Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Pineapple’ Category

Friends walking in on you naked

Well, I sort of invite that sort of thing. Being that I leave my doors unlocked and all.

It started off normally enough with breakfast:

Pineapple and Yogurt on Cardamom Oatmeal

I made oatmeal with milk and pineapple juice instead of water, then I added brown sugar, a pinch of salt and a large pinch of cardamom. I topped it with some pineapple chunks and a big dollop of greek yogurt. Indulgent!!!

Lunch:

Boring PB&J. But always yummy!

Dinner:

While it doesn’t look like it, this is one of my go-to easy recipes with BBQ sauce and honey mustard!

BBQ and Honey Mustard Stir Fry

Adapted from: http://www.frenchs.com/recipe/honey-mustard-bbq-chicken-stir-fry-RE0476

Ingredients:

1 box (10 ounces) couscous pasta

1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cut into strips (No chicken, so I used mushrooms and peas!)

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 medium onion, sliced

1/3 cup FRENCH’S® Honey Dijon Mustard or FRENCH’S® Honey Mustard

1/3 cup CATTLEMEN’S® Award Winning Classic Barbecue Sauce

Directions:

Prepare couscous according to package directions. Keep warm.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry chicken in batches 5 to 10 minutes until or until browned. Transfer to bowl. Drain fat.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet until hot. Stir-fry vegetables 3 minutes until crisp-tender. Return chicken to skillet. Stir in 2/3 cup water, mustard and barbecue sauce. Heat to boiling, stirring often. Serve over couscous.

*This is a good comfort food for me for some reason. I just love BBQ sauce! I also wanted to be sure to EAT something just in case G came over after work and we’d end up going out “just for coffee” but would end up ordering food as well…if I go when I’m not hungry hopefully I’ll hold off on the food ordering!

I took a shower after dinner (once again, just in case) and had music up somewhat loud. While I was in my room trying to find something to wear, a close friend of mine walks into my apartment. I don’t hear her at all as my music is too loud, so she has to yell at me to get my attention! I decide I might as well thrown on a towel (even though with this friend it TOTALLY doesn’t even matter) and we sit at my kitchen table and talk for a few minutes. She decides she wants to go crash my work and steal G since he’ll be getting out of there in about an hour. We go and he is absolutely delighted to see us! It always makes me so happy to be around him! He tells me how much he’s missed me and how he was hoping I would visit or put a note on his car. I like very much that we can share these things with each other now! We ask him if he’d like to get coffee with us after he gets out of work. He accepts and meets us later at the restaurant. He and my friend get along wonderfully! We have a fabulous time and chat late into the night.

My friend eventually has to leave and asks G if it is ok for him to take me home. (Of course it is.) So he and I hang out for a while longer talking and talking and talking. You can’t get us to shut the hell up. The only 2 things that have consistently worked to get us to stop talking is good food or making out. And even that second part is a bit inconsistent on the conversational part…sometimes we talk while we’re doing that too…

He leaves around 5. He of course won’t stay. I of course don’t understand why.

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I <3 Healthy Eating!

It’s been a good week! I feel great, I look great, I’m happy!

My husband passed his bartender test! He’s an officially licensed alcoholic beverage artist now!

He went out again last night, it’s really nice that he has friends now who are willing to drag his ass around. I also really like having the bed all to myself! I sleep MUCH more comfortably by myself. I dunno, I can just stretch out all the way across the damn thing and its so much more comfy than jamming your knees into your significant others back all night (or really, trying to AVOID doing so). So my morning has been very relaxing and uneventful. I got the chance to comment in some of the blogs I follow, responded to a couple of potential customers, and squeezed in my yoga. I will soon be off to get some work done!

It’s Meatless Monday!

Breakfast:

Strawberry and Pineapple Brown Rice Pudding

1/2 cup uncooked Brown Rice
Scant 1 cup Water
1 cup 2% Milk
1/2 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Vanilla extract
3  mashed Strawberries
1/3 cup Pineapple, roughly chopped
1/3 cup sliced Strawberries
1.5 T Molasses
1/4 t Salt
1/8 cup shredded unsweetened Coconut
Half a handful of Pistachio Nuts

Heat the water to a boil and add the rice. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the rice has absorbed most of the water. Add the milk, cinnamon, salt, coconut and mashed strawberries and simmer, uncovered this time, another 20 minutes until a creamy consistency. Add molasses and fruit. Take off of the heat and allow to cool and thicken for 5 minutes. Throw the nut of your choice on top (I of course have a penchant for pistachios!) and a little extra shredded coconut!

*Great for people who don’t want their breakfasts “too sweet” (whatever that means), there was still just enough for someone like me! Nice and creamy, filling, lots of great nutrients  and good things for you! And since it was sweetened with molasses there were no refined sugars! YAY! If I made this again I would probably add a little honey drizzled on top, I can’t help it! I just love things sweet!

Lunch:

Ok I’m SO sad because I took a GORGEOUS picture of my beautiful soup with cute little sliced almonds on top and bright green chopped cilantro and it was pretty pretty pretty! Then I accidentally deleted it off my camera as I was moving pics onto my computer. GAAAAAH! :< So I’m using the picture off of the website I took the recipe from. SAD!

Butternut Squash and Almond Butter Soup

¼ cup water
1 onion
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
4 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup almond butter
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp braggs liquid aminos
½ tsp crushed red pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Pre-preparations include peeling and chopping the butternut squash, so it’s assumed that part is already completed. Place the water into a large pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook stirring frequently for about 2 minutes.

Add the squash, cumin and coriander. Cook stirring frequently for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients except the cilantro and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring occasionally to make sure ingredients are well combined.

Puree in a blender, Vitamix or food processor. Add any additional water so that it’s at a consistency that you like. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

A common practice with any soup is to make a double batch of it and freeze the left over portions for another day.

Options:

I like this soup recipe quite spicy, so frequently add cayenne pepper, fresh ground black pepper and a very special Habanero oil garlic sauce I have access to here locally. Ginger would also add a nice kick in the colder fall and winter months. Experiment with your flavors. Turmeric would be a great addition to this recipe as well.

If you like, add 2 Tbsp of ground chia seeds before blending for additional fiber, nutrients and Omega 3 fat’s.

*GOD I love soups! This was wonderful, filling, amazing! I didn’t have any vegetable broth (you’d think I’d learn to keep some on hand at all times by now) so I just used water. I did in fact make mine spicy as well with crushed red pepper and Habanero sauce. Just sooooo good! AND I’m pretty impressed with my almond butter if I do say so myself.

Dinner:

Butternut Squash and Tofu Curry on Zucchini Noodles

Ingredients

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 pound cubed butternut squash (I’d already roasted mine)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 pound extra-firm tofu, dry-fried or deep-fried
2 tablespoons soy sauce (to marinade the tofu)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (also for the marinade)
1 14-ounce can coconut milk (I didn’t have any so I used low-fat evaporated milk)
2 tablespoons jarred green curry paste (I used a sweet red curry paste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus more for adjusting seasoning
1 cup thinly sliced basil (I chopped mine)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
pinch cayenne (to taste)
1/2 tsp sea salt (more to taste)

Okay this took a few steps. I had to fry my tofu, which I did in just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. After they were done I let them drain on a paper towel and then soak in a marinade of soy sauce, rice vinegar and a little salt & pepper.

After that, I sauteed the onion, garlic, ginger and mushrooms together. After they were done I took them off the heat and put them aside.

Then I mixed together the evaporated milk, curry paste, brown sugar, fish sauce, basil, curry powder, cumin, cayenne powder and salt. I poured the sauce ingredients into the pan that I sauteed the onions in and let it reduce and thicken a little. Then I added the veggies back in, then the tofu with the marinade. And allowed it all to reduce and thicken. Add some cornstarch to thicken if you’d like. I added the roasted butternut squash (that I had already cooked earlier) and let it warm through.

Zucchini Noodles

3 small zucchini
1/2 t salt

If you have a mandolin/slicer, julienne the zucchini into small strips. If not, take a peeler, slice them with that, then julienne them by hand from there (which is what I had to do). Place them in a colander and toss them with the salt. Let them sit as long as you can, half an hour at the very least. Take a paper towel and lightly squish as much liquid out as you can. Then I just warmed them up in the microwave before putting the squash tofu curry on top.

*Pretty impressive! I would probably not put this on top of zucchini noodles again, those should be used for more Italian-type dishes. But I had zucchini that I needed to use up, so I used it anyway. And since I’ve been trying to keep things light lately, it made me ultimately feel better about myself to use them. The curry turned out WONDERFUL despite the fact that I didn’t have any coconut milk. You can never go wrong with curry and butternut squash! FAB!

 

I actually did not go to the gym today. I took that time out to take my husband out to apply at some places and go grocery shopping because he was out of food. Also, I had gone 5 days in a row. I know that the body needs rest to repair itself and build muscle and etc. Normally I would have at least done some stair stepping, but I figured a good full day’s rest would be good for me. I DID get to do a little shopping for myself as well, so it was still a good day!

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga

Happy “I like my significant other” Day!

Yeah mine’s alright.

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

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

Why is that?

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

I might try that rhubarb pie again soon.

Breakfast:

Baked Hawaiian Oatmeal

by theUngourmet

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

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

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

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

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

Lunch:

Lentil, Tomato, Red Pepper and Feta Salad Sandwich

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

Dinner:

Baked Manicotti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Things I wish I would have changed:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feeling big today

Though the size 5 pants I bought were already just a little tight on me (I was irrationally hoping I would lose even more weight, so I bought them anyway), I’ve completely outgrown them if you will. While this is not technically a bad thing (what exactly did I expect if I already barely fit into them and I needed to gain weight?) I still am feeling fat. I want to weigh myself, but shouldn’t. I can’t here obviously, but if I wanted to I could at my gym. I haven’t weighed myself in over a month and I admit, I like not knowing what I weigh. But at the same time, I feel like I ought to have some sort of guideline to know whether or not I’ve gained as much weight as I wanted or maybe I’ve gained too much.

But does it matter?

That’s what it really comes down to. And I’ve decided it doesn’t. I’m just going to go buy a new pair of jeans and keep doing what I do and I ought to be able to maintain what I’ve got. I would say if I get any bigger than this I should seriously reconsider my workout/caloric intake routine, but for now I am fine.

Also, it smells like Christmas in here with this ham that’s been cooking all night! It’s still doing its thing in the crock pot, so I will leave it be for breakfast and do something else, but lunch and dinner are most likely going to consist of ham! I bought some bread specifically to make a sammich out of it for lunch! Excited!!!!

Breakfast:

Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits and Spicy Sausage Gravy

I had a friend request I make some biscuits and gravy, of course I had to up the ante!

Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits, makes 10 biscuits
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
2 cups flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
12 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 cold buttermilk, shaken
1 cold large egg
1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar

Butter topping:

1/4 cup butter
1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley

1. Heat oven to 425ºF. Add the egg to the buttermilk in a measuring jug and beat to combine, set aside. Take a tablespoon of the flour and add it the grated cheese. Toss to coat the cheese with the flour, set aside. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper and set aside. Place the remaining flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl of an stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the ingredients with the mixer on low. Add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas. You may need to shut the mixer off and manually rub the butter into the flour to get the butter pieces all the same size.

(*Note: I do not have a mixer. I cut my butter in with a pastry blender until it was of the consistency mentioned here)

2. Turn the mixer back to low and add the buttermilk mixture to the flour in one addition. Mix until just combined. Add the cheese mixture to the dough and mix until just combined. Stop the mixer.

3. Using clean counter space, flour a 12×12″ area well. Form a ball with the dough in the mixer bowl and place it on the flour. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough gently. Using your hands again, form a 5×10″ rectangle with the dough.

4. Using a 2 3/4″ biscuit cutter, cut out 8 biscuits from the dough. Reform squares of the same thickness to get the last two biscuits.
*You can also cut the dough into 8 squares as the original recipe suggests.

5. Place biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

6. Combine butter, dried parsley and garlic powder; brush over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet.

Sausage Gravy
1/2 tsp canola oil (I used vegetable oil, I prefer it over canola)
1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage (I used spicy Bob Evans sausage)
1/2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk

1. Heat the oil in a 9″ saute pan over medium high heat. Add sausage and break up any large pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until the sausage is browned.

2. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon, trying to keep as much of the oil and fat in the pan as possible. Add the butter (less if you have a lot of oil) and allow to melt. Add flour and begin to whisk continuously for 2 minutes until the flour and butter have formed a smooth paste (a roux) and the flour is cooked.

3. Begin to add the milk in a thin stream, whisking all the time to prevent lumps.

4. When all the milk is added, let the gravy simmer gently for 2-3 minutes to make sure the milk is heated through.

5. Re-add the sausage and cook on medium low heat for 2-3 minutes.

*Ok everyone, another COMPLETELY SPECTACULAR breakfast!! This could NOT have been good for me, but was so great I’ll live with the extra cals for the day hehe! Maybe I’ll work out a bit harder at the gym later. But yeah, I could be selling this shit in a restaurant. It was THAT good.

Lunch:

Slow-cooked Ham with Cherry Barbecue Sauce sandwich

We slow-cooked this massive ham that was on a sale for 99 cents a pound in white vinegar, brown sugar, mustard powder and ground clove overnight for 8 hours. This shit is CRAZY. It’s SOOOOOO good. I threw a bunch of it onto some French bread and topped it with a little Michigan Cherry BBQ sauce. It needed nothing else! DAMN this was good!!

Dinner:

Ham and Pineapple Pizza

For the crust:

Taken from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pizza-dough-iii/

Ingredients

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

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups bread flour, olive oil, salt, white sugar and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine. Beat well until a stiff dough has formed. Cover and rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Form dough into a round and roll out into a pizza crust shape. Cover with your favorite sauce and toppings and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

(It was suggested by another user on this website that it should be cooked at a higher temp for a shorter period of time to keep the sauce from making the crust soggy. This worked really well as I cooked mine at 375 for 15 minutes.)

Sweet Marinara Sauce:

Taken from: http://www.brewcookpairjoy.com/2010/03/the-perfect-sweet-pizza-sauce/

28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp salt
½ cup fresh basil
½ tsp crushed fennel seeds
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Note: This recipe is sweet. So if you’re into really zesty or garlicy sauce, this probably isn’t for you. Also, if you’re not into anise flavor, you might want to decrease or remove the fennel seeds.

*I topped this ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS and incredibly flavourful pizza with fresh sliced mozzarella, the slow-cooked ham, pineapple, and fresh grated sun-dried tomato cheese on top of everything else. This pizza was OFF THE HOOK delicious! I could only eat 2 slices, but I work 2 days next week, so I will have opportunity to eat them. I didn’t mind saving them because of that! This was the first time I made my own crust, and it didn’t really have enough time to rise properly, so the crust itself didn’t rise much, but thats ok! I totally prefer a thinner, chewy/crispy crust anyway! Though I will try again sometime just to see if I can perfect the fluffier crust style.
I’m incredibly proud of how this day turned out. It started sorta down and by noon I was wearing my “Today Is A Good Day” shirt! I got to relax for most of the day, work out at night, make some absolutely amazing food, and now I’ll pop on over to bed a get some ideas about what I might want for breakfast! ^_^

I need a coffee grinder like woah.

I wanna start grinding my own coffee, for sure, but I also need something to grind up these seeds and spices! I made my own makeshift version of Chinese 5-Spice today (which I’m sure tasted NOTHING like real Chinese 5-Spice, hehe, but I did my very best!) and had to grind my fennel and peppercorn seeds with a little marble totem pole guy that I had sitting on my mantle! While it worked, I can think of so many uses for a coffee grinder (those seeds in that dressing I made yesterday, grinding actual coffee beans, making flours out of nuts and grains, etc…) so I think that’s going straight onto my Christmas list! Too bad my family doens’t read this blog, hehe. Anyway, for either lunch or dinner (or maybe both!) I’m going to specifically look for recipes to use the rest of my fake Chinese 5-Spice in!

Breakfast:

Pineapple Rice with Fried Egg

Serves 4

Ingredients:

– 1 cup brown basmati rice

– 1 tablespoon butter

– 2 cups water

– 2 teaspoons olive oil

– ½ diced red onion

– ½ teaspoon grated ginger

– ½ teaspoon Chinese five -spice

– 1 cup diced pineapple

– 3 tablespoons peanut butter

– ¼ cup soy sauce

– 1 cup spinach (I only had kale, so this is what I used)

– ¼ cup chopped almonds (I used chunky peanut butter, so didn’t bother adding more nuts)

– 4 eggs

Instructions:

Combine rice, butter and water in a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce to a simmer over low heat, cover and cook for 50 minutes.

Coat a wok with the oil and heat over high heat.  Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Stir in the ginger and the Chinese five-spice and fry for 2 more minutes.  Mix in the cooked rice, pineapple, peanut butter and soy sauce.  Stir until the peanut butter is completely melted.  Continue to sauté for 10 minutes.  Fold in the spinach and chopped almonds.  Remove the wok from the heat. 

Heat a small buttered sauté pan over medium heat.  Fry the eggs to your liking.  Plate one egg atop a few large spoonfuls of the rice per person and serve.

*So this was a recipe I found online last night while looking for a breakfast recipe using pineapple. I for some reason never thought to combine peanut butter and pineapple! Great combo! My makeshift 5-Spice was pretty good, though I will be purchasing a real mix of it soon just to taste the difference. I also wish I would have had spinach as I feel it had enough of a peppery flavour already with the 5-Spice and didn’t really need the extra pepper taste of the kale. Otherwise the rice was nice and gooey with the peanut butter and added egg on top and all in all I was not disapointed. Going to go looking right now for another 5-Spice recipe for lunch!

Lunch:

Chinese 5-Star Comfort Food

4 oz Chicken (ps, I always weigh my food PRE-cooked/raw)
1/3 cup Peas
1 medium Carrot
1 small Peach
1/4 small yellow Onion, sliced
1 medium Red Potato
1/2 T freshly “made” Chinese 5-spice (probably a bit less if you’re using the real stuff)

For the sauce:
Freshly grated Ginger
1/4 cup Apple Cider
1 T Soy Sauce
1/2 t Plum Sauce
1 t Rice Vinegar
1 t Cornstarch

Cube and boil a red potato for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, allow chicken and onion to cook in a sprayed saucepan until the onions are translucent and chicken is mostly cooked. Toss in peas, carrots and spices. Cook until chicken is done and carrots soften. Stir up all sauce ingredients in a seperate bowl. Add sauce mixture and peaches to saucepan and cook until sauce is of desired consistency. Mash the potatoes with a little milk and butter. Serve over the mashed potatoes.

I really needed like, a chicken pot pie today but didn’t really have the time or energy to actually make one. I also wanted to use up that Chinese 5-Spice I made and a pot pie just seemed a little odd to put it into. This was a nice compromise, I still got the “comfort food” effect from it and was able to use up my spices. It was quite yummy and something I would almost definitely make again, next time with real 5-Spice just to try it. ^_^

Dinner:

Tofu, Anise, Broccoli and Mushroom stir fry

I had just come home from the store and wanted to try this anise I’d bought really badly, but didn’t really have the time to look up a real recipe. I treated it sort of like I would onion and it seemed to work really super good!

1/3 block Light Tofu
1 cup Baby Bela Mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped Anise
1 clove Garlic
Whatever was left of that buttercup Squash that I had, cubed
1 cup Broccoli
A few Blackberries, halved
Spinach (since I knew I wasn’t using rice, I wanted something to bulk it up a little more)
1/4 cup Light Coconut Milk
1/4 cup Almond Milk
Splash of Rice Vinegar
Splash of Chicken Stock (or Veggie Stock of course! ~_^)
1 T Brown Sugar
A few Sage leaves, chopped
Fresh chopped Rosemary
1/4 t ground Ginger
S&P to taste

Normally I would press tofu for at least half an hour before cooking it, but I didn’t have the time tonight. I cut it into thin triangles and pressed them by hand inbetween a towel for about 30 seconds lol. So it didn’t turn out as crispy on the outside as it would have had I done it properly but its ok. It tasted great! So press your tofu for at least half an hour if you can. Spray a saucepan generously with oil and fry the tofu until both sides are golden brown, spraying a bit more oil as needed. Add anise and garlic and fry until fragrant (smells WONDERFUL!). Add broccoli, squash, mushrooms and spices. Fry until broccoli starts to soften. Add milks, vinegar, brown sugar, blackberries and chicken stock. Add a little cornstarch if needed to thicken (although I have to say, I didn’t need any in mine). Turn the heat way down and throw a couple roughly hand-torn handfuls of spinach on top. Cover and let spinach wilt for a couple minutes. Stir it in and serve!

I was CERTAIN to write this one down because I really really enjoyed it a lot. My biggest problem was that my coconut milk had gone a bit sour and I didn’t realize this untl it was already in the pan. It wasn’t BAD persay, but it was definitely not fresh. I added the brown sugar to counterbalance the slightly sour coconut milk, so if you use good milk, you can probably skip the sugar. The anise was an INCREDIBLE touch to this. I needed something to go with wine since my hubby and I were spending the evening together drinking Merlot, watching Sideways and eating some cheeses.

You guys…I’m really excited about tomorrow. Like REALLY really excited. I will let you know all about it first thing in the morning. You’re going to shit yourselves, yes, its THAT exciting!

Morning weigh-in: 125 lbs (finally back down to my target weight!)
Exercise: None today, instead had a really long talk with my husband about some things. Almost as exhausting, just as productive.

Pancake attempt #2: HUGE SUCESS!

In light of how awful my pancakes were yesterday, I simply had to try again. And THIS time was absolutely amazing! WOOOO! Yay! It put me in the most amazing mood! AND my husband helped! I got his opinion on the thickness of the batter, how long to leave it on the griddle, when to flip it…and IT WORKED! I couldn’t have been happier or said “Mmmmmmm!” more times while eating pancakes! So I will GLADLY post this recipe!

Breakfast:

LOOK!! They’re cooked all the way through!!!!!!!

Buttercup Squash Pancakes

1/2 cup Pancake Mix (I used Fiber One pancake mix)
1/2 cup Almond Milk (add more if your batter looks too thick, I may have added about 2 T more than this)
1 t Baking Powder
1/2 T Brown Sugar
1/4 t ground Ginger
1/4 cup Squash
1/4 t Vanilla
1/4 t Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt

Mix. Cook. Flip. ROCK! I set my grill to 300 degrees which was PERFECT! I topped this with 1/8 cup sugar free maple syrup and godDAMN people! It put me in the best mood in the world to have such AMAZING pancakes! WOOOO!

Lunch:

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Sweet and Sour Pinapple, Buttercup Squash and Parsnip stir fry

For the stir fry:
1 Parsnip, sliced
1/2 Green Pepper, sliced
1 cup Buttercup Squash, cubed
2 small slices Pineapple, cut into chunks
1/4 small Onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 leaves fresh Sage, minced

For the sweet and sour sauce:
1/8 cup White Wine
1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 T Pineapple Juice
1.5 T Brown Sugar
1/2 T Tomato Paste
Fresh grated Ginger
1 t Cornstarch

Spray a saucepan and stir fry veggies until onions are translucent and parsnips start to soften. About 5 minutes. Wisk all sauce ingredients together and add to pan. Add cubed squash. Cook until sauce is to desired thickness (won’t take long, a couple minutes). Serve on sticky rice. ^_^ I needed something FAST and this combo was SO good! I really love this sweet & sour sauce, it’s probably my favorite and any time I have pineapple I use it. I needed something I could make in less than half an hour so I could start getting ready for work. This was perfect, filling and yum yum yummy! The parsnips were so awesomely sweet in this dish, I think the pineapple really brought out the sweetness of them! You won’t be disapointed!

Dinner:

Once again I ate at work and had the Chicken Dumpling soup because well, thats what they made. Good stuff though! I had 2 cups of this!

I also had a handful of mint kisses. I worked hard, I had really low-calorie stuff the rest of the day, and I planned on nixing my ice cream for the night anyway if I decided to have some chocolate. So I had some and it made me happy. I do plan on getting some yoga done tonight yet, so I will write it now even though I haven’t done it yet. I will do it! Today turned out really amazing, I’m sure my friggin awesome breakfast helped a lot! BE PROUD OF MY PANCAKES hehehe! Yoga time kids!

Morning weigh-in: 126 lbs (yay!)
Exercise: 8 hours at retail job, 1/2 hour yoga