make "healthy" brownies will it take me to learn? Apparently at least 3.
Ok, seriously though, I'm done making these fake desserts. With you all as my witnesses, from now on, if I want to bake something yummy and satisfying, it will be something that is actually yummy and satisfying. Not fat-free, sugar-free brownies. I won't even provide the link to these because I feel bad trashing someone's healthy blog ideas, but enough is enough.
I am ALL for cooking better (I mean seriously why would anyone ever need to sautee an onion in 2 sticks of butter???) but for baking, you need some fat and sugar to make it good. I always end up making these desserts, and either eating 5x the amount necessary, or needing to eat something else to quell my sweet tooth.
Dessert should be decadent, something you savor and drool over. So from now on, that's what I'll do.
So un-gooey and non-fudgy : (
On a MUCH happier note:
Wheatberry Oatmeal. Holy crap, this stuff is like crack. Or at least what I imagine crack would be like. I am OBSESSED. And it is unbelievably filling, I finished eating ages ago and am still a little uncomfortably full. If I was actually listening to my body I would have stopped eating halfway through the bowl but that would be blasphemy.
And to make this amazing-ness even better, this morning I melted in my Adora dark chocolate calcium supplement. Dark Chocolate Banana Wheatberry Oatmeal=heaven.
And I just drooled on my computer, a little bit.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
This weekend has just been full of amazing food. Weekends are always nice because my mom is home and does a lot of the cooking. This worked out fabulously last night because when I got home from working an 8-hr on my feet day, I was NOT in the mood to cook. Fortunately my mom was in the mood and dinner was on the table within 10 minutes of my arrival.
We had picked up Tilapia when we were at Whole Foods the day before (WF=my favorite place on earth, more or less). For dinner it was coated with parmesan and bread crumbs. Fish can be tricky to cook because it's hard to get it the perfect "doneness" but this was a success. It wasn't over or undercooked, and was so flaky and flavorful. Delicious! The fish was served with whole-wheat couscous with raisins, and a yummy arugula and white bean dish made with tons of garlic. This was really flavorful as well. The couscous was nothing special, but overall dinner was great.
Today for lunch we decided on pizza! We made a whole wheat dough in our bread machine. The recipe made 2 doughs, so here is one:
and the other is in the freezer for another day.
The pizza toppings included carmelized onions with curry and balsamic vinegar, a bosc pear, and brie cheese. Here it is before going into the oven for 20 minutes at 400*
It was seriously amazing. The flavors were so great. It was really sweet from the pears and carmelized onions, and the brie was very creamy and melty. The curry wasn't overpowering but was a really nice background flavor and gave it a little something special. We couldn't stop making "mmmm" noises the entire meal. Afterward we tried thinking about whether there was anything we would add/change for next time, and we couldn't come up with anything. It was perfect!
To go with our pizza, I made a delicious, fresh, colorful salad. It's full of lots of good fruits and veggies. I really love adding fruit to my salads, I think it just makes it so light and summer-y.
Finally, I tried WHEATBERRIES!!! for the first time. I had been hearing rave reviews about them, especially from Kath's blog
I soaked them overnight and then cooked them while I was working out this morning. It was perfect timing and they were ready just in time for my breakfast.
I added some of the wheatberries to my oatmeal and it was fantastic. I had thought that my oatmeal was already the absolutely perfect dish, but I was wrong. NOW it is perfect. The wheatberries added such a great chew and made the oatmeal even more satisfying. Rather than being just creamy wonderfulness with pillows of bananas, now it is all that PLUS chewiness. Amazing. I don't think I will ever be able to go back to regular oats again (and lord knows I will NEVER EVER resort to instant again...) I cut down on the amount of dry oats that I use by half to allow for the wheatberries, and honestly this kept me fuller for longer than usual. And I also think that the wheatberries slowed me down in eating. Usually I gulp/slurp down my food, and oatmeal is no exception, especially since it is so creamy and liquidy. The chew from the wheatberries helped with this.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Marni returned home from Italy/Greece late last night so in honor of her homecoming I decided to make a vegetarian meal. Now I knew that it had to be something full of protein or else I would be hungry 10 minutes after eating, so beans were a must. I did some blog browsing and settled on Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon. Not only a veggie meal, but a VEGAN one at that---who would have thought. I picked up the necessary ingredients at the store today and was surprised at how quickly this meal came together. It was actually really simple to make, and kneading the dough was pretty fun! I baked them rather than frying and cut down on the amount of olive oil that the recipe calls for. The patties were really dense and filling which was good, but they were a little bit dry for my liking. Everyone seemed to enjoy them though. With the chickpea cutlets I roasted up some brussel sprouts and broccoli which are always delicious.
And look what came in the mail today!
The electric Bodum milk frother. And the verdict is...Even BETTER than the manual one. Seriously this thing is amazing, the milk frothed up better than any I've ever had at home or from a professional coffee shop. Excellent. Seriously, go buy one right now, you won't regret it.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
There really is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked chocolate goodies. That's what my kitchen smelled like today. I think that's what heaven must smell like also...at least I hope so.
Since I had double the occasion to bake today (Amy's birthday and my mom having some friends over) I decided to make cookies AND brownies. I spent the morning browsing recipes and came up with:
1) Double Chocolate Cookies (from Treasury of Home Baking). These were really, really good. All my friends loved them. It was a little time consuming, and they turned out super thin and sort of stuck to the baking sheet. After they were done cooking, the recipe said to dip half in melted chocolate, but the cookies were too fragile so I ended up just drizzling chocolate on top, which worked perfectly. They did take a really long time to set-up, and since they were so thin they sort of fell apart on me. The taste, however, was great.
The cookies took a while to make because the dough had to set for half an hour in the fridge so I made the dough, put it in the fridge and while that was chilling I made the brownies. The timing worked out really well.
2) Chunky Chocolate Brownies. I used toasted hazelnuts. I wish I hadn't. I'm actually not a huge fan of hazelnuts (I think they have sort of a funny aftertaste) and these would have been better with walnuts---or nothing at all. The texture was great, they were really fudgy and good, and next time I make them I think I'll omit the nuts entirely. They're really rich and chocolate-y and though the recipe says it makes 9, I got 16 decently sized brownies out of them.
So today was filled with way too much chocolate (including a few too many m&m nibbles, and a slight devouring of some chocolate-raspberry birthday cake) so tomorrow will for sure be a "back on the healthy boat" day of eating. No new recipes unfortunately though because nobody is going to be home for dinner at the same time and there are still leftovers in the fridge.
These treats were definitely a great indulgence--especially those chocolate cookies!