• Feeds

simple meals

I definitely did not spend much time on my meals today!  Luckily, I had a breakfast already made for me, leftovers for lunch, and a simple but delicious dinner!

I woke up bright and early for some speedwork on the treadmill!  I ran 7 miles with 4 x 1600 at an 8:00 pace.  I finished in just over an hour and felt great!  But, was ready for breakfast.

I forgot to snap a photo, but breakfast was another Wheatberry bowl with dried fruit, caramelized pears, greek yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.  Same as yesterday, so I copied the photo!  Trust me, it looked the same. 🙂

Breakfast did not fill me up as much as it did yesterday, maybe because of my workout?  So, mid morning I snacked on a banana and chocolate almond butter from Futter’s Nut Butter.  I ordered some nut butters from Futters awhile ago and they sent me some samples along with my purchase.  This chocolate almond butter was one of them.

It was good, but not great.  A little too sweet for my liking.  I much prefer the Cinn-ful Pecan Butter that I bought from them!

When lunch rolled around, I was ready with my leftovers!

I started with the rice mixture from our Stuffed Acorn Squash.

We had a lot of the stuffing left over!

Then, I had the leftover Brussel Sprouts from last night.

It was a great lunch.

Then, I was craving salty chocolate.  Wired, I know, but sometimes you just need it!  So, I booked it to Trader Joe’s to get my favorite Chocolate Pretzel Slims.

I immediately tore open the bag and dug in!

Yum – perfect!

The ingredient list isn’t terrible either.

But, of course I was still hungry a few hours later since my treat was not very filling!  So, I tried the new Oikos Caramel Greek Yogurt.

Oh my gosh!  This is even better than the chocolate!  It has a subtle, creamy caramel taste.  It is not a super sweet caramel, like I thought it might be.  So good.

Brant and I both got home late tonight, so we just wanted something quick for dinner.  I decided to heat up a can of Amy’s Soup that I had been sent to review.

I tried the Chunky Tomato Bisque.

This soup was really good.  It was rich and creamy.  Normally, I am not a fan of canned soup due to the amount of sodium, but Amy’s is a good compromise for a quick lunch or dinner.  Their soups are all natural and organic.  It still contains a lot of salt (680mg per serving), but that is less than other soups out there.  Plus, Amy’s only uses whole ingredients.

INGREDIENTS : ORGANIC TOMATO PUREE, ORGANIC DICED TOMATOES, ORGANIC CREAM, ORGANIC EVAPORATED CANE JUICE, ORGANIC ONIONS, SEA SALT, SPICES.

I also made up some quesadillas on a pita pocket to serve along with the soup.

I sliced up some zucchini and cheddar cheese to put in my quesadilla, and grilled it on the panini press for a few minutes until hot and melty.

A perfect and sophisticated grilled cheese and soup!

Time to pay attention to the Olympics and finish my book!  See you all tomorrow. 🙂

snowy day

The city of Boston started their snow emergency at 8am!!  There wasn’t a flake on the ground when I left for work…

Back up to my workout!

I trekked to the gym this morning to do some speedwork on the treadmill, and lift some weights.  After running 7 miles with 8 x 800’s in 60 minutes, I moved on to weights.

Upper Body Weights

  • Overhead press (3 sets of 12, 10lb weights)
  • 21’s (3 sets, 10lb weights)
  • Chest press (3 sets of 12, 12.5lb weights)
  • Tricep row (3 sets of 12, 12.5lb weights)
  • Upright row (3 sets of 12, 10lb weights)
  • Front raises (3 sets of 10, 7.5lb weights)
  • Side raises (3 sets of 10, 7.5lb weights)
  • Fly’s (3 sets of 12, 10lb weights)
  • Tricep extension (3 sets of 12, 10lb weight)
  • Lateral pulldown (3 sets of 12, 50lbs)
  • Seated row (3 sets of 12, 40lbs)

Great workout!  My legs were burning after my run, and my arms were burning after the weights!

Once home, I was starving, so I immediately dug into breakfast!

Museli with homemade granola and a scoop of Cinn-ful Pecan Mix Nut Butter

This is the best kind of Museli I have tried.  I love Bob’s Red Mill!  I haven’t tried all of his stuff, but the museli and oatmeal are delicious.  Remember my NuVal shopping experience, when I found out that Museli was more nutritious than Oats?  Well, I still love my oats, but I like the switch it up once in awhile too.

I mixed this museli with a litte almond milk, and popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds, so that my pecan butter would melt.  I then topped it with some homemade granola and Cinn-ful Pecan Butter.  It was delicious, as usual.  The addition of pecan butter made it more sin-ful. 🙂

The Cinn-ful Pecan Mix Nut Butter is from Futter’s.  They have a great company who make lots of different types of nut butters instead of peanut butter.  All of their products are made with little to no extra ingredients added, and are so good!  I have tried a few other flavors, but this Cinn-ful Pecan is to die for, seriously!

(sorry for the blurry photos today :()

They recommend that you keep pecan butter in the fridge, but I like it ooey and gooey, so it sits in my cabinet!

I feel a cold coming on (it seems like everyone around me is sick!), so along with breakfast I had some Cold season tea from Yogi.

The tea contains a lot of natural herbs to fight a cold!  I love natural medicine practices.  I’m not one to take cold medicine, so I try to fuel up on natural stuff.

Mmmm…it has an overall orangy flavor, and I love tasting some herbs too.

Warmed me right up.

My blurry tea fortune says: You must live for something higher, bigger and better than you.

On to Lunch!

I am still working on some leftovers, but wanted something different today. I decided on a salad with arugula, peppers and hemp seeds!  Hemp is so good for you (read about it in a previous post here).  I normally use the protein powder in my smoothies, but bought some seeds during my last health food store shopping.

They don’t taste like much, but do have a nutty flavor, so they make a perfect addition to sprinkle on salads or in stirfrys for an added boost!

I added some homemade pomegranate dressing to my salad – pomegranate juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Along with my salad, I had a pineapple chobani with some additional pineapple mixed in!

 

And, for my sweet ending, another new chocolate bar!  (only a few pieces though)

Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate

Word cannot describe this bar!  It was so good.  Rich dark chocolate paired with sea salt and chunks of almonds.  I mean, check out the almonds!

Loved this one!

Of course, it came with a love poem:

How great would these chocolate bars be for Valentine’s day?!  Chocolate and a love poem! (hint, hint)

long run & leftovers

After lunch I headed to the gym for my long run.  After my busy weekend, I could not get motivated to run outside.  It seemed like more work than running on the treadmill, and I’m just not sure I would have pushed myself to run 10 miles!  So, I headed to the gym for my run.  I made sure to go so that I could watch Oprah during my run, which definitely helped move it along.  One hour and 35 minutes later, I had 10.6 miles under my belt.  Phew, glad that is over! 🙂

It is really important to fuel up with protein after a tough workout, so once home I made some juice, had some blueberry tea (to warm up!) and snacked on a Super Charge Me cookie to hold me over until dinner.

In my juice mix went:

  • 1 huge carrot
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 small green apples
  • 1/2 lemon

This fruit was all destined to be tossed with the trash tomorrow, so I needed to use it up!

We have tons of leftovers from the weekend, so dinner was a smorgasbord!

I had one slice of pepper and cheese pizza, one slice of BBQ chicken pizza and salad for greens!!!

I added some nuts to my salad for crunch.  Sahale Snacks sent me this Valdosta Nut Blend, along with some other nuts for me to try (full review to come later after I have tried everything).

The nut blend contains Pecans with Sweet Cranberries, Black Pepper and Orange Zest .  They were a delicious, sweet and crunchy mix!  I added a sprinkle of feta to my greens as well.  For dressing, I mixed up a little pomegranate juice with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Dressing ingredients:

Instead of mixing it all up, I just drizzle some of everything onto my salad.

I also enjoyed a Pomegranate Mocktail with my dinner, as well!  Seltzer with a splash of POM pomegranate juice and a squeeze of lemon. 🙂  I felt like a cocktail, but needed a detox after the weekend!

POM Wonderful sent me some samples of their 100% pomegranate juice that I have been enjoying for a few weeks now.  I love to use a splash of the pomegranate juice in my seltzer water and to mix it with a little olive oil for a delicious salad dressing, which is just what I did tonight.  The pomegranate juice is great!  It is both sweet and tart at the same time, and tastes just like the juice that you would squeeze directly from a pomegranate!  And, it is super healthy for you!

Check out the facts from their website:

All of POM Wonderful Juices:

  • contain no added sugars, preservatives or colors
  • are a good source of potassium
  • are gluten-free
  • are flash pasteurized to retain both flavor and nutrients
  • are certified kosher

It’s also 100% authentic, 100% delicious and 100% pure, meaning there’s no added sugar, colorants or cheap filler juices.

You can find this in almost any grocery store, so definitely give it a try!  The juice is great in cocktails as well!

For dessert, which I seem to have to eat lately, I tried a new chocolate bar!

Chocolove’s Crystalized Ginger in Dark Chocolate (65% Cocoa Content)

All of Chocolove’s bars have a fun poem inside!  This one came with a poem about Romeo & Juliet:

The chocolate bar is delicious dark chocolate with hunks of ginger – yum!

I love this chocolate company!

cookies and blt’s

Bet you never thought I’d write a post about BLT’s, huh?  Well, in place of bacon, I used my dehydrated eggplant bacon!

Eggplant Bacon

from Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 dried chipotle chile, soaked at least 2 hours – omitted because I didn’t have any!
  • 1/2 cup soaking water from the chipotle peppers – omitted, and added a little water instead
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons nama shoyu
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • pinch black pepper
  • pinch cayenne

Directions:


Cut the eggplant in half, then slice thinly to make ‘bacon’ strips.



Sprinkle it with the sea salt and allow to sit for 1-2 hours on paper towels.


In the mean time, blend all of the other ingredients in your high speed blender or food processor.


Press our the extra moisture in your eggplant by blotting it with extra paper towels.


Then, submerge the eggplant in the marinade and let sit 30-45 minutes.




Carefully lay out the eggplant strips onto your dehydrator and dehydrate at 115°F until crispy (mine took about 14 hours – I put it on before I went to bed, and it was done mid-morning).




13.5 hours later, my eggplant bacon was crispy and done!


It tasted great!  Definitely not like real bacon, although I probably haven’t had that in at least 10 years!  It was crispy and the flavor was great, so I’m glad I used the marinade!


To make our BLT’s for dinner, I took 2 slices of sprouted grain bread and toasted them, then spread a thin layer of mustard on each.

I layered the toast with green leaf lettuce, yellow tomatoes and eggplant bacon.


After the sandwich was put together, I put it on our grill pan to press it a little bit.


Yummy!  The eggplant bacon was crispy enough that it really did remind me of real bacon, besides the flavor.  But, then again, I used to eat BLT’s because I liked the crunch, so this works just fine for me!



I served our sandwiches with a side of zucchini and kale chips, which I dipped in ketchup!


Yesterday morning, I took my zucchini chips out of the dehydrator after 9.5 hours!  Here is how they turned out:




They were crispy, just like chips!  I liked the flavor better dipped in ketchup, so next time I will use some kind of seasoning before dehydrating.  I’m thinking even italian seasoning would be delicious!

For dessert I made some Super Charge Me cookies from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.

Super Charge Me Cookies

adapted from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan

makes 12 ‘ice cream scoop’ sized cookies


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quick oats (i used rolled oats)
  • 2/3 cup spelt flour (i used whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon (i used 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened coconut (i used 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup raisins or other dried fruit ( i used 1/3 cup raisins)
  • 3-4 tbsp carob (to be vegan) or chocolate chips (i used 4 tbsp dark chocolate chunks)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup flax meal
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp almond butter (i used Futter’s Almond Haze)
  • 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp canola oil (i used coconut oil)

Mix all of the ingredients together, scoop with an ice cream scoop and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350°F for 13 minutes.

I took my cookies out after exactly 13 minutes, and they were perfect.  Enjoy!!

These cookies were great.  It will be my new go-to cookie for awhile now.  They are extremely east to make, and I normally have all of the ingredients in my pantry!

quinoa stew and macaroons

My yogurt maker made delicious yogurt!  I’ll post towards the end of the week with some ideas and uses for it. 🙂

It was Day 2 of my weight training today, so I worked out my Legs & Abs.

5 minute warmup – jumping jacks

Legs

  • Lunge & Lift – 3 sets of 12
  • Stability Ball hamstring curl – 3 sets of 12
  • Mountain Climbers – 1 minute
  • Calf Raises with 10 lb weights – 3 sets of 12
  • Squat jumps – 1 minute
  • Deadlifts with 10 lb weights – 3 sets of 12
  • Step-ups with 10 lb weights – 3 sets of 12
  • Burpees – 1 minute
  • Leg lifts – 2 sets of 12

Abs

  • Crunches – 3 sets of 15
  • Reverse Crunches – 3 sets of 15
  • Bicycles – 3 sets of 20
  • Frogs – 3 sets of 10
  • V-ups – 3 sets of 10

5 minute cooldown – jumprope

Tough workout tonight, my legs were burning during those squat jumps and burpees!  I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow, but it was worth it!

Then, it was time for dinner and baking!

Tonight on the menu was our favorite – quinoa!  You probably think that we eat quinoa all the time.  Well, we do!  It is a delicious grain (actually, it’s a seed) and it pairs nicely with any type of vegetable.  Quinoa is about 15% protein, which is very high for a grain, so we rarely eat much other protein with it.

We used a recipe out of one of the Moosewood Cookbooks tonight.  These cookbooks are great, especially for vegetarians.  They make all sorts of delicious recipes.

Quinoa cooks like a couscous does, very quickly.  I started dinner by rinsing 3/4 cup of quinoa (it is important to rinse the quinoa because the seed produces a natural coat to protect itself from insects and you want to rinse this bitter coat off) and placing it in a pan with twice as much water to boil.  Once it boils, you just reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.  A few minutes before the quinoa was cooked, I added some corn to the mix.

Meanwhile, I chopped up my veggies: garlic, onion, green pepper, zucchini, summer squash and tomatoes.

Add the onions and garlic to a pan heated with olive oil and cook until tender.  Then, add the pepper, zucchini and squash and cook until a little browned, 5-10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes along with 2 cans of diced tomatoes and a tablespoon of thyme and cover, simmering until the veggies are all tender.  Then add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.  We like our food a little on the spicy side, so I added extra pepper flakes!

Serve the stew over a scoop of the quinoa mixture!  The quinoa really works nicely with the stew.  It is a much lighter dish that it would be with a rice.  Delicious!

Quinoa with Vegetable Stew

adapted from Moosewood Restaurants Low-Fat Favorites

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 summer squash, chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Rinse the quinoa and add to pan with water.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender and fluffy.
  2. When quinoa has cooked for about 10 minutes, stir in the corn, and continue to cook.
  3. Meanwhile, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat, until the onions soften.
  4. Add the pepper, zucchini and squash; cook until slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and thyme.  Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until veggies are tender.
  6. Add red pepper flakes, then salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Fluff the quinoa mixture, spoon it onto individual serving plates and ladle on the vegetable stew.

Nutrition Facts: About 300 calories per serving.  9.2 grams of protein and 6.5 grams of fat.

My dessert creation of the night were some delicious Almond Coconut Macaroons and Chocolate Almond Coconut Macaroons!  We are having some friends over for dinner this week, so I needed to try some things out.  I can’t serve just any old thing to my guests. 🙂

I got this recipe from another foodie’s blog and they came out perfectly.  Plenty of almond and coconut flavor.  I added extra sun-grained chocolate chips to the chocolate ones which makes them much more chocolaty and sinful!

I buy my raw almonds and raw coconut whole because you get more bang for your buck, so my first task was to chop them all up.  I ground up the almonds in my food processor until they were almost to a flour-like texture.  I did the same with the coconut, but made sure it had more texture.

Once chopped, I mixed all of my ingredients together and formed them into ice-cream scoop sized balls.  These are supposed to be placed in a dehydrator, but mine isn’t large enough, so instead I turned my oven on to 170°F (the lowest it will go) and “cooked” them for about 4 hours.

Almond Coconut Macaroons

borrowed from Joggerslife.com

makes 9 macaroons

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Raw Almonds, ground (flour-style)
  • 1 Cup Raw Ground Coconut
  • 2 Medjool Dates, spun in food processor
  • 1/8 Cup Raw Agave Nectar
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond Extract

Double Chocolate Almond Coconut Macaroons

borrowed from Joggerslife.com

makes 9 macaroons

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Raw Almonds, ground (flour-style)
  • 1 Cup Raw Ground Coconut
  • 2 Medjool Dates, spun in food processor
  • 1/8 Cup Raw Agave Nectar
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Sun-Grained Chocolate Chips

Directions for both recipes:

  1. Preheat oven to 170°F. (or use a dehydrator at 105°F for 6-8 hours)
  2. Combine all ingredients.  You’ll know it’s perfect when everything sticks together easily.
  3. Form batter into round balls, and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  4. Allow to stay in oven for 3-4 hours, or until macaroons are firm to the touch. (mine took 4 hours)

These babies are so good.  I could eat them all day long!  They would be great topped with a little almond butter, or even broken up over some coconut ice cream!

I will be making these for family and friends in the very near future!  They just might be the 2010 Christmas cookies!  By then, maybe I’ll have a bigger dehydrator. 🙂

heathier takeout

Takeout is a normal nightly routine for a lot of people these days, with people having less and less time to cook healthy meals for themselves and their families!  In the past, it has received a bad reputation because there were not many healthier options.  However, today you can pretty much get anything you want!

After spending a weekend in NH, the last thing we wanted to do when we got home was cook dinner!  We arrived home around 7pm last night and decided to go for takeout instead.

Living in a city, there are so many takeout options, that sometimes I get very overwhelmed!  We always just seem to go for pizza!  The fact that it is cheap and easy to pick up is a definite plus!  My thought is that if I am going to spend $40+ on a dinner, then I am going to eat it at the restaurant and enjoy the atmosphere.  So, pizza it was for us last night!  Many people believe that pizza is not good for you, but like I have said many times before – I believe that anything in moderation is ok!

I absolutely love pizza.  I love the dough and sauce and cheese…but, I always try to add veggies for something more nutritious.

5+ years ago, I would have ordered a large pizza and eaten 3-4 slices no problem!  But, now, I try to fill up on other good-for-you things so that I will not just scarf down the delicious pizza and feel sick afterwards!  Instead of just ordering a large pizza, my husband and I make a healthier decision and order a small pizza with a garden salad.  This way, we fill up on the greens so that we don’t overdue it on the pizza.  By ordering a small, instead of a large pizza, there is also less temptation for overindulging.  I think it is a smart choice!

Sidewalk Cafe Pizza and Salad:

This was the Alfreso: White pizza with ricotta and mozarrella cheese topped with tomatoes and a garden salad.  I definitely ate 2 more small slices after that!

Our pizza of choice for the evening did not include many veggies, but it is one of our favorites that we only get every so often!  Plus, the delicious salad (which I topped with pomegranate seeds!) gave us more than enough veggies for the meal!

To get some more antioxidants, I had a virgin cocktail of sparkling water and a splash of pomegranate juice straight from a pomegranate!

And, for dessert (which I can never give up!) I had 2 chocolate covered snowballs!

Delicious and nutritious takeout dinner!

granola bars

I decided to have a little more fun while my fruit was dehydrating, so I whipped up some homemade granola bars that I found on another blogger website: Katheats.com

They were super easy to make.  I substituted some of my own ingredients in the bars, since I had them on hand.  You could basically use any type of dried fruit and/or nuts you have on hand!

Homemade Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit (I used 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup craisins, 1/4 cup apricots)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.25 cups skim milk
  • 1 egg or egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Directions:

    1.  Preheat oven to 350°.

    2.  Mix dry ingredients.

    3.  Mix wet ingredients.

    4. Pour wet into dry.  Stir to combine.

    5.  Pour into a 9 x 9 baking dish either coated in cooking spray or lined with parchment.

    6.  Bake for 40 minutes.

    7.  Cut into 9 squares.  Wrap individually and freeze for an on-the-go treat!

    These smelled delicious while they were cooking!  Upon taking them out, I dug right in to try a piece and I was a little disappointed.  I would like them to be a tad sweeter.  Next time I will add some agave or honey or brown sugar!  My husband doesn’t agree though, he loves them!