Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Cilantro’ Category

Superfast update

No time for blogging, must work…work all the time. Rest is for the weak and mortal.

The “exclusive rights” flirting in between has been incredibly pleasant though. I am now going to be making a pair of yoga pants that I am to eventually be oogled in, of course whilst doing my yoga.

Breakfast:

Smoked Sausage Omelette with sauteed Mushrooms and Onions and Sharp Cheddar

That was it! I think I also used a little garlic powder and S&P of course, but otherwise these were very simply seasoned. I chopped a little green onion on top. I always cook my fillings separately from the actual omelette and fold them in afterwards. I do usually melt the cheese onto the omelette while its still cooking in the pan. Incredible!

Lunch:



Green, Green Pea Soup with Ginger and Cilantro

Taken from: http://family.go.com/food/recipe-890651-green–green-pea-soup-with-ginger-and-cilantro-t/

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
1 smallish yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon each finely chopped ginger and garlic
kosher salt
3 large sprigs cilantro (plus more for garnish)
1 fist-sized potato, peeled and diced (I did not use potato)
1 quart chicken broth
1 16-ounce bag of frozen petite peas
1 cup coconut milk, shaken (plus more for drizzling)

Directions

Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat and sauté the onion, ginger, and garlic until the onion is just getting translucent, around 3 minutes. Add the cilantro, potato, and broth, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the potato is tender, around 20 minutes.
Add the peas and cook for another 6 or 7 minutes, until the peas are bright green and tender, then stir in the coconut milk (save a few whole peas for garnish, if you like).
Puree the soup with a stick blender or in batches, very carefully, in a blender (for a silky-smooth texture, you can pass it through a food mill). Taste the soup for salt and serve, garnished with the reserved peas, a few cilantro leaves and a drizzle of coconut milk.

*Even though I cut the potato, this was still VERY delicious. You will be tempted to add lemon juice. Don’t do it. I wanted to and was really glad that I did not. It lets the cilantro shine as the “citrus”-y ingredient. I can see how the potato would make it a little “creamier”, but I didn’t mind that it was a thinner soup. I always make everything creamy, I didn’t have to this time.

Dinner:

AGAIN forgot to take a picture. AGAIN! This is terrible and unacceptable. I am very sorry. I will do everything I can to remember tomorrow night! We had grilled brats with sauerkraut and grilled butternut squash with a little butter and brown sugar. Mmmmmm! SUPER yummy! Pretty too, of course no picture…I suck.

 

I finished off my Candy Corn and Cadbury Eggs. So now the only thing I have left is about 3/4 of a bag of Starburst Jelly Beans. After I am done with it I am done with candy for a while.

OH OH this is really cute! Last night “Future Husband #1” was telling me about how he wants to get back into working out and get healthy and all that. We had quite a lengthy conversation about it.  It’s so cute because I know he’s doing it to try and win me over, be more attractive to me, etc…since of course being fit and healthy are very important to me.

And it will work.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, Short 2 mile walk

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Tired

I finished a major project today. On time and everything. I worked so hard. I wanted to go on a walk afterwards but was just so very very tired. So tired. Instead I opted for a nice, long, hot, relaxing shower. Relaxing…when WAS the the last time I did that? Hell, when was the last time I took a shower? I’ve been working so hard that it’s been days…I can’t be sacrificing personal hygiene just to work more. I know I need to get out of here, but that’s simply ridiculous.

My brother calls me from Boston where he is attending PAX (geek/nerd convention, consider me jealous…) just to check up on me. He’s just an amazing person. I have no idea what I would do without him. I confess to him that I need to get out of here. He, of course, promptly (once again) opens his spare bedroom and an upstairs work room up to me and says that though they won’t be home until Monday, I am free to move in whenever I need. They are excited to have me stay. I promise that the longest I would need would be until the end of the month. I wouldn’t possibly want to burden them any longer than that and on top of that, it’s the longest the landlord will hold the apartment for me. He assures me they can’t wait to have me move in and that I can stay as long as I need!

I keep feeling that I am a burden, but then I think…”Well, if my brother was in the same situation, or ANY crappy situation where he had to move out, would I find him to be a burden on me if he needed to stay at my house?” OF COURSE not. I would be OVERLY excited to have him stay with me! And of COURSE he could stay as long as need be! Don’t be silly, head. Stop thinking its some awful thing to ask for help sometimes. You are not a burden. You just need help. It’s not weak to ask for help. Sometimes…it’s weak NOT to ask.

Breakfast:

Kale, Tomato and Cottage Cheese Frittata

Sauteed some onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil. Added the kale and allowed it to wilt and cook down for a while. Whisked together 2 eggs with about 1/4 cup cottage cheese, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and parsley. I poured that over my veggies. While I allowed that to cook for a few minutes, I sliced some tomato and added them neatly on top along with 1 heaping T of grated Romano. Threw that in the oven at 400 for 8 minutes. Perfect! SO much food, great start to my productive day!

Lunch:

Carrot, Mango and Cilantro soup

Boiled 1 sliced carrot, grated ginger, and S&P  in 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup water for about 9-10 minutes, until the carrots were soft. I added a bunch of chopped cilantro, about 1 T of lemon juice (maybe a little less), some leftover chopped mango (about 1/4 cup) and some cayenne pepper for a little kick. Let that simmer another couple minutes. Whirled it all in my blender. Boom. The kick of the cayenne was AWESOME and unexpected to my tastebuds! LOVED it!

Dinner:

Cranberry Apple Chicken

1 Apple, sliced (I left the skin on)
1 Chicken Breast, sliced
2 slices of a Vadallia Onion, cut into smaller slices (these onions are HUGE)
Dried Cranberries
Walnuts
1/2 cup Red Wine
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/8 cup Berry Liqueur
2 T Brown Sugar (probably too much for most of ya, just do 1 T for normal palettes ^_^)
Pinch of dried Sage
Pinch of Cinnamon

OK sounds about right. I did not put this together the same way I normally would, I screwed it up just a little bit…but NORMALLY I would sear the chicken on both sides in a little oil, remove them from the pan, sautee the onions in some oil and butter in the same pan, let them caramelize a bit, add the apples, let THEM caramelize and soften a bit, then remove THEM from the pan. THEN add all the sauce ingredients to the same pan along with the cranberries and walnuts, let it reduce a bit, add back in the apples and onions along with the seasoning and sugar and cook until the apples are soft and the sauce is thickened. I served this on top of brown rice (I made a dry 1/3 cup, which ended up making a LOT of rice hehe! YUM!) which I carefully placed my chicken strips on top of and topped with the apple cranberry sauce!  DELISH! I LOVE cooking apples and chicken together! I devoured this in a heartbeat! And it was a LOT of food!

 

I’m incredibly excited about tomorrow. I’m going to bed super early tonight, I’m just so tired. And I want to start my day nice and early tomorrow! I can’t express enough what a wonderful change this is going to be for me. I will be in an area of town that I can walk to everything. I will be right down the street from a farmer’s market. I’m going to be able to save a TON of money. I’ll be even closer to my gym at my brother’s than I will be at my apartment! ^_^ I’m gonna do a shitton of working out! YES! OH OH and I’m going to treat myself to some clearance candy tomorrow because I didn’t get any today. CANDYYYYY!!!!!

Exercise: None. No yoga or anything. I was just worn the fuck out. I will make up for it tomorrow!

Yet another lack of time day on Meatless Monday

I am incredibly sorry, but if I’ve made a recipe up today I just don’t have the capacity to remember everything, nor the time to dedicate to try and remember everything. It’s been a really long day. I did some apartment hunting and found a couple more really good prospects, so we’ll see how this turns out. I’ll call them and let you know how it goes!

Breakfast:


Cardamom Pear Pancakes

Taken from: http://teaspooncomm.com/teaspoonofspice/2011/11/cardamom-pear-pancakes-holiday-recipe-exchange/

Makes About 8 pancakes

Ingredients

Pears:

    • 4 medium pears, cored and finely chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Pancakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. For the pears, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large baking dish, mix together pears, brown sugar, butter, caradmom and nutmeg. Roast for 40 minutes or until pears are soft and golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from oven, set aside.
  4. For the pancakes, in a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt.
  5. In another bowl, beat together buttermilk, egg, butter and vanilla. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not overmix.)
  6. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat with cooking spray.
  7. Pour 1/3 cup batter into skillet. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of pears on top of batter.
  8. Cook until little bubbles on edges start to break, flip and cook other side until golden brown.
  9. Serve pancakes with remaining roasted pears and honey or maple syrup.

*I have a thing for cardamom. The pear sauce made out of this was amazing, really light, not a ton of sugar. I added cinnamon and almonds to the pancakes. Super yummy!

Lunch:

Asparagus Lemon Avocado Soup

If anyone desperately wants the recipe to this, I will try hard to remember, but otherwise just rest assured this has no meat or stock in it (I made it with pureed avocado, cilantro, pistachios and water). And it WAS delicious. Hehe.

Dinner:

Dried Mango Yogurt and Veggie Couscous

I made this awesome concoction from pureed dried mango and yogurt with a little lemon zest, brown sugar, soy sauce, tarragon, curry spices, and rice vinegar on some sauteed onions, peppers, peas and mushrooms. I put all that, along with some extra chunks of dried mango, on some couscous. YUM!!!! Yeah I actually wish I could remember the amounts I put in this because it was incredible. Dried mango was on a sale! YAY!

So after calling some of the places, I may have a stab at a couple of them. There’s a nice sounding second-floor 1 bedroom that includes heat for $430 a month. There’s another complex that a close friend of mine lives in thats a 2-bedroom for $450, but includes nothing else. So I’d have to pay gas, electric and I’m told the coin-operated laundry there is expensive. But it would be nice to have 2 bedrooms. I dunno…I think I’ll schedule a time with the less expensive place to go see it. I have to cut costs wherever I can and I think the inclusion of heat/gas is really nice. I will have to ask him how warm he keeps it in the winter. Being a second floor place would be good as heat rises and all, so I probably wouldn’t be as inconsolably freezing as I was when I lived in the basement of a comparable building up the road. But that guy kept the building at like, 64 degrees in the winter. So I will ask what the guy usually keeps the heat at.

Exercise: 1 hour at the gym

Not enough time

There’s just not enough hours in the day for me to be able to ramble about something today. I wish I could, I always feel as though I have SOMETHING to say every day, but today I am desperate to get more work done and am freaking out a little about time being an issue. It’s always an issue but it feels really bad today for some reason…

Breakfast:

Strawberry Pear Clafouti

Taken from: http://blogs.familyeducation.com/blogs/sweet-pea-chef/strawberry-pear-clafouti

1 quart strawberries, rinsed, stems removed and sliced
1 large Bartlett pear, ripe, but still firm, deseeded and diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/3 cups skim milk
⅔ cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup white sugar
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a deep dish pie pan or a 9×9 glass pan.

Mix the strawberries, pear, lemon juice and brown sugar together in a bowl.

Pour into the bottom of the pie or glass pan.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs.  Add the milk, flour, vanilla, white sugar and salt.  Mix until smooth and pour oven the fruit.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

*I baked mine for about 45 minutes since I only made a half recipe and it was smaller than this one. Really yummy and wonderful!! Only uses a little bit of flour and sugar, I didn’t up the sugar at all this time and it was still perfect even by my high sweet-tooth standards!

Lunch:

Corn and Summer Squash Soup

I made this one up entirely, so I will try to remember what I put in it.

Onion
Carrot
Corn
Zucchini
Chicken Stock
Milk/Heavy Cream
Fresh chopped Mint
Fennel seeds
Paprika
Garlic Powder
S&P to taste

I sauteed the onions, carrots and fennel seeds in some olive oil for a while, then added the broth, milk and a little heavy cream. I chopped up a little mint and put that in as well and let it simmer covered about 8 minutes until the carrots were soft. I then blended all of that in a blender till smooth. I added it back into the pot over the heat and put in the corn, zucchini, paprika, garlic powder and S&P and let that simmer uncovered another 4 minutes or so. Until the zucchini was soft. This was excellent! I’m proud of me when I can come up with something so yummy!

Dinner:

Broccoli, Eggplant and Avocado in a Cilantro Lemon sauce

Once again, totally made up, I’ll list what I used but I have little recollection of quantities.

Broccoli
Onion
Eggplant, cubed
Avocado, cubed
Big handful of Cillantro
Coconut Milk
Chicken Stock
Soy Sauce
Garlic, minced
Fresh grated Ginger
Brown Sugar
Rice Vinegar
Fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
Lemon zest
Pine Nuts
Cayenne Powder

I cooked the onion, eggplant and broccoli in some olive oil for a few minutes and whizzed up all the other ingredients (except the avocado and lemon zest) in a food processor for the sauce. I added the sauce to the pan and let it cook down a little while (feel free to thicken with cornstarch if you feel it necessary), then added the avocado and allowed it to heat through without really cooking it. Added some S&P to taste and a little lemon zest on top. This was so good and I was wolfing it down so fast I nearly forgot to take a picture! I adore cilantro and there was a huge bunch of it that smelled so good I simply couldn’t pass it up!

 

I did get a lot of work done today, I also got to go on a walk which I just love to do. Husband has been depressed lately so all he does is sleep right now. I called a couple of apartments, but the rates were a little unreasonable compared to the one I would be getting if I moved into my husband’s best friend’s place and took over his lease. This will most likely be the route I take. I will keep calling places tomorrow. I would also like to get my motorcycle up on Craigslist/Ebay Classifieds tomorrow. I need out so bad its killing me. I also need to pay off a bunch of this debt. I hate having debt.

Exercise: 4 mile walk

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

Happy “I like my significant other” Day!

Yeah mine’s alright.

I slaved in the kitchen for hours for him tonight. It sucked. I made manicotti, which was good but not incredible, and rhubarb pie, which I pretty much fucked up completely. I like it, but it’s not right…it’s really sweet (which I have no problem with of course, but my husband isn’t a “sweet” kind of guy) and it wouldn’t bake right and my husband obviously didn’t like it as he took one bite out of his and didn’t touch it for the rest of the night. I don’t blame him on that one. But of course it sucked slaving all damn day for a mediocre dinner. :< It also sucks that like, you spend all day making something and all you get is a “Hey thanks, it’s good.” and that’s it. My husband even had to ask my cousin what she thought of the manicotti because she didn’t even say anything at all. I mean, it DID turn out good, the manicotti was good. I guess I expected more than an “it’s good” after slaving away for 3.5 hours.

I don’t care if its a lie. RAVE about it! Tell me how its the best you’ve ever had! I tell myself that every time I make something! I think maybe I just love food more than other people do. I also REALLY appreciate it when other people cook for me because I know how much work it takes and will thank them over and over and tell them how wonderful it was over and over because I truly DO think what they made was wonderful and they should hear that! But I always am the only one to sit there when we’re at, say, my brother’s house and point out details about what I like about the meal. “This soup is so creamy and delicious! You can really taste the apple!” and everyone nods and agrees heartily with me. But no one else actually SAYS those things except me. I will go “Mmmmm” and “This really is great! Thank you!” throughout the entire meal and I’m always the first one before everyone leaves to say “Well dinner really was AMAZING thank you SO much for cooking!” and once again everyone will nod and vocally agree, but I’m the only one who actually ever bothers SAYING IT.

Why is that?

I’m starting to think other people don’t like food as much as I do. Nor do they appreciate what it takes to prepare GOOD food. My whole life I’ve understood what it takes and how good food is. I don’t know. I feel people are really missing out.

I might try that rhubarb pie again soon.

Breakfast:

Baked Hawaiian Oatmeal

by theUngourmet

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup all-bran cereal
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1 large egg
2 tbsp of melted butter, cooled to room temperature
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1/4 cup raw honey
1 cup fresh pineapple, roughly chopped
2 ripe bananas, diced
1/2 cup sweetened, flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 inch round (or square) baking pan.

In a medium bowl combine the oats, cereal, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl combine the egg, butter, ginger, vanilla, coconut extract, milk, honey, fruit and coconut.

Stir the oat mixture into the egg mixture. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes until center is fairly firm and top of oatmeal is golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting. Top with vanilla yogurt or fresh whipping cream if you wish.

*The only thing I wasn’t faithful to in this recipe was the coconut extract…I didn’t have any. Otherwise, it didn’t seem to matter because this was DELICIOUS! I actually bought the pineapple just to make this. Really very good!

Lunch:

Lentil, Tomato, Red Pepper and Feta Salad Sandwich

I just mixed some lentils, chopped tomato, chopped red peppers, a little chopped onion, cilantro, mayo, sour cream a little lime juice and red wine vinegar and sticking it all in a pretzel bun. Actually REALLY good! Really good! I was glad it worked out!

Dinner:

Baked Manicotti

Taken from: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2009/09/best-baked-manicotti.html

INGREDIENTS:
Tomato Sauce:
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (in juice)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried basil

Cheese Filling and Pasta:
3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 cups)
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups)
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (or 2 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)
16 no-boil lasagna noodles (I use the Barilla brand – apparently they are supposed to be the most similar to homemade pasta and I love them, both in this and in lasagna)

DIRECTIONS:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes (if using) in large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, basil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan chese, mozzarella cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, and herbs; set aside.

To assemble, pour 1 inch boiling water into 13 by 9-inch baking dish, then add noodles one at a time. Let noodles soak until pliable, about 5 minutes, separating noodles with tip of sharp knife to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on clean kitchen towels; discard water in baking dish and dry baking dish.

Spread bottom of baking dish evenly with 1 1/2 cups sauce. Using soupspoon, spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture evenly onto bottom three-quarters of each noodle (with short side facing you), leaving top quarter of noodle exposed. Roll into tube shape and arrange in baking dish seam side down. (You should be able to fit 8 manicotti in each row, allowing all 16 to fit in the dish). Top evenly with remaining sauce, making certain that pasta is completely covered.

Cover manicotti with aluminum foil. Bake until bubbling, about 40 minutes, then remove foil. Sprinkle manicotti evenly with remaining 1 cup Parmesan. Bake until cheese is browned and bubbly, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

*Things I wish I would have changed:

A.) More seasoning. Chop more fresh basil and fresh parsley. Use a little more salt and pepper.

B.) Fresh grated Parmesan. I didn’t. I used already grated Kraft stuff. It doesn’t give that nice melty texture. I did use fresh Mozzarella at least.

C.) Need more crushed tomato in the sauce. Needed to be saucier.

Otherwise, these really did taste good! The idea of using the no-boil lasagna was genius (an America’s Test Kitchen idea) and if I would have seasoned everything just a BIT more, it would have been perfect. I will be trying this again soon as well! Sorry the picture is so terrible, this was actually the leftovers. I nearly forgot to take a picture.

Between shopping for all of the ingredients all over town and cooking for 4.5 hours total, I actually DID find time to work out. YAY! It was a good day in the end.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1 hour at the gym (I was STRUGGLING to keep my heart rate up. Some days are so much easier than others, I don’t understand why…but I was WORN OUT completely.)

Sweet tooth yet again

So I’ve ruined my perfect healthy week with cookies today! Hehe. I made this nice little berry souffle, which was good, but it didn’t EXACTLY cure my sweet tooth! I mean, it was basically berries and egg whites, so it didn’t really fill me up either. So whats my solution? Make cookies. Hehehe! I figure I can eat healthier for the rest of the day and I wouldn’t have totally ruined my streak!

Breakfast:

White Chocolate & Berry Souffle
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Serves 6

butter, for greasing
icing (confectioners’ sugar), for dusting
200g frozen or fresh berries
2 tbsp rose syrup (use rosewater if you cannot find the syrup)

For the crème patisserie:
3 tbsp cake flour
½ tsp corn starch
2 tsp sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg
4 Tbsp milk
5 Tbsp full-fat cream
90g (3 oz) good-quality white chocolate, broken into pieces

For the egg whites:
6 large egg whites
6½ Tbsp (95 ml) sugar

1. Heat oven to moderate 190 ˚C (375 ˚F).
2. Grease ramekins with butter, then tip a little icing (confectioners’ sugar) into each ramekin, tilting it to cover the sides as well.
3. Toss berries with rose syrup, then place a few berries in the base of each ramekin.
4. For the crème patisserie, mix the flour, corn starch and sugar in a medium sized mixing bowl. Beat egg yolk and whole egg together and add to the flour, mixing to a smooth paste.
5. Combine milk and cream in a small bowl and place in the microwave on high heat for approximately one and a half minutes (it should be close to boiling point). Mix chocolate in, stirring until chocolate has fully melted and there are no lumps.
6. Add chocolate mixture to your egg paste, stirring to ensure it is evenly combined.
7. Now prep your egg whites by placing them into a large mixing bowl and whisking until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and keep on whisking until stiff peaks form. This is what will give your souffles volume.
8. Stir about 2 tbsp of the egg whites into the crème patisserie. Carefully fold in a third of the rest, cutting through the mixture. Fold in another third (take care not to lose the volume), then fold in the rest. The mixture should look light and airy.
9. Spoon the souffle mixture into the dishes, then place in the oven and bake for 15 – 17 minutes.
10. The soufflés will be firm on top, but should have a slight jiggle when moved. They should have risen by about two thirds of their original height and jiggle when moved, but be set on top.

*First off, I used butterscotch chips instead of white chocolate chips because it was all I had. I was disappointed in the lack of butterscotch flavour. Which I’m sure was another reason I made cookies which I used the butterscotch in hehe. And I mean it was good! Especially for all the effort I put into it, but it wasn’t quite right. I might have overcooked it a little. Ah well. At least I’ve got COOKIES! (Which I took a picture of for a change, I’ll post it at some point.)

Cookies:

Peanut Butter cookies with Butterscotch chips

Cookies are difficult to get just right. I screwed these up a little. I wasn’t impressed, but ate them all anyway because I don’t like to waste food. I prefer a chewy cookie and these came out a bit cakey and crisp for my liking. I’m still learning the fine art of cookies and I’ve got a good cookie base, but didn’t use that on these. Next time I will have to.

Also, I didn’t end up eating a real lunch. I wasn’t hungry. I didn’t want anything. One of my goals is to start eating like a normal person. Well, a normal person eats cookies sometimes. A normal person stops eating when they are no longer hungry and eats again when they are hungry. I’m tired of forcing myself to eat when I am not hungry. My stomach did not growl at all until about 7 at night. I want to listen to my body again. So I did not have a lunch. I ate when I was hungry. Which was dinnertime.

Dinner:

Cauliflower-Broccoli Curry

Ingredients – 

Cauliflower Florets 3 cups
Broccoli finely chopped 1 1/2 cups
Onion chopped 1/2 cup
Tomato chopped 1/2 cup
Sesame Seeds 2 Tbsp
Almonds 5-6
Ginger 1 inch
Garlic 1-2 cloves
Coriander leaves handful
Seasoning (Oil 2 tsp, Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp)(I used ground Cumin)

Added:
1 Avocado, divided
Red Pepper flakes
Lemon Juice

Method Of Preparation – 

For the gravy –
Saute the sliced onions in 1/2 tsp oil in a hot sauce pan and keep them aside.

Roast sesame seeds and almonds and make a paste of them along with the sauteed onions, ginger, garlic, coriander leaves and chopped tomatoes. (I also added 1/2 of an avocado to my paste mixture)

Now for the curry –
In a hot sauce pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. Saute them until done.

Add turmeric, mirchi powder and dhania-jeera powder (I don’t have either of these so I just added Garam Masala powder) and a splash of water.  Mix well and then add the gravy paste. Add about 2 cups of water to make it a little runny.

Add the Cauliflower florets and finely chopped broccoli (remember I was sneaking in broccoli) . [I usually microwave the veggies for about 4-5 minutes to reduce cooking time – optional]

(NOTE: I actually roasted my cauliflower ahead of time. Toss cauliflower with a little olive oil, s&p, red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Roast on an oil-sprayed pan at 400 for about 20 minutes)

Also add some salt, cover with a lid and let the veggies cook for about 10 min. (Cube up the other half of the avocado and add it along with the roasted cauliflower about 3 minutes before broccoli cooking time is up!)

Adjust the taste as required and switch off the flame.

Serve it hot with Roti/Naan/Pulao/Biryani or plain rice 🙂 (I ate mine straight up! No rice or noodles.)

*This was INCREDIBLY good! Totally made up for the unsatisfactory meals I had for the rest of the day. And I was proud that everything in it was good for me! The avocado gave the sauce this creamy texture and flavour without having to add milk or butter. I AM a genius! Hehe. Do you like the flour left over on my counter from baking cookies? I liked how it swept behind my bowl, so I added it in the picture. Anyway if you tried this you’d be truly happy! I think it’s even completely vegetarian/gluten-free/MAYBE even vegan? I think so! Correct me if I’m wrong of course.

 

I’ve still got a lot of work to do before this weekend. My husband’s grandpa is dying. So the family is all coming into town till he passes. We will probably have his cousin stay with us. I adore her. For Christmas she gave me a little key on a ribbon with a tag that she hand-pounded “221 B Baker St.” into (which clearly took a lot of effort as shown by how dented it is on the back hehe) and a little houndstooth button threaded onto it as well. HOW FUCKING ADORABLE AND THOUGHTFUL IS THAT? What girl wouldn’t want the key to Sherlock Holmes’s flat? I also don’t mind doing my yoga while shes sleeping in here because she won’t ask me questions about what I’m doing or bug me or watch me at all the entire time. She usually just sleeps through it.

Oh by the way, its ok. Its ok that my husband’s grandpa is dying. He’s got no will to live. His wife died about 2 years ago and he’s been nothing but miserable since she’s gone. His house has been broken into twice. He’s got all sorts of fun health problems. He’s more than ready to go. He’s totally done with this life. So it’s ok. Don’t feel bad for him. He’s going to be ok.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 20 min walk outside (to wake myself up in the middle of the morning), 1.5 hours at the gym