Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hours and Hours in the Kitchen

I will talk about this delicious dish that we just finished tonight at the end! Read below!
I spent an insane amount of time in the kitchen this weekend cooking, cleaning dishes, baking, cleaning dishes and cooking more. A perfect weekend for me! On Friday, I planned my weekly menu and then I went shopping on Saturday after my freezing cold run. I love planning everything out! I may not cook everything on the exact day I plan for it, but I like to try!
So the plan is:
Monday: Open Face Eggplant Sandwiches & Eggplant, Chickpea, Tomato Curry (both inspired by Food & Wine)
Tuesday: Quinoa Chili
Wednesday: Stuffed Poblanos
Thursday: Stuffed Portobellos
Friday: Leftovers or out!

Now on to everything I've already cooked! We went to a Potluck dinner last night so I had a lot of cooking to do! Yesterday, I first prepped Kale, Squash, Cheddar Bread Pudding from Bon Appetit. I've made this three times and have always loved it and I think it's fun to bring vegetarian meals to Potluck dinners. You can see the recipe here, but here are the basic steps. I've liked seeing the methods of how people cook on other food blogs, so I thought I would do it on mine when I remember to take the pics! First, cut your squash into tiny squares and bake at 400 for 25 minutes with salt, pepper and EVOO.
Next cut up your french bread in cubes and soak it in the egg, wine, cream mixture. Throw in the fridge and marinate while the squash is cooking.
Then saute the shallots and kale, but keep the bright green color. Then you should have three layers ready to go. Grab the cheddar cheese and your ready to start layering.
Then bake at 350 for 20 minutes with foil and 20 minutes without. And yum! It seemed like people liked this at the party!
In addition for the party, I made
Spiced Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce for the party. This was inspired by Tyler Florence.

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon of tumeric

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips

20 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes

Vegetable oil, for grilling

Sesame Seeds

Green Onions

Instructions: Combine the ginger, garlic, and spices in a shallow mixing bowl, stir to combine. Place the chicken strips in the marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at up to 2 hours (or while you make the peanut sauce and while the skewers soak. Thread the chicken pieces onto the soaked skewers working the skewer in and out of the meat, down the middle of the piece, so that it stays in place during grilling. Place a grill pan over medium heat and brush it with oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Grill the chicken satays for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until nicely seared and cooked through. Serve the satays on a platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve with a large bowl of peanut sauce and dipping trays for people to take with their chicken.
Peanut Sauce
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons red chili paste

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 limes, juiced

1/2 cup chicken broth (or more if needed to smooth it out)

Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, red chili paste, brown sugar, and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Puree to combine. While the motor is running, drizzle in the broth to thin out the sauce. Pour the sauce into a nice serving bowl and serve with chicken satay.
The last thing I brought to the potluck was these fun
Mini Black-Bottom Cheesecakes from Food & Wine. I changed a little bit of this recipe but they were so fun to make and yummy even if my presentation wasn't the best.

Mini Black-Bottom Cheesecakes
(makes 12 cupcakes)
1/2 package Nabisco chocolate wafer cookies (about 24 wafers)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cups sour cream (this was supposed to be fromage blanc but I couldn't find it)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves, warmed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with foil or paper baking cups. (I only had reusable cups so I think that why my cakes didn't look as cute- they were smaller than the ones they pictured in Food & Wine magazine.) Spray each cup with cooking spray. Crush the chocolate wafer cookies in a food processor. Add the butter and process until fine crumbs form. Spoon the chocolate cookie crumbs into the prepared muffin cups (about 1 tablespoon cookies each). Press cookies into bottom of cups with bottom of a glass or shot glass. Bake for 5 minutes, or until almost set. Remove from oven and leave oven at same temperature. Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed in large bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in sour cream, then add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Pour the cheesecake batter into the muffin cups, filling about three-quarters full. Bake the cheesecakes for 15 minutes, or until slightly jiggly in the center. Remove from oven. Warm the raspberry preserves 15-20 seconds in microwave. Spread one teaspoon onto each cheesecake. Place muffin tins in the freezer and chill until set, about 15 minutes. Remove cheesecakes to serving plate and chill in refrigerator 4-24 hours. Remove from refrigerator right before serving.
I think people liked these! I enjoyed them and will definitely make them for a party again. Just need to work on my presentation : )

Tara and Jay's was a blast! All of the guys have been friends since high school and its so great they all keep in touch still. And I love all the wives, girlfriends and fiances! Here we all are!
Okay, the only other thing I made yesterday was my way too healthy tasting Banana Bread. It will be good with peanut butter on it. It's just not sweet enough!
I got this recipe from AllRecipes but changed it up a bit.

Healthy Banana Bread

3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup flax seed meal

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
2 teaspoons eggs

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar blend, flax meal, bananas, milk, sour cream and egg whites until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the banana mixture until moistened. Spoon into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the crown of the loaf comes out clean.

Alright so now on to today's cooking adventures. This morning I made more Egg Cups and I attempted to make Ina Garten's Granola Bars. These totally didn't stay together. They were kinda an epic failure but maybe now I will just use them as granola???
So tonight, I made Pretzel Crusted Chicken and Warm Brussels Sprout Salad both inspired from Food & Wine.

First, let's talk about the Brussel Sprout Salad which was AMAZING! But before we do that, check what I brought home from the grocery store!
A huge stalk of brussel sprouts! Okay on to the recipe.
Warm Brussel Sprout Salad
1 Granny Smith apple—peeled, quartered and cored
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon very finely chopped shallot
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Two pieces of bacon, crumbled
1 pound brussels sprouts, leaves separated and cores discarded

So that last ingredient- "leaves separated and cored discarded." This is how I did it:
Cut the core out and separate the leaves and wash before putting in the pan- see below.

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a small baking dish, toss the Granny Smith apple quarters with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt. Roast the apple quarters for about 15 minutes, until they are very tender and browned in spots. Scrape the apple and its juices into a blender. Add the water, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, shallot and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the blender. With the machine on, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the canola oil and puree until the dressing is smooth. Season the dressing with salt and pepper and refrigerate. In a very large skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, shaking the skillet, until the nuts are golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a plate to cool. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Add the brussels sprout leaves and crumbled bacon and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the leaves wilt slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the pine nuts and 6 tablespoons of the apple dressing and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. (Reserve the remaining dressing for another use.) Season with salt and pepper and transfer to plates.

So along with this salad, I made Pretzel Crusted Chicken also from Food & Wine. I pretty much followed their recipe but I used wheat pretzels. This is one of those dishes that I wish my brother would eat because it was so good! But he has (or claims) a strong aversion to mustard and well mustard is the base of this dish!
Pretzel Crusted Chicken
1/2 pound pretzels
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a food processor, pulse the pretzels until coarsely ground; you should have coarse chunks and fine crumbs. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl. Wipe out the food processor. Add the oil, whole-grain and Dijon mustards, water and vinegar and process until smooth. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Pour half of the dressing into a large shallow bowl, add the chicken breasts and turn to coat. Dredge the chicken in the pretzel crumbs and transfer to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Slice the chicken and serve warm or at room temperature with the remaining mustard dressing.
This was another really fun dish to make and eat. And we have tons of leftovers which means we will be eating this for lunch all week!

Okay let's talk workouts from last week.
Monday: 5 miles, lifted legs
Tuesday: 5.5 4X800
Wednesday: PT, lifted legs, ran backwards on treadmill at incline
Thursday: 4.5 miles, lifted arms
Friday: off
Saturday: 8 miles
Sunday: off
Total Mileage: 23

Plan for this week:
6 miles
Speed Workout (Leah?!)
Long Run with Mike possibly?
3 miles
Super Sunday 10K

Have a good week!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Curry Love

I didn't have any magazines or books for my train ride home on Wednesday, so I borrowed some old Food & Wine magazines from a co-worker who had a stash of old ones in her desk. I already cooked chicken tenders on Tuesday night so I knew I wanted to incorporate those. However, I was really inspired by this Curry Crab Rundown recipe inspired by June 2008 Food & Wine's Jamaican Food Tour. I changed up a lot about this recipe based on what I had in my cupboard, but the idea was still there. I would say this dish is a cross between Indian and Jamaican and was so delicious. Rundown is a classic Caribbean recipe that involves cooking foods like crab in coconut milk.
(I will post pics when I get home)

Curry Crab and Chicken over Chickpea Golden Raisin Quinoa

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
4 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 teaspoon minced jalepeno
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups light coconut milk
1 cup water
1 can crabmeat
2 cups cubed chicken
1 cup of argula
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup of golden raisins
1 15oz can of chickpeas

In a deep, medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, turmeric and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, jalepeno and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced by one-third, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, boil 1 and 1/2 cups of water. When it starts to boil, add in the 1 cup of quinoa and cook until it absorbs all the water. Then transfer to plate and let set for 15 minutes. After the crab/chicken dish has reduced down, stir the crab and argula into the sauce and cook just until heated through. While that heats through, add the chickpeas to the same sauce pot as where you cooked the quinoa. Then add the raisins and quinoa and cook together with a touch of olive oil for five minutes. I then served the quinoa under the curry dish.

It was so different and tasty! I think I am really getting obsessed with quinoa. It's seriously amazing.

Monday- 5 miles
Tuesday- 5.5 miles 4X800
Wednesday- Physical Therapy
Thursday- 4 Miles
Friday- off

Tomorrow I plan to run with Nancy for as long as I can. It's supposed to be absolutely freezing! Last night we ended up going out to John Harvards and tonight we are meeting friends in the city.

PS-Since I am adding the pics, I might as well also talk about my run this morning (Saturday). I met Nancy at 8am and dressed in Nike tights, long-sleeve Dri-Fit Shirt, Hooded Dri-Fit Nike Sweat-Shirt, Nike Fleece Gloves, Nike Headband, and Fleece socks. It was 10 DEGREES! No joke! We ran for exactly 8 miles!!!
I felt strong. No real pain to report. But I was really cold. When we were like 2 miles away from Nancy's house, my legs were completely numb as well as my fingers and neck! Its crazy running in 10 degree weather. Here are our running splits:

Mile 1: 8:54
Mile 2: 9:11
Mile 3: 9:02
Mile 4: 9:07
Mile 5: 9:12
Mile 6: 9:16
Mile 7: 9:17
Mile 8: 9:05
Average Pace: 9:08
Fastest Pace: 7:40
I felt strong and after a long bath, I can finally feel my fingers! Lots of plans for Saturday. We are going to our friends Tara and Jay's house for a Potluck Dinner Party. I plan on making my favorite Kale, Butternut Squash and Cheddar Bread Pudding as well as Chicken Satay and Mini Cheesecakes. I better get cracking!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Recent Eats

Monday I made a recipe inspired by this month's Bon Appetit's recipe of Balsamic Glazed Salmon with Spinach, Olives and Golden Raisins. I skipped the olives and added pine nuts and I used trout (it was on sale.) All I can say is FOLLOW the recipe. I tend to zone out sometimes when I cook and not follow things exactly. Click the link above! I didn't take the spinach and raisins out of the pan when the recipe said I should, so I ended up with ugly looking raisins and spinach that had been hanging with the balsamic vinegar and honey too long. Oops. I served this with more cauliflower mash- this time with skim milk.
Tuesday I made Ina Garten's Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwiches served along with the Mushroom Soup I made Sunday. I sorta followed this recipe. I used jarred roasted red peppers though instead of making my own. (All I about time! I like to have dinner done in a half hour!) I also toasted the entire sandwich under the broiler for a few minutes and I added spinach in addition to the basil. Yum!I served this with the mushroom soup. I jazzed it up a bit by adding some skim milk and more salt and pepper then added some EVOO and basil on top. Next time, I am going to skip blending it up. I think it would have been better chunky! I'm probably going to change things up for dinner tonight. I was reading through some old Food & Wine Magazines and was inspired! It will definitely include chicken tonight, that is for sure!

Hope everyone is having a good week. So far so good on my workouts!

Speed Tuesdays!

Speed Tuesdays are back!

Leah gave me my workout yesterday. 4X800s at 3:50, 3:45, 3:40, 3:35. I ran 2 miles warm-up on the treadmill today at 6.0mph, then did 4X800 with a 400 rest jog/walk in between. Then a 1/2 mile cooldown. 5.5 miles in 53:45.

First 800: 3:38 (oops, not quite 3:50)
Second 800: 3:42 (a little closer to 3:45)
Third 800: 3:38 (close to 3:40)
Fourth 800: 3:37

I felt pretty strong, but still had the sniffles and had to blow my nose a lot. I can't wait until I can actually run on the indoor track with the running group. Baby steps. I want to be able to run 10 miles outside easily before I show up to the new group (yes, I still haven't met them

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Double Booking

I haven't blogged in awhile so I have a lot to update. First, I am still sick. Still blowing my nose several times a day and it hurts to swallow. If I don't get 100% healthy by Friday of this week, I will go to the doctor. My workouts have certainly suffered. I've been working out but I haven't been too successful.

Monday- off
Tuesday- Eliptical 1/2 hour, 10 min row, lift legs
Wednesday- Physical Therapy
Thursday- Ran 3 miles, lifted
Friday- off (soooo busy at work)
Saturday- Ran 2.5 miles, lifted legs (felt awful)
Sunday (today)- off

I have a half-marathon in a little over a month. At this point, I'm just going to try to finish it. Being injured and being sick is just not conducive to running a PR. But we will see.

Biggest Loser update- lost 4.5 in week one. Gained 1.5 pounds back in Week 2. My workouts have suffered because I'm sick but my appetite has not. Uhhhh... anyway... on to food...

Thursday night I made Tuna Steaks with a basic marinade of salt pepper and EVOO. I also sauteed brocollini with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes and made some lentils. Gretchen is going to yell at me, but I bought the microwavable Lentils from Trader Joe's.
I added some Argula and salt and pepper to the Lentils.
Friday night, we went out to a bar after work to meet up with my brother and I ordered a tasty salmon sandwich (unpictured). Saturday morning I made a "clean out the fridge" pizza for lunch before I ran my errands. That way Dave had food to eat while I went to the gym, grocery shopped and ran errands. Basically, I had bought Wheat Pizza Dough and I put tomato sauce, shredded cheese, thinly sliced butternut squash, diced Roma tomatoes, jalapenos and some chopped bacon. Pretty random but delicious.
Saturday night we had plans to go out to dinner with Dave's parents. But since we were going all the way to the North Shore, I wanted to visit with my friend Caitlin and her hubby and their adorable baby Brody, who I had never met. Dave always calls me a double-booker and he's not a big fan of making multiple plans in one night. But I figured I wasn't going to get another chance to go all the way up there anytime soon, so why not to kill two birds with one stone? We spent some time with Cait and Rick and the little guy and it was sooooooo fun to meet him! Look how adorable he is! Those eyes!!!!!!
After we left, we met Dave's parents at an Italian restaurant where there was NO healthy options and the portion sizes were ENORMOUS. I got Ziti with Chicken and Brocolli with a Lemon Wine Sauce. I ate about 1/4 of it. We then went back to Dave's parents house and enjoyed this amazing Upside-Down-Pineapple-Cake. Yep, it's hard to believe I'm on a diet, right? I really got to work harder next week!

This morning, I set out to make something for the week for breakfasts. I, unfortunately am not the biggest fan of "healthy" breakfasts. I pretty much hate the texture of oatmeal and yogurt and cereal is not my favorite thing because milk hurts my stomach. My breakfast of choice would be a bagel or toast but neither is healthy for me to lose weight. So I made a recipe inspired from my friend Lisa and the South Beach Diet: Veggie Egg-Cups
1 Tablespoon of EVOO
1 Cup of Baby Spinach
1/2 cup of mushrooms
2 Roasted Red Peppers
Handful of sliced pepperoncini's
5 eggs and a little milk
1/2 cup of light shredded Mexican blend cheese
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Saute vegetables in pan with evoo until spinach is wilted and veggies are starting to get soft. At the same time, whisk eggs and milk in a bowl. Let the veggies cool then add the veggies to the eggs with half of the cheese. Whisk together. Spray Muffin pan with cooking spray. Fill the muffin pan 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.This worked out to 11 Veggie Cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until the eggs are set. Remove from Muffin Tin and let cool.
I tasted one of these and yum! I'm excited to eat these this week for breakfast!

I also prepped a dish for another day this week: Mushroom Soup! This was somewhat inspired by Ina Garten.


  • 1 package fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 package fresh portobello mushrooms
  • 1 package button mushrooms mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 cups Chicken Broth
Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a dry paper towel. Don't wash them! Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and, if there are big, cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. Add the butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown. Add the sliced mushroom and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are browned and tender. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken stock and water, thyme, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Use an Immersion Blender to smooth out. Serve hot with feta cheese.

The original recipe called for creamy and didn't say anything about blending it. I skipped the cream and blended it up. It was tasty!

Weekly Menu:
Sunday- Dinner at mom's
Monday- Balsamic Glazed Salmon with Cauliflower Mash
Tuesday- Goat Cheese/Red Pepper/Spinach/Basil Sandwiches with Mushroom Soup
Wednesday- Chicken Peanut Soup
Thursday- Chicken with Mangos, Ginger and Jalepenos
Friday- Spinach Fritatta

I'm off to get healthy (which actually means resting, drinking plenty of fluids and trying hard to kick this sickness!!!!)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

RR Inspired Meals..

So I know most of you out there (whoever you are...anyone..?) probably dislike Rachael Ray, but you can't deny she comes up with some pretty tasty meals. I got "Everyday with Rachael Ray" magazine this month in my rotation (I subscribe through magazine hound so I get different magazines each month). So... there were tons of recipes I was excited to try out. Like this one:
Tuesday night I made my version of Shrimp and Corn Quesadillas with an Avocado Salsa, obviously inspired by RR.

1/2 cup red onion + 1/3 cup of thinly sliced red onion for salsa
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and pepper
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1/2 cup of green onions
1/2 1 small jalapeno, seeded
4 tablespoons of lime juice
8 small (low carb) wheat flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mix blend)
2 avocados
Cook onions in hot skillet for five minutes. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Mix with corn, and peppers and saute for 5 minutes longer. Place tortilla on a grill pan, sprinkle a handful of cheese on one side, then add the shrimp filling and fold the other side of the tortilla over the filled side. After 3-5 minutes, flip then remove from heat and slice in half. Repeat until all the filling is finished. At the same time, take your avocados, 1/3 of red onion, other half of jalapeno, lime juice and salt and pepper and whirl it around in the food processor. Serve this on the side.
Tonight, I was inspired by another RR recipe (Shrimp and Andouille Stew). Although, I made Shrimp and Chicken Sausage Stew

One package of spicy Italian Chicken Sausages, sliced crosswise 1 inch thick
1 onion, chopped
1 28 ounce can of tomatoes (or leftover home-made tomato sauce- we made lots on Sunday)
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup of banana peppers
1/2 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup of sliced tomatoes (I used Roma- only do this if you use tomato sauce)

In a medium pot, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and add the sausage and cook until browned. Add onions to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato sauce, peppers, broth then bring to a boil, stirring often then lower the heat and simmer. Add shrimp at the end, once the stew has thickened and cook until no longer pink. Serve with cheese wedges (flour tortillas with cheese).

This was spicy deliciousness. Yum!

Onto workouts. I'm still not healthy. But yesterday I went to the gym in the AM and did 25 min on the eliptical and 10 minutes on the row machine. Then I lifted. This morning I went to Physical Therapy. I'm going to try to run tomorrow, wish me luck. Hopefully I won't be coughing up a lung or blowing my nose every other minute.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sick Long Weekend

It's Monday night and I'm totally sick. Again. Headcold sickness. I feel like I try so hard to take care of myself (working out, eating well) and I keep getting sick. I'm pretty sure the Commuter Rail and they gym have too many icky germs! EEK! Hopefully I will feel better by tomorrow because I have a busy week ahead of me!

Friday night, Dave and I met up with my roomie from college and her husband Jake at Grotto in Beacon Hill. It was a delicious small restuarant and I definitely recommend it. We left early because I felt a little scratch in the back of my throat. Sure enough, Saturday morning I woke up was a horrible sore throat. I spent most of the day in bed. Around 4:30, our friend Kerry and Jonathan came over. We ate pizza and salad and then headed to see Avatar in 3D. It was so well done and an amazing movie. I think everyone should see it if for nothing else but to see the amazing special effects.

Okay so moving on to food. Sunday, David made his special sauce and spaghetti and meatballs. HE started it in the morning and it reduced all day.
He also made meatballs with ground turkey. (Turkey, 1 Egg, Breadcrumbs, various seasonings...)

It was a delicious and filling dinner.
Today I did a whole lot of resting and watching TV. Around 5, I got to work on dinner. I decided to make my take on two of my favorite Chinese foods: Hot and Sour Soup and Crab Rangoons.

Hot & Sour Soup with Noodles and Shrimp
3 tablespoons of vege oil
1 tablespoons of ginger
8 ounces of bella mushrooms
2 tablespoons of Asian chili paste or Chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
One 32ounce chicken broth
3 tablespoons of soy sace
napa cabbage or mixed salad (all I had)
4 ounces of spaghetti or Asian noodles (I used what we had left from yesterday)
1/2 pound of shrimp

In a heavy pot, heat the vege oil and add the ginger and mushrooms. Cook until soft ten add the chili paste, brown sugar, 1 cup of water, chicken broth and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 minutes. Add in cabbage or lettuce, cooked shrimp and pasta and let blend together for 5-10 minutes. Then serve.

Baked Crab Rangoons


  • 8 ounces light cream cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh crab meat or canned crab meat, drained and flaked
  • 1 teaspoon red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 green onion, finely sliced
  • 1 package won ton wrappers
Preheat oven to 400. Combine the cream cheese and crab meat. Mix in the remaining six filling ingredients (up to the wonton wrappers) one at a time. On a flat surface, lay out a won ton wrapper in front of you so that it forms 2 triangles (not a square). Wet the edges of the won ton. Add 1 teaspoon of filling to the middle, and spread it out toward the left and right points of the wrapper so that it forms a log or rectangular shape. Fold over the edges of the wrapper to make a triangle. Wet the edges with water and press together to seal. Place rangoons on baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
Baking these instead of frying saves tons of fat. I LOVE crab rangoons so these were really fun to make!

Workouts. I took a Spinning class at 12:30 Friday but haven't worked out since. I'm trying not to beat myself up about it. I will workout when I can. I'm probably going to go to the gym tomorrow, but no guarantees I will run. Even though I was really enjoying Speed Tuesdays. Here's to a healthy week- lets hope!

Almost forgot- Weekly Menu:
Sunday: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Monday: Hot and Sour Soup with Crab Rangoons
Tuesday: Shrimp & Corn Quesidillas with an Avocado Salad
Wednesday: Shrimp and Chicken Sausage Stew
Thursday: Hoison Glazed Shrimp with Crispy Vegetables
Friday: Grilled Tuna

I like to plan ahead but I usually end up changing around what days I cook what. But at least I have a plan. I'd write out my workout plan for the week but it really depends on how I feel. I hope to spin, run, go to PT and lift.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Veggie Food is Just as Good!

Last night, I made Black Bean Cakes inspired by this month's Every Day Food by Martha Stewart. This recipe requires my best friend, the Food Processor. One of the best kitchen appliances EVER. Okay on to the recipe.

Black Bean Rice Cakes


2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained well
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 cup of cooked brown rice

2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 minced seeded jalapeño
1 teaspoons ground cumin
salt and pepper
1 Hass Avocado
Lime Juice
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Chipotle in Adobo (I still have these babies left- you can use a jalepeno)
Yogurt Sauce
1/2 cup greek plain yogurt
lime juice
green onions
salt and pepper
Purchased salsa

Preheat oven to 450. Place 3/4 of drained beans in food processor. Mix in jalapeño and cumin until chunky paste forms. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In large bowl, combine bean puree with rice and remaining beans with a spatula. Divide mixture into 3 inch patties of equal size (I got about ten). Spray baking sheet with cooking oil. Place patties on sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes. While those cook, make the sauces. I used my smaller food processor to make the guacamole. The key is to keep adding salt and pepper and lime juice until you get the taste you are looking for. I love guac smooth but I know some people like it chunky. I added storebought salsa with the guac. For the yogurt sauce, combine the ingredients together. Serve cakes over salad of arugula and add sauces.

This morning I got to the gym around 7am. I wanted to run 6 miles comfortably. I ran the first 2 miles at 6.5 mph while watching music videos and reading some trashy gossip magazine. I love reading those things while running! I think I've mastered it! Each mile after the second, I increased the pace and by the final quarter mile I was running at 8.5mph. Felt pretty good.

6 miles, 53:28, 8:54 pace

As you can tell, I'm modifying Leah's plan already. And I'm not running tomorrow either. My goal is to go to Physical Therapy in the morning and make a 12:30pm Spin Class in the afternoon. Saturday I would like to lift and run an easy 3-4. Sunday, I am going to run with Nancy for as long as my body can go- probably an hour and a half. So thats the plan.

Now on to tonight's dinner. Today was one of those crazy days where I had no chance to think about dinner until I got home from work at 7pm. I had two large chicken breasts I had to cook, along with cauliflower I wanted to use. I decided to make a sweet and spicy chicken over couscous with 'cauliflower' mashed potatoes. This was a total recipe made up on the fly, but was delicious!
Sweet and Spicy Chicken

1/2 Jalepeno, seeded
1/4 cup Apricot Preserves
1 tablespoon of honey
3 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
1/8 cup of water
2 chicken breasts, cut through the middle to make 4 pieces
1/2 cup of broccoli
handful of pine nuts
salt and pepper

Add oil to hot skillet and saute chicken breasts on each side for three minutes. While that cooks, add the first 4 ingredients to the food processor. Add some water to take off some of the bite of the jalepeno. Pour the mixture over the chicken and cook together until the sauce thickens. Add broccoli and pine nuts at the end. Season with salt and pepper.

I served the chicken over couscous that I made the same way as the other day.

I also made Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes which will be my new Kale Chips. I've been wanting to make these FOREVER and I finally got around to it. Cauliflower that looks like mashed potatoes but is healthy (sorta, I added cream). I had bought the microwave-in-a-bag-to-steam cauliflower from the produce department and the expiration date is tomorrow so there is no day like the present!
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

1 pound of cauliflower (steamed in a bag until soft)
1/8 cup of light cream (you can use milk or skim milk)
salt and pepper
handful mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Steam the cauliflower in the microwave until soft. Add to food processor. Add in cream and season with salt and pepper and give it a whirl
: ). Add the mixture to two small baking dishes. Add the cheese on top and bake for 10 minutes until cheese melts. It should look exactly like REAL Mashed Potatoes! See:
Jersey Shore is on tonight! Good night!