Dinner


Yesterday we went to a little zoo outside of Boston. We found this bear in desperate need of a dietitian. 🙂 He is holding a box of Fruit Loops for anyone that can’t see.

He was a lazy bear.

It was the perfect weather to go to the zoo, 60 degrees and partly cloudy. Some leaf crunching was involved as well.

Dinner tonight was literally just four items made separately and mixed together. I wanted a veggie-heavy dinner with my beloved brussels.

For the brussels I simply halve them, spray them with olive oil and add S&P. I roast them at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until I think they look done.

The polenta, on the other hand, I just flew by the seat of my pants. I added them to the pan after the mushrooms were done sauteeing and broke it up until it was more of a mush. When I realized that it needed some liquid to break down better, I added a tablespoon of veggie brother and some water. To spice it up I added some dried basil. It was quite good. I was surprised though, that whole log of polenta turned into what you see. If we both had big appetites, we could have easily finished it.

I heated the baked beans. And this is what we had.

The mushrooms mixed with the beans and polenta turned out to be my favorite part. If I made this again I would have had the brussel sprouts seperate and dipped them into BBQ sauce per usual.

As a new vegetarian, I am always focused on what “protein” we are going to have at our meals. Not because I really miss the meat component of meals, but because I really do think it provides satiety like other things cannot. Baked beans are a really simple “protein” to keep on hand for meals.

Lastly, someone sent me this story of what a 6,000+ calorie lunch does to your body.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theworldnewser/2009/07/what-exactly-does-a-6190-calorie-lunch-do-to-your-body.html

It is definitely interesting and I have seen things like this before, but I am curious what the effect of a normal meal, like the one I just ate, would have on the body? I think I can guess what chain restaurant they ate at too, can anyone else?

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Sunday night’s dinner turned out really well. The recipe comes from a small cookbook my Mom gave us, “Cooking for Two”. It is really nice to know that the recipe should only be feeding us, but it still made a lot of pasta!

Here are the ingredients:

It was pretty simple. The thing that took the longest was sauteeing the onions and bacon.

But once that was done it comes together very quickly. The final product:

The egg added a creaminess to the dish. We got to use fresh parsley from our garden too!

I used our huge pasta bowels so I had to practice portion control. For me at least, I served myself first and gave the rest to Wayne. 🙂

We also worked on our garden plot this weekend. And by “we” I mean “he”. I started digging in the dirt only to realize that I really don’t like getting dirty. 😉

We have plot number 15. We’ll see what vegetables we got out this season. We already have some kale growing!

It is the weekend again which means that I have time to blog! I don’t know how those bloggers do it who blog three times per day. I have to say, as impossible as it would be for me to do that, I do like reading those blogs. It is fun to see how people spend their time. I think part of the reason I like blogs in general are for the same reasons that I like to read- I just like stories about people. Their day-t0-day activities, their attitudes, their relationships and of course their food! I pretty much just like to snoop in other people’s lives. 🙂

I had a day off earlier this week from working another weekend (I work every fourth). So I went around Cambridge and took some pictures of things that I pass regularly that might be interesting.

According to Wayne (my husband, I should give him a name), I hold the camera wrong. But it just feels so right.

This guy is spotted not far from our apartment. We live near a little park that marks a battle scene from the revolutionary war. We are big fans of General Washington in this household. Nerdy, we know.

This is on the window of a yoga studio that I pass when I walk to the grocery store. I actually really like it, as kind of creepy as it is.

Spring rocks.

I live near Central Square in Cambridge and it is incredibly diverse. This mural is very interesting, although I am not sure what it is getting at.

This where we I can go…

to buy local!

Ok, enough of my world. Here are some of my eats.

This doesn’t look that appetizing, but I swear it was good. This is actually leftovers so most of the liquid was soaked up overnight. I threw together some carrots, celery and leftover broccoli with some leftover chicken that I shredded. I cooked it all in diced tomatoes, chicken broth and tomato paste with some spices. It turned out really good!

With my faux sour cream topping.

And a piece of cornbread, which to me is like cake. Such a good meal!

Plus a snack to go with some reading.

I made these bad boys for a coworker. Here is the recipe. They are incredibly rich. I used almond butter instead of peanut butter. A coworker said, “You would do that, Brooke”.

Dinner last night on a dirty plate, doh!

I have made it a tradition to go to Trader Joe’s every Friday after work. It makes me happy. We made simple burgers with a tomato and mozzarella salad.

I love throwing together meals.

Now we are heading off to a small diner for some breakfast! Happy weekend!

Sorry I have been MIA the past two weeks. Things have been kind of whirlwind lately and now I finally get a day to catch my breath!

To get back in my groove, I made another successful salad. I think these are becoming my trademark. I think salads are works of art. The possibilities are endless and tonight I added whatever we had.

  • An almost-bad bag of broccoli
  • A perfectly ripe avocado
  • Baked Chicken Breast
  • Arugula
  • Low-fat smoked Gouda

Yesterday I attended and wine and food fest put on by the Phantom Gourmet. It had amazing wines and some really good local food including Upper Crust pizza, lobster bisque and wedding cake.  I needed a meal that made me feel normal again, as crazy as that sounds.

Avocados are so versatile but especially great on salads. I buy them very firm and within 24-48 hours they are perfect.

Chicken baked at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes.

I have two more waiting for another creation tomorrow.

The perfect add-in.

Yup- I liked it.

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Here are some signs of spring around Boston.

On our windowsill.

I don’t remember ever being so happy to see spring!

Tonight I really wanted something nourishing. I devoured an incredibly sugary cupcake from our hospital’s bake sale today and immediately felt the sugar high coupled with the almost immediate sugar low. This reminded me of why I try eat healthy. Not only because of the health benefits, but it just makes me feel good.

Not to say the cupcake didn’t satisfy me though. 🙂

We recently got a deal with some english muffins; buy one get TWO free. Now we have more english muffins than we know what to do with!

I picked up some “Tex Mex” veggie burgers from Trader Joe’s today which were completely loaded with vegetables: broccoli, carrots, corn, peas, edamame, red peppers, etc.

What I am always hesitant of, though, is the sodium content of veggie burgers. They tend to be off the charts. These are 110 calories and have 230 mg sodium a pop. Not terrible.

Veggie burger +

equals:

It totally satisfied. If only more people would try using english muffins for buns!

I think I met me vegetable quota for the day with these brussels. Roasted at 400 degrees with olive oil, salt and pepper for 40 minutes. I “agitate” them once during cooking to make sure they brown evenly. No recipe needed.

I feel like I am fighting disease with every bite!

This was a very easy meal that didn’t involve slaving over any stove.

And I got to look at these while dining:

My husband knows how to cheer me up- fresh flowers!

Go out and roast brussel sprouts today! Seriously, go.

My husband brought home this the other day:

It is actually shad roe- a sack full of fish eggs. I hear that it is a delicacy and only available during a short period of time in the spring. I like to think I am open minded about food, but working at a hospital seemed to weaken the appeal of this.

It was pan fried:

And served with a lemon wedge:

Yup- now it definitely looks like a pancreas. I did try one bite, but that was it. It reminded me too much of insulin and pancreatitis (boy I spend too much time in hospitals). It had a meaty flavor and the texture was delicate. I am glad at least one of us was open minded about it (him not me).

—-

Another week bites the dust! This is what we enjoyed while sitting in front of our computers and catching up on Lost.

And our new obsession:

The idea straight from Kath. Pomegranate juice and homemade sparkling water. A very healthy and refreshing beverage!

I have had a craving for mexican food recently. Enchiladas really are in no way considered to be a “healthy” meal but I think that when made at home and with healthy additions, not only is it improved but it has at least half the calories of the kind you might get at a restaurant.

As usual, I was not prepared with a recipe. All I picked up at the store was small flour tortillas, an avocado, enchilada sauce and mexican blend cheese.

Yesterday I found myself brainstorming all day about what I should put into this dish. When I got home from work I found a container of mushrooms, frozen corn and an onion. This would make OK enchiladas but still missing something. That is when I found our Trader Joe’s quinoa. Viola! Our meal was made.

We put our quinoa into a rice cooker and treat it the same way as rice and it turns our perfectly everytime. While this was cooking I sauteed the mushrooms and onions in some butter (its the only thing I cook in butter) and threw in about 1/2 cup of corn straight from the freezer. I seasoned it with some cumin, red pepper, salt and black pepper. Once the quinoa was done I put that straight into the pan and took it off the heat.

Once the tortillas were filled and rolled up, I just covered them in enchilada sauce and cheese. I tried to be careful and not drench the tortillas in sauce, but it is hard to do because I know how delicious that sauce is.

It was baked in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes covered and 10 minutes uncovered.

They were amazing. And you can see from my picture that my serving was only about as big across as an avocado, which was only two of the small tortillas.

Plus it was made more healthy by skipping sour cream all together.

The insides made this dish!

Yum. It was great.

We are excited to have this for another night since it made another whole dish full that I just have to bake off tonight.

I was telling my husband that once we have kids I am gonna need to increase my production at meal times. Right now we tend to finish off entrees between the two of us in one or two nights. I will cross that bridge when we come to it. 🙂

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