Sunday, March 7, 2010

New Blog: Rhubarb and Honey

Thanks for visiting Everybody Loves Cheese.

After two years of maintaining two separate food blogs, I've decided to combine them into one new blog hosted on its own domain: Rhubarb and Honey.

Please update any links, feeds, and/or bookmarks to Everybody Loves Cheese you may have.

I hope to see you all at Rhubarb and Honey!

Monday, March 1, 2010

That's A Nice-A Pizza!

Last Saturday was "cheat day" for Chuck and I — a day when we get to throw caution to the wind and indulge in foods we normally wouldn't on our new healthy eating plan. So ... what did we do, you ask with bated breath?

We stuck to our healthy eating routine. Yep, while my family chowed down on salad and pizza from Imo's, I whipped up a healthy, hearty Mexican pizza for Chuck and I:

"It Can't Get Much Easier Than This" Pizza

1 Fabulous Flats multi-grain, stone-baked pizza crust [We purchased ours from Whole Foods.]
1/2 cup refried black beans
2 chicken chorizo links [We purchased this from the meat counter at Whole Foods.]
1/4 cup chopped jalapenos
1/4 cup salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Saute the chicken chorizo links in a small saute pan until cooked through.
3. Top the pizza crust with the black beans, chicken chorizo, jalapenos, salsa, and cheese.
4. Bake for 20 minutes.


Told ya ... can't get much easier than that. The pizza was very tasty and very filling; we cut it into four large pieces, and one was plenty ... it left me full and satisfied. And each piece has only 9 Weight Watchers points, which left me room for an evening snack.

Hmm ... I thought it was supposed to be a lot harder to change one's behaviour?

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Week of Eating In Day 5

Well, I said it was going to be a busy day, and that wasn't a lie.

Between work, getting everything together for a going away party for my temp Rachel this afternoon, and babysitting my 14-month-old nephew, it's a wonder I've eaten at all today.

But, even with all the nuttiness, I still managed to make all my meals at home ... I guess this really is a week of miracles.

Breakfast: A banana, which, okay, I technically didn't "make," but I thought enough to grab it from home and take it with me so I had something in my stomach.

Lunch: Mixed greens with 1/4 cup tabbouleh (leftover from last night's dinner), a shredded chicken breast, and 2 tablespoons of last night's tzatiki-style dressing (see yesterday's post). Yum, yeah, we're totally going to make this again. It was quick and very, very tasty. Oh, and the fact that I'm eating leftovers, that is another miracle. See, I told you it was the week for it.

Dinner: Kale chips. I had just enough time to throw some kale on a cookie sheet, top it with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and throw it in the oven before chasing my nephew around the house ... again. Tonight's spicy chicken and black bean pizza, which had been on the menu, will just have to wait until tomorrow.

So, not the best food day I've ever had, but not the worst by far.

I pledged to continue "The Week of Eating In" through Sunday, but I'm not sure that's going to happen ... and it's really okay if it doesn't. Sometimes life just gets in the way, and this week has taught me that doing the best I can is just fine.

Chuck and I will again sit down on Sunday and plan out our meals for the week, and I have a strong suspicion that we'll stick to it. It's part of our weekly routine now ... and I like it just fine.

P.S. Rachel - If you're reading this, I just want to tell you again ... thank you for all the amazing work you've done for me over the last year ... I couldn't have done it without you!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Week of Eating In Day 4

So, I know what you're thinking, "She hasn't made all her daily meals at home once this week. Ain't no way she'll do it today." Well, my friends, let's see ...

Breakfast made at home? Check. Lunch made at home? Check. Dinner made at home? Check. Umm, I think this means I finally did it ... three homemade meals today ... it's a miracle!

Our breakfast this morning consisted of what I'm calling "HATTAMEM" breakfast sandwiches, ie, "Healthier And Tastier Than McDonald's Egg McMuffin" breakfast sandwiches. The "recipe" if you will ...

Toast two Rudi's Organic Bakery Whole Grain Wheat English muffins. Why Rudi's, specifically? Because they are big, tasty, and only 2 Weight Watchers points. Top each English muffin with a local egg (lightly fried in a mist of olive oil), 1 ounce of Cabot white cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 slices of local, organic, nitrate-free bacon. Why local? Because it's better for you and the environment, that's why. In a word, yum.

Each breakfast sandwich was 10 Weight Watchers points, which may seem to be a lot, but it was a hearty, filling breakfast ... and with a cup of Goshen Coffee Company's Bonafide blend to top it off, I was primed and ready to take on the day.

For lunch, I threw together some mixed greens, shredded chicken breast, dried cranberries, and organic "french-fried" onions, which I topped with a fat-free raspberry dressing from our cafeteria at work. I normally wouldn't choose fat-free, but it was the only dressing option without high-fructose corn syrup, which Chuck and I are also eliminating from our diet. Okay, there was blue cheese dressing, which I would have rather used, but the amount of fat in the tiny packet was outrageous ... and I just couldn't go there.

But, the best meal I had today was the dinner Chuck made tonight. We selected the recipe from the March/April 2010 issue of Eating Well Magazine on Monday when we were planning out our meals, and I had been looking forward to it ever since. I was really hoping it wouldn't disappoint ... and I am happy to say that it was amazing. Put your hands together for ...

Lamb Burgers Topped with Mâche Salad

Ingredients:

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon lemon zest, preferably Meyer lemon, divided
2 tablespoons lemon juice, preferably Meyer lemon
1 teaspoon honey, preferably orange-blossom honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper to taste [Chuck also added a few dashes of Cavender's Greek Seasoning and Penzey's "Mural of Flavor" Seasoning to the ground lamb, which kicked up the flavor just a notch.]
1/4 cup unseasoned dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat [We didn't have any breadcrumbs, so we substituted wheat germ instead.]
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground lamb, preferably from the leg
4 sandwich buns, preferably whole-wheat [We substituted Rudi's Organic Bakery Whole Grain Wheat English muffins.]
4 cups mâche (lamb's lettuce) or coarsely chopped butterhead lettuce
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves [We left this out only because we forgot to buy it, but it wasn't missed.]

Directions:

1.Whisk oil, 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, mustard, poppy seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Set aside.
2.Combine breadcrumbs, chives, garlic, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add lamb and gently knead until combined. Form into 4 patties.
3.Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the patties; cook until there is just a hint of pink in the center, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
4.Meanwhile, warm or toast buns, if desired. Add mâche (or lettuce) and mint to the bowl with the dressing; toss to coat. Place the lamb burgers on the buns and top with salad greens (a generous 3/4 cup each).

We also whipped up a quick tzatziki-style dressing for the burgers:

1 5.3 oz carton Stonyfield Farm "Oikos" organic Greek yogurt, plain
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Chopped garlic, shallot, lemon, parsley, cayenne pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Top burgers with 2 tablespoons dressing.


Umm. Yeah. These burgers ROCKED! Next to Chuck's "Ultimate Bacon Burger" at Persimmon Woods, this was the second best burger I've ever had! The flavor of the burger combined with the dressing was out of this world; seriously, I can't believe how amazing they were!

The recipe makes four burgers so we've already decided to make the other two on Monday. And best of all, one burger with two tablespoons of dressing was only 8 Weight Watchers points.

Tomorrow is a busy day for me so I don't know whether I'll hit the "homemade breakfast, lunch, and dinner trifecta," but either way, we're really thinking about what we consume and eating healthier ... which is what it's all about.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Week of Eating In Day 3

Breakfast: Nada.

Lunch: Leftover roast chicken and "greens and grits" casserole.

Dinner: Local Harvest Cafe.

Score: 1 out of 3 ... 'cuz technically, I made the leftovers at home yesterday.

In the immortal words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

Sigh.