• Personally speaking….

    Just the thoughts and cookings of a software engineer that likes to make foodstuffs from time to time in the bay area of California.
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Inspired by Clara: Pasta with peas

Pasta with peas
Inspired by Clara’s Pasta with peas and her “Depression Era Cooking” videos, I reached into my 10 pound bag of potatoes and got to work. As I played with potatoes and onions, I thought back to what I remember growing up. What dish was my Grandma “famous” for? And what do I remember most from my mother’s cooking? After Mom grabbed her bowl, we talked about it.

Me: Know what I remember most about Grandma’s cooking? Delmonico steak with salt, pepper and garlic powder. (Grandma and I both are garlic fiends.)
Mom: That’s all?
Me: Yeah. Weird, huh? I know she could cook anything and remember all the family holiday gatherings where she would cook. But that was just ham and turkey and collards and whatnot.

We then talked about how amazing of a cook my Grandma was. But Mom said she didn’t think Grandma loved to cook. Maybe that’s why I can’t remember much? Near the end, Grandma and I would talk about cooking and it was mostly about sneaking ground turkey breast into Grandpa’s food or how versatile egg white omelets were. I’m going to try and get some clippings that my aunt got when we — well, you know… went through the stuff left behind. Most everyone was in Grandma’s head but maybe I can get an idea from what she clipped out and that will help.

Me: Mom, know what I think of when I think back to your cooking?
Mom: No, what? (I could hear the ‘uh oh’ in her voice.)
Me: Hamburger soup, tuna surprise*, succotash, hamburger helper, tuna helper, chicken helper — yeah, one pot meals.

* Tuna surprise is kind of like a tuna casserole cooked in a saucepan on the stove.

Now, back to Clara. I loved how she said she would ask what’s for dinner and get as an answer: “Pasta with garlic.” “Pasta with peas.” Etc. I had pasta, including a box that had a “use by” date of 2007 — oops, yes, that was tossed, sigh — and some potatoes. Like I said, I bought this 10 pound bag of potatoes cause I was crazy being frugal.

I wanted to get the consistency of a “hamburger helper” type meal because I want something that could hold its own on a plate with some sides. I got something more soupy, but I measured so maybe I can get closer next time.

Pasta with Peas ++
The ++ means I added more stuff… of course.

  • Olive oil
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups macaroni, uncooked
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 cups frozen peas (keep frozen)
  • 2 baking potatoes, peeled, diced
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped

Saute onions and potatoes in olive oil on medium heat till potatoes are softened. I think this took me about 15 minutes and I used a small stock pot. Add salt, pepper, water, peas. Bring to a boil. Add pasta. Boil for 10 minutes. Toss in parsley. Cook for 1 minute. This is where I added the carrots cause the pasta with peas was slightly soupy. Considering I ladled off about 1.5 cups, I’ll reduce the water amount next time. Maybe. The “stock” this all made was very good. I was heavy handed with the salt like Clara but Mom still added salt to her bowl. Ha.

Sauteed Carrots
I ended up dumping this into the Pasta with Peas at the end

  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper

I cooked the carrots in a skillet while I cooked the pasta with peas. The carrots kept browning too quickly on medium heat so I would ‘cool’ them off with a ladle of water from the pasta. I think it added a lovely flavor. I’m not a fan of carrots but these turned out nicely. I think they cooked for about 20 minutes sometimes covered and sometimes not. I tossed them into the pot of pasta right before serving and after the parsley. It added a nice color but since the carrots didn’t cook with the pasta, it had its own flavor but was somewhat familiarized with the ladles of water from the pasta.

Pasta with Peas (and carrots)
Nutrition Facts (via recipezaar)
Serving Size 1 (506g) Recipe makes 5 servings
Points 7
Calories 328
Calories from Fat 80 (24%)
Amount Per Serving %DV
Total Fat 9.0g 13%
Saturated Fat 1.3g 6%
Monounsaturated Fat 6.0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 42mg 1%
Potassium 640mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 54.6g 18%
Dietary Fiber 5.1g 20%
Sugars 5.0g
Protein 8.1g 16%

Some others that tried her recipe:

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Two days of eats

Oatmeal:
How I love thee but won’t it get old quickly? I still have about 2 or 3 cups left in the fridge for nuking. So far my favorite way to make it (other than oodles of brown sugar and milk and butter) is banana. Gotta find some other ways!

PB&J Roll-up massacre
PB&J roll-up disaster
I tried to make a PB&J roll-up so that I can cut it up for my Laptop Lunch. It was a disaster! My little cutting board looked like I just butchered something. The spewed guts (aka: jam) went on top of some yogurt so that was good. But the roll-up…. I don’t know what I did wrong! I put peanut nut butter on the tortilla first so it wouldn’t get soggy and then put on the jam. I put too much jam (2 tablespoons) definitely but the cutting was horrible.

Breakfast
Breakfast

  • Oatmeal, steel-cut, leftover, 1 cup: 2
  • Apple, organic, Fuji, cut-up: 1
  • Cinnamon:0
  • Da Dew! 0
  • Was going to put slices on top of the oatmeal but that’s hard to eat so I chopped some up and mixed apple in after the oatmeal was nuked. Sprinkled cinnamon on top. Not a huge fan. Maybe it’d be better with the apple nuked or some sweetener added like honey or such. I’ve seen people add applesauce to oatmeal so thought this would work.

Chicken fried rice
Lunch

  • Chicken fried rice
    Based loosely on OAMC Chicken Fried Rice. I used some of the cooked brown rice, rest of the chicken, onion, frozen vegetables, 2 eggs, and soy sauce/pepper.

Dinner
Dinner
2 Turkey cheddar dogs, 1 cup corn/lima beans.
I didn’t cook this but photographed anyway.
3 hot cocoas: 12
ice cream (1 cup + chocolate syrup): A kazillion points. Ok, not really.

PB&J Roll-up massacre
Brunch
PB&J roll-ups: 2 Tbl peanut butter, 2 Tbl jam, 1 tortilla (3)
1 cup ff yogurt
Diet dew, 1 can

Saturday foodstuffs

Yeah. Difficult day. Emotionally draining. I’m glad it’s over. I ate those little quarter sandwich things on a boat that I didn’t take pictures of but I did take pictures of the dinner I ate out. Yay? Oh and I am a huge fan of steel-cut oats! Cook up a bunch and store it for a quick nuke each day!

Breakfast
Breakfast [5]

  • Oatmeal, steel-cut, leftover, 1 cup: 2
    I’ve been warming the oatmeal up in this bowl. I measured out how much each line is with water from a measuring cup, but also the oatmeal comes from a storage container that has lines for 1 cup, 2 cup on it. Very helpful.
  • Banana, 1: 2
  • Honey, 1 teaspoon: .5
  • ICBINB, 1 teaspoon: .5
  • Diet Dew, of course: 0
  • I mixed up some cut-up, slightly smooshed banana in with the microwave oatmeal. Pretty lovely combination!

Invisible dolphins
No picture of the food, but enjoy the water….
Lunch [4][9]

  • Finger sandwich, 2 quarters, 1 turkey and 1 roast beef: 4?
  • Water: 0

Dinner
Dinner [9.5][18.5]

  • Diet pepsi: 0
  • 1 fried mozzarella stick: 2
  • 1 broccoli nugget thing: 1
  • Mahimahi: 5
  • Broccoli: 1
  • Hushpuppy, 1/2 of one: .5

After

  • Diet dew, 1 can: 0

And then….

Ice cream with chocolate syrup. It seems the emotions of the day sent me back to my frozen lover. At least now that I’ve figured out how much my bowls hold, I can say how much I had. 13.5 points. How satisfying was it? Not very.

Friday Food Journal

I’m off work today. Thought I’d make a bunch of steel-cut oats for heating up later. This time, I stirred more so I didn’t have a layer of very browned bits stuck to the bottom. Stirring is our friend!

Also, while on the brain train, I came up with a way to outsmart my temperamental card reader. I locked the card before trying so that if it got hungry, it would not eat my pictures.

DSCN2928
Breakfast [7]

  • Oatmeal, steel cut, 1.5 cups: 3
  • Local honey, 1 tablespoon: 1
  • ICBINB, light, 1 tablespoon: 1
  • Banana, 1 whole: 2
  • Diet Mountain Dew, 1 can: 0
  • Notes: I measured out the margarine this time to see how much of a dollop I do. 1 tablespoon was too much. And 1 tablespoon was too much honey. I tried banana chunks in it as I was eating and liked that combination.

DSCN2936
Lunch [6][13]

  • Leftover chicken, 1 breast: 5
  • Mixed vegetables, 1.5 cups: 1
    I put the frozen pile right next to the chicken on the same plate and microwaved everything for 5 minutes. Vegetables were hot. Chicken was warm enough.
  • Apple, organic Fuji, 1 whole: 1
  • Diet Mountain Dew, 1 can: 0

Dinner [6][19]

  • Cereal, 2 cups: 4
  • Milk, Skim, 1 cup: 2

I feel like I’m forgetting something but am finishing this post almost 24 hours after eating this dinner so forgot. Argh!

Ye ol’ hump day food journal

Last night I suddenly got starving hungry around 11:30. “Well, Jessica, if you were in bed….” I know. So I had a Laughing Cow wedge since I’m fruitless. I’ll add that on to today.

My excuse is that I was so busy studying my computer science homework and taking a quiz — which I bombed unfortunately — that I lost track of time. And then, of course, I had to read the User’s Guide for my new toy. Weird thing? I’m thinking about sketching out some ideas for boxes so that I can make a shopping list. Either that or just copying Vigilant20.

I threw together one tonight from leftovers and what I had on hand. Photos tomorrow of my first Bento / Laptop Lunch!

Last night [1]

  • Laughing Cow, Light, 1 wedge: 1

Breakfast
Breakfast [2] [3]

  • Oatmeal, 1 cup: 2?
  • Splenda, cinnamon: 0
  • Diet Dew, 20 oz: 0
  • Multivitamin: 0
  • Water, 24 oz:0

Lunch
Lunch – 12:30ish [4] [7]

  • Fruit salad: 2?
    1/2 cup? raw spinach, mandarin orange, sprinkle of carrots, 1 cup? melon bits; no dressing and I didn’t miss it… the orange juice was plenty!
  • Yogurt, fat-free, 1 container: 2
    Amazing that this little container (6 oz) is 100 calories. Also amazing the list of ingredients is almost as tall as the container. Milk, High fructose corn syrup — no wonder 100 calories. Sigh.

Snack – 2ish [7] [14]

  • Cheddar cheese stick, Sargento, light: 2?
    I’d rather have Laughing Cow. That stuff is so good.
  • Water, 24 oz: 0
  • Die dew, can: 0
  • KitKat: 5
    I chose this over cake in the conference room. KitKat >>>> cake. See? Indulgence. But choosing what is ‘worth’ it. Y’know?

Snack – 4 [5] [19]

  • ::whisper::KitKat: 5

Dinner
Dinner – 7:45~ [9] [28]

  • a href=”http://www.recipezaar.com/3929″ target=”_new”>Oven Fried Chicken, 1 huge piece: 6
    I used some of that frozen cut-up chicken from last month’s .49/lb whole chicken sale. So, don’t laugh at the piece shapes. Ok, you can laugh. I did. Because I use so much chicken and because I love spice, I increase the flour to 3/4 cup and each spice gets upped to 1 teaspoon and the salt becomes 2 teaspoons. I spray the pan with some butter-flavored Pan since I was raised on butter-flavored Crisco as the oil of choice for fried chicken. Also, Recipezaar’s values come out to 4 points a piece but these are huge so I rounded.
  • Milk, 1 cup, skim: 2
  • Romaine lettuce, 1 cup~: 0
  • Greek dressing, light, 2 Tbl: 1
  • Carrot, 1: 0

Snack [8] [36]

  • Hot cocoa, 2 cups: 8

Total: 36

Eating through Tuesday

[HAHA! I was so distracted by the laptop lunch that I forgot to ‘publish’ this.]

Class went late Monday which threw me off. I was late to work. I hate that. Well, I wasn’t late because I was in by the implied cut-off time but I am trying to hit closer to 8 a.m. than 9 a.m.

Because of my glorious excuses in the previous paragraph, I didn’t pack my breakfast. I did bring snacks though because they were easy to grab. In my bear-just-woke-from-hibernation stupor, I put my Lean Pocket in the fridge. It thawed, of course. I tossed it. Bright idea: Buy a bunch of frozen stuff and stick it in the freezer at work in a container that says “Jessica’s Low-calorie, Low-fat, Low-taste Food.” If I mark it that way, then who’d want it?

Had another follow-up visit for the Lasik today. Even with all the water I drank, he said my eyes were dry. They don’t feel dry. Argh.

Now, on to the real excitement! What’d I eat today and what’d it look like!

Breakfast
Breakfast [9]

  • Multivitamin: 0
  • Hot sausage, 1 link: 7~
    I wish I’d never tried these. They’re addictive. Since last night’s meeting was about indulgence and our homework was to indulge in something, I thought I’d have a little treat.
  • Potatoes, 1/2 cup: 3~
    I can’t finish the amount the give me.
  • Diet Dew, 20 oz: 0
  • Water, 24oz: 0
    I know, right? Water before noon!

Lunch
Lunch – 12:30ish [3.5]

  • Egg drop so up, 16 oz: 1.5
    I got excited that this was being served today but my heart fell to my feet when I saw the red flecks. I remember one day almost everything had some sort of bell pepper in it. I like all peppers except the sweet bell peppers. But, no, it seems to be a hot pepper and there’s a gingery sweet flavor or something. I think this was the worst egg drop soup I’ve ever had. But others probably love it.
  • Banana, 1: 2
  • Water, 24 oz: 0
    Yes, that’s my 24 ounce mug.

Snack
Snack – 3ish [4.5]

  • Water, 24oz: 0
  • Cottage cheese, fat-free, 1~ cup: 3.5
    I sprinkled some cinnamon on some and it was ok.
  • Laughing Cow, light, 1 wedge: 1

Dinner
Dinner – 7ish [12.5]

  • I didn’t make it but I photographed it.
  • Some kinda southern sausage, 3 oz.: 7.5
  • Collards, 3/4 cup?: 1
  • Blackeyed peas, 1 cup?: 4
  • Water, 8 oz: 0

Snack [8]

  • Hot cocoa, 2 cups: 8

Total: 37.5

Just another manic Monday

I brought my breakfast! Yay! I even brought snack-y bits from home! I don’t like microwaving in the Ziploc container though but did. The yogurt was in a disposable container but that was so I could just try it. I can get a larger container next time and portion it out like I do for cottage cheese.

My laptop lunch is getting closer! It’s in Pennsylvania right now so I should have it within a day or so! Woo hoo.

First weigh-in was tonight.
Even though I had over-indulgences — self-indulgence was the topic this week — I had a loss. I figure because even though I went over my WPA, I still tracked and got back on track as soon as possible. I didn’t let those lapses become a gateway to “Oh, I had that, might as well have this.”

This leader is on Core and even though all the other women I joined with last week said they were going to try Core, not one did. Why did they want to do Core? “I don’t have to measure and can eat what I want.” Why did they not do Core? I kid you not, some said this. “I didn’t trust myself if I didn’t measure and count.” Wow. The reason for wanting it is the reason for not doing it. But the leader told us that it’s not that “scary.” We didn’t gain weight by eating too much broccoli. The foods on the list are, overall, not trigger foods. Rice/Pasta are limited to once a day because they could be.

On to the day’s food [30] journal…. Continue reading