24 March, 2011

Carrot-Pineapple Smoothie

 Writing a pretty self-reflective post. I'll put that up soon. I've been doing well on my diet this week. I'm pretty proud of myself. Lately, the idea of getting vegetables into breakfast has been bothering me. I decided to try this carrot and pineapple smoothie based off this recipe from RealSimple.com.

I skipped the ice, added some yogurt and a bit more orange juice. I'll figure out the nutrition info later.

The fun-straw is a lie. You can't drink this smoothie with that thing. 
 Carrot-Pineapple Smoothie
1 banana
3/4 cup frozen pineapple
2/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup plain, organic, non-fat greek yogurt
2 oz chopped carrot

Add all ingredients into blender. Blend until mixed. Pour into a tall glass. Enjoy.

17 March, 2011

Blanching Broccoli

It's St. Patrick's day, so let's make something green. We're going to blanch some broccoli!

I actually love cooking, and don't know why I haven't posted more about it. Maybe it's because it would have me writing more about my food addiction which keeps me overweight. Or, I'm afraid of having to talk about my inability to keep a consistent food log. I really do not have a good relationship with food. I know what I need to get healthy, but lately, I've been having trouble actually doing what is necessary. What does any of this have to do with blanching broccoli? Well, usually at about two weeks, the vegetables have gone bad, and I have no fresh spinach because I've discarded it, and no broccoli for the same reason. My lack of a meal plan is the death of my vegetables. I've decided to do something about that. Blanching and freezing is a fantastic preservation method. Plus, it makes the food easy to prepare on a moment's notice. If I don't like what mom's cooking, I can pull out a pan, a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and make some very delicious broccoli rather quickly.

For the sake of this post, and because I was skeptical of the supermarket food scale, I weighed my broccoli first.
This is obviously more than two pounds. This turned out to be a blessing because I actually ruined about six ounces of broccoli when I tried seasoning it with some pepper from the container of ground black pepper. I really need to get some fresh peppercorns for the grinder so it doesn't happen again.
Hardware: Knife, cutting board, steamer basket, broccoli.
Step 1: Set water to boil. Cut up your broccoli how you like it.
When I got home, I realized that the broccoli we bought had an unusually short stalk. If you have a longer stalk on your broccoli, it's perfectly edible. Just peel it, cut it up, and add it to the florets. It's a little extra work, so if you don't feel like it, just add it to your compost bin. Or, if you live in my house, toss it.
The water's boiling!
Put the steamer basket in filled with broccoli. Cover with a lid. Let it steam for 5 minutes.
Take out steamer basket carefully. Try not to burn yourself as I someday will. Put the broccoli in an ice-water bath for 3 minutes to stop the residual heat from overcooking the broccoli. Look how much greener it is compared to when it was uncooked!
Drain your broccoli well.
Store in a plastic bag and mark it with contents and date. I sucked the air out of this bag with a straw. Air is the enemy of all food, especially wet frozen food.
I like to heat it up in a pan over medium heat with 2 tsp olive oil, a bit of salt and pepper. I actually like a little carmelization to occur. It's probably the best broccoli I've ever had.      

Tomorrow's a weigh in. I'm not looking forward to it. Here's to better times soon. Happy St. Patrick's day!

08 March, 2011

Shopping For Groceries

Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by. I know it's been forever since I posted something worth reading on here. A month is forever in blog land. February was a pretty crap month for me. Two weeks was spent trapped in the house from a blizzard and the university gym being closed due to cold weather, and the other two weeks were spent in a crippling depression spell! Yay! Of course, exercising at home could have helped, but I failed to take action and have gained back four pounds! 566! Let's stay on the positive side. At least it's not 580 pounds.

We finally went shopping for groceries for the month. I figured it would make a good blog post that would lead into meal planning and maybe future recipe posts.

A little about my diet first: The diet plan I'm using to create my meal plan is based off of the Abs Diet promoted by Men's Health magazine, with a little bit of planning from reshapethenation.com thrown in. With the Abs Diet, you focus on getting a lot of good clean foods into three meals and three snacks throughout the day. The advantage to this is that if you focus on getting the core foods they recommend into your diet, the calories and nutrition take care of themselves with very little monitoring. The disadvantage for me is that while I love the whole grain breads, cereals, lean meats and dairy products Abs Diet lets me eat, I don't eat as many vegetables as I should because I still have a love/hate thing with them.  This is where Reshape the Nation comes in. They recommend five meals, and have designated hi carb/lo carb days. On low carb days, you eat LOTS of vegetables. The diet uses a carb cycling plan that is meant to keep the metabolism going and you losing weight. They make it super easy by giving you a full meal plan and a grocery list, but to be honest, I think the recipes they recommend suck. I hate cottage cheese and hard boiled eggs. Gross. Mrs. Dash is NOT going to make any of that better. However, I do like planning my meals based on their carb cycling plan. I'll talk about my meal plan in another post.

Let's go shopping!