Friday, March 23, 2012

More P90X

So, yesterday was my least favorite of all the p90x workouts that I have done so far - Yoga X. Holy shit! One would think that yoga would be a relaxing experience -NOT THE WAY TONY HORTON DOES IT!!! I swear, the man is a masochist! Not only is the workout difficult, strenuous and painful, IT'S AN HOUR AND A HALF LONG!!! Sweet Jesus, have you no mercy! After I suffered through the thing I wasn't about to ruin all my hard work with a fattening meal. I have been doing fairly well with the eating program thus far but I admit overdoing dairy on Wednesday. I HAD to have some cheese. But I still think I hit my calorie target. Even if I didn't tough! I didn't go crazy and I really wanted it. I ran an extra mile yesterday to compensate. Now, back to dinner. Knowing I had a long workout, I planned ahead and thawed a pork tenderloin overnight. Simple preparation, I put the thawed meat in a zip lock and dumped in a package of ranch seasoning mix. You know, the stuff for dips and dressings. I sealed it up and went to work. While I was in yoga hell, hubby popped it in the oven at 350 and it was done when I was. To go with it I quickly sauteed some zucchini and garlic in olive oil and added some parm cheese when it was done (not too much!). I also made potatoes for hubby and for myself, who is is carb counting, I made mashed cauliflower. Now let me say right off the bat that I am not a huge fan of this vegetable. It's OK. It sure as shit is no substitute for potatoes, let me tell you! But, it was the closest I was going to get to them. I added carrots to them to give them a bit more flavor. Here is how I prepared it.

Erika's P90X Cauliflower Mash

1 bag frozen cauliflower
1 C chicken broth
1 Hand full baby carrots
1 Tbs chopped garlic
1 8 oz container non fat plain greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste

place cauliflower, carrots, broth and garlic in a sauce pan. bring to a boil. put lid on pan and reduce to simmer. cook until veggies are tender. Once cooked mash with a potato masher . Stir in yogurt. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I have to say, this took a little getting used to because it is NOT potatoes BUT it did go really well with the pork and zucchini. It is definately a healthier alternative to potatoes for anyone looking to cut the carb intake.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

P90X Eating

So yesterday I bit the bullet and decided to jump in to the P90X pool with both feet. At this moment I can feel my muscles locking up and wonder if I am going to be able to walk out of here this afternoon. LOL! If you didn't already know P90X is a fitness and diet program that claims will transform your body in 90 days IF (and that's the catch) you follow the exercise and diet regime. Now, this is not my first go around with P90X. Prior to my wedding I did the fitness portion of it for 60 days and I have to say I felt pretty darn good about myself. I did notice a gain in strength which was pretty cool. At the time I didn't really need to lose any weight so I didn't bother with the diet plan. Well, since getting married I have put on a good 20 pounds and I do not like it so this time around I am going full bore and following BOTH aspects of the program. For the first month the diet is very high in protein and low in fat and carbs. The most difficult part for me is training myself to eat like a normal person instead of coffee for breakfast followed by water and diet soda all day and a giant dinner. I don't mind cutting out certain foods I love because it gives me an opportunity to experiment with new things (I say this on day 2, LOL!). Last nights experiment was with coleslaw and it was not bad. There is still room for improvement but it went well with my chicken breast so I will continue to work with it until I get it juuuust right. In the meantime, here is what I have to start with!

P90X Phase I, Level I Coleslaw

1 Cup coleslaw mix
1/8-1/4 C rice vinegar
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp dill
pinch salt

Mix everything together and let sit a few minutes before serving.

NOTE: I probably would have added more honey to this but I was near the end of the jar and I could only get about 1 tsp out before I had to abandon it to tend to the other things on the stove. The resulting slaw was very tangy but still not too bad. Again, it went well with my chicken breast that I had sauteed in 2 Tbs of Russian dressing.

Friday, March 9, 2012

And Now for Something Completely Different!

As we all know, I have been trying to maintain healthy eating habits in an effort to shed a few winter pounds before swimsuit season comes around. While I am not sure if I lost anything noticeable, I sure do feel good about myself for how well I am doing. BUT I have been running out of lighter fare ideas for dinner. So, last night I tried something new. This recipe for Roasted Vegetable Pasta came from the blog Stacey Snacks and I have to say that I really like the way this lady cooks! Most everything looks delicious and relatively healthy. She uses a lot of balsamic vinegar which is what had me concerned about making this. I was afraid it would have that vinegar tang reminiscent of salad dressing. To my surprise the roasting process of this recipe sweetened the vinegar and there was nary a tang to be tasted. It was FABULOUS!! So much so that I probably ruined my diet by eating TWO bowls of the stuff. I just couldn't get enough of it! The only variations I made were that I subbed broccoli and zucchini for the cauliflower and brussel sprouts and towards the end of the roasting time I added some cubed, skinless chicken breast to the pan with the tomatoes. I also omitted the peas. SO YUMMY! It was even good cold this morning! I encourage everyone to try it! Just click on the recipe name above to be transported to her recipe!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sick Hubby!

Husband has a man-cold. So not fun for anyone. When hubby is sick he reverts back to a five year old. It's funny how a big tough guy can be reduced to a whimpering pile of goo by a common illness. Needless to say when I asked him if he would like me to make him some soup he was more than agreeable. However, I wa thinking chicken and he came out with Pasta Fagioli. Hmmmm. Not only have I never made this before, I didn't have all the ingredients in the house. That meant a quick stop at our local market on my way home from work. While our market has a GREAT meat department, the deli is somewhat limited and they did not have the pancetta that the recipe called for. Not to be discouraged I substituted with proscuitto and the result was a delicious batch of soup. I think part of its great flavor could be attributed to the home canned tomatoes I used for the broth. That stuff is like liquid gold! Husband gobbled it down and complimented me up and down, which says a lot since he is feeling so lousy. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of the finished product before we polished it all off.

Erika's Pasta Fagioli

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 slices proscuitto
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
2 dried bay leaves Coarse salt and pepper
1 can cannellini beans
2 cans tomato sauce (1 large mason jar home canned tomato)
1 box chicken stock
1/2 lb small pasta

Grated Romano, for the table
Crusty bread, for mopping

Place proscuitto, celery, onion, carrot and garlic in a food processer and chop very fine. Saute mixture in large stock pot with olive oil until vegetables have softened. Add herbs, beans, tomato sauce and stock and bring to a boil. Add pasta. reduce heat and simmer until pasta is al dente. Add water or additional stock if necessary. Serve with Romano cheese and crusty bread.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Licking My Chops!

For dinner that is, LOL! My husband has this love-hate thing with pork. He likes it but sometimes it doesn't like him back. Last time we had pork it was ribs and they made him sick so he was a little reluctant to try this evenings dinner. But he is such a good sport, not only did he eat them but he also braved cous cous for the first time. I am happy to say he enjoyed both and neither made him sick. He did say the cous cous took a little getting used to though. Still, he ate it without complaint and didn't say it was gross so that pretty much means he liked it.

This recipe actually turned out well however, in the future I think I would marinate the chops in the honey mustard to impart more of the flavor. The flavor when prepared as described below is very subtle but still there. If you prefer a crispier coating you could certainly fry the chops in oil but we are trying to watch the fat so in the oven they went.

Honey Mustard and Onion Pork Chops
2 Pork Loin Chops - with or without bone
1 tbs Honey
1 Tbs yellow mustard
1 egg
1/2 C panko
1/2 Cup fried onions, pulverized in food processor

Preheat oven to 400 F

Combine honey, mustard and egg in a shallow bowl and combine thoroughly with a pork or whisk

Combine onions and panko on a plate

Dip chops in egg mixture and then press into panko mixture to coat

Bake on a wire rack set in a pan for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.