Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Salmon fried rice and one for the dogs

This morning I groaned when I realized that the kibble bin was empty.

Then I remembered I had leftover rice in the fridge. 

This can only mean one thing - breakfast fried rice for all!

Salmon fried rice.

I chopped up a carrot and some kale and sauteed them till tender in a little olive oil. I set the veggies aside (these veggies went into my dish and the dogs' meal).

I initially took out three salmon patties from the freezer and defrosted them before remembering they had onion in them and the dogs couldn't eat them.

Well, I could give it to the dogs if I wanted them to get a horrible case of anemia but that usually isn't fun for anyone...

I went a little overboard on crisping up the salmon patty.

I set the salmon patty aside and apologized profusely to Abby who was drooling in anticipation of a fish breakfast.

For the dogs' meal I scrambled on whole egg in a little olive oil. The dogs have been obsessing over the local tofu I brought home the other day so I cubed up a handful and tossed that in with the egg.

Then 2/3 of the carrot and kale mixture went into the pan along with some canned peas (drained), 1 cup of cooked brown rice, soy sauce, oyster sauce and a little chicken broth.

This is a large stainless steel dog bowl.
I wanted to give you an idea of the portion sizes I feed if I am cooking a whole meal for the dogs. Abby weighs about 37lbs so she got about 1 cup of food. Connor weighs around 42lbs so he got 1 1/4 cup of food.

A drizzle of golden Udo's oil on top.

For my meal I put some chopped yellow onion and minced garlic in a pan with some olive oil.

I realized I had tomatoes I needed to use up so I gave one a rough chop and tossed that into the pan. 

Then I added 1/4 cup of cooked brown rice, the carrot and kale mixture, chicken broth, soy sauce, peas and the salmon patty chopped into pieces.

It was pretty tasty. What I liked most about it was that I got a hearty amount of protein and healthy fats with this breakfast.

Now I have to figure out what to do with the other salmon patties. I've got a feeling it is going to be a salmon-centric day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Savory mashed potato pancake

My non-stop craving for veggies seems to have abated a bit.

Thank goodness.

This morning I wanted pancakes.

Mashed potato pancake.
I will let you in on a secret. I have, in the past, been fairly obsessed with the mashed potatoes they make at Draeger's.

Their mashed potatoes (which can be picked up at the deli counter) are creamy and rich with a nice onion bite from a generous addition of green onions.

While I love those potatoes they do contain cream AND cream cheese (which is why they are so wonderful) but now a days they are, unfortunately, a little too rich for me. 

So I decided to make a mashed potato pancake using the ingredients (the ones I could remember) that make the Draeger's mashed potatoes so wonderful.

Mashed potato pancake with a side of sauteed broccoli rabe.
I threw some things together and ended up with a crispy pancake that was deliciously rich and creamy in the center. Wow! It was amazing!.

The recipe made a huge pancake and I only used one medium/small red potato.

Shallot, red potato, Tofutti cream cheese, Tofutti sour cream, broccoli rabe, green onion and eggs.

The pancake looked a bit lonely sitting on the plate so I topped it with a poached egg and added some broccoli rabe sauteed in some olive oil.

Then the egg looked a little too naked.

Black pepper and fresh chopped parsley.

And you can guess what happened next...

I enjoyed all this with a small espresso with soymilk.

The potato pancake is a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. 

I also think this would also make a great dish to bring your significant other when you bring them breakfast in bed:-)

 Savory mashed potato pancake

Serves 1


1 medium red potato, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1/4 of a green onion, chopped
1/2 tsp of fresh chopped parsley
1 egg white
1tsp of All Purpose Flour
1 tsp of Tofutti sour cream
1/2 tsp of Tofutti cream cheese
a pinch of salt
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp of olive oil


Chop up the potato and place it in a steamer over med-high heat for 10 - 12 minutes. Obviously you can skip this step if you have some leftover mashed potatoes. I would suggest using about 1 cup of mashed potatoes.

When the potatoes are tender mash them with a fork and stir in the shallot, onion, parsley, egg white, flour, Tofutti sour cream, Tofutti cream cheese, salt and pepper. It will be a slightly sticky mixture.

Put a skillet on the stove on medium heat and add in the olive oil. Take the mixture and flatten it between the palms of your hand. You want a thick pancake at this point. Place the patty into the pan and use the back of a fork to gently press the mixture till it is approximately 1/4" thick.

Flip the pancake when you see the edges begin to brown. Flipping the pancake can be tricky if you went with one big pancake so make sure to have your largest spatula handy. Cook the pancake until the other side is brown.

Plate your delicious golden brown pancake and top with anything you like. 

Suggested toppings: a poached egg, a dollop of sour cream or if you are feeling very decadent a dollop of sour cream with a spoonful of caviar.

Note: You can easily substitute regular sour cream and cream cheese in this recipe.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Teriyaki stir fry

Teriyaki stir fry.

For lunch I pulled out my last package of soy noodles.

And again, one of my favorite things about these noodles is that I can eat the entire package and it is only 40 calories.

While the noodles were parboiling, I chopped up some kale, a carrot, red bell pepper and some mushrooms.

Then I mixed up some homemade Teriyaki sauce (I modified a recipe I found here).

This dish was amazing! Definitely a recipe to make over and over again.

Note to self: Wait for the bowl to stop steaming before taking a picture.   

Right before lunch I did the Stronger & Hotter workout at

The workout was intense! And I did all the modified versions :-((

The site does a great job of providing thoroughly explained options for beginners.

Since I was unfamiliar with all the moves I made myself a cheat sheet.

And no, I do not have feet that are large blobs and that are the same size as my head. Why do ask??

Teriyaki stir fry with soy noodles

Serves 1


1 package of Tofu Shirataki noodles
1 carrot, sliced thin
4 kale leaves, chopped
3 button mushroom, sliced
1/4 of a red bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp of grape seed oil

Teriyaki sauce:

1 Tbsp of mirin
2 1/2 Tbsp of soy sauce
1/2 tsp of rice vinegar
1/8 tsp of sesame oil
2 tsp raw honey (you can substitute sugar)
1 clove of minced garlic
1/2 tsp of of minced ginger
1/8 tsp of chili paste


Chop up the carrot, kale, mushrooms and red bell pepper and set aside.

Cook the soy noodles according to package directions. When cooked, drain the noodles and set aside.

Combine the sauce ingredients (use a microwave safe bowl) and heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds that the honey melts.  Stir the sauce and set it aside.

Put a skillet over medium-high heat and add in the oil. When the oil is hot, add in all of the vegetables and stir continuously until the vegetables are tender but still a bit crisp. Turn the heat down to medium and add in the soy noodles and pour the sauce on top. Stir till everything is well coated in the sauce and let cook another few minutes till everything is heated through.

Plate your delicious teriyaki noodles and top with some sliced green onions.


Trying something new

Potatoes, carrots, broccoli rabe, onion, red pepper and mushrooms in a soy glaze.

Pretty much all I have been wanting lately is vegetables. This, in an of itself, is not a bad thing. But when you are trying to make sure you get enough protein everyday? 

The constant craving for tons of veggies is not really supporting my protein plan.

My breakfast was delicious. I set the potatoes, carrots and broccoli rabe into the steamer.  While they steamed I put a little olive oil and butter on low heat and tossed in some chopped onions to caramelize.

When the onions were just starting to caramelize I tossed in some chopped red pepper and some chopped mushrooms.

I let that simmer for a few minutes then I added the rest of the veggies from the steamer and splashed everything with some soy sauce and gave it a stir.

A very yummy (if lacking in protein) breakfast.

I will have to try and eat this a little later:

Here is a shot of Connor, the sweetie who is still recuperating, showing avid interest in my protein bar.

Why is he lusting after my protein bar?

You just can't keep that guy away from anything remotely related to peanut butter.
 I will have to make him a peanut butter treat later.

Oh, and the new thing I am trying today?

I have seen people mentioning the workouts on their blogs and while I was not that impressed at first (the site is heavily geared towards being eye candy for guys IMO) when I stopped to actually check out the workouts I was fairly impressed.

And I like the idea of doing a short, intense workout as opposed to hours in the weight room.

Has anyone else tried the workouts?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tofu + Bacon??

I have seen a lot of recipes for tofu bacon running around the internet and I was curious to try it out.

Thin strips of tofu marinating in soy sauce, liquid smoke, mirin and nutritional yeast.
When I read the tofu bacon recipes most of the comments rave about how it tastes just like bacon. This I find hard to imagine.

I pan fried the tofu until it was crispy and it ended up looking like this:

While the tofu had a bacon-like look to it, it in no way tasted like bacon. The only way you could think this would taste like bacon is if you never ate any pork product your whole life - including bacon.

It just tasted like crispy tofu with seasoning. 

So, I am still perplexed by the whole tofu + bacon thing.

I ended up having a bowl of veggies.

Ignore the tofu bacon - I didn't even bother to eat it.

This was one of my 'toss everything together and see if it works' meals.

I put 1 chopped tomato, corn kernels cut fresh from the cob, mushrooms and black beans into a skillet to simmer.

I also added 2 tsp. of taco seasoning to the pan.

While the vegetables simmered I put a corn tortilla in another pan to get crispy.

When the tomato started to release its juices and the mushrooms had started to brown, I plated the veggies.

I sprinkled the chopped up tortilla on top and added some diced avocado.

Fresh chopped cilantro adorned the top.
 A very delicious breakfast but now I am behind on protein for the day.

I sense a protein bar in my near future.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

An easy dinner option

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program I was sent a coupon for a free sample of Birds Eye Viola! product line.

The Birds Eye Viola! line has tons of options to choose from such as Garlic Chicken, Beef and broccoli and Shrimp Scampi. 

This was my pick:

Cheesy Ranch Chicken sounded great to me!

The first thing I noticed about this package was the sauce packet.

They sure don't skimp on the sauce which is a very nice thing.

I prepared it according to package directions and ended up with this:

I was pleasantly surprised how well this turned out. The penne held together and the vegetables were cooked just right.

My favorite thing (besides lots of cheese sauce) was the size of the vegetables.

Nice big pieces of carrot and broccoli.
I really felt like I was getting a nice hearty portion of veggies.

And the chicken was tender and not rubbery at all. The chicken pieces were also nice and big.

I was expecting to not like this product but when I can have penne with tons of cheese sauce for only 4.5g of fat per serving? I am sold!

The best part is that you have a complete meal on the table in 10 minutes.

While I am not likely to use this product very often (because I like cooking too much) I can see that it would be great to have it on hand on the days when I am just too tired to cook an elaborate meal.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Morning appetite

Vegetable tofu scramble.
My appetite has finally returned since the pups are home safe and sound.

This morning I wanted a big plate of veggies and some fruit but, as you know, I am trying to eat protein on a more consistent basis. Cue the protein:

Locally made tofu.

I chopped two small rainbow carrots, 1/2 a small Yukon gold potato and two stalks of broccoli rabe and threw them into the steamer.

Most tofu scrambles use crumbly tofu and I personally hate that texture in the scramble. The tofu starts to break down and the bits of tofu feel like tiny pebbles. Ugh, not my favorite.

Instead, I sliced of long, fairly thick slices of tofu and put them into a hot pan with some peanut oil. 

A lot of recipes want you to marinate the tofu first but I find this makes it harder to get the tofu nice and crisp. Luckily this tofu had very little water in it so it crisped up very nicely.

I pulled the tofu out of the pan when both sides had browned. I cut it up into small squares and set it aside.

When the vegetables were nice and tender (you may want to pull them out earlier if you want more crunch to the veggies) and they went into the skillet.

Then I added:

1 Tbsp of vegetable broth
1 Tbsp of soy sauce
1/2 tsp of white miso paste mixed with a little water

I covered the skillet and let this cook over low heat for a few minutes. 

The tofu went in at the end and everything was tossed together till well coated with the sauce.

Then I plated the tofu and vegetables and finished it with a drizzle of sesame oil.

The tofu was wonderful. It had a crisp and chewy texture like bacon or sausage. This texture is much more to my taste and it was delicious!

On the side I enjoyed one of my favorite instant espresso drinks.

This instant coffee is great to have on hand for making a quick cup of espresso or to use in recipes if you want a nice non-bitter coffee flavor.

Vegetable tofu scramble, a cup of espresso with soymilk and some juicy, ripe watermelon.

I do have to tell you that crispy tofu is a wonderful thing.

Connor was crying for the watermelon so both dogs enjoyed a nice, juicy chunk of the water filled fruit. 

No surprise there, I suppose, since going a day with limited water (because of the anesthesia) would make anyone lust after a slice of watermelon :-)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

They are home!!


They are both finally home!!

It has been one long and very worrisome day.

Thank you to everyone for the positive and kind thoughts.

Abby ended up having two abscessed molars which was the likely cause of her pain. So she had to have them pulled.

But on the upside I am so happy that they found the cause of her discomfort and she is on the mend.

She needs soft foods for the next week so you be seeing lots of home cooked dog meals in the coming week :-)

Connor's surgery went well and he got a dental and had no tooth problems, Pheww.

I will be back to cooking tomorrow. 

The dogs and worry

No recipe this morning because I dropped off both dogs for their respective surgeries and I am filled with worry and have no appetite.

I picked this up at Whole Foods on the way home to sit and wait:

I would appreciate any positive thoughts, prayers, or whatever you do, for a good outcome for the beasties.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

You asked for it - Mac & "cheese" recipe

A few of you have asked for the recipe for the cheese-less Mac & "Cheese". 

And then when Natalie said she was getting her first package of nutritional yeast this week I decided to make another batch of Mac & "Cheese" and actually bother to measure this time :-)

Keep in mind that this does not give you the same cheesy flavor as Mac & Cheese that comes out of a box with the orange powder, but it is a great alternative.

Also keep in mind that this is a basic recipe and you should feel free to add things or increase certain flavor profiles to fit your own taste. 

But I do think this recipe gives you the same creamy mouth feel of a cheese sauce and I like how easy it is to tweak it and try out something new each time I make it.

My Mac & "Cheese"

Serves 1


1 Tbsp of Earth Balance Spread
1 Tbsp of All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
1 tsp of Miso Mayo (you can substitute miso paste)
1/2 tsp of soy sauce
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 tsp of onion powder
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp of sweet paprika
1/4 tsp of tumeric
In a sauce pan, melt the Earth Balance spread over medium low heat. Add in the flour and whisk together until it forms a paste. Let this cook until the past darkens just slightly.

Add in the soymilk and stir to combine. Add in the rest of the ingredients and let the sauce simmer until thickened.  Feel free to add some water or a little more soymilk if the sauce gets too thick.

Cook one serving of your pasta of choice. Drain the pasta and add back into the pan and pour in the "cheese" sauce. 

Options: Add a bit of yellow mustard if you like tang. Add in more nutritional yeast if you want more of a cheesy flavor.