Category Archives: Food Journal

Breakfast / Dessert / Dinner / Food Journal / Lunch / Snack

Farro-cious Tuesday

April 27, 2010

Hi friends!

Sorry I haven’t posted until now, it’s been a busy day!

Ok, so I left off right before dinner last night…  I ended up making Spring Couscous — a recipe from the latest issue of Everyday Food.

Here’s my dish:

It was pretty simple to make — all in one pot basically.  The recipe calls for shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken, but seeing as I was fresh out of rotisserie chicken (er… never had one to begin with…), I just cooked a chicken breast in the oven and used that.

To make the rest of the dish, you chop 4 scallions and saute in butter (I think I’ll use olive oil instead of butter next time) over medium heat in a skillet.  Once softened, add 1 1/4 cups of water to the pan, 2 wide strips of lemon zest, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, add in 1 pound asparagus, trimmed, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.  Return to a boil and stir in 1 cup couscous (I used whole wheat couscous) and 1/2 cup frozen peas.  Turn heat off and cover pan — leave for 7-10 minutes.  Toss this with some lemon juice and chicken, salt and pepper to taste.  (Makes 4 servings).

This dish is good, but it could have used a little flavor kick.  I think next time I may add in some red pepper flakes with the scallions at the beginning, and/or toss in some chopped basil at the end.

After dinner there was some late-night snacking:

This cow cheese addiction is outta control!

Ok, so now we’re at this morning.  This morning I made a special breakfast for myself — I decided to make Le Pain Quotidien’s Harvest Porridge.  The recipe was in the latest issue of Self magazine, and it sounded good so I figured I’d give it a whirl.

I cut the recipe in half to make 2 servings instead of 4.  Here’s the end result:

So, to make this you put 3 cups unsweetened almond milk in a pot, along with 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 tbsp. raw agave sweetener.  Bring to a boil, then stir in 1/2 cup farro and 1/4 cup dried cranberries.  Let this whole mix simmer until the farro is tender and has absorbed all the almond milk (the recipe says this is 35-45 minutes — it took about an hour for me).  Spoon half the mixture into a bowl and top with 1 tbsp. chopped walnuts, 1 tbsp. chopped pecans, and a quartered strawberry.  (I didn’t have any pecans or strawberries, so I just topped it with some chopped walnuts).

I thought this was pretty darn good, and perfect for a rainy morning like today.  It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and has more of a chewy bite than oatmeal (plus it makes the kitchen smell delicious).  Farro, while a little pricey, is a great source of complex carbohydrates and has twice the protein and fiber of regular wheat.  YUM!

After breakfast I had plans of having coffee and wolfing down the couscous leftovers for lunch.  Unfortunately, I lost track of time and my half & half was spoiled (the worst!) so I was forced to head to the city sans lunch and caffeine.

I did manage to make it to Peet’s for a small coffee a little later in the day (I mean, I know where my priorities lie).  After caffeinating, I ran over to Bar Method to take the 3pm class.  I was dying during Hannah’s arabesque sequence!  Danielle’s pretzel sequence Monday + Hannah’s arabesque Tuesday = torture for my backside!  Oh well, I’ll be thanking those girls later when I put on that bikini this summer.

Once I finally made it back to Oakland I was FAMISHED!  I don’t normally go that long without eating, and I certainly don’t recommend it.  It just happened to work out today that I was booked solid with no time (and no money) to eat.

I had a snack when I got home:

The KC and I headed over to Whole Foods to return the spoiled half & half (yes, return, it wasn’t even at its expiration date yet!)  We picked up some new half & half, nonfat milk, and a special after-dinner treat.

For dinner I made tuna salad:

I’m glad I had decided on this earlier in the week — I was definitely in the mood for something quick and easy tonight.

To make this I used a bag of organic mixed greens, added some chopped veggies (bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, red onion), some minced kalamata olives, a handful of chopped walnuts, and some homemade croutons (which you’ve already seen the recipe for).  I tossed all this with a balsamic vinaigrette (I just eyeballed the amounts, but it included balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, salt and pepper), then topped it with some of the leftover tuna from the other night.  Easy right?  Took a whopping 15 minutes to throw together.

I usually add a chopped apple to this recipe; but seeing as it’s not apple season, I didn’t have any on hand.  I’ll use a nectarine or something once those are in season.

After dinner it was time for a special treat:

Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked frozen yogurt!  DROOL.  I pretty much never buy ice cream at the grocery store, so this was definitely a treat for us.

Alright, well it’s time for Glee and The Good Wife.  Catch you later!

Breakfast / Food Journal / Lunch / Snack

Another (Mon)day

April 26, 2010

Ah another week… another Monday.

This week started like all the others.  Kashi for breakfast:

Then job searching, emailing, all kinds of other interesting activities.

Made the week’s batch of hard-boiled eggs and had one as a mid-morning snack:

For lunch I made a pita out of the leftover Greek salad:

I ate 3/4 of this — couldn’t quite finish the second half.

Pita bread… you make any leftovers more delicious.  Seriously, I love pockets in just about everything — pants, dresses, flatbread…

After lunch, I got ready to head to the city for a job interview (yes, yay for employment — we’ll see what happens).  I had a double shot from the Nespresso to get pumped up beforehand:

After the job interview, I headed over to Bar Method for Danielle’s 3pm class.  Pretzel kicked my butt today (yes, sort of literally since it’s seat work).  After class I was starving, so I raced home and made myself a snack:

Some of those heirloom carrots, a tomato, and leftover green goddess dressing.  Even though I halved the recipe for the dressing, it still made a bunch!  I can’t imagine any salad needing that much dressing.  Unless you were feeding an entire tribe of hungry vegetarian bears…

Ok end of weird thought tangent.

Alright, sorry this post is kind of boring — blame Monday!

I’m off to get dinner ready — post on that later!

Breakfast / Dinner / Food Journal / Lunch / Snack


April 25, 2010

Don’t you love a sunshine-filled weekend?  I do.

Today I tried to soak up the nice weather as much as I could, because it’s supposed to rain again on Tuesday!  Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain (winter is actually my favorite season), but what is up with this crazy weather?  78° followed by rain…  Doesn’t make much sense to me.  Oh well, I guess that’s California for you!

This morning started as usual — Cheerios:

KC and I then gathered up the laundry and headed out to Walnut Creek, where I was meeting up with Ashley for a girl date.

Ashley and decided on Tomatina for lunch.  We shared the caprese piadine (remember, the inspiration for my own homemade piadine?):

I wish my pizza dough tasted like this flatbread.  I think I’ll have to scour the internet for recipes and learn to make it myself.  The TJ’s dough just doesn’t compare!

After lunch Ashley and I window-shopped downtown.  I picked up a new pair of pants from Lululemon with a gift card (I don’t have any money, remember?)

We stopped for coffee:

Caffeine keeps you going!

We powered on and did some more walking, more window shopping, and then headed to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods for the week’s grocery shopping.

After shopping and dropping Ashley off at home, I grabbed KC and we headed back downtown to get some frozen yogurt at Yogurt Park (I had a gift certificate from Christmas — it’s finally used up!)  Sorry, I didn’t get a picture — my hands were full and my yogurt was melting!

I had a mini chocolate and cheesecake with Butterfinger pieces.  It was delicious, but I could only finish half.

After yogurt, KC and I drove back to Oakland with the laundry and groceries in tow.

We opened all the windows in the apartment (there are a lot, so it’s almost like being outside).  I decided that the weather was so nice, we should have a springtime happy hour:

Remember my obsession with the carrots and green goddess dressing at the Bar Method party the other night? Well, I decided I’d make it for myself because it was so darn good!

I bought some rainbow heirloom carrots at Whole Foods (aren’t they beautiful?) and whipped up a half batch of Ina’s Basil Green Goddess Dressing.

I only modified the recipe a little.  Into a blender went 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 3 full scallions — chopped, 1/2 cup basil,  a couple tbsp. of lemon juice, 1 tsp. anchovy paste, 1/2 cup of 2% Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream), 1 garlic clove — minced (I’d use a smaller one next time — it was pretty garlicky), 1 tsp. kosher salt, and pepper.  Blend it all up, and voila — Green Goddess Dressing.

It has a delicious springy flavor, and you can’t beat the color.  Is there anything more springy-looking than that?

I think not.

Ok, so I said happy hour right?  Well, that beautiful orange drink is actually just a screwdriver.  I made it with fresh-squeezed orange juice though — it makes such a difference!  Like I said, I’m not really into sweet drinks — juices, cocktails — but fresh squeezed orange juice?  YUM.

To make these, I juiced 5 organic oranges.  This made about 12 oz of juice (I also had maybe an ounce of lemon juice in the mix, leftover from the dressing).  I poured 6 oz of juice into each of the two glasses, added a shot of vodka to each, and some ice.  Easy peasy!  Before KC and I drank them I topped the drinks with some fizzy water.  Such a nice way to spend a warm evening!

After cocktails, I got to work making dinner:

Tuna melts with steamed broccoli.  Easy and yummy.

So I have to confess, I love steamed broccoli.  I know that many people do not share this sentiment.  If you’re not big on broccoli, maybe you should try making it a couple different ways before giving up on it (because it’s really good for you!).  Broccoli can be tossed into salads, eaten as an appetizer with dressing, steamed, boiled, roasted…  The possibilities are endless.

To make this broccoli, I just threw it in the steamer basket over some boiling water for 4 minutes with the lid on (you can cook it less if you like it to be a little crunchy still — I like my broccoli a little softer).  After steaming, I squeezed a little fresh lemon juice over it, threw on some salt and pepper and tossed it with a spoon.  (Not exactly rocket science, right?)

For the tuna melts I toasted four pieces of bread at 400° for 8 minutes (you can do this in a toaster or toaster oven as well).  While the bread was toasting, I made the tuna by mixing together 2 cans of albacore tuna, 1 medium dill pickle, 1/4 of a red onion, 1/4 of a cucumber, 1/4 of a large orange bell pepper, mayonnaise (about 1/2 a cup), a squeeze of lemon, and salt and pepper.  (All the veggies were diced fairly small before being mixed in).  This made a pretty large batch of tuna (I wanted leftovers).  If you’re only making the melts, I would cut this recipe in half.

After the bread was done toasting, I topped each slice with some tuna, 1-2 slices of tomato, and a couple slices of sharp cheddar cheese (jack, pepperjack, or provolone would also work well on these).  Once assembled, these went under the broiler for about 2 minutes to melt the cheese (this step could be done in a microwave — use 30 second intervals so the cheese doesn’t over-melt).

Making tuna melts at home is generally much healthier than ordering it at a restaurant.  Because tuna salad can be really unhealthy (hellooo mayonnaise), I like to add in a lot of fresh veggies, and not too much mayo, to keep it well-balanced.  Even though there’s cheese, mayo, and bread in this recipe, there’s also a fair amount of fresh vegetables and a nice serving of lean protein from the tuna.  Remember, you don’t have to give up what you love, but if you can find a way to make it healthier — why shouldn’t you?

Here’s my plate:

I had this, plus about 3/4 of another tuna melt.

Alrighty, time to get ready for tomorrow.  Hope you guys all had a fabulous weekend!

Also, I’ll be announcing my next 30 day challenge soon — stay tuned!

Dinner / Food Journal

Greek Feast

April 24, 2010

I’ve been having a very patterned week, food-wise.  The week started off with tacos and ended with Mediterranean food.  It wasn’t planned.  It just happened.

Anyway, Greek food tonight.  The recipes I made tonight are a healthier rendition of a few Barefoot Contessa recipes.

Here’s the spread:

Sadly, the pita bread is store-bought, not homemade.  Today was not the day for homemade pita bread.

The chicken was marinated in organic lowfat plain yogurt, lots of rosemary, a little olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.  Usually I skewer this and grill it; but I was pressed for time and feeling lazy, so the skewering didn’t happen.

Here’s the salad:

This salad is super easy to make and really, really delicious.  I chopped up 1/2 an orange bell pepper, a red bell pepper, 1/2 an English cucumber, 1/2 a red onion, 1/2 a pint of grape tomatoes, and some light feta cheese.  I then tossed this all in a vinaigrette made with 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp. dijon, 1 tsp. oregano, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup olive oil, and salt and pepper.

This is another dish that tastes better the longer it sits; so I made this first, and let it sit at room temp. while I made everything else.

I also made another batch of the taztziki-style yogurt sauce, like the other night (this time I used Fage 2% Greek yogurt):

Here’s my plate:

I ate this, plus a little more salad.

I’m now in a bit of a food coma.  So much food today!  Hopefully tomorrow (and all of next week, for that matter) is much cleaner and healthier on the food-front.  I definitely will be avoiding chicken and waffles for awhile — that’s a once every 6-12 months kind of meal!

Ok, gotta get back to the boy party in the living room (KC and Dan just finished watching the Sharks’ game — woo hoo San Jose!)

Hope you’re having a fun Saturday night!

Breakfast / Food Journal / Lunch / Snack

Sunshiney Saturday

Hey all,

Hope you enjoyed the sunshine today!  Sorry I didn’t post last night or this morning; the Bar Method party went later than I expected last night, and we had a date with some of KC’s friends this morning.

Anyway, after I signed off yesterday, Alexis and I headed to the city for the Bar Method Spring Fling.  The party had fabulous food.  I didn’t get pictures of it all, but I did manage to get a couple shots.

There was a caterer at the party, and everything she made was beautiful and very yummy.  I tried to sample all the little snacks (crostini with ricotta, peas, mint, and proscuitto; wonton with smoked salmon and wasabi mayonnaise; tortilla chip with steak, avocado, and salsa; mini pulled-pork sandwiches — YUM).  I have to say, my favorite thing at the party was the veggie plate with green goddess dressing, though (I could have camped out and eaten those heirloom carrots by the POUND).

Priscilla’s Moonbaby Cakes were also in attendance (that would be those adorably tiny cupcakes in the picture).  Alexis and I shared one of the one’s in the picture (vanilla cake with lemon frosting).

The party was really fun, and everyone had a good time.

After I got home last night I was still hungry (probably the result of just downing only a few snacks early in the evening).  I had an orange:

Then I made a box of TJ’s Organic Shells and Cheese as a late night meal for KC and me:

I think pepper makes macaroni and cheese better (I found this box a little bland… Maybe I’ll be going back to the orange stuff?)

I had plans to get up early this morning and blog before KC and I had to leave for our lunch date, but no such luck.  It’s so hard to get out of bed on the weekends (especially when KC doesn’t have to be up at 7am).

Cheerios for breakfast:

After breakfast KC and I got ready to go meet his friends at Home of Chicken and Waffles for lunch.

Yes.  Again.

I didn’t have plans to go back to this place anytime in the near future, seeing as KC and I were just there for my birthday; but KC’s friend was really gung-ho to go, and I didn’t want to be left out.

I should have listened to my gut and stayed home, avoiding the deep-fried feast; but no, I didn’t want to be that girl, so I went.

I ordered Angie’s Delight with macaroni and cheese instead of grits:

Finishing my plate and this place is just never an option.  I made it this far:

After lunch, I convinced KC to take me to Blue Bottle:

Oh iced coffee… You make everything better.

Well, almost.

After coffee, we headed to Bed, Bath & Beyond to buy a new drain cover for our kitchen sink.  While shopping I was reminded of my original instinct to skip chicken and waffles — worst. stomachache. ever.

I’ve noticed that my body really only takes so much of me eating poorly.  I think between the ball game, last night’s festivities, and the super-indulgent lunch, my body had just had it with me and my irresponsible eating.

Ok, lesson learned.

After heading home and recovering, KC and I drove out to Montclair.  We walked around the town and I decided that Montclair is pretty boring; so we headed to Moraga where we hit up my favorite store, TJ Maxx HomeGoods.

I’ll let you check out some of the wonderful things HomeGoods has to offer:

Yes, I can’t believe that you’ve been missing out on these gems either.

They did have a cute patio table and two chairs, which made KC and I whine over the fact that we have no outdoor space at our apartment.  Oh well.

After our East Bay adventure, we headed back to Oakland where we met up with our friend Dan.   KC and I had a snack while waiting for Dan to make it to our place:

We then all raced over to The Lake Chalet to catch the tail end of their happy hour.

We each had one of the house-made chalet ales:

And ordered some happy hour snacks, which I ate sparingly:

The beer was good, but the food was just mediocre.  I guess that’s to be expected at happy hour.

Can’t beat the view of the lake though!

Hope you guys had some fun outside in the sun today!

Post on what I’m making for dinner is coming up…  Stay tuned!