April 30, 2010

Making Atkins Happy

Seriously? I thought this was a joke when I saw it advertised on TV on April Fool's Day. But look what showed up in my mailbox yesterday. A chicken sandwich. But not just any sandwich. This one has no bun! Yay, that's good right? Less carbs! Holy moly...you'd think fast food places would be inventing menu items that are healthier than any of their existing items.

But no! Not KFC! This new Double Down tops their sandwich list in calories (540), fat (32), saturated fat (10), transfat (.5), and is second (only to the grilled double down, explain that!) in cholesterol (145) and sodium (1380). 

April 29, 2010

With a cherry on top?

Someone pretty PLEASE get me this, this or this with your Amazon order? You know you need a few more dollars to get free shipping!

April 27, 2010

Vegetable Plate

But not like the K&W kind!

Diced sweet potato shake & baked style but using olive oil, rosemary and balsamic vinegar. Dice zucchini with red onions, oregano, garlic, basil and pepper sauted in olive oil. Black eyed peas boiled with red onion and a little tiny bit of garlic salt!


YJDKIY seems to be in a competition with myself to make the fasted dinner ever!

Saute onions and green pepper in olive oil, add Smart Life Ground Originial and continue to brown. Add in fresh baby spinach leaves (I used a whole bag!) and mix in until wilted.

Add some Organic Newman's Own Basil Tomato sauce (MAN it kills me to eat this. For the life of me I do not know why one serving of tomato sauce needs to include 650 mg of sodium.)

Serve all mixed together over whole wheat pasta and topped with mozza. My cool Flickr app that takes pictures and uploads them lost my presentation photo. Or, um, user error of that app lost it.  :(

April 26, 2010

Learning to love

So YJDKIY is normally an elliptical snob when it comes to cardio gym time. But, I'm learning to love the treadmill due to my new schedule (which puts me at the gym at the same time as a group of middle aged men, who actually seem quite fit but for some reason hog the ellipticals. I know that is stereotypical, but I'm not used to seeing male elliptical users. Sorry.)

But, since people older and fatter than YJDKIY seem to be running 5Ks all over the place, I decided surely I could learn to do that. It is a true fact that I hate running, its uncomfortable mainly, but it's also boring and I seem to burn less calories in 25 minutes on a treadmill than on an elliptical. But, lately I've been doing modified intervals and it seems to keep me occupied constantly adjusting the incline and speed, increase my stamina, and get me running for more than 2 minutes at a time. Here's a look at my plan of action, which is not nearly as sprinty and intervally as a trainer would have you do, but works for me.

Minute 1-3    Incline 2    Speed 3
Minute 3-4    Incline 6    Speed 3.5
Minute 4-7    Incline 10    Speed 3.5
Minute 7-7:30    Incline 10    Speed 4.5
Minute 7:30-9    Incline 7    Speed 3-3.5
Minute 9-10    Incline 3    Speed 4.5
Minute 10-11    Incline 1    Speed 6
Minute 11-13    Incline 5    Speed 4
Minute 13-15    Incline 10    Speed 4
Minute 15-17    Incline 10    Speed 4.5-5
Minute 17-20    Incline 6    Speed 5
Minute 20-21    Incline 2    Speed 6-6.5
Minute 21-21:30    Incline 1    Speed 7 (or as fast as I can)
Minute 21:30-23    Incline 6    Speed 4
Minute 23-24    Incline 9    Speed 4
Minute 24-25    Incline 3    Speed 4.5
Minute 25-28    Incline 2    Speed 4
Minute 28-30    Incline 2    Speed 3.5
cool down if needed       


Sorry from Brandon Veski on Vimeo.

Hogan's Heroes?

Saute onions, green pepper, garlic in pan 1. Saute cubed tofu in teriyaki in pam'd pan 2. Top with provolone and sprouts.

Easiest dinner ever...reminds me of beach eats! If only I were there now!


In other news, the baby basils are toddlers now and I'm going to have to upgrade their living space soon.


*please excuse the messy kitchen!

April 25, 2010

The End of April

SUNDAY: Mellow Mushroom style hoagies with teriyaki tofu, provo, sprouts, green pepper and onions

MONDAY: Spinach spaghetti with soy ground protein and mini salad

TUESDAY: Balsamic-rosemary sweet potatoes, black eye peas, sauteed zucchini

WEDNESDAY: Mexican salad with tequilla-lime shrimp

THURSDAY: Twice baked potatoes with tofu and broccoli

FRIDAY: Grilled tunka with kale, pilaf, and maybe brussels

SATURDAY: Hearty nachos with avocado and homemade salsa

April 24, 2010

Farm Tour

Today YJDKIY set out on a farm tour of three local, and very different, farms, organized by The Bread Riot.

The first stop was Correll Farms, a mid sized operation with produce, beef, and plants. There are 5 generations of farmers here and it really shows that this is a family business.

 No asparagus left here!
Garlic and spring onions
Blue Ridge Kale
Butterhead lettuce
Fennel, lettuce, cabbage
Baby tomato rows

Next stop was Circle D Beef, completely family owned and operated. Although YJDKIY doesn't really eat any form of beef, it was really interesting to learn the history of that particular farm and see what goes on throughout the year and see the new practices such as strip grazing, combined with time-honored family traditions that go into these grass-fed beefs. 
farm house
inside the 1800s barn
mini-strip grazing
making the feed right there on the farm - no corn, all barley
barn and happy cows

Last on the tour was Bame Farms, a very small, startup type farm. Both Andy and his wife have full time jobs and work their farm after that. They use rotational grazing of cows, goats and chickens, and have lots of other animals. 
 free range chicken and chicken tractors
hogs...seriously thinking twice about ever eating this again, and these are even living pretty well.
rabbit rabbit rabbit
newly born chicks

Local food!


I took my nice point & shoot on this trip, but ended up, once again, taking all photos with my iPhone. I've decided with photography, you either go big or go home iPhone.  There just isn't use for that middle range digital camera anymore, I can get just as decent pics with the iPhone (especially outdoors) and the P&S doesn't allow me to do the fancy photographer things that a nice camera does.

April 21, 2010

As good as it gets

At following a recipe that is! YJDKIY still didn't stick to the prescribed instructions OR ingredients, and I think it turned out all the better. For the record, however, I'll give you the original recipe from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin, along with my modifications.

Linguine with Cauliflower in a Tomato Cream Sauce

1 lb. linguine um, some, Hodgson's Mill Whole Wheat Fettuccine
2 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves minced 8 garlic cloves minced
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 large cauli cut in small flowerets
1 c tomato puree I couldn't find puree so I used sauce (mmm itd be good fresh pureed) and it was more like a whole can than a cup
1 c light cream or 1/2 c heavy cream with 1/2 c milk DUH, I used on 5.3 oz cup of plain Oikos (SO much healthier)
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 t salt used garlic salt instead

1/4 c minced parsley didn't have this, used basil instead
grated parmesan cheese
YJDKIY addition: 2/3 bag of fresh baby spinach
YJDKIY note for future additions: boiled shrimp or plain tofu cubes would be excellent

Here is my condensed version of the instructions too:
  • Saute garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil for a minute or two
  • Add cauliflower and 1/2 c water, cover, cook until just barely tender
  • In separate bowl, mix tomato puree and Oikos, add remaining spices and pour over cauli
  • Bring to boil for about 5 minutes, add baby spinach and mix, cover, simmer 10-12 minutes
  • Cook pasta
  • Add parm to cauli mix and serve on top of pasta
 I will definitely make this again, it was tasty and super quick, the worst part was chopping cauli. It's messier than broccoli!


I used grated organic zucchini for this egg white frittata and boy what a surprise I got. It turned out sweet! No wonder people use it in bread.

Saute 2 large grated zuchs with onion and garlic.

Once well cooked and most of the moisture is gone, add a cup of egg whites (or egg substitute) mixed with 2 T of soy milk, oregano, basil, and pepper. Cook until omeletey and flip cook some more, then put on a pan to broil for 6-8 minutes.

To use up some fresh basil, I made bruschetta, including a famers market tomato!

Toast n' broil.

Served with asparagus lightly sauted (in mostly water but a tiny tiny bit of olive oil) and garlic powder and pepper.

April 20, 2010

Why is everyone complaining

about things you put into your body getting better for you?

FDA plans to limit amount of salt allowed in processed foods for health reasons

Washington Post graphic

We all know how YJDIY feels about this issue, but I'm trying to understand this angle that says the government is sticking its nose where it doesn't belong. I guess people complained when they made lite cigarettes to reduce the amount of cancer causing ingredients (not that that really helps of course). Or that we now use spent coca leaf flavoring in Coca Cola so as to not have cocaine in soft drinks. 

And furthermore, the mission of the FDA is in fact, and I quote:
The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. 
The FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines and foods more effective, safer, and more affordable; and helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health.

What gives? I understand people have different political beliefs. But, this is about your food, not your politicians (although I am sure there are many, many lobbyist and companies talking to those politicians with dollars). So why in the world would it be bad for your bread, soup and frozen foods to not contribute to your death? Wouldn't it be nice to, one day, when you're in a hurry, grab the jar of pasta sauce on sale and not worry about whether you have to compensate for your sodium intake in that meal by you know, not eating ANYTHING ELSE that day?

April 19, 2010

I have no idea who won what, but...

YJDKIY didn't even watch the Country Music Awards last night, but I did enjoy reviewing the dresses donned by its attendees this morning!

Keith Urban & Nicole Kidman
Ack, what was she thinking? But I can't say I recall seeing her ever look particularly good at a red carpet. F He's fine though: A-, so they average out I guess.

Kristen Bell
Why is she here? She's normally so cute that I don't get this look at all, and it's not really flattering to her shape. D+

For a 53 yo, she looks stunning. This dress perfectly suits her personality, hair and figure.  She could use a little posing help though. A

Taylor Swift
Is not 53, so I have no idea why she chose this dress. The color is pretty and her hair, but gah, that dress is the frump! C

Hello, 1993? This is your prom/bridesmaid dress calling. C-

Carrie Underwood
Perfect! Love the material, the color with her skin/hair, the ruffle, the fit. Love the shoe style and color. Completely age and event appropriate. She (or her stylist) IS a winner! A+

This week

Meals this week are from this recent checkout:

MONDAY: 3-bean salad, baked tofu, kale chips

TUESDAY: Italian Zucchini Frittata, asparagus and basil-tomato bruschetta

WEDNESDAY: Linquine with Cauliflower & Spinach in Creamy Tomato Sauce

THURSDAY: Salad with Fish OR dinner out ;)

FRIDAY: Chilaquiles (YJDKIY style which means not really that at all because I can't stick to a recipe to save my life!)

SATURDAY: Farm Tour cookout

April 18, 2010

Local Yocal

What is a yocal?

This dinner is pretty close...the chicken tenders were frozen from the Earthfare adventure, which claims local (not sure what that exactly means though...). And the potatoes and kale were from the first farmers market on Saturday.

Note: for all of YJDKIY's mashed potato making years, I've used onions and/or onion powder. For some reason, I decided to use fresh garlic in the water with the potatoes and then mash it up. Keeper!

April 16, 2010

Local produce

Six fresh figs have 891 mg of the blood pressure-lowering mineral, potassium, nearly 20% of your daily need—and about double what you’d find in one large banana. Figs are one of the best fruit sources of calcium, with nearly as much per serving (six figs) as 1/2 cup of fat-free milk.

To be or not to be

YJDKIY drinks about 8-12  oz of black coffee a day, but I'm debating curbing this habit. I do love the way it tastes first thing in the morning, and I think there are some benefits...

WebMD has a great article touting the benefits of coffee. Just the introduction alone is convincing:
Want a drug that could lower your risk of diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and colon cancer? That could lift your mood and treat headaches? That could lower your risk of cavities? If it sounds too good to be true, think again. Coffee, the much maligned but undoubtedly beloved beverage, just made headlines for possibly cutting the risk of the latest disease epidemic, type 2 diabetes. And the real news seems to be that the more you drink, the better.

ABC News shares this: A study released today from the University of Scranton revealed that coffee is America's No. 1 source of antioxidants, an important compound that protects your body from disease.

 This Harvard Health Publications article out lines it well: It’s surprising when something that was once considered questionable for your health turns out to have health benefits, usually with the proviso to use it “in moderation.”

All that said, I HATE being dependent on my (early) morning caffeine fix.  I'm thinking of stepping down to tea, possibly. Or, finding a small amount (4-6 oz?) that still provides the benefits and pick up, without dependency. One thing I know I can't do is the classic half decaf-half caf, that's even more high maintenance. So, anyone have suggestions or thoughts on this?


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