Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday's Weigh In - Love Is Blind

I'm so glad my husband loves me! I'm still working on weight loss, slowly but surely it's coming off. Today I'm at 165 I think as the scale is home and I'm at the in-laws. I saw 164 earlier this week so it's only a matter of time before I am down to 160. My goal is to be there by the end of April. 
Anyhew, Kent keeps telling me that I'm just a little bird, and that I have a cute little bum, so I know his glasses need renewed, but I'm grateful he loves me!
So far I've lost 30 lbs. yay, and have a bit more, but am feeling so good about not gaining any weight over the holidays! I'm still watching portion sizes, exercising, and not eating after 6 pm. It really makes a huge difference, but sleep is also a huge factor in keeping my weight loss goals moving forward. 
This morning I went running, 3 miles as a matter of fact, uphill to a horse corral and back down again. As I was running, the clouds lay in a heavy blanket over the mountain peaks and you could almost feel Mother Nature shiver with delight at the promise of RAIN. Robins and sparrows were chattering in the bushes and trees, fussing over nests, sharing the best worm stories, and in general making a joyful noise. I heard honking behind me and turned to see a pair of beautiful Canadian geese on their way north. Well it's after noon now and RAIN is late! I guess I should go wash the car to get him motivated. Are you trying to lose weight or get more healthy? What is working for you?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Mexican Pesto

 I had a grundle of cilantro as in two bunches so I needed to do something that would use large quantities at one time. So I poked around the internet and found some recipes, but I didn't have all the ingredients listed so I improvised. Listed below will be the full recipe with possible changes. For now, lets start with 4 cups of cilantro leaves....
 and 1/2 a cup EVOO as Rachel Ray says, or (extra virgin olive oil) for those in Imbler.....
 Put this in a blender with 4 cloves of garlic, or the equivalent of garlic powder...
 add 1/4 cup Asiago or Cojita cheese (which would be more authentic but go with what you have)
 two Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce....
 1/2 teaspoon salt....
 1 tablespoon of dry oregano, or 1/4 cup fresh if you have it...
 Pulse in the blender.....
 add 2 cups of cilantro and pulse some more.....
 add the rest of the cilantro plus 1/4 cup toasted almonds, or pine nuts and pulse some more...
until it looks like this! I haven't decided what to do with it yet as I had to make it and then make my weekly trip in to stay and help out the in-laws, but I'm thinking that maybe this could be spread on tortillas or mixed with cream cheese or sour cream, used on top of grilled fish or chicken. I will test run this when I get home and let you know my favorites. Let me know if you try this and see what you like to do with it. 
4 cups cilantro leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Asiago or cojita cheese
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dry oregano or 1/4 cup fresh
2 chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce
1/4 cup roasted pine nuts or toasted almonds

In a blender pulse together the oil, cheese, garlic, salt, oregano, and Chipotles. Add 2 cups of cilantro and pulse some more, then add the rest of the leaves and the nuts and pulse until a nice consistency. Makes about 1 cup total. Enjoy!
As a side note, we tried this on fish tacos the other night and hubby loved it! Just spread on tortillas before adding other toppings. Soooooo good. :-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Madness - Dear Mother Nature.....

I thought we had an agreement! I collected the toilet paper rolls, empty milk cartons, saved the salad tubs, bought grow lights, all to get started on Spring planting.  I even sacrificed my breakfast bar to start to this venture.....
See the little salad seedlings peeking out of the soil?  They have come out of their long slumber on a promise that they will be the star of the dinner table someday soon.
The Cress is already growing tall, and soon will be ready to harvest... I had even told them they would get to go outside this morning to enjoy some warm sunshine.....
.......and then you send us this!!!!!  I thought your affair with the WIND was over! You were the one who said he was just a big blowhard, so pushy, and messing things up all the time. Then you had to throw in his buddy SNOW!
It's just shameless how these poor little daffodils are shivering! If you really want to have a romantic fling, would you consider RAIN? He's manly, but can be so gentle and soothing to spend time with. He's great for going on walks with, and really helps the garden turn green and lush. Wouldn't that be much nicer than frost bitten, wind blown blossoms and fruit trees stripped bare by WIND'S violent nature? Treated right, RAIN will also let SUN have a bit of time to brighten things up and wrap you in his warmth. I don't know about you, but I'm so ready for you to dump WIND and SNOW and move on to some REAL  weather men. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Aging....what a way to go?

"Hi Mom, I love you!" "I'm sorry sir, you have the wrong number!""Mom, don't hang up, this is Kent!" "Oh, okay, I'll let you talk to your dad."
Aging is a flip of the coin in life. Some folks get older with seemingly little physical or mental trials, and others are assaulted by all sorts of "issues" that make the golden years more challenging than we're told they should be. So we struggle to get our elders to eat right and stay safe. It's not that they don't care, but sometimes the challenges of aging can be overwhelming for those living it.
I'm grateful for my Aunt Patti. She took care of grandpa when he reached a point where he shouldn't be driving, and needed a bit more TLC than was normal for him. When I talked to her about our efforts to take care of my husband's parents, she advised that we just let them eat what they want, which is usually fairly healthy, and not try to force things on them, such as more food or liquids than they want. So our goal is to try and make them as comfortable as possible, without making them feel like we are treating them like babies. Tough to do sometimes. It sure gives us cause to be more considerate of our diet, exercise, and spiritual nourishing so that we can be in better shape. Not that it would matter if we have genetic traits such as blindness, arthritis, or loss of hearing. Thankfully, as far as I know, my family is pretty healthy over all, so for me, we shouldn't have to worry, but Kent may inherit, and seems to have already shown signs of hearing loss and such. What advice would you have for taking care of aging parents, and looking into the future for ourselves?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Springtime Asian Style Bean and Ham Soup

Nature guy and I are heading to the temple with Annie this morning, but we wanted to make sure Mom and Dad had good food to eat today so I threw together a healthy and tasty soup this morning. I was the recipient of a bag of Asian veggies and they need to be used so I created an East meets West sort of soup perfect for a rainy day. This is a good time of year to get those spring time veggies started such as bok choy, spinach, carrots and so on.

I started off with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, heated up over medium heat in my soup pot. I then added 2 cups of diced ham, 1 very large onion, chopped, and 2 cups chopped cabbage., and 3 peeled and coined carrots. I cooked them until the vegetables were tender. I then added 1 inch of peeled, grated ginger and 4 crushed garlic cloves.

I also added to large bok choy leaves and stalks, chopped and 1 and 1/2 quarts, or 6 cups of water. To that I added 2 chicken bullion cubes and 1/3 cup barley.

I let that simmer until the barley was almost done and then added 3 cups chopped spinach and 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon pepper. To that I added two 16 oz. cans of great northern beans, draining only one can. Here's the finished result! Just an FYI, don't leave out the lemon pepper, it really rounds out the flavor of this soup. I've listed the ingredients below. Let me know if you try this.

 Springtime Asian Style Bean and Ham Soup
2 T. Olive oil
2 cups diced ham
2 cups chopped cabbage
3 carrots, peeled and coined
I very large onion, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
6 cups water
2 chicken bullion cubes
2 bok choy leaves with stalks, chopped
3 cups chopped spinach
2 - 16 oz cans great northern beans, drain one only
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper

Friday, March 11, 2011

Foodie Friday - Chili Stacked Casserole

 I put the chili in containers and froze it thinking perhaps that might help, and it did! We have an abundance of flour tortillas as well so I  decided to use up some leftovers and create an easy dish that would be tasty as well. Served with a nice green salad and salsa, this was a hit! Herewith my Chili Stacked Casserole.

2 - 16 oz. cans chili
2 cups cooked rice
1- 15 oz. can corn, drained
1- 8oz. can tomato sauce
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
flour tortillas

In a large bowl mix all ingredients except 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, tortillas and cheese. On the bottom of a 9"by 9" casserole dish, or a round one if you have it, spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Lay tortillas to cover, cutting edges off to fit. Spread half the chili mixture over the tortillas. Sprinkle half the cheese over that. Then add another layer of tortillas, and spread the rest of the chili. Top with torn tortilla pieces and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Serves 6