Monday, July 11, 2011

Pasta Alla Checca

Anybody in for a quick summer pasta? 
Mozzarella, Chicken, Protein Plus Pasta, Fresh Basil, Garlic, Roma Tomatoes and some TLC.

Take your chicken breast, wrap in saran wrap and pound until flat

Just when you think it's done, pound a little more

A little Itatian Seasoning, as well al Salt & Pepper

Basil.  Rinse, take leaves off the stems then roll into bunches and slice


Smells Good

Mozzarella chunks, tomatoes & garlic, and EVOO


Chicken hits the preheated barbeque

Wow, look at those grill marks.

What a great source of protein...


Slice thin for serving

We got some parmesan chunks at Costco.  We froze 2/3 of it and are enjoying 1/3 of it now.


Time to Eat~

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday Market Night

I got an afternoon text asking if I'd be in for a trip to the Tuesday Farmer's Market Downtown and a bite to eat at our favorite burger joint.  For a few seconds I thought, oh man I have a lot tonight, I'm not sure if we have enough time.  And then I thought, well it might be good to break up the week a little.

We live just far enough from downtown now, that we can't make it there on bikes quickly, but we like to bike in to avoid the parking mania.    So we loaded the bikes into the back of the truck and parked downtown, but not too close.  We still needed a good 10 minutes of pedaling to get the leg muscles working.

Isn't she pretty...

A pedaling we will go....
25 degrees the restuarant was buzzing, just like the rest of the market   Not that great of a picture, I got shy when it came time to take the pic in the restaurant, I feared looking like a tourist.  

A couple years ago when they started the tuesday street fair night, the local businesses were complaining that it took business away from them.   From what I can see happenening now, these nights bring business to the area.  We hadn't been down there in a few months, and you could definetly tell that summer had begun and the kids and travelers were out.  It was the most crowded I had ever seen there.

The front pic is fried green and yellow green beans.   They were pretty tasty.   Behind those, you will see a plate of bacon wrapped dates.   These bacon wrapped dates are nothing short of incredible and amazing.   You can't help but stop and take a moment to enjoy these masterpieces while they are in your mouth.  We asked for the special sweet sauce that they used to serve it with and this appetizer was to die for. 

With the double appetizer, the last thing we needed was a whole meal.   We settled on splitting the ahi tuna burger.  I substitued the fried crispy onions for grilled onions.   I also ate about half of my bun.

The fair has grown a tremendous amount, and there was the cutest boy band playing on the corner   we listened to them play for a few minutes and then moved onto the market.

With everything going on, the veggie shopping was not the center of our trip, as eating and indulging took the place.   I'll make up for it this weekend and get some yummy veggies in the house.  

We ended up only buying a couple white peaches and the threw in some free apricots.

We stumbled upon the cutest little cupcake stand and got this taster of cupcakes.   Turns out she is opening a shop down the street from our house, so we may be in for a treat every once in a great while.    We ended up only tasting one and saving the other two for tomorrow.

Hope you enjoyed the longest day of the year today.

Remember to eat well and play well~

Friday, June 17, 2011

Half of the Plate

Found this to be worth sharing...

Press Release

June 2, 2011

It's Official! Make Half Your Plate Fruits & Vegetables
New USDA Food Icon Supports Dietary Guidelines
Hockessin, Del. -
Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a replacement for its current food pyramid in support of dietary recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. The new plate icon is sectioned off to show fruits and vegetables as half of the plate, making the recommendation easy to understand.

“This science-based, government recommendation to make half your plate fruits and vegetables is a significant and positive step in the battle to fight obesity and related health issues in America. The plate icon is a simple, memorable way to show Americans the proportion of fruits and vegetables they should be eating at every meal occasion,” says Dr. Elizabeth Pivonka, president and CEO of Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), the nonprofit entity in partnership with CDC behind the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® national public health initiative. “Ever since the 2005 Dietary Guidelines increased the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables to consume daily, which was also the impetus to ‘rebrand’ 5 A Day to Fruits & Veggies—More Matters, making half your plate fruits and vegetables has been one of the supporting messages of our Fruits & Veggies—More Matters initiative since it’s 2007 launch.”

The consumer-friendly website,, offers tips, recipes, and meal planning advice geared towards meeting the goal of making half your plate fruits and vegetables easily achievable.  While on the site, consumers can take the America’s More Matters Pledge: Fruits & Veggies . . . Today and Every Day! The America’s More Matters Pledge encourages everyone to make fruits and vegetables half of daily meals and snacks or to simply increase the amount eaten each day because more does matter. The tools needed to follow through with the half-the-plate pledge are also available on the website. The site includes a recipe database with over 1,000 recipes, many that can be made in 30 minutes or less, and a Video Center loaded with informational and entertaining short clips that offer fruit and veggie selection and storage and preparation advice and techniques.

Adding more fruits and vegetables to meals and snacks is fun and easy with so many available flavors and  varieties of fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or 100 percent juice.  Increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables eaten everyday, or filling half the plate with fruits and veggies at both meals and snacks can make a big difference in your health and energy level because more does matter. Pivonka says that eating fruits and vegetables is a sound investment in long-term health, and a very inexpensive part of a healthy lifestyle.

Follow Fruits & Veggies—More Matters on Facebook or Twitter to get the latest news on America’s More Matters Pledge: Fruits & Veggies . . . Today and Every Day!, Fruits & Veggies—More Matters, and Half Your Plate.

About Produce for Better Health FoundationProduce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) fruit and vegetable education foundation.  Since 1991, PBH has worked to motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve public health.  PBH achieves success through industry and government collaboration, first with the 5 A Day program and now with the Fruits & Veggies-More Matters public health initiative.  Fruits & Veggies-More Matters is the nation's largest public-private, fruit and vegetable nutrition education initiative with Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition Coordinators in each state, territory and the military. To learn more, visit and Follow Fruits & Veggies-More Matters on Facebook or Twitter.

PBH is also a member and co-chair with Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) of the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance (NFVA), consisting of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and industry working to collaboratively and synergistically achieve increased nationwide access and demand for all forms of fruits and vegetables for improved public health.  To learn more, visit

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Give me 5 minutes

It is mid Saturday and I have been running around hunting, searching, gathering for most of the morning.  I always seem to have something on my agenda, even on a no plans day.   I made it home with one minute to spare (for the dryer repair man) and was ready to pass out from hunger.  Well not quite that bad, but I did do a no-no and set out at 8:00 and brought zero snacks..  I was able to make it with only stopping for a green tea and a V8.    Note to self, stash more protein bars and almonds in the car.

Back to the task at hand, in the 5 minutes that I had to spare while waiting for Mr. dryer, I whipped up a lunch and it was far healthier than anything I dreamed of stopping for for the 2 hours prior.   I was glad I waited for a whole food and home cooked quick "make up as you go" meal.    It ended up being a toasted whole left pita half, stuffed with half of a left over grass fed hamburger patty and a mediterranean egg salad.*    I was still hungry, so I had a bowl of plain greek yogurt, a cut up peach, almonds and a drizzle of agave nectar.

*The egg salad that I made, (I am lucky enough to be able to buy homegrown organic eggs from a coworker, and he just brought me a new batch, so I needed to make room for some more.)   I happenned to have 3 eggs already hard boiled, perfect for a couple batches of salad.    I hunted the fridge high and low and the mayo was no where to be found.  It appears that someone who shall remain nameless, but the only other person that lives here with me, used all the mayo without putting it on the grocery list app or buying it.  I took a deep breath and composed myself, and thought about how else I could make this salad.    I decided on adding plain yogurt and this mediterranean oil and herb mix. (I wish I could remember the proper name for it, one of Mr. Nameless's students brought it for him to try and we've been enjoying it every since)   If I don't say so myself, this may be the new way to go for egg salad sandwich, who needs mayo anyways.  Not me, often.

Sorry no pics of this, I was distracted by hunger....

I have gathered some photos of plates that have been whipped up in this house, minutes after walking through the front door.  I like to call these fast food aversions or 5  minutes or less.


I honestly stared at this photo for a few minutes, wondering what in the world was on this.  I believe it is: whole wheat toast, goat cheese, chicken patty, grilled onions and mushrooms, & tomatoes.   The chicken patty is precooked and can be from freezer to plate in 5 minutes, the onions and mushrooms must have been left over from a previous night.  I grill those up sometimes, just to have.

 This is a steak taco.  The steak was left over from a previous meal, and I added tomatoes and avocadoes and salsa after the photo I imaigine.

 Oh, apparantly one more picture to show that I added an orange to make it a meal.

 Now I will admit, this is quite the odd combo and more like a snack.  But what this does show is whole foods.  This is a whole banana, a whole nectarine, and whole small piece of chicken and I have a small meal or a snack.    Nothing processed here, nothing that has a package with ingredients on it an inch long.

 Another taco here, this time we have chicken patty on it.   Find a patty that you like, has the right price, has the lowest sodium, and not a laundry list of ingredients and use it.   Protein is super important.

 Cucumbers, tomatoes, and hummus.  Probably a little salt, pepper and EVOO.

 Quick salad with ground meat, and a side of brussel sprouts.   If you cooked the meat and brussels ahead of time, this is a quick throw together.

Tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, & pepper.

This has been Eat Well, Play Well, Quickly & without a recipe.  

What can you whip up?   Enjoy the rest of your weekend~

Monday, May 30, 2011

River House Cook Out

~ Memorial Day Weekend 2011~

There was never a dull meal or a dull moment this weekend.  Friends, Family, & Good Eats...

The men of the house whipped up this dinner for us.   And what a treat it was.  
Here was my contribution to the meal.  A zuchinni and yellow squash salad.  You take the squash and slice it long ways with a vegetable peeler so that it makes thin flat squash.    Add 2 T EVOO and 2 T lemon juice along with salt and pepper.  Add shredded parmesan cheese on the top and toss.

Notice the great view in the distance from the backyard.  The view looks over the top side of the Lake and faces a breath taking sunset view.

Here we have Jazzed up boxed rice.   Added in sauted onions with demi glaze and diced bell peppers.  Then added about half of the flavor packet, which saves on sodium.

Barbequed Tri-Trip.      Delish

These were twice baked potatoes that at some point were made and then  frozen for another time.  We defrosted in the microwave and then baked slowly in the oven.
Alaskan King Salmon, directly caught by dad and brother in Alaska.    This rub was to die for on the salmon.  He said it was olive oil and a mesquite rub purchased at costco.
Alaskan Halibut.  I heard them talking about an italian dressing and mayo marinade, I think that was the basis of the marinade and then they jazzed it up a little more by taste..
These foil platters worked great for barbequeing the fish.  You could also do it with just the foil, which is what we usually do at home.

Hope you had a good weekend.

Eat Well & Play Well~

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Feeling a Little Soupy

Sorry for taking so long between posts; not to my surprise I am finding it hard to fit it all in.  We were on the run all weekend again, we had a swim banquet, coaches barbeque and then a wedding in LA on Sunday.   All turned out to be great events and of course the weekend went by too fast...  We are headed out of town for Memorial Day Weekend, but maybe I can sneak in some internet time and show you some River House Eats...  

Back to the Soup

Sweet Red Pepper and Beet Soup

Chopped up some shallots
Add to hot olive oil

Cut and clean 3 red bell peppers.

And chop.   What have you chopped today?
Beets.   Cut off the leafy stems and peel with a vegetable peeler.
That's the peels in the strainer, not sure why I shot it like that.
Chop up the beets
Add your colorful veggies to your transparent shallots.

Add water and broth.

Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.

Fresh Lemon Juice.

Beets are tender.
Immersion blender fun again.  Add lemon juice.

Now that is some bright soup.   Will make your day bright too.

A little peak at the goods ready to be frozen and refridgerated.

Sweet Red Pepper and Beet Soup

1 T.   EVOO
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
3 red bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup water
3 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 T fresh lemon juice
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Lemon wedges, for serving

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium.  Cook shallots, stirring occasionally, until translucent and tender, about 4 minutes.  Add bell peppers and beets, and stir to coat.  Add the water and broth, and bring to a boil.  Cover partially, and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook until beets are very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 1 hour.

Let cook slightly.  Stir in lemon jice; add 1 t. salt, and season with pepper.  Puree soup using your immersion blender,  (or food processor if you don't have one).  Transfer to a large bowl, and refrigerate until chilled, up to overnight.

Divide soup among bowl.  Sprinkle evenly with goat cheese, season with pepper and more salt, if desired, and serve with lemon wedges

Chilled Tomato-Dill Soup

This soup takes a little leg work, but that also makes you enjoy it more too. 
Cut in half and place open side up in roasting pan.

13 sprigs of dill. rinse and tie up

1 navel orange, take off a big chunk for peel
and then squeeze for the juice.

Add chopped onions to hot olive oil.

Smells good.
Letting tomatoes cool takes patience but is necessary for a good peel.

This is where more patience is needed.  Peel the tomatoes and add contents to bowl or pot.

Dill tie goes into pot with tomatoes.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.

Immersion blender one more time.

Balsmic Vinegar splash.

Serve cold with plain yogurt and dill.     This was tasty.  

Chilled Tomato-Dill Soup

12 ripe tomatos, halved lengthwise
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
15 springs dill
1 navel orange
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
Spicy Croutons*   (made with another recipe, buy, or skip all together)

Preheat oven to 450F.  Arrange tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up, and sprinke with 1/2 t. salt.  Roast until softened, about 30 minutes.  Let cool (important) and peel off skin.    (My note-Now this part is a little bit labor intensive, but healthy results are worth it) 

Tie 13 dill sprigs into a bundle with kitchen twine.  With a veg peeler, remove a 2 inch strip of orange zest.  Squeeze the juice from the whole orange.

Heat oil in a medium pot over low.  Cook garlic and onion, stirring occassionally, until translucent, about 7 minutes.  Add tomatoes, 1 1/4 t. salt, and the water; season with pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium lowl simmer 20 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Discard dill and orange zest.

Puree soup.  Stir in vinegard, then let cool completely.  Cover and refrigerate atleast 2 hours, or up to overnight.

Divide soup amount eight bowls; garnish each with 1 T yogurt.  Snip remaining dill over soup; serve with croutons.   


Enjoy and Remember if you Eat Well You Play Well~