Good Morning All!
I tried to pack lots of new things into yesterday since it will be my last non-working Try Something New Tuesday. Don’t fret, this was by no means the final Tuesday of newness, but I’m just warning that there may not be quite as many new things once my time becomes consumed with work. Having said that, if you’ve got any great suggestions after reading today’s post, feel free to send them to me and I’ll certainly start planning for them.
Here’s the run-down for Try Something New Tuesday 22:
1. Recipe of the Week: Lightened-Up Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie. One word for this: Yum.
I’ve never been a huge fan of potatos – they’re just…. well, blah. They’re also white, which doesn’t make for much visual excitement on a plate. When I was younger my parents would make mashed potatos that I’d smother with ketchup to try to make them more interesting. Without it, they were just potatos mixed with milk and butter. No seasoning or anything. With my cooking skills now, I’m sure they could be jazzed up a bit, but regular potatos were certainly not required for this recipe. The topping for this scrumptious pie was a mix of mashed sweet potato (far more interesting, not to mention nutritious) and cauliflower. It came out of the oven slightly crisp, and the sweetness was delightful. This is another recipe that makes fabulous leftovers!
2. A new exercise! Yesterday was the first of my new round of sessions with Mr Trainer, and although we spent a large amount of time on the foam roller (my nemesis), we also did a great circuit. Do you ever see people in the gym balancing on a stability ball on their knees? I always look at these people thinking, “Wow, that’s probably a great move for building core strength, but I should probably try it at home first before I go flying off the ball and make a fool out of myself in public.” Well I lost my opportunity for home practice, because this was part of my circuit. I was happy to learn that it’s not actually as difficult as it looks. The first step in the exercise was to kneel on the ball like this:
For the record, that is not me, nor is that Mr. Trainer. It seems impractical to me to exercise with my hair down, and Mr. T is rather buff and has more hair than the gentleman above. Anyways, the ball was positioned in front of a cable machine, with the rope attachment connected to the cable. Rather than doing the usual triceps pulldown, which looks like this…
…I did it kneeling on the ball. This is a flippin awesome stabilizer for the core, and also engages the triceps and glutes. It may just be my new favourite move!
3. A new fruit: Golden honeydew melon. Most of you know that my love for watermelon runs deep, possibly deeper than any other melon or fruit in general. This week, I decided to give golden honeydew a chance because watermelons were $5 and I know that number is probably only going to rise for the remainder of the year (*sheds a tear*). Enter the golden honeydew:
These are smooth skinned melons, and belong in the same melon family as casaba, crenshaw, and obviously, your regular honeydew melon. There are 3 types of honeydew; green-fleshed, orange-fleshed (which looks a lot like a cantaloupe inside but has a smooth skin) and this beauty. The texture of the golden honeydew’s creamy white-ish flesh is also similar to the typical ‘dew, as is its sweetness. The taste was a little different, but I’m not sure how to describe it. One serving (approximately 1/10 of a melon, or 134g) contains only 50 calories and 45% of your daily requirement for vitamin C.
I enjoyed my golden honeydew melon with some watermelon for breakfast, along with…..
4. A new Green Monster experiment/recipe: GM’s are a morning ritual, but even more exciting than my current mixes (usually involving vanilla and bananas), is the Pumpkin Spice Green Monster.
The pumpkin is fairly thick on its own, so this recipe doesn’t require quite as much xanthan gum as usual. It was even more swampy looking than The Basic Green Monster, and super tasty. If you’re new to GMs or are looking to get more vegetables into your diet, I strongly suggest trying them. The Pumpkin Spice Green Monster recipe above will provide roughly 20% of your daily recommended iron, 37% of your RDI of vitamin C, and 38% of your recommended calcium. It’s also ridiculously high in vitamin A, which enhances immunity, acts as an antioxidant, and improves vision and bone strength. Not bad hey?
5. A new salad ingredient: Broccoli slaw. Mann’s Broccoli Coleslaw to be precise. I purchased this after seeing it on Julie’s blog last week. I’ve heard the term before, but had never actually seen it in the grocery store – until I looked for it this weekend. Prior to this investigation, I’d always wondered what exactly is in broccoli slaw. How do they get the broccoli florets to look like cabbage? (Blonde moment – yes, I have many). It reminded me of a story my dad told me once about a co-worker of his whose parents always made him eat the broccoli stalks while they kept the nice floret bits for themselves. Maybe this co-worker invented broccoli slaw – after all, unless your parents forced you to, when would you eat the stalks on their own?
This particular bag contained a mix of shredded broccoli stalks, carrot, and a little red cabbage. According to Mann Packing, such a mixture retains its crunchiness and colour for longer than your average cabbage-and-carrots coleslaw. One 3-oz serving contains 60% of your daily recommended vitamin A intake and 110% of your daily vitamin C.
I tried my broccoli slaw with the next new thing….
6. A new salad dressing: Walden Farms‘ Chipotle Ranch. This is a new flavour from Walden Farms’ line of calorie-free salad dressings. I tried the Raspberry Vinaigrette flavour earlier this summer, which was especially tasty on my Strawberry Summer Salad.
There aren’t too many offending ingredients here…
For lunch, I mixed about a cup of broccoli slaw with 1/2 can light flaked tuna. Although this looked great, it wasn’t quite enough….
I’ve steered clear of creamy dressings for years because I remember eating enough Caesar dressing as a kid to make me never want to eat it again. However, the Chipotle Ranch was so flavourful and delicious. I certainly plan to repeat this lunch again!
7. A new bar: Kashi Fruit & Grain Granola Bars. Last week, the posty left this little treat for me in the mailbox:
Kashi could send me an empty envelope and I’d still get excited about it…
Yes please!! These new bars come in 3 flavours; Dark Chocolate Coconut, Raspberry Chocolate, and Pumpkin Pie. You probably don’t need more than one guess to figure out which ones I tried.
The bar I grabbed clearly missed the nut machine in the factory because it was lacking in the walnut department when compared to the one on the box:
Even without said nuts, the bar was still very tasty, but very sweet. The top layer is quite gooey and I couldn’t bite into the thing without getting a layer of sticky (but very tasty) pumpkin spice goo on my front teeth. Nevertheless, the pumpkin-a-holic in me will not be letting any of these bars go to waste.
8. A new vegetable: Acorn squash. I probably ate my bodyweight in squash last winter, but it was alllllll of the butternut and spaghetti squash varieties. This time, I was after acorn:
Acorn squash is also known as pepper squash, and is a good source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, folate, and magnesium. One cup of squash cubes has the following nutritional content:
While shopping at Sobeys this weekend, I caught a glimpse of the new copy of Inspired magazine. I used Inspired’s recipe for stuffed acorn squash to create my Stuffed Acorn Squash Stuffed with Turkey and Wild Rice. The original version is vegetarian-friendly (see my recipe above for the link to this) but I wanted this to be my main dish so I upped the protein content with lean ground turkey.
Having never tried squash seeds before, I ceased the opportunity to roast these ones with a little salt. After dabbing them with paper towel to remove some of the guts, they went into the oven next to the rest of the squash.
They were nice and crunchy on their own, but after munching on a few it dawned on me that it would be a genius idea to add them to the stuffing. And oh my, a genius idea it was indeed.
If you make one thing this week (other than the Recipe of the Week, of course), it should be this.
That’s it! I’m off to meet up with a friend for coffee, sell some old textbooks to one of my friends (I love unexpected income!) and catch up on emails.
Questions for today:
- Do you eat squash or pumpkin seeds? Do you cook them in anything other than a sprinkling of salt? I’m pretty sure I’d like to make some more of these as a snack… give me some ideas!
- What is your favourite brand of bar to snack on?
Have a fantastic Wednesday!