It's getting coooollldddd outside and I've brought out my fall coats. And my rain boots. Those seem to be getting the most mileage but it has yet to REALLY rain. Instead it's just....misting, sprinkling and in general doing things that my hair does not appreciate at all. Accordingly, my hats are getting a lot of mileage too!
Now that summer is over all I want is hot, warm, preferrably creamy foods. I think it's going to be a soup-heavy season =) I'm starting on Monday with my cauliflower soupee (yes that's right, it's somewhere in between a soup and a puree, being too thick to be a soup and too thin to be a true puree).
1/2 lb cauliflower (this was bought pre-chopped, making it too expensive!)
1 serving fat free cheddar cheese
1/2 serving Egg Beaters Egg Whites
1/3 or so cup skim milk
Damage: 200 cals for this HUGE bowl of soupee. It took so long to eat I had to stop midway and reheat! =)
1. Steam cauliflower (you can do this on the stove or in the microwave)
2. Toss remaining ingredients into blender and voila! (The egg whites will "cook" because of the heat of the cauliflower and the cheese will melt)
3. Serve with a piece of heavily toasted bread for dipping.
Then, since I had to buy lunch on Monday (and spent way too much money on it!) I decided I needed to come up with stuff to eat for week. Not wanting to shop or even really cook I took a look in my pantry and remembered this:
Near East Falafel Mix: just add water for easy falafel!
The box says that 1/5 of the package of dry mix is 100 cals. It also says that once you add water and wait 10 minutes you should fashion 10 falafel balls and deep fry them. Obviously not my style. I added a few good squirts of lemon juice and fashioned 13 falafel pucks (as my friends have called them) and baked them at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes on one side, flipped them and baked another 10 minutes on the other side.
They come out looking like this, each "puck" being about 40 cals and being about the size of a flattened clementine (seriously I could NOT come up with a good analogy here!)
I've been taking them to work as a salad: 5 baby carrots, chopped, 1/3 of a seedless cucumber, chopped, bed of greens and 4 falafel pucks. I also crumbled 5 saltine crackers on top.
The dressing is actually about 1/4-1/3 cup of my Cucumber/Cilantro/Yogurt Dressing
that I whipped up on Sunday night to go with the baked/grilled salmon. (That'll be posted next)
Here's a good closeup of the falafel. You can't undercook these, they'll just be mushy. But being entirely vegetarian, you wont be risking your health here!
This huge salad, WITH the crackers was about 300 calories. Before I ate it I crumbled the falfel with my fork and tossed in the dressing.
I had gotten home around 7 on that Monday and after eating my soupee, Boyfriend went to bed and I had very little to really do while the falafel baked. Yes, I could have cleaned/tidied but....eh.
I decided to continue to utilize the boxes of mix in my pantry and made pumpkin bread. The package said to add 1 egg, 1/3 cup oil and 3/4 cup water. So I changed that around and used 1 serving Liquid Egg Whites and 1/4 cup Nonfat Vanilla Yogurt AND 1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree.
The result was a slightly too-doughy bread that came out at about 140 calories per slice (not TOO terrible) but tasted a little underdone.
Interestingly, it aged well! Two days of refrigeration later and the bread is actually quite tasty.
I've been taking it for breakfast, toasted, cut in half and schmeared with some PB like a little sandwich. And like a sandwhich I ate it open faced =)
THREE days later and I found I didn't even need to toast it! I had a half-piece this morning with no PB, no toasting and no regrets!
Next up: Review of last night's Wine and Cheese evening with my very-soon-to-be-married friend Nurse Z (who many moons ago introduced me to cauliflower pizza crust!)
What is your favorite pumpkin recipe?
Until then, Happy Halloween! =)
What are you going to be?
I have a toothache =(
I've been making some mushy foods so my mouth feels better but it kind of goes away and comes back, so it fools me! Grr...
Unfortunately, protein is chewy!! Sandwiches, steak, chicken....not happening. So I came up with a meatloaf!
This post is going to consist almost entirely of this meatloaf recipe. Personal stuff next time. I've cooked up a bunch of stuff that doesn't need explaining tonight!
But come on...healthy meatloaf?! Yes!! My kitchen has been Americanized.
1.3lbs lean turkey (785 cals)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (~230 cals)
2 servings egg whites (50 cals)
1/4 cup salsa (~50 cals)
(I like black bean and corn)
2 tbsp ketchup (50 cals)
+another 1 tbsp ketchup (25 cal)
+ 1 tbsp BBQ sauce (30 cal)
Total: ~1260 cals or so
I bolded all the things that were healthier than a traditional recipe. Most recipes are made from beef, use a whole cup of bread crumbs, call for 2 full eggs and instead of salsa use all BBQ and/or ketchup.
Those things have a LOT of sugar folks. That's why they taste so good! =)
Salsa, not so much on the sugar, really low on the calories......actually higher on flavor!
Ok, on to the good stuff...
1. Chop the onion very finely (what a pain!) then brown it in a non-stick pan with Pam (3 min?)
2. Mix all ingredients together. Add some salt, some pepper. Remember to reserve the last bit of ketchup and BBQ sauce.
3. Fashion into a "loaf" on top of some parchment paper (or foil, or go bare-back on the baking sheet/casserole dish)
4. Combine ketchup and BBQ in a small dish and brush (use pastry brush, paper towel, back of spoon?)
5. Bake at 375-400 until the internal temperature is about 170.
Now, I have a thermometer, but if you don't bake for about an hour. I wound up cutting into it after an hour, finding it a bit juicy and put it back for another 10 minute stint.
What comes out are 12 slices (uneven) of total moist goodness.
Boyfriend (who by the way ate the vast majority of this thing) felt it "needed" something but was satisfied with some ketchup on the side. I disagreed, I felt it was great just the way it was.
So the big slices are probably about 160 cals each and the little slices at the end are about 100 or even 90. This is REALLY hearty and it doesn't fall apart (thanks egg whites!)
It's not even that hard to slice!
Dinner was a bit of the usual His and Hers. I sauteed up some green beans that were freezer burned so they weren't overly tasty.
My plate had the two slices of meatloaf and a side of green beans.
His plate below had three slices and more green beans. Of note, Boyfriend consumed another slice of the meatloaf shortly after he cleared his plate. I guess all it was missing was another piece!
I managed to take 2 slices of the meatloaf for lunch the next day (excellent in a wrap!)
Then Boyfriend had 2 out of the remaining 4 slices with some sauteed peppers and onions (came all prepped in a bag from TJs!).
Then he took the remaining 2 slices. I had to scavenge other mushy proteins after my 6 mile run.
Tuna is mushy.
This was a really yummy bowl of 1 can tuna + 2 handfuls broccolli slaw (would have been just as good with arugula/spinach) + some chopped carrots + chopped hot yellow peppers (jalapenos work too).
The dressing is a cilantro garlic dressing from TJs. Actually it reminds me a lot of my summer sauce. Yum!
What you see in the wine glass is actually unfiltered sake. It's my favorite sake beverage and though it definitely looks quite gross, it tastes creamy and sweet.
Sorry for the somewhat boring post but it's 11:30 and I still have to get my laundry out of the dryer downstairs.
Of note: today I left work early and got to work out and be home by ~7pm. I accomplished all sorts of householdy stuff like tidying, prepping laundry, making a cauliflower mash (so good and satisfying, see next post), washing ALL dishes, making falafels and a pumpkin bread and actually doing laundry. Not to mention blog posting and procrastinating!
Hopefully I'll be in bed by midnight and feel nice and accomplished. =)
As promised, the Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats. They look much prettier in a bowl and unfortunately the light (well actually, camera) wasn't adequate for capturing the beautiful orange color.
250 calories very well spent =)
The raw oats on top added nothing to the flavor.
(1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk, 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1 heaping tsp chia seeds, splash of vanilla extract, 1/2 packet sweetener, 2-3 tbsp sugar free maple syrup, sprinkle of cinnamon and ginger)
I've been taking them to work with me in little jars but with lecture being cancelled in the morning, I decided to eat a nice healthy breakfast at home. Of course, I added to this breakfast with some cheese and other snackables to bring myself up at 500 calories total.
Here's a shot of the Worlds Most Boring Dinner Salad from the other night.
Ingredients: Sliced (somewhat microwaved) smoked turkey kielbasa
Chopped carrots, some arugula and cabbage slaw, some chopped hot yellow banana peppers and crumbled saltines. It was so satisfying and delicious without being any effort at all. I call it Boring, but it hits the spot every time!
Three nights ago I wanted to make spaghetti squash. I had had one sitting in my fridge for about a week and I thought it was about time. It turned out to be quite a bit PAST the time, as the seeds in the squash had sprouted (they looked JUST like bean sprouts!) and begun to eat away at the squash starch. Actually what makes anything with seeds inside so flavorful is that the fruit/gourd etc acts like a giant egg, providing nutrients (starches) to the little seeds once they start to grow inside. So yes, while it was technically not "bad" part of what makes it delicious had already been consumed. No fear, I made it last night. I got a squash that made a GIANT tupperware of "spaghetti" for only $3! Since I have no concept of portion control, I will probably finish off the whole squash in about 4 servings. Anyway, here's a shot of my lunch-at-my-desk: Spaghetti squash with marinated/sauteed shrimp.
my desk with my microscope =) ----->
Method: Cook spaghetti squash: click here for specifics.
Marinate shrimp in Mrs. Dash's salt free marinade (or whatever you like, honey mustard usually works well) and throw shrimp and marinade into a satuee pan (non-stick, sprayed with Pam) and heat the shrimp. Dress the squash with a few sprays of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and some Old Bay Seasoning (or Italian Seasoning, or garlic, whatever works for you!). Take the whole shebang to work for a great under 300 calorie lunch. It's so filling and it FEELS just like you're eating spaghetti. **A shortcut I use is using these tiny little fully cooked salad shrimp. I always have at least one giant bag of them in my freezer, they're not even expensive and one big bag goes a looooong way!**
And as long as we're on the subject of oldies but goodies, I recently found these great whole wheat/veggie 60 calorie wraps and bought a bunch of packages and frozen them....so I've been making everything into wraps!
This breakfast quesedilla was made with 1.5 servings of Egg Beaters All Whites, 1 serving of smoked turkey kielbasa (finely chopped and sauteed before addition of eggs) and a few tbsp of homemade salsa (thanks mom!)
But then instead of eating it at all like a quesedilla I cut it into quarters and ate it open-faced. Breakfast pizza?!?
I recently saw an episode of Food Revolution (Jamie Oliver's trying to reform children's diets in nutritionally challenged areas) and kids at school were having breakfast pizza. But of course, real pizza. This is 200 calories of the healthy stuff (I suppose you can use real egg whites if you have the time/effort!)!
Oh yeah, did I mention the Laughing Cow Light Blue Cheese wedge spread underneath the egg part? It totally changed around this meal!
Anyway, I've logged 18 miles in the last three days! Phew! My hip is apparently over whatever was putting it in a bad mood before =) =)
In other food-related news, Boyfriend and I arranged for a much needed date night on Saturday and we took ourselves out for a nice heavy Belgian beer and a nice huge pot of mussels at our favorite mussel place: BXL East. Then we went to see an off Broadway play and unfortunately retired early. The night after that was Date Night Part II and it featured an outing to the sushi place that opened up in our neighborhood. Not overly impressive but certainly above average!
In NON-food related news I'm very saddened by the Yankee's failure to continue on in the World Series and feel that unless I want to watch football (which I can occasionally deal with!) my watching-sports-and-having-wings-with-the-guys evenings are numbered =( I do NOT watch basketball so the spring isn't my favorite. Finally, ski season is approaching! Yaay!!
Ok, this post is long enough. Stay tuned for my attempt at Healthy Meatloaf! =)
<3 Dr. Jules
The Jewish Holidays (at least for me) are over! The last one is a doozy, with a 25 hour fast and multiple stints at services. That last service is a doozy too, because everyone is starving and the rabbi ALWAYS goes for a few extra minutes, you know, for our souls.
Well anyway, breaking the fast was maybe a disaster. I came home and chugged two bottles of water (thirst is always worse than hunger) and sat down to a delicious dinner. But my aunt and uncle were late, so while we stalled a little I inadvertently drank 2 glasses of wine! (I meant to drink 1). Ok, maybe not a DISASTER!
Honestly, I figured a nice big dinner would drown out the wine. It did not. Especially since I continued to sip on the wine through dinner. I started with some appetizers including this tongue on bread with red horseradish you see here. VERY Russian!
This completely multicultural meal! At the upper-most corner, barely visible is the gefilte-fish. Then going clockwise is a Brussels sprout and forest-picked mushrooms salad (thanks mom!), a fried fresh-caught fish (thanks dad!), a tomato and mozarella dish with some basil on top and a salsa (also homemade) in the middle.
Never one to be without two main courses, my mom also baked this Blackfish stuffed with leeks. The fried fish over it is kind of assorted (a cod, a striped bass and maybe some blackfish?)
To top off the meal, I had a few bites of dessert (Rugalah). Sadly, the real end to my night was a headache =(
And NOW, for a new Overnight Oats In A Jar
recipe! This is Pumpkin Pie In A Jar. Seriously, it tastes like a nice slice of pumpkin pie, but fills you up like nothing else and is really healthy and perfect for breakfast. Even on the go, since you can just eat it straight out of the jar like I do. Maybe tomorrow I'll eat it in a bowl at home and at least have a nice picture of the thing. The base (190cals):1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (I use Dannon Light N' Fit)1/2 milk (I used vanilla Slender Soy milk, SO GOOD!!!)1/3 cup rolled oats The add-ins
: 80 cals?1/2 cup canned pumpkin2 tbsp sugar free maple syrup (or regular0
1 tsp vanilla extract1 tsp chia seedsFeel free to add 1/2 packet sweetener.
Finally, you leave it all in a jar in the fridge overnight (don't have a jar? Use tupperware...a bowl, whatever!
In the morning it comes out looking like this. The perfect oatmeal texture, but just a little bit chewy because the oats are rolled.
For a porridge-like texture, use the instant oats. I've tried and loved both but have the rolled oats on hand now.
Total damage: 270 cals. Tastes like: at least 1.5 slices of pumpkin pie (500 cals?)
Lunch that day was a simple affair. 1/3 of a extra-firm tofu packet baked in the manner of Baked Tofu
and slathered in BBQ sauce as it baked. Actually I baked these in a hurry in the morning and as a consequence they did not bake enough and were....not quite tasteless but not quite tasty either.Still this was a nice lunch. 1 whole wheat wrap (60 cals) + 6 slices of tofu (130 cals) + some cabbage with dressing (50 cals?)
I tore the wrap into quarters, put a little bit of lettuce down and then put a slice of the tofu on top. Then a quick little 4 bite-sized roll up formed!
This was really great, actually. It took a while to eat and was easy to do at my desk while waiting for more work to arrive. =(
Anyway, I think that's all for now, food wise.
Some things coming up: fellowship interviews (hopefully!), engagement parties, 10 year high school reunion (!!!!)...
Today was a hot yoga day. I've been doing more recently because running is less comfortable, but oh man, I had by a** handed to me today. Even when I came in the room was hotter than normal and the instructor changed around the sequence of poses. The poses themselves weren't hard but this was the first Yoga To The People Class that I just couldn't make it through. I had to take breaks!
I came home and all I wanted was a big bowl of Brussels sprouts, but I added a tiny bowl of Boyfriend's pasta to that, so I'm thinking I lost the calorie battle tonight. Oh well, tomorrow's another day. I'm gonna make myself a nice jar of Pumpkin Pie oats and head to bed!
Here's the story. I haven't really been up to writing the blog for a while because my mysterious hip injury, compounded by a mysterious reaction to medicine, compounded even FURTHER by this whole fellowship application business has made me sedentary and not really into cooking. Not only that, but for some reason, I've not even had any good successes in the kitchen lately. Maybe barring my acorn squash, which will be the star of this post. First though, let me start by recapping a few yummy lunches.
I made apple pie for the people at Montefiore hospital as I was leaving. I figure they'd remember me sweetly and maybe offer me a fellowship position? =)
This will have been the last thing I really made before I got benched.
With the cake I also took a jar of baba ganoush which I ate with a batch of kale chips. This was an AMAZING idea. The wet, thick baba ganoush went SO WELL with the crispy, crunchy kale chips! I just dipped my fork into the jar, then used it to spear a chip. Perfection! And super low cal and healthy. =)
So after this packed lunch above, I definitely started to hibernate a bit and eventually went into total inactivity for about 2 weeks! It felt AWFUL. Who knew I was so addicted to the endorphins of exercise. Ugh. Not to mention I found it almost impossible to change my eating habits to reflect the decrease in activity, especially since I spent a lot of time sitting around, surrounded by food and bored. I'm sure most girls know exactly how that tends to turn out!
So I began to pack breakfast/lunches like this one. PB+J, grapefruit and a frozen meal. I'm really glad I keep at least 3-5 <300calorie frozen meals in my freezer at all times. The Lean Cuisine Chicken Enchilada Suiza is one of my favorites. It takes a nice long time to eat and combines my 3 greatest loves: meat, cheese, rice.
The lollipops are Dum Dums which are a nice, light snack.
Here's what's "special" about the PB+J. It probably wasn't as good as a typical one (which can run to almost 400 calories) but it hit every spot a normal PB+J would.
Bread: Bakery Lite Whole Wheat (40 cals/slice). It's a good bread, definitely worthwhile.
PB: Better N' Butter (at 100 cals/2 tbsp). I used 1 tbsp split between the two slices (I prefer to eat my sandwiches open-faced always. It's OKAY. Not the best, but if you are someone (like myself) who has real issues with portions and self control, this is probably a pretty good substitute.
The J: Actually a Trader Joes Superfruit Preserves that has a whole bunch of healthy stuff in it and is low in sugar and somewhat tart (25 cals/tbsp). I used 1 tbsp of this too. Total damage: 155 cals. Satisfaction? 75% of what it would have been if I just went with all the regular stuff.
Finally, I did decide to cook SOMETHING while doing nothing. Not pictured is the spaghetti squash
I made, but only because, lets face it, I've been there and done that and you can click here
if you want to see how it's done.
This is an acorn squash I brought home from Trader Joes. I have had them in the cafeteria for the past month, where they've been appearing once a week. I had to guess that they were roasted and drizzled with something somewhat sweet.
Calorie counter puts these at 172 cals/430 gm.
Now, they say that each squash should be about 430 gm but I took a fairly medium looking one and it came out to a little over 800gm! (food scale in back of above picture!)
It was NOT easy to cut, however (still, easier than other squash varieties) and I did not bother saving the seeds. Or rather, I did but then they took too long to dry out and I threw them away.
So anyway after coring it out (much easier than coring out other squashes, by the way!) I figured I'd round down to 800gm, 320 cals for the whole squash.
Of course I then poured about 1-1.5 tsp sugar free maple syrup (this stuff is so good!) into each half and used a pastry brush to spread it along the "meat".
I placed the squash halves face down on a piece of foil in a metal baking dish. In the future, I will spray the foil with Pam. The squash halves wound up sticking a little bit. Nothing too terrible.
I baked them at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes and turned them over when I could easily stick a knife through the outer peel.
P.S. I also "glazed" the outside of the squashes with the maple syrup that was kind of pooling in the center. This was a GREAT move!
I finished the halves off with 1 tbsp I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (or you can use Smart Balance, or even just spray the halves) and sprinkled on a liberal helping of cinnamon, ginger and just a tiny pinch of salt and cumin.
They were soooo good and tender. Not exactly like I had in the cafeteria but close. Here's the thing though, these halves (for just about 200 cals/half when done) were CRAZY filling. I tried to eat a whole one once and couldn't get throguh it. Two thumbs up!
Finally, I guess it's about time to explain the title. As some of you might know, the Jewish Holidays are here. First it's Rosh Hashanah (the New Year) which occured earlier last week. I hosted a dinner at my apartment for my parents (and Boyfriend, who is a reluctant observer).
On this day, we eat challah bread dipped in honey and apples (also dipped in honey) to symbolize the sweetness of the upcoming year. We also drink a lot of wine.
For this dinner Boyfriend brought home the challah (like bringing home the bacon, but distinctly more Jewish) and I prepared a batch of baba ganoush (in which I dumped too much cumin) at 3 o'clock, a batch of kale chips (which steamed instead of baked because the pan was wet) and made two acorn squashes (which wound up being completely undercooked).
So while this meal looked good, it was a huge failure on my part. To be fair, I was totally on narcotic painkillers and was pretty out of it!
Not shown is actually the star of the dinner, the Pio Pio Chicken that we ordered as our main meat dish. I don't know what kind of crack the Pio Pio
people put into their dipping sauce or what kind of Devil's fire they use to roast their chickens, but holy cr*p, those chickens are AMAZING. So for $20, we were able to feed 4 people and have another meal leftover for the next day. Whhhaaatttt?
So, what have I learned from these three weeks of not posting and barely cooking?
1) You CAN mess up acorn squash, but if you don't, it's really great
2) You CAN mess up kale chips, but even soggy instead of crunchy they're actually quite tasty
3) I'm addicted to exercise
4) Cumin should be used in moderation
5) I need to do a better job with blogging more regularly
As a side note, my mom made a brussel sprouts and mushroom salad (seen above) that was delicious (but probably cooked in more oil than I would ever use myself!) and a salsa which is out of this world delicious and totally up my alley. The issue is that she uses this little chopper thing that I don't have and also, fresh vegetables are pretty expensive in Manhattan. So maybe I'll just have to have the salsa imported from home.
On another side note, Yom Kippur is also approaching (in a few hours, in fact). This holiday is one of atonement. In the week prior, Jews must apologize to those to whom they've done wrong and later tonight, G_d will supposedly forgive us the sins we have commited against His laws. I particularly enjoy this holiday because of the implicity of forgiveness for minor rule breaking (eating pork, meat+cheese, working on the Sabbath) but responsibility for sins committed against others. I really appreciate that in Judaism, G_d will not take responsibility for wrongs committed against other human beings and you must recieve THEIR forgiveness. What a great idea.
As a last side note, Yom Kippur is a fasting holiday. So tonight, I will rush home to Staten Island and scarf down as much food as possible before sundown, head over to the synagogue for about 2 hours and spend the whole next day/afternoon attempting to move as little as possible but remain entertained before heading BACK to synagogue for 2-3 hours. That second trip is really tough though because everyone is cranky, smelly and you can literally hear people's stomachs grumbling. THEN of course, we all go home and put ourselves into SERIOUS food comas as we eat and drink way more than we normally would. Dinner on Yom Kippur should look similar to Rosh Hashanah as I believe my mother's brussel sprouts will be making another appearance.
Finally (ANOTHER side note, I know...this is getting ridiculous) I am back on my feet after all this downtime. I started early this week by various cardio (yessss!) on Day 1 followed by a 1.5 hour hot yoga on Day 2 (very miserable, but so good!) then back on the treadmill on Day 3 (very painful, only 2 miles). I took a day off on Day 4 then headed back into the gym for 6 miles (VERY slow pace, somewhat painful, getting better) then went back to yoga (1 hour, very wonderful). Finally, yesterday I completed 8 miles at a slow pace and am super sore today. I'm hoping to get in a yoga class before heading home to Staten Island. My whole mind set is improved with all this activity. =) =) =)
See you later!