Thursday, December 10, 2009


I am going to eat whatever I want today. That's all!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I survived my first Veggie Thanksgiving, and I defeated the HAM...the ham DID NOT defeat me! I'm sure I consumed a massive unknown quantity of chicken stock, but for the most part, I am proud of myself. I honestly have to say that I didn't miss the turkey. I love sides, and that big hunk of meat with gravy just steals room for things like sweet potatoes and corn casserole! I also spent a nice 6 days in sunny Arizona....and had my first Thanksgiving dinner outside in the backyard. Other than the shear masses of food (including pumpkin pie for breakfast three days in a row) I ate while I was there, I'd call it a great holiday!

So if you look back a few blogs, I posted about peanut butter M&Ms. Well, let me tell you something, I found out this week that PB M&Ms don't hold a candle to MINT M&Ms. Holy crap those things are like crack! I could grind them up and rail lines if I really wanted because otherwise I'll just hoover a whole 1 lb bag in one sitting. Luckily they are only around during the holidays, and I don't plan on purchasing any for said reasons above...but YUM!

And DOUBLE HOLY CRAP, while I was looking for the picture above I found this:

I think I just gained 12.4 pounds looking at that picture.

Anyway, in case you couldn't guess that's today's praise: Mint M&Ms. And I think, I just decided this, that from now until Christmas the praise will be devoted to all things food and holiday.

That being said, the recipe today is my signature take along casserole for holidays. Its maybe the easiest thing in the world to make, and I don't have to kill you for knowing the recipe:

Cheesy Corn Casserole

1 stick butter, melted
8 oz sour cream
1 box jiffy corn bread mix
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn
1 egg
8 oz bag of cheddar cheese

Mix first six ingredients and pour into 13 x 9 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Top with cheese and bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes in a 350 oven.

It wouldn't be Angie's Holiday Dish without enjoy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Well, tomorrow is the big first Veggie Thanksgiving. Eek. Oh the HAM.

Today's Praise: Sun Dried Tomato Organic Polenta

Today's Recipe: Oven Roasted Cauliflower

Polenta is a new-ish discovery of mine, and man...I'm glad I found it. This particular kind of polenta is already cooked and can be found in the organic foods section of your local grocer's, near where the fake (i.e. organic) mac and cheese is. I'm sorry, but blue box I heart you when it comes to M&C.

Anyway, I like to slice this polenta about 1/2 an inch think and pan sear it with a little spray or oil. Mmm. Its also good - now this might suprise you - with a little parmesan sprinkled on top. You know how I feel about parm cheese (6th food group).

As for this "recipe" we can thank my friend Michelle for this little masterpiece. Here's how we did it:

1 Large head of cauliflower
1 head of garlic
Olive and Sesame (optional) Oils

Clean the head of cauliflower and remove as much of the stem as you can. Now, take the head of garlic and slice it in half horizontally. Take half the clove and shove it in the "butt" of the cauliflower head, where you took all the stem out. The other half can either be broken up and shoved amongst the head or just wrapped up in the foil. Wrap the whole thing in foil and put it in a screaming hot oven (like 425) for an hour or until a butter knife goes into the center easily. Sprinkle with S&P and drizzle with a mix of olive oil and sesame oil, cut into wedges, and devour. YUM!

Here is Michelle's hand drizzling:

I'm off to Phoenix tomorrow, so Happy Turkey (or lack thereof) everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So the major slacker here is trying to get back on track with my blogging efforts, and today I have an interesting "I'm a veggie now" situation. It was the first time I encountered this...

I had a meeting in the Denver office on Tuesday. It was a painful, marathon meeting that was basically useless - but that's beside the point - and it ran over lunchtime. Unbeknowest to me, they ordered us lunch from Panera (mmm). The lunch boxes arrived (complete with pickle, chips, and a GIGANTIC cookie that totally blew my points for the day but anyway)...everything was either: a turkey sandwich, a turkey sandwich, and italian sandwich, or a turkey sandwich. So I asked if there was anything with no meat and someone says "I didn't know you were a vegetarian!!" the hell would you know considering - YOU DIDN'T ASK!!!!

Then of course they made a big deal about going to get me something else, which I gracefully declined, took a turkey sandwich, took the 2 pounds of meat off of it and ate it. It was basically a lettuce, onion, and spicy mayo sandwich. At least the bread was good. And I had a gigantic waist expanding cookie. Sigh...

And now, there is a HAM in the fridge at work. I"m all about being veggie, but if there's one thing that will get me...its HAM.

Maybe I"ll just pig out on the 10 dozen cookies in the kitchen for the cookie exchange instead.......

Wow, there was definitely an I want meat and cookies theme to this today, huh?

Back to the item of the day and recipes tomorrow, folk! Tune in!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Today's Praise: Door to Door Organics (sorry no photo :()

Today's Recipe: Candied Acorn Squash

So let's start with Door to Door. If you're a faithful follower of this nonsensical blog, you've heard me mention my organic produce delivery service before. This is Door to Door Organics. This service is similar to a CSA; however, it isn't a true CSA because instead of coming from one farm, this service pools resources from organic produce growers to provide organic produce year round. In the summer, the produce is about 95% local, but what's nice about this is you can get it through the winter as well. The contents of the box varies per week (or every two weeks, which is my frequency of delivery), and you can set dietary preferences and substitute other available things for produce you might not use through your online account. Its a great way to get affordable sustainable organic produce and also try new things. Check them out:

Last year, one of the items I got in my "box" was acorn squash, so I found this recipe, slightly modified it, and it came out awesome. It kind of tastes similar to sweet potatoes, which are one of my FAV foods...MMM!

Acorn Squash, Nuke Style:

2 acorn squash
4 tsp margarine (I am a Bummel and Brown fan)
4 tsp brown sugar
S&P to taste

Half the squah and remove the seeds with a big spoon. Then prick the inside all over with a fork. Put 1 tsp margarine and brown sugar in each half.

Place halves cut side up on a microwaveable plate and nuke on high for 10 minutes or until the flesh is soft and an obviously edible consistency (don't you love my cooking jargon?). Basically, the longer you cook the softer it gets...well until you hit that "oh its burnt" threshold. Season with S&P to taste and enjoy.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Today's Praise: In honor of Halloween...

Who doesn't love M&Ms...and when the have Peanut Butter in them, I can justify it as a source of protein :)

Today's Recipe: Pasta Fagioli (Fah-jo-lee)

Happy belated Halloween to the masses. I hope you all had a ghoulishly fun weekend full of candy, tricks, and maybe even a beverage or two ;) Here in Breckenridge, Halloween is a big deal and it seems to bring idiots from out of the woodwork. So, instead of dealing with said idiots, I hosted some friends for a small Halloween dinner complete with severed finger appetizers and bubbling punch thanks to Michelle :)

For dinner, I made a ginormous pot of Pasta Fagioli, which is a hearty bean and pasta Italian soup. It was a big hit, and I am going to share the recipe with you! The best thing about this soup is that its not only vegetarian, but its also vegan. And its hearty enough that meat eaters among us don't even notice the absense of mammal in the dish, so its a perfect choice for feeding several different dietary preferences. Serve it with slices of italian bread to soak up the juices and...get ready, here it comes: lots of parmesan cheese to dump on top!

Pasta Fagioli

2 Stalks Celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 t. dried parsley
1 t. oregano
1/4 to 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 can (14 oz) veggie broth
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
1/2 cup uncooked pasta
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and coat bottom with olive oil. Cook celery, onion, garlic, parsley, and seasonings for about 5 minutes. Stir in stock, tomatoes, and tomato sauce and simmer on low for at least 20 minutes. The best part is you can let this simmer as long as you need to until guests arrive, etc...and then drop the pasta 15 minutes before you're ready to eat.

At this time you drop the dried pasta and cook it for about 10 minutes or until tender. Depending on the cut of pasta, it may take longer. When pasta is almost al dente add in the beans and heat through. Now its ready to serve!

This will be one of my featured soups when I open my specialty food store here in Breckenridge................someday :)

Have a good week everyone!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Today's Praise: Republic of Tea, Ginger Peach Longevity Tea

Today's Recipe: Bean and Corn Chili

Life in the Rockies is always interesting. It started snowing about three days ago, and it hasn't stopped yet. Yes, is still OCTOBER! Of course those of us who love (read: obsessed with) snow sports are like kids at Christmas right now, and I am excited to say my first day on the snow is coming up tomorrow. Whoo hoo!

Now with all this snow falling, there are few things more comforting than the items featured in today's post: hot tea and chili. Republic of Tea makes some really unique and interesting teas, and this one is a great flavored tea that requires little additional sweetner. It has a soothing yet energizing feel while it warms your insides on a cold snowy day - even if it is in October!

Like I said, this weather is a perfect excuse to have a chili party, so that's just what we did yesterday at work. Complete with all the fixins', we had Chicken Chili, Pork Green Chili, and my newest attempt at a veggie recipe: Bean and Corn Chili. It came out great and also served as a fantastic medium for dipping tortilla chips :)

Here's the recipe:

1 can red kidney beans
1 can cannellini (white kidney) beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can corn kernels
1 cup water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup green onions chopped
2-3 T Chili Powder (to taste)
1 t ground cumin
1 t spicy mustard
1/2 t oregano

Here's the best part: throw it all in the slow cooker and let it RIP for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Serve with cheese and torilla chips for an excellent, filling meal!

A great addition is also the mini corn muffins from my previous blog post.

Let me know who wins the "musical fruit" contest...
Happy Friday for me!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Today's Praise: Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches

Today's Recipe: Mini Corn Muffins

In regards to the praise, five words: two point ice cream sandwich. Enough said :)

So tomorrow is Chili day at work, and I am not only making chili but I made these mini corn muffins. They're super good and not as dry as a lot of corn breads. They make a great accompaniment to soups and chilis. MMM.

1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 stick butter, melted
1 8-1/2 oz can creamed corn (or a one cup from a regular can)
1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 T sugar
1 T baking powder

Optional (I opted out):
2-3 dashes of Tabasco
3 T diched green chilles

Preheat oven to 425
Spray mini muffin tins with spray
Whisk egg, milk, butter, and corn together. Stir in remaining ingredients. Batter will be lumpy. Spoon into muffin tins nearly filling each cup. Bake for 15-20 minutes until tops are golden brown and crunchy and/or toothpick comes out clean. Take the muffins out of the pan immediately and allow to cool. Don't forget to lick the bowl (that's my favorite part) :)

I don't bake much anymore because A. I tend to eat whatever I bake and leave too much batter behind in the bowl for the licking part of the baking process and B. its a pain in the ass at high altitude. I think these are fairly full proof though.

And look a whole blog without a single product, use, obligatory dump, or recipe involved CHEESE!

And look, I even (finally) have a picture of the product of the recipe. Whoo Hoo!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Today's Praise: Morning Star Farms Bacon Strips

Today's Recipe: Fruit Dip (short and sweet)

Well, I apologize for my lack of blogging over the past week. I was back in Boston visiting old friends and taking the exam from HELL, so I was kind of preoccupied and tied up most of the week. My brain was also fried like a potato chip, so thinking of clever things to blog wasn't happening. But, I am back and better than ever...and ready to blog 'til my little heart is content.

A word about today's praise: we know I'm not big on processed foods but I feel that its worth sharing the ones that I think are worthy of a place in my diet. I like to throw two of these Morning Star Bacon strips in the microwave, cook an egg in a pan, toast an Arnold Sandwich Thin, and spread 3 cubes of Laughing Cow Cheese bites on it and make a yummy fairly good for you breakfast sammy. MMM. Add a big glass of Organic Skim Milk and I'm in heaven!

So my recipe today is a short and sweet one that comes right from my Mama. Its a dip that is great with fresh fruit, so its a good way to liven up strawberries, bananas (the best combo with this), grapes, and other fruits so that you'll eat more of them. Super simple and a great take along to a party or picnic (season permitting).

Soni's Fruit Dip:
8 oz package of cream cheese (1/3 less fat works, dont' use gets runny)
7 oz (small jar) of Kraft Marshmallow Cream
1 tsp strawberry extract OR 4-5 strawberries mashed to smithereens

Make sure the cream cheese is super soft, leave it out over night if you can. Mix all the ingredients and serve with your fave fruit. Makes a great snack!

I'll give you a more substantial recipe tomorrow, promise ;)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Today's Praise: V8 Broccoli Soup

Today's Recipe: Broken Spaghetti Risotto

I'm a slacker, and I apologize. I was so excited to get back home a day early from working in the stinky office that I just couldn't stand it! I took a nice day to myself Friday, and it was quite nice. And if you haven't noticed for now I take a break from blogging on the weekends. I try to limit my staring at a screen as much as possible. And frankly, I am too busy drinking. I'm not sure getting a Crackberry was the right solution to an attempted reduction at screen use, eh? Now, I'm off to Boston tomorrow! Am I a road warrior or what!

So I am usually fairly careful when buying soups and things of that nature because they are sodium packed, but the V8 Broccoli Soup is pretty balanced as far as sodium levels and the tradeoff with how otherwise great it is for you...and its a whole serving of veggies for your day! I am a genious and melted in a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb cheese to a bowl of soup for a great 2 point lunch. Yum. Who doesn't love broccoli and cheese (other than you, Michelle :))

Today's recipe is one that I stole straight from Rachel Ray. My mom says I look and act like her. I can't decide if that's a compliment or just plain hell. Anyway, I made this dish sans her original arugula and nuts on top (cause that just seems weird to me), and it is delicious. Sans the obligatory dump of parmesan cheese, it can also be vegan!

Broken Spaghetti Risotto

1 package dried mushrooms (I got two small bags from the produce dept)
1 quart veggie stock (at high altitude it took more like 6 cups instead of make extra stock if you're Rocky Mountain High like me)
2 cups water
Olive Oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 mammoth garlic cloves minced (more if you're a garlic hound like me)
1/2 cup white vino
Tons of Parm Cheese
1 pound spaghetti broken into small (3"-4" pieces)
2 Tablespoons Butter

Put stock, water, and dried shroomies in a pot and heat on medium low heat. Once its hot, turn to low and keep warm.

Get a bigass skillet or big sauce pot and heat olive oil, enough to coat bottom over medium-medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and S&P to pan and saute until sweating (4-5 miutes). Add broken pasta and toast until its golden brown, turning frequently. This will take 7 or so minutes. You will probably make a huge mess, but its worth it. Stir in wine and let it cook out, like a minute.

Now comes the risotto part: ladle in stock 1-2 ladles at a time stirring almost constantly. Do this every minute or two or once the previous stock has evaporated and been sucked up by the pasta. This will take at least 10 minutes, so start testing the pasta then to see if its cooked. Up here it took more like 15 and a lot more stock to get the pasta cooked through. Its done when the pasta is cooked to your liking - al dente if you're a D'Ego. When you get to the last 1/2 cup or so of liquid, take out the now reconstitued shroomies. Chop those up and add to pasta. Don't use the last bit of stock, it will be gritty.

When you're satisfied with the doneness of the pasta, stir in the butter and as much parm as you can handle. The pasta will be nice and dark brown in color. Its SOOO good!

Here's a pic I stole from the Food Network website:

Coming soon: Pictures of the food when I ACTUALLY make it. Once I"m done traveling like a banshee that's on my list of things to do :)

Happy Monday Funday everyone. Next post will be from the Town of Beans!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today's Praise: Swiss Miss Diet Hot Chocolate

Today's Recipe: Stuffed Mushrooms

I am bored as balls right now. Thank God I have somewhere to write nonsensical crap to pass the time :)

I am hoping tonight is my last night in Longmont, but I'm not holding my breath that I won't have to end up coming back here at some time this winter. At least by that time the dang PE will be over, and I won't have to study every night. Then I'll REALLY have NOTHING to do here!

Anyway, today's praise product is kind of lame, but its still good! I find when you're craving chocolate that hot chocolate tends to appease the craving. This Diet Hot Chocolate is very low in calories, and its also a good addition to smoothies. Try it out!

I should also mention that once I'm outta this hole and back home to the comforts of my own kitchen (which actually has a stove and more than one burner) I will start adding pictures of the end results of the recipe too. Aren't I special?

Stuffed Mushrooms:

18 Large Mushrooms, stems removed (I used 1 lb of bigish button 'shrooms)
10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach (thaw and wring that sucker dry)
Olive Oil
1 medium zuke
1 medium carrot, cleaned
1 cup part skim ricotta
Parm Cheese (remember, 6th food group!)
1/4 cup white wine

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 13 x 9 pan with spray. Shred the carrot and the zuke (I used my food processor) and put it in a towel and wring out the moisture. Heat olive oil and garlic for a minute and add the shredded veggies. Cook for 4-5 minutes to soften. Combine that with the dried out spinach and ricotta cheese. I also used about half of the chopped up shroom stems...I hate wasting the mix. S&P to taste.

Put shroom caps bowl side up in the dish and fill with mixture. Top with the 6th food group and pour the wine into the bottom of the dish. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until its all cooked and hot.


Now listed to this shiz. I had some leftover filling. I nuked a baked potato and piled the leftover filling on it and had it for lunch. I am a genious, that's all I have to say :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Today's Praise: Soy Joy Berry Bars

Today's Recipe: Shrimp Scampi (inspired by WW)

So I was talking to a good friend of mine who I will be seeing/staying with when I am back in Boston. I used to live with her and her hubby for part of my time in Boston, and her hubby and I used to have a great time cooking the most unhealthy, fat laden meals you can think of. And drinking a lot of beer...or vodka. I was discussing with her my new transformation into a veggie loving hippie, when her husband started taunting me with the thought of chicken wings (please see previous post on FRIED CHICKEN!).

This took me back to one particular evening at their residence when he and I made one of our most famous dinners: sausage from around the world.

We had hot dogs, chinese sausage, italian sausage, and brats...all in ONE meal. All grilled and with beer dumped on them. Now that I look back on it, I remember how delicious it was. And think of how tempting my stay back in Boston next week will probably be. Thanks Todd :)

Anyway, today's recipe is basically a slightly modified version of the weight watchers shrimp scampi recipe, and since I"m only a half@ss vegetarian who still eats fish and seafood, I can share this with you. Notes on my modifications from the original recipe are below:

Olive oil
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 pound of shrimp (I get the frozen, deveined, in shell, NOT cooked. Thaw, peel and use)
Touch of oregeno
1/4 cup vermouth
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup stock (seafood or veggie)
S&P to taste
Parsley (dried works)
8 oz uncooked linguini - cooked to package directions

Oil in skillet, sautee garlic for a minute. Sprinkle in a little oregano (to taste, WW recipes tend to be too heavy on this), and stir. Add shrimp, stir, and cook until shrimps turn pink (3ish minutes). Add vermouth and simmer for a minute. Dissolve cornstarch in stock by whisking, add to skillet and simmer for 2-3 minutes until it reduces to the right consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

At this point I dump in some dried parsley and a ton of grated romano and mix...then you're done.

Serve with the cooked pasta!

Notes: WW recipe excludes the dumping of the cheese, but as we all know I'm Italian and grated cheese is practically the 6th food group. I've also found that I like to use a little more like 2 tablespoons of cornstarch than 2 tsps, but try it out and see what you like. You don't want that gummy, cheap asian restaraunt style sauce that comes from too much cornstarch.

Serve with a big salad. MMM.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Today's Priase: Arnold (or Orowheat) Sandwich Thins

Today's Recipe: Sandwich Ideas using today's Praise product (I'm getting clever, eh?)

Arnold Sandwich Thins, distributed by Orowheat on this side of the Mississippi are MAYBE the greatest invention ever. They are only 100 calories (1 point!) and can be used in maybe 10,000 different ways. I eat at least one a day. They are also all "natural" which we all know means absolutely nothing, essentially, but they don't have HFCS, and we all know how I love products with no HFCS :)

Today's "recipe" is a sammy I came up with using an AST (Ardnold Sandwich Thin) and some fresh organic veggies from my delivery box o' produce (more on that later, yes I keep saying that). Here goes:

2-3 thins slices of tomato
1/4 avocad sliced thin
FF or 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese

You can toast the AST if you want, but for this case I like it untoasted. Also, this is best made right before you eat it, else the tomato makes things soggy. Put a schmear of cream cheese on each half of the AST. Put the tomato, avocado, and a little sprinkle of S&P on there and enjoy. Its YUM.

Also, I had an epiphany while I was in the grocery store and had to share. In lieu of the cream cheese, a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb makes an excellent substitution in this sammy. MMM!

Here are some other ideas:

Breakfast: Toasted AST with Peanut Butter and thin slices of Banana
Fry an egg and use AST as a dipper, one of my FAVS

Lunch: Toasted AST with a little reduced fat mayo, a slice of nice ripe beefsteak tomato, S&P
Tomato sauce (or a slice of tomato), mozzarella cheese, some minced garlic, and some parm to top if off. Stick it under the broiler for 5. Mmmm healthy pizza!

I realize this is only 5 of the apparent 10,000 ways to use an AST. Maybe my goal in life should be to write a book on the 10,000 ways that exist. Hmm, this is an interesting prospect. Maybe I could strike it rich and quit this engineering gig. And snowboard all day.

I'm off to Boston a week from today!

Oh and speaking of HFCS, thanks to my friend Vanessa, my new goal for the week is to track down marshmallows that DO NOT contain HFCS. Now taking bets on whether such a thing even exists.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Today's Praise: Morning Star Original Chik'n Tenders

Today's Recipe: Fancy Trail Tofu with Quinoa

Well, its time for Angie to have a reality check, get my head out of the clouds and be an upstanding memeber of society again. I had a little too much fun this weekend, did a little too little studying (and sleeping), and am still paying for it. Despite a bigtime hankering for a damn fast food cheeseburger on Saturday night (I'm sure brought on by the partaking of things that make one want to munch), I managed to get by with a few potato chips and no meat. Go me!

Now speaking of cravings, let me talk about Fried Chicken. I LOVE me some good old fried chicken. And I love it so much that I don't descriminate. In fact, any chicken with a crispy fried texture is my best friend........until I stopped eating fried food.....AND went veggie. What am I doing to myself? Enter Morning Star Chik'n Tenders. Now, I have said before that I'm not a fan of processed food, but I'm sorry sometimes a girl just needs her FRIED CHICKEN! These things are good, they get crunchy in the oven (who would dare do psuedo fried in a micro!?) and paired very nicely with the indulgence of some McCain Sweet Potato Fries. Haha.

This week's recipe is inspired by a backpacking trip I took earlier this summer. It was my first backpacking trip and the friend I went with is vegan. A recipe similar to this is what we made for dinner over the camp stove, and it was delicious! When we made it at the camp, we made it with cous cous. I've been wanting to try Quinoa, so I decided to use it in this. Came out great (recipe makes about 4 big servings).

6 oz Firm Tofu
1-1/4 cup Quinoa (prepared according to package. I used 1-1/4 cups dry)
3-4 Cloves Garlic
1 Medium Red onion
Medium head broccoli florrets
1 medium yellow squash (I used about 3/4 of it)
1 medium zucchini (I used about 1/2 of it)
Olive Oil

Make Quinoa or Cous Cous according to package. Heat skillet and olive oil over medium heat. Mince garlic and add to pan. Chop onion into large (1/2 - 1 inch) pieces and add to pan. Sautee while you cut up the tofu into 1/2 inch pieces. Add to pan and stir. Next, chop broccoli into small pieces and add. Lastly cut the squash and zuke into half moons and add. Use as much or as little of everything as you desire (remember, I don't measure!). Let all the goodies do their thing for 5 or so minutes while the grain finishes cooking, then add it to the skillet, mix, and simmer for a minute. And its ready! I like to dump a bunch of romano or parm on it :)

And since this was inspired by my backpacking trip, here is a picture:

The trail we backpacked on is called Missouri Lakes/Fancy Pass - hence the name of the recipe. Some of the most beautiful stuff I've ever seen.

Happy Start to the Week!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Today's Praise: Dryer's Fruit Bars (Strawberry)
A great one point way to get a little sweetness after your dinner meal..and no HFCS!

Today's Recipe: Laughing Cow Alfredo

I'm having a bad day, so I'll try not to be overly snarky as I post today's blog entry. This morning, I was very excited because I get to get out of this hell hole (ok it isn't THAT bad) called Longmont and go HOME. Only to find out, I get to come back for the ENTIRE week again next I get to sleep not in my bed, hear a train 4 times a night, and work and study and work and study. FUUUUN. At least I can go good Organic food shopping on the Company's dime again though....silver lining, anyone?

I hate days like this because it makes me want to EAT. Forget that piece of coconut cake I already had this morning, if you came at me with a Heath bar I'd scarf it in 10 seconds flat. I think I'll turn to drinking instead. Thoughts?

Today's recipe is widely used across the diet world, and it may have started with the Hungry Girl. Check her out. In any case, this is a delicious substitution for cream laden alfredo sauces which pack tons of fat and calories. Its called Laughing Cow Alfredo, and can be adapted in a million ways to make tons of different dishes. I am thinking of making a batch of this to pour over some pasta next week while I'm back to hotel living.

Laughing Cow Alfredo (basic recipe)
6 wedges Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb
1 cup milk (I use skim, 2% is probably more ideal)
1 T parmesan cheese
1 T Margarin
1 clove garlic, minced*

*You can also use garlic powder instead

Basically, dump it all into a sauce pan. Set it on low. Stir it a lot and in 20 minutes you'll have a nice alfredo. Now, that said...I think because I use skim milk it doesn't always thicken. So about halfway in, I put in a slurry of cornstarch and a little more milk whisked together (about 1-2 T of each). Get that mixed in, and once everything is all melted and combined it should be nice and thick.

Last week I made this and mixed it with some specialty pasta (OO maybe that will be my Praise one day soon!) that was rosemary flavored along with some cut up broccoli florets and shrimps. Yes, shrimps..not shrimp.

If you're not a veggie (why are you reading this blog?) you can do chicken and broccoli. Its really good too, which I found out before I was a veggie!

This recipe is, in theory, for two...but I find once you pack it with veggies and shrimp(s) it expands to at least three. Depending on your pasta of choice, I'd say use about 4 oz dried pasta if you're mixing. If not go 8 ish. Remember I don't measure.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Today's Praise: Deep Chocloate VitaTops

Today's Recipe: Eggplant Parmigiana

So let me start with these VitaTop things. I've seen these talked about on several forums I read, and I've even know people who have recommended them. But,until right now (I am about halfway through it), I hadn't actually tried one myself. Um three words: one point brownie! This thing is awesome. Cakey with chocolate chips, I heated it up in the toaster oven and it tasts like a warm will definitely appease any chocolate craving (and would probably go great topped with some ICE CREAM!). It even packs 6g of fiber, which now that I think about it will probably make me sh*t my brains out, but that's for a later report...and no High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which you will soon find out I think is the devil. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Apparently I'm a movie critic now. Holy crap (no puns now!) that thing was filling!

I am still working in this other office but am happy to report that it feels more like home down here...because its snowing. In Denver. Yep. In October! Anyway, last weekend I made a big tray of eggplant parm using an eggplant I got in my biweekly box of organic produce that gets dropped off at my door (more on that in future posts). The recipe below, adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe, is my version of this wonderfully filling lighter version of the italian delicacy.

Figure Friendly Eggplant Parm
1 medium raw eggplant, peeled
2/3 cup seasoned italian breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 large egg whites
1-1/2 to 2 cups tomato sauce*
2 T Grated Parmesan
1-1/3 cupes shredded part skim/2% Mozzarella cheese

So you first should understand that I'm italian and I DO NOT MEASURE. This is a no no in Weight Watchers land, but I can estimate well enough to adjust recipes and find out nutritional info.

Anyway....peel and slice the eggplant LONGWAYS into very thin slices. I used my mandolin and sliced them probably 1/4 inch thick. Beat the egg whites until slightly frothy in one plate. Put bread crumbs and garlic powder (to taste) on another plate. Do your dredging (egg first, then bread crumb). Put on a sheet tray sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes on each side or until crispy.

Get a 13x9x2 casserole dish and spray with cooking spray. Put a little sauce in the bottom and spread around. Take half of cooked eggplant and layer. Pour on some sauce (you judge how saucy you want it), then put on 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat with eggplant, then sauce, then cheese to cover the top and sprinkle with Parm. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cheese melts.

Makes 8 servings (3 points a piece).

Serve with a nice salad and you got a meal!

*You can use your favorite jarred sauce or homemade sauce. I make homemade sauce regularly and used that. When I feel that I'm ready to share that secret sauce with the world, I might just put it on here ;)

This will be my dinner tonight along with a salad of mixed greens, sunflower seeds, broken up Latitude 34 crisps (so many uses!) and some fat free dressing. Mmm.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Today's Praise: Latitude 34 Crisps (

Today's Recipe: Homemade Hummus

So I've been at this veggie thing for about two weeks, but now that I am blogging about it I feel like I'm more aware of what I eat from a veggie standpoint (I journal everything I eat anyway). One of the things that's also important to me is to be a veggie without eating all the processed meat substitutes that are out there. Not that I'll NEVER eat them, but I am much more into fresh ingredients.

I am working in a different office this week, about two hours away from home. I like to eat out, but not every day, so instead of using my per diem to eat out every night, I went hog wild in the Organic section of the grocery store. I also made some things at home and brought them with me, since I'm staying in a hotel with a kitchen.

One of my goodies is homemade hummus. Check it out:

One can of Chick Peas, drained and rinsed well
Two cloves of garlic
Lemon Juice
Olive Oil
Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped

Put garlic in food processor and mince. Add chick peas, about a tablespoon of lemon juice, tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and pulse away. Add water a little at a time to get the consistency you want. Adjust S&P to taste. Remove from food processor to bowl and mix in about 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons of the minced fresh cilantro. Serve with crackers and chopped up olives and veggies!

A few notes: Notice - no Tahini! Tahini is really expensive, and the only difference I notice is that the hummus comes out a little thicker and chunkier and less creamy when you eliminate the Tahini. I personally like it that way, but if you'd like to add a little Tahini go for it. I'd start with about a tablespoon. Also, I prefer to add the chopped cilantro outside of the food processor so that it stays in pieces throughout the hummus. If you add it while in the processor it will just turn your hummus green (if you like green food, go for it!)

This is on my lunch menu today along with some kalamata olives and some Sesame Crisps from Latitude 34 (these things are awesome - very Calorie friendly for Crackers!!).

Check them out and Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Thanks for checking out my blog and agreeing, in some way (?), to be part of my journey into the world of vegetarianism.

Like I said, I am a meat lover...but I've realized that eating meat isn't A. a necessity and B. the healthiest part of one's diet. Eating habits in the U.S. have put meat in the center stage of every meal, with portions that are outrageous in size. Americans get more than twice as much protien as is needed due to the large portions of meat that are eaten in this country. It has been proven that a more plant based diet has increased health benefits, so I am on track to find out if this is really true.

My start towards a veggie life started with the exclusion of red meat from my diet in an attempt to reduce the amount of cholesterol I was eating. Around the same time, I also saw the movie Food, Inc., which really opened my eyes to how industrialized agriculture is handled in this country. As cameras went inside meat packing plants and "free range" chicken houses, I saw that the animals are treated very inhumanely and the sanitation is appalling. So it is a combination of health and humanitarianism that has led me to the world of veggie (well technically pescatarian, because I will still eat fish and seafood).

Now that I have presented my soapbox, I will get off of it and start the lighter, poke fun at myself nature, this blog is intended to have!

Oh, I should also mention that I've also become an Organic "whore" for lack of a better word. Just call me Hippie from now on ;) I'm also a faithful Weight Watchers follower, and have lost 30 pounds in January 2009. I still have a little ways to until I reach my goal, so I may mention some of that from time to time as well!

A note: older posts than this Welcome were imported from a very short lived blog about my life in Colorado. I figured you might enjoy them too!


So I'm spending the week working in our Longmont, Colorado office, and I can summize it with a few words: I want to go home!

Every time I leave the mountains, I realize how much I love it there because its the only place I want to be. Longmont isn't even Denver, its a suburb way north of Denver and there is nothing here! Except for a.....drumroll....Ross Dress for LESS! I'll be hitting that up before I head back up the hill at the end of the week :)

I suppose its a good thing that I"m here in this boring town all alone staying in a boring hotel, because now I have no excuse not to study for the PE exam that is rapidly approaching!

I'll be back in the big Bean from October 20th through the 25th to take it. Although, my primary reason for coming back seems to be more to get through the exam so I can party with the old crew. Looking forward to seeing everyone while I'm back.

Beantown Pub Saturday, October 24 at 8pm. Be there or be square.

In other news, Angie is now a vegetarian :)

I stopped eating red meat a few months ago, which was easy because I had done that before...but I'm about two weeks into full vegie-ism, and so far I have no complaints!

Back to work at Initech. Hopefully once this exam study crap is over, I"ll post more on my blog because I"ll have all kinds of time to do NOTHING!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Well, summer went out with a bang here in the Rockies, giving us a nice big blanket of snow for our first snow in town. Not only did it snow in town, I would definitely call it a blizzard, and it snowed on and off for three or four days! Luckily, the sun returned and we saw a beautiful weekend. But, snow is on its way again Thursday - yay!

The resorts have started blowing snow and Loveland and A Basin will open within the next 2-3 weeks. I'm excited to get back on some snow, even if it is a white ribbon of death.

I enjoyed my first off pavement bike ride this past weekend (finally!) through some beautiful scenery on Boreas Pass Road.

Fall is a beautiful time of year here. Some say that it isn't as pretty as New England, but I beg to differ. I think its just as gorgeous, just in a different way!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day

Well, Labor Day weekend saw some fun times, especially since I had a four day weekend!

Friday, my friend Michelle and I went to the Taste of Colorado in Denver, where you walk around downtown and buy ridiculously priced bits of food from vendors representing Denver's many restaraunts. There are also crafters and artisans who are offering their cheesy goods for sale. And Grand Funk Railroad played...Everybody's doing a brand new dance now, come on the LOCOMOTION!

Of course the night ended with beers at the DAM followed by an unexpected trip to Bootleggers, a serious dive bar with a great band. I got to hang out with a cool guy and Michelle got a phone number. Well, I got a phone number FOR her after she left - when does that ever happen, a guy comes up and gives me a number for her. Totally random!

Saturday and Sunday were the Country Music Festival at Copper Mountain where I saw Little Feat, Oakhurst (hippy dancing), and America! Saturday night saw more drinks and dancing at Bootleggers amongst other things. I need to stop staying up until 3 am!

Monday was a trip to Denver for the Rockies game, which was a nice break from partying until 3am :) The Rockies won, whoo hoo (kinda).

Pictures to come!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Today is my one year anniversary of moving to Colorado!

Life has changed quite a lot over the past year, but there's one thing I can't deny: moving to Colorado was one of the best decisions I've ever made, and I am hoping to have many more anniversaries here and enjoy all this place has to offer for many years to come!

Monday, August 31, 2009

First Post of the New Blog

This past weekend I took my first backpacking trip ever. I've only ever camped outside in a tent once in my life, and that was during a canoe trip and we camped on the beach. My friend Michelle and I ventured into the Holy Cross Wilderness to do a loop trail called Missouri Lakes/Fancy Pass. We left Friday afternoon and hiked in about 3 miles and set up camp near one of the smaller Missouri Lakes. We set up the camp stove and made a yummy dinner, drank some wine, did a crossword, and watcher Michelle's dog Summit roll in some stinky animal crap (literally). The morning brought perfect blue skies which helped provide the perfect sky and mountain reflection on the crystal clear blue lake.

We set off about 10 am to complete the remainder of the 8 mile loop. The remaining five miles involved crossing two mountain passes: Missouri Pass and Fancy pass, both of which provided a good challenge of steep, rocky terrain. Descending Fancy Pass was also a challenge because of its steep, rocky, and loose skreet terrain. We saw a bunch of pika (hamster like rodents with big ears) and marmots (think woodchuck)along the hike. Pictures are available here:

Overall my assessment of backpacking is: it isn't easy - at all, but its definitely worth it. I'm looking forward to my next trip (once my feet and blisters heal) :)