Category Archives: Diet

Diets Don’t Have to Be Torture (but they usually are) & Mexican Spiced Shrimp

Mexican Spiced Shrimp with Black Beans topped with a dollop of Greek Yogurt

Mexican Spiced Shrimp with Black Beans topped with a dollop of Greek Yogurt

I’ve mentioned once or twice a million times that I’ve been on a diet.  How exciting?!  Actually, I’m trying to think of it more as a lifestyle change.  I’m not depriving myself, I’m just not over-doing it, either.

My new way of eating really focuses on portion sizes and eating more frequently.  Truthfully, it sucks.  That being said, it works.

Most of the food I’ve been cooking lately has been incredibly unexciting.  Because I’ve been busier than usual the past couple months, Continue reading

Spicy Chicken Sausage Pizza

Spicy Chicken Sausage Pizza with Chipotle Pepper and Pepita Seed Pesto & Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed.  Random.org chose #2

So, Mona…you are the winner!  I hope you enjoy your chicken sausages!!! You should be receiving an email soon!



A couple weeks ago I received an email from Gold’n Plump asking me if I’d be interested in trying their new line of chicken sausages.  I don’t typically buy Gold’n Plump products, so I didn’t really know anything about the company.  I was surprised to learn that they are based out of St. Cloud, Minnesota–just a few hours drive from where we live.

In fact, these chickens are probably more “local” than what I can get at my neighborhood butcher shop (sad, huh?)–and a whole lot cheaper than buying them straight from the farmer’s market/farmer.  Now, if you read my blog regularly, you’re probably already aware that I’m pretty picky when purchasing my meat.

I try to buy organic as much as possible, but sometimes that’s not always the practical thing to do.  Do you know how much money 12lbs of organic, cage-free, vegetarian fed chicken breast for a potluck would cost me?  A small fortune, I’m sure.  It’s the sad reality.

I replied to the email and asked a few questions about the chicken–what they’re fed, how they’re raised, and if they were given any hormones/antibiotics.   I was satisfied with the responses I was given, so I agreed to give the chicken sausages a try.

I was sent 4 different varieties to try:  Lean Chicken Bratwurst, Lean Hot Italian Chicken Sausage, Lean Parmesan Italian Chicken Sausage and Lean Apple Maple Chicken Breakfast Sausage.

I decided to try the Hot Italian Chicken Sausages first.

…And I had the perfect recipe in mind:  Spicy Chicken Sausage Pizza with a Chipotle Pepper-Pepita Seed Pesto.

Piyush always tells me how much he loves the chicken sausage pizza at Zpizza–a place he eats lunch at occasionally.  He’s actually bought chicken sausages from Trader Joe’s, Hyvee, Walmart and Sam’s Club–trying to find one with the same taste as the one on that pizza.  They all ended up in the garbage, and we continued to buy pork when we got the craving for sausages or brats.

Sure, pork sausage is delicious; but it’s also incredibly fatty–definitely not good for my already over-expanded waistline.  The spicy chicken sausage from Gold’n Plump contained 8 g. of fat and less than 180 calories per link.  That is a whole lot healthier than pork!  …and the apple maple breakfast sausages were 100 calories for 3 links–I say that’s awesome!  I can’t wait to give those a try this weekend.

Now, before I go on telling you what I think about the sausages, let me just state that yes, Gold’n Plump provided the sausages to me at no cost…but I will be honest, and all opinions/statements are completely my own.  

So, the nutrition stats look pretty good–aside from the sodium levels, but even that was less than most pork sausages I’ve bought in the past; and sausage is usually high in salt in the first place.  But how was the taste?

I removed the sausage from the casings so that I could top the pizza with ground meat instead of sliced.

In my personal opinion–and Piyush’s too–the hot Italian sausage was definitely as good as any pork sausage we’ve tried.  It was very well spiced (it actually is hot) and wasn’t dry at all.  After I removed the sausage from the casings (I wanted ground meat instead of sliced rings–although Piyush would have preferred I kept the sausages in the casings), I cooked it in a little olive oil until it browned up nicely.

Because Piyush loved the chicken sausage pizza from Zpizza, I thought it would be fun to make my own version.  I’ve never tried a slice before…so I went to their website and checked out the toppings.  It had chipotle pesto, red onions, corn, chicken sausage, mozzerella, tomatoes, cilantro and serrano chilies–it sounded fantastic!

I wish I would have thought of it first and could take all the credit, but no…instead I’m offering my version of Zpizza’s Santa Fe (which Piyush told me is nothing like their version—it’s different, but good on the exact same level.  He really loves their pizza).

Spicy Chicken Sausage Pizza

Not only am I excited to share this crazy-good pizza recipe with you all, but I’m also excited because the nice people at Gold’n Plump have offered to send one of my readers the exact same chicken sausage sampler pack I received!

Gold’n Plump’s New Chicken Sausage Line: Parmesan Italian, Hot Italian, and Apple Maple Breakfast Sausages. There was also a package of Chicken Bratwurst.

So lets talk about this Giveaway!

To enter, simply leave a comment telling me:

 What excites you about this new line of chicken sausages,  and what you would make with them if you won?

The giveaway ends Monday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. Central Time.  The giveaway is only open to U.S. residents– (sorry!).  Be sure to include a valid email address with your comment…if you win, I’ve got to be able to contact you!

I’ll choose the winner randomly using Random.org’s random number generator.  If I don’t hear back from the winner by Wednesday, June 6 at 5:00 pm Central Time, a new winner will be chosen!

For an additional chances to win the Gold’n Plump Chicken Sausage Sampler Pack:

  • Like Gold’n Plump on Facebook (HERE)
  • Like My Fancy Pantry on Facebook (HERE)
  • Follow My Fancy Pantry on Twitter (HERE)
If you click LIKE on Facebook or FOLLOW on Twitter, be sure to leave a separate comment letting me know, and if you already LIKE or FOLLOW, leave a comment about that too!    

In the mean time, if you’d like to try these sausages, you can head over to Gold’n Plump’s website and grab a $1.00 off coupon!  They’re available at Super-Target (and some other stores too, I’m sure!).

Now, let’s get back to the pizza!

I used my basic whole wheat pizza crust recipe (using Indian Atta flour instead of regular whole wheat flour).

Printer Friendly Recipe: Pizza Crust

I topped the pizza with some Chipotle Pepper and Pepita Seed Pesto (recipe here) and finely chopped jalapeno peppers before topping with three kinds of cheeses: shredded mozzerella, shredded fontina and a locally made cheese similar to queso fresco.  I then added the chicken sausage (2 links), some thinly sliced green and yellow bell pepper, whole kernels of corn (I used canned–but rinsed it all well before using), roasted tomato slices and additional sliced jalapenos for my spice-loving husband.

I baked the pizza at a little higher temp than usual: 475 degrees F…and didn’t pay close attention, so you’ll notice I burned it a little.  I kind of liked it though, it reminded me a lot of a nice, wood-fired pizza–it even had that smokiness from the chipotles!

Once the pizza was finished baking, I topped it with some chopped cilantro, crumbled queso fresco style-cheese (the local stuff I used earlier) and an adobo-ranch sauce I made.  I don’t like ranch dressing, but I knew this pizza would be spicy so I thought some sort of sauce would help cool it a little and also add some additional flavor.

I mixed a few squirts of ranch dressing with a little bit of adobo sauce (which the chipotle peppers were packed in) until I thought it was well balanced.  I then tossed it in the fridge for a good 20 minutes, and drizzled it lightly over the pizza before I served it.

Piyush and I watched a netflix movie (some Hindi movie that I don’t remember the name of right now…) and enjoyed our pizza on the couch.

I’ve got to say, this might be the very best pizza flavor combination yet…

Asparagus Soup with Tarragon and Chevre

Asparagus Soup with Tarragon and Chèvre

It’s no secret that I love chèvre (goat cheese).  I’m always looking for ways to sneak goat cheese into my recipes…whether it be in a salad, a sauce or a soup.  It’s even the “secret” ingredient to my mashed potatoes.  Yum!

The other night I was trying to decide what to make for supper.  I didn’t really want to cook a whole lot, but I didn’t want to eat out.  I looked in the fridge and saw the beautiful asparagus I purchased at the farmer’s market last Saturday.  I wanted something vegetarian…and I wanted to make it a main-course.

Soup was the perfect (delicious) solution!

I accompanied the soup with some black garlic toasts.

Baguette slices, smothered with a black garlic goat’s butter,ccccc and toasted

To make the toasts, I simply sliced a baguette.  I chopped some black garlic and mixed it with some goat’s butter.

black garlic cloves

Goat Butter (this butter has a lower melting point than regular cow’s milk butter–therefore it’s not really all that awesome for baking cookies or things like that)

I melted the mixture and brushed it over the slices and laid them on a baking sheet–lined with parchment paper.  Then I popped the baguette slices in my oven that was set to broil.  I let them bake until they became golden and crispy—and delicious!

The soup was equally simple to prepare, and only took about 15 minutes.

cooking the shallots and asparagus with some tarragon

I simply sauteed shallots, asparagus and tarragon in some butter.  Then I added some goat cheese and veggie stock and blended everything until it was smooth.  I added a little dairy…and it was done!

asparagus soup with tarragon and goat cheese –served with black garlic toasts

Easy…and so, so good!

printer-friendly recipe

**note: sorry, I forgot to link the recipe to the printer icon.  It’s all fixed now!**

This soup would be super easy to freeze as well.  Just be sure to leave out the milk and half&half before freezing.  Once you’re ready to use it, allow it to thaw and then add the dairy at that point.

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Indian Inspired Pasta Salad

This pasta salad isn’t like most pasta salads I’ve eaten.  It’s different…in a good way.

I was trying to think of something easy, fresh and light to bring along to my family Easter pot-luck; but nothing sounded good.  I wanted something to counter-balance all the candy I knew I would be eating.  I mean…seriously, look at this awesome cake my cousin, Emily made:

Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting...covered with kit-kats and M&M's

I thought a pasta salad would be nice, but I didn’t want to smother it with mayonnaise;  nor did I want a traditional Italian vinaigrette.  I had cucumber, onion and tomato in my refrigerator–and upon seeing those ingredients, the idea for this salad was born.

There’s a Bengali vegetable “salad” that I’ve blogged about here.  It’s fresh, light and everything I wanted; but it needed a little something extra.  I dug through the pantry and found some chickpeas and some spiral pasta.  I also had a pomegranate on hand.

Beautiful, Red Pomegranate Seeds

I wanted to add some minced fresh garlic, but Piyush thought it might be too pungent.  Instead, I cut about 5 cloves in half and threw them in a baking dish with some olive oil and one slit chile.  I thought the chile would impart a nice hint of spice…without being in-your-face hot (lots of Scandinavian palates to tend to, you know?).

I dressed the salad with a mixture of chaat masala, lime juice and the garlic-infused oil.

I wasn’t really sure how this salad would go over with my family.  My immediate family is scared to death to try anything I make—they say it’s too weird (my mom finds everything spicy. UFFDAH!); so I figured Piyush and I would have plenty of left-overs for work the next day.

In fact, we were looking forward to the left-overs.  This salad suited both of our tastes, and it was healthy too!   Unfortunately for us, we had no left-overs.  The recipe seemed to go over pretty well, and I was glad people at least tried it.  This isn’t your typical, American pasta salad…after all!

I noticed a lot of my family members were avoiding the pomegranate seeds.  You could leave them out entirely, but I thought they added a nice sweetness and a beautiful color to the dish.

I think this salad would taste really refreshing and light during the hot summer days.  It’d be a great dish to bring to a picnic or a pot-luck—or even served as a main-dish meal. I will definitely be making this again, soon!

Indian Pasta Salad

  • 1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans)- rinsed well
  • 1 cucumber- seeded and diced
  • 3 roma tomatoes- seeded and diced
  • 1 medium red onion- diced
  • pomegranate seeds
  • 3/4 lb. spiral noodles- cooked according to pkg. directions
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 c. garlic-oil (recipe follows)
  • 2 tsp. chaat masala (or to taste)–available at Indian grocers
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • bunch of cilantro, chopped

Garlic-Oil

  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 serrano chile- slit 2 or 3 times
  • 5 cloves of garlic (skins can stay on)-cut in half

To make the oil, preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.  Combine all the ingredients in a glass baking dish and toss in the oven.  Leave the oil in the heated oven for at least 45 minutes. Remove from the oven.  Allow to cool.

Once the oil is cooled, strain.  You then have garlic infused oil!  You can store it in a cool dark place for about a month.  Make sure it’s stored in a sealed jar, though!

Salad

In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, onion, pomegranate and noodles.  Mix well so that everything is coated.

In a separate jar combine the lime juice, garlic-oil, and chaat masala.  Put the lid on the jar and shake vigorously.  Now your dressing is done!

Pour the dressing on the salad and season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with additional pomegranate seeds and chopped cilantro.

*This salad is best served cold.  It is also better if you make it and then allow it to sit in the refrigerator overnight.  —lets the flavors mingle a little, you know?

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Shrimp Fajitas (without the funky chemical “spices”)

Have you ever went to the grocery store with the intention of making either fajitas or tacos that night for dinner?  Did you pick up some amazingly fresh produce, buy some lovely seafood (or equally expensive chicken breasts), and then throw one of those packaged fajita/taco seasoning pouches in your cart?  I have.  Many times.

I’d go home, cook everything up, add the spice mix (following the directions on the back), take a bite, and immediately wish I would’ve went to Chipotle instead.  There’s just always something so funky tasting about those little spice packets, and no wonder!  Look at the ingredients:

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I’m pretty sure Mexican’s don’t use soy sauce to make fajitas.  Or caramel coloring.  Or natural flavors.  What the heck are natural flavors anyway?  Shouldn’t the natural flavors come from the vegetables and the proteins? Where are the spices? After reading the back of that package, there was no way I was going to use that to make our dinner. A little salt, pepper, lime juice, cumin and chipotle would do the trick.  I decided to use chipotle chile powder because it has a nice smokey flavor to it, and it’s not an artificial smokey flavor either.  Chipotle chile powder is made from ground up smoked jalapenos.  It’s not super spicy, but gives the dish the flavor and the kick that would be expected if you ordered fajitas in a restaurant.

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I loved the texture on my lime…it looks like it has goosebumps!

I had bought a few green and red bell peppers last week, and they were starting to get a little wrinkly—the red peppers were 88 cents/each…which is a steal in our area.  Here, in Rochester, red bell peppers are usually nearly $3 a piece!  Isn’t that insane?  One red pepper costs more than a whole pineapple!  I’m glad summer is almost here so I can grow my own!!!

I didn’t have any shrimp at home, so unfortunately I had to make a trip to the grocery store.  I bought a little less than a pound of medium wild US caught shrimp, an onion, and a new head of garlic.  When I got home I threw the shrimp in a marinade, cut up all my veggies, and got to cookin’.

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Cooking the shrimp—marinade and all!

One thing I really love about fajitas is that you can make them ahead of time and just reheat when you’re ready to eat them.  Piyush decided that he had to go golfing today, so I had no idea what time he’d be back for dinner.  Once he got home (at 7:15pm), dinner could be on the table in 5 minutes.

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Two, Perfect Shrimp Fajitas

These fajitas were absolutely amazing, and ditching the pre-made spice mix made all the difference, I’m positive of it!  I would even go so far as to say that my version of the shrimp fajita could rival that of any restaurant!  Yes.  They were that good.

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Shrimp Fajita mixture

I served the fajita mixture on high fiber tortillas (50 calories/ea) that I had spread about a tablespoon of refried beans onto.  I topped them with some romaine and greek yogurt.  There were some beautiful tomatoes too, but I forgot all about them until after we finished eating.  Dohhh!

My shrimp fajitas recipe makes quite a lot.  This is a really light supper, and each fajita is only around 160 calories.  How exciting is that?!  I had two, Piyush had three, and there is more than enough left for dinner tomorrow.   I work really early tomorrow and the following day, so not having to worry about making dinner will be a good thing.  That means I can (hopefully) go to bed earlier!  I might even make it to the gym!

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Next time you make fajitas at home, I hope you are inspired to ditch the chemical packets and try your hand at making them “from scratch.”  I swear it’s easy…and it’s way more healthy for you than adding a package of powder created in some lab!

Shrimp Marinade:

  • 1 lb fresh medium sized, wild caught shrimps (not previously cooked)
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • juice of half a lime
  • zest of half a lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. ground chipotle chile powder
  • 2 tbsp. minced cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

Rinse and dry shrimp.  Put them in a large ziploc bag along with the other marinade ingredients.  Toss everything together until the shrimp are all evenly coated.  Let the shrimp mingle with the marinade for around 30 minutes—while you are cooking the veggies.  

Veggies:

  • 2 large red bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 large green bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 1 large white onion, cut into strips
  • 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large pan.  Once it is hot add in the onions. Cook the onions over med-high heat until they are nice and browned.  This will take around 10 min or so.  Once the onions are browned, add in the garlic.  Cook for about two minutes and then add the peppers.  Stirring occasionally, cook the peppers until they are tender but still have a little bite to them.  Add the mushrooms and cover the pan, they’ll take about 5 minutes to cook.  Season the veggies with salt and pepper.  Remove the veggies from the pan and set them aside.

In the same pan you cooked the vegetables, add a little olive oil (I used my misto).  Dump the shrimp in the pan along with the marinade.  Stir everything together and then put the lid on the pan.  After a minute give everything another good stir and flip the shrimp.  Once the shrimp have cooked for around 4-5 minutes (once the shrimp are fully cooked), add the veggies back into the pan and stir everything together.  Let the mixture cook together for about 5 minutes, with the lid on.  Take the lid off, scoop the mixture into tortillas, and enjoy!!!

Your mouth will thank you!  Mine did.  :-)

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The Perfect Health(ier) Pizza!

I haven’t blogged lately, and it’s not because we haven’t been cooking and eating at home.  In fact, I’ve cooked quite a bit.  We’ve had blackberry-ginger glazed salmon, chicken biryani (these will all appear on the blog, eventually!), and homemade pizzas.

I love Pizza.  There is just something so mouth-watering about dough smothered in tomato sauce and topped with gobs of cheese.  So mouth-watering…but so unhealthy!!!!  Therefore, I don’t  eat pizza, or “zah”—as I affectionately call it, very often anymore.  Piyush really dislikes pizza (blasphemous!), and much prefers his “pizza” on a crispy tortilla instead of a soft, chewy dough.

I decided to try and change his mind, to convert him into a pizza lovin’ maniac.  But, it would not be easy!  With the goal of creating a crispy—yet somewhat doughy (and possibly a little healthy)—crust, and a flavorful homemade sauce…I got to work.  I scoured the internet and found a couple dough recipes that had possibility.  I tried a few, but couldn’t find perfection.  So, I mashed them together—taking what I liked from some, and discarding what I hated from others.  Some would show promise, only in the end to puff up into a more bread-like crust.  That wasn’t going to work!

Eventually I combined recipes to come up with the perfect recipe, and the perfect technique.  I think both are really equally important…and you can get a totally different crust using the same recipe depending on how you prepare it.  I found that rolling the dough out with a rolling pin yielded the exact texture I was trying to achieve for the crust.  After it was rolled out I pricked it all over with a fork to keep the dough from bubbling up.  I sprayed it really quickly with olive oil, using my Misto (I love the Misto!).  Then, I pre-cooked the crust for a few minutes in a 450 F degree oven using a pizza stone—just to make sure it got ultra crispy.

Next step…the sauce.  I wanted something that had a fresh, rustic taste.  Something that was everything canned/jarred pizza sauce you find at the grocery store was not.  I don’t know how I did it, but I got the sauce right the very first time!  Piyush proclaimed it the best he’s ever tasted, and he said Italy would be proud.   (Haha—thanks, honey!…but I don’t know if I’d go that far!)

Aside from tasting really good, this sauce is also ultra easy!

fresh mozzarella, basil and mushroom pizza

After I had both the crust and the sauce figured out…I had to decide what to top it with.  I wasn’t really in a meat eating mood and I wanted to stick with something simple and flavorful.  We had lots of mushrooms in the fridge, and basil too.  I knew Piyush loves Mozzarella…and since I was trying to convince him that pizza is a food he should love…that decision was easy.  Mozzarella, it was! We bought a 8oz ball, and I used about half of it.  I thinly sliced the ball and then flattened those slices even more with my hands.  I dried them off with a paper towel (they were a little wet), cut them into halves, and slapped them on the the zah.

This pizza was simply delicious.  It was so easy, inexpensive, and flavorful.  And the best part….Piyush loved it!  In fact, he ate half of it!  I had two slices and it left me feeling full and satisfied.

easy homemade healthy pizza

Calorie-wise, each slice is equal to approximately 150 calories.  How awesome is that?!  I’m not sure how it tastes when it’s reheated yet…but I have a couple slices left for lunch tomorrow!  Yum!

Aside from the results…the other thing I love about both the crust and the sauce recipes are that they freeze up awesome!  If you keep a little dough and sauce in the freezer, making a pizza will be way faster than waiting for delivery (and just as easy, too)!

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

(makes two 12″ crusts—8 slices/ea)

  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour (plus more for kneading) I use Indian atta flour, for the best texture
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp. active, dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp. honey

Directions:

  • Combine the warm water, honey and yeast in a bowl.  Let this sit until it becomes foamy— about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the flours and salt.  Once the yeast mixture is foamy add it to the flours.  Stir, using a wooden spoon, until the dough begins to come together—then add the olive oil.
  • Knead everything together, adding additional flour (a little at a time) until the dough is moderately stiff and no longer wet.  Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for about a half hour.
  • Sprinkle a cutting board or parchment paper with some cornmeal.  Divide the dough into 2 portions (freeze one, if you’d like) and place one portion on the cornmeal covered surface.  Roll the dough out to a thin circle using a rolling pin.
  • Poke holes all over the crust using a fork.  Then, pre-bake the crust for 5 minutes in a 450 F degree oven (that has been preheated with a pizza stone for about 30 min).  Remove. Spread the crust with sauce and the toppings of your choice.
  • Bake at 450 F degrees (again, on the pizza stone) for about 10 minutes—or until the crust gets a little browned and the cheese gets all melty.

Easy Tomato Pizza Sauce

  • 3 or 4 large garlic cloves
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for cooking garlic
  • 5 or 6 large basil leaves
  • salt and pepper—to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar

Directions:

  • Peel, smash and chop garlic.  Add about 1 tsp. of oil into a pan and saute until garlic begins to turn a little brown (watch it closely—garlic burns easily!)
  • Put garlic, tomatoes (quartered), 1 tbsp olive oil and basil leaves in blender.  Blend until everything is combined, you can leave the tomatoes a little chunky if you want.
  • Pour sauce into the same pan you cooked the garlic in—add some chopped tomatoes if you’d like.  Add sugar and stir everything together.  Simmer on medium heat for about 30-40 minutes or until it thickens.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

So easy…and so perfect!!!

Also…How cute is this?!  It’s my cat wearing a mini scarf!  I’m starting to get the hang of this knitting thing…

Harry modeling his scarf

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Monday Madness! and a Greek Inspired Dinner

I really enjoy Mondays.  Though, I haven’t always.   In fact I used to spend Tuesday-Sunday dreading the upcoming Monday.  Extreme?  Probably; but when I was young(er) with few(er) worries and responsiblies, Monday meant that the weekend was ending…and work/school was starting.  Mondays were an unpleasant jolt back to reality, and I hated them for that.  Now, I work every other weekend.  And sometimes Monday signifies the end of my week, not the beginning.  Monday is the new Friday.  Sort of.

Mondays also mean I’m obligated to go to the gym.  I need routine and consistency.  I also need to feel accountable, and the only thing I’ve found that works is to sign up for a program where I know people are expecting me.  For some weird reason I feel worse letting down complete strangers than I do letting myself down.  How screwy is that?! So, Monday night has become Cable Class night.  And I look forward to it!

I really like all the trainers at the gym, but I’ve got to say I’m partial to either Paula or Angie.  I feel that they know my limits and know how to push me.  They also know when I’m being lazy, and that’s important…If they have all this faith that I can do something, maybe I really can.  And that’s usually how it works.

Tonight’s cable class was extra hard, probably for a few reasons.  The first being that I haven’t really worked out since returning from India—call it an extended holiday, if you will.  Secondly, I decided to wake up this morning and take a yoga class.  My arms were on fire!  Now, they are jello.  …But I feel good.  Like, real good!

After the gym I came home and heated up dinner.  Because my class is at 7:45 pm and I don’t really want to work out on a full stomach, I usually put together a meal and have it all ready to heat up when Piyush and I get home around 9.  I know 9 seems like a really late time to eat a big dinner, but it’s what works for us…so we do it.

Tonight we had Greek!  We love Greek food and tend to order take out way more than we should!  I decided it was probably time to make something healthy that had those same flavors, and today was as good of a day as any other.  This dinner was really simple and honestly there aren’t really any “real” recipes.


Basically it’s brown rice with a little lemon juice and greek seasoning, grilled and seasoned chicken, and steamed summer squash/zucchini.  I also smothered it in tzatziki sauce!

I wish I could say I made the sauce, but I had a container of tzatziki left from the restaurant here in town.  It’s a yummy yogurt based sauce that makes a great dip for celery sticks, so I always try to have some on hand.  It’s really easy to make too…and next time I actually make my own I’ll definitely share the recipe!

But now I have to sleep!  I have to work early tomorrow.

Tuesdays….sigh.  The only good thing about Tuesday is “Teen Mom!”  Hah!

Oh!  Before I go, I also have to just say that I am so proud of my little sister!!!  She had an interview today at the Mayo Clinic School of Med….and I couldn’t be more excited for her!!!!!  There are only 2 more spots open…and 12 more to interview, but I know she’ll get accepted!  They’d be goofy not to accept her!  She looked just like a little doctor, all dressed up in her suit and pearls.  Yay!, Michelle!