Sunday, January 31, 2010

Two Restaurants/Two Different Neighborhoods

It's been a busy weekend- with spinning, two dinners out, and -11 degree weather without snow!

Friday night we went out to Allston's Sunset Grill & Tap for dinner. Dave was in 'boy heaven' with hundreds, yes HUNDREDS of beers on tap. They even had my favorite cider(gluten free)made locally by Harpoon Brewery. It has pleasant mild sweet flavor, better than other cider's that are just too sweet.

We got the three chili sampler as an appetizer, which I thought would warm us up on a very cold night. The table loved it, as we turned it more into dip with tortilla chips! I ordered the chicken lettuce wraps for dinner, thinking this would be a safe bet with no gluten and much healthier than the salads on the menu. It came with a HUGE pile of shredded carrots, some black bean salsa, regular salsa and the biggest pieces of romaine lettuce I have ever seen. I had about two and was stuffed, since I had had some tortilla chips and chili along with a couple of Dave's Cajun fries :). We ended up using the leftovers from the wraps to make chicken nachos for lunch on Saturday with cheddar and salsa.

The lettuce from the wraps

The chicken/salsa/carrots

Last night, we headed to my cousin Tyler's new apartment in the North End.

The window in the kitchen

His Christmas tree...yep it's almost February...I loved it!!

It's a great place, which I got to 'bond' with since as soon as we walked in Ty dragged Dave out the door and left me while they went to go the pizza's for dinner.

I started looking through his cookbooks including this one...

The boys were taking awhile and by this time it was 8- and I was hungry so I got up a red pepper that I had found in the fridge and dipped it into herbed goat cheese, and set out some crackers out for the boys!

The boys had gone to two places for pizza Nebo, a place I had found online that said they had gluten free, and Pizzeria Regina(the token North End pizza place). Nebo's pizza was good, but mostly importantly the sauce on the pizza was amazing!!

Nebo box

Nebo's gluten free pizza(I had three pieces...they were pretty small... :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Our House Guest(Pistachio bark recipe)

I came home today from the gym today to find this little guy at my house:

TROT also known as 'TROT MAN' at our house!!!

My cousin and his wife are heading out of town of the week, and asked Dave and I if we would mind taking care of their little man. Of course, we said yes, since we both feel like empty nester's without our Lola. All I can say is it's nice to have a dog snuggling next to me on the couch again. :)

I made this pistachio bark today because I've been craving chocolate

1/2 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup of pistachio nuts
wax paper
cookie sheet or pan for drying

Cover cookie sheet with wax paper. Melt chocolate in the microwave for about 3 minutes. Make sure to stir the chocolate after one minute and check on the chocolate every minute(watch out the dish becomes hot!). Keep cooking until the chocolate is melted entirely then add the nuts. Mix together and spread on wax paper to dry. After the bark has dried, break it into pieces. Enjoy!

Food Diary from yesterday:

Afternoon Snack:
1/2 avocado mixed with salas and 12 corn tortilla chips

1 1/2 pieces of sunflower encrusted chicken(baked!)
1 cup of kamut pasta homemade mac & cheese
salad( mixed greens with red pepper, carrots, cukes, and bean sprouts)
1/4 to 1/2 cup of dark chocolate m&ms( way too many- ugh!)


20 minutes on the elliptical
20 minutes circuit training

1/2 cup of a coffee
8:45am two small pieces of brown rice and millet bread with 1 tbsp. of sunflower butter & low sugar blueberry jam
11am 3/4 cup of turkey chili with 1/2 oz of cheddar cheese
2pm 1 cup of butternut squash soup(homemade)
3:30pm - 1x piece of pistachio bark(I had to try it!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Library time(Quinoa salad recipe)

I'm in the library about to start my epidemiology homework that I just couldn't get started yesterday. It is due next Tuesday, so I'm not behind yet- thank goodness. I can hear the weekend calling- filled with dinner dates, dog sitting, and hopefully tons of time outside!

I stayed up last night to watch the State of Union, so yoga nor the gym happened in the early am. Tomorrow and Saturday are going to be big workout days!!

Food wise today:

Breakfast- turkey chili( I do love soup/stew/chili for breakfast-so warm and filling) with a tiny bit of butternut soup I made yesterday mixed in.
1 cup of coffee with 1/4 cup of leftover cocoa(which I made last night after dinner)

homemade yogurt

Quinoa and vegetable salad with tuna

Quinoa Salad Recipe

1 cup of quinoa
1 cup of low sodium organic chicken stock
1 cup of water
2 red peppers(diced)
3 carrots(diced)
3 scallions(diced)
1/2 zucchini(diced)
1 cup of parsley(chopped) **I love parsley**
block of reduced fat feta(crumbled)
1 can of low sodium chickpeas(drained and rinsed)

2 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. agave nectar
2-4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Cook quinoa following box instructions(2 cups of liquid for one cup of quinoa). I use one cup chicken broth and one cup of water. After quinoa is cooked, mix in all ingredients from peppers down to chickpeas. Top with dressing, and mix thoroughly. Add tuna, chicken, etc for more added protein! Makes about 5-6 servings.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Salmon Dinner w/ Salmon Marinade recipe

Salmon, polenta and baby spinach salad for dinner tonight at our house.

Dave's plate

Salmon marinade:

1 tbsp. gluten free teriakyi sauce
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. rooster sauce
1 tsp. agave nectar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp. roasted sunflower seeds
salt and pepper

Marinate salmon face down for 15-30 minutes.

We then baked our salmon for 15 minutes on 360F, and 400F for 12 minutes. Delicious!!

Lunch & Fresh Pond

Dave came home for lunch today which was super sweet. He even brought home Thai Hut, the Thai restaurant in our neighborhood! I love Thai Hut- the veggies are super fresh, the owner's are nice, and the food always taste good. I got steamed chicken and vegetables with brown rice, and peanut sauce on the side.

Chicken and Vegetable Garden

Later in the afternoon, I met up with my friend Jen for a walk around Fresh Pond with her dog, Lenny.


Spin and things

Spin this morning was great! I used some new music and look forward to teaching again on Saturday.

Workout songs I use for spinning:
Don't Stop Believin'(Journey)
Don't Hate on Me(Glee Cast)
Live Like We're Dying(Kris Allen)
Love and Memories(O.A.R.)
Beat It(Fall Out Boy)
Cooldown- You & Me(Dave Matthews Band)
Cooldown- Maybe(Ingrid Michaelson)

Food Dairy:

one piece of brown rice and millet bread with 2 tsp. of sunflower butter
one dark chocolate peanut m&m(yes, one!!)
1 1/2 cups of turkey chili with 2 tbls. of reduced fat feta on top
** feta on top was a fabulous addition **

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Still Hungry...

I just got home from class and was still hungry. I ate everything that I had wrote about today minus about half the serving of Mary's Gone Crackers. When I got home, which was about 10 minutes ago I consumed :).... 4 dark chocolate peanut m&ms( from the freezer),1 tablespoon of sunflower butter. While creating my spin mix for tomorrow I'm noshing on a Trader Joe's 100 calorie dark chocolate bar! They are fabulous!

School times

So, I only have classes on Tuesday and Thursdays but both days are packed to the gills from 9:00am to 8:30pm on Tuesdays and 9:00am-5:00pm on Thursdays. I have three in-class courses, and my first online course ever this semester. So far so good- I am feeling organized and ready to get back to the grind!

My power breakfast this morning: one egg & one egg white w/ parsley scrambled on two pieces of brown rice and millet bread with 1/4 avocado smeared on! 1/2 cup of coffee with 1 tsp of agave nectar and 1/4 cup of organic fat free milk.

What I brought to school today:

- one serving of leftover chicken and tofu stirfry(1 1/2 cups) with 1/4 cup of quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups of turkey chili w/ 1 tbls. of cheddar cheese
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced-
- 1 apple
- 1 serving of Mary's Crackers(13x)

Mary's Gone Crackers are expensive but DELICIOUS and GLUTEN FREE!!! I usually buy them on sale. My favorite flavors are black pepper and herb!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Late Lunch & Dinner( Chicken and Tofu Stirfry Recipe)

Today I tried a smaller version of this recipe(below) on myself, and then made a large version for dinner.

It included:
chicken- 2 breasts
extra firm tofu- 1/2 container
red pepper - 1
scallions(whites and greens)- 3
zucchini- about 1/2
carrots- 3 large carrots
broccoli- 1 large florets
gluten free terikayi sauce- 2 tbls.
creamy natural peanut butter- 1 tbls.
rooster sauce - 2 tsp.
garlic( 2 cloves)
ginger( grated fresh)- 1 tsp.
canola oil- 2 tsp.

Dice up chicken, tofu and all the veggies. Then mix in a small bowl, the terikayi sauce, peanut butter, ginger, and rooster sauce. Set aside. Heat a fry pan on medium to high heat and add canola oil. Add chicken and tofu until the chicken is cooked through- around 4-5 minutes. Next add the the veggies and cook to desired "crunch." We like our veggies crunchy so I cook them for about 3 minutes. Then add the sauce and cook for one to two minute longer. Done!

Food Diary:
late lunch- chicken and tofu stirfry
dinner- chicken and tofu stirfry w/ 1/4 cup of quinoa(TOO full to eat very much)
snack- small mac apple w/ sunflower butter

Beginning of the week...

I can't believe it's almost 2- phew! I woke up this morning around 6:15ish, and got ready for spin with a friend. It was a pretty good class, and am looking forward to teaching twice this week!!

This morning I also spoke to our dog trainer on finding Dave and I a new dog. We want to make sure we find a dog that best fits our lives and activity level. Though we miss Lola, we know we made the best decision for her and for us.

We have heard from the adoption agency, and she is doing well at the adoption agency's compound in the country. She has a new puppy friend(Ella), and has become close with the founder's husband. They told us that they will be working with her for the next one to two months. They hope to place her in a new 'forever' home that has a dog, and lives in a more rural area.

Food Diary so far...

2x pieces of brown rice and millet bread(119 kcals for two pieces)
1/4 an avocado
1 egg and 2 egg whites with 1 tbls. of cheddar cheese
1 cup of coffee with 1/4 cup of 1% milk and 1 tsp. agave nectar

1 cup of plain fat-free greek yogurt
20 pistachios
1 tsp. agave nectar
4 cups of green tea

Yogurt w/ pistachios and agave nectar

For the week ahead I'm cooking:
turkey chili w/ sweet potatoes, white beans, and black beans

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Dave and I just finished watching Julie & Julia. Meryl Streep is really a lark- her mannerisms and silly comments make me wish I could have met Julia Child. Dave said that it looks like we cook the same- quick and with a smile.

I also went to my first Socials for Success(Mass Amer. Dietetic Association event) today at Clayworks in Brookline. It was nice to meet some fellow students and dietetic interns, as well as make do a little painting. Ill post the pictures of my 'works' after they have been fired in the kilm.

Finally, I have a little confession- my pants are tight. They are not muffin top tight, but tight enough where I am going to write down what I am eating everyday. I'll start tomorrow morning because I do like starting anew on a Monday. I also am going to go back to writing what my workouts are for the week.

Monday- spin or cardio/weights(on my own)
Tuesday- LONG DAY of CLASSES - day off
Wednesday- teaching spin ;)
Thursday- Hour of Power(yoga) hopefully
Friday- ?
Saturday- teaching spin ;)

I think it's a good start...

***would love to hear people's opinions on what I'm writing, please post comments***

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Stadiums & Skiing

Bunker Hill Monument was closed this morning due to ice so my team for the American Lung Association climb and I went to Harvard stadium and completed 18 sections to equate to three times up the monument.

We then went to Sound Bites(Somerville) for breakfast. I got the Broadway bowl- hash browns on the bottom, peppers, onions and tomatoes with scrambled eggs avocado and cheese on top. It was delicious and SUPER filling.

My friend Ali and her boyfriend Jay wanted to do something fun outside so Dave and I took them to the Weston Ski Track. It was only $30 dollars a person to rent skis, poles and get a pass to ski for the day. They have miles of trails and we had a good time playing around- the boys and Ali flew down the hills and there some great falls, but we all left pretty much in one piece.
Ali & DaveThe Team( Ali, Jay & Dave)Dave's awesome photography skills(picture of me!)Dave!Ali & Jay(the rebels)

Friday, January 22, 2010

R.I.P. Bonnie

Bonnie, mother of ten puppies including Olive, Adventure, Pearl and Shadow, passed away this afternoon in Charlottesville, VA. She will be missed by all!!

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe(gluten & lactose free)

I have had creamy butternut squash soup on the brain, since going to Kookoo Cafe yesterday and having their butternut soup. Now, I hadn't played around in my own kitchen in awhile, so off to the drawing board I went.

I purchased:

2x butternut squashes ( medium to large in size)
2x carton of organic low sodium chicken stock
2x shallots

I had at home:
2x heads of garlic
3x onions
extra virgin olive oil
agave nectar

Kitchen Equipment
-Peeler(cheapo on from Williams & Sonoma)THIS IS THE BEST PEELER EVER!!!
- Oven dish for roasting
- Soup pot
- Immersion blender(handheld blender GREAT for soups, etc)


1x small onion(diced into large chunks)
2x cloves of garlic(minced)
1x shallot(diced)

1x large butternut squash(peeled and de-seeded) -cut into chunks

1x carton of low sodium organic chicken stock( I only used 3 cups worth)

1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. curry(if you want)

1x squeeze of agave nectar

salt and pepper to taste

4 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the butternut squash and onion in the roasting pan and cover with 2 tsp. of olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for around 30 minutes. After butternut squash is roasted and ready, turn the stove on medium heat and add the diced shallot and 2 tsp. of olive oil. Saute for 2 minutes then add garlic, and saute for another minute. Add cumin and curry(only if you want), butternut squash, onion, and three cups of chicken stock. Bring ingredients to a boil, and simmer on low for 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly, and add agave nectar(if needed). Then, using the immersion blender or a regular blender, blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

ADA article: Underestimation of Calories in Foods

This month in the Journal of the American Dietitics Association there are many interesting findings noted including Urban et al's article on The Accuracy of Stated Energy Contents of Reduced-Energy, Commericially Prepared Foods(Jan 2010). The articles mentions that the average amount that foods are underestimated is 18% MORE than the stated values(aka the amount of calories in the packages and in restaruants portions were less than the amount actually in the package or meal). One of MY go-to's in a pinch: Bell and Evan's gluten free chicken tenders was even on there! Again, as mentioned it wasn't a LARGE difference but enough to count per serving. A few of the restaurants included in the study were Wendy's, PF Chang's, Domino's, Ruby Tuesdays, and Denny's and all overall were underestimating caloric amounts of their foods.

I attached the entire article below:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

First day of school

Today was the first day of school, I had my Management in Food Service class, and Medical Nutrition Therapy(MNT). It should be a busy semester for sure, but MNT will be a huge help with my internship(mandatory to become a Registered Dietitian) in the following year. This semester will be a doozy, but I only have classes on Tuesday and Thursday, plus one online class, my first ever.

I found an ad for this book(below), in the New York Times, book review two weeks ago and picked it up after I finished Barbara Kingsolver- Prodigal Summer. BK's book was a good story and fun to read since it is set in Virginia. This book by Erica Bauermeister, called The School of Essential Ingredients is so well written. I feel like I can smell the food they are making, and see their faces through every sentence. This book is helping me take a closer look during meals by teaching me to smell and savor each bite!

On a random note, my freezer selection of soups and stews is low and I am looking for a thick and creamy butternut squash or other winter vegetable soup, that is not filled with cream or milk, but still tastes as creamy. I have a couple of ideas, but if anyone has a recipe they love, please post!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Plane Food

Plane food:
2x clementines
Yogi tea
Mary's crackers
Sunflower butter and raspberry jam sandwich
Gala apple
Almond butter

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Last day

Today, is my last day in Charlottesville and it is definitely bitter sweet. I'm going to miss my peanuts(the kids) so much, but can't wait to get home to my sweetie, Dave!

Jack had school today, so the ladies and I stayed around the farm. They had a friend come over, and then decided to go an 'adventure' after I left for Bodo's(the all-natural bagel shop) to grab them some lunch. Geoff found their bikes dropped near the road, and the three kids walking down a trail...naughty children- no tv or electronics til Friday!!

Overall though, it was a great last day- with romps through the fields with the kids, sitting outside in the sun with the dogs reading, and cooking cowboy cookies(also known to others as Meg's Crack cookies) for my cousin and her husband to have when they get back from their trip!

My favorite spots to hit while I'm in Charlottesville:

Arches(frozen yogurt & great salads)
O'Susannah( a home and office knick knack store)
Bodo's Bagels(for their Cleo salad)
Revolutionary Soup(new addition from this trip)
Oasis( spa treatments)
ACAC(gym for the day or week- $12 a day)
Bikram yoga($20 for initial week)
Feast( new addition- local speciality food store)
My cousin's farm!!!!

I got this shirt today from Feast!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Farm Workout

My farm workout today:

20 minutes jumping on the trampoline(extra 20 minutes with girls)
5 minutes of sprints

On tramp(2 sets):
bicycle crunches(40x)
lbs. crunches(20x)
rev lunges(12x)
planks(10 seconds)

Off tramp(2 sets):
walking lunges(20x)
rev lunges(16x)
step ups(20x)
single leg deadlifts(12x)

Liza on the trampoline

Part of my workout space...the backyard...

Then off to the barn for a swing...

Dinner tonight- Eleanor(a summer friend) came over for another night of Meg food!!!

Buffalo burgers(for El and I)
Bell & Evans nuggets(kids)
Mac & cheese(scratch)
Celery,carrots, apple slices(kids)
Salad w/ carrots, avocado, tomatoes, pine nuts(El and I)
Pasta I used... the kids had NO idea it was rice, quinoa, and amaranth...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Other Charges

This weekend, I not only have three children and six dogs to feed but also two horses on my list. Geoff, the farm manager, usually feeds them, but only works Monday-Friday- so left me in charge of the big ones!!

The front of the barn- with Bonnie waiting to get out of the rain

Horse stalls

Twice a day the horses receive:
1/2 coffee can of feed(smells and looks like tea)
1/2 bale of hay(broken apart)

The hay for feeding

Hay broken apart...

Blaire on the move to get his breakfast...



Good Afternoon

The girls and I were crazy in the kitchen yesterday: from granola, to ribs, and finishing the creme brulee. In the morning, we went shopping for Meggles(me), and then to get our nails done. The girls were great, and knew the owner and all the ladies really well- it was too funny. I, being the conservative one out of the group, got a light pink on my nails, while Carly and Liza got bright green and blue on their fingernails, and purple and blue on their toes.

In the afternoon we started a cooking bonanza with some Harry Potter rolled in: marinating the ribs in a dry rub(Bone Suckin' Sauce- is GLUTEN FREE) and making the granola. Liza likes a granola sandwich with sunflower butter, granola, banana and honey- so why not make it from scratch!

Baking the oats first...

Oats/pecans/cashew mixture

Finished product(Granola with pecans/cashews/cranberries/coconut

Dinner on the Farm:
pork baby backs ribs(w/ Bone Suckin' Sauce)
salad(baby spinach, tomatoes, carrots, avocado, yellow and orange peppers)

Carly's plate or Jack's ... I can't remember

Liza chowing down

Creme brulee right out of the oven

Carly and her creme bliss