Tuesday, January 31, 2012

141.6…Linguine with Easy Meat Sauce

We are big pasta lovers over here. I don’t think I could ever give up carbs for this reason. When you top pasta with a delicious, rich meat sauce, then you really have my attention.

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I found this recipe for meat sauce out of the October 2011 Cooking Light magazine. It was easy to make as the name implies.

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Linguini with Easy Meat Sauce (serves 8)

Adapted from Cooking Light

1 lb package linguine

1 lb extra-lean ground beef

1 cup chopped onion

2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic

2 1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

6 Tbsp tomato paste

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

2. While pasta cooks, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper; cook 5 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 3 minutes or until thickened. Serve over pasta.

Printable Recipe

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I served the pasta with a salad with ranch dressing.

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Awesome and comforting dinner for sure!

This morning’s breakfast was Fage yogurt with strawberries and blackberries.

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I took the kids to school and went to spin class. I skipped doing the Slim in 6 video today because we all couldn’t agree on a time today. I’m not super sad about it. :)

Lunch was a turkey wrap on a Flat Out Wrap with a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese. I made a big salad to go with it.

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I put some avocado in my salad and it took the salad from “just a salad” to “wow!”. I need to be using avocados more often!

I went to a doctor appointment and then to Starbucks for a skinny vanilla latte and to get some work done.

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Afterwards, I picked up the kids from school. When I got home I had a snack of clementines and a Babybel cheese.

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Hubby is working late tonight so I see leftovers in my future. :)

Are you a pasta lover too?

What do you normally put avocado on?

Monday, January 30, 2012

142.8…And Old Favorite

After my big lunch yesterday, I was not hungry for dinner. I ended up eating a few Wheat Thins and called it a night.

After cleaning out my pantry yesterday, I re-discovered an old favorite: Barney Butter!

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How did I forget about you old friend!?! Barney Butter is the best almond butter ever, in my opinion. It made its way into my breakfast this morning.

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English muffin with Barney Butter and an apple.

I took the kids to school this morning, went to Cardio Muscle class and then met the girls for our Slim in 6 video session. This is our 3rd week and we do the same video (Ramp It Up) this week that we did last week. It’s getting a bit old now. I’m looking forward to switching it up next week.

Afterwards we all went to Subway. I ordered my new favorite: roasted chicken on wheat. This time I had them add a ton of Buffalo hot sauce!

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It was a bit messy to eat but it rocked. I think next time I’m going to skip the mustard and go right for just Buffalo hot sauce.

I went grocery shopping, picked up the kids from school and came home for a snack.

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Babybel cheese and grapes.

On tonight’s agenda: Make dinner. Go to bed. Simple as that.

Have you re-discovered any old favorite foods lately? 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

142.8…Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry

I made a delicious, healthy new recipe on Friday night. While I was cooking, I enjoyed a glass of wine….you know…for inspiration!

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This recipe came out of the most recent Cooking Light magazine. My husband loves Chinese food so when I saw the recipe for Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry, I knew I had to make it. I’m glad I did, it was delicious!

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Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry (Serves 4)

Slightly adapted from Cooking Light

1 Tbsp sesame oil, divided

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp chili sauce

2 tsp cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbsp canola oil, divided

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 cup diagonally cute snow peas

1/2 cup sliced onion

1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger

1  Tbsp minced fresh garlic

2 cups hot cooked long-grain rice

1/4 cup (1-inch) slices green onion

1/4 cup chopped peanuts

1. Combine 2 tsp sesame oil and next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tsp sesame oil and 1 Tbsp canola oil; swirl. Add chicken; stir-fry 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.

2. Add remaining 1 Tbsp canola oil; swirl. Add bell peppers and next 4 ingredients (through garlic); stir-fry 1 minute. Add broth mixture; cook 30 seconds or until thick. Return chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes or until chicken is done. Spoon 1/2 cup rice onto each of 4 plates; place 1 cup chicken mixture, green onions and peanuts to side of rice. Serve.

Printable Recipe

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Saturday morning began with a healthy breakfast of Fage yogurt with raspberries and strawberries.

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I went to spin class and came home starving. I was actually starving throughout class. My breakfast did not stick with me at all. So I made a piece of toast with peanut butter.

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After my snack the day kind of went down hill. I started feeling really exhausted and sick. I basically laid in bed the rest of the day. Hubby was sweet to take my son to boy scouts and picked him up. He also brought me home my favorite salad from Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza.

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Chopped Chicken Salad with oven roasted tomatoes. Love.

By evening time I was feeling much better! I think my body just wanted me to just stop and chill (which I rarely do). Good thing because hubby and I had to attend the school’s fundraiser last night. I got ready and we went to Balboa Park to attend the event. I had a couple glasses of wine and just a little bit to eat. There weren’t many tables and it was hard to eat and hold the wine so I just sampled a few things: falafel, hummus, pita and Greek salad. Other than that, it was a nice evening!

This morning was super lazy. I enjoyed some coffee and then got to making breakfast. Hubby and the kids had pancakes while I had an egg sandwich.

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Then I cleaned out my pantry. That felt great to get that done.

We took the kids to the Hamburger Factory for lunch. I tried to keep it somewhat healthy with a turkey burger on a wheat bun. Too bad they buttered the heck out of the bun. Note to self: remember to ask for a dry bun next time.

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I did enjoy a few onion rings and fries though. :)

After lunch, we went bowling. I love to bowl! The rest of the evening will be spent chilling at home. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

What was the best thing you ate all weekend?

Friday, January 27, 2012

144.2…Carbs and Protein

Last night was leftovers. But these were leftovers that I was excited about: Enchilada Casserole and Spicy Black Beans:

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It reheated well and taste just as delicious as it did the other night.

Breakfast this morning was an omelet made with egg beaters, mushrooms, asparagus and cheese. I also had a toasted English muffin.

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I took the kids to school and then met the girls for Slim in 6. Same old, same old. I have nothing new to report on it. 

I came home to change, start the laundry and make a quick lunch:

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Turkey sandwich on wheat with low fat cheese, cucumbers, carrots and hummus. I just noticed that the last three meals are very balanced plates of carbs and protein. I always feel the most satisfied when I eat good carbs, protein and a little fat.

The kids had half-day so I picked them up and took them to get lunch. Later in the afternoon, I snacked on some clementines.

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Tonight is going to be pretty chill….just cooking dinner and hanging out.  I have a feeling that I will have a glass of wine in my hand very soon. :)

Is there a certain combination of carbs/protein/fat that fill you up best?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

143.8…Powering Through

Last night I made one of my favorite dishes of all time: Beef Stroganoff.

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Now I know I keep promising you the recipe and I shall deliver…soon. Watch for it in the next couple of weeks. It will be worth the wait.

I was tired all day today. My son woke up in the middle of the night (which he rarely does) and I had a hard time going back to sleep.

I thought once I had breakfast and coffee, I’d wake up. Nope.

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Breakfast was a toasted waffle with peanut butter and a grapefruit.

I took the kids to school and met the girls for our daily Slim in 6 session. Our current video “Ramp It Up” is getting a bit boring, although I’m still sore each day. We have to do that video this week and next week and then we move on to the next video.

After the video, I went to Zumba class. I felt slow during the whole class. I thought some exercise would help to wake me up but it didn’t.

I came home starving for lunch. I remembered that I had a bottle of balsamic vinegar that House of Balsamic sent me to try.

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This particular balsamic vinegar, according to their website, was “aged for 6 years in oak barrels and 6 months in steel containers” and is “tart with delicate accents of wild flowers, grass and cooked mustard.”

I decided to drizzle it over a salad with tuna that I made.

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The balsamic vinegar is quite delicious but it was a bit too sweet for my salad. I would prefer to use it on a caprese type of salad. I bet it would be amazing on that!

After lunch, all I wanted to was to lay in bed. But, alas, that was not going to happen. I had a bunch of repair people coming over to fix stuff. More powering through.

I picked up the kids from school and came home to have a snack.

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Two Mandarin oranges and a Babybel cheese.

My husband is working late tonight so I don’t have to cook dinner. This is good because I don’t have the energy. Leftovers await me.

What are your tricks to help you “wake up” when there is no nap in sight?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

145.8…Enchilada Casserole

News Flash: I made a new recipe for dinner last night. Yes, it’s true. And it felt good to get back into the kitchen.

I made a recipe for Enchilada Casserole found in the January/February 2012 issue for Cooking Light.

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I really enjoyed it. The portions were large and satisfying.

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Enchilada Casserole (Serves 4)

Slightly adapted from Cooking Light

1 lb ground sirloin

1 cup chopped onion

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup beef broth

1 Tbsp taco seasoning mix

1 (8oz.) can tomato sauce

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas

1/3 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and onion to pan; cook 6 minutes, stirring to crumble.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour, cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add broth, taco seasoning, and tomato sauce to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 1/2 cups tomato mixture to beef mixture; reserve 1/2 cup tomato mixture.

4. Place 1 tortilla in a 9-inch pie plate. Top with 1 cup beef mixture. Repeat layers, ending with tortilla. Spread reserved tomato mixture over tortilla. Top with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Cool slightly. Cut into 4 wedges.

Printable Recipe

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Check out those layers! Each wedge is about 380 calories. Nice! I also made the Spicy Black Beans that came with the recipe:

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For the Spicy Black Beans: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 1 cup chopped red bell pepper and 1 minced jalapeno pepper; sauté 4 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 (15 oz.) can rinsed and drained black beans. Cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro.

I also enjoyed a glass of wine with dinner.

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It was a great night. :)

Breakfast this morning included a new find:

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Dulce de Leche Cheerios! Have you tried these?

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I ate some with almond milk and had a bowl of berries to go with it. The Cheerios are great! Love the caramel flavor. Have you heard that Cheerios just came out with peanut butter flavor!?! I NEED THOSE.

I took my son to school and my daughter back to the dentist (finishing her cavity filling-ugh). I stopped at Starbucks for a skinny vanilla latte along the way.

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I took her back to school and went to Lisa’s house for our Slim in 6 video workout. My triceps are still hurting from Monday’s workout! Now there are four of us doing the videos: me, Lisa, Annette and Lauren. It is SO much more fun working out with friends!

After our workout, we went to Subway (again) for lunch. Earlier in the week I made the discovery about the roasted chicken breast. Today I made a new discovery.

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Subway has BUFFALO HOT SAUCE. Get outta here. When I saw the bottle of it behind the counter, I almost fell into a pool of happiness. I didn’t have them put a ton of it on my sandwich just in case I didn’t like it. Let’s get real…that was not going to happen. Let’s just say that next time I’m going to have them load me up with it! I have a feeling I’m going to be back at Subway again this week. Oh, my poor readers!

Favorite flavor of Cheerios?

Have you tried the peanut butter Cheerios?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

144.8…Chinese Stir-Fry

Last night, there was a constant smile on my face. Why? Because it was our semi-monthly “hot wing” night with our friends.

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Gotta have the matching glasses to make it extra special. My friend Alicia whipped up another fabulous batch of our favorite hot wings. I brought over a salad (which we like to refer to as “filler”.)

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I always start out with 4 wings (for whatever reason), then make my way up from there.  I ended up with 14 wings…not too shabby but not the 16 that I ate last time. Look at our carnage (please ignore the children’s toys in the background):

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That wasn’t all me people. There were 4 of us. :) I was a very happy camper.

This morning’s breakfast might not have been as exciting as 14 hot wings but it was delicious nonetheless.

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Egg sandwich (toasted English muffin, egg beaters, slice of cheese) and a grapefruit. I dipped each bite of the sandwich in ketchup. My healthier version of a McDonald’s egg mcmuffin.

I took the kids to school, then headed over to Starbucks to get some work done. I enjoyed a green tea while I was there.

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Then it was time for a cooking class at Great News! Today’s class was entitled “Chinese New Year Stir-Fry” and was taught by my favorite instructor, Phillis Carey. We love Chinese food at my house so I was really looking forward to getting some new recipes.

The first recipe was Shrimp in Black Bean Garlic Sauce:

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Loved this! The sauce was excellent!

The second recipe  was Velvet Ginger Chicken with Orange Sesame Noodles:

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Another winner. I would make this at home for sure but I would add a bunch of veggies to it.

Next up was Mu Shu Pork:

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I really enjoyed this. Phillis used uncooked tortillas instead of the pancakes that would be used. She just heated the tortillas up quickly in a skillet. Brilliant!

The next recipe was Moo Goo Gai Pan (Chicken with Mushrooms):

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I really loved this one too! It was super simple to make…I will have to make this for my husband.

The last recipe was Curried Beef and Tomatoes:

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I was most excited about this one and liked it the least. Don’t get me wrong, it was still good but the others were better. Phillis mentioned that you could add some soy sauce to it and I actually think that may bring up the taste to where it needs to be.

After class I ran some errands and picked up the kids from school. I was going to go over to Lisa’s house to do Slim in 6 by myself but I’m going to skip it tonight. I feel like I may be getting a cold and I have a ton of stuff to do tonight so I’m going to pass. I feel guilty not working out but it’s just not going to happen today.

I will be doing something tonight I haven’t done in awhile: cook a new recipe for dinner!

Do you feel guilty when you skip a workout?

What is your favorite Chinese dish? 

Monday, January 23, 2012

144.0…A Chicken Discovery

After my eating shenanigans this past weekend, I wasn’t super hungry at dinner time. My son wanted a grilled cheese for dinner and I decided that sounded good so I had one too.

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This morning it was back to business as usual for breakfast. Fage mango yogurt with blackberries and strawberries.

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My husband took the kiddos to school. I got ready and went to Cardio Muscle class. Then it was time to meet at Lisa’s house for Slim in 6. We moved on to video number 2: “Ramp it Up.”  It was about 45 minutes and incorporated the moves in video number one plus others. I will definitely be sore tomorrow. It wasn’t hard per se just the basics: lunges, squats, abs and arms.

Afterwards we went to Subway for lunch. My friend Lauren was ordering the roasted chicken breast sandwich and highly recommended it. I decided to give it a try. I always thought that the chicken looked weird from behind the counter. Lauren recommended getting it toasted so that’s exactly what I did.

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So glad I tried it! It was delicious and much more substantial than the turkey. When I eat the turkey, I can barely taste that it’s there but the chicken was different. And I feel like it kept me fuller longer….all for just 40 more calories than the turkey. A chicken win!

After lunch, I went grocery shopping. I picked up the kids and had a snack:

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Apple and light Babybel cheese.

Tonight is hot wing night at Alicia’s. Not exactly diet friendly but I’ll just count it as my cheat meal for the week. :)

Have you ever had the roasted chicken sandwich at Subway?