Archive for November, 2009


shrimp tacos.

I’m leaving on a jet(Blue) plane first thing tomorrow morning, so cue a straight week of eating my face off and watching 19+ hours of “Days of Our Lives.” It happens. I’ll try and work in the occasional lake run, but I can’t make any promises. Until then, I’d like to live off my recent accomplishments. Indulge me.

To begin with, I’ve been running every single day. I look like her, except turn the intensity waayyy down. runningI’m all for rock running, but I’ve been sticking to my diluted version with the treadmill and some “Lady Gaga” on Pandora. I cut out the elliptical for good, which seems a little finite considering how good it is to my knees. I’ve never been that impressed with the results, though, so for now it’s over between us. On Saturday, I ran two miles, and then I walked an entire mile by bringing the incline gradually up to 10, and then back down to one. Then, I ran two MORE miles. How serious am I? Not as serious as this girl, but I’m at least halfway there.

On the food front, I’ve been making delicious stuff lately that is just not so photogenic. I’m too honest and law abiding to superimpose one of Giada’s recipes on one of my plates, so I’ve decided to leave them out of this. One was pretty clever, though, so it’s a shame. My friend and I had brunch plans last Sunday, so I was up and doing my morning gymming when I got a text from that friend. He was all, “Can we do a cheap-ass diner instead?” which I read as “dinner,” and immediately started making my own brunch. Once I realized my mistake, I had an over easy egg just hanging out with nowhere to go. I tupperwared it and met my friend for brunch.

Later that night, I was considering making a carbonara to make use of my egg. I don’t eat bacon, I’m mostly off cheese, and the egg was already in a phase not compatible with carbonara, so I had to nix that idea. I made a pasta and my own sauce out of tomatoes, eggplant, mushrooms, onions and garlic, and at the last minute I threw the egg in there to heat it. I ended up eating it altogether, and it was pretty amazing. Seriously. Just not so pretty, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

I love a good taco, so I decided to make some shrimp tacos on Monday. I started with some pre-cooked and frozen shrimp, which I ran water over and then heated with some butter. I toasted a low-carb wrap (obvs), and then heated some black beans alongside my shrimpies. I have this delicious corn-chile salsa from TJ’s, so that became a pretty serious part of the meal. On the side, I chopped tomatoes and fresh cilantro. Not only were they delicious (roommate-approved!), but they’re so easy on the eyes. See below:

shrimp taco


portabella mushroom & tofu burger.

I’m a couple of weeks deep in Project: Get Hot for Thanksgiving, and I’m coming away with a few lessons learned. First off, I’m not fit to give up cheese. I stayed cheese-free all last week, and then come Friday I chose a pear, brie and walnut crepe for dinner. I thought, “you’ve had your fun; that was the last time,” and then Saturday hit. I had lots of queso blanco for dinner at Caracas, and then I went to a house party during which time I gave the cheese and cracker platter quite a bit of action. So, yeah, the anti-cheese collective (me and dairy-free me, obviously) has disbanded and gone our separate ways. Secondly, I learned that I miss dancing so badly it hurts. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t listen to Jay-Z without some sidewalk hip action. It’s awkward, so I’ve decided to bring it indoors where it belongs. Tonight I’m starting a new hip hop class. It’s too soon to tell, but it just may be my favorite thing on the planet.

My exercise routine could use a little variety. I’ve been running every day, and honestly it all starts to feel a little tedious. Like, where the hell is this going? I’m not saying I’m done with it, but I’m running miles and getting nowhere. After Sunday brunch on the Upper West Side, I decided to walk all the way home. And that’s approx 9 avenues and 70+ blocks. In short, it’s a shitload. My feet were feeling it when I tried to take that motivation to the gym that night. In the name of ped preservation, dancing it is.

I stole this from google images, but it's hip hop

Although I’ve given up on giving up on cheese, I’m still trying to severely limit its presence in my diet. I decided to make a Portabella mushroom burger for dinner last night, and I held the cheese. Believe it.

I started with a Portabella mushroom and a yellow bell pepper, and I seasoned both with salt, thyme and olive oil. On the side, I cut some sweet potatoes into mini chips, and I seasoned them with salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper and olive oil. I roasted all in the toaster over at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

I cut a thin piece of tofu and pan fried it in some olive oil over medium heat. It took about five minutes on each side, and then it got all goldeny brown. Delicious. I cut a ciabatta roll in half and put a little olive oil on each side, and then I toasted that for about five minutes in the Panini Press.

Once the mushroom and peppers were ready, I removed them from the oven and built my sandwich. I looove seedy mustard, so I put lots of stone ground mustard on one side along with my ever-present arugula. The other side housed my tofu, the shroom and the pepper. I served it alongside my chip shaped roasted potatoes. It was enormous and delicious, and the sweet pepper contrasted really well with the savory pepper and mushroom. See below:

portabella mushroom and tofu burger alongside sweet potato chips



Belgian endive salad with rosemary roasted almonds.

When it comes down to it, I’m fancy. I love arugula, I wore 4-inch heels at summer camp, and I used hats as a statement piece for the better part of the ’90s. Granted, it was prime Blossom-era, but I continued the trend long after the bandwagon hat wearers dropped off. The only argument against me being fancy is my bourgeois love for Urban Outfitters, and that’s unshakable.

It was only a matter of time before I introduced endives to my kitchen, and that time is now. Few foods scream “class” like these mini-cabbages, and so I had to have them:

Belgian endives

In the interest of Thanksgiving gluttony, I’ve decided to cut a few things out of my life. Since Monday (2 days strong!) I’ve cut cheese loose, and I’m seriously scaling back on the carbs. I’m one of those people who eats about 9,000 varieties of vegetables daily, but I always feel the need to throw some kind of useless carb into the mix. The end result is tacking on useless pounds to my life, and I’m over it like Entourage.

Also, I’m working out extra hard. I know I always claim to be stepping it up, but this time it’s legit. I’ve been running every day, whereas before it was mayyybe 2-3 times a week and only when accompanied by some Giada or a little Ina (read: weekends). This is not to say that the cybex and ski-machine thing are dead to me, but the treadmill is my new favorite toy. I’m really into inclines and resistance, so if I feel like just running a mile I’ll increase the incline each 10th of a mile until I get to 10. Believe me now?

With all this in mind, I decided to prepare my endives healthily. I love themes. I chopped off the ends, and then I cut them horizontally. I sauteed them in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and then cooked them on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes a side. I bought the most amazing almonds from TJ’s that are roasted with rosemary, and so midway through the cooking I threw a few of those in. I also added a fair amount of dried thyme, and the juice from one lemon (note to self: Giada squeezes through her hand for a reason..I ate like 5 seeds), and then I simmered all together for about three minutes. Once they were all familial and whatnot, I slid it all onto a plate and drizzled the whole mix with some white wine vinegar. It was pretty great, and fancy as hell. See below:

warm endive salad with rosemary roasted almonds

November 2009