Posts tagged: yogurt

Asparagus Quiche

By Katie, 10:02 am

Is anyone else very excited about local asparagus???

I debated posting this recipe for Asparagus Quiche because I’m not quite sure it turned out properly. But it tasted quite good, and I figured that if I shared the original recipe and how I modified it, some other cooks out there might be able to explain where I went astray.

This Asparagus Quiche was the joint venture of mother and daughter. I love that I took up an interest in cooking because it allows us to have some fun together in the kitchen. Wearing cute aprons, no less! ;-)

The problem, however, was that this was the first time either of us worked with puff pastry. The recipe said to roll out one sheet of puff pastry dough and fit it into a large pan without stretching it. We got the dough as thin as we could, but there was no way it was spanning the pan. So we ended up using two puff pastry sheets, overlapping them a bit, which seemed like a fine solution until we took our first bites and realized the bottom of the quiche was still a bit doughy. :-(

So I guess my question is, when using puff pastry sheets, are you supposed to roll them out until they are really really thin?

Besides that, though, the quiche was delicious!

This would be a fun recipe for a brunch get-together!

Asparagus Quiche
From USA Weekend (with my changes in italics)
Serves 8 as a side, 6 as a main dish

Ingredients
1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1-in pieces
5 green onions, sliced thin
1 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed (we used two)
3 eggs
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sour cream (we used plain Greek yogurt)
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
1.5 cups grated Swiss cheese (you could cut this back if you wanted)

1. Preheat oven to 400º.

2. Toss asparagus and green onions with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.

3. Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface into an 11-x-16 inch rectangle (we couldn’t get it this thin; I was too afraid it would just rip!). Fit into a 10-x-15 inch jellyroll pan, making sure the pastry is not stretched.

4. Evenly distribute asparagus/onion mixture over pastry. Bake on lowest oven rack 12-15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, milk, sour cream or Greek yogurt, tarragon, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper.

6. Remove pastry from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300º. Pour egg mixture evenly over asparagus. Sprinkle with cheese.

7. Put quiche back into the oven on the upper-middle rack. Bake until filling is just set, 20-25 minutes.

8. Turn on broiler; broil until cheese bubbles, about 2 minutes. (We skipped this step; it seemed unnecessary.)

9. Remove quiche from oven and let rest a few minutes before cutting and serving.

Have you worked with puff pastry before? Do you know what we did wrong?

AND

Do you like asparagus? What’s your favorite way to eat it? I absolutely love it, despite the fact that it gives my pee a distinct smell. (Sorry if that was “too much information,” but if you’ve ever eaten asparagus you know what I’m talking about! ;-) )

Thai-Inspired Dinner! And Other Eats

By Katie, 7:59 pm

I must say, I am not the biggest fan of coconut. Which might surprise you, since I’ve blogged several recipes containing the ingredient. The truth is that it’s not really my thing, but Dave happens to love it! And since I cook plenty of dinners based on my personal preferences, it’s only fair to make some that are more catered to his taste buds. :-)

Take, for instance, this Thai-inspired Coconut Soup.

If you’re like Dave and love coconut, then you’ll appreciate this light soup! It’s based off of this Healthy Eats 5-Ingredient Coconut Soup with Noodles and Mushrooms recipe. My soup actually had 6 ingredients because I added snap peas; I also used shiitake mushrooms, which I highly recommend.

If I were to make this again I would definitely add lemongrass to give it an even greater Thai-inspired flavor!

Another (somewhat) noteworthy dinner:

Annie’s Whole Wheat Shells and White Cheddar, doctored up with some broccoli and canned Alaskan salmon. For some reason I don’t mind eating dinner from a box quite so much when I add a little somethin’ somethin’ of my own. ;-)

Let’s check out some other times of the day, shall we?

Breakfasts

Nothing too thrilling – plain bite-sized Shredded Wheat (TJ’s brand) with banana in almond milk.

I also wanted to show you this awesome bowl of oatmeal.

This is actually Dave’s concoction, not mine. I have to say, he is quite talented when it comes to interesting oatmeal bowls!

In his mix:

  • steel cut oats cooked in milk
  • cinnamon
  • dried blueberries
  • chopped dates
  • shredded unsweetened coconut

Lunches

This sammie was awesome!

Whole wheat bread, Applegate Farms roasted turkey breast, lettuce, asparagus, pickles, and spicy brown mustard.

I want to say that the asparagus made this sandwich, but then I would be lying…the rockstar was definitely the PICKLES! For some reason I always forget to add pickles to my sammies, and then I randomly remember and am in heaven!

There are also some mega-salad action.

In the bowl:

  • red and green leaf lettuce
  • cucumber
  • grape tomatoes
  • artichoke hearts
  • some tiny radishes from Dave’s back porch garden
  • mung bean sprouts
  • a chopped medjool date for sweetness
  • big dollop of hummus

Plus a side of some locally-made plain yogurt topped with a pinch of Post Great Grains cereal.

And finally, on a rushed day, a frozen Amy’s meal.

Snackage

Not surprisingly, I’ve eaten a couple of bars.

The usual suspect. ;-)

A whopping THREE ingredients!

Fruit leather thingys.

Greek yogurt topped with a crumbled Vita Muffin. (Love this!)

Maple-roasted butternut squash cubes (yes, I eat squash as a snack! :-D )

And half of a cantaloupe filled with cottage cheese. Delicious!

Those are all of the food photos I’ve taken of late…time to start snapping some more! ;-)

If you cook for your significant other, do you ever make meals that you don’t like too much because he/she does?

AND

For those days when convenience is king, do you have a favorite brand of frozen meal that you turn to?

Parsnip Fries! And Other Eats

By Katie, 9:21 pm

Here is a glorious plate of parsnip and carrot fries that I recently consumed:

Dipped in BBQ sauce…delicious!

I’ve gotten some questions recently about my parsnip fries, so I thought I’d do a quick how-to. If you’re not familiar with them, parsnips basically look like big, white carrots.

(Source)

They taste a lot like carrots, too, except that their flavor is stronger and a bit more “woody,” if you will. (Best word I can think of to describe it!) I’m also pretty sure they beat carrots in the vitamin and nutrient department. Regardless, the two go well together!

To make parsnip fries, start by peeling your vegetables and cutting them into fry shapes. It doesn’t matter how thin or thick you cut them, you just have to adjust cooking times accordingly. With parsnips, it’s important to know that the inner core can be a bit bitter, so I usually cut around that.

Toss your fries with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. (Some people like to put them in a plastic bag and do some shake ‘n’ bake action. I just put them in a big bowl and mix it all up with my hands. As long as all the fries are nice and coated, you’re good to go.) Spread them out on a baking sheet coated with spray and/or lined with foil.

I did these at 425º for about 30 minutes, stirring them up halfway through.

I like them dipped in BBQ sauce or ketchup, but I’ve heard hummus is good too!

Some other eats of late…

Breakfasts

I tried a new nut butter with my oatmeal!

In the bowl:

  • oats cooked in H2O
  • pinch salt
  • cinnamon
  • sliced banana
  • Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter
  • dried cherries

I’m going to say the verdict is still out on this one. I really wanted to love this almond butter, but I actually found the vanilla flavor to be a bit too strong and overpowering. But maybe it was just my mood, or maybe the combination here just didn’t work. So I’ll give it another shot before officially saying I don’t like it. ;-)

And a yogurt bowl.

Plain Greek yogurt, chopped apple, and Cinnamon Puffins.

Other Random Eats

Sunshine Burger (Garden Herb flavor) topped with Annie’s Naturals Honey Mustard.

Green pepper strips dipped in hummus. (Exciting? Not really. Classic snack? For sure!)

Lovely Bosc pear.

And a Horned Melon.

Ever seen one of these thorny guys? I hadn’t, so of course when I did I had to try it. And of course I had to Google how to eat it!  :lol: Turns out the inside is this crazy green gel.

It kind of reminded me of the green slime that they would pour on the heads of the contestants on kids’ game shows I watched growing up. Not exactly appetizing. Taste-wise, it reminded me of a non-ripe banana. Next time I’ll just stick to a banana, then. ;-)

Have you ever had parsnips? Do you like them? What’s your favorite way to eat them?

AND

What’s the strangest fruit you’ve ever eaten?

Enjoying Old Town

By Katie, 5:31 pm

A reader and I have been chatting through email recently about the D.C. area (she might be moving there). I pretty much told her she can’t go wrong with D.C. or the surrounding areas – they’re all cute and hip and fun! I recently learned that Old Town Alexandria, VA is no exception. Have any of you ever been there before?

Dave’s work is putting him up in a hotel this week so that he can attend a conference. Since my agenda basically consisted of writing a research paper – which can just as easily be done in Alexandria as in Baltimore – I decided to tag along for part of the time! :-D

When we got to the hotel, the staff’s computers weren’t functioning and we had to wait a good fifteen minutes to check in. To make up for the “inconvenience,” they upgraded our room. And an upgrade it was!!!

I felt like Tina snapping photos of the hotel room. ;-)

Yes, I took a photo of the bathroom. It was HUGE! The shower had TWO shower heads and a bench…in case you got tired and needed to rest after shampooing. :lol:

And you know how when you walk into most hotel rooms, you go through a very narrow area until the room opens up? Well this room was the opposite of narrow!

And a great hotel is bound to have a great fitness center, right?

(Sorry for the graininess…it’s an iPhone photo. :-? )

I had an awesome workout in this gym! Something about a different environment – with new equipment and a different set-up – is invigorating to me. In addition to the cardio machines, the back room had plenty of strength training equipment, a yoga mat, and even a TV and some yoga DVDs, if you were so inclined.

While Dave was conferencing, I worked on finished my paper, then spent the rest of my day enjoying the beautiful weather and the beautiful town.

Oh, and SHOPPING!!! I had myself a good (but reasonable!) time in the Gap Outlet and in Ann Taylor Loft. Came away with some great SKIRTS!

I do wear shorts a lot in the summer, but for some reason in warmer weather I much prefer skirts. They seem cooler to me…more ventilation, perhaps? ;-)

Hmmmm this skirt doesn’t look too flattering in this photo. But I think it’s the way I’m standing. It’s actually really pretty!

And I absolutely ADORED this dress from the front, but from the side it totally made me look pregnant. 8-O

Ok, enough about hotels and clothes! Here are some of the noteworthy edibles…

Breakfast

After my workout I hit up The Perfect Pita about a block from the hotel.

I got a whole wheat pita with spinach, egg, and cheese.

And some homemade plain yogurt with strawberries.

(After I ordered the yogurt I read a sign that said it was made with whole milk. Back in the day I wouldn’t have touched it after learning that, but I was proud to find myself thinking, “Well, it’s not my first choice, but a little whole milk won’t kill me.” That may not seem like a big deal, but it shows HUGE progress for me in terms of my disordered eating thoughts.)

Lunch

Lunch was enjoyed while soaking up some sunshine, sitting in front of this beautiful scene. 8-)

I had a mega-salad with mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, roasted red peppers, sprouts, grilled chicken, and almonds, all tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.

I supplemented the salad with some food I brought with me – an apple and a LARABAR.

And here was my dining companion. ;-)

Dinner

We were actually in Alexandria for two nights, so there are two dinners. The first night we ate at an adorable little Greek restaurant with a really nice garden patio in the back. I had this gorgeous plate of veg topped generously with feta.

The second night we kept it simple with a cafeteria-style French cafe/bakery. Here’s what I ordered: a half sandwich, a cup of soup, and some fruit. Here’s what I got:

A cup of soup, a full sandwich, fruit, and two random sides.

The soup was your standard vegetable soup, but it was seasoned well.

The sandwich was nothing to write home about. Tomatoes, hummus, and pesto on “sourdough.” I ate half.

Plus about half of these sides: spinach/pepper/onion/mushroom salad, roasted red potatoes, and fruit salad.

Dessert

Nothing like a little dessert to make up for a lackluster dinner, am I right? Vanilla/Chocolate Twist frozen yogurt topped with chocolate sprinkles (or jimmies, depending on whom you ask ;-) ).

Other Recent Eats of Note…

Peanut Butter and Jelly Oats!

This bowl contained:

  • oats cooked in water
  • banana slices (added at the beginning)
  • pinch salt
  • cinnamon
  • big glob of natural chunky peanut butter
  • big glob of local grape preserves
  • sprinkling of sliced almonds

Great combo!

Pure bar.

I like these bars a lot. They remind me of LARABARs, and the ingredient list is pretty darn good. I just wish an added sweetener weren’t number two on the list, because I don’t think it’s really necessary.

And some more dairy deliciousness…chocolate chip cookie dough. :-D

Whew! I apologize for the long post – just had too much I wanted to share!

Do you like working out in hotel fitness centers? I love it! Like I said, there’s something about a new environment that helps me get a great workout!

And for the ladies, do you prefer skirts or shorts in the summer?

What I Ate – 2/12/2010

By Katie, 10:44 pm

Welcome to the weekend, folks! :-D

I hope you had a wonderful Friday and that you have an enjoyable weekend ahead of you. I’m leaving in the morning to attend a Christian women’s conference, which should be a great time to connect with other women and work on increasing my spiritual fitness level. I’ll be sure to share any insights this weekend may bring!

Breakfast

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: reading healthy living blogs has given me so many ideas for interesting and delicious meals…not to mention interesting and delicious CONTAINERS for those meals. ;-)

Yep, today was OIAJ (Oats In A Jar) day! How did I ever survive before learning this ingenious way of ensuring that every last bit of nut butter is fully enjoyed?!?!

My Oats in a Jar contained:

  • 1/2 cup oats, cooked in 1 cup water
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • pinch salt
  • cinnamon
  • ground flax
  • the leftover scrapings of almond butter (maybe a tbsp?)

The way the hot oats melt all of the leftover nut butter is just heavenly. I mourn for all the scrapes of nut butter that – before my blog-reading days – were simply wasted. :cry:

Mid-Morning Snack

After breakfast I plotted out my day, which included the usual: reading, writing, and job-applying. Plus packing for the weekend. Afterward I headed to the Y, where I did a total of 4 miles on the treadmill: 3.5 running plus a walking warm-up and cool-down. Then I did some lower body strength work (various squats and lunges, plus some deadlifts and wall-sits).

It was a solid workout, which is good because I’ll be taking two days off from exercising this week due to the conference. (I usually take just one full rest day, plus one day of lighter exercise.) I came home and made myself a little snacky-snack before attacking the to-do list.

Sliced apple and a string cheese, which I do, in fact, peel off in strings. Dave, on the other hand, just bites right into them, which I find a bit objectionable since it is indeed called string cheese. ;-) Do you peel it into strings?

Lunch

Lunch was yet another lovely idea inspired by the blogosphere. A big thank you to Lele from Lele Lurves Plants for this great idea for tofu salad!

It’s kind of like egg salad…but not. ;-)

The tofu salad contained:

  • tofu (I used the Nasoya pre-cubed kind)
  • green onion
  • celery
  • capers
  • plain Greek yogurt (perfect substitute for mayo!)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dried dill

I really liked this and will definitely be making it again!

Some crunchy red pepper strips.

And some (still too tart!) blackberries.

Because the blackberries were so tart, I was still craving some sweetness. So I also had two Barbara’s Bakery brand fig bars.

Afternoon Snacks

The generous folks at Chobani were kind enough to send me some Greek yogurts to sample. This afternoon I broke into the Pomegranate flavor, which was really good! It wasn’t overly sweet, which I appreciated.

Topped with some Kashi Go Lean.

Here’s my take on pre-sweetened yogurt: It better not be dripping with syrupy goop. Blech. I liked this Chobani because, while of course it has added sugar, it also has real fruit. Exhibit A: actual pomegranate arils.

A bit later I munched on some carrot and celery sticks, dipped in Crazy Richard’s natural chunky peanut butter.

Dinner

Tonight was the meeting of my monthly book club! We’re just a small group of women who like to read all kinds of books and then chat about them (and lots of other topics!), all while eating, of course! :-) We’re looking for new members, if any readers in the Baltimore area are interested!

This month we read The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It was quite different from most of the other books we’ve read; it was part-mystery, part-romance, part-thriller. It probably took a good fifty pages for me to really get into it, but once I did I really enjoyed it! There were definitely slow parts, but other parts were page-turners.

For dinner, our lovely host Haley made this oven-roaster chicken.

I was in charge of the salad, which contained Romaine, cherry tomatoes (of course!), red onion, cucumber, carrots, shredded cheddar, golden raisins, and sliced almonds.

My plate.

I ate all of it, plus a second serving of salad.

For dessert, we had CAKE!

And it was good. :-)

Time for me to get some shut-eye so I can get up bright and early for the conference. I won’t be posting in “real time” over the weekend, but I have scheduled a slightly different kind of post to share with you while I’m away. I hope you like it! ;-)

What are your plans for the weekend? What are you most looking forward to?

AND

What’s your all-time favorite book? (Tough question, I know!)

P.S. If you pack your breakfast to-go, you should definitely enter this Fit & Fresh Breakfast Chiller giveaway!

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 – 2/6/2010

By Katie, 9:21 pm

Happy weekend, everyone! I hope you’re having a great one so far! :-D

My day was relatively low-key. I basically worked today so I can PLAY tomorrow!

Breakfast

I kept breakfast on the light side because my morning plans included a 90-minute session of Hot Vinyasa. Even though – as I’ve mentioned before – I have a stomach of steel, the idea of consuming a heavy meal before doing yoga in a 90º sweat box wasn’t very appealing.

Started out with a container of Chobani nonfat vanilla.

Then added some Kashi Go Lean and chunks of apple sprinkled with cinnamon. Plus a piping hot mug of (caffeinated) tea.

Eaten as such. :-)

Lunch

My yoga session ROCKED! This was my first time with this instructor, and I’d heard rumors that she was hardcore. Those rumors were true! I was sweating buckets and working like crazy. But I managed to hold my crow pose for a full three seconds! SCORE!

I came home feeling famished and immediately made myself something I’ve been craving for days.

A bagel sandwich!

The new bagel thins are all over the blog world right now. I definitely want to try them, but ironically seeing them on other blogs has made me desperate for a real bagel, with all its dense, chewy goodness. Good thing I’m not one to shy away from a craving. ;-)

That would be a whole wheat bagel with Applegate Farms roasted turkey breast, Laughing Cow cheese, and apricot preserves. Mega-yum!

Plus some greens topped with orange slices and dried cherries.

I probably should have added some more vegetables, but after sweating so much I was more in the mood for FRUIT. Perhaps because of the water content? I also chugged an entire bottle of water in a minute flat.

Afternoon Snacks

I spent the afternoon working on homework at Barnes & Noble. Keeping in mind my goal of reducing my food spending, I packed my own snacks. First I remedied the lack of veggies situation: cucumber slices, celery sticks, and cherry tomatoes, with Trader Joe’s Three Layer Hummus for dipping.

(That’s way better than it looks, by the way. The layers are traditional hummus, roasted red pepper, and zesty cilantro. I like them all mixed together!)

That held me over through the first half of my reading. I re-fueled for the second with a Tropical Fruit Tart Lara Bar (LOVE this flavor! :-) )

I admit, I didn’t stick to the no-spending plan 100%. :oops: I spent a little bit of $$ on a beverage…

Nonfat “Skinny” Latte with Sugar-Free Cinnamon Dolce Syrup.

Dinner

I didn’t get home from Barnes & Noble until after 7:00, which means dinner was late. 8-O Even by my standards! (On an average day I eat dinner around 7 or 7:30.) I could have thrown something fast together and eaten earlier, but I knew what I wanted to make and I would not allow the clock to stand in my way!

I consider this dinner to be my healthified version of what one might order off of the kids’ menu at a restaurant. ;-)

First up: Chicken tenders!

Chicken breast tenderloins that I dipped first in an egg bath and then in wheat bread crumbs…then baked for about 20 minutes. Served with Annie’s Naturals Organic Honey Mustard for dipping.

And then there were these beauties! :-D

They’re not French fries…they’re not sweet potato fries…they’re CARROT FRIES!

I first saw them on Thinspired, then again on Healthy and Sane, which ultimately led me to the original carrot fry post on Choosing Raw.  I even made them properly, using coconut oil. I’ve never used coconut oil before, so that was an adventure! (I had no idea it would come in the form of a solid, not a liquid!)

Rounded it out with some peas.

No joke, this totally looks like a healthier version of a meal I would have eaten as a kid!

Evening Snack

Dessert was DUNKABLE!

You know how I said that even though I grocery shop with a list, somehow random items magically appear in my cart? These Oatmeal Cranberry Dunkers would be Exhibit A.

To alleviate my guilt over purchasing yet another cookie-like product that I don’t need, I made sure to savor every bite of these. And of course, you can’t really eat “dunkers” without something to dunk them in. I went with a small glass on nonfat milk, although hot tea would be nice too.

What are you up to on this lovely weekend? Tomorrow I’m hoping to go for a long hike to enjoy the gorgeous weather. 8-) Then I might be going to see Alice in Wonderland!

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!

What I Ate – 2/24/2010

By Katie, 9:33 pm

First and foremost, a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my momma!!! I am so grateful to have been raised by such a wonderful, loving woman. Mom – you’re an amazing person, and I love you so much!

I hope you had a wonderful Wednesday! My day involved a huge ENERGY OUTPUT on my part. We’re supposed to get more snow tonight, so I decided to double-up on my workouts today in case I’m stuck tomorrow.

FYI: I usually do not exercise twice in one day, or exercise for so long, for that matter. But with this being my first week of training for my 10-mile race, I really didn’t want to miss a run. At the same time, after my fun first experience with hot yoga, I also didn’t want to miss that! So I opted for both, and will be resting (and shoveling :-? ) tomorrow.

Ok, on to the eats!

Breakfast

I’ll be the first to admit my breakfast was boring. Cascadian Farms Multigrain Squares with skim milk and banana slices.

I try not to eat cold breakfast cereal too often because 1) it’s expensive, 2) it often doesn’t fill me up, and 3) I find it addicting and could easily polish off an entire box in one sitting! But since I was headed to yoga, I just wanted something quick and light in my stomach, and this fit the bill.

Lunch

Hot Vinyasa absolutely ROCKED this morning! 8-) The class was packed, and my body felt strong the entire time. We did a lot of balance poses, which I love because they force me to FOCUS my mind. (Left to its own devices, my mind inevitably wanders…a lot.)

After yoga I needed to do some school work, but I wanted a change of scenery. So I packed a cute little to-go lunch. (In my Bento Box!!!)

Natural, crunchy peanut butter and Trader Joe’s Organic Superfruit Spread on a whole wheat Arnold’s sandwich thin.

And an assortment of snacky things. Grapes, candy grape tomatoes, two itty-bitty clementines, and a string cheese. :-)

Such an adorable little box!

Packed up, headed to Barnes & Noble, grabbed some hot tea, and got WORKING!

I did a bunch of reading, took a break to enjoy the contents of my Bento Box, and then completed a written assignment. It was a productive afternoon! :-)

Afternoon Snack

I left Barnes & Noble and headed straight to the Y for workout number two. Hopped on the treadmill and ran 4 miles, plus a short warm-up and cool-down. Mentally it was one of those “just get it done” kind of workouts, but my body felt pretty good the whole time. That actually surprised me because I just ran 5 miles yesterday (which is my longest distance at this point), so I thought I’d feel more tired today. I’m just glad I got my mileage in before the snow!

I came home feeling like a hungry beast! So hungry that I snacked right away…before taking a shower. Gross, but true! :-) I had a 2% Pineapple Chobani Greek Yogurt (which, dare I say, may be my favorite flavor!).

Topped with Annie’s Honey Bunny Grahams. Yes, more kid food! ;-)

Dinner

I’ve discovered an unexpected benefit of documenting my food for this blog: it allows me to monitor my diet more closely and make up for any deficiencies. For example, I was uploading my food photos before dinner and realized that I was lacking in the veggie department for the day. So I made sure to incorporate several into dinner.

First up,  Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage in a whole wheat hot dog bun

…that I proceeded to cover with sauteed onions and green pepper strips.

Sauteed mushrooms and spinach with minced garlic. Wow, I could eat mushrooms all the live-long day. Any other mushroom lovers out there???

And finally, a big salad with Romaine, cucumber, and carrots, dressed with a splash of rice vinegar.

Altogether! :-D

Evening Snack

Dessert combined 3 of my favorite foods: bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate!

I sliced a Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip Vita Top in half, then stuffed it with banana slices.

30 seconds in the microwave and out came a scrumptious little dessert! :-D

Not going to lie – I’m considering going back for a second one of these…it was really good! We shall see. ;-)

Your turn! I’m really curious to hear your answers to this one.

Do you monitor your food intake throughout the day? If so, how? Do you focus on avoiding the bad stuff, or on getting enough of the good stuff? I don’t keep track of anything formally, but I do think through my meals to see if they each have a lean protein, a healthy carb, and at least one fruit or veggie. If I’m lacking in one area I’ll try to make up for it at the next meal or snack.

What I Ate – 2/16/2010

By Katie, 2:27 pm

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  :-D

Is this week just flying by for anyone else??? The weekend will be here before we know it!

Here’s the play-by-play for yesterday.

Breakfast

Breakfast was extremely delicious! Dave needed to be at work early, so I got up and put together some homemade Egg McMuffin sandwiches for us.

1/3 cup egg whites (I use the kind in a carton), 2 slices deli ham, and 1 slice American cheese on a whole wheat English muffin. Yummy!

It takes me a total of 5 minutes to put this breakfast together, and it tastes just as good better than what you’d get at Dunkin’ Donuts or Mickey D’s. But a little healthier and a lot cheaper! :-D

Plus a handful of grapes.

Mid-Morning Snack

I did some school work while my McMuffin digested, then headed to the Y for my workout. While there, I made an interesting discovery: the treadmills at my gym automatically SHUT OFF when you hit 60 minutes. I never knew this before because this was my first time staying on the revolving machine for that long! Is this common, or is it just the treadmills at my particular gym?

I hate the idea of long treadmill workouts, but the fact that it’s still icy around here – and most of the side-walks aren’t cleared of the snow yet – means that the treadmill it is! I did a total of 60 minutes: 50 minutes running with a 5-minute walking warm-up and cool-down. Thank goodness for ipods, right?!?! ;-)

Came home, forced myself to chug a bottle of aqua (I am horrible at staying hydrated!), then sipped on a big mug of hot tea.

Cool mug, right? I bought it last weekend at Eastern Market in D.C. from this lovely couple who hand-makes some absolutely gorgeous pottery.

While sipping my tea, I snacked on an overly-ripe persimmon, which was messy but still quite good.

Lunch

Lunch was veggie-rific!!! (Yes, that is a word. ;-) )

Sautéed broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms.

Drizzled with balsamic vinegar that I heated until it was reduced to a glaze consistency.

On the side, a piece of whole wheat pita bread smothered with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge.

And a big bowl of greens topped with a clementine and a blob of cottage cheese.

Arranged all pretty for the camera. ;-)

I love meals in which veggies are the base because you get so much more VOLUME…more bang for your buck, if you will. :-)

Afternoon Snacks

My eating schedule was a little different yesterday because I had night class. Generally I try to snack my way through and hold off on dinner until I get home. (I hate eating dinner super early.)

Before I went to class I broke into a new (to me) flavor of Chobani Greek Yogurt…POMEGRANATE! I’ve been dying to try this flavor, but just now found it! YES! :-D

Of course I added a little something to it. ;-) A couple of frozen blueberries and some semisweet mini morsels.

Midway through class I enjoyed another new (to me) snack: this 18 Rabbits bar. I really liked the combination of figs, cherries, and pumpkin seeds, and the hint of coconut was nice. This bar, however, was pretty pricey, so I don’t think it will become a regular part of my stash.

Dinner

By the time I got home from class around 9:00 at night, my tummy was rumbling!!! I generally do a good job of planning out all of our dinners for the week (it saves us money and ensures we’re eating more whole foods and less processed stuff), but I always leave class nights open. Most nights I come home and just rip into the first thing that sounds appealing!

Last night it was Mac ‘N’ Cheese! :-D

Annie’s Homegrown Organic Whole Wheat Shells & White Cheddar. I like Annie’s Mac ‘N’ Cheese products because the ingredients lists aren’t terrifying; this one is just whole wheat pasta, cheddar cheese, whey, and salt. I’ve never looked closely at a box of Kraft, but somehow I think it might frighten me! 8-O

I was rushing a bit since I was so hungry, and I accidentally made the cheese sauce a little too liquid-y. Oh well, still tasted good!

“Healthified” with some broccoli and carrots that I quickly steamed in the microwave.

I scarfed down this plate! :mrgreen:

And then ended the day on a sweet note with a small serving of vanilla fudge.

YOUR TURN! :-)

Do you have any convenience foods – like my homemade Egg McMuffin – that you try to make at home instead of purchasing, either for the sake of your health or your wallet?

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