It’s now been over two months since I’ve started my new job, and it’s been going great. This office job is a lot different than working from home, but, generally speaking, I’ve adapted to it well. I try to wake up early and exercise before work, but I’m better at that some weeks more than others. (And if I don’t Read the rest of this entry »
I have a memory from my childhood of sitting at my grandparents’ kitchen table in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and eating a ham salad sandwich for lunch. Here’s me and my grandparents, Dorothy and Dean, from 1981, when I was 2 years old:
I was older when I ate that ham salad sandwich that I so vividly remember, but that’s the woman that made it. My grandma Dorothy used to make Read the rest of this entry »
I arrived home from work last night and was greeted by a little present. It was a gift that I had left for myself, and, since leaving it in the morning, I had completely forgotten about it. The present was… a mess.
Today’s the day that I’m running the BolderBOULDER 10K (or, depending on when you read this, I may have already run it)! I’ll post a recap soon, but for now, I wanted to share a few other things I’ve been doing in Colorado.
On Saturday, I went biking for the first time since last September, and my second time in about a decade (read about my September experience, and my history with biking, here). I went with my sister Sarah and her friend Karen. Here’s Sarah and I before leaving:
In a recent post, I mentioned that on Friday, my dear friend Kristy Hanson came over and we hit the gym and had a killer workout. Then she came over and we made lunch. What I didn’t share in that post what we had for lunch… but that’s what this post is for! It was a delicious meal, and I took pictures.
In addition to being delicious, this meal was quite noteworthy because there was a lot of experimenting going on. You know how much I love trying new things, right? Well, this meal involved not one, not two, not three, but FOUR new things! FOUR! I was in hog heaven.
Enough procrastinating, David – get on with it! The whole meal was built around the idea of using…
NEW ITEM #1. About a year ago, I started noticing vegetables in all sorts of strange colors. Naturally, I bought every oddly-colored vegetable I could find! I was diligent about blogging about them, too – so click these links for pictures of rainbow carrots (and more rainbow carrots here and here), Easter egg radishes, black radishes, orange cauliflower, purple bell pepper, and white eggplant.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen an oddly-colored vegetable. Until the other day, when I picked this up. It’s a purple cauliflower!
Isn’t it beautiful? And it’s loaded with antioxidants that white cauliflowers don’t have – hence the purple color. And, contrary to popular belief (or at least my own), purple cauliflower isn’t the result of breeding or genetic manipulation – it’s a naturally occurring heritage variety that can be traced back to either Italy or South Africa. It’s still beautiful once you hack it into florets:
Kristy and I decided to make a big veggie stir-fry, with the purple cauliflower as the star. I also cut up onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms, yellow squash, and zucchini. Meanwhile, Kristy cut two chicken breasts into chunks:
We cooked the chicken in one skillet, and the veggies in another, because we ended up trying two new sauces, one on each component. And that brings me to…
NEW ITEM #2. I bought this bottle of garlic sauce on the island of St. Maarten, when I was the on a cruise in December, and I’ve been dying to bust it open:
I charged Kristy with photographing the bottle, and she opted to create a floating bottle illusion, which I love! The sauce is a super concentrated garlic puree – it smells incredible! There’s only five listed ingredients: garlic, onion, vinegar, salt, and spices, and one serving (a teaspoon) has no calories and no fat. We added about a tablespoon to a skillet slicked with non-stick spray, and added the chicken to it.
Meanwhile, in the other, bigger skillet, we slicked it with non-stick spray and got the veggies going – first, the onion, so it would get nice and soft, then we added the cauliflower, since it might need a few more minutes to cook, and then we added the rest of the veggies. After they had been cooking for a while, we added a different sauce to that pan, and that sauce is…
NEW ITEM #3. This caught my eye when I was wandering at Whole Foods:
When Kristy’s photography ends up in a museum somewhere, this photograph will be called “Sauce with School Bus.”
I bought it because I like apricots and I like dijon mustard, but I’ve never had the two of them together. And with 15 calories and 0 fat per tablespoon, it was a lot healthier than a lot of the other sauces on the shelf. When the veggies were mostly cooked, we added about 1/3 of a cup (5 servings) to the skillet – enough to coat all the veggies (and there were a lot of veggies), but only enough to coat them lightly. We also added…
NEW ITEM #4. Fake pasta!
I’ve been seeing this item at Whole Foods for a while now, and finally gave in and bought some. It’s a tofu-based pasta alternative – this variety is spinach fettuccini – and that entire bag (2 servings) has 50 calories and 0 grams of fat (it’s zero Weight Watchers points, for those of you that do Weight Watchers). It’s super easy to prepare: cut open the bag, drain it, rinse it, and heat it up – either in hot water, or you can do what I did, and clear a space in the veggie skillet, and add it in. Be warned: the fettuccini strands tend to clump together, so use a fork or something to tease them out a little bit before you add them.
The cooking of the entire meal was quick – about 10-15 minutes in two side-by-side skillets (I would’ve taken photos but my stove is in the dark corner of my kitchen). Then we plated it up, and dug in!
The final result:
It was delicious. The garlic-sauced-chicken was flavorful, and the veggies were perfect. The apricot dijon sauce was a little sweet and had a great mustard kick. The fake pasta was good – I don’t think you could be fooled into believing it was real pasta, but Kristy pointed out it was very similar to texture and taste to sobu noodles, which are often used in Vietnamese and Thai dishes. The pasta helped round out the dish, and absorbed the sauce nicely.
The best part? Kristy and I each ate a big plate of food, and there was enough leftover for a big, tasty dinner.
KEEP IT UP, DAVID!
PS – If you didn’t have time to visit Keep It Up, David over the weekend, than you missed out! I blogged both days over the weekend, so click on these links to read about an unexpected run and the new skyscraper I added to my collection!
Before I get to the RediSetGo fun, I want to share two messages that I got yesterday that really put a smile on my face. As you may recall, in yesterday’s post, I talked about soap hunk Eric Martsolf (formerly of my favorite soap, Passions, and currently starring on Days Of Our Lives), and guess who sent me a tweet? ERIC MARTSOLF!
Very cool to think that Eric read my blog post. I’m so glad I tweeted him the link!
The other message was from a reader named Robyn, who posted this comment, regarding the pictures in my Photo Gallery:
i have to say, you are quite a handsome. my friend and I were both watching you on Ellen the other day and we literally could not stop ourselves!! I swear, if Elvis Presley and Adam Lambert had a baby, it’d look like you. I guess what I’m trying to say in a nutshell is: your hot.
Aw shucks, Robyn! I’m blushing. I’ll have to do a photo comparison in an upcoming blog, like I did after a few Ellen viewers compared me to Taylor Lautner (look at pics of Taylor and me here and judge for yourself). I love reading your comments, tweets, emails, and messages – keep ’em coming! I reply and respond to as many as I can (sometimes it may take a while).
I’ve gained some new readers this week, thanks to the Ellen rerun, so I thought it’d be fun to introduce them to one of my favorite blog posts (and one of yours, too): What’s In The RediSetGo? The RediSetGo is my favorite infomercial product (watch the informercial here), and I use it all the time. You don’t really need to know any rules to play along in this little blog game – surely you’ll figure it out as you go along (and don’t call me Shirley). If you want to play more, head up to My Favorite Posts – all the other What’s In The RediSetGo? editions are archived there!
So… put on your helmet, safety goggles, and rubber gloves, because it’s time to play What’s In the RediSetGo?
WHAT’S IN THE REDISETGO?
The RediSetGo is very steamy today!
MARINATED CHICKEN TENDERS are in the RediSetGo!
These chicken tenders are so freakin’ simple to make, it’s ridiculous. I think they were ready in the RediSetGo in about 5 or 6 minutes. Here’s the marinade I used (which is a recipe I modified from this cookbook). By the way, that word, according to Martha Stewart, is pronounced ‘marin-odd’, not ‘marin-aid’ – so get it right. Sheesh.
The marinade starts with the juice of 2 limes:
Add in 4 garlic gloves, which got minced in my garlic press:
A few tablespoons of chopped cilantro:
Then, some spices:
I used 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of coriander, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (I like a little heat, but you can use less, or none, of you prefer), and 1/4 teaspoon sugar (which, I know, isn’t a spice, but I wanted a little sweetness to balance out the lime). I bought coriander for the first time for this recipe – I’ve had it before, in dishes at restaurants, but I’ve never had it in my kitchen before, and I love the smell! What do you like to use coriander for? I’ll take your coriander suggestions in the comments section, please! Oh – and one quick fun fact: coriander and cilantro come from the same plant: coriander refers to the seeds, and cilantro is the leaves!
Here’s the spices in the bowl:
This mixtures got all mixed up. Then I took 3 chicken breasts, cut them up into similar-sized pieces (I had leftovers!), and marinated them for about an hour:
After plucking out six pieces, and giving them the RediSetGo treatment, I had a healthy and delicious lunch ready to go! Wanna see the finished plate?
That’s a kale salad I whipped up behind the chicken. It was a pre-packaged kale salad mix (which had a little cabbage and shredded carrot), and I added a handful of mushrooms (because I had mushrooms I wanted to use up), and a tablespoon or two of fat-free balsamic vinaigrette. Usually, with salads, you dress them at the last possible moment, so the greens don’t get wilted or soggy, but since kale is a heartier, thicker green, you can actually dress it early on, and let it sit for a while. That’s my kale tip of the day!
I know my readers are a savvy, observant lot – so some of you may be scratching your heads wondering what happened to Part Sixteen of What’s In The RediSetGo?, since it never appeared on this blog (Part Fifteen was the most recent edition, you can read it here). I wrote Part Sixteen last week when my friend Heidi invited me to be a guest blogger on her site, Finishing the Hat, so you can read Part Sixteen here. I’m also going to publish it this weekend on my blog, just so I can add it to my archives.
Another healthy, easy lunch idea… I’m excited to think about what I’ll use my RediSetGo for next!
Keep it up, David!