Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Making the Most of Your Vegetables

Per request, I'm going to show you how to use one red bell pepper and one white onion in 3 different meals.

Last night's dinner...

Meal 1: Fajitas/ Fajita Salad ~ Serves 2 (Forgot to take a picture :( Sorry!)
-1 small green pepper
-1 very large red pepper
-1/2 white onion
-1 bag Tyson beef strips
-1 can fat-free re-fried beans
-2 cups shredded Romain lettuce OR 3 small Mission Corn Tortillas
-Light sour cream
-Reduced fat shredded cheddar

1. In a large skillet, heat up beef strips. Meanwhile, start cutting up peppers and onion into strips. Reserve 1/2 the Red Pepper for later meals.
2. After beef is cooked, transfer to a plate. Add a drizzle of olive oil and veggies to same skillet and cook until onion is translucent and peppers have softened.
3. While veggies are cooking, start heating up the re-fried beans in a pot or microwave (if you're lucky to have one that isn't broken, like ours! )
4. While everything is cooking, start cleaning and shredding the lettuce.
5. By the time you're done with the lettuce the veggies should be ready. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the meat back into the the skillet and cover. This way the meat gets re-heated without drying out.

Tortilla Version:
In a small skillet, heat both sides of tortilla for about 45 sec or until you can fold it without it breaking. (You do NOT need to add oil to skillet! ) Corn tortillas are tricky. They have to be super hot otherwise they'll crack. I do not recommend the microwave. In my experience they got mushy heating them up that way.
613 Cal, 18g Fat, 1492mg Sodium, 119mg Potassium, 71g Carbs, 15g Fiber, 11g Sugar, 41g Protein
49% Vit A, 142% Vit C, 40% Calcium, 26% Iron

Salad Version:
Spread 1/2 cup re-fried beans on your plate. Add 2 cups romaine. Top with 1/2 skillet mixture, 1/4 cup shredded cheese, 2 Tbsp sour cream, 2 Tbsp salsa.
419 Cal, 15g Fat, 1484mg Sodium, 352mg Potassium, 32 Carbs, 11g Fiber,  6g Sugar, 36g Protein
158% Vit A, 180%Vit C, 37% Calcium, 25% Iron

Note: This is a great meal for say a husband and wife. I'm trying to do no refined carbs at night, but Ryan isn't. With this meal I can opt for the low carb salad option without forcing Ryan to do the same. Both versions are healthy. :)

The next morning....

Meal 2: Omelet w/ Banana and Coffee ~ Serves 1

I ate the banana before my run this morning and made the omelet and coffee afterwards.

-2 large organic eggs
-1 Tbsp organic milk
-1 cup baby spinach
-1/3 cup chopped Baby Bella mushrooms (I just broke mine)
-2 leftover red pepper strips from the night before, broken up into pieces
-1/8 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

1. In small skillet, heat up mushrooms and peppers. Once softened, add spinach and wilt. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.
2. Whisk eggs and milk in bowl. In a small non-stick skillet, spay a non stick spray and heat until hot. Add  egg mixture. Reduce heat. Once the egg mixture had solidified, flip it over. Cook other side until done.
3. Transfer to plate, sprinkle on cheese, and then fold both sides in so that the cheese can melt. Top with skillet mixture and enjoy! :)

357 Cal, 14g Fat, 271mg Sodium, 822mg Potassium, 39g Carbs, 7g Fiber, 4g Sugar, 19g Protein
115% Vit A, 77% Vit C, 22% Calcium,  15%Iron

For lunch...

Meal 3: Chicken "Fried" Rice ~ Serves 2

-1, 6 ounce Chicken breast
-1/4 Red Pepper, chopped (I used the remaining red pepper from last night's dinner)
-1/2 cup baby carrots, chopped
-1/2 cup frozen peas
-1/3 cup Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped
-1 garlic clove chopped (I chopped 2, I'll use the other later in the week)
-1/2 white onion, chopped (I used the remaining onion from last night's dinner)
-2 large organic eggs
-1pkg Uncle Ben's 90 sec Brown  Rice
-2 Tbsp Soy sauce (reduced sodium)
-2 Tbsp Newman's Own Sesame Ginger Dressing

1. Chop all vegetables and set aside.
2. Cut up boneless, skinless chicken breast into cubes. Meanwhile, prepare large skillet by placing over high heat. Remove from heat to spray with non-stick cooking spray and then return to heat. Add chicken and cook about 7 min or until chicken is cooked through. Season with sea salt and pepper while they're cooking. Set cooked chicken to the side in a bowl and cover to keep warm.
3. In same skillet, spray more non-stick cooking spray and add veggies, stirring frequently. While veggies are cooking, prepare Uncle Ben's 90 sec brown rice in microwave or skillet... I had to use a skillet at the time because our microwave was broken. :( But it's fixed now! :) Add the cooked rice in with your veggies.
4. In a bowl add 2 Tbsp Newman's Dressing and 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce and set aside.
5. In another bowl whisk 2 large organic eggs and set aside.
6. By this time your veggies should be cooked. Make a clearing in the middle of your pan. Remove from heat, spray with cooking spray, and then return to heat. In the clearing, add the eggs. Scramble them as they cook. When eggs are cooked, stir them into veggie/rice mixture.
7. Re-add the chicken pieces and drizzle the reserved sauce over everything. Cook about 2 min or until sauce is absorbed.
Enjoy! :)

483 Cal, 10g Fat, 981mg Sodium, 380mg Potassium, 55g Carbs, 6g Fiber, 6g Sugar, 32g Protein
145% Vit A, 65% Vit C,  8% Calcium,  20% Iron

The book I referenced was the
 Biggest Loser Cookbook
Chicken, Sauce, and Rice

Scrambling the eggs

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Trip to the Lou: The Food!

Funny pic of my mom.
She had already cut up the Duck, darn it. 
My mom saved this bottle just for me... I wonder why? ;)

 Home Cooked Meals: My favorites!
-Duck with mashed potatoes and green beans with bread crumbs.
-Chicken Spiedini with broccoli, brown rice, and stuffed mushrooms!

"The Square Beyond Compare" 

Imo's: I ate it twice while I was home! Half of an extra large all to myself! Yum! 
I will keep trying to replicate this pizza... got the authentic cheese from my brother Dan and the sauce. Now if only I could figure out that wafer-thin crust! I'll probably have some more shipped to Las Vegas before that happens. 

Mom at The Women's Exchange
The famous Woman's Exchange Salad, half eaten. ;)
The Woman's Exchange:
I've been going here for years! My friend Cathy introduced me to this place when were kids. The organization is 128 years old!!! For more info go to  I've only ever gotten their salad. I never wanted to try anything else because it's amazing! I love visiting this tea room every time I go home.

I've been here once before, when I registered at Crate and Barrel. 

Enjoying my Mocha. 

A random coffee house in Clayton. Sometimes it's just nice to have a coffee from somewhere other than Starbucks. ;) I had a Mocha and we split a Chocolate Eclair and I had no idea how many calories were in either!

Not featured:
The Pasta House- Their salad and lasagna are to die for! 
Bread Co-I know we have Panera in Las Vegas, but it feels more authentic to eat it in STL, because it's called St. Louis Bread Company there.
Penn Station-The best subs ever. Period.

Didn't make it to Lion's Choice, Fritz's, or Culvers...maybe next time. ;)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mind Your Health Mondays: Blueberries and Binges

I was trying to eat healthier this week. I bought fresh fruit, veggies, healthy snacks, and planned dinners for the week. Then on Saturday night I came home to 6 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies and all my good intentions went out the window. Cookies are my favorite dessert and I have been devouring them like there's no tomorrow!

Most of my life I've been in constant competition for snack foods. Get to it first or don't get any; that's reality when you grow up with three siblings, two of them being boys! It's a hard habit to break, let me tell ya! Nowadays I compete with Ryan but it's completely unnecessary. Ryan is perfectly fine eating moderate amounts of snack foods. I bought Popchips this week and they were gone in 2 days. :( They were just sooo good, and in moderation are good for you. They are the snack of choice for fitness guru Jillian Michaels. I just wanted to make sure I got enough of them even though Ryan told me didn't care for them. Ryan's snacks, on the other hand, will last him for weeks at a time! He's had a bag or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups sitting in our pantry for months and it's driving me crazy! If I wasn't allergic to peanuts, they would be gone. But the fact that it bothers me that they're still there tells me I have a problem! I actually get anxious about the snacks. I've considered hiding the snacks when we're running low. It's so bad that Ryan is forced to buy snacks I despise or am allergic to. How sad is that?! I'm convinced that if I wasn't an active person, I'd gain 20lbs in a month.

Does anyone else have the same problem? How do you cope?

On a more positive note...
I bought some blueberries from Fresh and Easy this week and actually used them all! :O Too many times I've let fruits and vegetables rot in the fridge. When I do utilize a fruit or vegetable throughout the week I get excited because it was money well spent! :)

For breakfast, I've been trying to eat 350 Cals and lots of Carbs.
1.) Because I've been running in the morning so I need the extra calories.
2.) In the morning, our bodies need "good" carbs to get energized.
3.) I'm trying not to eat a snack between breakfast and lunch, so again, I need the extra calories.

So here is what I did with blueberries this week :) I come up a few calories short on purpose to make room for my coffee. ;)

Blueberry Almond Oatmeal

1/2 cup Quaker Oatmeal (plain)
2 Tbs Almond Slivers
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 tsp ground cinnamon (to taste)
1 Tbs Honey or Agave Nectar
(For creamier texture, use almond milk instead of water +15 Cal)

341 Cal
10g Fat
1g Sat Fat
Sodium 2mg
59g Carbs
9g Fiber
25g Sugar
10g Protein

Waffles with Hot Blueberry "Syrup"

2 Whole Wheat Flax Waffles
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tbs Agave Nectar

323 Cal
7g Fat
0 Sat Fat
371mg Sodium
62 Carbs
7g Fiber
34g Sugar
5g Protein
23% Vit C

In a sauce pan, heat 1 cup fresh blueberries. Mash berries with a wooden spoon as they heat. Stir continuously so that the berries don't get scorched. Once the berries are hot, stir in 1 Tbsp Agave Nectar. Pour over toasted waffles and enjoy. :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Time Thief!

Bobblehead of Dwight, my favorite character. Thanks Ry!
Scene from: The Office 
Season 5 Episode 2 
"Business Ethics"

Dwight: Time thief. Time thief! Fire him!

Jim: Dwight. You've really never stolen any company time?

Dwight: Never!

Michael: You are a thief of joy.

time thief
nounA stealer of time, especially in a work environment.
The Office Addictionary on

Do you know a time thief? I do! Don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect. A second here, a sip of coffee there, but when it comes down to it, I can honestly say that I give my all at work. 

If you've never seen an episode of the office, start watching now! I don't watch a lot of TV, but every Thursday I make time for The Office. The episode I'm referring to is one of my favorites AND it's available on Netflix ;) Hint. Hint. (It's episode 3 on Netflix for whatever reason)

Jim and Dwight take it to the extreme in this episode, but in all seriousness, what do you do with a repeat time thief offender? Isn't it just as unethical to not turn them in? Thoughts?