I Cooked! Aren’t You Proud?

Remember when I used to post recipes? Like, all the time? No? So you’ve been reading for about the past year then. 🙂 

Yeah, in its infancy, this blog was packed with recipe posts for healthy party of one dishes that I whipped up for myself almost nightly. Now? Not so much. 

I mean, I still eat (duh), but my recipe inspiration has been seriously lacking. And I was making good stuff back in the day, so I have no idea why I stopped. Anyway, I felt inspired the other night and pulled together this light, fresh summery dish from the randomness I found in my fridge, and you know something? It wasn’t half bad. In fact, I’m going to go ahead and say it was incredibly delicious. 

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Hmmm . . . I’ll call this one

Kitchen Sink Stir Fry

Serves 1-2 (a ha-uge portion for one . . . )

1 chicken breast, diced

1 tsp. olive oil

1/2 medium onion, sliced

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 zucchini, quartered and diced

6 baby carrots, julienned (or diced)

1 ear of corn, cooked and cut off the cob

1 cup canned diced tomatoes in juice

1 handful spinach

1/4-1/2 cup cooked quinoa (depending on how much you like)

2 T. crumbled feta (Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Feta is amazing)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add chicken, season with S&P, and cook about 5 minutes. Add in onion and garlic and cook 5 more minutes. Add in zucchini and carrots, season with more S&P, and cook 3-5 minutes, until carrots have softened a bit. Add in corn, tomatoes, and spinach and cook just until spinach is wilted. 

Serve over quinoa, sprinkle with feta, and crack a little fresh pepper over the top–done!

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So I obviously forgot the feta in these photos, but you can imagine it for me, right? K, thanks.

This was easy, fresh, and filling. You could definitely use whatever veggies you have on hand–or prefer–to throw this together for yourself in no time! 

What are you eating this weekend?

Anxiety Girl Strikes Again!

Once again, I have succumbed to peer pressure in blogland and jumped on another bandwagon.

Chia turtle

Against my better judgement, I went ahead and put chia seeds in my smoothie.

I’ve got to tell you–I was nervous. Apprehensive. Anxious.

Fearful.

Hesitant.

Worried.

Tense.

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You see, I’m not a fan of seedy things: Motels. Affairs. Bars. Jam.

Yeah, I don’t like seeds in my shiz. I don’t want seeds in my jelly, rye bread, or yogurt, thankyouverymuch. Pomegranates? That’s like, a whole fruit of seeds. I cannot handle such a thing. Pomegranate martini? Yes. Pomegranate seed? No.

But I’m getting off track.

Pomegranate martini

I’ve been reading for years about chia seeds and how good they are for you with their Omega 3s and blah blah blah. But I am into things that are good for me, and I did start putting spinach in my smoothies at the recommendation of blogland, so why not jump on the chia seed bandwagon, too, right?

Well, the seed thing, for starters. There’s nothing I hate more than crunching on a seed in something that’s supposed to be smooth and soft. Blech. Gross.

Still, I had heard about how chia seeds could turn soft and gel-like when mixed with water or other liquids, thereby making them more gooey and less seedy. So maybe I could stand them? Maybe they wouldn’t be quite as offensive as I’d made them out to be?

But then, there’s the commitment issue. I mean, chia seeds aren’t necessarily cheap. They’re not super pricey, either, but if I’m going to spend $10 on a grocery item, I want to love it. I mean really love it. Like slather it over everything and cover my body in it love it.

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But I’m getting off track. Again.

A few weeks ago, the super nice and friendly Anthony at Swanson Health got in touch to see if I’d like to try a few of their products.

Duh.

Free chia seeds? No risk? No nervousness or anxiety or fretting?

Deal.

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From the Swanson website:

Chia seeds really are a nutrient-dense super-food, and if it’s Salvia hispanica it’s just that–chia! We’ll make no outrageous claims about our Chia seeds, except to say that just one tablespoon of these tiny little white seeds delivers a daily dose of fiber, protein, calcium, essential fatty acids and more.

That all sounds pretty fantastic to me. So I did the damn thing and threw them into my usual green monster–vanilla protein powder, unsweetened almond milk, a frozen banana, a big handful of spinach, some ice, and a healthy pinch of xantham gum for thickening.

The verdict?

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No crunching or weirdness at all! They literally melted right into the smoothie and made it extra thick.

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Plus (and this could totally just be in my head), I felt like this smoothie kept me fuller than usual. Those chia seeds have some staying power!

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While I’m not ready to sprinkle them on my PB-covered english muffins, I’ll definitely keep adding them to my smoothies–and I’m totally trying them in “egg” form in something baked, so you can go ahead and get yourselves ready for that!

Did you ever have a chia pet?

I did not. But my child of the 80s self really wishes I had.

Where do you stand on chia seeds? Yay or nay?

Gotta tell ya–I think I’m a fan!

Disclaimer: Swanson Health let me try their White Chia Seeds free of charge, but all opinions here are from yours truly! Come on–you know me well enough to know that I wouldn’t say I liked something if I didn’t, right? Right.

Buffalo Chicken Panini

This morning, I had a date with Jillian.

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She insists that if I keep working out with her, my abs will look like that.

Still waiting, Jillian . . .

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the strength training business, it was good to get back to it. Let’s just say, the only thing I was lifting last week in DC was a wine glass, and while it wasn’t all that heavy, I did high reps. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what fitness people mean when they talk about high reps of low weight, but I figured I should stick with what I’m good at, right?

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Let’s not talk about how this is a major theme in my life.

Instead, let’s discuss how I was feeling particularly whiny on Twitter yesterday . . .

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Makes you want to run right over and follow me, right? My life is so intriguing.

At any rate, I decided to suck it up in the interest of–what? Whining less? Sure.–and whip up a panini because we all know that’s where my true culinary talent lies. I can put delicious fillings in the middle of bread and grill it up like nobody’s business. Not chef-y, but totally delicious.

I got the idea the other day to do a riff on Buffalo Wings and turn them into a panini. Probably the best idea I’ve ever had. At the very least, best idea I had yesterday.

Buffalo Chicken Panini

Serves one

3/4-1 cup shredded, cooked chicken

3-4 T. buffalo sauce (I used Franks)

1 ciabatta roll or piece of ciabatta bread, split with the insides scooped out

For the dressing:

2 T. blue cheese crumbles

2 T. light sour cream (or plain greek yogurt would work)

1 tsp. light mayo

1 tsp. lemon juice (juice from one lemon wedge)

1 tsp. white vinegar

1/8 tsp. garlic salt (+ more garlic powder if you want to up the garlic flavor)

dash of pepper

Directions:

Mash the blue cheese and sour cream together. Stir in all other dressing ingredients to combine.

Pour the buffalo sauce over the chicken and stir to coat.

Mound the chicken onto your scooped out ciabatta roll–I always scoop the inner layer out so the bread gets extra crunchy in the panini press–and pour the dressing over the chicken. Close your sandwich and transfer it onto a hot panini press, sprayed with cooking spray. Press for about 5 minutes, until the bread is crunchy. Let it sit for a few minutes before cutting so it doesn’t completely fall apart on you. Then, cut in half and behold the deliciousness.

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OK, grilled, crunchy bread. YES. But this doesn’t do it justice.

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That’s better. But still–imagine spicy buffalo wings and cool blue cheese dressing, but layered between that grilled, crunchy bread. YESSSSS.

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This is so not fancy, but it is also so SO good. And easy. Semi-homemade, if you will, with the whole blue cheese dressing effort–which, incidentally, is super easy and not at all intimidating. Cough–Paula–cough But if you didn’t want to take 5 minutes to make your own, store bought would work. But I would judge you. OK, not really. Well, maybe. 😉

Since this is fantastically delicious, and I’m not feeling particularly creative this week, I’m thinking there will be a repeat performance soon. Like, tonight. I’m into repeating things lately. Like this song.

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Again and again. (The pic links to the video).

Anyone else obsessed with this song? Or anything else?