Sunday, February 21, 2010
One of the meals that I am slowly trying to get away from is also the easiest meal for me to make! Zap some dogs, zap some beans, plop some salad on a plate. Done! The meal literally takes about five minutes from start to eating. So what is it? We refer to it as the “hot dog meal.”
Baked beans eaten with FSTG (food should taste good) chips, potato salad eaten with cucumber, and a "hot dog." No utensils necessary! Come on, yummy! No? Well, to each their own. =)
Earlier in the day I’ll make my own potato salad with red potatoes, mustard, (unclean) relish and (unclean) mayo. Now using greek or plain yogurt for the mayo is pretty easy, but what to do about the relish? I use a tablespoon for the salad, and I use a bit more on top of my “hot dog.”
I’m sure I could make my own relish, but I use just over a tablespoon a week. I have found “clean” eating to be the hardest when it comes to meals like this. I love relish! But I don’t use it enough to convince me to take the time to make my own. Then what would I do with it? Freeze it and attempt to scrape out enough for me to use each week?
The other “unclean” part that so far has been hard for me to fix is the baked beans. I only eat about a third of a cup of beans. I could make up a batch of my own beans I suppose, but it seems like it would take a lot of effort to make them in my slow cooker and then put them…somewhere to portion out the tiny amount I have each week. Ugh, silly can of easy to dish out and zap in seconds, beans!
The easiest part to change? Definitely the “dogs.” I can make my own veggie burgers so I’m sure I could my own veggie dogs. I could probably even use the same recipe, although I’m not sure how exactly I would cook them…..
I just eat the most random things I guess and it seems easier to try and clean up my existing meals than to create so many new ones. I am so new at this “clean eating” thing that sometimes I just feel like I am in over my head. So I give up for a night and just make one of my usual staples.
The other thing that I’ve still had problems with is finding a salsa recipe I actually like. Plus it makes up a ton and I use…maybe two tablespoons a week? I don’t really feel like making up a salsa batch each week, but then I also don’t know how to store salsa so that it will last, and also be easy for me to dish out my small portion.
I just enjoy things in small doses? I don’t know! How do people do this? The dinners I make are completely different from one another. I don’t reuse the same items. I like the variety.
So I guess my question for today is: what are your dinners like? Do you make up a batch of something at the beginning of the week that you use throughout? Do you ever worry about the chemicals you’re consuming?
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Aubrey and I haven't made any new recipes lately, but we did start growing some herbs at home. We have had this kit to grow herbs for....I have absolutely no idea. More than a year? Quite awhile. It just kept sitting on a bookshelf just begging to be used.
So we broke it out and chose four of the herb options that we thought we might use the most.
Dill and Sweet Basil
Chives and Cilantro
We don't really know what we're doing, but so far they seem to be doing alright. Does anyone have any experience at this? We are basically just following the instructions on the box and hoping it works out! Especially since I LOVE cilantro!!
We were going to experiment some more for dinner last night, but were invited to go out to eat. I actually did really well with eating out. There was a salad bar and I only ate a romaine salad, with veggies, a little hardboiled egg and fruit on the side. I got a taco salad with a bit of refried beans, shredded lettuce, and avocado. I didn't eat the shell. THEN, I was given a bag of candy as a late Valentine's Day present. And not just any candy, but jellybeans and Cookies & Cream hearts. Jellybeans are yummy, but did not tempt me nearly as much as those dang cookies & cream hearts. I LOVE THEM. With a great passion. So yup, I ate all six of them. Bah!
I've been doing better when the cravings come (more like smack me across the face), but I am nowhere near perfect! I actually try pretty hard to eat on a schedule as it really squashes the urge to eat whatever I can get my hands on.
Pistachios still rock by the way. So glad I finally just tried them!
Oh and when I'm really craving something sweet, but want to keep it healthy I have been pairing red grapes with all-natural string cheese. I like to freeze the grapes for about 10-15 minutes and it gives them this great texture. Takes away the icky texture of when they are too watery, but they aren't in there enough to actually get frozen, which my teeth are very thankful for!
That's all I have for now!
What do you do when cravings jump out at you from nowhere?
Thursday, February 18, 2010
It is amazing how I can look up some recipes and make them the exact same day, while other recipes I will put in my “try it” pile and it is days, weeks, or even a month before I give them a try.
The recipe I tried today was one of those that I have known about for more than a month and yet I just never took the time to actually make it. I found it on Spark Recipes and it is actually by Coach Stepfanie. You can find the original recipe here:
I read some of the reviews and did add a couple of things. It was really good! I can’t wait to try a number of the variations mentioned in the reviews.
You start off with four bananas.
Chop them up and freeze overnight. (I forgot to take a picture until I had already blended everything so I took a picture of another frozen banana I had in the freezer).
I pulsed it in my food processor a few times to break up the chunks some more. Then I added about an eighth of a cup of water and a teaspoon of vanilla and blended it until it reached a soft-serve consistency.
I dished it into four portions and put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to harden up. It isn’t exactly like soft-serve ice cream, but it was kinda close. I decided to top mine with about an 1/8 of a teaspoon of cinnamon. Then I mixed in how much I wanted with each bite.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of eating ice cream out of a dish. I very much prefer eating it directly out of a sugar cone. But, I know that the whole point of making banana “ice cream” is to have a much healthier dessert! I will definitely make it again (and I’ll try another portion tomorrow) and see if there is any way I could use it as a dessert since I love ending my day with a little something sweet. It is the calmest part of my day and I truly enjoy it! And right now my guilty pleasure is slow churned ice cream. I am absolutely in love with it!
The problem with it? Yup, full of chemicals. Even “natural” ice creams are full of much more sugar than I need. I have read people use just eat a piece of chocolate or something else that’s small. But that is just not me! I need a dessert that I can savor and takes me awhile to eat. An ice cream cone can last me a good 20 minutes. And I know one day, when I finally become a mom, I won’t be able to always savor something for that long!
Are you as crazy about sweets as me? Or are you a salt person?
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Recently my husband and I went on a road trip to visit his mom. I knew we would be on the road for most of the day and I had no clue what I was going to eat. In the past, we would have stopped by a drive-thru, eaten out with his mom once we got there, and then stopped by another drive-thru on the ride home.
I knew I did not want to do that, since I have been eating a lot cleaner. Sitting in a car for a long trip coupled with eating pure junk was simply not going to make me feel very good. So I decided to be proactive about it and I made my battle plan.
I ate a small, but filling breakfast right before we left (ok, so my breakfast wasn’t clean, but VitaMuffins are so yummy and filling!)
And then I chopped up the veggies for a hummus wrap. My favorite veggies to mix with hummus are diced broccoli, cucumber, and radishes. For the picture I left the broccoli whole since it makes kind of a mess! But I diced it at as well.
I mix about a cup’s worth of diced veggies with a quarter cup of hummus. Just enough for great flavor, but not too much or the sodium is killer!
I didn’t want my wrap to get soggy so I packaged everything up separately. I had my hummus mixture in one container, romaine lettuce in another, and my wrap in its own. I also had a side of Food Should Taste Good potato chips.
My only problem with doing it this way was that the veggies were not very crunchy by the time I ate. The hummus had softened them up so the texture was a bit off. But otherwise, I did fairly well balancing everything in my lap to assemble and then eat.
I ate right before we arrived so there wasn’t any need to go out to eat. We had a nice long chat with his mom and then he set out to fix her computer while she and I talked some more.
When it was time to head back, it was also just about time for me to eat again. I had brought the fantastically yummy apple chips with me:
And in case I was still hungry (and for some protein) I brought a Kashi Go Lean Roll. Not exactly 100% clean, but very filling and tasty. I have the hardest problem giving up snacks of mine that have been staples for SO long. I just haven’t found substitutes that taste as good and are actually filling. But I really should cut these out, mostly because they use whey protein as one of the ingredients which my body doesn’t digest well. For some reason it just doesn’t like whey!
So instead of having them as often as I was, I have been trying to have only one or two a week. I have tried making my own protein bars/granola bars at home, but like I said, I just can’t seem to find a recipe I like that is also filling. Same with high-fiber muffins! I can make some okay tasting ones, but none as low calorie or as incredibly filling as VitaMuffins.
So was it a perfect day? No. But I think I did a lot better than usual. No eating total junk for me! And we even made it to the gym! Which was desperately needed after sitting all day.
Do you travel often? Or do you do it rarely and just eat what you can?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I know I have already typed a blog about this dish, but I thought I would add some pictures of the process. We had it again recently (because it’s YUMMY) and I snagged some photos.
So far, this is the only recipe I have had ever had quinoa in. And since it is so good I am definitely looking into new recipes that utilize it.
Since the recipe calls for three cups of cooked quinoa, we need to cook it up! So I rinse one cup of quinoa in a fine meshed strainer. Then in a medium saucepan heat it with two cups of water until boiling. You can also add about a teaspoon of salt, but like I’ve said before, I don’t add salt to anything.
Then reduce the heat, cover it and simmer until the water is absorbed and it fluffs up, about 15-20 minutes. Drain away any excess water and set aside.
The second thing to be premade is the broccoli pesto. To make it, blanch two cups of broccoli. Then in a food processor, puree the broccoli with three cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup of slivered almonds, two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice and an ounce of freshly grated parmesan cheese. (If you want salt also, add one teaspoon). Drizzle in olive oil and blend until desired consistency. I personally add about two tablespoons of EVOO.
My magic bullet in progress:
For the “double” broccoli part of the recipe, more broccoli needs to be blanched. So blanch two more cups of broccoli (or you can be lazy like me and blanch all four cups at once and then just divide it in half, using half in the pesto and setting the other half aside).
To the broccoli that was set aside add 1/3 cup of slivered almonds.
Then add the quinoa that was premade.
And then grab the broccoli pesto to mix it in.
My portion of the final product:
I eat it with a salad, but for you meat eaters I bet it would pair well with chicken or fish.
So that’s the recipe for Double Broccoli Quinoa in story form. If you prefer it with a list of ingredients and then the directions, feel free to check out my previous quinoa blog here:
What was for dinner at your house tonight?
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