Carrots and make-ahead meals

I harvested the remainder of my carrots this afternoon. I needed to make room in the garden plus the greens were starting to wilt, so I knew that they were ready.

05 30 11_0430

Not having any concrete plans for the carrots, I started to look for recipes online. I found a soup recipe that required minimal ingredients, that I had on hand, and was on a blog that I regularly read. 101 Cookbooks is a great resource for recipes (and food porn) that are natural, wholesome, and vegetarian.

I chopped up the carrots. Nothing smells as sweat as fresh carrots. It really is a different vegetable from what you can buy in the grocery store.

05 30 11_0433

Added them to the sautéed garlic and onion.

05 30 11_0434

After they cooled, I put them in the blender to puree the chunks of carrot.

05 30 11_0437

Cooking on Sunday (or in this case Monday) meals such as soup or sauce can really cut down the amount of time spent in the kitchen after a long day at work. I also tend to workout in the evenings, so this gives me the flexibility to have healthy, home-cooked meals and still eat dinner at a reasonable hour.

Do you have any kitchen shortcuts that make weekday meals easier?

Memorial Day

Last night J and I went to a Memorial Day cookout with some friends. I had a good time (maybe too good) because I do not think my stomach can handle a workout today. I tried to take pictures but beer + camera equals awesome shots of feet and (my) fingers covering the camera lens.

It is always nice to spend time with friends especially when said friends have a boat and the weather is beautiful.

So here is to a day of TV watching, couch sitting, and book reading. Hope everyone enjoys the holiday as much as I have (and will).

Craving Italian

J and I have been craving Italian food for a few weeks. I love living in Central Florida but being both Italian and having grown up in Connecticut, I am used to many choices of wonderful restaurants and home cooked meals. The original plan was to go to The Corner Store in Plant City but it closed early because of the holiday weekend. Hopefully, I can make it out there next weekend.

Celebration, Florida is a town built by Disney. Literally. The houses are beautiful and it has a cool small-town feel to it. It is also fairly close to where we live and filled with great restaurants. Craving Italian, going to Cafe D’Antonio’s was the obvious choice. We had eaten there a few years ago and enjoyed it.

Before we ate, we walked around downtown Celebration and looked in some of the shops.

05 28 11_0412 05 28 11_0416

05 28 11_0413 05 28 11_0414

To start, I had a Sam Adams. Not my favorite but a go to when a place has limited beer choices.

05 28 11_0418_edited-1 05 28 11_0420

We split an appetizer of shrimp in a creamy saffron sauce. It was pretty tasty.

05 28 11_0423

We had salads. My salad had mixed greens, strawberries, golden raisins, goat cheese, pine nuts, and a berry vinaigrette. It was really good and I would defiantly order it again. J had a Caesar Salad which he liked.

05 28 11_0424 05 28 11_0425

I had pasta (I substituted the angel hair for low GI farro pasta) with sundried tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil. It was very good.

05 28 11_0426

J had fettuccini alfredo with a side of Italian sausage. He thought the pasta was a bit generic.

05 28 11_0428_edited-1 05 28 11_0427_edited-1

05 28 11_0419

Overall, we liked Cafe D’Antonio’s. It has a romantic vibe and the location makes for a lovely night out.

Running Around Saturday

I tried to get up early enough to get in an eight mile long run this morning but I may have stayed up to late catching up on Game of Thrones. If you haven’t seen it, you really should check it out, it is an excellent show.So a late start plus a meeting at noon means my runs was cut short.

Pre-run fuel Ezekial bread plus almond butter and cinnamon.

05 28 11_0391

Cinnamon and nut butter goes together like Tail in his house on the bed.

05 26 11_0407

I ran in my favorite park which was very quiet this morning.

05 28 11_0399

Back home for a quick shower and more food.

Shredded wheat, Uncle Sam’s, Wheat Germ, Strawberry Kefir, and Blackberries.

05 28 11_0408 

Throwing on clothes and running out the door now. Looking forward to checking out a local resteraunt that looks amazing but I have never been to. Stay tuned for that post.

Did you get in the workout you planned today?

Do you Yoga?

I want to learn. I have purchased a few beginners DVD’s and tried to follow along but I think attending a class with a teacher who will give me more personal attention would be better. Looking into different studios in the Orlando/Kissimmee area and I find myself overwhelmed with the type Power/Bikram/Flow/Hatha?! Not sure which direction to go.

Yoga

In other news, how can you take a Friday (the most glorious day of the workweek) and improve it?

1. Make it a Friday before a three-day weekend.

2. Allow your employees to wear jeans.

3. Give your employees free food,

I will be having all of those things tomorrow and it should prove to be a great day.  

Do you do Yoga? What type?

Hump Day

Today’s run was pretty uneventful, if you believe that running across the surface of the sun is uneventful. Just kidding, it was a few degrees cooler than the sun’s surface. I am so excited for (the three day week-end of course) and my first long-run with my Garmin. I think the previous ones may have been at a faster pace, so it should be enlightening to see if I can maintain the right pace.

Recipe number two from Clean Eating was Pasta Lentil Bolognese. It was exciting to get to use carrots from my garden.

05 25 11_0385 

I used Dreamfields Pasta because J hates whole wheat pasta but will eat Dreamfields. I only had regular lentils on hand, so I did not use the green ones the recipe called for. I also omitted the fennel bulb because I could not find one, I think they may be out of season.

The lentils really gave the sauce a meaty flavor. This recipe would be great for meat eaters that want to eat less meat but are still looking for that heft in their meals. I added a side of grape tomatoes, crumbled feta, and olive oil.

05 25 11_0387

Overall, I liked the dish but the total time was long for a weeknight meal. If I were to make this again, I would make the sauce on Sunday and reheat for later in the week.

Tail was barely able to keep his eyes opened while I cooked.

05 25 11_0380

Two more work days until a glorious long weekend.

Do you have any plans for the holiday?

Clean Eating

I picked up a few magazines at the book store this weekend. One I had never read before called Clean Eating. I’ve been in a bit of a food rut lately, which bothers J much more than it bothers me, and was glad to find a magazine filled with healthy recipes that actually looked like I would want to eat them.

The clean eating concept is intriguing, I do not know a lot about it but have perused a few of the cookbooks. I do not believe in being on a diet but the principles laid out in the beginning of the magazine seemed reasonable. From page six of the April/May edition:

“The soul of clean eating is consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to possible.”

The first recipe I decided to try was the Almond, Bean, & Grain Burgers with Strawberry Shallot Sauce. Having thyroid disease, I am always looking for veggie burger recipes that do not contain soy. The strawberry sauce was the most interesting part of the burgers but they did hold together well unlike other recipes I have tried. I added a side of roasted asparagus with olive oil and a bit of salt. The burger was pretty good but would have been really bland without the sauce.

05 24 11_0378

I am off to watch the season finale of Glee which I know makes me a huge dork.

Where do you find inspiration for healthy meals?

Five Minute Dinner for One

Tonight was like most nights, I did my easy run (30 minutes at an easy pace) after work. Showered and cooked dinner for one. I was looking for something quick, with minimal preparation. My go to in these situations often involves eggs.

Two eggs with garlic, spinach, arugula, and monterey jack cheese topped with jarred salsa that I had in the fridge. I added a side salad and it made for a filling and flavorful dinner.

05 23 11_0372

I like to keep a salad in the fridge at all times so there is never any excuse for not eating vegetables. Making it on Sunday and adding to it during the week is great for nights where there is little time or motivation to cook.

Do you have a quick go to meal?

Breakfast and a new friend

Good morning!

I am up bright (it is actually still dark out) and early for work. I go in at 7:30, so I usually get an early start.

Breakfast

Coffee Black

05 23 11_0369

Shredded Wheat, Uncle Sam’s, Wheat Germ, Banana, and Strawberry Kefir.

05 23 11_0370

J made a new friend when we were running errands this weekend.

Bird 1 bird 3 Bird 2

I have to finish getting ready for work. Hope your have a great day (even if it is a Monday).

Bern’s Steakhouse

Yesterday was the best day ever. First, I ran a 5k and J could was able to come with me and now there is actual photographic evidence of my running. After that, we ran errands and I was able to pick-up Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris which is the newest book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. Then we were off to a fancy shmancy celebratory dinner at Bern’s. Not sure what could beat that other than if we all had actually been raptured.

All dressed up and in heals. Not sure what I’m doing with my arms but I may need some Next Top Model posing training.

05 21 11_0352

Picture I took of my feet and my sock tan line. Can you use self-tanner on your feet only?

05 21 11_0353

Bern’s waiting area was packed with people. Out reservation was at 9:30 and it was surprising how many other late diners there were.

05 21 11_0354

05 21 11_0355

I had a Blue Point Brewing Company Toasted Lager. I had never had a toasted lager before but it was good very warm and flavorful.

05 21 11_0356

J decided he wanted to try caviar and neither of us had tried it before other than it being used as a garnish.

05 21 11_0358

Bern’s serves it the with traditional accompaniments of red onion, egg white, egg yolk, and sour cream. It also came with butter based foams with toast points. It was really wonderful and we would order caviar again.

05 21 11_0357 

All the entrees come with French Onion soup.

05 21 11_0359

I ordered a salad of  tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, basil, and gorgonzola. It was delicious. 

05 21 11_0361 

J’s main course with sides. He ordered the fillet with béarnaise sauce and foie gras as an accompaniment plus a side of creamed spinach.

05 21 11_0362

I had the Chicken Bert which came with a tomato reduction, vegetable risotto, and broccoli rabe. It was very moist and flavorful.

05 21 11_0363 

The dessert room at Bern’s is worth a trip just on it’s own. They make all of their desserts in house and you can taste the quality.

 05 21 11_0364

Each table is in a “wine cask” and has a radio inside it that plays different types of music.

05 21 11_0365

If you eat dessert hear, you have to have a Cappuccino Bern’s Steakhouse. It is the best after dinner coffee I have ever had anywhere.

05 21 11_0367

I had the Baked Alaska.

05 22 11_0350

J had the Chocolate Five ways. One of the ways is a Bacon Chocolate Brownie that was amazing.

05 22 11_0351

It was a wonderful end to a wonderful day.