Monday, July 11, 2011

Weird stuff I eat when no one'e around

Today was HOT. Really hot. Really really hot. 103 hot. BLAH. I worked at home messing around with a paper for resubmission. I finally left the comfort of my air-conditioned house at 6:30 to go to the gym and I guess the word OPPRESSIVE was the only way to adequately describe the heat and humidity that accompanied my jaunt outside. It was like walking into a dragon's mouth.

WO today was back to square one on the Fitnessista's summer shape-up. I went through the 4 weeks, loved it, saw great results... and now I'm going for round 2. I move up north after week 3, so it will be a little disjointed this next time (well, I guess taking a week off to turn on my dissertation disjoints things quite a bit as well).

Well anyway - today was Monday, and workout one, and the gym, like the terrible outdoors, was also a million degrees. I was so hot afterwards I came home and laid on my floor. Yes I have air conditioning. Yes I was that warm and uncomfortable. Yes my dogs were confused.

When I finally felt as if I were back to my 98 degree homeostatic set point... I was craving fat. Not like burger and fries fat - I wanted goat cheese and avocado. Mmmm couldn't stop thinking about those two things as I "walked" the dogs (Bella pulls me, and I pull Dylan). So I made this weird food:

I drained a can of black beans and diced an avocado. I whisked together the juice of a lime, a minced clove of garlic, some cayenne pepper, a teaspoon of olive oil, and Na++ and pepper. I then proceeded to add the avocado and black beans to the little liquid concoction and had a pseudo salad. I was thinking of Kath's salads, where she generally throws leftovers on top of lettuce. That sounded like something I could manage, so I dumped the bean/avocado mixture onto arugula and magically had a real green salad. Magic!

On the side are what I like to call little polenta cupcakes. Three 1-inch polenta rounds topped with thin slices of goat cheese. Oh yeah. Nice healthy fats that I was craving. I'm stuffed. Yay cooking for one! Yay not having to wake up at any specific time! And yay True Blood back on the air. That is all.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stuffed Banana Peppers

I have not been cooking lately. My dissertation is due in TWO WEEKS and I have been writing and freaking out a lot. Add to that the well over 90 degree temps here and I have not been very hungry. However, I have been trying to use up produce as I buy it so it doesn't go to waste.

This is one of my very favorite things: stuffed banana peppers. These are ALL OVER western New York, but are nowhere to be found down south. Now that my husband knows that I know how to make them it's hard to get him to stop asking for these. I added vegetarian sausage to this batch and it was delightful!

Stuffed Banana Peppers
4 banana peppers
1/4 tube veggie sausage
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup bread crumbs (more if you need it)

Cut the peppers open and remove the guts. You can microwave them for a minute or two after they are emptied to make them easier to stuff. Just cool them for a bit afterwards.

Saute the veggie sausage, and when browned add the cream cheese and mix. Add everything else and there you go. Stuff into peppers (not your mouth)

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes depending on your desired level of done-ness.

I served these with some tilapia I breaded with bread crumbs, Parmesan and Italian seasoning after dipping it in an egg-white wash. Also my fave roasted asparagus!

Very simply, very quick dinner. Now back to proofreading!!!!

1/4 cup

Monday, June 6, 2011

Green Day

Woo wee - I am so pooped. It is so hot here in NC I can't even stand it. Not sure how I've made it through 5 summers without dying. I like to eat light in the summer - so I did just that today.

Before my workout today I needed a little snack. I sliced up some zucchini (I LOVE raw zucchini) and plopped on some hummus. Once you start making your own hummus you can never go store bought again. It's just so simple and so CHEAP. I've made THIS recipe from Oh She Glows one or two times before. The only difference is that I used canned chickpeas. I have bad luck making beans on my own. they always come out tough! This time I added a handful of spinach and it came out green and tasty.

A glimpse into my life: snacks, my laptop, reviewer comments, advisor comments, my dissertation minimized while I watch Twilight trailors :-)

For dinner I made an old favorite. I seriously love this recipe. And I have sauce left over that I will likely put over a green bowl!

I made it a little differently tonight, but still, check out the old link to see pictures of cute little Dylan. :-)

Green Pasta
1 red onion - chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil
Na++ and Pepper
1 container Nayasoya silken tofu
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup basil
Na++ and Pepper

Same as before - boil water. Heat over to 450- Rub onion and garlic with oil and salt and pepper. Wrap onion and garlic in tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. This is perfect timing to boil you water and make your pasta.

When the 20 minutes are up- put the tofu, spices and salt and pepper into a food processor and blend away. So good - even the carnivorous husband loved it (though he didn't remember the past 15 times I've made it for him). To top my day off I had some vanilla avocado and banana ice cream a la Averie from Love Veggies Yoga. No picture since mine is ugly- but it is so so so so so so good! Make some!

Now time to rest - I am beat!

Jar of oatmeal

Today I felt like I had gotten punched in the head when it was time to wake up. I still kind of feel like that - put together the 93 degree heat yesterday with my intense sunburn and I feel like every ounce of strength has been sucked from my body. This sucks because today starts summer shape up by Gina over at the Fitnessista. My workouts have been totally crappy lately so I am looking forward to doing some different stuff to break out of this rut. I tried her spring abs workout Saturday AM and it was intense! Nice and short and intense. I hate hanging around the gym forever! Unless I am avoiding something - like work - then I will stay all day.

But seeing as my dissertation is due to my committee in EXACTLY ONE MONTH I don't have time to avoid writing.... crap I should stop blogging about breakfast and get my life together.

Anyway - I love the idea of oats in a jar. Kath does them a lot - and given my extreme love of peanut butter they definitely help me get out of bed in the morning.

Monday Oats
Almost empty reduced fat peanut butter jar
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tsp chia seeds
1/2 large banana chopped
shake cinnamon
shake splenda
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup fat free plain greek yogurt

Mix everything together in the jar and leave it overnight. Easy enough, right?

Umm yum. So filling. So good. Serve with a side of 5 cups of coffee for hallucinogenic purposes. (Weird science - give me that PhD instead).

Ok I'm going to digest, write some dissertation crap, and head to the gym for Summer WO number 1. Yay!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Desserts and MUSSELS

Since I have been eating seafood - I've been having non-veg meals about 2-3 times a week. These mussels were super easy to throw together and the broth can be tweaked considerable to meet your needs/likes/wants/desires. When my friend came to visit recently she threw these together with heavy cream and red curry paste. I wanted a non-cream version and came up with these.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup white wine
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup flat parsley
1 tsp lemon zest
1 pound mussels

Heat a nice large dutch-over type contraption on your stove.

You know the drill- heat the oil - add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for a minute of two longer. Add the wine, try not to cry at the non drinkable portion you just put into food. Pour yourself a a glass to minimize sadness. Add lemon juice, and half of parsley and zest.

Dump the mussels in and cover. They will open in 6-8 minutes. DON'T EAT THE ONES THAT DIDN'T OPEN. Just throw them out. They lived a full bivalve life- it's okay. Portion into 4 bowls and top with remaining parsley and zest, Yum.

I used a full cup of wine... I know, I know... that's a lot. But they taste great - so just pour it in and look the other way. Or just put your face over the smoke the wine creates and get really drunk. Just kidding. Don't do that. You also shouldn't pour vodka over the stones in a sauna for a buzz. That is bad also.

On the side is a couscous salad based on one of Angela's recipes. Just israeli couscous, red pepper, cucumber, and garbanzo beans in a dressing of cilantro, olive oil and lime juice (and a splash of balsamic).

You may also spy some chilled cucumber soup in a tiny little bowl. If you've never made this you should really give it a try. All you need is a food processor, a large cuke (half peeled, half not), and about a cup of plain greek yogurt. I usually use dill- but I used cilantro and parsley since I already had some on hand. Add some salt and pepper at the end and use whatever spices you like. Add more yogurt to thin out if you wish - but I like it thicker. You just put all the ingredients together and blend. So easy and also low in calories. I love cucumber.

I made another batch of healthy cookie bites. I love these things so much. So healthy and 59 calories! YAY! These are the only baked good I make - I put two in my lunch every day and they are such a nice sugar-free treat :-)

Speaking of healthy - I just made myself some cherry banana soft serve. SO GOOD. And it's basically just a banana. But so decadent!!!

Off to bum around- I need to get some sleep. My aunt drove through last night and wanted to head to see some blues music. She got in at 11 - so I was up WAY late - we ate pizza and watched scary shows and talked until 3:23 on the dot. Then she woke up at 8:00! Oh boy- I'm exhausted!