Friday I’m in Love {with Food}

Lately, I’ve been eating so many good foods. Probably more than I should be considering I want to lose some weight, not gain it.

Whatever.

I will never apologize for my love of food. Or my love of photographing my food (something I’ve done way before Instagram)!

On Monday, I was having some difficulty picking out my breakfast cereal. Do I go with the always delicious frosted mini wheats? Or do I mix it up and choose Special K Chocately Delight? Being the indecisive person that I’ve been known to be, I mixed them together. The result? The most amazing flavor combination of my breakfast cereal life. So much yumminess in one bowl, it disappeared in less than two minutes.

Honeycrisp apples have RETURNED!! You can have your pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin beer, I’ll enjoy every honeycrisp apple I encounter. I spotted these beauties last week while Chris and I were grocery shopping and shrieked with delight in the store. People stared. It wasn’t that awkward. The first bite into this apple and I knew that wait all year was worth it. No other fruit compares to the beauty and the amazingness of the precious honeycrisp!

Ice cream for dinner might be new favorite way to eat dinner. Put it in a waffle cone and I am sold. Wednesday night while I was getting my sweat on at the gym, Jenny sent me a text asking if I wanted to go for ice cream later. She then put a sad face saying that I wouldn’t be able to go since I hadn’t had dinner yet. I quickly replied that ice cream is a perfectly acceptable dinner choice for a twenty-five year old adult. And it was, it really was.

Apples and pizza for lunch? If you insist! The extra cheesiness of this pizza with the sweetness of the apples made me s happy. Unfortunately, two slices was one too many.

I’ve had some other tasty treats this week including breakfast tacos and pulled pork. And I am in no way sorry about that. Everything in moderation. I wasn’t overeating, but I could have incorporated more vegetables into the diet. Clearly, I fell off the wagon this week with eating (okay maybe the last few weeks), but I don’t believe in depriving myself of something that just tastes SO good! Next week will be filled with apples, salads, frosted mini wheats, and maybe not ice cream for dinner.

It’ll all even out.

And it’ll be delicious.

What is your favorite food? Why? Do you like to take photos of your food, why or why not? How do you change your eating habits when you have ‘bad’ weeks? Let’s discuss!

PS. Penny likes to explore the dishwasher.

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Food Love: Kitchen Successes

 

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but the meals I’ve been making lately have been out of this world. I’m talking DEE-LISH-US.

From looking at the photos above you’ve probably already noticed that I like two main ingredients — cheese and vegetables. And to be perfectly honest, I really love cheese and vegetables. So much. The creaminess of melted cheese and the added flavor and mmm mouth watering over here. Vegetables, I could sing their praises every day. Raw, sauteed, roasted, steamed, frozen, canned, whatever – give them to me in any form and I will eat them happily. Before I started to explore the kitchen, I used to just eat like four or five servings of vegetables for dinner because I love them so much. My husband doesn’t always agree with my love of veggies but he just picks them out and puts them on my plate. More for me!

You many have also noticed that I like my meals to resemble side dishes rather than main courses. I’ve never gravitated toward the turkey, or the ham, or whatever for holidays. I always have wanted to know what else was being served with it. In college, my lunch everyday was a combination of three side dishes; usually mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and vegetables. Honestly, after typing that, I think I need to explore the world of casseroles more because they just popped into my mind as to being a giant side dish. Favorite casserole of all time — green bean casserole. Get in my mouth. But, seriously, it’s hard for me to get excited about adding meat to my meals maybe casseroles will help me get there without it feeling like a main dish.

Back to the meals featured above. A couple of times a week, I’ve been trying my hand in the kitchen. Usually on nights when I have a shorter workout planned and I always make enough to take for lunch the next day or for leftovers another night.

Top Left Corner: “Skinny” Baked Macaroni and Cheese
I saw this meal on Pinterest a few weeks ago and I knew I just had to have it. Please refer to my earlier tangent about my love of cheese and vegetables. This combined both. Broccoli and macaroni? Sign me up! This was also an incredibly easy meal to make. Combine broccoli and macaroni in pan with water. Cook macaroni to al dente (look at me… so fancy). In separate pan, make the cheese sauce by combining all the other ingredients. Put both in a casserole dish and let it bake. Boom then serve.

Top Right Corner: Crispy Cheddar Chicken and a Salad
So so so so easy to make. And delectable. I was licking my plate clean by the time I finished this one. Holy cow. Expect a future recipe post for this dinner because it is sure to please.

Lower Left Corner: Brown Rice with Veggies and Creamy Cheesy Sauce
Chris was not a fan of this dinner but he was polite enough to eat it. Me, on the other hand, loved it. We have a rice maker so I didn’t have to stress about actually cooking the rice so I just sauteed the veggies and I used a lot of veggies – orange, yellow, and red pepper plus mushrooms, broccoli, and zucchini. This also reheated really well. So a definite plus in my book.

Lower Right Corner: Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast with Cheesy Zucchini Rice and Roasted Asparagus
Clearly a theme that night for me. Cheese cheese and more cheese. This was my first time making stuffed chicken breast and it was so EASY. I’m still dreaming of these, so looks like I am going to have to make them again. The zucchini rice didn’t turn out as I had hoped. I think its because I don’t exactly follow a recipe measurement for measurement and that was one that should’ve been.

So, these are the goings on in my kitchen as of late. Do you want to come over for dinner? I’d be happy to make you whatever you like.

Not a Kitchen Nightmare (Really!)

Before I got married, the only thing I did in the kitchen was bake. Seriously, my baking skills are top notch. You want super moist chocolate chip cookies and cookies n cream cupcakes that make your heart melt? Call on me, I’m your girl.

Actually, I take that first sentence back, I also doctored up boxed macaroni and cheese (add a can of tuna and a can of peas! It will change your life!)

Let’s be real, I wasn’t in the kitchen baking everyday. I saved my skills for special occasions, holidays and birthdays, and sometimes I did it just for fun. Baking takes time and I had a habit of just enjoying a few too many cookies at once. As well as eating too much raw dough*.

My meals came two ways: dining out (FREQUENTLY) or Mom (both bio and in-law).  The amount of money I’ve spent on just feeding myself delicious food from various places is disgusting (yet delish!) (ie food trucks). The amount of meals my mother and mother-in-law have provided for me since I graduated from college three years ago is slightly ridiculous. Being alone in the kitchen, having to cook something that tasted good/decent was a terrifying thought. Seriously. I can tell you all the best places to eat for lunch and dinner on a budget in or around DC, but I can’t tell you how to cook something from a bunch of ingredients from beginning to end.

Until I returned from my honeymoon. Reality sunk in. Chris and I could not afford to eat out all the time and I don’t think either of our parents wanted us to join them for dinner every night. Also, with training for the marathon, I want to eat healthier so I can feel better as I train. The food situation had to change for us. Essentially, I’ve had to put my money where my mouth is in the kitchen. Slowly, I am teaching myself how to cook… well, wikihow and Google answer my basic questions “how long do you bake fish in the oven and at what temperature?”, “what exactly is lemon zest?”, “can you cook with two pans in the oven when the oven has two shelves?” and more like it.

This is definitely (and will continue to be) an adventure. Shockingly enough, I am finding that the food I cook is actually really tasty (I’m biased). While my meals are pretty basic, we all take baby steps, right?

Here is a small example of what’s going on in my kitchen this past  month:

From left to right: chicken and veggie pesto pasta, hot ham & cheese with watermelon, chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries, and breaded salmon with roasted veggies and cheesy red potatoes.

Seriously not ashamed that dinosaur chicken nuggets are a staple in my freezer for nights I don’t feel like cooking. Some people have frozen pizza on the standby, I have nuggets.

I can’t say that I am in-love with cooking yet, but we are on our way to being friends. I do like the sense of power it gives me. It’s like this domestic goddess gene is slowly waking up in me and wants to be the hottest chick ever. Yeah, I can bake… but now I can cook. Double threat.

Also, its nice to know that if we want to have people over for dinner sometime, I can make them something they’ll enjoy and not just politely eat. Success!

What is your favorite meal to cook? Any tips for a beginner? Did getting married change the way you eat? How did your eating habits change as you trained for an exercise event? Let’s discuss! Recipes are welcome! 

*Don’t eat raw dough! Its bad for you! You can get sick and that would be terrible.