Saturday, February 27, 2010

He wins.

The hubby is officially better at breakfast than I am. Eggs, chopped tomatoes, onion and bacon pieces with fresh herbs and a dash of good.

I love when he cooks for me. I should really let him in the kitchen more often...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 26, 2010

Healthy Week, day five

Since it's Healthy Week, I figured it was as good a time as any to take care of some other things relating to my health-medically speaking, at least. So I made an appointment with the chiropractor, which will hopefully help my screaming-in-pain-for-weeks-now neck (I just have to make it through the weekend), and finally went to the lab at Kaiser today to get some blood tests I've been putting off for, oh, months now.

It's not for anything major...I hope...just making sure my old lady joints and weird skin aren't underlying issues of anything else. Anyway. I won't get the results for a few days, but my little trip did have an immediate reinforced that I am officially old. Cause, seriously? The guy who took my blood was, like, 12. I had to bite my tongue to keep from asking him if he was old enough to be a tech.

He was great, btw. I only look like a casual heroin user (which is good, for these veins). And as he was a goofball, it actually ended up being a rather pleasant experience. So yay, 12 year old lab tech! You win!

Which brings us to...

Day 5:Yay Me!
See above.
Water, water, water.
24g fiber
Went to lunch at Flamin' Skewers, which has and only ate 7 off the hubby's plate. I counted.
Great jog (again) at the gym. I'm getting better at it.

Day 5:Damnit Pam!
I know the exact moment the night went downhill. It's when I walked in the front door and thought, "Wow...I should drink a beer in the shower and relive freshman year of college a little." All over at that point. But it was the best beer in a while, let me tell you. It even made cleaning the bathroom post-shower more enjoyable.
One Coor's Light
Rootstock Zin. Tsk tsk tsk.
Aaaand I found the chips.

Dinner, at least, was fabulous. Chicken Piccata over Quinoa. I'm out of gluten-free flour, so I decided to make Chicken Piccata 2.0. And I ended up liking it more than the usual, so here we go.

Chicken Piccata 2.0
Olive oil
2 6oz chicken breasts
garlic powder
1/2 onion, halved and thinly sliced
About 3/4 cup chicken broth
Juice from one lemon
About 3 tbsp drained capers

Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Saute on medium high about 3 minutes a side to brown. Reduce to medium low, add onion, and saute about 5 minutes, turning chicken at least once. Add broth and cook at a low simmer about 8-10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove and keep warm. Keep onion and broth simmering about 5 minutes or until broth is mostly reduced.

Add lemon juice, mix well, let simmer a couple of minutes. Add chicken back to pan, add capers, and move around a bit. Serve over rice, noodles, whatever...I used quinoa cooked in broth, and it was fab.


The Zin in question is from Rootstock in Lodi. I bought it at Trader Joe's, not Cost Plus. Got it for $6.99 a bottle. Did I buy more? Yes. Was that rather stupid? Siiigh. Of course it was. Cheers!

Healthy Week, day four

I made the mistake of opening a bottle of Zin last night. It was delicious, and I am totally going to stock up on it next time I go to Cost Plus. (No, I don't remember the maker...but it was from Lodi) And I probably would have finished the bottle had this not been Healthy Week.

The things I tell myself, I swear. In reality, the Husband got home and I didn't want him to tsk tsk tsk me.

Day 4:Yay Me!
Did yoga and leg lifts (I will have thighs of steel, damnit)
Good on fiber (25+g)
Lots of water
Did not touch the chips OR ice cream.

Day 4:Damnit, Pam
Since did not eat chips or ice cream, found everything else in house I could possibly eat, including popcorn, corn chex, and a slice of swiss cheese...and a See's sucker. Sigh.
Two glasses of Zin. Ok, three. Whatever.

Went with leftover pot roast for dinner, so nothing new to report there. Gym tonight! And I'm assuming the rest of the Zin..there's not much left.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Healthy Week, day three

I was totally pissy at myself for having another FAIL day, but once I got my good girl/bad girl list down on paper, I actually feel much better. But since I'm the type to 'reward' good behavior with bad behavior, I'm gonna call yesterday a "could have been better" day.

Day 3:Yay me!
Awesome jog at the gym
Plenty of fiber (35g)
Lots of fruits and veggies
A waterfall's worth of h20
Lots of sit ups

Day 3:Damnit, Pam!
Came home from gym and immediately killed like a million chips (it's the never ending bag, I'm telling you)
Drank 2 homemade Cheladas (Coor's Light, at least)
Effing Rocky Road (Again...never ending. Hubby needs to kill it so it's gone and out of my freezer.)

Eh. Bad, not terrible. The tortilla chip addiction is seriously out of control, though. Must put bag down and step away.

I may have also been hard on myself cause dinner was not what I wanted it to be. I mean, it tasted great. But I was trying to cut cals and didn't dip my tortillas in oil, so they broke, and then didn't have enough sauce, so they got dry. And to top it all off, I didn't oil the baking pan-just didn't even think to do it-and so my dry, falling apart enchiladas stuck to the pan. Just awesome.

Sigh. At least I got to use a new ingredient, which is always fun. My old friend Sarah (the friendship is old, she is not) recommended a Vegetarian Enchilada recipe, and as I was making a grocery list, I realized one of the ingredients, Chayote, I had never even heard of. Turns out it's a squash. And is quite tasty. And I have totally seen it at the store a million times, but always assumed anything that looks like an old lady face/butt isn't anything I needed to know about. Wrong.

So anyway, the Hubby whined a bit about keeping this vegetarian, so I cooked and shredded a chicken breast and threw it in. It was a good call. I'm not putting the recipe til I get it right, but it was chicken, chayote, onion, garlic, zucchini, red bell pepper, corn, jalapenos, cilantro and cheese, all wrapped in corn tortillas and covered in salsa verde and more cheese. Quite, quite yum. Especially for only 215 cals a serving.

This was his plate.
Pammy: Ooh, how come your plate looks better than mine? I'm taking a pic of yours, don't eat yet.
Most Patient Husband ever: Ok...and it's cause mine has so much more on it.
Pammy:(looks at her two sad little enchiladas)...I think you're right.

I like small plates, ok? It makes me feel like I'm eating more. Shhh.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Healthy Week, day two

This is the sound of a huge Pammy sigh.

Day 2:Yay Me!
Hmm. Must think...
Enough fiber (25g)
Balanced dinner
Lots of water
Lots of leg lifts

Day 3:Damnit, Pam!
No gym
2 Coors Lights
Tortilla chips (the hubby ate the rest of the salsa)
6 letters: D-E-W-A-R-S

Let me explain Dewar's. No, not the alcohol. The ice cream parlor. The one I avoid like the plague. I don't usually get that into ice cream...but when the hubby brings home a carton of fresh churned Rocky Road that looks like's completely out of my control.

Luckily I had a big salad with my pot roast, so the evening wasn't a complete failure. And my roast turned out better than last time—I followed this Cooking Light recipe for Beer Braised Beef.

I made some minor changes—I soaked the browned meat and veggies (chunks of turnips and baby carrots) in the broth and a can of Boddington's over night, and stuck it in the crock pot the next morning. I also added a package of frozen pearl onions near the end (not on purpose...I'm just not exactly on my game at 6:45am and forgot them. But an hour was plenty of time for them). And I added salt, garlic powder, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce at the end. Not sure the hubby didn't still think it needed something (he added more salt and horseradish), but I liked it.

So tonight is Veggie Enchiladas...and I'm doing well on water and fiber, and my gym clothes in the bag next to my desk are looking at me sadly, begging to be used...which means so far, today is looking good.

It's only noon. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Healthy Week, day one.

Since it is your job to keep me on track, I suppose it's my job to be honest. Which is so not fun...sigh. So here's how Day 1 of Healthy Week went.

Day 1:Yay Me!
Did 1/2 hour of Yoga (hard yoga, too. Ow)
Did leg lifts til I couldn't lift my legs anymore
No booze
A massive amount of fiber (and I do mean massive...46g)
No coffee, just herbal tea

Day 1:Damnit, Pam!
Probably not enough water
Chips (with peach salsa...I swear, it's an addiction)
There was possibly a Sugar Free Klondike bar for dessert, but hello, 4g of fiber? (I'll go with that being half bad)

Not terrible. Not the best, either, but for me, I'm impressed. Yes, that's kind of sad. I don't care.

I'm also impressed that I went to the store and got 4 full meals worth of food (plus breakfast stuff!) and only spent 70 bucks. (Thank you, Cooking Light, for your cheap meal ideas) Last night was Shrimp Fra Diavolo, tonight is a beer braised roast, and I also got stuff for vegetarian enchiladas and chicken piccata. Yum.

The shrimp was wasn't fantastic, but it was good, and really quick. Less than an hour total to prep, cook, eat, and clean up. I pretty much followed the recipe, adding more garlic and more red pepper. Fresh shrimp would have been better, but frozen were cheaper...oh, well. Hubby told me he likes it better with clams, meaning he thought I had made red clam linguine with shrimp. I hadn't even thought of it like that, but he was totally right. Good either way!

Ok. Now back to flushing myself with water. Gym tonight!

Monday, February 22, 2010

I need to behave myself.

Ok, I need your help. I have totally fallen off the wagon and need a boost to get-and more importantly, stay-back on.

I am going to make a serious effort to do three things this week:
1. Eat balanced, low cal meals.
2. Work out 6 days (3 cardio, 3 yoga)
3. Keep the booze under alcoholic levels. Which means no more than one, since my self control is about thhhiiiss big (thumb and forefinger millimeters apart) and anymore than one generally ends up being like, four.

And as my masseuse informed me on Saturday, I have some major toxin build up going on. bueno. I gotta give it a rest. I figure a healthy week can only end with me feeling better, looking better, and hopefully weighing better.

I started yesterday. Well...if you don't count the tortilla chips. I certainly don't, cause I ate them with Smokey Peach Salsa (reason #5 I cannot stay away from Fresh & Easy), and obviously fruit counteracts any evil from chips.

My boss would refer to this logic as a Pamfact, btw. I just call it a fact (air quotes).

Anyway, here was my first dinner. Balanced, high fiber, easy. And delicious. And bonus, when I'm trying to be good, I eat less, which means I have half a piece of chicken left over for lunch the next day. (It was also delicious.)

The chicken I made for the Greek quinoa salad last week was so good I wanted to try it on its own...fresh thyme, garlic powder, salt and fresh pepper, browned and then simmered in a bit of water (half cup or so) til cooked through. I recommend. Highly. Add a veggie and a high fiber brown rice medley, and you're done.

Now for the next six days...wish me luck. And your job is to yell at me, point and laugh, whatever it takes to shame me if I fail. This should be fun.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's with two a's, not two o's. Trust me.

For all you mushroom fans out there, I've got a new one for you—chicken sausage and marinara stuffed portabellas. For those anti-mushroomites...well, I'll throw in my wedge salad recipe for you.

Unless you don't like mushrooms because they're in the veggie family...then I've got nothing. But really, eat your veggies. Your mom would want you to.

Also...I've come to notice there's a bit of disagreement about how to spell portabella/portobello. Alternate spellings bug me...I'm a big fan of 'theatre,' for example, and think everyone should spell it that way. It's so much more if this sort of thing also bugs you, here. And listen to me from now on. I'm always right. (I know this because I cheat. Google is my best friend. As a recent article in Esquire pointed out...why spend time arguing when I can have the answer in 15 seconds?)

Anyway, I-as usual-digress. Seriously, this dinner was absolute ridiculousness-crazy flavors and far too much food. Not that we didn't eat it all...I'm just saying.

Chicken Sausage Stuffed Portabellas
Stuffing Portabellas (2 large or 6 small/medium), gills removed
2 Portabella Chicken Sausages, chopped into small pieces (or any sausage)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Half an onion, chopped fine
Olive oil
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
pinch of tarragon (or other herbs)
Salt and pepper
8 cups raw baby spinach

Heat oven to 425. Saute sausage, garlic and onion in a bit of olive oil for a couple minutes until soft. Remove from heat, let cool a bit. Mix in marinara, nuts, cheese and herbs (including a pinch of salt and pepper).

Place mushrooms gill side up on baking sheet, and spray with cooking spray or use a bit of olive oil to coat both sides. Fill mushrooms with mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. While they cook, steam or saute spinach. Salt to taste. Serve mushrooms warm on bed of spinach.

'Wedge' Salad
Head of romaine, cleaned and ends removed.
Brianna's Blue Cheese dressing
Blue cheese crumbles
Bacon pieces
cherry tomatoes, halved
green onion stalk, sliced thinly

Take the romaine and cut in half lengthwise (you can cut width-wise, too, for smaller/more servings). Arrange leaves together on plates, and drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with remaining ingredients.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I got home from a painful neighborhood jog last night (I have become a treadmill whore. Street jogging just doesn't work for these old lady knees of mine. Note to self: stop leaving gym clothes at home) to find an excessively warm house-which gave me a lovely excuse to open the sliding door and take advantage of the awesome weather we've been having. Seriously, is winter over?

Anyway, it was the perfect environment for my summery dinner—Greek Chicken & Quinoa Salad. It also led to awesome compliment of the night—as my chicken was cooling, the hubby walked in the front door and greeted me with, "daaamn, that smell is coming from my house!? It smells amazing all the way to the parking lot!"

What's up, baby. Awesome. So here it is—amazing smelling, super tasting, forget-it's-winter-for-the-evening deliciousness. Enjoy.

Greek Chicken & Quinoa Salad
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
garlic powder
fresh thyme leaves, chopped fine
olive oil
1 cup uncooked quinoa
chicken bouillon cube
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cubed
A little less than one package cherry (or tiny yellow) tomatoes
Half a red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
One 3.5oz package reduced fat feta
About a dozen pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Head of romaine, torn or chopped in salad size pieces
About 2 tbsp olive oil
Rind and juice from one lemon
About a tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil
About a tsp minced fresh thyme
Splash of red wine vinegar
large pinch salt
Fresh pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced

Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, some thyme, and garlic salt. Heat a splash of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, cook about 3-4 minutes a side, then add a half cup or so of water and simmer 10 minutes or until done. Let cool, then shred using two forks or your hands. If there is still liquid left, discard.

In rice pan, bring two cups of water and the bouillon cube to a boil. In the meantime, rinse and drain the quinoa. Add quinoa to boiling broth, cover, and reduce heat for about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Transfer to large bowl, add chicken pieces, and stick in the fridge or freezer to cool.

In small bowl, whisk together about 2 tbsp oil, lemon juice and rind, thyme, basil, vinegar, salt, fresh pepper, and garlic.

When quinoa/chicken mix is mostly cool, add cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, onion, olives and pine nuts. Drizzle dressing and toss well. Cover and chill til ready to serve. Before serving, add cheese and toss again. Serve over bed of romaine.
Serves 4 main course servings. About 480 cals, 20g fat, 6g fiber

One for One.

I love me some new shoes. So much. Even when, according to the Parallel, they look like 'commune' shoes. And yes, unfortunately, these are a bit outside my comfort level. But I don't care. With every purchase, TOMS gives a new pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One, as they call it.

Join the movement. Make a kiddo's toes happy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

But damnit, I will try.

The worst part about having a blog like this is that I'm under constant pressure to make things not only taste good, but also make them look good-or at the very least, edible. And having both occur at once happens less frequently than I would like.

As if I'm not hard enough on myself, the idea of other people judging me is not exactly fun. I understand that coming from Mrs. McJudgerson, this is highly hypocritical. Yes, I'm hard to impress. It's not my most endearing quality, but we're all stuck with it. Moving on.

Last night was one of those disappointing nights. I'd never made oven fried chicken before, but this photo on Cooking Light looked so good I was inspired to try. I don't know exactly what I did wrong-it could have been a number of things-not enough butter, discovering my oven wasn't hot enough halfway through, too much buttermilk, gluten-free substitutions-but it came out looking a hot mess. (Daddy, if you're reading this and this is one of those examples of you having no clue what I'm talking

The hubby was incredibly sweet and kept telling me it tasted good (and he was correct), but...sigh. Luckily, the potato salad was colorful enough to keep me from being a pouty-pants all evening. I always forget about this salad (Yes, Ag, it IS a salad even though it has no lettuce in it), but it's quite good, and a lot lighter than regular fat kid potato salad. Plus there's no mayo, which makes it a good picnic alternative. If, you know, you're into that sort of thing.

Light and Fresh Potato Salad

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
About 1 tbsp olive oil
large pinch each salt and pepper

About 2 lbs red potatoes, cubed into bite sized pieces
Salt and pepper
Half a cucumber, peeled and chopped
About a cup (one basket) cherry tomatoes, sliced
One orange bell pepper (or any color), seeded and chopped
Large handful of chopped green onions
Small or medium can of sliced black olives, drained

In large bowl, mix together vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Place potato and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until tender; drain.

Add potato to dressing in bowl, tossing gently to coat; let stand 15 minutes. Stir in cucumber and remaining ingredients; toss well. Cover and chill.

(Recipe tweaked from one of the winning Cooking Light side dish entries, so I am using their nutritional info-mine has more olives but less oil, so I figure they even out)

About 6 servings. 180 cals, 6g fat, 4g fiber, 4g protein, 30g carbs

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The curse of the undecided

It was a long week. Really long...which makes me want a relaxing weekend that much more. Sadly/luckily, the boy is at work, leaving me to my own devices. Which so far has included 2 episodes of my new favorite cringe-inducing tv show--Battle of the Bods on the Fox Reality Channel (where else???), a wild goose chase for a popcorn air popper (more specifically, one that won't take up every last square inch of our much-in-demand cabinet space), laundry, and now TiVo until my girlfriend Mrs. A comes over to hang and drink champagne with me. It's not often, yet awesome, when our men are both busy and we're both in a mellow mood!

So it appears the hardest part of my day will be deciding between leftovers or cabbage pancakes for dinner. I really like to take advantage of alone nights for my weird food cravings, but we also have tomato and okra stew AND Parmesan sage crusted pork and herbed mashed potatoes. You see my predicament?

Quick vote?


Or C.?

Taking all votes now. Come visit and I'll make you all three...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Look how brilliant I am, Design*Sponge! (Feature me! Feature me!)

So a few weeks back I mentioned some of the artsy stuff I've been playing around with at home...figured it was time for an update.

One of the major things I wanted to do was paint the bedroom wall, but I've since decided I'd rather paint a giant canvas using the same technique. The brokeassness which has occured since booking a trip to New York to visit the Parallel and her hubs (in 119 days!), however, means such things will have to wait.

But that's ok, because I finally finished one of my longest planned projects--the spice cabinet conundrum. You may have noticed I like spices. And I have a lot of them. A lot of them. And I also have incredibly hard to reach spice cabinet shelves, even for my amazon arms.

So. A few brainstorming sessions with the Parallel and I had it all figured out-I always loved chem class...yet ended up a I ended up blending the two. Which, actually, is pretty similar to my feelings on cooking in general, so yeah...perfect.

I'm totally in love. But it was quite the ordeal...once I found a cheap lab supply store that would sell me less than 1000 flasks, I found this awesome serving tray at World Market, and glued down some fancy green paper I found at Aaron Brothers to give it some color. The hold-up, however...corks. is my new fave internet shop. Not that I will ever need them for non stopper-related purposes, but they have free 2 day shipping. And a ton of choices. And are cheap. And since I had to buy four sets of corks before finding the right size, all of this was helpful.

You hear that, flask company that refused to give me the recommended cork size? I have FORTY dollars worth of corks to return. Is it that hard to answer emails? Or, you know, not have a note on your site that you don't answer the phone so don't bother calling? Really??

Sigh. Anyway, I'm super stoked about the result. My spices are now adorable AND functional. I totally need about 10 more, but this covers most of them...for now.

Monday, February 8, 2010

One Love.

It's safe to say that anyone who knows the hubby knows he has a bit of an obsession with all things reggae. His car stereo is always set to Reggae 'Riddums' on Sirius. Our best man (his best friend) wore a dread cap to cover his dreads at our wedding (he was more concerned about it than we were, he's awesome like that). Our first dance was a reggae jam (Never Let Go, by Half Pint). We named a cat Nesta (as in, Robert Nesta Marley). And my boss oh-so-kindly bought him a gigantor flag (see right) that now hangs in our upstairs window. Siiigh.

I have to say, while I may not be as gung-ho as he is, I get it. And I'm a good sport (for this, I mean). So I go with it. And if he wants to celebrate Marley's birthday (Feb. 6, fyi), it means I get a night of awesome Caribbean themed food...I really can't complain.

The menu this year was not exactly authentic (but as close as I could get, I based the rice and plantains off of Bobby Flay and Jamaican recipes I googled), but it was a really tasty, colorful, overall awesome meal: Jamaican Spiced Chicken with Tropical Fruit Salsa, red beans and coconut rice, and fried plantains. Add some Red Stripe and random rum cocktails and you're good to go. (Oh, and grilled plantains brushed with rum and brown sugar over vanilla ice cream for dessert=yum.)

I actually love this chicken recipe (based on this cooking light recipe) and use it on occasion....seemed somewhat appropriate for our theme. I used boneless thighs this time, but I prefer it with chicken breasts.

Jamaican Spiced Chicken with Tropical Fruit Salsa
Handful minced fresh cilantro
1/2 a small red onion, minced
small handful chopped fresh mint
about a tsp brown sugar
juice of a lime
pinch crushed red pepper
1 jar chopped mixed tropical fruit (papaya, pineapple, mango, etc.). Sometimes all I can find is tropical fruit snack packs, which work, just use a couple of them.
Jamaican jerk seasoning
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

In medium bowl, combine cilantro, onion, mint, sugar, lime juice, a pinch each of salt and pepper, red pepper, and fruit. Combine and set aside. You can do this even a day or two ahead. (Or stop here and eat it all with chips. Your choice.)

Season chicken with jerk seasoning and salt. Spray with cooking spray and grill or pan-saute til done (6 minutes a side or so). Serve with the salsa on top.
Serves 4. Roughly 250 cals, 3g fat, 2g fiber

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dear Naughty Monkey,

Since this is the only actual outlet I have, I'd like to make a plea. And it's not just on my own behalf. the Parallel will gladly second this motion, I guarantee.

Please, PLEASE start making your shoes in a size eleven. Seriously. Tall women often (shockingly, I know) have big feet. And believe it or not, even women of 'normal height' often have large feet. Case in point: Kate Winslet. Paris Hilton(ok, she's tall. still).

I love your buckles. Some of your shoes are a bit...much...but I was so in love with your buckle boot...and if I had one of those 'small 11s', I'd buy the 10 and shove these tootsies in...unfortunately, not so much.

So, please. Throw me a bone here. Everytime I see a girl in your boots, I not only covet, dripping with envy, I have this uncontrollable urge to tell them how much I love their boots. Which makes me a weird stalker. Not ok. Help me out here.


Take two.

I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again, but the plus side of cooking haphazardly is that sometimes accidents work out beautifully. Current example? This week's version of one of my fave CL recipes, Brown Rice Salad, which always tend to change a bit depending on what ingredients I'm currently out of. Last time I made it it was carrotless and light on the lime. This time, however, I found myself out of mint, cucumber and sesame oil, which is normally a fairly integral part of the dish.

But what're you gonna do...I went with it. Chili oil was a fabulous switch, which I believe is going to be the new norm. It's also light on the rice, heavy on the sprouts, which cuts cals and adds good texture. Plus, I used the Trader Joe's frozen brown rice and pre-shredded carrot, so this was super, super quick.

Brown Rice Salad 2.0
4 lime halves
fish sauce
canola oil
chili oil
several cloves garlic (2-4), minced
fresh ginger, chopped (about a tsp)
2 cups shredded chicken
2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
1/2 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
handful cilantro, chopped
large handful shredded or chopped carrot
bean sprouts
about 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
Cilantro to garnish

In small bowl, combine the juice from 3 of the lime halves, about a tbsp canola oil, a splash of fish oil (about a tbsp), and a bit of chili oil (tsp or so). Whisk in garlic, ginger and pinch of salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine chicken, rice, green onion, cilantro, carrot, and a handful of bean sprouts. Toss with dressing.

Slice remaining lime half. Arrange a handful of bean sprouts on each plate. Top with rice mix. Top with a sprinkle of peanuts, cilantro, and lime slices.
Serves 4. About 335 cals, 11g fat, 4g fiber, 35g carbs, 28g protein

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chilly? Chili!

What's more wintery than chili to warm you up? (The Parallel says casseroles...ignoring her for the moment...) Meat and beans and spices...yum. And I love how easy it can be. Sure, it may taste better simmered in a crock pot all day, but sometimes the best intentions go awry (like when you get everything for chicken rice salad for dinner except the chicken and have to go with what you meant to cook the next night—in the crock pot—at the last minute).

I normally brown ground turkey for my chili, but I went with stew meat this time instead...more calories, but it makes for a nice change once in awhile.

I definitely need to throw out some love for Bob's Red Mill gluten-free cornbread mix here...Normally GF bread of any kind doesn't really rise and ends up being more brick-like than bread-like, but I was impressed with this consistency. Very cornbready! It's not so great the next day (though you can always save it for cornbread stuffing), but while still warm from the oven with a little honey butter (mix honey with margarine or soft butter. Done)...mmm mmm mmmm. Super good.

Quick Four Bean Chili
Half an onion, chopped
Couple cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil
1 package beef stew meat, cut into bite sized pieces
1 can chili beans, partially drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
About 2 tbsp chili powder
About 1 tsp cumin
Salt and Pepper (large pinches)
Cayenne pepper to taste (1/2 tsp or so)
chopped onion, cheese and sour cream to top

Heat a bit of olive oil in stock pot. Add onion, garlic and meat, saute about 5 minutes until meat is browned and onion is soft. Add everything through cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cook 20-30 minutes. Add more salt and/or cayenne to taste. Serve with toppings.

Serves about 6. Roughly 350 cals, 11g fat, 16g fiber, 42g carbs, 25g protein

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Seasonally challenged

Now that it's spring...wait, is it spring? Not til March 21st? Hmmm...ok...let's rethink this...

Now that the damn groundhog has predicted another 6 weeks of winter, I suppose it's only right for me to break out some solid winter recipes. And I think roasting is to winter what grilling is to summer, so that's an excellent starting place.

I saw a recipe for roasted carrots and parsnips in passing last weekend, which sounded great (I love roasted veggies), so I figured I'd experiment a bit. Cause I don't know about you, but I had no idea how to cook a parsnip. I didn't even know how to prep a parsnip. So after a quick flip through my bible (The Joy of Cooking, buy one.), it turns out it's no big deal. And they are quite tasty, let me tell you.

Oh, and if you want to cut down on prep time, you can use a regular onion (cut it in 8 big chunks) instead of peeling the little ones. This is totally not a precise recipe, by the way, and it doesn't need to be. Use more or less of what you want. So good with turkey meatloaf.

Roasted Winter Veggies
About a half a bag of baby carrots (a couple cups)
One turnip, cut into cubes
1 large sweet potato or yam, peeled and cubed
Bag of pearl onions or a couple cups worth of small sweet onions, peeled and halved if they're on the big side
olive oil
dill or other herbs
salt and pepper
broth or water as needed

Preheat oven to 400. In large bowl, combine veggies with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Sprinkle with a hefty pinch of rosemary and a 1/2 tsp of thyme or so (you can use a lot of both of these, it won't hurt anything), and about a tsp each of salt and pepper. I also added a large pinch of dill weed (hee), which was great, but you can really use any herbs you like in this.

Coat a baking pan with cooking spray, and pour in veggie mix. Spread across pan, and cook about 20 minutes.

Stir a bit (or just shake the pan), and add a splash of broth or water if it's sticking to the pan too much. Cook another 10-20 minutes until the carrots are to your liking.

Roughly four large servings. About 170 cals, 4g fat, and 8g fiber.