Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Busy Week Recipes

Well, it's been a busy week, so sorry I haven't written in awhile! That also means this post will be extra long. I know most of you have been dying to see when I would post next (or maybe just my mom was, but I am glad to have a faithful reader)!

On Monday night I tried a new steak recipe and made my own french fries to go with it (it was make what we have on hand night, which just happened to be steak and potatoes-can you tell I am from Texas?). A friend had mentioned a good rub for steaks if I searched "Cowboy Steaks" online. I found a good recipe on the Food Network website that was really easy, and I had all of the ingredients in my pantry. You can find it here. I used the rub in the recipe, and tried broiling my steak, which I had been wanting to attempt for awhile. I think it could have been good, but I kept them in there just a little too long, so it was more cooked than I would have liked. Next time I think I will just follow the recipe that goes along with the rub and cook it in a pan.

I made my own version of shoe string fries by cutting russet potatoes into thin strips, laying them out on a baking sheet and drizzling them with olive oil and spices. I used chili powder, garlic pepper, and season salt. Then I baked them at about 450 degrees until they were a little crispy. I ended up baking them about 15 minutes then broiling them for a few minutes, just keep an eye on them, and figure out how long is best. I liked these fries because they are cheap, quick, and healthy!

Monday morning Josh ran with me, which was really nice. I do enjoy running on my own, but it's nice to have company sometimes too. It's also good to have someone to help push me to work a little harder!

On Wednesday night I made Pasta Pomodoro from a recipe in my Cooking Light cookbook (and just changed it up a little, so I am giving you my version). It was quick, simple, and good. It's a great meal for weeknights when you get off work and don't have time to cook a big meal. For the two of us I used about 1 1/2 cups (dry) penne pasta, which you cook as directed on the box. Then, in a pan, saute about 3 cloves minced garlic in olive oil. Next, pour one 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes in with it, along with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then let simmer about 5-7 minutes (you want the sauce to thicken a little). Remove from heat and stir in fresh basil. Split penne between two bowls. Top each with sauce and fresh grated parmesan. I also added some red pepper flakes to mine for a little spice.

Tonight I made tacos and my black bean and corn salsa. Josh had a meeting and was not going to be eating dinner with me, so I just decided to make some taco meat to use for a little taco salad. I always just make taco meat with ground turkey or beef (turkey is much lighter, but tonight it was beef because I already had some on hand) and store bought seasoning packets (my favorite is Lawry's, probably because it was what my mom always used). Taco meat makes great leftovers too (makes me look forward to my lunch break tomorrow)!

I like to use the meat for a taco salad, which for me consists of blue corn tortilla chips, my black bean and corn salsa (recipe below), my regular salsa (which I have on a previous post), reduced-fat Mexican shredded cheese, and the taco meat. Tonight I tried to use a smaller portion of meat and cheese to be healthier. I like the black bean and corn salsa because it is healthy and filling, so you can use less meat and not notice.

I ate something similar to my black bean and corn salsa once, and decided to come up with my own. It is inexpensive, easy to make, pretty, and good! It's great for parties because it makes a lot and you can make it ahead of time (just wait to add the avocado until just before your guests come so it doesn't get to brown). Here is the recipe:

Chelsea's Black Bean & Corn Salsa

  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
  • 2 small avocados or 1 large, chopped
  • Julio's Seasoning (this may only be available in Texas, I am not sure) or other Mexican seasoning or season salt
  • Fresh lime juice (about half of a lime)
Stir all ingredients together in a bowl and add the seasoning to taste. You can also add fresh cilantro if you have some. This is great in salads, as a dip, or to top grilled chicken.

Okay, now to the exercise update...

Sunday night I went rock climbing at the indoor climbing wall at Tech. I use to do it a lot in college, but not much since then. It was really fun, and is a wonderful workout, so I am hoping to keep doing it about once a week.

On Monday I ran with Josh, which I mentioned earlier. Tuesday I was busy working and did not workout. Wednesday morning I decided to work out inside, which for a cardio workout wasn't the best for me. I did not work as hard as I do when I run, so it probably was not the best idea. However, Josh and I did go for a walk together that night, so I got a little more exercise in, just nothing strenuous.

Today I had a break in the middle of the day, which I normally do not have, so I decided to go for a run (and this isn't even one of my official running days-I am crazy!). It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day, so it was nice to run in shorts and soak up the sunshine. I even ran longer this time-25 minutes (I know, it's not that much, but remember, we are taking baby steps here)! And after dinner I did some weight workouts at home. I think tomorrow I am going to do weight workouts in the morning, and hopefully run later in the day, and if not then, I will definitely run Saturday.

Well, hopefully next week I will be able to write more regularly!

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