Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dreary Weather!

The weather has been depressing this week.  So dark and rainy.  It makes it terribly hard to get out of bed in the mornings, not that I don't have plenty enough trouble with that as is!  It's definately sleeping weather!  I saw some pink skies tonight though, so hopefully tomorrow will be a prettier day! 

To warm me up in the mornings I have been eating some Cream of Rice.  Very similar in taste and texture to Cream of Wheat without that pesky gluten!
Cream of Rice can be treated a lot like oatmeal.  Stir in anything you like.  In this picture I stirred in 1/4 cup of pumpkin, a packet of Stevia in the Raw, cinammon, and ginger.  Delicious! Yes I am one of those annoying people who go mad for anything pumpkin as soon as the weather cools!  I get even more excited about cranberries though! :)
Last night I had a couple of my friends over to catch up on True Blood.  They had both missed the last three episodes and a true friend couldn't let them go on without seeing the finale any longer!  Visits with your BFFs always require carbalicious foods, so naturally a batch of Chorizo Pasta was in order!  I've had this recipe for years and honestly I have no idea where I got it or else I'd give credit where it's due! I have made several changes through out the years so this recipe is continuously evolving. 


1 package of chorizo (I used Johnsonville)
1 pint of mushrooms
1 clove minced garlic
Dash of Salt and Pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 large can San Marzano style tomatoes
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup half and half
1 box of spaghetti (I use gluten free Ancient Harvest)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, separated 

Remove sausage from casings (this looks perverse and amusing).  Crumble and brown in a large pot (the size pot you would boil spaghetti in).  Remove and set to the side.  Saute mushrooms and garlic using the drippings from the sausage.  Add the can of tomatoes and break apart with your spoon and add seasonings.  Simmer 2 minutes.  Add broth, wine, and half and half.  Stir chorizo back into pot.  Bring to a low boil.  Add the spaghetti (break into thirds).  Cook at a low boil approximately 8 minutes.  Stir in 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese and turn heat to low.  Simmer for about 5 minutes or until sauce is thickened.  Serve with remaining parmesan.  This makes 6 servings and according to the Livestrong recipe maker each serving is about 455 calories. 

In other news I went to Walgreens tonight and saw this:
I'm usually the type to appreciate any gift whatsoever but seriously?  This is perhaps the worse gift idea ever! lol!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall is here! Breakout the Pumpkin!

I love fall!  The weather is a bit cooler making outdoor walks and hikes more pleasant, the trees are pretty, and pumpkin stuff is everywhere! It's a great time of year!  I just try to ignore the inevitable season that follows.  Snow, ugh.  Anyhow today I enjoyed the slightly cooler weather and walked a nice three miles at the soccer field.  It's a great multitasking activity.  I can burn calories and catch up with my friend simultaneously! My husband wasn't going to be home for dinner so I was able to relax and just throw together a quick meal for myself.

I found these chicken sausages at Wal-Mart (yeah, I shop there sometimes, sue me!).  I usually don't eat this type of processed meat but I was sold on the raspberry.  I'm such an easy target for marketers! lol!
So I grilled these up in my favorite cast iron grill pan and paired it with some leftover brown basmati rice and steamed sugar snap peas.  Dinner was served in less than 5 minutes. Simple, fast, and I made enough for lunch tomorrow! Win!
For dessert I made a delicious pumpkin protein smoothie.  Super tasty and fast!  I threw it together while Modern Family was on commercial break! Combine in a blender:

1 cup of coconut milk (or cow, soy, almond, ect)
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I like the stevia sweetened ones)
1/4 cup pumpkin
cinnamon and ginger

Blend and serve!  :) 

 In another bit of excitement I came home from work and was greeted by my new french press!  My old french press jumped off the counter and commited suicide weekend before last.  I was pretty sad, until I realized I could finally order one in a fun color.  I was leaning heavily towards green but ordered purple at the last second.  I love it and I can't wait to use it!  Hopefully this one will hang around awhile!  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back to Blogging.

I have been a blogging slacker all summer long!  I just didn't feel like I had anything interesting to say.  To be honest I'm pretty sure I still don't have anything of interest to say, but I'm blogging anyhow! lol!  I did have a great summer!  I got to see the Smashing Pumpkins in Charlotte, I took a super fun trip to Baltimore and I had a nice Labor Day weekend in a rustic cabin at a local state park.  I'm planning to do a recap of my summer adventures sometime this week!  Right now I'll delve straight into my favorite subject, food!

First up is a lemony salmon feast!  I've been in a huge citrus mood recently for some reason.  This dinner is ridiculously easy!  The hardest part is chopping the sweet potatoes.  After you wash and chop your sweet potatoes you just drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, cayenne, and lemon juice and bake at 400 about 30 minutes.  Easy and delicious!  For the green beans you can string and boil fresh beans, or you can cheat and use the steam in the bag kind (not that I'd ever do that ;p), once they are cooked put in a pan and sautee with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  Top with feta cheese and put a lid on til the cheese melts a bit.  Then serve.  That recipe is courtesy of my good friend Jessi and it is DELICIOUS!!!  Try it right away!  Now for the salmon, cover a cookie sheet with foil, spread salmon on top, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Bragg's Organic Sprinkle seasoning.  Then drizzle on lemon juice and bake at 375 for about 10 minutes, or until it flakes easily and is opaque. Simple and so tasty!  The whole family loved it. 
Tonight's dinner was an easy favorite.


 1 cup of shredded chicken (I roast a chicken once a week and then use the leftovers)
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 large chopped zucchini
1.5 cups cooked brown rice (I use Lundberg Brown Basmati cooked in broth)
3/4 can of Health Valley Cream of Mushroom soup (if you can't have gluten)
1 oz. of reduced fat Philadelphia cream cheese

Mix all ingredients well, place in an 8x8 pan, top with your favorite shredded cheese.  I used colby jack for this. No measurements, just however much you want. You cannot have too much cheese in my opinion! Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. 
**note, Health Valley soup makes this really runny.  I'd recommend another brand or maybe adding cornstarch or something to thicken.**

This casserole is very versatile!  You can use whatever meat, grain, cheese, or veggie you want! 

Last but not least, I've been on a baking kick lately.  I've been making muffins, cookies, and cakes at least three times a week.  The end of summer makes me snacky! Today I wanted something that would use up a variety of leftover ingredients and some fresh raspberries I had in the fridge.  So I thought up these:

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup sugar in the raw
1/4 cup light brown sugar
4 TB coconut oil
2 eggs
Whisk these ingredients together until well mixed.  In a separate bowl combine:
1 cup Gluten Free Bisquick
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup Gluten Free Oats
1 tsp ginger
Add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Mix well.  Add:
1.5 cup fresh (or frozen) raspberries
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. 

Pour into lined muffin tin.  Sprinkle tops with a bit more sugar in the raw. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.  These are very moist and the raspberries make them a bit tart.