Monthly Archives: September 2012

Favorites for September

Here are some of my favorites/obsessions from the past month!

Japadog

Japadog

Japadog (Photo credit: sean lancaster)

Weird hot dogs with crazy Japanese toppings!  I haven’t been to one but I’m fairly obsessed.  I know I would love it.  Make one in LA and I will go to there!

I can’t decide if I want the one pictured, with seaweed and japamayo, or one with croquette, or the one with kimchi!  And also, seaweed fries?  Yes please!  Maybe there is a reason to visit Canada after all…

Okonomiyaki or Japanese Pancakes 

Ok, it’s safe to say I’m just actually obsessed with Japanese Mayonnaise, slathered all over all sorts of fried delicious things.  Such as chewy, savory pancakes filled with cabbage, onions and whatever else you like! I actually did try these this month and I AM IN LOVE.  If fried things that are both sweet, mayonnaise-y and incredibly salty are not your deal, then just keep on walking, mister.

Cute Hipster Moustache iPhone cases

Not sure if I could really pull one of these off, but I’m definitely considering ordering the octopus one!

Skinnytaste Turkey Meatballs

I have been making these once a week and eating with pasta, barley, seaweed salad, or on a sandwich!  Healthy and tasty, a dieter’s staple.  And a good way to use up my plethora of zucchini from the garden.

Eggplant

Eggplant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bhangan Bhartha If all the eggplant in my garden hadn’t died, I would be making loads of this!  I love the smoky, spicy, rich eggplant dish that is a favorite at any indian restaurant.  I can’t wait to try out this recipe!!

Miso Eggplant  While we’re on the subject of eggplant, I’m madly in love with Japanese miso eggplant. (I guess I’m just feeling japanese food lately!) This recipe looks amazing, and I also made a pretty good miso eggplant-tofu stir fry!

Kelp Noodles  I know, I know, it sounds super weird.  But they are delicious!  They are great cold and crunchy in a salad, or even with turkey meatballs and tomato sauce!  The only downside is they have no fiber as compared to pasta.  But ONLY 6 CALORIES A SERVING?  I’ll have 3!

 

And finally, a really important, serious, artsy one!  Julia Kozerski’s art is inspiring, feminist and body positive.  She lost 160 lbs in a year and chronicled photos of her changing body in changing rooms.  It’s real and raw, and her triumph is also a sad inability to recognize the person in the mirror.   I also like her other work, Tag, where she flashes images from tumblr that she found by searching tags of “beautiful”, “perfect” and “sexy” on the wall and tries to match her body to the image. It’s a really haunting video that reminds me of how we all compare ourselves to images we see, and we never match up! Check her out, it’s heartbreaking how honest her work is!

 

Well, that’s all for now folks! I’ll have more things to post about some day, I promise!

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Fig and Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Glazed Chicken

Since one of my Skinny Rules this week was to EAT YOUR VEGETABLES (come on! just do it!), I wanted to eat at least a few fresh salads.  Also, I had planned to do a post of “hey, what’s in your CSA?”  but put everything away before I remembered, and was NOT going to take it all out!

figgy goodness.

Well, what WAS in my CSA was…FIGS!  Fresh, sweet, and oh so almost mushy! I had to use them, quickly.

I had an idea in my head for a light, goat cheese and fig salad. Can you blame me?  I needed protein, so I went with the old classic, chicken.  I wanted it to be flavorful and tangy to compliment the figs, and not boring.  I called the boy on my break and told him to marinate the chicken so I could make it when I got home!

I had the boy marinate the chicken so only he knows exactly what went in there.  Friday night it was almost 100 DEGREES in my house so I didn’t want to broil the chicken to make salad, which was my plan.  So, I got Thai takeout (ugh another eating out meal this weekend I forgot, and it wasn’t even that great) instead, broiled the chicken later when it cooled off, and made it for lunch the next day.

Delicious! This salad is light, tangy, flavorful and healthy.  The fresh figs lend a sweetness that perfectly compliments the tang of the vinegar and goat cheese.  If you don’t have fresh figs, you could substitute apple, strawberry or any other sweet fruit you think would be good with goat cheese (ooh! I know! Pear!)  This salad would be great without chicken, and the chicken would be great without the salad! But they compliment each other so nicely, they are perfect together.  This is a super easy recipe that can make you at least 2 dinners or lunches!  If you are making it  a head of time, don’t dress the salad until you are ready to serve.  The figs will get super mushy.

Balsamic Glazed Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp agave, honey or brown sugar
  • garlic powder
  • smoked paprika
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Always rinse your chicken and pat dry! Always!  Marinate breasts in a bag with the ingredients for as long as you can.  If you are short on marinade time, cut the pieces ahead of time.  Actually, do that first anyways.  The more marinade the better!  Cut the chicken into (large) pieces.  Not too small, you don’t want them to burn!

Broil under high heat for about 10 minutes, then turn pieces and broil until the sides are crisp and just starting to burn!  The sugar and vinegar caramelize so beautifully! You could also grill the chicken with great results, just cut bigger pieces so they don’t fall through the grill.  Let chicken cool.  Serve by itself, with cooked vegetables or with a salad!

Fig and Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Glazed Chicken

(serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Balsamic Glazed Chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 heirloom tomato
  • 2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 4-6 fresh figs, sliced
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

Arrange ingredients in a bowl so they look pretty!  Enjoy with a nice glass of white wine!

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Skinny Rules: The home stretch: Rules 16-20!

Oh no!  I didn’t really follow them or complete my challenge!  The last four rules are:

16.  Banish High Salt foods

17. Eat your vegetables

18. Go to Bed Hungry

19. Sleep right

20. Plan one splurge meal a week.

So, I guess I followed 20! Except I had more than just 1 splurge meal this week.  I was very frustrated overall this week because even though I DID follow the rules for the beginning of the week, I didn’t see any changes on the scale.  I finally lost 1 (1!) pound by friday, and was stoked.  Then came Saturday, with 4 hours of studying plus 6 hours of class. The ladies wanted to get “one drink” which turned into 3 and dinner! And I don’t know if I’ve told you, but my body HATES ALCOHOL.  Even though I don’t.  I’m talking, hangover from 1 glass of wine.  No matter how much water I drink.  So, imagine me after staying up way too late (sorry rule 19), having 3 strong ass (well they better be strong for 12 $) drinks at a shee shee whiskey bar, and having class from 8-7 on sunday! Not a pretty sight.  

One interesting development:  When I have a hangover, I usually crave a BREAKFAST BURRITO.  Then Pizza or In N Out and lots of sleeping and getting fatter and feeling sicker.  But, this weekend my body actually craved healthy food! For lunch on Sun I had an egg white smoked salmon scramble with fruit, too much pita and hummus.  Dinner was fries (whoops) and pasta (whoops) with veggies and shrimp.  But not the usual fast food grease fest!  Thinking about it made me feel super gross. So maybe the skinny rules have helped my body discriminate what makes it feel good and what makes it feel bad, even if my STUPID MIND is way behind!

Then, today I was so full and not even hungry.  Smoothie for breakfast with one veggie sausage, then chicken salad (oh yeah I have RECIPES to post!)  Work was LOOONG and STRESSFUL and I had to pick up a 120 lb screaming child (girl) off the ground like 5 times while she pulled my hair. Awesome.  Met a friend for some tea and ended up grabbing Chipotle for dinner because I couldn’t stand the thought of cooking 😦 So, eating out binge continues.  

What did I learn from Bob Harper’s Skinny Rules?

  • whole grains are delicious, filling, and way better for you than anything bleached and processed. You should eat some.
  • Sugar is bad, bad, bad.  It’s in everything but you don’t want it.  
  • Coffee tastes good with almond milk!
  • Kelp noodles are the bomb.  6 calories per serving? I’ll have 12.
  • Veggies are my best friend.  Second is fruits (in the morning)
  • Soup is delicious, quick, healthy, and fills you up!
  • I don’t have to slave over the stove for hours every night to have a healthy home cooked meal.
  • My boyfriend will still love me if I don’t make him delicious cheesy food every night.
  • My boyfriend doesn’t really like to eat what I like, and that’s ok.
  • I’m a “don’t” person, not a “Can’t” person. (as in, I DON”T eat that food, not I CAN’T)
  • If I DO eat that food, that’s my choice and I have to deal with that. But I won’t be mad or hate myself, I will just move on.
  • My stomach can feel when I am full.
  • My body can tell when I am eating healthy.
  • Drinking makes me fat. And sick. I shouldn’t do it, even if all my pretty cool amazing friends are peer pressuring me!  (well, maybe one but THAT’s IT!) (This isn’t really from Bob Harper, this is more what my body’s been trying to tell me since High School!)

So, there’s probably a lot more nutrition facts I learned too.  But I feel these are some really important things that following (mostly) the skinny rules for 20 days has taught me.  And I plan to continue.  I may not be the biggest or fastest loser, but I am a loser!  And I can’t let anything get in my way.  I actually crave healthy food now, so I need to keep it that way.  Thanks Bob Harper!  

TOTAL POUNDS LOST DURING THE SKINNY RULES 20 DAY CHALLENGE: 7!  

Not amazing results, probably because I didn’t work out and I didn’t follow all of them all the time. But I wanted a lifestyle change, not a diet.  And I’ve lost 20 lbs in a month before just to gain back 25.  So if I lost 7 over 3 weeks and I can keep going down, I will be a happier, healthier person. 

Namaste!

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Skinny Rules Challenge: Rules 14 & 15

I think I got all messed up on which rules I’m supposed to follow on what days!  Good thing I made myself a handy dandy checklist of all the rules so I can check off the ones I follow each day.  It looks a little something like this:  I am a total geek and think this is cool. I can check off which rules I follow which will give me not only a percentage of how often I follow the rules, but a visual reminder too! I printed it out and it’s on my fridge.  Also, it will give me data on which rules I rock at, and which rules I suck at.
Let me tell you, I suck at rule #7.  I keep eating carbs for snack and dinner! I just haven’t brought myself to get rid of them! That is my real challenge.

Yesterday was rule 14: eat a real breakfast. I made oats in a jar (tupperware) with greek yogurt, almond milk, and raspberries. I also had veggie sausage to add extra protein and deliciousness.  For lunch I had an eggwhite salad sandwich, and snack was an apple and babybel cheese.  Dinner was 2 wheat flatbreads! Carb central! And I just ate too much in general. But they were so good! One had my zucchini, tomato and soyrizo sautee on it with cheddar cheese, and the other had turkey, goat cheese and broccoli.  Delicious!  But, Bob Harper was right and I did have cravings and munch later. Wa Wa.  Now that I’m writing this I realized I think I AM a day off! Pretty sure I wrote about breakfast the other day! Help me, I’m losing it.  Working so much plus homework plus obsessing over meal planning = I’m confused. Sorry folks, my challenge is turning into a hot mess.

Today (or not) was rule 15: Make at least 10 meals a week at home.  I already do that anyways! Done and Done.  Number one, I can’t afford to eat out that much! Number two, how could you possibly avoid refined grains, sugar, potatoes, and large portions if you are eating out all the time?  You couldn’t! I think Bob Harper was going too nice on this rule.  For me to be successful, it should really be at least 15 times a week, if not 20.  If I want to lose weight I’m going to have to eat at home ALL THE TIME!  Which is fine because I love cooking when I have energy.

Today I had overnight oats for breakfast again, lunch was a weird mix of eggwhite salad, quinoa, romaine lettuce, tahini and seaweed salad. I know, it sounds disgusting and I was really worried all morning that my lunch would be barf.  But it was awesome! I’m awesome at throwing crap together and making it taste good!  Dinner I made miso eggplant with tofu (recipe soon!) which sounds carb-less but I definitely added a lot of Agave to sweeten it up.  Then I was stressed from school work and my brain dying so I ate 1/2 a lara bar and 2 dates with pecans.  Damn you sugars!

Tomorrow: Banish High Salt Foods.  Mr. Bob Harper says eat less than 2,000 mg a day.  I wonder how much I’m consuming?  I really have no earthly idea.  Probably a good thing I ate my miso eggplant tonight, that probably has a lot!

Sorry, I’m too tired to think of any awesome pictures to add!

 

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Egg (almost) White Salad

I got this idea from Trader Joes (as usual.)

I usually don’t like egg salad because it’s too creamy and stinky, and, kind of gross.  I bought TJ’s eggwhite salad because it was low fat, high protein, and sounded good!  It was. I decided to put my own twist on it at home.  I used a few yolks for extra creaminess, but honestly, they’re not even necessary.  The mustard gives it a little kick, the bell peppers a little sweetness, the smoked paprika a little smokiness that is unusual for egg salad.

Easy, healthy, and tasty? I’ll take it!

Egg (almost) White Salad

Ingredients:

  • 9 hardboiled eggs, yolks removed (I left 3 yolks in but use your own discretion)
  • 1/2 red or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp low fat mayonnaise (I used olive oil mayo)
  • 2 tsp whole grain dijon mustard
  • Salt, Pepper and smoked paprika to taste

Mix ingredients in a bowl and enjoy! Serve with crackers, whole wheat pita or flat breads, or on a sandwich!

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Zucchini, Tomato and Soyrizo Sautee

I was so inspired by this awesome recipe for spicy tomato chorizo pasta that I wanted to make my own!  But Skinny Rules friendly of course, and today is my meatless day besides! Soyrizo is a great alternative to chorizo, with only 10 grams of fat per large serving.  The taste and texture is very similar to real chorizo (a little softer though).  I have had a giant zucchini from the garden on my counter for a week and several tomatoes that were just this side of mushy.

Dinner!

This sautee is quick, easy, healthy and super super yummy.  It would be great over pasta, or with quinoa.  I ate it plain and it filled me up just fine!  The zucchini are crunchy, while the soyrizo and tomatoes create a creamy, spicy sauce to compliment it.  I have left overs and I’m thinking of scrambling eggs with it for breakfast!

Zucchini, Tomato and Soyrizo Sautee 

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. Soyrizo
  • 1 large zucchini, cubed into 1/4″ pieces
  • 2 large or several small tomatoes, chopped or halved
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • smoked paprika to taste

Drizzle olive oil in  skillet and let it heat over medium high heat.  Brown the garlic in the oil for about a minute, until fragrant.  Add the soyrizo and sautee for a few minutes, until it gets a little crispy.  Add tomatoes and zucchini, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until zucchini are cooked but not soft.  You want a nice, firm, crunch!  Season with smoked paprika and salt and pepper if you want.   Enjoy over pasta, with some crusty bread, or by itself for a light dinner!

Let the soyrizo get all nice and crispy

don’t overcook!

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Filed under Main Courses, Recipes, Vegetables

My “meatless” day

Today: Rule 14: Eat a Real Breakfast

This is so important for everyone, even if you don’t want to lose weight! Your mom is awesome and always right.  You should listen to her!  It’s super important to eat a big, protein loaded breakfast to stay on track throughout the day.  I haven’t missed breakfast in well, ever.  I have to eat within the first few hours of waking up or I will have a melt down!  Usually I go on a spree, right now it’s smoothies!  Other benders have included english muffins with peanut butter and banana, and morningstar veggie sausage. Ok usually I drink a smoothie.  Tomorrow I’m trying overnight oats with greek yogurt and fresh raspberries! I’m pretty excited.  Bob Harper suggests oats or eggwhite omelets with veggies and some fruit for a full, rounded breakfast.  How could you say no to that?

Today I decided to make my “meatless” day ala Bob Harper, aka vegan! It all went according to plan, until I was shopping at Trader Joes and totally forgot about it and tried a sample of chicken and mac and cheese! Whoops. But it was just one bite and free! So it barely counts.
My main worry was my morning coffee, which tasted ok with coconut and almond milk. Breakfast was a smoothie with berries, bananas, spinach, coconut and almond milk. And Chia seeds!
Went to Cafe Gratitude for lunch and for this amazing bruscheta with heirloom tomato, cashew cheese and fig balsamic vinaigrette!

image

Then I tried the raw kelp noodles with hemp pesto! I know, I’m a hippie of the worst kind. But it was SO GOOD!  Spinach, tomato, avocado and olives (I could’ve done without those) mixed with kelp noodles and pesto.  It was crunchy, rich and satisfying! I literally ate this whole huge giant plate.  And then we got dessert.

image

Needless to say, I am still full! I don’t know if I’ll make it to dinner but I am prepping food for tomorrow and the upcoming week:  Overnight Oats for breakfast, eggwhite salad for lunch, and that might be it.  I’m pretty tired!

My verdict on eating vegan for a day:  It ain’t cheap! Lunch (1 appetizer, 1 Kombucha, 2 entrees and 1 dessert) was 50$! Plus a tip!  I’m sure if you cooked at home it would be much cheaper.  I think it’s fine as long as you can manage to get your protein in.  Honestly I think it’s sort of silly to limit animal protein for one day a week.  I feel like it’s a better plan to try to make more meals without animal proteins, or at least meat, and make those a regular part of your diet.  But since I’m on the challenge, I will do it! I will do it for you, Bob Harper.

Overall, I had an amazing eating weekend!  Last night we went to an izakaya (Japanese Appetizers) place for my splurge meal–and boy did I splurge! Yakitori (skewers), Salmon Belly, Japanese pancake with mayo and teriyaki sauce, even a little rice!  Tomorrow it’s back to work and the skinny rules challenge!

Tomorrow: Rule 15: Cook your meals at home at least 10 times a week.

(I have to say, Bob Harper is trippin if he thinks you can follow the Skinny Rules and eat out more than 2-3 times a week).

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