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Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

Freakin’ Weekend

That’s an ironic title. My weekend was not freakin’ unless you count incredibly productivity as being freakin’. Which, btw, I think we should.

Last night I posted my to-do list from the weekend and I think it’s pretty safe to say I rocked it. There are some things I purposely didn’t get it (going to Housing Works) and some things that didn’t work out the way I wanted to (more formal exercise), but otherwise I’m pretty happy. I think I need to make more to-do lists.

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On my way home from work on Friday I ran a bunch of errands, including stopping at Potbelly (my love, see here, here, here, here, and here for evidence) to pick up lunch. I was very happy when Potbelly opened in NYC last summer, they’ve since expanded and opened a location close to my office. I don’t go too often, it’s not like it’s health food (although I do get the “skinny” bread and half meat), but when I go I’m always happy.

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After I got home from kickboxing on Friday I made Jessica’s Watermelon Feta + Basil Quinoa. I liked it, I think I would have liked it more without the honey and with balsamic vinegar.

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Saturday I went for a walk in the park since I decided I was too sore from kickboxing to go two days in a row (gotta work myself back up!). It was not a pleasant walk and I still kind of wish I hadn’t gone (I guess I do regret some workouts). I was so sore and normally a walk would loosen me up, but it just made it worse. Plus a blister on a my foot burst and was so painful and it was humid as hell.

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But I made it through and on my way home I stopped at the library to return and get books and at the Greenmarket to buy stuff for my foodie pen pal and flowers for me. I also needed to stop at a grocery store I never go to and I found Graeter’s ice cream! I love Graeter’s and it’s one of the reasons I look forward to going to Cincinnati every year, but now it’s here. Woo-hoo!

Saturday afternoon was spent reading, watching soccer, and cleaning. My roommate and I got burgers for dinner Saturday night and then I watched The Dark Knight (I had never seen it!) and went to bed.

Sunday I woke up and watched the men’s French Open final (which will continue into tomorrow due to rain). While I watched I cleaned my room. Once it was determined the match was done for today I showered, ate lunch, and then headed up to Carroll Gardens to do some shopping.

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I bought more stuff for my foodie pen pal (it’s hard in NYC, stuff is so expensive!) and a smoothie for myself. On my way home I stopped at a different Greenmarket and then a bakery.

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Once I got home I ate my roll from the Greenmarket and finished cleaning my apartment.

A little while of relaxing and then I realized I forgot to buy an onion for the recipe I wanted to make. So it was back out.

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Once I had my onion I made another How Sweet Eats recipe, this time Creamy Tuscan White Bean Pasta. It was very good and creamy (TWSS?).

Now I’m going to paint my nails, put on my face mask, and get ready for the Mad Men season finale!

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Workouts

Monday: The plan was to go running, but it was pouring so I did a whole heck of a lot of lunges inspired by Fitnessista’s 10 Ways to Lunge. I also did 3 minutes of a forearms and toes plank (10 seconds of holding the plank, 5 seconds relaxing).

Tuesday: I went for a 3 mile run (alternating 5 mins. running and 1 min. walking) and did another 3 minute plank. The best part about the run was that my Garmin magically started working. It stopped charging about a year ago so it just died. Granted I haven’t really tried to use it in a year, but the other day I randomly decided to see if it would charge…and it did!

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I had been using RunKeeper and and I never felt like it was accurate (which I don’t necessarily blame on RunKeeper, the GPS on my phone isn’t the best). Compared to my Garmin RunKeeper was about .16 off (it was done faster than it should have been).

Wednesday: Plank day! I used another Fitnessista page as a guide. I did 10 seconds of holding a plank and 5 seconds off for the following planks: regular plank, hip twist plank, lifting right leg plank, lifting left leg plank, supermans. I did it once, then I did it again. I also did 50 leg lifts and 50 scissor lifts.

Thursday: All I wanted to do was go for a run. It was supposed to be sunny all day, but it ended up being overcast and rainy all day. It looked like it was clearing up when I left work, but when I got to Brooklyn it was lightly raining. I don’t mind running in light rain (I kind of like it) so I said I’d still go. Then it started down pouring, and kept down pouring until around 8pm. Bye, bye run.

Friday: Tons of walking, but no time for a real workout.

Saturday: I ran 3 miles at my parents’ house (again, 5 mins. running alternated with 1 min. walking). It’s so nice to run somewhere less hilly. But it was humid and I finished a sweaty mess.

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What else I’ve been up to

I went to NJ for work on Wednesday.

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The work part of my trip went really well and then I did some shopping.

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New capris (yay or nay with the coral jacket?)

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New wedges. Super comfy.

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New espadrilles. I actually need to exchange them. I only tried on the right one in the store and when I got home and put the left one on the left one was smaller. I tried to exchange them Friday afternoon but the Michael Kors store by my office (which has super snooty employees, FWIW) didn’t have an 8.5. I’ll try some of their other stores next week.

I actually have these in gold from last year.

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I LOVE them and wore them everywhere last summer. However, after a month the sole fell off, luckily it wasn’t anything crazy glue couldn’t solve.

Then, this year, the whole bottom started falling off.

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Again, crazy glue is a miracle worker ūüôā Now I’m probably crazy for buying the same shoes that fell apart on me, but whatever, I love them, I don’t care.

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I took the train out to my parents’ house yesterday afternoon. That picture shows the crush of people on the platform with the reflection of the train. The confusion pretty much sums up my trip.

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I went to the bank to cash in all my change. When my parents came in for my wrist surgery I had them take the change back with them since it’s so heavy. My bank here has a change machine, but the one in the city doesn’t. The change is actually from the piggy bank I talked about in this old post. I had $61.03!

After the bank I went to Target and the beer distributor.

Then I came home and cooked.

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Green Chili Chicken Turkey Burgers from How Sweet Eats.

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Triple Double Chocolate Puppy Chow from Food, Fitness and Family (couldn’t find chocolate Chex)

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Sweet Corn and Roasted Jalapeno Hummus from How Sweet Eats

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I snacked on all my food sitting on my parents patio all afternoon. I also had an Ithaca Flower Power beer (I think it might be my favorite beer). I finished two books. I highly recommend them both.

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And after dinner my mom made strawberry shortcake for dessert! And then my dad and I took the dogs for a walk.

Whew! That was a big brain dump. Busy week!

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Greek Chicken Salad

When I was in Philadelphia a few months ago visiting my friend Ashley we went to this amazing Mediterranean restaurant. I had a Greek chicken salad and it was, no joke, the best salad I’ve ever had in my entire life.

A few weeks ago Elle posted a recipe for chicken gyros. Even though I don’t like gyros I thought I might be able to use the chicken marinade to recreate the chicken salad I had in Philly. I don’t really know what I was thinking because when I went to look at the recipe again I noticed the marinade had honey and mustard in it, two flavors I’m not a fan of.

So I set out to see if I could find another recipe that would be more to my liking. Google gave me this recipe from the Food Network for Greek Salad with Oregano Marinaded Chicken.

What I ended up doing was combining Elle’s recipe with the Food Network Recipe. For the marinade I used the 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/4 of vinegar (I used red wine instead of balsamic) from Elle’s recipe and then added the lemon, oregano, salt, and pepper from the food network recipe.

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I had a pound of organic thin-cut chicken breasts from Whole Foods that I marinaded for about two hours and then cooked in a skillet over medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side.

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I left the chicken sit in the fridge overnight and the next morning I made the dressing. I followed the recipe for the Food Network’s dressing but instead of adding 1/4 of olive oil I added a quarter of a cup of Trader Joe’s tahini. I love their tahini and I thought it added a nice flavor.

I assembled the salad by cutting up one romaine heart, 9 grape tomatoes, 1/4 of a red pepper, and two tablespoons of feta cheese. IMG_7954

It was delicious. I ate the salad for lunch and Sunday and I also have 2 more leftover for lunches this week.

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Including the dressing!

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Plus the tomatoes, pepper, and chicken to make one more salad. I just need more lettuce.

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It’s a very good summer salad that I highly recommend. Especially the chicken. Even though it wasn’t grilled, it had a grilled flavor to it.

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Writing About Food

I’m going to get deep here. Yesterday I talked about exercise, today, diet. I don’t want to be too long-winded, but it’s suffice to say that until I graduated college my diet kind of sucked. I didn’t eat a vegetable (literally I refused to eat them) until I was a senior in college. Undoubtably I will pay for this later in life, but for now let’s focus on the positives.

After college I wanted to lose weight (let’s just say I had packed on the L-B’s in college). Luckily for me I was unemployed and living with my parents which gave me plenty of time and free range over their (mostly) healthy kitchen. Between graduating college and starting my first job (about 5 months) I lost approximately 25lbs. How? I cut portion size, I made healthy choices, and a kept a food journal. Which brings me to my theme here, writing about food. During that summer after college I didn’t count calories or points, without realizing it I was probably practicing intuitive eating.

Fast forward to getting my first job and combine an office full of snacks with some depression the first year I lived in NYC and you get me gaining back 10 of the pounds I had lost. In the spring of 2009 there was a lot of dieting (healthy dieting, I proudly add) going on in my office and I decided to join in and I joined Weight Watchers (aka food journaling). Combine WW with my newly-found love of exercising and you get a 20 pound weight loss. Couple those things with 2 weeks of attending the US Open (lots of exercise and only 1 real meal a day) and a case of the swine flu and you get me losing another 10lbs.

For those keep track that’s about a 45lb weight loss from college to my lowest weight. I stayed at my lowest weight for about a year until I packed on an extra 10lbs or so (what I’m trying to lose as part of my new years resolutions).

When I first outlined my resolution (earlier this week) I didn’t say I was going to count calories or food journal. But then I came across someone’s recommendation for My Fitness Pal¬†and I thought I would check it out. Well, 4 days later, I’m really liking it.

I have tried counting calories before, but I always got discouraged trying to search the database of food or by how few calories I was given. But I’m really making an effort to be different and thankfully My Fitness Pal is really helping with that by being very easy to use and not at all frustrating (and FREE!).

There have been two things that have really stood out to me. First, when I put in all of the foods I planned on eating in a day it was almost EXACTLY at my calorie goal. This made me realize that my body knows what I should be eating. And, that if I ate what I planned to eat, I would be meeting my needs. It’s the extra snaking (boredom eating) that really throws me off. Second, I realized that the other times in my life when I’ve dropped significant amounts of weight have been when I’ve kept a food journal (which I talked about above), it’s something I never realized before, but hopefully it bodes well going forward.

I am worried about traveling for 8 days. I will be eating at restaurants, hotel buffets, and conference spreads. Part of me wants to completely not count calories. I’m afraid I might find the process cumbersome and frustrating, which could possible discourage me when I come back to my “regular” life. For now I plan on making smart choices, making sure I get a lot of fruits and vegetables (something I always struggle with when I travel), and maybe doing a rough calorie count each day.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! My 2012 is off to a great start. I came back into NYC this morning. I had wanted to stay at my parents’ house another day, but my father wanted to have tomorrow to relax so he wanted me to come back today. As a consolation he let me drive in.

Once we got everything up to my apartment and out of the car I headed out for a run. It was a gorgeous day, breezy, but in the low-50s. I did 3 miles in just around 30 minutes and then immediately stripped off my long-sleeve running shirt, it was hot!

I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing because I knew I was going to be in for an arduous cooking session in the evening. As part of my New Years resolutions I want to eat better and save money (thank you mom for buying my groceries!) so I made two big dishes to eat for lunches and dinners the rest of the week.

First, I made Eat Live Run’s hoppin’ john. I’ve never had black eyed peas on New Years (maybe I’ve never even had black eyed peas?) but they’re supposed to be good luck and the recipe sounded good so why not?

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I ate a bowl for dinner tonight and I thought it was great, although not particularly flavorful. I used garlic hummus instead of mayo (I don’t really like it and it upsets my stomach) which added a nice garlic flavor. And I didn’t have any cheese.

Next (well technically simultaneously) I made the Naughty & Nice Vegan Enchilada Casserole from Oh She Glows. It looks great (I haven’t had any yet), but god there were a lot of steps.

First I had to make the enchilada sauce.

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Then the taco seasoning.

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Then boil the pasta.

Then cut all the peppers and onion.

Then sautee the pepers and onion.

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Then cook everything together.

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And then bake it with the pasta.

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I hope it’s worth it! I didn’t have any cheese to add (vegan or otherwise) but I think it will still be good.

I missed my parents’ dogs begging for food while I was cooking. And I have to go do dishes so I miss their dishwasher.

Here’s a little piece of Christmas a week late, my parents’ tree all lit up at night:

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Falafel Burgers

I may have gone on a little bit of a cooking binge lately. But it’s good; I like cooking and the more food that I make at home to eat, as opposed to going out to eat, the better.

One of my latest latest recreations was the Oh She Glows falafel burger.

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I’m a big fan of falafel, but I don’t fry things at home and I don’t need to eat fried food out too often, so I am always happy when I come across a healthy, easy recipe that I can make at home.

I often find that homemade falafel recipes are very heavy on the cumin, something that I can’t stand. I am happy to report that this recipe is perfect and I would strongly recommend you making it. Or coming over to try one of the 12 or so sitting in my freezer.

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Morning Scramble

During the work week my breakfast is usually a banana when I get to work, followed by a British muffin with peanut butter mid-morning. On Saturdays I like to treat myself to a multigrain bagel with cream cheese after Step & Sculpt and on Sundays, if I don’t have brunch or lunch plans, I like to make Monkey Scramblers or, as I call them, oatmeal pancakes.

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Unlike the instructions in the recipe I don’t put mine on bread; I love myself some carbs, but that seems slightly excessive, even to me. I also add a little canola oil to the pan and sometimes add some extra almond milk as I prefer a wetter texture. Oh and I add salt, they definitely need salt.

(Note, the ones pictured above were actually pretty revolting. I used a giant not-so-ripe banana and it wasn’t good. So use a ripe banana and, if the banana is huge, don’t use all of it.)

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