Thursday, January 12, 2012

Meatless Mid-Week...

Weird Fact:  So I've decided that I enjoy my Green Monster smoothies much more as a breakfast then as a lunch.  I'll plan on having one of these for a lunch, but those plans usually quickly go by the wayside because I'm just usually NOT in the mood for them when 12 o'clock rolls around.  Breakfast, however??  I wake up CRAVINGGGGG them.  Like, 'lion out of the cage' craving.  Strange, right??  It's the only time in life, I'm sure, that I'll crave spinach before 9amJ 
This fulfills your 'random fact' quota for the day.
You're welcomeJ

On another note:  How cute is this San Francisco glass??

I love having my spinach served up with a side of fun memories of all my favorite places in the cityJ
(Scott got me these glasses for Christmas from Cat Studios.  They have tons of States & your favorite cities from all around the world...all done in adorable art work!  Here's a glimpse at NJ & Vermont!)

And since I flip flopped my breakfast & lunch plan, I decided I was going to have more Chai oatmeal for lunch.  Buttttt...hunger hit me out of NOWHERE today and even the 15-20 minutes to make oatmeal pudding just seemed tooooo long!  To the rescue??  Trader Joe's Black Bean & Corn Enchiladas...

6 minutes in the microwave and I was quickly devouring these babies.  I love how fresh the corn tortilla and black bean filling tastes....especially for a frozen entree!  Definitely pick these up if you're looking for a quick & filling lunch.

Dinner...mwahaha...was a little creation of my own.

Truth be told:  I wanted pizza.  (thick, doughy Sicilian pizza to be exactJ)  But thankfully, I was anxious enough to try out my 'experiment' that I was able to keep the pizza delivery guy at bay.
This dinner took about an hour...but was one of those great ones where you were actually only COOKING for about 30 minutesJ

First up, I tossed 2 sweet potatoes in a 400 degree oven for about an hour.

When the potatoes had about a half hour left, I chopped up my kale, drizzled it with olive oil, salt & pepper and threw it in the bottom rack of the oven to cook along with the potatoes.  (keep your nose on alert!  If they smell like they're burning:  They're done!)

While the potatoes and kale were doing their thing, I quickly sauteed half a red onion and a few minced cloves of garlic in a saute pan...

...before adding a can of drained & rinsed black beans.
I let those sautee and crisp together, stirring occasionally, while I got to work on the last part of the meal.

Scott & I had made this recipe for West African-Style Peanut Sauce YEARSSSSSS ago...and I think Scott's been wanting to have it again since, but it always slipped my mind.  But last night, I knew it would be the quintessential STAR of our sweet potato meal!
(my spices are really getting a workout this week, huh???)

West African-Style Peanut Sauce (adapted from Cooking Light)
  • 1/2 diced red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teasp. cumin
  • 1 1/2 teasp. coriander
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce (we had none on hand, so I used a trusty can of tomato soupJ)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  1. Saute the onion & garlic in a little drizzle of olive oil on medium heat for a 3 minutes.
  2. Add in the ground ginger, cumin & coriander and cook for about a minute.
  3. Next, add the water, tomato sauce, peanut butter, salt & pepper.  Stir until smooth and simmer on low for about 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
See??  Sounds scary and "fancy," but it's actually super easy and ready in under 10 minutes!

When the sweet potatoes were cooked, we split them oven and 'fluffed' the potatoes with a fork before adding a few spoonfuls of the peanut sauce and mixing the 2 together...

Finally, I topped the 'peanut potatoes' with the sauteed black beans...and wallah:  Peanut potatoes with black beansJ
This dinner was super filling & satisfying while being completely vegan.  If you're looking for ways to cut your budget a bit (not to mention your intake of saturated fats) going meatless at least once a week is a good start.  This entire dinner probably cost us under $10 for both of our meals.  Canned beans are super cheap, as well as a great source of filling protein.  Not to mention the peanut sauce gave this even more bang for your 'filling' buckJ

And we had gotten this HUGE head of kale for about $1.25 at the Farmer's Market and I was able to stretch it into 2 dinners worth of 'kale chip side dishes' PLUS the few huge handfuls that went into the minestrone soup.  Tell me that's not making your dollar stretch for you!J
Try a dinner like this every once & awhile and see how much better you AND your wallet feelsJ hehehehhee...

And to satisfy a chocolate craving that I managed to hold off until dessert....we just HAD to try the CHOCOLATE DIPPED WHOOPIE PIES last night!!
First of all, we couldn't stop SMELLING them even before we dived in!  They smelled JUSTTTT like Nestle Quik powder (a sentimental, while not often purchased, favorite in our houseJ) and they tasted equally as delicious.  Chocolate craving: satisfied!

And another thing I wanted to share with you guys was that I finally was able to pick up Bethenny's new Skinnygirl workout on sale from Amazon!  I couldn't wait to try it out yesterday...
The DVD is broken down into 3 segments, so that if you can get a complete yoga workout in wheter you have 15 minutes or 50.  You can follow either of the 2 fifteen minute segments or the 1 twenty minute segment for quick workouts...orrr do all 3 if you have the time and want a full out workout.

I decided to tackle all three (plus the bonus 12 minute stretching segment) to see what it was all about.  First of all, and I can't fault the DVD for this as it's certainly NOT a prenatal specified DVD, but a LOT of this workout was ab/stomach centered and involved a lot of twisting.  Neither are exactly my 'focus zones' at the I ended up having to spend 92% of the workout doing modifications.  Again, not the DVD's fault...but may have hindered my judgement in making a fair assesment of the workout.  I'll tackle it again...but not until after the baby is born.  Should be perfect by then to whip my midsection back into shape. 

The other thing that I wasn't crazy over was that the male trainer in this one, Mike McArdie, had about 1/4th of the personality of the ADORABLE Kristen McGee in the first one(Her own DVD's are already on my 'gift list' for ScottJ) hahahahhaha...but it certainly was a TOUGHER workout then "Body by Bethenny." can take your pick.  Fun & cheerful yoga?  Go for "Body."  Tougher, full body, even some CARDIO involved, yoga?  Go with "Skinnygirl."  It's all about what you're looking for on that particular day.

Yeesh...alright, it's already late and I've now talked your ear off!!  Alright...go enjoy the rest of your night!J
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