Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

...and true to form it was cold and rainy. However, this is not a Seattle thing, Eastern Washington is almost always cold and miserable on Easter too. Don't ask me!

For breakfast I roasted some baby red potatoes w/olive oil and spices and made some scrambled eggs and bacon. The bacon was definitely not healthy: it was regular pork bacon, probably a little higher in fat than even normal pork bacon, and it was maple flavor, so infused with sugar. But I did cook the eggs in calorie-free olive oil spray and not butter, and overall the meal was only 453 calories. Although a lot of that was fat, it's still not that absurdly high and I'm sure it beats going out for Easter brunch :) (However, it did not compare to my Mom's delicious Easter brunch that I missed today, which I would have eaten at least 3 plates of and enjoyed every minute.)

Oh right and it wasn't exactly breakfast because I didn't start cooking until 11:30, but in other news I did learn how to jumpstart a car this morning!

We went down to the waterfront and walked the length of it, which must be at least forty miles. It was really cold and rainy but there were a lot of interesting people out today, what with it being Easter and the start of spring break. Then we came home and took a nap. That seems to happen every time we take a walk somewhere. I'm sure it reduces the health benefits (or at least metabolism benefits) of taking a big walk in the first place, but it does make for a nice Sunday afternoon.

Anyway for dinner I had yum-yum-yummy Tortilla Soup (recipe shamelessly stolen from LaRue, who adapted it off of the food network):

Tortilla Soup:

2 or 3 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
2 or 3 baby zucchini
1 or 2 peppers (red/yellow/etc are pretty)
1 white onion
The sauce (only) from a small can of chipotle peppers (the orig. recipe said cut up a pepper but then it's way too freakin' hot!)
garlic/cumin/grill seasoning to taste
1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
small can of tomato sauce
frozen corn (a cup maybe? to taste)
4-6 cups of chicken broth (depending on how much chicken/veggies you put in)


Saute the onion/peppers until soft (and the garlic if you're using fresh/minced). Add zucchini and cook a bit (not tooooo long or it'll get all mushy). Add everything else and cook through. As my second grader at school would say, easy peezie lemon squeezie.

To serve, add a sprinkle of shredded cheese (1/4 cup = 100 calories) and you can bust up some tortilla chips or use the scoopy ones for dipping. 13 Tostito's scoops is 140 calories, though, so don't do what you want to do and eat half the bag :) Or maybe that's just what I want to do. Mmm, salt.

This is also a great freezer soup, and seems to be a crowd-pleaser (which is great since it's so healthy!).


I've gone through a couple of iterations on homemade frozen burriTos, and while all of them have been yummy (come on, they're burriTos!), I don't think I'm quite there yet. The biggest problem with these ones was I filled them so full I couldn't even roll them like burriTos, they're more like tubes of Mexican goodness. But hey, I'll eat that.

BurriTos 2 (makes 12 burriTos, which I wrapped in foil & froze):

2 lbs baked, pulled-apart chicken (I used 1 lb, and it wasn't much chicken per burriTo)
3 small zucchini
2 small yellow squash (I had 3 of these too but forgot one in the fridge. Ha ha!)
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper (Or you can use green, but at least one should be red!)
brown rice (enough to make 3.5-4 cups, per package directions)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 jar salsa
cumin/chili powder/garlic powder to taste
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
6 tbsp raw sunflower seeds (Never had sunflower seeds on a burriTo? Yum!)
12 tortillas (I used Ezekiel 4-9 "sprouted whole grain flourless tortillas" - what a mouthful!)


Start the brown rice, according to package directions, because it'll probably take awhile to cook.

In one deep frying pan, I sauteed the peppers, zucchini and squash until they softened up a bit and then added some water and half the packet of taco seasoning and let it simmer. Ditto the chicken in a second pan (although you might have to add more spices if you're using more chicken or if you just like your Mexican spicy).

Once the rice has finished cooking, add in a can of diced tomatoes, spices, and enough salsa to make it spanish rice consistency (alternately you could just make a box of spanish rice, which is what I did the last time, but I was trying to go for lower preservatives/sodium on this one).


I opened up all 12 tortillas and set them up in a row of back-to-back U's across the counter (propped up on the end by some mugs). You should have seen it. I know that's incredibly anal, but I wanted to divvy everything up evenly (including the 2x too much rice I ended up using). Airbear laughed til he almost fell down. Anyway, then it went like this: put in the rice first (should be about 1/3 cup), chicken, spoon veggie mixture over (try not to let it be too liquidy), sprinkle 1/2 tbsp of sunflower seeds on each, and top with cheese. If you don't try to pack in about a cup of rice like I did, you will probably even be able to roll them up like actual burriTos. In my experience they freeze well, although they took forever to cook in the microwave. Idk how those frozen burriTo companies do it w/the 90 second reheat time. Of course, these were giant burriTos.

As always, I welcome hints/suggestions! These are definitely a work in progress :)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Rooftop BBQs

So today was that day: the first truly gorgeous Seattle day of summer. In honor of the 76 degree forecast, Airbear played hookie and he, LaRue, Gary and I had a bbq up on the roof while the sun went down behind the Space Needle. Man, what a beautiful city.

Recipe for the day, Mexican "Lasagna" (Aaron says to call it "lasagna" instead of "casserole" because casseroles are gross):

1 lb lean ground beef (I like Laura's)
1/2 white onion
2 peppers (my pref. = red/yellow)
small can diced green chiles (drained)
about a cup of salsa
8 oz can tomato sauce (optional: depends on the consistency of salsa you're using)
garlic/cumin/chili powder to taste
6 tortillas (I used South Beach "Multi Grain Wraps"), cut into approx. 1" pieces
2 cups shredded Mexican Cheese


Preheat oven to 350. (Is there another temperature that ovens work at?) Brown ground beef and drain, then saute with onion & peppers. Add in chiles & spices and heat through. Remove from heat and stir in tortilla pieces and salsa (enough to make it kinda goopy). Pour mixture into a sprayed 13 x 9" pan (I like to use this Olive Oil spray from Trader Joe's), cover with cheese, and bake until cheese is melted and all goldeny-brown delicious. Makes 8 normal-sized servings or 6 giant ones. If you really want to load up on carbs, eat it via Tostito's Scoops. If you're on a diet, well... you should maybe eat something else ;)