Good Evening! First of all, another exciting announcement. Don't know if any of you read Design*Sponge, (if you don't, you should check it out!!!), but they've released their2008 Gift Guides!!! I've been waiting for this for about a month now, and just checked in today. I'm super-excited because they find the coolest stuff...!!! If you're not familiar with the site, make sure to check out all of their guides...the City Guides are especially useful when searching for fabulous design while traveling, which the hubby and I typically are. We're design dorks. :)
On to food...
Breakfast: I found a use for my No-Bakes!!! Last night I decided to stick them in the fridge to see if they would firm up...they didn't. So instead of eating a cold cookie as I was hoping, I crumbled (or more accurately pulled and pinched) one "cookie" into my oats bowl. YUM!!!!!!!! This was a standard bowl with 1 cup prepared rolled oats, one mashed banana, 1 tsp ground flax seeds and a failed No-Bake. The "cookie" melted into the oats and added the perfect amount of chocolate-y peanut-y goodness. Now granted, I could have had the same affect by adding a regular spoonful of PB and a sprinkling of cocoa but I felt much better knowing that I had not wasted at least one cookie. At 120 calories it wasn't a horrible add-in, but it didn't stick with me as well as my standard tbsp of almond butter does.
Lunch: A little boring today, but still really tasty. I never got around to making my lentil salad as planned, so lunch groceries are getting a little low... I made a spinach salad with the last of my mashed chickpeas, some orange bell pepper, frozen corn, frozen broccoli shrapnel and light ranch dressing. All mashed together it was divine!!!
And an Amy's Low Fat Black Bean Veggie soup.
It was a very filling + satisfying lunch. For dessert I had two of these beauties:
Mini Pumpkin Walnut Chocolate Chip cookies from my co-worker's wife. They were sooooooo good. :)
Snack: My lunch + dessert really filled me up today, so I managed to hold off 'till 4:30 to eat my Pink Lady apple. I skipped the ZBar all together...
Dinner: Chicken Black Bean Enchi-ritos! This is a recipe that I found on foodnetwork.com awhile ago and have modified quite a bit since then. I made my hubb my classic comfort food version and made myself an even further modified version. So modified that it can't even really be called the same thing, so I think I'll post both recipes...
Chicken Black Bean Enchiritos
Hehe...can you tell which side is mine and which side is the hubb's?
Brian's Enchirito FillingIngredients:
3 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup enchilada sauce (more for topping)
1 cup shredded monterrey jack/cheddar cheese (more for topping)
2 small chicken breasts, baked and shredded
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup black beans (canned)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
salt + pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced
In a medium bowl cream together the cream cheese and the sour cream. Stir in the salsa , enchilada sauce and shredded cheese.
In a separate bowl, mix together the shredded chicken, corn, black beans, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper and scallions.
Add the chicken mixture to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.
Andrea's Enchirito FillingIngredients:
1 chicken breast, baked and shredded
3/4 cup black beans
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup salsa
sprinkle of shredded cheese (plus a little for topping)
enchilada sauce for topping
In a medium bowl mix the chicken, corn, black beans, corn, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne.
Add the salsa, bell pepper and scallions.
Last, stir in the spinach leaves.
My hubb found these tortillas in the freezer section at Whole Foods awhile ago and knew I would like them.
The enchiritos can be made in any kind of tortilla...I think they'd be really good in the 6" corn tortillas too. These are burrito size, so the mixtures above resulted in 5 total burritos.
2 of Brian's...
2 of mine...
And one that mixed the two fillings.
Pour 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of large, glass baking dish.
Place filling in tortillas, roll up and place seam-side down in pan.
Cover enchiritos with enchilada sauce and cheese.
Bake at 350* for 25 minutes until hot and bubbly.
Both of these recipes are soooooooooo good. Brian's is definitely better, that cheesy mixture is amazing. But, I was really happy with my version too.
I had one enchirito topped with salsa, and steamed broccoli on the side. It was a very filling, satisfying meal.
Whew! That was a long post! I hope everybody had a fabulous day...I'm off to bed to read. Goodnight!
Tonight was another "healthify a classic favorite" night! I can't tell you how happy my hubb was when I told him we were having baked ziti. Especially since I was planning to use our favorite sweet italian sausage from Babes in the Woods. This sausage is so good and so lean...I didn't even have to drain any fat out of the pan after I cooked it. It browned and crumbled perfectly. I also used fat free ricotta and low-moisture part-skim mozzarella to help lower the fat, and whole grain brown rice pasta instead of semolina...you can't even tell the difference! Brian said he honestly wouldn't have known that I used fat free ricotta if I hadn't told him...woohoo! This recipe is so easy...just brown the sausage, boil the noodles, mix everything together and pop it in the oven at 350* for 30 minutes. Dinner? Done. Of course, you don't want to have it every night or even every week, but the "healthified" version is much better for you than the original!
"Healthified" Baked Zitimakes 12 servingscalories: 286 fat: 8.3g sat fat: 3g carbs: 37.1g fiber: 2.4g sugar: 6.4g protein: 15.4gIngredients:
16 oz brown rice penne pasta
1 jar marinara sauce (about 3 cups)
15 oz container of fat free ricotta cheese (I used Sorrento)
Boil noodles until al dente and drain. If using brown rice pasta noodles beware...they only take a few minutes to soften.
Brown sausage on medium heat in non-stick pan.
In large bowl, mix pasta and sausage together.
In smaller bowl, mix together ricotta and marinara sauce. Pour ricotta/sauce mixture into bowl with pasta and sausage and toss until coated.
Spread mixture in 9x13 pan and top with shredded cheese (I used a bit of cheddar/jack because I ran out of mozzarella).
Pop in oven at 350* for 30 minutes.
Dinner: I had one serving of ziti, which was PLENTY for me. (Just picture cutting the shorter width into 3 pieces and the long width into 4 pieces). I think Brian had three... I also made a giant spinach salad with
3 cups fresh spinach
1/4 yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup hearts of palm (love love love love these!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
1/2 a chopped celery stalk
1 tbsp Ken's Lite Ranch
sprinkle of sliced almonds
And a Pellegrino White Cranberry Juice bevi...
And for dessert, my FAVORITE sorbet, Ciao Bella!!! (in blood orange flavor...yum!) This stuff is amazing, trust me. And only 98 calories for 1/2 cup. Yum.
I am now completely and totally full and satisfied. :) Are there any classic favorite comfort food recipes that you've "healthified"?
Its the day before Thanksgiving!!!!! Are you all as excited as I am?!?! With only one work day between me and some amazing smoked turkey, I think its time for a bit of reflection about what we have to be thankful for... Its a bit of a long story, but I promise to get to a point.
Last night I had a great chat with my momma. We’re going to be apart for Thanksgiving this year, which is hard for both of us, so we were chatting about plans, menus, family etc. I was telling her about the blogging community and how impressed I am with all of you that are participating in the Thanksgiving Challenge. My mom and stepdad are big foodies, so they completely understand big grocery bills and mine and Brian’s unwillingness to compromise on the kinds of food that we eat. We don’t want to compromise, but we still feel guilty about how much money we spend. This year, my parents decided to help somebody less fortunate than all of us to have a happy Thanksgiving.
My grandfather is living in a nursing facility near my parents’ home. My mom is so grateful to the nursing staff for everything they have done for him, and she and my stepdad decided that this year they wanted to do something to give back. She talked to the director to find out if there was anybody working at the center that was having a hard time and could maybe use a bit of help this year. The director called her back with the name of an 18 year old woman working in the kitchen at the center for $7.50/hour. The woman’s mother recently had a stroke and was unable to work, and her father had recently lost his job in this economic downturn. At 18 years old, making $7.50/hour, this young woman is the only provider for she, her mother and her father. My mom went to Publix and got a gift certificate large enough to cover everything the young woman would need to provide Thanksgiving dinner to her family. When the director presented the young woman with the gift, she burst into tears and said “Now we can have a Thanksgiving. The only food we have in the house is peanut butter”.
After hearing this story I was reminded again of how generous and thoughtful my mother is and how lucky I am to have her as an influence in my life. It really got me thinking about how we can make small sacrifices in our own lives and make a huge difference in someone else’s. For me, the ultimate show of thanks is to be able to help someone less fortunate than yourself.
Brian and I are scheming about ways to do just that in December, so stay tuned...
On to training:
During my lunch hour yesterday I went to the running shop to talk to my 10-miler training program coach. He is amazing, and took about 45 minutes out of his very busy day to talk with me about the issues I am having with my left foot and right knee. He examined my shoes, took the insoles out of the shoes and examined them, examined the calluses on my feet (ew!) and had me test out several pairs of new shoes. Because my current shoes only have about 150 miles on them and are still in good shape, he decided to have me try some inserts in them to help determine whether or not I needed more or less support in my shoe. He wanted me to go for a test run and come back to the shop on Friday to report in. So, after work Brian and I drove over to UVA campus to go for a run. I love running around campus, its so pretty and well-lit and active, and the terrain is perfect. We did almost 2 miles, and it felt fantastic!!! My foot did hurt a bit and I made a bunch of mental notes to talk to my coach about, but other than the foot everything was great. It was one of those fabulous runs where everything seems to click and you feel smooth and strong and like you could keep going for miles. I loved it. On to food:Dinner: Brian made veggie chili!!! Oh how I love chili.
1 yellow bell pepper
5 celery stalks
1 can cannellini beans
1 can kidney beans
2 cans diced tomatoes
And his special chili seasoning (we make it all at once, and use about 1/2 per pot of chili. the rest is stored in an airtight container in our spice cabinet).
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon dried, minced garlic
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
We served it over brown rice curly-cue pasta. There are many things in life that make me happy, and curly-cue pasta is definitely one of them.
Dessert: One beautiful medjool date. Yum.
Breakfast Today: Oikos vanilla yogurt with fresh raspberries. This was my first time trying the vanilla, I like that its not too sweet. Honey is still my fave though. I also had a slice of pumpkin cranberry bread with almond butter.
Lunch Today: Trying to make room in the fridge, although this didn’t help too much. I made a salad with broccoli slaw, cucumber, orange bell pepper and the last of my roasted red pepper hummus, about 4 tbsp. I’m also going to heat up some Amy’s Vegetable Soup...I was bummed I didn’t have any bean soups for some protein. :(
Snack Today: Another piece of pumpkin cranberry bread with almond butter. I’m pleased to announce that this bread is still wonderfully moist and yummy 4 days later!
Turkey Day Peek!!!
I braved Whole Foods yesterday on my lunch hour (or lunch 2.5 hours as it wound up being...) to pick up the fresh ingredients we need for our meal. On the menu...Roasted Veggies!!! I love roasted veggies, can't get enough of them. This is always the dish that Brian and I offer to make at holidays because it ensures that there will be plenty of veggies on our plates. This year we will have
I can't wait. What are you all making for Thanksgiving this year?
Aaaahhhhh.....I am in post-yoga bliss right now. Another wonderful class at Studio 206, taught by Hilary. I must say though that I am more of a 60-minute class kinda girl. The 90-hour class is nice, you get extra time to work on balance positions, extra meditation time etc., but I really hate to get home after 9pm. And, I honestly feel that I get as good of a workout in 60 minutes as I do in 90, its just stretched out more in 90. Anyway, the studio only offers one 60-minute class that works with my schedule each week so it looks like I'll have to make do... :)
Knowing that it was going to be a late night, I thought ahead this morning and revved up the crock pot for some black bean soup. I love this simple, wholesome, filling recipe...I could eat it every single week.
Black Bean SoupIngredients:
about 1 pound dry black beans
one onion, diced
one red bell pepper, diced
3 big garlic cloves, minced
1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz)
8 cups beef or veggie broth
1/2 tbsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in crock pot EXCEPT for salt, pepper and cayenne.
Set crock pot to low. I do this in the morning before work and when I get home 10 hours later the beans are perfect. You could cook them on high, but they would probably only take 5-6 hours total.
When beans are done, stir in salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. I don't put these spices in at first because they intensify with slow cooking, and I don't want my soup too salty or spicy.
That's it! So easy and sooooooooo good. I make brown rice to pour my soup on top of, and Brian likes saffron rice. We sometimes chop up sausage or ham in the soup which also makes it really, really good. Cheese, sour cream and scallions are all good toppers. You could add many other types of veggies to make it your own...its so versatile.
Instead of sausage in the soup this time we pan-fried it and had it on the side. I knew Brian would want lots and I just wanted a little taste, so this was the best compromise. This sausage is from Babes in the Wood, a local company that breeds a certain type of pig that they allow to forage in the woods. Its a highly sustainable practice and the pigs lead happy lives eating the things they are meant to eat. And, it is DELICIOUS. I am not a big fan of sausage, but this stuff makes me pretty happy.
my dinner bowl
1/2 cup brown rice
2 cups black bean soup
1 tbsp sour cream
1/2 sausage link
brian's dinner bowl
lots of bean soup
lots of cheese
1-1/2 sausage links
For dessert I had a Kozy Shack rice pudding cup with berries on top.
A little backtrack, tonight before yoga I tried the Clif Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel bar.
Product Review:Clif Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel
Ok, I know I've been saying this a lot lately and you're probably going to stop believing me if I don't give something a bad review soon, but this bar was AMAZING. Seriously. I felt like I was eating a candy bar. The only negative thing I have to say is that it has 200 calories...I usually like to stay in the 120-150 calorie range for my afternoon snacks. But, every single extra calorie was worth it. I thought about only eating 3/4s of it but once I bit into the peanut-y, pretzel-y goodness there was no turning back. I polished it off. Plus, I burned 350+ calories at yoga tonight. So there. :)
Now I am off to enjoy my post-yoga bliss before crashing in bed. Have a great night!