Monday, February 27, 2012


Things I have learned- I cannot poach fish to save my life. My mom bought me a cool fish poacher thingy for Christmas. Sadly, it did not come with instructions and I used it to absolutely ruin a salmon filet last week. So, anyone want a slightly used fish poacher?

This week I'm planning to eat the leftovers from Saturday's party for lunches, and make some barley risotto (with walnuts, orange, and arugula) after that.
Dinner entrees this week will be chicken meatballs with spaghetti squash (I'm psyched to use the meat grinder attachment on my mixer!), Anaheim shrimp, garbanzo burgers, and probably some more coconut-oil sauteed cod- this time with capers and tomatoes.
Last night I enjoyed a lovely departure from health food- a fried oyster and shrimp poboy at Poboy's and Pickles. It warms my heart that I've found an excellent poboy joint in Portland. It's the perfect cure for homesickness!

Do you meal plan or just wing it for your weekly meals? If I didn't plan my meals in advance I'd end up stopping by the grocery store every day- and wasting tons of food and money.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Yesterday, my plans for the evening solidified into hosting a get together for a dozen people about 3 hours before people would be arriving. Of course, the house was a wreck and there was almost nothing in the fridge. I knew that since it was fairly nice outside, the hubby would want to grill out, but that it was cold enough that we couldn't have an entire party on the porch.
In a moment of brilliance, I came up with the perfect food theme: Taco Night! I quickly ran to the store for charcoal, fish, chicken, and various taco toppings (tomatoes, cheese, onion, etc...). When I got home, I marinated the chicken in some salsa, marinated the fish in olive oil and lime juice, and chopped up my toppings. I also made a quick batch of cabbage slaw and a fruit salad with chopped strawberries, pineapple, lime juice and honey. I spent the next two hours *quickly* cleaning my house (while listening to the Shakira Pandora station to be festive) then put a pot of black beans on the stove right before people came over.
Set up was a breeze- I put chips and salsa in the front room for people to much while the hubby grilled, then just set out bowls of taco toppers, microwaved some tortillas, and let everyone assemble their dinner once we brought in the chicken and fish.
It was super easy and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I think a variation on this theme that would work equally well would be to do a baked potato party with chili and other toppings.

Do you entertain on a whim or prefer time to plan?

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Just a quick post to say that my eating plan is going very well this week. I'd forgotten how good Green Monsters taste! I'm currently mixing about 2 cups of fresh spinach, 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder, half a banana, 5 strawberries, and 2/3 cup of almond milk in mine (for a total of about 200 calories if anyone is keeping score at home). So good!
Dinners so far have also been awesome. I was blown away by how much I enjoyed the Lentil Bowls. I don't typically cook vegan dishes, but this has encouraged me to branch out and try more because I loved this. (I also didn't get any complaints from the hubby.) I think the key ingredient was nutritional yeast, which was the ingredient that initially put me off of making this dish. I loved its savory flavor (it's the closest thing you can get to vegan cheese) and it's nutritional statistics. 7 grams of protein, 60 calories, and 70% of your daily B12 needs in 2T!
My cod and Brussels sprouts cooked in coconut oil were also excellent. The coconut flavor didn't really come through after cooking, but the sprouts browned nicely and the cod was very tender and flaky. I topped it with sort of a thai chili sauce, but I want to make this again and try different sauces because I think this technique is very versatile. Basically I halved the sprouts and cooked them in virgin coconut oil over medium high heat face down until they were a little brown (8 min.) then stirred them up and cooked them, stirring occasionally for another 2 or 3 minutes.
For the cod, I cooked them in virgin coconut oil for 5 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other until they were nice and flaky.
In terms of the sauce, I just simmered about 1/4 cup of light coconut oil with sriracha, and ginger and basil from a squeeze bottle until it thickened up a little, then spooned it over the fish and sprouts.

Eat anything exciting this week?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fat Tuesday

Happy Mardi Gras, y'all! I'm back from my dual skiing/New Orleans vacation and while I had an absolute blast, I have to say that I am ready for Lent! I typically don't give up anything for Lent, but I find that around this time of year I always feel ready to take a step back and live more calmly and healthily for a while. When I lived in New Orleans, a big part of this was due to my wanting to recover from the madness that is the Mardi Gras season, but in general, I find that I tend to live and eat a little decadently in the fall and winter (hello, holidays!), and by late winter/early spring, I'm ready to clean things up a bit. In the past I was at least running a good bit, but since I hurt my knee in October and have mostly traded in my running shoes for a yoga mat, I haven't been burning as many calories as I normally do.
So let's just say that after several food and fun filled months, it's time clean up my eats, hit the gym a little harder, and recommit to my healthy lifestyle. Of course, that doesn't mean that I won't be having fun as well! I love a chance to try new workouts and new healthy recipes. I also find that my cravings tend to even themselves out. Right now, I'm absolutely craving fresh fruits and veggies. Conversely, if I don't allow myself treats along the way, decadent food is all I can think about. It's all about balance!
I thought I'd share my plan in case anyone is interested. I like to take things a week at a time in terms of meal and exercise planning (and this is a short week since I just got back into town), but in general I'm going to be focusing on eating way more veggies, as little processed carbs and sugar as possible, lean proteins and healthy fats. I'm also going to try to work out five times each week. I'm also not going to be drinking wine on weekdays. (I think that wine in moderation is a healthy thing to enjoy, but it's also a source of calories that don't make me feel full, so it's just water, coffee, and tea for me for a little while.)
For the rest of the week, I'm planning to eat Green Monsters for breakfast. I know a spinach and banana smoothie sounds bizarre, but it tastes really good. Even more importantly, it makes me feel wonderful!
Lunch this week will either be leftovers from dinner, or a variation on this santiago salsa. Basically I'm going to make a big batch of this using more veggies (I love to add green onion and red bell pepper to this), brown rice, and little to no cheese. I'm thinking about trying it with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top, and if I don't like that, I'll melt a little cheese on top when I heat it up instead of baking cheese into it initially.
Dinners for the next few days will be Lentil Bowls, poached salmon with broccoli, Cod cooked in coconut oil with coconut chili sauce (based very loosely on this idea, but with a drizzle of sauce and some chopped cilantro on top) and Brussels sprouts, and baked chicken with kale and barley (all piled up in a bowl and topped with lemon juice, olive oil, and Parmesan). I'm excited to be cooking fish this week b/c I really don't take advantage of the wonderful seafood in Maine as often as I should, especially since fish is such a healthy source of protein.
Potential snacks/treats for the week are overnight oats, protein balls, eggs with salsa, popcorn, chia pudding, and meringues (since I have a freezer full and I've calculated that each of my meringues contains at most 30 calories).
I think I'm going to make the lentil bowls tonight b/c I've been wanting to try that recipe for quite some time. I'm going to have to put the dressing on the side though b/c while I LOVE lemon, the hubby is generally not a fan. I might make some humbeque (hummus + bbq sauce) for him to add to his bowl.

What are your favorite healthy recipes and workouts?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ski Bunny

Even though we've been having a freakishly mild winter (or so I'm told), I've still managed to ski 4 times this year- twice at Sunday River and twice at Shawnee Peak. It helps that my awesome husband used my birthday and Christmas to give me my own skis and ski boots- I have a very good incentive to tag along whenever people I know are going skiing!
Next week, we're going to Beaver Creek, Co to ski for a few days with my inlaws. After that, we're heading to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. So basically, best two part vacation ever. :)
I'm at a somewhat frustrating stage with my skiing this winter. I'm good enough to tackle blue slopes and some blacks, and I'm good enough not to fall down very often. The problem is that I'm proceeding with an abundance of caution and going pretty slowly. I feel bad when I'm the last person down to the lift and people have to wait on me; and while I enjoy skiing the way I am now, I'd like to get better and faster. It's hard to push myself though because pushing myself and risking falling down a lot is kind of scary. I did pretty well this Sunday at Shawnee Peak (it's a pretty small and uncrowded mountain, so less intimidating overall) and my friends commented that I'm getting much faster. Hopefully I can take what I've been doing and translate that to my skiing in Colorado, even though I think Beaver Creek will be much bigger and tougher. Regardless, I'm excited to go!

As a reward for reading while I agonize over skiing (what a first world problem!), here's a picture of the hubby's magnificent winter beard the last time we skied together. I really want to steal his Nordic sweater.