Hey guys! Whats going on today? I just rocked a great shoulder workout, and then I actually worked up the courage to put on my heels and do some walking in the studio at my gym. It was DEAD time at the gym so I figured I wouldn't be interrupted. Well i was right! I was so happy no one came in (not that I care what anyone else thinks about me) but just so I could focus and stay on task, you know?
Well after I posted about my TJ's trip including the purchase of FRESH basil (which I am still obsesed with) a long time reader, and friend, Sunny (Hi Sunny!) suggested that I try fresh DILL. That was the best reccomendation ever. I love dill and it is such an underrated spice! When I think of dill I think of Greek style food and homemade tzaziki. I was so psyched when I picked up a bunch of fresh dill at my supermarket
Fresh dill ready to chop for salads
Spices are also very inexpensive for how long they last. This is a HUGE bunch and it was only about $2.00. If you fear that it will go bad. Take half of it and freeze it to save for later!
I got rockin with the fresh dill and basil to make a delicious side salad.
Served along side steamed spinach, brussels sprouts and shrimps! The one thing I do not like about shrimp is how much they shrink after they cook! These were huge in the bag in my freezer and after they were cooked in my pan they shrunk about 1/3 of the size! whats up with that?!
Now, I have gotten LOTS of comments about how I make my oatmeal in the morning. Do I mix my oats with the egg whites? WHen do I add the fruit? Why does it look like so much food? Well here ya go!
First I measure out egg whites. Sometimes I throw it in the magic bullet to fluff them up, sometimes not if I am feeling lazy. Today, I fluffed!
About 15-20 seconds in the bullet.
Then I add the egg whites to a bowl (pre sprayed with EVOO spray) and microwave until the egg whites are cooked through (about 1-1.5 minutes)
Then I add my fruit of choice. Usually it is some sort of berry mix (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc) Today it was frozen blueberries and fresh strawberries
THEN I add the oatmeal which I preheated in a separate bowl. It is packed with cinnamon, nutmeg and a couple drops of stevia. When the oats are hot. I pour them over the egg white and berry mixture
Usually I microwave the whole bowl again for about 1 min to get everything extra hot (Im a snob when it comes to HOT food. I need it hot) And then I top it with coconut oil! (or almonds or almond butter) but these days its coconut oil! Thats it! Super easy right?
Of course I have some coffee alongside my breakfast. Cup 1 of the day :)
I have to share this with you beacuse I am so darn excited that I finally found KABOCHA!!!! I had been looking high and low for this bright orange squash that so many people rave about. Well the other day I was in a supermarket that is not my 'usual' supermarket, and I spotted it!
I had some arguments with the squash and the knife, but finally I got through!
It is so beautiful!
And I packed my lunch to go with fresh herbs, veggies, grilled chicken and kabocha!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
I have been asked by many people do I ever get bored of the food I eat and how do I keep it interesting so I literally do not burn out from eating boring blah foods. Well I do have some tips that I have been using to keep me from getting bored while prepping!
First of all I take advantage of spices. Spices are a fabulous way to add flavors to food without any additional calories. I swear, each time I go to the grocery store, I pick up a new spice whether fresh or jarred, I always end up with a new one! The benefit to spices is that it can take you on a journey to a whole new country in the matter of a few seconds! Chicken breasts can be marinated with tons of fresh oregano and dill to bring it to Greece or it can be marinated in cumin and curry to have more of an Indian flare to it!
My favorite “Go To” spices
· Trader Joes 21 salute seasoning (no salt seasoning)
· ALL Mrs. Dash—Original blend and lemon pepper are my favorites!
There is one chicken dish I have been making about once a week is SO simple , easy and delicious. Balsamic Lemon Rosemary Chicken Marinade!! I think the key to making this chicken mouthwatering is to let it marinate for at least 2 hours AND to pound the chicken with a tenderizer first. This really helps to absorb all of the fresh flavors
Balsamic Lemon Chicken Marinade
· 1-2 T fresh or jarred rosemary
· Juice of 1 lemon
· 1-2 T balsamic vinegar
· Packet of stevia (optional)
· 2 T Dijon mustard (or any mustard of your choice)
I mix all of the ingredients and pour it over one pound of chicken breast in a gallon zip lock bag. I stick the bag in the fridge for 1 hour-overnight and VOILA! Cook in a baking dish in the oven for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees (or until fully cooked) It is SO good!
Another way I don’t get bored is that I vary up my food—often. I try to buy at least one ‘new to me’ fruit or veggie at the supermarket each week! This week I went for alfalfa sprouts and broccoli rabe. I usually don’t get these two items but love them so it was a nice addition for me to have some extra choices! I also picked up some peaches and pears from Trader Joes which are not the 'usual suspects' of fruit that I purchase.
Not only do I vary foods I eat, but I also vary when I eat them. If one of my meals is greek yogurt, quinoa and fruit, sometimes I will have it mid morning and other times I will have it in the mid afternoon—so my body doesn’t get used to the exact timing of when I eat certain foods.
In the morning, I sometimes throw cocoa powder on my oatmeal to give it a little ‘chocolate’ kick and other times I simply use nutmeg to bring out a nuttier flavor. This is one way I use spices to vary up the flavors of my food!
The key is just to keep it interesting and vary it up! Different fruits and vegetables have different benefits to your body so the more variety the better! You can check out my grocery list for an idea of what I typically buy these days! (of course not all in one trip!) I pick a few from each category and have myself a great week of meal planning!
Question of the day: What is your tip for preventing food boredom?