Tag Archives: food and fitness

Black Bean Pasta {A Review}

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Last year, I participated in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and was really surprised that I was able to post every day in the month of November pretty easily. I’m really not sure how I did it, when over the past couple months I’ve been struggling. However, I’m going to give it a shot again because at least it’ll force me to try to get all of my memories on Australia in print!

That is why today, you are getting my Food & Fitness Link-Up post instead of on Monday!

But first, just a little recap on last week and what I finally tried: Black Bean “Pasta”.

I decided to try it in this recipe for Southwestern Black Bean Pasta with Skinny Avocado Crema.

This is what it looked like:

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Then I added the avocado crema, which came out thicker than I expected and became more of a dollop than a drizzle.

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I didn’t go crazy over these black bean “noodles” like the majority of people did who reviewed them on line. I did like them just fine. Still, the texture was a little weird. It made sense because that texture was more like black beans. It’s just not what you expect for pasta.

I think the black bean “spaghetti” would taste better with more of a sauce. I kept adding more of that avocado crema, despite the fact that it wasn’t exactly my favorite either. It was a little too tangy for me. That could be because of the yogurt or the lemon juice. I even added a bit more olive oil to mellow it out.

This recipe made a ton of food! I didn’t use fresh corn, but frozen and I loved getting that hint of sweetness every couple of bites. The mushrooms were a nice touch, too. To be honest, I’d probably make this dish with just regular black beans! I’d make my own Power Bowl by topping some black beans with the veggie mixture from the recipe above, then sprinkle a little cheddar and top with some sliced avocado instead of the crema.

Rob took a taste and he liked the texture of the noodles even less than I did. But we both believe that with some sort of sauce, they could be much better.

I’m still going to try it the Black Bean Spaghetti with Red Curry Sauce recipe. And I may create my own with a garlic cream sauce as well.

And now for this week:

planning

Food

Last week went really well with us eating on our own. I loved being able to eat chicken at home. I made chicken thighs for the first time! This Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas dish was absolutely delicious. However, between the thighs (of which I only made half of the recipe) and the Southwestern Black Bean Spaghetti with Skinny Avocado Crema, it was so much food! I didn’t even make the Crockpot Chicken with Brussels Sprouts I had planned because I had so many leftovers.

Here are my plans for this week!

Dinners:

Lunch:

  • Leftovers
  • Snacks – Honeycrisp apples, nuts or string cheese and dark chocolate

Breakfasts:

Fitness

  • Monday – Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.
  • Tuesday Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.
  • Wednesday – Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.
  • Thursday – REST
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.
  • Sunday – Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.

I’m looking for some recipe suggestions for next week! When I went to visit my friend Stacy, she had an overabundence of winter squash. I took a few off her hands. I have a small butternut squash, a buttercup squash and an acorn squash.

Here are a couple of recipes I’m considering trying:

What are your favorite winter squash recipes?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

 

 

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The Nearly Perfect Weekend

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This has been a nearly perfect weekend!

On Friday night, I finally won the Champion Title at our monthly Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament!

We’ve been hosting for eight years, nine times a year. So this means that out of 72 games, I finally won one. It does feel strange winning, almost wrong, when you are the host. But now that I’ve won, I’ve redeemed myself as a player in my own eyes. And I don’t feel like I need to win again. 😉

orbsop trophy 1

Then, Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day in Minnesota.

My husband and I participated in the Challenge Obesity 5k. It was the first time I was to run a 5k since my back surgery just over a year ago. I walked a couple of them last year. However, the last 5k race I ran was in November of 2012.

But this was Rob’s first 5k! We had a lot better weather at Lake Como this year than I did with the girls last year. It was The Perfect Weather for a run.

Lake Como

Yet, this was the most difficult 5k I’ve ever done.

I started off strong, feeling great; but I think I did that first mile a little too fast. By mile 2, I had petered out. I wanted to stop so many times. And I finished horribly – almost four minutes more than my slowest 5k race: 42:40. That was a little disappointing. {And what made the day nearly perfect, instead of just perfect.} As I crossed the finish line, I was completely out of breath and dizzy for several minutes after the run. I had to keep walking around because I felt like I would fall over. I’ve got a lot of work to do!

On the other hand, Rob had the best first race experience!

This was his first time running more than 21 minutes at a time. He felt great the throughout the whole race! He even picked up the pace at each mile. Rob said that about two thirds of way through the run, a guy who had about twenty pounds on him and was six inches shorter passed him. This made Rob mad! Since the race was two laps around Lake Como, he thought he was being lapped by this guy. He wasn’t going to let that happen! So he picked up the pace and kept the guy just in the distance to pace himself. About a half-mile later, the guy veered off onto another path. He wasn’t even in the race! He was just a guy running around the lake in the neighborhood.

Rob laughed and loved the fact that he had that guy as a motivator. And he finished his very first 5k in 35:18.

He now has the running, bug, too.

Carrie & Rob 5k 5.17.14

Our next race is the The Bacon Chase on July 19th. You may know hat I’m not a huge bacon fan. I’m okay with bacon by itself. I’m just not into bacon-flavored foods or bacon added to dishes or sandwiches. But when I saw this race, I knew it was right up Rob’s alley. It’s going to be fun! And it’ll keep us running until then. I always need an upcoming race to keep me going.

I took Rob out for brunch to celebrate his first 5k at Ward 6 in St. Paul. We also found that they have a great cocktail list and all Minnesota beers on tap. Restaurant Impression to come!

ward 6

When we got home, we were determined to enjoy the day and perfect weather to its full extent. We played a little cribbage on the deck while the dogs frolicked in the yard. We followed that by an afternoon nap with the windows open, creating the perfect cross breeze.

I ended this near perfect day by enjoying some Punch Pizza with some friends while watching the Veronica Mars movie.

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Punch: The only certified Neapolitan pizza in Minnesota

Sunday was equally beautiful.

I slept in. That felt great. Then Rob discovered that they sell Izzy’s Ice Cream at Kowalski’s in Eagan. For the record, Izzy’s is the best local ice cream in the Twin Cities!

There is absolutely no reason to be inside on a beautiful weekend like this. Remember this post from Winter Carrie? She told me to get outside. So I did.

I tried to savor this perfect weather as much as I could, even with a Sunday nap out in the hammock. {I puffy heart weekend naps.} Dinner was a cook-out at our friends’ place. We were spoiled with an excellent dinner outside and enjoyed every moment of this perfect weather sans mosquitoes. {We are smart enough to realize that won’t last long!}

Who could ask for a better weekend!?

Here’s what’s on tap this week: planning

 Food

Dinners:
*We didn’t make a few of these last week, so they’ve been pushed to this week!

  • Monday – Dinner out after golf league
  • Tuesday – San Marzano Tomato Pasta
  • Wednesday Andouille Sausage with Red Beans & Rice and Creole Roasted Veggies
  • ThursdayPork Chops with Garlic Green Beans and perhaps this Garlic Cheddar Beer Bread
  • Friday – TBD
  • Saturday – TBD
  • Sunday – TBD

Lunch:

  • Caprese Salad {Not a poorman’s caprese. I’ve got mozzarella on hand for the real deal this time!}
  • Leftovers – We’ll have a lot this week!
  • Snacks – fruit, nuts and dark chocolate

Breakfasts:

Fitness

We are using this Advanced Beginner’s 5k Program to keep going with our running. We are going to start at Week 3, so I can attempt to move into the 5k to 10k program easier later this summer.

  • Monday – Golf
  • TuesdayRUN2 miles
  • Wednesday – cross trainYoga
  • Thursday – RUN – 1.5 miles at race pace
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – RUN- 2.5 miles
  • Sunday –yoga and/or cross train

What was the highlight of your weekend?

What do you do to enjoy the outdoor weather?

Cheers~
Carrie

American Craft Beer Week

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If you don’t live in Minnesota and weren’t celebrating MN Craft Beer Week last week, you can celebrate American Craft Beer Week this week!

In honor of American Craft Beer Week, I thought I’d share with you my personal favorite craft brew right now. It comes out of this brewery in Wisconsin:

CW - Overview

Talk about craft brewing, eh?! You’ve seen Central Waters Brewing before on this blog, when I wrote about barleywine.

It’s not always easy to find Central Waters beers in Minnesota, but they do distribute here. So when I saw both of these available at the same time, I decided to pick both…

CW - 4pks

And do a little side-by-side tasting…

CW - BB beer bottles

But then I realized rob had a leftover bottle of this…

CW- Satin Solitude

So we had to do a little tasting of all three.

CW - BBS Color

Left to right: Central Waters Satin Solitude Imperial Stout, Brewer’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout, Brewer’s Reserve Barleywine Ale

Let me just say that ALL of these beers are absolutely extraordinary.

There is one that wins out for me, but only by a narrow margin.

CW - BB Stout

Yes, the Central Waters Brewer’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Amherst, Wisconsin is my favorite American Craft Beer right now.

I need to take a brewery road trip.

  And now it’s time for….

planning

Food

Dinners:

  • MondaySan Marzano Tomato Pasta
  • Tuesday – Dinner either in or out – TBD – with a friend
  • Wednesday Andouille Sausage with Red Beans & Rice and Creole Roasted Veggies
  • ThursdayChops with Butter Sauce and Pesto Green Beans
  • FridayCheeseburger Wrap at Carbone’s – It’s our Final Poker Tournament and I am so lucky to have snagged a seat at the Final Table!
  • Saturday – 5k Race – Yes, we signed up for a 5k the morning after our Final Poker Tournament. Crazy? Probably. Brunch afterward – I’m guessing here.
  • Sunday – TBD

Lunch:

  • Leftovers – We’ll have a lot this week!
  • Snacks – fruit, nuts and dark chocolate

Breakfasts:

Fitness

We completed Couch to 5k – Week 8 last week. I haven’t run a full 5k in a year and a half. I thought about trying one on tonight, but fear I’ll wear myself out for Saturday’s race. Runners, thoughts on this one? I can do a shorter run on Wednesday and rest Thursday and Friday.

  • Monday – Run – 5k
  • Tuesday – Yoga
  • Wednesday – Run – 2mi? 20 min? Not sure if I want to do a time or distance run.
  • Thursday – REST
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – Challenge Obesity 5k Race
  • Sunday – Yoga

What is your favorite craft beer right now?

Cheers~
Carrie

MN Craft Beer Week {Food & Fitness Link-Up}

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Somehow, someway, Minnesota Craft Beer Week takes place just the week before American Craft Beer week.

Coincidence?

It may be Cinco de Mayo, but today also kicks off Minnesota Craft Beer Week, aka 10,000 Minutes of MN Craft Beer. We are lucky here in MN to have gained quite a prominent craft beer scene over the last few years. In fact, our state is number two in the nation in terms of growth. I’m quite pleased to be able to try new beers here in Minnesota; but I also can’t quite keep up. 😉

Today, I thought about posting about all of the craft breweries in Minnesota. Then, I realized, that was quite an undertaking. I haven’t even scratched the surface of all of the beers Minnesota has to offer. And defining “craft” beer is a little complex. When I asked my husband what was his favorite, he went into explaining why one brewery I liked was not considered “craft” and why another was. Seriously? Right now, that is arbitrary.

What really matters is if we’re drinking local.

So as not to make this too complicated, I thought that I’d instead share just a few tidbits based on our experiences – thoughts for the visitor or for the locals who may want to narrow down their choices. You can find the entire list of Minnesota breweries here.

Just Traveling through the Twin Cities?

Got a layover at MSP? You can get a taste of our craft brews at the MSP Airport! According to Thrillist, “MSP’s bars and restos showcase over 15 regional and local breweries.”  You’ll find the bulk in Concourse G in Terminal 1 (Lindbergh) as well as a Local Craft Beer Gear shop with apparel and souvenirs of your favorites!

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MN Breweries and Tap Rooms We’ve Visited:

  • Townhall Brewery (Minneapolis) – Established in 1997, this newly renovated brewpub is where we used to go before craft beer was cool in the Twin Cities. They brew their own beer, but serve others as well. It’s time for us to check out the renovation!
  • Excelsior Brewing (Excelsior) – Our favorite? The Mr. Jimmy Ruby Brown Ale
  • Lucid Brewing (Minnetonka) – The Lucid Cammo used to be our favorite DIPA (Double IPA), but since that has gone the wayside, we haven’t found much too spectacular.
  • Badger Hill Brewing – (Minnetonka, moving to Shakopee later in 2014) –  We’ve enjoyed their Foundation Stout best, but I’m curious about the new Traitor IPA!
  • Steel Toe Brewing (St. Louis Park) – This is one of Rob’s favorites. Try the Dissent Dark Ale {Trufthfully, it’s closer to a stout, but I believe there are some proprietary naming rights.}
  • Fulton Brewery (Minneapolis) – You can’t go wrong with anything here. The Sweet Child of Vine IPA is a solid choice, but my favorites are the seasonal Libertine and Worthy Adversary. Even Rob can handle a Lonely Blonde once in a while. 😉
  • Dangerous Man (Minneapolis) – You can only get their beer in their taproom! The Chocolate Milk Stout is the most revered; however, the Hazelnut Porter gets my winning vote. And the Triple IPA is DANGEROUS!

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MN Brewery Visits on our Wishlist:

  • Surly Brewing (Brooklyn Park) – This is the local brewery that paved the way for all the MN craft brews to follow. We must get ourselves to the Brooklyn Park location before their new destination brewery opens up in Mpls. While I love the Surly Darkness, I don’t know if I have the patience to wait in line for a bomber of it one night a year like the rest of Surly Nation!
  • Hammerheart Brewing (Lino Lakes) – This brewery isn’t even a year old; but the first time I checked out their beer list, it included a bunch of Bourbon barrel beers. I don’t see them listed now, but they still show unique offerings besides your average/run-of-the-mill styles.

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In addition to those listed above, here are some of our other local faves:

  • Surly (Brooklyn Park) – Furious IPA – a solid choice, which you’ll find many places on tap in the Twin Cities if you are visiting.
  • Summit (St. Paul) – Rob enjoys the Sága IPA, while I prefer the Oatmeal Stout. The Great Northern Porter is worth a try, too.
  • Lift Bridge (Stillwater) – Hop Dish IPA – I love a good IPA and I adore this name for a Minnesota Brew. {Hot Dish is a delicacy here. 😉 }
  • Flat Earth (St. Paul) – Cygnus X-1 Porter – Not long after they changed their recipe, I fell in love with this one at an Ike Reilly concert at the Turf Club, {You might get a glimpse of Rob and me in the front row in the Hanging Around video around 3:29 here.}
  • Bad Weather (Minnetonka) – Ominous Midwest Warmer – Usually better on tap than in the bottle.
  • Indeed (Minneapolis) – By now, you can tell that I generally drink darker beers and love a unique brew. My absolute fave here is the LSD Honey Ale. For a winter seasonal, it’s Stir Crazy, hands down.

And if you can’t make it to a taproom {i.e. you are in MN on a Sunday}, many local beers are served on tap wherever you go. But for the best selections, try these places.

Happy Minnesota Craft Beer Week!

~

Now it’s time for this week’s…planning

 

Food

Dinners:

  • MondayPork Chops with Butter Sauce and Roasted Vegetables and/or these potatoes because I didn’t actually make this last week.
  • Tuesday – Dinner at my friend Kim’s
  • Wednesday – I found some Portabella & Asiago Smoked Beef Sausages at Aldi. Now the question is if I want to serve them along side the same veg and potatoes as I do on Monday or try this easy Grilled Sausage and Pesto Pasta recipe. Or I could just serve the sausages naked along side this more traditional pesto pasta recipe like I had in Cinque Terre, Italy. Decisions, decisions.
  • Thursday – Cooking for 1: Baked Tilapia with Tomatoes and an easy side. Suggestions?
  • Friday – TBD
  • Saturday – TBD
  • Sunday – TBD

Lunch:

  • Quick & Easy Bowls My favorite combo lately is listed below. I assemble three bowls on Sundays for the week. When I get to work, I just pop it in the microwave at work for a minute or two:
  1. Base – handful of spinach or other greens
  2. Grain/Starch – 1/3 cup cooked brown rice
  3. Protein – 1/3 can garbanzo beans, drained
  4. Veggies – 1/3 can diced tomatoes and sauteed onion and zucchini
  5. Fat – These goat cheese medallions I found at Costco!
  6. SauceRoasted Tomato Dressing

Breakfasts:

Fitness

This is the last week of the Couch to 5k! I can’t believe I’m running 20+ minutes straight. I’m slow and it’s so much harder than I remember! But, you’ve got to start somewhere…

  • Monday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 8, Day 1
  • Tuesday – Yoga
  • Wednesday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 8, Day 2
  • Thursday – REST
  • Friday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 8, Day 3
  • Saturday – Golf
  • Sunday – Yoga

What is your favorite local beer and brewery where you live?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

 

Trying Something Gnudi

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Gnudi (nyOO-dee) is a bit like gnocchi, only made with ricotta instead of potato. It’s like a “nude” piece of ravioli – just the filling. I learned about gnudi through Plated. With two free plates left, I put an order in to give it a try. Get your two free plates here.

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Ricotta Gnudi with Asparagus, Peas & Mint
940 calories (30 – 40 minutes)

The gnudi was pretty easy to make, but I had trouble getting it to a non-sticky consistency. I had to add a little more of my own flour. They definitely reminded me of gnocchi!

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gnudi in the pan!

Other than that, making these from scratch was pretty darn easy. I just wished I could get a better sear on the little dumplings, like I like my gnocchi. Although, maybe potato just sears better than ricotta?

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Ricotta Gnudi with Asparagus, Peas & Mint

I liked the gnudi, but it just seemed like so. much. food. There was also a lot of green going on in this dish!

What we learned after our second Plated dish with mint: Keep the mint out of our food. I’d rather save it for a good mojito. I think basil would have done this dish better.

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Thai Basil Beef Bowl with Quinoa Stir-Fry
710 calories (30 – 40 minutes)

I’d only made quinoa once before, but was all messed up with the rinsing. I had little pieces of quinoa everywhere. I decided to give it another go. And this quinoa didn’t require me to do any rinsing prior to cooking, so I thought that would make it easier. I still had quinoa everywhere.

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And that was just the pot after my half-attempt to scrape everything out of it. I found much more on the stove and in crevices between the stove and counter. Why doesn’t anyone talk about this when they blog about all of their wonderful quinoa dishes? Is it just me?

I did like the idea, though, of using quinoa instead of rice as part of the stir-fry:

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And the finished product with the marinated steak was beautiful:

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Thai Basil Beef Bowl with Quinoa Stir-Fry

Again, this was a ton of food. I loved the smell of the Thai basil when I was chopping it. But because there was so much food, it got lost in the shuffle. I actually forgot about it until I tasted it just once in the dish. Both of us bit on something hard and sandy. Was that the quinoa, perhaps because it was not rinsed?

The beef marinade was excellent and an easy one. To give the dish more flavor after tasting it, I squirted it with a healthy dose of extra sriracha and stirred it right in.

And now for next week:

planning

Food

Dinners:

Lunch:

Breakfasts:

Fitness:

I can’t believe we are on week 7 of the couch to 5k. I have to admit that week 6 was pretty rough for me.

  • Monday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 7, Day 1
  • Tuesday – Yoga
  • Wednesday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 7, Day 2
  • Thursday – REST
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 7, Day 3
  • Sunday – Recumbent Bike/Yoga

Do you cook with quinoa?

Got any tips for easy cooking or less mess?

Favorite quinoa recipes?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

 

Scaling Back Generous Portion Sizes

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It’s supposed to be 60-degree weather this week here in Minnesota. YAY! It’ll make for great outdoor running weather. And with that I want to send my well wishes to all of the Boston Marathoners today. I know it’s going to be an emotional run. Cheers to all of you participating!

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Last week, I made this Beer and Beef Risotto. It was only my second time making risotto; but I think it turned out pretty well. It seemed to consist of more beef than risotto. But I think I prefer that.

Beef & Beer Risotto

Beef & Beer Risotto

The only changes I made were that I used an amber beer instead of a wheat, beef broth instead of chicken {you know, that whole fins and feathers thing}, two cups of baby portabellos instead of one and three cups of chopped spinach instead of four. Oh, and I added a sprinkling of shredded parm on top because, I mean, who doesn’t like that? I think the beef broth may have given it some added depth. It made four servings clocking in at about 610 calories each. The portion sizes were generous. It could definitely serve six.

When portion sizes are generous, break ’em up into more portions.

Speaking of generous portion sizes, we tried our second round of Plated this past week because we had two free plates coming. Get your two free plates here. For my full review of Plated, click here.

The Plates
Fontina Polenta with Roasted Spring Vegetables
770 calories (30-40 minutes)

I was really surprised when my husband agreed to a meatless meal. When he gave the approval, I jumped on it! We had our first polenta in Italy and fell in love with it. This was my first attempt at making it.

Before making this dish, while I was amidst my Couch to 5k run that night, I wondered what would happen if a Plated customer was missing an ingredient. I mean, because warehouses make mistakes all the time, right? We’ve all had missing items from online orders. Missing an ingredient could make or break a dish! And what if you had no backup plan?

After I began chopping and separating the veggies, I noticed that there were no carrots for me to chop. How could this be that I the night I thought about it, I’d be missing an ingredient?!

I finally accepted that our roasted vegetables would be sans carrots; but it was not a make or break ingredient. So I began unwrapping the other items. DOH! The carrots were in the same bag as the asparagus, just hiding on me. So it ended up that we weren’t missing any ingredients. In fact, we were plus one shallot!

My trouble making this dish was that my polenta wasn’t turning smooth and creamy, like the recipe card stated. Instead, it was a sticky, massive clump. I am wondering if I should have measured the polenta. Maybe I shouldn’t have made the assumption that what was in the bag was what I needed. My solution was to add more water throughout.

I should have used a bigger dish for this massive amount of polenta and roasted vegetables. How could this serve just two people?!photo 4

I don’t know if adding more water to the polenta to smooth it out increased the size/amount of polenta that was yielded; but even when I put it on the plate, it looked like so much food! I even left some polenta in the dish and just scraped out all of the roasted veggies.

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Rob thought the polenta tasted more like grits. The flavor was fine, but neither of us ate all of it. It was just too much. But we did gobble up the veggies. If there is any one thing we’ve learned from Plated, it’s that we do love roasted veggies! This blend of carrots, peapods, cremini mushrooms, grape tomatoes, green onions and asparagus was the perfect mix for me, tossed in a vinaigrette and roasted for 15 minutes on 450. We will be having those again!

This dish could have made three or four servings, with the amount of polenta I made.

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Lemongrass Pork with Vermicelli Noodles
800 calories (20 – 30 minutes)

When we received the ingredients for this dish, I couldn’t believe the amount of vermicelli that arrived for just two people. I didn’t understand. Did it shrink when cooked?  I don’t think I’ve ever made this style of rice noodle before.

But I was right, there was waaaaayyy too much vermicelli. Enough for at least four people. I dished up huge portions on our plates and still had this leftover:

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No worries. I put it into a container and plan to add some peanut sauce and some sort of protein to it this week. But it still left a lot on our plates.

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Rob was disappointed because in his mind, the sauce wasn’t really a sauce. I knew it was going to be a runnier sauce, of which he is not a fan.

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But that wasn’t the issue. It was the fact that you could barely taste the sauce because it didn’t cover the mound of vermicelli on the plate. All of that being said, the pork was so tender, juicy and just perfectly seasoned. I must say that Plated really knows how to do a pork marinade. That’s 2 for 2 for us!

So in sum, here’s what we learned this week:

  • We love roasted vegetables.
  • We love marinated pork.
  • Plated offers generous portion sizes and we should break them down into three or four portions if need be.

I wouldn’t count on getting three or four portion sizes every time you order two plates, though. Instead, think of it as a bonus and just be mindful when plating.

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And now, for this week!

planning

Food

*Another Plated week for us! Get your first two plates free (minimum order of four plates) by clicking my referral link here! To read my Plated review, click here.

Dinners:

  • Monday – Another Meatless Monday! Ricotta Gnudi with Aspargus Peas and Mint from Plated.
  • Tuesday – Having some girlfriends over for dinner. I’ll be making this Greek Turkey Casserole (thanks to Racheal’s suggestion!). For dessert, I’ll be making Easy Homemade Mango Frozen Yogurt, based off this recipe.
  • Wednesday Basil Beef Bowl with Quinoa Stir-Fry from Plated.
  • Thursday – Our Anniversary! You’ll probably find us here. But it is Dining Out for Life night, so it would be probably more appropriate to dine at a restaurant that supports the cause.
  • Friday – TBD
  • Saturday – TBD
  • Sunday – TBD

Lunch:

Breakfasts:

Fitness:

I wanted to share a Yoga Downloads deal I got the other day: Just $18. Yes, you can find lots of free yoga apps online. I just need a real routine and to start from the beginning to go back to where I was pre-back surgery. Plus there is a lotincluded. I think it’s going to be #worthit. Trying it out this week!

  • Monday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 6, Day 1
  • Tuesday –Recumbent Bike/Yoga
  • Wednesday –RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 6, Day 2
  • Thursday –REST
  • Friday –REST
  • Saturday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 6, Day 3
  • Sunday – Recumbent Bike/Yoga

His & Hers Bacon and Blue Cheese Mac & Cheese

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This past weekend, I made an impromptu visit to see my friend Stacy. While there, Stacy was kind enough to help me get my sushi fix!

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I was delighted that my visit included not only going to one of the painting classes with which I’ve been obsessed, but also that it was a fundraiser for Stacy’s daughter’s school.

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There was an excellent turn-out.

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Stacy made painting one-handed look like a breeze. But the cast on her broken arm did make for great shadow entertainment on her canvas. E.T., anyone?

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And a couple of hours and glasses of wine later, this:

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…became this:

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Wait? Who set Stacy’s hand on fire?!!

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So what’s on tap this week? Well, first I think I should share a dish I made last week with all of you. Because sometimes I get ideas for meals or snacks when people post what they’ve eaten. I’m sharin’ the love. I’ve definitely gotten some great ideas from these gals.

Last week, I made this Bacon and Blue Cheese Mac & Cheese for the first time.  I really wanted to make my husband swooooooon! I knew it was high-cal, so I separated into six servings instead of the suggested 3 – 4. I dished up our meals into his and hers servings:

His was topped with a little extra bacon and blue cheese crumbles. Hers was a slightly smaller portion served over a bed of spinach and topped with chopped tomatoes. The only trouble I had making this dish is that it was really runny. And if there is anything Rob despises, it is a runny sauce! I tried to let it sit, but it was starting to get cold; so I popped it back on the heat and slowly stirred in some corn starch. That seemed to do the trick.

Rob went absolutely nuts over this dish.

He said he’d order it in a restaurant any day and that it’s probably the best mac and cheese he’s ever had! I wouldn’t go that far. It was great, but I’m not a huge bacon-in-my-food lover. Yes, I just said that. I’m an alien to this planet.

I’m trying to incorporate more meals into our routine that Rob will love and just serve smaller portions, rather than trying to make healthy things he gets bored with or just doesn’t want to eat.

We had a couple free plates coming, so we are trying Plated again this week. To read my Plated review, click here. If you want to give it a try yourself, click my referral link, to get two free plates yourself!

Now for this week:

planning

 Food

Dinners:

  • Monday – Fontina Polenta with Roasted Spring Vegetables from Plated.  Meatless Monday! We were originally going to go with the amazing Grilled Cheese concoction with the chickpea-tomato salad, but they were sold out by the time I placed the order. Lesson learned!
  • Tuesday – Lemongrass Pork with Vermicelli Noodles from Plated.
  • Wednesday Beer and Beef Risotto. Hey, I made Rob soooo happy with the Blue Cheese and Bacon Mac & Cheese last week, that I thought I’d go with another combo of things my husband loves: Beer, Beef and Risotto. Crossing our fingers it rocks his world just as much!
  • Thursday – Leftovers
  • Friday – Family in Town
  • Saturday – Family in Town
  • Sunday – Family in Town

Lunch:

Breakfasts:

Fitness

  • Monday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 5, Day 1
  • Tuesday – Recumbent Bike/Yoga
  • Wednesday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 5, Day 2
  • Thursday – Recumbent Bike/Yoga
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 5, Day 3
  • Sunday – REST

 What is your favorite twist on Mac and Cheese?

Cheers~
Carrie