Archive for April, 2011

Mint, Fudge, Oreos.

I finally picked up some new Oreo Fudge Cremes at the grocery store. It is not something that I would normally buy as a nutrition conscious dietitian, however you have to indulge every once in a while. Plus Roy LOVES Oreos, and could eat them every day. Of course I would never let this happen, so we have a deal. If a new Oreo comes out for a holiday or new season I will buy a box. It is a good way to keep the Oreo consumption under control.

The fudge Oreos come in a variety of flavors, including minty goodness. I have to say they are right below my love for Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. Mmmmmmmm.

Next up was dinner.

Baked Lump Crab Cakes:

(Servings 6)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs ( I used slightly more ~4-5 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay™
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons cholesterol-free egg product (I used one whole egg)
  • 1/2 pound lump crab meat (I used 2 cans lump crab meat)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.
  • Combine bread crumbs, baking powder, parsley, mustard powder, pepper, and seafood seasoning; set aside. Stir together mayonnaise, butter, Worcestershire, and egg product until smooth. Fold in crab meat, then fold in bread crumb mixture until well blended.
  • Shape mixture into 12 crab cakes, about 3/4 inch thick, and place onto prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, then turn the crab cakes over, and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until nicely browned.
(Recipe from Allrecipes.com)
Of course I scaled down the recipe to 6 servings for a smaller portions for just two people. They were the perfect size and turned out nice a crispy. Will defiantly make again, as they were east to put together and had a great flavor. Served with organic whole wheat orzo, and fresh asparagus.

Eat really healthy during the day and you can have your cookies too!

April 28, 2011 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

Rain Rain Go Away

It is supposed to rain all week. Guess I will be spending most of my time indoors. I start my hospital job on Monday, which will be a huge change for me but in a good way. The down side to this schedule is having to wake up way to early, and getting home in time to hit the gym, eat, then go to bed. I am mentally preparing myself for this and I know that it will take some time to adjust.

Easter was very laid back this year, Roy and I had a wonderful time at his parents house. We chowed down on ham, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, green beans, and some rolls. The desert was so good, Sheila (Roy’s mom) used a weight watchers recipe for the Crustless Strawberry Pie. It was light and refreshing, perfect for springtime. I need the recipe asap!!

Dinner:

Chicken and Vegetable Lasagna

Ingredients
12 lasagna noodles
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups shredded carrots
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 cups chopped frozen spinach
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place lasagna noodles in a 9×13 pan.  Fill pan with hot water and a drizzle of olive oil and let noodles soak while preparing the other ingredients (omit this step if using oven-ready lasagna noodles).  In a large saucepan, whisk together chicken broth, flour, thyme and 1/4 teaspoon each of basil and oregano.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and allow sauce to simmer and thicken while preparing chicken and vegetables.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add cubed chicken, 1/4 teaspoon each of basil and oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.   Saute until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.  In the same skillet, melt the butter, then add the chopped onion, garlic and carrots.  Cook and stir until vegetables are tender.  Add the chopped tomatoes and frozen spinach and cook until heated through.  Return chicken to skillet with vegetables.

Spread a scant cup of the thickened chicken broth in the bottom of a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.  Top with a layer of noodles.  Spread 1/3 of chicken and vegetable mixture over noodles.  Top with 1/3 of the thickened broth (about 2 cups), followed by 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese.  Repeat twice, ending with a layer of mozzarella cheese.  Top with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.  Bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, until lasagna is bubbly and cheese is golden brown.  Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

I cut the recipe in half so that we did not have so many leftovers and placed in a 9X9 pan. I used one package ground turkey since this is what I had on hand instead of chicken. It turned out very tasty, and was packed with vegetables.

(Recipe from Let’s Dish)

April 26, 2011 at 1:19 am Leave a comment

Great News!!!

Guess what? I got the job, yay. I am so relieved and excited to get back to work. So, I have been busy doing all the pre-employment paperwork and training will start the beginning of May. I am sure Roy will enjoy some company on our long commute ( about 85 miles) to work where I will drop him off then head to the Hospital.  The house has some potential candidates for a lease or lease to own, so we are keeping our fingers crossed!

Went to bootcamp last evening, I really enjoy this class and will miss it when we move out of the area. But I always find new classes to attend in different locations that challenge me such as bodypump, which I attended in Madison, WI. Bootcamp is great since you have both the plyometrics and cardio incorporated with the muscle strengthening, which I attend 2-3 days per week. Bodypump was the only class that I used for strength training, and I would go about 2 days per week. As you can see I thrive on classes to help keep me in shape and stop gym boredom from setting in.

Dinner was a classic, and easy to make. This recipe reminds me of growing up, as my parents made this recipe quite frequently, so simple and delicious.

Sloppy Joes

(servings 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • half of a small onion
  • half of a large green pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce ( I used Sweet Baby Ray’s- Original)
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1 loaf sourdough bread
Preparation
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Spread the meat around the pan and begin to break it up. When the meat has browned, add onion, green peppers, and garlic powder to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, peppers,  with meat for 5 minutes. Add BBQ sauce and ketchup to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook sloppy joe mixture 5 minutes longer. Using a large spoon, pill mixture onto sourdough bread.

April 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm Leave a comment

Job Hunt Update

The job hunt continues. I had an interview at a hospital on Monday morning and I am anxiously awaiting to hear back from them. In the mean time I have plenty of other things to get done around the house. The bathroom is painted and I am in the process of preparing the walls in the dining room. Overall the house is looking a lot better.

Yesterday was full of running errands:

1.Dropped off leaves  2. Bank 3. Post office 4. Grocery store. I find that if I make a list I am much more productive during the day, plus it feels pretty good to check stuff off when you are done.

I ended the day with a run outside and then started dinner, which I was really excited about since I negotiated with the meat department to drop the price of the halibut that I had my eye on. I received $9.00/ lb off since it was the last filet.

Roy is thrilled to have his exam done and over with, it will be a couple of months until the final results. He is finally back in the gym and working very hard to get back into shape : ). I don’t know how he survived not working out for 4 months, for me it is a big stress relief and I couldn’t go without some sort of physical activity for more than a couple of weeks tops.

Dinner:

Pistachio-Crusted Halibut with Spicy Yogurt

For Halibut:

  • 4 (1 1/4-inch-thick) pieces skinless halibut fillet (about 6 ounces each)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios (preferably Turkish), finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For Spicy yogurt:

  • 1 cup thick Turkish or Greek yogurt (8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced (3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion (omitted onion for personal preference)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried maras pepper ( I used red pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Put fish in a shallow baking dish, pour milk over it, and chill, covered, turning over once, 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together pistachios and cornmeal in a shallow bowl.

Remove fish from milk, letting excess drip off. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper, then dredge lightly in cornmeal-pistachio mixture. Transfer to a clean plate as coated.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté fish, turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.

While fish cooks, stir together all ingredients for spicy yogurt.

Serve fish with spicy yogurt on the side.

(Recipe from Epicurious)

 

April 14, 2011 at 12:59 am 1 comment

Sunny+outside=hungry

Yesterday we spent most of our time outside doing yard work and raking leaves. It was nice to be out of the house, and spend sometime in the sun which started to peek out in the afternoon. Lots of people were out and about, running, walking and kids were playing (spring break). Looks like hibernation has ended!  Well I hope so anyway.

We were starving when dinner time rolled around. I have made this recipe quite a few times before, so I was able to whip this up pretty fast. Roy’s version of this recipe would be baked chicken tenders (pre-made from bag), cooked noodles with parmesan cheese, and ketchup. He is convinced that this is parmesan chicken just because it has similar ingredients (wrong!!).

Baked Chicken Parmesan

(servings 8 )

  • 4 (8 oz) chicken breast halves, sliced in half
  • 3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (I used Progreso)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 5 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450°. Spray a large baking sheet lightly with spray.

Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Melt the butter in another bowl. Lightly brush the butter onto the chicken, then dip into breadcrumb mixture. Place on baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Lightly spray a little more cooking oil on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and top with mozzarella cheese slices. Bake for an additional 5 min until cheese is melted.

I served the chicken with pasta and marinara sauce.

(Recipe adapted from Ginas Skinny Recipes)

Breakfast today was inspired by my love for grits. We also had Andy and his son Ira over (Roy’s best friend from high school), which made this recipe even more exciting since I had more people to get feedback from.

Polenta French Toast

(servings 6)

For the Polenta:
6½ cups water
½ teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups cornmeal (I used corn grits from Bob’s Red Mill)
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Grated zest of 1 orange
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup milk

1. Make the polenta: Bring water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add cornmeal in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring often, according to polenta package directions.

2. Whisk in the syrup, cinnamon, orange zest, nutmeg and milk. Spread polenta into a 9 X 13 pan, and let cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

3. Make the French toast: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place parchment paper onto counter and turn pan over so that the  polenta falls onto the paper. Cut the cold polenta into squares and cut each square into two triangles. Place dots of butter over polenta. Slide the parchment paper with the polenta onto a baking sheet and place in oven. Bake for a total of 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup, powdered sugar, and fruit.

(Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

If you like grits and french toast, this is a fantastic recipe. It is the perfect combination of the two! This is also great to make if you have company coming over since most of the preparation is done the day prior. I did try to pan fry the polenta pieces as the original recipe calls for, however I found that it just fell apart while cooking, so I decided to bake it in the oven which worked out well.

Our guest enjoyed breakfast very much!! We took complete advantage of the nice weather, and went to the park with Andy and Ira.

April 11, 2011 at 12:22 am Leave a comment

Long day, yummy dinner.

Less than one day until Roy’s exam, which will be tomorrow morning starting at 7:00 am and ending at 4: 30 pm. Wish him luck, I am sure that he will not need it since he is such a smart guy (no pressure or anything Roy). He has only been studying for 4 months straight! I want my husband back, and life to be normal again (meaning I would like some of my husbands attention).

My painting/cleaning process continues and seems to be never-ending. The guest bedroom is done as of yesterday, and I have moved on to the bathroom. I also have to keep the house very clean since the realtor has showings scheduled this week.

The job hunting continues, I am going crazy without a full-time job.

So here are some pictures of the guest bedroom after all of my hard work.

Dinner was so good, I thought that I would try something different then just your traditional tacos.

Carnitas (Pulled Pork Tacos)


(servings 6)

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Boneless Pork Loin Roast, Cut Into 3 Inch Pieces
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 4 teaspoons Ancho Chile Powder (or Regular Chili Powder)
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 12 ounces, fluid Beer, Preferably With Citrus Notes
  • ½ cups Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 12 whole Corn Tortillas
  • 2 whole Ripe But Firm Avocados, Peeled And Sliced
  • ½ cups Plain Greek Yogurt (or Sour Cream)
  • ¼ cups Chopped Cilantro
  • 6 slices Lime
  • ½ cups Salsa Of Choice
  • Preparation:

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

    Combine salt and rest of spices in a small bowl. Spread spice mixture onto a plate. Evenly coat the pork pieces on all sides with the dry rub.

    Heat oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add in the seasoned pork pieces, and sear all sides until browned (about 1 minute per side). Remove pork from the Dutch oven.

    Pour in the beer (or chicken stock if you prefer), with pot over medium heat and scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven to deglaze and release the browned bits of pork. Add in the orange juice, and bring mixture to a boil.
    Add in the seared pork. Cover Dutch oven and place in oven for 1/2 hour.

    Remove lid, turn pork pieces over, and return to oven–uncovered–for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the pork is fork-tender, turning the pork pieces 1-2 times during the cooking process.

    Shred pork in the Dutch oven, right into the sauce using two forks. Toss the pulled pork with the reduced sauce.

    Serve the shredded meat in corn tortillas with accoutrements (avocado, sour cream, chopped cilantro, salsa and lime wedges).

    Recipe from Tasty Kitchen.

    I pretty much followed the recipe exactly except I used a 2.5 Ib pork tenderloin since this is what was on sale at the grocery store. I cut the pork into 3 strips length wise then cut them into 1.5 inch pieces which also cut down on the cooking time. I cooked the meat for a total of 1 1/2 hours (1/2 hour covered, 1 hour uncovered).  Then topped the tacos with whatever we had in the frig (salsa, avocados, sour cream). For the beer I used Oberon : )

    Daily bites: Avocados

    Improve the quality of your diet by eating more of the “good” fats. Avocados are  considered heart healthy (low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats). The Dietary Guidelines state that replacing some saturated fatty acids with unsaturated fatty acids lowers both total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) blood cholesterol levels. (source avocado.org)

    April 8, 2011 at 1:41 am Leave a comment

    Cold, Busy, Day.

    Well I started the process of painting the guest bedroom/office. Halfway done, and tomorrow I will finish. Then on to the next room. Pictures to come when I am done hopefully soon.

    I did not make it to boot-camp class this evening related to my busy day, maybe I will be able to get in a quick running session tomorrow morning. Roy has a busy evening full of studying for the PE-exam which is in 4 days, no snoozing today!

    Dinner tonight was quick and easy since I did not have a ton of time to cook this evening. This is a great meal if you are short on time!

    Tortellini Soup

    Ingredients

    (Servings 4)

    • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, Minced
    • ½ whole Small Onion, Minced (about 1/4 Cup)
    • ½ teaspoons Dried Oregano
    • 1 quart Low-sodium Chicken Broth (or Vegetable Broth)
    • 15 ounces, weight Canned Whole Tomatoes
    • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    • 9 ounces, weight Package Tortellini, Any Variety, Fresh Or Frozen
    • 3 cups Fresh Spinach, Chopped And Loosely Packed
    • Parmesan Cheese, To Serve

    Preparation

    In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion. Cook until the onion is softened and the garlic has turned light gold, about 5 minutes.

    Add the oregano, broth, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. (You can break up the tomatoes with your fingers as you add them to the pot, or break them up with a spoon once you’ve added them to the soup.)

    Bring the soup to a boil and add the tortellini. Cook according to the package directions.

    One minute before the tortellini are done, add the spinach. Stir to combine.

    When the tortellini are cooked, remove the pot from the heat immediately so they do not overcook. Season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.

    Serve the soup immediately, topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

    (Original Recipe from Tasty Kitchen)

    Daily bites: Spinach

    In addition to being tasty, spinach’s popularity stems from its high nutritional value. Not only is spinach low in calories, it is also a good source of essential nutrients such as vitamins A and C (source CDC). Spinach is also high in Iron and folic acid.

    Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz) Energy 97 kJ (23 kcal) Carbohydrates 3.6 g Sugars 0.4 g Dietary fiber 2.2 g Fat 0.4 g Protein 2.2 g Vitamin A equiv. 469 ?g (52%) Vitamin A 9400 IU – beta-carotene 5626 ?g (52%) – lutein and zeaxanthin 12198 ?g Folate (Vit. B9) 194 ?g (49%) Vitamin C 28 mg (47%) Vitamin E 2 mg (13%) Vitamin K 483 ?g (460%) Calcium 99 mg (10%) Iron 2.7 mg (22%) Percentages are relative to US recommendationsfor adults.
    Source: USDA Nutrient database 

     

    April 4, 2011 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

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