Mole (pronounced MO Lay)

Mandy does it up right on Wednesday nights. Check out this menu: Anaheim peppers stuffed with homemade “cheeze” and then broiled and then topped with a mole sauce (spicy chocolate). SHE ALSO made mini corn tortillas topped with a fabulously fresh guacamole. My feeble contribution was this salad: Spinach, sauteed sweet potato/jalapeno, goat cheese, red onion, carrot, cranberries, lemon/garlic dressing (Anna’s recipe).

Will couldn’t get the food into his face fast enough:

WW points for all of this? Probably about 16 points. I think I’m only over by a 2 or 3 for the day (I need to get out of this house before the homemade chocolate cookies come out of the oven).

Activity: 30 minutes elliptical, 60 minute Pilates class

Soundtrack: “The High Road” by Broken Bells and “Hallelujah” by Helio Sequence

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Plus four

Are we having fun yet? That’s right, gained all four pounds back this week. I have my theories on this, but what’s the point of ruminating? Time to look forward.

A Five Point Plan (a self-care suggestion from Megan)

1. Remember that being stuck in the 180’s is much, much better than the 280’s or even 380’s, which is the path I was on.
2. TRACK food and POINTS. I have not been doing this.
3. Lift 3 times a week and cut back a bit on cardio. (Per the suggestion of a personal trainer at the gym.)
4. Drink water (and not just at the gym).
5. Cut down to two nights/week of social drinking. (Women are only supposed to have one drink/day to stay within healthy limits.)

Stay tuned for a dinner that I’m really stoked about!

Typical Tuesday

About last night’s post: The name of the book the soup came from is The Ultimate Soup Bible by Anne Sheasby. I also forgot to mention that I added a couple ounces of goat cheese to the pot to add a touch of creaminess without a lot of fat or calories. Like I said last night, try your own modifications. You’ll love it!

And now today. It’s a light food and big cardio sort of day. My muscles are trashed from yesterday’s lifting class, so I’m only going to do a spin class this afternoon. My lunch was satisfying: Tuna with greens and Wasa crackers. Mix one can of tuna with chopped arugula, scallion and cilantro. Add juice of 1/2 lemon and lots of pepper and some salt. Add cranberries for color and sweetness.

Homemade soul night

Tonight was the maiden voyage of Homemade Soul nights. We discussed forming a band while eating soup and listening to funk and soul music. It’s good to be alive!

DJ Morgan:

Dinner guests sporting our apron collection:

The acutal soup didn’t photograph all that well; such a shame considering the health:ease:taste:affordability of the whole meal. Make your own version of this… Jamie and I both modified it based on the recipe from her special soup cookbook. (Jamie, I lost your text message… what’s the name of this book?)

Anyway, here are the plated garnishes:

Perfect meal for number any number; just double or triple it!

Corn Sweet Potato Soup:

Corn & Sweet Potato Soup
serves 6

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 small red chile, seeded and chopped
7 1/2 cups veg stock
2 tsp ground cumin
1 med sweet potato, diced
1/2 red bell pepper chopped
1 lb. corn kernels
salt & pepper to taste
lime wedges to serve

1. heat oil, fry onion for 5 minutes, til soft. Add garlic, chile, cook 2 more minutes.
2. in same pan, add 1 1/4 cup stock. bring to boil and simmer 10minutes.
3. mix cumin with a little stock (1 tbsp – ish) to form a paste, stir in soup. add sweet potato, stir, simmer for 10 minutes. season and stir again.
4. add red pepper, corn and remaining stock, simmer 10 minutes. process half of soup until smooth and stir into the chunky soup. season and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

(these are the nutrition values from the book: 188 cal; protein 6.9g; carbs 8.5g; sugars 7.3g; fat 14.9g [sat. 4.3g]; cholesterol 0mg; calcium 134mg; fiber 3.6g; sodium 1027mg)

Seattle girls weekend

Just back from another one-nighter in Seattle. This trip was in honor of Halley, which means we shopped. There is a good possibility that Juanita and I ended up with sparkly gold shoes. YES!!

After a full Saturday afternoon of downtowning, we returned to Juanita’s to find an outdoor dinner party, courtesy of hubby Brenden and his turkey-frying pals. The turkey (fried in veggie oil for 45 minutes), roasted veggies, homemade bread and salad made a perfectly balanced and healthy dinner. And their cute kids and blooming scenery didn’t hurt either. I could get used to this.

My biggest accomplishment of the weekend was forcing a gym workout early this morning before our brunch outing. Brunch was way more fun. We ate at St. Clouds, and I had an omelet with roasted pineapple inside. Best thing ever!!

Big time gratitude to Juanita, Brenden, Iris and Hazel for hosting us… One month until I head north again for more family time!

Meatballs and Steak

Sometimes I like to spend my Fridays eating red meat for lunch AND dinner. I know I said I was posting a Jamie A inspired recipe tonight, but my plans changed, and I ended up eating leftovers for lunch and then had dinner with Kent and Steph (after some lovely French wine tasting at Vino).

Lunch first. Mexican meatball soup from the latest Real Simple mag… I made it for Ty on Sunday and just got around to eating the serving I saved for myself. So flavorful and real simple, obviously. As you can see, I served it up with salted spinach. I’m pretty stoked to make it with ground turkey next time.

Mexican Meatball Soup

1 pound ground beef
2 scallions, chopped
1 cup tortilla chips, crushed, plus more for serving
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for serving
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
kosher salt and black pepper
3 cups mild jarred salsa (about 1 1/2 jars, each 16 ounces)
1 avocado, cut into pieces

Directions

1. Heat broiler. In a bowl, combine the beef, scallions, tortilla chips, cilantro, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls (about 24) and place on a broilerproof baking sheet. Broil until beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the salsa with 1 cup water. Transfer to a large saucepan, add 2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs, reduce heat, and simmer until cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes.
3. Serve the soup with the avocado, cilantro sprigs, and tortilla chips, if desired.

And here is Kent’s menu for our “casual” dinner at their place:

Grilled steak and paprika butter
Grilled potato salad, warm with garlic, onion, balsamic
Grilled asparagus with fresh orange

Crazy deliciousness:

Thanks, friends!

Activity today: Spin class. It was really, really hard.

On to Seattle tomorrow!!

AND HAPPY 25TH BIRTHDAY TO MY SISSY, BREEZY!! LOVES!

Sushi Okalani

So you know the creepy single gal in the tiny, dimly lit sushi bar taking pictures of her food? Well, I try to avoid being that person, which means I did not take any pictures of my meal tonight. This normally would not be such a big deal, but it happened to be some of THE BEST SUSHI I’VE EVER HAD. When visiting Hood River, you must eat at Sushi Okalani… completely worth the 50 minute drive from Portland.

My menu: Miso soup (slurped, not spooned), sunomono (cucumber salad), yellowtail nigiri (raw tuna on rice), unagi nigiri (warm, gooey eel on rice), spicy tuna hand roll, Thai salmon hand roll (best thing I’ve eaten in ages: Chunked raw salmon with cilantro, scallions and sweet/spicy Thai sauce).

Not too sure on the WW points for all this, but it can’t be that bad. Rice and fish, people, rice and fish! Get some!

Activity: Hotel gym workout. 25 minute uphill, fast treadmill walk and 10 minutes on the recumbent bike @ heavy resistance. Followed by 50 push ups and 100+ crunches. And lots of dog walking.

And finally my new food find! Only 1 WW point per bar. (This is not natural in anyway. But when you crave some over processed sugars and corn syrup, check these bad boys out!) Safeway’s Eating Right brand 100 calorie snack bars:

They have lots of fiber, and they come in at least four flavors. Peanut butter is the way to go, though.

***Check back for a new recipe tomorrow night, courtesy of Jamie A and her soup cookbook.

Lucy, my MVP

Lucy and I are both limping a little after our 4.5 mile round trip hike up to the top Angel’s Rest and back (1600 feet climb). The workout and sunshine were worth it, though! I’d forgotten what a sense of accomplishment this hike is… yowzers what a booty kicker! Every spring-breaker and his dog was out there today, so when we grew tired of talking to each other, we had plenty of friendly company to entertain us. To reward myself (have you noticed how much I like ‘rewarding myself’?) I hit up the Passport Pub in Hood River and had a Walking Man IPA and finished off my tan on their patio.

View from the top (I risked my life to get this shot; the winds up there were CRAZY. Even Lucy was scared.):

Bui’s salad rolls at the top for lunch!

Just the sweetest:

And by some crazy stroke of luck that I’m completely unaccustomed to, I actually got an upgraded hotel room because of my dog. Really? Check out our river view:

And finally, thanks to all for the positivity today! The phone calls, texts, emails, FB messages and blog comments from you guys made today an absolutely perfect one. Love you!

E I G H T Y

Finally!

I weighed-in today at my lowest EVER! 4.2 pounds down, 81.4 TOTAL!

Because I’m leaving for a work trip this evening, I stopped in at an earlier WW meeting. Shelley, one of my fave leaders, asked me to speak about this experience, and I noted that it took me nearly two months to lose five pounds. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth it!

On my way out of town this afternoon, I’m going to stop and hike Angel’s Rest… and I’m lugging the Nikon up to the top, so stay tuned for pics! Oh, and there may be pizza in my future as well 🙂

strollin’ with my homie

Lucy and I roamed the sunny neighborhood this afternoon; I brought the Nikon to document the spring blooms and to get my upcoming visitors jacked for their vacations! And since this is a big part of my daily exercise routine, it’s time I enlighten y’all on the paradise of NE Portland.

(I got to the gym- planned on rocking a spin class- but messed up the class time and ended up spending less than a half hour on the elliptical. Super sick of the gym; excited for a break tomorrow.)






Salad rolls for dinner. Weigh-in tomorrow followed by a work trip to the Gorge… time for a hike!