Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Curry’ Category

Just a little longer

My lovely is taking part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. How it works: Start writing on November 1st. Write at least 1,500 words a day. By the end of the month, you will have successfully written a 50,000 word novel.

I am strongly encouraging him in this endeavor. It’s already been established that I do not plan on getting to see him much this month since he will be writing, and that this is okay. I want him to do this. He NEEDS to do this. He doesn’t have to convince me, I already know how important this is to him. You should have seen the look on his face,  just  so very excited. A kid on Christmas. Writing makes him so happy. It makes him who he is. I’ve taken that away from him (unwittingly) for 5 months now. My only request was that I get to see him on my birthday. This was already the plan, apparently, and it was also made known to me that I am invited to Thanksgiving dinner at his parents’ house as well. I can’t wait. His mom is the coolest person I’ve never met.

I did not take a picture of breakfast. It was just cereal. A certain flea market is open today that I wish to go to today. The television simply needs to be elevated off of the floor. Our necks will thank me.

I didn’t have to shop for terribly long before finding it. A nice, short little black wooden table with a grid-like pattern on all sides. $10. Sold. The old man assisting me even gave me a deal on it, $8. Even more sold! He tried to flirt with me all the way to my car. I was regaled with comments of how pretty I am and how thin I am and how much he loves my hair. He asked if I “was a size zero, or something”. Men don’t know a lot about sizes. They also don’t care. A man couldn’t care less if I am a size zero or a size 5. There is literally absolutely no difference to them. We walk around like it’s the difference between life and death…and they don’t even notice. Though I’ve always known that my disordered eating had nothing to do with what men find attractive, it really hit home today. I felt great about myself. I told the man that, though I was completely uninterested, his comments about my size actually did more for me than he could realize and I appreciated them very much. I even gave him a hug.

Thank you, creepy old man.

I did not have time for lunch. I got home, set up my television on my table, took a shower, and cleaned up the apartment a little for G’s arrival. He, of course, couldn’t stay long. He had to go home and write. I completely understood and started walking him to the door. He asked me what time it was. It was only around 5:30. He talked to me for a couple minutes longer then again requested the time. Just a little after 5:30. He decided he could stay for a movie and popcorn.

We watched Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Wonderful film! It was beautifully shot! He left at around 9:30, which is early for him. I did make dinner for myself:

Butternut Squash and Potato Red Curry

I WANTED to use up some coconut milk that I had. The milk turned out to be bad. Dammit. I didn’t realize this until after I’d started cooking. So I used yogurt instead, but if you were to make this for yourself, use coconut milk! Yogurt was fine, it just wasn’t the effect I wanted.

Ingredients:

Butternut squash, cubed
Potato, cubed
Onion, sliced
Ginger, freshly grated
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 t Red Curry Paste
Pinch of Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Brown Sugar
Crushed Red Pepper
1/3 cup Coconut Milk (I used yogurt as a substitute…in my own recipe. Fantastic.)
1/4 cup chicken stock
S&P
Optional – Cornstarch to thicken the sauce if need be, but the potatoes should add enough starch to thicken it

Fry the potatoes and squash in a little olive oil for 10 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until onion is translucent. Add spices and curry paste. Add coconut milk and stock and allow to cook down to desired thickness, 5 – 10 minutes or so depending. If sauce is still not thick enough, add a little cornstarch.

*The yogurt is also a fine substitute, but really, the coconut milk was what I wanted. Use that. I promise it will taste just as good, if not better!

I do not know when I will get to see my beau again. It pains me, but I know he is happy writing. And I’m a big girl. I can take it.

Restraint

I made sort of a lavish breakfast this morning as I have these apples I must use. I was very proud of myself in that I didn’t smash on the entire batch. I also didn’t necessarily TRY to limit myself. While I was eating them, I decided, “I am full. I do not wish to eat any more.” I put the rest into a ziplock bag and froze them for another time. I am happy with this seemingly small accomplishment. Listening to our bodies is so much harder than it’s made out to be.

Breakfast:

Apple Breakfast Puffs

Taken from: http://www.mangiodasola.com/2009/10/apple-breakfast-puffs.html

3 cups AP flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening (Crisco)
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used buttermilk)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 sticks butter
1 apple (peeled, cored, and diced into small cubes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups (I used “Baker’s Joy”, like Pioneer Woman). Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk mixture, and set aside.

In a different bowl (I used the stand mixer bowl), cream together sugar and shortening, then add eggs and mix. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to creamed mixture, beating (until the flour is mostly incorporated) after each addition and ending with the flour. Fold in chopped apples. (Make sure you do not overmix so that the puffs do not come out tough.)

Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden. In a bowl, melt 1 1/2 sticks butter. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip baked muffins in butter, coating thoroughly, then coat with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

*I made these into mini-muffins, sort of doughnut hole style! They were slightly overbaked, but otherwise addictive! I have all sorts of new baking pans and still have yet to get used to them. I also desperately need an oven thermometer. That would greatly help my oven temperature situation.

Lunch:

I also had a little applesauce with this. But not a lot.

After my sammich, I went on a massively long ass walk. There’s always so much I need to friggin do, I swear. I will have my car back so very soon, I keep telling myself. I love to walk, but it will save me so much time if sometimes I had my car. It normally takes me about 3 hours to walk (what would be) a 10 minute drive up the street, shop for supplies, walk to the grocery store, shop for food, then walk home. In the end, if I had a car and needed the time more than I needed the exercise, I could have all of this done in about 1 hour. I really need my car.

Dinner:

Cashew and Coconut Milk Curry with Chicken and Peas

I wrote down everything I put into it. I’m getting MUCH better at that! I wanted to put A LOT more peas into this dish, but ran out, so I substitutes with the little bit of broccoli I had left. I will write what I WANTED in this as opposed to what I actually used.

Peanut Oil
1 boneless, skinless Chicken breast, cubed
Onion, sliced
1/2 cup Peas
1 t Mustard Seed
1/2 T Cumin
1/2 T Garam Masala
1 t Cayenne Pepper (I like my stuff hot, you may choose to use less)
1 t Onion Powder
1/2 c Cashews, divided
1 t Sugar
1/2 c Coconut Milk
1/3 c Crushed Tomatoes
1 T Tomato Paste
1/3 c Chicken Stock (or however much you feel you want in it to thin your sauce out)
1 T Honey
S&P
Lime juice (garnish)
Sour Cream (garnish)

Blend 1/4 – 1/3 cup of the cashews in a food processor with about 1 t of sugar until smooth (like peanut butter). This may take a while (but totally worth it).  Cook the chicken in peanut oil until no longer pink in the middle. Remove from pan and set aside. Cook the onions, peas, reserved cashews, and mustard seed in the same pan until the onions become translucent and the mustard seeds start to pop (you may add more peanut oil if necessary). Add other spices and cook about 1 minute longer. Add coconut milk, cashew butter, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and honey. Cook to desired thickness on medium heat. If you should want the sauce a bit thinner, add chicken stock. Add chicken back into the pan and heat through. Sprinkle on some fresh lime juice and serve on sticky rice with a dollop of sour cream.

*One of the very best concoctions I do. I love adding cashew butter to dishes! It is very Indian-style and I would have served it on Basmati rice if I had any. Toasting the spices before adding the liquids helps to release the flavour and aromatics, so don’t skip this step! Someday, I would like to buy my spices for these dishes whole and grind them myself. I am working on being rich enough to do this on a consistent basis.

It was nice to get a lot of things done today errand-wise, but I did not get as much work done for my business as I would have hoped. Then again, I spent my morning making mini-muffins instead of working, knowing full well my errands would suck up a large portion of my time today. Well, the joy of baking simply MUST take precedence every once in a while to keep one sane!

Exercise: 8 mile walk

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

You can take a guess as to how lovely I’m feeling today…

Bleh.

Having to get up at 4AM to ask my ex-loser to shut the hell up did not put me in the best of moods this morning. The first good thing that happened though was when I wandered downstairs at 8 this morning (late…) there were no lights on or music blaring or TV annoying the crap out of me. It was nice and quiet as everyone had actually attempted some sleep this time around. Thank god.

The second nice part was that his best friend got a ride from his brother nice and early so I was still able to do my yoga! That put me in a much much better mood.

Having eaten badly the night before (cookies for dinner and all) my stomach was pretty upset this morning and I wasn’t in much of a mood to eat. I skipped breakfast. This seems to happen when I eat a bunch of junk on the previous day, so it’s become pretty normal for me and I don’t really feel too bad about it anymore. I figured as long as I ate something before going to work out THAT was the important part.

So I did my yoga at around 11 after shithead’s friend left (I do not consider said friend a shithead, he’s actually quite a nice guy and I will most likely end up taking on his lease at his apartment to get the hell out of here) and then at around Noon ate the Indian sampler my friends gave me last night. I forgot to take pictures of it. This couple eats mostly vegetarian, so the sample was all veg-friendly! It was quite yummy!

I spend the rest of the day working on a project that I needed to get done before 5. I got it about 90% finished (I’ll finish it in the morning) then headed out to go supplies shopping and work out for an hour. I came home around 8.

Dinner:

Indian Spiced Vegetables

Taken from: http://rootwellness.com/post/3627634409/indian-spiced-vegetables

ingredients

  • 1 small sweet potato or garnet yam (with skin), scrubbed and chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 small parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, broken down into small florets
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 can no salt added diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2-1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
    (amount depends on your sauce thickness preference)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder dash cayenne pepper and pinch red pepper flakes  (adjust depending upon how spicy you like it)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • lemon wedges
  • optional: 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
  • ADDED: 1 T Brown Sugar

directions

  • heat large soup pot on medium high heat
  • add coconut oil to pot
  • when coconut oil is melted, add onion and saute for 3 mins until soft
  • add garlic to pot and stir for 1 minute
  • add 1 teaspoon garam masala and stir for 1 minute
  • add the canned tomatoes
  • stir in the coconut milk
  • add all spices except cayenne and red pepper flakes
  • add the vegetable broth, starting with 1/2 cup
  • toss in the sweet potato, carrots, and parsnips
  • optional: add the chicken if using
  • simmer, covered, on medium heat until sweet potatoes soften a bit
    (about 8 mins) stirring a few times
  • add a little more vegetable broth, depending upon desired thickness
  • add the cauliflower and continue to cook on medium for another 8-10 minutes
  • when sweet potatoes are soft, remove pot from heat and add cayenne and red pepper flakes to desired spiciness
  • serve with naan, over rice/lentils, or alone
  • top with a squeeze of lemon

*I did not have any cauliflower so I left that out, but otherwise I made this exactly as directed to WONDERFUL results! I didn’t put this on any rice or pasta of any kind since it had a starch in it already (yam) and my shithead husband did allow me to use one of his drumsticks for the chicken (I just yanked off the skin, pulled off all the meat and cubed it) so I’ll give him a tiny bit of credit. I don’t know what it was about this particular dish, probably the 3 different spicy components that it calls for to give it some amazing heat, but this was REALLY spectacular! I would make it again in a heartbeat! I added the 1 T of brown sugar because I think that any time you use sweet potato or yam you ought to add just a little sweetness since they go SO well together.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions for possible custom orders, so here’s hoping I can get those filled this week! I could really use the money! I went around the neighborhood I want to live in taking down numbers in front of any “For Rent” signs, so I will give all of those people a call tomorrow to check out their rates. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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

Lazy Sunday

I have a rather time-consuming project to get done today, so I’m forced to avoid the internet as much as possible, so there won’t be much in the way of real content today. I do apologize, I hope tomorrow I’ll be able to give you more insight into how my mind has been working lately (though I got a lot of that in with my last post), but I’m on a deadline with this order and have to get it out first thing in the morning.

Breakfast:

I had to do the bowl of cereal thing this morning due to time restraints and the fact there there were a pile of beer cans on my counter yet again. Nowhere to make breakfast. I forgot to take a pic of my cereal, but you’ve seen it before. Nothing special. I only ever have Honey Bunches of Oats sitting around.

Lunch:

Curried Carrot and Lentil Soup

I did loosely follow a recipe kinda, but changed it so much it doesn’t even resemble it anymore, so we’ll just do it this way instead:

1/4 Onion, diced
Olive Oil
1/2 T unsalted Butter
1.5 large Carrots, diced
1/3 c uncooked Lentils
1.5 cups Beef Stock (I was out of Chicken Stock at the time)
1 t Curry (or to taste)
1/4 t Cayenne Powder
2 T Sour Cream
S&P to taste

Sautee the onions in the olive oil and butter over medium heat until translucent. Add the beef stock and bring to a boil. Add carrots, lentils, curry, cayenne, salt and pepper. Let simmer covered for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are cooked. Take it off the heat and blend in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into a bowl and swirl in 2 T of sour cream.

* I like my soups thick, but you are free to add more stock if need be. The beef stock turned out to not be a bad idea with this soup! It brought a certain something different! This was quick and very filling, the lentils brought a lot of protein and the carrots have great vitamins. Really a good and good for you dish.

Dinner:

CHICKEN IN CURRIED YOGURT SAUCE

Taken from: http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,1725,153190-230193,00.html

8 oz. peach low-fat yogurt
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 c. sweet bell pepper strips
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 1/2 tsp. curry powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 to 3/4 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 lb. boned and skinned chicken breasts, cut in strips
1 c. frozen peas
2 tsp. lemon juice
Combine small amount of yogurt with cornstarch and return to yogurt container.Place bell pepper, onion, curry powder, salt, pepper, and broth in skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until onion is tender, 3-4 minutes.

Stir in chicken and simmer 2-4 minutes. Add extra broth if necessary. Add peas. Cook until chicken is tender. Reduce heat and add yogurt. Stir over low heat until hot.

Sprinkle with lemon juice. Stir gently. Serve over rice.

*I normally follow this recipe exactly. It’s one of my go-to favorites. I didn’t have any actual peach yogurt, but I had yogurt and peaches and so blended them in a food processor. I also often add chunks of peaches to this as well. Though I’ve lately been using canned peaches for all my peach recipes, I really can’t wait until peaches are in season again as I miss fresh ones. They make everything taste better. I went for this because I knew it would be something I would love and it was something I’d made a lot of times before so I could get it done quickly.

Exercise: None. I couldn’t even do my yoga because my husband’s friend stayed the night and was up bright and early.

I love me

And I don’t need anyone else.

Someday soon I’ll WANT someone else.

But I don’t need someone else.

As long as I love myself, I could never be unhappy.

Breakfast:

Sausage Cheese Egg Muffins

Taken from: http://nutmegnotebook.com/2011/10/sausage-cheese-egg-muffins/

9 5/8 ounces pkg Jimmy Dean Hearty Turkey Sausage Crumbles
4 ounces cheddar cheese — shredded (or sub reduced fat cheese)
8 eggs (or sub 1 1/2 cups egg beaters)
3/4 cup Bisquick Heart Smart
1/2 cup 1% milk (or sub skim milk)
4 each green onions — sliced
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
pinch red pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with non stick spray. Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl, stir with spoon until well combined. Divide evenly into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set. Let cool slightly then carefully remove from pan, let muffins cool completely on a wire rack.

Yield: 12 muffins Serving Size: 1 muffin

*I made 4 of these, they were so friggin’ filling I only ate 3. I also used this awesome chili-lime Gouda in them and DAAAAAMN were they good! What an absolutely perfect breakfast! I was actually in the mood for savory this morning, that doesn’t happen often! I think I also added a little baking powder just to make sure they would rise, and they rose beautifully! I enjoyed that they didn’t use much Bisquick mix, I wanted muffins, but didn’t want them to be too bready. I DID use Heart Smart Bisquick too just like the recipe calls for ^_^. You know me, trying to eat as healthy as possible! It brings up my confidence in myself!

Lunch:

Okay, okay, so I made what would have been an amazing roasted cauliflower, carrot and parsnip soup…but I let the cauliflower go too long before using it and didn’t realize it was bad. So I only got maybe 3 or 4 spoonfulls into my soup when I realized it was off. *sigh* So I had to throw the whole bowl out. I ended up having a banana and some pistachio nuts instead. I may have poisoned myself slightly, I think I was hallucinating a little while I went supplies shopping afterwards…its ok! I worked it off at the gym and felt a ton better! So I’m sorry I had such a lame lunch! I’ll do better tomorrow!

Dinner:

Brazilian Chicken with Coconut Milk and Pineapple

Taken from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/brazilian-chicken-with-coconut-milk/

Ingredients

    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
    • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
    • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (I just used sweet Orange Pepper)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
    • 1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
    • 1 bunch chopped fresh parsley (I left this out and replaced it with the herbs below)

ADDED:

  •  1/3 cup canned Pineapple with 1/8 cup of the juice
  • 1 t fresh chopped Mint
  • 1 t fresh chopped Basil
  • 1/2 t Cornstarch
  • 2 t Brown Sugar

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the cumin, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and coriander. Place the chicken in the bowl, season with salt and pepper, and rub on all sides with the spice mixture.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place the chicken in the skillet. Cook 10 to 15 minutes on each side, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet. Cook and stir the onion, ginger, jalapeno peppers, and garlic 5 minutes, or until tender. Mix in the tomatoes and continue cooking 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk. Serve over the chicken. Garnish with the parsley.

*Exactly what I wanted! I just had some coconut milk open from the soup that I failed at and wanted to use it for something. This was perfect! It was nice and light, not bogged down with a bunch of cream or butter. I DID use the light coconut milk as recommended too! And I purposely added only a little bit of sugar, normally I’d dump in a whole ton! I put it on some vermicelli noodles and felt amazing about myself afterwards.

 

I’m just incredibly happy! I don’t know how to describe it. That’s probably why I’m not binging, because I’m actually really happy. I feel quite a large amount of weight off of my shoulders! Though my ankle is still swollen…dammit. It doesn’t seem like working out on it is making it any worse right now though, so I will just continue to do so!

I love me and I want to take the best care of me as possible!

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1 hour at the gym, low impact machines only

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

Tragedy at the gym!

So I show up to the gym today. I’m getting all my shit together, changing into my workout clothes and whatnot, and I realize something really really really shitty.

I forgot my headphones.

Yeah, this isn’t going to work. I HAVE to have my music to work out to. The beat helps me keep a consistent heart rate and if the current song doesn’t have the right pace, I can just change it to another one. And working out to something I enjoy makes me happy which makes the experience awesome. So no music means I fucked up big time.

I decide that I’ll do the elliptical for half an hour. I mean since I drove out there I should do SOMETHING. I work out mostly miserably for my half hour. I’m thinking I COULD stay on for an extra 5 minutes, it wouldn’t kill me. But I was pretty miserable and wanted to go home. So I then decide that if the next song that comes on the radio in the gym is something that I just adore and couldn’t live without working out to it, I would stay for the extra 5 minutes.

Then Nickelback comes on.

This was THE BIGGEST sign that I could have POSSIBLY gotten to tell me to get the FUCK out of there.

I finished my workout at home on the stair stepper. And I was happy.

Breakfast:

No breakfast. I ate a lot the night before at my brothers for his birthday celebration and so wasn’t hungry in the morning for breakfast. I had coffee. Hehe. But yeah, the combination of cake and beer and cupcakes, potato chips, jelly beans, pita chips, hummus, etc just didn’t make for a hungry girl in the morning.

Lunch:

Tomato Caprese Sandwich

Just some tomato topped with fresh mozzarella slices, basil, salt and pepper on one side with a couple shakes of olive oil. The other side has a tomato pesto sauce with sour cream, grated parmesan and parsley. I threw that under the broiler for about 8 minutes. I also had some leftover lentils that I seasoned with a bit of garlic salt, coriander and pepper.

Dinner:

Peach Cardamom Curry Pork Stir Fry

5 oz Pork
1.5 small Peaches, sliced
Cauliflower
1 cup Mushrooms, sliced
Red Pepper, sliced
Sweet Onion, Chopped
Fresh grated Ginger
1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
1/3 cup Cream
1 T Soy Sauce
1/8 t Cardamom
1.5 t Curry Powder (or more to taste)
Red Pepper Flakes
S&P to taste
Dash Lemon Juice

I think this all sounds about right. I just throw all the meat and veggies in with a bit of olive oil and let that sautee for a little while. Then I add all the spices and liquid ingredients. Cover, let it simmer for about 5 minutes, then let the sauce reduce and thicken (using cornstarch if necessary). Add in the peaches and dash a little lemon juice on top. Let that heat through and serve on top of sticky rice. YUM! This was excellent! Exactly what I wanted. ^_^

Tomorrow I’m going to have to work around things a bit to have my Meatless Monday. I’ll be driving to my cousin’s and would technically be out there by dinnertime, but once again, this is the same family where the dad was judging me for having a salad for dinner. It’s just not what they do. So I guarantee that there will be some sort of meat in dinner. So I’ll try my best to plan ahead and figure out a way to keep true to my one meatless day a week. If I have to pick something up on the way there or make something to take with me to eat there, I will do it.

I’m SO excited about Tuesday!

Exercise: 1/2 hour at the gym, 1/2 hour stair-stepping

Who wants to get shit done? ME ME ME!

I’m going to get a couple small projects done today! It’ll put me in a better mood after my kinda crappy date last night. At least the food was good!

The cat now hears my alarm go off at 7 every morning and will start batting at the door at around 7:01 if I don’t get up immediately. I actually don’t mind encouraging this behavior (I always get right out of bed after he gently “reminds” me to wake up) because I feel if I ever set an alarm and accidentally turn it off while asleep (which I’ve done before), I’ll always have him as a back-up alarm.

So I have about 6 hours to get shit done! Who else has shit to get done? LETS DO THIS!!!

Breakfast:

Apple bacon coffee cake

Taken from: http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Food/Stir-It-Up/2011/1012/Apple-bacon-coffee-cake

Apple and Bacon Kuchen
Serves 8 – 10

For the topping:

8 strips of bacon
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon maple syrup (grade B amber)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 granny smith apples

For the Kuchen:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten, room temperature
1 tablespoon maple syrup (grade B amber)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

For the filling:

Cook the bacon in large skillet until nice and crispy. Remove to paper towels to drain. Pour the bacon fat out of the skillet and reserve. Wipe out the skillet to remove any bits and pieces. Add back 1 tablespoon of bacon grease and the butter and melt over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and maple syrup. While the buttery brown sugar is melting together, peel and core the apples and cut them into small chunks. Drop the apple pieces into the butter as soon as you chop them to prevent discoloration and stir to coat well. Sprinkle over the cinnamon and stir to combine. Cook until the apples are soft and the syrupy brown sugar is reduced and just coating the apples. Cut the bacon into small pieces and stir into the apples. Set aside to cool. The topping can be made a day ahead and stored covered in the fridge until ready to cook.

For the kuchen:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9- x 13-inch baking pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until combined. Beat in the maple syrup. Mix in the flour, baking powder and baking soda alternately with the sour cream. Beat until well combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it out to the corners. Spread the apple-bacon topping over the batter to evenly cover the top. Press the filling in a little bit with a spatula.

Bake the kuchen for 25 – 30 minutes, until the kuchen is puffed and brown on the edges and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm cut into squares.

*I baked these for BARELY 30 minutes, probably about 29, and this was PERFECT! The bacon gave it that amazing salty crunch under the sweetness of the apples and maple-caramel. The cake was the lightest, meltiest cake I’ve ever made! I highly recommend you use this cake recipe while making ANY sort of coffee cake! WOW!!! I was going to offer up the other half of this on my Facebook, but then I eated it. Hehehe!

Lunch:

(What was supposed to be) Curried Apple Tuna Open-Faced Sandwich

While this was not at all terrible, it wasn’t as great as it could have been because I did not realize I was out of tuna until I’d already started making the mayo/curry/apple mixture. So once again I had to use sardines in the place of tuna and once again it really didn’t work. I mean it did. It was fine. It was completely 100% edible. But I WANTED tuna. So oh well I guess. The cheese on top was super good, it was Cabot’s bacon cheddar. THAT was really yummy and saved the sandwich completely.

Dinner:

Seared Pork on Couscous with a Pear Tarragon Red Wine Reduction sauce

I really don’t have much of a real recipe for you as I didn’t measure out ANYTHING, but I will try to at least list the ingredients…

Unsalted butter
Olive oil (for the searing)

Red Wine
Red Wine Vinegar
Butter
Tarragon
Cayenne
Pear (sliced)
Mushrooms (sliced)
Blackberries
Dijon Mustard
S&P to taste

I just made a reduction out of the sauce ingredients and added more wine and vinegar as I saw necessary. It was delicious! Looked pretty too!

 

So I totally got shit done!!!! I got those 2 projects completely finished and now tomorrow I get to go spend time with good friends at an Ice Festival! I’m incredibly excited! Can’t wait to bundle up and keep warm with a bit of rum! ~_^

Sorry I talk about the sunrise so much…

…but today’s was once again spectacular!

I just can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this for most of my life. It makes me SO happy. It reminds me that today is another wonderful day and I am alive. I love being alive.

I accidentally woke up at 4:30AM today. Jack teh kitteh was scratching at our door which tends to wake me up. He usually tries to get our attention for bout 45 seconds till he gives up and goes back to sleep. He normally does this around 5:30 AM. I checked the time and for some reason concluded that it was 6:30AM and couldn’t understand why my alarm had not gone off. I switched the alarm off, got up, and went to make a pot of coffee. I sat at my computer for a good 10 minutes before finally actually LOOKING at the time. 4:50….4:50???? I mean, I like getting up early but this was ridiculous! I decided I should try and get a little more shut eye. I set my computer to play “Exit Music (For A Film)” by Radiohead in an hour (not even properly hitting me what a perfect song it is to wake to, just knowing it was soft and wouldn’t jerk me awake) and, after grabbing Jack off of my laptop table (unfortunately AFTER he spilled a cup of water all over me, at least it didn’t get on the laptop!), went to sleep. The alarm went off gorgeously and I even dozed back off for an extra half an hour. 6:45 is a FAR more reasonable time to wake when you have to be at work at 11.

And I didn’t miss the stunning sunrise. So many shades of red, pink, blue, green and purple it would have blown your mind. I’ll be thinking about it all day!

Breakfast:

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Frittata

  • 3-tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • Sea salt
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 small garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup of goat cheese crumbles
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a tray toss the cauliflower florets and 2 tablespoon olive oil, season with sea salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and bake for 25 minutes until golden. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a cast iron skillet, the sliced onion the green onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate, add the garlic and cook until it is softened, about 1 minute longer. Add the roasted cauliflower. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs with 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt. Pour the eggs over the cauliflower and the goat cheese crumbles. cook, without stirring, until the bottom of the frittata is just set, about 2 minutes. Lift the edges of the frittata and tilt the pan to allow the uncooked egg mixture to seep underneath. Continue cooking the frittata until the bottom is golden and the top is just slightly runny, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the thyme over the frittata and bake until it is just set, about 3 minutes longer. And slide it onto a work surface or platter. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature with some salad greens. Enjoy.

*I of course broke up a couple small slices of fresh French bread and added the crumbles next to the roasting cauliflower after they had about 8 minutes more to go. I crushed them in my hand as I added them on top of the frittata, leaving some big pieces in with the smaller ones. I had NO IDEA that roasting cauliflower gives it such a sweet taste! WOW! It took me forever to decide what I was in the mood to eat this morning, I decided I didn’t want meat, but I wanted something savory. This was absolutely spectacular! I don’t know that I feel like doing meat at all today…maybe I’ll start a  Meatless Monday sort of thing?
NOTE:  I HAVE in fact decided to start participating in “Meatless Mondays”! So now every Monday I will cut meat out entirely for the day!

Lunch:

I was at work so once again I had the Tomato Caprise Sandwich with a banana. Normally I would also have a soup with this, but BOTH of the soup choices had meat in them! So I nixed the soup and went with the only meat-free sandwich we have. It filled me up just fine, I even went to the gym to work out after work and my stomach didn’t even growl by the time I got home. It’s odd not really being on a “schedule” anymore with meals. Eating when you’re hungry or not eating when you’re not hungry is sort of a foreign concept to me. I used to ALWAYS be hungry. I’ve also slowed down 10 fold on the junk and treats now that it’s no longer Christmas.  I’m feeling a ton thinner and look better! My clothes are starting to fit me better agian. My jeans are still tight, but thats to be expected. Its OK.

Dinner:

Curried Chickpeas and Black Beans

Taken from: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Curried-Chickpeas-And-Black-Beans-My-Recipes

2 tsps vegetable oil
1 cup onion (chopped)
1 tbsp gingerroot (minced peeled)
2 tsps curry powder
1 diced tomatoes (ounce can diced tomatoes undrained)
18 tsp salt
15 ozs black beans (rinsed and drained)
15 ozs chickpeas (garbanzo beans rinsed and drained)
13 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
1 tbsp lemon juice
Added:
1/3 tin of Pineapple chunks (plus a little of the juice in place of the lemon juice)
Pinch of Cardamom
1Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and gingerroot; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in curry powder; cook an additional minute. Add tomatoes; cook 1 minute or until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Add salt, black beans, and chickpeas; stir well. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in fresh parsley and lemon juice. Serve warm.
*This came out super delicious! I served it on top of some just plain white rice and it was a great little vegetarian meal full of protein and good stuff! Perfect for an after-workout meal! I was also sure to nix anything like chicken or beef stock to thin it with and instead went for tomato juice.
My day at work was great, my “girlfriend” talked to me a bunch and we had fun! Maybe she felt obligated to talk to me since I was helping her? I like her.
I went to work out after that and had a really hard time keeping my heart rate up. I don’t know what it was other than the fact that I’d already been on my feet running around for most of the day. Not sure what else would have caused that. I was BUSHED when I got home. I made a nice easy dinner and then went straight to bed for the most part. It was a looooong day and I was just so tired.
Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1.5 hours at the gym