Saturday, September 22, 2012

Forgotten Recipes, Soccer, & A Party

I said last weekend that most of our time these days is spent playing soccer, swimming, and going to parties. Well, and then there is school and work of course.

Like a typical weekend, there was soccer and a party. I realized that I much prefer a daytime game/practice on the weekend compared to the evening practices. While it’s nice and warm here during the day, it gets quite chilly in the evenings. Last week, I wasn’t prepared and couldn’t wait to have some warm tea as soon as we got home.

Soccer fun
Birthday party

In an effort to mix our meals up a bit, I went through my recipe page and selected recipes I haven’t made in a while for this week’s menu:

Meal 1: Stuffed Zucchini with Mushrooms, Brown Rice & Tomatoes
Meal 2: Tomato, lentil, cilantro salad & grilled cheese sandwiches
Meal 3: Barley soup
Meal 4: Mini burgers with Mushroom Pepper Cheese sauce
Meal 5: Refrigerator finds/leftovers

Workouts have been a challenge lately. With the kid involved in sports a lot, it’s hard to find time for my own workouts. Plus, early morning workouts don’t fit into my schedule anymore, and they used to be my “insurance” to get my workouts in. But I’m determined to make my workouts a priority as I feel so much better when I work out. I have found that it works best if I get two longer workouts in on the weekend (sometimes I even do two workouts on one day on the weekends; for example a barre class and a hike, or an upper body weights workout and a hike). Here are my goals for this week:
  • 1 heavier weights workout
  • 1 HIIT workout
  • 2 barre classes
  • 1 long hike
We’ll see how it’ll go.

Questions: What’s on your menu this week? How do you make time for workouts when life gets busier than usual? 

Be well,

Monday, September 17, 2012

Meal Prep Work and Weekly Meals

Swimming, soccer, & parties – that seems to be our life these days. Well, and then there is work and school of course. Not that I am complaining, but life is busy, like for many.

Oh, and we met Batman, but as you can see, the kid wasn’t all that impressed…

To remain calm (most of the time), I am still planning our weekly meals and do as much prep work as possible on the weekend.

Here is what I usually prep on Sundays:
  • Boil eggs: Hubby and I only eat the egg whites of the eggs I boil. Hubby takes two eggs to work almost every day and eats the whites in addition to his sandwich. He says the egg whites really keep him full until dinner time. I often make an egg white open-faced sandwich when I am home for lunch. I like spreading a Laughing Cow cheese wedge on a slice of European bread from TJ’s and top it with two sliced egg whites. Then, I drizzle a little Sciracha sauce on top. These days I usually eat a couple freshly picked tomatoes with the open-faced sandwich.
  • Wash and cut veggies and fruits: Yesterday, I cut up a watermelon and a cantaloupe. I also washed grapes, pears, apples, mini tomatoes, regular tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers. I cut up a few carrots and a small cucumbers for today’s dinner. I also washed (and dried very well) some lettuce.
  • Cook meat for the week: We don’t eat a lot of meat, but I usually cook one meat dish per week. Yesterday, I marinated some thinly sliced beef in my bulgogi marinade
  • Cook rice: I usually cook some rice/mixed grains on the weekend. If we don't have the grains for dinner during the week, I often have some for lunch. I also like to top some rice with an over-easy egg once in a while for breakfast.
  • Cook pasta: It doesn't take long to boil pasta, but on busy nights, it really pays off if everything is ready to go. I have found that it's best if there are absolutely no excuses to get take-out...
Here is this week’s menu:

Meal 1: Bulgogi, mixed grains, & a salad.
Meal 2: Lots of veggies, a few Asian noodles, & a little bulgogi meat.
Meal 3: Mushroom, onion, egg sandwiches. I’ll toast some bread. In the meantime, I’ll sauté lots of mushrooms & onions. Once the onions and mushrooms are sautéed, I’ll set them aside. I’ll mix a few eggs with a little milk and salt and pepper and make an “egg pancake.” I’ll cut the egg pancake into pieces and assemble the egg pancake, sautéed mushrooms & onions, lettuce, and tomato slices on the toasted bread, on which I spread just a bit of hummus.
Meal 4: Salad topped with spicy tuna salad. I’ll mix some canned tuna with plenty of lemon juice, spicy mustard, and just a little wasabi mayo. I’ll assemble the tuna salad on mixed greens, lightly dressed with olive oil, rice vinegar, salt, & pepper.
Meal 5: Leftovers/refrigerator finds.

Questions: What’s on your menu this week? Do you do meal prep work on the weekend? Any tips & tricks you’d like to share?

Be well,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cheesy Appetizer & Family Fun

My sister, brother-in-law, and nephew visited us for a week. Since we had to work, things were a bit hectic, but we had lots of fun. They don’t eat meat, so I made some of our favorite vegetarian dishes. Since we usually don’t eat a lot of meat, it wasn’t really too much of a change from our normal meals. Interestingly, the dish that got the most praise was also the easiest. In fact, it’s just a very easy, no-cook appetizer. I didn’t take pictures of this cheesy appetizer, but I found some pics of when I last made it a few years ago. The pictures are not very good, but you get the idea…

Cheesy Appetizer

  • Goat cheese
  • Chives, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Crackers
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese
  1. Take the goat cheese out of the fridge and let it sit for about 10 minutes so that it’ll be easier to mix.
  2. Mix the goat cheese with the chives and a little salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the goat cheese mixture on the crackers.
  4. Top the crackers with the Parmesan cheese.
We love chives and I have lots of them in my herb pot, so I used a lot. But you can use a lot or a little, depending on taste. I also used less Parmesan cheese than in the pics above. Everyone was really surprised how tasty these cheesy crackers were and how easy they are to make. One day we ate them with homemade tomato soup and another day with a salad.

Here are a few pictures from their visit.

And since things are busy, I planned our meals for the week and pre-cooked some of them today.

Meal 1: Egg white salad sandwiches with lettuce and tomatoes (I boiled the eggs this afternoon)
Meal 2: Beef pot roast and roasted veggies (I cooked the beef and the veggies this afternoon)
Meal 3: Pasta with veggies, herbs, & Parmesan cheese & a salad
Meal 4: Bok choy & mushroom stir fry with over-easy eggs
Meal 5: Salmon & a salad

I’m back to more regular workouts, and my cardio endurance is improving. I’ve also taken at least two barre classes per week over the past few weeks. The plan for this week is two barre classes, a couple of cardio sessions (hopefully at least one outdoors), and a weights workout.

Questions: What’s your favorite simple appetizer? Feel free to link in the comments. How is your meal and exercise routine at the moment? I finally feel somewhat back “in control.” I certainly could plan some more exciting meals and vary my workouts a bit more. However, our food and my exercise routine works with our busy life at the moment. Once things slow down a bit, I’ll get more creative again, but for now I’m glad that things are going smoothly…

Be well,