Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday

I wish I didn't have to cram all this in into one post... but, don't worry, I'm sure I'll be back to my normal blogging schedule pretty soon.

Sunday, was pretty hectic, so I just scarfed down a Zone Perfect Fudge Graham bar like normal and grabbed a PB&J sandwich on whole wheat bread made with organic peanut butter and sugar-free grape jelly for lunch.

After moving all day, I was THIS close to just giving up and making myself a steamy, comforting bowl of Ramen noodles for dinner with some saltines... but eventually I made the right choice and whipped up a quick salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, chick peas, cannelini beans, avocado, feta, and walnuts tossed with Ken's Lite Ranch Dressing.

I was really proud of myself for making the good decision, and it felt great knowing that I've come one step closer to really making a lifestyle change in my diet. Plus, even though making a salad takes a little more effort, it took probably the same amount of time making Ramen does, if not even less. So if you're going to cheat one time, don't give the old "time" excuse.... just own your mistakes and vow to start with a fresh slate tomorrow.

To treat myself after the long day moving, I also tried out my oven and made these healthy muffins. The recipe was originally for Pumpkin Muffins, but apparently Stop&Shop only carries canned pumpkin during the fall, so I decided to go with No Sugar Added Canned Peach Slices instead. But.... I was still getting used to the oven and they came out pretty burnt. The recipe said 40 minutes, but they were burnt in 20! The insides were kinda good, though...

Monday morning, I started the day right with some Frosted Mini Wheats. Like I said, I usually don't eat cereal, but Monday was another busy day, so I went with a high-fiber choice in skim milk.

Monday night's dinner was, in a word... AMAZING! Even Brent said, it's the best thing I've ever cooked that he's tried that wasn't dessert! It was delicious. Yummmm, I'm drooling just thinking about how tasty and awesome it was. I got this recipe from the February issue of Taste at Home magazine that my friend Sarah lent me. 

Nutty Chicken Stir Fry

  • Chicken breasts (I used about five chicken breast tenders, but it depends on how many people you're trying to feed)
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Stir-fry vegetables (The easiest thing would be the pre-mixed frozen stir-fry vegetable packets, but I don't like everything in those, so I used canned baby corn, water chestnuts, and bean sprouts)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Brown sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Ginger
  • Reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • Reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • Peanut butter
  • Long-grain white rice
  • In a large skillet, stir fry chicken breasts in oil for 2 minutes
  • Add vegetables and cook until soft, then add garlic
  • In a bowl, combine 2 tbsp brown sugar, 4 tsp cornstarch, 3/4 tsp ground ginger (I bought fresh ginger and ground it with a cheese grater). Stir in 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup peanut butter (I microwaved for about 30 seconds - make sure not to burn!! - to make it soft enough to stir with the other ingredients) until blended.
  • Pour sauce mixture over chicken mixture. Bring to a boil, cook a stir for 2 minutes until sauce thickens.
  • Serve with rice (I used the rice cooker my parents got me for Christmas... makes perfect rice every time! And they aren't that expensive)
  • The recipe also called for salted peanuts to sprinkle over the top before serving, but the water chestnuts gave the recipe all the crunch it needed and it was definitely peanut-y enough without them!

I also made a new batch of muffins! I put the muffins in at 325˚ instead of 375˚ and made sure to watch them. They came out great, and I'll definitely make them again. 

Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
Directions (makes six muffins):
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F
  2. Coat muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or line muffins cups.
  3. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl; blend well.
  4. Pour batter evenly into muffin tins.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until muffins are cooked through.
  6. Allow to cool before enjoying.

This morning I slept late because I had a bad night's sleep, so I had a quick bowl of my favorite cereal - Special K Fruit and Yogurt - with some skim milk.

When I got home from class, I made myself some peanut butter oatmeal which was YUMMY!

After lunch, I read a cookbook I got a while ago made by one of The Biggest Loser chefs. It gave me some interesting insight into my diet and there were definitely a lot of great, healthy recipes in there. Reading about portion size and the food pyramid made me realize that I'm probably going to have a plateau in my diet if I don't start cutting down on some carbs. Which is why I made a tunafish sandwich - minus the bread - for dinner tonight :) And I planned out my meals for tomorrow so that I would get the right amounts of everything... 4 servings of fruits and veggies, 3 servings of protein, 2 servings of whole grains. And of course, one serving of sweets! ;)

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