Archive / February, 2011

Basking in a Post-Vacation Glow

After a week in sun-soaked Daytona Beach, you’d think coming home to this dreary Toronto weather would have me in a serious funk. But, honestly? It doesn’t. I don’t know if I’m still riding a high from such a fab vacation (the perfect combination of running around, doing touristy things & lazing around doing S.F.A.) that I just can’t bother to be annoyed with the crap weather and the fact that I’m back at work. Whatever it is, I’ll take it.

But, seriously, how can you be uptight & irritated when you were able to witness THIS for an entire week?

I even (for the very first time EVER, I might add) got off my arse & worked out 3 times during my week away. I’ve packed gym clothes in the past (such adorably misguided intentions),  but never actually took them out of my suitcase once firmly ensconced in vacation mode. This time, though? I TOTALLY took advantage of the fact that I could run along the beach at 8:30am, wearing my summer running gear. How could I not? Would I ever have been kicking myself now, if I’d let that opportunity pass me by (especially since my 10k training begins on Monday… in all this sloppy mess.)

How can you not smile when THIS is your running course?

 
…and this is where you get to dip your tootsies afterward?

 
Or, when you’ve decided you’d like to give another form of exercise a go, you can swim laps… OUTSIDE.

 
Or you get to witness once-in-a-lifetime events like THIS? (I’m pretty sure a surgical procedure will be the only way to remove LX’s smile after this day.)

Not a horrible way to spend a week, right? Here’s hoping Spring gets here before the shine wears off.

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It’s the wee things in life…

Long-stemmed roses & mimosas... and breakfast for dinner on it's way.

…that really do impress the bajesus out of me.

I know, I know: Hallmark Holiday, corporate cash grab, blah, blah blah. Whatever. I don’t see any harm in being a little extra smooshy & romantical when you still treat each other well the other 364 days out of the year.

It’s one thing to be lonely on Valentine’s Day. We’ve all been there. Hell, we’ve all made visits or even set up stakes in BitterTown at one time or another. But being a hater is another thing entirely.  Haters should probably have stopped reading a few sentences back.  If not, I can’t be held responsible for the sugary sweet sentiments expressed from here on in. Actually, yes I can. But I don’t really care. It’s my blog (see how that works?)

So, in the words of the ever-brilliant The Oatmeal: “Less complaining. More sexy rumpus.”

That's right... waffles from scratch, topped with fresh bananas & drizzled with pure maple syrup. Oh, and bacon.

You understand, yes, why I had no choice but to marry this man? I love you, LX.

Hope everyone else was feelin’ the love yesterday!

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Shepherd’s Pie à la Weez

Last weekend the bleak grey skies were starting to take a toll and, as a result, I got a hankerin’ for some tummy warmin’ comfort food. And one of my favourite comfort foods is the North American rendition of Shepherd’s Pie (the ground beef version; not the traditional lamb.)

The only problem with that is that, despite my feelings toward red meat, it refuses to return my affections. As a result, I’ve gotten quite good at finding substitutes for quite a few recipes & dishes.

I’ve also gotten quite adept at altering rather calorie-rich recipes into dishes that won’t bust out the seams on your denims quite so quickly.

So, for this dish I got creative. I didn’t have potatoes on hand, anyway, so it made the decision to swap out the carb-heavy topping for something a bit more guilt-free. Believe it or not, some steamed cauliflower & sweet potato, whipped together with some soy milk and Parmesan herb spice mix makes for a pretty fab substitute.

Cals: 181 | Fat: 5.1 g | Sodium: 199 mg | Carbs: 15.5 g | Fibre: 4.8 g | Protein: 18.7 g

A lot of these ingredients are interchangeable; I just used what I happened to have on hand. This recipe makes 6 hearty servings. And, if you keep it covered, it’ll last all week in the fridge – perfect for an entire week’s worth of lunches!

Ingredients
160 g carrots, shredded
1 C Red Peppers, chopped
1 C Onions, chopped
227 g Fresh Mushrooms, chopped
450 g (1 package) MC Extra Lean Minced Turkey
2 C Cauliflower, frozen
½ C Sweet Potato, cubes
1 C Peas & Carrots, frozen
150 mL Irresistibles Life Smart Chicken Broth
3 Cloves of Garlic
.25 C Silk Light Plain

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°C
  • Brown ground turkey & sauté together with carrots, peppers, onion, mushrooms, peas & carrots
  • Add chicken broth & minced garlic
  • Simmer for 2 – 3 minutes
  • Transfer mixture to casserole dish
  • Steam cauliflower and sweet potato (I use those handy microwave steam bags) until cooked through
  • In a large bowl, mix cauliflower, sweet potato & soy milk with a hand blender
  • Spoon topping onto turkey & veggie mixture
  • Sprinkle with black pepper & Clubhouse Parmesan & Herb mix
  • Bake for 25 minutes
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