Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Potato’ Category

Super-productivity like WHAT?

How often does this happen? I got an entire (semi-difficult!) project done in one day. I cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom. I finished and folded my laundry. I went to get my jewelry cleaned. AND still found time to work out and make 3 amazing meals! How awesome am I? Come on now…I’m pretty awesome.

It’s always something though, am I right? No time to stop and smell the roses, there’s work to be done!

Breakfast:

Sausage Egg and Cheese Breakfast Bake

I had some bread that was on its last leg that I really wanted to use up. So after getting frustrated with breakfast bake recipes I was finding online, I sort of made up my own.

1 stale Roll
1/4 lb Sausage
1/4 small Onion, chopped
2 Eggs
Scant 1/3 cup Milk
Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Colby Cheese, shredded
1 T Low-Fat Cream Cheese
1 T melted Margarine
1/4 t Garlic Powder
1/2 T fresh chopped Parsley
A little Olive Oil
S&P to taste

I cooked the sausage in a saucepan until browned. I moved that to a paper towel, wiped out the pan, put in about a t of olive oil and cooked my chopped onion with a bit of garlic powder and chopped parsley until translucent. I took the onion off of the heat and mixed in the cooked sausage. I then whisked together the eggs and milk, adding some salt and pepper as I saw fit. I sprayed my large ramekin with a little oil, broke the bread into small pieces and placed them tightly into the bottom of it. I drizzled the melted butter on top of the bread. Then, I added the sausage and onion mixture, threw some cubed cream cheese pieces on top of that, then added the cheddar and colby cheeses. I poured the egg mixture over all of that. I finished it all with a few thin slices of tomato and sprinkled a tiny bit of grated parmesan on top of it all, then let it sit and soak for 10 minutes while I cleaned the kitchen a bit. I baked it at about 375 for 45 minutes.

*This was so filling I couldn’t possibly eat the entire thing! Those savory dishes always really hit the spot when I make them right! I tried offering the rest to my husband, but of course he never takes anything I make. I don’t know why, he’s clearly hungry as I can hear his stomach growl and I KNOW he wants it, but won’t take it. *shrug* So I threw the rest away. (I ate probably 3/4 of it, so I didn’t throw a ton of it out or anything…it wasn’t an amount worth saving in the fridge though). For sort of winging it, this turned out really good! I’m feeling better about my cooking/baking abilities!

Lunch:

Potato Salsa Wrap

I cooked and mashed a potato. Added a little cream of mushroom condensed soup, margarine, salt and pepper. I sauteed some onions, yellow peppers and peas with some cajun seasoning. I mixed that in with the mashed potato, then topped it all with some peach salsa. Quite good! VERY filling, once again. ^_^

Dinner:

Once again something drenched in ketchup for Nicole!!!

Dad’s Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients

  • 4 bell peppers, any color
  • Salt
  • 5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cup of cooked rice (I used brown rice)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned (if using can, drain of excess liquid first)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried oregano (I also added fresh chopped parsley and basil)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce

Method

1 Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, cut top off peppers 1 inch from the stem end, and remove seeds. Add several generous pinches of salt to boiling water, then add peppers and boil, using a spoon to keep peppers completely submerged, until brilliant green (or red if red peppers) and their flesh slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Drain, set aside to cool.

2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 4 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Remove skillet from heat, add meat, rice, tomatoes, and oregano, and season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well. (You may find it easier to put the ingredients at this point into a large bowl and mix together with your hands.)

3 Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil inside the peppers. Arrange the cut side of the peppers up in a baking dish, then stuff peppers with filling. Combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and 1/4 cup of water in a small bowl, then spoon over filling. Add 1/4 cup of water to the baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 40-50 minutes (or longer, depending on how big the peppers are that you are stuffing), until the internal temperature of the stuffed peppers is 150-160°F.

Yield: Serves 4-6.

*I added even MORE ketchup when I split them open! Mmmmmm! Next time I would split them in half for a bit more ketchup-topping surface area hehehe! Otherwise these were delicious and a great ending to another healthy eating day free of refined flours and sugars!

So I’ve decided that I feel good enough about myself that I am going to weigh myself in the morning. I’m fairly certain that I am somewhere between 140 and 145 (a gain of around 15-20 lbs of my last known weight which was 125). I have been working out for 2 months straight on an incredibly consistent basis, so I’m sure a lot of that is going to be muscle weight (I can feel how much stronger and harder my legs and butt are, I’ve definitely got muscle!) but I’m not sure how to factor that in to my weight…like…I know its not all fat, though some of it obviously is. But its ok. I think it’s a pretty good guess! If it’s any more than that, sure I’ll be a little disappointed, but I’m not going to let it change how I feel about me. It’s more of a general knowledge. I do not plan on starting to weigh myself every day again. I think I know my body well enough to know how much I’ve gained, so my guess couldn’t POSSIBLY be that far off.

Wish me luck!

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

Still waiting…

for that damn period to start.

Trust me, you have to have sex to be pregnant. I’m not pregnant.

My body is just all sorts of messed up from going off birth control. I’m really really hoping that when it starts I’ll stop looking so fat and bloaty all the time. It’s starting to drive me crazy.

We’re supposed to be going to our friend’s house today for the Puppy Bowl and I want to be excited, but I’m not. I’m actually trying to weasel my way out.

#1) I have to drive. I used to love driving. I still do, but I only hate it when I have to cart my husband around. I hate it. I fucking hate it. I don’t want to drive. They live an hour away.

#2) I have no money for gas. I will have to ask my husband if he will pay for it because I am broke.

#3) My husband will be getting annoyingly uncontrollably drunk. I hate that too. And since I have to drive because he can’t he will use this as an opportunity to get plastered because he doesn’t have to drive anyway. Then I have to listen to him complain when I want to leave, but he “just opened a beer” and so I have to wait an extra 20 minutes or so for him to finish his goddamn beer (which he’s already had 12, you wouldn’t think he’d need another one anyway).  Then I have to listen to him drunkenly ramble about shit I don’t care about for an hour alllll the way home. And I have to nod my head and say things like “Yes honey, you’ve already said that 3 times now…” I hate it.

I can’t do this anymore.

Breakfast:

Just a bowl of cereal.

My friend and I are going to bake cookies when we get to their house, so I really didn’t feel like making myself some gigantic, awful-for-me breakfast. Keeping it simple was the way to go!

Lunch:

This was just a wrap with bacon, turkey salami, tomato, lettuce, cheddar, mayo and honey mustard. Once again, just something simple since we had plans.

Welp, our plans ended up falling through. Our one of our friends kinda got into a bad mood so my girlfriend said that maybe it wasn’t the best of days for us to visit. So everything ended up working out for the best! I didn’t get to see the Puppy Bowl though which made me sad, but otherwise I didn’t have to deal with my drunken husband. YAY! So instead I spent the day relaxing, then working out (which for me is pretty relaxing) then making an AMAZING dinner!!!

Dinner:

Gnocchi with Caramelized Buttercup Squash Sage Sauce

For the gnocchi (best I’ve ever had by the way):

Taken from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-chiarello/potato-gnocchi-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound russet potatoes
  • 3 to 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon gray salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting board and dough

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

 

Spread a layer of kosher salt on a baking sheet and arrange the potatoes on top (see Cook’s Note). Bake until a bit overcooked, about 45 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle, cut in half, and scoop out the flesh. Reserve the potato skins, if desired, for another use.

 

Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or grate them on the large holes of a box grater. You should have about 2 cups. Make a mound of potatoes on the counter with a well in the middle, add 3 of the egg yolks, the cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix in the potatoes and mix well with hands. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the flour over the potatoes and, using your knuckles, press it into the potatoes. Fold the mass over on itself and press down again. Sprinkle on more flour, little by little, folding and pressing the dough until it just holds together, (try not to knead it.) Work any dough clinging to your fingers back into the dough. If the mixture is too dry, add another egg yolk or a little water. The dough should give under slight pressure. It will feel firm but yielding. To test if the dough is the correct consistency, take a piece and roll it with your hands on a well-floured board into a rope 1/2-inch in diameter. If the dough holds together, it is ready. If not, add more flour, fold and press the dough several more times, and test again.

 

Keeping your work surface and the dough lightly floured, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 1/2-inch in diameter. Cut into 1/2-inch-long pieces. Lightly flour the gnocchi as you cut them. You can cook these as is or form them into the classic gnocchi shape with a gnocchi board, ridged butter paddle, or the tines of a large fork turned upside down. Rest the bottom edge of the gnocchi board on the work surface, then tilt it at about a 45 degree angle. Take each piece and squish it lightly with your thumb against the board while simultaneously pushing it away from you. It will roll away and around your thumb, taking on a cupped shape — with ridges on the outer curve from the board and a smooth surface on the inner curve where your thumb was. (Shaping them takes some time and dexterity. You might make a batch just for practice.) The indentation holds the sauce and helps gnocchi cook faster.

 

As you shape the gnocchi, dust them lightly with flour and scatter them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or waxed paper. Set gnocchi filled cookie sheet in front of a fan on low for 1/2 hour (turning gnocchi after 15 minutes). If you will not cook the gnocchi until the next day or later, freeze them. Alternatively, you can poach them now, drain and toss with a little olive oil, let cool, then refrigerate several hours or overnight. To reheat, dip in hot water for 10 to 15 seconds, then toss with browned butter until hot.

 

When ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Drop in the gnocchi and cook for about 90 seconds from the time they rise to the surface. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a skimmer, shake off the excess water, and serve as desired.

Cook’s Note: Baking potatoes on a layer of salt allows heat to circulate 360 degrees. Scrape the salt into a jar and reuse it again and again. If you do not have time to shape the gnocchi, you can freeze the dough, defrost it in the refrigerator, and then shape it. To freeze shaped gnocchi, line baking sheets with waxed paper and dust with flour. Spread the gnocchi on the prepared sheets and freeze until hard. Remove to individual-portion-size freezer bags. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. To cook, drop the frozen gnocchi into boiling salted water. Cook for about 2 minutes after they rise to the surface.

Buttercup Squash Sage Sauce:

1/2 buttercup squash, baked in oven for 50 minutes and cubed
About 1/3 large Leek, sliced
1 T butter
1/2 T Olive Oil
1/8 cup Water
About 1 T Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Chicken Stock
1/8 cup (or so) Heavy Cream (or milk would work just fine)
1/2 T chopped fresh Sage
S&P to taste

I caramelized the leek and squash in the butter and oil with a large pinch of sugar. I then added the water, chicken stock, brown sugar and sage. I let that cook through for a couple minutes. Then added the cream, salt and pepper. Then I blended it all in a processor until smooth. Topped my awesome gnocchi with my awesome sauce and eated it.

*WOW! The gnocchi was light and almost creamy in texture. Holy crap were they good!!! Gnocchi usually comes out so heavy, I will be using this recipe from here on out! The sauce was crazy amazing! It was always one of my favorite recipes, but I doctored it up a little this time. I have a little of it left, so I’m looking forward to the next time I make this!

 

It ended up being an awesome day! My awesome dinner totally made it worth staying home. ^_^

OH also! I’ve learned that when one goes off of birth control, one’s cycle may not start at all for 3-12 months. I am NOT waiting that long! So I just went ahead and started taking my birth control again today. So basically, instead of waiting for it to naturally regulate its hormones, I’m just gonna do it for it. So here’s hoping I can have that red food day in about 3 weeks!! ^_^

Tomorrow is Meatless Monday!!! YAY! I’ve already got plans! ^_^

I’m a computer genius

That’s right! I dropped my computer the other night (because I’m the clumsiest person I know) and noticed that the lid wasn’t closing as tightly as it used to. I took a look and noticed the back of the screen had popped out a little from its frame. I was able to snap it back into place with a butterknife and some patience. Even though I DID buy the accidental warranty, I didn’t see any reason not to try to fix it myself if I could. I’m glad I’m not afraid of fucking around with things and taking them apart and putting them back together. I don’t want to end up like my mother-in-law who calls her son to come over and change a lightbulb. Seriously? Yes, seriously. She does this. Often. Who wants to rely on other people to fix shit for them for the rest of their lives?

This could also be why I didn’t go to a real therapist to fix my ED. I feel like if I can’t rely on myself, the who fuck else can I rely on? I have to trust myself. I have to make a decision and stick to it. I just have to DO it. And its not easy, but “not easy” never ever ever means “impossible”. Remember that.

Breakfast:

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Taken from: http://www.healthyfoodforliving.com/?p=20618

adapted from Shape magazine’s Better Blueberry Muffins

NOTE: These are muffins… not cupcakes! I honestly view most bakery muffins as cupcakes sans frosting. These are plenty sweet for my taste preference, but if you prefer a sweeter muffin, you might want to increase the evaporated cane juice to 1/2 cup.

yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup evaporated cane juice, or other unrefined granulated sugar (or 1/2 cup for sweeter muffins, see NOTE above)
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp low-fat buttermilk, well shaken
  • 1 large egg, preferably organic
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, preferably organic, washed and dried
  • 1/4 cup neufchatel (1/3-less-fat cream cheese), at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin, or line with muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, evaporated cane juice, rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, oil, and vanilla extract.
  4. Toss the blueberries with the flour mixture. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir just until incorporated.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together the neufchatel and maple syrup.
  6. Divide the batter evenly amongst the prepared muffin cups. Make a small well in the center of each batter-filled muffin cup. Fill each well with 1 tsp of the sweetened neufchatel. Sprinkle each filled cup with a bit of the turbinado sugar.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean (cream cheese sticking to the toothpick is fine, but no raw batter), about 15 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes; transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

*I made a 1/3 recipe of this, so 4 muffins. I should have realized these wouldn’t be particularly sweet with the description. Not that I need everything packed full of sugar, so that’s fine! I also don’t have any turbinado sugar, so I’m sure it would have been a bit sweeter with it. I would have liked the texture too. I baked mine at 350 for 15 mins because I KNOW my oven and for once these did not come out overcooked! YAY! For someone who doesn’t like overly-sweet muffins, these would be perfect.
Next time I think I’d like to use this recipe: http://www.mrsregueiro.com/2010/10/blueberry-oatmeal-muffins-with-cream.html

Lunch:

Quick Stir Fry

We had a lot of errands to run today so I tried to make something that was just fast and easy. Nothing that was going to take half an hour to bake. All I really did here was grabbed some olive oil and sauteed some sliced onions and minced garlic. Then I added carrots, broccoli, mushrooms and red pepper. I threw in some rice vinegar, soy sauce, lemongrass ginger sauce, crushed red pepper, and S&P to taste. I put it all on a bed of sticky rice. YUM! And look me about half an hour to make and devour! (My meals tend to take around an hour to make, so for me this is really quick!)

Dinner:

AHHHHH don’t kill me! (Especially nicoleandgwendolyn!) I FORGOT to take a picture YET AGAIN of my meal!!! It’s so sad because it was so delicious and I was REALLY proud of how this one turned out! I can at least post the recipe of what I had!

Fried Tofu and Potatoes with Thai Peanut Sauce

Sauce:

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon panang curry paste or red curry paste
1/4 cup coconut milk (I was out so I literally grinded some shredded coconut into flour and mixed it with cream, this actually worked REALLY WELL!!!!)
1/4 cup chicken stock (I used water since I’m trying to be meatless today!)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili sauce (or 1 birds eye chili, sliced)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanuts (roasted and crushed)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the panang curry and saute until fragrant.
2. Add everything else and simmer to thicken it a bit, about 2-3 minutes.

I fried the tofu and potatoes in olive oil for a while, until they looked cooked cuz I dunno, I’ve never fried potatoes before! Hehe. So I overcooked the tofu a bit because of that but its ok! I’ll know better for next time! Tofu is really an art, its NOT easy to work with, but when you get it just right it is HEAVEN! I added the onions and allowed those to cook for a little while. I drained all of that on a paper towel, wiped out the saucepan, and tossed in all the sauce ingredients that I had mixed in another bowl. I followed the directions and let that cook until thick. Then put everything on a bed of rice.

*This was by far the BEST peanut sauce recipe that I’ve tried yet. I was incredibly impressed! I need to buy certain ingredients to make it more authentic, but for an easy peanut sauce I was pretty blown away by this one! And I made a ton of it! YES!

 

Sorry again for forgetting twice this past week to take pictures! I feel awful about it! I must have been really hungry or something for me to have not thought about it. Also, I adore peanut sauce, so it could have been my anticipation for trying a new sauce recipe that lead me to forget! I ALMOST got a project completely done today, I will definitely have it done by tomorrow and sent by Wednesday!

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!!!)

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

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

Eating better FTW

My husband went to his mother’s house yesterday while I was at work for dinner. He ended up bringing home a barrage of cookies and fudge and sweet things. Now while I’m obviously not adverse whatsoever to eating these things…its odd how much I’m changing about the way I think of them. How normal I’m getting again. Because sure, I can eat as much of them as I want. But I didn’t want any. I made my dinner, which was awesome, ate it, realized I was out of ice cream…but didn’t for a second let that bother me. It was like “Oh right, I’m out of ice cream. Do I want a cookie instead? Meh…not really…hell I don’t even really want ice cream right now. I think I’m set for the night.” and that was it! No big deal. I didn’t want any, I didn’t eat any. It was so weird to NOT WANT. Does that make sense? It was wonderful, but weird. I feel so…normal again.

I had a dream last night that was also amazing in a superneat way. In this dream I had gained back a tiny little amount of weight. Not a ton. Enough that I would be more in a normal weight range instead of at the edge of being underweight. Like maybe around 135 lbs. In this dream was one of my celebrity crushes (I dare you to guess ~_^) and he was obviously rather attracted to me. Not in some over-the-top overly sexual way. He was quite shy about it, and it was cute and lovely. And in a way it was very reassuring. I’m beautiful. Even if I gain a little weight back (which I probably should) I’m still beautiful. And in fact, I’d probably be a bit MORE attractive with a little extra weight on me. I sure felt sexy in my dream. Sexy enough to catch the eye of someone *I* find sexy! Even WITH the weight! How cool was that? How neat is my subconscious for helping me along like that?  I think it really means my brain is changing. The way I’m thinking about myself and my body is really truly changing! YAY!

Breakfast:

Peach-Raspberry Buttermilk Bread Pudding
Adapted from the LA Times
8 cups stale sourdough bread (with crusts on) cut into 1 1/2 inch squares
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus zest of one lemon
2 1/2 pounds ripe but firm peaches (about 8), peeled, pitted and sliced one-eighth-inch thick
1 teaspoon butter
6 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup turbinado or demerara sugar

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the bread, buttermilk, heavy cream, milk, raspberries and lemon zest and set aside to soak for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, lemon juice, and peaches, to coat; set aside.

Grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with butter; set aside. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, salt and remaining 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar in a medium bowl, then add to the bread mixture. Add the peaches and stir well to combine. Transfer to the prepared dish and spread out evenly.

Sprinkle the additional sugar over the top and bake until cooked through and deep golden brown, covering with a sheet of foil if parts of the top get too dark, about 1 1/4 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream.

*Though I DO have canned peaches from this summer, I needed to use up the rest of that papaya, so I substituted that instead. JUST as good! I think maybe I used a little too much bread because it wasn’t as pudding-like as I thought it would be, but all the taste was there! I LOVED the buttermilk in this! I sprinkled a little powdered sugar on top as well! I wish I had more raspberries, I used the very last little bit of what I had, same with the papaya. Next time I make this I will use more fruit and less bread.

Lunch:

Tuna & Pineapple Favourite

ingredients

10g butter
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cornflour
1½ cups reduced fat milk
¾ cup drained, canned pineapple pieces
½ cup frozen corn, cooked following packet instructions
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
425g can tuna, drained
½ cup grated reduced fat tasty cheese
Fresh basil or parsley leaves for garnish

instructions

step 1

Heat butter in a medium saucepan, add spring onion and cook for 1 minute.

step 2

Blend cornflour with 2 tablespoons of the milk and add to saucepan with remaining milk, stirring for 2 minutes or until boiled and thickened.

step 3

Stir in pineapple, corn and lemon rind, gently fold in drained tuna and heat through.

step 4

Spoon mixture into 4 x 1 cup ovenproof pots, sprinkle with cheese and place under a preheated grill for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown.

*These were surprisingly yummy! I had an insanely late lunch, so it was something very easy and at this point I love anything topped with a bunch of cheese, so life is good! This was also a great way to take care of the rest of that pineapple I had!

Dinner:

Pork, Onion and Potato stir fry with Coconut Peanut sauce

For the stir fry:
1 cut of Pork
3 tiny Potatoes, cubed (I tend to pre-cook mine in the microwave for 2 minutes)
1 cup Mixed Mushroom slices
1/4 small Yellow Onion, sliced
1 clove Garlic, minced
Fresh Ginger, minced
1/2 T Peanut Oil

For the sauce:
1/2 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 tablespoon panang curry paste or red curry paste (I accidentally left this out, but it was still amazing!)
1/8 cup coconut milk
1/8 cup chicken stock
1.5 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon chili sauce (or 1 birds eye chili, sliced)
1 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoons peanuts (roasted and crushed)

Stir fry pork in the peanut oil. When no longer pink, add onion, garlic and ginger. Fry up another minute or so. Add cooked potato chunks and mushrooms. Wisk all sauce ingredients in a separate bowl. Add to pork mixture. Cook until sauce is of desired thickness. I served mine on soba noodles.

*Now THIS was a decent peanut sauce recipe! I didn’t have any real peanuts so I ended up just using 2T of peanut butter. It was also suggested to me that I use the “natural” kind of peanut butter and I really feel that this did make a difference! I also of course accidentally left out the red paste (oops) but was still rather impressed with this sauce! I keep trying to find a good recipe that really compares to what I have in restaurants, but am slowly realizing that unless I buy some real specialty ingredients, this is probably about the best that I will get. And it is more than acceptable!

I also ended up having a couple little snacks while watching TV with the husband. A few cookies, a brownie, and of course my usual small serving of ice cream for dessert! I’m treating myself to something new (GASP!) and bought Blue Bunny’s White Chocolate Macadamia Nut ice cream! DAAAAAAAAAAMN! But the awesome part was that I was able to STOP eating the sweets. We still have a lot more left! I didn’t smash on it all! I had a few of these, a sampling of that, and a little brownie chunk. I’m incredibly proud of myself! I actually took the day “off” because it will be my last one in a while. Work is going to be overwhelming and crazy for the rest of the week, so I figured one day of not sewing was not going to kill me. I did get lots of exercise in as I went to the park with my husband for a while. It was a GORGEOUS warm winter day! I HAVE to take advantage of those!

Exercise: 1/2 hour on the stair stepper, 1 hour of walking in the park