Archive for the ‘What I Eat’ Category

Project: Kitchen Clean-Out

I am aware of how lack I have been here!  I’m sorry, we’ve been launching our new website and it’s taken a lot of my time over the last month – check it out if you get a chance: LifeByYourOwnRules.com

Tom and I are over the hill so to speak with our travel plans – what was once 12 months is now 5 so planning has turned into preparing.  As I look around the kitchen, it’s hard to ignore the amount of dry stuffs and frozen foods here – where is all this food going to go when we leave??

I have given myself a challenge – use all the food in the kitchen.

Ok, so that doesn’t sound too challenging does it?  Well, considering we spend plenty each week on new groceries coming in it’s safe to say we’re not using half of what we have – which I can assume is because I don’t like it or am not sure what to do with it, which is what makes this challenging!

To help with the creativity part of this challenge I will be using SuperCook – just telling it what I have and searching all the recipes I can make with those items.

Tonight’s meal: Zesty Quinoa with Broccoli and Cashews.  Sounds good, matter of fact I had printed this recipe weeks ago so I should be on board, however I’m smelling the almost finished product and I have a bad feeling about this one!

Stay tuned!  I’ll be posting daily (GASP!) with the previous night’s recipe!

Treat!

We’re back into the swing of juicing!
And I’m out of my 2-cups-a-day coffee habit!!!

But I want to share my most favorite part with you…. You know how I long for “treats” on hot afternoons while I’m on the road for work?  How I used to frequent Burger King for their mochas, or Starbucks for their, well, anything frozen?  Long gone are the days when I can swing by a drive-thru and order up some frozen, corn syrup laden Treat – well, I’m still able to do this, but it wouldn’t make me the super smiley, happy Sara that it once would.  No, in order for that to happen, my drink of choice would have to be free of GMOs and other gross crap often included in “food” products.  I’ve tried multiple recipes for at-home coffee drinks all to no avail, I am unable to get that “OH YUMMMMMY!” reaction I should get from a Treat.
I’ve pretty much given up hope for a delicious at-home frozen coffee drink.  (Unless you have a better idea?)
But, atlas! I have accidentally created a new frozen yum-yum that takes the cake!
Granted, it’s not coffee, but it makes me so happy!!!  😀

Place the following into your juicer:


1 Apple
1 Pear
1 cup Watermelon
1 cup Pineapple
5 Strawberries
1/2 cup Blueberries
1/4 of a Cucumber
1 Carrot
Juice this all up and pour over ice into
– here’s the secret ingredient –
a to-go coffee cup!  Yup!  I think the cup makes all the difference in the world!
I felt like I was drinking a strawberry coolata from D&D (not that I ever really enjoyed those but this made my life!).
It’s amazing what a Treat can do for me, whether I’m at work or just hanging around on the weekends, this is my favorite new summer accessory!

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And I had to laugh at the amount of produce Tom and I have on hand, it’s amazing to think we go through this many fruits and vegetables in one week – well, maybe a week and a half.

This is what we juice!

  

 

 

And this is what we eat in salads throughout the week!

 

 

 

 

When you have this much fruit on your counter, you’re bound to have fruit flies – UGH!  We’ve had so many it’s ridiculous!  But just as it should be, as I reached my limit and just couldn’t stand it anymore, I stumbled across a home remedy for them –
Put some apple cider vinegar in a mason jar, poke some holes in the lid and secure tightly.  The flies will go in after the vinegar but will not be able to find their way out.  So far, so good!

Lazy Picture Post

I have been so busy lately I haven’t had much time to really write, I’m sorry.  But I have been eating!   And trying to take pictures – it’s so hard when I cook this great meal, I just want to eat it!!  So I have some pictures that I haven’t written posts for… Lazy Sara will now make a post all about postless pictures


So this is one of many marinades I made one day.  I wasn’t too found of many of them though  😛  I think this is either Cilantro-Lime or Orange-Cilantro fish over brown rice with grilled pineapple rings and asparagus (I shook the asparagus in oil and My Mix of spices and Tom grilled until just tender).        

Coconut Chicken is yummy!   Shown here with brown rice and grilled veggies (zucchini and rep peppers in oil and spices)     

Yum!  I had left over phyllo dough so I found this recipe for these apple blossoms.  It’s diced apples (5) with raisins soaked in rum browned in butter. Brush the phyllo layers and sprinkle sugar in between (6 layers) (I forgot sugar on some and Tom and I actually liked them better without it).  Place dough into muffin pan and fill with apple filling.  Bake until phyllo is browned and house smells delicious!  They were so yummy (admittedly, for breakfast :x)      
Happy Birthday Tom!!  All he wanted was a vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, easy enough!  This is my first organic cake, he loved it but I thought it was lacking flavor (I used Dr Oetker for the mix and frosting)  The frosting was awesome!  I used to be an avid baker but since organic life I haven’t been too thrilled to make any treats because I can’t decorate them like I used to – and that was my favorite part!  I improvised with fresh strawberries and they were really good with the chocolate frosting

So I’ve been drinking 😦  Since we came home from Mexico I’ve been holding onto that life by drinking rum drinks – horrible I know!!  First of all, we all know rum is far from organic 😦  Second of all, F.A.T!  Ridiculous amount of weight has been gained since I moved in with Tom – UGH!  In an effort to have my cake and eat it too, I started juicing my own mixers in hopes it was the juice making me fat LOL It wasn’t.  I’ll give you the recipe though because it was slamming!  1 whole pineapple, 1 mango, 4 oranges, handful of strawberries; the last time I made it I switched out the mango for a watermelon and that was super good too!    No more drinking for me, for a little while anyway.   This is an example of my mixed up lunches.   I had a glass pyrex bowl that had leftover rice and fish, the next night I added potatoes, chicken, asparagus, the next some pineapple and more chicken, so on and so forth – the entire week I would eat what I could for lunch and then add dinner left-overs to it – it was awesome everyday!     

These are grilled pizzas we made.  I used Whole Foods already made crusts and oiled them before putting them on the grill.  Grilled on one side then flipped and added our toppings.  Mine was grilled chicken (marinaded in 1/2 cup of tamari, 5 tbsp of sugar, minced garlic and onion) with smoked gouda, fresh shredded mottz and “caramelized” onions (really just sautéed them in oil for a few minutes).  Tom spread BBQ sauce on his then topped with BBQ grilled chix, gouda, mottz, and parmesan cheese and onions.  They were so good!

What Weekend?

I need another weekend to relax after my weekends lately!

I’m selling all the items in my apartment in preparation for our departure so our weekends have been chock full of cleaning, organizing, holding yard sales and moving.  We are often left with groceries to be done and zero energy by the end of our chores; this weekend was no different, except we had been living off the land all weekend and really had no choice but to go to Whole Foods yesterday.  I had planned on making my spring risotto soup and kale soup (I know it’s so not the season but I want Tom to try it so bad, I had to make it!) and a chili casserole so when we got back from shopping I made the two soups and prepped the dry ingredients for cornbread for the chili casserole (I’ll make the bread tonight to go with the kale soup as I love Ritz with it but forgot to grab some).

I’m happy to have soup on hand and in the freezer plus a casserole on deck, I need a little retreat this week!  I’m looking forward to relaxing after work this week, one more weekend to get rid of stuff and then next weekend we’re camping in Hershey PA for Easter, so we need to get as much relaxation in as we can!

Oh, and on the subject of hoarding food in the freezer; I had a ramekin of apple pie poodsies in there since November and I finally used them Saturday morning!  I baked a Trader Joe’s croissant (from the frozen foods section), ripped it apart in a bowl and poured the heated poodsies on top – YUMMY!  It was like a little mini apple pie – for breakfast!!  YAY!!!

We also went to Celestial Cafe which is not only my favorite, but only restaurant I eat at!  I love that place and luckily, now so does Tom!  Anyone in this area needs to check it out!  They source as much as they can from local farms and use some organic ingredients, everything is so delicious and the sangria is the icing on the cake!

Tuna Salad with Pineapple

Seems like I can only get my act together every other day, but I guess that’s better than nothing!

I took some tuna steaks out yesterday morning to thaw.  Tom really likes tuna (which I have determined to be my least favorite fish LOL) and I had showed him a recipe for a different tuna salad last week that he thought looked good so I went with it.  It was really easy to make and waaaaaaay better than I imagined!  I know I’ve been saying this a lot lately but DELISH!  We’ve been eating some super great meals!  I wonder if being in love makes food taste better?!  -Nevermind, I just googled it and no one seems to know what I’m talking about!  Must just be our cooking! 😀

You may notice my tuna looks different than the original recipe,
it’s because I have issues with unseasoned meat 😛
I used basil, oregano, sesame seeds, and my Mediterranean mix

Oh yeah, I also made cilantro-lime rice!
(Just heated up some 365 frozen organic Jasmine rice
Sprinkled fresh, chopped cilantro and squeezed fresh lime juice)

We’ve Done It Again – Moroccan fish

I’ll admit, I am really bad at planning dinner!  Luckily Tom goes home for lunch and has been my saving grace to avoid coming home at 6 and not having anything thawed – however, I let the entire day go by Monday before I even considered dinner; must have still been high from the delicious leftovers I had for lunch!  Luckily, it was Monday which have been dubbed “Meatless Monday” so I went with it!  (I don’t know if I’ve mentioned Tom’s lack of vegetarianism lately.)  I’m sure I’ve shared the wonderful benefits of quinoa but what always stands out in my mind is its protein power!  Therefore, a salad with some quinoa would be a complete meal! Done and DONE!

I was sure to not slack on dinner Tuesday!  I asked Tom what he’d prefer while we were getting ready for work, we decided on Mahi Mahi (which I’ve determined is my favorite kind of fish!).  I had a recipe for Moroccan fish with couscous that I’ve been dying to try so I made the ingredients/shopping list and headed to Whole Foods before work.  I didn’t make the couscous but was craving the mango so I improvised a little.

Side note: Tom doesn’t like stuff.  He doesn’t like salmon, he doesn’t like quinoa, he doesn’t like kale, he doesn’t like couscous, he didn’t seem to enjoy the mango… He’s already changed his mind on most of those things after trying them once more with me; so I’ve been somewhat comfortable with making him revisit more old flavors, but I am still a little apprehensive as I don’t want to make something he clearly stated distaste for and have him end up not enjoying his dinner.  He wasn’t crazy about the couscous part of this dish, I was going to make it anyway (but make it delicious!) but settled on brown rice instead.  He also eats the same salad every day and he has declared that he likes more of a mix of greens rather than straight baby spinach like I eat.  Okay, back to the story now that you have some background…

My improvising to include the mango without the couscous was to use it in a salad.  I thought baby spinach would be the best greens to go with strawberries and mango and I thought I could add some fried bananas which got me off on a tangent as to what to use for a dressing (another thing Tom is pretty uniformed with, his favorite dressing).  When I got home I rubbed the fish with the spices (I made a mixture of cumin, coriander, chile, and then I have a grinder with a ‘Mediterranean mix’) and put it back in the fridge. 

Then I cut the mango into cubes, squeezed a lime over them and started shaking some cilantro on them – that’s when Tom came in.  “What’s that?”  “Cilantro.  Yum!  It’s my favorite!”  he looked at it questioningly and said he’d never seen spices put on fruit.  Fair enough.  I gave him a bite, “Tangy” (or something like that; something I took to mean, “Ew”) so I put the mango in the fridge and hoped for the best of this meal!  Now I was in a little panic, just a little; he didn’t like the mango and I was about to put it on top of an all-spinach salad and give him a home-made, never-been-tried-before, not-his-favorite dressing.  And it was almost 8:00 and I really didn’t want to make something he wasn’t going to enjoy.  I sent him out to the grill with the fish.

I ended up with a bed of baby spinach, added diced avocado (another thing Tom doesn’t really like!), strawberries, added the mango, and slivered almonds.  I put a container of strawberry pomegranate yogurt (oh yeah, he isn’t crazy about pom either!) in the Magic Bullet, added a little honey, a little raspberry preserves and the other half of the avocado to thicken it.  I thought that was pretty damn good!  But I still wasn’t sure how Tom was going to feel on all this.


I’m so bad at taking pictures of the finished dish (because I am am always anxious to dig in!) so I’m trying to take a picture whenever the thought crosses my mind.  This salad was much prettier all put together with the almonds and everything.

We had a little left over mango from the salad so we added it to the rice with the fish and it was SLAMMING!  Seriously!  The mango with the flavors of the fish – DAMN!  Then I put a little of the yogurt dressing on my rice and YUM!  The salad was delicious in its own right.  I had it all over again for lunch today and it was just as good!  Oh right, you want to know Tom’s take on it all?  Loved it!  Every last bite!  Didn’t even know there was avocado in the salad, definitely didn’t recognize it in the dressing!  And apparently liked the mango as he ate it all from his salad and rice.  🙂  Happy dinners

…oh no!  It’s almost 5pm and I’m just realizing I neglected tonight’s dinner!  Good thing Tom’s off helping a friend move where there will be pizza!

Life Is Good

I realized last night when I was preparing dinner that I may have taken for granted the complete turnover to organic Tom’s fridge took; it just happened so quickly, so seamlessly I hardly noticed there was a change.  But there was.  As I pawed through the fridge picking out veggies I realized how great it was to share space with someone and be able to be free to eat the food in our fridge without having to check labels.  How great it is to have found someone as health conscience as Tom; did you know he replaced his morning cup of coffee with a fresh juice?  He did!  Every morning I sit drinking my coffee as I watch him press apples, carrots, celery, pears, cucs, peppers, whatever!

Friday I woke up thinking about a dish we had in Mexico.  It was on my mind the night before as I questioned what spices would bring me back sitting on the kitchen floor of our casa en Mexico, still groggy from a nap.  I now have a new comfort food, food that awakens my passion for travel, reminds me of the relaxed nervousness I felt as my feelings for Tom developed into more than what I feel for a friend.  I knew there was no way I was going to be able to wait a year before eating this chicken again, I had to figure it out!

I ended up with some cilantro, chile, oregano, S&P, cumin and coriander; mas o menos.  Generously seasoned two chicken breast, rubbed it in good!  Then Tom grilled the chicken while I made some rice (365 Organic Jasmine Rice; frozen), added a can of black beans (drained, not rinsed); cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces; mixed it all up then squeezed some lime on top and added cubed avocado – YUM!  It was [almost] perfect!  It was even better Saturday for lunch and dinner!  (Busy day!)

Sunday left me with a scary looking zucchini and a pretty good amount of kale that needed to be eaten.  I had frozen some chicken in marinades on Friday (oil & herb, and cubes for sesame chicken; which I just realized I haven’t posted the recipe for!) and we had a frozen swordfish.  We have been blessed with wonderful weather here, yesterday was 65° so I opted for Herb & Oil chicken on the grill.  I quartered the zucchini and marinated it in a zip-lock with the same oil & herbs as the chicken (this is a huge mix of spices I put together in a jar labeled “My Mix”, it’s great and easy!  Just combine all your favorite flavors into one jar and shake onto EVERYTHING!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I steamed the kale quickly in about 1/4 cup of water and a splash of tamari.  Then I sprinkled it with some “African Smoke” (from Trader Joe’s, in a grinder).  I added cubed sweet potatoes to the kale water for a couple of minutes then added the 1/2 cooked potatoes to the partially steamed kale, wrapped it in foil and put it on the top rack of the low-heat grill while the chicken and zucchini cooked slowly on the bottom rack (grill was sprayed with organic Pam).  Props to Tom again on his way around the kitchen and grill!
O.M.G!!  What a WONDERFUL dinner!!  Man!


The sweet potatoes and kale were so delicious!  Perfect match, the sweet of the potatoes with the bitterness of the kale…MM’mmmm!  The chicken was juicy and delicious and the zucchini was just as good!  Amazing!  Can’t wait for lunch!

So really, life is great.