Food for Fuel: Seafood Penne with Vegetables

January 24, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Posted in Food, Nutrition, Pasta, Seafood | 2 Comments

This is my first laidback weekend since December 7th of last year. Yes, really. The next weekend was White Rock, the next three were spent in Houston, my dad visited the next, and the next one was back in Houston. So, while all those weekends were busy, they were also very fun. However, I need some Jess Time, and I need to get a few things done. I’ve made a substantial dent in my list already: last night I grocery shopped, did laundry, vacuumed, watched last week’s Desperate Housewives, and made a delicious Seafood Penne with Vegetables to fuel me for this morning’s long run (more on that later).

Remember when I said that I’m going to lower my grocery bills by using up pantry staples? No? That’s good, because I’m doing horribly. Anyway, I decided to buy frozen shrimp and canned baby clams for my pasta to combine with a few of the frozen scallops already in my freezer.

First, I started cooking my whole wheat penne. Then I heated up a little olive oil in a skillet and threw in a chopped clove of garlic, the scallops, and the shrimp. I let them cook for a bit and then added sliced mushrooms and capers.

Next, I added a dollop of my favorite jarred sauce: Central Market Organics Primavera sauce. I just used a little because I wanted to taste the other flavors in the dish–like the white wine that I added after the sauce.

I let the wine reduce slightly and then added the clams, chopped tomatoes, and a sliced up wedge of garlic and oregano flavored Laughing Cow cheese. I stirred the cheese into the sauce to make it creamy, and then added a few handfuls of baby spinach. After the baby spinach wilted, I stirred in a few sliced kalamata olives and  feta cheese.


It was a really good, kinda fancy (but still quick and easy) version of my favorite dinner the night before a long run or race: whole wheat pasta with a lean protein and vegetable-based sauce. (Don’t forget to add a little healthy fat like olive oil as well).

Nutrition of this Meal

This meal contains 10 ingredients on the World’s Healthiest Foods list (estimate because the jarred sauce has lots of herbs and veggies that I am not counting):

  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Low-fat cheese (I buy reduced-fat feta, Athenos brand)
  • Olive oil
  • Whole wheat

Food for Fuel: Fish with Brussels and Wild Rice Salad

January 22, 2009 at 9:50 am | Posted in Food, Nutrition, Rice, Quinoa, and Other Grains, Seafood, Vegetable Side Dishes | 4 Comments

Last night I made a nice meal and used two new recipes, three if you count the fish “recipe” that I made up, but my fish entree was not as delicious as my sides.

Fish: I thawed two small orange roughy fillets and placed them in a baking dish with sliced mushrooms, a clove of garlic, and a quartered lemon. I added a little chopped sweet potato (leftover from making sweet potato fries) and doused everything in the dish with salt, pepper, parsley, and white wine.  I baked it at 350* for 11 minutes, but then had to take the sweet potatoes out and microwave them until they softened a little more.


Wild Rice and Barley Salad: I’ve been holding onto this recipe from Cooking Light for awhile now and finally got around to trying it. I already had cooked wheatberries in the fridge, so I used those instead of the pearl barley. I also used pine nuts instead of almonds and had to use dried basil instead of fresh. I didn’t have any chicken broth, but cooking the rice in water works fine as well. I really liked this recipe, which is good because I made half of it so I could eat the leftovers for lunch today.


Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts: Another Heidi Swanson recipe, intriguing because she says it’s her favorite Brussels recipe, and also because I’m excited about the inclusion of cheese. It may also be my new favorite Brussels recipe, and I used sub-par cheese (a 2% milk, bagged Italian blend). I also used frozen Brussels.  Still good, and maybe even the highlight of dinner. Amazing what a good dousing of olive oil can do for a vegetable.

Nutrition of this Meal

This meal contains 14 ingredients on the World’s Healthiest Foods list:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Lemons
  • Raisins
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Olive oil
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat
  • Basil
  • Parsley

Daily Run: Wind Resistance

January 10, 2009 at 11:51 am | Posted in Daily Run, Food, Pasta, Seafood | 9 Comments

Time of Day: 7:30 AM

Weather: Cool with a very strong wind

Duration: 1 hour 34 minutes 48 seconds

Distance: 12 miles

Average Pace: 7:54/mile

Average Heart Rate: 153 bpm

Notes: Today marked the first long run of my training plan and called for 12-14 miles. The longest I’ve gone since my marathon is 9 miles, so I headed out for 12, telling myself that I could add a few more at the end if I felt like it. I did not feel like it.

Twelve miles goes relatively quickly now without much pain and I felt good for most of the run. But, the wind was absolutely brutal. I set my Garmin to automatically take a lap split for each mile, and my miles range from 7:26 (downhill) to an 8:40 when I was running straight uphill and being blown backwards. In fact, most of the last 3 miles were uphill with wind in my face, and by the time I got home I was definitely grateful that I set out for 12 miles instead of 14.

At least I will be prepared if Big D is as windy as White Rock.

My dad and I are going shopping for running shoes soon (!!), but I will quickly share last night’s dinner with you. I’m not going to do a separate post for it, because hey, it’s Saturday!

Linguine with Garlic and Oil

Another How to Cook Everything recipe that made for a quick dinner last night before baking cookies and heading to the airport. This one is on Bittman’s website, so you can see the recipe.  Hooray!

This is marked in the book as one of Bittman’s essential recipes. I added the optional red pepper flakes. I used cheap olive oil, so the red pepper flakes helped enhance the flavor a little. I also added some of my frozen Patagonian scallops and sliced mushrooms. On the side, I roasted asparagus.

This was very good, even using my cheap oil. I imagine that it would be amazing with a high-quality olive oil.


Food for Fuel: Fish and Beans

January 8, 2009 at 9:46 am | Posted in Food, Nutrition, Seafood, Vegetable Side Dishes | 5 Comments

Last night I finally got to use one of my Christmas presents: How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman. I asked MSB for this cookbook and he delegated it to his parents and bought me jewelry, which is what I secretly wanted anyway, of course.

Anyway, this cookbook is amazing. I consider it quite a feat to come up with 2,000 recipes that look so simple yet delicious. Does anyone else have it? Give me recipe recommendations!

Last night was my first attempt from the book: Fish and Beans. Unfortunately I can’t post the recipe, but it made a very yummy meal in a very short amount of time. If I hadn’t baked a small red-skinned potato to go along with it, dinner would have taken less than 30 minutes to prepare.

I used frozen orange roughy for the fish. Bittman would probably roll his eyes, but it tasted good to me. I used chickpeas for the beans and used a few of Bittman’s variation ideas by including green Swiss chard and the chopped baked potato in the skillet with the beans. I also stirred in some leftover canned diced tomatoes.

On the side, I used another simple recipe for Brussels sprouts, this one from A Veggie Venture. I used frozen Brussels that steam in the microwave, so this was an incredibly fast side dish.


I didn’t think I would finish that huge pile of vegetables, but it was too good to leave behind.

Nutrition of this Meal

This meal contains 9 ingredients on the World’s Healthiest Foods list:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • Olive oil
  • Parsley

Food for Fuel: Stuffed Poblano Pepper

January 7, 2009 at 9:51 am | Posted in Food, Nutrition, Other, Rice, Quinoa, and Other Grains, Seafood | 3 Comments

Way back in November, MSB and I had a great dinner at a friend’s house and I have been craving a chile relleno ever since. I made one a while ago, but I burned it and deemed it unblog-worthy. Last night I tried again with success.

My stuffed poblano pepper was not as tasty as Danny’s, and I doubt that Danny would begin a meal by preparing a Gorton’s Fish Fillet (tilapia). Yes, frozen fish, but don’t knock it until you try it, and perhaps don’t try it unless you’re covering it with sauce and cheese.

After removing the fish from the oven, I heated up the broiler. I made a slit in the poblano pepper and removed as many of the seeds as possible, stuck it in a baking pan, and broiled it until it appeared slightly roasted. I flipped it once during the process. It took about 15 minutes total, but make sure to watch it because it will burn quickly!

At the same time, I prepared Uncle Ben’s brown rice and added chopped mushrooms, red onion, canned diced tomatoes, and a little jalapeno pepper. Towards the end of cooking I added a handful of baby spinach, about 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salsa, and a big scoop of refried beans (Old El Paso fat free).

After the rice mixture finished, I put as much as possible in the poblano, topped it with the fish, and topped that with a handful of Mexican blend shredded cheese. I put it back in the broiler until the desired amount of meltiness was achieved.



Nutrition of this Meal

This meal contains 8 ingredients on the World’s Healthiest Foods list:

  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Pinto beans
  • Brown rice
  • Cumin
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