Sunday is cooking day in my house. I like to have meals prepared for the week so when I get home from work and the gym, all I have to do is take a container out of the fridge, heat it up a few minutes and, voila! Dinner is served! This week I baked up chicken breast with some Mrs. Dash tomato basil seasoning, and little red potatoes, and added some fresh broccoli that will steam up perfectly when the meal is heating in the microwave. It’s a lot of work, but it’s so worth it to have a quick and healthy dinner after a long, hard day! I hope you all had a great Sunday! Cheers!
So, it's a cool, rainy day this Sunday, and I'm SO grateful I got my lawn mowed yesterday when it was sunny and slightly (but not much) warmer. I'm also glad I got a shot of my rain gauge from Friday's shower. We got a little over an inch, despite the local news saying we only got a 10th of an inch. Seriously, I don't know where they get their rain totals from, but it's always way less than what I get. I wonder what I'll get after today's storm?
Since, today is a really good day to use the oven, I decided to do some cooking. I started with a new-to-me baked egg recipe where I mixed some free range brown eggs with spinach, mushrooms, turkey bacon, and cheese, and baked them in a muffin tin. They turned out really good, but next time I'll be making a couple changes: 1) I'll sauté the mushrooms and spinach to make them easier to mix with the eggs; 2) I'll use silicone muffin cups instead of paper (the mixture leaked through the paper and burned on the muffin tin; it's supposed to be non-stick, but the stuff was impossible to get out, so I think I'll be getting a new muffin tin for Christmas!).
I also got my dinners for the week done: baked herbed chicken breast (boneless, skinless), broccoli and scalloped potatoes. The chicken and potatoes I baked in the oven, and the broccoli is just washed and cut up in the containers. They will steam perfectly when reheated in the microwave. I used to steam the broccoli about 7 minutes or so on the stove, but then they ended up mushy after heating up the whole dinner. Now, just steaming them with the rest of the dinner, they will be heated through, but still crunchy!
Now, that I'm all done cooking (well, except dinner, but I can't really bake the trout just yet!), I can snuggle down, enjoy the pouring rain, some Packers football and a lovely Blue Moon Belgian White! I hope you're all having a wonderful Sunday! Cheers!
It has been raining steadily since about 8:00 a.m. today - a perfect day to do some cooking! I made a delicious turkey meatloaf with mashed red potatoes and steamed green beans (from a recipe out of my all-time favourite cookbook, Eating for Life by Bill Phillips) for our Monday and Tuesday night dinners, and used the leftover ground turkey with a Hamburger Helper to have with a couple salads on Wednesday and Thursday nights, and finally I hard-cooked some eggs for my breakfasts this week. It was exhausting work and I usually dread spending nearly a whole day in the kitchen, but it's so worth it when I come home in the evening after a long day of working at my job and working out at The Club, and have a delicious and healthy meal waiting for me! And the extra protein first thing in the morning keeps me from feeling hungry until nearly lunchtime. It's a win-win!
OMG, I cannot wait to dig into this meatloaf!
And, yes that is The Perfect Meatloaf Pan as seen on TV, and yes it's fabulous!
I do still have tonight's dinner to cook, but that won't be too bad - baked salmon with roasted cauliflower and leftover rice from last night. Super fast and easy. So, now, it's time for a nap! Cheers!
In preparation for the upcoming Holidailies, I have decided to practice updating my blog more than once or twice a week. I think this is my third update, and I already have tomorrow's Friday Five list started. Holidailies should be a cinch this year, right?!?
Anyway, I recently decided to get my lazy ass back in the kitchen and try cooking some vegetables other than steamed broccoli and zucchini. I have tons of recipie books/magazines and pins on Pinterest, but, veggies are hard to cook ... well, really they're harder to prepare than to cook, but still. It's hard. (See "lazy ass" in the first sentence of this paragraph.) However, I kept seeing recipes on Pinterest for clean eating roasted cauliflower, and the photos looked SO good, I decided to give it a shot. And, yes the prep work was horrific (Have you ever tried chopping up cauliflower? Pain. In. The. Butt!), but in the end, the cauliflower turned out delicious and well worth the effort.
It was quite simple (once the chopping was done!): I tossed the cauliflower in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted it at 400 for about 30 to 45 minutes. I didn't measure anything and didn't really time it; I just kept checking it as I was cooking other stuff, stirred it periodically, and pulled it out when I thought it looked perfect. I will definitely be making this again - despite the heinous prep work! - as well as trying other ways to use cauliflower and other veggies to add some variety to my dinners!
Yesterday mom and I planted our Earthbox garden containers with tomatoes and bell peppers. We stuck with our old, successful familiars and decided against trying anything else this year. In the past we've grown cantaloupe and honeydew melons (which I'm sure were cross pollinated as the honeydews were orange inside!), Japanese eggplant, summer squash, and zucchini. We've always had good luck with zucchini as well, but just didn't feel like dealing with them this year.
So in our first container we have the Bush Goliath Hybrid tomato:
And, rather than making our toms share a box this year, we put the Red Beefsteak tomato in its own container. We're hoping this will help the plants grow tomatoes that are actual BEEFSTEAK-size rather than cherry-tomato-size we've been getting the last few years. I mean, yes they're still sweet, juicy and delicious, but we're buying large tomatoes because we want LARGE tomatoes!
Because we've always had good luck getting good-sized bell peppers when the two plants have shared a box, we again put them together. They are both Bonnie Green Bells, although we've contemplated getting one we saw called a Red Bell, but if we just leave the green ones a week or so extra, they automatically turn red, so we decided against it. I suppose I should do some research and see if the ones called "red bell" are actually red to start with, or if they start out green, then turn red. Anyway, we've got two green bell peppers, which is fine because we like the green ones and if they turn red, awesome, if not, whatevs.
So there's our garden!
We also got our two mini roses put out front, and they look lovely:
I'm a bit concerned that each plant has only one blossom and no other buds on them, but I'm hopeful that they will continue to bloom this summer!
My February Photo a Day for today is a shot of last night's dinner: baked salmon with dill and fresh squeezed lemon (brought in by a coworker who's lucky enough to have a lemon tree in their yard!) and lightly steamed asparagus. It's not a recipe from my favourite magazine or anything, but it's still clean and it was also delicious!
This evening I whipped up the Ham, Cheese and Broccoli Casserole from the new Clean Eating magazine special Classic Comfort Foods. I picked it because on the surface it looked easy, had just a few ingredients, and sounded delicious. However, when I got down to actually making the casserole, it was a LOT of work! I really should know better than to believe the "hands-on" and "total time" numbers they put on these recipes - it always takes me twice as long to make the stuff!
My hands-on time was at least 1 hour - I mean I had to wash and chop up a head of cauliflower, a couple heads of broccoli and four carrots which had to be finely diced. Then with the cooking, the broccoli and cauliflower is roasted, and the carrots are simmered with evaporated milk then blended with the cheese, then everything is mixed together and baked. Whew!
Still, in the end, even with the weird carrot/milk/cheese puree-thing, this casserole is delicious!! And, there's plenty of it leftover for Monday as well! I definitely recommend it. I think, however, if I ever make this dish again, I will buy frozen vegetables rather than deal with fresh, to save myself a LOT of time.
I ordered these Red and White Cranberry Delight cookie dough from my co-worker's son who was participating in his school's fundraising program. I've ordered cookie dough from him before, a few years ago, but only got the frozen tubs of dough and it took me years to get round to dealing with them, and even then it was kind of a pain digging the dough out of the tub!
This year I really wasn't going to order any because of the pain-in-the -butt factor, but when I saw the pre-cut cookies in the catalouge I immediatly ordered them! (I also ordered Double Chunk Chocolate cookie dough, but my dyslexia must've gotten in the way when I wrote out that order because I ended up with a tub, but whatever. I'll deal with that over New Year's!)
This pre-cut dought is awesome! Look at how easy and convenient this is; one layer of cookie dough fits perfectly on one parchment-paper-lined baking sheet, and since I have two baking sheets, I was able to get a lot of cookies baked at one time! It literally took me one hour to bake all 36 cookies!
And, yes, these cookies taste delicious, too! So, yeah, I'm a lazy bum and all, but I also have 36 freshly baked cookies to enjoy with a cold glass of milk (or some festive eggnog with nutmeg) and share with family for Christmas!
The salmon for this dish was suppoed to have corriander seed rubbed on it, but I don't have corriander seed and was unable to find any corriander seed, so I just did a quick herb, salt and pepper rub instead. The Swiss chard was prepared according to the recipe in the November/December issue of Clean Eating magazine, though. The meals was delicious and really easy to prepare!