Shrimp Pot Pie

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Shrimp Pot Pie

Servings: 4 (about 390 calories per serving)

Ingredients:

1 tbsp canola oil

4 carrots, chopped

1 tbsp flour, all-purpose

1 1/3 c low-fat milk, separated

1/2 tsp salt plus more to taste

3/8 tsp white pepper plus more to taste

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp celery seed

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 lb frozen cut green beans, rinsed

1- 8.5 oz box corn muffin mix

1 egg

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400* and spray 9X9 glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Heat oil in small saucepan.  Add carrots and sauté until tender about ten minutes.

2. Add 1 tbsp flour to carrots and stir for 1 minute.  Add 1 cup of milk, 1/2 tsp salt, 3/8 tsp pepper, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery seed.  Cook over low heat until thickened about 5-8 minutes stirring periodically.  Turn off and let cool (put in refrigerator to hasten the cooling).

3. Meanwhile, mix corn muffin mix with egg and 1/3 cup of milk.  Set aside.

4. Season shrimp with salt and white pepper to taste.  Add shrimp and green beans to baking dish.  Pour cooled sauce over shrimp and bean mixture and stir to combine. 

5. Stir corn muffin mix and pour over the top of the shrimp mixture.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until corn bread topping is golden brown.  Enjoy!DSC01253 

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The shrimp pot pie turned out nicely.  As for breakfast, there was the return of the oatmeal bowl.

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Lunch included some of Mom’s black eye peas leftover from last night’s dinner.DSC01237

I enjoyed a cup of the beans with pickled meat and a 1/2 cup of white rice.  I brought a nectarine for a snack, but when I cut it open it looked bad so a coworker gave me her cafeteria vanilla pudding with sprinkles on top because I was still hungry and wanted something sweet.  Ya know, when that special monthly visit is on its way my hunger gets out of control and I satisfy it.

At work, I also had some honey wheat pretzel sticks that Mom had brought me from Chicago in my goody bag a few weeks ago.  This week is standardized testing so I actually brought the pretzels for my 6 students I’m testing.

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Oh, and not to mention the hummus and chips I ate when I got home plus a bite of chipotle cheese which went unpictured.  I told you; I’m ravenous. That about wraps it up.  Now I’m feeling full and content.  For now.

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For the Love of Fall

Aaahh!  Today brought on the weather I’ve been waiting for!  Cool, dry air.  It won’t last too long in Southern Louisiana, but I’ll take it while it’s here. 🙂

My morning began with a cold mixture of cereal and milk.  I had about 1/2 cup of Kashi Go Lean, 1/4 apple cinnamon o’s, 1/4 cup of blueberry corn flakes, and a small sprinkle of granola.  I topped it with 1 cup low fat milk.  Refreshing! 

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I had a cup of hot chai tea on the side.

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Mixed Cereal Bowl—Thank you Hungry Girl for letting me know it is okay to mix different cereals. 

For lunch I topped some baby spinach with rest of the chicken salad from Saturday’s lunch.  It was better today because it had time to marinate all the flavors while sitting in the fridge.

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I had a banana for some additional carbs and fiber.  Oh, I also had a brownie made by a colleague of mine.

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I did not make it to the gym today because I stayed a little while after dismissal to finish grading last Friday’s tests.  My inner and outer thighs are a little soar from yesterday’s strength training anyways, so I am totally okay with letting my muscles rest even though I have not exercised consistently for two weeks.  I plan on going to the gym straight from work tomorrow.

When I got home I had a snack.9-21-10 007

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie

Next up, what’s for dinner?  I knew I wanted to incorporate some Italian chicken sausage into stuffed bell peppers, but wasn’t quite sure how I was going to make it.  I ended up using cous cous as a filler along with Italian seasoned bread crumbs.

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Italian Chicken Sausage Stuffed Bells

Ingredients:

3/4 cup cous cous, cooked according to package

4 bell peppers

1/2 pound Italian chicken sausage, removed from casings

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

Oregano

Garlic Powder

Basil

Salt + Pepper

1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese

1 slice of reduced fat provolone cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*.  Remove stem top and seeds from bell peppers.  Put in pot of water to cover and bring to a boil.  When slightly tender, remove to ice water to stop cooking process.  In saucepan, heat oil.  Add chicken sausage and onion.  Saute until browned.  Add cous cous, seasonings to taste, and gorgonzola cheese and mix.  Add 3/4 cup of Italian bread crumbs and combine.  Stuff peppers with cous cous/ chicken mixture evenly.  Sprinkle each pepper with bread crumbs and top with 1/4 of provolone slice.  Place in glass casserole.  Put small amount of water in casserole dish to prevent burning and sticking.  Cook in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

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My thoughts on the peppers are they were quite tasty and I enjoyed them.  But I do wish I had parmesan instead of gorgonzola.  The gorgonzola cheese has a very pungent flavor similar to that of blue cheese.  So if you are not a fan of blue cheese, you may not be a fan of this.  However, parmesan could definitely be substituted and I would use that myself if making these again.

Served with some cucumber and tomato salad + Light Italian dressing9-21-10 016

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While the peppers were baking I simmered some homemade veggie stock on the stovetop for an hour.  I threw in two carrots, two squash, two onion, garlic, the bell pepper tops from the peppers, bay leaves, fresh basil leaves, and a few whole black peppercorns.  I plan on using the stock in a fall soup recipe tomorrow night if all goes as planned.

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Question of the Night:  What is your favorite fall vegetable to cook with?

Smile! It’s Contagious

Do you ever smile at a baby soon to find them smiling right back?  Smiling is an innate trait that can certainly brighten up another person’s day.  Through observation, I have noticed that people who do not smile have much more miserable attitudes about life in general.  The benefits of smiling far outweigh having a sour face.  According to Dr. Mark Stibich, smiling not only makes us more attractive and approachable; it also signifies confidence, lowers blood pressure, and relieves stress.

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Today my eats definitely put a smile on my face! 🙂 Preparation for breakfast began last night for Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats.

The following mixture sat overnight in the fridge:

1/4 cup of Chobani 0% Greek Yogurt

1/4 cup rolled oats

Splash of 1% milk

Drizzle of honey

Sliced Banana

4 sliced strawberries (added this morning before eating)

1 strawberry for garnish (and consumption)

Creamy & Cold

Make sure you use a large enough bowl if you make this.  The oats expand and I have learned my lesson of avoiding spillage.

Hot Chai Tea + Oats Bowl

Lunch was just as cheerful.

Salad + Crackers

Sorry for the blurry shot.  I made a salad using italian lettuce blend, chopped cucumber, chopped red pepper, 2 sliced strawberries, and 1 ounce of feta cheese.  Dressing of choice was Light Raspberry Vinaigrette.  On side I had 15 Triscuit Wheat Thins.  And the chocolate square went unconsumed and is still in my lunch bag currently in the freezer because it melted in my car while I was at the gym.

Green and Red Make for Beautiful Food Art

Feta Makes Everything Betta 🙂

After work I nibbled on a handful of these on my way to get my “swole” on.

Today’s work out included 15 minutes on the arc trainer, 30 minutes of my usual weight training with the addition of the low row machine.  I finished with 15 minutes on the true strider elliptical and a couple of minutes of stretching.

Keeping with my mood for enlightening food, I made a greek pasta dish that is sure to make you and your belly happy!


These ingredients were included in the dish:

Greek Pasta

1 lb. whole wheat pasta (boiled as directed)

1 cup reserved pasta water

3 tbsp. of olive oil separated

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 pack of sliced mushrooms

1 medium  chopped squash (pre-roasted in oven)

1 cup grape tomatoes (pre-roasted in oven)

6 oz. feta cheese, cubed

1 small can sliced black olives, drained

10 dashes dry oregano

1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions:  Add 1 tbsp olive oil to saute pan.  Saute onion for 4 minutes or until tender.  Stir in garlic and saute for an additional minute.  Add mushrooms and 1/4 cup reserved pasta water and cook until softened.  Next add pasta, feta, olives, oregano, red pepper flakes, and feta cheese.  Add 2 tbsp. of olive oil and remaining 3/4 cup of pasta water.  Toss well.  Gently add roasted tomatoes and squash.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir to distribute vegetables evenly and heat through for ten minutes on low.

Food That Makes You Smile

Grand Finale

My Dish

I added three sliced spinach leaves for some color on my plate, but certainly could have added spinach to the entire dish.

Greek Goodness

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While we are talking about smiling, some of my students made me smile today.  One girl said, “That’s why I like this class; because we can laugh!”  That made me smile.  🙂  I want my students to enjoy my class; so at times I smile and crack jokes.  Someone once told me, “NEVER smile until after Christmas” in front of the kids.  Who wants to live like that?  I do not want to be miserable and I do not want my students to be miserable because that only leads to more difficulties on both ends.

And another student gave me one of these,

Fleur De Lis Silly Band

AKA Fad Rubber Band Bracelet

….which also made me smile.  🙂

Question of the Night: What is one thing that you do to turn your frown 😦 upside down :)?  What puts you in a happy mood?

Exercising definitely puts me in a better mood.  Also, listening to music helps me cheer up.

Honey, Where Are You?

When I awoke this A.M., I was feeling something warm for breakfast.  So I heated up a packet of Kashi Instant Honey and Cinnamon Hot Cereal.  I topped it with a sliced banana, a handful of blueberries, and a teaspoon of almond butter.  I had some hot chai tea on the side.  It hit the spot though my oatmeal wasn’t very warm once topping with cold nut butter and frozen blueberries, oh and snapping a couple of photos.

Lunch was similar to dinner last night– a turkey wrap.  But I did not go the mexican route.  I had two slices of Hormel Oven Roasted Turkey, L.C. Light Swiss Wedge, and spring mix all rolled up on a whole wheat tortilla.  On side I had some grape tomatoes and Chobani Non-Fat Greek Yogurt with Honey.

I bet you thought my title had to do with my hubby.  Nope, I was actually talking about my Chobani Greek Yogurt with Honey.  Side note:  I do not call the hubby “honey.”  Generally, he is either babe or boop, or Chris/Christopher.  He really hates when I call him Christopher though.  But seriously, where is the honey?  I do not taste it!  I do not see it!  I want more of it!  I need to contact the Chobani peeps and let them know they can’t call it “with Honey” if there is no inkling of honey.  If not I am going to have to stick with Fage Honey.  It makes my experience so much more tastier when I can scoop up some of that sticky, thick honey on the tip of my spoon and then scoop some of the yogurt on top.  Then I have to use my teeth to scrape the honey off of the spoon due to its gooey texture.  Mmmm, it is making my mouth water thinking about it.

After work I enjoyed a couple of snacks–a Kashi Dark Chocolate and Cherry Chewy Granola Bar and a handful of sweet, crimson-colored cherries.

After snack time and a short visit to the computer to catch up on some reading, I headed to the gym to pump some iron.  I did 15 minutes on the elliptical machine, 30 minutes of strength training on the weight machines, and ended with 15 minutes on the treadmill.  Felt good to get a full hour.  I feel like I’ve been slacking since going back to work last week.

Tonight I intended to fix beef fajitas with a corn and black bean side salad.  But I decided not to use my store-bought fajita kit and instead make up a Mexican Fiesta Bowl for dinner.

I started by browning the thinly sliced angus beef chuck in a tbsp. of olive oil.  Once browned I drained off the liquid/oil and added half a packet of store bought taco seasoning and 3/4 cup of water.  I also added 1/2 of a sliced onion and a small sliced bell pepper from the garden.  That simmered away until the veggies were tender.

Meanwhile, I cooked some whole grain brown rice.  Once the rice was cooked I added a bag of frozen corn that was sitting out for about fifteen minutes or so and a can of rinsed reduced sodium black beans.  Next I added a diced hot, red chile pepper from the garden and some grape tomatoes cut in half lengthwise.  Naturally, some seasonings were needed.  I used approx. 1 tsp. of ground cumin, 1/2 tsp. of chile powder, and salt and pepper to taste.  To be honest no measuring was done, but I did taste a couple bites as I added the seasonings.

For my Mexican Fiesta Bowl, I layered a large cooking spoonful of the rice mixture, a few slices of beef, a spoon of onion/bell peppers, about a tbsp. of Sargento Reduced Fat Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend, and a dollop of light sour cream.  I was satisfied with how well and easily this meal came together.

Question of the Day:  First, what is your favorite type of yogurt?  Secondly, have you ever contacted a food company to make a suggestion about their product?

My favorite regular yogurt is Yoplait Light White Chocolate Strawberry ( probably not the greatest due to the aspartame) and my favorite Greek Yogurt (which I am currently on a Greek Yogurt Fix only) is Fage Honey.  And I have never contacted any food companies about their products.

Poreotics and Pasta To Boot

Rather than head to a near by fast food chain for the ever so popular Egg McMuffin I decided to make my own Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Bagel for breakfast. I cooked one scrambled egg  and fried two slices of turkey bacon. After toasting my Thomas bagel thin I spread a Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese triangle on the bagel. I then topped it with the egg and two pieces of bacon. On side I enjoyed an iced green tea with a shot of milk and stevia.

Nothing Beats the Taste of Homeade Breakfast 🙂

"Bacon's Goooood!" As My Nephew Says

Layers of Deliciousness

After enjoying breakfast, I attempted to get some exercise by way of cutting the grass in the backyard.

Attempt 1 for Some Exercise

Due to the torrential downpours the past few days, the grass was too wet and continuously killed my lawn mower after every loop around the yard. So I decided to wait a while and let the grass dry a bit.

Exercise attempt # 2 took place at the gym. When I got there I found my mom working out. She mentioned that she was going to the mall; I eagerly told her that I wanted to join her so I could spend my birthday money of course. Nevertheless, I was able to get in thirty minutes of cardio on the True Strider Elliptical, but not as much as I intended.

For lunch I took advantage of my free birthday coupon from Tuesday and got a Fruit Fusion Smoothie. It contained peach, pineapple, mango, strawberry, milk powder, and protein powder. No picture was necessary as it looked like a normal pink smoothie and was cold and refreshing on this very hot summer day.

Next stop, Mom and I went to the mall. She was looking for some shirts and I for some work pants. I think I spent more time watching the MTV Celebrity Dancers than actually shopping. Mom was in a store right near the performances, so I told her I was going to see what the loud music was all about. Come to find out it was the Season 5 winners of America’s Best Dance Crew, the Poreotics.

I didn’t know who they were for a while into their performance and then noticed a sign stating who they were. I am fascinated with anything live–singing, acting, dancing, performing. I think it has to do with the fact that I wish I had some special talent and would love to perform, but I don’t think I would be brave enough to get in front of that many people if in fact it ever came down to that. And I don’t really have any exciting talents. 😦 When I was a child, though, friends and family would make me sing for them because they said I had such a beautiful voice. I’m not quite sure what happened to it because now my sister only laughs when I try to sing a tune.

The mall turned out to be a success with a purchase of 6 pairs of pants and a Cafe Au Lait to go from the best coffee shop in New Orleans, Cafe’ Du Monde! You must have fried beignets (hot, fried dough slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside covered in powdered sugar so when you bite and breathe through your nose the powdered sugar gets all over you–so fun) from there if you ever get to New Orleans. The original Cafe’ Du Monde is in downtown New Orleans near Jackson Square and the flea market.  I didn’t get any beignets today, but the coffee was satisfying as usual.

After the mall, I made a final attempt to cut the grass for a couple of reasons.  One, it was high and needed to be cut.  Two, it is supposed to rain all week, AGAIN.  Three, it was more exercise for today.  Attempt # 3 was a success.  Now my smaller dog will actually go to the potty in the back yard.  Oh, and my husband did offer to cut the grass, but I told him I could handle it, so he repainted the garage floor while I finished the grass.

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Finally on to dinner.  The hubby has a garden in the back and when I got home I found some great looking eggplant and one yellow bell pepper on the counter.  Accordingly, I fixed an Italian Eggplant Penne Casserole.

Italian Eggplant Penne Casserole

1 lb. whole wheat penne pasta, cooked accordingly

1 jar tomato basil sauce

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese + some for topping

1 oz. feta cheese (use more if desired, I was using up what I had left)

1/2 c italian style bread crumbs

1 tbsp. canola oil

2 chinese eggplant or 1 american eggplant chopped (chinese from our garden)

1 small bell pepper diced (yellow from the garden)

1 c onion diced

1 egg

1 tbsp. garlic minced

Dried oregano,  dried basil, salt and pepper  to taste

Directions:Preheat oven to 350*.  Spray large casserole dish with non stick cooking spray.  In mixing bowl, combine onion, garlic, bell pepper, eggplant, breadcrumbs, cheeses, egg, oil, and seasonings.  Mix well.  In casserole dish, ladle about 4 tbsp. in the bottom of dish.  Next, add half of cooked pasta; then half of eggplant mixture.  Spread half of remaining tomato sauce over past and eggplant.  Repeat with the rest of the past, eggplant mixture, and sauce.  Sprinkle the top of sauce with parmesan cheese.  Bake covered for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional ten minutes.

Serves 8.  About 365 calories per serving.

Ingredients
Eggplant Mixture
Layering
Pre-Bake
Time to Eat

I was a bit heavy handed with the pepper, so it was a bit too spicy.  But overall it was tasty.

Finally a few bites of this for dessert.

I purchased this at Whole Foods last week.  Someone told my mom about it and I’ve been wanting to try it.  The ENTIRE pint is 128 calories.  That is less calories than 1/2  cup of regular chocolate ice cream.  A 1/2 cup serving of the stuff is only 32 calories.  So eat a 1/2 cup or eat the whole darn thing.  I probably had about half of a cup, but just ate it right out of the pint.  It can’t do too much damage and it tastes great.

Question of the day: If you could have one talent that you don’t already possess, what would it be?

I would want to be able to dance.