Thursday, August 23, 2007

Curried Pork Salad

"Curried Pork Salad"??? What kind of name is that for a hearty, low-fat, Moroccan-inspired salad? Good lord, you'd think someone with a degree in creative writing could come up with something better than "Curried Pork Salad". But I can't.

This is low-fat and a hit with 10-year old and 36-year old boys.

Curried Pork Salad

2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon honey
red pepper flakes to taste
salt and black pepper
optional: fresh mint or cilantro, chopped

Whisk marinade, taste and adjust accordingly. Reserve one cup for dressing.

Four boneless pork loin chops, marinated in yogurt marinade for one to four hours.
Your favorite leaf lettuce (I like Costco's Organic Spring Mix)
One cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
One bell pepper, cored and chopped
Half a red or white onion, thinly sliced
One box of your favorite couscous, prepared
About two cups cooked lentils, warmed

Broil or grill the pork chops until cooked through. Assemble lettuce and vegetables in a large bowl, toss with salt & pepper. Place salad on individual plates, top with one cup warm couscous. Top that with 1/2 cup lentils. Drizzle with 1/3 cup dressing (DO NOT USE the marinade--that should be thrown away!). Slice one chop into thin slices and place on top of lentils. For garnish: diced red bell pepper. Makes four servings.

The Truth about Starbucks

I love my Starbucks. It's a guilty, guilty pleasure. I know I have to give it up, once and for all. I know this because it's disgustingly expensive. But more so because the drinks that I like are LOADED with sugar. I might as well pour my coffee over ice cream and call it a coffee sundae!

My daily coffee--a Venti Non-Fat, No-Whip Caramel Mocha. Yes, it has calcium. But it also has 375 calories and 3.5 grams of fat. And it costs $4.20 a day now that the price has gone up again.

Sigh. This morning's was my last.

(Have I mentioned that I'm down 15 pounds from pre-baby weight?)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Birthday Wishes

My birthday is coming up and I can't decide on what to do. It needs to be:

  1. something all three or four of us can enjoy (if I can't palm the baby off on family)
  2. not more than $100
  3. not crowded--Juiceboy hates a crowd
  4. no more than 50 minutes driving, so SF is in but Tahoe is out
  5. something where food or eating is involved...I think.
Some things I've been thinking about include a cheap lunch of sandwiches in a park and sending Fleagirl to a cooking class; a nice lunch in SF or Napa; finding someplace neat like Cowgirl Creamery to take a tour; a dinner in a dive after a movie.

I don't really want any presents this year--I need to buy new shoes and get my hair done before I go back to work in September, so I basically will buy myself my b-day present.

Anyone have good ideas for a good family b-day activity?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

True Confessions: Bagged Salad

I have a confession to make. I've been buying pre-made bagged salads for the past month. It goes against everything I strive to achieve. It's cheap produce that's expensive simply because it's washed and put in a bagged "kit" for me. On sale, a bag costs about $3.50. For that much, couldn't I shred some fresh carrots, chop some romaine and red cabbage, throw in a handful of sugar snap peas, won ton strips, and ten dried cherries? Well, yes, probably. Dressing would be a problem (we all like the dressing in the Asian Supreme bag very much) but I'm sure I could work it out.

So why don't I go to the local farmstand and buy fresh and local? Why do I spend so much for salad that only has flavor because of the dressing?

Because of the convenience. Now, Deborah of Play with Food might argue with me about how convenient this food is. But I can honestly say that in the past three weeks, there's no way salad was going to be made by anyone unless it was super easy. Today I used the last of my bags--and with it made a promise to the local farmers that I'll be by this week.

Notice on my shopping list I *don't* have "Salad Bags"!

(If you do succumb to the lure of the bagged salad, forego the Salsa variety of the Fresh Express brand. We all thought it tasted quite odd--there was too much dressing, the tortilla strips seem almost meaty, and the dressing is too much like a thick thousand island sour cream.)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Breastfeeding: What Not to Eat

There's lots of tips on what you should eat and drink when you're breastfeeding. But not a lot out there on what *not* to eat so that your baby isn't gassy and cranky all night long.

Here's the start of what I hope is a SHORT list:

What Not to Eat When Breastfeeding
Sauerkraut (made him incredibly gassy)

11/10/07: I've discovered that the Baby is generally gassy and cranky. In the first two months I all but cut from my diet:

and of course, sauerkraut.

Eventually, his dad found that he was better on formula--but only slightly better, and it has to be soy-based.

Now, this Baby is thriving. At 3.5 months, he's about 27 inches and 19.5 pounds. HUGE. He's in 9 month clothing. I've started thinking about feeding him rice cereal, as he's drinking us out of house and home!

Friday, August 10, 2007

What's on Your Grocery List?

Our grocery list is growing. Even though my mother-in-law was really kind and brought us a ton of ham, frozen chicken, and pasta sauce, I still have a rapidly growing grocery list.

Grocery list as of 8/10:

tortilla bread (Oroweat Outlet)
milk (Costco)
Special K w/berries (Costco)
Mini-Wheats (Costco)
boullion cubes
olive oil
tortilla chips
dried cranberries
chicken broth
tinned tomatoes
peanut butter (Costco)
tomato sauce
tom. paste
shredded carrot
clothes pins (Target)
red onion
frozen fruit (Trader Joes or Costco)
cocoa powder
honey (Costco)
AA batteries (Costco)
eggs (Costco)
nectarines or peaches
toothbrushes (Target)
draino (Target)
jemima paper
decent vinegar
green chiles
school lunch stuff

It's such a huge list that I'm going to wait till payday--I haven't even gone through and *made* a list yet. This is just stuff we've run out of in the past two and a half weeks. I meant to go shopping before the baby came. Hahahahaaaa.

Monday, August 06, 2007

About the Baby

Thanks for all your kind emails. Here's the scoop on this little burrito.

Dylan was born two weeks ago and weighed 8lbs 9oz and was 21.5 inches. He weighed in last week at just over 9lbs (good boy!) and has been enjoying a milk diet. I have lost a total of 30 pounds in just two weeks and am pretty much exhausted.

Food these days is a bowl of frosted mini-wheats with 1% milk for breakfast, a peanut butter & honey sandwich for lunch, and whatever is put in front of me for dinner. Tonight I think I actually have to cook, since I said today would be good for kielbasa & pierogies (it's about 57 degrees here in sunny Northern California). Though what I really want is a big guacamole burger from Carl's Jr. Or a bowl of soup.

I'm off to take a nap before the little blighter wakes up.