Wednesday, October 13, 2010

postheadericon Too busy for dinner?

PhotobucketFor the last two evenings, I have worked super-late.  Until 8PM both nights! And then tonight I decided to tack on a game of tennis, because I am just like that!  So I have to be honest, I have eaten out more than normal this week.  So I thought I would dedicate this post to some of my favorite semi-healthy eating choices.  

Pizza: A slice (or two, depending on size) of pizza is a great choice when you are in a pinch.  You just need to make the right pizza choices.  First, choose a thin crust.  My local pizza joint has three crust options, so I always choose the thinnest.  Second, do not choose a meat topping.  Let's face it, the meat on pizza (sausage, pepperoni) isn't the best protein choice.  Just say no in this case.  Lastly, choose veggies!  Lots and lots of veggies.  My favorite pizza is onion and mushroom, but that is just me. 

Panera is an excellent choice for a last-minute meal.  Choose sandwiches with no cheese or a reasonable amounts of cheese.  Or choose a soup option.  Even the creamy soups aren't bad choices as long as you keep the portion size reasonable (and Panera makes that pretty easy for you).  The sides aren't too bad either; I believe the bag of chips is only around 150 calories.  The apple is always a good choice too!

Sushi:  The Whole Foods near me has a nice selection of to-go sushi options.  It is fresh and tasty.  My two cautions about sushi when you are in a rush: One, it is expensive.  Even just one role is usually 8 bucks.  Second, it sometimes isn't enough food.  PLEASE eat enough to get the nutrition you need on a daily basis. I usually combine my sushi with some frozen veggies or a cup of Greek yogurt.  Still quick, but is nutritious.   

Cereal:  No, this isn't a take-out option, per se.  But I do tend to eat it when I have had a long evening (like tonight).  I find cereal can be a great choice; it is quick and inexpensive.  If you eat it with milk, you also get a serving of dairy.  Again, just make sure you are eating it enough and make sure it is a low-sugar cereal.  

Something to think about:  What is your favorite work-late food option?  How do you keep it healthy?  
Monday, October 11, 2010

postheadericon Sunday Night Cooking (Cont.)

OK, so yes, I know it is Monday.  But I didn't finish making my Sunday night dinner and had to wrap it up tonight.  And boy, was it worth it!  A super-yummy meal with plenty of veggies.  And vegetarian too!  Here is  what I ended up munching on this evening.  

 It tasted wonderful.  The recipe called for shells, but I didn't really find any the right size...they were all super-small.  So I tried a new type of pasta.  Campanelle pasta is like little lasagna curls.  It really holds sauce well.

Barilla is by far my favorite brand of pasta.  I am pretty healthy with my eating, but I just really don't care for whole wheat pasta.  The Barilla Plus line is a nice alternative.  It tastes like white pasta with a little more nutritional value.  Although I didn't use the Plus product this evening...just good old white pasta for me this evening.

Do you like my blog's new look?  A big thanks to Banner Blvd, which created this look just for me!  A quick tip...the website etsy has tons of blog design vendors.  Anyway, I am so glad I found Banner Blvd.  She did an excellent job in a very short period of time.  I wanted to provide a shout-out!

Thought for today: I almost didn't finish the second half of my cooking tonight because I didn't get home tonight until after 8PM.  I thought, well, by the time I finish dinner it will be 9PM!  But then I thought, why can't you eat a home cooked dinner at 9PM?  So I commenced with the cooking.  What things are you not doing because you have created artificial rules for yourself?  What are you missing out on?  Something to consider.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

postheadericon Sunday night cooking

Hello All!  Well Sunday night for me is usually dedicated to big time cooking.  I try to cook enough on Sunday to get me through most of my week.

I actually got started on Saturday morning.  I made wonderful lasagna rolls from a Giada recipe that you can find here.  I have a fear of lasagna, having turned out several runny lasagnas over the years.  These lasagna rolls have never let me down.  It also makes it super-easy to control your portions, because each roll pops out of the pan pretty easily.  I made this dish for a work colleague going through a hard time.  Several of us are bringing her family meals over the next several weeks.  This recipe is perfect for potluck or a company meal.

I got started today about 6PM.  I was planning on making the following recipes:

Baked Shells with Winter Squash

Carrots Halva (sorry, I can't find the recipe on-line; I used a recipe in the cookbook Healthy South Indian Cooking, by local cookbook author Alamelu Vairavan)

Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Icing

First thing is first.  I had to roast the squash (although you can make the recipe with frozen squash).  I had two beautiful delicata squash in my CSA share this week, so I roasted those at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. I just cut them in half, scooped out the seeds and placed them cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet.

They cooked beautifully.  But I got super-hungry, so I decided to hold off on making the rest of the recipe until tomorrow evening.  So I heated a few extra lasagna rolls I had left over from my casserole yesterday.  Yum!

While the lasagna rolls were cooking, I scraped out the squash and placed what I needed in the fridge.  There was a little left over, so I had some squash puree for dinner.  It tasted wonderful; go out and get yourself some squash people!

I then started making the carrots halva.  This is an Indian dish Bruno (the boyfriend) and I had in Madison last weekend.  I just had to try to make it at home, especially because I had four gorgeous carrots in the share this week!  I am not sure this is a super-healthy dish because honestly, it tastes like candy.  One tip from me: instead of toasting the cashews in the oven, toast them in the microwave.  I find it only takes about one minute for a handful of nuts (what I used here) and you don't have to worry about turning on the oven.

So at this point the lasagna rolls were ready, so I had a lovely dinner of squash, halva and lasagna rolls.

After dinner I was back at it.  I needed to make an oatmeal cake for a work colleague's birthday.  I bring a yummy treat into work for office birthdays.  I have a special little table I place outside my office for treats and everything!  I have made oatmeal cake before; this was a repeat performance.  I hope she likes it!  Will keep you updated.

Something to think about: I went for a nice long walk today.  The trees are really changing here in Milwaukee.  There are just a few weeks left where it will be easy to be outside.  What do you want to accomplish before the snow falls?
Thursday, October 7, 2010

postheadericon CSA planning

Yesterday a work colleague asked me how I handled all the produce I receive in my CSA share.  I participate in  JenEhr Farm's CSA program.  They are high tech farmers and send all their members an e-mail each week letting us know what will be in our share and even some serving suggestions.

I actually have a half share, so I only pick-up every other week.  Today was my pick up day and I now have a huge bag of all sorts of yummies.

The amount of produce can be overwhelming unless you plan ahead.  I have developed a weekly ritual that has served me well over the three years I have been a member.

On Thursday nights, I bring everything home and assess what I have.  I spread it all out on my table.  What is there?  Is there any vegetable I don't recognize?

Then I figure out what I can realistically eat within the week.  If I can't eat the vegetable in a reasonable amount of time, I try and immediately freeze the veggies to use this winter.  For great advice regarding how to freeze almost any vegetables, take a look here.

With what remains, I plan my weekly meals.  I then go shopping for anything I might need on Friday after work.  I have found that the Taste of Home website is a great reference  for yummy and practical vegetable-based meals.  Additionally, Mark Bittman's cookbook, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is a godsend.  A great investment for anyone wanting to eat more vegetables in their daily regime.

So what is on the menu for this week?  Well I have planned meals featuring salad greens, Swiss chard, beets, carrots and eggplant.  Stay tuned for these recipes and many more great CSA ideas!

Question of the Day: Do you subscribe to a CSA share?  Why or why not?  Do you have any questions for me regarding how a share works and what to expect?
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

postheadericon Real Women Don't Wear Pink

I just got home from a killer game of tennis.  I play really late in the evening, because they give all the good evening court times to the men's leagues and the ladies leagues are either during the day (hello, I work) or at 8:30 at night (which is when I play).  I have a beef with court times, but I will save that for another post.

What I really want to talk about is the color pink.  This rant comes up every year for me.  October is breast cancer awareness month.  I am very supportive of this cause; one of the reasons I am so dedicated to healthy living is to prevent being diagnosed with cancer and other horrible illnesses.  I don't have a beef with cancer (OK, maybe I do), but seeing so many folks dressed in pink always gets me riled up about this topic.  

My beef comes, then, in the assumption that I want to wear pink all the time because I am a girl.  I just got a wonderful e-mail from my favorite on-line tennis apparel retailer  and I noticed so many of the new arrivals are PINK.  Why do retailers assume all female athletes want to wear is pink?  Is there an assumption we need to look more feminine while we are working out?  Because I already feel pretty womanly in a tennis skirt, thank you very much.  I just don't understand the logic.  Isn't purple the hot color this year?  Nope, everything is pink, pink, pink.

This beef also carries over to another past time of mine, which is following professional sports, especially the Cleveland Indians (and Browns and Packers).  I recently went on-line to find some Indians apparel and guess what?  All the women's fitted items were pink.  I don't want to wear pink, I want to wear Indians team colors!!  Oh this has me all excited this evening.

So do you like to wear pink while working out?  How about when you are cheering on your favorite team?  I would love to hear your thoughts.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

postheadericon Welcome

Hello!  This is my first blog post...I have been inspired by a blog I enjoy on a daily basis; the Fitnessista blog at  I was just e-mailing Gina today and I mentioned that I had been thinking of starting a blog and then I thought, why don't I just do it??

Who am I?  Well I moved to sunny Milwaukee, Wisconsin three years ago.  I will be honest, it gets super-cold here and it hovers below freezing more than six months out of the year.  But you know what?  People LOVE fitness here.  They find ways around the crazy weather.  I have been inspired by this dedication and am going to do my best to maintain a healthy lifestyle no matter what the weather.

What will I blog about?  Hopefully all the things I love!  I cook most nights and workout most days.  I enjoy learning about health and wellness and I would love to hear from persons who value this too!

I will also blog about everyday life, including my family (mostly in Ohio), my boyfriend (I won't use his real name; let's call him Bruno) and my kitty cat Guinness (yes, named after beer).  I hope you will join me.  Let me know what you think.

Sara (SDawsonH)


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