Thursday, February 4, 2010

New Blog!

Well, I haven't posted in months. Things have been crazy, I've been pretty sick and my grandma passed away so I have had a hard time keeping up with my posts. Most of all though, I've been busy cooking. I'm working on a cookbook and have been spending my time in the kitchen developing new recipes. Because this blog is focused on weight-loss tips, photography and my random babbling, I've started a new blog: For the Love of Food. In spite of my healthy diet and lifestyle, I LOVE to bake. I'm collecting my healthy recipes for my (healthy) cookbook, so my new blog is a place to share my dessert recipes, as well as restaurant reviews, cookbook updates, and the like.

Check it out and feel free to follow!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Acorn Squash Soup

My power week didn't work out as planned. Between making almond-filled donuts, Scandinavian almond cake with ice cream and praline sauce, pigging out on Chinese food, having eight (EIGHT!!!) kit kat bars and having an embarrassing weakness for cookie dough...My weight is NOT where I wanted it to be. After a binge, I always get myself into the mindset of 'I've already gone over my calories for the day, these few hundred won't count.' That always winds me up in a vicious cycle which is hard to break. I think I've been binging so much not only because it's 'that time' (UM, can you say I NEED CHOCOLATE!) but because I'm so bored of eating the same food every day. It seems like everything has carbs in it, which I try to avoid, so I find myself eating just about the same menu every day: Egg whites, chicken breast, cheese, and veggies. Sure, I love them all, but I think I've set myself up for disaster, by robbing myself of enjoying DELICIOUS food. When I deprive myself of rich, flavorful foods, I end up pigging out on sweets and carbs.

So, these past few days, I've been trying to experiment with different foods, and create delicious, flavorful, filling meals that won't kill my diet. The best recipe so far: Acorn Squash Soup.

Now, I LOVE cooking with seasonal foods. It just puts me in the 'Autumn' mood. This soup is healthy, flavorful, warm, vegetarian AND filling Oh yeah, and super easy to make. No really, a 6 year old could make this. I've listed the ingredients for one serving, if you want to make 2, just double it.

1/2 acorn squash
1/2 garlic clove
Skim milk

Cut the squash in half, and save the other in a ziplock bag in the fridge. (It will keep for 3+ days). Scoop the seeds and stringy bits out of your half, and throw them away. Fill a large pot about 1/2 full with water. Place a colander over the pot, and place your squash in it, cut side up. In the hollowed part of the squash, sprinkle salt, a pinch of pepper, a hearty amount of paprika rosemary and thyme. Bring the water to a boil, and cover with foil and a lid. Lower the heat to a simmer, and let the squash steam for 40-50 minutes. Once the squash is tender, scoop it into a blender or food processor, process until it is a fine puree. You can serve the soup like this, or you can add skim milk to reach the desired consistency. Serve with a sprig of rosemary and a pinch of paprika on top!

This is such a simple and hearty soup. It's creamy, delicious and of course healthy, with only 90 calories per half a squash! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

September Stroll

I walk leisurley, my dog happily trotting next to me
the gravel crunches beneath each step
grass hoppers and crickets bound effortlessly before us
we aproach a fork in the road
a man with his dog rides a bike
yelling at his pet to go left
not right!
as the beast crosses the bike's path with his leash
Bear pulls eargerly towards his potential new friends
but the pair is quickly distant
and his eager tugs at the rope will not bring him a step closer.
We turn in the direction we came,
Bear looking back at the friend he lost before they even met.
We walk,
my dog less entergetic now.
It's a cool day but the flaring sun gives no remorse to my canine companions coarse coat.
He pants as my forehead
beneath my wisps of hair which have broken free
We finally are home
He strains towards his food bowl, snorting at finding it empty except for a dead wasp.
I fill his water bowl, and he watches, waiting
I step away, he steps closer
timidly lapping the warm water.
I sit and pet him, teasingly blowing on his ear
he brings his paw to his face and covers his ear
while peeking out from under at me.
I run my hands through his thick, heavy coat
still feeling the left behind rays entangled within
He faces towards me, waiting.
Kisses?I coax, and he gently licks the tip of my nose with his moist muzzle.
He carefully lays in the shade, and this is my signal that we are finished for today
and I walk inside

Friday, September 25, 2009


Just some new pictures with my Pentax. This little guy is just too cute! Until he hopped at me and I ran away screaming. . . . But he was a wonderful little model and just sat there looking at me the whole time. He needs a name now...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Power Week

I've definitely fallen off course with my healthy eating. Last weekend, I managed to devour a huge frapp from Starbucks (with mocha AND caramel on top), a turkey sandwich, a large fry from McDonalds, three cookies, chicken nuggets, a large sprite AND a vanilla ice cream cone. In 2 sittings. Whoops.
Then THIS weekend, I discovered that I'm not an angry, sad or crazy drunk. I just like to EAT. I told my boyfriend and his friend that I was going to the bathroom and I'd be right back. 15 minutes later, I returned with a plate piled high with chocolate chip cookies, chocolate double stuff oreos, a glazed donut, and a variety of other sweets. Oh yeah, and saltines to top it all off. Damn.

Well, it's back to healthy eating. I'm launching myself a Power Week. Back to counting calories, fat, carbs and protein, and revving up my workout routine. I've fallen into a rut. You know, not really pushing myself on the treadmill, getting lazy at the gym, and shrugging off extra calories. Well, not only do I feel increasingly lazy, but I've noticed that my body is just not feeling right. I'm tired, and just out of energy.

SO, this week is my Power Week. I'm going to push myself at each work out, and put in the extra time to prepare healthy meals. I'm also going to be focusing on toning, hopefully I'll see some improvement by the end of the week.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Best Damn Fritatta. Period.

I've been very sick for the past couple days. With a sinus infections and mild concussion (I WOULD manage to get kicked in the head by a crowd surfer...FAIL) I've been trying to keep myself from complete boredom. I've spent my past few days cooking, blogging, photographing, stumbling and watching TV. But when I woke up this morning, I had NO energy whatsoever and a mean cough. I told myself that I would not be fussing over any meals today and absolutely no photography or blogging, but instead rest up and sleep. Well, that lasted... until noon.

As my stomach growled, I looked in the fridge for something healthy, low carb and quick. Deli drawer: One single peice of turkey. Okay... Freezer! No chicken. No nothing. Oh, I'll make a peach and spinach salad! No freakin' peaches. How the hell did our fridge go from stocked to skimpy in a matter of 12 hours? Okay, I thought. Think. What's low calorie and low carb that I can throw together? OH! Egg whites! I'll make a fritatta! I opened the veggie drawer, and gathered whatever I could find, chopped em up and heated my skillet. Last thing I needed was eggs.

I looked in our egg basket. Three eggs. THREE. I needed at least 5 if I was going to make an egg white dish. Three whites would not cut it. Guess I'll have to make due, I thought. I started adding ingredients, and my 'fritatta' started looking better and better. I grabbed my camera, and shot a few pictures, just in case by some miracle it came out blog worthy. By the time I threw it in the oven, I was getting pretty excited for how it would turn out. After a few minutes, I pulled the skillet out from the oven. It was colorful, and the aromas were to die for. I grabbed my camera *click click click click.* I placed a plate over the skillet, and flipped the fritatta over. It was perfectly baked, and beautifully golden brown. *Click Click*

My Macgyver skills may have paid off, I thought. You see, there's three ways new recipes can go. One, it looks pretty, but when eaten is an absolute disaster. Two, it looks decent, and tastes mediocre. Or three, it looks perfect and tastes even better. But, I didn't want to count my chickens before they hatched. I prepared myself for disaster. After all, I'm not too familiar with fritattas, and definitely not when I'm lacking most of the main ingredients. I cut a corner off with the side of my fork, blew on it to cool it, and cautiously tasted it.

A white light blinded me, and I was deafened by angels singing
"Hallelujah! Hallelujah!"
I'm pretty sure at one point I saw God giving me a thumbs up. I've died and gone to Heaven I thought. My mouth screamed with joy and instantly formed a huge smile. My mouth watered and I did a victory dance around the kitchen island. If food could give you an orgasm, it would be this. The spices danced in sync with the sausage, the veggies sang in perfect harmony with one another. This is the BEST thing I've ever made, and one of the best I've ever eaten. It tasted what I've decided is the closest thing to perfection.

I quickly wrote down all of the ingredients before I forgot, and served myself another piece of heaven. I braced myself for what I thought was going to be at least a 500 calorie dish, but each ingredient had less and less calories than I expected. 34 plus 70 plus 80.. I added the calories, protein, fat and carbs. I white knuckled my pen as I added for a grand total of.....

250 CALORIES! For the WHOLE thing.

Someone tell me, has god come to Earth and started performing miracles in midwest kitchens? Have pigs become aerodynamic? Has Hell frozen over? How is something so delicious, so easy, so FILLING so low calorie? And HOW in the world did something so delicious come from a few simple ingredients? Now, I suppose I should stop ranting about how yummy my (miraculously) delicious lunch was, and I should share it. Well here it is. Prepare to bask in the glory of it's amazingness. (If I do say so myself ;] )

What you'll need:
olive oil
2 egg whites
1 whole egg
1 turkey sausage patty
1/2 roma tomato, chopped
1/2 cup spinach (a fist full)
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fat free mozzarella
1 tablespoon skim milk
1 tablespoon fat free chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly grease a skillet with olive oil, and heat to medium-low. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan with pepper, rosemary and salt to taste, and stir around to prevent sticking. When shallots and garlic start to sweat, add the turkey sausage. Break up the sausage patty into several pieces with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat to low.

In a bowl, whisk the egg, egg whites, milk and chicken broth, and season with a generous amount of rosemary, pepper, and salt. Set aside, and stir the bell pepper in with the other ingredients in the pan. Shred the spinach into smaller pieces, and stir into the egg mixture. As soon as the turkey is lightly browned, pour the egg mixture into the pan. Turn the heat to medium. Let the eggs cook until the bottom has set, and the top is still wet but not runny.

Take the skillet off the heat, and evenly sprinkle the cheese on the top of the eggs. Place the skillet in the oven for about 4-5 minutes, until the cheese is well melted. Remove the pan from the oven, season with pepper and salt and let sit for 2-3 minutes to set.

Place a plate over the skillet, and in one careful movement, flip the pan over onto the plate.

You're ready to eat! This can easily be eaten for any meal, but is not overfilling. Enjoy!

Make it your own:
Vary the cheese, use Colby, cheddar, American, or Parmesan.
Mix up the spices. Use fresh oregano, basil, thyme, etc.
Double the recipe, and serve in slices at brunch.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Turkey Tomato Panini

I think sandwiches can be THE most boring lunch ever. It's always the same, 2 pieces of bread, a couple slices of soggy lunch meat, maybe some mustard and mayo. You're finished in what seems like 2 bites, and you're hungry twenty minutes later. Not with this lunch you're not: Turkey and Tomato Panini. Super easy, uber delicious, and ridiculously low cal. Read on my friends.

You're gonna need a Panini press. If you don't have one, you'll need 2 skillets, one cleaned on bottom. When it comes time to cook the panini, simply place the sandwhich over a medium-low skillet, and use the other skillet to press down the sandwhich. When the first side is lightly brown, flip over, and repeat, again using the second skillet to press the sandwich.

Turkey and Tomato Panini

What you'll need:
2 peices of whole wheat bread (I used light wheat, only 40 ((!!!)) calories per slice.)
3-4 hearty slices of deli turkey (I love oven roasted.)
4 1/4 inch slices of tomato
Olive oil

Heat your panini press and lighlty brush it with olive oil. With a mortar and pestal, lightly grind the rosemary and black pepper. You need about a teaspoon of both. Shred the turkey into medium sized pieces and lighlty season with the spices.

Very lightly brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil, and sprinkle some of the rosemary and pepper combo on top.

Assemble the turkey on the unseasoned side of one slice of bread, and place the slices of tomato in a square pattern.

Place on the panini press, and grill for 3-4 minutes, until golden grill marks have formed.Enjoy! Make this sandwich your own by adding mozzarella or swiss cheese, or switching it up with the spices. 2 pieces of light wheat bread- 80
4 slices tomato-15
turkey- 50
145 Calories total!