Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Beverages.. for my carpet.

I just spilled a beer on the beige carpet in the livingroom. This would not be as notable here if I had not spilled a green tea on the same place on the same carpet in the same way (pulling the laptop onto my lap, the power cord knocked the drink over) about 5 hours ago. I guess it's finally time to call Stanley Steemer. I need another beer.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Perfect Sunday Morning Blueberry Muffin

Even though I am trying to eat light right now, my boyfriend's mother is staying with us so I had to make a nice breakfast. I found this recipe online and it was great! I modified it a little bit according to one of the reviews on the allrecipes.com site: I used a 12-muffin tin, brown sugar instead of white in the topping, and I only ended up baking it for about 15 minutes. (I could just smell that they were done.)

We walked off some of the calories at the Getty Center. These flowers are from the garden there:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I actually do try to eat light sometimes: My top 10 light packaged foods

So, with all the corn muffins and lasagna and cupcakes you see on here, you're probably thinking that I'm a fat pig. Not so. However, when I was at the beach the other day I did happen to notice where all those corn muffin tops have been going.. straight to my muffin top! Alas, time to reel things in a bit. Luckily (kind of), I spent many of my teenage and college years obsessing about being thin, so I do have an arsenal of low-calorie, low-calorie, low-fat, low-point, low-glycemic index food knowledge to fall back on in times like these. It's just that usually, when I eat a low-fat fiber bar, I just don't blog about it.

So, I thought I would start a series of posts focused on "light" food. What do I mean by that? Well, for the most part food that is healthy, but some of it is just there to prevent you from eating that 1 lb chocolate bunny leftover from Easter. Whatever works, right? In this post I'll start with packaged foods from the grocery store (there are other yummies from the health food store I'll post about later), then move onto fast foods, then fresh food, etc. Ready?

Let's go! (in no particular order):

  1. Morningstar Farms veggie breakfast sausages and veggie burgers
    I especially love the breakfast "sausage" patties and the tomato basil burgers. One sausage, an egg, V-8 juice and vitamins is my fast power breakfast.

  2. Fiber 1 products
    Tons of fiber, awesome taste. I especially like the Honey Clusters cereal and the Oats and Chocolate and Oats a Peanut Butter bars. They taste like candy bars. The Caramel Clusters cereal tastes great too but is a little high in calories.

  3. Smart Balance Products
    They make the world's most perfect peanut butter... it's natural, tastes great, and has Flax Oil for Omega 3's! They also have a variety of very healthy "buttery" spreads.

  4. Plain 'Ol Fashioned Quaker Oats
    It's healthy, it fills you up, it's low cal, high fiber, low fat and you can pretty much do whatever you want with it.

  5. Trader Joe's Canned Salmon
    Can't seem to find a product link here.. but it's awesome. They some in salted and unsalted. You can make casseroles, put it on salads, even mix with mayo like you would with tuna (don't forget to drain the juices out for kitty).

  6. Frozen Chopped Spinach and Frozen Cooked Squash
    I always have a defrosted box of chopped spinach going in the fridge. I mostly throw it in omelets for breakfast or even in rice or pasta dishes. Instant healthiness with minimal effort. For the squash, I've been hiding this in anything with melted cheese: pizza, steak bombs, pasta, you name it. It lowers the total cals ('cause you use less cheese) and ups the nutrition factor.

  7. Whole-grain, low-carb or low-fat tortillas
    There are some really good brands out there with lots of fiber and protein. I get Flat Out Wraps or La Tortilla Factory. Make sandwhiches, snacks, breakfast burritos, etc.

  8. Hostess 100 Calorie Chocolate Cupcakes
    When I really need to have my cupcakes but don't want to eat 400 calories, I go for these. Delicious! Sometimes just one little 33-calorie sucker does the trick.

  9. Lean Pockets Soft-Baked Subs
    These are great for the kind of dinner when you're craving pizza or a sub, but want to stay on track at the same time. I've tried the pepperoni pizza and the steak and cheese and they were both very good. The trick is you have to BAKE them, don't microwave them. Serve them with a green salad and a nice vinaigrette dressing you can dip the crust in. The regular Lean Pockets just aren't very good, and the breakfast ones are just plain bad.

  10. Frozen Blueberries
    I've been defrosting them and throwing them in oatmeal or smoothies. Very healthy, low in cals, plus my personal favorite berry (besides mulberries, but those are very rare.)

That's it kids. PLEASE post your faves here too!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Buddha's Belly 3X

Buddha's Belly on UrbanspoonThere is a new restaurant near the Pier / Promenade area of Santa Monica that we really like. It's called Buddha's Belly. We like it so much that we've been there for dinner three times in the past two weeks. The other reason for this is that there simply aren't very many good restaurants in that area. And, since we're in that area so often, this is pretty much the default now when we're there and we're hungry.

It's a pan-Asian restaurant with good atmosphere and best of all a very nice combination of Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and California flavors sprinkled throughout the dishes. Plus, it is very reasonably priced, so you could go there any time you feel like it. The only downside is on Saturday night we showed up with five people and the wait was about forty minutes. They're just not set up for groups. But, if you have up to four peeps, you should easily get a nice booth near the window and be happy. Oh, and they have a bar so you could just wait there and have a few : )

Here are some of the dishes we've tried:

Albacore and Avocado Spring Roll
This thing rocks!! It just melts in your mouth and has a great combination of flavors.

Chilled Vietnamese Rolls
I had to try these since I love these kinds of rolls so much. They were good. The fried onions added a nice touch. The two sauces that came with it were very good.

Spicy Thai Beef Salad
Good, the beef was delicious, not a ton of it. Maybe a few too many onions but overall quite tasty.

Vegan Tofu Salad
Tasty, I would have liked some more "stuff" in it. Good if you're not super hungry or as a side-dish.

Rice and Noodles:
Roasted Garlic Fried Rice
Woah.. awesome! Plenty of cloves of roasted garlic in a Chinese-style fried rice. Great side-dish.

Singapore Seafood Noodles
These are squid-ink (purple), kind of thick, vermicelli noodles with plenty of seafood, and the right touch of heat. You could really tastes the five-spice powder in here, and I'm totally into that right now so I loved it.

Yakisoba (w/beef)
These are good if you like Chines lo-mein, because that's what it reminded me off. I'm not nuts about lo-mein in general.

Spicy Peanut Noodles
I didn't like these, although my boyfriend gobbled them up. I thought it was way too peanut-y.

Thai Green Curry Chicken and Jasmine Rice
This should really be listed under Entrees because it's a square meal. You get a bowl of white meat chicken in a delicious coconut curry sauce with lightly cooked fresh veggies such as Japanese eggplant (which is a fave of mine) and others. Generous side of Jasmine rice (not too fragrant though). Great. My boyfriend loved this dish.

Buddha's Belly
205 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA

also at:
7475 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Seared Ahi Tuna Salad

This came out sooo great. Just delicious. The perfect light, healthy dinner on a hot Spring day. I didn't measure things, but here's how it goes:

Seared Ahi Tuna Salad
(serves 2)

  • 1 7 oz (or so) thick Ahi tuna steak
  • Equal amounts of baby spinach and arugula
  • 6 basil leaves
  • lightly cooked, shelled edamame
  • a little feta cheese (I use light, it tastes just as good), crumbled
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • Toasted, slivered almonds
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Five-spice powder (plenty)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Red wine vinaigrette salad dressing
  1. Place spinach, arugula, feta, almonds, and edamame on two plates. Cut up three basil leaves onto each plate, and sprinkle one scallion chopped onto each plate.
  2. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray and put the heat on High. Let it heat up.
  3. In the mean time, place the sesame seeds, five spice powder, salt and pepper on a plate. Coat all sides of the tuna steak with this mixture.
  4. Sear the tuna on all sides (you may have to hold it on its side with tongues).
  5. When seared to your liking, slice the tuna on a cutting board and place slices onto each plate. Drizzle with salad dressing.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cupcakes from Blue Bird Cafe

I had lunch at the Blue Bird Cafe in Culver City and we picked up a couple of cupcakes. The vanilla cake was great! One of the best vanilla's I've had.

Pictures below taken with an i-Phone.. (I can't take credit for them, my new Project Manager took them, artsy, huh?)

Oh, by the way, the food at the Blue Bird is really good too. I like the Turkey Reuben.

Blue Bird Cafe
8572 National Blvd.
Culver City, CA

What does the "cutest" cupcake look like?

Update: Winners have been posted from the Martha Stewart Cutest Cupcake contest. They are gorgeous!

Click to see the winning photos.

This week Martha Stewart launched her "cutest cupcake" competition. At first I was not going to participate because the reward is a "cupcake tree" from the MS collection. I mean, come on, that is straight up cheap. I am thinking a much more suitable reward would be a trip to NYC to be on the show and create the award-winning cupcake for the world. Alas, that is not the case.

I think I actually found the lavish grand prize: here it is. Please!!! Who doesn't already have that thing!

Nonetheless, I discovered that all you have to do to enter is just upload a photo to the MS site. So, because this is so easy to do, I'll give it a shot upload the pumpkin cupcake photo I took a few weeks ago, and a few others, and see what happens.

In the mean time, you can check out:

Cupcake Week: Cupcake of the Day
Cupcake Contest Page
Cupcake Photos Submitted