Tofu Lettuce Wraps el Fresco

7 04 2010

My loves!

How is the weather where you are?!?  It is absolutely I gorgeous in Mass today.  It was about 85 degrees and sunny all day :cool:   FABULOUS!  I was in the best mood ALL day because the weather was just perfect!

Isn’t it so funny how the weather affects people’s moods?  I’ve already asked you guys this, haven’t I?  I’m getting old.  My memory isn’t what it once was :wink:

I wanted to have something clever to chat with you guys about tonight, but I don’t really have a good topic and I don’t want to force a chat.  I like it better when I’m actually contemplating something and share it with you guys.  It must be the nice weather because my brain just WASN’T into and I couldn’t think of anything.  So, unfortunately, you guys are going to be subjected to my boring, everyday spiel.

Today’s P90 workout was “Shoulders & Arms”, which consisted of a variety of shoulder (duh!), bicep and tricep exercises.  It was a good one!  I’m using exercise bands for the first time, however, and I find them slightly annoying.  I like the burn I feel when I’m using them, but getting them set up and changing all the handles in a routine like P90 is frustrating.  Mr. KD and I had to keep pausing the DVD to get set up.  I realize we’re new to it and it’ll probably get easier, but it’s just annoying.  I almost wish I was using dumbbells, but they are SO expensive!

I preceded this with 45 minutes on the elliptical.  I am SO sore from yesterday’s plyometrics.  There was NO way I was running.  It felt good to work it out on the elliptical.  However, after the arm workout, I was supposed to do the “Ab Ripper” that follows a few of the exercises.  I literally couldn’t do any of it because my hip area was so sore.  I guess I used new muscles yesterday!!  The entire ab routine is very “core” based.  What I mean by that is that you engage your entire mid section and not just your abs.  It works your upper hips too and I couldn’t lift my legs off the floor :shock:   Granted, I know I’ll get better, but I was still pretty shocked!!

Tomorrow, we are doing yoga for the first time.  I don’t mean the first time with P90 yoga either.  I mean first time EVER.  Truthfully, I’m not really looking forward to it.  I’m not a zen-type person.  I don’t think I can shut my mind off for that long.  I know it’s fantastic for you and so many folks see a variety of benefits in it, but I am more of a go, go, go person.  Anyone else out there understand?  In addition to this, it’s an hour and a half long, as opposed to the normal hour we’ve been doing.  This means I can’t get in any cardio tomorrow, which I am NOT happy about.  Okay, okay, I’ll stop.  Maybe I’ll love it, right?

By the way, I’m feeling good with doubling up, so I may actually try to keep up with cardio 5 – 6 days a week or whenever I’m not yogaing.  <——— Stupid :evil:

I actually worked from home today because we had some folks come by the house to look at a few things, so my food was better than a regular work day!  I wish I could be home all of the time.  My food would be so much better and more creative!  I get so lazy when packing my lunches and generally throw the same stuff together! 

Right after our phenomenal lifting sessions, I downed one scoop of protein powder mixed with water.

I’m telling ya – This is the best protein powder that I’ve had.  It mixes so well.  Actually, let me retract that.  BSN Dessert Lean Protein is the best taste wise, but you can’t beat the calorie-to-protein ratio of this guy!

Even though it was supposed to get really warm, the morning was foggy and dreary.  I couldn’t resist whipping up some stove top oats because, well, I’m obsessed.  I feel like I say this all the time, but I really think I created my best batch today.  I am LOVING the addition of cottage cheese at the end.  Not only does it make the oats creamy, but it supports my goal to add more protein into my diet.  Plus, it helps keep me fuller longer.  What’s not to love?

The New Classic Banana Oats

In the Mix:

  • 1/4 oats
  • 1/4 almond milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tbsp wheat germ
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • Dash of salt
  • Splash of vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup cottage cheese (mixed in at the end)

On the top:

  • Other 1/2 of the banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter

Before you even see the picture, you can already tell this was a pretty big bowl of oats.  I wanted to have a lighter lunch because I knew it was going to be hot, so this bowl did the trick and held me over for a long time.  Even though it is a bit more calorie dense than my normal oats, it’s also a lot more nutrient dense with the addition of the cottage cheese and wheat germ.  I don’t mind adding calories, so long as they’re doing my body good.  Know what I’m sayin’? :wink:

Wasn’t she a beauty?  Loved the 1/2 of a banana on top!!

Oh gosh…I could literally eat this EVERY day.  L.O.V.E.

Lunch was big on volume, but not on calories and junk.  Gotta love it!  Because I was home, I didn’t want to make a boring ol’ sandwich, so opted for a lone package of Tofu Shirataki noodles in the fridge!  I cooked up some spinach, mushrooms and minced garlic and threw the veggie mix into the noodles.  From here, I decided to add some protein and top it with a Morningstar Black Bean Burger (one of my ABSOLUTE faves!).  Since I was going Mexican, I decided to add Newman’s Pineapple salsa as the “sauce” for my noodles.  I was a little nervous, but it turned out to be really, really good.  I promise!  Try it for yourself!  I also added about 2 tbsp of hummus to the sides of my bowl to dip some baby carrots in.

If you haven’t tried Sabra’s chipotle hummus yet, please get on it!  It is so, so, so tasty!  If you like spicy things, you will LOVE this.  And, if you’re crazy enough to buy any hummus other than Sabra, I would like to give you a virtual slap upside the head :wink:   This stuff is the BOMB.  It’s the creamiest hummus known to WOman.  Get on it, people!!

Like I said, the lunch looks huge, but just remember that the entire pack of noodles only has 40 calories.  That’s why I bulked them up as much as I did!

Snackage was handled by one whole egg and one egg white, which was accompanied by an apple. 

This snack left me FULL.  I debated whether or not to eat the whole egg or just two egg whites.  I was feeling pretty hungry, so I decided to eat a whole one.  This kept me so satisfied until dinner.  I actually ate a really tiny dinner because of it.  This is probably a good thing!

Speaking of dinner…

….it was inspired by the trip to PF Chang’s that Mr. KD and I took a few weeks ago with friends.  If you recall, we split the tofu lettuce wraps and I have been dreaming about them ever since.  When I mentioned baking up some tofu for the week, Mr. KD actually mentioned making lettuce wraps.  Were we made for each other or WHAT? :smile:

Not only was I excited to cook with tofu, but I was also pumped to recreate the stir fry sauce I BURNED a little while back.

I started off by “pressing” the tofu with my modified press :wink:   Who needs fancy equipment?!?

Katie informed me that all I had to do in order to press my tofu was put a towel down, place the tofu on it, cover with paper towels and something heavy.  So, there you have it above!  :smile:

I then crumbled the tofu and cooked it up with some carrots, onions, celery and broccoli.  We served it in some iceburg lettuce to make it official.  Holy, holy, holy yummers.  Even Mr. KD was ALL over it.  So tasty!  The ginger was very flavorful and gave the sauce a truly Asian flavor.  I’m not sure it’s my FAVORITE stir fry sauce, but it’s definitely light and summery.  In the winter, I think I would want something with a sweeter hint than the ginger flavor, but that’s just me.

I served the wraps with leftover glazed carrots from Easter.  These things were way too delightful to go to waste!

I just wish I had been more excited for dinner.  It’s generally my favorite part of the day!  I ate like a bird, but maybe that’s a good thing.  You always hear that you should have a big breakfast (which I did) and minimize your calories by the end of the day.  I definitely did that today!

My portion:  Two lettuce wraps (one was a baby!) and some carrots

The best part about this meal?  We dined el fresco.  :mrcool:  It was so nice out.  A slight breeze was in the air and it’s still a little early for bugs, so we ate hassle free.  Love it!

P.S.  I tried to make a “protein cake” in the microwave last night with applesauce, egg whites and protein powder and it was THE WORST thing I’ve ever seen.  Yes, only “seen” because I refused to taste!  I ended up having a no-bake protein bar that went unaccounted yesterday.  Looking back on it, I ate way too much yesterday and am glad my hunger was scaled down a bit today!

Question of the day:  Do you like tofu?

Obviously, we are fans in the KD household!!





Friday Fish Is Yumtastic

5 03 2010

TGIF, people!! How is everyone doing? I’m sooooooooooo happy the weekend is here. I’m feeling really run down after this week. Maybe I’m just getting used to blogging every night and being creative? I think it’s breaking my brain :wink:

It was rainy and cold AGAIN this morning when I woke up. It’s so hard to get out of bed when it’s like that, isn’t it? Considering life is too short for excuses, I got my butt up and hit the elliptical for a solid 50 minutes. I varied my speeds and intensities and made sure my heart rate was really pumping the entire time. After that, I hit legs again, but very lightly, and mostly focused on hip adductors/abductors and glutes.

As I mentioned earlier this week, I was supposed to be off today, but had to go into the office. I only ended up being there until 10, so it wasn’t bad at all. And before I left, I had myself some pumpkin oats! Woo hoo!

These are similar to the oats I made last Saturday, except no cranberries or walnuts and only cinnamon was used, as opposed to pumpkin pie spice.

In the mix:
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • dash salt
  • drizzle of agave
  • drizzle of vanilla
  • cinnamon
Toppings:
  • Peanut Butter & Co White Chocolate Wonderful

Absolutely, delish!  She never disappoints.

At about 9:30, the meeting I was in ended and I could feel my stomach starting to rumble.  I knew I had to run errands after work and lunch would be late, so I snagged a raisin bran loaf that the cafeteria had provided for our meeting.  It was the size of one of those individual loaf pans.  I ripped off the top and discarded the bottom, so you could say I ate half it.  It did the trick and fueled me through my errands, which included…

…getting my nails done (a girl deserves to look good)….

…and the grocery store!  Look at how detailed my list was. 

First column: Produce
 Second: Meat,
Third: Aisles
Fourth: Freezer/Fridge

The writing on the top is a list of the meals I have planned for the next two weeks.  Organization or WHAT?  Funny thing is, I guarantee that I’ll be moaning this week over SOMETHING I forgot.  There is always something.

By the time I got home, it was 1:00 and I knew I needed something easy for lunch.  Luckily, I thought of this at the store and planned ahead.  I wanted to bulk up on veggies since I’m a vegetarian today anyway.  I shop at a Hannaford’s and found  mixed, grilled vegetables from the Hannaford brand in the frozen foods.  How clever!  This mix included potatoes, zucchini, summer squash and eggplant.  This makes the Ketchup Diaries very happy.

As does House Foods’ Tofu Shirataki noodles!!  Have you guys tried these yet?  I think they’re awesome.  They are a great substitute for pasta that can be cooked in the microwave and have only 40 calories per BAG.  The whole thing has 40 calories!!  Isn’t that INSANE?  The only problem is that they’re a little too light and need to be bulked up.  No worries, my friends.  That’s where KD comes in. 

I present to you: Veggified Fettucine Alfredo.  Based off of Hungry Girl’s recipe.

Serves 1:
1 package Tofu Shirataki
1 tbsp light sour cream
1 wedge Laughing Cow Light cheese wedge, Original
1 tbsp light parmesan cheese
1/2 cup frozen veggies
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
crushed red pepper
S&P
Place noodles in a colander and rinse THOROUGHLY.  Note:  Yes, they smell funny immediately out of the package.  I promise they will not taste this way.  Once rinsed, pat dry with paper towels.  They will act like frozen spinach and absorb a lot of water, so make sure you really pat them dry.  Add parmesan cheese, Laughing Cow wedge (cut in chunks) and sour cream to noodles.  Microwave for 1 minute.
 
In the meantime, spritz a frying pan with olive oil.  Add veggies, salt and pepper and any seasonings you desire.  Cook until preferred browness occurs.
 
Remove noodles from microwave and stir.  Add a dash of garlic powder for true alfredo taste.  Heat for an additional minute.  When done, remove and stir again.  Top with veggies, italian seasoning and crushed red pepper.

You’ll notice I also added in my remaining spaghetti squash.  After taking the picture, I added a tsp. of the roasted seeds I made last night for some crunch.  This had SUCH a large volume and all for little calories.  It was basically all vegetables and was very filling.  Yum, yum, yum.

I then decided I would attempt my first no-bake protein bars.  I have been eyeing these for some time and since I had the time to make them, I figured I should go for it.  Based off of this recipe.

The chocolate/peanut butter combo that is featured in the recipe sounds SO delish, but safe at the same time, so I wanted to experiment with my own mix.  It’s as follows:

1/2 Ripe Banana 
1.5 c Oats
1/2 c Shredded Coconut (All I had was sweetened)
1/2 c Dried Cranberries
1/2 c Butterscotch chips
1/2 c Agave Nectar 
3/4 c Almond Butter
 
Directions:
Mash the banana.  Add all of the ingredients together and press into an 8 x 8 pan.  Freeze for 3 hours and then cut into squares.  I cut mine into 8 equal pieces.
 

A picture of these will be seen tomorrow, as they are currently in production in the freezer :smile:

I finally took a few minutes to relax and then it was time for dinner, which included baked cod, roasted red potatoes and a mixed vegetable medley.

To make the potatoes, simply cut, spritz with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Add minced garlic for some flavor and roast until potatoes are tender and tops are brown (approximately 45 – 50 min. on 375).  To speed this up, you can pop them in the microwave for 5 minutes and then cook for approximately 20 – 25 min.  The latter is my preferred method.  Who has 50 minutes to wait for potatoes?!?

Onto the fish!  

We’re so lucky to have fresh fish available at all times in New England.  Not only do we have access to the fish, but we know what a REAL baked stuffed fish is supposed to take like.  The problem, however, is that most restaurants slather this lean protein with TONS of butter and creamy sauces, which negate the health factor.

Ketchup Diaries to the rescue :mrgreen:

Baked Fish with Breadcrumbs
Serves 2
 
Ingredients
  • Just over 3/4 lb. of cod, haddock, tilapia or any mild, white fish (I recommend buying anything that is caught fresh and not farm raised)
  • 10 whole wheat Ritz crackers
  • 4 tbsp  French’s fried onions (yes, those things for green bean casserole)
  • 2 tbsp ICBINB, melted
  • salt/pepper
Preheat oven to 375.  Place fish in oven safe dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle fish with salt/pepper.  Place Ritz crackers into a freezer bag and crush with a rolling-pin or the back of a fork.  Once they are all crushed, add the French’s fried onions and do the same.  Shake the bag, so that the onions and Ritz are distributed evenly.  Pour mixture over fish.  Pour ICBINBL evenly over breadcrumbs.  Apply another light coat of salt to the top and bake for approximately 20 minutes until the fish is flaky.

And another…

Look who put on her hot red dress for a date with my potatoes!

Photographed in the spotlight like the superstar she is :wink:

Ahhh!  I love this meal.  Not only is it SO easy, but it honestly is so delish.  Mr. KD used to claim he didn’t like fish until he started eating this.  He actually requested it tonight.  The French’s friend onions are the secret ingredient.  And you don’t need a lot of them to add a TON of flavor, which is good because they should only be eaten in small doses.  Have you LOOKED at those nutrition facts? :shock:  

I think that is all for me tonight, kids.  I’m going to go relax on the couch with Mr. KD.  We have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow.  Remember when I mentioned that we were hosting a party?  Well, it’s not just ANY party, but a Jersey Shore party!

Oh yeah!  Everyone is coming dressed like someone from the show.  Before anyone goes and gets snippy with me, we are NOT making fun of Italians.  We are only making fun of the 7 people on the this show because they are the most ridiculous – and now rich – 7 people alive! 

Mr. KD and I have a lot of running around to do tomorrow, including the gym, laundry, some serious cleaning and perfecting our outfits.  I’m also going to try to go to church tomorrow afternoon in case I’m too hungover my house needs cleaning on Sunday.  I’m going to try to take it easy, but you know how it is when friends get together sometimes!  I just have too much fun.  I can barely help myself!!

P.S. Guess what I heard this morning?!?  “Big Yellow Taxi” by the CC!!! I couldn’t believe it!

Now that we’ve discussed songs we hate, what is your FAVORITE song?  Tough, right?

You are SO going to make fun of me for mine, but I love “December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)” by Fankie Vallie and the Four Seasons.  Haha..I’m laughing at myself.  I don’t know..I just love that song!  I think it’s fun and I never get sick of it :smile:

Until we eat again…