Two Recipes Coming At Ya!

19 05 2010

Hi, Loves :smile:

How’s everyone doing today?  Hopefully, this post finds you well :mrgreen:

It’s still super dreary in MA, which is not helping my mood.  I woke up with the best intentions of walking through the day with a smile, but it was quite tough at times. 

I would like to use this time to present God with a compromise:  “I believe You are good and have faith that tragedy happens for a reason.  But, could you PLEASE give me some DAMN sunshine?  Thank you.  Love, Lindsay.”

Seriously – clouds and light rain are not helping my cause, people!  I guess I can’t have everything, right?

Because the next two days are going to be difficult, I was so happy to have a normal day today.  I exercised without issue and on schedule, I was super busy at work and I ate normally again.  Sometimes, normal is all you need.  In fact, it can be comforting and refreshing.

It is my hope to make this post as ordinary as possible too.  I also want to share a recipe for one of my favorite side dishes, so let’s get to it!

Exercise

I realize I haven’t been focusing much on my exercise because reading recaps of the P90 routines are rather redundant.  I do, however, I want to talk about my schedule for the rest of the week because my first 5K is coming up this Sunday! 

It’s been such a crazy week, which has forced the race to get lost in the shuffle.  But, that doesn’t mean it’s not still important to me!  I ran on the treadmill this morning and felt great.  I plan to do the same tomorrow.  Friday, I want to give my legs a break and use the elliptical.  Saturday morning I want to run an easy 5K.  I want to run at a pace that will allow me to ease my mind about running 3 miles (Even though I’ve been running more than that, I’m still afraid I can’t finish.  Nuts?  Probably!) without the possibility of injury.  I realize you can always get injured, but the point is that I’m not going to try to be a speed demon and wake up with shin splints on the day of my race!  And, on Sunday morning, I plan to race!  Yay!  I can’t wait to recap it all for you guys!  So excited :smile:

Food

Ahhhhh…the good stuff :grin:

Breakfast: Kashi, raisins, walnuts and almond milk (I forgot the banana at home!!).

Lunch:  Leftover roasted cauliflower and potatoes paired with a Morningstar black bean burger.

It doesn’t look very colorful, but it was tasty and nutritious.  Yum.

Snack:  Red grapes, strawberries and a kiwi.  I also enjoyed some carrots and ranch dip.

Tonight’s dinner was a rain check from yesterday!  Taco salads with all the fixings!

I cooked up some lean beef and followed this recipe to create my own taco seasoning.  Much healthier to make your own, my loves! 

It goes a little something like this:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Mix all of the above together.  Add seasoning mix to beef along with ~ 1/2 – 2/3 cup of water.  Let simmer to thicken.

    I then added a tomato, yellow onions, green chiles and can of rinsed black beans to the mix. 

    Topped a bed of spinach with the beef mixture and garnished with avocado, pepperjack cheese, blue corn chips, sour cream, Frank’s red hot and Green Tabasco.

    Remind me again why I wasn’t feeling this yesterday?  It was so tasty!

    Recipe X 2

    I get into vegetable funks.  Or rather, I get into side dish funks.  Generally, life is too busy during the week to whip up homemade mashed potatoes or dressed green beans.  This is generally why you see me roasting veggies and serving baked potatoes.  Don’t get me wrong – I love the latter, but sometimes, I want a little something extra at the dinner table.

    To me, the perfect side dish should never be too complicated.  I love trying unique flavors, but if something calls for truffle oil, it’s not something I want to create myself.  I’d rather sample it out.  I enjoy cooking with staple, on-hand ingredients.  This holds true for private dinners with Mr. KD, as well as when I host others.

    This is where these carrots come into play.  I can’t remember the first time these beauties entered my life.  I’m not sure if it was for a special occasion or just another weeknight dinner, but I do know they came from my Mom.  And, they were AWESOME. 

    I’ve since brought these to a dinner party with my girlfriends and to Thanksgiving at Mr. KD’s parents.  I also served them at Easter, as well as during many dinners when roasting veggies seem too boring. 

    The best part about these babies?  They only require 4 ingredients (including the carrots) and use items I almost guarantee you have on hand.  And, you can adjust the sauce to your liking or to the amount of carrots you need to use.  When I make these for Mr. KD and me, the sauce is generally light.  But, if I make them for a holiday, I’m a bit more liberal and enjoy the buttery goodness.

    The dried tarragon leaves are the hidden gem.  They offer a unique flavor without overpowering the rest of the dish.  Absolute LOVE :smile:

    Mom’s Glazed Carrots

    Ingredients:

    1 lb. Baby Carrots
    5 tbsp butter or butter substitute (ICBINBL)
    2.5 tbsp honey
    Dried tarragon leaves

    Directions:

    Steam or boil carrots to reach desired doneness (this is one veggie I enjoy very soft).  In a small sauce pan, combine butter and honey until melted.  Add carrots to the sauce pan and mix until coated evenly.  Sprinkle liberally with tarragon leaves.  Move carrots to a servings dish and drizzle with all the good stuff from the pan.  Serve immediately.

    I’m telling you – these are OUTSTANDING.  They also heat up well.  A general rule of thumb is two-parts butter to one-part honey.  You can use as much or as little as you’d like! 

    Every time I serve these, Mr. KD says the same thing: “I forgot how much I looooooove these carrots.”  He said it.  Not me.  So, take it up with him if you don’t like them :wink:

    Okay, I have to go catch up on Lost from last night!

    P.S. I lost a little faith in human nature after reading all of your stories of theft :sad:

    P.S.S. Don’t forget that the Healthy Living Summit tickets go on sale at 9 pm EST!

    Question of the Day:  What is your favorite side dish?

    Can I cheat and say anything that comes with Thanksgiving?  I’m talking bread stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean casserole, etc, etc.  Oh my gosh! :shock:   Did I just forget FRENCH FRIES?!?  Okay, fine.  I refuse to pick.  I have equal love for all.





    Humpday Taco Salad and New Blog

    24 03 2010

    Hey, hey!

    How did Hump Day treat everyone?  I had a pretty good day.  Nothing truly out of the ordinary and the weather is still semi-stinky.   While it eventually got sunny today, it started off cloudy.  We’re bracing for temps in the 30’s on Saturday.  Just a week ago, it was 70 degrees!  Oh, New England.  Why do you torment me so?

    I hit the Arc Trainer this morning for 50 minutes and then got to work on shoulders and triceps.  I was feeling really strong and got a great lifting session in.  My muscles had that swollen, tight feeling at the end.  I LOVE that.  My poor hamstrings were crying out for attention after dead lifts yesterday, so I made sure to get a good stretch in at the end of my workout. 

    Ouch.  I love feeling sore after a good workout, but when my hamstrings are sore, I’m not a happy camper.  While I know it’s a good thing, they just HURT and make me whiny.  Mr. KD would say there are many, many, many things that make me whiny, but we’re not talking about that.  When your hamstrings are sore, it’s almost like you can’t do anything without them throbbing.  Oh well, tis the price we pay!

    Do you guys have a resident baker at your office?  I do and she’s OUTRAGEOUS.  Everything she makes is stellar, but since I’ve worked with her for so long, I’ve made rules for myself.  While I truly adore everything she bakes, there are only a few items that I’ll “allow” myself when I see them: chocolate chip cookies (just because no matter who bakes them, they are outstanding), fudge (self-explanatory), coconut macaroons (she must make the best I’ve ever had) and pumpkin bread (luckily, this only shows up in-season).  Well, today she showed up with chocolate chip cookies and I just couldn’t resist.  Even before I could eat breakfast, I devoured this sexy little thing.

    Much to my delight, this was made with mint chocolate chips!  While I understand some people don’t like these two flavors mixed, I absolutely adore them together.  Andes mints, anyone?

    I then scarfed down my oats this morning!  I feel like I haven’t eaten oats in such a long time!!  As always, they didn’t disappoint and were so creamy and luxurious. 

    In the mix:

    • ½ cup oats
    • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond butter
    • ½ banana
    • Pinch salt
    • Dash of vanilla
    • Cinnamon

    Toppings:

    • Naturally Nutty Chocolate Toffee Nut Butter
    • Raisins

    Raisin confession:  I find them SO addicting!  I’m not sure why either.  I would never say that I love raisins (unless I am at the movies, they are covered in chocolate and served in a big, yellow box), but when they are around, I could eat them until they make me sick.  It’s a strange relationship.  Because of this, I tucked them far away in my cupboard.  The only reason I bought them is to incorporate them into a recipe I plan to use soon.  I’m hoping to stay strong.

    Lunch was fun today!  I am constantly searching for new lunch ideas.  I find that it is the most difficult meal to remain inventive on, mostly because I am packing it the night before and lose motivation to get creative.  But today, I added a slight twist and it completely revamped an otherwise boring meal!

    I made a salad with romaine hearts, baby bellas, red onion and a slice of garlic & pepper turkey.  Instead of packing my usual raspberry vinaigrette, I packed up some BBQ sauce that I had leftover from the Pineapple Meatloaf.  I was surprised to find that it had fewer calories per serving (2 Tbsp) than the vinaigrette.  Not to mention, this sauce is all-natural and gluten-free.  This was SO good on the salad!  Holy yumtastic!  My only regret is not adding pineapple to this Bad Larry!

    However, on that note, I will say that I’m an advocate for olive oil and vinegar on your salad.  The monounsaturated fats in the olive oil are not only good for your health, but will keep you satisfied longer.  Incorporating these fats, along with polyunsaturated fats, into your diet may help lower cholesterol.  Due to their high calorie count, however, they should still be used in small doses.  Often, a tsp is all you need!  You can read more about fats here.

    The problem with this combination is that vinegar does NOT travel well (been there…it gets everywhere) and while I did use some from my cafeteria yesterday, I’m not supposed to unless I pay .50 for it.  If they’re charging .50 for the vinegar, imagine what they would charge for a few drop of olive oil?!?  Thus my use of bottled salad dressing, friends.  You caught me.  I’m cheap :oops:

    On the side, I had a whole-wheat pita, spread with some hummus and Frank’s red hot.  I then threw in a slice of cheese and some fresh parsley.  I couldn’t taste the parsley, which I was surprised at because it has such a strong flavor.  This was still rockin’ though.  Hummus & cheese?  Yes, please!!

    For my afternoon snack, I tried out the Chobani vanilla flavor.  Eh.  Not really my thing.  The vanilla flavor was only slight, which means it tasted a lot like plain yogurt.  I am truly hoping I can learn to like the plain variety, especially because I have a huge tub of it in my fridge.   I just can’t get over the tanginess of it.  It’s too similar to sour cream except if sour cream were going slightly bad and left a tang on your tongue instead of going down smooth.  Icky, icky.  I already told you about my plan to incorporate agave nectar for a sweeter treat.  I’m hoping this will help.  Does anyone else have tips for me on how to enjoy this for a snack?  If you don’t, I plan to live in my sugar-laden world of pineapple Chobani.  Mwuahahahahaha! 

    Dinner was super easy tonight!  Mr. KD and I simply assembled some taco salads.  The taco mix is 40% reduced sodium and the meat is 96% lean.  We slapped that on a bed of romaine, topped with black beans, cheese, scallions and fresh cilantro.  I also crushed 3 Tostitos Scoops with a hint of jalapeno (Have you gusy tried those?  AMAZING!) that we had in the cabinet.  They added the perfect amount of crunch to the salad. 

    We always, and I mean always, have salsa in the cupboard.  Did we tonight?  Of course not!  To make up for this, we splashed on some Frank’s red hot and Tobasco’s green sauce.  I think you guys have caught on by now that I like REALLY spicy food, but I think Tobasco’s green sauce might be my favorite of all the varieties.  There is virtually no heat to it, but it has the most amazing flavor.  I’ve got Mr. KD hooked on it too.  It’s definitely something you should have in your pantry!

    See those four blobs of white?  Well, two of them are light sour cream and two are Greek yogurt.  I spun my plate around a few times, so that I wouldn’t be able to tell which topping was on each side.  You know what?  Tasting them alone, I could tell the difference.  But when using both with other textures and flavors, they really do taste the same.  I can see how people use the yogurt on baked potatoes, tacos, etc.  I’m definitely going to give this a fair shot in the future!

    Oh my gosh!  This was sooooooo dreamy.  Different textures and flavors and different shades of green.  It was a delicious, nutritional powerhouse! 

    After dinner, I was really craving something sweet, so I heated up some almond milk and mixed it with Maxwell House’s sugar-free cafe mocha mix, while reading my email. 

    I also want to share this post that I wrote for Stage of Life, which is a website devoted to sharing real-life experience via its bloggers through all the stages of life!  In addition to blogs, users can ask questions to the community of their choice.  The site also collects coupons from around the web for users to search through, which is always an added bonus.  I think the concept of the site is great (it can take you from high school through retirement!) and I plan to continue blogging for them in the future as I brainstorm new ideas to share with a community outside my very special KDers. 

    Hop on over to their site and look around.  It not only helps them, but helps me too!  Spread the word to anyone you know that may be interested.  And if you’ve always wanted to write a blog, this site is the perfect place to start because there are no expectations.  Simply click on the green button to send a message to the editors from the homepage!  They’ll respond ASAP and you’ll be up and running.  Plus, you’ll receive e-mails about all the new and cool stuff happening around the website!

    Question of the day:  Do you prefer winter or summer clothing?

    While I think both wardrobes have their perks, I generally like winter clothes better.   I find that jeans are more comfortable than shorts and clothes are just easier to come by.  I think a lot of women’s summer clothes are simply too non-existent for my taste, if ya’ know what I mean.  But of course, I hate winter weather so it’s give-and-take.  And while I obviously heart flip flops, I can’t say I like them as much as my sweatpants and Uggs :smile: