Tofu, Kale, and Chocolate, Oh MY!

Today was a good day. I got to be a substitute school nurse for the day and I got to try out 3 new recipes!

Yesterday I went to Whole Foods with my mom for lunch. I was forced to deal with a slightly terrifying moment when I realized that my sweet potato was, in fact, tofu in a costume. A great looking costume, I’ll give it that, but it was still a costume. What I did find out though from this adventure, was that I like tofu. I was shocked, but pleasantly surprised.

With this new knowledge in my back pocket, I stopped at Trader Joe’s today. I picked up some extra firm tofu (let’s not get me started on my rant about food with the same descriptive terms as mattresses or toothbrushes!) I also picked up some Kale at the suggestion of my mom. My sister has a great recipe for kale salad that my mom talked me in to trying.

I got home with my tofu

Tofu!

and my kale

Kale

I hopped on google and found a recipe for baked tofu that sounded delicious! I landed on a website called Savvy Vegetarian and found this recipe for baked tofu.

Then I took off to the store, found as many of the ingredients as I could, and came back to spend the rest of the afternoon/evening in the kitchen.

I started making the Baked Tofu.

Marinade

I made the marinade first. Then I took the tofu, pressed it, and then cut it into slices.

Uncut

Cut

Then I dipped it in the marinade, and placed it on a pan.

Ready to marinade

It had to sit in the fridge for about half an hour, so I started making the Chocolate Rum Truffles from The Wannabe Chef. I’m convinced he’s single handedly going to prevent me from fitting into my wedding dress in a month!

His recipe called for the use of a double boiler to melt the chocolate. Since I don’t have one at the moment, I improvised:

Improvisation!

I boiled water in the bottom pot, and used a metal bowl to melt the chocolate. It worked perfectly!

Melted Chocolate

They took about 25 minutes to cool appropriately, and then I rolled them in the cocoa powder:

Yummm!

These are pure chocolatey amazingness. Heaven in a bite. Just plain fantastic!

The New Yorker sampled one when he got home from work, and gave them 4 stars! Thats his highest rating so far! I agree with the 4 star rating, only because they are so rich that I can only eat one at a time. If I tried for two, it would be potential death by chocolate! Maybe I should give it 5 stars then, since I can’t possibly OD on them. Wedding dress fitting saved!

After the Chocolate Rum Balls were done, I took the Baked Tofu out of the fridge and tossed it in the oven for 30 minutes. Then I threw them in the broiler for a few minutes. They tasted phenomenal when I took them out. All the marinating was so worth it!

Then I started working on that Kale Salad from my sister. In her post “An Ode To Kale” she used this recipe that she got from the New York Times.

I started chopping the kale and it was a serious mess!

Chopped!

I moved on to the almonds

Almonds

At that point things got way too messy to keep taking pictures. I need to get the New Yorker involved in the future!

I had to let the salad sit with the dressing on it for a while to soften the kale.

I made the New Yorker some seriously glutened dinner! I have an awesome recipe for chicken enchiladas that we both loved prior to me finding out that I couldn’t have gluten.

Warning: This is NOT gluten free! If you have a gluten intolerance, gluten allergy, or Celiac disease, do NOT eat this!
Also, this is not my recipe. I found it online somewhere, but I truly can’t remember where.

Instructions:

1/3 cup(s) fat-free sour cream
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup(s) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup(s) cilantro, chopped
4 medium corn tortilla(s)
1 medium tomato(es), chopped
1 1/3 breast(s) Chicken breast, roasted without skin, cubed
4 medium scallion(s), sliced
1 1/2 tsp Durkee ground cumin, or other brand
  1. In a medium bowl, mix sour cream, chili, cumin and oregano.
  2. Reserve 2 tablespoons cheese for topping and add remaining to sour cream mixture. Fold in chicken, half of scallions, the cilantro, beans, corn and pimientos. Refrigerate, covered, up to 1 day.
  3. Spray a 7×11-inch (20×30 cm) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Soften tortilla according to package directions. Spoon chicken mixture down center of each. Roll tightly and place in baking dish.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  6. Bake enchiladas, covered, until heated through, about 30 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with reserved cheese. Bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes longer.
  8. Serve, sprinkled with tomato and remaining scallions.
I really wish I could remember where I found this so that I could give proper credit for it. If anyone knows, please let me know!
They look so good when they are all done, and it hurt me just a smidge that I couldn’t enjoy them with him!

Delicious!

What made me feel better was the giant salad waiting for me in the fridge!

What a treat!

Somehow the apples, cheese, lemon juice and olive oil all combined to make a delicious salad.

So there’s my evening in a bunch of pictures! I hope you all had a great day!

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Quick Post

Today was a crazy busy day! My mom and I managed to get to the florist to see a mock up of the wedding centerpieces, go to a shoe store to buy our shoes for the wedding (LOVE them!), and then head back to the school she works at to catch all the kids on their visiting day. I took a TON of pictures at the school, but somehow forgot to take pictures of the shoes and my delicious salad from Whole Foods (oh yeah, we squeezed in a stop there too!).

Here are a few shots that I got from the school:

Colors!

Green

Fish

Flying Fish

Off to bed now, because I get to be a school nurse tomorrow! I promise I’ll update on food tomorrow afternoon. I’m planning on making something not gf!

Does anyone miss having a first day of school?

Home Sweet Home

I went for a run today. I noticed while I was running that I pass so many historic and scenic places on my route. After I ran, I took my camera back out and took a couple of pictures from my route.

Freedom Trail

I spend a good portion of my run on the Freedom Trail with gorgeous views of the skyline. A few years ago the city re-did the Freedom Trail and put it all in as bricks instead of the red paint that got repainted every few years.

Bunker Hill Monument

I also go past the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown which (I think) is the only monument that was built for a defeat. History on a run. It’s beautiful.

Flowers

And finally, for your viewing pleasure, a few flowers. I saw these and loved them!

Tomorrow’s planned run is another 4miles. I’m excited to find a new route. I tend to go on what I call “Explore Runs” where I just take random turns and see what I can find thats new. The beauty of living in a city is that there are always tall buildings that you can see to help find your way home 🙂

Dinner tonight was chicken on the grill. The New Yorker had some sort of secret marinade that he put on the chicken and it was phenomenal! We added some broccoli and corn and had a delicious dinner!

Dinner is served!

Tomorrow I’m headed to the florist after my run. I have to go see the mock-up of our wedding centerpieces. Thats right folks, in 39 days I will be married to The New Yorker,  and I can’t wait! Have a great night everyone!

 

 

 

Tonight’s Dinner, and a lot of food TV

The New Yorker and I LOVE food. We love to eat it, we love to look at it, we love to watch TV shows about it.

Tonight we watched a new show called Chopped (new for us, I’m not really sure how old this show is). We find ourselves more and more watching TV shows about food. We watch Hell’s Kitchen like it’s our job. We also watch Master Chef when it’s on as well as anything else that has to do with food. Oddly enough, we usually watch it while eating. Yup. Its true! We eat in front of the TV, every night. I’m pretty sure its supposed to be bad for your relationship to eat in front of the TV, but it seems to work really well for us.

Speaking of dinner, when I got home tonight The New Yorker already had dinner sizzling! Since I’m gf and don’t really like red meat, I’m kind of super annoying to cook for. We eat a LOT of chicken. Tonight he did a curry chicken with rice and green beans. It was delicious!

Chicken

Chicken dinner!

On another note, I’ve been finding myself having a lot of difficulty getting enough water during the day. I always have a water bottle with me. The New Yorker is the same. Water in the fridge, water next to the bed at night, water at work, you name it, we have water there!

Since we have that crazy hurricane coming, we’ve filled up all our water receptacles!

Brita!

Water Pitcher

The New Yorker also went out and bought new (matching!) water bottles, since mine has adopted a really nasty soap taste that I can’t seem to get rid of no matter how hard I try!

Twins!

They are pretty snazzy and now they are also filled and ready for the storm! The problem though is back to getting enough water during the day. First I tried adding flavored powders to it, but finding ones that weren’t crazy expensive, and also happened to be gf. Then I tried natural flavors to it, like lime or lemon wedges. Finally I just tried to gulp it down and not think about it. I’m really trying, but you’d barely know it!

Does anyone have any suggestions for ways to get more water in during the day??

Fitbit!

About a year and a half ago I was looking for something to help me keep track of my workouts. I wanted something I could wear all day that would track my steps as well as my calories. Being a HUGE fan of the Biggest Loser, I started looking at the Body Bugg that all of the contestants wear. I was really excited to find out that it did everything I wanted it to do, from counting steps and workouts, to tracking calories out, to allowing you to input your food. What I wasn’t excited about was the price tag. The system itself was upwards of $300, with a monthly fee for the use of the website. Bummer. Being the queen of google though, I managed to stumble on the FitBit, and my life has never been the same!

This tiny little gadget does everything that the Body Bugg does, but is much less noticeable. I can clip it right to my pants, underwear, or bra and no one even knows it’s there.

It’s smaller than the width of my iPhone!

So tiny!

It tracks steps:

Steps

Total Distance traveled in a day:

Distance

Calories:

Calories

And your “active score” (which is a little flower that grows taller the more active you are):

Active score

For $99, you get the Fitbit, and docking station.

Fitbit and Dock

The website is free and can be used to track your activity and food even if you don’t have a Fitbit. For $50 for the year, you can get the premium version of the website which allows you to have a personalized program as well as allowing you to see how you measure up against other users. So for less than the price of the Body Bugg, you have the full Fitbit experience!

Website! (I need to be more active this week!!)

I have found Fitbit to be a huge motivational tool. I tend to check my steps several times a day and am always striving for ways to get more steps (walk laps during commercial breaks? check! Take the stairs instead of the elevator? check! Park in the furthest spot from the door? check!)

The best part of the Fitbit? You don’t have to attach it to the dock to upload your data. All I have to do is walk within 15 feet of the dock (which attaches to your computer by USB cable) and it automatically updates to the website.

Being able to track your food is also a huge help. I have found that the food trackers on other websites (like Sparkpeople) are far more comprehensive, but with a little work I was able to get all of my favorites uploaded and easily listed.

Oh, and did I mention that it tracks your sleep habits? All you have to do is start the timer when you lie down, and shut it off when you wake up. When you upload the data it will tell you how many times you woke up during the night, along with how long it took you to fall asleep, and the total time you were asleep. Pretty great!

Overall this is a great little gadget for people like me who are motivated by numbers. I find that on days I’m not wearing it I tend to sit around more since I don’t have any numbers to strive for (15,000 steps? hell, why would I bother with that??)

It’s definitely worth taking a look at if you need a motivational boost!

What do you use to help keep you motivated?

 

 

Delicious Chicken Dinner

I might as well say it now, any recipe or link to one that you find here will be gluten free.

Which is good for those of you who need gluten free recipes, and maybe an eyeopening experience for those of you who don’t.

Lucky for me I have a great fiance who tolerates (and usually enjoys) most of the gf foods I try. Tonight’s dinner was another one of those trials.

I decided to make Salsa Chicken from Recipe for A Gluten Free Life By Mrs. G. F. It looked easy enough and I had all of the ingredients already in the house.

Cheese and Salsa, perfect combo!

First I used Bob’s Redmill All purpose Gluten Free flour to coat the chicken:

Floured Chicken

Then I put them in a pan with butter and cooked them until they were golden brown.

Golden Brown!

Then I put salsa and cheese on the chicken, and in the broiler it went.

Salsa and cheese!

All cooked!

I added a few veggies, and some leftover quinoa for me, and voila! Dinner!

Ready to eat!

I definitely gave this one 4 stars. It was super easy, and tasted amazing. The New Yorker gave it 3.5 stars, but that was his own fault. He said that the chicken was too thick. Since he was in charge of making sure the chicken was thin enough, I blame him.

I’m really excited about this one. I’m planning on adding it to the standard rotation.

Does anyone have any other easy dinner ideas that they use on a weekly basis?

 

 

 

Failed Run

Things have been exceptionally crazy A La Casa Sans Pasta lately. I needed a few moments to myself, and a little time to clear my head. I threw on my running shoes, turned up my ipod, and headed out the door in my super stylish lulu outfit (LOVE lulu!). About 1.5 miles into my run I knew it was a totally failed attempt. Notice that I didn’t include my hydration belt, or my water bottle in that little list? And it was HOT out! Second minor problem, the ENTIRE city seems to have shut off the bubblers!

The route that I usually run sends me by about 6 bubblers (water fountains for you non-Boston folk) so I typically can stay quite hydrated on a 5 mile run without having to carry anything extra. I made it to the 1.5 mile mark and had to stop. Then, I had to walk. As soon as I had to walk I turned around and headed home. There was no point in going any further if I was only going to get more tired and dehydrated.

As I was reaching the 3/4 mile mark from home, a ray from heaven shone down on the one and only bubbler I hadn’t tried on my way out. Low and behold, it worked! I gulped down the water like a crazy woman and then I was off and running again. Literally!

It kind of stunk that I had anticipated a nice 5 mile run to clear my head, and ended up with a 2.25 mile run that had me totally stressed that I was going to pass out due to dehydration. Lesson learned though, end of August = all of the Boston bubblers turn off.

I’m trying a new chicken recipe tonight that I think the New Yorker will love. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Workout:

2.25 mile run

3 rounds of:
10 modified pushups
20 sit ups
20 Russian Twists (10 each side)

Total steps for the day (as of 5:45 pm): 10497