I have been trying to get back on track a little more this week. Trying to cook more healthy meals at home. It's been going pretty well but it's been hot cooking in this heat and humidity; but I'm not complaining, bring on the heat :) This week, so far, we have had pasta and salad, chicken and veggie bake, and tonight was a beef stir-fry. We also had a Rupert's sandwich; nobody is perfect; can't cook everyday during the summer :) lol
This beef stir-fry is pretty simple. No recipe. I just fried up my beef in a mix of garlic and orange olive oils. Seasoned with salt and pepper. Stir-fried onion, bell peppers, and broccoli. Added some tamari sauce (like soy sauce) at the end and served over a little basmati rice. Yummy!
Loving the beautiful weather :)
Cooked a great dinner this evening and even got to sit outside on the deck and read a book; relaxing while dinner cooked :) Tonight we had roasted chicken breasts with Baked Zucchini and Tomato; yummy! I have made this veggie side before and really like. I usually don't use the onions and tonight used goat feta instead of regular goat cheese; really tasty.
Managed to read for almost an hour while dinner cooked :)
Last night was our first time trying dinner at Cape Spear; the Dining on the Edge experience. This is a Newfoundland summer restaurant event where you book a night for dinner (limited dates) at the Cape Spear lighthouse. It sells out extremely fast and you generally do not know who the chefs/restaurants are until after booking. I don't mind that as they tend to have great options and I'm always happy to try something new.
Our night was booked about 3 months ago for 4 people. Our table sat 8 people and was full. The venue only seats 26 I believe and, as I said before, sells out. The cost was $75 a person or $85 including wine with dinner. There is no bar at the location.
I held off on my post for this because there were a few factors that were having a negative affect on me and I didn't want that to skew my opinion of the food and the night as a whole.
First off, the food for our night was prepared by the chef from Seto. I have never eaten there before and was happy to try it. Sorry, I don't remember all the names and ingredients of the courses, but hope you can get an idea from the pictures. The appetizer was a lovely beet salad with cured salmon. I am not a lover of salmon and even less so for cured/smoked. I ate a piece and Hubby was happy to receive the other. The salad was very nice though with a mix of beets, greens, granola chunks, and a puree. This was served with a glass of white wine.
The main was a cold raw veggie salad along with roasted pork belly. The salad was nice. The pork belly was delicious and I could have eaten more of that :) My only complaint was my portion was an end and it had a lot of fat. I mean a lot; at least half was fat, but the flavor was fantastic. This was served with a glass of red wine, which was topped up :)
Dessert was fantastic and perhaps my favorite course of the evening. We had a biscuit type pastry (like a sweeter tea bun), filled with fresh, local strawberries and served with whipped cream and edible rose petals. This was really yummy :) You also had a choice of tea or coffee.
The overall idea has great potential and does really well. I like the idea and will likely try and book again next year. The lighthouse is wonderful and lovely to be in a building so old with a lot of the original furniture and character. The few problems I did have with the evening we booked was the weather (not anyone's fault) and the bathroom facilities, or lack thereof. First, the weather was pretty bad; it poured rain most of the evening. You have to walk up to the lighthouse and we ended up getting soaked. I mean soaked. It was pretty uncomfortable to sit through a dinner in wet pants. That took away from the experience a little for me, but again, nobody's fault. The second problem I had was the fact their bathroom/outhouse was not working. When arriving I asked for a washroom to dry off and freshen up and was informed it wasn't working. It was announced before dinner began that if anyone needed to use a bathroom you could walk halfway back down the hill (in the rain) to use the staff bathroom. This put more of a damper on my evening than the rain :(
I realize I haven't been posting very much the last several weeks. Since summer vacation hit I have been busy with other things and will admit I have not been eating well and haven't been overly motivated. In addition, we lost our beloved dog Kaysie last week. It was pretty unexpected and quick and I guess I am a little in shock and still processing and dealing. Since she passed we have been eating out in restaurants a lot as I haven't wanted to stay at home. The house seems to empty and sad.
On that sad note I did manage to cook dinner tonight and it was healthy and it was pretty damn good for something I tossed together. I did a chicken and veggie bake. I tossed tomatoes, bell peppers and onion together with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I also topped chicken breasts with basil olive oil and balsamic along with some herbs and spices (salt, pepper, basil, parsley, oregano). I baked all together in one pan until chicken was cooked and topped the veggies with some feta goat cheese. It was really nice.
Even though it has nothing to do with the purpose of this blog, here is a pic of our Kaysie for all the dog lovers out there :)
Finally tried the local pork from Farmer Dan's and it is the best! We had only tried his fresh chickens so far and they were great. Picked up some fresh local pork chops yesterday and grilled them today for supper. So good! Hubby had his with BBQ sauce but I had mine simple; just some olive oil and red apple balsamic. The best local pork I've had, we will definitely be back for more. Can't wait to try the beef as well :)
Time to get back to real life. Vacation is over and I'm back to cooking at home. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes, but I love vacation eating. Eating in restaurants, no prep and no dishes :)
Tried a new recipe tonight and it was really good :) Chicken Bacon Cabbage Skillet. Wasn't sure how it would be as cabbage is not a favorite for myself or Hubby but the comments regarding the recipe got me curious to try it....along with the fact it has bacon. Bacon makes everything better :) It was pretty simple to make. The only changes I made was to use all chicken breasts instead of a cut-up chicken, and I used carrots instead of parsnips because I already had them. Will definitely be making this again, I suggest giving it a try :) Next time I will likely cut back on the salt a little. The bacon already adds lots of salt so less would work I think.
Last night I made Grilled Cilantro-Lime Chicken again. This is really good but after eating it I didn't feel great. It really didn't seem to agree with me. I think I am having trouble with avocado lately. Really sad as I love them and can eat them as is. May need to avoid them for awhile or keep my portions really small.
Spent two weeks on vacation and all food rules pretty much went out the window. I overindulged in many things; some food was fantastic and well worth it :) We ate 3 pretty large meals throughout the day so the snacking was next to nothing, so that's one good thing.
Found a great place for breakfast near our hotel in San Francisco: Beach Street Grill. We went there most mornings for breakfast; they have a range of local produce, organic foods, and gluten free options. The food was delicious but found it to be on the pricey side; it was a good quality food on Fisherman's Wharf though so I was expecting pricey but just not that pricey. The first morning I tried the Crab Omelet, OMG, it was excellent. It came with hash-browns and toast, which I asked to omit, but it came out to the table anyway and it was charged of course. The second day I had eggs and bacon and I substituted fruit for the hash-brown and toast (for an extra charge). The coffee was good and they had fresh squeezed orange juice as well for $5 a glass. Breakfast for 3 people often ran about $85 US including tip. Service was fantastic and the staff were all very friendly.
Lunch and dinners were from a variety of restaurants we stumbled upon while exploring.
Found a great Italian place and ate there twice; we all liked it so much :) Cafe Delucchi. Hubby had pasta both times and loved them both. Myself and Mom had pizza and salad; it was all very tasty and decent prices for the area. The service was excellent the first day but a little lacking the second visit.
We ate two dinners and a lunch on Pier 39; often very expensive. One restaurant that really stood out though was Fog Harbor. The service was fantastic and the food was all excellent. No complaints for anything there. We didn't order apps or dessert, but the mains were all delicious as well as large and filling. I ordered the Pan-Seared Chicken Breast, Mom had Fish & Chips (and ate all 3 pieces of fish which tells me it was fabulous). Hubby had the Cioppino. He thought it was excellent but his first time having it so nothing to compare it to :)
We ate at Chart House on Pier 39. Had very high expectations but was not happy with the food or quality for the price. I ordered a Seafood Cobb Salad, found it seemed to be cheaper ingredients, and they messed up when I asked to omit the blue cheese; it came with it anyways and didn't want to have to wait for another. The prices were pretty high as well and the service was good but not great. I also had the Shrimp, Crab, Avocado Mango Stack which wasn't great; seemed to be lacking in flavor even though it sounded great. The Lobster Bisque was delicious though. Hubby had the Crab Cake and the Swordfish and loved both. Mom had Clam Chowder in a bread bowl, which she found mediocre, and Coconut Shrimp which were delicious.
We also ate at Eagle Cafe on Pier 39 for lunch and we weren't overly impressed with the food there either. Still pricey and the food was not great. It seems "grilled" means something different then it does here in Canada. We ordered grilled fish and shrimp thinking it would be a healthier choice but it was all pan-fried and very greasy. The shrimp were also done pretty spicy for myself and Mom although spicy wasn't mentioned on the menu.
Had these Stuffed Peppers tonight. Oh, how I have missed thee. They are delicious; haven't had them in a long time because I was avoiding most of the ingredients: beans, corn, peppers, onions, cheese, tomato, and rice. Stuffed Peppers just are not the same when the only ingredient is ground chicken :) LOL.
I find the stuffing mix makes a lot and is always too much to stuff the peppers. Not a problem, I freeze it and use it another time in peppers again or just as a wrap filling :)
Trying to eat healthier can be daunting. It does take more time and effort but some meals can still be quick and easy. Tonight we had Pasta & Sausage for dinner; a delicious meal but very simple to make and not too bad ingredients-wise.
I found a great tasting corn pasta at Dominion, the only ingredient is corn flour. I am still on the fence regarding corn but I know gluten bothers me, so I would rather eat a 1 ingredient gluten free pasta that I know tastes good. The sauce is from Costco and tastes great. I like the fact it's in a glass jar instead of a can and the only ingredient I am unhappy with is the calcium chloride. This was recently added to the ingredient list so I may have to look for another brand :( The sausage are great tasting and not too bad for ingredients. I prefer local sausage but couldn't get any this time. These do have added sugar but it isn't really high and the other ingredients are not too bad. I like that when you cut them up you can actually see the bits of cheese and peppers in the sausage :) The Parmesan cheese is from the deli section of the grocery store. I stopped buying cheese from the cheese aisle as most of those seem to be more processed and often have added colours and other ingredients. I read the ingredient list and go for simple.
So, even though I try to eat less processed foods I still eat things from packages and boxes. It's not all from scratch 100% of the time and this works for me :) I do read ingredient lists and try to make better choices.
Just trying to get back to eating, simple, real foods. Spending to much time and worry trying to eliminate too many foods at once that MAY be problematic for me. Need to get back on track, feel good about what I am eating, enjoy my food, and stop going berserk on the weekends.
Today was a good day :) Had plain oatmeal with maple syrup along with blackberries this morning. Lunch was Chicken Soup from the freezer. Snack was strawberries, a pretty big bowl. Dinner was pan-fried fresh trout with a baked potato and some tomatoes (tomatoes may seem like an odd choice but I wanted some colour on my plate and they are really tasty and super simple). So far so good :)
My name is Michelle and I am tired of struggling with my weight. I am stopping the struggle and adopting better eating practices :)