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Archive for March 19th, 2009

A sentence in a motivational book reads: Stress …”can be a good thing– a little stress can heighten your senses and productivity.”  That is very enlightening however, how do we keep it within the so called “good” limits?  Agonized:9824  Is it possible to simply check yourself back and think: “WHOA – Joanne!. You’re exceeding the healthy stress level so just relax a minute.”  Who is that talking anyway? What does SHE know? 

This is what SHE thinks SHE knows. 

  • Start by taking a deep breath and begin talking to yourself using all positive statements (don’t worry about those people staring). 
  • Express emotions and exhibit a positive attitude. Sometimes trying to boost someone else’s mood, helps boost your own. “When we take others under our wing, we grow as well”.
  • Exercise helps.  Try doing some physical activity at least 30 minutes a day. You can even do 3 x 10 minute walks. Easy? You betcha!
  • Eat foods that are protein rich, contain essential vitamins such as C, B, and A.
  • Don’t keep putting those challenges or boring jobs off.  They will nag at you and take up space in your thoughts. Just do them and get them over with.
  • Listen to your favorite music. Watch your favorite movie. Go for a massage. You deserve it.
  • Look forward to the learning experience every situation offers, negative or positive, it will allow you to grow.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep for your body and life style. 
  • People very often turn to alcohol or drugs to take them temporarily away from a difficult situation. That doesn’t work. It only causes unrealistic thoughts or solutions.  Stay in control.  Ask yourself, “have I ever failed me?”  Bet your answer is “No. I’ve always come through for myself”. 

Why the lecture?  Have you been listening to the news? It’s not an easy world these days.  Sometimes a little reminder that we need to take care of ourselves is helpful. That’s all folks! Bunny and carrot:9103

Leftovers …

Before turning to a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet a few years ago, left overs were always a turn off. Not now. There is something more tasty about a meal that was cooked the day before. Maybe it is the flavors having an opportunity to combine as they relax together in the refrigerator. There is no agitation by way of mixing or stirring, no heat, just nice cool air. The fridge is a SPA for leftovers! Who would have guessed?  On the beach:10713

In speaking of left overs, the stuffed peppers from last night hit the spot tonight. A side of cooked broccoli completed the dish.  It was a good, healthy meal all around.   NOTE:  If you see a bottle of “POM” in the background, it is a clue as to an upcoming blog.  Stay tuned!

Left over Greek Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Left over Greek Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Everyone in blog land, have a great night and remember…get plenty of rest and dream some happy dreams. Night- Night.

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This weeks recipe is hosted by The Healthy Hostess and can be found on page 188, of “The Food You Crave” by Ellie Krieger.

Starting at the end:  This was a very tasty dish.  It had a lot of flavor.  The problem was that the peppers did not cook down enough.  Was it in the time? They were cooked 45 minutes covered and 30 uncovered. Was it in the temperature?  The temperature was increased from 350 F, according to the recipe, to 375 F based upon the instincts of the cook.  Could it have been the lack of fat in the protein used?  The Vegetarian version (which had the “pepper” problem) used a soy based ingredient.  Oil was added but only to the mix. It is considered that the inside of each pepper half should have been oiled.

This CEimB follower changed one of the key ingredients in the recipe which was the bulgur wheat, preferring to stay away from it and finding substitutes whenever possible.  Not because it is disliked in regards to taste or texture, in fact a family favorite is Tabouli.  Tabouli is a Mediterranean salad with parsley, tomatoes, bulgur, lemon, garlic.  There is a preference to limit wheat consumption (all bets off on Friday – the official “stuff yourself silly” bread night 🙂  ) and find grain substitutes whenever possible due to recommendations from a personal trainer a few years ago.  So far, the wheat limitation has worked to help curtail a sometimes finicky stomach.  Choice grains are usually rice, oats, and quinoa.

Two versions of this recipe were made:  Vegetarian and Healthy Meat-eater*.  *Based on Tuesday night’s comments, better not try sneaking that soy stuff past Ted’s lips again. Trembled:9820

 These were the ingredients used.  

The oats are hiding behind the tomatoes... shy oats!

The oats are hiding behind the tomatoes... shy oats!

Even though two different versions were made, it would have been too much to double every ingredient so the quantities vary somewhat. The ingredient changes/additions are in red and green (Vegetarian).

  • 1 lb extra lean ground turkey breast/14 oz Gimme Lean Ground Beef Style
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • (2) 10 oz pkgs frozen spinach
  • (2) zucchini NOTE: 1 was used in both versions. The other was our side vegetable.
  • 3/4 large onion, chopped (should have been minced)
  • 1 cup oats (1/2 cup each version)
  • 1 egg and 1/2 cup eggwhites
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 TBS worchestershire sauce in the Turkey version
  • 5 peppers (multi colored)- not double
  • (2) 14 oz cans stewed tomatoes, no salt added
  • 2/3 cup reduced fat feta cheese

The cooking time was increased to 45 minutes covered, and 30 uncovered with an increase in oven temperature to 375 F.  That was because the recipe wasn’t read through first, thinking that the total cooking time was going to be 30 minutes. Whoops!!!

Comments from the “Chef”  😉   :

  • The spinach was allowed to defrost and drain all day over a bowl. That worked out well. Some additional moisture was pressed out before adding to the mixtures.
  • The zucchini grating was annoying. Mostly because more of it ended up on the countertop and floor than in the bowl.
  • The Worchestershire sauce was an after thought.  It seemed like a great idea.
  • The feta wasn’t measured. Reduced fat feta was used so more than 1/3 cup was probably distributed among the two dishes.
  • Multi colored peppers were used because they were “oh – so pretty“.
  • Good thing the recipe was double checked when there was a believed 15 minutes left on the timer.   It wouldn’t have been a good experience.

Meat/Turkey Version

Meat/Turkey Version

 

Comments from the Diners:

  • Taking off the foil to cook 30 minutes longer:  “Wow! These smell GREAT!”  Lucky for me, there was some feta stuck to the foil. YUM!
  • Vegetarian:  The peppers aren’t cooked. They’re hard.
  • Meat Version(Turkey): “Mmmmm…tasty.”
  • Speculated problem with the undercooked peppers: not enough fat to take on the heat in the oven and cook the peppers.  More EVOO should have been added, possibly to the inside of the peppers, as previously stated.

 

Meatless "Soy" Version of Stuffed Peppers

Meatless "Soy" Version of Stuffed Peppers

 

 

The result:  Since the peppers did not soften for the Vegetarian version, that dinner had to be microwaved. 😦    The Turkey version apparently was delicious.  The peppers did not soften too much but good enough, according to Ted.

There are ample left overs. Hope this meal freezes well.

Good pick!.  Thanks to “Healthy Hostess“.

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