Weekend Curry

What a gorgeous weekend it was in Portland! Sunny! Warm (ish)! Such a delightful change from the pouring rain. I’m sure it won’t last and I definitely didn’t take good advantage of it. I ended up spending Saturday inside–in the gym, then cleaning the house. I really, really wanted to run on Saturday. I especially wanted to run outside but I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea since I hadn’t hit the pavement in over a month. My knees were feeling a bit touchy so to the gym I went and the elliptical was where I ended up. I also spent about 40 minutes lifting weights–shoulders, chest, back.

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Then to the orthopedic massage clinic! This time he focused on my IT bands because they were a bit on the tight side. He also did some cupping. If you’ve never tried it before, it’s a very odd thing. It’s based on Chinese medicine and I’ve tried it before on my back where it left huge round, purple “bruises” on my skin. The massage therapist did a different technique in that he used the cupping on my IT Bands and slid it down my leg. It was very odd feeling, but strangely made me feel a lot better afterward. The hope is that it will increase blood flow to that area and quicken the healing. Crossing my fingers.

I will be sharing a post this week with my first update on the “diet” but I wanted to share a few of the things I’ve purchased for February.

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The Trader Joe’s soups aren’t new to me, I’ve had them before and they are great and also low in calories. I found that a lot of things had what I think is a disclaimer to prevent lawsuits:

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A lot of things I bought said “made on equipment shared with wheat, milk, tree nuts, soy and fish.” I still consider these items to be gluten and dairy free. I’m not going to get so picky that I won’t buy something that is gluten and dairy free but made in a warehouse where those items are. Silly! I’m not doing this for an allergy reason, so I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

The soup I had on Saturday was the Creamy Corn and Roast Red Pepper (vegan and gluten free). It was delicious! I also had some steamed broccoli with vegan TJ’s Goddess dressing and two light rye Wasa crackers. It was a delicious and fairly filling lunch but I’ll admit I had the munchies about two hours later. I had some random snacks but I tried not to go too crazy because I was looking forward to dinner. For a snack I had the “nut and rice” crackers seen above and half an avocado. The crackers were really good! Tasty, salty, crunchy. A pretty good alternative to Wheat Thins.

Dinner!

CURRIED QUINOA WITH CHICKEN AND PEAS

Author: http://www.onedishdinners.com/2011/04/curried-quinoa-chicken-recipe.html
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: Makes 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • About 1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 12 oz. bag frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the oil, chicken pieces, chopped onion and garlic to a Dutch oven. Saute for about 10 minutes, or until chicken pieces are mostly cooked.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, undrained, curry powder, chili powder and nutmeg. Stir until combined and let cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the water and bring to a bubble. Stir in the quinoa, bring to rolling boil and then reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. With about 5 minutes left to cook, stir in the frozen peas.
  4. Turn heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.
Calories: 606

I like the kind of recipes that are simple, easy and cooked in one pot. I used my dutch oven and it made clean-up super easy.

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I liked the recipe.  Michael said it was good but not his favorite. I think it would have been much better if it had been a little spicy. I’m not sure what to add to make it spicy considering it had chili powder in it. Maybe red pepper flakes?

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And with every curry recipe I’ve done, the flavor gets richer and more delicious with the leftovers. I’m looking forward to leftovers for lunch this week!

The original recipe stated it made “4 adult servings”–I have no idea what that really means. Someone in the comments said they got 8 servings out of the recipe. I got 6. If the recipe is 6 servings, that makes the calorie count more like 400. Which is perfect!

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This recipe could be easily made vegetarian. Tofu would work great. And you can substitute any vegetable if you don’t like peas–carrots, asparagus spears, maybe not broccoli. Be creative.

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On Sunday my parents came through Portland on their way to the beach. They took Michael and I to lunch after I got home from the pool. We went to Laughing Planet because it’s delicious AND has lots of options for gluten-free, vegan or paleo friendly. I knew that would be the best option for three out of four of us on this wacky diet.

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I got the Thai Bowl. I love it! So good with a Thai lemongrass peanut sauce. It has green beans, steamed broccoli, organic tofu, brown rice and coleslaw on top. It’s about 500 calories for the bowl and it was categorized as vegan and gluten free.

So I’m day 4 of the diet and it’s not that bad. I haven’t felt any differently and I’ve been eating really good food. Stay tuned for the official update this week.

QUESTION: Are you a curry fan? 

Dairy-Free

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/LisaEirene/status/291380833611309056″]

I got home from the gym on Tuesday of this week to find Michael making his famous (and amazing) pimento cheese. NOM! I love this stuff. It’s so good. Why do I bring this up? Because I’m thinking about dairy.

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One of the things I did not like about the Slow-Carb diet was that fruit was not allowed. I don’t care if there are sugars and carbs in fruit–it’s natural and healthy. Fruit is NOT a bad thing. Because of that, I disliked the Slow-Carb diet from the start. But a few years ago I gave it a try for a few weeks. The outcome: I gained weight and Michael lost 25 pounds. Of course!

That being said, I’ve been thinking lately that my diet needs a jump start. I’ve been in kind of a rut with my food, not seeing much of a loss on the scale, and feeling frustrated. While I’m not really trying to lose very much, I would like to see a few pounds off that scale.

A few months ago my mom went on a diet to address some allergy issues. Her doctor suggested she cut out dairy and grains for three weeks and then slowly add back one at a time to see which one was causing the issues. It turned out that cutting dairy and bread from her diet was a miracle. She lost like 14 pounds, lowered her cholesterol a few points and fixed her constant runny nose. While I am usually against any diet that is so restrictive or labeling certain foods as “bad” or “forbidden,” this intrigued me.

I don’t really need to lose 14 pounds and my cholesterol is fine. But I do have some inflammation in my body and allergy issues. I have a runny nose all the time. I blame my cats (allergies), I blame the toxic mold in my office (I know it’s there), I blame seasonal allergies…but I never associate it with food. And seriously, my nose is ALWAYS runny.

I was talking to someone on twitter who has been dairy-free for two years. She loves it! She said the results were immediate for her and it cleared up her skin. I would love a cure for my acne because what I’m currently doing does not work well.

I started to wonder: could something like this help me too?

Then I wondered: could I actually cut out dairy?

When I did the Slow-Carb Diet, I had no problem cutting out bread products. I found that once I STOPPED eating it, I didn’t crave it. Same with sugar. The problem was when I ate some–then my body wanted more and my brain would get super focused on it. Cutting out bread was easy because I don’t eat a ton of pasta, don’t really take sandwiches for lunch and our dinners didn’t include potatoes or rice on a regular basis. I didn’t miss it.

What did I miss? Besides the fruit (see above rant), dairy was the hardest to give up. I put flavored creamer in my coffee each morning. I may only have one cup of coffee but it’s necessary. I cannot drink it just black. Yuck. I also admit to being addicted to sour cream. I put it on everything I possibly can. I count the calories and use moderation, but I do put it on a lot of things. Also, I eat plain Greek yogurt as my pre-workout snack and it works great. I have no found anything else that works as well except hummus (but that sits in my stomach like a rock).

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Could I give up dairy entirely? My mom doesn’t even put butter on her vegetables. I could cut out milk. I could probably get over the sour cream thing. But the yogurt would be particularly hard for me.

I know the only way I’ll figure it out is if I try it but I’m dragging my feet. I told myself that I’d wait until all the dairy is gone from the fridge and then do it. Still, I feel apprehension and dread–like anyone about to start a diet. I’m not sure yet what I will do or when I will do it. It may just be for a week or maybe two to test the waters. I am still thinking it through.

QUESTION: Are you dairy-free or have you gone dairy-free? What was your experience?