On Friday night, I made salad Nicoise with seared sea scallops for Nate and myself. The recipe was fairly simple: romaine lettuce, chopped tomato, kalamata olives, blanched green beans, boiled red potatoes, and sea scallops. I topped our salads with cracked black pepper, sea salt, and a vinaigrette made of 1/4 c olive oil, 3 Tb balsamic vinegar, and a tsp of dijon mustard. Super healthy and flavorful! For dessert, I used a Cooking Light recipe for Tiramisu. I substituted a splash of rum for the Kahlua and used a cup of fresh, black coffee in place of the espresso mixture. I was a little skeptical of using fat free cream cheese in the recipe, but I think it worked really well with the other ingredients. The dish tasted rich and creamy, yet not too heavy. It definitely passed my taste test – I think I ate 1/3 of the pan myself, hehe. Now, on to some product reviews: Fine Fare was having a sale on Arnold Double Fiber Whole Wheat bread – for only $1.99. At this price I definitely had to stock up! This bread is great Each slice has 90 calories, 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and NO high fructose corn syrup. The slices are big – great for making peanut butter & banana sandwiches – my favorite! That box on the right is Nestle’s Fitness & Fruits! I used to eat this everyday when I lived in Italy. For the first month or so that I lived with my host parents, my host mom gave us corn flakes for breakfast (blech). Finally, I went to the grocery store, found a box of cereal that looked yummy, and wrote my host mom a note asking if she would buy Fitness & Fruits from now on. The cereal is made of lightly sweetened wheat/corn flakes with dried fruit and coconut. Nothing too fancy, but YOU CAN’T GET IT IN THE U.S.!! So obviously I had to buy some in Mexico City and stow it away in my carry-on :-)
Jess really knows her stuff – everything we ate in Mexico City was delicious! The warm climate offered plenty of fresh fruit and veggie options. I was also surprised by the really great coffee options. A girl could used to fancy cappuccinos and lattes for only 15 pesos. Below are some of the highlights: fresh guacamole and chips, chicken enchiladas verdes (had to remove some of that sour cream!) with beans and rice, yummy cappuccino with cinnamon, turkey veggie manchego cheese wrap, and a 100% fruit smoothie! On our last night we went to a taco place in the Condessa neighborhood – I forgot to take photos, but I had a really great dish called the “gringa”. Appropriate, eh? It consisted of a warm tortilla topped with shredded chicken, pineapple, onions, and cilantro. Yum! I’m not sure why the juice photo is sideways – can’t seem to fixt that. Just tilt your head to the right :-)
I am back from Mexico City! Jess was an excellent tour guide/translator/hostess – I think she should consider opening a B&B or travel agency. Eventhough our visit was short, we did so much! We explored hip neighborhoods, visited the National Anthropology Museum, soaked up some art history at Frida Kahlo’s house, roamed around the city center, climbed the Aztec pyramids at Teotihuacan, were treated like VIP’s while watching “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, ate yummy food (guacamole! tacos! Mexican beer!), and braved the subways, busses, and taxis that travel through this bustling metropolis. I only ran twice (definitely felt the effects of pollution and altitude), but we walked A TON and as of yesterday I’m back on the running wagon. Check out this sampling of photos and look for more updates to come soon!
Happy Valentine’s Day 2009!
I’m off to Mexico until next week, but enjoy these photos while I’m gone :-)
Nate and I exchanged eerily similar Valentines – both had puppies and kittens on them! Also, check out the beautifully decorated cupcake from Zaro’s breadbasket.
Jen’s Birthday Cookies!
I modified a cooking light recipe – I used 1/2 whole wheat flour instead of all purpose. Yum!
I am the best girlfriend ever. After Nate’s many fruitless searches for chocolate covered mini oreos (emphasis on the mini, not regular sized), I decided to take matters into my own hands. I bought a bag of mini oreos from Food emporium, melted a hershey’s bar in my microwave, and the result was pretty tasty.
Ingredients - Bag of mini oreos, large chocolate bar or 3/4 cup chocolate chips, glass bowl, foil/wax paper, baking sheet.
Instructions - To prevent the chocolate from seizing, use a completely dry glass bowl. Break up a large chocolate bar (or use 3/4 cup chocolate chips), and put most of the chocolate into the bowl. Heat bowl for 40 seconds on MEDIUM - 50% power. Stir chocolate and microwave for another 40 seconds at 50% power. Add remaining bit of chocolate and stir until smooth. Saving some chocolate to stir in after microwaving will help firm up the chocolate at room temperature. Take each mini oreo and dip in the chocolate. Place on a foil or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Allow to sit for a few minutes and then place in the fridge. Remove from fridge a few minutes before eating. Yum!!
Healthy Lunches save $$
I decided to take a break from buying lunch at the office cafeteria and instead prepare a week of healthy lunches. Over the weekend, I cleaned and de-stemmed a HUGE bunch of kale – only 79 cents at C-Town grocery store :-) I used a TB of canola oil and a large skillet to stirfry the kale until tender. Towards the end I added some low-sodium soy sauce. For the tofu, I pressed out some water and then cut the 12 oz block into 8 slices. I marinated the tofu in a mixture of 1/2 Tb canola oil, 1 Tb maple syrup, and 2 tsp soy sauce (~30 minutes). After pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees, I dredged the tofu slices in a shallow bowl of sesame seeds and placed them on a greased baking sheet. I cooked the tofu for about 25 minutes – until slightly brown and crispy along the edges. Don’t forget to flip once during baking! I added some roasted carrots to my healthy mix and divided everything into tupperware.
I used Bon Appetit’s Cheesemongers Mac and Cheese as a template for this recipe, but made a few key alterations:
I cut the recipe in half so that it made 4 portions instead of 8, I used 2% milk instead of whole, and I used equal amounts of Gruyere and Cabot 50% reduced fat cheddar (about 9 oz total) and omitted the Brie. Most notably, I added some lightly cooked cauliflower florets to the pasta before topping it with the cheese sauce. The finished recipe was great! I forgot to take a photo of the entire pan, but the above plate shows my next-day leftovers with some roasted carrots. Yum!
The carrot side dish was really easy to make. The oven roasting really brings out the sweetness! Preheat oven to 400 degrees, wash 3 large carrots (don’t peel!), cut the carrots in half length-wise and then cut into 1-2 ” pieces. Toss with 1 tsp olive oil and salt and place on a baking sheet (sprayed with oil or PAM). Roast for about 25-30 minutes until tender. You could get even more creative and top the carrots with maple syrup, honey, herbs, etc.
1) Marinated and broiled top round steak
2) Parmesan roasted potatoes
3) Dinner, yum!
4) Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
5) Muffins for my elderly neighbors!
6) Skillet baked beans
7) Apricot glazed ham with cloves
9) Pre-1/2 marathon breakfast and hamdwarmers (it was 14 degrees!)
10) Post-run fuel: greek yogurt, sliced apple, pb granola, and jam
11) Ham, cheddar, onion, and olive frittata
Filed under: long runs, recipes, running | Tagged: 1/2 marathon, baked beans, frittata, greek yogurt, ham, hand warmers, leftovers, parmesan roasted potatoes, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, steak | Leave a comment »