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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Turkish Dinner: Chicken Soup Rice

I know, I know -- sound crazy.  I wanted to serve rice with Turkish Kebab and Turkish Flat Bread so I added rice and water to the rice cooker (rice cooker proportions, 1 cup rice/2 1/2 cups water in my case), then mixed in 1 packet of Lipton Noodle Soup and 1 tbsp butter.  I should have added some carrots for color.  It was yummy!

Turkish Dinner: Bazlama Turkish Flat Bread

I also made this bread, to go with Turkish Kebab.  It was another recipe on my should-try list.  The original recipe is here:  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Bazlama---Turkish-Flat-Bread/Detail.aspx.  It's delicious!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt
1 tbps white sugar
1 tsp salt
4 cups bread flour (original recipe calls for all-purpose flour)
1/2 tbsp crushed rosemary (my addition)
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

I don't have patience or time for kneading bread so always make dough in the bread machine.  However, I always bake in the oven -- don't like the hole left by the blade.  It takes 1.5 hours for the dough cycle.

Spray large bowl with non-stick spray (as well as lightly oil your hands) and shape dough into a large ball.  Cover and let rise for 2 hours.  You should have a lot of dough! ;)

Divide the dough into small balls, approximately tangerine size (not a standard comparison but I am looking at the bowl of tangerines).  Place back into the bowl and let rise 10-15 minutes -- this will make shaping much easier.

Sprinkle the cutting board (or counter, if your prefer) with flour and shape each ball into the round, the size of dessert plate.  I didn't roll the dough -- it was very easy to stretch it with hands.  Place rounds on cookie sheets and let rise for 15-20 minutes.  To avoid any possible draft, place cookie sheets into the cold oven.

Heat the grill (we have an electric grill which I love) or skillet (cast iron is recommended) to medium-high heat.  Bake rounds until golden brown on the bottom, flip, and bake until the other side is golden brown, too.  Brush with butter and place in a bowl covered with paper towels; cover to keep warm and soft.

Turkish Dinner: Turkish-Style Kebab with Eggplant and Tomato.


I found a promising recipe last month (Turkish-Style Kebab with Eggplant and Tomato) but haven't seen small eggplants until today.  Made it for dinner today and it's absolutely delicious and fairly healthy -- lean meat, nothing is fried, yummy veggies.  It looks pretty, too.  I added chopped fresh parsley before serving (not shown).

Ingredients:
6 small Japanese (baby) eggplants
2 large fresh tomatoes
2 lbs lean ground beef (turkey would be even better, I think)
1 small onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, pressed
Black and red pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Other spices (didn't add anything else but will experiment next time)
Fresh parsley, finely chopped

Mix ground beef, onions, garlic, and spices.  Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Slice eggplants into thick round.  Sprinkle with salt and let rest to remove bitterness, if any.

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Spray round baking dish with olive-oil-flavored non-stick spray.  Count the number of eggplant slices and make an equal number of meat patties, same size as eggplant rounds.  Layer eggplant rounds and meat patties in a circle, as shown above -- eggplant, meat patty, eggplant, meat patty...  Slice tomatoes and arrange on top.

Cover and bake for 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 20 minutes or until done.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Soft Bread with Flaky Crust

Made this bread last night and it was great.

Original recipe is here:  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Best-Bread-Machine-Bread/Detail.aspx.

Ingredients:
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed rosemary
2 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast

Directions:
Add ingredients in the order recommended by your bread machine manual.  Usually, you start with liquids and add yeast last.  Select Dough cycle (you can also use Basic or White Bread setting but I don't like holes left by the blade and always bake in the oven).  When dough is ready, shape it into two loaves, place on the greased pan, and let rise in a draft-free area until doubled (20-30 mins).  Preheat oven to 400 F and bake bread for 20-30 mins or until golden brown.  Brush with butter (you can some crushed garlic for extra flavor).

Corn Casserole

I cook a lot so not sure why I haven't made corn casserole before.  I tried this recipe last week and it's a winner!  S. and my brother insisted on eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Hope you will enjoy it, too.

The original recipe is here:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/corn-casserole-recipe/index.html

Ingredients:
1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15 1/4 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (8 oz) package corn muffin mix (Jiffy)
1 cup sour cream
1 egg (not in the original recipe)
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup shredded Cheddar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Stir together all ingredients except Cheddar cheese.  Pour into greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Bake 45 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and top with cheese.  Bake for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.  Let stand for at least 5 minutes and then serve warm.

I think it tastes better when reheated the next day so it's a great dish to prepare ahead.  Also, I may add bacon bits next time.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Peanut Butter Fruit Bars

Disclaimer:  I will NOT consume any of these bars.  S. is traveling this weekend and wanted a snack.  He loves peanut butter cookies and fruit bars so here is my creation, just for him!  He sampled one bar and promptly packed the rest.  Yay!!! :)

Peanut Butter Fruit Bars

Ingredients:

1. 1 pkg Krusteaz Bakery Style Peanut Butter Cookie Mix (17.5 oz)

2. 1 tbsp water

3. 1 egg

4. 3 tbsp vegetable oil

5. 2 tbsp butter, melted

6. ½ cup white chocolate chips

7. ¾ cup dried cranberries

8. ¾ cup dried apricots, chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Stir together water, egg, and oil.

3. Add cookie mix, fruit, and chocolate chips.

4. Mix, then add melted butter to form soft dough.

5. Press dough into lightly sprayed 9 x 9 x 2 pan.

6. Bake for 30 minutes.

7. Cool and cut into bars.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Baked Rosemary and Sage Chicken

Recipe is here.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (5-to 6-pound) chicken
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon paprika

Instructions

1.Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the parsley, rosemary, sage, salt, and pepper. Using your hand, gently separate the skin from the chicken and rub the seasoning mixture under the skin, inside the cavity and on the outside.

2.Place the chicken in an ungreased roasting pan and rub with the vegetable oil, then sprinkle with the paprika. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 2 hours.

3.Remove the aluminum foil and bake for 25 to 30 more minutes, or until no pink remains and the juices run clear.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back on Track!

I will get back on the diet tomorrow morning -- can't wait since I was making nice progress!  Also, I plan to write all day tomorrow.  Two goals -- reach my normal weight and finish my degree!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Exhausted...

I thought I knew what it feels like to be exhausted...  Well, the last couple of weeks added a new layer of understanding.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

To Do

Just looking at my long to-do list makes me tired...

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

What a sweet revenge!

I can't really go into details here but I have been dealing with a particular person for the last year or so who has been mean, selfish, and patronizing.  The situation escalated during the last couple of weeks because of this person's childish yet very harmful actions.  Honestly, I was not sure what to do, other than heading to my top administrators and asking them to intervene.  All this time I have been nice and polite.

Well, my good behavior paid off.  Something happened yesterday that brought that person's childish behavior to light.  Today, the effects were even more pronounced.  As a result, this person is likely to be on their best behavior, at least for now.

I am not a spiteful person but this feels good, especially since I haven't done anything mean in return.  Things just worked out for my benefit. :)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Exhausted beyond imagination...

The last two days were grueling and I still have so much to do... No time or energy for cooking anything so resorting to frozen dinners.  Hopefully, will get back into the routine soon.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Day 70: Picnic -- Kebabs and Veggies!

The weather is so nice today that we could not resist spending some time outdoors.  I made kebabs this morning and S. sliced veggies.  I bought extra-fresh pickling cucumbers yesterday as well as crispy lettuce and vine-ripened tomatoes.  I also made tsatziki sauce -- low-fat yogurt with garlic and dill.  Perfect food for a picnic!

Here is how I usually make kebabs:

Mix lean ground beef, finely chopped parsley, finely chopped onions, and salt/pepper.  Form into small "sausages" -- the kebab shape.  Fry in olive oil or bake in the oven for a healthier version.  Drain on paper towels to remove excess fat.

Serve with sauce and veggies inside pita bread (or lettuce leaves, in my case).

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Day 69: Unexpected Leftovers

S. called on his way home last night and suggested we go out to eat.  It's been a really long week and so I happily agreed.  We had a nice dinner and a long walk afterwards.  It was great! :)

And that means we can eat last night's dinner tonight... so don't have to spend time on cooking.  No complaints here! :)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Day 68: Frozen Food and Salad

Frozen food... does not sound enticing... but my choices for tonight should be tasty...

I am working all day today, trying to conquer midterm grades, so I can work on my prospectus tomorrow.  So far, making good progress!

To save time, I will cook a package of store-bought chicken and mushroom ravioli with wine sauce for S. and a package of lemon-butter grilled tilapia for myself (he is not crazy about fish while I love it).  I will also make a batch of these breadsticks for S. in my breadmaker.  Just before we eat tonight, we will make our favorite salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil).  Done!

Day 67: Chili

S. requested chili yesterday -- cooler weather is getting to him, too, apparently. :)  I had a long drive and so didn't have time to cook the "real" chili but I did improvise and he was happy.

After perusing after freezer, I found some leftover beef and mushroom stew.  Perfect base!

For his batch, I opened a can of Campbell's Chunky Roadhouse chili and emptied it into the slow cooker.  Then added leftover stew (after reserving some for my own batch).  OK, two more veggies!  I sauteed green peppers and vine-ripened tomatoes.  Added some chili seasoning...  And set on a medium setting to simmer for a couple of hours until S. got home, to blend flavors.

For my batch, I mixed leftover stew, sauteed green peppers and tomatoes, and some chili seasoning.

We enjoyed our "chili" with shredded cheese (non-fat for me).  I also made fresh bread for S. (no time for "real" bread so opened a can of French loaf).

Great dinner, with minimum efforts!  Yeah, not really "homemade" but it was good! :)

Day 66: Chicken and Veggies Soup

One deli roasted chicken lasts a long time for one person... :)

It's getting cooler so I felt like eating soup on Wednesday night, after another grueling day.

Bring a small pot of water to boil.  Meanwhile, saute mushrooms, green pepers, and tomatoes in 1/2 tbsp butter.  Add veggies and chicken (in bite-size chunks) and season to taste with salt/pepper, add finely chopped parsley.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Serve with low-fat cheese or sour cream.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 65: Chicken and Veggies Melts

Still have plenty of roasted chicken so made these yummy melts tonight.  I think they will actually make nice appetizers, hmmmm....
  1. Chop mushrooms and cook on high heat until slightly crispy. 
  2. Chop roasted chicken and add to the mushrooms. 
  3. Add a little bit of mayo, to hold mushrooms and chicken together.
  4. Spoon chicken-mushroom mixture onto sliced tomatoes.
  5. Sprinkle with non-fat cheese.
  6. Broil for a few minutes until cheese is melted.
  7. Arrange on lettuce leaves.
  8. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 64: Roasted Chicken with Salad plus Sharing the Road with Maniacs

Mondays are usually tough but today was even worse because of the weather.  I left the house at 4:00 am for a 3.5 hour drive.  Since I am not a morning person, that's usually bad enough.  I checked the weather forecast last night and so anticipated thunderstorms but, surprisingly, most of the drive was fairly pleasant.  The road was wet but it didn't rain and so I was able to enjoy the book on tape while sipping hot strong coffee I made before I left.  Until about 25 miles from my destination... 

It started raining so hard, my wipers weren't able to keep up.  The water could not run off fast enough so there were huge puddles everywhere.  The steam was rising from the hot pavement being cooled by the rain and so it was very foggy.  And it was still dark, of course...  And there were quite a few idiots, apparently with a death wish, who were speeding throught this mess, splashing everybody else who are crawling with emergency lights flashing for safety.  I mean, there is literally zero visibility.  The road is slippery and there are puddles everywhere so the chance of hydroplaning is enormous. 

I was exhaused by the time I got home tonight so stopped at Public and bought some roasted chicken, then made a simple salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers with black olives).  It was simple and tasty.  Now I need a nap before I conquer a mountain of papers to be graded by tomorrow.  Sigh...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 63: Salmon Cakes

This is my Mom's modified recipe.  She always adds sauteed onions and a bit of sweet water.

Ingredients:
1 lb fresh salmon, finely cubed (or coarsely ground)
1 egg
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Fine bread crumbs (I made several w/out bread crumbs to reduce my carb intake; S. wanted his with crumbs -- they taste better that way)
salt/pepper

Mix salmon, egg, parsley, and salt/pepper.  Form small cakes.  Coat in bread crumbs (or not) and fry in a skillet, greased with non-stick olive oil flavor spray, until golden brown.  Bake in a preheated oven (400 F) until done (10-15 mins or so).

I also made our typical cucumber, tomato, and lettuce salad.  It was a tasty, quick, and fairly healthy lunch.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 62: Vera Cruz Tomatoes

The original recipe is here.  I used roasted chicken and low-fat sour cream.  Bacon would taste better, of course.

Ingredients:

4 firm ripe tomatoes (I only buy vine-ripened tomatoes because they actually smell and taste like tomatoes, even though not as good as home-grown)
3 slices bacon (I used leftover roasted chicken)
1/4 cup chopped onion
8 ounces fresh spinach, stems snipped
1/2 cup sour cream (low-fat)
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (used salsa)
Salt to taste
1 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (low-fat)

Directions:

1.Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.

2.Cut tops from tomatoes; remove seeds and membranes. Place tomato shells upside down on paper towels to drain until filling.

3.Cook onion in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach; cook and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream, chicken, and salsa.

4.Sprinkle tomato shells with salt; fill evenly with chicken and spinach mixture. Place tomatoes in a prepared baking dish.

5.Bake in a preheated oven until hot, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and top evenly with shredded cheese. Return to the oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
 
We enjoyed this yummy dish with a simple lettuce salad as a delicious and light dinner.  S. also had a slice of leftover cake.  I sipped hot tea instead... sigh... losing weight is worth a little sacrifice, right?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 61: Like Dandelion Dust + Cheesecake Factory + Shopping = Fun

S. and I are going to see the new movie, Like Dandelion Dust, have dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, and then shop at the mall.  Both of us need to relax and have fun tonight!

Yes, Cheesecake Factory can sabotage any diet.  However, they do have quite a few choices that can be modified to fit most diets.  I wanted to look up the menu online but decided to wait and make my choice tonight.  Too much pre-planning takes away the fun, I think.

Day 60: Chicken Salad Wraps

I dislocated my thumb many years ago but the old injury is still bothering me sometimes, especially after typing all day like I did yesterday.  It was aching so bad that I wrapped it up and decided to take it easy, so nothing fancy for dinner.

Chicken Salad Wraps
Chop tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, and cooked chicken.  Add a bit of Walden Farms mayo.  Serve on lettuce leaves.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 59: Chicken with Eggplant, Peppers, and Olives

Today was not as bad so I treated myself to real dinner.  The original recipe is here.  It was great!  Just wish I could eat it with rice or pasta...

Chicken with Eggplant, Peppers, and Olives

Cooked Eggplant, fresh 17.0 cal 0.5 cup
Chicken Breast 280.3 cal 6 oz
Cooked Peppers, Green, fresh 19.0 cal 0.5 cup
Cooked Tomatoes, fresh 22.0 cal 0.5 cup
Olives, Black 25.0 cal 5 olives
Vinegar, Balsamic (Progresso) ,10 cal 1 tbsp
Salt, Table 0.0 cal 1 dash
Pepper, Black, Ground 0.3 cal 1 dash
Garlic, Raw 4.5 cal 1 clove

Directions:
In a colander, sprinkle chopped eggplant with salt and toss. Set aside.

Spray a large, nonstick skillet with olive oil cooking spray. Sauté chicken, cut into bite-size chunks, over high heat until browned. Remove and set aside.

Rinse eggplant with water and let drain. Combine minced garlic, chopped green peppers, and eggplant in a skillet and sauté over medium heat until softened, about 10 minutes. If skillet becomes too dry, add a bit of water.

Add chicken, chopped tomatoes, vinegar, sliced olives, and ground pepper to pan. Stir. Cover and let simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

Day 58: Tuna Salad

Yesterday I was so exhausted that I did not have any energy left... so I fixed a simple tuna salad (canned tuna, tomatoes, parsley, cucumbers, a little bit of mayo) and ate it on lettuce leaves.  Didn't even have energy to blog... so posting today.

Monday, September 20, 2010

On students who are daydreaming...

I do not allow students to use computers when I am talking unless they are doing something with me.  In that case, I walk to the back of the room so I have a good view of all monitors.  When I am talking from the front of the room, I ask them to put up keyboards.  Well, apparently I can't forbid daydreaming...

This morning, I explained what was due next week (auditory learners), displayed the course calendar (visual learners), and then asked them what was due, receiving a chorus response.  Then I answered questions about these assignments.  Finally, I asked again if they had any other questions.  One student raised his/her hand and asked what was due.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!  Where have you been for the last twenty minutes?  This person was looking at me but not listening, apparently!

Day 57: Egg Salad Wrap

Mix chopped eggs, parsley, olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  Add a bit of salad dressing.  Serve in lettuce leaves.

Mondays are usually tough -- a long early-morning drive, then two classes.  I had to run quite a few errands this afternoon, too.  One involved walking across campus in high heels -- not a good idea in this heat.  I was exhausted but, thankfully, did not get any blisters and it was a good exercise.

Eggs, Whole 213.0 cal 3 eggs

Raw Tomatoes 16.0 cal 0.5 cup

Raw Cucumber, no peel 7.0 cal 0.5 cup

Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup

Kraft Light Done Right Ranch 40.0 cal 1 tbsp

Parsley, Raw 0.7 cal 0.5 tbsp

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 56: Back to the Diet: Omelettes for Breakfast

Since we had all those carbs yesterday, I was very hungry this morning so made omelettes with mushrooms, green peppers, and tomatoes for breakfast.  Since I love omelettes, it was a good way to jump-start the diet.

Eggs, Whole 213.0 cal 3 eggs
Cooked Mushrooms, Portabella, fresh 21.0 cal 0.5 cup
Cooked Tomatoes, fresh 22.0 cal 0.5 cup
Cooked Peppers, Green, fresh 19.0 cal 0.5 cup
Salt, Table 0.0 cal 1 dash
Pepper, Black, Ground 0.3 cal 1 dash
Parsley, Raw 1.4 cal 1 tbsp
Cheddar Cheese, Shredded, Nonfat (Kraft) ,Natural 10.0 cal 1 tbsp

Coconut-Almond Cake

Cake Ingredients:

  • Cake Flour, 2 1/2 cups
  • Baking Powder, 1 tablespoon
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Butter, 1 1/2 sticks
  • Sugar, 1 1/2 cups
  • Milk, 1 cup
  • Almond Extract, 2 teaspoons
  • Vanilla Extract, 1 teaspoon
  • Egg Whites, 6

Topping Ingredients:

  • Whipping Cream, 2 1/2 cups
  • Sugar, 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla Extract, 1 teaspoon
  • Coconut Extract, 2 teaspoons (not shown, I forgot to get it out)
  • Sliced Almonds, 2/3 cup
  • White Chocolate, 4  one-ounce squares
  • Shredded Coconut, 2 to 3 cups

Directions:

1.       Preheat oven to 350 and spray  two 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray. 
2.       Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set it aside.
3.       Combine milk and vanilla and almond extracts.
4.       Beat the butter until it’s light and fluffy.  Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until it’s light.
5.       With the mixer on medium speed, add about a third of the flour mixture.
6.       Then mix in about a third of the milk mixture.  Continue alternating and mix just until it’s well-blended.
7.       Beat the egg whites until they’re stiff.
8.       Fold the egg whites into the batter, about a third at a time.
9.       Spread the batter evenly in the pans and bake for 35 minutes or so, until a toothpick comes out clean.
10.    Once the cake is cool, start on the whipped cream.  Put the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes and make sure the cream is very cold.  Beat the cream until it begins to thicken then add the sugar, vanilla and coconut extracts.  Continue beating until it’s very thick.
11.    Place one layer on a cake plate with wax paper strips under the edges to contain the mess.  Spread generously with whipped cream then sprinkle with coconut and almonds.
12.    Shave white chocolate over the top.
13.    Spread a layer of whipped cream on the second layer and sprinkle it with coconut.
14.    Place that layer, cream side down, on top of the first layer.
15.    Cover the whole thing with whipped cream.
16.    Repeat the coconut, almond and white chocolate.
17.    Decorate with fresh raspberries or strawberries.

Notes on the Cake:
*Layers are fluffy and closely resemble white chiffon cake.  Light and fluffy, with a delicate coconut taste and aroma.  Not overly sweet like a lot of store-bought cakes.
*I followed instructions and used two layers.  However, they were too thick and so a bit dry.  Next time, I will cut each layer in half.
*I will also make a little bit more frosting (maybe 1.5 portion).  It was barely enough.
*I lightly toasted coconut flakes (3 mins in the microwave, have to watch closely and mix after each minute; burn easily) and roasted almond slices in the skillet until light golden brown.
*I used more white chocolate that stated in the recipe -- since cake itself is not very sweet, white chocolate is essential in this cake and becomes a part of perfect harmony with coconuts, almonds, and sweet whipped cream.
*Raspberries added a special touch so will use them again (or other berries).

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 54: Chicken, Broccoli, and Mushroom Stir-Fry

Saute chicken in olive oil until cooked, remove and set aside.  Saute garlic, mushrooms, and broccoli in the same skillet, adding more oil if necessary.  Season with salt/pepper.  Serve in lettuce leaves.

Chicken Breast 280.3 cal 6 oz
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Cooked Broccoli, fresh 27.0 cal 0.5 cup
Cooked Mushrooms, Portabella, fresh 21.0 cal 0.5 cup
Oil, Olive (Salad or Cooking) 40.0 cal 1 tsp

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 53: Boring but Quick Chicken Salad...

Beauty and I drove back this afternoon.  The weather was much better and her behavior has improved but it was still a long drive and I am exhausted...

Nothing fancy tonight -- leftover chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber, with a dash of salt/pepper and a little bit of dressing.  It's always good! :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Excuse, excuses...

One of my students stayed after class today and we had this conversation...

Student:  "I am behind on my assignments."

Ms. Alice:  "OK, I know that.  Are you planning to meet the next deadline?  What can I do to help?"

Student:  "I don't know, I will try...  Oh, give me extra credit, pleeeeeeeease."

Ms. Alice:  "If you can't complete scheduled assignments, how are you planning to complete extra credit work?"

Student:  "Oh, I don't know...  But it's not my fault!  I did not know it's a web-enhanced course and so we meet only once a week.  I don't have a computer at home and so can only work during class time."

Ms. Alice:  "Did you register for classes on your own?"

Student:  "Yes, of course."

Ms. Alice:  "Well, here you go -- you did know this class only meets once each week.  As for computer access, there are plenty of computer labs on this campus.  One of them is even open on Saturdays."

Why do I have to explain common-sense stuff like this?!

Day 52: Cheese and Ground Beef Stuffed Zucchini

The original recipe is here.  Obviously, it's much better than my version...  Still, it should be yummy.

Cheese and Ground Beef Stuffed Zucchini
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 
  2. Butter (with non-stick butter-flavor spray) a baking dish.
  3. Brown beef in a skillet, then drain.
  4. Partially cook one small zucchini in the microwave on high for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Combine fat-free cheddar cheese, non-fat cottage cheese, meat, and salt/pepper, in a small bowl.
  6. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.  Spoon the mixture into each half.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, then broil for a few minutes until golden brown.  Sprinkle with parsley.
  8. Serve with crispy lettuce salad.
Ground Beef 95% Lean 232.0 cal 5 oz
Cooked Zucchini, fresh 28.0 cal 1 cup
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Kraft Light Done Right Italian 10.0 cal 0.5 tbsp
Cheddar Cheese, Shredded, Nonfat (Kraft) ,Natural 10.0 cal 1 tbsp
Cottage Cheese, Nonfat (Knudsen) ,`Free` 10.0 cal 1 tbsp
Parsley, Raw 0.7 cal 0.5 tbsp

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 51: Sauteed Tilapia

Sauteed Tilapia with Steamed Cauliflower and Lettuce-Tomato Salad

Season tilapia with salt/pepper and saute in lemon butter.  Serve with steamed cauliflower and lettuce-tomato salad.  Original recipe is here.

Tilapia 257.0 cal 7 oz
Cooked Cauliflower, fresh 14.0 cal 0.5 cup
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Raw Tomatoes 16.0 cal 0.5 cup
Butter, Unsalted 34.0 cal 1 tsp
Kraft Light Done Right Italian 20.0 cal 1 tbsp
Salt, Table 0.0 cal 1 dash
Pepper, Black, Ground 0.3 cal 1 dash

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 50: Egg-Olive Salad on Tomato and Cucumber Slices

Egg-Olive Salad on Tomato and Cucumber Slices

Chop eggs (or use egg slicer), add a little bit of light mayonnaise or dressing and chopped olives, season to taste with salt/pepper/favorite herbs (I used fresh parsley).  Spoon or pipe onto thin tomato and cucumber slices.  Decorate with more parsley.

Eggs, Whole 213.0 cal 3 eggs
Raw Tomatoes 32.0 cal 1 cup (double portion so two veggies)
Raw Cucumber, with peel 8.0 cal 0.5 cup
Olives, Black 25.5 cal 5 olives
Mayonnaise, Light (Kraft) 25.0 cal 0.5 tbsp

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Snoozester

Sign up for a free Snoozester account

I posted this link, in case you're wondering it's spam.  My cell phone is dying and so the alarm clock went crazy yesterday.  We did not have time to get a new phone for me today but I have to wake up early tomorrow and don't want to oversleep.  S. usually relies on me to wake him up so Snoozester to the rescue, to make sure both S. and I are on time tomorrow morning.

Day 49: Quick Chicken Salad

Totally exhausted tonight -- a long drive in a very bad weather with a nervous puppy...  Yeah, not fun...

Don't have time to count calories but I am pretty sure I am on target -- leftover chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, some dressing.  Done.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 48: Steak & Mushroom Melts/Wraps

S. requested a panini for lunch so I wanted something similar.  I made his with Italian bread slices and Pizza Blend cheese. 

Steak & Mushroom Melts/Wraps
I layered cooked steak and mushrooms (two small mounds), sprinkled with non-fat cheese, and broiled until cheese was bubbling.  Then I transfered my creation onto two large lettuce leaves and rolled them up.  Yummy with tomato salad -- made enough salad to enjoy with S.

Beef Steak 277.0 cal 5 oz
Cooked Mushrooms, Portabella, fresh 21.0 cal 0.5 cup
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Raw Tomatoes 16.0 cal 0.5 cup
Kraft Light Done Right Italian 20.0 cal 1 tbsp
Cheddar Cheese, Shredded, Nonfat (Kraft), Natural 40.0 cal 0.25 cup

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 47: Warm Steak, Portabella Mushroom, Cucumber, and Lettuce Salad

Warm Steak, Portabella Mushrooms, Cucumber, and Lettuce Salad

Saute mushrooms, adding sliced cooked steak to warm up.  Shred lettuce.  Slice cucumber.  Arrange everything on a plate.  Lightly drizzle with dressing.

Beef Steak 277.0 cal 5 oz
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Raw Cucumber, with peel 8.0 cal 0.5 cup
Cooked Mushrooms, Portabella, fresh 21.0 cal 0.5 cup
Butter, Unsalted 17.0 cal 0.5 tsp
Kraft Light Done Right Italian 20.0 cal 1 tbsp

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Day 46: Leftover soup!

Another long day... I am thankful for leftovers...

Zip-Lock Folders... hmmm... :)

Ms. Alice,

Here is my Zip-Lock folder with assignments.

Student

Clarification:  This student is referring to a Compressed (zipped) folder.  I require them to save all documents in one folder, zip it, and submit electronically so I can easily download all files at once.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Day 45: Jack Mackerel Soup

OK, this recipe may sound strange but it's actually very good.  Also, Jack (Pacific) Mackerel is packed with omega-3s.  Three ounces of most species of cooked mackerel provide 1.1 to 1.7 g of omega-3s (except King Mackerel which is high in mercury).

Jack Mackerel Soup
Break fish into bite-size chunks, pour into a small pot, and add water (I usually use 4 cups per large can).  Bring fish and water to boil.  Meanwhile, saute veggies (I used tomatoes and green peppers but would strongly recommend onions and potatoes) in butter.  Add to fish broth.  Add salt to taste.  Tonight, I also added 1 small wedge of Reduced Fat Laughing Cow Tomato Basil Cheese to make soup creamier.  It was yummy and filling!

Jack Mackerel, Canned 221.1 cal 5 oz
Cooked Tomatoes, fresh 22.0 cal 0.5 cup
Butter, Unsalted 17.0 cal 0.5 tsp
Cheese, Mini (Laughing Cow) ,`Reduced Mini` 36.4 cal 0.6 oz
Cooked Peppers, Green, fresh 19.0 cal 0.5 cup

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Day 44: Omelet with Green Peppers and Tomatoes; Lettuce Salad.

I had a long day and so decided to make a quick omelet and salad.  Yummy, healthy, and fast!

Eggs, Whole 213.0 cal 3 eggs plus 2 tbsp water, beaten
Kraft Light Done Right Italian 20.0 cal 1 tbsp
Cooked Peppers, Green, fresh 19.0 cal 0.5 cup
Cooked Tomatoes, fresh 22.0 cal 0.5 cup
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Cheddar Cheese, Shredded, Nonfat (Kraft) ,Natural 40.0 cal 0.25 cup
Salt, Table 0.0 cal 1 dash

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day Dinner: Roasted Shrimp with Romesco Dip, Steak Skewers, Crispy Potatoes, and Salad; Fresh Wafer Bowls and Ice Cream

Roasted Shrimp and Romesco Dip
I wanted to try this recipe for several months now.  Finally, remembered to buy roasted peppers and smoked paprika (missing ingredients) on Friday and decided to make it for this afternoon's party.  I just roasted a trial batch of shrimp to try with dip.  Now have to chase S. away from the bowl!!!  I doubled the recipe to make sure we have enough for the company.  I did not add bread yet -- will add just before serving so it won't become soggy.  Or maybe I should just serve toasted bread slices? 

Tomato Basil Bread
I made this bread to use with dip.  It's a great recipe and I will definitely use it again.

Montreal Spice Steak Skewers
Nothing unusual about steak...  I usually marinade it overnight in balsamic vinegar-olive oil-Montreal Steak spice mix and then let S. do his magic on the grill. :)  He helped me skewer meat, mushrooms, and green pepper and onion chunks this morning.

Crispy Potatoes
baking potatoes (Yukon Gold works best)

extra-virgin olive oil
cayenne pepper
garlic salt
pepper

Peel potatoes and cut into wedges (2" x 3"). Soak in cold salted water for one hour. Preheat oven to 400 F. Drain potatoes and pat with paper towels. Coat potatoes with olive oil, then spices. Spread on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 mins and turn; bake for 15 more mins or until light brown and crispy.

Tomato, Cucumber, and Lettuce Salad
Slice veggies.  Add crumbled feta cheese, chopped marinated olives, and olive oil.

Fresh Wafer Bowls with Ice Cream
Mom gave me a wafer cone maker for b-day.  Of course, I had to try it out!  However, cones rolled using the tool provided are huge.  I decided to make little bowls instead by placing each soft wafer into a dip bowl and letting it cool.  Perfect solution!

Planning is, of course, very important for any party. 
  • I made dip earlier today and bread (made yesterday) is sliced and ready for toasting.
  • Steak and shrimp were marinating overnight.
  • We assembled steak skewers this morning.
  • Salad is ready, too.
  • Wafer bowls were made this morning.
  • Potatoes are soaking now to be dried and baked as guests begin to arrive.
  • Plates, glasses, utensils, and napkins are ready.
  • Drinks are chilled.
  • Veggies, cheese, and fruit are on the platter, ready to be served.
  • S. will grill shrimp as guests begin to arrive.
  • As guests are enjoying shrimp and dip, S. will start grilling skewers and I will place potatoes into the oven.  This way, we can keep an eye on the grill/oven and still mingle with guests.
  • We will finish with wafer bowls and ice-cream.
OK, better run -- the door bell is ringing!

Day 43: Portion Control, Portion Control, Portion Control...

I have been wondering through a "mine field" since Thursday, from b-day dinner out to Sunday lunch to today's party.  Trying my best to meet the requirements of one lean & green meal per day...

This afernoon, I will limit myself to 2-3 shrimp and small piece of steak (3-4 oz) for the lean part.  I will eat a regular serving of salad (cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce with olives, feta cheese, and olive oil) for the green part plus healthy fat.  A spoonful of dip will be extra but oh well...  Back to more controlled eating tomorrow so I can lose more weight!

Losing Weight Project: Day 42/Pork Tenderloin with Veggies and Salad

We went to see S.'s parents after church yesterday and so I was prepared to eat whatever was available because I did not want to call too much attention to the diet.  Should have known better -- my mother-in-law is a great cook who provides a variety of choices!  I had delicious pork tenderloin (have to get a recipe, it was so tender and juicy), roasted okra, and salad.  Perfect!  I will post a recipe when I have it.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 41/Hamburgers!

I am still coding and analyzing data...  Had been working all day... so tired...

S. took care of dinner tonight -- grilled lean hamburgers and made cucumber-tomato salad with olive oil and fresh parsley!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, honey! :)  Delicious dinner that meets my diet requirements, wow!  Of course, he was also crunching on potato chips.  I told him to keep the bag far away so I won't be tempted to grab a handful.

I ate my hamburger on lettuce, with calorie-free ketchup and mayo (Walden Farms products are available at Publix, by the way).  Yummy!

OK, back to work.  I want -- no, NEED -- to finish tonight!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Frustrated!

So I cleared my schedule to work on prospectus this weekend...  Only to receive a request, very nicely phrased and disguised as a favor but still a request, for data analysis from one of the top administrators.  The original coding must have been done by somebody totally ignorant.  Why would anybody in their right mind enter several variables into one column?!?!  I spent all day recoding and figuring out how to analyze these data.  So tired -- and frustrated... wasn't able to do any of my own writing!!!

Losing Weight Project: Day 40/Plenty of Yummy Leftovers

Very busy today -- tons of data to enter.  Thankfully, we have plenty of leftovers from yesterday so I was able to put three veggies and one meat lean & green meal together.

Losing Weight Project: Day 39/Japanese Steakhouse for My B-Day!

S. and I went out last night for my b-day! :)  Japanese Steakhouse a few miles from us offers a free birthday dinner so we decided to take an advantage of that.  It would have been a great choice regardless of the offer because we have eaten there before and the food is fabulous, portions are huge, and grill "show" is spectacular. 

Both of us had to work late and so didn't get to the restaurant until 8:00 pm.  Because it was Thursday night, there were only a few other couples there.  They left while we were still eating miso soup and salad so we were the only ones at the grill when the chef arrived to prepare our food.  The waitress told him it was my b-day and he put on an extra-nice show, repeating some of the usual "fire" presentations so we could take photos.  S. ordered steak and chicken dinner and my entree of shrimp, scallops, and lobster was free, so we got to sample everything.

Honestly, I was not really paying attention to the "diet" last night but, after doing it for over a month, I was still aware of what I was eating.  I did eat some fried rice because I could not resist -- this place makes the best fried rice in the area, really.  However, I mostly ate veggies and seafood-meat -- my favorites anyway -- so I think I was still within "diet requirements" or at least close. :)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I am over two weeks late but ready for class now! No kidding?!

So a student waltzes into my 9:00 am class, at 10:07 am, and announces that s/he is ready for class now.  Apparently this individual registered late and then decided to take another week to get ID, parking sticker, books, etc.  It usually takes less than an hour, if that long, to accomplish all of those "formidable" tasks.  As a result, this student is over two weeks late for class and missed two deadlines already.  Because of first week required attendance policy, this student is no longer enrolled in any classes so I had to burst the bubble of excitement.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 38/Creamy Yellow Squash

Creamy Yellow Squash
Chopped squash and sauteed in 1/2 tsp butter; added 1 tbsp fat-free cream cheese.  Hmmm... not bad at all!

Leftover ribs (still yummy!) and lettuce salad w/fat-free dressing completed the meal.

Pork Tenderloin 265.0 cal 5 oz
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Butter, Unsalted 17.0 cal 0.5 tsp
Kraft Light Done Right Italian 20.0 cal 1 tbsp
Salad Dressing, Tomato Basil (Cook`s Classics) 12.2 cal 1 tbsp
Cooked Squash, Summer, fresh 36.0 cal 1 cup

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 37/Tomato-Basil Pork Ribs w/Mushrooms

Tomato-Basil Pork Ribs w/Sauteed Mushrooms
I bought a package of lean pork ribs on the way home tonight, marinated them in tomato-basil dressing, and grilled until done.  Enjoyed them with sauteed mushrooms and lettuce salad.  Yummy! :)

Pork Tenderloin 265.0 cal 5 oz

Cooked Mushrooms, fresh 44.0 cal 1.0 cup
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Butter, Unsalted 17.0 cal 0.5 tsp
Kraft Fat-Free Italian 15.0 cal 1 tbsp
Salad Dressing, Tomato Basil (Cook`s Classics) 12.2 cal 1 tbsp

Monday, August 30, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 36/Grilled Chicken Salad

I left the house at 4:00 am this morning and had a very long day so no energy to cook...  Pre-cooked grilled chicken strips to the rescue!

Grilled Chicken Salad
Reheat chicken in the skilled sprayed with non-stick olive oil flavor spray (I don't like to reheat in the microwave oven because chicken becomes rubbery) and chop into bite-size chunks.  Chop lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.  Drizzle with your favorite dressing.  Done!

Chicken Breast 280.3 cal 6 oz

Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Raw Tomatoes 16.0 cal 0.5 cup
Raw Cucumber, with peel 8.0 cal 0.5 cup
Kraft Light Done Right Italian 40.0 cal 2 tbsp

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gardening and Grading

The weather was so nice and cool today -- finally!  We spent the day cleaning the yard.  Well, S. spent the day cleaning the yard. :)  I helped a bit with raking but mostly played with Beauty, inside and outside, so she won't get in trouble, and graded.  Yep, back to the worst part of my job -- grading.

It's going to be a tough day tomorrow -- have to drive 3.5 hours very early tomorrow morning, then teach two classes.  We're learning Twitter so I am a little nervous because I never personally liked to tweet and it's easier to teach something you're truly enjoying.  I am prepared, though, and some students are already tweeting so I will ask them to share and help the newbies.

Losing Weight Project: Day 35/Leftovers!!!

Same as yesterday...

Losing Weight Project: Day 34/BBQ Beef and Salad

Our router-modem decided to quit so we didn't have Internet.  After hours on the phone, we were finally able to connect last night.  What a relief!

I made this yummy and fairly healthy recipe:

BBQ Beef
I bought a package of lean Denver Cut steak on sale and decided to BBQ in a slow-cooker.  Season meat with favorite spices (I just used salt-pepper).  Some people pre-bake first, to remove fat.  I just cooked in a slow cooker on high for a couple of hours, until there was lots of liquid.  Drain the liquid and cover meat with your favorite BBQ sauce.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.  It was delicious and, because I started with a lean cut and then drained most of the fat, I think it was fairly healthy, too.

We enjoyed it with a simple salad -- lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, salt/pepper, and olive oil (just drizzle for taste).

Here is an approximate calorie breakdown (spices not included):

Beef Steak 277.0 cal 5 oz
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Raw Cucumber, with peel 8.0 cal 0.5 cup
Raw Tomatoes 16.0 cal 0.5 cup
Barbecue Sauce, Hickory Smoke (Kraft) 20 cal 1 tbsp
Oil, Olive (Salad or Cooking) 20.0 cal 0.5 tsp

Friday, August 27, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 33/Rosemary Lamb with Green Beans Almondine

 MeRecording every meal is one of the most important requirements for this diet plan.  I am not as tempted to "cheat" while "estimating" because the difference in calories is glaring and reminds me that I will have to pay for my choices through exercise or, even worse, lack of progress.  However, I am tired of blogging every Medifast meal because, after the first month or so, it's all the same and does not hold any interest.  I have settled into my routine, more or less -- (1) shake for breakfast, (2) snack bar or oatmeal cookies for mid-morning snack, (3) soup or lean & green meal for lunch (I prefer to eat lean & green for lunch if I have time to cook), (4) pudding or parmesan puffs for mid-afternoon snack, (5) soup or lean & green for dinner, and (6) either shake or hot drink (hot cocoa or cappuccino) for evening snack.  There is almost no variation in calories for Medifast meals (approximately 500 calories per day) so I won't blog about them anymore, even though I will keep recording.

Instead, I will share my lean & green recipes.  First, you don't have to be on a diet to use these recipes.  Second, it's more important to be careful on this meal because calories can vary dramatically.

S. and I are spending the long weekend together so I am cooking for two, which is much easier than cooking for fun.  And sharing meals at the same table instead of a lonely table settting...  What a bliss! :)

I usually stay away from lamb because it tends to be rather fatty.  However, I bought a couple of really nice small lamb chops today and decided to try this recipe (found on the package):

Rosemary Lamb
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground mustard (didn't use)
1/2 tsp oregano (didn't use)
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Process all spices in a blender until coarsely ground.  Rub lamb with spice mix on both sides.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 F for 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours or until meat reaches desired doneness.

Green Beans Almondine
Steam green beans.  Saute slivered almonds in butter until golden brown.  Mix with green beans.

I will also make a lettuce and cucumber salat with a low-calorie Italian dressing.

Green & Lean Calories
Lamb Loin 310.1 cal 5 oz
Rosemary Leaf, Fresh 2.2 cal 1 tbsp
Pepper, Black, Ground 2.7 cal 0.5 tsp
Salt, Table 0.0 cal 0.5 tsp
Garlic Powder 2.3 cal 0.25 tsp
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Raw Cucumber, with peel 8.0 cal 0.5 cup
Cooked Green Beans, frozen 19.0 cal 0.5 cup
Almond, Dry Roasted, 24 cal 0.5 tbsp
Butter, Unsalted 34.0 cal 1 tsp
Light Italian 15 cal 1 tbsp

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 32

Yesterday's meal plan was good so same thing today. :)  I will try to be more creative tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 31/Chicken "a la King" and Cauliflower "Rice"

Another looooooooooooooong day...  Three recipes tonight:

Cheesy Eggs
Mix Medifast eggs per instructions.  Spray the skillet with non-stick butter-flavored spray.  Scramble with low-fat Laughing Cow cheese (I had sun-dried tomato flavor).  Yummy, I mean non-diet yummy, really!

Chicken "a la King"
The real recipe is here but, of course, I had to modify it so it was nothing like the original...  Still, it was good so maybe this recipe will be useful to somebody.

Saute mushrooms and deli chicken in 1 tsp of butter.  Add 1 tbsp of non-fat sour cream and season with salt/pepper/favorite spices.

Cauliflower "Rice"
The recipe is found here.  Honestly, to call it "rice" requires imagination but it was pretty good.

Shred cauliflower so you get little "rice kernels."  Microwave in a covered dish (I microwaved for 1 minute but maybe you have to do it longer for more rice-like consistency).  Season to your taste.

I also made a small lettuce salad with fat-free Italian dressing.  Overall, a very tasty, nutritious, and healthy dinner.  I won't mind preparing it again.

Breakfast
Medifast Scrambled Eggs 100.0 cal 1 Each

Cheese, Mini (Laughing Cow) ,`Reduced Mini` 30.4 cal 0.5 oz

Mid-Morning
Medifast Strawberry Creme 55 Shake 90.0 cal 1 Each

Lunch
Medifast Cinnamon Roll Crunch Bar 110.0 cal 1 Each

Afternoon
Medifast Chicken Noodle Soup 100.0 cal 1 Each

Dinner
Chicken Breast 280.3 cal 6 oz
Cooked Mushrooms, White, fresh 34.0 cal 0.5 cup
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Butter, Unsalted 34.0 cal 1 tsp
Sour Cream, Nonfat (Land O`Lakes) 5.0 cal 1 tsp
Cooked Cauliflower, fresh 14.0 cal 0.5 cup
Kraft Light Done Right Italian 20.0 cal 1 tbsp

Evening
Medifast Swiss Mocha 55 Shake 90.0 cal 1 Each

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 30/Raspberry Mocha

Another very long and busy day... I am exhausted...  Didn't have any energy to cook so decided deli chicken and veggies would do.  Sorry, no real recipes tonight.  I did enjoy this for my morning meal:

Raspberry Mocha
Strong Coffee
Medifast Hot Chocolate
Calorie-Free Raspberry Syrup

Breakfast
Medifast Hot Chocolate 110.0 cal 1 Each
Mid-Morning
Medifast Peach Oatmeal 110.0 cal 1 Each

Lunch
Medifast Maryland Crab Soup 110.0 cal 1 Each

Afternoon
Medifast Oatmeal Raisin Crunch Bar 110.0 cal 1 Each

Dinner
Chicken Breast 280.3 cal 6 oz
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Cauliflower In Cheese Flavored Sauce, Frozen (Green Giant) ,Cheese & Cream Sauce Veg 30.0 cal 0.25 cup
Kraft Light Done Right Italian 20.0 cal 1 tbsp
Raw Tomatoes 16.0 cal 0.5 cup

Evening
Medifast Orange Creme 55 Shake 90.0 cal 1 Each

Monday, August 23, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 29/Poached Cod with Sauteed Mushrooms and Lettuce-Tomato Salad

Exhausted today -- a long, long day...

Poached Cod with Sauteed Mushrooms and Lettuce-Tomato Salad

Combine water, lemon juice, bay leaf, and peppercorns in a large non-stick skillet. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cod, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer covered for 5-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.  While fish is cooking, saute mushrooms in olive oil (butter would taste better, of course).  Arrange fish on a plate and cover with mushrooms; sprinkle with fresh parsley.  Serve with lettuce-tomato salad.

Breakfast
Medifast Swiss Mocha 55 Shake 90.0 cal 1 Each

Mid-Morning
Medifast Cinnamon Roll Crunch Bar 110.0 cal 1 Each

Lunch
Medifast Peach Oatmeal 110.0 cal 1 Each (3 cookies)
Baking Powder (Calumet) 0.0 cal 0.25 tsp

Afternoon
Medifast Chicken & Wild Rice Soup 100.0 cal 1 Each

Dinner
Cod 208.2 cal 7 oz
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Cooked Mushrooms, White, fresh 34.0 cal 0.5 cup
Kraft Light Done Right Italian 20.0 cal 1 tbsp
Raw Tomatoes 16.0 cal 0.5 cup
Oil, Olive (Salad or Cooking) 20.0 cal 0.5 tsp
Parsley, Raw 1.4 cal 1 tbsp
Kraft Light Done Right Italian 40.0 cal 2 tbsp

Evening
Medifast French Vanilla 55 Shake 90.0 cal 1 Each

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 28/Eating Out!

As of this morning, I am 17 lbs lighter!  Most people don't realize yet because I am still wearing the same clothes.  However, everything fits much better and I feel great.  S. surprised me with a reservation at our favorite French restaurant -- he is so sweet...  I chose Fresh Trout Sauté Almondine -- what a treat!  Yeah, I know, all that butter... but I ate half of the entree and salad and let S. have my rolls.

This morning, I made Medifast eggs for myself and real scrambled eggs for S. so both of us very happy.  He also enjoyed freshly baked bread but I resisted; suprisingly, it was not difficult -- I guess I am really into this project...  Tonight, I plan to do the same -- Medifast soup for me and "real" soup for S.  It's getting easier to share meals! :)

Breakfast
Medifast Scrambled Eggs 100.0 cal 1 Each

Mid-Morning
Medifast Banana Creme 55 Shake 90.0 cal 1 Each

Lunch
Trout, Rainbow, 120.0 cal 1 fillet
Butter, Unsalted 204.0 cal 2 tbsp -- Ouch!  Oh, well, it was a real treat!
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Cooked Mushrooms, Portabella, fresh 21.0 cal 0.5 cup
Cooked Broccoli, fresh 27.0 cal 0.5 cup
Kraft Light Done Right Italian 40.0 cal 2 tbsp

Afternoon
Medifast Banana Creme 55 Shake 90.0 cal 1 Each

Dinner
Medifast Chicken Noodle Soup 100.0 cal 1 Each

Evening
Medifast Cappuccino 100.0 cal 1 Each

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 27/Squash Crust Pizza with Turkey Meatballs, Tomatoes, and Green Peppers

OK, one more portion of ground turkey!  Honestly, I am getting tired of it...  I found this recipe and decided to give it a try, with modifications of course.  Let's see how it will turn out...

Squash Crust Pizza with Turkey Meatballs, Tomatoes, and Green Peppers

Shred squash, drain excess liquid, and add favorite seasonings.  Flatten into a mini-pizza.  Spray the pizza pan with non-stick spray and bake "pizza" crust at 400 F until the bottom is crispy (because I did not use eggs or flour, it's easily falling part so .  Flip the "pizza" crust, top with sauce, cheese, veggies, and mini-meatballs.  Bake until cheese is golden brown.

Breakfast
Medifast Scrambled Eggs 100.0 cal 1 Each

Parsley, Raw 0.7 cal 0.5 tbsp

Mid-Morning
Medifast Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal 100.0 cal 1 Each

Lunch
Ground Turkey 333.0 cal 5 oz
Cooked Squash, Summer, fresh 18.0 cal 0.5 cup
Cooked Tomatoes, fresh 22.0 cal 0.5 cup
Cooked Peppers, Green, fresh 19.0 cal 0.5 cup
Cheddar Cheese, Shredded, Nonfat (Kraft) ,Natural 40.0 cal 0.25 cup
Pizza Sauce, Original (Contadina) 30.0 cal 0.25 cup

Afternoon
Medifast Vanilla Pudding 100.0 cal 1 Each

Dinner
Medifast Chicken & Wild Rice Soup 100.0 cal 1 Each

Evening
Medifast Banana Creme 55 Shake 90.0 cal 1 Each

Friday, August 20, 2010

Peer Communication

Friday!!! We had training this morning and then I had to meet with one of my students... and talk with a part-time faculty member who, I think, is just lonely and wants to talk because the issue was not important at all. This person called at 8:00 am this morning, at my house. Yes, 8:00 am, on Friday, our day off, using my home phone number! I have to be careful not to offend this individual because we desperately need part-timers but will have a face-to-face discussion next week about what is and is not appropriate. I don't mind helping but there are certain boundaries. Hopefully, it was a one-time deal and won't happen again.

Update:  We talked and this instructor apologized.  Apparently, our adjuncts don't realize that we are on a four-day schedule.  Well, theoretically...  That's probably why most people don't even know about the four-day thing.  Many meetings and workshops are scheduled on Fridays but the college is officially closed at noon and we're not supposed to be on campus after 12:00.  Still, it was not appropriate to call at home...  Apparently, it's a common practice at the person's full-time employment.

For my part, I was firm but very nice and understanding.  We were able to resolve this situation peacefully and, I think, gained a new level of respect for each other.

Losing Weight Project: Day 26/Turkey Meatballs with Cheesy Cauliflower

One more ground turkey recipe...  I am trying to use my freezer contents and they are not individually packaged so, once I defrost something, I have to use it up because all of us know what refreezing does to any food.  That's another change I am making -- before freezing, divide into small portions.  Even better, of course, is to buy just what we need but it's not always possible because of convenience and cost.

Turkey Meatballs with Cheesy Cauliflower
Mix ground turkey (or beef) with favorite spices (I used salt and oregano) and finely chopped parsley.  Fry or steam (I chose to steam).  I bought a package of individual servings of cheesy cauliflower, only 30 calories each, so heated up one serving for today.  Also, made a simple green salad (romaine lettuce with dressing).  Fast, easy, healthy, and tasty!

Breakfast
Medifast Orange Creme 55 Shake 90.0 cal 1 Each
This is one of my favorite shakes.  Tip:  Always add ice!

Mid-Morning
Medifast Lemon Meringue Crunch Bar 110.0 cal 1 Each

Lunch
Ground Turkey 333.0 cal 5 oz
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 16.0 cal 2 cup
Kraft Light Done Right Italian 20.0 cal 1 tbsp
Cauliflower In Cheese Flavored Sauce, Frozen 30.0 cal 0.25 cup
Salt, Table 0.0 cal 1 dash
Oregano, Dried (Spice Islands) 4.8 cal 0.5 tsp
Parsley, Raw 1.4 cal 1 tbsp

Afternoon
Medifast Vanilla Pudding 100.0 cal 1 Each

Dinner
Medifast Chicken Noodle Soup 100.0 cal 1 Each

Evening
Medifast Banana Creme 55 Shake 90.0 cal 1 Each

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 25/Turkey, Yellow Squash, and Parsley Pancakes + Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

Another long day but I am encouraged by class dynamics.  Anybody who has taught for some time knows what I am referring to -- you just know how the class will progress on the very first day.  So far, I am very optimistic.  Even better, http://www.officegrader.com/ software made me jabber with excitement to anybody who would listen. :)  I usually spend countless hours grading papers and this application will cut that time to minutes, only because I don't have time to place a bookstore order for individual student codes this semester.  Next semester, I will just upload answer keys and students' papers will be graded within seconds.  Each paper is marked with corrections and there is a grade report to explain those corrections.  Wow!

Still had some ground turkey so created this recipe.  It could use an egg, some flour, and baking powder to hold pancakes together and make them a bit more fluffy but I resisted the temptation and just made pancakes with ingredients allowed for the lean & green recipe.

Turkey, Yellow Squash, and Parsley Pancakes
Shred squash, finely chop parsley, and add to turkey.  Season with your favorite seasonings.  Mix well.  Spray the skillet with non-stick spray (adding some olive oil would be nice -- I didn't).  Spoon mixture and flatten a bit to form pancakes.  Cook until done.  Serve on lettuce leaves topped with tomato slices.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies
I have never liked oatmeal unless it's loaded with not so healthy stuff like brown sugar, syrup, whipped cream, and nuts.  Medifast oatmeal is filling but tastes too plain, so I found this recipe online and then modified it a bit.

Mix 1 pkg of Medifast oatmeal with 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 cup water, and 1 tsp flavored syrup (I used raspberry).  Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray -- these "cookies" stick!  Divide cookie mixture into four little mounds and flatten a bit.  Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes.  Quick breakfast or snack is ready -- much better than plain oatmeal!

Breakfast (made last night so I could grab cookies and run this morning)
Baking Powder (Calumet) 0.0 cal 0.25 tsp
Medifast Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal 100.0 cal 1 Each

Mid-Morning
Medifast Cinnamon Roll Crunch Bar 110.0 cal 1 Each

Lunch (I prefer soup or lean & green for lunch but had to be on the road)
Medifast Parmesan Cheese Puffs 110.0 cal 1 Each

Afternoon
Medifast Dutch Chocolate 55 Shake 90.0 cal 1 Each

Dinner
Ground Turkey 333.0 cal 5 oz
Cooked Squash, Summer, fresh 18.0 cal 0.5 cup
Salt, Table 0.0 cal 1 dash
Sage, Ground 0.6 cal 0.25 tsp
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Raw Tomatoes 16.0 cal 0.5 cup

Evening
Medifast Banana Creme 55 Shake 90.0 cal 1 Each

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 24/Meatloaf Pizza Pie on Lettuce

I am so happy to learn that my health coach actually takes her time to read this blog.  Wow, that means a lot!  Thank you so much! :)

Maybe somebody else can benefit from this project but it's mostly for me, to keep me honest and focused on the goal of reaching and maintaining healthy weight.  I am discovering that the key to maintenance is awareness of what we consume every day and responding appropriately if we do treat ourselves.  I am not advocating obsession, of course.  It would not be a good idea to enjoy a slice of yummy cake during the weight-loss stage.  However, lifetime maintenance is all about balance -- there is nothing wrong with enjoying sweets but in moderation.  That has been my personal downfall before and I sincerely hope to avoid it this time.

My health coach offered one useful tip -- ask for lettuce leaves instead of bread buns when ordering any sandwich.  Of course, it won't make much difference if I order a quarter-pounder with cheese, wrapped in a lettuce leaf, please! ;)  Ah, moderation...

OK, I have some ground turkey so found this recipe in one of my Italian cookbooks for tonight's dinner.

Meatloaf Pizza Pie on Lettuce
The original recipe calls for mixing the meatloaf as usual, baking it, topping with sauce, veggies, cheese, and crunchy fried onions, and broiling until done.  I will brown ground turkey and drain fat, then spread meat in a small casserole dish and top with pizza sauce, veggies (tomatoes and green peppers), and fat-free Cheddar cheese.  It will take only a few minutes of broiling to cook veggies and melt the cheese.  I will slice my "pizza pie" and serve on lettuce leaves.  Should be yummy and reasonably healthy.

Update:  Loved this recipe!  It's a keeper.

Breakfast
Original Pancakes 90.0 cal 1 meal
Baking Powder (Calumet) 0.0 cal 0.25 tsp
TIP:  Add 1/4 tsp of baking powder to the mix -- makes a huge difference!

Mid-Morning
Medifast Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal 100.0 cal 1 Each

Lunch
Medifast Chicken Noodle Soup 100.0 cal 1 Each

Afternoon
Medifast Cinnamon Roll Crunch Bar 110.0 cal 1 Each
Coffee, Brewed, Prepared ,Prep W/Tap Water 2.4 cal 1 cup (8 fl oz)

Dinner
Ground Turkey 333.0 cal 5 oz
Cooked Peppers, Green, fresh 19.0 cal 0.5 cup
Cooked Tomatoes, fresh 22.0 cal 0.5 cup
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Cheddar Cheese, Shredded, Nonfat (Kraft) ,Natural 40.0 cal 0.25 cup
Pizza Sauce, Original (Contadina) 7.5 cal 1 tbsp
Salt, Table 0.0 cal 1 tsp

Evening
Medifast Banana Creme 55 Shake 90.0 cal 1 Each

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 23/Zaxby's Grilled Chicken Sandwich w/Celery Sticks

Another crazy day but tomorrow is the first day of classes so back to regular office hours.  I don't have to be at work until shortly before noon tomorrow, wow!  Since I can't get anything accomplished at work, that would be nice and, hopefully, writing will pick up again.  The goal is to defend prospectus this semester...  Both S. and my major professor are on my tail so I will do my absolute best!

Drove two hours (roundtrip) to 1.5 hour meeting this afternoon -- but it was a VERY important meeting so the drive was well worth it.

Committed a diet "sin" on the way back by stopping for Zaxby's Grilled Chicken Sandwich because I was not sure if I would have time to eat anything until 7:00 pm and was getting hungry.  It was very good, actually, even without any condiments, so I suspected I would pay for this indiscretion.  Ouch, I better spend extra time on treadmill tonight!  I would have been better off by buying a regular hamburger at McD's (269 calories).  Chicken itself was OK but the bun was the whooping 279 calories!  I should have asked them to slice chicken for me and throw away the bun.  I am sure that would have been a nuisance but would allow me to stick to the plan.  I did tell them to throw away fries and the girl offered celery sticks -- thank you, thank you, thank you!  Diet Coke for the drink, so no guilt there, especially since I rarely drink any soda, even diet.

Oh, well -- lesson learned!  From now on, I will plan better so I can avoid fast-food completely.  Should have brought an extra snack...


Breakfast
Medifast Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal 100.0 cal 1 Each

Mid-Morning
Medifast Cappuccino 100.0 cal 1 Each

Lunch
Medifast Parmesan Cheese Puffs 110.0 cal 1 Each

Afternoon
Chicken Breast 280.3 cal 6 oz
Raw Celery 16.0 cal 1 cup
Frankfurter or Hamburger Bun 279.0 cal 100 grams

Dinner
Medifast Chicken Noodle Soup 100.0 cal 1 Each

Evening
Medifast Banana Creme 55 Shake 90.0 cal 1 Each

Monday, August 16, 2010

Losing Weight Project: Day 22/Classic Romaine Crab Salad

It's Monday morning?!  Yikes!

I opened a package of crab meat for crab-stuffed pork chops and now have leftover crab meat to use.  This recipe was on the package.

Classic Romaine Crab Salad

The original recipe calls for these ingredients (4 servings) and I used the following:
  • Lump crab meat, 12 oz -- I am using 7 oz, per Medifast
  • Lemon juice, 2 1/2 tbsp -- 1 tbsp
  • Olive oil, 2 tbsp -- 1 tsp
  • Romaine lettuce, 8 cups -- 1 cup
  • Red onions, 24 rings
  • Carrot curls, 8 each
  • Cherry tomatoes, 8 each -- 1 medium tomato
  • I added parsley and parmesan
Toss crumbled crab meat, lemon juice, and olive oil.  Season with salt-peper to taste.  Chop romaine lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.  Arrange lettuce on a salad plate, top with tomatoes, crab meat mix, and cucumbers.  Sprinkle with parsley and parmesan.

Breakfast
Medifast Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal 100.0 cal 1 Each

Mid-Morning
Medifast Cinnamon Roll Crunch Bar 110.0 cal 1 Each
Coffee, Brewed, Prepared ,Prep W/Tap Water 4.7 cal 2 cup (8 fl oz)

Lunch
Crab 191.0 cal 7 oz
Raw Tomatoes 16.0 cal 0.5 cup
Raw Lettuce, Romaine 8.0 cal 1 cup
Raw Cucumber, no peel 7.0 cal 0.5 cup
Oil, Olive (Salad or Cooking) 40.0 cal 1 tsp
Lemon Juice, Canned Or Bottled 1.2 cal 1 tbsp
Salt, Table 0.0 cal 1 dash
Pepper, Black, Ground 0.3 cal 1 dash
Parmesan Cheese, Shredded 20.8 cal 1 tbsp
Parsley, Raw 1.4 cal 1 tbsp

Afternoon
Medifast Parmesan Cheese Puffs 110.0 cal 1 Each

Dinner
Medifast Maryland Crab Soup 110.0 cal 1 Each

Evening
Medifast Dutch Chocolate 70 Shake 110.0 cal 1 Each

avandia class action