Posts tagged ‘veggie bowl’

September 7, 2011

WIAW: Melon Baller

Sorry about yesterday’s bum post.  I guess that’s what happens when you’re in a bum mood.  Stupid hormones.  I digress…

I’m in a much better mood today.  We’re all one day closer to Friday.  My book club meets tonight.  And of course it’s What I Ate Wednesday time!  Woohoo!  Be sure to check out Peas & Crayons for other great meal ideas.  I stole this little ditty about Jack and Dianne WIAW from her site, and it helps explain why I love it:

What WIAW isn’t about
Comparison – Judgement – Restriction – Guilt
What WIAW is about
Celebrating one of the glorious things we all have in common: We all eat!
WIAW is about food and fun! It’s about making new friends, breaking out of a food rut, inspiring
yourself & others, embracing fruit & vegetables, finding new ways to eat your favorite foods, and so
much more ❤
Celebrate blogging. Celebrate Food. Celebrate Individuality.
[Cause over here, we like to party!]
Yesterday’s breakfast began with a rice cake, though I predict I’ll be having half an Eat.Think.Smile chewy bar before my other workouts this week.  I also had an Oikos plain, fat-free, organic Greek yogurt (mouthful) with almost a cup of raspberries and half a cup of Kashi GoLean cereal after my workout.
On Monday, I made a quinoa bowl with summer veggies that I plan to eat on all week.  I also threw in half a can of tuna (though I’ll be using a full can for other days this week).  This actually tasted much better than anticipated.  I’ll share more about this veggie bowl tomorrow.
Oh, I also had a few (okay… 10… exactly 10) raw almonds with lunch.
(Not Pictured) I ate a peach with a hard boiled egg for snack.  
loads of nutrients + a little fat + non-refined carbs + protein = perfection

Dinner was a simple dinner straight from the kids’ menu, but I don’t care.  It’s an organic chicken frank on a wheat bun with onions.  I assume I also had about 2 cups of cantaloupe.

As you can see, I do not have a melon baller.  But I’m loving this melon so much that I think I am actually a melon baller, if you will.  Eatin’ melon the flyyyyyy way… (You’re welcome.  You know you’re going to have this song in your head all day.)

I also had a hearty serving of all-natural peeb and some totally unnatural popcorn.  It was the last bag of the pack, so hopefully I’ll swing for something more natural next time!

Lastly (sorry… long post… too many saved words from the weekend?), I have not only been eating, but I’ve been eaten.  I have soooooo many verrrrrry itchy bug bites from the cookout this weekend.  It’s driving me bonkers!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten lately?  Is that song in your head yet???

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August 9, 2011

Tuscan Tomato Rice Bowl

It has been a loooong time since I’ve shared a recipe, or at least it feels that way.  When Trader Joe’s didn’t have what I needed to make a lentil curry dish for lunch this week, I was forced to go against the list.

Regular readers probably know that I’m a stickler to my store list.  My handy-dandy list limits impulse buys, ensures I remember (most) things, and keeps me from wandering around like a lost and very confused child.  Yes, the list is a must, so you can imagine how devastating it can be when my little TJ’s is missing 3 of the 5 ingredients I need for a recipe.

I improvised.  TJ’s – 1, Tiff – 0.  But my improvisations helped me make something awesome.  TJ’s – 1, Tiff – 1.  It’s a tie; I’ll leave it at that.

rice bowl of yum

Tuscan Tomato Rice Bowl

the yums

Ingredients

  • 5 servings of brown rice
  • 3 cups low-sodium veggie broth (best if it’s got a fair amount of tomato in it)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • small handful of grape or cherry tomatoes, chunked/diced/whatev
  • 1/2 cup fresh, thinly sliced basil
  • 1 bag fresh spinach (looking back, I think I’d buy a frozen box of it next time)
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 oz sliced, sun dried tomatoes NOT in oil (I used 5/6 the full 3 oz.  I ate 1/6 in a sandwich.  Recommended!)
basil

Directions

  1. Cook rice according to package directions in broth.  Meanwhile, prepare other ingredients.
  2. Heat oil in pan.  Add onion and saute until soft.
  3. When rice as 10 minutes remaining, gradually fold or stir in spinach.  It will wilt and cook down significantly.
  4. To onions, add fresh tomatoes and basil.  Cook and stir 3 minutes or so, then remove from heat.
  5. When rice is done cooking and needs to rest, stir in any remaining spinach, chickpeas, and sun dried tomatoes.  Then stir in the onion, basil, and tomato mixture.  Let all ingredients cool slightly.  Serve into 5 containers for a week of awesome lunches.
ready 2 go

This comes to approximately 310 calories per serving if you divide it into 5 servings.  It really depends on which ingredients you choose, but that’s about what mine equaled.

Note 1: I would have loved to have added a little more fresh spinach and some toasted pine nuts.  However, I cook on a budget.  I also cook simple meals.  I think you all will appreciate both aspects.  If not, go buy yourself some pine nuts.  I bet they’re lovely.

Note 2: I would have also loved to add feta cheese.  That’s no surprise.  I’m also keeping an eye on calories, and I think many of you will appreciate that as well.  If not, go buy yourself some feta.  I bet it’s lovely.

By the way… I named this “Tuscan” because of this funny “news” article from The Onion:

Area Woman Will Eat Anything With ‘Tuscan’ In Name

MARCH 2, 2009 | ISSUE 45-10

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP, NJ—Veterinary assistant Lauren Millardi, 27, will eat any dish prefaced with the word “Tuscan,” sources reported Monday. “Tuscan shrimp, Tuscan garlic chicken, it doesn’t matter,” said Millardi’s boyfriend, Tim Vernacini. “I’m not really sure if she even knows what makes food Tuscan, but there’s something about that region-specific culinary modifier that she finds inordinately appetizing.” Vernacini added that Millardi likely would have loved the 2003 movie Under The Tuscan Sun had it not failed to meet her strict film criterion of having taken place between the years of 1743 and 1919.

This dish would actually be much more “Tuscan” if it included white beans and orzo instead of chickpeas and rice.  Close enough though, right?

June 15, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW)

It’s time again for another wiiiaaawwwww (What I Ate Wednesday).  I’m linking up with Jenn at Peas & Crayons, so check go check out the other WIAW posts.  Well, go check them out when you’re done here, of course!

As you all know, I eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and snack all week every week – at least for the most part.  This makes my shopping list easier, and I like to think it keeps costs down.  This week’s three-part breakfast included a pre-gym rice cake, a post-workout hardboiled egg, and an at-work oat concoction.

berry

Berry Good Breakfast

The concoction is ½ cup dry oats, approximately 1 tsp of chia seeds, and ½ cup blueberries.

I’m trying out some alternative beauty this week.  I’m trying to eat a bunch of skin-feeding foods.  My skin has been horrible lately, so I’m trying to give it a little extra nutritional boost. Here are links to two articles on the subject:

I am having blueberries for their radical-fighting antioxidants that supposedly contribute to a youthful appearance, eggs for their skin-repairing properties, and oats for their skin-clearing, whole-grain goodness.  Two nights this week, I am enjoying sweet potatoes for dinner for their glow-enhancing properties, and I’m eating lots of greens for a multitude of skin-related reasons.  I’m also including chia seeds, salmon, and almonds for healthy, nourishing fats that should hydrate my skin.  Lastly, I’m also trying to drink more water and decaf green tea.  In theory, the tea should help with inflammation.  I’ll let you know if I can tell a difference.

Lunch is a romaine salad with shredded green cabbage, snow peas, and a hint of leftover red bell pepper (wish I bought more of that at the store Sunday)!  I top it with Annie’s Naturals Gingerly Light dressing, almost half a can of skinless, boneless salmon, and a rice cake on the side.  This canned salmon is soooo yummy!

lunch

Asian Salad

Snacks vary.  Two days were red bell pepper strips with 3 TBS hummus, and yesterday was a plain, nonfat yogurt and a peach followed by organic, no-sugar-added applesauce.  Sadly, I think some unhealthy selections are on the horizon.  My office is having a “dip party” with various dips (cheese, salsa, chili, whatever), and they’ll also serve cookies and sodas.  I’ll try and abstain, but let’s face it – cookies are probably in my future.  (That’s probably not so good for the skin!)

Dinner tonight will be either a sweet potato (one of my favorite dinners) with a side of about 7 almonds, or I will make Chinese Take-In.  Either way, it’s gonna be good!  The last two nights’ dinners were only mediocre.  They included quinoa, loads of spinach, grape tomatoes, red bell pepper, and half a chicken breast.  Good, but not great.

vibrant

Vibrant Veggies

Definitely not recipe-worthy…

dinner
I can feel my skin healing itself already!

But certainly picture-worthy.  By the way, after dinner snacks have included almonds, mini bags of popcorn, and/or mini cones.

  • What is the best thing you have eaten so far this week?
  • What do you think of food-focused office parties?
June 2, 2011

Asparagus Veggie Bowl with Basil

I have good news, bad news, and a recipe for you today.  The good news is that I gained zero pounds on vacation last week.  Of course, if you read posts like this one you might have guessed that I lost weight.  However, if you checked out other posts, such as this one, you might have assumed I put on a couple.  Muahaha… calorie credits and debits at work!

The bad news is that I already failed on my Real Food June challenge.  Ummm… I think I made it one day because I started May 31.  I found this to be more comical than discouraging.  The guys left one lonely portion of meatloaf last night, so I ate it.  Since it was my mommy’s recipe (ultimate comfort food), was made with lean beef, included fresh basil and real Wisconsin white cheddar, I’m pleased with my decision.  The only downfall was the overly processed and totally unnatural breadcrumbs.  Ooops!

As promised, here’s the recipe for this week’s lunch bowl.  I must admit, it isn’t quite as yummy as my last lunch bowl, but it’s very filling and vegalicious.  I might like it more if I actually enjoyed eating asparagus.  It’s not that I don’t like the stuff, but it’s one of my least favorite veggies.

At least it's pretty!

At least it's pretty!

Kevin’s an asparagus fan, so I made lunch for him too.  Hurray for 8 pre-made lunches!  He can consume loads more calories than I can (by loads, I mean approximately 1,100 per day), so I told him to bring an extra snack and top his veggie bowls with cheese.  I recommended parmesan or asiago, but he requested mozzarella.  Whatever.  For my readers, I still recommend parmesan if you feel like adding more to your lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 6 servings of quinoa
  • 1 TBS olive oil and 3 more TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium-large onion, diced (white or red)
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 oz fresh basil (not so sure dried would work this time)
  • 2 cans cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 12-oz packages of frozen asparagus (cut into bite-size pieces)
  • 1 16-oz package of frozen spinach

*Note: 2 10-oz packages of asparagus and 2 10-oz packages of spinach would also be great, but it all depends on your grocery store’s offerings.

Directions:

  • Heat 1 TBS olive oil in frying pan.  Fry/sauté onion and bell pepper in pan until soft.  Add garlic powder, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Continue cooking until super soft.  (Is “super soft” a Martha Stewart approved cooking description?)  Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions.

    Fry

    So Colorful!

  • Allow onion and pepper mix to cool while you tear basil in smaller pieces.  While cooling, you can also defrost spinach and asparagus in your microwave according to package directions.
  • Place basil in food processor.  Place onion and pepper over basil.  Add the three extra TBS of oil as you process this into a sauce-like paste.  This is similar to a pesto, but it lacks the hard Italian cheese and pine nuts.  (Pine nuts don’t fit into my calorie or money budget.)

    Process

    A Work in Process

  • When quinoa is finished cooking, add the “sauce” from the food processor.  It won’t cover much, but the onion and basil contribute strong flavor.  Gently stir in the beans, asparagus, and spinach.
  • Stir, divide, and re-heat before serving.  Kevin added cheese daily before microwaving it.

    The Great Divide

    The Great Divide

I’d like to add a note about the red bell pepper.  Quinoa and spinach are great sources of iron, but the body absorbs iron better when it is served with a little vitamin C.  I doubt half a red bell pepper (a vitamin-C powerhouse) really added enough to matter over the course of 8 lunches, but I do what I can.  Next time, I might be inclined to omit the red bell pepper and have a little Clementine orange as a side or dessert.  The orange gives you the C, but it would also freshen your breath.  Garlic + Onion = Watch Out!

One last thing to watch out for… asparagus is a natural diuretic.  This is helping me feel less like a whale after vacation.  You may want to drink an extra glass of water every day that you have this for lunch.  Necessary?  Probably not.  Good for you anyway?  Sure.

The recipe is easily halved, but as-posted: serves 8, approx 325 calories per serving

May 22, 2011

Mediterranean Veggie Bowl

I mentioned the ingredients to my Mediterranean Veggie Bowl in a previous post, but I’d like to take a moment and post a real recipe for it.  I plan to add more veggie bowl recipes in the future.  This is partially due to requests, but it is also to help break the mold from frozen meals and deli meats.  I eat my fair share of frozen meals and deli meats, but I try to avoid both when possible.

Frozen meals, such as those made by Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, etc., are expensive.  While they don’t successfully keep me full, they do pump me full of artificial flavorings/preservatives and tons of sodium.  I have decided I’d prefer making custom meals with ingredients I trust on Sunday, then packaging them up for lunch every day.  Luckily, I’m one of those people who can eat something for 4-5 days in a row before getting sick of it!

As for deli meats, I’m not going to go on a huge rant here about those.  I eat them.  My family eats them.  It’s not the end of the world.  However, they are worth avoiding or at least limiting when possible.  There’s a myriad of reasons, and Google will be happy to help you find the ones that tug your heartstrings.  Arguments discuss the treatment of the animals, the quality of the meat, the way packaged meats harm the enviroment, and more.  You can check out a quick recap here if you have time.  No matter your opinion, you can see why I’ve recently fallen in love with my own veggie bowls!

Veggie Bowl

Mmmmediterranean

Mediterranean Veggie Bowl

  • 3 servings quinoa
  • 2 packages chopped frozen spinach (10 oz each) (kale works well too in this)
  • 1 white onion (or whatever’s in your pantry)
  • 1 package of fresh “Baby Bella” mushrooms (or sliced button mushrooms if you prefer)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp basil (I used dried)
  • 1 TBS oregano (again… I used dried)
  • 1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (or cannellini beans) (drained and rinsed)
Steps
  1. Begin cooking quinoa according to package directions.  Meanwhile, chop onion and defrost spinach in the microwave.
  2. Pour olive oil in pan to warm.  Add onion and mushrooms, and cook until softened.
  3. Add garlic to pan.  Stir and be careful not to burn.  Add spices and stir until fragrant (about 1 minute)
  4. If quinoa is finished cooking, add tomatoes, beans, and drained spinach.  Stir until heated.  Add contents of pan to pot of quinoa and other goodies.  Stir.  Let cool just enough to package into 5 equal servings.
The total per serving (assuming 5 servings) is 244 calories.  That’s not a lot, so some of you may want to add an additional can of beans, which would bring the total to approximately 321 calories per serving.  If you don’t care about calories, then I would recommend adding feta.  Feta makes everything betta’!  Lastly, I’d like to note that the vitamin C in the tomatoes helps your body absorb the iron from the other ingredients, such as spinach and quinoa.
After a race, you may be too tired to clean your house, but you may still have the energy to build your kitties a two-blanket and two-box fort.  (I think I liked it more than they did.)
entrance

Fort Entrace

Forts = Fun

Attack

Cleo Attacking the Fort

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