Category Archives: Asparagus

Return to Normalcy… and Berries!!

Square MealGood evening, friends! I want to thank you for the comments on yesterday’s post. It’s always nice to be reassured that I’m human, and that everyone has overly eatful days. I’m just trying to find a good balance, and days like yesterday totally throw me for a loop! Hearing the ways that y’all react to bottomless pit days really made me feel better. Hugs to you all!! 

Today was back to normal, as I’d hoped. Thank goodness! I started off with a big bowl of five grain cereal, oat bran, smashed banana, vanilla almonds and honey. I’ve been having bananas in my breakfast bowl all week because I’ve been trying to eat things I have on hand rather than restock the fridge in preparation for vacation. As you will see in a second, I caved today. I had bananas in the freezer so it’s been bananas every morning. Tomorrow, I’ll be back to a morning favorite…

I was definitely back in my nut butter groove today after eating less than usual over the last couple of days. I had a little pink lady with some mighty maple as a mid-morning snack:

Snick SnackNut butter is just SO satisfying! There was an interesting bit in the Post about nut butter (and how awesome it is!!) If you are interested, you can check it out here.

For lunch, I had not one– but TWO cabbage nests topped with the rest of the goat cheese from the fridge, some scallions, some chopped up pieces of chicken breast that I tossed on the griddler this morning and a little Country Bob’s sauce. Barbecued chicken cabbage nest pizzas? Cleaning out the fridge is underrated!!

Cabbage Nest LunchingI followed that up with a piece of Chocolate Banana Snack Cake from the bag of baked goods in the freezer. I put a little layer of mighty maple in the middle. PB hit #2 of the day.

Chockie PB LoveRather than just feed on one sweet snack after the other, I decided to try to have a savory snack. I think the sugar monster was a bit out of control yesterday, and I think that might have been part of the issue. I popped a 100 calorie bag of popcorn and topped it with some Kernel Seasons ranch seasoning. I’d seen Kernel Seasons products on-line, and I was shocked when I found some hiding on a bottom shelf at my Safeway. I got several flavors, but I hadn’t actually tried any of them until today. I’m sure that greasier buttery popcorn would do a better job of holding on to the seasoning, but it worked just fine and added a little bit of extra flavah. I approve of Kernel Seasons. Sah-loot! I’m going to have to try this on a baked potato. I have a feeling it’ll be goooood!

The KernelWhile snacking on my popcorn and working on the long draft that occupied much of my day, I heard something. I had to investigate. There’s a fountain down below my balcony, and, as much as I love it, it’s kind of loud– even up here on the 12th floor! Today was the day to turn it on, and the results were interesting. Apparently, it could have used some preliminary cleaning. I’m no fountain expert. I’m just sayin’…

Not So PrettyYuck! I can envision the Addam’s Family with a black fountain, but it isn’t such a great look for my building. I hope it looks better tomorrow. Ewww.

I  made some iced tea this afternoon that was a much nicer color than the fountain water. This loose melon tea makes great iced tea, and today, in a stroke of sudden inspiration, I figured how to satisfy my love of sweet tea by adding a bit of sugar free French vanilla Torani syrup to this glass. It was so good with the melon flavor. I don’t know why I never thought of it before!!! :-) Oh, and speaking of French… in case you haven’t noticed based on various pictures in numerous posts, I’m a sucker for cheesy things with French words on them. What can I say? Ooh la la!

TealiciousIf you love tea as much as I do, you should definitely check out this awesome tea giveaway hosted by the Hungry Yogini! Actually, don’t check it out. I want to win!!!

When it came time for another snack, I decided to have a container of my favorite pre-flavored yogurt, the awesome Wallaby Dulce de Leche. On the side, in keeping with my attempts to impose a bit of restraint on the sugar monster, I picked one of the lesser sweet cereals in the pantry– Quaker Essentials Crunchy Corn Bran. A serving of this cereal is huge, and it kept me crunching for a long time. I also think that, since the yogurt is so sweet, the less sweet cereal makes a great pairing. People get jobs doing wine pairings. Do you think I have a future in yogurt/crunch pairing? 

Wonderful WallabyI needed a bit of nut butter, so I followed that a bit later with a few little wafers topped with PB #3 of the day. This was Mighty Maple again. Love it!

PB NibblesAfter I logged out of work for the day, I decided to combine a quick run with a trip to Whole Foods. I couldn’t stand the lack of fresh things anymore, and I wanted to buy a few things that would last in the pantry and be ready for me when I return from vacation. Before I headed out, I had this bowl– one of my faves!! Milk chocolate Ghirardelli chips and Galaxy Granola Vanilla Almond Munch. I lurve it!! I figured a few carbs would make for good fuel. ;-)

AwesomenessI was planning to do about 20 minutes of running, but it started raining around minute 10. At minute 15, I decided to go ahead and duck into Whole Foods to do my shopping in hopes the rain would stop for my walk home. I went to the gym tonight to finish up my workout as planned anyway, so I just tacked on five more minutes. No biggie! It was nice to run outside a bit, and it was great to just break up the monotony. I didn’t get to kickbox today because something came up around lunchtime that needed my attention. I’m usually able to go to class on my “work at home” days, so I can’t complain too much about missing on occasion. I think I might try to go to the Saturday class. We’ll see.

I picked up some almond breeze, frozen fruit, a new huge container of Jay Robb goodness, oat bran (I was almost out… eek!), some yogurt and egg beaters with June expiration dates, and a few other things that will last just fine in the fridge and be here for me when I get back. I hate coming home from vacation to an empty fridge! I’m usually ready to eat super healthy, after some vacation eating, and I hate when I don’t have good things at my fingertips! I also got some fresh berries, spinach, cucumbers and hummus because I was going crazy without them. I don’t think it will be hard to eat them all up before I leave on Monday morning. I don’t mind that challenge at all!

After I put the groceries away, I had a lovely plate of cold foods along with more iced tea. It was like a picnic! I had some more of the chicken I grilled this morning, some Springtime Market Potato Salad (loving it, by the way…), some fresh cucumber, and my favorite Whole Foods hummus— caramelized onion. This may sound like a bad thing, depending on your taste, but it reminds me of the Lipton onion soup mix and sour cream dip that we used to have a few times a year. I always loved it, and that’s why I’m such a fan of this hummus. Good memories… and good eats!

Blue Plate SpecialI followed that up with some Vanilla Snowflake LaLoo’s goat’s milk ice cream and some strawberries. Oh, how I’ve missed my berries this week. Seriously!! I need that hit of red. I tossed in a few little vanilla wafers too. Yum! 

LaLoo- hoooooooo!After that lovely bowl, I went to the gym to finish my workout. Then, I decided it was time for more of my berry loves. It was time for more chocolate chips too. This bowl is like deconstructed chocolate covered strawberries. There’s no way to go wrong with that!! It was yummy, and it really hit the spot. 
BerryliciousNow, I need to hustle off to bed if I’m going to tuck myself in by 11:30 I have a lot to do this weekend (including packing for my trip!!!), and I’m hoping that tomorrow flies by! I’ve already mixed up a breakfast cookie to have in the morning, and I’m looking forward to that too. I’ll have sweet dreams knowing it’s waiting in the fridge! 

Since everybody loves a Friday, I’m wishing you a speedy day and a great weekend too!! Ciao for now, bloggies. :-)

22 Comments

Filed under Asparagus, Bananas, Chocolate, diet, Fitness, Food, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

What? No Nut Butter?

That’s right. I had a day without any peanut, cashew or almond butter. I didn’t do it on purpose. I swear! That doesn’t mean there were no nuts. I saw several while riding the metro. *Ba dump bump* Ha! Oh, Sweetie Pie. What can I say? It’s been a long day. At least it started out with a tasty bowl:

BananabowlerrifficThere’s a smushed up banana in the bowl along with some oat bran and some five grain cereal. I topped it with a bit of honey and some of these:
Daily CrunchI bought these awhile back, and they are yummy. The problem is, it is 150 calories for the few little bites you see in that bowl. Hmph. My solution? I run it through my nut chopper and put 1/2 or 1/3 of a serving on my morning bowl. You’ll see some later in this post in another bowl too. On their own, it takes about three bites, and they’re gone. Chopping them up makes them go a bit farther, and they taste really good mixed in with the other things!

I didn’t add protein powder to my bowl this morning, and I got hungry earlier than usual. I really do need a good amount of protein in the morning if I’m going to make it to lunch. I had a little yogurt and some Fiber One about two hours before lunch. I like the Yokids. It isn’t too sweet, the serving is small, and it’s kind of perfect for a small snack with a calcium punch at only 80 calories. Plus, I can pretend I’m a kid. :-)

Yoooooo Kids!!I also broke out the piece of a Theo’s orange and dark chocolate bar that I had tucked into the lunch bag, and I sort of nibbled on it throughout the morning. 

ChockieDark chocolate is SO satisfying!

When lunchtime came around, I was very excited about my eats! I had a serving of the Springtime Market Potato Salad that I whipped up on Sunday, a hard boiled egg with some natural sea salt that a friend shared with me, and an Arnold’s sandwich thin topped with the rest of my container of Tribe chipotle hummus and some radishes and green onions from the market. My lunch was so fresh and springy. It made me happy. :-) 

Lunchy LunchSpeaking of happy… I had this after lunch:

Cookie LoveAs you can see, I cut it in half. This little cookie is a prime example of why it’s important to read nutritional information carefully. The cookie is two servings, although, you might think it was only one if you weren’t reading closely. It’s kind of high in calories, so I planned on having half. It was incredibly tasty, so I decided to skip one of my planned snacks and have the whole thing. Some times you just need the whole cookie!!! :-) I like the whole graininess of Cookiehead’s cookies. This one also had various seeds and nuts with some very yummy chunks of chocolate. It was gooooood, and well worth the calorie splurge.

Since my lunch was a bit light on the protein, I made sure that a couple of my afternoon snacks were a bit higher in protein. This edamame gave me a little boost:

EdamameI followed it up with this pretty little apple. This would have been a usual place to insert peanut butter into the afternoon, but that was part of the cookie trade-off. This apple was crisp and sweet all on its own. Can you believe that it’s May already? Do you have anything special planned for the summer months? Vacation? Personal challenges? Lounging by the pool?

Pretty Little LadyAnother protein rich snack I had this afternoon was a bowl of Greek yogurt topped with some honey pomegranate jelly and some more crushed up Goji snacks. This combo was great! I had forgotten how much I love cashews. 

Greek yogurt!I still can’t believe I didn’t have any peanut butter on vanilla wafers, my apple, a newton crisp, a date, my finger… You get the point! My eats were a little different, and I like that! It’s so important to avoid the food rut for both my own eating enjoyment and for the purpose of including a lot of variety in my diet. Today was a good day for that!

When I got home, I made a huge salad with lettuce, radishes, tomatoes and green onions from Saturday’s farmer’s market trip. Look at the purple radishes. What fun!! I also topped it with some goat cheese, a chopped up chicken mushroom asiago sausage from Trader Joe’s, salt, pepper and a bit of balsamic vinegar. Yum!

Big SaladFor dessert, I had the bowl I’d been looking forward to all day. LaLoo’s Strawberry Darling goat’s milk ice cream. I really love this stuff. I put some chopped almonds on the top for a little crunch. Just look at all of the balsamic swirl in the bowl. Mmmm….

Strawberry Darlin'Finally, I finished off the day with a little bowlful of one of my favorite snack combinations: Galaxy Vanilla Almond Munch Granola and Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips. This is a perfect snack for a nibbler like me!

Galactic SnacktasticI worked out with my trainer tonight and followed the strength training up with cardio for a total calorie blast of 600 calories. I’m making the most of my workout routine this week in anticipation of next week’s vacation. I’m hoping to try a few new exercise classes for fun on the ship, but I’ll have to see what my choices are after I get there. I’m kind of hoping for Zumba. I’ve heard great things about it, and I’ve wanted to give it a try. Do you zumba?

I had a productive day at work today, and I’ve started a list of things to pack. I’m just so ready to go! I haven’t really taken any time off since the Christmas holidays, and I’m really looking forward to it. I guess it’s kind of like my very own spring break. I don’t think you are ever to old for spring break!

So now I need to take my clean sheets out of the dryer, put them on the bed, and crawl under the covers. I hope you are having a great week. We are already up to Wednesday, and my week sort of seems to be flying by. Time does fly when you are having fun… or when you are just really busy!!

Ciao for now, bloggies and have a happy humpday!

19 Comments

Filed under Asparagus, Bananas, cooking, diet, Farmer's Market, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Nuts, Salad, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers

Springtime Market Potato Salad and a Quick Weekend Recap

Pretty PoppiesI’m a little behind on posting, but I’m going to do my best to get you caught up on what I’ve been up to this weekend, a few of my favorite eats, and a recipe that I’m really excited about. Here goes…

The photo of the gorgeous poppies at the top of the post, and the photo of the beautiful arrangement below were both taken at the farmer’s market yesterday. The market was really hopping! I can’t resist taking photos of the beautiful flowers, but I didn’t actually bring any home with me… this time.

Beautiful!This is what I did buy:

My HaulNow, I recognize the fact that the tomatoes are out of season, but I was in the mood for some so I picked them up anyway. They are only so so. The other purchases from yesterday, the radishes, green onions, asparagus, pink lady apples (out of winter storage, I believe…), the lettuce and the Greek yogurt holding up the tomatoes, are all pretty awesome!! There is also a basil plant and a bell pepper plant in the midst of the veggies. Time for more balcony gardening! Just look at these pretty radishes:

Radiant RadishesI was never a fan of radishes as a kid because I thought they were too “hot.” Now, I really like them!

I decided to slice up the rest of my Blue Ridge Dairy smoked mozzarella from the market a couple of weeks ago, along with one of my tomatoes and some fresh basil in order to make myself a quick caprese salad for lunch. There’s a little balsamic vinegar and sea salt on top too. After seeing all of the fresh things at the market, I wanted a fresh lunch.

CapreseI followed up my salad with an interesting and delightfully crunchy sandwich:

Crunch!Tribe chipotle hummus and sliced radishes on an Arnold’s sandwich thin made for a surprisingly yummy combination!!

After lunch, I sliced up my Derby Day brownies, and fixed them on a plate with a little mint sprig from the pot of mint on my balcony. Then, I headed over to my friends’ house to watch the horsies. :-)

Derby Day Brownies!When I go to my friends’ house, I get to hang out with my favorite puppy dog in the whole world, Inga. Isn’t that face adorable!?

What a Pretty Girl!

I was discussing the fact that I probably shouldn’t have another brownie with Inga, since, as I told her, I had already had one after lunch. This is what she had to say about that:

IngabadingaI stick my tongue out at the idea of no more brownies too. She’s so wise! I really just couldn’t resist posting this picture of her with her tongue sticking out because I thought it was so darn cute!! I hope she won’t be embarrassed. :-) While we were discussing brownies, her mom was making mint juleps.

Muddlin'

The smell of the mint was AMAZING! My friends have a ton of it growing in their back yard, and Inga’s dad was out harvesting some when I came in the door. It doesn’t get any more fresh than that! I didn’t take a photo of my finished drink because I was too busy sipping! :-) I did get this action shot of my friend adding the bourbon with the simple syrup sitting in the background.

Juleppy

The juleps were yummy, and what an exciting race! I always love checking out the interesting hats and other fashion choices in the crowd too. What fun! After the race was over, the boys went out to fire up the grill and Inga’s mom made this pretty salad.
Big Bowl of FreshnessI’m so jealous of their outdoor grill, since outdoor grills aren’t allowed in my apartment building. This burger was SO yummy! Just look at the melted cheese!! There’s a little piece of grilled chicken hiding in the background too, because it looked so good that, of course, I needed a sample.

Din DinThis dinner was perfect for a Saturday night hanging out on the porch with friends. YUM and YUM!! I had so much fun last night!! Thanks again to my friends for having me over. :-)

Today, I did a bit more cooking with my farmer’s market purchases and also with a few things out of the fridge. I’m trying to empty out all of my produce before I leave for Alaska next Monday, and I decided that I needed to make another little batch of Cabbage Nests with some cabbage that was in the fridge. I wanted a fried egg today, for some reason, and I decided I might like it on top of a Cabbage Nest. This may seem like an odd plate, with the tomatoes and goat cheese alongside the egg and the cabbage, but it was actually pretty good! Yay for using up things in the fridge!! Get ready to see a lot of that this week…

Return of the Cabbage NestThe other thing I made today rates much higher than “pretty good.” I’d say that this is freakin’ awesome!!! I made this salad using some of the things I bought at the market yesterday, and a dressing mixture that I came up with last year when I was making a more basic potato salad. I love this recipe, and I love how versatile and low fat the dressing mixture is. You could use it on all sorts of things. Without further adieu…

Springtime Market Potato Salad

 

Springtime Market Potato Salad

Ingredients:

The Veggies:

Nonstick Cooking Spray

1 1/2 pounds of fingerling potatoes, complete with the skin

3/4 pound of fresh asparagus (or more if you prefer), cut into 1 1/2″ pieces

1 cup green onions, chopped

1/3 cup roasted red peppers, chopped

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

The Dressing:

1/3 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. light mayonnaise

3 Tbsp. rice wine or other light vinegar

1 Tbsp. coarse dijon mustard 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet well with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on half of the sheet, and spread the asparagus in a single layer on the other half of the sheet. Spray the asparagus and the potatoes with cooking spray and give them a little sprinkle of salt (about 1/4 tsp). Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, place the asparagus in a large bowl, and return the potatoes to the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes, making sure that the largest potatoes are tender. Allow the potatoes and asparagus to cool.

When the veggies have cooled, slice the potato into bite sized chunks and add it to the bowl with the asparagus. Add the green onions and roasted peppers.

To make the dressing, combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well with a whisk.

Add the dressing to the veggies, stir very gently, and add salt and black pepper to taste. 

This makes about 6 servings, and the recipe calculator I used says that each serving is cal: 113, fat: 1.5, fiber: 2.6. Of course, you would want to plug it into your own calculator, but that should at least give you a rough idea. That’s not bad for potato salad, and the Greek yogurt really makes it creamy without adding a lot of fat and calories. It also adds a bit of protein. Woo hoo!

I used some fingerling potatoes I had in the drawer, but you could always chop up a couple of regular potatoes and roast them to use in this salad:

Fingerling PotatoesI cut the potatoes into pretty big chunks, and I love the combo of the potatoes and the roasted asparagus!

Asparagus and PotatoesThe onions and peppers really give it a blast of color!

VeggieliciousIf you’ve never bought the coarse dijon mustard, I have to recommend it! I like it mixed with vinegar as a dressing for green salads, and I love the texture of the mustard seeds when I use it in a dressing like this one.

DressingFor dinner, I brought everything together and had a cabbage nest topped with a chicken mushroom asiago sausage and accompanied by a big pile of my springtime market potato salad. Sausage, potato salad and cabbage just “go together” to me, and this was reminiscent of a cookout. It was rainy outside, but I was having my own little indoor picnic!

Dinner!Now, I’ve finished my gym time for the evening, and had a bit of chocolate. It’s time to get to bed and get ready for Monday. I’m expecting a busy week as I try to wrap things up in tidy packages so that they will be manageable during the week that I’m away. Wish me luck! I hope you have a great week! Ciao for now. :-)

19 Comments

Filed under Asparagus, cooking, diet, Farmer's Market, Food, Greek Yogurt, Recipes, Salad, Uncategorized, Vegetarian Recipes, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story