Tag Archives: dinner

The Vietnamese Rice Roll Party

Time for another post about all the amazing meals Evan has been making for me! Hooray, lucky you guys!

I realize I have been talking a lot about this lately and I hope that’s not annoying. I don’t want to become one of those girlfriends who raves on about how OMGAMAZING her boyfriend is all the time. Not that I don’t understand wanting to. I almost wrote a blog post about how amazing Evan is the other day and then I stopped myself because I realized probably no one cares except for me. I mean, let me know if you do want to hear about that because I’ll gladly go on about it…

However, some things are just too good to go undocumented, and for me the things that I can’t seem to shut up about are food related. Mainly because they are foods that I would never think to make for myself! For example, Tuesday night I got home late from volleyball and made myself a peanut butter and jam sandwich for dinner. Very gourmet, I know. Let me know if you want the recipe.

The night before Evan made me red curry chicken and lentils with tumeric. Homemade, from scratch. And also potatoes with toasted mustard seeds.

curry

Those are bamboo shoots by the way, not noodles. I think it was the best curry I have ever had, even from a restaurant. I will have to post the recipe another time because I have never actually seen him follow a recipe (he just wings it, what is up with that?!) and I have no idea what he did to make that. All I know is it involved coconut milk and a lot of different spices and I couldn’t keep up. I just chopped vegetables. I am usually good for that.

Last week I arrived at Evan’s pad after work and he had decided he was going to make authentic Vietnamese rice rolls. I was SO EXCITED about this I started hopping around their kitchen and clapping. Could not stop myself. And I was involved in that whole process so I can confidently talk about it.

First you cut up your veggies into thin strips.

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Their kitchen has been looking like a produce stand ever since they got the juicer. I like it. Anyway, we used carrots, cucumbers, and also bean sprouts.

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And mint leaves!

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Evan had bought very thin strips of pork and beef, so he cooked that up in separate pans with some oyster sauce.

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Pork

The meat was amazing, the beef especially. It really made the wraps I think.

While Evan handled the meat, I was on rice noodle duty.

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I’m not going to tell you how to cook noodles, hopefully that is a skill you have been able to master by now. But I will tell you about the rice paper for the wraps because it is a little more tricky. The rice paper looked like this:

rice-sheets

I don’t have a picture of the actual kind we used but it’s basically all the same, whatever brand you go with. In the package they are literally like tough, thin paper, so to be able to roll them into wraps you have to soften them up. To do this just stick them one at a time in a bowl of hot water for about 30 seconds. They will become soft and pliable.

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And see-through. And sticky! They will stick to everything, especially themselves, and if you try to roll them on any kind of hard surface they will stick to that. We just used a clean tea towel to minimize all the sticking.

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It worked out well. We spread the wrap out, added the meat, veggies, rice noodles, mint, and sesame seeds that Evan toasted (he just used a pan for that), and then we rolled those puppies up.

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Shazzam. Pretty authentic looking, right?

While Evan and I were working on the wraps, Brotherman was doing the juice thing.

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I love how you can just throw anything into the juicer and it will turn it into delicious juice. I want to get one, but then I’d have to clean it so I’d probably never use it. I’m actually surprised these guys have been using theirs for as long as they have. I totally expected that to be a fad but it’s been over a month and they use it daily.

Anyway, Evan knows about my intense love affair with all things saucy, so he had an ample selection for me to dip my rice rolls into.

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The soya sauce and the sweet chili sauce were my fave dippers.

It was a really, really great dinner. We had so many rolls.

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I loved it.

The wraps were pretty easy to make, just a bit on the time-consuming side. If you cut up your veggies in advance that would save a lot of time though. Highly recommend!

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Use What You Have

Hello and also Salut!

I am feeling pret-tyyyy much back to normal today, and my appetite seems to have returned in full force. All day today it was snack attack after snack attack.

My healthy chicken sandwich and carrot sticks for lunch left me wanting a little somethin’ more, so I followed that up with a little soup supplement action from Druxy’s. I then ate an apple crumble VitaTop for dessert, but I still wanted more so I broke into my afternoon snack early (an apple), and continued to snack my way through the afternoon.

My snacks were all pretty healthy (minus the cookies I ate when I got home), but man, I was insatiable!

I have to say though, my mid-morning snack today was quite filling and is quickly becoming a new fave of mine.

Morning Snackage

Vanilla Greek yogurt topped with a mix of frozen berries. Now that it is well into fall, fresh berries are expensive little buggers, so I have been passing them up and opting for frozen instead. Maybe this snack isn’t groundbreaking, but this is new to me and I am loving frozen berries with the yogurt. I put them on top of the yog in the morning and then when they thaw and you stir them up they make the entire yogurt all berrily delicious.

Dinner

The theme of tonight’s dinner was use what you have. I didn’t really meal plan the last time I went grocery shopping and I didn’t pick up a lot of “dinner foods”. This is not good because now I am scrambling at dinner time to find something to make, which can lead to me abandoning making dinner altogether and picking up fast food, and I try to stay away from that.

Originally my plan when I got home was to quickly grab my gym clothes, hit up the gym for about 45 minutes, grab something from the grocery store that would be quick to make, and then head back home to make dinner.

But when I got home I was starving, and I didn’t want to wait to eat dinner, I wanted dinner and I wanted it soon.

I scrounged around in our cupboards and found a can of tuna. That was all the inspiration I needed. I was making tuna casserole.

I have never made tuna casserole before (my bestie Lisa makes a mean tuna casserole), so I googled around for some recipes but I didn’t find any that included the ingredients I wanted to use. I also wanted it to be healthier than the typical tuna casserole. I basically just ended up throwing a bunch of shtuff together and hoping for the best.

Tuna Casserole

Gone are the days of natural lighting (til April…)

It was not the best tuna casserole I have ever eaten, I will say that, but it was still pretty darn good, and it was quick and easy, so that is always a win in my books!

Now I am off to the gym! I’m hoping to put in some romantic time with the arc trainer.

Here is my tuna casserole recipe.

Tuna and Vegetable Casserole

Ingredients

  • half a bag of whole wheat egg noodles (you could use regular as well)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 can low-fat cream of celery soup (mushroom would be good too, but celery was what I had)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 3/4 cup water (you could use milk, but I only had almond milk and, well, blech)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Mrs. Dash seasoning mix (maybe a tablespoon?)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.
  3. Boil the pasta until done, drain, then transfer to large bowl (or back into the pot)
  4. Add in onion, celery, carrot, and tuna; toss to combine.
  5. In another smaller bowl, mix together soup and water until smooth.
  6. Pour the soup mix into the pasta bowl and add breadcrumbs, Mrs. Dash seasoning and black pepper; toss until combined.
  7. Transfer mixture to baking dish.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes. Top with cheese if desired and bake for another 3-4 minutes (I left the cheese out – I know, what was I thinking?!)

It has a lot of steps, but I promise they are easy.

Have a great night!

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Samesies WIAW (Featuring a Giant Cake)

Helloskis.  I hope all you cheeky cats are doing well!

I took a petite break on the blogging front yesterday to buckle down and get some work done!  I do a 48-page magazine for my organization every three months (like the entire thing, design, layout, most of the photography, and most of the writing), and the entire project takes me weeks.  It has just been hanging over my head for the past little while and I am so glad it’s finally complete and sent to the printers.  A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders 🙂  Hooray.

But I am back today for What I Ate Wednesday!

Other than work stuff, not too much has been crack-a-lackin’ with me the last few days, so you did not miss much.  And I honestly ate exactly the same foods for breakfast, lunch, and mid-morning snack both today and yesterday.

Same breakfast…

Cream Cheese + Jam = the JAM

Toasted whole wheat bagel topped with cream cheese and grape jelly.  Yeah, maybe a weird combo, but SO GOOD!  So good I ate it twice.

Same lunch…

Salad Beast

Beastly salad including lettuce, tomato, cucumber, shredded carrot, green onion, and my black beans and salsa mix leftover from my burritos the other night.  I dressed this puppy up with a bit of Italian dressing.  V filling and quite a groovy yumfest.

And, same mid-morning snack.

Yoggity Snack

PC Strawberry Green yogurt mixed with fresh sliced peach and raspberry.  This has actually been my go-to mid-morning snack for the past week or so.

I have snuck in a few treats as well though.  When Ando arrived home from work yesterday he was all “I have a present for youuuuuu” and held up a big plastic bag.

I love presents and surprises, but in this case I’m pretty sure I just said “Meh,” all disinterested.

Andy-pants works in communications for a company that manufactures cleaning supplies and products, so usually the “presents” that he brings home from work are things like heavy duty paper towels and disinfectant spray.  Please forgive me for not peeing my pantaloons in excitement.

But yesterday he had an event going on, and that is not what he brought home.  This is what he brought me:

Holy Cake, Batman

A GIANT piece of cake.  THAT piqued my interest immediately (because, as you know, I like to eat).  I was pumped as soon as I saw that thing.

That picture is not really doing the cake justice…

Yowza

There ya go.  Now THAT is a piece of cake, my friends.

I wanted to eat the entire thing, but I managed to hold back and just cut myself a “sliver”.

Jusssst a Sliva

This cake was frickin’ delicious.  The cake itself was some kind of banana, but it was the icing that took the (literal) cake!  One of the best buttercream icings I have ever tasted.  I was dying.  And I loved that there was icing in the middle as well.  I much prefer icing in the middle to lemon filling or something.  I don’t want anything tangy messing up the taste of my sweet buttercream.

I kept going back to the cake throughout the evening and snacking on icing.  I couldn’t stay away!  I totally ruined my dinner appetite after that thing.

But here’s tonight’s delicious dinner:

Dinnaaaa

Cheesy taco bake!  Topped with salsa and lettuce.  This is such a great alternative to tacos.  I loved it.

No workouts at all yet this week as I have been trying to catch up work-wise, I have been getting up at 5am just to go into work!  But for the rest of the week I am going hardcore.  Here is my plan of attack:

Thursday – Boot Camp
Friday – 4+ k run
Saturday – Body Pump
Sunday – 4+ k run

Welp, I am off to watch Survivor and catch up on some blog reading.  Have a great night!

Question

  • What is your favourite kind of icing?

Mine is buttercream, hands down!  Love it!

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Spinning Party, Take 2

Well friends, I made it through my first spinning class tonight! After work I rushed home, threw a couple giant spoonfuls of cottage cheese in my face (I knew I wouldn’t make it without eating something), and headed to the gym (after triple checking that I had my shoes ;)).

Three out of five of us made it to the group gym date tonight, which is a pretty good turnout. I think I probably missed a phenomenon last week when I had to ditch our spinning date, because all five of us making it to the gym at the same time is probably going to be an extremely rare occurrence. Ohh well.

Spinning was definitely intense. I totally felt like I wanted to die during, and twice I thought to myself “I’m not gonna make it! I can’t go on!” But somehow I did. Thinking about dinner helped get me through (I’m not kidding, this always helps me through a tough workout), and the instructor was super motivating. I really liked him. Another thing that helps is the intervals. Because I know the torture isn’t going to last forever, I can push myself and power through.

I was a sweaty BEAST afterward, probably comparable to hot yoga. I did feel like I just gave birth (it was an accurate description), and my legs were all jelloid, but I also felt proud of myself and exhilarated :D. It was worth it. It was a really good way to start my weekend.

Dinner

I was a hungry hungry hippo after spinning, and in the mood for some homemade ‘za!

Zaaaaa

(Sidenote: The first person I ever heard call pizza “za” was my friend from South Africa. He said something like “It was late, and we were eating ‘za.” and I said “Oh, is that some sort of crazy South African dish?” And then everyone looked at me like I was nutso. Who knew?)

Homemade pizza is the easiest thing ever. I used to buy a frozen pizza almost once a week for a speedy, easy dinner on the fly, but then I discovered that homemade is not only better, it’s easy and it actually cooks more quickly.

I buy the PC thin crust and top with pizza sauce (or sometimes just Prego pasta sauce), shredded mozzarella, turkey pepperoni, and whatever veggies are kicking around. Tonight it was green pepper.

Before Bakefest

Since I was a gross swamp monster after spinning, Andrew prepared this while I showered. We then baked it in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 6-7 minutes.

My Pizza Plate

I went back for a fourth slice ;).

S’laters!

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Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

I love spaghetti. It is another all-time fave dinner of mine that I make probably twice a month. I always enjoy it with tomato sauce, and usually lean ground beef, and then I switch up the other ingredients to include random veggies such as onion, green pepper, mushroom, spinach, broccoli, you get the idea.

But tonight’s spaghetti was a new dish that I haven’t tried out before. Slow cooker spaghetti!

I was fantasizing about pasta during my BodyPump class yesterday, so when I woke up this morning I already knew that’s what I wanted to eat for dinner. I also knew I had a lot I wanted to get done tonight and didn’t want to spend any longer than necessary making din-dins (what Andrew’s grandma calls dinner…to babies, and cats :)).

Enter crock pot spaghetti sauce. This morning before I left for work I threw raw lean ground beef, a chopped onion, chopped green pepper, garlic, and a jar of Prego pasta sauce together into the crock pot, and stirred it up. I set it on low for my usual 12 hours (I’m sure 8 hours would be more than long enough though), and hoped for the best.

My fave sauce since I was a little girl 🙂

Andrew asked me how I expected this sauce to turn out, and I said: “How can you mess up spaghetti sauce?” I did worry all day that I’d be eating those words later…

But it worked out! Our house smelled delicious when I got home, so I hurried to the crock pot to check out the situation, and it looked fine! Although the sauce was a little darker than usual.

I quickly prepared some noodles (I usually use Catelli Healthy Harvest whole wheat or multigrain noods).

Noodley Doodleys

And also toasted two whole wheat English muffins, topped them with light shredded cheddar sprinkled with garlic salt, and broiled them for a few minutes in the oven until the cheese was nice and melty.

And then it was ready for eating!

Spaghetters

(That looks like a ridiculous amount of cheese on my English muffin, but I think it is a trick of the camera ;)).

It had a bit of a different taste than my regular spaghetti, but it was still good! I’d make it again for sure. This dinner was quick, easy, and delicious! ‘Cause that’s how I roll.

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The Easiest Dinner in the World

Tonight’s dinner of pulled pork sandwiches came together in a flash thanks to my beautiful crockpot!

Before I left for work this morning, I added three pork loin centre chops (boneless) to my crockpot and covered them with Campbell’s low sodium beef broth and about a cup of water (I added the water so they would be completely submerged and the beef broth didn’t quite do it).

Boneless Chops

I set the ol’ crockpot on low for 12 hours (I like to give myself some leeway in case there’s a crazy snowstorm or something), and let it do it’s thang all day while I was a busy beaver at work.

Once I returned home this evening, I took the pork out of the crockpot and quickly pulled it with two forks. I then smothered it with BBQ sauce and enjoyed it on a whole wheat sandwich thin. On the side, I roasted asparagus sprayed with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkled with garlic salt.

Pulled Pork + Asparagus = Yum

This dinner came together in about 15 minutes and was definitely a winner!

Note: I have made this before using a lean pork roast and had the same result. I also do this a lot using chicken breasts (with chicken broth), making pulled chicken sammies! Yummers. Feel free to use your fave BBQ sauce.

Have a great night!

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