Hi Salubrious Foodie Friends

Hope you haven’t missed me too much while I was away!  I know I sometimes get annoyed when I check a blog and it hasn’t been updated in a while.  Please forgive me! 

Last Wednesday, I attended the second EFNEP Advisory Board Meeting hosted by the LSU Agricultural Center.  You may remember me talking about it a while back.  The meeting was basically to share what activities have been taking place with high school students across Jefferson Parish as EFNEP and LSU promote nutrition and health.  At the start of the meeting I learned a new word, which will make you sound super smart when used on your healthy living blog or in everyday life as you aspire to be salubrious. ;)  Did you catch on to that?  My vocabulary has grown to include the new word salubrious, which is just a fancy schmancy word for healthy.  One of the members of the LSU Ag team made a point to say that he would now be finding as many ways as possible to work [salubrious] into his conversations which gave us all a laugh.

Aside from learning a new word, we were also able to sample some salubrious recipes including a salmon salad and a turkey hummus wrap.  I have eaten the latter of the two on quite too many occasions so that was nothing new, but I do plan on making the salmon salad in the future and I’ll share the recipes which have been tested and given nutritional breakdowns.

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Today was a holiday, which I was completely thankful for with the week I had last week; with prayer and Lifesongs I got through it.  This morning I woke up with a craving for oatmeal, which I hadn’t eaten in about two weeks due to my being stuck on peanut butter and banana sandwiches instead.

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This bowl of creamy hot oatmeal hit the spot.  The mixture included:

~1/3 c each of old fashioned oats, 1% lowfat milk, and water

~salt, cinnamon, vanilla

~1 ripe banana, mashed

All heated up on the stovetop with:

~2 spoonfuls of cottage cheese stirred in

~1 spoonful of peanut butter

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And a bowl of coffee on the side.

After breakfast my mom and I hit up the gym.  I did 15 minutes on the Precor elliptical and 17 minutes on the Stairmaster.  The session concluded with stretching and 10 minutes or so of abdominal work.  I did 2 sets of basic crunches (25 reps), 1 set of leg lifts (20 reps), 1 set of butt lifts (not sure of the exact name; 20 reps), 2 sets of torso twists with 6 lb weighted medicine ball(25 reps alternating sides), and a minute and a half plank hold.

Mom and I then headed to Phil’s Grill for lunch followed by a trip to the theatre to see Black Swan.  I had a veggie burger on a jalapeño bun with herbed goat cheese and a side of fried pickle chips.  I ate 3/4 of my own burger plus 1/4 of Mom’s beef burger.  The veggie burger had too much breading and was nothing to wow over.  I did enjoy the sour pickle chips though. 

Okay, I am still unsure about the Black Swan and thinking back on some of the scenes still makes me a bit squeamish.  It was certainly not the uplifting kind of movie, but the acting was superb. 

After all of the popcorn, I wasn’t hungry so waited a while before deciding on what to cook for dinner.  I finally decided upon spaghetti with a shrimp creole type of sauce.  I simply used jarred tomato sauce and doctored it up.

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First I sauteed a chopped bell pepper, onion, and garlic in olive oil.  Next, I added the shrimp to cook until pink.  The sauce was added along with Chinese red pepper, basil, oregano, italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and two stevia packets to cut the acidity and tang of the sauce.  That simmered about 30 minutes until we were ready for eatin’.  It turned out delicious served over whole wheat spaghetti, topped with grated Romano cheese. 

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I also had a handful of sweet, cold strawberries, but no picture was warranted since I ate them as I rinsed them.

Have you seen the Black Swan?  What are your thoughts?

A Weekend of Frolic and Food

The weekend could not come soon enough.  I was so ready for it to arrive.  My Friday night began with babysitting my niece and nephew with the help of my mom; so my sister, Michelle, and her husband, Duke, could spend the night out with friends celebrating Duke’s birthday.  How could I not have a good time frolicking around with this little guy and girl and eating pizza?

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And because she is too cute not to  show, my niece!

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While I was babysitting my niece and nephew, my husband did a little babysitting of his own.  He babysat his twin nieces and even captured a little video of his endeavors.  He sent this video to me saying “Help!” 🙂

 

He had his hands full between the two twin girls.  And in  case you were wondering, Abby immediately got up without a tear in her eye, hugged her uncle, and then became angry with him for capturing it on video.  She quickly got over it though.

Aside from babysitting, I did not make the best decisions with my eating habits for the past couple of days.  Some of my meals (or lack thereof) consisted of pizza, tacos, french fries and more.  But, I know tomorrow I will be back to a more normal  schedule and making better choices.

On Saturday, I started my day off with coffee and homemade french toast and turkey sausage links.

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To make three slices of french toast (2 for hub and 1 for me) I whisked:

~2 eggs

~1/4 tsp vanilla

~1/2 tsp cinnamon

~1 stevia packet

~1/4 c lowfat milk

I then I soaked the slices and cooked them for 3-4 minutes per side in a nonstick pan sprayed with cooking spray.  For topping the toast, I sliced a banana and browned it in a nonstick pan sprayed with butter flavored cooking spray, which allowed the sugars in the banana to come out and caramelize adding a nice flavor to the sweet breakfast.  All was sopped up with some  pure maple syrup drizzled over the top.

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Shortly after breakfast I met Mom for a workout, lunch, froyo, and yes, another craft fair selling mostly the same stuff as the one last week minus all the dips and jams.

I wasn’t too hungry for lunch so I chose an appetizer of baked pretzels with queso dip.

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I had two of the pretzels and brought the rest to Chris, but ended up eating some of a third pretzel with him later on in the day.

After the craft fair Mom suggested we get some Tutti Fruiti Frozen Yogurt.

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I had cake batter and s’mores flavored yogurt with mochi cakes, reese’s, cheesecake bites, pineapple and kiwi.  I just can’t get enough of this stuff and am always game if someone suggests we get it. 🙂

Dinner was some tacos from a fast food joint per hub’s request. So I scarfed two of them down with little hesitation.

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On Sunday Michelle scooped me up to go watch her nephew’s football game shortly after I ate breakfast.  I had some steel cut oats cooked on the stovetop with banana, vanilla,  and stevia.

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I added granola, peanut butter, and sweet potato pecan butter after cooking.

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Lunch was not the greatest combination—pumpkin spice latte plus french fries from my nephew’s snack, so an early dinner was eaten.  My sister’s family, Chris, and I all joined at Houston’s for dinner.

We HAD to start with the spinach and artichoke dip.  It is the one thing I must have if going there.  It is SO good.  People claim to have the “Houston’s recipe,” but no one has ever recreated that tasty, cheesy goodness.

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For my entree I tried the Veggie Burger with purple cabbage and goat cheese.

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Mmmmm! My two year old nephew, Jett, enjoyed eating this with me.  I ate the entire [burger] but only half the bun since Jett decided to take the top of my bun and the tomato off one half to enjoy for himself.  As for the rice and oat made burger, it was quite tasty with the added hickory sauce that was mixed in.  And the cabbage was just as good, though I am not a big fan of the goat cheese clumps that was put on top.

Now I need to get some rest for the long week ahead.  I am not looking forward to this week because I have to work late two nights this week.  Waaahhhh!  I hope it goes by fast, not that I am trying to wish my life away, just looking forward to my break! :) 

Ladybugs for Lunch

Today has been quite an off day!  My work schedule was changed from 12:00 to 7:oo for Parent Conference and Record’s Day.  So I woke up later than my usual 5:15 a.m. time.  After waking up, I was undecided as to whether I wanted a savory breakfast versus a sweet breakfast.  I thought, “Why not have both?”  Accordingly, I made an egg to put on one half of my sandwich thin and topped the other half with a smear of natural peanut butter and half of a sliced pear.

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I also had a cup of hot black tea.

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Savory Egg Over Medium

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Sweet Pear and Peanut Butter

Lunch was off as well!  At work today, myself and the other 4th grade teachers threw a baby shower for one of our coworkers.  Her theme for the baby’s room is “ladybugs” so we kept the shower in the same theme.

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Ladybug Red Hot Favors

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Meet Jamie!  Her baby girl is due in November; I’m looking forward to meeting Isabella Grace!  What a pretty name!!Jamie's Shower 020

We decided not to have any snack foods other than the cake because we figured most ate before coming in at 12:00 and teachers would probably want to get work done in their rooms while they had some spare time without children.  Nonetheless, the shower was a joyful event—even though the surprise did not go quite as planned. 😉

Since I didn’t eat lunch at home (though I did bring some, just didn’t eat it) I ate some cake.

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And more cake!  This was my first piece, but I did get another slice about the same size.  It was so moist and delicious I just couldn’t resist!  So I had the ladybug cake and called it my lunch.  Someone actually made a comment saying, “I bet you didn’t eat any.”  “Oh yes I did; I ate two slices!”  My rice and veggies from last night’s dinner will be consumed at tomorrow’s lunch.

I did eat the snack I packed in my lunch at my 3:00 break.

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Other half of pear from breakfast + Mixed Nut Remnants + Several Diet Cokes from Shower

I didn’t get home from work until nearly 8:00, so I wanted a quick fix for dinner.  I ate some baked potato fries with olive oil, sea salt, and red wine vinegar that were roasted for 25 minutes at 400*.  I also had a Boca Veggie Burger on a sandwich thin with lettuce, pickles, mustard, and ketchup.  No picture was snapped because my camera had an off day as well!  The battery life  was 3/4 full, but it went dead every time I tried to take the picture. 

Now my computer is about to shut off, so I gotta go!  Plus my Saint’s are playing! 🙂

Say Hi to Your Mom an’ Nem

You may have noticed some of the unconventional New Orleans dialect in yesterday’s post regarding the “N’awlins” Saints.  Out-of-towners must get a kick out of the local gibberish heard around the city or perhaps feel a slight state of confusion as to what New Orleanians are trying so say.  Take for example, “How’s your mom an’ nem?”  If I’m speaking candidly, I’m not quite sure how to even spell it, but phonetically speaking, that’s what I hear.  I have also seen it written as “mom and dem, mom and ’em” and I’m sure someone else may have his or her own derivative; however, it is not about writing the phrase or how it is spelled.  It is more about the welcoming and “I’m happy to see you” friendly conversation when out and about the city and you run into friend or family that you may have not seen in a while.  You may be asking yourself, “Ok, what does it mean?”  Though the phrase specifically says “your mom an’ nem,” it is not only referring to your mom, but also the rest of your family too.  So, “say hi to your mom an’ nem” transfers as “say hi to your family.”

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The hubby and I didn’t run into any long lost friends or family yesterday, but we did get a little taste of home cooking for breakfast on Saturday.  My hub wanted to venture out for breakfast and chose Dot’s Diner, a local 24 hour breakfast joint.  Breakfast is served all day and night, but they do serve lunch and dinner type meals as well.  I’ve only experienced their breakfast foods, which are cooked to order the way you choose.  Have your eggs over easy, medium or scrambled with your choice of whole eggs, whites only, or Egg Beaters.  I decided on the Western Omelet with two slices of lightly buttered wheat toast and hash browns.  For the omelet, I requested one regular egg and the rest whites rather than the three whole eggs that are normally offered for the omelets.

Western Omelet with Onions, Green Peppers, Ham, and American Cheese

I gave hubby half of my hash browns and ate the rest with ketchup.  I ate a little more than 3/4 of the omelet, and one slice of toast.

Cheesy Omelet

And as the mug says, “I’m not your Mama, but you’re always at home at Dot’s Diner!”

Shortly after breakfast I ran drove to the gym, to get a quick 45 minute workout in before our next stop of the day.  My workout consisted of 10 minutes on the elliptical, 25 minutes of strength training, and 10 minutes on the treadmill.  My strength training looked similar to Wednesday’s with only ten-twenty second rest periods and the addition of 3 sets on leg press with 20 reps @ 60 lbs. (done two different ways with 10 reps each way) and omitting the leg extension.

Next up, a visit to the in-laws to celebrate our nephews 12th birthday with hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, and birthday cake of course.  We were stuck inside for the most part due to the pouring rain that has been ongoing and will continue throughout the week.

My Plate

Happy Birthday Cake

Birthday Boy

Take a Bite

Birthday Boy's Twin Sisters Awaiting Some Cake

My Slice of Moist Almond Flavored Cake with Pineapple Filing, Mmmmm

My Handsome Hubby Catching Up on Some Football

As the day rolled on, we decided to head home after a quick stop at Home Depot so the husband could pick up some ‘tools’ for a few of his projects, one being a bucket to start a compost pile for his gardens out back.

Once home I ate a couple of snacks to tide me over ’til dinner.

Small, Overly Ripe Peach

Dark Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Muffin Cookie

Dinner was a quick, put together meal of a sweet potato cooked in microwave, boiled frozen mini ears of corn, and Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie Patty.

Sweet Tater Topped with Cinnamon and Spray Butter

Sweet Corn Topped with Salt and Spray Butter

I forgot how delicious sweet corn is, and had to go back for a second ear.

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While this weekend commemorates the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the many lives lost due to levees breaching, I leave you with some spoken words of our culture heard around the city.

Lagniappe (Lanyap) – something extra for free

N’awlins – short for New Orleans

Parish – in Louisiana we do not use county, we call ’em parishes

Metairie (Met- a-ree or Metry) – suburb of New Orleans, I lived most of my life here in Jefferson Parish

Kenner (Kenn-er or Kenna)  – suburb of New Orleans, where I live currently in Jefferson Parish

Beignets (been-yays)- fried square of dough with powdered sugar on top

Cafe’ Au Lait (cafay o lay)- coffee and chickory mixed with steamed milk

Laissez le bon temps rouler (Lay-say lay baw taw ruelay) – french for “let the good times roll”

Poor boy (Po’ boy) – crispy french bread sandwich cut off of yard sized loaf of bread to top with choice of roast beef and gravy, fried seafood, ham ‘n cheese, italian sausage, meatball, etc. The original poor boy sandwich was french fries topped with brown gravy on the bread.

Dressed – topping for po-boy including mayonaisse, lettuce, tomato, pickles

Muffaletta (moof-a-lot-a) – large, round sandwich topped with italian meets, cheeses and olive salad

Makin’ groceries – going grocery shopping; buying groceries ( I personally have never said I am makin’ groceries, but it is more heavily used by the older generations.)

Snowballs- like a snow cone, but much better due to the very fine powder like shaved ice topped with sweet syrups and choices of condensed milk, evaporated milk, soft serve

Where Y’at? – how’s it going, where you at, where you been; also local magazine of arts and entertainment

Mom an’ Nem-mom and family

Ya’ll (yawl)- short for you all; similar to “you guys” in other regions of the country; not pronounced with the thick country accent like Paula Deen

Mardi Gras (Marty Graw)- also known as Carnival season; begins two weeks before Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras Day; celebrated 40 days before Easter to start up the Lenten season; people drink, eat, and go to the parades

Parades – large, themed floats with riders dressed in masked costumes who throw cups, beads, doubloons (coins, not real), trinkets to people/families lining the streets; also have dance teams and local high school bands performing between the mix of floats, dressed up Indians, people on horseback, clown cars throwing candy, and flambeaux (flam-bo) walkers who carry lit torches to lead the way in night parades and collect thrown pennies/coins from the crowds of people lining streets.

Throw Me Somethin’ Mister – parade watchers yell out to the floats to get riders attention and get some goodies

Hurricane– a massive alcoholic beverage served at local bars downtown; originated at Pat O’ Brien’s

Bourbon (Ber-bun)- street lined with bars, restaurants, strip clubs, souvenir shops located in the French Quarter, downtown New Orleans; there’s a party every night on Bourbon

Here is a more complete list regarding foods around the area and here is a more extensive list of terms heard around the area if interested in learning more about the New Orleans (pronounced New Oar-lins, not New Orleeens except when referring to Orleans Parish) native tongue.

Question of the Day: Does your hometown have any cultural terms that are specific to your area and otherwise uncommon across other regions of the United States? Please share, ya’ll! 🙂