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Rough morning, Tough workout!

Have you noticed anything different?  You haven’t?!? Let me give you a hint…  Look over to your right.  And then click that little “Like” button!  I set up a TresLaLa to TinyLaLa Facebook page!  You know you like it!  Just hit the button!  🙂

This morning was rough, my friends.  I had a few too many glasses of wine at the shrimp boil yesterday.  Not to mention that extra beer that I threw in there.  I’m not able to sleep any more after getting my drink on.  So I was awake at 4:15 AM, just staring at the clock (which is really hard because I can’t see the clock without my glasses on or contacts in).  I just hate the feeling when you WANT to be asleep, and you know you NEED to be asleep, but just can’t sleep!  Alcohol really screws with my sleeping patterns – yet another reason why I’m trying to limit to 3 drinks in any given 24 hour period (yesterday’s party was 6 hours long…).  I just never seem to remember when I’m having fun & socializing that it’s not going to feel good at 4 AM.  D’oh!

Nekkid cauliflowers...

Today’s TinyLaLa Check In has been postponed until tomorrow, folks.  I got my body fat tested at the gym today (calipers method, belch!) but I forgot all the details at work!  Boo.  I’ll check in early tomorrow my time to get those deets posted.  I have to warn you – it ain’t pretty…

Today I started a training program at the gym at work.  It’s called The Biggest Winner.  It’s a group training session, where we’ll meet with a personal trainer either once or twice a week for 12 weeks.  I signed up for the 1 per week group (either Mondays or Wednesdays – which means I’m going to have to take another look at my workout calendar to figure what works best).  I’m finding that I need more personal attention – even though it’s a group training session, I feel like I need the push.  I wish I were able to work out as hard as I do when I’m with a trainer when there isn’t one around, but alas…  it doesn’t work that way for me.

Stay tuned to this space to start seeing the weight fall off me!

Today was the first day of the program.  Weight, BF assessment, measurements, fitness assessments, and a workout.  I’ll fill in all the details tomorrow.  Promise!

Tonight’s dinner was roasted cauliflower (a head of cauliflower cut into florets, topped with olive oil spray and garlic gold nuggets baked at 425* for 13 minutes), wilted spinach (a bag of organic spinach that was about to turn, heated on the stove top with a spray of olive oil and more garlic gold nuggets), and leftover salmon.  I’ve decided that I can’t buy Costco‘s salmon any more.  I really don’t like the leftovers!  My microwave / kitchen / first floor stinks!  But, dinner was tasty & nutritious.  YAY for planning!

Of course, planning only works when you work it.  This morning I was running late for a meeting, so I forgot my breakfast AND lunch.  Grabbed an egg white sandwich with cheese & bacon on a whole wheat English muffin for breakfast, and a chicken salad sandwich with tons of veggies and Baked! Doritos for lunch.  Were these terrible choices?  No.  Were they what I’d eat if I had thought about it before placing my order?  No.  No winners in this, friends.  Planning = 0; Lara = 0.

I came home tonight to about a gazillion new magazines!  Not sure what the deal is, but I am inundated!  For some reason I got Harper’s Bazaar too.  Weird – I’m sure I didn’t subscribe to that…  Strange.  While the hubby fills his brain with Monday Night Football, I’m headed up to bed with a cup of tea and a stack of mags!

Do you work out with a trainer?  Have you in the past?  Were you able to take what they taught you and incorporate it into your normal workout routine?

Anyone else have the inability to sleep after a few drinky-poos?

What I Ate Wednesday – Take 2

Today has been a bit of a whirlwind…  I feel like a crazy person running around with my head cut off (or, err, is that a chicken?).  See crazy person, right here…

Early morning meetings, a big project sent in at the end of the day, swimming at noon, jogging after work, pup walks, dinner, AND we have to pick up the house, because tomorrow is the best day of the month!  The cleaners are coming, the cleaners are coming!  (Sung in the form of The Jerk‘s phone book, of course…)  <– Big dork.

Anyway, the house needs a good tidying, and I need to finish up a bunch of laundry before they come.  Nothing better than a house completely pulled together (and cleaned by someone else!).

But, let’s get down to business…  It’s What I Ate Wednesday!

I started my day with a cup of iced coffee on my way to work.

Breakfast was a bowl of oatmeal with strawberries, pineapple, peanut butter, and granola.  The strawbs were hidden under the oatmeal, so they got all nice and warm!

On my way to swimming, I had a Luna Protein Bar with some agua.

Lunch was leftover tilapia from last night, served with some tabouli, with a sprinkle of non-fat feta cheese.

Lunch dessert = watermelon!  Love me some lunch dessert!

The pups were interested in saying “Hi!” today!  Please disregard my hubby’s make-shift brewing area on the fire pit!

Afternoon snack was a chunk of Irish soda bread, Apple cinnamon flavor.  Do you see Mason’s tongue there?!?  He’s such a goof!

Dinner was another winner!  I am on a roll this week, friends!  Tonight I made:

Crab Cakes with Red Pepper-Basil Tartar Sauce
Adapted from Coastal Living – September 2010
Serves 4

  • 8 oz Fresh lump crabmeat, drained & picked (I used some that I found in my fish section of the grocery)
  • 1 Green onion, sliced
  •  1/2 c Crushed saltine crackers (this is 10 crackers)
  • 2 T Mayonnaise (I used vegan)
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh ground pepper
  • Dash Salt
  • 1/2 c Whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
  • Sprinkles of Garlic Gold
  • 2 Tbsp Canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp Prepared tartar sauce
  • 5 leaves of Basil
  • 1 tsp Red pepper
  1. Stir together crabmeat, onion, crackers, mayo, pepper & salt.
  2. Shape into 4 patties.  Place breadcrumbs & Garlic gold in shallow dish & dredge both sides of patties.  Fry in hot oil (I did 2 patties at a time, using 1 Tbsp oil for each “batch”) 2 minutes each side or until golden.
  3. Drain on paper towels.
  4. To make fancy-schmancy tartar sauce, slice basil into prepared tartar sauce, and add enough red pepper to give it a kick.  (Benefit of this is you don’t need to use a lot of it!)
All that, served with some Soda Stream Diet Cola and steamed green beans (microwaved!) on the side.
I’m being summonsed to help pick up…  Cheers!

Winner, Winner… Fish dinner!

I’ve thought a lot lately about the best ways for me to make sure that I hit my weight loss goals this year.  And basically, I have decided to keep doing what I’ve done recently:
  • Eating on plan
  • Working out
  • Staying positive
  • Focusing on myself
  • Blogging!*
* Sorry, kids.  You can’t get rid of me that easily!

Boneless, skinless Tilapia? Really?

I know that I need to get a bit more creative in the kitchen.  And by creative, I mean I need to try to make more simple meals during the week – with a plan!

So, in planning this week’s meals, I chose all new recipes.  Last night’s was a complete hit!  Super Yum Sauce was still good at lunch today.  Yes, it’s that good, folks.  I could lap it up.  Seriously.

Tonight I had planned on this fantastic tilapia recipe…

Pre-baking: Check out those chunks of garlic! But, it was perfect - not too much!

When buying tilapia, there are a number of different options out there.  However, only farm-raised USA-grown tilapia is considered sustainable from the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.

TILAPIA

© Monterey Bay Aquarium
SEAFOOD RATING MARKET NAMES WHERE CAUGHT HOW CAUGHT
Tilapia Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Izumidai U.S. Farmed
Tilapia Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Izumidai Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras Farmed
Tilapia Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Izumidai China, Taiwan Farmed

Source

I think it’s extremely important to buy sustainable food.  And for me, fish is one of the easiest.  If you shop at Whole Foods, they have a little sticker on the tag of the fish indicating where it came from and if it’s sustainable.  My local grocery store, Sprout’s, indicates where everything came from, and whether it’s farmed or wild.  Using either the Seafood Watch App on my iPhone or Android, or the Seafood Watch Pocket Guides, I find it really easy to make a great choice that I know is better for the environment and healthier.

Greek Tilapia Florentine
Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine 

  • 3  five oz Tilapia filets
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 3 Cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 Green onions, chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
  • 1.5 tbsp Olive oil
  • 10 oz Baby spinach
  • 1/3 c Low-fat Feta cheese

Sautéing green onions...

  1. Preheat oven to 350*.
  2. Lay filets in a baking dish.  Top with tomatoes, sliced garlic & parsley.  Squeeze lemon over fish.  Cover with foil; bake for 20 minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily.
  3. In a large, deep skillet, heat oil.  Sauté green onions and chopped/pressed garlic for a minute.  Reduce heat and add spinach.  Cook until wilted (about 3 to 5 minutes).  Add feta and heat until melted.
  4. Place 1/3 of spinach/feta mixture on each plate, top with fish & tomatoes.

Wilted spinach, green onions, garlic & feta

I didn’t buy enough spinach, so ours was a bit short.  The leftover tilapia filet will be served with tabouli, since I only made enough spinach for 2 servings…

Final product - A winner for the rotation!

Finished the evening with a cupcake.  Turns out the hubby didn’t take them into work today, and I just had to have just 1 more!  But, I made him promise that he had to take them in tomorrow…  They just cannot stay in this house!

Do you care where your fish / beef / chicken come from and whether they are sustainable?   How does it affect your grocery shopping & eating out?

Super Yum Sauce

I stayed up too late last night, watching documentaries on the Terrorist attacks.  Which made for a very difficult Monday morning, with 7 AM meetings.  And, it was a telepresence meeting…  If you’ve never been in a telepresence meeting, just don’t schedule one for 7 AM on a Monday.  Ever.  It’s mean.

It’s a super fancy video conference, where it appears that the people in the other site are sitting opposite the table from you.  Seriously.  The technology is amazing.  However, despite the amazing technology, no one thought to add a filter when it’s 7 AM Pacific time (my time) and 3 PM UK time.  Our colleagues were all wide awake & refreshed, and the circles under my eyes just could NOT be covered this morning!  I did wake up in time to get fully ready for work, which has been a challenge lately.  Got a few compliments on my new hairstyle, and the Exec. Director remarked about how cute my dress was!  It really does pay to get ready for work in the morning!

TinyLaLa Check-in Day!

Moving forward, I’m going to use Mondays as my check-in day…  That’ll bring me some consistency and remind me that I can’t just go hog-wild over the weekend.  (Not that I did this weekend – I think I did pretty well, even if I didn’t move my body much yesterday, I did 2 workouts on both Friday and Saturday, and made good choices food-wise).

Weight:  208 pounds

Plan for the week:  It’s Triathlon Taper Time, kids!

  • Monday:  Pilates
  • Tuesday:  Weight training
  • Wednesday:  Swimming & 2 mile run
  • Thursday:  15 mile cycle
  • Friday:  Weight training
  • Saturday:  REST – Parents arrive!
  • Sunday:  Nautica Malibu Triathlon – Sprint distance (.5 mile swim, 18 mile bike, 4 mile run)
Food Plan for the week is on track!  Post on the meal planning process later this week – promise!

Dinner Tonight!

We started the week with this amazing recipe, adapted from Cooking Light‘s June 2011 issue:
Pineapple Chicken Satay
Serves:  4.  Serve with:  Brown Rice & Green veg
  • 1/4 cup Lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Sweet chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup Natural-style crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 pound Chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 1.5 cups diced pineapple
  • 1/3 c chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp Dried cilantro (or 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp Ground red pepper
  1. Combine soy sauce, chili sauce, and peanut butter in a bowl & stir.
  2. Combine oil, curry, and chicken in a 2nd bowl; toss to coat.  Skewer chicken onto 6″ skewers.
  3. Grill over medium heat, about 4 minutes each side.
  4. Combine pineapple, onion, cilantro, lemon juice & red pepper in a 3rd bowl & stir.
  5. Serve chicken with sauce and pineapple salsa.
This recipe was amazing.  The hubby thought the sauce was a bit salty, but I thought it matched the sweetness of the pineapple salsa really well.  I believe I referred to it as “Super Yum Sauce” a few times during dinner.  And I’m pretty sure I tried to offer some to my dog, because I think every being should experience Super Yum Sauce.  Yes, it’s that good.

Pineapple salsa, flavors mixing...

Once we finished eating (I served it with brown rice, but didn’t make any veg), I cut up some celery stalks, just so that I could finish up the sauce that was on my plate.  I lapped it up.  And then I used some of the pineapple salsa as a “chip” to dip it in.  So good, my friends.  So good.
Of course, dinner wouldn’t be complete without my last cupcake (I forgot to take the cupcakes into work today, but the hubby will do it tomorrow).

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

A Day of Remembrance

It was difficult to get out of bed this morning.  10 years after massive terrorist attacks on the US, I wonder how we can live such a normal life (at least I can).

When I did get up, I put out the flag that we reserve for the 4th of July, Veteran’s Day, and the anniversary of September 11.  It’s not much, but at least I feel that I’m doing something

And then I went on with my day…

We started the day with iced coffee and more breakfast tacos…

A rainbow of colors for Sunday brunch. All veggies were the leftover grilled veggies from last night, except for the tomatoes, which were still fresh...

I used 6 egg whites and 2 full eggs, plus about 2 Tbsp of Fage 0% Greek Yogurt.  The Fage adds a bit of creaminess to the eggs, but they’re not runny (like when I used to add skim milk).  They also give an extra pump of protein!

Because the Fage doesn’t mix super well in the eggs, I mix them in the bullet blender for about 5 seconds, just enough to get the Fage all mixed in and creamy.

I sautéed the onions first, since they were still pretty spicy last night, because they weren’t fully cooked.  

Pour over the eggs, and scramble away!

Add into corn tortillas, topped with Mexican Red Sauce, and voila!

After breakfast I started making the meal plan for this week…  Stay tuned for a post on that later this week!

This evening, our friend Christina came over again, this time to help me make cupcakes!  We made Jenna’s Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting from Eat, Live, Run.  Except we doubled the recipe (to make a total of 18 cupcakes), and added 1/3 a bag of chocolate chips, because you know I love some chocolate!  And the best part?  I got to break out the new stand mixer that my hubby got me for my birthday!

Mmmm, cream cheese frosting!

The cupcakes turned out well – although they were pretty ‘molasses-ey’.  I’m not sure that’s a word, but I might cut the amount of molasses next time.  And Jenna was right – they’re very muffin-like in texture.

Pay no attention to the messes at the bottom of the oven...

Of course, the frosting more than makes up for that!  Yum.  I cut the tip of my make-shift pastry bag too large, so my frosting skills aren’t fantastic here.

But that just means more frosting.

How could that ever be a bad thing?

Of course, the cupcakes were for dessert.  I packed up 1 for Christina to take home, 11 to take to work, and 2 for Matt & I tomorrow evening for dessert. Remember – I’m trying to LOSE weight here.  While one cupcake once in a while isn’t going to kill me, 18 of them will.

Dinner was a salad with these toppings:

Yellow grape tomatoes, red peppers, heirloom carrots, baby beets, goat cheese & Garlic Gold... On top of butter lettuce with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

And we made a pizza…  Whole wheat pizza crust from Trader Joe’s (surprisingly amazing!), all-natural pizza sauce, sweet chicken sausage, red peppers and yellow grape tomatoes, topped with mozzarella cheese and Garlic Gold nuggets.  Of course, I forgot to snap any photos while eating, but behold the aftermath…  The middle pieces were messy, but the crust held up really well.

The crust was PERFECT!

We’re watching the History Channel’s special on the terrorist attacks from September 11, featuring home movies from civilians watching as the towers in NYC were hit.  It really was a terrible, terrible day in US history.  I was shocked to hear on NPR on Friday and read in this morning’s paper that most schools do not teach about this day.  I don’t care about your politics – and I don’t want this to become a political blog.  But teachers are made to teach to the test, and are not able to teach to what’s most important.

Never forget, my friends.  Never.

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