Category Archives: dinner

So Much to Do, So Little Time!

Is tomorrow really already Wednesday?! I am in the midst of an extremely busy week, and it is flying by! Unfortunately, in all the craziness, I’ve been neglecting my little blog here. ūüė¶

I went to Virginia overnight for work over the weekend. Because I flew out so early on Saturday, I had to shift my half marathon training schedule. I pushed out my long run to Sunday. I ran a very painful 10 miles in 1:33:18 –¬†a good pace, but it truly was an ugly run. I was gritting my teeth the whole way. My right knee started screaming at me around mile 2!

I wanted to get back to my regular training schedule this week, but that would have meant running on Monday, the day after my long run. I woke up at 4:30 am and my knee was sending me a very clear message – no running. I ended up waiting until the evening to any exercise. I replaced my scheduled 4-mile run with a 45 minute ride on my Spinning bike. I had a great ride, and my knee felt good since cycling is so low-impact on your joints.

Flash forward to today… I attended day one of a two-day social media marketing workshop in Boston. I wasn’t sure what the food situation was going to be at the conference center, so I made sure to eat a hearty breakfast before I left.

  • 1/2 cup of oatmeal
  • 1 mashed banana
  • raisins
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tbs vanilla rice protein powder
  • 1 Tbs TJ’s PB, which was later mixed into the oats

This held me over until lunchtime, when I had a delicious grilled veggie pita at the conference center.

Dinner tonight involved a new to me product – Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs.

These are vegan and have great nutritional stats – 140 calories, 8 g carbs, 16 g protein. I was a little nervous to try these because my only other experience with meatless meatballs was not good. I don’t remember what brand those were though…

I simmered these “meatballs” in TJ’s marinara for about 10 minutes and served mine up over a bed of fresh spinach with a sprinkle of parmesan (to de-veganize the meal!).

My thoughts: Delicious! These were soooo yummy. Not too many spices. The flavor was just right and the texture was great too. Even my little girl ate them! I will definitely be buying these again.

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One more chance to enter my giveaway! I’ll announce the winner in my next post!

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Branching Out

Hey friends! Sorry I’ve been away so long again.

So, one of the greatest things about my new mostly-vegetarian lifestyle is that it has really forced me to branch out and try new recipes. You can’t just eat sauteed veggies every night, right?!

Tonight I tried this great recipe for Southwestern Quinoa with Black Beans. I used red quinoa and a mix of orange and red peppers. For a protein boost, I had some Trader Joe’s chickenless pulled “chicken” with it.

These two went quite well together! The quinoa was delightfully spicy, but not too hot; and substantial, but not too heavy. What a nice change from veggie burgers and sweet potatoes (not that I don’t love that combo!). I will be making this again, for sure.

Do you like quinoa? What’s your favoite way to eat it?

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I have to admit, I’ve been a little – make that A LOT – bored with my Spinning bike lately. I’d much prefer to do a circuit training DVD than ride my bike for 45 minutes. I do need to give my muscles a break from strength training sometimes though. So I forced myself onto my bike tonight. Surprisingly, I really go into it! I think the key was the music. I put on some great music and focused on it – and sang! It was great! 45 minutes was over before I knew it.

How do you keep your workouts fresh?

Mediterranean Pasta Toss

Hey! Nice to see some newcomers to the blog! Keep the comments coming. There’s still time to enter my Wellness Kit giveaway!

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I recently began eating a mostly vegetarian diet – which you can read more about here. Since adopting this new vegetarian lifestyle, I have been forced to become a little more creative in the kitchen. (Who wants to eat veggie burgers every night of the week?!) I’ve also had to really overcome my fear of carbs.

Before I get into more detail about my kitchen creativity, let me just tell you that I used to be seriously carb-a-phobic – like, wouldn’t touch a slice of bread with a 10-foot-pole. After much reading of nutrition books, I realized that there is no reason to fear carbs! Carbs fuel us. Carbs are good for us – provided we are eating the right kind of carbs.

Ok, back to the kitchen… I had a jar of artichoke hearts, a jar of roasted red peppers, a bag of spinach, and a bottle of aged balsamic vinegar on hand. I spent an entire day at working thinking about how I coul possibly put all these things together to make a meal. Then I remembered I had also recently bought a bag of whole grain penne pasta at Trader Joe’s. I had an “a-ha” moment – and the result was this delicious dish that I have dubbed the Mediterranean Pasta Toss.

While my penne pasta was boiling, I wilted some fresh spinach in some olive oil and garlic. I tossed in some quartered artichoke hearts and sliced roasted red peppers to heat them up. When the pasta was cooked, I added that to the pot with the spinach/artichoke/pepper mixture, then drizzled aged balsamic vinegar over the whole mess.

OH.MY.GOD. Delicious!!! The aged balsamic vinegar is key, since it’s sweeter and more syrup-y in consistency. It coated everything very well. This was so very filling too! Who needs meat?!

This is definitely my new favorite pasta entree!

What’s your favorite healthy¬†pasta dish?

Dinner Specials

Well, make that special dinners! What made my last 2 dinners special, you ask? (Even if you didn’t ask, I’m going to tell you anyway! ;-)) I tried out 2 new-to-me vegetarian products.

On Monday night, I tried out some Light Life Savory Chick’n Smart Tenders.

I heated them up in a skillet and served them alongside some broccoli covered with parmesan cheese.

These were delicious! They had a really nice flavor, and 16 grams of protein to boot! The one drawback – 3 tenders weren’t enough to fill me up. I probably could have eaten the whole package of 6. Had to share with the hubby though. ūüôā

Tuesday night I tried out the Gardein¬†Marinara Chick’n Good Stuff.

I ate this alongside some wilted spinach with garlic.

Holy yum! This was a-ma-zing! It’s filled with vegan cheese that tastes just like the real thing. If I hadn’t told my husband it was vegan cheese he never would have known the difference. Fabulous taste aside, I do have a gripe with these – super long ingredient list. I might buy these once in a while, but I’ll probably just focus on finding some great vegetarian recipes instead.

What are your thoughts on faux meats?

New-to-Me Goodies!

Yesterday, I did the usual Saturday shopping circuit – Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Stop ‘n’ Shop. Armed with a slew of coupons, I came home with a TON of new-to-me goodies that I’ll be reviewing throughout the week.

Before my shopping extravaganza, I started my day with an old favorite Рalmond butter, raisins, and banana on a La Tortilla Factory whole wheat tortilla. I warmed this in the micro for 30 seconds, and ate it alongside some eggs Р1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg.

This combo never lets me down!

Post-shop, I came home to dig into my new treats. First up, Voskos plain Greek yogurt. I had a $1 off coupon, so this was a bargain at just 99 cents for an 8 oz cup.

I promptly turned it into “chocolate mousse.”

Mixed with 2 packets of Purevia and 1 tbs of cocoa powder

My thoughts?? I loved this yogurt! It was so creamy and filling! The nutritional stats are outstanding, too – 140 calories, 9 g of carbs, and 24 g of protein. I especially love the short ingredient list – Grade A pasteurized skim milk, live and active cultures. I definitely recommend this yogurt. I would love to buy it again, but I’m afraid it’s a bit out of my budget at $1.99 per cup.

To go along with my yogurt at lunchtime, I tried some new-to-mew cereal – Kashi Go Lean. I had been buying Go Lean Crunch regularly but that stuff is like crack! I’ve got to break the habit. I don’t need 13 g of sugar in the morning.

I had just 1/2 a serving (1/2 cup) with a little bit of unsweetened soy milk.

This is definitely a keeper! I was just the right amount of sweet, with just 6 g of sugar. A one cup serving has just 140 calories, and packs 10 g of fiber and 13 g of protein. I’ll be interested to see if this keeps me full when I have it for breakfast.

After a brisk 40-minute walk with the hubby and baby girl, I came back inside and warmed up with yet another new-to-me item – Celestial Seasonings Black Cherry Berry tea.

I love fruit teas, and this one was no exception! It had a wonderful, natural cherry taste. It’s amazing if you take a little bite of dark chocolate and then take a sip…which I may or may not have done. ūüėČ

Dinner was a piece of baked salmon and a sweet potato. Simple and delicious.

Once baby was put to bed and my dinner was sufficiently digested, I squeezed in a 45-minute workout – Biggest Loser Power Sculpt. It was good to change it up. I’ve been doing Last Chance Workout for several weeks.

I then settled in on the couch to watch Food, Inc. All I will say for now is…WOW. I’ll post a full review later in the week.

What a great day of new foods, fresh air, and exercise! I think my favorite new item of the day was definitely the Voskos.

What’s your favorite new-to-you item?

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Chocolate for Breakfast!

Hey everyone! I don’t have a particularly interesting topic today… Just a run down of the day’s eats and exercise.

So who says you can’t have chocolate for breakfast?! I started my day in a sweet way with this beautiful bowl:

plain Chobani mixed with stevia and cocoa powder, with banana and peanut butter

I promptly stirred this all together and it was AMAZING! Mmmmm! I need to have my greek yogurt at breakfast more often.

To make my breakfast even more protein packed, I also had a side of eggs – 1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg to be exact.

Since I’m still fairly new at my job, I feel weird about taking pictures of my lunch and snacks during the day. So I photographed everything together this morning before I left the house.

Friday’s have become my almond butter and jelly day. I look forward to it all week! Today’s sandwich was almond butter with Trader Joe’s cranberry apple butter on a whole wheat sandwich thin. Awww yeah! ūüėÄ

Dinner was pretty simple. Typical end of the week meal…not too many ingredients left in the kitchen.

grilled chicken and microwaved sweet potato

I got a little impatient, so the sweet potato was quite cooked enough. Oh well – still tasted good!

Tonight’s exercise was Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout. I have never loved and hated a workout so much in my life! 55 minutes of Jillian is tough. She gets results though!

Speaking of Jillian Michaels, have you heard of her new line of diet pills?? I must admit I have lost some respect for her as a health and fitness professional. How can you advocate a healthy lifestyle and hawk diet pills at the same time??

What are your thoughts on Jillian Michaels selling weight loss supplements??

Take Time to Stretch

Lately I’ve been really stiff and achy…which definitely takes a toll on my motivation¬†to exercise. Yesterday in particular, my hips were killing me! It was supposed¬†to be¬†my night¬†to ride my Spinning bike, but I just couldn’t do it. It’s my own fault – I hardly ever take time to stretch after I work out. ūüė¶¬†

Rather than taking the night off from exercise though, I decided to try some yoga. I went to my new go-to exercise video source РExerciseTV. I pulled up the Yoga Fitness Fusion video, turned off the lights (using only the light of my computer screen to see what the heck I was doing), and got down to business. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this video was both challenging (hello quads!) and relaxing. I was able to get some great toning exercises in, and more importantly, stretch out all my tight muscles Рnamely, my hip flexors. 

I felt amazing after my 45 minutes of yoga! What a great reminder of the importance of stretching after a workout. I plan to incorporate more stretching into my exercise routine Рand do a yoga video at least once a week. 

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I’m still working on my exciting blog addition… Hopefully I’ll have that up in the next few days.¬†

In the meantime, here are some of my eats from today. Warning: I totally failed at taking pictures today. I mean, I took pictures, but they are crazy blurry. I need to slow down a bit and steady my hand before I shoot! 

Breakfast: 

pumpkin oat bran with raisins and walnuts, with 1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg

 

Lunch & Snacks: 

apple, banana, Chobani, protein shake, turkey wrap

 

Dinner: 

ground turkey seasoned with garlic salt and pepper, zucchini, onion, and Trader Joe's marinara

 

I used frozen, crinkle cut zucchini for this dish. So quick and easy! You can get just about anything frozen. Super convenient and super cheap! 

Exercise: 

45 minutes on the Spinning bike 

Question of the day: Do you use frozen fruits/vegetables? Why or Why not?