Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Goat’s Cheese’ Category

I get a date next Saturday!!!

Yep, I am finally the official date to Potential Future Husband #1 at a party that he is hosting next week.

Ex-girlfriend is not invited.

It’s going to be a troupe of us who were all friends back in the day.

I am the only one invited to the after-party. ~_^

I had to switch some shifts around at my retail job to make this work. Totally worth it. I even took an extra day for someone else who really needed it next week just because I was so happy about my date, I wanted to spread the joy.

AW! He just wrote me to tell me how excited he is that I’m going to be there. He’s so sweet!

I could easily spend the rest of my life with someone like him.

Especially compared to who I was GOING to spend my life with.

I am sorry that my camera battery died and I could find the charger. I have no pictures for you today.

BRIGHT SIDE: I went to my brother’s for nail painting and game playing with mutual friends and WE FOUND MY CHARGER! It was hiding behind a curtain plugged into an outlet I do not remember plugging it into. This happened AFTER I had already eaten all of my meals for the day though.

So still no pictures.

For breakfast I had a bowl of cereal.

For lunch I had half  of a turkey wrap sandwich and black bean soup at work.

For dinner I made an AMAZING pesto that I actually do want to reference again even though I once agian have no form of measurements whatsoever. I wanted pesto. But did not have fresh basil, pine nuts or parmesan cheese. Hm. Puts a damper on things. Well what DO I have? I have dried basil, fresh mint, goat’s cheese and pistachios. Sure why the hell not? Threw those into a food processor along with some olive oil, a little water, salt and pepper and blended all that together. I put it on top of some rigatoni, mixed it in and garnished with a few extra pistachios on top. It was FANTASTIC. DO NOT FORGET THIS RECIPE, SELF!!!

Had a great night with my brother, sister-in-law and a couple mutual friends. We played games and chatted, ate cheese and crackers and drank home-brewed beer. It was awesome to have a night “off” with people I love.

Once I catch up on work, I’ll get more of those soon.

Exercise: 4 mile walk, + walk to my brothers and back

Broken

The day started out awesome enough. Simple breakfast so I could get shit started. Jumped right into work and got a little less than halfway done with my project. Made a break for a little lunch, then went back to work. Then the unthinkable happens. My machine breaks.

Shit shit shit shit.

Yeah, I’ve worked on it every day for 3 years and have never had it properly serviced. Sure, it’s broken before and I’ve been able to sort of fix it. No, it doesn’t work completely right, but it WORKS and I’ve never had to PAY someone else to fix it.

This time it was unavoidable.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck.

I take it onto the shop and BEG them not to charge me too much as I won’t be able to pay it if they do. I have a “situation” I call it. It’s not good. And I have no money and I need my machine to live. They promised they would get it in and out and quickly and as cheaply as they could.

They ask if I know of anyone I could possibly…borrow a machine from in the meantime?

Uhg. Husband. Yes, I know someone who I think will let me borrow theirs.

Well he’s in prison so he doesn’t have much of a choice. I am borrowing it. Not like he’s getting any use out of it right now anyway. If I play my cards right he wouldn’t know I had it at all. It doesn’t matter that much, he’d be happy to let me borrow it. But I just don’t like relying on him for anything at all at this point.

I drive all the way to his house on the other side of town and grab it. Take it home. Realize I forgot a very important attachment. Godfuckingdammitalltohell. I waste MORE gas and MORE time driving back again. The gas light comes on. It can wait. I drive home and get everything proper set up. I fuck around with it until its working the way I want it to. It is now 7:00PM and I am tired. And done.

What a complete and utter waste of a day.

I am sad and pissed.

Breakfast:

Simple cereal. Changing it up a bit now with Frosted Shredded Wheat yo!!

Lunch:

Turkey, cheese, light mayo and honey mustard on an onion bun stolen from husband’s house. (He asked me to take any perishables) and an apple.

Dinner:

Goat’s Cheese Marinara Sauce with Zucchini, Mushrooms and Eggplant on Whole Wheat Linguini

You can tell for once I had an early dinner as it is still daylight out. I didn’t measure anything. And I also realized that I don’t have dried basil or oregano (those were his). So I used a basic “chicken seasoning” that smells like it had both. Then I also added sage. Goats cheese and sage work well together. I made this out of crushed tomatoes, olive oil, Pepper Jack and Goat’s cheese, water…uh…I dunno. Whatever I felt like throwing in. It was good! Just throw in what you like and make a sauce out of it haha! That’s what I always do!

 

So I’m hoping tomorrow won’t be the heaping pile of unproductive shit that it was today. At least I got some good meals in there if nothing else. Once again, spent the entire day romping around so no gym time or anything. I want to try for that walk again tomorrow. I’ll be overly excited if I get it in.

 

Scams

Today was an interesting day.

I thought for a minute that I had sold my motorcycle!

Ah Craigslist, what would life be without your spam and scams?

Throughout the day the emails from this guy had been getting weirder and weirder until he started saying something about ME sending HIM money through Western Union. I ended the transaction right there. Lucky for me I’m not an idiot. (Disclaimer: This is not to say that everyone who is taken in by a scammer is an idiot. But you have to be pretty stupid to fall for this particular guy’s scam.)

So I spent the entire day thinking that I was set. That I was going to be able to pay off my credit card debt. That I might actually be able to afford a couch and that mirror that I want so bad. It was just terrible of this guy to not only try and scam me out of money, but to scam me out of my peace of mind. THAT was what really hurt. I hope this guy dies and rots in hell.

Breakfast:

My brother bought cinnamon bagels and strawberry cream cheese and said I could have one! YUM! I can’t remember the last time I bought bagels! I used to live off of them every day.

Lunch:

Avocado, Tomato and Goat’s Cheese Sandwich

Exactly like it sounds. I crumbled some goat’s cheese, put some sliced avocado on top of that then some sliced tomato on top of that. I may have also put a little light mayo on the other slice of bread. Done!

Dinner:
At my dad’s we had some pork roast and green beans. My dad is an amazing cook so the food was just wonderful! He made rhubarb cake for dinner with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream. He knows how to do it up right! He even gave me a whole bunch of fresh rhubarb from his garden. YES! I’m totally using this to make my brother and sister-in-law breakfast on Saturday when they are both off work!

 

The money transaction went over painless. He actually just sent it to me via PayPal. No problem. I told him about the possible sale of my bike and that maybe I could pay him back right away. I had to break it to him later that it was a scammer. I am very grateful for my dad. He knows I won’t be able to pay him back until I move out. I know secretly he knows this. And he’s OK with it.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 2 mile walk to the post office

Living with others and disordered eating

First of all, YAY I finally got to cook myself some foodstuffs and so therefore remembered to take a couple of pictures! Huzzah!! So today I actually have something to show for!

I also wanted to add that I am SO SO glad that I am much better. I cannot IMAGINE living here and still being disordered. It would be the friggin death of me. Even though they are actually really REALLY good with portion sizes and healthy ingredients, I would still die of constant anxiety attacks. “What did he put in this? Is there milk? Butter? How much of it? HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN THIS?? How much rice did I just take? Does that look like a cup or a cup and a half? I can’t put some BACK, they’d know something was wrong. Oh no, she put cream in my coffee, she knows I USED to take cream in my coffee…I shouldn’t drink this but I don’t want to be a rude houseguest. He made me eggs and toast, what did he fry the egg in? How much of it? Did he put butter on this toast? I’m sure this bread has twice the amount of calories as my ‘diet’ bread…and he gave me 2 SLICES?” And the inner dialogue would go on and on and on and on until my brain would absolutely explode with anxiety. This was why I started cooking. So I could control every single little minute detail of EVERYTHING that went into my food. When I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t eat something without being INCREDIBLY upset and anxious.

That was me a year ago.

This is me now: “Thank you so much for making me dinner! I really appreciate it! This looks amazing! Why yes,  I would love to share a beer with you! That was absolutely delicious! Thanks again!”

And the inner dialogue matches the outer dialogue perfectly.

I love living here.

Breakfast:

Cheesy Mushroom and Egg Casserole

Taken from: http://www.turkishfoodandrecipes.com/2009/01/cheesy-mushroom-egg-casserole-mantar-ve.html

½ lb mushrooms, brushed and sliced
2 tbsp butter/olive oil
1-2 pairs of green onions, chopped (optional)
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
½ tbsp starch
½ cup crumbled feta/ Mexican cheese
½ tsp any kind of seasoning
½ tsp salt to taste

In a skillet, sauté mushrooms with butter over medium heat, till all the water evaporates. Then stir in green onions and sauté over low medium for 1-2 minutes.
Meanwhile dissolve starch in milk and add salt, eggs and seasoning. Mix them all.
Preheat the oven to 350-375F (180-190 C) and place mushrooms in a Pyrex or baking dish and sprinkle feta/Mexican Cheese over them. Finally pour egg-milk mixture and stir gently with a fork to distribute mushrooms and cheese evenly in egg mixture.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, till the surface turns light brown.
Serve Cheesy Mushroom Egg Casserole warm.
ENJOY

*I used goat’s cheese for the crumbled cheese in this, it was SO good! So so good! For the seasoning I used ground thyme, dried rosemary, s&p. I had no idea rosemary and goat’s cheese were lovers. But they are.

Lunch:

Tomato Goat’s Cheese soup with Carrots and Peas

1 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 cup Milk
I dunno….between 1/8 and 1/4 cup Goats Cheese
1/3 cup Peas
1 Carrot, sliced
1/2 Tomato, chopped
1 T Tomato Paste
2 slices Onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, grated
A little butter and oil
Coriander
Cinnamon
S&P

Melt a small pat of butter along with a little oil in a pot. Cook the onion until translucent. Add garlic. Add peas and carrots. Allow to cook and brown a little. Add chopped tomatoes, cook until most of the liquid is cooked out. Add stock, paste, and spices. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Melt in goat’s cheese and simmer another 5 minutes or until carrots are tender. Serve up! I apparently have a thing for goat’s cheese today. If you don’t like it, I’m sure you can any kind of melty cheese!

Dinner:

We had leftovers of the tofu, carrot and potato curry from yesterday and I STILL forgot to take a picture! COME ON! 😦 I can’t be any more unreliable right now. Sad.

 

It’s so great to be able to enjoy food with people again. I definitely still eat healthy, as does my brother and sister-in-law. So it makes it easy to eat with them. Their portion sizes are always appropriate. When they serve up ice cream, they serve it in ramekins that only hold about a “standard serving”. They stay thin because they eat right and stay active. Not because they count every single calorie. If they can do it, I can too!

Does anyone out there have to eat with people that are hard to eat with? Like…do they chock everything full of butter? And then give you a WHOPPING plate of food enough for an entire family? I can’t imagine having to eat with people like that, I’d like to hear your family/roommate eating experiences.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 7 mile or so walk

 

Last day together

Today was our last day. I am leaving tomorrow to go stay with my brother. My husband took this opportunity to make it the best day ever for some reason. We spent the day running errands, grabbing clearance candy (taking me all the way to the Russel Stover’s outlet nonetheless where I got tons of chocolate and even some ice cream), and then coming home and putting on a playlist of music that only I would enjoy as most of it is NOT his taste. We had a really really good time. I don’t know why he did that. Maybe he didn’t want me to leave with bad memories. Maybe in a way he was trying to win me over again. I don’t know. But I do know that I will have many more good days like this eventually…just with someone else.

Breakfast:

Bowl o cereal. Honey Bunches of Oats as usual.

Lunch:

Ok ok, so I had chocolate and ice cream for lunch. But this was sort of a, I dunno, “new start celebration” sort of day so I didn’t think much of it. We were out and about all day so I wouldn’t have been about to make myself anything anyway. Here’s a pic of the amazing ice cream I had:

Blue Bell’s Krazy Kookie Dough! The colors of course caught my eye immediately. And then I found out those multi-colored chunks were actually sugar cookie dough? It was absolutely impossible for me to say no. I was hooked. I got a 1 scoop on a sugar cone. Life was completely amazing.

Dinner:

I sorta messed up this recipe a little as it was supposed to be a no-cook sauce that I accidentally cooked anyway not realizing it was no-cook. Whoops. Next time I won’t cook it, but here’s the recipe:

Fettuccine with Mushrooms, Tarragon, and Goat-Cheese Sauce

  • FAST
  • VEGETARIAN

Ingredients

  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1 pound mushrooms, cut into thin slices
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  6. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  7. 1/2 pound mild goat cheese
  8. 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  9. 1/3 cup milk
  10. 3/4 pound fettuccine
  11. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or scallion tops
  1. In a large frying pan, melt the butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the pepper, and the dried tarragon, if using, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately high and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown and no liquid remains in the pan, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, Parmesan, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Stir until smooth.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fettuccine until just done, about 12 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pasta-cooking water and drain. Whisk 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water into the goat-cheese mixture. Toss the pasta with the mushrooms, the goat-cheese sauce, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil, the fresh tarragon, if using, and the chives. If the pasta seems dry, add more of the reserved pasta-cooking water. Serve with additional Parmesan.
Notes Variation Use fresh basil instead of or in addition to the tarragon and chives in the recipe

*I used whole wheat linguini and accidentally cooked the sauce. That was the only difference. I could see how it would be better if I didn’t cook it though. So next time I won’t do that. Hehe. BUT it still was really good and totally hit the spot!!

Oddly enough, even though I did buy a TON of candy, I really didn’t eat that much of it. I didn’t feel overly full or sick and when I didn’t want any more, I stopped. I’ve been getting so much better at not binging. Its just…I realize I don’t have to. I can have these things any time I want. This was a treat day, and candy is ridiculously cheap right now! Might as well celebrate! Also, eating badly for 1 or 2 days isn’t going to kill me or make me fat. I am enjoying myself and enjoying life!!

Exercise: Eating lots of chocolate.

*WHEW!* Sold stuff today!

I desperately needed to sell SOMETHING either today or by tomorrow so I could pay my bills. Luckily, I sold JUST enough stuff to cover them! I can sleep soundly tonight knowing that once again I’ve cheated the Money Gods and am able to survive a couple more weeks! Now I need to make about $300 in 2 and a half weeks to cover my credit card bills…I can do this!!!

Breakfast:

Goat Cheese Quiche with Hash-Brown Crust

Taken from: http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/goat-cheese-quiche-hash-brown-recipe-mslo0810

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon(s) butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 1 package(s) (1-pound) frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 12 large eggs
  • Coarse salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 package(s) (4- to 5-ounce) soft goat cheese, room temperature
  • 4  scallions, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush a 9-by-2 1/2-inch springform pan with butter. Line the sides of the pan with strips of waxed paper (the same height as pan); brush paper with butter.
  2. Squeeze excess moisture from hash browns. Mix in a bowl with butter, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pat into bottom and up sides of prepared pan, using a moistened dry measuring cup. Place on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until set, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk sour cream, goat cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until well combined; whisk in 11 remaining eggs. Pour into crust, and sprinkle with scallions. Bake until set, 45 to 50 minutes. Unmold quiche, and peel off waxed paper before serving.

*I do not own a springform pan unfortunately, so I just made this in a large ramekin. I don’t have frozen hashbrowns, so I grated a potato and boiled it for about 5 minutes, till the potatoes were soft but not so soft that they were falling apart. This worked VERY well! This quiche was about 3 times the height you see here when it first came out of the oven! I thought maybe I’d done something wrong! HA! It was absolutely heavenly and creamy! The potatoes cooked nicely and had the perfect little crisp to them. I didn’t finish the whole thing, I put it down about 3/4 of the way through it to type on here, then picked it back up to eat more but it just sat in my hands and I realized I wasn’t eating because I was no longer hungry. So I just threw out the rest. Crazy how our bodily cues work, right? This was just a ton of food though, I can see why I wouldn’t want this much.

Lunch:

Spinach, Gouda and Tomato Grilled Sandwich

OK so this doesn’t look like much, and it was in fact a pretty small sandwich, but I made a cream cheese/sour cream/mint/oregano/balsamic vinegar/parmesan spread that was OUTSTANDING! I don’t know what it was about it but it was so good I wanted to kick someone in the face! I grilled this on both sides in a saucepan with a little margarine just to melt the gouda. Oh there was also some chopped onion on top of the spread. I ate my little sandwich thinking that if I was still hungry, I could always have some celery with peanut butter or something. But oddly enough, this was fine. I didn’t need any more.

Dinner:

Quinoa Risotto with Mushrooms, Spinach, & Goat Cheese

Adapted/Inspired by several sources, including Daily Garnish and Skinny Chef

Serves about 2-3 as a main course or 4-5 as a side-dish

Ingredients:

4 cups vegetable stock (I used beef stock as it was pretty much all I had)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
8 oz package of sliced white or crimini mushrooms, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
6 oz baby spinach
2 oz (about 1/4 cup) goat cheese
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Add vegetable broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Keep it gently simmering as you make the risotto.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and sauté until softened and lightly browned, stirring often, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the garlic and the quinoa and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring often, until quinoa is lightly toasted and fragrant.

Add the wine and stir until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Begin adding vegetable broth to the quinoa, a small ladle at a time, stirring constantly. When each addition of liquid is absorbed by the quinoa mixture, add another small ladleful. Continue adding broth and stirring for about 25-30 minutes total, until quinoa is cooked through and no longer crunchy.

Add spinach to quinoa and stir until spinach is wilted. Add goat cheese and stir until melted and completely mixed in.

Remove from heat, taste, and add salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm.

*This seemed to take forever to make, but was completely worth it. I don’t know what the secret was, but this was ridiculously tasty and filling! It didn’t look like a lot so I was shocked at how full I felt afterwards! I also added some pecans right before serving per another recipe’s suggestion and added a little broccoli too. DAMN! I’d like to say this was Meatless Monday Part Deux, but I did use beef stock in this, so I can’t really say that. I am too poor to buy meat at the moment though, so I’ll be eating mostly vegetarian for the next few days!

My dad wants to take me out to lunch on Friday. Here’s hoping we go to that AMAZING Indian place with the buffet! But really, I realize it’s to discuss my options with the whole divorce/moving out thing and how he plans on assisting me. Financially or otherwise. We shall see how this goes. I hope he doesn’t plan on talking about the past. The past is the past. My parents got divorced due to my dad’s infidelity. There’s nothing that can be done about it now and our family’s issues didn’t in any way affect my marriage. (Though it did help me see the signs a lot quicker than my mom saw them.) I’d really just rather talk about what will hopefully be my amazing future and how I’ll surely find someone who will treat me right and love me unconditionally.

I’ll let all of you know how it goes.

I need to sell my bike.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga (finally!), 1 hour at the gym (a very frustrating hour as it had been a long time since I’d run on a treadmill and I kept getting this INCREDIBLY painful stitch in my side preventing me from doing so…I was very sad)

When does hard work pay off?

I feel I’ve been doing nothing but working my ass off. My bills are due tomorrow and I’ve nothing to show for it. I went through and raised my prices a little on a couple of time-consuming pieces. (Basically, I’m not even making minimum wage on some of the pieces I make because they take up so much time.) I’m hoping this will help, but I feel as though I’m swimming in place. Moving, working hard, staying afloat, but going nowhere.

I need to sell my bike.

Breakfast:

Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp

Taken from: http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/10/breakfast-apple-granola-crisp/

3 pounds* of whatever apples, or mix of apples, you like to bake with, peeled, cored and cut into medium chunks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup flour
2 cups oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, as you wish; I used unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix apple chunks with lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and pinch of salt in a 9×13-inch baking dish until apples are evenly coated. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the honey. Stir in the flour, oats, almonds, coconut and another pinch of salt until clumps form. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture and bake in the oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the apples are softened and bubbly. Should the granola brown before you wish it to, cover the baking dish carefully with foil for all but the last few minutes of baking time, when removing the foil will help the granola recrisp. Cool to room temperature and then stash in the fridge to eat with your morning yogurt.

*400° was ridiculously too hot for this. I had to take mine out after 25 minutes because I could smell it burning. I picked out the burned pieces and did try to cover it and let it bake a little longer, but this didn’t really help much. 350° for 40 minutes would probably be perfect. Granted, I used only one little tiny apple that I had gotten from Panera on my lunch with Nicole and Gwendylon and it wasn’t nearly enough fruit, so I added raisins and dried cranberries. But I still feel the granola crumble does not need to be baked that hot. The apples will still bake just fine at a lower temperature for the same amount of time. While it tasted ok, this ended up being sub-par due to the burning (even though I picked out most of the burned parts) and I think I could do a lot better next time.

Lunch:

African Quinoa Peanut Soup

Adapted from: http://forkfingerschopsticks.com/quinoa-african-peanut-quinoa-soup/

Serves 6

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped small

1 red bell pepper, diced small

2 celery stalks, diced small

2 medium sweet potatoes, diced 1 inch pieces (about 3 cups) (I used just regular russet potatoes)

1 large jalapeno, deseeded and deveined, diced small (Didn’t have any, so I left this out)

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 small zucchini, diced 1 ½ inches

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

8 cups water

1 cup chunky peanut butter (fresh ground or jarred – natural without sweeteners/oil)

2 cups frozen or fresh okra, optional* (I actually added chickpeas instead)

Method

In a small bowl, rinse quinoa until water runs clear. Do not skip this step. Prepare and measure out all remaining ingredients in advance.
Heat a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot on medium-high heat, add oil and onion, red bell pepper, celery, sweet potatoes, jalapeno and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are slightly soft. Next add zucchini, minced garlic, cumin, oregano, pepper and salt; sauté 2 to 3 minutes, careful not to burn garlic. Add 8 cups water, deglaze pot with a wooden spoon. Add quinoa (rinsed and drained). Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked.
Remove about 1 1/2 cups of hot liquid from the soup, pour into a small bowl. Add peanut butter to small bowl, use a wooden spoon or a whisk to blend and make a thin paste. (This step prevents clumping.) Pour peanut paste into the soup, and mix well. Simmer 5 – 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot, topped with a few rough chopped peanuts.

Note: If using okra, add at the end of cooking and cook until it is just heated throughout – otherwise, if overcooked, it could get slimy. Frozen okra works best and do not thaw before cooking.

*This was good! VERY different and interesting! I do wish I had jalapenos because they would have gone really well with the peanut flavour. I pureed half of this because once again, I like thick soups. You don’t have to do that of course. ^_^ I also smashed most of the potato inside the soup. Really good, really unique!

Dinner:

I winged a lot of this. I did use a crust recipe (which of course I altered with whole wheat)

Quick and Easy Pizza Crust

Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Quick-and-Easy-Pizza-Crust/Detail.aspx?prop31=2

Ingredients

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour (I used half bread flour half whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or baker’s peel dusted with cornmeal. Spread with desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.

I made an alfredo pesto sauce out of milk, cream cheese, fresh grated Parmesan, garlic, fresh basil, olive oil and S&P. Just whatever amounts looked good and taasted good, I couldn’t tell you what quantities I used of each, I’ve no idea. I also topped this pizza with crumbled goat’s cheese, sliced mushrooms, diced tomato, baby spinach, vadallia onion, grated mozzarella and pine nuts. What an AMAZING Meatless Monday treat!!! Just INCREDIBLY fresh-tasting an delicious!

ALSO: I didn’t eat the entire pizza. I still have 3 pieces in the fridge. I’m feeling great!

Tomorrow is another “work my ass off” day. I’d love to actually go to the gym, maybe do some treadmill running, that would make me incredibly happy. I’d like to leave the house for a while and not be running errands/spending money I don’t have. I’m out of fruits and veggies though for the most part. I really have no veggies. I may HAVE to stop at the fresh market for some. Luckily, I can get out of there for less than $10 most of the time. This will have to be one of those times.

Exercise: 4 mile walk

Bunnies, cats and death on Meatless Monday

This is my first post inspired by another’s blog.

A beautifully written account of death and how one can react to it was published here by rabbitheartedjo. It was about a decomposing rabbit that she offhandedly saw in the road. It really opened my eyes to how different people with different minds, thoughts, even disorders…think so much differently than I do in incredibly similar situations. Do we choose how we react? Do our brains all intrinsically work the same but we program ourselves to react positively/negatively/indifferent to certain things? I do know for certain that I programmed my own disorder and I can program myself out, but what about others? Is it deeper? Harder? More complicated than that? How do our minds work?

I once was going on a walk, as I very very often do during the summer. I hear a terrible thud in front of me and watch as a beautiful black cat (much like the one I have now) is thrown from under the tire of a car in the middle of the road. Another passerby, who’d also witnessed the entire ordeal, asks me if there’s anything we should do. We walk out into the road, damn any car who wants to get by…they can go around us. We lean down over the cat. He’s gurgling, barely breathing. I think he can see me, but I’m not sure. It seems almost as if he’s looking through me. I ask the other passerby if we ought to move him. I touch the cat’s head, letting him know someone was there. His eyes glaze over in a way I’ve never seen before…the light literally fading out of them. His stomach goes flat. His last breath. His head hits the pavement, slowly, sadly. He dies under my gentle touch. We don’t know what we should do. He’s gone. So we just leave him. He was hit far enough to the side that people will probably just avoid his body.

It was by far the saddest thing I ever witnessed in my life.  I was happy though. Happy to know that in those last seconds, if he couldn’t see me, maybe he could feel me. He could feel that someone was there. That someone gave a shit that he was dying. Someone cared. The person who hit him didn’t bother stopping.

In the weeks to come, I would go walking. I walk to the post office pretty much every day, it’s a great way to get exercise. I would pass by the cat every day. Nobody bothered to move him . City workers never came to remove his body from the road. I watched him decompose. Deteriorate. Little by little, day by day. I wished I had brought a camera. I wanted to take a picture of him every day to remind myself how the cycle of life works. Dust to dust. Eventually, he was nothing but a small smear on the pavement. He was gone. Again.

It was the first time I’d ever witnessed real death. Yes, I’ve been to funerals. I’ve seen dead people. Dead things. Dead animals in the road. I’ve seen animals get hit and die. But having something basically die in your arms is so much different. Watching their eyes go from alive to dead. It was heart-wrenching.

And it was a most poignant and beautiful reminder that I was alive.

This experience was one of the first indicators that I had a problem I needed to fix.

Life is so wonderful. I adore being alive. I fear death. It’s pretty much the only thing I fear at all. I cannot let that affect how I live though. I live life every single day to its fullest. It’s incredibly difficult for me to sit and do nothing. I have to squeeze everything I can out of every minute of every day. I have to be HAPPY, there’s no time to waste one more damned second being depressed. Because you never know.

You never know when you’ll get hit by a car.

Breakfast:

Apple & Cinnamon Whole Grain Breakfast Strata
serves 6 to 8Taken from: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-apple-cinnamon-whole-gr-137484

8 eggs
2 cups 1% milk
1/3 cup organic cane sugar OR dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 pounds whole-grain loaf, sliced 1/4″ thick crosswise
3 medium firm apples (about 1 1/4 pound), cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick

For the glaze
3 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons 1% milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Lightly butter or oil a 9×13-inch casserole dish. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Whisk in the milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until thoroughly combined.

Cut the crusts off the bread slices, cutting each slice into a rectangular shape. Layer half of the bread slices in the bottom of the baking pan. Layer all of the apple slices on top of the bread. Top apple layer with the other half of the bread slices.

Pour the egg mixture over the layered bread and apples. Cover refrigerate overnight. (Note: The casserole can be baked immediately, but expect it not to be quite as dense and uniform in texture.)

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350°F. Cover the strata with aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 15 minutes. (Note: If your strata is coming straight out of the fridge, still cold, add an additional 10 minutes to the covered baking time.)

For the glaze, warm all of the ingredients together in the microwave or on the stovetop until quite soft. (I microwaved mine for 45 seconds.) Whisk thoroughly in a fork, then drizzle over the warm strata. Dust lightly with cinnamon.

Let the strata stand for 10 minutes to firm up, then serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit.

*I’m not certain why this was only mediocre. It had everything in it that I wanted, I don’t think I let it bake long enough, the eggs weren’t completely set. I would suggest that if you make this you let it bake a bit longer than instructed. Otherwise, it wasn’t terrible. Just not what I’d hoped for.

Lunch:

“Matar Paneer” inspired Soup with Peas, Goat’s Cheese and Chickpeas

2 cups home-canned crushed Tomatoes
2/3 cup Chickpeas
1/2 cup Peas
1/4 small Onion, diced
Fresh grated Ginger
1 oz Goat’s Cheese
1/2 t Coriander
1/2 t Paprika
1/3 t Cumin
1/4 t White Pepper
Fresh chopped Parsley
Salt to taste
Pine Nuts
1 T Olive Oil

Bring the crushed tomatoes to a simmer and let the chickpeas cook and soften in that for about 10 minutes. Add the corriander, cumin, paprika and white pepper. A bit of salt. Blend all that in a blender. Add the puree back to the pot and keep warm. While that is cooking, sautee the sweet onion, peas and fresh grated ginger in the olive oil. Add all that to the puree and let that get warm together for about another 5 mins. Melt in about an oz of goats cheese. Served with pine nuts on top and another little drizzle of olive oil for taste.

*This was incredibly delicious!!!  I actually feel incredibly smart for coming up with this. A friend and I were having a discussion about a certain Indian restaurant that I just love. The Matar Paneer is my favorite dish there (there’s lots I haven’t tried, but the last time I went, this was my favorite hehe.)  So I came up with this to sort of match those tastes. Just….wow. I was blown away with how perfect this came out. Very much made up for my disappointing breakfast! And PACKED with protein and good things for my body!

Dinner:

Black Bean and Spinach Tomato Sauce on Whole Wheat Linguini

Ohhh heck if I remember how I made this. Crushed tomatoes, 1.5 diced Romas, 1/3 can of drained black beans, handful of spinach, sliced mushrooms, garlic and onion (caramelized first in some olive oil and butter) and 1/4 cup parmesan melted in. Fresh chopped parsley, basil, some crushed red pepper, lime juice, a little sherry vinegar, S&P…put that on some whole wheat linguini. VERY good, very good for you and VERY filling! I didn’t finish this entire bowl. I just tossed the rest when I was full.

I’m learning now that I go to the grocery store and don’t even look at the candy. I feel for a split second before I walk in that I might want something sweet, and that its ok if I do. But then my mind wanders, I go into “I’m out of this” and “Do I need that?” and “How much is this compared to the other place?” mode and it completely slips my mind that I wanted candy in the first place. That never used to happen. I used to have to actively avoid walking by candy so it wouldn’t torture me. Now I think about it so little that I don’t even realize I’m standing right by it. I walk out and get in my car. Halfway home I remember “Oh yeah, I wanted to get something sweet…oh well, I forgot I guess.” My mind and thought processes are changing.

And it’s wonderful.

Exercise: 1 hour at the gym (husband woke up early and was here all night, so no yoga)

Last morning to myself :(

I know, it really sounds like I totally hate my husband or something. I don’t! I really don’t! I just really really really like being alone and having time to myself to do whatever I want. I don’t EVER get that anymore.

Anyway, I gotta pick him up (of course….) in half an hour, so I’m going to try to make this fast!

Breakfast:

Sausage, Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit

For the biscuit:

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2-3/4 teaspoons shortening
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons milk

I was ill this morning. I had a terrible headache and slept in till about 8:30 (which for me is very late). So this was all that I wanted. Nothing sweet, I was more in a savory mood. This biscuit recipe was ok…I liked the cheddar biscuits I made before better. But I think that I should have used buttermilk instead of regular milk and probably butter instead of shortening. Maybe next time!

Lunch:

Tuna Pasta Salad

Taken from: http://blog.easygourmetdinners.com/2009/07/creamy-tuna-salad-the-facts-about-my-nutrition-facts.html

255gr (9oz) tuna, packed in water, drained
2 hard cooked eggs, chopped  (130gr, 4.6oz)
100gr (3.5oz)  wholewheat pasta (a generous 1 cup)
2 tbs snipped chives
45gr (1.6oz)  firm goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/3 cup)
1 large, ripe tomato, cut into chunks (250gr, 8.8oz)

Mustard Yogurt Dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Mix all ingredients for salad (except dressing) in a large bowl.  When the pasta is done, drain, rinse lightly in cool water.  Add to bowl.  Add as much of the dressing as suits your taste; Stir and eat. The Nutrition Facts include all of the dressing.

Mustard Yogurt Dressing

1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
2 tbs whole grain mustard
1 tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 tbs good olive oil
1 tbs snipped chives
1 tbs snipped basil

Whisk all ingredients together.  It will be quite thick.

This makes about 3/4 cup dressing and keeps 4 – 5 days.  I use it on pasta, rice, barley salads as well as lettuce and spinach… And as a dip for veggies.

*This felt much healthier and lighter than using mayo or butter or something. My tummy needed something healthy after this crazy weekend! I did completely forget to add the hard-boiled egg and yet it was still totally delicious! I added peas which it did not call for…maybe that made up for the lack of egg! Hehe!

Dinner:

Butter Chicken in a Silky Sauce

Taken from: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/butter-chicken-in-a-silky-sauce/#axzz1ktEAymH5

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds chicken thighs, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 3 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 cup Greek-style (thick) yogurt
  • 7 tablespoons butter, chopped1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cardamom pods (crush pods slightly to release seeds and more flavor)(I just used ground Cardamom since I didn’t have any pods)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 cup cream or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
  • ADDED: Pineapple and Peas

Instructions:

Combine chicken, garlic, spices and yogurt in a covered container. Refrigerate for an hour or two.

 

Melt butter in a deep pan. Add vinegar, tomato paste, tomatoes, cardamom and cinnamon. Boil rapidly, stirring until sauce is thick (approximately 20 minutes).

Reduce heat to a simmer and add chicken. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through. Add cream or coconut milk, simmer a few minutes more, and garnish with chopped cilantro.

*DELICIOUS! Creamy, buttery and full of spices! I added pineapple and peas to this as well simply because it sounded good. And I was very right. ^_^ Simply indulgent! These are the sorts of dishes I shouldn’t be eating…but I do anyway. Because it makes me happy!

 

Tomorrow is Meatless Monday! I’ve got tofu ready and waiting for it! I’m very much looking forward to learning how to fry it properly.

You know what? I’ve gained weight. I’ve gained a fair amount of weight. I mean, not a shitton or anything. A healthy amount. I still don’t know exactly how much. But my clothes fit just a tiny bit tighter. Not a lot. But enough that its noticeable. My thighs touch again. Ever so slightly.

And its ok.

The ONLY POSSIBLY WAY for me to maintain a weight that low would have been to keep to 1,300 calories a day for the rest of my life. I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to do it. I never wanted that.

It wasn’t a desire, it was an obsession. I’m so grateful to be free from it.

Exercise: 20 mins of yoga (I had a TERRIBLE headache this morning and couldn’t do any more than that…) 1/2 hour on the stair-stepper

Meatless Monday #2

I ALMOST forgot actually to do Meatless Monday today! I was going to use bacon in my breakfast, until it hit me what day it was! After that MASSIVE steak I devoured yesterday, I definitely ought to stick to veggie meals today.

Breakfast:

Potato, Leek and Mushroom Quiche

I sorta messed up the crust on this slightly. It tasted GREAT, but it was more of a fluffy, cakey texture because I think I added too much liquid. I’d rather not post the recipe because of this fact, I can do better. But to be honest, I loved the texture! It just wasn’t technically a quiche crust. ^_^ I boiled the potato chunks then drained them.  I sauteed the leeks and mushrooms with a little olive oil, fresh thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. At the end of the saute, I added the cooked potato chunks till they were heated through. I used cottage cheese, sun-dried tomato shredded cheese, and topped with feta. I poured a mixture of egg, milk and cream over the top and baked it for 45 minutes. It was REALLY really good! I ate the whole thing. I am FULL! Lunch will end up being really light! SO much great food!

Lunch:

Roasted Green Pepper, Mushroom and Onion Sandwich with Mozzarella and Goat’s Cheese

I actually had very little in the way of veggies at this time, so I just threw all this onto a sheet into the oven for 15 mins or so to roast and toast it all up! Then I put it together and had it with an orange. Nothing fancy or spectacular, it was good, but I wish I had more to put onto it.

Dinner:

Linguini with Broccoli and Mushrooms with Mozzarella sauce

Not knowing that one can’t really make a mozzarella sauce, I tried making one. Whoops! Of course the mozzarella wouldn’t melt into the sauce and instead just sort of clumped up on top of the linguini, but hey! It still tasted really great! No need to post a recipe since I screwed it up, that seems to be the theme of my meals today. Tasting great but fucking up something crucial. So no recipes today I guess! Maybe I’ll do better tomorrow! (P.S. As usual, my dinner picture was a lighting NIGHTMARE :<…I need to find better lighting for after the sun goes down…)

 

I got one project started, the supplies of another project purchased, and will very possibly have the WHOLE day to myself tomorrow! Extremely exciting! I’m also very much looking forward to this weekend as I will have Thurs-Sunday all to myself!!! There will be very very much Doctor Who and Sherlock watching!! (Does the happiest dance ever!!!)

My only concern is that with my husband out of the house all weekend I might go a bit crazy with the baking and whatnot. I’ve been meaning to try and make all sorts of desserts and cookies and cakes and whatnot and I feel like I will go a bit overboard without anyone here to judge me, you know? I have a cookie-recipe-a-day calendar that’s just been filling my head with crazy ideas! I think maybe if I make a batch of cookies, I will take some to my brother’s house. He’s always up for a spontaneous visit! ESPECIALLY if I bring cookies! Hehe! Good idea?

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