Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Tomato’ Category

Closer

Coming closer to my 1 year has left me much lazier in updating this. I am spending too much time thinking of a name, the new content I want to write about, what my first entry will be, how I want to approach it, that I’ve become behind again by a couple days on here. I promise you it will be worth it.

Breakfast:

Miss P’s Test Kitchen: Muffin Experiment #5 – Molasses Muffins

I ought to have perfected my base recipe first before deviating so much, but I was interested in working with liquid sweeteners as opposed to granulated sugar. Here were the results:

2.8 oz Flour (I experimented with Whole Wheat)
3.3 oz grated Vegetables/Fruits (here I used a combination of carrots and apple)
1/3 cup Molasses
1/3 cup full fat Milk
Heaping 1/8 cup Oil
1 Egg
1/3 t Baking Soda
2/3 t Baking Powder
1 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Ginger
Fresh grated Nutmeg (about 1/4 t)
Pinch of Salt

These hardly rose at all. I figured it was due to the insane amount of liquid in it. I should have taken some liquid out elsewhere in the recipe when I added all that molasses. The result, though, ended up on a very tender, moist, and fluffy muffin. Odd! Even though the batter rose better yesterday, the flatter muffins have a MUCH better texture. I will try again tomorrow.

Before lunch, I went flea market shopping. I need a coffee table. Something small, low to the floor and unique. I found an old painted army trunk. It was painted black with gold swirls on top. Some of the paint has chipped off because it is old. I love it. I could buy one and paint it myself, but this one LOOKS antique since is IS antique. That’s the look I want! I bargained with the man over the trunk and a very large oval-shaped mirror with a gold, ornate frame. He tried to offer me $28 for both, but his wife became rather cross, yelled at him in Spanish, and the man muttered, “I am sorry, my wife wants at least $30 for them…” The poor man. I took them anyway. to be honest, the mirror alone is worth nearly $100 new, and the trunk worth close to $70 as it was painted and had love and work put into it as an art piece. I tried to hang my mirror in my living room and just hated how it looked every place I put it. Then it hit me. I don’t have to hang it in my living room. I now have it hanging in my kitchen where it reflects the windows in my little nook. It is beautiful.

Lunch:

I ate this and also had an extra muffin before I leaving to go work out. It had been a long morning and I just wanted a little extra pick-me-up before going back for the first time in 4 months!

Going to the gym was WONDERFUL! I was so excited about being back, I couldn’t keep my heart rate down! The music my mp3 player chose to play were FABULOUS! I missed running! I missed spacing out for an hour! I missed relaxing my brain and just letting the workout take me. LOVED IT!

Dinner:

Pasta with Broccoli, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese

Taken from: http://www.creative-culinary.com/2011/04/pasta-con-broccoli/

Ingredients

2-3 cups broccoli florets
12 oz spaghetti noodles (I used angel hair because I prefer it)
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tbsp butter, melted
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
More Parmesan to sprinkle on top
ADDED:
Minced Garlic
Fresh chopped Parsley (for garnish)

Preparation

Simmer broccoli in approximately 2 quarts of salted hot water for a few seconds.
Add uncooked spaghetti and cook for 8 minutes. (I prefer thin spaghetti…so adjust accordingly if you do and add to water after a couple of minutes).
Put mushrooms and tomatoes in bottom of serving bowl.
Drain broccoli and spaghetti in colander and put on top of vegetables in bowl and let it sit for a minute.
Add Parmesan, butter, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; toss together and serve with some additional Parmesan grated on top.

*This recipe was a HUGE surprise to me! HUGE! I just wanted something easy and simple (because I was DYING to start watching “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” with Jeremy Brett, who is positively swoon-worthy) and I randomly found this recipe that used all the ingredients that needed to be eaten before going bad and being wasted. THIS was fantastic. I will be making this many, many more times in the future.

Exercise: 1 hour at the gym

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Pissed *shakes fist at WordPress*

I had a whole bunch of stuff written here, and WordPress didn’t save it. Wow.

I’m mad, so I’ll skip trying to remember it. It was a lot. I will just get meals out of the way for today, then maybe in the next couple of posts I’ll try to sum up what I said.

Breakfast:

AB’s Parsnip Muffins

I’ve used this recipe a ton of times, weighing the ingredients really seems to do the trick. I also would like to point out that the bottoms look PERFECT! Not overcooked whatsoever! Just beautifully, lightly browned! This is because I used a lighter muffin pan. The color makes a difference! The darker pans retain and hold more heat for longer than lighter pans. These were baked at 375 for 19 minutes. I topped them with pine nuts instead of almonds because I did not have almonds. They rose very pretty with nice domed tops. They were nice and moist and not too dense due to the oil.

Lunch:

For Jess.

Dinner:

Quick Spaghetti Sauce

I chopped a tomato and threw in all the usual tomato sauce culprits, tomato paste, water, chopped onion, chopped green pepper, sliced mushrooms, fresh parsley, fresh rosemary, dried basil, dash of cinnamon, large pinch of sugar, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, a splash of lemon juice and a little added Parmesan on top. Simmered all of that for about half an hour. The only thing that could have made it better would be for me to peel the tomatoes next time and blend them. This will make a smoother sauce. Otherwise, it was fantastic.

I was visited today for a short while. We watched some classic Doctor Who, which I am simply ADORING! I knew that I would, though. I have 3 shirts with the 4th Doctor on them even though I never saw one episode with him in it until now.  I tried sending my darling home early so he could write, but I’m fairly certain little to no writing actually occurred. I need to encourage him more.

 

Restraint

I made sort of a lavish breakfast this morning as I have these apples I must use. I was very proud of myself in that I didn’t smash on the entire batch. I also didn’t necessarily TRY to limit myself. While I was eating them, I decided, “I am full. I do not wish to eat any more.” I put the rest into a ziplock bag and froze them for another time. I am happy with this seemingly small accomplishment. Listening to our bodies is so much harder than it’s made out to be.

Breakfast:

Apple Breakfast Puffs

Taken from: http://www.mangiodasola.com/2009/10/apple-breakfast-puffs.html

3 cups AP flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening (Crisco)
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used buttermilk)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 sticks butter
1 apple (peeled, cored, and diced into small cubes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups (I used “Baker’s Joy”, like Pioneer Woman). Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk mixture, and set aside.

In a different bowl (I used the stand mixer bowl), cream together sugar and shortening, then add eggs and mix. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to creamed mixture, beating (until the flour is mostly incorporated) after each addition and ending with the flour. Fold in chopped apples. (Make sure you do not overmix so that the puffs do not come out tough.)

Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden. In a bowl, melt 1 1/2 sticks butter. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip baked muffins in butter, coating thoroughly, then coat with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

*I made these into mini-muffins, sort of doughnut hole style! They were slightly overbaked, but otherwise addictive! I have all sorts of new baking pans and still have yet to get used to them. I also desperately need an oven thermometer. That would greatly help my oven temperature situation.

Lunch:

I also had a little applesauce with this. But not a lot.

After my sammich, I went on a massively long ass walk. There’s always so much I need to friggin do, I swear. I will have my car back so very soon, I keep telling myself. I love to walk, but it will save me so much time if sometimes I had my car. It normally takes me about 3 hours to walk (what would be) a 10 minute drive up the street, shop for supplies, walk to the grocery store, shop for food, then walk home. In the end, if I had a car and needed the time more than I needed the exercise, I could have all of this done in about 1 hour. I really need my car.

Dinner:

Cashew and Coconut Milk Curry with Chicken and Peas

I wrote down everything I put into it. I’m getting MUCH better at that! I wanted to put A LOT more peas into this dish, but ran out, so I substitutes with the little bit of broccoli I had left. I will write what I WANTED in this as opposed to what I actually used.

Peanut Oil
1 boneless, skinless Chicken breast, cubed
Onion, sliced
1/2 cup Peas
1 t Mustard Seed
1/2 T Cumin
1/2 T Garam Masala
1 t Cayenne Pepper (I like my stuff hot, you may choose to use less)
1 t Onion Powder
1/2 c Cashews, divided
1 t Sugar
1/2 c Coconut Milk
1/3 c Crushed Tomatoes
1 T Tomato Paste
1/3 c Chicken Stock (or however much you feel you want in it to thin your sauce out)
1 T Honey
S&P
Lime juice (garnish)
Sour Cream (garnish)

Blend 1/4 – 1/3 cup of the cashews in a food processor with about 1 t of sugar until smooth (like peanut butter). This may take a while (but totally worth it).  Cook the chicken in peanut oil until no longer pink in the middle. Remove from pan and set aside. Cook the onions, peas, reserved cashews, and mustard seed in the same pan until the onions become translucent and the mustard seeds start to pop (you may add more peanut oil if necessary). Add other spices and cook about 1 minute longer. Add coconut milk, cashew butter, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and honey. Cook to desired thickness on medium heat. If you should want the sauce a bit thinner, add chicken stock. Add chicken back into the pan and heat through. Sprinkle on some fresh lime juice and serve on sticky rice with a dollop of sour cream.

*One of the very best concoctions I do. I love adding cashew butter to dishes! It is very Indian-style and I would have served it on Basmati rice if I had any. Toasting the spices before adding the liquids helps to release the flavour and aromatics, so don’t skip this step! Someday, I would like to buy my spices for these dishes whole and grind them myself. I am working on being rich enough to do this on a consistent basis.

It was nice to get a lot of things done today errand-wise, but I did not get as much work done for my business as I would have hoped. Then again, I spent my morning making mini-muffins instead of working, knowing full well my errands would suck up a large portion of my time today. Well, the joy of baking simply MUST take precedence every once in a while to keep one sane!

Exercise: 8 mile walk

MMUM not fail!

At least I got this part right! Sheesh!

BUT I finally lost it. I finally said to myself, “Self, nobody wants to see YET ANOTHER picture of  the same cereal in the same bowl and a PB&J sammich with the same grape jelly and crunchy peanut butter. NOBODY!”

So I protested taking pictures of those same things. Again. You kids probably feel like you’re on a broken record by now with this place.

I worked a lot this morning. Shipped out a couple of things. Expected a visit from my darling at around 5:20 or so. (Just a short visit, he’d left something here by accident that he needed to pick up.) When he arrives, I can tell something is very, very wrong. He looked like he was outright miserable. He had a migraine and just wanted to sit, relax, and let it pass. This was more than alright with me. I closed all of the curtains in my living room and just held his hand and talked to him while he rested. The migraine passed relatively quickly. He told me I must be good for him. That I have magical healing powers. He’s so beautiful.

That was my adventure for the day.

Dinner:

Pumpkin, Peas, and Red Peppers in a Cashew, Coriander, and Coconut sauce

I jotted down the ingredients this time so I couldn’t forget. YES! I will get better at doing that! Some of these turn out incredible and I really would like to share!

Onion, diced
Red pepper, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
Fresh grated Ginger
1/4 small roasted Pumpkin, cubed
1/4 c Peas
0.5 T Coriander
0.5 t Cayenne pepper
1 t Garam Masala
0.5 t Turmeric
Cashews
Crushed Tomatoes
Olive Oil
Lime Juice
1/8 c Coconut
Sprinkle of Sugar

Cook the onion, garlic, ginger and red pepper in some olive oil until red pepper becomes tender. Add peas and spices. Meanwhile, put a handfull of cashews into a food processor and blend until very fine, if you have the patience, until it becomes a paste. Add coconut and process with cashews until well blended. Add crushed tomatoes (about…1/4 cup) and a dash of lime juice and pulse once or twice. Add mixture to the pan along with the diced, roasted pumpkin and some extra whole cashews. Cook until pumpkin is heated through. Serve on sticky rice.

*Very, very good! Lots of coriander flavor without covering up the flavor of the veggies/pumpkin too much. I liked showcasing the coriander, it is normally sort of an afterthought spice in curry, so it was nice to let it shine! Made it different than I’m used to!

 

I was happy that I didn’t say anything stupid today. I feel as though I get so nervous, as my boyfriend is, very honestly, a lot smarter than I am, that I say really stupid things whilst talking with him. My brain turns to mush and I temporarily forget things that I KNOW I know.  You know? Then I feel as though he’s going to realize I’m actually an ignorant idiot posing as an intelligent young woman.  I ought to just shut up and look pretty so he doesn’t suspect that I’m a complete moron. I did good today though. I just sort of talked at him about my day softly and in a low tone so he could just sort of relax to the sound of my voice. It worked. And I didn’t say one stupid thing. I feel I’ve made up for the REALLY extra dumb comments I’ve made in the past couple of days.

Curing migraines is a great way to show that you’re worth keeping around. Even if sometimes you’re slightly stupid.

 

Friends walking in on you naked

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

It started off normally enough with breakfast:

Pineapple and Yogurt on Cardamom Oatmeal

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

Lunch:

Boring PB&J. But always yummy!

Dinner:

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

BBQ and Honey Mustard Stir Fry

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

Ingredients:

1 box (10 ounces) couscous pasta

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

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 medium onion, sliced

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

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

Directions:

Prepare couscous according to package directions. Keep warm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Money woes

I keep spending my money on things I shouldn’t be spending my money on.

I have rent due in a week. I simply do not have enough for it. So I am freaking out slightly.

I shouldn’t, because whenever I desperately need money, that seems to be the time I start selling the most stuff. And then everything is okay. But until then, I freak out entirely.

I’ll be okay. I just need to work harder. And eat better to keep my energy up!

Breakfast:

Perfectly Crispy Waffles with Mango Syrup and fresh Diced Mango

Waffles:

Taken from: http://buffaloeats.org/2010/02/08/cookin-with-walt-amazing-restaurant-quality-crispy-waffles/

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup AP FLOUR
  • ¼ cup Traditional WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR
  • ¼ cup CORN STARCH
  • 1 TBSP GROUND FLAX MEAL (optional but good for you)
  • ¼ tsp BAKING SODA
  • ½ tsp BAKING POWDER
  • ½ tsp SALT
  • 2 tsp CANE SUGAR  (use refined sugar if you don’t have cane sugar)
  • 1 cup BUTTERMILK (or buttermilk substitute)
  • 1/3 cup SMART BALANCE OIL (you have to use oil and this is probably the healthiest)
  • 1 EGG (lightly beaten)
  • 1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT (You can use two if you like)

PREPARATION:

Thoroughly mix all of the dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix thoroughly but don’t over mix.  Let it sit for 15 minutes and give it a couple of stirs.   Let it sit for 15 more minutes

Here is a punch list of techniques to guarantee success:

  • Preheat the iron
  • Do not spray the iron with non stick spray.  Plenty of oil in the recipe
  • Fill the bottom of the iron with the correct amount of batter which will differ based on the model.
  • Close the cover and leave it alone.  Some irons have a light that says it is done.  It is not done.  The waffle will steam a lot.  When the steam slows down to barely steaming the waffle is done.  You can now open it and check.  It should be medium dark golden brown.  It steam turns to smoke you waited too long.
  • Close the iron for a minute between waffles and let it recover.
  • You can heat an oven to 200 and keep your waffles in there for a bit if you are making a lot ahead of time.  Don’t stack them on top of each other and don’t cover them or they will get soft.

DO NOT SKIP ANY PART OF THIS RECIPE! If you need to make buttermilk, the substitution stated in the directions works incredibly well. I used full fat milk instead of skim and was VERY pleasantly surprised with the results! So any milk will work great! LET THE BATTER SIT for the allotted amount of time! If you can, also let your buttermilk substitution sit in the fridge for half an hour to an hour before using to allow it to thicken.

Mango Syrup:

Pureed mango + pineapple juice
Equal part sugar
Water to adjust thickness of syrup

Heat this mixture in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved and syrup is of desired consistency, adding water when necessary.

INCREDIBLE! FANTASTIC! FINALLY a crispy waffle!!! It only took like 10 attempts and different recipes to get it, BUT I GOT IT! I will be saving this and recommend it to absolutely everyone!!!

Lunch:

Pesto, Tomato and Feta Cheese Sandwich

Since I had such an eccentric breakfast, I went for a much more simple lunch! I used some of the leftover pesto from the night before, spread a thick layer onto bread, sliced up some tomato and laid that on the other slice, topped it with a drizzle of olive oil and a little crumbled feta, and PRESTO! One of the best sammiches I’ve ever made!!!

Dinner:

Alton Brown’s Baked Mac & Cheese

Taken from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/baked-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper

Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Remember to save leftovers for fried Macaroni and Cheese.

*I of course modified this slightly. I used Monterrey Jack cheese instead of Cheddar and I used cream cheese in the place of some of the milk to make it even cheesier and creamier. CRAZY!!! Luckily I could only eat half of this! I’m getting better with my portions, but I also find myself sort of wanting to automatically eat make 2 servings of meals now since I feel I will have to start getting used to it? If that makes sense. I’m so so so glad to have a man who loves my cooking!!!!!

I walked a lot today. I got a lot of work done as well, 2 projects finished and sent! Long day, but look at all the great food that came out of it! This is what my blog is supposed to be! I’m so happy!

Exercise: 5 mile walk

Boring is okay!

I’m learning this. The reason that I started this blog was to keep myself accountable to what I ate, and that INCLUDES boring, not-so-pretty food. So I’ve finally gone back to taking pictures of everything regardless of aesthetics.

Breakfast:

Cereal. BUT! At least I have a picture!

Lunch:

PB&J. But piiiiiictuuuuure…

Dinner:

Spaghetti with Basil Tomato Sauce and Sauteed Mushrooms

Basil Tomato Sauce:

2 Tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 small Onion, finely chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
Maybe about 2 T Tomato Paste, but I like my sauces REALLY tomato-y
A lot of fresh Basil, chopped (maybe like…2 T again…I like my stuff super flavourful)
Fresh chopped Thyme, about 1 t
1 T Sugar (I also love sweetness if you’ve somehow forgotten)
S&P to taste
Olive Oil for sauteing
Water as needed

Sautee the onions and garlic in some olive oil. Add the chopped tomato and try to rescue as much of the juice as possible too so you can add that as well!  Add tomato paste. Allow to simmer and cook down, adding water as necessary to bring back to the right consistency. Cook for around 10-15 minutes. Add basil, thyme, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook about another 5 minutes. Sautee some mushroom slices in a little butter, oil and salt. Serve on top of spaghetti with a basil chiffonade for garnish! EXCELLENT quick dish! Really, I cannot sing it’s praises enough! But then again, I adore basil, so I can’t really go wrong with it.

I also made a peach pie this evening. I had a whole ton of peaches to do SOMETHING with, so I made this pie:

…and of course promptly ate like 1/4 of it. Could have been worse! 2 pieces really isn’t all that bad! I did have them with a big dollop of greek yogurt though! Mmmmm!

I cannot remember the sites I got the recipe from. I combined a bunch of them. I DO want to let my future self know that this DID contain almond extract, lemon juice and needed more sugar. I just think everything needs more sugar. Also, the liquid-to-peach ratio for the filling should have been higher (more liquid next time!) so I need to check into that too. OTHERWISE this actually turned out pretty good! The crust was especially good! I was really proud of it this time! I will be making lots more of these in the future, I WILL perfect a pie recipe!

Exercise: 5 mile walk (without stopping at work to visit G…I did not want the bombardment of questions from my co-workers about my neck…they know….I know they all know)