Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

summer linguine

September 17, 2012

Several months ago I came across a recipe in a little insert to the Sunday paper called “Relish.” It looked interesting, and I didn’t take the time to read it, but tucked it away for the future (as I do so often – my Pinterest behavior before Pinterest ever came along!)

Mid-July I finally took the time to peruse it and came across an interesting recipe I wanted to try, but knowing my family would balk at me adding blue cheese to anything, I made a few changes.

original recipe

I loved the concept of cooking the dish in one pot plus it included ingredients I already had on hand (minus the blue cheese) so I gave it a try one evening. It was a hit!

I substituted a few cheeses I already had on hand – feta and parmesan instead of the blue – and I don’t think it deterred from the flavor one bit.

I’ve got a mini Cuisinart that made chopping the almonds a snap!

Here’s a pic of the final product – doesn’t look nearly as good as it tasted. I’m going to make it again tonight!

my rendition

my rendition

Here is the original recipe; you can alter it as you like!

Linguine with Greens, Yogurt, Almonds and Blue Cheese

This Greek inspired one-dish meal embodies the Mediterranean diet. You can use almost any greens and substitute feta or Parmigiano Reggiano for the blue cheese.

1    pound linguine

1    pound mixed greens or spinach leaves, coarsely chopped

4    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2    garlic cloves, minced

2    ounces Roquefort, Gorgonzola or Stilton, mashed with a fork

1    cup creamy Greek yogurt or whole-milk yogurt

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

freshly ground black pepper

2/3 cup coarsely ground unskinned almonds

fruity extra virgin olive oil for drizzling (optional)

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. One minute before the end of cooking drop greens into the pot. Drain pasta and greens, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.

In the same pan, warm olive oil over medium heat Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add pasta and greens, cheese, yogurt and about 1/2 cup or more cooking liquid, enough to moisten pasta. Add salt, pepper and almonds and toss well.

Serve in a warm bowl or platter. Drizzle with fruity olive oil if using. Serves 8.

Recipe by Aglaia Kremezi. Reprinted with permission from K. Dun Gifford and Sara Baer-Sinnott’s The Oldways Table: Essays and Recipes from the Culinary Think Tank (Ten Speed Press, 2007).

Per serving: 396 calories, 17g fat, 11mg chol., 369mg sodium, 47g carbs., 4g fiber, 14g protein

eggs in a cup

September 21, 2011

Well, sorry for my absence, but I’ve been a little busy attending funerals. Seriously. Sometimes life is full of those you love leaving you. Maybe one of these days I’ll share about what I miss and loved about them. It’s all so heavy though, and I didn’t want to start back to blogging focusing on my losses!

So, on the brighter side, I thought I’d share with you a happy little comfort-food idea that’s easy and nutritious! (Yes, comfort-food is important at times like these, or plenty of tequila! But I’d recommend sticking with comfort-food! It’s cheaper, more satisfying and will keep you out of trouble!)

I was wasting inordinate amounts of time on pinterest the other day and found this great way to make scrambled eggs (or as the innovator labeled them, omelets in a mug! ) The first time I made them, I forgot to spray the mug with Pam, and forgot to lightly scramble the eggs before cooking. I must’ve been hungry!  I ate them anyway! Today I remembered to do both and it was yum!

I always do better after consuming protein in the morning instead of the easy to grab and go carbs. So, this only takes 2 minutes and you can even take it with! The eggs stay hot a lot longer than ones on a plate do too.

Let me know if you tried them and if you made any improvements!

still at it

February 17, 2011

It’s an absolutely gorgeous day! I’m about to go out and enjoy it, but first I wanted to say that even though I haven’t kept you up to date on my Fitness Together progress, that doesn’t mean I’ve given up! To the contrary, I’ve been plugging away at this fitness thing for 13 months! It’s hard to believe, but I’m still at it (applause please, lol)!

What’s harder to believe, and I’m not proud to say this, is that even though I’ve been at it for over a year, it’s really no easier than it was (ok, maybe it is, a little!) Sticking with something that just doesn’t come naturally is just plain hard. I’ve never been an outdoorsy or athletic person. I think I could’ve been if I’d been brought up that way, but alas, I wasn’t.

We tend toward those things we are most comfortable with, whether or not they are good for us.

So, what I’m saying is, I’d like to tell you that if you stick with an exercise and eating plan, it’ll just become part of your life. Yes and no. If you stay intentional about it, it will. But if you drift back to your old ways, it won’t. Maybe after another year? I’ll let you know! I think the embarrassing truth may be that I’m always a batch of cookies or a bag of chocolate kisses away from blowing it. Hershey’s Kisses aren’t bad, but a whole bag of them is!

I love baking. My family likes it when I bake. I love being appreciated by my family for my baking/cooking. I love eating what I bake! Why would I give all that up!? Giving them up isn’t necessarily the answer – I’ve tried it and it just makes certain people (me) grumpy! A good compromise is doing less baking. I can still bake, just not as often. I can cook all I like, healthy dinners are a good substitute. Exercising to compensate for my goody-love is a wise plan also. I knew a police officer who told me once that the reason he worked out was so that he could eat what he wanted!

It’s sobering to own up to a reality in my life that I’m not proud of. Fitness will always have to be a deliberate choice for me. If I don’t stay focused and intentional, I’ll drift back to finding excuses for not getting to the gym or outside walking or running. I’ll drift back to being out of shape, out of energy, heavy, self-conscious and miserable. Wow, this is a good reminder of how I used to feel. Is it really worth feeling awful to laze back to my old bad habits? Hmmm, this puts everything in perspective. I’d rather have a little discipline daily than live a life of daily regret.

Recently my husband and I were on a week-long vacation where it was warm and sunny. Perfect weather for walking and running! Did I run or walk daily?  No. Did I go to the beautiful fitness room even once? No! The reason is this: for me, working out is still work! When I’m on vacation, I want to forget all work! I want to take a vacation from my problems, like my friend in my favorite movie, “What About Bob?”

The happy vacationing couple!

So, I gave myself permission to not work out. I walked up 275 stairs every morning and down that same number after being at the pool for a while. Sometimes I walked up those stairs two or three times a day. Les and I went for a beach walk one time because it was beautiful, not because I wanted exercise. I did nothing I didn’t want to do. (Isn’t that what makes a vacation so enjoyable anyway?) But I’m bummed that I didn’t want to.

Subconsciously it must have been bothering me. When I got home, I started having disturbing dreams – in them I was gaining weight, growing  bigger and bigger and stressing and stressing, my clothes wouldn’t fit – things like that. (I know I’m in trouble when I go to bed at night with the last thought on my mind being, “If I don’t make some changes tomorrow, I’m going to be in trouble. . . .”  Makes for a fitful night and a stressed out life!)

So, while I vacationed, I had a perfectly lovely time, but now I am home and am “back to work.”

I have to admit, it feels good to work out! Afterwards I’m always glad I went and put out the work. It just doesn’t come easily. I never get up in the morning with my first thought being, “Today, I can’t wait to workout. I think I’ll go right now!”

I guess what I’m trying to say is this, I would’ve thought that after a year of patterning my behavior and eating habits, it’d become natural. Although disappointing, at least I know where I stand and will just have to keep doing what I’m doing because it works, and because I feel terrific!

By the way, I ran more yesterday than I have in 6 years! I felt invigorated and happy! (I also could barely walk last night, but that’s beside the point!)

I’m still at it!

orangette

March 3, 2010

I wanted to share with you a blog that I’ve been enjoying for the last year. I was browsing Amazon.com one day and came across a book that grabbed my attention. I read about the author, Molly Wizenberg, and from there I learned about her blog, Orangette. I absolutely love her site and her book!

The book is entitled, A Homemade Life. I read it in two days and began making some of the recipes just as quickly. There isn’t one thing I’ve made that we didn’t absolutely love!

Molly writes in a down to earth and easy to read manner. I could relate to her story – about her dad’s journey through cancer and about her connections and relationships forged through food. It was the most enjoyable read I’ve experienced in a long time!

I was bummed that I finished reading it so quickly, but I couldn’t help myself! It was captivating! I wish there was another on the horizon. It looks like A Homemade Life will be coming out in paperback this month, so that’ll have to do, but I love my hardbound copy and, alas, it’s already marked up.

When I decide to cook one of her recipes, I jot the date in the margin and then my family’s response to it.  I write down any changes I’ve made, and any ideas for adapting it the next time, I note there as well. It’s become a cooking journal I refer back to often. My daughter has even been adding her own notes! (But she’s going to have to get her own copy when she moves out!)

If you’re like me and enjoy being at home and trying new recipes, then this book will be a delight to you. If not, go ahead and give it a read anyway. You may just find a new side of yourself you didn’t know existed! Bon appetit!