Thursday, July 29, 2010

CEiMB -- Mango Lassi

This week's CEiMB recipe was Mango Lassi. I was excited about this recipe for a few reasons. One, it looked pretty simple, which was perfect for a weeknight. Two, I love anything remotely like a fruit shake. I've been known to stare, and possibly drool, at the McDonald's strawberry banana smoothie ads. Mmmm smoothie. And three, I caught part of a segment on the Dr. Oz show about how to slow down aging and they discussed how mangoes were great for gum health. My gums could use some help, especially with a dentist appointment next week [shudder].

Since I was home alone, I decided to half the recipe. Other than that, I tried to follow the recipe as it was written (which you can find here). Ingredient #1 was--surprise--mango. I decided to peel the mango before cutting off as much fruit as I could around the pit. After choppin' up the mango, time for a ride in the blender. I pureed the mango on it's own first.

Hey, look, my blender matches my coffee maker!

Once the mango was pureed, I added in plain yogurt (vanilla might have been tasty as well), ice, and honey. Then it was time for more blending. However, my blender had other things in mind and stopped working--what a diva! Luckily, most of the ice was crushed and the mango lassi was pretty frothy.

Here's the final result:
You can see some of the bigger ice pieces floating around. Due to my blender malfunction, it wasn't mixed enough and I could taste the honey separately from the yogurt separately from the mango. I let it sit for a bit while watching an episode of "The Next Food Network Star" and it tasted MUCH better! I would definitely make it again, but I might try subbing in vanilla yogurt for the plain. And get a new blender.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Healthy dinner? Check!

I didn't make it to the gym this morning, but I did get a few wellness bingo boxes checked off today. Most importantly, I made a healthy meal for dinner involving quite a few vegetables! Over the weekend, I purchased a mixed pint box of mini eggplants but wasn't sure what I should do with them. I came across a recipe for baked (instead of fried) eggplant parm and thought I'd give it a shot. Since I didn't have any jarred sauce at home, so I decided to whip up a quick tomato sauce using crushed tomatoes, garlic, dried basil, oregano, and parsley, and a dash of merlot. The sauce came out okay--not great, but not horrible.

Sadly, I was so busy trying to get dinner together at a reasonable hour that I forgot to take pictures! I based tonight's eggplant parm around this recipe at (LOVE that site). Since I was using mini eggplants, I cut down on the ingredient amounts and used a 9x9 baking dish. I only had about half the mozzarella the original recipe calls for, but it turned out fine. And probably healthier or something like that.

Overall, dinner was pretty good. Even better, C2 contributed to the meal (and veggie count) by cutting up the last cucumber and tomato I bought at the farmers market for a mini salad. We didn't have any dressing, so I just tossed them with salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil. Farm fresh tomatoes kick butt!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lazy weekend

The weekend is winding down and I'd be lying if I said I was productive. Sure, I got a few things done, like laundry and returning library books, but not any of the big items on my to-do list. I'm definitely not beating myself up over it because it was nice to just relax. Even better, C2 and I went out Saturday night and met up with some friends we hadn't seen in awhile. It was great to be able to relax, chat, and catch up.

I'm hoping to be a little more productive this week, especially in the exercise department. Inspired by a work event, my friend decided we should do our own "Wellness Bingo." For two weeks, we are going to try to work out and eat right to check off boxes in our bingo sheet. There are quite a few different goals, like "Eat three veggies a day" and "30 minutes of cardio," but I think the most difficult will be "Get 8 hours of sleep." I'm so easily sucked into a late night TV show or searching for things online that I have a difficult time falling asleep.

With that, I should probably head to bed. I likely won't get 8 hours of sleep tonight, but I am hoping I can motivate myself to get back to the gym tomorrow morning.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

CEiMB -- Chicken with Warm Tomato and Corn Salad

This is my first post as part of the "Craving Ellie in My Belly" blog group and I am very excited about it! Basically, there's a group of bloggers who cook up a different Ellie Krieger recipe each week and blog about it. For those who don't know, Ellie Krieger is a registered dietitian, cookbook author, and Food Network personality specializing in healthy, tasty food. I'm looking forward to cooking her recipes on a regular basis, especially since they will likely involve a lot of, you know, vegetables.

On to the food. This week's recipe was Chicken with Warm Tomato and Corn Salad from the book, So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week. I halved the salad recipe since it was just C2 and I eating, and made it over the weekend on a very warm evening--just the right kind of night for a light meal. Even better, itdidn't involve much standing over a hot stove. The most time consuming part was chopping up the vegetables and even that didn't take very long.

First there were the tomatoes, then the corn. Okay, I didn't have to cut any corn since I used frozen kernels. The recipe also calls for scallions, but I forgot to buy them at the store. Whoops.

I then heated up a pan to cook up the chicken. I used boneless, skinless breast tenderloins. At least I think that's what they were called--thin, small pieces of chicken. The important thing is that they were little and cooked up crazy fast. Hooray quick food!

While the chicken cooked up, I managed to cut up some avocado, cilantro, and lime. Or, as I named them while cutting, the three green amigos.

After the chicken was done, I set it aside cooked up the tomato and corn along with some garlic. Just a few quick minutes later, dinner was ready! Don't worry, I didn't forget about the three green amigos. The warm tomato and corn salad was topped with chicken, which was then topped with the cilantro, avocado, and squeeze of lime juice.

Mmmm tasty

It was quite delicious. I should have seasoned the chicken a bit more with salt and pepper, and maybe a little something else (I'm not good enough at this yet to know exactly what would work). Even though I halved the tomato corn salad, I kept the full avocado amount because I really, really love avocado and hardly ever have it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sucker for sweet potato fries

You would think that I would have cooked many delicious meals at home since I started the blog this week. You would be wrong. So far this week, socializing beat out home cooking. While it was great to meet up with friends, my body is definitely missing real, nutritious food. And as much as I like to pretend that frozen yogurt and sweet potato fries are totally healthy, my body quickly reminds me otherwise. And the mozzarella sticks I had on Tuesday? Um, cheese has calcium? I once tried to make "healthy" mozzarella sticks at home from a Weight Watchers recipe. The recipe would have been great, except I had no idea that I was supposed to freeze the cheese sticks before putting them in the oven. Instead of sticks, we had baked mozz pancakes.

Okay, enough rambling. Tomorrow I am planning on making dinner at home. I'm not sure what yet, but it will likely involve the organic chicken tenderloins sitting in my fridge and perhaps even some fresh veggies from the farmers market.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Well hello there

Allow myself to introduce…myself. I am a newly married gal in my late-late-twenties. Like most newlyweds these days, we lived together before we got married, so this is not going to be a a blog about me learning to cook and clean for my man. I know how to do both, at least to some degree. I’m currently just more of a “pasta with sauce from a jar = dinner” and “Swiffer-ing the kitchen floor once in awhile totally makes it clean” kind of person. My husband, C2, actually likes vegetables and is sad when I don’t make any. He even likes brussel sprouts! I, on the other hand, am not a big vegetable fan. This is especially messed up for two reason: one, I was a vegetarian for several years; and two, I am very interested in nutrition. I figure now is as good a time as any to start trying to make more “real” meals at home to include more whole foods, like vegetables, into my diet. Hence the blog name, “Learning to Love Vegetables.” I figure I’ll never love cleaning, so no way vacuuming was making it into the title.

I don’t have the patience to cook or bake enough to write a “food blog,” so this blog will be a mix of food and amusing (or boring) stories from my life. Such as my attempt to get back into shape, or me failing miserably at getting back into shape due to a “Real Housewives of New Jersey” marathon. Or me trying to figure out why it is I can watch a marathon of RHNJ for hours, but not be willing to sit down for a 2-hour movie so I can get a new one from Netflix. You get the idea.