Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kale and Wine

The two main components of dinner tonight! And not just the wine I'm drinking. As a pre-dinner snack, I made some kale chips using a huge bunch of kale that I got at the store yesterday. I removed the center ribs from half the kale and left the leaves whole. Then brushed them with EVOO and salt & pepper and roasted them on 2 baking sheets at 250º for 25 - 30 minutes.

These were a tasty snack! Really crunchy and salty. Definitely a good way to use kale, which isn't the tastiest vegetable out there, but is ridiculously good for you. For dinner - more kale! I chopped and braised the rest with white wine and vegetable broth. I also made a Warm Tomato Dressing from Martha Stewart Living made with red wine, and served that over baked polenta rounds and roasted pollock.

Now I'm eating my nightly piece of dark chocolate with...more red wine! We'll be heading out soon to meet our friends.
Have a good night!

Ah, Saturday

I love Saturday mornings! Lounging around, listening to NPR, cooking a big breakfast. You can't beat it. This morning I got up and started our tea ritual.

I brew my tea in a big pink mug, and Derek makes his in a little pot. I bought him this chicken tea cozy made from recycled wool sweaters for his birthday. For Christmas, my friend Lucy gave us an electric tea kettle, which I love! It uses less electricity than heating up the stove to boil a kettle, and it boils water really fast. Derek rigged up a little plug system on top of the fridge, so we can unplug the kettle when we're not using it. I try to do that with all our small appliances, cause even if something is off it can still waste a small amount of electricity if its plugged into an outlet.

For brunch (we ate around 11AM - during "Car Talk"!) I made a mushroom and feta frittata with fresh thyme and rosemary.

I divided the frittata (made with 4 eggs) in half and served it with toasted rosemary garlic bread.

Not a bad way to start the weekend! After breakfast, I hit the gym and pounded out 4 miles on the treadmill at 6MPH. Then I came home and did some upper and lower body and core work with my 10 pound free weights. Post workout I made a delicious yogurt bowl - with a cherry on top!

I combined 1 cup plain non-fat yogurt, 1 sliced banana, Kashi Go Lean, 1/2 Tbs toasted wheat germ, and the last drizzle of my Valentine's Day cherry sauce.

Now I'm running to the mall to pick up a present. After dinner, we're joining some friends on a birthday pub crawl! We'll be joining rather late in the crawl - they started at 3PM!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Working for the Weekend

So happy its the weekend! I'm really going to enjoy a couple days off. Well, mostly off. I'm sure I'll be doing work over the next 2 days.

So, I did not get to eat my orange this afternoon! I had to run out of the office early to deal with a work firedrill so I didn't have a chance to eat it. After I finished running around the city, I made it to the grocery store. I was starving by then! I meant to take some photos of my loot but in my hungry haze I was in too much of a rush to get dinner going.

I munched on a dried mango slice and a few roasted almonds while I cooked. I was totally craving healthy veg, so I made a roasted vegetable gratin.

These are the vegetables after roasting.

And then the assembled cooked gratin.

Roasted Vegetable Gratin

2 small sweet potatoes, cubed
1 fennel bulb, halved and thickly sliced
1 lb brussel sprouts, halved
1 red pepper, sliced
2 tbsp EVOO
salt & pepper
1 cup drained & rinsed canned chickpeas
1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
6 oz. chopped fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • Preheat oven to 450º
  • Toss vegetables with EVOO and salt & pepper
  • Spread fennel and sweet potatoes on one baking sheet, and brussel sprouts and red peppers on a second baking sheet
  • Roast vegetables for 20 - 25 minutes until caramelized, tossing vegetables and rotating pans in oven half way through
  • Oil a 2 QT gratin dish
  • Spread sweet potatoes and fennel in bottom of dish, then toss with half of chickpeas and half of chopped thyme
  • Sprinkle layer with half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan
  • Spread brussel sprouts and red peppers over cheese, then cover with remainder of chickpeas and thyme
  • Sprinkle top of gratin with remaining mozzarella, bread crumbs, and remaining Parmesan
  • Reduce oven to 400º and bake gratin for 15 - 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
I completely made this dish up, and it totally hit the spot!  This should have served 4, but we ended up eating 2/3 of it.  The boy will eat the last serving while I'm away next week.  I had a glass of chardonnay while cooking and with dinner. Derek and I have been experimenting with our cameras, to figure out the best way to photograph my food.  Here's one I took...

and here's his...

I think his is better.  He's definitely a better photographer than me.  After washing the dishes I had a piece of Taza chocolate while I finished off my wine.  Now we're watching the season finale of Top Chef!  We're in a pool, so we've got money riding on this.  Derek picked Hosea and I have Stefan (I had to pick him cause he's Finnish like me!).  I can't think of a better way to spend a Friday night...

Home Again

It was so nice to sleep in my own bed last night! And to be back to a somewhat normal eating regimen. I'm gong to try to eat as much veggies as I can this weekend before I head to LA next week.

The Fiance wondered if I'm going to mention what I do for work on my blog - I work for an advertising agency and produce TV commercials. So the traveling I do is mostly to shoot and edit commercials. I was actually shooting food last week! I don't travel a ton - but its becoming more frequent as I work on bigger projects. And I'm definitely going to have to figure out how to balance the travel with healthy, clean living!

So, as I expected I opened up an empty fridge this morning. Luckily I had the fruit I stole from set yesterday. For breakfast I packed some tupperware with the last of a tub of nonfat plain Stonyfield Farms yogurt, some Kashi Go Lean cereal, and a plum. Also brought an orange for a snack. Here it is un-assembled in my kitchen...

And mixed together at work...

I also had my morning cup of earl grey with skim milk. I keep a big mug at my desk so I don't have to use the paper cups at the office. Also have a stash of Trader Joe's Earl Grey in my desk, but drink the company supplied Lipton sometimes too.

I took my morning vitamins, that I try to take every day but don't always succeed. I take a multi, B Complex (to make up for the lack of red meat in my diet), and D (aids in the absorption of Calcium - and I don't get much from the sun!).

Normally I bring my lunch to work, but there just wasn't anything at home for me to pack today. I try to transport all my food in re-usable containers, not sandwich bags or plastic wrap. Sometimes I use tin foil but I usually re-use it multiple times! I don't like to bring home piles of dirty tupperware, so I try to wash all my dishes at work and keep a dish towel at my desk to dry them. Saves paper towels! Here are my clean breakfast dishes and my towel.

I drink water all day long and always have to have my 32oz (BPA free!) Nalgene with me. So, for lunch I ventured all the way down to the first floor of my building to get Cosi's "signature light" salad.

This salad has mixed lettuce, pears, red grapes, dried cranberries, pistachios, blue cheese, and a light sherry vinaigrette. The salad also comes with a piece of whole wheat Cosi flatbread - its really tasty but definitely covered in salt and oil. Whenever I buy lunch, I don't get it in a bag or take napkins and utensils. No need to waste the paper bag when I'm just carrying it up to my office. And I keep a cloth napkin and re-usable utensils at my desk to use for all my meals. I'll also wash out this plastic salad container and recycle it!

I'll be eating the orange in a bit as an afternoon snack. Then I'm going to the grocery store after work to stock the fridge for the weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Leavin on a Jet Plane

Hopefully jumping on a plane in a couple hours and heading back to Boston. Here are my last meals of the day...

Lunch was paninis from a place called Bread, a special request from the client. Mine had shrimp, avocado, arugula, and some spicy mayo. With a little side salad.

Around 3PM I had another cup of earl grey with a little pecan cheesecake devil. Yum. I've been picking all afternoon, and won't be having a real dinner. Stole a couple pieces of fruit for the trip.

See ya back in Beantown!

The Last Supper

We're supposed to head home from New York today, if all goes as planned, so last night was my last huge glutunous meal!  For a few days at least.  I head to LA on Monday, so it will be back to eating out all the time.  But I'm hoping to at least spend the weekend eating normal healthy food.

Last night we went to yet another great restaurant.  And small, rustic Italian place called Il Buco:

They had a small list of entrees, and a large selection of seasonal appetizers. Of the mutliple appetizers we ordered, I had a wedge of radiccio pizzette, some butternut squash polenta, and a piece of grilled octopus with a chickpea and fennel salad:

As you can see the restaurant was again very dark. Didn't get great pictures of the food - or of Kirsten Dunst sitting at the next table! She was sitting facing me right over the shoulder of the woman I was sitting across from. It was hard not to stare. She's actually quite cute in person. We couldn't tell if she was drinking a cocktail or not (I think she recently went through rehab). I think it was a soda. I had 2 glasses of red wine. I am not in rehab.  Yet.

My entree was probably the best thing I've eaten all week (and I've eaten a lot!). Ricotta and spinach gnocchi with sautted mushrooms. The gnocchi was so light and fluffy - like little pillows. The dish was a tad salty, but still amazing.  Even though it doesn't look that way in my picture.

Dessert was again an unpictured feast. Chocolate tort, biscotti, roasted fruit, and mango sorbet. The roasted fruit was my favorite - it had figs and kumquats roasted in wine with marscapone. Yum!

I got back on the treadmill this morning. 3 miles at 6MPH. I haven't gotten any strength training in this week, the cardio has really been my priority with all the calories I've been consuming! I normally don't worry too much about calories - I think focusing of the quality of food is more important than the quantity. I think those 100 calorie packs of food they sell are the worst! Most of them are 100 calories of pure crap that's not going to fill you up and will spike your blood sugar leaving you even hungrier later. Eat an apple, people! There's also more packaging than actual food in those things. Anyway - I do think this week has been excessive for me in terms of calories. But the food has all been so amazingly good - it feels worth it. We'll see if the scale agrees when I get home!

This morning I had the same breakfast as yesterday.

Nonfat greek yogurt, grapenuts, and lots of fruit. And earl grey with skim. Particularly good cheese spread today.

I'm a big cheese lover. I've sampled a few.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My friend Walter

I can't get over all the great food that keeps getting put in front of me!  I took a few more pictures of the spread:

There's a lot of healthy options out, which is great, but there's just so much of it! For lunch I had a salad with pears, pecans, and stilton. I added a hunk of tempeh and a piece of falafel from the craft table. The tempeh was so much better than what I usually get at the grocery store.

We walked around Soho a bit during our lunch break. It was much warmer out today. After lunch, there was a big tray of delicious cupcakes out. I knew they were delicious because they served these cupcakes last time I was here. Luckily, someone had abandoned a small piece of red velvet so I got to sample a bite.

We're going to an Italian place for dinner. I don't feel like I can eat anymore today! But I'm sure I'll manage.


Good morning!  We had a really great dinner last night and I was stuffed when we got home.  I passed out right away.

As predicted, I snacked a lot yesterday afternoon, but managed to stick with nuts, dried fruit, grapes, and snow peas.

These are the afternoon snacks.  I did also have a couple bites of the amazing gaucamole that Walter, the craft service guy, makes.  So worth it.

For dinner we went to a steak house, which wouldn't have been my first choice but they had an incredible raw bar.  Unfortunately, it was really dark and I didn't get any great pictures.  I know I'm going to have to switch from using my iphone to my digital camera if I want this blog to be any good - just a little awkward to whip out at a client dinner.

The restauarant we ate at was called Prime House:

Instead of the usual bread basket, they put mini bagels on the table. I split an olive bagel with one of the other ladies. Then we ordered a huge raw seafood tower!

Like I said, not great pictures. I ate a ginormous shrimp, some mussels, 2 oysters, a crab claw, scallop ceviche, and a cherrystone. Not crazy about the raw cherrystones. I think I just want them to be oysters and they definitely are not. For my entree I had scottish salmon with roasted winter vegetables and a yuzu butter sauce. The sauce was rich and sweet and smelled great. I ate about 2/3 of the salmon and all the veg. For dessert we went a little crazy! We ordered 7 layer chocolate fudge cake, baked alaska, bananas foster sundae, and lemon brulee cheesecake. I had several scoops of each and it was all great. I also had 2 glasses of red wine with dinner. We were quite full when we left.

This morning I had to work off some of that dessert. I did 30 minutes of intervals on the treamill, something I don't normally do but its actually fun! Helps the run go by faster. I would do a minute faster, then a minute slower, increasing my sprint and rest speeds gradually. I varied between 5.9MPH and 7MPH, with .5 MPH difference between the sprint and the rest speeds. Definitely got my heart going.

I was pretty hungry again by the time we got to the studio.

I started with nonfat greek yogurt, grape nuts, and lots of fruit. I never buy berries in the winter, so they're a nice treat. Also had a cup of earl grey with skim milk.  The Post caught me up on Obama's speech.  Probably not the best news source.

They've already put out the afternoon snacks! Its a Mediterranean feast. I've had 2 whole wheat pita wedges with hummus and a piece of falafel.

More eating to come...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday

Happy Mardi Gras!

So far, New York has been a full day of eating.  I managed to get in a run on the treadmill this morning.  I did 3 miles at 5.9 MPH.

On our way to the studio this morning, someone mentioned that they found out what sweet breads were.  They thought they were brains - I'm told they're actually some kind of pancreas. But everyone who ate them - and didn't know - got a little nauseous.  I knew better! When we arrived at the studio, there was a nice breakfast spread for us.

I started with a bowl of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and pineapple.  I ate half of it by the time I took this picture.

About an hour later I had a toasted whole wheat english muffin with tomato and smoked salmon.  I also had 2 cups of earl grey with skim milk.

Then they started bringing out the snacks!  They have really delicious food out all day here.  Here's some of the things I've been picking at.

Most of my group opted not to order lunch because there's SO much food around, but I knew if I didn't I'd be eating junk all day.  We went to an Asian restaurant, and I got a chopped Asian salad with broccoli, string beans, tofu, snow peas, carrots, watercress, fried shallots, cabbage, and basil dressing. I had a little bit of the dressing and all the veggies!

More munching will defintiley ensue this afternoon, but I'm going to try to stick to the fruits, veggies, and nuts and ignore the large plate of cookies that's out right now!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Stuffed in NYC

I've been in New York half a day and I am sufficiently stuffed! After getting off the train, we checked into our hotel in Times Square. Some of my travel companions have neon lights outside their windows, but luckily I just have buildings.

From our hotel we headed to the studio we'll be working in all week. They had a late lunch waiting for us.

I had half a smoked salmon sandwich with dill cream cheese, half an egg salad sandwich, and a scoop of very garlicy pesto pasta salad. All was very tasty.

For dinner, the 6 of us who are here went to a restaurant I read about in Vogue, in an article written by Jeffrey Steingarten on family run restaurants on the lower east side. One of the other restaurants I wanted to try from this article is already closed! Tough time to open a restaurant.

This place was tiny, sat around 30 people. The restaurant is called Prune:

Not the most appealing name for a restaurant, but the food was great! Our waitress told us that the name is actually the owner's daughter's nickname - "prune" in french translates to "little plum," which is much cuter.

We started with a bunch of appetizers for the table.

On my plate is a hunk of spanish goat cheese, an anchovy with marcona almonds, some sardine with mustard on half a triscuit, and radishes. One of the women I was with ordered fried sweetbreads, but didn't realize they weren't "bread." Only one other person at our table seemed to know what they actually were and shot me a look that said "don't tell her." I just said they were meat.

For my entree I had prawns with roasted cauliflower. They were delicious but very messy and lots of work to get them all out of their shells! I think I may have burned all the calories in them just digging out those little chunks of shrimp. I also had about a glass and a half of red zinfandel with dinner.

Not pictured are the 3 desserts we ordered to share. I managed to limit myself to a bite each of peach melba, ginger cake, and chocolate semifredo. Well, maybe 2 bites of the chocolate.

We're not leaving the hotel until 9AM tomorrow, so I'm hoping I can hit the fitness center in morning.
Off to bed...

Monday on the road

Monday, 2/23

This morning I woke up on the early side to make breakfast and finish packing. I'm taking the train to NYC today and will be there until Friday. Its going to be a challenge to try to eat and right and get some exercise in! But the clients I'm working with are big foodies, so there will definitely be some delicious meals involved.

This morning I made 2 servings of stove top oats for Derek and I.

My serving included:
- 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill 5-Grain Rolled Cereal
- 1 cup water
- handful of frozen mangos, pineapple, and blueberries
- dollop of organic fat free plain yogurt
- tablespoon of almond butter
- 2 tablespoon cherry sauce (leftover from Valentine's Day Waffles!)
- tablespoon unsweetened coconut
- a few crunched up banana chips

It was very filling and yummy with all this stuff added! I also had a couple of Earl Grey with skim milk. At home, we drink mainly loose tea that we steep in cups and tea pots in open baskets. This is the way I think tea is meant to be brewed - it tastes better and uses less packaging. At work, however, where I drink most of my tea, I do use tea bags. I've been thinking about coming up with an easy way to brew my lose tea at work. Maybe when I get back in the office.

On the train I had one of these to hold me over until lunch:

I try not eat bars a lot, but when I do I try to eat ones that are mainly dried fruit and nuts without added sugar and preservatives. I like these and Larabars.

Welcome to my blog!

Hello and welcome to Clean Green Cuisine! I've been inspired to start this blog after read lots of other great food blogs on healthy eating, but not finding one that truly matched my brand of healthy and environmentally concsious eating. I'm not incredibley strict with my food, and I cerntainly "cheat." But for the most part I try to make good, healthy food for me and my Fiance (as he prefers to be called). I'll do my best to include pictures and recipes - as much as my hectic life permits. I have a busy job that I sometimes have to travel for - making healthy eating particularly challenging. I'm actually going to be on the road for the next 2 weeks! Busy time to start a blog, so early posts may be sporadic. But here we go!

Sunday, 2/22

Today I woke up rather early for a Sunday, because my best friend Lucy and I were going to visit our friend Jackie and meet her new baby! I made a batch of super healthy whole grain apple muffins for Jack, and was planning to eat a light breakfast in anticipation of eating one. But then when I got up I realized I had enough time to make some pancakes. Since I'm heading to New York tomorrow, I felt kind of guilty for leaving Derek (aka The Fiance) for the whole week and not being able to cook for him, so I whipped some up. And made them healthy! I had:

3 whole wheat apple blueberry pancakes with maple syrup

I made them with milk and yogurt (cause we were out of buttermilk) and added 2 teaspoons of wheat germ into the batter. My mother had given Derek a maple syrup sampler for Christmas, so we tried the Grade A light and dark amber - each on half our pancakes. Not surprisingly - we couldn't tell the difference. Both were delish!

Jackie's baby is so cute! And she's only a week and a half old! Jackie and Rod seemed very happy but tired. Her parent's were there and her mother had made a spinach quiche, so I had:

a slice of spinach quiche along with some strawberries and blueberries and a cup of earl grey.

And the muffins were a hit!

I got home around 2PM, and was hungry again. So was Derek! I made us both salads with the last of my fixings from the previous week's lunches:

Spinach, tabouli, chickpeas, roasted butternut squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, sprouts, feta, and balsamic and EVOO.

I was feeling very snacky the rest of the afternoon. I ate:
2 praline almonds
a small handful of Dale & Thomas dark chocolate toffee drizzle corn (I was sent this from a vendor I work with and this stuff is deadly! I need it out of the house!)
Mango black tea with skim milk
3 lightly salted roasted almonds
4 corn chips

No workout today. Spending some quality time with my boy watching cycling.

Dinner was our last home cooked meal for awhile! I mostly scrounged up what I could find in the fridge:

Rainbow trout, baked polenta slices, roasted broccoli with parm covered in sauteed mushrooms with spinach.
Plus 1 glass white wine

After dinner we broke out the evil popcorn again! I had:

1 good handful of dark chocolate drizzle corn
1 square of taza chocolate
1 cup sleepy time tea

I'd like to give a little plug to Taza Chocolate. Its made right across the river from me in Cambridge, MA and is the only chocolatier in the country that stone grinds their chocolate. This means its much less processed that most chocolate. Most chocolate is "conched," which is what gives it a smooth, creamy texture, but can actually take days of processing, so it uses a lot more energy than stone grinding. And the stone grinding give the chocolate amazing texture and flavor. You'll find little chunks of chocolate nibs and it has a rich, winey flavor. As you can tell, I'm totally hooked on it! There's a lot more great info on the process on their website:

So I had a little too much junk this afternoon - maybe not the best way to start my "healthy" blog :) But as I said - I'm not perfect and not trying to be. I think you gotta be well rounded and need a little bad with the good!