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.

—-

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. 🙂

The weather on Saturday was great, 70s and sunny!

We wanted to take a walk around Boston and it ended up being over ten miles. Here are some pictures from along the way.

It was the first time I have really walked through Southie and I really liked it. It seems like a nice place to live, a lot of condos and it seems quiet and family friendly. Plus the beach is right there.

—-

Our meal did not quite turn out as I had planned.

First the pork tenderloin, which I love to make, was less done on the ends than the middle so my pieces looked kind of rare.

I must admit that even though I use a meat thermometer, I got a little impatient at the end and took it out a few minutes before I should have.

My husband was in charge of the sweet potatoes and they turned out great, as usual.

I felt inspired to make a broccoli salad to try something new. I blanched the broccoli by boiling them for about five minutes then submerging them in ice water. I tried something else new by shredding the broccoli stems to avoid any waste. I put these together with a few tablespooons of mayo and a splash of vinegar. Then I added some toasted walnuts that we had leftover. I really liked the crunchiness of the broccoli but it was missing something. I think next time I would add some raisins or something sweet.  Overall it was a good meal but lacked a certain something. Hopefully I can make it up next time!

We have a bit of an addiction to homemade pizza. The key for us is the homemade crust. We start with this recipe:

We throw the ingredients into the breadmaker which will make the perfect dough in 90 minutes. We actually cut this dough in half once out of the bread machine so we are forced to eat pizza two nights in a row.

The other night I used 2.5 cups all purpose flour and 0.5 cups whole wheat flour.

We roll out of the dough, sprinkle it with corn meal and bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes or so before we put on our toppings.

We try to flip the crust once during the process. It becomes brown around the edges before we even put the toppings on. This particular crust was not our best specimen but still tasted good.

Toppings are endless but we like to use whatever we have in the house. Today that consisted of sun-dried tomatoes and herbs.

Plus cheese of course.

It then bakes for another 10 minutes or so, just until we think it is done!

I think it tastes so much healthier than take-out pizza places. Someday when we have a bigger oven I plan on getting a pizza stone so that we can further perfect our recipe. Yum!

—-

My awesome Aunt sent me this cute apron!

Isn’t it adorable?!

I can totally see myself as one of those women who wears an apron completely for the “look” of it. I think I was this woman in another life:

Source

I love her.

—–

I have another day off today. I am about to head to the gym for some body pump. I am officially addicted. I have always felt that I have strong legs but my upper body strength is definitely something to laugh at. I literally could not do a single push up for most of my life. Now I feel like I am finally starting to improve and I think it will help with all other areas of my fitness.

I should do a before and after picture of my “guns”. 🙂

I have had this urge to perfect tofu for a while now because everytime I order it at a restaurant it is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

So far when I have made it here we have tried roasting it and frying it. The results have not satisfied me.

Well yesterday was the day!

I always start with extra-firm tofu and like to press the excess water out of it for at least a half an hour.

Afterwards I briefly marinaded it in

  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

This seems like a weird combination but it actually worked very nicely.

I then grilled the tofu strips in our George Foreman grill for about three minutes each and they turned out perfectly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I even dipped it in BBQ sauce after this picture was snapped which wasn’t needed but tasted awesome. All during dinner I was doing the classic “mmmmm”, “wow”, “geez this rocks!”.

The brussel sprouts were roasted in a 425 degree oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper for about 30-40 minutes.

I have wanted to make brussels again after dining here for my birthday and enjoying roasted brussel sprouts in duck fat, which was freakin’ amazing!

The whole meal was very simple yet incredibly satisfying. Tina influenced me into buying some arugula greens at Trader Joe’s and making a simple salad with feta and peanuts. It is definitely the prettiest green I have ever eaten. 🙂

A lot of people are afraid of tofu but more people need to try it! It is high in protein, low in fat and an excellent source of calcium (who knew?).

I have the day off today for working the weekend and I think a stop at Crate and Barrel is in my future!