Archive for January, 2009
At 5a.m. I was awoken with “The Call” – no school today due to “inclement weather” – a teacher’s favorite words. Unfortunately I was unable to fully take advantage and fall back asleep, especially since D still had to face the roads. I have some major tasks to accomplish: clean and scrub the entire apartment and start writing progress notes until LOST! Oh, and make dinner. Here’s to a fun day “off”!
In blogworold, each night I make a concerted effort to get my daily photos together and write up a blog entry . . . and for some reason I’ve become a build-the days up kind of blogger. I have to embrace this. The baking bug has bit me hard recently and this weekend was so busy (moving my sister back to manhattan) that I hadn’t gotten to feed the need. So here are my daily eats for Mon-Tues-This morning and some baking/recipes:
Monday: Everything about Monday was a rushed meal due to extreme fatigue from Sunday’s NYC adventure.
Breakfast: Was a quickie last-minute Egg & Cheese Sandwich. I followed that up a little later with some Kashi Go Lean Crunch, Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt & bananas.
Lunch: Amy‘s Indian Paneer Tikka, which is an indian cheese cube meal with spinach, potatoes, and basmati rice. My first take was that this was a little bland, however after I started to mix the elements together I was pretty satisfied with the flavors and very full. I would try another!
Dinner: Waay too much penne alla vodka made with D’s family friend’s secret sauce (including artichokes and sundried tomatoes). I felt almost sick after eating this heavy meal, very delicious as usual.
Breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/4 cup pumpkin, 1 banana mashed, and some pumpkin pie spice. This was incredibly pumpkiny – as good and completely filling as it was, I don’t think that much pumpkin is necessary, it really overtook the flavors.
Lunch: Hungry Girl’s Fiber One and Oats Pizza Crust attempt #1! I followed the crust recipe exactly (serving for one). It was very gooey and sticky and was definetly hard to form into a flat round dough shape, but I’ll play around with adding more crumbs to the mixture next time. I topped the pizza with 1/4 cup tomato sauce, 1/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese, 4 large black olives, some artichoke hearts, and sauteed onions. Mmm very very delicious! I’d go back to this again and perfect my pizza recipe! I ate this with a TJ’s fiberful bar and my coworker brought me a Subway’s Chocolate Chip Cookie. Ah!
Dinner: Same as previous night, left over penne alla vodka!
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
After seeing all the recent bread making ventures in the blog world, i was watering at the mouth and wanted so badly to try my skills at kneading and such. I went out to buy myself a new loaf pan (oops I needed two) and some active dry yeast over the weekend. I searched for hours to find the right first-timer recipe that required no eggs or dairy. And, tada! Thankyou allrecipes.com for this wonderful honey whole wheat bread recipe. The ingredients, from there, are as follows and makes 2 loaves:
- 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
I had to watch a kneading video online on epicurious.com, which I believe really helped my bread rise. I decided against using my Kitchen Aid, I wanted to do this the old fashioned way! This photo is of the dough during the second rise, which I sat in the oven after warming it up and turning it off:
And after two 45 minute rises, I put the loaves in the 375 degree oven for 25 minutes and my golden brown loaves were ready!
The top loaf was the most realistic looking – which I cooled off and sliced and froze, there is no way D and I would be able to eat 2 loaves of bread in a week let alone 2 days. The second loaf (above) we sliced right into. It was the perfect balance of honey and just the right density. The bread with slightly crumbly and the top was nice and crusty. Earlier in the day D had brought home some homemade fresh mozzarella from an Italian deli he works near. So I bought some tomatoes and made a small fresh sandwich. With his beer in hand D said he felt like a king!
So this morning I couldn’t help but dig right into the bread (which I stored in a paper bag). I decided to make some french toast with 2 slices of bread (I cut them in half to make four). I made the wet ingredients by mixing up 1/2 cup of egg whites, 1 tablespoon of light vanilla soy milk, a teaspoon (or 2) of vanilla, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. OMG! This was the most SINFUL breakfast I have had in AGES!!! Is this even legal to make in my own kitchen??? I topped it with Cary’s Sugar free syrup – and nixed the fruit to just dig in!
Now off to cleaning the apartment and doing work! Booh!
This week has been rough – a lot has been going on at work and with going to the gym after work I come home zonked at dinner. Needless to say, updates have been sparse.
A few meals have gone into rotation, so I’ll just throw in some pictures of foods I’ve eaten this week:
Breakfast made use of my Fit & Fresh tupperware: Kashi Go Lean Crunch & Fat Free Vanilla Yogurt with Fresh Strawberries – very yummy! And the ice ring did a great job keeping things cool!
Lunch this week was a mish-mosh. I tried out some of the Pacific Butternut Squash Soup, pairing it with a baked potatoe and 1/2 cup of Amy’s Mild Vegetarian Chili, topped with a tablespoon of Fage 0%. Together they were incredibly satisfying – I really loved this lunch. Unfortunately due to TOM, coworker and I have been splitting a Hershey bar for a few days. Oops!
Dinner Monday and Thursday Night: Fusili (my favorite pasta) with home made tomato sauce and eggplant (chopped up inside). D really liked this and even ate it for lunch the next day – he never eats leftovers! He even re-requested it for Thursday’s dinner. It was pretty good, and the secret to any good sauce includes a few tablespoons of sugar and parmesean.
I also ventured out and was going to make an Escarole and Bean soup – however there is an escarole shortage around here! So I bought a pre-made soup and it just wasn’t nearly as satisfying as home made and fresh. Sorry for dark cell phone photo!
Last night’s dinner was order in from a local Italian restaurant. D got a chicken parm sandwhich, and I got a grilled veggie wrap with eggplant, zuchinni, roasted peppers, mozzarella and balsamic dressing – so flavorful and filling.
Thursday night I got the baking bug. I have been craving blueberry muffins in the worst way lately. I kept going back and forth on whether to make hearty savory fatty bakery style muffins or healthy ones. After my terrible eating week I decided healthy would win. SO I bought myself the Hungry Girl Cookbook and followed the recipe for Blueberry Thrill Muffins. I followed the recipe almost exactly however used frozen blueberries since once again blueberries (fresh) were sold out!
I also concocted a sugary butter topping to make the muffin crispy and bakery like, as follows:
- 1/4 cup Splenda
- .165 cup wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons buttery spread (I used Smart Balance, at room temp)
- 1 teaspon ground cinnamon
Mix it all well and sprinkle over the muffin better before baking! This can be doubled for more crispyness.
Results: 7 regular sized muffins, 132 calories and 4 grams of protein! D loved these even though he isn’t a blueberry fan, and I have had to ration them out. Very very moist and filling! I can’t wait to play with other ingredients – may add some flax seed next time. Success!
Today we got back into our weekend vibe. I woke up first and did the Dunkin Donuts run – if that’s what makes our weekend, it’s only once a week and I’m happy giving in. So breakfast was a large coffee, sesame bagel, and reduced fat veggie cream cheese. It was yummyy. A few hours later I followed that up with a muffiny goodness!
For lunch we went to Fresh City so I could show D where he can get lunch at his new office. We both got burritos, mine was with tofu, rice, tomatos, black beans and guacamole – very delicious! We then walked next door and bought cookies at Gimme Jimmy’s Cookie Bar. I got the M&M cookie: it was very crispy and moist at the same time, I love our weekend treats! Sorry for the missing bite!
I’ve gotten back on track this week. On Tuesday I ran on the treadmill (yay finally), Wednesday I hit up the Elliptical (boo lock knees), Thursday I did Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred Levels 1 & 2 (holy cow how intense), and yesterday I did Intervals on the treadmill from fitsugar – I was so impressed with myself for running in the 7.0’s range! Yay! Today is break day – D got me P90X yoga but I am still scared to try it. Any thoughts?
Yesterday was a nice change from our usual Sunday putterings. I woke up earlier than D and took the opportunity to make myself some breakfast (and not fall victim to Dunkin Donuts part 2). I whipped up some french toast on Ezekiel bread, with sugar-free syrup and half a sliced banana. Mmmm.
I then spent a few hours lounging around watching t.v. on the couch until it was time to get ready for my afternoon out. I took a leisurely shower before snacking on a cold pizza-square from last night as my pseud0 “lunch”.
I had to make a 2:00 bus to the city – so D drove me to pick up a coffee and then waited with me for the bus. We waited… and waited, and the 2:00 never showed! I was so thankful he waited with me because it ended up being 45 minutes before a bus arrived. Way to be NJTransit! Once on the road it was smooth sailing.
I met up with my girlfriend at her apartment in Gramercy, where we decided it would be best to just take a walk across town to the Meatpacking District for dinner. My friend is one of those fantastic uber-healthy just ran the Philly Marathon girls, who also loves to indulge on some good foods. So we made reservations for Restaurant Week – which began yesterday.
We grabbed a 4:30 reservation at Spice Market, which was clever since the higher priced “dinner” menu began at 5:00. Inside, the restaurant had the best ambiance. I have never been to Thailand, however it really gives you that cultural vibe – coupled with a bit of that Epcot imaginary feeling. I loved everything about the decor, it totally took me out of the city!
I ended up ordering the Vegetarian Bento Box lunch special – which I will not picture however I will share the menu with you:
Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger Pumpkin Seeds
Vegetables in Green Curry
Silken Tofu “Pad Thai” Flavor
Thai Jewels and Fruits with Crushed Coconut Ice
All the dishes were extremely flavorful unique. I have to say the best was the butternut squash soup – the pumpkin seeds balanced out the soup so well, I could have only eaten this all night!
Next in line would have to have been the Silken Tofu . . . now this was a frightening one to attack, as I am an Extra-Firm Tofu girl. However whatever they garnished the top of this with really made the dish – I honestly have no idea what this meal comprised of. Delicious regardless!
The vegetables in green curry were “okay”, they left a little to be desired, while the avocado roll just give me that fishy feel, even though it was on the vegetarian menu. So, not a fan.The dessert left MUCH to be desired. It was a coconut milk over ice with gelatin fruit. Right – we did not dig this at all.
We also enjoyed white sangria – which may have been the best drink I’ve ever tasted, as well as a jasmine “soda” – which tasted like a honey suckle. Overall, we had a really lovely night out catching up, and the food and ambiance played their roles fabulously. I’m not sure I would go out of my way to return, with all the other options in the city, but I am glad I was able to sample their menu.
Afterwards we started heading back to her apartment and it began to snow (again? seriously!). Although we had previously shared that we had overindulged (separately) on cupcakes this week, she still suggested we hit up Billy’s Bakery for some banana pudding to go. Of course I could not refuse, as I am a sucker for cupcakerie banana pudding! We walked back across town in the icky snow and split this mouth watering treat over some Legally Blonde. So relaxing! When I used to live in the city we would get sweets and treats together all the time, while walking across town to burn it off, I miss it!
Around 7:30 D was wondering when he’d have to pick me up, so I decided I’d take the 8:30 bus home – which would give me plenty of time to hit the ever-crowded TJ’s at Union Square (when I lived in the East Village I used to hit up TJ’s and Whole Foods and then struggle with many bags on the walk home).
Although it was snowing a lot and quite slippery, I hauled my butt over there and filled up quickly on a few key items:
Key finds include:
- Fiberful bars
- Brown Jasmine Rice
- Sweet Potato Spears
- Bean Sprouts
- Goddess Dressing
- Vegetable Pastas (italian and vegetable medley)
- Fage yogurt
- 2 potatoes
I really sped in and out of the store grabbing items that caught my eye – they were pretty wiped out, and I needed to catch the subway to catch my bus! I love grocery shopping, I’m trying to limit myself today however I still have a list! Ah!
This morning D had to go to work, but I have been lying in bed, blogging, watching the news, and eating breakfast. Aside from some shopping and maybe some working out, my day is pretty open.
I started off with 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 mashed banana, and 1/4 cup Kashi Go-Lean Crunch. Perfect amount of crunch and flavor to offset gooeyness! Still need coffee though!
More later 🙂
Welcome to a winter Saturday: nothing but relaxing, picking up after myself, and eating.
Rewind to last night: Went out to dinner with the fam to a nearby diner. I ate entirely too much and that overindulging set me off today into an all out cupcake-aholicism. For dinner I had a veggie panini (grilled eggplant, zuchinni and peppers topped with balsamic and mozzarella) and a whole lot of sweet potato fries. OMG! I ate to the point of full and that has been a habit I’ve stopped, so that was the only not so good part of the night. No photo though – I’m still easing into public photos! I made up for this with 30-Day Shred Level 1 and 2 – my body was spent.
Afterwards we took a trip to Target and I went a little nuts. I had been wanting some new plates to share my food on, so I bought 5 new bowls, 2 small plates, and 2 large plates. All but one were melamine, one is porcelain (as are all my other dishes). I also bought a new brown bag, wooh! Now I am officially $pent.
This morning D and I went back to our weekend morning routine – I hadn’t partook in weeks and he really has been insistent on how much he missed it. When we wake up, one of us goes out and gets Dunkin Donuts bagels and coffee, which we then lie in bed eating and drinking while watching t.v. It’s quite relaxing and we haven’t been doing it because i wanted to save money and calories. Well today that went all out the window with a sesame bagel and reduced fat veggie cream cheese, mmm.
After relaxing for a long time and cleaning up the apartment, I couldn’t resist whipping out a new bowl with a Kashi Crunch Vanilla yogurt snack:
Eventually we go off our booties and we went to get lunch and check out a cupcakerie that is literally 5 minutes down the road. How could I have forgotten?
Mr. Cupcake was the highlight of my day! They had sooo many flavors (check the website) and I had such a hard time deciding! Of course I had to choose four… which were: Oreo Cheesecake, Southern Red Velvet (always my staple), Pumpkin Spice (for D), and Chocolate Caramel.
I pretty much ate these all day. I kept cutting them in half and eating them in halves. Sweets do not last here! My favorite was the red velvet – so moist and the cream cheese frosting was spot on and fluffy. Next, it was a tie between chocolate caramel and pumpkin! Oreo was a minor disappointment, the batter just wasn’t as delectable as the rest – maybe my expectations were too high.
Overall: Four stars! There was absolutely the perfect amount of moistness in each cupcake – no dry cake, perfectly proportioned and unique frosting. I’ll definetly be coming back very frequently for upcoming events, and to try other flavors! French Toast next time for sure!
Before cupcakes I had my first Quiznos sandwich – small veggie. It was very delicious however very caloric – today every meal was really all about what D wanted for the first time in 3-weeks. It will probably be the last time as well, I like keeping up with making my healthy choices.
Dinner was a struggle – I did not want to 1) pay for another meal, or 2) order an unhealthy meal. But my guilt for lack of together-meals lately made me cave. His request: PIZZA:
This is a “grandma” pie. It is absolutely out of this world. A square pizza with fresh plum tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella. MMM. I ate 2 square pieces [there are 12 in a pie]. Really my mind was only on cupcakes for dessert.
Can you tell that next week is my TOM? Terrible cravings cave-ins all week. Regardless, today was D’s day – the rest of the days are all me. Tomorrow I’m going to the city for restaurant week and am anxious to share my review! Sorry for the lack of foodie pictures, it’s so much easier during the week!
Wow today really was an “artic blast” – I think in light of most of the winter weather adjusting, I’ve done a good job of working out – but today is out. It’s about 3 degrees out and I am happy to have walked from my car to my apartment.
This day I started off with a nice SmartOnes Egg White & Cheese and a coffee:
At around 10:45 I had a yogurt/banana/kashi cereal snack – I think it was more than I needed, but it is so tasty I just cannot resist!
When lunch rolled around I whipped out my last frozen lunch reserve. I have been actively trying to tear myself away from frozen meals due to the high amount of sodium ingested, however this week I had to throw my planned meals out the window due to the frigid weather – a cold salad/wrap wasn’t going to satisfy me the way a warm meal does. So this was my solution. I had a fetuccini alfreado & broccoli SmartOnes – which is VERY tastey and filling. I should have added more frozen broccoli but was in a rush this morning! I also had 4 large sliced strawberries for “dessert”.
The afternoon was very busy and rushed, however I was “lucky” enough to have a coworker return a tupperware I had given them with chocolate chip cookies (I had shared a cookies&cream cupcake withe her). Needless to say they did not last very long. I don’t exactly let cookies go to waste!
When I got home (the decisive non-gym moment was when I stepped outside – ah!) I saw that my Fit&Fresh package had finally arrived! I ordered the Lunch on the go tupperware (obviously for lunch) and the Fresh Start Breakfast Chiller for my breakfast parfaits. I am soo psyched to use them and see whether they work as well as they look – so next week I’ll be sure to review these babies up.
And now I am just waiting for D to come home and discuss dinner – probably going to order in since I don’t think we ate dinner together once this week. Whoops! Other than that no major plans – Sunday I have reservations for Restaurant Week in NYC – but more on that as it approaches.
Last night I was absolutely zonked. I hit a gym class with a coworker at her gym (which is a lot closer than mine). I figured I would test out the gym and see if it would be worth switching from mine or getting a class package to go with her occasionally, since I miss kickboxing classes and my gym’s classes are late and farther away.
So at 6:00 we went to her gym’s kickboxing class (the name of the gym will be withheld, haha). Of course as her “guest” I was pulled aside and given the WHOLE shpeal about their gym packages, etc. etc. I mentioned multiple times that I am tied to a contract until July – however that didn’t stop the persisting.
The kickboxing class was okay – it was different than I was used to. Back when I lived in San Diego I went to 24-Hour Fitness, which is probably the best deal out there for the monthly fee. The kickboxing classes there were intense rounds based on TurboJam. They really were focused on form and fun and had me gasping for breath. I became addicted and was going 4 times a week! When I moved back here I ended up buying the TurboJam DVDs because I missed that style workout so badly.
REGARDLESS, this class was not like that. It was just repetitions of the same 5 moves with strange techno music. While I did manage to burn 575 calories in the hour (yeah HRM), I was not very involved in the class and knew this gym was NOT for me.
The gym was very small, had NEON walls, only about 4 treadmills. Classes were not in separate rooms but rather in the center of this large room, and all the equipment was old. They wanted $60.00 a month!!!! Now at 24 Hour fitness I paid less than $40.00 a month for a gym that was 5times nicer. CURRENTLY I am at New York Sports Club, where I pay $70.00 a month – but I have a television on every machine and a juice bar, sauna, very clean locker room, 4 separate class rooms.
I never thought about it – but when my friend asked if I would want to join when my contract is up – and I said no, she said I am a spoiled gym snob (jokingly). But she is right!! It made me think: I rather pay my extra $10 a month to feel comfortable and motivated in my gym environment. The women at this gym were not my peers really and were not similar to myself – I know that may seem terrible, but to me that is a motivator at the gym. LONG story short: I heart New York Sports Club even if it does take a 15 minutes to drive there and back without traffic! 🙂
Onto eats! Yesterday, I had the Smart Ones egg muffin early on for breakfast.
Since we had a late lunch, I followed that up with a Kashi Honey Almond Crunch/Vanilla Yogurt/Banana combo (not pictured) – that was so satisfying – not pictured due to 5 coworkers standing around as I ate it.
Lunch was the delicious falafel combo from a local Middle Eastern restaurant. I had 4 falafel patties, a lot of homemade hummus, and a pita – with a small king’s salad. Not pictured again because this was a work lunch and how silly would it have been! However, I did try two new Middle Eastern dishes that i will order next time – a kidney bean dish (MMMM) and even more delicious was a lentil/rice pilaf! Wow – so many flavors!
Between work and hitting the gym class I had a quick snack of a half banana and 1/2 tablespoon of White Chocolate Wonderful. OMG – now I had tried this peanut butter on Saturday in oatmeal – and that did NOT really do it justice! It was like eating candy! New favorite snack (second to yogurt/cereal combo).
Also when I got home I found a magazine waiting for me – I love reading about all the new recipes!
After I got home from the kickboxing class I was WHIPPED! I could barely function to get myself some dinner. So I went to a new go-to meal: 1 sunshine burger cut up in a Low-Carb Tortilla Wrap with 2 tablespoons of Tribe sun-dried tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of reduced-fat mozzarella. SOOO yummy!
I was absolutely devastated that I did not have yogurt to have a dessert after dinner – so I just had 1/2 cup plain kashi crunch cereal. Totally not the same! So this morning before work I ran out to buy a tub of it. Do I have a problem?
Onto another day of yummy eats!!
Well I didn’t keep my promise to track all food yesterday. Because I had an appointment after work I wasn’t able to go to the gym – major sad face. However that also meant that I ate the remaining Oreos in the house. Ugh I think I am over all that though – I officially sweet toothed myself out.
For the photos I did manage to take yesterday: After forgetting my breakfast and eating the Veggie flatbread, I had a midmorning snack on my new favorite cereal/yogurt combo: 1/4 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch (honey almond) and 1/4 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt. This is my new favorite dessert! I had it for dessert last night as well!
For lunch I heated a microwave meal, Smart Ones 3 Cheese Macaroni (has been my favorite one for a long time). It was very satisfying – I think I finally just realized I need a hot lunch in the winter.
I followed that up with four large sliced strawberries.
Which were so ripe and yummy that I thought they were summer strawberries! At the end of the day I decided to try that new Kashi Homey Almond Flax Chew Granola Bar. Review: Not even 1/4 as good as the cereal. I guess I’ll stash these away as emergency bars, but ICK! Absolutely no flavor. Kashi failed me here, so I only ate half.
Aside from my Oreos and last cupcake, I remained pretty tame snacking. For dinner I ended up making some french toast:
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 pieces of whole-wheat bread
I mixed up the batter, dipped the bread (which it perfectly covered) and fried up for about 5 minutes. Utterly delicious – it was the perfect sweet comfort food. No picture due to extreme hunger! 🙂 Afterwards I enjoyed the “dessert” I mentioned above.
Today is a “half day” at work – the rest of the day is for paperwork. Lunch is going to be a falafel platter, I can’t wait!