Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sloppy Joes are, well, sloppy

I'm not taking a picture of the sloppy joes because it is messy and unattractive. Moreso than my other food. And, I ended up wearing them today. Dropped a big ol' pile right on my lap. I'll probably have to go home and change before job #2. I can hide in my office here.. but not at my other job. Unfortunately I'm in public.

Because there is no picture I'll post the recipe. I adapted it slightly from the WW recipe. I've decided to kind of switch to CORE® because I've been taking an all or nothing attitude, and I already eat mostly CORE, so why not give it a try for a while. Less counting involved.

My Mostly CORE Sloppy Joes
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium green bell pepper chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 package of ground turkey
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 a small can of tomato paste
1 tbsp dijon mustard

Heat oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add onion, celery and bell pepper and sauté until tender, 3 minutes. Add turkey and sauté until browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks, 5 minutes. Add chili powder, basil, salt, black pepper and cayenne; stir to coat. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and mustard; mix well.

Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.

I served it on an Aunt Millie's whole grain hamburger bun for 2 pts. I also made oven fries by taking a couple of large Idaho potatoes and drizzling them with olive oil and tossing them with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and baking at 425 for 15 minutes. I kicked up the heat to broil and broiled to get them crispy.. about 10 minutes. But watch them to make sure they don't burn.

Tomorrow I might make pasta for myself. Who knows. No more Sloppy Joes for two meals, though!

Monday, February 26, 2007

You Can't Always Count on Leftovers

You can't always rely on other people. I learned that last night. And, it's particularly bad to rely on other people to cook a meal for you, especially if you really needed those leftovers for later in the week.

Last night was supposed to be braised lamb shanks over polenta. DBF promised to brown the meat, saute the veggies and toss it in the oven. He was supposed to come over around 6 p.m., do his homework at my apartment and let the braise do it's thing for a couple of hours while I had to be at work. I was home around 8:30 p.m. and thought it would be nice to have a sit down meal, considering I work 68.5 hours this week. Doesn't exactly lend itself to spending quality time with him.

But, alas, he worked on the homework at home and forgot to come make dinner. So I got home to no food, and more importantly no leftovers for the week. I have already blown the food budget for the week, so buying more food isn't an option. So it's time to eat random things from the fridge for a couple of days.

Lunch was Healthy Choice Country Vegetable Soup and a romaine salad. Dinner (which was supposed to be leftovers) will be what I was planning for lunch: sloppy joes. I found some potatoes so I may even make some oven fries. It's my night off so I have time to cook. Not sure what I'll do for tomorrow's dinner. Maybe eat sloppy joes twice in one day? I have to work and won't have time to make dinner or even pick it up from a fast food place.

So, lesson learned: If you want something done, you'll have to do it yourself. Delegating doesn't work.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Thank God It's Friday

Uncle! I'm crying uncle when it comes to the chili. I've seriously had enough. There better be some not so chili-like chili at lunch. I could just eat my dinner for lunch and hope that the pasta and salad they're serving at job #2 is point-friendly. Maybe if I weren't planning to go out for a beer.. or maybe if I didn't just eat TWO of these muffins (luckily they're only 2 pts a piece!) I would consider it. But, I've been lax this week a bit... so maybe for the sake of hopefully seeing a one pound loss, I should stick with the plan for the day. Also must confess to about five Hershey Kisses from the drawer at job #2. It was slow and someone brought in candy. I'll cut my egg and toast snack I have planned Saturday and be fine.

It kills me, btw, that my only muffin wrappers are birthday ones. It's all I could find. Apparently I only need muffin wrappers when they're out of regular ones. Or maybe I'm just dumb and can't find the normal ones. The last package was Scooby-Doo. I served my coworkers raspberry cream cheese muffins in green Scooby-Doo wrappers. Nothing says gourmet muffins like Scooby.

And no Oatmeal-Spice cookies. I was just too tired after work to care. Thirteen hours takes a toll eventually. Tossing chili in the Crockpot was about all I can handle. And finishing the last 1/4 of the Negro Modelo left from the chili and watching the Grey's episode I DVR'ed.

To come tomorrow: Egg Fried Rice and Egg Drop Soup.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I Love Pork. Porky, Pork, Pork.

Let me just say, the pork was fantastic. The pineapple, btw, should be a chutney, but like I've alluded to in other posts, I'm kind of a lazy cook. Finely dicing something is for people who have patience, which I apparently lack. Plus you try dicing pineapple when the spices from the browning pork creating smoke and setting off your smoke detector and your new neighbor keeps knocking on the door asking to use your phone. Big ol' chunks or no.. it still tastes the same. Looks less "pretty" but as you can probably deduce from the photos.. I'm not much for making my food pretty. It just needs to taste good. It may not be cover-worthy.. but there's the pork, peppers and onions and green rice (made this time with brown rice.. not as good btw as using the white).

In other news, my chili is getting spicier as it "ages." And, I'm starting to have to hold my nose when I put it in a Gladware container in the morning.

Not to be off topic or anything, but I need a new camera. I hate the focus on this thing. Until I raise $550 to get myself a digital SLR, you all will just have to look at fuzzy food. In the focus, sense of course.. not the moldy sense. Besides.. that's more furry than fuzzy.

Something to look forward to.. tomorrow the boyfriend and I will be making Oatmeal-Spice Cookies. I didn't get around to it last night.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I'm Officially Sick of Chili

Today's Menu

So Friday is a chili cook-off at work. I'm entering a "meatless" chili. I put it in quotes because, well, I used beef broth and a little bit of bacon grease for flavor. It's decent, but not fantastic. I think I'm going to add some tomato sauce and cut back on the beef broth. It also has beer. Yum. Booze cookery. Anyhow. I've been eating it for lunch so far this week. And it's already day two, and I'm sick of it. It's going to be a long week. Friday I will not be eating my own chili.

Tonight's dinner is Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Pineapple Chutney and Skillet Onions, Peppers, and Garlic with some Green Rice. My Green Rice is just rice cooked in chicken stock with a little bit of butter, and then I add green onions, cilantro and a little bit of fresh lime juice. I love it and make it all the time.

I'll have pictures of that tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow Day!

Today's Menu

It was another snow day for me. I think I'll actually be GLAD to go back to work tomorrow. Really. I'm starting to get sick of being stuck in the house. I napped most of the day, honestly.

When I wasn't napping it was probably because it was a meal time. I made the WW recipe for Southwestern Turkey sandwich. What makes the sandwich "southwestern" is the mayo. It's about a tablespoon of light mayo per sandwich with some cumin, cilantro, lime zest, ground red pepper, and some lime juice. I added some chili powder for a little extra zing.

Dinner is more of the stew. I'll probably eat it for dinner tomorrow night, too. Then it's done. Friday and Saturday will probably be canned soup or frozen meals. I might make a quick pasta and veggies for Friday, though, since I have some crushed tomatoes left over from the soup that is going to go bad. Saturday will definitely be something frozen. Sunday I'm planning a gorgonzola pizza that I'm really excited about. I'll make my own dough for that. Yay!

Here's hoping I can get out of the house tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I Must Be Psychic...

Today's Menu

Yesterday I got all my grocery shopping done for the week. And it's a good thing, too. It's a wintery mess today. Earlier they were calling for up to seven inches of snow. The roads are kind of messy, so it turns out I had the perfect menu planned for the week. Yum, stew. The list in my chicken scratch...

So yesterday I made Brunswick Stew w/ Smoked Paprika from Cooking Light. I made this last winter and really liked it. This time I made my own chicken stock. It's insanely tasty.. but I do need to add salt. It's definitely under seasoned. Which I guess isn't a surprise considering I didn't use the canned stock it called for. Ate it for dinner last night and reheated it for lunch today along with the homemade honey wheat rolls I made in my bread machine. Not having a stand mixer with a dough hook (and b/c I'm lazy) I really like the fact that the machine I "borrowed" from my mom does all the kneading for me.. and the first rise, too. Added a diet Hansen's root beer for good measure. It's just OK. I'm not sold on it. I found it at TJs.

Stay warm today! I know I will be eating my soup and hoping for another snow day! :)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Blech.. Frozen Meals

Today's Menu

I haven't posted in forever! Mostly because I have been working nonstop. Seriously. The only day I've had off since February 1st was Sunday. And all but Saturday were 13 hour days. And as much as I would have liked to cook all my meals for the week on Sunday, I actually wanted to have a bit of free time for a change. And a note on the menu for today, I'm not counting points this week because I've been incredibly busy. But, as you can see, I'm not eating all crazy-like.

But to catch on the pictures..er.. picture.. here's the Barley Risotto with Carrots and Red Pepper. It has been adapted from Bon Appetit. I cut the oil severely and ran it through WW's recipe builder as having four servings. In reality, it's either 3/4 servings (if you want it to make 4) or 1.5 cup servings if you just make two servings out of it. I made it as a main, so I split it into two servings. The Points® value was 4 pts. per serving (if making two). I would say it was good, but not fantastic. A make again for a night where I don't want to spend a whole lot of points on a meal that fills me up.

On Sunday I made Monterey Jack, Corn, and Roasted Red Pepper Risotto and Chipotle-Lime Roasted Chicken (just the chicken not all the veggies with it in the recipe). I didn't find the chicken to be very chipotle OR lime. Maybe I just didn't have enough on it. I LOVED the risotto though. Fantastic.

Finally, last night after work I made a Orzo-Ricotta Bake from Vegetarian Times magazine. I'm not a fan. But yet, it's better for me than the frozen meals that I've been eating (I despise them, really) and it even TASTES better than some of them. But it's not worth a photo.

I'll be in Florida visiting a friend Friday through Sunday, so I'll resume cooking on Monday. I plan to make my own stock for the first time and use the cooked chicken and stock to make Brunswick Stew with Smoked Paprika. I made it last year and really liked it. Plus my dutch oven doesn't get as much use as I would like it to. I plan to also try making dinner rolls from scratch (with the kneading help of my trusted breadmaker). I'll probably also make up some WW recipe sloppy joes for lunches next week.