Friday, November 12, 2010

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Ok, so brussel sprouts aren't the most exciting vegetable out there. Like most people, I've never really liked brussel sprouts. I've been trying very hard to incorporate more green vegetables into my diet so I thought I would give these tiny cabbages another shot.

I searched high and low for some way to cook these things without just boiling them to death. Most people will just boil them until they are mush, put some salt on them and then complain that they don't taste good. Gee, I wonder why that would be?

I finally ran across a recipe for broiled brussel sprouts, from Brany Boils Over, that had potential. I changed it up a little and came out with a recipe that I would make again. It would make a great veggie dish during the holidays too.

Roasted Brussel Srpouts
From Branny Boils Over


1 10 oz Bag Frozen Brussel Sprouts
6 Tablespoons Plain Bread Crumbs
2 Tablespoons Margarine, Melted
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Steam the sprouts in the microwave.
  2. Cut eat sprout in half lengthwise.
  3. Spray a baking dish with PAM.
  4. Place the cut sprouts into the baking dish.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Sprinkle all of the seasonings onto the sprouts.
  7. Mix the bread crumbs and margarine together and sprinkle over the top of the seasoned sprouts.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.

If you really want to get fancy you can stick the sprouts under the broiler for 5 minutes after baking. This will give you a nice crispy crumb topping.

Yields: Approximately 6 servings (1/2 cup each)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Please forgive me, I have Baked Falafel

I know I'm a LLPOF (liar, liar, pants on fire). I said I took a short break and would be back and then...nothing. I haven't posted in almost 3 months. That is completely inexcusable. I guess I should start by giving an update on what's been going on here and then, to try to win your forgiveness, I'll give you a most excellent recipe for baked falafel. You will love it, I promise.

So bake in August, when I last posted, I was still on the weight loss journey and becoming increasingly frustrated with my lack of progress. I was also a little down about our fertility problems. Well, let me tell you all of that has changed!

On September 1st I went to my fertility doctor for my routine blood draw and to begin planning my next cycle of medications. That afternoon I got a call from the nurse telling me that our August cycle had worked. We were finally pregnant! I was in shock. I had been having PMS symptoms for a couple of days and was absolutely positive that I was going to start my period any second. I even went to the store to by tampons after my blood draw. I called Vince at work and told him that I was pregnant. He was in the middle of a meeting and couldn't talk, but I think he was a little lost for words anyway. As soon as I got off the phone with him, I ran over to CVS and purchase a couple of digital pregnancy tests. I needed to see the positive result for myself. I took a total of 4 tests that afternoon. It was a shock each time to see "Pregnant" show up in the window.

On September 15 I went in to the doctor for my first ultrasound. I was 6 weeks pregnant at that point. We were able to see a little blob and a tiny little flicker of a heartbeat. On September 22 we had our 2nd and final ultrasound with the fertility doctor. At this appointment our baby looked like a little Gummi Bear with arm and leg numbs. We were able to see a strong heart beating away at 131 beats per minute.

My last ultrasound was on October 25. This was done as part the NT scan to test for Down's Syndrome. Our baby actually looked like a little baby at this point. He was jumping around all over the place, kicking at the ultrasound wand, and waving his/her arms around. He/she flipped over to moon us at one point too. It was very cute. We will not find out the sex of the baby until mid-December when we do the anatomy scan. I can't wait to see him/her again!

I've made my first maternity clothing purchases and will be wearing them very soon. My belly just keeps on growing. When I got to 8 weeks along, my doctor had me come off of the Metformin that I had been taking. As soon as I came off of it, I gained 7 pounds. My doctor and I were worried about my weight during this pregnancy so I made an appointment with a dietitian. The dietitian put me on a strict carb control diet and upped my calories to 2000 per day. I've also been told to limit my exercise to keep my heart rate under 140. I have so far lost 4 pounds, so I am doing well keeping healthy. I'm also hopeful that I won't have much to lose once the baby is born.

In other news, we have decided to do some renovations to our condo. We are meeting with a contractor tomorrow for pricing and timelines. We are going to remodel our kitchen, put in a laundry room, add a den workspace, put in crown molding and new baseboards, and put in new lighting and tray ceilings in the bedrooms. We are hoping to have all of the work finished by April so that we have time to set up the nursery before the baby gets here.

I have not been reading as much since summer ended. I have a few book reviews to give on books that I read over the summer and I'm always looking for a good read. Recommend 'em if you got 'em!

I've been going through more of my photos from various vacations and trips so I'll be making a few posts to show off some of my photography. I know it is a complete attention whore thing to do but, isn't that the purpose of a blog anyway?

Thanksgiving is in 2 weeks. That means that Christmas is right around the corner! I plan to be giving lots of updates on Black Friday sales and my holiday baking projects. I have tons of recipes to add to my list.

So, without further ado...Baked Falafel!

Since meeting with the dietitian I have been searching for recipes that are low carb and higher in protein. I found an awesome blog by a registered dietitian and have slowly been trying out her recipes. So far so good! I got this recipe from her blog and made a few slight changes to suit my personal tastes.

I found the recipe on the blog PreventionRD. Please check out her whole blog, she has tons of yummy stuff on there!

Baked Falafel
From PreventionRD


1 Cup Dried Garbonzo Beans (Chick Peas)
1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
1/2 Cup Fresh Parsely, chopped
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
6 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
5 Whole Wheat Pitas, cut in half
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Cherry Tomatoes
Cucumber Slices

  1. Soak the beans in water overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the beans and put them into a food processor with the onion.
  3. Pulse until well chopped and blended.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and blend well.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Lightly grease a baking sheet. (I use PAM spray.)
  7. Form the bean mixture into walnut sized balls (about 20) and place on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Spread 2 tablespoons of hummus on to a pita half and then fill with 2 falafel balls, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

This recipe can be doctored up in any number of ways. Use tahini sauce instead of hummus, or use a different flavor of hummus. Use any type of vegetable you want to stuff the pita with. Very filling, nutritious, and low on points!

Yields: 10 servings