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: Stir-Fried Tofu with Bell Peppers

January 23, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Posted in Food, Nutrition, Pasta, Tofu, Vegetarian Entrees | 4 Comments

I wasn’t going to share last night’s dinner because it looks like so many of my other soba noodle creations and because it’s from a cookbook and I can’t post the recipe. However, I did a google and found it online: Mark Bittman’s Stir-Fried Tofu with Bell Peppers or Other Vegetables. Apparently Bittman included the recipe in more than one cookbook–the one I used is How to Cook Everything. I guess that’s proof that this is a good recipe.

I added shiitake mushrooms and a frozen Asian blend of veggies. I used leftover baked tofu from last week, so this was a nice, quick meal.

Served over the last of my Annie Chun’s soba noodles.


There are a lot of vegetables in that bowl. This recipe is not spicy, so it’s a good choice if you don’t like spicy Asian flavors.

Nutrition of this Meal

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

  • Bell peppers
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Soybeans (edamame in frozen blend)
  • Tofu
  • Buckwheat
  • Ginger
  • Soy sauce

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

Food for Fuel: Poached Eggs Over Rice

January 20, 2009 at 9:24 am | Posted in Food, Nutrition, Rice, Quinoa, and Other Grains, Tofu, Vegetarian Entrees | 3 Comments

I had a great speed workout this morning. That is not the topic of this post, but it helps qualify last night’s dinner as excellent Fuel. Although I suppose it could have been the day of complete rest–not lifting weights in the morning followed by lying on the couch and watching 24 in the evening instead of doing anything productive.

But anyway, I’ve been meaning to try Heidi Swanson’s entree recipes for quite some time.  I’ve made several of her cookie recipes and they are delicious, but  sometimes I like to eat food other than cookies. Crazy, I know.

So last night I made her recipe for Poached Eggs Over Rice. I used a new brown and wild rice blend that I bought this past Sunday, and once that was done cooking the rest of the meal only took 10-15 minutes. I threw in some wheatberries with the rice for extra tastiness.

I used baked tofu leftover from last week, Swiss chard for my greens, and added a carrot and mushrooms. Also, I used a microwave egg poacher. I’ve never poached eggs in a pot of simmering water and I’m relatively sure I would mess it up royally.


A good, simple, one bowl recipe. I need to make more of Heidi Swanson’s food.

Nutrition of this Meal

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

  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Swiss chard
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Olive oil
  • Brown rice

I’m doing a decent job of lowering my grocery bill, which was one of my New Year’s resolutions. However, I know I can do a better job. I think my problem is that I find recipes that I really want to try and then buy those ingredients, instead of just working with what I currently have on hand. So, over the next few weeks I will be trying to use up things in my pantry and freezer and only buy fresh produce and things I really need, like milk and cereal. This means that you will see a lot of rice dishes, beans, frozen fish, etc and no fresh meat.

Food for Fuel: My Go-To Banana Bread Recipe

January 19, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Posted in Baked Goods, Food, Nutrition | 8 Comments

Last week I bought extra bananas because my dad and uncle were staying with me. They didn’t touch the extra bananas. I feel like I’ve been baking too many cookies lately and decided to use them for something healthy, so I turned to my favorite banana bread recipe last Thursday night so that I could bring some bread to MSB when I went to Houston for the weekend. 

This is a really healthy banana bread recipe, even more healthy because I leave out the chocolate chips (gasp!). Chocolate chips, as we all know, are reserved for cookie baking. This bread recipe is great as written, but this time I decided to experiment by using 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup bread flour, and fat free Promise Light instead of the butter. I still have some soy pudding leftover from baking pumpkin muffins, so I decided to try that instead of yogurt. All my substitutions worked beautifully.


(Yes, I need to spend some time with my camera and try to figure out this whole photography thing.)

This recipe is so good. It seems impossible that such healthy ingredients can combine to create a bread that tastes so rich and buttery (and doesn’t contain actual butter!). Using all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat flour will create a light and fluffy bread, but I really like the whole wheat/bread flour combination.

Best served warm and smeared with (salmonella-free) peanut butter:


What? You thought I was going to give MSB the entire loaf?

Nutrition of this Recipe

This bread contains 5 ingredients on the World’s Healthiest Foods list:

  • Bananas
  • Eggs
  • Soybeans (in the pudding)
  • Cinnamon
  • Whole wheat

Make that 6 ingredients if you add peanut butter. 😉

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