Celebrations Abound

Today is a big day for our city’s football team!  The start of the new season has arrived and there are celebrations taking place all around New Orleans including second lines, concerts, parades, and the like.  People are sure to be seen walking the streets in their Brees #9 jerseys, Bush # 25 jerseys, or simply donning the black and gold, baby!  (Bobby Hebert, former Saint’s player and current radio host, always adds “baby” at the end of his statements in his heavily Cajun accent, so I was emulating him in the latter sentence for those of you who are not from here.)  And an abundance of fleur de lis will be making a debut as well in the form of jewelry, stickers, bedazzled shirts, jeans, purses, scarves that have been screenprinted, drawn, or designed in some way or another.

Today, I joined in the chorus and wore my semi-bedazzled “Saints” shirt (thanks to my sis-in-law, Amy, for the shirt) along with my fleur de lis jewelry just as all, but maybe four of my coworkers did.

Before heading off to work, I fixed up a yogurt bowl due to my need for something quick and cold.  In the mix was a Fage Strawberry with a 1/4 cup of granola, and a handful of raspberries.

In the Mix

Enjoyed with Earl Grey Green Tea

For lunch, I threw together a fruit and veggie salad mix of romaine, squash, bell pepper from the garden, carrots, avocado, and strawberries.  The ounce of peanuts were just the right “icing on the cake” to make my salad extra special.  I topped my salad with Light Raspberry Vinaigrette.

For some extra carbs and fiber I ate some Triscuit Thin Crisps.

Just before leaving work, I ate a homemade King Bar (see Recipes if interested), much like a Larabar.

You might notice my sub plans for tomorrow in the background above.  I certainly did not go out partying for the Saint’s and need off, but I do have some exciting news and my own celebrating to do with my family tomorrow so stay tuned.

About thirty minutes prior to leaving work it began raining, torrentially.  So I tried to wait it out, but knew if I waited any longer I probably would not make it home due to flooding that happens so quickly here.  New Orleans and its surrounding cities are below sea level; thankfully, we have the levees protecting us from Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River.  Nonetheless, I made my way to my normal route home along River Rd. and came to flooded waters.  I saw about five cars stalled, so I made a rapid decision that I needed to turn around.  But due to the meandering of flooded water and chain of trucks behind my small car I could not turn around.  With a nervous shaking foot I reversed on the heightened hill of the levee until I was able to turn around.  Once back to the main expressway, the rain shortly stopped and opened up to sunlit skies.  Then it was smooth sailing to all the way to the gym.

Today’s cardio consisted of 30 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the bike, and 10 minutes of stretching/abdominal work  all while watching Food Network for some inspiration with dinner.

Though I did not see anything I wanted to fix on the Food channel, I knew i wanted some type of party style food to go along with all the Saints’ festivities–not that I would be attending any.  On my way home I decided to attempt BBQ Hamburger Sliders.

Using a pound of organic lean ground beef, I formed five miniature patties that were seasoned with salt, pepper, minced garlic, and BBQ sauce.  Now I know hamburgers normally contain egg to eliminate crumbling, but I was all out.  So I gave it a shot regardless of the missing egg.  I did in fact have crumbling as I pan fried my patties in Canola Oil, anyhow they came out just as tasty as I expected.  For a little something special, I caramelized some onion in the same oil used for the patties.  Before plating the sliders, I absorbed as much oil from the patties and onions as possible using paper towels.  I used whole wheat toast as my bun by cutting a square to size for the bottom and using one of the curved edges of the toast for the topper.  I layered toast, dijonaise, romaine, burger, a smidge more of BBQ sauce, onions, and toast to get these beauties.

Three of the sliders were for hub and two for me with some squash fries roasted at 400* for 25 minutes.

My Slider Plate

I added a dill chip to each of my sliders and chowed down.

I’ve been reading about the use of Canola Oil and cannot seem to get a straight answer as to whether it is healthy or not.  It is a monounsaturated fat which is a “heart healthy” fat; however, much research states the chemical make up can be changed when heated and can become a “bad” fat.  Additionally, a study was done in which it was fed to rats; and those rats seemed to have more cases of hypertension, heart disease, and shorter life spans.  Generally, I use olive oil when cooking, but figured I would go with Canola for the sliders.

As for my meal, I think overall it was a much more healthified version than say….Applebee’s or Chili’s sliders–but I still got the taste of party fare that I so craved in honor of my Saints.

Saints–1 & 0, baby!

Question of the Night:  What are your thoughts on using Canola Oil for frying food?  Healthy or unhealthy?

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