A Birthday Dinner

My roommates birthday was this weekend, so to celebrate made a nice home cooked meal! Spaghetti Squash Pesto with Chicken and Mushrooms.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • Chicken Fillets- cut into small pieces
  • Shiitake Mushrooms-sliced
  • Basil Pesto

Directions:

  1. Cut squash in half, place on baking sheet. Set oven to 375 degrees, and bake for about 30-40 minutes.
  2. Take squash out of oven and with a fork, shred the squash. It will fall apart easily into small noodles; place in large serving bowl.
  3. Cook chicken and mushrooms on the stove, season with garlic/garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Combine squash noodles and pesto, stir until evenly spread. Add chicken and mushrooms (and extra pesto if desired) and mix.

Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 medium sized garlic gloves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Put basil leaves and pine nuts in food processer and pulse a few times.
  2. Add garlic and continue to pulse.
  3. Slowly add olive oil then grated cheese, and continue to pulse until fully blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The longest part is just waiting for the squash to cook. After that the whole process takes maybe 10-15 minutes all together. A simple, delicious, healthy dish to celebrate a birthday! Sit down with a nice glass of sangria (homemade of course) and it all equals up to a wonderful meal.

It was a great way to spend my weekend before studying for my 2 upcoming tests in the next 4 days….It will definitely be a week filled with minimum sleep and lots of coffee! Thank goodness for leftovers!

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Birthday Dinner!

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Green Monster

I came across the website Green Monster Movement yesterday and thought I’d give the “Virgin Green Monster” a try. I woke up around 4 am this morning to study for my test this morning. And after my failed attempt at a nap, I figured I’d give this drink a try. Now I like every ingredient that goes into this smoothie, but I’ve never had a “green” smoothie before, so I was a little…nervous. And I was happily surprised that this smoothie was delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 1 banana
  • 1-1.5 cups of milk
  • ice

Directions:

Place spinach at bottom of the blender, then add bananas then milk. The heavier ingredients keep the spinach from flying up on the walls of the blender. Blend until smooth, then add ice. Blend again. And then you’re done!

I highly recommend everyone try this smoothie, especially if you have never had a “green” smoothie before. It basically tastes like a banana smoothie. Delicious!

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Virgin Green Monster- For Beginners

A Delicious Treat

I broke down yesterday and made some cookies. But how could I not? You only need 3 ingredients (all of which I happened to have in my kitchen- damn you pintrest!) and you don’t even have to bake. Just put them in the fridge for 30 minutes and you’re set!

Ingredients:

  • Ritz Crackers (or any cracker you want to use)
  • Organic Peanut Butter (seriously, check the label! If you don’t know what it is…don’t get it.) The only ingredients in a jar of peanut butter should be peanuts, and possibly salt (and very little of that).
  • 1 bag (2 cups) Chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate- they taste better in my opinion than semi-sweet. Although dark chocolate would probably be a little better for you)

Directions:

  • Spread about a teaspoon or so of peanut butter in between 2 crackers. Wala! You’ve made a peanut butter cracker.
  • Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for about a minute and a half at about 70% power. Otherwise the chocolate might burn.
  • Dip the crackers into the chocolate, and coat on both sides.
  • Place on parchment paper and place in fridge for 30 minutes to set.

And you’re done! Easy as that. I made about 20 cookies. There was enough chocolate to make more, but I ran out of room in my fridge.

Now the old me (the 3 months ago me) probably would have eaten as many cookies as I could until my stomach wanted to explode. However, the new me knew that I would regret/hate myself if I did that. So my solution? Eat a bunch of watermelon in between. I mean a lot…I hate half of a watermelon by myself yesterday. It was so delicious, I can’t wait to get home after work today and cut up the other half. And because I was eating watermelon throughout the day, my stomach was pretty full. So every time I went to grab another cookie, I could only manage to eat 1 maybe 2. I think I only ate about 5 total yesterday. Which is honestly not that bad considering they aren’t very big and I could probably eat all of them in a day if I let myself.

Also, I had more than just watermelon yesterday, but honestly it was a major part of my diet. I cut it into pieces after my yoga class yesterday morning, so it was just so readily available all day. A quick grab and go snack, and I’m ALL about simple and fast meals. (If you can even call watermelon a meal?) So yeah, it might not have been my most nutritious intake day, but it was definitely a yummy in my tummy day- and you can’t beat that!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

My Thoughts On Oatmeal

Yesterday morning I thought I’d be adventurous and try oatmeal for the first time. Well the first time since I was in pre-school. And lets just say that back then, every bite was followedm by a gag. I have a an issue with certain textures with my food. And the oatmeal that was served at my pre-school for breakfast EVERYDAY (ugh, horrible) was soggy and mushy. And I’m pretty sure that’s what oatmeal is like? I honestly have no idea…but I thought I’d give it a second try. Now maybe it has something to do with the fact that you can make the oatmeal in 1 minute, or maybe it was because I used milk instead of water, but it wasn’t much better the second time around.

The oats were not from one of those bowls that you just add water to and put in the microwave. However, I still consider it instant oatmeal since I put it in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Pretty fast breakfast in my opinion. Now I had the option of either adding milk or water. Milk was meant to make the oatmeal thicker, and water to make it less thicker? I decided to go with milk, I sort of thought about it like powdered hot chocolate. It tastes richer when you use milk instead of water. I popped it into the microwave, and a minute or so later, I pulled it out and it seemed ok. I didn’t add as much milk as it suggested on the box, and maybe that is where I went wrong. It wasn’t liquid-ey, actually kind of dry. I only put in 1/2 a cup instead of 1 cup of milk. 1 cup seemed like a lot, but I guess the oats kind of suck it up while in the microwave? I added cinnamon to sweeten it up, so I wouldn’t have to use sugar- and break my healthy diet. It definitely added flavor, and I was able to eat it all. But there was just something about it. I think I needed something to add some crunch. Again, it all has to do with texture.

About an hour later my stomach wasn’t feeling so good. Not like, “I’m going to throw up” kind of feel, just kind of bleh. And since the oatmeal wasn’t my favorite anyway, I probably won’t be having it anytime soon. Maybe I just didn’t make it right? Well not that I made it wrong, but someone out there probably has a secret recipe that makes oatmeal delicious. All that matters is that I tried it though, right? I can now check that one off my list and move on to better and tastier things. Like scrambled eggs with spinach and green onions.

2 eggs, 2 egg whites, 1 green onion chopped, and a small handful of baby spinach = delicious.

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Breakfast Smoothie

Made a smoothie for breakfast today! Now that I have a blender, I can finally make smoothies!

At Costco they have huge bags of frozen fruit (like 5lb bags) and I picked up a few different ones. I used “Nature’s Three Berries” (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) and “whole strawberries”. I put about a cup of each into the blender and added a little less than a cup of nonfat vanilla bean yogurt (Wallaby brand) and blended them together! And the outcome was a delicious breakfast!

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Meh

So I think I threw out my back…or just pulled a muscle really badly. My back started hurting a couple of days ago towards the end of my yoga class. But I didn’t think much of it, I just figured I stretched a little too far and I’d recover by the next day. This was on thursday. Friday during class it still hurt, but I just pushed through, trying to ignore the discomfort (such a bad idea). Yesterday during class, I avoided all back bends or stretches that might hurt my back and after class I laid on a heating pad for a few hours moving it from my lower back to upper back and shoulders. I don’t think it helped very much. Then this morning I debated if I should go to class or not. I decided to go and again just avoid back bends, and spine stretches. Unfortunately for me though, while doing a simple pose I felt this sharp pinch in my shoulder, and I almost fell to the floor. It was so incredibly painful, and I am so confused as to what made my shoulder freak out like that. Needless to say, I am back on the heating pad and probably won’t move for the next couple of hours.

Now I love to relax, and this heating pad feels so good, but I literally just spent 6 months being sedentary because of my knee, which still isn’t fully healed. The last thing I want is to be stuck laying down and being inactive because I’m forced to.  I’ve had my fair share of days where all I did was lay in bed and watch movies. But I at least had the option to get my butt up and not be lazy, now I don’t really have that option. I just hope this doesn’t last long. One of the yoga instructors at the studio happens to be a massage therapist as well, so I’m going to set up an appointment with her and hopefully she’ll be able to fix my back. *Crossing my fingers!*

On a slightly better note though, my lack of a blender problem has been fixed! I’m house sitting for a family while they go on vacation, and they have a blender! So now I can make smoothies and other yummy foods! I’m very excited! Plus they have the cutest dog, so it’ll be a nice change from my boring apartment life.