Monday, January 03, 2011
I am Trying a New Recipe: Garlic-Cheese Grits
I am making grits as a side dish to go along with Grandma’s Meatloaf and broccoli in a light cheese sauce for dinner tonight.
I have never made grits before. I can only remember having them once as a child. My parents had been to Florida on a short vacation and had them for breakfast. So my Mom made them for us kids. I don’t even remember what they tasted like or if I liked them or not.
Anyway, one of my goals for the New Year is to continue trying new foods and new recipes.
This recipe is from EatingWell.
It makes 6 Servings of about 2/3 cup per serving.
Calories per serving are 168.
• 4 1/2 cups water
• 1 cup grits, quick or old-fashioned (not instant)
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
• 1/2 cup grated sharp Italian cheese, such as Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
• 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or 1 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Bring water, grits and salt to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer until the grits are thick, 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of grits.
3. Meanwhile, combine oil and garlic in a small skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
4. Stir the oil and garlic into the grits along with the cheeses and cayenne (or hot sauce); transfer to the prepared pan.
5. Bake, uncovered, until bubbling and crusty on top, about 45 minutes.
Tips & Notes ~
•Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.
Per serving: 168 calories; 6 g fat (3 g sat, 2 g mono); 16 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 1 g fiber; 264 mg sodium; 35 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (15% daily value).
6 servings, about 2/3 cup each
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1-1 1/2 hours
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Can 8 Kitchen Gadgets Help You Get And Stay Thin?
I am a total foodie. Love to cook, bake, eat, try recipes and play with kitchen gadgets.
I grabbed my January, 2011 issue of Health magazine this afternoon to just sit back and read; another thing I love to do…read magazines.
Of course, the article titled: “8 Kitchen Tools That Keep You Thin” caught my eye.
The article started by saying that most of us know which foods to avoid and which to keep on hand when we are trying to stay or get slim. But do we know what kitchen gadgets we should have on hand? The article claims that having the right prep and cooking tools are key to keeping those extra pounds away.
I scanned the list. What do I have in my own kitchen? What on the list would I like to acquire?
Would having these tools really help me slash the calories and fat from my diet?
1. Immersion Blender – to whip up smoothies or soups – I don’t have one.
2. Steamer – to cook vegetables without adding oil – I do have several types of these & I do use my steamer basket and like it.
3. Oil Mister –fill it with canola or olive oil to mist bottom of pans – I used to have one.
4. Apple Divider – for coring and cutting apples so you can bag them and take them with you – I used to have one, but it broke. I really should replace it.
5. Herb Mill – tool to cut fresh herbs with out the mess – I don’t have one of these, but – maybe I should!
6. Grater/Zester – for grating cheeses or small amounts of chocolate; or for making lemon or orange zest – I have a couple of these and absolutely love them!
7. Handheld Chopper – easy way to chop vegetables for soups, salads, etc. I have had several of these. The current one I am using and loving is the Vidalia Onion Chopper. It is a kitchen tool I use almost everyday. Chops onions perfectly. I’d be lost without it!
8. Kitchen Scissors – to cut fat off meats, trim vegetables, cut pizza and snipe herbs. Yes, I have a couple and I use them everyday too.
I have to agree. Most of these tools are worth the investment. None are terribly expensive.
I will look into getting an Immersion Blender, a new Oil Mister, a new Apple Divider and maybe the Herb Mill.
Did any of these sound interesting and helpful to you?
Happy Cooking in 2011!
~ Maria ~
Monday, December 27, 2010
Exercise as Pleasure not Punishment
With so many holiday treats within my reach these past few weeks, I started to think in terms of how much exercise I need to do in order to eat one (or more) of these treats. As I thought about it more, I decided that if I did this too often, I would come to HATE exercise eventually. And that wasn’t something I want do. I want to LOVE exercise because it helps me feel good and stay healthy. Not because I want to punish myself for eating more than I planned or wanted to eat. It would be a cycle that I have fallen into in the past. A mistake I really don’t want to continue to make.
So I went searching for some information.
Information on ‘how NOT to use exercise as punishment.’
I found something that really puts it into proper perspective, at least for me.
Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat is a book by Michelle May, MD
She also has a Blog @ www.eatwhatyoulovelovewhatyoueat.com .
Here’s a piece about negative eating and exercising from there:
If I want to eat 2 chocolate truffles, I have to bike for 20 minutes.
Exercise is for health and vitality, not for earning the right to eat or punishing yourself for eating.
This kind of message often has the opposite effect. Instead of causing people to decide that the food isn't worth it, they decide that the exercise isn't worth it.
Subconsciously, the message people hear is, "If you eat _______ (fill in the blank with something you love), you have to do X minutes of _______ (fill in the blank with some dreaded exercise). No wonder so many people say they hate to exercise!
To illustrate this kind of approach to eating, just imagine if it were the other way around:
If I want to bike for 20 minutes, I have to eat two chocolate truffles.
Why do we think it makes sense the other way around?
Doesn’t that make YOU stop and think too? It made me stop and now I am thinking.
Do you ever punish yourself with exercise for eating more than you planned?
Or do you ever make yourself exercise so that you can eat something?
From now on, I am going to make exercise a pleasurable experience in it’s own rite.
No food attached.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I started this ‘Incredible Journey’ 6 Months ago today (6-16-10)!
On June 16, 2010 I registered and became a member of Spark People.
I hoped to somehow figure out how to eat better and get back to walking.
I needed some plan, some tool to help me monitor all of this.
I had been in to see my doctor the Friday before for my annual physical check up.
I had planned on getting serious about improving my health once I got through my physical exam. Then I’d get down to business.
Every year it was the same old thing…I’d tell him that I knew I needed to lose weight. That over the winter I had put some weight on and usually during the summer I got it off (but, I was always already overweight before I put the winter weight on).
He would say: “Eat a little less, exercise a little more. And move to a warmer climate in the winter.” And that would usually be the end of the conversation on weight issues. I don’t have any health issues like high blood pressure or pre-diabetes or high cholesterol, YET. But I do have knees that ache from the weight that they carry each day.
This visit my doctor had a young female medical student interning with him. I mentioned some stomach upset. She prescribed a prescription anti-acid. I didn’t think that was really necessary. I mentioned that my feet hurt some times. They referred me to the resident podiatrist for follow up. My doctor than said I was a surgeons dream…knee or hip replacement could be in my future. He had never mentioned anything this drastic before. Now I knew I had to get serious and make those changes that I had contemplated for way too long.
And that my dear Spark Friends is how I ended up here on June 16, 2010.
What has it been like?
WOW! It’s been way more positive than I ever could have imagined.
I log my food each day – and I have learned so much from the instant feedback my Food Tracker gives me.
I have gotten back into walking each day. At least 10,000 steps again. Many days it’s much more than that.
I have even taken up more strenuous exercise that I am really seeing physical results from. I never thought that I would be one to ‘sculpt’ my body with exercise. But it’s happening.
The energy I have is amazing. I have to stop and think about that. When a person takes a program like this, one day at a time – one doesn’t realize all the changes that have occurred unless one really stops and takes inventory.
I can do my daily chores and not be out of breath or dreading them.
Because I have energy left over to do other things each day.
I sleep so much better. My husband says I am snoring less. I still wake up several times a night, but I am able to go back to sleep fairly easily. I wake up and for the most part feel well rested on about 7 hours of sleep a night.
My step seems so much lighter. It’s easier to walk. There’s a healthy, happy spring in my step.
My attitude is improving. I have to work on this each day. You see, I was a ‘the glass is half empty” person. Now I am becoming ‘the glass is half full’ person.
I feel so supported here in all areas of personal development.
Spark People helps one develop all those intricate parts of one’s self: Body, Mind and Spirit.
Now for the cold hard facts ~ as of today: 12-16-10
WEIGHT: I have lost 33.1 pounds (the tracker wouldn’t let me enter my starting weight with .5 of a pound more when I started – it just rounded me down. So I have lost an additional .5 of a pound.)
BMI: I have gone from 35.4 to 29.8
WAIST: I have lost 6 inches
HIPS: I have lost 9 inches
THIGH: I have lost 4 inches
UPPER ARM: I have lost 1.5 inches
I was wearing a tight Size 16W or a Miss Size 18.
I now wear a Miss Size 14 or 16.
My energy continues to improve.
My attitude is positive most of the time.
My sleep is productive and restful.
Six months ago I would have only dreamed that I would feel this good!
Thank you Spark Friends for all your support & friendship.
Each day is a joy and a new opportunity to be the best me I can be!
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