Archive for September, 2011

Feeling behind

I have been training for a 5K through my employer which is on October 1st. Even though I have been running consistently, I still feel like I am unprepared. It does not seem like it should be so much work to prepare for a moderate distance, but I guess that depends on how much your body is programmed for the endurance. I stated to seriously run on a consistent bases about 4 months ago, prior it was more of a mile here or there. Just recently, I am starting to see some improvements with distance and increase in pace. So I guess I should not be so hard on myself, as long as I am progressing.


Manicotti Primavera


(Servings 6-8)

15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup carrot, grated
1/3 cup zucchini, grated (I used Spinach)
1/3 cup broccoli, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, basil, or a combination)
3 cups sauce, such as Marinara.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the pasta (I usually cook it 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions so it will hold it’s shape.). Drain, cool, and set aside till you’re ready to stuff the tubes.

In a medium sized bowl, Combine the ricotta cheese, egg, salt, pepper, 1 cup of the mozzarella (reserving the other 1 cup), and parmesan. Mix well. Grate the carrot, zucchini, and broccoli. Add the vegetables to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.

Stuff the cooled pasta with the cheese and vegetable mixture. Coat the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan with 1 cup of sauce, such as Marinara sauce. Line the manicotti up in the baking dish and top with the remaining 2 cups of sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.

Bake, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a green salad and garlic bread.

(Adapted from Good Life Eats)


September 26, 2011 at 12:29 am Leave a comment

What’s for dinner tonight?

I decided to try something different for dinner , QUINOA. Pronounced keen-wah, which is a grain that originated from the ancient Incas. It remains a staple in South America, as it contains more protein than most other grains. It has a delicate flavor that makes it a great alternative to rice or couscous, and can be added to vegetables or incorporated in a main dish. It can also be used in soups, salads, breads, and as a breakfast cereal.

I could not find quinoa at Meijer, so I went to Trader Joe’s or you can find it at Whole Foods/Health Food stores.

BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad


(Servings 6-8)

  • 1 cup Cooked Quinoa (cooked According To Package Instructions)
  • ½ cups Corn
  • ½ cups Black Beans, Rinsed And Drained
  • 1 cup Shredded, Cooked Chicken
  • 1 whole Avocado, Peeled, Pitted And Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 4 Tablespoons BBQ Sauce
  • 2 whole Scallions, Diced (omitted)
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Cilantro, Optional, For Garnish


In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, corn, black beans, chicken and avocado. Season with salt and pepper. Top with shredded cheese, BBQ sauce, scallions and cilantro.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen)

And after……….

Low Fat Oatmeal Banana Bread


(Makes 1 loaf )

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp  salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp canola or walnut  oil
  •  1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 medium egg whites, beaten
  • 3 large bananas, ripe
  • 1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients including the oats and cinnamon.

In a smaller bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher or fork. Add oil, whole egg, chocolate chips and mix thoroughly.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.  Batter will be fairly thick.

In a medium sized bowl, with an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites until medium stiff peaks form.  Fold the egg whites into the batter in three additions.

Pour batter into pan and bake until top of loaf is firm to touch, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Flip out and cool on a wire rack for another 10 minutes. Slice loaf into 10 equally sized slices.

(Recipe from Joy the Baker, originally from Weight Watchers site)

September 15, 2011 at 11:56 pm 1 comment

Tending towards fall

Granted it has not been cold outside, I am trending towards fall type of foods.  The cravings for warm comfort foods has officially started. Mmmmmm.

Shepherd’s Pie

(Servings 6)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Saute carrots in the olive oil until starting to get tender.
  3. Add in the onions and saute for a minute or two then add the meat.
  4. Season with black pepper and garlic.
  5. Cook until turkey is well done then drain any fat.
  6. Add  peas.
  7. Sprinkle with flour and stir through.
  8. Add wine and worcestershire sauce.
  9. Let this reduce slightly then add the chicken stock. Allow to reduce down until you have a thick meaty gravy. Season to your taste.
  10. Remove from heat, place in 9×13 pan or oval baker.
  11. Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over top. Brush with egg, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese if using.
  12. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the potato is nice and browned on top.
    (Recipe adapted from

September 13, 2011 at 1:15 am Leave a comment

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