Sunday, November 13, 2011

Say Cheese!

Is it just me or is the hardest part about going to the gym, actually finding the motivation to get in the car and drive there?

With the days ending around 5 pm now it's hard to leave work in the dark and want to work out! I would love to hear your motivation. It's true, you'll never regret a workout and once I am done a run or workout at the gym I feel better inside and out.

I am challenging myself to work out 4-5 days a week. With the holidays coming up this is a great way to balance all of the holiday parties!

Pinterest has been my go-to recipe finder. Since being pescatarian, I've found it harder to plan creative dinners on my own. I didn't want to include pasta in most of my meals and know I need beans, grains or seafood to fulfill my protein needs. 

Friday night I made homemade mac and cheese loaded with veggies. I love adding broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers to an ordinary pasta dish to kick up the flavor!

Homemade Mac and Cheese
2 cups large Macaroni, uncooked
2 cups low fat Milk (i used non-fat)
1 tablespoon Butter (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Mustard powder
1 teaspoon Salt
generous dash of Nutmeg
1 cup Grated Cheese (i used sharp cheddar)

Add ins: roasted mushrooms, asparagus and diced tomatoes
In a medium pot add milk, raw macaroni, salt, butter, mustard powder and nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Be careful to watch your pot because you don't want the milk to overflow or to evaporate too quickly. Once simmering, turn the heat to medium low. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally so the macaroni is fully cooked and the milk has been mostly absorbed. Turn off the heat and add your cheese. Place a lid on the pot and let it sit for 5 minutes so the macaroni plumps and absorbs the cheese. Top with your veggies and enjoy!

I served mine with salmon. Filets were on sale for 3.99 - can't beat that! 

Saturday after leaving the gym I was craving Panera soup and salad so badly! I love their broccoli cheddar soup and am border line obsessed with their fiji apple salad (minus the chicken). BUT, I knew the closest Panera was 10 minutes in the opposite direction of my house and I had all the ingredients at home to make my own.

Homemade Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Recipe found here
1 tablespoon melted butter 
1/2 medium chopped onion 
1/4 cup melted butter 
1/4 cup flour 
2 cups half-and-half cream 
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh broccoli
1 cup carrot, julienned
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
Saute your onion in 1 tablespoon butter. Once cooked down and translucent, remove from pot. Add 1/4 cup butter to pan and melt. Add 1/4 cup flour and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add your half and half. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add chicken stock, carrots, broccoli and stock and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Once veggies are tender add in the nutmeg and cheddar. Season with salt and better and serve!

This recipe was even better the next day for lunch, so make sure you have leftovers! 
Tomorrow is my first day at the new job! I'm excited to start and meet the rest of my team. I really like the ones I have met so far and am pumped to get in the swing of things!
I made sure to pack a healthy lunch for tomorrow.
I made extra salmon from tonight's dinner so I could have half of a filet for lunch :) Spring greens, almonds, green apples, craisins and a homemade maple balsamic vinaigrette. 
Dinner was spring greens, roasted asparagus, almonds and goat cheese with an amazing baked salmon! Salmon is one of those easy smeasy foods to make in the toaster oven and it comes out perfectly every time. I put a sweet and spicy mustard on top of these as a glue for the spinach panko i added to the top. I placed these in the toaster oven at 375 for about 15-20 minutes and it was done!
We are going out to dinner with friends tomorrow (sushi!) and hopefully looking at another house in the area :) We aren't rushing on finding a house. It's a huge investment and now that we have decided the town we want to live in, we don't want to settle! We are looking for a nice size backyard and deck so we can host parties. I would love a finished basement and nice kitchen. Other than that we are just looking to find a house that gives us that feeling inside!   
It's November. What are you thankful for?
I am thankful for all of the blessings I have been given. A new job, a loving fiance, my health, two healthy pups and a loving family.


  1. Mmm, those are some good Pinterest finds! I usually find all kinds of good stuff but never get around to actually making it.

  2. I love vegging up mac&cheese! I usually add broccoli and diced tomatoes. Soo good!!


  3. What yummy home made mac and cheese! And I agree, it's just driving there that's a pain in the butt. Once I'm there I'm way motivated :)