Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Nutrition 101

OK, I'm finally learning something in my nutrition class. And since my goal is to lose 10 lbs, I'm going to spend the next few days looking very closely at my usual diet, and how to cut 500kcal (what we commonly refer to as calories) a day, which is what one has to do to lose 1 lb/week... so the idea is, adding exercise, can lose more than 1 lb/week..

I think the most important thing to do here is start measuring my portion sizes. Americans eat riDONKulous portion sizes. I figured out my BMI (loosely, 22.9, which is still in the healthy range of 18.5-24.9), and based on that, calculated that on a sedentary day, I should take in only about 1200+kcal. (When I work out, it's only about 1600.) That's not a lot. I also calculated that I can have between 20-70g fat (no more than 20g saturated), 46g protein, 200-300g carbohydrates, and 25g fiber.

For breakfast, I actually measured my cereal, milk, and blackberries - for a grand total of 300kcal, 7.5g fat (.5g saturated). For lunch I made my favorite salad, which I make all the time, all the time, and measured everything and looked everything up, and it turns out? My favorite healthy salad has over 500kcal and 38g fat!!!!!!!!!! Whoa. WHOA.

This is exactly the kind of stuff I need to know in order to accomplish my goals. If anyone would like me to work up their specs for them, please let me know; I need the practice. I'll just be over here making vitamin flashcards for my final next week. :)

Monday, July 24, 2006

comfort food for non-superheroes

I feel bad even posting this on my cooking blog, being as I don't actually make a single part of it... but sometimes, you just don't feel like cooking. Sometimes you're just too busy, too tired, too lazy, or just plain too hungry to go 7 rounds in the kitchen, no matter how much you love to cook.

1 can Italian-style stewed tomatoes (w/ basil, garlic, & oregano)
1 can organic cream of tomato soup
1 tsp dried basil
salt/pepper to taste (and I am ALL about the black pepper with tomatoes)
1-2 oz of good pecorino romano cheese

I didn't take a photograph because I have red dishes, and well, what's a picture of tomato soup in red dishes? but honestly, this is one of my favorite meals. It's beautiful, fragrant, and filling, and sometimes all a superhero needs is to take off her cape, put her feet up, and enjoy a lovely, steaming bowl of hearty tomatoes, sweet basil, sharp cheese, and black pepper.

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's a Monday Two-fer!!!

I am making dinner for myself- a lovely piece of fresh wild sockeye salmon, cooked in the usual way, which will be paired with zucchini and squash matchsticks in a lovely wine-mustard-tarragon sauce, which I made up myself. I'm driving to Austin tomorrow, but working with my Dallas crew, so I'm making cookies to take to them. And also, I'm drinking wine. It's from Argentina and I'm quite fond of it. :)

wine-mustard-tarragon sauce:
a dollop of olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fancy whole-grain mustard
a liberal dash of white wine (+ more for the chef)
a liberal dash of broth (I used onion tonight but you could use chicken or vegetable)
1 tsp+ flour
1 TBSP tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
salt & pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan, heat the oil and sautee the garlic and tarragon. Add the broth and flour to make a roux. Stir in the mustard and wine and reduce. Add more wine or broth if it gets too thick, more flour if it gets too thin.

In a larger skillet, lightly sautee the zucchini and squash matchsticks to al dente. Add the sauce to the vegetables and serve with a dusting of parmesan and fresh cracked pepper.

And nooooow, for the cookies!!! (Especially since I know Krysten and Chanelle are just scrolling through to the dessert.)

I got this recipe from an old boss of mine when I worked at the Komen Foundation, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to share it, but I tweaked it more than once to get it to its current state of perfection, so this is the new and updated ... better version. Seriously, they're so good. I feel like Phoebe- I can't make them all that much because it's just not fair to the other cookies:

Oatmeal-Cranberry-Pistachio Cookies
2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
2 large eggs
2 t vanilla
2 T milk (I use 1/2 & 1/2)
2 C rolled oats
2 C flour
1 t baking soda
a pinch of salt
1 t cinnamon... maybe a pinch more
1 C dried cranberries, halved (make sure you get really good quality, no-sugar-added, fresh & dried, if possible, none of that pre-bagged Craisin crap)
1 C roasted, unsalted pistachios, shelled & chopped

Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs, vanilla, and milk. In another bowl, combine oats, flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add to butter mixture a little at a time & stir in just until mixed. Add the pistachios and cranberries, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight (or at least 2 hours).

Heat oven to 325-350. Drop by spoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet (I have always used my 2 T coffee scoop to make the perfectly sized and shaped cookie). I find it helpful to put the remaining dough back in the refrigerator while each batch is baking. Bake 12-14 minutes and cool on a wire rack. Eat while warm, with a Baileys on the rocks. Cheers!