Monday, April 26, 2010

Farm to Table

In honor of Earth Day, I thought it would be fun to have a Farm to Table Party this weekend. Basically everything that was served came from local farms, or brought in from farms not far away. The menu was subject to the items I could get my hands on. Fortunately, lots of good items in abundance:

Menu - Elk and Venison Tacos (Thanks to Kristen and Leigh for Venison from Wimberly and Elk from outside of Waco) with grilled peppers and onions,
2 day soaked fat free refried beans (totally reminded me of food that my grandmother and mother prepared growing up...a favorite from Laredo)
tomatoes, salsa verde and fire-roasted salsa,
white and yellow corn tortillas
farm fresh strawberries
and, yes, mini-"poptarts"

Oh, yeah, some lovely local beer and wonderful gifts of local biodynamic and organic wine

The weather was perfect, and eating this goodness was a true Saturday night treat. It was wonderful to spend time with friends!

To top it off, the leftovers made beautiful taco salads last night! What a great way to end the weekend. YUM!!

Creative juices are flowing this week. The farm is calling, so let's see what I can come up with next??

Monday, April 12, 2010


Anyone who knows me, even a little, knows just how much I LOVE salad!

Luisa brought Paul a huge container of Lobster Bisque from Carmelos, and I thought it best to offer up a light side to the creamy creation.

I got some wild salmon and coated it with fresh herbs. I, then, baked it in parchment and crumbled it on top of a salad filled with fresh veggies. Yum!

I didn't take a picture, but sent Paul with roasted chicken pasta made with tomato, spinach, and wheat fusili. My friend, and her excitement for a post-race Whole Foods visit, reminded me of just how fortunate we are to have so many great places to shop at our fingertips.

An important finale to this post is that JT ate a STRAWBERRY while on the phone with me the other night!!! Katie was there for confirmation. So proud :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Feast and Lots of Pics

I had so much fun coming up with our Easter Feast: Eggplant Lasagna, Foccacia Bread, salad with orange and yellow tomatoes, and homemade "pop-tarts." YUM!!

The lasagna consisted of slivered eggplant instead of pasta noodles and their meaty flavor was an incredible replacement. Then layers of fresh spinach and venison sauce (th
ank you Kristen). don't know what made me think of replacing the noodles with the eggplant, but this will definitely go into the rotation.

The very fun highlight of the meal were the "pop-tarts." I saw the recipe in Bon Appetit, and it called for 1 teaspoon of sugar. I thought I could definitely leave it out and then all of a sudden it would be a dessert I could eat!!! And, then, instead of jam or preserves in the middle I just pureed fresh strawberries. The "whipped cream" was just greek yogurt! All went just beautifully with the wine I got in Dry Creek, CA.

The only misstep on the meal was heading to the grocery on my way home from Smithville on Saturday. I definitely don't recommend hitting the grocery the day before Easter when you have only had about 30 minutes of sleep.

So much to share:
JT has really stepped up his eating. It is just so exciting to be part of. What is even more than the changes are the wonderful results he is feeling! Keep it up!!!

Jamie sent me a pic of her pre-race meal in PA! Check out this 14:58 meal :) Now that's what I am talking about.

And, finally, check out Kristen's healthy meal!! This is her version on my onion rings. I love it!

Have a great week, and enjoy all of the springtime goodies!!
Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Muffins

I have really been enjoying testing and playing with muffin recipes. Each one seems to better than the last.

This week was Lemon Yogurt Muffins. I tweaked and turned a recipe I found, and then at the last minute I dumped a package of fresh blueberries in the batter. Who the heck needs sugar when you have fresh blueberries?!? I used Greek Yogurt for the added protein, and tons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. No fat, 127 calories, and 5g protein a muffin. What a great treat! Oh, and nothing more fun than pulling them out of the oven and having Jim and Paul walk in to taste!! Paul went to get Jim a napkin, and his response was, "for what, it's gone." I love having the house filled with happy taste-testers!!
No I don't just survive on muffins right now :) (I actually got more than one email asking me how I was able to be so small with all the muffins I eat...they are just my "treat") Last week I found this fantastic veggie mix by Seapoint Farms called Eat Your Greens. I used it as part of the vegetables in my weekly stir-fry. (Ken - you will be a HUGE fan). Really wonderful blend, for an easy green fix in your food. Although, it doesn't quite match the peppers I have been chopping up for my salads. I wasn't a total fan at first, but the prices for fruits and vegetables at Sprouts have been quite impressive. If you haven't been, definitely worth a visit. You can't get everything there, the fish selection is disappointing, but what you can get is very reasonable and very fresh. (I got my last batch of peppers, tomatoes, greens, apples, blueberries, and bananas there...all organic)
Bon Appetit, and Welcome to Springtime!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Comforting Rewards

There is no better reward for a great day of running than a good meal and a relaxing evening. I got the best of both on Saturday after my 28 miles on the road and trails.

Knowing that I wanted some good protein to prep for my hill workout with Liza on Sunday, I thought I would take advantage of the Venison we still have. On the menu: Venison Burgers and Oven Baked Onion Rings. The burger was fantastic, but the onion rings stole the show! Here they are as I plated them. I used whole wheat flour, egg whites, and whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs. WOW! I enjoyed them with no sugar organic ketchup, while Paul preferred to dip them in fresh Ranch. The meal was a wonderful treat, but when all was said and done I will take it homemade vs. fried from a restaurant anyday.

Sunday, after the run, Paul and I headed over to Mother's Cafe as Liza and fam headed to meet family friends. Their Vegan soups are out of this world. I had Kale/lentil soup and their spinach salad with artichokes. What great food we have in Austin, YUM!

I do recognize that one of these days soon I am going to have to indulge Paul in his craving for Fried Chicken and Waffles...maybe there is a place in Vail?? In the meantime, I will continue with our healthy treats.

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Working with leftovers

Thank goodness for having cooking demos this week because I was able to eat the leftovers for dinner and just had to add in a salad. By time the end of the week came I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with the two eggplants I hadn't cooked. I decided to roast all of my leftover vegetables from the week, and create a pasta for Paul for this week. I roasted: eggplant, peppers, artichokes, and tomatoes in 1T olive oil and herbs. Not only was the house incredibly fragrant during the roasting process, but vegetables turned out wonderful. (Yes, JT, Paul isn't afraid of eating vegetables...give it a try sometime :) )

As has been the pattern over the past few weeks, it will be another incredibly busy week ahead. But, I am happy to have healthy food prepped and ready to go.

An addition to my last post: as much as I have been enjoying my banana bran muffins I LOVED the fresh muffins Liza made for our Saturday post run snack! Hers had other fruits from mine and were sweetened with unsweetened applesauce vs. mine with greek yogurt. Yum, yum!!

Next step will be coming up with something great to take with us to Colorado for vacation in two for Jamie and I am thinking some fast food for JT, hmmm??

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Simple Ingredients

Liza and I have been enjoying wonderful food conversations during our runs. The more we talk and discover the love of simplicity of ingredients the more I desire to keep my foods clean, clean, clean.

As part of this I made some fantastic fat free banana bran muffins and to give them an extra kick of protein I added some fat free greek yogurt. The moisture comes from fat free milk, egg whites, and mashed up ripe bananas. I used whole wheat flour and added wheat bran. No sugar at all, but the sweetness of the bananas and the addition of the greek yogurt was more than enough! They turned out YUM, and for 117 calories a pop, even better :)
Bon Appetit!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Catching Up: Funtimes with Good Food

As we relax on the eve of the marathon, it is a great to catch up as I am WAY overdo.

For starters, two weeks ago one of my amazing clients, Kristen, brought me a wealth of food from her parent's house/hunting shares. What an amazing gift. Here is a picture of the beautiful food.

It is great timing to truly appreciate that gift now because I made Paul's pre-marathon meat sauce with the ground venison, and I am so looking forward to our Valentine's dinner of Venison Filets post-marathon. I am thinking roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus with peas and onions, and a salad with warm poached pears. But, I will still think about the sides for a little longer. No matter, the Venison will be the star and still truly appreciated!

One of the other parts of the gift I received were fresh farm eggs from their chickens and ducks. Well, this brings me to gift number 2: an egg and muffin toaster. It is just awesome, as you can put an egg in toaster with your toast or english muffin and go about your business and return to a poached egg (or egg white) and toast perfectly prepared. What a great gift!!

Thank you so much for such generosity and thoughtfulness!!

Now, let's back up to last weekend for a moment. Part of my journey to Western States is exploring fun food finds as I travel to different races. My most recent was Rocky Raccoon last Saturday.

As the race approached, well actually way before, Jamie and I kept saying that after she finished we would have a bit of a post-race party. Part of this party would require some pre-prep of food as when the race finished for her not much is open in Huntsville, unless you are interested in fast food. Well, I felt I could do better. I thought I would either bring food in from Austin or I would find something in Huntsville. And find I did! I remembered reading about a barbeque place in Saveur magazine. I was very intrigued by this place, and fortunately everyone was on board with giving it a post-race try! Here is the article: Mt. Zion BBQ Picking up the BBQ was as much of a treat as eating it. The cooks were so nice in helping package up the food, and it was so awesome to see the article come to life. That and the food was INCREDIBLE! It was so great that I sent Liza's friend and crew there, and Melanie and her family tried to go post-race, but didn't go far enough down the street. Next time you find yourself in Huntsville Texas on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday...head over to the church!

Ok, time to shutdown for pacing duties in the morning! Paul and I can't think of a better way to start our Valentine's Day! I will send a pic of our Valentine's Dinner now that I am all caught up!

Quick side note, I had allowed myself sweets while racing. Well, I didn't have any during the race last Saturday. Maybe I should carry a cookie with me tomorrow :)

Bon Appetit and Happy Heart Day!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Friends' Food, and it's only Thursday

Let's see: Liza made Vegan Black Forest Cake yesterday. Happy to be back in San Antonio and making good vegan treats for her family.

JT is logging his food again, even if log day #1 contained a package of Poptarts

JT tried to bribe Mike to bring me a milkshake

Jeremy and Julie are about to end their 40 days of no sugar at Hey Cupcake. (I know not the best cupcakes in town, but it's where their son wants to go)

Mike is cruising along in his Milkshake Odyssey
Bruce informed me during our run today that he took the leftover cake and icing from his daughter's project and make cakeballs.

Clea baked, hopefully, her last batch of vegan cookies and we will hopefully get to welcome baby Spec into the world! I can't wait to bring treats over :) If he doesn't come, to Yoga and maybe we will even take a jog around the block to help him move along!!
It is kind of funny to look over this list and see just how some of my friends have eaten so far this week; what they are baking up in their kitchens; and what they are planning for this weekend.

AND maybe not in the sweets category, but Paul informed me this morning that he ran out of food. WHAT??

Every week I plan out and prepare his meals so that he will have enough to last for the week. This week I sent him with: Broccoli, 4 Spinach and ground buffalo (his request) Calzones, 4 pizza rolls; AND two small pizzas. See pics for some of the sample sizes of what I made. All of the above was consumed Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday for dinner.

I make them with a whole wheat pizza dough (you can cheat with dough from WF if you want), fresh spinach; homemade sauce; ground buffalo; low fat mozzarella. Super, super easy!

Looks like I will have to step up my portions from now on. By the way, he is NOT an example of portion control :)

I am so looking forward to the delivery of fresh venison (sorry my veggie and vegan friends) and farm eggs on Sunday! Thank you Kristen and to your family, as well. I can't wait to make something wonderful with the food!

I hope you all are eating or will eat some fun foods this weekend.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Memorable Meals

Over the past few days I have had some wonderful conversations about memorable meals and places people have eaten or want to eat. This has been triggered as I have been planning my race calendar for the spring. Some of the places will allow for a fantastic post-race meal.

The best was Thursday evening when Colin and I were at the Pacer Shoe Social. He was telling me about his upcoming travels for Livestrong (he might be competing for the dream job) Here was our quick list:

Colin - Uchi (he said it really compares to any top sushi restaurant in the country)
Per Se
and Delfina (he actually said that his brother lives within walking distance, which is a bonus)
Chez Panisse (Alice Waters can't be touched...I can't wait to eat here in April)

Mine - Any and every meal I have eaten at Blackberry Farm (Melinda and Adjryche - what a team...I can still remember each of the lemon desserts you created for me. Unbelievable!)

La Bernadin (most incredible seafood experience, and to have Eric Ripert walk through the restaurant

Ad Hoc

And, my personal top food moment to 15 minutes in the The French Laundry kitchen pre-dinner service. Entering in the back door. (it is this almost magical entry) Being greeted and then toured around by Tim Hollingsworth. Seeing every station. Seeing the flat screen of Per Se's kitchen. To see the amount of people that work in such harmony to make the magic of the evening come together, it was truly truly incredible!

What's on your list??

It is always so fun to hear and be part of incredible eating and food experiences. They create a memory. They create a moment. To see someone's face light up when they have a meal that is so meaningful they can remember every item they ordered, and what every morsel tasted like. I just love it!

Next time you are out to eat, although Mike and Melissa are sweet enough to say that my New Year's 6 course meal sits here, and you have an incredible experience: savor it; share it; and remember it!

Now that's a splurge :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kid Food

Yes, I know, I don't have kids, but sometimes my favorite eater likes "kid" food...although not kid portions (and to answer all the debate from Saturday night: I do feed him; he just eats THAT much!! Oh, he did fess up to 4 pieces of pizza, and the rest of my salad)

As promised, I made Paul Fish Sticks and let's call it Broccoli Casserole, of sorts. The old fashioned version of the above consist of: frying, lots of fat, lots of refined items, and full fat dairy. Well, I did a complete overhaul on both recipes and you wouldn't know the difference.

For the fish sticks:
Tilapia (I used 4 filets)
Whole Wheat Flour (which I always have some in the freezer)
Whole Wheat breadcrumbs
Wheat Cereal Flakes (I used Wheatabix)
Fresh Garlic powder
Egg Whites
Canola Oil Spray

I cut the fish into "sticks," dusted with flour, dipped in egg whites and then dipped in the crumb/flake combo. Put on a cookie sheet, and "fried" in the oven.

They came out wonderfully crisp and flaky...even reheated in the microwave yesterday!
(If you want more details on the recipe send me an email...I have it fully typed out)

I derived this from an Eating Well recipe. I decided to change it all up when I noticed that they instructed people to use all purpose flour. Why go to the trouble of recommending whole wheat breadcrumbs and whole wheat cereal flakes just to use refined flour on the fish? It just made no sense to me, so I overhauled the recipe and took out all of the added salt and refined need for them!!

I then made my version of broccoli casserole. Tradition uses: broccoli, white rice, cheese, whole milk or cream.

Here's mine:
Lundberg jubilee rice (made with water and no took approx 40 min vs. the 50min recommended)
Frozen broccoli florets - steemed and chopped
non fat milk
borden 2% shredded cheese
Cook the rice, add the chopped broccoli, milk, and cheese. It came out super colorful, moist, and grainy!!
Off to go talk about "Dining Out." Hoping for a good crowd :)
I will start posting meal pics soon! Keep sending them, and when you do please let me know if I can post them. I love to see what you are eating.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Food, food, food

While I wait for the temps to warm up outside for my long run today, I am catching up on work and thought it would be a good time for an update.

Lots and lots of food talk and lots and lots of cooking/baking this week!
It has been a very exciting time for my business and in particular my Vegan Bars. You can read about them on my website: Orders have been coming in like mad, so I have been making batches and shipping them all week. It is very exciting to have such a healthy product, and have people really enjoying them! Right now I have two flavors, but I am already brainstorming a 3rd. If you have been enjoying the bars and want to suggest another flavor, please let me know!! As long as it doesn't change the fat or calories by much, I am open to new ideas.
As I mentioned last week, my friend, Erin, was on Shark Tank on Friday. Not only was she on Shark Tank, but they were totally awesome! When we were at dinner the conversation turned to cakeballs. Erin has been wanting to try the cakeballs for some time, and Joe, her boyfriend, spoke of his love of red velvet cake. Well, heck...that's my specialty red velvet cake balls. In all fairness I was already planning to make a batch to send to Ryan in Iraq, so I just got a little extra creative.

For Ryan - Red Velvet and Mint Chocolate are currently in transit to his APO in Iraq (by the way, any of my readers who bake and want to send goodies his way...he will be there for a year and LOVES goodies!!).

For Erin - Maybe some people were going to bring Erin flowers to the viewing party Friday night, but I decided to turn the cakeballs into balloons of sorts and made a bouquet out of them. Here she is at the party with her bouquet! I love how they turned out :)

For Joe - I left the chocolate off of two red velvet cakeballs and wrapped them for him. He loved them!! How fun :) This was the second time that I had someone that wasn't sure they would like them fall in love. It makes me so happy to share treats and have them be enjoyed.

Later this afternoon I am going to make "fish sticks" for Paul for the week with broccoli cheese hash. I will take pics. If they turn out good, they will make a great easy meal that I think kids would love (I am going to use wheatabix and whole wheat breadcrumbs which I already have prepped). I will also make more batches of Vegan Bars!! Keep the orders coming!

Quick side note - was going to eat out on Friday night, but really the only thing I would have wanted on the menu was a grilled chicken salad. Not that it is a big deal, but I just didn't want to pay $10-12 for a salad I had all the ingredients for at home. So, I ate before we went out. Honestly, I enjoyed doing that so much more! I was kind of dreading eating out all three nights this weekend (very unusual for us to have plans all three nights of the weekend).

And finally, I got an email from JT on Friday saying, "I am at Burger King." I wrote him back thinking I needed to talk him off the ledge. Nope, he didn't need me. He was just ordering coffee! Wager still alive and well!!

Pics of Sunday creations to come later!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

So Hungry

I am facing a new/interesting challenge. Normally post-race/really long run I reward myself with sweets: a cookie; piece of cake; or I have been known a time or two to enjoy a big as your head cupcake (although I think the last one of these I had was like two years ago from Melissa and Clea...). I will typically have a normal meal or even a splurge, and then my too large portion of a sweet and be completely satisfied and move on.

Well, without the sweets and dairy, I have found myself quite hungry even three days post.

I'll be honest that I was in a HUGE calorie hole on Saturday: finished my race, barely ate due to the speediness of my friend (which was an amazing great thing); headed out to pace her; started to feel my major calorie low as I was sweating up a storm being overdressed (layers and layers of rookie mistakes here)...ate 8 cliff blocks to get me to the end with her; drank recovery drink + 1/2 pb sandwich + pretzels (hubby wanted the other 1/2 of the sandwich and he was our driver).

Sunday - had a good breakfast from Whole Foods (best place to take out-of-town visitors. I call it the "Mothership"); had a small lunch; and then had a wonderful early celebration dinner with Erin and Joe (check out Shark Tank on Friday night to see Grease Monkey Wipes in action). But the dinner was still on the small side: salad, edamame; and maki with sweet potatoes (again, shared with the hubby).

By yesterday, I had thoughts of snacking on my arm, but out of total habit got into my "normal" weekday eating routine.

Well, today it caught up with me...although let's be honest that it has been catching up with me for days. By time I did my workouts, ate, and worked I was back deep in the calorie hole. I knew I was there, but I kept pushing through. Well, nothing like trying to pick up the pace on a run to shut you up and shut you down when you have missed the mark on your eating. I was light headed and working much harder than necessary.

I knew that if I want any chance of good runs the rest of the week, that I had to get the calories in! Lime-Cilantro Chicken with sauteed peppers, onions, and tomatoes; black beans; spinach; toasted corn tortillas...I already feel better!!

In reflection, and hopefully me outlining my mistakes will help those of you who have done this before, I should have definitely eaten more post race before pacing. I needed to have double the dose of my recovery drink; I needed much more sustainence than a pb sandwich on the way home. I needed loads more protein on Sunday and Monday. And, finally, I needed a much larger breakfast this morning and probably wouldn't have been doing bad to have a recovery drink (mine have 15g of protein) even after my morning was 2 hours worth afterall.

I am no longer getting in the junk calories, but I have to focus on getting in just what my body needs to bounce back and feel great!! As with all parts of life...I appreciate always learning and not "knowing" it all :)

Off to eat, again! Bon Appetit!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A New Week, A New Decade, A New Diet

I am so fortunate to be entertained by my clients on a regular basis. One of the best recently was this note:

I appreciate your offer, but I already have my nutrition plan figured out for 2010.
I am going to get into shape while adhering to this diet: Click on this link to see the 2010 "plan!"

He went on to tell me that when he saw the "commercial" he nearly fell off of his barstool."

I don't know if I truly have words to express the genius at the marketing department of this company, BUT please note: THIS IS NOT A DIET!!

Although, JT, if you want to lose you can try your hand at this new plan :)

Gotta love the idea of "healthy" in America!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ringing in the New Year

It was my absolute pleasure to create a lovely meal for friends to welcome in 2010. What I didn't realize until I came home from the grocery was that there was no more beautiful celebration to a New Year than the creation of this meal from the freshiest of ingredients. See my before and after and enjoy the menu:

- Vegan Chili with the addition of Black-Eyed Peas for good luck and fortune for the New Year

- Black bean and corn salsa
- guacamole

- low fat cornbread and jalaleno cornbread (I did mini-muffins for people to crumble in their chili)

- and, in my mind, the highlight: Poached Pears with Marsala wine, vanilla bean, and cinnamon stick syrup (I had to get creative since I am not eating sugar)

Everything turned out wonderful and the company was even better!

SO, that was mt way of celebrating the Eve of a new decade. I had friends and family that found different ways to celebrate with food (and sent me pics to boot)

Laurie - her first attempt at cakeballs

JT - Bacon Explosion (not fast food, but probably the grossest thing I have ever seen...Pete and I almost drove off the road looking at the pics) You can click on the link for the full "artistic" process
Jamie - Matza ball soup from the Carnegie Deli before entering Times Square for a 7 hour party!

I hope your celebration was filled with incredible food, and dreams hopes and blessings for the year to come!

Welcome 2010 and Bon Appetit!