Friday, July 29, 2011

The Big Easy

Heading to the Big Easy for a Bachelorette Party for Kate and Stef Dawg!

In honor of New Orleans, I made Ryan some of the Cajun Chicken Pasta this week, if you need a bit of spice in your life, you should check this recipe out. Beware though, they guys called me "cayenne" after eating, so if you don't love spice, only put 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper in your recipe! Can't wait to get to NOLA with my florida girls and get some real cajun food!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Breakfast of the Champions - Summer Style

Berries are unbelievably delicious right now and I am taking in as much as I can while they are in season. The days are getting a bit shorter :( so I know that the season can only last for so long. This is my favorite quick and easy breakfast to use as many berries as I can. I love the granola from BlackBerry Hills. I get this granola at whole foods and it is the best I can find (Thanks Sharon for introducing it to me). Try this for a snack or breakfast and enjoy all that the summer fruits have to offer... this is more of an idea than a recipe but it is great.

Summer Berry Breakfast:

1 container of nonfat organic vanilla flavored yogurt (Whole foods brand is great)
1 ounce of Blackberry Hills granola (or whatever granola you love to use)
Fresh assortment of blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, even pineapple or fresh peaches is great.


Weekly Eats July 25-31

B: Nonfat yogurt with blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries and granola, with coffee (1/2 and 1/2 and agave nectar)
L: Grilled Shrimp salad (little bit of mayo with grilled shrimp and fresh dill with splash of white wine vinegar) served on 2 slices of rye bread
S: Iced coffee with no sugar from Starbucks and skim milk
S: cantalope form Jennjo! It was amazing cantalope. also had 1 square of chocolate graham cracker
D: 1 small whole wheat tortilla with cabot reduced fat jalapeno cheese and fresh tomatoes with side of salsa and 1 tbs sour cream (ate at 8:30 because that is what time I get home from work....)

Fruits: 3 Veggies: 0 BAD
Workout: 60 minute advanced mat taught by sharon (*it's tuesday am and I am dying in my abdominal and deep 6 muscles!) question is why I don't do mat more frequently!

B: Coffee with agave and 1/2 and 1/2, yogurt with berries and granola
L: 1/4 cup cajun chicken pasta, greek salad with cucumber, tomato, olives, roasted peppers, feta, and homemade greek dressing. Side of homemade hummus and small slice of rye bread
D: Kate's Salad (Rojo) which includes arugula and spinach, guacamole, black bean and corn salsa and cilantro vinaigrette
S: 5 sips of bud light and honey graham crackers with fig goat cheese

Fruits: 2 Veggies: 3 at least
Workout: walk 60 minutes outside with tucher

B: Normal yogurt with berries and granola, coffee with agave and creamer
S: 1 large and JUICY chilton county Peach!
L: 1 sour cream and chicken enchillada (homemade)
S: blackberries and honey graham sticks (6) dipped in fig goat cheese
D: Greek Salad with hummus and rye bread

Workout: 45 minute walk
Fruits: 3 Veggies: 2

B: Normal yogurt with berries and granola and coffee
L: Chris Z's with Holly and Hampton! Wheat bread with turkey and swiss with lettuce and tomato and 20 small shoestring french fries, side of chris z sauce (not sure what it is but it is good)
D: 1 regular size slice homemade pizza at Mandi's, 1 slice rye bread with coconut butter, 5 bites of cajun pasta, couple of bites of granola.

Workout: 40 minute walk outside with tucher who decided halfway thru the walk that he was over it and just laid down in a neighbor's yard!
F: 2 Veggies: 1

Friday: Travel to New Orleans for Bachelorette Party!
B: Starbucks cinnamon and raison bagel with 1/2 tbs cream cheese
S: mimosas when all the girls arrived!
L: Pat O'Brien's Hurricane then side of red beans and rice and veggie sandwich
D: Felix's Restaurant in New Orleans - Grilled shrimp Po Boy without the bread, 1 package of saltine crackers, small ceasar salad, sauteed squash
S: 1 bud light

Fruits: 0 Veggies: 3 (pretty darn good for vacation!)
no exercise besides walking around the french quarter

B: Cafe Du Monde - 2 beignets (dusted off as much of the powdered sugar that I could) with coffee au lait (love their chickory coffee - the best!)
S: Meltdown for the most amazing popsicle ever.... pineapple basil
L: Sake Cafe sushi.... we ordered an assortment of rolls and shared them all. Best sushi! We also had appetizer of edamame
D: 1 slice cheese pizza, and 1 piece of hotel chocolate (from turn-down service!)
Drinks: 4 bud lights

Fruits: 1 Veggies: 1
Workout: LOTS of walking around the French Quarter and Magazine Street

B: Another cinnamon and raisin bagel (at airport again) and large coffee with 2 sugars added
L: Ross Bridge Clubhouse - Salmon and Brie salad with pears and a lavender vinaigrette. Also had about 10 sweet potato fries off of Ryan's plate :) these make me very happy!
S: 2 small chocolate chip cookies left at my house.... this is why I don't buy sweets!
D: Morningstar Farms black bean burger on rye bread with 1 ounce of melted cheese
and a couple of honey graham sticks in fig goat cheese

Fruits: 1 Veggies: 2
Workout: Lots of cleaning for the Real Estate Open House :)

Overall this week was ok.... I had 12 servings of veggies when I am aiming for 22
Fruits were good and pretty much on target (my breakfast is helping with those)
Workouts were good considering it was such a busy work week and I left early am on Friday for New Orleans.... Still need to curb the snacking a bit though

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekly Eats July 18 - July 24

Monday: Started off today exhausted but made myself take a walk outside which really helped. Really long day at work, whole foods after work, cleaning and preparing for a family visit tomorrow!
B: Wendy's Crepe with raspberries and fig goat cheese, coffee with half and half and agave
S: 15 pretzels
L: V. Richards salad plate with tuna salad, caprese salad, tomato and cucumber salad and guacamole salad
S: blueberries
D: Eggplant Parmesan
while cooking ryan's lunch for the week, had several bites of cottage cheese and had to "taste" test the dish I was making for seasonings... just a few small bites but writing it down!

Fruits: 2 Veggies: 2
Workout: 65 minute walk outside, 55 minute advanced chair (taught by Sharon and it was killer), 2 x core barre arms (teaching)

B: coffee with agave and 1/2 1/2
L: black bean quesadilla homemade with light cheese and 1/2 avocado
S: 15 pretzels and a peach
D: 5 pita chips dipped in crazy feta, grilled halibut filet with side salad and farro side (with eggplant added into dish) dish, 3 glasses red wine

Fruits:1 Veggies: 2
workout: 60 minute ashtanga yoga

B: nonfat yogurt with blueberries, peach, and blackberries and normal coffee
S: 6 hashbrown coins from chik fil a and 9 pretzel sticks
L: Ate at Nabeel's - greek salad, hummos/tzaziki dip, soft pita bread triangles, gyro meat, tomato, feta
S: peach
D: Red Snapper in a creme fraiche/mustard sauce (unreal) with leftover farro salad (with added eggplant into recipe) and green beans
1 glass red wine

Fruits: 4 Veggies: 3
Workout: does chasing a 3 year old for the day count???

B: Yogurt with fruit and granola and regular coffee
S: 1 peach
L: Saw's BBQ - chicken with bbq sauce, stewed squash, and vinegar slaw with several bites of potato salad
S: fruit
D: Gian Marco's! Appetizer of caprese salad, tuna sashimi, 1 small piece wheat bread. Dinner: scallops with creamy polenta and side of grilled veggies. Dessert: 3 small bites of the best tiramisu! 3 vodka and soda water with lime

Fruits: 4 Veggies: 2
No workout - family in town and busy

B: yogurt with fruit and granola and regular coffee
L: Rojo black bean patty with melted cheese on top and side salad with cilantro vinaigrette
S: pretzel sticks and peach
D: Rojo (yes I love Rojo) for Jennjo's bday - Kate's Salad which includes lots of spinach and arugula, black bean and corn salsa, guacamole, feta, tomatoes, cilantro vinagrette and 2 glasses of wine with one beer

Fruits: 3 Veggies: 3
No workout - worked all day after family left and then celebrated jennjo's bday

B: yogurt with fruit and granola and regular coffee
L: 4 bites of leftovers from Gian Marcos (pork chop) and 1/2 chik fil a sandwich with 5 waffle fries (random I know but I ate lunch at 2:30)
D: Grilled Chili Lime Shrimp (see recipe index, these are the best shrimp EVER) with grilled veggies (patty pan squash, eggplant, onions, and peppers)
S: 3 vodka with light lemonade and 2 glasses of red wine

Fruits: 2 Veggies: 2
workout: 60 minute walk with Mandi around Ross Bridge

Not even going to go there.... Bad day with lots of very random munching.... felt blah
BUT, I did have a 55 minute outside walk with Jennjo!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Roasted Veggie Orzo

A perfect end to a busy busy week was spent grilling with our favorite neighbors! Last night we grilled on our Kamado Joe and enjoyed our Favorite Salmon. A last minute decision to make roasted veggie orzo as a side was such a perfect idea. This dish was amazing, love the fresh flavors and light dressing, such a great recipe for a warm summer evening spent with friends/family.

Roasted Veggie Orzo
Recipe slightly adapted from Ina Garten (of course)

1 eggplant, peeled and diced
2-3 zucchini, chopped
1 red bell pepper, 1 inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, 1 inch diced
1 red onion, peeled and 1 inch diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 lb orzo

for the dressing:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 1/2 to 2 lemons)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

remaining ingredients:
4 scallions (didn't use because I don't like scallions)
1/4 cup pignolis (aka pine nuts) toasted
1/2 - 3/4 lb good feta
6-12 fresh basil leaves (depending on how big your leaves are and how much you want to add) - cut into julienne

Preheat oven to 425

Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, onion, garlic with the olive oil, salt and pepper on a large baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. If you want to cook a bit longer (Ina suggests 40 minutes.... I think that would turn your veggies into mush because at 20 minutes they were already soft and tender) you can.

While the veggies are roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the orzo, cook for 7 minutes, until tender but not too soft... "al dente". Drain the water and transfer into serving dish.

For the dressing - combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine well.

Add the roasted veggies and the dressing to the pasta. Combine. Allow to cool a bit then add the scallions (if using), pignolis, feta, and basil. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Smoky Mozzarella Pasta Bake

I made this yesterday after a long weekend. We had driven 3 hours home, I had to ran to the grocery store therefore I wanted something quick for Ryan's lunches throughout the week (Still trying to plan better for lunches so we save $ and don't eat unhealthy stuff). This turned out yummy and reheats very well. Loved the smokey mozzarella with the pasta and broccoli. For vegetarians, easily omit the chicken and you could always add some artichokes or chickpeas (for some extra protein). Possibilities are endless for things to add, not that the recipe needs it but just offering some suggestions

Smoky Mozzarella Pasta Bake

3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbs butter, melted
1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 lbs) florets trimmed into bite size pieces and stalks cut off
10 ounces penne pasta
2 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup light cream
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 lbs skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bite size pieces
3 ounces smoked mozzarella, shredded
1 tsp red pepper flakes
8 ounce jar oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and melted butter, stir to combine well

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and stir in one tbs salt and the broccoli. Only cook for 1 1/2 minutes, no longer. You don't want to make the broccoli soft, you just want it to turn a vibrant green color. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Bring the water back to a boil and then add the pasta, cook until al dente (making sure not to overcook where the pasta is mushy). Drain the pasta when al dente and toss with 1 tbs olive oil. Sit aside

Wipe the pot dry that you used for the pasta. Add 1 tbs olive oil and return to medium heat until the olive oil is warm. Add the onion and cook until softened and slightly brown, about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add in the garlic and thyme, cook 30 seconds until very fragrant (garlic "speaks"). Add the flour, salt, pepper and cook stirring constantly until the mixture is golden, which takes about one minute. Slowly whisk in the broth and cream, bring to a simmer, and whisking often to prevent it from sticking. Once it has reached a simmer, add the chicken and cook about 6-7 minutes until cooked through. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and smoked mozzarella and combine well.

Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the pot and combine. Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased baking dish and sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and smells amazing in your home!

This made 6 servings and the servings were large to keep Ryan full throughout the work day!

Weekly Eats (July 11-17)

B: Wendy's Crepe, prepared as normal and coffee with agave nectar and coconut creamer
S: 1/8 cup sundried tomato pasta salad
L: 1 small pita stuffed with homemade tabbouleh and shards of feta. 1/2 container of nonfat yogurt topped with fresh raspberries, blackberries, pineapple, and granola
S: Arnold Smoothie (banana, almond butter, milk, protein powder, ice, cinnamon)
D: bowl of cereal with 1 % milk and glass of red wine

Workout: 45 minute walk outside with tucher and it was HOT, 20 minute core barre arms

B: Wendy's Crepe and coffee prepared as normal
L: 1 small pita with black bean burger and melted cheddar cheese, 1 tsp mayo on bread. 6 tortilla chips with salsa
S: 1 container of nonfat organic yogurt topped with pineapple, blackberries, and granola and 1 peach
D: Smoked mozzarella pasta bake without chicken and then to Mandi's house for Stella and Dot party where I ate 1 Icing on the Cookie cookie and 4 glasses of champagne (whoops maybe a bit much but this champagne was good!)

B: Wendy's Crepe and coffee - prepared as normal
S: 1 peach
L: Tabbouleh homemade with 1 1/2 small pita bread and sprinkle of feta cheese
S: 3/4 Icing on the Cookie Cookie.... and while shopping at Whole Foods I had 3 small cubes of cheese (little tasters)!
D: 5 tortilla chips dipped with Tabbouleh, 1 small glass red wine, grilled shrimp, corn salad

Fruit: 2
Veggie: 2
Workout: 50 minute advanced reformer (Sharon taught)

B: Wendy's Crepe and Coffee prepared as normal
S: half and half iced tea and 1 sample bite of sweet dessert at V. Richards and 9 pretzels
L: 1 nonfat organic yogurt with raspberries, blackberries, and pineapple with granola
S: 1 avocado with 1 tbs sour cream and 1 tbs salsa and fresh cilantro with 6 chips
D: Baked Eggplant Parmasan (I can't believe this recipe calls for over 16 oz of cheese, I used a total of 6 for the whole dish!) If you make this cut the cheese!

F: 3
V: 2
Workout: 40 minute walk outside with tucher

B: The normal wendy's crepe and coffee prepared as normal
S: 10 pretzel sticks
L: Eggplant Parmasan
S: 1 peach and 7 chips in queso dip (appetizer)
D: Amazing Daddy Sam's Salmon and my new favorite side - Ina Garten's Roasted Veggie Orzo.... amazing. and 2 1/2 glasses of red wine

Fruits: 3 Veggies: 3
Workout: 35 minutes on treadmill for 2.26 miles and 200 kcal burned plus 40 minutes core barre work (mostly arms)

B: Nonfat yogurt topped with pineapple, blackberries, and raspberries and granola with coffee prepared as normal
L: O'Carrs Mediterranean Salad (my favorite) - this salad is a huge bed of greens topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, roasted peppers, feta in a light olive oil and lemon dressing
S: 5 bites of the Ina Garten's Roasted Veggie Orzo and 1 peach
D: This is where it went down hill! We went to Sol Y Luna (which is a tapas style restaurant so the plates are smaller and meant for sharing) for Jared's bday party and I had 3 margaritas (they don't use a mix, all fresh juice but still highly caloric I'm Sure), Grilled veggie salad with 1/2 slice bread with melted cheese, sweet potato chips, couple of bites of guacamole (so fresh), 1/2 lobster taco, serving of chicken chiliquilies, and few bites of chili relleno. Please note that there were Baby Bites from Pastry Arts and I didn't eat one... just some icing off of a friends!

Fruits: 3 Veggies: 4
Work out: 3.3 mile walk outside with mandi and the doggies

B: nonfat yogurt with pineapple, peach, and blackberries and coffee with half and half and agave nectar
L: Chipotle - salad topped with black beans, pinto beans, chicken, little bit of sour cream, little bit of cheese, salsa, and vinaigrette
S: Cherries
D: Over to Alison and David's house for fresh salad (fresh cilantro was in the salad - so yummy), homemade grilled pizza (topped with chicken, arugula, cheese, bbq or pesto, grilled corn), and a few bites of fresh made cherry cobbler (thanks Jill!). Had this along with tres vodka and diet ginger ale drinks with a splash of lime

Fruit: 3 Veggies: 3
No workout :(

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekly Eats (July 4 - July 10)

Monday: Today was the last half day in Destin and travel day back to Birmingham...
Breakfast: cup of coffee with 1 packet raw sugar and splash of non dairy creamer
Lunch: 6 ounces grilled fresh grouper, 1/2 hamburger bun, cocktail and tarter sauce, 6 french fries, and 1/2 cup coleslaw. Half and half iced tea (From Dewey Destin's!)
Snack: 7 saltine crackers with smoked tuna dip (from Dewey Destin's!)
Dinner: bowl of 2% milk with cereal, 3 bits of buffalo chicken tender (off Ryan's plate), 1 graham cracker with 1/2 TBS goat cheese

Very random day, that is how traveling is for me! I did get to do 20 minutes of Paddle Boarding though in Destin!

B: 1/4 cup 2% milk, with 1/4 cup cereal and 1 tsp sugar. coffee with agave nectar and splash of coconut milk creamer
L: Amy's Organic cheese enchillada dinner (can you tell I haven't been to grocery store yet?)
S: 16 oz serving of the Arnold (Almond butter, soy milk, 1 banana, vanilla, cinnamon) Smoothie
D: cabbage, turnip greens, zucchini, 8 oz nonfat yogurt with blueberries, raspberries, and pineapple (Can you tell I was craving fruit and veggies since over the weekend I had 1 all weekend???)

B: Wendy's Crepe with raspberries, blueberries, and fig goat cheese. coffee with agave nectar and coconut creamer
S: 2 pieces of Perfect Pecan Granola bar, 1 can La Croix Mineral Water
L: Salad with sprinkle of cheese, vidalia onion vinaigrette, 1 1/2 chicken tender
S: 1 nonfat organic yogurt topped with blueberries, raspberries, pineapple and granola
D: 6 tortilla chips (appetizer!), 4 oz salmon with daddy sam's salmon glaze, grilled eggplant, grilled broccoli (topped with sprinkle of cheese), and a small glass of red wine

Workout: 60 minutes core barre (angel taught) and 50 minutes advanced reformer (Sharon taught)

B: Wendy's Crepe with raspberries, blueberries, and fig goat cheese. Coffee with agave nectar and coconut creamer
S: 3 pieces of granola
L: O'Carrs Mediterranean salad (Salad with peppers, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta and a lemon olive oil dressing)
S: 10 tortilla chips with salsa
D: 2 red wine glasses. Cheese quesadilla with black beans and avocado

workout: 55 minute advanced chair pilates workout

B: Wendy's crepe with raspberries, blueberries, and fig goat cheese, coffee with agave nectar and coconut creamer
L: Rojo Kate's salad with black bean burger (Spinach and arugula, salsa, feta cheese, black beans, cilantro vinaigrette) half and half iced tea
S: frito chips (BAD!)
D: Rehearsal dinner - salad with fresh fruit and dressing, 1 1/2 ounce prime rib, diced potatoes, vegetable medley, creamy spinach. 2 glasses red wine. 2 bites cheesecake and 1 bite chocolate eclair
after dinner drinks: 2 stella beers, 1 vodka and club soda

no workout, traveling today

B: no breakfast, just a cup of coffee with 1 packet of sugar and creamer
L: kaiser roll with deli chicken and cheese with buffalo sauce and 1 tbs ranch, half and half iced tea, small ceasar salad, 1/2 cup country green beans, 5 bites of banana pudding
D: wedding reception - shrimp cocktail with cocktail sauce (about 15 shrimp), veggies with 2 tbs ranch, plate of fresh fruit, 3 bites of rice krispie treat, 1 bite of strawberry cake, 2 stuffed mushrooms, 1 very small chicken tender, 3 glasses wine (2 white, 1 red)
S: 8 cubes of cheese

very random day, I don't eat at hardly any fast food restaurants so the 3 hour drive home to bham was a race to get back to some food!
L: Pinches tacos - 1 shrimp, 1 fish, and 1 chicken taco (No cheese or sour cream) just fresh cabbage slaw (no mayo) on top. I didn't eat the tortilla shells. Refried beans and rice on side with half and half tea
D: Ross Bridge Clubhouse nachos (shared with ryan)

no workout, on vacation....