Friday, 30 September 2011

Mushroom risotto

Surprise Surprise! I was in a cooking mood last night. I've been feeling bad lately because all I've been doing is laying on the couch and vegging out. I definitely haven't been cooking, and I definitely haven't been cleaning (our cleaning lady came yesterday-she's an angel!). Time to get prepping on the ingredients. On the menu:
  • wild sockeye salmon
  • red pepper and bok choy medly
  • mushroom risotto
  • lamb chops from Waitrose (already preseasoned) for T
I wanted to try something different with the salmon so I went with this recipe I found on
chopped up some romano red peppers
marinated the salmon for an hour:
  • 1 tablespoon and 2-1/4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon and 2-1/4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon and 2-1/4 teaspoons water
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • garlic powder 
  • small sprinkle of sea salt
  • generous squeeze of siracha
started by making chicken broth (I used the cubes)
After prepping the salmon, I got to work on ELR's mushroom risotto. I've made several things from her website and everything has been fantastic. And of course it would be, she's a LeCordon Bleu grad :-)
I would highly recommend checking out her website and cooking from there, especially if you're not too familiar in the kitchen like me. She has many simple and delicious recipes on there.
per her instructions, I sauteed one minced shallot in EVOO.
sliced up some mushrooms
added 1/4 cup white wine to 1 cup risotto and stirred in the chicken stock, 1/4 cup at a time. Thankfully, the wonderful smells got me through the whole stirring process that took over 30 minutes!
yuuuuumm... seeing this again makes me want to heat some back up right now.. at 9 a.m.!!
near the end, I sprinkled some fresh grated parm cheese. It was REALLY good but sort of on the salty end. I swear I didn't add any additional salt. Next time I'll remember to use low sodium chicken broth.
sauteed bok choy and red peppers
  • evoo
  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • siracha
oven roasted lamp chops for the hubby (since I had a feeling the salmon wasn't going to be enough food for him!)
the salmon was a bit overcooked but the marinade was delicious! It was the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
one huge bowl and lots leftover. I have a feeling the leftovers won't be there for long.
mmm.. I was quite proud of myself for putting together this dinner. Especially since it was super easy to make! T even said it was probably the best dinner I've ever cooked him. I bet it was the lamb that won him over! Hmph!! ;-)

Breakfast this morning and then I'm going to try and make it to the gym!
Would I like some eggs with all that ketchup?
Okay, I didn't make it to the gym. It is now 12:24 and I just finished lunch. I guess I was more tired than I thought! Here's the workout I would have done in the gym:
  • tricep pulldown
  • barbell chest press
  • tricep kickback
  • pushups
  • overhead tricep extension
  • chest flye
Here's what I'm going to do now:

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Afternoon cuddles

Holy Heck! Is it summertime in London or what? I don't think its been this hot since.....uhhh...umm......I don't even remember when! The sun is shining and people are outside in summery outfits. Sweet :) I went shopping today and enjoyed my last few days of freedom before classes start next week. I'll be attending classes full time this year from Wednesday-Friday. My Wednesdays are going to be the worst since I'll be in class from 9:30-6p.m.! Eek!
tuna salad from Pret after my PUNCH class yesterday.

So funny story, I told my instructor yesterday that I was going to skip some of the high intensity circuit stuff in between our punching combinations due to personal reasons. Oh and and when I say high intensity, I mean balls to the wall, give it your all until your face is red and sweat is dripping down your back! Throughout the beginning of class, I made sure to take it easy with my partner and not over exert myself. With the circuits, I did most of it but skipped the duck walks and walking pushups in between so I could catch my breath. After all that caution, my partner straight up leaves during the middle of class. And since our class was uneven, I paired with my instructor and did all sorts of fun, kick ass :) but high intensity combinations that included elbows, kicks, knees, uppercuts, jabs, hooks, etc.  I know I said no high intensity but I just couldn't help myself. Sometimes that adrenalin kicks in and you just have to deal with it. I'm sure this sounds familiar. In all seriousness though, my recommendation for people who are injured or can't do something high intensity and worry your instructor won't take you seriously, make him/her aware of why you can't do something, and in the worst/easiest case scenario, say your doctor told you not to do it.
protein=aids in muscle repair
We were lazy last night and ordered Papa John's in. What a deal for any pizza, any size, for £9.99. After dinner, I ended up falling asleep while trying to read in bed. I'm still working through this damn Optimum Nutrition book!
Blueberry oats for breakfast since we ran out of bread and I DEFINITELY can't eat eggs without bread!
In the mix:
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • frozen blueberries
  • maple syrup 
  • cinnamon
  • dash of salt
topping: almond butter for muah
lunch this afternoon was the jalapeno chicken wrap from Pret. It was mighty tasty!
Oh bt dubs- did I already mention a Pret opened up right near our flat? :-)

afternoon cuddles=bliss

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Summertime and livin's easy

We’re having an Indian summer over here in London- whaaat whaaat! (hands are up in the air) :-) 
Don’t ask me why but “summertime and livin’s easy” Sublime song just came up in my head. I love that song! I just took our dog outside this morning and it is REALLY nice outside and it’s only 10 a.m. I would have expected the weather to turn on us already but it hasn’t. This makes me extremely happy!

Now if only I could shift to externally display this happiness. It’s hard to be happy when you just feel tired all day.

Yesterday was no exception. Even though T had gotten 3 hours of sleep, he stepped out and got lunch for us.  A few of our favorite things.
beef Jamaican patty- it was somewhat dry
Everything tasted just okay. We might have been spoiled by all the wonderful Jamaican food we had at Notting Hill's Carnival this past August. This just doesn't compare..
I'm not sure of the name of the place but it was some place further down Caledonian road from our flat. Based on what we ate, I don't think we'll be making another visit :(
The flavor of the Jerk chicken was there but the meat was dry and that didn't really help bring out the spices.
The curried goat had the same problem, everything just tasted dried out and not as fresh. I did enjoy the rice and peas tho!
we also had some spicy chicken wings on the plate. Talk about a healthy lunch!! ;)

After lunch, I took a long nap and rehearsed some moves for my Zumba class I taught later that night. 
Dinner was just some reheated leftovers from lunch and chinese the other night. I also sauteed some mushrooms for the veggie portion of the meal.

mushrooms sauted in: evoo, fresh minced garlic, salt, pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil, and siracha= yum!!
I got part of my amazon shipment yesterday, wee hoo! I've recently discovered how convenient and cheap things can be when ordered through Amazon.... uh oh.. this could get veerry dangerous real quick!
breakfast this morning: scrambled eggs w. ketchup and 1/2 of the butt end of whole wheat toast. Does anyone like eating the butt end of bread? I guess I don't particularly mind that much, but I think most people just toss them.
I later made myself a smoothie because I thought I was still hungry (aka my stomach was making noise). But it's still gurgling! Oops- I think I may have mistaken dehydration for hunger.. argh!!
at least the smoothie was peanut buttery delicious. And check out that awesome color!
In the VITAmix:
  • soy milk
  • frozen blueberries
  • frozen banana
  • heaping scoop of smooth, no sugar added peanut butter
  • generous squeeze of agave nectar
  • toppings: a little muesli and dark chocolate chips
Fun workout to do: Tone it Up's Rush workout. I'll be saving this for another day because I'm going to PUNCH today! Can't wait to get some of those exercise endorphins running through my body later.

    Tuesday, 27 September 2011

    Sushi couch date

    Last night was quite uneventful. Sushi. Couch. Me. Date :) Excuse the crappy Iphone pictures!
    I ordered delivery from My Sushi Club, and got an assortment of schtuff: California temaki, spider temaki, eel and avocado temaki, egg nigiri, and eel nigiri.
    nom.. nom.. nom..
    veggie deluxe: avocado, asparagus, and cucumber..
    spicy mayo to dip
    my babes wanted part of the eating action.
    I forgot to post pics from dinner that we had last Wednesday at Addis restaurant, one of three (maybe even more!) Ethiopian restaurants on Caledonian road. I love that we are so close to all of them because Ethopian food is after my own heart, it’s spicy and super tasty.
    hommous and fried aubergine to start. The aubergine didn't feel fried at all because it was smothered in a smoky gravy that was really good.
    Injera bread to Africans is like chopsticks to Asians; you eat everything with this sour bread and your fingers. The bread was darker than most we've had, but I swear it was tastier!
    On top: awaze tibs- lamb, doro wot-chicken, yetesom beyaynetu- vegetarian dish with cabbage, carrots, chickpeas, and potatoes

    I liked Addis more than Merkato and Marathon because I thought the flavours were a lot cleaner and it felt looked and tasted less oily. Yummy!!

    Breakfast this morning: Since the hubby is in bed, I didn't really feel like making a big production over breakfast so I made myself a protein smoothie. Poor T, he came to bed at 7:30 a.m. this morning! All work and no play :(
    in the mix:
    • unsweetened soy milk
    • frozen banana
    • frozen berries
    • scoop of chocolate powder
    • spinach
    • agave nectar
    • toppings: cranberry and maple muesli, almonds, goji berries, pumpkin seeds

    Monday, 26 September 2011

    Coulda Woulda Shoulda

    Today was my course introduction at London Met, and if I learned one thing, it’s that it’s going to be a very long year.

    I seriously would be more excited about it if I didn't miss 1/2 of my introduction. I thought my intro started at 11. That was what my welcome print out told me!  Apparently, that time can change from the day you print it out to the day you have to show up! Can someone please tell me how that happens without any sort of notification?? I was not a happy camper! The building is very complicated to navigate through and if it hadn't have been for the one (the first one told me to follow the wrong group that was leaving the building!!) helpful London Met guide, I would be travelling in circles fo sho!

    I'm trying to stay positive here but it's sort of hard with no friends, and being surrounded by kids much much younger than I am!! Patience Hanna. PATIENCE! 

    Well at least my morning started off on a good note with a lovely bowl of blueberry oats. For anyone that has a hard time getting in their 5 a day of fruits and veggies, I recommend sneaking in fruit whenever possible- for me, it has always been in smoothies and oats!
    His and Her's oats. I topped mine with almond butter and topped his with speculoos crunchy!
    I needed the extra protein in mine to get through my workout and to hussle straight afterwards to my course meeting.
    in the mix:
    • 1/2 cup oats
    • 1/2 cup soy milk
    • 1/2 cup water
    • frozen blueberries (dethawed while cooking on stove)
    • maple syrup
    • dash of salt
    In the gym: 3 sets, 8-10 reps, 3 minute quick warm up on treadmill
    • lat pulldown (25kg)
    • hammer curls (5kg)
    • seated row (20 kg)
    • bicep dumbbell curls (5kg)
    • barbell row (15kg)
    • barbell bicep curl (10kg)
    • Stretch
    I was starving by the time I got home from the meeting and it was only 12:30! I quickly made another Tiger Tiger noodle lunch.
    veggies- red peppers, red onions, spinach, garlic
    all combined in schezuan sauce and a squeeze of siracha
    a delicious vegetarian AND GF lunch :)
    Last night was a better representation of a good day. I got to see Crazy, Stupid, Love **Ryan Gosling- heart SWOON!!!** and play catch up with some lovely ladies. It's nice to be social every once and a while ;). The movie was super cute but dinner was L-A-M-E. We went to the Banana Tree that serves pan Asian cuisine. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda known a restaurant that’s trying to do too many things wouldn't be that great! I got the Pho and with the exception of me being super hungry, it was pretty lackluster in taste and quality. At least we tried!

    Agenda: Hmm.. I got nothin!