Monday, July 25, 2011

I hate to do this, but...

Hey much as I hate to do it, I'm afraid I'm going to need to take a little blogger break for the next week or two.  I hope to be back up to speed ASAP, but for now I need to hold off for a bit.  I'll fill you in soon!!!!

Until then, have a great week (or twoJ)!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Saved by the oven....

So this ungodly & dastardly heat subjected me to not one, but TWO nights of chickpea salads this Tuesday night, I was just barely 'cool enough' to throw another one togetherJ hahahahahhahaha.   But man, or at least husbands, can not live on chickpea salads alone.  Therefore Scott had graciously offered to cook dinner last night and made some yummy stuffed peppers....

And never fear, as these stuffed peppers were not only delicious BUT they were moderately summer friendly, because all of the 'baking' was done in the toaster oven(God, I love that thing!)
You could also heat them up on the grill, but even the thought of turning on that baby was just NOT HAPPENING!

He started by mixing up a yummy filling.  Best part is, you probably have all of this stuff lying around in your kitchen!
  • 3/4 pound lean turkey breast
  • 1 cup rice, cooked  (use brown rice for even MORE nutritional benefits.  We just happened to have white on hand for PennyJ)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 box frozen spinach, defrosted & drained
  • salt & pepper
While the filing was cooking on the stove, he seeded & halved 2 red peppers and popped them in the toaster oven.  Once the turkey/rice mixture was ready, he scooped it into the warmed red pepper shells, topped them with grated cheese and popped em back in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes to warm everything through.

YUM!!!!!!!!!!!  These were sooo good!  Quick, packed with healthy ingredients and very filling....even on these "hotter than hell" nightsJ  Try em out tonight.....that is, if you have a toaster oven handy!
SO NJ is seeing no relief in sight.  The heat index is suppose to be 115 tomorrow!  YES, as in ONE ONE FIVE.  OY!  Someone get me a pina colada & a beach houseJ hahahahahhahahaha

And speaking of NJ, my fellow Jersey blogger Amanda over at the beautiful "Our Italian Kitchen" posted my guest blog for my Cappuccino Muffins.  Check it out AND check our her awesome blog!  Thanks again, Amanda!!!

Alright everyone....hope you have a good Thursday and can see the weekend within your grasp! J 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Super Simple Salad...

OK, this may be the most ridiculously, deliciously, simple salad I've ever madeJ  I had one for lunch on Saturday and could not WAIT to make it again for "Monday night salads" this week.  Are you ready for the recipe??
Here goes:
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Chickpeas
  • Sprinkle of grated cheese
  • Olive oil whisked with lemon juice
Wallah!!!!  Sooooooooo fresh, easy and simple!  Maybe it's this heat, but I was in no mood for ANY. MORE. INGREDIENTS!  This one suited me jussssssssst fineJ

Scott, meanwhile, got a little more colorful with some broccoli, red peppers, carrots & craisins....
Hence why salad is a good "couples" meal:  It's customisableJ hahahahhahahaa....

And since my salad was a little on the 'super simple' side, I thought I'd show you one of my favorite lunches from the last week & a half...

OK, I know it's not rocket science...but these taters wrapped in plastic speed up the cooking time just a weeeeee bit!  7 minutes and you are cooked golden!

And I topped the tater with one of these numbers...

Easy, cheesy and only 40 calories a pop!  Toss this baby in along with your potato for 2 minutes and...

Tada!  You have a super low cal but VERY filling lunch that looks sorta somethin like thisJ
Use your imaginationJ

So anywayyyyss....guess who isn't walking ONE BIT outside longer than I have to today????  It's so hot that they are even having a Mr. Softee truck come visit my work today.  Funny, right?  Yet oh-so-necessary.  I'm soooooooo over this shenanigans!!! J

Have a good (and cool) Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Get set for the week...

Hey everyone!  So we were out & about a lot this weekend (sans camera...sorry!!!) but I hoped my workout schedule from the week would be enough to jump start your "Monday Motivation"J...

Tuesday:  Bethenny yoga-40 minutes

Wednesday:  30 minute "Walk Away the Pounds" (2 miles) + 1 round of 8 pound weights (12 of each: lateral raises, overhead presses, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks & "shoulder pinches")

Thursday:  30 minutes dance + 1 round of 8 pound weights (+ 50 tricep dips)

Friday:  Bethenny yoga-40 minutes  (yes, againJ)

Sunday:  1 hour Yoga for the Warrior

Hope that starts your week off on a motivated track to try something maybe you've never done before.  (or...if your like me: keep doing what you like over & over...hahahahahahahahaha)

Have a great Monday, everyone!

Friday, July 15, 2011

To the rescue...

Hey everyone!  Happy FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!  WOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

So since we had enough leftovers to have Tacos: Round 2 last night, I thought I'd rewind a bit and show you our dinner from Wednesday night.  Since it was our big 6 year dateiversary, we thought we'd take the night off from the kitchen while not straying TOO far off our "weeknight calorie spectrum" and picked up some take-home Saladworks....
Now let's not could EASILY rack up your salad to be over 1,000 calories...but since I like the Fire roasted Cabo Jack salad so much, I don't need any dressing and then it clocks in around 390 calories (even less if you ditch the cheese, but come on...a girl has got to live a littleJ)
In the Saladworks mix:
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Corn & bean blend
  • White beans (LOVE!!!)
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Grilled Chicken Breast
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Tortilla strips  (probably could ditch those too...but I like a little CRUNCH in my 'works)
  • Broccoli (swapped for tomatoes)
And I ain't gonna of my favorite parts of Saladworks are.....their WHEAT ROLLS!
I don't know what the hell they put in them, but I'm convinced they are made by the likes of fairies or elves.  They are just SOOOO GOOD!

So yep...that about wraps up our 'dateiversary' (I know, I know...that WORD!) dinner AND the week!  YEAH!!!!!  We have a few family birthdays to celebrate this weekend and the rest will be just taking it easy.  Got any good plans???

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Always Plan Ahead...

Hey everyone...hope you're having a good week!  So happy it's Wednesday already!!!

Thought I'd show you my breakfast & lunch spread from yesterday:
  • French toast slice
  • Reduced Fat Chocolate Milk
  • Fat Free Peach Chobani
  • Cashew Cookie Larabar
  • Peach  (peach overkill??)
I bought these French Toast slices at Trader Joe's to switch up a bit from the waffles.  They're really hearty from the four grain bread and heat up in the microwave in a minute.  (although they taste MUCH better toasted in a toaster overJ)

And I liked the stats...esp. the 5 grams of protein!

I'm also moderately obsessed with these single serving chocolate milks...
I've read that chocolate milk is one of the best things to have after a tough workout (hello, boxing!) and that the carb & protein combo are the best at rebuilding and refueling muscles. 

Oh yeah...and it tastes goodJ  Let's not kid ourselves TOO much...

And I absolutely love the stats and INGREDIENTS list on this baby.  Short & sweetJ

Our dinner last night was a standard "Taco Tuesday" fiesta with a little middle eastern flair thrown in...J
The tacos were stocked with:
  • Trader Joe's taco shells
  • Taco seasoned crumbled turkey breast
  • Cheese
  • Shredded Lettuce (which I'm slightly obsessed with!)
  • Avocado
  • Low fat sour cream
And as our side?  No, not rice & beans....but this roasted garlic brown rice & bulger comboJ

It was what we had it our it was what was going on our platesJ
I say this RARELY, but as of this moment, I have absolutely NO CLUE what will be on this blog tomorrow morning.  Dinner this evening is still up in the air!  We usually plan our "menu" for the week and stick strictly too it, but since our schedules shifted a bit for the next few weeks, it may all be a little more up in the airJ  That being said, my tip for you today if your trying to lose weight:  Make a menu!  It's WAY to easy to call for 'take out' when you don't have a plan and even 'moderatly complicated recipes' (NEVER try VERY complicated ones during the week!  That's just setting yourself up) are easier if you have a game plan and everything you need in the house.  If you've never done it, try it out for a week and let me know how it goes!  The key to success is to PLAN AHEAD!

Alright....I'm done chatting!  Have a great Wednesday!  (I just wrote "weekend"...I'm. in. troubleJ)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another old favorite....

Morning everyone!  Sorry for my loooooooooooooong breakJ  I think my posts may be a little scattered during the next few weeks...but I hope you bear with me!  I'll be back up to full speed ASAP! J

Dinner last night was another one of my 'simple favorites' that I don't think I've made since I've moved in with Scott nearly 5 years ago....travestyJ  But you can always 'go home' and have some easy macaroni with chicken & broccoli...

First, we started by sauteing six, YES 6, sliced cloves of garlic in a drizzle of olive oil...

Next, toss in some diced up chicken breast and allow that to saute and cook up in the garlic....yum!

Next, toss in the broccoli....
I like to steam my broccoli while the chicken cooks, but if you like it on the 'crisper' side, you can always just toss it right in to cook with the chicken.

Break up the broccoli with the back of your spoon and allow it to soak up all the great garlic & oil flavors...

Add to the pasta and WALLAH!  I think this dish had a higher ratio of broccoli than anything else, so that always makes it a little on the 'healthier' end of the spectrum...
Plus, it's just soooooooo good!  Heating the garlic on low and slow cooking it with the chicken really gives it time to caramelize and give the entire dish it's full, sweet flavor.  Why has it been so long, chicken & broccoli?  I have a feeling it won't be so long till our next reunionJ

I also feel like I'm gypping you, as I don't even have a full workout schedule to share from this weekJ  I was a little under the weather this weekend, but I'm slowly coming back to full speed starting TODAY!

Tuesday:  40 minute Bethenny yoga + arms + "booty bonus"

Wednesday:  2 mile "Walk away the pounds" with 8 pound weights

Thursday:  30 minute jog/dance/weights

Friday:  Yoga Meltdown-Level 1

So, is it me...or has time STOPPED for anyone else???  This year FLEWWWWWWWWWW by, but I swear, as soon as it hit MID JUNE and those GROSS, HOT temps....time has ceased to moveJ  Maybe I need to get myself to the Jersey Shore one of these fine days.  Maybe that'll help me to 'embrace' this horrid season a little betterJ

Anyway....hope you guys stay coooooool and have a good Tuesday!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pesto, round 2...

We had an interesting little take on 'pesto pasta' yesterday...

I had spied this 'basil infused pasta' in my Rachael Ray magazine last month (same one as the onion ring burgersJ) and was totally intrigued to try it!

What you do is cook the pasta about partway (I cooked it about 4 minutes) and then you drain the pasta, reserving 3 cups of the starchy pasta water...

Throw the spaghetti, starchy water and 1 cup of pesto (store bought or homemade) back in the pot and stir together...

And allow to cook on medium-high heat for 15 minutes....

...or until all of the water has been absorbed by the spaghetti....

I really started to doubt that this was going to work, but miraculously (and thankfully...we were STARVING!) it DID!  The extra cooking time with the pesto almost made for a creamy, full bodied pesto experience swirled throughout each spaghetti strand....
...all while mellowing out the flavors a bit.  If you're afraid of the strong basil & fresh garlic flavors of pesto...this cooking method will work PERFECT for you!!!

We loved it!  Ain't gonna lie...I ended up going back to get two more little scoops.  It was just so yummy and hit the spot perfectly last nightJ
Hope ya'll are stayin cool in this GROSS, HOT weather!  I'm staying inside as much as possibleJ  Sooooooooooo happy it's almost Friday though!  One more full work day + four hours and I am FREE for the weekend!  Already trying to think of something fun to do on Saturday....we. shall. seeJ

Have a good Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Back in the game...

Well, after a day of onion rings & apple crisp, I was sooooooooooooooooo ready to 'get back to normal' yesterday.  I packed a light & healthy breakfast and lunch:
  • Homemade blueberry muffin
  • strawberries
  • Fage 2% Peach yogurt
  • Watermelon
I had made these all natural blueberry muffins for our "Sunday morning breakfast" after the thought of another 'super sugary breakfast' like our sweet Saturday morning french toast turned BOTH of our stomachsJ hahahahhahaha....  We've been gobbling these up every morning since!

Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from The Skinnygirl Dish
  • 3 cups Oat Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Raw Sugar
  • 1 TB Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Fat Free Skim Milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or melted butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 pint Blueberries  
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pan(s) with liners (makes 12-14 muffins).

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder & salt in bowl. In separate bowl, combine milk, oil or butter & vanilla extract.

3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Stir in blueberries

4. Using ice-cream scoop, drop batter into liners.

5. Bake for 20min, rotating pan at 10min so muffins bake evenly. Done when muffin tops firm.

The recipe said these took 20 minutes, but mine took about 40 or so for the tops to set.  And don't worry that the tops are too crunchy....they tasted JUST like chewy blueberry cookies when they were setJ YUM!

Dinner was nearly all done on the grill last night.  We had a grilled romaine salad with grilled chicken.... 
Ever have grilled lettuce???  You would be amazed at the magic a little olive oil & the kiss of the grill can provide on simple romaine.  It's just so good & unique!

My part in dinner was to whip up this Fresh Herb Dressing that I had adapted from Cooking Light... 

Creamy Herb Dressing
  • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
Combine all ingredients and drizzle on salad.  A couple tablespoons is the recommended serving and just enough to get all of those great flavors!

And the chicken gave us SWEET memories of Gilroy, California, as we finally cracked open our 'Garlic Dude Dust' from the Garlic ShopJ

Between that AND the fresh, minced garlic in the dressing....we smelled AWESOME after this mealJ hahahahahahaha 
And to go along with this salad:  My workouts for the week!

Monday:  30 minutes dance & weights + 1 hour pilates

Tuesday:  40 minute yoga + 1 hour boxing

Wednesday:  30 minutes dance & weights + 30 minutes gentle yoga

Thursday:  Circle pilates + 10 minute arm section

Friday:  1 hour yoga for the warrior

Saturday:  1 hour+ power yoga (DYING!)

Sunday:  1 hour boxing class

So after THAT week, Monday was certainly a holiday and a day of rest for meJ hahahahhahahaha....

Hope you guys have a GREAT Wednesday!  Your week is half over already!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

All American...

Good morning everyone!  Hope you guys had a GREATTTTT Holiday weekend!  We had a completely low key and relaxed one that involved nearly 3 unplugged days of NO INTERNET! (a nice breakJ),  family (Hi Patti, Tricia & Tizzy Roe!!!), a leisurely tropical french toast breakfast at Westmont diner...

(complete with coconut & homemade caramel sauceJ)

...a trip to the farmer's market for some sweet, veggie treats....

...someone by the name of Derek Jeter in our neighborhood.  Heard of him??J ....

....and a perfectly patriotic dinnerJ  Or at least an "All American" one complete with hamburgers & homemade onion ringsJ

When I had spied this burger on the cover of Rachael Ray's magazine last month, I knew it was going to be our Fourth of July standoutJ We mixed some ground turkey with Worcestershire and salt & pepper and then grilled them until cooked.  Once they were done, we topped them on our Great Harvest fresh hamburger buns and a little "Red Ranch" sauce....
Red Ranch Sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup diced chives & parsley
  • salt & pepper
Next, we added some lettuce and the grand "special ingredient":  a Sour Cream onion ring!!

Oh yes...these babies were the piece de resistance of a great meal!
Sour Cream & Buttermilk Onion Rings
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chives
  • 3 cups flour
  • Salt & Pepper
1.- Combine the buttermilk & sour cream.  Dice onion into large circles and allow them to soak in the buttermilk for a few minutes.

2.-In another bowl mix the flour, chives, salt & pepper.

3.- Double dip the onion rings in the buttermilk & flour mixture and place on a foil lined cookie sheet.

4.- Allow to refrigerate for a few hours to set the batter.
OK, don't need to do that last step if your in a rush, but I really believe it helps the batter stick to the onions much better.  After's all about the batter!
BUT!!!!!!!!  Here was the BEST part!!!  After the flour/chive mix had run out/got too gooey, I came up with an idea as an "onion ring batter" experiment....and OH MY was the BEST. IDEA. EVER!!!!
THAT'S RIGHT!  Corn bread baking mix!!!!!!!!!!!!  I can't even tell you how good these just need to go home and make them for yourself to experience the magic!  These made the most DELICIOUS, light, salty/sweet, crispy, crunchy, textured, sorta creamy onion rings EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!  All I did was double dip em in the milk & this already prepared cornbread mix.  IT. WAS. HEAVEN!  The only words uttered after we tried the first five one were "oh my God.  No really, Oh my God!"  SOOOO. GOOD!

Anyway, I digress....back to the cooking, shall we?? J  First, you need to heat about 3-4 inches of frying oil (I used canola) in a deep bottom pot at medium/high heat to around 375.  (If you don't have a thermometer, just toss some rings in and see how quickly they turn brown and adjust your heat accordingly.)

Toss in the rings in batches and allow to fry until crisp and golden, flipping once.

Next, I laid them out on a paper lined plate to soak up all the oil.  And, as anyone who watches the Food Network will tell you, I salted them as soon as they came out of the pot.  It helps it stick to the rings while they're blazing HOT!

While I was working in batches I tossed the rest in my toaster over, set at 350, to keep warm.

I'm tellin ya, these were awesome!  They're a little tedious to make, but well worth the effort.  The chive & sour cream ones were outstanding, but they were NO MATCH for my cornbread rings.  TOO. DIE. FOR.  Get off the computer right now and go make them. 
Right now. 
I'm waiting....

And to round out our All American Dinner....we made the ultimate American Dessert:  Apple PieJ
OK, OK...we actually made "Sea Salt Apple Crisp"...WHICH reminded me of FALL as soon as it was cooked.  But we DID make it in the cast iron pan on the grill (45 minutes at around 375) that's "Fourth of July-y", right?? :)

And I just HADDD to get some creamy & dreamy Ben & Jerry's to go with it! 
Quick Fact:  We had decided to go to Vermont as our 'mini-moon' after our wedding after seeing the B&J's factory on 'Ice Cream Paradise' on the Travel Channel 3 years ago this weekendJ  When I saw it replayed yesterday, it brought back a zillion good memoriesJ  Just thought I'd shareJ doesn't get more All American than this mealJ  Try it out at your next picnic....
And with that said:  I'm SOOOOOOOOOO glad we didn't have to go to ANY picnics yesterday!  I had ran to the store to pick up the ice cream and that was as much "outdoor time" as I wanted to spend yesterday.  It was TOO. DAMN. HOT!  I think I'd like "Fourth of July " more if it was in the Spring/FallJ "Fourth of April" has a nice ring to it, no??  hahahahahhahahahaha  COME ON, SEPTEMBER!  I am waiting for you!!!

Alright, enough of my lamenting!  Hope you guys are well rested and ready for the week ahead.  Happy TUESDAY!!!!  (sooo excited, as I was about to write "Monday"J)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...