Foods on Fridays

This has been a good but tiring week. Who knew that 2 hours of teaching a day could wear you out?! Ok, I knew it would, from past experience, but still, it is somewhat surprising.

I have found the time and energy to try a couple of new things this week, though. First, I finally bought some quinoa to try. I find it super filling and not that difficult to prepare (very similar to rice,and I have a rice cooker if I’m being super lazy). I think this could be a good brown rice replacement for me – not that there is anything wrong with brown rice,this just has more protein in it. I tried it for both breakfast and dinner, and found both recipes to be great! I altered the breakfast one a little bit – I didn’t have coconut milk or coconut flakes, so I used almond milk and slivered almonds instead. On the dinner one, I left out the dill because I didn’t have any and substituted parmesan for feta because my main dish included parmesan (and I don’t think I had any feta, though some might have been hiding somewhere in my fridge). My quinoa doesn’t seem to be as “smooshy” as the quinoa in the pics, though, so I might experiment with adding a little more than 2x the liquid to it – I think it cooks off too quickly at small serving sizes.

I also concocted a light version of tuna salad. I am still experimenting with this, so it will probably go through iterations:

1 can tuna

1 hard boiled-egg, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

(you could put in onions if you like them, I don’t)

1 tbsp (ok you can use less I like things hot and I’m considering increasing this) Red Hot

1 dash pepper

1 dash Red Robin salt (season salt or Old Bay would work fine as well)

Mix these together and top with (or I guess you could just include it) avocado

I split this into two servings and topped with 1/4 avocado each time. I ate it once with cheese (I melted provolone over it) and once without cheese. I did it this way because I LOVE cheese and have a very hard time eating sandwiches without it, but I’m getting better. I also used to HATE eating tuna without “mayo” because when I was a kid tuna sandwiches to me were basically 1/4 cup of miracle whip (so not even real mayo) on 2 slices of white bread with a random amount of tuna and 2 slices of American cheese. I literally eat mayo on nothing else, so I know it’s mostly a nostalgia factor for me, but I’ve heard that avocado is a good substitute if you like mayo and cheese on things and you are having a hard time getting over it. I would say for me that it worked – I noticed almost no difference in the sandwich with and without cheese, and that is a big deal for me!

One final “new” thing I tried this week – Panera Bread’s Strawberry Chicken Poppyseed salad thing (obviously this was not something I planned to try or cook myself). This salad is great! 350 calories for the whole salad, and 170 for the “you pick two” version. It has a very light, good tasting poppyseed dressing on it (I hate too much dressing and sometimes get salads without, but always try it with first, and this had the perfect amount), tons of fruit, and a small enough amount of chicken and nuts to keep the calories low while adding a bit of protein. I would highly recommend this salad. I would also highly recommend eating at Panera for anyone trying to watch what they are eating. Though not all of their food is “healthy” (I’m looking at you, bagels that magically have 2x the calories of all other bagels, probably because you taste 2x as good), they post their calorie stats for everything right on the menu and have tons of healthy options (same reason I love McDonald’s, actually). Last night, I had their little baguette thing (I just love it too much), half of this salad, and half a turkey sandwich for 560 calories!

It was a good thing that my dinner was low calories, too – I had to save room for tons of popcorn when I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness! Spoilers: Benedict Cumberbatch is just wonderful in every way imaginable. And that is saying a lot, coming from me. I have really only crushed on like 5 characters ever (I don’t crush on actors, I crush on their characters), and Sherlock and the character he plays in this movie are 2 of them.