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Saturday, 31 May 2014
Whole 30
Topic: Food

I've been on the Whole 30 diet now for about three months.   Yes, yes, I know, the basic program is only for 30 days but it took me a while to really stick to the program.  I have now finished the 30 days and feel great.  I've lost quite a few pounds and am pleased with myself. 

Now I'm in the "adding" back period to see which of the no, no foods bother me and whitch don't.  Four days ago I ate milk and milk products and felt fine. I didn't think I was allergic or bothered by milk so that wasn't a surprise.  Today I ate some grain products, a whole wheat bagel, some pasta and a dinner roll.  So far I'm ok but I, likewise, didn't have a history of being affected by gluten.  I don't think my problem is allergies but just the effect that carbs have on me . . . like gaining weight!

When I moved to the pacific northwest I got a new drivers license and it showed that I was at 155 pounds.  Recently I got a new license since I had moved and I was at 130 pounds so eating paleo/primal/whole 30 does work for me and I feel good eating that way.  A few years (6 or 7?) ago I was up to 180 pounds and lost much of that eating paleo/primal but I do miss bread.  And sugar. And beer.  Now I have to decide how much of high carb foods I can/want to eat, if any.

Posted by rachela at 8:45 PM MDT
Updated: Saturday, 31 May 2014 8:58 PM MDT
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Sunday, 15 August 2004
Fresh basil
Topic: Food
I'm trying to grow some herbs on my balcony and it's so so. The tarragon and rosemary are trying to die. The cilantro is just sitting there, but the basil and mint are growing like crazy. I picked a bunch of the basil and mint and hung them up to dry and then realized the basil would be great with the chicken breasts I needed to cook.

I chopped a handful of basil leaves finely and added a couple cloves of minced garlic. I mixed this with olive oil and rubbed it all on the chicken breasts. These were broiled about 12 minutes on the first side and 6 minutes on the second side. I had the broiler a little far away at first so it took longer than I expected.

I softened some chopped onions in olive oil and added black rice (forbidden rice) and let it heat in the oil for a couple minutes. Then I added vegetable broth and some tarragon (dried, bought) and salt, covered it and let it cook till the water was gone.

With the chicken and rice I had grapes and carrot sticks so it was a yummy supper. The best part is that I cooked up two packages of chicken breasts so I cut the rest into chunks and put portions in plastic baggies and froze them. These are great for lunches as they are really finger foods, if you just let them thaw, and the next week is going to be so busy I doubt I will get a real lunch hour.

Posted by rachela at 10:19 PM MDT
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Saturday, 14 August 2004
Lower the carbs
Topic: Food
It's still too hot to cook much but eating all those sandwiches is putting a few pounds back on so I went out and bought all kinds of fruits and veggies so I'll eat f & v instead of bread. I also bought some chicken so I'll need to cook that but I plan to keep it as simple as possible.

I just received a new issue of Cooking Light so I'm sure that by the time I've read through it I'll be psyched up to cook something.

Posted by rachela at 10:12 PM MDT
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Monday, 9 August 2004
The foods of summer
Topic: Food
Since the heat hit I've degenerated to eating deli food, frozen dinners and cottage cheese with whatever fruit I have on hand. Basically anything to keep from cooking. I'm still eating lots of fruit but I just can't handle much cooking. In the fall I'll start looking at recipes again.

Actually I do cook occasionally but it's things like boiling eggs for breakfast and making toast. I am becoming good at making great sandwiches. In fact I've got quite a selection of sliced meats and cheese and I picked up some good bread today, parsley swiss and cinnamon raisin. It really is possible to eat well without cooking. Sort of!

Posted by rachela at 8:37 PM MDT
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Sunday, 11 July 2004
Sharlynne Melon
Topic: Food
It has been so unbelievably hot this weekend. The temps aren't that high, for Arizona, but 101 with high humidity just sucks the energy out of you. I've been eating lots of fruit and finally got to the Sharlynne melon I'd picked up last week. I've been finishing off a watermelon and some peaches that were on the edge of going bad. I love watermelon but when it's a big one and just me it takes all week for me to eat it. I get carried away and buy more fruit than I can eat in a reasonable time.

The Sharlynne was very good. It's green, like a honeydew, but a softer, smoother flesh. Very refreshing. A nice melon and something to look for again. I didn't see any this week so I don't know how often they get them.

Posted by rachela at 3:49 PM MDT
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Sunday, 4 July 2004
Salads and Saturn
Topic: Food
I went to the mall to walk since it is so hot here and I needed some exercise. After an hour I grabbed the Health-Mex salad at Rubios. So Good! Yes, I know, I'm trying to not eat fast food but Rubios has such fresh food. This has grilled chicken and grape-serrano dressing. I'm not sure what that consists of but it's just a moistness on the cabbage and lettuce that is very good. I squeezed on a little more lime juice and just a bit of regular salsa. They even have margaritas, which I hadn't realized, but the lady taking my order said they weren't very potent, but very refreshing. I'll have to try it one of these days.

The salad is good but not very filling, it's only 220 calories, so when I got home I had a couple saturn peaches. They look like peaches that someone sat on, like donuts without a hole, and they are very sweet and good.

Since I didn't sleep well last night, I think it's time to take a nap and wait for the day to cool off. This is such a great way to spend a day. I'll watch the fireworks on tv tonight and have a fine independence day.

Posted by rachela at 3:38 PM MDT
Updated: Sunday, 4 July 2004 3:39 PM MDT
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Low iron
Topic: Food
I take multivitamins that say I'm getting 100% of the iron I need. I eat lots of beans and such that they say have iron. I usually have eggs once a day and some meat. I also eat lots of greens which are suppose to have high iron levels. I went to donate blood yesterday, seeing as how a bunch of idiots will probably try to kill each other on the roads this weekend, and they said no, we don't want your blood, your iron is too low. Huh!

I know why, it's because I've been watching calories and meat has lots of calories so I've been eating less meat, especially red meat, and everytime I do that my iron levels go down. Many times I've tried to go vegetarian and no one wants my blood. Vampries would probably pass me by. A moderate amount of meat and I'm fine, but when I just go with a little bit of meat or none, it's no go. I read the vegetarian articles about how easy it is to get enough iron without meat and even the vegans say this. Not me!

Sometimes when life seems out of control I get a real urge to go vegetarian since it seems so simple and clean. It's also something I can control but it doesn't work for me. I suspect that a lot of people try to be vegetarians for reasons other than the animals or health but I can't keep my iron levels up. Not that I don't have real issues with how animals are raised and killed, but that's usually not why I go vegetarian, so when it's not working for me I go off easily.

Well, back to full bore carnivore life.

Posted by rachela at 9:25 AM MDT
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Sunday, 20 June 2004
Sunday cooking
Topic: Food
I picked up some london broil on sale and cooked up another bunch of London Broil with Apricot Balsamic Sauce. Very good and fairly easy to make. I only had a taste though as I also made a Garlic and Rosemary Roast Chicken. Wow! I never knew you could put stuff under the skin and end up with such great chicken. So simple and good.

I'm getting more comfortable with this cooking stuff but I still don't have time to cook during the week. I'm usually tired when I get home and don't even want to cook an easy meal so it's great to freeze stuff on the weekends to eat during the week.

Posted by rachela at 10:49 PM MDT
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Wednesday, 16 June 2004
Yummy lunches
Topic: Food
It's so nice to have little frozen portions of all the good food I cooked during the week I took off. I'll have to stock up again but when it's just me and most recipes make at least four servings I end up with many yummy lunches for work, especially since I'm actually eating only one serving at a meal instead of all four, as I have done.

Today was a zoo at work due to a project getting ready to pilot to the campus so I had a meeting from 11:30 to 1:30. That sucks! I ate my curried apricot chicken at 11:00 and my salad after 1:30. Still it was good and so nice to just pop the chicken in the microwave instead of running down to pick up some expensive, fattening something. I did break down and eat a brownie left over from our luau last Friday but I'm still well under my max of 2000 calories since I only had cottage cheese with some veggies and an orange for supper.

The cottage cheese is naturally cultured and is sour. The blurb on the carton says "tart n' tangy" but it's basically sour. I'm not big on sour. A little bit is ok but I don't crave it. It took several bites but I ate slowly and it was pretty good.

Posted by rachela at 9:32 PM MDT
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Saturday, 12 June 2004
Luau eating
Topic: Food
I am trying to lose weight and am actually losing weight! Yeah! The only way that works for me is counting calories which is so boring. But it works so I'm trying. This has been a difficult week though. On tuesday we had a lunch meeting at a all you can eat buffet. On wednesday I went to a seminar which included a lovely lunch. The meal wasn't bad, chicken and shredded veggies, but the dessert was a luscious cake.

Then yesterday we had luau at work. There so much good food and so many desserts. I was good but I did eat more than normal. Then after work I grabbed a sandwich, a big sandwich, at a deli. Oh, well, I've still lost weight and will try to do better next week.

I'm also trying to cook more instead of just heat up as I won't be able to lose weight if I have to eat blah food!

Posted by rachela at 1:16 PM MDT
Updated: Saturday, 12 June 2004 1:19 PM MDT
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Thursday, 10 June 2004
Asian Chop Chicken Salad
Topic: Food
I had Pei Wei's Asian Chop Chicken Salad for lunch today. It's one of my favorite salads. I think it's the cabbage that give it a texture and taste that puts it above the competition. The wontons are a yummy bonus. According to Diet Watch it's only 290 calories. How much better can you get?

Posted by rachela at 10:46 PM MDT
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Tuesday, 8 June 2004
Golden Corral
Topic: Food
We had a team meeting today at Golden Corral. It's nice to get out of the office and spend the first part eating and visiting and a couple hours catching up on where everyone is on their projects, etc. It really helps to get away as there are no interruptions.

I'm not too crazy about Golden Corral though. We paid $8+ for the buffet and a drink and there is lots of food. It just always seems not quite right. Everything is just a little too greasy or soft or gummy or funny texture. The veggies seem a little too cooked and the salad bar is so so. The food is good but not really yummy. Unfortunately lots of people at the office seem to like this place but I can't get excited about it.

Posted by rachela at 9:10 PM MDT
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Sunday, 6 June 2004
Vegetarian Reuben with Russian Dressing
Topic: Food
I love reubens but they are a bit overwhelming in the calorie department and I just don't keep pastrami hanging around for the odd moment when I want something to eat, but I found this one in Eating Well magazine. It is so yummy and easy to make too.
Vegetarian Reuben with Russian Dressing

Prep time: 10 minutes
Start to finish: 25 minutes
To make ahead: The dressing will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Ease of preparation: easy

This great vegetarian sandwich originated at Penny Cluse Caf? in Burlington, Vermont. The spinach, mushroom and onion blend makes such a satisfying filling, you won't even notice that the corned beef is missing.

Russian dressing
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons ketchup
2 teaspoons chopped capers
1 teaspoon chopped pickle or relish

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
5 cups baby spinach
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 slices rye bread
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese, such as Jarlsberg Lite or Alpine Lace (2 ounces)
1/2 cup sauerkraut

1. To prepare Russian dressing: Whisk mayonnaise and ketchup in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in capers and pickle (or relish).
2. To prepare sandwiches: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 4 minutes. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until it has wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a plate.
3. Coat the pan with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and return to medium heat. Add the bread; divide cheese equally among the slices. Divide sauerkraut between 2 slices and divide the spinach mixture between the other 2 slices; cook until the cheese has melted and the bread is golden-brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer sandwich halves to a cutting board. Divide the dressing between the spinach halves. Carefully place the sauerkraut halves on top. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.

Makes 2 servings.
Per serving: 380 calories; 16 g fat (3 g sat, 7 g mono); 15 mg cholesterol; 44 g carbohydrate; 16 g protein; 7 g fiber; 931 mg sodium.

I just used regular spinach and it worked fine. It really is fast to make.

Posted by rachela at 7:49 PM MDT
Updated: Sunday, 6 June 2004 7:49 PM MDT
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Saturday, 5 June 2004
Steak with Apricot Balsallmic Sauce
Topic: Food
This was yummy. I altered the recipe, as usual, since I had slightly different ingredients. The original called for london broil but I had some mystery steak in the freezer. It also called for cherry preserves, but I used apricot preserves because that is what I have. The recipe is:
Steak with Apricot-Balsamic Sauce

To make ahead: The meat can marinate, covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 8 hours.
Ease of preparation: easy

1/3 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds steak, trimmed
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons butter

1. Whisk wine, vinegar, apricot preserves, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place meat in a shallow glass dish. Pour the marinade over the meat and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator, turning several times, for at least 20 minutes or up to 8 hours. (I left it for about 18 hours)
2. Remove the meat from the marinade. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan; add shallot and set aside. Brush a ridged grill pan or heavy skillet with oil; heat over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook for 10 to 12 minutes per side for medium-rare, depending on thickness, or until it reaches desired doneness. (It may appear that the meat is burning but don`t worry, it will form a pleasant crust.) Transfer the meat to a cutting board; let rest for 5 minutes.
3. While the meat is cooking, bring the marinade to a boil; cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove from the heat; add butter and whisk until melted.
4. Slice the meat thinly against the grain. Add any juices on the cutting board to the sauce. Serve the meat with the sauce.

Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 216 calories; 8 g fat (3 g sat, 3 g mono); 41 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrate; 25 g protein; 0 g fiber; 260 mg sodium.

It's been nice being off this week as I have cooked so much that I have some great meals frozen to take to work.

Posted by rachela at 7:38 PM MDT
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Tandoori Chicken
Topic: Food
For lunch today I had Tandoori Chicken, courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine. It was delicious.
Start Cut & Paste from Magazine:

Tandoori Chicken
From Cooking Light

Although it's not cooked in a tandoor oven, this vibrant entree has all the flavors of the traditional Indian dish, thanks to a long marinade.

3/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 teaspoon coarsely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Dash of ground nutmeg
4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Cooking spray

Place first 3 ingredients in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add yogurt and the next 8 ingredients (yogurt through nutmeg); pulse 4 times or until blended.
Make 3 diagonal cuts 1/4 inch deep across top of each chicken breast half. Combine chicken and yogurt mixture in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Prepare grill or broiler.

Remove chicken breast from bag; discard marinade. Place chicken on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 6 minutes on each side or until chicken is done.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half)

CALORIES 146 (12% from fat); FAT 1.9g (sat 0.6g, mono 0.4g, poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 27.4g; CARB 3.4g; FIBER 0.7g; CHOL 67mg; IRON 1.1mg; SODIUM 234mg; CALC 50mg;

Lisa Zwirm
Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2002

End Cut & Paste
Since it was only 146 calories I also had garlic bread, which I love. I left this marinating over 12 hours in the refrigerator and it was so good and tender. Now I'm wondering what a Tandoor oven is.

Posted by rachela at 2:12 PM MDT
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Friday, 4 June 2004
Mood:  surprised
Topic: Food
I'm trying to count calories as when I just guess I go way over what I need. Anyway I look for lower calorie stuff when I snack. At the mall today I wanted a munchie but I passed up the cinnabon and the ice cream and settled for a large soft pretzel with no dips. I was appalled when I checked it in the USDA Database it was 483 calories. Woo! 483? How can it be that much? A couple slices of bread are only around 160. They must soak those pretzels in oil.

I had a nice omelet and salad for supper. The main problem I have with both is trying to put too much in them. This time I just had a nice mixed greens salad with a vinaigrette and a zucchini, tomato, onion, mushroom and potato omelet with cheddar. Yummy!

Posted by rachela at 7:01 PM MDT
Updated: Friday, 4 June 2004 7:23 PM MDT
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Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Topic: Food
I made some Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas for lunch from Robert Oser's "Flavor of the Southwest". It was good but a little too sweet. It needed more of the savory and I like sweet mexican food. It may have been the problem I have with sizes. I have no clue if a sweet potato is large or medium. Anyway, I enjoyed it. I think I may have just been surprised by the the sweetness. I'm freezing the leftovers (since it's only me eating) and will see when I have it again if the sweetness tastier.

Posted by rachela at 2:59 PM MDT
Updated: Friday, 4 June 2004 7:52 PM MDT
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