Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Quinoa’ Category

Being girly is fun!

I never pamper myself. Sometimes I come home from the gym and don’t even take a shower because I’m so rushed. I haven’t re-dyed my hair since Valentine’s Day. I never do my nails. I hardly get to dress up nice, half the time when I leave the house I’m walking somewhere so I just wear a tshirt and jeans. You don’t even want to think about how long I’ve gone without shaving my legs.

Tonight I got to be girly with my sister in law. She’s big into nail polish, so I got to paint my nails with her! They are bright sunshine yellow and they make me incredibly happy to look at! I’m hoping I will take the time more often to just give myself a little “me” pampering time. Though I definitely considering cooking pampering my body as well, from the inside out, it would be nice to take a little extra effort on JUST the outside.

I told Future Husband #1 that I was making myself pretty by painting my nails. He of course tells me that I am already pretty, but he is glad that it is making me happy.

I also got called into my retail job today! WHAT? That’s right, for the first time in 3 and a half weeks I got to go to work. I enjoy it there, the customer always respond really well to me. I think it’s the hair. So I was excited to go in! It was a good day.

Breakfast:

Cinnamon, Raisin, Cranberry and Walnut Quinoa

1/3 cup uncooked Quinoa
2/3 cup Water
2/3 cup Milk
1 T Lemon Honey (or any honey)
Raisins
Dried Cranberries
Walnuts
Yogurt

Cook the quinoa in water as directed (covered for about 10 minutes). Uncover and add 1/3 cup milk. Simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. Repeat with the second 1/3 cup of milk and toss in the honey, raisins and cranberries (however many you’d like). Let that absorb. Take off the heat and add walnuts. Serve with a big dollop of yogurt on top. Freaking delicious!

Lunch:

I went into work today, so I had a turkey wrap sandwich and a banana for lunch!

Dinner:

Whole Wheat Penne with Mushroom Sausage sauce

I didn’t measure anything. I sauteed some onion and crushed garlic in butter and oil. Added some diced green and yellow pepper and about half a small diced tomato. Then the sausage and finally the mushrooms. I pushed all that to one side of the pan, and on the other melted a chunk of cream cheese. Then added about 1/3 cup of milk and 1/8 cup of chicken stock. Melted about 1/8 cup of grated Romano in that, then mixed the whole pan together. I added some basil and a little cinnamon.  I allowed that to cook down and thicken up for a minute or 2. Then served it on top of some whole wheat penne. Fanfuckingtastic yo. My brother and sister in law went out for dinner since I was gone late, so I was perfectly happy to make myself something quick and easy and awesome. ^_^

The landlord DID finally get back to me letting me know that he was just busy and that he was sorry and when is a good time to call? So I let him know she was working Thursday evening. I’m really really hoping he doesn’t forget. I really can’t stand this whole not knowing whats going on BS. I just want to be completely sure I don’t have to live here at my brothers any longer than I absolutely have to.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 6 hours at retail job

Waking up to the TV on sucks…

Luckily the boys weren’t up all night this time…but shithead’s best friend was up early this morning and had the TV on. I didn’t get to do my yoga. And I didn’t get to make anything cool because the boys took up all the counterspace with pizza boxes.  *sigh*…At least he was watching 30 Rock. If I had to wake up to anything, I’m glad it was that.

The one and only reason I am not gone yet is that I was oblivious to the fact that my brother would be out of town this weekend. I’m fairly certain they come home Monday and will be making moving arrangements as soon as they are home. I’ve sent my application to the landlord for the apartment which I’m certain he will approve. I have great credit, have 2 jobs and am in a more desperate position than most people. He seemed really willing to help me out.

Breakfast:

Cereal. Once again…no room to cook. 😦

Lunch:

Tuna and Apple Salad Sandwich

I don’t know that I could tell you how I made this, but it was delicious. I used some chopped apple, celery, raisins, walnuts, half a can of tuna, some light mayo, honey and lemon juice till the consistency looked right. Then I split open some french break and served it up along with the extra apple that wouldn’t fit into the mixture. Great for something quick!

Dinner:

Tuna and Quinoa Casserole

Taken from: http://cohokitchen.blogspot.com/2011/10/salmon-quinoa-casserole.html

You will need:
1 1/4 cup quinoa
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup plain yogurt
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or similar)
1/2 cup parmesan
2 tablespoons butter
18 ounces (3 cans) canned salmon (or tuna)
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups chopped vegetables* (I used onion, parsnips and something else…I can’t remember)
Salt and pepper, to taste (I also threw in a little garlic powder)

Preheat your oven to 425.

In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream, yogurt, mustard, shredded cheese, and about half of the Parmesan cheese together. Add the drained salmon, and (uncooked!) quinoa and mix well. Finally add the vegetables, and melted butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the mixture into an 8x8x2 or similarly sized baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Bake for about 30 minutes.

Devour.

*I’d like to remember what else it was I used as this was ABSOLUTELY scrumptious. I raved about how great it was to my cousin the entire time I was eating it, so damn…I hope I can remember what else was in it…but truthfully, put whatever veggies you want in this! That’s the point, whatever you have on hand will work no matter what it is! Oddly enough this was my first tuna casserole. I will be making them again MUCH more often!

 

Today I leave you with hope and love. I end on sour notes so much these days and its a holiday weekend, so remember to love yourselves girls. The minute you learn to do this, the more your life will improve in so many ways. Love is the gateway to happiness.

Exercise: 1 hour at the gym

Moving

I’m hoping to move into my brother’s within the next week.

The landlord of the apartment had no issues with my self-employment or lack of money at the moment. I explained the situation to him and he’s willing to work with me. I’m going to try and get him a deposit per my dad’s generosity and he’s said he will hold the place for a couple weeks until I’ve got the first month’s rent. All I’d need to do is move my bed, work table and fabric to my brother’s for a little while and work my ass off there until I’ve got the money. The landlord even said he’d prorate the rent for me since I’d only be there for like a week and a half in April. I’m going to do my best to not spend a lot. I will be cutting a lot of costs living over there and I think it will help me a lot.

And of course I need to sell my bike.

That would get rid of 2 of my credit card debts completely. Then I would only have 1.

I’m going to get my bike up on eBay Classifieds as well for a little more exposure. I have to do everything I can to sell this thing.

My husband was up all night with his best friend again last night. I was up from about 3 AM to 4:30AM tossing and turning while all I can hear are drumbeats of music and sporadic loud laughter and singing. I finally got tired of it and went downstairs to look for my earplugs. (My brother gave them to me a while back when I had to share a room with my mom at a hotel…he knows she snores loudly and thought they might be of use to me.) I did find them. Went to the bathroom to wash them off, making it fully clear that I was awake and not happy. Then went back upstairs and was soon dead to the world in a beautiful silence. I let shithead know I was pissed at him the next day and that he was not to speak to me. He says he’s sorry. He’s not sorry. He said he was sorry last time he did this. So if he really was sorry, he wouldn’t keep doing it. He doesn’t give a shit about me.

I’m just overly ready to move on with my life.

Breakfast:

Coconut Oatmeal with Yogurt and Mango

Made half a cup of oatmeal with half coconut milk and half water, plopped on a ton of greek yogurt and diced half a mango and threw it on top. Tossed a little unsweetened coconut on all of that. Perfect little morning pick-me-up that was quick and easy! This way I could get straight to work and not worry about the fact that there are 2 dipshits in the house that I’d rather avoid.

Lunch:

Quinoa and Tuna Salad

Quinoa with tuna, peas, corn, diced red pepper, tomatoes, celery and a little onion with apple cider vinegar, olive oil and splash of lemon juice. S&P to taste and a big dollop of cottage cheese on top. Brilliant! Light, fresh, GREAT for a pre-workout with tons of protein! I couldn’t have been happier!

Dinner:

Mango Chicken

I’ve made this before, though I liked the second version from the weed website more (without the weed), but it required yogurt and I am out now! So I used this one:

http://thaifood.about.com/od/thairecipes/r/mangochicken.htm

Ingredients:

  • (SERVES 4)
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch-long pieces (chicken thigh works too)
  • 1 red bell pepper, OR 1 sweet red pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil for pan-frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (or rice flour) mixed with 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh coriander
  • Optional: extra 1/2 to 1 mango, cut into chunks (to finish the dish)
  • Optional: 3-4 Tbsp. coconut milk OR water
  • MANGO SAUCE:
  • 2 fresh ripe mangos, fruit scooped out (or substitute 2 cups frozen or canned mango)
  • 1 red chili, de-seeded and diced, OR 1 tsp. chili sauce OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar (OR white or apple cider)
  • 1+1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, snipped into slivers with scissors (discard stem & central vein), OR zest of 1 lime

Preparation:

  1. Place all ‘Mango Sauce’ ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process well, until more or less smooth.
  2. Taste-test the sauce. The goal is to reach a balance of sweet, sour, spicy, and salty. Add more sugar if you find the sauce too sour (this will depend on the sweetness of your mangoes). If not spicy enough, add more chili. If not salty/flavorful enough, add more fish sauce. If too salty or too sweet, add more lime juice. Set aside.
  3. Stir the flour and salt together and place in a mixing-type bowl. Add the chicken pieces and turn or gently stir them to coat.
  4. Heat a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then begin frying the chicken pieces. Fry 3-5 minutes per side, or until light golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set on paper towel, or a clean surface.
  5. Wash out the wok/frying pan, or use another (clean) one. Set over medium-high heat and add the mango sauce plus red pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer (medium to low heat). If sauce becomes too thick, add 3-4 Tbsp. water or coconut milk. Simmer 3-4 minutes, or until pepper has softened slightly but still retains some crispness.
  6. Add the fried chicken pieces, gently stirring them in to cover with sauce. If desired, add chunks of mango (fruit of 1/2 to 1 ripe mango) too. Simmer briefly, just until everything is hot.
  7. Do a final taste-test for salt (tasting the sauce together with the chicken). Add a little more fish sauce or chili if desired.
  8. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with plenty of Thai jasmine-scented rice. Or, for an extra special treat, with my Easy Coconut Rice.

*I did not fry my chicken in flour. I sliced it up and seared it in oil for a few minutes. Removed it. Then stir fried some onions, red pepper and shiitake mushrooms. I blended all the sauce ingredients in a food processor and dumped them in after the onions were translucent. I cooked this down for a little while. Re-added the chicken and added extra mango cubes. I served this on a little sticky rice. One of my favorites! VERY yum!

 

One of my TV loves, Alton Brown, is on another diet. It’s INCREDIBLY fascinating for me to watch. He Twitters his weight every morning (kind of like I used to do on here) and what he’s eating and whatnot. He says he’s “disgusting” at 175 and wants to lose 10 lbs so he can fit into his tux more comfortably. It’s just absolutely fascinating for me to see someone I admire and look up to, a man nonetheless (proving this is not simply an “unrealistic female-standard” problem) whom I think is gorgeous and totally fuckable as-is, with the same damn body issues as I have. It actually makes me feel better about me, to know that we really are all in this together and that things are going to be fine if we can just gain a little self-confidence. I just have to look at ME the way I look at HIM and say “YES! I too am fuckable as-is!”

TMI?

Somehow, I still feel it works.

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

Worried

I have a customer whom, after working my ass of for her in what turned out to be a complete structural nightmare, wasn’t certain she wanted what I was making for her after all. I finished it as quick as I could and just sent it anyway. Here’s hoping she likes it and doesn’t want her money back as she spent a LOT on this and it took a full extra day of my time to finish. UHG! That would be the biggest waste of time in my whole self-employed career if she decides she can’t use it. And I CANNOT afford to lose out on $100 at this point. 😦 She hasn’t written me to say anything along the lines of “I want my money back” yet, so I’ll keep my chin up and hope all goes well.

Breakfast:

My friend last night gave me these GORGEOUS fresh brown eggs as I’d mentioned I needed to stop at the store to purchase some. She claimed to have 5 dozen of these things and couldn’t possibly work her way through all of them before they went bad, so she gave me a carton. I made scrambled eggs with onions, mushrooms, avocado and tomato and shredded on a bit of pepper jack cheese.

Lunch:

I was running around so much again today that I forgot to eat lunch. I get home from running errands at about 3, decide since my shithead husband is busy in the kitchen making smoked salt…I’d just make a good old PB&J sammich! I also had an orange along with this. I can’t remember the last time I had one of these, comforting, reminds me of being a kid again. It was a good decision!

Dinner:

Orange Chicken with Avocado, Mushrooms and Asparagus

FANTASTIC! Seriously…for as quickly as I had to whip this up before going back out, this was SO good!  Just cook the chicken and veggies (minus the avocado…pretty sure there’s diced onions in here too) in a little olive oil and 2 T of butter, then in a separate bowl mix up some orange juice (I used the juice of one small orange), brown sugar, grated ginger, a little lemon juice, berry liqueur and cornstarch.  Throw that into the veggies and allow that to thicken for a couple minutes until it is of your desired consistency. Add the avocado and allow it to heat through. I put this on top of some quinoa. Shit son, I could not get over how delicious this was!

 

After this I went to a party where there were snacks and soda and whatnot. I decided to treat myself to 1 soda (I NEVER drink the stuff anymore) and the bean dip was too good to not have seconds…and maybe even thirds hehe…She also had a fruit/caramel dip platter which I nibbled on throughout the night as well (yes, even the caramel!). I was there from about 8 PM to 1 AM. When I got home I still had an itch for sweets and no one was home, so no one to bother with my baking. (The husband has been staying with a new girlfriend as of late.) So I made a small batch of 6 cookies, had a little ice cream with them (about half a cup) and a few mini Tootsie Roll pops. Totally no where near a full-on binge and I was happy. It was really nice to see my co-workers again from my retail job (its been 7 weeks now since I’ve been scheduled there) and had fun regaling them with stories of my idiot husband and our soon-to-be divorce. All in all it was a good night!

Exercise: 4 mile walk

*WHEW!* Sold stuff today!

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

Breakfast:

Goat Cheese Quiche with Hash-Brown Crust

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

Lunch:

Spinach, Gouda and Tomato Grilled Sandwich

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

Dinner:

Quinoa Risotto with Mushrooms, Spinach, & Goat Cheese

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

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ll let all of you know how it goes.

I need to sell my bike.

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

When does hard work pay off?

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

I need to sell my bike.

Breakfast:

Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp

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

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

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

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

Lunch:

African Quinoa Peanut Soup

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

Serves 6

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped small

1 red bell pepper, diced small

2 celery stalks, diced small

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

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

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 small zucchini, diced 1 ½ inches

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

8 cups water

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

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

Method

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

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

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

Dinner:

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

Quick and Easy Pizza Crust

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

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

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

Exercise: 4 mile walk

Feeling better already!

I started up my birth control again yesterday and am feeling SO much better already! I look and feel less bloated, I can tell I’m retaining less water, and I get to work out later, so I’ll feel EVEN BETTER! ^_^ I had one of those workouts yesterday where it was hard to keep my heart rate up, I don’t know why some days are easier than others. Energy level? I dunno. I didn’t have my pot o coffee yesterday so that might have had something to do with it.

I felt like starting this Meatless Monday with something HEALTHY! I’ve forgotten how good I feel about myself when I eat healthier, and everything still tastes great!

Breakfast:

*I can’t make notes in there because the recipe is actually an image! Anyway, I used sugar-free maple syrup instead of brown sugar for the banana topping! This way, I wasn’t using any refined sugar in the recipe! Woo! Also, this uses mostly oats and very little flour, and even then it uses half whole wheat flour, so that was also awesome! GREAT recipe! The only downside was that I should have turned my griddle down just a little as molasses burns rather easily (which it does warn, and I did watch it like a hawk) so one side turned a little dark, but that’s alright! It still tasted great! They came out COOKED (yes!) and fluffy! I felt really good about myself after eating this, I will continue the healthy eating for the rest of the day I think! ^_^

Lunch:

Quinoa and Lentil Pilaf

1/3 cup uncooked Quinoa
1/3 cup uncooked Lentils
1/4 cup Corn
1/4 cup Peas
1/4 cup diced Tomatoes
1 Carrot, shredded
1 Parsnip, sliced
2 slices of a large Vadallia onion, cut into quarters
1 clove Garlic
1 cup Vegetable Stock (I didn’t have any, so I used water)
1 T Olive Oil
Mrs. Dash Table Blend, no salt added
Chopped Cilantro to taste
S&P to taste

Saute onion in olive oil till mostly caramelized. Add garlic and saute about 30 seconds longer. Add uncooked quinoa, uncooked lentils, and corn and let them toast for a couple minutes (until quinoa visibly browns a little). Add stock (or water), the rest of the vegetables and spices. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed. Stir in chopped cilantro.

*HOW WAS THIS SO GOOD??? Seriously! How was this so amazing?? Its just quinoa, lentils and veggies! It was….SOOOO good! I just SMASHED on this! YAY for Meatless Mondays!!! I am now out of quinoa though. SADFACE! I’ll need more soon!

Dinner:

Buttercup Squash Ravioli with Tofu Ricotta

Adapted from: http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2009/12/sweet-potato-ravioli-with-tofu-ricotta.html

SWEET POTATO RAVIOLI

What you’ll need . . .

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (I used squash)
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method . . .

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil; add peeled & diced sweet potato to the water.
  2. Once the sweet potato is softened, drain, mash and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the one cup of flour and salt.
  4. While the motor is running, slowly add in the oil and mashed sweet potato.
  5. This next part is tricky depending upon how much sweet potato you have. Add the second cup of flour (again, while the motor is running) in small heaps — until the dough becomes a ball and isn’t too sticky. You may need to add more or less flour depending on the consistency you observe. Go with what looks right to you.
  6. Flour a work surface and divide the dough in half. Roll each piece as thinly as possible using a floured rolling pin.
  7. Cut 2″ – 3″ circles out of dough using whatever you have to do so. I, in fact, used the top of my baking powder container! You may also manually cut with a knife . . . or cookie cutter. As Tim Gunn would say, “make it work!”
  8. Make tofu ricotta (below these glamorous pasta photos — notice the fancy pasta cutter).

TOFU RICOTTA (From Post Punk Kitchen)

What you’ll need . . .

1 pound firm tofu, pressed
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes (I used grated Parmesan cheese)
handful fresh basil leaves, chopped fine (I used dried)
dash fresh black pepper

Method . . .

In a large bowl, mush the tofu up with your hands, till it’s crumbly.
Add lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and basil. Mush with hands again, this time you want it to get very mushy so squeeze through your fingers and mush until it reaches the consistency of ricotta cheese. May take 2-5 minutes.
Add olive oil, stir with fork. Add nutritional yeast and combine all ingredients well. Use a fork now, because the oil will make it sticky.

*I’ve made this once before, this time I boiled the ravioli instead of frying it. I also made a simple tomato sauce from crushed tomatoes, onion, green pepper, garlic, milk, grated Parmesan, oregano, thyme, basil, and S&P. Using the squash I had to use a lot more flour to make it not-sticky enough to roll out. I think squash is a better idea to put on the inside of ravioli hehe. While it was absolutely delicious, I wish I could have tasted the squash more. I made a little steamed cauliflower on the side as well! Just incredibly good! I have more of the pasta left over and will be using it in my dinner tomorrow!
Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1.5 hours at the gym

Quick post

I had a lot to do and therefore didn’t get my post in for today until late, sorry about that. I still took pics of everything! I had a major project to start though and so took all of my time doing that. I actually have to get that one finished today so my next post might be short too. I will let you know if I was able to finish it! I try to get my stuff done by 7 so I can go to the gym, come home, make myself dinner, relax for a little while then go to bed. I think I can get it done!

Breakfast:


Strawberry & Cream Stuffed French Toast Casserole
Makes: 12 Servings  |  Prep Time: 30 minutes  |  Cook Time: 1 hr
To print recipe click here

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of Challah Bread
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 16 oz Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 quart Strawberries
  • 1/2 of lemon’s juice
  • cinnamon

This recipe is best made the night before you plan on serving.

Butter a 9×13 baking dish. Tear half the bread into pieces and cover the bottom of the baking dish completely.

Blend softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 egg in a bowl. Spread evenly over top the challah bread pieces in the baking dish.

Next slice strawberries and cook in a saucepan over medium heat with 1/4 cup of sugar and the juice from half a lemon. Cook till strawberries are soft and juices begin to bubble, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, spread evenly on top of cream cheese layer.

Tear the remaining Challah bread into pieces and place on top of strawberries covering them completely.

Lastly mix milk, cream, and 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl. One by one blend in 5 eggs. Fold in Bailey’s Irish cream and evenly pour mixture over top of casserole. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or for best results, overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover casserole and bake for 45 minutes to an hour depending on how firm or soft you like your french toast. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve warm.

*This was really good despite the fact that I didn’t care for the look/texture of the cream cheese…it was sort of “grainy”-looking and I wished it was smoother, more custardy-looking. I will have to try this again with a different cream cheese filling and see if I like the results better!

Lunch:

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Ingredients Serves 8 servings
1 cup quinoa
1 tbsp butter
2 cups chicken broth
12 cup green bell pepper (diced)
12 cup red onion (diced)
1 cup corn
15 ozs black beans (drained)
14 cup chopped cilantro
1 tomatoes (diced)
12 cup fresh lime juice (taste)
2 tbsps red wine vinegar
2 tbsps olive oil>
1 tbsp adobo seasoning
12 cup feta cheese
salt
black pepper
1 Rinse the quinoa thoroughly under cold water, and drain. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook and stir the quinoa until the water has evaporated and the quinoa is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the broth, about 10 minutes. Cool quinoa in refrigerator at least 10 minutes.
2 Mix together green pepper, red onion, corn, black beans, cilantro, tomato, lime juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, adobo seasoning, and feta cheese in a large salad bowl. Lightly stir in the quinoa, and season with salt, pepper, and additional lime juice to taste, if desired. Chill the salad at least 30 minutes before serving; serve cold.

*LOVED this! It was a perfect compliment to the “bad-for-me” breakfast that I had! I just wanted something really super light, so a salad was perfect! I also wanted to be certain to get in lots of protein before my workout, so the black beans and quinoa were key!

Dinner:

Peking-Style Pork Chop/Spare Ribs(Strawberry Pork Chop)(Ching Du Pai Gu) (京都排骨)

Yields: 3-4 Servings
Cooking Time: 30 min
Total Time: 2 hours 30 min
Ingredients:

Pork:

  • 3 Pork Chops cut into 5-7 cm pieces (2-3 inches) OR 500 gm of Pork Spare Ribs (1 lb)
  • 100 gm Potato starch or Corn starch (1/2 cup)
  • 500 mL of water (2 cups)
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 ml of Sesame Oil (1 tsp)
  • 10 gm of Baking powder (2 tsp)
  • pinch of salt

Sauce:

  • 100 gm of Strawberries, smashed (about 3 oz)
  • 30 gm packed brown sugar (2 1/2 tbsp)
  • 30 mL of Soy Sauce (2 tbsp)
  • 45 mL of Hoisin Sauce or Kecap Manis (3 tbsp)
  • 30 mL Chinese Rice wine or Sake (2 tbsp)
  • 30 mL Oyster Sauce (2 tbsp)
  • 15 mL Korean Hot pepper paste (Gochujang) (2 tbsp)
  • 10 mL Srichacha Chilli Sauce (or any hot sauce) (2 tsp)
  • 45 mL of water (3 tbsp)
  • 30 mL Vinegar (2 tbsp)
  • 5 mL sesame oil (1 tsp)

Method:

  • Prepare the batter, combine the potato starch or corn starch in a large bowl and mix it well with water.  Leave it on the counter for 2 hours.  It should separate into two layers.  Drain of the water, and add in the egg white.  Mix until the batter becomes runny.  Add in the sesame oil, baking powder, and salt.
  • Prepare the meat.  Cut the pork into 5-7 cm (2-3 inch) pieces.  Pound the pork with a kitchen hammer, meat tenderiser or heavy pot to flatten it.  This will make the pork very tender.
  • Add the pork to the batter and coat it evenly.
  • Heat the oil to medium heat at 180 C (350 F), and fry the pork until a little golden (about 4 min).  Remove the pork and let it drain on paper towel.  Let it cool slightly before frying the second time.
  • Heat the oil to medium-high heat to 190 C (375 F) and fry the pork again for 2 min until they become very golden brown and crispy.  Remove and drain again.
  • Combine the ingredients for sauce and then put in a pan or wok on medium heat.  Let the sauce boil and reduce in volume by about 1/2.  It should become sticky and and glossy.
  • Add in pork, coat the sauce evenly, and serve with rice

*Someday I may attempt a real deep-fry, but I was simply too anxious to try it today. I’d already had a really crazy unhealthy breakfast, so I wanted to keep the oil consumption down to a minimum. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have even tried this one today, I should have done something simpler. I was really curious about this batter though and wanted to see if it was possible to get the crispiness described using only a little oil. The results were still delicious, but I’d rather try the full deep-frying method next time. I’ll have to pick a day where I eat mainly healthy for the rest of the day and add this in at the end! Otherwise, this was absolutely delicious! I’d love to get that crispy texture though! I served this with shredded carrots and orange sweet pepper strips on a bed of sticky rice.

Once again, sorry this post was so late and quick! I will do better tomorrow!

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

What is happiness?

I thought I knew what it was when I was growing up. I was always extremely energetic and happy. I was always positive. Always looked at the bright side of things. ALWAYS.

I believed that not being happy was a decision. That you could turn it on and off. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why anyone would “choose” to remain unhappy all the time. To be depressed.

Even as I got older and got married to a manic-depressive, even as I learned that depression is NOT a choice, but a chemical imbalance in the head…I STILL felt that you could just DECIDE to be happy one day. And to just be happy. Why couldn’t depressed people just BE happy? Don’t they want to be happy? Don’t they want to just kick their sadness to the curb? So why don’t they just do it?

Then I went on a diet.

I was not eating the right foods. I wasn’t eating enough calories for my body to function. I wasn’t getting the right nutrients for my brain to work properly. And so my brain stopped working normally. I became very depressed. Moody. I would lash out at my husband and everyone else for no reason. My friends stopped inviting me out. But I didn’t care. I didn’t want to see them anyway. Everything annoyed me. They annoyed me. My husband annoyed me. All he would have to do was wake up in the morning and walk into the room and I would roll my eyes and go “Oh great…he’s up…” in my head. He didn’t even have to DO ANYTHING but exist.

And I couldn’t turn it off. I wanted SO BADLY to be happy. SO badly. But I just hated everything and everyone all the time so much. I hated myself more than any of them. I *HATED* myself. I thought maybe if I just lost a couple more pounds I would like myself again. And I would, for a little while. But then I would have to lose more. And more. Until I literally couldn’t lose anything else without being considerably underweight. Well now what? Now that I can’t lose any more weight, what will make me happy? I was absolutely miserable.

And so was my husband.

He told me how unhappy he was being with me. “Can’t you see that you’re the exact person that I was before going on medication? That person who turned on a dime from one mood to another? That person you couldn’t stand to be around? Well now that’s you. Maybe YOU need to be on medication.”

Those words kicked me in the face.

And I knew I didn’t need medication. I needed to kick this ED. I needed to eat the right nutrients to fix my brain. I knew WHY it wasn’t working right. I just needed to make that decision to fix it.

And I did.

That day I told my ED to shove off. And from there on out have become my incredibly happy-go-lucky self again!

So IS happiness a decision? Is it nothing but how the chemicals in your brain work? Do YOU make you happy? Or do the chemicals make you happy? Is it a combination of both? What do you think?

Now that I AM happy again, I still can’t figure out what happiness actually is. But I certainly have learned an awful lot about what depression is. I won’t ever go back. And that IS a decision.

Breakfast:

Apple Raisin Quinoa

From: http://www.epicorganic.net/tag/quinoa/

    • 1 cup quinoa
    • 1 cup orange juice (I used Unsweetened Almond Milk)
    • 2 cups apple juice (I used Apple Cider)
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp allspice
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    • 2 apples, diced
    • 1/4 cup raisins
    • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (I used Pecans)

Toast the quinoa dry, in a saucepan, for 3 minutes while dicing the apples. Add OJ and apple juice to the quinoa, along with all the spices. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Add the apples, raisins, and maple syrup, and simmer 10 more minutes. Stir in almonds and serve.

*My stomach was just SCREAMING for something healthy. Not that I’m awful at eating or anything, but after that buffet yesterday it absolutely insisted that it didn’t want any cakes or muffins or crumbles or anything like that hehe. This was yummy, healthy, and very filling! I made a 1/3 recipe of this and topped it with a dollop of low-fat Vanilla Yogurt! PERFECT!

Lunch:

Creamy Sweet Potato and Candied Ginger Soup

Taken from: http://coffeepot.wordpress.com/2007/02/16/creamy-sweet-potato-and-candied-ginger-soup/

2 pounds sweet potatoes (2-3 pounds maybe)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 shallot — minced
1 clove garlic — minced
3 cups skim milk
1 cinnamon stick — 2″
4 pieces candied ginger root — chopped
4 tablespoons pine nuts (pignolia) — toasted
salt to taste

Bake your sweet potatoes in the microwave and allow to cool a bit before you peel them.

In a saute pan fry your shallot and garlic for a couple of minutes then add your milk.

Add the ginger and cinnamon stick and allow the mixture to steep about 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.

Put your peeled sweet potatoes in a food processor and pour the milk mixture slowly through the tube while running. Process until smooth and creamy. Salt to taste.

Toast your pine nuts in a dry pan on the stove top and then garnish the soup in serving bowls while still warm.

You can add a bit more milk if too thick before serving. Like I said I didn’t really weigh the ugly sweet potato.

*Perfect on a cold winter’s day! Knowing that I’m going to be having a rather unhealthy dinner (Steak & Shake…I promised a friend I’d have a Frisco Melt with him!) I went for something warm, filling and good for you for lunch! VERY good and I used my homemade candied ginger! I also used a yam instead of a sweet potato (there IS a difference!) and it was wonderful!

Dinner:

So I had one of these puppies and some fries. This was always my favorite sandwich at Steak N Shake. I hadn’t had one of these in YEARS. A close friend of mine sympathetic toward my recovery decided I needed to have one and we made a date about a week ago. We had a wonderful time and of course the food was amazing ^_^.  I also had a small bowl of ice cream when I came home.

Tomorrow is another wonderful day! I can’t wait!

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