Herbed green beans and potatoes

Well, it officially feels like vacation is over. It’s back to work, back to the gym, and back to healthy eats. I have managed to squeak in about 2 days a week in the gym during the holidays, not bad, not bad. And I tried to throw in some veggies with all the cookies, drinks, and other splurges. I didn’t gain any noticeable weight and my clothes all still fit, so I’d say it was a successful holiday season. It’s also good to know that I can still enjoy treats and splurges and not have to worry about putting the 20 pounds back on I worked so hard to get off. It helps to be able to enjoy life’s pleasures without feeling guilty about it. I do notice, however, the immediate effects of overindulging. Christmas day, I had heartburn or indigestion so bad I thought I was having a heart attack. It just feels better to eat better.

So eat better today I did, Yoda says.

For breakfast, oatmeal with peanut butter and bananas:

Then I hit the gym pretty hard.

Lunch was a big ol salad:

Lettuce with black eyed peas, hard boiled egg, brown rice, 2 ounces of chicken, celery, grape tomatoes, and bean sprouts, with Bolthouse Farms yogurt ranch dressing. If you like ranch, try this stuff it’s in the refrigerated produce section, you will not be disappointed.

Then it was of to work to meet with a beautiful bride and start preparing for the wedding this weekend. Stay tuned, as it is going to be so unique and beautiful.

After work, I raced home to gobble down some dinner. Working out hard really amps up the appetite!

The fabulous Mary, mother of the bride for this coming wedding, and gardener extraordinaire gave me some fresh picked organic parsley and dill from Cross Creek Ranch’s herb garden. I racked my brain for a way to use it tonight and I came up with Herbed Green Beans and Potatoes.

I had one russet potato, which I cubed, and some fresh green beans I got at my trip to Parkesdale Farms. I sauteed them in olive oil and added about 2 tablespoons of the fresh chopped parsley and dill. It was sooooo good. I heated up a leftover cabbage roll to go with them.

My belly is full and my heart is content.

More cabbage?

Here’s that dessert from last night I promised you.

I live in the wonderful town of Plant City, Florida. The winter strawberry capital of the world. And it just so happens that the berries are coming in early this year. I loaded up at the famous Parkesdale Farms.

It was featured on the Food Network, and President Obama came for their awesome strawberry shortcake.

I cut up a few, melted some chocolate chips and went to heaven. They are really sweet and delicious. Didn’t even need the chocolate, but chocolate never hurts a thing.

For breakfast this morning, they joined my oatmeal, and I had another Parkesdale Farms specialty, freshly squeezed orange juice, also local and in season. Hopefully it will help me fight this cold that’s been lurking around.

I had to run some errands, and do some shopping and I didn’t get home until well after lunch. I opted to test out my neighbor’s juicer that I am borrowing.

I used 2 large carrots, 2 small granny smith apples, a chunk of ginger, and a couple handfuls of kale. Wow, that ginger made it zippy. I’ve been wanting to try juicing for a while, and now that iI finally have, here are my thoughts: The juice tasted pretty good and gave me a nice energy bump, but I couldn’t help feeling bad about all the waste produced. About 2 cups of fruit and veggie pulp. All that fiber could have done me good. Also, it was very messy and kind of hard to clean the machine. And the machine is big and takes up a lot of counter space. So my verdict is, I’ll finish up the giant bag of carrots and apples I got and return the juicer happily to my neighbor. I prefer to eat my fruits and veggies and get the fiber benefit, thank you.

As for dinner, I must not have had my share of cabbage from all the sauerkraut I’ve been eating, because I thought it would be a good idea to make cabbage rolls. Here’s all you need:

I mixed a pound of ground very lean ground beef with about 2 cups of rice, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, salt and pepper, and a 21 season blend from Costco. I boiled the whole head of cabbage minus most of the core. I put a little tomato sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish, rolled up a handful of the rice, beef mixture in the cabbage leaves like little burritos, poured the rest of the tomato sauce over top and cooked at 350 for 2 hours.

Yummy, now the strawberries are calling my name again.