Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Panko / Breadcrumbs’ Category

Injury advice?

My ankle is still a little swollen today, but not as bad as it was yesterday. I really really want to go to the gym. I could just work out on the stair stepper here, which is great for fat burn, but not too good for cardio. If I stick to the low-impact machines at the gym and don’t do any treadmill running, do you think it’ll be OK on my ankle? I can’t just sit here. I don’t want to injure myself any more though. It really doesn’t hurt that bad, just a little swollen.

I have big birthday party to go to this weekend! Special birthday cupcakes will be made. Oh yes they will. ^_^

Breakfast:

Baked Orange Coconut Banana Donuts

Taken from: http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2012/02/baked-orange-coconut-banana-donuts.html

Makes 8 donuts in this Wilton doughtnut pan

1/4 cup banana, mashed (about 1/3 of a large banana)

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

1 tablespoon orange zest

1/3 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup buttermilk (you could use 1/2 cup regular milk/cream/nut/soy milk + 1/2 teaspoon vinegar to mimic buttermilk if you don’t keep buttermilk on hand)

1 egg (or flax/chia egg or other egg replacer)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut flakes (I used Tropical Traditions unsweetened shredded coconut. They are unsweetened and very fine flakes. If using Baker’s or grocery-store brand shredded coconut, increase to 3/4 cup)

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup + all-purpose flour* (Note: depending on the type of coconut flakes used and how “runny” your mashed banana is, you may need to add more flour. Batter should be fairly thick. Thicker than pancake or waffle batter, not as thick as cookie dough. Add enough flour to reach a fairly thick batter, possibly 1/4 cup more)

Pre-heat oven to 325F and spray the donut pan with cooking spray, very well. In a microwave-safe bowl, mash the banana and add the butter. Microwave the banana and butter for 20 seconds, or until butter begins to melt, and stir to combine. Add orange zest, sugars, cinnamon, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the coconut flakes, baking powder, and flour and stir until just combined. Neatly spoon batter into donut cavities (or pour batter into a Ziploc bag and cut the corner off and then pipe the batter into donut pan). Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until dough is set and spring back when touched. Watch for signs of browning as coconut flakes tend to burn easily and baking times will vary. Allow donuts to cool for at least 5 minutes before removing them from the pan.

Orange Coconut Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

1 teaspoon+ orange zest (increase if you like more orange flavor)

1/2 cup+ powdered sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

1/2 teaspoon+ vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon+ shredded coconut

1 to 2 tablespoons milk or cream

While donuts are baking and cooling, make the frosting by combining all ingredients except for the cream. Note: All amounts are suggestions and add more or less of certain flavors, to taste and based on how thick or thin you prefer the glaze. Add cream slowly, whisking or stirring, until desired consistency is achieved. Spoon the glaze over cooled donuts or dip them in the glaze bowl. If you glaze the donuts while they are hot, the glaze will run more, and that’s okay, too. Add a final dusting of coconut flakes, orange zest, cinnamon-sugar mixture; sprinkles, or other extras over the top of the glazed donuts, if desired.

To make Gluten Free: Use a gluten-free flour blend. To make Vegan: Replace the buttermilk with full fat coconut milk or almond milk and add 1 teaspoon vinegar as noted in the recipe to mimic buttermilk; increase the amount of baking powder to 1.5 teaspoons. Use melted margarine or Earth Balance, use a flax/chia egg or other egg replacer rather than regular egg, use Tofutti instead of regular cream cheese.

*I made these into “donut holes” with a mini-muffin pan. I rolled them in the glaze and sprinkled a little orange zest and coconut on top. They blew me away! The flavours all balanced absolutely perfectly and the orange in particular really stood out! And they were gorgeous! I wish I had the patience to let the glaze sit and harden a little but alas, I was hungry. Hehe! It’s so hard to find good recipes using orange, so I will definitely be adding that as a category and using more of it!

Also, there was a bunch of leftover glaze. Instead of shoving it down my gullet, I took a queue from Nicole and murdered it in the sink by drowning! Hey, I’m making cupcakes this weekend, I really don’t need all that extra crap inside me! ^_^ Thanks for the inspiration Nicole!!

Lunch:

Leftovers!!! (Rare occasion!!!) Leftover Pork White Bean soup and Mac & Cheese! It helped free up a bunch of my day, so I had time to go supplies shopping and work out!

Dinner:

Crispy Orange Tofu

1 package super firm tofu, drained and chopped into 1-2 inch cubes

3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs.  In my opinion, far superior to regular.)

1 egg

1 tbsp water

1/4 cup flour

dash each of garlic powder, coriander and cinnamon

Orange Sauce: 

1 cup orange juice (I used fresh squeezed, because I had oranges)

4 tbsp rice vinegar

3 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp sweet Thai chili sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

Added (from a similar recipe, also take into consideration that I did a 1/4 recipe of the sauce above):

Juice of 1/2 of a small lemon
1 t Orange Zest
Ginger
Garlic
1/4 cup Water
1 t Cornstarch
To assemble the sauce, put all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring it to a boil.  Let it boil gently for awhile, maybe 10 or 15 minutes, until it reduces.  If it’s still too runny for your taste, whisk in a half a teaspoon of flour, and then cook for another 3-4 minutes.

For the tofu, set up three bowls, one with the flour, one with the panko and the spices, and one with the egg and the water (whisked together).  Spray down a cookie sheet with Pam and set the oven to 375 degrees.  With each chunk of tofu, dredge it in the flour, then the egg mixture, than coat in the panko/spice mixture, and set on the cookie sheet.  Do this for all the tofu.  Spray the tofu again with Pam before you put it in the oven.  Bake it, turning every 10 minutes or so, for about 30 minutes, or until the tofu is golden brown.

*I also sauteed some chopped onion, sliced carrots and broccoli with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. I made some sticky rice while I was sauteing the veggies. I put the small layer of rice at the bottom of my bowl, then added the veggies on top of that, then the tofu. I heated the sauce down until it was the thickness I like, then drizzled that on top of everything! SHIT SON this was amazing! The tofu???? You have no idea! I was so proud that it was baked instead of fried, it was the crispiness I’ve always wanted! It was SO PERFECT and the sauce was FABULOUS on top of it all! SO happy!

 

I did go work out! Only for an hour though to try and be nice to my poor ankle…I’ll take another anti-inflammatory before going to bed and I think it’ll be better by morning! It’s INCREDIBLY windy outside right now, which actually worries me a bit because we have a massive tree in the backyard. Last year a huge branch fell onto my car and crushed it. So I have good reason to worry. Let’s hope a tree doesn’t fall onto my house tonight!

My husband is out for the evening. He’s staying with some friends drinking and whatnot tonight. I stayed in to watch IT Crowd and made my amazing food! Super good evening! I feel bad as this is the second day in a row I’ve not done my yoga even though I had every intention to. I will get to in the morning definitely because my husband won’t be here. I wanted to do it tonight, but I’m worn out. It would be better if I tried the new moves that I want to try in the morning anyway after I’ve rested my ankle a while longer.

I’ve decided what cupcakes I’m making tomorrow: Hot Buttered Rum!

Exercise: 1 hour at the gym

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Running

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

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

Because now I LOVE to run!

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

Breakfast:

Cottage Cheese pancakes

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

Recipe

Doubled from a recipe which appeard in Cuisine at Home

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: About 14 3 ½” pancakes

1 cup milk

½ cup sugar

2 eggs

4 T butter, melted and cooled

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

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup small curd cottage cheese

I also added 1/2 of a banana, sliced

Directions:

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

Caramel-Blueberry Syrup

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

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

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

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

Lunch:

Bacon Avocado Wrap

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

Dinner:

Swedish Cardamom Meatballs over Orange Mashed Potatoes

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

Swedish Cardamom Meatballs

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orange Mashed Potatoes

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

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

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

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

4. Mix in the salt and the onions.

-serves 3

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

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

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

Gumdrops and magic sugary sprinkles

Refined sugar, you my best friend.

Unfortunately.

I hate to love you, but I do. SO much. And I’ve missed you dearly.

Too sweet? You say something can be too sweet?

That’s like saying “This amusement park ride was FAR too fun, I will never ride it again!” or “Oh Benedict Cumberbatch, all this crazyamazing best sex of my entire life we’ve been having has just GOT to stop!”

No. Such. Thing.

When I was a kid, my weekly $5 allowance went toward one of 2 things: Lion King collectors cards and candy.

I would scour the house up and down to find loose change to buy candy with. Couch cushions, mum and dad’s dresser drawers that they often threw loose change onto, the laundry pile in the basement where change might fall out of someone’s pocket, etc etc.

The biggest difference was that this was ALL I ate. I never had breakfast. I was far too lazy to pack a lunch. I’d rather buy Little Debbie snack cakes with some change that I found at school instead and have that for lunch. The only actual meal I ever ate every single day was dinner. Everything else was just candy.

Though I would definitely not say that my sugary addiction is the big thing that had gotten me into trouble with my weight, it certainly doesn’t help it. Now that I DO have 3 meals a day I have to watch my sugar intake like a hawk. I can’t eat it the way I used to, but I still THINK that I can. I can have sugar. I can have a candy bar when I feel like it. I can make a sweet breakfast if I want. Just not every single day. And of course I CANNOT replace meals with it.

And that’s actually really hard for me.

That being said…

Breakfast:

Strawberry-Lemon Cheesecake Squares

Taken from: http://sugarcrafter.net/2010/06/08/strawberry-lemon-cheesecake-squares/

  • 1 cup vanilla cookies, crushed (No cookies, I did more of a crushed Honey Bunches of Oats-type crust)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 Tbsp cold butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest (No lemons, so I used 1 T lemon honey in place of some of the sugar)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped
  • Lemon zest, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8″ pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cookie crumbs and flour. Using a pastry blender, incorporate the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Press into the bottom of the pan and bake 10 minutes.

In another medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until well-blended. Add in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, and baking powder. Stir in the strawberries, and then pour over the warm crust. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the center is set.

*Yep, I basically had cheesecake for breakfast! I was smart enough to make a 1/3 recipe and then only eat half of it. I was too lazy to bake my crust first, so though it tasted great I wish it was crispier on the bottom (it was perfect around the top where it was exposed in the oven!) so next time I will make it as written. This was of course wonderful! Using the lemon honey gave it that perfect lemon undertone that the zest would have given it, so I did good!  REALLY really glad I only ate half! I mean, thats all I wanted, but this was just a sugar/butter/cheese factory here! Doesn’t get much worse for you than this lol! Don’t know when the hell I’ll ever eat the leftovers, maybe as a dessert instead?

Lunch:

Quinoa and Potato Croquettes

Taken from: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/quinoa-potato-croquettes-10000000388862/print/

Ingredients

  • 1 (10-ounce) baking potato
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat cottage cheese, drained
  • 3 tablespoons grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Preparation

Pierce potato with a fork; place on paper towels in microwave oven. Microwave at high 5 minutes or until fork pierces potato easily, turning potato after 3 minutes. Wrap in a towel; let stand 5 minutes. Peel and mash potato.

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; add quinoa and salt. Cook 15 minutes; drain.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, cilantro, and jalapeño; sauté 1 minute. Add cumin, oregano, black pepper, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Combine potato, quinoa, onion mixture, cottage cheese, and cheddar cheese in a bowl, stirring well. Let stand 5 minutes; stir in egg.

Shape potato mixture into 10 patties. Carefully dredge each patty in panko. Place on a baking sheet. Cover and chill 10 minutes.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in skillet over medium heat. Add 5 patties to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and patties.

*I’m still learning how to make these right. I always make them too flat and thin. So I had a hard time cooking these because the size specified seemed a bit big. I found another recipe that said you should scoop a 1/4 cup and flatten it to 1/2 inch thickness. So I will remember that for next time! Otherwise, these still tasted GREAT! I always think because they never come out pretty because I always shape them wrong that they won’t taste good, then they taste SO good that I remember why I like them. ^_^

Dinner:

Lamb Tagine (Serves 4)
Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 2-3 medium onions roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed to a paste
  • 3 tsp Ras-el-hanout or 1 tsp each of ground cinnamon, cumin and coriander
  • 1 small red chilli chopped (add more or less depending on how hot you want it)
  • 1 tin (400g) of chickpeas drained
  • 1 pint of stock (any kind)
  • 1 tin (400g) of chopped tomatoes
  • Half a shoulder of lamb on the bone (I used our crock pot ham)
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and chopped into large chunks (you could use squash or sweet potato)
  • A good handful of dried apricots
  • Salt and pepper
  • A large handful of chopped fresh coriander

Method:

  • In a large pan over a gentle heat soften the onions in a little olive oil.
  • Add the garlic, chilli and spices to the pan and cook for a minute more.
  • Add the chickpeas, stock and tomatoes, mix well and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the lamb, carrots and apricots, season to taste and put in a low oven for 3-4 hours until the lamb falls off the bone.
  • Stir in the coriander just before serving and serve with cous cous or flatbread.

*Soooo I nixed all of those last steps because I had cooked ham already. So I just made the awesome chickpea apricot sauce stuff and put it on top of a chunk of ham. SOOOOOOOOOOO good! I of course can see how this would also be even more amazing with lamb, but the ham was cooked so well that it was a good substitution! I need to work with more dried fruits. Also, I need more apricots. Hehe.

I got a LOT accomplished today! I finished *2* projects, did my yoga, went to the gym, made great food and left the kitchen in immaculate condition. And I felt good about myself all day! Tomorrow I work my retail job for 6 hours. I traded shifts with this girl I have a big crush on as a favour to her. (And of course to get in good with her.) I think I’ve mentioned her before. She’s a cutie. And she laughs at all my jokes. I like her.

I’ll be sure to let you know if switching shifts with her to help her out gets me laid or not.

If nothing else my husband will have sex with me.

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

Late morning, gloomy day, but still high in spirits!

The sun hasn’t peeked through yet today, which lead me to wake up a bit late. I’ve been getting up around 7:40 lately, which is late for me, I don’t like it. I like to be up by 7. I may start setting my alarm if I can’t always count on the sun to wake me. My subconscious also seems to know when I’ve set an alarm and will wake me usually a couple minutes before it goes off. Our brains are cool.

Anyone else out there prefer being an early riser?

When I was a teenager, I don’ t think I saw the sunrise for years and years. I would sleep till 4 PM if I could. I think our bodies really do change and you require different kinds of sleep as you get older.

Being very curious I found this article from the National Sleep Foundation. Interesting!

So I haven’t yet had breakfast and it’s nearly noon. I picked something kinda complicated that takes time to bake and all so it’s somewhat my own fault. But I wanted blackberry bars. So that’s what I get. ^_^ Because now I eat what I really want. I’m willing to wait for what it is I want. If I settle for something else, I’ll feel unsatisfied and may get kinda bingey later. It’s happened before. So I have to make what I want. Hehe. Also, I’m not starving or anything. My stomach hasn’t even growled yet this morning.

Breakfast:

Blackberry Ginger Bars

*While I think these tasted great and were worth the wait, I would use fresh ginger next time in the topping rather than ground ginger as I felt I couldn’t taste it at all. I basically just ate this with a spoon straight out of the ramekin I made it in (I made a 1/4 recipe), but it could easily be cut into bars. The crust was yummy, I managed to not overcook it!

Lunch:

Havarti and Tomato Baked Tuna Melt

I mixed the tuna with light mayo, lemon juice and this amazing sweet Harry and David pepper relish. I added a little basil, salt and pepper. Then topped that with a few slices of tomato and Havarti cheese, baked it at 350 for half an hour (until the cheese was melty) and put it on this HUGE piece of bread. I’m still learning what kind of bread is best for sandwiches like this. ^_^ Really really good, if I get the right bread it will be even better.

Dinner:

Sourdough Stuffing with Pears and Sausage

  • YIELD: 12 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)
  • COURSE: Side Dishes/Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 8 cups (1/2-inch) cubed sourdough bread (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 pound turkey Italian sausage
  • Cooking spray
  • 5 cups chopped onion (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 cups chopped celery (I didn’t have any, I used yellow pepper instead)
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled Bartlett pear (about 2 medium)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425°.

Arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 9 minutes or until golden. Place in a large bowl.

Remove casings from sausage. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage, and cook for 8 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add sausage to bread cubes, tossing to combine. Set aside.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot; sauté 10 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Stir in mushrooms; cook 4 minutes. Stir in pear, basil, tarragon, and salt; cook 4 minutes or until pear begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Add pear mixture to bread mixture, tossing gently to combine. Stir in broth and pepper.

Place bread mixture in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; cover with foil. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake stuffing an additional 15 minutes or until top of stuffing is crisp.

*Very good! I also added a bit a Feta to make it feel more like a main dish than a side dish. It still felt like a gigantic side dish hehe…but it was what I wanted and it was still good! I used up the rest of my clearance bread (I keep letting the last chunk of all the bread I buy go bad and I needed to stop doing that) and the very last pear. FINALLY! I didn’t throw ANY of them out this year! I’m proud!
I got one more of my projects finished! WOO HOO! But I had to give up my working out time to do it. Boooooo. But I’ll get to go tomorrow, maybe I’ll spend an extra half hour there or something to make up for it, I don’t know. I have to get 1 more of these projects done tomorrow too, so if I can get it done in a reasonable amount of time, I’ll treat myself to more time at the gym. ^_^ I feel bad about not going…but I was up and active while working. So it’s ok!

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga

Yes! We have no cupcakes…we have no cupcakes today

Well I wanted to pick up a dozen cupcakes today (regardless of whether we have a party or not) and it didn’t occur to me that I cannot just walk into a specialty store and demand a dozen cupcakes 2 days before Christmas thinking I can just GET them. I should have placed an order a week ago. Silly me…ah well! No big deal! I’ll probably just make some myself today anyway! I need to do a fair bit of experimenting being that I’ve never actually MADE cupcakes before and plan on making them for my family as Christmas presents. I figure…I dunno, how hard can they be? Right? Right? If I experiment, my husband had better reap some form of benefit out of it because I’d rather not eat them all myself!

Breakfast:

Pumpkin Sweet Potato Tamale Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 2 chipotle chiles, minced
  • 1 tsp adobo sauce from chipotle can
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 14 oz can tomato sauce (your favourite kind, I used plain)
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn

For cornbread topping:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp molasses

Directions:

Brown beef in a large pan with onion, garlic, peppers, sweet potato, and spices. Add in sauce, beans, and corn, and let simmer for 30 mins.

While beef mixture is simmering, mix together the cornbread ingredients. You can separate the dry and wet, but I’m not picky. The pumpkin and juices from the filling usually keeps it from getting too dry from over-mixing anyways.

When the beef is done simmering, pour it into a 9×13 casserole dish and pour cornbread batter overtop. Bake in a 400F oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the cornbread clean.

*I didn’t use any sweet potato, just pumpkin chunks and pumpkin puree (fresh). There was a very similar recipe that also used cream cheese in the filling so I added about an ounce or so of that as well. This was super good, I tried desperately to get my husband to try it as well and of course A) He  insisted he didn’t want any and B) Later he complained while we were out running errands about how fucking hungry he was and that he was going to pass out unless he had something to eat. I had to stop at Wendy’s for him. He got one of those chicken wrap things. So that inspired me to make…

Lunch:

Grilled Panko Chicken Ceasar Wrap

1 Flatout Whole Wheat Sundried Tomato wrap
About 4 oz Chicken, cut into 4 strips
1/4 onion, sliced
1/3 cup (or so) of Panko breadcrumbs
About 1 T Italian Seasoning
1 t salt (I use Kosher)
1/2 Egg, beaten
Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
Newman’s Own Creamy Cesar Dressing
Reduced Fat Feta cheese
Classico Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Fresh Spinach
1 T + 1 t Olive Oil

Mix together the Panko, Italian seasoning and salt onto a plate. Dredge chicken strips through egg and then through breadcrumb mixture. Heat olive oil in a pan until glistening. Add chicken and cook till golden brown on both sides. Remove from pan and wipe out any extra oil. Add a little extra oil (about 1 t) to pan and cook onion until translucent. Get your wrap ready! Spread on the tomato pesto (or the spread of your choice!) and add the cooked chicken. Top with the cooked onions. Drizzle on some Cesar dressing, then top with cheeses. Add some fresh spinach on top of that. Fold up, spray with a little oil and throw onto a foreman grill for about 3.5 minutes. Deliciousness will surely ensue!!!

Dinner:

Ingredients

1 10 oz package whole grain penne pasta (I didn’t have whole grain… :<)

3 Tablespoons Flour

2 Cups Fat Free Milk

14.5 ounces reduced sodium chicken broth

4 cloves garlic

1 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 Cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/2 Cup canned pumpkin

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1.5 tsp minced fresh sage

dash of nutmeg

Chopped walnuts

Directions

Cook Penne Pasta

While pasta is cooking stir flour, milk and chicken broth together, set aside.

Saute garlic in olive oil.

Slowly stir in milk mixture, parmesan, canned pumpkin, parsley, sage, and nutmeg.

Cook until thickened, stirring occasionally.  Add Penne Pasta and stir.  Top with 1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts.

*Perfect ending to a perfect day! Creamy, delicious, REALLY simple, and I still get my protein in there with the walnuts!

I know you’re all worried but DON’T WORRY! I DID in fact make a tester batch of cupcakes! They were out of this world delish! They need just a LITTLE bit of tweaking, but otherwise they were seriously yummy and addicting. I ate like 4 of them. Granted, I made some in this batch a little different, left things out in this one, added stuff in that one, etc…so I could compare and make an informed decision as to how I want to prepare them for my family and friends. BUT…I still ate 4 cupcakes hehe. SO EXCITED to try again!!!

Exercise: I did not work or exercise today…I ran around running errands and then baking like a crazy person, so I had very little rest if thats any consolation to you! ^_^

Pear day #2 (this time with more pear!)

So I semi-failed at pear day #1 being that I had NO time when I got home from my grandma’s to mess with anything complicated…so instead I made fancy mac and cheese . Having to wake up at 4:30 in the morning really motivates one to just say “Fuck it, I’m not screwing with this right now, I’m making something easy!” So today I’m hoping to try again and am hoping this time I’ll get at least a dinner in as well with pear. It ought to be a mildly long day at work, but I’ll be home in time to make myself something lavish before having to wake up at 4:30 in the morning again. Bah!

Breakfast:

Dried Pear and Cardamom Scones

Serves: 8
    Prep time:
34 cup all-purpose flour
14 cup whole wheat flour
18 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
14 tsp salt
tsp cardamom (ground)
112 tbsps butter
5 tbsps low-fat buttermilk
12 tsp lemon rind (grated)
12 tsp vanilla extract
12 egg
12 cup pears (chopped dried)
1 tsp all-purpose flour
cooking spray
12 egg white (lightly beaten)
1 Preheat oven to 350°.
2 Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cardamom in a large bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
3 Combine buttermilk, rind, vanilla, and egg in a medium bowl; stir in dried pears. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist (dough will be sticky).
4 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust top of the dough with 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, and pat into an 8-inch circle. Cut dough into 8 wedges; arrange wedges 1/2 inch apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush egg white over wedges. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

*I of course cut this down to 4 scones instead of 8. Also, I used fresh pear instead of dried. Didn’t seem to have an adverse effect whatsoever. Actually I was shocked…SHOCKED at how beautiful these came out as I’d never made scones before. I was also INCREDIBLY grateful that the recipe specifically states that the batter/dough will be sticky. It was so sticky, I would have been SURE I was doing something wrong had it not said so lol. I left one of these for my husband. He’s started asking me now what I plan on making for breakfast. Looking forward to what I might leave for you, eh? ~_^

Lunch:

I actually already had this, this is a repeat picture. I had the leftovers from this chicken, peach, goats cheese pasta dish from a few days back for lunch at work today along with an apple. YUM!

Dinner:

Pumpkin Meatballs in Pumpkin Pear sauce

Meatballs:
1/4 lb Lean Ground Beef
Heaping 1/8 cup pureed Pumpkin
1/2 Egg
1/4 cup Panko + another 1/4 cup for rolling
Allspice
Cinnamon
Half a handful of chopped Walnuts
1 T Parmesan

Sauce:

About 2 T finely chopped Onion
1 clove fresh grated Garlic
1 T unsalted butter
1/4 cup cooked Pumpkin
1/2 cup Apple Cider
1/4 cup Pear, cut into small cubes
1  T Coconut Milk (next time I would use a little more)
1 t Cornstarch
1 T Brown Sugar (I THINK I added this…)
Nutmeg
Cardamom
Ginger

Stir fry included:
1 cup Shitake Mushrooms
1 grated Carrot
1 sliced Parsnip
1/2 fresh Pear, cut into chunks

Combine all meatball ingredients and mix lightly but thoroughly with your hands. Form into balls. Dredge through more panko to coat each meatball. Heat up a saucepan with some olive oil and place each meatball in the pan. Turn over a couple times while cooking, about 10-15 minutes all together. Remove from pan and wipe out leftover oil. Add a little more fresh olive oil and stir fry veggies until parsnips are soft. Combine all sauce ingredients and add to pan. Add pear. Add meatballs and cook through till warmed. Serve on top of rice or noodles.

*I actually wish that I had MORE sauce in this. I may actually make it a bit more pumpkiny and creamy next time, but otherwise this was DELISH! The meatballs were especially amazing. I might nix the mushrooms next time though, I don’t think they went particularly well with this. Also, I made far too many noodles, next time I won’t overdo it on that either hehe.

I got to run around like a crazy person at work all day which was AWESOME. It gets me exercise and makes the day go SO much faster when you’re not stuck up at a register for 8 hours. I work one more early morning on Saturday and then I attempt my Christmas gift for my family….cupcakes! I will of course take lots of pictures!

Onion and fry fail!!!

Didn’t take me long today to mess up! Well, not drastically or anything, but I made what would have been a really great panko eggplant and egg dish with a salsa on top. I used WAY too much onion and so in the end, that was basically all I could taste. Which was a huge shame because when I got a bite of just eggplant it was quite good! On top of that, I’m still afraid of using oil, which is fine, a small bit of spray oil would have been fine, but I didn’t clean the pan in between each spray, so whatever oil was left on there from the previous round would burn. So the house was filled with smoke after making these.  Ah well, I won’t post the measurements of all the ingredients since I messed that up, but I will post all the ingredients I used and just be warned, don’t use too much onion!

Breakfast:

Panko fried Eggplant with Salsa and Egg

Eggplant (about 10 slices)
Panko breadcrumbs
2 Eggs
Tomato
Onion
Fresh Cilantro
Balsamic Vinegar
Basil
Sprinkling of grated Parmesan
Garlic
Splash of Lime juice
A&P to taste

I beat one of the eggs and dipped each side of the sliced eggplant in it, then coated each piece with Panko. Then I fried each side for a couple minutes. I have a small pan so I had to do these in about 3 batches. Idiced up some onion, tomato and minced some garlic and fresh cilantro. I tossed it all in a bowl with basil, some Italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar. Next time I might throw it into a pan just to warm it up because the cold salsa on the eggplant actually wasn’t very pleasant and cooled down the eggplant too much for my taste. And of course I’d use less onion next time due to the fact that its STILL, half an hour later, the only thing I can taste in my mouth right now lol! I topped it all with a fried egg and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese. Lets hope I don’t fail my lunch!

Lunch:

Tenderloin Steak Sesame stir fry

3 oz uncooked Steak Tenderloin
1 cup (or so) Broccoli
1 cup Mushrooms
2/3 Orange Sweet Pepper
1 clove Garlic
Sesame Seeds

Sauce ingredients

1/2 dried Chilie, minced
1/8 cup Soy Sauce
Dash (or two) of Worcestershire sauce
Dash Hot Sauce or Chilie oil
1/4 cup Beef Stock
1 T Rice Vinegar
1/2 t Cornstarch
Fresh grated Ginger
S&P to taste

Hopefully I remembered all that. I mixed the beef with the sesame seeds and let sit while I cut the other veggies and mixed the sauce ingredients in a separate bowl. I cooked the beef in a TINY bit of sesame oil (1/2 t) until barely browned (just the way I like it, still mooing!) and then set aside. I wiped out the pan this time and added a little more sesame oil (about 1/2 T) and cooked the veggies until cooked. Then I added my sauce and then beef and cooked until sauce was thickened just a little bit. I served it on top of my FAVORITE vermicelli noodles! I enjoyed this experiment way better than the beef recipe from yesterday. Nice and meaty tasting!

Dinner:

Ok ok I didn’t take this picture. I went to work, brought my camera and everything, and forgot to take a picture of my soup. But it sort of looks like I took it since its in the same bowl I use! But anyway, I had 2 cups of Italian Wedding Soup out of the cafe at my work. Someday I will make my own, but for now I really like the one they sell in our cafe!

Today went well for me. I was feeling good about myself and got out and got moving at work. I have a lot of “working from hom” work tomorrow, so I will either go on a walk or get on my stair stepper for at least an hour since I won’t be on my feet the rest of the day.

Morning weigh-in: 123 lbs
Exercise: 7.5 hours of retail work