daily eats: 4.29.13

I’m currently a little obsessed with Gwyneth Paltrow’s new book It’s All Good. I’ve paged through it about 4-5 times so far. The recipes are great, the pictures are beautiful and she’s not bad to look at either. :)

I’m also coming off of a weekend in Vegas, a few days of being sick and eating out an insane amount of times. So I could use a LOT of “good” this week. Lots of good vegetables, protein, workouts and water. She is my inspiration this week!

am workout: 20 minutes of physique 57 (strength)

coffee: (duh) + 1/2 & 1/2 while I made my daily “to do” list. I never cross off as much as I would like to…

breakfast: One of Gwyneth’s (and co-author Julia Turshen’s) favorite breakfasts is avocado toast and even though it’s nothing new, I thought the addition of mayo (she uses vegenaise) was interesting. Verdict? Yes, I love it! I don’t know what it is that makes it so delicious but I’m hooked. I had a touch of vegenaise + a small avocado on 2 slices of sprouted bread.

lunch: salad (also from the cookbook) with a delicious vegan, creamy parsley dressing and all sorts of toppings: cucumbers + garbanzo beans + beets + 2  hard-boiled eggs.

snack: baby carrots + greek yogurt ranch dip

workout: 30 minutes on the elliptical + 40 minute walk (to/from gym)

dinner: While making dinner I snacked on a few olives + chips and salsa. Burgers weren’t on the original menu but they kept getting pushed back so had to be eaten tonight. I also had them last night at a family cookout and have a lunch date at The Counter tomorrow. Life could be worse and you won’t ever catch me complaining about eating burgers. :) Broccolini + onion & jalapeno on the side!

dessert: small handful of dark chocolate almonds

approximate nutrition stats: 1955 calories, 121 grams fat (53%), 145 grams carbohydrates (28%), 40 grams fiber, 33 grams sugar, 96 grams protein (20%). My Dad (who works in Cardiac Rehab) might fall over if he sees that 50% of my calories came from fat…

I know Gwyneth can be polarizing – love or hate?  

daily eats: 9.26.12

What a wonderful day yesterday was – I had the day off in observance of Yom Kippur. Even though I’m not Jewish, the organization that I work for is and I’m fortunate enough to get a few extra days off this fall. It was so nice to have a slower day to catch up on errands, take a mid-morning yoga class and get a mani/pedi ($28!).

Breakfast: Ok, this is CRAZY but I had seen it a few times online and was so intrigued, I needed to try it. “Bulletproof Coffee” is a blended mix of coffee, butter (grass-fed) and coconut oil. You are supposed to use “mold -free” coffee beans, but I used my regular, old coffee beans from Trader Joe’s. Blended together, it creates a frothy latte-like drink. It was wonderful and I want to drink it every day. :) Obviously it is mainly fat, which my body does very well on but I’m not sure if it would be enough substance for normal days. On the weekends when I tend to eat more of a “brunch” meal than breakfast it just might work…

 

Workout: 75 minute yoga class. I initially wasn’t a huge fan of the yoga classes offered at the spinning/yoga studio that I belong to, but I think it might have been because they push me in ways that I’m not used to. I grew accustomed to the classes I used to take and now I’m forced into practicing headstands/handstands (which I don’t love), but know I should be doing. :) That was a really long way to say, I really enjoyed the class and I’ll be making more of an effort to get there on a regular basis.

Lunch: greens + olive oil + smoked trout salad (3 oz smoked trout + mayo + raw sauerkraut) + carrots. I’ve had two cans of smoked trout in the cupboard for months and finally decided to try it out. I’ve always been a little nervous for some reason, but it was a great change from tuna and I’m sure I’ll use that next can soon!

Evening Snack: olives + salami + raw gouda + red wine with a side of computer work and The Real Housewives (favorite guilty pleasure).

 

Dinner: chicken breast + spaghetti squash + green beans. Earlier today I saw a tweet from my local Whole Foods that they were having a 1-day sale on whole chickens for $.99/pound. Since  I’ve been obsessed with cooking whole chickens lately, I stocked up and bought one to freeze and had the butchers cut up the other one for meals for the next few days. I ate about 2/3 of the chicken breast and saved the rest for lunch.

I finished off the evening with 3 dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I. am. addicted.

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

daily eats: 8.6.12

Hey Guys!

Monday is over, who’s happy? I had a bizarre day on the bus front. I’m not sure if I told you or not, but I’m one of oh, 3 people in LA who can actually ride the bus. (Fine, that is an exaggeration.) But I do feel SO incredibly lucky that it is easy for me to ride the bus! First the bus I ride drove right past me, then I missed the stop that I needed to get off at (good book!) and then on the way home, someone driving by yelled “hey prostitutes!” out the window to myself and a girl from work. I thought my outfit was kind of preppy, but apparently not! :)

Oh, and I’m a little out of practice on the daily eats posts – I forgot to take two pictures! I’m sure you can use your imagination…

Beverages: coffee + coconut creamer. While I prefer the flavor of 1/2 & 1/2, I’m trying to cut down on dairy and find that after a few days of coconut creamer I don’t really notice it anymore. I save my dairy consumption for cheese and greek yogurt.

Breakfast: raspberry & cashew museli (or overnight oats): 1 serving oats + almond milk + 1/2 cup 2% greek yogurt + 3/4 cup raspberries + flax + cashews

Lunch: tuna (1 can) & white bean (2 servings) salad + greens with balsamic dressing

Snack 1: finn crisp crackers (caraway) + 100 calorie pack of guacamole

Snack 2: raw almond butter

Workout: 45 minute spin class

Snack 3: olives

 

Dinner: brown rice + fried tofu + bok choy, asparagus and baby greens saute

Dessert: small square of dark chocolate

Have any good commuting stories to share?

guest post: french macarons

Emily and I have been wonderful friends for almost a decade!  Since we lived together for several years, she knows my love for baking.  Even though we don’t live together anymore, I still enjoy bringing her and “the taster” samples of my latest creation.  When I told her I had succeeded in my quest to make “perfect” French macarons, I was thrilled when she asked me to do a guest post about it.

Circa 2006?

To say that I love to bake is a bit of an understatement.  I consider baking to be one of my favorite hobbies and biggest stress relievers.  While cookies, cakes and other baked goods will satisfy my craving to bake, from time to time, I desire more of a challenge.  Having studied French for 6 years and having had the pleasure of going to France a few times, there is one French confection that I have had an infatuation with:  macarons.  Not only do I find the petite cookies beautiful and lovely to look at, but also the flavor possibilities and textures are amazing.  My favorite flavor combination that I have sampled was pistachio with chocolate ganache.  The egg white and almond based cookies literally melt in your mouth yet have an impressive chewiness to them.  The cookies are sandwiched together and typically filled with ganache or buttercream.

Since I have marveled at the intricate structure of the cookies for quite some time, I knew making them myself would be challenging.  There are several regional varieties of macaroons/macarons and one of the varieties that many of us are most familiar with is the coconut macaroon.  While both the coconut macaroon and French macaron incorporate whipped egg whites into their recipes, the coconut adds a moist chewiness that is much more dense than the French macarons which gain some of their substance and texture from ground almonds.  Well made French macarons have shiny tops with air-pocket-filled edges.  The cookies are so delicate that you can peel this top shiny layer off and it is as thin as tissue paper.

Source: French Macaron & Coconut Macaroon

No doubt you have identified multiple possible sources of frustration when trying to fabricate these fragile treats. Having had a previous failed attempt at making the delicate macarons, I did a quick Internet search for tips and tricks and was amazed at the websites, blogs and online tutorials dedicated to this sweet treat.  The recipe that finally gave me success is from Foodnetwork and is courtesy of Gale Gand.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Burgers (French Macarons)

Macarons:

  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus 1/2 cup
  • 1 1/2 cups, plus 1 tablespoon ground almonds
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 5 egg whites

Peanut Butter Buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Equipment: Pastry bag with round tip

Directions

Make the Macaroons: Preheat the oven to 300° F.

Line several sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside. In a bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of the sugar, almonds, and cocoa powder.

In another clean dry bowl whip the egg whites with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until medium peaks form (do not beat to stiff peaks).

Fold egg whites into dry ingredients to a make a meringue.

Fill the pastry bag with the meringue. (To easily fill the pastry bag, place it (with a clothespin holding it shut at the bottom) in a tall round container such as a coffee can, mayonnaise jar, or vase, folding the edge over the rim of the container.)

Pipe rows of kisses 1-inch in diameter (about the size of a quarter), keeping them 1/2 inch apart, onto the sheet pans.

Bake until very light brown, rotating the pans after 8 minutes, about 17 minutes. Let the macaroons cool on the pan.

Meanwhile, make the Peanut Butter Buttercream: In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and whip. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and whip until fluffy. Transfer the buttercream to a clean pastry bag fitted with a round tip.

Peel 2 macarons off the parchment, pipe the buttercream on 1 flat side and sandwich the other flat-side down on top. Repeat with the remaining macaroons. Keep chilled in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Thank you so much Mercedes for both the guest post AND the amazing chocolate & peanut butter macarons – they were delicious! If you are a baker, you have to try these!