Friday, December 18, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I finally got to try out a portabello mushroom recipe by Ellie Krieger. Instead of bread, I had one giant mushroom cut in half, sprinkled some crumbled gorgonzola (smelly but delicious)on one side, and tweaked the recipe a bit by adding some garlic pesto.
Satisfying yet filling. It’s an easy meal that I plan to make again!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I visited the site, which describes its list as "dietician-approved items." The nutrition critera used was pretty loose, a fact that the site admits to in their final paragraph.
"So that a sufficient variety of items can be listed, the criteria on this site
do not include cholesterol and sodium."
I guess there would only be a few items to choose from if the guidelines were raised from subpar to adequate...scary.
Items were added to the list based on specific (and loose) criteria:
1. Entrées (or full meals) must include at least one of the following:
fruits and/or vegetables
lean protein, i.e., skinless white meat poultry, fish/seafood (including salmon), tofu, etc., with no more than two red meat dishes per restaurant
100% whole grains
2. Menu items must meet the following three criteria:
Entrées (or full meals):
750 calories or less
25 grams of fat or less
8 grams of saturated fat or less
Appetizers, side dishes and desserts:
250 calories or less
8 grams of fat or less
3 grams of saturated fat or less
If a menu item exceeds only one of these criteria (fat, saturated fat, or calorie) by a small margin (i.e., 10%), that item may be included on the website.
3. Deep fried items (i.e., egg rolls, chicken fingers, tostada shells, etc.) are excluded from the website, except for very small amounts of garnishes, such as wonton strips.
I understood how Chili's, the super salter, managed to sneak onto the list. The maxium calories allowed in a "healthy" menu item is 750 (which is about how much I eat in 2 meals), and the one of the items listed was the 720-calorie Margarita Grilled Chicken.
Also on the list is Domino's, who markets the Bread Bowl Pasta without shame. These extravagant bowls are 670-740 for 1 serving. Since each bowl is 2 servings, eating an entire bowl totals up to 1,340-1,480 calories! That definitely is NOT on the healthy list, thank goodness.
Which Wich boasts 9 healthy items: Buffalo Chicken, Chicken, French Dip, Ham, Meatloaf, Montecristo, Roast Beef, Thank You Turkey, and Turkey Pastrami wiches. But I say, stick with either the Chicken Wich (340 cal, 4g fat, 4g fiber, 4g sugar, 0.5c veggies) or Roast Beef Wich (360 cal, 4g fat, 4g fiber, 4g sugar, 0.5c veggies) for a reasonable meal. Those have the best overall stats among the 9 "healthy" items, although all have high amounts of sodium. What made the Chicken and Roast Beef Wiches the better choice? They had vegetables, a must-have, and are lower in calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar than the other Wiches.
The site spouts claims such as, "Healthy Dining's nutrition staff reviews all menu items before posting them on the site." That kind of wording can mistakenly lead people to believe the foods on the site are perfectly healthy, which is possible because of the tiny link that says "Nutrition Criteria." It would also be helpful to include a list of the nutritionists and their qualifications to refer to.
The site does include some important facts. It explicitly states that "the FDA has very strict criteria for any food or meal designated as 'healthy.' Most of the menu items featured on this site do not meet the FDA criteria for 'healthy,' and neither the restaurants nor Healthy Dining claims that the featured items meet the FDA's criteria for 'healthy.'" Yet they label these foods as healthy dining choices--- come on!! At least the criteria on the site is not the national guidelines or anything. It's just a tool to help people eat more consciously.
So, if you happen go to one of the restaurants listed on the site, you will have access to information like calories per serving. Restaurant Web sites list calorie info and more extensive nutritional info can be found online if you play detective. Any information from a reliable source will help you pick out the best food choice for your from those offered.
It's important to compare all the stats in order to fulfill your individual health needs. Restaurants are typically known for adding way too much salt, and many of the dishes listed on the site are high in sodium, and "therefore, inappropriate for those individuals who want or need to limit sodium intake. Sodium values are listed, so that such individuals can make informed choices."
Health is stressed a lot these days because "obesity" is a hot topic. HealthyDining.com assumes that the restaurant meal accounts for the largest of the day's meals, but that's a bit discouraging to think about.
Monday, August 17, 2009
B-day=lots o' cake
Uh-ohhh...too much desserts around. First came the mocha mudslide ice cream, then we bought a tres leches cake w/ strawberry filling for the party, and the treat for the birthday girls was a delectable cake from Coldstone. Shiny ganache coating with Reese's on top and vanilla/choco ice cream combo inside.
And the leftovers weren't helping. For lunch/dinner, we've been having brisket with bbq and all the fixings (potato salad, baked beans, etc.) I eat jalepenos with mine, so the ice cream cake really refreshes my mouth.
The cake's almost gone...
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Many of these titles were required reading. Let's see how close I am to being master bookworm...
(I'll bold what I've read)
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
5. To Kill A Mockingbirg by Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
11. Little Women by Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulk
18. Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch by George Elliot
21. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – NOT HAPPENING!
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
34. Emma by Jane Austen
35. Persuasion by Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossein
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Berneires
39. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
41. Animal Farm by George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving
45. The Woman in While by Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
47. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
50. Atonement by Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
52. Dune by Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon (want to read!!)
60. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
62. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
66. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
72. Dracula by Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses by James Joyce
76. The Inferno by Dante
77. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal by Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery
80. Possession by AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (I think so)
82. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishigurox
85. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web by EB White
88. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (at least one of them)
90. The Faraway Tree Collection by Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince by Antone De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
94. Watership Down by Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
I must admit, I read more cookbooks right now! The photos are the best. I wonder how many cookbooks I could list if I tried? Maybe I need a "to read" cookbook list...that'll be a future project.
Milkshake Cupcakes!! :D (posted by kunoichi)
There's a recipe for these cupcakes, hooray! I just have to try this!! The only thing is, what makes it a milkshake? The straw? I like it even if I can't slurp the cupcake up the straw. I can imagine myself completely surrounded by little pink cupcakes...hehe. They look innocent, but then they attack when no one's watching!
*In Houston, Whole Foods Kirby Store:
-Saturday, August 15th Healthy Summer Saturday Happy Hour 6:00pm-8:00pm Free
-Saturday, August 22nd BTS: Back to School Saturday Happy Hour 6:00pm-8:00pm Free
-Sunday, August 23rd Gluten Free Mediterranean Cooking Class 6:00pm-9:00pm $35 per person
Ice Cream Festival
San Japan - Japanese Culture & Anime Convention (Aug. 14-16)
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I couldn't cook anything because I'd contaminate the kitchen with my sickly germs! :(
Today was the first day back, making my bfast with egg sub. and lots of veggies. The scallions I pulled out of the fridge were a bit old...so I threw out the saggy ones and used all the good ones I could before they went bad.
Pics in progress...
For lunch/dinner, my mom made mole and I served myself a good portion of it---it was reallyyy good! After lunch, I was upstairs working on my proposal, like I was supposed to be doing. Yay, I was on task today!! :D And later I went out to RC's Pizza in Kingwood. The guy up front let me rent out an (old) slice of pizza, some pizza rolls, a big salad, and chicken wings. No, I didn't get to try any of it this time, but I've tried the pasta and gourmet pizza at work. My fav was the artichoke pizza (and probably the shrimp pizza if I ever got to try it).
Let me praise my mom's mole once again (the dish not the sauce, which came from the store)!! I never liked this meal much, but for some reason, it tasted really good this time. I think the peas and carrots in the rice made the whole dish more colorful and, in effect, more welcoming. The sauce was not too, too spicy, but just right. Yum! I wonder if I can make this for myself when I cook for mysef once college starts. Note to self: write down the recipe!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
My first bite packed a powerful mint flavor. As I chewed, the strong flavor remained and was a little odd. The chocolate wafer tasted normal, and still got my fingers all sticky with chocolate skins. The mint ice cream had no chocolate pieces or crumbs in it, like Blue Bell's, but that was the good part (the chocolate pieces tend to be too hard when eating a soft, creamy ice cream). As for portion size, I feel like it could be smaller. :) But a great treat when I'm eating it outside in the sun. It leaves my mouth cool and minty for hours after...along with an aftertaste. Overall, the WW Mint Ice Cream Sandwich was a satisfying treat without much of the guilt of regular sandwiches...but the mint isn't quite perfect.
My little sis agrees that the mint with no choco was good, but her overall impression was "stay away from the imitation mint ice cream."
What keeps me coming? This version is more sturdy than the regular ice cream sandwiches. The chocolate wafers don't slip and slide everywhere when trying to bite into this thick creamwich. And, you know it, it's low-fat ice cream!
I look forward to a Cookies and Cream version of the sandwich. Not much can go wrong there, can it? On the web site, I see there are all vanilla or all chocolate flavors, but hopefully we'll see more soon! I'd get these again...my sis might not eat it, but I certainly will. My mom also liked this icy sandwich treat, but then again, she likes almost anything with Ice cream & chocolate!
Each sandwich has 140 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 4 grams of fiber.
Points Value: 2 (don't know the point system, just put the pt. info anyway)
Pic in progress.
My mom planned a big dinner for Friday and it lasted until...was it Monday?? Anyway, I made a little time on Saturday to whip up some iced coffee. The recipe was simple, but I put my ingredients out of order (if that makes any difference). It still came out tasty.
The foamy bubbles from the milk after the drink came out of the blender was bleh!
Sweet coffee--sister-approved. I usually drink my coffee strong, but this was a nice taste. Like I ordered one from the coffee shop instead of home brewing it.
I made 2 servings in a glass, but my mom & sisters finished it before I could take a pic! I'll make it again real soon, though.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Pics in progress...lunch break!!!
Here is my bfast, made of 1 honey graham cracker sheet, spoonfuls of cottage cheese, and a blueberry garnish.
Heehee...they kinda look like Pop-Tarts!! :D
I'm (or should I say, my belly is) settling down now. I had some of yesterday's food.
The family was celebrating Peru's Independence day early (bc you guessed it...we're Peruvian :D). My parents cooked up some bistec ranchero outside on the grill. We had to keep Churri's visits outside short because he was getting into the ashes that fell from the grill. The smell must've been really tempting!
Main spotlight: Bistec Ranchero
Supporting sidekicks: orange rice, pico de gallo, potato salad and salad greens.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Ohhh, I almost forgot...I took home some squash from work today! Hehe. Sounds funny, but a co-worker's neighbor grows them, so she shared them with the office. I heard that she might be bringing zucchini next week--hooray!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Do you ever get those catalogs in the mail, the kind that advertise crazy products to make life easier? I do admit that, on occasion, I find something I really want. I know novelty items are useless, but I still find them interesting. And don't get me started on those entrancing infomercials! The best late late late night tv entertainment, lol.
Well, one catalog came my way a few days ago...I grabbed it and got comfortable at the kitchen table after dinner. Yes, I was paging through the entire booklet. Weird things make me laugh, and you can never get too many laughs. There were some funny ones and one thing that I want. Guess which one I want:
Perfect Eggs in the Morn! Upgraded egg ring also has a thin, puny handle!
Stop going hungry! Make 4 eggs instead of 1 with the egg ring set.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Bfast: Cheerios, Kashi Heart to Heart, soy milk
Lunch: Fettuccini with veggies (Weekly Meal--Hungry Girl recipe!)+ Chicken Stir-fry
Dinner: Nachos w/ cheese
Whoops...I wasn't hungry before I left to the Rise Against concert (Went for Billy Talent!! whooo!) and couldn't bring in snacks. :( Hunger struck during Rancid's performance, and I happily left my seat (not my type of music).
Bfast: Fiber One yogurt, Fiber One cereal -original, 2/3 c Strawberries
Lunch: Sonic Jr. Breakfast Burrito, 2 T Picante Pace
Snack: a few pistachios, string cheese
Dinner: Brown rice, pork & calabaza in a spicy tomatillo sauce...and cayenne for a kick!
About 2 weeks ago, I had this food for dinner and it was S-P-I-C-YYYYY!! My mom used half the bottle of spicy tomatillo sauce and the whole fam was in tears at the dinner table. It was quite funny. :D And we kept eating, lol. So this time, my mom put in about 1/3 of the amount she used previously. I found that it lacked heat, and that's when I hit it with cayenne (I've been wanting to use my new bottle, anyway).
Totaled about 20 min exercise for the day (10 min walk w/ Churri, 10 min DDR)
**Overall great day!! **
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Yesterday didn't start as well. On Fridays at work, the staff always gets food brought in for lunch. Yesterday was Mexican food, loads of it! I was tempted to try a bit of everything there, but those kinds of foods weren't new to me. I settled a smallish beef taco (there was no chicken!), a spoonful of guacamole, tomatoes, spicy salsa, a handful of rice (with veggies!) and a quesadilla slice. No pictures this time...I usually take them when eating at home (even though my family thinks it's weird).
When I got home, I helped my mom & sis put up the groceries and saw a pink container with a golden rim in the freezer... Blue Bell! Strawberry kind! Soooo, I ended up having some with my little sis. Ahh! No more treats for me. :) I was relieved after going to the park with my fam. I'm definitely not a runner, but I jogged and walked a bit. I'd say I had about 20 minutes of exercise total for Friday. Gotta bring that number up!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Chipotle Mexican Grill is sponsoring a FREE public screening of the film “Food, Inc.” at 7:30 p.m. this Wednesday at the Angelika Film Center, in Houston. Seating is limited, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early. The documentary exposes the country’s compromised food supply. And it features people like Eric Schlosser ("Fast Food Nation") and Michael Pollan ("The Omnivore's Dilemma").
More info at http://www.foodincmovie.com/.
I was really looking forward to going tomorrow, but I have an exam on Thursday (why??!) that I should study for. At least I'm being responsible...
All I can do now is pass on the word.
Has anyone watched it, or going to watch? How was it?
Monday, July 13, 2009
There are a few reasons:
-My mom cooks, and she doesn't like me in her territory
-I am a kitchen klutz XD
-I'd be cooking for my whole fam (my mom has to wake up reeeaaally early to
make my dad's food), and I take a long time to make a meal
-I have school & work (when are my mom & sis gonna eat?? lol)
But I'm gonna to try, anyway. How else will I improve in the kitchen?
I've narrowed down my meal choice to two of Hungry Girl's fettuccine recipes: Totally pumpin' fettuccine (129 cal for a serving) & Fettuccine hungry girlfredo veggie explosion (151 cal per serving). They both use Tofu Shirataki Fettuccine Shaped Noodle Subsitute, and I happen to have a package in my refrigerator! I think I'm going with the lower-cal one, which uses canned pumpkin.
Too bad I can't just use the noodles I already have. I have to buy more. (Each recipe makes one serving...I need to make at least four.)
My mom & sis are planning to do the grocery shopping tomorrow, but I'll be at work most of the day. I'm gonna miss out!!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
I'm trying to prep for this week: Got homework done for class tomorrow, need to bring my things (journal!) for work, have snacks for school & work, and put a short grocery list together.
I never have the ingredients I need when I want to try out a recipe, so my goal for the week is to look for a good recipe and buy ingredients only for that recipe.
If I go to the store without a list, I'm capable of buying a little bit of everything for mulitple recipes that I've been meaning to try. I'd end up spending a fortune!!
I'll peruse my copy of Hungry Girl's 200 under 200:
During every trip to Wal-Mart, I would run to the book section to check if the new HG book was there. I was waiting for so long to get the book--previous experience (HG's first book) has taught me that Wal-Mart sells the book cheaper than other places, including online stores. Finally, on a recent visit, I was lucky enough to find it for $13.87--YAY! (I recall getting bananas, too.)
Future goal: Cook a meal/dessert, using a new healthy recipe at least once a week.I'll flip through the pages soon so I can give my sister the list of ingredients I'll need on the next trip to the grocery store.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
My meal/snack schedule was out of order because I went on a trip today. For bfast, I had some Cheerios in the car and some water from time to time (not too much, or I would run the risk of having to stop at a gas station or other place to use a dirty, smelly bathroom.
Meal time! I was struggling to think of a good place to take my mom, two sisters, and boyfriend out to lunch. We ended up eating at Pluckers Wing Bar, mainly because it was close and had free parking, lol.
I had a lettuce burger, as usual:
Just kidding...and that sounds gross! But that's kinda what it looks like in the pic. It was good, though. I can never have too much lettuce. :) I wonder...could a wing bar ever have vegetarian options?? Anyway, my real lunch at Pluckers, as pictured: "Big Easy"- Chicken Sandwich (doesn't come breaded!) with Cajun Seasonings, Lettuce, Jalapeños and Honey Mustard. Oh, and a pickle spear. My side: sweet potato fries (which I saved for dessert). And, no, I didn't eat it all! I shared some of my burger and fries. :)I ordered this only after I found out that my favorite menu item was no longer being served!!It was in the Pre-game Warm up (appetizer) section...the "Buffalo Shrimp Basket." It's a sign...I shouldn't have fried things. These fried shrimp were the best thing on the menu and were a reasonable portion for a meal. The shrimp were tossed in your choice of Medium, Lemon Pepper (my fav), or Cajun seasoning/sauces and served with Dirty Bird sauce (I don't remember having the sauce...).
My lunchmates ordered: Boneless Wings Basket, tossed in Ranch; Boneless Wings Basket, tossed in Ranch; Boneless Wings Basket, tossed in Ranch; and Boneless Wings Basket, tossed in Spicy BBQ. Not an ideal variety for my sampling pleasures. :( All the baskets came with Waffle Fries and Ranch, on the side. They had a Ranch Overload! The wings were super salty, so my sisters hand-unbreaded the chicken tenders!
I've resolved to order for my family, when at a new restaurant, in the future (at least when I'm familar with the eatery). :D
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Today, I walked Churri around the neighborhood and he met some dogs. YAY, he doesn't run away anymore!! :D I plan to take him out more often... at least now he is more behaved.
I'll get some exercise out of it, too!
I went to an ice cream shop in Kingwood, called Two Gems, and it was super delicious! They serve Blue Bell, so OF COURSE it's deeelish! Gelato is also available in lots of flavors, but it's not the main attraction. I prefer Whole Food gelato. Next time I go, I'd get the ice cream or try a shake!
I should really go to bed now... I start my Calculus class tomorrow. D: NOT looking forward to it. But before I go, I must post pics for those I have tempted with the creamy delicousness of Blue Bell.
Sweet, Icy Dreams!
P.S. Those creamy memories (and pics) have actually made my tummy churn.
This Gelato has 3 different flavors: Chocolate Almond, Tiramisu, and Amaretto. I like Amaretto, but it overpowered the rest of the flavores and left a weird aftertaste.
Krazy Kolors Ice Cream in a small cup. Kids love it...they end up having blue faces. Can you see it starting to melt?? I was outside and it turned into a drippy mess, so I went inside to let it drip over the trash can. The server helped me out with a little plastic cup, but we ended up dropping it! :( I had blue over my shorts and legs...and my camera! So I didn't get to taste it, but I didn't miss much. It's basically vanilla with crazy colors added to it. Sprinkled on top are gummy bears, sprinkles, and M&Ms. I don't really like candy--only the chocolate/nut kind.
This was the first cone they made me at Two Gems. Waffle cone with 3 decadent flavors: Rocky Road, Cinnamon, and Caramel Turtle. The cinammon was the star, but it couldn't have happened with the chocolatey flavor! My favorite of the day and a tough flavor combo to beat!
Thanks Two Gems!! The manager was really nice and the server was patient with me! ;D