Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for February, 2012

RED DAY!!!

I got my period today!!!!

FINALLY!!!

In celebration of my womanly parts all functioning properly again after a birth control pill mishap 2 months ago, as promised, I will eat RED food all day!!!

ALSO: I weighed myself.

143 lbs.

EXACTLY in the middle of what I thought it would be. (140-145lbs).

It’s going to be a really great day!

Breakfast:


Red Velvet Waffles

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Cake Flour (I used half cake flour half AP because I ran out of cake flour)
1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Tablespoon Sugar (I used the recipe equivalent of 1 1/4 cups sugar)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Red Food Coloring
1 Teaspoon Cider or White Balsamic Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
6 Tablespoons Melted Butter (I used oil)
1 1/2 Cups Milk
3 Eggs, Separated
preparation
Sift together the dry ingredients into a large bowl, In another bowl whisk together the Egg Yolks, Food Coloring, Vanilla, Milk, Melted Butter and Vinegar. With a few brisk strokes mix the Egg mixture to the dry ingredients (the mixture should have small lumps and pebbles) Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry and with a spatula incorporate them into the batter without losing their loft. Cook according to the manufacturers instructions in a waffle iron. Serve with warm Maple Syrup.

*LOVED these!!! I did not use quite enough red food coloring, I don’t know how I screwed that up…you can tell that they are red, but BARELY. Ah well, they tasted great!!!! It’s my first chocolate breakfast! It was a celebration day, so I didn’t mind sort of upping the sugar a bit (as some other recipes suggested). I used a Smucker’s Strawberry syrup to sort of save time, I was hungry! It’s ok, it tastes sort of like jam though without the chunks of strawberry. I like my homemade syrup better. Otherwise these were totally worth me breaking my week-long healthy eating streak! ^_^ CELEBRATIONS ALL AROUND!

Lunch:

Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

Taken from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-tomato-basil-soup-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 quart chicken stock or water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

*I roasted my tomato (1 small one that I just cut in half) directly on the open flame of my stovetop. Heck of a lot quicker! Got a nice char on the outside of them then chopped them up and threw them into the pot (that I had already sauteed my onion and garlic in) with 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes and about 1 cup water, some salt and pepper, and I threw in a dried red chili pepper for a bit of extra heat. I let it simmer for about half an hour or so, I honestly didn’t pay super close attention. Then I threw in the rest of the spices and tossed it all into the blender. I didn’t puree it too smoothy, I like chunky soups sometimes. Roasting the tomatoes was a GREAT idea!!! I never knew the difference a nice char can make in flavour! YAY!

Dinner:

Red Wine Steak with Garlic Potatoes

For the marinade: http://providentpotato.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/shoulder-cuts-and-the-art-of-tenderizing-with-marinades/

Taken from:

3/4 cup reasonably fresh red wine (if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t marinate with it.)

2 TBSP olive oil

2 TBSP Worcestershire (or 1 teaspoon of brown sugar or honey)

4 cloves of garlic, minced

Approximately 1 TBSP fresh thyme, minced (1 teaspoon dried)\

Approximately 2 TBSP fresh oregano, minced (1 TBSP dried)

7 good cranks of freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon table salt

Wisk the ingredients together, then add jaccarded meat to the mix.  Let the steak marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours, but no more than 24.

Garlic Potatoes

Taken from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/creamy-garlic-mashed-potatoes-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 16 fluid ounces (2 cups) half-and-half
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 ounces grated Parmesan

Directions

Peel and dice potatoes, making sure all are relatively the same size. Place in a large saucepan, add the salt, and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to maintain a rolling boil. Cook until potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork.

Heat the half-and-half and the garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat and set aside.

Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain off the water. Mash and add the garlic-cream mixture and Parmesan; stir to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes so that mixture thickens and then serve.

*Good old fashioned meat and potatoes! My southern grandparents would be proud! I cooked my steak as directed out on the grill after it marinaded for about 4 hours. The steak itself wasn’t of the best or freshest quality (as I had frozen it a long time ago), but grilling it was a good option to force some extra flavour in there. ^_^ I made the potatoes as directed but added a bit of margarine as well. I sauteed a little onion and some sliced mushrooms and then added the marinade to the pan along with a pinch of allspice. I allowed that to cook together for a little while and added just a little cornstarch to thicken it up to more of a gravy consistency. Then put most of this on top of my potatoes and a little of the gravy on the steak. This was fantastic! If the steak were a better cut, I would have thought I was eating in a restaurant!

 

This concludes my red food celebration day! Don’t be shy, let me know what your favorite red food is and how you like it prepared!

OH also I was invited to a party in the later hours of the night and had a nice glass of wine there as well, RED wine of course!!! ^_^ I also had 2 Airheads for a mid-day snack (left over from the treacherous car ride 1 week ago), but all in all still did really well with my food today I think!

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1.5 hours at the gym (a difficult one though, I don’t think I had any protein packed food for either breakfast or lunch so it was hard to keep my heart rate up)

Super-productivity like WHAT?

How often does this happen? I got an entire (semi-difficult!) project done in one day. I cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom. I finished and folded my laundry. I went to get my jewelry cleaned. AND still found time to work out and make 3 amazing meals! How awesome am I? Come on now…I’m pretty awesome.

It’s always something though, am I right? No time to stop and smell the roses, there’s work to be done!

Breakfast:

Sausage Egg and Cheese Breakfast Bake

I had some bread that was on its last leg that I really wanted to use up. So after getting frustrated with breakfast bake recipes I was finding online, I sort of made up my own.

1 stale Roll
1/4 lb Sausage
1/4 small Onion, chopped
2 Eggs
Scant 1/3 cup Milk
Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Colby Cheese, shredded
1 T Low-Fat Cream Cheese
1 T melted Margarine
1/4 t Garlic Powder
1/2 T fresh chopped Parsley
A little Olive Oil
S&P to taste

I cooked the sausage in a saucepan until browned. I moved that to a paper towel, wiped out the pan, put in about a t of olive oil and cooked my chopped onion with a bit of garlic powder and chopped parsley until translucent. I took the onion off of the heat and mixed in the cooked sausage. I then whisked together the eggs and milk, adding some salt and pepper as I saw fit. I sprayed my large ramekin with a little oil, broke the bread into small pieces and placed them tightly into the bottom of it. I drizzled the melted butter on top of the bread. Then, I added the sausage and onion mixture, threw some cubed cream cheese pieces on top of that, then added the cheddar and colby cheeses. I poured the egg mixture over all of that. I finished it all with a few thin slices of tomato and sprinkled a tiny bit of grated parmesan on top of it all, then let it sit and soak for 10 minutes while I cleaned the kitchen a bit. I baked it at about 375 for 45 minutes.

*This was so filling I couldn’t possibly eat the entire thing! Those savory dishes always really hit the spot when I make them right! I tried offering the rest to my husband, but of course he never takes anything I make. I don’t know why, he’s clearly hungry as I can hear his stomach growl and I KNOW he wants it, but won’t take it. *shrug* So I threw the rest away. (I ate probably 3/4 of it, so I didn’t throw a ton of it out or anything…it wasn’t an amount worth saving in the fridge though). For sort of winging it, this turned out really good! I’m feeling better about my cooking/baking abilities!

Lunch:

Potato Salsa Wrap

I cooked and mashed a potato. Added a little cream of mushroom condensed soup, margarine, salt and pepper. I sauteed some onions, yellow peppers and peas with some cajun seasoning. I mixed that in with the mashed potato, then topped it all with some peach salsa. Quite good! VERY filling, once again. ^_^

Dinner:

Once again something drenched in ketchup for Nicole!!!

Dad’s Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients

  • 4 bell peppers, any color
  • Salt
  • 5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cup of cooked rice (I used brown rice)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned (if using can, drain of excess liquid first)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried oregano (I also added fresh chopped parsley and basil)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce

Method

1 Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, cut top off peppers 1 inch from the stem end, and remove seeds. Add several generous pinches of salt to boiling water, then add peppers and boil, using a spoon to keep peppers completely submerged, until brilliant green (or red if red peppers) and their flesh slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Drain, set aside to cool.

2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 4 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Remove skillet from heat, add meat, rice, tomatoes, and oregano, and season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well. (You may find it easier to put the ingredients at this point into a large bowl and mix together with your hands.)

3 Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil inside the peppers. Arrange the cut side of the peppers up in a baking dish, then stuff peppers with filling. Combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and 1/4 cup of water in a small bowl, then spoon over filling. Add 1/4 cup of water to the baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 40-50 minutes (or longer, depending on how big the peppers are that you are stuffing), until the internal temperature of the stuffed peppers is 150-160°F.

Yield: Serves 4-6.

*I added even MORE ketchup when I split them open! Mmmmmm! Next time I would split them in half for a bit more ketchup-topping surface area hehehe! Otherwise these were delicious and a great ending to another healthy eating day free of refined flours and sugars!

So I’ve decided that I feel good enough about myself that I am going to weigh myself in the morning. I’m fairly certain that I am somewhere between 140 and 145 (a gain of around 15-20 lbs of my last known weight which was 125). I have been working out for 2 months straight on an incredibly consistent basis, so I’m sure a lot of that is going to be muscle weight (I can feel how much stronger and harder my legs and butt are, I’ve definitely got muscle!) but I’m not sure how to factor that in to my weight…like…I know its not all fat, though some of it obviously is. But its ok. I think it’s a pretty good guess! If it’s any more than that, sure I’ll be a little disappointed, but I’m not going to let it change how I feel about me. It’s more of a general knowledge. I do not plan on starting to weigh myself every day again. I think I know my body well enough to know how much I’ve gained, so my guess couldn’t POSSIBLY be that far off.

Wish me luck!

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1.5 hours at the gym

I <3 Healthy Eating!

It’s been a good week! I feel great, I look great, I’m happy!

My husband passed his bartender test! He’s an officially licensed alcoholic beverage artist now!

He went out again last night, it’s really nice that he has friends now who are willing to drag his ass around. I also really like having the bed all to myself! I sleep MUCH more comfortably by myself. I dunno, I can just stretch out all the way across the damn thing and its so much more comfy than jamming your knees into your significant others back all night (or really, trying to AVOID doing so). So my morning has been very relaxing and uneventful. I got the chance to comment in some of the blogs I follow, responded to a couple of potential customers, and squeezed in my yoga. I will soon be off to get some work done!

It’s Meatless Monday!

Breakfast:

Strawberry and Pineapple Brown Rice Pudding

1/2 cup uncooked Brown Rice
Scant 1 cup Water
1 cup 2% Milk
1/2 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Vanilla extract
3  mashed Strawberries
1/3 cup Pineapple, roughly chopped
1/3 cup sliced Strawberries
1.5 T Molasses
1/4 t Salt
1/8 cup shredded unsweetened Coconut
Half a handful of Pistachio Nuts

Heat the water to a boil and add the rice. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the rice has absorbed most of the water. Add the milk, cinnamon, salt, coconut and mashed strawberries and simmer, uncovered this time, another 20 minutes until a creamy consistency. Add molasses and fruit. Take off of the heat and allow to cool and thicken for 5 minutes. Throw the nut of your choice on top (I of course have a penchant for pistachios!) and a little extra shredded coconut!

*Great for people who don’t want their breakfasts “too sweet” (whatever that means), there was still just enough for someone like me! Nice and creamy, filling, lots of great nutrients  and good things for you! And since it was sweetened with molasses there were no refined sugars! YAY! If I made this again I would probably add a little honey drizzled on top, I can’t help it! I just love things sweet!

Lunch:

Ok I’m SO sad because I took a GORGEOUS picture of my beautiful soup with cute little sliced almonds on top and bright green chopped cilantro and it was pretty pretty pretty! Then I accidentally deleted it off my camera as I was moving pics onto my computer. GAAAAAH! :< So I’m using the picture off of the website I took the recipe from. SAD!

Butternut Squash and Almond Butter Soup

¼ cup water
1 onion
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
4 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup almond butter
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp braggs liquid aminos
½ tsp crushed red pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Pre-preparations include peeling and chopping the butternut squash, so it’s assumed that part is already completed. Place the water into a large pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook stirring frequently for about 2 minutes.

Add the squash, cumin and coriander. Cook stirring frequently for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients except the cilantro and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring occasionally to make sure ingredients are well combined.

Puree in a blender, Vitamix or food processor. Add any additional water so that it’s at a consistency that you like. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

A common practice with any soup is to make a double batch of it and freeze the left over portions for another day.

Options:

I like this soup recipe quite spicy, so frequently add cayenne pepper, fresh ground black pepper and a very special Habanero oil garlic sauce I have access to here locally. Ginger would also add a nice kick in the colder fall and winter months. Experiment with your flavors. Turmeric would be a great addition to this recipe as well.

If you like, add 2 Tbsp of ground chia seeds before blending for additional fiber, nutrients and Omega 3 fat’s.

*GOD I love soups! This was wonderful, filling, amazing! I didn’t have any vegetable broth (you’d think I’d learn to keep some on hand at all times by now) so I just used water. I did in fact make mine spicy as well with crushed red pepper and Habanero sauce. Just sooooo good! AND I’m pretty impressed with my almond butter if I do say so myself.

Dinner:

Butternut Squash and Tofu Curry on Zucchini Noodles

Ingredients

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 pound cubed butternut squash (I’d already roasted mine)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 pound extra-firm tofu, dry-fried or deep-fried
2 tablespoons soy sauce (to marinade the tofu)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (also for the marinade)
1 14-ounce can coconut milk (I didn’t have any so I used low-fat evaporated milk)
2 tablespoons jarred green curry paste (I used a sweet red curry paste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus more for adjusting seasoning
1 cup thinly sliced basil (I chopped mine)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
pinch cayenne (to taste)
1/2 tsp sea salt (more to taste)

Okay this took a few steps. I had to fry my tofu, which I did in just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. After they were done I let them drain on a paper towel and then soak in a marinade of soy sauce, rice vinegar and a little salt & pepper.

After that, I sauteed the onion, garlic, ginger and mushrooms together. After they were done I took them off the heat and put them aside.

Then I mixed together the evaporated milk, curry paste, brown sugar, fish sauce, basil, curry powder, cumin, cayenne powder and salt. I poured the sauce ingredients into the pan that I sauteed the onions in and let it reduce and thicken a little. Then I added the veggies back in, then the tofu with the marinade. And allowed it all to reduce and thicken. Add some cornstarch to thicken if you’d like. I added the roasted butternut squash (that I had already cooked earlier) and let it warm through.

Zucchini Noodles

3 small zucchini
1/2 t salt

If you have a mandolin/slicer, julienne the zucchini into small strips. If not, take a peeler, slice them with that, then julienne them by hand from there (which is what I had to do). Place them in a colander and toss them with the salt. Let them sit as long as you can, half an hour at the very least. Take a paper towel and lightly squish as much liquid out as you can. Then I just warmed them up in the microwave before putting the squash tofu curry on top.

*Pretty impressive! I would probably not put this on top of zucchini noodles again, those should be used for more Italian-type dishes. But I had zucchini that I needed to use up, so I used it anyway. And since I’ve been trying to keep things light lately, it made me ultimately feel better about myself to use them. The curry turned out WONDERFUL despite the fact that I didn’t have any coconut milk. You can never go wrong with curry and butternut squash! FAB!

 

I actually did not go to the gym today. I took that time out to take my husband out to apply at some places and go grocery shopping because he was out of food. Also, I had gone 5 days in a row. I know that the body needs rest to repair itself and build muscle and etc. Normally I would have at least done some stair stepping, but I figured a good full day’s rest would be good for me. I DID get to do a little shopping for myself as well, so it was still a good day!

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga

Bulimia-Free for over 100 days!

I’m looking at things positively today!

While I haven’t been completely disorder-free (I did go on that binge on Wednesday…) I HAVE been bulimia-free for 109 days! The little victories are making me feel much better about myself! And really, that’s not little. That’s a massive victory! I just need to see it that way. And I’m starting to! I really am! There’s been a couple of stumbling blocks in the past couple days, but I’m doing the best I can.

Last night at the burger bar, that SAME stupid guy who made the “you must have fucked up your period because you’re anorexic” comment just HAD to say something about the fact that my sister-in-law and I were having salads (with burgers on the way of course).

“Oh you didn’t order a burger?”

I was about ready to slam my fucking fork down onto my plate and then say extremely calmly “Do NOT pretend to understand me. You have completely no fucking clue about what I eat, why I eat it, or any of the reasoning behind ANY of it as I have never discussed it with you. DO NOT pretend that you know. I HAVE ordered a burger and I am NOT nor have I EVER been anorexic so please keep your incredibly poorly-deduced judgements to yourself from now on.” Then smile at him and continue eating my yummy salad.

Instead we just said “No, we ordered burgers too.” And that was it.

He really really really needs a lesson in keeping his goddamn mouth shut when his opinion is not asked for.

Breakfast:

Whole Grain Oat and Nut Pancakes

Taken from: http://darkredcrema.com/tag/whole-grain/

3/4 cup rolled oats, ground (oat flour is not a good substitute – I’ve tried)
3/4 cup white whole wheat or standard whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
2 Tablespoons natural cane sugar
3 Tablespoons finely chopped or ground pecans (1 oz.)
3 Tablespoons finely chopped or ground almonds (1 oz.)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (plus or minus 1-2 tablesoons. depending on preferred thickness)
1 egg
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
salted butter for cooking

Grind oats and nuts (or you may use pre-ground nuts) to a powdery consistency in a mini chopper, leaving a few small bits for texture. In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk egg until pale yellow, then add oil and whisk to combine. Add buttermilk to the egg and oil and blend. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Allow batter to sit for 10-15 minutes to give the leavening time to react and thicken the batter. Preheat a large skillet or griddle over medium high heat, grease with salted butter, and turn heat down to medium. Ladle 1/4 – 1/3 cup batter onto pan for each pancake. Pancake batter should sizzle a bit when poured into the pan, but not smoke. Turn heat down to medium low and allow to cook until edges just start to dry and bubbles appear throughout the pancake, then flip and cook until set in the middle. If pancakes are over-browning, and not cooking through, turn the heat down on the pan and increase the cooking time. Cooking time on the second side will be less than on the first. Repeat with more butter and batches, until batter is finished. This makes about 9-10 four inch pancakes. Serve with maple syrup, butter, and fruit, if desired.

*I did top mine with some sugar-free maple syrup and a half-handful of pecans. I did not cook mine in butter, just a non-stick griddle. THEY COOKED all the way through! Any little pancake victory is a good one for me!! I’m gaining more confidence in my pancake making abilities! These were quite good, I even picked a recipe that had very little sugar in it. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish the whole stack! So I’m nice and full and VERY happy that I went the healthy route once again for breakfast! I’d like to try eating healthy for every meal up until Wednesday if I can so I can AT LEAST say I’ve gone a week without eating any total crap.

Lunch:

Broccoli and Cheese Sandwich with a spicy Brandy Mustard Mayo

Well, I sauteed some broccoli and onion in a little olive oil, then threw in about a T of low fat cream cheese and probably about a T of Colby cheese with about 1/8 cup of milk and let all that melt together. I put that onto a roll with some chopped tomatoes on top and then finished with a sauce made of mayo, mustard, brandy and habenero hot sauce. Shook a little pepper on top. BAM! It was really good! For something I just threw together really quick I was pretty impressed, especially with the mustard mayo sauce! WOW what a kick!!!

Dinner:

Balsamic Strawberry Chicken on top of Cauliflower and Parsnip puree

A couple recipes here!

Roasted Strawberries With Wine & Balsamic Vinegar Sauce

Taken from: http://www.food.com/recipeprint.do?rid=310375

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pints fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons dry red wine
1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter, chilled
vanilla ice cream (I obviously omitted this)

Directions

preheat oven to 400°F.
Add 2 Tbsp butter to oven safe skillet and melt in oven. Add Vanilla to butter to butter and combine.
Place strawberries, cut side down in skillet andsprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes or until berries are soft. Remove pan from oven.
With a slotted spoon, remove berries from pan and set aside to let cool.
Add wine and vinegar to skillet and simmer over medium heat until reduced slightly.
Remove from heat and whisk in chilled butter.

I did this in combination with this recipe:

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Strawberry Red Wine Balsamic Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 package (16 ounces or 3 cups) Driscoll’s Strawberries, divided
4 teaspoons light olive or vegetable oil, divided
2/3 cups sliced shallots
1 clove garlic, pressed or chopped
1 small bay leaf (I used Tarragon instead)
1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cups red wine
3/4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I used 2 small boneless skinless thighs)

ADDED:
1 cup sliced Mushrooms

Instructions

Here’s what I did with these 2 recipes. I made the first one rather true to its original recipe. I let the vinegar, red wine and chicken stock reduce. I added the chicken to this reduction and let it cook about 20 minutes, flipping the thighs over a couple times. If the sauce reduced too much, I just added a bit more wine and vinegar. I sauteed the onions, garlic and mushrooms separately, then when the chicken was done, I removed it from the reduction, added the butter to the sauce (from the first recipe) and added the cornstarch, onion mushroom mixture and finally the roasted strawberries (along with the sauce in that pan). I roasted some cauliflower and sliced parsnips in the oven for about 20 mins (about twice as long as the strawberries were in there for) at 400. I blended them in a blender with a little milk and margarine. I put the chicken on top of the puree and then the strawberry sauce on top of everything.

*Besides the fact that all you can see on the dish is sauce, to prove that there was chicken and puree under there I took a picture of it all in my fork hehe. WOW! Per usual, this dish was fucking awesome! I INHALED it! Roasting the strawberries was a GREAT idea on top of roasting the cauliflower and parsnips. It gives everything such an amazing depth! TRY IT! I mean….damn.YAY for cheap sale strawberries!

Oh also I had a small piece of my dad’s birthday cake for dessert. I was really good today and I couldn’t let it go bad, my dad is an amazing baker.

 

Today was a good day. I got a project finished, I did my laundry, I worked out, and my husband is away for the evening. Ahhhhhhh! It’s great to fucking RELAX tonight! Make myself an amazing meal, watch the Oscars (I was really routing for Gary Oldman!) and play with Jack Donaghy the cat. Tomorrow is Meatless Monday! YAY! I gotta think hard about what I want for breakfast, wanna try to do something healthy awesome again!  And I still have all these strawberries! What to do what to do…

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1.5 hours at the gym

Yet ANOTHER night out! SHEESH!

So tonight I have an old high school friend in town. We are all quite close and it would be a huge shame for me to miss seeing him simply because I feel I’ve been “going out to eat” too much recently. Its going to be at yet ANOTHER “gourmet burger bar” type place, I’m hoping that once again there is a veggie burger choice!! I know they have turkey burgers, so if nothing else that will be perfect. I’m looking forward to seeing my friend and I really hope that everyone can see that I look a lot healthier and am not having a veggie burger because I’m worried about fator calories and whatnot, I’m just trying to eat healthier due to all the cake and birthdays and junk I’ve been eating lately. I just want to feel good about myself. If nothing else, I know my brother and sister-in-law won’t judge me. They know me.

Is it bad that I’m still worried about what other people think? Does that ever really go away?

Breakfast:

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Pudding

• 1 cup Coach’s Oats®
• 3 cups water
• 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
• ½ cup Neufchatel cheese
• 1 egg
• 3 Tbsp. Splenda brown sugar
• 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (I used sugar-free maple syrup)
• 1 tsp. nutmeg
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 1 cup blueberries (I used blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries)

Preheat oven to 400° F

In medium pot bring water to boil and add oats; cook as directed on package. Once oatmeal is cooked remove from heat and let cool five minutes.

In large bowl combine oatmeal and cheeses until cheese is evenly spread throughout. Add brown sugar, syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon and egg; mix well. Once ingredients are combined fold in blueberries.
In a well greased 8×11” casserole dish pour in oatmeal mixture and bake for 40 minutes. Let the oatmeal mixture cool and set up for at least 20 minutes before serving.

*This was super healthy and yummy! I should have used 4 T of  Neufchatel cheese (doing a half recipe) but only used about 3.5 T. I didn’t bake ALL of the oat mixture because there was too much to fit into my little pan and then I only ate about 3/4 of it. It was nice and healthy as I used low-fat cottage cheese and sugar-free maple syrup. It was yummy! A great way to get lots of good things into my tummy without adding a whole ton of flour and sugar. ^_^

Pea and Pesto Soup

Taken from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/pea-and-pesto-soup-recipe/index.html

Serves:
enough for 2 hearty bowls (so clearly I did a half-recipe)
Ingredients

3 cups water
3 cups frozen peas
2 scallions (I used chopped sweet onion)
1 teaspoon Maldon salt or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) fresh pesto (recipe below)

Directions

The quickest way to proceed is to fill a kettle first and put it on to boil. When it’s boiled, measure the amount you need into a pan and put on the stove to come back to a boil.

Add the frozen peas, scallions, salt and lime juice and let everything bubble together for 7 minutes.

Discard the scallions (I left the onions in) and blitz the peas and their liquid with the pesto in a blender.*

Pour into a thermos flask that you’ve left filled with hot water and then emptied and make sure you screw the top on securely.

When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

Basil Mint Pesto:

Adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/basil-pesto-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

1/3 cups loosely packed basil leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
1/4 cups loosely packed mint leaves
1 T pine nuts
1 T freshly grated Parmesan
1 clove Garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 T olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a food processor, combine the basil, mint, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, and salt and puree. While the motor is running, drizzle in the oil until incorporated. Season with pepper, to taste. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator with a piece of plastic wrap placed right on the surface of the pesto to prevent discoloration, for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

*This was ridiculously delicious! I was SHOCKED at how creamy it was without using milk. (I ACTUALLY used the water like it called for.) I’m trying so hard to eat healthier and little things like that are helping! AND it was totally good as fuck!

Dinner:

I was so mad because my OTHER friends remember to take pictures of THEIR burgers. And I’m the only one of out them with a damn food blog and I STILL forgot! BAH! Anyway, I had this great black bean veggie burger with goat’s cheese, red onion, and spicy bourbon mustard. I also had a side salad with low-fat ranch dressing (that as usual I only drizzled a little on to taste). I have to say, I liked the actual veggie burger patty more at the other burger bar I went to with my dad…but I enjoyed the toppings on this one better. I did not drink any beer all night, neither at the restaurant nor at my brother’s house later.

I’m feeling so much better about myself. I looked in the mirror yesterday and felt pretty. I’m NOT calorie-restricting or counting. I’m simply just trying to eat healthier most of the time. Sure I’ll have a piece of cake every once in a while or a dinner laden with cheese sometimes….just not every single day. The whole “I can eat whatever I want thing” still applies because I’ve found I genuinely WANT to eat better and healthier most of the time!

You kids are all amazing for following this crazy journey with me.

I know I need to catch up on all of your blogs as well. I will I will. I promise. We’re all in this together.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1.5 hours at the gym

More celebrations!

I felt better today. About what I’d been eating, about my body, about myself.

I’ve also made a new decision about my meals.

I want to try to always keep my lunches light and easy to prepare. No more crazy, huge, fat-packed meals for lunch. I either want to always be making either a sandwich or a soup. I’ve been doing it fairly consistently for a couple weeks now and feel it makes me feel more energized and happy with myself to eat something super healthy and light in the middle of the day. This way I will also always have at least 1 healthy meal a day. I’d like to cut out the crazy amounts of butter, cream, sugar and pasta I’ve been eating lately during lunch. If I have a creamy soup, I will limit myself to using milk or water rather than heavy cream or buttermilk. Sandwiches I will try to limit myself to mostly lean meats or completely vegetarian, always using light mayo, light sour cream or margarine instead of butter.

I just need to remember that food and eating is an art. It’s a balance. It’s beautiful. I should not be frightened of it. I shouldn’t let it control me, but rather embrace the diversity in it and appreciate both ends of the spectrum equally. The light and the heavy. The meats and the veggies. The sweet and the savory. Lean both ways at the same time. It IS possible! I CAN do it!

Breakfast:

Sausage Egg and Feta Scramble

Here I just scrambled eggs with sausage, yellow peppers, and mushrooms with some chopped basil, mint and parsley. I threw in a little salt, pepper and then topped it with low-fat feta cheese and chopped tomato. Great for a before-workout meal!!! Lots of protein, lots of veggies and not too much food!

Lunch:

Egg Salad Sandwich

Post work out lunch! Once again, light (which is what I now go for with my lunches) and lots of protein! I mixed 2 chopped hard-boiled eggs with a little light mayo, a little mustard, some dill weed, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chopped yellow peppers (since I have no celery I needed something for a crunch) and finely chopped sweet onion. I melted a little Colby on top (I debated using 5 slices but decided to keep it lighter only using 4 ^_^). DAYM! I don’t think I’ve ever made an egg salad, but it was ridiculously good!!!

Not an hour later my mom calls. I was supposed to go to my grandma’s house with my cousin to make her dinner, but my cousin sort of forgot about it I guess because my mom was with her instead. She called to see if I had any plans and I’d mentioned the whole me and my cousin making grandma dinner thing and she said “Well, I’m with grandma right now, would you like to take a night off from cooking and just go out with us?” So I did just that! Here’s what I had:

Dinner:

Venetian Apricot Chicken

I had a little salad, about half a breadstick and most of this beautiful dish! No pasta, so cream in the sauce, lots of veggies! Nice and healthy! YESSSSS!!! I didn’t even eat all of this because I’d basically just eaten my egg salad sandwich right before going out. So I left about half a piece of chicken. My mom had the same thing and also had leftovers, so I just gave her the rest of mine. I felt MUCH better about myself with my healthy choices for the day. SO much better. And I was still full and happy. I don’t NEED a bunch of junk to be happy. It’s going so well!!! AND I got lots of workouts in!

My mom is very proud of me. She sees that I’ve gained back some weight and look and feel better. My mom has also been in and out of the hospital for months now, can’t work, is always feeling run down and is always in pain. They FINALLY may have figured out what is wrong with her though. So she is very very happy to have a name to what she’s got and can finally start getting proper treatments. My grandma is really able to truly smile and laugh again after losing my grandpa 6 months ago. And she’d let me know that my uncle, who has been part of a scary “religious” cult for years now is finally starting to open his eyes and see that maybe these people he’s been associating with for the past decade are completely batshit crazy.

So it was a celebration for all of us, for the physical and mental health of our family, and to toast our futures as normal, healthy individuals! Life is good!

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1.5 hours at the gym

Behind

I’ve been busy busy busy the past couple of days. I swear I’m always and forever on the go, always SOMETHING that needs to be done. Relaxing is pretty much impossible. Sitting down in front of the computer for longer than 5 minutes is impossible. I’ve been going out a lot lately due to birthdays and family members that I don’t see as often as I should so I can never turn down a night out with them! So there are a few pictures that I’ve missed! So sorry about that!

Breakfast:

I’m certain I skipped breakfast today. My husband got up early, I still felt like shit (physically and mentally) and had little to no motivation to eat. I hate skipping breakfast as I know it’s the most important meal of the day. Even on my “diet” I would have NEVER EVER skipped breakfast. But I’ve learned that with “normal” eating I shouldn’t force myself to eat if I feel sick. I knew I was going to be going out to eat later too, so it didn’t matter to me if I pushed back eating by a few hours since I was having an earlier dinner than usual and would have little control over the menu.

Lunch:

Tuna Sandwich

One thing I will NOT do is not eat before working out. I could really hurt myself and I’ve learned if I have no fuel in me before exerting myself like that for an hour and a half, it’s very very difficult for me to keep my heartrate up and I feel like crap afterward because I basically just ran the car on an empty tank for miles and miles. Protein I’ve learned is especially important to get into me before a workout. So I made a tuna mixture with a little light mayo and sweet pepper relish. I topped that with big slices of New York Cheddar and Colby cheeses and broiled that for about 8 minutes, until the bread was crispy on the edges and the cheese was melted. Then I put some onion slices, tomato and lettuce on top of that. I failed to put the top on top for the picture, but rest assured it was all nestled between 2 pieces of bread.

Dinner:

Tonight I went out with my family to a place called Burger Bar 419. We never got to celebrate my dad’s birthday last month and he had yet to see my brother for his birthday this month. So we had sort of a joint family party for them both! In an attempt to keep feeling better about me, I decided on a veggie burger with kim chee on the side. PERFECT! The burger was DELICIOUS, it was topped with an apple slaw, no cheese. The kim chee was also like a slaw and was REALLY super spicy! And neither slaw was drenched in mayo! So I felt really great about myself. My brother also treated me to a beer, which was delicious! We went back to my dad’s for cake and I was able to limit myself to one slice. We each took a couple home, I gave one to my husband so I wasn’t stuck eating both (hes not usually into sweets, but he ate it anyway just because he understands my predicament). So all in all it was a GREAT night!

 

I sometimes forget how happy eating healthy makes me. While it definitely makes me happy to indulge occasionally, indulging every day starts to make me feel bad about myself. I WILL find this balance! I HAVE to! I cannot let food control me or control how I feel about myself. It’s not worth feeling like total crap just to have a couple candy bars. It makes me happy at the time, but not in the long run. And I KNOW THIS. I’m not dumb. I’m just….impatient with myself. I need to just slow down and savor and enjoy the smaller servings. I’m working on it!

Exercise: 1.5 hours at the gym (no yoga since husband got up early :<)