Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Cottage Cheese’ Category

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!

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Loooooong Day

Today started well. I got up nice and early and made myself a treat for breakfast (I’ve been working so hard I felt I deserved it). I started on the application for my apartment, realizing I didn’t have a lot of the information it wanted (previous landlord information?…I don’t remember, I’ve been living here for 6 years now…) and didn’t understand some of the other info it wanted (credit grantor? you mean credit cards? loans? doesn’t all that come up in a credit check with my SS?) so it took a couple of hours to fill out, including sending off an email to the guy trying to explain why I filled it out the way I did.

So that was the first annoyance.

I needed to get a major project finished and sent today but due to the application setback I didn’t get started till Noon:30.

Lovely.

Then of course everything that could have gone wrong with said project went wrong. Though it wasn’t nearly as bad as the last “structural nightmare” one, it’s been a nightmare in its own respect. I didn’t even get halfway through it.

Lovely…

I did treat myself to a walk anyway. I walked my application to the post office. It was the only time all day I got to space out for a while and enjoy myself.

Then when I got home I worked for about another hour and a half. Then I was just…tired. Just tired. I knew it wasn’t getting finished anyway so I gave up for the night and made a simple dinner. My customer wrote me to make sure I knew she didn’t need it immediately or anything and not to stress myself out about it. My customers are so nice. I feel bad when I promise them something, such as “I will have it done and sent by Saturday” and then don’t come through for them. 99.9% of the time they are incredibly understanding.

Breakfast:

Don’t fool yourself…I had 4 of these bars. ^_^ One made a prettier picture.

Mango-Oat Cake Bars

Ingredients:

For the crust:
2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
4 cups mangoes, chopped
1/3 cup water
2 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp water
2 tsp mango extract (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pkg cream cheese, softened

For the topping:
2 cups quick oats
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut in small pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Crust:
Mix Graham cracker crumbs and melted unsalted butter well. Press into a buttered 13×9 pan. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

Filling:
In a saucepan, combine mangoes with water, lemon juice, mango extract, vanilla and sugar.
Cook for 10 minutes or until tender over medium heat.
Add softened cream cheese and stir well.
Combine cornstarch water and then stir into mango mixture.
Cook until thickened. Cool slightly and pour over prepared crust.

Topping:
Combine oats, flour and sugar. Using a fork or a or a dough or pastry cutter, cut in butter until it becomes crumbly. Sprinkle over mango layer.
Bake for 35-45 minutes.
Allow to cool before cutting into bars.

*I never seem to use enough butter when making graham cracker crusts and crumble toppings…the crust totally fell apart while scooping it out. Ah well! At least I got one of them out in one piece for a pretty picture! I’ll know for next time. And regardless, this was a HUGE treat. It was creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, I love different textures in my food!

Lunch:

For lunch since I was trying to save time and get shit done, I just had a really simple sandwich. I borrowed a slice of turkey bologna and cheese from my husband and added some light mayo, tomato and pickles. I scooped out about half a cup of cottage cheese and topped it with a little light French dressing. I quickly inhaled this so I could get back to work. It’s the best I could do with my limited time today.

In between lunch and dinner I did have a handful of raisins for a snack. I’ve been told I ought to snack a little more and I WAS a little hungry after my walk. I didn’t take a picture of them though, but figured y’all should know.

Dinner:

Chicken, Pepper and Carrot stir fry

Chicken, cubed
Olive Oil for frying
1/2 Green Pepper, 1/4 Red Pepper and 1/4 Yellow pepper, all cut into large chunks
1 Carrot, sliced
1 small Tomato, cut into large chunks
1/4 cup Plum Sauce
Large splash of Sherry
Large splash of Lemon Juice
Cornstarch to thicken
Pinch of Sugar
S&P to taste

I cooked this fast and hot! I threw the chicken in first and flipped them all once and then threw in all the rest of the veggies with a little more oil and cooked for a couple minutes. I added the lemon juice, then sherry, then last the plum sauce. I let it cook down for a couple minutes and added a bit of cornstarch to thicken and a pinch of sugar. No rice, this was all I really wanted. It was REALLY good, it was sort of in the style of sweet and sour sauce. I was happy!

 

I’m hoping tomorrow will be a bit more productive. Yes yes, I realize tomorrow is Easter…I don’t really have anywhere to go though. My husband’s family has made it clear that it would be awkward if I went to his family’s get together (even though neither my husband and I care, we’re only there for the food anyway) and my family is doing mostly church stuff. I don’t…do…church. And I don’t believe they are doing anything in particular afterwards. So…I’ll just hang out here and work. I guess. If someone calls and invites me to something, I may take them up on it. Otherwise it’s back to work for me.

Exercise: 4 mile walk (I skipped yoga since I was under a time crunch)

Moving

I’m hoping to move into my brother’s within the next week.

The landlord of the apartment had no issues with my self-employment or lack of money at the moment. I explained the situation to him and he’s willing to work with me. I’m going to try and get him a deposit per my dad’s generosity and he’s said he will hold the place for a couple weeks until I’ve got the first month’s rent. All I’d need to do is move my bed, work table and fabric to my brother’s for a little while and work my ass off there until I’ve got the money. The landlord even said he’d prorate the rent for me since I’d only be there for like a week and a half in April. I’m going to do my best to not spend a lot. I will be cutting a lot of costs living over there and I think it will help me a lot.

And of course I need to sell my bike.

That would get rid of 2 of my credit card debts completely. Then I would only have 1.

I’m going to get my bike up on eBay Classifieds as well for a little more exposure. I have to do everything I can to sell this thing.

My husband was up all night with his best friend again last night. I was up from about 3 AM to 4:30AM tossing and turning while all I can hear are drumbeats of music and sporadic loud laughter and singing. I finally got tired of it and went downstairs to look for my earplugs. (My brother gave them to me a while back when I had to share a room with my mom at a hotel…he knows she snores loudly and thought they might be of use to me.) I did find them. Went to the bathroom to wash them off, making it fully clear that I was awake and not happy. Then went back upstairs and was soon dead to the world in a beautiful silence. I let shithead know I was pissed at him the next day and that he was not to speak to me. He says he’s sorry. He’s not sorry. He said he was sorry last time he did this. So if he really was sorry, he wouldn’t keep doing it. He doesn’t give a shit about me.

I’m just overly ready to move on with my life.

Breakfast:

Coconut Oatmeal with Yogurt and Mango

Made half a cup of oatmeal with half coconut milk and half water, plopped on a ton of greek yogurt and diced half a mango and threw it on top. Tossed a little unsweetened coconut on all of that. Perfect little morning pick-me-up that was quick and easy! This way I could get straight to work and not worry about the fact that there are 2 dipshits in the house that I’d rather avoid.

Lunch:

Quinoa and Tuna Salad

Quinoa with tuna, peas, corn, diced red pepper, tomatoes, celery and a little onion with apple cider vinegar, olive oil and splash of lemon juice. S&P to taste and a big dollop of cottage cheese on top. Brilliant! Light, fresh, GREAT for a pre-workout with tons of protein! I couldn’t have been happier!

Dinner:

Mango Chicken

I’ve made this before, though I liked the second version from the weed website more (without the weed), but it required yogurt and I am out now! So I used this one:

http://thaifood.about.com/od/thairecipes/r/mangochicken.htm

Ingredients:

  • (SERVES 4)
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch-long pieces (chicken thigh works too)
  • 1 red bell pepper, OR 1 sweet red pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil for pan-frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (or rice flour) mixed with 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh coriander
  • Optional: extra 1/2 to 1 mango, cut into chunks (to finish the dish)
  • Optional: 3-4 Tbsp. coconut milk OR water
  • MANGO SAUCE:
  • 2 fresh ripe mangos, fruit scooped out (or substitute 2 cups frozen or canned mango)
  • 1 red chili, de-seeded and diced, OR 1 tsp. chili sauce OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar (OR white or apple cider)
  • 1+1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, snipped into slivers with scissors (discard stem & central vein), OR zest of 1 lime

Preparation:

  1. Place all ‘Mango Sauce’ ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process well, until more or less smooth.
  2. Taste-test the sauce. The goal is to reach a balance of sweet, sour, spicy, and salty. Add more sugar if you find the sauce too sour (this will depend on the sweetness of your mangoes). If not spicy enough, add more chili. If not salty/flavorful enough, add more fish sauce. If too salty or too sweet, add more lime juice. Set aside.
  3. Stir the flour and salt together and place in a mixing-type bowl. Add the chicken pieces and turn or gently stir them to coat.
  4. Heat a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then begin frying the chicken pieces. Fry 3-5 minutes per side, or until light golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set on paper towel, or a clean surface.
  5. Wash out the wok/frying pan, or use another (clean) one. Set over medium-high heat and add the mango sauce plus red pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer (medium to low heat). If sauce becomes too thick, add 3-4 Tbsp. water or coconut milk. Simmer 3-4 minutes, or until pepper has softened slightly but still retains some crispness.
  6. Add the fried chicken pieces, gently stirring them in to cover with sauce. If desired, add chunks of mango (fruit of 1/2 to 1 ripe mango) too. Simmer briefly, just until everything is hot.
  7. Do a final taste-test for salt (tasting the sauce together with the chicken). Add a little more fish sauce or chili if desired.
  8. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with plenty of Thai jasmine-scented rice. Or, for an extra special treat, with my Easy Coconut Rice.

*I did not fry my chicken in flour. I sliced it up and seared it in oil for a few minutes. Removed it. Then stir fried some onions, red pepper and shiitake mushrooms. I blended all the sauce ingredients in a food processor and dumped them in after the onions were translucent. I cooked this down for a little while. Re-added the chicken and added extra mango cubes. I served this on a little sticky rice. One of my favorites! VERY yum!

 

One of my TV loves, Alton Brown, is on another diet. It’s INCREDIBLY fascinating for me to watch. He Twitters his weight every morning (kind of like I used to do on here) and what he’s eating and whatnot. He says he’s “disgusting” at 175 and wants to lose 10 lbs so he can fit into his tux more comfortably. It’s just absolutely fascinating for me to see someone I admire and look up to, a man nonetheless (proving this is not simply an “unrealistic female-standard” problem) whom I think is gorgeous and totally fuckable as-is, with the same damn body issues as I have. It actually makes me feel better about me, to know that we really are all in this together and that things are going to be fine if we can just gain a little self-confidence. I just have to look at ME the way I look at HIM and say “YES! I too am fuckable as-is!”

TMI?

Somehow, I still feel it works.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, a little over 1 hour at the gym

How I felt good about myself today

One of the girls I referenced in an earlier post posted about me the other day on her Facebook.

Now mind you, this is a girl who I took one look at and my immediate reaction was “I wish I was as thin and pretty as her”. But as the day progressed, I looked at a reflection of us walking next to each other I realized how GORGEOUS and lean and skinny (whilst still maintaining perfect curvature!) I am! I mean, she’s thin, but that’s all shes got. She has tiny chicken legs, no butt, no muscle, and feels run down and tired all the time due to her bad eating habits.

She’d written how she’s joined a gym, started eating better and wants to learn some simple yoga…all inspired by me.

SHE wants to look like ME.

A year ago, I would have wanted nothing more than to look like her and would have basically stopped eating entirely to do so.

I’ve learned a lot these past 4 months since starting this blog. That first of all being healthy is FAR more attractive than being unhealthy, regardless of your weight. I also hope she realizes that she IS beautiful the way she is, she doesn’t need to look like me to be beautiful. Sure she’s got skinny legs and no butt, but that doesn’t mean she’s unattractive! It means she’s unique and, honestly, MOST women will still covet her shape! She should embrace her body type and even if she doesn’t eventually have my butt or my legs that she still finds pleasure in making herself healthier and leaner! I hope to keep encouraging her to do so!

Breakfast:

Oatmeal and Cottage Cheese Fruit Bowl

My husband had his friend over again, so I was stuck making myself something easy for breakfast. I just made half a cup of oatmeal (with water) in the microwave, added about 1/3 cup cottage cheese, a big squeeze of honey, then topped it with some cubed apple, pear and dried mango. Then drizzled just a little more honey on top. Quick, filling, sweet, packed full of nutrients. I couldn’t ask for anything better!

Lunch:

Tomato Rice Soup

Lets see…I sauteed some onions in oil and a little margarine…then I added 2 cups of canned tomato halves and let that simmer, break up and reduce for about 10 minutes uncovered. I pureed this until smooth. I put it back into the pan and added half a cup or so of milk, 1/4 cup of Romano cheese, 1 T tomato paste, 1 t dried oregano, 1 t dried basil, lemon pepper, a little lemon juice and salt to taste. Then I threw in 1/3 cup rice, covered it and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes (I can’t remember, whatever the instructions on the rice said ha!). I think I may have thinned it out with a little more milk when it was done. I LOVE TOMATO RICE SOUP! It’s been forever since I’ve had it being that I try to reduce my pasta/rice/flour intake to just once a day. This was FANTASTIC.

Dinner:

Lentil, Mushroom and Zucchini Italian-style Shepard’s Pie with Parsnip “Potatoes”

Ok this was ridiculously good so I’m going to try really hard to remember this one.

1/3 cup uncooked Lentils
2 medium Parsnips
1.5 cups Mushrooms, roughly sliced
2 large slices of sweet onion, roughly sliced
1/2 large Zucchini, sliced and cut in half
2 cloves Garlic plus more garlic powder to taste (I wanted these really garlicy)
1/2 T Margarine
1 T Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup Milk
Dash Lemon Juice
Large dash White wine, probably about 1-2 T
Oregano, Parsley, Basil (to taste)
Margarine, milk, Parmesan or Romano grated cheese (for parsnip potatoes)

Boil the lentils for 8 minutes, add sliced parsnips to the water and boil another 8 minutes. While this is cooking, sautee the veggies in some olive oil for a few minutes, add garlic. Add cream cheese and allow to melt with a little margarine, add milk and let simmer for a while, 5 minutes or so. Add riccota and lentils. Thicken with a little cornstarch if desired. Add this mixture to a small loaf pan. Puree cooked parsnips with a little milk, margarine, 1/8 cup grated romano or parmesan and S&P if desired. Add puree to the top of mushroom mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until the “potatoes” become golden.

SO SO SO good! Ridiculously flavourful! Just tons of good stuff for you! Vegetarian and gluten-free. LOVED this!!! Just a really neat spin on Shepard’s Pie!

 

Tomorrow I am going to a girl’s night in party! There will be vegan cuisine, games, mani-pedis and fun! I’m excited about it. I need a night off for once! It’s been so hectic. Work work work all the time it feels like…I just need a tiny bit of time to kick back and have fun! I deserve it!

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

I wonder how much I weigh…

I wonder this every single day. And I hate it. Why do I care so much? I used to go MONTHS without weighing myself when I was younger. And the only times I ever DID weigh myself weren’t for any reason other than curiosity. It’s different now. Now I want to know because I want to know if I need to be crazy again or not. I want (I actually typed “need” out of habit, you can tell where my subconscious lies) to know in case I need to diet again. Do I look fat? No. Do I feel fat? Not particularly. Does it MATTER? NO! Am I happy right now regardless? YES.

So why do I obsess so much?

Breakfast:

Broccoli and Cheese Crustless Quiche
recipe courtesy Vegetarian Times

2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
5 cups broccoli florets
1 1/4 cups 1% milk
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbs. grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring often, 1 1/2 minutes. Add broccoli, and cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Spread mixture in pie pan.

Combine milk, cheese, mustard, egg whites, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg in large bowl. Pour over broccoli mixture; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 40 minutes, or until top is golden and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

*This was ok. The texture of the eggs was a little weird, I don’t know why. It almost came out…crumbly? I dunno. It was ok. I can do better.

Lunch:

Avocado and Tomato Sandwich with Cottage Cheesse

I broiled a sandwich with smashed avocado, tomato, havarti cheese, mozzarella cheese and mayo for about 3 mins, or until the cheese was melty. I added a few Italian spices and dill. Served that up with a side of cottage cheese with a little french dressing drizzled on top. This was always a treat when I was a kid! It’s been a long time since I’ve had it! So this was a nice healthy lunch!

Dinner:

Pecan Crusted Chicken with Apple Raisin sauce on Arborio Rice

For the Chicken:

Taken from: http://www.thesimpleskillet.com/recipe.php?recipe_id=216&recipe-name=Pecan-Crusted-Chicken-Breast

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, boneless and skinless

3/4 cup nuts, pecans

2/3 cup Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons mayonnaise, light or reduced fat

cooking spray

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To make the dipping sauce, mix 2 tablespoons of honey, one third cup Dijon, and the mayonnaise in a small, microwave safe bowl. Place the pecans in a zip lock bag and finely crush them with a meat mallet or a rolling pin. Pour pecans onto a plate. Place the chicken in a zip lock bag and flatten them to one quarter inch thickness using the meat mallet or rolling pin). In a small bowl, mix one third cup of Dijon with one tablespoon of honey. Heavily coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Brush each piece of chicken with the honey Dijon mixture and coat with crushed pecans. Place chicken on the baking sheet. Spray tops with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the chicken over and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes until cooked through. Microwave dipping sauce for 30 seconds and serve with the chicken.

*I did not make the dipping sauce. I’m still trying to figure out how to crust chicken properly, it never seems to turn out right. All the crusting stuff just sort of falls off. I dunno. It tasted WONDERFUL but I had problems flipping them in the middle of cooking and some of the pecans didn’t stay on the chicken. It was ok, I just added them on top after the fact, but I have yet to figure this crusting thing out…

Apple Raisin Sauce

Taken from: http://christmas.food.com/recipe/ham-with-apple-raisin-sauce-356593 and http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/chicken-in-apple-and-raisins%E2%80%99-sauce/

Ingredients

2 garlic cloves
2 apples (peeled and diced)
1 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 cups of water (or chicken stock)
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 tbsp. of raspberry jam
½ Onion (sliced)
French tarragon about 2 tbsp.

Added (from other recipe)

Apple Cider
Molasses (instead of brown sugar)
Cinnamon
Preparation
1. Cut the chicken into small pieces and season with salt, pepper and cumin. If you have time let it marinate for thirty minutes.
2. Heat the olive oil and add the sliced onion and garlic cloves, add the chicken and let it cook over medium heat.
3. Reduce the heat and add the tomatoes.
4. Dissolve the raspberry jam in the apple cider vinegar, then mix with the chicken stock and add to the chicken.
5. Add the apples and raisins.
6. Sprinkle the French tarragon and let the sauce reduce.

*I just sort of combined 2 recipes and made a BEAUTIFUL raisin sauce with molasses and it went wonderfully with the pecans on the chicken! Then I made some arborio rice on the side with some chicken stock and butter. I just sort of started with water and a little butter then kept adding chicken stock every time the rice would absorb all of the liquid. It worked out great and came out creamy and delicious! The perfect compliment to my chicken!

 

I’m doing a make-ahead baked french toast recipe for tomorrow. Here’s hoping it turns out awesome!!!

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

Running

Has anyone else here had a struggle with the ability to run their entire lives?

I used to. Maybe I’ve always been slightly overweight. I don’t think so. When I was a teen I weighed as much as I do now (and as we know, if I get any thinner, I’m in dangerous territory). I was really active. I didn’t have a car till I was 20, so I walked everywhere. But I could never ever run. I couldn’t run a block without getting completely winded and coughing up stuff that tasted like blood. I guess maybe I just wasn’t as in shape as I thought I was.

Because now I LOVE to run!

I try to run on the treadmill for at least 2 songs, usually switching to a brisk walk in between them. But just the fact that I CAN run at all is insane to me! I’ve NEVER been able to do that! It’s neat all these cool little worlds that are opening up to me now! I’m ecstatic to be alive!

Breakfast:

Cottage Cheese pancakes

Taken from: http://mykidseatsquid.com/2011/06/cheesecake-pancakes/

Recipe

Doubled from a recipe which appeard in Cuisine at Home

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: About 14 3 ½” pancakes

1 cup milk

½ cup sugar

2 eggs

4 T butter, melted and cooled

2 cups flour (1/2 whole wheat works great too)

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup small curd cottage cheese

I also added 1/2 of a banana, sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat your griddle to medium-high.
  2. Mix the milk, sugar and eggs together in a large bowl. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients.
  3. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones and then mix in the cottage cheese.
  4. Spray the griddle with cooking oil.
  5. Cook the pancakes 3-5 minutes, flipping once.
  6. Serve warm.

Caramel-Blueberry Syrup

Taken from: http://www.closetcooking.com/2011_09_01_archive.html

Ingredients
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Directions
  1. Place the blueberries in a food processor and puree them.
  2. Mix the sugar and water in a sauce pan, heat over medium heat and simmer until the sugar has melted and it has turned an deep amber colour, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and carefully mix in the blueberry puree.
  4. Return to heat, simmer for 5 minutes, strain the solids with a fine mesh sieve, return to heat and simmer until it starts to thicken, about 10 minutes. (Note that I omitted this straining step simply because I enjoy chunks in my sauces)
  5. Remove from heat, mix in the lemon juice and let cool to room temperature.

I also threw extra blueberries and bananas on top along with a few pecans for crunch.

*Ok kids, this was one where I had to stop at random times throughout the meal and just say “What the FUCK?” out loud and give my brain and stomach a rest from the mind-blowing amazingness that it was. It was a sugary fruity EXPLOSION! I once again am going to have to take some time to get over this one because it was so freaking great. The syrup was thick and crazy concentrated since I caramelized it first. The blueberry flavour was just intense! I’ve never had syrup like that before! GodDAMN kids!

Lunch:

Bacon Avocado Wrap

This was basically nothing more than a BLT wrap with avocado and cheddar thrown on it as well. I made a mixture of mayo, sour cream, picante sauce and cajun seasoning to spread under it all. Turned out absolutely delicious for how simple it was! I was impressed!

Dinner:

Swedish Cardamom Meatballs over Orange Mashed Potatoes

Taken from: http://lawstudentscookbook.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/swedish-cardamom-meatballs-over-orange-mashed-potatoes/

Swedish Cardamom Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 egg
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup Brummel&Brown, divided
  • 6 cups sliced yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons dry gravy maker mix
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl soak the breadcrumbs in milk for 5 minutes. Mix in the meat, eggs, and chopped onion. Season with cardamom, salt, and pepper to taste.  Roll into 1 1/2 inch meatballs.

2. Saute the meatballs in 1/4 cup Brummel&Brown for about 20 minutes.

3. In a separate skillet saute the sliced onions with 1/4 cup Brummel&Brown and sugar, until caramelized about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Remove the meatballs and onions from both pans and set on separate plates and set aside. Deglaze both pans with the remaining 1/2 cup of Brummel&Brown and beef broth. Cook over high for one minute and then combine the contents of both the pans into one.

5. Stir in the cream and caramelized onions into the pan. Season with gravy seasoning, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a simmer. Mix the water and the cornstarch together and then stir into the sauce. Add meatballs and simmer approximately 20-30 minutes.

* serves 12
* A LOT of calories per serving ;)

*NOTE Any time it says “Brummel & Brown”, I used straight up unsalted butter.

Orange Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients
2 tbsp Brummel&Brown yogurt spread
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 lb red potatoes
1/4 cup light sour cream
6 tbsp orange juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1. Cook the chopped onions in the melted yogurt spread until soft.

2. Skin the potatoes and chop into quarters. Boil a pot of water and cook potatoes for approximately 15 minutes, or until soft.

3. Mash the potatoes with sour cream and orange juice.

4. Mix in the salt and the onions.

-serves 3

*Well you guys this is the most ridiculous, over-indulgent dish that I’ve made so far. It was so good that once again I kept having to stop to yell/swear at nobody in particular. It took me nearly 2 hours to make and every bite was completely worth it. I SHOULD have used clarified butter as the cooking time involved caused the butter to separate and brown, which still gave it this wonderful nutty flavour but made the sauce very greasy. I mean this dish was this crazy wonderful grease-fest yo. SO incredibly over-indulgent! WOW! My only suggestion is use clarified butter like you should! (Says Alton, and everyone knows I listen to every word he says) and you won’t get the butter separation. Otherwise, everything about this was so amazing I still can’t get over it. Yet again!

My husband slept literally all day. I left for the gym at about 6 PM and he was still asleep. He does that when he is depressed. I do hope he is ok, but wasting an entire day that he could be using to call places and put in apps and find a damn job kinda pisses me off. I’m also going to tell him he needs to start looking in undesirable places for jobs…fast food, gas stations, etc…he needs a goddamn job. Who goes fucking 9 months without a job and no unemployment pay? At least I got some stuff accomplished today, I got about halfway through a major project. I will have it finished before going into work tomorrow night! I’m VERY excited about work because I get to work with my favourite co-worker ALL NIGHT! YESSS! It’s going to be awesome.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1.5 hours at the gym (Did it burn off that grease-fest that I ate? No fucking way. BUT TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!)