Monthly Archives: March 2012

Where’s my sombrero?

I have always told anyone who’s willing to listen that I should have been born Mexican.

Mexican cuisine is my absolute favorite cuisine. I (quite obviously) enjoy all food, but Mexican food is, by far, the front runner. Particularly Tex-Mex. Which I know is not authentic Mexican, but it’s so yummy I don’t even care.

My Mexican foods of choice have always been cheesy, gooey enchiladas, fried chimichangas, burritos and tacos overloaded with cheese and sour cream. Be still, my beating heart.

However, I realized quickly that if I kept eating like that, my heart was really going to be still.

Ever since my lifestyle change commenced- which, by the way, I’m down 22 pounds, which elicited a very enthusiastic, “yeah, baby!” in my very best Austin Powers voice- I’ve been trying to figure my way around this Mexican food dilemma. The only way I like my Mexican food is greasy and fattening (and delicious). I can’t reasonably picture myself never eating Mexican food again, considering it’s one of my favorite things to eat. I needed to remedy this situation- and quickly, or else the 6 o’clock news van would be at my local favorite Mexican joint, reporting on a very large woman being removed from the premises with a crane after eating herself into a coma.

I was looking for the opposite of my “norm” when it came to Mexican food- I wanted something refreshing, something healthy and something that would leave me satisfied. As opposed to what I usually treated myself to- something that left me feeling like I needed to make a beeline to the bathroom after I finished the last bite on the plate.

Cue Pinterest.

I’ve recently joined Pinterest, and it has been such a great resource for healthy, delicious recipes. The only downside to Pinterest is that it is slightly more addicting than crack. Needless to say, my “Food” pinboard on Pinterest is overflowing with amazing recipes, but I can’t seem to stop pinning more. I am a pin hoarder. Someone call A&E.

But before you run off and call them, let me share with you the amazing Mexican-inspired recipe I found! It fulfilled all of my wishes- refreshing, check. Healthy, check. And it left me TOTALLY satisfied!

Shrimp & Mango Burritos

1 – 1 1/2 pounds large-extra large shrimp

1 1/2 tablespoons Jamaican jerk seasoning

Tortillas (I used the large flour ones, but you can use regular sized flour or corn, it’s a matter of personal preference)

1 1/2 tablespoons fat-free or reduced fat mayonnaise

1/2 cup sliced red onion

2 cups cabbage, sliced very thinly

1 ripe mango, diced into bite size chunks

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Take your shrimp and add it to a non-stick pan with a little bit of olive oil or non-stick spray at the bottom. Add the jerk seasoning to the shrimp and cook the shrimp until they’re pink and heated through. Heat the tortillas in the oven or in the pan, until they’re warmed through. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Pour some of the cabbage mixture onto one side of your warm tortilla, put some of the cooked, seasoned shrimp on top of that, and voila! Delicious, refreshing, and satisfying. Check, check, check!

The recipe I followed suggested pairing these burritos with a cucumber, cilantro, and radish salad, which was right on the money. I also served it alongside some avocado. Food of the gods.

Now you can call A&E. 😉

 

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Brown Cookies

It isn’t hard to tell that my kids sprung from my loins. Apart from the fact that the oldest one is my spitting image, they are both extremely passionate about their food. Just like their momma.

Oh, and they’re both absolutely hilarious, but I don’t know where they inherited that, because I only consider myself moderately hilarious. 😉

My oldest is the pickiest eater on God’s green earth. His diet is mainly comprised of macaroni and cheese and (vanilla- none of that fruit on the bottom junk) yogurt. He will tolerate pancakes, scrambled eggs (but only with ketchup!) and turkey sandwiches, on his terms only. Other than that, he won’t even lift a new food to put it to his lips.

But that creamy, golden macaroni and cheese? That is his lifeblood. You can’t get between him and a plate of that stuff. And if you try, you may lose an appendage in the process.

On the other hand, my younger son is the polar opposite. He will try anything once, and likes almost everything he tries. You could put a rock on the tray of his high chair and he’d probably try gnawing on it. Like mother, like son.

However, as different as they may seem, there is a holy grail of foods that reigns supreme both with them and with me, too. The food of all foods- the best food ever created, and a food that is capable of causing an all-out brawl in this house, especially if the last one is gobbled up by some mysterious entity that refuses to reveal itself. Kind of like Helen of Troy- the face that launched a thousand ships. This is the food that launched a thousand fights, arguments, and satiated a thousand cravings.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

My sons and I adore them. As a matter of fact, my oldest son has affectionately given them a nickname- “brown cookies”.

Since my lifestyle change commenced, the “brown cookies” have been pretty scarce here, because I have absolutely no self-control whatsoever when they are present. You don’t even know how many I’ve eaten in one sitting in the past. And I’m pretty sure I don’t even want to tell you, because that’s how embarassing it is.

My son asked for one earlier, and at the mere mention of them, the mother of all cravings swept over me. I wanted a brown cookie. Now. I was actually justifying in my warped little mind, going out to the grocery store simply for a package of Reese’s. Then I decided that the idea of getting in the car and wasting $4/gallon gas for a package of Reese’s was the most ridiculous thing ever thought of in all the worlds.

So I did a little experimenting!

I had just gotten home from the gym, so I wanted to eat something satisfying, that would leave me feeling full for a while. Oatmeal was the perfect answer.

I love oatmeal. It’s one of my all-time favorite foods. Not only is it super good for you, but it’s so yummy! So I prepared some oatmeal, and that’s when the fun began.

In the spirit of brown cookie goodness, I pulled out the peanut butter and the chocolate powder. I added a tablespoon of each to my oatmeal, and voila! Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oatmeal!

And I sliced some strawberries on top for good measure. 😉

It was really the easiest, tastiest, fastest, most satisfying recipe ever. I couldn’t imagine that I’d be able to quench my Reese’s craving with oatmeal, of all foods, but I did! And it was totally delicious. And in addition to being totally delicious, easy, and fast, it kept me full all afternoon!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oatmeal

3/4 cup quick oats

1 1/2 cups water or milk of your choice

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1 tablespoon chocolate powder

sweetener of your choice (optional)

strawberries (optional)

Put the oats and your liquid of choice (I used water) into a microwaveable bowl. Pop that in the microwave for two minutes, take it out and stir it well. Drop one tablespoon of peanut butter and one tablespoon of chocolate powder into it, mix well. I left the sweetener out, since I thought the add-ins sweetened it up plenty. Slice some strawberries on top- perfect breakfast, perfect snack, perfect post-workout meal, perfect midnight snack. It might even be good with shredded coconut or slices of banana on top.

I think I might make this for breakfast tomorrow with bananas on top- this sounds like just the right incentive to waking up bright and early! 😉

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Yummus

Today was a great day. I weighed myself this morning to discover I’m down 21 pounds! That’s over 1/3 of the way to my long-term goal! Woohoo! To add the proverbial cherry on top, Carl hopped on the scale after I weighed myself and said, “look! Carl little, mommy big!”

….

That’s my boy. Always there with that encouraging word.

Of course, I hopped right on Facebook to announce my 21 pounds lost to the world, when I got to chatting with a Facebook friend of mine. That little chat left me inspired.

I was going to make homemade hummus. Today. And I was going to savor it, to celebrate my loss.

Now, before we get knee-deep in hummus, let me recant my hummus experience with you, because it is not extensive. Hummus and I do not know each other very well. We’re only acquaintances.

I have only ever had store-bought hummus, and it’s always been pretty mediocre. Nothing to write home about. I’ve never been overly impressed with it, nor have I ever been compelled to try to make it myself. It was just one of those foods that I would try if it was available, but that I wouldn’t go out to the store to specifically buy for myself.

I peeked into my pantry, and lo and behold, there it was. The sad and lonely can of garbanzo beans that had been pushed aside so many times in favor of other provisions. It looked so excited to finally be picked, not unlike me in PE in elementary school.

I did a little bit of research before I dove in head first. I knew the basics of what went in it, but I wasn’t 100% sure what to do with the sesame seeds. I discovered that the pureed sesame seed-olive oil blend that most hummus contains is called tahini. And I promptly decided to make a tahini-free hummus, because I had no desire to bake and pulverize a whole mess of sesame seeds. I was trying to make a quick, easy snack. Alright, fine, I was being lazy. Whatever.

I chose all (five) ingredients I needed from the pantry, pulled out my Magic Bullet, and then… oh, then. The magic happened.

It was so beautiful. So creamy. It smelled so rich.

I had to have it in my mouth. Right then and there. All of it.

So, like the grown, mature woman I am, I started eating it out of the Magic Bullet with my finger.

And I died. It was like garbanzo-olive oil-died and gone to heaven goodness, all up in my mouth.

I was looking for something to dip in it, so I wouldn’t keep sticking my finger in it like a neanderthal. I did a quick inventory of my cabinets, but only came up with Ritz crackers, which I wasn’t too keen on. Then I discovered the perfect dipper…

And I proceeded to eat 500 cucumber slices dipped in hummus.

(Please excuse my super unmanicured, hummus covered finger. I like to keep it classy. Clearly.)

It was divine. I ate about 1/4 of the recipe, then I put it away for fear that I may eat the whole thing and turn myself off of it. Although I don’t think that’s possible. In fact, I may go have some more after I post this.

Here’s the recipe!

Five Minute, Five Ingredient Yummus (Yes, it’s yummus. It isthatgood.)

1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained (hold onto the bean juice in a separate container)

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic (the three cloves gave it a pretty garlicky taste. If you are not that big a fan of garlic, you can add less.)

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

7-8 kalamata olives (optional)

Dump everything into your Magic Bullet/blender/weapon of choice and puree that baby right up. I used the bean juice to get it to my preferred consistency. You can opt to leave out the kalamata olives entirely, or you can add something different to it. I would imagine roasted red peppers or sun dried tomatoes would be good in it, too. Or anything really. I mean, you really should’ve seen me licking the inside of the Magic Bullet like a lunatic.

I was also delighted to find that I was not the only hummus lover in the house.

It appears that Leland, too, is a fan of my five minute yummus. Although I have to admit, he’s never turned down any type of food before in his life. I knew he inherited something from me.

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Fat Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Because Tuesday isn’t the only fat one.

I fell off the wagon a little lot bit this weekend, but I have been hitting the gym pretty hard so I’m not going to fall into the flaming pit of self-loathing. At least not to the bottom of it, anyway.

Friday night I had Chinese food, which, to my surprise, is highly fattening and not good for you, although all Chinese people I have ever met are skinny as hell.

The rest of the weekend has been full of 85% healthy choices and 15% I-should-know-better-but-this-tastes-really-good choices, which puts me at a solid B, and I can live with that. This is a lifestyle change. I have to keep reminding myself that this isn’t a crash course in deprivation. I have to give in to myself every now and then, and I won’t lose all the progress I’ve made by indulging myself occasionally. It’s difficult to overcome and cope with the guilt I experience every time I eat something I know I probably shouldn’t have eaten, but everything’s fine in moderation, right? Right!

With all of that being said, I weighed myself this morning and I’ve lost 18 pounds in 35 days. Two more pounds and I will be 1/3 of the way to my long-term goal. Can I get a hot tub?!?

When I got started losing all this weight, I was determined to build a vast library of healthy, tasty recipes that would give me a variety of options to choose from. I didn’t want to be that person eating nothing but boiled chicken and lettuce. The Internet has proven to be an invaluable source for finding a lot of really great recipes, but the one I’ve found that has been the tastiest yet has been the chutney I’ve been using as a topping for my baked salmon.

Baked salmon is totally delicious on its own with just some lemon and salt, but I cannot. stop. eating. this. chutney. It is so refreshing and addicting. And the good news is that it doesn’t just go well with salmon. You can add it to really any type of fish, chicken, or meat. You could even put it over scrambled eggs. Or just eat it out of the Tupperware with a spoon. Not that I’d know anything about that.

I found the recipe on a website called Asado Argentina. Here it is:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 a red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 tomato, peeled, seeded and finely chopped

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon salt (I use kosher salt)

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

hot chili flakes to taste

This recipe renders quite a bit of it, so you might be stuck with leftovers if you’re just eating for two or something like that. It holds up to about a week in a sealed container in the refrigerator. However, I am only assuming that, considering it doesn’t even last two days in my house. Enjoy! 🙂

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I did it!

I finally did it, at 2 AM! I CREATED A BLOG!

I’ve been going back and forth in my head for months now, bouncing ideas around, talking myself in and out of it, and I’ve decided to just do it. Like Nike. Only not in the Tiger Woods way.

I’ve decided to use The Losing Chronicles as a place to document the musings and happenings of everyday life with my kids, as well as to document my weight loss journey. To date, I’ve lost 17 pounds in 32 days. The amount of brain cells and nerves I’ve lost dealing with my kids has yet to be calculated, but I can estimate that number to be in the high bazillions.

I hope to not only share things that relate to motherhood, eating healthfully, and weight loss. I hope to also engage my readers in sharing ideas and creating a conversational platform where we can communicate, instead of just reading my (occasionally disturbed) stream of consciousness. However, knowing me, I will become an expert at sharing tips to keep Girl Scout cookies out of your mouth and the subsequent coping strategies you’ll need to deal with the guilt of eating the whole box, and how not to look like a wild hog on the elliptical at the gym. As well as the ever exciting, how not to hang yourself from the rafters the next time your child utters the F word on the playground.

Let’s do this! 🙂

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