Monday, August 30, 2010


It's hard. Especially for someone who loves food. I love food. LOVE it.

I had a conversation with a friend this morning about our love for food and dieting. How do people do it? I ask because I am really trying, but losing weight is a hard thing to do. I have cut out butter whenever possible. I measure how much oil (okay, most of the time) I put into stuff. I have decreased my portion sizes. I buy fresh, local, organic. I cook most of my family's meals from scratch. We eat LOTS of vegetables. I choose lean proteins. Etc., etc. And, still, I exceed my daily allowance of Weight Watcher points. I even exceed my overall weekly points, including the ones I get for activity. Okay, okay, I'm not getting that much activity in. But, it's not like I'm sitting on my ass, either. It sounds like a lame excuse, but I can't get to the gym enough. I am lucky if I get there twice a week. And, even then things don't go my way, like last week when I had to pull the kids out of the gym's daycare early because they were coughing up a storm.

How do people do it?

I read an article on fat free food items recently. Oh man! There is a lot of hard to pronounce ingredients that go into making food fat free. I'd rather take the fat over all that extra stuff.

So, what do I do? Frankly, I don't know.

I have allowed a few low fat items into my diet, like Skinny Cow ice cream products and Laughing Cow cheese. Maybe if I see the cow on the packaging, I'll feel like I'm having something real. I believe we also have fat free pretzels in our pantry. Oh and we have milk & yogurt. All the other stuff we have with no fat is in the form or a fresh fruit or vegetable. I feel good about that. But, it's a lot of work.

I have signed up for a 3 month plan on Weight Watchers. I'm 2 days into my 4th week. I lost 5 pounds, then gained one, so I'm down a total of 4. Ooh, did you get that complicated math I just threw out? I'm determined to make it to my goal of 10 pounds in 3 months. I thought it seemed totally reasonable and attainable, but now I'm not so sure. Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Diet Pasta?

No, but in moderation, I guess it is.
Doesn't that look yummy? Okay, not a very clear shot. But, let me tell you, it was so good. I guess I mostly only post if something is good, huh?
Tri-color noodles from La Pasta, bought at the farmers' market. The greens? Beet greens. Then there's the chicken. Left over roasted chicken thighs and legs from last nights QFC whole roasted chicken. That's it, really. So simple, but it was just so flavorful.
I cooked the noodles separately. I pulled the meat off the bones. I sauteed onions, garlic and beet greens together with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and water. Then, I added the chicken pieces. Once everything was nice and hot, I added it to the cooked pasta. Voila! Dinner.
Oh, and I also made a creamy corn soup and a salad. The corn was from leftover corn on the cob we had last night. I made the soup with onions, carrots, celery, chicken bones, corn cobs, water and a bay leaf. When all that was done, I took out the bones, cobs and bay leaf and put everything in the blender and pureed it all. I thought it was great, but the kids were so so. Oh well.
And, a nice salad with lemon cucumbers, Walla Walla onions, and the usual stuff.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Love Seattle Because...

I can go to Melrose Market to pick up my Oxbow Farm CSA at Marigold and Mint, wave at a familiar face at Sitka and Spruce, and then buy half of a freshly butchered rabbit from Rain Shadow Meats, on a whim, all with two little boys in tow. Yes, I do have to bribe them with a little fruit leather to sit and wait for me to pick out our vegetables, and I have to keep reminding them, that this will only take one more second, but I love Melrose Market.

The second reason I love Seattle is that the next day, the kids and I went to the farmers' market to browse, and I came home with a pound of "just-caught it-yesterday" rockfish. The guys there are always happy to see us, and have made a smoked salmon lover out of Tyler.
So, here's my rabbit. And, in case you were wondering, this was the price; almost 1.5 pounds.I was intimidated by that little creature. The guy at the butcher was very casual about how to prepare it, and my boys wouldn't allow me to ask too many questions. Something about "just like chicken...throw it right on the grill...this part is a little tough..." And, since he said it should hold in the fridge for up to 10 days, I didn't rush home to cook it. In fact, I didn't cook it until Sunday.
I braised it on the stove with carrots, onions, celery, garlic cloves and one bay leaf, in chicken stock, for 30 minutes. I was afraid to dry it out. The broth and vegetables were very yummy. The legs were a bit tough to take off the bone, but once off, they weren't chewy. I probably couldn't taken the loin out after 30 minutes and let the legs cook for another 15. I'm not sure. After I removed the rabbit pieces, I tossed in a few picholine olives and let the broth reduce by about half. It ended up being pretty salty, so I added about 2 tablespoons of champagne vinegar. I sauteed zucchini and yellow squash separately, and added those into the vegetables, along with some leftover green beans.

As for my rockfish, David grilled up the fillets last night and we had tacos. YUM!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cutting Back, and Another Rachael Ray Item

I am on a diet. In the last few months my clothes have been getting tighter and tighter. I'm uncomfortable. No, I'm not pregnant, just gaining a little weight. So, I've decided to go on a 3 month diet. I can't tell you the last time I tried to diet. I'm on day 3, and doing okay. Definitely hungrier than usual. But, I think this'll be nice to be more aware of what I'm consuming, and how to eat better.

Anyway, here's what we had for dinner: Thundering Hooves smoked pork chops, with whole wheat pasta, and Rachel Ray's agrodolce relish and arugula. This was David's plate.This was mine. I cut a 4 oz portion and replaced the pasta with a 1/2 cup of brown rice. I also measured out the amount of arugula and relish, at one cup each. I was happily satisfied with the amount I ate, but the pork chops were so delicious, I wanted to eat more and feel stuffed. Alas, I had will power.
By the way, why all the Rachael Ray these days? Somehow, two weeks in a row, I've ended up at the gym right when her show comes on. I'm whimpy and only do a 30 minute workout, which is how long the show runs, and it's perfect for me. What I really want is to watch Ina Garten's show that comes on right after. But, I have to admit that Rachael does have some quick, simple, tasty ideas. Maybe I'm becoming a fan...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thank You (GASP!) Rachel Ray!

I'm not a big fan of Rachel Ray. Yeah, I can see why she's so popular, but whatever. This week, while on the treadmill at the gym, I watched her 30 minute meals show. She made a beef wellington with blue cheese and watercress. On the side, she had this stuffed tomato, broccolini, and herbed potatoes. Three sides! It was a huge meal.

Anyway, she helped inspire tonight's dinner. Even though it wasn't the same thing, her meal got me thinking of what I can do with stuff I already had (and a few extras I grabbed at the store). So, this is what I made:

-Mini chicken sandwiches with Dinah's Cheese and sliced apples from my parents backyard, on Essential Bakery's potato rolls
-Mini flat iron steak sandwiches with the above ingredients, on Essential's rosemary rolls, with the addition of Oxbow Farm's lettuce (gosh, I can't remember the name of it, but it's deep red in color with long, curly leaves), and sundried tomatoes.
-Oxbow Farm green beans, blanched in salted water until pretty tender (little mouths to feed), and nothing else. So good.
-Mini yellow potatoes from Alvarez Farm with herbs (chives, dill, cilantro and basil) and butter

I know, not much like Rachel Ray. The potatoes was the closest. She made red potatoes with parsely and dill. My 4 herbs were what I had on hand. Thank goodness I had the dill. That was the flavor that stood out, for me, the most. These potatoes were so buttery on their own, they really didn't need the butter, but I added just a tablespoon, cuz, well, it's butter!

Rachel's beef wellington had the strong cheese and peppery greens thing going for it. I didn't feel like using blue cheese, so when I found Dinah's Cheese at Madison Market, I knew that would work perfectly. It's slightly pungent, but not over-powering. I looked for arugula, in place of the cress, but didn't find it.

The steak sandwiches were good, but I think the chicken was better. I marinated the chicken breasts in store-bought balsamic vinaigrette overnight. Before cooking, I butterflied the breasts and sprinkled them with salt and pepper.

My kids, including one who has had a fever all day, ate their meal happily. Well, most of their meal. Nonetheless, I would consider this a winning Hunt Family meal.

A note on Alvarez Farm: I wish I could give you a link to them, but I couldn't find one. If anyone out there has a good link to share, let me know.