Saturday, August 18, 2012

Currently obsessed with: Kombucha!

Just bought these three new flavors of kombucha to try!! So far I've only tried the gingerade flavor and the  grape chia flavor of this brand of kombucha - both of which I love and have purchased multiple times. Every time I buy kombucha, I seem to get this sense of both curiosity and disgust from the person who is checking my groceries... Apparently everyone has heard that this stuff tastes NASTY (unless I buy it from somewhere like Whole Foods or some vegan, hippie restaurant). From the two flavors I have tried, I honestly think they taste pretty awesome. Supposedly most people don't like the sour and vinegary taste of it... I've only tried this one brand (and again in gingerade and grape chia flavors) and they barely have any of a sour, vinegary taste. They have just a little bit of sourness that kind of makes it taste a little more refreshing, but they don't taste like you're drinking vinegar. Not sure if I believe all the health claims about kombucha (fight cancer, grow hair, stimulate immune system, + more), but when it tastes pretty awesome it doesn't hurt to keep drinking them just in case :)

We'll see how these other flavors taste this weekend... I'm excited.

Btw... it's 1am and I'm wide-awake with a serious headache.... I'm having a midnight snack of blueberries and Yogi Calming tea in one of my fun mugs from my collection - my Thing 2 mug I got from Universal Orlando! Actually, what am I talking about... all my mugs in my collection are fun. But this one does make me smile.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Thai-style" stir-fry

This is one my favorite things to make (and a favorite of my mom and my boyfriend also). I'm going to say it's a "Thai-style" stir-fry (with quotation marks) because it's really not Thai... Just something I kind of made up... But that flavors do taste very Thai! I think mostly the combination of chilis, mint, and oyster/fish sauce is what reminds me of Thai food. Overall, I think this is a pretty healthy meal - especially if you have it with some brown rice or any other rice with its husks (I had red rice) - but be careful to not over-do it with the oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sriracha! All of those have sugar in them!! So let's call this recipe Phase 3 South Beach diet - it doesn't have a LOT of sugar, but it's definitely there.

Putting this guy to work! Haha...

"Thai-style" Stir-Fry

-          Canola oil
-          Garlic, chopped
-          Ginger, chopped
-          Thai chilis, chopped
-          Tofu, cubed and dried (drain water then wrap in paper towels and place a heavy pan on top to squeeze out excess water)
-          Bell peppers, sliced
-          Onions, sliced
-          Ground turkey
-          Oyster sauce
-          Thai fish sauce
-          Sriracha
-          Fresh mint, roughly chopped
-          Green onion, chopped

1. I like to use two pans to cook everything separately then throw it all together at the end. Heat up a large saucepan at medium heat with some canola oil and lightly fry garlic and ginger to flavor the oil. When the garlic looks a little toasty (but not browned yet) add the thai chilis and continue to cook until the garlic is just starting to lightly brown. Remove garlic, ginger, and chilis from pan and set aside. Try to leave most of the oil in the pan.
2. Add tofu to the same pan and let them brown. Shake the pan around once in a while to make sure the tofu browns on all sides and doesn’t stick to the pan.
3. While browning the tofu, heat up a large wok to high heat. Add a little bit of canola oil and quickly sautee bell peppers and onions. Don’t cook them so long that they get soft – just enough to lightly cook them and keep a little bit of their crunchy texture. Remove bell peppers and onions from heat and try to leave the oil in the pan.
4. Turn down heat on wok to medium-high and add the garlic, ginger, and chilis that have been set aside and the ground turkey. Cook until the turkey is mostly cooked through then drain the extra liquid/fat that cooks out. Continue to cook until turkey is browned.
5. Check on the tofu. When all sides of the tofu are golden, add enough oyster sauce to lightly coat all of the tofu. Let the tofu continue to cook for another minute or two, so it soaks up the oyster sauce.
6. When turkey is browned and tofu is done, turn down the heat on the wok to low and add all set aside ingredients (tofu, bell peppers, and onions) to the wok with the turkey. Mix everything together and add a little more oyster sauce, a few dashes of fish sauce, and sriracha (if you want it a little spicier). Salt, if needed - although the oyster sauce and fish sauce are already pretty salty so make sure to taste before salting. Mix well to make sure everything is coated in the seasonings.
7. Turn off heat and add mint and green onions just before serving. Make sure to not let the mint and green onions sit in the pan to cook, so they stay fresh!

Our stir-fry with healthy red rice and decorative sriracha dots (the boyfriend's idea... haha)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Egg with Kale

One of my favorite things to eat for breakfast is over easy or sunny-side up eggs and popping the yolk over some rice (filipino style!) or soaking it up with lots of yummy soft bread - both rice and bread are off limits for phase 1.... When I first started dieting, I discovered a new way to eat one of my comfort foods - egg with the yolk popped over sauteed kale!

I like using kale over other leafy greens like spinach or chard because it still holds some nice texture when it's cooked. Popped yolk on soft sauteed spinach or chard just sounds like it would be slimy and less appetizing... I like to sautee the kale with some garlic and top the egg with a little fresh oregano from my yard. I also, like to use just one whole egg with an extra egg white to add more protein and make it more filling without the extra cholesterol you would get from an extra yolk. That's why the egg in the photo looks a little strange... hahaha... the white is really big compared to the yolk because there is an extra egg white cooked with it!

Monday, August 6, 2012


For some reason, I have a serious craving for waffles right now.... I want freshly made waffles topped with a fruit yogurt. MMMMMMMM. I LOVE fresh waffles with yogurt. It's something I've only ever eaten at hotel continental breakfasts - I'm not sure why I've never had it with yogurt when I've made waffles at home. I'm on the hunt for an awesome whole grain and/or multigrain waffle with reduced sugar and fat...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Shopping trip... all veggies!!

Cucumbers, cauliflowers, grape tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, red leaf lettuce, spinach, broccoli, celery, vine ripened tomatoes, frozen green beans, frozen okra, eggplant, zucchini, yellow summer squash, and pears! I guess pears aren't veggies, but whatev.... Kinda proud of myself! I didn't spend a lot of money and everything is healthy! I guess it wasn't too hard to do though... I do love my veggies. Tonight I'm going to start pre-chopping up a bunch of them for healthy snacks or to quickly throw in food I'm cooking.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dinner out with friends

I went out to eat with some friends the other day and because all of us are now on some sort of a diet, we couldn't do our usual Taco Tuesday. So we decided on hot pot at Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot YUMMMMMM!

It was all you can eat for only $20, so we did that - probably  not the best because we ended up eating a lot (haha) but we were easily able to accommodate for everyone's diets! That's usually extremely hard, so I'm very proud of us! And even if we all came out of the restaurant stuffed, most of what was filling us up was soup broth so that can't be TOO bad, right?!?! :D

We just got a bunch of different plates based on what everyone wanted. I leaned more towards eating lots of veggies and seafood and just a little bit of meat that wasn't too fatty. Some of our friends were avoiding all starchy foods including beans and certain veggies, but weren't avoiding fats so they ate lots of meats and leafy veggies. And all of us agreed on not getting any noodles.

We each had just one square (serving size on package is 3 squares) of Simply Lite dark chocolate for dessert :)