Posts tagged: beans

Lovin’ On Legumes

By Katie, 5:04 am

Yesterday I posted about Loving Little Katie (I can’t thank all of you enough for your supportive comments and emails! It means so much to me!). So today I thought I’d go a little lighter and shower some love on something else entirely: LEGUMES.

I have to come clean about my reason for wanting to post about legumes: I had no idea what they were. Well, not no idea, but only a very vague one. And I figured a blog post would be a great way to educate myself!

I think my confusion started when I learned in my high school French class that the word for vegetable in that language is “légume.” So I then assumed that our word “legume” also simply meant “vegetable.” But no, it’s a little more narrow than that.

Apparently, the English word “legume” refers specifically to plants that bare their fruit in their seed pods, which split along both sides when ripe. That clears the confusion right up, now doesn’t it? :-?

It’s easier to understand by example. Here are some common legumes:

  • black beans
  • chickpeas
  • green peas
  • green beans
  • soy nuts
  • peanuts
  • lentils
  • kidney beans
  • sugar snap peas
  • lima beans
  • black-eyed peas

According to this Baltimore Sun article, legumes pack a pretty powerful punch. On average, a single serving (usually 1/2 cup) provides at least 20% of our daily need for fiber, folate, and manganese. They also give at least 10% of our daily need for protein, potassium, iron, magnesium, and copper. Not to mention they are CHEAP (because who isn’t on a budget right now?) and they store well for long periods of time.

So if you’re ready to get your legume love on, here are some of my favorite recipes featuring this awesome cast of characters.

Corn and Black Bean Pizza

Chunky Red Bean Spread

Maple Baked Beans

Lentil Salmon Salad

Chickpea-Spelt Burgers

Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

Did you know what legumes were? Do you have a favorite legume? Black beans might be my favorite, although I do love edamame and hummus a whole lot!

Southwestern Corn Pudding and Maple Baked Beans

By Katie, 5:57 am

My idea of “comfort food” will always be my late grandmother’s cooking: velvet-y smooth mashed potatoes, thick creamed corn, and sweet homemade applesauce. That food wasn’t just delicious; it was literally an extension of my grandmother’s overflowing love for her family.

While the meal below lacked the nostalgic qualities of that kind of comfort food, it had all of the other elements: simple, home-cooked, warm, filling, and familiar.

First up was this Southwestern Corn Pudding.

Dave and I both went wild over this recipe. The sweet corn, the touch of breading, the tiny kick from the jalapeno – it was all wonderful!

All I did to make this was pulse some corn kernels in the food processor until they were mostly pulp, and then mixed in some whole kernels. Then I stirred in eggs, plain Greek yogurt, cilantro, and jalapeno. Poured the mixture into a baking dish dusted with breadcrumbs, and 40 minutes later…voila!

Very comforting. :-)

Southwestern Corn Pudding
Slightly adapted from Vegetarian Times (I can’t find it online, so no link!)
Serves 6-8 (depending on whether it’s more of a main or a side dish)

Ingredients
1 cup breadcrumbs
4 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels, divided
4 large eggs
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (original recipe calls for sour cream)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 small jalapeno, minced (2 tbsp)
1 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray, and dust with breadcrumbs.

2. Pulse 3 cups corn kernels in food processor until pulpy and broken down. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in remaining 1 cup whole corn kernels.

3. Whisk together eggs, Greek yogurt, cilantro, jalapeno, and salt in separate bowl. Stir corn into egg mixture.

4. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake 30-40 minutes or until top is golden.

**Alternatively, this dish can be made in small individual ramekins, for added cuteness. ;-)

We enjoyed our Southwestern Corn Pudding with a grand serving of these absolutely-positively-never-eat-them-from-a-can-again-delicious Mapled Baked Beans.

Would you believe me if I told you this was the first time I made my own baked beans??? Shameful, I know! :oops:

This recipe from Angela is done in the slow cooker, which is perfect for this 9-to-5 gal. I used a mixture of Great Northern beans, sweet onion, molasses, maple syrup, mustard, apple cider vinegar, tomatoes, sea salt, and dried cranberries. Check out Angela’s post for the full recipe with measurements.

I cooked the whole mixture on low for 7 hours, and then had my slow cooker switch to its “warm” setting for another 2 hours or so, until I got home from work and cooked the Corn Pudding. The beans didn’t burn at all, and there was ample time for the flavors to fully meld together.

These beans were especially delicious served over roasted sweet potatoes.

And since there were plenty of leftovers, I was able to enjoy this comforting meal over and over again! Can’t beat that! ;-)

What’s your idea of comfort food?

AND

What’s something you’re embarrassed to admit that you’ve never made yourself, instead eating it only from a can or a package? Like I said, I can’t believe I relied solely on canned baked beans for so long!

Makin’ Burgers out of Beans

By Katie, 6:50 am

I love burgers. I love beans. So in my mind it’s only natural to put the two together! :-)

Beans make a great substitute for meat, and not just because they’re chock-full of protein. They also give vegetarian recipes the bulk that they’re occasionally missing; they make you feel full and satisfied in a way that a pile of lone veggies simply doesn’t.

The bean burgers showcased in this post have been making the blog-world rounds, the first one for quite some time. There’s a decent chance that at least some readers have already tried these recipes, in which case they can attest to the fact that they are simple, delicious, and satisfying – perhaps even to the hard-core meat-eater in the bunch. ;-)

In a Jiffy Spelt Burgers

Angela’s In a Jiffy Spelt Burgers, which are made using chickpeas and spelt flour, really are as fast to whip up as the name implies.

I followed her recipe exactly, except that I used extra sunflower seeds and no pumpkin or chia seeds – the sunflower seeds really do make this burger – and I only got 4 large burgers out of it. But let’s face it – Dave and I like big, hearty burgers. :-)

Pre-cooking.

We did these burgers in the oven, which makes them even easier because you don’t have to wait for ideal grilling weather.

Don’t you just want to bite into that?!?

Complete meal. :-)

Vegan Black Bean Burgers

After the success of the chickpea-spelt burgers, I was excited to try Emily’s now-famous recipe for Vegan Black Bean Burgers. She jokes that they end up looking quite similar to giant cookies, and I have to say that I agree! :lol:

That cookie-like appearance comes from the fact that there are whole black beans in the burger, which is definitely what makes this recipe so special…that, and the wonderful mix of spices – cinnamon, cumin, coriander, chili powder, cayenne, salt, pepper, and onion powder – oh my! 8-O

I did these in the oven as well, although you could easily start them in the oven and then finish them on the grill. And I again subbed sunflower seeds for the pumpkin seeds, because it’s what I had on hand.

Unlike the chickpea-spelt burger recipe, with this one I got more burgers than the recipe called for. I ended up with 8 burgers; we had two for dinner, two as leftovers, and I froze the other four.

Hmmmmm cookie burger. ;-)

I really try to have all of my posts have some distinct point or take-away message, but for this one I’m a bit stumped. So I’ll just say this: Bean burgers are delicious, and these two recipes in particular are total gems. If you put them on your menu for next week, I can assure you you won’t be disappointed – nor will the carnivore in your life! :-)

Do you make homemade bean burgers? Do you even like bean burgers in the first place? If so, what’s your favorite type of bean to turn into burger-form?

A Canon and an Omelet

By Katie, 4:16 pm

Howdy, folks!

I want to take a brief moment and mention this New York Times article on photographing food that Tiffany posted yesterday. It discusses the huge phenomenon that visual food logs have become, and not just within the realm of healthy living blogs. People everywhere are using photos of their eats as a way of documenting their lives.

The article discusses several reasons why this trend has taken off. Some people say it encourages them to be more adventurous in their dietary choices, and others say it serves as a source of motivation and accountability when trying to improve eating habits. Many photograph their food as a way of sharing their culinary talents and cooking ideas, while others enjoy it because a photo of a meal is essentially a photo of a memory.

But the author also notes that the habit can turn ugly; some people, especially those with obsessive-compulsive tendencies, can become consumed by the practice; they freak out if an undocumented morsel passes their lips.

Reading the article was especially interesting for me because I’ve been re-considering the way that I document my eating here on Health for the Whole Self. I have found that most of the time I really enjoy documenting my eats; I love food and eating, I love sharing it with others, and I’m really starting to love photography. However, my current set-up – which documents a specific day’s worth of food – is beginning to threaten my enjoyment of the process because on the days I have designated “photo food days,” I feel obligated to whip out my Canon.

But there’s an even more important issue at play. I’m a bit worried that documenting all of my food on specific days is interfering with my practice of Intuitive Eating. I’ve found that, in honor of the blog, I get ideas for interesting meals and then plan to eat them on a day when I’m photographing all of my eats. But such planning is kind of the opposite of Intuitive Eating, in that it doesn’t allow me to honor my specific cravings in any given moment.

So I’ve decided to change it up just a bit. I’ll still be showing a lot of my food, but the posts may be a bit less structured; they won’t consistently be a play-by-play of everything I ate in a given day. Instead, they’ll be a compilation of meals and snacks that I photographed because doing so appealed to me at that time, or because I truly believed they were worth sharing. So, for example, if dinner was really delicious and I want to share it, I will – even if I haven’t designated that day as a “What I Ate” day. Does that make sense?

I think this structure will actually allow the blog to be a bit more creative, which might be fun! Also, I think it allows me to honor myself and my Intuitive Eating journey while at the same time honoring the purpose of documenting my food in the first place – to share with others what a balanced diet really means to me.

Whew! That got a little longer than I intended, sorry, folks! Congrats if you made it this far.

So here’s my first little compilation of recent eats!

Breakfast

First up – my very first OMELET!!!

Yes, that’s correct, the above omelet is the first one I EVER made! Nothing to ooh and ahh over, I suppose, but not too shabby for my first time! ;-)

I filled it with cheese and tomato slices. Next time I will definitely amp up the VEG!

A side o’ berries.

Lunch

Totally random salad I created at the Wegman’s salad bar yesterday.

Containing:

  • spring mix and Romaine
  • tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • green beans
  • roasted chickpeas
  • pasta salad with a vinegar-based dressing

I added a big dollop of my chunky red bean spread to pump up the protein.

Plus a microwave-baked sweet potato with cinnamon.

Random Snackage

Big bowl of juicy cantaloupe.

Sprinkled with sea salt. Anyone else put salt on their cantaloupe? Everyone in my family does, so I thought it was totally normal until I went to college and my friends informed me that I’m a nuttzo! :lol:

You could win this!

And, in honor of the crazy heat wave my neck of the woods is currently experiencing, some RITA’S!

Gotta run! I’m attending my first session of a Creative Writers Group tonight…EEK! Wish me luck! :-D

If you’re a blogger, do you document all of your food choices? Why or why not?

AND

What’s your favorite flavor of Rita’s? I’m partial to the fruity ones – Twisted Melon and Mango top the list. Although today I heard several people ordering mixtures of two flavors, which I’ve never done before but would like to!

Chunky Red Bean Spread

By Katie, 8:48 am

Any other bean lovers out there?

If you’re a vegetarian or even just someone trying to decrease your meat intake, then beans are your best friend. They’re full of protein and fiber, and they’re incredibly versatile! Proof: Chunky Red Bean Spread!

To make the spread, all I did was blend a can of red kidney beans with a touch of olive oil, then added a bunch of spices. Simple, wholesome, delicious!

Great with raw veggies or crackers.

Or spread on wholegrain bread.

I can’t wait to use this as a sandwich spread with a bunch of fresh veggies!!! YUM!

Chunky Red Bean Spread
Adapted from the Eat Clean Cookbook
Yields about 36 1-tbsp servings

Ingredients
1 can red kidney beans (15 oz), rinsed and drained
1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1.5 tsp minced garlic
sea salt and pepper

1. In a blender or food processor, blend the beans with the olive oil until a thick paste forms.

2. Add the remaining ingredients. (Don’t be afraid to use a heavy hand with the spices.)

3. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

What’s your favorite way to use beans? Do you use canned or dry? I’d like to use dry, but I love the convenience of canned!

Why Not?

By Katie, 9:50 pm

Hey, everyone! Can I just tell you how much I loved reading your Monday Confessions? :-D Isn’t there something liberating about acknowledging your own imperfections and realizing that others struggle just as much as you do? You all made me feel better about not flossing since apparently a lot of you don’t either! ;-)

Let’s see some food, shall we?

Breakfast

Strawberry-Banana-Almond Overnight Oats!

Last night I combined:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • handful of sliced strawberries

Popped it in the fridge overnight, then added some sliced almonds in the morning. Yummy!

Mid-Morning Snack

Well, before we get to the snack, let’s talk exercise. I went to the gym and did 3.5 miles of hill intervals, and later I did some upper body strength training and a solid ab workout. Three cheers for getting my strength training in even though I didn’t feel like it!

I also have an exciting announcement to make! As you may already know, I’m training to run the 10-Mile Broad Street Run in Philly on May 2. Well, my training plan has me building up to an 11-mile long run, which got me thinking…if I’m in the kind of shape that I can run 11 miles, what’s 2.1 more? So I’ve decided to run the Maryland Half Marathon on May 23!!! When I asked Dave if he thought I should run it, his response was, “Well, why not?” And I thought, “Exactly! WHY NOT?” I want to have more of a “why not?” attitude toward life! :-D

After the gym I went to campus to get some books for a research paper, and picked up some things at Trader Joe’s as well. Snacked on a Clif Z bar in between stops.

In the name of reducing my added sugar intake, I took a look at the ingredients:

Can you read that? Fourth ingredient: Brown Rice Syrup. Fifth ingredient: Tapioca Syrup. Sixth ingredient: Honey. Seventh ingredient: Evaporated Cane Juice Syrup. I don’t think those types of sweeteners are so bad, but it’s just a lot of them! No wonder my beloved Z bars taste so heavenly! At least the sweeteners are organic. :-?

Lunch

I was feeling a mega-salad today.

That glorious bowl contained:

  • spring mix
  • snow peas
  • grape tomatoes
  • red pepper strips
  • small fillet of Honey-Soy Salmon (leftovers from last night’s dinner – recipe forthcoming! It’s delicious!)
  • Pure2Raw Pumpkin Seed Kale crackers
  • dried cherries
  • drizzle of rice vinegar

I got a little picture-happy with that salad, didn’t I? :oops:

I also had a sliced apple with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge (which apparently browned while I photographed the salad!).

Really fresh and satisfying!

And for a little lunch “dessert,” two medjool dates.

Afternoon Snacks

This first snack is a new favorite! I got the idea from some lovely blogger out there, but unfortunately I can’t remember who it was. If you thought of this combo, I thank you immensely!

Wholegrain wrap smothered with hummus and topped with shredded mozzarella. Microwaved for 30 seconds so the cheese got all melt-y and delicious!

I also had two hard-boiled eggs, sprinkled with sea salt and pepper. A classic snack food!

Dinner

Tonight I showed some lovin’ to my slow cooker. Dare I say, the humble slow cooker may be one of my favorite kitchen tools. There’s something so simple and lovely about throwing a bunch of ingredients in, leaving the scene, and returning hours later to the magnificent aroma of a ready-to-eat meal.

Today’s slow cooker recipe: Taco Soup!

I was inspired by this recipe from Cooking with Trader Joe’s. I put the following into the slow cooker:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 package Taco Seasoning Mix (next time I’d use 1/2 packet)
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1.5 cups frozen corn
  • 2 cups chicken broth

I cooked it all on Low for 5 hours, then pulled out the chicken and shredded it. Dave and I topped our Taco Soup with fresh cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

Besides being a tad too hot for my taste, this was amazing! I made a big batch, so there will be plenty of leftovers. :-)

I also had a side salad with spring mix, sprouts, cucumber, carrots, and zucchini.

Evening Snack

A simple dessert.

Fresh fruit with Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter.

And because today was a bit dreary here on the East Coast, I will leave you with some brightness.

Beautiful flowers from the Hubs. :-)

Have you ever run a half marathon? What was your experience like?

AND/OR

Do you have a slow cooker? Do you use it often? What’s your favorite slow cooker dish?

P.S. Check out this awesome Galaxy Granola giveaway!

Fishy Fishy in a Brook…

By Katie, 10:17 pm

Hmmmm, can you guess what I consumed a lot of today? ;-)

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! Mine has been absolutely lovely so far – running, good food, and quality time with my husband. I’m not sure what else I could really ask for!

Breakfast

Sorry, folks, nothing super unique or creative. Weekends are usually a time for special breakfasts, but Dave and I had a run planned, so breakfast was mostly about FUEL.

Kashi Warm Cinnamon Heart to Heart in almond milk with sliced banana. In a pretty bowl. :-D

(FYI: I realize in the pictures it looks like my bowl is practically empty, but there are actually two servings of cereal in there. I don’t know if I need to get better at representing depth in my photos, or get smaller bowls, or what! )

After breakfast Dave and I headed out for our run. I usually run alone, so having a partner every now and then is a fun way to mix it up! We went to one of my favorite spots.

This beautiful lake is only 5 minutes from my house, and it has a great walking/running/biking path surrounding it.

We did 2 loops around the lake, plus about 2 miles on a trail at a nearby park, for a total of 4.75 miles. Sweaty smiles afterward. 8-)

I planned on doing a little strength training after our run…and then I didn’t. That’s been happening a lot lately.

Mid-Morning Snack

After our run we came home and broke into my Glo Bakery stash.

This flavor was awesome! Chock-full of cranberries and apricots.

Lunch

Dave and I spent our afternoon checking out a new grocery store. You know you’re a foodie when you get incredibly excited about grocery stores, right? ;-)

HMart is a chain of Korean grocery stores offering a wide selection of specialty items and ethnic foods of all types. If you can’t find it anywhere else, you can probably find it at HMart!

It also has a great little spot where you can order practically any kind of Asian meal. We hit that up before beginning our shopping. Enter Fish Meal #1 for the day…

All I can say is that I ♥ sushi…a lot!

I got a Tuna Avocado roll, as you can see. I also had some seaweed salad.

This was seriously the perfect lunch. I want to eat it again…right now. ;-)

Afternoon Snacks

While walking through HMart, we came across free samples of rice cakes that a man was making on the spot. Yes, please!

We walked around the grocery store for a long time. Again, you know you’re a foodie if you can happily spend your entire afternoon in a grocery store! We were there for so long that by the time we were ready to check out I was hungry again! So I picked up a container of fresh melon to snack on during the drive home.

Over the course of the afternoon I ate all of that melon. That’s right, all of it.

And some carrot sticks for some extra veg.

Dipped in some white bean puree left over from my white bean/avocado sandwich. Pureed beans make a great dip, by the way!

Dinner

HMart had the most amazing fresh fish counter I’d ever seen. While I certainly love fish, Dave really loves fish, so I encouraged him to pick anything he wanted for us to cook up for dinner. We ended up with some mackerel fillets. Neither of us had ever cooked or eaten mackerel before, so we were excited to try something new!

We simmered the mackerel in a gingery-soy sauce mixture. I really liked the sauce, but the fish itself was just ok. :-| A tad too “fishy” for me. But at least I know I got plenty of omega-3s today!

On the side I roasted some Brussels sprouts and mushrooms.

And enjoyed a thick slice of our homemade 100% whole wheat bread. (I was too full to finish the bread; I probably had 3/4 of it.)

Evening Snack

Dessert was yet another HMart find: a Japanese Rice Cake.

I gotta tell you, I did not think I was going to like this. I found myself thinking, Why did I buy this? I can’t believe I’m taking the time to photograph something I’m not even going to end up eating!

But to my surprise, it was pretty good! The inside looked like this:

The inside was a red bean paste kind of thing, and the outside tasted like a less-sweet gummy candy. It wasn’t like any “dessert” I’m used to, but I enjoyed it!

Hmmmm, while I’m sitting here typing this I’m feeling like I’m not quite satisfied, so I might have an apple or a small yogurt once I post this. Just so you know. ;-)

I hope the rest of your weekend is spectacular!

Do you usually exercise by yourself or with a partner? Do you exercise with your significant other?

AND/OR

Do you like sushi? If so, what’s your favorite? I’m a tuna roll kinda gal, but I also love all kinds of veggie rolls. California rolls can be good too!

A Day of Ups and Downs

By Katie, 10:22 pm

Hi, everyone! I hope that you had a calm day…which would be the opposite of mine! I can think of no better way to describe my day than a ROLLER COASTER. One that has a lot of hills. And let’s just say that I’m not the biggest fan of amusement parks. :-?

DOWN: Waking up

I slept horribly last night, and ended up staying in bed an hour later than usual. I felt so off that I decided to put off exercising in the hopes that I’d feel a bit more like myself in the afternoon.

UP: Breakfast!

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal!

For some reason I always think of baked oatmeal as a weekend kind of breakfast, but making an individual portion is actually easy and fast enough for a weekday if you play your cards right. If you pop it in the oven before you blow-dry your hair and do your makeup, it will be ready for you at the exact moment you’re ready for it! :-)

My baked oatmeal contained:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup plus a bit more almond milk
  • touch of salt
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • roughly chopped roasted almonds on top

I just mixed everything (except the almonds) together, then baked it at 375º for about 25 minutes. It was lovely!

UP: Shopping and Post-It Notes

I had some random errands to run in the morning, which included purchasing a desperately-needed sports bra. I was literally down to one that fit properly and wasn’t completely stretched out. So now I am at two.

While in the dressing room I posted an Operation Beautiful note. I post them for the benefit of others, but writing the message is a real mood-booster for me too! :-D

DOWN: Lunch

I had big plans to make a really fun lunch today, but I got so hungry while I was out and about that I stopped at Subway. Not that I don’t love Subway! It just wasn’t as exciting as what I thought I’d be eating. Another day, another lunch, I suppose!

That would be a veggie monster: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, banana peppers, sweet peppers, red onion, and honey mustard.

DOWN: Nap and Momma News

I told myself that when I was finished my errands I would immediately come home and do homework. Somehow I ended up on the couch snoring for 45 minutes. :oops:

And then, about 2 minutes after I came to, I got a call that my mom is having emergency laser eye surgery in the morning for a torn retina. :-( We actually don’t know a lot of details because she needs to go to a retina specialist who was out of the office today. But apparently it is crucial that she have the surgery as soon as possible to prevent major damage to her vision. 8-O I immediately rearranged my schedule and will be driving to York to spend the day with her tomorrow. I’d appreciate any prayers and/or positive vibes you could send her way!

UP: Snack

You really can’t go wrong with a LARABAR.

Love this flavor!

DOWN: Run

Ugh, my run was just crappy, one of the worst I’ve had in quite some time. It pretty much stank because:

  • I was overdressed and felt way too hot the entire time.
  • I started out too fast and then had trouble finding my groove.
  • I meant to run 4 miles but miscalculated the route and ended up running a little over 5.
  • I had to deal with numerous catcallers (I’ll save you my full rant, but I will say that the fact that I am running by your construction site is not justification for whistling at me or commenting on my body. :-x )

You win some, you lose some, I guess!

UP: Post-run snack

Apple slices and Pumpkin Seed Kale Crackers that I got at Fitbloggin’ from Pure2Raw!

Fabulous ingredient list.

These were really flavorful! They were so much better than the kinds I sampled at FitBloggin, which I think had onion in them.

I went back for a few more…and by that I mean that half the bag is already gone! ;-)

DOWN: Homework

Enough said.

UP: Receiving word that my friend from college went into labor…can’t wait to get the call that her baby girl has arrived safe and sound! :-)

UP: Dinner!

I love sandwiches, and this one totally rocked. I got the idea from this blog post.

The sandwich was made up of:

  • HOMEMADE (by Dave!) 100% whole wheat bread (we’re seriously considering switching entirely to homemade bread…it tastes so delicious, has no preservatives and only a handful of ingredients, and Dave’s really good at making it!)
  • pureed white beans seasoned with fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper
  • avocado slices
  • Bibb lettuce
  • alfalfa sprouts

I already can’t wait to re-create this for lunch tomorrow!

On the side, some sweet potato cheetahs! (Note the spots. 8-) )

Ketchup for dipping.

Such a delicious dinner!

UP: Reading other health and fitness blogs and feeling totally inspired and uplifted! :-D

UP: Dessert

Ending it on a sweet note!

Chocolate Fig VitaTop smothered with peanut butter.

Whew! All that up and down motion kind of made me sea sick! ;-)

How do you handle roller coaster days?

AND/OR

Are you a Subway fan? What’s your go-to sub?

What I Ate – 2/8/2010

By Katie, 8:58 pm

Hello, everyone! I hope your work week got off to a good start! :-D

My day was pretty routine, but some yummy eats were definitely involved. Let’s have a look, shall we?

Breakfast

Breakfast had a lovely purple tint to it!

Cottage cheese mixed with blueberry preserves, enjoyed atop two slices of whole wheat toast. I know some people think of cottage cheese as a “diet food,” but I think of it more as an amazing food! It’s an awesome source of protein and calcium, and I think it tastes delicious on its own or with any number of fun mix-ins!

Along with some (too tart) blackberries. Can’t wait for fresh, local berries!

Mid-Morning Snack

After breakfast I hit up the Y for my run: 3.5 miles of speed intervals. Can’t wait to enjoy the gorgeous weather on my long run tomorrow! 8-) It’ll be my first time doing 6 miles! (Well, actually, I’ve probably run 6 miles before, but I didn’t know it because I was making an effort to go by minutes, not miles.) After my workout I came home and had a quick snack.

A small kiwi.

And a handful of roasted almonds.

Then I headed to the grocery store. Per my Food Budget Rules, my goal was not to deviate from my shopping list. While waiting in the checkout line I snapped a photo of my cart. (Yep, that got me some odd looks!  ;-) )

Verdict: Not perfect, but not bad! I only made one purchase that wasn’t on my list: medjool dates. I’ve seen them mentioned on several blogs lately, which made me realize I’ve only ever had the little chopped dates. I was intrigued by the medjools and just couldn’t pass them up!

Lunch

Lunch came in the form of side-by-side bowls.

The star of the show was the one on the right, which contained Sweet Potato-Black Bean Quesadilla wedges. I can’t get enough of the sweet potato-black bean combo!

Served on top of greens with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

Along with another bowl of greens, topped with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and more black beans.

My intention was actually to eat all of this together, but I quickly found that my bowls were all too small. :-( Oh, well.

And of course, I had to try one of the medjool dates. I took one bite and literally said out loud (to myself, mind you), “This tastes like CANDY!” 8-O

You better believe I had a second one. ;-)

Afternoon Snacks

I had a rather snacky afternoon! Looking back, I don’t think my lunch had enough bulk to it…my body just kept telling me to eat more! So I obliged. :-)

First I took an idea from Meghann (also known as the Queen of Adding Almond Butter to Everything ;-) ): a fruit leather-almond butter sandwich.

I just separated the fruit leather and smothered some almond butter in between. It was tasty!

Next up, some peanut butter pretzels.

And finally, a Kashi bar. Whew! Like I said, a snacky afternoon. But I truly feel I ate it all out of genuine, physical hunger.

Dinner

Dave got home from work a little early, so I asked if he wanted to join me for a little strength training…and he said yes! :-D I love having a strength training buddy! We did an upper body circuit and then some core work.

Afterward I worked up what ended up being a spectacular dinner! I honestly didn’t think this was going to be anything special; I decided to make it just because it was quick and used up several ingredients I already had in the house. So I was pleasantly surprised when both of us “yummed” through the whole meal!

I basically adapted this Real Simple recipe for Shrimp with Roasted Red Peppers and Feta. First I combined the rest of our pre-cooked frozen shrimp (10 oz. maybe?) with roasted red pepper strips, 2 roughly chopped cloves of garlic, some chopped scallions, a touch of EVOO, sea salt, and pepper.

Then I divided the mixture into two individual baking dishes and topped them with some feta cheese.

Baked at 400* for 20 minutes. Yep, it was that easy!

I didn’t even fully thaw the shrimp, which I thought was going to mess everything up…until we got to the bottom of our dishes and found this wonderfully flavorful broth that we both proceeded to drink straight from the bowl! (Our children are going to have terrible table manners. ;-) )

An unexpected success! :-D

Evening Snack

I soothed my sweet tooth with one of the Oikos “dessert” Greek yogurt cups. I’ve seen other bloggers trying out the caramel flavor, but I’m not a huge caramel kind-of-gal. I opted to try the chocolate instead.

On top I had some of Trader Joe’s “Cat Cookies for People.” It just seemed right after seeing the Cheshire Cat in “Alice in Wonderland” last night. :-D

I really liked the yogurt! The chocolate had the same sort of taste as with Stonyfield’s Chocolate Underground flavor of regular yogurt, just with the thick creaminess of Greek-style!

The TRUTH Revealed!

I loved reading your guesses to my “Six Lies and a Truth” game! Here’s the real deal:

1. As a child I refused to let a vegetable pass my lips. LIE! I was almost freakishly good at eating my veggies as a kid.

2. The reason I obsess over my cats is because my mom hates animals; she never let us have any pets. LIE! My mom is the biggest animal-lover I know.

3. As a young child I was slightly pigeon-toed and needed to wear special corrective shoes. TRUTH! My mom called them my “special shoes” so I wouldn’t feel so embarrassed. Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I just told the whole world about my special shoes! :lol:

4. My brother used to sing in an Acappella group. LIE! That would never, ever happen. :roll: My high school boyfriend did, though, and they were actually pretty good!

5. My childhood nick-name was Sweet Pea. LIE! My childhood nick-name was Tater Tot!

6. I’m a total dare-devil; my dream is to one day go sky-diving! LIE! I appreciate how many of you guessed that I’m the adventurous type! But alas, I am not…at least not when it comes to jumping out of planes!

7. I played goalie for my high school field hockey team. LIE! I was a forward…left wing, to be exact. :-)

Your turn!

Are you a cottage cheese lover or a hater? If you’re a lover, what’s your favorite way to eat it? I’m probably going to try every way you suggest!

AND

Do you ever have “snack-y” days, where you just feel like you need to keep eating little bites here and there?

What I Ate – 3/1/2010

By Katie, 3:03 pm

It’s officially MARCH! I hope your first day of the month was spectacular!

I am very excited for March for several reasons: it should soon start getting warmer, Daylight Savings Time means more hours of light, and I’ll be attending two exciting weekend events – a Christian women’s conference and Fitbloggin’ 2010! (In my hometown, no less!) Can’t wait! :-D

Oh, and I really enjoyed reading your comments to my “Hungry Enough to Eat an Apple?” post. You all have some great ideas! :-)

Onto the food!

Breakfast

In honor of the month of St. Patrick’s Day , breakfast was GREEN!

I’m calling this my Tropical Green Monster. Again I ate it out of a bowl. When I have a green smoothie as a snack I drink it from a glass, but for some reason the idea of drinking a meal does not appeal to me.

Into the blender went:

  • 2 packed cups of spinach
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • big handful of frozen mango chunks
  • big handful of frozen pineapple chunks
  • topped with Cascadian Farms Oats & Honey granola

My Irish husband was proud. :mrgreen:  (Although he himself won’t touch Green Monsters! :-( )

Mid-Morning Snack

After breakfast I checked a few tasks off of my to-do list, then did my exercise for the day: a 3.5 mile run – complete with hill intervals – followed by some upper body weights and core work. Hills are the bane of my running existence, and yet I force myself to do hill workouts anyway. Conquering the incline makes me feel STRONG! :-)

After my workout I grabbed a quick snack before heading out on a bunch of errands. A piece of whole wheat toast slathered with almond butter and topped with pear slices. (I also ate the remainder of the pear.) Fresh pears + almond butter  = delicious!

Lunch

Lunch was, I must say, pretty darn fabulous – all thanks to the lovely Danica from Danica’s Daily. She gave me the idea for this lunch, and it was a total winner!

Awhile ago I made a big batch of Real Simple’s Turkey and Bean Chili and froze a serving or two to enjoy another day. That day was today!

This chili recipe is great – very thick and hearty, just like chili should be! I topped it with some reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend.

But this is what made my bowl extra special:

That would be a dollop of sweet potato puree! Thank you, Danica, for this wonderful idea! I’ve actually made chili using canned pumpkin before, so as soon as I saw her add sweet potato I knew I would love it. I had a little bit with each bite. YUM!

This was a pretty hearty lunch, and yet after I finished my bowl I didn’t feel quite satisfied. (I was probably about a #5 on my hunger scale, and felt like I wanted to be closer to a #6-7.) Hunger can be unpredictable like that! So I rounded out my meal with this little guy. Then I was perfectly satisfied! :-D

Afternoon Snack

There is just something special about fresh, locally-grown carrots. Especially ones that look like this.

We bought a couple of mammoth homegrown carrots at the market on Saturday. The woman tending the stand said, “they aren’t pretty but they sure do taste good!” She was right! :-)

Being goofy. :roll:

(Actually just wanted to show off the beautiful daffodils Dave brought me yesterday…aren’t they beautiful? They make me think of our wedding, which had a green and yellow color scheme. Love ya, hubby!)

I had the carrot with a glob of Trader Joe’s Three Layer Hummus.

And a bunch of grapes.

Dinner

Dinner took me a lot longer to put together than expected, but the finished product was good!

I made Apricot Pork Chops, and for some reason they took a lot longer to cook through than I thought they would. I followed this recipe from Branny Boils Over. (Everything I have made from her blog so far has been a success!) The only change I made was to double the amount of apricot preserves because I thought the soy sauce flavor was a bit overwhelming.

Dave and I both took one bite and went “YUM!”

On the side I had a double serving of veggies – asparagus and mushrooms roasted in EVOO, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and pepper. The little bit of balsamic adds such a great flavor!

This dinner was actually really filling!

Evening Snack

Earlier in the day I decided I wanted a brownie for dessert tonight, but dinner kept me so full that when it came to my usual snack time a brownie just didn’t sound appealing. (Crazy, I know!) But I still wanted something…just something a bit lighter. I went with a yogurt bowl.

A small serving of vanilla Greek yogurt topped with grapes and a crumbled Kashi pumpkin spice flax granola bar.

Time to climb into bed with my book…my book club meets in two weeks and I just started the book last night! Better get reading! :-)


How do you consume your Green Monsters (or other smoothies)? From a glass or from a bowl?

Also, anyone else going to the Fitbloggin’ conference in a few weeks? I’d love to touch base with you!

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