Spicy Thai Pork with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I saw Lori’s blog post where she had pumpkin oats and I was a tad bit jealous because my local store had a sign where the pumpkin should be that said “coming soon!”  I hope we don’t have a pumpkin shortage this year.  Otherwise how will I make my pumpkin scones with spicy glaze I’ve been craving once the weather starts to cool?

So I looked to see what I had, and remembered that I had peaches from the farmers market that needed to be eaten – soon!  OMG, these were so good – just slightly tart – I had 3/4 cup oats to 1 cup water, then added 1 tsp. of honey and 2 tablespoons of granola on top – pure summer/fall comfort in a bowl. 😀  Breakfast comes in at 9 points.

Work was super busy, so busy that it was 12:30 before I realized I hadn’t gone on my lunch workout.  Shelley commented recently that she didn’t realize the ups and downs I go through being diabetic.  She’s right – I don’t talk about it too much because a: I don’t want people to look at my blog and say “she can eat three tacos and she’s diabetic, so I can too!”

What works for me probably only works for me – it’s not as cut and dry.  I have to time my lunch/workouts from when I ate breakfast, etc.  Luckily since my breakfast was high in carbs, my blood sugar was 250 before working out.  While some diabetics would freak out about that, I loved that number.  It was overcast and 70 degrees when I went out at lunch.  I knew I could push myself on my 5k a bit more because the weather was cooperating.

I knew almost immediately that I started out too fast – I have that problem, and I know that it takes me a good 10 or 15 minutes to get in the running “groove.”  So I slowed down a bit, walked for about 10 seconds, then kept running.  Had I not had to reject a song on Pandora at my half-way point, I would never have known that I ran the first 1.5 miles in 16 minutes!

I knew I could break my PR.  So I just kept my head up, my feet moving to the beat of a fast tempo song and before I knew it, I had crossed my “finish” line and when I looked down at my watch, could not believe I ran my 5k in 32:07!!  Woot!  Some of you already know that because I couldn’t help not post something on facebook (something I vowed I would never use, but am slowly learning to love it!)

After I read Kelly’s blog post about how she feels like a runner, I couldn’t agree more.  I never thought I would enjoy running, just think how fast I’ll be once I drop these damn 30 pounds. 😀

When I got back to my desk I was really ready for lunch – I think it was almost 1:45 by the time I ate.  I made a spicy thai pork dish that I copied from here.

Thai Pork & Peanut Sauce

Adapted from a cooking light recipe

Ingredients

2 pounds lean pork loin
2 large sweet red peppers
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup peanut butter
Chopped green onion, for garnish
Chopped dry roasted peanuts, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish

Directions

Coat crock pot with cooking spray.

Put pork, bell peppers, teriyaki sauce, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and garlic in crockpot. Cover and cook on low until pork is fork tender, 6-8 hours (or on high for 3-4 hours).

Remove pork and coarsely chop. Add the peanut butter to the liquid in crockpot, stir well to dissolve.  The only thing I did differently was puree the red pepper peanut butter mixture to make a smooth sauce, then I added 2 tablespoons of thai chili paste to kick it up – leave out if you don’t want it too spicy.

Return pork to sauce, stir to coat meat evenly. Serve with rice, garnishing with green onion, peanuts and lime wedges.

I actually served mine over a cup of mashed sweet potatoes with steamed broccoli – this whole gorgeous spicy plate comes in at 10 points.

I emailed my brother and sister and said “I am eating mashed sweet potatoes and am liking them!”  I told them I spiced them up with some thai chili sauce.  My brother then sent this picture which made me almost pee in my pants.  It’s because my sister said that mashed sweet potatoes was like baby food. 😀

That baby’s face just kills me!

So Tony, while feeling better, still doesn’t have much of an appetite, so for dinner I made him buttered egg noodles.  So what would I possibly eat?  Yep – pizza!

i had half of the pizza dough leftover from my fig and goat cheese pizza.  I then realized that this pizza dough recipe is perfect for 2 people to make their own individual pizzas – half of the dough is 6 points, then just build it from there.

Pizza Dough for Two

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt (may seem like a lot, but it works)

Just mix together with a wooden spoon, pour onto lightly floured counter and knead it for about 2 minutes.  Divide in half and each person can put whatever toppings on they want.  I went with a bacon and broccoli pizza.  My pizza all together comes in at 11 points.

It was delicious.  Tony just looked over at me and shook his head – seriously he would be fine with having pizza just once a month.  Where did I go wrong with him? 😀  I know Helen’s husband is probably like “WTF?!”  He could have pizza every night like me and never get sick of it. 😀

I was reading Leslie’s post yesterday about how a lot of us didn’t reach our summer goals as we thought we would.   It got me thinking because from the start of my vacation and about 10 days afterwards (about 15 days) I didn’t count points, I felt like I ate like a pig, I was really feeling down on myself.  But when I weighed in at WW on Saturday, turns out I lost .2.

It’s so easy to revert back to negative thinking and think “I can’t do it.”  Pushing myself on my run yesterday only proves that if you push yourself, maybe even just a little bit more than the day before, we can reach our goals.  My switch is back on people – look out! 😀

Stats for Tuesday

  • 33 points (after eating 4 points of crack pop chips while watching t.v.)
  • 45 minute walk/run – 32:07 5k PR
  • average blood sugar 134

I am headed to my Mom’s house tonight – she’s having out patient surgery tomorrow and I am her designated driver and caretaker. 😀  See you tonight Momma!

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Tikka Masala Soup with Cheese Tortellini

Yesterday morning was so cool – I had the windows open in our back room where the computer is and even after shutting the windows I had a throw blanket on my lap – I love that kind of weather!

Sadly when I gave Hannah $20 bucks to pick up coffee and coffee filters on her way home from work yesterday, I told her “get whatever you want, just not any Foldgers or Hills Bros.” (i.e. crappy coffee!)  She brought home Starbucks – nice!  Starbucks vanilla flavor (not so nice).

I used to love flavored coffees, but now I just like stronger coffee with my coffee cream.  It’s only a small bag, so I can ride it out.  😀 Can you do flavored coffee?

Breakfast was a 3.5 ounce bagel with egg white and zucchini and cheese – 11 delicious points and this will be my only bagel of the week.

I was busy with work right off the bat, the morning went by super fast.  The weather at noon was exactly 75 degrees, puffy white clouds and a slight breeze.  I thought I would have an awesome run, but it was slow going.  I had to stop probably four times and walk in the first mile.  The second mile was equally difficult, but then my last 1.1 miles was so easy.

I wish every mile could be like that!  So even with two shitty miles, my time for the 5k was 34:40!  It didn’t seem possible, but I think a sub 30 minute 5k may be my next goal. 😀

I had planned on making spinach and cheese tortellini soup for me and my SIL, but didn’t realize my stock of chicken broth was empty.  So I went on tastespotting, put in cheese tortellini, and stumbled upon a tikka masala tortellini soup.  What?!!  It sounded amazing!  Oh – and for the record – my SIL pays me to make her lunches – its a win win situation!

Tortellini Tikka Masala (by Gastrophoria) – my changes in bold

Serves 6
1 package Barilla Three Cheese Tortellini (9 oz. package)
Tikka Masala
2 tb canola oil (I used 1 tablespoon + Pam)
1 small onion, diced (around 1 1/2 cups)(no way!)
2 tsp ginger, minced (fresh)
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 pinch pepper flakes (or to taste)
2 tsp garam masala (or curry powder if you can’t find it)(used 1 tsp. garam masala and 1 tsp. curry powder)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 jar Classico marinara pasta sauce (any brand is fine)(I used 2 cups of my homemade tomato sauce)
1 cup of chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream (I used 1 cup of fat free half and half)
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Garnish
1/4 cup silvered almonds, toasted
1 tb lemon zest
Cilantro sprigs (I only used cilantro)
Olive oil
1. Prepare the tortellinis according to package directions. It should take around the same amount of time as the sauce.
2. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, add oil, onion, ginger and garlic and cook until the onions essentially melt. Around 10 minutes. This is the flavor foundation on which the sauce builds upon so don’t skimp on the time spent here!
3. Add the pepper flakes, garam masala, paprika and cumin to the onion mixture and stir for a few minutes to let the flavors meld and bloom in the oil.
4. Add the sauce and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Once that’s finished, turn off the heat, stir in the cream, cilantro and salt to taste.
 Love, love, love the flavors going on here – she’s right, take your time with the ginger/garlic (onion) part because the flavors that developed were amazing.  I accidentally started my pan too hot the first time around and burned the garlic, so I had to start over.
I had a few more torellini in mine, so I am calling my bowl of soup 8 points plus.
I had so much laundry piled up, so I knew I wanted to make a quick dinner.  Looking through my archives I remembered how good this salisbury steak with asiago cheese bread was, I quickly put it on the menu.  You can find the recipe here.  However, when I got home Tony wasn’t feeling well.  So dinner was all about me.  What?  You say there is leftover food from the Mexican fiesta on Sunday?
Yep – I had 3 beef and tri colored pepper tacos – 3 corn shells, 2 ounces of flank steak, 1/2 cup of cooked peppers and an ounce of cheese split between the tacos, with 1/3 cup cilantro rice on the side.  Dinner comes in at a delicious 11 points.
So my mini goal this week is to get my laundry/closet/dresser drawers in some kind of order.  So I am pledging to spend 30 minutes a day to that task, so that by the weekend I’ll have a totally clean laundry/dressing area. 😀  Until I hit the lottery and then I can either buy new clothes every day and donate them to good will so I never have to do laundry again!
Hannah had the day off from school yesterday and went to the Shedd Aquarium – I was trying to remember the last time I went and I think it was when Hannah was in 3rd grade -so sad!  Chicago is basically in my back yard and I hardly ever go downtown anymore.
I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures she took – they had a jelly fish exhibit going on that she said was pretty cool.
Stats for Monday:
  • 33 points (includes an ounce of tortilla chips and hot sauce as an afternoon snack)
  • 45 minutes walk/run at lunch, included 34:40 5k
  • 100 sit ups
  • 50 push-ups
  • average blood sugar 166 (damn bagel!)

Hope you have a great Tuesday!  Happy Birthday to my SIL Jody!! Keep up the great work on WW!

Best Spicy Shrimp Cocktail Ever

What a wonderful weekend we had.  The weather was amazing, and I was really bizzy in my kitchen this weekend.

I forgot to tell you yesterday that the flea market we went to on Saturday was pretty gross – I mean like worse than some garage sales.  But I did get a new fish spatula and some Greek seasonings, but other than that it was a total bust.

I had to have a pretty tight game plan because not only did I have to prep the food for my SIL’s Mexican fiesta yesterday, I also had to prepare her lunches for the week too.  So I split my tasks in half – did about 3 hours of cooking on Saturday and did about 2 hours on Sunday – not too bad. 😀

I want you guys to know that I really love my family who came over because otherwise you’d never see this in my house.  Ever.  I carmelized onions!

I also sauteed up some really good peppers – love the colors. 😀

Tony grilled up my cherry salsa ingredients – thanks Tony!

I went to the farmers market yesterday and bought 2 big bunches of basil for $2.  I made a bruschetta with garlic toast – so garlicy good.  I don’t really have a recipe for it, I just add tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, basil and asiago cheese and keep tasting until it I like it.

I am not a baker at all, but when I saw Veronica’s coconut poke cake, I knew I could recreate it.  Although I baked mine in a bundt pan.  Somehow I am missing my second 8 inch cake pan – I’ll need to replace it.

The secret to her cake is that a:  it’s a cake mix (can’t really screw that up!) and b: when the cake first comes out of the oven and is hot, you poke holes in the cake and pour a can of cream of coconut over the cake until it absorbs.  Don’t use coconut milk because it isn’t the same.  I thought I might have a hard time finding it, but sure enough it was right next to the coconut milk.

For someone who doesn’t bake too much, I think it turned out pretty good.

But I have to say that I think this Mexican shrimp cocktail I made was my favorite dish of the day.  I found the recipe here, and made only a few changes.  I reduced the lime juice to 1/3 cup (which was 2 limes for me) and I used the zest of both limes.  I ditched the 1/4 cup chopped green olives and 1/4 cup chopped white onion and used only 1 serrano chile, which was just enough heat so everyone could enjoy it.  And while this is considered a Mexican seafood cocktail in the original recipe, I only used shrimp – feel free to add a combination of crab, squid, etc.

This was such a great combination of flavors – and Tony wants me to make it again, so it’s definitely a keeper. 😀

And after everyone left and I cleaned half the kitchen (I had to run the dishwasher twice last night!) Hannah and I went on a 50 minute walk – one of my goals is to only take one day off from exercise a week, and that was this past Saturday.

While I didn’t count points yesterday, I don’t think I did too bad – the running total in my head is around 40 points.  Hope you had a great day Jody!  By the way, my SIL Jody has lost over 16 pounds on WW so far – this past week she lost another 2.2 pounds!  I like to think its because of my delicious lunches I provide for her, but it is all her – keep up the great work!

It’s Monday again, so I have to get ready for work and pack my gym bag – I am either going to run a 5k or bike at lunch today, haven’t decided which yet.

Did you have a great weekend?  Make it a great day!

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Last Week of 101 Days of Summer and Best Pizza Ever

I can’t believe we are in the last week of 101 days of summer challenge!  While I am not complete happy with how I handled the challenge, I have no one to blame but myself.  I only have 20 pounds to go to get to my goal of 140 – and I am determined to get there by Christmas.  I may start a challenge from Labor Day to New Years – anyone else interested?

I have Jacky to thank for the idea of my lunch yesterday.  You guys knew I couldn’t go a whole week without pizza right?!  Holy cow, this one hits all the marks – the crust was crispy, the sweetness of the fig against the tang of the goat cheese and the mortadella – I think the balsamic and olive oil greens on top brought this pizza all together.

I made a super easy pizza dough – 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tsp. yeast and 1 tsp. salt – I used half of the dough for the pizza below.  This whole dough would be 12 points.

Fig, Goat Cheese and Mortadella Pizza

  • 1/2 of simple pizza dough
  • 4 tablespoons fig (I used the leftover balsamic figs Tony made, but you can buy canned figs)
  • 1 ounce goat cheese
  • 1 ounce mortadella, sliced
  • 1/2 cup mixed greens
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon good olive oil

Heat oven to 425.  Roll out dough and pre-bake the dough for 4-5 minutes, or until you can shake it off the pan.  Spread figs on the bottom.  Dot with the goat cheese and sprinkle the mortadella over the pizza.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the crust starts to brown.

Chop the greens and toss with the olive oil and balsamic.  Toss over the hot pizza and try not to burn your mouth .

The best part is that this whole pizza was only 13 points!  And since I only had a banana and a 1 point cheese stick for breakfast, I ate the whole thing. 😀

My pizza fix is satisfied, but I can’t wait to make this one again.  Thanks for the idea Jacky!

I did most of the prep work yesterday for my SIL’s birthday Mexican fiesta today.  All I have left to make is the cilantro rice and cook the marinated meats.  But I still have lunches to make:

Have a great Sunday!

Weekly WI and Mortadella and Fig Focaccianini

When I went to bed last night, Tony asked me how I thought my WI would go today and I said “I’ll be happy if I didn’t gain more than 3 pounds.”

Guess what?

I am a loser!  I did have a couple great 5k’s this week – both 35 minutes.  I have a plan this week, and my workout plans – I am going to have a great week!

Here is the picture of my turkey burrito from yesterday – it was so good!  And if you are wondering, that’s hot sauce all over the top, not enchilada sauce. 😀

So I am not sure how many of you have seen the new show on Food Network of the Sandwich King, winner of the next food network star.  Both of the dishes he made were added to my “must make” pile.   First was his take on an Italian Beef with homemade hot giardiniera (making that this week) and the other sandwich he made was a Mortadella and Fig Focaccianini – a cross between a foccacia sandwich and a panini.

You can find both recipes here.  Tony picked up some stuff at the store for me yesterday in anticipation of my sisters birthday party we are hosting tomorrow.  He said “I have a surprise for dinner!”  And while you might be thinking “aw, that’s so sweet that he’s thought and making dinner for Biz!”  Think again – he and I both know he did that so he wouldn’t have to have Party Pizza Friday!

But it didn’t matter that I didn’t get pizza last night.  These grilled sammies were to die for – the creamy fattiness of the mortadella, the sweetness from the fig paste and the saltiness of the butter used on the bread.  Sadly, Tony thought this was a healthy dinner – my guess is that it comes in around 20 pounds, but worth the indulgence.

I loved the salty/sweet combo in this sandwich.  And there is plenty of fig paste left – not sure what I am going to do with it yet though.

Today we are going to a flea market!  Check it out here.  I will probably drive Tony nuts because I like to look and touch EVERYTHING! 😀  Then its prepping for my SIL’s Mexican fiesta birthday party tomorrow.  On the menu:

How does that sound??  I seriously could have Mexican food every day and never get sick of it. 😀  Plus there will be leftovers – I see breakfast burritos in my future next week. 😀

Enjoy your Saturday – we have gorgeous Chicago weather – hope all our East Coast friends will survive hurrican Irene unscathed!

One Day

I live for weather like we had yesterday.  When I woke up it was about 65 degrees, sunny.  I had a nice breeze blowing in while I was putting my food together for the day.  Although I slept in yesterday – didn’t get out of bed until 7:30!  But still managed to blog, put my food together, shower and was in the car by 8:10 – nice. 😀

Although I think I may need to leave about 5 minutes earlier – since all the schools are now open, I got stuck behind a couple school buses. 😦

Breakfast started with a small (3 oz) baked potato I had.  I diced that up in 1 tsp. olive oil (part of the WW healthy guidelines!), then added chopped red pepper, 1/2 cup egg whites and 1/2 ounce of mozzarella cheese – with two slices of toast – breakfast comes in at 9 points.

I knew my run would be so much better because of the temperatures – it was 75 degrees – I managed to run 95% and walked 5% (there are a couple steep hills) and my time was 35:30!!  I really pushed myself at the end, and realized, it’s okay to push myself and be a bit uncomfortable – I could handle it.

Here I am back at my office bathroom.  I’ve been using these Playtex sports wipes to freshen up – I found them at Target. 😀

Don’t let the horse wallpaper scare you – the first time I walked into the bathroom I kinda freaked out!  Still loving my hat Shelley!  I wear it outside all the time and it washes up really well too.

When I got back though I was hungry.  I had leftover turkey breast from the weekend and made a turkey burrito with green salsa, hot sauce, purple cabbage, red pepper, a low carb wrap and 3/4 ounce of tortilla chips – lunch comes in at 10 points.  I left my good camera on my desk at the office, so thanks Google images!

My friend was feeling much better so we had our rescheduled happy yappy hour for last night.  I really miss her – she was one of my original WW lunch buddies at my old office. 😦

She is such a hostest with the mostest, even in the midst of house projects, she always shares good wine, cheese and great conversation – she loves to cook just about as much as I do too. 😀  The first cheese was awesome – it was a stilton with bits of apricot in it – she said she got it at Trader Joe’s.

I have no idea how many points “dinner” was – it was cheese, crackers and wine.  Roz, you would have loved it!  My guess is about 15 points.  Totally worth it to catch up with a friend! 😀

Stats for Thursday:

  • 39 points (I had a small 5 pt. grilled cheese when I got home)
  • 45 minute walk/run, 35:30 5k
  • average blood sugar 124

This week went by pretty fast – check in tomorrow when I officially weigh in at WW – I’ll accept whatever it says and take it one day at a time. 😀

Determination . . .

Wow, thanks for all your wonderful comments to my post yesterday!  It was just the spark I needed to get me out of my funk, slow down, figure out what I want and make a plan to get there.

And to answer Shelley’s question about my blood sugar numbers, for whatever reason, there are peaks and valleys – I seem to do the same thing (i.e. take the same amount of insulin for a cup of rice) and sometimes get different results.  There are SO many variables that I just try to do the best I can – about 10% of my day is figuring out carbs, when to eat, how hard to work out – if I wrote about what a pain in the ass it was to manage my diabetes, my posts would be so boring and whiney! 😀

All I know is that being as healthy a diabetic as I can today, I’ll keep my feet and eyes later on in life.  I need to see Tony when we grow old! 😀

I had a great day yesterday.  I got up and did my “me” time of blogging, drinking coffee, reading the news.  I made an egg white sammie out of the bread I made the other day – when I weighed the original piece of bread I was going to use, it was 6 ounces which would have been 11 points on it’s own.  I cut the bread down, then scooped out some of the insides and ended up with a 3 ounce piece of bread for 6 points.  The rest: 1/3 cup egg white, 3/4 ounce cheese, 1/2 cup fresh spinach and a slice of ham with a cup of watermelon on the side:  10 points.

This picture is proof positive that just because you have a fancy camera, doesn’t mean it will automatically take great pictures! 😀

So while yesterday’s storms prevented me from working out at lunch, I wasn’t going to let 97 degree heat get in my way – I ended up doing a 50 minute walk/jog and it felt great.  I also discovered Pandora and put it on my blackberry!  I am sick to death of the songs on my iPod – as much as I try to shuffle songs, I don’t know why sometimes I hear the same song twice in 30 minutes.

One song that played was a song by Coldplay, and the lyrics really struck me:

Nobody said it was easy.  No one ever said it would be so hard.  I’m going back to the start.

So that’s what I am doing.  I am declaring a do over.  I can’t undo the past 10 days, but I can sure as hell make each day the best I can. 😀

I just enjoyed the music, thought about how nice the run will be today because the temps will be in the 70’s and sweat – glorious!  The only thing not glorious was encountering not one, not two, but THREE dead skunks in various forms of decay.  One was just a jaw bone and bushy tail – so stinky!  I had to change the side of the rode I was on 3 times. 😦

Lunch was a cup of leftover fried rice from the night before, though I subbed in 3 ounces of cooked chicken and added 1.5 cups of broccoli to bulk it up – lunch comes in at 10 points.

Dinner was sloppy joe’s, but I decided to make a sloppy joe salad.  Two cups romaine lettuce mix, cucumbers, red pepper, purple cabbage, 1/2 cup sloppy joes, and fat free ranch.  Dinner comes in at only 8 points!

I really love purple cabbage in salads.

But I really have TJ to thank for pulling me out of my funk.  Just yesterday she posted this video and it could not have been more motivating for me.  So I am stealing TJ’s determination!  Who’s with me?

Stats for Wednesday:

  • 28 points
  • 50 minute walk/jog
  • average blood sugar 101 (nice!)