The long and winding road to fitness, day 55

I did a little cooking today…had some adventures with zucchini…found a way to make fried zucchini (and probably other veggies would work as well, mushrooms, eggplant, green tomatoes)in the oven with no oil…yea me!!

I walked for about half an hour this morning…unfortunately that’s all the exercise I managed to get in.  I’m a little disappointed with the amount of exercise I’ve put in while I’ve been on vacation. I really meant to do a lot more than I’ve done.   It’s  been nice walking at sunrise every day, the sky has been gorgeous.

Today I didn’t  get much done around the house.  There are so many things I want to do, but I couldn’t seem to get motivated to do any of them.  I’m not even really sure where the day went…oh well, is that so terrible when you’re on vacation?  I fooled around on the computer (how do you like my new background color?  the very pale grey/green rather than the bright green?  I’m playing around with the look of my blog…let me know what you think, what suggestions you have for me…).  I read for a while…and snuggled with Spooky while I was reading…she loves that.

My eating today was decent…had that oven fried zucchini for lunch along with a slice of zucchini bread.  Dinner was a couple of pieces of focaccia and a glass of milk.  I also had oj and half a banana today, peanut butter on frozen waffles with skim milk for breakfast.  As far as calories are concerned, I did fine.  But I know I could have eaten more fruit and veggies.  Tomorrow is grocery shopping day (very early in the morning) so I’ll come back with some fresh produce…that should help me take in a few more servings each day.

I may not come home with all of that, but I want to have a little variety for when I go back to work.  How does vegetarian taco salad sound?

Advertisements

What in the world am I going to do with all of this zucchini?

I’ve been gardening long enough to know that even one tiny (?) zucchini plant can provide you with more zucchini than you can possibly eat.  All week long I’ve been saying I was going to do something with the zucchini on my one plant.  The abundance of zucchini on my one plant.  After being shamed (thanks, Patti) for not following through with my zucchini plans, I decided to tackle it today.  I only picked the two largest fruits on the plant, knowing full well that those would be more than what I needed for my purposes today.

So the plan was to bake a loaf of healthier zucchini bread and freeze the rest of the shredded zucchini in 2 cup freezer bags..then I can have zucchini bread all winter long.  I had printed a recipe for a healthier type of zucchini bread from backtoherroots (thanks, Cassie), so figured I’d give that a try.

So I set about shredding those monster zucchini, ended up with enough for the bread and three bags to put in the freezer.  I had some left over and decided to try oven “fried” zucchini.

The bread recipe was easy to follow and used ingredients I already had on hand…I love it when I don’t have to buy special ingredients for a recipe, don’t you?

Now on to the oven fried zucchini…when I was a kid, we ate a lot of fried foods.  That’s something I’m trying to get away from in my quest for a healthier lifestyle.  But fried zucchini sure did sound tasty to me.  Soooo…how can I get that taste and texture without all of that fat? 

I bought Panko bread crumbs a while back and had yet to open the box…so that’s where I started.  I read the box and saw a recipe for baked breaded shrimp…figured that would probably work for zucchini too. Why not?  Took a couple of eggs and beat them in one bowl.  Mixed some flour, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese in another bowl.  Then poured some of the Panko into another bowl…Dredged the zucchini rounds through the flour mixture, then dipped into egg, and patted Panko crumbs over that.  Placed on a baking sheet, baked in a 350 degree oven.  I checked them after 10 minutes, decided to leave them in for another five minutes.  Then I turned them and put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

I can not believe how seriously good these things are…crispy, tasty and so not fried…wow!!  Will I be making these again?  You betcha!!

I feel like I accomplished what I set out to do with my zucchini…that and more today…I’ve got a lot of little zucchini on that one poor plant…there has to be more oven fried zucchini in my future!

The long and winding road to fitness, day 52

The Horton Family in 1973: Back Row: Edward Ma...

Image via Wikipedia

My first day of vacation was pleasant.  I had to run across town to go pick up my contacts and decided to head into Target while I was in the neighborhood.  I picked up a few things that were on sale, then came back home.  I didn’t do a lot at home today.  I figured I’d give myself one day of doing whatever, then tackle some chores tomorrow.  I don’t really like doing house work, but I sure do like having a clean house.  Since I can’t afford a maid and the little house cleaning fairies have left town, I guess I’ll just have to do my own cleaning.  It’ll be worth it once I’m finished.  Don’t you find that you are able to relax more when your house is clean and organized?

I did do two cardio workouts today…walked for 35 minutes this morning and danced for 20 minutes this afternoon.  I did a little core work…only four different exercises today…I kind of forgot about it while I was watching Days of Our Lives (what?  has Maggie died?  say it ain’t so), so hurried and did a little just a few minutes ago.  Tomorrow is supposed to be much cooler so I’m thinking I’ll go out for a nice long walk complete with pictures…you can never have too many pictures, although I do need to organize mine somehow…what do you all do with your digital photos to organize them so you don’t have to search for that one particular picture? I’m at a loss on this one.

I baked a homemade pizza today…lots of mushrooms, onion and turkey bacon…I know I just posted a blog about bacon not that long ago and how I’m not a huge fan of it…but I had to use this up because it was getting close to the use by date…guess I could have stuck it in the freezer so that I could find it next year…anyhow, the pizza was decent…not my best by any stretch of the imagination, but still pretty good. 

I also made up a batch of frozen banana pops…yum…I don’t know how I ever lived without these things…I can do without ice cream if I have these available.  I had some of the chocolate/peanut butter mixture left over and didn’t want to throw it out…what to do? what to do?  Oh wait, I have dried cherries in the pantry…no, no, took those to work…what do I have?  Hmm…dried apples?  No…dried pineapple…I don’t think so…dried plums (or prunes before the marketing whiz kids decided to come up with something more appealing to the masses)?  Hmm…how would that taste?  Tried it…not bad…the prunes are small ones so I ended up with about a dozen of them…Figure that could be a good candy substitute when I get a craving.  What do you think?

I’ve got to do something with zucchini tomorrow…I’ve got several I need to pick and, who knows, by tomorrow morning they may be the size of a baseball bat…so, do I make zucchini lasagna?  I already have enough pizza to last me for the next three days, so don’t really need another Italian style entree…zucchini bread or muffins?  That’s definitely an option…if I make muffins, I can put most of them in the freezer and take them to work for a snack when I go back next week.  Maybe grill some zucchini and other veggies?  I’d have to run to the grocery store tomorrow to buy more mushrooms since I used all of them on today’s pizza.  I could always shred the zucchini and put it in the freezer…decisions, decisions…what would you do?

So, all in all, a good first day of vacation…what did you do today?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 43

I felt much more rested today and was able to get a lot more done over the course of the day.  I went out a little after 6 am for a walk…it was still terribly hot and humid, came home just a bit sweaty.  But it was much nicer at 6 am than it was this afternoon.  Whew…I hate to say this, but I’m ready for fall.  Fall has always been my favorite time of the year in Indiana and I’m sure this year will be no different.  I like those crisp mornings and the vivid blue skies, the humidity drops to a much more humane level, and you can sleep with the windows open.  It’ll be here before we know it.

I walked for 30 minutes today and worked in the garden for another 30 minutes.  That was the total of my exercise for the day.  I’ve skipped strength training for a few days, time to get back with it.  My eating was really good.  I’ve had a little less than 1500 calories for the day.  I got a lot of cooking in for food to take to work (tomorrow’s lunch is grilled veggies on whole wheat focaccia…which I made myself).  I also canned some pickles and peppers…the kind of canning where you store the jars in the fridge rather than in the pantry.  I put both of those on my veggie sandwiches…yum…better than Subway.

My next day off I’m going to have to do something with zucchini.  I think I’ll make some zucchini bread (a healthier recipe) and then just shred the rest and put it in the freezer for later.  I’ve only got one zucchini plant, but one is more than enough this year.  Maybe I’ll whip up that zucchini crust pizza I mentioned the other day.   We’ll see…

So, did you do any cooking this weekend?  What are your plans for the week?

My little garden in mid July

As with most gardens, there are some hits and some misses.  Some things in my garden are performing wonderfully.  I’ve got plenty of cucumbers…

Only one pepper plant has actually produced any peppers so far, although the jalapeno plant is now blooming, my fault, I transplanted it late.

The zucchini plant has taken over…

See how huge the plant is relative to the terra-cotta bird bath?  This thing is gigantic. I have plenty of zucchini even with picking them small.

The sunflowers are still blooming although the little gold finches are eating all the seeds.

Now the black-eyed Susans are blooming…

Unfortunately, the tomatoes have been hit with blight again this year…darn it, darn it, darn it! I’m hoping the ones that have come up on their own will manage to avoid it, they did fine last year even though the others all succumbed to the dreaded blight.   In the mean time, thank goodness for the farmers market.

The garden outside my back door

The Great Seal of the State of Indiana

Image via Wikipedia

Here it is, early July, and it certainly feels like it.  Hot and humid here in Indiana, just about what we expect for the July 4th holiday.  While this weather can be uncomfortable for us humans, as long as we provide them with plenty of water, the garden plants (for the most part) love it.  Okay, sure, the lettuce and spinach can’t take the heat, but the tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers love it.

I’m getting plenty of peppers from this one Cubanelle plant…I planted my jalapeno plant late, but it’s now blooming, so it won’t be long…

There are several small cucumbers almost ready to pick…the taste of a home-grown cucumber is nothing like what you buy at the grocery store.  I’m not really sure what those things they sell as cucumbers at the grocery store actually are…definitely not the super tasty, crunchy cucurbits that I grow.  When I raise my own cukes, I eat them in their entireity…skin, seeds and flesh.  No bitterness, just yummy cool cucumber taste.

The zucchini plant, as zucchini plants tend to do, is growing like crazy….

There are tiny little zucchini squash on the plant…at least they were tiny yesterday, by tomorrow they may be baseball bat sized!!

And I was surprised to see a red tomato on the Amish paste tomato plant…almost ready to pick!

And how can you resist smiling when you see these cheery flowers?  Gardening is good for you, body and soul!

Farmers Market in early July

I finally made it to our local farmers market this morning.  I have every other weekend off work and it seems like it’s always either raining or I’ve got other plans.  But today I got up early, gathered my totes, put on comfortable shoes and made my way down town.  I got there just a few minutes after it opened (operating hours are Saturdays, 8 am until 1 pm) while the crowd was still navigable.  Believe me, with this particular farmers market, that’s the only way to do it.  On occasion, I’ve gone at around 11 am and could hardly see the vendors’ booths through the mass of humanity.  By going early, I was able to find my favorite vendors (there are several organic farmers who sell their produce and plants at the market, one of my favorites is a farm that is owned by a woman…one of these days I’ll remember to take a picture of her at her booth, but that didn’t happen today.  It’s nice to be able to talk with the farmers who actually do the work to bring us all the fresh fruit and veggies.  I like to hobby garden, but to do it on a large enough scale to earn money is a huge undertaking, not to mention, a lot of hard work!  I have total respect for these people and thankfully,  I get to enjoy the fruit of their labors.  In addition to the produce, you can find honey, eggs, meat, freshly ground flour and cornmeal, all kinds of live plants, cut flowers, coffee, prepared food and lots of live entertainment.  It’s really a social event for a lot of people here in my home town.

I came away with several baby zucchini, some juicy peaches (I ate one as soon as I got home), some red leaf lettuce, a Patty pan squash, a yellow tomato, and a red tomato.  I think I’m going to grill the zucchini and the Patty pan squash, brushing them with olive oil first.  The red tomato will likely go into a nice fresh salsa, one of my favorite summer foods.  The lettuce?  Well, salad for work with tomato, cucumbers and peppers.  And the peaches, really, do I have to explain?  I will eat them out of hand…although I have read various blogs about grilling peaches and watermelon…should I give it a whirl?

By the time I got home, it was beginning to get hot (we’re under a heat advisory today) and the humidity was making it a little difficult for me to breathe.  I went out to look at my own little garden where I have several cucumbers ready to pick.  And I noticed one of my Amish paste tomatoes is turning…ahh…to be able to walk out of my kitchen door and pick my own produce right before I eat it, it doesn’t get any better than that!!  But the convenience and ambience of the farmers market comes in a close second!