A man meal, fancified

I decided to leave work after 5 hours yesterday. I feel like I can handle the rest of the workload without completely living in the office this weekend (although Sunday will surely be a longer day). Leaving just a little after 5 gave me enough time to make something a little more special. Dinner was basically a meal with several components that should have been featured earlier in the week. I bought the ingredients but ran out of time to put them together. So last night, when Adam heard that we had chicken sausage he asked if I could make a man meal. :shock:

My original plan was to finally make this week’s CEiMB recipe for panzanella with chicken sausage which was featured by Pantry Revisited (recipe here)… but something told me that didn’t qualify. In fact, Adam told me if I hesitated to answer whether this was a man meal or not, that meant that it wasn’t. I guess that’s true. :lol: I also purchased some fresh corn on the cob at the farmers market on Friday. Corn is best in the very first few days after being picked so that had to be featured for dinner. After a quick brainstorming session we had dinner which qualified as a man meal but also satisfied this girl. I love my man meals just a little fancier. ;)

Italian style chicken sausage on a whole wheat bun with tomato/cucumber/basil “relish” (based on Ellie’s panzanella salad)

Lemon-garlic glazed corn on the cob (recipe here)

This meal really came together. The salad added lots of freshness and the corn recipe was definitely a winner. I’ve never cooked corn on the cob on the skillet but now I’m a believer. It basically steamed with butter/EVOO/garlic + lemon mixture (I used a little less than the recipe called for) which infused it during the cooking process, and then it was finished with the reduced sauce. Lovely. Adam said this was the best corn on the cob he’s had at home (the one from Toro taking first place so far – I am going to attempt recreating that next time).

Working backwards… lunch

Hummus/smoked gouda/capers/ tomato and spicy mustard panini

This wasn’t just any old hummus – I made EDBV white bean hummus with thyme and fresh basil last Sunday (recipe here) and have been enjoying it in a variety of ways. This is a really fantastic dip – there is so much depth of flavor with dijon mustard, garlic, red wine vinegar and all the fresh herbs. I was in love from the first spoonful. :) I highly recommend it (don’t worry, it’s not too “herby”).

This panini was another great lunch. The combination of a very flavorful hummus with the creamy cheese, a little pickled flavor from the capers and the freshness of tomatoes was absolutely amazing. The hot mustard gave a kick right at the end. Yum!

A few hours later I made this instant blueberry oatmeal snack. I am actually not a fan of this particular oatmeal flavoring but topped with Barney Butter and fresh blueberries, this was quite satisfying. I got these blueberries at the farmers market on Friday – they are SO sweet. I’m so happy I got 2 containers because every time I pack some, a few jump into my mouth (and I have no problem with that at all. lol) :D

I also had one breakfast cookie before bootcamp in the morning (for visual, see previous post), an iced coffee with soy milk mid-day and at night- an apple, a serving of dry roasted almonds and some fudge when my sweet tooth hit (sorry, no picture – it was quite ugly so I didn’t bother). As previously mentioned, 3-2-1 is going really well. I feel stronger, lighter and overall a lot healthier. That’s a lot to accomplish in a week. :grin:

I’m off to work……story of my life. :D

My first REAL ice cream

I’ve had ice cream before. I’ve had good ice cream before. But, I’m going to go out and say it – you haven’t had REAL ice cream until you’ve made your own! Homemade ice cream takes ice cream to a whole new level. It’s actually hard for me to think straight right now – that’s how good my little ice cream making project went today. All right (collects herself), let’s back up a bit…

We got an ice cream machine from my parents-in-law this past Christmas. Around the same time we started our kitchen remodel, but that didn’t stop me from making my own frozen yogurt. It was a good first try. Pretty yummy but the recipe definitely required some tweaking. That was my first and last attempt at making a frozen concoction… until today!

I actually finally dug a whole in our freezer big enough to fit the ice cream bowl into a few days ago, but receiving The Oprah Magazine Cookbook from my parents-in-law for my birthday (thank you!) and locking eyes with the sour cream ice cream recipe sealed the deal for me. I had to go buy ice cream ingredients. Stat. [Recipe can also be found here, I used low fat sour cream and a little less than 1 cup of sugar.]

Introducing my new love ;)

Mix all the ice cream ingredients and pour into this genius machine. Let it run for ~30 minutes.

I think someone wanted ice cream even more than I did :lol:

Try not to eat it all right away. It really should spend at least 4 hours in the freezer to reach the perfect (hard) consistency.

I lasted 1 hour. So what if it was a little softer. ;)

My first REAL ice cream :mrgreen:

Can you see how creamy it is?

OMG – amazing. Incredibly smooth and slightly tangy. Maybe it’s the sour cream that put it over the top for me, since you know, sour cream probably runs through my veins (being a “Russian” and all), but Adam thought it was pretty phenomenal as well. I am doing everything I can to keep myself away from the kitchen (read: freezer). This could be trouble!

If you don’t have an ice cream machine (although you should really start making space or saving for one – whatever reason has stopped you from buying it), no worries. I got a whole lot of other deliciousness to share with you. Let’s begin with…

BREAKFAST

I love leisurely mornings – they allow me to start the day with fresh baked muffins, like these zucchini spelt muffins from eat, drink & be vegan cookbook

The recipe made 4 larger muffins and 8 smaller ones. I also added about 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts to the batter. For those of you who count calories – the larger one is ~255 calories, the smaller one is ~170 cals (just counted it so that I wouldn’t be going overboard on calories without even realizing it). I enjoyed one larger one with some local organic strawberries and coffee.

And then I went a little crazy with picture taking (it’s kind of the theme of today’s post actually – too much time on my hands? ;) )

Hello, strawbs!

So pretty.

And so moist and delicious!!!! Dreena is right – don’t let the healthy sounding name discourage you – these are such a treat for your taste buds. Also Adam approved.

LUNCH

The rest of the morning flew by so I just thew together a random Mediterranean-inspired spread.

Fresh cucumber slices, Foxboro Co fromage blanc, jalapeno stuffed olives, Samira’s baba ganoush, Sofra beet tzatziki, edamame “hummus,” grilled peppers and zucchini and When Pigs Fly olive bread. Phew! ;)

Adam and I shared this platter.

It was a fun lunch with lots of flavors and textures. :)

And yes, I went crazy taking pictures again. :grin:

Earlier this week I received from the company a sample of Lipton Pure Leaf ice tea for my review. I thought these would be perfect to accompany a summery-ish lunch.

The Pure Leaf ice tea is sweetened with stevia and has zero calories. I received 2 flavors: lemon and raspberry. Unfortunately I did not enjoy either one of these. They were extremely sweet and very “fake” tasting. Thumbs down from this blogger. Adam still polished them off but said he prefers diet Snapple. I’ll stick to water.

MID-AFTERNOON SNACKS

Luna Protein chocolate cherry almond bar (I received in the Healthworks swag bag)

It tasted like a candy bar. I liked it. The ingredients list appears to be all natural too. Excellent :)

A while later – 1/2 fitness bread with light cream cheese, lox and grape tomatoes

+ an orange (unpictured)

DINNER

Although I really wanted ice cream for dinner, I behaved like an adult and made a real dinner – Ellie Krieger’s steak tacos with cucumber-avocado salsa to be exact (recipe can be found here)

Dinner came together in minutes and was extremely flavorful. These tasted pretty authentic to me. No cheese or sour cream needed – just lots of fresh flavors (mmm, lime + avocado).

So much good eats! I wish everyday could be this healthy and delicious.

Have you ever made your own ice cream? What’s your favorite kind? I think we’re going to do a chocolate/m&m combo next (Adam’s childhood favorite) and then junk-free oreo cookie ice cream. I love that I can use all organic high quality ingredients and that the mix-in possibilities are endless. :)

* Only a few days left to enter the cookware giveaway!*

The rules have changed – a brownie recipe needed

Morning (or whenever you are reading it ;) )!

So remember the bake-off I mentioned a few posts ago? I emailed the organizer yesterday and she clarified the rules to me – this is a brownie contest! Dang, and I thought a had a winning recipe all planned out. Brownies happened to be one of my favorite desserts of all time, so I’m super excited for the tasting portion of the contest, but I’ve never actually baked a brownie I thought was outstanding. My last attempt at rocky road brownies was a good try. I liked the topping (and think it may be a great contestant!) but the brownie was really dry. :( I asked you for your favorite brownie recipe in that post (and Jen came to the rescue – I plan on testing it soon, Jen!) but I’m asking again. Do you have a favorite brownie recipe? It can be a basic brownie (I’ll add my own topping) or a great brownie “combo.” Thanks again!! I love that I have you all here as my resources. :mrgreen:

Yesterday’s eats – it’s was Meatless Monday, fyi.

BREAKFAST

A green smoothie: almond milk, water, frozen banana, frozen strawberries, frozen spinach, ground peanuts (from a failed attempt at making pb) + Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood packet

Oh yes, let’s not forget the Bran Buds I received as a sample from the company. They added a nice crunch to the smoothie, which I ate with a spoon. Adam and I agreed we’d buy this cereal – it was really yummy :)

LUNCH

My favorite sandwich combo of all time – seriously! I brought it to work with me and couldn’t resist but eat half before my lunchtime workout.

Grilled peppers, zucchini and eggplant, fresh tomato, goat cheese and Stonewall Kitchen sundried tomato pesto on a TJ’s scooped out ciabatta roll

Just thinking about this sandwich again makes me happy. I can never resits this combo!!

WORKOUT

Power yoga at my gym. The girl’s voice wasn’t as soothing as my favorite instructor’s on Thursdays but the practice was good at the end. Once we started flowing I forgot about all this other nonsense like how I wish the girl didn’t sound so “valley.”

DINNER

I really tried being vegan for the day but couldn’t resist the urge to add the goat cheese to my lunchtime sandwich. For dinner the cheese jumped in once again but we couldn’t really taste it at the end, so it’s going to be 100% vegan next time. So what did we have, you ask?

Avocado and pinto black bean enchiladas from Eat, Drink & be Vegan

I made a few tiny modifications to the recipe – if you can get a hold of it and want to recreate my version exactly, here they are. I used only 8 corn tortillas (to save cals – 2/prs is plenty), black beans instead of pinto (Adam is obsessed with black beans!), almond slices instead of cashews (all we had), no onions, 1 jar of TJ’s enchilada sauce, 1/4-1/2 cup of Stonewall kitchen peach mango hot sauce and a sprinkle of TJ’s light Mexican cheese. I think that’s it ;)

I served it with a Russian inspired salad – fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, S&P + nonfat yogurt (Russians would traditionally use sour cream) – it was perfectly cool to balance out the spiciness of the enchiladas!

Let’s peak inside the enchiladas…

They were “meaty”, creamy, spicy, super flavorful. Adam already requested that we make these again. Yay the vegan book is coming in handy! :D

Dessert (definitely not vegan!) – break-up bars

Yeah, go ahead and double that – so much for portion control. :oops:

Other snacks throughout the day included edamame hummus with baby carrots, a packet of somersaults, pickles, toast with hummus. I was definitely snacky!

We are having our outdoor furniture delivered today. Our first farmers market is also opening today. Lots of excitement for one day. :lol: What are you looking forward to today?

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