Sunday, April 18, 2010

Secret Ingredient Pizza

Can you guess what it is? Your first hint is that they are very good for you--high in Omega-3s.

You second hint is that they are low on the food chain, meaning they don't get a chance to take on a lot of contaminants.

So what are they?


Do you love them/hate them?

I was in the latter group, but then have read many positive things lately about their health benefits. Then I realized I don't think I've ever actually eaten them.
So tonight, I did. And they were good. Granted, I think I did a good job of masking their flavor, but I did eat them, they weren't fishy, and I liked what I ate.

I made Eating Well's whole wheat pizza crust, baked them sans toppings, then spread mashed avocado on top. The next layer was a mixture of the sardines (packed in olive oil), mashed with lemon zest, lemon juice, white balsamic, black pepper, crushed red pepper, Italian parsley, and mint.

This was very loosely based on
Alton Brown's Sardine-Avocado Sandwich.
Now I need to find some other ways to try them. I want to start eating more fish, and am shooting for 3-4 days a week (not just sardines).

And here's one of the supporting articles I read about the benefits of sardines.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I love spring! The colors, the flavors, the freshness, and the sunshine. Not the wind that we have so much of here in Oklahoma though.

Here are strawberries, blue cheese stuffed olives (they are like my crack), asparagus with avocado oil and white balsamic vinegar (raw), and chicken with brown rice, cheesy sauce, and roasted broccoli garnished with almond slivers.

Oh, and the color here is so much better than normal because it was taken at my desk at work and I have some natural sunlight.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Cool Bento

Cool as in I didn't have to use a microwave!

Raw asparagus with lemon juice/avocado oil/fresh black pepper, strawberries and grapes, Fage yogurt, a dried fig, and a two egg tamagoyaki. This was perfect for a night where I didn't cook, didn't have leftovers, but had odds and ends in the 'frig. The eggs take mere minutes to make. This is a very low effort, yet filling lunch.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New Blog

I just added a blog to the sidebar--"Fed Up With School Lunch".

Interesting reading. Check it out!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I have some catching up to do! I have all of these pictures on my phone, but just have been so tired that sitting at the computer to post just hasn't been on my radar.

At any rate, here is tomorrow's lunch, but presented on one of my salad plates for tonight's dinner.
I used two Eating Well recipes. The first was for oven fried chicken fried steak. I'm a CFC purist. I like it thin, crispy, and fried to a golden goodness. Fortunately (or not?), I only make it maybe 1-2x a year. I had some leftover cubed steak in the freezer that I needed to use, so decided to try this recipe. Surprisingly, it didn't disappoint. It was crispy, flavorful, and tender. I did omit the cornstarch and just upped the quantities of the wheat flour and corn meal. Instead of making the gravy called for in the recipe, I made a mushroom-sherry sauce. It was good, but I doubt I'd repeat it. I served with roasted broccoli drizzled with avocado oil and fried garlic (from a jar). I don't like broccoli, so am proud of myself for eating it. Twice.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Norman's Finest-A Hidden Gem

OK, so I am sending you to another blog for their review, but thought I'd share anyway. This is where K and I had our first date, our 1-year anniversary date (of dating), and last New Year's Eve.

It's just a bit outside of town, and oh-so-worth it.

The lobster bisque is the best I've ever had. OK, so it's the only I've ever tried, but it truly is one of the best things I've ever eaten. Ever. I wanted to lick the bowl.

Anyhow, here is the review.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Two Meals or a Game of "What Doesn't Belong"

I made a quick visit to a local Asian grocery on Friday. There are two decent ones in the OKC. I like the other one better (Super Cao Nguyen to anyone local reading this). This one is OK, and is more on my way home from work so it'll do. I left with two bags of produce for $18 (and also a container of fried garlic from Thailand. Yum.). I hope I can eat it all before it goes bad!

Last night I made some Thai-Style Dumplings for the freezer. OK, linking to that recipe is a bit misleading. It's the original dumplings I made years ago, but I didn't follow it closely. I ground up some pork chops and then added carrots, baby bok choy, onion, lots of ginger and garlic, and of course soy sauce and sesame oil. I ran out of wontons, so tonight's dinner was made with the leftover meat mixture. I did spice it up more with ginger and soy sauce, because after eating a couple of dumplings last night, I thought they needed more seasoning. Yes, I have a seasoning problem. I like a lot of it.

So, the ground pork mixture was part of my dinner. I just slow cooked it in a touch of toasted sesame oil until done. I ate it with some brown rice, a pickled daikon radish and carrot salad, some garlicky sauteed green pea shooters, and some maple-dill caramelized carrots. Guess which doesn't belong? :)

I bought some dill at the market and the smell has been enticing me. I HAD to use it tonight, and I have a plethora of carrots, so there you have it. The recipe I linked to was my guide, but I used maple syrup in place of the agave nectar, and added a teaspoon of butter because well, I like butter. This was a good meal, balanced, and notice in the picture of my salad plate that most of the plate is veggies. That's good right? And yes, that is a salad plate. Read: Small.

On to tomorrow's lunch. It's not much different, except I have sweet potatoes instead of maple dill carrots. Guess which doesn't belong? Food pairing has never been my thing. I eat what I have and/or what I like. It's also topped with some Organic Garden of Eden Gomasio.

And there is Cosmo in the background, hoping I drop it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

99 Things

Found this interesting floating around in blog land and thought I'd give it a whirl.

Copy the list, bold the ones you've done (with explanations if needed), share with friends.
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii (that's on my list of places I want to go!)
5. Watched a meteor shower (the one I remember the most was while on a North Florida beach)
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (land but not world)
8. Climbed a mountain (does driving a 4 wheel drive count?)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a thunder and lightning storm (I grew up in Oklahoma.)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables (not to the extent I'd like)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train (badly, from Bologna to Geneva)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb (raised them from 5th-10th grade)
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (both)
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise (no desire to)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (does this count if I didn't realize it at the time?)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (badly, while intoxicated)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person (amazing!)
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Snorkled at Dry Tortugas)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud (the mud slides we had at the creek/canyon behind the house were the best)
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (I've donated blood).
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (I have dolls in the attic)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar

72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (jumped out of a swing in 4th grade. Left arm. Broke my nose in softball)
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle (and even witnessed my parents' wreck. I think that was the last time. . . )

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car (1997 Nissan Sentra)
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (sports days)
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House (I didn't go in)

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury (I've been called once and they filled the jury before they made it to me)
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo (2009 on the top of my foot--love it. It's a sunshine. I love sun rises and sunsets. It reminds me of Dakota.)
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person (drive by)
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Monday, February 22, 2010

Adios, Aspartame! I don't even miss ya.

I mentioned before that I am DONE with diet sodas. I am really wanting to get, and keep, aspartame out of my diet. I had my last beloved Diet DP a week ago today. During this last week, I have gone to the gym six times, done two strength training workouts at home, drank four cups of coffee, and have felt all together GREAT. It's amazing. I don't know if it's the lack of aspartame, a different mind-set, drinking tons of water, vitamins, or a combo, but something is working because I feel great. I'm even getting up in the wee morning hours to go to the gym.

Today's schedule went something like this:
5:15 up and at 'em for the 30 minute commute to the Y near my work
6:00 Elliptical (33 minutes)
6:40 Treadmill (30 minutes-ran/walked two miles and my old achy knees felt great)
Shower/clean up at the Y
8:15 Arrived at hotel where off-site meetings were. Yes, today was a bonus as I didn't have to be at my desk at the normal 7:30 a.m.
5:00 Elliptical (33 minutes)
6:00 Volunteer in-service
8:00 home
9:00 Upper body workout (30 minutes with weights/band on the Wii)

I feel great! It's amazing. If I could manage that sort of workout five days/week, would I get skinny? I don't know, but if I feel as good as I do now, it'll be worth it!

Now--10:30 and bedtime! I have more meetings tomorrow and they provide lunch, so no food to share. I will have a new bento up in a couple of days though. :)

Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 08, 2010


I saw these at my local health food store, and just had to try it. YUM! I got the mint variety. It was a bit of a splurge, ($3.79 for a 4-pack), but since I am about to go OFF the diet soda, I'm entitled. The mint soda I am drinking now is not sweet, is bubbly, and has just a hint of mint. It would also be good with rum. :) The big draw to this is that I know what everything on the product list is-all natural ingredients!

As for the details, these are made by the R.W. Knudsen family. I'll look forward to trying out more of their products.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bright and Cheerful

Tomorrow's lunch provides some splash of color that I desperately need to see! The weather has been so dreary and gray/white. I'm sick of it. I'm ready for spring. Until then, I can at least pack some colors in my lunch!
On the top, I have baby carrots and about 1 T. of goat cheese seasoned with some lemon juice, lemon rind, and pepper. On the bottom, I have some cucumbers marinating in rice vinegar and some crispy spicy pork (usually the filling for my pork carnitas) topped with cilantro/onion and a squeeze of lime juice. I put the cheese in a divider cup so I can easily remove it to heat the pork.

This lunch is sort of light on carbs, but I will probably eat a granola bar in the afternoon before I go run so should be in good shape there!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Love My Lock & Lock!

I really do love these containers. They make me think twice when filling them-this is all I can have for lunch, so what can I pack in it that will be nutritious and filling? I don't want to fill it full, as that would be too much (seriously--it holds like 800 ml).
My lunch today consisted of leftover brown rice with leftover filet mignon, some baked sweet potato with cinnamon and cayenne, spicy garden mix with a pickle, and a tamagoyaki. This was perfect. Just a few bites of steak (YUM), a bit of rice, a compartment packed full of sweet potato--it's so good for you, and then the omelet and veggies. I didn't feel guilty; it really was just enough.

Have I mentioned that I love my Lock & Lock?

Tomorrow's lunch is very similar, except I made some fried rice with egg, broccoli, enoki mushrooms, and soy sauce. I have a little bit more steak, the same spicy garden mix with a pickle added in, and for "dessert", some new trail mix I saw at Sam's made by Back to Nature called Bar Harbor Blend. I've bought their products before and am really impressed by their ingredients. This blend is vanilla almonds, chocolate covered almonds, and dried cranberries. A serving is 3 T. I packed just under two. I think it will be a nice sweet finish to my meal.

And again, I love my Lock & Lock!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tri-Color Bento

I finally cooked something from my new cookbook, Bento Love. I wanted something with meat, but only had thick cut pork loin chops in the freezer. The recipe I used called for ground chicken; I just ground two pork chops in my food processor and followed the recipe. I actually doubled the recipe, as I prefer to cook for more than one meal. I actually got THREE meals out of this double recipe. Yay me!

Anyhow, it just involved mixing your ground meat with a broth made of soy sauce, mirin, and lots of ginger. You then cook it on low heat until most of the broth has cooked away and the meat has browned. Stirring regularly is required to keep the meat from clumping.

The next color of this bento is from scrambled eggs. You beat the egg with some water, sugar, and a dash of sesame oil. When scrambling, use chopsticks moved vigorously in the pan to create small "scrambles". The third color is snap peas. I subbed green beans that I stir fried with some garlic and olive oil. This meal was dinner last night, lunch today, and dinner tonight. I served it over brown rice. Healthy, hearty, and flavorful--this is something I will make again!

The really surprising thing is that no one at work made a comment about it. I guess it looked too normal and boring. :)

The other layer of my bento consisted of some Kashi Stoneground 7 Grain crackers and a feta cheese spread from Central Market. These might be my new favorite crackers. Check them out!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Beans and veggies!

I made a weekend trip to Dallas w/ my dear friend Anna to hit some stores, see some people, eat some good food, etc. Unlike last time, I don't think we took any pictures this time around. Odd.
Anyhow. After all of that shopping, I couldn't decide what to make for dinner or lunch tomorrow. I finally went with the "minimal effort" path.

On the top left and moving clockwise, I have some pickles from Central Market as well as a spicy veggie mix that has some peppers and olives, then a grape-blue cheese-walnut salad, then some great Northern beans heated with garlic, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, s&p, then drizzled with balsamic syrup. Yum. Finally, a tamagoyaki (Japanese egg omelet).
The container I used is something I picked up at H-Mart, but could find here. Each section holds about 1/2 cup if packed (I measured the beans). You can't tell, but the grape section is just over 1/2 full, as is the egg section. The other is packed, but it's veggies. Hopefully this will be another aid in portion control!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Two Bentos=Three Meals

Tomorrow will be a long day-one of those that make you wonder if it will ever end. To help me get home quicker, I am taking my dinner with me rather than waste time stopping somewhere.

The lunch bento is some pork carnitas meat I made this weekend (it's cold here, hence the yucky look) and sweet potatoes in the big layer. The bottom layer had the cilantro/onion mixture for the meat, a quarter lime, some dried blueberries with a few dried cherries, and some Kashi Stoneground 7-Grain crackers. Looking at this now, I think that's too much meat! Haha.

Mr. Bento has my breakfast, the usual Fage yogurt. The preserves of the day are pineapple/mango. The main course is peanutty noodles with broccoli slaw, onion, garlic, ginger, and some thin sliced pork. It's topped with fresh cilantro. I ate it hot tonight, but tomorrow it will be cool after being in the 'frig all day and then in my cold car.

I have some cheese (Dubliner Cheddar and another Dubliner that is similar to Gouda), some Back to Nature sunflower and basil crackers, pecans, and a couple of Hershey's mint truffles for good measure.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Super Pho'

When the weather gets miserably cold, and my house is so chilly that I just want to cuddle under a blanket, I crave Pho'. It is one of the BEST.FOODS.EVER. The Pho' I can get here in my little town isn't quite as good as what is in the Vietnamese area of OKC, but it will do in a pinch. What is Pho'? Well, I describe it simply as a beef noodle soup. The depth of flavor is so much more than what comes out of my kitchen. Try it!

I was able to make two meals out of tonight's Pho' and pack it in my Mr. Bento, so I have it to look forward to tomorrow. However, I ate all of the beef tonight. The beef is very thinly sliced and added to the broth raw. The simmering broth cooks the beef quickly. You can then add whatever garnishes/spices/vegetables you want. My lunch tomorrow will be the Pho' broth with the noodles, vegetables, a shrimp spring roll (with yummy peanut dipping sauce), and sweet potatoes. Also yogurt with jam for breakfast. I really think this is more than I will be able to eat--so much food but oh so good!
I realize this doesn't look that appetizing, but it really is! I promise! :)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Back to Work, Back to Bento

Happy New Year! 2010. That just sounds so weird. And, since it is the beginning of the year and the holiday binging is over, it's time to get my fat a$$ back in gear. OK, it's not really fat. At least, it's not the area where the extra cushion goes when I over indulge. Anyhow, maybe bentoing (that can be used as a verb, right?) will get my back on track with my lunches. Now if only the Bentos could exercise for me, because that's my real issue. When it's cold outside, I just want to bundle up and hibernate!

Tomorrow's lunch:

Top layer: Baked sweet potato mashed with cayenne, cinnamon, salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. As much as I wanted to, I skipped the brown sugar and butter. :) Also, some beef stewed all day in red wine, broth, onions, garlic, etc. It looks gross because it's cold, but is oh so yummy.
Bottom layer: Fage yogurt with Morello Cherry Preserves (which I am running low on--fortunately a trip to Central Market is in my NEAR future), and some True North Almond Berry Crisps. I'm sad because I can't find the Berry Crisps anymore. The lady at Sam's said it was limited edition. Bummer. The plain almond ones are good too though.