Tag Archives: vegetables

Goals

Since yesterday was the beginning of a whole new month, it occurred to me that I haven’t given you guys an update regarding my February goals. I had two goals: try at least two new vegetables and to do the Jackie Warner workout three times a week.

Regarding the vegetable goal, it was a great success. I tried cauliflower. It was a pretty tasty dish . . . at least the way I cooked it. I plan on cooking it in different ways in the future.

In my brief hiatus from blogging, I also tried another veggie . . . parsnip!

I honestly wasn’t expecting to like parsnip. I roasted it in the oven with some red pepper and paprika (can you tell I like things spicy?) to make parsnip fries.

I really liked them! They had kind of a sweet taste that I really enjoyed. I have actually eaten these about three or four times since I first tried them a couple of weeks ago. I really need to continue trying new veggies. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised.

I did not succeed at the goal of doing the Jackie Warner DVD three times a week. The first couple of weeks, I did what I needed to do. But over the second half of the month, I slowly stopped doing Jackie Warner at all. I think it’s because I was getting bored with the workouts. I was able to move through all the workouts with way too much ease. I decided to make the workout a little tougher by increasing the weight I was using. I was using 5 pound and 3 pound hand weights for the workout. On Monday, I used 8 pound and 5 pound hand weights for the workout. I haven’t used the 8 pound weights in forever . . . since I used to do regular strength training. Increasing the weights really made a difference. I had to struggle with the workout and I actually broke a sweat. My muscles were quivering afterwards. It is now four days later and my muscles are still sore from the increased weights. I don’t think there is one muscle that isn’t still sore. Guess that means it worked. :)

Besides the fact that Spring is that much closer, March also means it’s time to set some new goals!

One goal I am setting for this month is to eat out no more than once a week. (Starbucks doesn’t count as eating out, right. ;) ) I feel like a reason my weight loss has stalled is because my husband and I have been eating out too much. I try to get healthier options, but I do think that sometimes I tend to eat more when I’m eating out. For instance, my husband and I ordered fajitas from a local Mexican restaurant last night. I had the best intentions: I was going to stop at two fajitas (usually  I have three) and I was going to have a small portion of chips and salsa. I did stop at two fajitas, but I overdid it on chips and salsa. I ate way too many of them. I definitely ate past the point of fullness, which is what I am trying to stop.

A second goal for the month of March is to try at least two new workouts . . . or at least do a new workout DVD that I haven’t done in years. I have quite a lot of those. I tend to get in workout ruts (like Jackie Warner) and it would be great to make my muscles work a bit harder.

What are some of your goals right now? Tried any new veggies lately?

Date Night

Last night I had a great date night with Corey.

He graciously allowed me to choose the restaurant and I was in the mood for something new (and light). Believe it or not, I have quite a few restaurants bookmarked in my Favorites folder to remind me about them. Does anyone else do that?

Last night we ended up at the 5 seasons brewing company. Their website stated that the chef policy was to use all natural, local, and organic ingredients. I loved that policy! I am always looking for new restaurants that use only local ingredients and they seem to be lacking.

The food did not disappoint. I started with the hummus and homemade toast points.

The hummus was delicious, as were the toast points. The only issue I had was that they only gave a few toast points for a huge portion of hummus.

Look at that waste! The waiter did offer to bring me some more toast points. However, they didn’t come until about ten or fifteen minutes after our food did. By that point, I was too busy eating my main course.

For my main course, I ordered the honey curry grilled chicken sandwich on homemade foccacia bread with sweet potato fries.

Holy vegetables! The sandwich came with roasted red pepper and arugula. I also added some goat cheese and grilled onions.

These vegetables tasted so unbelievably fresh. Usually grilled onions at restaurants are soaked in oil. But I didn’t taste anything but onion.

I also loved the fact that the sandwich was overflowing with veggies. Usually there is a lot of bread and not enough of the good stuff with restaurant sandwiches. I liked that the veggies were taking over my plate. :) Corey had a great time taking lots of pics of me eating my sandwich. Here is one of the least embarrassing ones.

I will definitely go back to this restaurant again. There were lots of other items on the menu that I wanted to try. Next time . . .

Now I am watching the Oscars with my hubby. I have seen every nominee up for Best Picture, except for the Fighter. I have to say that I absolutely loved King’s Speech and True Grit. Those are two of my favorites. The only two movies that don’t really deserve to be nominated (in my opinion) are Social Network and The Kids Are All Right. Both of those movies are pretty good, don’t get me wrong. But are they Oscar worthy? Not so much. But Toy Story 3 . . . there’s a different story. ;)

Trader Joe’s convert

I should never be allowed to enter Trader Joe’s on my own. Today I went there because I needed one thing; I came out with eight. :)

I said once that I wasn’t sure what the appeal was to Trader Joe’s. I think I finally get it. I could browse that store for hours. I originally went there because I needed tuna fish. Believe it or not, the tuna fish at Trader Joe’s is more natural than any other store, even Whole Foods. If I eat regular canned tuna, there are often certain fillers that can make me sick. Trader Joe’s canned tuna doesn’t have that.

But when I arrived at the store, that kind of flew out the window. There are so many cool things there! Did you know they have peanut butter cream cheese?? How crazy is that? I will be trying that.

Check out that haul!

So I ended up buying a roasted seaweed snack (total impulse buy), strawberry cream cheese, pomegranate seeds, hummus with horseradish (yummy!), peanut butter filled pretzels, some hot and sweet mustard, and a container of Fage 2% yogurt with honey. If you look in the back, under the mustard, you will see the tuna . .  . the only thing I actually went there to buy. ;)

I cracked open the bag of peanut butter filled pretzels on the way home. They were delicious! I was torn between the hummus with horseradish and the guacamole hummus. The horseradish thing kind of got to me. Has anyone tried the guacamole hummus? I think I will try that one next time . . . along with the peanut butter cream cheese.

I have no idea why I picked up the roasted seaweed. Maybe it was because it was just 99 cents. Maybe I just wanted to try something new. I cracked open the roasted seaweed this evening.

Fail.

The taste wasn’t too bad at first. But then there was an aftertaste. Yech, not good.

At least I tried something new, right? Does that count as one of my new veggies that I wanted to try? Guess that might be kind of stretch. ;)

What is your favorite Trader Joe’s item? I am always looking for new ideas.

Courage

I tried cauliflower for the first time tonight.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that a goal I had set for myself was to try at least two new vegetables before the end of February. Since there are only two weeks left in February, I figured I should get on that. :) Truth be told, I have had a bag of frozen cauliflower in my freezer for well over a week, but I have been too chicken to use it. I decided that tonight was the night!

I used this recipe from Kylie at Hungry Spoon. I knew when I saw this recipe that it would be the perfect way to introduce the vegetable.

The verdict? They weren’t half bad! For the most part, I couldn’t even tell that it was cauliflower. The mixture was a little too soft which made it hard to form into patties. But after baking for about 20 minutes, they did harden up a bit. Of course I topped them with ketchup because ketchup makes everything better. :)

I served the dijon cauliflower patties with chicken breast stuffed with spinach and cheese. Yummy!

And as you can see in the background, I also had some corn to go along with it. It was a tasty meal and I am glad I finally had the courage to try the cauliflower.

Fresh Start to the Week

This weekend was really relaxing (except for the whole working on Saturday thing). After work on Saturday, I decided to head to my grandmother’s house (she lives an hour away) and spend some time with her. We are really close and every once in a while I will go spend some good quality time with her. I am glad our tradition of spending the weekend together did not end when I got married. :)

I have to say that I did not take one single picture the entire time I was there. It was just one of those nights where I wanted to take a break from my blogging duties and just relax.

I will say that grandmother’s house = comfort food. I had real butter (and lots of it), macaroni and cheese and lots of bites of some burnt pound cake (not all of it was ruined). And last night, my husband and I ordered take out. In addition to a Greek wrap with fries, I ordered a massive slice of red velvet cake from Marietta Diner, a local restaurant that is practically an institution and has amazing food.

I LOVE red velvet and I think it’s been years since I’ve tasted one of their cake slices. Don’t worry, I didn’t eat the entire thing. ;) I probably ate almost half of it before a massive stomach ache hit. That’s what happens when you eat too much comfort food. I ended up throwing the rest of the cake away. As wonderful as that cake was (seriously delicious), I knew my body couldn’t take any more sugar.

Did anyone NOT watch the Superbowl last night? I think Corey and I were just about the only ones in the country not watching the game. Instead, we watched Social Network as part of my mission to see all of the Oscar nominees for best picture. It was an excellent movie. Even Justin Timberlake did a great job in it. I’m not sure if I’m rooting for it for Best Picture though. I think Black Swan was better. I know that King’s Speech is getting a lot of buzz and is expected to win, so I would like to see that one.

After all of the fattening food I ate this weekend, I wanted to start today right. I have never been one to promise that I will do better on Monday (at least, not anymore). I typically eat healthy even on the weekends, with the occasional splurge just like during the week. But after my eats this weekend, I knew what I needed to start my week off right: lots of fruits and veggies!

I started the day with a nice apple bowl for breakfast.

I microwaved an apple with some cinnamon and a little bit of maple syrup until it was soft. I topped the apples with some peanut butter granola, blueberries, Rice Krispies, and ricotta cheese. It was super tasty and filling! And the best part was that my breakfast snapped, crackled, and popped. :)

Lunch was a delicious noodle bowl.

It had spinach fettuccine, pasta sauce, grilled chicken, and some broccoli. It was a very red and green lunch . . . like Christmas in a bowl!

An afternoon snack was a couple of handfuls of honey roasted peanuts.

These things are so good! I am contemplating making some homemade honey roasted peanut butter with them.

Dinner was taco salad.

I had some beef seasoned with homemade taco seasoning, spinach, cheese, salsa and a special ingredient . .  . broccoli. I know that seems like a weird addition. The meat did make the broccoli a bit soggy, but it was still tasty. And of course I had some tortilla chips for dippin’. :)

I have to admit that I did not feel like working out at ALL. I felt lazy and out of sorts. But I kept telling myself to just do something and it would make me feel better. I planned on doing the elliptical for an hour, but I ended up doing fifteen minutes. That was all I could push myself to do at that moment. Ordinarily, I would feel guilty about not doing more, but I have learned that any activity is good activity.

All in all, it was a good beginning to the week. Hope everyone’s Monday went just as well. :)

Scrambled Egg Muffins

I was in the mood for something a little different for breakfast this morning. I could live off the eggs and bacon that I have on countless mornings. But this morning I realized that I haven’t been eating as many veggies as I need to. Plus it is my day off (yay!) so I had a little more time to devote to cooking. So while I was thinking up ways to add veggies to my beloved eggs, I thought of many options. Omelet . . . frittata . . . and then I came to scrambled egg muffins. I love anything in muffin form!

I have to admit that I was crossing my fingers with this recipe. I was afraid that it would be a massive fail and I would have to come up with a backup recipe. (French toast, anyone??)

When these came out of the oven, they didn’t all look perfect. One of them fell a little bit and a few of them ran over the tins a little bit.

But never fear: this is a great recipe that is cheesy, full of veggies, and full of flavor. Feel free to experiment with other veggies. I did create a recipe that only makes four muffins. I did this because I am the only one who eats eggs in this house and 12 muffins seemed a bit much. Also a full batch of muffins would have pretty much wiped out my egg supply. And I was not ready for that. :) Feel free to triple the recipe if you want to make a full batch.

Scrambled Egg Muffins (makes 4 muffins)

2 eggs
2 egg whites
3 slices all natural bacon, cooked and crumbled into tiny pieces
2 oz. cheese of your choice (I used American)
1/8 c. red pepper, finely chopped
1/8 c. onion, chopped
1/4 c. chopped fresh spinach
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
several dashes of hot sauce (optional) <— like I could have an egg dish without hot sauce ;)

Beat eggs and egg whites. Mix in veggies, spices, cooked bacon, and cheese. Pour evenly into four muffin tins. Make sure the muffin tins are well greased or they will stick. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until no longer runny. Be very careful not to overbake! Enjoy.

And here is a little kitchen tip from me to you: if you aren’t using all 12 of the muffins tins, fill the tins that you are not using with water. This will prevent the empty tins from burning. It works so well!

This morning, I had two of the muffins with a piece of buttered toast.

Great breakfast!

So many movies, so little time

And now . . . here are my meals from yesterday and today. Join the “What I Ate Wednesday” over at Peas and Crayons! And her blog isn’t half bad either. ;)

Yesterday was a great day with my husband, even with my disappointment over getting pancakes instead of waffles. :)

Ever since I saw the list of Oscar nominees for best picture, I have had the urge to see as many of the nominees as possible. That may be because every year I have no idea who to root for since I usually have seen hardly any of the nominees. That’s not surprising since my taste usually falls in the romantic comedy category . . . not exactly Oscar worthy. ;)

Since I have not seen even one of the nominees, I have a lot of catching up to do. So yesterday Corey and I went to see not one, but two movies. We saw 127 hours and Black Swan. They were both pretty good movies. 127 hours made me uncomfortable in certain parts because he was so close to dying. And I had to look away at the infamous arm self-amputation scene. Black Swan was odd and more than a little dark, but still a good movie. I can see why both James Franco and Natalie Portman were nominated. I may be biased because I have had a crush on James Franco ever since he appeared on General Hospital. I told you guys I was a fan of soap operas. :)

In between movies, I went to the mall so I could get a bra fitting at Intimacy. It was kind of a waste of time. I did get an idea of my true size, but the woman didn’t even tell me. I had to look for myself, among all the bras she was bringing into the fitting room. She was mainly just trying to get me to buy something. At $145 a bra, no thank you! I have a budget after all. Even if I did use credit cards (which I don’t), I wouldn’t have put one of those expensive bras on it.

We had lunch at Jason’s Deli. I love that place! It’s one of the precious few sandwich places that I can eat without getting a migraine. No MSG baby! :)

I got a turkey on whole wheat bread with organic greens and roasted pepper hummus. It was pretty good, but I think I like their guacamole better than the hummus. It was such a big sandwich that I saved half to eat for later.

The star of the show though was the tomato basil soup I purchased along with my sandwich. Tomato is my favorite kind of soup, but I don’t usually get it here because I like their Southwestern Chicken Chili so much.

This was hands down the best soup I have ever tasted. It was so creamy and I could taste how fresh the tomatoes were. I was so sad when I was done with my soup.

What is your favorite soup?

The best part of lunch was the free soft serve!

I’m not afraid to say that this one of the reasons why I love this place so much.

Yesterday I actually slept in kind of late and we didn’t eat breakfast until after 10:30. Because of that, our whole eating schedule was thrown off. We had lunch late and then neither of us were in the mood for dinner. I ended up eating a light snack of cheese toast and a piece of chicken sausage around 9:30.

It seemed like the weekend just kind of flew by . . . especially because I worked on Saturday and then had to be back at work today. Argh. And Callie woke up early and started whining so she woke us up earlier than necessary. I don’t know what her issue was but we have a rule that we don’t get up to take her out until the alarm goes off (even if she’s whining). Because of this, she doesn’t whine too early before the alarm because she knows that is the signal to get up. She is such a smart dog!

I started the day with some leftover Gingerbread Walnut Pancakes.

Mmm . . . I love leftovers!

The work day was kind of slow. I had what seemed like a lot of work to do, but no immediate and pressing deadlines for anything. The day passed quickly anyway. For lunch, I had some spinach fettuccine, pasta sauce, and grilled chicken.

I don’t think I will get this pasta again. It tastes just like regular pasta, so the flavor is fine. However, it seems like no matter how long you cook it, it still tastes a little undercooked. Ironically, it seems to be more cooked the next day and it seems to soften a little when you reheat it.

My snacks included a couple of clementines,

a bagel with some Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter,

bagel half times two

and the second pack of Biscoff cookies that my husband brought me from his trip (or should I say the airplane?).

I can’t believe I held onto these for two whole days before eating them. Talk about self-control!

Today was rainy and much colder than the weekend (which was a very warm 70 degrees). But I wanted to do another round of 10K training when I got home. My husband is going out of town (AGAIN) tomorrow so I wanted to go for a jog with him and Callie. It was drizzling most of the time and I had to walk the whole time (instead of jog) because my legs were shaking or something. But we still walked for around 40 minutes and it was nice to relax with Corey and discuss our day. It was truly the best part of my day. :)

Dinner was a simple baked chicken strips and sweet potato fries (fresh, not frozen).

Can you tell that I love orange vegetables? I have eaten a lot of sweet potatoes lately.

Now I am relaxing with my hubby and catching up on some White Collar and Royal Pains. Love those shows. :)

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