Posts tagged ‘wine’
The foggy, misty, still-icky-but-not-that-cold weather Chicago has been having reminds me of the weather the winter I lived in London. It rarely got below 30 degrees, but most days had some sort of misty/rainy overcast business going on. Surprisingly, I loved it…it felt very, I don’t know, romantic? Either way, this weather is making me miss being in London terribly. I really can’t wait to go back — either as a tourist, or as a resident :)
So despite my gung-ho (hah!) attitude about getting laundry done yesterday, it didn’t happen. I swear, mom, I had a good excuse!
A friend was having a yucky, horrible day, so I arrived with reinforcements in hand — a bottle of wine, lots of hugs, and a penchant for Thai food. I honestly believe that “girl time” and maintaining your female friendships is one of the most important parts of life. Relationships come and go, but when you really need them, your girlfriends are always there.
I was going to skip the gym (again) tonight in favor of laundry, but that seemed counterintuitive (somehow?), so I’m really hoping I can get it done anyway tonight. I’m going to be making an eggplant and celery stew for dinner (recipe here!) because I have both an eggplant and a bag of celery waiting to be used in the fridge (I’m trying to get better about using my groceries and budgeting — can be seen in Tina’s latest post here!), so maybe I can get some of the laundry done while that’s cooking.
Lunch today had to be thrown together from the grocery store (talk about contradicting my goal of budgeting right away, sheesh) because I got home late last night and didn’t have the energy to put a lunch together. It came out really good anyway, though!
I had about 3/4 of a red bell pepper cut up (they were SOOO pretty and on sale for $0.99!), a sliced organic cucumber, some fat-free ranch salad dressing for dipping and my favorite chicken burrito. I normally don’t eat fat-free salad dressings because, aside from tasting bad, I think they’re really silly. Veggies need fat to help you absorb their nutrients, and usually these FF dressings are loaded with sugar and HFCS to compensate for their lack of fat (aka flavor). I think I should have stuck to my guns, because I’m now dealing with a really awful stomach ache, and there wouldn’t be any other reason for it. I actually am wondering if it might be the corn syrup, because I have essentially cut that stuff out of my diet completely. Does anyone else ever have trouble with HFCS sensitivity?
The kitties have been super cuddly lately…perhaps they’re wanting to bundle up because of this weather too. Some shameless Mojo pictures…
I got into work late today because I was not feeling well at ALL this morning. I hope it was just a passing fluke and doesn’t spell out bad things for the rest of the weekend.
Part of the reason I was craving some veggie-heavy foods yesterday was because my lunch was soooo not healthy (well, mostly not healthy) the day before. But it sure was tasty.
Food trucks are gaining a lot of popularity in Chicago, although some goofy old law still prevents vendors from actually preparing food ON the truck, so it must all be ready to go before hitting the road. I’m sure this will change eventually, but for now, our offerings are kinda limited. Enter the Gaztro-Wagon.
Please excuse my gross nail polish, blegh. I really need to get a manicure. But yes, you’re reading that right — this says pork cheeks. Sounds kinda weird, maybe kinda gross, right? It’s actually really similar to pork shoulder, or any slow-cooked pork meat. They re-designed their menu, so I haden’t tried any of their new stuff yet!
The Gaztro-Wagon makes “naan-wiches” that are basically really tasty pieces of fluffy naan which are filled with all sorts of foodie-type ingredients. I had the grilled cheese, which was pretty good, but I didn’t like it as much as their beef with blue cheese, onions, dried cherries and pecans. YUM. This had a bit too strong of a smoked gouda flavor for me that overwhelmed the meat. It probably didn’t help that I’m not a huge fan of smoked cheese or of gouda, haha, but it was still tasty.
Yeah, that probably either made your mouth water, or your stomach churn — there’s no in-between.
Thankfully, I had packed some salad stuff and had a big salad and a little break before eating this guy. Have to get those veggies in! But I still didn’t feel 100% later in the day, leading me to realize more and more that I really do just feel better when I eat healthy stuff. This doesn’t mean I’m every going to sacrifice my favorites though. I honestly don’t think I could live without sushi (salmon and avocado roll for the win!), Thai (pad see eiw with tofu or panang curry), tacos (fish and shrimp, mmm) and pizza (Neapolitan mozzarella di bufala). Without these goodies, I don’t think life would be worth living…
The trick is eating these things as a treat, not a regular occurrence. A work in progress I suppose!
As promised, here is my recipe for Laura’s quickie pesto masterpiece!
- 1 portion (or more if you want to multiply the recipe) cooked whole wheat pasta
- 1 relatively healthy link of Italian-flavored chicken sausage, sliced (use whatever flavor you like — I used Trader Joe’s sundried tomato basil)
- 3 Dorot chopped basil cubes
- 1 Dorot chopped garlic cube
- handful of halved grape/cherry tomatoes
- olive oil to taste
- sea/kosher salt to taste
- good quality freshly grated parmesan
You may be wondering what these “Dorot” things are — and that’s the trick to the recipe! Trader Joe’s has these little ice cube trays of chopped basil and garlic that are seriously the greatest invention EVER. They make spicing up a meal a cinch, because they are small and melt relatively quickly when you toss them in. They’re pre-measured too, so no chopping or measuring required! If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, you can of course use regular chopped fresh (or even dried) basil and garlic, but I guarantee it it won’t be as fast or as good.
Cook pasta according to directions with some salt and olive oil in the water for taste and to avoid sticking. While pasta is cooking, slice sausage and bake in an oven at 400 degrees on a sprayed cookie sheet for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Drain pasta and put back in saucepan, then add about a teaspoon (more if you like) of good quality olive oil and a grind/shake of sea salt. Add garlic and basil cubes, and turn heat on medium-low. Stir to disperse garlic and basil as the cubes melt. Add tomatoes while continuing to stir, add more salt or olive oil if desired. Add in chicken sausage at the end, and stir to disperse. Plate the good stuff, and grate some delicious cheese on top. Enjoy!
I put loooots of cheese on mine, and had some grilled asparagus on the side. Heaven.
I will certainly be making this again. Don’t mind the messy coffee table! I had just come back from the gym, which explains the Germ-X and headband. Doesn’t explain the wine though :P
All this food talk is making me hungry. Lunch time!
Instead of working out my frustrations at the gym tonight, I’m gonna lay on my floor with a big ol’ one of these instead:
Have a good night, folks. I know I will.
Guys, I am so bummed! I had this awesome sounding recipe for coconut lime shrimp from One Fit Foodie that I was totally psyched to try out for dinner. After I got home later than I would have liked from an appointment, I set to work getting things prepared for dinner. First, I made some instant brown rice (blegh) that turned out way too gooey. Then when I went to thaw out my shrimp, I realized that the bag had been open in the freezer and all of it was freezer burned. Gross!
I decided to roll with the punches anyway and make coconut lime chicken instead. While it was simmering (and I was attempting to salvage my gross mushy rice) it smelled amazing, so I figured it would turn out delish anyway. WRONG. I must have put way too much lime juice + lime zest in or something, because I could barely taste the coconut over all that TANG. I was so sad because it smelled amazing, and the recipe was even healthy, but my messed up version tasted like I was sucking on a lime. I tried adding a little bit of sugar to cut some of the lime and it helped a bit, but I think I will just have to tweak this one a few times before I get it right. Kitchen fail. Let me know if any of you try it out and succeed!
Anyway, after my chicken-shrimp-lime disaster, I decided I needed a glass (or three) of wine on the couch, and watched an episode of the Millonaire Matchmaker (I’m a classy lady) from my DVR. Nope, no gym. By the time it was over it was almost 10 (!) already, so I cleaned up the kitchen and hopped into bed to watch a movie. I was hoping to fall asleep quickly, but I was so engrossed in this documentary I turned on from Netflix that I watched the whole thing. I must warn you, it reflects my social and personal views, so if you’re a conservative lady, you might want to steer clear of this one.
Going to be another busy day today. The weather is so gross and rainy, but I have plans to meet up with a friend or two after work for some delicious food and drinks. Can’t wait!