Thursday, March 31, 2011

Grilled Polenta

It's been a while since I made this and I thought for sure I had posted the recipe on here, but I went to search for it today and I couldn't find it. It's really yummy!!! I top it with sauteed veggies and marinara. I discovered it during my vegetarian phase--you could certainly add some grilled chicken or Italian sausage or even ground turkey into the mix for a delicious meal!

3 1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. rosemary
1 cup cornmeal
2 TBSP butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
2 TBSP olive oil

Set aside a shallow baking dish. Bring the vegetable stock, salt and rosemary to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then gradually sprinkle in the cornmeal, whisking constantly. Cook the polenta, whisking all the while, until it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 7 minutes. Whisk in butter, Parmesan and mozzarella.

Scrape the polenta into the reserved baking dish and smooth over the top. Let cool for 10 minutes, then cover and chill at least one hour. (I just stick it in the freezer to speed up this process.) When you are ready to begin cooking, cut the polenta into 12 squares. Lightly brush each side with the olive oil and place the squares on a baking sheet. Grill the polenta on hot grill until golden brown on each side, about 10 minutes total. (You can also broil it in the oven if you want.) Serve with sauce.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The never-ending search for balance

I was thinking tonight as I made dinner for the rest of the family--I'm done. I gave South Beach a fair shot and saw no results. I have always been a very healthy eater and I don't want to feel guilty about eating a slice of whole wheat bread. Body for Life has worked for me in the past and it is all about the balance of healthy carbs and lean proteins. So now that I have tried giving up dairy, sugar, meat, carbs...what is left? Food in general? :)

Back to Body for Life I go. For me it's all about balance. At least until someone who knows something tells me differently.

The kids had "Peach Cobbler" for breakfast--canned peaches in juice mixed with granola, cornmeal and quinoa. Topped with vanilla yogurt.
I had eggs and veggies. It is a very filling breakfast.
My morning snack was celery and hummus.
And then for lunch all I wanted was a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. I decided to listen to my body and go for it. Whole wheat bread, all-natural pb and sugar free jelly, of course. I also had a few almonds on the side.
I had another South Beach bar for my snack. The rest of the family had roast beef sandwiches on whole wheat buns for dinner. I was left in a quandary--we were eating on the way to soccer practice, what veggies could I legitimately eat while driving? I had already consumed my carbs for lunch. I should have planned better, but my life is busy and hectic and it doesn't always work out the way I want it to. So I had a few slices of roast beef wrapped in a piece of cheese. And that is when I decided that I'm done.

So, this morning I got up and did Pilates. I got home from freezing to death at soccer practice and went down to walk on the treadmill at a steep incline to warm up. Now off to the elliptical.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Summer is coming!!

I keep getting summer catalogs in the mail. I am so excited for the summer! It's kind of ironic though, as much as I hate what I look like--I keep wanting to buy all these swimsuits. I don't even swim that often.

I got up first thing this morning and did my lower body workout and ran/walked at an incline for 10 whole minutes beyond that before Lincoln woke up and found me.

Today for breakfast I made the kids bread pudding with added pumpkin puree and then I ended up just joining them for breakfast. So that was my carbs!! At least I make it healthy.
Lunch was more leftover pork tenderloin salad and then I tried a South Beach bar as my afternoon snack. It was good, but only 12 grams of protein.
(Except this picture from the internet says it has only 6 grams. Huh.)

For dinner I made the family Chicken Enchilada Casserole (I'll post the recipe.)

There were too many tortillas in it for me, so I just sauteed beef, pork and spaghetti squash, zucchini, summer squash, and green beans in the dressing from the pork salad.
Tasty! Then tonight it has been 20 more minutes on the elliptical.

Now I'll go look at more catalogs and wish I was rich. And tiny. :) Maybe I'll look at the catalogs while I do more elliptical...

Island Pork Tenderloin Salad Recipe

Yay!!! Ryan's cousin's wife (also known as Casey--cook, crafter, sewer and mom extraordinaire) told me I could just link to her blog for the Pork Tenderloin recipe. Much easier than typing it out and I think her pictures are better anyway. Click here for the recipe. I am going to try that coconut bread again, but trying making it healthier because it was like dessert and my kids all loved it too. Happy cooking!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Back to school!

The kids are back to school tomorrow!! Woo-hoo! We had a good three week vacation, but I always look forward to them being in school so I get a little bit of time to myself. Not much, since Lincoln is still with me, but it is certainly easier to get my work outs in when I only have one kid at home all day.

Today we continued our gardening adventures by thinning our cold-weather veggies and starting our warm-weather seedlings indoors. Hopefully all of our hard work will pay off with tons of fresh, healthy, home-grown vegetables this summer!!

Breakfast was another egg and veggie scramble. I think it's easiest to stick to this meal if I'm trying to avoid carbs. I'm not totally sure that's the way I want to go--it hasn't really worked out well, but I guess I can continue to give it a try.
Lunch was leftovers from last night. I had made a recipe that I have been wanting to try for months. I read about it on Ryan's cousin's wife's blog (got that?) It's called Island Pork Tenderloin Salad with Coconut Bread. It was so good!!! I'll have to post the recipe...
I saved up my carbs to have that bread. I need to find a way to make it healthier--soooooooo yummy!!! The salad is full of tasty tidbits--avocadoes, red peppers, golden raisins, spinach. Yum!

For dinner I made the family fajitas--
on whole wheat tortillas, of course. I just had mine on top of salad.
I just marinate my chicken and beef in lime juice, garlic and a spice blend (pick any one that sounds good.) Then I saute the meat in the marinade with onions and peppers and serve with fat free sour cream and salsa.

Today's work out was 30 minutes on the elliptical and a nice upper body work strength session, followed by some Pilates.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rainbows for breakfast

This morning I got in my lower body strength training first thing. I plan on doing elliptical after I get the kids settled.

I made the kids a fun breakfast this morning, then I just ended up eating some myself so as not to waste food. Rainbow pancakes (made with whole wheat flour.)
I didn't add any veggies because I didn't want the warp the colors. How cute are these?!
So that was my carbs for the day. For lunch I was craving ground turkey, but we didn't have any, so I crumbled up a MorningStar Vegan burger and sauteed it with leftover spaghetti squash and broccoli. I added a little low-carb Italian dressing. It turned out really good!
Then something came over me. I had overripe bananas and needed to make banana bread. It smelled so good coming out of the oven. I fell victim to temptation...
(Don't worry--I didn't eat the whole loaf myself! All six of us polished it off. At least I used whole wheat flour and substituted applesauce for the fat.)

After that indulgence I wasn't really in the mood for dinner, so I made myself a protein shake that I am just now finishing off. Chocolate protein powder, peanut butter, ice, water, almond milk, chia seeds, flaxseed oil and spinach. Great way to end the day!

Carbs! How I have missed you...

I woke up and ran a mile and a half barefoot. Then I indulged in some good carbs. I'm allowed now. I probably went a bit overboard, though. Oh, well. I was getting pretty tired of eggs and veggies every morning.

So I made French Toast!!

Using homemade whole wheat bread, egg whites, almond milk, vanilla protein powder and cinnamon.

The kids had muffins and smoothies.

I may have tasted a muffin. The whole point of the first two weeks of no carbs is so that you won't crave them anymore. NOT.

Lunch was a leftover Krautburger. (Oops, more carbs...)
I was good for dinner. I made spaghetti squash with fresh basil mixed in and a chicken breast on the side.
I'm going to try to limit myself to carbs only at one meal a day from now on.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back to carbs...

Eggs (with mushrooms and onions) and (Canadian) Bacon. This might be the last day of this particular meal...according to South Beach I'm allowed to start adding carbs back into my life as of today. French toast, anyone? I don't know--according to South Beach I also should have lost 8 to 14 pounds by now. Um, nope.
Lunch was leftover grilled tilapia and sauteed veggies.
I had some cabbage still left from St. Patrick's day, so for dinner I made Kraut burgers. Easy and yummy.

First, make up some quick bread dough.

Brown 1 lb. lean ground turkey (or beef) with chopped onions. Add a liberal amount of nutmeg, some salt and pepper and chopped cabbage.
Cook for a while.

Divide dough into balls and add some beef/cabbage mixture to each.
Roll 'em up and put them on a cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for a while (about 20 minutes.) Serve and enjoy!
I just ate the filling, and then, since I was allowed some carbs today, I finished a small piece of Lincoln's burger.

Today was a rest day for strength training. I did about 30 minutes of Pilates and 40 minutes on the elliptical.

Grilled Tilapia with Avocado Salsa

This makes divine fish tacos, but to avoid carbs, I had mine on salad.

1 TBSP olive oil
4 limes, halved
5 cloves garlic
2 tsp. ground cumin
4-6 portions tilapia
2 ripe avocados, chopped
1/4 red onion, minced
2 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped

Combine olive oil, juice from 3 limes, garlic and cumin in a ziplock bag. Add fish to marinade and let it sit for about 15 minutes or so.

While fish is marinating, mix together avocados, onion, cilantro and juice from remaining lime.

Place marinated fish on hot grill and cook for about 5 minutes. Flip and cook five more minutes.

Serve with avocado salsa.


Add a bit of color

Look at that festive breakfast! I used one of those frozen stir fry mixes with my eggs.

I did 30 minutes on the elliptical in the morning, then spent another day pushing a stroller around the zoo. Then I did an upper body work out and a short run on the treadmill in the evening before I had to head out to a church meeting/dinner. They were serving taco salad for dinner, but I just had lettuce, guac and black beans and it was good!

Here's to another good day today!

Monday, March 21, 2011

One day I will conquer the omelet

Today was not that day.

I saw an interesting idea on a blog I follow and decided to try it out for breakfast. It was a peanut butter and jelly omelet. To find the right way to do it, look here. Then there is my way.

I added pumpkin puree to the eggs to get in my veggies.
Then according to Monica's directions, I added vanilla and Truvia to sweeten it up. I figured this could all work--it would be like a German pancake for one.
Except I can't do omelets. It looked like this:
Then I tried to flip it and :
So I basically had scrambled eggs and peanut butter for breakfast.
It kind of made me never want to eat eggs or peanut butter again. But really, check out that link. Because the way she did it made it look appetizing. I promise.

Here we have lunch:
and dinner:
If you look closely you will realize those are actually two different meals. Lunch was green salad with steak. Dinner was green salad with grilled tilapia and avocado salsa (recipe will come.) So even though it looks like I ate the exact same thing for two meals in a row, I didn't. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Lower body weights this evening and now off to do some elliptical!

Cereal and Nasty meatloaf

Sundays are "Cereal Sundays" for the kids at our house. It is the one day of the week we let them have cold cereal. This is for a multitude of reasons. Mainly, feeding a family of six cereal every morning would be like feeding them bowls of dollar bills in milk. TOO EXPENSIVE!! Besides the fact that it doesn't fill them up and I like having more control over what they put in their mouths. When I make breakfast I can add flaxseed and vegetable purees and whole wheat flour and substitute applesauce for fat etc., etc.

We've taken Cereal Sunday up a notch, though. Now before they get their cold cereal, they have to eat a bowl of hot cracked wheat cereal. Now they never ask for food twenty minutes after breakfast is over!
Here is my breakfast--I could hardly taste the eggs through all those vegetables.
Mid-day meals were a protein shake and some leftover Tilapia. Dinner was meatloaf and garlic mashed potatoes for the rest of the fam. I had my meatloaf with salad and green beans. I hated the meatloaf, though. The ground turkey I used had Italian seasoning mixed in. It tasted like Italian sausage. Ryan liked it. That's good. He will be having it all week.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Roller coaster ridingl

Yesterday was a roller coaster. I was woken up early by my sick little boy throwing up in bed. That was a low. So I went grocery shopping at 6 am. That was a high (I always love to have fresh food!!) After breakfast--
Egg frames for the kids and
Same old, same old for me (with fresh basil and Canadian bacon)--

I went running for the first time in weeks!!! That was a definite high! I felt so good. I have no idea how far we went, but it was wonderful. I have missed it.

I had a
Protein shake with a familiar hint of green in it (Yay, spinach!!) after my run. Then off to the soccer fields for Isaac's first game of the season.

Picnic lunches are difficult on this new diet, but the first part of the diet will be over soon. Celery, cucumbers, hummus and peanut butter. Again.
The roller coaster ride took a dip at this point when we drove all over Denver running errands. Blah. By the time we finally got home snack time was long past and I was grumpy and feeling like I hadn't accomplished anything all day. I hate that feeling. I had a protein bar to tide me over and started to clean the house. Because I think that is all I ever do.

Dinner was turkey burgers. I had mine on a grilled Portabella mushroom instead of a bun.
And then the real low came. I was making chocolate chip cookies for a function I am having at my house today and this is how they came out of the oven:
It shouldn't seem like that big of a deal, right? Just by that point in my downward spiral I had had ENOUGH. So I ate some of those flat cookies and just went to bed.

It was the first time I have had sugar or flour or chocolate in 12 days. Major fail, I know. But I guess it doesn't matter since I haven't lost any weight anyway.

All I can do now is forgive myself and move on! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Not so fried Fry Bread

I got up early this morning and did my first upper body workout in weeks!! Yahoo!

The kids had parfaits for breakfast:

And I made myself, hmmm...eggs and veggies. I have to say, I really like every variation I have of this breakfast.

I had a protein shake (chocolate/pb) for my snack. I'm out of spinach, though. Tomorrow is my shopping day.
Lunch was a salad with grilled chicken.
I took the kids to an Indian Pow Wow this afternoon and they really wanted to sample the Fry Bread. Bread dough cooked in a deep fat fryer? It makes my arteries clog just thinking about it. I made them some of my own for dinner. Bread dough cooked with cooking spray on a skillet. The kids loved them!
We also had Tilapia for dinner. I had mine with zucchini and yellow squash. And Parmesan.
Tonight I did 30 minutes on the elliptical. I'm back!!