brussels sprouts

As the holidays approach (or pass me by? Thanksgiving at a race track? What?) I find that I am getting behind in everything. Social engagements are starting to pop up, work is getting more intense and I’m sort of struggling to figure out how everything is going to get done. Last week I desperately needed to get my apartment cleaned and some cooking done….but it never happened.

This wouldn’t be a big deal, except for the fact that not cooking meant I’ve had nothing to bring to work for lunch/dinner for the last couple of days. Since I dislike most of my food options near my job, it’s kind of an issue. Luckily, there is a Trader Joe’s a couple of blocks away and I’ve been able to rely on their ability to always have ready made salads available for us lazy/overworked/procrastinator types.

It’s no secret how much I love Trader Joe’s….their food is on my blog all of the time. Not to worry…I’m not being compensated in any way and I buy everything with my own money. I just really like their products! I was excited to find some new salads in stock on Sunday when I ran in to pick up dinner for both my Sunday and Monday shifts.

lemonchickensalad  lemonchickennutrition

Today I learned that when I photoshop pictures, I shouldn’t auto color. These pics looked great in Photoshop on another computer, but on my laptop, they’re horrible….

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On Sunday I had the Lemon Chicken Salad and it by far surpassed my expectations. The dressing was flavorful, the vegetables crisp and the chicken salad itself was actually very good.

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On Monday I had the Brussels Sprout Salad. Brussels sprouts and I have a new found love affair. After years of hating them I’ve reevaluated and decided that they may actually be one of my favorite vegetables. I mean, I have only been blogging for 3 months and they’ve already come up several times. I was a little apprehensive about having them cold, but I decided to have faith. The first couple of bites were a little strange, but I kept eating and it really grew on me. I had never eaten brussels sprouts chopped up like that…I always just half them. I liked it! The dried cranberries were really good in this salad too. That sweet really made the dish.

I really love these new salads that have come out over the last few months. The one thing I don’t like about them is that now they’re calling each container 2 servings. When I first started shopping there, their salads were low calorie and they were marked as only one serving. Now it seems that the same sized salad is for two. Some of the salads are not all that large either….no one is going to eat the brussels sprouts salad as two meals.

Well, at least I’m not!

In addition to the salads on both nights I had a container of greek honey yogurt…

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…and…

traderjoeswater

…the sparkling water I nearly shoplifted!

It was an accident! You see, I didn’t grab a basket when I went into the market, so I tucked the bottle under my arm while I was shopping. I wandered around, gathered all of my items, went up to the register and put everything down to be paid for…except for the water. I pulled out my wallet, paid for everything and just as the cashier finished bagging up my groceries I realized the bottle of water was STILL UNDER MY ARM! I put it down on the counter and said, “Oh my god! I just shoplifted!” The cashier laughed, told me she hadn’t even noticed. I sheepishly handed her the buck and some change I owed and headed on to work.

Awkward!

What’s your favorite kind of salad?

I realized something very important on Wednesday.

I realized that I shouldn’t leave my apartment without wearing protective gear.

Oy.

It started off with my decision to go to the gym. My thighs were exceptionally sore and stiff from my Cardio Kick session on Tuesday afternoon. I thought walking to the gym would be a good idea, as it might stretch my muscles out a bit before I worked out. It’s about a 2 mile walk from my apartment to the gym, which is near the Ferry Building. It was a fairly uneventful walk and in less than an hour I was ready to get my workout on.

After much deliberation, I decided that Wednesday’s viewing selection would be the first half hour of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I know it seems like a strange selection, but I’ve always loved the movie and the songs are uplifting and often have to do with candy. I really like candy.

I’ve always wondered what those candy animals are at minute 1:46…hippos? Bears? What? What are they made of? I have no idea, but I want one!

Aw. Poor Charlie Bucket.

I did about 20 minutes on the elliptical and then decided that I wanted to finish up on another machine. I normally hate the exercise bikes, but for some reason, I decided I just wanted to do the last 10 minutes of cardio on the recumbent bike. 10 minutes went by, but I wasn’t ready to stop watching Willy Wonka yet, so I kept going. About 2 minutes later, for no apparent reason, I manage to smack my left knee really hard into the body of the bike!  I know that isn’t a good description, and I don’t know how it even happened. One second I’m pedaling along, the next second I’m grabbing my knee and mouthing obscenities.

I stood up and it hurt really bad. I hobbled down to the locker room, took a shower and headed home. Sitting down on metro hurt like hell. Bending my knee was NOT fun at all. I decided to never bend it again.

If only that were a viable option.

When I got home, I had to do laundry. Insert injury number two.

When grabbing my clothes out of the dryer, I dropped a sock. I squatted down to pick it up. I was in massive pain from the knee bending involved in this maneuver. I stand up and SMACK! I hit my head into the frackin’ dryer door!

My day was like an episode of The Three Stooges! Jeez…

After laundry,  I realized I needed to feed myself. I started off by making roasted brussels sprouts.

About a year ago, I found this recipe in Cooking Light magazine. I always make it using turkey bacon vs. pancetta. Obviously there’s not a lot of “drippings” left from frying turkey bacon, so there’s no adding that to the sprouts. Even so, having the meat definitely adds flavor. A similar recipe was also featured this week on Eat Live Run as part of “The Great Thanksgiving Recipe Swap“.

No matter what recipe you use, brussels sprouts are a winner.

But I didn’t feel like just having brussels sprouts by themselves. Nor did I feel like cooking meat as a main dish. What to make.

So please close your eyes and pretend you are reading a blog where you’re being instructed on how to make the most fantabulous whole wheat pizza dough known to man kind. Then continue imagining that I then slaved over a hot stove and made amazing pizza sauce. Then imagine I milked some cows, made my own cheese and grated it all for your viewing pleasure. Then imagine that I made this:

Okay. You don’t have to imagine that last part. I did make this. I certainly didn’t make anything from scratch, however. I could barely stand up, given my knee and head injuries. I did, however, happen to have a whole wheat Boboli pre-made pizza crust in my kitchen. I topped it with pre-made pizza sauce that I already had in my fridge, a couple of teaspoons of minced garlic, a few handfuls of spinach, about half of the brussels sprouts, the last of my part skim mozzarella and a little bit of parmesan cheese.

It may’ve not been completely home-made, but it was absolutely delicious. Looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow!

 

What is the lamest injury you have ever given yourself? Do you ever just have a really klutzy day? And lastly, do you like brussels sprouts?