Showing newest 10 of 23 posts from January 2010. Show older posts
Showing newest 10 of 23 posts from January 2010. Show older posts

Saturday, January 30, 2010

White Bean Hummus (Part Deux)

Friday night we decided to not go to the food store and to go Saturday after the gym instead. We were both old and lazy tired from a long week and we had a lot of cooking to do. We were put in charge of bringing baked ziti for our nephew's baptism, so we went to work making it. First we had to make the sauce and then the baked ziti. We decided to make a meatless baked ziti, again because we are old and lazy were tired. 


I am debating bring some whole wheat baked ziti for me (because no one else will really eat it unless they are forced too haha). I hate to be that person, but I really prefer it over white pasta anddd I am trying to cut out white flour as much as I can. I am also debating making dark chocolate fudge. I like to bring healthy options along with me so I can make mostly good choices while I am away. 

A definite good choice is this hummus from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. I really need to branch out with this cookbook. I have made so many of the dips and hummus in this cookbook, but that's about it. This hummus is so smooth and tasty, I know it will be a big hit with everyone. I am going to pick up some type of whole grain chip to go with it. I have posted this recipe before, but I changed it even more this time to improve the taste.

White Bean Hummus with Thyme and Basil
adapted from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan
2 cups cooked cannellini beans
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp tahini
2 medium cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp sea salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except water, thyme and basil. Puree until smooth, gradually adding water as desired to this dip. Scrap down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add thyme and basil and puree briefly. Enjoy with a whole grain chip, cracker or vege!

We are off to the gym and food store. I'll be sure to let you know how I do on my $100 budget! Wish me luck!!!! Have a great weekend!

Do you bring healthy options to parties or get togethers to ensure a good choice?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fabulous Frittata!

Happy Friday everyone! It is FREEZING out, here in NY. Danny and I got up to go to the gym at the wonderful hour of 5 am and were shocked by the cold... it basically smacked us in the face. I went to spin and Danny did his own thing.  Before spin I snuck in 15 minutes of quick weight training based on Fitnessista's winter shape up.

Last night I didn't know what to make for dinner, but I was hungry. After opening and closing the fridge 3 or 4 times I finally figured I would make eggs. Usually I will just throw together a quick omelette, but I felt like making a frittata.  I took out my leftover veges for the week and realized I had some tofu that I haven't used/opened yet.  

In a bowl I mixed together 6 egg whites, 3 tbs skim milk, salt and pepper and mixed it well. I put in 6 eggs whites (with the intentions of having some leftover), I also added 5 mushrooms cut up, 1/3 block of tofu, and a 1/3 of a yellow zucchini. I baked it for 30 minutes at 350. 



Now Danny clearly was not eatting my egg white, tofu dish so I made him his own. I mixed 3 eggs in a bowl with sea salt and pepper. I added a handful of mozzarella cheese and 1 link of chicken sausage. I baked it for 30 minutes at 350. 

Doesn't look too great, but it was. I enjoyed it for 2 nights!

In other news, our bread machine, that I use at least 2 times a week hasn't been working so well. Danny called Cuisinart and they sent us a new one! All we had to do was pay to ship our old one back. It looks SO shiny and new and I swear the bread came out much better.

This weekend we have a Christening outside Philadelphia for our youngest nephew, so we are going to go down early tomorrow and hit up our old favorite places, from when Danny lived there. Plus we are going to stop at the jewelers to get my rings cleaned and checked. (Yes!)

Have a great night...we are so old and may go food shopping right now...can't decide if that's a smart idea or not so smart. Happy weekending!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Superb Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken!

I love Tuesdays. Danny and I get up to go to the gym bright nice and early and by 6:45 I am done with my workout for the day. I hate getting up, but I am so glad when it's over and I know I have the afternoon to do whatever I want. I wasn't feeling so great yesterday, so I was pretty excited to get out of work at 3:17 and just race home to sit on my couch.  I caught up with my DVR and blog posts I've missed and just relaxed. There is just something about my couch that is so special to me. :)

Finally around 5:00 I decided to remove myself from the couch and start to make some dinner.  I made what I was originally going to make on Monday night (but instead I made the black bean soup). It is another recipe that I adapted from Rachael Ray's Book of 10. The original recipe called for crumbled goat cheese, which I love, but Danny not so much. I decided to use mozzarella for his chicken because I knew that would be a hit with him. 

Spinach and (Goat/Mozzarella) Cheese Chicken Rolls in a Pan Sauce

I package thin slices chicken breasts
1 10 ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1/4 cup (for 1/2 the recipe) crumbled goat cheese
zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
Whole Wheat Flour for dredging
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cup chicken stock (low sodium)
1 tsp parsley
3 tablespoons diced roasted red peppers
6 white mushrooms, diced
1 small zucchini diced
1 small or 1/2 large carrot, peeled and diced

Since I don't have a mallet I used this masher to pound and flatten the chicken.

Spinach and mozzarella wrapped in chicken

I just sprinkled flour over the top and the sesame seeds on top of that...this probably wasn't the best method, but it's the one I went with. 

Chicken cooking in 2 tbs of olive oil.

Using a mallet (or masher) pound out the chicken until it is very flat. Wring the spinach dry with a kitchen towel (or paper towels). Add it to a bowl. Add the lemon zest and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix until combined. Depending on what cheese you are using, add it now. I split the spinach in half and added goat cheese to half and mozzarella to half. 

Lay the pounded chicken breasts out on a cutting board. Season them with salt and pepper. Place an equal amount of the spinach mixture on each chicken breast. Roll the chicken into a cylinder (cigar like) shape.  Secure it with toothpicks. Season the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper and then dredge or sprinkle the flour and sesame seeds on top.

Preheat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat with 2 tbs of olive oil. Place the chicken in the pan and brown each of the sides for about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Add about 1/2 cup of chicken broth and turn down the heat to low and cover. 

Meanwhile add 1/4 cup chicken broth to another skillet on medium heat. Place garlic and onion in the skillet and brown. Add the carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, thyme, red pepper flakes and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, parsley and diced roasted red peppers.

Whole Wheat rolls to go with our meal (I used 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 cup spelt and 1 cup bread flour and added about 1/4 cup whole flax seeds)


I had some leftover rice so I just quickly made stuffed peppers using the leftover cheese.

My plate with goat cheese and spinach stuffed pepper, veges and bread.

Danny's plate with spinach and mozzarella stuffed chicken, stuffed pepper and bread.

I love making new meals every week. Next week there might only be one, but maybe not as long as I can keep it within the $100 budget. We'll have to see how I do when I go food shopping this week! What is your food budget? How do you decide what to cook for the week?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hungry? Try this filling Black Bean Soup

Here in New York it was super windy and rainy yesterday and I definitely did not feel like leaving my apartment. After pulling myself out of bed and getting dressed, i looked out the window and rain boots were definitely in order. I was feeling extra, extra grateful for my mother-in-law because I realized my rain gear was all from her. 

My awesome rain boots, that brightened up the dark, dreary day.

....and my North Face super light, super great raincoat.

After a pretty quick day at work I wanted to come home and do week 2 of the Winter Shape Up and some yoga. I was pretty bummed that my cable was out so I attempted to do a podcast, but I'm just not there yet. I just did some quick stretching and I'll have to try again on Thursday. I need to buy a good yoga DVD ASAP. I was getting so mad at Time Warner, but finally after 30 minutes of playing with it, I stopped and decided to make some dinner.

I took out chicken, but I just wasn't feeling it, so away the chicken went. With all that rain I wanted some soup. I started flipping through my cookbooks and landed on a recipe from my recent fav The Eat Clean Diet Cookbook. I realized I didn't have any black beans or corn so I got Danny on the phone (or text) and asked him to grab it before he got home.

I decided on a black bean soup.

Maui Black Bean Soup adapted from the Eat Clean Diet Cookbook

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large carrot, trimmed and chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper chopped
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp chili powder
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 can, (15 oz), drained and rinsed, black beans
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 cup fresh corn
2 links chicken sausage, chopped (I used sun dried tomato basil chicken sausage)
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and chicken sausage and brown. Then add carrots and bell peppers. Saute until onion becomes translucent. Add garlic and spices. Cook about 2 more minutes.

Add stock and tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Using a hand held blender, puree soup. Add corn and beans and let simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 

I left the soup a little chunky to leave some texture to go with the beans and corn. This was perfect with some whole wheat crusty, flaky bread.

Danny always steps it up and adds cheese :)

This soup did NOT disappoint!! 

I basically had everything to make this meal, so this went right along with my budget cooking (that's starting next week). Does anyone else have a food budget? I think this is a resolution that I am adding as of right now! 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Salmon burgers, lunch foods and a budget

Already the start of a new week. I feel like the weeks just roll by faster and faster, especially when the weekends are especially fun. We really hit all the different cuisines this weekend with Italian and Mexican food on saturday and Greek food on Sunday.  We stopped by my mom's so we Danny could watch the Jet's game with people who actually will watch it. 
Sunday we did a whole bunch of errands, including hitting up Target. After all the money on food and things at Target I have officially put myself on a food budget. $200+ a week on food just is not okay when you only feed 2 people. In the past month I have really stocked up the pantry and tried out a whole bunch of new items, but now I need to chill. I'm going to have to start reading the circulars and planning out more. I used to make a list and then go to the stores that had the best price and add in whatever I had coupons for, but that kind of fell to the waste side. Also we started buying ONLY organic milk, meats and lettuce. I occasionally buy some more organic produce but that is kind of random week to week. While I am happy we have switched to many organic items, I still need to be better at spending less. Obviously I will have weeks where I spend more (like when I do go to Whole Foods 1x every 4-6 weeks) but for the most part I am going to try to stick to $100 a week. 
Anyways, after we had dinner and my mom did our we did our laundry we went home. I had to make my lunch and Danny's lunch for the week. 

I just love these little bok choy guys. They are so small and cute! I chopped some of them up and threw them into my salad. I also included 1/2 of a wild salmon burger from Whole Foods. They are minimally processed and I could read every single ingredient on the list! 

I also whipped up some hummus because I am obsessed to add protein and fiber to my lunch. 

Organic spring mix, bok choy, cucumbers, organic cherry tomatoes, carrots, hummus, 1/4 avocado, crumbled goat cheese and sprout. Oh yea, and 1/2 the salmon burger. 

Danny's been having turkey burgers for case anyone was wondering. :)

Preview for tomorrow's post....

Have a great, relaxing, night! 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

An almost coffee disaster!

Good morning! How is your weekend going so far? I love Sundays because they are pretty relaxing, but don't love them because it means the next day is back to work, but at 9:30 am, I'm not really thinking about that right now. After a VERY exciting day yesterday (one of my friends got her wedding dress!!) Andddd we celebrated her birthday with pizza at Otto, mexican food, No Pudge Brownies and Fro-Yo...
After all that excitement I woke up at my really late time of 7:30 and basically as soon as I open my eyes I am ready for a cup of coffee. I stumbled into the kitchen to get it going and to my dismay there were NO more coffee filters!! After freaking out for about 3 minutes and tearing apart all my drawers where there may have been a .01% chance of a stray filter lying around, I decided I needed to have something to eat to calm me down.  
I got together a bowl of chobani vanilla greek yogurt, a handful each of goji berries, cacao nibs and my granola-ish oatmeal. After I ate that I felt like I had my head on straight and could figure this out...where else do i turn but...GOOGLE.  (I know Danny's mom will be laughing about the fact I googled this when she reads this post...) All I googled was "no coffee filter" and a nice little video popped up that instructed me to use a paper towel.  I had thought about that for a second before, but I was unsure of how well it would work. Well after watching this cute little video I decided even if it failed, it was worth a shot.  

I folded the paper towel in half 2x. I held it like a diamond and put 3 folds on one side and 1 on the other. I trimmed it a little bit and then put the grinds in. magic!

Now I was happy...sorry for the blurry picture, but this is how I feel without any coffee in the morning. This was a great fix in a a really lazy non-moving situation hurry. 

I am off the finish my coffee, head to the gym to do a treadmill workout and then make some stops to see my family.

I had a little reader request for some crock pot recipes (which I don't have, I don't know how...) and after pulling some out I found one more from another blog I like. It is a soup recipe for Arugula, Carrot and potato soup. I definitely plan on trying this without a crock pot. Have a great day!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Turkey Tacos!

Happy Friday blog readers! Did you have a good week? I had a pretty good Friday, but it's even better now because I am in my favorite spot on my couch, catching up on Grey's, drinking coffee and waiting for Danny to bring dinner home to me. How can it get better than that? I just came back from Whole Foods, Apple, J.Crew and Starbucks...a lovely Friday afternoon. 

I spent a whole bunch of money at Whole Foods on things like dark chocolate chips for baking, whole wheat flour, spelt flour (not really sure why, but why not, right??), chobani (on sale..score), frozen acai, some Larabars and many more items. Why do you always spend about 3x more than you think? Or is that just me? I also picked up some wild salmon burgers to throw onto my lunch salads, so I'm excited to try them this week. 

I've been kind of obsessed with my spiralizer and using it to make "spaghetti". I've been throwing it on top of (or below) everything lately, salads, hummus, veges. I haven't really been using it as a substitution to carbs at all (because I LOVE my whole wheat bread....and there's no getting rid of that...). I've been using it as more of a topping or enhancer to my meals. 

So good....

Anyways, on to a recipe. In my quest to give up (or mostly) processed foods, I have stopped buying packets, as in packets to make salad dressing, tacos and fajitas. When I went to make tacos the other night I realized I had never made it without a packet. So after sticking my head in the spice drawer I pulled out: red pepper flakes, cumin, black pepper, sea salt, cayenne pepper and chili powder. 

I had lean ground turkey meat defrosted. First, I heated up about 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and browned 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1/2 a white onion. After it was browned I lowered the heat and threw the ground turkey in the pan. I put in about 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth. I let the meat cook on medium and stirred it every couple of minutes. When the chicken broth dried up I added about 1/2 cup of water and added the spices. I wish I measured everything, but sad to say I didn't. I sprinkled an even amount over the top of each spice (cumin, black pepper, sea salt, cayenne pepper and chili powder ) I added just about 3/4 tsp of red pepper flakes because I didn't want it to be that spicy.  Stir everything around. Once it is cooked through, give it a taste and see if you need more of anything. You can always add more, but can't take away! 

I wasn't surprised that not using the packet was way better, like way, way better. So give it a try and give up those processed foods with me. 

We wrapped the turkey meat in some whole wheat naan and added some mexican cheese. We just can't get away from that naan, it is just SO good with EVERYTHING! If you haven't made it, you MUST try! 

I am looking forward to many things this weekend, including, couch, relaxing, yoga, coffee, friends time, city time, dinner date time, etc. What are you doing this weekend?? 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Treats and Eats

Hello! This middle of the week came fast, even though today was pretty slow. Today was a long day filled with a meeting and I was pretty stressed when I walked out of work. I made it to the gym pretty quick, but it took me 20 minutes to find a spot. I was all ready to leave when I made one more loop around the block and found a pretty awesome spot. I knew I needed to stay because I was so stressed and frustrated, so I changed quick and did 40 minutes on the elliptical. I came home and did 10 minutes of yoga-ish stretching on the floor and then got to cooking dinner.  

This post is from last nights baking/cooking extravaganza. Danny wanted some chocolate chip cookies so I made the batter a couple hours before when I got home from work and let it sit for a couple of hours (even though the recipe says 24 hours, I was lazy wanted to be done with baking for the week. 

This time I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao chips because that all I had. We rolled them into balls before we baked them.


So good, and worth it for a treat every once in awhile.

Yesterday I went to the food store because I needed some more vegetables. I decided to stop at a food store near my school, in Flushing. It is a pretty new store and looked nice from the outside so I went for it. It was HUGE on the inside with every type of fruit and vege imaginable. It was pretty cheap also and I walked out spending $12! 

On the left is a bag of baby bok choy and that HUGE carrot was only .89! Also they had bags of frozen edamame out of the pods for $.99. I was pretty excited!

I also received a present (that I paid for) in the mail. I needed more goji berries so I decided to get it from and also got maca and chia seeds. I put a tsp of maca in my yogurt this morning and the first couple of bites tasted a little funky, but after it mixed in it tasted better. The chia seeds are still sitting unopened. Anyone have any suggestions on what to do with them??

The last thing I did yesterday was make dinner, which was pizza. I added about 1/8 cup flax seeds to the dough and it really gave it a nutty flavor. I put veges on 1/4 and cheese on 3/4 to make everyone happy (and by everyone I mean Danny and myself...)

One of my favorite dinners...quick and easy.

Hope everyone has a great rest of the night. I'm finishing up the Biggest Loser from last night and then watching Modern Family. Yes...fav night of the week.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Seared Tuna with White Beans

Yesterday I had a very quiet productive day. Every once in awhile I enjoy having a day to myself, around my apartment to just get things done, straighten up and bake. I posted yesterday all about the baking I did, so today I wanted to share the dinner I made. Going along with my 2010 resolutions, I made a new recipe. I really have been averaging two new recipes a week, but I'm sure that will slow down to one eventually. 

A couple of weeks ago I went through my cookbooks and post-d all the recipes I would like to try. Right now, I have been going back and forth between the Eat Clean diet cookbook and Rachael Ray's Book of 10. So last night I made an adaptation of her Seared Tuna Steaks on White Beans. I changed a couple of things for one reason or another and made it my own.  

The pictures I took are terrible and blurry, but it came out so good I want to include them anyway. One day I'll get better at this when I get a new camera

Yum. Danny had this with fresh whole wheat pasta (made not by me, but an Italian market, Iavarrone Brothers). I had this with a little bit of Ezekial pasta. It was my first time trying it and I was a bit skeptical but I can say it tastes JUST like whole wheat pasta. It only needs to cook for 3-4 minutes. Beware of over-cooking because it can get chewy (says my mom and she's always right.)

Seared Tuna Steaks with White Beans
adapted from: Rachael Ray's Book of 10

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 large onion, chopped 
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 large pinch red pepper flakes
salt and black pepper
4- 6 ounce tuna steaks about 1 1/2 inches thick (or 1 for each person)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/4 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 bag dried white beans (cooked) or 2 (14) ounce cans
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
5 to 6 button mushrooms, chopped or sliced
1/2 cup fresh parsley
juice of 1/2 lemon

Place a large skillet on the stovetop with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Turn the heat to medium low and add the sliced garlic and let it brown. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the onions, celery, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onions become tender. Add the mushrooms. When the oil evaporates start to add the chicken stock in small increments, about 1/4 cup at a time.
While the onions are cooking, season the tuna on both sides with salt and pepper. Place another large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the pan gets hot put the tuna in the oil. Cook for 2 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat to medium and cover for about 7 more minutes to make it medium (more or less depending on how cooked or rare you want the tuna). 
While the tuna is cooking add the white wine vinegar and the remaining chicken stock. Add the diced tomatoes and white beans and bring to a boil.  Add the parsley and lemon juice. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve by piling the tuna on the bean dish. If you'd like, add whole wheat pasta.

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Applesauce Pumpkin Muffins with Cranberries

I love days off! I am very content right now sitting on my couch after a pretty productive today. I haven't seen or felt the outside world all day and that's just fine. I was supposed to go into the city for some lunch with pals, but it didn't work out. 
I was up nice and early and after cup of coffee numero uno I did Fitnessista's Winter Shape Up 2010 workout. It kicked my butt! After doing 4 sets of that I did about 40 minutes of yoga from Exercise TV. It wasn't the most challenging one (I hadn't done that one before) but it did stretch me out.  I can tell I am definitely more flexible since starting yoga at the beginning of January, but I still have A LOT of work to do to get me in 1/5 of the place of those instructors. I look forward to getting in some serious stretching, I can't believe it took me so long to try it out!
After my workout I had some serious baking to get in. In an effort to avoid processed foods I baked muffins and cookies at home. In the morning Danny and I take a muffin as part of our breakfast.  A couple weeks ago I bought turbinado sugar (because it is less processed than refined white sugar) so I used that to make the baked goods I made today. 
I made dark pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and muffins (both with whole wheat flour and turbinado sugar). I made a new type of muffin and then I made the batter for chocolate chip cookies for Danny. Those cookies had plenty of white sugar and white flour, but at least it's homemade and a once in awhile treat.  Your supposed to let the batter sit for 24-36 hours but I think 4-6 hours will do for these because I'm impatient and want all the baking done.

Applesauce Pumpkin Muffins with Cranberries

I love the color the cranberries add to the batter.

What a mess....


Adapted from The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook

1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup skim milk
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup cranberries (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray.
2. Combine oatmeal, pumpkin, applesauce, milk, eggs and oil. Mix until it is well blended. 
3. Measure and mix all dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add cranberries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until browned on top.

 These muffins come in at about 190 calories and are delicious. Definitely a healthy treat for breakfast or a snack!

After I finished my baking I made lunch for today and the next two days.  Salad with 1/2 vege burger, 1/4 avocado, crumbled goat cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts and 1 piece of ezekial bread. 

I also stumbled upon this salsa that has huge chunks of red pepper, black beans and corn in it. I've been eating it like this...

I am off to finished Grey's and the rest of my DVR! Have a great MLK day!


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