Saturday, November 29, 2008

Go Steelers Soup!

I had to do some Black & Gold. I had some French Onion soup from Costco left over, so I split some for me and my husband. It's really excellent. Here's what the box looks like:

So it was a satisfying lunch with a sandwich of Arnold's Sandwich Thins, hummus and some turkey.

I finished it off with some Kale Chips courtesy of I think my husband is freaked out at how much I refer to the site and use the recipes, but Kath rocks, and her suggestions are great. I haven't seen kale featured much in Pittsburgh. But today at Giant Eagle, I saw a huge bag of Kale by Dole already washed and precut. So I tried out her recipe, which is simply to take the cut and stemmed pieces, arrange them flat on a baking sheet. I lightly sprayed them with olive oil from my mister, added salt and pepper, and sprinkled my parmesan/asiago shredded mix. Stick them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 375. I love putting baked chips on a sandwich for some extra crunch. This was great for that.

Lentil Soup

I was craving something chewy and soup at the same time. So I took a container of my Pacific Natural Foods Chicken Broth and started making soup.

I improvised for this recipe:

1 container of precut onions from Giant Eagle sauteed in 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil.
3 cloves garlic pressed and added to the onions after they're translucent (about 5 minutes)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 container of Pacific Natural Foods Chicken Broth (about 4 cups)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 Bay Leaf
1 cup Lentils
Spices: tarragon, paprika, thyme

I really just threw everything together after sauteeing the onions with the garlic and spices and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. It was spicy and good.

Monday, November 17, 2008

These are bad.....but I can't help it

I have a lot of trigger foods that I overeat. Candied nuts are one of them. But I couldn't help but think how good a salad of spinach, goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, and candied walnuts would be. So I will try my hardest not to eat any straight from the bag and garnish my salad with them for lunch tomorrow.

I already broke down and ate a handful tonight right after I took them home from the grocery store.....the dangers of coming home famished and inhaling my dinner. I overate tonight and I'm feeling the consequences. I'm bloated and feeling ashamed of myself that I couldn't control my eating.

But I've learned my lesson. Tomorrow is a new day, and I really look forward to a few almonds garnishing my salad I have planned for tomorrow.
And slap my hand for searching for this in bulk already on Amazon. (They are that good)

Brownie Success

The brownies that I baked yesterday from the link posted below turned out to be a huge success. The addition of 2 T of espresso to the batter made all the difference. They were dense, moisty, and oh-so-chocolately! I only had a small piece and then found myself thinking about them all morning wanting more. And the dangers of making a trigger food and having it at home is that I pigged out on them tonight after dinner. I was hoping my husband would take them to work today, but he WILL take them tomorrow so I don't finish them off.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Boxed Lasagna

I have to admit, I don't always feel up to making everything from scratch. Lasagna is one of those dishes that often is less expensive to buy at the store. I love a fresh veggie lasagna in the summer, but now that the farmer's markets are done and the produce less abundant, I tried Stouffer's Cheesy Garlic Lasagna that cooks in the microwave in 18 minutes. It was pretty decent. Plus the nutrition info wasn't that bad. I'll post below. Overall it was an easy meal with a salad of mixed greens, bell pepper, tomato, feta, and some Pom seeds.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 cup
Servings Per Container: 4.5

Calories from Fat
Amount Per Serving and/or % Daily Value*
Total Fat
13 g (20%)
Saturated Fat
7 g (34%)
Trans Fat
0 g
40 mg (13%)
860 mg (36%)
Total Carbohydrate
36 g (12%)
Dietary Fiber
3 g (12%)
6 g
18 g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C

Red Bull Brownies

I was looking for a good brownie recipe and found this on Allrecipes, one of my favorite sites:

I made two batches. The first I made like the recipe suggests; however, I added another cup of chocolate chips after the batter cooled. As they were baking, I made a second batch to take to work. This one I wanted to try some espresso in the brownies. So instead of 2 Tablespoons of water, I dissolved 2 Tablespoons of instant espresso powder in the water. Since I was taking the brownies to work, I didn't want to cut the tray, so I took a little chunk from a corner just to taste. They taste a little over-javafied! I'm thinking a piece of the brownies may end up having the same effect as a red bull considering how they taste. We'll see how they go tomorrow. Unfortunately the first batch that was for home didn't cook the way I wanted, they were gooey and pretty soupy at about 27 minutes. I put them back in for another 5, and they're still not the consistency I wanted. I think it was that extra cup of chips that were added. Instead of being chunks, they seemed to melt in with the rest of them. The only other thing I can think of is whether it was the fact that I baked them in a glass Pyrex dish. At any rate, the first batch was a big thumbs down. We'll see tomorrow how the second batch goes over in the office.

Oatmeal Extravaganza

I'm addicted to This girl is living my dream. If I could do it all over again before I started college, I definitely would have studied nutrition rather than marketing. I love food, but I also love knowing how food interacts with the body and helps the body run efficiently and at top performance. Kath has given up her day job and gone back to school for nutrition to become an R.D. I've enjoyed reading her blog, and one thing I've definitely come away with is a great appeciation for adding a spoon of peanut butter to my oats. I've always loved oatmeal, but I couldn't eat it regularly because I'd be starving 2 hours later. Adding that spoon of peanut butter or any other nut butter for that matter, has really made the difference both in adding exceptional taste and making me feel full for much longer. Here's today's concoction:

1/3 C Quaker old-fashioned oats
1/3 C skim milk
1/3 C water
1/2 banana
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon flax seed
1 Tablespoon of toasted walnuts
Pomegranate seeds (I didn't measure those)
Peanut butter

I hate cleaning

I hate to clean. I have no sense of organization, so I haphazardly move around the house starting one project, think of something else that needs done and don't complete what I had started. It all eventually gets done, but never in an organized fashion. Anything that makes the cleaning process easier or more pleasant is a big bonus. I've seen Mrs. Meyers around but never really thought that "green" cleaners would be better. But seeing a Peppermint scent "with a hint of vanilla" really appealed to me. It's a holiday limited edition, so I plan to grab up some more, but this stuff is awesome. I have been using the all purpose cleaner around the whole house on hardwood floors, ceramic tile, throughout the whole bathroom. It's non toxic, and with a dog, two cats, and three birds, that is very important. But it also does clean well. So I just had to share the love. I just wish Mrs. Meyers would offer the scent in full sizes rather than just the small sized four pack.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Greek Yogurt Love

I haven't bought yogurt in quite some time. I have just been enjoying too many other things lately and didn't have room for the calories. But seeing the Fage Peach and Cherry, I gave in.

I'm in love. The 2% with fruit has 130 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. I planned to have half of the peach with my lunch and save the other half for dessert tonight. But after one bite, there was no question that I would eat the entire amount. It was that good. I have to laugh at those Yoplait commercials where the two ladies in bridemaid dresses talk about how good Yoplait yogurt is. OBVIOUSLY they haven't tried Fage.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gnocchi Dinner

I have to point out the egregious spelling error on the gnocchi bag. Do you see it?

Nonetheless, the Groceria Italia in Bloomfield makes good gnocchi. It was very satisfying with some vodka sauce on top and a nice salad.

Cranberry Sauce

I made a cranberry sauce with about a cup of cranberries, a cup of orange juice, and a cup of sugar. I added a pinch of cinnamon and ginger and cooked till they popped.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tea Time

My office is FREEZING to the point where I can't concentrate. So I have been thinking of ways to warm myself up since we're no longer allowed to have space heaters :( So I'm trying out some teas. Yogi offered some free samples that arrived in the mail yesterday, so I tried 2 of them out today. Check them out at The Green Tea Pomegranate seemed like a good choice to start. The red color was a surprise as I steeped the bag in my oversized Goofy mug. But upon perusing the ingredients, I was pleasantly surprised that there were no artificial colors. Nonetheless, it was a lackluster bag of tea in my opinion. I opened the bag of Mexican Sweet Chili but immediately noticed the scent of black licorice. Yuck! So I gave it away. Lastly the Berry Anti-Oxidant.....yawn! Nothing to write home about. Overall I was less than thrilled.