Sunday, September 4, 2011
So lately I have been really hot and cold on the blog name--I think it's cute and catchy and still consider many of my recipes to be "skinnified", but I feel like the name can give the wrong impression. I'm not skinny. I don't want to be skinny. I am healthy and I of course I have goals in terms of my body that I haven't achieved yet, but skinny isn't one of them.
Soooo....I'm changing the name AND moving to my own domain! Holla!
The blog will stay focused on healthy living (mind, body, spirit), my life, and of course Winston and Clementine! I hope you all will continue to read and over at.....
!!! www.ArisMenu.com !!!
It's not 100% set up yet, but should be by tomorrow so excuse the dust in the move--I will be back ASAP! :O)
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Just a couple of weeks after moving in to our house last August, Steve made me a deal--when all the boxes were unpacked, we could get a puppy. I'd been whining about wanting one of my very own for the last 6 years and it was one of the things I was most excited for when we bought our house--my own puppy! Well then Steve through his back out in the move and if you know me, you know I suck at things like unpacking, being organized and motivating myself for things I don't want to do, but the idea of a puppy on the other end helped put my booty in gear and within a few short weeks, I had everything ready to go!
We looked at a few other dogs before meeting Winnie. I kept telling Steve the others weren't right and I was waiting for some feeling I couldn't explain. He was starting to doubt my illogical approach to puppy selection until we showed up at the humane society, he caught a glimpse of li'l Win and said "I think this is the one!' We took him out to the trial area and within moments he licked my face and I felt that thing--he was SO the one!
I may or may not have started crying when I came back across this picture. The moment we knew he was ours (and I think he knew too)!
New puppy doesn't even have his collar yet!
He LOVES to ride in the car, but always wants to be closer to mom and dad!
But he'd rather be the driver
Not long after we got him, Winston got to take his first family road trip to Palm Springs with mom, dad and uncle Jacob. He shows his excitement in face licks.
And here is where I introduce Winston to the customs of he Jewish roots.
He was excited about wedding day with so many new friends in the house, but for some reason he thought I had time to lay around with him all day long. Good thing the ceremony wasn't until 5:30!
Before the "pay attention to me" growling comes (see below), he makes this face
This is how I get the growling to stop
And when I ask Steve to take cute pictures of him so I can blog about our first year together, he poses in full cuteness
Winston makes me feel special every single day. I freaks the heck out when I walk in the door like he hasn't seen me in years. He cuddles right up to me and insists on touching me at all times. If he wants attention, he growls at me until I let him up on my lap--I'll have to post a video one day--SOOOO CUTE! He makes me smile, he makes me laugh, he sits with me resting his head on my chest when I cry. He brings so much joy to my life and I simply cannot imagine my life without him!
Love you Winnie! Happy 1 year anniversary--you turn 2 in one month! Holy cow, I guess that makes you an adolescent :O)
Apparently, I have a wisdom tooth situation. I started to feel the pain as it began to invade my mouth yesterday morning and by mid evening it have amplified. I treated myself to a nonfat hot chai latte from The Bux to ease my pain and make my heart happy (I love chai lattes, but the Starbucks ones are so sugary I almost never order them), downed 600 mg of IBuprofen and by the time I was done teaching, I had almost forgotten about my pain. That is until the meds wore off and it woke me up at 2:30 am screaming and forcing it's stupid way into my mouth. Let me tell you, these wisdom teeth don't mess around. My entire left side of my jaw hurts all the way back into the left side of my throat. And if you look closely, you can see that my left cheek is slightly swelled up like a chipmunk.
I laid in bed for a good 45 minutes in pain, hoping to fall back asleep before I finally got up, re-medicated and sat at the computer waiting for the drugs to work their magic until about 4am. Finally I was able to fall back asleep (the drugs seem to be doing their trick!), but when 7:30 rolled around and it was time to get up and get ready for spin, I was in no mood! Luckily I had already made the plan and had managed to convince myself that my burning leg pain would take my mind off the left half of my face.
Kara and I arrived at the gym for our second spin class this week!
Today was an endurance ride and it totally kicked my butt. I realized during Tuesdays class that I am kind of a wimp when it comes to speed. I will almost never turn back the gear, but have no problem dropping 10 RPMs when my legs get jello-y. The teacher on Tuesday gave us RPM ranges to stick to with specific numbers and I realized just how far behind I had been allowing myself to stay. My goal for today was to keep those numbers in mind and not let myself off the hook when it comes to speed--even if it means my hills weren't as steep. It made a big difference--I had been coming in lazily at 18-19 miles per ride, and today I definitely stepped it up!
I must say, the hardest part of spin twice in one week is...well...my, umm entire bike sitting section is screaming for mercy! I don't know if you've ever spent a lot of time on a bike seat, but it is painful in more ways than one, and my body is not pleased with it right now haha. Still totally worth it.
After the gym, I went over to Trader Joe's because I was out of protein powder and of course ended up buying like 10 other things that were not on my list.
I really am almost out of yogurt, bananas, Ezekiel bread and oh so delicious sunflower butter, but the rest were impulse buys. Especially the tofu. I always respond to the word tofu with a scrunch between my eyebrows and a look of judgement in my eyes, but I know it's a good source of non animal protein and I see people write about eating it all the time and loving it, so I decided to try some and see how it goes. Anyone have any recommendations on what to make with it that will make me fall in love?
After a good work out, a delicious iced coffee, grocery shopping (one of my fav things to do--I know you think I'm nuts, but I could go almost every day without complaint) and coming home to the cutest email from Steve (a link to this article saying "This would be you. Hope you're feeling better." He is seriously the BEST!), I am definitely in better spirits. Gonna keep medicating and live off of oatmeal, yogurt and smoothies for probably a few days.
PS: Does a sore throat/mouth area make anyone else want to eat ice cream and only ice cream all day long? Uggghhh. Must.fight.the.urge.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Then I went to "work"
"It's supposed to be fun, that's why it's called a play!"
I am so lucky to love what I do. I love theatre. I love teaching. I love directing. I love choreographing. I love the inspiration that comes from working with children and I love the incredible students I have the honor of teaching every single day. Let me tell you, if you don't have days that you look at your "work" and feel pure joy, you have the wrong job. Don't get me wrong--there are bad days, and days I can't believe I was ever crazy enough to choose a career with so little stability, but it is all worth it 10 fold for days like today when I hold auditions and end up with twice as many talented kiddos as the last time! I really love my students. They make me so hopeful for the future!
Thhheennn I came home to Fajita Wednesday! My favorite. Wednesday nights I almost always teach until 8 (although once I start rehearsals every night will be a late dinner night) and Steve almost always has fajitas sizzling in the skillet by the time I get home. He makes the BEST fajitas. They're pretty much famous. Today, not only did I come home to delicious Mexican smells making their way through our home, but I came home to a clean and organized office! Steve managed to do about a bazillion tasks (including the dishes!) after work and the gym and STILL managed to cook me dinner! I am a lucky gal.
THEN I got good quality snuggling time with Winston and Clementine! Winston laid next to me, while Clem laid on my lap resting her little head on Winnie. So freaking cute. A picture wouldn't even do them justice.
I'm off to take the hubby out for some fro yo (he deserves it!) and spend the rest of my night making him feel special!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Yesterday I took bodyworks--my second time back after a way too long hiatus. Usually after bodyworks I am way to sore to do much of anything the next day other than walk uphill on a treadmill pretending I'm actually exercising and giving myself consolation points for going to the gym, but todaayyyyy, I got my lazy bum to spin class courtesy of my fav Dobson and Warner Starbucks barista turned friend turned group aerobics buddy Kara who did not let me off the hook this morning when I whined about being sore! Thanks Kara!
Today's class was super motivating. The teacher was amazing and kept everything really fast paced so I had hardly any time to think about how angry my legs were! Actually at the time, most of it felt really good and like it was loosening me up after yesterday's hour of squatting and lunging in bodyworks. I find that I love my workouts the most and am the most motivated when I go to classes regularly. Everyone is different, but having an instructor to push me and being around others brings out my competitive side and I almost always bring my A game.
I left today not only wanting to participate in a 62 mile ride for Diabetes in March, but also with the hint of wanting to train for a triathalon. I'm not making any commitments yet, but I have been wanting to do some sort of race or event for a long time and since my body is not much of a fan of running, it's always been this idea that's been put on the back burner or the "Oh that would be nice, but will never happen" category. But I think it's definitely something I need to do for me. I need to show myself how far I've come and what I can accomplish when I put my mind to it.
Tomorrow I have cardio and yoga on the agenda and then spin again on Thursday! I love planning and getting excited for my work outs and I love that I am finally feeling pumped about the gym again!
Thursday in spin the teacher said "I know your legs are getting tired, I feel ya, but when mine are at the point when I want to give up I just think to myself 'I wanna look good naked!'"
I loved that. When the idea of accomplishment and thoughts of the after work out endorphins just aren't cutting it (like oh say at gear 20), there's always that. Who doesn't want to look better naked?
Ok so I admit when I was like 16 I was hooked on those silly forwards where you would answer all the questions about yourself. Seriously, I filled out like every single one. So when I saw this on a few other blogs this morning, I couldn't resist a chance to talk about myself. Yes, I am a little self involved and sometimes I am that person that loves to go on and on about themselves--it's an inherent trait that I try to fight *most* of the time, but really isn't a blog just that--a big open space to talk about yourself? That must be why I have one. I blame it on the theatre career. Feel free to re-post or leave comments with your answers :O)
5 words that describe you:
3) Goal oriented
4) Emotional...maybe this should be #1 haha
4 favorite foods:
Ummm, can the answer be everything? :O)
1) Nut butters--All of them! Peanut, Sunflower, Almond--I could eat them by the jar!
2) Fro yo--need I say more?
3) Cilantro. It makes everything more delicious!
4) Cookies! Obviously I have a sweet tooth.
3 things I'm most proud of:
1) My senior showcase
2) Following my dreams (in case you didn't know this theatre biz is HARD!)
3) I feel like I am a good friend. It's a hard thing to put in writing because then I think of all of those times that I'm a less than perfect friend, but I didn't say I was perfect--but I am good at friendship and I think the amazing people that have stayed in my life (a special few for 10+ years!) proves that this is one thing I am good at, and I think that is something to be proud of!
2 favorite workouts:
1) Dance!!! Obviously.
2) Spin, but on a day I'd just taken body works, I might say that :O)
1 thing to expect from my blog:
Ummm...RECIPES! Of course :O)
Monday, August 29, 2011
Saturday before Steve and I went grocery shopping, I suggested we decide on a breakfast plan for the next day so we could get everything we needed. He asked for pancakes--duhhh--he almost always chooses pancakes. It must be a result of the dark ages in which none of us even sampled a carb for months at a time--so awful--NEVER DO A CARB DIET!!! Anyway, we are still dealing with our carb cravings haha.
Obviously, I decided we had to recreate these babies
Mine may not be as pretty (if you haven't noticed, presentation is not my forte!), but I would venture to say I liked them better than the original and they kept me full for hours!
Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes:
yield 2 servings
*1/2 cup reduced fat buttermilk
*1/4 cup water
*1 egg white
*1/2 tbs honey
*1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
*1/4 cup cornmeal
*1/2 tbs sugar substitute (or f you don't want to go fake, skip it and double the honey)
*1 tbs milled flax seed
*1/2 tbs chia seeds
*1/2 tsp baking powder
*1/4 tsp baking soda
*Blueberries--lots of 'em! As many as you can fit! I just dumped them in to my desired amount, but probably used almost a cup!
*Syrup (I use sugar-free, but a pure maple syrup would probably actually be more healthy)
**NOTE**You could also mix some protein powder and/or oats into the batter!
Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl and dry ingredients (excluding blueberries) in a medium bowl. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry until just combined (over mixing=tough pancakes! Don't be afraid of small lumps!). Gently fold in blueberries. Cook over medium low heat in a greased pan until bubbles start to form on top, flip and cook for an other minute or so until finished.
I just cooked each of us our own huge pancake
And for once, didn't completely mess it up in the flipping process!
Steve topped his with an over medium egg+a white and sf maple syrup
I topped mine with sunflower butter, sugar free maple syrup, non fat vanilla greek yogurt and a sprinkling of low fat granola on the very top. It was amazing to say the least, but no surprise I was full for so long--it was a lot of food!
It was the perfect start to our Sunday and went much better than my two failed attempts at making goat cheese. Ugghh, I hate it when I try to make something and it doesn't work out--it makes me GRUMPY! But at least I had a super successful dinner on Friday and this delicious breakfast to keep my spirits up! Oh, and my cute life long boyfriend :O)
It's funny every time I whine at the doctor's office about how I eat healthy and I work out and I count my calories (well back when I did--RELIGIOUSLY), they always say to me "Well, you're perfectly healthy. Maybe this is just where your body wants to be." And I look at them in utter shock each time thinking "Did you see the scale when you just weighed me?!?! You must be mistaken." Every time. I'm not sure what exactly I'm expecting them to say, really.
I feel like there is so much stigma in our society about healthy meaning skinny and vice versa. It's funny because I know plenty o' skinny minis that are far from healthy. It also goes back to the fact that health is so much more than 1 dimensional. Mind, body and spirit. Multi-dimensional. Of course non of us are perfect and making perfectly healthy choices in every area 100% of the time--we're human, but I feel like being healthy means actively striving to make the best choices every day to be the best that we can be in mind, body and spirit.
Which leads me to an other thought I've been having. I chose the name "Skinnified" for my blog when I wanted it to be all about the food and the recipes. And honestly, I never thought it would be something I'd want to put much time into, but the more I write, the more I discover that what I actually want it to be about is me--more specifically how my journey can help others discover their own journey. I feel like I have a lot to share and others have a lot to teach me. I want to be a resource for others who want to make a change.
I remember when I first started changing my eating habits, I felt clueless and helpless. I had no idea how to eat healthily or how to work out. It's sad that I was 23 years old with absolutely no knowledge. I don't think she even realizes it, but my friend Mandie was one of the most influential people in helping me to achieve my goals and make better choices. She answered all of my questions without ever once making me feel stupid or inferior for not knowing. She was a resource filled with information and I trusted her to be able to ask the simplest of questions like "Why do some people not eat red meat? What's the difference?"
Anyway, back on the topic of blog names--now that it's about me and my focus is far from being skinny--should I change the blog name? Any suggestions?
And just for fun and to remind myself that my 70 lbs lost is nothing to feel embarrassed about,
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Last weekend when we were in San Diego, my mom, Hank and Charlie graciously offered to babysit out children.
So Friday night I invited them over for dinner to say thank you. As soon as I saw the lavosh bread @ TJ's, I was inspired to make my own flat bread pizza creations. I decided to try to recreate the Glazed Chicken Lavosh, and create my own BBQ Chicken.
Steve recently splurged on a fancy new camera and has become obsessed with taking pictures. When he began photographing me in action, I was less than amused.
But I quickly warmed up to the idea when I realized how much more fun the recipe/life blog would become with actual quality pictures and not the lame-o cell phone ones I've been trying to pass as good enough!
Now that I am measuring less and improvising more, it is making recipe writing a lot more challenging, but I will do my best to use more actual terms and less terms like "a crap load" :O)
BBQ Chicken Lavosh Pizza:
*1 whole wheat lavosh bread
*1/4 cup BBQ sauce
*1/4 red onion, sliced and caramelized (To caramelize, I just cook on low heat with a little olive oil and balsalmic vinegar for what seems like forever until the onions are super sweet and softened)
*Kernels from 1 ear corn, roasted (I brushed it with BBQ sauce before roasting YUM!)
*2 tbs cilantro, chopped
*1/2 cooked chicken breast, cubed (I marinated in BBQ sauce for 1 hour, then browned on the stove in a cast iron and transferred to the oven @ 350 for about 20 min)
*Freshly shredded part skim mozzarella
*Freshly shredded goat cheddar (I found it @ TJ's...in fact I got all my ingredients there!)
Crisp bread in the oven @ 400 degrees for 4 min. Spread a thin layer of BBQ sauce. Evenly spread chicken, corn, onions and cilantro. Top with desired amount of cheese (I used a 2:1 ratio of mozzarella and cheddar). Place back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted. Slice and serve!
Glazed Chicken Lavosh Pizza:
*1 whole wheat
*1/4 red onion, sliced and carmelized
*1/2 cooked chicken breast, cubed (I marinated in honey mustard for 1 hour, then browned on the stove in a cast iron and transferred to the oven @ 350 for about 20 min)
*Freshly shredded part skim mozzarella
*Crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
*Sriracha sauce for topping (optional)
This one is super easy--place chicken and onion on the lavosh bread, top with cheese (I used an equal ratio of these cheeses). Cook in the oven @ 400 for approx 8 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.
**NOTE** If I were to do this again, I would have given it a sauce. I don't think they do at Pita Jungle, but it would have made it better I think. I would have mixed some olive oil with some honey mustard and brushed it on the bread--however, if you do this, you will want to crisp up the bread first like in the BBQ recipe!
*Leaves from 1 heart romaine
*Kernels from 2 ears corn, roasted (the same way as the pizza corn)
*1 red bell pepper, chopped
*2 tbs cilantro, chopped
*1 hard boiled egg + 2 hard boiled whites
*1 can reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
*1/4 cup low fat feta, crumbled
*1/4 cup goat cheddar
*I would add some roma tomato, but my step dad is not a fan
Mix everything together in a big bowl and top with
BBQ Ranch Dressing:
*2:1:1 ratio fat free ranch, BBQ sauce, and fat free sour cream
*1 tbs cilantro, chopped
Steve's plate (which looked pretty much exactly like mine)
The wrath of what Steve calls "Hurricane Ariana" in the kitchen
Yes, I do manage to use all of my luxurious counter space almost any time I cook absolutely anything. That's what it's there for!
Enjoy everyone! Happy Sunday :O)
Friday, August 19, 2011
This is definitely one of my favorite and probably most impressive meals I've made, but it was actually super easy! Once we decided, I of course had to figure a salad to go with it, so here's what we ended up with!
*Dried mission fig, chopped
*Unsweetened dried cherries
*A generous helping of goat cheese on top
*1.5:1 Red wine vinegar and olive oil
*1-2 sprigs rosemary, stems discarded, finely chopped
*Drizzle honey dijon
*Drizzle plain ole honey
Pork tenderloin with fig:
*12 dried mission figs, stemmed and halves
*1.5 cups dry red wine
*1.25 lb pork tenderloin
*Salt and pepper to taste
*3 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary
*1 tbs fig jam (I couldn't find it so I used fig butter)
*1 tsp lemon zest
Preheat oven to 400. Place figs and wine in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 min. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 min. Drain figs and reserve wine.
Pat pork dry, trim away fat, season with salt and pepper.
Season a cast iron skillet with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add pork and brown on all 4 sides (approx 5 min total). Arrange figs and herbs around pork and bake for 18-25 min when the meat reaches 155 degrees F (I cooked mine for 21 minutes and it came out PERFECT. Also, I cut the tenderloin in half to fit comfortable in the skillet).
Transfer tenderloin and figs to a platter, cover with tin foil and let rest for 10 min. Add wine, jam, and lemon zest to cast iron and bring to a boil over medium-high heat stirring often for 4-5 min. Remove and discard herbs.
Slice pork diagonally approx 1/2 inch thick. Arrange figs around pork and spoon sauce on top.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Heaven in a bowl AKA Pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal:
*1/4 cup oats
*1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
*1 tsp milled flax seed
*1/2 tsp chia seeds
*1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
*cinnamon to taste
*1/3 cup canned pumpkin
*drizzle sf maple syrup
*optional: spoonful non fat vanilla yogurt
*grain sweetened chocolate chips for topping
Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a small pot on the stove, cook until desired consistency, put it in your bowl and top with chocolate chips! They melt just enough so that you have a delicious chocolate swirl running through your oatmeal. Man I should have taken a picture after I mixed it all up. So delicious.
Monday, August 15, 2011
The idea? Mix a can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!) with a box of spice cake. Mix, bake, done. I'll be honest, this version does not change the calorie count much, but whatever, my version is more fun and more fiberful!
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup milled flax seed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup splenda brown sugar blend
- 1/2 cup sugar free maple syrup
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 12oz can pumpkin
- 1 1/2ish cups grain sweetened chocolate chips
Sunday, August 14, 2011
We have this ridiculously enormous pantry that had started to feel so tiny as we shoved more and more crap in there, but nooooowwww, there are empty shelves! There are nice little areas for all categories of things! My numerous baking supplies are in order, and I even found extra containers to store some of my weirdo health nut food that you can only buy in the bulk section and looks really sloppy in those whole foods bags (chia seeds, nutritional yeast, and I transferred my milled flax seed also!).
Are you ready for thiiiisssss????
So first we have cleaning crap, pasta, nuts, tons of sf pudding (love) and two of my favorite foods on earth: oats and cereal.
Next, enough canned food to get us through the apacolypse, and my ridiculous baking stash. Note to self: You do not EVER need to buy the following things again--canola oil, corn syrup (gross--why do I have so much?), tomato paste, cocoa powder, and cupcake liners. Apparently, we have enough to last a lifetime. Oy!
Lastly, and second to my entire shelf dedicated to baking, probably my favorite: A cute little nook for all my cookbooks (including my favorite--"Ari's Recipe Book of Awesome by Heather McQuarrie)! We are hopefully going to get a bookshelf for them soon, but for now, this will do!
The most interesting part of the organizing? Discovery the brown sugar incident of 2011. I'm not sure when or how it happened, but somehow almost everything in our pantry seemed to have a light dusting of brown sugar--even the things shelves above where I keep the brown sugar. Weird. Many clorox wipes later, I think we are finally brown sugar less.
Today was supposed to be goat cheese day, but Steve and I were just too worn out from working on the house all day. I couldn't even get it together to cook dinner. Instead, I had chipotle for the 3rd day in a row. Haha. I just can't get over cilantro lime brown rice!
Alright, I think I'm gonna go open up one of my last delicious blueberry beers and enjoy my clean house!
PS: Coming soon--I just realized I don't think I ever posted the recipe for my skinny mini corn dogs! They are super cute and when I made them, they were downed in seconds--recipe to come!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
It's funny, often times when I start to get that feeling like nobody likes me and everyone wishes I weren't around, when I put myself out there and do something to make someone else hopefully not feel that way, I feel a lot lot lot better. I understand that the crappy feelings are mostly fabricated thoughts from my head and not how anyone feels, but the more time you spend inside your head, the easier it is to get trapped in there.
Thank goodness for amazing things like spin class to get me out of my head! There are a handful of things that almost always take me out of my head and allow me to see a clear picture (in other words--feel better). They are an amazing work out, doing nice things for other people, and baking--but only when I give the baked goods away so I guess that falls under the second one. One thing that I have always hated about our society, myself included, is that is so much more socially acceptable to judge others (I would be a big fat liar if I said I didn't do this) than to compliment. I mean there are so many positive things that I really do think of others--strangers, friends, family, acquaintances--that I never say because I feel embarrassed. My goal is to GTFOI and just be a better person. I know it sounds vague, but it is exactly what I need to do right now to feel good about me. Is it weird that I feel better complimenting others than receiving compliments? Man I SUCK at that part. Oh well, one step at a time.
Anyway, I tried the chia seeds in my oatmeal today. Not so sure what I think. I didn't notice too big of a difference while eating, but I felt like they left kind of a strange after taste. Nothing I'm not willing to put up with for the nutritional benefits, but I was just kind of hoping they would taste amazing. Oh well, I do actually think they made a difference as far as the lasting power of my breakfast. Oats + almond milk + water + yogurt + blueberries + peanut butter + protein powder + chia = still full over an hour after a super intense spin class! Works for me!
Word on the street is, the Chipotle by my house now has cilantro lime BROWN RICE!!!! I know where I'll be for lunch time...!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Carrots N Cake for many reasons including the fact that Tina is super funny and has the cutest little pug in the world and if there is anything I'm more obsessed with than food, it's puppies!
Kath Eats because she works at a Great Harvest Bread Co!! If you haven't been, you must. So delicious.
Food Fitness Fashion because in addition to her food and work outs, she takes pictures of her outfits and says where she got everything! Also, pretty much all her basics are from places like Old Navy which makes me inner thrifty Jew self happy :O)
Healthy Food For Living This one is purely for recipes. She doesn't post much about her life and I find most of what she writes even about her cooking process not the most interesting, but her recipes are amazing.
So for several reasons I decided to delete what was formerly my "personal life" blog. Mostly because I started to feel a little ridiculous having more than one and was having way more fun writing in this one, but I am hoping to change this one up a little bit to be more of a whole life blog with an emphasis on recipes (isn't that what my life basically is--life with an emphasis on food? haha)
Today after the gym I made a trip to the second happiest place on earth (obviously Disney Land cannot be beat) Whole Foods! Yes you can judge me for how excited I get about Whole Foods, but it's expensive and I don't get to buy things there all that often. It's like the Anthropologie of grocery stores! And I stocked up on some things for a few culinary experiments I'm hoping to try!
1) Chia seeds! Everyone is talking about them. They're supposed to be really good in oatmeal, and I have been on a total oatmeal kick lately ever since trying oats in a jar! I can't wait for breakfast tomorrow!
2) Nutritional yeast. Ok, I'm a little skeptical about this one. I'll be honest, it does not smell appetizing. But nutritionally it has a lot going for it. Before the end of the week I plan on baking my own tortilla chips, cooking up some ground turkey breast with taco seasoning and some black beans and making this sauce with the nutritional yeast for some skinnified nachos. I hope it doesn't suck.
3) Red fat goats milk. Inspired by one of my favorite people on earth (John Moum!) I am going to make my own goat cheese! Steve is excited for this adventure too :O)
That is definitely enough to keep me busy through the weekend. Along with creating lesson plans for Mesa Arts Academy, reading Dreyfus in Rehearsal, seeing the preview of Glee 3D tonight (judge away!), family din on Friday, Wet and Wild on Sat, and some time fitting in 4 hours to watch the finale of SYTYCD!
Lastly, now that I have my mornings free again, I am taking full advantage of the classes at my gym! I am still sore today from Monday's Body Works and tomorrow I'm getting my butt back into Spin!! The goal is a Body Works, Spin and Yoga class every week, 3 days of my own thing focusing especially on my wimpy biceps and shoulders, and one rest day. I am back to feeling pumped and motivated! I hope it lasts!
Saturday, July 30, 2011
A few months ago I made my own chicken pad thai, and just loaded up on veggies so that it needed less pasta, and took some sugar out of the sauce. Today I was inspired by this recipe. I've been following Lindsay's blog for a while now, and I love her lean versions of food network meals. Anyway, I was thinking about the recipe and I got inspired and this is what came of it.
*1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced
*1 yellow onion, sliced
*2 yellow squashes, sliced
*2-3 large cloves garlic, diced
*2 jalapenos, sliced
*3/4 cup peanut butter
*approx 1/4 cup rice vinegar
*approx 2 tbs lite soy sauce
*approx 1 tsp sriracha sauce
*1 tsp olive oil
*1 lime (zest and juice)
*bean sprouts (I used a couple handfuls)
*1 orange bell pepper
*3 ribs celery
*1-2 handfuls grape tomatoes, halved
*1 avacado, cubed
*approx 3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
*chopped cilantro to taste
*big handful shredded carrots
*sliced green onions to top
Heat peanut butter in microwave until melty. Add soy, oil, vinegar and sriracha and mix well. Stir in chicken and let sit for approx 10 min. Spray large nonstick skillet and cook chicken, japaleno, onion, garlic, squash, lime (zest and juice) and sauce on medium low heat until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender. Add bean sprouts, remove from heat and let sit. Mix together all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add warm chicken/veggie/sauce mixture and lightly toss throughout.
Oh my gosh I had no idea just how much food it was going to make! That was the most surprising part. The whole meal probably costs about 10 dollars and made I'm guessing at least 6 servings. We have a huge tupperware full of left overs and it was delicious!
Monday, July 18, 2011
Kernels from 3 roasted cobs of corn (I didn't buy frozen this time!)
1/2 finely chopped red onion
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt, pepper and cumin to taste
2 16 oz cans cups no-salt-added cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
2 orange bell peppers, cored, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Mix together and Ta DAAAA!!
*The meat from one whole rotisserie chicken, chopped
*3-4 ribs celery (including leaves), diced
*1/4 red onion, finely diced
*1 granny smith apple, chopped
*2 handfuls dried cranberries
*1/4 cup almonds, chopped
*6 oz non fat plain Greek yogurt
*Salt, pepper and lemon pepper to taste
Directions? Mix everything together and season to taste! Easy, protein packed and delicious!
Sunday, July 17, 2011
I've also been pretty obsessed with Peanut Butter and Co lately. I discovered their White Chocolate Wonderful a little over a year ago and recently discovered all the other flavors. They are all nutritionally pretty much the same as regular peanut butter and natural and freaking delicious! So I wanted to make a dessert using that. From the same website I found the recipe for these blondies.
Not to toot my own horn, but this was pretty much the most amazing dinner I have made in a while. If I wasn't trying to look cute for date night I probably would have licked the bowl. Go ahead, judge me haha. So heeerrreee we go...
Sweet Potato and Brie Mac N Cheese:
Makes 4 very filling servings!
- 8 oz uncooked whole wheat macaroni or other pasta
- 1 cup sweet potato puree (roast a few sweet potatoes at 400°F for 1 hour, or until soft; puree flesh until smooth; measure out 1 cup)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 oz (about 4 Tbsp) fat free cream cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese (I couldn't find the 50% so I just used reg 2% sharp cheddar)
- 2 wedges lite swiss laughing cow cheese
- 1/2 cup good-quality reduced fat brie cheese, rind removed, cut into cubes (I have seen red fat brie before, but I could only find regular yesterday so I just used that)
- tiny pinch of ground nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions (I actually prefer to cook my pasta a minute or two less than the lowest cooking time on the package for al dente pasta); drain.
- Meanwhile, whisk together and heat sweet potato puree and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until just starting to simmer.
- Reduce stove heat to low. Whisk in cheeses until fully melted.
- Stir in nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir drained pasta into the sweet potato-cheese sauce and mix until thoroughly combined.
Peanut Butter Banana White Chocolate Chip Blondies:
I cut mine into 20 small ones, but lets be honest, that is more like 10 real servings because if you're anything like me you will eat two at a time with a delicious cup of almond milk!
- 1/4 cup white chocolate peanut butter (I used the Peanut Butter and Co White Chocolate Wonderful)
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbs splenda brown sugar blend
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup mashed overripe banana (about 3 large)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup all-natural white chocolate chips (I got Sunspire ones at Whole Foods and they are amazing!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with sprayed parchment paper so the edges hang over the sides of the pan.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together the peanut butter, applesauce, and splenda brown sugar. Add in the egg whites and beat until combined. Add in the mashed banana and vanilla; beat until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Stir white chocolate chips into the dry ingredients (this step prevents the chips from sinking into the batter).
- Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just moistened.
- Spoon batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove pan from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Remove the blondies by picking up the edges of the parchment paper and let cool completely; cut into squares and serve.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
I have never used dried cherries before and now I'm a little obsessed. Especially combined with dark chocolate--delicious!
- 1/2 cup light whipped canola oil buttery spread
- 1/2 cup non fat plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup splenda brown sugar blend, packed
- 3 egg whites
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 & 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups oats
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 8 ounces dark chocolate chocolate chunks (I used mini dark chocolate chips because that's what I had but chunks of dark chocolate would be better!)
- 1 cup baked potato chips, crushed
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine buttery spread, yogurt and brown sugar. Add egg whites one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually add to the butter mixture just until combined. Do not overmix. Stir in oats, cherries, chocolate and chips.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.
Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until bottom edges are lightly browned. Cool on pans for a few minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
So I had the brilliant idea to make something on Sunday that I could bring with me for the whole week. This may sound awful and boring to you, but honestly I do best when I have a plan and it takes me about a week to get bored with something, so 4 days of the same thing (Thursdays are hard so we go to lunch that day) is really the perfect amount of time. I found this recipe on one of the many food blogs I follow, and changed it up a little to add more protein and veggies.
- 1/2 lb whole wheat pasta (I used penne)
- 12 oz grilled chicken, cubed
- 2 zucchinis, washed and chopped
- 2 yellow squashes washed and chopped
- kernels from 1 ear fresh corn (I used canned because I'm lazy like that)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp light miracle whip
- 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
- Zest from 1 large lemon
- 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package instructions, preferably al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Cook squash in a large skillet over medium heat with nonstick spray. Add corn kernels; cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Remove from heat and toss in the halved grape tomatoes. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the veggies and chicken.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, miracle whip, mustard, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour the yogurt mixture over the pasta and veggies; toss to coat.
- Chill pasta salad in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or until the flavors have melded.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
Well, on the 4th, my family came over for brunch and I was making pancakes (recipe coming soon) so I asked my mom to bring some sort of protein and she suggested smoothies. She brought over some recipe she had found which I basically threw out right away and created my own :O) I mean, I made her a version with her recipe, then I let people taste mine and everyone traded right away. My mom said it was better than Jamba Juice...and they are so easy!
So this morning I decided to recreate my PB&J smoothie. I don't know how many of you know that a PB&J sandwhich is pretty much my favorite thing to eat on earth. I am borderline obsessed with peanut butter. I could live off bread and pb for pretty much the rest of my life...that and cereal :O)
*6oz non fat yogurt (I suggest either dannon light and fit or vanilla greek)
*1 small banana
*1/2 tbs natural pb (of course any pb will do, but natural is more delicious!)
*handful frozen blueberries
*2 handfuls ice
Put everything in the blender, and enjoy!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
What do I love more than skinnified baking? Ummm skinnifed THEMED baking! Any opportunity to be creative or be inspired to bake something specific makes me so excited, so when I was invited to celebrate Freedom Land over at my friend Molly's house I immediately thought about what I would make to fit the theme. I quickly decided on these cookies and then found this recipe. I have been making some minor changes to my diet lately, and also the way I modify recipes. I've spent a long time being very strictly calorie conscious, but I am working on rather than focusing on calories, just changing the things that aren't "real food" or actually good for me. Of course I still use some fake sugar and stuff to cut down on the calories, but I am working on new ways of modifying recipes so that they not only are lower in calories and bad fats, but also provide some nutritional value!
Steve called these "the absolute best cookie's you've ever made". I wouldn't go that far. I still think my full fat toffee crunch cookies take the cake, but I will say that these were a huge hit and I loved them. I took several of them to Molly's, took a big plate to Bethany's mom's bbq, and took a plate to the lovely baristas at Starbucks. I left like 20 cookies at home since I was having company the next day--well I came home to 4 cookies a few hours later haha.
- 1 cup brandy (to soak the berries in, then saving 1 1/4 teaspoons of it for later)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup small blueberries
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup non fat plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup splenda
- 1/4 cup honey (measures just like sugar and all natural! Surprise!)
- 1/3 cup splenda brown sugar blend
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup of white chocolate chips
1 Put the berries in a wide and shallow bowl, pour in a bit of brandy. Enough so they're surrounded by it, but not drowning. Cover and place in the fridge for an hour or more. Afterwards, place a colander over a bowl and pour the berries and brandy through, putting the cranberries and the brandy they soaked in aside.
2 Preheat oven to 375°F. Beat the oil and yogurt until combined. Add the sugars and honey and beat again until well incorporated.
3 Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and add 1 1/4 teaspoons of the brandy that the berries soaked in (you can use the rest of the brandy to make a drink--YUM!). Beat well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl midway through to ensure even mixing.
4 Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, then add to the mixture a bit at a time, beating until just mixed. Fold in the brandy soaked berries and white chocolate chips. Let chill for 15 minutes in the fridge.
5 Spray baking sheet with non stick spray and place rounded spoonfuls down on the sheet. Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes until just set (we all know I like my cookie doughy in the middle!). Let cool for a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
About to go in the oven:
Sunday, June 19, 2011
About to go in the oven
Ready to be topped
With me and Steve's new very favorite salsa ever!
Today I think I may even recreate something similar for Father's Day since my dad loves eggs and veggies and it's easy to make for several people at once!