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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Well, things have been pretty normal ’round here, and I’ve been getting my fruits and veggies- or trying to. And probably too many doses of chocolate, but of course, those go undocumented!

Here are some of my latest culinary creations:

A big ol’ veggie sandwich… (basically an excuse to buy this really good mayo I bought the other day)…

YUM!

With lots of crunchy fruits and veggies on the side…

A yummy wrap for lunch with hummus, baba, and lots of fresh veggies…

YUM #2!

A lovely bowl of cereal with fresh fruit,

And black beans + sweet potato tacos, with a side of “okra fries”.

This was the first time ¬†I’ve made the “fries”, and they were delish! Spiced them and popped ’em in the oven at 400 for about 30 minutes.

Mmmmm, tacos!

Oh, yeah, and a dog!

Not to eat, of course, but to play with. We took the plunge and adopted a dog (i.e. I have been begging for a dog for 2 + years and on my birthday, Loren finally conceded to the inevitable) who I can partially blame for falling of the face of the blogosphere, because she is just too cute/ demands all my attention/ loves to cuddle/ needs lots of walks/ jumps on trees at the dog park and tries to destroy them/ my cats hate her so I have to spend my time breaking up potential dog/ cat fights.

Her name is Sya and I am in love. ūüôā

That is all for now- we will be back! ūüôā

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Hi guys! While I certainly haven’t been posting as much as usual, I have been taking pictures of some of my most delicious eats over the last week or so. There’s been some great meals! So let me share…

DINNERs

We’ve been low on groceries, I’ve tried to keep cooking…

First up, a simple and delicious meal: A tomato and cucumber salad with a warm tuna melt.

I just made the tuna salad, scooped it on some bread, topped it with some shredded Gouda and toasted it up! This is a Loren/ Kat favorite. And the cats always want some, too!

One night, when we were very low on groceries, I was proud of myself for putting together a healthy, veggie-filled meal from the pantry and my freezer. I combined some frozen chopped spinach with a big can of Trader Joe’s tomato sauce and some chickpeas. I just made some whole wheat angel hair pasta (the best kind of whole wheat pasta because it has a nice texture) and topped it with the sauce. I also made a green salad on the side.

YUM!

If you don’t like the texture of whole wheat pasta, and therefore don’t eat it, I highly recommend you try angel hair whole-wheat. You can find it at any grocery store.

But my favorite dinner that I’ve cooked in the last week was definitely wild salmon- baked in aluminum foil in covered with a sauce of olive oil, lemon, capers, and dijon grain mustard. In the oven for 22 minutes at 400.

And voilà, the best salmon EVER. And I cooked up some really easy veggies to have on the side: corn and haricot verts (fancy word for skinny string beans). They were so easy because I could just boil both vegetables (at different times) in the same pot.

And there you have it- a 20 minute meal. ūüôā

BREAKFAST

These are some of my favorite breakfast as of late…

Apple/banana oatmeal.  I added half a chopped green apple and half a sliced banana to the oatmeal and let it all cook together for about seven minutes. I added lots of cinnamon and some maple syrup as well.

Then there was the “waffles benedict”- Yogurt, apple, apricot jam, and PB on whole wheat waffles!

SOOO good!

A simple sunny side up egg on toast. Little bit of cream cheese. Lots of hot sauce!

And my favorite breakie of all: today’s! Scooped out FRESH whole wheat-everything bagel with a little bit of chive cream cheese, capers, sliced tomato, and lox (smoked salmon).

Yes, I am a Jewish girl at heart. This is my people’s food! I’ve gotta love it- its in my blood. ūüėČ

And that’s about it for the greatest as of late. I promise to try to post more regularly- please bare with me!

Today I am actually attempting a double workout- lets see how that goes. I swam for 30 minutes this morning and I am heading to a Novice/ Open pilates class. I’m excited- I really want to get into Pilates- seems so good for toning, stretching, and strengthening the body. And I found a great-looking studio right down the street! Love Brooklyn.

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Loren got me the best present for Christmas this year: cooking lessons for us to take together. After reading a bunch of reviews, he found The Natural Gourmet Institute in Manhattan. It is focused on making healthy, mostly vegetarian, largely ethnic cuisine. Loren and I decided to take a class called “Destination: Morocco” with Myra Kornfeld. Neither of us knew anything about Moroccan food, but we were intrigued by the idea of learning about new textures, spices, and ingredients.

The class was more than I could have hoped for. We took it on Martin Luther King Day, from 2:30 to 6 PM. It seems like a lot of time to cook, but we had so much to make that it went by really fast! We made:¬†Roasted Red Pepper-Sesame Pesto on Toasted Pita Triangles; Green Leaf Salad with Shallots and Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette; Red ¬†Lentil Soup; Chickpea Charmoula Strudel; Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Onions, Cinnamon, Almonds and Cherries; Quinoa-Carrot Pilaf with Saffron, Mint and Harissa Spinach; and Olive Oil Semolina-Walnut Cake. (Sorry but I can’t post any recipes here — they belong to the instructor). Loren and I were a team of two and we made the chicken dish, the harissa spinach, and the quinoa pilaf. Everyone in the class made 2 to 3 dishes, which was great because we really learn a lot about using new ingredients and spices.

I took pictures when I could!

The beginning instruction:

Me, seriously hard at work… (making the filling for the chicken)

Me, happily hard at work…

The stuffed and breaded chicken. They were sauted in a pan and then baked in the oven.

Loren had fun stuffing and breading the chicken!

It was great to learn how to make little “pockets” in the chicken to stuff them with the caramelized onion mixture. I will definitely be trying to re-create this dish with different ingredients at home. I think goat cheese would be really great in it!

It was a lot of fun to play with new spices and herbs. To make the “harissa spinach”, we boiled some hot red peppers and let them sit in the water for 10 minutes before chopping them up and adding some jalapeno and spices. Then, we mixed this spicy plate with a whole lot of spinach.

Yum!

Then, we had a presentation on how to use the filo dough, which we stuffed with a chickpea mixture and rolled up.

What’s interesting about filo dough is that you have to use a bunch of layers to create a nice crust. You also have to brush each layer with a little bit of olive oil. I’m usually really intimidated by ingredients like this, but after seeing how easy it was for us to make, I might try to play with it at home.

Myra rolled it up like a pro!

Once everyone had made their dishes, we got to the best part: EATING!It was really nice that the Institute also provided wine with dinner. For $110, the three and half hours of cooking, the professional instruction, the amazing food (multicourse dinner), and wine were more than I expected. EVERYTHING WAS SOOO GOOD!

We started out munching on a dairy-free red pepper dip and some freshly baked pita chips.

Then, we had the red lentil soup, which had a little bit of yogurt drizzled in it. YUM!

The salad came next. I wasn’t expecting to like this salad, but it was AMAZING. It had been described as kind of a “sweet” salad, which I dont usually like, but the dressing was very light and not overpowering at all. It was topped with crispy fried shallots, which were the perfect contrast to the maple syrup in the dressing and the pomegranate arils and juicy oranges. YUM again!

Next came the entrées and we got to try them all! I was a big fan of both the stuffed chicken breast and the chickpea/ filo dough roll.

I love the idea of rolling food together and then cutting along one side to make the presentation very beautiful. I never really cooked this way but it inspired me to spend a little more time thinking about presentation when I cook. The sides — the quinoa and the spinach — were very light. It may seem like we a lot of food but I didn’t feel stuff at all. I think that is because we use such healthy ingredients (i.e. we fried chicken in coconut oil instead of in heavy fats so it didn’t make me feel sluggish or weighed down).

I actually forgot to take pictures of the wonderful dessert- a semolina flour cake which was served with orange slices and vanilla ice cream. I don’t usually like dessert but it was ALSO so good- not too sweet at all!

All in all, it was a very fun day. The Institute definitely exceeded my expectations! (And as a full paying student, I am giving my honest opinion — I am not a paid blogger:) ) ¬†In fact, we already have plans to go back in the Spring!

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Good morning!

Yesterday was one of those days when I was tempted by lots of treats — a reality of the holiday season, of course. I was proud of the way it handled the day in contrast to the way I have in years before… but more on that in a bit.

I had to be up early to teach a class, so I skipped the gym.  I made a breakfast wrap with scrambled eggs, avocado, a little bit of cheese, and some apricot preserve.I had some tea and fresh berries on the  side.

Breakfast wraps are my failproof go-to for a morning when I need something quick and healthy — and filling!

When I got to work yesterday, a lot of the classes were having holiday parties which meant lots of food. ¬†I tried to make healthy decisions while still enjoying things I don’t usually get to eat.

I had a cup of smart food popcorn,

Two small chile rellenos for lunch (homemade ¬†by a student—- sooo good!)

( I think they were covered in egg and stuffed with chicken and vegetables).

And a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie.

In years past, I would have freaked out about eating a cookie and fried food for lunch- ¬†and not having gone to the gym. I probably would have thrown my hands up and thought, ¬†“Well, I’ve ruined my day/diet so I might as well eat whatever is in sight.” ¬†And then I would have, and then I would have felt like puking.

I don’t get much into my disordered eating past here, but I realize how far I have come on days like yesterday. I have a different relationship with myself, and, therefore, a different relationship with food. This blog also really helps to keep me sane, to keep me accountable, to keep things in perspective. Yesterday, as I felt old thought patterns coming back, I ¬†watched them and I didn’t beat myself up for having a few goodies. I ¬†just said, “No big deal”- because it really wasn’t. And because I didn’t beat myself up, I didn’t overindulge. I got back on the bandwagon ¬†before I could even fall off and had healthy eats for snacks and dinner — exactly what I was craving.

I snacked on a low-fat yogurt from Trader Joe’s.

And a green apple.

For dinner, I ate a big bowl of raw veggies with a little bit of dip.

And some shrimp gyoza ¬†from Trader Joe’s that I steamed and pan fried in olive oil. These were delicious!

I recently bought this great red chili teriyaki sauce and it went perfectly with the dumplings. I went back for two more!

I am usually really impressed with Trader Joe’s frozen foods, but these were especially impressive. They each had big bites of shrimp, lots of veggies, and a great consistency. They weren’t mushy or bland in the center at all — as many frozen dumplings are. They are also very healthy and full of protein, ¬†at ¬†about 50 calories per dumpling. I will definitely be buying them again and relying on them for a great midweek dinner.

I ended the day feeling satisfied but not stuffed- and my “bad eats” at lunch seemed like no big deal in the big picture. I finally feel that I am really moving into a new space with food, eating, with health, and with myself. I hope that it lasts into the new year and beyond. ¬†Thanks to you all for reading and for all your support. ¬†It makes a big difference to know you are there!

Hope you all have a great Friday! I am off on a big family vacation (more details to come) tomorrow night — if the weather permits! A snow storm is coming!

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Good morning! Thanks for all of your well-wishes about my wrist–it’s not feeling all that better but I am going to see a PT today who specializes in hand and wrist–so here’s to hoping! Loren, being the kind boyfriend that he is (editor’s note: she really said this, I didn’t make it up!) actually helped me type up this post last night.

Alright, back back to the important stuff: FOOD!! I started yesterday with a 35 min bike at the gym. When I got home, I was looking for something filling but light to refuel. We don’t have a lot of groceries right now, and since we are heading out of town on Saturday, I’m trying to consume what we have (Anyone have any great recipes for brussel sprouts, tofu, and orange juice?!?). I decided to throw together a bowl of staples: some TJ’s raisin bran cereal, trail mix, dried cranberries, a scoop of peanut butter, and some almond milk.

Not as much fruit as I normally like, but the dried grapes and cranberries count, right?

While making breakfast, I also threw together a few things for lunch that needed to be eaten: A TJ’s Indian channa masala, a string cheese, a whole wheat wrap, and some celery.

I was going to have the apple for snack, but I ended up coming home  a little early, so I made a snack at home. It looked a lot like breakfast!

A bowl of TJ’s lowfat raspberry yogurt with a sprinkle of raisin bran, dried cranberries, and a few chocolate chips.

Dinner was a random mix of foods (what was left in my fridge). I made a “pizza” using the last piece of garlic nan, topped with marinara sauce, goat and feta cheese, and some banana peppers.

Yum!

I also had an apple, a handful of wasabi peas, and some pistachios (unpictured).

And lots of tea.

Simple dinner=easy clean up.

P.S. Look at what I picked up at the bookstore this weekend!

I can’t wait to read it! It includes lots of vignettes and short stories from all sorts of food writing from 2009. I’m currently reading “Push” by Sapphire (I wanted to read it before I saw the movie “Precious”), so I think the food book will be a happy pick-me-up after a depressing but important read.

Have a great day!

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Good Evening! Hope you all enjoyed your weekends. It was a cold and rainy one over here, but I still managed to have some much-needed fun. The weekend also included a lot of dining out.

Yesterday began with a home-made breakfast, made with love by Loren. We used the TJ’s pumpkin pancake mix and added fresh blueberries to the mix. I even added some dark chocolate chips to some!! I topped my pancakes with cottage cheese and some home made apple butter sent to me by my close friends Billy and Sheryl (thanks Cheryl!)

They were delicious. The apple butter was awesome-tasted just like apple sauce but with a bit more cinnamon and spices.

And I took lots of pics!

Later in the day, I went into the city and met my sister for lunch and a play. We didn’t have a lot of time for lunch so we stopped at a cute little bar & grill called Acme. I was in the mood for salad, and the waiter told us that salads would be quick, so I ordered the blackened chicken salad with cajun ranch dressing on the side.

It was excellent! The chicken had lots of great smokey, spicy flavor and the dressing was really tasty, though I didn’t need much of it.

It was REALLY filling and I couldn’t finish-lots of protein!

After the play we walked a lot through the veeerrry cold streets of NY. We parted ways and I headed to Starbucks to kill some time while I was waiting to have yet another meal out with Loren and my other sister, Elizabeth.

I had a chamomile tea and small piece of dark chocolate-warmed me right up!

The three of us met at Blue Ribbon Sushi in SoHo for dinner. Blue Ribbon is known for having fresh, delicious sushi and it did not disappoint. I started off with the house salad with ginger dressing and was immediately impressed-it was one of the best salads I have had at a Japanese restaurant; the dressing was light was extremely flavorful and the salad was topped with lots of scallions and avocado.

We all split a bowl of edamame.

I ordered a spicy tuna roll with tempura flakes and a shrimp tempura roll. Both rolls were amazing and super fresh tasting. Aren’t they gorgeous?!

I had three pieces of each roll and gave the rest to Loren (he’s happy that I’m watching my portions-he definitely benefits!)

It was a really great night- and I felt really good about my choices in a day full of dining out.

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Hey guys,

Sorry its been a few days since I’ve posted. To be honest, I have been feeling pretty down/ apathetic about things (seasonal depression, anyone?). Anyways, I am finally feeling more like myself today- and up to posting!¬† But I have a lot of eats to catch up on:

Wednesday breakfast: 1 egg, 1 egg white scrambled with spinach and feta, rolled up in a wrap. Topped with lots of salsa!

Wednesday lunch: Amy’s burrito and lots of snacks…

Wednesday’s “Lazy Kat dinner”: big salad, turkey hot dogs on a slice of Ezekial.

With some excellent McClure’s relish!

And a TJ’s mini ice cream cookie sandwich for dessert.

Thursday: breakfast on the go- a glass of Emergen-C, a banana, chocolate PURE bar.

Thursday lunch (unpictured) at work- turkey and cheese sammie on whole wheat bread, sliced pineapple.

Thursday dinner: “REALLY Lazy Kat dinner”: 2 chopped turkey hot dogs, leftover Angel Hair and Squash Pasta with Marinara Sauce, sliced veggies and humus.

When I was little, chopped hot dog and macaroni was my favorite meal in the world. Maybe this is why I am feeling better today? Comfort food does wonders for me!

Question: What do you do to avoid feeling down during the winter? Any tips? I am from South Florida, so I spent my entire life until the age of 18 outside every day- swimming, walking, running, staying active. Winter and¬†I¬†just don’t mix. But I live¬†in NYC¬†for now, so I need to do my best to stay happy. I have tried bundling up and taking more walks outside, even when it is freezing. I have also been forcing myself to keep exercising a bit every day so the endorphins keep pumping through my body. I have also given into way too many hot chocolates over the last few days (albeit skim) to boost my mood. What do you do?

I hope you all staying cozy and happy wherever you are!

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