Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Finish

There are some benefits to waking up at the crack of dawn. It's 6:30 a.m. and I'm dressed and ready for work already. All because I had to see the Royal Wedding live. My alarm went off at 5:00 and I crept out of bed to watch the festivities. I packed this beauty in the meantime:
  • frozen pineapple
  • vegan corn muffin (baked by the Boo)
  • broccoli
  • chicken and veggie fried rice
The wedding has been pretty entertaining so far. Well, as entertaining as a royal wedding can be. I'm actually getting kind of sleepy though. I wonder if I can take a nap in my work clothes without wrinkling them too badly. Anyway, have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Once More With Spirit!

Spring is here, but it is slowly trying to kill me. All the pollen in the air has my eyes on fire and I'm sniffling like a drug seeking dog. Ugh, this is the time of year that I'm actually glad I work in hermetically sealed skyscraper where you can't open any windows. Air is my enemy until mid June. Moving old man cooked up another killer meal last night and I reaped benefits again today:
  • homemade chicken and veggie fried rice
  • vegan corn muffin
  • frozen peaches
  • grapes
  • light cheddar cheese stick
It is gross that I gush so much about Mr. Lovah Lovah? I don't mean to be sappy I just want to make my appreciation known. Also, I kind of want to show the effort it takes to make my lunches everyday. Someone commented that they wanted to know how I find the time to pack a meal (or 2 on a good day) every day. Well, the most important thing is having everything I need in the fridge. About 85-90% of the food me and my bloke eat comes from our own kitchen. This is mainly because we are cheap, and secondly because we like to know what we are putting in our mouths. So, in order to achieve this we do a lot of grocery shopping.

Oh! Speaking of grocery shopping, has anyone seen Extreme Couponing? Sheesh, it makes me feel like I'm throwing money down the toilet when it comes to grocery shopping. I'm taking on a lot of little mini self challenges these days, so I'm not going to start to obsess over coupons, but that show did remind me to stick to our food budget a bit more closely. Anyway, I've comforted myself with the fact that there aren't any coupons for fresh fruit and veggies and that's what we go through the fastest her on the Estate.

I'm looking forward to a quiet night tonight and getting to bed early. I've got a 5:00 a.m. date with my TV. Royal Wedding, y'all!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Let's Hear It For The Boo!

It's been a long day, but I finally made it home in one piece. Let's jump right in. Shall we?
  • turkey meatloaf
  • roasted potatoes
  • red grapes
  • broccoli
  • light cheddar cheese stick
My main man has been on quite the cooking spree this week. He made another batch of those gorgeous roasted potatoes for dinner last night and they found their way into my lunchbox today. Honestly, sometimes leftovers are the most comfortable and welcomed sight in the morning when I'm figuring out what to make for lunch. Thank goodness he's been in the mood to cook for us this week because I know I sure haven't felt like doing it.

I'm a bit disappointed in myself tonight because I caved and had half of a cupcake tonight at a comedy show. I know in the grand scheme of this is not a big deal at all. In fact, it could even be seen as a triumph since I didn't eat the whole thing, or more than one, for that matter. However, after reading all that stuff about the toxicity of sugar I really wanted to break my cravings for the stuff. I told myself that I was not longer going to have sweets (candy, cakes, ice cream,or sugared drinks, etc.) unless it was a special occasion or "worth it" in some way. I know that's how most healthy eaters operate, but for me that is an extreme lifestyle change. I don't think I've ever gone more than 24 hours without eating something sugary. I'm not kidding. If it's not jam on toast in the morning, it's an "energy bar" (which is basically an overpriced, extra chemicalized candy bar) in the afternoon or vanilla yogurt at night. And that's when I'm trying to be healthy. On a bad day it's nonstop chocolate and cakes. Anyway, that's why that article kind of shook me up. I feel like I have a real problem with sugar so the obvious thing for me to do was cut out sweets. I was doing a pretty good job this week until tonight. Anyway, it's not the end of the world and I'm not going to get diabetes from half a (moist, delicious, creamy, fluffy) cupcake. But, I will have to strengthen my resolve if I'm going to kick this thing. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Can't Stop, Won't Stop

Hello! Well, I've officially caught stupid royal wedding fever. Ugh, I'm usually immune to bugs like this but not matter how much I tried to steer clear of those who were infected, it still managed to get me, via the TV. I'm sat here on the couch watching some Entertainment Tonight tell me about Kate's floral choices. Yeah, it's got me bad. Anywho, I digress.
  • turkey meatloaf
  • broccoli
  • red grapes
  • light cheddar cheese stick
  • romaine lettuce, carrots, bell peppers
  • balsamic vinaigrette (not shown, I forgot to put it in the picture)
Well, I know I declared that I was allergic to carrots last week, but I really don't think I'm going to stop eating them. They are just too good. I'll limit myself to just 1 a day. That doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to eat a carrot a day, it just means that I can have one when I want to. I was telling Mr. Man about my carrot rationing this morning and he was not too pleased about it. Especially since I made the morbid joke that the nerdiest way to die is from eating carrots and since I'm probably the nerdiest person alive, it would sort of be a poetic way to go. Anyway, I'm not going to off myself for a bunch of carrots.

Speaking of my big hunk o' man, he made that there turkey meatloaf and it was another humdinger. Oh, that reminds me. Here is the recipe for the garlic chicken he always makes:

Garlic Chicken

  • 1 chicken, 3-4 lbs cut into 8 serving pieces (trimmed of excess fat)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 heads of garlic, separated in cloves
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or any herb)
Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken and cook, turning frequently, until well browned. 7-10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan. Add the garlic cloves and saute over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Transfer chicken to a slow cooker. Sprinkle with thyme and add the garlic mixture. Cove and cook until the chicken is tender and opaque throughout, 3 hours on the low-heat setting.

The recipe comes from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking.

If you try it out let me know. I'm sure you'll see it here again sometime soon.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Last Night Remembered

Another Monday, another Sunday dinner for lunch:
Guess what? The smell of microwaved salmon is not a favorite among the people in my office. Oh well, they were just jealous that they didn't have a fabulous lunch like mine. The highlight were the scrumptious roasted potatoes that my fella made. All he did was peel and slice some potatoes and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, garlic and paprika and then bung them in the oven at 425F for 30 minutes. Oh boy, were they tasty!

I read this great article about sugar last week it's been weighing on me a lot. It discusses the idea that sugar is not merely empty calories that make you put on weight, but it's actually a lethal poison that is slowly killing the Western world. I even watched the hour and a half seminar video outlining the science behind the theory. So now what? It's a compelling argument and I especially like the chemical and impact comparison of ethanol (booze) to fructose (sugar). Everyone who has ever eaten a slice of cake knows that too much sugar is never enough, but is it really poisonous? Food for thought. Unsweetened food, obviously.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Orange You Glad It's Saturday?

This week was quite a whopper! To say that the highlight was a trip to the dentist is an understatement. The food highlights were, sadly, once again, mainly chocolate based and should never have passed my lips. But, I did my best to keep lunch as healthy and filling as possible without being too boring. I ran through and entire bag of Mineolas along the way.
  • chicken sausage with peppers and onions in a whole wheat wrap (sorry, no pic, just take my word for it)
  • carrots
  • lots of Mineola oranges

  • turkey bologna, light provolone cheese, lettuce on Ezekiel bread
  • carrots
  • light cheddar cheese stick
  • sliced red bell peppers
  • balsamic vinaigrette dipper (I forgot to take the lid off, oops!)
  • more Mineola ora

  • another turkey bologna and light provolone sandwich
  • Mineola oranges, for the last time
  • carrots
  • broccoli
So, it was a very orange week, what with the Mineolas and the carrots. Also, I think I am finally defeated and have to admit that I am allergic to carrots. This pains me to no end because I really love carrots. I looked it up and it is similar to my allergy to apples. The experts say that if the carrots, or fruit, is cooked the allergy symptoms won't appear. Unfortunately for me, I have a MAJOR food aversion to cooked fruit and especially cooked carrots. So I guess I'm a cooked goose! Obviously, I could try to get over all these stupid food aversions and attempt to eat mushy fruit and cooked (mushy/orange/terrifying) carrots. But that would take maturity and mental stability, two things I have a very low supply of this week.

Now, I'm finally enjoying my weekend. I'm off to take a 2 hour spinning class in an attempt to redeem myself from all that chocolate this week. If I make it out alive I promise to eat like a saint all next week. Well, a saint that sins a lot anyway.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Toothsome Bunch

What a day! Lots to do and plenty to eat.
  • 2 clementines
  • sauteed spinach with mushrooms, onions, garlic and red pepper flakes
  • roasted tiny potatoes
  • 4 oz. of roasted lamb
  • strawberries
We are sick of chicken here at the Estate. So, I decided to make lamb for our Sunday dinner this week. I threw it into my cart without a care in the world and when I got to the checkout I was horrified to discovery that the blasted thing cost a whopping $22! I was too smitten with the idea of a lamb feast on a spring night to put it back so I'm stretching it as far as I can. It was delicious on Sunday, but it's gotten a bit rubbery now. Lots of chewing. As it would happen, I got a last minute dentist appointment tonight after work and the hygienist gave my teeth a good working over. Now my gums are swollen and my stomach is grumbling. I think I'll leave the rest of the lamb for the Hungry Man of the house and I'll have a smoothie for dinner.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Law & Order: L-U-N-C-H

Please excuse the shabby picture. I had jury duty today and instead of packing anything to eat I decided to do a little experiment. I bought my lunch from one of the steam table/salad bars/weigh n' pay delis. I wanted to eat pretty much what I would have packed for myself, except a bit more special.
  • broccoli (steamed but with some sort of flavor or oil on it)
  • 3 or 4 spears of asparagus and a button mushroom (swimming in oil)
  • grilled (?) salmon
  • Greek salad
  • grapes and a strawberry
  • watermelon chunks
  • a bottle of water
I thought it was going to cost a lot of money so that I could smugly go back to packing my lunches and say that I have been to the Dark Side and can confirm that it is very bleak, indeed. But, surprisingly this entire lunch only cost $7.24 in all. I guess that is more than nothing but it's certainly not the bank breaker I thought it would be. I'd kick myself if I spent that amount every day, five days a week. But, for just one day, it wasn't too expensive.

My main complaint was the quality of the food. Everything cooked was overcooked and everything raw was soggy and overexposed. The best thing was the bottle of water. Thus, the takeaway from this little experiment still lets me be smug. The quality of food that I make at home is so much better than what the lunch wagons of New York City has to offer.
I took a sneaky snap of the famous courthouse steps. I was too busy enjoying today's rare spring sunshine during our lunch break to get off my duff and take a more compelling photo. I think they use a lot of exterior shots of this courthouse on Law & Order and some movies.

Back to the salt mines tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy Plate

Today for the fist time in weeks I actually ate all my food. My mom used to call a clean plate a happy plate. I was certainly a happy camper after eating this:
  • crisp red grapes
  • sugar snap peas
  • crunchy bell pepper strips
  • balsamic vinaigrette dipper
  • chicken tamale
I was just thinking, do you guys like tamales? Do you even know what they are? I never loved them as a kid because my parents didn't make them and when I finally was exposed to them they fell into the "wet bread" category of my self made food pyramid. Anyway, I started liking them a few years ago when I took a Mexican cooking class. I particularly like sweet tamales (cherry is my favorite) but those are hard to come by here in NYC. I did make the mistake of buying a pineapple tamale from a lady selling them out of a shopping cart on 157th Street. My stomach still hasn't forgiven me.

Anyway, I have jury duty tomorrow so I'm not sure what to do about lunch. Should I pack a full box or just throw a sandwich in my purse and call it day? We'll see.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Things Fall Apart

Although it does feel like my life is falling apart at the moment, the title of this post actually refers to the pitiful tortilla I used today:
  • sliced herbed turkey, light cheddar cheese, spinach and red pepper on a whole wheat tortilla
  • strawberries
  • red grapes
  • sugar snap peas
I don't know how to make my tortillas pliable once they are not perfectly fresh. I've had then for about a week and I hate wasting food so I want to use them up. Usually I warm it up a little on the stove burner before I lay out the goods on top and try to roll it. It makes it a bit softer and easy to work with. Well, that didn't work this time. I essentially ended up making a taco/sandwich with this tortilla because it split and fell apart when I folded it. Meh. Lunch was still pretty tasty. Especially the grapes. Crunchtastic. They will definitely be on the menu tomorrow.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rumble in the Jungle

Another Sunday dinner lunch courtesy of the Man of the House:
  • garlic chicken
  • garlic mashed potatoes
  • garlic roasted Brussels sprouts
  • frozen peaches
  • sugar snap peas
Can you spot the trend? Needless to say, eating heavily garlicked meal at 1:00 in the afternoon leads to a somewhat "breezy" evening. But, honestly, it's too good to pass up a meal like this for lunch. He makes it in the slow cooker and chicken turns out so moist and tender as a result. I'll see if he will give me the recipe to share on here.

I've been feeling a bit uninspired lately. Not sure what to cook or what to eat and A LOT of the food that I know NOT to eat have been finding their way into my mouth (Mr. Goodbar, I'm looking at you)! I was exercising like a maniac for the past couple of weeks and now I don't even feel like walking down to the lobby to check the mail. Ugh! Anyway, that's life right?

Let's get back to packing lunches and making great meals.

Friday, April 8, 2011


This reflects the remnants of my fridge. Fridays are always a little skimpy here at the Estate. But I always find something tasty and filling:
  • TJ's chicken and cheese tamale
  • 1 mineola orange
  • hard boiled egg
  • sugar snap peas
Overall, this wasn't a very great week for me. Too much stuff going on to focus on doing the right thing (eating well, exercising, and enjoying all the great things in my life). I only exercised twice and had several runs with various chocolate based enemies. Ugh! Anyway, hopefully I can get some much needed rest this weekend and fit in some fun adventures with Mr. Wonderful. Even though my allergies are threatening to ruin Spring for me, I've loaded up with Claratin and am raring to go. I got my bib for the first big bike tour of the season here in NYC. Yay! Can't wait to get out there and ride!

Have a great weekend folks!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bare Bones

I forgot my lunchboxes at work yesterday. So I had to load this stuff into my purse today.
  • 2 mineolas
  • whole wheat vegetable lasagna
  • lite cheddar cheese stick
One of the oranges was kind of bad. It was very soft and squishy before I peeled it. I thought that meant it was going to be really sweet and juicy. Well, it was juicy but the juice was kind of bitter and little metallic tasting. Weird.

Anyone have any ideas on what I should do to jazz up this blog? More personal stuff? More recipes? Videos? What do think?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lentil Luvah!

Another vegetarian lunch today. I somehow ended up making non-meat meals over the weekend and for dinner this week. My lunch box and colon are delighted:
  • sugar snap peas
  • lentil loaf
  • 1 mineola
  • Brussels sprouts
My old man has been begging me to make this delicious lentil loaf again. It's his favorite and I love it too. It's pretty easy too. I adapted the recipe from this one. Here is the version I made last night.

Lentil Loaf
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • half bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, small dice
  • 4-5 button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • spices (I used crushed red pepper, more garlic, some cumin and salt and pepper)
  • 2 cups cooked French lentils
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 warm water
  • Ketchup

To Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the onions, garlic, bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms. Saute until they become tender. Add the spices and cook for a minute or two more.
  3. Mush together all of the other ingredients (preferably with clean hands) or use a big spoon. Add the vegetable mixture and mix well. If the mixture seems too dry, add a bit of water with the tomato paste dissolved in it. If it seems too wet, brown rice or breadcrumbs should do the trick.
  4. Grease a loaf pan with some olive oil. Spread the lentil loaf mixture evenly in the pan and top with ketchup.
  5. Cover pan with tinfoil and place in the oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes – until the top looks crusty and a toothpick comes out clean.
I tried to get fancy with a ketchup design.
Gratuitous side shot. I understand that brick of mushed together lentils, rice and vegetables may not appeal to everyone. But I swear it's really tasty. I think adding in the tomato paste water makes it extra tasty. Anyway, I won't rave on. Try it for yourself.

Same delicious vegetable frittata and 2 slices of Ezekiel toasted in the office toaster. Needless to say, there are a few, shall we say, gastric repercussions to eating a zillion vegetables in one day. Deal with it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dessert , Y'all!

It's the beginning of another week and it got off to a sweet start.
I spent half the day cooking up some yummy food for this week. I was listening to an audiobook of The Thin Man as I chopped, sauteed and mixed. The time just flew by. Dessert has been pitifully lacking in my lunches recently. After my most recent muffin debacle I think I've shied away from experimental baking. But, experimental frying...that's another story. We had a box of whole wheat pancake mix calling my name yesterday morning and a neglected fancy pancake waffle frying pan begging to be salvaged from the back of the cupboard. I added some cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger to the mix along with a few drops of all the random extracts lurking around the baking cupboard. It turns out vanilla, almond and orange extracts make spices taste even better in your pancake waffles. I threw some frozen blueberries into a saute pan and added a little water to sauce it up. Oh, I also used about a tablespoon of maple syrup to the whole thing. The whole batch yielded about 3/4 cup of blueberry sauce.
And, even though I had a breakfast item for dessert I still had my usual veggie fritatta. It was super sized this morning because, well, just because. Is that so wrong? Also, me and the ol' significant other are now completely in love with Ezekiel. It's especially good toasted. Remember how I said I eat like a scavenger in the evening? That grazing is made somewhat healthier now that usually chomping on this stuff. Now, if only I didn't slather it with so much butter. Baby steps.