Ok, spoiler alert, this post will make some people queasy!
Last night was aaaaa-mazing! We went to a big band/jazz/blues show at Le Poisson Rouge and half of the people were dressed up in their Prohibition finest. The band was amazing, the burlesque dancer was hot, we danced and altogether had a perfect evening (all this after dinner with friends at one of those pan-Asian places)
I promised Boyfriend "unhealthy" blueberry pancakes this morning since they're one of his favorites, but I was planning on keeping it healthy for myself....so two batches. His batch, her batch.
His pancakes consisted of the recipe on the back of Aunt Jemima's box (cut in half)+ frozen blueberriesMine (hers!) were oatmeal pancakes. Ingredients: baking soda (1tsp), egg white (of 1 egg), old fashioned oats (1/3 cup), splash of almond extract and the frozen blueberries. At the end I added 1 heaping tsp full of part-skim ricotta cheese because I thought it looked a little dry.
Also, one packet of sweeter (Sweet N Lo for me!).
On the left you see the flipped version of mine (the blueberries are all hiding underneath)
On the right, the unflipped version of his (this is about the right ratio of blueberries)
I made this breakfast in under 30 minutes. It's now about 10 hours after I finished this oatmeal pancake and I'm STILL thinking about it. It was DELICIOUS. And so bready and warm and satisfying. I think the ricotta cheese made the difference, since I've made these before and have never been quite so enamored.
All told: 100 calories for the oatmeal, no more than 40-50 calories for the egg white, maybe another 50 for the ricotta, possibly 20? for the blueberries?
This was a 220 calorie piece of morning heaven. Ok, I put a bunch of reduced sugar maple syrup on it. Put on another 50 calories.
His were good too, but I actually preferred the bready/doughy chewier texture of mine.
After breakfast we pounded out 6 miles in Central Park. I hate, hate, hate running outside. I much prefer the treadmill where I can watch cooking shows while I run and not have any hills. Grrr, hills are awful. But at least I can be comfortable knowing that these 6 miles were more impressive than a treadmill 6. Also, it's all true what they say, running with someone is always better, even if Boyfriend ran ahead of me the whole time.
After our run, I figured we earned ourselves a trip to the OysterBash. Yes, we are heading all the way out to queens to enjoy oysters, alcohol and....oysters! Raw, fried, Rockefeller (what IS that?). Stay tuned for reviews.
Today I spent about 1.5 hours updating the recipes section (now known as Recipage
) and they are now sorted and clickable.
Also, each post is now linked to the proper recipe. =)
As always, if you are reading, and/or appreciating, say hi!
Boyfriend isn't around tonight so I am productive. Hot yoga, check. Laundry, check. Make lunch for tomorrow, check. Blog post, almost check.
In a pure homage to volume eating, I made a spicy-sesame cucumber salad. A refreshing, spicy dish that *should* be used as a side, but can be used as a take-to-work lunch when paired with a fruit or a piece of protein.
Ingredients (from left): Balsamic vinegar (2 tbsp), Sesame oil (1.5 tbsp), white sesame seeds (toasted), honey, red pepper flakes, 2 seedless cucumbers.
Not shown: low-sodium soy sauce
Instructions: Chop up cucumbers thinly (bite sized pieces).
Toast some sesame seeds (2 tbsp?) in a pan (just toss them in there on medium heat for 5 minutes)
Combine all ingredients, mostly to taste. The original recipe called for rice wine vinegar (but I don't have this) and miso instead of soy sauce (don't have that either).
The recipe mostly looks like this, except this is obviously from a non-seedless cucumber and given the amount of red-pepper flakes, I'd say this thing was REALLY spicy!
Go easy on the red pepper, it gives it a pretty strong taste. Not too easy though!
In the end, the salad received warm approval from Boyfriend and I also thought it was nice. Though, perhaps it would go best under a salmon or as a topping to some cous-cous.
Note: those 2 cucumbers make about 2 entree portions or 3-4 side dish portions.
Also note: This wont last more than 2 days.
Final note: The liquid that collects on the bottom of the bowl is perfect to pour over rice/cous-cous/fish etc etc. I have a feeling if I were to reduce the sauce before putting it on, it would be significantly more tasty. And salty.... =(
Finally, a quick word about hot yoga. I do hot vinyasa (+/- power) and I just love what it does for me. It totally changes the way my body looks in just one seI had been going to New York Yoga because I had a Groupon, but that's gone now so I had to return to Yoga to the People
today. Basically, it's a cheap ($5/class) way to get your hot yoga fix and they have all kinds. The drawbacks: the place gets super crowded and that means I have to get there super early just to get a place. This also means occasionally, like today, I don't get there early enough and get shut out of my class =( . So I hung around for an hour and went to the next one.The basic difference between YTTP and any other hot yoga studio is that the classes are only 1 hour and the room is a couple of degrees cooler. Also, they don't do inversions, which I love because I can avoid feeling embarrassed when I don't even try!
This all means that YTTP hot yoga is SO much less hateful than the more expensive stuff. I've said this before, I hate exercise. I do it, but I hate it. Hot yoga at professional studios is a really tough experience and it's a struggle just to make it through. YTTP though is a much less hateful experience (so I stuck around for the next class rather than giving up!).Ok, it's almost 1am (yikes!) and I need to get to bed! Tomorrow I will work on connecting all the posts to the proper recipes in the recipes tab. In the meanwhile, if you're reading this, please say hi, post a comment, a recipe, anything. =)
No post tonight, boys and girls. Boyfriend is working overnight tomorrow, so I hope to put up my cucumber salad recipe and in general work on the site a bit.
Until tomorrow evening!
P.S. Went to 16 handles today with a girlfriend and now know where all my money will be going this summer....
After taking my spaghetti squash to a burger place (Joy Burger, run by Israelis no less!) and salivating over the onion rings and hamburger buns that I couldn't eat (that I wouldn't even be interested in otherwise!), I was getting pretty psyched to start handing/eating breads again.
I decided to break Passover with muffins. From scratch. This is a rare move for me since it seems that I could just get a packaged mix. But I was inspired by an article from Cooking Light
Magazine about healthy muffins. I just barely modified this recipe, though I am considering making more changes now.Lemon-Poppy Seed Whole Wheat Muffins
Ingredients (from the left): Agave syrup, whole wheat flour, two lemons, baking powder, egg, part-skim ricotta cheese, poppy seeds, olive oil.
To make this add these ingredients to a bowl in this order:
1 3/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat because it's what I had)
2.5 tsp baking powder
3 packets sweetener
1 cup part-skim ricotta (I'm sure skim is just as good, maybe even half ricotta/greek yogurt!)
Rind and juice from 2 lemons, plus some lemon juice from the bottle
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp agave nectar syrup
2 tbsp poppy seeds
Dash of salt.
Mix until smooth-ish.
Taste the mixture for desired level of sweetness!
P.S. The recipe called for 3/4 cup sugar (which is where I used the sweetener and agave nectar, so do what feels best, consider brown sugar and/or honey)
Pour mixture into 12 muffin cups (2/3 full) and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes (or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean...the original recipe called for 16-20 minutes!). I also sprinkled poppy seeds on top after pouring the batter.
This comes out to between 120-140 calories per muffin. I suspect it will go well with a yogurt or a small bowl of oats in the morning. Very easy to work into a to-go breakfast OR lunch!
There is also the option of adding less oil (which I will DEFINITELY do), using all skim ricotta, maybe doing 1/2 ricotta, 1/2 cup yogurt.
This was eventually reviewed as a hearty Breakfast Muffin. I think with some all purpose white flour it would have been sweeter and lighter. But it IS healthier.
Still, aside from less oil, this is something that my kitchen will see again.
Baked goods will continue. Cheesy jalapeno muffins are next!
After crab night yesterday, I decided I should probably get back to healthiness. AND also try something new.So I went to the expensive supermarket downstairs and picked up this beauty. The spaghetti squash. Having read about it, and even tasted it at Seder Part II courtesy of my aunt, I figured I'd make a go of it myself. Click here for the final edits.
But it wasn't so easy! Apparently, having been given the choice between cutting and coring before cooking (faster) vs. cooking whole then cutting coring (slower) I chose the shortcut. BUT I needed to use manpower (Boyfriend power in this case) to cut this stupid thing open and then had to get all the little seeds and fibers out by hand (but really, by fork). This was not fun.
I also had the choice of face-up cooking vs. face-down cooking. I chose face-up. At somewhere between 350-400 degrees (I got frustrated after hour #1 and upped it, only to smell burning squash and had to turn it down a bit). After hour #1.5 I got frustrated again and turned it face-down and FINALLY, 1.75 hours later, I got THIS: vegetable spaghetti!!
Notes: I thought I could improve on my aunt's squash by seasoning the crap out of this thing. I covered it in salt, pepper, cumin and in the end, I could just barely tell. So, lesson learned: season well AFTER cooking.
In other news, pulling the strands out of the squash really WAS fun. I gave it a nice brushing with my fork, making afros and mohawks and finally, some male-pattern baldness. But enough was enough and in the end it turned tedious too.
I did have it for lunch this morning and I put some balsamic vinegar on it and topped it with parmesan cheese (I guess a cross between a salad and a pasta dish seasoning...?) and it tasted pretty, pretty, pretty good! What it did NOT do was really fill me up. It's REALLY low calorie so I was at least able to mostly fool my stomach because it's a really great volume food. It made such a big bowl I'll be testing out different seasonings for a while.
Update: I came home from work and put some tomato soup (low sodium) on the squash and it was also pretty good. Basically it's like tofu and tastes like whatever you put on it.
Mission spaghetti squash: success.
Tomorrow night passover ends. Back to oats in the morning. Yess!!
Oops. Well, I DID promise that I wouldn't be cooking every day or blogging every day. More pictures soon, maybe?
Friday I took a non-sick sick day from work to go hiking. Saturday I did an autopsy in the morning and we went out for comedy and a birthday party in the evening and today, I finally did a minimal amount of cooking. But you have to read (or skip) to the end!
But sadly, it was gloomy and the trees didn't have their leaves yet.
We went with some of Boyfriend's college buddys, one of whom was a regular Bear Grylls. Luckily we brought along so much food there was no need for him to begin to feast on insects.
Note: Hiking on passover = epic fail. Matzoh got crushed in the backpack. I could have seen that coming. I was literally salivating just looking at the sandwiches the guys brought.
It was cold, but we managed to enjoy ourselves.
Yes, Boyfriend is indeed a handsome man. But I guess he'd prefer people not to know.
Aaaannndd there's me, blending right in with the scenery without my scarf and Yankee hat.
Later there was this. The leaning tower of Jenga. Attempt #4 finally reached the ceiling. I had 2 glasses of wine while watching this and from what I understand, once I left, the game became Drinking Jenga.
So, to bring us all up to date, I went to Josie's after hiking/Jenga, which was pretty good considering I couldn't eat half the menu and I reserved half of the portion for lunch later. I was actually a little hungover but my headache cleared and we saw Water For Elephants, which was simply a perfect amazing chick flick.
Not much to say about Saturday. Had to do an autopsy, major =(. We made the most boring salads ever (my only comment here is that keeping shrimp in the freezer is the best thing ever. I have a giant bag of frozen mini cooked salad shrimp and uncooked but deveined big shrimp). We then went to a comedy club (I had to take alone my own potato vodka in a flask --> money saver!) and then out to a bar with my college buddys, who say they read my blog and I love them dearly.
Today, another autopsy. Damn, yo!
Came home, got really excited for CRAB NITE! Basically I go out, spend a lot of money ($37/2ppl!) on giant crabs legs, heat them and eat them like a cavewoman. I don't want to explain this, it's messy.
But here we are. I DID make something. Though two giant sets of crab legs do the trick for me, Boyfriend needed more. I present to you the perfect baked/mashed/stuffed/HEALTHY potato!The 1.5x Baked Potato (with cheese AND meat)
I microwaved this guy (he's a big one) on high for 4 minutes (pierced the skin a couple of times), slit him down the middle and scooped out the insides into a little bowl. I put the skin into the toaster oven at 375 degrees. To the scooped out potato, add a tbsp of chevre (the super-soft) goat cheese and a chopped up piece of turkey or beef bacon and whatever spices you like. Salt/pepper are necessary of course.
Also a splash of skim milk. Microwave for 30 sec. By the time you're done, scoop the mashed/smashed potato back into the potato skin, bake in the oven for another 10-15 minutes and voila!Health factor: Not too great. The potato itself racks up about 200-250 calories, add to that 30 calories of turkey bacon + maybe 60-100 calories of cheese + 30 calories skim milk: 450 calories. For myself, I would probably omit the cheese, even it out at 350 calories. It's definitely hearty enough to have as a breakfast (with a fruit). But, for those who aren't eating defensively, or for those who want to make some comfort food for someone else, these are pretty good. Also doable: split in half an share.Now I'm making spaghetti squash. I doubt that attempt #1 with a new squash will turn out well. Buh bye!
Today I came home early from work to find something I have never seen.....Boyfriend has spontaneously decided to cook. Well....relatively speaking. I walked into the apartment just in time to scare the s**t out of him while he was rolling matzoh balls.
This is Boyfriend matzoh ball soup!
But that wasn't all!
Having devoured the passover dessert I made, Boyfriend didn't wait for me to fulfill my promises to make more. Looking in the refrigerator I found this -->
I'm going to take this as a compliment to the passover dessert =).
Actually one of these is dried fig under the chocolate and walnuts.
One word of advice, Boyfriend: If you only cover the bananas in teh chocolate there will be nothing to stick them to the matzoh...
Consider the drizzling technique or drop some chocolate down onto the edges.
But it's so pretty!
Finally, there was this beautiful concoction. This represents some of that raising/cherry/cranberry mix I had used to beef up my triple-berry bran muffins sitting on a nice bed of chocolate. It's like gems!
Well played Boyfriend, well played.
Having this much chocolate covered goodness in the fridge is DANGEROUS.
As it turns out, because I'm having a friend over today (the infamous friend from the second post with whom I unwittingly consumed half of a bottle of wine along with apple pie and pizza) these chocolaty treats will come quite in handy. I can even give her some matzoh ball soup!
But...there is still the matter of more leftovers. And never to be underdone, I have produced this: A slice of leftover roast topped with fat free feta cheese (crumbled) and chopped roasted red peppers.
Before this little girls night in, I pounded out 6 miles on the treadmill plus 20 minutes on the elliptical (I didn't need it but was reading a magazine and didn't want to bother dragging it home!) so I feel pretty good.
I'm going to write about this in another post, but seriously, I hate exercise. I have every mile I run and every yoga class I go to. But....I loooove to eat and I loooove to fit into my clothes.....so I pay for my pleasure. You don't have to like exercise, but if you don't think you can live on the six-small-meals-a-day diet or the fish-and-brown-rice diet or any of the other things out there, you make time and you put up with the workouts. Mom...are you reading this?
OK, time to drink a very large glass of wine, meat and chocolate, guilt free, thanks to the workout.
I met my goals! I have NEVER met my goals before (see previous post for goals). To be absolutely fair there were substitutions, though I feel that they were probably pretty worthwhile. For example, I had 2/3 of a glass of wine and no shot of hard liquor and instead head a few extra helping of eggplant and root vegetables. Good trade, yes?Actually, one of my favorite food bloggers, Kath
, stopped drinking alcohol almost entirely once she started to blog. Honestly, though I don't think I drink a lot, I do have a few drinks per week and I promise my readers that I will continue to enjoy glasses of wine or beer as well as desserts. I will also never grind my own flour or make things from scratch when I can just as easily get them pre-prepared (without sacrificing health or taste!)
Nothing much to say here, except that there were a lot of toasts, a lot of Manischevitz and a lot of food!
Problem with Jewish Holiday Feast Days? Leftovers!
We have so many leftovers in our fridge, I'm feeling quite a bit of pressure to eat a lot of food just to finish it!
On top of it, I want to start cooking again...more pressure.
On top of THAT the gym was STILL closed today. But, there have been two feast days and the weekend before wasn't that great so I had to resort to last measures. Did I sneak into the gym in my old apartment building so I could run off 4.5 miles? Yes. Why? Because I may or may not have eaten a LOT of chocolate today.
Anyway this has been very much about me, so I'd like to be a little more general. A little fluctuation around the holidays is expected. In fact, defensive eating is all about dealing with this kind of thing. I can't say no to delicious things spread in front of me, so instead, I wait until the feasting is over and I spend a few days in a row being a little more regimented.
More to the point, this week my plans with my friends include a glass of wine at my apartment, a movie, possibly hiking, dodgeball....all things that don't involve eating out. I make sure that I have time to go to the gym before socializing. I'll be missing restaurant eating for a few days but I should have thought of that before taking the extra piece of chocolate covered matzoh.
By the way....chocolate covered matzoh?!? AMAZING. And sooooo easy. Matzoh year-round, here I come!
I'm still hoping to keep updating and have put up a few more recipes. Will also be putting up favorite products.
I go to a gym with a Jewish association, so it's closed today. I don't find it amusing at all that my gym closes on days when you're expected to have large meals with alcohol. But there you go. I guess it was time for a day off anyway. At least, this is what my mind says. My scale and my sense of guilt seem to feel differently.
I've noticed something: No matter how well you do all week, staying well within caloric goals, seeing good numbers on the scale, it only takes two days of serious splurging (even WITH exercise) to knock you back a few pounds. Why? Splurging usually means extra salt which means extra water weight. It also means high quantities of food that take some uh...time to rid yourself of.
This means that if you did as I did: eat with abandon on Thursday and Saturday, you will actually see the scale jump on Sunday and Monday. If you're smack in the middle of a feast holiday, this is bad news. I'm worried.
Actually I didn't feel that I did such an awful job on Seder part 1. I had set goals for myself of 1 matzoh ball, 1/2 of a serving of the appetizer Boyfriends mother was bringing, small portion of salad, 1 slice of roast, only a few pieces of potato, 2 pieces of asparagus, 2 pieces of banana chocolate matzoh, 1/2 piece of whatever else was around. 1 glass of wine, 1 shot of liquor.
What I actually ate: all of that plus another 1/4 of appetizer, a few extra pieces of potato and asparagus plus 1 extra glass of wine. Not too shabby considering my usual amazing lack of self control.
Here's the overall damage though: Weight maintenance (for now, I'm worried about what will happen on Wednesday morning!), SOOOO many leftovers: steak, potatoes, eggplant dip, appetizer, matzoh, haroset, fish, matzoh ball soup....it's going to be a no-cook week for me.
Had leftover haroset with matzoh for breakfast today, a salad with spinach/arugula, roasted peppers, eggplant dip and 1 piece of matzoh with a bunch of grapes for lunch. Snacks: 1 piece of dark chocolate (not small at all!), 2 small pieces of cheese.
Unfortunately, the closing of the gym today is paired nicely with the second Seder, at my aunts house. Goals: once again, 1 glass of wine, 1 shot liquor, 1/2 piece of two proteins, NO potatoes, small serving of salad, 3 pieces of apps, 2 pieces of desserts. I need someone to hold me to it.
Other notes and observances: potato vodka, kosher for passover (I think) is amazing!
I'm hoping that tonight or tomorrow I'll have time to update the recipes section of this blog. I will also hopefully start to work on reviews and fave products!