Friday, December 30, 2011

Dark Days Challenge Week 5: Luscious chicken marsala, polenta and kale

I think this week was my best meal yet. I made chicken marsala with polenta, and I had some kale languishing in the fridge, so I made a skillet of it before it goes bad. So, so tasty!

Almost the whole meal was from the Monroe Farm Market. The Chicken was from Almost Heaven Farm, the onions were from Spangler's Greenhouse, and I canned the tomatoes last summer. I bought them from Crihfield Farms in Jackson County. Of course, the marsala wine wasn't local. The polenta was made from cornmeal from Reeds Mill Flours in Monroe County, a little bit of 2% milk from Homestead Creamery, and some parmesean (not local). The recipe is from Martha Stewart Dinner at Home. This cookbook is all about weeknight dinners. And, it's organized by season, which always scores points with me. If you subscribe to Martha Stewart Living, many of the meals are the same as the cards you get in every issue for dinner in an hour. It's the same concept.

The kale was from Cozy Hollow Farm via the Monroe Farm Market. I sauted with with some chunky garlic that my mom grew last summer, a couple shakes of red pepper flakes and some turkey stock from my Thanksgiving Tom. I also added a spoonful of bacon grease I save from the bacon I get from Sandy Creek Farm in Ravenswood, WV.

The chicken marsala was so creamy and luscious, and the kale was deliciously bitter and rich from the bacon grease, and had a little bit of bite from the red pepper flakes. I've made these recipes before, but tonight they were just so much better. Gold star!

I never cooked with kale before until this fall. I'm totally hooked. I LOVE it! And it's so good for you. The recipe I use is so simple. It's from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper cookbook, which is my all-time favorite. I don't know how much longer the farmer's market will have kale, but I hope it's for at least a few more weeks.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dark Days Challenge Extra Credit: Christmas Dinner

Jeremy and I had no fewer than 4 meals commemorating the Christmas holiday through the end of last week and the weekend. Needless to say, I'm all "pie-ed" out. And, I still have a fridge full of leftovers, almost all of which are no where near healthy. Ham, mashed potatoes, baked beans, pie, pie and more pie, and cake and cookies... I feel like I could benefit from one of those Beyonce cleanse diets.

I supposed I should be grateful that we have enough to eat, because I know that many families did not this holiday season. At any rate, without even planning it, I realized as I was making Christmas dinner at my house for my dad and brother, that I was making a Dark Days meal. That's what's so nice about doing this for a few years, you just grow accustomed to eating this way, and you do it without thinking.

I made a fresh ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy and rolls. My dad and his wife brought a dessert and so did my brother and his girlfriend. It was quite a spread and everyone got their bellies full on a delicious SOLE dinner.

The ham was from Little Brown Cow Farm via the Monroe Farm Market. It had a glaze made from orange-infused local honey, Makers Mark, and some peach jam I canned from local peaches last summer. The potatoes were from Larry Williams (I mentioned him in my last post--he is a farmer in the northern part of the state that I see from time to time through my job). They were made with 2% milk from Homestead Creamery, Organic Valley pasture butter, and some Kroger brand all-natural sour cream. The beans were grown by by father in law and canned by my mother in law. I put some bacon grease on them from bacon I bought from Sandy Creek Farms in Ravenswood, WV. The rolls were made from local flour from Reeds Mill Flours in Monroe County. I even used my newly-bought fancy Florida Crystals sugar in the rolls so they could be 100% SOLE.

I've never had fresh ham (that I know of) before. It was a challenge. You have to bake it long enough to get it up to the proper temperature, unlike a cured or pre-cooked ham. And, it wasn't smoked, so I needed to flavor it. I soaked it in a brine of kosher salt and brown sugar for a day before I baked it. Then, I found a recipe for a simple bourbon glaze that called for honey and orange marmalade. I'll definitely try this again. My house smelled AMAZING while it was baking. I probably overcooked the ham, but I was trying to get it up to 165 degrees. I couldn't have gotten by with a little less oven time, but it was still delicious.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dark Days Challenge Week 4: Turkey Dumplins

When you mention chicken and dumplins (and BTW, I will refer to them as "dumplins" from here on out, as opposed to "dumplings" because I like to say it like that...It's so very Southern), most people I know get starry eyed and a goofy grin across their face as they remember back to their childhood and the mother of all comfort food. Chicken and dumplins are usually a special treat that only comes around a few times a year and reserved for Sunday dinners at grandma's.
When I was putting turkey leftover from my Thanksgiving Tom in the freezer a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to make turkey dumplins with it. It would be a perfect dinner on a cold winter day.

Only problem was I've never made turkey, or even chicken, dumplins before. I couldn't even tell ya where to start. I consulted my mom who makes great chicken dumplins, but she said she never really liked hers, and that they didn't even compare to my granny's. So her directions were something like "well, get your stock hot and add a little flour to it to thicken it then drop your dough in" and that was about it.

So, the Hubs and I got ready to make dinner tonight, and I wanted to call my mom to get a few last pointers on how to make the dough and such. But she didn't answer, so we tried my mother-in-law. She didn't have an exact recipe either, just get some flour and mix an egg and  a little bit of milk in it for the dough and drop it in the boiling stock.

I'm starting to figure out that there is not a written recipe for chicken (or turkey) and dumplins out there anywhere. It's one of those things that the best batches are made by adding a little of this and a pinch of that until you know it's right. Those are the best meals. And, incidently, the hardest to replicate.

So. When I master the recipe, I promise to put a written version on this blog. Promise. But, my first attempt wasn't what you'd call mastery. It wasn't bad either, though.

Not too shabby for our first attempt. They were so tasty and satisfying. The dumplins were a little chewy. I don't know if we cooked them too long or added too much flour to the dough, but we'll have to tweak it for next time. I've got three more containers of turkey in the freezer, so there will be a next time very soon. Who doesn't love dumplins?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dark Days Challenge Week 3: Lamb chops and roasted potatoes

Jeremy and I tried our hands at grilled lamb chops tonight. It was a team effort because I made the rub and he grilled them. And they turned out perfect. We recently had them at some friends' house, and they were crazy good, so when I saw them listed on the Monroe Farm Market's website, I grabbed them. They were pretty simple, just some salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic. I think the thin layer of fat on the outside of them is what makes the dish, though. It just kinda melts and crisps into this salty garlicky crust that is juicy underneath.

I made some roasted potatoes with garlic and rosemary to follow the flavors of the chops for the side dish.

Juicy little lamp lollipops. I am SOOOO making these again soon.

The lamb chops were from Indian Creek Farm in Monroe County, via the Monroe Market. The potatoes were from Preston County, in the northern part of West Virginia, and probably just under the 250 mile boundary. But I personally know the farmer who grew them, and he was coming to Charleston anyway, so I had him bring me some. What I didn't realize was how many potatoes really are in a bushel. That's a lot of potatoes, but I'm glad. They store well and they are really good.
Both lamb chops and potatoes had olive oil with kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder and rosemary on them. The rosemary was right from my backard.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Winter salads

I detest iceberg lettuce in a salad. Why bother with it? No flavor and no nutrients.

Jeremy and I eat a lot of salad. I've found lettuce to be one of the easiest things to grow in my backyard. I grow black seeded simpson and a mesclun mix. And if we don't get enough out of my backyard, organic field greens and assorted salad toppings are always on my grocery list.

I love winter salads--or, I suppose I should say late fall/early spring salads. There IS, afterall, about a two month stretch here that you can't even coax some some radishes. But, I felt like I was taunting Old Man Winter yesterday when I was picking carrots, radishes and lettuce from my cold frames. We have had a warm and wet fall. This time last year, the temps were solidly in the 20s and 30s. Last weekend, I think it was 70 and sunny.

I always make salads this time of year with lettuce and cool weather crops from my backyard. Add some toasted pumpkin seeds and some local goat cheese, and you've got a perfect lunch. I like some simple balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dressing. And I love to add a few drops of toasted seasame oil to it. If I have them, I'll chop up an apple to mix in as well. But I didn't today. So nice and crisp and refreshing, especially when the weather outside is chilly and dreary.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dark Days Challenge Week 2: Butternut Squash Carbonara

I'll admit, this Dark Days meal didn't take much thought. The recipe is in my regular fall and winter rotation. But for good reason. It's freakin' delicious.

I've featured this recipe before on my blog. I got it from this guy's blog, which I really love. His recipes are so straight forward and unpretentious. And just plain good.

The recipe calls for butternut squash, but I had a big bag of pumpkin from last year in the freezer that needs used. The pumpkin was from one of three that my boss gave me from a volunteer vine he had. The pasta was made from flour from Reed's Mill Flour, and eggs from Breezy Knoll Farm, both in Monroe County, WV. I used half and half in the sauce instead of heavy cream from Homestead Creamery in Wirtz, VA. The sauce also had bacon from Sandy Creek Farms in Ravenswood, WV, and two eggs from Cozy Hollow Farm in Monroe County. I generally buy from Breezy Knoll Farm, since I've come to know that farmer, but the last time I ordered, they were sold out, so I bought from another farm. And now, I might switch to Cozy Hollow permanently because their eggs are better. The yolks are so deep orange. That means they're really good for you, too. Absolutely beautiful!

The sauce also had some grated parmesean cheese in it that was not local, but came from Kroger's. It was Stella brand. I can't find any information about it other than their website, so I'm guessing it's not made from cows free from rBST. Booo. Also in the dish was garlic that my mom grew and organic, but not local fresh sage.

Such a hearty winter meal. You just can't beat carbonara.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What the Pho?

Last night I made pho. I should mention that I've never had pho before. So I don't know what it should taste like. But this was pretty good.

Of course, it was good. It was a recipe in my current favorite cookbook, The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper. I've mentioned before how much I love this cookbook. It's geared toward weeknight dinners. All the recipes are quick and easy, but from scratch and kicked up a notch. It totally trust these women. I'll be surprised if one day I cook something from this book that is not amazing.

So what is pho? Well, it's Vietnamese noodle soup. And it's pronounced "Fuh", which was a source for a string of sophomoric jokes between the Hubs and I.

"What are you making for dinner?"
"Hehehe. What the fuh is that?"
"Asian noodle soup. Fuh, I can't beleive you put this much ginger in it."
"What the fuh is this? Fish sauce? It stinks."
"I know. But I don't give a fuh. I'm starving. I'll eat anything."

It sorta went down hill from there. I'll spare you.

But anyway, back to the pho. It's a soup made with rice noodles and either chicken or beef. It is served with condiments such as hot peppers, herbs and bean sprouts on the side, so the person eating it can add as much as they wish. It seems like I always see Anthony Bourdain eating it when he travels to Southeast Asia. (This is not the clip I have in my mind, but it's pretty similar.) My pho had a little bit of steak (the end cut off the ribeye I ate Sunday). The recipe said to slice it very thinly and place it in the bowl raw. I froze the piece of steak for about 30 minutes so it would be easy to slice into very thin pieces.

When you spoon the boiling broth of the soup over the steak, it cooks the steak. The hubs was skeptical. But after he saw my steak cooked to a safe doneness, he tried his. I didn't have rice noodles, but I did have soba noodles. The recipe said to simmer the broth for about 20 minutes, so I just cooked the noodles in the broth as it simmered. The broth was made by broiling some onions, garlic and fresh ginger, all sliced thin, and cloves for about 5 minutes until they began to turn black on the edges. Scrape all that into a pot with about 2 1/2 quarts of stock and simmer for about 20 minutes. I used 1 quart plus 1 pint of turkey stock and 1 cup of shrimp stock.

I put too many sliced jalepenos in mine. It was way too hot, and I ended up picking them out. I also picked out a little of the ginger, as it seemed to be too overpowering if you got just a piece of ginger in a single bite. All mixed together it was okay in there. Also, I didn't fish out the cloves before serving and I should have. The hubs and I both bit into one and it was pretty nasty. But other than that, it was delicious and hearty and filling. It's a recipe I'll try again.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The 5th Annual Dark Days Challenge is underway!

This week is the beginning of the 5th Annual Dark Days Challenge!

What exactly IS the Dark Days Challenge, you may be wondering.

It's a group of fabulous and talented bloggers who have banded together to cook and eat one meal per week that is completely sustainable, organic, local and ethical (known as "SOLE" in locavore speak) and then write about it. This goal is easy enough when the farmers markets and backyard gardens are overflowing with fresh veggies and fruits through the summer and early autumn, but it's a real challenge to do it through the winter.

The challenge will run from November 27th through March 31st. We'll have to rely on hardy winter vegetables and our freezers and larders to meet the challenge. However, along the way, I'm hoping to gain some recipes and ideas from other "Dark Day-ers" around the country. It's super-fun. Take my word for it.

Typically, "local" is defined as a 100-mile radius. However, the closest sustainable commerical dairy that I have access to is about 248 miles away, so I have defined local as a 250-mile radius in the past. Also, the Dark Days Challenge (as well as the Eat Local Challenge) allows for obvious exceptions such as salt, spices and oil, since it's hard to cook a meal without those, and for most of the country, those items cannot be sourced locally.

If you would like to play along, we'd love to have you! Sign up here, but hurry, as the first week of the challenge has already started. If you don't have a blog, no worries. You can leave a comment on the weekly wrap-ups of all the entries describing your Dark Days meal. The wrap-ups will be hosted by Not Dabbling in Normal on a weekly basis. Also, if you are a Facebooker, you can "like" Not Dabbling in Normal and post pics and blurbs of your meals on its Facebook page.

So. Down to the nitty gritty...

I mentioned that my definition of local is food sourced within 250 miles. I have made exceptions for oils, vinegars and spices.

Last night, I made Roasted Butternut Chowder with Apples and Bacon from the Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman. It. Was. Heavenly. But, in my opinion, when you add bacon, onions and garlic to ANYTHING, it improves it dramatically.

The butternut squash is from Spangler's Greenhouse, and the apples are from Morgan Orchard, both in Monroe County. The onion was from Kroger's but it was organic (I have some local onions, but I was trying to use up the older ones first). The bacon was from Sandy Creek Farm in Ravenswood, WV. The garlic was grown by my mom. The turkey stock was made from my Thanksgiving Tom, which I bought from Almost Heaven Farm in Monroe County, along with some vegetable scraps I keep in the freezer for making stock. I'm not sure where they might have been from, but I'm confident they were at least organic, if not local. I also added a little bit of 2% milk to the soup to make it creamier. The milk is from Homestead Creamery in Wirtz, VA, which thankfully, my local Kroger's carries.

I got most of the ingredients for the soup from the Monroe Farm Market, which delivers twice monthly Charleston. The set-up is actually genius. The MFM has website where customers place their orders online, and the orders are delivered to a handful of locations twice monthly (every week in the summer). Farmers work with the market manager to have their items listed on the website with quantities available a couple days before ordering is open. The website pretty much works in real-time, so when something is sold out, it's just sold out. I have been a member of the MFM for three years, and am absolutely delighted with it. There is a yearly membership fee of $80, but the MFM experimented with having a $5 delivery surcharge vs an annual membership fee, and I think this is clearly the best way to do it. I would encourage anyone in the Charleston or Beckley areas to look into joining. It's totally worth it.

I also had a handful of kale leftover from the big bunch I bought a couple weeks ago, so I made it for dinner, too. It was from Spangler's Greenhouse, and I added a little bit of garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes and bacon grease to it. The bacon grease is from bacon I bought from Sandy Creek Farm. It's so nice to have fresh greens this time of year. Especially with bacon grease on them. Yum.

Here is the recipe, slightly modified by me.

Roasted Butternut Chowder with Apples and Bacon, from The Food Matters Cookbook

1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds) peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped
4 slices of bacon, cut into pieces
2 Tb minced garlic
salt and pepper
3 Tb olive oil
1 Tb chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp dried (I forgot to add this)
1/2 cup of dry white wine
4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 to 3/4 cup of milk or cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread squash, onion, apples and bacon in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil. Roast, stirring once or twice, until squash, onion and apples are tender (about 35-45 minutes). Add mixture to a large pot (including any juices), and add white wine and sage. Puree with an imersion blender (I left mine a little chunky). Place on medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add milk, stir and serve.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Turkey Week wrap-up

Last week kicked off the busiest time of the year for the kitchens of home cooks and bakers. And eaters. Thanksgiving, arguably the biggest foodie holiday of the year, slipped by without me doing a post. I didn't take a lot of pictures of the food I was making or eating over the holiday, so all you're gonna be left with is a stream of consciousness and musings from last week.

The Christmas Creep
In modern life, many of the customs and observances of the holidays as we know them have evolved into a commercial passing. A money-making opportunity for every industry down to diapers. Yes, diapers. I saw a newspaper insert for a drugstore or grocery store advertising disposable diapers printed with big red bows and holly motifs. I wish I were kidding.

Thanksgiving, for a long time, was a holiday with little commercial meddling, save for Butterball and Eagle brand evaporated milk. But now, a new term has been coined to refer to the ever-earlier Christmas shopping season: the "Christmas creep." And this year, somehow, the Thanksgiving dinner, which is essentially what this holiday had become from a very solemn rememberance of the hardships of life as a colony and the charity of Native Americans, has now been reduced even further as just a day to ramp up to Christmas shopping sales beginning at 10 pm.

I'm not bitter. I swear.

My pasture-raised Thanksgiving turkey
The past couple years, I've bought the turkey for the Thanksgiving dinner with my brother and my mom. A couple months back, I ordered an 18-pound turkey from Almost Heaven Farm in Monroe County, via the Monroe Farm Market. Perhaps I should not have gone for such a big bird, but all that turkey meat that I still have left will make good dumplings and soup later this winter. Especially, in planning for the Dark Days Challenge. The turkey was pasture-raised, and not treated with hormones or antibiotics. However, it was not a heritage breed. I have been able to find a heritage turkey in West Virginia (or anywhere nearby) since White Oak Ridge Farms went out of business a few years ago. At least this guy was well taken care of and allowed to engage in some turkey instincts like pecking for bugs and stuff in the grass.

Pumpkin recipes and canned vs. fresh pumpkin
For dessert, I was going to make the pumpkin mousse recipe from the November issue of Martha Stewart Living, but I realized too late in the game that I didn't have any unflavored gelatin. So, this beautiful pumpkin that I grew, will go into the recipe for the Starbuck's pumpkin scones. I made these a few weeks ago, and I think I ate all of them but one. They haunt me. And they were so easy to make. I didn't make the glaze, but they were good without it, or with a little bit of apple butter, actually.

Everyone's got an opinion on whether canned or real pumpkin is better for recipes. I haven't used canned pumpkin puree in years. Simply because I haven't had to. I haven't bought a pumpkin for at least 4 years because people have given me pumpkins and I finally got one to grow this year. My boss had 3 grow from a volunteer vine last year that he brought me. And my mother-in-law buys a bunch every year to do some fall decor in her yard. After halloween, she gave me all hers a few years ago. And I figure why waste them? It's just cheaper to make your own pumpkin puree. And besides, I love roasted pumpkin seeds.

Christmas baking
Last week, I was picking up a bottle of wine from the Capitol Market for another Thanksgiving Dinner, and I happened to catch Cafe Cupcakes open. It recently set up shop in the Capitol Market, and I had read a really nice write up in the paper about it. Also, the owner and baker is a friend of a friend, and I've had her cakes before. I HAD to try a cupcake, despite the fact that I was in between the two Thanksgiving Dinners I was attending last Sunday. Especially since they had red velvet, aka "Dorothy's Ruby Red Slippers." They were made of the darkest red velvet cake I have ever seen and copious amounts of cream cheese incing with edible silver beads and red glitter on them. And, they were unbelievable!

After eating Dorothy's Ruby Red Slipper, I've decided I'm going to make some red velvet cupcakes to take to my in-laws' Christmas gathering this year. I made so many two years ago, and last year I didn't make them at all. The recipe I used before is this Paula Deen recipe, and it's good, but not good like Cafe Cupcakes's. The cake isn't as dark red, which I really liked about Cafe Cupcakes's. And the Paula Deen cupcakes leach grease through the wrappers, which is kinda gross. They leave a greasy spot in my cupcake courier or when you put them out on a platter. I need a new recipe, and I might have to do some test runs to find it. (Oh, darn...)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Dark Days Challenge is Back!

Hurray! It's back again!

Image credit: (Not) So Urban Hennery

That's right, kids! The Dark Days Challenge is back for a 5th year.

What is the Dark Days Challenge, you ask? It's a pledge to cook one 100% local meal a week, or at the very least, "SOLE". During the dark days of winter... hence the name. Eating local is easy in the summer, but in the winter, when you're left with what food you've put up or what plants can tolerate the weather, it's a true challenge.

Here's a link that explains the challenge better than I can. This is also where you sign up to join in.

After you cook your local meal, write about it on your blog and send the link to these lovely folks: Not Dabbling in Normal. They'll do a recap of all the posts on their blog so you can see what other people are cooking and get some wonderful ideas. Plus, who doesn't love to see their own name and blog referenced out there on the world wide web?

The rules are sorta similar to the Eat Local Challenge, if you're familiar. "Local" is a 100 mile radius. Or a 150 mile radius. Or, a 250 mile radius in my case, since there is a family-owned dairy that produced the milk I buy 248 miles away. Just define what you consider local at the beginning of the challenge, and stick to it. Also, there are exceptions for certain items we take for granted in our daily lives that we just couldn't do with out, i.e. oil, sugar or spices. Just define what will be your exceptions at the beginning when you start and stick to those, too. Remember, it's supposed to be a challenge. And it's fun to come up with dishes based on what you have available. Trust me!

If you don't have a blog, no worries. Just cook right along with us and enjoy reading about what we're cooking. The challenge runs from November 27th to March 31st. The weekly deadlines for submitting your meal for the round-ups will be posted soon. There is also a Google group for the Challenge and someone is working on a hashtag for twitter.

I hope you all will join me. I can't wait to see what you will be making!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Making (and eating) Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

I might have mentioned how much I love Chicago here before. I love the culture, the shopping, the sights, the views, and mostly the food. I think Chicago is the forgotten foodie city or something. Everyone always thinks of New York City or even Las Vegas, or maybe even Napa Valley, when they think of food destinations in the Lower 48, but they're overlooking one important place: the home of Italian Beefs, Red Hot dogs, and most famously, deep dish pizza.

There's one thing I love almost as much as I love eating my way through Chicago, and that's making homemade pizza. Seriously, I'll never go back to pre-made crust again (I can't say I'll never eat a frozen pizza again, cause they do serve a certain purpose of getting a hot meal in front of you fast... and I might have one in the freezer.) But homemade is SOOO much better.

For a long time, I had a fear of using yeast or making anything that had to rise. What if I messed it up? But I pizza dough was a good place to start learning the mysteries of leavening. It's flat anyway, so if it doesn't rise properly, it's easy to conceal it a bit.

I have been making my homemade pizzas for a while as thin crust pizzas, and they are pretty good. But after I was in Chicago last summer, and I think I might have also saw something on the Food Network or Travel Channel about Chicago-style deep dish pizza, I knew I had to give these a try. My first attempt wasn't bad, but it was a thin crust dough in a deep dish pan. Good, but not authentic.

There is a difference in the type of dough, actually. Chicago style has a bit of cornmeal in the mix, whereas thin crust (New York style, if you will) does not. But, as far as the dough goes, there's not much else that's different. I found a deep dish pizza dough recipe online. This one is pretty close to the one I actually use.

Making dough is exponentially easier with a stand mixer and a dough hook. It provides the "elbow grease" in kneading.

The hardest part about making homemade pizza is that you have to plan ahead a little bit and allow 1-2 hours for the dough to rise. I am terrible at waiting for dough to rise, and I tried my hardest to let it rise more than an hour, but I just couldn't.

Chicago style deep dish pizza is put together kinda reverse from thin crust. You put the meat and cheese in the bottom first before the rest of the toppings. I had half a zucchini leftover from somethign else and some carmelized onions. I actually sauteed the zucchini in the grease left from browing the Italian sausage so they would soak up some of that flavor. Then I topped the pizza with pieces of fresh mozzarella. On manager's special--Woot! Woot!
I added the sauce, which was a little bit of leftover arrabiata sauce I had in the freezer. Then I shredded some fresh parm over the top. You can't have too much cheese.

The finished product--mmmmmm. So yummy. Now, if I only had a Goose Island 312 to wash it down with... Too bad they don't sell those down here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

SOLE on SNAP Day 31

This is the last day, and at least budget-wise, I reached my goal. I think I did pretty decent at eating a balanced, healthy diet, too. I have done better at times over the past year, for sure, but I think I mostly got all my nutrients and met the recommendations of

I had a hard boiled egg. I wasn't really hungry because of the all the Chinese I ate Sunday night. Jeremy didn't eat anything either.
I had the end of the Butternut Squash and Bowtie pasta I made last week. It was so awesome, even leftover 3 or 4 days. Jeremy had a big salad that I grew, some BBQ almonds, some swiss cheese, a diet green tea, a greek yogurt and the rest of some pork rinds that he bought last Friday.
I had a greek yogurt, a small piece of swiss cheese and an apple. I also had a no sugar added hot cocoa after lunch. When I got home, I also had two of the little dried out cakes you get from the Chinese place complementary with your take out.
We made Connie's Zucchini Casserole for dinner and the Big Sweet and Sour Tomato Salad from the How to Eat Supper cookbook. I hate to admit that I have questioned the recipes from this book, but I should always trust Ms. Kasper. I don't think there's a bad recipe (or even a mediocre recipe) in this cookbook. We each had a glass of the Cold Trail Ale from the growlers we brougth back from Mountain State Brewing Company.
We both went to the YMCA to work out. I did 20 minutes of elliptical and 20 minutes on the stationary bike. Jeremy walked on the treadmill for 45 minutes. I burnt 345 calories.

STATS: Gold star for me today!!!
Calories 1,471 (1,816 total less 345 exercise)
Fat 64.2 g
Sat Fat 24.2 g
Cholesterol 347.2 mg
Sodium 1,200.2 mg
Carbs 195.4 g
Fiber 14.8 g (def could have done better here)
Sugars 65 g
Protien 55.7 g

I didn't meet the recommendations today on protein and fruit. I don't eat a lot of fruit, I've noticed, since I started looking over the MyPlate report on LoseIt! It's not in season now, except apples. I eat what's in season. I'm eating apples and frozen blueberries. Maybe I should make more of an effort? I also didn't get the recommended servings of protein, but there's too sides to every coin. It was Monday, and I did go Meatless for Monday. On purpose.

Stay tuned for a recap of the whole project post.

SOLE on SNAP Days 28 through 30. No diary but a foodie road trip.

I didn't track much of what I ate over the weekend because we were out and about. Nonetheless, here's my recap.

Friday, October 28th
I had a half a cup of old fashioned oats with about 3 Tb of half and half, a few walnuts, frozen blueberries and about 1 tsp of honey. I also made both Jeremy and I a cup of coffee, mine with half and half from Homestead Creamery, and his with Coffeemate Natural Bliss creamer.
I had leftover Bowtie Pasta with Butternut Squash and Kale from dinner two nights ago. I was just as amazing leftover. Jeremy had lunch out with some coworkers at McDonalds because one of them had a hankerin' for a McRib. Gross.
I had a small apple and two peeps that I brought into work to share. When I went to the Halloween party monday night, someone gave me a package of peeps. I'm not crazy about them, so I figured I'd spread the love. I also had another small apple and a stick of Sargento snack cheese. Before I left for Princeton, I had a handful of BBQ almonds and a Fiber One 90 calorie bar.
I had to go to Princeton to an event for a community group I belong to. I was going with a group from Charleston, and we were leaving pretty much as soon as I got off work. There was a reception after the event, that was pot luck. It was typical fare for potluck receptions, I suppose: finger sandwiches, meatballs, veggie and fruit tray and cake. Jeremy went bow hunting in Clay County, and went to his parents for dinner. He had chilli.

I didn't put anything I had at dinner in my LoseIt! App, so I didn't include my stats here since they were incomplete.

Saturday, October 29th
We decided to take a road trip to Thomas on Saturday. We had a hankering for some Hellbender Burritos and some Moutain State Brewing Co. beer. A long way to drive for a craving, but we had no plans and we absolutely love visiting that part of the state.

I had "The Admiral" and Jeremy had the "Hellbender" with shrimp. This is a great place for vegetarians because all the burritos can be made with seitan substituted for the meat. And they also have several vegetarian offerings on th menu. We got there right before the start of the WVU game, and the place was filling up fast. Jeremy's burrito looked awesome, but I'm not a big fan of buffalo sauce, so I didn't try it. He said it was off the meat rack. They also have on tap beer from the Mountain State Brewing Co., which is just up the road. We had a couple of their IPAs while we watched the game and ate our burritos.

This burrito was ginormous.

After we finished our food and beers, we left and headed a few miles away for Moutain State Brewing Co. to get our growlers filled up. They also had the game on, so we watched the rest of the first half there. They had a seasonal pumpkin ale on tap, and I tasted it. The girl behind the bar said a lot of people had been mixing it with the Miner's Daughter Oatmeal Stout, which is one of their permanent offerings. It was pretty bangin. But since it was a limited offering, they wouldn't sell it in a growler and they didn't have it at their other locations. I felt pretty lucky to have gotten to try it. We got growlers filled with the IPA, their Amber Ale and Cold Trail Ale. I can't decide which is my favorite of the four permanent offerings. Unlike some other micro breweries, they only have 4 beers. But they do all 4 REALLY well. I think I might be partial to Cold Trail Ale, which is saying a lotl, since I am a dark stout and porter kinda girl. Cold Trail Ale is a Belgian oat and wheat beer. It's good in summer especially, but also good in winter, as I discovered. There was about 3 or 4 inches of snow on the ground in Davis/Thomas.

At halftime, we headed for Morgantown to stay with my BFF through Preston County. It's not too far, distance-wise, but the road is curvy, so it was a nice roadtrip drive. It was absolutely beautiful, too, with all the snow.

Sunday, October 30th
Sunday morning, er, afternoon-ish, Erinn made us a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and pumpkin muffins and saw us off. When we got back to Charleston, we called in to our favorite Chinese place, Main Kwong, and got take out for dinner. Because this is a food blog, I should note that I reached a milestone on Sunday when I picked up my Chinese food. The lady who owns Main Kwong called me by name when I came through the door, "Ms. Jones." For those of you in Charleston, you'll appreciate the signifigance. She notoriously knows most of her customers' names. And hundreds of people eat here. It's like the best place to get Chinese in Charleston. I had been waiting for her to address me by name when I walked in, so I was stoked. Of course, this probably means that I order from there way too much.

Friday, October 28, 2011

SOLE on SNAP Day 27 and a convo with a farmer

I heart the Farmers Market. Naturally. I heart farmers, and that's where farmers are. Especially farmers like John Crihfield.

I had some time to kill yesterday evening after work. I had somewhere I needed to be at 5:15. Not enough time to run home, and too much time to just leave work and sit around for 30 minutes. I decided to stop at the Capitol Market to see if they still had apples, because I want to can some soon. I could kill an afternoon walking around the farmer's market. Especially on days like that because it wasn't busy at all, and I got the chance to chat up the farmer at the stand I usually buy from.

He's like you picture a farmer, I think. White hair, trucker hat, leathery skin, soft spoken.

I was looking over the apples, and he asked if I needed help. "How much longer will you have apples?"

"Monday is our last day." They lease space from the Capitol Market, a non-profit, quasi governmental organization. And their leases end on October 31st. Period. He told me he has hundreds of bushels of tomatoes still on plants that he won't be able to sell. I asked if he had a farm stand at his farm that he could sell them from. No, he was going to Florida at the end of next week. He would most likely just donate them to Manna Meal, the local soup kitchen, or let them rot on the vine, he said nonchalantly. He already donated hundreds of bushels of green beans and corn to Manna Meal. I'm sure they appreciate the generosity of farmers like him. He said he had another load of beans that he wasn't planning on picking. He planted the tomatoes at the end of July for late tomatoes. Only, they were a little too late. I asked he sold to Kroger or anything like that, and he said he did once. In 1949. He got something like 15 cents per bushel of green beans back then. But he said now there's too much paperwork involved. You have to fill out paperwork saying how many times you spray pesticide, and what kinds of pesticide, and it just wasn't worth it. (Alarm bells going off in my head actually as he's saying this...) He actually sold just about all the other vendors at the Capitol Market green beans to sell. I didn't realize that farmers had arrangements like this. He said sometimes a customer will look at his green beans or corn, and then to the booth right beside him and buy green beans that he sold that farmer, and he just chuckles.

I can't beleive the Capitol Market has an end date of October 31st for the leases, though. Especially if the weather cooperates. The outdoor space they occupy will be empty for at least 3 weeks, since the Christmas tree vendors don't come in and set up until the week of Thanksgiving. Why not let the vegetable farmers stay?

We talked about what kinds of vegetables he grew. He grows a hybrid called a Volunteer green bean. When I asked him why, he said it's because they taste better. He said he bought the apples directly from the orchard. It was Shanholtz Orchard in Romney, WV. He said he didn't sell anything but West Virginia apples because they are the best.

I had to go, but I could have stayed a chatted with him for an hour. I told him about my blog. That I write about gardening and eating, but he seemed pretty unimpressed. I'm not sure he knew what a blog was, actually...

Well, Mr. Crihfield, if you're reading (or anyone on your staff), thanks and keep up the good work. I left with two irrestible purple Cherokee tomatoes and a zucchini.

I had a 1/2 cup of oats with 1/3 cup of frozen blueberries from my mom's bushes. I had a splash of half and half in my oatmeal and 1 Tb of honey. I had a cup of coffee and half and half in it, also. Jeremy didn't eat breakfast, but had a cup of coffee with creamer.

We celebrated two coworkers' birthdays that fell on the 26th and 27th by going out for Mexican food at one of our favorite joints. I had half an order of vegetarian fajitas with refried beans, lettuce, pico de gallo and guacamole and corn tortillas. I also had some of the obligitory chips and salsa before our food arrived, but I measured out 12 chips on a napkin and just ate those to help me keep my calories in check. I also had a medium margarita. Bad, Jennelle! But it was so good. Jeremy had two leftover deer BBQs with slaw on whole wheat buns, some BBQ almonds, a stick of Sargento snack cheese, a Fiber One 90 calorie bar and some tortilla chips and humus.

I had a cup of coffee at work with French vanilla creamer.

A completely SOLE meal: I made chicken marsala with polenta. The chicken was pastured chicken from Almost Heaven Farm via the Monroe Market. The polenta was made from cornmeal from Reed's Mill Flours, some chopped fresh organic sage, and a pat of butter from Organic Valley made from pastured cows. The marsala sauce had a tomato was leftover from the box I bought to can at the beginning of the month and from John Crihfield's younger brother, Ron Crihfield's farm (the elder Crihfield didn't have canning tomatoes the day I went to buy them). It also had an organic, but not local, onion. The recipe also called for chicken stock, and I used some of what I made from the bones/carcas when we had the drunken chicken earlier this month. The only non-SOLE things in this were the marsala wine, a little bit of olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and some dried thyme. I cut up one of the Cherokee Purple tomatoes to have with dinner. I don't recall ever having eaten one raw before, if at all, but I was disappointed with the taste. I don't know why, but I thought it would be super sweet. Only it wasn't. At all. These tomatoes would actually be good to cook with since they have such a tangy, unsweet taste, but they wouldn't be very pretty in a sauce or something. I also cut a couple pieces off the huge pineapple tomato that I took off my tomato plants when I tore them down for the winter.

EXERCISE: I burnt 345 calories (which still wasn't enough) at the gym doing 20 minutes of elliptical and 20 minutes of stationary bike at a moderate pace.

Calories 2,542  (2,887 less 345 from exercise)
Fat 90 g
Sat Fat 38.7 g
Cholesterol 264.3 mg
Sodium 3,534 mg
Carbs 362 g
Fiber 43.2 g
Sugar 144.4 g
Protein 88.5 g

The myplate report on my LoseIt! app says I didn't meet my fruit or vegetables quota for the day, but oddly enough, has the vegetarian fajitas listed under protein sources. I'm not sure why.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

SOLE on SNAP Day 26: Navigating the "work lunch away from work"

Yesterday, some of my coworkers and I went to an Indian buffett for lunch. This seemed like a situation that could be fraught with disaster. The good news is that many Indian dishes are vegetarian, which helps with the calories and helps out those of us that are trying to eat SOLE. Eating vegetarian isn't simply SOLE on its own, but you score a bunch of "ethical" points here. I did a quick consultation with Eat This Not That for an Indian restaurant, and I was on my way. If you're unsure eating out, which I am for Indian food, as I am not totally familiar with what is in all the dishes, this is a great way to get some guidelines before you eat out.

I had a cup of instant oatmeal at work since I was running way behind yesterday morning. I bought it and brought it in. I also had a cup of coffee with some french vanilla creamer. Jeremy had two blueberry muffins I made last weekend.

I should mention, I suppose, as it is day 26, that we have a sorta "community" drawer of food at work. We have a pretty good system, and we all replenish it from time to time without being asked. Sometimes my boss will contribute $50 or so and send someone on a grocery run for the drawer. It has stuff like snack crackers, oatmeal, bread, peanut butter, and chips in it, because sometimes it is hard to get downstairs to get lunch from the cafeteria or sometimes you didn't pack anything. Things can get pretty hectic around here from time to time, and we always have some snacks on hand. Anything in this drawer is fair game for anyone in the office. And we all eat out of it, and restock it, pretty frequently.

I went with my coworkers to the Indian buffett. I had some basmati rice, vegetable korma, saag paneer, channa masala, and some chicken tikki masala sauce (I picked around the chicken) with some naan bread. I also had a small greek salad on the side with some humus. I also had a tandoori chicken thigh. It is probably the healthiest thing on the menu. It was more calories that I usually eat, but wasn't terrible. Jeremy had a peanut butter and black raspberry jam sandwich, stick of Sargent snack cheese, chips, fiber one 90 calorie bar, and a Kroger-brand diet green tea.

I tried to eat one of the blueberry muffins I made last weekend, but it was terrible. I should note that Jeremy has been eating them for 3 days. I asked him why he didn't say something, and he said he was "trying to be a team player" which I thought was hysterical, and that he just wanted to hurry up and get rid of them. I think it was the muffin pan that I used at my mom's. These muffins tasted metallic. We also made some mini muffins, which I had, and they didn't taste like this. Makes me wonder what kinds of heavy metals we were ingesting every time that muffin pan is used. Gross.

Jeremy made deer BBQs for dinner. I had slaw left over from the fried fish last week. He put the BBQ meat on the jalepeno tortillas I bought at the beginning of the month and made them into wraps. They were really good. The deer meat was from a deer he killed and canned by his mom last December. I made us a baked potato. His parents brought back a huge box of russet potatoes and sweet potatoes from Amish country a couple weeks ago, and they gave use a handful of each. When I say they gave us and handful, I mean they gave us like 5 of each. But these are no ordinary potatoes. Jeremy and I shared one, and it would have been like two large potatoes. They are football-sized. We had some natural sour cream on the potatoes, and jeremy had a little bit of shredded cheddar.


Calories 2,086
Fat 52.9 g
Sat Fat 14.4 g
Cholesterol 186.7 mg
Sodium 2,342.9 mg
Carbs 288.2 g
Fiber 26.4 g
Sugars 49.8 g
Protein 107.7 g

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

SOLE on SNAP Day 25: My observance of Food Day

Yesterday was food day. No, I didn't forget, I just didn't get a chance to celebrate it. It looks like it would have been fun to take part in some of the observances.

New York City had a big sit down lunch at Times Square with foodies, food writers and celebrity chefs breaking bread together. I would have liked to have had a bite of that lunch. Since I didn't eat any meat, and ate very sustainably today, I'm going to say that I celebrated Food Day on Tuesday, October 25th instead of Monday. My lunch and dinner were noticeably void of processed food and were pretty much SOLE. I think that really embraces the concept of Food Day. I should be trying to eat like this more often. It was so delicious. More delicious and satisfying, actually, than would have been a lunch dinner that had processed food as a part of it or was not SOLE.

I had 1 cup of Cheerios with 1/4 cup of 2% milk and a hard boiled egg. I did make myself a cup of coffee with Natural Bliss creamer this morning, too. I needed an extra lil' sumthin to get me going. Jeremy had a coupon for a free breakfast sandwich at McDonalds. He got a McGridle with a sweet tea... breakfast of champions.

I had (the end, finally) leftover cream of tomato soup and a salad that I grew with homemade buttermilk ranch. I also had a handful of Garden of Eatin' blue corn chips from a bag I brought into work to share. Jeremy had a sandwich made from the leftover fried trout, buttermilk ranch and lettuce, a stick of Sargento sharp cheddar snack cheese, a chobani yogurt.

Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash and Greens over Bowtie Pasta from my How to Eat Supper cookbook. Another homerun recipe. I haven't found anything in this cookbook yet that we don't LOVE. I chopped everything, and the Hubs pretty much did everything else. I substituted Red Russian Kale for the curly endive the recipe called for, which came from Cozy Hollow Farm, via the Monroe Farm Market. I also substituted dried basil for the fresh, and shredded parmesean for the asiago, both from Krogers, along with the bowtie pasta. The squash came from Spangler's Greenhouse via MFM. The half and half is Homestead Creamery. The sage was fresh and organic, and also from Krogers. This meal pretty much hit all the tastes, salty, sweet and bitter, except no sour, unless  you took a drink of the Pinot Grigio that we had with it. This dinner was so hearty and tasty, you wouldn't even miss the meat.


After dinner, Jeremy said he felt like he was getting a cold and should drink some orange juice. I told him the kale probably had more vitamin c in it than orange juice does without all that sugar, and he looked at me like I was crazy. He said he would have bought 100% orange juice so it didn't have all that sugar in it. According to wikipedia, 3.5 oz. of kale has 41 mg of vitamin c, which is 41% of your daily recommended amount. However, Tropicana 100% orange juice has 130% of the daily recommended amount in a 6 oz. glass. So, maybe it does have more vitamin c, but at 110 calories for that tiny 6 oz. serving still sounds like you're better off to go with the kale. The ingredients say 100% pure orange juice, but for the calories to be that high, I'm skeptical there's not some sugar hiding in there.

I had a Fage greek yogrut, small apple and a stick of Sargento snack cheese. I also had a chocolate covered strawberry and apple wedge from a coworker's birthday Edible Arrangement. I had a cup of coffee with dry non-dairy creamer in the morning, and small cup with hazelnut flavored creamer in the afternoon. I also had a Fiber One 90 calorie bar before walking. I had one more glass of white wine after dinner.

Jeremy and I walked at G.W. High School for 35 minutes at about a 4 mph pace. That burnt 186 calories.

Calories 2.038 (2,224 les 186)
Fat 67.5 g
Sat Fat 13.1 g
Cholesterol 260.1 mg
Sodium 1,671.1 mg (HOORAY!)
Carbs 267.3 g
Fiber 44.7 g
Sugars 85.5 g
Protein 59.2 g

This was a really good day. Would have been even better had I not had those two glasses of wine. But that wine was much enjoyed (and in moderation) with dinner and after, and that's what eating should be all about. I'm pretty happy with my stats, now, if I can just keep up the pace.

I did have to get half and half from the store, which was 2.89 plus a 2.00 deposit for the glass bottle. With tax the half and half was 2.98. This brings my total food budget for the month up to $310.99, still well under the $367 in SNAP benefits we would recieve.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SOLE on SNAP Day 24

I mentioned that I was reflecting on my project now that I'm in the homestretch. I'm going to make a better effort to stay in my calorie budget. That means more exercise and less noshing on junk food mostly at work. Discipline! I'm putting all my chips on the table. Oh, and I need to eat more fruit.

I had 1 cup of Cheerios with about 1/3 cup of 2% milk and a hard boiled egg. We had a coupon for a free oatmeal from McDonalds that expired next Monday, which Jeremy used today.
I had another serving of the cream of tomato soup I made last week and a salad with the homemade buttermilk ranch. Jeremy had a fried trout sandwich, a Fiber One 90 bar, a Chobani vanilla greek yogurt, a Sargento cheddar cheese stick, the rest of the guacamole and some baked tostitos, and a bottle of Kroger brand diet green tea.
I had a can of Progresso vegetable soup because I had a meeting to go in the evening and didn't have time to cook. I also had a "pocketbook sandwich" made from 1 slice of whole wheat bread, natural PB and some blackberry jam I canned. Besides, Jeremy had a "guy's night " scheduled for wings and beer at BW3 with my dad and brother.
I had a Chobani greek vanilla yogurt, a small apple from Morgan Orchard via the Monroe Farm Market, and a stick of Sargento snack cheese. I also had a Nature Valley Granola Thin. When I got home, I was super hungry, so I had some baked tostitos. I did really well all day until my meeting. I knew they'd have food, and I suppose I did okay dodging some of the more egregious caloric offenders. I had a small cup of punch, a scoop of Chinese chicken salad (pretty healthy), a tiny scoop of pasta salad that looked like it had Italian dressing on it, a 1" piece of peanut butter fudge and a brownie with marshmallow topping.

Calories 2/216
Fat 69.4 g
Sat Fat 15.2 g
Cholesterol 255.4 mg
Sodium 3.549.1 mg
Carbs 337.8 g
Fiber 32.7 g
Sugar 135.1 g
Protein 65.2 g

Now, what was it I was saying about this discipline, thing? Baby steps, I guess.

Monday, October 24, 2011

SOLE on SNAP: Days 22 & 23

Ah, the weekend. Why do they go by in the blink of an eye? I've scattered in a handful of pics that depict how my weekend went, even if it did go by way too quickly.

I'm in the home stretch of SOLE on SNAP; I am in the last week. I've been doing some reflecting on the project and it's coming to an end. There are definitely some things I wish I'd done differently, and some things I am really proud of.

First, I wish I could have devoted more time to the project. I can now appreciate thoughtful substantive blogs by people who hold down full time jobs. Where do they find the time to do it? I really don't like to even turn on the computer when I come home from work since I sit in front of one all day. I would have liked to include more entries with outside stories in them like news bits about eating healthy on a budget. But somedays it was all I could do to post my food diary and stats without including any other content.

Secondly, I wish I would have more diligent in my eating and exercising this month. I was just telling my mom yesterday that since I started this project, I don't think I came in under my calorie budget more than a handful of times, let alone hit all the marks on the recommendations. It wasn't that I couldn't do it, I don't think. I absolutely believe that I could have met the challenge of this project with more effort. But then again, that would translate into more planning, thought, and of course, time. See above.

And, finally, one other observation. The timing sucks, though. I was playing around on my LoseIt! account online last week and discovered there is a tracker feature that shows you on a day-by-day basis if you're meeting the recommendations. How awesome is that?! I just wish I would have discovered it before the last week of the project.

Saturday, October 22nd
I made a big breakfast for us. We each had 2 eggs sunny side up, 2 pieces of bacon and a piece of toast with some homemade carrot cake jam I made last year. I had two cups of coffee with creamer and Jeremy had 1 cup.

Not the best pic, but just look at the color of that yolk! Farm eggs rock! They are tastier and healthier.
For lunch, we both had leftover Chinese from the night before.

I went shopping with my momma Saturday evening and she treated me to dinner at the new Panera Bread at the mall. I had the "You Pick Two" combo. I had a greek salad and the Natural Steak Chili. The good and bad thing, I suppose, about this dinner was that we got there withing 30 minutes of closing. So we got full salads for the price of the half on the "You Pick Two" combos, but they didn't have much left to pick from. I had my heart set on their black bean soup, but they were out. The chili was pretty good, though, but salty. Jeremy was hunting near his sister and brother-in-law's house, and his mom came by Saturday evening and brought him some meatloaf leftovers.

I had some tortilla chips and humus and some saltines and natural peanut butter.

I was SO busy Saturday at my house. I did a ton of yardwork and started cleaning my house, but didn't get finished. I burnt a TON of calories, while getting stuff done around the house, which I totally love! My LoseIt! app says I burnt 698 calories, and I believe it, cause I was beat Saturday night.

Tearing out my tomato plants. I hate to see them go.

Lettuce and radishes in the raised beds. Hopefully my growing season lasts several more weeks. I have "cold frame" lids for these to protect them from the frost and cold temps, although both of these crops are best suited for cooler weather.

Calories 1,426 (2,124 less 698 exercise)
Fat 119.7 g
Sat Fat 21.3 g
Cholesterol 487.6 mg
Sodium 5,297.3 mg
Carbs 182.2 g
Fiber 22.4 g
Sugars 54.7 g
Protein 87.5 g

Sunday, October 23rd

I had old-fashioned oatmeal with a handful of last year's blueberries from my mom, a few walnuts, a splash of 2% milk and a tsp of turbinado sugar. Jeremy had frozen waffles, natural peanut butter and 100% pure maple syrup (worth the money...). We both had a cup of coffee and Natural Bliss creamer.

I had a sandwich made from Thursday night's leftover fried trout and a salad. The sandwich was BANGIN'! I am also trying to finish up that buttermilk I accidently bought, so I also made some homemade buttermilk ranch dressing for the salad. It's a bit too thick. I probably should add some more buttermilk to thin it out. I got the recipe from my Betty Crocker Cookbook Bridal Edition. I also had some leftover guacamole from last week and some Baked Tostitos. Also, the salad was 100% grown by me!!! Makes it taste even better. Jeremy went golfing with my brother and dad, and they stopped at Burger King for lunch.

Isn't that salad absolutely beautiful? It tasted pretty awesome, too.

We had KFC at Jeremy's mom and dad's house. Not the healthiest dinner, so I'm glad I got in some exercise and had eaten relatively well throughout the day.

I had a Gold Peak Sweetened Tea. They use sugar. I try not to eat any artificial sweeteners, but I'm not sure which is the lesser evil: sugar or artificial sweeteners??? At my mom's we baked blueberry muffins, and I had a few mini muffins. We also made South of the Border stuffed peppers and stuffed tomatoes. I had half a stuffed tomato and a couple of the small stuffed peppers.

I tried to finish up the house cleaning that I didn't get done on Saturday, but I still didn't get done. I also took a 45-minute walk with my mom at her house. It was such a beautiful day. I burnt 326 calories.

Calories 2,070 (2,396 less 326 exercise)
Fat 95.1 g
Sat Fat 19.9 g
Cholesterol 198.8 mg
Sodium 3,756.2 mg
Carbs 280.4 g
Fiber 30.7 g
Sugar 112.6 g
Protein 117.2 g

Now, I did try to get the report saved as an image that I could post on this blog, but I couldn't get it to work out. However, Sunday appears to be the first day that I can see that I did hit all the recommendations on, according to LoseIt!