Saturday, June 30, 2012

Korean-Inspired Spicy Pork

I rarely make pork. In fact, it had been several years since I’ve made pork. But there are several spicy Korean pork dishes that my husband and older son love, and I finally made my own version of a simple, quick, and spicy pork dish. I used what I had on hand for the marinade, and I’m happy with the outcome. 

  • Thinly sliced pork
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 T gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 T Korean chili powder
  • 1/2 T black pepper
  • 1/2 T sugar
  1. Mix soy sauce, gochujang, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili powder, black pepper and sugar and coat the meat with the mixture.
  2. Let meat marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  3. Heat a pan and add a bit of oil.
  4. Quickly cook pork on both sides.

Hubby really liked the dish.

We spent some time at Gilroy Gardens and finished the day with a little wine tasting at Kirigin Cellars. We were really impressed with their new tasting area and outside seating area. Oh, there may also have been a stop at the Gilroy Outlets. Since it is our anniversary today, hubby was more than happy to check out the new Lululemon outlet store! Smile The Lululemon store had some nice things, but for many items the prices are not reduced much from the regular price. Sizes are also quite limited, and many items are only available in two or three sizes. But I got a cute top that was reduced significantly, so I’m happy.

Kirigin Cellars 01

Questions: How is your weekend going? Do you like outlet shopping? I don't like shopping very much in general, but I certainly feel better when I get a bargain. What’s your favorite outlet store? I often find nice things at the Banana Republic Outlet store. For a splurge, I love the Coach store. Any exciting plans for the 4th? 

Be well,

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Life is still very busy. A little too busy for my taste. But for the next few weeks that’s what it’s going to be. And it doesn’t help if I complain or feel sorry for myself, but I can make sure I follow my “busy life rules:”
  • Plan, plan, plan – The more planning and organizing I do, the better things will go. This includes food, exercise, and other commitments. When life gets busy, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but if everything is clearly planned, things become a lot more doable.
  • Slow down every day to be thankful for all the good in my life. It’s easy to forget to do this, especially when life gets busy…
  • Make some “me time” every day. Usually my me time is reading before going to sleep. Lately, I have been falling asleep after just a page or so. But it’s still a nice ritual.
  • Working out and eating well will give you more energy. I still have to remind myself of this during busy times.
A few days before Father’s Day, hubby kept on mentioning waffles over and over and over again. Our waffle maker doesn’t get used very often and actually “lives” in the garage… The kid and I got the message and made waffles for breakfast on Father’s Day.

I made a simple berry sauce to go with the waffles. I put a tablespoon of water in a pan and added frozen, organic berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, & blueberries) and a little sugar. I cooked the berries over medium heat for about 10 minutes. The sauce was very fruity and slightly tart.

The next day, I had still quite a bit of sauce leftover and the guys preferred a little syrup with their leftover waffles. I remembered a “cottage cheese pancake” recipe I made many, many years ago and decided to make some to eat with the berry sauce. Since the berry sauce is pretty high in carbs, I decided that I wanted some “pancakes” with more protein.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • A few stevia drops
  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Put in the fridge and let rest for at least 1 hour.
  3. Heat a pan and spray with a little oil
  4. Pour pancake mixture into pan and cook on one side until bubbles form. [It is very important to not turn the pancakes too early or they’ll fall apart.]
  5. Turn pancakes over and cook on the other side.
Servings: 2 (2 pancakes each)
Prep Time: Approximately 1 hour (including resting time)

By themselves, the pancakes look and taste more like a sweet omelet, but with the berry sauce, they become more like “real pancakes.”  Since I normally prefer savory breakfasts, it’s not something I eat often, but it’s a nice change of things once in a while. And it’s nice to have a sweet breakfast option with quite of bit of protein.

Questions: What’s the last “forgotten” recipe/dish you’ve made? What’s a “forgotten” dish you want to make again soon? What’s your favorite summertime fun? We have been enjoying the pool and all the summer produce at the Farmers’ Market.

Be well,

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer fun and summer food

After weeks of sometimes quite-cool-for-the-time-of-year temperatures, it’s hot in Northern California right now, and we took full advantage of the pool.

We have also been enjoying more veggies & fruits and are all feeling better because of it.

Pasta & Salads

I am also back to taking barre classes more regularly, and my low back feels a lot better. I took my first advanced class the other day and was SERIOUSLY sore (despite modifying some of the moves…).

Questions: What’s some of the summer fun you’ve been enjoying lately? I really enjoy all the early summer produce at the Farmers’ Market. Cherries are my favorite fruit, and we have been enjoying them a lot. I’ve also been buying different varieties of peaches and surprisingly really enjoy them. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m not a “fruit person,” but I’ll have to admit that good, ripe in season fruit is delicious. In addition, I love making big bowls of wonderful salads with different types of lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, spring onions,…  What’s your favorite exercise at the moment? I still love my hikes but as the temps are heating up, it’s essential to go early in the morning and that’s not always possible. I also enjoy taking more barre classes and love being strong enough to get deeper into all the exercises.

Be well,

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Summer Food and Exercise

Since I have been keeping track of my food, my diet has definitely improved as my meals are once again centered around produce. That’s what I usually strive for, but somehow when life got really busy a few months ago, I started eating fewer vegetables and fruits.

A typical day of food often looked something like this: oatmeal with Greek yogurt and walnuts for breakfast, a sandwich with lettuce and few tomato slices for lunch, and some pasta with veggie sauce for dinner. I also made sure to eat at least one piece of fruit (since I don’t love fruit, this usually requires a conscious effort). Overall, I ate definitely too many carbs and not enough vegetables and on some days  not enough protein.

Lately, I’ve enjoyed going to the Farmers’ Market and bringing home big bags of produce again. And my meals are closer to what I want them to be again. Now my meals look something like this: a slice of wholegrain bread with 1/4 avocado & a big tomato for breakfast, cherries as a snack, a big salad with lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, spring onions, and egg whites for lunch, watermelon slices in the afternoon, and some grilled fish and a salad for dinner. I had seriously neglected eating fish for a few months…

Eating this way makes me feel so much better. I have more energy, and I enjoy the food I am eating again. I love looking at all the colors on my plate before sitting down to eat. Yesterday, I marveled at the color of the (very expensive) organic cherries I shared with hubby. Since the cherries were so expensive, I only bought a few – instant portion control! Smile    

Since the weather is nice and not too hot yet around here, I have been hiking more again. Hiking is definitely my favorite form of exercise. A friend and I try to catch up about once a week while going on a hike. We both have busy schedules, so our hikes are shorter than what I used to consider a “real hike.” But we climb up some pretty steep hills and cover a little over five miles in about an hour and a half. It’s definitely a workout, and it’s great to connect with a friend at the same time.  I have also continued to take barre classes and lift weights a few times a week.

Getting older and living as healthy a life as possible has been on my mind a lot lately. There are no guarantees in life, but I want to make sure I maximize my chances of being able to live an active life for many years to come. Every day is the opportunity to make healthy choices. It’s not about being “perfect,” and I think there is definitely room for some “treats” and some lazy days. It’s just important not to make them the norm.

Lastly, I have been gradually increasing my coffee intake over the past few months. Do you see how there is a pattern of bad habits creeping back into my life when things get stressful? Last year I wrote a post about how to drink less coffee, and I’ll go ahead and take my own advice! Smile

Questions: Does your diet tend to suffer when life gets busy and/or stressful? If so, what are your strategies to get it “back on track?” What’s your favorite form of exercise? Do you drink coffee? If so, how much?
Be well,