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Posts Tagged ‘wrap’

Last night, Morgan from Life After Bagels moderated a fabulous #FitBlog chat called Health: Is It All About the Benjamins? There were loads of participants offering great suggestions on ways we can eat healthy and exercise on a budget. Cooking at home was one money-saving tip mentioned time and time again during the chat.

This concept plays a huge part in our household food budget. We usually only dine out about once a week, some weeks not at all. The vast majority of our dinners are prepared at home. For lunches,  my husband takes a packed fare every day rather than buying fast food. I usually eat leftovers or prepare a large batch of something at the beginning of the week to eat for lunches the rest of the week. Budget is a the main reason for our dine-in lifestyle, but I also think it’s a healthier option. I like being able to control the ingredients and how they’re prepared.

I had a helper in the kitchen last night.

She stood there and helped (read: ate pieces of bell pepper) for a really long time. We were all fine and good until she discovered the butcher block of Cutco knives you see back there. She was  fascinated with pulling them out so she was immediately relegated back to ground level.

Italian Sausage Sandwiches

I wish I’d snapped a photo of my ingredients before I started and more throughout the process, but this dish is really simple so I think you can handle it without those. 🙂

~1 package Italian turkey sausage links (hot or mild), sliced into rounds

~1 tablespoon teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided

~3 garlic cloves, minced

~2 small onions, sliced into strips

~2 bell peppers, any color, sliced into strips

~2 teaspoons dried oregano

~ground black pepper to taste

~your favorite kind of sandwich bread (I like wraps. My husband likes wheat hoagie buns.)

~sliced or shredded cheese, variety of your choice (optional)

1. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, just until fragrant.

2. Add the onions, peppers, oregano and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until the veggies are tender. Place the mixture in a bowl and cover to keep warm.

3. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in the same wok or skillet. Add in the sausage rounds. Cook, stirring occasionally until they are done all the way through.

4. Add the peppers & onions back to the wok or skillet and toss the mixture together.

5. Spoon the mixture into your wrap, roll or bun

6. Top with cheese if you wish. If you’re using a wrap, this is where you want to roll it up.

All wrapped up with a salad of mixed greens, fat free feta cheese & tomato vinagrette:

The total cost for this main dish comes in at just under $10. It makes quite a bit and reheats very well. In addition to one dinner, we’ll get at least 4 lunches out of the leftovers. My meat-and-potatoes husband LOVES this one as much as I do.

 

What’s your favorite low-cost meal to make at home?

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One thing I love about the first few weeks of January is that the grocery stores seem to have more healthy foods on sale than normal. I take advantage of the savings by stocking up on the healthy things we eat regularly, and also by trying some new things. Like a lot of other bloggers, I opted to stay in yesterday rather than brave the winter wonderland. That gave me plenty of time to check out some of those new-to-me finds.

Breakfast was a new-to-me treat, Kashi 7-grain waffles.

I’ve never bought these before because they’re a bit on the expensive side so it was a treat to see them on sale. I usually buy the “other brand’s” low-fat waffles. They’re pretty good when I want a waffle fix, but don’t keep me full for very long. These new waffles were delicious! They had tons of flavor and kept me full for several hours. The ingredients were much less processed and, for those who are wondering, they’re the same number of PointsPlus values  as “those other” waffles. I’m definitely going to watch for these to go on sale again and for coupons.

For lunch, I decided to fix something I’ve read about quite often in the blogosphere, but never tried until yesterday. Tempeh!

The cooking directions on the package were a little vague so I wanted a tried-and-true way to eat it. Most recently, I remembered reading about tempeh on Cynthia’s blog. A quick search led me to her directions for Banh Mi. I didn’t have any spinach and I don’t really like carrots so no banh mi for me. However, I did get the inspiration to put my tempeh in a wrap and I heated it according to her directions. Inside the wrap I layered romaine lettuce, sprouts, the tempeh and dijon mustard. The tortilla was so full that I couldn’t really get it to wrap and ended up eating it like a taco.

I really, really liked the tempeh and will definitely buy it again, on sale or not. Cynthia informed me (via a reply to my comment on her post) that tempeh had a “different texture.” She was absolutely right, but I found it to be a nice texture. It’s very hard to describe the flavor, but there’s lots of it! If you haven’t tried tempeh, I’d encourage you to give it a go.

With my tempeh wrap, I had a mug o’ lentil soup from the batch I made on Sunday.

This was also a new-to-me recipe from The Volumetrics Eating Plan. My husband bought this book a few years ago when he first became interested in eating more healthy. We successfully made a few recipes and then sort of forgot about it. I revived it in my recent quest for new recipes and found a lot of dishes I want to try. This one is definitely a keeper.

Together, it made for a wonderful, filling lunch.

My husband got home from work pretty early and we headed to the gym for a triceps and chest workout. He recently downloaded the free JEFIT app for his android phone and has been torturing me with it sharing it with me. We haven’t really even begun to dig into all the features, but we’ve figured out the basics.

Basically, the app lets you view and select exercises by the part of the body you’re aiming to target.

The app has several predefined workouts which you can do as is or add/remove exercises to suit your needs. You can also start from scratch by selecting individual exercises to create your own routine.

If you’re not sure how to perform a certain exercise, there’s also a free downloadable player that allows you to view animations for each move.

So far we’ve done two of the preset workouts using this app and I must say that I’m impressed. My husband has some experience with weights and likes the way it’s put together. I’m fairly new to “real” lifting and it’s still easy for me to use. It’s helping me build my confidence around the free weights and machines which is a huge benefit in my mind.

After our workout it was home for dinner, also a new recipe. This one came from the same cookbook as my lentil soup from lunch. Italian Turkey Spirals were time consuming t0 prep, but fun to assemble and tasted delicious!

As suggested in the recipe, I also made the Tomato and Fresh Basil Sauce (a separate recipe in the same book) to go with the spirals. Served with whole wheat spaghetti, this was the perfect mix of protein and carbs for a post-workout meal. Oh, and there are green beans hiding in the back there for some veggie goodness.

My husband was super impressed with this dinner and I really liked it, too. I’ll definitely make it again. Since we didn’t use much of the sauce, there was enough left over to freeze and use later for another meal.

What new food or fitness ideas have you discovered in 2011?

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a Dr. Weil audiobook! Entries close Friday at midnight EST.

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I have a love/hate relationship with Wednesdays aka “Hump Day.” Part of me is really excited because it marks the halfway point of the week. The other part of me is just wishing it were closer to the weekend.

Lately I’ve been hit or miss with my morning exercise. I’m trying hard to get back into that routine. Yesterday I was awake early. Instead of laying there and snoozing I decided to get up, see my husband out the door for work and then do a little yoga.

My selection was the free 20 minute (actually 25 minute) Prenatal Yoga class from YogaDownload.com. It was incredible. This sounds strange, but the best way I can describe the way I felt when I finished is “healthy.”

Another coffee day at work which meant a frozen skim white mocha. Yum! I swore I took a picture. Either I’m crazy or my camera ate it. Oh well.

I was completely unhungry (is that a word?) until lunchtime so no morning snack. My lunch was homemade egg salad on a La Tortilla Factory Tomato & Basil Softwrap with just a little bit of shredded 2% cheese.

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A few coworkers and I pulled a great April Fools joke over on my boss that left me giggling all afternoon. I didn’t expect him fall for it, but he did. Hook, line & sinker! I have to watch my back now because he’s sworn revenge on all of us.

Later in the afternoon I had some more Stoneyfield Farm Oikos yogurt (honey flavor) with Bear Naked Fit granola and unsweetened coconut flakes. This time I knew to stir it up before I added my toppings.

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I couldn’t hit the door fast enough at 5PM. The sun was shining and I couldn’t wait get out for some fresh air. I picked up the pooch, chatted with my mom for a bit and then headed home. My husband was staying out of town so it was just me and the puppers.

For dinner, I decided to make stir fry. My husband doesn’t like Chinese food (or anything ethnic besides Mexican) so I don’t have it very often. Mine last night was pretty quick and easy. I just steamed a bag of frozen veggies, cooked some organic whole wheat pasta and topped the whole shebang with a mixture of Tastefully Simple Sweet Sassy Mustard Sauce and reduced-sodium soy sauce. Yes, I do realize that rotini isn’t exactly Chinese and thin spaghetti or rice noodles would have been more appropriate.. I had a partial box that I wanted to use up before I opened anything new.

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I had good intentions of magazine reading and painting my nails after dinner, but I pooped out early and just wanted rest. I talked on the phone with my husband for a while and then turned on Jon and Kate +8 while I curled up on the couch with a cozy blanket. That’s where I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until this morning when my husband called to say “Good morning.” I got more sleep than usual, but I still feel tired. I also have a nasty crick in my neck. Next time, I’ll make myself go to an actual bed when I get that sleepy. 🙂

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  • The average American uses 150 gallons of water every day.
  • 1 in 6 people on Earth do not have access to safe drinking water. 😦

How can you help?

  • Drink tap water instead of bottled water. It helps our planet and gives you a really great excuse to buy a cute, reusable bottle. WIN-WIN in my book! 😀
  • Be conscious of the water you use and try to reduce your consumption.
  • Share information about water conservation with your friend.

In honor of this special day, Nubius Organics (LOVE ’em) is offering 20% off all reusable bottles, including those that are already on sale. Just enter promo code WWD20 at checkout. The offer is good through March 23rd, so hurry!

Here’s a recap of my eats from the past two days:

Friday

I woke up STARVING because I didn’t eat much of a dinner last night. Two Kashi waffles with a little butter and lite maple syrup filled me right up. I’d really like to start posting pictures of my first-thing-in-the-morning meals. It’s still dark when I leave the house so I can just never get the lighting right.

I ate the last bit of my strawberries after getting settled in at my desk.

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I ate what was supposed to be my lunch about an hour and a half before workout time. Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger, a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese and lettuce all on a La Tortilla Factor EVOO Tomato & Basil Softwrap. Here it is pre-rollup.

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I was trying to decide what to do about being lunchless when my coworkersaid she was calling in an order to the fancy hotel bistro across the street and would pick it up after our workout. Clearly, it was meant to be. 🙂

Our workout at work today had tougher cardio stations than normal and I could feel the burn. My favorite exercise today was the BOSU trainer plank. I was grateful to have food on the way when I returned because I was hungry.

I had the spicy vegetarian rice rolls. All I can say is HOLY WASABI! They came with a veggie blend (tossed in balsamic vinegar) and their homemade chips. I ate everything except the onions from the veggie salad and about 1/2 of the chips. I’m a little worried that these will become an addiction. They were sooooo good.

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I had an afternoon craving for something sweet, but the only thing available in the office was candy. I ran over to the cafe across the street for a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie and ended up with a cup of unsweetened raspberry iced tea, too.

It always feels so good to leave work on a Friday evening. There’s just something so exciting and freeing about knowing you have those 2 days ahead of you for fun. I called a few close friends and family members during my commute to share our baby news. Everyone was thrilled and offered lots of encouragement.

I wasn’t even a little bit hungry for supper. I had toast with butter and jam at some point, but no photo because I was really into the Ohio State vs. Siena basketball game. The outcome didn’t help my bracket any, but man that was a good game! I’m not usually a big fan of basketball on TV, but that’s changed a bit since I’m in the office pool this year. 🙂

Saturday

I slept in a little and was worried that the grocery would be crazy busy since I was going a couple hours later than normal. I ate some Kashi waffles and was out the door.

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The grocery was actually quite peaceful. I had freedom to browse without being crowded or pushed along by the flow of cart traffic. This resulted in some new products which I’ll be reviewing here soon.

After the grocery, I stopped at the bank and then the local coffee shop for a light iced java chip frappe. It’s one of my favorites.
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By the time I’d put groceries away, I was hungry for lunch. I tried something new and made my organic whole wheat couscous in the microwave per the directions from the box. It worked perfectly! Actually, I think it turned out even better than on the stovetop. I added some black beans and Tastefully Simple Mild Red Pepper Salsa.

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I also had VeggiePatch Veggie Nuggets with mustard for dipping.

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After lunch, I headed outside to do some reading for my Nutrition & Wellness Consultant at-home study. That’s where I spent most of the afternoon into early evening. The sunshine felt great! We didn’t have an “official” dinner. I just did a repeat of lunch because it was so yummy and then hung out with my husband until time for bed.

Just FYI, this is where I’m blogging and blog reading today:

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I have some water (in my reusable bottle of course) and fresh iced sun tea for refreshment. Those are clothes drying on the line in the background. That’s one of my favorite parts of warm weather. I love the way they feel and smell. The real perk is that it’s more eco-friendly than the dryer. Plus, it cuts down a LOT on our electric bill.

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Yesterday was a frustrating day for a few reasons. Luckily, it ended on a great note.

I splurged all of my caffeine allowance for coffee day and ordered a large frozen skim latte with sugar free hazelnut syrup and a scoop of protein powder. I drank it pretty fast and definitely felt the buzz.

Breakfast was where things got frustrating. Well, it actually started on Tuesday and just continued into my Wednesday. For some reason, my coworkers all suddenly feel the need to critique my food and tell me how gross it is. Tuesday, it was tofu. No fewer than 6 people stopped me on my way from the microwave to my desk. The conversations all went something like this:

Coworker: What IS that?
Me: Tofu. Would you like to try a piece?
Coworker: Gross! Yuck! Disgusting! Nasty! Gag! How in the world can you eat that?
Me: Have you ever tried tofu?
Coworker: No! I can’t even imagine. It’s awful.
Me: *walking away*

Very few people in my office have any concept of healthy eating or exercise nor do they care about either. Most of them are female and older than me by at least 20 years or so. Several of them have health issues which could benefit greatly from a more healthy lifestyle.

Save three of four people, my coworkers aren’t the easiest to get along with and they tend to be extremely nosy. I try to be pleasant, respectful and cordial at all times. While I do often notice their unhealthy food choices, it’s none of my business and not for me to judge. I can’t imagine walking up to someone and telling them how disgusting the food they were about to eat looked. I just wish they would show me the same courtesy.

…which brings us to breakfast yesterday morning. I made up a packet of Quaker Simple Harvest Vanilla, Honey, Almond oatmeal. Then, I stirred in a couple handfuls of blueberries and some unsweetened coconut.

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One coworker was pouring herself a cup of coffee while I was mixing this up in the work kitchen. She turned her nose up and asked, in a disgusted voice, “What IS that?” I tried not to sound annoyed and replied back simply. “It’s oatmeal.” “Oh,” she said. “That’s not what it LOOKS like.” She then huffed away, mumbling under her breath, and proceeded to tell other people how gross my food was. Of course, they all had to come over, check it out and share their opinions. My boss said it looked like “horse food.”

Vent over. Just needed to get that out there.

Around noon the IT people came down to swap out my hard drive. This left me computerless until about 3:00. While it was down I took a brisk 15 minute walk to soak up the sunshine, filed, wiped my desk down, wrote my to-do list and tidied up my office.

Somewhere in there I ate my lunch of leftover buffalo chicken, a Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese wedge and lettuce all on a La Tortilla Factory EVOO Tomato & Basil Softwrap.

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I also had a snack. Kashi TLC Roasted Vegetable crackers and another Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese wedge.

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Shortly before I left, I had a juicy plum to hold me over until dinner.

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Dinner was a rare weeknight meal out. I met a friend at Dakota’s Roadhouse. We were so wrapped up in conversation that I forgot to photograph my house salad with bacon tomato dressing and a baked potato with cheese, bacon & sour cream. We were all geared up for dessert, but they only had 3 choices and nothing looked good.

I got home a little before 9, watched Criminal Minds with my husband and headed to bed. That show always creeps me out and then I have trouble sleeping.

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