Making JC gourmet

Even though I’m eating all Jenny Craig food, all the time, doesn’t mean I can’t spice it up with what they call “free foods.”

Last night’s dinner was a JC lasagna, so I decided to bake a spaghetti squash to go with. Usually I microwave squash to save time, but I got home early and decided to go the long route. Either way, it’s hard to go wrong with some SS.

I preheated the oven to 375 and poked some holes through the squash (so it doesn’t explode). Bake for about an hour and it’s perfect.

Baking it whole also saves you the muscle work of cutting that baby in half when it’s raw. Scoop out the seeds, and then fork out the strands and it’s ready.

I also had a box of cherry tomatoes that I wanted to roast to put on top (instead of sauce). I placed them on a baking sheet with just a bit of salt and put them in the oven for 10 minutes.

From this:

To this:
I have to say, it came out great and definitely bulked up the JC lasagna.

Sunday night, I did something similar to add to my dish. Kale chips and carrot fries!

The kale didn’t take long at all and I have no idea if I did it right, but it was pretty good to me.

The carrots take much longer, but when they’re done, yum. I pretty much love any vegetable roasted.

No gym for me so far because of my back, but I’m hoping to try to get some sort of workout in today.

Happy Wednesday!

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This time I mean it

Summer’s over already? Really? I made it back to NYC safe and sound and yesterday enjoyed a last day of vacation. My friend and I went for a little jog/run along the east river and then I went grocery shopping and prepared this week’s meals. I’m trying out a new method where I bring a bunch of small, healthy things, and eat more often throughout the day. This also makes me tupperware girl.

What you see here is some chopped cucumber, red pepper slices, a plum, banana, carrots, oatmeal, corn/tomato salad and 3 tofu sticks. I roasted up tofu last night using my new tofu press and Beth’s recipe here.

The press is a bit of a contraption, but it definitely gets out the moisture.


Now if you look closely to the next photo, you’ll see the water.

After, I cut the tofu into sticks and marinated in soy, honey and garlic.

Roasted for about 10 minutes on each side and here they are.

I may have forgotten they were in the oven. I had 3 today though, and they were pretty good re-heated.

This morning I managed to run 2 miles before work. The first mile was with my knee brace but I find it’s much more tiring and hard with it on, so I took it off for the second. I decided if I have any shot at running a 6-miler Oct. 3 I better start trying to train. I’m also planning to hit the eliptical after work for a nice double day workout. It must be done.

How was your long weekend?

Left-sided

6:15 am Total Body Conditioning class? Check! A hearty bowl of oats with a spoonful of PB?

Obvs a check.

Yesterday, I had an interesting session with my chiropractor. Turns out the right side of my body hates me. We all know my right knee issue. Well I was laying on my stomach and he tried to touch my heels to my butt. Left side? No prob. Right side? Not so much. Add super tight quad to my list. Later on he asked me if I ever had any ankle problems (which I haven’t). He went to “adjust” aka crack the left foot and it went. The right? Totally locked. He couldn’t adjust my ankle. So basically my hips constantly fall out of allignment leading to my left leg being shorter than the right. My right quad is tight, the right knee is constantly achy and the right ankle is locked. Seriously?

Last night I cooked up a fabulous dish, if I do say so myself. After realizing that I usually use a baking dish and not a sheet, I improvised and turned it into a polenta casserole. Total hit to my tastebuds. I started by throwing in a bit of EVOO and minced garlic in the pan.

Next saute 3 chopped carrots for about 7 minutes, then add the zucchini. I used 2.

Next up I added baby bello mushrooms. Make sure you wipe them with a damp paper towel first.

Next up I added 2 cups of marinara sauce. I could use a whole jar, I love it so much. Also threw in frozen peas.

Let that simmer while the oven preheats to 350 and you slice up already cooked polenta that comes in a tube. This is definitely a speedy cook’s best friend.

I ended up switching over to a baking dish and made a casserole/lasagna looking thing. It ended up being genius.

Baked for about 20 minutes.

Enjoy! 1 serving (a quarter of the dish) is only 4 WW points.

Soup in the summertime

This morning I headed back to the gym! I set the alarm for 5:30 and headed over for a pretty good workout. 25 min eliptical, 10 on bike, then stretching, and 100 sit-ups. And my arms are sore from yesterday’s total body conditioning class. Have you ever tried a fruition bar?

I saw them on Kallie’s blog Fit and 40 Something and so I got one at WF the other day and had it for breakfast today. It was more chewy than I expected, not sure if I liked it enough to buy more. It’s 3 WW points, so the same as Chobani, but is it as filling? We’ll see.

So yesterday’s post left off after my return to running (sorta). After a nice nap (I love random days off), I made a little snack. My friend had brought me Tzaziki spice back from her trip to Greece so I decided to try making some.

I added a little bit of EVOO, dash of balsamic, and plain greek yogurt.

I put some on a plate with sliced cucumber and also some low fat hummus from WF. It has no oil in it, hence low fat, but was sorta spicy. Not sure how I feel about it. Great snack overall, though.

Onto last night’s dinner. Although it’s summer, a recipe for tomato minestrone soup caught my eye in this month’s Rachel Ray. I made it vegetarian and it was stock full of fresh veggies. I started by chopping 1 onion, 2 zucchinis, 2 cloves garlic, 1 carrot, 2 ribs of celery and a bay leaf. Into the soup pot they went with some EVOO. I let it cook for about 8 minutes while stirring here and there.

Love all the colors. Next I added a 32oz box of veggie stock, 1 15 oz can of cannelini beans, and about 15oz of crushed tomato. Once that came to a boil I added 1/4 pound of whole wheat ziti pasta and I also threw in lentils that I had left over in my cabinet. I also added in fresh basil and let it simmer until I was ready to eat. Man was this delicious!

Had to have a glass of wine after slaving over the stove, but I stopped after 1 🙂

Oh, Monday

Thank you everyone for your supportive comments. I’m going to keep at it, and try to increase my water intake while decreasing my alcohol intake. We’ll see what happens. This morning I set my alarm for 5:45am and headed to the gym by 6. I find it hard to think of non-cardio things to do, but ended up on the bike for 20 minutes (low impact for my knee), followed by a bunch of different weight exercises. Have you ever tried to spell the alphabet with an 8-lb weight? It’s hard. I really miss the feeling of walking back to my apt dripping in sweat, but this morning was certainly better than nothing.

Last night I was inspired to make homeade vegan pesto, thanks to Heidi at Basil Vodka. I first picked up some goodies at the farmer’s market by my apt. Here we’ve got a zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, beets, fresh basil, green pepper and 3 cucumbers.

I got the rest of the week’s groceries at the store. The recipe for pesto is simple. Basil, pine nuts, salt, garlic, evoo. I roasted the eggplant, zucchini and squash at 425 for 40 minutes with some EVOO, salt and pepper.

It filled up my entire roasting pan!

Once that was cooling, I put in the 3 tsp minced garlic w/ 1/2 tsp salt. Next I added fresh basil (cup & 1/2) and 3 tbsp pine nuts. Then I streamed in 1/4 cup of EVOO.

I thought it may have come out a bit too salty for my liking, but when I put some over the roasted veggies, it worked.

Yummy dinner. As a snack I had a laughing cow wedge and pomegranite fruit bar. Do you snack after dinner? I always need something.

Squash and swimming

Well I got back in the pool. I know, so proud of me too. I went after work and it wasn’t crowded one bit. I jumped in and started doing laps. I’m not gonna lie, I still have a pretty mean crawl stroke. It’s tiring though and my eyes were so red from the chlorine. Must. get. goggles. The person there said it was a 14 yard pool (is that right?) and so I did 12 round trip laps. I’m still super sore from my workout sesh Tuesday, so the pool was perfect for me.

When I got home, I cooked up the squash I had gotten from my local farmer’s market. I diced it up and sauteed it, along with 1 big carrot I also had, in EVOO. Once it was starting to get soft I put it over brown rice and added some Newman’s Own lite Sesame Ginger dressing. It was a party in my mouth to say the least. The one-ball squash was very similar to the regular squash, except with a tougher skin.



Today I’m taking a day off from working out, but back to the good ole salad for lunch and I’m going out to sushi tonight. Yum!

Baby steps

It may not sound like a big deal, but last night I went out, drank, came home and went to bed. Without late-night eating. It’s not necessarily the alcohol that always does it, but when you eat dinner at a normal hour and then get home at 1 or 2, you’re sometimes actually hungry. And even if I’m not, I usually just want a little something. Last night though, I knew no matter what I’d come home and go to bed. And I did. And I’m proud of myself.

Yesterday my new food processor came and of course I had to try it out. I was so excited to try out the black bean burger recipe I had seen. Because I had gone to the food store earlier without the recipe in hand, I only remembered to get 2 things I needed, so I improvised. And it worked out fabulously.

The first thing I did was grate 2 carrots. Never tried this before, but I like the consistency that came out of it.

Then I started by grinding a 1/2 cup oats with flax seed (didn’t have pumpkin seeds, so used these instead). Next up I added the carrots, 3/4 of the beans and the spices I had. Original recipe below called for coriander and cayenne, which I didn’t have but it tasted fine without. The only part where I sorta went wrong, is that the recipe was too big for my 4-cup processor. I had so sorta scoop some out, then grind, then add back in, etc. Next time maybe I’ll do it in 2 parts or 1/2 the recipe.

Once the mixture was done, I made 6 patties.

How pertyy is my processor.

Then I baked them at 300. Recipe said 40 min, but they weren’t quite ready so it more like 50-55.

Paired 1 of these bad boys, with this

Perfection.

And yes, I finally rented Food, Inc. Started watching and already amazed. Will definitely have a full report once I finish. Oh, and I brought back the green monster earlier in the day.

Mmm. Black bean original Front Burner blog recipe below.

Ingredients: (makes 6 burgers)

  • 2 cans black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup dry rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

To Prepare:  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Next, add the oats and pepitas to your food processor and grind until coarsely chopped (they will still be a little chunky).  Let it run for roughly 10 seconds.  Grate the carrots, and then add to your mixture in the food processor.  Add 3/4 of the beans, all spices, and the olive oil.  Once all of this is in the food processor, give it a whir and mix it all together.

Spoon mixture into a mixing bowl and then fold in the rest of the whole, reserved beans.  Wet your hands and then form into 6 medium sized patties.  Place patties on a non-stick baking sheet or into a baking pan, and bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes, turning once in the middle.  If you want to grill these, pre-bake them for 30 minutes at 300, and then throw them on the grill to reheat and get a little extra browning.

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