regular vs. instant

You know what the difference between instant & regular rice is?

……..about 40 minutes.

Monday night I planned on making the Cajun jambalaya, it looked really good, and super easy to make. I came home from work, lounged on the couch until Chris got home, then started dinner.

I pulled up the recipe on my computer and started getting out all the ingredients.

Cajun Jambalaya  from Clean Eating Mag 

  • 1/2 lb raw shrimp, 26/30 size, peeled and deveined, tail on
  • 4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 all-natural low-sodium turkey sausage, sliced
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and discarded, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 medium vine-ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt-free Cajun seasoning
  • 1 cup all-natural instant brown rice
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil cooking spray

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss together all ingredients except cooking spray, mixing well until combined.
  3. Prepare 2 foil pouches. Spray each piece of foil with cooking spray. Divide mixture evenly among both pieces of foil and seal.
  4. Place pouches on a baking tray and slide onto middle rack of preheated oven for 25 minutes or until rice and proteins are fully cooked. (NOTE: When cooked, rice will be soft and proteins will be firm and opaque.) To test for doneness, carefully open 1 pouch and taste a few grains of rice from the center of the pouch. If necessary, close pouch and return to oven for 5 more minutes.
  5. Carefully open pouch and pour mixture into a large serving bowl; serve immediately.

SO I started dicing and chopping and adding everything to the bowl. Dump in the rice, put everything in the foil packets, put it in the oven. BAM. done.

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25 minutes later, pull it out of the oven, open the packets.

RICE IS NOT COOKED.

Chris says, “was it supposed to be instant rice?”

  • 1 cup all-natural instant brown rice

Oh… yep. $#%^$#%^%^&^%!@# —- Chris suggests dumping everything into some boiling water so that the rice can cook. Good plan, but I’m pretty sure the shrimp is going to be super duper well done.

I put about 2 cups of water in a pot, let it boil, then dumped the foil packets into the water. I didn’t time it, but they probably simmered for about 30 minutes before the rice was done.

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It was salvaged, and was actually pretty tasty. Chris said he would eat it this way again. I would to, except next time I won’t put so much creole seasoning. Whew, way to spicy for this pregnant lady. I was already having some weird heart burn/acid reflux thing before we sat down to dinner.

and now I’m going to lay in bed with my new snoogle and read.

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Have you ever screwed up a recipe? Was it salvageable?

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Meal Plan Monday

Yep, it’s that time again; Monday, time to go back to work, and do work things.

Sunday morning I woke up at 7 absolutely starving. I got up, made coffee, then laid in bed, watching TV for a little while longer. I was hoping the TV would wake Chris up.. That’s mean, isn’t it? He is the weekend breakfast maker, and like I said, I was hungry! I was out of bagels, and he told me Saturday night he would make some pancakes! He finally rolled out of bed at 8 and made us some breakfast – by then even baby P was starving!

I spent the rest of the morning making my grocery list, coloring my hair & getting ready to go to town to pick out paint colors & go grocery shopping.

sunday am1

Moving on to the real point of this post; Instead of browsing pinterest for hours on end, I went right to the Clean Eating Magazine website and found a few new recipes that would be budget & time friendly. The last three recipes came from Clean Eating Magazine.

Crockpot chicken
spaghetti & meatballs
roasted veggies & bleu cheese pasta salad
Cajun jambalaya
Spanish scramble

Cheeries x 2 $1.99/ea on sale 2.00/ea
Elbow noodles $1.49  
Rotelle noodles BOGO BOGO (1.49)
Flt brd crackers $3.69  
Cranberry juice 2.95  
Mustard $2.19 on sale .50
tomato sauce x2 1.29 2/$1.29
diced tomatoes .89  
vinaigrette $2.15  
tortilla chips $3.49 .50
tomato soup 4pk $3.89  
onion bagels $1.00 .70
1/2lb shrimp 4.23 usually 9.99/lb
ground beef (1.07lb) $4.19  
greek yogurtx4 1.25/ea  
bleu cheese 2.39  
grape tomatoes 2.50 2 for $5
cajun sausage $5.99  
eggplant 1.23lb $2.20  ($1.70/lb)  
eye drops $7.29 after coupon $2 coupon
gallon bags $1.99  

We stopped at the produce stand and I got 2 tomatoes, 2 zucchini & 1 red onion for $4.

I spent about $71 on groceries this week. Not to shabby. 

The price of chicken has gone up in our area (or maybe Florida in general); along with gas prices.. but that’s another complaint. The last two weeks it’s been $4.59/lb, which is up by about $1.10/lb. It’s been a month or so since I’ve bought chicken, but I was talking to some friends today and they commented about the price of chicken going up.

So I’m curious, how much is boneless/skinless chicken breast in your area. Has the price gone up? Is there something happening that I don’t know about? Should I become a vegetarian? JUST KIDDING. I love steak and shrimp to much..and sushi, and… well, meat.

Happy Monday, Friends!

Meal Plan for July 15-19 & other randoms

Meal planning is more cost effective, but I’m finding it very challenging. Maybe it’s because some foods just don’t sound very good, or I’m just out of cooking practice, but I sat around for way to long on Sunday morning trying to figure out what I was going to make for the rest of the week.

I only came up with 4 meals, so this means I’ll end up having to go back to the grocery store sometime this week, which is what I’m trying to avoid. Multiple trips to the store = spending more money.. and with a baby on the way, I’m trying to be more cautious of what we spend.

Nothing exciting, and all that healthy, but that’s what we’re having.

I also went grocery shopping on Sunday, and I thought I would share my list w/ prices. I’m always fascinated by the cost of living in other places (I’ve never lived anywhere but central Florida).

whole wheat bread (2 loaves)    $3.49 (BOGO)
baby bel cheese                            $3.00
eggs 12XL                                     $2.99
baby carrots 16oz                       $1.50
case bottle water                         $4.49
fresh shrimp 1lb                          $8.07
bag of peppers                             $3.99
asparagus                                      $2.93
fajita mix                                      $2.50
chicken pot pie box(4)              $7.99
romaine lettuce (bag)               $3.99
mexicorn (2)                               .89/ea
lime                                              .25
plain Fage                                  $1.20
avocado                                      $1.50
nekot cookies                           $3.09    (chris takes these in his lunch)
black beans                              $.69
tomato sauce                           $.69
cheddar cheese(block)          $3.29
red grapes (1.77lb)               $3.52
ground beef x2                      $4.89 & $4.80
Total                                       77.01

OTHER RANDOMS

We recently upgraded our cable to the larger channel package and while I can usually find something to watch, it’s annoying to pay so much money for something and still struggle to find something to watch.

Shows I’m currently addicted to:

Dog & Beth: On the Hunt
Swamp People
Duck Dynasty
Flats Class (fishing show)
Deadliest Catch
Rizzoli & Isles

Books I’m reading:

None; any recommendations? I have a few pregnancy related books on my amazon wish list..

 

What is your go-to meal for lazy days or when you’re feeling uninspired?

meal planning difficulties

well, well, well, what do we have here? Sunday afternoon already? nooooooooo !!!!  I’m so not ready for Monday to be here.

 

Today has been a fairly lazy day – didn’t go to the gym (again). Got up around 8, made some oatmeal & coffee for breakfast, took the dogs out, proceeded to freeze, ran back upstairs, put more clothes on, drank more coffee & started to plan our meals.

I’ve really been struggling with dinner time – more accurately, I’ve been struggling to feed Chris at dinner time. I eat pretty much the same meals over & over again (and I’m fine with that). But Chris, he doesn’t care to eat tilapia & asparagus for dinner. ever. at all. He doesn’t like it.

 

So over the course of the last few weeks (when he’s home) he’s had the most random, off the wall meals – whatever we had in the pantry/fridge was what he got. That doesn’t really seem fair since I’m eating what I want to eat. The poor guy travels more than he’s home & he eats out every meal when he is traveling. The guy needs some good home-cooked meals, not random crap thrown together.

With that in mind, I got to work planning some dinners for the next two weeks. Will Chris be home? Who knows; Your guess is as good as mine, but if he is, I’ll have something good for him to eat!

On our his menu I have:

shredded chicken taco bowl
home made sloppy joes on bread thins
steak n potatoes
Cajun chicken bowl

 

Mini meatloaf
ground beef tacos (lentil for me)
chicken fried rice/quinoa
minestone soup
sweet potato/black bean chili

shrimp stir fry w/ green peppers/broccoli/brown rice & spinach
pork tenderloin
breakfast (grits, eggs, bacon)


I think that’s a pretty good mixture of meals, and he will appreciate not eating grilled cheese & scrambled eggs for dinner every night he’s home Thinking smile  — It is likely that I will make each of those things fit into my meal plan.

grocery trip march 3Another reason for meal planning is to cut back on my trips to the grocery store – it is embarrassing how many times a week I go to Publix – The cashier have actually started to make comments – I know they are kidding, but it embarrasses me. If I planned better, I wouldn’t need to go to Publix every other day, and I’d probably save some money!

Today I went to Target for the bulk of our groceries, I hit up a roadside produce stand for some fresh produce, and then Publix for the things that I couldn’t/won’t buy from Target. We don’t have a super duper Target, so some items aren’t available in the grocery section – like vegetable broth (weird, but true).

Now I’m off to plan my workouts for the week, and get some studying done for my upcoming exam!!

I’ll leave you with a few other pictures from the weekend

march weekend 1

 

Planning makes life easier

I recently started reading this blog (and following her on FB), Laura must lose weight; On Sunday she mentioned that she was planning her meals & workouts for the week because it makes sticking to a routine so much easier.

good idea, Laura.

Remember when I used to meal plan? That was like 100 years ago. With Chris working out of town so much I got lazy with meal planning. Now he’s home, and I’ve still been lazy.

imageWith marathon training starting today, my workouts are pretty much planned for me until November 25th, which is fine with me, but I’m still going to write them down.

Don’t worry, there are no goals being revealed on that screen shot… bahahahah! Only a handful of people know my goals right now. It’s to early to tell the world what my goals are. I need to get a feel for some longer run first.

Meal Plan: July 9th – July 15th
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Whole grain rotini w/ squash, zucchini & kale + tuscan italian dressing
Veggie egg white stirfry
Grilled Chkn w/ brussel sprouts & carrots
Chicken Chili
Whole Wheat Veggie Pizza

 

Space Coast Marathon Training: Week 1
Monday: 30 min stationary bike + weights (plan says 4 mi run, but I’m sore from yesterday)
Tuesday: 6 mile intervals (we’ll see how I’m feeling)
Wednesday: Cross-Train .. probably 30-45 minutes on the bike + weights
Thursday: 6 mile tempo – I asked someone to run at the Preserve by my house. We’ll see.
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 10 miles
Sunday: rest  BEACH DAY WITH JENNYKINS!!!

So that’s the plan for this week. We’ll see how it goes. My legs are feeling sore & tired from this weekends runs so I’m playing this week by ear feel.

Today I got in a good 30 minute ride on the stationary bike; I ended up with 7 miles. I also did a short weight lifting session in the privacy of my own bedroom. It went like this:

IMG_2277[1]


I realize I’m not a culinary genius, but dinner tonight was so fast & easy I need to tell you about it.

Pasta & veggies are my favorite summer time meal; My original plan was to make quinoa stuffed peppers, but with a bake time of 1 hour, it wasn’t happening tonight. Instead I whipped up this easy pasta with zucchini, squash, and the kale was a last minute “OH I NEED TO USE THIS BEFORE IT GOES BAD” addition.

DSCN2033

Pasta + Veggies = Love    (Serves 3-4) (depending on your serving size.. with my Dad & Chris in the house we only got 4 out of it)

12oz whole grain rotini
2 zucchini cut into bite size pieces
4 little squash cut into bite size pieces
Kale  – I just used what I had left. I don’t know how much it was
red wine vinegar ( a dash or 5)
1-2 tbsp EVOO
Italian dressing

1. heat EVOO in skillet then add veggies. Saute till they are nice & soft
2. Cook rotini until desired tenderness
3. Throw it in a bowl
4. dash a little italian dressing on your serving & chow down.

I know it’s not complex, and anyone can put that together, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the complex recipes I see on blogs, so I thought I’d share a really easy, and relatively healthy meal that we enjoy.

 

I’m done. Headed to make a cup of Sleepytime Vanilla tea & read a book.

get it together

What a great weekend! It was totally relaxing (except for the part where I spent a few hours cleaning the house).. but other than that, it was nice & relaxing.

Monday Tuesday is here, and with Monday Tuesday brings last weeks recap, and a new meal plan. I’ve been slacking on the meal planning – well, I haven’t been putting it on the blog, but I’ve still been planning meals. It’s the only way I can stay in my grocery budget.

Let’s look at last week’s miles:

What should have been & what actually happened

Monday –  5  actual 3 – thank you creeper
Tuesday – 6 – actual 6
Wednesday-  rest actual 3  I wanted to make up the miles from Monday
Thursday- 5 actual was 5
Friday- rest yup, I rested
Saturday- 10 actual 10.. harder than I anticipated but still 10
Sunday- rest for sure rested. my legs were done

Total actual miles – 27

That’s a pretty good week of training (for me). 

image

This week is an easy week with all runs being at a slow, relaxed pace and without my garmin.

Monday, Thursday & Saturday are rest days
Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday are 3 mile days
Sunday is race day

After this race I want to work on increasing my mid-week miles. Unfortunately, this time of year is probably not the best time to try and start increasing miles, only because it gets dark so early. Running more than 5 or 6 miles before dark is difficult. This might be easier to accomplish if I could get out the door for a run in the morning. It would seem that no time of year is really a good time to run; it’s either to hot, or get dark to early. I guess I’m going to have to decide which one I hate less. This is a something I need to think about ,and re-visit after this weekend.

Meals

This week brings nothing but easy meals. I didn’t feel like scouring the interwebz or cookbooks for new recipes this week so I’m sticking with some oldies, but goodies.

grilled buffalo chicken w/ carrots
spaghetti
chili
sausage w/ peppers & onions

and I’ll have to come up with one other meal, maybe left over spaghetti or chili. I’ll be out of town Saturday night, and possibly Sunday night at dinner time, so Chris will have to fend for himself.

Organized hoarding:

Sunday I watched hours of Extreme Couponing on TLC. hours. It was the only thing on. I can’t understand the obsession with having that much crap in your house. No way. I could understand an extra couple of body washes, soaps, canned goods.. but entire rooms/garages dedicated to extra stuff. No. Even if it’s free. I don’t care. I don’t have enough time, or patience for that mess. Plus, there are no stores locally that have the kind of in-store programs that these people seem to be taking advantage of.

Chris told me that he wouldn’t mind if we had a small stockpile. I just stared at him. I would agree with have a small amount of canned goods, and some water stored. But, I don’t need half my house full of stuff I won’t be alive long enough to use.

How do you feel about extreme couponing? Organized hoarding? or Necessary?

plans, plans, plans

My life revolves around plans. Meal plans, training plans, weekend plans, work plans.

It’s okay though, because I love planning things out.

I seriously can’t believe that August has come and gone. This year is flying by! Chris always tells me the older you get, the faster time goes. I think he might be right – but never tell him I told you that.ever.

August saw some improvement on the running front. My mileage increased a little bit, and I had some great workouts.

I ran a total of 54 miles in August, which is a slight increase from July. Obviously the mileage is not ideal, but it’s better than it’s been in months.

2011_training

 

Last week however was not so stellar in the running department.

weekly workout recap

(actual in bold)

Monday: 3mi + weights/pushups    3.6mi run treadmill
Tuesday: Xtrain                     circuit workout
Wed: 6mi + pushups                rest
Thurs: 3mi + weights               rest
Friday: rest                        rest
Saturday: 8 mi                     8 mi w/ running group
Sunday: 3mi + pushups             rest

(I am super duper awesome at resting, aren’t I?)

yah. running 2 days, and xtraining one day isn’t exactly awesome. but, it is what it is.

plan it out then work it out

Monday: xtrain – upper body
Tuesday- 5mi
Wednesday: 3mi
Thursday: 4mi
Friday: Rest or xtrain
Saturday: 8-9mi w/ running group
Sunday: 3mi recovery
total: 23-24mi

Weekly meal plan

  • whole wheat pizza with green peppers, onions, red peppers, turkey sausage & turkey pepperoni (monday night)
  • shepherds pie w/ ground turkey
  • veggie fajitas
  • minestrone soup
  • honey mustard chicken w/ broccoli
  • chicken w/ balsamic onions & parmesan potatoes
  • sausage & veggie pita sammie

Two of the meals are from last week that we didn’t make. It seems kind of wrong to be making soup since it’s still so hot out, but I’m working on getting into the fall spirit.

I even went to joAnns, target, big lots, and the dollar tree looking for some cute, but not to cheesy fall décor.

I think I love pumpkins.

I didn’t find any décor, well I did, but it was more than I wanted to pay at big lots and target didn’t have much out yet. I’m thinkin’ I’m going to go with some kind of pumpkin theme.

WHO AM I? I’ve never wanted to decorate before. I want cute little decorative hand towels.

Do you decorate for the seasons? holidays? I’ve only ever decorated for Christmas.

Hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day

Plan it out

plan-it-out-then-work-it-out_thumb1

Monday: 3mi + weights/pushups
Tuesday: Xtrain
Wed: 6mi + pushups
Thurs: 3mi + weights
Friday: rest
Saturday: 8 mi
Sunday: 3mi + pushups

total: 24 miles

Along with planning out my workouts, I plan out meals. I think the idea of planning out a menu is a little restrictive for some. I could see how it would be restrictive for families on the go, or for more creative types. But, since I am neither of those the menu planning works out really well for me.

Weekly meal plan

fried fish & grits
pumpkin black bean soup
chicken w/ balsamic onions & parmesan potatoes  (rachel ray magazine)
veggie fajita burrito  (rachel ray magazine)
spaghetti
flat bread pizza with spinach

 

Tonight we had fish & grits. Occasionally some of the guys that work with my Dad stay over bc it’s a long drive back to where they live… So tonight we cooked up a big mess of fish & grits. That’s the bomb y’all, fish and grits is the tits. mmmmm

Daily work out

Y’all will be happy to know that I ran outside for the first time since July. Oh yes. outside. and it was hot as heck. oh man was it hot. 

I left the house a little before 6. It was a little cloudy with a slight breeze so I thought it would make for a cool(er) run. wrong.

My schedule says 3 miles so I set out for a little 3 mile jaunt. the first 1/2mi was a little rough. My knees were stiff and achy. I am kind of wondering if it’s my shoes, or if I’ve just adjusted to running on the treadmill. I’m hoping it’s the latter for at least another month or so.

I stopped to stretch around 1/2mi and that seemed to loosen up my knees. The last 2 miles were uneventful. Over all a decent run. I am happy to have put my shoes back out on the pavement. My time was 28:32,, 9:30.  good enough. Plus 20pushups x 2 sets.

living life, one pushup at a time

Planning it out

Monday is here and so it’s back to work I go. This week is a light load at work. A few patients, some quickbooks stuff to be done, and some accounts that need to be followed up on. Oh, and patient statements have to be sent out. Ugh. I really dislike sending out patient statements, but we have to get paid somehow, right?

Since it’s Monday I decided I should probably plan for this week. Meals, working out, and whatever else needs to be done this week.

Weekly meal plan

I really enjoy meal planning, but I’ve been slacking lately. For us, not planning meals means eating poorly and spending more money than we should on groceries. Not planning means that I’m stressing out at 4:45pm trying to figure out what to have for dinner. Not meal planning means we end up eating tuna wraps for dinner 3 times in one week. It means that Chris has to buy his lunch because there are no leftovers for him to take. Not meal planning is bad business in the LIBK household. I’m not the type that can come up with a good meal on a whim. I need a plan.

Yesterday morning I woke up early(er) and set to work getting a grocery list together and list of meals that I will prepare during the week. I had a few ideas while we were driving back from Clermont Thursday night after our return from the bahamas, and I had another idea Saturday night on our drive home from clermont after hanging out w/ my sister. So, I had two meals, just a few more to go.

I enjoy sitting in front of my computer, and cooks books browsing around looking for something delicious and healthy to make. While I was in the Bahamas I read Tina’s book Carrot’s ‘N Cake. Her book really opened my eyes to a lot of things in my life (more on that in a review I’ll do soon). So, I’m on a mission to make healthier meals. We will still splurge on things like meatloaf & mashed potatoes, or chicken & yellow rice occasionally, but I really want to get our diet under control.

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This week we will have:

So, there you have it. That’s only 5 meals, and there are 7 days, so we will have to figure something out for the other 2 days. Like I said, we have a crap ton of fish in our freezer right now.

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evidence of the insane amount of fish in our freezer. There are more bags behind what you can see there. We have mahi mahi, grouper, snapper, and who knows what else. I love fish, so I’m not complaining at all.

 

and now: two fun pictures from Sunday’s Funday

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getting a massage from Kailyn! Child-labor Winking smile

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CANNONBALL!!!

What’s on your menu for this week? Anything I should put on my menu for next week?

Eatin’ through life, one day at a time!