Thursday, December 29, 2011

Energizer TFG.

Can I first just say that I now have a bedtime of 9:30pm because working out after working all day takes all the energy out of me?

I wish I were exaggerating.

But really, I usually have the blessing of being too energetic for my own liking. (And for anyone else's liking, for that matter). So I shouldn't complain about this recent turn of events.

Also, the best part about working out and coming home starving is that no matter what is in the fridge, it will be eaten. This is why the one meal I make every Sunday that lasts me until Friday works well.

Even my not-so-glamorous looking soup that I threw together in five minutes this past weekend!

But it tastes pretty glamorous, if you ask me. Hence the glamorous name.

Coconut Harvest Soup

  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked grains of choice*
  • 1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup frozen chopped greens (spinach, collards, kale, etc)
  • 3/4 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 medium potatoes (sweet potatoes preferred!)
  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • salt/pepper

*I used this grain blend, but any combination of grains/beans would work well:

Start by cooking the grains/beans in a large pot. While this cooks, microwave the sweet potatoes, then chop them. Peeling is optional. Peel = fiber.

Then combine all ingredients in the pot with the grains. Simmer on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.

It may be necessary to add more coconut milk and/or broth and/or water depending on desired consistency. The next day, I found that the consistency was a lot thicker than it was the previous day. So it might be beneficial to save some broth to add just before consuming!

Wintery goodness. And quite a substantial post-weight lifting meal!

Is anyone else dreading going to the gym after January 1st? And along those lines, any new years resolutions? I'm going to be cliche and aim to reduce my sugar intake. 6 pack, here I come! (For real this time).

Monday, December 26, 2011

December 26th:

a.k.a. The Day Not to Fly.

I flew across two states. And the entire process took 9 hours. Is it me, or does something not add up?

Anyway. I landed and I was hungry. Obviously. And I felt like such a college student because I had an (almost) empty fridge and wanted to eat something substantial with zero effort.


MAGGI NOODLES. The Indian equivalent of Ramen.

I know exactly what you're thinking right now. TFG eats RAMEN?! No. TFG eats Maggi, though.

Tulika-fied of course.

Along with Maggi noodles in my pantry, I had some eggs in the fridge and bags and bags of frozen vegetables in the freezer.

I boiled water and cooked the noodles in one small pot, and in a skillet, I scrambled two eggs. When the noodles were almost done cooking, I added to them a generous amount of frozen spinach.

When the eggs were cooked, I added those to the noodles along with the spice packet.

And... that's it.

I must give my sister credit for this idea, because she found a recipe for a Ramen noodle omelette and told me about it yesterday. I would have tried it, but my omelettes usually end up like scrambled eggs anyway...

In other news, I made a TJ's trip this weekend.

The powerberries are really quite good. I have yet to try the fig and pumpkin butter, but I have a feeling they will be on regular rotation for my sandwiches! As for the bag of grains, I've already made something with them that you will see soon! And by soon, I mean actually soon!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

'Tis the season... overindulge in sweets.

I will openly admit to doing so. Only because it's a huge problem.

Good thing January 1st is right around the corner, and you know what that means. New year's resolution time! And less sugar to be eaten.

Despite the ridiculous sugar consumption as of late, I've been making up for it by making my other meals extra healthy! And these days (like all days, really) I don't spend a ton of time cooking. Or any time. It works out well.

For lunch this week, I've been making the best sandwich ever. (Please excuse the cell phone picture).

Homemade jalapeno hummus, swiss cheese, spinach, mushrooms, and olives between two slices of rye. Does not get easier than that. Unless you buy the hummus..

And for my mid-afternoon snack, I've found a new go-to:

Greek yogurt! I've been experimenting with new flavors lately, and I recently discovered chocolate Greek yogurt. Goodbye, boring old strawberry. The chocolate kind reminds me of pudding! I also add grape nuts to my yogurt to make it more filling...and to add some texture. I don't think it's possible to find something crunchier than grape nuts.

As for other meals, I've rediscovered the beauty of frozen vegetables.

Throw them in a pot with spices of choice and in less than 5 minutes, it's time to feast. And if you're like me and are a fan of multitasking, you can cook your grains at the same time!

Canned and/or dried beans are the best. For the above, I threw together whatever I felt like in a large pot. The "whatever I felt like" ended up being black beans, diced tomatoes (Tex-Mex style!), frozen collard greens, frozen corn, cumin seeds, salt, pepper. At the same time, I prepared some brown rice. At them together with some salsa. Win.

Lastly, you don't even need a ton of ingredients to have a healthy dinner.

I don't know why I don't make baked sweet potatoes more often. And by baked, I mean microwaved. And of course, topped with a little butter. Delish.

So back to that topic of sugar...

TFG recommends: Natural sugar substitutes

Monday, December 12, 2011

The grand entrance.

I'm making my grand entrance back into the blogging world. Let me re-introduce myself.

Hello there! Remember me? Good ol' TFG? 

I disappeared for a little while. In case you are curious to know what I've been up to, here is a brief summary in list form:

  • I spontaneously joined a gym. Best decision ever.
  • I baked cookies. And ate them.
  • I started juicing kale. Best decision ever #2.
  • I went on the most scenic 3.5 mile run of my whole life.
  • I started eating farina for breakfast. Fancy.
  • I had my sunflower seed butter taken away. But don't worry, I gained another.
  • I taught Turbo Kick without music. It was ...interesting. I wouldn't repeat that.
  • I got buff.

(Which of these is not like the others?)

I have a recipe for you today! I've been cooking every weekend, but I haven't been making anything worthy of putting on the blog. However, yesterday I was determined to make something somewhat fancy. And healthy. And easy. 

Which fits all three categories? Only my most favorite go-to dish ever. CHILI! 

I know. I made chili like, really recently. But I promise this chili is completely different from that chili. I promise.

Sweet Potato Chili

  • 2 cups uncooked pinto beans*
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 8oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes (or ~3-4 fresh tomatoes)
  • 1/2 or 1 chopped jalapeno (depending on preferred spiciness)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt/pepper

*To cook, combine 2 cups beans + 9 cups water and simmer for about 45 min or until soft. 2 cups uncooked beans makes 4-5 cups cooked beans.

Once the beans have cooked, add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno, and cumin seeds to the pot.

Cook the sweet potatoes. The easiest way to do so is by piercing holes in them and microwaving them. I microwaved 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes together for 10 minutes. Chop them (and peel if desired) and add to the pot.

Season with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.

And garnish with cheese (melted, of course) and salsa. Dinner of champs! Try this next time you want to spice up your usual chili recipe. 

Any holiday health goals? This time of year, it's so hard to stay on top of making healthy choices. My goal is to control my dessert consumption. Anyone with me?!