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monday mood

12 May

Waking up yesterday morning, I was still feeling like absolute crap, and couldn’t work out due to congestion and breathing issues, which pissed me off tremendously. I was going to cancel my appointment for a hair cut, too, but figured since I waited 3 weeks for it, I should probably go. I grabbed the usual cereal before I went, but amped up the protein and fiber – the combo of the day was 2/3 Strawberry Glucerna, 1/3 E’s Kashi GoLean, 1 Tbsp. of walnuts and some nonfat milk.

If nothing else, the haircut made my head feel a little lighter and slightly less congested. I walked a couple of minutes down the street and got my weekly immunotherapy shot at the same time – gotta love a 2fer trip! I decided to walk a little bit, and somehow ended up almost a mile away when it started to pour. I happened to be in front of Fat Patty’s, so I hopped in for a bite. I had their Cobb salad, but made a few changes to healthen it up – I omitted the dried cranberries and sliced olives, got the dressing on the side and added bell peppers and carrots. I forgot to ask for no cheese, and I didn’t realize it came with garlic bread. I ate the egg whites, all the veggies and chicken, half of one piece of garlic bread and only the cheese that was stuck to the chicken and lettuce, which was about 2 Tbsp. I did 6 fork-dips of dressing, about 1 tsp. and accounted a tsp. of oil, which I guessed was about the amount the chicken was cooked in. With two big glasses of lemon ice water, it came out to 428 calories.


The salad filled me up really well, so I didn’t snack much at all. Around 5:30, I got munchy and grabbed 3 almonds and a yogurt pretzel and dark chocolate almond from my candy stash. With the starlight mint I had at the salon, it came out to 87 calories.


I was out of ideas for a creative and yummy dinner, and was way too stuffed up to make anything time-consuming. I didn’t want to order out, so I threw something quick together. We had some It’s All Good Chick’n Bites Provencal sauteed with spinach and shredded carrots with a half each of Kashi’s Mayan Bake and 1 3/4 baked corn tortillas with Blue Smoke Salsa. I liked the plantain in the bake, but the sauce just wasn’t my thing, and could’ve used something to brighten it up. The chick’n bites were good, but a little too springy for my tastes, so I gave 1/4 of them to E, bringing dinner to 375 calories.


I wasn’t too satisfied from dinner – it just didn’t work for me! Around 9ish, I heated up a strawberry Bagelful for 200 calories, bringing the day’s total to 1359. It’s under the daily range that I try to hit, but the protein was high, the carbs were low and the fat was right at range, so I decided not to eat any more. With a very random appetite, it’s hard to eat properly when you’re sick, so I did the best that I could, and I’m okay with that.

curried along

2 May

I should really learn that when I promise to do a food post, I need to actually do it!

Breakfast isn’t pictured, because I didn’t think I’d like enough to eat, but lo and behold, I enjoyed it – it was oatmeal! I heated up some milk with 1/2 of a (defrosted) banana in it, added the oats and cooked for a few minutes. I topped it off with some pure Quebec maple syrup and some chopped walnuts. I swear, it tasted like banana bread and was really freaking good. One food hangup down, another 30ish to go!

I went to the gym, came home and decided to perfect the smoothie. I did better…kind of. I decided to omit the spinach until I’ve gotten the hang of it, and just did milk, yogurt, 1/2 a frozen banana, some frozen blueberries, True Protein milk isolate and mango flavoring. This one came out as beige with lavender tinges, didn’t really taste like anything and was so thick I could eat it with a spoon. However, I wasn’t smart enough to do that, and instead took my sweet time drinking it. After an hour, I’d downed two-thirds of it, and gave up.


Lunch was a spinach salad with mushrooms, carrots, green pepper and chopped walnuts, topped with herb-baked flounder and balsamic vinegar. Surprisingly, the combo worked and was both tasty and enjoyable. I ate it with 2 thin slices of roasted turkey and a half slice of Colby Jack.

Dinner was not so satisfying – we had Mushroom-Spinach with Coconut curry, Jyoti Jaipur Karhi, brown rice and roasted carrots, celery and green peppers. The mushroom-spinach curry was flavorful, but something was missing to make it great, and the Jaipur Karhi was way too salty, so I gave my portion to E.

I could tell I wasn’t satisfied, because less than 30 minutes later, I reached for a frozen one of these.

I gave half to E, and an hour later, reached for raw almonds, a piece of dried mango, and a sugar-free jello.
I couldn’t stop eating, and I didn’t want to mess up my day any more than I already had, so I called it a night and went to sleep. I finally tracked this morning, and strangely, I was in the low end of my range for the day. No wonder I was so hungry!

smooth

30 Apr

It’s a good thing that I didn’t have anything planned for dinner, because E came home starving, and me? Not so much. I don’t think it’s healthy to skip a meal, but I also don’t like to force-feed myself, so I figured that a smoothie was a good compromise. All I can say is that I’m glad E was there for troubleshooting, because lord knows that I couldn’t make a proper smoothie to save my life!

We blended up:
1 cup nonfat milk
1 cup 1% milk
3/4 cup nonfat yogurt
60 grams of True Protein milk protein isolate
5 grams of premium protein strawberry-banana flavoring powder
1 cup frozen berry blend
1 frozen banana
3 cups fresh spinach
a handful of ice

Let’s just say that my smoothie isn’t going to be winning a beauty contest anytime soon. This could be the very first time in my life that I’ve made something gray. You’d think it’d be impossible to make something so devoid of color, but it’s actually much easier than you think. This made each of us about 24 oz. of smoothie, which is a whole lot to drink down. It was pretty good, until you got to the bitter liquefied spinach parts, of which my second cup seemed to be full of. For 40g of protein, though, I may be willing to suffer just a little.

A couple of hours later, I got a little munchie, and decided to do a rehash of the dip from lunch. I mixed up some salsa, nonfat yogurt, cilantro, shredded cheddar and Tabasco, warmed it in the microwave for 30 seconds, and Ta Da! I ate it with a few baby carrots, and a small handful of Garden of Eatin’s Beet & Garlic tortilla chips.

Seriously, though – am I the only one who’s smoothie-challenged? Do you guys have any pointers for me?

Boot Camp, Burns and Gardein

27 Apr

Good morning!

It’s nice to be able to write a post at the beginning of the day. Normally, I’d be at the gym right now, but I’ve been waking up pretty stiff (and very sore!) lately, so I decided to give myself a break, and take a day off. Because I wasn’t rushing off, I got to enjoy a delicious and relaxed breakfast, and take my time eating and enjoying it. I couldn’t decide if I wanted something sweet or savory, so I decided to have both.
My plate included:

  • 1 1/4 cups nonfat plain yogurt with a teaspoon of pure Quebec maple syrup (thanks, Steph!) and 2 tablespoons of Glucerna Crunchy Flakes ‘n Strawberries
  • 2 thin slices of roast turkey breast
  • half of a peanut butter-chocolate chip bran-style muffin
  • 1 piece of whole wheat toast spread with a tablespoon of roasted red pepper hummus

Oh, and a great cup of Celestial Seasonings’ Lemon Zinger; it’s so delicious and good for you that I really should drink a cup more often!
I love that Lemon Zinger is caffeine-free and all-natural. Plus, the hibiscus and rosehips give it a really pretty cranberry color. It’s doing a great job perking me up this morning!

Breakfasts count came in at 381 calories, 63g of carbs, 3g of fat and 24g of protein. As a whole, it’s a little more than I usually eat, but the stats are still really good, so I’m satisfied.

This weekend was actually really fun. Saturday, E and I started off to the gym bright and early for boot camp, which was broken up in three parts: sliding, spinning and toning. I’d never tried sliding before, but I knew from past experience that for me, spinning = hyperventilating, so I decided to do sliding for both periods, totaling an hour. I’m glad I ended up taking it as long as I did, because it took me almost 20 minutes to be able to slide back and forth without freaking out about falling! I had a blast sliding, but man, is it hard – it definitely works up a sweat, and really gets the job done. For me, the best part of boot camp is meeting up with the other participants and getting to hang out, chat and compare notes. The exercise is a bonus, granted, but it’s an added one.

After boot camp, E and I decided to work in our ‘garden’, and work on getting the yard into shape for planting. After 2 hours or so, I developed quite a tan (and I use the term loosely), and decided that it was probably time for me to get out of the sun. Being the industrious, hard-working wife that I am, I then took a nap.
May I just say that it was the best nap I’ve had in a long time?
Just saying.

The next morning, while I let E sleep in, I locked myself out of the house, and spent an hour banging on the door and ringing the doorbell until E woke up. That pushed breakfast back just a touch…okay, by 3 hours. Thankfully, I made E Very Berry Pancakes, and he forgave me. Don’t worry, this stack was for both of us!

The mix included:
– frozen mixed blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
Bob’s Red Mill Low-Carb Baking Mix
– egg substitute
– sugar-free apple butter
– nonfat milk
– vanilla extract

Once the pancakes were cooked, I sprinkled a little pure Quebec maple syrup on top, and we dove in. We each had 3 pancakes, and the stats (including syrup) came in at 359 calories, 51g of carbs, 4g of fat and a whopping 13g of fiber and 38g of protein. This is the second time we’ve used the low-carb baking mix, and it’s really great. The pancakes were less dense and fluffier than last week’s banana-maple chip version, but both were amazing! I haven’t tried much of Bob’s Red Mill products, but I’ve loved every one that I have tried.

Because breakfast was so filling (and late), lunch never happened, so I moved on to dinner. It was awesome, and took 10 minutes to prepare, start from finish. It was also really, really good, and E noted that he could eat it once a week for sure, which is a glowing endorsement.

We had:
– spinach and mushroom salad with cucumber ranch dressing
– whole wheat couscous cooked up with a little red enchilada sauce, – sweet corn niblets and green chile
It’s All Good Santa Fe style black bean and corn stuffed chick’n

I’m a flexitarian who loves her meat, and the faux meats usually don’t do it for me at all. But this? This was amazing! It was juicy, flavourful and tender without any weird aftertaste or smell. It looks small, but at 5 oz., it’s a perfect portion. I’d definitely eat this chick’n again. I was so shocked by my sudden love of chick’n that I decided to do a little research. I discovered that It’s All Good is a Gardein brand, which is a Canadian company specializing in vegetarian products made with a “garden-grown protein”. According to the packaging:

Really, protein from the garden? You bet!
Gardein is a savory blend of nutritious vegetable and grain ingredients (soy, wheat, peas, beets and carrots) prepared and slow-cooked to have the authentic taste, texture and nutrition of premium lean meat.

The nutritional information is also impressive; one 5 oz. serving has only 160 calories, 5g of fat, 9g of carbohydrates (3 of which are fiber), 19g of protein and 35% of iron’s RDA. Take that, chicken! In all seriousness, I think this a great product not only for those who lead a meat-free lifestyle, but for everyone. It’s a great alternative source of protein, free of cholesterol and saturated fat and tastes great. Plus, it’s easy to prepare, either in a microwave, boiling it in a bag, over the stove top or baking it. I chose the microwave method, and it came out perfectly. For those of you in the Tri-State area, we got ours at Drug Emporium/Healthy Life Market out by the mall.
I have the Glade Sense&Spray giveaway going on until midnight tonight – there’s 5 coupons to be had, and only 2 entries so far, so if you enter now, you’re pretty close to being guaranteed a winner!

Spinach Cheese Squares

12 Jan

Growing up, I always dreamed of being a grown-up. I know it sounds silly, but thoughts of dinner parties and ladies who lunch filled my little girl head with wonder and anticipation. Although being an adult is quite so fun all the time, it definitely has its moments.

Recently, E and I headed to our synagogue for the annual Channukah party and had a great time, meeting new people and trying some new dishes and old favorites (latkes and applesauce = manna from heaven). We brought along a new favorite of our own, Spinach Cheese Squares. Not only are these easy to throw together, but they serve up beautifully. Most of the effort is in the cooling time, so these should be made at least 2 hours in advance, not right before you leave like we usually do. The cheesy goodness will win over even the pickiest palate, and the spinach helps you feel a little less guilty about the whole thing. This would also be great for brunch, or for a light dinner with a side salad.

Spinach Cheese Squares
adapted from Sweetnicks
makes 32 appetizer-sized squares, or serves 8 as a main

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 lb. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 20 oz. frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 1 teaspoon granulated toasted onion
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place butter in a 9×13 inch baking dish and melt butter in oven, about 5 minutes. Remove when melted.
  3. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs well ( I just used a whisk). Mix in flour, milk and baking powder. When the dough is well combined, mix in cheese, spinach, and onion.
  4. Pour mixture into the baking dish with melted butter. Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool 45 minutes then cut into bite-size squares.