Sushi Bowl

On Friday night, the hubby got off of work early and we had plans to meet some friends for bowling. Before bowling, hub and I stopped at a new Japanese restaurant called the Cherry Blossom which is in walking distance from our house.  They did a fantastic job of redesigning the interior of what once was a hole-in-the-wall pizza joint. Here is what I had and enjoyed it thoroughly.  Everything tasted fresh and fulfilling.
One ring from these fried calamari my husband ordered:

They looked more like onion rings, but it was calamari which had a crispy panko, tempura style coating.

I also had a cup of miso soup while hubs enjoyed his calamari.  Picture was not worth posting due to its blurriness.  (I’m using my iphone for all of my pictures, so I apologize for the very unprofessional images.  My b-day is coming up and I am hoping to get a camera from someone special.  😉 )

Here is my two sushi rolls both with brown rice instead of white.   Added note:  The calories are the same in white and brown rice.  A cup of each has about 200 calories, but the brown rice provides much more nutrients which you can read about here. I ate 5 pieces of the tuna roll and 5 pieces of my california roll.  In addition I had three pieces of the hubby’s philly roll.

Hers

His

After dinner, we met some friends for a fun filled night of bowling, darts, and pool.  So tonight, I am planning on catching up on some much needed sleep.  Good night ya’ll! 🙂

Green Monster Take 1

This morning I woke up at 9:00, but was not hungry for b-fast.  So I opted to make and drink some coffee (which I did not enjoy, just didn’t taste good today) and  wait a while to see if I would be in the mood for some FOOD.  The morning rolled on as I read my emails, read some blogs, read the news on NOLA.com, and checked out some other websites.  I don’t know about you, but when I’m on the net time just flies by.  By now it was around 11 o’clock and I decided I needed to get movin’.  I threw on some clothes and took Niko, the german shepherd, and Herbie, the shitzu/puggle, for a walk.  We went around two blocks and by that time I could tell that fatso Herbie was ready to get home due to the scorching heat and the fact that older brother, Niko, was practically running as lil’ Herbs tried to keep up.  So the last block I joined in the run home and thankfully Herbie made it too.

By now both the dogs and I were ready for some lunch.  I mixed up the dogs’ food and decided on a turkey taco salad for myself.  Into my small casserole dish, I added about 1 cup of romaine, about 1 cup baby spinach, 6 grape tomatoes, 4 slices (1 serving) of deli smoked turkey, 1 stick of reduced fat cheese broken into crumbles, 2 tblsp of hot salsa, 1 tblsp of light sour cream, and about 7 blue corn chips crumbled on top.  Can we say Mmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm!?!?  Take a look for yourself; I bet it will make you want some Mexican!  And the salsa and sour cream provides a nice dressing for about 30 calories rather than 130 of one of those full fat, creamy dressings.  So that entire salad is less than 300 calories and tastes much more fresh than one you could get at a fast food joint for over triple the amount of calories.

Giant salad

Details

And after the salad:

Thick, creamy greek yogurt

After lunch, I decided to tackle the Green Monster–not the green monster smoothie that I’ve read about in many other foodie blogs, but the Green Monster otherwise known as my backyard.  The grass really needed to be cut and I thought it would be a nice surprise for the hubby.  So out in the near 100* heat I went and cut the grass.  After about 35 minutes I was done and needed something to cool down.  So I next attempted the green monster known as a smoothie.  Into the blender went a handful of spinach, a banana, 7 strawberries + 1 for garnish, 1/2 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, a cup of water, and 4 ice cubes.


I blended away to get none other than this.

Not so much of a green monster after all, more like a pink/brown monster.  Oh well, better luck next time.  It looks prettier in the pictures than what it looked like in real life.  Just so you know, I couldn’t taste the spinach at all.

I needed a snack a little while later after cleaning and mowing and walking.  Wheeew!

Celery + Carrots + Red Pepper Hummus

Got these bad boys at the grocery yesterday and chopped them earlier to have on hand in the fridge for a simple, healthy snack.  I’m always much more willing to eat ’em if they are chopped and easily accessible right front and center of the fridge.  Can I get a hoorah for the veggies?!?  🙂

The boys were pooped too after the grass cutting episode.  See–

It Was A First

I am ashamed to admit it, but I have succumbed to the temptations of the online world of shopping.  I am not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I am leaning towards the latter.  Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers is giving me lots of ideas lately.  The other day I joined RueLaLa after it being mentioned on her blog; it’s a two day sale on different designers and boutique style clothes.  The clothes (there are also shoes, jewelry, home, stationary, and other types of boutiques as well) are often half off or more, and each day new boutiques are added.  So I’ve been checking them since joining last week and wasn’t  too keen on anything just yet, due to the fact that I check it later in the day and what I like is already sold out.  But today was the day that I made my first clothing purchase via the world wide web all thanks to my earnings at the Gold Party last night.  I am looking forward to getting my tops and shorts some time next week.  Hopefully everything fits because I am really bad about returning things at a regular store much less an online store.  If you want to join RueLaLa to see what the hype is all about you can get there at http://www.ruelala.com/invite/mlay06.

Onto the real point of this blog–the food.

I woke up pretty late in the morning so I chose to make a peanut butter banana smoothie to share with the Hubby.  I added two frozen bananas, 2 tblsp of peanut butter, 1 cup of milk, 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, and about 4 ice cubes to a blender.  Using the ice crush mode, the smoothies were blended to a thick, creamy consistency.

I should have gotten a pic of all the ingredients, but I forgot.

Next up, lunch = leftover beef terriyaki over 1/2 cup of whole grain brown rice.

Left from Tuesday's Dinner

A while after I ate an orange, but again forgot to snap a picture.  I gotta get used to capturing all my eats on camera.  Orange you sad I forgot to take the picture? 😦

I finally made it to the grocery after a visit to the gym consisting of 15 mins. on the elliptical, 30 mins. of weights, and 15 mins. on the treadmill, in that order.  Once I got home it was time for some dindin and my stomache let me know.  I wanted something fairly quick to cook while I loaded and unloaded the dishwasher.

Again, Julie at PB Fingers introduced me to roasted rutabaga.  I’ve roasted asparagus, sweet potatoes, and eggplant before, but never rutabaga.  Heck, I’ve never even eaten rutabaga.  So tonight it was a first–for the veggie and for the roasting of the veggie.  I sliced it as Julie suggested into fries to make rutabaga fries.  They look an aweful lot like french fries and I, since a kid, always and forever will be a lover of the french fry.  However, I don’t eat them often.  But I tell you, as I was indulging in my rutabaga fries along side my veggie burger I felt like I was eating french fries.  That makes me really HAPPY!  🙂

Take a look at ’em!

Into the oven they went at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes flipping every 10 minutes or so.  To prepare them I simply splashed them with olive oil and sprinkled them with black pepper and Tony’s creole seasoning, then tossed them to coat evenly.  Here is the finished product.

I heated a veggie burger and topped it with reduced fat swiss, tomato slice, romaine, dill slices, mustard and ketchup piled atop a Nature’s Own whole grain sandwich round.

It was a great meal and I will definitely have a second go at some point with my rutabaga fries.

I’ve Struck Gold

This morning I had my mind set on cooking an egg wrap for breakfast.  I really need to get to the grocery because I am all out of veggies, but quickly my mind reminded me of the bell peppers growing in the back yard.  So to the egg I added a sliced green bell pepper picked straight out of Hubby’s garden and a 1/2 ounce of feta topped with three bright red grape tomatoes and some good ol’ LOUISIANA hot sauce all piled onto a La Tortilla Factory High Fiber Tortilla.

Say hello to my little friend.

And the eats.

B-fast wrap with sliced orange

I had to run to work so I grabbed this for the road.

After my work errand, I stopped at Mom’s for two things:  GOLD and lunch.  I wasn’t extremely hungry due to my very fulfilling breakfast, but decided I ought to eat as not to be a starved ravage this evening.  I opted for Chobani Raspberry Greek Yogurt topped with a large handful of organic granola and a small handful of Fiber Plus Cinnamon Os Cereal.  I wasn’t crazy about the Cinnamon Os mixed with the yogurt, but they served the purpose of getting my body some nutrients.

Yogurty Mess

Grabbed this on the way out the door to meet my sister.

As I stated I stopped at Mom’s to get some GOLD.  My sister and I decided we would attend our friend’s (Leanne) gold party.  If you have some old gold and sterling silver to get rid of and like making money, I highly recommend you find one to attend.  To our surprise, Michelle (sis) and I made quite a bit of cash money at the party.  Three jewelers scoped out the jewelry (gathered up from Mom and our own collections) with their tiny microscopes to see the karat weight, then weighed it on a scale, and handed over the $$$moolah$$$.

After the party, which I proudly did not eat one thing even though I was tempted with finger sandwiches and pinwheels, I was starving.  I came home and made a quick chicken salad using a roasted chicken breast I had left over from Sunday’s dinner.  I added 1 tblsp light mayo, 1 tblsp light sour cream, 2 tblsp sliced almonds, celery seed (still no fresh veggies), and a large tblsp of dried cranberries all processed together in the food processor.  I scooped it up with some Wheat Thin Fiber Selects Crackers.

Quick Chick Salad

Finally I had a craving for some ice cream and boy did I STRIKE GOLD with this easy peasy recipe for homeade banana soft serve.  I simply put frozen banana pieces into the food processor for about 2 minutes and had creamy, yellow, golden (okay, okay maybe not so golden) deliciousness all thanks to Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point.   I did sprinkle a 1/4 tsp of cocoa powder on top, but definitely NOT needed.

“Beef–It’s What’s For Dinner”

Dinner tonight was quick and easy–Beef Terriyaki. 

Beef Terriyaki Recipe

1 pound beef sirloin tip steak

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 onion sliced

1 bell pepper sliced

4-6 tablespoons of beef terriyaki sauce with about 15 calories per tblsp. (low sodium)

salt and pepper

Marinate beef steak in 4 tblsp. sauce for at least an hour or overnight.  Heat oil in pan over medium/high heat.  Place beef in pan and brown for 3-5 minutes.  Flip and brown 3-5 minutes more or until desired doneness.  Remove cooked beef to serving plate.  Cover with foil and let beef rest 15 minutes before slicing into thin strips.  Next, add onion and bell pepper to pan to cook down until tender.  Add 1/4 cup of water if more liquid is needed.  Also, add 1 or 2 tablespoons more of terriyaki sauce if desired.  Salt and pepper onions and bell pepper to taste.  While veggies simmer, slice the beef into thin strips.  Pour veggies and sauce over sliced beef steak.  Serve over brown rice with steamed broccoli or veggie of choice on the side.

Beef Terriyaki Over Brown Rice

My plate is above:  I ate 2/3 cup of whole grain brown rice, about 4 ounces of beef, 1/2 cup of onion and bell pepper with tblsp of sauce, and about 1 1/2 cups of steamed mixed vegetables.  Yum, yum!

LC, Not “The Hills” Star

I woke up at 9:00 this morning, which is early for being off during the summer and the fact that I didn’t go to bed ’til after 2 A.M.  But I think I was eager to make breakfast because I knew I had to do my blog and my stomach felt a bit hungry considering I ate a late dinner at about 8 waiting for my beans to finish–not to mention I didn’t hit the sack ’til 6 hours after that without anything else to eat.  So I arose to the thought of warm oatmeal with a dollop of peanut butter and some blueberries along side some hot white tea.

Oatmeal yumminess

A while after breakfast, Hubby and I took Neek and Herbs for a walk before Hubby left for work.  I then headed to Mom’s so we could go get our work out on.  Before heading to the gym I snagged one of these out of Mom’s pantry.

Fiber 1 Oats and Peanut Butter Bar

Today at the gym was cardio day, so we ventured to the treadmills to do 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes on the elliptical, and lastly 15 minutes on the bicycle.  During the middle of my 15 minute elliptical circuit, all of a sudden I heard a loud BANG fall to the floor.  My initial thought was a machine fell; then I heard  the sound of a baby crying.  “Please don’t tell me a machine fell on a baby” were my next thoughts as I felt my body go into worry mode.  Mom and I both jumped off the machines and ran to see what had fallen.  It turns out a woman fell off of the pull-up machine (not sure of the technical name).  One man had already hastily run downstairs to let the fitness staff know.  It was a good thirty minutes that the staff instructed the woman to lay still until the paramedics finally arrived.  Luckily the sounds of a baby crying were merely sounds from the lack of oil on the squeaking machine not too distant from me.

After our cardio session, we headed back to Mom’s to have some lunch, but not before we stopped to get our nails manicured.  Lunch consisted of a turkey sandwich with Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb Cheese Wedge (LC) and a tomato slice alongside two carrots.  I just adore the way LC works so well on sammies.  It takes the place of mayo and cheese, thus saving a ton of calories but still allowing me to have that rich, creamy, cheesy goodness on my sandwich, which I *heart*. Watermelon also made its way into my tummy, but not into the picture.

Turkey, LC, Tomato on Whitewheat

Monday…Red Beans

Ever since I was born, I can remember the tradition of Monday being Red Bean Day!  Not only was it served at school, but when my sister and I got home from school the aroma of Mom’s homemade red beans simmering on the stovetop filled the entire house.  Mom always had baked pork chops alongside the beans and rice.  Often, she would also make cornbread.  If you walk into just about any New Orleans restaurant/po-boy shop on a Monday, red beans are sure to be on the “Special of the Day” menu.  There is even a local children’s author/singer, Johnette Downing, who wrote a book titled Today is Monday in Louisiana, which goes through each day of the week stating which culinary delight is served on that day.  She came and performed where I work a couple years back.  Everyday is not a traditional day for a particular meal, but Mondays are definitely for Red Beans.  I do not always have red beans on Monday, but on this Monday I felt like tradition, so I simmered my red beans on the stove for about three hours to get this yummy dinner.

Homemade red beans with whole grain brown rice

2 cups diced seasoning including onions, bell pepper, parsley, garlic ( I get the creole seasoning mix pre-chopped in the produce section)

1pound of Camelia’s dry red beans (soak in water ahead of time to shorten the cooking time)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound pickled meat/pork/ham

1 pound smoked sausage

Hot sauce

Tony’s creole seasonng

Salt and pepper

3 bay leaves

Saute the onion seasoning mix in olive oil.  Add meats and cook until browned.  Add beans removed from soaking water.  Then add fresh water to fill pot.  Finally add all of the other seasonings to taste.  Let beans come to a boil then reduce to medium/low to simmer for 2 to 3 hours until softened and creamy.  Stir periodically to prevent sticking or burning at the bottom of the pot.  Towards the end of cooking time use the back of spoon to smash the beans down.  Remove bay leaves before eating.  Serve over brown or white rice.  Enjoy!