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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Couscous with Beans and Veggies

I usually have a go to ingredient that I use over and over.  It changes every once in a while when I find something new.  Right now my ingredient of choice is Tri Color Couscous. It’s infused with spinach and tomato, plus it is really pretty with the three colors. 

So when I needed to throw something together  for dinner that was quick and easy I went for my main ingredient and built around it.  Here is what I came up with…

1 - 2 cups Couscous
Baby Spinach
Diced Garlic to taste
1 ½  tablespoon extra virgin olive oil/divided
Splash of lemon juice
1 can Black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tomato

Make couscous according to directions.  I made a lot of couscous because it’s great to have for lunches during the week.  2 cups of couscous makes about 4 cups fixed.  I put the extra in separate containers for lunch with chicken, fish, or veggies for work lunches.

Drain and rinse the black beans.  Put them in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat.  Careful not to let them burn to the bottom of the pan. 

Put ¾ tablespoon of olive oil into a skillet with the garlic and brown slightly.  Then add as much spinach as you want. Cook the spinach until it is slightly wilting.  Add additional olive oil as necessary.  Then add a splash of lemon juice.

Mix it all together.  Serve.  

I served mine topped with a sliced tomato.

Bond added some salsa to his.  This would also be great with a bit of grated cheese.

What are your favorite go to ingredients?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday to all! The week is half over and as always I will be linking up with This Kind of Love to let you know what I am loving this week.

I'm loving...The Vitamin String Quartet.

I found their version of Taylor Swift's Love Story on one of the blogs I frequent, Confessions of a Twenty Something. I immediately went to iTunes and down loaded a bunch of other songs by VSQ. They are great for the office or cooking. What music do you like for work or play?

I'm loving...The stationary Bond gave me for our first anniversary. the first anniversary gift is paper and he had my tattoo, which I got after we married and it symbolizes a kind of crest for our family, turned into stationary. The tattoo is a V for our last name with an "E" for Evan and a "B" for Beth (or backwards E for Elizabeth) intertwined in it.

(Tattoo on my foot)

He put it on the stationary and the envelope!

I'm loving...These new clothes I got from The Limited. They are having a great sale!

I'm loving...As always my sweet husband!

- Posted using my iPad 2

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dill Salmon

Bond and I eat a lot of fish.  Mostly I use frozen tilapia and salmon.  They still taste great after thawing, and a bonus is they thaw so fast I don't have to plan ahead for dinner.  A while back I came across the following recipe....

Dill Salmon:
1 pound salmon fillets
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 tsp onion powder
2 tbl butter

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Rinse salmon, and arrange in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle salt, pepper, onion powder, and dill over the fish. Place pieces of butter evenly over the fish.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork.
(This makes 4 servings at 262 calories, 18.1 g fat, and 82 mg Cholesterol)

I have made this recipe in two variations.  First, when I use Salmon, my favorite, I leave out the butter entirely.  Instead I spay the fish with Pam before putting on the spices and just bake.  This lowers it to 4 servings at 237 Calories, 14 g fat, and 71 mg cholesterol.

My second variation is what I made tonight.  I substituted the Salmon for Tilapia.   

Also, I only use 1 tbl of butter. 

It only took about 15 minutes to bake at 400°.  This made 4 servings at 123 calories, 3.9 g fat, and 63 mg cholesterol.  

I served tonight with whole wheat rotini pasta, serving size 1 cup at 210 calories, 105 g fat, and no cholesterol, and a vegetable.  Tonight was fresh green beans, steamed and topped with lemon juice, cumin, and onion powder. 

I added a few teaspoons of parmesan cheese to mine...

Do you eat fish often and if so what is your favorite?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Post Work Out Smoothie

My new favorite post work out snack has become a homemade smoothie.  It is especially great to beat the summer heat.  I usually mix two cups of frozen fruit, or one cup of frozen fruit and a whole fresh banana, with two cups of yogurt.  This makes enough for two smoothies.  Which is great because I have one for me and one for Bond when he gets home.  You can also freeze the extra for the next day, or a morning snack!

For this smoothie I used one cup of the vanilla light and fit yogurt and one cup of the plain yogurt.  I really like the vanilla flavor yogurt because it makes for a sweeter smoothie.  This smoothie comes out to about 180 calories per smoothie.

Sometimes I add a dash of clove and a scoop of protein powder too.

These ingredients come to approximately 250 calories per smoothie.

What is your favorite summertime post workout snack?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eye Primer

This is only my second post about make-up and beauty.  In my first post, Dark Circles No More, I made it pretty clear that I am a make-up novice.  I didn't even know you were supposed to use an eye primer until I was well into my 20's.  Then I had a hard time finding one that did not irritate my skin and still worked to keep my eye make-up fresh and crease free.  I have really dry sensitive skin with the occasional exzema rash outbreak.   So it is easily irritated and I have had lots and lots of trial and error with lotions, face wash, soap, and the list goes on....

So when I started using Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion I was pretty impressed with the results.
I can actually wear this primer from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. without irritation, plus my make-up still looks good!  I had a long day last week when I went from work to an evening event, but look how great my eye make-up held up....

Do you use and eye primer?  Which one??

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

It's finally Wednesday, the half way mark to the weekend!  And on that note...

I'm Loving... The new ABC Family show Switched at Birth.  It's about two teenage girls that discover they were switched at birth and how the families cope with getting to know each other.  It is my new favorite show to watch during my workouts.

I'm Loving... The Kennedy's, an eight part miniseries.  I had read about this miniseries and some of the controversy in airing it.  I don't think I even have the ReelzChannel, that it aired on earlier this year.  But it is now on Netflix instant play and Bond and I are half way through it.  It is well written, cast, and filmed.

I'm Loving... This fabulous dress I bought at The Limited.  I think it is really versatile.  By pairing it with heals or flats, a blazer or sweater, I have been able to wear it to an afternoon graduation party, the symphony, and work.  I am thinking that in the fall I will try it with tights too!

And as always I'm Loving... My wonderful husband!

What are you loving this Wednesday?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tilapia with Stop Light Peppers

This is another great recipe that the cookbook my sister gave me in May with the 300 calorie dinners.

I made some changes to the recipe in the book.  The recipe is for halibut with red and yellow peppers.  I used tilapia and red, yellow, and green peppers.  I also added diced garlic.

1 pound tilapia filets
1 1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth, divided
1/2 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 large green bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 large yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 tablespoon diced garlic

Makes 4 servings @ 175 calories per serving.

First I did all the chopping, dicing, and slicing....

Then combine 1 cup of the broth, the onion, garlic, and lemon peel in a large nonstick skillet.  Bring to a boil.

 Add fish and top with the sliced bell pepper strips.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer about 8 minutes or until fish begins to flake when tested with fork.

While it simmered I mixed the remaining 1/4 broth, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a separate bowl until it was blended.  When the fish is done transfer the fish and peppers to a plate using a slotted spoon.  Stir the cornstarch mixture into the remaining liquid in the skillet.  cook and stir over medium high heat until boiling and thickening.  Then add the green onions.

It is recommended to serve with couscous to keep it at 300 calories.  I served with tri-color couscous, its this great tomato, spinach couscous!

1/2 cup of couscous @ 160 calories brings the total to 335 calories total.
I also diced a tomato to go with this light summer time dinner.

How would you serve this tilapia?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Weekend Waffles

Happy Saturday!  Bond and I had tough work weeks.  I fully admit Bond's was tougher than mine due to him having several 4 a.m. mornings and an overnight business trip.  By Friday night exhausted didn't really seem to be a strong enough word to describe us.  We had planned on going out to dinner.  Instead we picked up Chili's to go and called it a night early.  So it didn't surprise me that at 6 a.m. this morning I woke up and could not go back to sleep.  I got up quietly so Bond could sleep a bit longer while I got up to let the dogs out.  Then I decided to make a yummy waffle breakfast.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sunflower oil
1/4 cup skim milk
2 egg whites
1/4 cup water

First heat the waffle iron to desired level.  I like level 4 or 5 because they are a little brown but not quite crispy.  Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Spray the top and bottom of the heated waffle iron with pam cooking spray.  Pour a half cup of the mixture onto the center of the waffle iron and close.

This makes one pretty perfect waffle...

Continue to spray the waffle iron with Pam in between each waffle and use the remaining mixture.  It makes 2 to 3 waffles @ 170 calories per waffle.

I like to add lite syrup @ 100 calories per 1/4 cup, and some powdered sugar to mine.  And of course I have to have my coffee!

How do you like your weekend waffles?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

Happy Weekend!  I hope everyone had a wonderful week.  I am trying out this link up on a blog I have been reading, The Little Things We Do.  If you like it link up too!

 1. The last movie I saw was: Water for Elephants - I went with my book club ladies... after we read the    
     book of course.

2.  I want to: Relax with my great hubby!

3.  Surprises are: Fun!  Fun to get and even more fun to plan for other people.

4.  The best accessory is: I am a shoes girl.  I think they can add so much to an outfit, really bring it
     together, or completely destroy it.

5.  My favorite warm drink is: I enjoy a good chai tea latte with skim milk.  Starbucks makes a great one.

6.  My favorite cold drink is: I am a water drinker.  I drink a lot of it.  But when appropriate I enjoy a
     crisp glass of chardonnay.

7.  Currently loving: So You Think You Can Dance.  I am watching the show on my DVR from
     Wednesday right now.  These people are crazy talented.  And of course my cute husband!!

Have a happy weekend  :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lotion and the Little Things

I got a text from one of my best friends that her husband had bought her the "egg" Chapstick. Which is this amazing organic lip balm by e.o.s. I have seen it at Ulta and in the checkout lane at Wal-Mart, which is where it became one of my best impulse purchases ever!  It comes in all these great flavors (berry, lemon, melon).

My favorite so far is the honey suckle melon lip balm!
e.o.s. also makes a great hand and body lotion that comes in a large container or this palm size plastic container.

My favorite is the cucumber scent.

Back to the text... I responded that she had a wonderful husband. This got me thinking about how it really is the little things that sustain a long term relationship. For me it's when I tornado through the kitchen on my way to work and find that Bond has emptied the dishwasher, or moved the laundry into the dryer.  Don't get me wrong the bigger stuff, like remembering your birthday and anniversary, are important too.  But for me the little stuff Bond does around the house, when he gets my favorite candy while renting a movie, or leaving me a card about how much he appreciates and loves me, are more significant.  It shows me that he thinks about me during his everyday activities and that he notices the things I like.

What little things are important to you?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chocolate Bananas

This is the dessert I made to go with Paper Salmon for a small group dinner we hosted.  They were really simple and a big hit!

Ingredients for 8 servings @ 290 calories per serving
4 bananas halved
1 jar of Hot Fudge topping
1 cup of granola
8 craft sticks

Peel the bananas and slice in half.  Insert a craft stick into each banana half and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.  Place into the freezer for 2 hours or until hard.

Place granola into ziplock back and roll with rolling pin to crush granola.  Then place granola on a shallow plate.  Heat the chocolate jar until liquid and place on a second shallow plate.

Roll the banana in the chocolate topping using a spatula to completely cover, then roll in the granola and place back on pan.

Freeze for another 2 hours or until hard.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

They make a great summer time treat, cold and fruity!
What is your favorite summer time treat?