Saturday, August 28, 2010

honey mustard turkey with snap peas

On Friday, I made Honey Mustard Turkey with Snap Peas for lunch before hitting the road.  It turned out just fine, but nothing special?  I made my own honey mustard sauce from dijon mustard and honey, instead of buying a marinade.
I had couscous on the side, and put some honey mustard sauce in it to spice it up.  I think I'm officially obsessed with couscous.  YUM!
This morning I was supposed to run 4 miles, but my legs were sooo tired.  I got to meet up with my friend Dan to go for a run in Arlington.  We made it 2.75 miles and I was ready to quit.  We averaged 10:34 minute miles, which probably explains why I was so tired!  He runs a little faster than I'm used to - but it was nice to be pushed!  It wasn't 4 miles, but I'm happy with it because I pushed myself and still got up and ran.
Sorry for the quick post - I'm on the way to a friend's wedding!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

meal #100!!!!!!!

M and I had 2 miles to run today, and let me tell you, it was ROUGH.  I feel bad because I'm sure she could have run quite a bit faster without me, but I was struggling.  My shins were sore!  I don't ever remember having sore shins from spin class, so I'm not sure if that was the reason or not.  But this was my first time trying to run the day after a spin class, and I definitely felt stiff.  I can't even blame the weather, because although informed me there was 96% humidity, it was in the 60s and the weather felt great.  Thank goodness we only had to go two miles - it still ended up taking us 23:28 which is an 11:38 pace.  Oh well.  I just hope my legs feel better for my four mile run this weekend!

After I iced my legs for a while, I cooked up some Tomato-Basil Chicken for lunch!  This is meal #100 PEOPLE!  GET EXCITED!  I'm 1/3rd done with this cookbook, can you believe it?  This quick and easy meal was very satisfying, with whole wheat egg noddles, tomato, onion, and chicken.
I think in this situation, the more garlic and basil the better.  It was a good meal, but nothing super special.  To be fair, it probably would have been way more flavorful with red pepper sauce.  I have red pepper sauce, but I COULDN'T GET THE JAR OPEN and eventually gave up.  So it goes.

After prepping lunch, I moved on to prepping dinner: Turkey with Wild Rice, Squash, and Cranberries (woohoo #101).  Mistake number one in this recipe was buying a whole butternut squash.  Last week I couldn't find a whole butternut squash and bought it cubed and pre-peeled.  I had no idea what a help that was.  Butternut squash is nearly impossible to seed, cut up and peel!  Seriously. 
I finally got it chopped up, but I gave up on peeling it and ended up just using my knife to try to get pieces of squash away from the skin.  I made a total mess of my kitchen in the process, too.
So, I ended up with way less squash than I intended for the recipe, but whatever.  Then I went to get out my turkey breast to put in the slow cooker, and found out that I somehow instead bought sliced turkey... you know.. like lunch meat.  I'm an idiot.  Whatever, I threw some sliced turkey in the slow cooker with everything else and reluctantly left it to cook for 7 hours.
It actually turned out way better than I expected!  Onions cooked in the slow cooker are my favorite.  The dried cranberries were so delicious.  Wild rice is also a plus.  Overall, there weren't any great spices of flavors in here - but the cranberries really made the dish.
I can't believe I've now completed 101 recipes.  199 to go, and 220 days to get it done!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ramen, again?

This is the second recipe in recent weeks that has called for a package of Oriental flavored ramen noodles - and I'm beginning to think Betty Crocker is obsessed!  I mean, I suppose I'm glad that my recipes call for ridiculously cheap good, but it surprises me that a healthy living cookbook can include multiple recipes with ramen!  So high in both fat and sodium!
Anyway, today's lunch was Ramen-Beef Stir-Fry.  It was another quick and easy recipe, which was good because I made it this morning before rushing to work!  First, I cooked the beef in the pan.  Then, I boiled water and cooked the ramen...
Added in veggies!
Look at all those veggies.  They couldn't even fit into my pan.  I was so excited to have so much GREEN in my lunch - I feel like I've been slacking on my vegetable intake lately!  After the veggies were tender, I just mixed in stir fry sauce and the ramen flavoring pack...
This was my first time using this stir-fry sauce.  I really liked it!  Anyway, next, I just mixed everything together, and packed it up!
This lunch was quite tasty and very filling.  I'm a little skeptical about the ramen, so next time I might use whole wheat pasta instead.  Otherwise, a great choice!  Tonight, the graduate school association is feeding me, so I won't be cooking dinner!  Woohoo for a night off :-)

up bright & early!

Goooood morning!

My alarm went off at 5:30 this morning, and by 5:35 I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for MORNING SPIN CLASS!  I have never done a morning spin class before, but I know this semester is going to be hectic, so I wanted to try to get my exercise in first thing.  With running, that's great... 7:00 or 7:30 depending on my/M's schedules isn't so bad.  But spin class starts at 6:15.  Crazy.  Luckily, I had a date with my new friend J, so I was motivated to actually show up.

It was the first time I had been to spinning in probably 3 months - and it felt sooo good to be back on the bike!  I can definitely tell that the running has help my cardiovascular system - I wasn't gasping for air nearly as much as I used to.  But, spinning works different muscles and I'm feeling it already.  Hurts so good!

I came home this morning pumped up, and decided it was time to try something I have been fearful of for approximately 20 years: oatmeal.  Many of the blogs I read regularly feature oatmeal for breakfast, and it always looks so nice: you can add nut butter, fruit, pretty much anything!  I can imagine how nutritious and delicious it would be to have bowls of oatmeal for breakfast.  But, to be honest: oatmeal grosses me out.  It looks gross.  The texture is gross.  I haven't had oatmeal since I was approximately 4 years old, when I put it on the "gross things I refuse to eat" list.  But after 20 years and watching ya'll eat oatmeal every day, I decided it was time to try it.

I borrowed and then adapted a recipe from Kath, and made myself S'More flavored oatmeal. I figured I should start with flavors/toppings I love.  And if graham crackers, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and marshmallows can't do the trick, nothing can.  I followed the instructions on the oatmeal box, and microwaved my oats for 2 minutes.  They still seemed pretty watery, so I put them back in for another 30 seconds.  At first,  the texture seemed just right.  Kind of creamy, but the graham crackers added a nice crunch.  But soon I felt like I was eating mud.  I added some more milk to make it soupier, but I never really found the right consistency.
So, they didn't taste bad, but the texture was hard to overcome... which was the same complaint my four year old self had.  The oats were chewy, the mix was a muddy/sticky mess, and I couldn't handle it.  Partly because I was getting full and partly because of the texture, I only finished half a bowl.  Ah well, at least I tried!  Any reader suggestions for making oatmeal? How can I get the oats to be less chewy, but the overall texture to not be too thick?  Does that even make sense? Any comments would be much appreciated!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

teriyaki steak dinner

This morning, M and I enjoyed the mild weather (69 degrees, and not too humid... reported 93% humidity, but it didn't feel all that bad!).  Thank goodness for the mildness, because when we looked at our running calendar we were a bit surprised to see that we had THREE miles to run today.  The past few weeks, our weekday runs have been 2.5 and 2 miles... but now we are onto 3 and 2 miles.  Yikes!  Anyway, we made it 3.02 miles in 33:07, for an average of 10:58.  Under 11 (just barely, I know)?  I'll take it!!

I never made it grocery shopping last night, so I treated myself to lunch out today!  But, I made my grocery list before I left my office and picked up stuff on the way home.  Tonight's dinner was Teriyaki Steak Dinner.  The theme of this week is quick meals, since I have a pretty busy week!  This was done in under 20 minutes, which is fabulous!  First, I sauteed the peppers and mushrooms...
Then I set the veggies aside to cook my meat!
Add back in the veggies and stir in teriyaki sauce - I picked out a SPICY version of stir fry teriyaki sauce, because I've been in a spicy mood lately.
Then, I served it on the leftover rice noodles from a few days ago. I also was craving Indian food today (I feel like Gina on a Wednesday!)... specifically palak paneer, so I picked some up at the grocery store and had it on the side.  Yeah, I know, it doesn't look even mildly appetizing.  But I swear, it's delicious!

Lastly, I was craving a beer, so I had one of my favorites: SUMMER ALE!
And there you have it, my dinner!  I would say this is a great recipe in terms of being quick and easy... but I'm not sure I feel like the pepper really went with the dish.  Maybe a different color pepper or cooking the peppers longer would have helped (they were still somewhat crisp).  I also think that onions would have made the flavors a lot better in this dish.  Next time!

Monday, August 23, 2010

sweet tooth.

Sunday's dinner was Scallop Pad Thai.  Unfortunately, I didn't do a good job of photographing throughout the cooking process.  The ingredient list on this baby was LONG, which was intimidating, but it was actually quite simple!  The sauce was delicious and included my favorite ingredient ever: FISH SAUCE!  Haha.  I will say that once again, the bay scallops were not nearly as tasty as sea scallops... so in the future I'll make sure to always get sea scallops!  I will also say that this is the first time I've eaten and enjoyed bean sprouts.  I think when they are cooked and mixed in they are great... I'm just not as big of a fan when they are raw and piled on top of a dish.

On Monday, I had a total sweet tooth.  I had some chocolate chips.  I had a snack-sized Oreo McFlurry.  And then, for dinner, I had Pork Chops and Apples.  It's more of a fall dish, but school starts in a week so I was feeling in a fall-esque mood... even if it is still very humid and summery here!  First I mixed brown sugar and cinnamon with apple slices.
Then I bakedit all with the pork on top.
Not the prettiest meal, but the flavors were fantastic!  I love baked apples, and this was a very dessert-y dinner: perfect for my sweet tooth!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

longest run ever!!

Saturday morning I went for the longest run I've ever completed - 4.0 miles!  Woohoo!  I wasn't feeling great, so we took it nice and slow.  I wish I had been feeling better though, since the weather was really great - not as humid as it's been lately!  Anyway, we finished in 47:49, or at an 11:58 pace... but we did it!

Then, Saturday evening I made Tuna, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad for a dinner party.  I didn't realize that the tuna was supposed to be grilled, so instead I seared it in a pan.
Then I chopped up fresh mozzarella and tomatoes and arrange them on a plate
Drizzled on balsamic vinagrette and fresh basil
It looks so pretty, right?  Until you add the tuna, haha.
Anyway, everyone seemed to enjoy this dish.  Cooking the tuna correctly is definitely an art I'm still working on - it turned out good this time but I feel like it's so easy to over or under cook tuna!  Glad this turned out mostly medium rare, which I think is ideal for tuna.  Yum! :-)

I also wanted to share a new website I learned about.  Healthy Living Blogs is a new resource for the health blogging community. Created by Lindsey of Sound Eats, HLB is a site designed to enhance the positive community of the healthy living blog world. Bloggers and readers can explore the site and find more blogs to love, bloggers in their area, and forums to deepen healthy discussion and support. If you're interested in having your site listed on HLB, simply send the following information to and check the site out for yourself!
  • Email subject line: MEMBERS
  • Your name (please share if you prefer to go by first name, first and last, or however you prefer to be known on the Internet)
  • Blog Name
  • Blog URL (please start with http://, not www.)
  • Your twitter handle, if applicable
  • Your location (if you prefer not to disclose this information for privacy's sake, that is completely understandable. We'll simply include your blog listing in the A-Z listing, not by location, too)
  • Any specific labels (i.e. vegan, gluten-free, weight loss, running, etc.)

Friday, August 20, 2010

a spicy good day!

Today for lunch I had a Spicy Chili Bean Burger.  First, I had to smash up cereal (I actually used Kashi instead of Fiber One):
Then, I mashed chili beans...
The instructions said to mash the beans with a fork, but that was kind of annoying.  There has to be a better way to mash the beans.  Suggestions anyone?  Anyway, next put the cereal, some oats, and green onions into the bowl with the beans...
Mixed them up...
And made burgers!  I was pleasantly surprised about how well these burgers stayed together!  I for SURE thought they would fall apart and I'd be beating spicy chili bean mush. 
I made two small burgers for myself since I didn't realize have any sides to serve with them.  The first one, I had in a whole wheat tortilla with some spinach.
The second one, I just served on a bed of spinach.  However, after eating the first one I realized, this dish lacks any sort of spice!  So, I added some hot sauce and chili powder to spice things up, which made it much much better. 
Overall, I'd say it's a great burger but if you want spice, some hot sauce, chili powder, etc. would definitely help.  Oh, and more green onions! Haha.

Dinner tonight was Couscous-Stuffed Peppers.  I started with a yellow bell pepper, chopped off the top, and cleaned out the inside.

Then I made the filling: ground beef, onion, tomato sauce, couscous, and spices.
Stuffed this baby full, and threw it in the slow cooker!
Four hours later, I had a delicious, tender pepper stuffed with a nice, spicy couscous mix.  The combo of spices was really spectacular in this recipe: cayenne, ground cinnamon, cumin, and garlic.
This turned out AWESOME.  I can't wait to make them again.  Good recipe to make for a party too, I think, because it's so fancy looking.  Or it would have been if my pepper hadn't fallen over in the slow cooker... but if I had 4-5 other peppers in there that wouldn't happen :-)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

a day of delicious PORK!

Well, just after complaining this morning about how bland my recent recipes have been, I hit two home runs in a row!  For lunch, I had Pork, Onion, and Pepper Fajitas.  First step was to make the marinade and let the pork sit overnight.
Then, this morning, I cooked the pork in a pan fore a few minutes before adding in the peppers and onions.
The recipe didn't specify what color bell pepper, so I went with orange and red.  I'm not really a fan of green pepper, so I tend to pick any other color.  For the first time ever, I have to say, I think green bell pepper would have made this recipe even better!  Hmm.
When looking over this recipe, my first thought was "Mexican food without melty cheese?  Can't be good."  See, I'm pretty much in love with cheese - so I can't imagine why you would ever leave cheese out of a recipe, particularly one with Mexican flavors.  But, I'm trying to stick to the recipes as closely as possible, so I reluctantly left the cheese out.
I have to say, I was 100% wrong.  This recipe was delicious without the cheese - and dare I say that I think cheese would have made it LESS enjoyable?  Who knows.  There was a suggestion on the page to add cilantro with sour cream + salsa... I skipped out on the sour cream and salsa, but I did add in the cilantro.
The combination of cilantro and lime juice is fan-freaking-tastic.  Yum yum yum.  I took my lunch to work and then constructed the fajita there at lunch time.  YAY delicious, flavorful lunch!

While I was at work, my dinner was cooking for me nice and slowly.  Before I left, I put butternut squash and pork into my crockpot.
I also mixed orange marmalade with finely chopped garlic...
... and poured it over the pork!  Then, I set the slow cooker for about 6 hours and left.
I came home to some very tender Orange Pork Tenderloin with Butternut Squash.
I realize now that I forgot to sprinkle salt on the squash.  Oops!  No worries, this turned out great.  Orange marmalade is often too sweet for me, but the garlic balanced it out and this dinner totally hit the spot!
And so you have it - two delicious recipes to make up for yesterday's blandness :-)  Hopefully tomorrow is another hit!  Time to get ready to watch Project Runway with the girls and ice my shins... they are definitely sore after today's run!
If you are a PR fan, who are your favorite designers so far this season?