Sunday, August 29, 2010

Crockpot beef bourguignon and braised summer vegetables

I used the vegetable recipe here. I was a little concerned about braising the green beans (used frozen), and having them be gray and not bright green. Which is what happened. But it still tasted pretty good, with lots of leftovers.

For the beef, I winged it. I just threw a bunch of stuff in the crockpot based on a couple of recipes.

Crockpot beef bourguignon:
<3 lb tri-tip: $16. You can eat the CAFO stuff if you like. I'm paying for grass fed now. Keeps me from eating too much beef too.
2 small onions: 0.50
2 8-oz pkgs cremini mushrooms, sliced: $3.38
1.5 cups red wine: 0 from my birthday party (gift)
1 T canola oil: 0.04
2 cloves garlic: 0.10
3 T flour: 0.01
salt and pepper to taste
1.5 tsp thyme: 0.05
1 bay leaf: 0.02

Total: $20.10 for ... at least 10 servings. Depends on how much you eat. I put the leftovers in the freezer for next weekend. $2.01 per serving


Finishing time on the Santa Barbara Sprint Tri. I kick butt :)

My friend, the swim coach, won our division. She kicks more butt.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Marinated bean and cucumber salad

Today, I combined two recipes: 1. marinated white beans from Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, and a version of Rachael Ray's Greek salad.

In other words, I threw a bunch of stuff together:

Marinated bean and cucumber salad:
1/2 cuke, peeled, seeded, diced: 0.50
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed: 0.89
2-3 small tomatoes, diced: 1.00
6 kalamata olives, sliced: 0.38
some crumbled feta: 0.38
two green onions, sliced: 0.10
one clove garlic, pressed: 0.05
1/2 tsp basil: 0.01
1/4 tsp oregano: 0.01
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil: 0.22
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar: 0.10
Total: $3.64 for a good 6 servings, at least. $0.61 per serving.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rice and salad

Tonight's dinner was a "throw a bunch of stuff in a pot" rice and salad from whatever I had.

Normally, my "throw a bunch of stuff into a pan" dinner is pasta. Which was my plan. Then I realized that I must have been eating a lot of pasta. Because I am almost out. So I decided on rice.

I have a pressure cooker, so I figured that I could cook flavored brown rice in the same time that it would take to make skillet pasta. I spent about 10 mins web-surfing for guidance, then just decided to wing it. My one problem with rice and my pressure cooker is that the bottom layer burns. It didn't use to. Now it does. Anyone else have this problem and fix it?

It's not very pretty. But it did taste very good.

Marinara rice
1 Tbsp canola oil
a bunch of small onions, sliced (like green onion sized)
1 zucchini, diced
tsp Italian seasoning (I make my own)
1/2 basket cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
the last 4 meatballs from the freezer
1.5 cups rice
1 25-oz jar Trader Joe's vodka sauce. This was free. Or $10. I won a bag of TJ's goodies at the wine tasting benefit. I paid $10 for the ticket. I've never had this sauce, but it was pretty good. There was lots of other good stuff in the bag. Like tiny peanut butter cups.
Water to make 3 cups total liquid (vodka sauce + water) = 3 cups

Saute onion and zucchini in oil until soft. Add seasoning and rice and meatballs and cherry tomatoes, and cook until tomatoes are softened. Add sauce and water (remember, 3 cups total!), cover, and bring to pressure.

Reduce heat to maintain pressure, and cook 20 mins. Turn off heat, let pressure reduce 5 min, use quick release. If it's too soupy (mine was), cover again for 5 more min.

I topped it with some cheese. Next time: maybe 1/2 cup less liquid. All in all, I prefer my rice dishes where I cook the rice ahead of time. It's fluffier. But this is much faster when I haven't planned dinner.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quinoa tabouli

Mixture of red and regular quinoa.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


So, I have been cooking this week, but also really busy. As usual. Calico beans (with fresh limas from the farm), tabouli (but with no onion and using quinoa instead of bulgur), chile relleno casserole (light on the cheese with added spinach)...

Today's lunch started out as this:

and turned into this:

2 small onions
1 clove garlic
1 small summer squash
3/4 cup chickpeas
chopped tomato
curry power
oil to saute the veggies
tiny pat of butter on top

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tri training, physical therapy, and a 5k

Well, tri training is going well. My Sprint Tri (500m swim, 6 mi bike, 2 mi run) is in two weeks. And boy, has it been cold.

While the rest of the country is sweltering, So Cal has been cool and foggy. GREAT for running, NOT so great for swimming in the ocean. Rumor has it that the ocean is usually around 65-69 degrees right now. Nope, it's 59-60. And ROUGH! The last couple of weeks we've had 2 ft swells, and that makes it hard to swim, especially for a newbie. My abs get tired, and I have a hard time keeping form. I have a hard time going in one direction, and sighting slows me down. But hey, I'm swimming in the ocean.

Physical therapy is going well with my sciatic nerve pinch in my leg. I am strengthening my hips and glutes, and learning to run correctly - apparently I generally just use my leg, which causes stress on my hip, which means my performis? is constantly trying to contract, which pinches the sciatic nerve. OH, and I don't stretch enough. But I knew that. My run times aren't getting any worse (but I'm sure I can't go run 8 miles anymore, also, my abs get tired running the "correct" way - like "run like you are running away from something").

Today I ran a 5k. I mentioned it to Kalli, as she and Bill we looking for a race to run. This race was *very* casual, which is why I like it. I generally finish middle-of-the-pack on my runs, and this one I came in 4th. Again. Where I came in 2 years ago. In fact, if I hadn't mentioned it to Kalli (who came in 3rd) and another friend Becky (who came in 2nd), I could have placed!! Ah well. I would have won if I'd been running in the 20-24 age group. :) Official time: 27:27. Which is why I like this race. Makes me feel fast. And there's ice cream at the end.

Bill won his age group! (and came in 3rd overall). He finished in 18-something. AWESOME.

Time to go shower. Part of dinner's in the crockpot, friends are coming over for dinner. Need to clean up the house a bit too.

NEXT Friday is a wine-tasting benefit for Heal The Ocean. My tri team is sponsoring it. For $50, lots of great wine-tasting and food sampling in the downtown wineries. I'll be there. Join me if you are local!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Weekly Meals

You know how things get when life is really crazy? Like, work, home are all stressful. Working like crazy, training for a triathlon, taking your child to swim lessons, hubby on a business trip, doing my physical therapy for my leg...yes, and after all that trying to cook healthy meals plus do the dishes.... pictures. No recipes. But I did cook! I am trying (quite unsuccessfully) to lose a couple of pounds without counting calories, but I am writing down all I eat to keep me honest and try to stick to a healthy diet. Plus, I found this notebook where I was doing that two years ago (for a few weeks), and I can see clearly where I gained those 5 lbs on vacation. And that I did really see 125-126 lbs back then.

I've been reading Eat for Health and after watching Dr. Fuhrman on a video on the 'net, I'm trying to eat the following: at least 4 fruits, one large salad (any raw veggies, not necessarily lettuce), one cup cooked vegetable (preferably green, but I am a "eat in season" girl, which he is most certainly not, so if it's cauliflower or yellow squash instead of broccoli, so be it), 1/2 cup cooked beans, 1 oz nuts (preferably raw). To his list, I've added at least 6 glasses water and a "MOVE" step, so I try to get some exercise in daily, even if it's a 20 min walk. He also mentions that you shouldn't eat until you are *truly* hungry. So being cranky and lightheaded isn't enough, you need to feel hunger in your throat and salivary glands. It's obvious the guy doesn't spend his day handling expensive wafers. Just sayin'. Because the few times I tried to delay lunch over the last year "just to finish one more thing" I dropped stuff and broke it. Not good.

Anyway, this makes it easy to post this list. So this is what we ate:

Breakfast was basically toast: either homemade or storebought bread. With almond butter, or tomatoes, or cheese.

All my fruits and nuts were snacks.

Friday: L: cashew cilantro pasta, mixed veggies
D: rice and beans with avocado, salsa, sour cream, cheese with carrot-raisin salad

Saturday: L: same as Friday's dinner
D: homemade pesto pizza, sauteed lemon shrimp, steamed broccoli

Sunday: L: tortilla filled with shrimp salad from leftover shrimp, another one with beans and tomato and corn
D: out, had scallops stir-fry over rice (ton of veggies)

Monday: L leftovers from Sunday dinner
D: salad with avocado, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, beans, corn and tomato salsa. And a veggie burger.

Tuesday (no hubby): L: out with the boss and some coworkers, turned into a complain-fest by one guy: portobello sandwich with red pepper, onion, lettuce, and fruit
D: salad with romaine, beans, corn and tomato salad, shrimp, and goddess dressing

Wednesday: L: vegetable soup from freezer, steamed broccoli
D: Nature's burger (from a mix), raw zucchini with goddess dressing

Thursday: L: leftover nature's burger, roasted cauliflower
D: massaged kale salad, black bean and cheese quesadillas

I've also noticed that my normal 1 glass of wine turned into 1.5 this week due to stress. Time to nip THAT in the bud. I generally do that by going cold turkey for a few days.

I've also notice that the thing that gets tired the most in my swims are my abs, probably because I stopped doing ab workouts. Hmm...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pizza, Lemon Cupcakes, Salad

Pesto Pizza

Lemon Cupcakes (hubby's birthday is this week...first time I've ever made cupcakes or any kind of cake from scratch. These were yummy. I am lucky to have friends with lemon trees.)

Greek-ish salad (the Greek fest this weekend was out!!)...cukes, tomatoes, radishes, olives, feta, and some Goddess Dressing.

And tonight, one of my amazing pasta dishes...pasta, a *very* large (free) zucchini from Lori, more leftover tri-tip from my birthday party, lots of homemade pesto, onion, and a little diced fresh tomato.