Category Archives: Salad

Mr. Banana Man and Random Portion Size Reminders

Hi!! I hope everyone is having a good week. Tomorrow is Friday, you know. Woo hoo!!! As usual, I’m ready for the weekend. How about you? Any big plans? 

My big plans today included a big bowl of breakfast. I had oat bran, 5 grain cereal, Jay Robb’s vanilla whey protein powder, agave nectar, a baby banana, and some Trader Joe’s Peanuts, Berries and Almonds ((PB&A)) in the bowl. So good!! Baby banana, Sweetie Pie? Just wait. You’ll see….

Baby Nanners

The baby nanners are super yellow, and super good!

For lunch, I grilled a Trader Joe’s Chile Chicken Lime burger, and used it to make a quick taco salad.

Another Big BowlI put lettuce, red bell pepper and corn in the bowl along with some crunched up light Tostitos and some little cubes of Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar. I topped it with the chopped up burger, and then added salsa, Greek yogurt and a bit of Tostitos Bean and Cheese Dip on the top. I love salads like this one! I don’t want to discuss the ingredients in the Tostitos dip. I’m sure it isn’t the greatest. Speaking of Tostitos products in jars, I have to confess that I love their cheese dip more than I should. Seriously. It’s perfect when I need a Taco Bell type powdered cheese fix. Sometimes it really hits the spot.

Following my big salad….

Mr. Banana ManIntroducing: Mr. Banana Man!! I bought this huge bunch of baby bananas at the international food grocery store last weekend, and I can’t seem to make a dent in them. I love baby bananas because of their smaller portion size. They’re also really cute! I have a feeling some of these babies are about to get frozen and dipped in some chocolate, since I have so many, but, um… I’m ok with that! I couldn’t resist playing with my food a bit. Mr. Banana Man has vanilla wafer features, a banana mouth and a PB& Company Cinnamon Raisin Swirl PB goatee. alternatively, he has a PB mouth and a big banana ‘stache. I’m not sure which it is. What do you think?

Later in the day, I sliced up a pretty pink lady apple, and then made a very tasty dip.

Hey, Pretty Lady!I mixed 2 Tablespoons of PB2 with a Tablespoon of Greek yogurt and half a Tablespoon of berry jam. It was vaguely cheesecakey, and totally delicious!! This might be my favorite use for PB2 so far. Too bad I’m out of apples. 😦 Luckily, I’m sure it would taste great on a baby banana, and goodness knows I have plenty of those!

Closer to dinner time, I had a little snack bowl.

Snickitty SnackI often have this mix in the evening, but I really wanted it for an afternoon snack today. I think this bowl is a great example of how quickly little bites of things can add up caloriewise. I put about half a serving of Quaker Essentials Crunchy Corn Bran squares, one fifth of a serving of Zoe’s honey almond granola and one third of a serving of Reese’s peanut butter chips in the bowl. This added up to 115 calories despite being little bits of this and that. That’s certainly not a bad total for a snack, but seeing the total is a great reminder of how the little bites add up!

For dinner, I was feeling the urge to use something out of the pantry. I had so much success with my little freezer clean out project, that I’m now trying to clean out the pantry. It was cool and rainy most of today, so it seemed like the perfect day for a bowl of Trader Joe’s turkey chili with beans.

TJ's Bowl of GoodnessThere is some roasted cauliflower hiding under there, and a couple of blocks of Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar on top. Sometimes a simple dinner from a can is a nice thing. Finding a meal in the pantry is sort of like finding change in the couch cushions. I love a hidden treasure!

For dessert, I had a serving of the Breyer’s All Natural Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream that we bought while my parents were here.

Chocolate Minty GoodnessMint chocolate chip is such a perfect combo! There is a lesson in this bowl too. In case you haven’t noticed, I have ice cream almost every night. I love it!! I always weigh out a serving because it saves me from having a dirty measuring cup, and I know I get a more accurate serving. The other thing I always do is put it in a small bowl. Tonight, I grabbed a regular sized bowl, and I couldn’t believe how empty it looked! Using a little bowl really does make your brain think you are having more ice cream. This also is a good reminder of what a serving of ice cream looks like. The next time I find myself in front of a huge bowl, I should keep this in mind!

After my little dessert, I went to work out with my trainer and do some cardio. I loved reading about your favorite stretches in the comments on my last post! It sounds like the old classics rate pretty high with y’all. They do with me too! Sadly, I was still a bit sore from all of the Tuesday night lunges when I got to class tonight. Of course, there was more lunging. Ugh! I feel like both of my strength training work outs were really good this week, but I suspect that I have another day or two of soreness in my future. What’s that saying? “Pain is weakness leaving the body?” Well, I think I’m leaving a trail of weakness behind me. 🙂

After my work out, I treated some strawberries, 1/2 a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze and 1/2 a packet of Weight Watcher’s Chocolate Smoothie Mix to a little spin in the magic bullet. Yum!! I think this would be an interesting color for nail polish:

SmoothI love chocolate and berries together. Strangely enough, I’m still hungry. I think it’s time for a few almonds and then I’m off to bed. I’ve had a hard time falling asleep this week, so I’m going to have a nice cup of chamomile tea along with my almonds and I hope that will do the trick. 

Before I go, I wanted to tell you that Lucky Taste Buds is hosting a massive giveaway, so be sure to check it out. LTB is always a fun blog to read, and I’ve learned about a number of interesting eats from her site. I highly recommend a visit to Lucky Taste Buds!

Ciao for now, y’all and I hope you have a great Friday!

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Filed under Bananas, diet, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Salad, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Weekend Recap

Hi, y’all! I’m having a great time with my parents, but I haven’t taken time to post since they got here. I just uploaded the photos I’ve snapped  over the last few days, and realized that I haven’t taken very many! So, get ready and hold on tight. Here’s a quick recap. Really. It will be quick. I’ve got parents to hang out with! 🙂

Saturday, I met up with some friends for brunch at Le Pain Quotidien. I need to be a “lovely lady who brunches” more often. It was such fun! You might remember that I tried LPQ for the first time back in April, and I loved it! The food was awesome, and I always appreciate places that provide me with calorie counts for Pain au Chocolat. Hee hee!  I was excited to go to LPQ again and to try a couple of different things from the menu. First, I had coffee:

CoffeeThe coffee was followed by an Apple Pear Turnover. Yes, I had dessert first!

TurnoverThen, I had the Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad with avocado, bacon, Fourme d’Ambert and lapsang souchong vinaigrette. YUM!! 

Sweet Salad LoveThis salad has tons of things on it that I love, and it had very reasonable portions of each one. The dressing, which I couldn’t wait to try, had a distinctive flavor and was sweet and tangy. This salad was yummy, and filling. It was the perfect pick since I had been for a run and was HUNGRY! I needed some protein and some volume to fill me up. Check and check! 

Now, here’s where things start to get scattered. My parents’ flight was delayed a bit, and I took the opportunity to make a quick pasta salad for them to nibble on if they were hungry and for me to have for lunches this week. I’m not taking the whole week off, since I used so much leave during my recent vacation, and I needed something to go in the lunchbag. 

Pasta SaladI cooked up six servings of dried tricolor cheese tortellini that has been in the pantry for… awhile. Then, I added a small chopped onion, some chopped roasted red bell pepper from a jar (as usual!! ), as well as a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas. Then, I dressed all of that with 3/4 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt mixed with 1 Tbsp. of rice wine vinegar and a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix. Not fancy– but quick and yummy. Sometimes that’s the way to go! I had 1/12 of this big bowl for my lunch today, and it was even tastier than when it was fresh. Using Greek yogurt in place of mayo makes a HUGE difference in the fat and calorie count, but leaves you with a delightfully creamy dressing nonetheless. If you haven’t made that switch in your salads, I want to encourage you to give it a try!

On Sunday, I woke up and decided to make a batch of muffins using one of the Southaven Farm Baking Mixes from the pantry. If you aren’t familiar with these baking mixes, let me just tell you that they are all natural, whole grain and VERY versatile. I first learned about them on the Weight Watcher’s message boards, and I’ve been a fan for a couple of years now. The mixes are unsweetened, which gives you the opportunity to decide on the type and quantity of sweetener. There are also suggestions for the moisture component including non-dairy suggestions on the back of the package.

Southaven FarmThe most basic recipe suggested on the package involves sugar, yogurt and milk. I like to mix up a box of sugar free fat free chocolate fudge Jell-o pudding and use that in place of the yogurt and milk, and then reduce the suggested amount of sugar down to 1/2 cup. I usually toss in a couple of Tablespoons of sugar free Torani syrup too, and a bit of instant espresso is a great addition to the mocha mix. I’ll admit that these muffins are pretty heavy on the artificial sweeteners by the time I’m done with them, which is not ideal. However, the smaller calorie count per muffin made it possible for me to enjoy some of the bacon that sat alongside the fruit and hardboiled eggs on the little buffet I laid out for Sunday breakfast!

BrekkieThese could be made with all natural ingredients and tweaked to suit whatever your particular dietary preferences might be. As far as I know, the mixes are only available for purchase on-line, but I think these mixes are a worthwhile purchase. In addition to the mocha flavor, I really like the cinnamon mix and the ginger spice. The ginger spice is awesome made with pumpkin in the fall!! As you can see from all of the recipes on their website, people get creative with these mixes. Have you tried them? Do you have a favorite recipe? I’d love to know!!

After our little brekkie, we decided to go and walk around at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill.  I love going to the market, which was built in 1873, and strolling through the flea market held on Sundays in conjunction with the usual array of permanent vendors selling fresh produce, exotic meats, beautiful flowers, yummy baked goods and a host of other items. There are also many craftspersons with a huge variety of cool creations for sale. It’s a lively and fun place to spend a sleepy Sunday afternoon. I don’t know why I didn’t snap more photos of the market itself, but I promise to do better next time!

When lunchtime rolled around, we decided to keep it simple, and we grabbed sandwiches from a little Italian deli. I had ham with provolone on a fluffy white sub roll. Yes, I had mayo too. I was indulging a bit, and I enjoyed every bite! 

SandwichI also got a cookie with oreo cookie in it, which I split with my parents. It was only so so. I wasn’t that impressed with this cookie in a cookie, but it was still a nice bite of something sweet. 

Cookie CookieWe also nibbled on cherries and surprisingly luscious peaches from the market.

Cherries

PeachesAfter our little al fresco lunch, we walked around a bit more and eventually found ourselves at one of my favorite little used bookstores: Capitol Hill Books. I caught my dad posing in front while we were waiting for my mother to make a couple of purchases:

Looking LiteraryThis little bookstore is packed from floor to ceiling with books, books and more books!

Just a Few Books...The books are organized, and, while chaotic, it still makes some sort of sense. The shelf tags are the key to this organizational system, and I love the humor in many of them. Check out this one:

Tag, you're it!We had a great time poking around the bookstore, and checking out the market. I think that Eastern Market may be one of my favorite Sunday destinations. I’ve never had a bad time strolling through the market on a sunny Sunday, and I have to recommend it if you are looking for something to do on a weekend in D.C. 

Those are the highlights of my weekend. As for today? Well, it was a Monday. There wasn’t anything very noteworthy, although I did make a homey dinner:

Din DinPlease ignore the hotdog. I bought a pork tenderloin at the farmer’s market on Saturday to go along with one that I had in the freezer. I forgot to thaw out tenderloin #2, and I didn’t have as much to go around as I would have liked. I decided to let my guests have most of the pork, and to supplement my tenderloin sample with a Hebrew National 97% fat free beef hot dog. They are my very favorite low fat hotdogs. I love them!

There are also some roasted turnips (LOVE) on the plate, along with their tops, which I cooked down yesterday. I’ve always LOVED turnip greens. Just the smell makes me happy! 🙂 I also steamed some red potatoes and fresh peas from the farmer’s market, and then tossed them in a bit of peppery milk gravy. I made my gravy with a small amount of butter, flour and skim milk and then seasoned it with plenty of salt and black pepper. I’m sure that bacon grease would have been tastier, but this was definitely a healthier version of an old favorite. Having my parents here must have put me in the mood for some southern fare! This was also a quick dinner to throw together once I got home. Perfect!

I worked all day today so that I can take all day Friday off. I’m working a half day in the morning, and I need to get to sleep so I can get an early start (and an early finish.)

I’ll apologize once more for my sporadic blogging. I think I’ll get back in the groove eventually! This week, I plan to enjoy my parents and not worry about it too much. I’m sure y’all understand! 🙂 Ciao for now, y’all and have a great week!!

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Filed under D.C., Farmer's Market, Food, Salad, Washington

In a Flash

Hi, kids! Today seems to have flown by! Seriously, where did the day go? I need to make this quick so that I get a good night’s sleep. Here are today’s eats— in a flash! 

First, I have to say that you guys had some pretty amazing food over the weekend. I loved hearing all about it in the comments so thanks for sharing! 🙂

Breakfast:

Today’s bowl was 3/4 oat bran, 1/4 five grain cereal, almonds, molasses, Jay Robb’s vanilla whey protein powder and a ton of berries. I also had some of my Williamsburg coffee with a bit of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze. Today’s coffee flavor was English Toffee. Mmmm….

BrekkieLunch:

I had a lettuce, radish, cucumber and tomato salad topped with some Kraft Zesty Light Italian dressing and an Amy’s Texas Veggie Burger with melted cheddar. I love Amy’s Texas burgers, by the way. They are slightly sweet and SO good!

Lunch

I’ve been having balsamic vinegar as a salad dressing for so long that having a prepackaged dressing is really kind of weird. I like! I think I might need to check out salad dressings again. It might be time to invest in a bottle of something good. What’s your favorite low calorie dressing? I’d love suggestions!

Since my lunch was a bit smallish, I decided it was a perfect day to have a higher calorie bar on the side. I tasted Mr. T’s carrot cake Clif Bar when we were at the zoo, and I thought it was really tasty. Of course, I had to buy one of my own. The carrot cake bar was perfect for me today! It bulked up the protein in my lunch, and made for a tasty dessert. I see more of these in my future! I’ve also concluded that I prefer my bars to be a little melty. This one was perfect after a bit of time in the sun.

Now that the weather is warm, you can expect to see more lunch photos taken on my picnic blanket. I love eating outside with my friends. It’s the perfect midday break for a windowless lawyer!

Afternoon Snacks:

For my first snack of the afternoon, I had a bowl of Blue Ridge Dairy Greek yogurt from the farmer’s market sweetened with berry jam and a ton of strawberries. I also snacked on a bowl of cherries. I’m out of cherries now. 😦 I have to get more ASAP!! I love them soooo much!

Yo! Cherries!Later, I munched and crunched on a 1oo calorie bag of microwave kettle corn. Yum!

PoppycornBefore heading home, I wanted one more little nibble. I wanted peanut butter! I’ve recently realized that I sometimes eat extra calories that I don’t want just because it seems like the peanut butter should go ON something. If I really want peanut butter, doesn’t it make more sense to just have it ON a spoon? I would have a piece of cheese without feeling like it had to go on a cracker. I’d eat nuts by themselves. Why should lovely PB be any different?

Unfrozen PBsickleMy musical pepper notepad approved! Wherever there is peanut butter, there’s a party. 😉 The spoon is sporting The Bee’s Knees peanut butter from PB&Co., by the way.

Dinner:

Dinner was tasty, although it looks weird thanks to my see through blue plate. Oh well. Photography lesson learned. I had a turkey bacon BLT on some multi-grain bread from Whole Foods alongside some leftover roasted broccoli topped with melted cheese. Broccoli and cheese are such a classic combo, and the same is true of the BLT. I had a very classic sort of dinner going on, and it really hit the spot. 

Din DinFor dessert I had half a serving of Ciao Bella Maple Ginger Snap Gelato and half a serving of Dolci Gelati Pumpkin Pie Gelato. When I can’t decide which flavor to have, I am a firm believer in having a dab of both!

Love from the FreezerAfter Dinner Nibbles:

I just finished a 25 minute run outside followed by 35 minutes of cardio in the gym. I don’t usually run outside during the week, but, since it is staying light much later, I was able to do the first chunk of my workout al fresco. It was nice. I hate being stuck in the gym all the time! After I did a bit of core work and a ton of stretching I came back to the apartment and had a salty snack. I recently found these at Whole Foods, and I’ve really been digging them!

Pizza PuffsThey are nicely seasoned, but not covered in a crazy orange powder. Don’t get me wrong: I like the cheesy poufs with the crazy orange glow, but I hate having orange fingers! These are yummy and much less messy. I can imagine that as a benefit if you have kiddos. If you like salty snacks, you should try these! I had half a serving, and it was still a nice amount. That little bowl is only 55 calories!!

I think there is probably one more snack in my future, perhaps a chocolate covered frozen banana, and there is definitely a cup of tea waiting to be sipped. This may be my quickest post yet, but I loved my food today so I really wanted to share.

I hope you had a great day!! I’m still getting caught up on the blog posts I missed during my vacation, and it is nice catching up with everyone. My google reader is still touting 1000+ posts, but I’m positive that I’m making progress. Everyone has so much to say, and I love hearing about what you are all up to! Now, I’m up to finding that last snack and getting to bed.

Have a great Tuesday! Ciao for now!! 🙂

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Filed under diet, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Salad, Washington, Weight Loss

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!

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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. 🙂

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