Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Strawberry Soft Serve

Something I saw the other day stuck with me and I haven't been able to shake it- strawberry ice cream.  Not normally my go to choice, I'm more of a chocolate girl, but I have been CRAVING some strawberries in a major way.  As luck would have it the only sugars passing my lips this week come from fruits and veggies, and soft serve is as easy as a frozen banana. After dinner- a Clean Eating Magazine recipe won again- a lightened up version of taco bowls for me, and enchiladas for my main man, I attacked my TRX with a vengeance.  My arms are jello, and my legs are shaking- but that didn't stop me from whipping up two bowls of homemade strawberry soft serve- by whipping up I mean I had to hit the pulse button a few times, complicated stuff we have going on!  Into the food processor went 2 frozen bananas, and a  handful of frozen strawberries.  It did it's food "processing" for a few minutes, and viola- creamy, cold, strawberry soft serve without any additional sugars added! No extra sugar... no big deal!

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Monday, January 23, 2012

something forbidden...

What better way to spice up a Monday evening than to start it off with something a little forbidden, and a wine glass full of water ;) I have a special bag of forbidden rice I keep in my pantry. I save it for special recipes and Monday nights! Right before drifting off to sleep last night I flipped to a picture in my Clean Eating Magazine of Salmon over Forbidden rice salad and made a mental pin! After a long day at work it was nice to already have a plan for dinner

Forbidden rice gets its name from a dish saved for Royalty, in Asia, a really long time ago- before Whole Foods made it un-forbidden to all us non-Royals!  Google will tell you all the nutritional stats related to the black grained rice- totally worth a read. It will describe its slightly nutty flavor. Nothing you  read will compare to the mild flavor and fantastic texture of actually eating the rice. Its worth a trip to the Whole Foods, no matter how many hippies hybrids cut you off in the parking lot... I joke... kinda :)

Tonight my forbidden bed... of rice.. was topped with Thai-inspired sauteed salmon and veggies.  Veering off from Clean Eating's recipe I came up with this little beauty. Totally worthy of  weekend dinner, but easy enough to make on a Monday- a rainy, inside recess, kind of Monday at that!

Bring two cups of water to a boil, add 1 cup rice. Cover and lower heat for 25 minutes.
While rice cooks mix the following together in a bowl:
1 diced red pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro- save 2 Tbsp for garnish
1 finely chopped jalapeno- seeds and ribs removed depending on how spicy you like it!
4 thinly sliced green onions- save 1/2 for garnish
2 minced cloves of garlic

You'll also need:
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp lime juice
4 Tbsp lite Coconut Milk- I seriously opened a whole can for 4 Tbsp- expect more Asian Food this week Hubby!
1 tsp sesame seeds
splash of vinegar- I used apple cider

Over mediumish heat, add oil to a pan and quick swirl the first 5 ingredients- less than 2 min.  Add lime juice, soy sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, and sesame seeds and heat until just bubbling

Remove mixture from pan.

Allow pan to regain heat and add Salmon.  Cook over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes per side. 
When fish flakes its done-  I like mine medium rare, so a little less time works better for me.

Assemble over your forbidden rice bed, and top with pepper/onion/jalapenos.  Add fresh onion and cilantro on top. 

I ate mine like this, ya know since I've broken up with non fruit sugar for the week, but hubs was super stoked when I drizzled honey sriracha over his.  Equal parts honey and sriracha mixed and drizzled over ANYTHING and you're set! It was perfect for tonights dinner.

**Don't forget to find A Well Spiced Life on Facebook!!! Instant post updates for you and motivation for me... win win situation I think!

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it's what's for lunch...

Sunday generally sets the mood for my week. It will either be rushed with half finished projects, or a crossed off to do list that leaves me well placed for the upcoming work week.  This Sunday was productive, a good sign for my upcoming, scheduled to the brim week!  In order to maximize time at home Monday- Friday, lunches have been set up with easy to grab (and no sugar for me...) options that we can take to work.  Hubby and I don't typically eat out at work, except for the occasional lunch date, which means we pack lunches everyday for both of us.  Aside from being so much more affordable, what we pack is pretty healthy!  There's standard always fruits, veggie bags, almonds, greek yogurt, and standard leftovers or salads.  I have been consistently taking a leafy green salad. Sometimes its exciting- like tomorrows with roasted beets, goat cheese, and black olives- other times its pretty standard and leaves me hungry shortly after eating it, probably out of food-boredom. To keep things exciting, and make sure I have time to devote to my TRX and running shoes, our salads are set up and ready to go!  Toppings and add ins are chopped up and ready to be assembled super quick!  Of course leftovers always make an appearance throughout this week- we're starting with some super homemade beef and veggie soup.

 Having dinners planned out helps too- but that isn't super rigid. Some nights I want to cooooooooooook, and some nights I just want to eat, and quickly!  It all depends on what the day has been like.  I make a loose plan, that is super flexible, or randomly browse the epicurious app!  This week should include a veggie lasagna, meatballs (of some variety), soup (I'm thinking chicken and dumplings), salmon- and that is about as far as my planning goes.

With a few less things to worry about this week, maybe there will even be more posts! Could it be, AWSL has regained momentum?!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hey Sug-ah!

The other day a friend posted on FB (sidenote AWSL has a FB page!!! Welcome to the 21st century lil' blog o' mine!)  a link about SUGAR!!!  This comes coincidentally after a "Paula Deen has diabetes news cast."  I have very passionate feelings about the S word.  My sugar limitations are strictly a personal  eating belief, that even in moderation- you can still have TOO much.  We don't drink sodas, rarely have juice, and stick to desserts made in someones kitchen-mainly around the holidays.  It's pretty easy to weed out the major sugar sources from our home BUT we do love our craft beer, red wines, dark chocolate, and Agave  nectar.  With debates surrounding agave and its likeness to High Fructose Corn Syrup, I feel like I am a hypocrite when I use it in coffee, oatmeal, or to sweeten up a smoothie!   Why have one but not the other?  To shake things up this week I'm taking the classic avoidance approach with the sweet stuff. Coffee will just be blonde, not sweet!  Chocolate will be unapproachable, and red wine will have to just gather some dust in dining room for a bit longer. 
- this mornings smoothie had no extra sweetness added, just the fruit!

This also means no more granola bars for breakfast, greek yogurt without honey, and paying extra attention to anything not homemade. EEEK!

Why this week? Why this challenge?

Why not?!  No sense in putting something off, when motivation is chomping at the bit for a good personal challenge!  I've nixed the major offenders- soft drinks, lil' debbies, juices, daily desserts- but that doesn't mean I can't make my diet even better!

Cheers (tap water in a wine glass of course- you can't buy that kind of class!) to a challenge!

Greetings From...

SUNNY FLORIDA  er, Wintery Weather VA is more like it! We woke up yesterday to a wet, ice covered deck, followed by morning rain.  Though today has been dry, the cool temperatures remain.  Not to worry we are looking at high's in the 60's this week, because that makes a lot of sense!  For some odd reason, I have been on a mid-winter smoothie kick. Last week it was pumpkin laced, today we have "Hi- wish I were on a warm beach, but not in a bikini yet" flavored variety.  Your standard frozen strawberries, banana, and mixed fruit that you need to either use or get rid of blended with 1 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 cup 1% milk, 1/2 cup water, and topped with unsweetened shredded coconut.

Its pretty standard, but if I lean up against the fireplace (after I fight for a spot between these two heat hogs, like hubs demonstrates above), close my eyes really tight, I am suddenly sitting on a beach- with nothing but the sand, ocean, and my strawberry smoothie. Where did your breakfast take you today?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

this and that

2012 is off to a busy start! With so many things to accomplish, and so few free hours to do so,  the blog has been lacking updates. I  promise we aren't starving artists overhere! It's anything but.  So far our new year has us planning an epic trip, catching up on the never ending decorating of our house, getting ready for a FABULOUS friend's Spring Wedding, checking off major life todos, and planning a 5 year anniversary celebration.  Like anything a routine will develop- and things will settle down!  Until then- FOOOOOOD!!!!

Tomato tower- with "oven fried" greenies!

Grilled Shrimp, rockfish, and pineapple

Hubby's BBQ chicken pizza- a Pioneer Woman Recipe

Grilled bread with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese

Asian Seafood Stirfry

Fish Tacos- wrapped in lettuce