Sep 28, 2010

Curried Egg Salad With Arugula And Pistachios

If you don't already read/subscribe to Serious Eats, you are dumb. If you check it out now/sign up, I will forgive you. Serious Eats is an awesome foodie site that features recipes, restaurant reviews, tips & tricks, quizzes, and videos. You can sign up for newsletters or just check out the site directly. One of the columns, Dinner Tonight, features quick & easy recipes five nights a week. Last Friday's recipe was for Curried Egg Salad With Arugula And Pistachios. At first I was like, "UM that is SICK." But then I remembered how much I love eggs, arugula, and pistachios. Curry could be loved too, I guess.

The recipe sounded simple enough for me to whip after the gym - I like that. Here's my version with healthier modifications. 

What you need:

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 4 hard-boiled egg whites, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 0%
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • salt & pepper
Mix together eggs, whites, Greek yogurt, curry powder, and pistachios. Salt and pepper to taste. Lay over a bed of arugula. Feast! Serves 2. 

Or, if you'd like to make this a sandwich, stuff a bread thin or pita:
Yum! Don't be intimidated by the curry - it adds a twist to your typical egg salad and with all the flavor, you won't miss the mayo. At first I was surprised that the recipe calls for salt, as it was already an ingredient in my curry powder. You could leave it out, but I think it needs just a dash. The peppery arugula adds a nice bite along with a boost of Vitamin A, C, Calcium, and Iron. If arugula is too flavorful for you, add spinach to your mix.

Here is the nutritional information for half of the egg salad + 1 cup of arugula:

While I was taking pics, my roommate started cooking his dinner. Boding is a very clean eater - he eats more vegetables than anyone I know. I can't tell you how many times I've seen him eat chicken + broccoli + rice for dinner. Tonight he was out of rice. What did he have for his carb?

Funfetti cupcakes of course!

After my last post, I received a question on my Formspring page. Someone asked, 

How do you know so much about food and what's good for you?

Honestly, I just read a lot. From paid subscriptions, free magazines at grocery stores, flyers at the gym, to endless websites, I will read anything and everything health-related. I have no education in health other than what I read on my own time and from my own experiences. I am very passionate about food - for both enjoyment and nourishment. 

Magazines I read:

Websites I like:
Check 'em out! :)

Have you found any quick & easy recipes lately? Please share! 

Sep 26, 2010

Fall Treats and Football Beats

Saturday morning one of my firsts thoughts was "Today is football day!!" Wow. Weird. Who am I? Saturday was also designated "Shopping Day" and "Baking Day." When I picked up a can of pumpkin at Whole Foods the other day, I noticed a can of sweet potato puree. I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do with it, but I bought it anyway. One way I like to find recipes is by going to the manufacturer's site. The Farmer's Market site listed a few options including one for Apple Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins. Anytime I see cinnamon on a menu or in a recipe, I want it. Cinnamon is one of my things. You know, like Chick-fil-A, Mustard Seed, and lime green things. I scanned the recipe, altered a couple things, then made muffins!

The Wet:
  • 1 15 oz can of sweet potato puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
The Dry:

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup apples, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350*. Combine wet ingredients in one bowl, and dry ingredients into another. Incorporate dry mixture into wet until smooth. 
Pour evenly into a greased or lined muffin pan. Add chocolate chips to a few for good measure.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Then, use your mouth to destroy...
Make these!! They are incredibly moist and the addition of cinnamon + apple makes them a perfect fall treat. Plus, they contain tons of Vitamin A! 

Here's the best part of being a food blogger: you will get down and dirty for some natural light for your photography. 
At any moment my neighbors could have come out of their apartment. Oh boy, would they have judged!

Then it was time to go shopping. We stopped in Palmetto Moon so Boding could get a new Clemson koozie. We were pretty excited to find Clemson silly bandz! Omg are we 5?
I stole a C (for Christina?) and a tiger paw.
We shopped some more and I bought some skinny jeans from Ann Taylor Loft, a sweater from Banana Republic, and new powder and mascara from MAC. Shopping always works up an appetite, so we drove over to Village Bakery for lunch.
I got the Turkey and Provolone with cranberry on multi-grain bread with a side of Asian Salad.
This is my favorite sandwich from Village Bakery. The cranberries are the best part so I always ask for extra. The Asian salad was linguine tossed with edamame, bell peppers, carrots, peanuts, and cilantro. 

Village Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

After lunch we stopped by Pitt St. Pharmacy for some CANDY! Look at all this crack!
We found ring pops!! Boding spent 50 cents on me. This is probably the closest I'll come to getting a fancy ring from a guy for a while. Ha.
 Silly bandz AND ring pops? YES we are definitely children.
Saturday evening we went over to Margaret's for a cookout and to watch the Auburn vs. South Carolina game. This was a great excuse to bake another fall treat, so I made pumpkin cookies!! When I made them last year, I used milk chocolate chips, but since Margaret is allergic to chocolate, I swapped them out for white chocolate. 
They are even better with white chocolate chips. I also used half as much oil because I thought they were too wet last year. This time they came out more cake like and very tender. They were quite a hit at the party. See the recipe here

More orange & navy for Auburn!
While we were at the party, Matt showed up with coconut water because he heard it was a hangover cure. Has anyone heard this? 
The cookout was lots of fun, except for the part where I had to attack Matt for stealing my phone and sending dirty text messages. He is a bad boy!
Hope you all had a wonderful (football-filled) weekend!!

Sep 23, 2010

Today's the Day for a Q & A!

I've been getting a lot of emails with questions from readers so I figured I'd put together a Q&A post. As always, feel free to ask me a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g by commenting on the blog or emailing me at christinaorso at gmail dot com. If you've been following my blog, you'll know that I'm pretty open to discussing anything!

  Top five favorite drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) you consume on a regular basis?
Diet lemonade from Chick-fil-A - it's kind of disgusting how often I want them and how fast I drink them...and get a refill.
Coor's Light YUM YUM, I love my trashy Nascar beer.
Did you guys know you can work out anywhere!? Even in Publix.

Sometimes I even like using my leftover Diet Lemonade cups to hide my Coor's Light obsession:
Umm yeah. On a serious note, I drink a lot of water. I use my 24 oz Camelbak every day and refill it 4-5 times. I drink coffee with skim milk when I need a pick-me-up and I am a huge fan of wine.

Favorite kitchen tools?
Strawberry Huller. You can use it on tomatoes too!
Flexible cutting boards. These are lightweight and easy to clean. Plus you can pick them up and fold them so the food will slide into the pan without making a mess. They are non-porous so no germs are absorbed!

What does your week workout routine look like?
Earlier this year when I first started working out, Julius was my personal trainer 2x a week. I would get my butt beat by him on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 2-3 times a week I'd do cardio. Now that I am no longer training, but I have built up enough muscle/endurance, I try to make an appearance at the gym 3-4 times a week. Typically I go right after work and get it over with. I like to go 3x a week, and then once on the weekends. Working out on the weekends is a great way to stay in check because this is the time when I'm eating a lot of naughty foods.

Any good workout tips?

You have to find what's right for you - and by that I mean find what you enjoy doing. Exercise is a chore unless you're having fun. I used to run run run and I wasn't proud of my body nor was I seeing results. I'm not saying that you won't see results if you just run, because some people do, but I never did. I highly recommend trying different types of classes to see what you like. I never thought I would like spin class or weight training until I tried it. Check out what classes your gym has to offer and try each at least once! If you can afford a trainer, get one. Have your gym manager recommend you one based on personality. This is key. I told them I need someone that would laugh with me and at me, because I was a mess and they directed me to Julius. If you go to Eco, FIND HIM!

What is an acceptable portion of candy/cake/baked goods to you?
When I want something, I have it - but in small doses. This means one cookie, one serving of gelato, or a few m&ms. I don't sit on the couch with the pint of gelato because I will eat too much. I take m&ms out of the bag, then put the bag away. Self-control can be learned, trust me. I hate feeling like I've overindulged, so what's the point? I give myself what I want, and put the rest away. Feeling guilty later isn't nearly as fun as being satisfied with what you've eaten and getting your sweet fix.

What are your stats?
I'm barely 5'2 and weigh between 106-109 pounds. Did I gain weight when I started weight training? No. If anything, maybe a pound. Please weight train - it is the best way to boost your metabolism!!

Favorite food/fitness blogs, magazines, books?
The book that started my healthy eating:
If you're new to healthy eating, this book will teach you a lot. The first book in this series does a great job at informing you how bad eating out really is. It compares what people typically eat with a healthier option. It's a very realistic book in the sense that it doesn't push you to eat salads all day everyday. 

My favorite book in this series is the Supermarket Survival guide. There is a ton of helpful info! I recommend this book if you need general food advice rather than tips on eating out.
David Zinczenko has written 5 other books for this series and they are all great. 

Favorite places to food shop:
For the majority of my grocery shopping, I go to Publix. Publix is the Chick-fil-A of grocery stores. Their employees are so helpful and their Buy One, Get One Free deals are a steal - especially because you don't have to buy 2 - they're just half-off. I also shop at Whole Foods for specific items like chicken, gelato, wine, and bulk bin goods.

Favorite healthy oils, condiments, dressings?
I'm fine with throwing balsamic vinegar on a salad and eating it up. It has a ton of flavor and very few calories. Flavored balsamic vinegars, like my fig balsamic, are even tastier. My favorite bottled salad dressing is Garlic Expressions, a 100% natural vinaigrette with tons of flavor. If you love garlic, this is for you! It's also great as a chicken marinade.
Other condiments I love are ketchup, home made honey mustard (literally honey + mustard), and hot sauce.

How did you get the nickname Xtina?
We can thank Brandon for that. It has nothing to do with Christina Aguilera or anything perverted. It's just like when you call Christmas "Xmas". And lately, Xtina has morphed into just "X" so if you'd like to call me that, that's fine too. No XXXtina though. That's bad.

Do you eat differently on the weekends, holidays, or special occasions?
I'm a creature of habit and have no problem eating clean during the week. I stick to my staples because I know my body responds well to them. With that said, to avoid insanity, I treat myself on the weekends. There is nothing wrong with eating sweets if you know your limits and stick with them. Sometimes I want a burger. Ok, I eat a burger. I find that once I do it, I'm happy and don't feel like I'm depriving myself. I eat like 3 burgers a year and I'm fine. As far as holidays are concerned, yes, I do eat what I want. But I eat until I'm full, or try a little bit of everything and then stop. Overeating does not feel good - physically or mentally. Special occasions like birthdays are a great way to get your cake fix - eat the damn cake. Don't be that girl who refuses cake bc she's on a diet. COME ON. Or eat half and give the rest to your boyfriend or dog. They'll be psyched.

Favorite clothing stores?
The majority of my clothes come from Ann Taylor Loft and Banana Republic because they both have a petite section which I haaaaaaave to have. I'm barely 5'2 and have a hell of a time trying to find pants that fit me unless they're petite-sized. Both of those stores are great for classic pieces, but I get a lot of my dresses and trendy items from LuLu's, Francesca's, Forever21, and even Target. Other great sites are ModCloth and Tulle.

That's all for now! Feel free to ask some more! :)

Sep 20, 2010

A Very American Weekend of Football & Feasts

Believe it or not, until this weekend I had never been to a big college football game. I let Margaret take my football v-card and we drove up to her alma mater Auburn to watch them play Clemson. The 7 hour drive took us South to Georgia and then across to Alabama. We saw lots of trees, a few cows, and a lot of scary looking folks, especially in Macon. Our first stop to piddle was somewhere in Georgia where it's apparent that the residents do not believe in toothbrushes or laundry machines but my goodness they believe in BEEF JERKY AND GIANT SODAS!
Maybe they actually do believe in toothbrushes, and their teeth have just fallen out because they gnaw on jerky and sip soda all day long. But in roadie tradition, we found it completely necessary to pick up a humongous Diet Mt. Dew and a bag of Sweet & Hot Jerky. Let it be known that Margaret is in Dental School and I am a HUGE fan of brushing my teeth. 

A little while later, still in Georgia, we got hungry and since Jesus obviously loves us, we spotted a Chick-fil-A. Naturally, I screamed "We have to go to a Chick-fil-A in Georgia to see if it's better!!" 
Holy smokes it was!! I swear my chicken was juicier. Here we are in the car surrounded by grilled chicken and waffle fries:
We finally made it to Auburn around 7:30 and wasted no time in changing, doing makeup and setting out for the bars.
Margaret met up with about 29758982751 friends from college and I met up with, um, TJ, who was here for Clemson. And then we took what appears to be an engagement photo.
TJ was smart to wear his Clemson orange. Anyone know which teams use hot pink or lime green as their colors? Because I'll totally be their #1 fan.

Friday night's events include Margaret and I losing each other several times, losing my ID just to find it in my coozie and then drop it into the toilet 5 minutes later bc I put it in my underwear, dancing to DMX, and making friends everywhere. Like these boys:
Meet my new Auburn friends. They like camo and plaid. I made them show me their muscles.
I also made friends with this guy even though he didn't really know it. He was asleep waiting for his cab. I guess I was mad at him for not waking up/being my friend and wanted to beat him with a nerf football.
(Sometimes I'm aggressive.)

The next morning was painful, but it was GAME DAY! And who needs sleep when you have concealer? 

Tailgating was awesome, standing/walking around for 55 hours was even better, but nothing beat the moments walking into the game!
Orange and navy (and purple!) EVERYWHERE! To say I was excited is an understatement:
It was a pretty intense game and although I didn't really know what was going on, I still had a blast and am totally sucked in now.

Poor Clemson lost.

Before heading home on Sunday, we stopped at a sandwich stop that Brooke told me I needed to go to: Momma Goldberg's Deli. This little shack is very popular with the students; we waited more time in line than it took me to actually eat my sandwich. It was worth it though!
I got the Turkey Delite: roasted turkey breast with mozzarella cheese, lettuce, tomato, spicy  mustard, and Momma's sauce on a honey wheat bun.
Margaret got the same plus a side of Momma's Nachos which are actually Doritos with melted pepper jack cheese and jalapenos. 
Momma Goldberg's Deli on Urbanspoon
Halfway through the ride home, we stopped in the lovely Macon, GA again because we were all craving some food trash...

I picked out the Teriyaki beef jerky and Margaret introduced me to the wonders of Maple Nut Goodies and Werther's caramels. She's allergic to chocolate so she is very familiar with non-chocoholic goodies. 

Sooo after our long but very fun weekend, we found it in our best interest to lay around playing on facebook and half-ass watching our lover boy in his newest flick:

Weekend conclusion: I LOVE FOOTBALL.