Onions, peppers and zucchini recipe

Recipe: Avocado Lime Chicken and Vegetables

Just look at how wonderful and beautiful this California Chicken Veggie Grilled Pasta Bowl is.

LOOK at it.

My attempt did not turn out as pretty… or at all pretty. (I won’t even show you what it looked like with the avocado cream sauce. For some reason… it turned… like yellow.)

I mean… look at it…

Avocado lime chicken recipe

Probably because I didn’t have all the ingredients necessary, as per usual.

Probably because I cooked it up faster than I should have.

Probably because I wasn’t being good to the food.

Probably because all the zucchini sank to the bottom of the pot and got kinda stuck…

It didn’t taste bad though! How can it when you start with some of my favorite ingredients: onions and peppers and a surprise appearance by zucchini!

Onions, peppers and zucchini recipe

Suffice it to say I sauteed onions, peppers and zucchini, added spiced chicken, and then combined it all with the pasta and an avocado cream “sauce” usually reserved for my Black Bean Soup.

So… I achieved edible.

Meh.

Recipe fail but tummy win. I’ll take whatever I can get.

Check out Whole and Heavenly Oven for more great recipes. I’m kinda in love with it right now.

Fitness hiatus: Graduate school takes over my world

On February 17, when I was worried about what bra I should wear while working out, I received my comprehensive exam questions.

In order to obtain my Master’s of Communication from Wichita State University, I must take and pass comprehensive exams, a four-hour essay during which I will answer six of the 20 questions I received to practice.

Since February 17, I have not attended Muscle Pump or Power Yoga at the YMCA. I have not gone running in my neighborhood, even though the weather has been perfect for it. I have not done much of anything for my fitness, except for the occasional spring walk with my dog.

In addition, I have not done much of anything for my body internally. Excessive indulgence and stress eating are terms to describe my consumption habits. Too much chocolate. Too much fried food. Too much fast food. (Luckily, I enjoy Subway enough to soften the blow of my take-out habits.)

I may have lost 10 pounds last year, but I am not on track to lose another 10 pounds. In fact, I’m not on track to lose the five pounds I have gained since February 17.

Five pounds.

I’m not joking.

My clothing is not too tight yet, and perhaps that’s why I haven’t noticed the five-pound weight gain. (I have avoided the scale.) Perhaps I haven’t noticed it because the muscle I used to have has been replaced by squishy fat.

I am actually not too bothered by how much I weigh right now. I’m not overweight. But I feel unhealthy.

Feeling a way is a better indicator for health than looking a way, and I don’t feel well.

Graduate school and comprehensive exams have been my life. Every night. Every week. I have studied and studied and read and read, and I am prepared.

Hope for health comes in the form of a deadline.

Tomorrow, Saturday, March 31, I will take my comprehensive exams and end the torrential cycle of sitting on my butt and stuffing my face full of French fries and Ramen noodles.

After Saturday, I will pass my comprehensive exams. After Saturday, I will be free from my laptop, my notes and my books. After Saturday, I will be on track to losing the weight I gained, replacing it with muscle and training for a few 5K’s I want to race.

I am prepared, but I am nervous to take my exams. I am nervous I will choke or fail or fall apart, but I am also excited. I am excited to be done with them, to be free of them, to go back to the gym again, to cook and eat well again.

Lisa Johnson Fitness described how to get back to the gym in Getting Back on Track: How to Return After a Fitness Hiatus:

  • Acknowledge that you slacked off. Pretty sure I just did that.
  • Don’t try to make up for lost time. Thank goodness! I do not have to double my efforts to fall back into fitness.
  • You didn’t lose as much ground as you think. According to Lisa, I should feel healthier and better able to work out by my third or fourth effort. (I didn’t take that long of a break.)
  • Set a fitness goal. My goal is to go to Muscle Pump and Power Yoga twice a week and cook and eat real food again. (No more couch. No more Ramen.)
  • Bribe yourself. I plan on bribing myself with a professional massage. My back will appreciate it.

Wish me luck! (For my exams and my fitness freedom.) See you Sunday friends!

The best food for runners: Eggs!

Husband recently discovered the deliciousness of runny egg yolks.

I swear he’s behind on the times. I’ve known runny egg yolks were delicious since the beginning of time.

Not only are runny egg yolks amazing, especially on toast or bagels and YUM, but egg yolks are also good for you!

Seriously!

Luckily, they (whoever they are) changed the rules about eggs.

In fact, because of the easy-absorbing egg protein, the egg is one of the best foods for runners.

According to Runner’s World, eggs are good for losing weight, protecting your heart, fighting inflammation, maintaining bone strength and maintaining vision.

Sounds good to me!

Since February 17, when I received my comprehensive exam questions, I have gained four pounds. I plan to eat eggs every morning to improve weight loss and protein-muscle repair, and, of course, to enjoy eggs. (I also plan to go to the gym again… after comps.)

Plus, my heart is under constant stress. I am such a paranoid hypochondriac hot mess that I’m surprised the poor thing just hasn’t quit on me. Keep goin’, baby! I will feed you egg!

I’m already blind as a bat so I doubt eggs will really help me vision. I already eat tons of carrots! (Or are those just good for eye health?)

Husband and I have eaten commercial and cage-free eggs and found the taste is about the same. As it turns out, the nutritional value is the same, too. When I can, I’ll buy cage-free because it’s good for the chickens, but no way until I can afford that extra $1.20. (I know. It’s only $1.20.)

The article on Runner’s World features four recipes, but I only liked the sound of the 20-minute skillet dinner. I love eggs and greens, and tomatoes make my soul happy. I think I’ll have to make some tomato soup soon…

What’s your favorite egg dishI made a frittata once, and it was amazing. Like an egg cake!

I’ll never learn…

I am now absolutely positive that I do not like squash.

I’ve tried squash a couple of times in different preparations, and I think I like yellow squash, just not any other squash.

How am I so sure?

Well, I made it again for dinner tonight… for some weird reason… Ugh.

Roasted Butter Squash and Apples with Pecans
Ingredients

  • 1   butternut squash (about 8 cups), peeled, seeded, 1/2 inch thick slices
  • 3 cups  apples, cored, 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1/2 cup  brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup  melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons  olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons  Calvados (or apple cider)
  • 2 tablespoons  maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon  each: kosher salt, black pepper and nutmeg
  • 1 cup  pecan halves
  • 6 tablespoons  pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon  flake sea salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine butternut squash, apples, brown sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, olive oil, Calvados, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, kosher salt, black pepper and nutmeg together in large bowl and toss to blend.

Arrange in an 8/inch x 8/inch baking dish. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine pecan halves and 6 tablespoons maple syrup in a small nonstick skillet. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the maple syrup has reduced to a thick glaze coating the pecans.

Immediately spread on a foil-lined baking sheet; sprinkle flake salt evenly over pecans. Cool and break apart glazed pecans.

After butternut squash mixture has cooked for 45 minutes, remove from oven and top with maple glazed pecans. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

I made no alteration to the recipe. I followed it exactly. I wanted it to taste apple-y and nutmeg-y and delicious to go with the (Hormel) apple bourbon pork loin.

I happened to overcook that pork loin, too…

It smelled wonderful like one of those scented candles you light to make it seem like you’ve been baking cookies all day when really you store-bought.

I’m sure it also tasted fine – just not to my palette, and not to Husband’s. I think we’re spicy food people.

Pecans with Maple GlazeApple Bourbon Pork Loin Hormel

I just don’t like squash… I’m pretty sad about it.

Squash? Yea or Nay? I want to like squash! I really do! (Now taking suggestions!)

What’s for dinner tonight? A smattering of however much I could consume, even though it wasn’t that good.

Weekend Recap

Busy does not mean I cannot take pictures…

…of EVERYTHING!

Enjoy.

Busy-ness and an extreme heightened awareness kept me from food on Friday. For a few blissful hours (until dinner), I weighed 129 pounds. Now… not so much.

My weight drop was due to not eating for one day because I was too nervous. I got over it :)

AromaticsCrock Pot Pot Roast Recipe skinnyshaeWhen nerves are high, I also tend to make stuff.
Cookies (premixed) and smoothies, for example.

Betty Crocker Mixable CookiesPeanut butter, banana, honey, milk, protein powderHusband and I enjoyed dinner out on Friday.
We went to Bocconcini, a new Italian Eatery in town.

Wichita Kansas Italian RestaurantI had PUMPKIN Blue Moon.
So. Good.

Pumpkin BeersWe shared a fig pizza. Yes. FIG.

HEAVENLYAnd we each got the Salmon P.L.T. (with Prosciutto, instead of bacon). Husband had his with yummy fries, and I got an arugala salad with feta and apples.

Restaurant Review: We’re going back :)

Arugala salad with feta cheese and applesI have, unfortunately, been skipping workouts. Not that I want to skip, mind you, but my legs hurt like crazy bad. Stingy pains in my shins and calves. Comes and goes, but really hurts during some moments – standing, walking or sitting. SUCKS.

I have been icing my knees and shins with corn. It’s the corn we don’t eat… Hopefully, I just have REALLY bad shins splints that will eventually heal. I read somewhere that shin splints might never heal. (cries)

Jar of Halloween Candy CornOh, hey, guess what! It’s totally Halloween!

I am convinced Halloween would be much more fun if I had children to take trick-or-treating. Going out dressed up as a naughty “insert-job-role-here” thing is not for me.

But, hey, here’s a cute kiddo going trick-or-treating as a “pirate ninja.” He couldn’t decide between the two. (Testing out his ninja swords in the picture.)

Now that my weekend is over… It’s back to the real world.

Well, the school world anyway.

Tell me about your weekend?

Any good Halloween recipes?

Hey! A lot of food…

Food blog. Food blog.

recipe tilapia vegetableFood blog…

Wasabi Japanese RestaurantAnd another food blog!

Bowl for Shae!Sorry about all the food and recipe posts! I do do more than cooking and eating, although I do a lot of both of those.

Yesterday, for example, I also cleaned. (I hate cleaning.)

Occasionally, I work out but not Monday, and not today.

Instead, on Monday, I slept in until 7:30 a.m. because I stayed up until 3:30 a.m. reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, of which I also do a lot. I finished it this morning, and I have one thing to say… I knew it! J. K. Rowling tried to trick me, but I was on to her. I knew it!

Oh, and I cried.

Twice.

I apologize for posting food blogs out the wahzoo… also for skipping workouts… also for not blogging.

I have not felt well lately.

I went to the doctor. She told me to cut back on caffeine, drink more water, take a vitamin E supplement and “get some damn rest” because I look like hell.

So that is what I have been doing. Resting.

I love my doctor :)

Dinner tonight is Vegetable Soup with Veal Meatballs and crescent rolls.

I hope you are feeling much better than I, my friends! Cheers!

Accomplished + Homemade fries

le (busy) day.

Workout: Four corners (stadium sprinting).

Work: Students.

School: Paper intro… check!

Groceries: Deals and peanuts.

Home: NO! GO BACK TO…

School: Interview!

I’m going to be on the radio! Well, if they use my soundbites, who knows?!
My health seminar class was interviewed, well, three of us, by KFDI for the WSU Hunger Awareness Event! Yay! People care, people care!

this chick <——— ridiculously happy :)

When I finally get home, what do I do? Relax? Heck no.

First, PBC.

Second, wit.

New BelgiumThird, undead.

Dead Week The Dead Can't Dance Zombie WalkJo! (make up by Shae)

Fourth, Italian Turkey Sandwich and homemade potato fries.

HomefriesTake that Thomas Jefferson.

Homemade Potato Fries
Ingredients

  • 2 russet potatoes, cut into 1/4″ strips
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika

Toss and bake at 450 degrees F for approximately 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender crisp.

What did you make today? a midterm, cookies, sandwiches, fries… zombie? ;)