Sushi making… on a diet?

Thank you all for your comments on my Elina vs. a diet post. I’m super determined and am ready to make a real change, not just wishing for it!

Last night I was invited to my friend Katie’s house to make sushi. Shannon was also in attendance. The three of us have been talking about this little sushi making party ever since I attended a sushi making class. Katie even had all the sushi making gear… yet it still took us nearly a year to do this. I suppose it’s better late than never!!

But first, we had to play with Hugo. It’s kind of hard to do any serious work with this little guy around!

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I saw that, Shannon! hehe Who me? 

All right, ladies, I’m hungry. Let’s DO this!!

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[Rinsing rice and cutting seafood]

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All ready to roll!

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I was somehow deemed the expert so I went first. I didn’t remember exactly hot to do it (should have consulted my own post first!) but honestly it’s kind of intuitive – we all did just fine!

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Voila!

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Katie had this fancy nigiri rice former. Looks like a pill box but makes nigiri rice.

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Such a cutie [spicy scallop nigiri]

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Rolls, rolls and more rolls…

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We got pretty funky with the rolls – combining scallops with salmon, cucumber and mango . This last roll above, I kind of went to town on – basically this has every veggie and seafood imaginable. And it was all delicious!

Here is what I learned though – each maki has a cup of rice!! I think sushi has the reputation of being healthy (and it is if you look at the ingredients – rice + fresh fish and veggies) but it’s a lot of calories packed into a little roll. You definitely have to be careful if you’re trying to shed a few pounds!

My strategy? I ate light during the day (because I ate more than enough the day before and wasn’t really hungry) – I was at 12 PointsPlus before dinner, which left me with plenty of wiggle room for the night. I also worked out during lunch and “earned” another 8 PointsPlus. There was wine, there was sushi – I didn’t count but I enjoyed every sip and bite and the company and I stopped when I was full (I probably ate 2 rolls + 1 nigiri and a few bites of seafood “straight up” – normally I’d eat at least double but I found that this was plenty when I actually listened to my hunger cues Smile ). If I stick to this plan every day, I’ll be in good shape! (no pun intended).

Hugooooooooooooo

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Do you love sushi? What’s your typical “serving size”? Are you ever conscious of calories when enjoying this Japanese snack food?

Substituting Ingredients (book review + giveaway)

How was everybody’s Monday? Mine was actually quite good. I wonder if it had anything to do with me starting the day bright and early with a pilates reformer class? I hate getting up but I really love the fresh air early in the morning and the feeling of doing something good for my body before I even have a proper breakfast. Plus, knowing that I have an early class actually forces me to go to bed at a decent hour – something I often struggle with (just 5 more minutes of blogs!…).

So I’m sure you are dying to know about the giveaway I am referring to in the title of this post. Let me tell you all about it. :mrgreen: A few weeks ago I received a copy of Substituting Ingredients by Becky Sue Epstein.

I was really excited to get this book because I swear – I realize I’m out of something mid-cooking nearly every week!! Well I guess sometimes I realize I have something slightly different from what the recipe calls for and I’m not sure if I can just substitute it one-to-one.

This actually happened the day after I got the book. I realized the brownie recipe I was testing called for dutch processed cocoa… and that I only had the standard kind. Oops. :oops: I grabbed the book – it had subs for cocoa powder in it but only for the regular kind and said 1/2 cocoa powder for baking could be substituted with 1/2 semi-sweet chocolate chips. Good to know but not exactly what I needed. So I got dressed (I was still in my pajamas) and went to the grocery store to look for dutch processed cocoa… and they didn’t have any. I even tried 2 different stores. Nope. A little googling solved that problem and the brownies turned out great. :)

So this book did not save me the first time around but I did browse through it and see how it will surely be useful (despite noting a few other misses – for example a sub for white wine for cooking was not there). There are lots of standard ingredients substitutions for things like light corn syrup, honey (for baking), and fish sauce (<- these are things I’ve looked up in the past). There are also some interesting subs for random ingredients – for example Becky suggests subbing green peppers, green beans and eggplant for okra (although notes the texture will be different with eggplant). My favorite tips are the ones for measurement conversions of dry to cooked ingredients. How many times do you see recipes that say 2 cups of cooked rice or pasta? Unless I already have that on hand, the more likely case is that I have to make some. How much dry rice/beans/pasta should I cook? This book provides equations for all these and more. Very cool.

So here is another cool part. The company sent me 2 copies by mistake. I received this one a few weeks ago and then got another package (with the same book) a few days back. This means one of you lucky Healthy and Sane readers can receive a copy of this book too! :D

Here is how:

1) Leave a comment on this post – anything goes. :)

2) If you have a blog, let others know about the giveaway and link back to this post.  If you don’t have a blog, tell someone about this giveaway and let me know that you’ve done so (after they enter the giveaway by commenting). You can also tweet about this giveaway (my twitter name must be included to qualify – that’s @healthyandsane fyi ;) ) *Either one earns you a bonus point*

3) If you have a blog, add Healthy and Sane to your blogroll or follow me on Twitter (if I’m already on your blogroll, let me know – it counts!).  If you don’t, shoot me an email and give me some feedback on my blog. *This also earns you a bonus point*

*Please note this giveaway is open for US readers only.*

I will randomly choose and announce the winner on June 18th. Good luck! :D

Now let’s quickly cover today’s eats. SO good!

BALANCED BREAKFAST

Last banana zucchini spelt muffin (I had some frozen)

Fresh local strawberries

Oikos. It was extra good today for some reason.

BALANCED LUNCH

I’m still sore today so I decided to come home for lunch instead of going to Rope’n class. But not before I stopped by Whole Foods. I was dying for some sushi so I got some veggie maki since it’s Meatless Monday. :D

Brown rice carrot, avocado and cucumber maki

+ kale massaged with lemon and 1t basil EVOO + S&P - I was craving that too.

This was exactly what I wanted. I love when healthy meals really hit the spot like that. :grin:

Snacks at work included 1/2 apple pie larabar (mid-morning) and 1/2 giant banana with 1T Barney Butter (mid-afternoon). I was definitely hungry for dinner by the time I got home.

BALANCED DINNER

You may not recall when I raved about a tilapia dish with lemon caper sauce and roasted asparagus and grape tomatoes but this meal hasn’t left my mind ever since. Cara was responsible for this genius recipe (which can be found here) and suggested that I have to try it with haloumi as she originally posted it. So I finally did today.

Have you ever had haloumi cheese? It basically tastes like a slightly milder feta that you grill. Absolutely delicious. This dish was fantastic again. Can I put it on the favorite recipes list again? I think I can… and I am! ;)

TREAT

One joe-joe (aka a chocolate oreo cookie minus the junk ingredients)

It may have something to do with what just came out of my oven ;)

You’re going to have to wait for the next post for more details on that! Any guesses what it might be?

One fishy day

It’s been one fishy day today… literally :) I’ve been craving sushi pretty much since I woke up. I already planned my meals for the day so I tried to ignore my craving but eventually I gave in. It’s okay to know what you want and it’s okay to honor your cravings… especially when they are healthy. :D

Before we get to the fishiness, let’s talk…

BREAKFAST

Nonfat yogurt, 1 apple, TJ’s nutty American trek mix, Zoe’s granola

This trail mix makes my yogurt bowls every time. Thank you, TJ’s, for bringing it back. :D

MID-MORNING/PRE-WORKOUT SNACK

Last chocolate peanut butter granola bar

I really enjoyed these but I’d like to make something a little lower in sugar. I’m normally ok with a little more sugar than usual before a workout because I feel like the simple carbs will be used for fuel right away, but sometimes I like to eat granola bars as a snack (not necessarily before a workout) so it would be good to have something a little healthier on hand. Lauren’s chocolate cherry granola bars caught my eye today. Do you have a granola bar recipe you love?

PS – we are still looking for an outdoor furniture set. For now this is the set-up. I still love it. :grin:

LUNCH

Fishy course numero uno coming up…

Mixed greens, tuna steak, olive gnocchi, sour kraut, fresh tomatoes and edamame spread, dressed with lemon juice

The tuna and gnocchi were leftovers from Saturday’s dinner in Maine. I still owe you a post about that. I promise to not to hold out much longer. :)

The edamame spread was a great little addition to the salad. I dipped everything in it. Yum!

Dessert: chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips

MID-AFTERNOON SNACK

And then the sushi craving hit again… hard. So I made it happen. :mrgreen:

DINNER

Fishy course numero dos: wildfire maki from Samurai (from the specials menu) – spicy tuna maki topped with tuna, jalapenos and garlic, blow-torched and served with ponzu sauce

+ sushi appetizer (chef’s choice of 6 pieces of sushi)

Hello fishies :cool:

Honestly this was not the best sushi I’ve had. It didn’t seem that fresh. I want sushi to melt in my mouth – this wasn’t the case today. I’m going to think twice about going back to that place. :???:

After everything was set and done, Adam finally came home and delivered a gift from my parents (my birthday is coming up in a few weeks) – a new lens!!! I immediately started playing with it. Yeah, I’ve got work to do, that’s for sure. The pics with the new super fast lens are so blurry! :shock:

Random pics of the night…

Mexican frittata I made for Adam… it was delicious if I do say so myself :)

New photographs we got at a gallery in Rockland, ME. You like? ;)

Eventually there was a bit more snacking.

Multiply these nuts times 3. Yeah, I need to put them in little baggies asap, otherwise we may be in trouble here. :lol:

And that’s all I’ve got tonight. Peace out…. and honor your cravings! :mrgreen:

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