Monday, July 6, 2015


My interest in cooking has been reignited by my daughter's pediatrician appointment. She's no longer as active as she once was and her BMI is up to 26.

So I have been doling out all food from the kitchen and decreed to my husband NO SECONDS. I am the most active person in our household and my research shows that my daughter's calorie needs should be pretty similar to mine. I count my calories since I weight lift... And walk... And work retail.

We're focusing on increasing our activity as a family, recognizing proper portion sizes and making better choices when we can. 

Normal weight management wisdom says to use smaller plates for meals. I traditionally use smaller plates and have switched to regular dinner plates. Why? For plating. A larger plate allows me to arrange the food prettier and you enjoy looking at it more.

For instance:
This is a breakfast of 1/2 serving Oikos Greek yogurt, vanilla flavor, topped with PB2; a half a banana, sliced; and 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter mixed with 1 teaspoon local raw blueberry honey. The plating makes it look like a lot, but you could mix it all into one heap.

Today's lunch was repackaged leftovers:
A bed of shredded iceberg lettuce with less than a half cup watermelon gazpacho; a few tablespoons of leftover chicken salad made with cucumbers and Bolthouse cilantro avocado yogurt dressing; a tablespoon of hummus scattered around the plate and a green olive on each drop; and Simply Balanced organic blue corn chips with flax. I call this fruity chicken nachos.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Turkey Zucchini Spinach Burgers

I'm baking these on my roaster pan at 350 degrees.

Made 7 burgers of about 100 calories/20 grams protein each.

- 20 ounces ground turkey
- about 2 cups shredded zucchini
- about 2 cups raw organic spinach

For spices:
- 1 tsp ras el hanout
- 1 tablespoons raw chives
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp curry powder 
- 1 tsp parsley 
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 TBS cheddar onion dip mix

Cantaloupe banana smoothie

My daughter got another "fat" lecture from her doctor.

The junk will be removed from our house. Part of this is my fault, as my daughter loves carrots, cucumbers & peppers yet I don't keep enough of these foods in the house.

In the blender

For 2

- 3 slices cantaloupe
- 2 bananas 
- 1 cup milk
- 1 serving green vegan protein powder
- 1 serving EAS vanilla whey 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Birthday brownies

I used to have a reputation for my "from scratch" brownies. It has been four years since I made brownies so my daughter has no recollection of my awesomeness.

For her birthday today, we made brownies.

We started with a trip to Target to get the necessary supplies: applesauce, butter, chocolate, heavy whipping cream.

Because I'm planning on making homemade whipped cream.

Imagine my delight when I found the following on clearance: Ghiradelli 60% cocoa baking chocolate ($1.60 for four ounces); Toll House stuffed morsels ($2.30 for the following stuffed chocolate chips: caramel, cherry or mint).

We preheated the oven to 350 degrees.

In a saucepan we melted:
1.5 sticks unsalted butter
6 ounces of the Ghiradelli chocolate

In a separate bowl we mixed:
1.75 cups sugar
3 individual serving cups no sugar added applesauce (replaces the egg, they didn't have a full sized bottle)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.

We added the fudgy mix and then a heaping cup of organic white flour.

Then we stirred in about half a bag if the caramel morsels.

We poured into into a greased jelly roll pan. It's a travesty I don't own a brownie pan these days.

I wove a thread of Justin's maple almond butter, another of Justin's vanilla almond butter and a third of Nutella across the top.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Strawberry Protein Smoothie

I slapped all this (plus a last minute addition of mango) in the blender today:

- 1 cup frozen strawberry banana blend
- 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
- vanilla cream protein powder 
- 1 serving Oikos vanilla coconut Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup skim milk

Funny part is that it looks like the blender wasn't put together correctly and most of the milk ran out the bottom.

It was my favorite smoothie ever but it was so thick I had to eat it with a spoon!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Somali style stew with chicken on the side

I wanted a Somali style stew and thought I could toss something in the crock pot to cook for the day. And I thought I'd use chicken thighs, even though they aren't common in Somali cuisine.

But all I had were drumsticks.

For the stew (toss in crockpot):
- one cup white/great northern beans (no salt)
- one can garbanzo beans, rinsed
- about 1.5 cups frozen butternut squash
- about 2/3 cup frozen zucchini
- one cup homemade chicken stock (no salt)
- one cup water
- paprika
- garlic powder
- black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped chives
- 3 whole cloves
- cumin
- a pinch cinnamon

I think.

Now the drumsticks:
I marinated six drumsticks in spiced apple cider, smearing them with a small amount of orange marmalade and sprinkling them with a 1/2 teaspoon or so (each) of brown sugar. Left them in the fridge all afternoon.

Cooked them for 20 minutes at 350, basted thoroughly with the juice from the pan and then increased temp to 425 for an additional 45 minutes.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Chicken and Brussel sprout sandwich

I made a dozen or so chicken breasts I bought on clearance yesterday at Target. I baked them in the oven in homemade chicken stock and water.

So for lunch I sliced up two hunks of chicken and sautéed them quickly in extra virgin olive oil and ras el hanout. I sliced about 20 leftover Brussel sprouts in half and tossed them in too.

I made mine into a sandwich with jalapeño mozzarella cheese.