Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What-We-Ate Wednesday

This is the final week of our local YMCA Fitness Challenge. Fitness challenges are all the rage in our two bit town, and the YMCA is getting in on the action this spring. Because this is the final week, it is weigh-in week, and I'm trying to lay off the hooch and the popcorn - my two dietary staples. It's got me in a real bad state.

In a bad state

Beating my head
on the wall
Now for what I ate.


Breakfast:


This is another strange "what was she thinking breakfast." 


I microwaved whole grain old-fashioned oats with water and a splash of coconut milk to make . . . drum roll . . . oatmeal. I threw in some chia seeds to give it some extra nutritional kick.    My ch-ch-chia oatmeal was blanketed with a Pam fried mega egg (one whole egg +two whites) and a sprinkle of shredded colby jack.
buy yours here
Chia seeds. Chia pet. One and the same.

Lunch:

I was in Dallas for work and was lucky enough to eat at the Angry Dog in Deep Ellum. I had an angry chicken (sans the mayo and half the bun).
 
An angry chicken, obviously
I blanketed my angry chicken with 2 Tbsp of guacamole. For an extra $2, I substituted a nekkid house salad for the fries (which I think is ridiculous since it cannot be more expensive to throw some lettuce in a bowl than to fire up the fryer and crisp up some fries . . . but consider it a "health tax").


There are no pictures of my lunch. I was hungry and dug right in without thinking. Plus, I really don't think the lawyerly guys that I was eating with would have understood if I had staged a photo shoot at the table.
Dinner:

Apparently, for me, giving up sugar means that I have to buy the most exotic freakish vegetables that I can find at our very unexotic Walmart. And then I have to figure out how to cook them. 
I think I have an idea.
No, wait . . . No, I don't.
  An effort to replace the sweet with the savory, I guess.


Yesterday, I had a hankering for some artichokes - that's normal, right? - but when I checked out the sodium content on canned artichoke hearts I was shocked.   I had no idea that a vegetable could be a heart stopper. 


Since I wasn't in the mood for a blood pressure episode, I decided to go with the less popular raw artichoke from the produce section. Even though I had no idea how to cook, or even how to eat, it.




For answers, I jumped onto Pinterest. I should have been tipped off when all I could find was pretty pictures of uncooked artichokes in a bowl . . . Hmmmmmm . . . I should have thought . . . maybe the artichoke, in it's fresh and raw form, is better as a dust-gatherer in a bowl than as a savory side.

Undeterred, however, I moved forward on my quest to serve Awesome Jeff a real fancy pants dinner.


Here's the short story: First, I washed the artichokes. Then, I chopped off the stems, about an inch off the top, and a part of my thumb. Next, I mixed up a little stuffing mixture of 1/4 cup panko, 1/8 cup shredded mozzarella, 1/8 cup grated Parmesan, and a Tbsp EVOO.




















I stuffed the mixture in between the "petals" of the washed artichoke and poked the two artichokes into a loaf pan. I then baked those babies for about an hour at 400 degrees.

Now why did I go through all the effort of telling you all that? I'm not sure . . . because, in the end, I thought that the artichoke was a big waste of real estate on my plate.


It looked nice, but liver and onions might have been a better use of the space.   In my opinion, the artichoke is a whole lot of hoopla over nothing. It's probably considered a real delicacy but there is very little to eat on it.  In fact, I'm actually not sure that I ingested anything at all. After it was all said and done, it was a big unsatisfying pile of debris.   Awesome Jeff agreed.  Or, was that Grumpy Jeff?  I think they were in agreement actually.

Luckily, there was other stuff on my dinner plate.
  


Like this crock-pot bock bock.


The ugliest crock-pot in town
(I wish crock-pot was listening)









rubbed down with minced garlic, onion
powder, spicy ms. dash, and
fiesta ms. dash
a little pat on the hiney

and in the crock-pot it went





after cooking for about
4.5 hours on high








It tasted great even though my dumb ass left the bag of jiblets inside the bird while it cooked all afternoon. Diva Grumpy Jeff was worried that the plastic bag had left the bird contaminated and toxic. Geez. While we did live to see another meal, it did confirm that my new shampoo is a perfect fit.
 

I also roasted some spicy chickpeas. Awesome Jeff tells me that I he can't eat hummus for every meal so about once per week I really mix it up and eat the chickpea in its natural form. I'm crazy like that.











sprayed with a little Olive Oil Pam
sprinkled with some ms. dash
baked at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes
perfect amount of crunchy outside and mushy chickpea center
Yumm
Throughout the day, I also had a few snacks: laughing cow Swiss cheese wedge and crackers; kale chips; chi tea and coconut milk; and Greek yogurt with unsweetened coconut flakes.

That's my day. And a fine eating day it was. Well, except for the artichoke.

Questions:

1. Do you know of a better way to prepare artichokes?
2. Would you follow Crazyasamother on Pinterest/Facebook?
3. Are you tired of reading about my food?

Have a wonderful Wednesday!I



Jenni






9 comments:

  1. Jenni~I have no idea how to prepare an artichoke bc I have never had one other then the ones in a can!!!
    ~Yes I would follow Crazyasamother on Pinterest and FB!!!!
    ~NO Im not tired of reading about your food bc it gives me some ideas!!! (the little recipe about the chick peas, I can wait to try!!)

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    1. Awesome! Thank you. The chickpeas are great.

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  2. My kids love artichokes! Steam them for about 15-20 minutes or until the leaves open up wide. Then I melt a few tbsp of butter mix in a touch of garlic salt and tspnof fresh lemon juice. We dip the leaves one by one into the mixture and bite the "meat" off the inside of the leaves.

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  3. Ps, the steaming happens at the Orr House

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  4. Jenni....I don't remember you being this crazy when we were neighbors!??! You really are funny and a good writer!

    Anyway....as the artichoke capital of the world is just south of SF(and John and I lived there 6 years) I think I can help. We used to go to artichoke festivale which means artichokes prepared in lots and lots of ways served with absolutely nothing else. My favorite way to make artichokes....cut off the pokey bits, slice off a bit of stem and steam them ....they will get dark green and the stem will be soft with a fork (can't remember exactly but probably 30 minutes) ....then you eat a small about of each leaf by scraping your teeth (just the small part of the heart that comes with it bc the actual leaf is bitter) and if you are diligent enough to eat to the center there will be a yummy heart...stay away from the stringy bits in the middle (have a spoon handy to scoop it out)you'll know if you make a mistake bc it is impossible to chew and not a nice texture....anyway...find a dipping sauce you like....not sure what is "allowed" but butter with lemon and garlic and parsley is nice. Give 'em another try....yummy, a lot of work but a fun thing and tasty! Good luck!
    Good to "hear from you"
    Pam

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    1. Awww Shucks. Maybe Dallas took some of the crazy out of me. But, its back in full force. Its good to hear from you too. See my comment below with regard to my attempt at eating the "meat" of the artichoke. Pretty much no dipping is allowed.

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  5. I could be the star on the show "worst cooks in America" and could win the grand prize season after season!! That being said, I have a similar artichoke story.....I found an easy and tantalizing artichoke recipe which included the microwave.....long story short, I set the timer and went outside. I came back inside to a completely melted plastic dish and a burned up microwave!!!
    No more artichokes for me....
    Please continue to blog and post recipes with pictures and detailed instructions!!! My family will thank you!!
    Melody

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    1. Melody - I'm not unfamiliar with microwave disasters. I am trying to put up more recipes and food. But, I'm not whiz in the kitchen so I will probably be linking to Pinterest, which is where I get a lot of my ideas. At least the good ones, anyway.

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  6. I just want to add that we did, in fact, eat the artichoke the correct way (scraping the petals with the teeth, scooping out the weeds, and eating the heart), but I didn't really think that you guys wanted to hear about how I used my nearly extinct teeth to scrape the meat of the leaves. For your further reading pleasure though, here is a text conversation that I had with a friend after I posted this:

    RF: you boil the artichokes and then scrape off the "meat" with your teeth. You do not eat the "leaves". I'm getting a good laugh about the picture of the two of you sitting down to eat them!

    Me: we did all of that. We did it right. Still sucks.

    RF: no baking, no stuffing needed. My kids eat them. Well they do with some butter.

    Me:they suck. I don't care who you are. Anything is good if you dip it in liquid fat.

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