Thursday, May 31, 2007

Who says salads are diet food?

I certainly don't. I love salads. And I ate them even before being on WW. And I didn't eat them to be healthy. I just heart salads. Especially when it's hot outside, which is has been lately. To use a phrase from my middle school era: "It's hot like a mug." What ever that's supposed to mean. This salad's got tons of un-diet like ingredients: avocados, blue cheese, eggs..

It's a cobb salad from Cooking Light. It's Core +1 if you use only a tablespoon of blue cheese and swap the light mayo out for ff mayo in the dressing. I usually don't like ff mayo, but in this dressing, it doesn't really make much of a difference. And the dressing is good for other for other things. It's a decent green goddess dressing, but I don't have much to compare it to.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

One budget-friendly meal

I'm on tight budget until I get all of my debt paid off. And, I'm working like a dog to do it. Last night, they announced that I am employee of the month at job #2. The reason people said I got it was because I am a workaholic. While that may be true (I can hardly remember a time when I didn't have more than one job.. I think it was for about 3 months in 2005), I'm doing it now so I can live debt-free. And by the end of the summer, I will be. I won't even owe my mom money. Then I have to save for a down payment on my next leased vehicle.. then hopefully a down payment on my first home, because I really hate renting.

So every now and again, I'm a sucker for a cheap meal. Pre-WW a cheap meal would have been ramen, ravioli in a can, or even the dollar menu at any fast food joint. Now, I have to be a bit more creative. But not really, because I totally stole this meal idea from someone else.

As I said yesterday, I think it came from the back of a Goya can. It's just a green pepper, a medium onion, and garlic sauteed in EVOO. Then I add a can of kidney beans, a regular-sized can of tomato sauce, and some diced tomatoes that have been drained. Then I simmer away with the lid on until it thickens up because I don't like mine runny. It's better with white rice and adding smoked sausage, but I didn't feel like counting points for it. This time I used a variety of chili powders to season, but usually I buy these little Goya packets. Only Meijer didn't have them this time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A berry good breakfast

All right, it's a lame title. Forgive me, I'm tired and have a sore throat. There's whiskey and hot tea with lemon brewing in a mug next to my computer. Whiskey is the magic ingredient in my tea that makes everything all better. And yes, I'm counting the 2 pts. for it.

This morning I started off my day with oatmeal made with skim milk and topped it with fresh strawberries and sugar in the raw. Sugar in the raw is one of those things in the points calculator that doesn't make any sense. If you search for it by name, it comes up as .5 pts. But, if you put in the nutritionals from the box, (20/0/0) you get 0 pts. I don't ever use more than a packet at a time and only once a day. And not even every day. So, I figure counting it as 0 pts. won't hurt.

Up next is Red Beans and Brown Rice. I think the recipe is off the back of a Goya kidney beans can, but I honestly can't remember if that's the exact recipe. I just wing it and call it red beans and rice. More about that tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I am omelette impaired

Hi, my name is Jen and I can't make omelettes. There, I admitted it. I can roast a chicken just right, I make a great pot of soup, but I just can't make an omelette.

Last week I was browsing Martha Stewart's Web site, and she had a pictorial on how to make an omelette. I may have successfully made one in 6th grade home ec, but since then, not so much. Either it burns or doesn't fold over or the cheese never gets melty.. or like today, all of the above plus dropping half on the floor. (I'm not kidding.)

It tastes like an omelette should. All of its cheesey, hammy, asparagusy goodness. It just looks like flat scrambled eggs on a plate with some toppings piled on it. It doesn't make that neat little pocket of filling. If there's one thing I want to master before I die.. it's making an omelette. So if anyone has a video pictorial they have found, please share. Or upload it to YouTube or something and help a gal make the real deal, folded over and all.

In other news, I have a camera (sans the pic of the fugly omlette). Well, not the fancy pants camera, just the cord for the borrowed one. The fancy pants camera was on sale for 599.99. Ugh. Some day...

As promised, here are pictures of the spiced shrimp and red onion saute and the mushroom and pea quinoa risotto.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Trying not to be aggravated

I am trying very hard not to be aggravated with DBF. He really was a sweetheart to bring over the camera. But, he forgot the cords to upload the photos. I didn't think anything of it at first because I have a zillion USB cables. My MP3 player, my digital voice recorder I use for my interviews, and my old camera all came with USB cables. But apparently, none of them fit this camera. I'm not a fan of the kodak easy share so far. It's not very easy to share these photos, that's for sure.

Last night I made Spiced Shrimp and Red Onion Saute and served it over whole wheat couscous and with sugar snap peas on the side. To make it Core-friendly I cut the amount of oil significantly.

Friday, May 11, 2007

When it says no-boil, I think it means not to boil them

I am apparently an idiot. Last weekend I picked up 100% whole wheat lasagna noodles at Meijer to make Portabello Lasagna Rollups. The only problem was that the ONLY whole wheat lasagna noodles available were the no-boil variety. Kind of difficult to make lasagna noodles without boiling them. But, I thought, what's the harm in boiling them anyway. Just because you don't have to doesn't mean that you can't, right?

Well, I'm not sure if it was the boiling or the fact that I left them in the warm water to sit while I waited for the homemade sauce to be done (darn you Core.. no jarred sauce is Core), but they all stuck together. But I already made everything except the noodles, so I went to Kroger looking for more whole wheat noodles. If all they had were the no-boil, I'd just make it into a regular lasagna. But they didn't have any! So I made whole wheat penne instead and tossed all the sauce and filling together and baked it. Ugh. It tasted the same but was not pretty at all. I guess it's OK that I still don't have a replacement camera.

Ooh.. and I just made the tastiest strawberry sorbet for tonight's dessert. More on that later, though, because it's time to head on back to work.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Sad news...

My old camera is officially dead, I think. Today I attempted to snap a picture of last night's leftovers for today's entry, but the zoom wouldn't zoom, or un-zoom for that matter. It's been doing this for a week or so, but usually I just need to turn it off and turn it back on and it'll correct itself.

Not the case today, folks. It would turn off. Then when I turned it on, the Canon screen would pop up, just like usual, but then the screen would go blank except for a small E18 in the lower left corner. And it would beep loudly, and the lens wouldn't budge. So sad. It was the best free camera ever. It had been dropped so many times that my dad bought himself a new model and let me keep the old one.

DBF says he has a camera I can borrow, but he needs a memory card for it. Wonder when that will be? I'm still trying to put money away in the "Jen's fancy-pants camera fund." But so far I've only got $40 in quarters, nickles, dimes, and pennies. Not exactly the $500 I need for a kick-ass digital SLR.

In the meantime, you'll have to settle for links. RIP my ancient (circa late 1990s) 3.2 megapixel Canon Powershot. You will be missed.

Today's food: broiled chicken kabobs (chicken, red pepper, green pepper, and red onion) and Tabbouleh.

Friday, May 4, 2007

It's cocktail time

Because I secretly wish I could appear as put together as Martha (minus the jail time) and because the best margarita I've ever made came out of Martha Stewart Living:

The Perfect Margarita.

This isn't the recipe, but it's close, and if it's half as good as the recipe I normally use then you'll never have another margarita using sour mix or any kind of other mix for that matter.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Leftover use up roundup

That's a lot of "ups" in one line. But that's kind of what it has been for me today. I'm nearing the end of my grocery week and, as usual, am emptying out the veggie drawer and finding ways to use them before they go bad.

Veggie leftovers: celery, carrots, red pepper, red onion, one baked potato
Fruit leftovers: grapes (from two weeks ago I think..)
Random other leftovers: Refried beans (yay!), and ff/sf chocolate pudding (from a TOM chocolate attack), ff sour cream, ff plain yogurt

So, for lunch I made the baked potato with the beans, salsa, and sour cream. Which I planned to do anyhow. I added an apple and pudding, though. For dinner I made chicken salad. I made a whole bunch of it so there'd be leftovers for lunch tomorrow and dinner.

Chicken Salad
Makes about 4 cups

1/2 cup ff mayo
1/2 cup ff plain yogurt
2 cooked chicken breasts
2 large stalks of celery
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 cup of grapes, sliced in half
2 medium scallions
1/4 tsp ginger root
salt and pepper (b/c I put that in EVERYTHING)

Mix it all together and chill. Serve in mini pitas for a Core +1 recipe.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Cinco de Mayo... well.. not quite

I won't be in town for Cinco de Mayo — so it has been a fiesta of sorts at my house all week. Monday. DBF and I made chicken enchiladas, refried beans, and a mixed greens salad with mandarin oranges, red onion, and honey vinaigrette.

The refried beans were from Food Network's show, "Healthy Appetite." I've made several of her recipes and liked each one a lot. I learned a good way of making hot chocolate from her. It's in my very first post if you're interested. Seriously, these beans are MUCH better than canned.. and take about 10 minutes to prepare. I'll be adding some leftovers to a baked potato later this week. The enchiladas aren't the best recipe out there, but they make a decent enough weeknight meal. I would make my own enchilada sauc next time, though, so I can save the point. Canned enchilada sauce just isn't worth it in my opinion.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The last breakfast

On Sunday the DBF and I made a "last breakfast" of sorts before recommitting to healthier eating.

Waffles with strawberries, warm maple syrup, and butter. Yum.

I recommitted to Core yesterday. So far so good, but it's only been two days. I'll let you know in a week how strong my willpower actually is.