Tag Archives: Cooking

Pasta and Peas Please!

30 Dec

Happy holidays!

I came home the morning of Christmas Eve and stayed until the 27; I was fortunate enough to get both Christmas Eve AND the day after Christmas off of work! More time home is always better than one night :).

We had family over on Xmas Eve..

insta Jagrcheese

me mom and chase

dad and chase gaymom me and dad

Lots of food, drinks, and good times it was! I don’t have a large family so it’s manageable to get everyone in one place. We had ham, potatoes, roasted carrots, rolls, and salad for dinner. A cheesecake platter and Bartram House Bakery carrot cake was for dessert! Seriously. If you live near one, I highly recommend trying this cake! It’s TO DIE.

Christmas day was spent at my Aunt Christy’s house; we go over there every year for lunch. It was so nice to be able to come home for the holidays!

I spent a majority of my time being extremely domesticated; ran errands, did laundry, cooked, and painted my nails (that counts). We always have so much ham afterwards, and rather than ham sandwiches for days, my mom likes to incorporate it into Pasta and Peas! This is one of those recipes that doesn’t follow a “recipe”..it’s more like a little bit of this and some of that.

Pasta and Peas:

  • chop 1/2 of a large, white onion
  • ~2-3 cups of chopped ham
  • 1 bag of frozen peas
  • 2 large jars of marinara sauce
  • ~1/2c. whipping cream
  • 2(16 ou.) boxes of pasta, cooked
  1. add a little EVOO to a high pan, cook onions until they’re translucent (~5 minutes).
  2. add chopped ham, cook through (~2-3 minutes).
  3. add peas and marinara sauce.
  4. salt and pepper to taste.
  5. combine cooked pasta and ham mixture.
  6. pour into a sprayed, large baking dish.
  7. sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
  8. bake at 350degrees for ~25-30 minutes (to heat through).

pasta and peas

This is a comfort dish X 10! So nice to eat it surrounded by family :).

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Healthy Eating on Campus

26 Sep

On a college campus, you’re constantly faced with dining hall buffets, grab n’ go options, convenience store pick-me-ups, and not-so-healthy late night snacks. Believe it or not, you CAN avoid the infamous freshman-15 even with these options! It’s all about moderation, planning, and weighing the options.

Scenario 1: Cafe

Delicious looking pastries, mouth-watering donuts, and decadent cookies are staring back at you first thing in the morning. This is a HUGE decision to make; you’re probably still in zombie-mode and what you eat for breakfast sets you up for the rest of the day. If you choose a sugar-laden pastry, you’re more likely to continue craving and eating sugary and fatty foods throughout the entire day. Notice in the above picture where things are placed? Marketers WANT you to see the unhealthy options first, so it’s constantly in your eyesight. Fruit and muffins (although not the healthiest because of their size) are towards the bottom because it’s the last place you’ll notice- veryverysneaky. If you’re truly craving a pastry or muffin, order one (moderation) and split it in half to share with a friend or save it for later in the day; also, order a piece of fruit on the side! Some nutrients are better than none at all.

Scenario 2: Dining halls

Most likely your dining hall is buffet style with lots of different options to choose from. Sandwich station, salad bar, cereals, and “featured meal of the day” are usually your main choices. The first thing you should do before entering a dining hall is look at the menu online! The dining hall staff is using technology to their advantage and posts the menu of the day right on the website.

Next to each option, they list a rough estimate of the calories (use it as a guide) the food contains (take note of the portion sizes!) and even gives you the option to plan out your meal.

Also provided is a legend that signifies which items are:

  • balanced-foods that has balanced nutrients and portion sizes.
  • sustainable- food that contains a sustainable ingredient, such as local produce or seafood.
  • vegan- no solid meat, dairy, eggs, or honey.
  • vegetarian- no solid meat but may contain eggs or dairy.
  • today’s special

Scenario 3: Convenience stores

Open all night long, convenience stores offer everything from hot dogs to microwaveable meals, slushies to ice cream, and everything in between. If have you a class that runs through your usual lunch or dinner time, this is probably your best bet for a complete meal. Here are some tips for picking the best items:

  • pre-made deli sandwiches; ham, turkey, or veggie with lettuce, tomato, and onion (maybe) on whole grain or white bread (whole grain>white).
  • microwaveable soups; higher in sodium so watch what you pair it with!
  • packaged trail mix and nuts-portion out a handful then store the rest away. *If it’s in your eyesight, you’ll likely continue to eat because it’s available and not because you’re hungry!
  • fruit, string cheese/yogurt, and crackers/pretzels.

These are just examples! There are plenty more options and pairings, it just depends on what your convenience store keeps in stock. Some grab n’ go stores are fancy-nancy’s and offer refrigerated salads and meals, while others only store the basics. Either way, ‘”there’s nothing that’s good for me” -said no one ever’ applies here; it’s up to you to weigh your options and choose what you like but also what’s healthiest for your lifestyle.

Bon Appétit!

One Lovely Blog Award!

5 Jun

I had an exciting and honorable email when I returned to my desk this afternoon, Michelle has awarded me as one of the recipients of The Lovely Blog Award!

The rules of the game:

  1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Paste the reward image on your blog, anywhere you choose.
  3. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate other bloggers you like.
  5. Post a comment on each of your nominees blogs’ telling them about the nomination.

7 facts about me:

  1. I rode horses when I was younger and had a pony named Drummie, “Windy Hills Distant Drummer” was his show name. We went to various shows and I became the Short Stirrup champion! I probably killed him too..details.. 🙂
  2. I ran the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 2, 2010 in 4:07 but you’ll never find it online. Why, you ask? Instead of wearing the timing band, I wore the instructions on how to put the timing band on my shoe. My aunt called my mom, numerous times, and said I haven’t left the start line when I was done with the race. Did I mention I’m a blonde?
  3. I hate anything and everything white and creamy; mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, ranch, and whipped cream. I refuse to eat anything if it’s made with any of the above!
  4. I am deathly afraid of tornadoes, even though I’ve never been in one EXCEPT in 2011 when I was getting Zumba certified. Oh, am I’m technically Zumba certified.
  5. I eat the core of the apple-yes, there’s nothing left after I eat an apple. I do spit out the seeds sometimes and won’t eat the twig at the top. AND I only eat my own cores so don’t try and pawn yours off on me!
  6. I played lacrosse in high school for 2 weeks, then quit after realizing no one stops and congratulates you after scoring (think hockey-style). I really just wanted to be a part of the team..and carry a pink stick.
  7. I’ve never broken, sprained, or tore anything in my body and have perfect vision but convinced my parents that 1) every time I fell “something is seriously broken” and have to get it checked out and 2) I needed glasses and swore I could see dead people double until the doctor told me to stop coming.
  8. Because this one’s too funny. My friend and I disliked the ice cream man growing up so much that we plotted to do the “suck it” motion to him. Of course my friend was late and he was coming up the hill. I did it. He parked the van and chased me down. My dad had to settle him and apologize for my actions. I never bought ice cream again.. 😀

And I nominate:

Post-Run Meal

28 Apr

My attempt at getting sun? A run!

I was on some-sort of “high” yesterday; it being the last day of Spring semester 2012, the running God’s were on my side and I tackled a 9.18 mile run! I felt the temperature was perfect; not too hot and a slight gust of wind kept me cool.

Post-run, I made myself a cottage cheese, toasted almond, and sliced strawberries bowl.

I love subscribing to magazines. Fitness, cooking, running, and sports magazines that send weekly newsletters are such a convenience; I could spend all day reading through and digesting them! I’m always interested in finding new recipes to eat pre and post runs. I try not to change things too much when it comes to my pre-run snacks, mainly because an upset stomach is never good; a big banana and peanut butter works best for me. It has a good amount of energy-providing carbohydrates and just enough fat and protein to keep hunger at bay. Another plus? Bananas contain ~290mg of potassium, a vitamin lost through glisteningsweating. Post-runs are where I like to get creative! The 30/30 rule, eat less than 30 grams of protein less than 30 minutes after a workout, is something I try to follow. Sports nutritionists recommend no more than 30 grams of protein because, like anything else in excess, it can be converted into fat AND studies show that excess protein didn’t help muscles any faster. Carbohydrates are important in a post-run meals; carbs and protein work simultaneously to replenish your glycogen stores more efficiently. The ratio of carbs to protein is ~4:1; low-fat chocolate milk has been rated the most nutritious post-exercise drink for a speedy recovery! Who thought a childhood favorite could assist your fitness goals?

Here are some post-run meals to try:

  • oatmeal or muesli topped with a banana and nuts
  • smoothie made with 1/2c. almond or regular milk, 1 scoop protein powder, fruit, and nuts
  • yogurt parfait
  • peanut butter, banana, honey, and whole wheat toast
  • cottage cheese, almonds, and strawberries
  • turkey and Swiss sandwich

H2O, H2O, H2O!! Making sure you’re hydrated pre-during-post run is crucial; especially when the temperature gets hotter. Here’s a nifty formula for you to determine your carbs and protein needs.

Have a great Saturday! Triangle Beach Music Festival is on my agenda!

Mayo-less Chicken Salad

17 Oct

I despise mayonnaise. The look, smell, sound of mayonnaise makes me ill. BUT, everything that’s made with mayonnaise looks appetizing! I got to thinking, what can I substitute in the recipes that call for mayonnaise?

Greek yogurt! It’s texture is similar to mayonnaise, but much healthier and appealing :).

Mayo-less Chicken Salad

  • 2c. shredded chicken breast (rotisserie chicken works wonders here!)
  • 1c. plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1T. Dijon mustard
  • 1T. lemon juice
  • 1T. balsamic vinegar (you can use white wine vinegar if you prefer)
  • 1t. honey
  • 1/2c. chopped celery
  • 1/2c. sweetened cranberries
  • 1/4c. slivered almonds
  • salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate. Dig in!

FitBit*

When a recipe calls for mayonnaise, try subbing low-fat plain greek yogurt. You won’t even notice the difference, and the yogurt adds extra protein, healthy fat, and creaminess!

Cheat Days Done Right

13 Aug

We all deserve a treat every once in a while-everything in moderation, right? But we have to do it correctly; we don’t want these indulgences to reverse all of our hard work and sweatglisten we put in the gym! A lot of “health nuts” give themselves a cheat meal and/or day throughout the week or on the weekends, but there’s a fine line when that cheat meal becomes an all out binge sesh. Here are a couple of tips to cheating the right way while still sticking to an overall healthy yet decadent lifestyle:

  • think of a cheat meal/day as a “special” treat-they only happen once in a while, so savior each and every bite and realize that another cheater will be right around the corner(almost).
  • if you cheated earlier in the day, skip that extra serving or piece at the later meals and vice versa. always have a plan!
  • don’t forget your workouts! even if you take weekends off, going for a walk or even taking a yoga class is active recovery and may help with feelings of guilt.
  • keep in mind that coming back to your diet following your cheat meal/day will be tough. cheeseburgers, mashed potatoes, and pie are a lot more palatable than grilled chicken, brown rice, and steamed broccoli.
  • while “cheating” keep scraps, skins, bones, etc. in plain sight. seeing how much you’ve eaten will tell you when enough is enough (if your stomach hasn’t told you yet 🙂 ).
  • if liquor and socializing are involved,watch portions. we often get ahead of ourselves when conversation is flowing and drinks are pouring!
As long as you plan you’re cheat meal/day in advanced, you’ll be prepared  to do it right. After, you might even be more inclined to get back on track to your regular healthy diet. Some experts believe that eating a cheat meal will keep your metabolism stimulated by eating something you don’t normally eat. Whatever the case may be, allowing these indulgences is perfectly aye-okay by me (as I’m doing it right now with a Gigi’s cupcake in hand) :).
Happy Cheating!

Too-much-mint-chocolate-chip-ice-cream-cake circuit

8 Aug

Whenever I come home, I swear I eat 10x more than I normally do-but that’s okay, since it’s my mom’s food..right? 🙂 Here’s a workout I completed the day after my 3 slices of cake (no shame)

  • 20 incline push-ups (toes)
  • 20 squat presses (12.5lbs)
  • 15/leg alternating lunges & biceps curls (12.5lbs)
  • 20 triceps dips
  • 5 minute elliptical intervals
  • 15 push-ups
  • 15 squat thrusts
  • 15/leg step ups (10lbs)
  • 15 mountain climbers
  • 5 minutes elliptical intervals
  • 60 second plank
  • 60 second bicycle
  • 15 v-ups
  • 60 second super(wo)man