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Hungry Heart: May 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Grilling Recap

What a busy weekend!
But so far it has been full of healthy food and activities. Spinning class, hardwood floor installation, Savicki's Farm Market, and lots of grilling!
Speaking of grilling, here is a recap of some stuff we threw on the grill this week:
Wednesday- London broil and zucchini
Thursday- pizza
Sunday- burgers
I am awful lucky that my in-laws raise grass fed Angus cattle. Last year they had a couple of cows butchered and our freezer has been stocked ever since. Not only do I feel better knowing where the beef is coming (no hormones, etc) but is 10 times tastier than any other beef I've had. I refer to it as "Tylutki Beef".
So on Wednesday morning I marinated the world's largest London broil in a combination of Dinosaur BBQ Creole Honey Mustard and Wango Tango Sauce.
First, Jerry's grilling essentials:
Meat thermometer, timer, Magic Hat seasonal brew
Alongside the massive hunk of beef we had grilled zucchini:
Sprinkled with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika, and a little olive oil.
It was delicious. The paprika gave the zucchini a nice smoky taste without heat. We used some leftover beef in a stir fry on Saturday night, with lots of vegetables I got at Savicki's earlier in the day.

Thursday's dinner was grilled pizza. I wanted to use up a pineapple that had been sitting on my counter, so we grilled that along with some scallions.

 I wish we had more scallions, I really liked them grilled.
Next step was the dough. I usually just buy uncooked kind you get in the refrigerated aisle by the mozzarella cheese. I have made my own pizza dough, but that takes quite a bit of time for rising, and I got home from the gym close to 8pm, so we stuck with store bought.
We just stretch out the dough into any old shape with a little flour and the help of a rolling pin. And then just throw it on a hot grill!
We never end up with round pizzas!
Once you put the dough on, turn the grill to low and shut the lid. Wait just a couple of minutes and flip them over and repeat. We usually top the pizzas when we flip the dough, but I was waiting for Jerry to run out and pick up some wings so I topped them inside and let them sit in a warm oven until the cheese melted.
Mine is on the left and included a thin layer of Boursin cheese, baby spinach, grilled pineapple and scallions, tomatoes, and a little mozzarella. Jerry's had Boursin, bacon, pineapple, scallions, red onion, lotsa mozz, and fresh basil. I wished I had added the basil to mine after I saw his! I was also jealous of his side of wings and sneaked a bite when I thought he wasn't' looking.
I love grilled pizza. It has a nice crispy outside and a chewy inside. And we can both top them differently, so I can make mine a little healthier. We made another version on Sunday night with ricotta cheese that I had mixed fresh herbs in that was also great. We also grilled some Tylutki Beef burgers on the Weber that night, too. Nothing better than a burger on a charcoal grill!
I am looking forward to a long summer of grilling!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Last Chance Lunch

Well, sort of a last chance. Starting Tuesday my office changes over to half hour lunches. That means no more coming home and enjoying lunch with Sadie. I will have to start doing a better job of planning my lunches in advance. Eating healthy is much easier when you have a plan!
My plan for this lunch was a big salad.
I had a bed of baby lettuce and spinach with a big blob of Greek yogurt in the middle. I warmed up some of the grilled zucchini from Wednesday's dinner and tossed it on top. A little cucumber, a tablespoon of crumbled feta, and 1/4 of a skanky looking leftover avocado completed it. I finished it with a squeeze of lemon. On the side is a small piece of the leftover pizza from last night's dinner. (Don't worry, I have posts about Wednesday and Thursday dinner coming soon!)
I enjoyed my salad on the patio with Sadie.
Can I have another cucumber?!
I shared some of the cucumbers with her. That dog will eat just about anything, but she really loves crunchy vegetables.
Even though it is Friday and I wanted to come home and crash after work, I went to a killer TurboKick class at Studio 55. Loved it!
Jerry and I are headed to Symeon's for dinner with my sister and brother in law, Jess and Jeremy. One of our favorite restaurants, hands down. I'm trying to branch out from the Thracian Chicken I usually get. Last time I got the salmon. It was delicious. Maybe I'll try something different tonight.
Enjoy your Friday night!

Hot Morning, Hot Cereal

Good Morning!
I am up unusually early today. Even before the coffee was done! Don't worry, I am already working on my first cup:
Love those coasters we brought back from Costa Rica!

This morning I made a nice warm bowl of grains for breakfast. It is a little warm out for hot cereal, but I can't resist making this when I have the time in the morning.
The cereal is a blend of ground wheat, spelt, and barley. I cooked it on the stove with a little soy milk and water. It has a porridge-like consistency, sort of like Cream of Wheat but with a little more chew. I like mine a little on the soupy side. I also love it with a tablespoon of peanut butter melting on top and a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut.
The cereal is from Gianforte Farm in Cazenovia. Mom picked it up at the Foodshed a few weeks ago, and I loved it so much I basically stole it from her. Thanks Mom!
If you never used the Foodshed, check out the link. It is an online store where local farms sell produce, meat, cheese, pretty much anything. You submit your order online and then go pick up your order at the end of the week. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of local produce. Mom is a big fan and has gotten some great stuff there.
I am off to find the peanut butter that has now sunk to the bottom of my bowl. And later this weekend I will show you what I did with that pineapple I had lurking in my kitchen all week.
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lime-y Fish Taco Love

Tonight's dinner was Mexican. Jerry and I both love Mexican food, and it can be healthy if it isn't covered in cheese! On tonight's menu was tilapia tacos and chipotle slaw with black bean mango salad on the side.
I make lots of different versions of black bean salad/salsa. This one had tomatoes, onion, garlic, mango, black beans and cilantro. And lots of lime juice!
Sometimes I add avocado, but we saved that for the tacos. And I love corn, but it looked horrible at the grocery store today. Can't wait for local corn season!
Next up was the chipotle slaw for the tacos. To make it healthier I used 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt and two tablespoons of mayo for the sauce. I added the juice of three limes and little extra chipotle. If you've never cooked with chipotles you should give them a try. They are smoked jalapenos in a vinegary sauce (adobo). But be careful because they are spicy!
I sprinkled the tilapia fillets with a little cumin and smoked sweet paprika and cooked them in a spritz of olive oil. Then everything went together into a corn tortilla. I was disappointed that I couldn't find one without preservatives, but they tasted good. I prefer them to flour tortillas.
Jerry opted for Dinosaur BBQ Garlic Chipotle Pepper Sauce on his. I went for the Tabasco we brought back from Costa Rica.
Overall I would give this dinner two thumbs up. Tilapia is not my favorite, but I didn't mind it in the taco. The whole thing was bright and spicy and lime-y!
Tomorrow we are finally going to have some nice weather so I am looking forward to firing up the grill!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sorta Saltimbocca

Got home late after a meeting and a workout and wanted to throw together a quick dinner. I had some Boursin cheese and some defrosted chicken breast that I wanted to use up. If you've never had Boursin you must try it! It is crumbly, spreadable, soft garlic and herb cheese that is amazing on a Tricsuit.
A pseudo-saltimbocca came to mind. Traditionally, saltimbocca is rolled meat (usually veal) with sage and prosciutto and maybe some sort of cheese. But I just used what I had on hand.
I pounded out the chicken very thin, spread on a layer of the cheese, and add a layer of baby spinach:

I rolled them up, starting at the smaller end, and secured them with toothpicks. I browned them in some olive oil, added some chicken stock, covered the pan, and threw it in a 350 oven for 12 minutes.
When it was done I removed the chicken rolls, and put the pan back on the stove. I tossed in the juice of one large lemon and some dry Riesling:
I tossed those lemon slices in too. I only used a splash of the wine because it was a little sweet for a 'dry' Riesling.  I liked the wine, just didn't want make the sauce too sweet. (Hubs gave the wine two thumbs up, he tends to like em' a little sweeter than me).
I let the sauce reduce and tossed some green beans into a pan for a side dish. Jer loves all things garlic and made some garlic toast (that simple side deserves its own post!).
Not the most photogenic meal, but pretty darn good for 30 minutes! I would add a little more lemon next time, but Jerry even poured the sauce on his beans. And ate the sauteed lemons....
Now I'm off to help Jer finish off that Riesling!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Hi Friends!
Welcome to Erin's Hungry Heart! This blog is going to chronicle my attempts at a healthy lifestyle. 
Let me start by saying I love food. Everything about it; cooking it, shopping for it, growing it, and of course, eating it! There are a few things I have learned from my love (aka obsession) with food:
  • After college I found that food was no longer my friend. I started to gain some weight, probably about 20lbs. (But I swear it looks more like 30 on someone who is 5'1")
  • This made me realize if I wanted to keep eating, it had to be healthier
  • It also made me realize that exercise had to be part of my daily life. I'll be honest, this one took a long time to admit to.
  • I also learned that healthy food is delicious. Yes, I am totally serious!
Fortunately for me, I have two great supporters in my healthy lifestyle journey, in both husband and my Mom. A healthy lifestyle is much easier when others around you are there to motivate you, eat the weird "healthy" meals you experiment with, and act as your workout buddies.

Now, I am not going to pretend that I am the perfect example of health and fitness. My diet largely consists of whole, real, unprocessed foods, without preservatives, artificial ingredients, and added sugar. But I am certainly not perfect. I like ice cream and tortilla chips. I love dark chocolate and red wine. I cook with canned tomatoes and stock from a box. And until recently, my workout routine could be described as sporadic at best.

So while I am certainly no expert, I hope you will join me on my healthy lifestyle journey. If nothing else, I promise you some yummy food, photos, recipes, and maybe a few laughs! And because its like the Boss says: "Everybody's got a hungry heart"!