Tag Archives: parmesan cheese

Welcome Spring!

And allergies, UGH.  Not to be a downer because I’ll take this gorgeous 70 degree weather with allergies over the hurricane-like rain of last weekend or the snow and cold of the few weekends before that any day!

I had full intentions to post last night but the Benadryl I took kicked in before I got a chance to.  I was at my wit’s end yesterday with what I suspect is a combo of allergies and my never-ending sinus issues so I stopped by the store to pick up Benadryl to hopefully stop some of the itching and inflammation and just make me sleep for awhile.  It worked and I feel a bit better today.

I won’t bore you with the specifics of this week’s workouts (2 days spin and 2 days lifting) because I was feeling so crappy that my lifting days were just not all that great.  I’m hoping that I’ll be back to my normal self on Monday and be ready to really lift some heavy weights!

So onto some food.

I’m enjoying my usual weekend breakfast of quinoa flakes with my usual combo of half banana cooked in/half scoop vanilla protein powder/tbsp. ground flax/cinnamon/almond butter, but this time topped it with some shredded coconut.

the almond butter is hiding on the bottom, getting all melty

The coconut was a yummy addition.  While I really love quinoa flakes something about it being so warm today and eating the warm quinoa just seemed off.  I think I need to find a summer weekend breakfast.  Not sure what that will be yet.  Last year it was always scrambled eggs with turkey bacon and Ezekiel toast, but since I’m not eating eggs or wheat regularly right now I’ll have to be creative.

Last night I was in the mood for some Mexican and I had some avocado that I wanted to use up.  I didn’t have any packaged taco seasoning and I’m not a huge fan of the flavor of taco seasoning packets anyway so found a recipe that I tweaked slightly based on the spices I had on hand.

The original taco seasoning recipe  can be found here.

I cooked up some ground turkey with some chopped onion and red pepper and then added 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, sprinkling salt and pepper.  I doubled the amount of crushed red pepper flakes because I didn’t have the chili powder the recipe called for and it was spicy!  A little too spicy so I probably wouldn’t add that much next time.  I topped this with some reduced fat cheddar, a dallop of Greek yogurt, and chopped avocado.

Greek yogurt disguised as sour cream

This was really good and really easy, just the way I like it!  This was my first time using Greek yogurt as sour cream and I thought I was going to hate it but I was pleasantly surprised.  I don’t think it tasted exactly like sour cream but it added a nice amount of creaminess.

I had this along with a salad tossed with olive oil and white balsamic and chopped onion, chopped red peppers, sprinkled with salt, pepper, oregano, basil, garlic, and of course a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese.  This is one of my favorite salad combos and think I will be making it a lot more now that the weather is getting warmer.  There’s something about nice weather that makes me want salad.

I swear there are peppers in there

I hadn’t used white balsamic in awhile because I had run out and kept forgetting to get more.  This is by far my favorite vinegar to use for salads.  It’s not as tart as regular balsamic and just has a really nice flavor.

welcome back into my life

I realize the flavors of the salad don’t necessarily go with the flavors of the turkey taco bowl but I don’t mind.  I actually do that all the time, although I’m sure some people would think that’s weird.

Later on I decided to make a protein cake.  I’ve tried (and failed) in the past to make microwaved protein cakes/muffins and they never really came out all that good, but April’s always delicious looking protein concoctions inspired me to start experimenting again.

I noticed that when you leave out the egg the cake doesn’t really stick together in one piece and comes out more like a crumble, so that’s been what I’ve been having.  That’s OK because while I may not look pretty it still tastes good.  However last night I left out the egg again and it did stay in one piece this time.  Not sure why this happened but it did.

in one piece!

This was half a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, 1/4 tsp. baking powder, 1 tbsp. ground flax, cinnamon, and just enough milk to make it wet.  Cooked for 40 seconds and topped with raspberry jam and almond butter.  While this one stuck together it was also really dry.  So the experiments will continue!  At least these are coming out edible.  I did receive a tip from someone who told me that if you use a mix of whey and casein protein powder instead of just straight whey it will come out way better.  Sometime in the near future I plan on getting my hands on some!

Some questions!  Do you eat random food combinations or do your main dish and side dishes always go together? I eat random combos all the time.

Do you eat different foods depending on the time of year? For the most part I eat a lot of the same stuff but I find I want salad more when it’s warm out.

Stress, finishing Stage 5 NROLW, and easy eats

So for the past few weeks I’ve been under a tremendous amount of stress.  Thankfully I leave Saturday for what I’m hoping will be a warm(-er than here) and sunny trip to California!  It’s a good thing I don’t leave tomorrow or Friday because a big storm (s?)is supposed to be hitting the northeast again.  Hopefully my flight won’t be too delayed, but I’m suspecting it will be at least a little.  Keeping my fingers crossed!

So what have I been doing to deal with the stress in my life?  Working out and Bach’s Rescue Remedy.  It’s already known by many people what a good workout can do for stress.  It really is pretty miraculous.  Even if it’s the kind of stress that comes back soon after leaving the gym (this is what I was dealing with), at least during the workout you should feel better.  This is how it has been for me for the last few weeks.  I would really look forward to my workouts because this was the one time of day where I knew I would be feeling some relief.  I also find that working out regularly really does give a better nights sleep.  Nothing like knocking yourself out with a good workout.

A nice little product I find helpful is Bach’s Rescue Remedy.  I used this years ago and then kind of forgot about it.  I picked some up recently one day when I was this close to start to pull my hair out.  OK not really but it was a rough day.  It really does work.  Is it like popping a Xanax?  No, but it does take the edge off.

Onto some workouts…I finished Stage 5 of The New Rules of Lifting for Women on Monday.  Stage 5 was not my favorite stage, with the 4 sets of 4 reps scheme which was totally new to me, but I got through it.  I found it hard to find a weight that was heavy enough to feel fatigued at only 4 reps without it being too heavy to actually be able to do the move with the proper form.  Hopefully I worked hard enough in this stage to gain some strength.  My last stage 5 workout went like this:

Deadlift 4 sets 4, 125 pounds

Barbell bent over row, 4 sets 4, 95 pounds (Note-according to the book you should do a combo deadlift bent over row, but I found the deadlifts not hard enough with the weight I needed to row, hence I separated the two).

Partial-single-leg squat, 4 sets 4, 95 pounds

Wide-grip lat pulldown, 4 sets 4, 90 pounds

Back extension, 4 sets 10, 25 pounds

YTWL, 4 sets 4, 8 pounds

Alternating

Swiss-ball crunch, 4 sets 8, 25 pounds

Pike on ball-4 sets 8

Oblique crunch on ball-4 sets 8

Own set-prone cobra, 1st and 2nd sets held 90 seconds, 3rd set held 70 seconds

15 min HIIT on the elliptical

Another thing I should add about this stage is that I did most of the exercise sets on their own instead of alternating sets like it says too in the book.  The way the exercises are laid out it was just not possible for me to alternate the sets.  For example the partial single-leg squat and the wide-grip lat pulldown…I needed the squat rack for the squats and it’s just not feasible to go back and forth between the squat rack and the pulldown machine because they are on opposite ends of the gym and someone would inevitably take the rack/pulldown while I wasn’t there.  So I made do and still think I got some good workouts in.

Yesterday I skipped spin because there a sub teacher I’m not crazy about and braved the stepmill again for 20 minutes and finished with 20 minutes on the elliptical.  I didn’t get to the gym today because of a Dr. appointment so if I’m not snowed in tomorrow will get a lifting session in.  I’d like to get a good lifting session in before I leave on Saturday!

I made a couple of simple, easy, yet tasty things over the weekend to have to eat this week.  First was the turkey and zucchini skillet to which I added chopped red peppes and of course topped with parmesan cheese.

Then I made some sauteed cabbage with turkey bacon.

I just sauteed about a quarter onion and chopped garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil, then added 6 slices turkey bacon, let that cook for a few then added half a head of sliced/chopped cabbage.  Just keep stirring until cooked, voila!

sauteed cabbage with turkey bacon, simple and yum

Next up is something so ridiculously easy made with basically one ingredient.  Broccoli.  Made into soup by blending it with the water you boil it in.  Add salt and pepper to taste…and for me parmesan cheese and it’s ready.  The actual recipe and ideas for other add-ons can be found  here.

Step 1-boil broccoli

Step 2-blend

Step 3-top with parmesan and eat

Let me just say that you definitely have to add salt to this, if not it’s very bland.  I’d like to experiment with making this with maybe some chicken broth instead of plain water to see how it tastes then.  But this is surprisingly good for being just broccoli and water!

Now I’m off to put on some inside-out pajamas in hopes for a snow day tomorrow!

Snow day!

Finally!  A storm that was not on a weekend!  I think it’s safe to say I’m snowed in.

snow day!

There’s only about 6 inches on the ground right now but it started to snow again and we could get up to another foot!  Luckily my job sent out an alert last night that we would be closed today so I could go to bed without wondering if I was going to have work or not.

I figure now is a good time to post about some of the food I’ve been eating lately.  I’m not good at daily food posting like a lot of bloggers are!  For breakfast today (and my newest fave breakfast) was quinoa flakes with half banana cooked in with ground flax seeds/quarter scoop vanilla protein powder/cinnamon/almond butter.  Yes almond butter instead of peanut butter.  I’m doing a little experiment this week and eliminating peanuts to see if they affect my sinus issues.  They were one of the foods that my food allergy testing showed I was mildy allergic too but my Dr. said you would just know if you had a nut allergy.  I figure I’ll try eliminating them just to make sure.  My first taste of almond butter the other day left me less than impressed but it’s growing on me-sorta like the quinoa flakes did!  That happens to me a lot so I try to give foods a shot even if I don’t LOVE it at first.  And oddly enough this taste kind of like cashews to me.

cashews are you hiding in there?

That this almond butter is sweetened with organic unrefined cane sugar but with 3g per 2 tablespoons is that so bad?  I don’t know if I will ever like un-sweetened nut butters but I’m not going to make myself crazy over it.

I just had some lunch and it was a Jennie-O Lean Savory Seasoned turkey burger and healthified creamed spinach.  The turkey burgers are a total lifesaver sometimes and what I consider a convenience food.  Sometimes I want/need some protein as part of a meal but don’t really feel like making something.  OK maybe this is more like a lot of the time. These turkey burgers are actually really good because they are already seasoned and I just eat them with a bit of ketchup, no bun required.  They’re also great to “cook” ahead of time and eat cold (which is what I did today) and because of this are good to bring to work for lunch.  With 160 calories, 0g carbs, and 18 grams of protein I think they are a great find.

find them in your grocer's freezer

Now onto the healthified creamed spinach.  For this I tweaked a recipe that someone posted on a fitness board and I’ve been eating it a lot lately because it’s so good yet so easy.

For this you will need:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      about a 1/8 of an onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic (the garlic is a good addition but I’ve also made it without and it’s still yummy)

2-3 cups frozen spinach

2 Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges

milk

parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to taste

First I saute the onion and garlic in some cooking spray while defrosting the spinach in the microwave.

onions and garlic, my favorite

Once the onions are translucent I add the thawed spinach, Laughing cow wedges, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese (I like at least a tablespoon) and a little bit of milk.

mixing everything up

I just add a little bit of milk at a time to make a creamy consistency, you do not need a lot.  Then just sort of chop up the Laughing cow to break it up into smaller pieces so it will melt and mix everything together.  Add more milk if it looks too dry.  It’s not actually going to look that creamy but don’t worry it will taste creamy.

the final product

This makes 2 side dish servings or one large serving.

mmmm...lunch

I know that turkey burger doesn’t look too appetizing there but trust me it is!  That was half the spinach, but don’t be fooled, I then went back and ate the rest because I was still hungry.

must have been good!

Even my mother who is not a fan of a lot of the stuff I try out really likes this so give it a try!