Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Crutches and Steroids and Heat Packs, Oh My!



Let me get this part out of the way. I'm a Klutz.  I have been one for most of my life.  In kindergarten I walked under a teeter totter and got knocked out cold.  That was my first visit to the school nurse.. Over the years, the school nurse and I became good friends, with me ending up injured in various ways.  Break a collar bone falling off the jungle gym? Check. Break your nose by dropping a chair on it? Yep, did that, too. Sprained fingers and wrist? Of course. Tweak the knee in a dance class? How graceful.  The school nurse used to affectionately tell me I was an accident waiting to happen.

Graduation did not end my Klutzy Capades.  Back, wrist, tailbone ? Yes, yes and yes.  Electric shock? I've zapped myself enough to raise Frankenstein's monster. More recently I slipped in the kitchen because I wasn't paying attention and I slipped in a puddle of dog piddle.  Not only did my knee hurt, my tush was wet, too.  Ewww.  Flash forward to last week and I did it again, this time on the bathroom tile.  Now, it isn't the dog's fault. She did get MOST of her piddle on the pee pad.  It was mine for thinking I could slip in to the bathroom without turning on the light and waking my sleeping husband and dogs.  And slip I did. Consequently, I woke up everyone, too.

After a week of it to improving, I finally went to see the PA.  The good news, no torn ACL. The bad news, there is fluid behind the knee cap and damage to the cartilage.  He told me to stay off my feet for the next week and use crutches if I absolutely have to walk. Ha ha ha ha ha.  How long has he known me? I'm scheduled to work all weekend, so resting is out of the question.

But today? Today I am sitting up on the couch with my knee up. A heat pack is wrapped around my leg and the prednisone is giving me an energy buzz.  

And the crutches? They are propped over in the corner. Out of the way so I don't trip over them. 

Safety first.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Menu Plan Monday- 9/15/2014 Vanilla Quinoa for Breakfast

Hello again.  Yes, I've fallen off the blogging band wagon.  Shame on me.  It's just that lately I've found that I have literally Zero to say.  I've been in a funk, to put it mildly.  

I find as time goes on, I miss my friends who have all moved away from the Atlanta area, and I miss the ones I left behind in California even more.  Work has become depressing.  Between the emotional challenge of it and the sorority girl atmosphere,  I've come to the conclusion that it's not someplace I want to be this time next year.

On the home front, Pumpkin has moved out in to a dorm.  That means the only one left at home (besides the fur kids) is Diva.  From 3 girls down to 1 makes for a too quiet house. I miss having Pumpkin around terribly.  I miss her droll sense of humor.  I miss having someone to talk with about mundane things as well as the big. 

It's time to make some changes in my life.  One of those changes is to get back to blogging and looking for the positive.  I also need to focus on the areas of my life that DO work.  I've been better about meal planning and trying new things.  Last week I made two new recipes that were complete hits and will be going in to my rotation.  I hope this week's newbies are as successful.  I also have a new breakfast favorite- Vanilla Quinoa; I'll share that recipe at the end of this post.
So, without further ado, here is this week's meal plan:

Bacon and Onion Quiche
Shells and Cheese with Bacon and Peas  (hmmmm... I seem to have a bacon theme going here)
Tacos, mexican rice and beans
White Chicken Chili
Spaghettii Carbonara, salad and garlic bread
Meatball Subs
Grilled Chicken, ceasar salad and corn on the cob
Nom!!!

Ok, on to my new favorite breakfast treat.  Vanilla Quinoa.  If you haven't tried Quinoa yet, I highly recommend it.  Quinoa is a seed from South America.  It's very versatile; it can be cooked on the stove top, baked, ground in to a flour, served hot or cold.  One thing to keep in mind; quinoa needs to be rinsed, rinsed again and rinsed even more- otherwise it is very bitter.  Even if the package says it's pre-rinse, do yourself a favor and rinse it again.  It's not the cheapest of ingredients, but it's really good for you.  I paid about $8 for a one pound package at Trader Joes'.  I've since found it in the bulk bins at Sprouts for a bit less.  It's a complete protein, has a low glycemic index and full of fiber, which means it's filling and doesn't cause spikes in your blood sugar.  Pookers was the one who first introduced me to it by making a cold Spanish-inspired side dish made of quinoa, corn, black beans, green onions, garlic and cumin.  


This breakfast version is my favorite way of eating it.  It's warm and sweet.  A perfect change of pace from oatmeal or cream of wheat.  The best part?  It's just as good as cold left overs.  In fact, I may almost prefer it cold.
Sorry for the picture, I was halfway through breakfast when I realized I needed a picture for this post! A serving is really bigger than this picture shows!

Vanilla Quinoa

1 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup dried quinoa, rinsed well and drained
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 tsp agave syrup (may substitute brown sugar if desired)
optional- 1/4 cup Frozen blueberries, thawed.


Over medium heat, bring the soy milk to a low boil in a small sauce pan. Stir frequently to prevent a skin from forming.  When boiling, add the rinsed quinoa.  Return to a low boil, then reduce heat to low.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in the cinnamon and agave syrup.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the remaining liquid is absorbed.

Serve topped with thawed berries (or frozen if you are impatient like I am ) If desired.  Makes 2 servings.





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Monday, June 16, 2014

Menu Plan Monday 6/16/2014 - Black Bean Salsa Chicken Soup


Hello to everyone in bloggyland.

It's time again for Menu Plan Monday.  It seems like each week, I am getting busier and busier.  Not to mention more and more broke.  Accordingly, my menu plan for the week includes cleaning things out of my fridge/freezer and pantry.  The only thing I need to go to the store to buy is a potato for my TJ tacos on Saturday.

My plan is to only make the one store trip this week. We will see how that works. 

In addition to the meal planning, I am also trying out some new software for budgeting.  I plan on blogging the ups and downs with that experiment in the upcoming weeks. 

But for now, here is my menu plan for the week:

Dinners: 
Tamales and mexican rice 
Easy Stroganoff served with rice
Chicken Fried Rice (made with the left over rice from the stroganoff)
Black Bean Chicken and Salsa Soup (recipe below)
TJ Tacos (other wise known as beef and potato tacos- recipe next week)
Bacon and onion Quiche

Lunches: 
Leftovers
PB&J
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Quesadillas

Breakfasts:
Oatmeal
Scrambled eggs
various cold cereals
fruit smoothies

Now, the recipe for the Black Bean Chicken Salsa Soup.  A coworker gave me this recipe many years back.  It's easy, inexpensive and really, really tasty.   This makes enough for 6+ good size servings.

Black Bean Salsa Chicken Soup

2-3  boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen works just fine)
2 cans black beans, rinsed
1/2 jar Salsa (I use Pace medium)
1 carton low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Cumin

Place the chicken in the crockpot. Add the beans, salsa and cumin.  Cover with the chicken broth.  Cook on low 8 heat 8 hours or on high 4-6 hours.

Prior to serving, remove chicken breasts and shred with 2 forks.  Reserve.

Take out about 1 cup of the black beans. Mash and return to crockpot.  Add chicken back to slow cooker.  Cook an additional 30 minutes on high to thicken the soup.

Serve topped with your choice of sour cream, cheddar cheese, chopped onions or crushed tortilla chips.  

Yummy!


What's on your menu this week?

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