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Archive for March, 2009

Tonight’s book club was not so much about our past book, The American Wife, and more about celebrating Jody’s baby (who will be here in May!!). We had of the party essentials, including favors, cupcakes and a healthy dinner.

The table.

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Cookies made by Jen and I!!

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Trying to tie the book club into the shower.

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Napkins and hidden underneath the cute pink baby…

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Happy Easter! 🙂 hehe

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Cupcakes!

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Lots of sweets for Baby Addison

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Back to the healthy part of this…

My black bean/kidney bean dip with fresh veggies!

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Sarah’s warm wheat flatbread with parm and feta – AMAZING!

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Kate’s Strawberry Salad

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Natalie’s Apple Almond Butter with whole wheat tortillas – Great Idea!

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And somehow I missed the grilled chicken we made. Brady did a great job with the grilling and the simple/sweet marinate was perfect on it.

Balsamic Marinade

  • balsamic vinegar
  • honey
  • salt
  • pepper

Delicious!

I have a LOT of baby showers coming up so if anyone has any good ideas for hosting, let me know!!

🙂


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This weekend was great! Relaxing but busy at the same time! I have few recipes to post – a fun pizza night and some VERY healthy cookies that turned out great! I will get to that soon. 🙂 With 8 more days of school until Spring break, I am having a hard time concentrating on anything.

Tonight my girlfriend Jen and I made cookies for our bookclub tomorrow. I will post a full recap tomorrow night! While we were busy, Brady – my wonderful husband – made dinner! It was an experiment, but it turned out great! In fact, I would add it to the list to make for company, maybe as an appetizer or maybe stuffed into large peppers for an entree!

Brady’s Quinoa – Feta – Avocado Stuffed Peppers

  • small sweet peppers, as many as you want to stuff
  • 1/4 c. fat free feta
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 c. quinoa

Mix the avocado, quinoa and feta together and stuff into the mini peppers. Then bake at 400 for 20 min. or until soft and browned. 🙂

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We had these with salmon and WAY to many multigrain – Food Should Taste Good chips.

🙂 11 days until Florida!

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For real, we really ate a boat full of sushi tonight! There were ten of us that went out for sushi at a great place in Columbus called Haiku. We each picked a roll or two and they brought it out on a boat like this. All of the rolls were great, especially the crunch buckeye roll complete with pecans (Good call Chait!!). In the Haiku spirit, we all wrote a haiku (5. 7. 5 syllables) to share after dinner. I don’t really like haikus because I am a third grade teacher and I think poems should rhyme, so I made sure mine rhymed. 🙂

Next time I will be sure to bring my camera!   

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This meal makes the top ten list for sure! It was a mix of everything in the cupboard but it came out great! I would gladly make it to share with company or for a quick weeknight meal!

Here is what went into it:

Coconut Infused Brown Fried Rice

  • 2 packs of boil in a bag brown rice
  • 1/2 can of light coconut milk
  • 1 c. water

Mix water and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cook rice in the mixture until done. Turn off heat and set aside. Keep rice warm.

  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. crushed ginger
  • soy sauce
  • splash of coconut milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 c. egg whites

Heat in a pan so egg whites are cooked, before adding veggies:

  • sugar snap peas
  • water chesnuts
  • string bean – frozen from Trader Joe’s
  • peanuts
  • fresh broccoli

Add veggies to the stir fry pan and simmer until cooked!

His: served with chicken

Hers: served with tofu


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I can’t wait to make this again – the possibilities are endless!

Tomorrow is another long day with conferences after school until 8pm, but I will be getting Subway delivered to school, so there is something to look forward to!

🙂

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Plan for tomorrow.

So tomorrow, and the rest of the week are super busy. We have a Spring Musical at school tomorrow night, which means I won’t go home after school until it’s over. The play starts at 7pm, so my plan is to do report cards until I need to take tickets at the door around 6:30pm.

Since I had a little time tonight, I prepared all 3 meals for tomorrow to take on-the-go!

Breakfast: the usual + oatmeal

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Lunch: Leftovers

Snack #1

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Snack #2: apple with fat free plain yogurt and cinnamon and honey

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Dinner: to go with pizza that will be in between school and the play!

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I’m exhausted just thinking about tomorrow!

🙂

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This morning started with a 6am workout. Both Brady and I made it to the gym. I did a hard 35 min. on the stepmill while he ran. It was great to get it over with because Mondays are always busy and draining.

Breakfast was my usual fruit with GoLean vanilla oatmeal and coffee with soy-milk plus a splash of SF creamer. Then lunch was leftover Ali’s feast. It was delicious and filling – still. I snacked on celery and PB in the afternoon, while the kids were at art.

I was hungry when I got home. Luckily, I had planned ahead and marinated a piece of salmon in lime, cumin and mexican seasonings. I threw it in the oven on broil for about 10-15 min.

While that was cooking, I boiled up some diced sweet potatoes and heated up some quinoa from last night. I threw it all together with black beans and chickpeas. Served with baked kale and fresh tomato and guac. It was delish and very clean!

Super Simple Quinoa SBC (Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Chickpea)

  • 1 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 can of rinsed black beans
  • 1/2 sweet potato (diced and boiled)

Mix all together and enjoy!


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You can guess what my lunch for tomorrow looks like!




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After the French Toast wore off, I headed out for a run because

  1. our company had left
  2. Brady and his brother and dad were at the NCAA games for the day in Dayton
  3. it was 65 and sunny
  4. the only workout I had yesterday was yard work

I ran an unplanned 7 miles and felt strong! I think it was the combo of having nothing on my to-do list and the weather!

I quickly showered and went to Easton to meet up with Jen (my gf who I do my cookie business with) and Megan (a friend and sorority sister from college who just got engaged 🙂 and is planning a Sept. wedding)! We talked wedding and favors and saw her beautiful ring!! Then I shopped around and didn’t buy ANYTHING!

When I got home, I was starving! I put together my own Buddah’s Feast, like at PF Chang.

Ali’s Veggie Feast

  • 1 can lentils seasoned with bay and onion
  • 1 med. zucchini cut into pieces
  • 1 med. squash cut into pieces
  • bunch of asparagus
  • 1 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 block of extra firm tofu
  1. Broil the asparagus- sprayed with EVOO and with salt and pepper
  2. Make quinoa as directed – 1 to 2 ratio quinoa to water
  3. Stir fry zuc, sqaush, lentils and tofu together with salt and pepper. The lentils have the seasoning!

Ta da…a great veggie complete protein!

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Am I turning into a vegetairan?


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This morning, after a good night’s sleep, I turned the oven to 375 and threw in the breakfast strata I made yesterday in preparation for our company. It was so easy! I love when you can pre-make something so it is ready with no work when you need it.

For breakfast I served:

  • Fat Free French Toast Strata (a first time for this, usually it’s low-fat)
  • Orange fruit salad : oranges and cantaloup
  • Spicy sausage (no pic, sorry I wasn’t really interested in this)

Before being baked:

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And after:

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Fat/Sugar Free French Toast Strata

  • 1 1/2 cartons of Just Whites (egg whites)
  • 1 brick of fat free cream cheese (this melted much better than I thought)
  • 1/2 c. sugar free syrup ( or more if you would like)
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon (lots!)
  • 2/3 c. skim milk
  • 1 loaf or close to it 100% whole wheat bread
  1. Cut bread into cubes – like 1/2 in. by 1/2 in.
  2. Place cubes into sprayed baking dish you are planning on serving in
  3. In a bowl, mix egg whites, syrup, milk, cinnamon and vanilla.
  4. Cover the bread with the mixture.
  5. Cut cream cheese into little pieces and place throughout the dish.
  6. Cover with foil and keep cold in the fridge.
  7. Let dish set for 10-12 hours/overnight at least so bread is soggy.
  8. Bake at 375 for about and hour or until egg is cooked throughout!
  9. Serve hot with syrup!

Yum!


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I can’t even remember what we did Friday night, it seems like so long ago. But at the same time, the weekend flew by!

Yesterday morning, we woke and headed straight outside to work on our to-do list. The list wasn’t too long and consisted of cleaning out the garage and cleaning up the front yard (getting rid of leaves we missed that were hidden by the snow!). I felt like we were in the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie because each time we did something, we felt the need to do something else. So here is what happened, it all began around 9am yesterday morning after Brady had an omlet and I had AB banana toast!

  • cleaned out the garage, got rid of boxes, put away tools …
  • raked out front gardens and bagged leaves….
  • ripped out 3 bushes from front gardens and chopped up…
  • raked out all bed in backyard and bagged leaves…
  • raked out veggie garden to prep for planting…
  • borrowed neighbors rototiller and ’tilled garden…
  • raked out leaves that were down the side of our deck and discovered a new gate we didn’t know existed…
  • hooked up our new Bose outdoor speakers that I gave Brady for a wedding gift last June…
  • broke up all sticks from our recent big storm and put them in a huge bin for kinling for fires…
  • sanded and prepped our little grill table (where we put the food before it goes on the grill) for repainting…
  • baked the neighbors cookies to thank them for letting us use the rototiller
  • vacuumed the entire house because we had tracked so much dirt in from the yard work
  • washed the white tile kitchen floor because it looked like a mud bath (don’t ever put white tile in a kitchen…or anywhere for that matter!!)
  • showered because we were GROSS!

Here is a pic of our cleaned out beds:

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And notice one of the new speakers on the right – Brady did a great job hiding the cord under the deck!

And the cookies for the neighbors….

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Then after our super speedy clean up:

Brady’s cousins (twin guys our age) and their wives came over after a wedding in Columbus! They live in Cleveland and so they stayed the night. The wedding was in the afternoon so they arrived around 7pm. By the time they got here we were exhausted! They weren’t starving so we just threw together some snacks:

Veggie Plate with Sabra Hummus:

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Chips with fresh salsa:

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Spinach/Romaine salad with strawberries, apples, goat cheese and almonds:

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Pizza made of thawed bread dough:

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We relaxed, ate and watched basketball. Lights were out here by 11:00 pm last night!

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This was my pick of the week for the Craving Ellie in My Belly group! Here is the original recipe plus my changes!

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Ellie’s Greek Stuffed Peppers

* 1 pound lean ground beef (I used extra lean ground turkey)

* 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

* 1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)

* 1 small onion, minced (about 1 cup)

* 1/2 cup bulghur

* 1 egg, lightly beaten (I used egg whites)

* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* Freshly ground black pepper

* 3 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, cores and ribs removed (I used green)

* 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans low-sodium stewed tomatoes, finely chopped (I used diced)

* 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions

   1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

   2. In a large bowl combine the beef, spinach, zucchini, onion, quinoa/bulghur, egg, oregano, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.

   3. Arrange the pepper halves cut side up in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and fill each pepper half with the meat mixture. Pour the tomatoes over the peppers and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the meat mixture is completely cooked and the peppers are tender, about 25 minutes longer.

These were great! I would make them again to share with friends of family! I also loved the leftovers in my lunch. A very clean Ellie meal!

Check back for next weeks meal: Chicken with Mango BBQ Sauce hosted by Aggie!

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