Posts tagged ‘pizza’

So I got hit by a car…and made some pesto

Oh, hello there.

Have you forgotten about me?

*waves frantically*

So this time, I have a legitimate excuse for my prolonged absence. As I was walking home from work Thursday, I was hit by a car. Some of you may have seen me mention it on Twitter, but after that, I took a short break from the world for a few days.

Let’s backpedal a bit — to answer the question that everyone is asking, yes, I’m okay. Everyone has been so nice and I really appreciate everyone asking if I’m okay – it means a lot! :) Now, as to how it happened?

Well, it was about 6:30 and I was rushing to catch a bus to my friend’s house to make cake balls for her boyfriend’s birthday. I was crossing the intersection right outside my building, and I had the green light and cross signal. As I was approaching the other side of the intersection, I still had about 23 seconds left on the crosswalk timer. A car had turned left from the cross street, and was waiting for me to finish crossing. Unfortunately, a cab driver behind the car decided he couldn’t wait an additional five seconds, so he cut around the side of the stopped car and, without seeing me, was going to drive through. He saw me in time not to kill me, thank God, but I didn’t see him coming and he hit me hard enough to knock me off my feet.

I was pretty stunned and it took a second to realize what had happened, and a few nice people rushed over to help me up and make sure I was okay. Long story short, I called 911 (but declined an ambulance) and made sure the cop wrote him a severe ticket. She was incredibly nice and didn’t make me feel like an idiot for crying in the middle of the street. She also let me know that she wrote him a ticket for a municipal code violation, instead of a traffic ticket, so he couldn’t get out of it with just a fine. The cab driver was nice enough and completely agreed with me in that the accident was entirely his fault, but he broke the law — plain and simple — so despite how nice of a guy he may be, I was still furious.

AND…he ruined my favorite pair of shoes. Not pleased.

More than anything, I’m incredibly thankful that I wasn’t hurt worse, or killed. It could have been so, so much worse. It takes things like this sometimes for you to see how your life could truly change forever in an instant, and to be thankful for every second you have with the people you love.

——

Thankfully, the friend who I was on my way to see  (and the aforementioned boyfriend) are both lawyers, so they came and picked me up to make sure I was okay . It was funny, because the boyfriend even happens to be a personal injury lawyer — or as my friend says it, “Psh – he’s the ambulance chaser.” Hah.

We went back to her apartment, but not before stopping for beer, some random fruit from the grocery store, and ordering Thai and tacos (random!) for delivery. She’s a good friend.

I helped her make some decorations and goodies for her boyfriend’s surprise party that was going to be on Saturday while sipping my beer and munching on our random dinner spread. We also watched trashy tv. It was the absolute best remedy for such a crappy day.

——-

Thursday night, I emailed my boss and let her know that I was going to get into work late so I could sleep in and see how I would feel the next morning. I was right, and I felt pretty sore and kind of shaken up, so I was glad that I had built in some time to take it easy. I made some coffee when I woke up and nibbled a small breakfast, got a little work done, then got started on making some homemade pesto!

Into the Magic Bullet went:

  • 1 oz fresh basil
  • 2 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1/3-1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1.3 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup (plus more as necessary for ease of blending) good quality olive oil
  • a few grinds of sea salt
It took a little while for everything to get blended up, but once I did, it looked and smelled incredible. I seared some cherry tomatoes in a little bit of olive oil and salt in a really hot pan, which made them super plump and bursting with flavor. I mixed the pesto and the cherry tomatoes with some cooked whole wheat pasta, and topped it with some fresh chevre. It was so simple, and so amazingly delicious.
Oh, but that wasn’t all. This stuff was so good that I decided I wanted some more. I toasted half of a FlatOut Wrap in the toaster oven, ripped it into pieces, topped each with a schmear of goat cheese, a half cherry tomato and a glob of pesto. Mmmmmm. I feel like these could make some really good appetizers/hors d’ouvres in a pinch!
I can’t get enough of this stuff! Can’t wait to make it again :)
——
I took it easy Friday night and went home after babysitting the whole evening — it was certainly welcomed, so I didn’t mind being a lame-o that night.
Saturday night was the surprise party! First Laura and I went out to grab some dinner with a Groupon I had for RedFlame Pizzeria.
We enjoyed some beers while going over the menu.
We each had a Kolsch, but they were so tasty and refreshing that we decided to split a third!
The pizza here is known for their cooking method — first they grill the dough, then bake it in a super hot oven once the pizza is assembled. Yummmmm.
This was my ridiculous dinner date…
I swear she’s not antisocial…
I ordered a margherita pizza topped with prosciutto, and Laura ordered a white pizza with mushrooms, 4 cheeses and tooooons of garlic. She added arugula to it as well.
They were delicious! We had a little bit of each, but I picked the mushrooms off Laura’s ’cause I don’t like ’em.
It was amazeballs. Check out the grilled crust! Probably my favorite part.
We packed up the leftovers (which were totally consumed post-beer pong a few hours later…) and paid the bill, then hopped in a cab so we could get to the surprise party on time.
The decorations were so stinkin’ cute. He really likes beer…
…and penguins! It was the theme for the party and she made all the decorations herself. I was very impressed.
She even made this crazy penguin cake, to go along with the cake balls. It was awesome!
She topped rice Krispy treats with fondant. So talented!
The cake balls were red velvet, made with cream cheese frosting, then topped with chocolate. I had like, 8 million. Soooo good.
Aren’t my friends beautiful?
It was a great weekend!
——
Today I was not in the best of moods. I was tired, stressed out and just sort of sad. I made my way through work but got upset about something toward the end of the day, so I was really ready to get home by 6. Since today was really the only night in the week that I don’t have non-stop plans, I decided to take it easy and make myself a decent dinner, watch some crap TV and update the blog. These things always make me feel better when I’m down!
I had some ground beef I needed to use up, and my parents just gave me a George Foreman grill, so I made a burger! (actually, I made two, but only cooked one). I mixed the beef with some panko crumbs, sage, sea salt, a bit of olive oil, paprika, chopped garlic and garlic powder. While the burger was sizzling away in the GF, I baked some sweet potato fries and sliced zucchini to have on the side. I didn’t have any buns, so I had the burger on some grilled bread (I made two pieces but only ended up eating one), and topped it with creamy goat cheese and romaine. It turned out to be a really tasty dinner that came together pretty easily!
I’ve been nibbling on strawberries and a few dark chocolate peanut butter cups for dessert and catching up on blogs. Gonna make my lunch for tomorrow then hit the hay for the night.
Sorry it’s been such a long time since my last update! What have y’all been up to lately? I’d love to hear!

August 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm 8 comments

Weekend warrior

Hi friends!

So excited for some of the feedback and crazy pageviews (more than I’ve ever gotten!) from my guest post on FFF. I am still in awe of how many people stopped over to check out PLW, even if they didn’t decide to come back, haha. I love Ali’s blog, so I was so excited for the opportunity! :)

My weekend was pretty interesting. I babysat on Saturday, which actually turned out to be a lot of fun. The little boy is 16 mo. old, and I’m starting to adore him. He can be a little difficult at times (e.g. SCREAMING bloody murder when I turn off Finding Nemo), but for the most part he is such a sweet little guy and he is starting to warm up to me — I got a bunch of hugs when I left! I nannied all throughout college to make extra money, so getting to babysit occasionally now just melts my heart. I love little kids and know that someday when I have my own, I’m gonna make a pretty great mama.

BABIES! IN A VASE!

That is not, however, going to happen anytime soon.

If you’re looking for some great fitness-friendly family and prego posts, check out the Fitnessista’s Family page!

After my babysitting gig, I had some serious errands to do and spend most of the afternoon running around like a chicken with my head cut off. These were special errands with a very specific focus, but they turned out to be a total bust. I may or may not elaborate on this, but at this point I am feeling totally let down, like all of my effort was for nothing. I don’t deal well with disappointment/let-downs, so I was feeling pretty down in the dumps.

That evening, I went out for dinner and drinks with some friends, and ended up drinking far too much. I had a pretty good time, but the night also ended on a sour note. I haven’t been on out a drankin’ bender in awhile, so I clearly was not prepared for the traditional drunken feast when I arrived home. Case in point: I woke up at 4:30am, all of my lights on, with the other half of the bagel I apparently couldn’t (forgot to?) finish, cream cheese side down, on the floor, next to the plate.

Phone was next to me, not plugged in, with half-written text message to someone I never talk to, reading, “gjkj gh popsicl hahahah.”

Yeah…still trying to figure that one out. Any drunk-ese translators out there?

Sunday, after sleeping in and sleeping off a wicked hangover, was spent at Laura’s house, hibernating, eating pizza and watching movies on Netflix. We ordered fresh tomato and basil, but Laura unknowingly ordered their thick-crust pizza, which was essentially a loaf of bread with pizza toppings. I wish I had thought to snap a picture, because this stuff was EPICALLY and almost comically thick, but we were far more focused on finding a comfortable spot on her obnoxious futon (sorry, Laura!) and picking out a good movie.

The pizza was good though, and after figuring out how to pick away some of the doughy mass, I had about four square slices for “lunch,” then another 2 or three a few hours later for “dinner.” This is what happens when I’m too hungover to eat anything until 4 o’clock.

Interestingly enough, we chowed down on our refined flour pizza while watching a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, which was about an overweight Aussie guy named Joe Cross who goes on a 60-day juice fast to help him rid his body of a chronic skin disease called urticaria. Laura decided halfway through the film that she needed to eat a piece of raw broccoli.

It was far more interesting that I thought it would be (in general, I think juice fasts are a little extreme), but after getting the initial preaching out of the way, he presents the idea in a very approachable manner. The best part of the film was the touching transformation he helped inspire in a 400-lb truck driver from Iowa. It’s on Netflix Instant, so look it up if you’re curious! Fair warning: the website is a little market-y, though, and he is pushing his juice fast, which is called the “Reboot.” I haven’t looked at it yet.

My next 5k is this weekend! How did that happen??? Gotta get myself to the gym and get a few runs in, which I have mostly been avoiding due to possible shin splints and severe congestion. I’m really hoping I start feeling better soon, otherwise this run is going to be a serious struggle.

Have a great day!

July 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm Leave a comment

Crazy eats, good friends, and life’s ups and downs

Hi friends.

I was still sort of in a funk today. I got to work from home, which was nice, but right now I’m having trouble shaking these yucky feelings.

One thing that did totally make me smile was a slew of Twitter conversations from some of my favorite bloggers :) I’m starting to realize that it’s almost impossible for me to get anything done if I have Twitter open in the background (as Angela noted today on Oh She Glows), so I’ll have to check in a little more sparingly in the future, but today it really did the trick.

On a similar note, I tweeted at Tina, asking if she would blog about how to be productive when working from home. I can’t wait to see what she says!

After running a few errands and wasting a ton of time reading blogs finishing up the working day at Caribou, I called it quits and headed home to drop off my computer. I texted my friend Allison to see if she wanted to join me for a walk since it was so nice out (and the fact that I hadn’t seen her in awhile!), and she jumped at the chance, which totally made me smile. In an earlier post, I mentioned making fitness dates to keep up with your social life — I am a perfect realistic example, right here!

We strolled around the neighborhood while chatting about our respective weekends, then passed some of the tennis courts nearby. Apparently Allison is really good at tennis and has some rackets, so we’re going to try to get a court sometime soon and play! By “play,” I mean having her embarrass me horribly while I run around, red-faced and panting. Even though I totally suck at tennis (poor hand-eye coordination, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself), I’ve always thought it was fun, and it will be a nice change from the run-gym-run routine.

It was a beautiful evening.

After passing though the park, we walked over to the lake and Al showed me how to use my fancy schmancy camera. I still have no freaking clue how to use any of the manual settings on this thing.

I love living so close to the lake, and it’s amazing in the summer when all the sailboats are out :) If this is exercise, count me in!

After strolling around  and chatting a bit more (including some serious discussion over the Casey Anthony trial), we decided to head back. We made plans to get together this weekend though, which I’m super excited over because I never see Allison enough — every time we hang out, I’m reminded about how much I enjoy her company.

As I was walking back home, I realized how hungry I was for dinner. My eats are always a little wonky on work-from-home days because I wake up later than usual and either spend the day parked on the couch in my pajamas, grazing away, or head to a nearby coffee shop and end up getting coffee, iced tea, or occasionally a baked treat.

For example, this was a work-from-home breakfast one week:

deceivingly healthy!

And here was a lunch from last week:

turkey, swiss and spinach -- NOM

nom nom

See? Wildly inconsistent. Today I had a bowl of Kashi Go Lean! Crunch for breakfast with some unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Lunch was my leftover massaged kale salad alongside a small bowl of whole wheat rigatone topped with a spritz of olive oil and some pecorino romano.

A short while later I was hungry again, so I had a bowl of blueberries. They were SO good though, that I had to have more, so I finished off the pint. I seriously can’t resist summer berries, mmmm.

After working some more, I hit the point where I needed to get out of the apartment so that’s when I went to Caribou. Before walking out the door, I had a Kashi waffle topped with that same cream cheese, fig spread and chia topping to tide me over. While running post-work errands, I nibbled on a mini cherry pie Larabar (not my favorite), then did the whole walkin’ thang with Allison. See! Eats all over the place!

Guess what I had for dinner, though? :D

EAT MEEEE

Yep, another FlatOut pizza. I am so obsessed with these, and I’m getting really good at making them! This one started with a new-to-me type of marinara sauce — it was Bella Terra Organic‘s Tomato Basil, and it was SO GOOD. It had just the right balance between savory and sweet, and tasted super fresh. I wasn’t thrilled about the 25% daily value of sodium in one serving, but I eat too much salt anyway so I was able to look past it, haha. Overall I highly recommend this brand!

Next, I topped the toasted wrap with the usual spinach, then added some sliced roma tomatoes, a few leftover sliced grape tomatoes, yellow bell pepper slices, creamy goat cheese, a few shreds of mozzarella and a sprinkle of pecorino romano. I made sure to do less cheese this time around (although it doesn’t look like it) to see how it would fare without as much fat, and I was so glad I did! The runniness of the marinara, cooked spinach and tomatoes made it super juicy, so you better believe I licked the plate clean. I’m obsessed with these pizzas!

On the side, I cooked up some Alexia spicy sweet potato fries. Note to self: your oven is very small, so it cooks things (and therefore burns things) much faster. Plan accordingly.

I totally burned these, but they were so good I ate all of them anyway! Well, okay, maybe not that one on the left side…But seriously, the combination of the sweetness from the sweet potato and the chipotle seasoning is to-die for, and at only 130 calories and 4 grams of fat, along with loads of vitamin A per serving (30 fries!!!) these are totally a great bang for your nutritional buck. Go out and buy these. Now.

So I got about halfway through this post when I realized that I left my computer charger at Caribou — d’oh! Had to call and frantically run back to retrieve it, but thankfully people in my neighborhood are awesome and neighborly, and someone turned it in to the register. Phew.

Earlier today I got some fantastic news — I called my insurance company about a bill I had received from Quest Diagnostics, a medical testing lab, for $400. Not only do I believe that medical insurance exists to pay things like this, but I also believe it’s insane that they would charge me for super important tests of the female persuasion. After chatting with the lady for about five minutes, she offered to call the company and check into it. As it turns out, there was just a paperwork error on their end, and I never should have gotten the bill. I was SO SO happy to hear this news, I can’t even tell you. I do NOT have that kind of money, plus — where would that leave me to be able to tame the wild hair? ;)

Sadly, I also got some really awful news about half an hour ago, but I’m going to hold off on posting about that, as I still need somet time to process it. If you have a spare second, please send some positive thoughts out into the universe…Not for me, though. Lately it seems as if bad things keep happening to good people left and right. Gotta push the negative out with some positive thoughts.

I’m off to bed — last night I stayed up way too late again reading The Hunger Games, but it’s so good that I can’t put it down! I’m almost finished!

What are you guys reading lately?

July 7, 2011 at 12:37 am 3 comments

TLC

Well, hello there. *Wink*

After my rough evening last night, I felt like I really treated myself well today.

My lunch went undocumented because I scarfed it up so quickly. Seriously — you gotta make this Greek quinoa salad. It’s easy as pie, keeps well, and tastes incredible!

And for the record, Trader Joe’s organic pea shoots are SO TASTY. They’re like a cross between sprouts and sugar snap peas.

I left work a little early because I needed to get to a doctor’s appointment by 5:15. As I mentioned before, I was dealing with some health issues that were really stressing me out. Well, after today’s appointment, I finally feel like I can rest a little easier.

sunset.jpg

the view from the beach in Bonita Springs, FL -- my happy place

I’ve always had a lot of moles all over my body, but never really thought much of it. Recently, though, I have noticed that several were oddly colored, oddly shaped, or would get raised or itchy when I would get a sunburn. After silently stressing about it for far too long, I finally went to my doctor and asked her about it, thinking she would shrug it off as nothing.

Unfortunately, she didn’t do that — she told me to make an appointment with a dermatologist right away to have them looked at. I was super freaked out, but didn’t let my fears get too out of control before seeing the derm. Two weeks ago today, I headed to the doctor, unsure of what she would say. After looking at the three or four that I pointed out, she told me that two were unusual looking, but not overtly cancerous-looking. She wanted to remove them anyway and have them biopsied and sent off to a lab to check for cancerous cells.

I don’t know if I’ve told you guys, but I am completely, utterly, absolutely terrified of needles. It’s a legitimate phobia — one that I know is totally irrational, but one that I can’t seem to shake. I’ve gotten much better about it in recent years, but it’s like no matter what my mind says, my body just totally freaks out. What that means? I faint.

Yep, I faint every time I get a shot. So after they injected the lidocaine into the two spots to be biopsied, I laid there patiently in my paper gown, waiting for the procedure to be over, breathing deeply — in and out, in and out. That is, until I started to feel lightheaded…I’ve fainted enough times to know what it feels like before it happens, but let me tell ya — you don’t have much time to get that message across.

Before I could finish my, “I think I feel lightheaded..” sentence, I was out cold.

Oh, and I pissed all over the place.

………..

Yes, let’s just sit here for a second and let that sink in. I peed all over myself and the exam table at the dermatologist’s office.  For the record, I was unconscious, so it wasn’t inentional. I feel lik this is obvious, but just wanted to, ya know, throw it out there. I debated for quite awhile whether I wanted to post about it, since it was pretty embarrassing, but ultimately it was more hilarious than anything. I think the most humiliating best part was having to throw out my underwear, and then being sent home with a pair of bright blue paper underwear, reserved for liposuction patients. In white jeans. My life really should be a sitcom sometimes.

Well, I went back today, two weeks after the pee incident, and received the incredible news that the lab results came back negative, meaning nothing showed up cancerous. One of the moles had “abnormal architecture,” which basically meant it could potentially have turned into something down the road, but it was removed completely so it won’t be an issue. Needless to say, I am so incredibly relieved.

:)

—-

After leaving the doctor’s office feeling like a million pounds had been lifted off my shoulders, I had planned on meeting up with a few friends for drinks and dinner. Sadly, our plans fell through, but I had a serious hankering for pizza since our plan was to hit up Piece in Wicker Park. So… I decided to improvise.


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I toasted a FlatOut Wrap in a cookie sheet in the oven for 5-7 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Then I added all the goodies.

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And cooked it for 7 minutes or so in the oven at 375 degrees. This bad boy started with some Whole Foods marinara, then I added a hefty layer of baby spinach, some sliced red pepper, halved cherry tomatoes, crumbled goat cheese, garlic gold and red pepper flakes.

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It was SOOOOOOOOO good. Just what I wanted, and healthy to boot. I didn’t calculate the calories, but now I’m sort of curious. Certainly it’s gotta be better than restaurant pizza, anyway ;)

After taking some time to clean up (but I’m still not even close to being finished) and letting my food settle, I got myself ready for the gym and headed out the door. Unfortunately, the sky was green and I felt a few rogue sprinkles coming down, so I dashed back inside and grabbed my umbrella. The last time we had a big storm, I was unprepared…

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hey, baby

I thought I looked too hilarious and SOAKED not to take a picture. Check out those sexy raccoon eyes! ;) Hubba hubba.

Anyway, I got about ten feet down the street toward the gym when it started to pour. The sky turned black and the wind picked up out of nowhere, it was so neat. I love storms, so instead of giving up and going back home, I decided to wait under an awning for the storm to pass, or at least for the rain to slow down. It took a good ten minutes before my umbrella would have even made a difference, so I was really proud of sticking it out and keeping up wtih my commitment to hit the gym.

Because my legs are still having issues (shin splints, IT band and knee pain, blegh), I decided to take it easy and read my new issue of Women’s Health on the recumbent bike for a good 40 minutes, then I hit the elliptical for another ten. By that point, it was actually hailing, so everybody at the gym was just glued to the windows, mouths agape. Let me tell you — this was good motivation to stay at the gym and keep working out! Haha.

I did some wall squats, which I’ve read are easier on your knees and also strengthen your gluteus medius, which is supposed to help with knee pain. I also did some hip raises (I’m pretty sure my hips are super weak because my running gait is all sorts of wrong) and shoulder + chest exercises. Finally, I finished off with a good ten minutes with the foam roller of death. It hurt, but I could tell I needed it badly. I really need to get one of my own for home.

When I got back, I needed a snack and couldn’t figure out what I was craving at first. After looking through the fridge for a minute, I decided to top a toasted Kashi waffle with some whipped cream cheese and a little fig spread, then topped it with a sprinkle of chia seeds. This was beyond delicious — I think I could eat this every day of my life and not get sick of it.

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eattttt meeeee

Sorry my pictures are kind of blurry — I’m not quite sure why I’m still so sucky at snapping my food!

Speaking of which, I realized I never posted pictures from my dinner with Allie and Mel at Karyn’s the other night. I had two undocumented (aka too delicious to remember to take their picture) drinks — a caipirinha and a Sazerac, and we shared an arugula, potato and Daiya pizza to start.

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I had two slices, and while I’m not a huge fan of Daiya, this was pretty tasty. The heaping mass of fresh arugula really made it fresh and delicious.

For my main meal, I had their “chicken” drumsticks. They were served with barbecue sauce, which was sweet and delicious, and reminded me of Sweet Baby Ray’s, and some spinach and sweet potato hash. I ate the whole thing! The chicken was made out of seitan and was perfectly crispy on the outside, and very “meaty” on the inside. I was surprised by how good they were.

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cute little "drumsticks!"

Again, sorry for the blurriness. But how lovely is that presentation?? I think I moved it around a little bit before taking this, so it didn’t look quite as asymmetrical when they first brought it over ;)

Anywho, I’m going to get a little work done, then hop in bed with my book. I’m currently splitting my time between The Hunger Games and More Than It Hurts You. They’re both excellent and I can’t wait to finish them.

Thanks for all your kind words and comments lately — you guys are so great :)

June 30, 2011 at 11:39 pm 8 comments

We got through Monday!

Hi friends! Phew! Are you glad we’re already 1/5 through the week? I surely am :)

I had a nice, albeit interesting weekend. I spent some time Friday night doing the whole pizza and PJs thing to keep the mood light with a sad friend. We had a blast sipping wine and watching terrible horror movies, although I made the mistake of starting my glass (or 10) of wine post-workout but pre-dinner. Needless to say, I was a hot mess by the end of the evening. Glad I was among friends when I made a fool out of myself… *blush*

Saturday night I went out to dinner at Francesca’s Pizzeria on Clark and, as always, it was uh-mazing. If you didn’t know, I have a crazy obsession with Neapolitan pizza. I strayed a bit from my usual Bufalina (Margherita with bufala mozzarella) and got a Parmigiano with eggplant and parmesan subbed my favorite bufala for the regular mozzarella! Yum! My dinner companions each took two (albeit smallish) pieces home, but I sinfully gobbled down the entire thing. And it was soooo worth it.

 

to die-for, no?

source

That’s right, you’re reading that correctly: I had pizza two nights in a row. And I loved every second of it :D

Sunday was spent sleeping in (and sleeping late in my dictionary means LATE), hitting the gym and running errands. After a quick shower, my parents came into the city and took my brother, sister-in-law and me out to dinner! It was so much fun and the food was delish. We went to Mia Francesca in Wrigleyville, and between the three of us, got the same two dishes! So funny. I had a penne pasta with sausage, broccoli (which was subbed in place of peas, ick!) and a creamy tomato cream sauce. Of course I topped it with a healthy dose of fresh shredded parm as well :D It was good, but it was a bit difficult on my tummy because I’m moderately *gasp!* lactose intolerant!

I can handle most yogurt and a little bit of cheese, but ice cream and milkshakes, etc. are my enemies. It’s a good thing I don’t really like sweets! But this pasta from dinner Sunday night was heeeavy on the cream, and my tummy was not happy. I had leftovers for lunch today (along with a salad), but made sure to take a lactose pill beforehand :)

Chicago is on the brink of a blizzard, so everyone at work spent the day discussing how we were going to handle it. The news kept telling people to get their errands done today, because one the heavy snow starts tomorrow evening, they’re expecting white-out conditions! I should have hit the gym after work today since it’s unlikely I will get there tomorrow, but I have been dealing with some nasty knee pain that told me it’s time to give my knees a little rest. I think I am having IT band issues (a previous physical therapist had guessed this was the problem), so I made an appointment to see a chiropractor on Wednesday. Hopefully the impending blizzard won’t keep me from getting there!

Meals

For lunch last week as an attempt at redemption after my salty (semi) disaster, I made a modified version with no added salt, more veggies and shrimp! It turned out perfect. I mixed about 1/4 cup dry quinoa (whatever that translates to cooked!), two cut up kumatos, about 3 oz. cooked, peeled, de-veined shrimp (from TJ’s, eyeballed the portion), some sauteed leeks from cooking the shrimp and some fresh spinach to cook when reheated. I also topped it off with some Garlic Gold.

Shrimpy!

I just love quinoa. I can’t get over how easy it is to cook! A little after my lunch today, I cut up a blood orange for a snack.

Isn’t the color lovely? I learned today that blood oranges get their color from anthocyanins, which are heavy duty antioxidants! They prevent cancer and do all sorts of other fabulous things for your health.

I couldn’t help myself, they were so pretty!

For dinner, I switched up my recipe plans a bit since the chicken I had on hand smelled a bit funky. I’m nervous about chicken + salmonella, so I stuck it in the freezer to be inspected later… (this sounds even sillier when I type it out). I did make some shrimp though!

Spaghetti squash is surprisingly easy to make! All you do is roast it on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Then it’s time to shred, baby.

The flesh just sort of strings along as you scoop it out with the fork. It was fun!

It has a sort of crunchy texture, and a subtle, but buttery squash flavor. I popped the finished strands in the microwave to cook them a little more since it was still a bit crunchy, and that seemed to help. While that was happening, I was doing this:

Shrimpies, zukes + leeks! Can you tell that I love leeks? They are easier to slice than onions, have a sweeter flavor, and add a nice crunch to just about anything! The final product had a splash of veggie broth and a handful of spinach, some cut up red and yellow bell peppers and was topped with some Garlic Gold and an almost decadent amount of freshly grated parmesan.

How AMAZING does that look?? And see my lovely new microplane in the background? :)

It tasted even better than it looked. I think I would eat every single meal with garlic + parmesan cheese if I could. Well, maybe not my chocolate oatmeal!

It was a long day because I didn’t get very much sleep last night. I felt exhausted and sluggish at work, and had more on my plate than my brain could handle. I was very happy to head home, put on some pajamas, and pour myself a glass of wine.

It has already started snowing, so it will be quite an adventure waking up tomorrow. Although I can’t imagine we’ll get more than Tina over at Carrots ‘n’ Cake has been getting in Boston!

Bedtime for this girl. Goodnight!

January 31, 2011 at 10:54 pm 3 comments

Just asking for a tummy ache

Howdy folks!

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.

what could it be?

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.

tastyyyy

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.

taking a peek

meaty

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!

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Directions:

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.

it tasted even better than it looks

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!

January 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm 2 comments

I attract idiots

That’s the only way I can explain it. I really have no words for that gchat excerpt posted previously. Why someone (who doesn’t know me, mind you) would even deign to think it’s okay to make a joke like that is completely beyond me. Really. What an asshole. Blegh.

Anyway, more pictures to post. I hit up the gym after work but was feeling slightly more lethargic than usual. While my run on the treadmill wasn’t particularly difficult like it usually is, I just didn’t have the patience or energy or something to go on much longer. After 30 minutes on the recline bike, I hopped on the old ‘mill and did a short alternation between running and incline speed walking. I still managed to get in some squats/leg exercises, but they were somewhat pathetic.

I was craving something warm and comforting for dinner, so I had an Amy’s individual margherita pizza, some TJ’s grilled asparagus (YUM) and a glass of blush wine. I haven’t had a single fruit today, so while I was waiting for the oven to heat up, I made a fruit smoothie in my Magic Bullet and threw some vanilla protein powder in to feed my wobbly muscles. I didn’t know that this thing could blend ice so well — it turned my smoothie into the consistency of ice cream and I had to eat it with a spoon! Super tasty.

don't mind the gross post-workout hair

And without further ado, here are some pictures!

January 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm Leave a comment

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